Mar 15

Friday Crap Roundup V

Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen! It’s time once again for the Friday Crap Roundup! Now 30 percent dafter for your reading enjoyment!

Breaking Precedent, Rome Style

Earlier this week I opined on papal names and how they rarely deviate from accepted standards. Only six names had been used by popes since 1800. Well, make it seven thanks to Pope Francis. Now while he didn’t take my advice and go with something screwy, he broke a very longstanding precedent anyway. I like that sort of thing in religious leaders. As a matter of fact one has to go all the way back to 913 CE to find the last pope who chose a name never used by any of his predecessors.

250px-Lando_WoSW

That’s right. Pope Lando.

And so with the conclave over I don’t expect to mention the papacy again for the foreseeable future. All the best to you guys out there in the Vatican.

Ignoring Precedent, Tulsa Style

Speaking of precedent, someone should explain the concept of judicial review to this guy, who actually said:

Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional …. I hear this all the time from Republicans – they say that the court is the arbitrator and after the arbitration is done, that’s the rules we have to live under and we can go forth and make legislation given those rules. That’s not the case.

Yeah, apparently he hasn’t heard of cases like Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and so forth. Judicial review, that is the prerogative of the court system to strike down unconstitutional laws, has been a central tenet of the American judicial system since, oh, 1803 or so. But you don’t need me to tell you that; anyone who paid attention in high school government class can tell you that.

484px-John_Marshall_by_Henry_Inman,_1832

“And tell ’em the Big Marsh Man sent you!”

Well, apparently Jim Bridenstine wasn’t paying attention. Unfortunately, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives last year from the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. C’mon, you guys. Politics is stupid enough without willfully electing this sort of cement-headedness.

Setting Precedent, Boise Style

Recently I wrote of my adventures (if you really want to call them that) with a mysterious person who may or may not be a woman known as “gr8tits2play.” Well, less than a week later, when one does a Google search for that name guess who comes up, like, a lot?

gr8tits2play search

Oh, lovely.

I suppose it’s in the common interest for me to inform you I’m not “gr8tits2play,” I don’t have a dead uncle in Mali with a fortune I need to smuggle into the United States, I’m not a representative of the lottery in the UK or anywhere else, and I have no problems whatsoever with penis size.

TMI? Fine, let’s move on.

Track of the Week

It’s been one of those weeks, but I hope to finish strong. I need to. Beachy will be here tonight.

In the meantime, play this over and over.

Mar 09

Messing With Spammers

As mentioned yesterday, I discovered a potential for pure comic gold upon receiving an unsolicited come-on at a dating site I’m still (unfortunately) signed up with. Time to have some fun. My response was simple enough. I thanked “her” for the message and asked “her” what her favorite places in Boise were.

Here was the reply:

Hey there, you sent me an email a lil bit ago and I have to say… mmmmmmmm, sounds very tempting!

I’m currently single and ready for some fun. I’m not really looking for any commitment, if we hit it off great, but really I just need someone to satify (sic) me, it’s been too long. So, you ready to hook up? I’m open to most anything safe and sane!

When my girlfriends found out I was posting online, they showed me this other website that is way better, and there is not nearly as many fake people on it. I still use my old profile, but I like for guys to come check me out here: (web site redacted) I’m gr8tits2play on there. This site is great, you can search for me so there is no messing around. Plus I have a couple friends on here to (sic), and we like to have fun together every once in a while 🙂

Anyway, signup there, and contact me through that profile so I know you are serious. I know it’s asking a little, but it helps sift out all the fakies and wierdos (sic) and makes me feel better. The type of men that will go the extra mile are the men I want anyway, and I like to think I’m worth it!!

Hit me up!… Soon!

beavis

“gr8tits2play” heh heh heh m heh heh heh m (ad infinitum)
Image credit: Evan P. Cordes

Now this is an old trick often seen on Craigslist: promise prurient adventures and get some poor sap to visit your web site. Doing so is the electronic equivalent of swan diving into a cesspool of anthrax and syphilis. Viruses, trojans, malware, the lot. So, um, yeah. That’s not happening.

The next step is to determine exactly where the e-mail came from. WHOIS and IP lookups after this first e-mail proved inconclusive, so I responded the new e-mail with my POP address to get a better read on the IP, only to get this:

“mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded”

Doh. Well, let’s try the first e-mail again. I replied with this:

Anyway, before I start clickety-clicking on strange links let me tell you a bit about myself. I enjoy Aquaman comics in the original Linear A, 16th Century Danish Dadaist cinema, Tabasco-spiked bologna, and Zoroastrian polka. In my free time I mentor recovering Christian coprophiliacs and provide vocational training for chicken sexers.

I’m particularly interested to know if you have current information on the whereabouts of Subhas Chandra Bose, Engelbert Humperdinck (either one), or Erik Estrada’s teeth.

This elicited … the exact same response. Word for word. Nothing left to do but report their silly asses to their ISP now. I was hoping for so much more too. Like the time I totally caught these idiots e-mailing me from Vietnam:

vietnamsnark

“Tạm biệt đồng chí” roughly translates to “goodbye comrade.”

If you know what you’re doing, it’s so easy to call bullshit on these people. How desperate must one be to actually fall for this?

By the way, I love the opportunity to use (sic).

Mar 08

Friday Crap Roundup IV

I’m feeling a bit stale this week. The fact a couple of my Cracked submissions went down the drain isn’t helping. So with that in mind here we are with another silly, rant-filled FCR. Hope you enjoy, or something ….

Droning on About Drones

If you follow politics at all, you know about Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster against the potential use of unmanned drones against American citizens on American soil. An impressive physical feat to be sure. Even more impressive considering Paul didn’t use the facilities during his marathon speech. Of course, Strom Thurmond spoke for over 24 hours for the much less noble cause of opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1957, preparing for that by taking steam baths every day to dehydrate himself.

220px-Strom_Thurmond

“Amateurs.”

Now while I have strong libertarian leanings, I’ve never been a supporter of former Rep. Ron Paul or his son Rand. This week’s news doesn’t change much. However, I do think Sen. Paul has a point here. Both Pauls occasionally put forth good ideas, but I wouldn’t want either as president. As a Democrat I’ve always been lukewarm at best about Obama. Hopefully in 2016 we’ll nominate a stronger libertarian in the mold of a Bill Richardson or Brian Schweitzer.

Chavez Under Glass

Another politician I have mixed feelings about, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, died a few days ago. Apparently he’ll be embalmed and put on permanent exhibit, joining such fun people as Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and both Kims of North Korea.

One wonders how long this will last. Unlike China, Vietnam, North Korea or even Russia, Venezuela has a viable political opposition. An attempt to recall Chavez in 2004 received over 40 percent of the vote. With the iconoclastic Chavez out of the picture, it’s conceivable the opposition will return to government there in the relatively near future. In the meantime, even in death Chavez continues to confound opposition both at home and abroad.

411px-Chavez141610

“Amateurs.”

Fun With Dating Sites

Although I’ve been inactive on the dating site front for several weeks now, earlier today I received this unsolicited little gem:

Hi hun. Just browsing the site and came across your profile. I would love to chat and see how far we can take this. I could really use a good time out. Honestly, I’m ready to get together for some drinks soon! I don’t come on here often and I hate talking on these sites, so many restrictions. Let’s make this easier and just get a hold of me directly (e-mail redacted) I check that from my phone so I can get back to you right away. Just for fun, tell me what would you do to me if we got together? Would love to hear what you have in mind . I hope youre (sic) as serious as I am, Ill be waiting eagerly for your response.

Ostensibly she’s local, although for all I know she could be in Turkmenistan or something. While I suspect this is about as sincere as Strom Thurmond’s moderation of his segregationist views late in his career, which is to say not very, it should at the very least provide some new material for SB. Provided it’s sufficiently substantial and/or hilarious, more on this later.

Mailbag

While all readers are free to make comments, I don’t respond to them in the Comments section. This isn’t YouTube. However, I will respond to them here in FCR on occasion. Earlier this week “Rhodent” opined on the Basque language problem mentioned in “Expired Food

The “x” = /ʃ/ isn’t really all that bad, though, when you consider the fact that all i’s in Basque are pronounced with the /i/ phoneme. Thus, “Bitxi” is pronounced “Beachy”. In fact, you could just anglicize the spelling to that if you wanted.

This isn’t a comment from some random person. I’ve known Rhodent for years. We used to be in a fantasy hockey league together. More importantly, I respect his opinion. I’m also going to take his suggestion. For my daughter’s sobriquet, “Beachy” it is. Thanks to him for saving me the trouble of trying to be clever again.

Track of the Week

I came across this classic at the Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store of all places. Damn, has it really been 20 years?

Mar 03

Expired Food

Regarding yesterday’s post, it occurred to me the pronunciation of “x” in Basque is roughly equivalent to “sh” in English. Therefore, I fell into my own double meaning trap by referring to my daughter as “Bitxi.” Crap. And I thought I was so clever too. Well, back to the sandbox with that one.

Sigmund_Freud_LIFE

In short, no cigar.

Anyway, it was shorter than usual weekend with my daughter. That means I’m back to my slovenly bachelor ways sooner than usual. Coffee and hot sauce days are back again.

I’ve been separated and for the the most part on my own for well over four years now. I also have the cooking skills (or perhaps more correctly, the cooking desire) of a sloth on barbiturates. Any dish more complex than “microwave for two minutes” earns a blithe dismissal. I often get nutrition rather in spite of myself.

EXIF_JPEG_T422

Yeah, buddy.

This is not to say I subsist entirely on takeout. I’m not that rich. Like most people around here, I’m familiar with the neighborhood Albertson’s and Fred Meyer. It’s just that most things I buy are prepared foods. Prepared foods have expiration dates and rarely come in sizes appropriate for one. In other words, I wind up throwing out a lot of expired shit.

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Yes, even the spray cheese expired. I’m such a barbarian.

This is one of two things about me that irritates my daughter to no end. The other being that I never carry change, which inevitably comes up every time we pass a gumball machine. My rebuttal of “We live in a cashless society” brings no relief.

The expired food issue came to a head about a year ago when my daughter attempted to eat expired pudding, “attempted” being the critical term here. She then looked in my refrigerator and announced EVERYTHING I had in there was expired. Turns out she was right. Oops. Expiration dates remain a contentious issue when she’s with me at the Command Center.

I suppose she’d appreciate it if I got a girlfriend (or at least a roommate) who could cook. I’d like that too, actually. Or, maybe I could learn to cook for myself and become the Gordon Ramsay of Idaho.

399px-Gordon_Ramsay

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m funny!
Image credit: Dave Pullig

In the meantime, a diet of such culinary delights as frozen chimichangas and chicken nuggets await. Yes, I’m well aware this does nothing for my weight problem. However, barring further freak illness and/or injury I think I’m set to make a return to the gym this week.

Oh, this should be good.

Mar 01

Friday Crap Roundup III

It’s Friday, so it’s time for SB’s least popular section, the Friday Crap Roundup. Given that no one reads the FCR anyway, I’ll keep it short this week.

New_Coke_can

In the words of Neil Hamburger (and Primus), they can’t all be zingers.

Potpourri

Here’s a very interesting article in The New Republic worth reading. The Republicans may become a regional party, but for the foreseeable future “regional” means Idaho. When it comes to our legislature, all rational people look forward to the annual release of sine die.

Another gem out of Texas from the Hub City Progressive. Fox News is down 29 percent in prime time with the 25-54 demographic. I’ve long been of the opinion that TV news in general sucks, or as an old friend back east would say, “blows dog.” But I only have a college degree in journalism, so what the hell do I know, right?

Speaking of old friends, an old, old friend – I mean one dating from the Jimmy Carter years – suddenly got married this week in Las Vegas. Of course I wish him and his new bride nothing but the best, but my bias of experience is one of trepidation. Her birthday was yesterday. My ex-wife’s birthday was also yesterday. Happy birthday to both.

Still freaky, freaky shit y’all.

CRACKED.com update: As of this writing I have two submissions in the “Pitches We’re Considering” folder, including one which was left for dead only a few days ago. Surely, the powers that be over there have noticed that too.

Track of the Week

Speaking of Primus, Les Claypool is as good a choice as any this week.

Nice Cold War reference there, Les.

Feb 25

In Concert With Indifference

I understand the Oscars were last night. Yippee skip. Did Gilbert Gottfried win anything this year? How about Penn and Teller?

Behold, unheralded geniuses.

Yes, I don’t give a rat’s ass about movies. Hell, I only recently bought a DVD player because my daughter wouldn’t quit bugging me about it. I don’t watch a lot of TV either. If I didn’t like my cable modem so much I probably would have dumped that bill a long time ago.

The_Young_Ones

Too much “ghost hunting” crap. Not enough Rik Mayall.

That leaves music. I have a large collection of 20-year-old scratched CDs I’ve been slowly converting to corrupted MP3 files. I hosted a live music show on public access in Pocatello in the mid 90s. Recently I picked up an electric bass. Left-handed, of course. More on my bass skills (or lack thereof) in a later post.

lanermi

Need an on-air bathroom break? Look no further than “The Gates of Delirium.”

Despite that, I haven’t made it to very many concerts. Let’s see, I saw fIREHOSE at the Crazy Horse in Boise in 1993. Um, there were a some opening acts I checked out: Cooler Kids (meh), Elkland (decent) and Mr. Big (no comment). As a matter of fact, there’s only one band I’ve seen in concert more than once.

800px-Erasure,_Live_at_Delamere_Forest

I may very well be Erasure’s straightest fan.
Image credit: Andrew Hurley

The best concert I ever went to was way the hell back in May 1992. I turned south, journeying into the dark, forbidding lands of Salt Lake City to see Rush on their Roll the Bones tour. Ever since then I’ve vowed to see them at least one more time before they retire. Given that all three of them are around 60 now, the clock is ticking.

As I write this I’m waiting for tickets to go on sale for a late July show at the unfortunately-named Sleep Country Amphitheater in the Vancouver, Washington, area. I chose that venue over Salt Lake City because (1) my sister, brother-in-law and twin nieces live in Portland and (2) screw Salt Lake City. I’m hoping my daughter wants to come. She likes Rush, but I’ve been accused of overplaying Clockwork Angels in her presence.

But it’s so good, y’all.

I’ve been told I need to get out more, preferably without knocking myself out in the process. I quite agree. So I’ve been checking out other events as a result. Another one of my longtime favorites, They Might Be Giants, is playing at the Egyptian Theatre in June. I’ve been following these guys since high school. Unfortunately the show is not all all ages. Despite the fact TMBG has made several children’s albums, no one under 14 is admitted (a rather arbitrary cutoff in my humble opinion), which means I can’t take my daughter to see them. I’m not sure I want to go alone either.

Does this mean I should re-open my dating site profiles? Feh. I’m not ready to pull the trigger on something that drastic.

Feb 18

Thoughts on the Drive Home

Today is Presidents’ Day in the United States. Plenty of great sales of the “stack ’em deeper and sell ’em cheaper” variety. That’s what ‘Merika is all about.

489px-Zachary_Taylor-circa1850

“Now with one-third less arsenic!”

Since I can’t spend the day punking banks by writing checks on dry ice, I suppose I’ll tell y’all about my weekend. Yesterday evening I drove home after a couple days visiting my daughter. The Command Center in Boise is about two hours away from the 2T. It’s a drive I’ve taken all my life. It’s also … how do I put this … desolate as all hell. When driven alone it gives one a lot of time to think.

Yesterday was a clear, crisp Sunday, very much like those I spent in the 2T as a boy. A typical Sunday in those days involved watching whatever PGA Tour event was on TV. To this day golf is the only sport Dad really gives a damn about. At tournament’s end I would resume the rigorous intellectual training which dominated my childhood.

The cultural significance of Hee Haw cannot be understated.

Those days are long gone. Yesterday was spent listening to a mix of Rush and the Cocteau Twins before the CD player in the staff car got too hot. Afterwards I had the radio on the local NPR station, although I understand 89.9 in Boise is not bad either. I’ll have to check it out.

Saturday I went to the movies with my daughter. We went to see Escape from Planet Earth, one of those Pixar-esque animated films. It was a cute enough movie. I’m sure we’ll get it on DVD once it comes out. I just wish I could have seen the end of it. Apparently Magic Valley Cinema 13 has never heard of an uninterruptible power supply. Also apparently they’re not aware every time some tanked-up idjut galoot crashes his 1992 Mercury Tracer into a power pole that parts of the 2T suddenly return to the 14th Century. At least we got free movie tickets out of it.

800px-Shoshoni_tipis

But now that I think about it, perhaps the 14th Century in the 2T wasn’t that bad.

In spite of it all my daughter said the weekend was a win. That’s good enough for me.

That night I got a text from Myrtle saying she didn’t want to date anymore. The sorrow I felt was about the same as being told my $1 off coupon at Jack in the Box was no good anymore. For one, this is not the first time this has happened. For another, I wasn’t particularly emotionally involved in the first place. I guess that makes me single again, so… heeey sexy ladies!

scowl

Ada County Style!

By the way, does anyone else have a problem with overheating car CD players? It annoys the shit out of me.

Feb 14

A Heartfelt Valentine’s Day Message

Superfluous Bloviations would be remiss not to recognize a holiday specifically designed to sell greeting cards, candy, flowers and mace. Although named after an obscure 3rd Century CE saint who may or may not have been as many as three people according to the Roman Catholic Church, like many annoying things Valentine’s Day can be blamed on Geoffrey Chaucer.

chaucer

Min be the tale, and thin be the travaille.

So break out the mystery chocolates, chalky candy hearts, old-timey Chicago gangsters and guilt trips. Just keep in mind I have a tree nut allergy.

stvdmassacre

“I said NO NUTS, dammit!”
(Photo credit: David Erickson)

Endure the day with as much grace as possible. By the way, cops don’t carry tommy guns.

Feb 10

Myrtle and the Moose Factory

More stupid DNS tricks today. As noted yesterday I achieved the desired outcome with respect to the web site. However, I also momentarily lost the ability to receive e-mail. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I’m no longer receiving Craigslist-inspired spam from the Russian mob, it does cramp my style a bit. So until further notice please e-mail me at boisealbatross at hotmail dot com.

UPDATE: The DNS beast is slayed. Lane at lanestartin dot org is back online. Rejoice.

Albatross!

On the subject of Craigslist, yesterday I decided to jettison my various dating site profiles. It’s not that I haven’t been successful in the past year or so; on a strictly prurient level I’ve been VERY successful. It’s because I’m sick of it all. Of course, the fact my recent posts referenced nontraditional date site topics such as the French Republican Calendar, Subhas Chandra Bose, technological singularity, the Air Bud series and the Guano Islands Act of 1856, should have probably alerted me to that earlier. So gone are my Craigslist ads, my profiles on OKCupid, POF and Match.com and any further mention of Hamburglar of Arimathea. I feel better now. Robble, robble.

Somewhat coincidentally last night I went on a date, my first since early December. Myrtle (not her real name) and I have been dating off and on for the last two years or so. As it usually does, everything went fine. Nothing terribly remarkable to report about it.

I choose not to use Myrtle’s real name for two reasons. One, she’s a nice kid and I don’t want to embarrass her in this cesspool of snark. Two, she unfortunately has a stalker ex-boyfriend who I’ll refer to here as Moose Factory Boy™ (neither his real name nor his point of origin). Well aware of my dating history, a couple months ago Moose Factory Boy™ took the unusual step of friending me on Facebook. I accepted, because what the hell, right?

Based on my admittedly limited observations, it wasn’t long before I came to the healthy conclusion that Moose Factory Boy™ is what both sociologists and paleontologists refer to as “fucking creepy.” How creepy? Consider this Facebook conversation I had with him:

MFB: Lane, when is the last time you got tested for AID/HIV?
Me: September I believe. It was quite recently.
MFB: Why did you get tested?
Me: Due diligence. I’ve been quite active in recent months.
MFB: Can I get a copy of those test results?
Me: Why would want those? Sounds like you’re a tad … obsessed.

Now while I don’t necessarily release personal medical records into the public domain, I’m also pretty upfront about such things. I suppose I could have sent them, but he’d probably want a stool sample too. The logistics of that aren’t worth the effort.

trashcan

You’d be surprised how hard it is to find these things anymore.

Moose Factory Boy™ hasn’t surfaced recently, but you never know when he’ll strike again. Fortunately he’s not local or even close to it, so the chances of him turning up in person are slim. Of course this is much more of a concern for Myrtle than it is for me, but all the same I’m still keeping a lookout. So yeah, while I don’t want to ignore the Muse, I don’t want to make this situation any weirder than it already is by using real names. I honestly don’t know what happens from here. Maybe this time it’ll work out. If not, oh well. I’m a fatalist like that.

Oh yeah, for the record Myrtle and I didn’t watch any of the Air Bud movies last night.