Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Couple items of Billyhank-style movie news today. First off, this:

Which is, apparently, the design of the Batmobile to be used in the forthcoming BATMAN BEGINS. Which is worrisome 'cause A.) that's the Batmobile that should be used in an adaptation of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, not in a retelling of the origin story & B.) 'cause those Warners fuckers haven't managed to turn out a decent Batman movie yet and they've had, what, fifteen, twenty tries?

This worries me because, simply, Batman deserves better. There, I said it. I'm a funnybook nerd, I wore a Bat-Signal t-shirt every day of senior year in high school, camped outside the local multiplex when the original shitty movie came out and more than once wished I was a gymnastic 12-year-old with somewhat frail parents (And yes, the last is slightly more worrisome than the rest, on a much deeper level). But all the sniggers and jokes aside, Batman is just about the pinnacle of what a superhero comic should be all about. He's smart and strong and fast and brutal and, most importantly, all too entirely human. He's always represented the peak of what all the fat kids and nerd kids and social outcast kids hoped they would someday blossom into, and it saddens me that he's been whored out to give $10 blowjobs to fill the DC/Warner Bros. corporate coffers.

Poor fucker.

And then, I ran across this one on BoingBoing:

Keanu Reeves will star in A Scanner Darkly, based on a Philip K. Dick novel, for Warner Independent Pictures, Variety reported. Richard Linklater (School of Rock) is in talks to direct, the trade paper reported. George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh's Section 8 will produce.

A Scanner Darkly will employ the same technology Linklater used in Waking Life: It will be shot live-action, then animated, the trade paper reported.

The story takes place in the future, where undercover agents change their faces along with their identities. Reeves plays one such officer, and his liberal ingestion of the drug Substance D causes him to develop a split personality, the trade paper reported.

And THAT, my young friends, may just break my heart. A SCANNER DARKLY is somewhere in the top three of my favorite PKD novels, strange and sad and accesible and head-provoking, and there's not a chance in fuck that Mr. Reeves will be able to bring the necessary grace and passion to the role of Officer Fred/Bob Arctor. Hey, anybody out there who happens to know Keanu...any chance you could convince him to step off a cliff a day or two before principle photography begins?


Hey, thanks.

Talk to you later, kiddos.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A small night in Jet City, a fine dinner of fish and vegetables prepared by my girl, some reading, a bit of writing. Nothing to write home about, so to speak, but certainly worth mentioning, if only to point out to myself that while I might bitch about not having to struggle against death and dismemberment every day here on the West Coast as I keep telling myself I did on the East Coast, the only time I came home to supper and a pretty girl and a kiss was...hmmm...never, I guess. So stop yer whining, Billyhank, and understand that it's important to enjoy good things while they're there. Just go and enjoy, ya whiny fucker.

Today was cold & bitter & sad, weatherwise, one of those days that turned my hands red while I was waiting for the bus to roll up. The 74 pulls up to a spot near the shore of Lake Union and there's very little in the way of natural windbreaks, so the wind comes whipping across the water from the north or tunneling up Westlake from the south and man, that's the kind of cold that just sinks into you.

But yesterday, my God. A day of utterly astounding beauty. Blue skies and so warm that I had to stuff both sweatshirt & windbreaker into my bag and listen to EELS and just hum and sway and smile at the other folk waiting for the bus and just generally make an ass out of myself. But, well, fuck it. It was just a nice day, the right kind of day to make an ass of one's self, yah?

And, y'know, since I've been in this town I've found myself even more thoroughly out-cooled than I ever was back East, so I've given up. I grow my little facial hair, cuff my jeans, tuck in my shirt and fuck being cool. I'm done with that. And if you're done with being cool, then you're cool to make an ass of yourself by enjoying a beautiful day down at the bus stop. And so, yeah. I'm cool to make an ass of myself, and my God, that's a lovely feeling.

All right, that's it. Billyhank keeps oversleeping, so he needs to head for bed. Sweet dreams, y'all. I'll talk to you soon.

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WASHINGTON - In a reversal, President Bush said Tuesday that he had agreed to allow his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify in public and under oath before the Sept. 11 commission to give the nation “a complete picture” of events leading up to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Bush said he and Vice President Dick Cheney also agreed to meet together with the full panel in private, abandoning their earlier insistence that they would meet only with the commission’s chairman and vice chairman.

“This commission has been charged with a crucial task,” Bush told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “To prevent future attacks, we must understand the tactics of our enemies.”

In a letter to the panel, the White House sought written assurances that Rice’s testimony would set no precedent and that no more public testimony from any White House official would be requested.

The commission accepted the terms, saying in its response that “Dr. Rice’s appearance before the Commission is in response to the special circumstances presented by the events of September 11 and the Commission’s unique mandate.”

Read the last 'graph, there. The spin is beginning and shortly before the election this issue (if the public hasn't managed to forget it by then) will be touted by Jr's handlers as just one more shining example of the White House's love of clarity and openess. Keep yer eyes open for that one.

Also, Condy: You cowardly asshole, you pointless powermonger, you rich piece of shit, how dare you act as though you're too important to answer to the representatives of the American people. How dare you pretend to give a single solitary fuck about our security, how dare you go on every talk show in America to discredit Richard Clarke but dodge people asking simple questions. Fuck you, fuck you & fuck you, you token, sellout asshole.

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Monday, March 29, 2004

Y'know, I was going to post a whole big rant about American troops shutting down an Iraqi newspaper 'cause the GI's didn't like what the paper was printing, and then go into the whole thing about how this is suddenly 1984 and How Can You Create An American-Style Democracy Without Granting American-Style Rights and all that cal, but, shit, do we really care anymore?

Seriously, talking to the people at work and I say Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Brehmer, Condy Rice, etc, and I just get these blank stares, these faintly nodding heads that don't mean "yeah, I know what you're talking about" but rather "yeah, go ahead and act shocked, Billyhank, and start lecturing." Which, yes, I will do if I'm under the slightest impression that people I know well enough to yell at are grossly un-informed about the people and events that shape their lives. But I'm tired of it, truly. What's the point? The Fundy Christian guy at work (the one who listens to Slayer even though he's Born Again, 'cause he's "not listening to the words, just the music" which, to me, seems like the beginning of the slippery slope, for those who believe in the eternal fires of H-E-double-toothpicks...) interrupted one of my rants (on, I believe, the overt bullshit of Condy Rice un-willingness to appear in public and under oath before the 9/11 hearings) by saying "That's why I don't get involved; I can't do nothing, so why should I care?"

Goddamn. I just wanted to whack him with the fucking circular saw.

Y'know, a handful of people hijacked the 2000 election and, essentially, staged a legal coup de tat that overthrew the lawfully elected President before he'd even had a chance to take his proper role. And those same people have, since then, proceeded to turn this country into the Dystopia sci-fi hacks were writing about about in the 70's. And this fathead God-Spouting, Bible-Thumping, Queer-Bashing mindless dickhead has the gall to just sit back on his fat fucking ass (really, fat ass; the man's gonna die soon, he doesn't drop a few dozen pounds) and shrug and say "It might be an effort for me to try and change things, so, fuck it."

Bah. All right, I need to head for bed. Tired of this shit, of these apathetic sacks of lazy shit, tired of people living intimidated and stupid, tired of nobody caring that the intelligence and morality of this country has slid to Fox-Network levels since Jr's regime came in to power.

Just, tired.


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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Today, I am simply incapable of doing anything well, adequately or just plain right. Seriously, just now, I'm making brownies to be ready for when Jen gets home. And not like greatest-boyfriend-in-the-universe homemade from scratch brownies; just mix in a box brownies. Just nice, nothing really special. So, like I dump the oil and the water and the mix and the little chocolate package into the big mixing cup that's de riguer for mixing in Casa del Buttons and I'm mixing away and it's like cement in the mixing cup, dark brown chunky cement and I can barely get a spoon through it and it's working it's way into a big 'ol ball and I'm like, shit, these are gonna be GREAT brownies, all like thick and rich and blah, blah, blah and so I'm looking at the box for cooking instructions and I see a picture of eggs on the box and just stand there, looking at the pictures of the eggs and see, in the pictographic, written for complete idiots ingredients list, that two eggs are called for. *Sigh* So I crack a couple of eggs into my brown cement and watch them goo the outside of the big ball but not really making any headway into becoming a part of the big brown cement fudge ball so I go after the ball with like three different spoons, hacking and slashing at the thing until I get it spread out enough to accept some egg and it softens enough to take the eggs (catching a piece of shell in the process) and so I get it to act more like brownie batter than like a medicine ball made out of semi-dry brownie batter mix and I'm so happy and proud of myself for fixing that fubar that I start to spoon the batter into the pan without greasing the pan first and realize it when the pan's about half full, so I end up spraying Pam into the part of the pan that doesn't have brownie mix on it already and then trying to tilt the pan and scrape the part that does have brownie mix on it to the side that's now greased so I can grease the other side. Which may or may not have worked. We'll see in about ten minutes.

And this morning I overslept by about an hour and ended up having to take a friggin' taxi to work ($15.50 & a $2 tip, fer Christ's sake), and then made numerous small but time-wasting and soul-killing mistakes at work and then on the way over-crowded bus on the way home the overhead vent was open (Christ knows why it was open while it was raining) and I ended up getting about a gallon of cold Seattle rainwater dumped on pages 24 & 25 of my copy of THE BUTCHER BOY before I figured out how to close the fucking thing.

But my baby's home and the brownies have about 10 minutes to go and I just wrote 4 pages about hating angels and what happens when they get one of their wings ripped off, so everything's relatively cool.

G'night, y'all. Hold your love tight and dream sweet.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I'm excerpting myself tonight, so please pardon me. I wrote this thing about the messenger gig a few months back, just before I left the East Coast and I liked it and haven't done shit with it since, so I've pulled a piece out of the middle (the whole thing is a tad too long for this page) and I'm sticking it up. If anybody out there digs it, lemme know and I'll email a .doc copy of the whole thing.


The Nextel walkie-talkie on my belt beeps twice. Dave from dispatch, telling me that ADP has a package heading for Long Island, hot-hot, gotta get there like right fucking now. Stratford to Garden City. He repeats everything twice, just to make sure I’ve got it, because the Nextel’s sound quality is about one step up from a tin can attached to a taut string. ADP, Stratford, Garden City. Got it. Run’s worth $75. Pays my gas for the day, puts a couple bucks in my pocket. Cool. Thanks, boss.

Phillip K. Dick goes into my bag, which gets flung into my car through the open window. Keys are already in the ignition. I fire it up, pop the emergency brake, back it up, slam it out on to Bedford, and I’m on my way. Eddy Messenger is on the job.

A sociological equation posted on my webpage a few weeks ago, after a day in the trenches:

I am a unique + beautiful snowflake + I need to get to point X = everyone needs to get to their point X = I'm no different from any of these people = I have become just another warm body in the mob = I am faceless, nameless + distinctly pointless = I need to break out + make myself known as an individual = I am going to buy a high-powered hunting rifle + climb the nearest clock tower.

Long Island is attempting to eat my soul. I am sitting behind the wheel of my wagon, foot firmly on the brake, staring at the ass end of a Ford Excursion that is, no kidding, bigger than my first apartment. It’s red and has a glimmering chrome bumper that reflects sunshine straight into my eyes and I’ve been staring at it for the better part of twenty minutes now.

I glance down at my clipboard, the gray plastic pouch clipped to it, ADP’s logo embossed across it in dark corporate blue. ADP does payroll for companies all over the Tri-State, and Eddy Messenger does a lot of business with them. Usually on Fridays, regular payday, delivering paychecks to companies that don’t trust the Post Office to get stuff there on time. But today’s Monday, and that probably means there was a snafu with this particular set of paychecks, which probably means that there’s a bunch of people who didn’t get paid on Friday, which probably means that they’re pretty pissed off. I mean, I’d be, if I didn’t get paid when I was supposed to.

And they’re probably getting more pissed off by the nano-second, because right now their paychecks are sitting in a blue station wagon that’s stuck in traffic on the Grand Central Parkway.

Here’s how it lays out:

There are two ways into Long Island. Well, actually, there are a lot more than two ways, but there are two obvious ways when you’re coming from Fairfield County. You either take I-95 and go over the Throg’s Neck Bridge or take the Hutchison River Parkway and go over the Whitestone Bridge. It’s a tossup, and 1010 WINS usually tells you what’s the best choice. Here’s today’s report:

“We’ve got an accident on the George Washington Bridge that’s tying up traffic on the Cross-Bronx aaaaaaaall the way back to the Bruckner Expressway and just to make things worse, there’s a stalled semi on the Southbound Turnpike right around Co-op City that’s backing traffic up to Westchester.”

Translated, that means that I-95 is a parking lot for a good six miles, which works out to an hour or so of sitting in an ocean of overheating engines and the occasional impotent horn-honk. Bad choice.

So I grabbed the Hutch and flew south to the Whitestone, feeling smugly superior to all the morons who were currently speeding their way towards the stroke-inducing stress of a quality New York-style traffic jam. I occasionally forget, however, that I’m not the only one who listens to 1010 WINS.

There are approximately 800 million cars waiting in line to cross the Whitestone by the time I get there. I mean that literally. Traffic is stopped so far back that I can’t even see the damned bridge. And there’s nothing to be done about it except sit and wait and fight the urge to squeeze across lanes in a vain and, let’s face it, assholish attempt to cut through traffic faster than everyone else.

So I sit, and I wait.

I listen to NPR, to Leonard Lopate talking to a variety of guests who are high-minded and literate and witty and urbane and that does nothing for me so I switch over to 1010 WINS and listen to news reports about murders and corruption and accusations levied against the President and that helps my mood a bit. The traffic report comes on again and this time they mention that there’s a half-hour delay at the Whitestone Bridge. Hey, thanks guys. I check the dashboard clock. It’s 12:35.

At 1:07, I’m three cars away from the tollbooth. I have a ten-dollar bill in my hand and my patter ready. When I get up to the window, I launch into it.

“Hey, howya doin’?” Shove the money out the window. “Hey, can I get a receipt?”
Sometimes you’ll get a toll booth clerk that smiles and responds, respecting your humanity just as you’ve respected theirs. Sometimes you get someone who doesn’t even bother looking at you, just hands your change and receipt out into the open air for whoever might want them. After you’ve been through the tollbooths a few hundred times, honestly, you don’t notice the difference.

The Whitestone is just as bumper-to-bumper across the span as it was getting on it, which gives me another ten minutes to examine my lot in life. Dave calls in on the Nextel to ask how it’s going when I’m just about dead center on the bridge.

“The Whitestone is attempting suicide, right at the moment,” I reply. There’s a few seconds of silence.

“Okay, well, let me know when you get there. These guys have been calling like every twenty minutes.” I bite back a few quality expletives and key the radio.

“Copy. 10-4. Will do. I’ll letcha know.”

Dave mumbles something and clicks off. I toy with the idea of flinging the Nextel over the side of the bridge and into the river. But then I’d have to pay for it, and the $75 I’m making on this run probably wouldn’t cover it.

Traffic becomes my constant companion over the bridge, down the Cross-Island Expressway and onto the Grand Central Parkway. I find myself slotted in behind that Red Excursion and can’t get away. I watch the temperature gauge on the dash climb and fall, climb and fall, find myself deep in reverie imagining the thermostat opening, the cooling fan kicking on, stinky-sweet coolant coursing through the engine block stealing heat out of the pistons, the lifters, the valves, picture waves of waste heat evacuating out from under the hood, convince myself that I can see it floating off into the atmosphere. I can feel myself slumping lower and lower behind the wheel. I have to keep tilting the rearview mirror down to see anything in it.

And then it breaks. At the Little Neck Parkway exit, just like that. Suddenly I’m going 90 mph, that red Excursion just a blip on the horizon behind me, traffic all around me blazing down the road, all of us with the hammer down, fast wind blowing the memory of stalled traffic out of our heads. We just go and go and go, miles down the road without a hiccup or the slightest tap of the brakes.

I make twelve miles of expressway in ten minutes and come slamming down Glen Cove Road like an Andretti, weaving, bobbing, left lane, right lane, left lane, charge into Garden City like an invading army, blow through four yellow lights and one that might have been red if I’d been looking, and screech to a stop in front a big glass-and-chrome number on Hamilton Street. I get the nose of the wagon even with the sign that says ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING and jump out of the car, heading fast for the lobby.

There’s a security guy, blue blazer and a crewcut sitting behind a desk. He sees me heading across the lobby, a whirling dervish with a gray polo and a clipboard. We both have our badges of office; we know why the other one exists. The conversation is only for the sake of civility. Our business could almost be taken care of with nothing but the simplest of hand signs.

“Heya, man. Looking for,” squint at the package, “Evergraphics.”

“They’re on the seventh floor. Sign here, please.” A cheap ballpoint and the sign-in ledger.

“Sure, no problem.” Scritch-scratch with the pen.

“Is that your car out front?”

“Yeah. Okay to leave it there for a minute?”

“Sure, don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks, bro. Seven?”


A mirrored elevator and a ride up to seven. A tiny TV above the control panel that shows me the market scores and headlines from MSNBC. The info society never stops. On seven, a quick dash through beige corporate hallways, a receptionist behind a mahogany desk, smiling, blonde, bland, a question about the weather, a joke about the missing paychecks, a signature on the ticket clipped to the clipboard, verifying the spelling (“That’s J-o-h-a-n-s-s-e-n?” “Uh-huh.”), and I’m gone. Down the stairs, triple-time, almost going headlong more than once, hitting the lobby at something just short of a full sprint, a wave to my bro the security guy (“Thanks, man. Have a good one.” “Yep. You too.”), the wagon, keys, peeling out onto Hamilton.

Keying the Nextel. “Bill to Base.”

“Hey, Bill. All set?”

“Yep. On my way back. Heard anything about traffic?”

“Uh…not really.”

“Shit. I’ll have to take my chances.” I’m grinning. It’s patter. It’s me sharing my relief at getting clear of the package with my boss, who’s sitting in an office in Stamford, not really caring that I’m this relieved, just happy that he won’t have to field any more calls about this run.

“All right, then. We’ll talk to you back in Stamford.”

“Copy, copy. 10-4. Talk to you then.”

Clipping the Nextel back into my belt, radio up, hammer down, Glen Cove Road, heading for the LIE. Weave, bob, honk, grind, gone.

Yeah, anyway, I kinda liked it. There's some better driving stuff in the last part, and some shit about Buttons, but that's about it.

All right, I'm out. Sleep well, children, and I'll talk to you soon.

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Okay, so instead of writing last night, I spent a couple hours and two beers and, say, maybe five cigarettes sitting out on the deck, reading old shit that's locked up in the lappy I generally use only for word processing. And I stumbled across a bunch of kinda cool shit, including this piece, an editorial for the The Voice, written on my birthday, which was a day or two after the mid-term elections that pretty handed the country to the warhawks & conservatives. And I think I got it pretty right. Check it out:

Waking up on Nov. 6 and finding out that I was living in a Republican world wasn’t the best birthday present I could’ve asked for. It wasn’t, in fact, any sort of good birthday present at all, never mind being the best. To be completely honest it was possibly the worst birthday present I could’ve gotten, this dark and angry thing delivered unto the free world at about the worst possible time.

And what made it just even more horrifying was all the Republican crowing on the day after. These smiling, backslapping, positively giddy men chatting with the Prez and gearing up to change the country around to their vision of what it should be.

Which is not the same as mine.


And immediately I began to think of Iraq, and pictured the missiles flying and the troops landing, of leveled cities and tanks rolling across the sand. I pictured George Jr. at a podium with a clenched fist, talking justice and freedom and the fight for Democracy. I pictured mobs of the New Right, cheering in the streets, Bush/Cheney buttons pinned to the lapels of their Brooks Brothers three-pieces. I pictured the heavy hand of societal reform sweeping the nation, new laws taking away the rights of choice and of speech and of fair conduct. I pictured fat cats bellied up to the trough and the little people stomped under the boot of big biz and apathetic government. I pictured an America built on the precepts of the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, a nation idolizing the robber barons and gunning for the intellectuals.

A little bit on the dramatic side, perhaps, but I’d just woken up.

Maybe the worst part of the whole thing was the Democratic response, which seems as though it could have been summed up as, “Uh, well, you see, they, um, they just wanted it more…I guess…” The immediate stance of nearly every Democrat was one of concession, of lying down and preparing for a Republican sweep of the country (if not the world). As though anything worth fighting for ceased to be an issue once the polls closed. As though being the minority party across the board was sufficient reason to not care anymore. As though nobody, especially the politicians, actually believe in the democratic ideal, and the belief that the will of the people has any sway.

And, really, what is the will of the people? We voted these guys into office, voted the Republicans into the driver’s seat. Maybe I’m wrong about this whole thing, and it’s just me and my little group of people that are scared out of our minds at the thought of the conservatives running the joint. Maybe the country’s ready for another few years of social program cutbacks, a repeal of laws that protect individual rights and the inception of legally enforced notions of morality. Maybe it’s time that the USA stepped up again to try and run the world, to install puppet governments in countries that we’re frightened of, to hand out guns to rebels, to foster distraction and dissent in the third and second worlds. Maybe it’s time we did what we’ve always believed we should do and just declare war on the planet and turn the rest of the world into the fifty-first state.

Not that I’m making any open accusations, but, hey, didn’t Bush the Elder and Ronnie Rayguns pull this same gig in the eighties?

Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, and what this country needs to get its act together is a few bible-thumping, flag-waving, gun-totin’, war-talkin’, rights-repealin’, good ‘ol boy by gum Merricans to stem the tide and make this the most perfect country that ever was or ever will be.


Happy birthday to me.

Dunno. Liked the piece and it's easier to cut & paste this, rather than come up with something new, right?

Next up, something else from the vault.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Okay, so this gentleman (the shorter one, on scaffold) claims to have built essentially a GoBot out of a Mini Cooper (the taller, yellow, metallic one, on the left) and has published a site with either some of the best home-made video effects on the planet, or a truly startling engineering genius living somewhere in England.

Watch the videos. Goddamn.

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Dammit, almost had three days in a row there. Ah, well. I guess it's too much to expect oneself to whip out any words of wisdom on St. Patrick's day, right? I did look at the computer last night, but it was at a 45-degree angle and glowing a rather unhealthy blue and there were...stomach issues and it was rather late. Fun night, though. I'm sure you understand.

Right, so if you scroll down and see that Scotsman story about the Department of Health & Human Services planting faked news stories with television stations in the South, you'll also see my comments about not being able to verify it.

Well, I did.

So, yeah, The Washington Post ran an article about it on March 11 (I'm too lazy to post a link, but search for "GAO" & "Health & Human Services"), but the Post's focus wasn't that they pulled that scumbag a move, nor was the story about the GAO investigating them for pulling a scumbag move, but instead, the Post published a story talking about how the GAO found that what they did was legal. Yeah. Completely legal, although they did complain that there were "omissions" in the story. Uh-huh. A little puff piece that doesn't talk about increased fees, reduced coverage and even more handouts to the insurance companies is faulted by having a few "omissions".

Y'know, there may be just no fucking government agencies that I can respect.

Also on the Medicare front, check this shit out:

Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly.

Dated June 11, 2003, the document put the cost at $551.5 billion over 10 years. It appeared to confirm what Ms. Bjorklund and her bosses on the House Ways and Means Committee had long suspected: the actuary, Richard S. Foster, had concluded the legislation would be far more expensive than Congress's $400 billion estimate — and had kept quiet while lawmakers voted on the bill and President Bush signed it into law.

The article goes on to say that Foster claimed (to Bjorklund) that he'd be fired if he released the real numbers to her before the congressional Medicare bill (y'know, the one that passed by all of 5 votes after being held open on the floor for three hours?). So, yeah, it was scam. We all knew it was a scam, and none of us has done anything about it.

We suck.

So, here's the problem: All this shit that the Republicans in Congress and the White House staff (and fucking "Justice" Scalia) keep pulling they keep getting away with. One is covering the other. The Dems are getting killed. And all these deals, the ones that will kill the poor & middle-class folks in the next twenty years or so, are being put into place more and more commonly, and nobody's stopping it. Why? 'Cause the Conservative Hive Mind owns 2/3'rds of the U.S. Government and has a lien on the rest, as soon as some of the more decrepit Supreme Court Justices shuffle off to Buffalo. So you & me and all the other folks who don't make a million or so a year are getting butt-fucked pretty hard right now, and that butt-fucking is going to become more and more institutionalized if the Dems don't get their asses in gear.

And please, everybody out there, if Osama Bin Laden is "captured" sometime right before the election, don't believe it, right? The propaganda machine is laying the groundwork right now, feeding the media more and more stories about U.S. soldiers "encircling" camps where Osama or his top men are "suspected" to be hiding. Bullshit. If Osama pops up in U.S. custody in any time to influence the election, understand that it's a lie or a setup. Osama went off the radar when Jr. started bullying Iraq but that hasn't worked out so well, so now he's back. And Bush can't afford to have the fucker running around without much better news to hand the American people, y'know? It's gotta be something big to offset the years of shit we've had, right? Can you think of anything much bigger?

Right, out. Talk to you....uh....sometime.

p.s. Btw, Ashcroft wants the Internet to be rebuilt so that the Feds can watch everything you do that much more easily. Really, we're all living in the groundwork for 1984. Go look up the story. You should be relatively horrified.


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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Nothing particular to say today 'cept it's Anniversary time for me & Buttons, commemorating two years to the day on which she let me get her really drunk and...well, you know. It's okay, though. She'd known me for at least two full days at that point.

True love.

So, yeah, I love my girl and two years seems both like too long and too short to describe the time, just like seven months doesn't sound like the right amount of time here in Jet City. Seems like forever or yesterday, y'know?

So, yeah, to recap, I'm in love, my personal time sense is out the fucking window and I've posted for two consecutive days for the first time in damn near forever. I'm happy, proud and full of salmon.

We had salmon for supper.

Night, y'all.

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Cole Pattern MkII Sun Compass w/ case (extremely rare!)
Working C-19 Radio Set w/ cover & manual
Bren Gun (demiled)
Extra Bren Gun Barrel
Bren Gun Tripod
21 Spare Bren Gun Clips
Bren Gun Pouch w/ 4 clips
Bren Gun Wallet w/ Contents
2 Ration boxes (one 1944 dated, one post war)
1 Quart Oil Can (in engine compartment)
Sten Sub-Machine Gun (demiled) w/ Magazine
4 P.O.W. (Petrol-Oil-Water) Cans - 1943 dated
Vintage Canvas Bucket
Vintage Petrol Funnel
Vintage Fire Extinguisher
2 Tommy Helmets w/ Netting
1 Pack Eye Sheilds, Anti-Gas MK III
Period Jack w/ Handle & Extension
Period Pick w/ handle
Portable Cooker (Tommy Cooker)
Aerial Case w/ Aerials
Period Wire Cutters
Vintage Starting Handle (rare!)
Period Machete
Period Shovel
Period Binocular Case (no binoculars)
Vintage Signals Satchel w/ Microphone & Headset for C-19
2 Pair Vintage Dust Goggles
4 Period Gernade Boxes
2 Period Canteens
1 First Aid box w/ 5 period Dated Dressings
1 Set original Tools
1 Complete Set extra seals for wheel & master cylinders
1 Trouble Light
1 Vintage Electric Torch (flashlight)
Parts Manual, Maintenance & Repair Manual

It's in Jersey, but I'll happily drive it back to Jet City. Can anybody lend me about $20,000?

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Excerpt from Chuck Palahniuk's new collection Guts:


Take in as much air as you can.

This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath, and then just a little bit longer. So listen as fast as you can.

A friend of mine, when he was 13 years' old he heard about "pegging". This is when a guy gets banged up the butt with a dildo. Stimulate the prostate gland hard enough, and the rumour is you can have explosive hands-free orgasms. At that age, this friend's a little sex maniac. He's always jonesing for a better way to get his rocks off. He goes out to buy a carrot and some petroleum jelly. To conduct a little private research. Then he pictures how it's going to look at the supermarket checkstand, the lonely carrot and petroleum jelly rolling down the conveyer belt toward the grocery store cashier. All the shoppers waiting in line, watching. Everyone seeing the big evening he has planned.

So, my friend, he buys milk and eggs and sugar and a carrot, all the ingredients for a carrot cake. And Vaseline.

Like he's going home to stick a carrot cake up his butt.

At home, he whittles the carrot into a blunt tool. He slathers it with grease and grinds his ass down on it. Then, nothing. No orgasm. Nothing happens except it hurts.

Then, this kid, his mom yells it's suppertime. She says to come down, right now. He works the carrot out and stashes the slippery, filthy thing in the dirty clothes under his bed.

After dinner, he goes to find the carrot and it's gone. All his dirty clothes, while he ate dinner, his mom grabbed them all to do laundry. No way could she not find the carrot, carefully shaped with a paring knife from her kitchen, still shiny with lube and stinky...

Just the beginning. As with most of Chuck's stuff it gets decidedly more disturbing as it progresses. Disturbing not quite so much for the images he evokes, but for putting ideas in your head, ideas about things you could do with and to your body and your mind, things that are bad for you, society and probably God.

The Lord bless that man.

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Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Tuesday that Guinness World Records had certified its stamp-sized hard disk drives (HDDs) as the smallest in the world.

The electronics conglomerate's 0.85-inch HDDs, unveiled in January, have storage capacity of up to four gigabytes and will be used in products such as cell phones and digital camcorders.

Mostly posting this one for the pic, 'cause there haven't been too many pics lately. Plus, dude, if I could implant like six of these things in my head, I'd never forget another damned thing, and that'd be really, really nice.

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The Bush Administration is being investigated for producing “ready made” television news packages in which actors were paid to pose as journalists, it emerged today.

“TV news releases” were sent to local stations to be run as part of main news programmes.

But Federal investigators have launched an investigation into whether the adverts were “propaganda”, amid allegations that they were an attempt to “manipulate the press”.

The “news” packages praised a new law, signed by the president in December, which the White House has said will make it easier for elderly American’s to obtain prescribed medicines.

In some of the features, there are pictures of Mr Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd as he signed the “Medicare” law.

The packages were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, but news viewers would have no way of knowing they were watching a Government-produced story, rather than an independent news report.

I'd LIKE to be screaming my ass off about this one, but I can't find verification anywhere (found this on Scotsman.com via FARK). The article goes on to say that the GAO is investigating this dealie and that the Department of Health and Human Services has long dropped packages like this into otherwise valid...er...well, news reports that are as valid as news reports actually are. Which isn't to say that news reports tell the truth, or even all of what you should hear, but, well, shit...uh...there's a few laws, anyway, that kind of support the idea of the journalists telling the truth.

Shit. Never mind. Bush is an asshole. Over and out.

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...Police said the man appeared delusional and told them he had been "seeing pictures of God on the computer." He told them he had not seen the hit movie "The Passion of the Christ," which depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus.

Lt. Pierre Boucher said the man took two pieces of wood, nailed them together in the form of a cross and placed them on the floor. He attached a suicide sign to the wood and then proceeded to nail one of his hands to the makeshift cross using a 14-penny nail and a hammer.

"When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911," Boucher said.

It was unclear whether the man was seeking assistance for his injury or help in nailing down his other hand...

Just waiting for the public outcry against the young and impressionable reenacting scenes from The Passion...

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Monday, March 15, 2004

Spain's Socialist Party prime minister-elect says he will pull troops out of Iraq - unless the UN takes charge.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: "The war in Iraq was a disaster, the occupation of Iraq is a disaster."

He called for a grand international alliance against terror and an end to "unilateral wars".

The Socialists won a shock poll victory after voters appeared to turn on the government over its handling of the Madrid bombings that killed 200 people.

Not surprising, although I'm trying to guess how long it's going to be before suddenly Socialist Spain becomes part of Jr's "Axis of Evil".

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Osama bin Laden narrowly escaped capture by French troops working with American forces in Afghanistan, perhaps several times, the head of France's armed forces said Monday.

"Our men were not very far," Gen. Henri Bentegeat told France's Europe-1 radio station. "On several occasions, I even think that he slipped out of a net that was well closed."

Meanwhile, U.S.-led troops surprised eight enemy fighters in a cave complex in southeastern Afghanistan, prompting a gunbattle in which three militiamen were killed and five others were wounded, the American military said Monday.

The fighting was the first reported by the U.S. military since the March 7 start of a new sweep for insurgents and terror leaders, including bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar.

You've noticed, I'm sure, that there hasn't been any real movement against Osama for the last couple of years and that suddenly, right before the election, there're a ton of reports saying that he's been captured, that he's on the lam, etc, etc. Ever get the feeling that you're being hugely manipulated?

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Former United States Air Force
facility located in Central Washington State
10 minutes off I-90

Underground Buildings:

Power Dome - 125' diameter, 75' ceiling
Control Dome - 100' diameter, 50' ceiling
3 - 155' deep Missile Silos
3 - Equipment Terminal Builings - 4 Stories
3 - Misc. Buildings adjacent to Silos
Ex-Air Intake Building (Empty Useable Space)
Ex-Air Exhaust Building (Empty Useable Space)
2 - Antenna Silos - 6 stories deep
1 - Entry Portal Building- 6 stories deep

Underground tunnel level 5 stories below ground level.
Underground has a constant unheated temperature of 55 degrees.
Wall thicknesses 2 feet to 14 feet.
Built to withstand a 1 MEGATON blast within 3,000 feet and survive!
Private water system with 700' well.
3 Phase High-Voltage Power on site.
Paved Roads.
Original perimeter barbed-wire topped chainlink fence intact.
Original 40' by 100' metal shop above ground.
2 manufactured homes on property.
Ground water level approx. 600 feet below surface.

For those of you who claim to love me, missed my birthday and have a tiny bit of disposable income to throw my way, this little gem is up for grabs on eBay. Bidding starts just under $4 million. Hey, you, Whittaker, Powerball guy...how about it?

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This phrase just kept hitting me at work today: I was birthed from what ran down God's leg after He orgasmed out the universe. Makes me wanna punch myself in the throat, though. Dunno why. Too FIGHT CLUB, maybe. Pointless melodrama. Which is to say, roughly par for the course.

That and I had a dream that I was lecturing my college history class about why Hitler was so hip on getting a sea corridor through Poland. Nothing really spectacular, really, just me up in front of the class talking about Grossdeutschland and Hitler's probable Jewish heritage and all that. Nothing else, but today it had me thinking that Richie once pointed out that songs I truly love (i.e.Less Than Zero; White Man in Hammersmith Palais) mention Hilter and/or Nazis. Which is weird but true. Something along the lines of my fascination with Nullos, I think. The repulsion providing perverse attraction, allowing proximity without (at least initial) intimacy. Which is a carefully couched way of saying that I'm afraid it's all going to turn around and bite me in the ass, sometime soon.

Right. Nothing interesting in here today, but it's been a while since I posted, and I figure you guys deserve better than bi-monthly updates.

Have a nice'n, y'all.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Man, Billyhank's one tired motherfucker today, which is odd 'cause there isn't shit going on for work these last couple of days. Actually had my guys filling out unemployment applications, citing reduced hours. Kinda shitty feeling, really. Just not seeing any jobs coming in for the next couple weeks, so there's no reason to have 'em mulling around the shop.

Very crappy.

On top of that, I managed to kill yet another car, so Buttons' Maxima is heading for some charitable cause with a nicely running engine and no discernable transmission. Crappycrappycrappy. I dunno, probably won't be so bad (I've been riding the bus or my bike to work since I got here and Buttons' new gig is a five-minute ride away on the 75), but it's just a lousy feeling to lose something useful without having a replacement. The only stuff I'm kinda dreading is grocery shopping and doing laundry. All the markets are a bus ride away and we've got a "laundry room" downstairs, but it's two washers, two dryers and a minimum of 2 1/2 hours to wash and dry a normal load. Not such a very good thing. There's a laundromat right on the 74 line and I'm thinking that might be a good place to start hitting.

Right, so this is boring, right? Never mind.

Been corresponding with a former teacher a bit lately about the whole gay marriage deal, and the massive number of words put down between us seems to be boilable down to a couple of precepts:

1. Nobody would care about gay marriage if only lesbians were involved.

2. Every guy on the planet would try gay sex if most of the other guys weren't ready and willing to beat the shit out of him for trying it.

So, really, it seems that most of America figures that the whole Goddamned country's gonna collapse if we let a couple of XY pairs get some tax breaks and inheritance rights. Not the women, just the guys, for those of you who don't understand the XY reference. So, apparently, all you womenfolk are free to go check each other out, but all you boys better keep your eyes and your junk aimed straight at the nearest breasts that aren't related to you.

Y'know, every guy has thought about gay sex on a personal level at least a few times in his life, and most of us have discussed what we would and wouldn't be willing to do, gay-wise, right? Stop denying. Shit, for most of you reading this, I was one of the ones you were talking to about it. So, yeah, boys think about banging boys, but what stops 'em?

Listen, you'd be hard pressed to find a Gen X-aged woman in this country that didn't have some kind of lesbian experience growing up, no matter what gender they happen to dig now. But there's no stigma attached to it. Usually the story involves booze, a dare, youth and lots of laughter. A story to break out every once in a while to shock a new boyfriend or liven up a dull dinner. It's just one of those things that we laugh at and smirk and make "Oooooooh" noises about. No biggie. But how many guys could get away with that if they haven't already come out of the closet? I can't think of anyone (well, one guy, but man...not a guy that you want picture having gay sex...or straight sex...or, really, anything that involved a lot of bare skin) that's even hinted at something like that. And I got a feeling that anybody ballsy enough to 'fess up to that one would find themselves quickly ejected from their core group of pals. Interesting to think that while a woman can go examine the other side and return with no real stigma, once a guy goes over he's stuck there for life.

No real reason I'm bringing this up, 'cept that it's one of those stupidly obvious things that deserves to see the light of day in some kinda public forum.

Night, y'all.

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