Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

007 Meets George Jetson

Bond, James Bond scaled new heights in Thunderball with a rocket belt that allowed him to soar above everyone to safety. The cheesy motorcycle helmet did take away some of the spirit of derring-do, but I'm sure there was a safety issue even for a "double-naught spy" (thanks, Jethro)
We all thought George Jetson's adventures with the family were rather far-fetched as well, but now it seems that both Jetson and Bond, James Bond were merely forerunners of today. Meet the M200G Volantor. This machine will fly approximately ten feet above the ground at about 50 miles per hour, kept moving by the eight turbine engines seen in the photo. This isn't just someone's dream machine, is in production as we speak, and orders have been placed on this thing. Of course, somebody like the TSA has to approve it for regular use, but you can order one RIGHT NOW! The price is, naturally, a bit steep at $90,000 but if you wait, say, a year or so, I'm sure it will be cheaper. (think "iPhone" only much bigger!)
I was notified of the Volantor's inception by a website named "neatorama." This post is actually a bit more about that than the Volantor.
On this site, an interested individual can
a) find out 17 strange facts about Hitler
b) sign up for a "Pet a Tiger" adventure tour in Thailand
c) read "10 kick-ass facts about Bruce Lee"
d) enter the "Book of Spam" caption contest
e) read the daily "Bizarro" comic (my favorite)
f) purchase pocket-sized reproductions of famous individuals like Einstein, Dali, Twain, Shakespeare, Warhol...the list seems endless. My desk is crying for some of these guys!
g) design...well, you get the idea. There is no sense in my continuing.
This is a site for all the slightly off-center among us.
Check it out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bucks and Does and Fawns, Oh My!

There are times when being number one just isn't the thing to be: number one in murders for a year, number one in flood/fire damage over a year's time, being named the top dog in The Bottom Tem by Sports know how it is. Thus it is with joy that I mention a report out today that claims Wisconsin to be number 3 in the car/deer accidents. I would love to see a figure that indicates how many residents have made claims and how many of them have made multiple claims. I mean, when the week before Thanklsgiving rolls around and some 500,000 hunters hit the woods in Wisconsin, there's bound to be a significant toll (and that's just on the hunters who never leave the cabin except to go to the strip club!).
At any rate, State Farm Insurance released an item today which indicated that in Wisconsin, each of us on the road has a 1 in 99 chance of hitting a deer. I know I've hit two in my years living here (though to be fair, one of them ran into the side of my car in a sort of deer hari-kari). It took my side mirror clean off!
Nationwide, there was a 6.3% increase in the number of deer/auto accidents with an average repair cost of $2900.00. No word on the cost to the deer or its family.
OK, so if Wisconsin is #3, who might the leaders be, you ask? Turns out that West Virginia tops the list with a 1 in 57 chance of hitting a deer on the roadway (again, I don't think this counts deer which one is chasing through the field with a pickup). Michigan garnered the second-place "honor." (much like in football in the Big Ten) Apparently rounding out the field of 50 states...the safest palce in the U.S....Hawaii, a state where your chances of hitting a deer with a car are 1 in 16,624. Those are some LONG odds. Not mentioned are the odds of getting hit by a falling pineapple or being the victim of volcanic activity. Unfortunately, the whole list was not available to me, but I can accept it as probable fact. These people make a living out of predicting things like well as predicting how many claims they can deny after a hurricane.
As for me, I think I'm safe. Having hit two deer in 35 years, I think I've maxxed out. The rest of you had better keep a sharp eye out, though. There are plenty of depressed deer out there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dressed to Thrill...or Kill

I've enver been tempted to dress all crazy on Halloween in an attempt to win contests, free drinks, smouldering looks from the ladies, etc. This year, however, I think I just might because I have several ideas for costumes that might be killers. Why am I giving out this information more than a week before the big day? Simple, you'll never be able to duplicate them! I will provide the source for my costume possibilities though: the Bible. That's right...thought you'd read it carefully, huh? Not so.
Here are my possibilities:
1. Behemoth. As seen in the Book of Job, this critter is HUGE...a landwalking brother to the Leviathan (not to be confused with Levites of the Old testament), this buffalo-like critter is stronger than anyone or any group due to its massive size.

2. The Book of Revelations describes a flock of human-headed locusts. The problem would be the shell of myself which I would have to leave on a tree the next day...small detail. 'nuff said

3. Cynocephali. While not strictly mentioned in the Bible, the next critter WAS noted by St. Augustine in his "City of God" (close enough for me). This critter is a barking, dog-headed human. Now, can you just IMAGINE the props I would get as this guy? Plus, I'd have the advantage of being allowed to use the fire hydrant if the bathroom was full. Of course, if the facility WAS occupied, it wouldn't be for long when a howling dog-boy came in.

4. The Book of Daniel mentions a horned monster...but that's just the beginning: this creature's horns have additional horns sprouting out from them AND these horns have eyes and screaming mouths! The mouths apparently screamed battle cries, but screaming aloud for another light beer might be just as effective at clearing the buffet table at this year's Halloween gig.


BLEMMYAE: These are headless humanoids whose faces are imbedded in their chests! This would be the absolute best costume to have, especially when I begin to talk out of my chest! The trick, of course, would be to make my head disappear, though there are folks who have said that happens every time I open my mouth. I think they're just jealous. While this was not a biblical creature, I added it because...well, because it's cool; and, anything mentioned in Shakespeare's "Othello" deserves a place.

As soon as I get my costume ready for this year, you can find it on YouTube and be envious of all the fame I'm accumulating.
By the way, candy corn has fewer calories than chocolate. Well, DUH! It's a vegetable!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Really, Rent One If You Need To!

It always seems to me that there are too many people out there with too little to do. Videos on YouTube seem to be a pretty good example. While I'll admit that I've ssen some hilarious ones, the "Leave Britny Alone" item that got international fame was 'way over the top. I saw the guy who does this little dance all around the world, and he got a sponsor to aid him in his travels! Unreal! The guy who built a home-made water slide from the roof of his parents' house in order to end in a kiddie pool somewhere in the yard? Seriously deranged. He, like so many others, needs a job or at least a profitable hobby (as if the injuries he suffered trying it didn't convince him!) Some of these things gets thousands of hits AN HOUR! What are all these people doing? Get a life, people! I saw a couple of slightly used ones at Blockbuster with all the VCR tapes...I'm sure there's one for you. And this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface: how about all the chat room folks out there who literally spend more time online than they do in real life? Even Brad Paisley has a clue which he lets us in on with his new song "Online." "I'm a lot cooler online'" he sings. Aren't we all?
Now, of course, a new venting of wrath is about to be let that we know Albus Dumbledore is gay. I can just feel the chat lines heating will, no doubt, be part of the presidential platform for whichever candidate gets the suppport of the moral majority (who, by the way, is finding it extremely difficult to find a suitable candidate. Hello? mean anything to you folks? Your best hope just dropped out...before any primary, even!) Anyhow, back to JK Rowling.
What was she thinking by making that dumb pronouncement over the weekend? While I realize that there are many I-have-no-life-except-Harry Potter fanatics out there, what possible benefit could this information have? The series is over, no more books to be written, Dumbledore died a couple of books ago, anyway; so why bring it up? Just to irritate parents and the religious right? Rowling needs a life as well as the rest of the fanatics out there. George Carlin was right when he said that being born on earth was a ticket to a freak show. Of course, he also added that being born in the U.S. meant one had a front-row seat to said show as well!
Enough rants from me. I've got a great idea for a YouTube video that I've got to get working on between MySpace and FaceBook correspondence.

Monday, October 08, 2007

"I Wouldn't Have Gone To Prison"

Self-reflection is an interesting concept, and one most of us ignore until we're about to die or some unspeakable tragedy occurs. No, the Packers losing to the Bears yeasterday is not such an instance! It's just that we spend so much time double-parked on Self-Pity Blvd. or zooming in the fast lane of life ("Get out of my way, dammit! I'm in a hurry!")that we seldom pause to evaluate our life or our position on anything that really matters...and, NO the Packers' loss is not one of those, as aggravating as it was.
I was lying in the hospital some years ago, having had an aneurysm repaired...yep, those things that are usually found in an autopsy. Having nothing better to do for six weeks than learn "Volcano" on a newly-bought guitar, I had time for serious self-reflection. I came to the realization that my life, though seemingly wonderful to me (with the exception of almost dying), probably wasn't the best course of action for me to take for my family. I resolved to spend more time with them, be kinder and gentler as much as was humanly possible for a Type A person to be, and generally remake the way I looked at things. While not toally remade some fifteen years later, I think I have become more empathetic and intuitive where others are concerned. I am definitely a happier word from those around me if I've done much for them! So when I read a story today about Merle Haggard, self-reflection again came to the fore.
Haggard, who is or is about to be 70 years old, has been a musician noted for political views and a hard-living lifestyle that got him a prison sentence, a divorce and alcohol issues. His music was eminently memorable (sure, you know "Okie From Muskogee"...don't deny it). Now he is releasing a new album, having finished several in the last year. "Haggard Like You've Never Heard Him Before" is, I think, the title. Sounds self-reflective to me. He was asked what among everything he's experienced in his life he would do over again. His response?
"I'd have never gone to prison."
While most of us could forego that statement, there ARE things we wish we could do over. Think about that and make the change before it's too late.
Every day in which I wake up breathing is going to be the best day of my life. I will avoid prison if at all possible. My two-hour stay in the state penitentiary in Oregon (long story) was enough for me, thank you.
Enjoy Merle.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Life Is Short...But Not THAT Short

Since I live in a virtual cave here in NE Wisconsin, it's easy for me to miss things that are happening around the world. Despite the fact that I read five newspapers every day, things of note in society can slide by under my "Hey! That's Incredible!" filter. Such is the case with
This company is in existence solely, it would seem, to enable individuals to "hook up" for purposes of an affair. This is NOT or any of the other "meet your potential mate" sites. This is about finding someone for an illicit affair, unbeknownst to your spouse or significant other.
As noted on CNN, there is a billboard which has sprung up (pardon the obvious allusion) featuring a picture of a man and a woman, both mostly likely bereft of clothing. The billboard proclaims "Life Is Short. Have An Affair." Needless to say, I was somewhat taken aback by this. I guess I was raised in a society that said having an affair was immoral and, generally, a bad thing to do. Maybe times have changed, and I missed it. The company spokesperson indicated that they were merely calling attention to what many people were doing anyway, and encouraging them not to feel guilty about it. The web site supposedly offers a guilt-free experience. Wow! I've really been inattentive to society.
Ninety percent of Americans surveyed indicated that they felt adultery was wrong. OK, I'll go along with that. But only 17% felt that infidelity was cause for divorce...huh? Statistically, between fifty and sixty percent of men will have an illicit affair while between forty and fifty percent of women will as well. What's up with that? If we all think it's wrong, why do we engage in such behavior?
And why shouldn't we feel guilty, having pledged to honor, cherish, etc. etc. "until death do us part."
Call me old-fashioned if you want to, but this affair business is none of my affair. Norms ain't what they used to be, apparently.