Friday, December 31

Tsunami aid

My musings here tend toward pop culture, celebrity sendups and the news of the weird. For the moment, however, it's time to get serious.

Oxfam is one of numerous organizations collecting money to help victims of the Indian Ocean disaster. I hope Dullards everywhere will do what they can to alleviate the suffering and to help with reconstruction in the afflicted nations.

Thursday, December 30

Have I Mentioned that Ann Coulter is Insane?

To The People Of Islam:
Just think: If we'd invaded your countries, killed your leaders and converted you to Christianity YOU'D ALL BE OPENING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS RIGHT ABOUT NOW!
Merry Christmas"

New Beatles Mashup Mixes Forty Fab Trax

Via Boing Boing. Clever, if not something you'll want to listen to more than once or twice.

Monday, December 27

Just Wrong

Man attempting plane jump sans parachute.

If Jeb lands the wing-suit without a parachute and survives—he is going to be my hero.

Kate Bush to fans: Don't give up!

The British songstress (and Peter Gabriel duet partner) promises that a new album will drop next year. It would be the first since 1993's "The Red Shoes."

We'll see.

Friday, December 24

Letterman in Iraq!

Key quip from the gap-toothed funnyman during his whirlwind visit:

If I wanted to face insurgents, I would've spent Christmas with my relatives.

Thursday, December 23

Video games are good for your doctor!

Before going under the knife, make sure to ask your surgeon what his/her high score on "Super Monkey Ball" is. Also, "Asteroids" can heal the maimed.

These are miraculous times.

Happy Festivus, Dullards!

"Seinfeld" fans contribute to a Nativity scene in Bartow, Fla.

Giant roach scitters up and down Borneo!

We admit the world's largest cockroach isn't exactly charismatic, but it's representative of a niche in the ecosystem, and if you take that out, you get a domino effect that could have a catastrophic effect on the whole food chain.

Tuesday, December 21

Monday, December 20

Scariest Website Ever

An Aryan Mary Kate & Ashley.

The Best Webcomics of 2004

Feh. The top 50 Webcomics of '04 are all Achewood. Hell of yes!

Yahoo! Traffic!

Yahoo Maps now displays current traffic conditions.

No, you are not the eggman!

Styx has a cover of "I Am the Walrus." You can see the low-budget video courtesy of this NYC classic rock station.

Needless to say, this is an abomination but will likely be a hit on the State Fair circuit that the band inhabits these days.

Sunday, December 19

Saturday, December 18

Didja Ever...

...want to see pictures of a guy with a nipple growing on his leg?

It's your lucky day.

Friday, December 17

Tom Waits Archives

Because if you're not a fan, you should be.


Similar to the Wikipedia, Wikiquote is a user-populated collection of famous quotations.

Just because it's the holiday season, here are a batch of warm 'n' fuzzies from the late Bill Hicks

A Useful Body Piercing

Well, I'm told the tongue-piercing is quite useful, though I can't quite imagine that. But these clever fellows have found a new approach to vision correction.

American Splendor

WSJ has a brief interview with Harvey Pekar.

The 10 Most Accurately Rated Rock Acts

Spin has a great list up, by the always amusing Chuck Klosterman.

Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers

Please, won't you help make cat dreams come true?

Shark hunt! Somebody call Roy Scheider

... or maybe Bill "Life Aquatic" Murray.

Australia wants to find and destroy a killer great white, but the family of one of the beast's victims says let it be.

Thursday, December 16

Jar-Jar vs. J.R.R.


Satire only geeks can truly appreciate. Plus...

In related, semi-real news, Gollum of "Lord of the Rings" fame is schizoid with a serious thyroid problem, according to medical students in the U.K. Who knew?

I'd Tap That

From E! Online News: "Survivor host Jeff Probst, 43, telling People magazine he's now dating Survivor: Vanuatu contestant Julie Berry, 24, now that production on that installment has ended."

She may be the purtiest girl that's ever been on that show, so he was smart to hold out, I guess.... though I'd always assumed Probst was more likely to hook up with Colby....

LA Times: Those Poor, Persecuted Christians

[In referece to a new Parents Television Council "study" complaining of negative TV portrayals of Christians], Frank Wright, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, called the negative portrayals "dehumanizing" and compared them to representations of Jews prior to the Holocaust, and blacks in the era of slavery. "Systematic negative portrayals of groups of people are always disturbing," he said.

"They produce the potting soil that leads to persecution."

[The PTC are the fools who lodged the vast majority of FCC complaints last year, and who apparently even find 9.3% of the religious references on the PAX network offensive.]

[PTC president L. Brent] Bozell, a Catholic, said, "Is it because Hollywood is Jewish and taking care of its own? No, I don't think that. In the popular culture of America, 99% of the public, and also in Hollywood, there is an understanding that respect is owed to Jews. It's as simple as that. That same respect ought to be paid to other faiths as well."

Update: Frank Rich puts this all in perspective.

Wednesday, December 15

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Crosswords

Whatever this man's disease, I'm afraid I have it too.

You forgot Irtursk!

Amusing "news brief" from The Onion:

ALBANY, NY -- Alfred Wu, the 13-year-old winner of the 2004 East Coast Risk Championship, flunked his 8th-grade world-geography test, social-studies teacher Jane Laurent reported Monday.

"His test paper was filled with names like Kamchatka and Yakutsk, and the Ukraine spread over half of Europe," Laurent said. "And, by his account, the U.S. is made up of only three states: Eastern United States, Western United States, and Alaska."

Last week, Wu received an "F" on a paper he wrote about Napoleonic military Stratego.

Judge Dons 10 Commandments Robe

Where? Alabama, of course.

Irony Alert

Someone call Michael Moore.

Tuesday, December 14

Ghost Town 2.0 Launched

Ghost Town is playing an all-ages show at B.B. King's at Universal Citywalk this Sunday, Dec. 19. We're part of a competition to become their "house band," so we could use all the support we can get! First band goes on at 3p.m., but we go on at 6 (despite what their website calendar says). Cover is $5 -- and please tell them you're there to see Ghost Town.

Ghost Town has been radically reinvented as a bluesy/Americana/roots project -- with vocals this time! The lineup is now:

Ashley Caldwell, backing vocals
Ken Lasaine, guitar
Frank San Filippo, bass
Kevin Smith, organ & electric piano
Adam Steinberg, drums
Romy Suskin, vocals

If you dug the band before, especially on our vocal numbers, you'll probably really enjoy it now. It sounds like a shotgun wedding of Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. We do cool covers of Patsy Cline, Tom Waits, and the Beatles, along with some blues- and country-tinged originals.

For venue info, see

For some samples of the sorts of things we're now doing, check out tracks 2 and 11 on

Hope to see you at the show!

Official New Worst. Cover. Ever.

I was watching SNL for purely inertial reasons this weekend, and eventual trivia-fodder Scissor Sisters performed their discofied version of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." It was the most Not Good thing I've heard in a long time. There's a 30-second sample on their Amazon listing, which doesn't quite underscore the horror of sitting through all 37 years that it took them to finish the song live. Not to mention the halter-top jump suit their lead singer sported.

Fittingly, the band also has a tune titled "Music Is The Victim." In this case, Music, Roger Waters, and everyone too dumb to just boop-boop their Tivo to SNL's news should be filing a civil suit against Scissor Sisters, for making us experience the sonic equivalent of being Kobe Bryant's chamber maid.

Happy Krimple

Download the Beatles Christmas Records

Ellen, Portia hook up!

Newest celebrity couple: TV talker/comedian Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi of TV's "Ally McBeal" and "Arrested Development." Says one gossip:

They managed to find a private spot, and things got so hot and heavy between them that they raced to a limo and fooled around for hours.

Upping the ante of weirdness: Ringo Starr is indirectly involved.

Elton vs. George

And you thought the Kobe-Mailman feud was nutty. This one even has a third-person reference from the former Wham! frontman:

Elton John knows very little about George Michael, and that's a fact. Contrary to the public's impression, we have spoken rarely in the last 10 years and what would probably surprise most people is that we have never discussed my private life. Ever.

Monday, December 13

Tom Tomorrow Gets Shafted By Slate

As he notes, well, it is Microsoft.

Recipe: fancy pasta sauce for two

This is a nice recipe that looks and tastes much fancier and difficult than it is.

  1. Saute 1-2 thinly-sliced cloves garlic in a couple tablespoons of good olive oil until translucent.

  2. Halve or quarter 4-8 tomatoes (depending on their size); add to pan.

  3. Saute on low (covered at first, then un-) for 10 minutes or so. (You may want to add just a little sugar.)

  4. Continue to saute until the tomatoes come apart and look delicious.

  5. Add about 10 sliced fresh basil leaves (stems removed), and saute another minute until basil wilts. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Baked ziti

16oz Mozerrella
12-16oz Ricotta
honey or real maple syrup
1-2 eggs
a bit of Romano cheese
A pound of ziti, penne, or rigattoni (any tube-shaped pasta will do)
optional: 3-4 cubed zuchinni/yellow squash, or maybe small meatballs cut in two.

  1. Boil the pasta per the package instructions for al dente pasta.

  2. In large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, an egg or two, and a couple tablespoons of honey or maple syrup. You could also add in some dried basil if you like.

  3. Cut up about 2/3 of the mozerrella into small (1cm?) cubes. Add this, along with any vegetables, meatballs, sausage, etc., and a cup or two of the sauce, to the large mixing bowl, and combine.

  4. Layer about half the cooked ziti on the bottom of a (9"?) rectangular baking dish. Spoon about 2/3 the mixture from the bowl evenly on this. You may want to throw some grated Romano on here as well.

  5. Layer the rest of the noodles across the pan, and then add the rest of the cheese/sauce/vegetable mixture, spreading evenly.

  6. Slather on the sauce.

  7. Take the remaining mozerrella, and either cut it into 9 flat, round slices, or grate it on top of the ziti. Optionally, grate some more Romano cheese over everything.

  8. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes -- you want the cheese to brown just a bit.

  9. Take it out and let it cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Sauce: You can make your own, or use a jar of premade sauce such as Newman's Own Marinara. Homemade sauce goes like this:

2-3 large cans of Progresso peeled tomatoes.
2, maybe 3 cans tomato paste.
dried oregano
dried basil
optional: 1/2lb to pound ground beef or lamb

  1. Saute in a large pot (on low-medium heat) a couple of sliced garlic cloves and/or chopped onion in olive oil, until translucent. Use lots of good olive oil, maybe a cup.

  2. If using meat, add it here, and saute until brown. You can add salt & pepper here if you like.

  3. Add the peeled tomatoes, and whatever juice is in the cans.

  4. Add a can of tomato paste; if the mixture is still ridiculously runny, add another can or two.

  5. Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, to take the bite out of the canned tomato acidity.

  6. Add a cup or so of wine, and additional spices to taste.

  7. Simmer, mostly covered, on low, for at least an hour. The longer the better.

  8. Check it frequently, and add spices/wine/paste as needed. Better to underspice than overspice.

You may want to experiment with what vegetables you might want to add to this -- if you have some bell peppers laying around, dice them up and throw them in. Squashes work well, also.

Pillow Made to Look Like Set of Gams

Single men find this soothing.

Eff Basketball

The only major player left worth watching who isn't morally reprehensible is that outta shape and over the hill dude from Kazam! and he doesn't even start trying til April.

Ah well, I have more free time to watch Desperate Housewives, I guess....

Sunday, December 12

Yay, We're Number 2!

U.S. no longer has the most scandal-plagued election of 2004!

Daily Planet Downsizing

Tough time to be in journalism, I guess.

Retired Army Colonel, 70, Called Up

Yeah, there's no draft coming. They're just calling back anyone who ever stepped foot in a recruiting office or saw "Rambo," including this retired oral surgeon being sent to Afghanistan.

Saturday, December 11

From the 'Re-enforcing Stereotypes' Department

3km vodka pipeline found connecting ex-Soviet satellites Belarus and Lithuania.

Also, Mormons are nutty.

MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country' Provides Platform for Anti-Semite

What's this country turning into?

WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE [on why 'Hollywood' embraces movies like 'F9/11' over 'The Passion of the Christ']: I spoke to Mel a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don‘t think it really matters a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn‘t matter to me. We‘ve already won.

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It‘s not a secret, OK? And I‘m not afraid to say it. That‘s why they hate this movie. It‘s about Jesus Christ, and it‘s about truth. It‘s about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.

You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins. Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie. Mel Gibson represents the mainstream of America.

That's No Fish


Thursday, December 9

Playing opossum

A frat prank goes awry in Missouri.

Key quote: "You ask, 'What were these two thinking?' That is the point: They weren't thinking."

The Onion's Best Albums of '04

I have no idea who half these people are. And I'm ok with that.

Best. Headline. Ever

Rat brain flies jet.

Clever Bit of Programming

Uses samples from Amazon to build an on-the-fly Name That Tune game. Then encourages you to go buy CDs from Amazon, earning the site a commission.

Pantera to Quit Touring


Honoring a Guardsman's Request

Wednesday, December 8

Rumsfeld in Kuwait to Give Pep Talk

Notice that he's not so foolish that he's giving the pep talk to the guys actually in Iraq. Choice quotes (and remember, it's supposed to be a pep talk):

"You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have."

"You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up."

And he's one of like three guys in Bush's cabinet who didn't get shown the door. Amazing.

Kraken love -- and parenting!

Aurora the octopus defends her eggs to the death.

Key quote: "She didn't want to leave them. As the water was going down, she was going down with it. She would spray a burst of water on the rocks on top of them."

Tuesday, December 7

MSN Spaces: Microsoft Censoring Blog Titles

No big surprise that Microsoft, late to the party, probably ain't gonna do it right.

Blogger is kinda crappy its own self, but at least you can call the blog whatever you want. You just can't, y'know, reliably post to it every day.

Furry Music Foundation

For all your New Year's Eve party band needs.

Grammy Nominations Released


For me, Best New Artist is probably Nellie McKay. Best albums were hers, and the Zutons, with Sam Philips a close third. I've also liked David Byrne's record ok; the new Robyn Hitchcock, with Gillian Welch & hubby, underwhelmed me at first, but is growing on me. I bought the new Tom Waits record a month ago, and promptly forgot about it, but I imagine there is some good stuff to be discovered when I dig it out of the CD stack. Loretta Lynn's record is a fascinating novelty, and Jill Sobule's new "Underdog Victorious" is growing on me, though I don't think it's as strong as her last one.

'The Intro and the Outro' in retrospect

NPR has a good story on Neil Innes of Bonzo Dog Band and Rutles fame.

Pissed-off cop!

A sheriff's deputy in Orlando is caught on tape relieving himself in an elevator.

Key quote: "It smelled bad," resident John Minka said. "To urinate in a public elevator, that's just wrong."

Monday, December 6

More Abusive Iraqi Prisoner Photos


Florida Vote Fraud?

Programmer testifies that Florida Congressman hired him to figure out how to alter electronic votes.

Spaced Penguin!

I got 193,222

The Election...

...still over.

Skeletal Systems of Cartoon Characters


Happy birthday!

Jazzman Dave Brubeck turns 84 today, and Peter Buck of R.E.M. fame is 48 (at least).

To mark the day, play "Take Five" and (allegedly) go into air rage.

"Sussudio" songman sires child!

It's hard to keep track of the marriages and progeny of Phil Collins. Then again, it's equally difficult to justify taking the time to do so.

Memo to the "Invisible Touch" singer: Vasectomies are relative cheap and highly effective.

Friday, December 3



Just in case you were wondering...

Here's how to give a rat an enema.

Can We Just Cut Alabama Loose?

Alabama state senator wants to ban books with references to homosexuals. This is the same state that had anti-miscagenation laws on its books only four years ago, and even then, 40% of the good people of Alabama voted to keep them.

Alabama: a long and rich history of giving toothless hillbilly crackers a bad name.

Wired Tools 2004

"Tool of the Year" would have to go to John Kerry for blowing the presidential race by not going the failry obvious anti-war route. But what Wired is referring to is their list of coolest gadgets of the year.

Survivor's Ami Nude

I try to keep this a SFW blog, but.... It's that slightly bitchy woman from Survivor, and she's nekkid!

Getting the Band Back Together

The dos and don'ts.

Thursday, December 2

OK, Seriously, This Time

Xmas time is coming. I'm just saying.

More Xmas Gift Ideas

Only ten bucks at Target.

Western Civ: Over

More libraries have a copy of "Garfield at Large" than have "Macbeth".
Scroll down to nos. 18 & 19 on this list of the 1000 most owned library books, and be appalled.

Bitchin' Rich Stoner Xmas Present

Someone alert Martin! It could replace the hole in his life left by losing the Mystery Mobile....

Mmmmm, pi.

Just a matter of time til this hits a real school: "'If 3 is a good enough 'pi' for the Almighty, then it ought to be good enough for us,' "

Wednesday, December 1

Feed the world -- again!

The new-fangled and somewhat rap-happy version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is selling well in the U.K., but apparently won't be released stateside. (Americans can soon get it as an import on Amazon, though.) Some say it sucks but that you should support the cause anyway.

Snippets of the song and video are at

Magic man weds!

Sorry, ladies. Penn Jilette is now a married man.

What I would give to see San Filippo/Hill vs. Jilette/Zolten on "The Newlywed Game."

More Ohio Weirdness

Again, not getting my hopes up, but it sure seems like a full recount is warranted in Ohio.

Guide to HDTVs

Bottom line -- they're still too costly and a bit too buggy for my taste, though the Sony XBR910 looks pretty reasonable, once I pay down all the wedding debt....

OpenSource TiVo for Radio

If anyone gets this working with their iPod, let me know.

Anti-Drunk-Dialing Tech

Good thing you have to manually enter numbers not-to-be-dialed ahead of time. Otherwise, Jody and I would fall way out of touch with our bay-area peeps.