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"Dougal, my nerves are shot, I won't be able to rest until the only rabbit left is the one sitting in your head, working the controls"

Good grief, Father Ted has quickly become the funniest non-cartoon show I've ever seen. Black Adder and The Brittas Empire were great, but Father Ted is so roundly satisfying...

Well, I'm unsatisfied with Diaryland's level of assistance (a week and no response). I don't believe I will be going with Diaryland Gold/Supergold. Actually, I was thinking about doing xgshosting, but something's wrong with IT now. Notice the navigation buttons to the left? At least right now, they're gone (links still work, just click where the buttons should be). My smilies and a few images are gone too. Probably never to return. At any rate, I'm reading up on Movable Type as a Blog-authoring tool.

And I guess I won't be getting my Self CD from THESE people.

*Update: I went with Village Photos for image hosting, and I've already moved some pics over. Working on smilies right now. Village Photos gives me 30 MB of space, 5 MB of bandwidth per day, a 3 MB cap on file size, and it's all free, and I can sign up for multiple accounts if I want. Wow. I also made two upgrades: the arrows you see, and a solution to make the text column wider on the screen.

I watched Fargo. It's not worth your time. This is a movie that tries too hard to be funny, to be ironic, to be shocking. It's uninspired. The accents are all extremely exaggerated. Some whole scenes just meander off into oblivion, not doing anything to advance the story or even comment on anything in particular. It seemed to have some promise, what with poor Jerry (William Macy) facing an epic crisis. But the payoff never materialized, and the resolution was entirely unsatisfying. The execution is quite uneven, vascillating between an A Simple Plan feel and a U Turn feel (but not doing either very well). A waste of time.

Calvin Redfoot was a cautionary tale. For about five months, he bothered me for at least an hour or two (and often several) every night at PJ's. He was recently divorced. His wife took EVERYTHING. The kids, the house, the car, the accounts. He lived in a run-down full size Cargo Van. His nightly routine was to pull up to PJ's to hang out for a while and harrass me. He would bring in all sorts of theories about why his wife decided to screw him like this, and all kinds of "evidence" he planned to use to "fight back". I cared... for about twenty minutes, on the first night. After that it became a pitiful, contrived bore. And I was going through crap with my girl at the time, but that was no concern of his.

Nothing ever totally rang true, and there were abundant contradictions in his "story". He did have some paper documentation, but for all I know the whole thing could have been made up. He was actually quite well-spoken at times, however, being well-versed in psychology, politics, and physics. I dreaded work for the months he was flitting around the store, and I looked forward to my nights off (once every two weeks) for the chance to get away from Cal as much as anything. I don't know what happened to the guy. He started working the kitchen at a local eatery (The Kettle). His van was dying. He was aging very quickly and getting quite emaciated. And frankly, I didn't care. I don't really remember when he stopped coming by, but he probably finally got the idea I wasn't interested in his tale of woe. The length of time during which I'd pretend to be glad to see him each night was ever-shortening. He just sat there at our tables, drank all our coffee, shuffled through all our magazines, harrassed some customers, and never shut up. All I wanted to do was get my work done, listen to Charley Jones, read the paper, eat dinner, and relax a bit before the morning rush.

Strange guy.

I would like to report on my experience in vitamin cessation. I used to take half a Vitamin C pill and half a Centrum daily. Since I stopped taking those a few weeks ago, I've noticed some effects. First, I don't know why, but I think Vitamin C helps me wake up quickly, and maybe get slightly more restful sleep, particularly during periods of relative sleep deprivation. I've noticed a little less ability to wake up and be alert instantly during times I've ceased taking it, such as now. Second, I believe my mild acne has cleared up because of this cessation. Third, and maybe most significantly, I haven't noticed much else. Now I know I don't eat too well--I'm low calorie/low fat for sure, but I don't get much variety, much balance. And although vitamin pills can never replace real food, I should probably take them anyway. And maybe I'd show more ill effects over a longer sample time.

Stephen John wrote a very nice piece about the Joy of Motorcycling. About summed it up for me. Motorcycling is all about cornering. Unfortunately, WE HAVE NO CORNERS HERE! That's right, there are no "twisties" in this part of the state. This is one of the worst places to own a motorcycle in the whole country.

Did you ever watch the show COPS? What did you think about the drug arrests? I think it's a mix: part an exposure of how incredibly retarded are our intrusive big government zero-tolerance drug and property seizure laws... part an ersatz warning to all that if you do drugs, yer gonna get caught (and screwed over). Ambiguous, confused. I say this because of the choice of cases they choose to show. You have officers doggedly enforcing imbecilic laws, seizing cars with glee, and generally making pigs of themselves. You also have feeble-minded losers denying reality, obvious casualties of their own drug habits. I can't decide if the show is meticulously crafted or haphazardly slapped together.

I still live in a shantytown. The good news is May is over and several people have moved out of the apartment complex... including the subwoofer-loving bedroom-wall neighbor (although now I have to hope whoever moves in isn't an anti-social prick with a hugeass stereo). The bad news is that UNT has assembled all kinds of equipment and supplies right outside Fouts Field (which is right outside my window), and appears to be ready to commence more costly and noisy construction. You might think that with the biggest budget crunch in the school's history, the biggest tuition rate jumps in the school's history, the contraction of the curriculum, and all the criticism, they might hold off for a little while on building a huge new sports complex, when they can't even fill half of Fouts Field. You'd be wrong.

I was all for Hulk being created by 3D graphics rendering. Consider the comic book Hulk: Arms and legs as big around as large tree trunks, shoulders as broad as a car, height that would dwarf Shaq. Green paint on a bodybuilder just wouldn't do. But what they've done with him can only be described by one word: gumby. Or maybe green Jello. Disgraceful. Hollywood continues its dismal standards for translating the glory of comic originals to the big screen (Spider-man being basically the biggest success).

A new book looks at the growing list of words that are banned in US textbooks and school literature. Political Correctness... you guessed it, run amuck. This story makes me cringe and snicker at the same time. A couple excerpts:

...these words are banned from U.S. textbooks on the grounds that they are either elitist (polo, yacht), sexist (babe, boyish figure), offensive (blind, bookworm), ageist (biddy), or just too strong (hell which is replaced with darn or heck).

"...a lot of people are having fun finding new titles for Ernest Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea' which presents problems with every word except 'and' and 'the'." Ravitch said old is ageist, man is sexist and sea can't be used in case a student lives inland and doesn't grasp the concept of a large body of water.

Just more dumbing down to protect the thin-skinned sensitivos. Ned Flanders would approve.

I finally have a technical term for the "adult sag" I've talked about in the past: visceral fat. So it seems that your diet has little to do with the formation or loss of this interior gut fat. It's all about the exercise. Well, I've been saying that for about a decade now. You cannot live a healthy lifestyle while never getting any moderate or intense exercise, and that goes for people of all ages. The report recommends "seventeen miles of jogging per week", which seems a bit arbitrary, and I don't really go out there and jog myself. But I cycle twenty miles a week or so, lift some weights, shoot baskets every couple days. I think anyone can do it. It's a choice--like quitting smoking. It takes a person deciding to actually make a choice for him or herself. Isn't it amazing how the biggest thing holding us back is us?

I've been reading up about the Fluoride issue. In municipalities across the country, city councils and citizens are struggling with the issue of whether Fluoride should be added to the water supply. Now, there are facts being thrown back and forth by people on both sides of the issue--"Fluoride is extremely useful for preventing dental caries and otherwise harmless" says one side... "Fluoride is responsible for ADD, brain cancer, bone brittleness, hypothyroid, etc. and doesn't help prevent dental caries at all" says the other. The true issue, though, is whether the public drinking water is a suitable vehicle for the distribution of medicine to everyone, particularly a medicine that is readily available to anyone. More study is needed.

Despite all the vast health problems we have in this country, all the noxious chemicals we're forced to breathe and consume, our abysmal nutrition, and the "sky is falling" environmental destruction we're all hit over the head with every day... we're living longer than ever now (go figure). In fact, the number of people living to 100 and beyond is growing by leaps and bounds. It is NOT unreasonable for me to expect to live to 95 or 100 or even 110. The problem with this is that people also expect to retire in their 60s. That's not going to work for most people--they don't plan their private finances well enough, and the Social Security debacle certainly can't absorb that much longevity and retirement. And of course as people stop dying of "other things", cancer becomes more and more prevalent as a cause of death. Thing is, if you accept that people living longer and healthier is good (something I'm not at all convinved of), then the growth in cancer as a cause of death is a GOOD thing too. It means people aren't dying of other things. Something has to kill them. Something has to be number one, and all causes of death have to add to one hundred percent. Dying of cancer means NOT dying earlier of a number of other problems. But anyway, it's interesting to think I may have another seventy-five years left in my life.

Nickslick has entirely too much fun on his Busa. 1396cc kit, race cams, custom paint (for wheels too), front and rear suspension and brake upgrades, race tires, intake/fuel injection/exhaust mods, rearset pegs, frame sliders, windscreen, gearing changes, reverse shifting, low-profile mirrors, fender eliminator, clear marker lights, tank softie, ... He makes the greatest vids anywhere, lives right next to some of the best twisty roads in the whole country, and still finds time to rail that Big 200+ mph Bike at the track. Now, he's adding THIS to the arsenal. Good grief! Can the turbocharger be far behind?

Next time I'll have an all-current events/politics news post for ya. Stay tuned, lots of interesting issues to mull over.