Sunday, March 26, 2006

How Evil is your Website or Blog?

Haven't we all wondered at times if we were evil? Well know you can know! Put samples of your writing or your website URL in the space provided here:

And then you will finally know how evil you are. Or good for that matter.

Turns out I'm mostly good.

Glad about that, I was worried.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Movie Theaters Stink...

"Theater owners are trying to stem declining admissions, which fell nearly 9 percent in 2005. One way to do so has been to install new digital projectors and feature new types of entertainment."

I found that statistic here.

If theater owners really want to improve attendance, they should do a few simple things:

1) Clean up the theaters so they don't smell. And aren't sticky.
2) "Patrol" during shows to get rid of annoying drunks, cell phone users, and yelling children. And ask people to just shut up that are talking.

I stopped going to the theater regularly about 7 or 8 years ago. It got too much to handle. When the bad experiences outweigh the good, why should we drop 10 bucks on a film? For the privilege of being uncomfortable, sticky, smelly, and in the presence of loud obnoxious people? Do they really think they will attract people by adding stuff?? Clean up what you already have and make it a good experience.

Me? I'll get whatever it is on DVD when it comes out and watch in the peace of my own home, with a nice cocktail and dessert. The hell with the theaters. And their owners.

A Day Without Tea...

I decided to google the phrase, "a day without tea."

Turns out I'm not alone in my feelings.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dostoevsky and Tea....

A friend sent me this quote:

"I only like playing with words, only dreaming, but, do you know, what I really want is that you should all go to hell. That is what I want. I want peace; yes, I'd sell the whole world for a farthing, straight off, so long as I was left in peace. Is the world to go to hell, or am I to go without my tea? I say that the world may go to hell for me so long as I always get my tea."
-- Notes From Underground (Dostoevsky)

A day without tea is misfortune. Or worse.

Try talking to me before my morning tea. (Ask my former girlfriends.)

It is more than just caffeine, as I drink white and aged teas low in that dreaded stimulant. It is the fragrance, the warmth, the liquid character that uplifts in a way nothing else can. The substantive quality that raises me to the level I need to be at before I can deal with the others in this world: the news, politics, traffic. Pushing crowds at the grocery store, at the post-office.

I just got off the phone with Jack Strand and ordered some more tea.

Strand Tea

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My little trunk monkey....

Just bought one for my Honda Civic. Got the Rhesus version which is a little smaller for the compact size car. Fits nicely next to my trumpet case.

Trunk Monkey Car Theft Prevention Device

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good gawd, I love Chuck Norris!

Ever since I was a kid in high school and Good Guys Wear Black and then, A Force of One came out on the big screen, I have thoroughly enjoyed, and looked forward to, the next movie by the cheesiest actor there is this side of Steven Seagal...the one, the only, the greatest deliverer of awful one-liners: Chuck Norris.

I am currently watching, The Cutter. A truly and delightfully awful film.

Dialogue Excerpt:

Bad Cop to Norris: "I'm not through with you yet!"
Norris: "Well I am!"

Who, exactly, is Norris through with?

Also: This film features some of the worst fake mustaches and beards on the evil villain (redundancy?) that I've ever seen. After thinking this, I hear the Interpol agent say:

"He is obviously a master of disguises."


Why do I love these movies so? But I heard that Sartre read pulp novels non-stop when he wasn't working...we've all got to have a hobby.

Side Note: Check out Chuck Norris Random Facts

And, in fairness, his own response to the random facts, which is really just an opportunity to pimp his autobiography.

Personal tank....

Last item of the night to add to my Amazon wish list:

A personal tank

Oh, it is more than a tank, it is a personal comfort and safety conveyance system.

From the product description:

"The JL421 Badonkadonk is a completely unique, extremely rare land vehicle and battle tank. Designed with versatility in mind, the Donk can transport cargo or a crew of five internally or on the roof, and can be piloted from within the armored shell or from an exposed standing position through the hatch, thanks to special one-way steel mesh armor windows and a control stick that pivots up and down to allow piloting from the standing or seated positions. The interior is fully carpeted and cozy, with accent lighting and room for up to five people. A 400 watt premium sound system with PA is mounted to project sound both into the cabin and outward from behind the windows. The exterior is a steel shell with a rust patina, and features head and tail lights, turn signal lights, trim lighting, underbody lighting, fixed slats protecting the windows, and a unique industrial-strength rubberized flexible skirt that shields and protects the wheels to within an inch of the ground, while still allowing for enough flex to give clearance over bumpy and uneven terrain...Price does not include shipping and handling."

As one reviewer said, "shopping for a personal tank can be quite daunting...."

But the Donk seems to have it all. Now if they only included shipping and handling.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Religions and hypocrisy...Scientology, too?

The message: Scientologists are saying you can make fun of other religions....just not theirs!

Isaac Hayes was fine when they mocked other religions, but when they hit Scientology, forget about it. He's taking his voice and going home...Hayes quit South Park over their "inappropriate ridicule" of religions. Matt Stone, co-creator of the series, is quoted in the above article as saying, "In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews..."

It seems that fundamentalists of all ilk are prone to hypocrisy, even Scientologists.

Tired of MySpace and Blogs...?

Tired of Emails, MySpace, Blogs, Text messaging, Voice messaging, chatting....?


and be sure to read their FAQ:

Friday, March 10, 2006

Religion and absurdity....

I love The Flying Spaghetti Monster

I think shows the absurdity of religious "logic" when arguing about science the best, when they say:

"You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s."

Da Vinci Code vs. Catholic Church

I admit that I read and enjoyed the Da Vinci Code. But it was far from being great literature. It is a simple book, based on an interesting possibility from a couple of historians, and it is far from well-written. It was a fun piece of pop fluff. I enjoyed it. But this brouhaha over it and other books by the Catholic and some Protestant Churches is just ridiculous. It is fiction, and they are arguing against it like it is a historical truth. The latest:

Is another absurdist religious attack on art, if we dare call the book that. Which, actually, I don't.

The web page says: "The Da Vinci Code novel contains a claim that in Leonardo's mural The Last Supper, which portrays Jesus and his twelve apostles at the meal he took with them on the night before he died, one of the twelve is not the apostle John but actually a woman who is Mary Magdalene." And then goes on to argue about it.

Let us dissect this for a moment. "...novel contains a claim..."

It is a novel. Great Jebus help us. Other novels make fantastical claims. We don't argue about them. We suspend our disbelief, and read them. And we enjoy them, they stimulate thought, dialogue, or they inspire. Or not. One of my all-time favorite novels is Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. Because of the book's "claims," do I believe that the Templars are about to culminate their evil plans against the world? Or because I love Hugh Lofting, do I REALLY believe that Doctor Doolittle can talk to the animals?

But, I bet the publishers are stoked. It probably is boosting sales of The Da Vinci Code.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Me? I love Duchamp....

It never ceases to amaze me how people get worked up over art.

Here, we have a guy attacking Duchamp's Fountain.,saltz,72298,13.html

First he pee'd on it in 1993. (After all, it is a urinal.) Now, the 77 year old French performance artist attacked it with a hammer.

I hate to ask the obvious, but why was he so pissed off at the pisser?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

and more tea...

OK, one more link on tea and aging...and the prevention of a mental decline...

Click Here

It totally makes sense: If tea helps prevent arteriosclerosis , most commonly thought of in relationship to heart disease, would it not affect the smaller blood vessels in the brain....? Any ideas out there? I'm certainly not a doctor, so any input is welcomed...

Tea and more...

Many of you know of my love of tea. Particularly white teas, green teas, and pu erh teas. Well, in a lovely morning of drinking organic Tuocha and doing some delightful searching on the internet for information about tea I came across one of the most humorously useless technological experiments ever. An experiment on the functionality of the Chocolate Teapot by PLOKTA zine. (According to Wikipedia, PLOKTA means "Press a Lot Of Keys To Abort," an old way of getting your computer to stop whatever it was doing...

Click here to read about the Functionality of the Chocolate Teapot

I also ran across a nice link about health and tea:

Also: I regularly get asked where I buy my tea.

I have two places that I shop regularly
Jack and Judy Strand that run Strand Tea are an excellent resource, but their website is a little lacking. Don't let that stop you, their tea is excellent, and phone service unsurpassed. I recommend calling them and chatting about tea and taking their recommendations. If you are lucky, you will get Jack or Judy. Their advice has broadened my tea experience immensely.

My other choice is the Tao of Tea, whose website is easy to use and they also have a great selection of organic teas. And if you go into their tea house on Belmont in Portland, Oregon, be sure to talk with Jonathan Sielaff...his knowledge is vast, and his recommendations always good. And he plays a mean bass clarinet as well.