Archive for March, 2008

This is a little scary, in a cool way (got this in an e-mail)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2008 by tom



You saw a couple in an intimate pose, right?  

Interestingly, research has shown that young children cannot identify the intimate couple
                 Because they do not have prior memory associated with such a scenario. What they will see, however, is the nine dolphins in the picture!
So, I guess we've already proven you're not a young innocent child.

Now, if it's hard for you to find the dolphins within 6 seconds, your mind SO corrupted that Y O U probably need help!
OK, here's help: Look at the space between her right arm and her head, the tail is on her neck, follow it up. Look at her left hip, follow the shaded part down, it's another one, and on his shoulder..

OH, S U R E , you see them NOW –


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Video: A couple has difficulty talking about sex

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2008 by tom


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Long-form intrusive question collection

Posted in Uncategorized on March 30, 2008 by tom

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;-) Bless her heart

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27, 2008 by tom

There's a cultural anomaly in the South that you can say something horrible about somebody, but it's okay, as long as you follow it up with "Bless (his/her/its) heart."

Numerous comedians have riffed on this phenomenon, almost to the point of "what's up with airline food" ubiquity.

It occurred to me today that the lovely emoticon ";-)" serves a similar purpose here in the blogosphere.   Last week, during the meme where you had to use one word to describe somebody, a friend described me as "douche. ;P"

I know she was kidding–she went on to gush appropriately about my wonderfulness– but I wonder how often people use these elements in their daily lives, real and cyber.

"That's the ugliest baby I've ever seen, bless its heart."
"It's a wonder she's not in jail, with her daddy being a drunk and her mama whoring around all the time, bless her heart."
"Lord, she's gained a lot of weight.  Since Billy Jim left her, all she does is sit around the trailer drinking gas station wine and eating Moon Pies, bless her heart."

Here in our world, I imagine it presents more in comments:

"Well, you would think that, being as you're older than dirt. ;-)"
"Ooh.  You went to State? I didn't know you were a retarded crackwhore. ;-)"
"Nice new picture.  Hope you're buying chocolate bars by the case. :P"
"Where'd you learn 2 spell? A Prince song? ;-)"

Or the dreaded one-two punch:
"Awww.  Your baby is so…unique, bless his heart.  I'm sure he looks just like his daddy, if his daddy is Keith Richards. ;-)"

It just means we're kidding, right? A little bit of sarcasm.  The word "sarcasm" comes from the ancient Greeks, meaning "Tearing of the flesh."  That makes it sound a little vicious. 

Of course, the ancient Greeks were nothing but a bunch of column-building, toga-clad boy-buggerers, who sat around listening to Socrates and inventing geometry.

Bless their hearts. 😉

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Do Not Adjust Your Set

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27, 2008 by tom

When this is on the TV, my mute button never seems to work. 

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Yay, Endeavor. And Welcome Home

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 27, 2008 by tom

I was just lying here, reading a comment from a friend about squirrel recipes (note: recipes involving squirrels as the food, not recipes favored by squirrels who cook), when my apartment building shook.  BOOM!! Boom.

I smiled.  Some of my neighbors outside chattered excitedly.

The sound is the double sonic boom caused by a Space Shuttle on final approach to Kennedy Space Center across the state.  There are two glide paths the shuttle will take.  One is further south, over Ft Myers, I think.  The other goes right over Pinellas County, causing that loud, wonderful, jarring double boom. 

Anyone who's wandered around my Vox knows that I'm a total astronomy dweeb.  I always have been.  But I'm also a NASA geek.  When I was a wee lad, my dad used to take us out in the front yard to watch the Apollo rockets take off.  We were on the other coast, but you could see the fire, bright as it could be.  During the early Space Shuttle days, my uncle was stationed at Patrick AFB in Satellite Beach.  He got us into KSC for one launch.  It got scrubbed at the last minute.  A few days later, we drove back over, and watched the shuttle launch from the side of a highway.   There were tens of thousands of other folks parked there as well.  This was Challenger, on one of her early successes. 

A few years later, I was in Tallahassee when Challenger exploded.  From all the way up there, you could see the contrail.  It didn't look like anything was wrong, really, but I'd been watching Tom Brokaw show the footage.  I was crushed.  I was crushed again when Columbia disintigrated.  My stomach and spirits alike fell like the debris. 

As long as I've lived here in Gomorrah, I've always treasured that double boom when a shuttle lands.  For all the flubs and overruns NASA has endured, the technology and daring are still miraculous to me. 

My phone just burped.  Here's the text message:

FW: From: 3738 Msg: / Breaking News / Space shuttle lands safely after two week mission.   Tune into BN9 for more.

My cellular phone just sent me a text-message from my 24/7 local cable news channel, telling me that a big hunk of machinery we humans launched into space has just returned safely–gliding, for God's sake–from its mission (helping build an orbiting space station), and I've just sent that text message from my cellular phone through the Interweb (via my broadband connection) to my home computer, whereupon I pasted it into this message, which has gone through the Interwebs to your computer, where you're reading it now. 

It's so damn cool living in the 21st Century.  And welcome home, Endeavor.

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Good news for Cajun poultry; sad news for my friends and me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 26, 2008 by tom

Popeyes Chicken Founder Dies at 64

Posted: 2008-03-26 13:46:41
NEW ORLEANS (March 24) – Al Copeland, who became rich selling spicy fried chicken and notorious for his flamboyant lifestyle, died Sunday at a clinic near Munich, Germany. He was 64.

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My best friend, John, first introduced me to Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits back in 11th grade.  Our school didn't have a cafeteria (or any other permanent buildings), so juniors and seniors were allowed off-campus lunch.  Like teenagers are wont to do, we chose only really nutritious food, like Mr Gatti's all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, McWendykings, and–if we were hungry–Popeye's.  I still remember what we used to order every time: "Three-piece, white, spicy, w/cajun rice, and a large onion ring."

Popeye's onion rings were the best I've ever had.  They were made from sweet Vidalia onions, floured and spiced, and fried.  They weren't as greasy as other onion rings, and they were even yummier. 

Popeye's food was good, but it was the experience that made the visits worthwhile.  Here were two white kids from the "gifted school" going into a black neighborhood to buy chicken, and race was never an issue.  John and I chewed over many problems while gnawing on spicy chicken bones and scarfing down onion rings.  We had girl problems, of course, and "what college will we go to" dilemmas.  Our parents pissed us off, and we pissed them off contrapuntal, but we realized our lot in life was good.  He went off to Gettysburg College, where there was no Popeye's.  Ultimately, I ended up at Florida State, where there was a Popeye's two blocks from my apartment. 

I roomed with my brother part of my last year at FSU, and we got along quite well.  Mark is also a Popeye's fan.  Every now and then, we'd use one of the newspaper coupons, and get a ridiculous amount of spicy food for a small price, justifying the largess by claiming "we'll have leftovers tomorrow."

As if.  We had one Popeye's feast, and he got the then-new mashed potatoes with Cajun gravy.  We ate and belched awhile, then he had to go on a study date in Strozier Library.  About 25 minutes after he got there, the Cajun gravy hit him like a quart of magnesium citrate.  It's like an army of Cajun voodoo gravy demons staged an attack in his gut, launching flaming arrows from their canoes.  He found a bathroom in time, thank God.  Still, if ever you're bound up, Cajun gravy is a damn sight tastier than Milk of Magnesia. 

John and I weren't done with Popeye's.  When we were home on school breaks, we'd typically grab some Popeye's at least once, then cruise down to Island Park to eat.  One night, we were sitting there eating, and I was talking geekily about how cool my Astronomy class was.  As evidence, I pointed up to Orion.  As he and I looked up at Orion, a giant meteor blazed brightly across the sky, right from where I pointed.  I think we just shook our heads silently and ate.  No words were suitable.  We had Popeye's a few times during various vacations, but it wasn't the same.  They discontinued their onion rings, for one thing. 

I've still managed to find a Popeye's here and there, maybe a few times a year.  It's good chicken, if you're into such a thing.  I get all dark, now, and red beans and rice.  Still spicy, though–always spicy. 

Monday afternoon, after my doctor told me my wound had healed, I didn't even hesitate.  There's a Popeye's just down Central Ave from his office.  I was happy, obviously.  I suppose I wanted to tie my celebratory mood into good times past, times of youth and health and indestructibility, times when feeling good often involved greasy fingers and a burn in the throat. 

Thanks for all the spicy chicken, Al Copeland.  I hope you left behind an antidote for that damn butt-blazing gravy. 

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