Febrero 28, 2004

A Fan's Broken Heart


The broken heart at MCI, photographed Wednesday night. There were fewer signs in the stands; on the other hand, there were fewer fans in the stands, too.

The Caps barely showed up that night, losing to Carolina 2-1, and they were lucky to only lose by one, what with the ten penalties and 19 shots (only three in the first, and five total in the first 28 minutes!) they had in the game. Gawd-awful.

Yesterday, they traded the NHL's leading scorer, Robert Lang (74 points), to Detroit for a former second-round pick and two draft picks--a first-round pick in 2004 and a fourth-round pick in 2006.

If I'm not mistaken, Lang was one of only three remaining Caps with a multi-year contract (if I recall correctly, the other two are Olie Kolzig and Alexander Semin), so the trade makes sense as a cost-cutter. Ted Leonsis is continuing to cut his payroll, and he's decided he can cut bone marrow as well as fat.

Not much of a thesis here--just a Caps fan disappointed at watching his favorite team get dismantled.

Posted by Victor at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)

Febrero 27, 2004

Oh, wow.

Folks, I am happier than a pig in poop right now. Seriously.

You ever hear of TVParty.com? It's a really fun website, especially if you were a kid in the seventies and you spent seven to ten hours a day watching TV.

I first found it while researching a never-posted blog entry for an ancient ABC Movie of the Week entitled Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (it was never posted because it sucked. Maybe I'll dust it off and take a look at it later; maybe I won't.). I'm tellin' ya, TVParty! is one of the best websites in the world!

Guess what they've finally started talking about? Guess! Guess, dang it, guess!

If you guessed Lancelot Link, you win a banana! I can't say enough about the article, just click on the link and read it already!

By the way, there's a bonus on the second page of that article: In Real Audio Music format, the entire Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution album!

You have no idea how annoyed my coworkers are right now.

Oh, and Rob? Your 100 Greatest Guitarists List? You forgot one:
Your list is STILL the Greatest Fucked in the History!

Posted by Victor at 01:18 PM | Comments (3)

Febrero 26, 2004

Yep. It's a scary question all right.

I found this question over at fellow Munuvian and Friend of Ted Stephen's blog: Why does the drive-up ATM have intsructions in Braille?

Of course, someone answers the question, using, as Stephen puts it, "cold hard logic," to ruin the joke. I've got a similar question:

Why does the Video Replay Judge's Booth at the MCI Center have a sign in both print and braille on the door?

Answer that, Mr. skh!

Posted by Victor at 01:37 PM | Comments (3)

Febrero 25, 2004

Fixing a Computer

I was handed a notebook computer by my customer, with a serious problem: None of the models purchased would read DVD's. Nowadays, we're receiving data from customers burned onto DVD's. Since I'm Mr. Company Computer Guy, I get to fix the problem.

First thing is to head out to The Really Big Computer Manufacturer Support Site and see if there are any known problems with the computer, and I see there are a few, but none related to the DVD drive. Well, now.

I get handed a data DVD from a customer, and sure enough, I can't read it. But since it's burned, I'm a little suspicious of it. I've had problems with burned CDs in the past, so I want a commercially stamped DVD. Fortunately, there's a Border's nearby, and I go back to work with a new movie--one the gf has on VHS already.

I pop it in the drive and the volume name can be read, but that's about it. Long story short, and I discover The Really Big Computer Manufacturer Support Site has an update to the InterVideo WinDVD software on their site. Download, install, pop the movie in, and...

This young man has had a very trying rookie season, what with the litigation, the notoriety, his subsequent deportation to Canada and that country's refusal to accept him...We-e-ell, I guess that's more than most 21-year-olds can handle! Ogie Oglethorpe!


I gotta get back to work before I get fired.

If you're wondering what movie it is...well, I'm sure somebody cool will recognize that quote.

Posted by Victor at 01:32 PM | Comments (7)

Febrero 24, 2004

Two in one lunch!

This is too important to ignore. Thanks to fellow Rat-Person Serenity for the tip to The Most Important Thing You Haven't Seen Yet.

You know those intermission/halftime promotions that run during the breaks at hockey and basketball games? Sometimes they don't go the way that you expect.

Posted by Victor at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

I'm sick.

Really. I have a sore throat and beal. As a result, I feel my lunchtime post should make you sick, too.

Several years ago, in a project room, the temps working there had posted a poster. It caught my eye, in much the same way a trainwreck or roadkill does. You don't want to look, but you can't tear yourself away.

The poster was for The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) in Boston. And when they say "Bad" they ain't joking. Look on their works, ye mighty, and despair!

'Cause the good Lord knows this artwork ain't a-gonna bring joy into your life.

Posted by Victor at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

Febrero 23, 2004

Crushing dissent in Hockey

It first started a few weeks ago, when Capitals owner Ted Leonsis struck a fan for waving a sign Leonsis found offensive.

Last week, the Caps traded the very popular Peter Bondra away, and fans brought signs expressing their displeasure. At the Caps first game after the trade, I could see one that read, "Trade (General Manager) McPhee!" and I noticed later in the game it was gone. I didn't think much of it.

After the game, however, I was listening to the postgame show on AM-980 WTEM and I heard a disturbing report. I concede I was in a parking garage and AM in a garage sounds a little staticky, but I made out someone calling in claiming their sign reading, "...fire sale! Every (thing? player?) must go!" was confiscated by MCI security. In its report on that game, The Washington POST reported:

Team security braced for negative fan reaction and formed a cocoon around owner Ted Leonsis, who sat in the front row of his owner's suite as he always does. Four security guards were stationed in front of the entrance to the box, while two more flanked the isles adjacent to the box, a development several fans commented on as they approached their nearby seats. "You're really going to have to protect that guy," one season ticket holder said to an usher in Section 101...Signs like "Now We See The Real 5-Year Plan" and "I Bought My tickets Before You Decided to Trade The Team," were easily detected as well.

During the second game after the Bondra trade, the Washington POST reported yesterday Season ticket holder Stephen Andrews said that signs saying "Trade Ted" and "Trade McPhee" were confiscated from fans near him even though patrons in those sections said the signs were not bothering them.

Eric at Off Wing Opinion discusses this briefly in his NHL Weekend Roundup, opining:

Now is not the time to antagonize fans, not when so few of them are still showing up to see one of the worst teams in hockey.

He's correct, of course, and I agree with him. I find such confiscation of signs abhorant, but there's nothing illegal going on.

In fact, not only is the confiscation of such signs not illegal, fans are warned ahead of time it may happen, in the small print on the back of the ticket.

I don't have a current ticket on me. But I've seen it on them, and I don't think the wording has changed much in the last few years. From my Opening Day ticket dated October 6, 2000:

Event sponsor reserves the right to prohibit any protests, demonstrations or vigils of any nature on its premises during scheduled events. Violators will be prosecuted.

Further, MCI Center is a privately owned building. MCI Center has the right to make its own rules and enforce them as it sees fit. If MCI Center management wants to confiscate any sign saying something other than "I ♥ Leonsis" they can do that.

But that doesn't mean you should do that.

To be fair, the Washington POST reported: Kurt Kehl, the team's director of communications, said the club's policy is to remove signs that are vulgar or offensive, or also those that obstruct the view of other fans. The Capitals had internal discussions prior to Thursday's game about how to handle such issues, and sources said Leonsis was among those who supported the right for fans to express negative opinions.

Leonsis was a popular owner, but that popularity has taken a nosedive lately. On his watch, some very popular players have been traded away, and the fans don't like it. Whether Leonsis supports "the right for fans to express negative opinions" or not, he certainly has the power to let the fans express their opinions. Instead, it seems he prefers to sit idly by and let negative signs be confiscated.

And that, right or wrong, legal or illegal, is crushing dissent, and Leonsis will lose fans--both Leonsis fans and Capitals fans--because of it.

Posted by Victor at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

Febrero 21, 2004

Test post about nuthin'

Pixy Mixa, benevolent ruler of Munuvia, has busted his tail to move Munuvia to a new server. I'm finally getting around to doing a test post, to make sure my little corner is working ok.

Posted by Victor at 09:45 PM | Comments (1)

Febrero 20, 2004

Capitals vs. Devils

I've only been a hockey fan since 1990. I had watched a couple of early-season Caps games on TV that year (I think the first one I saw was because I was bored and there was nothing else on); in November of 1990 I was in Boston with nothing to do one night, so I caught a cab to Boston Garden, plonked down $33 bucks for a seat in the last row of the BAL-LOGE section (apparently, BAL-LOGE is Bostonian for, "Looking down on the angels") and watched Boston and Pittsburgh skate to a 3-3 tie. Andy Moog was the goalie for Boston; the B's had one, and I think two, power-play goals. It was a fun game, and I was hooked.

Also in 1990, Peter Bondra was acquired by Washington. Think about it: For as long as I've been a hockey fan, Peter Bondra has played NHL hockey in a Washington sweater, becoming a fan favorite.

Last night, for the first time in hockey history (as far as I'm concerned, anyway), Peter Bondra played NHL hockey in the uniform of another team. The fans at the MCI Center were not happy.

Before warmups, stats are flashed on auxiliary screens around the arena. CAPITALS POINTS LEADERS the screen read, and it listed ROBERT LANG, followed by a blank space, followed by ANSON CARTER.

The blank space would've read PETER BONDRA, but he's not with Washington anymore. Fans held up signs around the arena; the only one I could read said, simply, "Trade McPhee!"

There were some signs that were missing, too. You see, for each game, the Caps Fan Club decorates six big pieces of butcher paper, painting a slogan on them in tempera paint, and puts three at each end of the rink. The signs will wish a player a happy birthday, or echo the team's Leonsis-era slogan ("Alway's Intense!") or this year's 30th Season Anniversary slogan ("Thirty years of blood, sweat, and cheers!") or maybe poke fun at the opposing team. "Repel the Sharks!" if they're playing San Jose, or "Rake the Leafs!" if it's Toronto. Last night the Caps played the New Jersey Devil's; I think in years past I've seen "Fork the Devils!" You get the idea.

No witty slogan last night. Apparently it was nobody's birthday. I don't think they were looking for intensity, nor blood nor sweat nor cheers. Instead, at each end of the rink, was a broken heart, a number "1" on the left side and a number "2" on the right. Put the heart together and you'd get a number "12."

Peter Bondra's number.

The Caps started slow (in fact, there was some booing), but held the Devils scoreless in the first period, despite being outshot 15-10. Olie came up with some tremendous saves--it's good to see he's back in his groove.

Sometime during a break in the game, I glanced up at the stats board. At that moment it listed TOP NHL PPG SCORERS; the bottom one, number five in the league, read P. BONDRA...OTT. I noticed, also, as they flashed Capitals stats, there was no longer a blank space between ROBERT LANG and ANSON CARTER.

In the second period, Steve Kolbe had just announced to anyone listening on the radio (or who was out on the concourse looking for a cup of coffee, or in the bathroom) the Caps had gone seven minutes without a shot, when Sergei Gonchar finally took their first shot of the period. It was a weak wrister from the top of the slot that looked more like it had been thrown at the net rather than shot, but Mike Grier got a piece of it and the puck deflected into the net past backup NJ goalie Scott Clemmensen. Caps up by one.

NJ got their only goal of the game with Olie sprawled on his stomach, pinned beneath another player--the Allmighty wouldn't have been able to stop a shot in that position. Later in the period, Matt Pettinger took a headmanning pass from Josef Boumedienne on a power play, got a clean breakaway and put the Caps up for good. Robert Lang scored an insurance goal in the third, and the Caps held off a late, 90+ second 4-on-6 New Jersey power play to end the game and seal the win.

During the third period, the Capitals play a video to, "The Good Old Hockey Song." The gf hates it, but I think it's cute. The Caps made up a video to it (which includes the words for a "Follow the bouncing ball" feeling), illustrating the song. For instance, for the lyrics

And the Stanley Cup is all filled up,
For the champs who win the drink.

the bigscreen shows a fan with face painted blue and white holding a cardboard-and-aluminum foil Stanley Cup over his head, then it cuts to a cute little baby in the stands taking a big ol' hit from dad's Coke...Yeah, it's filled with stuff like that.

A few years ago, the Caps replaced the lyric

Someone roars, "Bobby scores!"
At the good old hockey game.

to read, "Bondra scores!," with a clip of Peter Bondra scoring...sometime this year it was changed back to the original lyric, but they kept the clip of Bondra...

...but not last night. I think it was Dainius Zubrus scoring on the clip, but from the stands, the lyric was, "BONDRA SCORES!"

In Ottawa, Peter Bondra scored the first goal of the game, an unassisted goal at 15:31 of the second period. Ottawa added another goal in the same period, then gave up two in the third, and finally lost in OT to Atlanta, 3-2.

He wore the number 10.

Official Scoresheet, Devils v Capitals
Official Scoresheet, Thrashers v Senators
Washington Times report of Devils v Caps
Washington Post report of Devils v Caps
Washington Times report on more Capitals trade rumors

Posted by Victor at 12:02 PM | Comments (2)

Febrero 18, 2004

Dubious Achievements for 2003

Many, many years ago, my step-grandmother subscribed to Esquire Magazine for a year. We visited her, and I read and re-read those mags as if...there was nothing to read at grandma's house (and let's be honest--most grandmothers don't have the type of reading material that would interest a 14-year old boy).

The best issue was, and still is, the (annual) Dubious Achievement issue. In this issue, the cover story and the main article is a listing of occurences in the previous year that most people might not want to be remembered for, with an absolutely hilarious leading caption. One I remember from years past (paraphrased):

Sylvester Stallone stated the perfect movie would have only one word.

The caption? "Yo."

There is one seemingly perpetual Dubious Achievement: Every year there's the same 1950's-era photo of a laughing Richard Nixon, with the caption, "Why is this man laughing?" I swear, every D.A. issue has had that; this year, it was because, "Experts gave up trying to recover sounds from the 18-and-a-half-minute gap on the Nixon White House tapes."

Celebrities are favorite targets (after all, they're so easy) but the common man isn't safe. For instance:

The world's first resort catering to the obese opened near Cancun, Mexico, with wider doorways, armless dining-room chairs, an XXXXXL golf shirts with the label, "We Spoil the Fat and the Obese!"


Celebrity D.A.'s for this year include the Brittany-Madonna kiss (and you can be damn sure Janet Jackson will be featured next year), Boy George & Rosie O'Donnell's flop of a play, Taboo, Geraldo Rivera (it seems there's always lots of D.A.'s for Geraldo), and a selection of quotes from the Iraqi Information Minister.

But the best D.A. was reserved for Michael "The Walking Dubious Achievement" Jackson. The Ten Most Reprehensible Michael Jackson Jokes:

1. What did Michael Jackson say to Woody Allen? Got two fives for a ten?
2. Why did Michael Jackson rush to Kmart? He heard boys' pants were half off.
3. Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Little boy blue.
Little boy blue who?
Michael Jackson.
4. How does Michael Jackson pick his nose? From a catalog.
5. Why was Michael Jackson kicked out of the Boy Scouts? He was up to two packs a day.
6. Why did Michael Jackson place a phone call to Boyz II Men? He thought it was a delivery service.
7. What did the lady at the beach say to Michael Jackson? I believe you're in my son.
8. Michael Jackson was on a ship with 100 Cub Scouts when it hit an iceberg and started to sink. The captain announced, "We're sinking! Everyone abandon ship!" Michael Jackson asked, "What about the children?" The captain replied, "Screw the children!" Michael Jackson looked around eagerly and said, "Do we have enough time?"
9. When is it bedtime at Michael Jackson's house? When the big hand is on the little hand.
10. What is Michael Jackson's favorite college? Brigham Young.

Posted by Victor at 01:28 PM | Comments (2)

Febrero 16, 2004

Tour de France winner Marco Pantani has died

Italian cyclist Marco Pantani was found dead in an Italian hotel room Saturday past. Initial rumors included suicide and a drug overdose; as of today it is believed he had a heart attack. He was 34 years old.

Americans will probably remember him as the cyclist Lance Armstrong let win the climb up Mont Ventoux in the 2000 Tour; they may not know he was the last winner of both the Giro d' Italia and the Tour de France in the same year (1998), a feat that is damn difficult to accomplish. He had been plagued by many accusations of doping, and had been found with an elevated red blood cell count (indicating he may have been taking EPO) on several occasions. He was even DQ'd from Italy's biggest cycling event, the 1999 Giro d' Italia (while wearing the leader's jersey!), for that reason.

What is not well known is in 1995, Pantani was severely injured in a crash during the 1995 Milan-Turin race: While descending at high speed, he crashed into a jeep that had wandered onto the course, shattering his left leg and keeping him from racing for 16 months. At the time, doctors were doubtful he would ever walk again, much less race.

He was nicknamed elefantino by the Italian fans, the tifosi, for his prominent ears. He started wearing a doo-rag and an earing, and called himself il pirata, the Pirate, and made a name for himself as an excellent climber. At his best, no one could beat him up a mountain. After his 1995 crash, however, there was a noticeable amount of caution in his descents.

I remember watching him after his prime, when he couldn't climb the way he did in the past, and it was difficult to watch.

Good night, elefantino Pirate.

Posted by Victor at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

Febrero 14, 2004

Everybody's doing it.

Via Ted and Susie:

Your Brain Usage Profile
Auditory : 23%
Visual : 76%
Left : 43%
Right : 56%

Victor, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.

Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.

You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.

In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."

All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.

You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.

It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.

Posted by Victor at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)

Febrero 13, 2004

"Ted is a bad influence on you."

Or so the gf told me last night at Suncoast, as the clerk rang up $51 worth of DVD's.

It was therapy, I tell you! Therapy! I had a crappy day at work, so we went to Red Robin for cheeseburgers, then off to Suncoast so I could find a copy of Destination Moon.

I found a lot more, and believe me, it could have been a lot worse (did you know Suncoast has special 2 and 4 disk sets of Grade B sci-fi? I mean, it could have been a lot worse). Not only did I buy Destination Moon, I also got:
Reefer Madness
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Forbidden Planet
Logan's Run

It should be noted I've already seen all of these movies *except* for Destination Moon. Pretty pathetic for a Heinlein fan. Expect reviews on all, or some, or none, of these in the future. After all, I've still got reviews of Miracle, The Rats, and Willard to do, as well as my Special Movie Version/Stage Version review of The Graduate.

Whew! I really should get started soon.

In other important movie news, Star Wars blah blah blah DVD blah blah blah original version blah blah blah Han shoots first, dammit! Sign the petition already!

Posted by Victor at 09:50 AM | Comments (2)

Febrero 12, 2004

Happy Birthday, Joe Don!

Sixty-eight years ago today, Joe Don Baker was born.

I've written about my fanatical devotion to Joe Don in the past. Now I'd like to explain that a little.

I admit, it wasn't immediate. Joe Don fandom is an acquired taste--trust me. I know I had seen at least four Joe Don Baker movies (Cool Hand Luke, Walking Tall, The Natural, and The Living Daylights) without really noticing him.

It wasn't until I discovered Mystery Science Theater 3000 and soon after that, Mitchell, that I began to realize Joe Don Baker existed.

You have no idea how I discovered Mitchell. Devotees of MST3K remember Experiment 512-Mitchell as Joel's last episode (not counting the cameo appearance in Season 10); they also remember it as one of the funniest MST episodes of all time. Joel and the 'bots tore JDB a new one so thouroughly they've reported JDB has threatened to body slam them should the writers ever cross his path (I suspect that's not true, personally, but still...).

The movie, as presented on MST3K, is hard to follow. As always, some scenes were cut out (mostly so it would fit in the two-hours alloted for an episode, but also because there was some almost-nudity) and the plot makes no sense.

Uncut, the movie isn't much easier to follow. You discover one of the characters dies, which clears up an apparent hole, but it still doesn't flow well. The blurb on the DVD describes Mitchell as A cop with a gun, a drink, and no friends. I wouldn't say that's exactly true...he makes friends with the hooker that someone tries to bribe him with (which leads to one of the funnier scenes in the movie: Mitchell and Greta are on the floor in a little nulla puella negat when he uses his big toe to hook one of the empty rings in a six-pack of Schlitz on the nightstand, then uses that same toe to put it back on the nightstand (a trick no doubt learned as a brother in Sigma Phi Epsilon) minus one beer! He didn't get one for Greta!).

Believe me, you gotta see this movie. I recommend starting off with the MST version, though. Trust me.

I became obsessed with Mitchell. I started looking for soundbites on the internet; I discovered an online Joe Don Baker discussion board. It's not as active as it used to be, but back in it's day--there were a couple of occasions where the comments were coming so fast and furious we may as well have been in chat.

It's a shame it's no longer that active. I suspect we've said about all we can say about Joe Don; that we've found about all we can find out about him (like, the time he lost a fight with a rooster. That article was also the first indication we had that Walking Tall was being remade.).

In between the teasing and general poke-funnery of the board, I began scouring eBay for JDB stuff, and let me tell you: I've found a lot. I've got publicity shots, posters, an autograph, one of his resumes...and of course, videos.

I've seen a lot of JDB movies and TV appearances (the earliest from 1965!) and I came to realize: He's a damn fine actor. Sure, he takes some bad roles (and a few truly absolutely horrendous ones) but every time you see him--he's one of the shining stars in the movie.

I tease ol' Joe Don a lot, but man--do I love watching him work.

When I saw Miracle I also saw the trailer for the new Walking Tall (starring The Rock in Joe Don's role). It's been modernized: the drug destroying the hero's city is crystal meth and they've renamed Sheriff Pusser.


I'll be there, but to me, remaking Walking Tall is a bit like remaking Casablanca. Sheriff Pusser was, and forever will be, Joe Don's role (he refused to redo the part in parts two and three, because he felt it would be disrespectful to the late Sheriff Buford Pusser). Updating it; making it a more modern movie with a different name for the hero...no. It won't be the same.

I wonder what Joe Don thinks about it?

Happy Birthday, Joe Don, and I wish you many more.

Joe Don Baker Resources:

Dr. Torgo's Ode to Joe Don
The Yellow Thing

Posted by Victor at 01:16 PM | Comments (1)

Febrero 11, 2004

Rats are better than Cats

A few days ago, Heather posted a site that featured paintings by cats.

Big deal, I say! Big fat hairy FREAKIN' deal! Rats have been doing it, and they use more than just their feet. For instance, notice Rat Cricket's use of his tail to bring a sense of movement to the painting, and his use of his testicles to...uhh...form blobs that bring to mind...ummm...the fact that they probably got in the way.

The cats, OTOH, just dip their feet in paint and walk around, afraid to experiment with different brushes. What wimps!

Anyway. The rat paintings are far superior to the cat "paintings". So there.

Posted by Victor at 02:10 PM | Comments (8)

Febrero 10, 2004

"Only in America"

A co-worker forwarded this news article to me, with the subject line, "Only in America:"
Penis-enlargement firms sued

Guess that's one way to stop spam.

UPDATE: I just realized something: This guy, in order to prove his case, must now go into court and swear under oath he has a teeny-tiny dick! The defendent will then try to prove the plaintiff has a big (or, at least, bigger) dick, the court will have to decide if the plaintiff is hung or not hung, and we'll soon have a legal definition stating what is a big dick and what is a little dick.

Yeah, only in America.

Posted by Victor at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Febrero 09, 2004

*blows into microphone* Is this thing still on?

Sorry for lack of bloggage, but I've been busy with Life, The Universe, and Everything. Just so you know:

1. I watched The Rats, and you should expect a review of that soon (spoiler: Rats Are Good).

2. The gf and I saw Miracle and you should expect a review of that soon, too. The gf has her review posted, but be warned: Her review has spoilers.

3. The gf and I adopted a new rat on Sunday. Check out Jim's laser-beam eyes at the Ratablog.

4. Because you've taken the time to read this, and so this post won't be a total waste of your bandwidth, I now post a long, humorous story, stolen from some other place, just like Ted does.

To wet your whistle (and to convince you to click on the extended entry), here's a short excerpt:

Anne V - 01:01pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1318 of 1332) Okay - I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away from meat? This is not, unfortunately, a joke.

AmyC - 01:02pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1319 of 1332)
Um, can you give us a few more specifics here?

Anne V - 01:12pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1320 of 1332)
They're inside of it. They crawled inside, and now I have a giant
incredibly heavy piece of carcass in my yard, with 2 dogs inside of it,
and they are NOT getting bored of it and coming out...

Anne V - 01:01pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1318 of 1332)
Okay - I know how to take meat away from a dog. How do I take a dog away
from meat? This is not, unfortunately, a joke.

AmyC - 01:02pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1319 of 1332)
Um, can you give us a few more specifics here?

Anne V - 01:12pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1320 of 1332)
They're inside of it. They crawled inside, and now I have a giant
incredibly heavy piece of carcass in my yard, with 2 dogs inside of it,
and they are NOT getting bored of it and coming out. One of them is
snoring. I have company arriving in three hours, and my current plan is
to 1. put up a tent over said carcass and 2. hang thousands of fly strips
inside it. This has been going on since about 6:40 this morning.

AmyC - 01:19pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1321 of 1332)
Oh. My. God. What sort of carcass is big enough to hold a couple of dogs
inside? Given the situation, I'm afraid you're not going to be create
enough of a diversion to get the dogs out of the carrion, unless they like
greeting company as much as they like rolling around in dead stuff. Which
seems unlikely. Can you turn a hose on the festivities?

Ase Innes-Ker - 01:31pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1322 of 1332)
I'm sorry Anne. I know this is a problem (and it would have driven me
crazy), but it is also incredibly funny.

Anne V - 01:31pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1323 of 1332)
Elk. Elk are very big this year, because of the rain and good grazing and
so forth. They aren't rolling. They are alternately napping and eating.
They each have a ribcage. Other dogs are working on them from the outside.
It's all way too primal in my yard right now. We tried the hose trick. At
someone elses house, which is where they climbed in and began to refuse
to come out. Many hours ago. I think that the hose mostly helps keep them
cool and dislodges little moist snacks for them. hose failed. My new hope
is that if they all continue to eat at this rate, they will be finished
before the houseguests arrive. The very urban houseguests. Oh, ghod - I
know it's funny. It's appalling, and funny, and completely entirely
representative of life with dogs.

Kristen R. - 01:37pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1324 of 1332)
I'm so glad I read this thread, dogless as I am. Dogs in elk. Dogs in elk.

Anne V - 01:41pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1325 of 1332)
It's like that childrens book out there - dogs in elk, dogs on elk, dogs
around elk, dogs outside elk. And there is some elk inside of, as well as
on, each dog at this point.

Elizabeth K - 01:57pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1328 of 1333)
Anne, aren't you in Arizona or Nevada? There are elk there? I'm so
confused!We definately need to see pics of Gus Pong and Jake in the elk

Anne V - 02:03pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1329 of 1333)
I am in New Mexico, but there are elk in both arizona and nevada, yes.
There are elk all over the damn place. They don't look out very often. If
you stand the ribcage on end they scramble to the top and look out, all
red. Otherwise, you kinda have to get in there a little bit yourself to
really see them. So I think there will not be pictures.

CoseyMo - 02:06pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1330 of 1333)
"all red;" I'm not sure the deeper horror of all this was fully borne in
upon me till I saw that little phrase.

Anne V - 02:10pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1331 of 1333)
Well, you know, the Basenji (that would be Jake) is a desert dog,
naturally, and infamous for it's aversion to water. And then, Gus Pong
(who is coming to us, live, unamplified and with a terrific reverb which
is making me a little dizzy) really doesn't mind water, but hates to be
cold. Or soapy. And both of them can really run. Sprints of up to 35 mph
have been clocked. So. If ever they come out, catching them and returning
them to a condition where they can be considered house pets is not going
to be, shall we say, pleasant.

CoseyMo - 02:15pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1332 of 1333)
What if you stand the ribcage on end, wait for them to look out, grab them
when they do and pull?

Anne V - 02:18pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1333 of 1333)
They wedge their toes between the ribs. And scream. We tried that before
we brought the elk home from the mountain with dogs inside. Jake nearly
took my friends arm off. He's already short a toe, so he cherishes the 15
that remain.

Linda Hewitt - 02:30pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1336 of 1356)
Have you thought about calling your friendly vet and paying him to come
pick up the dogs, elk and letting the dogs stay at the vets overnight. If
anyone would know what to do, it would be your vet. It might cost some
money, but it would solve the immediate crisis. Keep us posted.

ChristiPeters - 02:37pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1337 of 1356)
Yikes! My sympathy! When I lived in New Mexico, my best friend's dog (the
escape artist) was continually bringing home road kill. When there was no
road kill convenient, he would visit the neighbor's house. Said neighbor
slaughtered his own beef. The dog found all kinds of impossibly gross toys
in the neighbor's trash pit. I have always had medium to large dogs. The
smallest dog I ever had was a mutt from the SPCA who matured out at just
above knee high and about 55 pounds. Our current dog (daughter's choice) is
a Pomeranian. A very small Pomeranian. She's 8 months old now and not quite
4 pounds. I'm afraid I'll break her.

Lori Shiraishi - 02:38pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1338 of 1356)
Bet you could fit a whole lot of Pomeranians in that there elk carcass!
Anne - my condolences on what must be a unbelievable situation!

Anne V - 02:44pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1339 of 1356)
I did call my vet. He laughed until he was gagging and breathless. He says
a lot of things, which can be summed as *what did you expect?* and *no,
there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog.* He is planning to
stop over and take a look on his way home. Thanks, Lori. I am almost
surrendered to the absurdity of it.

Lori Shiraishi - 02:49pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1340 of 1356)
"He is planning to stop over and take a look on his way home." So he can
fall down laughing in person?

Anne V - 02:50pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1341 of 1356)
Basically, yeah. That would be about it.

AmyC - 02:56pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1342 of 1356)
>no, there is no such thing as too much elk meat for a dog."
Oh, sweet lord, Anne. You have my deepest sympathies in this, perhaps the
most peculiar of the Gus Pong Adventures. You are truly a woman of
superhuman patience. wait -- you carried the carcass down from the
mountains with the dogs inside?

Anne V - 02:59pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1343 of 1356)
>the carcass down from the mountains with the dogs inside?
no, well, sort of. My part in the whole thing was to get really stressed
about a meeting that I had to go to, and say *yeah, ok, whatever* when it
was suggested that the ribcages, since we couldn't get the dogs out of them
and the dogs couldn't be left there, be brought to my house. Because, you
know - I just thought they would get bored of it sooner or later. But it
appears to be later, in the misty uncertain future, that they will get
bored. Now, they are still interested. And very loud, one singing, one

Lori Shiraishi - 03:04pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1344 of 1356)
>And very loud, one singing, one snoring.
wow. I can't even begin to imagine the acoustics involved with singing from
the inside of an elk.

Anne V - 03:04pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1345 of 1356)
reverb. lots and lots of reverb.

Anne V - 03:15pm Sep 9, 1999 PDT (# 1347 of 1356)
I'll tell you the thing that is causing me to lose it again and again, and
then I have to go back outside and stay there for a while. After the
meeting, I said to my (extraordinary) boss, *look, I've gotta go home for
the rest of the day, I think. Jake and Gus Pong are inside some elk
ribcages, and my dad is coming tonight, so I've got to get them out
somehow.* And he said, pale and huge-eyed, *Annie, how did you explain the
elk to the clients?* The poor, poor man thought I had the carcasses brought
to work with me. For some reason, I find this deeply funny.

(weekend pause)

Anne V - 08:37am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1395 of 1405)
So what we did was put the ribcages (containing dogs) on tarps and drag
them around to the side yard, where I figured they would at least be harder
to see, and then opened my bedroom window so that the dogs could let me
know when they were ready to be plunged into a de-elking solution and let
in the house. Then I went to the airport. Came home, no visible elk, no
visible dogs. Peeked around the shrubs, and there they were, still in the
elk. By this time, they had gnawed out some little portholes between some
of the ribs, and you got the occasional very frightening limpse of
something moving around in there if you watched long enough. After a lot of
agonizing, I went to bed. I closed the back door, made sure my window was
open, talked to the dogs out of it until I as sure they knew it was open,
and then I fell asleep.

Sometimes, sleep is a mistake, no matter how tired you are. And especially
if you are very very tired, and some of your dogs are outside, inside some
elks. Because when you are that tired, you sleep through bumping kind of
noises, or you kind of think that it's just the house guests. It was't the
house guests. It was my dogs, having an attack of teamwork unprecedented in
our domestic history. When I finally woke all the way up, it was to a
horrible vision. Somehow, 3 dogs with a combined weight of about 90 pounds,
managed to hoist one of the ribcages (the meatier one, of course) up 3 feet
to rest on top of the swamp cooler outside the window, and push out the
screen. What woke me was Gus Pong, howling in frustration from inside the
ribcage, very close to my head, combined with feverish little grunts from
Jake, who was standing on the nightstand, bracing himself against the
curtains with remarkably bloody little feet.

Here are some things I have learned, this Rosh Hashanah weekend:
1. almond milk removes elk blood from curtains and pillowcases,
2. We can all exercise superhuman strength when it comes to getting elk
carcasses out of our yard,
3. The sight of elk ribcages hurtling over the fence really frightens the
nice deputy sheriff who lives across the street, and
4. the dogs can pop the screens out of the windows, without damaging them,
from either side.

Anne V - 09:58am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1401 of 1405)
What I am is really grateful that they didn't actually get the damn thing
in the window, which is clearly the direction they were going in. And that
the nice deputy didn't arrest me for terrifying her with elk parts before

AmyC - 09:59am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1402 of 1405)
Imagine waking up with a gnawed elk carcass in your bed, like a real-life
"Godfather" with an all-dog cast.

Anne V - 10:01am Sep 13, 1999 PDT (# 1403 of 1405)
There is not enough almond milk in the world to solve an event of that

Posted by Victor at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

Febrero 04, 2004


No PeTA protestors today--at least, none between the Metro and the office. And I had my camera all ready, too.

Posted by Victor at 09:35 AM | Comments (1)

Febrero 03, 2004

On one of the few days I forget my camera...

...PeTA protestors a block from my office. Nothing major or obnoxious; just a guy, a girl, and a chicken, pig, and cow outfit holding signs saying something like it's not nice to eat meat, and pushing their website. As I walked by, the girl said to me, cheerfully, "Go vegetarian! Yay!"

I kept walking, but decided in that moment to not have the vegetarian Tasty Bite (Palak Paneer or Navratan Korma--yum!) I brought with me for lunch.

Posted by Victor at 10:06 AM | Comments (4)