Wednesday, April 30, 2008
He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.
"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.
"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."
Upon reaching home, Hofmann began experiencing what he called "wonderful visions."
Do they make tie-dyed caskets?
And if he lived to be 102, how bad for your health can it be?
I'd always quasi-assumed that stores got their plastic grocery bags for free, especially those small stores that give you bags from other stores. I guess I thought they were overstocks or misprints or the wrong size or something that the store's suppliers just handed out free like poppers at a gay dance club in the '70's. Turns out I was wrong.
A week or so back, I asked Mildred, the owner of Lane's Grocery, if she got her bags for free or if she had to pay for them. Not only does she have to pay for them, they're pretty pricey and getting worse. I thought to the Big Bag of Bags that was sitting on my kitchen counter and volunteered to bring them to her the next time I came in.
As a child, I had a similar arrangement with Fran the elderly lady that ran the little bodega up the road, only back then the bags were paper and she'd give me a free candy bar for every Bag of Bags I brought in.
Mildred didn't offer up any similar arrangement, but if I can keep her costs down, maybe she won't have to raise prices on me. The Ferengi call it the Great Material Continuum, a great river which carries all goods, services, and money. I call it the Circle of Thrift.
So over the weekend, I uncrumpled them all and sorted out the ones with holes in the bottom. And Monday, I dropped them off at Lane's.
A hundred bags reused is a hundred new bags not needed is a hundred bags kept out of the landfill is a hundred bags worth of plastic not taken out of the petrochemical supply.
But more importantly, it's a hundred new bags Mildred doesn't have to buy, which may delay any further markups she might have to make, which makes my shopping there continue to be inexpensive.
Anything worth doing is worth doing to save money.
Monday, April 28, 2008
As a child, Star Wars was this magical, state-of-the-art epic tale of good versus evil.
As an adult, it is a hokey little thing with over-the-top acting (especially Han Solo) and bad special effects. See toward the end when Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and his two escort fighters launch from the Death Star in such perfect unison you wonder how long it took them to cut them out of cardboard.
J. Scott Wilson tests several cereals to see if the Star Wars Effect applies to breakfast.
If he'd asked me ahead of time, I could have told him that in most instances it does.
Honeycomb as a child? Awesome!!! Honeycomb as an adult? Hideous.
Rice Krispies as a child? Cool! Rice Krispies as an adult? Dried, puffed maggots.
Cheerios as a child? Good! Cheerios as an adult? Tiny, floating buttholes.
There are a few exceptions, of course. Fruity Pebbles still rocks. And Super Sugar Crisp and Sugar Smacks WOULD still rock if they weren't now Golden Crisp and Honey Smacks. And when you can find it, BOOBERRY still smells like childhood.
But he didn't test them.
Nor did he test Smurfberry Crunch or C-3PO's, which may no longer exist.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
"Who is Brad Pitt?"
Answer: He's yet another one of those children from a third-world country that Angelina Jolie has rescued/adopted, apparently because she is in some sort of race with Mia Farrow.
Maybe a better question would be:
"Do we know Brad Pitt's whereabouts on June 7, 1992?"
Monday, April 21, 2008
Damn fossil-fuel addicts!
* - V.L.P. - "Very Light Posting"
It's not even so much that they inadvertently left out the hyphen.
It's that they refuse to fix the error.
Missouri's Department of Revenue said it will not correct a grammatical
error in new license plates because that's how voters want it to be.
"Show-Me" is one adjective. It describes the state as one in which the residents want to see things before believing them.
"Show Me State" has two adjectives describing "state." One is "Show," as in "show dog." The other is "Me," as in "the Me Generation."
If that's how the "voters want it to be," then voters are too stupid to trust democracy with.
Democracy is three wolves and a lamb voting on whether or not to use correct English.
I can just hear Jim Taggart indignantly asking, "Who's to say there's only one correct usage?"
I think we're at the point in Atlas Shrugged right before Hank Rearden leaves . . .
Friday, April 18, 2008
God must really hate the Ozarks.
I'm wondering if maybe a volcano is next.
Or if maybe this was just a foreshock.
* - For those of you in the inner city, that's "Urfquake."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Police said a masked man flashed a knife at the Cigarette Outlet on Friday and forced one employee to the floor, then demanded money from another worker, Ruth Wright.
Instead of cash, Wright threw two cans of chewing tobacco at the robber, and one hit him in the face.
Officers said a customer then tackled the man, but the robber broke free and bolted out the door.
Monday Night Adventure -- No Dan Dierdorf or ball lightning this time. Regular lightning yes, ball lightning no.
There are a lot of people here, random people I have experienced in my past. There's my high-school salutarian (or is it salutatarian? maybe if I knew, I'd have been salutorian instead of 7th in my class) and the woman who used to waitress at the restaurant I frequent, who now works at Wal-Mart. Oddly, there's nobody here who is contemporary to the time I lived in Hammons House.
It is some sort of party, although not a rambunctious one. I don't think anyone is drinking. The atmosphere is more like a reunion of some kind.
It is storming like hell outside. It is nighttime, but the yellow lightning is so constant it allows no darkness. We are all watching the storm.
Then I see it, flying across the sky from left to right in the distance on a slightly downward trajectory. Some sort of object, shaped like a cross between a bullet and the old teardrop manned space modules that parachuted back to earth. Even at the distance, I can see it's features in remarkable detail. Metallic, battered. The color is somewhere between aged copper and bronze.
It disappears beyond view to the right, and another object appears in front of us, flying toward us. This one is white, shaped like a soup can, and seems to glide more than fly. I get the sense that it's rather flimsy. Think styrofoam filled with helium, with a thin plastic coating. It glides over our building. Or maybe lands on top of it; I don't know.
That's when the military gets involved. I see it coming fast. I only have time to point and say "Chase Plane" before it's on us. Seems to be a heavily armored F-14, coming straight at our window. There's no time to get out.
At the last second, it veers to our right. We can see the underside of the plane as it passes in front of us. It is covered with a red and gold fabric that reminds me of a bedsheet. It disappears from view.
We all take a sigh of relief and begin to discuss "What the hell was THAT?" when someone goes all ashen on us and points to the side window. It is covered with the red fabric, as if the plane is parked on the side of the building.
The murmurs of "What do we do now?" rumble through the group. I decide the first thing we should do is find out what is beyond the red fabric. I slide open the side window (from what I remember from my time in Hammons House, the side ones didn't slide open; only the front ones did, but apparently here they do) and grab the fabric (there doesn't seem to be a screen on the side windows either) and pull it in.
The size of this piece is about a quarter of the size of a bedsheet, the edges somewhere between frayed and ripped to tatters, as if something grabbed it as the plane went by and ripped it off, then threw it onto our window.
The fire alarm in the building goes off. Over the intercom comes the familiar "There is a fire emergency in the building; Exit via the nearest stairway immediately" that happens everytime someone in the residence hall burns a pancake or fires up a doobie in their room.
We know there's no fire and that someone wants us out of the building.
The question is - is it the good guys trying to get us out of harm's way, or is it the bad guys trying to lure us outside where we'll be easy targets?
Collectively, we decide that if we're dealing with a malevolent advanced alien intelligence here, they'd have no problem finding us even if we stayed inside, so we leave the room. Scattered all over the floor of the hallway are shredded pieces of the red fabric. We head down the stairs and exit the building.
Here the surroundings are drastically different from what I remember. We exit the building at the back, but when we get outside we're in the little parking area at the front of the building. And Hammons House is, like, fifty stories tall and has identical buildings to my left, right, and straight ahead, with a courtyard that looks remarkably like Tiananmen Square in the middle.
And the military's already here, herding us away from the building and keeping us from looking up too closely.
Surprisingly, they don't gather us all somewhere for interrogation about what we've seen. Instead, they tell us to get away from campus and stay away until we get the all-clear.
We fast-forward a little bit, but apparently in the interval I have decided that when one is in the middle of an alien invasion, the thing to do is to go antiquing.
Because I find myself in a flea-market, looking over a used-book rack in the booth belonging to some stoner. At least I ASSUME he's a stoner, judging from the black lights, Doobie Brothers apparel, grow lights, and "Cannabis for Victory" literature.
One book in particular catches my eye. "Springfield's History of UFO Activity." It costs a buck. I buy it, although who I buy it from is kind of fuzzy, because I never actually SEE the stoner.
I wander around the flea market awhile and come across another booth with used books, this one run by a Mexican gypsy type woman. I come across what appears to be a small graphic novel, a Star Wars/Transformers crossover. On the cover is Optimus Prime on one side, R2-D2 and C-3P0 on the other, with what is apparently a new character in the middle, who looks like C-3PO had sex with Iron Man.
It costs fifty cents. It says so right on the first inside page. I take it up to the Mexican gypsy woman.
"That will be a dollar fifty," she says.
"But it says it costs fifty cents," I reply.
"That one does," she tells me, pointing to the graphic novel, "And that one costs a dollar." She points at the UFO book.
"I didn't get this here, I bought it at another booth."
An argument of what seems like several hours ensued. At some point, she got both books away from me and refused to give them back until I paid the buck fifty. At another point, I showed her the receipt from the first booth. At the top was something like "Mike's Marijuana Funhouse." And a book was one of many items listed as bought, although I only remember buying the book.
She was not impressed. "That could be ANY book, not necessarily THIS one!"
I suggest she look inside the book and see that it has a different vendor number under the price than hers. She refuses, telling me she doesn't HAVE to look because I am drunk and that she smells whiskey on my breath.
I forget that we weren't drinking at the party (maybe I had gotten drunk in the fast-forward time) and tell her she can't do anything about it, because I don't have any alcohol on me.
All the while during this epic argument, one by one, these men would show up and take a chair and watch us. They were dressed in fatigues and combat boots. Some clean-shaven, some not. I got the sense they were Soldier Of Fortune, survivalist types.
Finally, I give up and tell her. "Look, I don't want YOUR book anymore. Just give me MY book back and I'll leave."
She goes into this little rant parsing the phrases "your book" and "my book," still intending to make me take both books and charge me for both.
Then this guy steps up from the Soldiers of Fortune and approaches me with an angry, wild look in his eyes. He has black hair and an ample beard. He is wearing combat boots, fatigue pants and hat, and a black T-shirt with white writing on it. I can't read what it says. I don't know if it's the standard not-being-able-to-read-in-dreams or if it's a foreign or perhaps alien language.
He is holding an icepick. He grabs it with both hands and raises it high above his head, intending to plunge it into my skull. I tackle him and try to pin his arms down, but his comrades are getting restless.
And that's when I woke up.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Got any ideas you can give me?
Gee, thanks, THEANTIDRUG.com! I wouldn't have thought of looking in the medicine cabinet!
But what sort of drugs should I look for there? What are the really good ones that give me an intense high?
You're the best, THEANTIDRUG.com!
What do they want to ban now, you ask?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Romanian firefighters were shocked after a farmer was spotted using an
unexploded missile as an anvil.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
That last one shows water up to the roofline of the pavillion and restroom.
Needless to say, my basement is flooded again. It's about an inch from ruining my water heater.
I sent these pics to KAIT. Dunno if they'll use them or not.
This forces me to take a break from 80's TV Awareness Month to bring you a different Song of the Day.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
CBS, the home of the most celebrated news division in broadcasting, has been in discussions with Time Warner about a deal to outsource some of its news-gathering operations to CNN, two executives briefed on the matter said Monday.
The product will no doubt have the eloquence of Wolf Blitzer, the charisma of Lou Dobbs, the humility of Jack Cafferty, and the gravitas of Katie Couric.
And I discovered that a sixpack of Shiner Bock drunk over the period of an hour and a half following the announcement of the election results, tends to knock one on one's ass if they haven't drunk anything in about a year.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Me neither, mostly.
But I do remember that one of the observations was that it's usually easier to make three right-handed turns than one left-handed turn, because left turns are kind of hard.
UPS agrees, and adds that they burn more gas too.
The company employs what it calls a “package flow” software program, which among other hyperefficient practices involving the packing and sorting of its cargo, maps out routes for every one of its drivers, drastically reducing the number of left-hand turns they make (taking into consideration, of course, those instances where not to make the left-hand turn would result in a ridiculously circuitous route).
Last year, according to Heather Robinson, a U.P.S. spokeswoman, the software helped the company shave 28.5 million miles off its delivery routes, which has resulted in savings of roughly three million gallons of gas and has reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Poop dater. That wasn't an option that came up at Career Day in my high school.
And rest assured, in my class SOMEBODY would have wanted an application.
Robots tapped for colonoscopy work
Researchers developing self-propelling probes that crawl inside colon
Deputies say William Hutson found the body of his good friend, 47-year-old Charles Boylan in his front yard, but instead of calling deputies, investigators say Hutson went inside and took a nap.
No, seriously, there was.
All that's missing is a Guy Fawkes mask.
Anyway, my point is -- I wonder if we could enlist Bugs to do the same to Seattle.
Paper or plastic? Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and City Council President Richard Conlin say the answer is neither.
The two are proposing a 20-cent fee on disposable shopping bags at grocery, drug and convenience stores. Their plan announced Wednesday also calls for a ban on foam take-home containers, plates and cups at restaurants.
Remember the little yelow foam Big Mac containers McDonald's used to have? How convenient they were to put the burger in one side and the fries in the other? The squeaky feel of them?
And how McDonald's lost a lot of it's charm after it gave into the greenies and gave them up, first switching to totally unacceptable paper wrappers for the Big Macs, then responding to what must have been millions of customer complaints and building a lame little box?
That is what is about to happen to Seattle.
“Most people around here just take care of problems like that themselves. They stayed up all night and pumped or dipped water out of their basement,” King said.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
"Being a member of the Communist Party in and of itself does not mean you advocate the overthrow of the government. It doesn’t mean we agree with them, but they’re not a threat to our survival," he said.