Friday, May 16, 2008

Who loves ya, baby?

Happy Friday! Grrr. Stupid work getting in the way of blogging.

The next chapter to my mystery. The end approaches...

Chapter Six: Gin and Catatonic.

"Step this way," said the bug-eyed Personal Assistant. "Miss Ponderosa will see you in the Catateria."

Detective O'Hallahan nodded and followed after the Marty Feldman lookalike through the ornate halls of the Ponderosa Mansion. His mind was a million million miles away; going over the details of the last few days.

Why had someone murdered Charisma Ponderosa's by sabotaging the flange on her belt? Why had that (he was guessing) murdered Doctor Ira Qwacken with poison sushi? How did the cat fit in to this? What the hell was a "Catateria?"

He was to find out as he followed Igor into an enormous hall adorned floor to ceiling with cats. Everywhere he looked cats were batting cat toys, wrestling with each other, napping and otherwise engaging themselves in feline behavior. Where there weren't real cats there were pictures of cats, statues of cats and carpets with Hello Kitty embroidered on them.

O'Hallahan's eyes immediately began to water and his throat to tighten. He silently cursed his allergy.

At the end of the hall pacing back and forth was Eunice Ponderosa, sole remaining heir to the Ponderosa Kitty Litter Company vast fortune. Ponderosa looked to be in her late 40s with a face that said she was used to getting her own way. She was energetically involved in a conversation via her Bluetooth. O'Hallahan couldn't help but think she really did look like a "cat lady" yelling to herself as she paced about the room.

"What do you mean a truck was stolen? What kind of truck?" She screamed. "A tanker full of fertilizer? Well, call the authorities."

She noticed O'Hallahan watching her intently.

"Never mind, I have the authorities here now." She hit the pushed a button on her headset and ended the call.

"Your name?" she asked.

"Detective O'Hallahan."

"O'Hallahan," Eunice said. "Here about the accidental death of my wonderful sister I suppose."

"Murder," he corrected her.

"If you say so," She said. "Walk with me."

She offered her hand to him palm down, as if she was Queen Elizabeth and he a member of her court. Inwardly he groaned. Loudly.

Chapter One: Charisma Hits the Dance Floor.
Chapter Two: Death Punches Back on the Clock.
Chapter Three: Usually it's the Usual Suspects.
Chapter Four: Death by Wasabi.
Chapter Five: Fugu About It.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

When the bomb goes off there'll be a thousand mutations! Andromeda will spread everywhere! They'll never be rid of it!

Aargh. Randal's tagged me with a story meme. Worse- it's not one I can blow off tagging others with because it relies on continuing the story.

I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words. (Splotchy)

"Meet me at two o'clock at Grisham Square. Don't be late!"

What? I already had an appointment at that time. In fact, that was the only reason I had even taken off work that Wednesday. But, when I saw the photos, I knew I had to go and see what the hell was going on. Oh gosh, now I wish I hadn't, but how was I to know then that Elizabeth would take this whole thing so far? (
Freida Bee)

She had exposed the nefarious Republican oil-for-neckties program, skillfully dismantling its diabolically brilliant mind control scheme, giving each man, woman and child his or her freewill back, and this had made her a national, nay, worldwide, heroine, but -- the fear -- the look of stark, otherworldly terror on the -- could they even be classified as faces anymore?

No, I had to swallow the overwhelming dread that was threatening to force me into complete shutdown, collapsing on the hallowed ground where I would silently, naively wish it all away until it came for -- me. Fruitlessly wiping away a flood of icy sweat, I knew I had to steel my resolve, look upon those photos once more and let them burn their horrific images in my psyche. Permanently. (
Randal Graves)

Yet something was tickling my psyche, trying to work it's way to the surface of my consciousness like that bad memory for grade school I buried long ago. The one where I had to give a speech to the whole class and was trying to imagine them in their underwear so I wouldn't be nervous, when I suddenly realized I was the one who was in my underwear as I had forgotten to wear pants. I realized that the faces in the picture weren't faces after all. I was holding the picture upside down. (
Dean Wormer)

I tag Overdroid, snabalus, swinebread, liberality and zaius.

So once again, Jones, what was briefly yours is now mine.

One week until Indy!

In anticipation here's the trailer from that fan-film those two boys spent 6 years making. It's a shot for shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Absolutely amazing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can't a man have a drink around this town in peace?

Tagged by Swinebread.

The nearest book, turn to page 123, locate the fifth sentence, and then post the next three sentences on my blog, and then tag five other people.

The nearest book is "Human Resources (HR) Policies for U.S. Employees."

"You are eligible for tuition reimbursement if you:

+ Are a U.S.-based regular or buffer employee
+ Work 30 hours or more per week."

Instead of tagging anyone else I decided to shoot them with a paintball gun instead. Since I can't do that online I'm off to visit the neighbors.

Remember, you come of a proud race. Why, you're a... a pachyderm, and pachyderms don't cry.

Not only is this a great article about the poor fortunes of the Republican party with yesterday's results in Mississippi in mind but I love this graphic--

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And then I introduce them to Harvey... and he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me.

My middle daughter who is a 7th Grader just brought home a "Dear parents" letter from her science teacher which concluded with the following paragraph--

"Finally, I know that astronomy teaches on some subjects that may be considered sensitive. We will be discussing the formation of the universe and the big bang theory. If you are uncomfortable with your student learning about this please sign and return the bottom portion of the page. I will give your child an alternative assignment and they will not be held responsible for the material on the test."

We checked the district webpage and could find nothing on science curriculum so we're still trying to find out if this was the district or just the teacher heading off on his own tangent. Either way we're alternating between bemused suggestions to each other of funny replies ("As pastafarians we believe the world was created by the noodly appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and would like our daughter to opt OUT of your big ban propoganda") to complaints to the district.

What do you guys think?

Monday, May 12, 2008

What we were after now was the old surprise visit.

Canvassed for Obama with my oldest daughter this weekend.

We live in a moderately rural Oregon town of about 7,000 people. Roughly 15 minutes East of us is a city of 100,000 people. However if you head West up the mountain it's pretty much the boonies; farms, horse ranches and lots of single wides with trash on the lawn.

We drew a walking list a little West of town. Although there's lots of Obama support in that direction we did pass this sign that had been defaced on our way out.

I assume it was just kids but it's disconcerting just the same.

Canvassing works a little differently in Oregon because of vote by mail. What savvy campaigns try to do is identify their supporters and then make sure they get their ballots in. We can actually collect ballots while hitting these targeted voters. This is the biggest thing I don't like about vote by mail, btw.

It went pretty well overall. We had some healthy discussions with supporters of senator Clinton and senator Obama alike. The only bad exchange was with a guy that was pissed off we were bugging him about politics at all. Nobody forced you to register to vote and your certainly weren't forced to register as a Democrat, jerk.

I was so proud of my daughter. She had been up all night at an 8th grade graduation dance/ karaoke/ party thingy run by her school and I had offered to let her stay home and sleep but she really wanted to do this. She basically collapsed when we got home.

It also gave us a bunch of time to talk about the campaign and I did a lot of of listening. One of the things that impresses me about my daughter's view of politics is how mature it is. She realizes politicians aren't perfect. She brought up the fact that Obama himself mentions that fact repeatedly. She doesn't expect Obama is going to get elected and fix everything magically.

The other thing that repeatedly impresses me about her is that even though she's grown up in this rural town which is sorely lacking in diversity, she still has her head on right when it comes to this stuff. Most of her friends support McCain.

I'm so proud of her.