Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Whatever Splotchy Says Day: Your Third And Final Assignment


Are we already at the last assignment? Yes? Wow, my inflated sense of power and self-worth are already diminishing. Before these feelings completely leave my body, I will leave the following tasks for you. These are not required to be completed by today, but if it could happen over the next couple weeks, it would be appreciated.



Dr. Zaius, you will use your mad photoshopping skills to make me a "Call Me Splotchy" version of the pulp paperback copy you created (based on the Sleestak original). After it has been completed I will gladly contribute my own pulp story.

Bubs, you will have your picture taken in Vegas in your Elvis getup, either in a karate pose, or giving a karate kick.

Cowboy The Cat, you will find a public place in Carbondale on which you write "Splotchy Is Nifty". It doesn't have to be big, visible to the casual observer, and it doesn't have to be there forever, etc. Extra points if you take a pic of it.

Tim, you will lend me your copy of Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped.

SamuraiFrog, you will write a limerick that rhymes Carla Gugino and neutrino. An acceptable alternative to this is simply posting pictures of Carla Gugino and neutrinos (in the same post, obviously).

To the NYC bloggers meeting tonight (including FranIAm and Distributorcap): at some point during the festivities you will toast me, Splotchy!

The Idea Of Progress - you will dedicate next year's The Idea Of Progress Day to me, Splotchy.

Tenacious S - you will add me to your blogroll! I was there before, and I will be there again!

Grant Miller - For one day, you will change your avatar to a picture of you in a Hawaiian shirt.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein - You will let me hold the Crunky.

Jin - you're wearing my doodle. What more could I ask for?

Anandamide - You will wrap up your contest. The suspense is killing me!

The Drunken Severed Head - Three letters - DPK.

Jess - You'll make one more taint post, for old time's sake.

Dguzman - You will dedicate a small piece of the sidebar on your blog, where you will keep a picture of a fluffy cloud. This will potentially keep the winter blahs away for both you and your readers (well, me definitely).

To those not specifically given a task to complete, please add a comment to this post to indicate the largest mammal you believe Splotchy could physically subdue, using only his bare hands. People who have been given tasks are also welcome to comment on this as well.

Thanks to everyone who made this nonexistent holiday existent!

Happy Whatever Splotchy Says Day: Your Second Assignment

Hi everyone! Thanks to everyone who completed the first assignment. To those who have not yet done so, you have the rest of the day to complete it. In case you're wondering, yes, I am able to touch my nose with my tongue.

Anyway, now onto our next assignment. The second assignment is a little more involved than the first.


Write a post on your blog that is completely ROT-13 encoded. The post can be about anything, but it must be fully ROT13-encoded (excluding any links or images -- a ROT13'ed link/image won't display or function properly).

I would recommend that you type up the post in regular text (on a text editor, in Blogger, wherever), and then take the entire text when you are done writing the post, and convert it. You can use the ROT13 encoder on my right sidebar, or if you want more room, you can do the same thing here.

Do not link to me in the post you create. If someone is confused by your post, simply reply in a comment "Splotchy told me to."

When you create your special post in honor of Whatever Splotchy Says Day on your blog, please leave a comment here so I can know to check it out.

Also, please check back later for your third and final assignment.

Trg tbvat!

A Review Of A Tegan And Sara Show From Someone Largely Unfamiliar With Tegan And Sara

Hi kids!

I attended last night's Tegan and Sara show at the lovely Portage Theater in Chicago. The show was sold out. What T&S megafan wasn't able to score a ticket so that my ignorant ass could be at their concert? I don't know. They weren't there. Bwahahahaha!

I stopped at my friend's house in Portage Park (he of the spare T&S ticket) and we had a beer. The opening act, Northern State, was set to start at 8:00pm. We weren't in a big hurry, so a little after eight we then drove the ten minutes it took to get to the theater, found a parking spot and ambled in.

The Portage is a nice old moviehouse, which in my opinion isn't the ideal venue for a rock 'n roll show (I prefer a wide open floor). Still, there was enough space in front of the stage for the hardcore fans to get close.

Unfortunately the Portage did not serve beer, but the man at the refreshment counter indicated that would soon change. No beer, at a rock concert? Oh, man.

We went to sit down for a little bit of Northern State, which turned out to be a group consisting of three female rappers, a guitarist, some preprogrammed keyboards 'n backbeats, and a live dude drummer. We soon got out of our seats and went down on the right side nearer to the stage, which gave us a pretty good vantage point for the proceedings.

Northern State reminded me a lot of the Beastie Boys. If I heard them correctly, one of the songs they played had actually been produced by Adrock. I didn't dig them entirely, but there were a coupla songs that sucked me in. And hey, the last song had a bunch of swearing, and reminded me very much of my pseudo-Buddhist chant, so that was nice. We probably caught at least half their set. They seemed to be appreciative of the Chicago crowd, and retroactively unappreciative of the Detroit crowd from the previous night.

Then it was time for Tegan and Sara to hit the stage. In the two days between when I learned I was going to the show and when the show took place, I managed to listen to most of their album So Jealous. It took me several songs into the concert to really start enjoying it. I don't know if it was them or me; odds are it was me. But by four or five songs into their set I was having a really good time (even without a beer buzz).

Here's their setlist, more or less:

Song from So Jealous
Song from So Jealous
Speak Slow
Song from So Jealous

Song from So Jealous
Song from So Jealous

There were several songs I really, really liked, most I liked, and some that were just okay. My friend knew every song but a couple, and had a very good time.

I thought their voices were their best feature. They were very beautiful, with nice harmonies, etc., and so strong. Tegan's voice seemed a little hoarse, though perhaps that's what it normally sounds like. I liked it either way.

Both ladies were very tiny, cute and endearing, smart and witty, and had a really nice stage presence, telling stories between songs throughout the show. As my friend said, you wanted to take them home to play with your children.

Sara seemed to be the more outgoing one, while Tegan seemed a little shy and more sensitive. If I took a fan-created personality quiz, I would probably be a Tegan.

The show was amazingly polite. At one point as Sara was telling a story, she noticed someone in front of the stage who had apparently fainted. She was very concerned, handing a bottle of her water over for the person, asking people to make room, asking for security to help, etc. I thought to myself, if this was a GWAR concert they would have just gotten a crossbow out and shot the fan in the heart. 'Cause that's what rock 'n roll is all about, motherf*ckers.

While this fainting drama was underway, a woman proclaiming herself a nurse brushed by me. She raised her hands and sauntered through the crowd. I thought to myself, "This is why she got into the healthcare field -- to strut through crowds at rock concerts during medical emergencies." As the fainter was being escorted to the side, Sara went into a story about how she had fainted onstage at Lollapalooza in Chicago during the past summer, which, if memory serves, was 160 degrees Fahrenheit that day.

So they finished their set, came back to do a generous encore, and then the show was over. Some members of Northern State were by the door hawking signed copies of their CDs as we exited the theater.

We headed out and had a couple beers at a nearby bar and that was that.

Happy Whatever Splotchy Says Day: Your First Assignment

Hello everyone! Here we are, at the end of November. And with the end of November, we come to the last of my November holidays.

Hopefully this holiday will be a joyous one for all who celebrate it. Here is your first assignment.


Attempt to touch your nose with your tongue. You may not use your hands, or any tongue-extending contraption to assist you.

Add a comment to this post indicating whether you are able or unable to touch your nose with your tongue.

Please return to this blog later for further instructions.



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ghosts Before Breakfast

It's been a while since I have posted a link to an experimental film. I'm about due.

Here's a fun, playful film from the late 1920's by Hans Richter, titled "Ghosts Before Breakfast". There's an abundant joy of cinema evident in this film that most movies lack.

A Brave New Doodle

I'm going to try and shift my doodling away from the "realistic" to something more "iconic", and hopefully less "sucky".

Who is the first commenter with a doodle idea to set me on the path of quality, hipness, respect and relevance?


I decided to combine the first two commenters' requests. For Jess and Tengrain, a monkey flying out of Dick Cheney's butt, as a scene from a fair trade (and all-organic) porno flick.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Graffiti For Obama

A couple weeks ago I noticed a nifty bit of stencilwork on a crappy old building near where I work.

I really dig graffiti, especially when it's something other than a poorly-made half-assed gang sign.

Years ago when I was visiting my brother in Atlanta, I saw many instances of stenciled graffiti of André the Giant, which I really loved.

Graffiti-by-stencil is obviously not the same thing as freeform graffiti, but it really pops out at me when I see it, and often resonates really powerfully for me.

I decided to drag my camera to work today to take some pictures of Barack Obama, his microphone, and the USA. I have seen this graffiti one other place, near the old stockyards on South Halsted Street. The instance near where I work is a little cooler in my opinion, in that the stencil is actually on two sides of a corner rather than on a flat piece of wall.


Obama addressing South Clinton Street

A little closer

Stencil on the corner. I might be interpreting the graffiti incorrectly, but I think it's intended to be supportive of Obama. Was it made by an inspired graffiti artist? A covert Obama campaign tactic? I have no idea.

The United States is bleeding a bit, which reflects a little negatively on the graffiti

Even in silhouette, Obama is a fine-looking fellow

Some posters for the Rambo movie coming out pasted on the same building as the Obama graffiti. The posters have not been altered. They should have gotten the Obama graffiti guy to do Stallone's stencil, eh?


I see that someone has posted a question regarding the artist of this graffiti on Craigslist.

a35mmlife commented on this post as to the artist's identity, but I guess it's still not that obvious as his/her ID is not in the body of the post.

So... the artist goes by the name CRO, and has a website, Go Tell Mama! I'm For Obama.

The 30th Doodle

Who will be the lucky first commenter with an idea, that gets the glory of the big 3-0 doodle? Could it be YOU?


WOW. I cannot draw. These posts have a nice built-in excuse, in that I can't take longer than 60 seconds to create them. And believe me, I only take 60 seconds. But still, WOW. I cannot draw.

For FranIAm - Hilary Clinton, Barbara Streisand and Oprah - Clinton on Babs' posterior, flipping Oprah the bird.

iSplotchy Now Available In Cutesy Clothing Styles

Cafe Press

You're welcome, Freida Bee.

The Youngest Splotchy Kid Weighs In With His Own Knock-Knock Joke

You witnessed the ribald humor of my daughter.

You scratched your head at the enigmatic pondering from my eldest son.

Now I present my two year old's contribution to the knock knock joke.

Son: Knock knock who's there monster
Me: Monster who?
Son: Rooooooooowwwrrrr!

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

George Orwell: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1983."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Unexpected Live Show

I am happy to report I'll be attending a concert on Thursday night, something I don't do too often these days!

A friend of mine just informed me today he had an extra ticket to see Tegan & Sara at the Portage Theater in Chicago.

The first I heard of this group was via a contribution by the lovely Barbara to the Speed It Up Green Monkey Mix. Thank you, Barbara! If you want me to yell a song request for you, or say something positive or negative about the Calgary Flames, I will gladly convey your message.

Is anyone else attending this show? Look for me -- I'll be dressed as Satan's underpants.

Here's a video of Barbara's song contribution - Speak Slow

Balkava The Cat, And A Request For Feedback

Here's a very small World of Warcraft (WoW) update. My brother has just informed me that Baklava the Night Elf Druid now has the ability to transform into a cat! Screenshots are forthcoming.

He told me that as Druids get higher in level they can transform into additional animals. So now, Baklava can be a bear or a cat.

The other day MizSplotchy indicated to me that my regular inclusion of night elf cheesecake has ruffled her feathers a bit. I was genuinely surprised. Perhaps it was triggered by a reader's comment (a funny one, I thought) on a recent post intimating that some pubic hair was visible in a night elf drawing I had included.

I mentioned this to my brother, who retorted, "Oh, no. Night elves don't have any pubic hair. Everybody knows this."

I really like finding and including these night elf pics in WoW updates, but also understand and respect my wife's point of view as well.

Perhaps we could get a little of direction from the readers of this blog?

So, I ask you, would you like the following to happen:

A) No more female night elf pics!
B) Keep the female night elf pics, but let's shake it up by including a little beefcake night elf from time to time!
C) We want sexy female night elf pics, 24/7!

Thanks for any assistance in this matter.



Just so you don't think you'll be disrupting the marital bliss of Splotchy and MizSplotchy by giving your opinion, she has seen this post and is cool with my solicitation of feedback from my readers, who, I should tell you, she believes to solely consist of World Of Warcraft night-elf cheesecake lovin' freaks.

Now It Can Be Told

I was all hush-hush and stuff about why I stopped doing the Green Monkey Music Project, which in retrospect I guess was a little silly.

If you care to read why I stopped, here's a great post about a former, wonderful community and its sad demise.

When Pigs Fly: The Death of Oink, the Birth of Dissent, and a Brief History of Record Industry Suicide

I'm *still* bummed out about it. It was a wonderful thing, and revived my interest in new music, old music, everything. It actually motivated me to purchase music, something I hadn't done since my eldest kids were born.

There was a lot of negative press about this site after its owner/admin was busted, but I think it was a shining example of what the Internet can accomplish -- feel free to argue with me, there are many valid arguments to the contrary, I know.

Whatever more I could say about it is already said more eloquently in the linked post.

Unconnected Tuesdays


A grease dumpster

If I Attend Your Wedding, Please Please Please Play This Song At Some Point

Thanks for your consideration.

If you want to go the extra mile, have a live band do this song, and have the singer wear tight black and white vertically-striped pants.

Good Night, Doodle

If you have an idea you'd like me to doodle in the morning, please feel free to leave a comment -- first commenter with an idea gets one, no strings attached.


For Dr. Zaius - Grover Cleveland flying throught the air, carrying Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. A jar of strawberry jam should be present as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Cutesy Clothing Name I Really Don't Like

I'm all for being cutesy and shit, but whoever coined the term 'hoodie' should give me a quarter every time I see the word.

By the way, you owe me a quarter, 'hoodie'-term coiner. Make that fifty cents.

A Reality Show You Probably Won't See

As the Writer's Strike enters its third week, I'm guessing that a lot of reality show ideas are being discussed by the television network heads as a (temporary?) replacement for fictional drama and comedy shows.

I have a reality show idea that I would love to see get made.

How about a reality show that follows a group of writers on strike?

Just thinkin' about Hollywood,


A Nonsense Poem For The Idea Of Progress

In observance of Idea Of Progress Day, I present this poem.

O Craddily Pinchy O
Monk the Rainbow Snow
Ooks Said Rattly
The Cat On The Fence
54 Pigs To Go

We fruit bats Quickily Dock
For The Idea Of Progress To Knock
(The Day Is His
Whizzity whizz)
'N Sail down a chocolate rock

The whitest white bowl to clean
Has anyone seen my spleen
It went down the pipe
With all of me tripe
And the rocks that used to have been

Sunday, November 25, 2007

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Psychedelic Are Your Colored Lights

Our tree is up! I clearly must have my digital camera taken away from me. But until that day comes, please enjoy the photos. Extra bonus points for anyone who can guess which picture was taken while running full speed at the tree.

Click on each pic to get a bigger image.

One thing that I have noticed is that this series of pictures as displayed on my blog looks pretty neat when you scroll down the page quickly.

No, I'm not high.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Through A Doodle Darkly

First commenter with an idea gets a doodle.


For Randal G - Charles Nelson Reilly punching George Bush in the balls.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Baklava In Hot, Rabid Thistle Bear Killing Action

How can I live up to a post title like that? The truth is, I can't. I'd love to show you a video of Baklava killing rabid thistle bears, that, despite being rabid, were honestly doing no harm to Baklava before he made vines shoot out of the ground and entangle them. Unfortunately, that video does not currently exist.

I *can* give you an account where I witnessed the druidy punishment dealt by Baklava firsthand. Well, I was sitting behind my brother when he was doing the killing. The family Thanksgiving dinner was actually had at his house. After dinner, I asked for a brief display of his World of Warcraft (WoW) prowess.

Baklava is Level 19 now. I saw him kill some rabid thistle bears, some moonkin, and other things I can't remember. He was shooting bolts at them, turning into a bear and swiping at them, etc.

One funny thing I noted during the gameplay was that when you are exiting a game, there is a 30 second delay before you get completely logged off. During this time, your character sits down on the ground and quietly waits. No matter how foul or evil a character you play in WoW, at least he or she will have the common decency to know when to sit and when to stand.

I thought the game looked decent enough, but I confirmed my feeling that I do not want to wander down the path to WoW any time soon.

I'm not sure if it was from seeing the game played earlier, but for some reason after we got home and put the kids to bed, I felt the need to watch Return Of The King. What time was it when I started the movie? Oh, around 9:00pm. And we have the Extended Edition. And I had to go to work the next day. What the hell was I thinking?

MizSplotchy was gracious enough to sit down and remain awake with me for the movie. Right after the ring was destroyed (a little after midnight), I asked her, "Do you mind if we turn the movie off now? I just wanted to see Sauron get his ass kicked." She thankfully agreed.

Something funny occurred to me in viewing Return Of The King. In the films, we hear the scary, disembodied voice of Sauron at different points. I thought it would be cool at the end, when we see the tower with his eye on top collapsing, that you hear some final words from him:

The above images were modified from original screenshots here. Go there for a quick, web-based way of whipping through the trilogy!

Here's one of the scenes I skipped over in last night's viewing, with the audio tweaked a little for humorous results.

And now, here's a little purple elf cheesecake for you.

P.S., for all you Mazgul fans, I saw him kill some bats.

The Idea Of Progress Is In Disguise And Throwing Down Some Serious Math In Russia

Via my idiosyncratic blog-reading habits, I have been led to discover a very surprising blog-math revelation.

I was reading the latest post from Matty Boy regarding a mathematician in Russia who recently proved the Poincaré Conjecture.

The post included a picture of the mathematician, Grigori Perelman.

And then it hit me. This was not Grigori Perleman, but the blogosphere's very own The Idea Of Progress, cleverly disguised!

Why is he in disguise? Does he not want to jeopardize his "Sexiest Man Alive" title? Isn't this the 21st century, Mr. Of Progress? Math is the new sexy!

Or, am I spoiling a surprise you were to unleash on the public on Idea of Progress Day?

Either way, congratulations!

I Wonder What A Google Server Error Looks Like Rendered In My Chosen Blogger Template

Hi kids,

If you use the "Rounders 3" template for your blog, you surely have wondered aloud the following:

"Boy, I wonder what it looks like when someone attempts to read my blog and encounters some kind of fatal error -- fatal enough to serve up a generic 'Google error' page, but somehow still incorporating the stylesheet colors of my chosen blogger template."

Well this is your lucky day, person with strange, boring flights of fancy!

Below, witness a pretty Google error page I ran into today while browsing my blog.

You're welcome!

The Penultimate Splotchy-Created November Holiday

It's another Friday in November, which means it must be time for another Splotchy-created holiday, as defined in a previous post.

Are we that close to the end of November? Yes!

Is this post just an excuse for me to use the word "penultimate"? Yes!

Is this a holiday I plan on observing? Probably not.

In any case, Happy Purchase Preprocessed Turkey Products Day!

Next and final November holiday: Whatever Splotchy Says Day (consider this your final warning)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Addendum To My Halloween Two Buck Schmuck Review

I just remembered something not included in my original Halloween review.

There was another celebrity cameo of note -- Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz plays a gun shop owner who sells Dr. Loomis a .357 Magnum.

My joke in the review would have been as follows:
"What, Peter Tork wasn't available?"

I am aware that this joke is not strong enough to support an addendum, but I write this not to be funny, but instead to point out the presence of a haggard Monkee -- we must keep track of these people and the Monkee philosophy they are attempting to spread.

Halloween On Thanksgiving Eve

Going to see movies at a second-run theater has more than just cheapness as a positive aspect. While the rest of you are despairing about the lack of product leaking out of the luxurious sphincter of Hollywood due to the ongoing writers' strike, I'll be munching popcorn while I watch Good Luck Chuck (of course, I'll still be sobbing in the bitter darkness -- how could one *not* sob in the presence of Good Luck Chuck?).

Anyways, what the hell were my choices today at the lovely LaGrange?

The Jane Austen Book Club - Not my cup of tea, probably. I felt pretty crappy after I realized Waitress, a movie I had previously avoided at the LaGrange, was written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, a woman who was recently murdered in NYC. Still, that guilt wasn't enough to make me feel like seeing this movie tonight. I DO NOT LIKE CHICK MOVIES.

Superbad - I had checked the listings online, but I hadn't realized this was playing until I was waiting in line with a collection of high school age kids. I half-heartedly wanted to see this, but...

I was already pretty much set on seeing Rob Zombie's Halloween.

It was a dark, rainy and extremely crappy night as I walked into the LaGrange. There was actually a guy inside who took my ticket and tore it in half, a first for me there -- probably due to the fact that it was relatively crowded, being an unusual weeknight before Thanksgiving and all.

The crowd was apparently there for Superbad. Halloween was showing in Theater 4. This theater will henceforth be known as the Bob Seger Theater, for the amount of times I have heard "Night Moves" there waiting for a movie to start. It was for the most part empty. There were just a couple guys to the left of me and a large Latino family (with two small girls!) sitting several rows behind me.

This new version of Halloween ain't scary. It's different than the original version in that we spend a lot more time with Michael Myers as a boy. A lot more. A lot, lot more. It attempts to explain the roots of his evil. And you know what? Who gives a crap why he's evil. That's what was so great about the original. When Michael's parents come home to find him holding a bloody knife, it just defies a rational explanation why he would do such a thing, which is one of the reasons why it was scary.

So as we finally get to Myers as an adult, and he escapes a sanitarium to wreak havoc upon the small, imaginary town of Haddonfield, Illinois, I look at the time. Holy crap. They took like 45 minutes to set his crazy badass adult self in motion.

And the thing is, for the remainder of the film, Myers is just this relentless killing machine. I mean, the actor who plays him as an adult is literally seven feet tall. Whatever attempt to humanize Myers in the first part of the film is pretty much thrown away for the rest.

His unstoppable acts of violence actually made the movie kind of boring. Every scene where some character would come up against Myers I kept on hoping *someone* could hurt him, or get away, something. But he'd always just push his head through a wall, grab them and twist off their head like a carny killing a chicken.

Malcolm McDowell plays Dr. Loomis, previously played by the unfortunately now dead Donald Pleasance. There's a crapload of other cameos which I guess we are supposed to find amusing or interesting. Brad Dourif plays a sheriff with a complicated beard that was apparently sprayed with fake snow, Sid Haig has a small part, as does Dee Wallace, Ken Foree, etc. Sybil Danning plays a nurse who gets forked to death (yes, forked to death), but does not show any boobs. Repeat... Sybil Danning does not show her boobs.

None of the characters really registered on any kind of emotional level for me, even the chick playing the Jamie Lee Curtis part. There was a scene where she was hiding behind a wall as Myers was looking for her. She was keeping her hands on her mouth because she couldn't stop making noise. What the hell? You can't be quiet when a psychopath is looking for you? You actually have to put your hands over your mouth to prevent you from making involuntary "Oh my God" sounds? What, does she have Tourette syndrome or something?

So, the movie ends and I walk outside. Thank heavens it's not raining any more. It's goddamn snowing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Your Local Chicagoland Weather Report

Current conditions shitty, with a chance of increased shittiness later in the day.

Late Night Doodlin'

Hit me with a doodle idea!


For Lulu - Lulu facing the wrath of her seniors when she tells them that their senior class trip has been canceled due to cyclone damage.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Okie Doodling

First commenter with an idea gets that idea doodled, I reckon.


For Manx - Whatever the second commenter wants.

30 seconds were spent on this doodle. I still have 30 seconds left to populate the thought balloon, based on the idea of the next commenter.

UPDATE! (Part 2)

For PJ - the Spice Girls being attacked by a sabre-tooth tiger.

This Just In: Mom Believes Her Son Is Innocent

From today's Chicago Sun Times, the latest installment in the ongoing missing person investigation of Stacy Peterson:


Drew Peterson's mom, Betty Morphey, had strong words Monday for Stacy Peterson, who she believes left Peterson and their two children and ran off with another man, as her son contends.

"I would tell her I'm ashamed of her for putting the family through this," Morphey said. "She knows where she is."

In a lengthy interview, Morphey, 79, spoke about how heartbreaking she finds the insinuation that her son would harm anyone. Stacy's family believes the young mother would never have left her two children and fear she is dead.

"I could swear on a Bible that he would never hurt anyone at any time," Morphey said. "I'm proud he's my son and I feel so bad he's got to go through all this because of her. She was just too young." There is a 30-year age difference between Drew and Stacy Peterson.


A mother doesn't believe her accused son is responsible for a crime? Is this news?

For Those With An Unsatisfying Internet Connection

Did you remember to press the Turbo button?

Six Degrees Of Separation, And The Relative Importance Of Each Degree

For a recent pyramid scheme post, I whipped up a quick little diagram showing me at the top of the pyramid, and then different levels under.

At the bottom of the pyramid, for the people who would really see no benefit from the scheme, I wrote "Some Suckers".

This got me thinking about the popular idea of six degrees of separation, where any two individuals can be connected by a chain of acquaintances.

You can view the diagram as a representation of degrees of separation between myself and the "suckers". For me, it not only shows the connection, but also the loss in meaningfulness as the amount of steps from one's self to another increases.

For example, my connection to "you" is very important. As soon as I walk another step away from me, my interest in and concern for an individual sharply drops off.

So, say you tell me that your friend has been found to have a terminal form of cancer. I'd say, "Wow, that's horrible." But my concern would probably be more for how it affects you, than how it affects your friend. If it was a friend of a friend? I'd say, "Why are you even telling me this? I don't know this person." You try and tell me about a friend of a friend of a friend, and my eyes will glaze over.

We use degrees of separation every day, perhaps in situations we aren't really aware of, or don't want to be aware of.

Take this, for example:

Imagine the relationship of a person on a farm with a cow -- what kind of connection is there? How about a person who works at a slaughterhouse? What is the connection? What is your relationship with the cow? Is it even a cow when you get to it? It's not for me. It's beef. The steps the cow walks to get to me are involuntary and have a very negative effect on the cow's health.

We can say this is a small world, and that we are all connected, but how meaningful is that when the connections don't have any weight behind them? If we don't have extended connections that are truly meaningful, how can we combat issues like poverty, global warming, etc.? How can we be motivated if we don't feel connected? Will we die off as a species as a result of this flaw?

Should I go become a Buddhist now?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baklava And The Italian World Order

Hi, here's a very short update regarding the adventures of Baklava, the Night Elf Druid that likes to kill defenseless deer and sit on campfires.

Baklava is now Level 16.

My brother recently made an adjustment to his character. Characters in World of Warcraft, when not killing deer, can focus on pursuing two professions. My brother recently learned that you can pick two professions that have synergies.

If you pursue Herbology and Alchemy as your professions, you can take the flowers and plants you pick and make potions. If you choose Tanning and Leathermaking, you can make items from the pelts you collect from animals.

Baklava's professions of choice were Herbology and Tanning, which have absolutely no synergies whatsoever. He was essentially able to gather raw materials for two unrelated things, but couldn't actually do anything with them. Baklava has now "unlearned" Herbology and is on the track to be a Leathermaker.

For those of you who might miss Baklava's spice bread, please do not worry. It is still possible to have hobbies. Cooking is one of Baklava's hobbies, and will always have a place in his dark purple heart.

While online, Baklava has been invited on numerous occasions by a persistent fellow who wants him to join a guild called the "Italian World Order". My brother would understand Greeks seeking him out, as he bears the name of a sweet dessert, but was surprised to be contacted by Italians. Baklava is uncertain about the purpose of this guild, and how serious it is about Italian global domination. As of yet, he has not sought further information or expressed interest in joining.

And now, another Night Elf babe.

Celebrating My 599th Post With A Doodle

But it will take the first commenter with an idea to make this post truly shine.


For Freida Bee - an iSplotchy upgraded with a John Oates 'stache circa '85 and fanny pack combo.