Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Now, to the best of my knowledge, it's about twenty minutes past nine o'clock PM on Wednesday, October 31st, 2007. In other words, it's Halloween. Things need to be scary. There needs to be blood, doom, ghosts and no end of big freakin' spooky things leaping out to gnaw off people's faces.
What we DON'T need is a radio station in Kansas City switching their programing rotation over to twenty-four freakin' hours of Christmas songs.
I mean, talk about your all-time greatest ways to totally ruin the mood of the holiday.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/31/2007 09:18:00 PM
I wonder if that odious little troll, Fred Phelps, has a cool 2.9 million dollars lying around to pay the judgment against him and those brainwashed followers of his? My guess is, they're probably going to have to sell their little happy bus of hate and keep their protests within walking distance of their "church." To make matters better for all those rational folks out there, I hope this verdict opens the door for more litigation against the Westboro Baptist Church, and though I am certainly not a fan of these sorts of lawsuits, there's considerable room in my beliefs for a little latitude so long as it extinguishes these organizations of pure hatred.
Father of slain Marine wins case against funeral protesters
Pa. man awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages
By Matthew Dolan |Sun reporter
3:56 PM EDT, October 31, 2007
Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of a Westminster Marine who was killed in Iraq, today won his case in a Baltimore federal court against members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church who protested at his son's funeral last year.
The jury of five women and four men awarded Snyder $2.9 million in compensatory damages. The amount of punitive damages to be awarded has not yet been decided. The jury deliberated for about two hours yesterday and much of today. (Full Story)
I hope this stops them to some degree.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/31/2007 03:37:00 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Ugh! I woke up this morning feeling like trash, so I'm going to take a couple of days off from writing here until I feel a little better.
However, before I take a break, and since it's once again the spooky time of year, I figured I'd share a couple of pretty cool links with you of some awesome collections of abandoned places.
The first is the Lost America Gallery, and it's a collection of some really top-notch photographs of really creepy places.
The second is a very small collection one person's ten favorite photos. Some are quite interesting (like the abandoned TB hospital in Lima, Ohio), and others just have that whole "House of Horrors" feel to them.
Now, I don't know what it is, but abandoned and crumbling places really freak me out. I don't get scared of monsters, ghosts or any of that other silliness. But, you put me in a place with peeling paint, rusty pipes and holes in the floorboards, I tend to feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, my skin crawl, and I become overwhelmed with that edgy feeling that something is just going to come flying out at me from somewhere.
Anyway, Happy Halloween everyone! I hope you all get terrified by the thundering horde of ghosts, goblins, witches, zombies and all other scary creatures whose claws you may hear scratching on your front door as they hunt for either your blood, your brains, or your basket of candy.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/30/2007 04:42:00 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
Please do contain your laughter because (ahem) these people are very serious about this sort of thing, and I'm certain they put a lot of thought and effort into it. After all, would you laugh at a toddler if he or she hands you a picture of a blue "duck" with a yellow "sky" and an orange "river?"
Of course you wouldn't. You'd give that beaming child a pat on the head and keep your laughter to yourself while he or she wobbles off to put things in their mouth.
Anyway, here's the list of America's big hairy, scary:
9) Muslim Student Association
7) American Civil Liberties Union, National
6) Family Research Council
5) Center for American Progress
4) League of the South
2) Universities and Colleges
1) Media Matters for America
Now, do you notice #2?
Doesn't that answer just about every question you had concerning how and why Bush supporters can exist? They're "anti-college," and they seem to make a whole heap of noise bashing institutions of higher learning in a feeble attempt to make themselves look perhaps a little smarter.
Aside from that, I'm surprised to see the Family Research Council and the League of the South on the list. They don't get much further Right than those two maniacal institutions of neo-conservative zealotry. Do I think they are dangerous, though?
Not at all. Then again, I don't think anyone on this list is particularly dangerous.
However, I think they were added to this list to make the good little
Seriously, though. If you are afraid of any group on that list or see them as a threat in any way whatsoever, I strongly suggest you seek professional help as soon as possible. Your paranoia can be helped with proper medication and therapy.
Then again, I do like laughing at the crazy people.
(Thanks to the Guerilla Women)
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/29/2007 04:22:00 PM
Now, granted, I have no real reason to dislike this particular day, so I'm going to say that I am probably, most-likely, a spineless slave to peer pressure. After all, everyone else hates Mondays, so why can't I?
Aside from that, the day started off great. First, I was yanked out of a peaceful, happy slumber by a very weird, "April Fresh" aroma. I couldn't quite wrap my nose around the smell until I heard the tell-tale "Grrrrupp" of DogCat that is loosely translated into human-speak to mean "Good Morning, human! I'm going to sleep on your face, and I apologize beforehand if I should smother you while I sleep."
Yes. Fall is on the way, and I can easily determine the night's weather by whatever scent my cat drags in every morning. For example, if he smells of cat and nothing else, I know it wasn't too bad and he probably spent the night hanging out beneath his favorite tree. If he smells like motor-oil, he spent the night in the neighbor's garage because it was probably raining. And, if he comes in smelling like a pile of clean, freshly washed laundry, I know that it was a little chilly outside, and he spent the night sleeping beneath the dryer vent of the neighbor's house two doors down.
Needless to say, it was the latter of those three, and I spent much of my early morning hours wrestling with a massive, absolutely soft and static free bundle of fur with very sharp claws and teeth. I'd say it was nice, but it really wasn't. It doesn't really matter how dandy he smells once he starts gnawing and slobbering on my fingers. And, of course, it's usually best to let him chew on them until he starts snoring because if I try to hide them anywhere, he will find them and make the sneaky digits pay dearly.
So, that was my Monday morning. After that, things began to improve. And, I'm sure tomorrow, I'll be yanked from yet another peaceful sleep, but at least it won't be Monday.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/29/2007 02:36:00 PM
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Gap Unveils New 'For Kids By Kids' Clothing Line
Then again, if it does, I've got some incredible ideas --especially in the snack-food industry. Yes. I will put that whore Little Debbie out of work, and the world will be mine! Mine, I say!
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/28/2007 09:31:00 PM
Friday, October 26, 2007
Your past life diagnosis:
I don't know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern North India around the year 1150. Your profession was that of a writer, dramatist or organiser of rituals.
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
You had the mind of a scientist, always seeking new explanations. Your environment often misunderstood you, but respected your knowledge.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
Your lesson is to study, to practice and to use the wisdom that lies within the psychological sciences and in ancient manuscripts. With strong faith and hard work you will reach your real destiny in your present life.
Do you remember now?
That's kind of funny and weird, I suppose. Of course, one of these trips, I am so totally going to be a bank robber. I desperately need to mix some things up, dammit.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/26/2007 02:27:00 PM
FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA
By Al Kamen
Friday, October 26, 2007; Page A19
Johnson stood behind a lectern and began with an overview before saying he would take a few questions. The first questions were about the "commodities" being shipped to Southern California and how officials are dealing with people who refuse to evacuate. He responded eloquently.
He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter -- and was asked an oddly in-house question about "what it means to have an emergency declaration as opposed to a major disaster declaration" signed by the president. He once again explained smoothly.
FEMA press secretary Aaron Walker interrupted at one point to caution he'd allow just "two more questions." Later, he called for a "last question."
"Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?" a reporter asked. Another asked about "lessons learned from Katrina."
"I'm very happy with FEMA's response so far," Johnson said, hailing "a very smoothly, very efficiently performing team."
"And so I think what you're really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership," Johnson said, "none of which were present in Katrina." (Wasn't Michael Chertoff DHS chief then?) Very smooth, very professional. But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.
Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.
What a bunch of silly twits. I'd expect this sort of thing at a Bush & Co. press-conference, but not from an agency such as FEMA on the heels of a devastating natural disaster. I mean, why even bother planting shills in the press corps and asking these questions in the first place? Are your remarks that ill-prepared that you can't simply phrase them in the form of a statement? And, how are the people expected to receive an accurate appraisal of FEMA's actions if they deceive them in such a way as this? Why hide the truth and run scared?
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/26/2007 10:23:00 AM
Liquor commissioner wants booze out of view
Coray says a glass wall isn't enough to ensure diners aren't offended
By Dawn House
The Salt Lake Tribune Article
Last Updated: 10/24/2007 11:46:22 PM MDT
Liquor control commissioner Bobbie Coray asked her colleagues on Wednesday to consider a rule to cover up bottles of booze displayed at restaurants because some diners may be offended at the sight of alcohol.
A glass partition between bartenders and customers required under current regulations may not be enough, Coray told her fellow liquor control commissioners at their monthly meeting.
Coray, a lone holdout opposing liquor licenses for strip bars, now wants the commission to place more restrictions on glass partitions in restaurants. She called the partitions "a Zion curtain," imposed to satisfy Mormons whose faith eschews alcohol. (Link to full article)
Madness... It's just a bottle of vodka for Christ's sake. It's not like it's filled with a mix of battery acid and irresistible sin. I mean, what the hell do these Mormons think when they see a bottle of whiskey?
"What's that say? Jack... Jack Daniels? That looks offensive. In fact, I'm so offended that I suddenly have the urge to run out and stab a nun in the face as if she was a common Tijuana prostitute. Oh, Curse you Cheesecake Factory! You've lead me to ruin."
Seriously, I try very hard to respect religion, but you guys make itabsolutely impossible sometimes.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/26/2007 09:59:00 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Remote-control battling Daleks and a remote control K9 are things I think I desperately need.
Don't look at me like that.
I have needs, people.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/25/2007 12:01:00 PM
Anyway, here's a little something to help you relive those glitzy days. It's The 10 Most Terrifyingly Inspirational '80s Songs. Without those little tunes, I don't think we'd have made it to the 90's.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/25/2007 11:39:00 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
From what I've been able to gather, things seem to be calming down on the Southern California fire-front as people far more courageous than I --or anyone I know for that matter-- have started to get a handle on the fires and beat back the threatening flames. This morning, there was blue sky visible in the San Diego area, and when you are stuck in an area choked with smoke and ash, and your world is a blazing chaotic nightmare, something blue can become a welcomed beacon of calm and hope.
Now, one of the things I've noticed which truly annoys me (and probably annoys a hell of a lot of other people) is how the media has been desperately trying to find parallels between these Southern California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina which pounded the Gulf Coast some years back. It's baffling as they seek to proclaim this is either a black/white or rich/poor issue when it quite possibly couldn't be further from either of those social issues.
The fact is, people in the San Diego area were prepared for these fires, while those along the Gulf Coast were surprised by the devastation of Katrina. It has nothing to do with money, and it has nothing to do with the color of one's skin. If New Orleans were to be ravaged by a hurricane every year, I think we could all expect them to be considerably more prepared, and, as a result, that situation could have been handled considerably better and we wouldn't be bemoaning the federal shortcomings today. In fact, as far as San Diego is concerned, it seems the general opinion is that the government would simply get in the way of what is a rather impressive and effective state-level emergency response that has been nothing short of heroic and admirable. All that seems needed at the federal level is for them to sign the checks when it comes time to rebuild.
Perhaps if these wildfires were taking place in a part of the nation less familiar with such a phenomenon, I'd imagine the level of confusion and chaos would be easily comparable. For example, if the city of Chicago we overtaken by fire (again), I think you would definitely see the same results we saw following Katrina. Chicago, quite simply, doesn't deal with wildfires on a yearly basis --just as New Orleans doesn't deal with hurricanes once a year.
Nonetheless, even though what is happening in San Diego is horrendous and tragic, it's not something foreign or unexpected. However, for the media to go this far out of their way in trying to marry these two tragedies is pointless and a complete waste of time, and it's an insult to the victims of both catastrophes.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/24/2007 03:56:00 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
When the flames broke out in Southern California, I knew in my heart it wouldn't take very long before the Right-wing, cave-dwelling mouthpieces chimed in with their typical misguided lunacy. Sadly, as witnessed by the above quote, I was right.
"I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today."
-CNN's Glenn Beck
It's a shame that Mr. Beck would assert that the people of Southern California deserve to have their homes destroyed and their lives uprooted and forever altered based solely on his own selfish political ideology and his need to put Americans into nice, tidy boxes labeled "us" and "them."
Perhaps the saddest irony in Mr. Beck's inhuman remark comes with the knowledge that he himself is a recovering addict, and along his long and troubled road to recovery, people reached out to help him dry out regardless of their political opinions, and for him to fall so remarkably short in repaying humanity for the help it bestowed upon him, says a great deal about the character of Mr. Beck.
Fire, like Beck's drug addiction, does not discriminate, and to assert that the people of Southern California are somehow less deserving of our compassion and concern simply because of some half-assed, geographical stereotype shows all of America just what a petty, little fool Glenn Beck truly is, and what a mistake CNN made in giving this worthless addict a forum in which to spout his stupidity.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/23/2007 12:15:00 PM
Monday, October 22, 2007
*WARNING* Many may not be prepared for the level of cuteness contained in the aforementioned link, so proceed at your own risk.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/22/2007 10:11:00 PM
Oh, what the hellâ¦
Iâm in a thinking sort of mood beneath the gray-painted sky of my Monday afternoon. I know I should be writing and spinning those tales which may or may not enchant and entertain, but the last couple of weeks have found me somewhat uninspired and, for lack of a better word, bored with the stories Iâm trying to tell. I wouldnât go so far as to call it a âwriterâs blockâ since, not only do I not believe in that sort of thing, what Iâm dealing with is just a desire to momentarily escape the tedium and drudgery of typing incessantly.
For some reason, it all reminds me of a friend I had in high school. He was a funny guy, and he loved his job. His job, however, consisted of nothing more than standing at a big, hulking and grunting piece of machinery and pushing a single button several times an hour for twelve hours a day.
Every day, for god knows how many years, he stood there pushing that one solitary button. Though I have no idea of its color, Iâd like to imagine it was a red button, and whenever he pushed it, he would shut his eyes for a moment and pretend that he was secretly launching a nuclear solution to Americaâs long and tiresome Communist âproblemâ (this was in 1984, and the Cold War was still going somewhat strong, for what itâs worth). However, instead of sending ICBMs screaming toward Moscow, he stood there making plastic bags for the greedy Capitalist masses.
What was I doing in 1984?
I honestly donât really know. My guess is that I was most likely chasing after a girl who kept breaking up with me, I was probably spending time posting to online bulletin boards for giggles, and I was probably trying to write a book. As you can imagine, Iâve come a long way from those salad days, havenât I?
Nonetheless, as appealing as that sort of mindless routine would be, I honestly think Iâd take one of those plastic bags and put it over my head if that was my job. Monotony doesnât suit me.
Itâs funny, but as I write this, Iâm thinking of a conversation I had with another friend sometime ago as he was telling me about one of the places he visited while working his job as a sprinkler-fitter for some sort of fire-prevention outfit here in Wisconsin. Itâs not exactly glamorous work, but rarely is it ever the same damn thing day after day.
Anyway, his nameâs John, and he is, without a doubt, one of the coolest bastards ever to find themselves on planet earth, and our little chat went something like this:
âDan,â he said. âThey actually sent me to install a sprinkler system in a coffee filter factory.â
âCool,â I said. After all, I had no idea whether I should be excited, confused, or whatever else since I had no damn clue what the appropriate response to that sort of statement should be, but I did manage to issue a somewhat confused âIâm sorry?â
âItâs weird, man.â He replied. âPicture a windowless warehouse full of people just standing around watching machines make coffee filters.â
âHypnotic?â I asked.
âI damn near fell from the rafters,â he said. âI wonder if anyone would have noticed.â
âWell, they probably wouldnât have until you made your way around to some lemming in Quality Control.â
The thing is, throughout the conversation, there was a slight tint of envy in his voice, and I think the thing that appealed to him more than anything was that making coffee filters was a job which required little thought and carried with it absolutely no responsibility, and considering he installs fire-extinguishers, escaping that sort of responsibility, even in a day-dream, was probably quite pleasant.
In the end, however, I think his desire for a less responsible career were shattered when I brought up the fact that it would be a little tough for him to make house payments, boat payments, and car payments at that sort of job.
So, whatâs the point of writing this?
I really donât think there is one. Iâm just typing a vast collection of words to see if it my hands work. So far, they actually donât hurt all that badly, and considering how they felt last week, this is spectacularly nice.
Plus, I also wanted to see how a document written in Word translates to Bloggerâs platform. So, if this thing comes out looking unbearably messy and unintelligible, thatâs why. I already anticipate AOL making a complete hash of it when this post trundles its way over there. And, if inspired, I may actually spend time fixing it.
Then again, Iâm kind of put off with AOL these days. I have a hard time understanding why they would shit-can one of the blogging worldâs most friendly, entertaining and helpful people while still continuing to pay that racist, neo-conservative, elfmaid, Dinesh DâSouza, for spouting his bigoted and misguided nonsense at their comically mislabeled âNewsbloggerâ feature.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/22/2007 02:34:00 PM
Mine was somewhat uncomplicated. First, the infusion of magic medicine that was pumped into my confused and troubled system on Friday made me feel as though I was battling some rather annoying allergies. It wasn't too bad, though. Mostly, I just had the itchy eyes and runny nose of a common, garden-variety cold. So, after a year of this insanity, it was kind of refreshing to feel something other than the usual post-infusion icks and aches.
Aside from that, it's a typically crappy Wisconsin fall morning here. I'm thinking the sun is not going to put in any sort of appearance. I suppose I can handle that, however. It is Monday after all, and after a weekend where temperatures were in the upper-70's and sunny, a cold, gray day once in a while isn't such a bad thing. Then again, it's only October, and I'm sure my timbre will take a drastic turn toward the bleak once I see that first, freakin' snowflake, and the insatiable desire to chase it down and put it out of my misery with a flame-thrower overcomes me.
They mock me, the snowflakes do...
In other news, it's been ridiculously quiet here, for the most part. There's not too many things bouncing around inside my empty head worth writing about. I spent a large chunk of time this weekend cleaning all sorts of
Now, if only I could organize my world in such a way. I mean, you should see my fridge. It's about as tidy and organized as the old Windows 95 operating system. Sometimes, it crashes and I wind up with a glacier's worth of ice-cubes skittering across the linoleum of my kitchen floor. And, don't even get me started on the crisper drawers. I keep my cans of V8 in there. After all, in my twisted noggin, for some reason, I think V8 belongs in the crisper drawer. I guess it keeps the lettuce and celery in line when they see a can of vegetable juice there.
I suppose it's like keeping bottles of baby powder and baby oil in the nursery.
Anyway, yes! It's Monday, and I've just started pulling myself together. I expect this will be a pretty uneventful week. Of course, I say this with full knowledge that it will only be a matter of time before something comes along to push me over the edge.
Well, that's about it for the moment. I apologize for rambling, but it's what I do. I do hope your weekends were good ones filled with all sorts of insanity.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/22/2007 09:28:00 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Anyway, to continue along my sedentary trend, tonight, I am just going to swipe a meme from that Meme Princess, Dawn. Let's see what she's got for me...
Using the third letter of your first name, answer the following questions:
So, let's see here... My name's Dan, so the third letter is "N." God, this is going to suck!
- Famous Singer : Neville Brother (pick one)... Or, Nina (Whatever happened to that little balloon-toting, Teutonic minx, anyway?)
- Four letter word : N... umm... Nose!
- Street : Nowhere, The Road To...
- Color : Not quite orange.
- Gifts/Presents : Nina albums. New car!
- Vehicle : Nuclear submarine.
- Things in Souvenir Shop : Needless crap.
- Boy Name : Nero
- Girl Name : Nefertiti
- Movie Title : Ninja Terminator
- Drink : Nuthugger or a Nazi Taco
- Occupation : None. (Hey! It's on the forms.)
- Celebrity : Nina Simone
- Magazine : Ninety and Naughty
- U.S. City : North East, MD
- Pro Sports : Netball (yeah. Freaked me out too).
- Fruit : Nannyberry
- Reason For Being Late To Work : Needed to find nannyberries.
- Something You Threw Away : Neighbor's newspaper.
- Something You Shout : "Not in the face, not in the face!"
- Cartoon Character : Newy (he was Disney's answer to Shemp in the Huey, Dewey and Louie franchise. Yeah. I don't believe me either).
- Song Title: "Now and Forever" by Air Supply (It rocks like only Air Supply CAN rock!)
So, that's it. Say goodnight to Sunday.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/21/2007 08:25:00 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I love the head-banging bit at the end (and yes. That bird dances much better than I do).
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/20/2007 10:40:00 PM
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I'm having a pretty lousy day on this end, and this particular lousy day started at one-thirty in the freakin' morning. I spent a couple of those wee hours just throwing myself around on my mattress until my pillows and covers were a chaotic mess upon the floor. It seems that everything hurt as a result of A) The barometer plummeting due to the storms that pummeled the Midwest working their way into my neck of the woods, and B) my infusion is tomorrow, and every inch of my wrecked, old body feels as though I tried to sleep in a spinning washing machine loaded with bowling balls.
Eventually, I gave up on that whole notion of sleep and decided to get up and watch infomercials. I saw a lot of things for various body-shredding pieces of exercise equipment that promised if I could withstand the sort of Inquisition-esque level of torture they applied, I could lose twenty pounds in a matter of weeks.
Thanks. But, I'd rather take up doing speedballs for breakfast than risk an exploding aneurysm in pursuit of a chiseled body. Besides, swimsuit season has come and gone, and this beast needs to put on some winter fluff. Hibernation appeals to me. It always has.
However, one infomercial came on, and every time I see it, I always get a little giggly.
It's for Peter Popoff's "Miracle Spring Water," and if you've never seen this joker's scam, you really should. It's beautifully hilarious, and whenever he puts his grubby mitts up to the camera and tells me to put my godless, unwashed, heathen hands on the TV screen so he and I can "pray" together, I laugh at the notion that if this madness was legit, I wonder what sort of insanity I'd be passing around the Christian community if I put my deaf cat's paws on the screen. I can almost see Popoff saying, "There's a very confused blond-haired, blue-eyed, deaf female in Milwaukee who wants to go back to licking her asshole."
Anyway, I'm uber-wonky right about now, and I think it's time for me to try and crash. How's your Thursday going so far?
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/18/2007 10:44:00 AM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The common form of these lists seems to be italicise those that X, bold those that Y, and strike through those that Z. Dawn changed that for an italicised comment after each title, and I will follow that format because...well, no reason.
The books listed below are the top 105 books most often tagged as being unread by LibraryThing users (as of October 3rd). I have no idea what LibraryThing is. "Yes," means I've read it. "No," means I have not. Any other comments will, I hope, be self explanatory.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell (No)
- Anna Karenina (Yes)
- Crime and Punishment (Yes)
- Catch-22 (Yes)
- One hundred years of solitude (Yes)
- Wuthering Heights (Yes)
- The Silmarillion (I've read parts of it)
- Life of Pi (No)
- The Name of the Rose (Yes)
- Don Quixote (Yes)
- Moby Dick (Yes)
- Ulysses (Yes)
- Madame Bovary (Yes)
- The Odyssey (Yes)
- Pride and Prejudice (Yes)
- Jane Eyre (Yes)
- A Tale of Two Cities (Yes)
- The Brothers Karamazov (Yes)
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (No)
- War and Peace (Yes)
- Vanity Fair (No)
- The Time Travellerâs Wife (No)
- The Iliad (Yes)
- The Blind Assassin (No)
- The Kite Runner (No)
- Mrs. Dalloway (No)
- Great Expectations (Yes)
- American Gods (No)
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (No)
- Atlas Shrugged (Yes)
- Reading Lolita in Tehran (No)
- Memoirs of a Geisha (Yes)
- Middlesex (No)
- Quicksilver (Yes)
- Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (No)
- The Canterbury Tales (Yes)
- The Historian (No)
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Yes)
- Love in the Time of Cholera (Yes)
- Brave New World (Yes)
- The Fountainhead (Yes)
- Foucaultâs Pendulum (Yes)
- Middlemarch (No)
- Frankenstein (Yes)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (Yes)
- Dracula (Yes)
- A Clockwork Orange (Yes)
- Anansi Boys (No)
- The Once and Future King (No)
- The Grapes of Wrath (No)
- The Poisonwood Bible (No)
- 1984 (Yes)
- Angels & Demons (Yes)
- The Inferno (Yes)
- The Satanic Verses (Yes)
- Sense and Sensibility (Yes)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (Yes)
- Mansfield Park (No)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Yes)
- To the Lighthouse (Read some of it)
- Tess of the Ubervilles (Yes)
- Oliver Twist (Yess'r)
- Gulliverâs Travels (Yes)
- Les Miserables (No)
- The Corrections (Yes)
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (No)
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (No)
- Dune (Yes)
- The Prince (Yes)
- The Sound and the Fury (Yes)
- Angelaâs Ashes (Yes)
- The God of Small Things (No)
- Cryptonomicon (No)
- Neverwhere (No)
- A Confederacy of Dunces (Yes)
- A Short History of Nearly Everything (No)
- Dubliners (Yes)
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Yes)
- Beloved (No)
- Slaughterhouse-five (Yes)
- The Scarlet Letter (Yes)
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Not yet. But, I do own it and plan to read it soon)
- The Mists of Avalon (Yes)
- Oryx and Crake:a novel (No)
- Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed (No)
- Cloud Atlas (No)
- The Confusion (No)
- Lolita (Yes)
- Persuasion (No)
- Northanger Abbey (No)
- The Catcher in the Rye (Yes)
- On the Road (Yes)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Yes)
- Freakonomics (No)
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (No)
- The Aeneid (Yes)
- Watership Down (Yes)
- Gravityâs Rainbow (To quote Paul: "why does this sound so familiar? Google, google, google...ah, Pynchon - nope, not even remotely interested)
- The Hobbit (Yes)
- In Cold Blood (Yes)
- White Teeth (No)
- Treasure Island (Yes)
- David Copperfield (Yes)
- The Three Musketeers (Yes)
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/17/2007 10:29:00 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My twin brother is crashing here for a while, and though it's nice and everything, the one drawback is that my house suddenly feels populated by a couple of twelve-year olds. The practical jokes are something he and I seem to have never outgrown. For example, do you know how much fun can be had with a small motion-activated gizmo that plays phrases from the Star Wars movies?
The other night, I came home after a night out with some friends, and as I fumbled my way into bed, I heard rattling in the darkness, the voice of C3PO excitedly saying "R2D2! It is you! It is you!" Then, from the guestroom, I heard the giggling --the god-awful giggling that punctuates my chaotic and tortured childhood.
To get even, I set the gizmo up outside his door, and went to sleep. And, where I'm certain he slept a tortured and imperfect slumber fractured by the fear of my impending retribution, I slept peacefully until I was nudged awake by Obi Wan Kenobi outside by brother's door explaining that the Force will be with my brother --always. I giggled. I'm certain there are worse things to wake up to than Alec Guinness' voice first thing in the morning. I can't think of one off-hand, but I'm sure something exists.
Oh, wait. The worse thing would have to be DogCat.
Normally, I let him in in the morning, and though I'm not quite awake when I do so, I am, at least, out of bed. Since the Twin is here, DogCat's been getting access to the house while I'm still asleep as a result of The Twin letting him in on the way out of the house. Plus, it's been raining the last several days, and instead of a nice cup of coffee greeting me first thing in the morning, I've been dragged into the world of the conscious by a soaking wet, attention-whore of a cat who acts as though he's not seen me in several years.
So, that's been the last several days on this end. Eventually, sometime today, I will construct a means by which to exact my vengance. Yes. It's a little insane, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before one, or both, of us gets hurt.
Until that happens, I'm thinking of putting his deodorant in the freezer.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/16/2007 09:40:00 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Now, if people are going to say they see Jesus or Mary in pieces of toast and eggplants, well...
I think this speaks for itself.
Thanks to Optical Illusions
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/12/2007 08:58:00 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Gotta admit... That's pretty slick.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/11/2007 10:18:00 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
There are only a few things I buy in large quantities. Basmati rice is one of those things. I love making it. It just blows boring old write rice out of the water. It's got an amazing, nutty flavor, it's very aromatic, and once you get it down, making the stuff is a breeze.
Anyway, this is my recipe entry for Jaden's Steamy Saffron Giveaway. It's nothing more than Basmati rice with saffron and toasted almonds, and since I'm ridiculously busy lately, it's nice to have this recipe in one's memory to whip out in a pinch. Here's what you will need:
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer to eat with your molars)
1 cup basmati rice
1 pinch of Kosher salt
1 pinch of saffron threads (I'd say around five or six)
ground black pepper
First, toast the almonds in a medium sized saucepan until that yummy toasted almond scent drives you almost to the point of doing something insane like licking a hot pan. However, right before that urge strikes, dump in the broth, rice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Once it's boiling, stir in the saffron, turn the heat to low, cover and let it sit for 20-25 minutes until what you have is a nice pan of rice with no liquid left. Fluff it up with a fork and eat until your head explodes.
Oh! And the crusty stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan? Eat that too. That's pretty much the best part in my book.
I suppose you can serve this with just about anything, but I tend to just eat it by itself with a cold beer.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/10/2007 12:37:00 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
A retired lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve who served with the Navy's Supervisor of Salvage questioned in a little-noticed editorial Sunday why six active nuclear armed cruise missiles were being transferred to an active bomber base that "just happens to be the staging area for Middle Eastern operations."I happen to think someone somewhere is up to something pretty shady. After all, the protocol for handling and transporting nuclear weapons is pretty detailed for a reason: so mistakes such as this won't happen. And, as I read this article, I could help but consider that we are supposedly trying very hard to keep such weapons out of the hands of those who wish to attack our nation and her interests, yet it's clear that we can't keep track of our own weapons.
"The United States also does not transport nuclear weapons meant for elimination attached to their launch vehicles under the wings of a combat aircraft," Navy veteran Robert Stormer wrote in the Texas-based Star-Telegram. "The procedure is to separate the warhead from the missile, encase the warhead and transport it by military cargo aircraft to a repository -- not an operational bomber base that just happens to be the staging area for Middle Eastern operations."
Six nuclear W80 nuclear-armed cruise missiles were flown to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana where they sat for ten hours undetected. (link to full story)
There's also the considerable PR ploy to take into account. The military can not directly come out and say that we are moving nuclear weapons into our base of Middle East operations, but the appearance that it is being done under these somewhat suspicious circumstances is more than enough to ignite a person's paranoia. However, the thing to keep in mind is that there is the strong likelihood that U.S. nuclear weapons are already in the Middle East, and I'm willing to bet they've been there for quite some time. After all, our boats carry a great many of those things.
The thing that bothers me most is that, if this isn't a genuine mistake, then someone felt that this sort of stupid stunt was necessary to achieve a greater end. However, the real end result is that, rather than send the message to spook our enemies, our military --including our Commander in Chief-- simply comes across looking as though they are nothing but a collection of incompetent fools akin to a bungling Barney Fife.
Oh well... Time to take the shiny helmet off my noggin and get back to my mad little life.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/09/2007 03:00:00 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Not the greatest of pictures, but I'll see if I can't get outside later today to snap a better photo of the rotten apple that still remains glued to the leaf.
It's gotten really ratty looking, and when I took this picture, it was wickedly windy and a little tough to capture with my feeble skills.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/04/2007 09:03:00 AM
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/04/2007 08:58:00 AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I think that would keep some pesky people from knocking on my door, don't you?
Of course, I'd aim for just a little more realism, and I'd probably litter my walkway with a few bones and skulls.
What do you think?
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/02/2007 06:38:00 PM
Tonight, the show Cavemen premiers. I am not excited. In fact, I'm already looking forward to its swift cancellation. I just don't see how anyone could possibly make it funny in any way aside from the predictable jokes about the differences in clubbing between Paleolithic man and today.
The funny thing is, if ABC is so quick to take a couple of characters from a crappy ad campaign and build a sit-com around them, I don't understand why they chose the obnoxious cavemen. You could have tried with the prim and proper gecko. Or, better yet! Give Warren Wallace his own show. After all, "Warren Wallace is made of lightning, and he's a hundred miles away, son, ready to strike."
What can I say? That kid just cracks me up.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/02/2007 01:57:00 PM
The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind
Pay no attention to this...
Nothing to see here...
Move along people...
Powered by ScribeFire.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/02/2007 11:16:00 AM
Monday, October 1, 2007
Next, they'll be wanting to go union.
Anyway, today is certainly one of those really odd days where my head just doesn't seem to be in the proverbial game of Life, and rather than plod my way through the book I'm currently trying to write, I'm just sort of dorkin' around getting absolutely nothing done.
In a way, it kind of feels nice.
Then again, there's a mountain of guilt piling up since I really would love to have this novel finished, tidied up, smashed through the presses and available for all the world to read. I think it's a reasonably decent book, but it's severely lacking in a few places, and it's driving me batty and dicing my brain into cute little nuggets of gray matter as I now sit and try to figure out just how to make it better.
Yeah. It's tedious.
Then again, playing around on the internetties lets me find and post silly pictures like the one here. It's a poor, out-of-work Cylon. I feel for the poor appliance, but from what I've been able to gather about the upcoming, and final, Battlestar Galactica season, they're going to be incorporating these old-school centurions in little flashback blurbs here and there. It should be funny. And, I really hope these flashbacks also contain the old suede jackets the viper-jockeys used to wear. Those were some damn, snazzy buckles, after all, and in terms of late 70's fashion, they totally smoked the Members Only crowd.
Anyway, I actually caught the new Bionic Woman opener, and for those of you who watch BSG (that's the acronym the geeks use, ya know), I saw a whole heap of familiar faces. So far, I think I've spotted Katee Sackoff, Mark Sheppard, and Aaron Douglas (there's also Leela Savasta, but we won't talk about her yet).
Nonetheless, if I'm even slightly left to wonder what the hell happened to the poor, lost refugees once Battlestar Galactica comes to an end, I can always just imagine that, after finding their way to earth, they inevitably were absorbed by the mad-scientists of the 21st Century underground cyborg community, and, thus, the vicious circle begins anew, and it's only a matter of time before the toasters take over again, and we're all packed on spaceships to flee for our miserable lives.
As for the show itself, the Bionic Woman is somewhat lacking in depth, and it's pretty damn predictable. Granted, it's only aired one episode; however, it doesn't seem to sway very far from anyone's expectations, and I hardly doubt it will bring the sort of mind-blowing surprises the remake of Battlestar brought to those of us who refuse to grow up and remember the original (QED). And, though it's got a lot of potential to be a great show, I think Bionic Woman will simply become a parody of the original. In fact, unless they do something drastic to distance itself from its predecessor, I think it's inevitable.
Ah well... This is just me being a geek on an off day. Personally, instead of the Bionic Woman, and since we're rehashing crappy shows from the 70's, I think they should have remade Space: 1999 or, even better, a version of Buck Rogers set in a brutal and biting dystopic future free from dumb-ass pet robots, bird-people, Gary Coleman and mylar unitards (save for whomever replaces Erin Grey).
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/01/2007 01:49:00 PM
No. Seriously. I do care.
For example, after watching Paris Hilton get hounded, humiliated, and pretty much berated on David Letterman, I just can't shake the feeling that Dave may have, in fact, gone a hare's breath too far in his mockery of a woman who, I feel, deserves at least one last chance to put her past behind her, grow up and maybe steer her life in a more mature direction. However, fortunately, it wasn't a full-blown flogging of a vapid wannabe starlet, and Dave did manage to turn the interview around with his usual adolescent antics which everyone has come to know and love.
Still, I just can't help but shake this annoying feeling that Paris should be treated like a human being and not something to hold up and humiliate on a daily basis. Yes. She's an idiot. She's a moron. She's an empty twit with an empty life. But, it seems she's honestly trying, and to me, that does earn at least a small measure of respect. Most of all, I find myself genuinely curious to see what this glitter-clawed-monster will turn into a decade down the road.
Of course, I still can not stand Paris Hilton, and I wish she would fade into some sort of obscurity so humanity isn't forced to listen to her inane and empty nonsense. But, in the interview, she evoked a certain sense of pity in me, and I just found myself wanting to hear her say "Yes. I fucked up. Get over it, and let me live my life. If I screw up again and do or say something stupid, then we can all have another nice laugh at my expense. Until then, I'm just trying to do my best." And, even David Letterman seemed to be somewhat embarrassed at ridiculing her, and toward the end there, even he seemed to say "enough is enough."
I suppose she deserves an opportunity to become the person she wants to be without the unwarranted criticism and mockery of a past which I'm certain she, above anyone else, wants to put behind her and move on in the only way she knows how. In the interview, she just strikes me as a woman who has realized (or is starting to realize) the lack of her talents, and she has stopped listening to those who've hoisted her up on this pedestal where talent is expected. However, her only talent is being beautiful, and I think she's starting to understand that's all she has and how dreadfully empty it is. In a way, it's kind of sad to watch.
Aside from that, I never thought I'd find myself saying anything positive or encouraging about Paris Hilton, but I just find myself feeling sorry for her. She really has nothing to fall back upon, and that's got to be kind of scary. But, she seems to really want to be more than just another mousy heiress with a pretty face, and I can respect that. Granted, I don't like her, but it would be nice to see her do something with her life, wouldn't it?
Then again, I may just be bored witless with hearing about all her failures, and it'd be nice to hear about this woman doing something good for once, don't you think?
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 10/01/2007 09:44:00 AM