Ass Kicking Girl Scouts

We have a free weekly paper here called, ironically enough, The Other Paper – as it’s an alternative to the Dispatch, which has been around since Jesus’ time. 

Yes, I still occasionally read a dead tree publication, especially when it doesn’t put all of it’s printed articles online.  One such article in the City Beat section of this week’s edition tells of a group called Impact Safety, a personal safety training organization that has classes specifically geared for the mentally disabled.

The article talks about how the students are taught to discern threatening situations, such as inappropriate touching, and if physically endangered how to react.  First by challenging the would-be assailant with threatening words (“Stop”, “Go Away”, “I’ll Vote for Hillary”), second by kicking them in the crotch.  I’m not making that last part up.  

I really applaude this project as surely this is a group of people who are easily targeted, whether for their lunch money or for worse.  It’s a way to enpower those who might not normally have many options, or understanding of the potential danger they face. 

The article went on to mention that the Girl Scouts of America is also enrolled in this program - a sad statement of the times we live in when those young ladies have to be trained like ninjas.

But this got me to thinking, as you just knew it would.  What if the Girl Scouts should ever incorporate this a little TOO MUCH into their regime?  What if it grows unchecked in the festering underbelly of the organization, like black market gambling or owning a Segway?

I can see it now – jackbooted gangs clad in green going door-to-door, shaking down the neighborhood for money, demanding they order thin mints by the truckload.  And you know the crimes would go unreported – what grown man (suddenly a soprano) would dare confess he’d gotten his ass kicked by a den of Brownies?

 You laugh, but the Hitler Youth started the same way.  With groin kicking.  Then it’s all down hill from there. . .

KISS Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Their Very First Show

Blabbermouth.net is reporting that Jan. 30th marks the 35th anniversary of the very first KISS live performance, as follows;

Thirty-five years ago today — January 30, 1973 — KISS performed its very first concert at Popcorn (The Coventry) in Queens, NY. The band played two sets at the club that night for a crowd of under 10 people.

The whole interview with bassist/businessman extraordinaire Gene Simmons is pretty interesting, including why their first manager quit because “He thought it was the worst crap he had ever heard”.

Very inspirational to hear how low one of rock’s greatest acts had to start.  The full article is HERE

Glad you survived it, boys.

Time Warner Putting a Crap on Bandwidth

Ok, it’s ‘up on the soapbox’ time.  You’ve probably heard the scuttle about Time Warner announcing plans to implement a tiered pricing structure for cable internet access based on bandwidth usage.  The plan as they explain it is to charge users who go over a certain limit more as they’re using more of the resources, thus affecting other neighboring users who are on the same shared infrastructure yadda yadda.  

Time Warner will monitor network usage as they already are, but users who exceed as of yet ‘unannounced’ bandwidth limits will be charged additionally for the priviledge of doing so, thus making the whole bandwidth management issue more cost effective for TW.

While I love the fact that the current arrangement allows for unlimited usage at all times for the same cost, I can understand the need to charge “bandwidth hogs” who use inordinant amounts of pipeline.  That aspect of this plan only marginally bothers me, but I at least see the logic.  Sort of.

What bothers me is once TW has a nice, cuddly little database of heavy bandwidth users, what OTHER organizations do you think are going to be interested in getting a subpoena for that information?  Hmmmm – think REALLY hard.  Maybe the RIAA, MPAA or any other group who’s primary hitlist is comprised of . . . oh yeah, HEAVY BANDWIDTH users.

And not that those organizations don’t have every right to pursue their interests, but what about the ‘net neutrality’ that internet providers are supposed to practice?  Doesn’t sound very neutral to me.   Sounds like providing privileged information about private internet usage – kinda like phone records.  Gee, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit over AT&T doing stuff like that, didn’t they?

So, my concern is that if Time Warner should go to this pricing model because it makes sense for them in their business environment, can we at least get some assurance that this database will not be also used as fodder for the witchhunts of lawsuit happy megacorps?

No, we can’t get any assurance.  Because I think that’s EXACTLY where all of this is headed. 

The Big ‘Doh!’ Part II – 72 Virgins, But Read the Fine Print

I read somewhere this week, at Http://www.mediapost.com I think but could’ve been elsewhere (I read a lot of webpages each day), an interesting discussion about the Al-Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9-11 attacks as having been motivated in part by a promise of 72 virgins in the afterlife.   Most of us have heard this supposition, although depending on who you heard it from the number of virgins could be different.  Still, you get the idea from these type of statements that the attacks could’ve had a libido driven basis – which if you ask me, accounts for 99.9% of what motivates all men thru their entire lives, so it wouldn’t really be too shocking.

Now for starters, who in their right mind wants 72 VIRGINS?  I mean, c’mon – if you want me motivated to blow myself up, we better be talking 72 STRIPPERS dammit!  I want some girls with some mad skillz and a willingness to use them generously!!  Perhaps on each other.  I don’t wanna spend all of my quality afterlife time in a classroom environ, with a carrot and box of Kleenex – like Phoebe Cates in ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’.  Ok, getting a little carried away here.

Second, and this cracks me up if it’s true although I don’t think it is, but the Mediapost article goes on to mention discussion on the ‘net asserting that the Koran doesn’t explicitly promise FEMALE virgins.   Wouldn’t that be a real kick in the short & curlys if you went through all that trouble of being, y’know – totally self-righteous and evil and shit, only to find out that when you arrived in Paradise you had just won yourself an entire high school chess team!?  Dungeons & Dragons anyone!?  Talk about the big DOH!?

However, fear not zealots, because according to a witty article by Cecil Adams at The Straight Dope, the Koran mentions a reward for the righteous, in several different translations, as being “Beautiful women with round breasts” or variations on that theme.

Ok, NOW we’re talkin’.  But clearly it doesn’t say ‘be a demonic asshole and senselessly kill innocents to get such a reward’.    I don’t speak a lick of Arabic – heck, I barely speak English – but urging social and political change thru use of unmitigated violence that is in direct contradiction to those very same social & political beliefs, well friends – that’s just being a dickhead.

Even I can translate that much. 

Funeral for a Cat

So, yesterday was a tough one.  My family and I had to put down one of our Siamese cats as he had kidney failure and was in a great deal of pain.  We have 3 Siamese – 2 blue points (which look kinda blue-grey if you’re unfamiliar with the breed) and a seal point (dark brown – what you typically think of when you visualize a Siamese cat).  The seal point was named Diablo – came with the name thank you - and is the one we had to put to sleep.

Now, I’m not one to get overly emotional about animals.  I grew up on farmland and the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat was about 3 years.   We went thru many pets due to the heavily traveled road near our house, so I’ve buried a few in my day.  

For my own kids, I wasn’t quite as severe – all the pets live exclusively indoors.  My girls have been taught to appreciate their pets, take care of them but not to obsess.    The animals are pampered, but they’re still not quite treated as people.  I know a lot of folks feel differently, to each his own.  Nutjobs.  ;>

So after the dismal conversations my wife had had over the phone with the doc, we knew what was coming.  The cat was thin, hadn’t been eating and barely kept anything down.   Rather pathetic to look at, I must say.

We met up after work at the vet’s clinic, in the ‘rainbow’ room – which is a specially designated area for final visitation of terminally ill pets.  Not at all what I thought it would be, considering the name.  It is based on a poem (of which the doc gave us a copy) wherein you meet your pets in the afterlife, and together cross the rainbow bridge.  Kinda cheesy, but it’s a nice sentiment all the same.

I’ll spare you the sordid details of the ‘funeral’ – let’s just say there was crying and hugging and saying of ‘goodbyes’ to the poor thing.  All in all, not a very pleasent experience. 

The only good I see from it is it gives my younger girls the opportunity to experience the death of something close, without it being as severe as a family member (God willing!)  Still, it’s the kind of thing you hope to shield your kids from for as long as possible, and it sucks to lose such a loving pet.

Ah reality, you come creeping in uninvited, don’t you?

Kids Say The Damndest Things

So among the many things that have made my world a little more interesting over the past few days, I had to pick up my new glasses tonight.  Probably the last pair I’ll ever have that aren’t bifocals (or so the Doc told me).  Getting old sucks. 

Not that I was ever a chick magnet, but bifocals are truly the french kiss of death to manliness.  The only cougars that are gonna be hittin’ on me after that fateful day will wear support hose and moo-moo’s, chasing me around the Wal-mart parking lot on their electric scooter carts.  And thanks to Viagra, I might still be able to do something about it if they catch me.  No, I’m not on Viagra BUT I MIGHT AS WELL BE!  I’m gonna have to get bifocals soon!!

Ok, . . . calm. . . breathe.  I don’t have bifocals yet.  One more year.   Maybe technology will advance and the Brad-Pitt-inator will save me.

So while walking out of the optometrist’s office with my twin daughters, I commented that we should go slow on account of the ice and that my depth perception was a little screwy with the new specs.

My youngest, who’s 15 and old enough to know better, quipped “Your Death Perception!?”

“Yes dear” I shot back.  “I’m looking for the Grim Reaper – oh, there he is behind you.”

American Dog Release New Video & Get Set to Tour Japan

Just saw on the official website that my favorite Columbus band, American Dog, has released a new video and will be touring in Japan this February.  Like it wasn’t bad enough we bombed that country, now this [only kidding guys!].

Seriously tho, if you like raunchy, bluesy, beer-fueled rock n’ roll I can’t recommend American Dog enough.  A tremendously entertaining live act, the threesome consists of former Salty Dog/Dangerous Toys bassist Michael Hannon (who also handles lead vocal duties), crazed and talented guitarist Steve Theado, and wildman Keith Pickens on the drums.  They’re loads of fun and geniunely nice guys (don’t tell them I said that) – I just kinda feel sorry for the poor Japanese civilians who have no idea what they’re in for!

And as for the new video – well, let’s just say the song is titled “Sometimes You Eat the Pussy. . . “.  ‘Nuff said, right?  Go check it out at www.americandog.us. And then maybe hit the free clinic.

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[PA] = ???

Ok, I may be the dumbest man on earth but I’m probably not alone.  “I ain’t Legend” to play off the title of Will Smith’s new movie.  Anyhow, here’s what I mean.

I was perusing CD listings on Ebay yesterday, and noticed that several of them contained an unusual designation of [PA] in the product title.  But what the hell does [PA] mean?  Pretty Awful?  Probably Acoustic??  Potentially Annoying!?  What did it mean!!?!?  There was no explanation I could find anywhere on Ebay.

What followed was several HOURS worth of searching, on Google, Yahoo, Dogpile – nuthin’.  I rephrased the question everyway I could think of – “What does [PA] mean?”, “CD PA” or just plain “[PA]”.  Still nuthin’.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t any of the most common responses I found – Physician’s Assistant, an abbreviation for the state of Pennsylvania, the chemical symbol for Protactinium or a Japanese suntan UVA rating system.  Well, depending on the artist, that last one might have applied but I digress.

So eventually I gave up and went back to looking up CD’s, this time on BestBuy.com, checking out the upcoming new releases.  Suddenly, there it was again!  [PA]!!  It was stalking me, taunting me that I didn’t understand it’s meaning, that my lower life form was somehow unable to comprehend it’s mysteries.  It’s an evil abbreviation, did I mention that?

PA!  Again PA!!!  Angered at my futility (and the lack of an explanation on Best Buy’s site as well), I picked up the phone and called their customer service line.  Patiently, I made my way through the voice maze, errrr message system until I spoke to a human being.  In a Southern drawl, a young lady asked me what department I wanted.  I started to explain my question, only to be interrupted halfway by a quick “I’ll transfer you” and then the random blipping sounds that accompany high technology as it aims a satellite laser to destroy my exact location. 

Next thing I hear, another Southern woman answers “Sales”.  Well, at least I appeared to still have my call in this hemisphere.  So far, so good.  I proceed for the second time into my question and the response was “Do you have an example of where you see this on the site?”.  Ok, fair enough – she wanted to make sure I wasn’t from the Howard Stern show or something.

I quickly found an example (Cradle of Filth’s Box set of previously released CDs – cunningly titled ‘Cradle of Filth’) and gave the lady it’s SKU number.  S.K.U. – Sanity Killing Uselessness?  Not sure what that meant either, but ONE QUEST AT A TIME!  Anyhow, I hear her click in the numbers and read the product listing back to me – like THIS was the question. 

‘Cradle. . . Cradle. . . Cradle of Filth?’

‘Yes, ma’am’.   Ok, so she’d apparently never heard of them.  Or Hooked on Phonics.

‘See that [PA]’ I went on.  ‘What does it mean?’

Silence.  Uncomfortable silence.  And then clicking, the exact clicking it would take to go to Google and look up the word PA.  I should know, I’d just invested a ton of time doing it myself.

Sounds of her reading to herself.  ‘Physican’s Assistant, no that’s probably not it’ she whispered thinking I couldn’t hear.  Good girl, way to work it all out.

‘Aw, here it is.  Powered Amplifier’ she announced with glee.

Now it was my turn to be silent.  Could she really be serious?  I mean, I know her job isn’t rocket science, but MY GOD!  Suntan lotion was a better guess!

‘Uh, no – I don’t think that’s it’ I replied calmly.

‘Do you want to buy something’ she added, slyly fitting that sales script of hers into the conversation.

‘No’ I said.  ‘I just wanted to know what it meant.  It’s everywhere on your site, with no explanation’.

‘Let me me send you over to the Geek Squad’ she added quickly.  Then, ‘click’.  And that would’ve been ok, ’cause maybe a Geek would know what it meant, except Einstein Twitty on the other end of the phone hadn’t transfered me, she’d hung up on me.

In a last futile gesture, I tried one more destination.  Wikipedia.  There, after much searching (AGAIN) I believe I found the correct definition.  [PA] – as in PARENTAL ADVISORY.  Except that it’s not on every Cradle CD, and believe me, if you listen to Cradle, you know it probably should be.  So I’m not convinced even that explanation is right.

But if so, just how useful is a PARENTAL ADVISORY (and it must be typed in all caps, right?) if you can’t determine that’s what the damn thing is?  How is a more musically naive parent, who happens to shop online, to ascertain the vile imminence of their purchasing decision if they can’t understand the abbreviation??

Shouldn’t it really be PitA?  Pain in the Ass??  I think it should.

Maila Nurmi, TV’s Vampira, Dead at 85.

The AP is reporting that former KABC horror host & ‘Plan 9’ cult heroine Vampira died in her Hollywood home at age 85.  Maila Nurmi, first portrayed the character in 1954 and although was only on the air for about a year, her personality and fame grew amongst the horror community until the end of her life, her fame fueled by a short role in the legendary low budget opus “Plan 9 From Outer Space”.

In 1989, she unsuccessfully tried to sue Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) for reportedly stealing her image but failed to win the case.

Personally, I know I’ve seen her in publicity shots with The Misfits and Famous Monster’s editor Forry Ackerman (but then, who ISN’T in a publicity shot with Forry?).  As a youth, even tho I’m NOT old enough to recall her being a horror movie host, and without regard to the fact that I live on the wrong side of the country, I do remember thinking that she was a real vampire the first time I saw her.  My older sisters may have helped with that assumption, can’t remember for sure now.

Well, perhaps somewhere, someplace Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson and herself can now begin a remake of Plan 9 – maybe with a nifty new soundtrack courtesy of Jimi Hendrix.  

Until I see that happen (and hopefully not anytime soon) – rest well, Vampira.

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Dr. Feelgood’s Bar & Grill

This Saturday, if you happen to be lucky enough to be in the Clematis Street area of West Palm Beach, Florida – you can catch the grand opening of Dr. Feelgood’s Bar & Grill, whose owner is none other than Vince Neil of Motley Crue.   With the recent success of ‘The Heroin Diaries’, wonder if Nikki Sixx is kicking himself for not thinking of this first – after all, he wrote the lyrics to the song. 

Blabbermouth.net is reporting that the bar boasts snakeskin seats, a stage, Neil’s guitars, Harleys and platinum albums everywhere and oh yeah . . . an eight foot snake.  Here’s hoping that it’s stuffed and not looking to gobble up drunken headbangers. 

“Your first impression is yeah, this is a rock and roll joint” says Neil.

The original article at WPTV.com, from which Blabbermouth refers, goes on to discuss the ‘thousands of dollars’ Neil has reportedly sunk into this project and how it is part of a revitalization of that area of downtown West Palm Beach.  “It actually was the perfect opportunity to do something, we’ve talking about doing something for the last two years in South Florida and this came up, perfect, let’s do it” says Neil.  And yes, that’s the exact quote, not a mistype.  Not sure who was drunker, Neil or the reporter from WPTV.com

Anyhow, Neil will be performing that night along with an opening act, show starting around 730pm so if you’ve a penchant, head on down.  It should be over the top.