Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, to all my Reader!

It is a good day, a Classic Christmas Day, a snowy Christmas day, the air crisp and chill, and redolent with the aroma of frying turkey once you get inside.All the kinder are here for the celebration and the quaffing and the opening. If the coming of Christ had only opened the door for this day, it would almost be enough!

It makes the angst of the previous month worth it.

Here is a Newsmax headline:

As America Celebrates Christmas, Rev. Franklin Graham Says Secular 'War' Rages Against Christians

In time past, this would have sent me to the ramparts brandishing a broken Welch's bottle to support my fellow believers, but I started thinking about this whilst in the shower. A "secular war against Christians"? What precisely is preacher Graham expecting? Jesus gave us a clew when He said "
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Mt. 10:24) He did not come opening the door for our eligibility for Nobel prizes, nor even the Key to the City. We should not expect the accolades of a contrary public, though our behavior and good works should merit them. As a Christian, you should not expect to rank in the public eye up there with the fireman who rescues Li'l Judy's kitty from the elm tree. Our message is one of division, not of amity with the world. The world does not appreciate the message of the cross. It barely tolerates the story of the Little Baby Jesus in the manger with the oxen and the sheep and the donkey and the kitty and all the fuzzy puppies, yet the mark of that Birth is shown across the world, as even pagan cultures have Christmas celebrations. Granted, they are St. Nick heavy, but in all the trappings, the manger scene shines forth. The Taliban even gets in on it:

"I’ve even seen the Taliban catch the Christmas spirit. In Afghanistan in December 2001, a bearded gang of Taliban fighters, all devout Muslims, emerged from Al Qaeda’s lair in the Tora Bora Mountains. They were dragging a Christmas tree for us journalists. If these Kalashnikov-toting Afghan fighters could bring us a Christmas tree, why can’t I wish you a Merry Christmas?
Walter Rodgers, a former senior international correspondent for CNN, writes a biweekly column." (The whole story is here: well worth the reading)

It is contradictory in its nature that a world so touched by a celebration of Jesus' birth should be so offended by His Death, but there it is, and Jesus said it would be so. In one sense America has been a Christian nation, and built on a Christian consensus, and biblical sensibilities. On the other hand, our president is correct: we are no longer.

Christians needs to get on the stick and do their job of making disciples, rather than haunting call-in shows, whining and expecting what Our Founder said we would not get.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Art By sahua

Being raised nominally Presbyterian (and by nominally, I mean I was not even taught TULIP!), I did catch a good understanding of Total Depravity. I have never had a sanguine attitude about the Innate Goodness of Mankind. Raising four wonderful children with my wonderful Dread Dormomoo, I had proof that kids do not have to be taught to be...not good.

There is no reason for the coming of Messiah otherwise.

So last night I went to the shop to check that things were turned off, when what to my wondering eyes did appear...

two broken windows. Upstairs windows. Windows that required effort to break. That brings the total to four the windows that the local sons of Belial have thrown rocks through. It's not like the Granville House in "It's a Wonderful Life", with a long heritage of snaggly windows thanks to kids tossing rocks and making wishes. Our building is clearly a business location, not an abandoned wreck. Sigh. I fully expect people to do bad things betimes, but I do not understand the why. Why break windows in a building not-your-own, for apparently no good reason.

"Oh, no! That window is on fire!! Maybe we can put it out with rocks!!!"

Merry Christmas to me.

My mood is firmly entrenched in Code Black. I have to buy surveillance cameras, now.
I have to spend money that I cannot comfortably spend to nanny the little darlings, and perhaps bring them to book.

Sometimes I can relate to Mr. Scrooge the Former.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Have yourself an indie little Christmas...

Well, the Christmas ads just keep on comin', hit after hit, and, with the exception of the Hyundai car ad performed by Pomplamoose, they are utterly dreadful.




Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What to do, what to do? After a fallow year of blogging, I enter a positively tapioca Christmas season. Aside from a Pennsylvania town knuckling under to a single whiner and removing a Nativity scene, it's pretty much bupkis.

We have been wallowing in classic Christmas schmaltz here at Chez 'Vark. Disney holiday shorts, longer "classic" Christmas shows like "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" by Rankin/Bass, done in Animagic, a sort of 3-D stop-motion anime. It is based on a story by OZ-smith L.Frank Baum, and effectively removes Santa from the Christian hagiography, but stylishly. I do question the Desirability of proclaiming a first-run Christmas cartoon "a new Christmas Classic!", especially one that is done in Flash. I was privileged to see the first showing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on CBS in 1965, and that is well and truly a classic. Oh, wait...this is the third year "A Cranberry Christmas" has been shown. I had never heard of it, and I'm Mr.Christmas around here. It's sponsored by Ocean Spray. Hmmmmmmm...I smell a conspiracy, a tart maroon conspiracy with tiny seeds. I bet Soros is involved, too.

I gotta drag out "It's a Wonderful Life", the Acme of Capra-corn (and I say that with the utmost respect for Frank Capra). One of the high points of Batman-the Animated Series back in the '90s wa the episode "Christmas With the Joker". Robin is trying to talk Batman into chilling over the movie on Christmas Eve, and is shocked to learn that his mentor has never seen the film. "I never could get past the title." sez Bats.

A pet peeve (should that be "companion peeve"?) of mine is kidifying "Christmas". Chrissums, like that. My latest is done by the estimable Tim and Eric and their "Chrimbus" substravaganza. I have nought but disdain for their efforts. " Tom Goes to the Mayor" had its moments, measured in moments, but their other shows ever rise to greater depths. They rate a resounding MEH in my Entertain-o-Metertm. Chrimbus. Humbug.

I am sadly on the Scrooge end of things this year. The emptiness of the Season is palpable. Rampant consumerism, even on the cheap, drives the thing. As far as our current culture is concerned, Jesus AIN'T the reason for the season. Black Friday and Cyber-whenever are.

To raise the mood level, I encourage you to watch the above video. It'll even make ME feel better.

Addendum: I always get this way this time of year, a relatively mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a non-euphonious name for Blue Christmas. Waning sunlight and overheated expectations do not a good combo make. Customers who are loath to pay timely (cough-publicschools-cough) also add to the joy. I HEART public school. What's not to love about an organization built upon "Someone Else Will Pay For It"?

"But teachers are having to take their own money to buy toilet paper and pencils for their students!!!"

I weep. They signed up for the gig. Have their union and/or professional organizations push to DECREASE the size of the administration. The school systems are top-heavy with non-teachers sucking up the resources. Ho, ho, ho. You might get fewer crack-brained ideas filling the schools with non-working educational schemes.

Oops...there I go again!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The television box was on, and I heard the latest holiday KFC ad, with the spokeschick burbling about their new "Festive Feast".



Our language is cast adrift from all etymological moorings.

Happy Hollydaze!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hope everyone had a marvelous Thanksgiving time.

Having had the term "rant" obliquely aimed at a Facebook comment (I was responding to something that had do be answered, and did so rationally), I started thinking about rants, primarily what a rant isn't. If I reasonably respond in disagreement to your point of view, that does not constitute a rant. To be pellucid, just because I don't agree with you, my answer is not automatically a rant.

NOT A RANT!!!!!!!!



I am bugged by how few conservative, Constitutional black politicians there are out there. Alan Keyes was a man I supported several years ago, but he is not on the radar any more. Herman Cain is a possibility.

Vox has been uttering dark utterances about the Tea Party for some time, but I have bravely whistled past the graveyard. Well, the Tea Party is being co-opted. The losses by Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell have made them gunshy about different candidates with odd comments. The Movers and Shakers are pushing to take a page from the Conservative playbook. Their socially conservative playbook. You know the one, the overwhelmingly popular and successful playbook that has done things like reverse Roe v. Wade.

The Tea Party leaders want to be Successful, and apparently do not see their initial muscle-flexing as Successful Enough. They want to do not only fiscal conservatism; they want to add social conservatism as well. The problem is, much of what flies as "socially conservative" does not fly as Constitutional.

War on drugs: unConstitutional
Abortion "rights": unConstitutional (pro or con)

These are most popular issues among social conservatives (read: conservative Republicans or Constitution partiers). They are not congruent with the stated Tea Party concerns of
Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, Free Markets. The Tea Party distinctives are threatened by same-old "conservative" interests.

For my money, Constitutional=Conservative.

Teal Party people, don't allow the Conservative losers to cause you to lose what made you a (comparative) winner this November. The fact that opponents or friends want you to change means that you probably shouldn't.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just ran across a website "Blackdoctors.org". Actually, it ran across me in the form of a pop-up browser page.The site capitalizes "Black".

In true Hannity fashion, I ask "What would happen if we started "whitedoctors.org" to deal with the special medical needs of White people? What dreadful things would be written or said about the effort?

Perhaps "That's RAYYYYY-cist"?

(Incidentally, there isn't one.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

For your Holiday Travel wardrobe

Order from aardtees(at)hiwaay.net

Black 100% preshrunk cotton tee. $20 including shipping.
(International orders slightly higher)

Sizes S-5X, because we are not The Gap.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Dread Dormomoo and I were discussing the current kerfuffle over the TSA's special secure brand of molestation, and herself sagely opined that it is part of Government's ongoing effort to subjugate the citizenry.by public humiliation, to render us sheepish. This methodology has been used for years in pub...er, Government schools to control the kinder. The sharp-tongued harridan (or Teacher) will ridicule and verbally humiliate a student who is not measuring up to behavioral or academic norms, providing an object lesson for the rest of the class.

The sexually invasive methods of security screening favored by the TSA belong in a third-world...sorry, developing nation rather than the United States. You can thank the PC zeitgeist for this development. Israel, whose every neighbor wishes to be no more, has not had an EL AL jet to fall from the skies onto Jerusalem or Tel Aviv because they know what to do. It has been said that American security looks for weapons; Israelis look for terrorists. Because it is not considered fair to look for people who look or sound a certain way, we waste our time and efforts groping Lutheran grandmas and blond-haired, blue-eyed children looking for explosive bras or Underoos. The Israelis talk to passengers. They look for a profile. Three times they speak eye-to-eye to flyers, and remove the hinky ones. The inhabitants of Iraq and Afghanistan are swarthy, as are the Saudis, whence came funding for the 9/11 events. Is it beyond the pale to look for those who hail from these peoples, or do we remove everyone else, and leave the skies to the AY-rabs?

I suggest that we not fly. Vox encourages this, as well. If the airlines feel the pinch, perhaps the bottom line will help them resist the groping they endure from the Feds.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This came up on Vox Popoli today.

We can ship on Monday. Choose a shirt color that white ink will work on, and contact me via aardbiz (at) hiwaay.net
The television box is rife with ads for various slick liquids to enhance your sexual experience- especially if you are female. They give tingly cold or buzzy warm sensations, and are flogged as making your sex more intense. Hurrah for intense, though I prefer mine in the house. This has raised a serious question in what we laughingly call my mind, to wit:

When did sex itself stop being good enough?

Your Aardvark has been married for over three decades, has four kids, and thus has some experience in these matters.
Overall, sex is a pretty neat deal. It requires effort, as anything worth doing does, especially if one is interested in one's partner getting as much out of it as oneself does. The payoff is quite nice, indeed. Some will ruin their lives and existing relationships to get that payoff with persons not-their-spouse. (I know, take a little lie-down. That revelation was surely a shocker.) The question remains: when did sex stop being good enough? Why do we have to buy exotic (and comparatively expensive) tingly goo to enjoy ourselves?

I wonder if we are seeing the penultimate result of promiscuity, people becoming so jaded with their merry-go-round of lovers and hook-ups; not quite to the end, yet, but almost...alllllmoooosssst *ahem* ...sorry. Really, though, does a person become so overcome with ennui that the normal cannot satisfy anymore, that juices and suits and power tools and kink become the new normal? Are we a culture of Dorian Grays?

From the outset, God created male and female humans, looked and proclaimed it "very good", as opposed to merely "good" for the rest of creation. When Adam and Eve were introduced in Genesis, they were told to "be fruitful and multiply". One of the first commandments recorded amounts to God patting the young couple on the head and telling them to go make love. Given the lack of self-help books extant at the time, they apparently had to figure it all out on their own. They apparently did, and all without Victoria's Secret or the internet.

Now, do not consider this a bleat for the standard of the position du missionnaire or any such pseudo-puritanical nonsense. The palette of sex-play is large and varied, and bounded by very few biblical strictures, largest of which looms: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Between that and common sense, you can go a long way. I merely ask that we examine the why. Why is what was very good in the beginning now just not good enough?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So, Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan- principal exports being hounds that look like supermodels and small blankets- has received millions of dollars in cash from Iran.

Clearly, he does not need us.

Mr. President Obama, sir, take a hint from this and bring all our soldiers home NOW!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Behold our small efforts to keep 1950s Tiki culture alive. Bamboo huts, violently-colored fruity drinks with umbrellas in 'em, flaming pupu platters, wahines in grass skirts. Tiki statues.

Wahines in grass skirts.

Your Aardvark has eBay auctions going (aardvark3 is my eBay name). Check out his tie-dyed tiki goodness. Also, the fluorescent tie-dyed Easter Island Moai head shirts!

Isn't this what blogging is really all about?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"I have ridden the mighty Moon Worm!"

That ain't so much...of a much. (QUICK! What's that from???)

For I have eaten...THE MIGHTY PEANUT BUTTER! (and liked it.) Now, my family will be in all-but-seizures over this, because my dislike, nay, hatred of peanut butter is legendary.
I really loathe it. The oily silkiness, which is great in a CAO wrapper, is dreadful in a sandwich. However, I have felt...other...than everyone else, and have wished that I did like PB, because everyone else seemed to get so much out of it. But I was not a PB eater. I was not of the Body. I could not eat it, even if it was the Will of Landru.

Then, tonight happened. Riatsila brought home some JIF Natural. It is the closest thing I fave found to freshly, coarsely-ground roasted peanuts like GNC used to grind and sell in-store, back when they were more of a health-food store at the mall, instead of the phony-steroid store at the mall. THAT was yummy, back in college. Regular peanut butter was terrible.

Tonight, I had a bit on a spoon, and it was nice. So I went a little crazy. We had some Lance Smokehouse Cheddar Captain's Wafers. I put a dollop of the Jif Natural on one, and lo, it was very good. I won't overdo this, though. Might need to eat it after the Crash.

Not only has GNC fallen from its former purity. Back when I was an environmental Studies major, we went all the way, baby. Mother Earth News. Prevention Magazine. Organic Farming and Gardening. J.I.Rodale published the last two, and they were the blueprints of healthful living. After his death and the death of his son Robert some years later, the blueprint faded. OGF has a name change and a website, which is good. Prevention has become a shill for Big Pharma. How the mighty have fallen.

Yet more shirty silliness from the Aardvark.
4chan should be pleased.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Horror...

I discovered a wonderful 1950's series called "Science Fiction Theater", a syndicated program from Ivan Tors of "Flipper" and "Gentle Ben" fame. From 1955-1957, this anthology explored science, space, time travel, and the paranormal in 30-minute bites. It is full of '50s sensibilities, and you may recognize many a guest star. Here is Wikipedia's description of an episode:

Before the Beginning

An obsessive scientist is unaware his wife is gravely ill as he works to develop a machine for generating high energy photons. He believes the photons, similar to those ejected from the sun, were the origin of life on Earth. When his "photon gun" generates living matter, he uses it to treat his wife's degenerated endocrine system with positive results. But was it the technology or his renewed love for his wife that caused her to rally? Episode is heavy with 1950s religiosity and tacit Frankenstienian warnings about man meddling with things he shouldn't.

A true horror tale, with that 1950s religiosity and all. That is what chaps me. This quasi-warning by the wiki writer is so typical of the quasi-intelligentsia that tend to write and proctor the online encyclopedia. It is also typical of the progressive/left, period. The thing that really frightens people about Beck, f'rinstance, is his unashamed faith, his daring to speak openly about God, Christ and the spiritual history of the US.

Another attitude that exists is shown most clearly in the Brookings Institute report from 1960 concerning "Implications of a Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life", part of the larger "Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs".
Regarding the reaction of mankind (what Neal Boortz refers to as the 'dumb masses') to the revelation of the existence of extraterrestrial life, the report states:

"The positions of the major American religious denominations, the Christian sects, and the eastern religions on the matter of extraterrestrial life need elucidation. Consider the following: 'The fundamentalist (and anti-science) sects are growing apace around the world . . . For them, the discovery of other life–rather than any other space product–would be electrifying. . . . some scattered studies need to be made both in their home centers and churches and their missions, in relation to attitudes about space activities and extraterrestrial life.'" – page 225, n.34

One writer notes:
Curiously, the report also suggests that both scientists and religious fundamentalists might have their paradigms most altered by the verification of extraterrestrial life.

The report warns:

"Anthropological files contain many examples of societies, sure
of their place in the universe, which have disintegrated when
they had to associate with previously unfamiliar societies
espousing different ideas and different life ways; others that
survived such an experience usually did so by paying the price
of changes in values and attitudes and behavior."

Poor Bible bangers will go off their nut if they learn of alien lifeforms.

A weird site called The Bible UFO Connection posits:
Organized Bible based religions are, for the most part, also silent on the UFO phenomenon, either through fear of facing the reality, refusal to recognize it or church mandated social isolation. This is an enigma in itself considering the fame of Ezekiel's wheels, the chariots of the Gods, (the verse, not the book, well maybe the book too), and other evidence of flying vehicles in biblical text. When mainstream religion does deal with the anomaly, there are two doctrinal views concerning the presence of UFOs, the holograph theory and the evil alien conspiracy. One approach states that the UFOs are holographic illusions projected by Satan to lure the congregation away from the church and into alien worship, eventually enslaving mankind. The other, more radical view surmises that the beings piloting the UFOs are actually fallen angels with Satan in the mother ship. They are lurking on the dark side of the moon or some other evil hideaway, occasionally visiting our atmosphere to abduct and implant a few of their human followers, slaughter some cows, scrawl satanic graffiti in our barley fields or run circles around our jets. Either way, UFOs are evil and UFO believers are either dupes or disciples of Satan. Contrary to the doomsday bellowing of the satanic UFO prophets, this widespread cover-up itself could easily be classified as a Great Deception, while evil soul-stealing aliens piloting UFOs are not mentioned in scripture. Certainly the cover-up is safe here, in total confusion and ignorant bliss.

(The site is doctrinally suspect, and unless you have a good grounding in Biblical teachings, and have a knack for being discerning, peruse with extreme caution.)

The cultural bottom line: Bible-believing Christians are too stoo-pid to handle the possibility of life on other planets. Their faith will implode, and their heads explode, should ET come a-calling. There will be riots in the streets, pitchforks and firebrands, and it will all make Westboro Baptist look sane by comparison.

As one of those Bible-believing Christians, I take umbrage at this. Yes, I will take ALL the umbrage. None for you. *ahem* Biblically, we are informed that there are other non-human intelligences: angels (cherubim, seraphim) and demons for starters. If you read the Bible without traditional blinders, there are even other gods, for how can one have others before Yahweh if there are no others? Perhaps they are hyper-demons. Who knows? (I bet I know Someone who does!) It would not trouble me one whit if we found lizardoids from Yed Prior (look it up!). God, being the Creator and all, may have myriads of races out yonder.

My personal opinion, ngaaaaah, and it is only an opinion, is that all the expanse of Creation lives in perfect harmony with the Creator, and ours is the only planet that blew it.

I suspect the Roman Catholic take is a tad shady. The human race fell because of Adam's sin, not the Zan from Rukbat 9. If another race in another star system required redemption, I daresay the Redeemer would appear at the appropriate time. I find the pale, blue-eyed, brunette images of Jesus to be lacking in redemptive or Biblical qualities. What would a spiky air-slug from Grumium 4 think of them? No, they would need their own Grumian redeemer.

Wow, talking about this makes me want to set fire to something, then stick it with a pitchfork.

A person with a true Biblical worldview and cosmology is proof against the slings and arrows of oddness in the news, or in the saucers.

Now, if I could just wrap my head around Richard C. Hoagland's hyper-dimensional physics, and why it makes my souffles fall....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Living in the '60's your Aardvark developed a strong fondness for simplicity in logo typography. The examples above are testimony to the usefulness of simplicity. It was only later, when liberal arts foofery insinuated itself into my brain that Art Nouveau and such polluted the elegant plainness I loved as a yout'. Art Deco started my healing, and now I'm back to my first design love.

Granted, Nouveau and such have their place: wine shops, boutiques, and bistros on the square, but an Aardvark craves not these things. The Seatrain logo says it all: how stuff gets from there to here

Strength, simplicity...works in advertising; works for the Gospel.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

From a former schoolmate:

I am SOOOO angry! The $**%^ oral surgeon's office called this afternoon and said they have decided not to accept **** as a patient! She cried most of the afternoon. I did, too, in my car coming home early to be with her. Now I am over the crying and ready to kick the butt of every conservative or rich fat cat that thinks only those who can afford it should get health care....**** is the littlest one on my profile picture. She has suffered from the effects of Lupus since puberty. How could she have worked and saved money to pay for health care? So what do the Republicans want me to, push her off into the ocean in a row boat to die? We spent what little family savings we had paying my mother's medical bills. There is just ****'s Trust fund and it's not that much....Okay, I am done now. It was good to get that off my chest so I didn't punch the next "I got mine screw you" person.

How precisely have we gotten here? I know "Shrek" Grayson, the doubtable Florida Congresstroll has beaten this drum in his pathetic bid to Be Noticed, but I know this person. She is hurting, her child is hurting, and she perceives that the Republicans wish her and her daughter ill. The siren song of the Left lyrically states that if you have a need, we will pick someone's pocket -MANY someones' pockets- and help you with the proceeds. The Obamster and his lapdog legislators are dreaming up even more creative ways to extract money from you to give to others. Have you a 401K? They would lo-o-o-o-o-ve to "administer" that money for you. There are plans in the works...studies...examining just how to do it. If there is a fund of mega-moolah floating untouched in private hands, pensions, f'rinstance, the Federal Givemint wants control of it, yelling like a J.G.Wentworth ad: "It's MY money, and I need it NOW!". In tax legislation and regulations, money that you keep to spend is viewed as "negative revenue". ALL your money is really Uncle Sam's, but he graciously lets you keep some of it. Welcome to Beltway-think.

Now, my friend has done what she should: used money that she had to help care for her mom.This depleted her family's resources. This has left her in an unsteady situation financially. Her daughter has unmet medical problems, beyond what a local clinic can handle. What to do? Anyone have any ideas? Any resources she might be able to rely on? Any charities? Any "fat cats" with a good heart?

I am astonished at this. How can someone be so infected with disinformation...lies...and cut themselves off from the very ones who want better for her than the Government dole? I'm not rich, but I am a conservative, and I surely wish only the best for her and her family. The liars, schemers and thieves who promulgate such ogreish "row-boat" lies have much to answer for. Who exhibits an "I've got mine, screw you" attitude?

How have we gotten here?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bless you, i09. I linked a contextually-appropriate blog entry on a UFO thread, and your readership has delivered! It has been a record-breaking day for my little puddle next to the Great Blog Sea. I hope that you enjoyed your visit, and will come back .

Your Aardvark horrified his wife and Number-Two-Son on Saturday night by turning on Sharktopus, the SyFy channel's much-ballyhooed movie. (I am amused...Blogger thinks "SyFy is mis-spelled. Imagine that.)
Roger Corman's schlockfest was precisely as dreadful as we had dreaded with bated breath.
I will not bother with the script...it's about a sharktopus, after all. The CG effects are precisely what you should expect from a SyFy Saturday night feature. The lighting and surface detail of the shark head reminded me of nothing less than a Lego shark. No. Mega-Blox. The effects artists were apparently unfamiliar with continuity as a cinematic concept. From shot to shot, the critter would be wet, then dry, then wet, with no intervening dunking. The logic of this bio-engineered beastie defies apprehension: a shark's head, with octopus arms behind. Octopus arms with blades on the ends that it knows how to use. AND, it can walk on its arms on dry land, swarming up trees and architecture with no obvious need for sharkish gill-breathing.

Why would anyone make a thing like that?

Having spent a measurable portion of my life seeing it, I believe that Corman owes me summat. "Roger", himself sez, "Roger, have I got a story for you! A manic-depressive bio-engineer with too many hyphens in his life cobbles together the Octo-Shark, a cephalopod with a great white shark-head grafted onto each arm. It'll be COLOSSAL, I tells ya...."

Shouting while ducking the goons applying the straitjacket "DID I MENTION THE NARWHAL HORNS...?!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In light of current mumphing about the CLASSIC "Punisher" movie starring Dolph Lundgren (hey, remember when it was the only game in town...?) here is the Dolphster in the




Saturday, September 11, 2010

Aardvark Versus the Ants

I am currently enjoying a stay at the Baton Rouge Crowne Plaza. Bonnie P. and Tajia are around, being helpful during dealer room hours. I came not expecting to have room-mates, though.

No, your Aardvark is not practicing moral turpitude. I refer to the little beggars currently scarfing down my pizza. I ate some of my dinner, then got a mighty craving for chocolate. I went down to the hotel shop and availed myself. Upon returning, I found movement on the small sofa in the room, around my Domino's box. Ants, Mr. Rico, zillions of them! I moved the box to check the situation, and got myself well bitten for my efforts. There is a caravan of ants moving from the wall under the window, going under and within the sofa (which explains the odd bites I suffered last night when I sat on the sofa to relax a little while). The appropriate personnel are at home abed, so no fumigation is forthcoming tonight. I am receiving a free breakfast. We shall see what happens.

Here is a link to an excellent Radio Drama, Leiningen Versus the Ants. Very good listening, being a story of mankind versus army ants in South America. Enjoy!



After another call to the front desk, the facilities guy came up with a can of Raid. Lemony death to the ants. Hurrrrr hurrrrrr!

The con this weekend is Louisianime. We are doing far better here than we did in Wooster OH at KitsuneCon. Far. Better.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Goose-stepping morons like yourself should try reading books instead of burning them."-- Dr.Henry Jones

Everything about the proposed Koran-burning points to the problem of a maverick church group utterly ignoring the authority of the Scripture it purports to follow.

"Pastor" Terry Jones of the the "Dove World Outreach Center" in Gainesville, Florida is doing this profoundly stupid act apart from any clear directives from God's Word (though between his title and the name of the group, I have no clue why this should surprise me).
The New Testament does not promote inter-religion warfare, only the preaching of the Gospel. The ONLY time the burning of books occurred was when the Ephesian Christians repented of their occult involvement and chose to burn their own sorcerous tomes.

Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.
And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19: 18-19)

That is some serious repentance. They repented of their own sins, and chose to destroy the implements thereof. I am leery of church-related practices that hearken back to the German book-burnings of WWII. It's just bad form, and the press it receives serves to further inoculate the world against hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul did not lead the believers to hang the Emperor in effigy, nor to burn his latest best-seller, nor even melt down silver statues of Diana. Jesus, who warned against the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, did not encourage the faithful to stone little models of it. Jones is taking it upon himself to behave badly in reaction to the 9/11 bombings, never mind that it will infuriate millions of adherents of Islam, and render them even more difficult to reach with the Gospel.

Great job!

The church, the "Dove World Outreach Center" is acting against its own name, unless it wishes to reach out with unreasoning hatefulness. There is no love of God evident in this dog-and-pony show, just a little man giving the digitus sinistrus to a rival religion, and thereby trading a ministerial collar for a Star Trek red shirt.

The better to be a martyr with, my dear.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Glenn Beck and I share some things in common, most notably that we both make Wonder BreadTM look like pumpernickel. This makes it doubly ironic that Mr. Beck has a much firmer grasp on the finer points of Martin Luther King's vision of racial relations than do the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, and their cadre of racialism-mongers. Beck's 8/28 message sought to renew the call to examine content of character rather content of melanin. Sharpton's rally message was essentially "black, black, black, us, our". Of course, this makes sense in that the "civil rights leaders" make their daily bread by maintaining the drumbeat of disaffectedness.

While there is a...distance between Beck's message and the Tea Party movement -though overlap will naturally occur- but he himself has a movement, not political, but moral and Constitutional. His message is pure. (Bear with me, here.)

Luther's followers were so odious that he wished to kill off some of them. Luther's message was pure. His revelation of justification by faith in Christ as taught in Romans was freeing to him, and to Western Christendom. His followers turned it into an "ism". Alexander Campbell and other Restoration leaders wished to get back to the simplicity of New Testament church life. Their message was pure. Many of their followers have reduced the vision from the simplicity of grace and truth to a pharisaical once saved-never saved play-it-safe system that robs the faithful of joy. Any leader with insight or a truth learns that that truth can be hostage to the whims of the followers. The Restoration leaders pointed to the Bible. Now we point to their writings; books, sermons, and letters. Truth once removed.

Beck is at heart a Believer. He believes in God and Christ, and some other bits we may not understand. He is a Believer in the Constitution, and that it works when applied. He believes in the Republic, and that it is what the founders gave us, if we could but keep it. Perhaps we can rescue and keep it still. Beck's vision is pure. He must ride herd to make certain that followers do not bend his message to their own political will, and dilute and sully it. Partisan mumphing will kill any restoration of the Republic, which the darker-minded suspect may be the point. Keep your enemies close, and your friends closer. Often, they can be your real undoing.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The panoply of human perversity boggles what we laughingly call my mind. Being in an anime fandom industry, I have the misfortune of seeing the unseemly from time-to-time. The Japanese are a lovely people, but that little island nation is a a bubbling fetish-pot. If it's weird, and you get off on it, there is likely a vending machine that sells it.

Perversity is not limited to the sexual, though. There are more benign weirdnesses. The news has been awash with tales of Infection Most Vile regarding The Incredible Edible Egg.
Two MAJOR egg producers have had to recall over half-a-billion chicken eggs due to salmonella issues. Over a thousand people have come down with the squits after eating at Sam 'n' Ella's Cafe'. The federal inspectors have finally gotten around to checking these mega-farms out, to find disgustingness on a grand scale. Chickens being chickens, you are never going to have a sterile environment, but things they found are beyond horrible. What if YOU went to work producing whatever widget you make for a living, and the guy next to you on the production line was a rotting corpse? Sweet work environment.

Do chickens have a sense of time, such that they would cluck to themselves "The foodening person will be along to get this horror out from my cage." or is the chicken's life one endless stinking suppurating NOW?

So, with the possibility of living in the loo for awhile, I get a jones for fried eggs. Not well-done, with a crumbly yellow yolk. No. Over easy, fried in butter. Oozy. Better yet, that amazing, horribly-named-yet-apt English confection: toad-in-the-hole. Two slices of toast with a hole cut in the center using a small biscuit-cutter. Plop those in the pan with some melted butter on med-low heat. (Heat the pan well first, then cut the heat down.) break one egg into each hole. Put a little butter on top. (I said BUTTER!) Let it fry intil the underside is firm enough to hold the rest of the egg in. With your spatula, carefully flip the toast/egg combo, to finish cooking. I poke the egg a bit to see if the yolk is still jiggly. When it has cooked as long I dare let it, onto the plate with salt and pepper to taste.


Monday, August 23, 2010





In the late '80's and early '90's after Doctor Who and the Britcoms, our local PBS station would close out the day with The Star Hustler. We got the heads-up on awesome astronomical phenomena for years, courtesy of Jack Horkheimer. His cheesy enthusiasm was a neat addition to our homeschooling household, and his Tomita-flavored theme was the best!

He has passed away, now, at age 72. Thank you, Jack. Though the later years were PC-titled "The Star Gazer", you will always be our Star Hustler. We'll keep looking up!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exactly WHAT are they warning us about? What are we preparing for? A sudden destabilization of Earth's gravity? I cannot fathom this. The Dread Dormomoo, who is the farthest from Fox Mulder that I can imagine, harbors concerns of Dark Possibilities, like Alien Incursions or somesuch. Precisely what is in the tiny family bug-out bag? Freeze-dried provisions for a ride to Algol or Canopus? Hmmmm....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inroads into feminism

Here are two of our latest shirt designs. (They look better on the shirts!) I look at them as getting in touch with your inner Ward and June Cleaver.

I really wanted to do these. I designed the top one, Riatsila the bottom one.
They make me happy.

Now, the trick is, how do you market them, given the rabid feminist doctrine to which Western culture have been subjected?

You put 'em on the table, and wait.

The college freshman chick walks by, looks at the top design, reads it, and slaps the shirt with her hand. "That is SO wrong!" she huffs.

I look her in the eyes, and say with utter innocency "What is wrong with doing something to make someone happy?" Sometimes it clicks. If she is with a boyfriend, often they buy both designs, his 'n' hers, to be ironic. Sometimes, a couple will walk up, and she says to the other "I'll wear that if you buy it for me.".

I recognize the "irony factor" in many of these transactions, but I think that I am seeing cracks in the feminist facade. We will do our best to chip away at the edges.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. America, and all the ships at sea:

I am reporting from the wilds of Northern Atlanta, at a Holiday Inn Select, wherein is held the Faerie Escape Atlanta, an odd little con dedicated to , well, the fantastical world of faerie. Pretty girls and older women are running around in woodland attire, trailing wire-and-silk wings, alternately hoping for and dreading a stiff breeze. There are steampunk encroachments, as well. We did the con shirts, swapped for a table, and now I am seeing every fannish person from Huntsville. Lots of Alabamastanians here, slumming in GA. We have had a lovely time, seeing old friends, making new ones, and seeing yet another facet of fandom. I have seen the teaser trailer of a lovely film, the Titania prequel by Lisa Stock. Get behind this work. It is a beauty! Hi, Lisa!!

We 'Varks have been uber busy with cons. G-Fest in Chicago was amazingly good, record-breaking, even. J.D. Lees, Ruth, and crew did the usual wonderful job of putting on a successful and drama-free Godzilla convention! We saw tons of fan-friends, and clothed lots of kaiju fans with our shirts.

Animazement (Raleigh, NC) was another outstanding anime con. We printed their con and staff shirts, lots of them, as well as setting up for selling in the dealers room. We LO-O-O-O-OVE Animazement. They are easy to work with, and know how to balance the fannish and cultural aspects of Japanese pop-culture. Like G-Fest, they bring Japanese guests: artists and voice actors to the fans of anime.

IkasuCon (Ft. Wayne, IN) was a record-breaker saleswise. It has historically been a coma con for us, but this year was our best year at the con. The food helps, too. "Pint and Slice" is a wonderful pizza place, featuring area brews as well. We show up once a year, and the owner rcognizes us, smiles and greets us warmly...she's a peach!


Hygiene tech begins to pall. The bathroom faucets with motion-sensor or IR valves still need work. The sensors can be picky, and in order to get the water to flow, it seems to onlookers that you must be playing a theremin, moving your hands about, but not actually touching the faucet. Perhaps a clever soul could incorporate theremin technology in the faucets, so that you can play ethereal music whilst getting the thing to turn on.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your Aardvark had great fun, working late the other night. He watched "Kronos" a 1957 SF movie that he picked up from his bud Kev with Monsterland Toys at G-Fest a couple of weeks ago.Overall, it is one of the most satisfying of the Cold War alien menace flicks, primarily because of the giant alien robot, and its non-standard design. Very cool. Watch the trailer, especially the "walking" animation around 1'30". It has the feel of the "realistic" NASA animations from the late '50s, early '60s featurettes shown early Saturday mornings on telly. The movie is available online for viewing, but it's better on DVD, so holler at Kevin! OH! Dr.Arnold Culver, the computer whiz, is none other than
George O' Hanlon, later the voice of George Jetson.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We have spent two weekends on the road (more on that later), and have discovered an epidemic in hotels. No, not bedbugs, nor housekeeping staff who don't speak the English so good. I do not go over the room with a black light to see what oughtn't be seen. No, this is worse than any unseemly splatters. I refer to hotels succumbing to Down Syndrome. You know, the kind you find on your bed. Pillows used to be fiber-fill, with at least a little support, but now, down pillows are The Thing. They offer no support, are squashy and unpleasant, and now I am forced to get a foam pillow to take to conventions.

The conventions, however, have been awesome. More on that next.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We just had our run-off election here in North Alabamastan (as he held up a purple-stained thumb).For some reason-or-other the Christian Coalition still has some pull, and backed The Other Guy for Repub Gubernatorial candidate. The ads for Bradley Byrne sounded just like the bogus Conservative ads that were really done by the Democrat / Alabama Educrats in the election which prompted the run-off.The Christian Coalition backed Byrne. I received a bot-call from Paul Hubbert, the czar of the Alabama Education Association (the teachers' union) encouraging me to vote for Byrne for Repub Goober. This decided me to vote for Bradley, an MD who refuses to take a State salary until we are back to full employment, which also decided me. We have had attack ads questioning Bradley's faith. Political ads claiming that he "doesn't believe the whole Bible".


I really wouldn't care if Dr. Bradley was a Neo-Zoroastrian. I've had precious little luck with the True Believers I've voted in, starting with Jimmuh Cahter, and ending with our estimable Governor Riley. Once again, I must admonish my brethren: Neither America, nor Alabama, is the Kingdom of God. Neither is it the church.

The Christian Coalition (or any Christian voting bloc organization) now plays the role of Constantine. Having seen flaming signs in the sky, he gave the church Most Favored Religion status, and made law to benefit his pet belief-system, just as the Robertson/Dobson/Fallwellbeforehedied influence groups seek today. Neither Constantine, nor the Christian political blocs of today have any Biblical authorization to behave in this manner. Neither Law handed down on Sinai, nor law cobbled in Washington or Montgomery has any power beyond affecting external behavior through threat of sanction. As the NAACP conference is in the news, this example will suffice.
Were I a bigot (Which I am not. This is an example, not my identity), the law says that I must allow a black man to sit with me on the bus. The threat of the force wielded by the State merely prevents me from taking overt action to remove him from my proximity. I may not hit him, kick him, or kill him. I must abide his presence on the bus. The law constrains my acting against him for just being.

But the law cannot make me love him.

So, too, any attempt to "Christianize" America politically. Law governs by force. This is antithetical to the Christian faith. External change may make the bus ride less bloody, but only internal change, new-birth change, can bring either of us to embrace each other as brothers.

Jesus taught to make disciples, not to make Kings. We are called to teach them what Jesus taught His disciples, and it took Him three years to do it. Changing the inhabitant of the White House or Governor's Mansion won't change the nation, nor the culture. Only changed hearts will. Vote for the ones to represent us. Pray for them, but don't expect them to turn 21st Century America into "Gloryland". That's kinda our job.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Picture from

Let's all move to Vermont!

Sparklers less than 14 inches long with no more than 20 grams of pyrotechnic mixture and novelty sparkling items limited to snakes, party poppers, glow worms, smoke devices, string poppers, snappers, or drop pops with no more than 0.25 grains of explosive mixture, that are in compliance with United States Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations, are now legal for sale and use in Vermont.
-- Vermont...Division of Fire Safety

Oooooooooh! Sounds a PARTY!!!

Let's all celebrate our freedom from tyranny.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

Thinking SyFy into the

July 4th, Independence day, has a lot going for it: Cookouts, fireworks, meditating on why Neal Boortz despises what the holiday has become, and knowing that when I turn on the telly to beat the heat outdoors, I will not be treated to Sharktopus, or The Chicken Heart That Became The Black Hole That Ate Peoria on SyFy. Always, always The Twilght Zone marathon. But in a move destined to damn eternal verities, and royally tick off fans of the channel, SyFy has chosen to compound the indignity of its name change, and run, not Rod Serling's opus as a marathon, but instead, treat us all to a twenty-hour marathon of Stephen Cannell's The Greatest American Hero .


Now, I enjoyed TGAH when it first ran. My first experience with it was when we lived in the Smokies, and I had Galloping Bronchitis, and pulled muscles in my chest from the coughing. The dear sweet teetotalling Dread Dormomoo saw my plight, and displaying Wisdom Beyond Her Years,. she suggested that we stop and pick up some wine to relax my muscles. Heh. I didn't know from wine, but had read about port, so we got port.

We got home, and the DD prepped supper. I sat moaning and sipping a glass of port wine. Yum. I turned on the tiny black and white set that served as our link to Outside, and there was this new show about a guy who found an alien super-suit, but lost the owner's manual. By this time my near-virgin metabolism was gnawing away at the wine, and I was feeling considerably less pain. By the time My Sweet brought my supper, my opinion was that The Greatest American Hero was the finest piece of comedic Sci Fi television to spring from anyone's fertile imagination as Athena leapt from Zeus's brow.
Despite my beleaguered chest muscles, I was laughing. Uproariously.

Wine that maketh glad the heart of man. The Psalmist knew what he was talking about.

So, fond memories of The Greatest American Hero, but I know The Twilight Zone, and you sir, are no Twilight Zone .

SyFy seems to have taken FOX's programming style: give the people something good, then take it away when they are hooked. Now we have pro wrestling, and reality shows about grown people who go to dark places with night vision cameras and scare themselves like ten-year-olds on a Scout campout. Oh, and now they have a show about a psychic who makes her family's life miserable. (Ben Stein voice) Yaaaaaaay.

I may watch some of the Greatest American Hero marathon, but it will probably require port to make me enjoy it.

I could always go outside, play Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks" and wave a sparkler around.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Your Aardvark has arrived. He has been accorded two honors that are wondrous strange.
Firstly, he was quoted in a church bulletin. Honest! (See scan below) The Apostle Paul
is headlining here, but I'll gladly play second banana to him.

Secondly, he has been proclaimed the 2011 Fan Guest of Honor
at Mobicon, the SF con he attends and hucksters at in Mobile, AL
each May.

He promises to be a fair and just tyr...laird of the con, and will
seek to shed as little blood as possible during his reig...tenure.

Noblesse oblige, n'est ce pas?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Please allow an overheated Aardvark this drop of laziness.

Enjoy the show.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday afternoon, The Dread Dormomoo, Loen, and I headed north to Smyrna, TN to revel in Polynesian kitsch with Gothgeek and fam. The Omni Hut is a fifty-year-old tiki restaurant in Middle Tennessee, and is a wonder. The history of the place is found on their website, and I invite you to visit it. As I opened the door, I breathed in the redolence of an early-sixties family restaurant. We went in, saw the South-Seas hostess, who took our party info on a little spiral pad. The small lobby had chairs, a small aquarium with a few fish, and several lovely anemones. Next to the tank was a stack of magazines for those easily bored with the sea life.

We entered the dining room through a beaded curtain, and were politely seated by our waitress. She gave us menus, and took our drinks order. The Omni Hut has existed for fifty years without a liquor license. How have they stayed in business without selling beer and spirits?

Great food, great service...

and BYOB.

Patrons are welcome, nay, invited to bring whatever potent potables they wish. More on this later.

GG recommended the TAHITIAN FEAST:


The appetizers came out on a flaming Pu-Pu tray. with one tray sufficing for three adults (four, if one is prudent to remember that these are, in fact, appetizers) The drinks for our table were iced tea, and Hawaiian Tea, which at $3.50 for a bottomless glass is a delicious steal. It consists of fruit juices, coconut syrup or milk, a cherry, and a paper umbrella (Ooooooooooooh, exotic!) over perfect drug-store soda-counter crushed ice.
It may actually have some tea in it to keep it honest.

It is by all intents a Virgin Daiquiri. This underscores the importance of the BYOB policy, for given a bottle of one's favorite spirit, and the
Hawaiian Tea, one could be well anaesthetized by meal's end. Now, I do not practice public intoxication, nor do I condone such; I merely project probabilities, here. The drinks boy (I pretend I am an adventurer from the '40s) kept all the drinks well filled. Perhaps the Liquids Lad would be better, but I doubt it.)

After the appetizers settled, (and in future, I would settle for the appetizers, and maybe an entree) the meal arrived:
SWEET & PUNGENT PORK, CHICKEN CHOW MEIN, SHRIMP-FRIED RICE. All were lovely, delicious, and also delicious.

But you could have that at any Asian or South Seas dining saloon (I speak with watering tongue slippery-ly in cheek), but the raison, the thing of it all is the tiki ambiance. Tiki masks and carvings festoon the walls, with Day-glo painted tropical flowers, all excited by hidden UV lamps. The big aquarium in the wall of our room was filled with large goldfish and koi, I believe, with the obligatory suckerfish to tidy up the glass. The Polynesian mania of the '40s and '50s lives on in the Omni Hut. Grab your Tiki shirt (available at aardvarktees.com !) and visit the place. The service is equal in attentiveness and competence to the best (real) Japanese restaurant I have frequented. This is by no means a "fine dining" establishment -no putting on airs and discussing Kubrick and Truffaut. It is fun dining in the not-Happy-meal sense, that of friends and family islanding out for an evening, having different nom-noms from normal, and being cared for by an attentive and friendly staff, soaking in the '50s exotica. The background music is Island, but not obtrusive...truly atmospheric.

Please treat yourselves to the Omni Hut sometime. It WILL be a treat.

Friday, June 18, 2010


For your amusement:

(PLEASE watch Miss Hutton's face and movements. What an amazingly fun performance!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well, the morning after, and the assault on the Constitution continues. Barack Hussein Obama (PBUH) has strongarmed BP execs with demands for a $20 billion-dollar trust fund to be set aside and administered by A Third Party. Beyond the fact that the Obamster does not have (as Neal Boortz put it) authority to demand the set-aside of a roll of toilet paper, much less twenty huge, the prexy's ignorance of business fair takes the breath from me. Here, in the middle of an pollution crisis, we propose to take working funds away from the people who are trying to solve the problem. "But what about the shrimpers?"
BP has responsibility to take care of those whose livelihood has dwindled because of the oil spill- did I forget that BP is also responsible for the spill?

No, but so is the Federal Government, the "regulators" Trans-Oceanic, and likely Dick Cheney's shoe salesman. A veritable slick of groups have some culpability in this. BP must certainly pay its share, do so timely, and pay those legitimately hurt by the Gulf spill. BHO's imperial decree for BP to escrow twenty billions of dollars displays a brazen lack of business sense, which surprises me no end, himself being a Chicago community organizer and all.

The $20B really has nothing to do with the shrimpers, the hoteliers, the restauranteurs or the trash-picker-uppers on the sugar-sand beaches. It is punishment, a fiscal time out for BP. "Go to your room, and give me your allowance money!" When campaign mouth-flapping about hope and change does not suffice, BHOOTUS can be relied upon to resort to his Chicago political roots. Careful, or the president of BP will wake up with an oily pelican head on the pillow next to him.


Monday, June 14, 2010

A Parabolic Tale of Woe

There is a road accident involving three cars: my Aardvan, a doctor's new BMW, and a beater driven by a drunk. The doc gets out to survey the damage. His Beemer is totaled, and he is shaken but unhurt, having been protected by the forty-seven airbags that deployed on impact. The drunk who caused it all is relaxed, unhurt save for some bruising, and his '74 Impala is crumpled but driveable. The Aardvan, apparently built out of cola cans, has shredded places with sharp bits, one of which has nicked the Dread Dormomoo's femoral artery, which is fountaining. I am freaking, and trying to stanch the flow. I happen to see the doc, face contorted in fury, pull out a gun and put an end to the drunk's DUI career.

I have a choice. I can call the cops, and have the doc hauled away for Murder Most Foul, OR, I can call the doctor over, smoking gun still in hand, and have him save my wife with his expertise, and then let jurisprudence take its course.

I know what the White House would do, because they are doing so on the Gulf Coast. Having the Progressive's penchant for focusing on drilling for dollars, they are spending much time and energy extracting bucks from BP, rather than letting them focus on the job at hand, stopping the oil leak.

I have no great love for BP, but they do have expertise that, I believe, could be more fruitfully brought to bear on the problem if BHO would back off, and leave the strong-arming 'til after the faucet is closed.

Then you can bleed 'em dry, 'cos, y'know, all those British pensioners don't really need the BP dividends to get by on. They have the National Health!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So the cries of outrage begin. Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old sailor who attempted to sail around the world solo, ran into equipment malfunctions and had to be rescued, has a cadre of supporters coming to her aid.

The parents should be charged with child endangerment!!! (commentor on NBCSports)

Geraldo has proclaimed her homeschooling parents as "kooks", and divined that she was seeking escape from her parents' control. Where's that Psych degree, G.?

Abby, whom I do not know, even though the Dread Dormomoo and I are part of the same kooky homeschooling thing, is apparently a self-starting ambitious person, with a strong sense of competitiveness. Oh, if only she had used her skills in a meaningful way, like wresting the captain of the football team from the clutches of the head cheerleader. Wait...she would probably be the head cheerleader, if only she had been public-schooled.

Alas, she was homeschooled, and had kooky ideas, ideas above her station, ideas like SAILING AROUND THE FLIPPIN' WORLD ON HER OWN! And she tried it. And she failed. And she wants to try again.

Idiot. She COULD have been hanging around with gang-bangers and drug peddlers in the halls at school, but NO. She and her family think that they are BETTER than everyone else, and that being able to read, and do sums, and navigate the globe have some intrinsic worth. Heck, she probably knows the meaning of 'intrinsic'. Uppity thing.

Kiddies, let me be clear: if you do NOT want your kids to be self-motivated, intelligent, willing and able to take risks and rise above their failures, by all means, do not be a kook.

Send 'em to government schools. I'll guarantee, you won't have to worry about their accomplishing anything out of the ordinary.

Word to your mother.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Your Aardvark has been in the thick of it. We are in our "Christmas season" business-wise, and are just this side of gibbering.

Last weekend we attended Animazement, the wonderful Raleigh convention I have gushed over in years past. We print their convention shirts each year, several hundred of them, and have prodigious dealer room sales, besides. This year, we also did the concert shirts for a band that appeared at the con! Uchu Sentai NOIZ is the band, and we were privileged to do their shirts. Very cool.

The weekend was marred by Fellow Dealers Not With Us.. Frank and Lisa, of Frank's Cool Stuff, purveyors of used anime DVDs, are our normal neighbors. They could not make it this year due to a scheduling conflict. We had Loen, Riatsila, James, Micah, and Your Humble staffing the AardBooth, and we ate well! We re-visited Tir Na Nog, the Irish pub with wonderful food. We were ably served by Victoria, a lovely lass who did a faboo job. We found that we five did not form the critical mass necessary for Maximum Enjoyment. We did not have Frank and Lisa with us, and missed them mightily. Next year in Raleigh!

Ragazzi's in Cary, NC was our Sunday night dinner. They have marvelous Italian food, and creme brulee to boot!

The Animazement staff did their usual outstanding job of putting on the con. Thanks, guys and gals!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I have been a science fiction fan for almost as long as I have memories. I remember "It Came From Beneath the Sea" being shown on TV, along with the Ivan Tors series "The Man and the Challenge". Of course, "SUPERCAR" goes without saying. Later, I became a voracious reader of everything from The War of the Worlds and the SF short stories in "Boys Life" magazine. It wasn't until college that I became introduced to fantasy as a genre.
(I include McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series in that pigeonhole, though she has science elements in the stories. Go ahead and complain.) Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams all contributed to my fondness for both types of story. Heinlein was my favorite hard SF author, followed by Bradbury, for his glorious evocative prose. College found me in the clutches of Niven and Pournelle. I did not, however, discover SF fandom until 1980, when I attended my first convention: PhilCon 80. It was our first foray into the world of huckstering (the selling of fannish goodies at a con). It was that which introduced me to the wild and wacky world of SF fandom, and SF conventions (would that be SF Con-dom?)

The Dread Dormomoo has been an artist most of her life, and picked up the airbrush in 1980. We took her t-shirt painting setup all the way from the Grand Strand of SC to Philadelphia, in our little blue Monza wagon. She was a hit, but we learned the quirkiness of SF fans right off while she was painting unicorns and rockets on shirts when a lady came up and asked if DD could paint a portrait of Johnny Mathis on a shirt.

Johnny Mathis??!?

The DD could, and did. Later on at MunchCon, held at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, we had a lass combine her interests by having the saucer of the USS Enterprise, with a unicorn rampant, put on a shirt. Then came the endless string of D&D players who had her paint their game characters on shirts: elves, dwarves, orcs, you name it.

MUCH later, after we began screenprinting our own designs to sell, the guys popped out of the woodwork to fix our shirts, to make them O so much funnier. One of our earliest designs was the "classic":


For those educated after the Seventies, this was a takeoff on the Dick and Jane readers:

See Dick.
See Dick run.
Run, Dick, run.

Now, the helpful souls, usually bearded and stooped, would sonorously intone: "You need to add a fourth line: 'RUN\DAMMIT\RUN'."; never mind that it completely misses the syntax of the original first grade reader quote. Admittedly, that is more annoying than anything, but the modern trend is far worse. The old-school SF cons were built around the science in science fiction. panels about space travel and even time travel abounded.
Today, the shift from science to psy-ence has taken its toll: fans of the "telepathic lesbian were-seal"-type stories are numerous, as are their preferred plotlines, shaky on the hard sciences, strong in agnostic or a-theist mysticism. One of the last SF cons I attended featured at least one author of that ilk, and in the dealer room (one is not a huckster any more) there was a nice lady with a webcam, and "video aura" software, which would visualise your chakras. (Now, I remember a couple of conventions years ago where the guys had a Polaroid camera with a diffraction grating over the lens, which gave you a lovely rainbow "aura" from the backlight. Ooooooh, lookit my aura!) This modern version spits out a printed book with your image, and various interpretations of the picture. The lady then gave a 15-20 minute counseling session. The customer paid real money to a total stranger to advise him about his life. Another woman, a guest of the con, offered Tarot readings to the infidel faithful.

Hmmmm...let us step back and examine the context. These women are not advising Heads of State, nor the Crown Princes of Europe. They are doing fortunetelling at a science fiction convention. A small one. In the huckster room.

Current science fiction fandom has abandoned its science for credulity, its Western skepticism for non-theistic open-mindedness. The "thump" you hear is its collective brain falling out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The WiFi at our aging Holiday Inn was not as reliable as some, so reportage about our triumphal Animazement sojourn will be up tonight sometime. I hope this explanation protects me from Murder Most Vile!

Friday, May 07, 2010

I was looking through the worst website in the world, and found this jewel of profundity.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


The oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has brought the EEEEE-vils of offshore drilling to the fore. I cannot help but marvel at the timing: the day before Earth Day (Hail Gaia!!), and scant weeks after President Barry O' Bama announced initiatives to begin the process of thinking about studying the feasibility of considering resuming talking about offshore drilling. The seafood industry is about to be damaged terribly in Louisiana, an area that is already still reeling from Katrina. Knowing that groups like the ELF have no compunction about doing short-term environmental damage to ultimately restore the Earth to her pristine glory, by burning SUV dealerships and such, I have ZERO problem thinking that this was sabotage.If we can show the deadly peril presented by oil drilling , we are one step closer to the goal of an agrarian planet, where we can gum our yoghurt and roasted grain around (small) campfires

This is actually dialectical thinking, by which through taking an apparent two steps forward, they take a step back by (secretly) causing an eco-catastrophe. They still win that single step forward (decreased offshore drilling). Too bad for the mom-and-pop seafood businesses in the Gulf. It's all for a Great Cause! Besides, the seafood businesses are doing it for profit!

I am fascinated by the talking-points reflected in all the news reports, especially the consistent use of the word "fragile" to describe the marshlands and estuaries. Now, a single shrimp is fragile, and will not take much pummeling, but the environment as a whole is tough. Remember the Cuyahoga River bursting into flames? Remember Lake Erie, and its extreme pollution? All have been rehabilitated in record time; great news for the environment, bad news for those who should be happy about it. Now as an Environmental Studies person, and a believer in stewardship, I don't think that we should cavalierly mistreat our terrestrial ball by pumping out bilges, or doing sloppy oil drilling, or dumping barges-full of noisome garbage in mid-ocean. We should care for our home, but agonizing over every erg of power or drop of oil wasted will turn you grey. Ask Ed Begley, Jr.

Bottom line: I do not have a bit of trouble believing the Gulf oil rig explosion to be the result of eco-terrorism. The ends justify the means. You gotta break a few oil rigs....
(The convenient invoking of "Halliburton" also gives me pause. They are pushing all the buttons on this one.)


Now to International Rescue. Why hasn't some billionaire industrialist actually created such an organization? (I know there is an SAR group in the UK by that name, but that's small potatoes by comparison.) The well-capping scheme currently in play resembles a THUNDERBIRDS episode, where a dome is maneuvered into position and anchored to the ocean floor. We really need an independent rescue group with uber-technology for the hard stuff like this oil spill. It would be so sweet. Oh well, we've got no space program to draw from anymore. Sigh.