16 August 2003

I Was One of the Fifty MillionTM

Some of you familiar with this site may have heard our previous question: Are you one of the Three Million? I am thinking I'll be bandying the old and this new meme around for a while - as long as I have the freedom French to do so...

I was one of the few of the Fifty MillionTM who foolishly thought he was going to fly out of this frying pan and into the fires of the City of Lost Wages in a supremely symbolic first post 9-11 flight to bask in comfort in the downtown Fremont zone.

Until fate and the BFEE Energery Committee let some more Enron execs play with the controls of a gub'mint property. Except, instead of it being a bunch of Enron execs, it was the second generation post King Drunken Cokehead BFEE we’re talking about here. And, instead of a submarine, they were in their old rich uncle’s estate in the metro Cleveland area. And they decided to head over to the local power station (which they think they now own, their being in the 'American royalty' of the extended Familia Arbusto) for something to do on a lazy summer afternoon. Since the computers at the facility were, well, child’s play for anyone over the age of twelve, they were easily hacked into. Think about what the teenage mob fodder in the Sopranos do for their ‘uncle’ Tony. Then think about Drinky McDumbAss and the TwinsTM, with the All-Mighty Pinhead playing the part of Tony Soprano, and Babs Redux and the JennaBabe as the mob fodder aspiring future rulers of the BFEE.

So, I’m thinking that this was another one of those happy accidents (cough cough 9-11 cough cough) that have been exploited utilized by the BFEE to their criminal advantage. Which I managed to make it through fairly intact. My emergency supplies have taken a pounding, but, hey – I think this qualifies as a good use of them. And, like so many others out there right now, I am taking a closer look at procuring independent power sources (which I have been for some years now – but that’s another story...). For now, I’ll just consider myself lucky to have made it through this situation without too much discomfort.

I have another, more sinister, theory about the blackout. Maybe this was part of the MSBlast virus. Maybe some of the computers that were supposed to shut this sort of thing down were infected, and instead chose to pass the power demands as well as the virus around the Lake Erie LoopTM? Not that I’d want to start any sort of rumors or anything like that. Being that the Funny Farm is More Fair and Balanced than Fox NewsTM these days. I’m just wondering, that’s all...

Babs Redux and the JennaBabe, by the way, are the elders of the second generation of the BFEE after the Usurper in Thief stole the White House at the turn of the Millenium. Can you imagine the statements coming from them when they get to revered elder status in another forty years or so?

A Fairly Unbalanced Account of Making it Through the Great Power Outage of 2003

A Fair and Balanced Piece from Thursday Night

How can anyone who just went through it not mention this? Especially when one can do so from the air-conditioned splendor of Last Vegas? Certainly not me... (Editor’s note: which was where I was planning on posting this from – so it’s written as if I was posting it from there. Which I still am through the amazing power of amazingly good chemical refreshment (cough), and low journalistic standards, combined with mixing and matching my tenses for the rest of the story...)

Mind you, I am writing this whilst sweating in 90 degree plus candlelight with no power. I am, however, in possession of two special bonus power aids in this time of trouble.

Number one is a slightly different outlook on things as compared to my neighbors. Because of this, I have enough water on hand to last a couple of days, including the awesomely important extra toilet flush.

Number two is a little gizmo I bought a while ago called a power inverter. It plugs into the cigarette lighter of any car, and allows the owner to put two plugs into the other end of the frelling thing. A very useful gadget if you would, perhaps, need power in order to run a CPAP machine, so you could sleep. In case you had some sort of medical condition (like apnea in this case).

Or, you could just try and stay up all night and try and make sure you make it down to the airport for your flight out of this waking nightmare. And, maybe, find out if there are pockets of power in this blacked out city, where you could get some gas, or food, or water, or something, anything that you might have forgotten to stock up on. To make sure your butt is covered no matter what the fates decide to toss your way. I was fortunate enough to have extra gas, so that if I decide to take a half-hour power nap later, I am able to. And, hopefully, I’ll have enough power from that little gizmo to download the pieces I had partially completed for Fair and Balanced FridayTM. Which it has become while writing this out in my little travelling notebook.

After all, the Ghost of Bill SprintTM has been waiting twenty years to infotain you once more, gentle reader. What’s another few hours of waiting to someone like that?

Post Blackout Update: I didn’t get to post this from the wonders of Fremont street in the City of Lost Wages. Hopefully the positive karma I was experiencing at the time has not been tainted by the disappointment I have subsequently experienced back here in Hazeltucky...

Bonus Time

A Fair and Balanced Piece from Friday Night

I’m guessing many bloggers amongst the unexpectedly power-deprived are going back to the good old pen and paper tonight. As well as having some uncommon desires to blog blog blog your troubles away.

I sure hope this convinces some to get their solar, wind and other personal alternative power projects past the dream stage. I know I will appreciate those little those little grid connectors more when they finally become useful again...

I also hope BartCop manages to take care of his situational difficulties. You bet that will be one of my first stops, once I get the power back in my humble abode.

Post Blackout Update: Some wondrous Iron on Tshirts can be yours by going to the Fair and Balanced Response to the Absurdity of Fox News at Thomas Mc’s excellent digs down a ways over on the Fashionable Left Bank of BlogistanTM, and clicking on the Download button over on the left hand side of the webpage. This site wouldn’t have anything to do with my good friend Tommy Mack, would it?

Oh, and I see that over 500 web sites have gone to being Fair and Balanced in the wake of the Al Franken fiasco. Looks like Al caught that bullet from O'Really? with his teeth. As in, number one with a... Bite on that for a while, Faux journailists!

(we apologize to any real journalists who might be offended by the comparison to Faux News personnel)

A new Feature Available Exclusively From the Funny Farm

We were supposed to debut this yesterday. But, after waiting for twenty years, it was decided that one more day wouldn’t matter too much more.

So, without further ado, the Funny Farm is proud to present a new feature :

Funny Farm Fast Facts by the Ghost of Bill Sprint

[. . . man seen running through a montage of static camera positions: an intersection, bench in a park, and down a tree-lined sidewalk. A new camera shot shows a desk sitting in the middle of a school playground, and he is seen at the edge of the shot running towards it. He runs up to the desk, sits down, picks up the news copy on the desk and announces to the camera (talking very fast). . .]

This is the Ghost of Bill Sprint with a Funny Farm Fast Fact:

Almost one in four adults you encounter (22 percent) thinks the stuff he or she hears on radio programs like the Rush Limbaugh show is news.

Translation: At least one in four mulletheaded morans believe that Rush, the Jerrys (Robertson and Springer), Falwell, and King Drinky McDumbass and the God SquadTM speak the words of the Lord!

This has been the Ghost of Bill Sprint with a Funny Farm Fast Fact.

[. . . man jumps up from the desk and starts running away from the camera . . .]

Maybe I’ll be getting sued by freaking Sprint now for using their name in the title for this bit. Which is particularly funny since I am actually referring to a character from an obscure 80’s SNL wannabe comedy show...

The Status Symbol I Hope I Never Get
[But Which I Have Called Upon Myself By Talking About It
(Thanks, Ralph!)]

I have heard about the dreaded stalker trolls of the Far Right Repgunicant Party. And I have often ventured into the trolls’ dens to peek at their filth – usually when some of the better places over on the Fashionable Left Bank of BlogistanTM mention a particularly ripe piece of their latest kimchee. But this is the first time I have seen a troll a’borning. The single mindedness and the potty mouth are particularly breathtaking. I also noticed that this person was unable to look at the big picture, and kept braying the same noxious bile over and over again.

Something that I myself have been guilty of over the last few days I have been able to update things here. I was focused on my own little place and my own little world – and forgot that some people might have a few other things to think about besides dropping by for a home brew over in this neck of the woods. And, of course, a frelling Repugnicant Stalker Troll had to show up on top of everything else. So I apologize to Don – sort of. He did give me something to talk about, after all...

But I digress... I was talking about trolls. It must be the ‘in’ job for unemployed trailer trash these days. I would think it is fast becoming the leading source of employment for that segment of the population. And any Tolkein fans will know what I mean when I say that Little Green Snotballs, FReeperville, and the Land of the LDotards (no, I’m not linking to them!) sound like the braying of the trumpets of Melkor during the first playing of the Music of Illuvatar to my ears. And, LGF,FR and LDot are the feeder farm teams for PigBoy, AnnThraxx et al. Those pieces of the blogospheric trailer trash must be practicing over there, for the day they will be summoned to spew over at Hesiod’s place. Or Kos’. Or any of the others out there who might have caught that form of virus lately.

And, remember, please don’t nominate me for a Lingua D’Ubaldi for that last paragraph, either. I hope to hear from the mouth of the Tbogg himself one day. Because I see a golden opportunity here. He can create the blogospheric equivalent of the Mendoza line for turgid run on sentences over the course of judging the regular Friday contestants. One of which I hope never to become. Because, you see, my run on grammatical torture sessions usually have at least one point. Which I will leave you with right now:
-I’m going to try and focus a little bit more on the big picture.
-I hope you don’t get any vicious Knids like some people have.
-And I hope this is unfairly unbalanced enough for your infotainment here on Fairly Unbalanced SaturdayTM at the Funny Farm.

Blacked Out For a While

Yes, I got caught in the blackout over the last couple of days. In fact, I am no longer going on vacation as I had originally planned. D’oh! But at least my cable seems to be working, so I can toss the stuff I had ready for yesterday out here for your viewing pleasure.

Instead of Fair and Balanced FridayTM, the Funny Farm is declaring today to be Fairly Off-Balanced SaturdayTM. The festivities are slated to begin shortly. Once I finish digging out the road from the Funny Farm to the main road connecting us with the rest of the Fashionable Left Bank of BlogistanTM, I’ll go back and check on everything for you, fellow traveler.

Back in a bit...

14 August 2003

Summer in the City

Just a few quick observations before I get ready to head out for another wild weekend, noted while driving back to Hazeltucky from a friend’s at Grosse Isle last night:

- They should raise the speed limit on a few roads in metro Detroit a bit higher, making them more appealing so they will take more of the traffic. I’m thinking 65 on the Southfield Highway, and 50 on Eight Mile and 16 mile road in all its incarnations. That’s what almost everybody goes on those roads right now anyways.

- Cheesy promotional tie in of the trip: during the week just before the Woodward Dream Cruise, I see a billboard on Eight Mile Road, with the phrase ‘What did your Mom see in your Dad?’ underneath a classic car grill from a 50’s Chevy. Nice...

- The major roads are pretty much frelled here in the Motor City – huge projects on I-75 and I-94 for multiple stretches makes things take longer getting around the metro area – and the drivers here are not noted for their patience. But the beauty of this burg is that there are always alternatives. In some places, not to mention Toronto by name or anything, if the major highways are screwed up by construction or accident, everyone is going to be very late for dinner.

Time to get ready. Random guerilla bloggingTM begins early this weekend at the Funny Farm. And I’m thinking that’s tipping the scales towards being more (let’s all say it together now) Fair and Balanced around here...

13 August 2003

This Is Definitely Not Fair, and It Might Cause Me To Get Unbalanced

Don over at Blah3 has a horking big list of many of the web sites who have helped boost the visibility of Faux Propaganda ‘News’ cheap shot at Al Franken. There is at least one website that is strangely missing from the list - even though it was pointed out to him twice.

Is there something wrong with things here at the Funny Farm? Have I managed to piss off one of the best bloggers (IMHO) there is out there? Or have I already gotten my fifteen seconds of fame, and have now been tossed onto the scrap heap? I hate to even contemplate this, but it might be time to remove all those links to Blah3 that catapulted him up into the stratoshpere of the Ecosystem. Which is screwed up right now – so he won’t even notice until after the fact, should I decide to exercise my nuclear option.

Of course, if he actually checked this site out once in a while, he would quickly realize that I am just trying to join the group, and that a sinus infection is causing me to lose some of my usual composure and get a little miffed about this slight. I suppose I shouldn’t expect much in the way of respect anyhow. I mean, you can mention some people almost daily, and still not get their attention. Or respect. Until you get to the point where it becomes painfully obvious that you are still ignored by most people. Then there are others mentioned here who manage to spend a few moments in contemplation of our awesome command of the Englitch language (cough).

Just don’t nominate me for a Lingua D’Ubaldi, okay?

The More Things Change

The Gunther Concept, via way of Atrios’ comments, points us to a letter written by Groucho Marx. It seems that the litigious Roger Ailes is not the first tin-plated dictator with delusions of Godhood to threaten a creative artist because of their choice of a title for their work.

He certainly is in the running for the stupidest idiot to try it, though...

12 August 2003

More Fair and Balanced than Fox News

This is not that tough to do. By merely acknowledging that there are two sides to the debate, they both sincerely believe that they are right, and their arguments should be critically examined, I have already exceeded the standards of journalism (cough) over at Rupert Murdoch’s little experiment with thought control.

How in the hell can you even think about satirizing a network that preaches tort reform while suing Al Franken for using a phrase in the public domain? A phrase whose meaning is being destroyed every second that Bill O’Really? is on your airwaves?

Let me find something good to say about Faux ‘News’. Hmmmmm... okay, I got one: They’re too cheap to hire the vile PigBoy! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Excuse me while I try and cleanse the thought of considering the travesty of journalism that is Fox Propaganda ‘News’. Maybe somebody would consider suing these farging iceholes for distorting the meaning of the phrase ‘Fair and Balanced’...

11 August 2003

An Incredible Journey

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I just spent an event-full 36 hours in the Great White North. Let me bend your ear for a few moments, and tell you about the highlights of my adventures.

I started off with an exciting hour at the border, convincing the Canadian Customs officers at the Ambassador Bridge that, yes, I can be an American and still have friends in Canada. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, to be exact. I guess I should be thankful that they didn’t turn me back at the border – which of course they can do for no reason whatsoever if they choose to...

Once that wonderful experience was behind me, I made a brief pit stop over at the abode of one of my little brothers (the one living in Kinksville). On the way, I noticed that a lot of people seem to be interested in the house selling gig these days. Possibly due to the low low interest rates available to most homeowners. I mean, it couldn’t be that people are losing their jobs and have to sell the house or default on their mortgages, could it?

Anyways,. . . after discussing some of those in my family who are somewhat neanderthal conservative in their outlook on life, it was off to Kitchener to visit my good friends Doc and Judy, and their two sons, who are 6(Andrew) and 3(Alan). Please someone remind me about these guys if I ever say that raising children is one of life’s simpler pleasures. While I enjoy my time with them immensely, I now realize that, if I were to attempt something similar, some of the parties involved might not survive the experience. I base this revelation on being the sole means of child maintenance for about an hour or so on Saturday. And, for the record, these are good kids. I shudder to think about dealing with the bad seedlings...

Now that I have set the scene, let me tell you about the, um, unusual happenings during my brief time in another country. Doc and I go a long ways back in the field of on-air entertainment – we met while doing back-to-back radio shows at CKMS, the University of Waterloo’s radio station. And that’s where we ended up on Saturday night, after I got to check out a free Blues Festival in downtown Kitchener (Doc was doing his regular 6-10PM Saturday night shift at the K-W Bookstore). At least, the part of the festival that wasn’t rained out... Shortly after getting settled into the back studio at the radio station, I was in for a bit more strangeness when a band called ‘Organic’ showed up at the door for an on-air interview. And then Doc and I got into a conversation with Valdy, the guy who had just finished his show at 10PM. He told us about an upcoming musical treat he was organizing in about a month or so (September 13). Valdy also showed some interest in my Hobbit Calendars too!

After recovering from the previous night activities, on Sunday I helped pack up the car for a visit to Hamilton’s Festival of Friends, where we made it to a workshop on rhythm (basically: how different types of rhythmic beats came into being; what they were originally used for; and how to do it yourself), a couple of local groups, and some mellow jazz perfect for a Sunday afternoon. The rain didn’t show up until 3 PM or so, and let up for a while around 3:30, until finally chasing us out of town around 4:30 or so.

And now comes the bad news. I chose to return to the States via Sarnia, Ontario - Port Huron, Michigan and the Bluewater Bridge. And I gotta tell you, it was not a good way to end the trip. Normally the drive from Doc’s place in Kitchener to that particular border crossing is approximately two hours. But this time I got caught in the weekend rush to get home. The first 25 km on the main highway coming out of Kitchener, and the last 3 km of road in Canada before crossing the border, were hard to deal with, especially since I had just walked a lot more than I normally do both on Saturday and Sunday.

The first slowdown was more of an annoyance – I was still fresh out of my friends place, and fortified with the second best coffee in the known universe (the Funny Farm, of course, is home to the best). However, getting stuck on the highway with 3 kilometers of stop and go traffic (think near-gridlock conditions in the nearest major city to you, gentle reader) at 9:40PM on a Sunday night, after a weekend of fun and excitement, was a major drag. Only 3 klicks to go until I was back in the home of the free French! Which I finally got to right around 11:20! That’s right, campers – Your Humble Narrator spent almost two hours crawling up and over the bridge, and getting through Customs. I was very appreciative that the Customs officer didn’t grill me too much. That part of the experience was over in under a minute!

You might think that the delay was caused by increased security precautions in place at the border. But you’d be very wrong about that. You might also be thinking that the officials were only letting vehicles proceed once traffic had cleared off of the bridge – so you wouldn’t have, say, a crazed terrorist type parking a van full of nasty combustibles in the middle of a crowd in the middle of the bridge, and taking out a significant number of innocent bystanders while heading off to Allah’s embrace. Wrong again – it was stop and go from the half-way point all the way to the Homeland Security representatives. Good thing I had lots of good tunes to while away the hours. Until that fateful moment in the hands of the system:

’What is your citizenship?’
’What were you doing in Canada?
’What is the aerial velocity of an unladen swallow did you buy or receive while in Canda?’

Okay – off you go then!’

It was right then that I chose to look up into the night sky. A cloudless night sky. With a big, bright full moon staring me in the face. At which point, I said to my self, self – that’s why things are a little weird tonight. I proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell through the foggy night (a wonderfully surreal touch to end the trip, wouldn’t you say?) to the homestead here in Hazeltucky.

I really would have liked to have gotten a couple more CDs at the events, but I’m a little strapped for spending cash because I’m off on another jaunt next weekend. Stay tuned to this space for lots more true adventures of a Basic Force For Good in Our Time. Provided I manage to survive them, of course...

Funky New Feature

I guess it's time to show you something I am very proud of:

the Hobbit Calendar for Wedmath 2003

This is the current month in the Hobbit Calendar, available only at our business venture. Note the absence of Mondays, and the two celebratory days on either end of the week. One of these days I’m going to be able to enjoy a three day work week, instead of the five days a week I manage to get by on at present.

If you’re interested in looking at time in a different way, you should consider getting a Hobbit Calendar of your very own! Also, if you’re an artist who would like to provide me with a set of pictures based on the mythos of Middle Earth, email me and we can discuss percentages and stuff.