Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Watch It Fizz

Recently I found out a local grocery store was now stocking Mexican softdrinks, so I've been trying things like Barralitos sangria, Jarritos tamarind, and Senorial sangria. All interesting, but I think I could happily live without tamarind in my life. Anyway, I was poking around online, as I'm prone to do in times of great boredom, and found Peculiar Pops, which reviews at least one of the softdrinks I mentioned, plus a whole bunch of other ones, many I've never even heard of.

Update: I started a new blog called Watch it Fizz where I review oddball soft drinks.

Things That Go Boom

Modern Firearms & Ammunition is a Russian online encyclopedia of firearms and ammunition of the 20th and 21st centuries. And, lucky for you, it's in English.

Mysterious Innards

For many years I've wondered what's inside of a Leslie cabinet. (And if you don't know what a Leslie cabinet is, you can stop reading now and go to the next pointless entry.) I've even looked online, but without luck. But finally I've found what I was looking for on a page about building a Leslie cabinet. So now the mystery's been solved. On to Bigfoot!

Who Would've Thought?

Everyone and their grandma has a blog these days, even Lizardman.


Marketing Translation Mistakes: "Also, take these with a grain of salt...They may be contrived and not true, or if true, unrecognizably transformed."

Saturday, August 28, 2004

More Colon News

A few weeks ago I posted something about some kind of colon cleansing kit and I quoted something about John Wayne having 40 pounds of crud in is his colon when he died. Well, big surprise, it's nonsense. There's a piece on it at Snopes.

In other news, there's a Bowel Cleanse, Intestinal Cleanse Support Forum. Support forum?

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Fugitive, pt. III

If anyone has any interest at all in what's going on with the whole criminal records mix up thing (and I doubt anyone is), I mailed in my form to the state police today and now I get to wait. I also went and talked to someone at legal aid and I got an appointment to talk to a lawyer for Sept. 13.

Exciting, no? No.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Fugative, pt. II

So I went to the police station. I'd never been in a police station in my life. I guess I was expecting something a little crazier, a little more like NYPD Blue, but it was far more bureaucratic. The whole time I was there I saw exactly one policeman in uniform. There were few people there at all. I didn't even see the jail.

Anyway, what I have to do to prove I'm not a dangerous criminal is fill out a form, get a notary to sign it (luckily two relatives who live close by are notaries), and then send it with either a certified check or money order to the Virginia State Police. Then I get to wait. Yippee!

Respect Your Elders

Here's a couple of quotes from an email I got from my sister yesterday: "I was out last week at a club listening to really loud music and playing pool with these slightly underaged goth boys and one of them said (very earnestly, like it was something really profound) that I was an 'elder goth'. I don't know whether I was more insulted by the 'elder' or the 'goth'. He said it like it was some term of respect, the dink. I don't want it attached to me, respectfully or not. I mean, can't I go out in thrift store Catholic schoolgirl skirts and combat boots without being called something retarded? Huh? Grrrr!" And then, "Maybe I like wearing Catholic schoolgirl skirts and combat boots. I refuse to get giant pants with the ass-crack showing and pink T-shirts 3 sizes too small with the words 'Porn Star' across the front. I'd rather be mistaken for a goth than a hoochie mama any day."


Last night I dreamed I was watching one of the early 60's episodes of the Andy Griffith Show and Frank Zappa was in it. He had short hair and no moustache. I don't remember much else.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Fugitive

It doesn't pay to get out of bed. Ever. I've come to the conclusion that I'm cursed. Things happen to me that simply don't happen to other people. Remember back in December when I bought that computer online and they sent me a scooter instead? How many times has that happened to you or anyone you know? Never, right? Well, yesterday was another scooter day.

Since I'm an unemployed bum, I gave in to desperation and went to a local temp agency. I was tested to see what marketable skills I had, etc. Later, the woman interviewing me said, "We were doing the routine state-wide criminal background check and something came up." My mind started going over every possible thing that could turn up in a criminal background check and I couldn't think of anything. I've never even had a parking ticket. She then told me that someone with my name and Social Security Number had been convicted in 1997 of aggravated sexual battery and forcible sodomy. Oh, joy. And the woman wouldn't even give me a copy of the damn criminal record. "We have to pay for this service," she said. I did manage to get her to at least write down a few details about the charges.

So now I have to go to the police department and have them check my non-existent criminal background to prove I'm not this convicted sexual batterer and forcible sodomizer. Once again I'm going to be penalized for someone else's screw-up. Did someone just mess up the records, or have I been the victim of identity theft? My guess was messed up records.

I did some searching online last night for services that would do criminal background checks. There's plenty of them, but the overwhelming majority are charging money. They're searching public records, so there should be some free services out there. I did find one that would do free searches on offenders. I managed to track down the guy with my same incredibly common name. I also ran my own Social Security Number and came up empty-handed. So it would appear that the company that the temp agency hires to do these background check screwed up. Can I sue them, I wonder?

You'd think that the fact that the guy's still in prison would be proof enough, or the fact that on the day this guy was convicted I was working at a girl's school (and I have all of my old paycheck stubs), but it's not apparently.

Do any of you know of good free online services that will do criminal background checks?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

Anyone even remotely interested in Bob Dylan should check out "It's Not a House, It's a Home" Page. There's lyrics, album and singles lists, bootlegs, etc.

American Music

A German record collector named Stefan Wirz has put up some very extensive websites that deal with things like old folk and blues. There's the aphabetically arranged American Music, Double Neck Guitars on LP/CD Covers, and Resonator Guitars on LP/CD Covers among other things. Be sure not to overlook the odd (and very long) side-scrolling index at the top of the pages.


Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement: "We now invite you to experience the unfiltered story of American eugenics – primarily through materials from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, which was the center of American eugenics research from 1910-1940. In the Archive you will see numerous reports, articles, charts, and pedigrees that were considered scientific 'facts' in their day. It is important to remind yourself that the vast majority of eugenics work has been completely discredited. In the final analysis, the eugenic description of human life reflected political and social prejudices, rather than scientific facts."


Sarah's Transistor Radios should give you hours of fascination if you love looking at vintage radios. Of course, if you don't have any interest in looking at vintage radios, then it probably won't hold your interest at all.

Clunky Cameras

I like vintage cameras. I'm particularly fascinated by old Eastern Bloc camera gear because it's so strange and clunky. Communist Cameras, Bruce Feist's Camera Collection, Tiger's Lair, Antique Russian Camera, Comrade Stoisha's Revolutionary Soviet Photography Page, and the excellent Alfred's Camera Page (which I've linked to in the past) are solely, or at least partly, devoted to these wonderfully archaic, oddball cameras.

Trailer Plate Mania!

It's official: the internet has a site for everything. Exhibit A: Michigan Trailer Plates.

Saturday, August 21, 2004


From 1947 to 1968, amature photographer John Cura photographed television programs in the UK. The Doctor Who Photonovels are examples of his work. [Link via Metafilter.]

I've linked to the Doctor Who Video and Audio FAQ before, but I think it's relevant to link to it again.

Also relevant is Telesnaps.com and Loose Cannon Productions' Doctor Who fan reconstructions.

More Dead Rock Stars

Last month (on the 29th, I think), I listed several links to lists of dead rock stars and celebrities. Well, I've found a couple more.

The Glam Rock Obituaries is one part of the extensive Glam Rock Files.

And Rock and Roll Heaven "contains artists who had hit records during the classic rock era of 1955 to 1980."

Pop Culture Debris

Pop Culture Debris hasn't been updated in awhile, but there's plenty on the front page to keep you busy if you're into comic books, old movies, animation, etc.


Constipated? Oh, come on, you know you are. Try Oxy-Powder, it's "the same product being used for optimal colon health and oxygen cleansing by the Hollywood stars." Did you say Hollywood stars? I'm sold!


Vinylorphanage is "A safe haven where forgotten and unwanted vinyl record albums find solace". They also feature such things as Album Cover Theme of the Week. They even have .mp3's. It's no Show and Tell Music, but what else is?

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Yesterday I was all excited about finding Spadefoot toads, so I sent my sister an email telling her about it. This was her response, "I used to find spadefoot toads all the time in that fecking window. I was excited, but it wore off, especially since I found about a dozen of the things. They don't even jump. They just sort of squirm. I don't even think they're proper toads at all. I just assumed my Little Golden Book of Frogs 'n Such was way outdated since most of those things were printed in the 1950's. Frankly I'm surprised my Little Golden Book of Evolution even exists being as it was printed in a less enlightened time. (But that was before St. Reagan was in office.)" Ah, my sister, such a paragon of sensitivity.

A Milestone, Kinda

According to Site Meter, I passed the 20,000th hit mark sometime this morning. Yay! Of course, half of those were me and a large portion of the rest were misdirected search requests for bizarre porn, but still, 20,000 is a lot.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Frog Trap

I love toads and frogs. The sunken basement window of my office is basically a frog trap. I used to hate it when frogs and toads got in there, but now I like it. Yes, it's annoying when they constantly jump against the window at night while I'm trying to look at porn...I mean, do important online research, but I'm always fascinated by the different types of toads and frogs I find the next day.

I have a few field guides to help me identify them, and there's plenty of online resources, but the odd thing is that I've been finding things that aren't supposed to be in this county. This week I've found two Eastern Spadefood toads. Look at the map of where they're supposed to be in Virginia. Not only are they not supposed to be in Pittsylvania County, they're not supposed to be in any of the counties that border Pittsylvania County either. (Pittsylvania County's on the bottom of the state about halfway across. Here's a Virginia map with all the names on it.) But yet I've found two of them, which makes me think they're probably all over the state, but no one's bothered to find them and identify them. What else am I going to find?

Of course I took some photos of the Spadefoot toads: a side view of number one, a front view of number one, a side view of number two, and a front view of number two. (These are links to my Textamerica moblog, which seems to load very, very slowly at times. And sometimes not at all. Sorry.)

Exciting, no? No.

Walking Around

I went out for a walk today with a camera and made sure I went down to get a decent shot of the bent Dan River sign.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Not Impressed

I'm not impressed with Blogger's new bar at the top of all our blogs. I don't really see the point of it. The search feature's nice (I took my old Atomz search box down in response), but the rest I can do without. Actually, I love BlogThis! and use it all the time, but yesterday (the first day the bar appeared), BlogThis! stopped working properly. Sure, it works just fine on the spiffy new bar (where I don't really need it), but now the BlogThis! Firefox extension doesn't work right and I have to laboriously edit everything. No more convenience. And I can't even log on with the BlogThis! button on the Google toolbar anymore. Lovely. Thanks, Blogger, for giving me more reasons to go to TypePad.

Update: I just went over to Blogger Status a few minutes ago and read the following entry from yesterday, "Changes pushed today broke BloggerAPI 2.0 - we're in the process of working out a fix." Well, I guess that explains it, but I'm still not impressed with the bar. So there.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Please Kill Me

You know what I hate? I hate it when I get a song I hate stuck in my head, but I'm not paying attention, so I end up sort of mentally singing along with the this song I hate. I'll just be sitting there, la-de-da-da, when all of a sudden I realize what I'm doing. Today's song? Peaches and Herb's "Reunited". I hate that song!

Random Name Generator

"Let the Name Generator create you a new name." Or not. My new name was Spicy Maxi Pad Monster.

Female Latex Masks, Anyone?

Maskon.com: "Your one-stop resource for female latex masks on the Internet." Finally! I hate having to hunt all over the damn internet looking for female latex masks. [Link via the not-safe-for-work Fleshbot.]

Baby Chicks

Curious about photos of baby chicks? No? Humor me, please. Compare the wild turkey chicks to the ones I photographed last month.

Big List of Blog Search Engines

Blogger Ari Paparo has compiled the Big List of Blog Search Engines. And it is a big list.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

More Tornado Photos

In my comments earlier, Cindy mentioned a new gallery of tornado damage photos. These are really good. They even have the badly bent Dan River sign and the ripped open warehouse.

In other news, what's left of the hurricane missed us.

It's Official

It was a tornado that hit here on Thurday. At least 5 million dollars in damages so far.

I found a small gallery of storm damage pictures, but it doesn't have the department store, the big Dan River sign, or the warehouse that was torn up.

And the hurricane should be here by 8:00 PM. Whoopie!

Friday, August 13, 2004


We had what was probably a tornado come through town yesterday around 4:30 PM or so. It didn't hit near where I am, but it tore up some stuff in town.

This morning I went out on a rubber-necking tour and saw lots of big trees snapped in two and a heavily damaged grocery store. I put a few bland pictures of the grocery store area up at my practically abandoned photoblog.

Free Clash!

Hey, over at clashcity.com they have a pile of Clash, and Clash-related, .mp3's.

Why, oh, why do I have to be stuck on a dial-up connection? [Link via The Cartoonist.]

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Categories, Please

After doing the blogging thing for well over a year and a half, I've begun to want more from the blogging platform I use. Blogger keeps adding features, but one thing they haven't added that I really want is categories. You've seen them, mainly on Movable Type blogs; a post will have a category such as general, humor, programming, political, or whatever the particular post is about. Having the posts categorized makes it easier to search older posts, such as, if you only wanted to search the political posts. I was hoping there was a way to get categories in Blogger, but all I've turned up is a needlessly complicated workaround that actually requires you to have multiple blogs.

Yesterday I blundered across a blog with categories that appeared to be using Blogger. It wasn't a Blogspot URL, but you can put your Blogger blog on your own server if you want. The template was one of the array of boring ones Blogger trotted out with the relaunch a few months ago. (I don't like any of the Blogger templates, not even the one I use.) I wondered how he did it. Maybe there was a simple way where I'd just have to add a few lines of code. I considered emailing him and begging the secret out of him. Then I looked at his html and saw he was using WordPress, not Blogger. AARRGGHH!! So I can't have categories at all with Blogger.

For the past couple of weeks I've been experimenting with blogging software that I have to install myself on a server. I've managed to successfully install WordPress, which I love, and Nucleus CMS, which I don't love. I failed miserably in my attempt to install pLog. I didn't even try to install Movable Type. I've been wanting to move my blog off Blogger to somewhere where I have more controll for a long time, practically since the beginning. But after messing around with these different blogging programs a bit, I'm beginning to think that it's better to let other, more qualified people deal with the technical side of things. Blogger's done a good job in keeping up with all of my 1,000-plus posts. If I'd been trying to keep track of all of that stuff, and deal with the other problems, I probably would've lost half of it. So, I've come to the conclusion that I need to move the blog to a solid platform with the features I want, and I don't want to have to worry that company's going to disappear overnight. (Why people use off-brand blogging services I'll never know.) I've decided on TypePad is probably my best bet, but I don't know when I'll be making the move.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Blog Glut

Weblogs Compendium lists what I can only hope is all, or at least most, of the sites that offer blogs. It's a long list.

World Sex Records

The online Illustrated Book of Sexual Records will surely be useful in settling strange bar bets. But there's also World Sexual Records and the World Sex Records & Adult Statistics Site. These should keep you busy for awhile. (And I shouldn't have to tell you that these may not be safe for work.)

Gmail Wiki?

There's a Gmail Wiki? Why? [Link via Wiremine.]

Famous Mugshots

"Celebrities and the Infamous Behind Bars."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Worst. Software. Name. Ever.

There's a wiki engine out of Austria called Cuntilla.

Wiki Ruins.

Wikis tend to have an area called a sandbox where people can practice with the wiki formatting syntax particular to that piece of software before they start editing the actual wiki. (About two of you know what the hell I'm talking about. Humor me, please.) What happens to the sandbox of an abandoned wiki? Spam!

Break My Face.

Break My Face features lots of info on obscure punk bands of the late 70's and early 80's. (The site's done by obsessive record collectors.) My own personal favorite is the sad tale of Rock Bottom & the Spys (a band I'd never heard of).

It's Bigfoots, Not Bigfeet.

Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Oh, lawdy, I loves me some bigfoot! Lots of info.

Rubber Chickens?

Sex with Rubber Chickens? "Admit it-the presence of a rubber chickens is sexual. Whether you're at a scene party or in a comedy club rubber chickens scream sexual tension!" Um...sure. Why not?

And, of course, see the official site. (I guess it's all safe for work.)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Bitter Films Official Homepage

Bitter Films Official Homepage: Animated Short Films by Don Hertzfeldt. Great stick figures.

Interesting food to try in Thailand

Interesting food to try in Thailand should probably be renamed, Nauseating food to try in Thailand.

The Poop Report

The Intellectual Appreciation of Poop Humor. If they say so.

The Whores of War

The Whores of War is a blog entirely about mercenaries, especially the private compaies like Dynacorp.

It hasn't been updated in a while.


I'm not exactly sure what's up with this page. There's lots of information about mercenaries. Including a big page of links.

Iron Man!

I dug through the 45's today at the thrift store. You know, 45 rpm records. Those black round things with a hole in the center that your parents used to listen to music with. Yes, those. Anyway, I found some surprisingly decent things like The Monkees, The Turtles, Led Zepplin, Johnnie Taylor, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. But the best thing was a promo copy of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". It's mono on one side and stereo on the other. And it only cost 33 cents. Yippee!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Oh, Deer.

This place is practically a zoo. We've got it all: turkeys, frogs, hawks, buzzards, deer, you name it. Yesterday I saw a mother deer and her two spotted offspring strolling around in the backyard eating things. I got my digital camera and took a bunch of shots through a pair of binoculars. Once again, I braced the binoculars on the window rather than going to the trouble of getting out one of my tripods. And, once again, I was surprised that I actually ended up with a couple of decent shots considering how I took them.