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31 December 2015

Happy Reformed Gregorian New Year 2016 / special shoutout to The Uma & Khaled Mardam-Bey / This Planet's a Mess!

Click to enlarge.

uhhh wow we just had our first nasty Solid Precipitation Event of the Winter (which, calendrically, began 9 days ago, with balmy spring weather), and an hour ago (while the Happy New Year fireworks set a Dubai skyscraper ablaze) I slid and slipped on ice and snow to drive into town to get Chinese food -- the menu still calls it Peking Duck, but I guess it should be Beijing Duck.

S.W.M.B.O. also wanted Cheetos, which she claims is a universally recognized New Year's Day tradition.

So ...

Happy Reformed  
Gregorian New Year!

If Vleeptroids will recall, the first HNY greeting I designed was meant to do only one thing: Not have any of the standard famous hokey stereotypical cliches, like the old bearded man limping & wheezing out, and the neonate in a diaper/nappy crawling in.

So here Vleeptron pours methode champagnoise into The Einstein-Minkowski Light Cone!

Albert and his pal Herman cooked up this-here Light Cone to represent ... well, Everything. The Past, the Future, the Present, and all the crap that goes on Everywhere and Everywhen. 

The idea is that the constant velocity of light speeds in all directions To and From HERE & NOW.

There may be goofy crap Outside or Beyond the Light Cone, but we can never perceive or experience it. It is Forever Unknowable. Because we can't see stuff beyond where light has travelled from NOW.

(For you Unatheists, God, or However Many Gods you believe in -- He, She or Them know all this Outside-the-Cone Goofy Crap. But we mere mortals and Einsteins and Minkowskis, we can't even guess. We are, to put it bluntly, Too Fucking Dumb.)

(I personally think that Killer Clowns from Outer Space live outside the E-M Light Cone -- but I got no proof.)

Now I will briefly -- as briefly as possible for the verbose Vleeptron Dude -- summarize the quickly expiring Year 2015.

It sucked. It bit the Hairy Wazoo. It was the Year of the Dead Babies, the Year of the 14-year-old girl Suicide Bombers, the Year of the Abducted Zoroastrians and Nigerian Schoolgirls ...

I could go on.

But, as Fred Schneider & the Shake Society sang:

Now I'm going to prepare to eat my Beijing Duck and Drink my methode champagnoise and try to stay awake until our local midnight about 5 hours from now. (I always like to hear Guy Lambardo & His Royal Canadians sing Auld Lang Syne.)

I love all Vleeptroids, here, on Earth and in the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy! And wish everyone a MUCH MUCH BETTER 2016! 

Oh, a special shout-out to The Uma -- salam, selam, safety wherever you may be, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, or Darmstadt DE. 

And a special Salam to Khaled Mardam-Bey, who turned a gazillion strangers into neighbors! If there's True Hope for a better 2016, Khaled's one of the world's best bringers of this Hope.

18 November 2015

MoNGO & Vleeptron want Asian, African & Middle Eastern refugees in USA now / Muslims, Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, Druse, Samaritans, Alewites, Atheists welcome, lay your burden down

Click to enlarge,
hope, dream
The New Colossus

by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Source: Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems and Other Writings (2002) 

12 November 2015

When you see millions of the mouthless dead / Veterans Day / War Without End Amen

Charles Hamilton Sorley, a Scot from Aberdeen, was shot through the head and died instantly at age 20, at the Battle of Loos, on Wednesday 13 October 1915. His body was lost, but his kit bag was found and sent home to his family. They found this poem inside it.

When You See Millions
of the Mouthless Dead

Charles Hamilton Sorley (1895-1915)

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
"Yet many a better one has died before."
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.

Original text: Charles Hamilton Sorley. Marlborough and other Poems. 4th edition. Cambridge: University Press, 1919: 78 (no. XXXIV). First publication date: 1916. Composition date: 1915. Form: sonnet. Rhyme: ababbabacdcdcd


In 1918, largely by coincidence and random accident, the combatants along the Western Front (France) agreed that the guns would fall silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.


I found a poppy Tuesday night. No one was selling them -- distributing them for a vets charity -- around town, so for the 2nd time in my life as a veteran I wandered into the VFW hall, and the friendly barmaid had a bunch of them on the bar. 

I wore it on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. A couple of people noticed and knew what it meant. One thanked me for my service -- this Endless War's Hallmark Card for this Miserable Circumstance.

But I like this holiday better than the other one, because Veterans Day / Remembrance Day / Armistice Day is more about the guys who came back pretty much okay.

If you have male children, make sure they can type fast and well. If they have dual citizenship, Do Not Give Up either citizenship.

08 November 2015

at le Cinema PolyOdeon QuadruplePlex-16 RealD (tm) IMAX (tm) off Exit 6a I-84 / e-mails from cineaste who grew up in Jura

cliquez pour le format anamorphique

Yo Bob

Naturally after 24 hours I have forgotten most of what I have seen. Bob /Pauline Keel Was Right. I think I only saw about 40 or 50 minutes of it anyway and started doodling on the iPad.

This is an A List Movie ? Huh ? The 3D animations were absolutely mondblowing and flawless, there were some nice scenes – the rest is utterly forgettable.

Of all the characters Chriss Pratt (a comedian ? Seriously ?) is somewhat likeable, the nerds at the control center were ok, the rest is – forgettable.

Plot line ? Bloody hell, don’t get me started. What we have here is a classic Monster Movie in the B Category that has more to do with It Came From Outer Space, King Kong or Godzilla BUT NOT DINOSAURS !  Of course I knew I was watching a sorta wanna-be SF movie, but if you construct you own universe  just make sure it does not collapse in on itself. That plot has more holes in it that swiss cheese and I know bloody well what I am talking about here – a chameleon “dinosaur” – in an amusement park. Who wants to see that ? When I heard that I thought “oh good, it is going to break out of its cage and cause death and destruction while being able to shape-shift. Brilliant idea, mate ! You reckon park visitors would pay for a thing they can hardly spot ? But since it can shape-shift we have the perfect scenery for some action...”
Good SF, even unrealistic SF works because that self-sustaining bubble has rules based on the logic of that bubble. This movie has no logic, it is just popcorn trash and the most dissapointing thing is that this is supposed to be an A list movie....
I mean I like popcorn movies, my generation was raised on american movies like Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, Star Wars and all that. But ya gotta draw the line somewhere....

The original Jurassic Park (based on a Michael Crichton book, I believe) hat a decent plot, good actors playing believable charactars, it hat dinosaurs, action, a few funny moments – and even a message, even if it was a small one. And I can still remember this movie.

This kacke had none of that and if this is the current state of Hollywood Popcorn Blockbuster Movies then I am utterly baffled. Neffe liked it, but he’s 14 and you know how kids at that age are. Just you wait ‘till the little bugger can clock stuff like Brazil, Blade Runner, Seven, The Godfather etc. ! I have already lost him when it comes to mainstream music but I might have a chance with doing something for his cineastic intellect before it is too late.

Yet not all is lost. I hear The Martian is pretty good, and if the movie is only 1/4 as cool as the book and they haven’t fucked it up too much this one might be a treat....


From: Robert Merkin
Sent: Saturday, November 7, 2015 9:54 PM
To: PatfromCH
Subject: Re: At the movies

Pauline Kael had a book about movies called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is what Italians call James Bond, Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Jurassic World -- well, I told you, it was Supercalliafragialistic Amaze-o-Scope 4D Popaphonic (tm) Popcorn Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Roar Roar. All Phineas T. Barnum, the great showman who brought The Amazing White Elephant to America. (A school -- well, not mate, we didn't like one another -- but a school guy now owns the Barnum and Baily Circus. He has to swear to the media a lot that he would never mistreat or do weird surgical things to turn horses into unicorns. He doesn't do that anymore. And the tigers and lions all have Luxury Erste Klasse air-conditioned cage and train accomodations.)

These are wonderful movies to smoke hasheesh or take LSD or drink absinthe to. And to watch with dates -- a couple of rented Jung Madchen at the Nevada bordello. (Stay away from the convenience-store faux viagra.)

And then, Ms. Kael said, you immediately forget all about it. The movie is entirely consumable in the theater. No residue remains in your brain.
"You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll kiss three bucks goodbye!"

-- promo for "Hardware Wars"

As I said, there is a tragedy associated with this bag of gobshite, and that is that Chris Pratt is an inspired W.C. Fields Chaplin-class comic.

"Dying is easy. COMEDY is hard." 

-- Edmund Kean, Shakespearean actor

Chris is very much a Brain Comic, the intellectual absurdities of existence are his special forte, but if you want him to tumble down into a dark muddy hole and garbage pit on a cold night, he's happy to do that, too. And do it as well as Fields (the world's finest juggler ever) did. (Fields did it all while drunk, but I haven't heard what, if anything, Chris Pratt uses/abuses.)

Great comics are often gifted musicians, or at least have natural musical talents, because it's all in the rhythm and the tempo.

Have you heard the world-shattering news? James Bond shagged a 51-year-old woman! She's really -- uhhhh -- well, okay, not HOT, but uhhh ... well, not too far Out Of Code, as Brits say in likening an older woman to grocery store cheese in your refrigerator that is still safe to consume. I wonder what Bond Girl No. 1, Ursi, thinks about this new surprise development in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang World. Today Barbara Bach, another Bond Girl, was on TV in her first comedy, Caveman, where she met and then married Ringo Starr. The whole thing is Very Funny, and all the pretty young women are dressed in skimpy animal skins.
SWMBO looks at some women on TV and mutters "mutton dressed as lamb" -- like Angela Merkel dressing like a Japanese schoolgirl to emphasize her attractive seductive youngness.
You laughed, you cried, you kissed how many Swiss francs goodbye? Say hi to Neffe.

(SWMBO left me all alone this weekend! gtg, identical twin redhead freckled cheerleaders Tiffani and Heather are waiting for me in the hot tub.)

----- Original Message -----
From: "PatfromCH"
To: "Robert Merkin"
Sent: Saturday, November 07, 2015 2:28 PM
Subject: At the movies

Watching jurassic world with my nephew on bluray Oh dear what  awful gobshite.....

Von meinem iPad gesendet=

Vleeporn! / e-mail from abroad / e-mail from a broad / hookup alert! / erotic multiplier effect of impending world/nuclear/chemical war & life-extincting holocaust

Click to make bigger, more attractive

Lenny & Spike the runaway dropout teenage weasel and stoat who help out around Vleeptron and briefly ran the Zero-Friction Thrill & No I.D. Cheap Beer Park on the system's Rules-Lite Planet Hoon were supervising the Vleeptron e-Mail Spam & Malware filter  -- we call it The Great Firewall of Vleeptron -- and after they left to get to a Fudge Tunnel concert at Club Drek, I found we had received this wholly unsolicited message:


FROM: Valencia Loffler
SUBJECT: Feeling Horny? Get Laid Now!

Hello straṇger sex master.
I just bro͑ke up wit֮h my BF a֖nd I'm l֓ooking for sٛome f͕un :ֵ-) Wa֣n̊t to come over?
My s٘cr֙eenname is Vٗalencia90 ))
My pr֧ofile i͛s here: h ttp://


Valencia90 and I are both in the Northern Hemisphere, as winter approaches. So this invitation sounds very inviting, and maybe even more stimulating than such hookups usually are as the United States of America and Russia seem, in two or three locales, to be toying with the idea of direct armed conflict. Both Russia and the USA have missiles armed with fission and fusion weapons, and Syria has brought back the long-gone but well-remembered Poison Gas Warfare. 

Great and crappy world literature alike have found that when War Breaks Out, everybody's nipples get stiff and everybody gets a big erection, no Viagra necessary. You don't even have to use that herbal stiffener that they sell at Apu's convenience store on the Vegas Strip.

Because we both know there's a very good chance this may be the last time we get to bang one another, or, for that matter, to bang anyone. The MoD may even permanently prohibit masturbation, or make it a lot harder than it used to be.

Valencia (who truly is 90) is very clearly a fur-clad Russian babe, but our analysts at the Vleeptron Security Agency suspect she's posing on a sidewalk in Queens or Brooklyn or maybe the Bronx. That's my old beloved Marlboro cigarette brand ad in the background. And the alphabet is all Roman, not Cyrillic. 

No flies on the boffins at VSA, who lease office space in the Tri-Sky-Hi Towers in Ciudad Vleeptron. Valencia cannot keep her true location secret from Rumply Snrq-Bellvale and his Team for long.

So if I decide to go for it, I may only have to take a 6-hour Amtrak train for our secluded rendezvous over borscht and vodka (not that French vodka, either, the Real Tovarich Brand stuff).I hope she can get her hands on a tin of Caspian caviar, too. Does she take credit cards? Or American dollars? Or The New Tumbling Ruble? Euros?

Valencia's e-mail seems to be trying to inspire me to travel

4161 miles (6696 km) (3616 nautical miles) 

to make this hookup happen. 

What should I do? Please Leave A Comment.

"Of all our regrets, the coldest and most empty are of temptations we have successfully resisted."

-- James Branch Cabell
("tell the rabble
it rhymes with Cabell") 



I just noticed the dot br -- to get a little of the old in-out, I may have to get my fundijo to the Southern Hemisphere, maybe the Beach at Ipanema, or maybe Valencia is dancing at the SambaDrome with skin glitter.

4858 miles (7818 km) (4222 nautical miles)

03 November 2015

31 October 2015

the Treasure at the Bottom of Deep Shit Lake

Cliquez sur Ubu Roi pour a faire plus grande

e-mail to former newsie colleague of Vleeptron Dude who found me 35 years later on LinkdIn or whatever
wow okay during my confusing and painful collisions with Higher Education, I majored in theater/drama at NYU in da Bronx (i.e., in wild theater party orgies), so now you tell me D**** has reached the Zenith of All My Life Ambitions: He's writ and staged an Off-Broadway Play!!! (Did they invite him to the cast party?) What is the play's name, who reviewed it? D**** used to mutter about eventually writing a novel, but I don't think he considered me Worthy to share Deep Literary Dreams with. Once I bought him a novel I liked, "The Origin of the Brunists" by Robert Coover, and tho he appreciated the gesture, I think the book made him throw up. (Not an original reaction to reading Coover.)
But Holy Krap he's an off-Broadway Playwright now! Color me violently envious!
Here's [4-sheet at top] something inspired by one of my favorite playwrights, I saw it produced in the little experimental theater at Lincoln Center, and IMHO the production sucked. 
But the play -- originally written by a French junior high school student about a math teacher he hated -- is just -- well, it opened up a New Universe for human beings, including moi. Postalo Vleeptron is one of my postal issuing authorities from my vacation planet (I got a condo in Ciudad Vleeptron near the Shoe Mirrors UnderWay stop).
As winter approaches, i am also violently envious of your childhood in the Bahamas. C2 taught in the Caymans for a few years -- I think she still has a bank account there with like $53 plus a few decades of interest. Wow, I know somebody what's got a bank account in the Caymans.
When we've been able to swing it, we like the (former) Dutch islands, particularly Statia. Stay away from the French half of Sint/Saint Maarten, you'll get shot or stabbed there, sometimes accidentally by les Gendarmes themselves. The Dutch half prohibits all such non-Calvinist misbehavior.
We don't have to do anything about our Leach Field, but it's not advised to eat stuff C2 grows on top of it. Most enjoyable story I covered in Miami was this huge garbage truck that had sunk into the landfill's Deep Shit Lake, and any foole who wanted to put on a deep-sea diver soot and go down there could have the big truck for free if he was successful. Took him 3 days of diving into Solid Waste, but he managed to hook a chain to that truck. (He told me it wasn't worth it, and he sure wasn't doing anything like that ever again. I think his gf operated the air pump topside.)
Pardon my senile dementia, I think M*****'s Pulitzer was for her Herald reporting, not for the girls basketball book. Do you know folks who shifted to the Palm Beach Whatchamacallit? Who?
Envious Bob

25 October 2015

PIZZAQ -- What kind of car was it?

Click to enlarge.
Courtesy of a guy on IRC.

Okay, after it knocks you down and speeds away, the cop will ask you what kind of car it was.

What kind of car was it?

... and, if you're a car buff, what else do you know about it?

Free 6-pack of good beer if you own one or ever drove one. Please supply details, routes and opinions. Did it make you happy? Did it make you unhappy?

1 Large Gluten-Free Pizza with endives, shallots, garlic and Camembert.

16 September 2015

bite me Madam Ambassador / and Hungary too / Charlie Hebdo's migrant crisis cartoons / the remarkable people of Darmstadt

Charlie Hebdo
weekly satire/news magazine

Click to enlarge
Cliquez fiche pour le plus grande

... wish my French was good enough
I'd tell you so much more ...

......-- "Darling, je vous aime beaucoups"

The cartoons were posted to Tayyab's blog. Clearly Vleeptron Dude and Tayyab perceive Charlie Hebdo's publication of these cartoons in very different perspectives. Tayyab and most of his commenters post in English. The post and comments give an excellent peek at how the migrant crisis is painfully ripping scabs willy-nilly around the world.

The historic flight of refugees is also unexpectedly and unintentionally showing that the human race is filled with Ordinary People who spontaneously, often at sacrifice and risk, do wonderful things.

Within the last day or two, Lord Mayor Jochen Partsch of Darmstadt, Germany hosted a big downtown public party for the town's sudden influx of Middle East refugees, with volunteer townspeople feeding, clothing and entertaining the newcomers and distributing stuffed animals to the migrant children.

"Darmstadt" seemed a familiar echo. Then I remembered. When not welcoming desperate refugees, many Darmstadters work for the European Space Agency's successful Rosetta/Philae mission to land Earth's first robot probe on a comet.

This is a very interesting community: top-flight rocket scientists who welcome desperate war refugees.

This is the First Contact Vleeptron or Vleeptron Dude has ever had with Twitter. Twitter is a communications platform for a world whose deepest and most complex ideas can be compressed into 140 or fewer ASCII characters.  Then you tweet your compressed meme.

My nephew *A* explained to me that Facebook was a Time Suck.

* * * * * * *

Robert Merkin
Chesterfield, Massachusetts USA
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Réka Szemerkényi
Embassy of Hungary
Washington DC USA
16 September 2015
Madam Ambassador:
In my parents' and grandparents' day, the government of Hungary chose to ally itself with the Nazi Third Reich, and partner in its mass murder of Hungary's Jews and Roma people.
Today Hungary's government is using riot police, military force and razor wire to block and deport refugees fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Asian and African nations.
While I recognize that hostility and brutality toward ethnic minorities, different religions, and foreign children, women and men are historic and well-known elements of Hungarian culture and society, now is the time for Hungary, by its government's clear actions, to erase its historic shame and evil, and make Hungary renowned among nations for its humanity and hospitality to the world's most desperate, imperiled and neediest.
I travel throughout Europe, and have long wanted to visit Hungary.
My desire to visit Hungary has vanished this month.
Its return depends entirely on the actions and policies of the Hungarian government, and, through its leadership, the political behavior of the Hungarian people.
I urge your government promptly to reverse its intolerable and inhumane policies.

Robert Merkin

PizzaQ! Wiggle the 3D thing! Make it dance!

after you

click here

use screen cursor to wiggle the 3D thing. 

Also right click puts up a nifty menu to change lots of stuff and make it dance weirdly.

if you are or are not Amy and know what the 3D thing is, Leave a Comment.

1 Large Endive & Brussels Sprout Pizza.

Extra Garlic: Where can you get lots of this stuff, and what might it do to you or for you?

28 August 2015

The Cowboy and the Dutch Tulip Girl / the Free æsthetic Environment of the All-Nite Copy Shop / Roderick Neal Hotham

my town had an open-all-nite copy shop, and I would sleaze in there at 02:00 and spend hours making this stuff. (The copy shop liberally supplied paste and scissors and paper slicers and double-side sticky tape and White-Out. The staff had Other Things To Do and paid no attention to me whatever. I could have made kidnapping ransom notes in the nude for all they cared, I could have cranked out US paper currency as long as I paid for my copies. This all-night copy shop was a Free Environment like us Artists like.)

This is Art -- probably the first Visual Art I ever made. (I had been prohibited from ever again trying to make visual art by my public school art teachers, who believed I was Visually and Chromatically and Æsthetically Deranged. My vision tested fine, but all my art teachers believed there was Something Wrong after the images of the world I saw passed into my Brain. I remember being screamed at for painting a goat purple.)

These links must all be dead by now, and I don't know if they ever caught Roderick Neal Hotham. When I first posted this on "Elmer Elevator's Discount Prep," a very angry lady wrote me an e-mail. She cursed me for defaming a wonderful and completely innocent man.

If you want to curse me, or if you know what happened to Roderick Neal Hotham, Leave A Comment.

If you think my Visual Art sucks, stand in line behind all my Art Teachers, who by now are eternally burning in the fires of Hell.


The Cowboy and the Dutch Tulip Girl

A Cowboy from Niagara Falls is highly popular and admired but lonely. At the same time, a Dutch Tulip-Seller Girl, so recently arrived in St. Louis, Missouri that she has not yet had time to acquire local clothes or shoes, is lonely. Each decides to take a vacation and fly to Paris. Paris, city of innocent gaiety and mirth, where half-clad women dance, show their derrieres to tourists, leapfrog over Japanese businessmen, and lounge around in their lingerie smoking and occasionally thinking about Abraham Lincoln. There the Cowboy and the Tulip Girl meet and fall in love.

Meanwhile, fugitive embezzler Roderick Neal Hotham has also fled to Paris, where he is hatching an evil new scheme involving the unwitting young lovers. He spies on them through the window of a restaurant where they are dining with another cleancut American couple. Because they are in Paris and think it's the local custom, they all commence une menage a quatre. Across town, two young nude women who live with kangaroos practice boxing and calisthenics in their atelier.

September 1995 /  from Dover Clip Art  ("Naughty French Illustrations," "Travel") and the Post Office wall.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert B. Merkin, All Rights Reserved

26 August 2015

we worship cats, the cats forced us to / Bastet and her Cartouche / predate like an Egyptian / the Song of the Cuckoo

Click to enlarge

It's more than possible that we may be embracing a new -- well, a very old -- religion.

But not because of any sudden revelation, like Saul/Paul had on the road to Damascus. Ours sort of snuck up on us over the last 15 years.

Cat worship.

We had 1 when we married, Elmer Elevator the Maine Coon kitten, a wedding gift we got ourselves. (And the only cat I ever paid money for.)

Now we got 6 cats.

(The most recent is just a temp, Yoda's owner claims she will take him back momentarily. We've had him for 2 or 3 years now. Watch This Space.)

The current lineup:

* Yoda
  looks like the Scottish Wildcat

* Benedict Spinoza Cat
  classic grey alley cat
  now 1-eyed, also called Seerauberbenny

* Stewart Wallace Darnley Cat
  chubby marmalade polydactyl
  (seen walking away, also called Mister Golf Pants)

* Mimi
  all-white ill-tempered shelter rescue

the rescued littermate kittens:

* William (the original Scaredy-Cat)

* Spike
  (geboren Daisy Mae, until vet found testicles) ... so we renamed him Spike, so he wouldn't grow up with gender ambiguity issues, like A Boy Named Sue.

I ain't saying we got no mice. But they are very few, and they are very nervous.

So this random unintended accumulation of housecats has inevitably pushed us toward Cat Worship. I'm sure there've been other Cat Religions besides Ancient Egypt, but the Egyptians really went super-freaky about cat worship and the mummification and ritual burial of tens of thousands of departed housecats. When I finally get to Egypt, the huge Cat Cemetery is big on my list.

For the Rationalists, who reject all purely spiritual and magical answers, there's a Big Reason the Egyptians worshipped their housecats. Cats are superspectacular predators of the vermin -- rats, mice -- who eat (and poop and pee in) grain. Cats protected the Egyptians' graineries, staved off famine (and, as a side bonus, rat-borne plague), and allowed Egyptian civilization to flourish for millennia.

The irrational Egyptians were just rational enough to understand this. So one of their Big Deities was Bastet, the Cat Goddess.

There are a gazillion Egyptian silver nouveau cartouche pendants for sale. But it took me more than a year to find an actual Bastet cartouche. Hieroglyphs are a phonetic system, so if you want a pendant that says Freddy or Billie-Jean or Bee-Bob-aloola, you can crank one out.

Somewhere buried in a movers box is my Budge, the standard reference to Egyptian hieroglyphs.

“Who the hell translated this? It’s completely wrong. They must have used Budge; I don’t know why they keep reprinting his books!” – Daniel Jackson, from movie “Stargate”

But this is the way Egypt depicted Bastet / Bast, and this is her authentic Cartouche. Budge shows you that, top glyph to bottom, the cartouche speaks: Bastet.

I've never been able to pin this down, but S.W.M,B.O. says The Code of Hammurabi forbids imprisoning cats in houses; cats must always be free to roam where they like. The Babylonians were hip to the central role cats played in civilization. (They also seem to have invented Beer, and sang an allegorical hymn to the Beer Goddess Ninkasi.)

I would like to take this opportunity to stick my middle finger in the face of the National Audubon Society, which for years has been urging the mass castration or felinicide of housecats, because housecats kill songbirds. 

Okay, guilty as charged.

But the damn things can fly, for god's sake, and if a winged creature is too dumb to avoid being killed by a non-flying housepet, well, it's a Darwin/Russell thing, the songbird was Too Dumb To Live and Breed. Darwin and Russell don't care how pretty it sings.

My fave songbird is the cuckoo, also I think mockingbird, which sings any song or sound which catches its fancy. I once searched for my ringing cell phone for 10 minutes before I looked up and saw a cuckoo on the phone line impersonating my ringtone. Another bird like that in New Zealand loves to sing the Song of the Gasoline Chain Saw which is  chopping down its environment and dooming it to extinction. It's already a rara avis.

Cuckoos are pretty safe, they save lots of energy by putting their eggs in some other bird's nest and letting Mrs. Not-Cuckoo feed and raise the hatchling cuckoo. I think UKers call it a shrike.

Aunt Nathalie, who finally got to see The Comet her siblings always told her came at her birth (1910), had a fancy Swiss cuckoo clock on a landing, and that crazy thing mesmerized me, I wanted to spend the rest of my life sitting and waiting for that crazy bird to pop out and sing. Hey Pat, in CH are there people with cuckoo-clock-related psychiatric disorders, is it a common Swiss thing?

From the first websites I've read regarding the Worship of Bastet, we will be required to feed Bastet constantly with her favorite tastes, warm her in bed on cold nights, and sacrifice our breakables for her to break. Bastet likes it when I step in Bastet's hairball puke in my bare feet. She likes the noise I make.

22 August 2015

puffins! / & our new barfing cornucopia of all digital media ever recorded v archived / feline thyroid troubles? / free link to Videodrome (4 pervs only)

Click the Atlantic Puffin.

S.W.M.B.O. & Vleeptron Dude have returned from our wonderful Adventure to see Atlantic Puffins around their island rookery, and eat Maine Coast seafood.

A few weeks ago, we decided we needed a fancy New TV more than I needed a kidney transplant, S.W.M.B.O. found The Mother Of All Bargains, set up the thing, got this extra dingus called a Roku, and suddenly this Digital Cornucopia of Stuff started barfing out of the screen. 

With 3 button presses, I can be watching Haiti TV Publique en Creole. (TLM is smiling for the camera in Port au Prince, but I sense all is not Really Happy -- especially now that the Dominican Republic is forceably deporting everybody they suspect of having Haitian DNA.)

Life on Hispaniola, both ends of it, has always been tres dificil, muy loco y violent. One end is the wonderful land of Porfirio Rubirosa (alleged to have had the biggest penis on Earth) and the former capital Ciudad Trujillo -- for which Ciudad Vleeptron was named.) Both ends have hated one another since forever, or at least since the slaves overthrew Napoleon's French colonials -- first ever Slave Victory over the Euro enslavers, & Independence!

Maybe I can get HabanaVision now!

I wonder if this thing can get Videodrome. I've always wanted to see a little Videodrome. This could be my chance.

(It CLAIMS it's 3D too. I'll let you know when I see the 3rd D, but meanwhile in anticipation of this new development, we stole 2 pair of 3D glasses when we went to the Multi-Odeon Quad-18 Polyplex Cinema to see "Minions." Cahiers du Vleeptron will review this film in an upcoming edition, also we're pledged to do an issue on Luc Besson, Jean Reno and Le Grand Bleu.)


Hiya welcome home, I'm in pretty good shape, let me know if there's Physical Labor you need me to do. (Not relocating the cord of firewood -- but offer to help with the litter boxes still stands. Not happily, but the offer still stands.)

Now that you have secured an e-portal to All Digital Media Ever Recorded / Archived, could you hunt for the movie

"The Hot Rock"

with George Segal, Robert Redford, Zero Mostel?

I can say no more, except that we shall watch it together, and it will be Gorilla Glue or Loc-Tite for our Love Bond.

(Or I can watch it at 3 am alone.)

One of the Geiger Counter loonies (actually GEO, the Founding Grand Krigat of GC Loonies) just posted a list of regional feline thyroid clinics, interested in info on our nearest feline thyroid clinic?

I guess "feline" implies we could also take our jaguar, all manner of our Big Cats if we suspect a thyroid issue. But not fisher cats, they're Weasels. We need a different specialist if our fisher cat gets thyroid trouble.


08 August 2015

worst family summer camping trip ever / Do Not Feed Wild Rodents / Do Not Play With Rodent Corpses / call Ranger Death at park office

Child who visited Yosemite National Park 

comes down with the plague

CALIFORNIA -- Every year, picturesque Yosemite National Park gets about 4 million visitors. But one arrival this summer is definitely not welcome: the plague.

California’s Department of Public Health and the national park announced Thursday that a child who visited nearby Stanislaus National Forest and camped at Yosemite’s Crane Flat Campground in mid-July had contracted the plague.

That child is recovering, and no other members of the camping party have reported any related symptoms.

Still, authorities are monitoring them as well as warning others to be on guard against the flea-transmitted disease. These extra steps include putting up caution signs at Crane Flat and other campgrounds and urging people to take precautions such as:

Not feeding squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents or touching sick or dead ones

Avoiding hiking or camping near rodent burrows

Putting on long pants tucked into socks or boots with the hope they’ll provide a barrier to fleas

Spraying insect repellent with DEET on socks and pant cuffs — again, to fend off fleas
Keeping wild rodents away from homes, trailers and buildings, not to mention pets

2 deadly plague cases this year in Colorado

Contagious and potentially deadly viruses are not new for Yosemite, where throngs of people flock annually to enjoy breathtaking rocky cliffs, refreshing river waters and dense forests.

In 2012, for instance, three park visitors died after contracting hantavirus.

Yet plague cases are rare not just in Yosemite, but across the United States.

The disease killed millions centuries ago, and — while it can be treated with modern medicine such as antibiotics and antimicrobial — it’s never gone away.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the United States has about seven annual cases, over 80% of which have been in the bubonic form.

There have been three cases reported so far in 2015, which is in line with those numbers. The other two happened in Colorado and both resulted in deaths, one being a teenager in Larimer County and the other an adult in Pueblo County, as announced Wednesday by the local health department.

The Yosemite case is California’s first instance of human plague since 2006, according to state health officer Dr. Karen Smith, when there were three cases in Mono, Los Angeles and Kern counties. There have been 42 such cases in the state since 1970, of which nine proved fatal.

“Although this is a rare disease, people should protect themselves from infection by avoiding any contact with wild rodents,” Smith said.