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FRIDAY, AUGUST 17th 2007

Warning: this is all dull. This is the blog equivalent of someone muttering to themselves while walking the dog. Ignore and move along to another blog. Or, enjoy this security camera classic:

I hope she’s okay. I found this on Fark in the middle of a grand epic thread, and I couldn’t stop watching. I still can’t. It’s hypnotic. All it lacks is a puff of smoke, Wile E. style. It’s the hands at the end, I think, clawing the sides as she plummets into the grave. The hole wins. The hole knew it would win. The hole always wins.

From BoingBoing: the star with a comet’s tail. If this is SimCity, the programmer has granted us no end of lovely Easter Eggs.

Taking a brief break from doing a Diner. And why am I doing a Diner? Because it’s something different, and different is good. Makes me happy. I’m happy anyway. The Number One Brain Obstruction was completed today. On to number two.

Honestly, this has plagued me for a month. It’s about the art for the book. At the last minute they needed to rescan a few things. They sent me a packet with thumbnails of the art they required. Keep in mind that everything was packed up and put in storage months ago. Well, I forgot about it, because 99.7 of my brain was taken up with the new job, and because that’ll happen with me. I’m bad. Naughty. Damned naughty. I opened the pack the day we were leaving for the cruise, thinking I’d get it in the mail. They had requested 48 pieces of art. At least. Gah. So I spent two panicked hours assembling what I could, thinking: I’ll FedEx it from the hotel in Seattle.

Well, they didn’t have a regular pickup. I could arrange for one, of course. So I tried to set up an account over the phone, but kept getting disconnected. Well, I’ll FedEx it from stop on the cruise. Somehow that opportunity never arose, so it meant that I not only schlepped all the art to Alaska and back, I didn’t dare check it, lest it get lost in the bowels of the baggage underworld. Flash forward three weeks or so: finally got the last piece of art out, as well as the last chapter intros. And the dedication. Having run out of immediate family members, this one is dedicated to you: all the patrons and contributors to

It’s done. Out in four months.

Long long long day. Began extra-early; had to take Gnat to get the bus for day camp, and since my wife had to leave the house even earlier for one of her ungodly meetings, this meant I was responsible for waking Gnat up. Convinced I would oversleep, I woke every 30 minutes to check the alarm. Four AM. Four thirty. Five AM. And so on. Repeat until it’s 7, then stagger through the rest of the day, bleary and blockheaded. Fell asleep for a brief nap after supper, then remembered I would be on Hugh Hewitt’s show in a few minutes. Drank coffee. Fast. Drank lots of coffee. Managed not to slur or commit great dead pauses, so I wasn’t a total embarrassment. Then, since my wife had Bunco, I took Gnat to the park. No more the days of standing over her while she clambers around, fearful she’ll fall and snap her tiny neck – now she joins the pack of kids and runs here and there, laughter ringing through the twilight. I sat on a bench with one of the dads, a fine fellow in the distilled spirits industry, and talked about The General State of Things – it’s remarkable how two guys on a park bench can solve just about anything – as well as new marketing advances in the world of Vodka. Heads up: there’s a new Russian import coming in with a sub-double-sawbuck price point for a magnum. Heavy on the clever graphics. That’s what sells vodka these days: the bottle and the price. Twenty dollars is the magic price-point; you want to kill your sales, bump it up above $20. You want riches, sell the juice for $19, and use the color red somewhere.

Then I collected Gnat and we went off to the movie store, where she managed to find a Pokemon video she hadn’t seen before. I hope it's not the one in which Ash accidentally asphyxiates a Pokemon in the ball. I swear, some seasons of the show, Ash sounds just like Nelson Muntz. Note to self: waste time by googling that matter tomorrow. Preferably at work. Look busy while doing so. Drum fingers.

I have to put her in the bath soon, so that means I’d better finish the Diner. I’ve no idea where it’s going, as usual. Back in a while.


Well, that was a pointless & sucktastic podcast. Have I done anything this week with which I was particularly satisfied? No. But there’s always tomorrow. Blessed Friday Night, when I give myself leave to ignore the growling herd of things that must be done. Tomorrow I pick up Gnat from camp, order the pizza, then settle in for Happy Fun Time. I’ve movies queued up – “Hot Fuzz,” which I know in advance will not be as good as “Shaun of the Dead,” and I don’t care, and “Perfume,” a movie based on a novel I read many years ago. It has Dustin Hoffman. Everything I watch nowadays has Dustin Hoffman. Last night I granted myself 27 minutes of TV before bed, and watched part of “Outbreak” – with Dustin Hoffman! I have my fears about the rest of the movie; anything that features Donald Sutherland in a uniform has the potential to annoy. I like him, but he’s usually cast as the uncaring embodiment of the ancient evil military order that celebrated the My Lai massacre with ceremonial Zippos: that’s the spirit, lads. I’m also supposed to believe that Dustin Hoffman was married to Rene Russo. They’re estranged in the movie, which surely means they have to work together in the second half of the film and find love once more while attempting to cure an unknown virus that makes people bleed like fire hydrants from all available openings. Hollywood. There’s just nothing we can do about it, sometimes.


Wife’s home. Got Gnat to bed. Still to come: must make Gnat’s lunch, set the coffee machine for tomorrow, post this, make sure the links are jake, and write the opening for tomorrow’s buzz, then have some popcorn and watchc 27 more minutes of craptacular Hollywoody drivel. In that spirit: Hey, here’s a Diner! It stinks. Itunes version here, MP3 here.  Thanks as ever for your patronage and patience – see you at, right about now.