Hurricane Sandy destroys a part of my childhood

There was a replica of the 3 masted HMS Bounty (I think it has been used in several films, including the well known ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ film and one or more of the ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ films) that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina today.  Two of the sixteen crew members are missing at sea and presumed drowned; the rest managed to board life boats and were rescued by the Coast Guard. The ship subsequently sank.

I only mention it because I have very dim memories of visiting the ship when I was a youngster and we were vacationing in Florida.


I never needed a drink that badly

How is it possible that this slipped under my radar for so long?

UT Student and Phi-Kappa-Alpha brother Alexander “Zander” Broughton denies butt-chugging. Apparently, at some point “Zander” was hospitalized for extreme alcohol poisoning and the whole PKA frat was placed under suspension for this (and possibly other) alcohol related incident(s). Somehow the rumor started that “Zander” had been ‘butt-chugging.’ ‘Butt-chugging’ is when you take alcohol and, instead of drinking it, you put it up your butt… I’m guessing butt chuggers use an enema bag or something. It apparently gets you really fucked up really quickly… maybe butt-chugging is for busy multi-taskers who don’t have time to stand around drinking through your mouth anymore like they did in Grandpa’s day.

The best part of the video is where all the dudes are standing around looking serious as ‘Zander’ and the Fraternity’s lawyer sternly deny butt-chugging several times. ‘Zander’ wants to make it clear that he is NOT GAY… because, I guess, that’s the first question that he thinks should come to mind… and wants to clear his good name — he is not a butt-chugger and he wants those who have called him a butt-chugger to pay the legal consequences for damage to his reputation and the reputation of his fraternity. He wants us to know that the alcohol poisoning that landed him in the hospital was the result of him drinking a whole box of Franzia box wine through his mouth… not by using a hose to put it up his butt. Franzia? Nice choice of beverage, by the way. How the whole topic of butt-chugging came up when ‘Zander’ (or is it ‘Xander?’) landed in the ER is discussed at length in the video.

“Butt-chugging” has a long history.  The pre-Columbian Mayans were notorious butt-chuggers, as this ancient statue proves:

Butt-chugger!

Look at that Mayan; he is so happy to be butt-chugging!


Brave Dungeoneers

Halloween… so it’s time for people to go to haunted houses.  I found these pictures on the web of people visiting a haunted house in Niagara, Canada. I wish some enterprising photoshop jockey would substitute dank stone walls for the wallpaper and dress the people up in armor, helmets, bacpacks, etc., and add torches, pointy hats, coils of rope and all the other impedimentia of dungeoneering, so these could be ‘monster eye views’ of ‘moments before the TPK.’

 
The guy in the yellow shirt perhaps thinks that they are being attacked by a basilisk and has closed his eyes. The young girl’s strategy of coiling herself around her mother will get them both killed.
 
 
These dudes are all squeezing together in a clump that is as tight as possible.  Rookie mistake. One breath from the hell hound will take them all out.
 
 
Not heroic, but running seems like a solid plan.
 
 
The man looks like he is trying to draw his sword or dagger.  Unfortunately, having his date grab his arm like that is going to cause at least a -3 on his initial attack.


Unhappy Camper

Life is full of disappointments.  This morning I was running late and just grabbed something from the freezer for lunch.  Trader Joe’s Filet of Sole. Compare the picture on the box to what I got.  After I cooked it, it looked even worse.

Son of a bitch, Joe! You really let me down!


A Confederacy of Douchebags

I work for The Levy Pants Co.

Today, the phone company turned off the DSL service at one of the facilities that the company I work for owns because of non-payment of the bill. The phone company never sent a bill to our office and I can’t find out where the bills have been going until I get access to the account. We have never seen a bill and I didn’t even know that there was DSL service at this facility until they turned it off and all these devices in the warehouse suddenly do not work. In order to get the service turned back on, I need to get someone to pay the bill. The woman in the accounts payable department of my company can’t pay a bill she does not have (which makes sense to me). The phone company will not let me request a copy of the bill unless I know the account number and the super-secret PIN number which is printed on the bill. In other words, in order to get a copy of the bill I need to know information which is printed on the bill.

WTF?


only 2 more weeks

In less than 2 weeks, Americans will cast their ballots, and, after lots of drama over the count of both the electoral college AND the popular vote, the man who serves as US president for the next 4 years will have been decided. Like the Christmas fatigue that strikes me late in the year every year when I have been “BUY MORE NOWed” to near death, I can’t wait for the election thing to be over.

I’ve already written (on this very blog!) that I think it will be Obama (and I think that’s still true). There’s been a lot of drama in the past couple weeks, especially over Romney’s performance in the debates, but I think the vast number of voters don’t pay attention to debates or issues[1]or parties or platforms[2]. I suspect the vast majority just vote for the person they like most who happens to be in the party they aspire to identify with, with some vague idea that voting for a rich man will make everyone richer or voting for a black man will make other people less racist. These seem like naive reasons to choose a president, but I think people have the right to choose presidents the way they make any other choice in their lives — I might think it is short sighted to choose Geico over another insurance company because you like the gecko with the Australian accent on their commercials, but I can’t deny that it is the consumer’s right to pick Geico because of the gecko. Similarly, if Romney’s Mormonism or his helmet-hair or his wife’s horses makes him seem like a better candidate than Obama’s Christianity or his close-cut hair or Bo the dog, then go for it. It is your right as an American to make a decision for stupid reasons.

I think the main reason for all the media drama is that reporting that we already think that Romney won’t win makes very unexciting television. By continuing to indulge in the shared fantasy that it really will be down to the wire up until election day is in the best interest of pundits, experts and peddlars of infotainment.  Speaking of exciting television, did you hear that Donald Trump has ‘very big’ news about President Obama? Even Mitt Romney (who will presumably benefit from whatever bullshit Trump reveals) can’t pretend to be interested. It’s Geraldo Rivera excavating Al Capone’s vault all over again. (edit: the “very big news” was revealed… and it was not big news after all. Surprised?).

The one issue that doesn’t seem to get any press is environmental stewardship. Yes, I think climate change is real. Even if I didn’t care about the other issues[3] that have already made me think that 4 more years of Obama would be preferable to 4 years of Romney, I’d have to vote for whomever was the ‘greener’ candidate simply because I believe we are destroying the planet faster than it can heal itself… and I think that is an extraordinarily stupid thing to do. Why that isn’t an ‘issue’ in the campaign and abortion is makes me think of Churchill:

Many forms of Gov­ern­ment have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pre­tends that democ­racy is per­fect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…
 


[1]”Issues” seems to mean so many things to so many people that I don’t even know where to begin.  Earlier in this election cycle, gay marriage and the ironically named ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ seemed to be “issues” for some people, although, if you are a God-fearing Christian heterosexual, how your marriage needs to be defended against other people getting married is beyond me.  I mean, if you believe in a vengeful, mean spirited God who will make people want to “be gay” (or “act gay” or “live the gay lifestyle” or however the conservative minds currently phrase the gay ‘condition’) and then send them to hell for that, then why would you want to attempt to interfere with his will by making laws that will presumably prevent sinners from doing the sin that God will want to punish them for?

[2] I remember reading a poll from a few years ago where they discovered that almost a third of Americans polled apparently don’t know who the Vice President is or that Washington DC is not in Washington state — and the Republicans are worried about illegal aliens voting in the election? Could a Nicaraguan nanny without a green card who speaks English as a second language really be a greater threat to democracy than the people who were born here and still don’t understand basic geography or what job Al Gore had before he became the bête noir of Fox News and the American Petroleum Institute?
 
[3] See ‘DOMA,’ athlete doping scandals, prayer in schools, etc. In short, the softball topics that politicians and the press concentrate on when they really should be concentrating on other things.


Twilight of the Grogs

Teenage boys and grognards want this…

Onan the Barbarian’s mighty boot knocked the temple’s door from its hinges and his sword cleaved the first baboon-man guard in twain.  Blood spattered as the dead creature hit the moss covered flagstones and the massed baboon men, who were gathered around something on the altar, turned and hissed in anger at the mighty barbarian.  “Come and die, you stinking sons of monkeys,” Onan roared. The gigantic gems in the eyes of the baboon god idol glittered in the torchlight. Those sapphires will leave here in my pouch when this butcher’s work is done, the mighty warrior thought as he turned and slashed at a baboon-man who snuck soundlessly from the shadows with a curved knife.  Blood flew through the air as the baboon assassin’s head rolled across the floor, cloven from it’s hairy body with one fell stroke…

Sometimes the D&D ‘grognards’ are unintentionally funny. Take this forum discussion where some of the grognards go off on the “Twilight” books (and/or movies), for example.  Dudes who roll dice while pretending to be elves and wizards fighting goblins and gelatinous cubes (mostly dudes, I guess — 99% dudes?) think it is silly that teenage girls and their moms like to fantasize about hot vampires that sparkle in the sunlight and werewolves that look like they belong in a boy band. I almost don’t know where to begin.

…the last of the baboon-men died with a groan, cut to ribbons by the Onan’s whirling blade. There, upon the altar, lay a woman bound with crude ropes of leather with only a scrap of silk to hide her loins. Her hair was as black as the night in far Khemnet where neither stars nor moon adorn the sky, and her heaving breasts were like piles of whipped cream topped with cherries most sweet. “Please, barbarian master,” she moaned, her virginal breast heaving with fear and desire, “I am yours to do with as you will.”

Teenage girls and cougars want this…

Look, I know my D&D love is some dorky-ass shit.  That’s part of what I love about it. But (and I’m being brutally honest here), Howard’s “Conan” books were never great literature to rank with the likes of Conrad, Austen or Twain, okay? I can enjoy Conan novels like I enjoy zombie movies (and Annie enjoys her occasional ‘chick flicks’). People used to call these things ‘guilty pleasures’ but I don’t feel a lot of guilt over it, so that doesn’t quite fit, but call it ‘eye and mind candy’ if you like.  I observe that some people watch NASCAR the way I play D&D.  Rolling dice and laughing with friends  seems as good a use of my time as watching cars covered in corporate logos drive around in circles at high speed, so I’m comfortable in my dorkery. I’ve never felt tempted by ‘Twilight’ (are those books really written by a Mormon woman? That’s pretty weird…), but I also understand that I am not in the target demographic. And I’m OK with that.