You don't feel you could love me, but I feel you could...

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

I have arrived!

Oh yes. I am the man. I have heard so much about this infamous spam/scam, to now finally be receiving it...surely this marks the beginning of great things for me.



NIGERIAN EMBASSY IN YOUR COUNTRY... [geez, my contacts at the Nigerian Embassy are too numerous to recount here, but heads will roll I promise you that]....

On another site I found an extended interchange between the originators of the spam and one recipient. Hilarious stuff, but I never bookmarked it. Maybe someone else out there has seen it before and can redirect everyone.

I feel so special, like I'm a part of history. When I'm old, I'll sit on the porch eating baby cut (but not "baby") carrots and regale all with a telling of my run-in with the Nigerian Government Swindle Spam, and how it changed my life...

Stupidity accounts for most of the variance

I believe it was Batman who said that "criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot." (He may have been quoting a criminologist. I'll have to go reread my "Batman: Year One" comics to be sure. )

Whoever said it left out "they tend to be powerfully stupid as well." Case in point:
Man Leaves Photo at Robbery Scene

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) - Police in Silver Spring, Maryland, can thank a forgetful robber for some good evidence: his picture. Officers say the bandit robbed a camera store after asking for a passport picture. When the clerk opened the register, the suspect drew a gun and demanded money. While he got away with some cash and the photo, police say he forgot about the negative. Detectives have made new prints and are distributing the photo to the media.

News from the critter corner

Here's an interesting story about a new study from Tufts showing that second-hand smoke more than doubles a cat's risk of acquiring feline lymphoma. Thanks to Dr. Wendy for pointing me to this one:

BOSTON - Dr. Antony Moore knows smokers often won't quit to protect themselves or their children. But he hopes his new study tying second-hand smoke exposure to the most common kind of feline cancer will persuade some people to kick the habit.

"I think there's a lot of people who might not quit smoking for themselves or their family," said Moore, a veterinarian at Tufts University. "But they might for their cats."

And on a somewhat lighter note, especially considering all of the beached whale reports out of New England over the last couple of days, researchers now feel that a half-dozen female manatees that beached themselves in Palm Beach County on Tuesday were doing so to escape the amorous advances of a herd (pod? gaggle?) of male suitors.

"These poor girls, the only way they can escape the attention of the males, who are very persistent, is to ground themselves or go up on the beach," [state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner] Jim Huffstodt said. "The biologists believe that after a point, enough's enough. They're tired."

I have this image of these males thrashing about in the surf, crushing beer cans against their heads, screaming at the camera (there's always a camera), head-butting each other in a drunken melee. I guess it isn't only the randy undergraduates who head down to Florida causing women to flee for their lives...or at least to escape for some rest and relaxation.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Six degrees of Dale Peck

Link via Mimi Smartypants

This is just weird, and I am completely tangential to the entire discussion except that Dale Peck was at Drew around the same time I was, and our paths probably crossed once or twice. I came across one of his novels, Now It's Time to Say Goodbye in a bookstore at the airport a year or so ago. Purchased it precisely because I "knew" the guy. Had no expectations, but it had been reviewed to glowing result by the New York Times, which is no mean feat. It is a unique effort, and I was genuinely captivated. Not a novel for the squeamish. So finding a reference to an ongoing vitriolic exchange between Peck and Rick Moody (not an author I'm familiar with) elicited an odd combination of recognition, interest, and genuine puzzlement that I had any visceral reaction at all. Weird.

It's an article that comments on a book review. A meta review, of sorts, which makes it a curiousity. But the article raises some interesting points about the value of literary criticism and the role it plays in advancing the cause of literacy itself, and is worth a look:
Does it matter whether Peck's review is a worthy example of contemporary criticism? Many read it; those who deplored it were also obviously galvanized by it. Isn't that achievement enough? Peck's New Republic piece is a reminder that book reviews aren't merely, or sometimes even mostly, reviews of the books. Criticism is never a sum of professional agendas. Something essential -- like the question, why do words matter? -- survives even the slimiest disputes.

And how come when I press TAB my computer doesn't dispense any soft drinks at all?
Link via Ryan's Rants

Oh dear. This is a frequently asked question...

From the Compaq web site, FAQ # 2859: "Where do I find the ANY key on my keyboard?"

But you all like me, right..?

From The Daily Probe

Woman Mistakes Blog Visitors for Friends

CHICOPEE, Mass. (DPI) - Debra Dixon was shocked to learn that despite WebTrends reports to the contrary, having a daily average of 400 unique visitors to her Blog during peak traffic hours does not translate into real popularity or coolness. "I thought of these people as my friends, you know, because they all stopped by to see how my day was going," said Dixon. "They all really wanted to know what I had for breakfast and how I doubled the volume of my Aunt Jemima syrup by adding water to the bottle." Records show that most of Dixon's visitors are from the search results for "sticky fingers" and "girls who love computers".

(Reported by Jody LaFerriere)

A brief note to the President.
From John Scalzi's Whatever

I just love a clever turn of phrase. I keep forgetting how much I like the way this guy writes. Here's the opening salvo from a column last week.

Note to President: Please, please, please stop trying to reassure Americans about the economy. You probably haven't noticed this, but every time you give a speech or comment about the economy, the market plunges like an anesthetized pigeon. It makes those of us without multi-million dollar nest eggs provided by sweetheart business deals from influence-seeking suck-ups really nervous. If you must have someone speak about the economy for you, please try to have it be someone in your administration who didn't make a fat bag of money off the same slipshod accounting practices that we're now currently trying to legislate out of existence, and/or someone whose own business resume isn't so obviously a chronicle of failing upwards. You may be able to find someone like that on the White House cleaning staff, who are, in any event, used to picking up after your messes.

"A chronicle of failing upwards." Love it.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Most disturbing link to ClothMother today...

Via google: cartoon son mother porno. Brrr.

And while I appreciate the traffic, I have no pictures of the women of Enron from the recent Playboy. I only talked about it. Briefly. All you kids run along now.

A new obsession

Almost forgot to mention this, and it made my morning. New guy moved into the apartment across the way. Mid forties, maybe (I'm bad at that), a little heavy, walks kind of slowly and to one side as if he's in pain or favoring his hip or something. This morning as I'm peeling the sleep off my eyes with a small piece of galvanized sheet metal, I notice him ambling over to his car. Dressed for work, corporate casual. Carrying his wingtips in his hand (I think they were wingtips; could've been was far away and not central to the story but I like saying wingtips for some reason).

No socks on. Walked across across the street to the car, barefoot. Got in the car, sans socks, started it up, drove away.

I'm powerful fascinated now. Who drives to work in their bare feet (unless you work at the beach, and he wasn't dressed for the beach)? Buddhist monks? I'm all intrigued. Can't wait to see if he does it again. I'll report back as I learn more...

Are we doing enough to protect our children?

I have to admit that I'm not following all of the recent news storys about child kidnaping and murder very closely, although I'm mostly familiar with all of them. In part it's because I find all of it sickening and disturbing. But also, these stories have become sensational, and as soon as that happens a big metal door comes crashing down. I find it hard to get invested because I begin to feel manipulated.

Which is not to say these are unimportant issues. But as I was learning about the latest (at the time) missing child (in Tennessee on Saturday, a four-year-old), the network followed up the announcement with the title of the latest phone-in survey (and, presumably, the focus of a new series), asking whether we are doing enough to protect our children. As if this recent rash of publicity is highlighting an increased incidence of this sort of thing. I did a little research online today. Courtesy of Missing Kids dot org.

  • In 2001, over 840,000 adults and juveniles were reported missing to the FBI's National Crime Information Center via police report. 85-90% of those cases involved juveniles, which is about 2,000 per day.

  • These figures represent a 4.1% decrease from the number of reported cases in 2000, although the amount is up an astonishing 444% since 1982 when the Missing Children's Act was passed. This is only the fourth decrease in 20 years.

  • in 1990 Congress passed the National Child Search Assistance Act, mandating immediate police report and NCIC entry in every case. Since then, the reports to NCIC have increased 27%

  • The primary categories of NCIC missing children reports are: Juvenile, Endangered and Involuntary. Juvenile cases (involving familial and non-familial abductions) were down 5% in 2001 from 2000. The Endangered cases are down 1.2% from 2000, and Involuntary cases down 8.8%. The latter two categories include both children and adults.

  • The site also talks about the effectiveness of those little postcards you get in the mail (they work), and the kinds of advice one should impart to children about how to stay safe. These data suggest that a) these new reporting systems are possibly having a deterrent effect and missing child cases are on the way down, or b) some cases may go unreported. So this leads me to wonder why the recent handful of cases is gaining so much publicity. Out of the 2,000 or so that occur every day. Perhaps this is a reflection of a more pervasive sense of helplessness that we collectively might be feeling. Or it's a sensationalist media out to ratchet up the anxiety (no terrorist warnings these days). Or maybe something else. But it seems like inciting panic is not productive in these situations, although I am certainly all in favor of publicizing these stories if that helps to find these kids sooner.

    South Park last week pointed a typically caustic light on all of this, in an episode where the town reacts to an attempted child-naping by building a wall around the town a la the Great Wall of China and, in a flurry of overreaction to the latest TV statistics ("Kids are likely to be kidnaped by strangers," "No, new data shows that kids are more likely to be kidnaped by their own parents!") shipping all of their kids out to live with marauding Mongolian warriors that are trying to tear down the wall. The flailing reaction seems spot-on to me.

    Reminds me of the "Summer of the Shark!" nonsense from last year. We are more likely to be hit by lightning than to be killed by a shark, and internationally, shark attacks were actually down in 2001, but that didn't stop the media from painting this as the next biblical plague to hit the world.

    And to finish out my little rant here, found this entertaining article describing how NASA is accusing the British press of causing a panic over the asteroid due to come our way in 2019. Love all the highbrow sniffing and dismissive banter. And meeting Benny Peiser, who now has the most interesting job title I've yet encountered: professor of neocatastrophism at Liverpool John Moores University. I hear his thesis was titled "It's Gonna Blow! -- and Other Horror Stories You Ought Not Lose Sleep Over."

    Thursday, July 25, 2002

    ”Your attention please. There has been another gate change. Flight 299 from Philadelphia is now departing from gate B7. Scurry, you hapless bastards! Pump those legs! Bleed! And please stop the crying and the endearing treaties with your desperate, pathetic glances: we are indifferent to your pain.”

    Okay, I’m making some of that up. Like the part where they said “please.”

    In the intervening months since I last flew I had forgotten what a freak show awaits you at the Philly International Airport (Useless Air terminal). Sent off to the fabulous big shouldered city of Chicago – one of my favorite destinations – and was actually looking forward to the trip. Like I said, it’s been a while. I forgot. I have never gotten in and out of Chicago without incident. Almost always weather-related. This time was no exception.

    The delays are one thing; you grow to expect them. That's why they have the bars so conveniently close to the gate. To let "sweet liquor ease the pain," as Troy McClure once said. But the willy-nilly (did I just say that?) redirection to different gates, seemingly at random. What? How can they not know with reasonable certainty where the plane will finally end up? Why does it always sound like such a surprise? Dammit who's in charge here?

    Inside, the usual sweaty coagulation of business travelers mingled with the even more pitiable (but ultimately more annoying) vacationers in a helpless dismal wad of multihued dismay, like a pressed and formed paste of gummis, gum and perspiration. Looks colorful and almost attractive, til you get too close. The business types at least know to shut up about it. The newbies feel the need to tell you how inconvenient this all is. And bond with you over it.

    Listen pal, just because we’re in it together doesn’t mean I’m at all interested in hearing how it looks from where you are. We haven’t survived a prison camp together, and we won’t be taking a house by the sea together when it’s all over. It’s just a late flight. I’m pressed this close to your armpit out of necessity, not out of anything endearing about you, or some perverse desire to breathe in your funk. I am trying to avoid eye contact here and just get through this. Help me out.

    And in a related aside on which I will not elaborate further, let me cast the first vote in support of revising the adage “the greatest thing since sliced bread” to something more impressive and essential, like, “the greatest thing since underarm deodorant.” Hoofa.

    Occasionally a pod of bronzed young coed lovelies would spill forth from arriving planes and stride with youthful determination past us. They seemed to be disgorged in pockets (from planes arriving [apparently] from points tropical and festive and southerly) as though they were erupting from larval form at regular intervals. Even they, though bright with youth and health were brimming also with hostility and a tangible disgust. It emanated in glistening heat waves.

    We were none of us having a good time, you understand.

    And yet, the last couple of days held a sort of work nirvana experience for me, if that isn’t too oxymoronic. The kind of busy where you look up and five hours have gone by and you realize that you forgot to eat. An altered state of consciousness. Busy as hell, no question there, but not that “oh my god I can’t take another minute of this” kind of busy. The “my neurons are humming and my thoughts are pressing through, rhythmic and thorough and relevant, immune to distractions, creating a cascade of almost zen-like productivity that is (I think) the same thing that Stephen King used to refer to as ‘falling into the page’ while writing” – THAT kind of busy. Where you feel creative and relaxed and in control even though you’re like a multi-armed Ganesh flipping infinite switches at blinding speed and all in the nick of time to keep it all going. Doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, whee-doggies! This is why the neocortex evolved.

    But the airport still sucked. First class means nothing on a two hour flight. I had four little packets of cashews for dinner on Monday. (Folks in coach eat pretzels, ha!) But those little bottles of Johnny Walker, while too little, did help. As Troy McClure wisely observed.

    Saturday, July 20, 2002


    Ah bliss. Spent a grueling day downtown yesterday talking to physicians of various stripes about erosive esophagitis. Tasty. If you're looking for something to keep you on your diet, do a Google on that and look at some of the pictures you will find. Or better yet, check out Mr. Polyp (link via Breaching the Web). This is why our guts are on the inside, safely out of view.

    Crashed early last night, awoke early this morning. Not entirely my own idea. Big fat Newton feigns affection for food (nothing new there), and then promptly forgets (insistently) that I fed him five minutes after the fact. "Dammit man, can't you see I'm wasting away here?" Cats have little brains, see, inside little heads. And as someone used to say, there's lots of rattle room in there. But then he bounces around the place, apparently in response his frantic conflicting OCD impulses ("Dammit, can't you see I need to be outside? No, not out there, out there! No, not there, over there! What the hell is wrong with you? Why aren't you meeting my needs?" ) He seems to say. Chill man, it's Saturday.

    He's getting better, though, doesn't run for cover while I'm grinding the coffee, although if you rustle a plastic shopping bag he scatters like one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (the loud one who will come bearing cellophane) just popped in.

    Got the coffee bubbling (my secret blend of Starbucks French Roast, Espresso and Genuardi's snickerdoodle..mmm...snickerdoodle)...Six cups! Hell, I may go for eight! Get that right leg tapping on its own like a seismograph, that's when I know it's time to stop. Had Entertainment Weekly waiting for me in the mailbox last night...that and the latest good news from my TIAA-Cref retirement fund. D'oh. And here, proof that all of the planets are in alignment, a quote from John Stewart in the former about the latter: "I have a 401(k) retirement plan...I checked it out today, and I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but I owe $1,700."

    So, a little blogging (lots of stuff to catch up on!), a little secret recipe java, last night's Farscape on tape (had the foresight to set the VCR, well done there), coffee's just about ready, waiting for the ground to dry out so I can go blade around for a few hours before it gets too hot. Recreation. Neat.


    Wednesday, July 17, 2002

    "Isn't this cool?"
    Steve Jobs, announcing the release of a Windows-compatible iPod and other nifty new toys

    Hot damn, it sure is!
    "Jobs said Apple was cutting prices of two iPods -- offering a 1,000-song model for $299 and a 2,000-song model for $399 -- and introducing a 4,000-song model for $499.

    All three will be available to run on both Apple and PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

    Although Apple has been waging an intensive "Switch" advertising campaign to lure users from Windows, a number of the new offerings were aimed to please users of both systems.

    "We have a lot of clients that co-exist," Jobs said

    I have to say, I can't remember the last time I have been so infected by an ad campaign. It's become an obsessive-compulsive tropism for me. The reason, of course, is that I was a Mac user back in the lab. Virtually everything we did ran on one Mac or another, from administering stimuli and controlling the orienting lights in the infant lab, to gathering the data from various input sources (including customized button boxes) and even performing rudimentary analyses. On-line!! Seconds after the kid has left the building, you've got your data! Even our 10MB infant database (that's a lot of babies, folks) was quick, easy, never broke down, etc. All Mac centered.

    And check this out (link via davezilla): "Those who surf the Web using a Mac tend to be better educated and make more money than their PC-using counterparts, according to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings." It is very interesting how this positioning approach is unfolding. We have the sleek, sophisticated, trendy but not superfluous, intelligent but in a west coast jazz scene sort of way product attitude competing with the clunky, boxy, unreliable, common troglodyte attitude on the other. Of course the Mac users make more money -- the Macs tend to cost more. And they are more likely to surf the web because, as davezilla points out, they are writers and graphic designers who are constructing these web sites in the first place. But that's not the issue. These products very clearly are positioned to appeal to different demographics. And if you want to change your social standing, move on up...well, you know what you have to do. Gotta spend money to make money. Or something like that.

    What's interesting to me is that my own response to this mirrored my approach to the business world after leaving academics. I'm a big science geek! I ran babies for a living! I used to teach undergraduates!! I don't anymore, but I used to! They hung on every pearl that fell from my lips (well, for the first two days anyway...and around exam time...). Now I'm just another cog in the wheel, doin' the 9-to-5 on a PC Clone! Shit! And you're telling me, if I switch, that all comes back? Talk about a judo approach. Sign me up.

    Of course, the only reason I haven't already switched is because most of my favorite games (and proportionally, most of the games I look forward to owning soon) are not and will not be Mac compatible. Work applications, no problem. The transition is seamless, or so I'm told (and believe with an almost religious fervor). But I gots to play.

    Monday, July 15, 2002

    "Bring me a wheel of oaken wood, a rein of polished leather,
    a heavy horse and a tumbling sky, brewing heavy weather."

    Jethro Tull, "Heavy Horses"

    Well, the horses weren't heavy, but the sky was surely tumbling on Sunday. Attended my very first pony-ride birthday party, held at Hidden Valley Farm at Ridley Creek State Park. What a hoot, and a completely obvious idea (what nine-year-old wouldn't like to ride ponies on her birthday?) The critters in question were well-mannered and stoically patient. Bagel, the darker smaller one, had kind of a low ambling demeanor, a bit of Eyeore about him; Stormy, the larger mottled one was a bit more energetic and made more eye contact.

    Something very romantic about those surroundings. The sky was unexpectedly threatening (we had been promised bright sun) but it made the whole day more tolerable for the critters and the kids. The tenders at Hidden Valley were very good about educating the kids in terms of horsie behavior, the best way to approach them, and so on. Lots of other livestock as well, mostly fat friendly barn cats that watched us all with mild interest and followed the crowd as we moved around, a good respectable distance behind. Can't show too much interest, now.

    Oh, and poo. Lots of poo. I personally find the smell of horse manure very warm and comforting, but I was mostly alone in that opinion. No sense in trying to convince 20 9-year-old girls that it's anything more than stinky poo, especially when that was the first thing they complained about. In unison. Frequently.

    Life is like that sometimes, kids. Gotta navigate your way through the manure minefield to get to the cake and pony rides. Certainly didn't affect appetites any.

    Sunday, July 14, 2002

    The Buffy Paradigm

    Link via bitter girl.

    Never intended to get off on a Buffy tirade this weekend, but there is no explaining this one. The Center for Strategic and International Studies released a threat assessment regarding biological warfare back in January, and they incorporated the "Buffy Paradigm" and the "Buffy Syndrome." You will need a PDF reader plug-in to enjoy this little tidbit.

    Doesn't appear to be a joke, in spite of the obvious reasons why we should think it is. These terms are used to illustrate our vulnerability, showing how we cannot predict from whence such attacks may come, and alarming us that our means of reacting to these threats may be inadequate. Futher, it suggests that we shouldn't run around like the Scooby gang trying to approach the "unconventional" using "conventional" means. So, leave the medieval weapons in the closet, I guess. A good warding spell is not a better idea than, say, a biological containment suit. Um. okay.

    It's too early in the morning or I would be thinking about other Paradigms to help us in our fight against terror. How about the Scooby-doo Paradigm? As Eddie Izzard referred to it, it's a strategy that relies on cowardice and sandwiches. What about the "Leave it to Beaver" Paradigm? We all pretend that we're living in whitebread mid-1950s America? I don't know how this helps, but I'm sure it will.

    I'm preparing my manifesto now.

    Saturday, July 13, 2002

    "Kryptonite? Silver bullet? Buffy? What's it going to take to keep you in the ground?
    John Crichton to Scorpius, after learning he survived yet again, on Farscape

    Excellent program, for all of you sci fi types out there. Intelligent writing, compelling stories, and no "transporter accidents" as plot devices to move things along. Don't even mind the liberal use of puppets.

    Interesting how inconsistent the SciFi channel can be. They feature and promote heavily shows like Farscape and SG-1, and then they decide that MST3K is no longer profitable so they cancel it. Meanwhile, for the last, what, three years at least, they have been running MST3K reruns every Saturday morning. Obviously the audience still exists, and the availability of those shows on video or DVD has been painfully slow in coming.

    Thursday, July 11, 2002

    Spare the rod, spare the child

    I doubt this NY Times article will have much impact, but it is worth reprinting here.

    A New Look at Effects of Spanking

    After analyzing six decades of expert research on corporal punishment, a psychologist says parents who spank their children risk long-term harm that outweighs the short-term benefit of instant obedience.

    The psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff, found links between spanking and 10 negative behaviors or experiences, including aggression, antisocial behavior and mental health problems. The one positive result of spanking that Dr. Gershoff identified was quick compliance with parental demands.

    "Americans need to re-evaluate why we believe it is reasonable to hit young, vulnerable children, when it is against the law to hit other adults, prisoners and even animals," Dr. Gershoff wrote in a recent issue of The American Psychological Association journal.

    Her analysis, one of the most comprehensive ever on the topic, was accompanied in the Psychological Bulletin by a critique from three other psychologists.

    They defend mild to moderate spanking as a disciplinary option, especially for children 2 to 6, but advise parents with abusive tendencies to avoid spanking.

    Dr. Gershoff, a researcher at Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, spent five years analyzing 88 studies of corporal punishment conducted since 1938. The studies tracked both the short-term and long-term effects of spanking on children.

    Dr. Gershoff did not call for a legal ban on parental corporal punishment, but she urged parents who spank to reconsider their options.

    "When they're in a situation where they're considering spanking," she said in a recent interview, they should "think of something else to do — leave the room, count to 10 and come back again."

    "The risk is just too great," Dr. Gershoff said.

    Several national organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have taken stands against corporal punishment by parents. The psychological association has not, though it is on record opposing corporal punishment at schools and other institutions.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2002

    I must be giving off a pathetic and lonely vibe this week...

    or maybe I'm just lucky, because I have quite unexpectedly heard from two old friends via email and am quite thrilled about it.

    Hola Gaby! Hola Julia! (Number one!). This is what I do instead of working...

    I need to learn how to get this specific in my daily life.

    sweat flavored gummi has been absolutely on fire these last couple of days. Here is her morning mission from a day or two ago.

    Mission: To drink as many cups of coffee as possible before noon.
    So far: One travel mug and three cups, all hi-test french roast.
    Feeling: A little funny.
    Mental stability: Fading fast.
    Temperment: Easily annoyed.
    Trips to the bathroom: 4
    Wishing I had: Some fucking candy to go with this buzz.
    Trying not to: Eat that cruller remnant in the kitchen.
    Daydreaming about: Sexual fantasies involving cartoon characters.
    Working on: Keeping it real.

    Monday, July 08, 2002

    Greetings from Peapack...good God I'm in Peapack...

    Two days of on-site client meetings, late dinners and War Games! I'm putting on my angry face! (grrr). So nothing Clothmotherly until Wednesday.

    Saturday, July 06, 2002

    It's better to have it and not need it... because, if you need it and don't have it, it's too late!

    Speaking of spam, this is perhaps the most inventive spam I've received to date. No herbal Viagara, teenage porn, online casinos or 0% APR credit cards here.

    Limit Your Exposure To Radiation!

    What can you do to limit your exposure to radiation in the event of an emergency?

    1.) Follow Federal, Local & State Government Guidelines.
    2.) Take what they're going to take... Potassium Iodide!

    IOSAT™ is the first FDA approved "Radiation Protective" agent to be sold directly to the general public. Its active
    ingredient, 130 mg. of potassium iodide, gives virtually complete protection from the release of radioactive iodine into the

    Federal, Local & State Governments begin to stockpile potassium iodide for Homeland Security defense!

    Get yours now!
    Click here!
    AOL Members Click Here

    Seen on CNN and other National news programs.
    Read about it in, The Washington Post, Boston Globe & other local and national newspapers...

    It's better to have it and not need it... because, if you need it and don't have it, it's too late!

    Click here!
    AOL Members Click Here

    FREE Shipping anywhere in the USA!

    So what you're saying is I should just toss my radiation suit? I think I'll hang on to it, if you don't mind...

    Hell damn ass-monkey privateers

    Well, it appears that my registration went through and ClothMother is officially part of the Google search engine now. Which means that through my association with Nedstat I can determine which search strings people enter that directly link to this site. (Those of you with your own sites already know this).

    For some reason, someone was interested in Homer's Cinnamon Donut Breakfast Cereal, which I commented on here a few weeks ago.

    Most disturbing string (so far): hard porno cartoon sprite . Obviously (well, to me) someone who wants to build a MOD for a first-person shooter or similar PC game that would change the imagery in the game to include..well, hard porno cartoons. (Go to Google and type in the string to see how that combination could possibly work here...certainly surprised me.)

    I am all in favor of things that bring people here, because that's one of the reasons I started doing this in the first place. But this is one good reminder of who else is out there trolling the ether, and one reason why I won't post pictures or other identifying information about my family on this site. Brrrr.

    Gittin' yo' freak on

    I am trying hard to recall when it was that I starting receiving all of the magazine subscription requests addressed to "Dr. MT" and containing "professional discount" rates. In this era of spam and unsolicited email, it's pretty rare that I receive unsolicited snailmail anymore, beyond the normal catalogs that are clearly tied to recent purchases. (Certainly nothing as interesting and disturbing as, say free Prozac samples [link via La di da.])

    Given that I only use my title in business correspondence and in dealing with Drew U's alumni association (their choice, not mine...after all, how better to get me to give to the cause than to kiss my ass about my degree?) I have to assume it's somehow related to the academic world.

    I am not thumbing my nose at the offers, although I'm a little puzzled as to what kind of practice they think I have. If they know I'm a developmentalist, you'd think they would suggest "Parenting" or "Fretful Mother" or "The Time-out Times" or whatever, but instead I'm getting offers for Details and GQ and Maxim and Entertainment Weekly. (Yes, the list does suggest that professional discount is just a ploy and I'm reading too much into it).

    But the beauty of the discount offers is all of the "free gifts" that come along with them (is there any other kind of gift?). So when the time came to re-up with Entertainment Weekly (fine bathroom reading, that) and it started getting down to the wire ("Act now, you damned fool, or there will be a gap in your subscription!") they enticed me with a mystery gift. With all of this preamble, I must think it was a pretty damned good gift. Boy, and how...

    Boogie Wonderland! A delightful two-volume compilation containing all original hits, by the original stars. I wish I had a scanner at home so I could show you the pink and purple cassette boxes. The "o's" in Boogie have stars in them!! (Of course they do!) Here are some of the titles:

    Boogie Wonderland

    Boogie Nights

    Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah,)

    Disco Inferno

    You Sexy Thing

    The Hustle

    And many, many more. The most horrifying thing to me is that I could easily recall the first few bars of most of these songs, and the opening lines as well. This realization suggests two equally disturbing things. First, the obvious: significant portions of my brain have disco in them. And second, the spam-meisters know me better than I thought...

    Tuesday, July 02, 2002

    Another reason the terrorists hate us...

    And here I can't really say I blame them: Adam Sandler has done his good Deed: His star power made Mr. Deeds the new number-one movie, with a weekend take of $37.2 million.

    Star power? The term has lost all meaning.

    Knoebel's is kneato!

    Yes, a weak headline, but it beats the alternative that I was tossing around as I watched an old episode of MST3K on tape and heard the following line: "Finally, an opportunity to drink my own urine."

    Do two posts about camping constitute a theme? I haven't actually camped since being a boy scout, and then it was mostly an exercise in trying to keep from sleeping in a puddle. Bloody leaky tents.

    But this weekend I spent two days at Knoebel's, an "amusement resort" in central PA. Just north of Pottsville, home of Yeungling lager! (WooHoo!) Ah to commune with nature three hundred yards from a giant wooden rollercoaster. And let's be fair, the closest we came to "roughing it" was when we cleared away the cobwebs around the electrical hookup on each campsite. Your humble narrator, with my patient nine year old in tow, managed to assemble the brand spanking new tent in mere minutes (although not in the ambitious "just five minutes!" they excitedly claimed on the box). And having the car a few feet away certainly helped to simplify things. Not to mention the cooler of beer.

    We were a party of about twenty people, couples, kids, assorted scooters, toys, coolers and campers and lanterns, oh my! The rest of the crew is still there today; the trick is to set up a campsite and then stay for three days (which I will be doing next year). The park opens at 11:00, and the rides are just too much fun for words. Not too stylized, no goofy characters dressed in moldy fur harrassing the kiddies. Short lines, cheap prices (and pay one price options, which are the best deal), and two rollercoasters that kicked my ass, I have to say. I'm happy to give these folks a free commercial. The only disadvantage is the 3-hour drive from the Philly area. And it's worth it once you arrive.

    Since I can't have a vacation day without turning it into a learning opportunity, the only thing I noted, which I knew already, was the fearlessness with which the kids attacked the rides. Nothing intimidating, as long as a trustworthy adult was nearby, doling out the tickets and free advice ("Hold on to your glasses; take your hat off"). As the attachment theorists would predict. It was a good clothmotherly couple of days.