Friday, June 30, 2006

My Unexplained Absence

So some of you all might not be so wrapped up in your own savage little lives and may still be wondering what happened to me two weeks ago, why the absence from the blog?

The short story is that Sunday June 11th, Lisa's grandfather who we take care of came home from his morning cup of coffee at McDonalds* shaking and demanding "one of those pills that will wake me up". So I gave him Tylenol which he thinks will give him the vigor of a lion. He then decided to take a nap and like old men do, took off his pants in the livingroom. When I saw that his leggs were purple I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. I thought "Shaking and Purple Legs" = "Stroke" and we brought him to the emergency room. They promptly made us wait in the waiting room. After 20 minutes of watching him shake uncontrollably I started to bitch out the staff. "If he's having a stroke shouldn't we get him out of the lobby and into critical care or do you want him to die in front of everyone else and by the way, we're stinking rich and can afford the kind of lawyers that don't have to advertise on 'Springer'." That was the end of our wait.

Trust me when I say the ER was no fun and after Xrays and tests and a very embarassing urine sample they decided it wasn't a stroke but Pneumonia or possibly an infection in his heart. We caught the problem so early that they weren't sure which but either way the treatment was the same and it meant a 5 day stay in the hospital. I take that back, one fun thing did happen in the ER. The doctor ordered rectal thermometry and when the poor Tech came into the room Nuno's reaction to the news was to look the kid straight in the eyes and without any hint of irony ask "That's your job?"

Most of my lost time that week was spent running back and forth from the hospital and home to take care of things here but also keep him from feeling alone and isolated in the hospital room. The room was bleak but had an ocean view off in the distance. The TV was broadcast only. I have no idea why hospitals don't offer free HBO. All the commercials on broadcast TV during the day, when the patients have nothing to do but watch TV, are for lawyers. "Did your doctor fuck up? Sue the bastards! I'm James Sokolov." If I ran a hospital I'd make damn sure my patients never saw those ads.

Tom came home after 5 days and needed a lot of care but he's beginning to get better. We can leave him alone for a while now and he's even gone out for a couple hours on his own. He sleeps a lot and I've had to cook 3 meals a day for him. For those who don't know, I cook. Lisa can't. Before he got sick He'd eat at home one night a week and never at lunch time. I would cook for just me and Lisa but now I have to cook for him and he's a pickier eater then I am. We had a very close call and it really took a lot out of him. He needs a lot more care and attention now then before but that's why we're here.

The worse of it was that while he was in the hospital, Barney really missed him. It was kind of like when the fish died a week before. Barney would sit in front of Nuno's bedroom door and cry wondering why he wasn't home at night. The day Tom came home, Barney ignored him for 2 hours then resumed his usual game of kicking Tom out of whatever chair he sat in. Tom's a big softie and lets the cat get away with it. He missed Barney too.

*Yes, he's one of those old guys that goes to McDonalds and just gets a cup of coffee then sits there all morning with the news paper. Hell, it gets him out of the house.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Little Thursday Fun To Cleanse The Palate

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why Can't We All Just Get Along? part 3

This is pretty much how I feel. That makes me a racist doesn't it? I mean I'm a white male, pillar of my community and beloved by small children and forrest animals. Someone out there must really hate me for that so I hate them too.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why Can't We All Just Get Along? part 2

Black Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney feels free to use the white version of the word Nigger on her official website. Now I know she's running for re-election in Georgia but at some point you'd think she'd want a career outside the 4th District. Or is Congress as far as she expects to go in life and is just pandering to the base racism in her home district in order to appear as some sort of anti-hero for her own kicks? This is a woman who has been known to solve her problems through fists rather then reasoned discourse.

So is Political Correctness over? Can I tell the joke about the Jew, the Priest and the Circus Performer?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rooster Fighting

A shout out to Paul for providing me with this little gem.

It's almost as funny as this.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Thank you Last FM. I didn't realize I liked Duran Duran so much. I always thought 'The Dead Milkmen' was my favorite band. Maybe I should stop listening to them on my very much unconnected-to-any-network CD player in order for them to count. I think I've listened to 'The Replacements' "Please To Meet Me" more then anything else this week but since it wasn't through my now deceitful Macintosh... you don't really know me at all.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Now That's Good TV

"Family Guy" famously came back from the dead through fan support on the lesser cable networks and DVD sales. Now there are fairly credible rumors that Futurama may yet come back to life. Today* one of my many fondest of childhood memories is coming back for just one day. (doodly doodly doodly dooodly... arrrrgh arrrgh!)

The real question is, why can't Mystery Science Theater 3000 come back in some form? Christ on a cracker, I'd even accept some sort of "MST3K Next Generation" or even a total suckfest "Deep Space MST3K". Dammit. I miss that show. Let's get the ball rolling. I'm good for a another few bucks for another Variety ad. How about a "MST3K we haven't forgotten you!" ad. That should get some attention.

* OK, Yes I am in the habit of writing these three days ahead and haven't actually watched 'Creature Double Feature' yet but I assure you I will be watching when it does air. Taping it too, just to get that theme song so I can sample it and make it my official 'Dean Rules!' embedded background sound.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm A Kid Again!!!

Next Saturday, tomorrow, WLVI Channel 56 is bringing back Creature Double Feature for one day.

This Is Almost As Great As Hearing That Mystery Science Theator 3000 Is Coming Back!

You know what I'm going to be doing.

Tom, any interest in getting together and watching with a couple sixes? Daren? Paul?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I turned off the word verification thingy and set the comments to pop up into their own window. Somehow I blocked everyone from commenting. Since there was no email address added to the moderation field, I never saw folks trying to comment.

Some of y'all know what a time we've been having with Lisa's Grandfather. He's going to be OK but he's been home and needed more attention then he usually does. He's been going back out for lunch and dinner and so I should be getting more time to post more often.

I'll tell the full story later.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Little Good News

I passed the Mass Teachers Chemistry Exam.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Geico Will Not Save Me 15%

Let's talk quickly about Car Insurance from the perspective of someone who has spent some time shopping for it outside of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. My insurance plan for my 96 Tacoma carries the full boatload comprehensive with an additional $300,000 property and life, instead of the $20k/40k/5k minimum. I pay just under $1000 per year in Beverly add $200 if we still lived in Salem and even more for MetroBoston.

Shopping for the same coverage for a car garaged in Centre County Pennsylvania (farm country way outside the city) Geico wanted over two grand. No one would give me the same coverage that I had in Mass. The closest coverage was from State Farm but they wanted over $500 every 6 months.

My point is that Car Insurance in Massachusetts really isn't such a bad deal. While shopping I checked out some of those other states where insurance is compulsory but competition is less regulated. None of those states were significantly cheaper. You can do the exercise yourself online. You'll see.

This week, I had several strings of misfortune visit me. Here's one of them.

Lisa's grandfather, as some of you may know, loves his cars. He has a couple exotic sports cars in the garage. His favorite is a 79 Porsche 930. Another is a 74 Bricklin. The Bricklin isn't currently registered or insured. We keep it in the garage and occaisionally drive it up and down our private road. Those gull wing doors are push button, opening and closing by a pneumatic pump system. The other day I opened the door without enough air in the system, when I closed it the damn thing snapped down and the drivers window shattered. I didn't know what to do. I thought about getting a new window and putting it in myself. Windows off a 74 Bricklin aren't easy to find and it looked like I would have to seek professional help. The more help I needed the more expensive the problem looked like it would become. So I called my insurance company (Safety Insurance) and asked if I'd be covered for damaging someone elses unregistered car. It turns out I am. They're treating it as a Borrowed/Rented vehicle and since it's falling under my glass coverage, there's no deductable and no future surcharge. My glass shop (Weaver Glass down on Rantoul Street) found the part, got approval from my insurance co and will take care of it.

I'd say Car Insurance in Massachusetts is a fairly good deal.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

He's Dead, Jim!

You know what I've always thought of as the litmus test of geekery? People who get a cat and then name it 'Schrodinger' or some such derivation. It's just slightly less cliche' then naming your sailboat "Windsong" or "The Money Pit". Say what you will about me... "Stigmata" is not something you see stenciled across a transom on almost any day and if you did see it you were looking at me.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about. I know I haven't posted for real in close to a week. Thank the random electrons for post dating. I have three big posts about what's been going on this week. If you know the week we've been having you don't even know the whole story. If you don't know what I'm talking about then you're Ricketyfunk who lives too far away to attend trivia nights in Salem or you were at trivia night this week and wondered where I was or you're one of my Boston friends and we really need to call a beer night badly but not this week because my week is going awry. Or you're BlueGirl, AG or OrgamiYoda and defy mere pigeon holing. Or you're from Penn State and wish you knew what I'm talking about. Having said all that, it has nothing to do with Lisa and babies. We're on track there but the train is a local not an express.

Like I said there are three posts coming that will explain what's been going on this week. One about the cat, one about Car Insurance in Massachusetts and how truly great it is to be a citizen of the Commonwealth and one explaining what the fuck I'm talking about. I'm not sure in what order yet.

Today's post is about Quantum Mechanics.

The thing about the whole Schrodingers Cat Experiment that has always bugged me. Especially if you subscribe, as I do, to the Copenhagen Interpretation that the cat is either alive or dead until the box is opened and then the cat is killed by the mere act of making the measurement so that no exact answer may be made is that if one dilates time the cat will be dead. That's an awfully long sentence. The cat is alive or dead. Taking a measurement will collapse the wave function enough to ensure the death of the cat. Now throw in some Special Relativity. Put the cat in a box but then run away really quickly such that we do not age in an hours time but the cat ages 30 years (average cat lifespan, indoors 20 years, outdoors 2 years) and then tell me that the measurement won't be a garaunteed dead cat. The superposition of live verses dead cat for any time frame is measured as one hour but still is relative to the frame of inertia for the observer such that the cat will always be dead and therefore diminishes the effects of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The cat, when moving, before measurement is both a wave and a particle; alive and dead, however change inertial frames of reference for the observer and the answer is always going to be dead.

I swear I'm not high right now.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I am sick and tired of the debate. Last week, I bought some DVD's (paid a little too much for used copies but they were out of print) from Videosmith's going out of business sale. What the content producers don't get is that artists don't fucking need them. A real artist will eat Ramen and live with their parents to produce a movie that Hollywood could never dream of making. A real musician will work a day job to finance their album and then give it away to all their friends.

In fact, the human spirit is driven to create. Surely, the cavemen didn't need the MPAA or the RIAA to ensure their paintings bring them a great hunt and they've survived to this very day without the assistance of copyright law. The same goes for the Egyptians and the petroglyphs in the South West.

We as a species are driven to create art. It's what truly separates us from the animals. Monkeys, birds and insects use tools. Dophins, whales and birds have language. Bees have dances that tell other bees where food is. Humans create art that survives long after the artist dies. The real question here is should the art become part of human culture or should it become the exclusive property of the corporation that holds the rights? In the past copyright had to be renewed after 32.2 years and could only be renewed once. Then the law changed. Some reasonable arguments arose for not expiring until the author dies +30 years so their direct heirs could benefit. However with the advent of corporations increasingly abusing contract law to become the "author" of any collaboration that time frame seems unreasonable. Corporations don't die. How many years ago was Steamboat Willie supposed to go into the public domain? What happened? Why can't I post the whole cartoon to my site royalty free? Disney Corp paid Congress to change copyright law to favor extremely long timeframes. Mickey Mouse isn't so "Mickey Mouse" when it comes to making a buck off IP. I understand that there is no work of art that will enter the public domain until 2019.

It's a shame that so many artworks will be kept out of the public domain. Some motion pictures are so big that they enter our culture and become part of the fabric of our very existence. It would be a shame if the copyright holder was given the chance to fuck with our most cherished works of cinematography.

It's easy to point a finger at the problem but what am I going to do about it? Well, I'm not making any money off my writing here. I could go out and find some modern day Medici Family to give me PayPal to keep going. Would that improve the quality of my writing? Can you even call my blog art? I know some other blogs that are worthy of being called art but mine is more therapy then anything. Isn't that why Spaulding Grey wrote "Monster In A Box"? Isn't that why anyone writes anything at all?

It comes down to simple economics. I think my post today is worth a million bucks. Sadly, a product or commodity is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. It's like real estate. I know an agent who got the listing to sell a house about a year ago. The owners wanted a million bucks for it. The agent advised them to list it for $700.000 but they were greedy. The agent talked them into listing it for just under $900,000. They turned down offers in the high 700's and so the house didn't sell. The owners fired the agent and tried to sell it themselves. They paid the two grand for the listing and half-assed advertising (and a cardboard sign.) They lost that money. Then they listed it with another agent who eventually sold it for less then the new asking price of $499,000. They rode that bastard straight into the ground because they got greedy.

Is it worth it to pay $20 for a CD of the soundtrack for a movie when the movie is selling for $12.99? Is it worth it to buy a DVD for $12.99 when you can get it OnDemand for $3.99? Does Hollywood really expect me to pay $20 to download a movie to my 12 inch laptop when I really want to watch it on my 72 inch projection screen TV but DRM hinders my burning the film to something my DVD player can play? That's if Hollywood even feels like selling the films and TV shows I want to watch. I say fuck them all. Next stop, The Pirate Bay. I'll be sailing the seas of Bittorrent. Avast ye scurvy matey and may god have mercy on your soul.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


That's interesting. I was in the high million+ numbers the last time I checked my ranking at Technocrati (link below the picture of Barney pasted onto John Wayne.) Now I've broken into the top five hundred thousand and out of the roughly 43 million blogs tracked, that puts me neatly into the top tenth percentile. So take that SAT scores from high school! 50th percentile, my ass.

My little blog is still worth fuck all since the advertising scheme failed me and also according to this guy:

Still... It's nice to be moving up in the world.

Anyway, a shout out to all who link to me. Your support is what makes Dean Rules! and New Hampshire Public Television continue to bring such great programming as Google Can Munch On A Bowl Of My Nuts and Cape Cod Can Munch On A Bowl Of My Nuts.

Fun Fact... The site I'm most flattered by linking to me is Rodney Anonymous, the well known Philladelphia Journalist and one of the Elderstatesmen-Of-PunkRock The Dead Milkmen. His link is found under the heading "Other (more enjoyable) Blogs" and you can't argue with that.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I Can Think Of A Better Place To Put It

This sounds like a bad idea to me. All I can think of reading it is that my hard drive is directly under the keyboard on my computer. Mangnets are bad for computers. Also you'll be harassed at the airport for the rest of your life.

Friday, June 09, 2006

When Did I Become The Villian From An 80's Movie?

It's June 8th and our favorite tenant still hasn't paid the rent. We had to chase him down this morning. We're going to have to do something about him soon. So I'm going to have to evict some elderly guy. The apartment is close enough to down town that it would make a great shopping center.

Between watching 'The Longest Day' and trivia night, I spent my birthday cutting down trees so the back yard can get more sun and dry out. I've been finding salamanders in the yard (ordinary ones, none of them blue.) It would be best if they stayed down in the neighbors yard where it's protected swampland. I don't need them ruining my plans for a more easily cared for lawn. Speaking of lawns, I've also created my own private Bhopal on the carpenter ants that have been sneaking into the house. Better Living Through Chemistry.

Yesterday I announced my intention to run for Senate as a Republican.

If Barney was a white persian cat, I'd be a monocle away from world domination.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Quick Birthday Present Wrapup

So what do you get someone for their 37th birthday?

Mostly gift cards. Which is always welcome, especially since as I get older my wants get even more focused. Gone are the days of asking for a remote control car and being happy with those crappy RadioShack cars that only go forward or backwards-and-left. Today I'd only be happy with a nitromethane burning fuel injected supercharged titanium alloy mechanism capable of outrunning The Porsche.

I got a book. "The Alphabet of Manliness" by Maddox.

I got some software to assist my transfer of the .avi files to a standard TV watchable DVD.

I got all my friends to come out to trivia night. We lost but I don't really care. It was nice to have everyone come out to see me. Speaking of losing, 666 was not last nights winning Mass Daily Number. It was 7-8-9-1 which sounds to me like the kind of combination some idiot would have for their luggage.

However the one gift that I got that really means the most to me is Lisa and her willingness to endure all the discomfort of the past week in the hopes that we may start a family. She is feeling much better. Her fluid gains may have finally plateaued and in a couple of days she should be back to baseline. We're not out of the woods but we are on the fire road and the 4 Wheel Drive is working nicely.

Oh and I'm going to run for Senate in 2008 against John Kerry. I'll collect my 10,000 signatures next summer (they need to be certified as current registered voters so I can't start now.) Sorry the top of my party is trying to distract us from the WAR by pulling some anti-gay marriage stunt. Rachel, I'll make good on my promise to march with you. Let me know where and when.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Do The Hustle

When I was a kid, nine years old, my parents pulled the old "Send the boy to camp so we can get divorced" trick on me. They sent me to "Camp Fatima" in New Hampshire which later became ground zero and a half for the Boston Catholic Diocese Pedophile-Priest-Scandal. I wasn't molested. I was bored to tears for two weeks but I assure you if I thought I could get a chunk of the many millions of dollars for having been touched the wrong way I wouldn't be so worried about getting a job now.

I tell you that so I can tell you this. When I was at Camp Fatima it was during the Go-Go 70's (also the peak of the priest molestation timeline) and the big hit song of the summer, playing on every radio in the camp, was "Macho Man" by the Village People (HellOH OH! NOOO Irony There!!!) The camp was about 50/50 New Englanders and French Canadian kids. So many French Canadian kids that every official announcement was repeated in French, which when you think about it is kind of gay. (Just kidding.)

While I was only there for two weeks, most kids spent the whole summer. One of those kids was the unfortunately named "Miles Machio". We (and by we I mean the kids, the teenaged counselors and the priests) constantly sang out "Hey Hey! Macho Macho Man!" every time we saw him. His life must have been a living hell.

Funny thing is, if it wasn't for the song, I wouln't have rememembered his name. I don't remember the names of any kid at Camp Fatima for the two weeks I was there. I remember him because of the song and think about him every god damned time I hear that tune. I Google him about once a year but so far no hits. Lately I wonder if the priests raped him.

Yes, Kevin. Your post featuring The Village People made me remember this.

As requested, birthday present wrap-up tomorrow which will actually be in two days since I'm posting a couple days ahead these days.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

OK One More

OK So I break my promise from yesterday. This one is too funny to ignore. After today they become a moot point anyway.

Happy Birthday to me. I'm going to watch The Longest Day and then go to trivia.

Lisa, I still love you.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Last One, I Promise

This is where I want to be on my birthday tomorrow.

Since I have no interest in going to Michigan I'll be at O'Niels in Salem for trivia night. Lisa is feeling much better and will be out and about. Trivia starts at 8pm. Teams can be no larger then six. We usually break up into two teams, let's see if we get three teams this week.

Oh, Happy Anniversary Lisa. Seven years (ten since our first date.) I love you.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Eulogy For A Catfish

I'm relinking to the movie of Barney scaring the catfish because the catfish has taken his last swim. We've had him for about 2 and a half years now. He was originally in the big tank with all my Bala Sharks but he was too agressive and was banished to a tank all his own. He did well and by all appearances looked fine. I'm not sure what got him but it was sudden. He was Lisa's favorite but Barney really loved him the most. In fact, the fish was the first thing in the house that Barney saw when we brought him home. Barney came out of the bathroom for the first time and immediately started swatting at the tank. That's one of the first pictures we took of Barney and he never got over his fascination with the fish. A scatmat keeps him away from the Bala's but we let him try to play with the catfish, he never got tired of it.

He was a good catfish. We'll miss him.

Editors Update: Lisa just emptied the tank to clean it out and Barney stood up to it and started rubbing the outside of the glass to get the fish to come out from where he was "hiding". It's the saddest thing I've ever seen.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Two Quickies

More 666 hype.

I am:
"You listen to a lot of AM talk radio, don't you?"

Are You A Republican?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Funny Ha Ha Or Funny Strange?

Clearly this is satire. No Republican really feels this way. In fact most real Republicans are sorry for what this prick has wrought. We recognize and understand when someone has hijacked the true meaning and spirit of the Republic and wrapped their masters agenda in a cloak of disingenuous rhetoric.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ring Ring, The Cold War On Line Two

Ronald Wilson Reagan was many things to many people, from The Great Communicator to The Anti-Christ. Whether you love or hate him, you have to admit after the last batch of clowns, a couple Bush's and a Clinton, that Reagan was the last president who truly believed what he was doing would benefit ordinary Americans and the country as a whole. He wasn't out to please anyone but his own conscience. No foreign lobby, no wealthy cronies, no handler ever told him what to do. He was 'The Duke' and during a time when Russian generals were considering pushing their way into Western Europe the same way they pushed into Afghanistan, his cowboy ways really scared the liberal elite.

What we need to remember is that Reagan didn't come into office and start making nuclear bombs. There were 30 years of bombs, crazy statesmen on both sides and faulty warning systems that truly brought us to the brink of destruction. (That last link is the story of a true hero.)

So what did Reagan do? When the world called for disarmament, he started SDI and scared the pants off the Soviet Union. So much so that they offered to defuse every nuclear device they possessed if we stopped research. Reagan, convinced he had the right answer refused their offer and maxed out our National Credit Card to continue research. The Soviets couldn't keep up with our spending. Especially after they saw the price tag on the Stealth Fighter.

It's just too bad that the ABM Missile Defense System doesn't work.
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