The 589th step on the last road home.

IMing the Democrat response

(22:15:22) gooseberrysprig: OK, the Mark of Kaine
(22:15:41) gooseberrysprig: is he in a furniture-store showcase?
(22:16:12) gooseberrysprig: we have news -- there is a better way!!!!
(22:16:14) gooseberrysprig: duh
(22:17:20) gooseberrysprig: what an asymmetrical man
(22:17:37) gooseberrysprig: good grief, I'm trying to listen but I can't
(22:18:45) gooseberrysprig: we work together we work together we work we work we work
(22:19:51) gooseberrysprig: my god, this tool makes Bush look like a rock star
(22:20:26) gooseberrysprig: is this guy an animotronic? I swear I'm starting to see a cycle in his mannerisms
(22:22:02) gooseberrysprig: this guy is supposed to be Presidential material?
(22:22:56) gooseberrysprig: I've seen better empty-room monologues on public access
(22:23:36) gooseberrysprig: brb
(22:24:11) gooseberrysprig: ok, I'm back -- needed a fresh diet mt. dew
(22:24:21) gooseberrysprig: I assume I missed nothing
(22:25:02) gooseberrysprig: quoting Jefferson?
(22:25:37) gooseberrysprig: blegh
(22:26:14) gooseberrysprig: I wish I could have gotten the spanish-language democrat reaction; maybe that guy said something worth hearing

Way to go, Dems -- in what's sure to be the largest audience the party will see this election year, you picked a charmless tool who spoke less about the Bush administration's many many many flaws than Bush himself did. That response would have actually been better if one of those hacked Walmart musical Santas delivered it. Pathetic.

Live IMing the SOTU

(21:11:52) gooseberrysprig: OK, good King opener
(21:12:46) gooseberrysprig: our differences cannot be allowed to harder into anger???
(21:12:54) gooseberrysprig: karl rove's still his main advisor, right?
(21:16:01) gooseberrysprig: syria burma n. korea and iran are repressive and bad
(21:16:25) gooseberrysprig: funny how he left out China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia
(21:16:51) gooseberrysprig: we must take osama and his threats seriously
(21:17:09) gooseberrysprig: I don't think about Osama much; he's not a concern
(21:17:47) gooseberrysprig: the violent will not inheirit the earth; we will kill to keep our freedom
(21:20:23) gooseberrysprig: 10 mins in, nothing but terror and Iraq
(21:23:06) gooseberrysprig: second-guessing is not a strategy
(21:23:18) gooseberrysprig: what murtha offered sounded like a strategy to me!
(21:25:42) gooseberrysprig: hoo boy, Alito already looks comfy in that black robe
(21:26:07) gooseberrysprig: muslim woman sitting next to Laura
(21:27:02) gooseberrysprig: 15 mins in, Iraq, terra, terra in Iraq
(21:27:34) gooseberrysprig: I wish the US supported democratic reform in the US, not just the middle east
(21:27:55) gooseberrysprig: "Omass"
(21:28:03) gooseberrysprig: it's Ha-mass, you moron
(21:28:14) gooseberrysprig: moe-ron
(21:31:02) gooseberrysprig: i miss the days when repub's were the isolationists
(21:32:03) gooseberrysprig: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do for other countries
(21:33:17) gooseberrysprig: OK, here we go FISA
(21:33:41) gooseberrysprig: previous prezes have used it
(21:34:03) gooseberrysprig: "appropriate" members of congress have been informed
(21:34:07) gooseberrysprig: that's new
(21:35:45) gooseberrysprig: hmm, he just said the war on terror will be waged by presidents of both parties
(21:36:32) gooseberrysprig: OK, talking jobs
(21:36:57) gooseberrysprig: first mention of China
(21:37:24) gooseberrysprig: as an economic competitor, not because it's anti-democacy with a history of human-rights abuse
(21:38:25) gooseberrysprig: "americans should not fear our economic future, for we intend to shape it"
(21:38:33) gooseberrysprig: chilling!
(21:40:27) gooseberrysprig: ever notice there's no sign-langauge translator?
(21:40:43) gooseberrysprig: Bush wants the line-item veto
(21:40:58) gooseberrysprig: the conservatives hated it when Clinton had it
(21:41:46) gooseberrysprig: baby boomers will begin retiring this/next year
(21:42:26) gooseberrysprig: huge applause/boos for Bush pointing out that Congress didn't act on his Social Security plan. Haw!
(21:45:47) gooseberrysprig: OK< at least his blather about healthcare sounds good
(21:46:47) gooseberrysprig: "America is addicted to Oil"
(21:46:50) gooseberrysprig: wow
(21:47:33) gooseberrysprig: he almost sounds serious about getting us off the oil teat
(21:48:14) gooseberrysprig: damn, he's even talking about ethynol
(21:48:50) gooseberrysprig: cutting the middle east oil imports by 75% by 2025
(21:49:21) gooseberrysprig: oh, education
(21:50:18) gooseberrysprig: mostly tax crap
(21:50:29) gooseberrysprig: hmm, making the R&D deduction permanent
(21:50:53) gooseberrysprig: "we need to encourage children to take more math & science"
(21:51:08) gooseberrysprig: 70,000 AP teachers
(21:52:21) gooseberrysprig: "in recent years, america has become a more hopeful place"
(21:52:37) gooseberrysprig: less abortions now than ever
(21:53:01) gooseberrysprig: it helps that conservatives do such a swell job forcing a-clinics to close
(21:53:50) gooseberrysprig: here we go -- gay marriage
(21:54:21) gooseberrysprig: "we must never believe our culture is in decline or unravelling"
(21:54:37) gooseberrysprig: I bet that doesn't get picked up by the righty hacks
(21:56:19) gooseberrysprig: he wants to ban human cloning and any experimentation with embyros
(21:58:32) gooseberrysprig: just 85 billion to the gulf coast so far?
(21:59:54) gooseberrysprig: he wants to revise the Ryan White Act
(22:00:16) gooseberrysprig: faith-based groups handle HIV cases???

Clearing the bookmark list while waiting for the State of the Union

What America needs in 2008 is a real candidate the people can get behind; no more of this voting-against-the-other-guy crap. My first candidate for this is Drunk, Cackling 1979 Ace Frehley of KISS. Here's the immortal, myth-destroying interview from Tom Snyder's TOMORROW show in two parts. As much as I still love DESTROYER and ALIVE, I think I would have destroyed my KISS records if I had seen this as a kid. Even KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK was less embarrassing and painful to watch, for Christ's sake.

Speaking of YouTube, here are some other sweet finds:

Here's a compilation of 1970s Mego KING KONG toy commercials; the World Trade Center drinking straw disturbs me a bit.

More Mego madness: BALL BUSTERS! They so know exactly what they're really saying here.

I was never a Mego fan as a kid, but I like the huge spread of figures in this one from 1976; the number of nerd-enraging errors in the descriptions is just gravy. ["What??? Green Arrow is from the forest? You Fuck! AND MR. FANTASTIC'S POWER IS STRETCHING NOT INVISIBILITY I'M GLAD YOU MEGO CUNTS WENT OUT OF BUSINESS AND I HOPE YOU ALL DIED OF ASS CANCER!!!!"] It's strange; I really like the combination of Batman & Robin, but I don't like any of the B&R comics and only sorta like the West & Burton TV team. [The whole show, yes, but not the heroes as a team.] But the Batman & Robin of the '70s toy ads? I can really get behind them, and I don't understand why.

Lots and lots and lots of music goodness: Pizzicato Five, Frank Zappa, The Replacements and Sleater-Kinney.

[How to save YT videos: In the URL, which should look like this -- -- and change it to If you're running Firefox, like everyone who's not criminally insane does, the vids should autosave as FLV files. Get CinemaForge or somesuch media converter and change the FLVs into the media of your choice.]

Mary Kaye, Mary Kaye, Mary Mary Mary

A few days of 50s-60s weather semi-justified a few days outside that has resulted in me being even further behind on work and play. Catching up.

For my money, the "Mary Kaye" Fender Stratocaster is the most attractive electric guitar ever produced. In much the same way that vermouth is useless for anything other than a fine martini, the Kaye Strat's key components -- gold hardware and a clear nitrocellulose blonde body finish -- look cheesy and bland [respectively] on anything else. I'm not one for maple fretboards, but they work beautifully for a Kaye; it's one of those rare, perfectly balanced instruments that can't be improved by additions or subtractions. You can add a middle pickup to a Gibson Les Paul, you can replace a Fender Telecaster's neck pickup with a humbucker, you can strip off the fretboard gloss and add a compressor circuit to a Rickenbacker 360-12, you can even switch out a D'Angelico New Yorker's hardtail bridge and install a Bigsby tremelo in its place, but what can you do to improve a Mary Kaye Strat? Maybe some rewiring and upgrading the electronics, but that's about it.

I was looking at a weird/rare vinyl-record gallery site [already lost the link, sorry] and came across a cover jpeg and mp3 excerpt from Johnny Cucci & Jody Carver's album THE HOT CLUB OF AMERICA IN HI-FI, which was one of my first Salvation Army finds when I started shopping at the Salvo as a young [anti]hipster. I don't remember if the HCOA cover or the rehearsal scenes in the Chuck Berry documentary HAIL! HAIL! ROCK & ROLL! was my first exposure to the Mary Kaye Strat, although they had to have occurred almost on top of each other, one cementing the other.

So, I googled the Hot Club, and found Mr. Carver's site, which in addition to some nice mp3 excerpts from the album also offers some sweet links: to a place that has the album on CD, to an informative fansite about the album and to an article from VINTAGE GUITAR magazine detailing the mindbogglingly complex history of the original 1956 Kaye Strat used on the HCOA album [and Kaye's performance in the movie CHA CHA CHA BOOM!, the Aerosmith album ROCK IN A HARD PLACE and possibly The Who's second farewell tour].

Of course, I drool like this as a guy who hasn't owned a Mary Kaye Strat or listened to the entire HCOA LP in years and will probably blow his allowance on this Kaye-finished Limited Edition Epiphone Wildkat Deluxe long before a MK Strat. It's cheap, it's elegantly cluttered and it's cheap. I'd rather save up and build my own Mary Kaye anyway, probably a semi-hollow one.

The 573rd step on the last road home.

Too tired to eBay or write coherently for more than a few sentences

I love Firefox more than I love myself. I've been using it since I got my new hard drive, but only today did I discover the treasure trove of plugins/extensions the browser has. Why anyone would use Internet Explorer at this point is beyond me. Ads are blocked, I have a cooler version of Minesweeper* and I can see my stocks ticker across the top of my browser while I download an entire porn gallery with just a couple clicks of the mouse. Still can't get this Bat-Viewmaster .swf file to play in the browser, which was what triggered my plugin search earlier today, but having little X buttons on the browser's tabs takes all the edge off it.

* It's only a matter of time before Google completely changes the conventional pecking order -- you want Linux for your server, you want a Mac to handle graphics, you want Palm for your cellphone and you want Windows for solitaire -- and they're clearly going after the lamer elk in the nerd herd.

Speaking of the '60s Batman television show, "Iron" Mike "Steel" Sterling has slipped in a fine fine week of posts on this Bat-subject. I know that the hardcore comics nerds think it's uncool to like the show, but I've long thought of BATMAN '66 as the errant buttplug that's too far up fandom's ass to be pulled out, but they're all too embarrassed to go to the emergency room for help. [And the headlines read "POW! WHAM! CRUNCH! MOST COMICS REALLY ARE TOO STUPID TO TAKE SO SERIOUSLY!"]

The 1955 Lincoln Futura is my favorite concept car design -- not there's much competition for my affection -- so Mike digging up this amazingly informative Batmobile site gave me a huge dorkgasm. And thanks to my new browser extensions, I pulled down all the photos in less than ten seconds.

The 566th step on the last road home.

Parking the subsell for the new year.


By the way, we're one for one on my new year's resolution of posting 10 auctions a day to fight Endemic Treponematosis. Go there now and buy some stuff, please. I don't want to look at it anymore.

The 559th step on the last road home.