Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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1951  Arts / Movies / Re: Movies on: August 02, 2007, 09:48:53 AM
I eat my catfood at the table and put any leftover in a storage dish.  Save having to polish the roaches and give them that disturbing Old World luster.
1952  Arts / Movies / Re: Movies on: August 01, 2007, 11:23:37 AM
Saw The Simpsons movie yesterday.  The big screen does add something, not just scope for a longer narrative, but richer color and visual impact and, if you stay for the credits, hearing Maggie's first word.  And, if you stay to the very end of the credits (which I failed to do, so I learned this secondhand) some bizarre version of the Marseillaise, sung by the family.  So, the key point I am here to impart:  stay for the credits.  Don't be pressured to leave by the guys who come in to sweep up popcorn.  Don't spill any popcorn and they'll have no reason to disturb you.

1953  Books / Creative Writing / Re: Creative Writing on: August 01, 2007, 11:18:18 AM
of the Weeniepie invasion of Earth.  The alien fleet darkened the skies of the planet's great cities.  On board the battleships, the grills were being fired up.  The chubby residents of North America, busy with their own grills (for it was Saturday evening), continued to flip and baste, heedless of the looming menace and of their own intrinsic
1954  Arts / Comedy / Re: Comedy on: August 01, 2007, 10:30:33 AM
I'm guessing that what would have to be done to your body to make it fit in a handbasket would add to the overall discomfort?  If Dorothy's dog, Toto, were sent to hell in a handbasket, it wouldn't really make things any worse because Toto fits easily.

1955  National / Immigration / Re: Immigration on: July 31, 2007, 10:44:59 AM
They are unpopulated because they are desert, or otherwise have an ecosystem that doesn't support human activity and settlement.  Ecologists call it the Australia conundrum -- a continent of 3 million square miles which is barely sustaining a population smaller than New York State and may, in fact, face an ecodisaster that forces emigration in the near future.  Land area is not what supports people, it is a whole array of other considerations.  A lot of problems we call political, that impact immigration, are ecosystem problems at heart.  Even the present U.S. population is propped up by the use of petroleum-based fertilizers dumped on depleted heartland soils and then more petroleum used to ship the resulting food to population centers.  Without massive infusions of cheap oil, we wouldn't be able to feed 300 million people.

And it's the same everywhere.  Earth is packed to bursting.  We either control our loins and our resource gluttony, or the Earth will do it for us....the hard way.

1956  Science and Technology / Science / Re: The Universe on: July 31, 2007, 10:35:46 AM
Do drunken astronauts pose a threat to the universe?  The 12 Hour Bottle-to-Throttle rule is a bad one.  You can still be not sober after 12 hours, at least not sober enough to be piloting a jet or rocket.

1957  Health / Fitness and Nutrition / Re: Fitness and Nutrition on: July 31, 2007, 09:47:03 AM
I had a girl friend (but not a girlfriend) in college who insisted her fatness was a hormone problem.  I sort of went with this until I was studying one night in the Union near the vending machines.  Sitting at an angle where she didn't see me, I watched her pump change into three of the machines and walk out of there with about 1200 calories of sweet snacks.  If people really don't want to be fat, it's possible to eat less, especially white flour and other simple carb products, and exercise more.  Look at societies where junk food is scarce and personal vehicles rare -- skinny people are the vast majority.

I have no prejudice against fat people so far as the content of their characters, but I think plain talk and facts are needed and I get tired of mincing words about this.  I've worked in jobs connected to health care and I can tell you that most of the people running up medical bills and raising our premiums are either smokers or munchers (i.e. fat).  The strain on joints, heart, kidneys, etc. is tremendous.

Grill some fish and vegetables, dump the white bread and chips, and get the hell out of your car and walk.   
1958  Books / Meander Where You May / Re: Meander Where You May on: July 31, 2007, 09:34:21 AM
Desde -- I'll take day four in the St. Eve pool.  I was wondering why he'd let himself be killed off so easily in the CW forum.  Look for him in the sequel.

1959  Arts / Movies / Re: Movies on: July 31, 2007, 09:23:23 AM
Maddie, I live for digression.

Bergman --- funny, on a local news station, whose staff is on the younger side, they did brief obit mentions of Tom Snyder and some football coach, but not a peep about Bergman.  Maybe Martin is right.  Too bad, he's one of those directors who influenced many others, like Bunuel.

Bad week for directors, Antonioni just died.

1960  Arts / Movies / Re: Movies on: July 30, 2007, 12:51:23 PM
I'm nominating the Townes Van Zandt Ethnic Heritage discussion for Outstanding Digression of the Year.  
1961  Arts / Comedy / Re: Comedy on: July 30, 2007, 12:31:45 PM

I sort of had a feeling you might want to chime in on this topic. 

1962  Books / Meander Where You May / Re: Meander Where You May on: July 30, 2007, 12:28:34 PM
I've heard it's some eccentric rich guy who lives in Bismarck, North Dakota and will only handle doorknobs with a kleenex.

But, if it's not, I'd be glad to chip in to cover the costs.
1963  Home and Garden / Food Matters / Re: Food Matters on: July 30, 2007, 12:24:39 PM
Cinnamon Toast

This is an old recipe for cinnamon toast, which my grandmother brought over from the old country (Peoria):

Slice of bread, lightly toasted
Butter (or margerine)

Toast the bread.  Sprinkle a half tsp. of sugar onto the bread, immediately after buttering it.  Follow this with cinnamon, applied liberally over the entire area that is already covered with sugar and butter (or margerine).  Allow sugar and cinnamon to absorb some of the butter (or margerine).

Serves one.

1964  Books / Creative Writing / Re: Creative Writing on: July 30, 2007, 12:12:53 PM
St. Eve collapsed to the firm turf of Fermilab and, with a horrendous groan, gave birth to a horde of huge writhing alien snakes.

As death drew near, the Earl of Essex leaned close to the dying balding plump attorney and asked, "Have you got a valediction, boy?"

"Keizer Sozay!" grunted St. Eve.

"Who?" said Bart and Essex, in unison.

"Rollo Tomassi!" cried St. Eve.

"Sounds like some eye-talian fellow," said Essex.

"Rosebud!!" screamed St. Eve.

"Never mind that," said Bart, ever practical and always with small nodules in his armpits that kept scaring the hell out of him, so he was accustomed to fear.  "We need to kill these huge alien snakes before they---AAAAAIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!"

"Quite right," said Essex.  "Perhaps a sharp pointed stick or a heavy----AAAAUUUGHGGGGHHHHH!"

"Urlghrgk!" said St. Eve and died.

The snakes began to reproduce and soon had taken over the entire human race by invading recti and then taking control of the host body.  Annoying ad jingles, in human brains,  were replaced by stern commands to begin building vast underground burrows and mouse ranches.

Another alien race, known as the WeeniePie, took pity on suffering humanity and nuked the Earth into smithereens.


1965  Arts / Movies / Re: Movies on: July 30, 2007, 12:02:55 PM

I wish that you would, when posting, elaborate a bit more.
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