Thursday, July 31, 2008


154th post

This is Page 6 from the X-Men and Power Pack comic book, Issue #2 (Nov. '05).

Notice anything unusual? In the background?

I feel so vindicated.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Strawberry Girl", by Lois Lenski ((c) 1945)


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Wieners screw ass.

Why, what were you thinking?

TODAY'S BOOK: "Into the Wild", by Jon Krakauer ((c) 1996)


Sunday, July 27, 2008


The roof

The roof
The roof was on fire
The roof
The roof
The roof was on fire
We needed some water
We could not let those books to burn
We needed some water
We didn't want those books to burn
Burning library roof--burnt!

This actually happened, on Friday night. No damage was caused (other than to the roof, the roof, the roof...).

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Little Bookroom", by Eleanor Farjeon ((c) 1955)


Friday, July 25, 2008


151st post

Well, the blowfish craze here appears to be over; after about 100 hits, Google has randomly shifted the URL of the picture to a different blog it appears on (it's got a shared source, the website of the Greensboro campus of the University of North Carolina). Still no word on what the whole fuss was about.



TODAY'S BOOK: "The Champion of Merrimack County", by Robert W. Drury (1976)

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008


150th post

TODAY'S BOOK: "Matilda Bone", by Karen Cushman ((c) 2000)

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Sunday, July 20, 2008


149th post

I think I'm about ready to enter "Officially Freaked Out" mode. I mean, this is even worse than that whole awardspace business. Starting with an unknown fella from Houston, Texas, USA at Jul 18 2008 4:11:20 am, 24 (out of the past 28!) hits have come via Google Image searches for "blowfish". They come from Ireland, from Germany, from Denmark and the UK and Norway and Mexico, from Zanesville and Iowa City and Berkeley and San Francisco and Jacksonville Beach, and even Canada--twice! So I ask ye, people of the blogosphere: what has possessed you to bump up my blowfish pic into 7th place on Google's image search page? And why (oh dear sweet Lord why!!!) are you so obsessed with Tetraodontidae all of a sudden????

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Avion My Uncle Flew", by Cyrus Fisher ((c) 1946)


Friday, July 18, 2008


148th post

Yawn... wstfgl... What time 's it? 3:00 AM... huh.
Boy I'm thirsty.
*pad pad pad pad*
Turnin' handle...
Huh? Wha's going on here? Th' cup's only half full. C'mon, you stupid faucet. *tug tug tu--*
Whoa! Hey! Oh, yuck, what is this stuff??? And--*sniff*--YEESH! What in the name of Marv Throneberry is that godawful smell?
"Menachem Jerenberg?"
"Menachem G. 'Mac' Jerenberg, of Nahal Dolev 46, Ramat Beit Shemesh?"
"Yeah, yeah, that's me. Who're you? What the heck's going on here?"
"This is the press. Sir, at 3:01 AM this morning, you, Menachem G. Jerenberg, used up the very last drop of water in the Kinneret."
"The pipes have gone dry. The salination plants are all busted. There's pandemonium in the streets. And all because you took the last drop."
"Oh my God!"
"Outta the way, Marty, it's my turn. You there, young man, what do you have to say for yourself?"
"Remember the whole world is watching."
"Yaagh! It's wasn't me! I swear it!"
"What's going on in there??"
"Sir, your son just personally emptied the Kinneret."
"You gotta be kidding me."
"Scout's honor. Can you give me a quote?"
"Um, 'in this hour of need--'"
"Good enough. Hey, Al, you want a crack at him?"
"Sure, thanks. So kid, what made you do it? Drugs? Alcohol? General debilitative depravity?"
*pant pant* It was only a nightmare. Phew. Only a nightmare...
*knock knock knock*
Eep! "Y-yes?"
"You okay in there? Only I heard you screaming a little."
"No, I'm fine, Mom. Say... do we have any bottled water handy? I'm thirsty."

TODAY'S BOOK: "Obadiah Comes Fourteen", by Elizabeth Spring ((c) 1976)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The last 30 days' search engine referrals (11)
nobrand awardspace (8)
nobrand.awardspace (7) (2)
"carlos diaz" + photo + librarian
"john maine" "adam's apple"
“Megamaid has gone from suck to blow” -
"tower of power" AND
Avi Liberman
biggest booger in history
Boobie Gibson (image search)
boobie tr (image search)
booger world record
cock in pussy start (image search)
Comfort Eagle
etta kaniel
dicks in pussy (image search)
doug mientkiewicz
first prize rooster% (image search)
giant boobies
guinness world record longest booger
jay payton mets girlfriend
kris Benson Baseball his Parents
mets and bounds, alabama
mit zombo what is it
Nobrand award space
no brand awardspace
outer space back to school theme
pictures the worlds largest booger ever made
robotic tigers
space boogers (image search)
story about giant boogers
teen (image search)
teen% (image search)
The Pied Piper of Helfenstein
Todd Nauck Teen Titans
wakko warner boingy
watch america as a crossroad comedy
what is the world record for biggest booger
what revenue
worlds biggest ball of boogers

TODAY'S BOOK: "Sugar Isn't Everything", by Willo Davis Roberts ((c) 1987)

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Monday, July 14, 2008


Randomly reprinted post (IV)

"So today I go to the library for the first time in a week (Pesach vacation), ready to get back crackin', and... there's glass. Broken glass. Everywhere.
On Friday, a bunch of vandals broke four panes of glass in the community center: an outside window, two library windows overlooking the toddlers' (board books) section, and the top pane of the front door.
Glass just everywhere.
I felt exactly kind of like this:

Fortunately, the vandals didn't manage to steal anything, as they were apparently scared off by the alarm. But the glass flew all over the place, concentrated in the area frequented by barefoot and/or crawling children.
We had to close the library to the public--disappointing all the other people who'd waited for a week to come back--and clean up the mess. I spent three and a half hours picking up glass with my bare hands. Yes, my bare hands. No, I did not get cut or anything. Yes, I'm a very careful sort of guy.
So now all the bigger pieces are gone--but there are still lots and lots of really tiny pieces everywhere, embedded in the carpet, resisting the vacuum cleaner. We'll be digging them out and picking them up for months. As it is, while I'm there I see tiny points of refracted light gorram everywhere. This is not good for my health, mental (such as it is) or otherwise.

TODAY'S BOOK: 'The Case of the Muttering Mummy', by E.W. Hildick ((c) 1986)

TODAY'S WEBSITE: Israel has proprtionately the most news reported about it of any country in the world; that's why it's important to have said reporting to be fair and unbiased. Since this is usually not the case, nonprofit NGO HonestReporting leads the charge to make it so. Plenty of muckraking articles on the media's two-facedness and well-made videos are available for viewing."
--118th post, 4/27/08


Saturday, July 12, 2008


145th post

Well, you can color me impressed! The ShiurTimes found enough space to shove three of my cartoons into its pages this month.

While the majority of Israelis may (or may not) have supporting the uprooting of the Gaza settlements in 2005, no such moral myopia has ever afflicted them concerning the Golan Heights. Rumors of a "land for peace" deal with Syria reignited protests nationwide, supporting the rights of 20,000 Jews who live there.

Moshe Sharoni (center), Sarah Marom Shalev, and Elchanan Gelzer split off from the Gil party (a.k.a. the Pensioners Party) and promptly entered a farcical did-they-or-didn't-they-mean-it routine.

Does not really require an explanation. Think of the current worries about the American economy. Transplant them to Israel, make them be about water, and then square them, cube them, and square 'em again. That's how dire the situation is here.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Pollyanna", by Eleanor H. Porter ((c) 1927)


Wednesday, July 09, 2008


1 pen + 15 minutes alone =

TODAY'S BOOK: "Where the Red Fern Grows", by Wilson Rawls ((c) 1961)

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Saturday, July 05, 2008


Tales from my Log 3

8/4/05 Th Milwaukee 1-2 Benson # 2-1 L 12-9
In 2005, my last trip to America to date, I visited the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institute, the Police Museum, the Firefighters' Museum, the Library of Congress, the Holocaust Museum, Ellis Island, the Spy Museum, and many other places.
Only one location was graced by my presence more than once.
Exactly two weeks after the first and immensely satisfying go-around, and here we were back at Shea Stadium, this time accompanied by our Uncle Nachum, who is having his first visit to Shea since, like, forever.
The first pitch of the game is met by the bat of the Milwaukee Brewers' leadoff hitter (and current Met) Brady Clark, sending it high and backwards, straight toward our section. I'm immediately on my feet, but it's not worth the effort, as the sphere drops down into the seats below the overhang. In all three of my Shea pilgrimages I brought along my mitt, just in case, but this is the closest I've ever come to catching a major league foul ball (IBL ball, now that's different--but a story for some other day). Just a little more power on that swing, and that ball could have been mine...
The Metsies had lost six out of their last nine, and I was hoping the matchup--no. 3 starter Kris Benson, he of the 3.40 ERA and loudmouth wife, vs. journeyman Doug Davis--would snap 'em out of their funk. Neither pitched very edifyingly, and after two frames the teams had combined for three hits, three walks, and three stolen bases, without anybody getting on the board.
Things got going in the third: the Brew Crew chipped away at Benson with five hits--four just singles--and compiled three runs. Chris Woodward, subbing for the sweet-fielding Cliff Floyd in left, helped matters along with an off-the-line throw home that moved a runner up. Behind us and to our right, an improbable trio of Milwaukee fans was celebrating noisily.
The Mets caught up in the bottom of the inning with just two swings. Beltran and Piazza. Fourth and third on the team in home runs, respectively, they launched two blasts that evened the score at 3-all. The Milwaukeeans in our section shut up, but they paled in significance next to the other enemy.
Grade school Yankee fans.
Some brilliant executive in the Mets' front office had decided to make today Camp Day without bothering to check just which camps were attending. Obviously, their population preponderated toward Bronxian origians, as the air was continuously filled with hateful little voice screeching "METS SUCK!" and "LET'S GO YANKEES!"
Obviously, the stadium patriots among us weren't going to take this lying down, and soon the air was thick with countercries of "YANKEES SUCK!" and "LET'S GO METS!" I enthusiastically played my part, embarrassing my little brother--never mind that roughly 10,000 people were doing the same thing--while Uncle Nachum was engrossed with the game in progress. Amid the leaping decibels, the Mets took the lead in their half of the fourth with a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single off the bat of Mike Piazza (the cries momentarily turning into "PIAZZA! PIAZZA!" before reverting).
I was mentally pleading with Willie Randolph not to bering Benson back out for the fifth. After all, his statline so far was 4 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, with a wild pitch and HBP thrown in for measure. Clearly, he'd had it. Randolph, the softy, must have wanted Kris to earn the "W", because he walked out to the mound and--to my deep but unsurprised disgust--gave up three hits, one walk, and one lead, with him trudging off at the end off the debacle with the scoreboard announcing NYM 6 MIL 6. Inexplicably, he was allowed to bat for himself in the bottom the frame, laying down a useless bunt after substitute 1B Jose Offerman's leadoff double.
Around the seventh, a rainstorm started up, and the three of us retreated into safer territory beneath the overhang. It had rained on our previous vist, too, but it was just a light shower and we had been sitting beneath the overhang anyway. This whole business of "summer rain" was very revelatory to me: there's no such thing here in Israel. Heck, it's barely ever even humid (an exception occurring this year), and I proffesionally declared the American weather "insane".
With both starters gone, the teams had kicked off a parade of relievers, a total of ten appearing by game's end. For three innings, New York's proved superior, allowing just a combined four hits, one walk and one unearned run (Woodward again--wherefore art thou, Floyd?). The batters, meanwhile, busied themselves collected eight hits, two walks, and three well-earned runs off Justin Lehr and Julio Santana, including a run-scoring double by Mike Piazza in the sixth.
Mike Piazza! Vanguard of the last Mets Golden Age! Perpetual All-Star! Walloper of home runs and collector of RBIs! The one common thread linking my first Shea visit to my last: Mike Piazza, the greatest-hitting catcher in MLB history. I cheered him unconditionally on the 30th of July, 2000 (he went 1-for-4); I bemoaned the lack of Piazzosity on the 21st of July, 2005; and now here I was, screaming like a joyful banshee, little brother cringing at my side--Mike Piazza, one single, one double, one home run, five runs batted in. I immortalized the statline with a photograph of the scoreboard during his next at-bat. He struck out then, but no matter; this was probably his last great game in a Mets uniform, and I was there to witness it.
That was one of just two photos I chose to take that day; the other one was taken in the eighth, when the crowd expressed its objection to the Brewers scoring that unearned run by tossing paper bags and other trash onto the field.
Maybe that was what shifted the karma. Maybe it was the unexpected win on the last visit, tipping the scales of deservance. Maybe it was the defensive replacement of Piazza by Ramon Castro in the final inning--after all, Danny "Digging" Graves himself had entered after the Trash Incident and set down the opposition in 1-2-3 order.
All I know is that the setup man with the 2.02 ERA, Roberto Hernandez, came in for the ninth and proceeded to toss batting practice. Once the dust cleared, his ERA was 2.88, the scoreboard was flashing MIL 12 NYM 9, and I wanted to strangle someone. Preferably my whiny brother.
I said goodbye to my new friends (two older Mets fans sitting right behind us; another revelation that day was how easy it is to strike up conversations with other fans of your team at a ballpark, even--or especially--if you have absolutely nothing else in common and are the totallest of total strangers), bid adieu to the newly ecstatic Brewer Fan Trio, and we slowly made our way out, as per my loudly stated prediction that "the Mets are definitely gonna lose now and I don't wanna be around to watch it."
Dawdling in a gift shop, we saw the prolonged but inevitable end played out on a TV screen: David Wright, second on the team in home runs, grounding out with two men on. Once again, the pull of the .500 mark was irresistable.
TODAY'S BOOK: "The World-Wide Dessert Contest", by Dan Elish ((c) 1988)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008


Criticism of Blogger - revisited (redux)

Nearly half a year since posting my follow-up to the original post, it is once again time to readdress my nine Not to Like points about Blogger.
1. They have not yet chosen me for a Blog of Note. Still haven't, hint hint. No change.
2. Every time I come here I have to sign in. That "Remember Me" option is broken and it makes things a right pain in the neck. I think this got fixed for a short time. If it was, it's broken again, and I have to keep signing out of my brother's Gmail account, which makes it an even bigger pain. There must be a more efficient way of doing it.
3. The "Comments" section is variable as to whether I can actually enter it, and when I do it's sometimes needlessly picky about letting me post there. Much better service in this area now. Makes life a lot easier. Fault-proof. Congratulations!
4. Forcing me to upgrade. Look, the former version may have been more primitive, but I wanted to switch over in my own sweet time. No change. See note on #1.
4a. And now that I've upgraded, I've lost the option to Search all of the blogs instead of just my own. A-noy-ying! I can do this from my Edit Posts page, so scratch that. On the other hand, replace "just my own" with "just any blog I happen to be searching from" and you get an even bigger complaint. Still a giant stinking turd of a problem.
5. The "Help" section is miniscule. And it's still no great shakes. But it doesn't really matter since I barely use it.
6. For once, random is not good--the vagary of the "Next Blog" button. The one point over which I want to give Blogger's staff the finger. See note on #1.
7. The "Profile" section is still primitive--I can put my astrological sign up, but not my birth date. 'Sup with that? See note on #4. See note on #1.
8. The link to a picture in a post does not automatically open in a new window. Trivial, but nonetheless there. It's embarrassing to think I even wrote this. I am a technological dinosaur.
9. Wakka wakka. Wakka wakka! Wakka wakka, wakka wakka.

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Landry News", by Andrew Clements ((c) 1999)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Tales from my Log 2

7/21/05 Th San Diego 3-0 Ishii # 2-0 W 11-0

A five-year absence from America meant a five-year absence from Haagen-Dazs, daytime TV, and Shea Stadium. It would be hard to rank which I missed more, but today I could definitely tell you which was more satisfying.
The Stadium had not changed since I'd last been here, but I had. Gone was the happy little boy who knew about as much about baseball as high finance, giving personal nickanmes to players and thinking that every inning the teams started batting from the top of the order. Instead, here in his stead was a seriouser, stats-oriented geek who simultaneously loved the Mets more and was more cynical about them than ever. The situation was also different: instead of a mass family outing, with siblings and cousins galore, this was a private affair, with just one brother and one grandmother.
I was hard at work putting on a happy face for said grandmother. After all, how could she have known that the tickets she'd bought had gained us admittance to witness a performance by the worst pitcher on the Mets and, possibly, all of baseball?
Kazuhisa Ishii, the 32-year-old Korean fastballer, was a walking pit of despair for the 2005 Mets. After three mediocre years on the Los Angeles Dodgers, he'd been acquired as a new Rick Peterson "project". The Jacket's incompetence shone through, as his protege immediately sank like a stone to the bottom of the rotation and like a lead weight around fans' necks. Coming into the dreaded (for me) game he was 2-8 with an unlovely 5.57 ERA.
And just to put the icing on the cake, he was matched--outmatched--up against Jake Peavy, the up-and-coming young ace of the San Diego Padres' pitching staff, his stat line reading like the inverse of Ishii's: 8-3, 3.03 ERA, with 132 strikeouts thrown in for good measure. His previous outing had featured seven innings of one-run, eight-K ball. Besides, the team had displayed a magnetic attraction to the .500 record all year--indeed, they would not shake it until the very last week--and was coming off a three-game winning streak, so even the odds were against me. No way was I witnessing a win today.
I put on my happy face for pre-game photos, but as we settled into our seats I grew gloomy. After three innings, my doubts had still not been dispelled. Ishii had walked three and allowed an equal number of hits (including a single for Peavy, earning him a chorus of boos), and only the defense had kept the Pads off the boards. I knew it was only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, the Mets couldn't touch Peavy. Then first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who was known more for his glove than for his bat, lofted a leadoff home run into the bleachers in the bottom of the inning (his 10th of the year, oddly enough, though was to hit only one more the rest of the way), giving his team a 1-0 lead. I applauded the dinger but assumed that such a slim lead would not last long. I was right. It was widened.
After Ishii tossed his first clean innings in the fourth and fifth--six up, six down--the Mets pounced.
"Minky" got it started by working a one-out walk. Backup Castro Ramon Castro drove him in with another homer. Mets 3, Padres 0. Ishii walked. The electric Jose Reyes singled, stole second like every single damn person in the park knew he would--his 31st of the year--and when the catcher overthrew second, both runners advanced. Mike Cameron doubled, bringing the score up to Mets 5, Padres 0, and I was practically dancing in the aisle.
It was the next inning they really cut loose. Seven hits, one walk, a sacrifice fly, one pitching change and eleven batters later (personal favorite David Wright collected two hits, including a two-run double), and the score was now an officially ridiculous 12-zip.
Ishii had been pitch-hit for in that crazy sixth, so the relievers paraded through. Dae-Sung Koo and then Heath Bell came in for a pair of clean innings. After I savored my way through watching future career-saves-record-holder Trevor Hoffman work their eighth, Willie Randolph sent Danny Graves out to the mound for the final frame.
A rain of boos came hailing down. At least, I can definitely state that some hailed from me; some may or may not have emanated from other throats in the ballpark. I didn't notice. I was directing every fiber of my being into booing the most gutless, untalented hack on the 2005 Mets' pitching staff. Did I say Ishii was the worst before? Scratch that. Graves was the worstest. They probably had to coin a new word to described the level of suckiness he exuded. In his past 10 games he'd given up 10 runs, driving his ERA up to an incredible eight point seventy freaking one.
Two of the first three Friars up singled, putting runners on the corners, while I continued to shower the only Met ever born in Vietnam with vocal indignation. "You're ruining the shutout!" I bellowed. "For God's sake, somebody yank him already!!"
Nobody yanked Graves. The didn't have the time to do so. The next two batters went quietly, and just like that, the Mets had an official blowout shutout on their hands.
I didn't know, but probably could have guessed, that we had witnessed Kaz Ishii's last Met and major league win. He wound up 3-9, 5.14, and out of a career. After five more appearances, so was fellow countryman Koo. Bell wound up on the Padres via a trade. Nine appearances later, Graves's ERA would land on the 5.75 mark, still way too laughably high; he was gone in December. Marlon Anderson, the only starter besides Ishii without an RBI, would leave and come back. Cameron and Mientkiewicz would leave and not, and good riddance--Cameron for failing a drug test, Stinky Minky for mouthing off about the fans. Castro, Jose Jose Jose and D-Wright are still there.
"It's good to be the king," quoth Mel Brooks; and on July 21st, 2005, it was good to be a Mets fan.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Assassination Vacation", by Sarah Vowell ((c) 2005)

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