Friday, July 31, 2009


Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and the LORD carried me out in a spirit, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones;
and He caused me to pass by them round about, and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
And He said unto me: 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered: 'O Lord GOD, Thou knowest.'
Then He said unto me: 'Prophesy over these bones, and say unto them: O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.
And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.'
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a commotion, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
And I beheld, and, lo, there were sinews upon them, and flesh came up, and skin covered them above; but there was no breath in them.

Then said He unto me: 'Prophesy unto the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.'
So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great host.

Then He said unto me: 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.Therefore prophesy, and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people.
And I will put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land; and ye shall know that I the LORD have spoken, and performed it, saith the LORD.'

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Upstairs Room", by Johanna Reiss ((c) 1972)


Saturday, July 25, 2009


The Dead Presidents' Society

George Washington's mecha battle armor can also transform into a horse. Andrew Jackson's a crotchety old man with a trenchcoat. John F. Kennedy's the youngest member and responsible for tech support. Franklin D. Roosevelt's leg braces give him superspeed and jumping abilities. Teddy Roosevelt's Teddy Roosevelt. And Abraham Lincoln won't take no nonsense from anybody.
Their biggest enemy is, of course, turncoat Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon and his legion of CREEPs.
Any questions?

"That's Not in My American History Book", by Thomas Ayres ((c) 2004)


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Sadly, in his later years Harry drifted into a life of crime.

For the record, this was excerpted from "The Adventure of the Seven Black Cats", a 1933 short story by Ellery Queen, reprinted in "Alfred Hitchcock's Daring Detectives" ((c) 1969).


Saturday, July 18, 2009


33 books to read before you're 32

  1. "Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse" - Leo Lionni
  2. "All Things Bright and Beautiful" - James Herriot
  3. "Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code" - Eoin Colfer
  4. "The Bourne Identity" - Robert Ludlum
  5. "The Cay" - Theodore Taylor
  6. "Charlotte's Web" - E.B. White
  7. "Cheaper by the Dozen" - Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
  8. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - Roald Dahl
  9. "The Cricket in Times Square" - George Selden
  10. "The Da Vinci Code" - Dan Brown
  11. "Dr. Dolittle" - Hugh Lofting
  12. "Feet of Clay" - Terry Pratchett
  13. "Frindle" - Andrew Clements
  14. "The Giver" - Lois Lowry
  15. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" - J.K. Rowling
  16. "Holes" - Louis Sachar
  17. "The Jungle Books" - Rudyard Kipling
  18. "Little Women"/"Little Men" [depending on what gender you are] - Louisa May Alcott
  19. "Madeline" - Ludwig Bemelmans
  20. "Make Way for Ducklings" - Robert McCloskey
  21. "Maniac Magee" - Jerry Spinelli
  22. "Math Curse" - Jon Scieszka
  23. "Old Yeller" - Fred Gipson
  24. "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" - Dr. Seuss
  25. "The Phantom Tollbooth" - Norton Juster
  26. "Pippi Longstocking" - Astrid Lindgren
  27. "Rabbit Hill" - Robert Lawson
  28. "A Short History of Nearly Everything" - Bill Bryson
  29. "The Toilet Paper Tigers" - Gordon Korman
  30. "The Westing Game" - Eleanor Raskin
  31. "Where Eagles Dare" - Alistair MacLean
  32. "Where the Wild Things Are" - Maurice Sendak
  33. "The Wolves in the Walls" - Neil Gaiman


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Four-Thousand-Hit Blog (-3

Today, after two years, nine months and ten days of blogging, and four months and twenty-two days after the last such milestone, Giant Boogers from Outer Space has completed its fourth cycle of one thousand hits! Our milestone man (or possibly woman) hails from Edinburgh, England, and was googling "peter piper master craftsman", which brought us up as the fifth website on the results list. Congratulations, old top, and I hope you found out just what Peter Piper was a master at crafting! (Barrels for pickling pepper, perhaps?)
Hits-per-day are up to 4, and while March passed November of '08 as GBFOS's busiest month by 14 hits, and then April followed that up with an outstanding 347, monthly visits have fallen to some of the lowest totals in years. I need more Englishmen searching for Peter Piper on Google.
Twenty-nine more comments have been posted here (for an average of one every 1.69 posts, not yet counting this one, since the third square root of one million), led with fifteen by Sea-of-Green, who's taken a break from blogging to finish her second novel (go, Sea!). I chipped in with eleven of my own, SallyP from GLBF! added a pair, and Khaaan! showed some life with another bewilderingly random comment five days ago.
Along the way, I had a picture featured in a YouTube AMV slideshow, got a personal e-mail account, saw a lion charging in real life, completed my second fan fiction, parted ways with my employer, got in touch with a long-lost friend, finished the Illustrator section of my course, got employed with The Jeruslem Post, and started up a new blog.
On to the next thousand!!!!

TODAY'S BOOK: "The Homework Machine", by Dan Gutman ((c) 2006)


Sunday, July 12, 2009


292nd post

With the All-Star Game upon us, it behooves us to go over how such a noble institution became so fleeped up.
We start, of course, with the most infamous All-Star Game in history: 2002's 7-7 tie after 11 innings. Only once before had the ASG ended in a tie (1961, 1-1, first game), and that was because they automatically ended after 9 innings back then. What happened in 2002? The teams ran out of pitchers.
Now let's go back to 1993. Oriole Park at Camden Yards hosted that event (AL 9, NL 3), and many fans were ticked off because local hero Mike Mussina, a member of the AL squad, was not given a chance to pitch. Now, a reasonable reaction would be an unofficial assumed rule that wherever you host the ASG, the managers trot out all the hometown guys on the roster. Well, apparently that's too reasonable, because the result was that the managers started trying to play everybody, so that no team's fans would be disappointed. What used to be a game of skill incidentally featuring the best players in the leagues morphed into a circus exhibit. Meanwhile, rosters were expanded to well over the normal 25 maximum.
Fast-forward back to '02. This screwup, embarrassingly occurring right in Commissioner Selig's backyard, was declared a tie by Bud after 11, and fan reaction was overwhelmingly condemnational. In regular season games, it's perfectly possible for position players to take the mound--this usually happens during blowouts when the manager wants to coserve the bullpen's arms--so why not now? Sure, the score may have changed into some ridiculous numbers (14-12? 20-19?), but at least a game could be had out of it. A tie just plain sucked.
So Bud der Genius decided the best way to ensure this wouldn't happen again was not to trust that future managers would remember how awful this situation turned out and start conserving players again, but to declare that the winning league would have home field advantage in the World Series--an achievement previously achieved by the team with the better record, as is good and natural. A game that was once fun and then laughable was now too serious.
Then, since the managers would now be forced to use their players carefully, yet another new rule was created: every team should now have at least one representative in the ASG. So if the fans couldn't see them, at least nobody would feel left out. This populist pandering stuck in the craws of traditionalists, and many other people as well.
Not only that, the home field advantage proved to be meaningless. Since 2002, of the last six World Series, only one has gone more than five games (Marlins over Yankees, 2003), meaning all the rest were won by visiting teams. All the excitement and drama has migrated to the Division and League Championship Series, where home field advantage is decide by, you guessed it, regular-season record. Think of Boston's 2004 miracle ALCS comeback, or Houston's 2005 grueling 18-inning NLDS clincher. This kind of drama has vanished from the WS. Coincidence? Perhaps...
This year, with the expansion of rosters to a mind-boggling 33 players each (with the final player voted in by fans, able to vote an infinite number of times, just to make things dumber), the situation of mediocre and otherwise undeserving players entering the ranks of the likes of Ted Williams, Yogi Berra and Willie Mays, has simply been exacerbated. The diluting of the rosters by expansion and inclusion has taken its toll on a once proud institution. Who knows where it will lead next?

TODAY'S BOOK: "Dr. Dolittle's Circus", by Hugh Lofting ((c) 1924)


Tuesday, July 07, 2009


291st post

Newest Post cartoon: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad commenting on the arrogance of his Iranian subjects.

Note: from now on my political cartoons will be appearing on my brand spanking new companion blog, curently and tentatively titled Line_of_Fire.

TODAY'S BOOK: "A Long Way from Chicago", by Richard Peck ((c) 1998)


Sunday, July 05, 2009


Touching myself in a dirty place

You wouldn't believe how filthy it is up there.

TODAY'S BOOK: "Behind the Lines", by W.E.B. Griffin ((c) 1995)


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