In "Curious George:"

I still check in on a regular basis. I've stopped posting pretty well everywhere lately though. Life seems to have gotten in the way of that sort of thing.

In "John Hodgman on "meh""


In "Hail to the chief!"

I thought it was interesting that he made the common mistake in his speech of saying of the USA that "we remain a young nation", when if you take into consideration continuous political and organisational continuity, the USA is arguably one of the oldest nations on earth.

In "Curious Sideshow George"

Yeah, those guys are amazing. . . I always buy CDs when I pay for music (I'm still old-fashioned enough to want to end up with a physical object in my hand when I spend money), so I can't wait for them to show up!

DAMN YOU FAIRYWENCH!!! You just cost me CAN$82 with that Circus Contraption link. Fantastic music!

Also, Carnival Diablo , an old-fashioned freak/sideshow based out of Toronto (they were part of Carnivale Lune Blue last year, but have been around for quite a while).

Hey! Carter Beats the Devil is one of my all time favourite books!

We saw Carnivale Lune Blue this summer near Ottawa. An attempt at an authentic recreation of a 1930's carnival. It was pretty good, but still rough around the edges, what with it being the first year for it. It really needed more people running the carnival booths though.

In "Curious Snowed-in George:"

No gloating here. It was -20°C last night in Ottawa, with a windchill of -30°C. I am just worried that they are talking about +9°C and rain by the weekend. That guarantees flooding and all sorts of lakes of ice when the temperatures suddenly drop again. Last year I had to bail out my driveway so the car didn't get frozen in place. When it is winter, I want winter. Cold, snow, no rain mixed in.

In "Curious George: Santa hacks."

Based on my experience (much of it gained from living with my ex), I also do not recommend the following as pets: Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (surprises await when they escape!) Hedgehogs Frogs Newts Chameleons and other lizards Any difficult or expensive sort of fish (too many types to go into) Mealworm and cricket colonies or anything that relies on eating them Hermit Crabs Rodent-like creatures of any sort (mice, rats, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, and whatever those fluffy things that like to roll in dust are called, etc.) Roosters. Especially when you live in a second-story apartment. Ducks (For food, yes. As pets, no) Billy goats

Pet birds. Ugh. . Sorry, I am still recovering from the emotional, mental, and physical scars of my ex's flock. Never, ever, ever will a bird live in my house again. Especially anything even remotely parrotish. Or loud. Or birdlike. The parrot screeches still ring in my ears. The smell of bird dander and poop still clings to my nostrils. And it has been years. Anyways, that said, if I had absolutely no choice, I would go for a canary or a finch. The are relatively harmles pests, and finches make that cute "meep meep" noise. But nothing more than a budgie. Listen to the voice of experience. BIRDS ARE EVIL. And anything rodent-like (i.e., lives in a cage with woodchips or other kind of litter) WILL stink up your house, no matter what you think. As a side note, my views are not tainted by the birds belonging to my ex. We are still good friends. But I wouldn't want to live in that zoo ever ever ever again.

In "No Cake 4 Hitler"

(Ugh. That was full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Someday a preview button will come and save me from such follies.)

I think it is because in this case, the intent is different. They named their kid after Hitler in order to glorify the evil bastard and push their white-supremisist, neo-nazi views, and are using the kid as an excuse to continue that glorification. I don't think people would question it nearly as much if the father changed his name to Adolf Hitler, and then wanted a cake with his name on it and was told no. But because the child didn't choose his own name, he is rightly seen as innocent in the whole matter. I still don't think someone should have to make the cake though, nor that the kid is entitled to it. I see it this way: Neo-Nazi Jerkwad: "I want a birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler" Poor Shmuck Baker: "Sorry sir, but I find making a cake that glorifies the evilest man in history to be morally repugnant and innapproriate." NNJW: "Well, you see, that is my 3-year old son's, and I need a birthday cake for him. Nothing innappropriate about it if is his name and his birthday. Boy needs cake." PSB: "Oh. Gee. Um. No, I'm sorry sir, I still find that morally repugnant, because you named your kid to glorify and evil man, it doesn't mean I have to contiue that and support your views by making a cake with that name on it. How about a compromise: I make a cake that Says Happy Birthday Addie, or Happy Birthday Adolf, or just sell you a blank one and give you a tube of frosting." NNJW: "No! You must bake me the cake! How dare you discriminate agains my poor dear little Adolf Hitler just because of his name! No compromise!" PSB: "Fine. No cake for you!" Maybe their is a bright side to this -- maybe the poor kid will be forced to learn why people don't like his parent's views and find his name to be upseting. Maybe then he won't follow in his idiot parents' footsteps.

This sort of thing makes my rightous indignation flare up and my head assplode.

Sorry about the salty language. I am a bit, um, passionate, about my views on new-nazis and their ilk, and have absolutely no patience with the sense of entitlement that seems to be rampant in modern western society. This particular situation was just the perfect mix of the two to get my back up.

Notice my choice in words. Demand, not request. And it is dumb-assed to demand to have your way all the time like a little whingy child. And you are a moron to name your kid after Hitler. Not everyone gets there way all the time, wah wah wah. Buy some fucking icing and do it yourself. Nice lesson for the kid -- sorry, you can't have a birthday cake with your name on it because your parents are ASSHOLES. Well, now he knows. Sometimes lessons are learned the hard way. That couple named their kids the way they did so they could get a rise out of everyone whenever they use their names or dmand they are put on cakes or personalised whatever or registered for sports or have a fucking singing telegram where they get some poor shmuck to sing "for he's a jolly fellow, hey we all love Aldoph Hitler" or whatever. And I stand by my statment that wanting "happy birthday Aldoph Hitler" is clearly different from "Happy Hannukah". You can call whatever the hell you want "inappropriate", but it is pretty clear what would really be meant. Trying to glorify the furer in icing ain't the same thing, and using your kid as a loophole to do so is just distasteful and inexcusable. On the other hand, I would have no pity for someone who went into the "Jesus Christ Christian Bakery and All-Bible Cake Shop" and demanded a cake glorifying Ganesh, and then whinged when they were denyed. I have no pity or sympathy or time for aryan nation new-nazi white power fucktards. Why should anyone be required to appease neo-nazis because they found a particularly offensive and horrible way to glorify an evil man? Oooooo think of the poor little boy, not having his entire given name written out in icing, oooo what pain and suffering he will endure. Whatever.

No cake for you! Get out of my store. Consumer rights? Nope. Not being sold a cake laced with melamine, that is consumer rights. Wanting to have your way no matter what dumb-ass demand you are making, that is childish. Nothing to do with rights. I'm sure they will sell that fucktard nazi as many cakes as he wants, so he is not being descriminated against. Not making a happy Hannukah cake is cleary a different case, as it is obviously discriminating based on religion. No business should be forced to comply with neo-nazi white power assholes just becuase they are jerks enough to inflict the name of the person who is arguably considered to be the most evil and hated person in the history of the world on their poor kid. Hey, yeah, dickwad, you do that sort of moronic thing, and people are going to treat your kid like shit for it, and he isn't going to get personalised store bought cakes. I'm willing to bet that just feeds into the White Power asshole's personal feelings of oppression by the masses and marterdom for the cause. For that matter, the kid isn't going to find name plaques or mugs with his cute little moniker on it. I don't imagine anyone is going to sue Mugs Inc., PRC for that oversight. And I bet you are right, Mr. K. This type would love to take that kind of request to a Jewish baker, so they can run around to their aryan nation friends saying how they have proof that Jews are hypocritical and have it out for them. Then again, maybe the sub-morons are illiterate, and incapable of piping the name on themselves. On a side note, I remember reading a while ago that in some parts of the third world, there are lots of Hitlers and Stalins and whatnot running around, as people pick names that are of famous people without understanding the context.

And what little girl doesn't want to be called Aryan Nation? It's almost just like being called Ariel the Mermaid!

Yep. I buy that one. I'm sure he thought "Aryan Nation" was a poetical name as well. Like medow flowers blowing in the wind. All the white-power, nazi shit was just a big co-inkydink. Oopsy.

In "Happiness is contagious:"


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