August 31, 2005


The Navy is moving the hospital ship USNS Comfort from Baltimore to New Orleans. In the summer of 1989, I was a summer clerk for a law firm in Norfolk when Comfort was pulled out of drydock. The ship, a converted oil tanker like her sister Mercy, is just a little longer than an Iowa-class battleship and watching the tugs manuever her in the Elizabeth River between Norfolk and Portsmouth was quite a sight to see.

The ship is fitted as an 1000-bed hospital capable of providing Level I trauma care along with anything a physician could possibly want. At the time she was put into military service, I remember reading that if she was a land-based hospital, it would be the 10th largest in America. (I knew in the summer of 1990 that H.W. was serious about getting Saddam out of Kuwait when Comfort put to sea because it showed the President was ready to launch something that could result in mass casualties.) Comfort will give the taxpayers their money's worth when she arrives on station.

Posted by LMC at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This just crossed the transom:

The lease at CBGB's, the Bowery's venerable punk club, expires at midnight Wednesday. With the clock running down on the musical landmark, there's only one thing certain about its future: supporters of the club won't surrender without a fight.

A Washington Square Park rally, hosted by Little Steven Van Zandt, aims to put public pressure on CBGB's landlord, the Bowery Residents' Committee, to sign a new deal. But the two sides haven't spoken in weeks, and no last-minute talks were scheduled before or after the rally.

Blondie and other bands will perform in the park, along with politicians and other CBGB supporters.

An increasingly frustrated Van Zandt blasted BRC executive Muzzy Rosenblatt for the inability to reach a new agreement. The E Street Band guitarist, ''Sopranos'' star and radio show host entered the negotiations about six weeks ago.

''This is starting to get ugly now,'' said Van Zandt. ''We're trying to take the high road. But it's quite obvious now that Muzzy's not rational, not reasonable. If he has the same compassion for the homeless as he does for the city of New York, I've got to be concerned.''

Rosenblatt declined to comment specifically on what would happen once the lease runs out. ''I'll do what is in the best interest of the BRC and the people it serves to make sure the property is used responsible,'' he said.

Rosenblatt's group -- an agency that aids the homeless -- holds a 45-year lease on the building and houses 250 homeless people above the club. CBGB's is their lone commercial tenant; their rent feud dates back five years, when the committee went to court to collect more than $300,000 in back rent from the club.

The current rent is $19,000 a month, although that figure was expected to at least double under any new lease. The club's landlord-tenant woes were reminiscent of the fight over The Bottom Line, the vintage Greenwich Village club that closed in December 2003.

CBGB's won a legal decision earlier this month when a Manhattan civil court judge ruled that the club couldn't be evicted for a bookkeeping mistake that left owner Hilly Kristal about $100,000 behind in his rent.

It was Kristal who started the club in December 1973, creating a space that eventually spawned bands the Ramones, Blondie and the Talking Heads. The club eventually gained an international reputation as the birthplace of punk.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would try to help CBGB's relocate if a new lease agreement doesn't happen. The mayor held up a black T-shirt with a simple message: ''SAVE CBGB.''

''CBGB's is a great New York institution,'' the mayor said. ''It's more than, you know, another club. ... If they owner of the building they are in cannot be convinced to come to an agreement with them, then we'll help them do something else.''

To quote the friend that sent this: "when a member of the sopranos crew calls you "not reasonable", that's not a compliment." Aint that the truth. The joke in all this is that Muzzy was a coxswain on our crew team in college, and was kind of the role model for INDCent Bill's intemperate Scottish dwarf from hell.

All I can say is that it's a good thing that the Ramones are dead, otherwise they'd kill him.

Yips! from Robbo: I hadn't paid sufficient attention when this story broke. In fact, Muzzy was my coxwain my senior year. Half the time in a four, no less. Let's just say he didn't have to worry about running afoul the minimum weight requirements. My knees still ache when it rains.

Posted by Steve at 03:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ave Maria


Today is the anniversary of the birth, in 1870, of St. Maria of the Blessed Educational Method, known in her own time as Dr. Maria Montessori.

I take the liberty of bestowing the honorary beatification in order to jerk the chain of the Missus, who is a hard-core Montessori purist and who, when enthusing about the virtues of Montessori education, can make the Ancient Mariner seem down right tight-lipped. (She goes back to teaching lower elementary full time this fall. And in all fairness, she has a gift and an enthusiasm for it that everybody should be so lucky to have in their job.)

I say "purist" because there are an awful lot of programs out there that call themselves Montessori, but in fact are not. It's from these knock-offs that Montessori gets a good deal of its reputation as a sort of hippy-dippy educational free-for-all. The main battle lines, apparently, are drawn up between the Faithful, also known as Association Montessori Internationale, started by Dr. Montessori herself, and the Apostate American Montessori Society. The Missus got her Masters in an AMI program and looks on the AMS crowd rather the same way in which the Montagues viewed the Capulets. I'm not anywhere near qualified to tell you the specifics of the differences except to say that the AMI philosophy includes a great deal more structured learning than its competitors.

Needless to say, all of the Llama-ettes are Montessori kids. Indeed, my five year old's teacher has remarked that she is one of the best Montessori students the teacher's seen in thirty-odd years of teaching. As far as tangible results go, the eldest Llama-ette did just fine on her first standardized achievement tests this spring, placing well above her grade level in most subjects. So we must be doing something right. (Of course, I've long harbored the suspicion that any child who a) is naturally bright and b) is properly encouraged at home can probably do just fine in any reasonably competent educational system.)

On the other hand, we've spent a great deal of time and energy organizing the Llama-ettes' bedroom and playroom in approved Montessori fashion (on St. Maria's theory that children crave structure in their lives) and the gels regulalry leave them looking as if they had been hit by an F4 tornado. So who knows.

Meanwhile, the gels and the Missus go back to school next Tuesday.

Posted by Robert at 02:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another Moo-Knew Kachoo?

I'm starting to get the same funny access problems I did just before Moo-Knew's server went down last week.

Just so you know.

Posted by Robert at 01:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Llama Netflix Virgin Movie Review #1


This Is Spinal Tap.

I'd never seen it before and I suppose I should have waited until I was feeling a little better before watching it. I certainly thought it was amusing and extremely well done (on many different levels), but the only time I actually burst out laughing was when Nigel started riffing Boccherini in the middle of his guitar solo. (Oh, also when he was talking about his "Mach" piece.)(Well, okay, also during the Stonehenge concert.)(Well again, okay, when the bassist couldn't get out of the coccoon thing.)

I can well understand why people watch this movie over and over again - there are countless little throw-away lines and expressions in the dialogue worth remembering and cherishing. I think one would have to watch it many times just to pick up on all of them. As I say, though, I was still a bit under the weather last evening and a lot of this simply washed past me.

Other random observations:

- I couldn't quite get over Meathead as Marty DiBergi. But that's just a personal twitch.

- Michael McKean looked like the Adam West of Heavy Metal.

- Fran Drescher? Whatever happened to her? Actually, I don't really care, so long as I don't have to hear that trademark laugh of hers.

- Paul Shaffer looked like Gollum in those days.

- Okay, the whole business with the Mimes was about 20 seconds of sheer comic delight. Add that to the list of things that made me laugh.

- If they could get John Steed into the film, it's too bad they couldn't also swing Emma Peel. But I suppose that's asking too much.

VERDICT: Definitely worth it. And I'll certainly see it again.

UPDATE: The whole time I was watching Spinal Tap, I kept thinking of The Rutles. I've never seen their tee vee special, but I've had their album for a long time and have always loved it, in no small part because it so often danced along the line between extremely good parody of the Beatles and extremely good knock-off of the Beatles.

Posted by Robert at 10:18 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Random Commuter Observations

An elderly lady was stationed outside my metro stop this morning explaining that 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina were both the work of Satan's Army, currently under the field command of Dick Cheney.

Hope this clears things up for everybody.

Posted by Robert at 08:30 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Don't Panic

Well, I suppose it comes from reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But then, I always was a pretty hoopy frood:

Your score is : 56.5

A score of less than 50 means you're likely to panic in an emergency. You're not very likely to panic if your score is between 50 and 70. If it's between 70 and 90, you're panic-resistant. Above 90, you're as close to being panic-proof as a human can be. Men should score a trifle higher than women.

(I'd have done a deal better, but I lost a row of x's.)

How Panic-Proof Are You?

Yips! to K-Lo in The Corner.

Posted by Robert at 06:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Llama House-keeping Matters

Or stable-keeping, whatever.

First, light posting today. I did catch whatever the three year old picked up on Sunday and had a pretty rough night. Plus, I've got a lot of work to do today. So both time and creativity are at fairly low ebbs.

Second, later this week I am planning to give the ol' blogroll a good shaking. Some of our friends, alas, have downed tools and some have jumped to new addresses. Also, there are some sites on it that I simply don't read anymore. So expect some pruning and modification. However, I also plan to add some sites that I've been meaning to get to. So expect some fresh faces as well.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 10:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005


Samantha Bond who played Moneypenny in GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough. What more needs to be said?

Posted by LMC at 09:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

And The Word Was Al Dente. And It Was Good.


The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster reveals The Truth, thus once and for all putting an end to the endless bickering among Creationists, ID'ers and Evolutionists.

And the FSM went before them by day in a pillar of Romano, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of Parmigiano, to give them light; to go by day and night:

He took not away the pillar of the Romano by day, nor the pillar of Parmigiano by night, [from] before the people.

-Exodus 13: 21-22 JCV (Julia Child Version)

Yips! to fellow-Pastafarians Der Commissar and Naked Villainy's Smallholder.

Posted by Robert at 05:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Is There A Vet In The House?

The three year old began to develop a fever while we were at the Wiggles concert yesterday. (I thought it was just the heat of the day and didn't pay much attention at the time.) It didn't seem to bother her until late last evening, when she woke up extremely cranky. She was appropriately medicined and put back to bed and is, so I'm told, much better today.

I bring this up because this afternoon I've started to feel like I've got whatever it is. Clammy hands, ringing ears and general feeling that it's too darn hot. Bleh.

Hopefully, it will come and go for me as fast as it did for her.

Posted by Robert at 05:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


But you knew that already.

High times at Rancho non-Sequitor as of late: I came back to campus to discover that a committte had been meeting in secret with the intent of forcibly breaking up my department. Big. Mistake. So much of the past week has been spent pouring vast quantities of extremely hot oil down from the ramparts onto the narrow shoulders of my colleagues.

You think someday they would get the message and leave me alone....

Also, last week was the start of school for the kids, with the big guy getting on the bus for first grade and his sister being the queen of the elementary school bus stop going into grade 3. The two year old, rather than be thrilled with the new found attention from her mom, has decided to take out her unhappiness on me, so much of the week passed with me being declared to be "ME MEAN!" which is her way of saying "I think you're mean." Alas.

We also got a nasty little ding letter from the neighborhood association for having weeds in our vegetable garden. For. The. Love. Of. All. That. Is. Holy. It could've been the makings of a great "Lifetime Network" movie of the week starring Tracey Gold about a suburban mom, coping on her own, after her husband goes to prison for taking a weed-whacker and disembowling a neighborhood busybody. I had to settle for sticking pink flamingos into the person's mailbox flowerbed.

That, and she should be getting an interesting message appearing---like magic!---in her lawn in oh about 3-4 weeks.

Gawd, I love the uses lawn fertilizer can be put to!

Anyhoo, I'm going to ease back into the blogging thing over the course of the week, and will try not to pull a hammy. The good thing is that at the end of the week I'll be up in Our Nation's Capitol for the political science convention, where hopefully I'll get a chance to meet Dr. Rusty himself, and down a considerable quantity of adult beverages in the process. Rob, I think we might have to clear the decks.

That's enough to me, I think it's time for a nap. Gosh, the first week back and I'm already sleeping in the afternoon....

Posted by Steve at 02:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Okay, I Give Up....

Who is April Winchell, and how did we get mixed up in her Linkapalooza?

Welcome aboard, April fans, whoever you are.

Posted by Robert at 02:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Katrina And The Double-Whammy

Kevin at Wizbang notes that Hurricane Katrina may disrupt the Federal payroll, which is processed through a small office in the Dept. of Agriculture located in New Orleans. I get my paycheck from these people.

Hmmm.....with another round of gas price increases and news that Uncle may not be able to pay me for a couple of weeks, at what point can I use "Can't afford it" as an excuse to miss work?

UPDATE: There they go again! Unpartisan, which is tracking blog coverage of Hurricane Katrina, has twice now linked us Llamas as a blog "from the Left". Phin blew our cover after the first go-round. I may as well come clean - even as I type, I'm listening to a webcast of this.

Dasvedanya, tovarich!

Posted by Robert at 01:50 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Monster Chiller Theatre: The Musical

Carnival of Music #13 is up, with Chan the Bookish Gardener standing in for Count Floyd. Monsters and singing detectives and creepy clowns. Brrrrrrrrrr!

Really scary, huh kids?

Posted by Robert at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The educational wizards at the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Britain, have come up with a brilliant ploy to deal with a couple of troublesome classrooms - allow the students in them to swear at the teacher up to five times per lesson:

"Within each lesson the teacher will initially tolerate (although not condone) the use of the f-word (or derivatives) five times and these will be tallied on the board so all students can see the running score," [Assistant Headmaster Richard White] wrote in the letter [to parents].

"Over this number the class will be spoken to by the teacher at the end of the lesson."

Hello, piranhas? Meet bleeding capybara.

Some probably will see this as a referendum on the use of the f-word in public and we certainly have plenty of libertarian friends who think there's nothing wrong with it. However, debate about linguistic standards aside, the more important point here is that the school is attempting to deal with troublemakers through appeasement. (I always thought that was a French specialty.) It is also pinning a giant "Kick Me" sign on the teachers' backsides. I fail to see how any good can come of such a tactic.

UPDATE: Then again, it may get the little darlin's interested in Continental Geography again.

Posted by Robert at 01:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting - Wiggly Round-Up

Gary the Ex-Donk caught the same Wiggles show as we did this weekend, he up in Connecticut and us in NoVA.

Last time I took the Llama-ettes to the Wiggles, we caught them at the MCI Center in Dee Cee. Unfortunately, we were in the nosebleed section way at the back and fell to watching the monitors instead of the stage. This time, however, we saw them at George Mason University's Patriot Center, a much smaller venue. Even though we were about twenty rows up in a back corner, we could see the stage just fine.

Gary mentions the satisfaction of watching your children being completely happy. True, but sometimes it's a long road to get there. My five year old spent the first half of the show obsessing about cotton candy until I finally got some for her. My three year old, in turn, spent most of the show obsessing about when she was going to get to give her roses to Dorothy the Dinosaur. (Yes, the Missus went and got some behind my back. If you don't know what the significance of the roses is, don't bother asking.)

I spent most of my time musing about the pecking order of the Wiggles' side-kicks. Captain Feathersword, of course, remains dominant and, indeed, sometimes seems to eclipse the Fab Four themselves. (He and Murray both got a case of the helpless giggles when he was doing his kukaburra imitation. It's always fun to see that kind of spontenaity in the middle of a scripted performance.) Dorothy has always run a fairly strong second fueled, perhaps, by her hammer-lock on the younger kids' affection, although her ballet routine this time didn't get much of a response. Wags the Dog used to be pretty high, but it strikes me that he has faded somewhat in recent times - he was only on the stage for a little bit. Henry the Octopus is, and always has been, the back marker.

We caught the second of the afternoon's two shows, and frankly, the Wiggles looked a bit tired. I don't know very much about touring, but they do seem to keep to an awfully brutal schedule. I can't keep a smile on my face for five minute at a time. How they manage it for hours on end, in a different city every day, is beyond me. Furthermore, audiences of small kids are extremely conservative - they don't want innovation and new material, they want the old standbyes: "Fruit Salad", "Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack - Cockadoodle-do!", "Do the Monkey" and "Hot Potato". The kids tended to damp down during bits like Anthony's Greek dance, but perked right up when these warhorses were trotted out. Further, I wonder how many thousands of times these guys have done "Wake Up, Jeff!" and "Well, Blow Me Down!" If I weren't a drinker, a job like that would turn me into one right quick.

One other thing that amused me - the parking lot was about 85% minivans. I had brought the gels in my jeep and it stuck out like a sore thumb from quite a way off. I've noticed a bit of a dichotome in the reaction I get whenever I do this. Moms sometimes give me the Evil Eye, as if they expect me to hand the gels some beer and smokes, too, and why not since I obviously have no concern for the safety of my children whatsoever! Dads, on the other hand, tend to look wistful. (FWIW, I never go far from the house this way and keep to secondary streets. I'm pretty sure I'm not violating any actual law about this sort of thing, because when a state trooper was following us down Chain Bridge Road, the gels turned around and started waiving enthusiastically at him. He just laughed and waved back.)

Posted by Robert at 09:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting - Outdoor Division

I don't have anything original or intelligent to say about Hurricane Katrina. If you want that, go visit Michelle.

Here in Dee Cee, Saturday was a cool and rainy day, the first for a long time. I spent the morning pottering around in the garden, whacking back the deadheads and trying to figure out the Rubic's Cube-like moves that are going to be necessary in order to shift things around to a more harmonious arrangement. Two considerations in particular bother me: first, I am going to move both the buddleia and the Joe Pye weed. However, these bushes are all well over eight feet tall at the moment and transplanting them will be a major pain in the arse. Is it perhaps better to wait for spring, when everything has died and/or been cut back? Second, many of my flowers, including the columbine, foxglove, butterfly weed and blackberry lily, have been enthusiastic self-seeders this year. I'd like to take advantage of this and move some of the seedlings around. Again, though, I'm wondering whether it is better just to leave them be for the rest of this season and to move the ones that make it through the winter next spring.

Then again, am I just looking for excuses to put off what I know is going to be a serious amount of grunt-work?

Posted by Robert at 08:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005


Why not? As long as I am on a roll about pistols. . . Thanks to the good producers of "Tales of the Gun" on The History Channel, I now know that Luger was a finalist, along with Colt, to produce a semiautomatic .45 caliber pistol to replace the .38 revolver prior to WWI. Colt won the contract with the Model 1911, but one of the two Luger prototypes is still around (the other was destroyed in testing). Perhaps, Uncle Sam could license the design from Luger for a new .45 cal. service pistol. It would look right at home with the "fritz" design of the Kevlar helmets . . .

Posted by LMC at 10:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


My unit qualified with Berettas last Sunday on the combat pistol range at Fort Bragg. Two shooters stood out: the first was my command sergeant major, a quiet career police officer who did almost exclusively head shots. When I asked him, he said: "Sir, when I have to shoot someone, I want to be sure they are not going to get up." The other was our medic, a female sergeant we borrowed from a medical unit on post. Her shots were largely to the groin. I guess she did not want them to get up either.

Posted by LMC at 10:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The current issue of Army Times had letters following up a June 27 article indicating the Army was taking a serious look at dumping the Beretta 9mm in favor of a .45 cal. The 9mm was adopted by the Army in the mid-eighties to replace the .45 cal. Colt Model 1911A1 which, as the name suggests, has been around before the assasination of Archduke Ferdinand triggered the First World War. The .45 cal. was adopted after the Army learned the hard way that the service revolver in use at the time of the Phillipine Insurrection lacked the punch to stop charging Moro tribesmen wrapped in vines and stoned on marijuana. By the time I came along as a second lieutenant in 1985, the 1911A1s in the Army inventory were WWII vintage and pretty worn out. The Beretta was new, had a magazine twice as large as the .45, fired standard NATO ammunition, and eventually become the standard issue pistol for all of the armed forces.

The first extended use in combat has been Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The feedback from Afghanistan and Iraq is that the Beretta, while accurate, lacks the knockdown power one needs to take down a suicide bomber. What is needed is a fat, heavy bullet and the .45 cal. looks like it will fit the bill. Faithful readers, any recommendations on a modern, off the shelf .45 cal.? Your humble LMC wants to know.

BTW, for another oldie but goodie, here is one of the greatest weapons ever made: the M2 .50 cal. machine gun. First introduced during WWI, it remains in use today and has been known to generations of soldiers affectionately as "Ma Deuce" and is loved for its ability to pound out bullets the size of carrots. In twenty years of soldiering on active duty and in the reserves, I have never heard an unkind word about this weapon and there are no plans I am aware of to replace it.

UPDATE: thanks for the input--keep it coming. I think this post should be renamed "DON'T KID YOURSELF, SIZE MATTERS" Faithful reader Fr. Lockwood suggested the Kimber .45 cal ACP shown here.

Posted by LMC at 10:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


You're probably aware that AMC has been running a Bond Festival this past couple of weeks. Each night, they run off a different film during prime time, then immediately re-run it in widescreen format.

I wish they wouldn't do this.

Last evening, I dozed off toward the end of A View to a Kill. After what I thought was a short while, I half woke up and cocked an eye at the tee vee. "Oh, good," I thought to myself, "Bond is still on. It can't be that late."

After a bit, though, I took a closer look and thought, "Hey, wait - didn't they already kill that guy off?" It was then that I realized we were well into the second showing and yes, it was that late.

As I say, I wish they wouldn't do this.

Posted by Robert at 03:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Miranda Otto. Big break: Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings. Best attributes: Australian, athletic, easy smile, looks the gal who was a bud in high school and by the time you realized you ought to ask her out, she already had a boyfriend (a characterization The Colossus made of one my earlier features). If she is anything like her character in LOTR, she is loyal, brave, good with a horse, and ever better with a sword--the perfect gal to back you up in a bar fight. Down side: tendency to become infatuated with a man who sleeps with elves. Most questionable career move: appearing in War of the Worlds with that nut Tom Cruise.

Posted by LMC at 01:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Mrs. LMC saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show last night at home for the first time. The flick really ought to be seen at around midnight in a beer cinema with enough adult beverages flowing to keep a righteous buzz going, not to mention members of the audience acting out the scenes (fueled by said adult beverages). Sad to say, but it was probably the height of Susan Sarandon's career; she certainly looked pretty good, not to mention her character demonstrated a certain, how shall we say it, "zest for living."

Posted by LMC at 01:24 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Now That Is Cool!

Martian dust devils. In motion. Go check 'em out.

Yips! to Ace.

Posted by Robert at 05:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Not On My Watch

Llama Emoticons?

No. And don't ask again.

Posted by Robert at 04:57 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Left Coast Llama?


Looks like I may be headed to San Francisco in a few weeks on bidness. I hate to travel, but if I have to, this is certainly a place worth seeing. Woo Hoo!

As usual, any tips about places to see/eat/etc., are appreciated.

Posted by Robert at 04:46 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Gotta Admit - Answers a Whoooole Lot of Nagging Questions*

This is as good an explanation of Creation as I've come across yet.

Yips! to Lemuel at Deleted By Tomorrow.

*Geek cred for identifying the quote. Answer revealed later.

UPDATE: Trivia answer and modest disclaimer below the fold.

Trivia Answer: This was one of Opus's line from Bloom County.

For those of you who may have been offended by the chain-jerking nature of the link, I would say this: Lighten up, Francis.

As a matter of fact, I am rather ambivalent on the whole ID debate, which is why I've stayed out of it. In general, I certainly believe in God as the Creator of all things, and I am at least sympathetic to the notion that he may have put his thumb on the cosmic scales here and there in order to point evolution in the direction he wanted it to go (which is what I understand Intelligent Design to boil down to).

This is certainly something that could be addressed in the context of religious education. But I simply don't know if or how it could or should be made part of a scientific curriculum. Unfortunately, there is a good deal of foaming at the mouth on both sides of this debate which a) makes it extremely difficult to determine whether there could be some grounds for compromise, and b) is bloody tarsome.

So there.

Posted by Robert at 03:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Wa Po has this article on "Dr. Pat Robertson's Diet Shake." Pat apparently does not confine his endeavors to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, and foreign policy pronouncements suggesting America "take out" South American leaders with whom we disagree. Now he can add diet guru to the list

Permit me to digress: Pat must be the only law school grad in the country who uses his juris doctor degree as an excuse to use the title "Doctor." Then again, I refuse to use the term "Esquire" in reference to other lawyers because it is pretentious. People who know me know I'm a lawyer and people who do not don't care.

Yips! from Robbo: The Missus and I stayed at the inn at Regent when we were in VA Beach for a wedding many moons ago. The place had such an air of I dunno what about it that we felt rather like P.J. O'Rourke and his lady friend did when they visited Heritage U.S.A. in Holidays in Hell. It was only with extreme effort that I stopped myself from yelling, "Hurry up, Honey! We'll be late for the Satanic Rituals again!" in the lobby.

YIPS from LMC: snake handling classes every Friday after sundown.

Posted by LMC at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous French-Bashing


Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Crecy in 1346, in which Edward, Black Prince of Wales and his English longbowmen thrashed the French knights. (I hope you're paying attention, Steve-O.)

Shakespeare couldn't resist getting in a dig about it in his buildup to the battle of Agincourt:

Charles the Sixth:

Think we King Harry strong;
And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us;
And he is bred out of that bloody strain
That haunted us in our familiar paths:
Witness our too much memorable shame
When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
And all our princes captiv'd by the hand
Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,
Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him,
Mangle the work of nature and deface
The patterns that by God and by French fathers
Had twenty years been made. This is a stem
Of that victorious stock; and let us fear
The native mightiness and fate of him.

-Henry V, Act II, Scene 4

What is remarkable is that the battles of Crecy and Agincourt occured nearly 70 years apart, and yet the English whomped the French in almost exactly the same way each time. This says a lot about the stubborn refusal of the French Aristocracy to believe that the horse-mounted knight had been made obsolete by a longbow-weilding yeoman, a concept totally at odds with Medieval notions of chivalry.

UPDATE: Speaking of which, if you haven't read Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, you really ought to.

Posted by Robert at 02:02 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Robbo Enters The 21st Century

Well, we finally decided to burn our Blockbuster card and sign up for Netflix. Over my sandwich, I just queued up my first five films. Since this is a new beginning and all, I've set a rule for myself that I'm only going to order movies I haven't seen before, at least for the first 20 or so. (I have a very bad habit of watching the same things over and over again.)

With that in mind, here's the list:


This Is Spinal Tap - I know, I know, I know. I should have seen this years ago, but somehow just never did. My only fear is that I've left it too late and will not enjoy it as much as I might have done had I seen it sooner. (This happened with The Rocky Horror Picture Show - I was about 30 when I first saw it and my impression was that it was the kind of movie I would have thought way cool when I was in high school. As it was, I found it all pretty tedious.)


Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense - I've heard a great many superlative comments about this film. And I've always liked the TH's. (Did I ever tell you about the time I listened to "More Songs About Buildings and Food" over and over, non-stop, between Hilton Head, SC and Roanoke, VA?)

Italian Job.jpg

The Italian Job - I like a slick caper. And perhaps at last I can get to the bottom of this whole damn Mini Cooper thing.


The Awful Truth - Don't ask me about this - go read Sheila instead.

High Fidelity.jpg

High Fidelity - A little John Cusack eye-candy for the Missus. Dunno why we missed this in the theatre.

So there you have it.

UPDATE: The Missus reports that she's seen High Fidelity already and didn't like it. (I need to get into this whole why-she's-seen-so-many-more-movies-than-I-have thing more deeply.) I'm going to keep it on the list just because I read an awful lot of allusions to it 'round these parts.

Posted by Robert at 12:37 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Bring Me The Head Of Ken Griffey, Jr.!

The Reds knocked the Nats into the cellar yesterday. There is still a mathematically dim shot of the Nats making the wild-card, but I'm not getting excited.

That's bad enough. But do we have to listen to this?

"It's not as fun as being in the pennant race, but if you can help send somebody home ... that's fun," Griffey said.

I got yer "fun" right here, Junior!

Posted by Robert at 12:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

This Looks Grimm

Our pal Chai-Rista directs us to the Rolling Stone review of the new Terry Gilliam movie, The Brothers Grimm.

I've always enjoyed Gilliam's movies, especially those with Jonathan Pryce, one of my very favorite just-on-the-fringe-of-the-bigs actors. I regularly go through my cycle of Time Bandits, Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the last one being one of my favorite movies of all time.

From this review, it sounds as if Gilliam has done the same thing he usually does - produced a crazed piece of film-making that nonetheless captivates. We'll see.

I may mention that I first saw Brazil at the campus theatre when I was in college. It was an extremely ugly building - a kind of bunker with lots of concrete and exposed pipes, and you had to leave via a rather cramped tunnel. The exit looked so much like the Orwellian future-world of the movie that a great many of us (self included) got a series case of the creeps to add to our already jangled nerves. What fun!

Posted by Robert at 11:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Agent Smith Takes Charge Of London Zoo


"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure."

Yips! to Iain Murray over in The Corner.

Posted by Robert at 11:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One Link To Rule Them All

Gary the Ex-Donk is just about ready to unleash his Tolkien Geek site. This is cool - Gary's plan is to blog his thoughts chapter by chapter as he makes his way through the cycle. We wantsssss it!

Posted by Robert at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ai, Chihuahua!

Sadie, Sadie, Sadie!

Oh well, I suppose it gets that damned Scottish Dwarf off my back for a while.

UPDATE: In answer to many inquries, yes, I'm the shorter one.

Posted by Robert at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's A Wiggly Weekend


I'm taking the five and three year olds to see The Wiggles in concert this weekend. And while some of you may shudder at the prospect, I have to say that I don't mind at all. When it comes down to it, there is really nothing wrong with the Wiggles. Their music is pleasant and entertaining. Their skits and sketches, far from being soupy or sappy or preachy, are harmlessly silly. True, there are signs that they are being assimilated into the Disney Collective (the gels don't like their newer show very much), but what the hell - we're probably only going to have any interest in them at all for another year or two, after which their spigot on my wallet gets turned firmly off. (Do you know the Wiggles topped the list of richest Australian performers for 2004, outgrossing both Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe?)

Besides, the concerts are a lot of fun. I took the two elder Llama-ettes to see the Wiggles at the MCI Center two years ago - every single kid there had the words to every song down cold. They knew all the jokes, too. The place was jumpin'.

'Course, there are some downsides. I've already had a run-in with the gels about whether we were going to buy roses to give to Dorothy the Dinosaur. (If you don't know what this means, don't ask.) Also, the Wiggles' Australianism gives rise to occassional conflict: their Christmas Special, with everybody standing around in shorts and swimsuits, can offend young Northern Hemispheric sensibilities. Also, the Llama-ettes got into a violent argument on our recent drive down from Maine over whether Cocky the Cockatoo is saying "Pieces of Eight" or "Pieces of Eye". But hey - it's multi-culturalism, right?

I'll let you know how it goes.

Posted by Robert at 09:41 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Musickal Posting

Byzantium's Shores has an excellent post up about Brahms' First Symphony, one of my favorite pieces of music, despite the fact that my tastes generally lie more in the Baroque and Classic periods. Now that I've read it, I'm going to have to go home and listen to my copy (also Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic, but not live).

Yips! to Lynn S.

Posted by Robert at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Random Commuter Observation

While Virginia drivers, Self included, tend to be lead-footed, at least we're generally predictable. On the other hand, Maryland drivers are downright psychotic. Whenever you see a car doing something completely insane around here, you can be pretty sure it's got Maryland tags on it.

Just saying.

Posted by Robert at 08:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

"Can We Have Your Colon, Then?"


John Cleese is planning to sell bits of his colon snipped out during upcoming surgery.

Remember, only 121 shopping days left until Christmas!

Posted by Robert at 05:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Nancy Drew Mystery

Nancy Drew.jpg

Graphic novel, indeed. So when did she suddenly morph into an anime babe? And why?

Give me the old school any day.

(Shameless delayed cross-posting from original over at The Colossus.)

UPDATE: Beg pardon. Apparently, she should be classed as a manga babe.

Posted by Robert at 04:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Surf's Up

Last year's tsunami wave went around the world several times, being recorded in such places as Halifax, Nova Scotia and Callao, Peru.

I love reading about things like this. Another prime example is the shock wave from the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 that circled the earth seven times (if I recall correctly) before finally dissipating. There's something about phenomena on that grand a geological scale that I find fascinating.

Posted by Robert at 03:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Mr. Bond!


Today is the birthday of Sir Sean Connery, so here's a little gratuitous cheesecake for the ladies.

As a matter of fact, I've always been of the opinion that Connery has aged very well and that he is actually more handsome in his movies of the 80's and 90's (Say, Indiana Jones or Hunt for Red October) than he was back in the Bond Era. But what do I know?

Posted by Robert at 02:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Charlock's Shade Watch

I am of the opinion that Enoch Soames, Esq., has been on vacation quite long enough, now. Who's with me?

Posted by Robert at 01:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hurricane Ricky Watch

I got a baaaaaaad feeling about this. I only hope the 'Fins can trade him before he bursts.

Posted by Robert at 01:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


We Llamas are the number two google search hit for god damn slumber parties.

My sentiments, exactly. I need at least an hour or two of solitude at the end of the day. The last thing I want is a pack of young hooligans in the house, especially as I know that when I wake up the next morning they'll still be there.

Posted by Robert at 12:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Still More Plum Blogging

In comments to my earlier post on the money P.G. Wodehouse made on the sale of his novel Thank You, Jeeves, to Cosmopolitan, our pal Rachel (if I may be so bold) states that Plum wuz robbed. As I say, I dunno. But I do know that the Master had a very real interest in the remunerative end of his art. Allow me to quote some more from Uncle Fred In The Springtime:

Poets, as a class, are business men. Shakespeare describes the poet's eye as rolling in a fine frenzy from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, and giving to airy nothing a local habitation and a name, but in practice you will find that one corner of that eye is generally glued on the royalty returns. Ricky was no exception. Like all poets, he had his times of dreaminess, but an editor who sent him a cheque for a pound instead of the guinea which had been agreed upon as the price of his latest morceau was very little older before he found a sharp letter on his desk or felt his ear burning at what was coming over the telephone wire.

Heh. Plum never made any bones of the fact that he was in it for the money. In this, he was a refreshing throwback to the pre-Romantic notion of artisanship, the idea that writing, painting or composing was a craft just like any other and that the artisan ought to sell the product of his skills the same as any other craftsman. (What is refreshing about it is that he didn't feel the need to apologize or obfuscate about his desire to make a good living.)

Posted by Robert at 12:16 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

I've got the radio on this morning, for a change, dialed into the local commercial classical station (in fact, the only local classical station). A commercial just came on for Music & Arts Center, which happens to be the place where the elder two Llama-ettes have their music lessons.

This reminded me that as I sat in on the five-year-old's violin lesson the other day, somebody just down the hall was practicing the solo part of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. Even without the orchestral accompaniment, it gave me the chills. Haunting, that's the word.

Oh, and here's an open question for you classical music sharks out there which came up during our visit to the 'rents in Maine: What think you of "Turkish Band Music" and other injections of stylized Orientalism into European classical pieces? (I ask because the radio currently is playing Saint-Saens' Africa Fantasy.) Personally, I like a bit of it, such as in Haydn's Military Symphony, Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and Fifth Violin Concerto and the works of various other composers. (Dad doesn't like it and has a particular grudge against the alla Turca of Mozart's A Major piano sonata. But I think that's mostly because he couldn't stand the kid who used to play it at my teacher's recitals all the time.)

UPDATE: Tee Bee has a piece up on the history of Do Re Mi. Coo-el stuff. And yes, I had a huge crush on Julie Andrews back in the day.

Posted by Robert at 11:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Yet More Plum Blogging

Terry Teachout posted a nifty little factoid that caught my eye this morning:

• Fee paid by Cosmopolitan in 1932 for U.S. serial rights to Thank You, Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse's first full-length Jeeves novel: $50,000

• The same amount in today's dollars, courtesy of Inflation Calculator: $607,551.90

(Source: Robert McCrum, Wodehouse: A Life)

I don't know much about the publishing world, but that seems to me to be a pretty good wodge of dosh.

And speaking of Wodehouse, I am currently galloping through an old favorite which I haven't read in a few years:

uncle fred.gif

Uncle Fred In The Springtime

This is (I believe) the first full length novel to feature the exploits of Frederick Altemont Cornwallis Twistleton, Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known to the world as Uncle Fred. It is also a preeminant work in the Blandings Castle cycle, featuring generous helpings of all the usual cast, including Lord Emsworth, that preeminent porker the Empress of Blandings and the Efficient Baxter. Wodehouse wrote this book in 1939 at what I consider to have been the very peak of his powers, and it is an exquisitely balanced piece of hilarity, displaying Plum's true genious at fashioning insanely complicated plotlines in a manner that appears effortless, as well as his gift for extremely funny dialogue. (He wrote The Code of the Woosters - my favorite Bertie and Jeeves novel, round about the same time.)

Care for a sample? Here's the opening:

The door of the Drones Club swung open, and a young man in form-fitting tweeds came down the steps and started to walk westwards. An observant passer-by, scanning his face, would have fancied that he discerned on it a keen, tense look, like that of an African hunter stalking a hippopotamus. And he would have been right. Pongo Twistleton - for it was he - was on his way to try to touch Horace Pendlebury-Davenport for two hundred pounds.

Read the rest, as we like to say in the Blogsphere. You won't be disappointed.

UPDATE: No, I love the novel, but not so much that I intentionally reposted this three times. still seems to be having some issues with server time-outs. As soon as I can stay connected long enough to rebuild the site, I'll get rid of the redundant posts. Sorry 'bout that.

UPDATE DEUX: Uh, sorry about the sudden mess. Did I just do that?

UPDATE TROIS: Apparently, Firefox users won't know what the hell I'm talking about and this is just an IE problem. But also apparently, I am indeed at fault for it. I've alerted our technical wizards.

UPDATE Le FOUR: Our crack engineering staff nails it: "I found the problem, it looks like the style-sheet got hosed yesterday. Firefox is holding the old information, but IE isn't." Repairs are under way. Please be patient.

UPDATE CINQ: All better now. Thanks, Phin!

Posted by Robert at 09:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

'Fins Blogging

Alert LB reader Mike tipped me off that the Miami Herald's Greg Cote had an editorial on the sports page today calling Zach Thomas the greatest linebacker in Miami history. (Registration probably required.)

I wouldn't quibble with that assessment, but I also agree with Mike: Focusing on Thomas at this stage of a dismal pre-season is just a way to get everyone's attention off the drifting offense.

Sigh. Looks like it's going to be a re-building year. (Message to Pats Fans: Shut the hell up.)

UPDATE: I see from sitemeter that we Llamas are the number one google search result for Hurricane Ricky (as in Williams, that is). I stand by that assessment.

Posted by Robert at 05:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mu.Nu Meltdown Aftermath

In light of the very kind invitations of some excellent bloggers out there to take in stranded Moo-Knewvians today, I have a confession to make:

- I don't know what a back-up site is or whether we have one;

- I wouldn't know how to trackback to it even if we did.

(That's the problem with getting all executive - we just got used to snapping our fingers and having Phin take care of everything.)

Anyhoo, thanks again to The Colossus for letting me hang out there, plus big Llama yips! go to our pal Lintenfiniel Freakin' Jen for reminding us that we've still got keys to her place and she hasn't changed the locks.

UPDATE: BTW, I'm still having trouble getting in, so it might not be over yet. If I'm not here later, you'll know where to look.

Posted by Robert at 05:18 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Musickal Posting (TM)

Regular readers may remember my mentioning that the seven and five year old Llama-ettes were taking up musical instruments.

The elder gel has started in on the piano and is going like gangbusters - she instantly grasped the concept of time value of notes, is fanatical about not looking at her hands while playing and is becoming quite comfortable with the C-scale. In fact, my only fear about her is that she'll get bored with playing simple little one-hand tunes and start to get frustrated. This happened to me when I was about her age and I wound up quitting for several years. She's off to a lesson this evening and we're going to ask the instructor to push her a bit more in order to keep her engaged.

The younger one presents a different challenge. She has started the violin and, while she insists she likes it, can only be made to practice for a few minutes at a time before her attention starts to wander, butterfly-like. I begin to wonder whether its better to let her keep on, developing at a pretty slow pace, or to hang it up for a bit and wait for her to get a little older.

Then there's the three year old. She continues to state that she wants to learn the trumpet. God help us all.

Posted by Robert at 04:38 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Yeah, why not. After all, we've managed to add "orgle-icious" to the Queen's English.

Yips! to Rachel at Tinkery-Tonk.

Posted by Robert at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moo-Knew Woo Hoo!

Looks like is back in bizness!

Many thanks to The Colossus for letting me play on his blog today.

What? You haven't been over there? Well git going!

UPDATE: It taunts me! Looks like Moo-Knew is still having some issues, but we'll do our best.

Posted by Robert at 02:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

Bearded-Spock Universe Bob The Builder

"Can. We. Kill. It?"


Wait'll the Llama-ettes see this.......

Yips! to Owlish.

Posted by Robert at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wake the Kids and Phone the Neighbors...

'Cos Beautifully Atrocious Jeff is baaaaaaaack..........

Posted by Robert at 04:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Moo-Knew Ate My Baybee

Sorry folks, trouble with the Server Down Under has kept us locked out most of the day.

(Not that I was going to say anything intelligent or witty anyway.......)

Update: D'ya suppose "Server Down Under" might be Aussie slang for a hooker? If not, it should be.

Update Deux: Dunno if it means anything, but I notice that the time-stamp on this post is an hour off. (It's really 5:40 Eastern Time.)

Posted by Robert at 04:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


But you knew that already.

Today's idiotic question, spurred by Robbo's fashion commentary below, is this: can someone give me a succinct, definitive explanation of the men's brown shoe/black shoe bidness?

Posted by Steve at 09:33 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Blogito Ergo Sum

The Colossus has a long, multi-updated post about the nature of blogging, including his thoughts on the whole fox vs. hedgehog argument about niche specialization and the inevitable futility of corporate blogs.

I agree with his take. (Except insofar as he is fool enough to call our little opus a "fine blog". De gustibus non disputandum est.......) As regular readers know, I post about pretty much anything that wanders into my tiny little mind. And although I'd be an Al Franken-sized Big Fat Liar if I said I didn't pay any attention to (and enjoy) the traffic it generates, the day I wake up finding myself limiting what I write about for the sake of that traffic is the day I drop this whole business.

So no flamewar necessary here.

Posted by Robert at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Helpful Llama Fashion Tips

Ladies -

Here in Dee Cee, we're getting to the time of year when the morning and evening commutes take place with the sun not all that far from the horizon. With all that bright, horizontal sunshine backlighting thin linen summer skirts, you might want to consider a slip.

Unless, of course, you're looking for the attention.

That is all.

UPDATE: Uh, of course, if you are a fabulous looking babe, please disregard this message. Thank you.

Posted by Robert at 08:29 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

School Daze

The Missus is going back to full time teaching this fall, so "Back to School" has a double meaning for us this year. In addition to all the rigamarole about getting the kids dressed and supplied, the Missus is currently putting the finishing touches on her shrine to the Blessed St. Marie classroom. This has now entered the phase of "pinching things from around the house that might look good at school," the latest victim being a plant from our bedroom of which I had been rather fond.

At least we seem to have passed through the "I need to get some more supplies" stage. We damn near had to leave a couple of the gels behind in Maine after the Missus stumbled across a discount teacher supply store and practically bought it out.

Of course, one of the tenants of the Montessori Diktat is that it is supposed to instill some Real World skills and habits in the kiddies. I wouldn't mind the hustle and bustle so much if I saw more evidence of the payoff. For instance, the Missus went to great trouble to lay out the Llama-ettes' basement playroom in approved Montessori fashion, with lots of bins and shelves and designated spaces for all the toys, games, books and whatnot. Why she keeps this up, I still don't really understand, because once the Llama-ettes get done with it, it usually looks like it got hit by an F4 tornado.

One of the house rules is that the Llama-ettes aren't allowed to turn on the tee vee until they've cleaned up their mess. It is at times like these that I try to make them understand that they go to school for a reason:

"Daaaaa-aaad! It's cleeean!"
"Okay, I'm coming down to check......"
[Brief pause as I amble down the stairs]
"Wha-? You call this clean?"
"But...but...there's still stuff everywhere!"
"Where? WE don't see anything."
"Are you kidding? How about that Barbie you're standing on? And look at all these Legos scattered all over the place! And how many times have I told you not to take the cushions off the sofa?"
"Well....we don't know what to do with them."
"Oh, puh-lease! Don't give me that! Is this the way you keep your classrooms at school?"
"Then why do you think you can do this kind of thing at home?"
"WE don't know....."

And so on. I think we've got a long way to go.

Posted by Robert at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

When You Care Enough To Send The Very Best.

I'm Robbo the Llama Butcher and I approve this service.

Posted by Robert at 05:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

So I Got That Going For Me

Get your position here

Yips! to somewhat-higher-in-the-chain Phin. Watch yer back, buddy.

YIPS from Steve-O:

Get your position here

I think I'm adding that to my CV, right next to my Kentucky Colonelship.

Posted by Robert at 01:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Sean Penn, in Iran. And the Left wonders why the mullahs hate us. . .

Posted by LMC at 01:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Mid-August Torpor

I've got nothing this morning. So at what point do I admit that it isn't the heat but instead just a good, old-fashioned case of writer's block?

Posted by Robert at 09:19 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005


What will we do now----the DUers are onto our toppe sekrit plans to use drugs and Sith mind tricks to give Harry Reid and Cindy Sheehan's mom strokes in the same week! Our old pal Confederate Yankee fortunately set off the buzzer to advise us all to act normally.....

You know what I'd love? A special DU version of Clue, with Karl Rove on every suspect card.

Personally, I think he'd make a very fetching Miss Scarlet. Not to mention a darn sexy Mrs. Peacock.

Of course, they'd re-name the game Unmasking the International Zionist Conspiracy to Make Magic Weed Illegal in AmeriKKKa or something.


Some things are so wrong they must be done. This is one of those.

rove as miss scarlet.jpg

Posted by Steve at 09:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Where's Robbo?

Courtesy of Uncle Sam's compressed work schedule option, I spent the morning weeding the garden and transplanting some roses I brought down from the 'rents' house in Maine. Perfect weather for it - cool and rainy.

We're now on standby for the imminent arrival of my brother and his family for a weekend visit. I will be sharing the house with six kids, all between the ages of three and eight. Extra rations of adult beverages have been stockpiled in anticipation.

Yip at you later.

Posted by Robert at 02:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Looks like Jordana is going for a new category in the Carnival of the Recipes....

Posted by Steve at 02:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Someone came here after googling up:

leslie stahl AND illuminati

Leslie Stahl in the Illuminati? No way.

Andrea Mitchell, sure, she's married to Greenspan and he's, like, the Grand Master Poo-Bah or something. And Jane Pauley---her husband's in Skull n' Bones, and they are all like down with the Bavarian Illshizzle. And they probably fake rushed Katie Couric---got her to get all nekkid and do weird stuff with a banana before hosing her down with beer and dumping her on the steps of her dorm or something.

Bujt definitely not our Leslie.

Posted by Steve at 01:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Fighting the McMansions

This CNN article about various efforts to halt or slow the growth of Starter Castles nicely nails the real problem with them:

It's not necessarily the size that matters -- location is a big part of it. Few people oppose McMansions in new suburbs with uniformly large homes, or to single monsters set apart on ample acreage. What raises hackles is Gulliver-sized homes on lilliputian lots.

Many older, closed-in suburbs that are in demand for their easy commutes are already built out. Builders put in large homes on whatever shoebox-sized lots remain or knock down smaller houses and replace them with palaces. They fill in nearly to the lot line and build as high as regulations allow, dwarfing neighboring homes.

Indeed. My drive into the West Falls Church Metro every morning takes me down a street where half a dozen older houses on eighth of an acre lots have been razed to the ground, to be replaced by these behemoths. Give it a few years and this street will be practically unrecognizable.

The other problem in my neck of the woods is that all of the decent lots were built up a long time ago. Builders now are putting McMansions in all sorts of improbable places - at the bottom of gulleys, on steep hillsides and, in the case of the group of houses near me known around the neighborhood as "Chevron Estates", right on top of gas stations. I confidently await the day one of these beasts topples over in a mudslide or gets swamped by a hundred year flood. And I shall snicker heartlessly when that day comes.

YIPS from Steve: Wasn't "Fighting the McMansions" one of Elvis Costello's early B sides?

Posted by Robert at 03:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It's The Wonder of Nature, Baybee!


Score: Mantises - 1, Hummingbirds - 0.

Stolen lock, stock and barrel from Lemuel, who would have had it Deleted By Tomorrow anyway.

Posted by Robert at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Ace dishes out a customary horsewhipping to Paul Krugman today over his endorsement of French labor policy concerning vacations.

The angle Ace misses, though, is that Krugman is a tenured academic: to him, the idea of a 35 hr work week with seven weeks paid vacation is positively beastly.

What, no sabbatical? Piratical capitalism, I dare say!

Posted by Steve at 02:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The sound you hear is of one Robert the LLamabutcher crying into his crystal decanter of port over word of this.

Yips! from Robbo: You wrong me - I think it's kinda cool. The only tears I shed over The Simpsons come from watching it slump into what is probably an irreversable decline.

Posted by Steve at 01:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The bad boys over at Wizbang have this picture up from the Sheehanigans down in Texas.

smelly hippy.gif

Anyone want to suggest the slogans being chanted?

I'm going to go with:

Shampoo and soap are Zionist tools of oppression!

This one works for me too:

Johnson n' Johnson "No Tears" Shampoo is made by Zionist Nazis from the blood of Palestinian children

Posted by Steve at 01:52 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Some recent visits to the LLamas have been from searches for:

9/11 Commission Report

Honk Kong Fooey early years

lincoln nebraska d street mohawk punk rock

john Marshall jurisprudence

bill clinton and great gazoo

Wodehouse jeeves

red lobster AND white trash

New Deal policy

And, of course:

llama sex

To which I have but one response: you whippersnappers who've been coming around here looking for your "New Deal policy" fixes take a hike!


Posted by Steve at 01:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Plum Blogging

Witnit has up a collection of quotes from the Master, some from his stories and some from various non-fictional sources. Here are a couple more snatched (very imperfectly) from memory:

- It was loud in some bits and soft in some bits and, like all violin solos I've ever heard, gave the impression of being longer than it actually was.

- She heaved a sigh, like a sentimental seige-gun.

-"Like a sensitive plant, what?"
"Exactly. You know your Shelley, Bertie."
"Oh, am I?"

- They had the appearance of men who asked for employment but were only offered work.

- She had a laugh like a squad of cavalry charging over an iron bridge.

I note the quote about Psmith. Wodehouse remarked that this great character was based on Rupert d'Oyle Carte, the son of the great Gilbert & Sullivan theatrical collaborator, who was up at University with a cousin of Plum's and had a habit, when asked how he did by a Master, of replying, "Sir, I grow thinnah and thinnah."

Go on over and revel in the quips.

Posted by Robert at 12:51 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


But of course, this has become our speciality here at the LLamas.

Today's bit of depravity: live footage of the riot in Richmond over the sale of some very used Macs.

You have to really watch this to believe it (if only for the really fat SWAT officer and the old lady wearing the "Liquor and Jesus" t-shirt).

I think it is indeed the Kent State for our generation...

Posted by Steve at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Is today National Rattle-the-Ayndians'-Chains Day or something? Both Dean and Tee Bee are at it.

I'm happy to say that I've never read any of Rand's work and I haven't the slightest interest in doing so, as I gather it is all extremely dreary stuff.

Let the hate-mail begin!

Posted by Robert at 11:59 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

More Mid-August Torpor

The only thing I can find to say at the moment is how much I hate it when people pronounce the "t" in "often". Cut it out.

UPDATE: I'm thinking of starting a national letter-writing campaign to get Spike TV to stop airing its current copy of The Hunt for Red October, which apparently was edited by a pack of howler monkeys.

UPDATE DEUX: The Missus has fallen in love with Wegman's. I dunno if this is the case for you folks up north, but the closest store to us features a playroom where you can dump the kids while you shop. Momma is veeeery happy.

UPDATE TROIS: It may just be me, but every time I come up behind a Toyota Prius, there seems to be such a sense of smug superiority emanating from it that it's all I can do to keep myself from going to ramming speed.

UPDATE QUATRE: Smart-guy bloggers who spread evil rumors had better make damn sure the locks on their own skeleton closets have been changed.

UPDATE CINQ: "The Walt Disney of the funeral business." Cor lumme, stone the crows.

UPDATE SIX: Strangely, we haven't yet made the google search results for army of Angelina Jolie clones. Hopefully, that will change soon. When it does, I think we should be entitled to the next three that come off the assembly line.

UPDATE SEPT: For my fellow English majors out there, Henry James attempts to explain tactfully just how lame he thinks Nathaniel Hawthorne's notebooks are.

Posted by Robert at 08:28 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005


Everything you need to know about "The Wall."

The genius is in using It's a Wonderful Life stills to create blog noir....

Posted by Steve at 10:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Do you think "Wind Beneath My Wings" is their song?

Not that Tom would have an affinity for the collected works of Bette Midler or anthing....

Come on, everybody now

Ohhhh, oh, oh, oh, ohhh. It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face. You were content to let me shine, that's your way. You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
for you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

Posted by Steve at 10:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


This just defies words.....

Posted by Steve at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


So I finally got around to reading the now infamous "Tales of the LLamabutchers" post that Kathy the Cake Eater comissioned from our old friend and nemesis INDCent Bill.

I have only two things to say about the alleged story: a shopping cart was involved in the dispensing of the body.

And Robbo was wearing women's underwear.

Other than that, it's a pack of lies, from the lying liars who, errr, lie and stuff.

Have I learned my lesson? Will I now refrain from "messing" with Kathy the Cake Eater?

I think the odds are about as likely as a CHiPs movie.....

Think how bad it would have been had I not screwed up Bill's access pass code? To think I was willing to hand over a key to stately LLama Manor to that ingrate....shudder

ANYHOO, thanks to Gary the X-DONK, Sadie, Phin, Kathy and the LMC for filling in while Robbo and I were on vacation. The keys are still good---drop in anytime!

Sooper Sekret Message from Robbo: [Insert best Fatlack voice imitation] Shut up, man!

Posted by Steve at 10:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Further proof the Cindy Sheehan saga has jumped the shark: Colleen Rowley is now going down to Crawford make use of a bored Washington press corps with too much time on its hands. If you recall, Rowley wound up on the cover of TIME as a whistleblower who criticized the FBI for its handling of the 20th highjacker. Colleen is now running as a Democrat in Minnesota's Second Congressional District, challenging a two-term Republican. Bill O'Reilly had her on tonight and told it would not be such a good political move, reading off a list of the left-wing wacko outfits who have highjacked poor Cindy Sheehan and have her headed for the proverbial trainwreck. Rowley seemed surprised and immediately went into having no agenda (why run for office?), describing herself as an independent (why run as a Democrat?), launching into 9/11 (I thought the Lefties said there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11? Why is she doing going to Texas?). Her opponent's attack ads will write themelves. . . Colleen is going to have her fanny waxed in this election--she has a TV personality of concrete, a voice that brings to mind fingernails on blackboards, and a demeanor that will remind every man of their ex-wife or their worst blind date, whichever applies.

Posted by LMC at 09:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Billy Watch

Seems Bill's Biggest Fan has got a new design.

Keep it up, Sunshine, you'll get him eventually. (Sooper Sekret Message: We hear he goes for the slutty look.)

Posted by Robert at 05:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

9/11 Goes To The Movies (Again)

Jonathan V. Last over at Galley Slaves notes the news that a plan is afoot in Hollywood to make a film about the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania and offers his own suggestion for an appropriate 9/11 storyline:

If I were a filmmaker looking to do a 9/11 movie, I might examine this amazing story from USA Today about how the FAA landed 4,500 planes in 4 hours on September 11.

It's not nearly as sexy as Flight 93--in many ways it's a story about the dog who didn't bark. But it's a relatively unknown corner of 9/11, it's packed with its own, very real, tension, and it would allow you to come at an event which is not yet wholly digested at an off-angle.

Welllll..... While there is some merit in what Last suggests, I've an idea that if this movie ever does happen, it'll be of the made-for-tee-vee variety and feature a cast of washed up B-actors. Somehow, I have this mental image that it would go something like this:

- Tom Berenger as the ex-alchoholic Chief of the FAA.

- Paris Hilton as his estranged daughter (who is aboard a jet with her new love Wil Wheaton and on her way to reconcile with Daddy).

- Bebe Neuwirth as the cantankerous White House liaison (and Berringer's ex) who can't resist second-guessing him because she's not yet learned to respect him.

- Jason Alexander as the administrator of some small, mid-western airport suddenly overburdened with jumbo jets in the landing pattern.

- Eric Estrada as the cocky, unconventional pilot of one such jumbo jet (who has to rely on all of his instincts to save his plane from disaster).

- Dwight Schultz as his neurotic, by-the-book co-pilot.

- Meredith Baxter-Birney as the gutsy tee-vee reporter (and Estrada's ex) who uncovers the Truth about how the sudden order to ground the fleet is dangerously overburdening the traffic control system.

- with Special Guest Star Melissa Gilbert as the passenger on one jet who spills her Scotch in her lap because of violent manueving on the part of the pilot, looks out the window and exclaims, "Hey! Look at all those planes! My husband's the president of this airline and I demand to know what's going on!"

Think it can't happen? Then you overestimate Hollywood.

Posted by Robert at 04:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Yes, someone did visit our site after we scored high on a google ranking for

"teen choice award presenters hissy fit 2005 hulk hogan

But what's priceless is where they were coming from:

higher ed.gif

Posted by Steve at 03:43 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I'm All Confused

I just stepped across the street to grab some lunch, the Missus having failed to pack my usual peanut-butter and Cheetoes brown-bag, and it was actually......nice outside.

Warm, but not too hot.

Dry, not locker-room steamy.

Clear blue skies instead of the underside-of-a-dead-fish grey Dee Cee has been experiencing for the last umpteen weeks.

I find this sensation of comfort.......puzzling.

Posted by Robert at 02:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Bob Woodward's book on Deep Throat is gasping for air.

YIPS from Steve-O: Gosh, I wonder what that sentence is going to do for our google numbers?


By the way, anybody heard from Juliet Huddy lately?

LMC YIPS: Steve-O, no intentional chumming going on, promise.

Yips! from Robbo: Let me also make clear that the rumors of a Juliet Huddy/Jennifer Millerwise video making the rounds are completely false. Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by LMC at 02:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Apothegm Designs.

The one word you need for blog design.

Okay, that's two words, but I've been huffing glue, so what the hell do I know?

And yes, that's my official endorsement.

Posted by Steve at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

elvis livin large.gif

Posted by Steve at 01:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


But you knew that already (in the case of regular commentator and general pain in the patoote LBBuddy, for a long, long time).

I came down to campus today for some required meetings and crap, having based my plan on the one email I checked while away. Of course, the email was wrong and while a correction was sent out, I didn't bother checking my email again.

So here I sit, an idiot. Well, at least I have solidarity with Rusty, who is also being kept down by the man.

But let me say this: two and a half weeks away from the email was a good, good thing.

And because I'm in a spritely mood, I will answer ONE question posed by the readers that I determine to be the most worthwhile.

UPDATE: Boy, that was quick.

And the answer is no, the name "The LLamabutchers" was NOT developed as the entry for a "What would be the most ridiculous title/theme for a Martin Scorsese movie?"


It felt reeeeeeeeeeeeeel good.




Okay, so it was a Carly Voo-doo doll, and yes, the rash on my hands took about three weeks to clear up.

Posted by Steve at 01:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Gosh, I love that song.

So, what did I miss?

Posted by Steve at 12:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


An interesting MSN query brought someone here: laws for lewd lyrics in Florida.

Beats me, but let's see what the State AG thinks of this one:

There once was a girl from Florida
Who was covered in sores all horrida.
But from what she could do
With a grapefruit or two,
She got plenty o' action most torrida!

(Don't thank me, thank my Scottish Dwarf.)

Posted by Robert at 10:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Revenge of the Nerds

Geek Chic. I suppose this is marginally better than the old Alan Alda "Mr. Sensitivity" alternative to the alpha male movie idol, but not by much.

Posted by Robert at 10:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Where's Robbo?

Sorry, I seem to have something of a mind-block this morning. There's this Scottish Dwarf in there who is, for some mysterious reason, singing the underpants song, and I can't get myself to concentrate.

You know who you are: damn you!

UPDATE: "A methhead with ADHD on a mission from God" - that's one of the nicest things Bill's every called me. He must be feeling guilty.

Posted by Robert at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Oh, Yes.

Your Summer Ride is a Jeep
For you, summer is all about having no responsibilities. You prefer to hang with old friends - and make some new ones.
What's Your Summer Ride?

My winter ride, too. Pretty durn accurate results, except mine's green, not red.

I laugh, though, at this "summer is about having no responsibilities" crap. I recall that the last time that was true, I wasn't old enough to drive. Nonetheless, driving a jeep lets me pretend not to have any responsibilities, at least for a little while each day. That's good enough for me.

UPDATE: 'Course, with a tank of gas going for about fifty bucks, the pretense is pretty thin indeed.

Posted by Robert at 06:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Vacation Combat Follow-up

In case you were wondering about what happened after the five year old Llama-ette got chomped by the parental fox terrier, I'm happy to report that she had her stitches out Saturday morning before we left for home and that everybody is predicting she won't have a permanent scar (meaning her modelling career has not been ruined).

I forgot to mention that when we took her into the local emergency room, a Seinfeld re-run was just coming on the tee vee in the waiting room - it was the one where Jerry knocks his girlfriend's toothbrush into the toilet and she brushes her teeth before he can stop her and, meanwhile, George loses his Phil Rizzuto keychain. Of course, I had to watch it. I just couldn't help myself.

So there I was, giggling and snickering, while the Llama-ette snuggled on my lap, blood all over her dress and a big piece of gauze clamped to her face. It's a wonder the Child Protective Services Nazis didn't come and haul me away then and there.

Posted by Robert at 04:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Llama Vacation Book Review

I took the four or five books I'm currently reading along on vacation with me with the thought that it would be a good opportunity to finish them off. However, once I got up to the cottage, I discovered that someone had left a copy of this lying about:


Stonehenge, by Bernard Cornwell.

Cornwell writes the Richard Sharpe series, which I've always enjoyed, so I of course had to chuck my pre-planned reading list and dive into this instead.

Well, all I can say is that if you like your early Bronze Age history long, uneven and Machiavellian, this is the book for you. It is a vast novel that purports to follow the life of one Saban, who eventually becomes the architect of Stonehenge, as he is battered about Wiltshire and South Wales by the forces of Nature, Religion, Politics, Greed and Sex. The book comes with a complete set of stock Dawn of Civilization characters- the Good Hero, the Eviiiil Warlord, the beautiful Blond Babe, Witches, Warlocks and Wise Elders. In fact, the best part of the novel is Cornwell's Afterward, in which he impishly states that the entire story is complete buncum, since nobody knows much of anything about the culture of the period or the reasons behind the construction of Stonehenge. However, his survey of hard archeological evidence to date is also quite interesting.

I say the book is uneven for two reasons - first, Cornwell displays the same fault I often find in the Sharpe series of hammering what he thinks are important points by mind-numbing repetition. Second, he has an odd way of short-changing his characters' lives (and deaths) by neglecting to give us much insight into them and instead devotes too much ink to descriptions of physical surroundings and activities. I also note that Cornwell didn't bother very much with trying to pitch the dialogue to the times, but instead simply gives us modern-sounding characters dressed up in prehistoric costumes.

All in all, though, an enjoyably lightweight summer book. Lots of fighting, obligatory ritual, em, fooling around and intrigue. Perfect for when you don't feel like having to think too hard.

UPDATE: I also meant to mention that I am starting in on a new novel the Missus picked up for me at a used book sale:


Ramage and the Guillotine, by Dudley Pope. It is part of a series of previously-unknown-to-me stories of Nelson's navy during the Napoleonic Wars. So far, it reads much like C.S. Forester's Hornblower series, except that Lord Ramage isn't half so moody and broody as Horatio H and there are actually some signs of humor about Lord R. I own a couple of Pope's non-fiction works about the period, including The Black Ship (about the mutiny aboard H.M.S. Hermione), Decision at Trafalgar and Life in Nelson's Navy, all of which are quite well written. There appear to be something like fifteen books in the Ramage series, so here's a whole new ocean in which to sail.

I must say, though, that reading and rereading the sea novels of Pope, Forester and others, the one thing that keeps coming back to my mind is just how utterly Patrick O'Brian blows them all out of the water, like a three-decker going against a sloop. No contest, whatsoever. Ironically, I believe the lesser literary works would translate better to the screen. But that's a rant for a different day.

Posted by Robert at 12:38 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Fetch Me.... A Shrubbery!

Take the quiz: "Which Holy Grail Character Are You?"

The Knight Who Says Ni
We are the keepers of the sacred words: 'Ni', 'Peng', and 'Neee-wom'!

Ni! to Rachel at Tinkerty Tonk.

Posted by Robert at 10:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How To Make An Eight Hour Drive Seem Like A Twelve Hour Drive

It's easy, really. Pop in the Wiggles' Safari CD. Then try to mediate a blazing argument among a trio of little girls, the youngest of whom has no clue about the concept of an Australian accent, about whether Cocky the Cockatoo is saying, "pieces of eight" or "pieces of eye".

How much would you pay? Don't answer yet! Because if you listen to this CD over and over again while crawling along the Mass Pike, you'll get the added bonus of having the voice of Steve Irwin the Croc Hunter saying, "Daynjuh! Daynjuh! Daynjuh!" in your head for the rest of the day!

YIPS from Steve:

For us, it was twelve hours each way, with four kids. We took the "Northern Passage" and went I-81 up to I-84, across 691 to Middletown CT, down Rt9 and then onto I-95 for only twenty miles.

It added about 100+ miles than going I-95 the whole way, but that way you go through a total of two cities (Scranton, PA, and Waterbury Ct) and pay one $1 toll going east over the Hudson at Newburgh. No tunnels, no ridiculous tolls (where does Delaware get off charging tolls on the highway? I've been in Targets larger than the whole frickin' state), no New Jersey rest stops.........

We went a different route, and went with Books on Tape. Now here's a question for the readers: is it still a "Book on Tape" if it's on a CD? Somehow "Book on CD" doesn't work for me.

Anyhoo, we went the Potter route and did all of Book One and part of Book Two. Believe it or not, it worked---no fights, arguments, squabbles etc. We made the oldest, who is 8 1/2, the Quartermaster---she sat next to the cooler, and was in charge of dispensing snacks and drinks. She actually imposed quite a nice little rough justice in the van---no nice, no snacks. She was the Hobbesian Leviathan of the gator ade and Care Bear Fruit Rollups----her power was absolute, and the state of nature was avoided. I also sat with her before we went and used the markers on the map to plot the route----and then made her answer all the "are we there yet?" questions, of which there were none. They were replaced by "What state are we in?" which is a much less objectionable question when driving, because it opens many springboards into discussions of history, geography, geology, as well as quantum physics.

Lulling them to sleep is the key, of course.

That, and we avoided lunch out. This I think is the most valuable travel insight gained. We left doing the leave at 330AM thing, and stopped for breakfast at 730 at a Cracker Barrell. But we skipped the lunch thing, opting instead for pre-positioned sandwiches and snacks. You got to hold that thing out for the end of the day as a nice fat bribe to extort good behavior.

Posted by Robert at 09:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

MSM wringing the last drops out of "grieving mom" story...

Thanks to the beautiful thing that is the internet (as well as talk radio), the Main Stream Media is learning that they can only ride this story until it runs out of gas - and the "E" warning light is beginning to flash.

George Neumayr in The American Spectator sums it up well:

What the media are interested in is Sheehan's politics, and the window of that interest will close for good once the public learns of her ambitiously radical views -- that Bush should be impeached as a war criminal, that America is an abomination not worth defending against terrorists, and so forth. In the end, the media will probably have added to her grief once they take away from her the new life of celebrity activism they have encouraged her to pursue in the absence of the life of her son.

Sheehan doesn't speak for war widows and grieving moms any more than the Jersey Girls spoke for all relatives of 9-11 victims. And like them, Sheehan hasn't crafted her case very carefully or modestly. Just as the Jersey Girls acted as though their grief somehow made them experts on rearranging the CIA and entitled them to harangue Condi Rice, so Sheehan is making outrageous demands upon the military's commander in chief -- demands only possible in a democracy in which a fatuous media can get its leaders, who are supposed to be thinking about the common good, entangled in all sorts of absurd and superficial controversies.

That little tick-tock sound you hear is the final seconds winding down on Ms. Sheehan's 15 minutes of fame.

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

UPDATE: 2:06pm
Is it me? Or do these quotes sound a little too "chipper" for a grieving mother? And this is very telling:

"I have discovered that the White House press corps is always looking for something to do and someone to cover. We have been happy to oblige them..."

Posted by Gary at 08:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Llama Redux

No. More. Guest. Bloggers. Ever.

I'll get you, my pretty - and your little dog, too!

Posted by Robert at 08:09 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Random Traveller Notes

I enjoy slandering New Jersey as much as anybody else, but I will give them credit for one thing - the Turnpike Authority has got the EZ-Pass toll lane concept down cold.

On the other hand, as much as I like most aspects of New Hampshire, I really think outsourcing traffic management to the local squirrel population was probably a bad idea.

Posted by Robert at 08:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005


Tonight's second feature: Donna Rice. The photo of Donna perched in the lap of presidential hopeful Gary Hart aboard the "good ship Monkey Business" ended his presidential hopes. Hart is still floating around the edges, trying to get some air time as an elder statesman but no one takes him seriously. Donna is a born-again Christian, married, and is crusading against Internet porn. Time has been kind to her while Hart is getting the short shrift he deserves.

Posted by LMC at 10:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Tonight we have a double feature: babes who contributed in a material way to the fall of elected Democrats. First up, Tai Collins, a former Miss Virginia and Baywatch guest star who was banging then-U.S. Senator Chuck Robb, presumably without the consent of Mrs. Robb. Robb survived the scandal to go on to win re-election but Tai iced his presidential prospects.Robb's only notable contributions to the Republic were voting for the Gulf War and to put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Tai's greatest contributions were as the October 1991 Playmate and snuffing any chance Robb had to win the Democratic nomination.

Posted by LMC at 09:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

An interesting topic

Here's an interesting way to have fun with movie titles.

* Link may not be safe for work.

Posted by phin at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"I Hope That These Dreamses Really Can't Become"

Lost in translation. English subtitles for "Revenge of the Sith" mangled beyond belief. And pretty damn funny.

h/t: The Corner

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wasted effort

Am I the only one who finds all the attention Cindy Sheehan is getting deplorable? Couldn't the effort being put into exposing her as a moonbat (like she needs help) be put to better use say petitioning Hollywood for another movie where Halle Barry gets naked? or perhaps Charlize Theron? or Jessica Alba?

Really why waste all this time on one boob when it could be devoted to viewing fantabulos boobs?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by phin at 01:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Cindy Sheehan has jumped the shark.

Posted by LMC at 11:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Drudge had this post on Bubba's music.

*"Clinton Presidential Library and Massage Parlor" was coined by the All-Seeing, All-Caring, All-Feeling, For the Children Maha Rushie. If it is not trademarked, it ought to be.

Posted by LMC at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2005

NARAL nutjob picks up his toys and goes home...

Actually he went to Cape Cod for a vacation. NARAL's communications director and former Clintonista, David E. Seldin, stormed off in a huff after his group "aborted" the latest anti-Roberts ad.

Seldin, who had pushed internally for a more aggressive approach to shaking up the Roberts debate than was favored by others at NARAL, notified the group Friday afternoon of his plans to leave. The 37-year-old worked in the White House press office under President Bill Clinton and was communications director for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Seldin's e-mail included ways to contact him and concluded: "You'll no doubt be hearing from me when I get back to town at the end of the month and start thinking about what I do next."
Oh boy, I hope he gets a job with the Hillary Clinton 2008 exploratory committee. They could use a good moonbat like this.

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 08:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005


This is about the time when Steve directs the readership of Llama Butchers to my Diane Lane Photo of the Week.

Since he's on vacation, I'll do the honors.

Posted by Gary at 06:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005


Weird story of the week - Frozen Plane Poop Smashes Into Austrian Home.

"A family who woke up when a window smashed in the middle of the night found a frozen lump of excrement on the floor.

Walter Fleischmann thought his house was being burgled when he heard a window in his son's bedroom shatter.

He called the police then went to investigate - only to find an icy lump of waste which had fallen from a plane.

Mr Fleischmann, 63, from Baden in Austria, said: "When I heard the glass smash I thought somebody was trying to break in and immediately called the police. It was very quiet though and so I got out of bed and went to have a look.

"There was smashed glass all around my son's bedroom and in the middle a big chunk of what looked like dirty ice. Luckily our son was staying at a friend's house otherwise he could have been injured."

The family's house insurers however are refusing to cover the full costs of the damage.

Local air space authorities who were contacted by the police confirmed it was a piece of frozen waste from a plane."

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 11:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


KMR and I extend our thanks to Mother LMC for the great job she did forty-two years ago, not once but twice. BTW, you know you have truly arrived when the birthday cards include one from the life insurance agent.

Posted by LMC at 08:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Fox & Friends reported this morning that NARAL is pulling its Roberts ad even while its president insisted yesterday the ad was accurate. Dan Rather's tactics continue to live on among the Lefties long after his retirement.

Posted by LMC at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005


Got this via an email, had to share:

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are
things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now
published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while
these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.

ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that
WITNESS: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan.

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in
WITNESS: We both do.
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his
sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Would you repeat the question?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a
deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on
dead people?
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was
doing an autopsy on him!

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check
for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when
you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practicing law.

Posted by Gary at 02:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My Revenge is Complete

Lest you all think that I wrote this, know that I didn't.

Like one of those bloody Benedict Arnold's Lou Dobb's is always bleating on about during his Xenophobe Hour of Power on CNN, I outsourced my revenge. To this gentleman, who I have to say, was more than willing to take on the task.

While that was a, ahem, disturbing story, I have to think Steve-o will think twice about messing with me in the future. Ahem. Bygones.

Posted by Kathy at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


By now, most folks have heard of the atrocious anti-Roberts NARAL ad that was fisked by and proven to be totally devoid of truth. Captain Ed points out that now the Washington Post has run a correction acknowledging that NARAL's assertion that FoxNews Channel had agreed to air the ad is also totally false.

"They wanted to show that their ad passed muster across the political spectrum by saying that FNC had also approved the ad for airtime. Their willingness to use lies to combat the Roberts nomination should prove instructive for not just reporters who rely on their information, but for those who need to measure NARAL's credibility while pondering NARAL's arguments."

What NARAL seems to fail to grasp is that their enablers in the MSM no longer control the flow of information to the public. They can't get away with this crap anymore, but they're still trying. Score another one for the blogosphere!

Posted by Gary at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tales of the Llamabutchers

Well hello there … Robert the Llamabutcher here. I must say, good fellow, I’ve had the most delightful morning, full of fresh air, odd reminiscence and giddy joy in the burrow of nature’s bosom. Would you like to hear about it? No? Not interested? Oh come now, have a seat. Sit.


I was in the garden you see, skipping amongst my prize marigolds and petunias with a hose, listening to the call of the birds and the faint swirls and eddies of a wondrous Rostladadadadov piece, Opus number 679, I believe. Quite light and teasing, yet building to a firm crescendo that never fails to leave me gasping at its surreal beauty. Yes, yes, anyhow, I was in the garden, clipping my beautous sage dandereelias, when across the fence in the neighbor’s yard I spied the Thursley’s young Mexican gardener trimming their rose bushes. Shirtless, his nut brown musculature glistened in the late morning sunshine, his rythmic clipping and flexing matching the determined aria of Rostladadadadov's masterwork. I was hypnotized. By the music. Yes, hypnotized by the music.

Anyhow, suddenly, I was struck by the most peculiar feeling. It was a dizzying bout of vouja dez. That’s right, vouja dez: the feeling that ... none of this had ever happened before! But then, right after that bizarre sensation passed, I experienced a visceral, distinct memory, triggered by the rhythmic movement of Jose's tawny muscles, the crisp smell of the fresh morning air and the soft strains of the lilting music, and, bewitched amongst the flowers, I began to travel backwards in time, to a younger, more innocent era …


"You've got to keep up Robert, the coxswain will thrash us but good if you don't!" yelled Stephen, his lanky, athletic arms straining to move a set of oars. Beyond his lopsided grin and foppish hair sat several other chaps that I could spy, also rowing, in a sleek crew shell. And at the bow of the craft stood a grimacing midget, a hairy, compact little smudge of man with coal-black eyes, a growling voice and an omnipresent scowl. A scowl that was directed at me.

"What in Sam Hain are ya doin', you dandy pooftah Llamabutcha?! Grab yer ooh-ahs an' r-r-r-r-r-rooooooooooooooooooooooooow!" screamed the angry, grizzled dwarf in an impossibly thick and guttural Scottish accent. "Don' make me come back tha' and put mah foot in yer arse ya poncey pusseh!"

"Row, Robbo, row!" implored Steve in a concerned falsetto, his chestnut brown locks falling in front of his dazzling blue eyes.

I took a brief look around, scanning the rippling water surrounding me, and realized that I was flashing back to Crew practice at the Academy, skimming the water in the glorious SS Churchill along Lake Lady Windermere! I clumsily grasped my oars with my spindly, bespeckled arms and began to row in tune with the other chaps, who hummed a spot of Beethoven's Fifth to keep rythm, while Cudgel the Deformed Scottish Dwarf screamed rank obscenities at us all.

"R-r-r-rooow, you right pusseh English bastahds!" he'd yell, then take a deep swig of grain alcohol from a small silver flask. The only thing that would interrupt Cudgel's incessant drinking and profane screaming were his frequent breaks to relieve himself off the side of the boat, during which he'd mutter and grunt in appreciative bursts of staccato doggerel that were intelligible only to himself. Occasionally, Nigel Tuefleur would be unlucky enough to catch a smattering of his bitter dwarfen spray, as the poor fellow held the unlucky distinction of being firstee in the boat.

Basically, everyone was miserable. Experiencing it again, I recalled just how much I hated crew practice, hated the water, hated the bright merciless sun, and most of all, hated the bastard Scottish deformity that abused us before, during, and even after our practices. I had only joined the team to be closer to my best mate Steve, who seemed to shrug off the abuse and relish the athletic outdoor challenge. He was quite strapping, I must admit.

So on the practice went, as our taskmaster took us for a last cursory spin around the lake and towards the welcoming dock.

"Thar yeh go, you litt-el whelps. Take 'er in nice and smooth or I'll kill yeh all in yer sleep, I will. All 'cept one of yeh, who I'll only let let live long enough to service ol' Cudgel, bury the other lads and then die on the wrong end of the shovel. And then I'll piss on all yer graves, I will!"

The boat slowly docked and everyone waited for Cudgel to drunkenly disembark. After he was solidly on the dock, he motioned for the crew to depart practice, all except me!

"Robert yeh prissy lil fussbudget, I need teh talk teh yoo in the storage cabin. Have yoo and yer lil poofteh buddy carry the ship over and I'll be there in a minute. If yer not there when I show up, I'll beat yeh to death with my own two hands I will!" growled the angry little man, lifting his gnarled, petrified little stubby clubs inches from my face for effect.

"Yes sir," I assented, waving Steve to grab the front of the boat, while I lifted the aft.

"What do you think he wants, Robbo?" asked Steve, in his melodic tone.

"I'm not sure Stephen, but I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't terribly frightened!" I pleaded, searching his brilliant eyes for a hint of solace, the will to persevere.

"Well, after we put this boat away, I'll come back and meet you in 10 minutes. Good luck," comforted Steve. We put the boat away and Steve departed, leaving me to wait nervously in the dimness of the storage shed.

"Ah, thar yeh are you litt-el maggot," grumbled Cudgel, as he sauntered into the shed and closed the door behind him. "I think I need to teach you a litt-el lesson, I do. You sass me in practice, yeh need teh payyyyeh."

"But I certainly did not intend to sass you, good sir ..." I responded respectfully, hoping to ...


I felt the stony back of one of the dwarf's gnarled hands strike me across the face, knocking me to the floor. Through my stars, I struggled to raise myself up on my knees, and began sobbing softly.

"Awwwwww. Litt-el babee. The litt-el pooftah got 'imself a byoo-byoo. Stay down thar yeh whelp," he sing-songed as he walked towards me, his 4'2" frame towering above my half-prone body. "Yeh know the lesson yehr goin' teh learn today? Today yer gointa orgle fer ol' Cudgel, yeh see. Yer gointa Orgle but gyooooood! Open that pretteh lil Llama mouth n' orgle! Orgle fer me boy, orgle, orgle, orgle! ORGLE!" he screamed, dropping his little-boy pants and shuffling towards me, his gnarled pink dwarfhood exposed to the warm night air. I began to cry in earnest now, ducking and scrambling on my hands and knees to avoid him ... to no avail: his wooden grip clamped down on my neck, spinning me to face his twisted little tally-ho. I sobbed and sobbed, closing my eyes as I heard his ragged breath and felt him draw near.

Suddenly, all was silent; his breath had stopped. Then I heard a sickening gurgle as I opened up my watery eyes and looked up at my tormenter, whose look of surprise must have mirrored my own. Cudgel's eyes were frozen, his body perfectly still, until he twisted away and downwards and I saw the large pick-ax jutting from his back, perfectly in line with what must have been his blackened little heart. His heavy little body struck the ground, and a pool of brackish blood spread a widening puddle on the dusty wooden floor.

Above him stood my savior: Stephen, a determined look on his face. My hero!

"Oh Stephen!" I sobbed in relief and shock. "He was going to make me ... he was ... it was ..."

"I know Robbo, I know. I had to do it."

"We must go tell Headmaster Thomas immediately!"

"NO! Are you insane? I murdered a man! Well, a little man, anyway. I don't want to go to jail!"

"But, 'twas self-defense!"

"Robbo, who do you think that they're going to believe? A respected crew coach or a couple of bloody llamas that never quite fit in at this crazy Academy! Think, man, think! Plus, there's all sorts of dwarf folk in these parts. We get arrested and tried, it's going to be a bunch of tiny inbred Scottish dwarfs in that jury box! We'll do the Charleston at the end of a rope for sure! We got no shot except to bury the little bastard and never speak of this again!" asserted Steve, struggling to control his volume through gritted teeth.

"But ..."

Then he slapped me. Hard. And the slap's sweet sting snapped me from my simpering stupor.

"No 'buts,' Robert. Help me put this little sunufabitch into the boat. We're carrying it to the dock and taking a little early evening ride on Lake Lady Windermere. Grab some of those tackle weights to keep the little monster sunk. NOW, MOVE!"

So I complied, shivering and sobbing softly the whole while. Cudgel was heavier than expected, so Steven resolved to cut him into smaller pieces with a hacksaw, which we then ferried out in ones and twos to a spot down by the dock, making sure to cover our efforts as well as possible in the twilight gloom. Then we rowed out to the middle of the Lake, weighted the bits with tackle, and spread them across a 50-yard path in the deepest depths of Lady Windermere's brackish loins.

Rowing in to shore that night and tramping off towards the dormitory, I knew that my life would never be the same. Stephen and I never spoke of it again, but for sharing the occasional knowing glance whenever we happened to run across miserable Scottish dwarf-folk in our latter days.

Until now.


"Hola? Hola? Senor Roberto, tu manguera me esta inundando el patio!" barked an agitated Jose, waking me from my dream.

"Oh yes, yes, Jose. LO-SEE-EN-TO, good chap," and I turned off my running hose.

And sighed. Strains of Beethoven's Fifth had begun waft from the house.

Ah, memories.

Posted by Kathy at 10:52 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Postcards From Maine

Having a wonderful time, wish you were here.

For the most part, we've just been lazing about, getting in some serious relaxation time. But of course, with kids around, there's never a truly dull moment.

The high low point of excitement came the other evening when my parents' overly-excitable fox terrier, after two days of blameless, nay, exemplary co-existence with the Llama-ettes, lost his head and went for the five year old. (She tried to pet him while he was bottom-feeding for snacks under the dinner table and nobody noticed what she was doing.) He nailed her in the face, leaving a three-cornered gash just above her lip that required a trip to the emergency room and seven stitches.

I must say that the gel was very brave. The only hard part was when the nurse gave her a local anaesthetic, jabbing all around the cut with a needle. It's bad enough for a parent to have to watch their child go through this and it's even worse when the parent has to help hold the child still to do it. Even though you know it has to be done, you have this horrid feeling that you're somehow violating their trust in you, because all they understand is that it hurts like hell and Daddy's not making it stop.

However, once the local kicked in, the rest was a piece of cake. The nurse gave her a teddy bear to hold (now known in the household as "Brave Bear"), I put my hands on top of hers, and she lay perfectly still while they sewed up her face. And that was it. The stitches come out Saturday before we leave and all indications are that there will not be any kind of permanent scarring. In the meantime, we're going through a ritual of daily antibiotic dosages and cleaning and dressing of the sutures. The gel assures me repeatedly that it doesn't hurt at all.

Meanwhile, as I say, we're having a great time. I took the girls to Popham Beach yesterday. Perfect weather - 80 degrees and clear. We built sea-walls and sand castles in a vain effort to stop the incoming tide and spent hours hurtling the waves. The day before we went down to the Maine Children's Museum in Portland, the chief attribute of which is that everything in it is virtually indestructable. Other than that, I've been lazing about, falling asleep to the sound of the surf every night, and eating entirely too much food.

I hope everybody is behaving here in the meantime. The 'rents have an iMac and Netscape and for whatever reason, Llamaland comes out looking terrible on it, so trying to read what everybody else is doing here is rather a pain. We'll be up here a couple more days and then head on home, there to squander all our relaxation credits by scrambling like hell to catch up with everything that we've let slide. I should be back in normal blogging mode by Tuesday or so.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 10:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005


Margaret Colin, Jeff Goldblum's ex in Independence Day. Best pic: ID4. Best attributes: an easy smile, looks great in the "disaster chic" tight top and chinos. What more needs to be said? She is out in the open as a prolifer which means her career in movies is over but she will always be on my list.

Posted by LMC at 08:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vegas Showgirls?

If anyone was wondering where Steve-o went on vacation, here's an inside sadiemasochistic exclusive - the Las Vegas strip has a brand spankin' new revue for our viewing pleasure:

Even though the thought of Steve-o and Rosie O'Donnell cavorting with each other makes me gag, methinks it's worth the $39.99 admission price. It sure is cheaper than that piece of crap Celine Dion is plugging, but not quite as cool as the pirates from Treasure Island. One must pick their battles, I do suppose.

Posted by Sadie at 03:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Tony Blankley has a good column in the Washington Times today that looks at the coming "beauty v. the beast" match-up between Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro and Hillary for her NY Senate seat.

While Mrs. Clinton scores a 63% in the initial poll - before anyone has even heard of Pirro - he notes she has only one place to go from there: down. And in politics, as in sports, it's inevitable that her campaign will try to sit on this lead and play it safe. But that strategy is never a wise one.

Blankley writes:
"If Mrs. Pirro can mount a campaign capable of gaining a reasonable amount of attention acting as an annoying mosquito day after day and month after month, it is likely to bring out the most unappealing imperial manners in Mrs. Clinton — as Queen Hillary ignores or dismisses each of the charges.

As her 63 percent lead dwindles to a still respectable 57 percent or 56 percent or 55 percent next summer, she and her campaign advisers may suddenly feel the need to do something. She may take a liberal stand on a few issues to rebuild enthusiasm in her base south of 96th Street. That may well save her re-election bid from embarrassment, but it would undercut her eight-year presidential strategy of pretending to be moderate."

In any case, it will be fun to watch.

Posted by Gary at 02:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This story on Fox & Friends this morning and amplified by Rush Limbaugh this afternoon indicates that Mohammed Atta and his cell were identified as a terrorist threat in 2000 but the Defense Department was prohibited by the Clinton Administration from sharing this information with the FBI and other domestic law enforcement agencies. The prohibition on the sharing of info between the intelligence community and law enforcement was reinforced and strengthened by none other than former Deputy Attorney General (and 9/11 Commisson member) Jamie Gorelick. The Defense Department disclosed its findings to the 9/11 Commission staff who chose not to brief at least some of the members and it was not included in the Commission's final report. Why didn't the staff brief all the commissioners? Did they brief Gorelick? If so, why did she not pass this info to the rest of the Commission? She needs to be put on the hot seat in front the Senate Armed Services Committee and asked a lot of pointed questions.

Posted by LMC at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Live blogging from Vegas....

In several hours I'll be boarding a plane bound for Atlanta, then onward to Fabulous Las Vegas. I was gonna live blog Sadie's wedding, but she went ahead with plans and got married yesterday.

If I had the skills of INDC Bill's Stalker I'd live blog their honeymoon, 'cept I wouldn't want make Sadie angry. She kind of scares me.

Posted by phin at 01:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

American Bar Association

Every few years I receive a call from the ABA asking if I would like to join as I did this morning. I tell them I am not interested, that I resigned my membership (while I was clerking) because the ABA has become a wing of one of the two major political parties, and not the one which usually gets my vote. As if the caller did not understand what I just said, I am then asked if I want a trial membership. I decline and that ends the call. My comments are no doubt annotated on a call sheet which will be unearthed should I ever need Senate confirmation.

Posted by LMC at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


We've all seen it before. You go to a theater or rent a DVD and choose a movie that you may not have heard much about - but someone you know recommends it. You're intrigued. You sit down in a theater or your living room to watch it and as the plot unfolds, you start to ask yourself where the plot is going or you start to wonder if you missed something along the way. But you're hooked. You deal with the confusion because things start to get a little clearer towards the end. And then - BAM! - a twist ending smacks you in the face and you end up sitting there in the theater or in your favorite recliner with this dumbstruck look on your face thinking "WTF?". After a while, you get your bearings and think back over the whole film with this new information and you come to the conclusion that what you just saw was absolutely brilliant. And you can't wait to recommend it to someone else.

Personally, I love these kinds of movies - if they're done well, that is. A lot of people felt this way about "The Sixth Sense" (although I had the ending spoiled for me, dammit!). Some people hate these movies. Why? I dunno. Maybe because they have to actually think about it. Or maybe they feel cheated. A lot of people don't react well to being fooled or surprised like that. Whatever.

If you're like me, though. And these kinds of movies get you going. I've got three to recommend (in no particular order). So read on. (If not, go see what the latest is on Drudge).

1) Frailty - A first-time direction effort by Bill Paxton in which he also stars, he did a pretty darn good job on this one. The story opens with Matthew McConaughey's character being interviewed by an FBI agent played by Powers Booth. The story is told in flashback format as McConaughey recounts how he knows the identity of a serial killer. The killer, he says, is his brother. And the story is from their childhood, which explains why he is doing the killing. Basically, his father - played by Paxton - gets a dream one night in which he is visited by an angel who gives him a list of names and tells him that these people are actually "demons" inhabiting human bodies. The angel tells the father that it is his mission to kill these demons. So he enlists the help of his two sons in his efforts. McConaughey's character - the older brother - is skeptical of the dream and believes his dad has lost his mind, while the younger brother buys into the madness. What is even more gut-wrenching is that the father is a decent guy who really believes he is doing divine work. You don't dislike him, but you can't believe what he's doing.

Anyway by the end of the film, the plot turns and the ending grabs you by the nuts and doesn't let go. By the time the credits roll, you'll find yourself saying "WTF?".

2) Identity - This film is kind of a more psychological version of the classic Agatha Christie story "And Then There Were None..." Ten strangers find themselves stranded at a Nevada motel during a nasty thunderstorm. The roads are washed away and the phone lines are down (and of course there isn't very good cell service in the area). One by one each of the characters are murdered and the panic and finger-pointing begins. John Cusack leads an excellent cast that features such actors as Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet and Rebecca De Mornay. The story also switches back and forth to a hearing called at the last minute to discuss the fate of a convicted murderer who is scheduled for execution the next day. The defense team is trying to present evidence that they believe was suppressed in the trial. Oh and one of the "guests" at the motel happens to be an escaped murderer. You just don't know who. The people at the motel are dropping like flies. Alliances are formed, and broken. And the characters you think might be the killer end up getting killed themselves.

Anyway the story has an unexpected ending that makes you see the whole story from a completely different perspective. And yes, you'll end up sitting there, saying "WTF?"

3) Memento - Of the three movies, this is the one people will either love or hate. It opens with the ending and follows the story backwards to the beginning. Huh? Yes you heard that right. It's like giving the punchline first and then telling the joke - working your way back. The ending doesn't mean a whole helluva lot since you don't have any other information. Trust me on this one. I know you're probably already saying "WTF?" but it does work. It's about an insurance claim adjuster named Leonard who lost his short-term memory from a head injury he got at the time his wife was murdered. His quest is to find the killer but the only way he can retain the information he finds through his investigation is to take a bunch of polaroids (as "mementos") and to literally tattoo the info all over his body so it won't wash off. The story is told as a series of future episodes in reverse order. These episodes are interspersed with a telephone conversation Leonard is having in his motel room in which he compares his current state to that of a client whose claim he once dealt with. As the story is told, Leonard has no idea who to trust and we find that at certain points he is being manipulated by people who are aware of his disability.

The ending is a surprise more because of the new light in which we see the now-complete story. And it's a doozy. Whether you end up liking it or not you will definitely find yourself muttering "WTF?" for days afterward.

So go out and rent these babies if you haven't already seen them. And one other thing. It is critical that you watch them with someone else because chances are you'll need another point of view to help you straighten everything out. Avoid all spoilers before viewing! Enjoy

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 09:46 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack


Good article by Kathryn Lopez in National Review Online on this little known group which uses a positive, nonconfrontational manner to get its prolife message out. Factoid: Independence Day Babe Margaret Colin is a member along with John Roberts' wife.

Posted by LMC at 09:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005


Once again we take a stroll down the eighties amnesia lane. Our featured babe is none other than Martha Quinn, stepdaughter of finance guru Jane Bryant Quinn and the first, and IMHO, the greatest, of the MTV video jockeys. Best quality: that slightly twisted way about her that screams "head case!" that men find so attractive at first, then later so annoying. Post-MTV: short-lived film career in such movies as Chopper Chicks in Zombietown. Last seen with Max Headroom at a gathering of the charter group of the Eighties Preservation Society.

Posted by LMC at 09:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting

Well, it's not a tale of my domestic situation, but rather my sister's. Children have a way of making these tales more interesting and since she's reproduced, I thought I'd relay a heartwarming tale The Cake Eater Mother told me this morning about my niece, Maggie. Maggie is four, she's got two older brothers and she's a red head to boot, so this should, perhaps, tell you a little something about Maggie's personality. She doesn't take "no" very well, and she'll pretty much do what she wants, and to hell with anyone who thinks differently.

Now, this tale starts with my mom calling the house to acquire the Cake Eater husband's expertise regarding a download. She's pretty leery of downloading stuff willy nilly off the web (this is good) so instead she calls the husband to make sure it's ok. She was looking, said she, for a mah-jongg game. Our family isn't even remotely Asian, so the husband wondered why she'd want one. She said simply, "It's for Maggie," who was over at Grandma's this morning while her mother ran errands. The husband, a wee bit bewildered as to why a four-year-old would be playing mah-jongg, simply handed the phone over to me to get the whole story.

Well, it seems as if Maggie was making the rounds at their parish while her mother was doing some charity work. My sister, apparently, went in one door at the church, while Maggie went in another. Evidently, this isn't a new routine, and per the usual, my sister was waiting for Maggie to come and join her once her rounds were done. Well, Maggie didn't show up, so my sister went looking for her.

She found Maggie with one of their parish priests, sitting in his lap, playing mah-jongg on the computer. Rumor has it that she looked rather determined and was concentrating so fiercely she didn't even notice her mother had come into the room.

The priest admitted flat out that Maggie was kicking his ass.

If there ever was a child who you could say, at an early age, would undoubtedly pick up a gambling habit later in life, it's Maggie. She's just got the ego that's required for successful gambling. I just never thought mah-jongg would be in the realm of possibilities for her games of choice.

Posted by Kathy at 07:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A travesty is in the process of releasing their opinion of the twenty-five most intriguing characters in professional sports.

Ranked number 19: Anna Kournikova. The SI's author has this to say:

Here's a success story based on the triumph of sex appeal over the service winner. Blessed with the looks like a Bond Girl, Kournikova has been an endorsement machine, hawking products all over the world and garnering off-the-court platitudes such as one of People magazine naming "50 Most Beautiful People." While she did win a couple of Grand Slam doubles titles and was a consistent member of the Top 20 before injuries, she has never won a professional singles tournament. Never had an athlete achieved more fame for her looks.

Proving once again that some of us can get by on looks alone.

Remember folks talent can only carry you so far, from there you'd best have other assets to fall back on. I'm just not sure why she's ranked so low, 'tis a travesty I say! A travesty, Indeed.

Posted by phin at 12:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Overpriced and overrated

Fox New is reporting that the average cost for a wedding is up to $26,327.

What ever happened to the good old days of a low cost wedding and the father of the bride was presented with gifts proving the son-in-law could take care of his bride? The father of the bride used to come out of the deal smelling like a rose. He reduced the expenses while getting lots of cool stuff in return.

Smart money says this tradition ended because to many grooms were asking for refunds.

Posted by phin at 09:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


DNC Chairman Howard "Old Yellar" Dean is still out stumping for his party, throwing red meat to the loony Left that makes up its base. His new pitch? Dems need to take the offensive. As if he and and the other moonbats in the party haven't been offensive enough.

At a party fundraiser, Dean talked about needing a message and of being "out there" and being "vocal". Well, Chairman Dean is definitely "out there" and he's been nothing if not "vocal".

The problem for the Democrat leadership is that they just refuse to grasp the concept that the majority of Americans - the "mainstream" - don't agree with their half-baked ideas. They can't accept the fact that the reason they are no longer the majority is because they've marginalized themselves into Liberal and Uber-Liberal factions that can't even agree on what the party should stand for.

There are a bunch of pull-quotes in the article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but this one says it all: "We need to position ourselves as the party of change." The problem is that the primary change Democrats are focusing on is trying to remove George W. Bush from office before the end of his term. The kind of change that Americans favor only angers this loose coalition of single-issue special interest groups.

The Democrats have become the party of the status quo. Tax reform? No way. Social Security reform? Fuggedaboutit! A proactive foreign policy to fight terror? Give me a break. Tort reform, Medicare reform, Education reform, Bankruptcy reform, ANWR drilling, Free trade...? No, No, No, No, No, No!

The "message" that the Democrat party currently has? Change is bad, especially if it's good for the country. Start voting for us before things get better! Here's hoping that they stick to it.

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 09:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005


Tonight's presentation in this award winning series is Mary Kay Place. Best known flick: the ultimate boomer cinematic navel-gazing epic, The Big Chill, where she played a lib looking for a sperm donor because the biological clock was ticking away. (Amazingly enough, Glenn Close's character agrees to lend her husband's services to do the deed.) I rather liked MKP's character, a flower child mugged by reality. Since then, it looks like she has done hard time in the bowels of the estrogen channels with such works as "For My Daughter's Honor" and "Bed of Lies." Drink one for MKP as you watch a re-run of TBC from the comfort of the LLama hot tub and remember--this is as good as it gets for her.

Posted by LMC at 08:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The New York senate race just got interesting for the Duchess of Chappaqua, as one pundit described her.

Posted by LMC at 07:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, How's It Hanging, Kids?

It is I, Kath the Cake Eater, just checking in to see how everyone's doing this fine Monday afternoon.

You're fine, you say? Thanks for asking, you say?

Allrighty then.

No need for me to be here, eh? That's good because I invited someone to the perpetual hot tub party that is the Llamabutchers. They should be showing up soon to dump a bottle of Mr. Bubble into the tub, which should gum up the jets quite nicely.

Why, you ask, do I sound as if I'm a vengeful guest blogger? Well, let me tell ya. Steve-o first hijacked my blog, then claimed I had sex with Rosie O'Donnell. (Bleech. I have better taste in lesbians than that!) And for the icing on the cake, he p-shopped Jane Austen's head onto a disco chica.

The man, apparently, wants a walloping. I see absolutely no reason why he shouldn't get one.

I'll check back later to see how things are progressing. Cheerio!

Posted by Kathy at 03:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Well Hell

So why didn't anyone tell me that becoming a stalker was the surefire way to be INDC blogrolled?


Posted by Sadie at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Opponents of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve who think they have won are in for an unpleasant surprise next month. Avoiding a potential filibuster over the bill if ANWR drilling had been included, GOP Senators will have the last laugh.

A provision authorizing the drilling will be made a part of the supplementary budget process. This provision - introduced by NM Senator Pete Domenici - in September will be immune to a filibuster or any other parliamentary chicanery that Democrats try to pull. How can this be, you ask?

Unlike typical legislation, the budget process is not subject to filibuster. The federal government stands to share the revenue generated by oil drilling leases with the State of Alaska. So the budget will assume $2.5 Billion in leasing revenue beginning in 2007. This will allow for a document to accompany the budget authorizing the drilling in the first place. It's called a "reconciliation document" and is easily expected to get the 51 votes necessary in the Senate. A similar process will happen in the House as well. Then Bush will sign it into law.

Game. Set. Match.

The pestilential wasteland that is the northern slope of ANWR will then be officially open to oil drilling. It ain't gonna help pump prices for several years, but it's a start toward weaning ourselves off foreign oil.

Now imagine if we'd just done this five years ago? Sheesh.

Cross-posted at Ex-Donkey Blog

Posted by Gary at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I don't mean to seem unappreciative, it's just that I'm a bit confused.

See when Robbo & Steve-O handed over the keys to the butcher shop I didn't realize I'd have to deal with Steve-O's strange obsessions. There's a reason LMC does a majority of the flash-in-the-pan babe postings. I'm thinking the Llama readership would drop of if they knew about Steve-O's strange fetish for all things Bea Arthur and Luke Skywalker.

I'm also a bit concerned about his breeding habits, I never thought the inflatable sheep I sent over a couple of months back would be put to use.

It's disturbing to say the least.

Posted by phin at 09:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

RIP Peter Jennings

ABC News anchor Peter Jennings died Sunday in his New York home of lung cancer.
He was 67, (to damned young).


Posted by phin at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GITMO Detainees Devour Latest Harry Potter Yarn...

Some detainees at Guantanamo Bay are filling the long hours reading the most recent offering of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, the Washington Times is reporting.

According to a source inside Club Gitmo, not only do these terrorist-wannabes have a library of 800 books (outside of the Koran) but many of them are really into Harry Potter. Says the source, named Lori, "We've got a few who are kind of hooked on it. A couple have asked if they can see the movie."

Aside from this story being fairly amusing, I have a suggestion for the folks running the place. New "coercion" tactic - threaten to spoil the ending!

Sidebar: Gary Who? Oh yeah, Steve and Robbo invited me to guest blog while they're away. My site, Ex-Donkey Blog, has more about me. Happy to be aboard! I'll take one of those margaritas, please.

Posted by Gary at 06:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So I Get This Email...

.... from Steve-o on Saturday morning. It went something like this:

sadie---i've added for you posting access at the llamas. feel free for you, phin, and kathy to thoroughly have fun at our expense.

Can I get an "amen" in the stately LLama mansion? Oh...well....I didn't think so.

The more amusing aspect of Steve-o's email, besides the nonexistent use of proper syntax, that is, was my response:

Dude. I'm getting married on Tuesday. While I'd love to guest blog for you boys, I think that things might be a wee bit hectic next week.

He seemed a bit flustered at that point:

Next week---really? It's already that time?

Apparently, he doesn't much keep up with the crap I post on my blog. So indeed, I have worked up a suitable method to repay his careful attentions. Stay tuned.

Hey, LMC, Phin, Kathy - will someone hand me a margarita? Thank you, dahlings. Time for some table dancing...

Posted by Sadie at 05:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005


My father in law reminded me a a soundbite in a recent National Review article where the author likened dealing with Charles Schumer to sharing a banana with a monkey--take a bite and the monkey starts throwing feces at you.

Posted by LMC at 08:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


In the nearly four years since 9/11, I have never had an unkind word from anyone while in uniform doing my Reserve thing. On Friday, a toll-taker on the New Jersey Turnpike waved me through and an average guy stopped me in a convenience store on the Eastern Shore of Virginia to thank me. My informal sampling indicates the public may have some misgivings but is still solidly behind the president.

Posted by LMC at 05:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Cal Thomas had this piece in the commentary section of The Good Times. Read it. There will be peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis when one side or the other so thoroughly defeats the other that the victor imposes the peace. As far as I am concerned, pick the side you want to win and back them, militarily, politically, and economically, to the point that the outcome is not in doubt. Given that Israel is the one of the few friends we can truly count on through thick and thin, the choice is clear.

Posted by LMC at 05:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


The Ultimate Weapon starring Hulk Hogan was on this afternoon and it helped pass the time while Mrs. LMC was over at my mom's house (where I was no doubt a topic of discussion and derision over The Sun Dress Incident). This flick deserves to be a feature in Truly Bad Films. Cynthia Preston made it a bit more bearable as Hulk's daughter and nearly sacrifical blonde. Her minimal acting talent could not save this movie but her body made it more bearable.

Posted by LMC at 05:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The Boston Globe's Nina Easton seems to be the new favorite sub for Mara Liasson. Colossus, she seems to be from your neck of the woods. Any thoughts other than she is reasonably easy on the eyes?

Posted by LMC at 11:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Sample makeup is everything. The Colossus links to the story behind the president's numbers.

Posted by LMC at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Which prominent Democrats were first elected as pro-lifers? Answer: Dick Durbin, Al Gore, and Richard Gephardt.

Posted by LMC at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Phin, welcome aboard LLama Butchers. Robbo left Dee Cee for Maine, Steve-O departed stately LLama Butcher Manor with his entourage, and we are left with a stocked bar, a refrigerator full of food, and a phone which begs for long-distance calls. It would be rude not to make yourself at home--I have as the weekend guest that refuses to leave. Kathy, the Cake-Eater, won't you join us for a little "Rob and Steve are out of town party"? Bring some of your friends--we are going to have a big time.

Posted by LMC at 09:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 06, 2005


I was driving back from Forward Operating Base Llama (Ft. Dix, New Jersey) yesterday when I made the mistake of listening to a recent NPR program addition, "Counterspin", a sort of Leftie version of O'Reilly's "no spin" mantra. A review of a recent book by Richard Posner, a conservative federal appellate judge, had the commentator suggesting Posner's book had no merit because it provided no evidence of the mainstream media bias Posner asserts. This was followed by an extended interview with a labor activist who claimed, without evidence, that 20,000 workers were fired in the last year for union-organizing efforts. (If this were the case, there would be 20,000 lawsuits for violations of federal labor law which protect union organizing.) This activist went to refer to the recently passed CAFTA legislation as "so-called free trade."

And the libs wonder why the ratings for public broadcasting are often too small to be measured. I have got to get X-M radio. . .

Posted by LMC at 01:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting&trade - Softball Version

Since Robbo & Steve-O ran away and left the windows open I decided to stop by for a bit. I must say it's and honor to post at an site as *ahem* esteemed and dignified *ahem* the Butcher shop.

Now on with the orgling posting. As summer draws to a close many of the warm weather actives we use to keep us preoccupied are also winding down. This weekend is the last area tournament for the 19 and over girls fast pitch softball. Watching these collegiate athletes take the field in person is an awe inspiring experience.

The slap of the bright yellow ball as it reaches the catchers mitt. The ping of the aluminum bat when the batter makes contact. The grunt of the pitcher as she unleashes a sixty mile-per-hour fastball that looks like a yellow blur only thirty-five feet from the batter. The chants / cheering of the teams as they go up to bat. Attractive athletic women in their prime. They're all the unmistakable sights sounds of a softball game.

Last night the sister-in-law's team won 4-0 in the first game of the tournament. The second game starts at five this afternoon. Where I shall take my seat next to the fence and gorge myself on over-priced hotdogs, pizza and watered down soft drinks that help support a great cause. If you're looking for some family fun this weekend try finding a fast pitch softball game or two in your area.

Did I mention there are almost always several that are attractive and you don't get fussed at by the misses for watching at least ten young ladies on the field at anytime? Oh how I'm going to miss softball season. Did I mention the attractive girls?

Posted by phin at 01:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Well, we're heading out tomorrow on the Great Voor Trek to the ancestral homelands of southeastern Connecticut. Robbo and Co. are hopefully safely underway to Lobsterland. So that means we're giving the keys to stately LLama Mansion to a group of blog housesitters----with the bar fully stocked, the hot tub in good working condition, the satelite dish fully functional, and the sound system glued to Bossa Nova.

You're in good hands........

Posted by Steve at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


So that must mean it's time for X-Donk's weekly Diane Lane homage.

The Dear One and I are going to sneak out this week to see the new John Cusack/Diane Lane flick.

Posted by Steve at 11:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Froggy Ruminations turns one, with an Instalanche to boot!

Congratulations Matthew, and thanks for your great blogging.

Posted by Steve at 11:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005


A bold new look over at the Jawas.

I mean, it's not Apothegm Designs done, but hey, nobody's perfect.

Posted by Steve at 01:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Man, talk about your downers.

Posted by Steve at 08:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Goldstein on the craven angle media angle of trying to get Judge Roberts' children's adoption files unsealed:

Remember: the Times is only fishing around and asking lawyers how they might get private adoption records unsealed because they’re suspicious about John Roberts’ commitment to the privacy rights of women and homosexuals.


"Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! Mistah Kotter! MIST-AH Kotter!"

Yes, Horseshack?

"The obvious answer is to get an emminent domain seizure of the Courthouse where the records are kept."

Horseshack, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has a comprehensive roundup on the story of trying to get the adoption records unsealed. Suffice it to say that the goal of this is to get the original mother on camera, for Dateline or some other piffle, to do a teary-eyed viewing of the annoucement.....

The whole thing is absolutely sickening.

Posted by Steve at 08:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Sobek muses on the latest gem from Nevada jurisprudence.

Of course, this is why I like Nevada more than Massachusetts. Wankers.

Posted by Steve at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Or is it time for INDCent Bill and Red State to go and just get a room? Geez, people, no PDA in the hallway!

Posted by Steve at 08:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


As channeled by Wuzzadem.

To quote the Puppy Blender, "Indeed."

Posted by Steve at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005


John over at Texas Best Grok builds on the discussion of the "unholy trinity" of blog topics on the center/right: abortion, gun control, and evolution.

Let me just add two things to this: First, I think it was completely within his penumbral right to privacy protected by emanations of the Ninth Amendment for Harry Potter to coerce Hermione into exercising her constitutional right to privacy after he knocked her up after that little encounter behind Honeydukes (who knew the Bertie Botts All Flavors had THAT one too!?!) Yet, even though Voldemort is running loose, I think it's perfectly reasonable to effectively ban the use of firearms other than Brown Bess Muskets carried on the shoulder like a Continental soldier, fired while wearing a funny tricorner hat. And Salazar Slytherin is definitely descended from a monkey.

Second thing: is it just me, or is Voldemort kind of flaming out as a villain? I mean, okay, he's a Grade A pyscopath and all, but so what? Has he destroyed a whole planet like Vader did to Alderan? Is he bent on releasing a race of Orcs to kill off humanity?


We keep hearing about how Voldemort "tried to take over last time" and wants to take over now; and how he has a penchant for torturing and killing people who piss him off. Does that sound less like a world dominating tyrant on the Hitler/Vader model, and more like a mafia drug lord with the magic mojo?

If you think of it, what is Voldemort really other than a hopped up Tony Montana with a wand?

harry potter versus scarface.jpg

I neva f*cked anybody over in my life, who didn't have it comin' to 'im, you got that? All I have in this world is my balls, and my word, and I don't break 'em for no one, jou understand? Jou f*ckin' maricon! Ja, leesten up....go and tell that cock-ah-roach Drumbleboor that heees got a leetle problem....I'm BAAAACK, and heees going to haf to say hello to my leetle friend.


(Contains actual plot spoilers to Harry Potter VI)

We've been rooting around the trash in Edinburgh as of late trying to bring you the loyal reader(s) of the LLamabutchers breaking nooz on the plot for Harry Potter Seven: Harry Potter and Secret of the Ridiculous Intergenerational Trust Fund Designed to Make Warren Buffet Look Like The Boorish Low-Brow Toad That He Really Is.

Of course, now that, errr, Hogwarts is in need of a new Headmaster and all, everyone's assuming it's going to be that old toad McGonnagal. Fooey! The LLamas have discovered that there's going to be a new Headmaster at Hogwarts, an old "friend" of Fudge's who Fudge happens to owe quite a few favors to, in fact something in the order of ninety three thousand galleons, two hundred sickles and five knuts to. So as partial payment, say hello to our new headmaster:

meet the new headmaster of hogwarts.jpg

Sample dialogue:

Harry slowly ascended the rising spiral stair case to the Head's office, oddly aware that the last time he was there was just before he set out with Dumbledore on the night of his death. The door was ajar, and he saw a small Puerto Rican man yelling at the portrait of Phineas Nigelus, the deceased Headmaster whose other portrait was at the HQ of the Order of the Phoenix--Sirius' home, now Harry's home.

"Eh, fuck you, man! Who put this thing together? Me, that's who! Who do I trust? Me! [I don't need him; I don't need her. Everything is roses; I don't need nobody]"

"Well, never in my day was such a thing heard of" as Phineas Nigelus stormed out of his picture. All the other portraits tried to pretend they were asleep.

In the corner---where Hawkes the Phoenix used to perch---sat an enormous Cockateel named Matty.

Harry stood perfectly still. What did the new head want? He saw Dumbledore's old Penseive sitting on the desk, but instead of being filled with the swirling magical light of Dumbledore's thoughts, it was overfilled with a strange pile of white powder. I wonder what magical properties that has, Harry thought? I'll be sure to try some later.

"You asked for me, sir?"

"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the woman."

"Errr, but Ginny and was just too difficult. I was reading this Spider Man comic book---he's this Muggle "Super Hero" with fake magical powers who has this real hero complex about saving people because he's an orphan and all, and he loves this girl, but realizes that if he loves her, the bad guys are going to want to kill her, so he gets all pouty...."

"That prick! Fuckin' WASP whore"

"Sir, Ginny is not a WASP---she's a full blooded Wizard, the first female Weasley in three generations!"

"Why don't you try stickin' jou head up jour ass -- see if it fits"

"Errr, Madam Pomfrey specifically asked Professor Flitwick to stop teaching us how to do that. But what about Quidditch, sir? Now that all of Slytherin has been shown to be a crew of murderous brigands, what of the Quidditch Cup?"

"Fuck Gaspar Gomez, and fuck the fuckin' Diaz brothers! Fuck'em all! I bury those cock-a-roaches!"

"Yes, sir, and don't forget Crabbe and Goyle too. But Quidditch?"

"Eh, fuck you, man! I'm Professor Tony Montana! You fuck wit me, you fuckin' wit da best!

"Err, okay, sir. It's just the Quidditch Cup---it's tradition!"

"This is paradise, I'm tellin' ya. This town like a great big pussy jus' waitin' to get fucked."

"I'll take that for a 'yes' then. Good day!"

It's a start. Now the next chapter, when we catch up with the runaways Snape and Draco on the lam in Las Vegas and hard up for cash, giving new meaning to the words "Dog and Pony show," that one is going to need a little work--I'm not sure if it will "fly" so to speak with the Potter Puritans.

Posted by Steve at 10:42 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Where The Llamas Hit The Road

No posting from me over the next couple o' days as I make my way north - Boston tomorrow and the 'rents the next day. I probably will drop in from time to time while I'm there, especially as there seems to be something wrong with the settings on the 'rents' computer and they keep sending me emails telling me how terrible our new layout looks. Mr. Fixit to the rescue.

I also think Steve-O is planning to bug out soon for an undisclosed location.

There is some muttering in the air that we may have some Sooper Sekret Guest Bloggers next week, but in the meantime, the Llama Military Correspondent has the bridge.

Yip! Yip! Yip!

Posted by Robert at 06:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Final Installment: Gratuitous Anticipatory Vacation Posting


The gang over at the Corner have been having fun all day with a news report that suggests moderate drinking boosts brain power.

I bring this up because, while I do drink moderately most days, I almost never drink beer. The only time I do is when I go to Maine, and then it's generally Geary's. There seems to be a rather wide range of opinion on whether it's any good or not. I'll just say that I like it. And on a sunny afternoon when I'm sitting out on the deck and doing nothing but looking at the bay, it's positively ambrosial.

Posted by Robert at 05:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


This is just wrong.

Yips! from Robbo - NY Times Headline: "Judge Roberts Denies Involvement In Child-Trafficking"

Posted by Steve at 04:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I just got a call from the college's PR person that the local tee-vee channel was looking for some on camera commentary on the whole "Over There" tee-vee show. Alas, I live an hour from campus and it's not worth the time to go in just for that. But if I had, here's a sample of my talking points:

FX Network?......Isn't that some Australian cable porn thing?

Okay, so I probably wouldn't have said that one out loud, and would have gone with something more like:

FX Network?.....Don't they have lower ratings than the CBS Evening News? I mean, who is going to be watching it? Seriously, though, it's less realistic a reflection of the actual military than JAG, and that says a lot...

The heart of the political matter is this:

One thing you can be sure of is that conservative activists----whether amateur bloggers or the professional party folks---are not going to sit idly by and allow the mainstream media and Hollywood to recreate the "Winter Soldier" scenario or allow unchallenged the emergence of a "Iraq Veterans Against the War" movement. It took the Swift Vets thirty years to be able to challenge John Kerry's statements about Vietnam: Paul Hackett-types are going to find that they are going to be challenged by other veterans within thirty seconds. They are not going to stand by and let the media and parts of Hollywood smear another generation of American soldiers and Marines as a bunch of whacked out, suicidal, homicidal maniacs and war criminals. There will be no Deer Hunters or Apocalypse Nows.

Just wait for the reception Jane Fonda is going to get on her tour this fall.

Now I need to finish cutting the lawn and then take the kids to the pool.

J. Elmer Puttgrass signing off...

Posted by Steve at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's The Extreme, Baby!


Talk about the Suck Zone! We Llamas are A-Numero-Uno out of 2,070,000 in google searches for "What would Dusty do?"

Once I get done packing this evening, I may just have to watch Twister to celebrate. Woooohooo! Hey you guys! Wooooooo-hoooooo!

Posted by Robert at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Ace has uncovered a little known quatrain which seems to explain current events quite well.

But, now that I think about it, I seem to remember Nostradamus' predicting this bitch-slapping administered by Kathy the Cake Eater.

That one's going to leave a mark.

Note to self: Never EVER cross Kathy the Cake Eater.

Oh right, I already did....

Posted by Steve at 04:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

At Last! A P-Shop That Doesn't Put Me In A Damn Dress!


I liked this so much that I unhesitatingly ripped it off from The Colossus . By way of thanks, please be sure to go on over and check out his excellent list of Maine vacation sekrets. Mmmmmm......pier fries......Mmmmmmm.

Posted by Robert at 03:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

See, This Is What I'm Talking About.

The ACLU is going after New York City over its new subway bag-searching policy.

I've said a couple of times now that this was going to happen and that given a) the resources that will have to be wasted to fight this kind of legal challenge and b) the dubious efficacy of the searches to begin with, the whole thing was probably a bad idea.

But does anybody listen to me? Nooooooooooo.

(SOOPER SEKRET MESSAGE TO THE LB BUDDY: I know what you're going to say, but I'm not arguing about the constitutionality of the searches one way or the other. I'm simply coming at this from an allocation of scarce resourses standpoint.)

Posted by Robert at 10:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Still More Gratuitous Anticipatory Vacation Posting

Terry Teachout's Girl in Chicago quotes Susan Sontag on the subject of vacation photography:

“Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures.”

I suppose what Sontag means is that a camera gives us something to fiddle with and feel busy. Actually, I think it's much more sinister than that. As a tee vee culture, we have gradually conditioned ourselves so that we are unwilling or unable to think about or remember things unless we've got a picture of them in front of us. Think of the term "Kodak moment". That was such a good marketing ploy that the expression has entered common usage. When we hit some special point in our lives, the first instinct is to reach for the camera. "Oh, Honey, you looked so beautiful riding down that hill next to the vinyard. But do you think you could go back and do it again? I forgot to take off the lens cap." And it's even worse with camcorders. (Slightly off topic, but I've seen more than one wedding ceremony utterly ruined by all the a/v meant to produce the "perfect" wedding video. In my humble opinion, all church photography should be punishable by garotting.)

The irony, of course, is that people spend so much time screwing around with the equipment to preserve the memories that they often completely forget to enjoy the moment in real life, and indeed, can wind up ruining the real for the sake of the record, thereby essentially falsifying it. To me, this is grotesque. I would much rather forget about snapping endless pics and instead just soak up the experience as it happens.

(As you can gather, "fiddling with the damn camera again" is one of my primo vacation pet peeves.)

Posted by Robert at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More Gratuitous Anticipatory Vacation Posting


I love lobster. But I won't eat it in restaurants (too messy and undignified) and the stuff available at the typical Northern Virginia Sooper Giant isn't anything to write home about, so the only time I get to indulge in it is when we go to Maine. But when I sit down to that lobstah that was caught out in the bay in front of the house just a little while before, Mayun, I say to myself, it's worth the wait.

There are lots of different lobster recipes, but you can keep your fancy-pants dress up. To me, the simplest is the best: drop lobster in boiling water. Remove. Open. Dip chunks in melted butter with lemon. Repeat. Mmmmmmm.

Speaking of vacation posting, Peggy Noonan waxes rhapsodic about her first visit to West Virginia today. I can't quite figure out what bugs me about this column except that it is both rayther starry-eyed and faintly patronizing at the same time. My brother lives in West Virginia, not too far from The Greenbriar, in fact. I've been there often enough and heard enough stories from him to see past Peggy's touristy gushing, I suppose.

Posted by Robert at 08:41 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005


I've been straining to finish the footnotes on the article on Thomas Jefferson's Indian policy and its influence on the Cherokee Removal cases at the Supreme Court when I came across THIS and tarnation, I fell out of my chair.

It's an angle on the whole gay marriage debate I just hadn't even thought of, but of course, it's going to lead to the inevitable Village People jokes (they did have a Chief, didn't they?)

Posted by Steve at 11:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Sure, go ahead, blame it on the lil' devil.

How did he "unknowingly" imbibe the steroids? Must have been that no one clued him on to what the "BAM BAM" Flinstone Chewable Vitamins really are...

Posted by Steve at 11:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


This should be interesting once the full story emerges.

Maybe probable cause emmenated from being a politician with the names "William" and "Jefferson"....

Posted by Steve at 11:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Here's the question for you Potterheads out there:

If he could obtain it, would Harry use The Ring to defeat Voldemort?

You know, I think he would. I could see the wee bastard slitting Frodo's throat, getting Ron to hold the little Hobbit legs, and be entirely justified in his moral sense that it was alright----they were doing it to defeat Voldemort, so the ends justify the means.

Okay, so I don't see him killing Frodo, as that would violate the whole "would your dead mum want you to be a homicidal felon?" conundrum. But I would see him stealing it, or at the very minimum having no compunction to using it.

Why the sudden Potter jag? Scott over at Left of the Dial has an outstanding discussion of the role of honor, lying, and cheating in the Potterverse, questioning Harry's suitability as a hero for the ease by which he is willing to lie, cheat and steal to attain his goals. This triggered a reaction from me about the role of academic cheating at Hogwarts, and the casual way in which Rowling handles the perfunctory cheating by her star students.

Posted by Steve at 03:04 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Anticipatory Vacation Posting

Image lifted from Bath Iron Works

As I've mentioned before, one of my favorite spots to visit when I go to Maine is Popham Beach State Park. The sand is beautiful and uncrowded. But around the point from the beach are several more treats as well. First, there is Fort Popham. Built in 1861, although never completed, it was designed to guard the mouth of the Kennebec River. (The ship passing it in the photo, is on its way to the Bath Iron Works, located about 15 miles upstream.)

I used to think that this fort was a piece of pure paranoia on the part of the Yankees until I read of the considerable Southern commerce raider activity off the New England coastline, up to and including a little-known Confederate raid on Portland on June 27, 1863, by Lt. Charles Read. He and his men snuck into the harbor and cut out a Federal revenue cutter, the Caleb Cushing. Unfortunately for the rebels, they were becalmed while trying to escape and were captured by the local citizenry.

And speaking of local citizenry, Popham also holds claim to being home of the first English colony in New England, Fort St. George, founded in 1607 and beating the Pilgrims of Plymouth by thirteen years. The Popham colony doesn't get much general notice because after a year, the colonists decided they didn't like the place and went home. But important archeological work has been done at the site in recent years that is helping to increase historians' understanding of English colonial activity of the period, and may, for example, offer important clues about the founding of Jamestown.

Can't wait.

Posted by Robert at 03:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Return of the Sci Fi Babes

JohnL has a new Sci-Fi Babe poll up over at TexasBestGrok. This week, it's the Ladies of Stargate Atlantis.

As usual, go vote early and often. And be sure to check out the, er, Incredibly close results of the face-off between Elastigirl and Mirage.

Other poll results in the Gallery of Winners.

Message from a Llama Other Than Robbo: BOYCOTT THIS POLL: It's blasphemy, I tell ya! An insult to the one true SCIFI Babe of Stargate: Amanda Tapping, aka Major Sam Carter.
major carter.jpeg


Posted by Robert at 01:05 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Run, Dick, Run! Update

Albert Eisele, whose quotation of Helen Thomas threatening to kill herself should Dick Cheney run in '08, which provoked from Thomas a a hissy fit and handed the Blogosphere some choice material for its amusement, has a semi-clueless defense of his action up today.

Properly, he tells Thomas, who was "outraged" at being quoted in the original piece, to go pound sand:

[T]he larger lesson here, and one that I’m surprised Ms. Thomas, who has been a Washington reporter since 1943 and retired as UPI’s White House correspondent in 2000, failed to understand, is that “off the record” is a virtually meaningless term, which is why this column bears the name it does. It’s bad enough that public officials hide behind it to discredit their critics, as the CIA leak imbroglio demonstrates, but even worse when reporters do it.

Heh, indeed.

But Eisele spends a large chunk of his time going after those meanies in the Blogsphere as well:

Little did I know, being a creature of the typewriter/telegraph era of journalism, that cybergossip Matt Drudge would pounce on the item and transmit it to the farthest regions of the Internet universe, along with an unflattering photograph of Ms. Thomas. That was all Drudge acolytes needed to unleash a flood of e-mails condemning her — and me, as her unwitting accomplice.

All I can say is get used to it, Big Boy. The MSM no longer holds a monopoly on the control of either information or opinion. The yard is full of dogs now and if you can't deal with that, you'd better get up on the porch.

He also, apparently, still doesn't understand what all the laughing was about:

Anyway, having unintentionally caused Ms. Thomas considerable pain, I wish to rise to her defense. Thomas is a great journalist, the first lady of the White House press corps, who has blazed a trail for women journalists and has been doing for decades what White House reporters are supposed to do but too often don’t, which is to ask tough questions of presidents.

Um, noooooooo..... Threatening to kill herself because Dick Cheney is a big fat liar? I'm willing to go along with the idea that Thomas was a trailblazer and a good journalist at one point, but the truth is that in recent years she has become the crazy aunt in the White House press corps' attic. I'm sorry, but "What is asking tough questions?" is not the answer we're looking for. Would the other contestant like to try? "What are delusional rantings, Alex?" is correct!

Naturally, that doesn’t sit well with a lot of people, who apparently would prefer to see their politicians treated like gods and who have a visceral hatred of the press.

Ah, yes! Anybody who dares point when the Fourth Estate strolls into the street butt-naked, ipso facto, must be a brain-dead Guv'mint toady. 'Scuse me a minute while I make my noontime genuflection to Dubya. Which direction is the White House from here?

UPDATE: Who are we to argue?

The more flattering "new look" of Helen Thomas.

Posted by Robert at 12:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


The thing I hate most about being a bridesmaid is getting the shoes to match my sash. That, and not being able to smoke.

Posted by Steve at 12:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It turns out that we Llamas are the fifth entry on a google-search of sudio Phil Collins.

My two-days-away-from-vacation-but-who's-counting-addled brain being so vulnerable, I've now got that damn song tattooed on it. Tattooed, I tell you.

Being the openhanded kind of Llama that I am, I thought I'd pass it along to you lot.

Share and enjoy!

Posted by Robert at 10:54 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The last one is priceless.

And by the way, this has to be the sickest, most wickedly hillarious thing I've ever read. It was like having half a pound of horseradish shoved up your nose.

Thank you Red.

Posted by Steve at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'm going to go with the Jawas on this and say that the look of yesterday's special congressional election in Ohio is going to be the template for most of of the 06 midterm elections. It's going to fit four out of Hobbes' five categories for life in the state of nature: solitary, poor, brutish, and nasty, while unfortunately it's going to be quite long. And the outcome is going to be about the same: a whole lot of incumbents are going to have much smaller margins of victory than in the recent past, but they'll still be margins of victory.

The midterms will come down to what they always do: candidate recruitment and issue focus. Money is becoming less of an issue thanks to the flattening of the fundraising hierarchy---this was a success for the left blogs for their ability to turn that into a real race by being able to generate actual dollars to pour into an otherwise moribund race. But, it was still a victory for the Republicans---much like Ted Kennedy's winning the 1994 senate race by a similar margin over Mitt Romney was a symbolic victory for the Republicans, but an actual victory for the Dems. Symbolic victories count only for so much, and not at all when it's time to count votes in Congress.

The big question is whether this race will change the dynamics of candidate recruitment which is wrapping up now. How many Don Quioxte's are out there willing to run a bruising race and face certain defeat, with the microscopic/theoretical chance of winning? And how many of these people stand an actual chance of not becoming eviscerated in the political arena?

Posted by Steve at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Further signs emerge over the implausibility of intelligent design.

SOOPER SEKRIT MESSAGE TO BEN AFFLECK: Come on, the CHiPs Movie, you know you want to do it. Damon as Jon, you as know you want it!

Posted by Steve at 10:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


May a year ago, when nooz of Al Gore's new tee-vee network leaked out, we were quick to promote what we saw as a stunning and bold move forward for quality in broadcasting and the first signs of relief from the tyrranical vise grip of the corporate, conservative fascist networks:

dukakis in tank 2.jpg

candor of al gore.jpg

objectivity of alj.jpg

lifetime taft movie.jpg


Well, John at Wuzzadem destroys it without mercy, wuzzadem style.

Posted by Steve at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Wizbang with the details from Ohio.

Posted by Steve at 09:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)

Thumbing through Bill Bennett's The Moral Compass for suitable Llama-ette bedtime reading last evening, I settled on the story of Pocahontas. I forget now who the adapter was, but I was pleased to see that there was no flinching away from the clash of cultures between the Indians and the English settlers in Virginia. Rather, it was explained in reasonable, clear and non-judgemental terms.

The story also laid out what might be called the un-Disneyfied version of the facts: that Pocahontas was ten or twelve when she saved Captain Smith, that by the time she had grown he was gone away, that she married John Rolfe instead and had a son with him, and that her last few years were spent in England, ending rather sadly.

The gels, despite being exhausted from an afternoon of swimming, were agog. At the end, though, they asked a lot of inevitable questions about why things were different in the movie. I said, "Well, sometimes Disney likes to change stories to make them seem happier."

The Seven Year Old's response: "Boy, those people at Disney are a bunch of idiots."

That's my girl!

Posted by Robert at 08:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005


It looks like Bills Biggest Fan has abandonded the Llama porn route and is going for something more.....romantic.

Message to Bill and BBF: Can't you two just go get a room already?

Posted by Robert at 04:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Looks like Kath should be expecting a lil' visit from the Scientology lawyers. I mean, making fun of Tom "Teeny Tot" Cruise and his increasingly lame acting (Hey, it's Tom emoting, because, you know, he's wiggling those eyebrows again!) has to be rooted in discrimination against his religious beliefs, right? It can't be because, well, his acting is getting worse and his private life is on track to take over the role from Hollywood's former has-been midget star, Mickey Rooney.

Personally, I'd rather have a Dementor as my dental hygenist.....

Posted by Steve at 04:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


My life is rated G.
What is your life rated?

Thanks for nuthin' to Kathy.

Yips! from Robbo:

My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?

Posted by Steve at 04:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


We here at the LLamabutchers are much too much of a high class operation to comment about certain recent issues involving the "hottie index" of former first daughters.

That's what we keep Phin around for.

NOTE TO PHIN: I'll see your twins and raise you with Alice Roosevelt..

Posted by Steve at 04:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Phin finally fesses up as to why I left his company.

Weasel didn't even pay in advance. Hey Phin, you owe me $50!

Posted by Steve at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


No. Just, absolutely, completely no.

This aint a short sight better, either.

More wrongess in either one post than in any other in the history of the blogosphere.

I need a stiff drink after that one.

Posted by Steve at 04:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Salvete, Discipuli!


Hannibal says, "This post is for JCL Geeks only."

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Cannae in 216 B.C., one of the great milestones of the Second Punic War, in which Hannibal (pictured above) crushed a Roman army under the Consuls Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus. Here is another short overview of the battle.

Although the Roman losses were horrific (estimated at up to 60,000), I think the most important aspect of this battle (and other Roman disasters such as the Battle of Lake Trasimene the year before) is the fact that it did not lead to Hannibal's conquest of Rome. This was due to a combination of Roman resolve and organization and the awe which these attributes struck in Hannibal himself, making him more hesitant to try and take Rome itself by force:

Despite this tremendous loss, the following defection of many allied cities, and the declaration of war by Philip of Macedon that was soon to come, the Romans showed a resiliency that defined them as people. According to Livy, "No other nation in the world could have suffered so tremendous a series of disasters and not been overwhelmed.” The truth of that nature was self evident. While some in the Senate, such as Lucius Caecilius Metellus were ready to abandon the Republic as a lost cause, others like Scipio propped up the flagging Roman spirit with encouragement and undying oaths of loyalty to Rome.

Shortly after Cannae, the Romans rallied back, declaring full mobilization. Another dictator, M. Junius Pera, was elected to stabilize the Republic. New legions were raised with conscripts from previous untouched citizen classes. As the land owning population was heavily diminished by losses to Hannibal, the Romans took advantage of the masses. Those in debt were released from their obligations, non-land owners were recruited and even slaves were freed to join the legions. In so doing, the Romans also refused to pay ransoms to Hannibal for any captured legionaries who still remained. Hannibal, it was suggested, lost his spirit, understanding that Rome would rather sacrifice its own than surrender anything to him. While fortune would still be with Hannibal for some time, the war of attrition would only benefit Rome.

Just about any other civilization of the time would have quickly folded in the face of such crushing defeats.

YIPS from Steve: Something about Anita Hill and a can of Coke somehow comes to mind......who knew Clarence's humor was so high brow?

Posted by Robert at 01:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tin-Ear Politicking

Maybe it's just me, but this Dem press release responding to the news of Dubya's excellent health seems, well, stupid.

The thrust of the release is the Dubya is a fraud and a phoney about physical health because even while he's pumping himself up, he's busy slashing school kid P.E. funding and gutting Title IX. You know, because without the leadership of our Educational System, all those boys and girls simply have no idea how to get any exercise. "My legs....What purpose do they serve?"

But the best part is the last paragraph:


The Rate Of Childhood Obesity Has Skyrocketed In Recent Years. The rate of childhood obesity has skyrocketed in recent years, and more than 9 million children over age 6 are now considered overweight. The rapid rise has alarmed public health experts, because overweight children are far more likely to develop health problems. Currently, the U.S. government estimates that 30 percent of the nation's kids are overweight or on their way to being too heavy. Nearly twice as many children and three times as many teens are overweight now compared to two decades ago.

YOU know how Dubya spends his evenings slipping through windows, jamming Big Macs into the kiddies' mouths and chaining them to the sofa in front of Sponge Bob cartoons.

Shame, Mr. President. For shame.

UPDATE: Nope, it's not just me.

Posted by Robert at 12:32 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Dean and Condi, Sittin' in a Tree....


Posted by Robert at 12:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Your Tuition Money At Work

Go. Read. Pound head on table.

Posted by Robert at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Con-Air America Watch

Michelle continues to track the story of Air America's apparent skimming of government funding from local social services organizations in the Bronx.

Since the story was first picked up by the Blogosphere, AA has been all over the lot on these "loans", first denying they existed, then claiming it was all the doing of the previous owners of the network and that none of the current folks knew anything about it. Now they seem to have reached the, "Oh, those transfers!" stage.

Meanwhile, the missing funds continue to be, er, missing. According to Michelle, even Al Franken is beginning to hint that they might have been embezzled by former AA Chairman Evan Cohen. Previous stories about this matter have made mention that Cohen claimed he needed money in order to treat a brain tumor. It strikes me that this would make a perfect illustration of the expression, "Throwing money down a rat hole."

Posted by Robert at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Today My Name Is Robbo Tiberius Llamabutcher

Take the Star Trek Quiz

Yips! to the Impenetrable One.

YIPS from Steve: Well, sure:

Take the Star Trek Quiz


Okay, okay, so THIS is what I really scored:


Posted by Robert at 09:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Content-Free Posting Alert

Robbo and the Family Llama are headed out on vacation Friday morning, which means two things:

First, the bulk of this week is being spent getting things off my desk and making sure they stay off my desk while I'm gone.

Second, my brain is running down faster than the Nationals' pennant chances. What little cerebral power I have left goes to the aforesaid desk-clearing and other critical tasks such as remembering how to get home in the evening.

So for the next couple days, posting may be more mindless than usual.

UPDATE: No, not Disneyworld. Been there. Done that. Never again.

YIPS from Steve: You know what THIS means......

And Robbo, when you're pulling the minivan out of the driveway, ignore the large truck from the local beer distributor idling at the curb down the street. And those wrappers from the new photoshop? Umm, nothing........


UPDATE DEUX: Minivan? Minivan? Feh!

As for the p'shops, just be careful a house doesn't fall on you. M'heh.

Posted by Robert at 08:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jimmy Stewart: The Hunt For Red Hollywood

"Wha-? Ah, no. No. What makes you think I'm acting?"

Here's a story this morning about a new biography that claims Jimmy Stewart worked as a secret agent for the the FBI, helping it to hunt down Communists in Hollywood. Ace waxes rhapsodic. The Colossus suggests a whole new take on Harvey.

Posted by Robert at 08:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005


Bond Babe Carole Bouquet was 007's crossbow-shooting sidekick in For Your Eyes Only, one of her few English-speaking roles. She could be best described as a prototype for Liv Tyler. What more needs to be said? Her career continues to chug along in the foreign flick market where she seems to have the hot older-chick thing going on.

Posted by LMC at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Outdoor Division

I believe I have officially hit that tipping point in the season where I lose control of the yard and garden. It's too bloody hot most of the time to put in much work, the number of things that are sprouting where they shouldn't increases exponentially and the number of things that need to be done to keep what should be there healthy just gets overwhelming. To hell with the whitefly and Japanese beetles! Stuff the false-strawberry invading the lawn! Bugger all the dead branches that need to be pruned! If I can just keep the lawn routinely cut for the next five weeks or so, that'll be good enough for now.

I am also paying for earlier lapses. Pruning has always been my weak spot as a gardener. For most of the perennials, this isn't really that much of a problem, and I have always liked the rather dishevelled look it produces. But in some cases, my slacking has had detrimental results. This year, I neglected to cut back the Joe Pye Weed in late spring as I had ought to have done, and now the damned stuff is 9 feet tall instead of 5 and is far too big for my little plot.

But there's always a silver lining - as I was brooding on this matter yesterday, staring out at the garden, I had a sudden epiphany about how I could transplant the JPW and thereby improve the balance of the beds out of all knowledge. It's going to involve an awful lot of moving things about this fall, but I think the results will be terrific.

Posted by Robert at 01:21 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Yeah, right.

Unfortunately, if memory serves correctly, a similar "accident" served as the "all clear/proceed" flare for the Rwandan genocide eleven years ago.

Posted by Steve at 10:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The secret? Don't pay your creditors.

You know, maybe it's just me, but I had a feeling the whole "low-carb" thing had ran it's course when they signed the Olson Twins as their spokesticks. That, and when they lent their ubiquitous "A" sign to a particular grade of I-81 methamphetamine.

Hopefully, this will spell the end of the word "carb" in our society, and we can go out and shave the heads of those pesky collaborators on this, our day of carb liberation.

Posted by Steve at 10:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has died.

What happens next will be extremely important, as the larger war we are currently a part of is in many ways an exported Saudi Arabian Civil War.

Posted by Steve at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hoisted Petard Watch

Poor Helen Thomas. According to Drudge, she's furious that her recent threat to kill herself if Dick Cheney ran for president, spoken to a (gasp!) newspaperman was actually....actually.....published!

But Thomas said yesterday at the White House that her comments to Eisele were for his ears only. "I'll never talk to a reporter again!" Thomas was overheard saying.

"We were just talking -- I was ranting -- and he wrote about it. That isn't right. We all say stuff we don't want printed," Thomas said.

Yer right, Helen, them reporters are right bastards, ain't they? Oughta be a law.

[Insert sound of gleeful snickering here.]

Posted by Robert at 08:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Lost Weekend Recap

Well, the weekend of single parenthood came to an end yesterday afternoon with no loss of life, as the Missus returned from her jaunt with Mrs. LMC.

Fortunately, I'm beyond the inside-out sundress issue raised by the LMC below. The older Llama-ettes can simply be told to "go put on a nice dress." The three year old is not to be trusted to dress herself under any circumstances, but I handle her simply by noting what her sisters come up with and imitating their fashion sense to the greatest extent possible.

I am still nonetheless continually presented with new challenges. For instance, never having been a hippy myself, I know next to nothing about ponytails. Ditto the subjects of barettes, ribbons, French-braiding and other hardware and techniques associated with long hair. Indeed, I have a hard enough time just getting them to stand still long enough to have all the tangles brushed out.

However, somehow or other I managed to get all three looking reasonably presentable Sunday morning and took them off to church. I would have unhesitatingly ducked it altogether except for the fact that I had pulled usher duty this week so felt that I had no choice.

I had been planning all along to unload the two younger girls in the downstairs playroom and just have the seven year old tag along with me as I ushed. We'd done this before without too much trouble. But when I got upstairs, I discovered that only two out of the four ushers scheduled for the service had shown up. Therefore, the eldest Llama-ette, along with the other usher's college-age daughter, were hastily promoted to active duty status.

I must say that the gel did just fine. She handed out the children's bulletins at the beginning of the service, she solemnly marched up to the alter carrying the Communion waifers and she took the collection plate up to the balcony all by herself during the offeratory. During Communion, she lobbied hard to be allowed to control the flow of participants coming forward from one side of the church. I wouldn't let her do this, but I did unleash her on the balcony again, allowing her to go on up and bring them down. She did that well enough too, although she was indignant that one person stayed seated and, for whatever reason, did not take Communion. It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that she might have started shouting at him for his nonconformity. Fortunately, she restrained herself, merely relating the incident to me in a clenched-jaw whisper.

After church, I dished up our standard brunch of scrambled eggs and muffins, largely thrown away on the gels because of the number of cookies and doughnuts they'd managed to snag in the fellowship hall while I was chatting with other parishioners. I suppose I could have just skipped cooking, but had I done so, I'd have been bombarded with tragic testimonies of near starvation.

The last hour or two of waiting for Mom to reappear is always the hardest. I could have taken the easy way out and simply put on a movie or something - indeed, there were many, many such requests - but I refrained. Instead, the gels spent the early afternoon venting their mounting impatience on each other and me.

When's Mom coming home?

I don't know - soon.

Can we watch a show?


When's she going to BE here?

I said soon.

Can we watch a show?

Didn't I just say no?

Daaaaaaad! She hit me!

No I didn't!

Yes you did!

You made me!


You girls! Stop that bickering!

Can we watch a show?

And so on. So when the Missus appeared (in a very good mood, fortunately), I pretty much said, "Hello, Dear, nice to see you! Well, gotta go mow the lawn - shoink!" To her great credit, she said, "I kind of figured that's what you were going to say. Go right ahead."

Posted by Robert at 08:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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