Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Last Night's Post (and a couple of random thoughts)

Okay. I promise. I am not going to obsess over Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm, a.k.a. "The Deer Lady of Avon Lake, Ohio."

But, The Blog has stumbled upon one more thing that begs to be shared.

After that. No more.

For the time being.

(Now that The PC is an official subscriber to the Avon- Avon Lake Patch, he cannot promise that he will never speak of her again.

That will be up to her.)

Proving the old adage that "All publicity is good publicity," The Avon Lake Patch posted a story a few days ago, that The Blog just came across today.

The headline...

Blogger Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm an Internet Celeb After Her Patch Blog Goes Viral

Read the whole story here.

No real surprise here.

I am guessing that the Avon Lake Patch has gotten more internet traffic in the last two weeks than it has gotten over it's lifetime to date.

So, why not crow about it?

The story is careful to point out that Ms. Wilhelm is a blogger and not a reporter. Therefore, not an employee of whose opinions are not necessarily those of the publishers.

So that's okay.

Hands are thoroughly washed.

But, the best part of the story is the fact that Patch gave Ms. Wilhelm the opportunity to address the nationwide response to her blog post.

Last night, The Blog wondered about Ms. W's capacity for embarrassment.

He doubted that she had any.

And, as it turns out...

The Blog was correct.

If you have already read the story that I linked to, above...

Then you have already seen her response.

If you didn't, I will do you the favor of quoting her, here.

"My blogs have included topics regarding government out of control at the expense of Americans, illegal aliens, jobless, and entitlements with titles like ‘Democrats are goosestepping to Obama,’" Wilhelm said. “None have received as many hits or gone viral as this blog. Anyone who reads it should see that the focus is concern that humans are becoming second rate to animals.
“Yes, I know the signs are for humans, but provide false hope to where the animals elect to go and another example of government wasting taxpayer's money on these signs. Perhaps, others should consider a blog; as in America, the greatest country in the world, we still have freedom thanks to our soldiers. "

(Itallics are mine.)

In two paragraphs of what amounts to right-wing Tourette's Syndrome, Ms. Wilhelm, demonstrated that her befuddled, semi-literate bat-shittery is genuine and sincere.

Thus, confirming her status as The Stupidest Woman in America, who has never held a Congressional office.

                                                               If you are picking up what I am putting down.
 Rest assured.

If, in the future, The Blog has anything more to say about Ms. Wilhelm's posts...

He will be laughing at her. Not with her.


Unlike most of my fellow denizens of the blogosphere, The PC has not posted the obligatory commentary about last Sunday's Oscars.

That is because, even though The Blog is a huge fan of movies, the truth is, this past year, The Blog saw only one of the nominated films.

"Lincoln," was that film.

The others are all on The PC's "must see" list.

He just didn't get around to seeing them.

And now, already, most of them have, or will soon, be coming out on DVD.

So, The Blog has only one comment about this year's Oscars.

A sobering thought.

"The Hunger Games 2" can now boast that it stars "Academy Award Winning Best Actress" Jennifer Lawrence.



The prognosis of The Blog's beloved Mac.

The old warhorse will live.

The Genius at The Apple Store™ narrowed the problem down to either the video card or the power supply.

He is leaning toward the power supply.

That's the good news.

The bad news...

The Apple Store™ is not equipped to fix an 11-year-old Mac.

The good news...

An authorized, third party repair shop should be able to get the old Mac up and running without breaking The PC's budget.

Just thought you might like to know.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Deer Crossing


Last Friday night, as The Blog was about to post his latest, brilliant missive, his ancient computer attempted to set fire to itself, because, The PC figures, the old Mac had finally decided, in the words of "Lethal Weapon's" Roger Murtaugh, "I'm too old for this shit."

The old Mac goes into the Apple Genius Bar tomorrow night, where it will either be given new life or pronounced dead.

For now, The Blog has managed to rig Mrs. Blog's laptop to use an actual mouse and proper keyboard, so he can continue to deliver his, more or less, nightly views of whatever.

That brilliant missive remains trapped in a limbo of a working hard drive on a computer that no longer functions.

The following post is a condensed reconstruction of that original post.

Not as brilliant as the original. (Trust me.) But, it will do.

*End Note*

Back in the day, virtually every small town and suburb had a small, local newspaper, generically referred to as an "advertiser."

Usually four to twelve pages long, filled with a smattering of very local news, (school sports, local politics, local society and the occasional "Local Boy/Gal Makes Good" type stories) and a whole lot of ads and coupons for local businesses.

"Local" was the operative word.

The paper was available for free, or for a voluntary payment, usually around a quarter. Kids too young for a "real" paper route often delivered these papers to your home for the same voluntary payment, for which, the publisher would pay the child laborer a small percentage of his collections, or $1.25, whichever was higher.

(The PC knows this, first hand, as as a young blogling of about 12, he did this for a year or so. And THAT is a story for a future post.)

As far as The Blog knows, many of those papers still publish. Although, in the sorry state of today's newspaper publishing business, it's getting harder and harder to tell the "Advertisers" from the major, local papers.

But, a couple of years ago, some enterprising, internet savvy person or persons came up with the 21st Century, digital age answer to the local advertiser. is the modern, McDonald's franchise that has put the concept of the local, community advertiser on line.

Today, many communities from coast to coast now have their own local version of And with it, the "local" aspect has been forever changed.

About a week ago, The Blog learned of a blog post on one local Patch site that was so jaw droppingly idiotic that it went viral.

The post was from the Avon Lake, Ohio edition of Patch.

This is significant because Avon Lake, Ohio is the smallish, Wonder Bread, suburb(ish) of Cleveland that The young PC grew up in.

While The Blog hates driving traffic to odious pages, a quick Google search has shown me that that train has already left the station.

So, go ahead. Check out the post here....

Okay, you're back. Good.

What? You couldn't be bothered to go read the link?

Fine, I will summarize the story for you...

One Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm, (who, I fear, may be related, by marriage at least, to an old high school pal of The PC,) begins her weekly blog post by complaining of the wasteful government overreach of placing "Deer Crossing" signs around town. Wasteful because, as she so astutely points out, "deer can't read."

Of course, this must be tongue-in-cheek satire, right?

A parody of the sort of witless, brain fart of a soccer mom with a "Palin/Bachman 2016" sticker on the bumper of her mini-van.

It just has to be.

But, alas, reading on, we discover that the paragraphs that follow move on, first, to a sort of Old Testament assumption that animals exist on this Earth solely for the benefit of the far superior humans.

From there, she shifts, not very subtly, into the mundane "hate Obama" rhetoric of a Sean Hannity fan.

You see, deer crossing signs are just another symptom of the liberal, "free abortions" Obamacare, nanny state, socialist agenda.

Seriously, if you didn't click the link to her post above, here is another chance to do so.

It won't take long, and you really need to absorb this on your own.

And even when you reach the end of Ms. Wilhelm's screed, your logical mind might scream, "This woman just has to be a modern day Jonathan Swift, because fuck!"



Take a gander at some of her other posts.

Recognize her single minded theme.

Ms. Wilhelm sees today's America as a liberal dystopia, based entirely on her "gut feelings" absent of any sort of facts.

If you need, as The PC did, a bit of a palette cleanser, read the comments sections that follow her posts.

There is still hope for humanity in general, and the people of Avon Lake, specifically.

But Wait! (as they say on the informercials) There's More!

There is one small detail that The PC has not seen mentioned anywhere else.

The whole "futility of deer crossing signs" thing rang a bell in The Blog's sometimes defective memory.

But, thanks once again to the marvel that is Google, The Blog's memory has been refreshed.

About a year ago, a couple of scans/photos of "Letters to the Editor" of various newspapers turned up on some of the so-called "Fail" sites.

                                                                                     Like this one.

Do you see the similarities?

This means that Ms. Wilhelm isn't just an idiot.

She is also a plagiarist.

She seems to have looked at one of these silly memes and thought, "Hmmm! What a great point! I will make this the opening thesis of my next blog post."

The Blog hates to beat up on any individual just for being ignorant.

But, since Ms. Wilhelm has put herself out there, she is now, like it or not, a public figure.

So, she is fair game.

In The Blog's never so humble opinion, Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm is, officially, The Stupidest Woman in America who has never appeared on "SNL."

                                                                                   If you get my drift.

I would be embarrassed for her, but I suspect that embarrassment is an alien concept to Ms. Wilhelm.

Because a week after she became a national laughing stock, (while dragging my  home town with her,) she was back, again, with another idiotic screed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Technical Difficulties

Hey bloglitts!

After several months of acting up, The Blog's ancient computer took a major shit last night.

The only access that your Uncle PC has to the bog is via his phone or Mrs. Blog's tiny Macbook.

So, until the Geniuses at The Apple Store fix the old machine or pronounce it dead, forcing me to buy a new one...

Posting will be spotty, if not nonexistent, for the next week or so.

Sit tight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We Didn't Have Any of That Sh!t When I Was Your Age! (Anniversary: Part 3)

Thirty years ago, things were different.

While The Blog was writing about his adventure west, and the two month rain storm that followed, he remembered a moment, a couple of weeks later.

The PC and his roommate Joe were in a record store (yes, there are still a few of those around. Some actually still sell records. Most, just CDs) on LaBrea Ave. in Hollywood.

Music+, it was called.

Music+ went out of business decades ago.

The Blog picked out an album...

                                                                       A 12 inch, vinyl recording medium.

                                                                  Manhattan Transfer's Greatest Hits, it was.

Which, coincidentally, featured the song "Trickle, Trickle, Drip, Drop (Tell Me Just When This Rain Will Stop,) which turned out to be the theme song for the next month or two.

He approached the checkout counter with his purchase and saw, for the first time ever, a five inch diameter, silver disc on the counter. Two, actually.

"WTF are those?" The young PC asked.

"They're compact discs," the clerk answered. "They are the next big thing in recordings," she said.

"Harumph." The young Blog thought. "That's what they said about eight track tape."

That was 30 years ago.

And holy shit, things have changed.

The PC eventually succumbed to the siren song of the CD.

That was before Mp3s and iPods™ came along.

In 1983, cable television was in it's infancy.

For a price, you could get, in addition to your local stations, a handful of minor UHF channels from places like Atlanta and San Diego. And a puzzling network called...

                                                                                   Home Box Office
Which seemed to play a never ending loop of "Beastmaster" during the day and soft-core porn at night.

VCR's were around. If you were rich enough to own one.

Pagers were owned by doctors and drug dealers.

Cell phones were still a few years away. And when they did arrive, they looked like...


When the young PC was in cosmetology school, hair mousse wasn't invented, yet.

That showed up around 1985.

The only person in the world that wore hair extensions was...

                                                                                          Diana Ross.
Video game systems?

Home computers?

1984 introduced the revolutionary...


The internet? What?

Something called "Prodigy" tapped you into airline reservations and car rentals, but not much else.

Since then...

The World Wide Web, email, newsgroups and message boards.

iPhones, Smart Phones, tablets, GPS and Tivo™.

None of those things were around in 1983.

And, oh yes...


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Another Anniversary: Part 2

It has been driving The Blog crazy that, for all of his recollections of that time, he could not nail down the exact dates of his cross country journey. I knew that it was around Valentine's Day of 1983. But, that was the best I could do.

But then, The PC realized, "The internet knows everything!"

                                                                          And, I mean, EVERYTHING.

About three minutes of searching and I had my answer. And, it turns out, The young adventurer set out from Ohio on February 15, 1983 and arrived in Los Angeles on February 19.

I will explain how I came to this conclusion shortly. (Which will also explain the relevance of the photo of the cast of "M*A*S*H" at the top.)

Picking up where we left off...

Lost on L.A.'s 101freeway, decades before the advent of GPS systems, or even cell phones, (and before I had been introduced to a necessary staple of L.A. culture in the '80s, "The Thomas Brother's Guide,") I exited onto one of the streets whose name was familiar, even to an Ohio boy.

Melrose Ave.

I drove rather aimlessly to the west until I hit Gower.

(It should be noted, here, that by this time, I was in such an unhinged state of panic that I failed to notice, let alone be impressed by, the fact that I had just driven passed the only real movie lot actually located in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures.)

Gower! Yes! The school that I had made this move to attend was located at Sunset-Gower Studios. "Even though it's Saturday," I reasoned, "Maybe there is someone at the school that can help me!"

(Another note. I know that in the last note, I said that Paramount is the only movie lot in Hollywood. That wasn't always true. Sunset-Gower as well as much of the surrounding real estate on Sunset Blvd., I would learn later, was originally Columbia Pictures. By the time I got there, Columbia had moved to Culver City, it's back lot was now strip malls and restaurants. Hollywood is also littered with smaller television sound stages, which are not movie lots. So, I stand by my statement.)

Where was I?

Oh, right!

I turned right and headed north on Gower. And there, ahead of me, up in the hills, sparkling in the So-Cal sunshine was another beacon of hope. Lifting my spirits much the way that The Cadillac Ranch had two days earlier...

The Hollywood Sign™.


*Because, why not?*

The day that I arrived in Hollywood, the weather was just what the Chamber of Commerce ordered. Mid-February, sunny and in the mid-70s.

What makes this noteworthy is that Southern California's 1982-83 winter had been one for the books. Torrential rains had battered the southland. That was the winter that most of the Santa Monica Pier fell into the Pacific Ocean in a moment worthy of Spielberg. A day or two after my arrival, the rain returned, and, it seemed, didn't let up for nearly two months.

*End Digression*


I found Sunset-Gower. I buzzed the intercom at the school's entrance.

And miracle of miracles...

Even though it was the weekend, the school's office manager was in, preparing for the following Monday's new class of students.

She welcomed me. Made me a cup of tea. Let me use the phone to call my aunt. Mapped the directions to my aunt's house. And kept me there long enough to introduce me to two fellow weary travelers. Bruce from Northern California and Joe, all the way from New Jersey.

The three of us would wind up sharing an apartment for the next six months.

(There is probably a whole blog post for a later date, right there.)

By that afternoon, I was safely ensconced at my aunt's house.

The next week or so was a blur of starting school, apartment hunting, general acclimating and shaving off my beloved beard and mustache. (It was a school thing. Let's not dwell on it.)

From that point on...

Well, this is a recollection, not an autobiography.

I'm not giving that away for free. Wait for the book.

Okay. Just a bit more about my week or so at my aunt's house, how I pinpointed the date, and what M*A*S*H has to do with it.

My aunt, (my Dad's aunt, actually,) was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Generous to a fault. As old as God.

And a bit eccentric.

Oh, who am I kidding?

She was batshit crazy.

She had lived in this, two room plus kitchen and bathroom, guest house for something like 50 years of her life.

Something of a hoarder, (before the dysfunction had a name or television show.) who, it seemed, didn't believe in dusting.


She was a "cat lady."

At least a dozen cats lived with her in that little house.

I slept on a fold-away couch/bed in her living room.

On that first night, as exhausted as I was from the trip, I woke suddenly at about 2:00AM, to find every one of her cats surrounding my bed.

The scene looked something like...


This scene repeated itself every night while I was there.

I got over it.


On my last evening in my aunt's house, I, like pretty much everyone else in America, spent two glorious, emotional hours watching the series finale of M*A*S*H.

February 28, 1983. About two weeks after my arrival in Los Angeles.

A bit of easy math and I calculated the dates of my journey.


Thank you,!

Another point of note...

During that two hours, I experienced my first earthquake.

Not a rolling rumbler that I might have expected.

No. It felt (and sounded) like someone had driven a truck into the back of the house.

"Cool!" I thought. "Welcome to California."

Ironically, (or was it coincidentally? I can't keep those two straight. Damn you! Alanis Morissette!) my friends in Northeast Ohio experienced their first earthquake three days earlier.

Tomorrow night...

A 30 year overview...

A bit of curmudgeonly geezerdom.


"We Didn't Have Any of that Shit When I Was Your Age!"

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another Anniversary

Last month, The Blog celebrated his one year anniversary of blogging.

But, tonight, The PC makes note of a much bigger and more important anniversary.

Thirty years ago today, or maybe yesterday, or maybe tomorrow, or sometime in the past week or so, not yet a curmudgeon, premature or otherwise, but rather a wide eyed, idealistic youngster, packed his every worldly possession that would fit into his Dad's Plymouth Volaré, left his suburban Cleveland home, and began his trek across the country to start a new life and begin a career in Hollywood.

Thirty years.

And in those three decades, life has tested your favorite Blog more than once.

In that time, The Blog has done the "Till Death Do Us Part" thing. He has fathered and raised a child. He has purchased a house and the mortgage that came with it. He has sat with his wife as she was diagnosed with a life threatening disease, and has sat with her during dialysis holding on to the holes left by the needles, hoping to stop the bleeding.

He has followed ambulances, three times, so far, to the E.R. when holding those holes wasn't enough.

He has worried about his son, through his heartbreaks and doubts about career choices.

Thirty years.

A whole lot of scary shit over three decades.

But, none so scary as those four and a half days of driving from Cleveland to Los Angeles.

By the most strict definition, a journey into the unknown.

Stop number one.

Florida, Ohio.

One last night with his college girlfriend. One last Valentine's day.

Against all odds, it ended well.

Ten months later, she landed a job in a Los Angeles suburb, and we married.

Stop number two.

Terra Haute, Indiana.

One last, incredible chicken and dumpling dinner cooked by his Aunt Marie.

That was the last time that The Blog would see her. But, she lived to the ripe old age of 102 and would send her grandson out to purchase the latest edition of Playboy magazine, so she could see The PC's work.

Stop number 2.5.

The Blog's last visit with his grandfather in a Terra Haute nursing home at about 5:00 AM. That was the last time I saw my grandpa, but he hung on to nearly 100 and did get to meet my wife and his great-grandson, before he died.

From there, The Blog followed the historic Route 66.

He got a ticket for speeding just across the Illinois border at about 6:00 AM, no other car on the highway, except, it turned out, an Illinois Highway Patrol car, looking for rubes like me. I signed over a $50.00 Traveler's Check to her and never heard about it again. I'm sure that she enjoyed a nice dinner on me.

                                                         He passed the St. Louis Arch.

He drove and drove over the flat lands of the mid-west.

When the acrophobic future Blog hit the mountains, he suffered for miles until he reached Albuquerque, where he pulled off into relative civilization, called an old college friend and invited her to lunch at Dennys. And, after a ridiculously long meal, calmed down enough to hit the road again.

He saw snow on the painted desert. Because, it actually does snow in the desert.

On night three, he stopped in Amarillo, Texas. The armpit of the United States. The dump that he stayed in made him wish for the luxury of the Motel 6s that he had been spending his nights in.

The next morning, your young pre-PC woke to gloomy rain.

He set out, depressed, scared, and ready to turn around and go back to Ohio.

And then, he saw it.

There on the south side of the highway.

                                                                    Cadillac Ranch.

That weird, awesome place just west of Amarillo. Dozens of tail-finned Caddies planted, nose down in the Texas dirt. Made famous by "The Boss..."

...Bruce Springsteen.

Miraculously, my will to live and to press on was restored.

Thanks Bruce!

By the next night, I was in Barstow, California, where I was in familiar territory.

Back in 1977, my family stayed in the same motel I stayed in that night in '83. I even got the same "wooden nickel" that entitled me to $1.50 off an Egg McMuffin at the McDonald's next door.

Before sunset that day, your young Uncle PC was in Hollywood, CA.

His destination was the downtown Los Angeles home of his Dad's elderly cousin, where he would stay for a couple of nights, before finding an apartment of his own.

But, he got lost on the way. And found himself at the school that he would attend for the next six months.

That's enough for now.

Tomorrow night, Part Two.

See you then.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another Theater Review

This afternoon, Mrs. Blog and I caught a performance of the "touring on it's way to Broadway" reboot of the 1990s musical misfire "Jekyll & Hyde" at The Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

This is, The Blog is lead to understand, a back to the drawing board, from the ground up reinvention of a play that, when it first ran on Broadway, was critically reviled and was the choice of theater goers only when "Phantom" and "Lion King" were sold out.

But, The PC is a geek for the horror classics and has always been particularly fascinated by the theme of duality in some of those classics. And of course, duality is the heart, head, spine and liver of the story of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his nemesis Mr. Edward Hyde.

So, I decided to give the new production a chance.

And I am as torn down the middle as the show's title character[s].

So much good to say about it.

And yet...

So, let's try to break it down.

First, let me get this out of the way...

                                                                         The Venue.

I love The Pantages Theater. A magnificent building. One of the few truly historical pieces of architecture left in a town that discards it's history without remorse. Originally built in 1930 as a movie theater, it was restored and reopened as a "legitimate" theater in 1977.

There is just one thing.

The acoustics suck.

The amplified orchestra and voices seem to bounce all over the space, competing with each other to be heard. (The orchestra usually wins.) Dialogue is better. But, not by much.

Because I have encountered this issue at every show I have ever seen there, I have to blame the building. The production itself is off the hook for this problem. But, I had to mention it.

So, let's move on.

The cast is pretty close to flawless. Their performances, especially the singing, powerful. (Even if I couldn't understand half the lyrics.)

 Constantine Maroulis, at first blush, seems rather miscast as Jekyll and Hyde. His boyish looks and "aw shucks" demeanor that served him well in "Rock of Ages" (and on "American Idol") would seem to make him too young and wide eyed to play the obsessed Jekyll and too cute to pull off the brutish Hyde.


In an earlier post, The PC confessed to a bit of a "man crush" on Maroulis. Tonight, I reiterate, The Blog is confident enough in his heterosexual masculinity to describe C.M. as "dreamy."

*End Digression*

But, pull off both roles, he does.

Even if his Jekyll is a bit too nerdy...

...and Hyde a bit too, well, sexy...

...this is a Broadway musical, so I guess that the genre determines, to some extent, the style.

His transformations are actually painful to watch. He (and, presumably, the director) have choreographed the act of removing glasses and shaking out a ponytail band into excruciating torture. The gruesome method that is used to administer the doctor's concoction adds to the discomfort. (But, more on that when we get to the stagecraft.)

The physical differences between the two characters is kind of "Clark Kent/Superman" but it works on stage.

Maroulis is a rocker at heart. And, as such, as both characters, he nails every note to the theater's back wall.

My only quibble with his performance...

 The Blog asks...

"Constantine. What were those accents.?"

Jekyll's accent seemed to be two parts  British, one part Swedish. And Hyde sounded a bit like a Russian who learned English in Scotland.

But, at least I understood most of his dialogue. Maybe by the time they get to Broadway, the accent thing will be ironed out.

The Blog admits that, before today, he had never heard of Deborah Cox.

Too old? Too straight? Too white? Or just too disconnected from most music recorded after 1980? I don't know the answer to that.

But, it turns out, she is a pretty big deal.

And well she should be.

As Lucy, the hooker with a heart of gold, she shines.

A plot problem with the story... there isn't much about her character that should make us care much about her. But, Ms. Cox fills that plot hole with her crystal voice, sympathetic performance and sheer beauty.

The rest of the supporting cast, too many to list, all delivered.

On to The Music.

Every song comes off as a powerful anthem. But, with the exception of Jekyll's show stopper "This is the Moment," I had forgotten them all by the time I left the theater.

And, about that show stopper. It was ill timed. A show stopper, usually, is the song that comes just before the lights come up for intermission. Thus, stopping the show.

Instead, "this moment" comes about half way into the first act. It brings down the house, but leaves the rest of the first act numbers anticlimactic.

The Blog's advice to the producers and director...

Find a way to bring the song back as a reprise. Write a couple of new verses. Perhaps as a...(There must be a word for a song sung by three people, like a duet is for two, but I don't know it. The best I can come up with is "three way," and that is probably inappropriate.) ...between Jekyll, Lucy and Jekyll's fiancé, Emma, right before intermission.

I am sure that you are reading this and will take it into consideration. Message me for the address to send the royalty checks.

Just one thing about that song. Just another quibble. It's really just me. But, the phrase, "This is the moment..." bears a striking resemblance, musically and lyrically, to the late '70s prom favorite, "This Magic Moment." And, that mash-up is going to stick in my head until some other ear-worm comes along.

Finally, The Stagecraft.

By that, I mean, sets and special effects.

A while back, The Blog suggested that the sets for "The Addams Family" should be credited as a cast member.

But, Damn!

The brilliantly designed sets (by the designer that gave you the sets for Broadway's "Newsies") are practically alive. Almost constantly moving. Twisting and turning and evoking a disturbing disorientation, reminiscent of early 1900's German, avant-garde silent films like "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."

And about that first transformation scene, mentioned earlier...

No mere swallowing of a dram or, as more modern versions of the story have portrayed it, a shooting up of the cursed concoction.

In this version, (hitting a little bit too close to home,) Dr. Jekyll hooks himself up to a hybrid dialysis machine, chemo therapy infusion device, as designed by Dr. Frankenstein.

The show begins and ends with the very disturbing sight of an asylum inmate, straight-jacketed to a wall, evoking a crucifixion.

And in the climactic confrontation between Jekyll and Hyde, (yes, both of them) all Hell, literally, breaks loose. The PC has not been prone to nightmares since he was a blogling, but his sleep may be haunted by this scene in the next few nights.

To sum up...

Amazing talent.

Stunning stagecraft.

Decent, if not memorable, music.








Here is what I think...

First of all...


The story is a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions. Not, usually, the purview of Broadway musicals.

And, did you notice how many times I used words like "disturbing," "disorienting," "nightmare," and "creepy?' (Did I use "creepy?" Maybe not. But, yeah.)

For all of the impressive talent that was on display in this show...

Do audiences really want to leave the theater feeling like they have just woken (awakened?) from a bad dream?

The Blog doubts it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Random Stuff (02/14/13 Edition)

First off, The Blog must have had a blood alcohol of about "HOLY SHIT!" when he hit the "Publish" button on the blog, last night.

That or the fact that it was damned near 2:00 AM when he posted it.

Either way.

Broken links, bad proof reading, a dry mouth...

Anyway, your Uncle PC went back and fixed that post tonight.

If you have already read it, great! If you read it but couldn't link to the video of Dubbya bragging about making home loans available to "low income home buyers," revisit it. It is well worth it.

If you haven't read it, please do so now. Just trust me, it's better tonight.


The Nerdist's Chloe Dykstra has achieved internet fame as a gaming expert and
cos-play enthusiast.

Gorgeous, smart, funny and totally nerdy.

A geek fantasy come to life!

                                                                             Did I mention she's gorgeous?

She also happens to be the daughter of Hollywood special effects legend John Dykstra.

And, in only one degree of separation from The Blog...

The Blog's sister was a school teacher (one of many in The PC's life) for a number of years.

Chloe was one of her students.

Today, my BlogSis shared this link with me.

(Yes, it is on Get over it.)

It's a great article and the embedded video on the page is a lot of fun.

The PC says, "Check it out!"


There is a whole lot of hinky shit surrounding the story of the L.A.P.D.'s take down of rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner.

Shit that just doesn't make sense.

At this time, it's all crazy. Any attempt to get it all straight would be futile, right now.

The Blog will not, for the foreseeable future, have much to say about it.

Except for this...

In the charred rubble of the burnt out cabin in Big Bear, right next to the cremated remains of a body that is, allegedly, Chris Dorner...

Dorner's drivers license was found, intact.


The Blog is reminded of a report, on or around September 13, 2001, that the passport of one of the lead hijackers in the 9/11 attack was found in the rubble of The World Trade Center.

The PC doesn't want to come across like a tinfoil hat wearing, conspiracy theorist...


Either there is something seriously off about both those stories, or The Blog's conservative friends, who believe that The Government can do nothing efficiently, are totally wrong.

Evidently, government issued I.D. cards are fucking fireproof.



It has been reported that tomorrow, February 15, 2013, an astroid is going to pass, uncomfortably, close to Earth.

So, carry an umbrella.

The Blog is not worried.

                                                                  Because, these guys...
... are on it. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

About Last Night (Updated)

The Blog has been informed by numerous assholier-than-thou Republicans that making fun of Marco Rubio''s "Water-gate" moment was petty.


Yes it was petty.

Because that is what this blog is for.

The PC gets his ya-yas out, here in this blog.

Petty shit is for the blog. Deep shit is for Facebook.

This is, MY blog, I might point out.


I make the rules.

Because it is.....

MY blog.

If you don't like what The Blog is cooking, go somewhere else.

Go enjoy some "LOLCats."

I do.

It is true. Making fun of Rubio's cotton mouth is petty.

Just like making fun of the President's use of a tele-prompter, which every president since the tele-prompter was invented (LBJ or Nixon, I'm thinking) has used, is petty. (Not to mention, stupid.)

The truth is, The Blog has no issue with Rubio's taking a drink of water.

It's just that it was awkward and showed a lack of planning.

(Why wasn't that water bottle closer to him, while he was speaking?)

No, it was the three minutes or so before he broke down and, awkwardly took that drink.

His tongue got thick, making it difficult to speak.

Marco's hand began to explore his face.

Not just dry mouth, but flop sweat.

Rubio's hands traveled all over his face.

The PC was watching it go down live.

The PC thought, "Wow! his mouth is getting dry. "The Republican Saviour" is channeling a High School "C student' in speech class."

And then, this happened...

The Blog saw a better series of graphics, earlier today, showing the chronology of the dry mouth, hand around the mouth, tongue stuck out, finished with a sort of grabbing/ wiping of the tongue, before he broke down and took a drink of water. He can't find that post now.

But, above is a screen shot that gets the message across.

But, that is enough of Marco Rubio (who makes The PC want to change his political affiliation to Republican, just so he can vote to make him the 2016 Republican candidate.)

Let's move on....

As we have established, The President gave his State of the Union speech, last night.

The right-wing, the conservatives, The Tea Party, the Republicans, and Rush Limbaugh reacted as predicted.

For the sake of argument, lets choose a single point from last night's SOTU address....

The topic is Mortgage bankers, refinancing and first time buyers.

What Obama said...

"Democrats and Republicans have supported it before, so what are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Why would we be against that? Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance? Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back?"

What Republicans heard...

Who did have something to say about homeownership for "low income families?".

George W. Bush.

Here I go, doing people's homework for them, again.

You're welcome.

So seriously.

Here are a few inconvenient facts.

I love my Republican friends, really, i do.

But, truly, they have no interest in bipartisan conversation.

And, just to prove that Republicans are irony deficient.

Today, The, posted this story...

A  conservative, Latino-American friend responded to The Onion's story, thusly...

"So a Latino that doesn't pull the party line is a dancing monkey? Yes this Liberal news rag isn't racist."

What an idiot.

The, as anyone who's head is not firmly implanted up their rectums knows, is not a "Liberal Rag" but, rather a satire publication.

But, satire, as well as sarcasm and irony are lost on "conservatives,"

So sad.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The State of the Union

In the shadow of the breaking news that rogue LAPD cop and unhinged whistle-blower Chris Dorner may or may not have burned to a crisp in a cabin fire that, thanks to a media black-out, may or may not have been accidental...

*Note to my Republican friends who, after a decade, still whine about the Branch Davidian firestorm being "tyrannical, government overreach..."

Fuck you.*

The "Un-American, Kenyan, Marxist, Maoist, Nazi, Socialist, Nigger in the Whitehouse," President Barak HUSSEIN Obama, delivered his fifth State of the Union address.

This "lefty" thought it was a pretty good speech.

No real surprises.

The economy. Immigration reform. Ending Bush's war in Afghanistan.

Everyone gave a standing ovation for the 102 year old lady who stood in line to vote in Florida for 3, 5, 8 hours, depending on whose report is most accurate.

But, seriously, 3 hours or 8 hours. What kind of asshole would quibble about this, when talking about a 102 year old woman?

Except, of course, for the Orange One, John Boehner, who couldn't be bothered to stand for her ovation.


Then there was the young lady, a high school cheerleader, murdered by gun not two weeks after her performance at the President's inauguration.

How dare B. HUSSEIN Obama, politicize this?!?!?

Like Dubbya didn't surround himself with children, soldiers or any other human props or costumes (Cod piece, anyone?) that served his purpose.

So, really, shut the fuck up.

At this point, again, Boner Boehner remained seated, while looking seriously uncomfortable.

And orange.

The Blog missed the first 45 minutes or so of the address.

He will catch up, later.

But, as far as The PC has been able to ascertain. the Obama loving, lefty, hippy, liberal, multi-national corporate media, did an excellent job of ignoring....

                                                                     This asshole.

The Blog expects that, by tomorrow morning, he will be graced with the true patriotic American, AM radio, Fox "News," "World Net Daily" coverage of "The Nuge's" verbal diarrhea.

Can't fucking wait.

So, the address. Great, good, fine.

Moving on...

...To Marco Rubio's Republican response.

Every time The Blog sees Rubio speak he thinks, "Wow! Marco is the dreamiest candidate for class president, ever. *sigh*"

Rubio claims to be "Cuban-American."

Okay. Fine.

But, really?

Marco Rubio is about as Latino as Richie Cunningham.



A few years ago, The Blog used the term "African-American" to describe a, well, African-American.

Some yahoo in the chatroom that The Blog was in responded, "You mean American-African."

But, no. He didn't mean that at all. Transposing the words changes the meaning, entirely. The Blog is pretty sure that said yahoo currently has a Photoshopped pic of President Obama with a bone in his nose, tacked to the bulletin board in his den, which, he thinks, is hilarious! And, The Blog thinks that this guy is a fucking moron.

But, he probably thinks that the American-Cuban Rubio is the second coming.

*End Digression*

So Marco Rubio gave his little response.

Probably the kick-off speech of his 2016 primary campaign.

And what a speech it was.

A series of straw-man arguments broken up by trips through the looking-glass.

Really. It all sounded great. If it had, actually had any grounding in reality.

But, his base will not actually fact-check any of what he had to say.

Because that would take actual effort.

There was a time when seeing the world through rose colored glasses was the purview of idealistic, hippy freaks.

Not anymore.

A world where unicorns fart glitter is now the domain of the disconnected Republican party.

Was spewing shit difficult for "The Savior of the Republican Party?"

The Blog actually watched him struggle with his drier and drier mouth. At one point he actually, I don't know, grabbed his tongue? When he ducked out of the camera range to grab the water bottle, The PC actually went, "YES!"

(The Blog just used the word "actually" too many times here. But, fuck it.)

The Blog has not yet seen Rand Paul's Tea Party response.

"Tea Party." A group so ignorant that they don't know the history of the movement that they named themselves after.


Little guys (small businesses) being taxed out the ass, while the world's first multinational corporation was given tax breaks, by the government of England, to give them a profit advantage.


Oh! One more thing.

The numbers came out today.

How you like us now, Bitches?

Monday, February 11, 2013

School Safety: The Newest Reality Show?

Last night, Mrs. Blog had the TV on, the sound turned down, the evening news was playing.

The Blog's attention was caught by what appeared to be a massacre at a school. Overturned cafeteria tables. Bodies on the floor. Someone in a ski mask and body armor and an automatic weapon.

Cut to a close-up of a fat, bearded, balding man, speaking.

The chyron read, "Steven Seagal."

"Huh!" The PC thought to himself. "That fat, bearded, balding man has the same name as the ridiculous, aging, has-been action movie actor."

By the time that The Blog had found the remote control to turn up the volume, the story was over and the news had moved on to the important story of the night, CBS Television's edict that there would be no "exposed buttocks flesh, side breast or female breast nipple," (as opposed to, I don't know, female elbow nipple?) on tonight's Grammy™ Awards show.

                                                                                     Because that worked.

The Blog assumed, correctly, that the scene of carnage that had just been shown was some sort of simulation.

But, The Blog didn't know the half of it until sometime late today, when he got the full story.

The simulation in question occurred in Arizona.

A training exercise for America's Most Batshit Crazy Sheriff, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's newly minted posse of gun totin', school protectin', vigilante yahoos.

And if that is not bug fuck crazy enough...

... the training was lead by...

That fat, bearded, balding man with the same name as the ridiculous, aging, has-been action movie actor.

Who, it turns out is none other than...

That fat, bearded, balding, aging, has-been action movie actor...

                                                                                         Steven Seagal.

(The Blog tried to find a screen shot from that news report on Google. Because, fuck! But, he couldn't find one. The above image is the closest that he came.)

(Seriously, the fat, bearded, balding dude that The PC saw last night looked a whole lot like... The PC! True story!)

Here is the full story.

Do you, my blogglitts, remember 1988?

The cinematic debut of Steven Seagal in "Above the Law."

The press package presented Seagal's resumé as a former Navy Seal and retired CIA agent.

About 15 minutes after that PR release, the whole thing was thoroughly debunked.

Seagal's history was a completely bogus fabrication from a movie studio's PR department.

No one seemed to care.

He made a few bad but kick-ass movies, so that was fine.

In 2009, his bogus resumé was good enough to get him deputized into some backwater Louisiana sheriff's department so that he could play "Cops" in the "reality" series "Steven Seagal: Lawman." A show that probably led quite a few of Louisiana's drunk drivers to think, "What the FUCK?!?!" and give up drinking forever.

So, there is that.

But, Arizona's (State Motto: "Come for the dry air, stay for the overt bigotry.") Sheriff Joe, thought that this artificial Hollywood construct would be the perfect choice to train a bunch of gun totin', school protectin', vigilante yahoos (Did I use that phrase, already? Yes, I did. But, what else can I call them?) from gun totin', terrorist, yahoos.


What the fuck?

This is the scariest, freakiest, monkey fuck craziest thing that The Blog has heard since the TSA and CIA consulted with the producers and writers of "24" about the fine points and ethics of "enhanced interrogation."

                                                                   "A bullet in the thigh will do the trick."

So what is really going on here?

The Blog is seriously afraid suspects predicts imagines that this whole insane exercise is nothing but a pilot for an Arpiao produced, Seagal starring reality show for A&E.

"Steven Seagal: School Lawman."

Sounds crazy?

It is... *ahem*... pilot season.

Don't be surprised if our next security exercise is "Chuck Norris: Protector of White, Non-Anchor Babies."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Going Postal (Redux) Part 2

The above image sums it up pretty nicely.

And finally, just this morning, a major, mainstream news outlet finally made the point that The Blog has been making for ages.

(If you are not up to speed, read Friday night's repost of a column that I wrote last April. I'll be here when you get back.)

Today's Meet the Press pointed out that a letter sent from Alaska to Florida costs less than 50 cents via the USPS, but...

"...while that same letter, if sent using a private carrier, would cost 50 to 100 times as much."

That's 50 to 100 TIMES as much! This basic fact is lost on so many people who seek to privatize the USPS in an ideological quest to "get government out of the way". But as today's Meet the Press broadcast also points out…

"...even FedEx relies on the Postal Service. 21% of its shipments are ultimately delivered by the mailman."

A similar number is true for UPS.

In that vein, The Huffington Post's Toby Barlow explains why corporate, for-profit entities should be as worried about the demise of the USPS as the rest of us.

As for that whole "get government out of the way" philosophy, it doesn't hold up.

Yes, bad government policy is the thing that is killing the Post Office. Just not they way that the "free marketeers" would like you to believe.

The Government does not fund the USPS. Not... one... penny. Since 1970, the USPS has been, pretty much, a private entity, entirely dependent on income from postage and ancillary merchandise. You see, way back then, the common wisdom held that the Post Office would perform better if it was not a government office. So it became a quasi-private business. But, a business that still had to answer to Congress.

In 2006, Bush's rubber stamp, Republican Congress, gave the privatizers one last gift before the Democrats took the majority.

They passed a bill requiring the USPS to fund their employee Medicare and pension for 75 years in advance.

That's right.

Thanks to a Republican dominated Congress, The Post Office is now required to bank funds for the future for employees who have not yet been born.

Crazy, right?

No other business, private or public, has ever had to submit to such a ridiculous regulation.

Talk about "government over-reach!"

A regulation designed to do nothing but deliver a death blow to the Postal Service.

Here is a great column that lays it all out.

Sorry, free market absolutists. The free market just cannot compete with the crucial service of the USPS. Privatize the USPS and even the free market suffers the loss once the cost of mail skyrockets out of control. Mail delivery may be lower than it once was, but allow the USPS to keep slipping away, and not only Grandma, but businesses will recognize the loss when FedEx letter delivery charges become the only option.

So what is the end game of the free marketeers?

The Blog will let Greg Bell, Executive Vice President of the American Postal Workers Union, explain it all for you.

So, there you go. The redirection of billions of dollars into private hands.

The same goal of those privateers who want to privatize Social Security, Medicare, education, prisons and law enforcement.



For a minute, The PC thought that he had coined a new word. But, then he realized that it sounded familiar.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides us with the definition.

In short, government sanctioned pirates.

That pretty well sums it up.

For everything that you wanted to know about the USPS, but never knew you should ask...

Visit this link.

POSTponing a Post

Last night, The Blog promised to Post a Post about the Postal Service. But, because he is too tired and just not in the mood, The Blog is going to Postpone that Post until Post-tonight.

Tomorrow night, instead.

Tonight, The Blog will let someone else do his work for him.

The PC has always had a sort of love/hate relationship with movie, television and theater critics.

To paraphrase the old saying...

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize."

Back in the 1980s, The PC purchased and enjoyed a book that collected bad theater reviews, called "No Turn Unstoned."

Generally, a cleverly scathing review of a movie, TV show or play is more likely to drive The Blog to see the show in question than a positive review might.


The Blog's all time favorite bad review was for the John Stamos, Gene Simmons "James Bond" parody, "Never Too Young to Die."

I don't remember who the critic was, but it was an L.A. Times review that began with the sentence, indelibly imprinted on The PC's psyche, "This movie is not just bad. It is aggressively bad."

The Blog was the first in line to see that hilarious train wreck!

*End Digression*

The Blog got to thinking about this yesterday, after reading about the Grand Diva of movie critics, Rex Reed's odious review of "Identity Theft."

As those of you who have followed The Blog for any length of time should know, The Blog is no homophobe.

But, when he read Reed's attack on Melissa McCarthy, (who The PC recently professed his love of,) calling her a "tractor-sized hippo," the following sentence sprung to the top of The Blog's mind...

"Fuck you, you aging, evil queen, faggot, queer, cunt, desperately trying to hang on to anything resembling relevancy! Where the fuck to you get off? Fuck you, very much!"


I said it.

Moving on.

While the Blog does not always agree with him, he has a great deal of admiration and respect for Chicago Sun-Times reviewer and movie critic icon Roger Ebert.

The PC is "friended" with Roger on Facebook.

Not only do I respect his opinions, even when I disagree with him, I admire him on a number of levels.

Before he went "legit," Ebert wrote screenplays for porn films.

That fact makes him a member of an exclusive club that The Blog belongs to.

And, as a smoker, The PC has a hard time looking at Roger these days.

His neck brace holds his boneless jaw up to his face, making him look like a badly made Muppet.

He can not speak, except with the help of a computer's speech program.

Roger's health forces The Blog to face a possibility that he would prefer to remain in denial about.

But, in spite of all of that, Roger Ebert keeps on keeping on.

Which brings me to the piece that I will share with you, tonight.'s "50 Harshest Roger Ebert Movie Review Quotes."

These are pretty entertaining.

As I said before, I don't agree with all of them.

There a couple of movies in this list that I like.

("Valentine's Day" was directed by a friend and features several friends in supporting roles, so I take exception to his disdain for this film. So, maybe I'm biased.)

And one that I love.

Really Roger? Criticizing "Monsters, Inc.?" How dare you?

But, yeah. Mostly, this is fun.

A word of warning...

If your computer is as old as mine is, or if you don't have decent broadband... made this a slideshow, rather than a simple list. So, you might spend a half an hour or so viewing this.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Going Postal (Redux): Part 1

 Last April, The Blog posted his thoughts, ideas and a bit of schooling about the trials and tribulations of the United States Postal Service.

This week, in another attempt to pull themselves from the brink of extinction, the USPS announced new cuts to services to take effect in August of this year.

Tonight, as a refresher to bring you, my blogglitts, up to speed in advance of tomorrow night's post about the new policies, that column is reposted below.


"The government can never do anything as efficiently as private business can."
                                                                                            --The Conservative Mantra

I hear this from my conservative friends all the time.

Of course, it's nonsense.

If we learned nothing else from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should have learned that hiring mercenaries private contractors to fight our battles costs way more money and is filled with more potential disaster than using the government's own military.

Medicare operates on a 2 to 3% overhead, as opposed to private medical insurance, which takes 18 to 30% off the top. Not to mention the private "Medicare Plus" companies that make their profits by inflating medical costs and passing them on to the government (aka: the taxpayers.)

We have private police forces in this country. Much like military contractors they exist in addition to, rather than instead of, public police.

In the early 1980s, private utility companies began to replace many public utility companies. Rather than creating the "competitive environment" that was promised, they merely replaced "public monopolies" with private monopolies, driving up prices for electricity, gas, water and trash collection. Here in Los Angeles County, suburbs that are forced to use the for profit Southern California Edison Co. for their electricity pay a whopping 40% more for power than the residents of the city of Los Angeles, who get their electricity from The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Can you imagine private, for profit fire departments? I can. And, it isn't a pretty picture!

Which brings me to The United States Postal Service.

It used to be that we only heard about what a mess the USPS was whenever they had the gaul to raise postage rates a penny or so. But, now that the right-wing has dropped all pretense about their desire to privatize absolutely everything, the Post Office is under constant attack. After a failed attempt to break the Postal Worker's Union a year or two ago, conservatives have moved to their default argument that since the Post Office is operating in the red, the Post Office is a failure.

Here are a few facts about the USPS....

    •    The United States Post Office was established in 1775, a full year before the country declared it's independence.
    •    Not one single penny of tax dollars are used to fund the USPS. All funding comes from postage and ancillary merchandise.
    •    The Post Office was never intended to make a profit.

Here is one more, unfortunate fact...

    •    The USPS is in trouble. Email has taken a big chunk out of the Post Office's business. Operating costs are rising faster than postal rates. And any raising of those rates must be approved by Congress (in spite of the fact that Congress does not fund them.)

The USPS has tried numerous ways to raise revenue. The Blog recalls a Mad Magazine piece published in the late '70s suggesting that the Post Office could raise revenue by selling advertising space on their stamps. A decade later, they began doing just that and they still do today. A bit more subtle than Mad's suggestion. But, if you have ever bought a sheet of stamps "honoring" DC Comics Super-heroes (ironically, DC currently owns Mad Magazine,) The Universal Monsters or Disney/ Pixar characters, then you have seen examples of sponsored postage.

The Post Office also sells packing materials, boxes, envelopes and labels. But, for all of that, we are forced to admit that the Post Office is losing money at an alarming rate.

Why is that?

To answer that, let's go back, for a moment to the issue of efficiency.

Can anyone name another business that can take your three inch by six inch, 1 oz. paper packet and get it to a destination anywhere in the United States in three days or less, for 45¢? That is a price that is less than you could buy... well... pretty much anything for, these days. Sure, they occasionally misdirect or lose one of those packets. But, for every lost letter, millions make it to their destination quickly and yes, efficiently.

Did I mention that the cost is 45¢?

So, are the Post Office's problems caused by government inefficiency or the "greedy" postal union?


The problem is that the Post Office offers it's services at a stupid cheap rate!

So, I would like to make a modest proposal.

The USPS should hire a couple of numbers crunchers to figure out the actual, break even cost of delivering a First Class letter. Once that cost is established, the Post Office should raise the postage rate to that amount.

Of course, "conservative's" heads will explode. But, they'll get over it. For the same reason that they shop at Wal-Mart. Because...

The Blog is not a betting man. But, if he was, he would bet that the cost would still be substantially lower than the cost of sending the same letter via private, for profit carriers like UPS or FedEx. And more efficiently.

Would anyone like to explain to me why I'm wrong?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Just a Quick Bit of Silliness

Tonight, The Blog is beat.

He just can't bring himself to write anything of any importance.

So, just a quick hit.

The PC gets his home and auto insurance from USAA.

(Thanks to The BlogDad, who was a First Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers.)

So, no company, nowhere, nohow, can even hope to offer The Blog better, cheaper insurance.

                                                                                               Not Flo...

                                                                                        Not the gecko. 

                                                         Not even the guy from "The Closer" and "Spiderman."

But, damn! They have some great commercials!

That is all.

Check back tomorrow night.

The Blog has a thing or two to say about the latest news from the Post Office.