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2006aug01. Light pen animated gifs. So much cooler than it sounds. And how awesome is it that they’re doing some of them in a restaurant? Someone’s lining up their thesis right now. There’s a three-minute one that loads when you hit the home page. [via robot wisdom]

2006aug04. Friday is free!

Vader Sessions. Essential, even if you’re “meh” on Star Wars.
Colbert: The Columbian District (THE FIGHTIN’ COLUMBIAN!). So far, the most awesomely powerful segment of the series.
Penn & Teller: King of Traps.
Colbert on Daily Show: The Summer of the Shark.
Colbert on Daily Show: Pet Sedentary.
Colbert: "Roasts” Chevy Chase.
Danielle Dax: Cathouse. The pants? They are on fire.
Waitresses: I Know What Boys Like.
Supercar: Be. NSFW. Grim, disturbing, can’t really recommend it. I like the music. I am sorry I spent the time watching the video.

2006aug04. The opening to El Gran Juego de la Oca, a Spanish game show based on a horribly old board game (various excerpts from the Italian version). The game show lasted three hours. The mini-contests as you moved around the game board featured explosions, nudity, getting slapped by leggy Oquettes, barbers cutting off your hair, dangerous animals, etc. Mr. T was a contestant on one show. Geese wandered about the set, pooping and hissing as geese are wont to do (I have seen this). I started to come up with the standard “it’s like A crossed with B” comparison but ... El Gran Juego de la Oca was El Gran Juego de la Oca.

The wikipedia link mentions that Jules Verne wrote a novel based on the board game in which seven contestants race across America for a large cash prize. Verne invented the Cannonball Run/Gumball Rally concept? [removes pipe from mouth] “Huh.”

[special thanks to doc, who unfortunately never got a chance to get slapped by Oquette Lila.]

2006aug06. Idlewords: I Spy.

2006aug09. Mail.

I am interested in purchasing a large number of Roundup Candy Cigarettes for a charity event. Please contact me. Thank you.

1.) No.
2.) Usually one leaves one’s email, address, phone number ... anything, really ... if one is to contact one. You are number negative six.

2006aug09. Reuters Photo Fraud. Great summary of all the sick little manipulations, including a fake dead body in the NYT.

2006aug10. ZeFrank on terror. “Normally,” because the videos are being pushed through some kind of advertising wrapper, Media Player Classic goes all wonky and gives me two windows running duplicate ZeShows at half speed. Now, however, some codeine or something is missing and all I get is audio, at the proper speed. This is an improvement. If someone would like to send descriptions of what’s happening in the video portion, then I can piece together the whole show with logical deduction.

2006aug12. THE TEST IS OVER. Okay, there was a bit of struggling the last two days. This is what happens when you write your own weblog software. It is a dumb thing. Do not do this. Anyway ... here’s Saturday Sreeday!

Colbert: The Fightin’ Sonoma!
Colbert: Judge Tubbs.
All Your Belongings Are Belong To Us: Bump keying. Strange that this simple exploit hasn’t bubbled up before. I was amused by the one lock otaku who doesn’t like bump keying because it is “too easy.”
Undressing in seven seconds. One for the ladies.
The Fake History of Video Games: Dr. J Invents Pac-Man. I was unfortunately eating while this was playing, part of my new “multi-tasking” paradigm. ABBA ABBA ABBA
Girl takes photo of herself each day for three years.
Family Circus. I love that strip, there is a wholesomeness there that is lacking in America these days.

2006aug12. My palm has been itching for awhile now. Grandma used to say that meant you were coming into money. She was a bank robber. I liked how she wore her watch so the dial was on the inside of her wrist, I think she did that so it didn’t get scratched. While she was robbing banks. “ALLLLLLL RIGHT YOU TURDS!!!! PUT YOUR oh, hold on [scratches palm] SEE???” She fed us Jeno’s Pepperoni Pizza, eight to a box. You’d think with all that stolen loot she could have kicked our mealtimes up a caste or two. Her house lot was double-sized in a town of tiny house lots, so we had an extra giant yard to play in. In the winter, many snow forts were created. One time our sleds disappeared in the yard and I thought when the snow melted we’d see the sleds and laugh and laugh but really some jerkoff kids stole them. They are still at large. I had a dog that I kept in the yard for two days, a beagle named Weasel or something like that, then we ate him. These are my free-form memories from childhood that don’t include the one about the only time I’ve ever socked someone else in the face, and the memory about ... no, that’s all I can remember.

2006aug12. The weblog Very Small Array is authored by the creator of Cat & Girl. Comparative Popularity of Selected Baby Names 1935-2005

2006aug12. Among all of the inane procedures we have to dance through to board a plane now, there’s this: “Airline staff members insisted that parents taste baby milk before it was allowed on planes.” Yes. Because if the parent is a terrorist, willing to blow up the entire plane and his/herself plus a baby for their various misguided causes, there’s no way he or she isn’t going to be able to give security a shit-eating grin when swallowing a liquid explosive disguised as milk.

“What? Okay ... [terrorist brings liquid up to mouth] AAAAHHH I CAN’T DO IT!!! Okay!!! Ya got me! Ya got me! God, if I swallowed that, it might cause some intestinal distress or something.”


2006aug12. Mail.

I am wanting to know more about your boneless,skinless,individualy wrapped chicken breasts. Are they organic and what diet have they been fed? Please tell me more, and where do they come from? I live in ST.LOUIS,MISSOURI. Thank You. Linda

I checked the refrigerator and I don’t have any. I actually don’t eat chicken, for the most part. American chicken is tasteless trash, part of the legacy of globalization.

What do you eat?

Fish, mostly as far as “meat” is concerned. Once a month, a little fresh turkey. By “little” I don’t mean I purchase tiny turkeys, I mean the amount is little. Lots of broccoli, corn, romaine lettuce, beans. Cereal. Some pasta. Lots of fruit. Whole fruit, not just the juice, the juice by itself is like a sugar delivery system, it’s not healthy. I also take a supplement that has B12 – if you don’t eat a lot of meat, you’re not going to get enough of that and that’s nerve damage time. Though I went years without taking B12 supplements on a very strict vegetarian diet and I haven’t had any problems [twitches].

aren’t you concerned about mercury poisoning and how filthy the fish are?

Gotta die from something.

2006aug12. Mail.

I am writing to ask for information about the card’s collection. I work in an argentine magazine, called Tigris and I am writing an article of different collections. I would like to mention what you do and ask you if you could send me pictures in high resolution (300 dpi) of your collection to illustrate part of the article.

Best regards,

Sure! How much does it pay?

Sorry, I don’t understand. Do you want me to pay for the information? I just want to know who are the people who collect cards from streets and if I can have some pictures. Thanks!

No, I don’t want you to pay for the information. I want you to pay for the images. You are running a nice, glossy, “high living” magazine that features people playing polo on the cover of a recent issue. I used to run a small, shoestring-budget, non-glossy “music and humor” magazine that had a fraction of your readers. I paid nearly everyone who contributed images; it may have been small potatoes, but it was something. Presently, someone wants to use a photo I posted awhile ago of a yacht – if it runs on their television show, they’re going to pay me. Someone wants to use photos I took of Japanese arcades – if it runs in their magazine, they’re going to pay me. I did not suggest this – it’s just the way things are. If you use someone else’s work in a wholesale fashion, and you’re running a profit-based business based on these sort of exchanges, you should probably pay the person.

So yes, you can have some pictures. If you pay me. Thank you for asking.


(Strange, he never wrote back. Maybe it was the polo thing.)

2006aug13. I made my seasonal trek to the pastry shoppe today to purchase a do-nut. This is the do-nut purveyor that is closest to where I live, yet it was my first visit.

“How can I help you?”
“Yes, do you have any custard do-nuts?”
“We have these two, one with a maple topping, one with chocolate ... and it’s actually not custard anymore, it’s Vienna cream ... custard has dairy products in it, eggs ... so it can’t last more than 48 hours.”
“I will have the chocolate, thank you.”

On one hand, I do appreciate the educational lesson. Learning more about do-nuts is at the top of any sane person’s priorities. But on the other hand, what? Do-nuts should be sticking around for three days, minimum? These are not do-nuts that interest me. I figured this all out after exiting the establishment. “How old are you, my friend?” The do-nut did not respond. Perhaps this do-nut shop needs to start thinking more modular. Years ago I purchased a “custard” do-nut at another Bay Area do-nut shoppe and the cashier pulled a huge metal contraption from under the counter, rammed the do-nut on it, and started pumping the steel handle.

The woman was violating my do-nut.

I really didn’t need to see that. But this way, you can keep your Vienna cream fresh, and leave the shells out for weeks at a time! The modern age brings us so much and asks for so little in return, except to shield our eyes. Maybe our ears, as well. SKLORP SKLORP SKLORP SKLORP

2006aug14. 9/11 Detainee released after five years in US captivity.

2006aug15. An email from a travelling friend.

When using the e-mail in the hotels and local internet cafes on my intercontinental jaunts, I’ve been making sure to add CARDHOUSE.COM to the ‘favorites’ column of each computer I use. Today, the lucky people of Hotel La Libertidad in Cuzco, Peru will have a direct link to the fascinating world you provide. Yesterday it was Lima, the day before it was Ica. Future Johnny Appleseed like germinations will include Chile, New Zealand, and Namibia. Perhaps your other international supporters and travelers can start their grassroots CARDHOUSE movement by seeding public computers as they go.
Thank you.

Cardhouse.com is totally owning Cuzco. Thank you kindly for your support.

There isn’t much oxygen in this town ...

Buy some, you’re a goddamn AMERICAN.

2006aug15. Google cafe has a non trans-fat It’s It ice cream sammich. See, that’s why I stopped eating them, years ago, the trans. Fat. Time for some kind of letter-writing campaign. You do it. [via sippey]

2006aug15. Mail.

Hello: I own a small farm in CA. We will harvest around 90,000 Lbs of walnuts (in-shell) in September. Would you be interested? Not at the moment, but I also have free range chickens and eggs and some honey. Would you help me find the right person to talk to? Thank you

Michael N.

I’ve alerted my contacts through my publicly-accessible website. Hopefully we’ll wrangle up a match!

2006aug16. Copperfield is the biggest tool on earth. “I’ve found the fountain of youth.”

2006aug16. Fluid chains and fishbones [via bifurcated rivets]

2006aug16. Saw a white van tooling down the avenue yesterday. On its hood, the word “AMBIVALENCE” printed in big red Helvetica letters, mirror-image-stylie.

“Hi, I’m feeling kind of unsure of myself.”
“We are mulling over contacting your family and an Ambivalence may be on the way.”
“Thanks, I guess.”

2006aug17. Mail.

RE: “AMBIVALENCE,” I saw possibly this same vehicle in Austin, TX a few years ago. And on the side, in similarly accurate ambulance-style lettering, it said “EMOTIONAL RESCUE.” Hm.


2006aug18. Friday is named for the Norse goddess Freya who sometimes travelled via chariot which was powered by oversized cats. It is a “free” day, the most sensual of all days of the week.

Mr. Show: Change.
Jon Stewart on Charlie Rose (2004).
Daily Show: Adapt and Win.
Mechaike No Reaction Drama Oh god ... why can’t we have such wonderfully-crafted insanity on this side of the pond. (wiki)

And a special textual thing called An inquiry into living while walking the roads of America, Mexico, and beyond. This is essential reading. If you liked it, you should definitely check out The Sun magazine. I can’t afford it, myself, but it’s one of the very few magazines I would subscribe to, if I was Mr. Chokey Cash Wad Guy. Again.

2006aug18. PBF: Keep On Truckin’.

2006aug19. Staying slim as a Pole. I still say keeping trim is basically not eating more than your body needs. I crazy. But I do like reading about the eating habits of different cultures. Part of me is envious of having a family-type culture, traditions that are passed down, whereas in my family we sort of improvised as we went along. Grandma (the bank robber), for instance, taught us to put mayo on baloney slices, roll ‘em up, and that’s a snack! Liverwurst. Cottage cheese. Cottage cheese. I better lie down for awhile.

2006aug19. Kids pick rocks for breakfast. No, really, it’s a rock. You sure? Okay, hope you like gumming your food from now on. Also: I got a rock.

2006aug20. Photo: birds.

2006aug21. I was just thinking about another childhood memory. My great-aunt showed us her winter coat – if you pressed down on the translucent sleeve, you could see a foreign foreign candy bar wrapper between the two layers of fabric. She said it must have been a screw-up at the factory. So for years and years my brain was trying to figure out how the hell a candy bar wrapper could have gotten between the two layers of fabric accidentally. Then the term “disgruntled worker” came into my life, and I laughed. See also: Sabotage in the American Workplace.

2006aug23. Laughing Squid has the “409” on Pranks 2. If you do not have the original Pranks, you should also get that one. Mine is so worn down from over-reading it’s almost circular at this point.

2006aug28. And now, my favorite part about writing this thing ... HOUSEHOLD TIPS!

I sometimes have a problem with stuck jar lids. I don’t like the hot water solution, it takes forever to get hot water out of my sink and it seems, in general, like a waste of water. So. There is this solution which I’ve never tried. I didn’t know about it at the time, so what I did was take my trusty tape gun, pulled off a piece roughly the size of the circumference of the jar lid, and taped it all around on the side so there was a bit of tape sticking over the top, sticky side on the lid. It was like magic, I tell you, then I got my household hints show that ran for three years in most major cities until the accident. You’ve probably seen it on youtube. The lawyers tell me it’s “fair use” because it’s educational, but you know people are just watching it to see the carnage and the pretty ambulance lights.

Also there is a feed now. It is here. It is “provisional” because the URLs have a problem sharing space with the rest of the text. I will get back to fixing it sometime soon. Wait, I mean it’s in “beta.” There. Now you cannot complain. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go to bloglines and sign up, it makes keeping up with your favorite websites much easier. I mean, those with feeds ... [looks down nose at non-feed websites] But if you think about it, really hard, Cardhouse has probably set a record for the weblog that has been around the longest without a feed. And this record will never be broken! HUZZAH!

2006aug28. What I like about politics now is that it’s getting more and more seekrit. Open government shmopen schmovernment, man, it’s all about the backroom deal, it’s not about the public at all. But then someone grabs a telephone ... such a great idea. I think it was Hatch. He’s good at stuff like this.

2006aug28. Mail.


I see their method requires you to thwack the stuck jar lid at such and such angle to get it to open. I also see at the bottom of the posting that TenMinJoe says:

“I think it works because it’s the vacuum seal that is making it hard to open – if you deform the lid a bit with a good whack, then you only have to turn it a tiny bit and the air hisses in; vacuum seal broken, jar easy to open.”

The whole vacuum bit is the whole thing on stuck jars. A far easier, less complicated and idiot proof way is to take a sturdy knife, like a butter knife and stick it under the lip of the lid, then tug a bit until you hear the thwopp! of the vacuum seal being broken. It never fails.

The wife prefers not to do it that way out of concern for the butter knives, but I expect that you could get a cheep one at a thrift store specifically for the purpose of opening jars.

Tha End.


A related email.

I used to do the hot water thing to open jars until I was given a magic rubber sheet thing. It’s a square sheet of rubber about the size of a CD jewel case with a textured surface. It came without explanation as a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift from the phone company or PG&E or somebody like that. I had to ask around what it was for, and was told you used it to open stuck jar lids – the rubber grips the lid, it doesn’t slide like your hand might. It works really well, and would greatly improve my opinion of the phone company or PG&E if I could remember which one of ‘em sent it. Anyway, be sure to go to your local retailer and ask for a rubber sheet!

That is something that was swimming through my head the whole time -- I really should get one of those gripper pads. But I had to eat my freaking spaghetti like THEN (which was NOW when it was then) so I started experimenting with the leather collar of a coat, potholders, whatever. I’m really reluctant to get a kitchen implement I’d only use once every two weeks or so, things have their way of tying me down and then I hate them. The things.

As far as the knife thing goes, I’d like to avoid using a knife when combined with frustrated pressure. Sounds like a trip to the emergency room. Perhaps you could use a spoon to kill the vacuum. Or rounded play scissors. Or a drill press.

2006aug28. Mail.

“As far as the knife thing goes, I’d like to avoid using a knife when combined with frustrated pressure”

Oy, that’s a BUTTER knife, white man. When was the last time you stuck yourself with a butter knife? As far as the rubber grippy sheet thing goes, it’s an improvement over bare hands, but it’s still you against the magical vacuum seal of doom. The butter knife technique ALWAYS works.

Tha End, part two.


I have a butter knife stuck in my leg right now. No, seriously, look. [shows you a picture of a kitten playing with a ball of spaghetti]

2006aug28. I’m kind of back and forth with this leech jar. On one hand, the green really isn’t doing it for me. On the other ... LEECHES!!!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

2006aug28. More auctions: Any contemporary memorabilia from early flown animal period is rare. Also Belka & Strelka flown animal team.

2006aug29. Sometimes I sit down to do some hand-drawn logos and I promise myself I won’t go off on some silly graphical tangent and then three hours later I have 70% of an alphabet sitting around.

2006aug29. Stereolabrat celebrates her birthday.

2006aug29. Candyblog entry from earlier this month: Goodbye, Reeds. I have a half-memory of getting hooked on these as a pre-pre-teen.

2006aug29. Sometimes when it’s very quiet, and I’m reading, part of my brain wanders off and watches me reading and starts thinking how completely alien the whole enterprise is – this animal holding a sheaf of papers with ink on it, just staring at it for hours and finally that part of the brain tells my hand to fish in my pocket and get my keys out and jingle them in front of my face, in effect killing itself off for the good of the host. “Oooh, shiny things ... maybe something on TV!”

2006aug29. Quotes from Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation.

The scariest study, though, was the one NASA did with commercial airplane pilots. The researchers put them in a flight simulator and asked them to do a bunch of routine landings. But on some of the landing approaches the experimenters added the image of a large commercial airplane parked on the runway, something a pilot would never see in real life (at least, let’s not hope not). One quarter of the pilots landed right on top of the airplane. They never saw it.

I think if that happened in real life the sound of it in the comic book re-creation of it should be FRAT. Not as a shortened form of the word “fraternity,” just as a sound device. Show one panel with the plane on top of the other plane, and above it in big bold letters: FRAT.

(on animal distractions) The cattle would come around a curve, take one look at that chain, then stop and stare at it with their heads swinging back and forth in rhythm with the chain. You’d think that would be obvious to the employees, but it wasn’t. The humans just didn’t see it, even though the cows’ heads were going back and forth in rhythm to the swinging of the chain.

I wasn’t the only person to figure out that it’s perfectly safe to lie down in the middle of a bunch of thousand-pound untamed animals. In the 1970s there were a lot of Mexicans coming over the border to work in the feedlots, and when the Border Patrol came around the Mexicans would hide inside the corrals, with the cattle. Five guys would lie down on the ground, with a hundred head of Brahman steers surrounding them. Brahmans are the big huge cattle with the hump on their back. They’re nice animals, as long as you treat them well, but they’re scary-looking to anybody who doesn’t know cattle, so the Border Patrol guys wouldn’t dare go in those pens. [ ... ] But it never came to that, because the Border Patrol people never saw any of the illegal workers lying underneath all those cattle. The Mexicans had to lie perfectly still, because if they moved the cattle would run and give them away. (pg 46)

There are a few things that seem to grab people’s attention, like the sight or sound of your own name, or large-sized objects, or – this one took me by surprise – cartoon happy faces. Not cartoon sad faces; a cartoon sad face is just as invisible as everything else for people who aren’t actively paying attention. But a cartoon happy face will snatch (that one’s for eifco – ed.) people out of their inattention. (pg 51)

I can see the discussion at a top-level Wal-Mart meeting. It’s very clear to me. The word “shopping zombies” is used repeatedly. Before the traditional slaying of the sacrificial virgin. Also after.

Animals definitely act like they see everything, because you can’t get anything past a cow. (pg 51)

“Okay okay, watch the pretty lady she’s up she’s down where’s she going to be, where’s she gonna be, put your money down, where’s the little lady ... you, in the spots ... “
“GotDAMMIT ... COPS!” [confederate kicks over box]

More quotes.

2006aug29. See, it’s funnier to think that they’re talking about their zombie-like customers after because they first have to put the sacrificial robes over the suits, do the sacrifice thing, then take the robes off to continue their conversation from earlier. “Fred, I think you had the floor?” “Thanks, J.G ... .” [wipes a bit of blood off cheek]

2006aug30. Thank you.

2006aug30. If you got all excited about that free Split-tailed Mermaid Whore beverage, they’ve changed their corpmind. Which is kind of the worst thing you can do if you’re a company. Let’s see how they handle the backlash [falls asleep, slides into coma].

2006aug31. The feed is now in the double-digits, so that may mean I’ll get around to fixing it. It’s an exciting time. Also, for some reason, the nuts article is getting a massive amount of hits, but there’s no referrer attached to them. I dunno, sneaky impotent trackback spam gone horribly wrong?

This has been a content-free entry. Refunds available at the box office.

2006aug31. AUTOMAT. Here. In these here United States. NYC. Now. Website: Bamn. Someone catch me, I’m going to faint. But pink? They obviously scoured the Horn & Hardart archives, and after seeing all that beautiful gleaming silver and art deco styling, they went with bubble fonts and pink? BUBBLE FONTS AND PINK? [special thanks to nelo]

2006aug31. In 1963, director Michael Apted interviewed a group of British seven year olds for a documentary entitled 7 Up. Every seven years he’s been returning to the same people, interviewing them, and kicking out a new documentary (14 Up, etc). 49 Up is going to appear in theatres in October. Roger Ebert interviews Michael Apted. DVDs of previous films: 42 Up & The Up Series. Macros2000: I don’t like greens.

2006aug31. The Message Whore has posted a review of a bunch of the food at the Bamn Automat. Spam musubi. That is crazyaction.

2006aug31. Esquire: Mike Judge.