Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.

network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...


Requiem for a fictional Scotsman

Oh my God! They killed Library!! Those bastards!!!

Elegy to a Mostly Maine Coon

It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day

A Pittsburgher in the Really Big City

Da Burg Annat

I Have Issues

Yeah, yeah, I'm inspired

At least the rivers freeze in Pittsburgh

He knows if yinz is a jagoff

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no. we're not that kgb.

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KGB, CIA linked

The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

"No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
Article VI, U.S. Constitution

Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000

Geek of the Week

Cruel Site of the Day, 7/15/2000

Cruel Site of the Day (7/15/2000)


Hard to describe.

"a breezy writing style and a cool mix of tidbits"

USA Today Hotsite

Our riveting and morally compelling...

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One of  51,848 random quotes. Please CTRL-F5 to refresh the page.

Google Web

(July 2000 and earlier)

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I'm in no way a fan of sports...

But I'd pay good money to see this.

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Friday, December 19, 2003

Truth in Advertising

Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Sun-Times writes some pretty good television listings:

"Titanic" (6 p.m., WMAQ-Channel 5); Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) is probably the only man in history - real or fiction - to successfully seduce a woman by talking about how he recently was hanging out with cheap amputee hookers in a foreign country.

My favorite is still the listing for The Wizard of Oz that appeared in a Marin, CA newspaper:

"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again."

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How men screw up romance...

Thanks to Joe Bundick for this. It's a 2 meg MPEG movie file, but it's worth it.

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I don't know what's scarier...

...that 50+ actresses like Diane Keaton (Something's Gotta Give) and Helen Mirren (Calendar Girls) are appearing nude on screen in their antediluvian states, or that this situation is actually motivating me to see these films. Sigh. Just... sigh.


"You know you're getting old when a stunning 19-year-old gets into an elevator with you and you find yourself wondering what her mother looks like."-Unattributed.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003


Speaking of news of a Pythonesque nature, Eric Idle is writing a Broadway musical version of the classic film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, tentatively entitled Spamelot. Mike Nichols(!) is tentatively set to direct.

Hope they pull it off. It'll be hard to surpass this:

Scene 6


(clop clop clop)

And that, my liege, is how we know the earth to be banana-shaped.

This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.

Oh, certainly, sir.

Look, my liege!





It's only a model.

Shh! Knights, I bid you welcome to your new home. Let us ride... to... Camelot!

(in medieval hall)

KNIGHTS: (singing)
We're Knights of the Round Table.
We dance whene'er we're able.
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork im-pec-CA-ble.
We dine well here in Camelot.
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot.


We're Knights of the Round Table.
Our shows are formidAble,
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingAble.
We're opera mad in Camelot.
We sing from the diaphragm a lot.

(in dungeon)

(clap clap clap clap)

(in medieval hall)

KNIGHTS: (tap-dancing)
In war we're tough and able,
Quite indefatigable.
Between our quests
We sequin vests and
Impersonate Clark Gable.
It's a busy life in Camelot.

I have to push the pram a lot.


Well, on second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

Right. Right.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

One step forward, a hundred years back

That the re-enactment of the Wright brothers' first powered airplane flight failed miserably today shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Call it the cynical ravings of someone well on his way to advanced curmudgeonhood, but I've become totally disillusioned with modern technology. Are we getting dumber? Are opposable thumbs just not cutting it any more? I mean, two guys in a candle-illuminated bicycle shop pull it off, but a cadre of skilled aeronautical engineers can manage nothing better than a nose dive into a mud puddle?

I make on average one call a month to my telephone provider to complain about a service or billing problem. Back in the days of bad old monopolistic Ma Bell, decades could go by without an incident. And there's just no excuse at all for the widespread power outage experienced last summer or the berserker escalators which hurled unsuspecting riders into the ether. We're not talking about cutting edge technology here, folks. Telephones have been around since 1876, escalators since 1891, commercial AC power systems since 1895.

What's worse, this steady decline in service and reliability has been accepted by consumers. We've been beaten into submission with endless forays into voice mail hell and maddening conversations with linguistically challenged morons at "service centers" located an ocean and half a continent away.

And things aren't getting better. In 1984 I managed a VAX minicomputer system that averaged one unscheduled outage a year. Now I spend about a half-hour a day struggling with various capricious Windows operating systems.

As someone once said, failure isn't an option; it comes built in, at no additional charge.

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Give your boss a festive plague for the holidays...

They're actually quite attractive, and, if you tear off the little id tag, he'll be none the wiser.

Your choice of anthrax, chlamydia, cholera, dental plaque, dust mites, and a host of others.

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And now for something... typically Californian

My brain hurts!

Assorted sources are reporting that John Cleese, famed Monty Python member and legendary Minister of Silly Walks, is contemplating running for mayor of Santa Barbara, California.

Fellow Pythonian Michael Palin said Cleese was "very involved with his local community" and that "He doesn't really want to do comedy any more." Which begs the question: Then why enter politics? And California politics, no less.

Snarkiness aside, Cleese is an admirably brilliant fellow with a quick wit and sharp insight. The following examples from the KGB Quotations Database:

Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited.

I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.

If life were fair, Dan Quayle would be making a living asking "Do you want fries with that?"

And my favorite,

If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

You Can't Make This Up Dept.

Midget sues grocer, cites belittling remarks

December 16, 2003


A teenager just 4 feet, 4 inches tall began a legal action Monday because the supermarket where he worked made him stack high shelves without a ladder.

Scott English said he had to climb up the sides of units to replenish the shelves while other members of staff- including one who was 6-foot-6- watched.

He told an employment tribunal that he felt humiliated as customers cracked jokes. One colleague suggested that he should clean the shelves by walking underneath them.

He claimed that he was made to work behind the cigarette counter, even though it was 4 feet high, and that he was victimized by his supervisor, Vera Barsby.

"She called me names like 'lazy little bastard', little ----' and numerous other expletives- always containing the word 'little'," he said.

After three years working at the Kwik Save store in Whittlesey, Great Britain, he resigned because he could not take it, he said. He is claiming that his treatment amounted to discrimination and victimization.

English said that when he started work at the supermarket in August 2000, he was treated well by Laura Patterson, the former manager. She always got someone taller to work with him when he was stacking shelves. But he claimed that the atmosphere and his workload "changed significantly" when a new manager, Simon Mutton, took over in April.

He said that he was made to push cages around the store that were 6 feet or 7 feet tall and loaded with cans and packets to put on shelves.

"I also had to re-stack the shelves above the freezers. I had no alternative but to climb on the freezer lids. I felt people were laughing at me as they would make comments like, 'Don't jump. Life isn't that bad'."

English said that he suffered work-related stress and depression. He was prescribed anti-depressants and stayed off work for six weeks.

He finally resigned because of the "unpleasant atmosphere" at the store.

He said that he had never read about Kwik Save's staff grievance procedure because the notice was on a board 6 feet up in the staff canteen.

Daily Telegraph

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Spam as Entertainment

I despise spam. In the last five days, the mail server has received 4,435 email messages, 4,023 of them spam. That's 9.76 spam messages for every real email. It gets even worse when you look at it on an account basis. My personal ratio is about 9 to 1, but my wife and my mother (who use the's smtp client) have ratios approaching 600 to 1.

However, there's a spammer or two out there with a sense of humor. To try to sneak past spam filters, spammers use software that change various parts of a message to make it appear that their bulk mailings are actually individual emails. One way to make a message appear unique is to change the name of the "person" sending the email. In today's spam bucket I have messages from:

Bridgitt T. Macaroon
Supposed D. Jeopardizing
Renounce H. Mallets
Missioning E. Waggling
Irrelevancies F. Perturb
Fianc M. Woolgathering
and, my personal favorite,
Demagogue Q. Jackrabbits
who sounds like a Senator from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Of course, I delete all the messages without looking at them. But thanks, Mr. Jackrabbits, for the Pythonesque touch of whimsy.

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General Rule of Thumb....

Any time you wake up in a cold sweat from a dream involving Johnny Depp, Linda Lavin and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, it's time to skip the crabmeat salad at the coffee shop the next day.

Although, I would like to see how this turns out. Back to bed. Gotta find out why the choir was wearing purple spandex.

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Monday, December 15, 2003

Ten Things You Should Never Say To a Woman During an Argument:

From The Enigmatic Musings of a Cynical Mind

1. Don't you have some laundry to do or something?

2. Oh, you are so cute when you get all pissed off.

3. You're just upset because your ass is beginning to spread.

4. Wait a minute - I get it. What time of the month is it?

5. You sure you don't want to consult the great Oprah on this one?

6. I'm sorry. I was just picturing you naked.

7. Whoa, time out. Football is on.

8. Looks like someone had an extra bowl of bitch flakes this morning!

9. Is there any way we can do this via e-mail?

10. Who are you kidding? We both know that thing ain't loaded.

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Sunday, December 14, 2003

In Memoriam: Sir Alexander of Camelot

December 12, 1996 - December 13, 2003


I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the nights through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read- and I fear often grieving for me-
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dears, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided...
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

--Robinson Jeffers

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Copyright © 1987-2024 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The e-mail address is now something other than saga. used to be until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up and adopting created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the domain name in 1993, and had since that time used as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that was no longer but rather which is longer than and more letters to type than and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than but actually just as functional as I sent e-mails from the address to just about everybody I knew who had used in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that no longer is the they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...


Crystal Methodist

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

I am a professional. Do not try this at home.

I canna change the laws of physics

As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)

Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Left wing liberal nut job

Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.

Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.

If evolution is just a theory, why am I surrounded by monkeys?

Nutrition makes me puke

Feral Geek

eat wisely

Dyslexics have more fnu!

It's here!

Eff and Scrute

440 pages, over 11,000 quotations!

Eff the Ineffable, Scrute the Inscrutable

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