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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dcl dialogue online!

I Love DCL

no. we're not that kgb.

Cool Spinny Thingy!

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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Google Web

(July 2000 and earlier)

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Public service announcement

Thanks to Tom Heald of the World News Now Elite Guard for this 120K sound file: how to identify if a bovine is infected with mad cow.

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Friday, January 02, 2004

Ah, leave the guy alone

So child welfare experts are shocked -- shocked, we say! -- at Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, who held his one-month-old son Bob in one arm as he used the other to feed a dead chicken to a croc named Murray.

First of all, as Steve Irwin fans know, Murray is a pussycat.

Secondly, how did Steve become a croc expert? Because his dad brought him up around the beasts.

Finally, Steve is an expert. His wife is an expert. They both love their children, and would never to anything to endanger them.

If you find a croc in your backyard, who you gonna call? A child welfare caseworker, or Steve Irwin?

And who would you rather have watch your child or grandchild? Steve, or Michael Jackson?

Move along, people. No story here.

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TSA... Transportation Stupidity Administration

One can only hope this young lady doesn't get a visit from the FBI for posing a threat to national security.

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Thursday, January 01, 2004

New year thoughts

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
-Oscar Wilde

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
-Thomas Mann

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.
-P.J. O'Rourke

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
-Bill Vaughan

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
-Bill Vaughan

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
-Benjamin Franklin

And here's our own New Year baby:


Are you sure I'm related to this guy??

leanna & pappy

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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Where are the 21st century's Woodward and Bernstein?

In high school I played Winston Smith in 1984. Never thought I'd actually live it. Ministry of Truth, indeed.

Things are pretty bad when you have to read the foreign press to find out what's really going on in the U.S.A.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2003


I guess after you vaporize 'em, you'd need a micro roaster to take care of the remaining lil' bits.

Baby Vaporizer?

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The wonders of technology

I'm writing this in the service department of my Saturn dealer, waiting for about $600 of repairs to be completed on our seven year old SW-2 station wagon. There's free coffee and a nice little Dell connected to a dial-up net connection, so at least the time is passing rather painlessly.

I've always liked Saturn, and still do. At one time we owned three of them, and my wife was a semi-legend at the local dealership. She was responsible for taking the vehicles in for routine maintenance, and since they were purchased at various times, she showed up on an almost monthly basis. The running joke was I was going to buy her a little name tag with the title "KGB Consulting Fleet Manager".

We're down to two now; '95 and '97 station wagons, with about 80,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively. They're beginning to show their age. Maintenance, which was pretty much negligible for the past six years, is beginning to become an issue. But they're good, safe, reliable vehicles, and the cost of replacing worn out parts is still below the threshold that would trigger considering the purchase of replacements. Which probably isn't what GM wants to hear, but they can take some consolation in knowing that I'm aware of a dozen people who bought Saturns based on my recommendation.

Particularly impressive is a '93 wagon on display in the showroom with 390,718 original owner miles on it. It's for sale "as-is", without the typical used car warranty... but who cares? I remember buying cars in the 70s that self-destructed like the Bluesmobile in less than 50,000 miles.

Saturns- at least the ones built at the original plant in Tennessee, ones of which I have personal knowledge- are examples of good technology, well-designed and competently implemented. Indeed, the reason for today's visit wasn't due to a failure of some advanced computer-based system.

My wife's wagon is the victim of mice infestation. The parking lot at her place of employment borders a heavily wooded area, and it appears they spent the hot summer in the shade of the Saturn's engine and underside, where they munched on the spark plug cables and brake cylinders, leaving behind little mousey toothmarks and other rodential accoutrements.

I have a couple hours of waiting time remaining. Fortunately, my fellow waiting room compadres appear to be quasi-Luddites, so I have the PC to myself. Off to My Way to check out the news.

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Monday, December 29, 2003

No comment necessary


And the latest fake sender names in the last batch of spam received here:

Alcott V. Flabbergasting

Tendons R. Scrutinized

Heron H. Declensions

Tincture H. Crankcase

Psalms R. Secreting

Vertigo G. Cuckold

Someone pointed out to me that these resemble animated cartoon character names. Not really. The middle initial of most cartoon characters is, of course, "J."

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The Old Farmers Terrorist Handbook

As if terrorists are going to be standing at the airline ticket counter, thumbing through the almanac, deciding whether to fly to Chicago to catch a Bears game and then topple Sears Tower, or dash off to Vegas for a night of lapdancing and a quick side trip to detonate Hoover Dam. And be sure to watch out for people reading newspapers, magazines, technical journals and books on government. These folks are definitely up to no good.

But, on the bright side, you can now take your toenail clippers with you on the plane.

FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning."

It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways.

"The practice of researching potential targets is consistent with known methods of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations that seek to maximize the likelihood of operational success through careful planning," the FBI wrote.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the bulletin this week and verified its authenticity.

"For local law enforcement, it's just to help give them one more piece of information to raise their suspicions," said David Heyman, a terrorism expert for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It helps make sure one more bad guy doesn't get away from a traffic stop, maybe gives police a little bit more reason to follow up on this."

The FBI noted that use of almanacs or maps may be innocent, "the product of legitimate recreational or commercial activities." But it warned that when combined with suspicious behavior - such as apparent surveillance - a person with an almanac "may point to possible terrorist planning."

"I don't think anyone would consider us a harmful entity," said Kevin Seabrooke, senior editor of The World Almanac. He said the reference book includes about a dozen pages out of its 1,000 pages total listing the world's tallest buildings and bridges but includes no diagrams or architectural schematics. "It's stuff that's widely available on the Internet," he said.

The publisher for The Old Farmers Almanac said Monday terrorists would probably find statistical reference books more useful than the collections of Americana in his famous publication of weather predictions and witticisms.

"While we doubt that our editorial content would be of particular interest to people who would wish to do us harm, we will certainly cooperate to the fullest with national authorities at any level they deem appropriate, " publisher John Pierce said.

The FBI said information typically found in almanacs that could be useful for terrorists includes profiles of cities and states and information about waterways, bridges, dams, reservoirs, tunnels, buildings and landmarks. It said this information is often accompanied by photographs and maps.

The FBI urged police to report such discoveries to the local U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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Aliens cause global warming

If you've been troubled by what passes as science these days, you need to read Michael Crichton's Caltech Michelin lecture. A brief excerpt:

"I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

"There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."

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Sunday, December 28, 2003

And void where prohibited by law

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious / secular persuasions and / or traditions of others or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all, and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2004, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped to make America great, (not to imply America is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

Modified slightly, from here.

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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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