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

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


Hard to describe.

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

USA Today Hotsite

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(July 2000 and earlier)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Eat well. Exercise regularly. Die anyway.

The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats, but suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

The conclusion to the above could be: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what causes those heart attacks.
-Bob Tribble

(Thanks to Leslie for this one.)

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Another Google beta

Google's newest online service, Google Maps, is much friendlier and easier to use than other online map sites. Particularly impressive is its real-time zoom and scroll capability. Left click and move your mouse over the map, and you can scroll the map anywhere. This makes it a lot easier to follow a route or find what's near your location. Other features let you identify the closest restaurants, businesses, even wi-fi hotspots.

One caveat, though... you have to use Internet Explorer. Firefox won't work, probably because the application uses Active-X.

Update... reader Darren Kulp says:

Internet Explorer is not necessary; you can also use Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape, as you can see in the attachment image (viewed from Safari, which, along with Opera, doesn't work because it doesn't have the requisite IE-original XML-transform code). And there's no ActiveX at all: it's DHTML, coupled with a "non-standard" browser implementation of a standard (XML) language. For a good analysis, see

And, it might not even be the latest beta ( But I won't argue that one.

Thanks, Darren. But I can't get Firefox to display the maps. Time to do some poking and prodding.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The bottom line

Want to know precisely how you're going to get screwed over by the proposed "reform" of Social Security? Just go here and plug in the numbers.

Sometimes I think I'm living in a Mel Brooks film. Social Security was created, in part, because of the millions who lost their life savings in the 1930s stock market crash. So the way to fix the system is to... invest money in the stock market?

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wal Mart comes to Chicago

The Arkansas giant started building a 150,000 square foot store here yesterday.

As an aging software specialist, I've maintained that my eventual career will be a greeter at Wal Mart.

Some may suggest I'm over-qualified, but I'm not worried. My sister-in-law is a greeter at the superstore in West Mifflin. I figure they have to take me, because I'm a legacy.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee...

Lousy with morbidity
Won't go to bed,
'Cause I'm legally dead-
I can't! I'm Sandra Dee!

-Steven Otte

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Some may never live, but the crazy never die.

R.I.P., Hunter S. Thompson, you crazy, wild-ass sonofabitch.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

A matter of interpretation

Last September, I spoke to some 2,000 students during their annual lecture at a Baptist college in Pennsylvania. After a short prayer service for peace centered on the Beatitudes, I took the stage and got right to the point. “Now let me get this straight,” I said. “Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ which means he does not say, ‘Blessed are the warmakers,’ which means, the warmakers are not blessed, which means warmakers are cursed, which means, if you want to follow the nonviolent Jesus you have to work for peace, which means, we all have to resist this horrific, evil war on the people of Iraq.”

With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.

-John Dear

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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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