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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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)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Understanding the code...


HOW THE DAILY NEWSIES DO IT. Making its way through e-mail trade these days is this apparent internal translation of tabloid rewrite desk terms. It's attributed to Helen Kennedy, Jane Furse, Steve McFarland and Jere Hester. Which prove not only that tabloids have to think quick and short, but that a good newsroom bulletin board is what makes a newspaper great:

Feisty: Short, old female
Flamboyant: Homosexual
Controversial: He did something bad but we're not sure what
Scandal-plagued: Guilty
Informed source: Reads the newspaper
Confirmed bachelor: see "Flamboyant"
War-torn: We can't find it on a map
Venerable: Should be dead but isn't (eg: Strom Thurmond)
Knowledgable observer: The reporter
Knowledgable observers: The reporter and the person at the next desk
Self-styled: Phony
Guru: see "Self-styled"
Screen Legend: Reporter is too young to remember his movies
Teen idol: Reporter is too old to have heard of him
According to published reports: We got scooped
Embattled: He should quit
All American: White kid caught in criminal act
Troubled youth: He lit something on fire
Scrappy: a runt
Beloved: Someone who's been around so long no one can stand them any more (eg: Bob Hope)
Hero firefighter: He put out a fire
Hero cop: He got killed.
Honor student: Dead kid registered for classes somewhere.
Recently: We lost the press release
First in the modern history of: no Nexis entries
Never: no clips
Source who spoke on condition of anonymity: flack
Prestigious: has indoor plumbing
Exclusive neighborhood/school/club: the reporter can't get in.
Mean streets: slums
Street-wise: Hasn't been hit by a bus so far
Allegedly: He did it but we can't prove it.
Shocking revelation: leaked on a slow news day.
Gang: a group of white kids
Wolf pack: a group of black kids
Highly placed source: one who would talk
Supermodel: her picture was printed somewhere
Beautiful: a woman who's been savagely murdered
Blond: see "beautiful"
Reportedly: we stole this bit of information
Intensely private: Not promoting anything right now
Rarely interviewed: Promoting something right now
High-brow: boring
Family Values: right wing idiot
Progressive: left wing idiot
Couldn't be reached for comment: the reporter didn't call until after 5 p.m.
Legendary: about to die
Unclear, uncertain, unknown at press time: no one will tell us
Plucky: someone who is very, very young, very, very old, or very, very short who is ambulatory
Temblor: Reporter has a thesaurus
Brutally raped: raped
Savagely murdered: murdered
Celebrity: He has a publicist
Superstar: He has a publicist and an agent
Tony neighborhood: has no McDonald's
Modest, well-kept home: at least the cockroaches are dead.
Exclusive: No one else returned the flack's calls
Investigating: waiting for someone to drop a dime
Gentleman bandit: he wore shoes instead of sneakers
Police task force: cops who were working on no-publicity cases yesterday
Elite: see prestigious
Conflagration: what was a fire in the first paragraph, a blaze in the second and an inferno in the third.
Outspoken: Rude man
Strident: Rude woman
Effervescent: She won't shut up.
Shapely: face like a mud fence
Full-figured: tits out to here
Statuesque: Tits out even further
Zaftig: fat
Diminutive: under 5 feet tall
Petite: emaciated
Sexy: better looking than reporter's mate
Dogged by character issue: He screwed a floozy
Political Action Committee contribution: bribe
Moderate: fence straddler
Long-time companion: they had sex
Socialite: woman without job who lives between 57th and 86th street, west of Lex and east of Fifth.
Heiress: see above, but able to hire a pricey divorce lawyer.
Good Samaritan: Too stupid to run away
Innocent by-stander: Too slow to run away
Tearful: Could have been crying
Choked up: Definitely could have been crying
Weeping: Tear spotted in one eye
Entrepreneur: Hasn't made it yet, but we're doing a nice story about him.
Mogul: Has made it, and we're doing a hatchet job.
Mega-mogul: Has made it, and is in process of losing it.
Activist: Will talk to press
Stunned: couldn't give a decent quote
Dapper: Hasn't bought new clothes in 20 years.
Hot button issue: only editors care about it
Towing industry expose: editor got a parking ticket
"with News wire services": no original reporting whatsoever - we just changed the lede

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Triple Whammy

Yesterday was not a good day.

A family friend passed on, CBS cancelled Joan of Arcadia, Frank Gorshin died and my laptop's display and hard drive zonked out.

The laptop business puts a major crimp in my lifestyle, since it's more or less the center of my day-to-day existence. Toshiba says it'll take seven to ten business days to do the warranty repairs- a veritable eternity.

Fortunately, I have copies of the most vital stuff on my Palm Pilot and PlanerPad, and Connected Online Backup will be able to restore the laptop's data files in just a couple of hours, once it's back from the shop. But it'll take a week to jiggle things to the point where I'm comfortable again.

I have no proof of this, but strictly on an anecdotal basis, it seem laptops are becoming less reliable. The laptop I acquired in 1999 lasted for four years. The second functioned for about 15 months before crapping out. The current one expired in less than six months. Co-workers seem to have the same experience, regardless of manufacturer or brand.

On the plus side, I now have no excuse for not reading the biographies of Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton. And maybe I'll buy an actual newspaper to peruse on the train.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005


"Damn. He made my Social Security disappear."

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Monday, May 16, 2005

US Airways and America West

US Airways and America West merging... why, it rivals the audience anticipation and potential success of a Pauly Shore/Rob Schneider movie.

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The appearance of stupidity

Chicago mayor Richard Daley, in response to the threat of terrorism, wants to ban all light plane traffic over Chicago.

Daley's no stranger to terrorism. His midnight destruction of Meigs Field with federal money earmarked for airport improvements is probably the most daring act of wanton lawlessness ever accomplished by a municipal official in modern times.

There's just one problem. Light planes, like the little Cessna 150 that buzzed DC last week, just aren't a threat. They're pitifully light; the 150 only weighs 1,100 pounds empty, about 1/7 the weight of an SUV. The payload capability is laughable. With two pilots and a full load of fuel, a 150 is lucky to get off the ground, let alone transform itself into a weapon of mass destruction.

What happens when a light plane hits a building? As this shows, the building suffers some broken glass and damaged furniture, and the aircraft is quickly converted into modern art.

I wish the government would quit worrying about light planes, disposable lighters and grandmas with knitting needles and do something constructive. The appearance of security is not security; often, like last week's evacuation in D.C., it's just an embarrassment.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005


A couple items of note...

There are now over 12,000 quotations in the KGB Quotations Database. Eff the Ineffable isn't going to be updated for a while, though... I want to completely revamp the book, and the amount of time required for that effort precludes anything happening in the next year or so.

Commentwear by KGB is now open, and the right column of the KGB Report features the latest items available there.

Finally, we've joined Google AdSense, which explains the ads at the bottom of some of the entries on the page. I find it amusing that the ads point to sites diametrically opposed to the positions I've espoused, but hey- freedom of speech, and all that. Go ahead and click on 'em... it costs them to pay for the click-through, and it puts a couple pennies in my pocket. So it all balances out, I guess...

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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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