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.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pronoun trouble?

Body part turns out to be sex toy

Saturday, February 25, 2006
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What a gas station clerk in McKeesport thought at first glance was a severed penis was actually a urine-filled sex toy.

"It turned out to be fake," McKeesport Police Chief Joseph Pero said yesterday.

A couple entered the GetGo station in the 200 block of Fifth Avenue about 5:10 p.m., and the man asked a female store clerk to heat in the microwave an object wrapped in a paper towel.

Chief Pero said the clerk complied but noticed a strange odor. When she handed the object back to the man, it became unwrapped and she saw what resembled a penis.

The couple left the store separately, and the clerk called 911.

Chief Pero said the woman who was in the store contacted police yesterday morning and said the object was a sex toy filled with urine. She told police that she wanted to heat the urine to body temperature for use in an employment drug screening she needed to take.

(The penis belonged to the woman who needed to take a drug screening? Has WalMart started hiring hermaphrodites?)

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Quote of the day

"Iditarod" is how a person pronounces the word "idiot" when his lips are frozen.
The Covert Comic

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Abe Vigoda is 85 today

And, according to, still alive. Handy little site, if of somewhat limited utility.

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Let's just get this completely out of our systems, ok?

"Dick Cheney said he felt terrible about shooting a 78-year-old man, but on the bright side, it did give him a great idea about how to fix Social Security."
-Bill Maher

"Not to worry, the man who was shot left the hospital today, and they said he was in good condition- a little gamey, but still moist."
-Bill Maher

"To the vice president's credit, he did own up to it. On FOX News he said the fault was his, he can't blame anybody else. Boy, it's amazing, the only time you get accountability out of this administration is when they are actually holding a smoking gun."
-Bill Maher

"There is a little discrepancy about what happened on this hunt, because Ann Armstrong, the woman who has this ranch, said there was no alcohol involved, and Dick Cheney said he had one beer. So apparently, Dick Cheney can't keep his rifle, his story, or his daughter straight."
-Bill Maher

"What I don't understand about this whole thing is that the guy who got shot, this is his statement today, he said my family and I are deeply sorry (his face got in the way) for everything the vice president and his family had to go through this weekend. Wow, that is one loyal Republican. He also referred to the buckshot wound in his face as 1,000 points of light."
-Bill Maher

"How powerful a man do you have to be to shoot a man in the face and have that person say, 'My bad'?"
-Jon Stewart, on Harry Whittington's apology to Cheney

"I have to admit that I turned away from the Olympics yesterday. Fox had a more exciting sporting event on: Softball with Dick Cheney and Britt Hume."
-Jay Leno

"Dick Cheney gave an interview to Fox News. I don't want to say Fox News was lenient, but the first question they asked was, 'Who do you like in American Idol?'"
-Jay Leno

"Here's my favorite part of this whole incident. After Cheney shot the guy, the police later showed up at the ranch where Cheney was staying and wanted to talk to him, but was told to come back the next morning. And that's what they did, they came back the next morning. Kev, that ever happen in the hood?"
-Jay Leno

"Over the weekend while on a hunting trip down in Texas, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a member of his hunting party. He apologized. In fact, he told Brit Hume that he was actually trying to hit Cindy Sheehan."
-Jay Leno

"Cheney now says he can't blame the shooting on the guy who got shot. He said we tried that for three days. It didn't work."
-Jay Leno

"Hillary Clinton blasted the vice president today for failing to disclose all the facts. She wants Dick Cheney to give exact details. You know like, "How do you shoot someone and make it look like an accident?"
-Jay Leno

"Dick Cheney gave an interview to Fox News. Some are accusing Fox of giving softball questions. My answer to that is, 'Well, does a vice president shoot in the woods?'"
-David Letterman

"Rumors are that the reason Dick Cheney didn't say anything about the hunting accident for about 24 hours was because he had been drinking. And I'm thinking, well jeez, he was probably drinking when we planned the invasion of Iraq."
-David Letterman

"Dick Cheney and his buddies go down there hunting in Texas, and Dick Cheney guns down a guy. And they're hunting quail, and the quail disappeared. They vanished. And reports now that they're hiding in the mountainous area near Pakistan"
-David Letterman

"This just in, earlier today, Dick and Lynne Cheney shot up a gas station."
-David Letterman

"Dick Cheney finally answered questions about the hunting accident on Fox News. You know, I think Fox News is a little biased. They called it 'Interview with a Marksman.'"
-Jay Leno

"In an interview on Fox News, Dick Cheney took full responsibility for shooting a fellow hunter. Then surprisingly, he broke down and admitted to killing two drifters in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1989."
-Jay Leno

"Cheney also admitted that he'd been drinking. He said he had one beer. Okay, it was a 40-ounce Colt .45, but just one."
-Jay Leno

"They were in a car, they drive along, they get out of the car, he shoots his friend in the face, then they get back in the car and they go hide for 18 hours. That's not hunting... that's an episode of 'The Sopranos'"
-Jay Leno

"See, this is why Republicans have to commit white collar crimes to steal money. They're just not good with guns, they don't know how to handle them."
-Jay Leno

"Today, President Bush says he is standing behind the vice president. Way behind him."
-Jay Leno

"America remaining obsessed, fascinated, appalled, by what is being called 'Dick Cheney Shot A Guy In The Face-Gate.'"
-Jon Stewart

"A mere five days after shooting a man in the face, Vice President Dick Cheney broke his silence about the incident by submitting to a no-holds-barred grilling at a public press conference. I'm just kidding. ... Actually, he sat down with Brit Hume on Fox News for not so much a grilling- more of a teat suckle."
-Jon Stewart

"He sat down for a one-on-one with Fox News. Very bold choice. Dick Cheney sitting down with Fox News is like Mrs. Butterworth sitting down with the Pancake Channel."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"Cheney says he feels terrible about what happened. The man he shot was his friend and if he could, he'd give him the central processing unit right out of his own heart to make up for it."
-Jimmy Kimmel

There was some talk that the vice president had been drinking before he went out to shoot and it turns out that was true. Cheney said he did have a beer during lunch. One beer, and the only reason he even drank it was to wash down the three hits of ecstasy."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"Happy Valentine's Day. Good news, good news today- so far Dick Cheney has not shot anybody."
-David Letterman

"Everybody is in the Valentine's mood. For example, earlier today Dick Cheney shot his buddy in the ass with an arrow."
-David Letterman

"The real question now is, is this a one-time thing, or will the vice president try to kill again."
-David Letterman

"If this story gets any bigger, pretty soon they're going to have to tell the president."
-David Letterman

"You can't blame [Cheney]. Bush says you can spy on people without warrants, you can torture people, you can hold people without a trial, so Dick Cheney thinks, 'Oh what the hell, I can shoot a few guys.'"
-Jay Leno

"I'm surprised Dick Cheney loves to hunt so much. The five times the government tried to give him a gun, he got a deferment."
-Jay Leno

"What a nightmare I had last night. I dreamed I was at a Washington party and I had to choose between Dick Cheney taking me on a hunting trip or Ted Kennedy driving me home."
-Jay Leno

"The rumor is that Cheney may have been drinking and he wanted to wait until he sobered up. So he may have been drinking and then he shot a guy. And you know what's really scary about all of this- what if it turns out all this time Bush was the smart one?"
-Jay Leno

"The guy Cheney shot is a Texas lawyer. While he was lying there on the ground he actually handed himself his own business card."
-Jay Leno

"After Whittington had a heart attack, Cheney said, "You big baby. I get those all the time. Walk it off."
-Jay Leno

"Mr. Whittington is doing fine, but based on this development, we're going to downgrade the condition of this story from 'Incredibly Hilarious' to 'Still funny, but, mmm, now a little sad.'"
-Jon Stewart, on the heart attack Harry Whittington suffered

"It turns out now that Dick Cheney did not have a license to hunt, and coincidentally, turns out we didn't have a license to go into Iraq."
-David Letterman

"Kind of a sad study out today that single women over the age of 35 are more likely to be shot by the vice president than to find a husband."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"Remember when the most embarrassing thing to happen to a vice-president was misspelling the word potato?"
-Jimmy Kimmel

"Police are still investigating. They want to know why Cheney was unable to see the hunter at the time of the accident. And, they also want to know how Cheney wound up with his wallet."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"The administration has been getting a lot of criticism for how they handled the situation. First, they didn't tell the media for almost a full day after it happed. The White House press corps was furious. They expect to be told when the vice president shoots a 78-year-old man in the face."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"Good news, ladies and gentlemen, we have finally located weapons of mass destruction: It's Dick Cheney."
-David Letterman

"But here is the sad part- before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy's request for body armor."
-David Letterman

"We can't get bin Laden, but we nailed a 78-year-old attorney."
-David Letterman

"The guy who got gunned down, he is a Republican lawyer and a big Republican donor and fortunately the buck shot was deflected by wads of laundered cash. So he's fine. He took a little in the wallet."
-David Letterman

"Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt ... making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, (was) shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird."
-Jon Stewart

"Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. ... But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. ... moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land, or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted- it's just not worth it."
-Jon Stewart

"The Vice President is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Whittington. Now, according to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush. And while the quail turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Wittington's face."
-"Daily Show" correspondent Rob Corddry

"Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent."
-Jay Leno

"Cheney's defense is that he was aiming at a quail when he shot the guy. Which means that Cheney now has the worst aim of anyone in the White House since Bill Clinton."
-Jay Leno

"I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, 'Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?'"
-Jay Leno

"When the ambulance got there, out of force of habit they put Cheney on the stretcher. No, the other guy!"
-Jay Leno

"Dick Cheney is capitalizing on this for Valentine's Day. It's the new Dick Cheney cologne. It's called Duck!"
-Jay Leno

"He is a lawyer and he got shot in the face. But he's a lawyer, he can use his other face. He'll be all right."
-Craig Ferguson

"You can understand why this lawyer fellow let his guard down, because if you're out hunting with a politician, you think, 'If I'm going to get it, it's going to be in the back.'"
-Craig Ferguson

"The big scandal apparently is that they didn't release the news for 18 hours. I don't think that's a scandal at all. I'm quite pleased about that. Finally there's a secret the vice president's office can keep."
-Craig Ferguson

"Apparently the reason they didn't release the information right away is they said we had to get the facts right. That's never stopped them in the past."
-Craig Ferguson

"You know what they say, if Dick Cheney comes out of his hole and shoots an old man in the face, six more weeks of winter."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"The Vice President says that it was an accident. He claims the guy got in his line of fire, but the good news was he was delicious. Eat what you shoot!"
-Jimmy Kimmel

"This is a great story. You've got the Vice President, a shotgun, a bunch of rich guys hunting tiny little birds. The only thing that could possibly make this story better is if he shot Michael Jackson."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"The man who was shot is named Harry Whittington. He's a high powered Republican lawyer, he was very lucky. They say the only reason that he wasn't killed is he was wearing the body armor that never got shipped to our troops."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"But all kidding aside, and in fairness to Dick Cheney, every five years he has to shed innocent blood or he violates his deal with the devil."
-Jimmy Kimmel

"So in summary, the Vice President of the United States shot a 78-year-old man in the face. Congratulations Mister Vice President, you are now a Crip."
-Jimmy Kimmel

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LOS ANGELES- Two planes came within a few hundred feet of each other last week when a controller at Los Angeles International Airport mistakenly cleared three planes for the same runway, officials said.

"It was pretty close," said Les Dorr, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, said. "We'll be looking to find out what all happened, and how we can prevent it in the future."

Friday's episode began when the controller directed a departing Skywest turboprop to taxi onto the same runway on which he had cleared a Southwest Airlines jet to land. He also told an Air Canada jet that it could cross the same runway on its way to the terminals.

The Skywest pilot saw the incoming Southwest jet and stopped short of the runway. The jet roared past about 275 feet away and 50 feet above the smaller plane. It landed without incident and never got closer than about 5,600 feet to the Air Canada jet, Dorr said.

The FAA has not determined why the controller put the planes so close together or switched the Southwest jet to a different runway as it came in to land.

The airport has had one of the worst runway safety violation records in the nation in recent years. The city's airport agency is spending $328 million to give planes on the ground more room to maneuver.


(If at first you don't succeed, air traffic control probably isn't a good career choice.)

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The end is sort of near...

News Item: Former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Darren Daulton announces that the world will come to an end at 11:11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time on Dec. 21, 2012.

Then again, his lifetime batting average was .245.

(Zay N. Smith, QT, Chicago Sun-Times)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

U.S. outsources homeland security to North Korea

Little-known Korean Firm "Seems Okay," Says Chertoff

(from today's Borowitz Report)

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff raised eyebrows today by announcing that the United States would outsource all of its homeland security operations to a little-known North Korean firm called Jim Kong-Il, Inc.

Coming just days after the controversial decision to allow several major U.S. ports to be run by a company based in the United Arab Emirates, the outsourcing of the nation's homeland security functions to an obscure company based in an Axis of Evil country struck some in Washington as ill-timed at best.

But Mr. Chertoff vigorously defended the decision in a Washington press conference this afternoon, calling Jim Kong-Il, Inc. the right firm for the job, adding, "I looked into the company and it seems okay."

When asked exactly how thoroughly he had vetted the North Korean firm, Mr. Chertoff said, "Well, I mean, I haven't Googled it or anything but you just have to trust me on this one."

Almost nothing is known about the North Korean company that is about to control the U.S.'s entire homeland security apparatus, nor about its highly reclusive founder, the mercurial Jim Kong-Il.

In an official statement released today, Mr. Jim said that his company's first official act on behalf of the U.S. would be to collect all of the nation's nuclear fuel rods.

"It is of utmost importance that America's nuclear fuel rods do not fall into the wrong hands," Mr. Jim's statement read. "Therefore, we will collect all of those fuel rods and ship them to North Korea immediately."

Elsewhere, Vice President Dick Cheney admitted having a beer at lunch before advocating the invasion of Iraq.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Picky, picky

The good news: two guys from England have applied for a U.S. Patent to cover their warp drive technology:

"The present invention relates to the use of technical drive systems, which operate by the modification of gravitational fields. These drive systems do not depend on the emission of matter to create thrust but create a change in the curvature of space-time, in accordance with general relativity. This allows travel by warping space-time to produce an independent warp drive system."-U.S. Patent application 20030114313.

The bad news: the patent examiner wants to see a working model.

Betcha the patent examiner is a closeted Vulcan.

(From Dewayne Hendricks on Dave Farber's Interesting Persons mailing list.)

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Quote of the day

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the chicken.
-Dave Farber

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Hmm... too edgy?

My daughter is a singer in our church's praise band, and the group presents contemporary Christian music at the 8:30 am Sunday service.

"Contemporary" Christian music sounds pretty much like pop music from the 60s and 70s, which is one reason I drag my sorry, sinful butt out of bed for the early service. In the '40s, Sara would have been belting out Gershwin and Rogers & Hart in a piano bar in the Village. Frankly, I prefer the current venue, especially since she can sing while my flame-haired three year old granddaughter listens and sways to her mommy's crystalline voice.

The band doesn't have a name, and has been struggling to come up with something memorable. Something that would appeal to "the kids," yet emphasize their evangelical mission.

As my daughter dropped me off at the airport yesterday, it suddenly came to me, in an epiphanous flash:

The Crystal Methodists.

I can't wait to tell the pastor.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Quote and commentary of the day

It is difficult to believe that someone can differ from us and be right.

Comment: This guy has never been married...

(Credit to, "The home of EzInstall")

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Quote of the day

The Internet is a shallow and unreliable electronic repository of dirty pictures, inaccurate rumors, bad spelling and worse grammar, inhabited largely by people with no demonstrable social skills.
~The Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov 4, 1997)
(Thanks to Rose on the alt.quotations Usenet newsgroup.)

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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.

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Nutrition makes me puke

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eat wisely

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