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, October 13, 2007

Quote of the day

You see things and say "Why?" I dream things that never were, and say "Because I'll pay you to wear them."
(The Covert Comic)

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo of the day

( from

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Comparative analysis, #44

A woman didn't come home one night. The next day she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew about it.

A man didn't come home one night. The next day he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's 10 best friends. Eight of them confirmed that he had slept over and two claimed that he was still there.

(Making its way around the net, via David Kifer on the alt.quotations Usenet newsgroup.)

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well, you asked...

The latest release of ZoneAlarm was a disaster. Thanks to a boilerplate email message from their support staff, I was able to get it to function.

I received a customer survey from them today. Here's what I said:

The fix required a half hour and several dozen steps, including potentially risky actions like deleting files in system directories and editing the registry. Persons with little technical background would have difficulty with the process. I suspect many would look at the instructions and just uninstall it. The re-entry procedures list for Apollo 13 was shorter and less dangerous to implement. And the final step, **Try** to reinstall, didn't precisely inspire much confidence.

In contrast, when I've had problems with Grisoft's AVG anti-virus package, I received a batch file or executable that automatically resolved the problem in less than a minute. Which is why I'm continuing to use their product and have diabled yours. However, I am using your firewall and anti-spyware applications.

ZoneAlarm is a product I love to hate. When it works, it's peerless. When it doesn't, it renders my machine virtually unusable by consuming every available CPU cycle. I'm surprised there isn't a pool of molten silicon under my machine. Your software upgrades remind me of the original Star Trek motion picture series, which alternated between classic science fiction and crap that made your head explode.

And it's always been that way. Why can't you guys develop uninstall/upgrade routines that clean up after themselves? The steps I had to take to correct the problem worked, which means that you know what's wrong with your product. Why don't you fix it, then? I can't believe that a company which can produce complex network software functioning at the operating system level can't write a Windows .bat file to delete a couple directories, files, and registry entries. I've had to go through these contortions with prior releases dating back to 2002, and there's really no excuse for it.

Your internals guys are geniuses. Those responsible for writing the uninstall routines have been stuck on stupid for the past five years.


So I answer all their inane questions, rate them on a half-dozen items totally unrelated to my problem, click the "submit" button, and get:

Skippy, the fella who writes ZoneAlarm's uninstall procedure, is obviously also in charge of their website.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

What we have here is a failure to communicate...

(Sun.Star Davao)

Okay, we're insensitive to the differences which exist in other cultures, but hey, guys... how about meeting us half-way here?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Giving 'C' students a bad name...

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Give the man a microphone and he'll talk about anything. For 76 minutes, President Bush prowled the stage Wednesday in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, giving a speech and answering questions about everything from his opposition to tax increases to his veto of a bill to expand children's health insurance.

But he covered a lot of other ground, too.

Bush gave an intriguing description about what happens when businesses expand, as was the case here at a company run by a woman.

"You know, when you give a man more money in his pocket - in this case, a woman - more money in her pocket to expand a business, they build new buildings. And when somebody builds a new building, somebody has got to come and build the building.

"And when the building expanded, it prevented (sic) additional opportunities for people to work. Tax cuts matter. I'm going to spend some time talking about it," the president said.

He offered a pointed description of his job.

"My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions," the president said.

He elaborated on that point later.

"I delegate to good people. I always tell Condi Rice, 'I want to remind you, Madam Secretary, who has the Ph.D. and who was the C student. And I want to remind you who the adviser is and who the president is.'

"I got a lot of Ph.D.-types and smart people around me who come into the Oval Office and say, 'Mr. President, here's what's on my mind.' And I listen carefully to their advice. But having gathered the device (sic), I decide, you know, I say, 'This is what we're going to do.' And it's 'Yes, sir, Mr. President.' And then we get after it, implement policy."

Bush, known for his impatience when fellow leaders rattle on, acknowledged he was doing the same himself in his opening remarks.

"I'll be glad to answer some questions from you if you got any," he said. "If not, I can keep on blowing hot air until the time runs out."

Asked about global warming, he gave a lengthy account of alternative fuels.

"I'm not quite through," he said near the end. "And it's a long answer, I'm sorry. It's called filibustering." After one answer about American views of the Iraq war, Bush said sheepishly: "I think that was your question, wasn't it? The answer was so long I lost track."

He had some fun with a woman who seemed slow on the draw when Bush called on her.

"You want a little chance to collect the thoughts, you know? I mean we're talking national TV here, you know?" he said.

"I actually wrote it down so I wouldn't get flustered," the woman said.

"It didn't work," Bush said.

Bush gave an upbeat assessment of being president, despite polls showing the public overwhelmingly disapproves of the job he's doing.

"I told somebody behind stage, this has been a joyous experience being the president," Bush said. "My buddies in Texas just simply don't think I'm telling them the truth. But it is."

He forgot that he had promised a question to a woman. "When you're getting over 60, sometimes your mind slips," said Bush, who is 61.

Finally, he decided he had said enough.

"And I got to go, I hate to tell you. You're paying me too much money to be sitting here talking."

(Bumper stickers from

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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

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