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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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

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

License plate of the day

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Political quotes of the day

Hillary Clinton says she isn't dropping out because there are still six states that haven't had their Democratic primary. That's right. Barack Obama's favored in the states of Oregon, Montana and South Dakota, and Hillary is favored in the state of denial.
-Conan O'Brien

Hillary needed to win decisively in both states tonight, she didn't do that, which means her chances to win the nomination are very slim. But will she quit? Oh, not a chance. She will stay in the race for as long as it takes to elect John McCain president.
-Jimmy Kimmel

Former President Clinton gave a campaign speech for Hillary while standing on the back of a pickup truck. True. And like all the speeches Bill Clinton gives in the back of a pickup truck, it began, 'You have beautiful eyes.'
-Conan O'Brien


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Quote of the day

I think everyone, once in his life, should be given a ticker-tape parade.
-Gene Kranz, Apollo 13 flight director, in his book "Failure Is Not An Option."

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Quotes of the day

Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972)

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.

A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is.

About the meanest thing you can say about a man is that he means well.

Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.

Give voters a choice between a Republican and a Republican, and they will choose a Republican every time.

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.

My early choice in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.

Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.

The President is always abused. If he isn't, he's doing nothing, and is of no value as the Chief Executive.

The White House is the finest jail in the world.

When even one American- who has done nothing wrong- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.

Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.

Wherever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Quote of the day

If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music... and of aviation.
-Tom Stoppard

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Quotes of the day

Orson Welles, (May 6, 1915-October 10, 1985)

Ecstasy is not really part of the scene we can do on celluloid.

Gluttony is not a secret vice.

I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.

I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts.

I passionately hate the idea of being "with it." I think an artist is always out of step with his time. He has to be.

I started at the top and worked down.

If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.

Living in the lap of luxury isn't bad, except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.

Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations.

The director is the most overrated artist in the world. He is the only artist who, with no talent whatsoever, can be a success for 50 years without his lack of talent ever being discovered.

There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.

There are three intolerable things in life- cold coffee, lukewarm champagne, and overexcited women.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Express Pass

We're heading back to Pittsburgh with a souvenir that should get us through the security lines in a jiffy. And don't worry about the dogs. Shelties are great herders. I think I'll call him "Juan."

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Sunday, May 04, 2008


Yesterday was nirvana for a geek like me, thanks to the Disaster! attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Most of the illusions and three-dimensional projections at theme parks are executed competently; some, like the James Cameron-directed Terminator 2 3-D, manage to merge the plot of the film with the 3D effects so that the polarized lenses and somewhat dim images are not as intrusive. Still, you're always aware that what you're seeing isn't real.

Disaster! takes it to an entirely new level, thanks to a process called Musion Eyeliner, a high-tech, high-definition update to a 150 year old magician's trick.

The star of the attraction is Christopher Walken, who appears on stage. More precisely, a high-definition, projected image of the actor, almost undetectable as an optical illusion, chews the scenery as only Walken can. He not only chews it, he walks in front of and behind it, interacts with a real human on stage, and appears to manipulate solid objects through clever misdirection.

Think of the "Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi" Princess Leia hologram projected by R2D2 in Star Wars. Eliminate the static and scan lines, make the image virtually opaque, and scale it up to full size; that's Musion.

The illusion is so good that children and those in the back of the viewing area might not realize they're watching a projected image. It's not a hologram; it's a normal 2D projection, but presented in a way that tricks your brain into interpreting it as one.

The process isn't perfect. The image isn't entirely opaque, and the background can be seen dimly through Walken's projected form. Nonetheless, the effect was riveting and masterfully implemented. I knew there was some kind of screen onto which the image was being projected, but I couldn't find it.

The rest of the attraction was standard theme park fare, although I did get cast as s worker in an orange jump suit being hurled via green screen from a massive explosion. I look like an orange version of Violet after she was turned into a human blueberry in Willy Wonka

Now that I've Googled the tech and know what to observe, I'm going to try to go back for another visit today. This stuff makes animatronics look like stone knives and bearskins.

Oh yeah. Also saw Blue Man Group and boogied with the Blues Brothers. I may consider doubling the frequency of my vacations. Once a century is probably a bit too conservative.

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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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