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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dcl dialogue online!

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

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(July 2000 and earlier)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quote of the day

He was the most trusted man in America and he was a reporter. Imagine. Who could we say that about today?
-Jeff Fager, executive producer of "60 Minutes", on the death of Walter Cronkite

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Verizon Hell #21

Actual transcript:

Please wait for a Verizon Wireless sales representative to assist you with your order. Thank you for your patience!

A Verizon Wireless online pre-sales specialist has joined the chat. You are now chatting with Stephanie

Stephanie: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today?

You: The web site says "We cannot verify the shipping address you entered. Please correct your shipping address and select the 'Continue' button below." The address I entered is correct.

Stephanie: I'd be happy to help you with that.

Stephanie: Is it a po box?

You: No. The problem is there is no street USPS delivery where I live. So when you check the street address against the USPS database, it comes back as an invalid address. UPS, Fedex, etc. does deliver here with no problem.

Stephanie: do you have a physical address?

You: Yes. XXX South XXX Street, Fayette City, PA 15438. My mailing address is PO Box XXX Fayette City, PA. I need the PO box because the post office does not have physical delivery here. There's a XXX NORTH XXX Street in the Post Office database. Those guys do get delivery. Those of us on the south end don't.

Stephanie: Change them both to the first address and then you can change the billing when you get the phone.

You: It does not accept XXX South XXX Street as the only address. I get the same error message.

Stephanie: Try the noth (sic)one.

You: It does accept that. But that's NOT my address. Like I said, since the post office doesn't deliver mail here, the address is not in their database.

Stephanie: It worked why did you go back?


You: My address is XXX SOUTH XXX Street

Stephanie: ok

You: I had the same problem with Office Depot. They were able to bypass the faulty address confirmation.

You: Do you have some manual override option available to you? Is there someone I can call?

Stephanie: I do not sorry.

Stephanie: You can try to call.

You: What number should I call?

Stephanie: You can contact telesales at this time and they will be able to assist you with this today. The number is 1-800-256-4646.

You: Thank you

Stephanie: Thank you for visiting Verizon Wireless, I look forward to speaking with you again. Have a great day!

Your chat session has been ended by your Verizon Wireless online agent.


A couple things here really bother me. First, the functionality of the web site depends upon the accuracy of a third-party database. The assumption here is the database is 100% accurate, which is never a valid assumption.

I had the same problem with a recent Office Depot order. In that case, however, the site immediately posted a telephone number to call if the address was not accepted. Within five minutes an Office Depot representative was able to update my account and my "invalid" address is no longer challenged when I make an order.

When I called Verizon, I had to explain my problem again. The agent had no way of accessing or updating the account records used by the website, so I had to give her my order verbally, which she manually entered into a different system which apparently doesn't check addresses. (When I asked her if she had some override mechanism, she said the screen she was using accepted anything she entered.)

I could threaten to take my business elsewhere, but everyone has horror stories about their carriers. I think the wireless carrier business is the only one in which a customer is forced to make a choice based on which provider sucks less.

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Quote of the day

The term "holy war" isn't an oxymoron, it's a redundancy.
-The Covert Comic

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Video of the day

The Slovenian a capella jazz choir Perpetuum Jazzile does a great version of Toto's "Africa," beginning with an African thunderstorm. Thanks to Joe Lawrence for the link.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

For you House fans...


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

T-shirt of the day

I'm Too Big To Fail

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Error message of the day

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quotes of the day

A beauty is a woman you notice. A charmer is one who notices you.

A hungry man is not a free man.

A wise man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste.

Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, except that a newspaper can always print a retraction.

America is a country that can choke on a gnat, or swallow tigers.

An independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics.

Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.

Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo?

Flattery is all right so long as you don't inhale.

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.

I regret that I have but one law firm to give to my country.

In America, anyone can become President. That's one of the risks you take.

In quiet places, reason abounds.

It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them.

Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

Power corrupts, but lack of power corrupts absolutely.

Some people approach every problem with an open mouth.

The human race has improved everything except the human race.

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.

The important thing is not to believe your own propaganda.

The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions.

The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end.

There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

They pick a President and then for four years they pick on him.

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.

To strike freedom of the mind with the fist of patriotism is an old an ugly subtlety.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.

We inherited freedom. We seem unaware that freedom has to be remade and re-earned in each generation of man.

We must never delude ourselves into thinking that physical power is a substitute for moral power, which is the true sign of national greatness.

What a man knows at fifty which he didn't know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable.

When political ammunition runs low, inevitably the rusty artillery of abuse is wheeled into action.

When you sling mud, you lose ground.

You will find that truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news.

Adlai E. Stevenson II

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse, #819

Not only on a stick, but deep-fried.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quotes of the day

Don't fight forces, use them.

God is a verb.

Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies.

The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done.

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.

The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet's surface at that time. Everything else will follow.

The Universe consists of non-simultaneously apprehended events.

It is the integrity of each individual human that is in final examination. On personal integrity hangs humanity's fate.

Corporations are neither physical nor metaphysical phenomena. They are socioeconomic ploys- legally enacted game-playing- agreed upon only between overwhelmingly powerful socioeconomic individuals and by them imposed upon human society and its all unwitting members.

I think it's absolutely touch-and-go whether we're going to make it.

Dare to be naive.

Everything you've learned in school as obvious becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.

People are born with legs, not roots.

The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.

-R. Buckminster Fuller

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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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