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

Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000

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Hard to describe.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009


Yep. Reality must have a liberal slant.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Don't it always seem to go...

...that things change, and 40 years later, it's different, but still superb...

(Thanks to the Covert Comic for triggering my ADD.)

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mea culpa

You're an engineer if:

All your sentences begin with "what if".

The only jokes you receive are through e-mail.

You can name the titles of at least six Star Trek episodes from four different series in five different decades.

You have no life and can prove it mathematically.

You can type 70 words a minute but can't read your own handwriting.

You drive a Saturn with a "Beam me up Scotty" bumper sticker.

You have Dilbert comics displayed anywhere in your work area.

You have a habit of destroying things in order to see how they work.

You see nothing odd in spending five hours optimizing your code to produce a one second improvement in program execution time.

You watch ice dancing and you say, "Wow, the physics of that is amazing!"

Each pocket on your person contains a device which emits sounds.

You've spent a lunch hour wondering how a Heisenberg compensator would be calibrated.

You save the power cords from broken appliances.

You find the t-shirt "2b || !2b = ?" hysterical.

You have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.

You envy your boss' cubicle because his desk has more room under it for sleeping.

You remember the passwords to three dozen systems on five different platforms but don't recall what you had for breakfast.

Turning on your television requires at least five steps which must be performed in a specific sequence in less than three seconds.

You spent an afternoon designing a schema for your shopping list, which is both well-formed and parsable.

You know the word "spool" is an acronym.

You've spent a weekend and $79 in Radio Shack parts to repair a $5 radio.

Your four basic food groups are caffeine, fat, salt, and chocolate.

Your favorite James Bond character is Q, and your childhood heroes were Montgomery Scott and Barney Collier.

You have a monotone wardrobe purchased via mail order catalogs since your appearance only bothers other people and therefore is not worth optimizing.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just saying-

The "V" remake on ABC last night was extremely well done, with better acting and production values than the original.

That said, doesn't anyone find it ludicrous that one of the reasons the Visitors came to Earth was to obtain water? Really? They can eradicate 65 incurable human diseases, propel themselves across interstellar space with an anti-gravity drive, have ships whose interiors look like Mall of America on steroids, and yet haven't figured out how to bang two hydrogen and one oxygen atom together? Good lord, we've been producing water in space since the Apollo era.

And if the need for water is a ruse, it's a pretty lame one. It reminds me of Paul Simm's marvelous piece from The New Yorker.

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Geek humor

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Oxymorons of the day

From Elayne Boosler:

Honor killing
Jobless recovery
Palin book
Democratic leadership
Republican values
Financial stability
Trusted investment
Home values
Retirement savings
Health care
Pretty ugly

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Signs of the Apocalypse, #832

Professional sports is such a character-building activity...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Clash of the Cretins
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Dark Confession

I like Windows 7.

The day after its official release I did a clean install on a relatively new Toshiba laptop, and I've been pleasantly surprised.

I downloaded the installation files from Microsoft. Unlike some published reports, the process was smooth and without incident. Running the install procedure took under an hour, but bear in mind I chose the easy path, wiping out the existing Vista system and data files. That figure doesn't include the time required to run Windows Update and obtain the updates that have already been released for the new OS, but overall, it was painless.

My impressions on 7's performance may be due more to the hardware configuration of the new machine. It has an Intel P8600 dual cpu processor running at 2.4 GHz and with four gigabytes of memory, which is double the cpus, processing speed and memory of my five year old Acer Travelmate laptop.

The machine goes from power off to the login screen in 72 seconds, and is usable in under two minutes. I haven't played with hibernation and sleep modes yet, but the under two minute boot-to-usability makes me happy. The old laptop running XP Pro took a good six minutes to get up to speed. Even given the extra muscle of the new machine, it looks as if Microsoft did improve the boot process significantly.

I've experienced no hangs or crashes. The only time the CPUs hit 100% is when Mozy Backup does one if its intensive file system scans. Embedded Flash videos- which used to leave a pool of molten silicon under my old machine- run perfectly, impeded only by local network bottlenecks.

I've had no application compatibility problems of which to speak. I was able to get stuff transferred quickly to the new machine by transferring files from the old system's external USB backup drive.

Watch the Windows 7 videos that come with the machine, and/or go online and review the new features. There've been some nifty user interface changes. You need to become accustomed to the new taskbar. The automatic windows resizing features are nifty, and the interface is more or less the same as Vista, only faster. The frequency of those annoying security checks is far less; compared to Vista, you'll hardly notice them.

I really like the new "library" feature, which allows you to aggregate different folders into a single folder. For example, my Pictures folder includes a half dozen directories from two different machines, all in one convenient location.

So, I give a qualified thumbs up to switching to Windows 7. Check your computer manufacturer's website for compatibility information. If your machine's more than two years old, there's a distinct possibility it won't run Windows 7 very well.

If you've been putting off buying a new machine until Windows 7's arrival- you're good to go. I generally buy laptops at new Windows releases. XP was tolerable, Vista was a nightmare- Windows 7 is the least troublesome transition I've experienced.

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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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