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Name: Justine
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Justine, is a little bit more than you'd expect. This is where you are supposed to put your "elevator speech". What you'd say if you were in the elevator with somebody you wanted to connect with. I don't have an "elevator speech". If I ran smack-dab into one of my "heroes" I'd just have to smile and be polite and keep my yipper shut and that's probably for the best anyway!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Pretties for You!
Ok, I need a little "pretty" to kick off this afternoon. We don't need dorky men who confess to not owning a decent suit in the national press. No ugly shirts (color blind men forgiven)!

It does not benefit a man if his belt and watchband match and he polishes his shoes if he wears a butt-ugly shirt designed by a colorblind masochist! Look at the lillies of the field they neither spin nor toil and they don't look like they were assembled by a monkey with no fingers from supplies fished out of a trash bin! (Ok maybe I got the paraphrasing wrong, but you get the idea!)

No! Today calls for characters who know what a tailor is even when they are sneaking out of the Houses of Parliament to do unspeakable things!

There is NO SHAME in knowing how to pull off the casual corduroy look! Especially if one is on television or in film! You can search the Bible cover to cover and looking like you got dressed with the lights on is NOT a SIN!

Poor OMBH turned on her telly yesterday to recover from a tough day and instead of seeing a fun programme with nice people she was subjected to visual vomit! This is not right! A show that has Richard Hammond,a bonified member of the Vince Noir "Oh Yeah!" club, should have comparably dressed co hosts to prevent viewer shock!

This morning Bob the camel didn't reach the remote in time to keep me from turning on the telly. The first words I heard where HWMNBN moaning on about a Jaguar. Luckily by the time the picture came on there was a soothing image of "Hamster" driving a vintage BMW with a bucket of water in his lap.

The sweet determination of Mr. Hamster and the laughter of Mr. Clarkson offset the reappearance of the bile yellow mustard turd shirt worn by HWMNBN.

Camel fed me a nice toasty bagel and a cool beverage to ease me into my day. I was lucky he was there to throw himself between me and the television before I had a seizure from watching bad fashion.

Now on to the much needed PRETTY!!!!

Today's first pouty, pretty is once again Vince Noir from NOELFIELDING.ORG

Isn't he a soft focus vision from the disco era? Are you having flashbacks yet? Get ready to pretzle bend your brain waaaay back.

Remember "Alice Cooper"? Moreover do you remember his early album titled "Pretties for You"?

Oh yea, when I keyed in the title for today's post, my brain popped up an image of Alice in his glory. He could give Vince Noir a run for his money! In fact Alice Cooper's real first name is Vince!

As I trolled for today's prettiness what to my wondering eyes should appear but Vince Noir trying out Alice's stage makeup. Presented for your comparison, the trial blazer and the pretty one!

If you are in the mood for some insane Mighty Boosh singing you can go to their new website counting down to the release of their next DVD. If you go into the site and look at September's "goodie" you will find videos of live versions of the "Future Sailors" and the "Bouncy Bouncy" song. Once you have heard the "Bouncy Bouncy" song it will stick in your brain. It's playing in the background as I write.

I'm not sure how it stacks up against the powerhouse songs from Alice's "Billion Dollar Babies" album but I think I have room on the MP3 player for both. ("Billion Dollar Babies" is my fave Cooper album. Pretties for you is not on my menu.)

If Vince Noir drove a Bugati Veyron, he'd be just about perfect. Sigh. Camel has warned me about becoming dispondent. So I will pre-order the Mighty Boosh DVD.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Bob Checks In At Tuck In Time
Bob Again. Justine wanted me to post links to 2 videos on you tube. Both are The Mighty Boosh Band singing an hideously catchy song. The first version is from the TV show and the second is a live performance. Enjoy.

OMBH, Justine says "Thanks". Yes, sometimes it is better after a good cry.
Bob Steps In

Hey it's Bob again. (I'm using an older more flattering photo this time!)

I'm taking over from Justine this afternoon.

It seems she been under a lot of stress lately with the insomnia and the job. I had been trying to help her with her tendency to be jealous of J...... er, um, "He Who Must Not Be Named" Now she seems to have swung the other way. She's been trashing books, breaking DVDs, deleting computer files, tossing framed photos out. She's taken the whole thing as an indictment of what she calls her "crap backward, drudge, ugly, might as well be dead, useless life"

I've got Justine having a little "lie down" now with her Mr. Snuggly Camel doll and a cool cloth over her eyes.

Over the last few weeks I've been helping Justine with her filing, paperwork, and tidying up her cute little house. I couldn't figure out how one person could have so much paperwork.

I discovered that Justine has been running two households for years. Until 2008 she ran two complete houses. Until last spring she made all the medical decisions and handled all things for her mother. Since her mother's passing she has been in wrangling with her mother's creditors. On top of that, during the last two years the poor thing changed jobs twice, bought a house, and had her car self-destruct.

Little Jussy has been running full tilt 24 hours a day just to stay in place, let alone get caught up.

Before that she had spent the previous ten years establishing a career so she could afford more than a rented room. She started out with a college degree and worked some terrible jobs and lived in even worse places. Between the stress of working in hi-tech and having a serious encounter with a flu virus and a pneumonia virus, she started falling out of the social scene. She changed jobs for something much more low stress, then she spent four years in hell watching her mother saying "the long good bye" with Alzheimer's. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer last spring, that was the final overload. She had to make decisions about chemotherapy, radiation, feeding tubes, life support, and do not resuscitate orders. Once her mom was gone, Jussy could come forward about some pretty scary things that happened when she was a kid.

image from

All this has taken its toll on Jussy's health, self worth, and her figure. She's feeling way out of fighting form. She needs about six months off to rest, take care of herself, and readjust her view of life.

She's not going to get a six month rest. She's lucky if she can get a weekend. So she keeps on struggling and getting up and going on.

When she looks as "HWMNBN" or other silly people like that, she feels her life is too small and way too boring. She wants to join the fray when she hasn't got the strength to do the laundry. It makes her sad.

I keep reminding her that she will be well again, it just takes time. Then she cries and says she hasn't got any time because she's getting "old".

I hate to see her cry.

She reminds me of somebody seventeen years old. They want it all and they want it now. But it's not fair to say that about Jussy. She just wants some because she hasn't had any. It's been cold comfort of that girl for a long time.

I'm glad to see she finally has a house of her own and a nice comfy car. She doesn't realize that the health will build now that the stress is easing off. She thinks she needs to go on a strict diet and run a marathon every day or she can never go play with the rest of the car nuts at driving school.

The first step is just resting.

She's been in such a hurry to try and be "fabulous" that she's forgotten how far she come in just the last three months.

I've decided that Jussy shouldn't be left here alone to flail around through all this. I'm staying on after the Ren Fest closes up. If her "love muffin" doesn't like it, he can suck a sand dune. He spends most of his time 150 miles away.

Yep, this camel is here for the long haul. It's what we camels do. We were made for it.

Besides, it's time Justine caught a break.
The Terror of Tuesday

So sweet and innocent!?!

Vince Noir looking vulnerable and trusting. Poor dear, blindfolded, off balance, and bent into a porn pose. Doesn't he look like a defenseless dear?

Ok so maybe I posted the pic again because I wanted to look at it again in all its exploitative glory.

You and I dear reader know that this is not exploitation no matter how much it pretends to be. Vince knows exactly what he's doing, splaying himself out this way. He knows what his "impact" is on the population.

He's about as defenseless as a coiled Cobra.

Maybe that's what makes staring at him ok. Vince is all a big game, larger than life, and "in character". "Vince" is not some little moppet from nowhere trying to make it in the big city. When he leans against a lamp post, nobody is hearing the "Midnight Cowboy" theme playing.

Mmmm, Vincey goodness.

This morning's Psycho MP3 tune is "Under the Milky Way" as performed by 7 Nations. Because there is nothing like bagpipes blasting into your head through headphones first thing in the morning. Ah, there we go, now we have "Who At The Door Is Standing?" as done by Dwight Yoakam. Pardon me while I have a little moment with the Lord. . . . . . . . . .

Ok, "Ant Music" has blasted on. I've had my little moment for some auxillary prayer. God's hand on the scruff of my neck has been the only think holding me upright for years. No big secret there.

Ah, now a little Nat King Cole remixed by modern artists.

Once again this morning I am suffering from the ravages of insomnia and its supposed cures. There is nothing like a morning when you get up and think, "I'll just have a nice little urf and then a bit mug of Coca Cola on cracked ice. That'll put me right."

"Just let me put this eye back in my head and I'll take off for work, ok?" - Justine

Currently I have an assortment of friends who take turns phoning me up in the morning and keeping me on the phone until I'm ready to walk out the door for work. Yesterday morning my guest caller was "Love Muffin". He was less than amused when I was brushing my fangs and knocked the phone in the toilet.

When the handset shorted out it put him on hold and kept him there until I fished the destroyed handset out of the water and picked up on another extension.

Oddly enough this set of phones came with a "waterproof" handset, but that wasn't the one I had. Now my 4 handset phone set is down to 3.

This morning it was "Love Muffin"'s turn again and I used the "waterproof" handset. No mishaps occurred. Unless you count me falling asleep mid-sentence during the conversation.

The morning commute turned into the Roman Chariot Races. I'm lucky Oliver and I tooled into the parking lot unscathed. The conduct of two men on the beltway this morning made me want to the join the "If you have testicles you don't need to be driving" campaign.

Oliver and I were out in the left hand lane motoring peacefully along. My front bumper was the customary rush hour distance from the car ahead. We were in the through lane running at "normal" speed for 8:30 a.m. on that road.

A half a mile back I saw a white car approaching. Since all the lanes were stacked, as is normal, I figured he'd move up behind me and either drop into the next lane or join the parade. We were both in the far left hand lane with only the breakdown lane between our driver's doors and the concrete barrier.

From around the shiloutee of the white car I saw a brown boxy car pull into the breakdown lane and start to pass! It darted back into line when it came upon an orange barrel marking an open drain in the breakdown lane.

I've seen VW driving immortal "boys" passing on the shoulder before, but usually not in the big league rush hour races. I've also seen those same little boys purposefully "charioteer crash" each other into the Jersey walls during those little games.

Seconds later the white car slammed into warp drive and began closing on my back gate at anti-social speed. I looked for an out but the neighboring lane was full. The brown VW swerves into a spot in the right lane and zooms past the white car. It looks like he's going to carry on and pass us both by on the through lane.

ZAM! He sailed across the white car's front bumper. My rear view mirror filled up with the face of the brown car driver. His hands were off the wheel flipping everyone the bird. He was screaming and he was accelerating! I had Oliver a foot off the back of the car in front of me and the right lane was still full.

Oliver and I dove for an opening in the break down lane. We hit the brakes to avoid plowing down a line of orange barrels. Oliver's 4 wheel disc breaks grabbed him quickly to a stop. We were safe. As safe as you can be in the break down lane on the fast outside of the beltway at rush hour.

The air was full of tire smoke. Cars were still swerving lanes like mad. I looked around and tried to figure out who went where. I have a horrible suspicion the white car might have plowed down the breakdown lane behind me and narrowly missed me. I'm not sure, I was too busy trying to get out of the way.

I shifted Oliver down into "sport" mode so we could hit the revs and get up to speed on the merge back into traffic. A good open spot opened in the lane and we revved back in without causing anyone to slam on the brakes.

A few miles down the road the traffic slowed behind a fresh accident. I guess the two idiots finally crashed into each other. I took an early exit and motored into work quietly.

When I staggered into work, I was blessed with a primo parking spot nice and close to the door. I took the opportunity to lug in a bunch of work related papers and a nice heavy 2 liter bottle of the Coca Cola. Magic solution that stuff.

As the caffeine took effect and my morning break loomed large, I went in search of some comforting pouty Vince to soothe my frazzled nerves.

Instead I found the pick below. OMBH look the plaid shirt on Vince's cohort Howard. Tell me you do not know who else has a shirt exactly like that mustard turd! Tell me that you did not see that person on American Television this week wearing that exact same shirt!

How can this pain ever end if everything in the world reminds me of HWMNBN?????


I've given up Top Gear. I've stopped reading the Adventures of Stiggy. I've tried! I've tried! My anguish burns like a late night trip to Hankie's Mexican Restaurante!

The cruel wheels of fate have burnt me off the tire of life at the start line!

I lay, a blackened mark on the concrete speedway of the universe!

Is there nothing to stop this maddening anguish??????

What's that? Take a look at what?

Oh just bite me!

ummmm, well, yes, I do feel a bit better. May I have some more please?

bite meeeeeeeeee!

ok, I think I may reconsider my thoughts of suicide now.

I know it's only false hope, but sometimes a fantasy world is better than no world at all.

Note: Today's Vinceyness is from NOELFIELDING.ORG
Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday at the Cirque de Désespoir

What the h**l?

Like Vince waking up on a kitchen table wearing in my 1970's Faded Glory sweater and suffering memory loss, Monday has arrived with no explanation of itself.

It doesn't feel like I had a weekend. It's raining again. I've spent the last three weeks either trying to fall asleep or wake up. Things are bit bizarre at the moment.

Last night as I struggled for sleep I heard the television playing "The Mighty Boosh" theme song. Tonight I'll check the DVR and see what I captured. The "Hotel Babylon" marathon from last week is still waiting. So is the racing from Saturday.

Below is an archaeological find. It's the original corner logo for the "Tuxedo Inn" back when the site was not running with Blogger. I had a whole "Serenade In Blue" going on with cards, dice, and a Speakeasy theme. I went nuts working with copyright free graphics and colorizing things. Back then, a few years ago, there weren't as many Dover books and CDs colorized and ready to go. I even had little rollover navigation buttons. Blogger saves a heck of a lot of time. I can work on content and not worry about creating the page layout.

The Original Tuxedo Inn Girl

Below is a sample from one of my fave twisted websites, "Hello Kitty Hell". It contains photos and "artist's renderings" of Hello Kitty products in all their variety. While I will confess to having a "Hello Kitty" plushie, I can't imagine living in a "Hello Kitty" house! Below is a pic of one of this week's products, "Hello Kitty Hand Grenandes". For when you want to be civil about the whole mass destruction thing.

Got Ordnance?

Below is a gratuitous picture of Vince Noir snatching "Shaman Juice" from the "Crack Fox". I'm secretly hoping that the pic of Vince will make up for me being to tired and confused to say much today. :) It's tough to find new things to riff about since my last fave subject became HWMNBN!

Juice me up baby!

Note: Images of Vince Noir today are from the fantastic galleries at the website Today's images are screen caps from the Mighty Boosh Episode: "The Stange Tale of the Crack Fox".
Sunday, September 27, 2009
HWMNBN Playlist
Some Vince Noir dance riffs. No prancing in the rain or driving on the beltway required.

Of course these tracks all remind me of HWMNBN. May Vince Noir steal his best girl!

You can listen to this playlist FREE without having the sign up and buy anything. Just click on the "HWMNBN" playlist title below. That will take you to Rhapsody. You may have to install a Rhapsody player to play the tunes. This playlist is paid for and legal. It is a service of my Rhapsody subscription. Enoy!


1. Celebration - Madonna
2. Chains Of Love (Album Version) - Erasure
3. Don't Go - Yaz
4. Only You - Yaz
5. Circus (Tom Neville's Ringleader Remix) - Britney Spears
6. I'm A Slave 4 U - Britney Spears
7. So What (Bimbo Jones Mix) - Pink
8. Ave Mary A - Pink
9. Womanizer (Benny Benassi Extended) - Britney Spears
10. So What (Main Version - Clean) - Pink
11. Bulletproof (Manhattan Clique remix radio) - La Roux
12. You - Bill Withers
Oh I'm All Painty!
Yeah, that sounds like a Vince Noir come on line if there ever was one. Today's painty goodness is craft paint though. I had a little time to put in on the shadow box thingy I've been fiddling with.

Below is a pic of the embossed and colored metal. I embossed the metal with the Sizzix machine and colored it blue with alcohol inks. The yellow thing is the shadow frame with its base coat of Lemonade colored "Paint Dabbers"

Ok, first of all I must confess to being a sucker for Tim Holtz crafty products. I try not to buy everything he comes out with right out of the gate, but I usually succumb. I have a half dozen "Paint Dabbers". I purchased them after I used them in a class and I thought I'd like them.

I sort of like them. The problem with them is that they are a bottle of paint with a sponge applicator build in. There is supposed to be a little valve that opens under the foam when you press the bottle down. You wind up "bunny hopping" the bottle of paint all over everywhere and then trying to smooth it out with the sponge. The sponge immediately rips because it's not made for "stroking". Trying to cover any amount of work with this stuff will make you go berserk. Today I finally opened the bottle and squirted the paint onto a piece of stamp foam and smeared the paint on.

They are just nifty if you're not painting anything bigger than an index card. The colors match the Ranger line and are yummy.

Hop hop?

Today I went ahead and started the outside designs on the box. It will end up layered and embellished like an explosion in a junk drawer before I'm done. This is the base set of images. I used rubber stamps from Stamp Francisco and Ancient Ink's Plum Wine ink. The 'stamp edges' will be painted over after this layer dries.

I started experimenting with the bottom of the box.

This is the box side design.

This is the top and inside "shelf" of the box.

Hop hop?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
How can I apologize????
OMBH says that she stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning watching Noel Fielding and Russell Brand on the "Big Fat Quiz Show 2007". I watched the first 9 parts of that on You Tube today.

OMBH I'm soooo sorry!

I tried to find a pic of Vince in a red velvet dress or a bunny costume to make up for the injury. The best I could do is find Vince in bunny ears. Or perhaps they're the "donkey ears" sprouted by the bad boys on "Pleasure Island" in Pinocchio.

Hop hop?

I found one pic of Vince in a dress but it was an "upskirt" and it was not "love's young dream". I also found a pic of him wearing a novelty elephant thong and nothing else. That is also not the kind of thing you want someone to come upon unaware.

There is another thong pic that I think OMBH is also familiar with from the message board of "He Who Must Not Be Named".

There is something to be said in favor of a more substantial man with a sturdier build.

Since I'm not supposed to name "HWMNBN", I'm not supposed to write about him either. Without more delay here is Vince in a red velvet shirt.

Too Much!

Doctor, doctor give me the cure I've got a bad case of wanting a life!!!!!

Vince arrives with a cool beverage and a medical bag. No Propofol please. I'm still not sleeping well but I'm not ready to jump the fence yet.

Too Much!

Long ago and far away the guy below put out the pounding beat that soundtracked some of my favorite summers. I saw him in concert and he was superb. His music introduced me island rhythms and thumb piano in a pop song. I miss his style and his music.

Heavy Nova

You can get a free ogle at some genuine "Might Boosh" if you have Verizon "On DEMAND" service on your cable television. On your cable TV menu:

1. Go to "On Demand"
2. Select "Browse All"
3. Select "Free"
4. Select "Cutting Edge"
5. Select "Adult Swim"
6. Selected "Featured"
7. Cruise down towards the bottom of the show list. There are 2 episodes available for free viewing. I suggest the one with the "zoo being sold" as a first pick. It involves some nice "Boosh" silliness and the the "wolves" in the "Jungle Room" will have you laughing out loud. They are near the end of the show.

The Mighty Boosh!

Enough Saturday Night Pleasantries. I'm back to work until about midnight or so. It's raining like mad. I'm missing the Petit Le Mans on SPEED Network. I had somebody try and tail me in the car on my way in. Our corporate offices are a huge campus, somebody was hiding in wait on the side of the driveway. They fell into line after me when I turned in off the main road. I suspect they thought they could mug me when I got out of the car and made a break across the parking lot. Since I park in the secured area, I drove up to the guard house quickly. When the trailing car approached they were turned away by men with guns.

If I didn't park in the secured area I would have driven right straight back home via the police station.

Just because it is Saturday night and I do have to work. I'm throwing in some gratuitous pout!

Too Much!

The next meeting of the "I desperately need to have a Jeremy Clarkson Moment" association will now come to order!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday Afternoon . . . Pout

Too Much!

Did SomeBUNNY say more pout?

Too Much!

Ok, now that the pout is out. Does anybody else notice in the top pic there is a priest in an open cassock wearing black toe shoes with bunny ears stuck on his hat?

I'm just feeling like my little old nightmares are getting more and more small scale all the time!

Now, for those of you who need some pout permanently installed in your decor, here is a link to buy "BeLIEve" show posters directly from the Luxor. Below is another sample of the pout.

Too Much!
Steampunky Goodness

Steampunky Goodness

Here's a cup of Steampunky goodness to make up for introducing OMBH to the lurid world of the Lurex clad Vince Noir.

Too Much!

"Girl Genius" comics online are drawn by Phil & Kaja Foglio. The story continues with fresh posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (There is a spot on the site to begin reading the story from the beginning.) I bumped into the series when I did some research on my ancient favorite the "MythAdventure Series".

MythAdventure is a long running set of novels by Robert Aspirin about a fumbling magician named Skeeve and his mentor AAhz. Ahhz is a scaly creature and they live in a world of magic and strangeness. The series is a screaming laugh that came to life in 1978.

Foglio drew cover illustrations and provided the graphics for the trade paperback versions.

When I finally moved into the house and unpacked my case of books marked "someday", the Mythadventures series was in there. In looking for a cover gallery of books for this post I've just learned that Robert Aspirin passed away last year. The series is now under the pen of his co-author. I recommend this series for some fun reading.

While we are on the subject of Steampunk/Victorian yummies, I'm going to post the photo of my vintage "dream dress". Should I somehow be able to conform myself to being laced, lashed, and lead to a soiree in a formal outfit, this would be the one. I can tell it's technically a day dress but it's beautiful with the velvet embossing on it. If I were going to walk through Criss Angel's dream scape, that is the dress I'd do it in.

Steampunky Goodness

On the subject of Criss Angel's proported arrogance and bad behavior, I'd like to suggest the PR department made a big mistake in their choice of promo photos. Banners in the media and on the sides of the Luxor show a pic of Criss in his television series garb with his rippling abs gleaming. The only problem with the photo is his head is tilted back and he's look down his nose at the viewer. Somebody may have thought this looked "mysterious", "illusive", and "sexy". It comes across as combo of arrogance and looking through bifocals.

Today I took a turn at the official "BeLIEve" website. It's beautifully done. It also sports a Byronic pic of of Criss that may induce spontaneous melting of the elastic in female viewers undergarments.

He walks in beauty like the night. . .

Granted at 1 p.m. this pic makes me think, 'Phoa!'. At 8 a.m. it makes me think, "He needs a cup of coffee worse than I do!" But the pic does not look arrogant.

Granted, melted elastic does not make up for insulting the audience or bad behavior. I will say he's doing better than most of congress in his behavior, but that's not difficult. My thoughts are that Criss Angel is a Jersey Boy. He's been raised around Jersey and New York. He came from a world where not answering your critics with a forceful and fast response was a bad mistake. He makes no secrets about coming up hardscrabble. He's not promoting himself as a Royal Academy alumni.

I've had some comments from friends speculating on Mr. Angel dating one of Hugh Hefner's recyclables. I don't know when the fashion changed and a person became a television celebrity for being the doxy in the seraglio of a whore mongering old man. That may sound harsh but I can't think of a gentler way to say it. These celebrities are on television because they get paid to provide sexual services to a person who makes a persona of being a gourmand of personal sexual gratification. This person also has a spouse and a child who live next door to the seraglio. Nobody's curing cancer or developing an aids vaccine in that household, you know?

My "yesteryear" view of what makes celebrity aside, the woman should have a happy life whatever her choices. Mr. Angel has more offers for gratification tossed at him than the Trevi fountain catches coins. It would seem a perilous predicament.

What am I doing on this soap box again? Pardon me as I get down.

Appropriately the MP3 player is here today and it's cranking out "Goody Two Shoes" by Adam Ant. Oh Mr. Ant, so true, it must be something inside.

My thoughts amble gently to one who is not currently mine. Though not long ago I blogged about them "standing to deliver". (Mocking stage sigh.)

He walks in beauty like the night. . .

Note: Still on the level of visceral happiness, but on a completely different subject: Tomorrow is the American Petit Le Mans race. Juicy yummy car noises shall be filling my home! Vroom vroom.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Raven haired and pouty, this week's theme?

Strut, pout, put it out?

Ok I'm amazed out how difficult it is to find Vince Noir pics. I thought I'd fall back to the dark and lovely magician Criss Angel for some visual stress relief. What I found were heaps of horrible reviews of his Vegas show "BeLIEve"

I'll admit to having paid cash to see Lance Burton's show in Vegas. I even ponied up for a front row seat. During the performance it was obvious that Burton had a terrible head cold. At one point his "magic wand" flew out of his sleeve along with several "set ups" for other tricks. During the big "car flying" scene I noticed that the battery box on the flying car was bright yellow and very visible. Several of the props squeaked loudly when the hidden panels in them popped open.

HOWEVER I loved the performance, it was fantastic! First off, Burton worked when he could hardly breathe. That gets him extra points in my book. He could just have easily cancelled the show at the last minute. Secondly when he had the accident with the wand and "set ups" his assistant swooped in a graceful movement and made the mess disappear. Burton kept trucking forward with grace and aplomb. That is the mark of a professional and polished performer. As for the "flying car", I will admit that I had a seat on the far left end of the front row.

At the time the end two seats of the first row had been removed. I've noticed in later pictures of the theater that the seat I had occupied had been removed as well. I'm willing to accept some magic isn't meant to be seen from some angles. I will also compliment Burton on sitting on the edge of the stage and doing delightful close up magic with a dove.

Yes I love Burton's card and dove routine. It's the same routine he's won awards with since the beginning of his career. I've seen it live and on television. If I sat and thought about it, I could probably figure out where things are hidden and when they are switched. That is not what enjoying "magic" is about. Burton manipulates the cards and presents the doves in a fluid dance that is a delight to watch.

Once you are the age to be reasonably considered an "adult" it is a given that you know the man doesn't create these things out of thin air. When you go to see a magic performance you enter into the same spirit as when you take a small child to see "Santa" at the mall. You know it's all illusion. What you marvel at is the quality of the performance. I feel that way about watching any magic act.

I'll admit I'm not so open minded about "Cirque de Soleil" performances. The performers are graceful, athletic, talented, devoted, and hard working. However I don't get any enjoyment out of seeing how many ways a human can stick its head up its own bottom. I get to see head-up-bottom action all day at work and on the beltway. I'm not paying to look at in off hours.

When I heard "Cirque" and Criss Angel were teaming up, I frowned. It seemed a bit like getting Criss to perform his street magic at the same time on the same stage with a mid-flight Sigfried and Roy extravaganza. You could tell the audience was going to have some dilemma about where to focus. Combining a master at magician's levitation with people who are expected to be flying on wires looked like a big contradiction.

Fans of Angel's show will remember that in the first season he used his "chorus" of internal personas in the opening credits, segues, and illusions. At points he explained what each one meant. I liked that.

Unfortunately a great number of potential Vegas show patrons are not comfortable with watching a performer's psyche struggle with itself. They may have a hard time figuring out why a magic act turns into a trip down a rabbit hole.

From what I've read about the concept of the show I think I'd love it. The premise is that Angel has an accident during his act and is jolted into a surreal world with dancing rabbits and blood soaked brides.

From the photos of the costumes, theater, and sets this show looks like it's lavishly done in a steampunk/Victorian style.

This is not a traditional magic show then, and I bet a great many Criss Angel fans expected Criss to wheel out his grand illusions and fabulous escapes and perform like he does on his television show. When he doesn't deliver the standard fare live a lot of people who spent serious coin for the experience they were not happy.

Take the show into the realm of the surreal in a world of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" people and there's bound to be a loud crash of disapproval.

Combine these two possible points of audience dissatisfaction and glue them onto people going to "preview" performances and you can bet there will be tears.

Most of the reviews I read about the show were from people who saw it in previews or in the first few weeks it was open. In the era of movies that bounce into the world completely edited,it seems most people forget that live performances take a bit to get geared up and running smoothly. (Reviews from mid 2009 and later are better.)

If I were to magically get a Vegas vacation, the first show I'd want to see is "BeLIEve". My second show would be Lance Burton again.

My choices may not be typical but I think I'd like Angel's show. If not, I'd at least be able to say I'd seen the train wreck in person. But I'm betting that show is not a train wreck.

Criss Angel has won too many awards from groups of professional magicians to be a no-talent hack. His show reportedly cost 85$ million to stage and the backers are going to pull out all the stops get it returning investment dollars. With Lance Burton, Siegfried & Roy, and the gazillion other magicians in Vegas there's enough talent and enough full spectrum experience to coach Angel through.

Some reviews said Angel couldn't act. Some said he had no charisma. Some said he called the audience "drunks" and that he cursed out a critic during a performance in a full house. I'd say get the man some professional coaching in Vegas performance. He's under the dual stresses of having achieved his life's dream and watching explode in his face.

"BeLIEve" came to market fairly fast at a time when Angel was worked into the ground. It was liable to come out of the gate wobbling.

My hope is that it'll pull up and run with good form. I want to be able to see it next year when I finally earn enough time to take a vacation!
Bleeping MP3 Player!
The Sheep!
The Sheep!
The Sheep are safely grazing!
They got their hooves shuffling
They're hoovering up the grass!

~~~sing to the beat of the old night club chant

Today's "leftover at work CD" is Wendy Carlos' Switched on Bach Boxed Set Disc #3. Oh yeah, "Sheep May Safely Graze" is in high rotation along with the Brandenburg Concerto #5 in D Major. Oh party up!

I feel like I should be ushering people to seats and saying "Yes, they will be greatly missed." or "Bride's side or Groom's side?".

I have a vicious craving for some vintage Parliament. I think "Flashlight" is very appropriate!

Flash Light ~~ as grooved by Parliment

Now, I lay me down to sleep
Ooh, I just can't find a beat
Flash light (ohh, I will never dance!)
Flash light [x3]

Ha da da dee da hada hada da da

Oh, it's no use!

Flash light
Red light
Neon light
Ooh, stop light

Now I lay me down to sleep
I guess I'll go count the sheep
Oh, but I will never dance

Oh but yes I will dance! I'll dance with little Vince under the disco lights.

Oh yeah

Gorilla Girl?
Don't ask, don't tell!

Those boots were made for struttin!
These boots were made for struttin!

Baby goes Emo!
This meeting of the North American Cod Piece admirers will now come to order!
Note: The confession of "Jeremy Clarkson Moments" group meets in the "Starlight Ballroom next door."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Random Memory
Ok, here is the song phrase to make you go bonkers this afternoon.

This line is from a top 20 song from the 1970's.

"What does it matter to ya'?
When you got a job to do
You got to give the other fella hell."

The song isn't "Big Log" by Robert Plant.

Only 40 more minutes before I can stagger home and into that sweet sweet bed. If I conk out early I'll probably be up all night after midnight. But I don't care. . . madness setting in. Must remember to put on white full face helmet before driving on beltway. Where are my driving gloves?

Head filling with random song lyrics. Like an MP3 player stuck on "dement".

"I drive a gold Rolls Royce, 'cause it's good for my voice."

Here comes Robert Plant again. . .

"My love is exceedingly vivid
Red-eyed and fevered with the hum of the miles
Distance and longing, my thoughts do provide"

Can't forget that flippin' MP3 player tomorrow!

Just for fun, take a peek at this web site for misunderstood song lyrics. It is laugh out loud funny!
Where did this strap come from?
What is this strap doing here? Where did it come from? Why am I hanging onto it? Am I on the metro? Didn't the news say the metro was a deathtrap? How come the new sleep medicine didn't knock me out last night but today I'm making about as much sense as Lester Corncrack and Vince Noir discussing drainpipe trousers and jazz fusion?

Oh yeah, I know this is wrong but this guy is so beautiful. AND he's close to my age.

Since I just took an allergy pill does that mean I'm going to be conversing with Naboo and the pink headed guy soon? I can wing it in a respectful convo with a shaman but the pink headed guy I just want to smash with a shovel. He's just a pink head with seven tentacles, he's a jerk and he's just creepy!

Oh yeaaaaah. If you're a hardcore insomniac sooner or later you will become closely acquainted with "Adult Swim"'s lineup of nonsense presented by the Cartoon Network after the little monsters have gone to bed. (Or their parents have retired and the 9 year olds have switched over to the "Ripe" network.)

Under the small gleaming beam of light spewing from the TV, under Adult Swim's direction, I have nursed my unrequited love for Brock Samson, almost made sense of an episode of "Garth Merenghi's Dark Place", and decided that Vince Noir reminds me of something that is best described as a "Clarkson moment.".

No I'm not moaning. Ignore that shiver. I must be catching a chill in this industrial air conditioning.

Why are the words to "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop" running through my head? Oh no, it's worse, I'm hearing Robert Plant yowling the lyrics to "Big Log" again! Good heaven it happens every twenty minutes or so!

No wait, that's not Vince Noir induced, it's because I only have a few CDs at work and one of them is "Seriously Cool Driving Music". Track #3 is Robert Plant. It's the only song I notice any more. It's the bit where he ominously moans "My love is in league with the freeway. Oh with the freeway, and the coming of night-time" It sounds like some kind of mystery story about love, fast cars, and separation.

Hmm, that might be a good tune for Vince N to do a little dance to down at the velvet onion. Maybe he could make the switch from ring leader and lead singer and take the lead on stage at the pole.

Shake your booty Vince!

WAIT you say! Doesn't this sleep deprived musing trample your "respect" and "good behavior" policy? Doesn't this desire to see Vince prancing in an exploitative fashion mean you are poaching! Shriek!

No poaching!

NO! It does not! Vince Noir is a fictional character. I don't want to know diddly skit about the guy who plays him either!

I just want to enjoy the entertainment!

Shake your booty Vince!

In my addled mind Vince can be the airhead harpsichord player from the Annapolis Baroque Orchestra or some such fictional occupation. He can be flexible, amenable, and double jointed!

Oh heaven, I've got 2.5 more hours of work. It's all I can do to keep from falling flat on my face. Shake it Vincey shake it!

Shake your booty Vince!
A String of Words About Bootstraps
It doesn't seem contentious to say the phrase "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" is pervasive in 2009 American parlance. (At least for those old enough to remember when "Saturday Night Fever" was in first run in movie theaters.

The very idea presented in that catchphrase has embedded itself into the computer world so much that the software I work with has a file called a "boot strap dataset". Affectionately known as the "BSDS", this file contains the critical bits and bobs to make the software start and keep running. If the BSDS is lost, deleted, or damaged, the system crashes and people start telephoning for the retrieval of backup tapes kept beneath a sleeping dragons paw in the Land of OZ.

Upper management sweats blood, middle management foams at the mouth, and techies start their disaster recovery rituals and find a quiet place to hide until the tapes arrive.

In these quiet little hidey nooks, that the security cameras can't see, the techies get time to consider the idea of really grabbing hold of an actual bootstrap and doing something useful with it.

If you are putting on your boots, the straps and pulls are useful. If you are prone in the slough of despair they are not. If you are prone and bootless in the pit of anguish the straps aren't even useful for putting the boots on. (Unless you are a contortionist.) If you are sitting up in the fiery wasteland of self-doubt you could perhaps lean forward and tug at your bootstraps for leverage to stand. Physics dictates it more likely that you'll just flip yourself forward in a face plant. If you are standing against a sea of outrageous misfortune and you attempt to climb to higher ground, grabbing your bootstraps is going to send you the wrong way.

The same is true if you have clinical depression, Alzheimer's, or bi-polar disorder. Granted you have to show up for therapy, do the memory exercises, wear the wander-guard, and do your share of the tugging to remove your head from wherever it's jammed. But if what you really need is a higher serotonin blood level, aluminum platelets removed from your brain tissue, or a dose of lithium; than rolling around expending Herculean effort to "struggle your troubles away" with fortitude isn't worth the chat show conversation you'd like to have about it.

Personal responsibility in your own medical care is paramount. Being informed, aware, and active in your own treatment is one of those "rights and responsibilities" they prattle on about in grade school. However common sense and medical fact weigh in on the topic too.

If you have a brain chemical problem, you treat it chemically. If you have a broken leg, you treat it orthopedically. Neither one is going to benefit from a jaunty 1920's tune about intestinal fortitude and how far away it is to Tipperary. (Even if you do sing the "naughty" verse about "tickle Mary")

To find out more about the tune "It's A Long Way To Tipperary" click here to visit "The First World War" website. The pic is from their site.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Technically . . .
Technically my head is still attached. In lieu of Jeeves magnificent mystery cure, I have had to make do with Coca Cola, water, and the magical properties of yellow cheese doodle dust.

Pretty strong stuff but all in all a good glue for holding me upright in the chair for the next 3.5 hours.

The physician has finally telephoned and there is a change to tonight's voodoo sleep cocktail prescription. With a wing and a prayer I'll be able to wake up and arrive sprightly and on-time tomorrow.

Looking at what I've taken and what I've been through I have no idea why Michael Jackson wasn't dead way before they gave him IV sedation. The amounts and items they listed him as having taken should have felled a moose let alone a scrawny 50 year old man.

Everyone says, "Oh but he got immune to it."

There are points in time where even in the doctor has webbed feet and waddles, they should say. "No more! That option is exhausted. You must go another way."

It also has been presented that he took serotonin re-uptake inhibitors like they were breath mints. That will physically make you unable to sleep.

It's sort of like taking your sleeping draught with a Turkish coffee. It makes no sense.

From the press releases today it sounds like Anna Nichole Smith had docs that didn't manage her care with her best interests at heart either.

Somehow all the drug adverts and media hype need to get a good dose of fact mixed in. I have friends that call anti-depressants "Happy Pills" and swear they just dope people up. These friends also rant and rave about "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps".

That was until one of them went into dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. No bootstrapping to be done there. Just a sideshow of bat shit crazy until the ambulance drug them away.

It galvanizes my bucket that depression, Alzheimer's, bi-polar disorder are treated like they are a character flaw and not a physical illness. Why isn't big bird explaining this stuff along with cancer, leukemia, and the common cold? Come to think of it why doesn't big bird explain how a uterus works when he explains how lungs work? If not big bird how about his uncle "Senior Doctore Pollo Grande"?

Why do we continue to put up with so many young people wandering around the world with a fatal ignorance of their own bodies? Do we have to see the dead from Aids in Africa stacked like the horrors of the concentration camps before we realize as a society that knowledge about bodily function and disease is the best way to take a dent out of the medical cost dilemma? How about a huge reduction in human suffering?

Oh my, how did I get on this soap box?

I'll just step down here and have a sip of this refreshing beverage.

Suffice it to say that it drives me crazy that girls still wander around high school without clear knowledge of how their bodies work. That's like being sealed up on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise with no directions and all the buttons labeled "Don't Touch!".

Bridge Console Section of the Original Enterprise NCC1701

One of these buttons will give you a thrill, one will get you pregnant, one will give you Aids, and one changes the television station. Good Luck!

Ahem, much better now. I'll go phone Bob and see if he needs me to stop by the store on the way home.
Today is the day. . . .
. . . that I have to chase some guy around the building and get my probation paperwork signed.

I've seen this fellow as he dashed into the men's room earlier. I did not deem it prudent to follow him or wait for him. His name, which I had committed to memory as a mantra, is now missing from my brain. It starts with an "M" and it isn't Marvin. I called him Marvin and he corrected me. Of course I don't remember what he said.

Four hours of sleep last night, I think. I crashed into bed like a tumbling tree but lay there awake until almost 2.

I tried the doctor's combo platter of sleep aids and they left me with a hangover.

I look and feel like Bertie Wooster in dire need of one of Jeeves' marvelous remedies.

Instead I'll have to stick to regular hi-caff Coca Cola soda pop.

I had a bagel but couldn't really tell if it was made from wheat flour or recycled cardboard. We may have a gourmet chef in the canteen but they still buy the breads from "El Cheapo - no name bakery."

I suspect "El Cheapo" uses cardboard, leftover fast food packaging, and library paste in its selections.

For 1.25$ they could at least get a half-way decent bagel.

I used to bring my own from the Panera bakery, but toasters have been outlawed. They are a fire hazard. Under desk heaters are outlawed too but plenty have them. Perhaps I could have a small heater that would toast my bagel for me.

Since my area is between the circulating vents I'm not in a "heater zone", I'm in a "fan zone". The fan is useful for many things but it will not toast.

Oh yes, Jeeves where are you!

If I don't sleep tonight I may go completely bonkers by tomorrow!

I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood,
I know I could always be good ,
With Jeeves to watch over me!

Monday, September 21, 2009
Farewell JDM

Tonight I can write the saddest lines
by Pablo Neruda

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

OMBH - I stopped going to the boards a while ago because I felt a bit mad to even be reading the dish. After 10 years a couple has to hit the "go/no go" button. Perhaps they finally got married. Bob convinced me to quit with the envy and start seeing Mr. May's exploits in the rear view mirror.

"W" and I went on for about 10 years, then split for another bunch of years, and now we're seeing each other again. It's going full tilt for the same rubbish bin it hit last time.

Gram crackers and set points aside. Let's raise a glass of something cool & refreshing and toast the highly esteemed Mr. May as he leaves the blog.

I have some rather nice cognac for just such an occasion. :)

Side Note: At one point this blog was #1 on Yahoo for the search terms "James May & Fun". It was #3 for MSN and #8 for Google. It is now "James May Free" and out of the search engines.

With 100% less James May I may loose the few readers I have left. But that's the way it goes.
Reality In Just An Illusion

Arguably reality is perceived by your senses, therefore the state of your physical sensory array affects the reality you experience.

No, I'm not talking about some 60's hippie freak drug experience. I'm talking about sleep depravation, iron deficiency, and a gazillion syllable syndrome. I've had all 3 messing with my sensory array the last few weeks.

Thanks to working all night a few nights in a week, my body clock is more suitable for a Las Vegas performer. Toss in an iron shortage, overall sleep depravation, and some post traumatic stress and you've got a "vision quest" without every leaving the house.

I'm back up on my feet. My doctor phoned me personally this morning to make sure I was awake and heading off for work on time. My buddies are rallying around trying to get me righted and back on an even keel. Bob the camel has been holding down the blog and the overgrowth of grass around the mail box.

Not much else new. Lots of goodies arrived for the Sizzix machine. I took advantage of the end of season sale. I picked up 4 alphabets, some embossing doodiddlies, and some regular dies.

The shadow box project is still humming along. I need a "clay day" to make some pieces for it. With the new Sizzix machine I have a feelign I'll be playing with the sketch/collage book for the next little while. :)

Here's hoping the OMBH avoided the wicked graham crackers.

P.S. Had anybody noticed the on the more recent episodes of Top Gear that James May looks like he's sick?
Bob on duty today.

Bob the camel here!

I'm still pinch hitting for Justine on her blog.

She's been under the weather for the last week.

Last weekend at the Ren Fest was busy but quiet. I've been able to speak to my cousin "Pajama Llama" and he's doing a petting zoo job in the south east.

Apparently he's looking at doing voice over work in the Washington DC area. So I expect he and I will be reuniting soon.

This week I've been borrowing a car from the guy who plays King Henry VIII. It's not safe to walk on the highway sidings. Even though Justine has had a tow hitch added to her car and has borrowed a horse trailer, it's a hassle for me to have to get a ride out to the fair with her.

Yeah, I'm smoking a cig in this pic. After breathing burning petro chemical fumes for months on end in my previous job, a ciggie at the end of the day isn't going to hurt me much. I don't advocate smoking, usually, but hey I am a camel.

Hope all are weathering the change in seasons and the blooming of the golden rod with steadfast fortitude.

Monday, September 14, 2009
Bob says "What Ho?"

Bob the camel here! What ho good readers?

It was quite the weekend. It rained on Saturday and horses at the Ren Fest got snooty about getting wet. Since I quite enjoy it, I put on my best "Arabian" outfit and carried the King ahead of the regal procession through the fair! I'm glad he was a svelte version of Henry VIII, the fairgrounds were slippery and I'd hate to have stumbled and dropped him in the mud!

My palm reading business was fairly brisk as well. Lots of teenagers filled with romantic or prurient curiosity. All sides of the same coin anyway. The smash hit came when things slowed down and I pulled out a deck of tarot cards. Apparently tarot reading camels are a rarity in the U.S. I had quite a few customers just from the novelty of it.

Saturday night Justine went to work. I prepared her a little snack and a cooler with ice and soda and tea. She kindly let me use the washer and dryer to clean up my costume. It's all polyester so it's easy care.

Justine ambled home about 3 a.m. and staggered off to bed looking "computered out".

The "love monkey" arrived on Sunday. Turns out he was not of the "poo throwing" variety. He was a very nice gentleman who escorted her to see the "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" band. I gather they had a lovely time there. They spoke about the band playing Cab Calloway songs.

Justine went back to work on Monday morning leaving her guest to his own devices. The "love monkey" was kind enough to take out the rubbish, fix the shower thingy, and tidy up before he left. Overall a very gentlemanly creature.

My Sunday at the Ren Fest was convivial. I carried the King about again. He had such a good time that he invited me to the investiture of the knights. I am now "Sir Bob" of Revel Grove!

Justine awaits another package from Sizzix today. I believe this one may have gone astray. But I shall await the UPS man none the less. Especially as I can watch programs on the DVR whilst I wait.

I've been studying up on the "Top Gear" programme. One of the presenters is named "James May". She seems to think he has more fun than she does. I think he gets the short end of the stick the way the others all bully him. He also brings much on himself by his dodgy choice of motor cars for the show's challenges. Poor man lives well but nearly as well as Justine as far as I can tell.

I do quite like that "Stig" fellow though.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Shake, Shake, Shake

Bob the camel here!

Justine couldn't be persuaded to come out from under the duvet to do a blog entry today, so I'm back.

Justine is in a terrible funk over something called "Early Code". Apparently there are some bits and bobs of computer code that have to be read in when the machine powers on. For me that means that I go put the kettle on while the laptop boots up. Apparently for Justine this means sitting at her desk at midnight on a Saturday night and waiting for anywhere from 90 minutes to 4.5 hours.

I suggested that if her desktop at work took that long to start up, maybe she should take some pictures of automobiles off the hard drive. She kindly let me know that where she works there are many large sized central computers that require quite a bit of time to get themselves ready to rock.

I find this amazing. How on earth do people put up with this? That poor woman will be working all night Saturday night and she's not even in a rock and roll band!

Anyway, she's in quite a funk about it. Seems that she has purchased tickets to see some band called "Big Bad Voodoo Daddy" on Sunday. All this computer business is throwing a spanner in the works of her planned weekend with her "love monkey".

I haven't seen this "monkey" but I hope it's housebroken. Monkeys can be beastly.

I've been trying to cheer Justine up so I put on the computer music player. In looking for something upbeat I found a group called the "Sunshine Band". They are singing about shaking your booty.

I took this to be a jaunty pirate ditty but Justine informs me that booty is slang for "bottom". Still it's a catchy song. They also do a peppy number about being the "Boogie Man". I hope I don't find out that "Boogie Man" is slang for pimp or doxy.

Anyway, while Justine is off at work I'm having a good time dancing. The UPS man is expected to bring another packet from Sizzix today. I hope he does. The only thing making little Justine smile these days is that Sizzix contraption.

Hope all are having a fine day and shaking whatever it is humans are supposed to shake!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
What Ho! From Bob

Hi I'm a camel. My name is Bob.
I'm filling in on the blog for Justine for another day.
She reached settlement with the assisted living this morning.
She also contacted the long term care insurance provider in an effort to recover 2500$ that should have been billed along with monthly room rates but wasn't.
With any luck the insurer will cover the extra expense. It was worth a try anyway.
Since Justine has been at work and playing with the fax machine and frothing a bit around the mouth,. . . well the blog was the least I could do.

The Ren Fest stables are comfortable enough but I'm afraid the horses are leading me into hijinks. They stand about and brag about their jousting wins and losses as if they had anything to do with them. Poor things don't understand that the whole thing is scripted. Monday night I slipped the door of the stable open and went out to get some peace and quiet. I camped out in a small copse of saplings behind what is apparently the apple dumpling stand. The smell of apples nearly drove me mad so I moved over and slept on the empty stage of the outdoor theater.

Yesterday morning I woke on stage covered with a refreshing sprinkling of rain and being yelled at for scrumping apples!

Turns out that during the night the horses kicked down the door to the apple dumpling stand and raided the apple barrel. The door was covered with well placed horse shoe prints!

There was much screaming and brandishing of large sticks until the man noticed that I do not wear horse shoes. I don't even have a half moon shaped hoof at all!

I returned to stable mid-morning to discover that the horses, while not subject to a tongue lashing, were suffering. They were all in severe gastric distress from eating too many apples and too much sugar. The air in the barn was so foul I spent most of the day out of doors on the jousting field.

Since the festival is closed on weekdays, I have the run of the place. Several of the groundskeepers were kind enough to stop by and visit. I did palm readings for several of them.

Say what you will about palmistry, it does add a few coppers to an enterprising camel's purse!

Today I am waiting for the UPS delivery man. He has delivered two boxes from someone named "Sizzix". I think these may be art supplies. She seems to have a good sized studio at the back of the house.

Thank you all for your warm reception in the comments section. I have a line on my cousin and we'll see if I can contact him by phone tonight.

I met Stephen Fry when he was filming in Morocco. Nice enough man, we joked about how similar our noses look.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
A Note From Bob

Hi I'm a camel. My name is Bob.
Justine was kind enough to take me in and give me shelter one dark and stormy night when I got lost on my way to airport baggage claim.
I'm here in the United States to visit a cousin. However, my cousin in inconveniently lost right now. I'm hot on his trail and have hired a private detective.
In the meantime I'm earning my keep by helping Justine with yard work and working at the local Ren Fest. This week I'm staying at the stables at the Ren Fest so I don't wear out my welcome at Justine's.
I must say, I'm surprised at just how kind and nice Americans are. My buddy Stephen Fry said that Americans were nicer than the media portrays them.
I've been pleasantly surprised.
I'm putting up a "Blogger" post for Justine today. She had a very rough weekend. She's embroiled in a billing battle with Sunrise Assisted Living. They have billed her for three months of room and board for after her mother passed away. They have also transferred the bill into Justine's name. She had a session with an accountant and an advocate over the weekend.
The poor thing just lost her mother two months ago and she's exhausted. It's bad enough that she's dealing with the loss of her best buddy and the person she's cared for over the last four years. It's worse that a wacky computerized accounting system is terrorizing her.
I'm pitching in with this blog entry. Before I go back out to the Ren Fest grounds I think I'll nosh on the long grass around the mailbox.

Friday, September 04, 2009
In The Name Of Love
"The Thompson Twins", do you remember that music group?

Do you remember they had a song called "In the Name of Love" years before Bono started wailing about the "troubles"?

The relentless drum slams are working their way into my brain this morning, trying to jump start my consciousness.

I hobbled into work at the crack of 9:30 this morning. Left my ability to reason in the bed at home.

Cindy Lauper is next on the playlist with "Into the Nightlife". Maybe she can get me swinging my drowsy head in time. Caffienation is underway. I've got the pen and paper to get the "list o' crap to do" started.

It's a holiday Friday and nobody is revved up to the max.

I've got house guests for the weekend and we have remote car races scheduled. Other than that we have the option of going to the Ren Fest, Antiques Show, Drive In, Regular Movies, or the living room.

The drive in theater is having their "Dusk to Dawn Extravaganza" but they've decided to be cheap and pick the six lousiest third stringer movies they can get. In years past at least the first 2 movies were good and the rest were funny. Since they've banned cars with a single occupant Bengies has gone down the suck hole this season. The guy who runs the place is so cranked up over every insult, slam, or tiff he's ever had that he has page after page of some sensible and some bizarre rules. He needs to retire and let somebody who isn't shell shocked take over.

This year he has added "no singles" and "nobody coming down the road in front of the theater from the right gets in". Yep, next year pink shorts will probably mean you'll get flogged. Baby boy is too tense. When the public makes you this crazy, you get out of the public biz.

So, Drive In is out. Ren Fest is ok, but I checked the schedule and they've got the same performance line up they've had for 20 years. It's ok that the performers come back but it would be nice if they'd come up with a new act. I think we may go if the weather is good, we'll amble around in the woods for a few hours and come home. I'd rather go amble around the antique show or the railroad museum.

Last time I went to the Ren Fest, one of the ladies of the court made a comment on how I was sitting on a bail of hay at the pub. It became evident why I would not have lived long in those times. All I had wanted to do was sit down in peace and eat my faire treat. Of all the pig out foods and beer, I had waited to have an apple dumpling. When I started to eat it, here comes Bertha big mouth in a lacer. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and bothering no one. My male escort finally escorted Lady Yappy mouth off to a safe distance. It really ruined my day and made me cry.

With that fond memory I think I will take the Ren Fest off the menu.

Maybe I'll substitute a nice afternoon at the DuClaw brewery. They've got "Mysterium" back on tap, and I'd like to take a growler home and chillax. It's next door to a movie theater so we can enjoy the beer sampler and then go see a flick while we come around.

This is a camel. His name is Bob. He is still here.
His suitcases arrived last night.
In the evenings he likes to wear slippers and a smoking jacket.
Last night he sat up and watched SPEED channel all night.
This morning when I came out to the living room I found he had fallen asleep on the sofa. He had on racing goggles and camel style driving gloves.
Today is chomping down the grass in the front yard. He does a nice job keeping it even.

Thursday, September 03, 2009
And Now A Word From Bob

This is a camel. His name is Bob. He is still here.
He would like to explain how he came to arrive at my house.
Turns out he was on an international flight into the United States and got lost on his way to baggage claim.
BWI Airport has a separate International Arrival pier and the distance from the far off gates to the baggage claim in the central airport is about the same distance as it is in the opposite direction from the gate to my front door. It's an easy mistake to make if you're a camel because you're already used to walking 25 miles a day or more. Most people don't make the same mistake because they collapse from exhaustion before they ever get out of the airport parking garage.

Bob phoned the airline and they are going to deliver his bags to the house tonight.

Currently Bob's sunning himself in the buff in the backyard. I don't think the neighbors will mind because I don't think anybody's really ever seen a camel in a bathing costume. They rather expect him to be naked.

Bob came to the United States to visit his cousin Pajama Llama. Until last year Pajama Llama worked for Disney in California. He'd invited Bob to come for a visit. They planned on going to Disney Land and then taking a jaunt to Las Vegas.
Unfortunately when Bob landed stateside he phoned his cousin only to find the phone had been disconnected. Pajama Llama was thrown out of work last year when Kuzco's New School went out of production.

Bob is using the internet and P.L.'s former agent to try and locate his cousin.
He has a line on a Llama sanctuary in New Mexico but is having trouble getting a phone number for them.

Bob would like it known that he is an industrious and self supporting camel. He will begin working at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this weekend giving camel rides and telling fortunes. He will use these funds to offset his living expenses as he looks for his cousin. Bob has vowed not to return home until he has helped his cousin back onto his four camelid feet.
Today the Top Gear UK website is full of promise and outtakes from the last series. Of course I can't see them because I'm on the wrong continent. I pay to see BBC programming, I wish I'd get a little "subscriber" token so I could join in the web based fun.

The Top Gear US website was yanked down earlier this summer. Now Top Gear is part of the BBC America website.

James doing a TV commercial for VW? Jeremy doing a commercial for Excedrin?

Today is the 3rd day in a row that I've staggered into work late. Last night I didn't sleep until 4 a.m. I'm in the process of hiring a lawyer to fight what I think are illegal billing practices by an assisted living group whose name I will not mention. I'll just call them "Sunset Unassisted Survival".

I am receiving help for family care giver burn out and grief. I'm also working on some post traumatic stress issues. (Yes I know me and everyone else in the world.)

For the last three weeks I've been going through tear soaked hell on earth. This means I don't sleep well or I don't wake up well. I'm a little ready to beat the crap out of the next person that hassles me about my mother's estate.

Yesterday afternoon we had a user delete a dataset and then try and sneak it back into the system. This brought software migration to a standstill. It also caused DB2 to send out a "downlevel detection" flag. After two hours of "snipe hunting" for the broken dataset I found out they customer was still trying to sneak it back into the system. Of course of the 2 hours I was getting bombarded by every manager in the building and I had to open a "problem ticket" and escalate it to the second arch angel in charge of pomegranate seeds.

Today I'm getting grief because I didn't thank the little trouble maker for fixing the problem. I have said a few things that sound very Jeremy Clarksonish.

I have to work late to make up lost time and I'm very cross. :(

This is a camel. His name is Bob. He is still here.
He has switched over to singing "Long Ago & Far Away".
I am going to ask him to switch songs, that one makes me cry.
I think "String of Pearls" would be lovely with his voice.
Today he wants a silk scarf and leather aviator helmet so he can be a WWII Flying Ace. Last night he sat up and watched all the episodes of Top Gear on the DVR. Today he told me that he believes he may be a distant cousin of Jeremy Clarkson.
Perhaps I need to rest now.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Baby you can drive my Porsche!

Richard & James discuss the virtures of a fartenbuch.
Click here to see the article on Top Gear UK.

Yesterday I forgot to give a link out to the article on Top Gear UK where James describes, in his very own words, what it was like to race the postman in a Porsche.

I was so sidetracked by that fabulous word, "fartenbuch".

Today's word is "coma". Apparently I was in a coma this morning. I slept through 3 phone calls, Jeeves tender dialog, and 2 hours of the backup alarm clock buzzing every 10 minutes.

I woke at the crack of noon.

This would have been fabulous except I was supposed to be at work at 9 a.m.

Whoo hoo. Can you say, I don't have any leave left again!?!?!?!

Ah, yes, I will be sitting here into the evening making up time.

I've been through all the fun and frolic with the docs but I'm still not sleeping right. Oh joy.

I'm rather afraid one morning I won't wake up at all. I'll just go sailing along in an unconscious state. But that's not logical is it?

I shall now kick the melancholy to the curb.

More attachments and dies have arrived for the Sizzix machine. Last night 3 new embossing dies arrived. They are so much fun! I also received a cutting die with some doo dads on it. That isn't so much fun. I realized I have to finesse most of the pieces out of the cutter. That die won't get used as much. But it does make photo corners.

My next shipment of Sizzix toys is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. That will include another alphabet and some other goodies. I hope they are easier to get the paper out of! Patience and tweezers are not my idea of a good time crafting! :)

I unpacked the polymer clay supplies and my stash of scrap clay on Sunday. That means it's doo-dad time! Scrap clay is good for making molds of neat things. Scrap clay colored with mica powder makes lots of copies of neat things! The patina kits get used on the clay to make rusted or "bronze" looking doo dads. Doo dads get attached to projects for months afterwards.

Sure I've taken polymer clay classes to learn how to make nice projects. I've also learned that I stink at trying to make complicated, fidgety clay projects. Now I have fun with the clay instead.

The Sizzix machine will cut thin sheets of baked polymer clay. Scrap clay is very good for making thin sheets of spectacularly colored marbling.

Examples of beautiful polymer clay art work can be found at Polymer Clay Daily

Beautiful polymer clay piece by Rome's Marina Lombardi

Polymer clay is a great medium, but I'm playing not doing everlasting art in the evenings, I'm playing. :)

The shadow box project is coming along. I've got the metal backing embossed. The box is painted. Next step is to make the molded objects to go inside. I forsee lots of textured thingies and plenty of molded doo dads! :0

This is a camel. His name is Bob. He is still here.
He is now singing "Serenade In Blue".
I put some Maderma ointment on that scar on his neck.
He's been eating the long rich grass in the back yard.
I'm afraid he's going to get bloat.
He wants to borrow an earring so he'll look like a pirate.
Perhaps I need to rest now.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Fahrtenbuch! I tell you what the world needs is a better fahrtenbuch!

Or maybe it has too many fahrtenbuchs!

We should start a political movement to rectify the situation! Immediately!

Or maybe not.

Today's word of whimsy is brought to you by the highly esteemed James May. While driving around with Richard Hammond in a Porsche he found a "Porsche Fahrtenbuch" in the glove box.

Thanks to the wonders of the world wide web, it has become clear that "fahrtenbuch" is German for "logbook".

This is not to be confused with 'de fuchinbuch' which is any computer software manual ever written in any language.

My brain has gone mushy today because I have been dinking around with SMF data and how to convert performance reports from the old IBM software to the new IBM software which is similar but not enough so as to make any freaking sense.

IBM bought its competitor and then shoved both products together and sent them out in a combo-pack that does not come with fries and is bugger all to understand.

To simplify the confusion IBM sent out a trainer for 3 days of classes. However we didn't have any hands on training so that was a useless 3 days of training. Now we have the "simplified" manuals for reporting which consist of 4 separate 400 page tomes that do not overlap and do not cross reference.

I think the term for this tactic is "de cackensuchen" but this can not be verified.

This is a camel. His name is Bob.
He is humming "Serenade In Blue" and now he's got me singing along.
Perhaps I need to rest now.

P.S. Started the motions of hiring a lawyer to bring action against Assisted Living Facility chain that is trying to bill me personally for expenses they say my mother incurred. Apparently she lived at the home for several months after her death.

I can't take the bulls**t anymore. They are trying to ruin my credit record unless I pay their black mail charges to the tune of over 3 thousand bucks.