"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Some Photos
pumpkin lady
Pumpkin Lady

I don't know if this is abstract scupture or unfinished construction.

I like the sky.

More sky

Renton's wetlands

The parents of four boys adopted from New Jersey's troubled foster care system were arrested Friday, two weeks after police found that the youngsters, ages 9 to 19, had been so starved that none weighed more than 50 pounds, the Camden County prosecutor said yesterday.

At 19, the oldest was 4 feet tall and weighed 45 pounds. The police initially thought he was 10 years old. The youngsters' condition was discovered when a neighbor called the police because the 19-year-old was going through the trash at 2:30 a.m. Oct. 10, looking for food, according to Prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi.

The four had been locked out of the kitchen of their house in this blue-collar Philadelphia suburb and were fed a diet of pancake batter, peanut butter and breakfast cereal, eating wallboard and insulation to sate their hunger, investigators said.

A caseworker from the state Division of Youth and Family Services, the agency that oversees the system, had visited the home 38 times in the past two years, investigators said.

My Kind of Holiday Music
We returned to the studio with a bigger-than-ever cast of actors and professional singers. Thrill to the magnificent sounds of the Dagon Tabernacle Choir. Marvel at the exsquisite harmonies of the Arkham Carolers. Tap your tentacles along with the Dunwich Children's Chorale. All twenty-five numbers are professionally produced and recorded with the same maniacal care that made A Shoggoth on the Roof such a disturbing achievement in musical theatre. From beatific choirs to maniacal mariachis, there's something for everyone in this first-ever CD of Lovecraftian Solstice Carols.
Link via the Big MoBoDaddy

The Arabian Insult Generator.
May you have nightmares in which violent late night talk show hosts dig a 40 foot hole and fill it with pennies behind your scrotum.
May 32 freaky Fraggles choke on Popples using only vaseline and your jock strap.
May a mob of aerodynamic heart surgeons advance to Boardwalk with sharp chedder cheese over your two piece swim suit.
May a barrel of bad tempered Amway Salesmen view a porno called Debbie Does coffee beans while having a bowel movement on your delicious Stuffed Crust Pizza.
May a molar quanity of nacho cheese covered rabbis belch Saran Wrap in your moistened Bud Light.
May a gallon of kleptomaniac taxi drivers lick your lice-infested lime jello under your hairy piece of Big Red chewing gum.
May a molar quanity of of my favorite unix system administrators use Nads hair remover on dust bunnies after sabotaging your recommended daily allowance of snot rag.
May 999 freaky Iowa Hawkeye Football Players cover themselves in rabid dogs after pledging allegiance to your delicate neighbor.
May 2,000 skanky SWBell technical support play hide and go give the Heimlich to eggnog after setting fire to your wart covered arch nemesis, The Queen of England.
May a quartet of Klingon toll booth operators place their buttocks on the office copying machine next to their own hands after being forced to smell your expensive revolving door.
May 2.5 wicked elephant men douche with Pez dispensers on your hairy dog.
May 777 former computer geeks "Keep It Real" with saltines under your dad's purse.
May a megabyte of flattened mummies insert trail mix outside your ingrown false teeth.
May 25,000,000 fresh corpses go down on monkeys while sniffing your chicken.
May a couple ill-tempered plumbers with butt-crack-itis play "hide the hand" with head cheese in an evil parallel universe of your prostate.
May an indeterminable amount of recovering alcoholic Bill Brasky impersonators genetically splice together several dingos with your sister while standing on your face.
May a barrel of ill-tempered elephant men take a pee on a rotting deer carcass after sabotaging your shriveled up decapitated head.
May a molar quanity of retarded toll booth operators explode into pieces of cat litter at a fund-raising event for your homemade twig 'n berries.
May a plethora of crispy gerbils blow up genitals with a hairy-bomb made from wired crazy glue while kicking your gold tooth.
May a quartet of beast-like ninjas swing a Nerf Crotch-Bat at strip malls while polishing your crooked barnyard animals.
May several special-ed computer geeks devour some eggnog after genetically cloning your liquified sailboat.
May 25,000,000 starving cretins invoke martial law on spicy chicken outside your deep fat fried Uncle Fester.
May a crowd of mutant half-Chauffs, half-husbands enjoy the classic kids story "Green Eggs and WonderBras" while they play spin the bottle with door nails out from underneath your lice-infested ear wax.
May a couple quadriplegic toll booth operators build up a tolerance to government agents while getting it on with your Swedish naughty area.
May 2,000 funkedified mummies fantasize about crayons outside your skull.
Via Metafilter

If I were the Democratic Party, I would be hiring lawyers by the bushel
"A quiet revolution is taking place in US politics. By the time it's over, the integrity of elections will be in the unchallenged, unscrutinised control of a few large - and pro-Republican - corporations."

Wish Fullfillment
The point is not that the President and his senior aides were consciously lying. What was taking place was much more systematic-and potentially just as troublesome. Kenneth Pollack, a former National Security Council expert on Iraq, whose book "The Threatening Storm" generally supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein, told me that what the Bush people did was "dismantle the existing filtering process that for fifty years had been preventing the policymakers from getting bad information. They created stovepipes to get the information they wanted directly to the top leadership. Their position is that the professional bureaucracy is deliberately and maliciously keeping information from them".

"They always had information to back up their public claims, but it was often very bad information," Pollack continued. "They were forcing the intelligence community to defend its good information and good analysis so aggressively that the intelligence analysts didn't have the time or the energy to go after the bad information."
I don't know if I feel any better knowing that they aren't liars, just stupid.

Gotta Get the Box
Miles Davis: The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions

Why I Read Blogs
Because I can delight in stuff like this:
Saw Kill Bill this weekend.

Later, when Race asked whether I thought The Bride could defeat the sword-wall of the Yagyu, he ought first to have clarified whether he was also asking me to accept the premise that this is all taking place in a hypothetical world in which Ogami Itto hadn't already obliterated the Yagyu. As it was, I had no idea how to answer.

"I don't know," I said, helplessly.

This reminded me of how someone had once asked me whether Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap was smarter than MacGuyver from MacGuyver, and I was stumped, because it's really like comparing apples and oranges.

"I guess we'd have to define 'intelligence' first."

Once, an English professor asked me who I thought would be better in bed, Criseyde from Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, or Cressida from Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. He raised his eyebrows suggestively. "Criseyde, right?"
I'm going to see "Kill Bill", but I want to see it at midnight, and I want tequila.
"Returner" looks promising too.

Hearts and Minds
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
Via Booknotes

Who Knew?
Simon LeBon has a book club. He's reading some pretty good shit, too.
Via Blog of a Bookslut

There's another Utility Fog, it's a radio show on a cool radio station in Sydney, Australia. Their archives only go back to August 2003, so I think I have precedence. I did a Google search when I started my blog in order to avoid just this sort of possible confusion. But hey, it's not like they're laying claim to my gold mine. I'm a big fan of independent radio-I think I'll give them a permanent link.

You Go Girl
Margaret Cho's blog kicks serious booty.
Via Atrios

Sauce for the Goose
"What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use.Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."-- Rush Limbaugh show, Oct. 5, 1995
Via Booknotes

Off His Meds
Pat Robertson, not satisfied with petitioning the Almighty to strike members of the Supreme Court dead, thinks it would be a good idea to destroy the State Department with a nuclear weapon.
Via Fark

Bwaa Ha Ha
It occured to me that if Gray Davis wanted to be really evil and turn California into more of a circus on mescaline than it already is he could resign as governor. Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante would then become governor before the recall is certified and Schwarzenegger sworn in. I'm no expert on the California constitution, but you could then at least somewhat plausibly argue that the recall is moot because Davis is no longer in office and Bustamante is legally governor. At least it's fun to imagine all the fuss and furor.

The Difference Between Rain and Showers
According to KOMO (home of 24-hour news, traffic, and weather-unless something important like baseball happens):

When we call for "Rain" (as in, "Rain at Times", "a rainy day", "Occasional rain") is a more widespread event. Most, if not all, of the area will see rain and it'll last for a while.

"Showers" are more scattered. That usually means that not everyone will be getting wet at the same time. It could be raining in Everett and Gig Harbor, but dry in Seattle and Arlington. Plus, showers tend to be much shorter in duration -- anywhere from a minute to an hour.
While the Hong Kong Observatory regards the matter a little more scientifically:
Rain comes from stratiform clouds (e.g. Stratus, Nimbostratus), lasts longer with constant intensity.

Shower comes from convective clouds (e.g. Cumulus, Cumulonimbus), lasts only a short period of time with varying intensity.

Just Wondering
honda cop
Just who pays for the Seattle police to direct traffic for the downtown Honda dealership? And why doesn't the dealership just switch the entrance and exit to avoid this problem?

Dream Home
dream home
I'd love to live on the top floor of this place.

Why I Got a Camera
fashion victim

Bring on the Lurid
satan was a lesbian
From the Big MoboDaddy, Vintage Paperbacks

I feel so dirty
The Shrub has a blog. It's bad.
Via Booknotes

He just sat on his hands and hoped it would all go away...
For the last ten days we've known that two senior administration officials blew the cover of an undercover CIA employee for some mix of retribution and political gamesmanship.

It's next to certain that the president --- like the rest of those who read Novak's original column or heard about it --- knew this in mid-July. But it's absolutely certain he's known about it since September 27th.

And what has he done about it? Nothing.

All mumbo-jumbo to the contrary, the universe of possible culprits is quite small. I suspect the identity of the two is already well-known in the White House. But even if that's not the case, the president could quickly figure out who they are --- probably by demanding that they come forward, and certainly by reviewing phone logs and emails. Yet he has done neither.

We now have the farcical spectacle of the Justice Department initiating a massive investigation --- with the net thrown almost comically wide --- in order to find out what the president could find out in a few hours, tops.

That's the whole story right there.

The president has said he wants to get to the bottom of this. Yet he has done nothing to get to the bottom of it. The only credible explanation is the obvious one: that he doesn't want to get to the bottom of it.

Whether the Justice Department can find the culprits on its own is an interesting legal chess game. But no more.

The president's lieutenants did this. Rather than trying to punish them, he's trying to protect them. The only thing the White House has been aggressive about is attacking the victims of its own bad-acts: Wilson and Plame.

These simple --- and I think indisputable --- facts tell you all you need to know about what's happening here.

In the end, I strongly suspect that Bush will rue the day he didn't do the right thing on day one.
That's the question: why did it take an official CIA request for the White House to take the felonious exposure of an intelligence operative tasked with preventing the spread of WMDs seriously? Tough on crime indeed.

Say What?
"Welcome to the uncut 'Reservoir Dogs' on A&E" my ass. "Fuck You" is "Poor You" and "Motherfucker" has improbably changed to "Mother Hubbard". Who the poor says "Mother Hubbard"? But "Asshole" survives just fine.

"Jackie Brown" was on FX yesterday and "Kill Bill pt.1" starts Friday. Hmmmm

Back From Exile
It's nice to see the Dixie Chicks doing a Nestea commercial.

Happy I am to hear Tom Jones singing the theme song for "Duck Dodgers".

Nagging Debt
The New Yorker clears up a number of questions I was mulling over concerning Iraq's national debt-like why anyone would think Saddam's victims should pay back the money that helped screw them over.
Via pseudorandom

Does it mean anything that the Sci-Fi channel is showing having a 3-movie Schwarzenegger fest the day after the California recall?

Oh Goodie
Comcast is now giving me 2 new channels-Eternal Word Television Network and Brigham Young University TV (aka Mormons). But what I really want is an all puppy channel.

This Would Have Been So Sweet
Orson Welles almost made the first Batman movie.
The Sideshow

Numbers are Good, Fox News is Not

fox lies
Via Atrios

Do As I Say, Not As I Do
The third layer is where the darkness truly lurks, and where the deadly importance of this situation lies. Valerie Plame was not simply an analyst or a data cruncher. She was an operative running a network dedicated to tracking any person or nation that might try to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. That sentence deserves to be written twice. She was an operative running a network dedicated to tracking any person or nation that might try to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

The Bush administration pushed very hard the idea that America is in danger from WMD being placed into the hands of terrorists. This was one of the central arguments behind the war in Iraq. Yet in order to protect Bush's political standing, a couple of "administration officials" blew Valerie Plame, and by proxy her network, completely out of the water in an attempt to shut her husband up. In short, in order to protect Bush from the ramifications of using fake evidence to support his war, this White House destroyed an intelligence network that was protecting us from the threat posed by chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

We are less safe now that Valerie Plame is no longer performing this vital task, and the members of her network are in mortal danger of being revealed and destroyed. Beyond that, we are facing a level of hypocrisy that shatters any and all previously known boundaries. This administration ginned up a war in Iraq based upon manufactured evidence and wildly overstated threats, all of which was painted over with rhetoric about defending the country from terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. The fate of Valerie Plame, and her network, shows without doubt that the moral standing of this administration is as empty as Saddam Hussein's WMD cache.

In Ambassador Wilson's words, "Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames."
Via Ethel The Blog

"He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
Rush Limbaugh resigns from ESPN. I couldn't be happier. Did I mention that he's under investigation for illegally buying prescription drugs? Oh joy.
Via Metafilter

The Bumpers, They Speak to Me
I've noticed "All Who Wander Are Not Lost" bumper stickers almost every day for the last couple of weeks. I don't know if they are suddenly more popular or if I'm just more sensitive to them. I do know that it's a Tolkien Quote

Jim Dickinson
Grits, Hog Jowls, Blaze Foley, and the Birth of Psychedelia