Wednesday, May 31, 2006


comes this Fictional Interview with Abbie Hoffman, legendary counterculture troublemaker, political activist, and Chicago Seven member.

As you may or may not know, Hoffman died in 1989 from complications resulting from swallowing about 150 phenobarbital tablets. Namely, that shit’ll kill you. He had been suffering from bipolar disorder, and it probably did not help his frame of mind to know that he was increasingly irrelevant. His suicide note read, “It’s too late. We can’t win. They’ve gotten too powerful.”

Too powerful for him, in any event.

Back in 1990, sixteen months after Hoffman’s suicide, Rush Limbaugh (who was then only beginning to grow into the nationally broadcast blowhard he is today) had suggested that USA Today was planning to interview the late Hoffman in the event he were to be exhumed as part of an investigation into his death. Farfecthed? Sure. But irresistible. I therefore took pen in hand and wrote a script for that interview.

Imagine, if you will...

USA Today:
We’re here today with the late Abbie Hoffman, who has been kind enough to allow us to ask a few questions relative to his political career as a professional revolutionary and gadfly, and also to illuminate details of his recent unfortunate demise. You’re looking rather fit today, Abbie, despite the fact that you haven’t been getting much sun lately.


USA Today:
It has been reported that your antidepressant medication has been implicated in several suicides, a circumstance which is currently under investigation. Do you recall feeling especially depressed coincident with your beginning this therapy?


USA Today:
Is it possible that, during your ingestion of a fifth of “Gentleman Jack,” you may have overlooked your having taken, just prior, about 250 tablets and capsules of various sleep-inducing medications?


USA Today:
What are your views concerning the buildup of US forces in Saudi Arabia? [Note: this was written during the preparation for the Desert Storm invasion of Iraq.] Do you feel, as Ron Kovic does, that a parallel can be drawn between this action and the events leading up to the US involvement in Vietnam?


USA Today:
Abbie, we’d like to thank you for taking the time to visit with us today and wish you the best of luck.

* * *

The rest of the story:
I faxed the interview to Limbaugh and - whaddaya know? - he read it over the air the next day. Whoop-tee-doo.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Eli and Elisson, 1975
Eli and Elisson, 1975. When else?

There’s something about the 1970’s that beggars description.

This photograph captures me and my Dad at the tipping point of the decade: just before Bad Hair became Worse Hair, before platform shoes, before Qiana disco shirts, before Leisure Suits.

I still thank Almighty Providence daily for, amongst other things, my never having owned a Leisure Suit. I have done many dastardly things in my life, but wearing one of those Triple-Knit Horrors is not one of them.

Remark well, that the Old Man was a mere fifty years of age when this photograph was taken. Remark, also, that in a mere eight days, my Kid Brother - the other Elisson - will be fifty years of age.

Jeezus Creeping Shit, how time do fly.


A recent post at Rob Smith’s place - a horror story about poison ivy - brought back some terrible memories.

Back in my Snot-Nose days, we would spend our leisure time playing out of doors. The idea of spending hours inside watching television or playing video games on all but the most inclement of days would have been incomprehensible. [For that matter, the very concept of a “video game” was incomprehensible then.]

At the time - this was most likely around 1960, when I was not quite eight years old - there were plenty of vacant lots in our neighborhood, vacant lots that would eventually be filled with modest suburban houses. The lots held varying amounts of shrubbery and trees, ideal for hiding, running around, and climbing...the standard Kid Activities of the time.

One Saturday, upon returning from a typical day of outdoor play, my mother noticed that I looked flushed. It wasn’t especially noticeable to me, but a look in the mirror was a shock: my face was bright pink.

The next day, my face was still a reddish pink. That was bad enough...but over the course of the day, my features began to swell. By the end of the day, I was barely recognizable.

Monday morning arrived. There was no question of my going to school. My face had swollen to the point where I could barely see through my slitted eyes. I’m sure I itched all over as well, but my main recollections are of my horrifyingly swollen face. How much worse could things get? Would my windpipe swell shut? Gaaaahhh!

I vaguely recall stumbling about, mumbling, “I am not an animal! I am a human being!” [Just kidding.]

Fortunately, that was back in the days when family physicians made house calls. A frantic telephone call from my mother, and the usually-dreaded Dr. Schoenbrun was on his way. For once, I didn’t put up a fuss about getting a “shot.”

Within minutes, the swelling went down. I could see again! A few hours later, everything was back to normal. It was my first exposure to the dramatic capabilities of Modern Medicine.

From then on, I always had a supply of oral antihistamine in the house. Tacaryl, I believe it was, a fine product of Eli Lilly and Company.

To this day, I don’t know whether I had suffered a violent allergic reaction to poison ivy - which grew in abundance in most of the places we played, although we knew enough to avoid it most of the time - or whether I had been exposed to smoke from a pile of burning Vacant Lot Debris that contained the Offending Plant. All I know is, for years, I took great pains to stay the hell away from poison ivy and its relatives. And I still grimace in empathetic pain when I hear tales of campers inadvertently wiping their asses with the stuff.



Here’s Gizmo, the resident cat at our friends Dr. Marc and Shelly’s place, who wants to tell us that the 114th edition of Carnival of the Cats is up at Niobium.

Thanks, Gizzy! Now you can go back to your normal routine of avoiding the horde of Yappy Leetle Dogs™ that live there with you.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Today, aside from being Indy 500 Day, is the Opening Shot of Outdoor Grilling Season in the United States.

We were prepared.

To keep the foot-long kosher Dinner Franks company on Dr. Marc’s grill - for it is with Dr. Marc and family that we spent this summery late-Spring day - I prepared Garlic-Scallion Burgers.

In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, throw in:

4 trimmed, sliced scallions
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
a good-sized handful of Italian parsley

Pulse a few times, then chop until you have a coarse paste. [I made a double recipe, which is easier to handle in the food processor. ]

Use this mixture to season your hamburger meat. Work it into the meat - the amount to taste - and then form patties. Mine were about 6 ounces of meat apiece, a little over 1/3 pound raw weight.

Grill the patties over a medium charcoal fire, or use a gas grill. I like ’em medium rare, but the Diet police will tell you to cook ’em at least to medium to minimize the possiblity of E. coli-based food poisoning. Serve with the usual condiments.

Along with the burgers, I grilled up some asparagus spears.

Take a couple of pounds of asparagus. Wash the stalks well, dry them, and then trim off the woody bottom of each stalk, about an inch. Lay them in a dish and give them a good coating of extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For an extra kick, I added in a little piment d’espelette, a red pepper from Basque country. Put the stalks directly on the grill over a low flame - be careful that they don’t roll in between the bars of the grating. Move them around and grill until tender, about ten minutes. The inevitable char marks add flavor and character. These were the best grilled asparagi I can remember having in a loooong time.

All of this was washed down with a couple of pitchers of Pomegranate Martinis. Mmmmm, good.

Grilled food on a hot, late Spring day. Good friends. A dip in the Cement Pond. It doesn’t get much better than this.


Last week, we caught a screening of The Da Vinci Code. As Filmic Entertainment it was OK, but somehow, the film failed to capture the page-turning fascination of the book. Dan Brown’s writing style creates novels with short chapters, the reading of which is like eating a handful of peanuts. Just try to resist reaching back into the Nut Bowl for another handful.

Many Christian groups are up in arms about the movie, presenting as it does a heretical image of Jesus as Patriarch...and Mary Magdalene as Matriarch. Some have threatened boycotts. Others have written angry Letters to the Editor of their local newspapers. At the same time, many others have used the movie as a springboard for discussion, for engaging people in instructive dialogue.

All in all, not a whole lot different, qualitiatively, from the Jewish reaction to the release of The Passion of the Christ a couple of years ago...but that’s another discussion.

Folks, it’s based on a novel. Dan Brown’s protestations about a factual basis notwithstanding, The Da Vinci Code is a novel. Which means “Made-Up Shit” where I come from.

Not that it makes much of a difference to me. This story impinges not one whit upon my Religious Belief System. For me, the idea of there being a living descendant of Jesus of Nazareth is no more ridiculous than the idea that said Jesus was, in any way, shape, or form, (1) the Messiah whose coming was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, or (2) divine.

But that’s just me, Mr. Jew-Boy. Christians, feel free to disagree.

The thing that struck me, though, is that (so far), no embassies have been burned. Nobody has died in rioting related to The Da Vinci Code. Nobody has been beheaded. No Religious Decrees have been issued; the Pope has not proclaimed a Fatwa against the Hollywood Infidels responsible for this Cinematic Blasphemy.

The Christians, in other words, have not been acting like a bunch of crazy Islamists. How ’bout dat?

My Grandma said it best - or would have, if she were still around: “Da Vinci, Schma Vinci, as long as you’re healthy.”

Words to live by.


The fact that I am walking the planet on this Memorial Day of 2006 is a testament to the fact that American soldiers have helped create the world we live in today.

Without America’s fighting men, whose courage and sacrifice in World War II helped tip the balance and ensure an Allied victory, this world would be a dark place...for our enemies had Big Plans, plans that did not include people like me.

It is beyond imagining, the world that would exist today without America’s armed forces.

For most of my Esteemed Readers, our fighting men have helped preserve the precious freedoms that have made the United States of America a unique place on Earth, a republic with basic freedoms enshrined, one that is ruled by the consent of the governed. It ain’t perfect...but it’s way, way ahead of all the alternatives.

But for me - for my people - America’s fighting men meant the difference between life and death. A Nazi victory would have sounded the death knell for the Jewish people. And for me.

We are today engaged in a similar struggle with forces that oppose our freedom to think, to worship, to live our lives as we would like to live them. Forces that once again have singled out the Jewish nation for special opprobium while chanting “Death to America!”

It is the American fighting man - and woman - that will combat those forces and that will ultimately have victory over them.

Let us remember the ones who fought this struggle for us in the past...and who will do so in the future.

Update: From The Blue Sloth comes a link to a remarkable collection of vintage WWII photographs.

The photographs were posted by one Deveyn (writer of My African Grey - a parrotblog, of all things!), whose grandfather was a Seabee during the war. The photos, which until now had not been seen by anyone outside of Deveyn’s family, were developed by his grandfather in the clandestine photo lab he ran while stationed on Tinian. They include aircraft nose art, photos taken on Tinian, shots taken in a Korean concentration camp, and photos from film taken from dead Japanese soldiers. There is even a photograph of the Nagasaki mushroom cloud, made from the original negative. Amazing stuff, and well worth checking out...lest we forget the magnitude of the sacrifices that were made on our behalf.


Friday evening, we were, along with our friends Debra and Dennis, wandering around one of the new Planned Living Environments that has sprouted in our area. It’s one of those places that features medium- and high-rise apartments and/or condos, along with a walk-around Outdoor Shopping and Restaurant area. It’s fine for walking around, that is, as long as it isn’t 90°F outside, or if it’s not raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock, as it is wont to do hereabouts.

In theory, you could live here without a car, as long as you didn't mind schlepping your groceries from the Super Target.

The place carries the somewhat oxymoronic name of Perimeter Center. I mean, if it’s on the perimeter, it cannot very well be in the center...and vice versa. I rest my case.

But it is pleasant enough. There’s a High-End Home Theatre store, where you can plunk down a few large and get a huge high-definition flat-screen television set. Or spend a few more simoleons - 140 thousand of ’em - and get a complete home theatre, with reclining leather seats, a six-foot wide screen projection TV, and a simulacrum of the Milky Way built into the ceiling to keep your mind occupied if the film gets boring. All the better for you to enjoy the fine artists of Modern Cinema, like Jar Jar fucking Binks: “Meesa cannot afford this Home Theatre shit!”

There is also a furniture place - Ridiculously Expensive Furnishings R Us - where they have a whole section featuring the tropical-themed products of Thomas Bahommas. You can buy furniture that looks like it was carted here directly from the old Repulse Bay Hotel in Hong Kong, and with it, bed linens that look remarkably like my tropical shirt collection. All of this stuff seemingly is for people who either own a beach house or who wish to pretend they do.

As we were checking out all of this Fine Merchandise, I noticed a Chaise Longue. Not one of those cheesy poolside ones; this was intended to be part of a richly-appointed bedroom.

The Chaise Longue is a fascinating article. It’s French, appropriately enough, for “Long Chair,” which describes it to a “T.” And, if you speak the language of the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys, you know that it is pronounced “shezz LONG.”

But somehow, at least in the American Northeast, “Chaise Longue” somehow got corrupted to “Chaise Lounge,” and people started calling it a “SHAYZ lownj.” That’s what I grew up with...and it makes my teeth hurt to hear it nowadays.

So here’s the question, Esteemed Ones: What do you call one of them Honkin’ Long Chairs?

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Eli and brother Gerry
Eli and kid brother Gerry, 1933.

Today, May 28, my Daddy - Eli, his ownself - carves the 81st notch on his Annual Trip Around The Sun belt.

Growing up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn during the Depression, he lived in an apartment on Bay 26th Street at the corner of Cropsey Avenue. I remember that apartment, for my grandparents continued to live there until the early 1960’s, when my grandfather’s health rendered living in a fourth-floor walkup no longer feasible. I can still picture the living room with its gauzy white curtains. I recall the bedroom where I would occasionally spend the night, with the window that looked out onto the fire escape and a view of the Sinclair station at the corner of Cropsey and Bath Avenues. And I remember the smell of the place, of decades upon decades of fragrant Eastern European cooking that had permeated the very molecules of the walls.

That was, for many years, my Daddy’s home.

Newlywed Eli
Newlywed Eli, 1950.

He’s seen and done a lot, the Old Man has. He was graduated from high school at the grand old age of sixteen; attended both Brooklyn College and Columbia Teacher’s College; was stationed in Kunming, China and in India during the tail end of World War II; got married in 1950 and raised two sons; widowed in 1988; remarried in 1991.

At age 52, he was half of a doubles racquetball team that was ranked #2 in the United States. [He still plays...and wallops people half his age.]

Eli in 1990.

Kid brother Gerry passed away in 2000, a heartbreak. At the time, Dad poignantly observed that he had known his brother longer than he had known anybody else in his life. But earlier that year, he himself had dodged a bullet. One day in January, while in the middle of a racquetball game, his heart just stopped. The fact that his playing partners included both a retired police chief and a retired fire chief is probably what saved him; they were able to keep him alive long enough for the EMT’s to come and slap the jumper cables on him. Later that week, his multiple bypass surgery beat David Letterman’s by one day.

Since that January day in 2000, he has treated every new day as a gift.

He retired at age 79 and would probably have been perfectly happy to work another ten years...but has learned to enjoy retired life.

He has traveled the world.

He can tell a joke better than anybody else I know.

Eli 2006
Eli in 2006 - with Sammy.

He is my Daddy, and I love him. Happy birthday, Dear Old Dad!

SOME CAT STUFF... tide you over. Seeing that - at least, here in the States - it’s a Long Weekend.

Hakuna. Things are looking up!

Matata. “I vant to be alone.”


Mystery Substance. Coin included in photo to show size.

Some of my Esteemed Readers may remember this little photo, which I posted over at Velociman’s site last week.

The only piece of information I gave out was that the Mystery Substance is not shit. Right: for to post a photograph of an actual Turd-Chunk would be nekulturny in the extreme. Most unbecoming from someone who styles himself Mr. Debonair.

Some of the speculation in the Comments was positively inspired. A sampling:There’s more. Toe jam. A dried-up fetus. A blackhead big enough to have a name of its own. A dingleberry. A piece of desiccated umbilicus.

Velociman himself may have nailed it with his speculation that it is “Elisson’s soul, mutated by God into a size convenient enough to flick away with a mighty Finger.”

But methinks the good Capitan may have come closest to the truth.


...non est disputandum. There is no accounting for taste.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in a few weeks. We are deeply in love. As a Married Couple of long standing, we share many things.

Muscial taste ain’t one of ’em.

On the way back from breakfast today, I was playing the Little White Choon-Box through the car speakers...on the Shuffle setting, as usual.

A Miles Davis piece came on: “Spanish Key” from the landmark Bitches Brew album. It’s an old favorite of mine, one that I have written about here before.

But the Missus does not care for Miles. Her comment:

“This music - if you can call it that - makes me want to shit.”

Good thing we have a few other things in common, eh?


The Mall in Washington

This one is from my trip to northern Virginia two weeks ago.

My first visit to Washington, D.C. was back in early 1962, back when I was a fourth-grader. I remember being thoroughly impressed with everything we saw - the White House, the Capitol, the National Archives, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, FBI Headquarters, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

I also remember one of my friends buying a bag of Cheese Popcorn at a rest stop on the way down from New York. That night, he puked it all up.

We raised holy hell in the hotel - the Carlyle, was it? - that night. Adult chaperones had to come in and administer verbal smackdowns at least once. But I was, withal, glad to be there in our Nation’s Capital...and proud to be an American.

In college, I’d spend vacation weeks in northern Virginia with my friend Steve, tooling around D.C. and its environs in my crappy old Chevy Malibu.

In 1976, I was there at the Bicentennial, hanging out on the Mall, watching the fireworks.

Two years ago this month, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I, along with Steve, his bride Sue, and a small army of our classmates, were enjoying an intimate little tour of the Capitol, watching the sun set from one of the terraces on the North Wing.

All those visits to Our Nation’s Capital, and yet, it was that first trip back in 1962 that made the deepest impression on me. And every time I go back, I feel an echo of that same thrill, that same pride in being an American.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Every Daddy knows that little girls love to play “dress-up.” For little girls, it’s a simple form of play-acting that is a basic part of growing up, an emulation of Mommy, the Feminine Ideal. As they get older, the play-acting element gradually disappears, to be replaced by the drive towards maturity.

Little girls all want to be older than they are. Then, as soon as they get into their mid-twenties, a Psychological Flip-Flop takes place, and it’s all about looking (and acting) younger...and it will be that way for the rest of their lives.

It’s normal when adolescent girls strive to look older than they are. When they act older than they are, ahh, that’s when trouble starts. Smoking, drinking, you name it. The most extreme example, of course, is Jail-Bait Related Activities.

But, for the moment, let us focus on those magical times when little girls get to take those first steps out into the World o’ Grown-Ups without necessarily taking matters too far. And “magical” is not too strong a word, for there is a story I can share.

It was the summer of 1993. Elder Daughter had, the prior year, reached a milestone in the Growing-Up Process, having become a Bat Mitzvah. And now, courtesy of SWMBO’s mother and Step-Dad, we were enjoying a few days in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas, in the early 1990’s, was neck-deep in its misguided effort to become a Family Playland. The cheesy thrills of places like Circus-Circus, which Hunter S. Thompson once famously described as “what the whole hep world would be doing on a Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war,” was yielding to more and more extravagant Theme Park Hotels. The Mirage, with its Erupting Volcano. The soon-to-be-opened Treasure Island, with its promise of a Swashbuckling Pirate Battle and Adventure every hour, on the hour! Luxor, like a Honkin’ Glass Pyramid! Excalibur, with the Knights of the Round Green Felt Table! Wait, there’s more: New York, New York, the City-as-Theme-Park concept!

Just between you and me, the only kind of family that needs to go on a Family Vacation in Las Vegas is the Manson family. Vegas is not Disney World, no matter how hard it tries to look like one. It is Sin City, the place to go to smoke your brains out, drink ’til you puke your guts up, and gamble until they ship you home with a pair of cardboard boxer shorts, a pile of unpaid markers, and two black eyes. I don’t give a Rat’s Ass how many Riverboat Casinos are floating on the Mississippi River these days, or how many Indians in New England have crawled out of the woodwork to build Slot-Machine Palaces...Vegas is still the Best Of Its Kind. More whiskey. More tits. More ass. More fun, 24/7.

But, nevertheless, we went there. As a family, yet. Is it possible we were smoking crack? No, but since the Missus and I were not having to foot too much of the bill, we figured, What the Hell.

And it was fun.

We stayed at the Mirage, where there was a humongous swimming pool – the perfect place to hang out with the kids in the sultry 120° heat. And while SWMBO and her Momma looked after the kids and went shopping, Step-Dad d’SWMBO and I would go and visit the Palace of Green Felt, there to risk our fortunes on the turn of a card.

One night, Elder Daughter and I went stepping out, just the two of us. She put on a long, dark dress for the occasion, and believe me when I tell you that she looked far more mature than her (then) fourteen years. We strolled the mall down by Caesar’s and dined at Spago. We made Squashèd Penny Souvenirs for each other in those stupid machines where you put your money in and turn the crank. We then walked into Caesar’s and wandered the casino floor, watching the hordes of morons playing the slots. Surprisingly, nobody bothered us or tried to throw Elder Daughter out for being underage. Either she looked mature enough to fool the Powers that Be, or they could see that she kept her distance from the machines and tables. We walked around, with me explaining the various games to her, enjoying each other’s company. For me, it was a chance to spend a few precious hours with my daughter just as she reached that Tipping-Point between childhood and adolescence. The calm before the Hormonal Storm, if you will. For Elder Daughter, it was more than just a chance to bond with The Old Man – it was a heady glimpse into Adult-World. And it was magical, that evening.

As we slowly wound our way through the casino, we became separated briefly as I stopped to watch the action at one of the craps tables. While Elder Daughter stood by herself for a few brief moments, an Asian gentleman – he must have been about sixty years old and five-foot-four – sidled up to her and asked her, “Are you arone?”

Even through the filter of a heavy Chinese accent, E.D. knew a pickup line when she heard one. And she could think on her feet, too.

“No – I’m with him,” she said, inclining her head in my direction. And the old fellow responded, “Oh,” and quietly slunk back to where his friends waited. There was a lot of elbowing and snickering going on after that.

Did my daughter look skanky? No. Just mature...and well-dressed. I guess that makes you look like a high-class hooker in Vegas.

But a look at Elder Daughter’s feet would’ve tipped the old guy off. No self-respecting Vegas hooker wears Doc Martens.


I’m back in Atlanta after a short sojourn in the Great White North, ready to fire up the Little White Choon-Box.

Every week, I post a Random Assortment of Goodies from the iPod d’Elisson. If I really wanted to be random, I suppose I could post this list on random days of the week...and then this would be a Random Random Ten. But I gotta have some structure, OK?

This week’s Choon Selection starts off with a Tom Waits classic. What’s next? Why, that would be telling!
  1. Get Behind The Mule - Tom Waits

    Molly be damned smote Jimmy the Harp
    With a horrid little pistol and a lariat
    She’s goin to the bottom
    And she’s goin down the drain
    Said she wasn’t big enough to carry it

    She got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    She got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    She got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    She got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow

    Choppity chop goes the axe in the woods
    You gotta meet me by the fall down tree
    Shovel of dirt upon a coffin lid
    And I know they’ll come lookin for me boys
    And I know they’ll come a-lookin for me

    Got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    Got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    Got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow
    Got to get behind the Mule
    In the morning and plow

    Big Jack Earl was 8'1
    He stood in the road and he cried
    He couldn’t make her love him
    Couldn’t make her stay
    But tell the good Lord that he tried

    Dusty trail from Atchison to Placerville
    On the wreck of the Weaverville stage
    Beulah fired on Beatty for a lemonade
    I was stirring my brandy with a nail boys
    Stirring my brandy with a nail

    Well the rampaging sons of the widow James
    Jack the cutter and the pock marked kid
    Had to stand naked at the bottom
    Of the cross
    And tell the good lord what they did
    Tell the good lord what they did

    Punctuated birds on the power line
    In a Studebaker with the Birdie Joe Joaks
    I’m diggin’ all the way to China
    With a silver spoon
    While the hangman fumbles with the noose, boys
    The hangman fumbles with the noose

    Pin your ear to the wisdom post
    Pin your eye to the line
    Never let the weeds get higher
    Than the garden
    Always keep a sapphire in your mind
    Always keep a diamond in your mind

  2. Adventures In Failure - MC 900 Foot Jesus
  3. A Fateful Meeting - James Newton Howard, King Kong Original Soundtrack
  4. Child Is The Father Of The Man - Brian Wilson
  5. Ravel String Quartet in F Major - Ysaye Quartet
  6. European Son - The Velvet Underground
  7. Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
  8. Yesterday - The Beatles
  9. L’Éléphant - Tom Tom Club
  10. Thirteenth Dalai Lama - Philip Glass, Kundun
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I’ve just returned from a two-day jaunt to Saint John, New Brunswick.

That’s in Canada. And as one American Genius observed in the inter-terminal train in Atlanta this afternoon, “that’s north of here.” Hey, give this guy a slot on Jeopardy, eh?

Not just north, but east, too - enough so that it’s an hour ahead of Atlanta.

Seen from the air, it is an exceptionally green place. Even the highways are paved with a peculiar green asphalt. Wonder if it’s Minty Fresh.

It’s green because it’s springtime. During the winter, it’s mostly white. And cold. Fucking cold. You could freeze your stindeens off here, big time. It is said of Saint John in the winter:

It’s colder than the ice cubes in a glass.
It’s colder than the hair on a polar bear’s ass.
It’s colder than the nipple on a witch’s left tit.
It’s colder than a box full of penguin shit.
Man, it’s cold!

In the spring - at least, in late May, it’s pleasantly cool. Sweater weather. Unlike Atlanta, which is transitioning into the Torrid Season: Sweat weather.

Saint John bills itself as The Fundy City. Not because it is crawling with Religious Conservatives (in which case it would be The Fundie City), but because it sits by the Bay of Fundy, home to the largest natural tides on the planet.

This morning, as I was having breakfast, I had a view of the river, where a phenomenon unique to Saint John was taking place: the river was flowing in two directions at once, creating a bizarre whirlpool effect in the center of the river. It resembled nothing so much as a slowly flushing toilet, given the clots of foam and crud that were competing for space on the swirling waters with flocks of ducks.

It is a town of history, of old buildings. Of new buildings, too, all of which are emblazoned with the familiar National Motto: Tim Horton’s.

It is a town whose inhabitants are unfamiliar with Grits. “What’s that, some kind of oatmeal?”

It is a town free of cockroaches. My Bloggy Friend Lisa claims to have never seen a cockroach in her life. Not those little German cockroaches that infest the Northeastern U.S....and certainly not those humongous American roaches, AKA Palmetto Bugs, the sight of which makes strong men scream like little girls and soil themselves.

It is a town in a land in which the dollar coin is the “Loony” and the two-dollar coin, by extension, is the “Toony.” You can easily recognize the bimetallic Toony: it has the Queen in front and a bear behind.

It is a town with friendly people, good Indian food, and - maybe a little ways outside of town, anyway - great natural beauty. And I will be back in a few weeks to bust my chops for the Great Corporate Salt Mine...and to put the “Fun” in “Fundy.”


Most of us Online Journalists are familiar with those semi-ubiquitous Frappr maps that started sprouting on people’s sidebars about six months ago. Cute...and mostly useless. But not quite useless...and thereby hangs a tale, a tale of a Most Unlikely Blogmeet.

It was back in October of last year that I started getting the occasional comment from a young lady who called herself Lisa W. At the time, Lisa had no Online Journal of her own; rather, she had a family website. It was about that time that I put up my stupid-ass Frappr map...and Lisa was one of the Charter Members of my Mappy Gang.

Thanks to the Frappr, I knew that Lisa lived way up in the wilds of the Canadian Maritimes - in a small city called Saint John, hard by the Bay of Fundy. “Interesting,” I thought to myself at the time.

But then a couple of things happened. First, the Great Corporate Salt Mine put me to work on a new project - a project that would eventually require me to spend several weeks, off and on, in a Most Unlikely Place. You guessed it: Saint John. And second, in mid-April, Lisa - still a regular commenter here - started her own Online Journal. Her inspiration? None other than The Acidic One his ownself.

Well, Robbo may be Lisa’s Blogfather, but I claim dibs (along with Eric) on the title Blog-Uncle.

Last week, I coyly mentioned on this site that I would be traveling to - of all places! - Saint John. The rest, as they say, is History. I got a chance to meet Lisa yesterday evening after having snarfed down a Bidnis Dinner (that’s Suthen Tawk for a Business Meal) with a small gang of colleagues. And thus it was that we spent a pleasant hour-and-change doing what bloggers do best: gabbing and consuming Adult Beverages.

Elisson and Lisa
Elisson meets the lovely Lisa W.

[Now, how this young lady finds the time to blog whilst juggling University studies, work, and being Mom to three children ranging in age from 8 to 17, I have no idea. But blog she does, and her ’roll is heavily laden with many of the same folks I have either met or read regularly. Also, could you explain to me how a Canajan Maritimer develops an affinity with a pack of Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodgers, willya? I can’t understand it.]

So here you have it - a mini-Blodgefest in that most unlikely of places, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Until we can convince a crowd of Jawja Blodgers to schedule a full-scale meet up there, I’ll have to serve as Official Representative, eh?

And the thing of it is, I get to go back in a couple of weeks. Sure, I’m booting a Cancun vacation to do it, but Duty Calls. Since I’m the type who takes lemons (and lollipops!) and makes lemonade, I will make the most of my next trip to Saint John. Fish and blueberries...and a chance to visit with Lisa and G. Yowza!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Welcome to Carnival of the Vanities #192!

Carnival of the Vanities is the Bloggy-Sphere’s original Self-Promotional Linkfest...and since my Online Web-Journal is subtitled “Another Exercise in Self-Aggrandizement and Time-Wastage,” it was only a matter of time before it landed here. If you’re new to Blog d’Elisson, please make yourself at home. Take off your shoes, pull up a chair, root around in the Archives...whatever your pleasure.

But meantime, we have a Passel o’ Posts - 48, if I count correctly - for you to check out.

Carnival literally means “Goodbye, Meat.” It’s the last orgy of Heavy Protein Consumption and General Debauchery before the Lenten penitential season begins, a period when Christians traditionally would eschew the consumption of Meaty Foods and other rich comestibles.

Which fact suggests a Theme...

Beef Cuts

Meaty, Meaty Goodness!

So, without further ado, let’s sharpen up those Carving Knives - this Meating is called to order!

Flank SteakFlank Steak:
Current Events, Culture, and the Media

SoccerDad, who writes at the eponymous Soccer Dad and who periodically hosts Haveil Havalim (AKA Vanity of Vanities), writes a thoughtful obituary for newspaper editor and columnist A. M. Rosenthal.

At me-ander, muse casts a critical eye on C.S.I., New York and concludes that, “Naw, it ain’t.” So much for the Suspension of Disbelief, eh? Reminds me of a short-lived show from several years ago that was supposed to have taken place near Houston, Texas. The bizarre plot - it involved time-traveling cowboys (don’t ask) - was more believable than seeing mountains on the Texas Gulf Coast...

Andy Clarkson, at The Charlotte Capitalist, ponders the intimate relationship between the dreaded Bird Flu Pandemic and a much more immediate - and real - threat: the Bird Brain Pandemic that seems to be afflicting the media.

Wendy Boswell, purveyor of Snarky Gossip, examines the breakup of Paul and Heather Mills McCartney from a lyrical perspective. And just in case you’re feeling let down after yet another Bloated-Ass Television Season Finale, Wendy lobs us a post about (yawn) the ER season windup...and that yawn, by the way, is for the show, not the post.

My kitty-loving friend Rahel of Elms In The Yard writes about hearing Tommy Sands in Jerusalem and listening to him play an old, beloved song.

IRIS Blog reports that there is an epidemic of gang rape in Europe, and in Germany in particular. In reporting the shocking news that four rape suspects were set free by German justice officials (pending trial, presumably), the news media conveniently omit the fact that the suspects are Arab Muslims...and that gang rape cases have become rampant in areas with high concentrations of Arab Muslim immigrants.

Nick, the resident punster at Punny Money, shares some observations and answers some FAQ’s about that venerable TV quiz show, The Price Is Right.

The Ruminating Dude asks whether the money and support Israel receives from the United States is justified. The answer I’d give you is clearly different from his, but I’ll save the Well-Deserved Fisking for another time. It’s Carnival!

At Western Resistance, Giraldus Cambrensis has news of a Pakistani Islamist group that, in addition to blowing things up, is engaged in the business of selling Christian children as slaves.

Mensa Barbie Welcomes a post about a recent conference on Islamophobia, a conference that, like so many similar Exercises in Running the Mouth, misses a few obvious issues. Like the treatment of women, f’r instance.

Politics & Schmolitics

Logy? Fatigued? Starting to think Dubya isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer? You may be suffering from CFS - Conservative Fatigue Syndrome - posits Jon Swift at his eponymous Web-Log.

Must our Congressional representatives follow the same laws we all do? There are a few who think not. Imagine: searching the office of a Congressman who is under investigation! The sheer chutzpah! Read this post by John Bambenek - the Part-Time Pundit - to learn more.

SpamProbable Processed Meat By-Products:
Business and Economics

At Stock Market Beat, Trent delivers a smackdown to Home Depot, where the monthly release of same-store sales data has been discontinued. An unfortunate development, says Trent.

Dave Porter, of the Pacesetter Mortgage Blog, cautions us against so-called Mortgage “Rescue” firms that may have...sinister ulterior motives. Like getting their hands on your property! Bwah-hah-hah-hah!

The Radical Libertarian schools us on an interesting twist on the concept of insurance: Reverse Insurance. Rather than a casino-like leveraging of risk, Reverse Insurance is a commitment by the insurer to extend a loan to the loss sufferer to cover the actual loss. Read the post for the whole skinny.

What’s more important than money? How ’bout your health - both physical and mental? That’s the position taken by Free Money Finance in their Carnival contribution.

Jim Logan takes a look at the ethics of Internet promotion, focusing on the tendency of e-zines to engage in what, for lack of a better term, is nothing so much as Mutual Masturbation: the Old Quid-Pro-Quo. And as long as we’ve uncorked the Latin, let’s throw in two more words: Caveat Emptor.

At Jim’s Cash Flow Blog, he takes on the subject of when to pay an invoice that’s never due. Helpful Hint: if you’re sending out invoices, it’s best to have a specific date upon which payment is due, rather than nebulous terms like “Payable Upon Receipt.” Extra-Special Helpful Hint: Hire someone like Gravel-Voice Larry to call your customers and offer a “gentle reminder.”

Paul’s Tips gives us Ten Good Rules-of-Thumb for Investing. Here’s one that works for me: Send all of your spare cash to Elisson. (May not work so well for you, though.)

Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade tells us about another growing financial pitfall: Appraisal Fraud. When large amounts of money are at stake - more than most families make in several years - temptation proves to be too much for certain unscrupulous individuals. Read all about it.

Steve Mertz gives us the skinny on how to avoid key mistakes in making sales presentations. This post at Sales Presentation Training, Part 4 of 15 on the subject, talks about a novel color-coding technique. I may very well try this the next time I have to make a pitch at the Great Corporate Salt Mine! offers up five rules to follow when buying an off-plan property.

Wayne Hurlbert encourages us to share information with others. Read “Don’t hoard your knowledge” at Blog Business World. Or, as we would call it in Texas, Blog Bidnis World.

Veal CutletsVeal Cutlets:
Science, Medicine, and Technology

El Capitan, leader of that most worthy (and most likely, the only) band of Baboon Pirates, divulges some Personal Medical Information as he regales us with his Adventures with Exenatide, AKA The Life-Saving Drug Based On Gila Monster Venom. Thanks for sharing, Cap! Burning Cadillacs, and now this!

GrrlScientist, who knows all about Living the Scientific Life, tells us about a newly-discovered species of dinosaur, the scientific name of which was inspired by Harry Potter’s Alma Mater.

Leg of LambLeg of Lamb:
Religion and Philosophy

Goosing the Antithesis examines several rhetorical techniques in Argumentum ad Ridiculum, a fisking of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron’s evangelistic attacks on evolution. (Yes, that Kirk Cameron.)

Andrew Ian Dodge, fellow podcaster and Grand Panjandrum at Dodgeblogium (say that three times fast!), comments on the impact of The DaVinci Code on the popular perception of the Roman Catholic Church. A cynic like me might say, “Aside from specific plot points, what’s the difference between the Bible and a novel anyway?” Discuss amongst yourselves.

Rump RoastRump Roast:
Writing, The Information Stoopidhighway Superhighway and the World of Blogging

The Random Yak offers up a story of Bloggy Plagiarism. Having your content hijacked by a Spamblog is bad enough...but having your content hijacked without attribution is even worse. My own two cents: Spammers and plagiarists should all roast in Gehenna, afer a painful, protracted demise caused by having to crap out ten pounds of peach pits.

Sharon Hurley Hall at Write Niche gives us a post that describes another way to get paid for blogging. Something having to do with selling advertising...

At his Musings from Brian J. Noggle site, Brian J. explains how the Internet is being used for nefarious purposes. Distributing pornographic images? No - that’s so old-school. How ’bout Dealing Drugs? Download ’em right to your desktop!

Josh Cohen, over at Multiple Mentality, talks about how the writing process is different for everyone. (Me, I just throw crap up on the ol’ Computer Monitor to see if it sticks.)

Barry Welford thinks it’s time for Google to ditch their semi-useless “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. At the BPWrap site, he proposes an alternative: the underpromoted and underutilized Google Blog Search.

Batya of Shiloh Musings introduces us to the newest blogger in town: the Grey Lady her ownself!

Beef TenderloinBeef Tenderloin:
Comestibles and Potables

Jack Cluth, of The People’s Republic of Seabrook, comes to grips with his relationship with food. Having heard the Gospel of Morgan Spurlock, Jack is taking a hard look at his present diet with Cold, Rational Eyes, and he is not happy at what he sees. Many of us would benefit from the same dietary appraisal, uncomfortable as it might be.

Personal Observations and Stories

At me-ander, muse shares a story of getting things all spiffed up around the house. Aw, just for me? Ya didn’t have to go to all that trouble!

Testing the Cultural Divide gives us a story of an evening with a Russian family in On Makeup and Language, showing us that it’s the little things that count when building bridges across cultural canyons.

At United By Yucca, exmonkey (either a Former Primate or an Expert Simian, I don’t know which) deconstructs an advertisement for the World Cup. [That’s soccer, for us benighted Americans.] The post is entitled “World cup advert bollocks,” a title for which exmonkey apologises. No need for apologies, mate...because it’s perfect.

My Bubble Life offers up a post, the premise of which was inspired by a book by David Stoop, Ph.D., entitled You Are What You Think. The premise? Anger is a valid emotion, albeit one that must be controlled. Bubs gives us a few Helpful Hints on how to achieve that control.

Jack Yoest shares a touching post by Charmaine - a story about visiting family members’ graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Here’s a taste:

“I want you to look,” I said. “I want you to understand, that each one of these headstones represents someone who gave their life so that you could be free.”

At Save The Ribble (yes, that is a real blog!), Riversider tells Tales from the Riverbank. I was tempted to say something snarky here, such as “Save the Ribbles - Collect them all, win valuable prizes!” but after reading this post, my conscience got the better of me.

Pretty Shallow advises us to Go with the Goo. What does that mean? Are you sure you really wanna know?

Velociman, despite his being Southron to the core, discusses his Extreme Distaste for a staple of Dixie Trailer-Park Dining: the Moon Pie. Any moron - myself included - can write a Food Smackdown, but V-Man turns it into a Faulkneresque meditation on life, death, and Depression-era injustice.

[Just in case you’re curious, the above Carnival entry was not submitted by its author; rather, I elected to include it. Read it and you will see why.]

Rib RoastRib Roast:
The Funny Stuff

The Limerick Savant, who, appropriately enough, operates a blog called limerick savant, offers up a Poetic Commentary on the recent NSA telephone data kerfuffle.

The Limerick Savant is funny,
And, often, he’s right on the money.
In just one poem, he’s taken
Monty Python, Kevin Bacon,
And Al Qaeda. But where is Bugs Bunny?

Miriam, who has ideas (at Miriam’s Ideas, natch), has decided that the Jews are sick and tired of running the world. Shoyn genig. Fartig! (Enough already - Finished!) Let someone else do it and have the fun of getting slapped around...

Peace Moonbeam - sounds like some kinda heepeh, don’t it? - tells the harrowing story of a PETA Party gone wrong at The Peace Moonbeam Chronicles. [Caution: Do not read this post with a mouthful of hot coffee...your crotch and/or computer monitor will thank you later.]

Not to be outdone by The Limerick Savant, Madeleine Begun Kane, at her Notables Weblog, gives us commentary and a limerick of her own - this one on the Madness of Net Neutrality Advertisements. And as if that were not enough, here’s another one, this time on the legal woes of one Representative Jefferson.

Mark A. Rayner of the skwib has discovered, somewhere in the Bowels of the Earth, the Lost PowerPoint Slides (Victoria Day Edition). We are not amused.

Catymology (the host of next week’s Carnival of the Vanities, by the way) reports on a relatively new phenomenon: that of Therapy Animals. It ain’t just Seeing-Eye Dogs anymore...

* * *

Well, that wraps up (in Butcher Paper, of course!) another edition of Carnival of the Vanities. Next week, the Carnival will be hosted by Catymology - a fellow catblogger, yet - so be sure to get those submissions in!

I agreed to be Host of the Vanities
In an unforeseen burst of insanity.
And now that I’ve deployed it,
I hope you’ve enjoyed it.
If not, just scream, “Oh, the humanity!”

Monday, May 22, 2006


Mr. Debonair

Dear Mr. Debonair,

I will be traveling to a foreign country in the near future. I am afraid that I will run afoul of local customs in some way, offending my hosts and embarrassing myself. How should I comport myself?

Signed, Nervous About Travel

Dear Nervous,

As a Frequent Traveler, I can assure you that Mr. Debonair has “been there, done that.” Over the years, I have learned many useful tips and techniques that enable me to travel to the most exotic of destinations, always secure in the knowledge that I am welcome…even beloved.

First, it is helpful to be sure you are clearly understood. As studying the language of the locale you will be visiting is not always practical, I have found that I can do quite well simply by speaking English. If the natives seem to be having difficulty comprehending you, speak loudly and slowly - the louder and slower, the better. Your kindness and consideration, thus displayed, will earn you no end of friendship and courtesy. Don’t forget to gesticulate wildly - most foreigners do this, and to see you do so will help make them feel at home. Wait...they are home. It is you that are away!

When you go through border formalities, be sure to wave your passport in the face of the Immigration Official and state in a clear voice, “Amerikanski! Betcha you wish you had one of these bad boys, eh?” Don’t forget to speak slowly and loudly (see preceding paragraph).

Try to understand the customs and local celebrations. Whether it’s May Two-Four in the Canadian wilderness, or Shaven Yak Day in Kyrgyzystan, you should be prepared to help the locals celebrate whatever bizarre, stupid, and useless holidays they observe. Just be careful about eating the local food. A, it’s likely to be disgusting, and B, it’s likely to give you a case of the Trot-a-Reenios.

Be sure you remind the locals how much better life is in America. That way, you will help them aspire to a Superior Lifestyle. Just be careful you don’t encourage them to actually immigrate…unless their Lawn-Mowing and Fruit-Picking skills are up to snuff.

I trust these Helpful Hints will help to make your Foreign Travel Experience a memorable one!

Very truly yours,
Mr. Debonair


The Preakness of 2047 was a smashing success yet again. The new rules had changed everything.

Records were set every year. Wagers went through the roof, and race times went through the floor.

The thoroughbreds ran as though their lives depended on it. Which they had, ever since the Great Protein Shortage of 2029. Beginning that year, losers were eaten.

But things really started to get interesting in 2039. That was when they changed the rules again.

If your horse lost, you lost too. Winner’s Circle or the Loser’s Stewpot. And no jockey wanted to end up on someone’s plate.

[Cross-posted at The Dax Files. In view of the actual events at this year’s Preakness, perhaps this is a semi-clairvoyant little post, eh?]

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Rolling Matata

This week, IMAO (“In My Arrogant Opinion”) plays host to the 113th Carnival of the Cats. The post itself is, of course, the work of the Premier Champeen Catblogger, Laurence Simon his ownself.

Keep in mind that opinions, whether arrogant or not, are like assholes: everybody has one, and everybody else’s stinks.

Also keep in mind that the Carnival of the Vanities will be making its first-ever stop here at Blog d’Elisson this coming week. Please get your submissions in by Tuesday evening to ensure your post’s inclusion. Send your link info to cotvmail (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the handy-dandy submission forms available at Blog Carnival or the Conservative Cat. I’ll be posting the Carnival from Saint John, New Brunswick Tuesday night or Wednesday morning - if I miss any last-minute entries while traveling, I’ll catch up with ’em as soon as I get back to the ATL Thursday.


Being a recap of Elisson’s Culinary Adventures of May 20, 2006.


She Who Must Be Obeyed and I played hooky from shul, being that it was Hebrew School Graduation weekend. (We’ve been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and the Souvenir Coffee Mug, thankyouverymuch.) As long as we were home, I got out our trusty Waffle Iron and ran up a small heap of Belgian Waffles, which SWMBO and I consumed happily after slathering them with Grade A butter, pure maple syrup, and even a dab of Marionberry Sauce. I washed my waffles down with lashings of hot coffee - what GuyK calls “jumpstart.”


Being the Good Husband, I deicided to accompany She Who Must Be Obeyed and our friend Laura Belle to one of the local Shopping Malls. (Don, Laura’s husband, elected to stay home, there to pursue Manly Activities like Goofing Off On The Computer.) After a few hours of dividing my time between (1) watching the ladies try on eighty-seven pairs of shoes, as if they did not already own enough shoes between them to cover the feet of an Army Division, (2) going off on my own for chocolate (Lindt) and camera equipment, and (3) cramming into a department store dressing room with Laura Belle to help the Missus try on a Fancy Brassiere, we decided to hit the Food Court. I found a place that fixed me up a superb Falafel Plate: falafel (“the food that makes you falafel”), tabbouleh, and hummus. It was just like being on the shores of the sun-drenched Mediterranean.


My colleague at the Great Corporate Salt Mine, Irish Tommy, and his lovely wife Ellen, joined us for dinner. We met at our place for a few Preprandial Beverages: Pomegranate Martinis. Here’s how you make your own:

In a shaker half filled with ice, add one jigger vodka, one jigger Pama pomegranate liqueur, a squeeze of lemon juice, and two jiggers Pom pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a strip of lemon peel. Gorgeous...delicious...and deadly.

Pom Martini
Pomegranate Martini. Mmmmm, good.

Hors d’oeuvres? Some crackers, hummus, salami, and Brie.

After an hour of gabbing and relaxation, we saddled up and headed out to Stoney River Legendary Steaks. My choice of entrée was the Bone-In Rib-Eye, which was nicely rare in the center and charred on the outside. [Discretion forbids my mentioning the Crab Cake appetizer Tommy and I split.] The caramelized onion mashed potatoes that accompanied my steak were OK - a little on the sweet side for my taste - but the steak more than made up for it. Another Pomegranate Martini to wet the whistle (I was on a roll) and some coffee in lieu of dessert, and you had one very happy Mr. Debonair.

I should not neglect to mention the short glass of Pom juice I had as a nightcap...or the second one I had, dosed with a few discreet drops of Pama. Then, off to bed.

Yes, indeedy: If you cannot be a king, then you can at least try to eat like one. I consider yesterday to have been a Great Success in that regard.



The seventieth Haveil Havalim (Vanity of Vanities, or VoV to its close friends) is up at Soccer Dad. Catch up on all the things the Jewish community is talking about...except maybe for Mrs. Fischbein’s daughter’s anal fissure surgery, which is mercifully absent.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Jenny Carter

Elder Daughter tipped me off to the existence of, a site that features some of the most amazing Photoshop work I’ve ever seen.

Guys like Dax Montana, who fancy themselves Photoshopmeisters, could get themselves schooled here, I kid you not.

Here’s a tasty sample - the image above is from a contest in which people submitted Photoshops in which Various and Sundry Politicos were converted into Drag Queens with sometimes alarming results - but go to the site for lots, lots more. Contests, galleries, you name it - it’s all there, and it’s High Quality Schtuff!


Rahel (Elms In The Yard) and I have something in common: aside from cats, we both like Sweeney Todd.

A Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical cum operetta in the Grand Guignol style, about a barber who murders his customers and his ladyfriend who disposes of the corpses by making meat pie filling of them? What’s not to like?

Here’s Mrs. Lovett, sharing a Business Observation about a competitor whilst bemoaning the high cost of raw materials:
Mrs. Mooney has a pie shop,
Does a business, but I notice something weird -
Lately all her neighbors’ cats have disappeared.

Have to hand it to her -
Wot I calls
Popping pussies into pies.
Wouldn’t do in my shop -
Just the thought of it’s enough to make you sick.
And I’m telling you, them pussy cats is quick.
Well, it occurs to me that we’ve got plenty of Raw Materials for Mrs. Mooney. For example...

Round Matata

Round, firm, and fully-packed.

Matata, rear view

Easy to catch, too. Doesn’t move all that fast.

Ol’ Blue Eyes

Tricky and elusive...but flavorsome.

Kitty: Try some today!

Friday, May 19, 2006


I’m not a big fan of Blog Things, but I couldn’t resist this one:

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% Yankee
35% General American English
20% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

No surprises here. My speech patterns and word choices reflect a Northeastern childhood, with extended periods of living in the Southeast and in Texas. I’ll be curious to see how SWMBO does...

...after she smacks me upside the head for the post title...

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Tammi for the link...which she, in turn, got from Richmond.]

Update: Here are the Missus’s results.

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
30% Dixie
10% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

That 10% Yankee? I blame myself.


He had marshalled his forces carefully, exactingly, for just this moment. Patiently building his strength for the perfect opportunity to strike.

Troops massed along the borders. The supply chains were long, but the generals in charge knew the penalty for failure.

His early conquests had come easily, with only token opposition. But recently, his fortunes had taken a turn for the worse. Every battle, a bloody meatgrinder. Every skirmish, a near-disaster.

Retreat, regroup. Retreat again, regroup again.

Well, all that was going to change. Had to change. It was his turn now.

With the next roll, Yakutsk would be his!

[Listen to the podcast version of this story at the 100 Word Stories Podcast, courtesy of This Blog Is Full Of Crap.]



For the first time in four weeks, I’ll be home this weekend. Living out of a suitcase has its charms, but I’m here to tell you, it’s not something I love to do on weekends...unless I’m vacationing.

Where has Elisson been?

Well, three weeks ago, I was in Austin for the infamous Blown-Star Blodger Tea Party and Ice Cream Social. The next weekend, it was a visit to the Beautiful Lady with a Dirty Face - the Garden of Good and Evil its ownself, Savannah. And last weekend, it was Alexandria by Gawd Virginia. Dayum, but the boy do get around!

Blessèd respite for the next two weekends...but I’ll be On The Road again the first weekend in June, this time to Points Far North, where the siren call of the Great Corporate Salt Mine - or at least, the prospect of continuing paychecks from same - will cause me to biff a wonderful week in Cancun, instead spending the greater part of a fortnight in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Good thing I like maple syrup and Tim Hortons, eh?

With that Lengthy Preamble out of the way, let’s proceed to the Matter at Hand, namely, this week’s assortment of Randomly Selected Music from that nefarious Little White Box:
  1. God, That’s Good - Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd, Original Broadway Cast
  2. Time Travel - Klaus Badelt, The Time Machine (2002)
  3. Venus In Furs - The Velvet Underground
  4. Three Easy Payments - Mitch Hedberg
  5. Uf Dem Anger - Were Du Werlt Alle Min - Christian Thielemann, Orff: Carmina Burana
  6. Shine - Django Reinhardt
  7. One Note Song - Tenacious D
  8. Anna (Go To Him) - The Beatles
  9. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - Ben Folds Five
  10. Life’s Been Good - Joe Walsh
Guess I better start loading up on Gordon Lightfoot and Barenaked Ladies.

“Chickity China the Chinese chicken
He lost his feathers; was the victim of a flickin’...”

It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


The Carnival of Comedy hits the Double-Nickel with this week’s edition, which you can view over at Fmragtops Spews.

This Carnival features a Presidential theme. I wouldn’t mind this except for the fact that my post - admittedly, not one of my more sterling efforts - got lumped into the “Bill Clinton” category. But maybe that’s a good thing. Does it entitle me to a blow job?


On Friday mornings, there’s nothing greater
Than to go and visit The Modulator.
There are Kitties and Puppies for you to see,
And even the odd Snail, Roach, or Flea.

The 87th Friday Ark is up, with Yours Truly in pole position. Boo-yah!

Thursday, May 18, 2006



Yes, I am...for I have sold some of my prime Sidebar Real-Estate for thirty pieces of silver a continuing supply of Fine Cigars.

Scroll down the ol’ Sidebar and you will see a clever little advert for, a Web-based purveyor of Tasty Tobacco Cylinders. They even have a blog!

During the recent Blown-Star Blodgefest in Austin, I had a chance to sample one of the cigars these boys sent me as a quid-pro-quo for putting up a couple of sidebar links and writing the occasional review. The ’Gar in Question was a Cohiba Corona Minor, which clocks in at 4.00 x 42, a handy size for a quick smoke.

[That’s length in inches and ring gauge, i.e., diameter in 64ths of an inch, for all y’all Cigar-Impaired Peeps out there. An 8.00 x 64 would be eight inches long and an inch in diameter - a colossal cigar!]

Me, I tend to favor Robustos (4.50 x 54) for when Cigar Time is short, but this little guy delivered despite its diminutive size. It’s a Dominican (with a Mexican binder and Cameroon wrapper), which, quite frankly, is fine by me. I like the Dominican flavor profile, which is not as aggressive as Hondurans. This one had notes of walnut, cherry, and coffee at the finish.

I had a chance to compare this little fella to the Real Thing last weekend - a Cohiba (Havana) Corona. I’d be lying if I said the Cuban didn’t have more flavor and depth, but since it’s tough scoring Havanas over the Internet, you gotta go with what you can (reasonably) get.

There’s an Onyx with my name on it, and I’ll post a review as soon as I have a chance to burn it. But meanwhile, you can’t go wrong with them dinky Cohibas: I kid you not.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Bumper sticker spotted here and there about town...


Hrm. Perhaps he’s more accurate with a wand than he is with a shotgun.

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Karen at Verbatim for the image.]


Snakes on a Plane

With Internet buzz likely to propel Snakes on a Plane into the Summer Stupid-Movie Box-Office Stratosphere, you can be sure that there are plenty of sequels already in development.

The intrepid reporters at Blog d’Elisson have managed to snag a copy of a list of some of these Upcoming Pieces of Shit Exemplars of Cinematic Achievement. Here they are:
  • Goats on a Go-Kart

  • Slugs in a Submarine

  • Roaches in a Rocketship

  • Lungfish in a Limousine

  • Vipers in a Volkswagen

  • Beetles on a Bus

  • Leeches on a Log Flume

  • Rats at the Rodeo
and the perennial favorite,
  • Clowns in a VW Bug
Of course, it wouldn’t be Blog d’Elisson without
  • Turd in a Punchbowl
Release dates range from Winter 2006-07 to Summer 2009. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!


This week’s Carnival of the Vanities - edition number 191 - is up at Accidental Verbosity.

Be sure to send in your submissions for next week’s CotV, which will be hosted right here at Blog d'Elisson. You can e-mail me your links at elisson1 (at) aol (dot) com, or you can use the handy Carnival Submission Form (helpfully provided by Ferdy, the Conservative Cat) - or even the Blog Carnival submission form. Politics, science, pets, food, music, religion, commentary, general rants, whatever - it’s all good!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Blown Star Blodgers Badge

Elisson steals, once in a while, but he steals only from the best.

With a generous tip o’ th’ White Fedora to both Redneck and Shoe, I’ve cooked up my own version of the Blown Star insignia. Too much fun at that little fête for it not to have a badge of its own, am I right?


We sure do.

Those Statehood Quarters are all the rage, having rekindled a broad-based interest in coin collecting here in the United States. Never mind that most of the designs we’ve seen to date are as ugly as a cancer-eyed cow...or that much of the collectors’ interest is fueled by relentless promotion by the U. S. Mint or by the Home Shopping Network (“New Wisconsin State Quarters, now available layered in pure cow shit!”).

But the Mint has recognized that some of the designs are pretty heinous, being designed by committees and other organizations with no artistic talent. In order to make things better, they have begun an Artist in Residence program, bringing real artistic and sculptural talent to bear on the challenge of modern coinage design. Some of the early results are quite encouraging:

But the best one has got to be this, which commemmorates the resurgent spirit of a state which has suffered greatly, yet continues to cling to its unique culture...

[In case you were wondering - no, I didn’t design these fine examples of Numismatic Art. They floated in on a piece of Random Internet E-mail Crap that a co-worker sent me...but I thought they were worth putting some words around.]