Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Evil House of Spirits 2

I sent an e-mail with the blog entry on the EHOS to the liquor board. The next morning there was an e-mail from them saying they would hold a hearing on the violation on the law against serving to intoxicated persons. They asked me if I would testify about my pictures and I agreed.

The subpoena has apparently arrived at the EHOS. The old man who appears to be the patriarch chewed me out a couple days ago as I walked past on the sidewalk.

Today, I received my first threat, from the guy who lives up the block at 505 S. Patterson Park Ave.

He said I would be very sorry. He said he has "more money than God". He said the House of Spirits guy was a good man. He said he has connections with Mayor O'Malley.

I went back and took the above picture of him. He told me I would be sorry about that too.

I haven't seen Mr. Cleveland in about a week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Quote of the day

Quoted on Slashdot, on how to make New Orleans hurricane-proof:

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Pat Robertson loves take out

God bless Pat Robertson. If only he'd come out sooner with his "take out" exception to the Commandment that thou shalt not kill, we'd be 300 billion dollars better off.

My only hope is that the Iraqi insurgents don't hear about this. You can bet, when they do, they'll have some tough questions for their radical clerics. Part of being a radical is that you've got to be out there, away from the pack. When middle aged suburban housewives start piercing their belly bottons, you can bet the avant guarders will find some other way to cull themselves from the herd. The insurgents will view this as a call to ramp it up, because they're no longer making a statement.

Too bad it took two thousand years for Christian thinkers to come figure out that taking out your opponents is not only cheaper, but it protects you from the sting of turning the other cheek. If only Jusus had taken out Pilate and the Pharases, what a better world it would be - for everyone. Just think of what Mel Gibson could do with Bruce Willis playing the take out Jesus. Instead of a cross hanging in churches, we could have a sniper riffle, replacing the blow gun or crossbow of ancient times. Our saints could be the people Jessee Ventura referred in his response to a quesiton that "gun control is a man who can put two rounds in the same hole at 100 yards."

But, it's not all good. Got to be careful about what we say. What does it mean to "take out the trash," or ask someone if you can "take out their daughter." When your husband says he's getting "take out," does it mean he's hiring someone to take you out? "Take me out to the ball game?" "Take out Chineese?" Paranoid dislexic people diving for cover when someone says "out-take."

So you won't find me making fun of Pat Robertson. Whether it's warning gays in Florida that the will be smoted by hurricanes for flying the gay flag, or supporting guys like Charles Taylor, who's Liberian conflict diamonds Robertson's companies used to buy - one thing is for sure, we will always have Pat as a shining example of the true value of televangelism.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

News Quote of the Day

"If I offer you $100,000 for you Honda Civic, how would you respond? Here are your choices:
a) 'No thank you, my bank account is already full.'
b) 'Maybe, but let me see if there is another car I might like to buy.'
c) 'Here are the keys.'

If you answered a) or b) , you have the makings of a Google analyst."

-Wall Street Journal, Alan Murray's "Business" column on Google's current stock offering.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

*SPOILER* Unified Theory of Harry Potter

If you intend to read Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (HBP), and you don't want to know how it ends, stop reading right now.

I have a theory that explains the central mystery of the Harry Potter books: what saved him when Voldemort tried to kill him as an infant, after murdering his parents.

In the HBP, we learn that Voldemort was trying to achieve immortality by splitting his soul into seven parts. A horcrux is a repository of a fragment of a soul. Creating a horcrux requires an act of supreme evil: a murder. The puzzle at the end of the HBP is what are Voldemort's six horcruxes.

Here it is: Harry himself is a horcrux.

The known or suspected horcruxes are (HPB ch. 23):
1. Tom Riddle's diary, which Harry destroyed in the Chamber of Secrets.
2. Marvolo Gaunt's ringe, which Dumbledore destroyed as a horcrux, blackening his hand in the process.
3. Slytherin's locket, possibly destroyed by the mysterious R.A.B..
4. (suspected) Hufflepuff's cup.
5. (suspected) An unknown object of Ravenclaw's.
6. (suspected) An unknown object of Gryffindor's.
7. (suspected) Nagini the giant snake.

We know that Harry's mother Lily was very gifted at charms. We also know that after Voldemort killed Harry's father James, he intended only to kill Harry, and he only killed Lily because she refused to stand aside. Voldemort's intention when trying to kill Harry was to fulfill the prophecy that only one could live of Voldemort and a wizard born at the end of July.

So here is my theory: Lily and James Potter were on to the horcrux plot. We know from the note in the fake locket recovered by Harry and Dumbledore that the horcruxes were known to others besides Voldemort. I think Lily created a charm that caused Voldemort to unwillingly and unknowingly create a horcrux when he killed her, and that Harry was the horcrux thus created. So when Voldemort tried to kill Harry, he was unwittingly destroying his own horcrux. This caused the spell to backfire on himself, and destroy his physical body.

This would plausably explain many things such as Harry's ability to speak Parseltongue, and Harry's ability to sense Voldemort's thoughts and feelings.

It also creates a terrifying conflict for the final book: In order to kill Voldemort, all his horcruxes must be destroyed first. How does Harry do that if he himself is a horcrux?

By the way, I think the theory that Dumbledore is not really dead (see is a load of hooey. Mostly because the last book would be more dramatic if Dumbledore is dead. But it's a creative theory, though. Maybe Dumbledore and Snape both took polyjuice potion to become each other, and Snape is dead. That would resolve the issues with the Unbreakable Vow he made with Narcissa.

Also by the way, I think R.A.B. is Regulus Black.

Morning has broken

I am a morning person. I wake early. The sickness started in college and I've never shaken it. Even after a good night of beer, tequila and polaroids (in no particular order) I still will rise at near-dawn no matter what time I passed out.

Often people are divided in to two groups: Those who are morning peeps (MPs), and those who are not (NMPs). What always strikes me funny though, is the fundamental difference in approach between the two sectors.

The NMPs treat MPs like a disease. They believe anyone who wants to wake up early must have a sickness. If an NMP happens to accidentally awake during what THEY consider the early morning, they will glare at an MP as an act of placing effectual blame for their abbreviated sleepytime.

Morning Peeps on the other hand don't give a frig if an NMP sleeps until Nuclear Winter. In an act of incredible tolerance, most MPs will let the lazy shifty good for nothing NMP sleep off whatever hangover they have still rattling around in their pea-sized brain. We are kind gentle souls and we gain pleasure from seeing you waste precious hours drooling on a pillow. That is, unless the NMP has brought home very hot eye candy and the MP knows he can steal them while sober and the NMP only had a chance last night because he's the king of the roofie-coctail....

So the question arises. Why do all you damn Not Morning Peeps sleep for so cotton-pickin long? Can't you come correct and realize you are wasting precious hours that could be better utilized with fun activities like shaking your fists at the local youths, or making a nice pitcher of bloody mary's, or even playing a few missions of Grand Theft Auto?

Fine be that way. Glare at me while I scream at you to get up and get on with your life. I guess I'll never understand why you people insist on wasting the morning.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Evil House of Spirits

I recently e-mailed the vc about the latest onslaught of blight caused by the evil House of Spirits (EHOS) liquor store up the street. It seems we have a vagrant named "Mr. Cleveland" who has been passed out on the sidewalk pretty much nightly for the past couple weeks. He likes to sit on a little planter on the side of the house across the street of the EHOS, to the dismay of the house's owners.

He never seems to be more than a block from the EHOS. I decided to document this situation. All these photos were taken on Saturday, August 16th, 2005.

Here is a picture of Mr. Cleveland, in his usual state.

Here are some pictures showing the two empty bottles of Wild Irish Rose on the sidewalk next to Mr. Cleveland.

I attempt to discourage Mr. Cleveland from hanging around in my neighborhood by standing a few feet away and looking at him. I never speak to him. This drives him crazy, he starts ranting. Sometimes he actually leaves, but other times he can't walk well enough to leave. On this day he decided to leave, and he declared he was going to call a cab. He stumbled across the street to the EHOS.

Don't you wish you had the EHOS up the street from your house?

A short while later, Mr. Cleveland emerges from the EHOS with a brand new bottle of Mad Dog 20/20! The EHOS is selling alcohol to a guy so drunk he can hardly walk!

This is the guy who runs the EHOS. He saw that I was taking pictures of all this and he came out to have some words with me. So I took a picture of him, too.

Here is Mr. Cleveland waiting for his cab.

Waiting for a cab is hard work. It can make you thirsty.

At this point, I called the cops. After three calls in a time period of about 40 minutes, a police cruiser was stopped at the traffic light. I flagged them down and they apprehended Mr. Cleveland with open container in hand as he was entering the EHOS to hide. It seems the police are acquainted with Mr. Cleveland, and they apparently don't like to bother him. I think Mr. Cleveland should pass out on their block sometime.

Welcome to the VC Blog

This blog is intended to replace the viciouscircle e-mail list.

I set viciouscircle up about 10 years ago because all my friends were sending rude e-mails around to one another, and then there would be a flood of responses back saying "Please take me off the cc list for this, I am at WORK." I couldn't remember who I could send what, so I set up the e-mail list with these rule:

1. You can send anything you want, if you don't like that, don't subscribe with your work address.
2. Except you can't forward stupid jokes and urban legends that you think are cute that someone has sent you, because we all have 10 copies of the stupid joke in our inbox already.

As with the viciouscircle e-mail list, I am a dictator, I decide who gets on, and I decide what's allowed.

If I have not invited you, send me an e-mail explaining why you are my friend. If I am convinced you are my friend, I will add you to the blog. Be advised I will most likely put your e-mail on the blog as well.