I sure wasn’t expecting to have to say this, but here’s a very clever quote from Attorney General John Ashcroft:

“There are only two things necessary in life &#151 WD-40 and duct tape… WD-40 for things that don’t move and should, and duct tape for things that do move and shouldn’t.”

Okay, this is getting links all over the place, but it’s worth a look – the guy’s wife had an affair and left him, so he’s selling her beanie babies on E-bay: Collection of 26 Beanie Babies from Ex-Wife.

There’s a great article at Guardian Unlimited called 300 Reasons We Love the Simpsons. Reasons 66-75? Bart’s 10 best blackboard lines: I was not touched ‘there’ by an angel; Fire is not the cleanser; Fish do not like coffee; Pork is not a verb; The hamster did not have ‘a full life’; No one wants to hear about my sciatica; I am not my long-lost twin; The nurse is not dealing; I will not surprise the incontinent; Temptation Island is not a sleazy piece of crap.

It’s been pointed out to me by a kind reader that ‘It’s not rocket surgery‘ is a registered service mark that belongs to Steve Krug of Advanced Comonsense. (Way to go Steve.)

Said reader also discovered that Asparagus Pee blog is the unique hit for ‘Eggo syrup “rocket surgery”.’

One of the things that’s really sad about Elliott Smith’s story is what we consider newsworthy. If he’d finished his 2-CD masterpiece and released it to critical acclaim, it’s doubtful I’d hear about it other than by word of mouth or accidentally running across it. But he throws himself on a steak-knife, and now he’s big news. I guess it’s some small consolation that his music will undergo a posthumous surge.

Takes patience!Here’s a cool idea – they carve pencils with an X-acto knife into all kinds of interesting shapes: Pencil Carving.

Update:I see that J-walk is sending people here because of this entry (Thanks John!), so I want to pass the credit along to Clifford Pickover’s Reality Carnival blog, where I first saw it (Sorry Clifford!) – if you like cool, weird things that make your brain feel good, please go check it out.

Steven “Elliott” Smith

Update – Here’s a very good article on Elliot Smith’s suicide on the BILLBOARD website.

Update – That story focuses mostly on his addictions and attitude – here’s another one that discusses his music, with some lyrics and descriptive phrases like “impossibly melodic.” There’s also some good multimedia content over on NPR.

Miracle?They’ve spotted the Virgin Mary again. This time, she’s a tree stump in Passaic, New Jersey.

Now, I’m all for people worshipping whatever however they want, but it seems to me that if this is all it takes to call out the Diocese-mobile, I think I could find something that looked a little more like Mary without any huge difficulty.

Honestly, I feel a little sorry for the church and how seriously they have to take all these claims, especially since the human brain is hard wired to see faces in everything from hills on Mars to scorched tortillas.

Mystery Artist Week All this week, Scott Adams is featuring Dilbert strips
drawn by other cartoonists. Check it out.

Good ol’ Clay Aiken now has the #1 album over on the Billboard Albums chart. Here’s an article about it on MTV.com. I like Clay, I really do. When he was on American Idol, I even called him ‘my boy.’ But have I mentioned lemmings?

In other music news, we lost a good one yesterday. Elliott Smith seems to have killed himself. RollingStone.com: News: Elliott Smith Dies

Someone actually got here by a search on ‘personality test – do you prefer baths or showers,’ and do you think they voted in my bath vs. shower poll? Did you guess no? I give up.

You’re probably getting kinda tired of listening to Click for big pic.me brag on our little girl, but last Sunday at the Pumpkin Festival over at the park, she decided she’d like to climb the mobile rock wall, and we said, hey, why not? We didn’t even have a camera with us (who knew?), but a lady who was there overheard me saying I wish we had a camera, and she let me take this picture with her point-and-click Advantix&#153. She told me that it might be awhile before they got the film developed, but she must have done it that same day or the next, because today is Tuesday, and we got her picture in the mail!

Hmm. Well. Not much to say about this.

I was watching TV tonight (gosh, there’s something new), and there was an ad for Eggo&#153 maple syrup, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s sure a no-brainer,’ then the guy in the commercial who’s supposed to be the CEO says to the people at the conference table, ‘The only thing I don’t get is, what took us so long to come up with this idea?, I mean, it’s not rocket surgery.’ I love that – ‘rocket surgery‘ instead of ‘rocket science’ or ‘brain surgery.’ Two memes, one stone.

Then, a few commercials further on, there was an ad for a new American Express&#153 gift card – the idea was that you don’t buy a gift certificate for a particular store, you give a prepaid Amex thingy that’s like a prepaid calling card – Duh! – it’s as good as giving cash, but it’s less tacky!

Now here’s something I don’t get – I’m hoping someone can explain it to me. What purpose does all of the gibberish at the end of a spam mailing serve the person who sent it? I mean, I get the whole thing of adding spaces and substituting characters to try to make it through a spam filter, but what’s the point of this:

Y2hyaXMtYkBhdWRpb2VkaXRpb25zLmNvbQ== yet they cause no harm. Society outcasts don’t choose their status he goes to visit the dogs’ graves and finds a giant red fern. According to Indian legend participates in school plays crime

I’ve just learned today from Catalog Age magazine that Tommy Chong was arrested in a crackdown on drug paraphenalia for selling bongs over the internet. And who’s to blame? Why, one John Ashcroft. OK, so maybe we have to blame Chong for being a whacked-out idiot, but who is the Attorney General not trying to alienate?

Anyway, here’s a typically unbalanced report from Guardian Unlimited.

In a different article from E! Online, Chong was quoted as saying, in an online chat hosted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when asked what he thought about the feds coming down on stoners, “I feel pretty bad, but it seems to be the only weapons of mass destruction they’ve found this year.”

I came across this in a newsletter from the American Booksellers Association that was in today’s e-mail. It’s a long but interesting essay by the author Sarah Paretsky, of the V I Warshawski novels, all about current events and the Patriot Act from her point of view as a writer, called Truth, Lies and Duct Tape.

Here’s a representative quote:

At the same time that he is relentlessly pursuing the nation’s readers, the Attorney-General has blocked all efforts to track gun ownership. Perhaps the NRA can adopt a new slogan: guns don’t endanger America, books do.