Tuesday, October 30


Here's a homemade-as-apple-pie quiz for you all. Start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.

1. What has more carrying capacity, an African or a European swallow?
2. Who was the point guard and "face of the Lakers" in the 1980s?
3. Who is the protagonist of Anne of Green Gables (first and last name)?
4. What color did E.T. turn when he got sick?
5. Mozart's rival, played by F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus, was named what?
6. Who did the musical score for the movie Whale Rider?
7. How did singer/guitarist Jeff Buckley die in the 1990s?
8. What famous song of Leonard Cohen's did Jeff Buckley cover?
9. Róisín Murphy was formerly part of which British band?
10. 'Takk' means what in both Icelandic and Norwegian?

11. Who plays the protagonist in the film Emile Zola?
12. What sport may involve wrong 'uns, googlies, top-spinners, and flippers?
13. Name the four tennis Grand Slam events by location and type of playing surface.
14. What is Frodo' s relationship to Bilbo?
15. Who was the protagonist of the novel Pride and Prejudice? Full name preferred.
16. How many of the"big five" Academy Award categories did Silence of the Lambs win?
17. Wot's the sad sod called who scrubs dishes all day at a place at which he can't afford to eat?
18. What's worst - Boy Bands, Marching Bands, Mariachi Bands, or Speedmetal Bands?
19. What is the top speed recorded by radar that a baseball has ever been pitched?
20. Name as many actors who have played James Bond as you can.

21. What are the 3 top-selling albums of all-time? Bonus points for the right order.
22. What album stayed on the US Billboard 200 list a record-shattering 741 consecutive weeks?
23. Who is Norah Jones' famous father?
24. Dumbledore never married. Is he straight, bisexual, gay, or is his sexuality unknown?
25. Apple have just released a new version of their OS X operating system. What is its name?
26. Microsoft recently did the same with their Windows operating system. What is its name?
27. Most atoms are composed of three basic particles. What are they?
28. In turn, these "subatomic" particles (and others) are ALL composed of a basic building block. Which is what?
29. Many sports use the term "hat trick." What does this generally mean?
30. How many points is a basket shot from behind the half court line that goes in the bucket worth?

Send in your answers as emails to justin.sias@gmail.com (Thanks for thinking of this, Bill), your sick and your starving, your toddlers and old memories. I'll grade each question up to 5 points depending on "how correct and complete" the answer is, and some that are debatable I will award points based on the merit of the explanation for the answer. Honor system strongly enforced! Please no using the internet for answers to these questions. There are no penalties for guessing wrong; you'll probably score 0 as though you'd not answered the question at all. So it pays to guess, as long as you don't mind looking lame once in awhile.

I'll give this quiz until at least 3, and hopefully 4 or more, people answer it, then I will announce the answers, the winner (I will reveal your score to you privately if you are not the winner but wish to see how you did, so as not to embarrass anyone, unless Rex is last, in which case I'll proclaim that to everyone).

I'll also accept any suggestions for "themes" for future quizzes or ideas for new games - word games, perhaps? - that would be fun in an asynchronous blog format (what you are reading).

Game on!

Friday, October 26

What Monty Python Character are you?

Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look?

Take this quiz!

Wednesday, October 24

(Please click picture)

Tuesday, October 23


Surely life is richer with both ends present.
People who only want the acoustic ballad,
They get beauty poured upon them in spades.
But beauty unending soon grows expected,
Less inflected; less a foil for pain.

Surely the sweetest a rose can smell
Is after an experience with the stink of hell.
I don't understand those who just feel anger:
A constant stranger to comforts all deserve,
But nor is bliss reserved to serenity.


The devil child films we watched or thought
About the witching, the thrill more potent than the chill
The 13th generation since Benjamin Franklin rankling
Last onto the flag that said don't tread on me, dead feet
First ones to feel the firing of the Cold War's searing heat
The decade or so that was so special to us then
And so different from what came before or happened since
Was just another illusion. Every generation has their illusion.
Generation Y is so strange, everything is mixed together
I feel disoriented but not in any way that's clever
Maybe it's old bones shouting at the new ones with
Their breaks regrown; Maybe it is that simple, "Kiss
Me he said, then kill me," when it all felt wrong.
How can you blame him? His first romance was a song
A ballroom dance in a whirling throng, with mirrors
On the ceiling, what he was feeling then, and was it then, then?
In these days, subtleties don't belong. Get lost. You're one of
Hundreds of millions of bodies blogging, out jogging
Getting in shape for the raping and flogging of your talent
Thinking it amounts to something, counts as being strong.


Who is aware of everything
That is out there
And believes their theory of the decade
Whatever decade they are in
To be true
To really be the truth?
I believe in not believing. There is no truth
That we could ever comprehend
We are not descended from angels
We are grown up from bacteria
And may be half way there
Half way still means a lot of fragile nights
Spent in motels without working lights
And bad decisions.
Love can be a great or a terrible
Decision. They all grabbed onto something
In my poem from April; three were there
All are still here, somehow
But they're like phantoms to me
I can only type and watch, but watching
Blind. I can only touch keys,
Cannot truly see them in motion
And and ocean or a great plane divides
So I think to myself, what
If I was right? In fourth grade when
I missed that bell. When I was so scared
Who in the hell can tell me where
I can find a contradiction? Will you share?
Because I'm not inclined to
Disregard experience. I'm not
In room 1408, I haven't a thing to my name
In all actually except what I am


In the flood
In the mud
Children chasing soldiers
Dogs chasing children
Shells of towns
So carved out, skinny
Unempty, diseased helmets with...
What are we doing here anyway?
What were we thinking?
Tears don't make a difference in a place
That is crying all the time

For nothing did we race to the moon
Put troops on the ground too soon
Never finish the "job"
I want to wash my face and have
A cool rag now
Just thinking of the raw nerves
The broken down lives
Of hundreds of thousands
Wandering the streets
Abroad and at home
Now sincerely alone

I am sick of the luxury of peace
Upon our own soil
But I won't give it up, I know
And I cannot live at all
Unless I can do something real
About the other sad souls
That carpet the earth's most
Desolate hell holes
What were we there for anyway?
Can he tell me that?
Now the world's grown a bit colder
Unenlightened by democracy

Shoved down their throats
By an M-16
Animals on both sides
Fear leaking from pores
Of those on both sides
Who wants this?
No ones wants to be seen backing down
So I will. I back away from anger
As a solution to anything
I can't count the number of times I've cried
But tears don't mean a thing in a world
That is crying all the time.

Timeline of life on earth.

4 billion years ago. Microbial life begins near heat vents in a worldwide ocean. Not too exciting.

1 billion years ago. Multicellular life evolves and quickly diversifies and spreads into almost every environmental niche. All of it's still in the ocean though.

600 million years ago. Animals as a distinct kingdom of life evolve. Begin to colonize land in various ways.

475 million years ago. Land plants evolve, but not flowers or trees. Mostly ferns and mosses.

400 million years ago. Insects evolve and have been annoying ever since.

360 million years ago. Amphibians evolve and have been squishy and boring ever since.

300 million years ago. Reptiles evolve and get really big and take over the earth.

200 million years ago. Mammals evolve sort of unnoticed.

150 million years ago. Birds evolve. They fly around.

130 million years ago. Flowers finally evolve so dinosaur Romeos can gather them for their Juliets. Trees and fruit too but they aren't as popular with the ladies.

65 million years ago. A big extinction event kills almost all the dinosaurs and mammals shamelessly use this advantage to get big and take over the world.

2 millions years ago. Modern humans evolve in Africa and decide to take over the world. The flower trick works pretty well for them, too.

25 Dec 4. Jesus of Nazareth is born and people mistake him for God. This gets him killed.

25 Dec 1642. Isaac Newton is born and goes on to revolutionize our understanding of nature.

1776. The United States is sort-of born. This will be a good thing for quite awhile, then get bad when fast food chains and the Bible Belt are formed.

25 Dec 1972. Justin of California is born. Hilarity ensures. A few good poems are written.

2012. The Aztec Calendar predicts the end of the world. Nothing even close to that happens.

2029. A big asteroid tries to do us in but small rockets nudge it out of the way in time.

2032. World Peace is finally achieved at the nation level. Everyone seems pretty optimistic about the future of humanity.

2033. A Type II supernova occurred some time ago in our neck of the Milky Way just by pure chance, and the burst of gamma rays arrives at the same time as the pretty images on telescopes all over the earth, which is then utterly extinguished of all life in less than a day.

Nobody goes to Heaven or Hell, which turn out not to exist. No one is reincarnated as someone else, because life in the solar system is GONE. There wasn't enough time for humans to colonize anywhere but the moon and have some plans to maybe get something going on Mars soon.

The End.
This world is made by and run by extroverts. And they happily divide themselves into crowds, groups, cliques. People seem pretty sure who they are and fit into their small slice of the human pie and adopt its culture, while missing out on the rest of the ways it could feel like to live. My problem is the one of a person with too many choices who is afraid to commit to any one of them. I can see myself adopting almost any of these lifestyles, and for short periods, trying to find myself, I have. But I always backed out because I hated the exclusivity. While it does make you a part of something, and you get some truly close friends and find some comfort in having that niche role in the world that you're good at (like a character class that you level up in the more you play it), you increasingly get locked out of other lifestyles and the trails diverge. There are sure to be great, wise, loving, happy people on those trails too. But you can't play all the games or even really more than one or two, or people think you're fake or insecure. It's all so stupid. It's why I stay introverted, as a way of not dealing with the problem. Of being no part of it. But this is by far the loneliest road, the solitary one. I write my own story and no one has cleared the path for me. It's such hard work I don't even think I'm up to it anymore. I used to think I was, but I have gotten old in my head, and I can't jump when I say jump these days.
Words can't do it, only songs can. Only the emotive voice with instrumentation. Visual art can do it too, sometimes, though it's more something I "get" and then eagerly show others, but not something I've the skill yet (or maybe ever) to really express myself in as a creator. I can write though. And I could sing in a band, if only that weren't so cliche and so overwhelmingly stupid and hard to break into. I deeply despise the music *industry* but I love and am utterly enchanted with music.

Where are the people who appreciate nuances in singing voices? Who FEEL lyrics if they know the melody behind them? Where in sum are the people like me? Am I alone on this planet? Am I the only one whose heart rips from his chest when I hear a high note done just right, or the word I was just dying to hear tie off the perfect phrase in a chorus? And then go and try to use typography in some crude fashion to recreate this experience, this sound, the emotion for others, when it shall inevitably be lost on them?

I hate people so much I am surprised myself. I don't even feel like one.

The child is father to the man.

Some things just won't stay dead.

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