September 2004 - Flat Earth Society
RayzRealm (c) September, 2004

[Sep 08][Sep 09][Sep 19][Sep 25]
[Sep 26]

Wednesday September 8

"Steal a loaf of bread and you go to prison.
Steal a railroad and you go to congress."
- Mark Twain

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly
and applying the wrong remedies."
- Groucho Marx -

"The solution to war; round up all the politicians and
generals, send them off to a stadium and let them battle
it out with giant socks full of horse manure."
-W.C. Fields

"Religion, the last refuge of scoundrels."

We can almost count on a lot more than railroads getting stolen during Bush's second term, yeah, and as much as I dread the thought, my gut tells me he's just about 100% assured of getting re selected in November. No! I'm not planning on voting for Bush, Never! Actually I'd consider volunteering for the first manned mission to Mars when he or one of his minions gets elected.

I tried to be a "fair and balanced" American this week and attempted watching part of Nazicon 2004. As soon as I tuned into our PBS affiliate, Karl Rove was speaking. I immediately broke out in a full body rash and became delirious, and when I changed the station the rash miraculously disappeared, "praise the Lord, thank you Jesus!" I tuned in again and it seems that every speaker looked like they were Amway sales people or Mormons; attack of the demonic Osmonds.

It's interesting how the Rethugs locked their vocal wing nut base away for the week in a root cellar somewhere during the festivities, trying to appear all clean washed, smiling and apple pie. That should lock in the blue collar and white trailer trash set vote for Bush.

I might respect them more (fat chance) if they were up front about their true agenda. Let Bro Pat and Jerry rant on about libruls, gays, Democrats destroying the planet, "global warming is God's wrath against gays, feminists, liberals, pagans and Democrats." Let Ashcroft rant on, running around anointing the delegates in sanctified Crisco oil, and don't forget to save some of that Crisco for greasing up the collective butts of the working/poor class for another 4 year reaming.

No, I was not patriotic and turned the TV off. The only time I turned it on was to watch a few episodes from Futurama Volume 4, that I picked up last weekend.

I'm on vacation this week, all dressed up with nowhere to go. I was penciled in to spend a few days with my old long lost friend Bob, up at his camp site in the wilds of the New Hampshire Lakes region, but he found temp work and started his new temporary job, so that visit has been put on hold. I did manage a visit to see Noel and Ellen, stopping at a Dunkin Donuts on the way. I dunno, but in every single Dunkin Donuts store I enter, every one has the Faux News Channel on, which in itself , is enough to give me a terminal case of gas or acid reflux. Of course the animatronic talking heads were spouting off the latest polls, putting Gee Dubya light years ahead of Kerry.

I walked up to the counter, "I'll have a medium iced coffee, cream and no sugar, a coffee roll and a tin foil helmet for here."

The girl behind the counter looked at me, "a what?" I replied. "a tin foil helmet to keep out the Fox News mind control rays." She looked even more puzzled, me adding, "didn't you know, watching Fox News Channel causes brain tumors."

The guy behind me was this hulking construction worker type, tattoos and all. At first I thought he was going to snap my neck, killing me instantly as an enemy combatant. He grumbled with a harumph, "shit! they all cause brain tumors. The media tells us only what they're told to say and what the government wants us to believe. It's all mind control if you ask me. It's all bullshit!"

"You're not voting for George Bush?", I asked, "hah! fucking fat chance of that. The guy's a lieing scum bag." I got to talking with him and found out he was a Gulf War 1 vet. Needless to say he was not very fond of the current administration's policies, "it's all about oil, big corporations, Israel and the war machine. Bush won't be satisfied until he gets us into World War III."

Well anyway, I didn't get my tin foil helmet, so woofed down my coffee roll and coffee and beat feet outta there before the full body rash returned. I don't know why Faux doesn't just lay their cards on the table and come clean, that they're the Republican campaign channel. Fox News, fairly unbalanced, "we decide you just shut up and listen."

The only excitement so far this week was going for an acupuncture session and getting an energy balancing healing session for free. I can hear it now from the circle of Born Again Christians I associated with a long time ago, "don't do it Ray, your immortal soul is in danger. Acupuncture and energy balancing come right from Satan. Well, it's a natural fact, acupuncture needles are the devil's own cell phone antennae. I remember eons ago when I was taking Yoga and TM classes or when I began Chinese medicine. My friends in the Flat Earth Society were aghast, "your salvation is in jeopardy of you practice Yoga." They acted as if I had joined some weird cult. I haven't started growing horns nor do I have a desire to play Ozzie Osborne records backwards. Most, but not all of the people I have known who are card carrying members of the "Flat Earth Society" believe Eastern = Bad, Western = Good, as if Jesus Christ himself were born and raised in Stinkwater Creek, Texas and was a card carrying devoted Republican. There's not really much I've felt like saying, it's all been said before.

The usual weekly crop of articles and journals I read during the week.

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Thursday September 9

Air so thick you can breathe it through a straw.

New England is getting the leftovers from the hurricane. It has poured since Tuesday night, with hardly a letup, and the air is so thick with humidity, it's like being in a steam room.

Yesterday I took a ride up to Nashua, NH out of boredom to do my patriotic duty and hang out in the malls, although I didn't buy anything. South Nashua is one giant strip mall from the Massachusetts border to the center of town. I remember when Daniel Webster Highway was mostly woods and pastures, but now it's one shopping center after an other for about 3 miles.

I did stop at Marshals and TJ Max to see if they had any 2(x)Ist briefs. There's only one style I wear, style 3012 sport briefs, geeze I even know the style number. I am not about to pay $12-16 a pair at Needless Markup or Bloomies (the only stores that sell them), or I could order them on the web, but in those rare occasions where Marshalls or TJ Max has them they're $5 each. I was talking with a woman in TJ Max who was stocking the men's undies section, and she said she'd check in the back room....nope! She told me there's a coupla men who snatch up every pair as soon as they hit the shelves. Hmmm, let me see, they're light in the loafers, have tribal tattoos and vacation in P-Town :-)

I stopped in Comp USA to look at external DVD burners that were on sale. I asked the forbidden question, "is there any software that's comparable to DVD X-Copy." The kid I talked with got really nervous as if I asked which isle the enriched Uranium and Plutonium was in, "uhhh, we're not even supposed to give advice or talk with customers about that. At that very moment a guy wearing a black trench coat and dark glasses poked his head up from a nearby isle, put an African blow gun to his lips, "ppphhhtt!", the kid dropped dead on the spot. Wow! Hollywood is serious about people even thinking about copying movies. Needless to say, I didn't pick up a DVD burner, although I could put 4.7 GIG of my downloaded porno treasure sniplets on one giant DVD. I had lunch at the Fire House, then returned home, mostly napping. Miserable rainy days put me in the mood to just nap.

The weather this morning was not any better, but the sky started to brighten about 10, so I hopped a bus into Harvard Square, and had a long winded chat with Doug in Chicago, who I haven't talked to in almost 2 months. I'm glad I caught him, since he told me he's headed back to Southeast Asia to live again. He wants to be far far away when Bush gets re selected. it's weird, but I've talked with more and more people who are singing a similar tune, jumping ship before mad king George scuttles what's left of her.

I was looking for a small book or essays that my namesake, the terrorist from Maine wrote while he was in prison. The only book store I knew of that might carry it was Revolution Books, just outside of the square. I got into a long winded conversation with the shop keeper about the current state of affairs and telling him about my not so comical comedy of errors when the other Ray was out and about before he was arrested. I mentioned these incidents in the August flight recorder in the August 28th entry.

After having lunch at Grendels Den I dropped by Newbury Comics to browse and picked up South Park, "Passion of the Jew" and neat 6 DVD set for cheap containing 43 episodes of the remade Twilight Zone hosted by Forest Whitaker. I loved the rehashed Zone, and actually some of the classic episodes they did were much better than the originals. I have one boxed set of original Twilight Zone episodes and want to add a couple more. I really wish they'd release seasons of the New MGM "Outer Limits". So OK, I was always a fan of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, Thriller, Tales From The Crypt and Friday the 13th, the Series. A lot of these shows had really good writing, better than average TV acting and many carried a moral and punch line.

I spent an hour browsing books at the Harvard Bookstore and the Coop, them caught the 77 bus back to Chez Bigboote. I totally forgot that school was back in session. The bus was as packed as a cattle car headed for the death camps. At least the bus driver had the A/C cranked up.

This vacation is flying (as they all do) despite the fact I haven't really done anything, except meet a couple of Area51 visitors for dinner last weekend. Like every other curiosity seeker, I never hear from them once they meet the face behind the web site. Although both were shocked when they found out how old I am. For some strange reason both thought I was 12-15 years younger than I am, as one said, "gee, you have the body of a guy in his 20-30's." Before anyone asks "now how did they know what you body looks like", it was warm and humid and I was wearing curt offs and a tank top so there! So I'm a 57 year old who's all muscle, that and$1.50 will get me a large iced coffee at Au Bon Pain. Ok, so I'm the product of an alien human hybrid breeding experiment.

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Sunday September 19

What's in a face? Body Doubles.

It's bad enough I have the same name as a well known "supposed" domestic terrorists, but it seems I also could pass for an identical twin to a number of other guys. While I was on vacation 4 separate guys stopped me to say I could pass for a body double of someone they knew. Now all I have to do is find out who Rob, Pete, Jon and John are. If I could arrange to meet all of them, we could all dress alike and walk through the streets of Boston in formation; that would be a mind bender.

If I had any doubts before, they have been fully Dogs in chat confirmed now, most everyone in online chat rooms are stark raving bullshit artists and could be successful in politics or selling used cars. A couple of years ago I deleted my personal profiles and accounts in 2 online chat rooms. Last week I had my accounts reactivated, mostly out of boredom. Nothing much has changed, and if anything, chat has gone downhill. About 4 to 5 years ago there were lots of lively conversations going on and I got to meet a number of (what appeared to be) interesting people, turning out to be sociopaths, timid sheep and bull shitters. I notice now that hardly anyone talks in the live rooms, except for the occasional, "nice pic", "nice profile", "nice ...", "whaddaya into?", etc.

I never could understand what possesses people to post X rated pics of themselves in their profiles. They either have low self esteem or huge egos, or both. And the stats! I used ot have coffee on occasion with one of the Boston area chat room monitors (baby sitter and police officer). He shared an observation, "add 2-10 inches to their advertised waist size, decuct 2-6 inches from advertised penis or boob measurements, decuct 2-6 inches from height, add 10-100 pounds to advertised weight and add 5-30 years to advertised age. Most who claim to be single and looking are usually married or involved in a relationship. If they say they work in sales, it usually means they work at Wal-Mart or are a supermarket bag boy."

My Catholic upbringing (brow beating) taught to me always tell the truth. If you ever enter chat and meet someone, you can tell right off the bat if they are not being honest in their advertised claims. I found this to be the case over 75% of the time. I also found that a lot come across as armchair Rambos and movie stars in chat, when in fact most of the ones I met were stuttering blushing wall flowers that getting any conversation out of them face to face was like pulling wisdom teeth without any anesthesia.

A popular question that gets asked in private messaging is "can you host?" At first I didn't know what this meant, "host a Tupperware party?","AA meeting", "be their internet provider?","provide space for a Jehovah Witness meeting?" No! hosting usually means they're looking for a person or place to make whoopee in, which translated means they're horny and are either married, have a live in S.O. or are living with parents.

People that I met 3-5 years ago were usually surprised that I looked just like the picture in my profile (they usually did not). My pictures were all "G" rated. I cannot see having pictures of me splattered all over the net showing naughty bits that only God and my doctor should see.

I usually add a few paragraphs in the provided test areas (a lot do not), adding some additional information; humorous anecdotes, hobbies, things I like/dislike.

OK so the typical Bigboote profile (sans text) goes something like this:

Location: Boston suburbs (Cambridge area)

Age: 57

Height" 5'11"

Weight: 165-170, depending on season

Waist: 30"

Chest: 42"

Build: Athletic/Muscular

Hair: Bald (shaved)

Shoe Size: 10 wide

Facial hair: Mustache

Race/Ethnic: White, French/Italian mongrel mix.

Relation Status: Single

Profession: Computer Geek

Spiritual: Recovering Catholic

Politics: Left of center

So there you have it, Bigboote at a glance. I'll leave the naughty stuff out as it does not belong in cyber-space. I just rejoined the world of chat and feel ready to abandon it again.

Here's this week's angst ridden collection of news and journal links

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Saturday September 25

Playing with the big boys.

I've been involved in the Internet since the early 80's. back before the net wore all the pretty makeup and jewelry that the web has provided. Whenever I mentioned e-mail, most people didn't have a clue what I was talking about (do you need stamps?). I was a prolific writer across a number of Usenet newsgroups, and if you really wanted to find something outside of newsgroups, there were the arcane tools; Gopher, FTP, Archie, Veronica and graphics had to be decoded before you could view them. I was fortunate to be working for the long gone, but once f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s DEC, who was a networking pioneer, so all employees has access to out thousands of in-house online forums (VAX-Notes) plus a gateway to the Internet. Dec supplied me with a personal computer and dumb terminal for use when I had to work from home with a WHOPPING! 1200 Baud modem; we're talking back in the 8086 days here.

I got my first personal Internet account in 1994, with the once cutting edge, fabulous and local, UltraNet and Bigboote's Area51 became a rest stop on the Infobahn in 1995. I;ve stayed with the same Internet provider ever since, well almost. Ultranet got bought out a few years back by RCN (so what else is new in the current world of mergers, consolidations and takeovers), and after all these years I've still been limping along online at 56K. Here I've got this Ferrari of a PC, 3.1GHZ, 1GIG of ram and 128Meg video and I'm still putzing along at a snail's pace. Most all of the propeller head associates I know have bene shocked, "YOU! of ALL people are still using dialup, shame, shame shame!"

I have been hemming and hawing for quite a while, considering taking the plunge and upgrading to broadband, but was too cheap and/or lazy to make the call. After checking some comparative pricing I decided to stay with RCN (for now) so called their sales office last Monday. I suppose no matter which broadband provider you go with, they try to sell you a bundled package; Internet, cable TV, phone, psychic advisor and Swiss Army knife, but after making my point the woman placed the order to Internet only, which gets billed at a higher rate then if I had bought the whole enchilada. So I got from paying the same $18 a month for dialup that I've paid for the past 10 years to around $60 a month after tax, but being able to download files and load bandwidth demanding sites orders of magnitude faster has become enough of a reason for me to bite the bullet. I'll still keep my old and familiar dialup account for a couple of months until I feel I want to keep the broadband and have had time to migrate my web site to it's new home.

Why didn't I also get cable? Well for one, I'm weaning myself more and more from the glass teat, and when I had cable the channels I watched, were mostly the basic plus offerings; History, Discovery, Learning, Sci-Fi, A&E, etc seem to be carrying as many annoying commercials as the major networks, and it seem to be only getting worse; capitalism run amock! About the only thing I use the TV for now is viewing something from my personal library or a rental. I spend more time online than in front of the tube, working on my web site, reading articles, doing research and communicating with cyber ghosts....and OK, I fess up, grabbing a few smut clips that tickle my fancy now and then.

Well the cable guy showed up right on time and within 90 minutes I was up and running. WHEW! it's like moving up from a Yugo to a Maserati. Now the only thing I ask myself is, "why didn't I do this years ago?" As a little test I went to a site I''ve been downloading some hight quality 2-3 minute movie clips (no not smut) that average from 9-15MEG each. It took from 45 minutes to over an hour to download each clip, but now they came flying down in about 20-30 seconds....I am impressed! Then I went surfing around some of the favorites I had added to media player from the radio tuner...ahhhh, no breakups or interruptions.

As an added bonus, my phone, that never rings anyway is now free, just in case Ed McMahon calls me to say I won the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes.

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Sunday September 26

Only one weekend and I'm hopelessly hooked, may I never have to go back to dialup again! The weather has been absolutely superb here this weekend. Late Summer/early Fall is my favorite time, so long as the weather holds out. I got a call from a sorta friend, the sort of guy that I see randomly a few times a year. He was wondering if I was free for dinner last night and as much of a hermit as I've become, I told him, "ya know something, that would be nice." After he arrived at my place I was showing him my new toy (he's a total computer and net virgin) and he was blown away by broadband and the net in general.

We took a ride into Boston last night as he asked if we could go to Charlie's Eating and Drinking Saloon on Newbury Street. Oh boy! finding a place to park in Boston on a warm pleasant Saturday night. I would have an easier time finding Osama bin Laden, but after doing the Back Bay conga for 45 minutes slipped into a just right size free after 6PM spot. I used to go to Charlies a lot, back when it was a great el Cheapo eatery, but I almost passed out from sticker shock, cheapest steak, $20. He went for a slab of dead cow (nice looking big hunka New York sirloin) while I went for some chicken, angel hair pasta and veggies. Very nice ambiance, and not having to dine out alone, surrounded by the rich, famous and wanna be's of the devil's favorite street.

After dinner we strolled through the Back bay. The streets were packed with the dinner, bar and theater crowd. It had been over 5 years since I had a reason to do Boston at night.

After we left town and he went home I went into an online IM service I signed up for an chatted online with a neighbor in the next town. We agreed to meet in Davis Square for coffee, but he never called, so I headed into Harvard Square this morning; it was way too nice to stay indoors. While in Cambridge I picked up a copy of ZoneAlam at MicroCenter, since everyone I've talked to strongly urged that I install a firewall now that I'm on broadband.

After lunching at the Burren pub in Davis and walking around, I headed back home to install the firewall, which blocks out just about everything (it will need some tweaking). My PC should now have as much protection as a Humvee full of armed to the teeth Marines driving through the streets of Bangdad at midnight.

Once again a weekend has come and gone in a flash. Time to find the disk my brain is one and load it in preparation for another work week.

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Shalom, Ray