Friday, February 25, 2011

FRIDAY FOLLIES: Sarah wuvs Sarah, The Silence of the Lump, and Solidarity Pizzas

Lou Sarah has a Facebook page praising Sarah Palin.  Turns out Lou Sarah IS Sarah Palin.  Everybody's in an uproar over this, but I say, You Go Girl.  If you don't love yourself, who else is going to love you?

And speaking of love, as Bluegal says, you gotta love those teachers:

So you know how we always had the feeling that Donald Rumsfeld saw his Secretary of Defense job as the most fun he ever had in his life?  I don't think Doug Feith ever felt that way.  Wonder how many memos like this came across his desk every day:

The crowds are still holding down the fort at Madison's State House, and everybody wants to do something to cheer them on (well, almost everybody), so someone in California called in a huge pizza order to Ian's, a local pizzeria and the pies were delivered lickety-split to the crowds.  Others got wind of it and pretty soon Ian's was fielding hundreds of orders from all around the world--so many that they had to stop taking any more.  But then Pizza Di Roma down the street took up the slack and last I heard they were sending out their delivery wagons, too.  (So what's for dessert?  Cheesecakes?)

Tuesday, February 22, marked the fifth Anniversary of courtroom silence by Clarence Thomas.  Five whole years barely speaking a word.  There are monks in the wilds of Tibet who would, if they could, be cheering his actions, but the rest of us just think it's mighty odd.  I'm hearing he doesn't want people to make fun of the way he talks.  He's had that all his life, poor guy--people looking down on him.  Makes me just want to give that big ol' teddy bear a big 'ol smack.  Snap out of it, Clarence, you're a United States Supreme Court justice.  It's not all about you.

Rahm Emanuel was elected Mayor of Chicago and gave an acceptance speech without dropping a single F-bomb.  The crowd was disappointed, but they know his term is not over yet.

But, oh, those Brits.  Leave it to them to take what some might consider the ick factor and turn it into a gourmet melt-in-your-mouth total experience at a bargain basement $23 a scoop. Baby Gaga is a Covent Garden ice cream parlor's latest creation, made from free-range mother's milk (as opposed, I'm guessing, to the milk of caged mothers?), Madagascar vanilla and lemon zest.  Lactating moms are paid to produce the main ingredient and from what I can gather, it's win-win all around.  That is, unless you're the baby whose only source of milk is going elsewhere.  (Always a downside to every feel-good story, isn't there?)


Cartoon of the week:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Right Wingers to Infiltrate Madison protesters and they don't care who knows it. Pass it on.

 Remember Mark Williams?  The same Mark Williams who was kicked out of the Tea Party Express (!) for writing a letter from the "colored people" to President Lincoln?  The same Mark Williams who called President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug"?

That same Mark Willliams is back, and, in true Mark Williams fighting form, he has a plan:  He's urging his peeps to pretend to join up with the SIEU in Madison and to pull out stupid signs when the time is right and, well, just be their natural selves so the public will think the union protesters are really, really stupid.

Here's Mark pretending this movement could be HUGE:

Here is what I am doing in Sacramento, where they are holding a 5:30 PM event this coming Tuesday:  (1) I signed up as an organizer (2) with any luck they will contact me and I will have an “in”  (3) in or not I will be there and am asking as many other people as can get there to come with, all of us in SEIU shirts (those who don’t have them we can possibly buy some from vendors likely to be there)  (4) we are going to target the many TV cameras and reporters looking for comments from the members there  (5) we will approach the cameras to make good pictures… signs under our shirts that say things like “screw the taxpayer!”  and “you OWE me!” to be pulled out for the camera (timing is important because the signs will be taken away from us) (6) we will echo those slogans in angry sounding tones to the cameras and the reporters.  (7) if I do get the ‘in’ I am going to do my darnedest to get podium access and take the mic to do that rant from there…with any luck and if I can manage the moments to build up to it, I can probably get a cheer out of the crowd for something extreme. . .
. . .Chances are that because I am publishing this they’ll catch wind, but it is worth the chance if you take it upon yourself to act…there’s only one of me but there are millions of you and I know that you CAN do this!
Our goal is to make the gathering look as greedy and goonish as we know that it is, ding their credibility with the media and exploit the lazy reporters who just want dramatic shots and outrageous quotes for headlines.  Even if it becomes known that we are plants the quotes and pictures will linger as defacto truth.

De facto truth.  Do they know their crowd, or what?  Tell them black is white, up is down, blue is red.  Tell them often enough and loud enough and pretty soon black is white, up is down, blue is red, and Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya whose mother somehow knew just days after his birth that he might be president of the United States some day and managed to get the newspaper to print a phony birth announcement and the county to file away a phony birth certificate.

Here's my response to Mark Williams and his band of merry idiots:

Chew on that for a while, you pathetic rejects, you dregs of humankind.  You lose.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Follies: The Smalls, The Bigs, and On Wisconsin

This week DARPA unveiled its newest entry into the spy game, the Nano Hummingbird.  The teeny, tiny $4 million prototype flew around a parking lot and then through a standard-sized door, all the while showing us on a small screen what it was seeing through its teeny, tiny eyes.  The hope is that it can be used for reconnaissance and surveillance without anybody noticing, as it zooms in at eight miles per hour and gathers info we might find useful.

They were talking about it on the local news this morning, and one of the news guys said, "I'll tell you what, though.  It could change the way we fight wars.  A fly swatter could become a weapon of mass destruction."  (I'm calling that a new high in ad-libbing.)

So, I guess you've heard about the news anchors in Australia?  They were talking about some teeny tiny urn that seems to be a prized trophy for something, when the female anchor turned to the male anchor and, okay, insulted his manhood.  I've been waiting for some sort of explanation, because, ohhh, that's cold!  But it's Friday and none is forthcoming, so here I am, talking about it along with a couple of jillion other people without knowing the back story, or even whether what Belinda said about Mark is true.

And while we're on the subject, did you hear about the naked sausage burglar?  It happened about a month ago, but they've just released the videotape.   Nobody knows why he's naked, but they recognized him as a guy who lives in the woods behind a Lee County, Florida retirement community clubhouse.  The sausages were going to be served at the weekly Bingo game, but when the cook went to get them, they were gone.  A camera caught the whole thing, and the guy was arrested.  I don't know, though. I thought it was a new high in Senior Citizen entertainment.  Almost better than Bingo.


Ever wondered what you could buy with a billion dollars?  It used to be we could count our millionaires on two hands and a few toes.  Now, with the economy tanking and when we're one step away from bread lines and apple sellers, we're finding that a billion-dollar-a-year salary is just so-so in some quarters. (According to a story in Forbes, March, 2010, there were 403 American billionaires, including the Koch brothers.)  Dave Johnson (one of the few reasons I go to the Huffington Post) wrote a piece about what a billion dollars could buy.  If you think the naked sausage burglar video is obscene, you ought to take a gander at this.

So I was already cranky after reading Dave Johnson's piece,  but when I saw what was going on in Wisconsin, I perked up a bit.  I love Wisconsin.  It is practically a cousin to Michigan, my Michigan, and, along with Minnesota, we're a triad of unpredictable eccentrics.  How Wisconsin ever let themselves get talked into electing a Tea Party governor is beyond me. . .but then I don't have a whole lot of room to talk, since Michigan now has a Republican governor when we could have had Virg Bernero, who not only would have jump-started us, he would have made sure we had fun doing it.

Anyway, this new Wisconsin governor decided it was his duty to shut down any hint of collective bargaining among public employees, since he was against any form of collective bargaining and he was the governor.  It seemed logical to him, being a Tea Partier and all, but imagine his surprise when the public employees said, "What?  Who?  Us?? Uh uh."  They stormed the Statehouse and filled it to the rafters, and thousands more marched outside, and it became a huge damned event.  Fourteen of the Democratic state senators left the state to keep a quorum from happening so that the anti-collective bargaining bill could not be passed, and it's been one thing after another ever since.

The fleeing senators ended up in Illinois, where they bumped into a Chocoholic Frolic and  caused a leprechaun to be chased by a reporter.  The press found them, so they left without checking in, and now nobody seems to know where they are.  But,even though they're at an "undisclosed location", they're talking to Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz and they sound like reasonable folks to me. But then I'm a Michigander, and you know how we are.


Best picture of the week, hands down:

Protesters at Madison Statehouse

Cartoon of the week:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My mother Lived a Life

My mother was born on this day in 1918.  It was the year the influenza epidemic spread across the world and became a pandemic.  By rights, and in a more populous locale, my mother might have sickened and died before she ever had a chance at life.  She was a skinny, spindly little thing who always looked undernourished in early pictures.

She was born at home in Fulton Location, a company town in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula that existed because the copper mines were in full swing and thriving then.  At the time she was born, her father was a "mule" deep in the mines, a trammer, a dirty, lowly job relegated to the Finns and other Eastern Europeans by the Cornish bosses because the "foreigners" couldn't or wouldn't speak English and were barely understood.  In the human chain, in that place, they were considered the least.

My grandfather was a proud man--too proud for that time and that place.  He eventually worked himself up to foreman, a job almost unheard of for a Finn, but he never got over the slights.  He drank too much and could be cruel to his wife and four children, but if he had a favorite, it was my mother, who looked the most like him.  Still, it didn't save her when it came to her schooling.

 Fulton Location was a place where only Finnish people lived.  It was so remote from anything American, my mother didn't speak English until she went to school.  She learned, and loved school, and thrived there.

Irene - 8th grade graduation picture

In the summer, after her eighth grade graduation, her father told her she was done with schooling and she would have to go to work cleaning other people's houses.  Somehow, the principal heard about it and went to their house to try and talk my grandfather into letting her continue.  It didn't work, but my mother was always proud of that--that someone in education would try and fight for her. (That was all I ever knew of the story, but I used it as a chapter in my unfinished novel, "The Year of Lost Men")

I've written about her marriage to my father before, but here I want to talk about Irene as my mother and as a woman.  She was 19 years old when I was born, and they had no money, but somehow my father managed to ship her the 600 miles from Detroit to Fulton so that she could be with her mother and I could be born in a hospital that wouldn't charge more than they could afford. 

She nearly killed me when I was an infant because she insisted on breast feeding me when she had no milk.  There was a time when they had so little money we all subsisted on oatmeal, and it wasn't long before I began to suffer from malnutrition.  I survived, I thrived, but I was still hearing my mother apologize for not knowing enough to take better care of me when I myself was a grandmother.

She had no formal schooling beyond the eighth grade, but that didn't stop her from learning.  She and her sisters played a word game all of their lives, where one of them would choose a new word and they would have to use that word in a sentence as often as they could for an entire week.  I remember that one of the words was "regurgitate".  They laughed themselves silly over that one.

Maybe it was her impoverished background, but she loved beautiful clothes.  Her oldest sister worked for a rich Chicago family and would send my mother their cast-offs, which she wore with movie-star flare.  When I was in the fourth grade (still an only child, since my brothers weren't born until I was nine and 13, respectively), she went to work at a dress shop, where she could buy the on-sale clothes at an even greater employee discount. 

It only lasted for a while, but I had to come home by myself for lunch, and I would find the radio on, tuned to "The Kate Smith Hour".  My lunch would be set out on the table, always with some cute little thing that would make me smile.  She might peel an orange and segment it and make a stick man from it, holding a carrot walking stick or wearing a pickle hat.  When Kate Smith sang "When the Moon Comes over the Mountain" I knew it was time to get back to school.

Irene as Barbara Stanwyck

Later, when they bought a house with a basement, she set up her own beauty shop, having learned to cut and style hair almost by magic.  She had a thriving business going until a neighbor turned her in for operating without a license.  She fixed that.  She went to beauty school and got her license and worked legitimately at a profession she absolutely loved until she developed what seemed to be emphysema but turned out, in fact, to be lung cancer.

She never voted, but was a liberal in the best sense of the word.  She understood and could argue for the labor movement, for childrens' rights, and, in the 60s and 70s, for the Women's movement.  Ironically, the women she wanted to see liberated would have been disgusted by the lifestyle she chose for herself.  She never learned to drive, and my father did all of the bill-paying and grocery shopping.  Her house was as neat as a pin, and she kept Lestoil and Clorox in business, so fussy was she about laundry.  She was a housewife and a hairdresser by choice.

She had a lovely singing voice and was mad about Perry Como and Tennessee Ernie Ford and Yma Sumac.

Glamorous Irene
 She liked beer and cigarettes, and only gave them up when she was finally forced to by the cancer.  But here's the amazing thing:  I never liked beer, I never smoked a cigarette, I was the farthest thing from a fashion plate she might ever have imagined, my house would never pass a white glove inspection, I could take Perry Como or leave him, and I didn't do the one thing she always hoped I would do--get a college degree.  But she loved me anyway, always and forever.

She adored my children and her great-grandson, who had the privilege of knowing her before she died at a too-young 68 in 1986.  She loved my father and her sons, her nieces and nephews, and anyone else who entered her life and stayed there.

She lived a life.

Irene and Ralph at their 50th Anniversary celebration
six months before she died

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Follies: Mother Jones, Feral Pigs, Palin, Bachmann, Simpson and Da Yoopers

And what a week it was! (Just this morning, Mubarak stepped down in Egypt.  Nothing can top that.  I mean nothing.)

  •  Last week Mother Jones (not the magazine) was on the move again.  When the AFL-CIO headquarters in Frankfort, KY sold their building, the union moved the Mary Harris ("Mother") Jones monument that had stood outside of the old building to it's new digs in Paducah.  The seven-ton stone work went through rain and sleet and flat tires and pig farms on its journey to its new home, and honestly, you would think it was Mother Jones herself pushing them on, giving them strength, whipping their butts to get the job done.  Yay, they did it! And they're claiming not a single cuss-word was uttered.  (Not sure Mother Jones would have approved of that.)

    But this gives me an excuse to use this MJ quote:  "I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator." 
    • Speaking of things porcine (Not Mother Jones.  Oh, God, no!), the Department of Natural Resources and Environment says there are 3,000 to 5,000 feral pigs scattered across 65 of Michigan's 83 counties, and they've declared them an invasive species.  The headline read:  Michigan Declares War on Pesky Feral Pigs.  I declare.  I've been in almost every one of Michigan's counties at one time or another, and I've never, ever, ever heard tell of a feral pig being spotted in any of them.  
    So, reading further. . .there are at least 65 private swine-hunting preserves in Michigan.  Uh huh. Now we're getting somewhere:
    Owners of hunting preserves — at least 65 swine hunting sites are in Michigan — said their security measures are adequate and the threat of wild pigs is overstated. But the DNRE, farmers and some hunters say the bristly boars are wreaking havoc. The pigs, considered to be omnivores, eat practically anything, including endangered wild plants, the eggs of game birds, young deer or lambs, reptiles and farm crops. "They will really rip up a farmer's fields," DNRE spokeswoman Mary Detloff said. "Overnight, they can destroy acres of corn and wheat. They dig wallows 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide, which are a real danger to farming equipment." The pigs, which can maintain a running speed of 15 mph and are capable of bursts of 30 mph, are generally viewed by state officials as big cockroaches with tusks. The DNRE has essentially OK'd shooting the pigs on sight. "Basically, our policy is shoot first and ask questions later," Detloff said
    Jaysus, what's next?  Open season on Unicorns?
      • Sarah Palin appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network the other day to give her views on Obama and Egypt and that 3 AM phone call, and, as usual, it's a dazzler.  She's not all that enthused in regards to. . .something, which, I admit, passed over me because I was busy looking at the backgrounds.  There was a big old smiley Reagan face picture strategically placed behind David Brodey, the interviewer.  In the bookcase behind Sarah, just to the right, a strategically placed book about Reagan, again with the smiley face. I heard the word "volatile" but it got past me because my mind was elsewhere. I'm always waiting for that high C--the highest note she can reach before she has to run back down the scale.  Fascinating!
      • Michelle Bachmann spoke at CPAC this year and got that crowd going!  They especially liked the part at the end about Free Drinks for Everybody.  Yep, Bachmann offered to pick up the bar tab for all 11,000 attendees.  Limit of one, of course.  Tim Pawlenty says he's going to do it, too, today.  Oh, those Republican hi-jinxers! Are they special, or what?
      • So you probably heard that Arianna Huffington sold HuffPo to AOL this week? Did this shock you, too?  No?  You always were smarter than me:
      There are also some indications that she has sold out in the ideological sense and committed the Huffington Post to joining the mainstream media - the evil "MSM" of "HuffPo" blogger ire. Announcing the deal, she and her new boss went out of their way to say that the new Huffington Post would emphasize things other than the liberal politics on which the brand was built. AOL Chairman Tim Armstrong said he thinks "Arianna has the same interest we do, which is serving consumers' needs and going beyond the just straight political needs of people." Huffington agreed, boasting that only 15 percent of her eponymous site's traffic is for politics (that's down from 50 percent a couple of years ago), and she emphasized that politics is just one of two dozen "sections," including a new one devoted to covering divorces. "It's time for all of us in journalism to move beyond left and right," Huffington said Monday on PBS's "NewsHour." "Truly, it is an obsolete way of looking at the problems America is facing."

       I used to think I knew Arianna (strictly in the sideline sense.  I really don't know anybody), the Arianna of "Pigs at the Trough", "Fanatics and Fools" and "Third World America".  But now. . .Arianna, I hardly knew ye. girl.  Granted, I don't understand a word you say when you speak, but I thought I was reading you loud and clear in your books.  Just goes to show. . .fool me once, shame on me, fool me thrice, shame on. . .yeah.
      • There is no question that Arianna has cojones, but does she have Baals?  No, that would be silly.  It's Fort Wayne, Indiana, that has the Baals.  Or, had.  I was sorry to hear there will be no Harry Baals building in Fort Wayne, Indiana any time soon.  We could have kept that hoary joke going for years.
      • But speaking of. . . I guess you heard about Alan Simpson's Green Weenie comment?  Rachel Maddow takes it on in Debunktion Junction and adds some other great Simpson doozies. (You just have to get through the Jeb Bush stuff but it's worth it)  Candy Crowley's reaction?  Priceless.
      • So, okay, we're going from the ridiculous to the sublime--or at least somewhere in between.  President Obama went to Marquette, Michigan on Thursday to talk up his plan to make wireless available to 98% of the U.S.  He chose Marquette, not because it's the most beautiful "city" in the entire Upper Peninsula, bar none, but because the entire town and the surrounding area up to 40 miles beyond is wired and nobody has to pay a penny for it.  (Promo spot:  If you ever get a chance to go to Marquette, you would be a fool not to do it, it's that great.  And while you're up there you could go up the road to Ishpeming and visit Da Yooper Tourist Trap and Museum, where you'll find Big Gus, the world's largest running chain saw, and you could buy a poster of the best Upper Peninsula outhouses.)
      But understandably, when President Obama visited Marquette yesterday (100 miles from my birthplace, if you care), the whole place went nuts.  They even gave him a Stormy Kromer hat!
      • But besides Obama's visit to the U.P, Michigan was in the news big time earlier in the week, on Super Bowl Sunday.  You who don't know and love Detroit may not be able to understand it, but the Eminem/Chrysler homage to our city caused a whole bunch of us to get really, really teary.  I wrote my own homage to Detroit in November, 2009 (it still gets more hits than any other post on my blog), and there have been many others, but nothing could make as much of an impact as that two-minute sizzler of an advertisement:
      • And here is my cartoon of the week.  It's by Mike Thompson for the Detroit Free Press:

        Tuesday, February 8, 2011

        Barack Obama and the Chamber of Mostly Shallows

        Now, on some issues, like the Recovery Act, we've found common cause. On other issues, we've had some pretty strong disagreements. But I'm here today because I'm convinced we can and must work together. Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep belief in this country, our people, and the principles that have made America's economy the envy of the world.
        President Barack Obama speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2/7/11

         "I just dropped my butter knife.  Can I borrow yours?"

        America's success didn't happen by accident. It happened because of the freedom that has allowed good ideas to flourish, and capitalism to thrive. It happened because of the conviction that in this country, hard work should be rewarded; that opportunity should be there for anyone willing to reach for it. And it happened because at every juncture in history, we came together as one nation and did what was necessary to win the future.  POTUS, again.

        Loud cheers.  "He said 'Capitalism', right?"

        We still have, by far, the world's largest and most vibrant economy. We have the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets. The men and women in this room are living testimony that American industry is still the source of the most dynamic companies, and the most ingenious entrepreneurs.  POTUS, same speech

        "Free markets, YAY!"
         "Shut up, idiot, he's talking about American industry."

        But we also know that with the march of technology over the last few decades, the competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce. The globalization of our economy means that businesses can now open up shop, employ workers and produce their goods wherever there is internet connection. Tasks that were once done by 1,000 workers can now be done by 100, or even 10. And the truth is, as countries like China and India grow and develop larger middle classes, it's profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and, at times, to set up facilities in these countries.  POTUS

         "All right!  That's what I'M talkin' about!"

        These forces are as unstoppable as they are powerful. But combined with a brutal and devastating recession, they have also shaken the faith of the American people - in the institutions of business and government. They see a widening chasm of wealth and opportunity in this country, and they wonder if the American Dream is slipping away. President Obama

        "So. . .Steelers or Packers?  You a bettin' man?"

        We cannot ignore these concerns. We have to renew people's faith in the promise of this country - that this is a place where you can make it if you try. And we have to do this together: business and government; workers and CEOs; Democrats and Republicans. Obama

        "Jesus, somebody spilled sauce on my tie."

        We know what it will take for America to win the future. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors. We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on earth to do business. O

        "See that guy behind me?  Don't look!  I met him at a party last year.  He could buy and sell both of us.  Wanna say hello but I can't remember his name. Shit! Know him?  Don't look!"

        And this is a job for all of us. As a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate. We will upgrade our transportation and communications networks so you can move goods and information more quickly and cheaply. We will invest in education so that you can hire the most skilled, talented workers in the world. And we'll knock down barriers that make it harder for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system.

        "Yeah, I've heard that song and dance before.  Show me the money, buddy.  Show me the money."

        But I want to be clear: even as we make America the best place on earth to do business, businesses also have a responsibility to America.
        Now, I understand the challenges you face. I understand that you're under incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up. I understand the significance of your obligations to your shareholders. I get it. But as we work with you to make America a better place to do business, ask yourselves what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire American workers, to support the American economy, and to invest in this nation. That's what I want to talk about today - the responsibilities we all have to secure the future we all share.  Barack Hussein Obama

        "Picked up another place on Hilton Head.  Love those short sales!"

        Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  BHO

        "Where's that waitress with the coffee?  Is it hot in here?  What time is it?"

        We have faced hard times before. We have faced moments of tumult and change before. We know what to do. We know how to succeed. We are Americans. And as we have throughout our history, I have every confidence that will rise to this occasion; that we can come together, that we can adapt and thrive in a changing economy. And we need look no further than the innovative companies in this room. If we can harness your potential and the potential of the people all across our country, there will be no stopping us.
        Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.  That guy still talking

         "Okay, so. . .I'm ready for a drink.  How about you?"

        Friday, February 4, 2011

        Friday Follies: Miley's tattoos, Limbaugh's NYT joke, and other "news"

        I've been thinking for a while now of launching a new feature called "Friday Follies", where each Friday I would post some silly moments of the week past. Just some nonsense to pass the time.  Nothing earth-shaking, just a little fun.

        So this morning, when I opened My Google and grabbed a look at the top CNN headline, I decided I shouldn't wait any longer.  Today was the day "Friday Follies" would begin:

        When Rumsfeld was serving as Gerald Ford’s White House chief of staff, he asked his friend Dick Cheney to serve as his top assistant. Cheney “reminded me about a couple of arrests he had had for drinking and driving after he got out of college and was working on power lines in Wyoming.” Rumsfeld briefed the new president. “Do you think this is the guy you need for the job?” Ford asked. Rumsfeld said he did. “Then bring him aboard.” The rest, as they say, is history.

        (Okay, that's not funny.)
        •    And lastly, I stole this from Mario Piperni (who borrowed it from Daryl Cagle), but I plan to put it back as soon as I'm finished:

        This is a shortened version because I only just thought about it this morning, but watch next Friday for another installment of FF.   I'll be on the lookout for the best of the week, and I'll put them here.  If you have any ideas for this, send them on.  It's the least you can do.  (There's a smile in there.)