Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.


network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...


Anniversary


Requiem for a fictional Scotsman


Oh my God! They killed Library!! Those bastards!!!


Elegy to a Mostly Maine Coon


It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day


A Pittsburgher in the Really Big City


Da Burg Annat


I Have Issues


Yeah, yeah, I'm inspired


At least the rivers freeze in Pittsburgh


He knows if yinz is a jagoff


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The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!


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miscellany

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Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Is this a great country, or what?

In the auditorium at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, an auctioneer stood on stage before a crowd of 700 people and offered bidders the most valuable possession 85-year-old Terrell Dotson owned.

The minimum bid for the one-bedroom, one-bathroom Inglewood condominium was just $4,287 -- enough to pay back taxes, interest, penalties and the costs of selling the property. The county was selling the condo because, seven years ago, Dotson failed to pay one $546.81 tax bill.

When the bidding hit $81,000, the auctioneer bellowed, "Sold!"

With that, Terrell Dotson, an Army veteran of World War II, lost the home he had paid for in full -- and all that came with it.

"I bought this thinking I'd have lifetime security," said Dotson, a diabetic who also has cancer. "I got a big surprise."

The full story (LA Times).

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Different time, different war, same sentiment.

I am as deeply concerned about our own troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved.
~Martin Luther King

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The hits just keep on coming...

I get back into Chicago just in time to prepare for a trip to New Jersey later today. I discovered the washing machine in the apartment laundry has a new, undocumented cycle-- shred-- and that you really shouldn't drink coffee made from grounds you left in the machine seven days ago. I hit the brew switch while still half-asleep, and forgot to check the basket.

Then I turn on the tv and am treated to an actinic flash and the smell of crispy semiconductors.

Sigh. Well, at least I'm awake.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Must run in the family.

MADRID (Reuters) - Jeb Bush came to Madrid looking forward to trade ties but ended up looking back to the violent past, mistakenly calling Spain a republic. In the kind of gaffe his brother George has been famed for, the governor of Florida temporarily forgot King Juan Carlos I as he complimented Jose Maria Aznar, the prime minister whose title in Spanish is president of the government.

"I would like to finish by thanking the president of the Republic of Spain for his friendship with the United States," Bush told reporters in fluid, Miami-accented Spanish.

Spain has not been a republic since the late 1930s, when General Francisco Franco crushed Republican troops in the Civil War. His nationalist dictatorship, on paper a kingdom for most of its life, lasted until his death in 1975, when Spain became a constitutional monarchy.

Jeb Bush need not worry his faux pas will damage relations.

His older brother George W. Bush referred to Aznar as "Anzar" ahead of his first visit to Spain as U.S. president in 2001, but the two became personal friends and close allies.

President Bush, accused by opponents of having a shaky grasp on geography, has also famously referred to Greeks as Grecians.

Spanish historian Juan Pablo Fusi, however, was less forgiving of Jeb Bush's slip-up, calling it a "foolish and grotesque error."

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Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

I was helping my son shovel snow on Sunday and didn't notice my Nokia 5165 cell phone drop from my pocket into the salt bucket, where it remained until late Monday morning.

Aside from a sluggish display, the lil sucker was working fine. A full charge and it was as good as new.

I've really grown attached to this phone. It's just your generic AT&T Prepaid Wireless jobber, but it's survived lots of abuse.

Now that the roads are passable, it's back to Chicago today. We're still at tutti-frutti alert status, or whatever. This country is getting stranger every day. It's like the old Woody Allen movie, Bananas:

I am your new President. From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be... Swedish. In addition to that, all citizens will be required... to change their underwear every half hour. Underwear... will be worn on the outside... so we can check.

At O'Hare last Friday, there was a security person standing next to a big red "Security" sign telling people, "This is not the security line." A clever ploy to deter the terrorists, I bet.

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Monday, February 17, 2003

About this whole road salt thing...

I'm trapped in Pittsburgh because of the snow. The airport's open and flights are operating, but there hasn't been a snow plow on my street for a day, and this morning we had to rescue the beagle who disappeared in a drift during his morning constitutional.

Anyway, just a piece of information for the Pittsburgh news media, who mindlessly repeat that salt isn't effective once the temperature drops below 20°...

Ever wonder why water freezes at 32° Fahrenheit and not 0°? On the Fahrenheit scale, 0° is the temperature at which salt water freezes; 32° is the point at which pure water freezes.

Whatever the reason given for not salting the roadways, the claim that salt isn't effective below 20° isn't a valid one.

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Copyright © 1987-2017 by Kevin G. Barkes
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Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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Crystal Methodist


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


I am a professional. Do not try this at home.


I canna change the laws of physics


As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Left wing liberal nut job


Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.


If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.


If evolution is just a theory, why am I surrounded by monkeys?


Nutrition makes me puke


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eat wisely


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