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.


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Saturday, July 28, 2007

FCC, heal thyself...

K-WHAT? Unbuilt Maui TV station lands questionable call letters

(from Erika Engel's The Buzz, Honolulu Star Bulletin.)

The call letters KUNT have landed at a yet-unbuilt low-power digital television station in Wailuku, Maui.

Alarmingly similar to a word the dictionary says is obscene, the call letters were among a 15-page list of new call letters issued by the Federal Communications Commission and released this week.

The same station owner also received KWTF for a station in Arizona.

From Skokie, Ill., comes a sincere apology "to anyone that was offended," said Kevin Bae, vice president of KM Communications Inc., who requested and received KUNT and KWTF. It is "extremely embarrassing for me and my company and we will file to change those call letters immediately."

He thanked your columnist for bringing the matter to his attention and pledged to, "make sure I don't fall asleep on the job when selecting call signs again."

One might understand how Bae's eyes could glaze over during selection, as KM has some 80 sets of call letters and alpha-numeric callsigns for TV and radio stations in several states.

No KM station is yet on the air in Hawaii but its mainland TV stations carry programming from America One Network, My Network TV and the CW.

The call letter snafu was a source of great mirth for Bae's attorney.

"I can't tell you how long he laughed at me when he learned of my gaffe," Bae said.

Broadcasters for generations have joked among themselves about call letters resembling off-color words or acronyms knowing the FCC would never approve their assignment- but that was before computerization.

KCUF-FM near Aspen, Colo. got its F-word-in-reverse call letters in August of 2005 and has been on the air since December, "Keeping Colorado Uniquely Free," its Web site says. Uh, yeah.

Station officials could not be reached, but the automated pop-music slinger has been written about twice in the Aspen Daily News. The paper said radio regulators "blessed the call letters."

However, assignment of call letters actually is an automated process, according to Mary Diamond of the FCC's Office of Media Relations. Broadcasters use the FCC Web site to request and receive call letters with no oversight from Beavis, his partner, or any FCC regulator.

Dude, seriously. Even after years of concerns over broadcast indecency and the debate about fines for fleeting profanities that hit the air.

The Code of Federal Regulations allows applicants to request call letters of their choice as long as the combination is available. Further, "objections to the assignment of requested call signs will not be entertained at the FCC," it states.

(via Deb "Saturn Girl" Speer on the ABC World News Now Google newsgroup.)

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo of the day


(via The Freeway Blogger)

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Quote of the day

Just because the culture and the cultural church have joined with the empire and its wars does not mean that we all have to go along with such heresy, or fall into despair as if nothing can be done. It is never too late to try to follow the troublemaking Jesus, to join his practice of revolutionary nonviolence and become authentic Christians. We may find ourselves in trouble, even at the hands of so-called Christians, just as Jesus was in trouble at the hands of the so-called religious leaders of his day. But this very trouble may lead us back to those Beatitude blessings.
-John Dear, Jesuit priest

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Error message of the day


(via the ineffable Cindy.)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Deadly cheddar

Honestly, I don't care if someone is carrying a water bottle, wearing a head scarf, or buying a one-way ticket, but if someone has a block of cheese with wires and a detonator- I want the FBI to be called in.
-Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer at the security firm BT Counterpane.

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Quote of the day

If the Borg were to breed with the Ferengi, you'd get Scientology.
-Arnaldo Lerma

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Official statement of the day

"We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area."
-UK military spokesman Major Mike Shearer

British forces have denied rumours that they released a plague of ferocious badgers into the Iraqi city of Basra.

Word spread among the populace that UK troops had introduced strange man-eating, bear-like beasts into the area to sow panic. (Full BBC story here.)

[About the only way to improve this story would have been if the major's statement had been: "Badgers... we ain't got no stinking badgers!"]

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Homeland what?

A couple of unattended freight cars bumped into a maintenance train, jumped off the rails and started a small fire. Not knowing at first what might be burning, firefighters evacuated homes and businesses within a half-mile and closed a short stretch of Interstate 81 nearby. It turned out to be propane, it was put out and the all-clear was sounded within two hours.

But these were not just any freight cars- they were from Fort Drum, an active Army base.

They weren't carrying just any freight- they were freshly loaded with equipment for a combat brigade headed for Iraq in September, including materials marked flammable and explosive.

And they had just rolled close to eight miles out of the base and across the countryside, all by themselves- uncontrolled, unguarded, unstopped- to the edge of a city of 27,000 people.

(Why worry about terrorists? This administration's incompetence will do us in long before Al Qaeda. Full story here.)

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Quote of the day

[T]he United States has two political parties, the Anti-Abortion Corporate Party and the Pro-Abortion Corporate Party...
-Zay N. Smith, in his Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes column.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

T-shirt of the day

I haven't seen you in years.
Let's keep it that way.

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Copyright © 1987-2014 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
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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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.
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Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


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


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Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


Eff the ineffable, scrute the inscrutable.


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


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