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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Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's that time again...

The Ten Commandments (1956)
ABC: Saturday, April 11 7:00 PM EDT
1956, G, ***1/2, 03:40, Color, HD, English, United States

Moses (Charlton Heston) leads an exodus of those wacky Children of Abraham from Egypt to the Promised Land, complete with a pre-cgi -yet still unequalled- parting of the Red Sea, matte lines and all. Hilarity ensues as The Lord leads Moe and the gang on a 40-year meander through the desert, climaxing in Moses' demise just before their arrival in the only country in the Mideast without significant petroleum reserves. And some claim God doesn't have a sense of humor.

Cast: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson, Vincent Price, John Carradine, Eduard Franz, Olive Deering, Donald Curtis, Douglas Dumbrille, Lawrence Dobkin, Frank DeKova. Watch for the cameo by Alfalfa of "The Little Rasacals."
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Producer(s): Cecil B. DeMille

(I kid, but this is one of my favorite films and still the high-grossing film, adjusted for inflation, in its original release. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of airings I've missed since I've been a kid, even though I have it on laserdisc. For lots of interesting background and trivia on the making of this landmark film, go here, here, and here.

Great quotes:

Memnet: What have you found?
Bithiah: The answer to my prayers!
Memnet: You prayed for a basket?

Sethi: Harden yourself against subordinates. Have no friend. Trust no woman.

Moses: The city is made of bricks. The strong make many, the starving make few, the dead make none. So much for accusations.

Nefretiri: You will be king of Egypt and I will be your footstool!
Moses: The man stupid enough to use you as a footstool isn't wise enough to rule Egypt.

Moses: Love cannot drown truth, Nefretiri.

Nefretiri: Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!

Rameses: You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose.
Dathan: To use in your service, son of Pharaoh.

Rameses: You will be mine, like my dog, or my horse, or my falcon, except that I shall love you more-and trust you less.

Nefretiri: You need have no fear of me.
Sephora: I feared only his memory of you.
Nefretiri: You have been able to erase it?
Sephora: He has forgotten both of us. You lost him when he went to seek his god. I lost him when he found his god.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Back to normal...

Time to get moving. Cindy and her parents should be here in about six hours, which should be just about enough time for me to straighten up and get ready for the weekend.

So you're on your own today. Things worth looking into: The Great Gatsby was published on this date in 1925; the first 3D movie, House of Wax, was released in 1953; and The Beatles broke up on this date in 1970, essentially ruining my junior year in high school.

Finally, there was this bit on The Daily Show last night about seniors in Florida. I wouldn't watch it at work. In fact, if you have parents or grandparents in their 70s and 80s, I wouldn't watch it at all. Eeek.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

The master is 81 today

Happy birthday Tom Lehrer, satirist, mathematician, and inventor of the jello shot.

"I'm asked why I don't write songs about current events. I've begun to feel like a citizen of Pompeii being asked to say funny things about lava.
-Tom Lehrer"

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I think you might be confusing "tyranny" with "losing"...

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Yip, Yip, Hooray!

Today's the birthday of legendary lyricist Yip Harburg, who wrote such legendary standards as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", "It's Only a Paper Moon," "April in Paris," and the lyrics for all the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including, of course, "Over The Rainbow."

The video above is a take of his clever "Lydia the Tattooed Lady." Below is Eva Cassidy's version of "Rainbow," with phrasing that transforms Harburg's lyrics from a wistful child's song into a soulful, mature lament.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Please. Make it stop.

...Miss Universe 2008 paid a visit to the Guantanamo Bay military base and declared it "a loooot of fun!" After seeing the detainee camps and recreation areas, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela said, "I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful."

(from The Week)

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Quotes of the day

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.

If the doctor told me I had only six months to live, I'd type a little faster.

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.

Thin people are thin because they don't know any better.

To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

We are reaching the stage where the problems we must solve are going to become insoluble without computers. I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

You can't reason with someone whose first line of argument is that reason doesn't count.

I believe that scientific knowledge has fractal properties, that no matter how much we learn, whatever is left, however small it may seem, is just an infinitely complex as the whole was to start with. That, I think, is the secret of the Universe.

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put an orgy in my room and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once.

-Isaac Asimov (January 2, 1930-April 6, 1996)

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Quote of the day

Motion pictures are the art form of the 20th century, and one of the reasons is the fact that films are a slightly corrupted art form. They fit this century- they combine art and business!
-Roger Corman (b. April 5, 1926)

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Copyright © 1987-2017 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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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


Dyslexics have more fnu!


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Eff the Ineffable, Scrute the Inscrutable


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