Fuck the Yule Log Video: Lil Bub Wins Christmas!

Lil Bub rules yule

Lil Bub rules yule

It’s a fact! Take that musty old VHS tape of the Christmas yule log and toss it on the fire, because there’s a new time-waster in town. The internet’s cutest cat, Lil BUB, has come out with a full hour of her napping and purring by the fireside.

Seriously. That’s all it is. One cat drooling and making noises and intermittently sleeping, with a fire in the background. Enjoy!

What could be better than an hour of a magical squonking, snorting and purring BUB at a cozy fire?

Loop it on your screen, and let BUB warm your home with SCIENCE and MAGIC this holiday season.

GOOD JOB BUB and HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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Shrooms

Gilligan's Island zombies by Once upon a Geek

Gilligan’s Island zombies by Once upon a Geek

Anyone who’s read this blog or my food/booze blog for long knows I’m a big fan of the shrooms. Just the regular ones: I’m already so strange I need white noise apps to fall asleep, otherwise the sound of the Earth breathing keeps me awake. My friends who’ve dealt acid warn me against it: me taking LSD would be too dangerous, like if The Doctor settled down with Jadis, the White Witch, read Ken Kesey, and had a baby named Damian.

Could go either way, knowmasayin’?

So today I’d like to talk about the mushroom meme in zombie literature.

The wha?

Shut up and watch this:

That is a mashup of Richard Cheese’s cover of “Down with the Sickness” and the schlocky Japanese horror movie Matango, known in North America as “Attack of the Mushroom People.” This genius piece of celluloid was the basis for the very-much-dumbed-down-yet-still-enjoyable Gilligan’s Island. And now? “Chernobyl Fungus Feeds on Radiation,” which is a horror movie waiting to happen if ever I heard one.

And it was based on something earlier, and creepier, still: William Hope Hodgson‘s eerie short story The Voice in the Night.

And this is what it said:

“You need not be afraid,” answered the queer voice, having
probably noticed some trace of confusion in my tone. “I am only
an old man.”

The pause sounded oddly; but it was only afterwards that it
came back to me with any significance.

“Why don’t you come alongside, then?” I queried somewhat
snappishly; for I liked not his hinting at my having been a
trifle shaken.

“I — I — can’t. It wouldn’t be safe. I ——” The voice broke
off, and there was silence.

And for goddam good reason, too. Read the rest of it if you prefer not to sleep tonight. So interesting to see the (de)volution: the Edwardian skin-crawler, the Fifties drug allegory, the Sixties bowdlerized Eden fable. Pick your favorite now that you have all of the options. If you want to stay neutral, at least tuck this (very) esoteric erudition away to haul out whenever someone mentions either a) Gilligan’s Island b) the infectious zombie trope (as opposed to the supernatural zombie, which is a whole other dichotomy post).

Did I tell you the one about my Gramma, John Kerry, and Jack Daniels?

John Kerry only WISHES he had my Gramma's swag

John Kerry only WISHES he had my Gramma’s swag

That is not, contrary to appearances, a picture of my grandmother (known to all as “Gramma” and god help you if you didn’t call her that but tried something more formal, ooooh she wouldn’t be having any of that, now. But it certainly does appear to be a picture of Gramma, for verily it looks very much like her down to the too-short haircut, and I’m pretty sure she had that shirt as well. But that’s actually a picture of ‘Murrican mucky-muck John Kerry trying and failing to blend in at a dance ceremony in Bali.

That is most definitely NOT what my Gramma would have done.

At her eightieth birthday my Gramma got up on the table and danced to Patricia the Stripper, and if she’d been at this shindig with Kerry she’d have gotten those temple dancers to do the Dougie before you can say “Gramma, you’ll break a hip!”

Speaking of hips, my Gramma was pretty. Hip. Follow along!

I was over on Facebook the other day, having taken too many flu meds to do any decent work, and my friend Cassandra was in need of distraction (what is it with the #DramaSec these days? People deleting accounts left and right. Assange taking a family quarrel to Twitter in front of two million followers. Takedown notices, bogus and not, flying all over the digisphere. Enough already, the new moon is over!) so I told her the following story, for distraction purposes only. Do not operate heavy machinery under the influence of this story. Do not read if pregnant (because you have better things to do with your few remaining hours of freedom) or breastfeeding (because it’s really, really hard to handle a baby and a laptop at the same time and what if puke gets in the keyboard, eh? You’ll wish you’d listened to me then!).

Where was I?

Oh yes, on Facebook, telling Cassandra a story about Tennessee. You see, it’s considered quite exotic in Ottawa, where my Gramma lived. And here is the story about my Gramma‘s travels to exotic Tennessee just as I told it to Cassandra, for lo, I am very lazy and I just copy-pasted it.

Now, Gramma did not drink. In my family, this alone makes her somewhat legendary. But Gramma was not above knowing the value of an alcoholic comestible, or of taking advantage of that knowledge by running what amounted to an arbitrage on the celebratory beverage in question, by the simple means of purchasing it in one physical location and transporting it to another, where its selling price was higher. The ungenerous would call this “bootlegging,” and it has been the start of more than one great Canadian fortune.

Gramma would take bus tours of what she called “my old people”, ie they were like five years older than her, but not as lively, down to Tennessee and Missouri to do whatever it is old people do there. Tours. Watch the Osmonds. That sort of thing. And coming back she would get them all to smuggle bottles of Jack Daniels anywhere she could find a space. Under lumbago cushions. In big granny purses. In wig cases. Everywhere. Once, she struck gold because a guy had been in a cast from his waist down to his toes for a couple of months and his leg wasted away and she could fit four bottles in the space between his leg and the cast. When they got to the border, she would just yell at the border guard, “THESE ARE SENIORS, YOUNG LAD! THEY NEED TO GO HOME AND REST!” and never once were they searched. She gave the bottles as wedding and Christmas presents, and would supplement the punch at family parties with it, among other things.

I find, upon leafing through the ol’ raincoaster archives, that there is indeed an actual picture of my Gramma. At my cousin’s house. Legally blind. Shooting at a turkey from the deck, beside a stack of beer cases, with a tank of propane between the muzzle of the gun and the target.

You go, Gramma!

Bang Bang, my Gramma shot you down!

Bang Bang, my Gramma shot you down!

Is FriendlyChemist my friendly neighbor?

The question is prompted by this post on Gawker, where I suddenly can’t comment anymore. Interesting; is this banning #7? Well, if it is, that’s the LAST time I try to add value to one of Adrian‘s posts. Anyhoodle, here are my thoughts on whether this Silk Road user and extortionist FriendlyChemist is a neighbor of mine in White Rock, BC.

FriendlyChemist, according to the article, threatened to out a list of online drug exchange Silk Road’s users, although whether he had actual addresses and real names or just usernames and PO Boxes is unclear. In response, Dread Pirate Roberts, the head of Silk Road, hired another user to kill him; the user reportedly sent back photos proving the deed, although the RCMP say no way was there a gory drug murder in White Rock. Is he really dead? Probably not; he probably posed for some pix and then split the money with the guy DPR (allegedly) hired to kill him. No honour among thieves and all that. If they’re in the drug business and they’re not using, they’re in it because they’re greedy; this is too good an opportunity to cash in for a businessman to pass up.

That’s the US you’re looking at there, Point Roberts to be specific. So if you’re an athlete, you can actually SWIM to the US.

Some background:  White Rock is walking distance to the US border. There’s a border crossing with guards and everything, but you walk not far east and you can just walk into the US with no problems. Blaine, on the other side of the border, does a HUGE business with mailboxes for Canadians, who like to order from US sites and get delivery to the US and thus avoid all kinds of taxes, duty, and shipping fees. It is a major, MAJOR smuggling point and also a lovely, upscale retirement community.

White Rock Sunset

White Rock Sunset

Does anything go in the other direction? You bet! The Bacon Brothers, Canada’s most notorious drug lords, are based out of Surrey, which is literally across the street from White Rock. Not too long ago they shut down a helicopter flight training school which was just a front for pot deliveries from nearby Harrison Hot Springs  (also lovely: come for the views, stay for the contraband!). And the Guardian famously profiled a commercial truck driver who smuggled pot over the border at the official truck border crossing nearby.

Could a major drug manufacturer be based out of White Rock? Probably not, since it’s almost entirely housing and upscale retail, but out of Surrey or any of the nearby semi-rural areas? You bet. And don’t forget that at one point it was estimated that over 80% of the heroin in North America entered via the Port of Vancouver. It’s just a part of the culture of the region to be drug-positive or drug-neutral. You can thank the increasing violence relating to organized crime for a recent turn against it in the public’s view.