[Whilst changing his diaper at bed time.]
Him: Jammies off!
Me: Yep, we're taking off your jammies.
Him: Diaper off!
Me: That's right, we're taking off your diaper and putting on a clean one.
Him: Penis off!
Me: No, the penis stays on.
Him: Bye-bye penis!
Me: No, you're keeping the penis. At least until you're older and have had years of therapy and extensive hormone treatment.

The I Write Like Experiment

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Here's a video of me testing out the I Write Like website that the kids are into these days. Watch it, ya hump.



My Trip to Traffic Court

The Denver City and County building is a massive, grandiose gray behemoth with all kinds of stone columns and other indicia of sovereign importance, and after business hours its stateliness is lessened somewhat by a large black and white sign shooing people away from the main entrance at the top of the dramatic steps toward a much less impressive street-level side entrance. And since I had after-hours business of a quite unstately kind - a traffic court appearance - it didn't bother me too much to use the lesser entrance.

The specific offense delineated in my traffic citation was "following too closely," and I was required to appear in court because my purported infraction had allegedly caused "substantial property damage." The ticket came in the aftermath of a four-car pileup on Interstate 25 heading into downtown Denver several weeks earlier in which I had the pleasure of serving as the caboose. The only evidence the state had against me was the fact that I had collided with the rear of another car, which under Colorado (or perhaps Denver, I can't recall) law constitutes prima facie evidence of following too closely. There was no doubt that the collision caused significant property damage to my own car, though I considered that to be a matter for myself and my insurance company to deal with and didn't see how the government had any dog in that fight. The question remained as to whether my late-model Japanese station wagon caused any appreciable damage to the large American pickup truck I collided with, particularly considering the fact that said pickup truck had likely been totalled by colliding with a second pickup truck seconds before I got there.

In any case, the property damage enhancement precluded the officer from assessing a fine at the scene, and required a court appearance. The practice of issuing citations after accidents was new to me, and I envisioned enthusiastic patrolmen desperately trying to fill the state's budget shortfall by stuffing citations into the pockets of unconscious accident victims as their bodies were loaded into ambulances, or perhaps handing the yellow slips of paper to nearby nexts of kin to be paid by the estates of drivers who didn't make it. I, thankfully, was not injured in the crash, but one way or another I got the ticket and had to appear in court.

The security guard at the courthouse, who approached his duties with all the severity of a government employee convinced that his every act is critical to public safety and functional democracy, directed me toward the appropriate room after I satisfied him that my allergy medications were not, in fact, weapons. When I arrived at the room as instructed I found not a courtroom at all, but a counter staffed by a handful of people at computer terminals, and wondered if the dignities of traffic court had been stripped to the point that robeless judges were offering counter service. Not so, it turned out, as I was further directed to an actual courtroom elsewhere in the building after checking in with one of the terminal employees.

I had checked my ticket several times to make sure I was showing up at the right time, so it was quite disappointing to see my name listed on the 7:30 calendar, a full hour after the time written by the citing officer (who was already on my list for obvious reasons). The time was approximately six o'clock when I arrived at the courtroom and since there was a six o'clock calendar and I had nothing better to do I decided to sit in the back and observe the proceedings to get an idea of what I was up against. I had given up on trying to beat the ticket altogether, but was steeled for a proper tongue-lashing from the judge about traffic safety and so on and so forth, and had my physics-based arguments prepared about the relative damage caused by my car. I assumed the court appearance was necessary because the property damage enhancement mandated a larger fine, and I was all geared up to convince the judge that my contribution to the overall property damage caused by the pileup was minimal and therefore the punitive enhancement should be reduced.

Immediately upon entering the courtroom it was apparent that I was severely overdressed. As a member of the State Bar of Colorado it didn't seem appropriate for me to appear in court, even traffic court, and even as a defendant rather than an advocate, without wearing a suit, but I had made the strategic decision to wear an old suit so as not to come off as the kind of fellow who deserved to be taken down a peg by being forced to pay an extra hefty fine. I didn't expect to see many, if any, other suits in the courtroom, but I anticipated perhaps neckties, or at least collared shirts. What I saw were T-shirts, a Carmelo Anthony jersey, and about a dozen pairs of jeans. I took a seat in the back row.

The clerk was in the middle of calling roll to make sure everyone on the calendar had shown up, and shortly after confirming that she went to summon the judge. The clerk returned through a door leading into the nextdoor clerk's office with a handwritten "THIS IS NOT AN EXIT" sign taped to it, and a few moments later a large hidden panel behind the bench swung open and a man who bore a striking resemblance to Fred Gwynne's character in My Cousin Vinny - hulking, broad-shouldered, long face, gray hair - appeared and took his seat. I noticed for the first time that no prosecuting attorneys were present.

After shuffling through the small stack of papers the clerk had left at the bench the judge called the first victim, an attractive young Hispanic woman wearing faded jeans and some kind of Ed Hardy-style shirt. I still wasn't sure how harsh the judge would be with the dozen or so defendants he had to deal with during this first round of the evening, but I sensed that others in the room weren't as worried as I was. I would later reflect that a not-insubstantial percentage of traffic court defendants probably went through the experience more than once. The judge's voice was also very Fred Gwynne-like -- deep, booming, and authoritative, though not quite as cartoonish and lacking the southern drawl. The judge asked the woman how she was doing, and the woman said "Fine, how are you?", her acts of asking an informal question of the judge and failing to punctuate her statement with "Your Honor" grating upon my lawyerly sensibilities. In fact, no one throughout the evening addressed the judge as "Your Honor" or even "Sir," and these terms weren't uttered in the room until my turn at the end (more on that later).

After the opening pleasantries the judge simply recited the charge on the ticket, recited the plea offer from the city attorney, and asked the woman if she would plead guilty to the lesser offense. I found it unseemly that the presiding judge would be in the business of delivering messages on behalf of the prosecutor but I tolerated it for the sake of efficiency, and in any case didn't think a constitutional separation of powers challenge in the service of attempting to avoid a traffic fine would get me very far. The woman accepted the plea, answered "Yes" to all the judge's allocution questions, and the plea was entered. The judge asked the woman if she wanted to say anything before he imposed the fine. She declined, and the judge began doing something on his computer screen that would apparently lead him to the appropriate sanction for her legally fictitious conduct. I heard him say "No, that's too expensive" before finally arriving at the adjudicated amount, which was certainly a great sign, but I was still hoping someone would go up on a following too closely charge so I'd know exactly what to expect.

The pattern repeated for each of the defendants, largely without variation, though there were a few brief bursts of human interaction. One woman didn't feel comfortable entering the plea until she got some legal advice about her divorce (which was related in her mind for reasons that never became clear). The judge informed her, gently, that he couldn't give her legal advice and didn't want to hear about her divorce, and suggested she go out in the hallway to talk to someone and come back later. She did, and ended up taking the plea, though not before further attempts to tell the judge about her man-troubles. By far the most common charge was driving without insurance, which was generally mitigated by providing proof of subsequently-acquired insurance. One poor fellow had a number of rather serious charges on his ticket and the city attorney had decided to add another charge before he got to court, so he wasn't given a plea and had to appear for a proper hearing against the city attorney in the flesh. The true highlight of the evening came when a young, effeminate, and generally bewildered man stood to answer the handful of minor charges on his ticket. The judge dismissed two of the charges and offered a chance to plea to driving without a license, but offered a continuance so that the man could go out and get a license before pleading guilty. The man replied, "Judge, I don't know nothin' 'bout no court. What's a continuation?" After a few more minutes of similar dialogue the judge ordered a continuation and the man agreed to try and get a driver's license, though it was manifestly unclear as to whether he had any idea how to do so.

After the judge burned through the calendar and everyone else had left he noticed me sitting in the back and asked if I was early for the next calendar. I popped up and said "Yes, Your Honor," trying and utterly failing not to come off as officious and sycophantic.

"Well," the judge said, "come up and get your file from the clerk and we'll get you out of here."

This was a stroke of luck to be sure, as it looked like I would be done nearly an hour before I was even supposed to start. I identified myself to the clerk, and she located my file and handed me a green sheet of paper that explained my rights. I went straight to the podium assuming the judge would dive right in. I didn't find it necessary to thoroughly peruse the rights explanation given the fact that I had studied the general heap of garbage known as the rights of the accused ad nauseam for two Bar Exams. The judge noticed me standing like a dog waiting for his dinner and said, "Take a seat and read over that sheet of paper, memorize it, and I'll give you a quiz in a few minutes."

I sat down in the front row and glanced over the paper. The form distinguished between "offenses" and "infractions" and I had no idea which one I had been charged with, though the judge's lax approach to the various charges that he had dealt with before me suggested I didn't have much to worry about either way. Eventually he called me up and recited the charge, adding, "This was that morning that all those cars slid into each other on the freeway." I agreed with him though, somewhat shamefully, the fact was that the accident happened in dry, sunny conditions and there was no way to blame ice or any other interesting Colorado weather for what had happened.

The judge moved onto the plea offer, which was apparently completely unaffected by the property damage and made me wonder why the stupid police officer had made me go to court in the first place. In any case the judge and the city attorney were much more reasonable and I gladly accepted the meager fine and points penalty laid before me. Ten minutes later I was out the door with my debt to society paid via the swipe of my credit card by the onsite cashier.

It's tempting to say that I fought the Law and the Law won, but the fact is that neither of us put up much of a fight.

One Year of Junk Mail

In addition to my usual doomed New Years resolutions of losing weight, reading the Bible, and finishing my novel, I've begun a new self-indulgent project that is slightly less likely to fizzle, mainly because it involves my two principal vices of (1) self-promotion and (2) idle bitching.

My hatred of junk mail (the paper kind) has swelled exponentially (well, at least geometrically) in recent years, and I've decided to keep every piece of junk mail delivered to my home in the year 2010. I will document this project on video and post the videos here here:

www.youtube.com/oneyearofjunkmail

Here is the first installment, wherein I rail against unsolicited offers of credit:

Stay tuned, you.

Lo! A Scoundrel

I whipped up this comic strip in the context of a Facebook discussion about Hark! A Vagrant, a web comic which everyone on the Internet except me seems to think is the greatest thing since chewable laxatives. The strip is meant to be a parody of Hark! A Vagrant, pointing out the fact that Hark! A Vagrant is a comic with, as Kenny put it, "a quirky tone and no real jokes." Or, as I put it, a "Heavily stylized, 100% humor-free webcomic that a lot of people seem to love for some reason, probably because it's drawn by a girl."

I myself subscribe to the old school of comic strip humor, and I tend to expect the strips I read to build toward some sort of punchline in the final frame. Admittedly, this often enables me to see the punchline coming two miles away and around the corner, but it's still a format in which I find some familiar comfort.

My Facebook debate about Hark! A Vagrant made me realize that this dated view has led me to largely misinterpret the zeitgeist of webcomics. When I launched my own at-best-uneven strip back in 2002 I assumed that the advantage of web comics was the ability to take the traditional form of newspaper comics and make the subject matter extremely esoteric and the content unfetteredly profane. That may have been true at the time, but apparently many of today's webcomics follow a different set of rules entirely, relying on mood, tone, and general wackiness rather than formally structured jokes. Tragically, my own comedic talents are probably more suited to the latter format, but at this point I can't seem to muster the energy to get back on the strip-drawing bandwagon.

Anyway, my days of regular strip-drawing have been over for quite some time, but the above strip was described variously during the Facebook discussion as "brilliant" and "the funniest comic [I] have ever made" (I make no representations as to the irony or hyperbole of either statement), so I figured I'd share it with the half-dozen or so people who still occasionally read this blog.

Me: I got a Borders gift card for my birthday. Are there any books you want to buy for the boy?
Her: You should use it to buy something for yourself.
Me: I've read one book in the last fourteen months.
Her: They have other things there. What about CDs?
Me: I don't listen to music anymore.
Her: DVDs?
Me: I don't like movies.
...
Her: Coffee?
Me: I do like coffee.

Excruciating Originality

Yes, this is the first comic strip I've drawn in over thirty months. And yes, it is inspired by a zombie-like Internet meme. This is how it is, folks. cownye.jpg

Click for full size if it isn't showing up in full size already, ya hump.

Ingredients

[This is a short story based on a dream I had last night. It is slightly more coherent than the dream in that it does not, for example, involve Japanese game shows or actual Star Trek characters.]

The old woman set a dish down on the table in front of me with a pleasant smile, and took a nearby seat where her own food was waiting. Her dish contained similar foods in slightly smaller portions, and as she fussed with her napkin I surveyed the meal. There were three different servings, clearly different types of food but all having a similar golden-brown color. The largest piece resembled a Russian piroshki, sliced in half, with plump strips of white meat protruding from the center surrounded by what appeared to be a milky cream sauce. Closer to me was a pastry that resembled a croissant, and next to that was a lumpy mound that had the approximate consistency of cheese grits.

The woman eagerly explained what each portion was. I tried my best to pay attention to the synthetic soundwaves pouring through my neuro-linguistic communicator as I fought back the nausea and other symptoms of the physical revulsion I had been experiencing since I realized what the meat would be. Ravek had conveniently neglected to mention that particular detail before abandoning me with this quaint elderly couple and going off on his unspecified errand, leaving me to discover it for myself and come up with a suitable reaction on the spot. My first instinct was that he had done this as some sort of hazing prank, but further reflection convinced me, charitably perhaps, that he had done it as a training exercise. There were, undoubtedly, certain pedagogical values to the experience, though at the moment I was having trouble identifying them.

"May ask a question?" I said timidly when she had finished her run-down of the meal she had prepared.

"Certainly," she said.

I swallowed, trying to formulate the best, that is, least offensive, manner of presenting my question. Technologies that had been developed for identifying harmful substances in foods had largely obviated the need to ask about ingredients when presented with a meal, so the question I was proposing could only be a matter of personal preference, which was impolite.

"Does anything other than the, um..." I indicated the meat pastry, to which she had previously given a name that the communicator couldn't translate. She repeated the name as I indicated it, her alien voice coming through raw and unfiltered, creating sound patterns that I couldn't hope to imitate, and making the overall experience that much more disturbing. "Yes," I said. "Does anything other than... this, contain human meat?"

In the split second before she responded I held my breath, and felt as though my remaining bodily functions were suspended as well. As with any alien world it was impossible to determine what seemingly minor transgression would be considered a grave cultural or, worse, criminal offense, and in that moment I remembered that I hadn't yet figured out what the device next to the door was or whether it had anything to do with food preparation.

Fortunately the woman was not offended. "No," she said simply. She then explained that the other two items, also unnamable by my feeble Terrestrian tongue, contained no meat at all. She then gasped suddenly, instantly reversing the sense of relief that had overtaken me, and said, "Oh dear."

She looked down at my dish, her brow wrinkled with concern, her eyes, a bit closer together than I was used to, wide with anxiety. "Oh dear," she repeated. "Do you not eat humans on your planet?"

I bit my lip, a gesture I would later recall as somewhat ironic given her question. I managed a smirk. "No," I said. "I'm afraid we do not."

"Oh dear," she said again, her face unchanging. "Then what do you do with your dead?"

I took a sip of the distilled water she had given me and cleared my throat. I explained the various burial rituals associated with the peoples of Earth, that the common approach was to embalm corposes, seal them in boxes, and place them in the ground, and that alternate means of respectful disposal were also observed, but that no extant society to my knowledge consumed their dead.

"And what about your criminals?" she asked in the same pleading voice. "Surely..."

I took another sip and explained our elaborate penal system, that the worst criminals were permanently housed in secure facilities and given three meals a day along with basic amenities to keep them healthy until they died by natural causes or were killed by other criminals. Throughout my lecture she maintained the same concerned look, though she was clearly fascinated by my explanation. Afterwards she shook her head and took a small taste of the grit-like substance on her dish.

"That all seems awfully wasteful," she said.

"I suppose it is," I said and tore off a small piece of the meatless pastry. Cultural clashes such as this, encountering an otherwise advanced civilization that found the notion of burying the dead and treating criminals with basic dignity more abhorrent than consuming human flesh, were among the lesser perils of interstellar travel. Or so I hoped.

The pastry was more doughy than the ancient French food it resembled, more salty than sweet, with an odd metallic flavor that was no doubt the result of my Terrestrian tastebuds trying to make sense of an unexpected alien biochemistry. I tried the grits, which surprised me by presenting almost the exact flavor of honeydew melon. Again, they probably only tasted enough like honeydew for my brain to recognize something familiar and amplify the sensation for my own subconscious psychological comfort.

As I swallowed I eyed the meat strips, glistening in their sauce, and wondered what would become of them. I stole a glance at the woman who was eating without reservation, sampling all three items sporadically, and who had manifested no intention of removing the meat from my plate or otherwise relieving me of the duty to eat it. I wondered if vegetarianism on this planet took on an even more political aspect than it did back home, but then recalled that the woman hadn't asked me whether I ate meat, but whether people on my planet did so. From there I wondered whether vegetarianism on this world might be punishable by death.

Desperate to distract myself I offered further unsolicited details about the Terrestrian penal system, which led to a discussion of our legal system in general. The woman listened, more out of politeness than interest, until I go to the part about how the Constitution of my home nation came to be. I explained that at one time there was a great empire on Earth that controlled my homeland, and that my ancestors fought a war against the empire to secure their independence.

"Oh dear," she said again, and I wondered if she had actually been uttering the exact same local colloquialism over and over again or if my communicator was just translating multiple idioms into a single familiar expression of generic concern. "Your people are revolutionaries?"

I grinned, then thought the better of it when I understood the earnestness of her question. "We were," I said. "Many societies on Earth were born of revolution and later became peaceful. Unfortunately our history is littered with those who built power into tyranny, and at various times the people have found it necessary to reclaim power by force." I swallowed some more food and took another sip of water, feeling more at ease now. "We are not a warlike people, but at times we have acknowledged that war is necessary to secure freedom and, ultimately, peace."

The woman shook her head again, finding the whole matter distasteful, and returned silently to her meal. I began to realize that I had no idea what the political history of this planet was (Ravek hadn't told me where we would be going beforehand, and thus I hadn't had the chance to read up on it, nor had he told me I would be sharing a meal with a strange alien), and that perhaps my matter-of-fact discussion of the use of violence within the political system may have been as disturbing to her as her thoughtless gulping of human flesh was to me.

I found myself desperate to clarify that the tendency of all Terrestrian societies, at least in modern history, was toward peace. I considered offering further explanations on this point but thought it best to let the matter drop. After a few moments of painful silence the woman finally offered a smirk and said, "If I may say so, you don't look like you come from a race of warriors."

I returned her smile, though I couldn't fight off the blush as I looked down at my military uniform with its meager assortment of insignias indicating my recent arrival to the Fleet. I definitely filled out the grandiose tunic like the engineer that I was. I used the review of my clothing as an excuse to discreetly run my hand along the pistol strapped to my hip, drawing comfort from its presence and hoping that my basic weapons training would enable me to fend off any attempt to drown me in cream sauce and cover me in pastry dough.

"Well, as I said, ours is a society of peace forged in the crucible of war. Perhaps that's why it took us so long to join the greater galactic community."

"Perhaps," she agreed and took a sip of her own beverage.

She mouthed another large piece of meat and I felt my stomach turn slightly as I swallowed more of the honeydew mush. Not wanting to draw her attention by moving my head, I moved my eyes around to see if I could spot her husband, who had disappeared before the meal was served after having taken me outside to show me the evening sky.

Although I had seen simulations of such sights in officer's training, the genuine experience was, predictably, much more enthralling. The sky had been crystal clear, which I had thought odd for such an urbanized area (the old man had reminded me that modest adjustments in the intensity of urban lights was sufficient to reveal the stars of the night sky). But what was truly remarkable was the fact that numerous points of light -- too many to count, in fact -- resembled stars and yet moved throughout the sky, appearing to combine with and pass through their stationary counterparts. Some moved in triangular formations, some expanded into spherical clusters, and others jumbled together in a seemingly random fashion. Most stunning of all was a sudden burst of lights which appeared to flow in a gushing stream from a single point in the sky.

I understood that these moving lights were simply optical artifacts generated by spacecraft engaged in various maneuvers, generally related to interstellar travel, though it was rare to see so many in one place.

"Your planet must get a lot of visitors," I said to the man. I opted for a mundane comment so as not to betray my wonderment at the spectacle I was witnessing. The old man clearly expected me to behave as a doe-eyed cadet and I fought hard against the tendency to satisfy his expectations.

"Oh yes," he said calmly. "This little world is a veritable crossroads for explorers like yourself. It has something to do with local space curvature and intersecting supergravities. I'm sure it makes more sense to you than it does to me."

I turned my eyes away from the sky to look at him, and saw that he was staring intently at me, no doubt wondering how I would react to his self-deprecating comment. Such comments from strangers, I knew, were always precarious, particularly when one didn't know the local customs. Thinking fast but perhaps not well, I looked back at the sky and said, "I don't think it makes much sense to anyone, to tell you the truth."

I could sense that the man was still staring at me so I looked at him again. His expression hadn't changed. "Come," he said. "We've prepared a meal."

And as the evening's focus turned from the mysteries of space travel to the challenges of interplanetary cuisine I began to wonder if Ravek had in fact abandoned me for good, if we had come here just so he could have me killed by the elderly couple, and if he was just biding his time at a local cantina until the deed was done or, worse, if he had made off with the landing craft and was already on his way back to base. This last thought I managed to banish from my head, knowing that I would have heard the lift-off of the craft if he had already made his escape.

Nonetheless I couldn't avoid wondering how, precisely, the couple might do me in if they decided to do so. The food was not poisoned -- this much was clear from the chem-sensor implanted in my throat, which would have blocked the consumption of any toxic substances. The woman and man appeared old and feeble, but only by my rudimentary Terrestrian standards. For all I knew the woman alone could overpower me before I even had a chance to reach for my weapon. The sad fact was that I had no idea what these two beings were capable of -- apart from eating people.

As I struggled to prevent dread from giving way to panic I suddenly heard a signal from the door, and hoped desperately that it was Ravek returning from his errand. The woman's eyes glazed over as her optic pathways were intercepted by an unseen device that beamed an image of the visitor directly into her brain. She blinked, touched something on her wrist, and the door slid open, with Ravek standing attentively behind it. "May I?" he asked.

The woman smiled and got up, prompting me to do the same. "Of course. Please, come in."

Ravek strode into the room, his large boots clopping ahead of him as his gangly arms swung slightly at his sides. His odd appearance, which I at one time found unsettling, was refreshingly familiar and I almost wanted to embrace him. My face must have betrayed my feelings, because Ravek clapped me on the shoulder and said, "Easy there. I'm not here on a rescue mission. She hasn't been torturing you, has she?" His face turned to the woman with a look of exaggerated concern.

I exhaled. "No, of course not," I said as casually as I could. "We've just been enjoying a pleasant meal." I then caught myself and said. "At least I was enjoying it."

"As was I," she said sweetly. "Your friend was telling me all about his violent past."

I found myself blushing again. "Just a little American history," I said.

"Ah yes," Ravek said. "You Terrestrians and your rebellions. I hope his talk of bloodshed didn't put you off your meal."

"Not at all."

Ravek then looked at me, reached for a spot behind his right ear, and said, "Do you mind?"

"No, of course not," I said and instinctively stepped back.

The woman touched the same spot behind her own ear and the two began talking to each other, each in their respective native tongues as far as I could hear. Ravek's high rasps and the woman's guttural groans were indecipherable to me, though they -- and they alone, for the time being -- were able to understand each other by synching their communicators through a sensor behind the ear. There were those who considered such behavior impolite, which prompted Ravek's perfunctory request for leave, though at the moment I was less concerned with etiquette than with the possibility the two were, at last, plotting my ultimate demise, and that Ravek's reappearance was not the salvation I thought it was. Unfortunately I could do nothing but stand at attention and wait for them to finish.

Eventually the speech patterns, such as they were, combined with certain physical cues indicated that they were wrapping up their discussion, and they released their ears and turned back to me. "I think we're done here," Ravek said.

Without missing a beat I thanked the woman profusely for her generosity, apologized for my lack of appetite, and asked if I could help her clean up. She brushed off my politeness with niceties of her own and began to lightly shoo us toward the door. I asked her to extend my gratitude to her absent husband, and she assured me that she would. I still wondered if the old man would be waiting outside the door to bludgeon me to death while Ravek distracted me.

Fortunately there was no one in sight, and the evening air, with all of its alien smells, felt wonderful as it filled my lungs. The stale, filtered air of the landing craft was even more pleasant. Ravek and I strapped ourselves in and spoke through transmitters in our helmets during the shaky ascent toward our orbiting vessel.

"You thought I had left you there to die, didn't you?" he asked.

"The thought crossed my mind," I admitted.

"That's good," he said. "When faced with a strange situation you should always see to your own survival and perceive everything as a potential threat."

"No problem there."

After a pause, Ravek continued: "You ate quite a bit of that food. I'm impressed."

"Why?"

"It was sitting next to cooked human flesh."

I sighed angrily. He had known.

"Yes, I knew she would try to serve you human meat. And I didn't warn you. Do you know why?"

"You wanted to see how I would react to the situation."

"Yes. And you did quite well. Not great, but good enough for your level."

"She seemed surprised that I wasn't... that I'm not a cannibal."

"Do you think she was?"

I pondered this for a moment. Ravek wouldn't have asked the question if the answer were obvious.

"What did you and the old man talk about?" he asked after I didn't answer in whatever time frame he had secretly prescribed.

"He showed me the night sky from their front yard, all the spacecraft flying around," I said. "We talked about the large number of visitors this planet gets."

"Do you think the woman was surprised at your peculiar eating habits?"

"No."

Ravek fell silent again, not giving me the satisfaction of acknowledging the correctness of my answer, after having given me so many hints. I heard him disable his transmitter as we broke through the final layers of atmosphere and approached the orbiting vessel. He would have to manuever the small landing craft into position to get us back onboard, and his action of disabling our communication link told me that the danger of me distracting him outweighed whatever benefit he might have obtained from being able to immediately ask me for help.

Of course, he didn't need my help. He nestled the small ship into the dock with the expertise of all of his years in the Fleet, and once we had locked in the two of us transferred to the larger ship, briefly acclimated to the artificial atmosphere, and began the calculations for the next leg of our voyage. This I did help with, partly because it was long, tedious work that went faster with two people, and partly because I was very good at it.

"What were you doing down there?" I asked casually once we had hit the less intellectually rigorous portion of the project.

"I suppose if I wanted you to know I would have told you," he said.

"I suppose you would have," I replied.

Ravek focused on his terminal for several minutes. It was during these stretches when he often became grim and moody, because he knew that I was better at this sort of thing than he was, his substantial experience in interstellar travel utterly failing to overcome my innate mathematical talents.

"Do you think the old woman's reactions to your stories about Terrestrian wars were genuine?" he asked suddenly.

Again, I gave his question substantial consideration before answering. I took longer than I had for his previous question but, this time, rather than provide additional hints, he remained focused on his calculations and seemed to ignore me.

"I'm not sure," I admitted. "She lightly teased me about being from a 'warrior race.'"

Ravek didn't smile.

"Your planet has a storied history of war and rebellion," he said. "Your ancient cinema glorified it. Your people were obsessed with violence against what they perceived to be oppressive authority. Do you assume that's a common thread throughout the galaxy?"

I leaned away from my terminal and frowned at his question. I tried to recall the cultural training I had received in officer's school and regretted blowing off such courses in favor of science and mathematics.

"Do you think it's more common or less common than economically-driven cannibalism?"

I still didn't have an answer.

"Or does it matter?"

I rubbed my chin and returned to my calculations. "Are you telling me that that planet we were on has never had an armed rebellion?"

"It's never had a successful armed rebellion."

We worked in silence for a few more minutes as I mused over our discussion, and Ravek's apparent attempt to equate righteous revolution with cannibalism. "Are you going to tell me what you were doing down there?" I asked.

"What have we been talking about?" he said.

I looked up at him. I could tell he was getting to the point where his calculations began to tax his patience. "You mean to tell me we just made an interplanetary voyage so I could have a dinner date?"

"If you think that was just a dinner date, you have more to learn than I thought," he grumbled. "The Fleet has a lot planned for you and we need to make sure you have the right instincts. You're going to run into a lot of different creatures out here, and not all of them are going to serve you food and listen to your boring stories about the American Revolution."

Now my patience was thinning. "I'm about finished over here if you want me to take anything over," I said, immediately regretting that I had done so. Ravek glared at me and tapped a few keys on his terminal, filling my own screen with undeciphered codes. He stood up.

"Let me know when you're through," he said. "I'll be in the lounge."

The codes Ravek left were challenging but not exceedingly difficult, and as I trudged through them I began to wonder what our inevitable departure would look like from the ground below.

Meredith Broussard is a Hack

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Meredith Broussard

Every now and then I'll check my link tracker and see that someone has found this blog by searching for something along the lines of "peanut allergy hoax." As an unapologetic sufferer of peanut allergy, this, of course, saddens me. The food allergy skeptics may not be as plentiful or influential as those who deny the existence of things like global warming or geometry, but they're out there, and they're given aid and comfort by the likes of Meredith Broussard, whose charlatanry graces the front page of Slate today. A similar rant appeared in Harper's in January 2008, but her ramblings have been polished off in an apparent attempt to publicize an upcoming book.

Broussard's article presents the idea that the risk and incidence of food allergy have both been exaggerated by various nefarious actors, including "excellent clinicians and biomedical researchers" and "influential parent-advocates," who have seized control of Congress and the media in order to get people to spend money protecting themselves from allergens. It's all part of a very dastardly scheme, you see. Unfortunately Broussard doesn't bother to back up her claims with any credible evidence.

Amazingly, Broussard compares the likelihood of dying from food allergy to the likelihood of dying in a car crash, ignoring the fact that the likelihood of dying of food allergy for a person with food allergy is much higher than it is for the general population. This comparison is absolutely meaningless.

Broussard's additional attempts to make her case fare no better. Her complaints about the researchers and advocates who have presented data on food allergy consists of various convoluted shards of data showing that these people were -- *gasp* -- compensated for their work, and she somehow builds this into a full-blown conflict of interest akin to letting cigarette companies study lung cancer. She makes vague gripes about the subjectivity of survey questions and from there leaps to the insinuation that nobody ever tells the truth ever, even when they want to. And, she breathlessly blames the media for running with various press releases, because it's always good to throw that in there. She even manages to slam the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act be identifying a single example of excess labelling, ignoring the notion that, hey, it might be useful to know that something contains peanuts if it's not otherwise apparent from the packaging.

At the end of an article full of juicy terms like "financial ties," "food allergy paranoia," and "media coup," she wraps up with this rant against the sinister food allergy forces:

A small group of people is manipulating the scientific perspective on food allergies, exaggerating the perception of risk, and profiting from the flood of sympathetic private and government money. It's time to re-examine the statistics and question the media spin on food allergies. This time, we need to be hyperaware of potential bias and exaggeration. Food allergies deserve respect and awareness, sure -- but we make unwise decisions when we're guided by fear. We should avoid telling one another horror stories about worst-case scenarios, or devising elaborate food bans. We should stop scaring ourselves based on manufactured evidence and remind ourselves that the vast majority of food-related allergic episodes are treatable. And when we look at proposed legislation like the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act of 2009, we should look at the fine print -- which allocates tens of millions of dollars to food allergy education -- and wonder exactly whose pockets will be lined with that money.

A few things here. First, why do we need to be "hyperaware" of potentail bias and exaggeration? Isn't regular awareness enough? Second, why should we avoid "devising elaborate food bans" when neither Broussard nor anyone else has shown that the food bans aren't necessary or worthwhile? At best, Broussard casts doubt on the utility of such precautions, but she really doesn't even get that far. And she certainly hasn't proven that any evidence has been "manufactured." Finally, what does she mean when she says "the vast majority of food-related allergic episodes are treatable"? Is injecting a child with an EpiPen as his throat swells shut and rushing him to the hospital "treatment"? And does the availability of this "treatment" mean we shouldn't take precautions to avoid exposure in the first place?

Apart from Broussard's anemic assault on existing evidence and complete failure to offer any contrary evidence, she has shown herself to be affirmatively ignorant on the subject of food allergies. In an NPR interview back in January 2008 she made the absurd statement that "You have to eat something to have an allergic reaction to it." This is simply wrong, as anyone (including myself) who has had a reaction based on airborne or skin exposure can tell you. This is common knowledge among anyone with even passing familiarity with food allergies. The fact that someone with such a lack of basic understanding about food allergies is being given a voice in major media outlets to criticize allergy precautions is very disturbing.

So Meredith Broussard is not a medical professional or a statistician, doesn't know anything about food allergies, and can't grasp the basic principles of effectively criticizing data. What exactly are her qualifications for calling on readers to ignore highly respected researchers and resist attempts to implement allergy precautions?

Broussard's first Google appearance is a softball Phillyist interview about her two shining works of scholarly excellence, The Dictionary of Failed Relationships: 26 Stories of Love Gone Wrong and Encyclopedia of the Exes: 26 Stories by Men of Love Gone Wrong. No library is complete without either of these books, and in fact my two copies have gotten so dog-eared from repeated perusal that I find myself in need of replacements.

She also maintains a "sporadically" updated blog which, not surprisingly, contains occasional digs against food allergies. Bizarrely, Broussard apparently suffers from food allergies, and her irrational campaign against food allergy precautions is perhaps a result of long-felt resentment of the restrictive diet imposed by her mother when she was a child so that she would not die.

Her only other accomplishment of note appears to be a groundbreaking article for the Huffington Post titled Why I'm Not On Facebook, a subject that I believe was already covered approximately one jillion times before her article was published in January 2009.

Why this person has chosen to pursue a crusade against food allergy precautions is a mystery. Why any legitimate media outlet would publish her uninformed and counterfactual polemics is simply baffling.

Weird Al vs. George Washington

Take a look at Weird Al's new video for his song about Charles Nelson Reilly, then watch this wonderful video about George Washington:



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Fun with Einstein - February 23, 2006
Imponderables - February 23, 2006
Not the First Mistake the Boalt Admissions Office Has Made - February 23, 2006
Lost Rhapsody - February 21, 2006
I Don't Get It - February 19, 2006
I Knew There Was a Reason I Voted for This Guy - February 16, 2006
Bonus Law Geek Wednesday: Two Things About the Supreme Court - February 15, 2006
Law Geek Wednesday: Land Use in the Inland Empire - February 15, 2006
Harry Whittington Fun Fact - February 14, 2006
Valentine's Day - February 13, 2006
An Extremely Simple Question that No Search Engine Seems to Be Able to Answer - February 11, 2006
Out with a Bang - February 10, 2006
Tragic Kingdom - February 10, 2006
Belated Law Geek Wednesday: Law School Applications on the Decline - February 9, 2006
Somewhere In Palo Alto There's a Baby with One Cold Foot - February 6, 2006
Heartbreaker - February 6, 2006
55 Fiction Friday: Line Item Veto Edition - February 3, 2006
Law Geek Wednesday: Setting the Stage - February 1, 2006
Ten Things I Hate About NPR - January 31, 2006
England! - January 29, 2006
55 Fiction Friday: Law and Motion Edition - January 27, 2006
Law Geek Wednesday: Blaw Logs - January 24, 2006
Pie - January 23, 2006
Speak to Me, Meatball! Part 2 - January 23, 2006
55 Fiction Friday: Chicken and the Egg Edition - January 20, 2006
St. Crispin's Day Party - January 17, 2006
What Should We Name Our Catholic School? - January 17, 2006
As Will I - January 15, 2006
55 Fiction Friday: Central American Edition - January 13, 2006
Guilty - January 13, 2006
Illness is Bad, or Matt Receives Medical Treatment from Someone His Younger Brother's Age - January 5, 2006
New Years on the Peninsula - January 1, 2006
It's Windy - January 1, 2006
Ten Things I Hate About They Might Be Giants - December 30, 2005
Backslide - December 26, 2005
Gimme Back My Sock, You Goat Bastard - December 23, 2005
Anniversary - December 20, 2005
House of Cards - December 18, 2005
Blogging on My Blackberry, Just to See if I Can - December 16, 2005
Apparently Ned's is Still Getting Used to this Whole "Internet" Thing - December 15, 2005
More Tinkering - December 12, 2005
Apple Now Officially Jerkier than Microsoft: An Illustrated Story of Despair and Frustration - December 10, 2005
Fingers Crossed - December 10, 2005
Some Clipping May Occur - December 8, 2005
A Redesign that Feels Bigger than It Is - December 2, 2005
More Pottery - November 29, 2005
This is Why Dr M Sometimes Doesn't Kiss Me in the Morning - November 28, 2005
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Review: The Short Version - November 28, 2005
Anyone Need a Lawyer? - November 18, 2005
Not About the Bar - November 18, 2005
Tomorrow is the Day, and Today is Not the Day - November 17, 2005
Waiting for Bar Results is Not Fun - November 16, 2005
Eighty Hours Away - November 15, 2005
New Comic Strips - November 13, 2005
Housewarming Photos - November 13, 2005
A Week Away, Folks - November 11, 2005
Add Your Own Dialogue - November 9, 2005
I Now Hate Localism - November 8, 2005
Friendster and the One-Way Mirror - November 4, 2005
Stop With the Coincidences. I Don't Know That Many People - November 3, 2005
A Wink and a Weird Scrunch - November 2, 2005
An Insightful Comment About Feline Morality - November 1, 2005
Boringween - October 31, 2005
The Grey Age - October 30, 2005
Big Fancy Lawyers, Small Fancy World - October 29, 2005
Bad Idea - October 26, 2005
Office Pals - October 25, 2005
If Paul Were a CEO - October 21, 2005
Hopelessly Belated National Ten Day Announcement - October 17, 2005
Big Important Autumn - October 16, 2005
Diplomacy - October 14, 2005
Shallow Alto - October 11, 2005
Nicknomenclature - October 6, 2005
Awesome - October 4, 2005
Get Us Out of Here - October 3, 2005
The Constant Gardener: Not Boring Enough - October 2, 2005
Classics Geeks of the World Rejoice - October 1, 2005
The Shining: Redux - September 30, 2005
G-Man - September 27, 2005
New Strip! - September 23, 2005
Ads - September 22, 2005
IFTL Gets Its Ass Handed to It, and Other Things - September 22, 2005
Rallying the Troopseses - September 18, 2005
Curious Coincidence - September 15, 2005
Even Then We Knew - September 10, 2005
Squelch Offal - September 9, 2005
But You Are Married to the Sea - September 8, 2005
I Think I Just Helped Someone Say Something Negative About Corporate America - September 8, 2005
Cover Art - September 4, 2005
From the Photo Album - September 3, 2005
Oh Man - September 3, 2005
Travelmonsters - August 26, 2005
Lagging Pottermania - August 20, 2005
Apparently Not - August 18, 2005
We Bought a Picnic Table! - August 17, 2005
Hawaii Trip: The Beaches - August 14, 2005
Hawaii Trip: The Disaster Reel - August 11, 2005
TIE Fighter - August 10, 2005
I'M TAKING THE BAR EXAM TOMORROW!!! - July 25, 2005
It Tastes Like Vanilla. It Tastes Exactly Like Vanilla - July 24, 2005
Finishing Touches - July 23, 2005
Apparently This Is Not Walnut Creek - July 23, 2005
Who Wants a Civic? - July 20, 2005
Really Stupid Tying - July 19, 2005
Thwarting the First Sale Doctrine - July 18, 2005
This Is Where I Draw the Line - July 16, 2005
Rogue State - July 16, 2005
I've Been Living a Lie - July 8, 2005
So What? - July 6, 2005
Striving to Put Right What Once Went Wrong - July 3, 2005
A Brief Lesson in Advertising, from Someone Who Doesn't Know Anything About Advertising - June 30, 2005
This is Why My Dad Gets Paid the Big Bucks - June 27, 2005
Angels & Demons - June 25, 2005
Enemies on All Sides - June 23, 2005
Chocolate Frosted Frustration - June 14, 2005
Stress Ballz - June 12, 2005
This is a Picture of a Stapler - June 9, 2005
Arr, the Barrr - June 7, 2005
I Guess She's into Malacas - June 3, 2005
Golf Hurts - May 31, 2005
Hell Week - May 26, 2005
The California Bar Exam - Dumber than You Think - May 26, 2005
LOL Penis - May 24, 2005
Office Decor - May 23, 2005
Further Thoughts on Why I Hated It - May 21, 2005
Dialogue from the Third Act of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, if the Writing Were Just Slightly More Heavy-Handed - May 21, 2005
They Even Made Darth Vader Lame - May 20, 2005
Swift Finality - May 15, 2005
Gradumation - May 15, 2005
I'm Done Being in Law School - May 11, 2005
What the Hell? - May 10, 2005
Earl Warren Earl Burger - May 9, 2005
Big Stupid American Cars - May 5, 2005
Matt's Legal Famousness - May 3, 2005
More Peanut Humor from The Onion - May 3, 2005
Six Degrees of Ham and Cheese - May 1, 2005
H2G2 - April 30, 2005
Prolonging the Magic - April 27, 2005
CNN.com Does It Again - April 26, 2005
Fun with Myspace - April 26, 2005
Just the Two of Us - April 24, 2005
Firm Lovin' - April 24, 2005
Several Pounds of Meat, a Sobriety Check, a Sprained Ankle, and a Cat Made out of Cotton Candy - April 23, 2005
Apartment 205 Awards! - April 21, 2005
New Pope! - April 19, 2005
Notebook - April 14, 2005
Negative Space - April 12, 2005
Matt's Drunken Photography - April 10, 2005
Trend Victim - April 5, 2005
Sucked In - April 2, 2005
Flaming Cupcakes of Shame - March 30, 2005
On the Move - March 29, 2005
Big Day - March 29, 2005
Indecency Counterstrike - March 26, 2005
Gradiation - March 23, 2005
My First Animated Gif - March 22, 2005
Reese Witherspoon Is Not Attractive - March 19, 2005
A Guide to Buying Claritin for People without OCD - March 16, 2005
3L Blues - Part Four - March 14, 2005
3L Blues - Part Three - March 12, 2005
3L Blues - March 6, 2005
Indecency Regulation Outside the Broadcast Media - March 4, 2005
Conversations with My Wife - February 27, 2005
Hot Diggity Damn - February 24, 2005
Fun Assassin - February 20, 2005
Thinking Outside the Box about Boxes - February 17, 2005
Damaged by a Disk Error - February 10, 2005
Frostbitten - February 8, 2005
Boring Stories About My Cats: A Trip to the Vet - February 3, 2005
Grover Cleveland is Two Presidents - February 2, 2005
Nothing About This Product Makes Any Sense - January 25, 2005
There is a Pestilence Upon this Land - January 23, 2005
Sharper Image Epilogue - January 21, 2005
Pow! - January 21, 2005
Death by Plurality - January 20, 2005
Airline Face - January 19, 2005
Jeopardy! - January 17, 2005
May God Have Mercy - January 4, 2005
More Pictures - January 3, 2005
The Christmas of M's - December 30, 2004
The Moon Belongs to America - December 18, 2004
Somewhere in Palm City, Florida, Two Children Aren't Laughing - December 16, 2004
A Man of Slightly Above Average Ethics - December 14, 2004
Thanksgiving - November 29, 2004
Novembertoons - November 24, 2004
We Won't Be Leaving the House for a While, or Why Julie Rocks - November 14, 2004
Help Me Choose a Title for My FCC Paper - November 10, 2004
More Groundbreaking Reporting from CNN.com - November 5, 2004
Rise - November 4, 2004
A Looming Specter of Hope - November 4, 2004
One of an Exceedingly Large Number of Pointless Blog Entries About the Election that Will Be Posted by Bloggers Across the Country Today that You Absolutely Should Not Read Under Any Circumstances - November 2, 2004
More Halloween Pictures - November 1, 2004
Correlation - October 31, 2004
Halloween Sequential Art - October 29, 2004
Pictures of Law Students Drinking Beer - October 28, 2004
An Open Letter to KNEW - October 27, 2004
Scrape - October 24, 2004
My 26th Birthday Party-Thing - October 23, 2004
Actually, It's Her - October 21, 2004
Just a Little Prick - October 12, 2004
We Must All Have Scary Cakes Forthwith - October 7, 2004
I Give Up - October 7, 2004
Photoshoppin' - October 4, 2004
Awful Indeed - September 27, 2004
Happenstances - September 25, 2004
Pepe's Second Halloween - September 25, 2004
Another Irrelevant Post About The Apprentice - September 24, 2004
Cat Sitting and Thanksgiving - September 22, 2004
Doodlebug - September 17, 2004
Thoughts on the September 16th Episode of The Apprentice - September 17, 2004
Records of Fidelity and Trustworthiness - September 15, 2004
Ted's In Love With A Robot - September 13, 2004
The Road to Hell - August 31, 2004
That's "Recta," Bob - August 24, 2004
Banal Fantasy - August 21, 2004
Searching for Some Disbelief That I Can Still Suspend - August 20, 2004
More Transfer Student Screwage - August 17, 2004
My Friend John Just Made Coffee for They Might Be Giants - August 16, 2004
And Now Appearing as Professor Farnsworth... - August 12, 2004
Neener Neener, I'm Sexy - August 11, 2004
IFTL: The Sitcom - August 10, 2004
Kingdom of Boring - August 8, 2004
Doctors 3, Lawyers 1 - August 4, 2004
Body Lovin' - August 3, 2004
Speak to Me, Meatball! - July 29, 2004
Ketchup - July 25, 2004
L.A. Law - July 18, 2004
Meet Your Federal Government - July 6, 2004
Stuff About Summer Associates - July 6, 2004
Endorsements - June 27, 2004
Not Quite Ironic - June 26, 2004
Never did no Republicanin' - June 23, 2004
Let's Protect Our Environment - June 20, 2004
Linkstorm - June 14, 2004
Yo! Semite! - June 13, 2004
The Village Idiot - June 6, 2004
Nerd World Collisions - May 29, 2004
Insert Obvious Yoo Pun Here - May 28, 2004
Business Cas Usual - May 25, 2004
Palm Springs - May 23, 2004
I'm Not the Only One - May 19, 2004
End - May 18, 2004
2999 Words - May 18, 2004
I Hate Belle and Sebastian - May 17, 2004
My New Favorite Crime - May 14, 2004
Unforgivable Laziness - May 11, 2004
Obligatory Finals Kvetching - May 11, 2004
A Shadowy Flight - May 6, 2004
N.A.A.C.Ho. - May 4, 2004
FEMA Prepares for 'Friends' Finale - May 4, 2004
No Baby Baby - May 3, 2004
I Scream - April 26, 2004
Busy monster eats dark holes in the spirit world - April 25, 2004
Living the Dream - April 21, 2004
Michael Powell Is An Idiot - April 20, 2004
A Message from the Dean - April 19, 2004
Envy - April 17, 2004
The Future - April 17, 2004
Oh, the Power! - April 13, 2004
Rankor - April 12, 2004
Water Law Poetry Contest - April 9, 2004
A Brief Free Speech Crisis - April 5, 2004
Can I Get A Witness? - March 31, 2004
Things I Have to Say to My Cats But Hope I Never Have to Say to My Children, Part I - March 30, 2004
A Brief Lesson in Comparative Geometry - March 29, 2004
Spring Broken - March 25, 2004
Outside Heart - March 23, 2004
Blogstorm - March 16, 2004
Two Legs Bad. Four Legs Delicious - March 16, 2004
Cat Dreams - March 6, 2004
Equal Time - March 4, 2004
Blackmundo - March 4, 2004
The Road Head Defense - March 3, 2004
Revenge of the Worst Lawyer in the History of the Future - March 1, 2004
Gay Marriage and the Procedural Constitution - February 29, 2004
Fake Jury Duty, Anyone? - February 26, 2004
Neer Neer Neer Neer - February 24, 2004
Double Felix - February 23, 2004
Hella Gay - February 18, 2004
Wooden Stakes and Felt-tipped Hearts - February 18, 2004
Matt vs. The Volcano - February 17, 2004
Zip Zap Rap - February 12, 2004
Entertainment and Culture - February 11, 2004
Dollars for Donuts - February 10, 2004
I Don't Want to Be a Supreme Court Justice - February 5, 2004
H is for Not - February 3, 2004
Super Neato Nerd - February 1, 2004
H is for Hot - January 28, 2004
Boring Stories About My Cats: Used Meat - January 27, 2004
I Don't Want to Be a Patent Lawyer - January 23, 2004
It Takes a Village - January 18, 2004
Shameless Plea for Help - January 16, 2004
California's 58 Counties - January 16, 2004
Cats - January 8, 2004
Wedding Thoughts - January 4, 2004
Selfish Thoughts - January 3, 2004
Photocopaiea - January 3, 2004
Greetings from Berlin - December 24, 2003
Bonus Cartoon Monday - December 15, 2003
New Dean for Boalt - December 14, 2003
Of Fools and Liars - December 10, 2003
Google Giggles - December 9, 2003
I Love Class Action Litigation - December 8, 2003
Virgina - December 7, 2003
Continuing the Theme - December 5, 2003
Worlds Saddest Sign - December 4, 2003
Hump - December 1, 2003
January - November 29, 2003
This One Ain't Too Good - November 25, 2003
Death Knell - November 25, 2003
In Case You Didn't Notice... - November 20, 2003
A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Auction - November 15, 2003
I Made This - November 12, 2003
Nobody Cares About the U.S. Treasury Department - November 10, 2003
Law One, TSW Zero - November 6, 2003
Creationist Monkeys* - November 3, 2003
It's Like Christmas, in the Kitchen - November 3, 2003
Factor This - October 30, 2003
John and Kobe Are Friends - October 27, 2003
Collateral Damage - October 19, 2003
Mid-Season Recruiting Update - October 13, 2003
The Unbearable Terribleness of It All - October 11, 2003
Mein Bart wird Sie essen. - October 9, 2003
An Open Letter to Gus Van Sant - October 6, 2003
Damn It, Damn It, Damn It All - September 29, 2003
Bonus Cartoon Monday - September 22, 2003
Infringement Theater - September 21, 2003
Fossil Webguy, I Hate You So - September 19, 2003
Down At Our Rendezvous - September 15, 2003
God Forgot to Wind It - September 12, 2003
Overture... Curtains Lights - September 9, 2003
Poll Vault - September 8, 2003
Two (Balls) Is a Crowd - September 5, 2003
This Time, Jewel, You've Gone Too Far - September 5, 2003
Welcome to Berkeley - August 30, 2003
Next Stop the Federal Judiciary - August 27, 2003
Boring Stories About Myself: An Urban Legend Gone Awry - August 26, 2003
Damn - August 25, 2003
Damnation - August 25, 2003
A Change of Venue - August 19, 2003
Comic Strippers 18, 19 & Epilogue - August 16, 2003
Comic Stripper 17: Deus Ex Vagina - August 14, 2003
Comic Strippers 15 & 16: I'm a Lazy Man - August 12, 2003
Comic Stripper 14: The Trinity - August 7, 2003
Comic Stripper 13: Tiko Tiko - August 4, 2003
Comic Stripper 12: Rope 2 - July 31, 2003
Ballz 2tha Wallz - July 31, 2003
Instant Cover Band Puff Piece - July 29, 2003
Comic Stripper 11: Rope - July 23, 2003
Triomphe Cruller - July 22, 2003
Comic Stripper 10: Something for Everyone - July 21, 2003
We're All Going to Jail - July 18, 2003
Comic Stripper 9: Pokey is Running - July 16, 2003
Newsflash - July 16, 2003
Top 5 Reasons I Shouldn't be a Pirate - July 16, 2003
Lies, I Tell You, Filthy, Wretched Lies - July 10, 2003
Comic Stripper 8: Ellen Pays the Rent - July 9, 2003
That's No Good - July 9, 2003
Plugs - July 8, 2003
Comic Stripper 7: A Most Unlikely Conspiracy - July 6, 2003
Pile of Gunk Found - July 3, 2003
Comic Stripper 6: Guess Who's Rubbing Her Crotch on Your Chest - July 2, 2003
Headin' on Back to Berkeley - July 2, 2003
Comic Stripper 5: Only Slightly Ass - June 30, 2003
Strom Thurmond's Last Words - June 27, 2003
Now THIS is a Landmark - June 26, 2003
Comic Stripper 4: Captain Exposition - June 26, 2003
Holohan For President - June 24, 2003
Comic Stripper 3: The Establishing Shots - June 23, 2003
Identifying Self-Destructive Behavior - June 23, 2003
Comic Stripper 2: Kidnapped! - June 19, 2003
Our Neighbors to the East - June 19, 2003
Comic Stripper - June 16, 2003
This Baby Doesn't Need a Title - June 15, 2003
All Right, That's It - June 13, 2003
YahooooAAAUUGHHH!!! - June 10, 2003
Thunderballz - June 9, 2003
Entertainment News - June 4, 2003
But You Can't Beat the View - June 2, 2003
100th Post Extravaganza - May 27, 2003
Dishonorable Mention - May 26, 2003
Update - May 24, 2003
Fijar´┐Ż el Carro de Rastus - May 22, 2003
Woman Food - May 14, 2003
It's a Clip-on - May 5, 2003
Carpathia's Revenge - May 4, 2003
More Shameful High School Photos - May 2, 2003
Mrs. Gunderson - April 29, 2003
Punked by the Daily Bruin - April 28, 2003
Contract Killing - April 28, 2003
It Becomes Increasingly Difficult to Escape My Past - April 25, 2003
Apparently It's Important to Keep Needles in Your House - April 24, 2003
Much Less than Zero - April 21, 2003
Boring Stories About Myself: Young Holohan Questions His Sexuality - April 15, 2003
Legally Blonde is a Fucking Lie - April 13, 2003
But Can You Eat PIE? - April 11, 2003
Boring Stories About Myself: King of the Nerds - April 10, 2003
Arr, Matey - April 9, 2003
This is Not a Comic Strip - April 7, 2003
Happy Birthday, Fruit Scone! - April 7, 2003
In Other News - April 3, 2003
And the Winner Is... - April 3, 2003
ONIONS! - April 1, 2003
Awwwww - March 31, 2003
It's a Snake! It's a Cat! Stop, it's on Fire! - March 28, 2003
Fog Day - March 24, 2003
Jokes for Kids and their Parents, Too - March 21, 2003
Oh, Scalia, Will You Ever Learn? - March 19, 2003
I Will Come Down There and Hang You All - March 18, 2003
Angels' Trumpets and Devils' Trombones - March 18, 2003
Popped Corn - March 17, 2003
Do Not Despair, My People. There is Hope - March 11, 2003
"Boy Howdy" Means "Yes" - March 10, 2003
Failure - March 7, 2003
Four Chords and the Truth, or How Not to Pick Up Asian Women at a Bar - March 7, 2003
I Am the Winner - March 5, 2003
More Boring Cat Stories - March 5, 2003
She's the Mom From Everybody Loves Raymond - March 2, 2003
RICO Suave - February 26, 2003
Affirmative Smacktion - February 24, 2003
IFTL Quiz: Spot the Drama Geek - February 20, 2003
Thank You, But I'm Afraid I'm Lactose Intolerant - February 20, 2003
Curse of the Afterborns - February 18, 2003
We May Not Care, But At Least We Listen - February 18, 2003
God Damn It - February 13, 2003
Watch the Buttons - February 10, 2003
We Are the Violent Masters of College Bowl - February 5, 2003
Think of the Wedding! Oh, Dear God, Won't Somebody Think of the Wedding??? - February 5, 2003
Moving Right Along - February 2, 2003
Disturbing Legal Fiction of the Day - January 30, 2003
Lieberation - January 28, 2003
Hopeless Bleak Despair - January 27, 2003
Digital Cable Goes Digital - January 20, 2003
Betrayal - January 14, 2003
I Banged a Supreme Court Justice - January 12, 2003
Which Types for the Plugs - January 8, 2003
Silenced Fury - January 6, 2003
Every Book Chuck Palahniuk Has Ever Written - January 5, 2003
I Am Gollum - December 25, 2002
Disney Sues No-Name Blogger - December 18, 2002
On the Subject of December 16th - December 16, 2002
Urinality - December 15, 2002
Opposite Day - December 13, 2002
Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat - December 12, 2002
More Horrendous Jokes - December 12, 2002
Dirty, Dirty Revenge - December 9, 2002
Yet Another Thing Starbucks Has Taken From Us - December 6, 2002
Four Guys Who Are Cooler Than I Am - December 5, 2002
I Am A Horrible Human Being - December 4, 2002
What a Fool I've Been! (or I'll Show You the Power... of Anger! Part 2) - December 2, 2002
I'll Show You the Power... of Anger! - December 2, 2002
Worst Lawyer in the History of the Future - December 1, 2002
Campbell's Soup is a Fool and a Liar - November 29, 2002
The Opposite of Convenience - November 26, 2002
Hair Up There - November 25, 2002
Five is Enough - November 22, 2002
Super Molestache Thursday! - November 21, 2002
I want controversy, God damn it - November 19, 2002
Toner Low - November 17, 2002
Mulholland Jive - November 16, 2002
Club Slamwich - November 11, 2002
The Gooey Decimal System - November 4, 2002
Then What Happened? - October 28, 2002
Now in Color! (Sort of) - October 21, 2002
Keep Your Friends Close... - October 14, 2002
Lacking Substance - September 30, 2002
Joke Day! - September 25, 2002
Boy Howdy - September 23, 2002
Cynicism Grab Bag! - September 18, 2002
It Could Happen to You - September 16, 2002
I'll Show You Who's the Real Fucking Cholo - September 10, 2002
The Lingering Stench of Failure - September 9, 2002
It is I who am Your Fire Dog - September 4, 2002
Da Spanish Bomb - September 2, 2002
Bonus Cartoon Thursday! - August 29, 2002
The Steaming Pile - August 28, 2002
Gum on the Table - August 26, 2002
It Begins - August 19, 2002
About This Here Blog - August 1, 2002

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