Vote YES on Question 3 and Stop Casinos

It should be a simple question to answer.

You’re a casino company wanting to build a casino in Springfield. You’re claiming that it will massively help the city’s economy. A citizen asks, “Can you give me an example of a city such as Springfield that has enjoyed long-term financial success thanks to a casino?”

Casinos are a huge business. They’re everywhere. They’ve been everywhere for years now. Surely there are success stories to tout. And yet, you ask this question, and you get silence. There are no examples.

In fact, we have examples of the opposite. Delaware is bailing out its casinos to the tune of $8 million. The Trump Taj Mahal is asking for more tax breaks in order to keep itself afloat. The Springfield Republican, which supports the casino, regularly reports on plunging revenue at the nearby Connecticut casinos, seemingly unaware that there might be a point to be made there. Casinos are already struggling in the current economic climate, and somehow more casinos are going to solve the problem?

MGM has pumped millions of dollars into trying to get a casino built here. It’ll work, too. Despite efforts, the recall vote is almost certainly doomed, and shoo-in Republican Governor-elect Charlie Baker pledges to make a Springfield casino happen even if the recall somehow passes. The people of Springfield are so desperate that they’re willing to believe these pie-in-the-sky promises of jobs and revitalization and frankly, they have to, because no one else has any other proposals. I’ll vote against this damn casino and then have to hope it can somehow spin straw into gold because otherwise we’ve got nothing. The only plan anyone has is an entertainment complex that doesn’t produce anything useful and adds nothing to the surrounding community. But you’d think that with all that effort made in selling the magic beans they could come up with just one example of a beanstalk. Just one. And they can’t. And shouldn’t that be the one thing a buyer should want to hear?

Posted in Politics | Tagged

I Had That! #37: UFO Candy

A short entry this week because there isn’t much to say about this, but I wanted to include it anyway.

A bike ride up to the Time Saver usually meant buying Star Wars cards (or other movie trading cards). But sometimes you wanted something different, or they were sold out of whatever cards you wanted, and you substituted. One such substitute was UFO Candy.

One did not buy UFO Candy for the candy, which were the usual generic Sweet Tarts type stuff. You bought it because once you got the candy out of there you had a cool plastic UFO. The candy came out of a “hatch” on the bottom and the clear plastic lid could be had in a variety of colors. Once empty, the silver portion of the lid could allegedly be “flown” but that was a non-stop flight to disappointment. More interesting were the “UFO facts” printed on the underside of the label, giving extremely brief but tantalizing UFO cases.

There were only a few of these cases and you didn’t know in advance which one you were going to get. It seemed to me that every one I got involved a UFO that sounded like a big bird. I can’t even find what case this is referring to because a Google search for “big bird” and “ufo” results in cases of people seeing actually unusually large birds.

When did I get it? The very little I can find about this candy has it coming out in 1978, which seems about right.

Do I still have it? I’m really surprised I didn’t hang on to at least one of the plastic saucers but nope, not a one.

Posted in Food And Drink | Tagged ,

Mulder and Scully

Delicious is having API problems, so the weekly Delicious posts continue to be an issue.

Instead, here’s a photo of Becky and I at a Halloween party last night, dressed as Mulder and Scully!

Posted in Images | Tagged ,

My Halloween Jams

This Is My Jam is a silly little website where you can declare a song your jam of the moment. You follow other people, see their jams, and can hear some neat music that way. It’s a fun little time-waster.

For Halloween I have been doing a series of spookyish jams. I tried to do a new one each weekday but that didn’t work out. Here’s the full list of my October jams:

Oct 1: Started out with “Far From Any Road” by The Handsome Family, a/k/a the theme to True Detective. A perfect start.

Oct 2: The obvious Shriekback track would be “Nemesis”, but I went for “Running on the Rocks” instead. It’s the Sanskrit that makes it taste so good.

Oct 3: A deliberate zig-zag, I chose “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy. A bit of 70s weirdness that spooked me as a kid.

The next week was a theme week. All songs from the 80s with creepy-ass videos.

Oct 6: The obligatory “Icehouse” by Icehouse.

Oct 7: “Draw of the Cards” by Kim Carnes.

Oct 8: “Ashes to Ashes” by David Bowie.

Oct 9: “Pressure” by Billy Joel.

Oct 10: “Why Me” by Planet P. This is one of those songs that only people who watched MTV at the beginning know, and they won’t remember it right away, but then they’ll go OH YEAH, THAT ONE.

Oct 13: Still in the 80s, it’s “Fly on the Windscreen” by Depeche Mode.

Oct 14: Then we jump back for a witchity song by Cher, “Dark Lady”.

Oct 15: Shivaree’s “Goodnight Moon” is probably the scariest song ever sung by someone named Ambrosia Parsley.

Oct 16: Bauhaus has a lot of go-to tracks, but I figured those were well covered by now, so I went with one that isn’t quite all skulls and draculas but still had that feel to it, “She’s In Parties”. Look at the baby Bauhauses!

Oct 17: And then you put Bauhaus through the mimeograph machine a few times and get “Waspy” by The Bolshoi.

Oct 20: We started watching Twin Peaks then and the next choice was a must. “Falling” by Julee Cruise.

Oct 21: This song still creeps me the hell out. “Mad Lucas” by The Breeders.

Oct 22: Sinead O’Connor sings us a ghost story with “Jackie”.

Oct 23: Sonic Youth does “Superstar”, a spectacularly creepy cover of a spectacularly creepy song.

Oct 27: I returned for the final week ready to hit the lighter side of Halloween. Here’s a video that cracks me up every single time. A mash-up of “Spooky Scary Skeletons” and “Gangnam Style”.

Oct 28: Rockapella invites you to a “Zombie Jamboree”.

Oct 29: New Orleans New Wave legends The Cold cover the theme to “Green Slime”.

Oct 30: Gorillaz tell us about “Dracula”.

And what could finish out this menacing melange of macabre music? I saved only the scariest for last, a song of true terror about the most foul fiend imaginable.

Oct 31: “Richard Nixon” by Christmas.

Now you must make someone else watch that video within seven days or you will become a Republican.



Posted in Music | Tagged ,


This past weekend when I was all hopped down on Benadryl, I had a dream that I was back in Illinois, playing Champions, the super-hero role-playing game, with Chris and Christine. My character was THE LIVING LIGHTHOUSE and it was a full-sized lighthouse on top of a sort of gorilla body. The lighthouse beam was a sort of heat ray and it also had a foghorn sonic attack.

That, my friends, is a million-dollar character.

When I awoke, I knew what I had to do. First, I contacted Christine. I don’t have my Champions books anymore, so I went to her and Chris to help turn this into a playable Champions character. They’re working on that. Then I went to pal Dave H and commissioned a sketch from him.

So I present to you THE character find of 2014, THE LIVING LIGHTHOUSE.


I haven’t figured out his origin or other details yet. Once I do, I’ll share more.

If you want to send me your fan art of The Living Lighthouse, I’d love to see it!

Posted in Comics | Tagged

Wretched Hives of Scum and Allergy

Remember last year, when I got that bizarre allergy attack? It started with red spots around my eyes, and the next day my face was swollen and my whole body itched.

Welp, it happened again.

Honestly, it never completely went away. The swelling and hives eventually settled down, but I was still taking Zyrtec about once a week for random itching. Then on Thursday I noticed spots around the eyes and Friday morning, yep, all swole up. Including my lip (and possibly throat) this time.

this is all I eat now

On Saturday I went to the Qwik Klinik and they prescribed me my weight in Benadryl and some Prednisone. My experience with the latter has been second-hand; it helped my dad have tea with the Queen and notice lobsters on the hospital ceiling. I was kind of looking forward to it (it also makes people surly but in my case, how would you tell?)

After a harrowing Saturday night I started the Prednisone on Sunday morning and it was a sea change. The swelling calmed down, the itching was more controllable, and I even felt good enough to go play boardgames Sunday afternoon. I didn’t experience any untoward side effects, either. SHUT UP LOBSTER I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU GOD DAMMIT.

I’m on this regiment for six days and then we’ll see where we are. When I talked to the allergist last time he didn’t think it was food related, and I’m inclined to agree. My diet is pretty consistent, so if I was that allergic to something I’d be getting reactions more often. I think the fact that I got hit twice at just about the same time of the year points to a possible environment trigger, like some kind of mold or something.

A friend pointed me towards an allergist in Northampton who specializes in environmental allergies so I’m going to try and set up an appointment there. I sure hope it’s not something that would prevent me from being able to rake leaves, though!

Posted in Argh! | Tagged ,

I Had That! #36: Star Wars Lunchbox

(Your correspondent is under the weather, so for today’s “I Had That”, I’m reposting a blog post from a few years ago.)

Heading out to school in the fall of 1977, I of course wanted a Star Wars lunchbox. I guess there weren’t any yet or something, so my dad helped me make my own. I mentioned it in an earlier post and someone asked about it. Not only can I tell you about it, I can show you pics, since I still have it.

Here are the two main sides (I don’t know what you’d consider the “front” and “back”.)

I believe it was originally a “Dyno-Mutt” lunchbox. First we spray-painted it blue. When that dried, I went to town with pictures I’d cut out of magazines and Star Wars trading cards. We then sprayed it with a clear lacquer, which I think is the only reason it’s still in somewhat good shape.

Pretty sure the movie poster pic was actually a full-page ad from Reader’s Digest. The two cards on that side were two of my favorites, and I wanted that Han Solo one on there so much, I used a “blue” one. I guess that was the only extra one I had? (In those cards, sometimes the picture had a weird blue tint all over it when I suppose something went wrong during printing.)

Here are the two sides:

Judging from how well the R2-D2 pic is cut out, I am assuming I didn’t do it.

Here’s the bottom:

In this picture you can see the dents on the R2-D2 side from when it was taken from me by other kids and kicked around the playground.

And the top:

Yes, I hand-painted the little star and planet on there. And you see what I did with that trading card? STAR WARS IS NUMBER ONE!

So there’s my Star Wars lunchbox from oh, thirty-four years ago. When I die, I will be cremated and it will be used to store my ashes.

When did I get it? All of the trading cards are from the first (blue) set, so this is definitely 1977.

Do I still have it? I do!

Posted in Geek Stuff | Tagged ,

What Delicious Week?

I’m not sure why the script that creates This Delicious Week isn’t working, but I’m not really in a place to figure it out right now.

Posted in Delicious