Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Died Tuesday of a heart attack at his home.

He discovered lysergic acid diethylamide.

From the Los Angels Times' obit:
On Friday afternoon, April 16, 1943, Hofmann had just completed synthesizing a new batch when, he subsequently wrote his supervisor, "I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with slight dizziness.

"At home, I lay down and sank into a not-unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours, this condition faded away."

Hofmann suspected that the state had been caused by something in the lab. In an interview on his 100th birthday, he said, "I didn't know what caused it, but I knew that it was important." ...

The following Monday, he took what he considered to be an extremely small dose of LSD, so small that a similar dose of even the most powerful toxin known at the time would have had little or no effect. He had planned to gradually increase the dosage, but instead was surprised to encounter the first bad acid trip.

Feeling bad, he asked his laboratory assistant to accompany him home on his bicycle, no cars being available because of wartime restrictions. During the trip, "I had the feeling that I could not move from the spot. I was cycling, cycling, but the time seemed to stand still." ...

Hofmann thought he was dying and sent for a doctor, but the physician could find nothing wrong.

After about six hours, the experience began to change into a pleasant one. "After some time, with my eyes closed, I began to enjoy this wonderful play of colors and forms, which it really was a pleasure to observe. Then I went to sleep and the next day I was fine. I felt quite fresh, like a newborn."
I knew that it was important. Marvelous.

Monday, April 28, 2008


The New York Post has the list. Here you go:
1 THE SOPRANOS (1999-2007, HBO)

2 ALL IN THE FAMILY (1971-79, CBS)

3 THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW (1986-present, syndication)

4 AMERICAN IDOL (2002- present, FOX)

5 THE WEST WING (1999-2006, NBC)


7 DALLAS (1978-91, CBS)

8 24 (2001- present, FOX)

9 TWIN PEAKS (1990-91, ABC)

10 SESAME STREET (1969-present, PBS)


12 60 MINUTES (1968-present, CBS)


14 I LOVE LUCY (1951-57, CBS)

15 LAW & ORDER (1990-present, NBC)



18 THE SIMPSONS (1989-present, FOX)

19 SEX AND THE CITY (1998-2004, HBO)

20 ER (1994-present, NBC)


22 MIAMI VICE (1984-89, NBC)

23 SEINFELD (1990-98, NBC)

24 GUNSMOKE (1955-75, CBS)



27 STAR TREK (1966-1969, NBC)

28 THE X-FILES (1993-2002, Fox)


30 SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1975-present, NBC)

31 JEOPARDY! (1964-75; 1978-79; 1984-present, NBC and syndication)

32 MOONLIGHTING (1985-89, ABC)


34 THE COSBY SHOW (1984-92, NBC)

35 GENERAL HOSPITAL (1963-present, ABC)
Obvious MIA shows: South Park, The Price is Right, WKRP, Twilight Zone, M*A*S*H. And what's with Idol in the Top 5? And Seinfeld below Miami Vice? Yikes.


The News-Leader icon -- or is he a legend? -- has resigned. Here's the letter sent to staff:
Steve Koehler, who has been a reporter and editor at the News-Leader for the past 24 years, resigned today.

His last day will be Thursday, May 15.

Koehler joined the News-Leader in 1984 after working 10 years at newspapers in Illinois. During his time here, he has contributed in a range of ways: news editor, sports editor, sports columnist, news columnist, and reporter on the neighbors and features staffs. Higher education has been his beat for the past six years.

Koehler, who strings for the AP, will continue to do freelance work (including, hopefully, for us). He is currently weighing other job opportunities.

Plans for a proper send-off will be announced in the coming week or so. And the search for his replacement will get underway quickly.
Good for Koehler.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Reading opinion letters in the local paper can be a dangerous mission. Sometimes the missives are so hilarious that one suspects they were created by spoofbots cranked to the "ridiculous" setting. This would be much better than the reality -- that living, breathing people actually harbor such thoughts.

A Saturday letter from Edith Kaiser, an associate professor of Bible at Global University in Springfield, claims -- without much logic -- that "the Earth is not billions of years old." Kaiser tees off on writer Bill Fuenfhausen for invoking science to stand up for evolution:
You talked about the evidence from various scientific fields. Where and what are they? Did you know that scientists came up with the age of the Earth based on tests done on meteorites? They tested them four ways and came up with four different answers and just arbitrarily took one number! If my students came up with four answers to a question, I would mark it incorrect! Also if the fact that the magnetic force around the Earth is deteriorating is figured in the equation, the mathematical equation is changed and the dating is in thousands and not billions! In fact, modern scientific investigation is challenging all carbon dating methods.
Such blatant dishonesty by an alleged academic would be funny, if Kaiser wasn't filling minds with her nonsense. One can only hope her students wake up, realize their instructor is duping them, and do some outside reading. Maybe then they'll see that Kaiser's exclamation points only prove she'd rather shout than think.

Sunday, Nancy Harmon of Springfield opined that moving to the city was a huge mistake:
My husband and I moved here from South Dakota a little over two years ago. What a mistake! Missouri has higher taxes, higher insurance and higher utilities. South Dakota also has no state income tax or personal property tax. We traded in a car this year also and had to pay 7 percent tax on the difference here in Missouri rather than 3 percent on the difference in South Dakota.
A shame that Harmon and her husband apparently did no research about state-by-state taxation before moving from South Dakota. No shame the Harmons will soon be leaving the Ozarks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


It's what a blog is supposed to be -- insight into the way someone thinks.

Zip thataway, bookmark Happiness, Anyway and be glad you did. We did, we did, we are.


Two women in Federal Way, Wash., say a ghost has raped them. Yes, we know.

As KOMO reports:
[T]he two women told officers a paranormal person has been placing sensors on their bodies and having intercourse with them at their apartment ...

One of the women said the assault began when she lived in Kent and followed them to Federal Way. The second woman said her encounters began recently.

The maintenance man in charge of the apartment complex said the women keep calling him saying the ghosts are raping them on weekend nights. He finally told them to call police.
And now he has the foundation for the world's best Penthouse Forum letter.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Some things you can explain away, as the still-living Mick Jones and unfortunately dead Joe Strummer once wrote. A 22-year-old woman probably doesn't know who Barney Fife is because she was born 18 years after The Andy Griffith Show ended (and those last three seasons had the sucky color episodes with a scant six cameos from Barney, so they barely count).

But that's pop culture -- handy to have in a game of trivia, worthless in The Big Scheme of Things. The 22-year-old couldn't care less that the nicotine patch was patented the year she was born. All that matters is that it exists now for her fag-addicted parents.

But that same woman almost certainly knows who Abraham Lincoln was. She knows that the Statue of Liberty is in New York; that George Washington was the nation's first president; that JFK was shot by a bunch of crazies led by Tommy Lee Jones in a bad wig. Back and to the left.

That stuff is history, the umbrella of facts protecting us from hailstones of ignorance, each the size of a Yankee pot roast. Get thwacked with enough of them and society disintegrates to a mush that looks suspiciously like rutabaga floating in the roast's greasy excretions.

We're already partway there, close to being overcooked in our own juices. And for once it's not tabloidism feeding the fire under the pot; this time it's political zeal.

Barack Obama's followers -- and that's what many of them are -- see his campaign for what they want it to be. Even though they're not political virgins they want to be deflowered by a sweet-talking man who says it might hurt, but only for a minute, and then everything's going to be different, you'll see. No more politics as usual.

They think it's the first time that something like a contested primary has every happened, and goddamn that Hillary Clinton for getting in the way of Change. Bitch. She can't clinch the nomination so she should drop out. And who cares if he can't win the nomination, either. It's all her fault.

They want this experience to be neat and tidy and not too taxing. They want a political coronation, not a convention, and their bowels are in an uproar because they're choosing to ignore history. Politics is football played with knives and the occasional smuggled handgun. Even the saint from Chicago knows the bloody backstory.

His followers doesn't want a convention fight because, on some level, they know their Leader will be seen by all for what he already is -- a politician full of hubris and mostly false platitudes who happens to give one helluva speech. Everyone already knows that's what Clinton is, minus the speech thing. Better the general public finds this out about Obama before the fall campaign.

If Dems are lucky this year's convention will be more 1952 than 1968. A contested contest and plenty of drunken courtesans. Maybe a knife wound or two, but no fatal gunfire. Scars heal, and the winner will face John McCain, a crazy pirate with plenty of his own scars, seen and unseen. The Democratic nominee should be equally battle-hardened. A Gonzo tattoo would be a nice touch.

For now, Democrats need to be democratic and let this slasher-flick of a primary season play its course. Let it go to the convention in August. Democrats who want to short-circuit the season say it's unnecessary roughness. Tell it to Michael Myers and his fellow travelers. It's past time to remember that this is politics, nobody's a virgin, and your candidate is probably going to be sodomized. Enjoy the show.

In the touchingly dark film No Country for Old Men, an older, wiser lawman chastises the sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones for overworrying about the violence of the current world:
What you got ain't nothin new. This country is hard on people. Hard and crazy. Got the devil in it yet folks never seem to hold it to account. ... You can't stop what's comin'. Ain't all waitin' on you. That's vanity.
Up till now the Clinton-Obama battle has been relatively bloodless. The timid want it to stop. If they will just get out of the way, captive bolt pistols will be brandished and real mayhem can begin.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


For those of you so inclined, grab an Icee and enjoy the holiday. For those not so inclined, there is always the beer bong. Luck to you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Give it to elephants -- the mammals in the Proboscidea order, not the Republican logo. Their legendary memories may be so much bilge water, but some of them can paint, and they certainly seem to have a better recall of history than many humans, especially the far-left bipedals who claim to be liberal.

Currently awash in its crush on Sen. Barack Obama, the left wing of the Democratic Party seems happy to piss away any chance at regaining the White House in November.

Liberal Dems are acting as if Obama is beyond politics and able to create his own reality -- one unmarred by his lightweight bowling skills and wispy credentials. In doing so they sound like the "senior adviser" (read: Karl Rove) to President Bush, who told writer Ron Suskind in 2004 that reality is highly overrated:
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors .. and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
In that vein, many liberals are ignoring Obama's political flaws and focusing instead on a laughable argument -- that Clinton hasn't been vetted by the national media.

Delusions. Mad delusions. So foolish to be touching, almost. But they're uttered by some of the same liberals who blissed out in the 1990s, content with peace and prosperity, and disgusted by the non-stop media vetting of the family in the White House.

Today their minds are turgid with Obama lust, with no room for history. For them there is no need to remember the 1972 election, when outsider George McGovern claimed grassroots support to defeat the establishment Democrats and seize the nomination. McGovern went on to lose 49 states. The Democratic Party seems hellbent on ignoring its past, both good and bad. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Selah.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Delightful colleague Michelle Sherwood gives new meaning to the phrase "back butt" on her blog, as she discusses a new project involving KSPR.

The Buff Brides blog can be found here. Worth a looksee. And don't forget the back butt, baby.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Sexual Eruption
Snoop Dogg

For You
Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife
Glen Campbell

I Will Possess Your Heart
Death Cab For Cutie

Always Be
Jimmy Eat World

Supernatural Superserious

Friday I'm In Love
The Cure

Living For The City
Stevie Wonder

Remember: You can't keep safe what wants to break.


Every now and then you run across someone or something that affirms your faith in the lowest common denominator.

Witness the latest example -- this enlightened motorist and his/her collection of bumper stickers. The only thing missing is an I slam, you slam, we all slam for Islam sticker.


Steve Gregory Walther of Michigan couldn't reunite with his ex-wife, so he killed himself. It happens.

The 41-year-old Walther, however, went hardcore. He put a chain saw to his head.

According to the Crawford County Avalanche:
Crawford County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a home in the Indian Glens of the AuSable subdivision in South Branch Township, at 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, for a domestic assault in progress.

The woman in the home called the police when Walther, who she was granted a divorce from on March 17, came to retrieve some of the personal property he was awarded in the divorce agreement. ...

After talking to his ex-wife about reconciling their relationship, Walther became upset and threatened to hurt her and himself with a knife he had taken from a drawer, police said.

The woman called 911, then fled the home with her dog, seeking help from a neighbor.

Sgt. Randy Baerlocher, from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, was patrolling in the area and arrived at the home at 12:37 p.m.

When he arrived, Baerlocher found Walther collapsed in the driveway with a self-inflicted wound to the head. Baerlocher said that Walther retrieved a chain saw from a shed and cut himself in the head. He was still alive and responded to Baerlocher's questions.
Soon after he died, leaving behind an obit for history. And a chainsaw.


The great editor and mentor Lou Ziegler used to tell us that Bob Dylan was the greatest American poet of his lifetime. Being much younger and wiser, we thought Zig was goofy.

In the three years and three months since his death, Ziegler's words about Dylan have rolled around in our head. He knew we would grow up and listen.

Tuesday, Dylan was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for his "lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."

If you're not yet into Dylan, read his poetry.

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must ...


Twenty years ago today we were in Louisiana, covering the downfall of Assemblies of God preacher Jimmy Swaggart.

Fourteen years ago today we left work in a haze of depression and spent the afternoon on a purple leather couch with Wing and Henry, watching MTV's coverage of Kurt Cobain's death.

We felt old and wise then. Any similar feelings now are blunted by the knowledge that we were so wrong then, at least when it came to being wise.

Hello. How low?

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Moses. Thorn. Neville. And George Taylor. Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

The actor died Saturday. According to a statement from the family:
"To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support. Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. Indeed, he committed himself to every role with passion, and pursued every cause with unmatched enthusiasm and integrity.

We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved.

No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, "I have lived such a wonderful life! I've lived enough for two people."
A mad house, but his place in it was memorable.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Climbing over a chain-link fence, he didn't take into account the added weight of a dozen 40-ounce beers in his backpack. Straps on the pack get tangled around his neck. Lights out.

According to The Associated Press:
Police in Vancouver, Wash., say 51-year-old James Francis Henry had been drinking beer Tuesday night while walking with his girlfriend, 38-year-old Kelli Jo Barkley. They were returning to their homeless encampment from their roadside panhandling site.

Barkley says he fell while trying to scale a 6-foot chain link fence, got his neck caught in the chest strap of his backpack and said, "Help me! Help me!"

By the time she got a nearby resident to call 911 and emergency crews arrived, Henry was unconscious and could not be revived.
And you thought four 40s were killer.