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[SCENE:  Onboard ISS Vengeance, inside Admiral Darth Venomous' quarters.  Lt. T-Bone McManx, ship's communications officer, has just entered & handed His Rudeness™ a data padd.

Venomous takes the padd, reads it, and hangs his head in grieving.  After a moment, he looks up.]

VENOMOUS:  Thank you, T-bone, that’ll be all.

T-BONE McMANX:  Aye, sir.  [McManx exits.]

[Venoumous slumps in his chair as if badly discouraged.  He remains that way for minutes, then straightens and reaches for the comm panel.]

VENOMOUS:  Venomous to Korrioth.

[A brief pause, then the general's booming voice crashes through the speaker.]


VENOMOUS:  Come to my quarters, please, General.

[One can almost hear the hesitation in Korrioth's response.  The last time the admiral requested Korrioth's presence in his cabin, it wasn't a pleasant thing.]

KORRIOTH:  On my way.

[Two minutes later, Korrioth is standing at attention in front of the admiral.]

KORRIOTH:  Reporting as ordered, m’lord.

[Venomous hands Korrioth the padd.  Korrioth begins to read.]

StarTrek.com is saddened to report the passing of Arlene Martel, who died on August 12 following a heart attack. The veteran television and film actress had a career that spanned parts of seven decades, dating back to the golden age of television, but she was arguably best known for her role as T’Pring in the “Amok Time” episode of Star Trek: The Original Series.

[Korrioth finishes and looks back at the admiral.  It is difficult to deal with the news of the death of his mother, even moreso in front of his superior officer.  Venomous breaks the silence.]

VENOMOUS:  Take whomever you need with you, my friend.  Our next mission can wait.

KORRIOTH:  Admiral, I…I would request the entire senior staff accompany me.  Including yourself, sir.

[Venomous ponders this a moment, then looks back up at his half-Vulcan, half-Klingon exec, saying nothing. He then reaches for the comm panel.]

VENOMOUS:  Venomous to bridge.  Mr. K’hadibak’h.

K’HADIBAK’H (through the speaker):  Bridge. K’hadibak’h.

VENOMOUS:  Set course for Vulcan, K’ha.  Maximun warp.

K’HADIBAK’H (through the speaker):  Aye, sir.

VENOMOUS (looking back at Korrioth):  It would be my honor, General.

[Cut to exterior view as ISS Vengeance  shoots into warp.]

The Realm™ offers its condolences to Arlene Martel’s family.


NFL coaching legend for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints, Bum Phillips, passed away Friday at age 90.

Prayers and condolences go out to his family, especially the six children including son Wade Phillips.

The rain and colder weather here at the Southern Command add a certain exclamation point to this sullen time. You will be missed Coach Phillips!


(The following is a column which appeared on my old web site, www.spatulacitybbs.com, on September 11th, 2001.  It is re-posted now in remembrance of then.)

NOTE: This column contains some coarse language. Back out now if such language offends you, please.

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >


You wouldn’t think the death of a character actress would get this kind of notice from Yours Truly™ – but then, this wasn’t your garden-variety character actress.

Karen Black, an actress whose roles in several signature films of the late 1960s and ’70s included a prostitute who shared an LSD trip with the bikers played by Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider” and a waitress unhappily devoted to the alienated musician played by Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces,” died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 74.

The cause was complications of cancer, her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, said. Ms. Black’s battle with ampullary cancer, a rare form similar to pancreatic cancer, became public in March when she and Mr. Eckelberry sought contributions on a fund-raising Web site to pay for an experimental treatment.

Ms. Black began her career as a stage ingénue but was never really the ingénue on the screen. A rangy, imperfect beauty — her eyes were set ever so slightly off-kilter — she spent the better part of a decade as one of the movies’ most vivid character actresses. At a time when the women’s movement was surging, she rarely played the self-liberating woman — as did, say, Ellen Burstyn or Jill Clayburgh — but she was often a brassy, attention-grabbing presence in films whose main characters were men.

I’m sure she was okay in those flicks – but my  memory of her was in the disaster flick Airport 1975 – a movie I saw between 25 – 30 times in the theater alone.

And near as I can recall, she was the first woman I ever looked at and thought, “Damn, she’s hawwwwt!!!!!”.  (For a pre-teen entering puberty, that’a a milestone event, y’know.    )

(And no, I’m not gonna talk about her in Five Easy Pieces, because I never saw that flick.  Jack Nicholson ain’t my cup o’ tea.)

Gonna miss you, Karen.  You were one of the good ones.


[SCENE:  Aboard the ISS Vengeance, in His Rudeness' quarters.  He is reading a padd that T-Bone McManx has just brought him.  He sighs, moves to his console comm and touches a button.]

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >


Guys, a lot of you probably aren’t gonna give a rip about this, but it means something to me, for reasons I will explain in a bit.

Radio personality Dave “Kidd” Kraddick, who most recently was heard on KISS 106.1 (KHKS) in Dallas, passed away about an hour or so ago earlier today (it was only confirmed a short while ago).  He was 53.

The staple of North Texas radio since 1984, he broadcast his nationally syndicated “Kidd Kraddick in the Morning” radio show from a studio at Las Colinas. It aired locally on KISS FM 106.1.


The cause of his death was not available.

In a bitterly ironic twist, Kraddick did a radio segment just last week on “what he would say to each member of the show in his final moments on earth” as a comedy bit.

“Have you ever thought about those last moments of your life?” he asked his radio crew. “Nobody wants a long, lingering illness; nobody wants just that; but it would be nice if you could have a day or two where you know it’s coming.”

He then spent several minutes saying goodbye to each member of his on-air staff.

“When I die, you have permission to take a bunch of creepy pictures of my body,” Kraddick said. “I want to thank all of you guys for being at my deathbed today. I’m going to miss you so much.”

During the mid-’80s, I was going through a great deal of problem & misery. I was separated (temporarily) from the Wife Of My Youth™ (i.e, my first one), and I was living in an efficiency apartment not too terribly far from where Realm™ Headquarters is now.  Money was tight, and it wasn’t even my furniture in the apartment, but rather the complex’s.

Kidd was the evening guy at KEGL 97.1, back when it was pretty much Top 40 prior to becoming hard-assed metal, and he was a nightly listen.  I mean Monday through Friday, every damned night.  Later, he became a daily listen over at the aforementined KHKS, before it became all-sickening-crap, all the time.

I haven’t listened to him in many, many years, but I won’t forget that he helped get me though a lot of nights when I could have gone stir-crazy.

Rest in peace, Kidd.  You are already missed, and I mean that most sincerely.


The annual Memorial Day post is below the fold, as opposed to posting the link to the article in the Backyard™.

Also check out Denizen & fellow blogger Alan K. Henderson’s Memorial Day post here.

If you’re a veteran – either of a war long past or of one more recently waged – know that I and about 300,000,000 Americans are eternally in your debt.  Mere words cannot express the degree of gratitude which we possess for what you have done – and are now doing – for us here at home.  Therefore, two words alone will have to suffice:

Thank you.

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >


The Realm™ is in mourning today as we learn of the passing of the Iron Lady.  Former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is dead at the age of 87.

She was a trailblazer who at first believed trailblazing impossible: Thatcher told the Liverpool Daily Post in 1974 that she did not think a woman would serve as party leader or prime minister during her lifetime.

But once in power, she never showed an ounce of doubt.

Thatcher could be intimidating to those working for her:

British diplomats sighed with relief on her first official visit to Washington D.C. as prime minister to find that she was relaxed enough to enjoy a glass of whiskey and a half-glass of wine during an embassy lunch, according to official documents.

Like her close friend and political ally Ronald Reagan, Thatcher seemed motivated by an unshakable belief that free markets would build a better country than reliance on a strong, central government. Another thing she shared with the American president: a tendency to reduce problems to their basics, choose a path, and follow it to the end, no matter what the opposition.

She formed a deep attachment to the man she called “Ronnie” — some spoke of it as a schoolgirl crush. Still, she would not back down when she disagreed with him on important matters, even though the United States was the richer and vastly stronger partner in the so-called “special relationship.”

You had a special relationship with the American people too, Maggie.  We miss you terribly already.

Godspeed, Lady Thatcher.


(Yeah, this is pretty much going to become an annual thing, just like the rest of the annual things.)

To be continued…


This came from the keyboard of the lovely & gracious Mrs. M of the Rott.  It’s worth your time to read it, because I said so.

It’s been a couple of days since that horrible shooting in Connecticut. As per usual, when something of this nature takes place, there are screams of outrage about what the killer chose to use to commit his horrible crime. Lets blame the guns.

When are people going to suck it up and start looking at why the shooter decided to do what he did, and what brought him to that point in the first place? Does it really matter what he used? How about we as a society start doing some soul searching as to how we are raising our children to become killers? Of course that’s not pretty or comfortable, so instead we want to blame inanimate objects for our crimes. What are we doing now, that wasn’t being done 30-40 years ago, when this sort of thing was unheard of. What are we not doing now, that was done 30-40 years ago when we didn’t have to look over our shoulders at everyone, wondering if they were planning to kill. Could it be that our “enlightened” way of being, our grand experiment of “if it feels good do it” way of life, and our total disrespect for each other and the sanctity of life is a total failure and blowing up in our faces??

We allow Hollywood and the media to bombard us with sexual images, violence and a complete disrespect for privacy and life in general. We allow the Government to dictate to us how our children should be raised and educated. When parents are faced with a behavior they don’t want to deal with, we allow the children to be placed on behavior altering (and in many cases mind altering) drugs without any thought as to the consequences. We’ve allowed our children to be exposed to some of the most horrid circumstances imaginable. We no longer blink when a 14 year old becomes pregnant. It’s just routine. We don’t think that children being born to a woman with multiple children with multiple fathers (most all of whom are completely absent from the children’s lives) is wrong. Children are being left to their own devices, forced to make it on their own, and we wonder why so many end up in gangs, on drugs, and turning violent. Even the kids who are living in “normal” homes are left to figure things out on their own. Parents think discipline is bad. They are under the impression that children will learn right from wrong on their own. They would rather hand the kids an Ipod, Ipad, a Wii, computer and a wifi connection and they don’t have to bother being parents. Just let the electronics and Youtube teach our children how to grow up. Self respect and respect for others is just old fashioned. We can’t mention the word Morals, because *gasp* that’s a “Religious” thing.

When did respect for life, respect for one’s self, respect for other people, knowing right from wrong, and obeying parents and the law become strictly a “Religious thing”??? And we wonder why kids are so screwed up?

Children are being sexualized and exploited from the moment they are born (when we even allow them to be born in the first place) and we seem to believe they are mentally and emotionally capable of handling it. We no longer want to protect our children’s innocence. That requires parents to actually be the adults and make the effort to know, see, and observe all our children are being exposed to. Parents are being led to believe that they have no responsibilities in raising their children. Let the Government, the schools and the media do that for them. Yeah Hollywood and Washington have a wonderful track record of turning out fine, upstanding, moral, responsible people right??

Children used to look up to people like Neal Armstrong and Charles Lindbergh, Jacques Cousteau, Alan Shepard, John Wayne. Those were the people our kids wanted to emulate. Now…

Well now it’s Honey Boo Boo, Kim Kardashian, Snookie, Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, and Jay-Z who are the “heroes”…and we think that’s progress???

So go ahead and blame guns. That will make you feel so much better than having to admit that Society itself has to bear much more of the blame.

Amen & amen.


It’s a sad beginning, Denizens, to this episode of the Perfect Football Weekend™, as we bid a tearful farewell to the greatest UTexas coach of all time.  Darrell K. Royal was 88.

Royal, 88, died Wednesday in Austin but left behind legions of admirers from both sides of the Red River and across the country. At the height of his coaching career, Royal ranked “right up there with the Alamo” in terms of Texas icons, said Dan Jenkins, a renowned author and sportswriter from Fort Worth who serves as the official historian of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.

Jenkins, a TCU graduate, covered Royal’s teams for both the Fort Worth Press and Sports Illustrated. He watched Royal fashion a 167-47-5 record in 20 seasons with the Longhorns (1957-76), claiming national championships in 1963, 1969 and 1970.

“If you did a Mount Rushmore with the faces of college football people from Texas, Darrell would be on there,” Jenkins said. “[SMU's] Doak Walker would be one. [TCU's] Sam Baugh would be one. The fourth person, you could take your choice. But those three are inarguable.”

He will be sorely missed.

Now to the football.  At the moment, my Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets actually made a game of it before falling late to Granbury, 27-31.  Expect excuse-for-a-head-coach Todd Whitten to be reassigned in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow evening, Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs will host second-ranked Kansas State at Amon Carter in Fort Worth.  The purple team will win.

Tomorrow afternoon, Bob Stoops’ 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners get to feast on Baylor’s cubbies at Norman.  Artie Briles is finding out that life isn’t all that good without overrated hypemeister ARRRRRR GEEEEEEEE THREEEEEEEE!!!!!1!!ELEVENTY!!!1!!!, and OU should be no exception.  Baylor can carve up the Sooner defense, but the reverse is more than true, and Vegas likes OU at home by 21½.

A PFW by Executive Fiat™ is on the line tomorrow as the Penn State Pussies visit Lincoln to face Bo Pelini’s 16th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.  The Huskers are a 9-point favorite at Memorial, and I like them to cover.

Bucky travels to Hoosierville tomorrow to run roughshod over Indiana U.  The Badgers are a seven-point favorite on the road – and, even as bad as they’ve been this year, they should cover this.

In the FCS (aka Division I-AA), Turner Gill’s Liberty Flames will face Big South leader Stony Brook.  I’m putting a SpatulaLine of 30 on this one – Stony Brook’s 9-1, and will probably do to Liberty what fiddy-million shitheads did to liberty on Tuesday – namely, rip it to shreds.

Sunday, El Choko & the Cowgirlz go for three in a row – losses, that is – as they travel to Pussydelphia to take on the Beagles.  Phucky’s offensive line has been just that – offensive – recently, letting the Saints at one point last week sack Mikey “Woof!” Vick three straight times.

Of course, any woes the Beagles have been undergoing recently will all be cured when Rob Ryan’s Folly™ comes to town.  I’m calling Phucky in a squash.

We’re back Monday (I hope) for the recap.  In the meantime, my question for HDD this week is…would you rather have Bucky’s O-line, or the Beagles’?


(The following is a column which appeared on my old web site, www.spatulacitybbs.com, on September 11th, 2001.  It is re-posted now in remembrance of then.)

NOTE: This column contains some coarse language. Back out now if such language offends you, please.

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >


Wish I could’ve gotten to this yesterday, but there just wasn’t time.

25 years ago yesterday, the great Ronaldus Magnus (a little Rush lingo, there) gave the greatest speech of the 20th century.  (Yes, greater than FDR”S “Fear Itself”, and greater than JFK’s “Ask Not”.)

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

The last real President this country has had to date.

God rest your soul, President Reagan.  Thank you, sir.


The annual Memorial Day post is below the fold, as opposed to posting the link to the article in the Backyard™.

Also check out Denizen & fellow blogger Alan K. Henderson’s Memorial Day post here.

If you’re a veteran – either of a war long past or of one more recently waged – know that I and about 300,000,000 Americans are eternally in your debt.  Mere words cannot express the degree of gratitude which we possess for what you have done – and are now doing – for us here at home.  Therefore, two words alone will have to suffice:

Thank you.

Aw, come on! Is that all you got?! >


Over the years, a number of my friends have taken time on Memorial day to thank my wife and me for our military service. We always respond with thanks of our own, but the truth is, this day is not about remembering those who have served and are still with us. This day is about remembering those who took the oath to protect and defend the our Nation’s Constitution, and lost their lives in that service.

I ask that today you remember in your prayers the families and friends of those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguards, and Peace Officers who gave their lives that we might remain free. I also ask that you continue to pray for the safety of those who remain in harms way.


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