Welcome to the Realm™ - Version 5.0...
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Well, Denizens, it’s bowl season, and that means that as a lead-in for this week’s Perfect Football Weekend™ – I got nothin’.

About the only thing really going on in football right now is that…well, here’s the backstory.  Back in May, there was a lawsuit filed in federal court against the NFL that claimed that…

the league illegally supplied them with risky narcotics and other painkillers that numbed their injuries for games and led to medical complications down the road.

The lawsuit alleges that the league obtained and administered the drugs without prescriptions and without warning players of their potential side effects, to speed the return of injured players to the field and maximize profits. Players claim that they were never told about broken legs and ankles and instead were fed pills to mask the pain. One says that instead of surgery, he was given anti-inflammatories and skipped practices so he could play in money-making games. And others say that after years of free pills from the NFL, they retired from the league addicted to the painkillers.

Well, I can’t find the link on it, but I was listening to the Ben Ferguson Show on WBAP yesterday on the way to work, and according to Fergie, a judge dismissed the suit.

(shrug) Meh.

Okay, let’s get to it.  Bowl season starts…

MERLIN:  Ahem.

VENOMOUS:  Yes, Wizard?

MERLIN:  The Core Teams™…?

Well, there’s only one – Cincinnati hosts Denver Monday night, and Peyton’s gonna torch the Bengal secondary, and Andy’s probably not gonna look too good against John Fox’s defense; thus, so much for the PFW.

So for the wildcard games, we’re doing Nevada over Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl (always take the Mountain West team against any Sun Belt team), Utah State over UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl (ditto for the MWC over Conference USA), 22nd-ranked Utah over Colorado State in the Lost Wages Las Vegas Bowl (the Utes always used to dominate the Rams in the MWC; no reason they shouldn’t continue to), Air Force to run roughshod over Western MIchigan in the Potato Bowl (Western Michigan?  Really?) and BigamY U. to cream Memphis Monday night in the Miami Beach Bowl.  (The Miami Beach Bowl???  Really???)

We’re back Tuesday or so with the recap.  In the meantime…Vicar, have you ever thought about using football tie-ins in your sermons? 

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All hands on deck.

MERLIN:  Ready, m’liege.

OZY McCOOL:  Engineering reports full power to engines, Admiral.

KORRIOTH:  We’re not going anywhere, Ozy.

OZY McCOOL:  The Admiral demands operational readiness at all times, General.

KORRIOTH:  Point.

K’HADIBAK’H:  Tactical ready, m’lord.

RAYEGUN:  Southern Command ready as requested, y’old geezer.

THE GENERALETTE (smacking Rayegun, Gibbs-style):  You be nice.

RAYEGUN:  Yes, dear.

T-BONE McMANX:  Communications ready, sir.

THE SPATULAGODDESS:  Didn’t we do something like this a couple of years ago, hon?

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  HON?!?!?!  (waves iron skillet around menacingly)

VENOMOUS:  Put a cork in it, babe.  She’s entitled.

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  And why am I not the SpatulaGoddess?!?!?!

VENOMOUS:  Because you’re Mrs. Venomous, and you don’t look like Eva Longoria.

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet):  GRRRRRRRR!!!

VENOMOUS:  Shut it, woman.  I have a post to write.

MRS. VENOMOUS (dejected, with cast-iron skillet):  Yes, honey.

VENOMOUS:  I’ll make it up to you, sweetheart…say, with Rafain’s?

MRS. VENOMOUS (with cast-iron skillet & ears perked up):  Ooooooh!!!

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

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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.]

KORRIOTHnuqneH?

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.

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DIS chu’ botIvjaj!

qaStaHvIS DISvam, reH qaDmeylIj DacharghmeH yapjaj HoSlIj, ‘ej not nIHoSmoHtaHbogh qaDmey DaHutlhjaj.

(May you all enjoy the new year!

During this year, may you always be strong enough to overcome your challenges, and may you never lack for challenges to keep you strong.)

Qapla’!

KORRIOTH:  And with a tolerable accent, too.  You honor us, Admiral.

VENOMOUS:  I try.

Happy New Year, Denizens.

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[SCENE:  On the near-powerless bridge of ISS VengeanceAdmiral Darth Venomous and General Korrioth are overseeing a minor refit of the communications module.  Chief Engineer Ozymandias McCool carries a solid-state console module in his arms, awaiting instruction from Venomous.]

VENOMOUS:  Anytime you’re ready, McCool.

OZY McCOOL:  Aye, sir.

[McCool slides the module into the empty slot.  Power comes to life on the bridge - for about two seconds.

Massive sparkage flies from the just-installed module, sending all three diving for cover.  (Well, Korrioth & McCool, anyway.  Venomous merely turns away with a disgusted look on his face.)

Venomous turns & glares at McCool.]

OZY McCOOL (looking very  nervous at the moment):  As I suspected, m’lord.  Major flaw in the J2 circuit.

VENOMOUS:  Fine.  And in whose head is Kor going to sink his bat’leth this  time?

OZY McCOOL:  Personally, I’d start with the union writers.  They’ve got all manner of plot devices up their sleeves, and they’ve had it in for you ever since you beheaded Allan.

KORRIOTH:  Point.

VENOMOUS (chuckling):  Mheh.  That’s what I like about you guys – no foolin’ around, cut to the chase.  Okay, Kor, see to it.

KORRIOTH:  (grunt)

Okay, we’re officially back online here, and all it cost me was my primary keyboard.  Fry’s will be furnishing me a replacement shortly.

In the meantime, we’ll catch up on the Perfect Football Weekend™ beginning tonight – Heights will play its annual one-and-done playoff game this evening, and I’ve some thoughts on Incognito-Juanita Martin (and no – that’s not a typo.)

Oh…and anyone who even dares breathe  the number “51″ dies.  You have been warned.

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Denizens, this week’s episode of the Perfect Football Weekend begins with that unconvicted criminal, Ray Lewis (RET-Baltimore Ravens), whining & sniveling about the Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

(As you may remember, the lights went out during the third quarter for about half an hours; upon restoration, the San Transexual Fairy-Whiners staged a comeback.)

The Baltimore Ravens led by 22 when the lights went out in the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII. Ray Lewis is convinced that bizarre occurrence was far from a coincidence.

On the Ravens’ “America’s Game” documentary, Lewis hinted without much subtlety that the power outage may have been a ploy to help the 49ers regroup.

“I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing — because I don’t know facts,” Lewis said, according to USA Today. “But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way.

“You cannot tell me somebody wasn’t sitting there and when they say, ‘The Ravens [are] about to blow them out. Man, we better do something.’ … That’s a huge shift in any game, in all seriousness. And as you see how huge it was because it let them right back in the game.”

Well, for saying you’re “not gonna accuse nobody of nothing” – you seem to be accusing someone – you just don’t know whom.

As for this “can’t tell me” bullshit – son, you cannot tell me  you weren’t involved in a double murder down around Atlanta 13 years ago.

Can you?

Let’s get on with the football.  It’s the 91st edition of the old Arlington Heights-Paschal rivalry tonight Saturday night (damn you, Intelligence —Venomous) at Farrington Field in Fort Worth, and I’m gonna go out on a limb and call for a Yellow Jacket victory, given that the Panthers have been generally atrocious the last few years.

If I’m wrong, expect me to be the first one to call for Phillip Young’s head.

Also Saturday, Gary Patterson’s 24th-ranked Texas Christian Horned Frogs have their home opener (last week notwithstanding) against Division I-AA Southeast Lousiana.  Vegas has the Froggies as a 42½-point home favorite, and Gary – if he wants even a sniff at the national championship – best cover and then some.

In addition, Turner Gill’s Liberty Flames have their home opener against Monmouth (Miles Austin’s alma mater).  We may not even need a SpatulaLine here, as Monmouth doesn’t look like their very good.

UPDATE:  Great Honkin’ Cthulhu, what the hell was I on when I was spelling half this stuff?

And if you’re ready for some football, it’ll be Gary Kubiak’s Houston Texans heading westward for some Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers.  The Texans are a 4½-point road favorite, which generally means a field goal decides it.

We’ll see.

We’re back Tuesday for the recap.  In the meantime…

MERLIN:  Uh, m’liege?

VENOMOUS:  Yes, Wizard?

MERLIN:  What about the Cowgirlz?

VENOMOUS:  They’re not in the PFW this year, remember?

MERLIN:  Ah.

VENOMOUS:  But if it’ll make you happy, they’re at home Sunday night against the NY Football Douchebags, which means they’ll lose.

MERLIN:  As you wish, m’lord.

See you Tuesday.

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[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?! >

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The long-awaited Perfect Football Weekend™ overview…

K’HADIBAK’H:  “Long-awaited”, m’liege?

VENOMOUS:  By me, K’ha.

K’HADIBAK’H:  Ah.

…will appear in this space sometime next week.

Stay tuned.

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As previously mentioned here, the Generalette and myself will commence our annual summer leave/respite/sabbatical/vacation starting at exactly 1700 hours. I leave the Southern Command HQ in the capable hands of Number One.

NUMBER ONE: Thank you sir!

SG RAYEGUN: You know the procedure Number One, just follow it to the letter and I’m confident I will have an office to come back to that will be in one piece. Keep SCG-1 on alert status and I want HALO ONE fueled and fully armed at all times. Understood?

NUMBER ONE: Yessir!!

SG RAYEGUN: Also, make sure the surveillance team watches out for the Excelsior II Vengeance. That damn ship seems to drop out of hyperspace at all the inconvenient times, especially when the Klingon is driving!

NUMBER ONE: Understood sir.

SG RAYEGUN: Dismissed™

And with that I shall do this:

{LURK MODE ENGAGED}

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[SCENE:  Deep inside that sector of the Fifth Intergalatic Realm™ known as the Southern Command.  Slow pan to a point about 140 degrees from the opening shot.

We then see a spatial displacement come into view.  The translucent shimmer becomes the faint outlines of an image, which then coalesces into an oversized, seemingly-upside-down Klingon Bird-of-Prey.

Cut to:  the bridge of the recently repaired ISS Pegasus, which has just decloaked someplace it was not previously known to be.]

VENOMOUS:  And that’s a problem, Narrator?

KORRIOTH:  Well, we usually file a flight plan with someone, y’know.

VENOMOUS:  Look, Bumpy, when I go on vacation, I don’t give a shit if anyone  know where I’m gonna be…

K’HADIBAK’H:  Uh, guys…

KORRIOTH:  …you know, so a certain Black Helicopter Fleet™ isn’t tempted to engage in…

[At that very moment, the bridge is rocked violently, back & forth.  Cut to previous external view, and the Bird-of-Prey is now surrounded by what seems to be four Husnock warships, each taking turns firing on Pegasus.

Cut back to Pegasus'  bridge.]

KORRIOTH:  …target practice.

K’HADIBAK’H:  Four warships, Admiral.  IDs… [Kha double-checks his board] …it’s the Black Helicopter Fleet™, sir.

T-BONE McMANX:  Admiral, we’re being hailed.

VENOMOUS (with a very  annoyed look on his face):  (sigh) On screen.

[On the viewscreen, space is replaced by a very familiar image.]

VENOMOUS:  Supreme General Rayegun.

RAYEGUN:  What did I tell you about coming through the Southern Command™ without proper permittage-ery?

VENOMOUS:  And what did I tell you about the Southern Command™ being part of my  Realm™?

[The Supreme General of the Realm™ renders what could only be described as a smart-assed smirk.]

RAYEGUN:  Damned straight, Narrator.

VENOMOUS:  I do  hope you’re enjoying your new toys, General.  Figures you’d hog ‘em all and not share…

RAYEGUN:  Funny you should mention that…

[Cut to external view.  Yet another spatial displacement shimmers & coalesces into a fifth Husnock battlecruiser.

Cut back to Pegasus'  viewscreen.

RAYEGUN:  Meet your new flagship, Admiral - ISS Vengeance.

[It's a Realm™ first:  Admiral Darth Venomous...is speechless.]

RAYEGUN:  What did I tell you, Korrioth?

KORRIOTH:  Five hundred credits on their way, General.

VENOMOUS:  Wait.  You had a bet  on this…?

[Rayegun & Korrioth look away & adopt feral grins as we fade to black...]

IN THE SOUTHERN COMMAND – She had been christened Excelsior II.

That was before I got it out on Texas State Highway 130.  (For the Uninitiated™, that’s the Austin-to-San Antonio toll road, where the speed limits run up to 85.  Not that anyone ever observes them…heh…heh…heh…)

This car makes the original Excelsior  feel like driving my old Cavalier.

Damn.  Just, damn

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[SCENE:  Deep space.  His Rudeness, Lord Darth Venomous is on his way back from a (ahem) personal errand...]

VENOMOUS:  I don’t think I like the tone of your “voice”, Narrator.

[And just what were you doing out of pocket for so long, (sarc) my liege????? (/sarc) (As if we didn't...gakkkkk...akkkkk)]

VENOMOUS:  Comprehension & cognizant thinking aren’t your strong suits, are they, dickweed?  (looks offstage, as the Narrator drops to the floor with a very  hollow sound)  Awright, Understudy, your turn.

[...from a personal errand, and is traveling in his personal courier, the Scorpion-class Excelsior.

A blinking console light catches the Admiral's attention.  He opens a channel.]

VENOMOUSExcelsior, Venomous.

KORRIOTH (over speaker):  Korriorh, Admiral.  Stellar cartography update for you, sir.

VENOMOUS:  Very good, Kor, shoot it through.

[He touches a few more switches and opens a separate channel to receive the download.  After five minutes, the download completes and the software channel closes.

At that very moment, everything goes dark as Excelsior  loses power & drops out of warp.

Lord Venomous sits there, non-plussed.]

VENOMOUS:  No, Narrator, just wondering what to do when I get back.

[Get back, m'lord?]

VENOMOUS:  Whether to Force-choke the p’tahk, or use my lightsaber to cut out one of his hearts.

Ever had an Ubuntu kernel update hose your system, Denizens?

That’s three days I’ll never get back.

Sigh.

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[SCENE:  Realm™ spacedock.  Previously ready to resume her travels, ISS Pegasus  floats, adrift (save for the artificial moorings securing her), mostly powerless.

Cut to the bridge, where General Korrioth busies himself attempting to fix the latest computer crash.  In walks engineer Ozymandias McCool with padd in hand.]

KORRIOTH:  Ah, there you are, McCool.  Report, please.

[McCool is rather taken aback - he's not used to this cordiality from the Klingon-Vulcan hybrid - but does an admirable job of recovery.]

OZY McCOOL:  Not the best news, General.  Probably another week or so to bring the main core online.  Has anyone notified the Admiral yet?

KORRIOTH (grinning wolfishly):  Oh, he knows, Commander.  He knows…

[Cut to SCENE:  Inside the Facebook energy ribbon from the original "Death" series.  From an empty view, two humans, a Klingon, a Romulan and several Bynars & Jawas crash to the floor, lifeless.

Pan the camera to a hooded figure, both arms outstreched, both hands making a Force-choke gesture.

The figure slowly moves his hands to his hood and removes it, revealing Lord Darth Venomous, whose agitated countenance includes a pair of dazzlingly bright purple eyes.]

VENOMOUS:  Does anybody else  want to try and say it’s not their fault?!?!?!

Okay, guys, the Big Box™ is down again – and yes, it’s because the 2TB (that’s “terabyte” to you in the Church of the SubTarded™) has crashed once again.

PFW benediction on hold until further notice – but be advised that I’m invoking Executive Fiat™ one last time.  (For details, just look below the banner.)

ThatIsAll™.

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[SCENE:  Deep space.  Pegasus  is burning.

Cut to interior view, where crew members are hurrying into what passes for escape pods.  Cut to the ship's cramped excuse-for-a-cargo bay, where His Rudeness' personal courier, Excelsior...just blew up, narrowly missing Lord Venomous and General Korrioth.]

VENOMOUS:  So help me Cthulhu, Narrator, your union boss best get his ass to running…!

[What, you think this is my  fault?  I didn't write this crappy screenplay!]

VENOMOUS:  Like I’m supposed to take your word for it?  After what your predecessor pulled?

[You have my word, m'liege - I'm not responsible for this  one, promise.]

VENOMOUS:  Fine, then – into an escape pod with you.

KORRIOTH:  I don’t suppose you’ve got a separating bridge module up your sleeve, do you, m’lord?

VENOMOUS (grinning maniacally):  As luck would have it…mheh.  C’mon.

Denizens, this time both machines blew up at very nearly the same time.  Word to the wise:  if you have an older Core 2 or AMD64, don’t  upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit.  It no likee.

The PFW recap will be delayed another day or so while I clean things up around here.

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KORRIOTH:  M’liege, a moment, if I may…?

VENOMOUS:  Certainly, Captain.  What’s on your mind?

KORRIOTH:  You maintain that the current countdown has eight days remaining, is that not so?

VENOMOUS:  That’s right, Kor.  So?

KORRIOTH:  Far be it from me to question your reasoning, Admiral, but…

[His Rudeness™ slowly raises one eyebrow]

VENOMOUS:  This better be good, Bumpy.

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

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[SCENE:  Realm™ command.  Delta Shift is positively bored, and technicians Holland and Craft are so bored, they're playing two-dimensional chess.]

HOLLAND:  So d’ya think we’ll ever get out of Rayegun’s doghouse?

CRAFT:  Not unless His Rudeness or Cap’n Korrioth give the word.  And given that they’re in the Umagakhali Nebula at the moment, we’re prob’ly stuck here a while…

[Pan past Craft's shoulder to a monitor showing nothing but deep space...until...

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

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This blog is best viewed with your eyes. 
It helps, though, if you have Microsoft Internet Explorer  set about 1024x768 1280x1024 with your Favorites window activated on the left deactivated.  (At least until I can get a better handle on how WordPress works.)

(KORRIOTH:  Oh, great.  More wormholes.)

Mozilla Firefox doesn't do too badly, either; in fact, it's His Rudeness' browser of choice.
You can  use Nutscrape,  if you so desire - but why in blazes would you want to use a browser from a company that had to hide behind Janet El Reño's skirt to be successful?

And don't even  get me started on Opera or Chrome.  I'm not about  to trust any browser that won't let me change its color scheme.
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