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Things I've Found 48 (Ah Dino! Dino! We Hardly Knew Ye; I Can't Wait for the Re-Election Campaign to Begin!)—6/6/2005

by Mark Rose

Hokay, Mr. American Citizen! Think you're hot stuff? Do you think you could pass an American citizenship test? Take this online version to find out: http://www.herald-sun.com/votebook/citizenship/citstart.html

What The ...? We've been hearing for years that we're killing off species at an unprecedented rate. Then all of a sudden, we find that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is still alive, and now there's a new species of monkey in Africa: http://www.wcs.org/353624/mangabeypressrelease. In fact, it's the third new monkey species discovered in the last six months. You don’t suppose pollution increases new species development, do you?

Well, if you’re worried about pollution, how about taking up Electric Bicycles? My wife rides an electric bike and can’t stop talking about it. And heck, now she’s got me talking about it. Here’s a link to the UBC Electric Bike Club. Why? Because they made a Homemade Segway, a self-balancing electric skateboard. Bizarre. http://www.ebikes.ca/Projects/Emanual/Index.html.

Very cool collection of odd signs from around the world. Worth a look: http://www.swanksigns.org/gallery2.asp?PagePosition=1

If you're going to look at stupid signs, you might as well view The World’s Largest Elongated Coin Store. http://www.pressedpenny.com/rainforest.html. Check out their elongated NASCAR coins. Ah yes, those old machines found at roadside attractions and amusement parks that would destroy Federal property if only you paid them to do it. Haven’t seen one of them in a long time. A lost distraction.

Real Postal Art – Artist Kyle Van Horn mailed a disposable camera across the country, asking postal service employees to take a picture and then pass it along. Remember that whole "going postal" craze that seems to have evaporated? It looks like the Post Office is a pretty fun place to work: http://verba.chromogenic.net/archives/2005/01/cameramail.html

Language is Not Necessary: If you have the Japanese language pack installed in your browser (and you can read Japanese – two qualifications that might limit at least my audience), then this might make sense to you. But it doesn’t need to. It is a perfect art blog for us foolish Anglo-speaking gumps who just like fantastic pictures of Japanese monsters and other popular culturish things. Calming. http://pulog1.exblog.jp/

Frustrated with how foreign countries constantly work to bring down our own country? Well, that’s their right. Just as it’s our right to Buy American. This site tells you how to do just that: http://howtobuyamerican.com/bamw/index.shtml. Whether or not you care about the political statements behind this, at least check out this way cool site: http://www.carllectibles.com/. These guys make ceramic (ceramic!) replicas of cars in 1/16 scale. Check out the engine detail. Truly remarkable and beautiful.

And finally, speaking of wild rods and the good old days of internal combustion, Drag Cartoons magazine, CARtoons, and all the other insane comic books about cars that used to reside in the dingier stockpiles of seedy newsagents. Pete Millar was one of the finest humorous automotive illustrators ever and it was sad to hear of his passing. If you want to laffyerasphalt, and still groove on great car illos, check here: http://laffyerasphalt.com/

Our Long Washington Nightmare Is Over: We (er...Chelan County Judge John Bridges) has finally announced a winner in the Washington State Gubernatorial Contest. It's Christine Gregoire, who managed to win 1 (1!) out of the 3 vote counts that we held and it only took 8 months after the actual election. She also managed to survive a spirited court case coming out with 4 more votes (!!) than she went in with: her lead increased from 129 to 131. And while the Judge literally reamed a new one for the unbelievably incompetent King County Elections Board, in the end, he had to uphold the election. Why? Well, because our state has lawmakers who are dumber than your used toilet paper. Harsh? We had anywhere from 800 to 1600 illegal votes cast in this election. While the number is debated, the fact that the votes were illegal is not debated. Unfortunately, our state law indicates that you can't call it an illegal vote unless you can prove that the person who voted, voted for the person who lost. Since ballots are secret (remember that whole democracy thing?), you can NEVER EVER prove that. Thus, no challenge of any Washington State election will ever hold water. Ergo, illegal votes are now legal, as long as they get counted before people notice. Let the chaos begin.

And on that note, we bid a fond adieu, saying “May God Bless,” “Keep thinking the good thoughts,” “That’s the way it was” and any other clichéd farewell signoff lines you can think of. Perhaps it will be the start of a beautiful relationship.