Industrial Strength Braino

NOTE: Ignore the email address in the column graphic to the left. MY email address is thesavorytench@yahoo.com . Don't ask me why. I think it has something to do with fish, or maybe the drummer for the group that did that 'Damn The Torpedoes' album I like so much, but honestly, a man's mind is a forest at night.

April 15, 2004 (Thursday)

Just so people know (not that anyone cares, I t'ot I posted a new blog page early yesterday afternoon. In fact, I did, I did, I DID post a new blog page early yesterday afternoon, and in a foolish frenzy of self satisfaction, I then closed out my word processing window without backing up a copy.

And, somehow, the Internet devoured that new blog page, leaving naught.

So, late last night, having gotten an SOS email from one of Doc's regular readers in response to me telling her I'd posted a new blog page and her not finding it, I sat down, fuming and snorting with frustration, and recreated this damned thing from scratch.

The things I do for you people.

Hopefully, you're reading this. If not, then THIS new blog page has gone off to be devoured by the Thousand Headed Goat of N'Cheythulkah, or some such damned thing, and I just give up.

Sweet release

Okay, first, here’s an email Doc forwarded to me…

Hi, Mr. Madigan,

Glad you liked your cover! The official release date of your book is 6-13-04 (although it will be available sooner than that).

Your book will be sent to our printers next Monday. From there, it generally takes between 3-6 weeks for the first copies to print, then you will receive your author copies. Your book will post on the PublishAmerica site soon after it goes to the printers. Pre-release letters will be sent, and your book can be pre-ordered for delivery as soon as they are printed. PublishAmerica provides a cover picture and other pertinent information to the online stores, such as B&N and Amazon. These online stores often have a backlog, so it will be several weeks before you will see your book posted on these sites.

Any further questions you may have, please direct to our author support team at support@publishamerica.com.

It was a pleasure working with you!

Michelle Bragg
Cover Designer
Publish America

See, if she was working with me, at some point in the correspondence, she would have written the word ‘boob’, I would written back ‘um, okay, whatever’, and PublishAmerica would have cancelled my contract and sued me for sexual harassment.

Ah, I’m bitter, bitter. But let’s all do a little Snoopy dance for Doc.

Hard won wisdom

Now, as to this whole sexual harassment thing at work, I do want to say that I’ve learned a valuable lesson from it, and that lesson is:

I am a god.


I am bulletproof, invincible, invulnerable. As the only white man in the history of corporate American who has ever successfully survived a complaint of sexual harassment being brought against me by multiple female accusers, I feel it is safe to say that I may now act with utter impunity in the work place.

Obviously, my actions have no consequences. I can do whatever the hell I want… scream “BOOBIE!” at the top of my lungs, stare down blouses and fondle buttocks without let or hindrance, invite members of management to buhhhh-LOW me while making obscene pumping gestures in my lap, ANYthing. When my good looking female team leader is scolding me about my lousy schedule adherence, I can fix her with a leer and casually remark, “You know, I can think of much better things you can do with that mouth”. When amazing latina hottie Inez from the Total Access Team wanders by me clad in blue jeans that she obviously put on that morning with a spraycan, I can yip like a poodle and lick my eyebrows. When gorgeous blonde Noelle bends over at the water fountain right next to my cubie in a blouse cut so low its hemlines are somewhere in New Zealand, I can put a dollar bill in my teeth and growl “How much for a lap dance, BAY-bee?” I am immune to all repercussion. I cannot be touched.

Yeah, yeah, that’s so not true.

The sad reality is, I barely dodged a bullet.

Actually, if some woman at Pridemark is showing a little nipple through her blouse and my gaze lingers one picosecond overlong and someone notices, I will not only be immediately fired, but first I will be scotch taped into my desk chair, wheeled out into the parking lot, and beaten vehemently about the head and upper torso with a heavy hardcover volume of MEN ARE ALL SCUM, WOMEN ARE PERFECT WONDERFUL ANGELS, by I. Havnodick, Ph.D.

But I like the first scenario better.

Okay. I had this whole thing here where I went into a little more detail as to the denouement of the whole sad, sick, utterly deranged situation, but honestly, there seems little point. I will say this (or repeat this, since I’ve already typed it once)… looking back in retrospect, I’m pretty sure that when Brad dragged me into his office on Monday and nearly threw that pad and paper at me, he was fairly well convinced that I was some evil sexual predator and it was His Manly Duty to string me up by my giblets, thus protecting all the poor vulnerable sweet young thangs at Pridemark from my disgusting evil perverted and no doubt spittle soaked and enthusiastically grope heavy onslaughts. By the time he’d heard and read my statement regarding the situation, however, he seemed to be having some doubts… in fact, he seemed to be realizing something that you, I, or even a seriously inebriated claymation reindeer would have grasped almost immediately were we in Brad’s situation, namely, that when someone or someone(s) comes forward to complain about things that they overheard in what was obviously thought to be a private conversation between a man and a woman, neither of whom have come forward to complain about said conversation themselves, well, there probably isn’t really much there.

I mean, if I had been sexually harassing Julia, wouldn’t she have come to Brad with it herself? Harassment is always subjective; if an individual doesn’t mind being told they have a nice ass, there is no harassment. Given the subjective nature, shouldn’t, you know, the subject of the harassment have to make a complaint, for the complaint to have merit?p>

Of course, this is all surmise and I could have it wrong. I’m basing my assumption that Julia didn’t even know about the complaint until Brad must have interviewed her after I gave him her name on the fact that ten minutes before Brad came and dragged me off the floor by the earlobe, Julia had come up to me and been very pleasant to me, and I don’t think she’s the sort who would be that two faced. I could be wrong, but, on the other hand, Brad did completely reverse himself on Tuesday and reinstate me, and the only reason I can see for him doing that would be that he interviewed Julia himself and she backed up my account.

Anyway, interestingly enough, Julia has not been seen around the floor since this occurred. Julia did put in her two weeks notice… that was what she’d come up to tell me right before I got pinched… and her sudden absence, right after she must have been interviewed about all this by Brad, is, well, thought provoking. It’s always tough to read just how much of what happens in the world has to do with what’s happening to me, of course… her sudden absence over the last two days could be completely unrelated. But, on the other hand, maybe Brad just figured, if she’s leaving anyway, and really doesn’t want to work out her last two weeks at Pridemark (hardly anybody would), well, why not simplify things, avoid her and I putting our heads together on the floor and maybe making a scene, and just let her go?

However, one more interesting tidbit… on Saturday last, Julia came into work sobbing and crying, and another girl, whom I have never seen show much interest in J ulia before, immediately went up to her, all big eyed and concerned, to ask what was wrong. That seemed odd to me because, well, it’s a small and cliqueish call center and I know most of the patterns that people there tend to congregate in socially, and this one girl, Roberta, had never had much to do with Julia before. They each had their own little cliques that didn’t intersect much.

Now Roberta, once, long ago, went up one side of me and down the other after I complimented her on a blouse she was wearing (I know the rules: you do not compliment women in the work place, ever, on their physical features. That Is Not Safe. The only exception is hair; if a woman has changed her hair color or style, you can mention it without risking a sexual harassment charge. But no other physical feature is safe these days, not even her eyes. If you’re going to compliment a woman, you compliment her clothing.). I had complimented her clothing several times prior to that and always gotten gracious thank yous; we had been cubicle neighbors for quite some time. However, on this particular date, she launched into a nearly hysterical tirade about how she knew what I was really saying and thinking when I said things like that, and it was disgusting, I was her father’s age, and I was a pervert, and it was just nasty and gave her the creeps, and she didn’t want me looking at her like that any more, or talking to her like that, or thinking those things, it just freaked her out.

Now, I’ve never known why Roberta didn’t mind me complimenting her prior to that date, and then suddenly went off on me. Perhaps she didn’t know my age (I’m told I don’t look 42, although I can’t tell). Perhaps something else happened to set her off. However, I will say this… Roberta had never had much to do with Julia prior to Saturday, when Julia came in crying and Roberta seemed very, very concerned. My conversation with Julia was the previous Wednesday. Roberta sits on the other side of the partition that gave Julia and I visual privacy but not auditory privacy. And Julia and I, thinking we were speaking privately, were kinda flirty (hey, Julia is totally hot).

Put that together with Roberta being very nearly psychotic on the subject of men my age dating women her age, and Roberta suddenly being concerned when Julia shows up bawling her eyes out and going out of her way to find out what the matter is, and, well, I can easily envision a scenario in which Roberta overhears a conversation that she finds utterly disgusting, decides it’s time to get rid of me, deliberately distorts the conversation in her complaint against me to make me look as bad as possible… and then suddenly is forced to worry that somehow or other her plan has backfired and she’s gotten Julia in trouble… and who knows, may be in trouble herself for what she’s done.

I won’t ever know for sure… Brad hasn’t even really confirmed that the incident is, in fact, the conversation with Julia, although he did unbend enough to warn me that I should be careful where I had conversations of that nature from now on.

One good thing, minor though it is: the incident won’t be in my file, but will rather be in another, locked drawer that only gets accessed when complaints are made, to see if similar complaints have been made in the past. So if I’m up for a performance review, this complaint won’t come to light. However, I was not fully exonerated; I was punished for having an inappropriate conversation in the work place. Further, I’ve been warned, if anything like this happens again, I’m just gone. So it’s tricky… they didn’t get me for sexual harassment, because, well, if they had, there’s a zero tolerance policy and I’d be a hole in the air at Pridemark. Neither are they actually coming out and saying I didn’t do it. Instead, they are officially punishing me for a lesser charge with a written reprimand that won’t be public… but if I ever get involved in anything like this again, it will be used against me.

Yes, I work in a snakepit. And badly need a new job. If anyone has one, let me know; I’m not exactly married to living in St. Carmichael.

The times they are a’changin’

One further note I should make: we recently put in new shift bids. This happens a lot; Pridemark is always changing things around, so they’re always telling us to put in new shift bids. Then they toss the new shift bids out and put people wherever the hell they want to put them, in terms of both time and space.

(I, myself, have had to shift cubicles four times in the past three weeks as various different teams have formed, dissolved, and reformed on the floor; one of the disadvantages of an afternoon/evening shift is that your cubicle is empty when the morning people come on, and if one of them has to move because their computer isn’t working, they will poach the empty cubies, especially if they’re well located near the break room, like my two previous ones were. However, I have learned the secret of not being displaced by annoying bitches who simply don’t care that your stuff is all over your cubicle and it’s a pain to move, namely, take a cubicle way in the back that no one wants.

Anyway, we put in new shift bids, and amazingly enough, these shift bids were effective, so starting Monday, I am working 1:30 to midnight Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday off. I then work 10 to 6:30 Saturday. Since we can’t work 10 hours on Saturday (Pridemark isn’t open ten hours on Saturday, it’s only open nine hours, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) I’ll lose two hours a week. An APM graciously told me I could come in on one of my days off and work the other two hours, but I think I’ll just lose the two hours, thanks very much.

The ten hour shifts will drag, but I wanted them; it’s worth it to have two days off in a row (and three days off, total). Naturally, I requested ten hour shifts with Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, but so did everyone else, and the Saturday time off went to reps with much better goal acquisition than I have. However, I did get considerably more than half a loaf, so that’s fine, for now.

Oh, good ol’ Hound Dog informed me that in order for me to get my coveted job as an online correspondent, I have to first transfer to the Business Section, because that’s all that our online correspondents do… handle email from business customers. And in order to transfer to Biz (which sucks, it’s all hierarchies, which are the worst kind of accounts to deal with), I have to get my sales up, and, well, sure, that’s easy to do, I just turn a little dial and bingo, my sales are up.

Pridemark has also recently had its stats requirements changed. Our client has a telecommunications package I will call Total Access Service, for the good and simple reason that it’s actually called something else entirely and I’d rather not get fired, thanks. Our client has always pushed sales of this package hard, but now TAS is all the client is interested in. Therefore, regular long distance percentages have been reduced from 18% to 3% (this means, if I take 100 calls, I need to have 3 ld sales, where before I would have needed 18) while TAS sales percentages are now 5%. All of this is reflective of the fact that Pridemark’s client is no longer really focusing on, nor does it want to be bothered with, people who simply use them for long distance. They want the whole pie.

Ironically, though, the TAS rep team is being pulled out of the Pridemark call center. See, a couple of months ago, a special elite team of TAS reps was created. Only the best universal ld reps were recruited for the team, and those that were asked to be on the team were kinda snooty about it. Everyone wanted it, because if you were on the TAS team, you only had to get 5% sales, and TAS service was supposed to be easier than universal service.

I didn’t get asked to be a TAS rep, because while my customer service stats are fantastic, my sales stats suck and my average call time isn’t good, either, because I tend to stay on the phone longer than Pridemark wants me to helping my customers. (This is contradictory. One of the big stats we get graded on constantly is average call time, which is supposed to be short, but we also get smacked around on resolution, which is measured by whether or not a particular phone number that has called in to the center once calls in again within 90 days. We are supposed to give our customers full resolution in one call so they do not call in again for at least 90 days, and they can and do track that and it’s very important. Well, the goal for average talk time is 387 seconds… around six and a half minutes… and sometimes you just can’t give a customer complete resolution in six and a half minutes. Or, at least, I can’t.)

Anyway, as it turns out, our client put way too much emphasis on servicing TAS, and recruited way too many reps to do it, and they are all sitting over there with half an hour in between calls. Now, the reps love that (I would, too) but our client hates it; if we have three minutes in between calls on the ld side, our monitoring team gets an irate call from corporate headquarters and they start taking measures to lower our response rate, like sending people home, or simply pulling us off the phones for useless, pointless team meetings. (Yes, this is annoying. Obviously, if you’re a rep, you just live for those times when call volume is low and you’ve got time between calls. Knowing that any time this happens, your management is working frantically to make your job harder and your workload increase by taking people off the phone, or even sending them home, is just plain fucking irritating. If call volume is low, well, it’s low. My attitude is, if you’re not sending ME home, don’t send anyone else home, either. And they never send me home, because I close, and there are very few people who do that… in fact, my team leader must have been pissed when Brad sent me home Monday, as it must have left a huge gap in service.)

The upshot is, our client is pulling the TAS service unit out of St. Carmichael, so all those snotty TAS reps are going to find themselves dumped back into the general/universal ld pool soon… Monday, I suspect. And we only found out about this because we are the late shift and our shift bids had to be in first, because generally, the new people get given the late shifts while the people with more seniority move to early shifts as soon as possible. (I’m an exception; I like working late and that’s why I have never had my shift changed and probably never will, other than trying to get better days off.)

So, come Monday, if all of you cock your ears in this direction, you may hear distant shrieks of rage and dismay. If so, it’s all the TAS reps finding out that they are now taking general resolution calls again.

I’m talking waaaay too much about an entirely boring job.

With a single magic word

Hey! I ordered the Limited Edition Shazam! HeroClix figure several months back, using a special offer card in INQUEST magazine, and it showed up today. It’s an amazingly powerful piece… not that that matters, since I have no one to play HeroClix with and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to change any time soon. But in addition to being really powerful, it’s a nice sculpt and beautifully painted, and if I get fired and I have to sell my collection, it’s probably worth ten bucks or so. So that’s something, anyway.

Late Breaking Noose Flash

I got another package from my most reliable online provider today, containing six more boosters of UNLEASHED. These were well chosen boosters; out of six boxes, I pulled FOUR Uniques: Kilowog, the Kingdom Come Batman, Shazam! (a much wimpier version of the LE I got last night), and, most coveted by the power gamers out there, the Unique Kingdom Come Magog.

In some ways, Magog is even tougher than the LE Shazam, because Magog has Super Strength, where the LE Shazam has the new power, Quake. Quake works beautifully with the Kingdom Come TA (if opponents manage to make that roll and get base to base with you, you can always Quake them back again, forcing them to do it all over again) and I'm not sneering at it, but the LE Shazam, like the KC Magog, has a nearly unprecedented damage value of 5... with the new Exploit Weakness power, meaning that those 5 clicks of damage go right through Impervious, Invulnerable, or Tougness.

Now, the LE Shazam has Hypersonic Speed, so he can deliver those 5 clicks to a hapless target and then go whippin' away again to a hopefully safe distance. (He cannot simply stand there and use his Hypersonic Speed to deliver a flurry of attacks, each of which do 5 clicks of damage if they land, because with Hypersonic Speed, the amount of damage delivered by an attack is the amount of successful hits you do, regardless of your damage value. Yes, it sucks a great deal of monkey anus. If Captain Marvel is getting all up in your shit at Hypersonic Speed, he should be doing 5 clicks of damage a pop, not a mere pathetic subhuman one click per successful strike like Geezer Flash.)

Magog can actually improve on 5 clicks of damage, though, because he has super strength. Give him a light object like a file cabinet, a waste basket, or a gumball machine, and he'll belt someone for 6 clicks, all of it going through. Give him a dumpster or a motorcycle, and he'll swat someone for a skull-ringing 'SEVEN, SEVEN, SEVEN, SEVEN, let's sing a song of seven' clicks of mind boggling dain bramaging owchie-ness.

No doubt about it, that horny-hatted man knows how to rock.

The KC Batman piece is interesting, too. A Batman who flies is always intriguing, and although this piece sacrifices the built in Stealth of the Batman Family TA, he does have Incapacitate with two targets and a range strike of 6, several clicks of Running Shot, Outwit all the way down his dial, and several more clicks of Super Senses once he gets knocked off his Willpower, which will make him a very useful piece when playing under the Doc Nebula House Rules that allow Super Senses to pierce the darkness and perceive a Stealthed piece. I'm normally not wild about Kingdom Come (and my Magog piece is definitely a tradeable if any of you out there in the pathetically small audience wants to make me an offer), but I can see myself getting some use from this particular version of Batman... assuming I ever get to play again, which doesn't seem likely.

In addition to the FOUR UNIQUES from SIX BOOSTERS, I also got an Experienced Dr. Fate, a Veteran Scarecrow, and an Experienced Killer Frost. I also got an extra rookie Hal Jordan, so I didn't improve there, and I'm still looking for a Batgirl. Still... good pulls, defintely, good pulls.

I am not Doc

All right, this is pretty much everything I said before… well, wait. Doc says he’s been getting emails complaining that he’s not doing the blog any more. He says I should try to write more like him. I apologize for not being Doc, I’m just doing my best, here. And I do try very consciously to write like Doc, but, well, there’s only one of him. Those who don’t think I’m much of a substitute should probably go read Mike Norton’s blog. He’s not at all like Doc either; he’s much much nicer than either Doc or I am, though, and writes about many of the same subjects we do, plus, politics! You can’t go wrong there.

I’m going to put Mike Norton’s blog on my blog links tonight if I remember too, even though he still has this blog listed under Doc’s name on his blogroll, and it’s not Doc’s blog any more. Oh, well.

Har de harassment

I lied, there was something else I said in the previous attempt.

Someone posted a comment in my last page regarding the definition of sexual harassment, and how it included an entirely different section that I left out when I talked about my own definition, and in that definition, indeed, it does talk about how any mention of gender or sexuality that makes anyone uncomfortable in the work place is considered sexual harassment. And, yes, this is true.

My previous comments were perhaps unclear; what I meant to say, at that point, was that I think that second section is a giant crock of shit, and sexual harassment should only be defined as someone misusing their workplace authority to attempt to secure sexual favors from a subordinate. However, I have been giving this matter some considerable thought, and I am pleased to announce that I have now come 360 degrees and am completely in agreement with this entire definition of sexual harassment. And I will tell you why.

See, the workplace is meant to be an ideal and utopian environment. It is supposed to be completely stress free. Work is a place we all love to go; we hate it when our quitting time rolls around and we are forced to leave and return to our drab, humdrum non-work lives again for those long, dragging hours we must endure before we can return to our beloved work environments again. Even if we were not being paid we would still go to our places of work every day, because we are totally at ease there. We are unpressured. We are welcome, we belong, we are accepted and loved unconditionally by all. Work is heaven, it is paradise, it is where we belong and where we would gladly spend our every waking and sleeping minute if only we could.

Because of this, nothing that causes any stress or strain, nothing that causes any discomfort or annoyance or irritation whatsoever, can be tolerated in the workplace. Work is a nurturing environment, a second, and far more wonderful and idyllic, childhood. Nothing must intrude on that, nothing must interfere with the rapturous joys of working every day in such an ideal context of universal love and acceptance. Nothing must ever happen at work that in any way makes us feel less than completely and utterly at ease, because, of course, as rational, mature, competent and reasonable adults, we know and accept that we are entitled to set forth from our homes every day into a world and an environment which nurtures and protects and insulates and comforts and supports us in every way.

All our whims must and shall be catered to, no matter how absurd, pinheaded, or outright psychotic. If one of us is gay, and he or she overhears two co workers using the term ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ in a conversation and then laughing, well, that gay person has a perfect right to report those thoughtless wise-acres and have them disciplined for their thoughtless and abrasive behavior. If a person is African-American and a non-African-American shows insensitivity to the plight of all African-Americans by using the word ‘jigger’ or ‘spade’ heedlessly within their earshot, even if they are talking about rum or poker, well, that non-African-American should be fined and perhaps imprisoned at hard labor for 60 or 90 days to give them time to think about the need for tolerance and sensitivity. And if a male is working on a task with a female co-worker and she comments that everything seems to run more poorly in the winter and he responds “yeah, everything goes tits up this time of year”, well, she should certainly have him exposed in stocks with a great big NON-PC sign printed on his forehead for everyone to see, plus, he should be demoted and given a pay cut.

If a decent, God fearing Christian overhears some deviant longhaired godless atheist make some sneering remark about how “Well, it wasn’t a very Good Friday for Jesus, now, was it?”, that God fearing Christian should have a perfect legal right to beat the living crap out of that no good heathen with an office chair, and then be entitled to go around to that pinko’s house in the middle of the night and burn it down, and if the police try to interfere then they are violating that good Christian man’s Constitutional rights to free religious expression.

No one has the right to offend anyone in the work place, ever, under any circumstances, even inadvertently, and if someone does, well, it doesn’t matter if it turns out that the entire conversation was innocuous and the whole incident was distorted and exaggerated, most likely with malicious intent by the person who eavesdropped on it, that offender still has to be punished somehow, if only by losing a day’s pay, and being told that if they ever do again what they in fact haven’t even done once yet, they’ll be fired then, and that’s for damn sure.

On that note, I take my leave.


In one of his many invaluable essays on life in Hollywood, Mark Evanier described his first meeting with legendary TV comic and icon Milton Berle. Upon being introduced to Uncle Miltie and shaking hands with him, Mark, who is a pretty witty guy, blurted out without even thinking about it, “Wow, I didn’t recognize you in men’s clothing”. According to Mark, this soured Uncle Miltie on him from that point forward, because Mark had broken Rule Number One When Hanging With Milton Berle, namely, Never Be Funnier Than Milton Berle.

I’m reminded of that anecdote now.

Recent experiences at Electrolite being pretty much entirely similar if not completely identical to my previous experiences at Uppity-Negro.com and TampaTantrum.com, I thought I’d take the time to extrapolate whatever wisdom there is to find in the whole mess. Here’s The Deal, as far as I can see:

If you want to make friends and influence people when you head out onto the blogging trail, at least, as regards your posting comments on other people’s blogs, you MUST NOT:

(a) seem smarter than the person writing the blog you are posting comments to

(b) be funnier than the person writing the blog you are posting comments to

(c) be a better writer than the person writing the blog you are posting comments to

(d) be correct when you point out some manner in which the person writing the blog you are posting comments to was wrong, and/or

(e) Upset The Wimmenfolk On The Blog.

Rule E comes mostly out of my experiences with Aaron Hawkin’s Uppity-Negro blog. He gets a lot of female posters and like any of us male geeks would be in that admirable position, he is thoroughly whipped by them. If a new reader comes along and does anything whatsoever to offend the babes on Aaron’s blog, that new reader can expect a cold shoulder from Aaron roughly the size of the Greenland glacier. I don’t really blame Aaron for this; for a male geek, positive female attention is a jewel beyond price, and if I ever had any women posting to my blog who weren’t related to me by marriage, I’d most likely dance and sing like a puppet on a string when they cracked the lash, too.

I should add to this that I’ve learned, from Electrolite, that one Must Not Be Whimsical, Oblique, or Overly Geeky When Posting To A Big Important Political Marketplace of Ideas Type Blog, because those guys just have no time for Theodore Marley Brooks or Cornelus van Lunt references, regardless of how amusing or entertaining you and some others may find them.

Now, I am posting this to point out that while these may be the universal Rules of the Road on other blogs (and as far as I can see, they are, indeed, pretty much universal) you can ignore them here. I don’t care if you:

(a) seem smarter than I am, I like people who are smarter than I am, as long as they’re not jerks about it;

(b) are funnier than I am, then I get to laugh at your witty remarks, and hey, that’s all good;

(c) are a better writer than I am. Although I’m in a peculiar place as regards writing skills; good enough to be better than nearly all the amateurs out there, not good or lucky enough to be a professional at it. So if you are a better writer than I am, you are probably a professional writer and therefore do not have time to post comments on other people’s blogs, so this probably doesn’t matter, as relates to this blog;

(d) correct my mistakes; unlike apparently 95% of the remainder of the human race, I am under no illusions as to my own infallibility and simply don’t care if someone points out that I am wrong about something. Being wrong about things does not strike me as either a character flaw or a shameful embarrassment; we are all wrong about a lot of things every day of our lives, and that’s just how that works;

(e) Upset My Wimmenfolk. Well, actually, I shouldn’t say I don’t care if you upset my wimmenfolk, I do, the very thought deeply offends me. However, it’s just that the wimmenfolk at this point on this blog are my mom, my cuz in law, and my sister in law, and if you do something to upset them, I strongly doubt the authorities finding what’s left of you will be able to identify you without a DNA comparison. My mom, and any woman who marries any of the males in this family and stays married to him for any length of time, are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. So offend them all you want; it’s a self correcting problem.

Oh, and I like geeky references and would just adore whimsical, cleverly elliptical posts to my comment threads, although I suspect I’d get annoyed if someone started posting a whole lot of Harry Potter-speak here, just for one example.

If there is a universal rule on this blog, it is quite simply, Do Not Be A Bigger Asshole Than The Blogger. In fact, if you can avoid it (and most of my small number of regular posters avoid it with style and panache) Don’t Be An Asshole At All. I am quite a big enough asshole myself to supply all the assholiness necessary for any blog, and I will continue to keep this blog well furnished with stupid remarks, doltish mistakes, whiney rationalizations, and defensive recriminations by the ton lot, there can be no doubt. You need bring none of your own asshole nature with you, I have plenty and am always willing to share.


By generally accepted social standards, I'm not a likable guy. I'm not saying that to get cheap reassurances. It's simply the truth. I regard many social conventions in radically different ways than most people do, I have many many controversial opinions, and I tend to state them pretty forthrightly. This is not a formula for popularity in any social continuum I've ever experienced.

In my prior blogs, I took the fairly standard attitude: if you don't like my opinions or my blog, don't read the fucking thing.

Having given that some more thought, though, I'm not going to say that this time around, because I've realized that what this is basically saying is, 'if you don't like what I have to say, tough, I don't want to hear it, don't even bother to tell me, just go away'.

And that's actually a pretty worthless attitude. It's basically saying, 'I don't want to hear anything except unconditional agreement and approval'. And that's nonsense. This is still a free country... for a little while longer, anyway... and if you really feel you just gotta send me a flame, or post one on my comment threads (assuming they actually work, which I cannot in any way guarantee) then by all means, knock yourself out.

Unless your flame is exceptionally cogent, witty, or stylish, though, I will most likely ignore it. You do have a right to say anything you want (although I'm not sure that's a right when you're doing it in my comment threads, but hey, you can certainly send all the emails you want). However, I have an equal right not to read anything I don't feel like reading... and I'm really quick with the delete key... as various angry folks have found in the past, when they decided they just had to do their absolute level best to make me as miserable as possible.

So, if you don't like my opinions, feel free to say so. However, if I find absolutely nothing worthwhile in your commentary, I will almost certainly not respond to it in any way.

Stupidity, ignorance, intolerance... these things are only worth my time and attention if they're entertaining. So unless you can be stupid, ignorant, and/or intolerant with enough wit, style, and/or panache to amuse me... try to be smart, informed, and broad minded when you write me.





Friday 4/18/03

Saturday 4/19/03

Sunday 4/20/03

Sunday, later, 4/20/03

Monday, 4/21/03

Tuesday, 4/22/03

Wednesday, 4/23/03

Thursday, 4/24/03

Friday, 4/25/03

Monday, 4/28/03

Wednesday, 4/30/03

Friday, 5/2/03

Sunday, 5/4/03

Tuesday, 5/6/03

Thorsday, 5/8/03

Frey's Day, 5/9/03

Day of the Sun, 5/11/03

Moon's Day, 5/12/03

Tewes Day, 5/13/03

Woden's Day, 5/14/03

Thor's Day, 5/15/03

Frey's Day, 5/16/03

Satyr's Day, 5/17/03

Tewes's Day, 5/20/03

Woden's Day, 5/21/03

Frey's Day, 5/23/03

Satyr's Day, 5/24/03

Day of the Sun, 5/25/03

Tewes's Day, 5/27/03

Woden's Day, 5/28/03

Thor's Day, 5/29/03

Frey's Day, 5/30/03

Satyr's Day, 5/31/03

Day of the Sun/Moon's Day, 6/1&2/03

Woden's Day, 6/3/03

Thor's Day, 6/5/03

Satyr's Day, 6/7/03

Moon's Day, 6/9/03

Tewes' Day, 6/10/03

Thor's Day, 6/12/03

FATHER'S DAY, 6/15/03

Tewes' Day, 6/17/03

Thor's Day, 6/19/03

Satyr's Day, 6/21/03

Day of the Sun, 6/22/03

Tewe’s Day, 6/24/03

Thor’s Day, 6/26/03

Frey’s Day, 6/27/03

Day of the Sun, 6/29/03

Tewes’ Day, 7/1/03

Thors’s Day/Frey’s Day, 7/3&4/03

Moon’s Day, 7/7/03

Woden’s Day, 7/9/03

Frey’s Day, 7/11/03

Moon’s Day, 7/21/03

Thor’s Day, 7/24/03

Moon’s Day, 7/28/03

Frey’s Day, 8/01/03

Saturn’s Day, 8/02/03

Saturn’s Day, 8/02/03

Tewes’ Day, 8/05/03

Thor’s Day, 8/07/03

Frey’s Day, 8/08/03

Satyr’s Day, 8/09/03

Tewes’ Day, 8/12/03

Woden’s Day, 8/13/03

Frey’s Day, 8/15/03

Day o’ de Sun 8/17/03

Tewes' Day 8/19/03

Thor's Day 8/21/03

Saturn's Day 8/23/03

Moon's Day 8/25/03

Woden's Day 8/27/03

Satyr's Day 8/30/03

Moon's Day 9/1/03

Th/Fr’day 9/4&5/03

Mday 9/8/03

Wday 9/10/03

Thday 9/11/03

Snday 9/14/03

Mday 9/15/03

Wday 9/17/03

Saday 9/20/03

Mday 9/22/03

Satday 9/27/03

Snday 9/28/03

Wday 10/1/03

Thday 10/2/03

satday 10/4/03

tsday 10/7/03

frday 10/10/03

satday 10/11/03

sun/monday 10/12&13/03

tuesday 10/14/03

thursday 10/16/03

saturday 10/18/03

sunday 10/19/03

monday 10/20/03

tuesday 10/21/03

friday 10/24/03

saturday 10/25/03

monday 10/27/03

tuesday 10/28/03

thursday 10/30/03

friday 10/31/03

saturday 11/1/03

sunday 11/2/03

monday 11/3/03

tuesday 11/4/03

wednesday 11/5/03

thursday 11/6/03

saturday 11/8/03

sunday 11/9/03

tuesday 11/11/03

wednesday 11/12/03

friday 11/14/03

sunday 11/16/03

thursday 11/20/03

friday 11/21/03

sunday 11/23/03

thanksgiving thursday 11/27/03

Sunday 11/30/03

Tuesday 12/2/03

Monday 12/8/03

Wednesday 12/10/03

Monday 12/15/03

Friday 12/19/03

Monday 12/22/03

Thursday 12/25/03 Christmas Day

Wednesday 12/31/03 New Year’s Eve

Friday 1/2/04

Monday 1/5/04

Friday 1/9/04

Monday 1/12/04

Thursday 1/15/04

Tuesday 1/20/04

Saturday 1/24/04

Tuesday 1/27 & Wednesday 1/28, 2004

Thursday, 1/29/04

Sunday, 2/1/04

Tuesday, 2/3/04

Thursday, 2/5/04

Sunday, 2/8/04

Tuesday, 2/10/04

Thursday, 2/12/04

Sunday, 2/15/04

Sunday, 2/17/04

Tuesday, 2/23/04











Pen-Elayne on the Web

Dean's World


Reach-M High Cowboy Noose


Pop Culture Gadabout

Vanessa’s Blog

Bored and Broke

Mah Two Cents

Miraclo Mile, by Mike Norton

If anyone else out there has linked me and you don't find your blog or webpage here, drop me an email and let me know! I'm a firm believer in the social contract.


Buffy Lives! Her Series Dies! And Why I Regard It As A Mercy Killing..

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, MARK EVANIER & ME: Robert Heinlein's Influence on Modern Day Superhero Comics

KILL THEM ALL AND LET NEO SORT THEM OUT: The Essential Immorality of The Matrix

HEINLEIN: The Man, The Myth, The Whackjob

BILL OF GOODS: The Words of A Heinlein Fan Like Nearly Every Other Heinlein Fan I've Ever Met, But More Polite

FIRST RAPE, THEN PILLAGE, THEN BURN: S.M. Stirling shows us terror... in a handful of alternate histories

DOING COMICS THE STAINLESS STEVE ENGLEHART WAY!by "John Jones" (that's me, D. Madigan), & Jeff Clem, with annotations by Steve Englehart



Why I Disliked Carol Kalish And Don't Care If Peter David Disagrees With Me

MARTIAN VISION, by John Jones, the Manhunter from Marathon, IL


Doc Nebula’s HeroClix House Rules!

Doc Nebula’s HeroClix List!

Doc Nebula's Phantasmagorical Fan Page!

The Fantasy Worlds of Jeff Webb


World Of Empire Fantasy Roleplaying Campaign

The Jeff Webb Art Site

S.M. Stirling


NOVELS: [* = not yet written]

Universal Maintenance

Universal Agent*

Universal Law*

Time Watch




Warren's World

Warlord of Erberos

Return to Erberos*



In The Early Morning Rain

Short Stories:


Good Cop, Bad Cop


Talkin' 'bout My Girl

No Good Angel

No Time Like The Present

Pursuit of Happiness

The Last One

Pursuit of Happiness

Return To Sender



Alleged Humor:

Ask A Bastard!

On The Road Again

Meeting of the Mindless

Star Drek


Fan Fic:

The Captain and the Queen

A Day Unlike Any Other (Iron Mike & Guardian)

DOOM Unto Others! (Iron Mike & Guardian)

Starry, Starry Night(Iron Mike & Guardian)

A Friend In Need (Blackstar & Guardian)

All The Time In The World(Blackstar)

The End of the Innocence(Iron Mike & Guardian)

And Be One Traveler(Iron Mike & Guardian)



AMAZONIA by D.A. Madigan & Nancy Champion (7 pages final script)

AMAZONIA (Alternate Draft 1)

AMAZONIA (Alternate Draft 2)

AMAZONIA (World Timeline)

TEAM VENTURE by Darren Madigan and Mike Norton

FANTASTIC FOUR 2099, by D.A. Madigan!







Help Us, Batman...

JLA Membership drive

Don't Leave Us, Batman...!

Ever wondered what happened to the World's Finest Super-team?

Two heroes meet their editor...

At the movies with some legendary Silver Age sidekicks...

What really happened to Kandor...

Ever wondered how certain characters managed to get into the Legion of Superheroes?

A never before seen panel from the Golden Age of Comics...