Please enjoy a selection of recent opinion columns, by Devon C Stout

09.05.06

Why does the state control liquor sales?

Pennsylvania should get out of the booze business


Unpublished

Laws? I don't see any laws!

Changing the law to allow torture is wrong


08.13.06

Kill or be killed

Self-defense laws are robust enough already


04.26.06

Immigration reform is everyone's business

We all bear some blame for illegal immigration


02.27.06

The state of port security

Even a broken clock is right twice a day


01.25.06

Is the President breaking the law?

What's all this wiretapping business about, anyway?


December 05

Bigotry and hate won't solve the problem

Some people need to study their history



November 05

Focus on the truth

James Dobson hates gays, and facts



11.22.05

Budget cuts hurt the poor and middle class

Newer budget cuts still disproportionally hurt the poor




MORE...!

OPINION
04.14.08
More Pictures

So, there is now a third gallery of pictures of little Josie available for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to check out the first one and the second as well, or bookmark the central Josie gallery page for convenient one-stop-shopping. More will be forthcoming, hopefully with some video as well!


04.05.08
Guess What?

So, another month and a half goes by, and the site isn't updated and then it even goes down completely. Why? Well, in short, you can blame Josephine Eleida Stout! Yep, Lauren went into labor five weeks early, and the result is a beautiful, amazing little girl:

Wowee! It's been a whirlwind here, what with moving into a new house the day before Josie arrived, then having her come on top of that. Thankfully, we've had ample help from family and friends--more than I could ever have expected! To anyone reading this who helped us, thanks a thousand times!

I am currently working on getting laurenanddevon.com up and running, and I'll be using that site for pictures and videos of little Josie. For now, though, click here for a rough and dirty image gallary of some of our first pictures of our new family member! Oh, and you can e-mail me or Lauren with any questions you might have!


02.15.08
What the Hell?

So, you're probably wondering just what happened to me. Did I fall off the face of the Earth? Did aliens abduct me and probe my various bits with icky metal objects? Sadly, more prosaic by far: I was sick, I was busy, I was tired. So sue me.

Here's the deal: Episode 309. There's more in the works, though not too much more! I have to get back to work if I'm going to keep up any kind of schedule here. Let's aim for at least one episode a month for the moment, and we'll see if we can pick up the pace a bit after we finish buying the new house and having a baby. Yeah, right.

Enjoy!


01.02.08
New Year's Maccabee

Not a moment too soon, here's you Maccabee fix: Episode 308: Hurried Departure. I hope you enjoy it.

2008 will be bringing a lot of changes in the Stout household here, where we are expecting a small baby girl in May, so I don't know what will happen to Maccabee. It can't get much less interesting around here than it is right now, so I hope that I'll be able to continue writing. I'm a few episodes ahead, still, and there's four months before little Ragnhild will be born, so cross your fingers. I may drop to a single update a month, which should frankly be fine, seeing as I don't think anyone actually reads this. Do you? Really? Drop me a line, just to say hello!


12.18.07
December Update Number Two

What can I say? My life is insanely busy at the moment. So, here you go, luckily from my little backlog of finished product: Episode 307: The Revolutionary Vanguard. Have fun! And have a happy holiday, whatever sort you celebrate. Or none at all, if you prefer!


12.05.07
More Maccabee for You!

I'm not going to mention that fact that I'm a bit late on this update. Instead, I'm going to point you in the direction of a brand new episode of Maccabee, not only longer than usual, but filled with action, suspense, and a little bit of Samara kar Deffin's mind. It's a wierd place to be, but lovely nontheless. So, go now: Episode 306: Ziggurat Assault

Why not an update on the direction of this season of Maccabee? I'm working on Episode 310 right now, and I have to say, it's been a bit of struggle. I'm not sure about the tone or mood I want to set at this point, and I'm not entirely sure where the plot is going either. That seems like a tough sticking point on the surface, but the beauty of Maccabee is that it's designed with this sort of half-assed "technique" in mind. So, although I'm going to abandon a bit of what I've written, I'm just going to go for it and see in what fresh storyline hell I find myself! It's exciting.

That's not really very insightful, but if I talk about everything in detail, then I'll end up giving away a bunch of nifty plot points, and you wouldn't want me to do that, would you? I'll tell you what would make this a lot more entertaining: comments. I'll have to look into how to really blog this place up. It may be time to fire up a discussion board or something, though I find those less useful or interesting than simple commentary. What would be especially cool is feedback that I could incorporate into future episodes. Maybe for Season 4! Assuming there is one, that is, as I may have played out Maccabee by the end of this story.

Here's a little spoiler that won't actually spoil anything: There might be a Maccabee spin-off in the works about a little group I like to call Mallory's Angels. Sound fun? Let's hope so.


11.15.07
On Time, Baby

Well, here's your next update: Episode 305: A Nasty Surprise. The question is, just who is being surprised? I think you'll enjoy this installment, as we add something a little different to the mix, a new perspective, if you will.

I'm a bit pressed for time today, so I'll leave it at that. Enjoy!


11.07.07
So Late!

Golly! Sorry about that, but it appears to be November 7th, and there's not been a new Maccabee posted to the site! This is a terrible mistake, given that I am well ahead in writing Maccabee, so there's no real excuse for not having it posted on time. Sorry about that.

Without further ado, then, may I present to you Episode 304: Refreshments. I'm sure you'll find it an interesting read. Frankly, sometimes things come to my mind as I write that may strike readers as a bit . . . odd. I hope that this chapter is like that for you, because at least that means I'm not writing a bunch of hackneyed bullshit that you've read a thousand times before!

Enjoy!


10.20.07
Chihuly Glass and Jumbo Bible

It's an absolutely lovely day today. Too bad it's frickin' October! Tomorrow we're supposed to hit 76 degrees Fahrenheit. That's insane! It's October 21st! It shouldn't be that warm here. No sir. We should be staring down the barrel of the first snows, man. And all around me, people are like, "Wow, isn't this great? I wish it would stay this way all winter!" No, you imbecile! This is wrong weather. Bad weather!

About two weeks ago, Lauren and I and a few of our friends ventured down to Pittsburgh to see an exhibit by the artist Dale Chihuly. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was the place for the exhibit, which featured glass sculptures that I can only describe as organic. They were placed among the plants and gardens, blending at times, standing out with their outlandish shapes at other moment. Everywhere you looked, there were pieces of glass, hidden amongst flowers, floating in pools of water, or suspended from the ceiling. It was incredibly cool. And of course I forgot to bring a real camera. I did, however, snag a shot or two with my cell phone:

Pretty nifty, eh? You can see professional pictures on the web right here.

You know, sometimes I'm walking through Wal-Mart--more often than I'd like, honestly--and I see something that catches my eye. Like, a few months ago, near Valentine's Day, there was a sale stand containing some product or other. Chocolate? I don't remember. But the big sign said, "Valentine's Day Sale!" Right under it was a fine selection of condoms. Deliberate? Hard to say.

Just recently, however, I spotted this little display by the checkout aisle and was able to snap a quick picture:

How's that for a nice collection? We've got our Dinosaur coloring book, our Fairies coloring book, and right in-between: Bible Jumbo Coloring Book! How awesome is that? Particularly nice is that the same company appears to make both the godless (possible Satanic?) Fairy book, as well as the (Old Testament--check out that beard?) Bible book. And dinos, too. You know that dinosaurs aren't in the bible, right? Ergo, they do not exist! Anyway, interesting little display, I thought. Apparently I don't really have anything cool to say about it, though.

See you soon!


10.15.07
On Schedule

Check it out! Right on time, a new update of Maccabee on the exact date promised. That's hard to believe, I know, but it's entirely true! Click right here for the goods. I'm working pretty hard on this season of Maccabee, trying to make it simply great, so I hope you're enjoying it so far. Nothing too spectacular yet with these three episodes, but some combat is in your future, along with wierdness and new characters and lots of fun. So, keep checking.

I also hope to continue the blogging business on this page, but right now Maccabee remains my focus. Hopefully I will have some pics of my recent trip to Africa up here soon, too, so we don't have to keep looking at those ancient cemetary photos! Yes!

Until then. . . .


10.02.07
Back in Business!

Well, well, well. Excepting a handful of unfortunate hardware conflicts, soon to be resolved, I am back in business, running a brand new AMD Dual Core AM2 processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and more cooling power than I'll probably ever need, courtesy of three 120mm fans in my new computer case, all of it run from my equally new 550 Watt PSU. The sad truth is, however, that the only thing actually wrong with my old system was the power supply. Oh well. Things move much faster now!

There's more! New Maccabee is now available for your reading pleasure. Episode 302 is up and running, and I am currently reviewing the content I had built up, making a few changes, and getting ready for that regular update schedule I promised. I promise again!

Go read!


09.21.07
Some Content at Last!

Still no working computer for sad Mister Devon. I really don't want to dwell on that at the moment, though it does mean that Maccabee continues to not be updated at the moment. There's this, though:

What, do you suppose, are we supposed to be doing over? Perhaps an errant prayer went astray, and instead of a larger penis, someone ended up with bigger pens! You gotta learn to enunciate clearly when communicating with the Lord. Dude's like, seriously old. Don't hear so good anymore. The message is just so cheerful, though. Maybe it's saying, "Hey, sure, you loved your life so far like a Godless sinner, what with the murder and the casual sex and the reading of books not the Bible. But there's a chance! God's letting you have a 'Do over,' just like when you're playing pool with your buds! God's wicked cool that way, dude. Only your buds don't shove you into a lake of fire if you miss a shot.

Meadville is a nice sort of town. I was just thinking this morning that it's a generally clean town too. Not much trash on the streets, things mostly kept neat and tidy. But, dig a little deeper, and you find this:

Yeah, nothing to brighten up the place like a traffic jam of discarded shopping carts behind yet another tired, brutalized mattress. Now, I don't mean to be a judgmental, classist asshole--I am, but I don't mean to be--but this sort of thing doesn't usually happen in front of places that aren't dirt-cheap apartments. Is this really necessary? If you need to use a grocery cart to get your shopping back home, can't you park it somewhere, or even take it back to the store? And what the hell is up with these mattresses, anyway? Ah well.


KITTY DEMANDS FOOD! BRING NOW! GO, PITIFUL HUMAN!


09.04.07
Week Three

Week three of what? Of the total lack of computer for me, that's what! In the immortal words of Nacho Libre, "It sucks to be me right now!" Eh. It could be worse, certainly, but I've now replaced my power supply, my motherboard, my RAM, my CPU, and I press the power button and WHAMMO! Nothing. Not a damn thing. So what the hell, right? Is the power switch broken? I can't think of anything else, except my own gross incompetence. Which, do you suppose, is the more likely possibility?

More later. . . .


08.22.07
From Beyond the Grave

I missed my own deadline. Sure, there were reasons, but still. . . . Sad. I thought I'd only be a few days late. Then, I went to a wedding in Baltimore, and when I got back, Mr. Computer, my loyal companion, was borked. It seems that the power supply has died yet again, or my motherboard is fried. I'm going with the former!

But, I was able to access some Maccabee files, and though I can't give you the promised update, I can give you a little glimpse into the creative process. From Episode 301, you've heard of Maccabee's new XO, Max Brenner, though you haven't met him yet. You will now! Before I even started the third season of Maccabee, I wrote a handful of bios for the new characters I was introducing, including Max Brenner. Hope you find it interesting. Sorry for the lame-o formatting!

Keep your fingers crossed--my computer should be running by the weekend!


08.11.07
Church signs!

It's been a while since I got the chance to post any of these, and I was certainly excited this week to find some interesting ones. But as luck would have it, stupid Verizon can't get their shit together for me to transfer pictures from my phone to my computer. This was already an arduous process, and now it is completely defunct. Luckily, the Church Sign Generator has come to my rescue again. You'll have to believe me that, while the signs are fake, the messages are all too real:

Wash, and wash well, fellow Christians! But the question is, are we washing our bodies, or our souls? Of course, the highly-symbolic washing of feet was (is?) an important ceremony in certain services, but I think we're meant to think about sin here. Anyone can take a shower, but simple water won't wash away the dead hooker in your trunk, metaphorically speaking. Only the big guy in the sky can take care of that, should you be willing to make the obligatory obsequies. Then again, maybe I'm off base here and they're advertising some sort of cleaning service, courtesy of bored Christian housewives.

But that's not the only one! Check it out:

I think. . . . No, wait a minute. OK, I've got it now. No. Never mind. What? If I'm reading this right, God either has a poor grasp of statistics, and somehow thinks that a distribution curve in the shape of a cross is both possible and reasonable, or he wants to crucify not only his son but his followers as well. Pop Quiz! Based on your (presumably since you're reading this blog and not storming away in a huff) marginal knowledge of religion in the world, which of these two interpretations do you think is more likely?

Look at that, two entries in just a month!


08.03.07
Maccabee and I both Return

Well friends, it's been a dark couple of months on this page. Life, as they say, has intervened, but I am impatient with the apparent lack of progress apparent on this website. We shall double our efforts! Even though, of course, you are asking the impossible. I need more men! Think of that what you will.

Anyway, I have a small buffer of Maccabee episodes now ready, and frankly the regular posting schedule will be good for me. About time I got to frequent, regular writing again! So, to make it official, I introduce to you the very beginning of Season 3: Episode 301: A Transmission in the Wild! Read it, enjoy it, let me know what you think of it. Don't be too harsh, unless you feel it necessary.

As always, my Maccabee updates will fall on the 1st and 15th of each month, assuming I do not fall behind or otherwise mess it up. I also hope to update the bloggish aspect of the site a bit more regularly, but don't hold your breath. If you are new to the site, or new to Maccabee, head on over to the Archives and catch yourself up to date. I think you'll enjoy the story more having read the previous ones, but should you want to simply dive in, I don't think you'll be lost. We're on new ground this time around!

Hope you enjoy it!


03.08.07
Four Months Later . . .

You might be asking yourself, "Self, why do I visit this site if there's never anything going on here?" Well, here's your answer. Something's going on again.

Winter this year was, initially, a big fat bust. Sixty degrees in January? That's not winter, that's a sad joke. But February found us locked in cold and snow, and it's held on for the first week of March as well. Behold!

That's some might pretty stuff, I'd say. Unfortunately, you can't see the details that made it truly awesome, the fog rising off the stream, the half-formed ice with water rushing under it, reflecting the light of the rising sun, and the fresh, white snow glittering in the morning. It was a beautiful sight, well worth the freezing cold walk to work in 4 degree temps.

Just to update you all: Maccabee Season 3 is coming. Not soon, but it is a work in progress, and I'm actually a bit excited by it. It's going to be a new direction for this series, and I think it'll be a lot better in terms of plot and character. But for now, catch up on Season 1 and Season 2 by clicking here.

I will also be posting a new opinion column to the site pretty shortly. I'll be honest, there hasn't been a lot of activity in that regard either.

Anyway, welcome back to Electron Glutton! Hopefully someone's still here!


11.04.06
First Snow

Meadville got its first real snowfall yesterday. I walked to work in the morning and, as usual, was struck by the beauty of a town covered in snow. Unfortunately, my camera phone was not up to the task of capturing that morning beauty. Still, I got some interesting pictures.

It's early enough in the season that there's still a lot of leaves on trees, and many of them fell during the snow:

Something about this picture makes me thing of a sugary confection.

This was the kind of snow that sticks really well to everything, so all the trees were highlighted with white:

Again, the morning was a lot brighter than these lame-o pictures might suggest.

Here's another tree shot, with one still full of leaves, the other bare:

And, just because it was wet snow, it was prefect for snowballs:

I like to look at this picture and imagine a bemused Darth Vader holding a snowball in his black-gloved hand, thinking, "Do I throw this, or do I just use the force to hurl it wherever I want?" And wouldn't a Jedi be the best sports player out there? Imagine Darth Quarterback, hurling hundred yard passes that change direction and avoid the other team's players! Plus, those Jedi can friggin jump, man. Oh yeah.


10.02.06
A New Horror on the Horizon

As Americans, we are enjoying a new era of great food. I think this era was ushered into being by Julia Child, and has only gotten better since then. Not that all of us eat well, by any means, but there is more interesting food available for our palates than ever before. One need only look at a small town like Meadville, in a remote corner of rural Pennsylvania: We have here Chinese restaurants, a bagel shop, a Mexican restaurant, specialty foods in our grocery stores, and the ability to cook, if not to buy, nearly any sort of international cuisine we desire.

This was not always so.

Let's travel back to a simpler time, 1954 to be exact. Eisenhower is President; Senator McCarthy is in the midst of hearings on un-American activities; West Germany wins the World Cup; and the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a record high of 382. Really. Not kidding about that.

And this frightening image is unleashed upon the world:

No, really, let's take a closer look at that:

Dear God! Yes, the centerpiece of every good American table in 1954, purple alien brains, pureed and molded into a big, purple lump of brains, then poked with toothpicks, each one bearing a grotesque, shriveled olive, or a translucent cocktail onion, or a pale yellow cubic cheese unit. Surround it with a selection of canapes summoned directly from the pits of Hell itself:

Starting on the left, we have a cracker topped with creamed spinach (I wouldn't begin to assume that's pesto!) topped with a flake of pimento (Could it be smoked salmon? No!). Squeeze three thin stripes of mustard on tip, border with a frilly wall of whipped cream, and voila!

What's next? It appears to be a hairball, artfully arranged atop a bed of chocolate whipped cream, and topped with a limon. Yes, a limon, twisted gene-spliced offspring of lemon and lime, with yellow skin and green flesh. Is the belt of white cream of tartar, or perhaps more whipped cream? Only Satan Himself can tell.

The rest is too horrible to describe. Does the sliced, hard-boiled egg appear to be topped with more cream and a toffee, and perhaps mustard? I shudder to think!

But there is more, gentle reader. Over the next few days, we will explore this vanished land of cookery most terrible. Join me on this quest! What gelatinous concoction awaits? Just how much aspic will we find, and what will be encased within its glistening, shivering walls?


10.01.06
Sunday Morning

In a town like Meadville, Sunday morning is quiet time. Actually, I think that's true of a lot of towns in America, and cities too. I've never seen New York City as quiet as on Sunday mornings either, come to think of it. So, I guess size is less a factor than the Christian-centric nature of our society. This is not to say that everyone is Christian, though I'm sure the majority is. But the prohibition on work on Sunday, combined with large numbers of people going to church in the morning, tends to put a damped on the 6am to 10am time. What this means is, though I don't care for being at work on a Sunday, it's nice to watch the town sitting quietly.

Yeah, I'm sure that was interesting to two of you. I sorted through some old pictures and found a few that I thought might be fun to post. First off, here's something that I desperately want for Christmas:

Is that cool or what? In case it's not apparent from the picture, the bigger dolphin's back is made out of stained glass, and he's lit up from the inside. It's like. . . . Good God, I don't know what it's like, exactly. It is both beautiful and frightening, like some netherworldly tchotchke dreamed up by someone with only a passing knowledge of dolphins, art, and taste. Take a moment now to imagine it inside your home, the happy marine mammalians caught in mid-frolic, light beaming from their glass-enshrouded internal organs, eyes literally made of beads staring at you from their obscenely bulbous heads. Yes, truly a family heirloom in the making!

Speaking of family heirlooms, I know of one here in town that's on display for all to see. It might be a little hard to move, if and when the time comes, but the power of patriotism will provide, I've no doubt:

God-damned liberal tree-hugging, chardonnay-swilling, Frenchy-loving commie pinko bastards aren't going to burn this flag, are they now! Ha! Sure, the paint's peeling a little bit, but look at the effort here, the attention to detail. There's fifty stars there, arranged in the correct pattern of alternating rows six and five stars long; there's the obligatory 13 stripes, also in the correct order, seven red and six white.

Oh sure, you say, what's the big deal? How hard is it to get the flag right? It's not like Bhutan's flag, say, with it's rampant, juggling lion/dragon/lizard beast, is it:

However, it's a flag painted on a rock. Somehow, I don't associate that with an attention to detail, or to numbers. Feel free to call me on that.

Finally, to relax your mind and make you feel closer to your deity of choice, or closer to refracted light passing through suspended water droplets in the atmosphere, I present this:

Isn't it pretty? This is another early morning picture, courtesy of my ungodly work schedules. I believe this one was taken in the mid summer, though I can't recall. I know next to nothing about cloud identification, but these seemed particularly interesting, even without the light shining through them.

Have a happy Sunday!


09.27.06
Sunrise

Sometimes, there are benefits to being at work before dawn. It's quiet, usually, for one thing, and the drive into the office is mercifully devoid of traffic. Actually, that's a joke, because my commute is literally only a mile long (Click here for a map of one of my common walking routes (that's a tinyURL link)), and the worst traffic I ever encounter is pulling out of my driveway right when the school busses are coming down the road from the High School. Small town life is like that.

Anyway, sometimes you see something pretty, like the sun lighting up the clouds like a painting in the eastern sky:

It's worth clicking on the larger image. Of course, this is taken with my craptacular 1.3mp MotoRazr camera phone, so the best image you're going to get is still going to mostly suck. I can't wait until the next phone I get, so I can upgrade to 2003-era camera technology! Huzzah!

More mattresses disgracing our fair city, cast-offs of a thousand broken promises. . . .

The sign says no parking, but it's got nothing to say about leaving your sad, dirty mattress to rot on the side of the road, does it? So it must be OK, mustn't it? You know, I should check to see if these mattresses have had their informational tags removed. If this could only be classified as a federal crime, then the FBI could come in and root out the cause of this mattress-massacre epidemic!


09.12.06
Everyone Has an Opinion

It was with no small amount of sick-to-my-stomach feelings that I watched the President's speech to the nation last night, the 5th anniversary of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. As if you didn't know that already. Bad enough that Bush was using the opportunity again to tell us, in effect, "Get behind me and stop complaining." Bush also had to trot out a heartwarming tale of woe from a family whose father was killed in the attacks. I had to turn off the TV.

Why? Because it sickens me to see the man who has caused so much damage spout an anecdote about one family's suffering to justify all the death and madness he's caused over the last five years. Do I feel for the family? As much as I can for anyone I don't know who's been through a terrible tragedy, sure. But to have Bush trot them out as some horse-and-pony show to tug our heartstrings in an attempt to get us to stop questioning anything he says? Sickening.

I encourage all of you to check out Keith Olbermann's response to the trite, propagandistic exploitation of this anniversary on Crooks and Liars. A lot of people give Olbermann flack because he used to be on SportsCenter, but in the last year or so he's stepped up to the plate and started being the voice of those of us who are fed up with the bullshit this administration keeps feeding us. Too bad no one actually watches MSNBC.

When you're done reading/watching that, check out some of my newest opinion columns: Two were recently published in the Tribune. The third may or may not ever run. It's the sort of politically charged column that I'm having a little trouble getting through the gate-keepers these days. I'll give it a shot sometime, though. What the heck!

And, for your viewing pleasure, I give you a message of joy and love: Click here. This may actually be offensive to some people, though I find it childish, so we'll keep it off the front page! Be warned, this may not be safe for your work environment.

And, just because we haven't seen one lately, I give you a church sign:

I don't have anything to add to this image, frankly, except to say, what the Christ? I mean, really, I have no idea what's going on here. Help me out: E-mail the Overlord and tell me what this means.


09.05.06
Mattress Massacre

Your favorite blog sucks, as does this one. Once again, an inordinate amount of time has passed us by, and this space has remained steadily un-updated. Don't you hate that? Me too! Honest!

Innocent of the tawdry world around me as ever, I walked to work this afternoon, following my midday repast. It seemed a day like any other, when suddenly I was presented with this sight:

You really need to see the bigger version to appreciate this one. Yes, it's not one, not two, but four discarded mattresses, all within the same field of view! On the big version, I've helpfully outlined the offending bed materials in red.

What is this about? Why is this happening? True, the one furthest from where this picture was taken--in front of the pickup truck in the distance there--has been sitting on the curb for a few weeks; and let me tell you, by the way, that mattresses do not improve by sitting in the rain. They do not get clean; they get moldy. So, why all these "new" mattresses? Perhaps there was a sale on mattresses at a nearby furniture store.

Or, maybe these folks have given up sleeping in a bed. Maybe because they're no longer sleeping, per se, but regenerating after a hard night of murdering and blood-sucking. That right, people! We cannot ignore the vampire threat in our own backyards! Of course they don't need their mattresses anymore: they're sleeping in coffins!!

Don't say I didn't warn you.


08.10.06
From the Streets of Meadville to Your Home

Well, as promised, I've got a picture of the Jesus Living Witness Healing Ministry in all its shabby glory:

The skin-colored blur in the upper left corner is not my thumb, but rather a baseball bat about to hit my head, wielded by an angry mob of Jesusites intent on the destruction of modern America. Aw, hell, no it isn't. It's my thumb.

What do you think of it? You might have to click for the larger version to see the tarp on the roof; it's on the right-hand side, towards the back of the main roof. Now do you see why I'm not running in there? The place just doesn't scream out welcome. More like, "Stay the hell away!"

I've come to the conclusion that the church signs around town aren't going to keep up a steady stream of religious inanity, as I had originally hoped. Occasionally, I'm sure I'll see a good one, especially out of town--just gotta remember to have my camera handy! Here's one for old time's sake:

In other news, people around town are constantly throwing out the most amazingly abused shit you've ever had the misfortune to stumble across on your walk. You've already seen the unfortunate television. Now, behold the Saddest Mattress in the World:

Let me use one of my new favorite verbal ejaculations (gleaned from the very funny Laundryroom Swapmeet): What the Christ? I've had mattresses that have been used for decades and are still in fairly pristine shape. What sort of horrible, non-sleep-related event caused this mayhem? Was someone on this mattress when it exploded? My guess is that this is the result of a sexual experiment gone very much awry.

Remember, the local waste authority doesn't pick up items like Mr. Destroyed Mattress. So this piece of beautiful local color is going to be on this major street corner for a while. This town is great sometimes.

P.S. The extra-observant among you may have noticed that the file name for that picture is "mattres.jpg". Leave the last "s" off for shitty!


08.08.06
What the Hell?

That's what everyone's been asking as they visit this site, day after day, and see that there are still no new updates. July spreads out like a loathsome pit of venomous nothing. However, after just spitting out one of the worst similes of my writing career, I would like to welcome you all back to Electron Glutton. Rather, I'd like to welcome myself back! It looks like I'll have a little time for updating this thing, so let's just get to it.

We've lived in Meadville since the summer of 2001 (Ah! What a simple time it was!), and moved to our current house on North Street that winter. For that whole time, we've lived just down the road from this:

Behold, brethren, the Jesus Living Witness Temple Healing Ministry! This sign stands next to an unassuming--dare I say it, run down--house a block and a half from ours, neatly kept but with a tarp covering part of the roof. On occasion, an elderly black couple can be seen outside, tending the yard. Once, another man was on the roof, attempting some repairs. Otherwise, there is no activity. There are no signs of services, regular or otherwise.

Despite the sign's broken wish for us to be "Well. . .Come", I would hesitate to walk up the steps and knock on the door. Not, mind you, out of any fear for my well-being. Rather, the place just doesn't seem like anyone's much interested in visitors.

The hand-painted sign seems so desperate. "JESUS died 4 U," it says, as though the use of just a handful more letters would have caused the sign-maker to run out of his or her white paint. The name suggests something grand and evangelical, like one of those Southern mega-churches that we're always reading about in the Godless, northern, elitist, commie press (i.e. the New York Times), and yet there's not really a temple to be found, much less a church.

I realize now that not posting a picture of the building makes this post a lot less entertaining. Also, I wish I could see the inside of the place. Maybe one day I'll knock.


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Even a thousand years in the future, pirates are still scum! Welcome to Maccabee, by Devon C Stout. Follow the adventures of Captain William Maccabee Derrick and the fearless crew of the privateer Hornet as they hunt down pirates and deal out frontier justice! Maccabee is experimental fiction, brought to you unedited and in raw format; future episodes must abide by what was written in episodes already posted, no matter how difficult that may prove. Maccabee contains adult themes and language. Updated twice a month during the active season: Current ... Archive ... Maccabee Main Menu
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