As you get off the elevator on your way to the Conference Room you sense something might be up as there seem to be several news crews of local affiliates of the Big 4 (ABC, CBS, NBC & Fox) plus CNN, MBS (Mythical Bulletin Scrolls) DDA (Draconian Daily Alert). Reporters from Several major periodicals as well as The Onion, Huffington Post, Daily Prophet, Haven Herald, the National Enquirer and the Dogpatch Gazette all waiting in the hallway to be allowed in the Conference Room. The scent of Peppermint tea and Gingerbread waft down the hall to entice you. The smells almost remind you of Christmas all over again.
As you enter the conference Room you see the benches have been rearranged closer to make room for the press at the back of the room and that security is extremely tight. A dozen CyberLethals are posted about the room along with several larger mythical creatures in the employ of DL/LL Digital Media’s Security team. Most of the tops of the recliners in the Patron’s Section are sporting what you assume to be Ninja kitties all appearing to be lounging languidly while watching everywhere thru 1/2 lidded eyes. Two more sit upright at the base of the podium, one of which is Chai, the other vigorously washing a paw and flexing the claws it contains is just small and cute enough to be the much feared Brutus the Brutal.
You spot Lethal with his back to you addressing someone in a very ornate high backed chair decorated with gilded carvings of Holly, Mistletoe and Snow flakes that is not part of the normal seating the the Patron’s Area. The arms of the chair each contain Diaman and Ginny who appear to be blatantly fawning over the chairs occupant. Around Lethal’s neck appears to hang a set of headphones sans cord sporting a tiny glowing light.
A human in black unmarked fatigues who’s features are obscured by a balaclava and another 6 CyberLethals are on the stage. Could you be seeing the legendary No-Name Head of DL/LL Enterprises Security? Along with them are 3 very nervous looking gentlemen in black suits and power ties.
As soon as you are settled the faceless human nods at Lethal who turns and beckons at the CyberLethal doing guard duty at the door to allow the press in. Immediately the din in the room triples as the press start demanding answers and shouting out questions like self absorbed boors they are.
As Lethal walks towards the back of the room he raises an arm and clicks his fingers. A very strident but loud ‘Maow!’ emanates from Brutus who momentarily scowls at the press cowing them into submission.
No-name (if that is him) steps up to the podium and says “Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman of the Readership. Before today’s issue gets under way these gentleman chosen to represent the various Governmental Agencies from which Impish’s recent troubles stemmed have a statement to read. There will be no questions afterwards and I mean no questions.”
No-name gestures and the 3 step up to the podium. One begins reading from a prepared statement.
“The Mythical entities known as Santa Claus and Impish Dragon are not now, nor should they have ever been, classified as potential terrorist threats to the National Security of the United States.
It has come to our attention the information we acted on was serious flawed and therefore misleading. We deeply regret and damage done the the reputations of the victims of this mistaken operation.
Negotiations have been concluded with regard to reparations to both parties but those negotiations and subsequent reparations are covered by a strict nondisclosure agreement as they are considered matters of national security.
We would also like to acknowledge the very kind assistance of Lethal Leprechaun Esquire, both in the brokering of this settlement and in the returning of assets both erroneously frozen and or hacked to some 1500 senior members of various governmental agencies along with the repairing of the damage done to their credit ratings.
OK there is just no way I’m reading this last part. I…OH MY GOD! OW! OW! OW! MAKE HIM STOP FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY! OK! I’LL READ IT!”
There is a brief pause as the spokesman seems to be attending to a portion of himself below the podium. Mean time Brutus wander back around front of the podium with something in his mouth which he deposits at Chai’s feet. It appears to have possibly been a piece of torn and bloody blue pinstripe flannel. Brutus once again begins a serious cleaning of the same paw he was earlier which now appears might have a fairly significant quantity of blood on it as does his whiskers. When the speaking doesn’t resume Brutus eases the cleaning, easily climbs the front of the podium and regards the three suits momentarily before uttering a quizzical ‘Maow?’ Immediately one of the two undamaged suits grabs the prepared statement and nervously continues reading.
“Wwwwe are ppppleased tttto rrreport that the ccccontinual appppplication of ice packs and aaaanti-inflamitories are ssssuccessfully counter acting the mmmysterious sssswelling of the President’s groin area and tttthat he should be up, around and back to screwing the nnnnon-liberal American voters bbbby the end of the week. Ttthat concludes our statement. Thhhhank you for yyyyour attention.
As he concludes he looks to the back of the room at Lethal who is now in the act of donning those head phone. Lethal curtly nods at the suits and gestures off stage right just as a now all too familiar and annoying “Can’t Touch This!” started belting out of the PA.
As the music start the curtains retract to reveal 12 Santa impersonators in red velvet parachute pants dancing with 12 blue dragons dusted in gold glitter. Suddenly the music switches from ‘Can’t Touch This’ to Kool and The Gang’s Celebration. This throws the dancing would be Santas and Impishs into confusion as it apparently isn’t anything they practiced. You see Lethal smirking and holding a remote control in his hand. The real Impish’s head pops up from behind the line of dancers and yells “Lethal your ruining it! This is my moment!” Lethal pushes another button and his apparently prerecorded voice can be heard over the music.
‘As I told you thick head you had your moment Saturday when you came back 4 days early despite my instructions and almost ruined all the hard work a lot of people did on your behalf because ‘hiding is boring and lonely’. This is my day and your butting in…again, in fact ‘tis getting to be a bloody habit with you’.
Impish scowls, shows Lethal his own remote and pressed a button. The music once again returns to “Can’t Touch This” . Impish blows a raspberry at Lethal as he starts wobbling in time to the beat. Lethal sighs deeply and pushes several buttons on the device in his hand. Presentations screens about the room begin flashing Yellow and an orange scrolling message seems to indicate that the fire suppression system in Impish’s pie vaults has gone off line. Impish stops dancing causing several dancers bump into him.
“NO! Lethal! You WOULDN’T! PLEASE! NOT THAT!”
Lethal smiles evilly turns around and heads for the door while simultaneously flipping Impish off and, with dramatic flourish, presses the last button on his remote. The presentation screens pause for a moment before switching to flashing red with a message reading ALERT! Fire in Pie Storage Vaults 1 thru 6. Fire Suppression is off line in Pie Vaults.”
Over the sobs of Impish, No-name steps to the podium and announces “remain calm and enjoy the issue folks the Pie Vaults are air tight on a sealed level far below us. There is no danger to any of you. Lethal is simply demonstrating that he indeed CAN INDEED touch this.
Please enjoy the issue and don’t mind the sobbing Dragon.”
From the ornate chair you hear a booming HO! HO! HO! The Press is too busy laughing along with whom ever is in the chair to even ask questions.
Mike posted a link to these a couple weeks ago in the comments. They were so good I wanted everyone to see them and thought that there would be most appropriate around Valentines Day.
Most of us are aware of the 12 signs of the zodiac and the symbols that represent them. Capricorn the goat, Pisces the fish, Taurus the bull, and so on. However, one artist, known as Damon Hellandbrand, decided to re-imagine these zodiac signs as strange and terrifying monsters. The results are awesome! Hellandbrand most often creates his works using digital imaging programs, but some of these pieces were completed in pencil or watercolor. He says that he takes his inspirations from artists such as Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo.
Impish & I will never look at our horoscope in quite the same way again!
With Spring Break in the Offing I’m sure there are a lot of hot college co-eds thinking the very thing. Time for me to ditch the Dragon, pack a bag and head for South Padre Island!
I’m sure one of you will try following this practice, I have just two words for that guy- air mattress. They are way more comfortable than the couch. Just ask Impish.
What can I say? Aside from being guilty of being a hopeless Irish romantic where me own dear Molly is concerned, I like Cupid. Lucky bugger got to shoot people once a year and get away with it scot free!
At any rate- ‘tis you last chance ta be cooking up something impressive for your love. Even the most kitchen inept of you (word has it that would be you Paul K-9!) should be able to handle whipping up a batch o’ Monkey Chow
Chocolate Pound Cake
Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 1 hr.
Yield: 12 servings
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with butter.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream the 1 cup butter, the shortening and the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one a time, beating well after each addition. With the motor running, add the flour mixture and the milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake; it should come out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice the cake and serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Or try it Leprechaun Style, with a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Chunk– mint ice cream with fudge chunks. Your store all out of it? Bailey’s Ice Cream is about tied with it as a topping in my house.
Sorry folks! That crash you just heard was Ginny falling to the floor after her knees gave way at the thought of those combinations.
Total Time: 55 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 40 min
Yield: 8 servings
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
3 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped walnuts
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. [ Read that as 9” spring form pan ]
Melt the butter in a bowl set over simmering water. Add 2 cups of the chocolate chips, remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside to cool completely.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cooled chocolate. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the walnuts. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). The inside will still be very soft. Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle on the tart.
Lastly here’s a portable confection that your beloved can take with them or you can hide in their lunch bag as a surprise and a hint of things to come.
Also February Vacation is almost upon us for your little monkeys and/or grandmonkeys. The damage to your fridge and pantry can be devastating when it comes to them climbing in and through them in search of snacks. Why not make a batch of this sure to please snack mix up for them.
Total Time: 22 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 2 min
Yield: 11 cups
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup peanut butter
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 malted milk powder
8 cups crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Chex
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups freeze-dried bananas or banana chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
Combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter and malted milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Put the cereal in a large bowl, pour in the melted chocolate-peanut butter and stir until evenly coated.
Allow the cereal to cool slightly, and then transfer to a large brown paper bag or resalable plastic bag. Add the confectioners’ sugar, bananas and butterscotch chips. Tightly close or seal the bag and toss to coat well. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For Valentines Day I’d buy some o’ them little candy hearts with the silly messages or get some with more Adult messages here: http://www.valentinegiftcompany.com/valentine-sexy-candy.html
OR you could go for cheaper ones and get some like these which might not get you the reaction you were looking for:
This is huge: FCC chairman’s strong net neutrality proposal turns the Internet into a public utility!
U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler just pulled out the big gun in the net neutrality battle: In an op-ed published on Wired, Wheeler announced a proposal to invoke the agency’s Title II authority, which would allow the FCC to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, similar to phone service. And he did so in strong, no-nonsense terms:
“Using this authority, I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband.”
The hardline stance comes after Wheeler floated another net neutrality proposal in 2014 that would allow Internet service providers to engage in “commercially reasonable” traffic management, which led to fears of Internet fast lanes. The addition of mobile broadband to Wheeler’s new proposal is another surprise, since the net neutrality mandate that passed in 2010 (and was subsequently shot down in court) specifically excluded mobile networks.
While net neutrality advocates have long called for the FCC to invoke Title II authority over broadband, ISPs are strongly opposed to the idea. The 2010 version of net neutrality was deemed illegal after a lawsuit from Verizon. If Wheeler’s new proposal passes muster with his fellow FCC commissioners on February 26—as it likely will, given that dissenting Republicans only hold two of the five commissioner seats—it will undoubtedly draw even more lawyerly attention from the industry.
Wheeler says his proposal will modernize Title II to make it more appropriate for the Internet age, however. “For example, there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling,” he wrote. “Over the last 21 years, the wireless industry has invested almost $300 billion under similar rules, proving that modernized Title II regulation can encourage investment and competition.”
After years of being wishy-washy on net neutrality, the FCC is preparing for war. Let’s end with one more quotation from Wheeler—one that drives home the heart of the issue, in these days of throttled Netflix connections, appalling broadband speeds, and seriously overpriced Internet:
“Broadband network operators have an understandable motivation to manage their network to maximize their business interests. But their actions may not always be optimal for network users.”
A triple barrel’s worth of short comments/observations to wrap up this week so you can get away from what I understand is a still sobbing Impish. (You just got to love noise canceling headphones!)
For those wondering, yes that is a real production model 3 barreled shotgun. The new Chiappa 12 gauge.
Lawyers see new benefit to police body cameras
When District of Columbia police began outfitting some officers’ shirts and glasses with miniature cameras in the fall, the objectives were obvious: to protect residents from overly zealous officers during arrests as well as to protect officers from any unfounded complaints.
But this month in D.C. Superior Court, prosecutors and defense attorneys explored another benefit of the video: as evidence for trial.
The case, one of the first in the Washington region to use police body camera footage in court, involved a common assault allegation. A District man accused his onetime roommate of beating him on an August afternoon in 2013 after an argument over missing belongings.
When Michael Fouse of Southeast Washington took the stand Jan. 8, he testified that Allen Wells, his former roommate, had come to his apartment with four other men one summer day. Fouse said two of the men held him down as Wells punched him in the face and head “about 25 to 30 times” and then kicked him in his chest.
But in a video that Wells’s attorney, Stephanie Johnson, played in court — taken from a camera worn by one of the police officers who arrived just minutes after the altercation — Fouse, 54, never mentioned those details. He told the officers only that he was “assaulted” and that “everything happened so quickly, I don’t remember.”
Wells and his attorney cited the video as they argued that there was no brutal attack and that Wells, 67, acted in self-defense after Fouse pushed him. Prosecutors used the same video to point out the victim’s bloodied face and T-shirt.
Ultimately, Judge Fern Saddler found Wells guilty of simple assault.
You can access the rest of the article here: http://www.registercitizen.com/general-news/20150126/lawyers-see-new-benefit-to-police-body-cameras
What I want to know what are Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the ‘Oh-the-police-hate-black-men-play-the-race-card-and-incite-riots-to-get-out-of-paying-for-your -crimes faction going to do with their legs cut out from under them. The camera is going to remove all the doubt and kill the support from all the lying witnesses about how the police brutally oppressed the perp’s rights. What’s next? They going to start aiming for the cameras when they shoot?
Pope Francis to be first pontiff to address Congress
WASHINGTON – Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24. He’ll be the first Pontiff to do so.
House Speaker John Boehner made the announcement at a news conference, then issued a statement expressing gratitude that the pope had accepted his invitation to appear before a joint meeting of the House and Senate.
The pope is scheduled to make his first papal visit to the United States this fall, with other stops in New York and Philadelphia.
The church already feels that the principle of separation is a one way street now someone who should know differently is going to reinforce their notion it is. THERE IS A BLOODY GOOD REASON THE SODDING POPE HAS NEVER ADDRESSED CONGRESS BEFORE! IT’S BECAUSE HE HAS NO BLOODY BUSINESS ADDRESSING OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DIRECTLY IS GOES AGIANST WHAT WE WERE FOUNDED ON!
OK all you whiney liberals pay close attention to what I am about to say next!
OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE IS HOLY TO THE US of A! WILL SOMEONE PLEASE BEAT BOEHNER WITH A HARDBOUND COPY OF THE CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS AND THE FEDERALIST PAPERS!
Then juice them with a pint of Tabasco and give him a Founding Fathers Enema so that some of the principles on which the country is founded and he is supposed to be governing by are burned into his obviously up his ass brains!
Please drug him and tattoo “Separation of Church & State” across his forehead! Then you can censure and impeach him for violating his oath of office.
Finally here comes that 3rd barrel. As we all learned last Saturday Impish is apparently working on his Memoirs/Autobiography. Perhaps he feels he can best serve the world/dragon kind as a
bad example cautionary tale of the woes of excess.
In any event I take my responsibilities towards my clients, my partner and this business very seriously. Therefore I felt it my responsibility to read said
work of fiction Memoirs even in its roughest of draft forms with an eye towards damage control, I mean eliminating incriminating self confessions, err that is his dragging the rest of us and the company down with him with ill advise revealing of proprietary information.
The reading is slow going currently because the earliest parts are in his own claw, which he apparently dipped in the blood of what ever he was eating at the time and used it for ink. I’ve found it interesting entertaining and informative with regard to his very early years as a hatchling. Hatchlings are apparently very different from adult dragons having far baser and simplistic needs/thoughts.
It seems to me that Impish is permanently stuck someplace between hatchling and adult at present after reading some of it.
Anyway in the spirit of entertaining you (to say nothing of continuing to heap my revenge upon Impish for screwing up my plans by coming back early) I’ve decided to cease Parting Shots for a while unless something important/special comes along in favor of ending each issue with an excerpt from what I’m guessing is his diary from his youngest time.
He had not yet come up with a title for his
work of fiction recounting of his life through his eyes, so as you can see from the above, I chose one for him that sounded like something he’d choose. Admittedly the “or” part was mine, but hey, look at the capital letters of the title that sounds like him before you come bitching at me about abusing the poor dragon!
Now here’s a preview of selected sections I will be sharing weekly with you:
I am a pretty blue dragon. I hatched today. Girl was waiting. Told her my name was Henth. Then I ated her. Virgin’s sure taste good
I went to the barn. There were many animals. I ated them. Except the cat. I only tasted the cat. I did not ated it. Good cat.
After I finished ating the barn animals I brought the cat in to sleep on my pillow. We will dream of fishies and ated them.
Met a knight today. He tried to poke me with sharp stick. I didn’t let him. I did not ated him. How do you shuck a knight?
Got note from great aunt Kayath about knights. Came with churchkey. Opened knight and ated him. Prefer fresh to tinned meat.
Am going looking for a princess. Have heard they make great ateding. Will bring cat for company.
No princess yet 😦 I did find several walruses. I ated them, but they weren’t very good. Cat says we should find fishes.
Made cat sack from walrus. Cat didn’t seem very appreciative. Saw, gnomes? Yes, gnomes—a six pack. Ated them. Gnom gnom gnom.
Saw a knight on a horse but couldn’t catch it. Hungry. Tasted cat again this morning just in case. Still not going to ated it
Found large pile of oily black rock. Ated it. Belched fire for six hours. Bad heartburn. Yet, have strange craving for more.
I don’t get what the big deal is about dragons and gold. I mean sure its all…sparkly. But that doesn’t…really sparkly. Spar—
Sparkly! Sparkly! Sparkly!
Sparkly! Sparkly! Sparkly! What’s that kitty? I said that already? Really? Sorry…deep breaths. In, out, in, out…sparkly?
Cat points out that there is no gold here. Sigh. Maybe later. In the meantime, ated mime. Worse heartburn than black rock.
Not sure about ateding mimes. Too much gas later—silent but deadly. On the other claw, it’s one box they’ll never get out of.
Found princess and have set her out front as knight-bait. No more mime-indigestion. Thinking of collecting shields. Sparkly.
Princess is working. Have landed first knight and ated him. I was hungry so just roasted. Will think about a glaze next time.
Mellow day, slow-roasted knight with garlic at joints. Cat says it’s my best effort yet. Ated a couple of goblins too.
Found 5 gold coins in knight’s saddlebags and put them on pillow. Sparkly! Sparkly! Sparkly! Going to bed now.
Actually taken from: Dragon Diaries by Kelly McCullough