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Domination of Eiler

2008 February Blog (#13)

It's not a full-fledged operation, but it's still a big month.

February 2008

Previous: January 2008 - November 2007 October - September 2007 August - July 2007 June - April 2007 March - February 2007 January 2007 - December 2006 November - September 2006 August - June 2006 May - April 2006 March 2006 - October 2005 September - June 2005 May - February 2005

In This Episode:

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

Oh, just treat it like another pretentious web log.
At least until you get to know it better, citizen. This web log wants to conquer the world.
Educational links are provided.

25 February 2008

When Poorness Spreads
Some people say the future will be utopia. Let's plan otherwise.

At least one web logger (Scott Adams, creator of "Dilbert") says the world keeps getting better and better. Once the next good fuel source comes along and computers can be manufactured for $1, everyone will be happy. At least one documentary ("Six Degrees Can Change the World") says if those things don't come true, society as we know it is pretty much doomed. The answer is almost certainly somewhere in between.

If history teaches anything, it's that the rich will do well and the poor will suffer more. But the suffering of the poor is already making rich people less rich, as witness the mortgage-related decline of the worldwide stock markets.

Assuming the world doesn't get better for everyone and poorness continues to spread, here are some guidelines for the world that's coming.

  • Some broken bicycle parts can be held in place with picture wire.
  • Used partially-blank sheets of paper will be cut down so they'll be smaller but fully-blank, for use as notepaper.
  • Paper mail that you're done reading will make good coasters for your beverages.
  • Paper towels and napkins will be worth reusing until they're totally soiled.
  • Both paper and plastic bags will be trade goods. (Here in the present, charity thrift stores will gladly accept them as donations.)
  • Salt that's left over from bags of pretzels can be sprinkled on sidewalks to help melt the ice. Assuming you want sodium chloride near your lawn or your snow, that is. Because...
  • When it snows, people will harvest the snow for drinking water.
  • Water from a dehumidifier will also be worth keeping, if only to help flush the toilet. Snow is good for avoiding some of those flushes.
  • Formerly-disposable plastic juice jugs will hold the water you want to save.
  • People will realize, coffee grounds and the scrapings of banana peels are edible. In the future, these things will be delicacies.
  • Dryer lint will have value, as insulation or as cheap padding for orthopedic heel lifts.

There will certainly be other culture shocks. But these are the ones which the Domination of Eiler is proud to say, it's actually done "proof of concept" on. Not that the Domination is poor; it's just staying in shape for when poorness spreads.

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23 February 2008

Churches and Pubs
... are more interconnected than either one cares to admit.

There's a kind of place where all kinds of people gather in fellowship to commune together. And then there's church. The other kind of place would be a bar.

Of course, the Domination of Eiler knows about both these places.

  • In both Massachusetts and New Jersey, there were righteous church women (Congregationalist and Christian Reformed respectively) who worked as waitresses at the neighborhood pub.
  • In Illinois, a rightous Episcopalean church woman recruited the Dominator for her church at the neighborhood brew pub. Metro Chicago has so many pubs, you can probably find one where they brew the beer on premises.
  • Here in Michigan, it was only a matter of time before the local Baptists recognized the Dominator at his neighborhood pub (Coscarelli's). It finally happened tonight, because the high school swim team was having a party in the back rooms, and two of the kids on the team go to Baptist youth group.
    • It only makes sense that church people come to this neighborhood pub. Gym people and work people come here too. The neighborhood association even holds meetings here. It really is the neighborhood pub.
    • Still, the Dominator has been told this Baptist family prefers Art's Bar and Grill a few miles away. Great burgers, or so it's said.
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16 February 2008

Pop Psychologist Syndrome
Pop icons, mental health, and commentators collide. Plus, what is "mental health"? Featuring the Dominator's Li'l Pals, Dufus and Dom!

As often happens, the Dominator recently restocked his print library from a thrift store. For $0.25 USD, a book "The Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Have Never Grown Up" was obtained. The Dominator is proud of having a physical age of 46 but a mental age of 18, so this book was therefore of interest.

It was shortly discovered, the author of "The Peter Pan Syndrome" was in the business of behavior modification. That is to say, he was a psychiatrist. He'd accepted contracts from annoyed wives and mothers, to recommend ways to make men grow up.

The Domination of Eiler promptly declared on a mailing list its intent to ridicule this author in this particular blog entry. Responses ranged from "Yeah, let's recommend ways to make this guy eat $#!+ and die", to "What's this guy say about making my 45-year-old brother move out of my mother's basement?"

It's become obvious, there is some public demand for making men grow up, just like for mental health in general. But what is "mental health"? And who can judge it?

Dufus Sez: Obviously this blogger exhibits a desire for world domination as a compensation for his own perceived personal inadequacies. I call this the Napoleon Syndrome. Dom Says: Okay, but I think I'll go dominate the world anyway.

It is universally agreed, "mental health" is defined as "the state of mind which best contributes to ____". Of course, there is great debate as to how to fill in the blank.

  • "Health" is easily defined as "the bodily state which best contributes to survival". But then one gets into the question: self-survival, descendant-survival, society-survival, nation-state survival, or species-survival?
  • Given that question, the definition of "mental health" is also in question. To complicate matters, some "mental health" definitions fill in the blank with "happiness" or "The Glory of God" rather than "survival".
  • It is known that mental health with one goal does not always translate toward another goal. For example, soldiers don't always make good peaceful citizens.
  • Aside from the "official" opinions... Few individuals say they are not mentally healthy. Therefore, every individual has his own definition of mental health.
  • The Domination of Eiler freely admits, it fills in the "mental health" blank such that it leads to "smooth operation of the Domination of Eiler". This usually aligns with goals of society. Therefore, the Domination has no unusual goals to pursue for mental health, but it finds that health still of interest.

Given these multiple definitions of "mental health", it may be best for the public to say: "Mental health" is whatever state of mind one is willing to have another person induce in oneself or in a third party.

Here enter psychologists: those who theorize about mental health.

  • Psychiatrists and psychologists often argue about the difference between psychiatrists and psychologists. Go figure.
  • For purpose of this discussion, psychiatrists are medically-trained psychologists who enter into contracts to modify mental health. They may therefore have any characteristic psychologists have.

Here enter "pop" psychologists: those who feel the need to lump certain categories of behavior together as "syndromes", and compare them to easily recognized popular figures such as Peter Pan. There are many more "pop psychologists" than one might think, especially when one starts counting every commentator who liken their opponents to Adolf Hitler. Of course, such commentators are too numerous to count, and unworthy to mention by name. They are often untrained psychologists, but they are still psychologists.

Here enters the Pop Psychologist Syndrome. In the opinion of the Domination of Eiler, this state of mind is much more widespread than the Peter Pan Syndrome which one Pop Psychologist mentioned.

Here, of course, enters the Domination of Eiler. Now that it is informed about what Pop Psychologists probably think of the Dominator's mental state, it's making for an increasingly good Pop Psychologist point of view in one of the old fiction-blog stories.

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15 February 2008

Eat Snow
The Domination of Eiler has discovered a fabulous new diet food that actually burns calories.
Sno-Cone Buffet Table

Sno-cones served by the square foot, as befits a Domination-grade appetite on a bike day.

This winter is unlike any other in Domination of Eiler history - and most of its prehistory, for that matter. This year, the Dominator is a responsible landholder in a northern U.S. city. So, the Domination Guard has to go out and shovel snow.

On one such mission, the Domination Guard trooper got thirsty. The trooper was outside, the snow was outside, and the not-unleaded tap water of Lansing-Michigan was inside. Under the circumstances, snow was the beverage of choice. And it was tasty. So much so, the troops went outside later for some more fistfuls of snow.

This has become a habit. As such, the Domination of Eiler now has some recommendations for eating snow.

  • Be careful where your snow comes from. Yellow snow is obviously bad, but there are other dangers.
    • Too near the street or some highly-maintained sidewalks, and you may get salt. This is not always a danger in Lansing-Michigan which can't always afford salt, but other cities may have more access to chemicals.
    • Speaking of chemicals, some of those may actually be poison. Particularly the blue ones. One wonders why they put that stuff near grass, but oh well.
    • Also, don't go too near the doorway of any non-smoking building. Of course, people will smoke right outside the door. Or if security guards chase them away for public relations purpose, one may trace the smokers by their trail of filth.
    • The best source of snow is usually on top of some structure, such as a shed or a picnic table.
    • If there should be a few specks of non-white stuff on top, it probably won't affect your digestion or enjoyment. Assuming you don't collect from too near where the smokers congregate, it's just stuff from trees.
  • If snow partially melts and then freezes, it makes good finger food. Otherwise, it's best to collect it in a vessel, then tap the vessel to compact the snow.
  • Thermal coffee cups work better than fists for carrying snow inside. Practically any amount of snow will stay cold in such a cup until you can eat it. A cold beer mug will also work fairly well - provided one has emptied the beer out first, of course.
  • In the Domination of Eiler, various flavor additives have been employed. And, of course, rated.
    1. Vanilla syrup (such as Fancy Place coffee shops use) tends to lump the snow up. But the end result tastes like homemade vanilla ice cream, with much fewer calories, something like 80 calories per 24 fluid ounces.
    2. Chocolate syrup (such as one puts on ice cream) is also tasty, if one likes chocolate. But when you pour it on snow, it's more like instant chocolate chips.
    3. Any kind of popular drink based on fruit juice will turn snow into a nice slushee drink.
    4. Beer will also form a nice slushee, but foam can be even more of a problem than usual.
    5. Hard liquor has some potential. But Jim Beam whiskey does not taste good with snow. Rum might work better, but the Domination of Eiler Liquor Cabinet no longer offers a multi-choice menu, so this hasn't been tried yet.
    6. Lemon juice is just nasty on snow. It's like eating lemon juice.

This year, snow is plentiful enough to have other uses. In particular, the Domination of Eiler is showing its environmental commitment and its emotional maturity by shoving some big chunks of snow in the toilet so as to be roughly the shape of Greenland, and then instead of flushing the toilet, spending the night playing its new game "Melt the Icecap".

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8 February 2008

South Haven-Michigan
A longstanding target finally submits - but it's the coastal town they forgot to shut down.
Beach Weather

Fine beach weather for February in Michigan. See also:

Old Harbor Inn

Michigan Maritime Museum

Local Lighthouse

Chicago vacation finished not quite as expected. During the big snowstorm, trains were running nicely, but cars mostly sucked, and targets throughout the town were shutting down early. Mission into Chicago was therefore aborted. Instead, highlight of the day was sorting out the EilerDepot warehouse some more. Just like a real day in the Happy Land of Eiler.

Palatine-Illinois is mostly congenial and functional for a Domination of Eiler vacation. But it has no tourist attractions, and the neighborhood kids have been sneaking in to the hotel stairwell to smoke marijuana again. It's time for a more restful venue, even if it might cost double or triple what Motel 6 of Palatine does.

South Haven-Michigan has been selected as primary target for the actual vacation part of this vacation. Despite opposition from traffic backups at all the eastern egresses from Hellroad I-80/94, South Haven is now occupied.

  • A camp of chain hotels exists on the edge of town by the highway. These were bypassed, because hotels and restaurants also exist downtown. These seem to be locally owned.
  • In downtown South Haven in February, it's challenging to find a hotel room open and not broken, or a restaurant that opens before 4 pm. South Haven is the coastal resort town that isn't quite shut down. Quite silent and gray too, as Morrissey once sung. But that's actually quite relaxing. And unlike metro Chicago, it's actually pretty here the day after a snowfall.
  • The town offers a museum target, "Michigan Maritime Museum". The content is obvious, but worth checking out, especially the self-guided tour of the fishing boat.
    • No children in evidence today. (No other visitors of any sort for the last three days, according to the guestbook. February in Michgan has its advantages.) If you do bring the kids, you may want to keep them on a leash, lest they fall in the water or down an engine well or something.
  • One little historical museum of the Prominent Local Citizen (MSU's most famous horticulturist) will be open tomorrow afternoon. Good enough, maybe, if the Dominator isn't tired of February tourism by then.
  • Lunch at restaurant "Clementine's" that opens before 4 pm, especially outside the weekend.
  • Some hours followed of walking around town, sitting on the beach, and taking a nap back at the rented room. As vacations go, this works. Too cloudy for vesper-helio-Dominance, though. Which is to say, no sunset.
  • Also discovered the local radio stations. Chicago radio may sometimes play music which is not the best. So may Lansing, and they may pre-empt it for college sports. In South Haven, they'll pre-empt it for high school sports. And they still play Paul Harvey, too. Isn't he dead yet?
  • Dinner at "Thirsty Perch" restaurant like last night, featuring blueberry beer from Maine. Dessert at "Harborside Bistro" martini bar. An Italian restaurant (with rampant children) and a beach-style bar (where every look from patrons said, "What just came in?") were also available. But life's too short to conquer everything.
  • EilerBarracks at "Old Harbor Inn" is within walking distance of all this, and overlooking the harbor. Go figure.
    • Old Harbor Inn lets people in to drink and eat pizza, in "York's Landing" barroom just around the hallway from the rented room.
    • The deployment here could have been a miscalculation, because public intoxication and private sleeping should be kept separate. But the hotel at least knows it's happening, so it's less sinister than if the patrons just sneak in and bring their own. Therefore superior to the Motel 6 of Palatine-Illinois.
    • Besides, it's a quiet neighborhood bar, at least this time of year. A bandstand is erected very near the Dominator's quarters, but this is not operating until summertime.
    • Besides, the Domination of Eiler loves to tell the world the Dominator sleeps in bars. It still can't top the time he slept in a distillery, though.
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5 February 2008

Super Fat Tuesday
It's voting day and Amateur Drunk Night again. And still vacation.

Vacation is going well. It rained yesterday, but the Dominator still went to get a haircut and a massage, then sucked the meat off a rabbit's spine. Even the third most Fancy Place in Palatine-Illinois has rabbit stew! And Palatine isn't even the most yuppified town around here. With the help of masseuses, rabbit stew, and a big pile of comic books, one can relax in suburban Chicago as well as most anywhere.

Today, vacation gets more complicated. Today is Fat Tuesday, which is to say, Amateur Drunk Night for the second time in three days. Ho hum, time to dodge the amateur drunks again.

Also today, the business of world domination calls, by way of the political process of "United States" presidential elections. Today is Super Tuesday, the day when more than twenty of fifty states have presidential primaries. It is rumored that State-of-Illinois citizens may vote in absentia via the Web. But today, the Dominator votes in person.

  • Among Republican candidates, judging by their trips to State-of-Michigan (where EilerBase is maintained nowadays), those who have been governors sound like governors, not presidents. Go figure. And they're a bit heavy on Moral Majority rhetoric too, which will just get them chewed up this year.
  • Among Democratic candidates, judging by their trips to State-of-Michigan, nobody cares. Michigan dared break the Democrats' rules so as to get votes in while the election was still up for grabs. Democrats responded by ignoring Michigan. Michigan's commentators just talk about which Dem has endorsement from which slimy-but-powerful fellow celebrities.
  • The main issue is really, which United States politician will lead the nation-state as though it were not already the ruler of the world? World rule, of course, rightfully falls to the Domination of Eiler. But even the Dominator is subtle about building his international constituency before he takes action. Even more should U.S. Presidents be.
  • If the nation-state can get a leader of better than simple-minded faith whose cohorts don't leave a trail of slime, so much the better.

For today, mission is accomplished. By bicycle, even.

  • No big crowd for voting, at least at 11 am. No difficulty in being recognized; this venue has a signature form ready for each of its registered voters.
  • The voting venue offered both electronic and paper ballots. The paper ones were much more functional.
  • The Dominator took advantage of his Independent registration to obtain a Republican ballot. He promptly used this in suppression fire, against candidates that love God but hate biological research. Theologically speaking, such candidates are saying they will not follow in God's footsteps. What kind of faith is that for one who would lead? It's certainly not Domination of Eiler faith.
  • (Early results say, the Dominator's vote had the desired effect, at least among Republicans in Illinois and two other states. All Hail the Domination!)
  • When the time for the Dominator's next volley comes, then he'll rate the survivors based on whether their foreign policy statements are more realistic than "Run Away", with relative sliminess of the entourages as a tie-breaker. If all else fails, he can always vote Libertarian as usual.

Celebrated the mission completion with a dish of crawfish etouffe. It's a bit early for Amateur Drunk Night, but it is still Super Fat Tuesday.

  • When dealing with crawfish in the shells, at least one paid professional recommends, don't eat the brains! ... Sadly, this recommendation came just a bit too late today.

The rest of today holds some marshalling of resources at the EilerDepot warehouse base, maybe another trip to the charity thrift store, maybe a nap, and probably an evening outing at a newly-discovered Palatine neighborhood bar where Fat Tuesday is just another drinking day.

Tomorrow, maybe take the train downtown and visit the Historical Society, the first target in most towns but the only target left in Chicago, aside from the Blue Man Group which just might submit also. It'll be snowing, but trains and Chicagoans usually don't mind. God Bless America and All Hail the Domination!

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3 February 2008

Meet the Episcopal Deputy Pope
Despite some hitches, a high-level meeting succeeds.
Bishop and Icons

The Presiding Bishop and other famous women. See also:

Bishop in a Hard Hat. One never knows when construction may strike.

Big Choir

The Domination of Eiler's religious allies in Elk Grove-Illinois have arranged a visit from their Penultimate Leader: the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the United States Episcopal Church. Their ultimate leader is the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, but for historical reasons the Anglican faithful in the United States don't pay much attention to English authority.

As one might imagine, this visit is an occasion of great joy for this church. The Domination of Eiler shared in it.

  • There was a police presence in the neighborhood throughout the service. This is the sort of church that Christian fundamentalists sometimes like to protest against. For some Christians, hanging out in churches that allow sinners in, is as bad as drinking whiskey and hanging out in strip joints... Thankfully, no protest today.
  • The ritual for the occasion was intense, even by Episcopalian standards. For special occasions such as this, one can not just walk into church on Sunday morning and sing with the choir. Aww, too bad.
  • Still, the allies were pleased to see the Dominator today. Always a pleasure on this end too, everyone.
  • The meeting between the Presiding Bishop and the Dominator went quickly: "I like the hat." "Likewise."

If the Domination of Eiler's three most recent sponsored churches were put on an island together, two of them would refight the English Civil War and the third one would emigrate. In the Domination's religious practice, though, cooperation is more important than dogmatic wars. The Dominator has some issues with Episcopalian beliefs and ritual, but he has no issue with helping his friends celebrate a special occasion.

Afterward, Sunday dinner at Palatine brewpub. Forces made it there on bicycle, which is probably the only use the bike will get this week due to weather conditions. Some of the locals even recognized the Dominator (or at least his little computer).

Goal for the rest of the day is to take a nap, then observe the Super Bowl in controlled doses, supplemented by a month's worth of comic books. This being Amateur Drunk Night, the amateur drunks can have the bars.

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2 February 2008

State Visit
The Dominator visits metro Chicago and mingles with his people, more than most dignitaries do.

Now that the Dominaton's mercenary cyber-peacekeeping mission is getting extended beyond one year (and they're still saying "Don't make withdrawal plans yet"), the Domination of Eiler is taking its down time in no less than one-week increments. And it's all going toward the business of world domination, which has waited too long already. In this coming week, the Dominator will meet with the head of the Episcopal Church, then subtly influence the political process of "United States" presidential elections, from his EilerBase in one of the candidates' home states.

Unfortunately, the price of this political maneuvering is a trip to metro Chicago in February. Fortunately, the general public is not travelling likewise. Sometimes the counter-intuitive vacations work out the best.

  • This being February, of course a snowstorm interfered during traditional Friday night transit time. Weather was okay by then, but local authorties asked citizens to stay off roads still. The Domination of Eiler considered this request reasonable.
  • The delay worked out nicely, actually. The Domination of Eiler spent Friday night tending to its laundry, and to its worldwide affairs.
    • One reporter from Israeli TV wanted to interview some childfree Germans, unfortunately fictional in this case.
    • One Girl Scout wanted to interview the webmaster of the Domination's Silly Places page, which just keeps on attracting web traffic even though the Domination of Eiler now declares all places to be silly.
  • The delay resulted in the bizarre presence of a Domination expeditionary force on road before 7 am Saturday. Hey, if the Dominator's going to wake up once every night at 4 am like old people do, why not take advantage?
  • This tactic proved amazingly successful, and put the force within FM radio range of Chicago by Second 8 am. (Time zone shift, y'know.) Driving partway Friday night (the usual way) would have been more fun, but much less efficient.
  • After Chicago 8 am, the Dominator enjoyed the Chicago radio program "Saturday Morning Flashback". This usually doesn't suck unless the topic is 1978 - 1982 or thereabouts. Both those possibilities were eliminated in the last two weeks.
    • Unfortunately the program this week jumped to 1995, for the second time ever. Due to 18 or 20-year cultural cycles, 1995 is pretty sucky too. The Dominator knows this because First 1995 Flashback happened during one of his other trips.
    • The Dominator lived through the gradual musical decline beginning in 1993. Don't get him started on performers debuting that year with "Crow" in their names. May the One Maker grant a new cycle of good music in 2008, much like 1988 and 1968 before it.

Aside from the snowstorm aftereffects and the unusually sucky Chicago radio, highway travel was extraordinarily easy. Off highway, unfortunately, Chicago is still Chicago and not conducive to movement. Fortunately, the whole day has been allocated to move through the area. And for once, to shop. Computer store, comic book store, used CD store, gas station, mailbox, storage warehouse, thrift store, bike shop, hotel: nine targets each submitted in turn.

The rest of the day is for lunch and/or dinner, then hibernation. The meeting with Episcopalians is tomorrow, and they keep early hours.

  • Palatine Motel 6 staff says, second floor room will be quiet because drunks prefer first floor. This is a rule about drunks that the Dominator was unaware of. Of course, the Dominator is more physically fit than most other drunks.
  • A security guard says the Motel 6 just found out this very night, the local teenage boys like to come in and smoke marijuana in their stairwells. Hmm, the security was a bit loose when the Domination Guard came marching up the stairwell from the side entrance and found those same boys. Motel 6 apparently needs more paying drunk customers who are willing to walk up stairways.
  • But the room at Motel 6 is one-half to one-third the price of similar rooms nearer the big mall in Scumburg-Illinois. Plan your next Chicago vacation accordingly.
  • During checkin at Motel 6, swapped some stories about Illinois, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts automobile traffic with the local citizenry. One wonders if the Presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church will be mingling with her citizens the same way the Dominator is tonight.
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