Brandon Starr's blog. Updated daily since March 2003. Welcome. Make yourself comfortable. Have a hot chocolate.

Brandon Starr's blog is not to be taken internally. All humor is intentional, unless indicated otherwise.
Do not read while operating heavy machinery. May cause intracranial short circuiting.
Not for children under four days of age.

If for some reason you wish to contact Brandon Starr, take a moment and reconsider.
No? Ah, well. His email is
It's your fault now, and don't blame me when it all goes terribly, terribly wrong.

New fiction story! Click here for "The Voice of Cassandra."

Click here for my ongoing novel: "The History of Magic in the 21st Century."

Click here for the lowdown on "The History of Magic"

Click here for my new investing blog, "Adroit Investor"

Click here for my anti-Bush shirts.

Click here for my favorite design: the 'tourist safety shirt.'

Brandon Starr is available in small, medium, and large. Contents may settle during shipping. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. Open carefully; contents under pressure. Do not incinerate. May be habit-forming--do not take if you are gassy or under the influence of mimosas. Improved; now non-staining. Ships in all colors, except puce. Prompt refund if not satisfied--simply return unused portion. All queries promptly ignored. Complaints resolved with deep, gut-blasting laughter, followed by posting complaints on nearest public wall. Not responsible for sunburns. All your base are belong to us. Act now. Beware cheap imitations. Insist on the original--Brandon Starr.

Update notification by email available below.

Some fun/useful/useless links:

The Internet Movie Database

My cousin back from Iraq, and how it changed me (my current favorite entry on this blog)

My product page

Fun blogs:

infinitus opinio

Siren's Song

the mechanical jive

The Strange World

Thunderstorms in the Imajica


Elven Sarah

Random Musings (Catcher)

Certifiable Princess (Sarah 2)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Got a half hour?

There's worse ways to spend it than watching  Robot Chicken:  Star Wars

Claymation-style and voiced by some very famous people, including several guys who voice on "Family Guy," plus George Lucas himself.  They even got Mark Hamill to voice Luke.

It's like a mini-sketch show, with the sketches running anything from 5 seconds to about a minute.

Like any sketch show, some are funnier than others.  But overall, it's definitely worth checking out.


Posted at 02:17 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I knew about parrots and tortoises...

But I didn't know whales lived so long:  explosive bomb lance fragment puts bowhead whale at 115 to 130 years old

Fascinating.  The whale was hit squarely, and the explosive did go off.  But the whale survived another century--until killed by (legal) hunters last month.

I wonder how old whales can get?


Posted at 03:13 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Thursday, June 07, 2007
I'm wounded, I'm being picked up by...a robot teddy bear?

Army to soon start using teddy-bear-influenced robot to pick up casualties and remove them from battlefield

Pretty remarkable.  It was just a few years ago they came up with those wheelchairs that could climb stairs.  Now they're coming out with a robot that can climb stairs and go most places humans can go, scoop up a wounded GI, and carefully remove said soldier from the battlefield.

The teddy-bear head?  It's to be a resassuring feature for a guy who's scared out of his wits.

Don't know why a teddy bear exactly, but it makes some sense.  Human faces are hard to duplicate--try to, and you may come up with something scarier than you intend.  Humans are very good at recognizing other human faces.  This is why it wasn't really until "Shrek" came out that a reasonably non-cartoonish human was made by an animation studio.  And even then those humans are somewhat, and purposely, distorted.  Remember how creepy the human kid was in "Toy Story?"

Science marches on, even while three of the Republican Presidential candidates raise their hands on live TV and declare they don't believe evolution.


Posted at 03:38 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Ugly duck college football uniforms

The "winner?"  U of Oregon.

Oddly, looking through the pictures, I didn't find the uniforms uniformly ugly.

As someone who had elementary, junior high, high school, and college colors all gold-and-green, just like the ducks, I must say:  yeah.  Pretty ugly.  I never liked those colors even when I was in school.

Give me one of those all-red uniforms any day.


Posted at 02:33 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (1)  

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Bush uses WHO to do WHAT?

Bush uses Osama bin Laden to defend Iraq policy

"President" Bush is saying that in 2005, bin Laden started plans to create a major al-Qaeda cell in Iraq to head up attacks around the globe.  This then defends his Iraq policy.

Hey, uh, Mr. "President?"  Here's a li'l secret...

Saddam Hussein hated and feared al-Qaeda, and kept them out on his own for decades because he was loathe to share power with anyone!  If you'd kept your mind on Afghanistan, no one would have had to worry about whether al-Qaeda was going to become a major terrorist haven!  This is all YOUR doing!

Some people, you really have to spell it out for them....

Of course, NOW we have to worry about Iraq becoming a terrorist haven.  It's like if you abandon--or in this case, purposely damage--a big building in the middle of a city.  Before, it had its problems, but they were its own.  The owner of the building had his own incentives to keep vandals and vermin away.  Afterward, you definitely have to worry if it's a center of drug use and rat infestation.


Posted at 02:49 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (1)  

Monday, May 21, 2007
Gas prices hit all-time high--finally

Gas prices hit all-time inflation-adjusted high (

And we're not even at Memorial Day yet--the traditional start to driving season.

Crude oil stocks are okay.  The real hangup is with the refineries.

No new oil refinery has been built in the U.S. since the 1960s.  While capacity has gone up slightly from expanding existing facilities, it hasn't been profitable to build refineries for a long, long time.  Firstly, there was capacity to spare for a long time, so margins were low.  Secondly, going through the environmental red tape for a refinery is really amazing.

Both problems are solved by higher prices, though.  The trouble is, it takes years to build a new refinery.

So, in the meantime, we're a bit stuck.  While crude oil might hit a permanent production plateau and even decline (the "peak oil" theory), as long as crude stocks are decent gasoline margins can still come down.

With the hurricane season starting early this year, it seems likely that we won't get the lucky reprieve that was last year, which gave most refineries a good chance to get back to production after Katrina/Rita.

It'll be an interesting summer if you like the sound of the internal combustion engine.


Posted at 03:44 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
400 Simpsons

"The Simpsons" hits 400 episodes (Hollywood Reporter via Yahoo!)

While I'm not quite the rabid fan I was in the early '90s, I still watch Our Favorite Family every week.

Seasons 5-8 were the apex of the series.  If you want to see the series at its best, try an episode made in the early 1990s.

Still, even today, past its prime, the show beats 90% of the other stuff on TV now.

While I think "Family Guy" is currently funnier, it's funnier than "American Dad."

"South Park" is a heaven-or-hell show to me.  The very funniest episodes are among the funniest things ever made; most of the shows are only marginally watchable.  Amazingly, the show's creators seem to agree:  most of my favorite episodes (from past seasons) show up on the DVD "South Park:  The Hits."  That's hits, as in hit-or-miss.

While I may not be as sharp as in the past, I can probably beat most people at Simpsons trivia.



Posted at 08:28 am by brandonstarr
Comments (1)  

Monday, May 07, 2007
Expecting high gasoline

$4 gas expected (CNN/Money)

Gasoline stocks are the lowest for this time of year since 1956.  Ouch.

Given that demand is so much higher now than it was then, that's a very, very bad thing.

It seems to me almost a foregone conclusion that gasoline will rise.

Here's hoping that at least some demand destruction will occur due to higher prices.  But I kind of doubt much will occur.  Firstly, the expectations are already in for higher gas--so what sort of demand pullback might be expected if $4 gas isn't shocking?  Second, gasoline is commonly higher in many countries where taxes are higher (as pointed out in the article).  Third, I've long held that gasoline is more inelastic in demand that most people think.  We have a big, rangy country, and it takes energy to move around in it.

Brace yourselves.



Posted at 04:04 pm by brandonstarr
Comments (1)  

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I've been playing "World of Warcraft" exclusively on a "PvP" server, Dethecus.

My "main character" is a warlock, currently level 32, name of Panphobia.

If you play on Dethecus on the Horde side, I'd love to hear from you.


Posted at 03:51 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I-mockery fun with Spider-Man 3

I-Mockery looks at cheesy "Spider-Man 3" product tie-ins

Ahh, the wonder of it all...


Posted at 03:52 pm by brandonstarr
Your thoughts?  

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