So, A Little Has Changed….

…like, I live in Romania now. Romania, for those of you without a map handy, is pretty far from Texas.

I have a little extra time to write now, so I’m hoping to update more often. Yes, more often than once a year. Or two. I think I can pull that off.

For now, let me just say that Romania, while generally nice and friendly and beautiful and full of good food and old women in babushkas, also has a dark side: no one here is in a hurry.

To do anything.

Ever.

(Except when they’re driving, at which point they all act like they have a laboring woman in the back seat and less than five minutes to get to the hospital before the head starts cresting. But more on that later.)

For example, we arrived in Bucharest in mid-July and it wasn’t until a few days ago that we got an internet provider over to our house to hook us up. It took a good six weeks of calling them daily and basically begging them to take our money before they would deign to provide us with internet service. Which, as an internet service provider, is like, their thing.

Here’s an example of what it’s like dealing with customer service – and I use that second noun in the loosest of all possible senses – in Romania. Keep in mind that this isn’t a fly-by-night place. This is the second-largest internet provider in the entire country:

 

Me: <Dials incredibly long telephone number for Romanian internet provider. They have long numbers here. The Romanians. And their internet providers. >

Internet Boy: Buna ziua.

Me, in passable but far from perfect Romanian: Hello. I need to speak to someone who speaks English. I don’t speak Romanian well.

Internet Boy: <Long stream of lightening-fast Romanian, of which I only understand the word “suna,” which means “to call.”>

Me, in English: You want my phone number?

Internet Boy, in English: Yes. Give me your telephone number.

Me: <Gives incredibly long personal telephone number. Because I’m in Romania. And they have long numbers.>

Internet Boy: <Long stream of lightening-fast Romanian, of which I only understand “cinci minute,” which means “five minutes.”>

Me, English: Someone will call me in five minutes?

Internet Boy, in English again: Yes, someone will call you in five minutes.

Me: Arg. Thanks.

Internet Boy: La revedere!

 

The Romanians are masters of “Someone will call you back shortly.” Every communication with the company followed a closely-prescribed, ten-step order:

1. I call and tell them, “I need help, but I don’t speak Romanian very well.”

2. They tell me, in English, “I don’t speak English, but someone who does will call you back shortly.”

3. Two days pass.

4. Someone who speaks English returns my call.

5. I tell him, “I need someone to come to my house to connect the internet.”

6. They tell me, “Someone who can schedule that will call you back shortly.”

7. Two more days pass.

8. Someone who, according to rumor, can schedule the installation, calls back, gives me a ticket number, and tells me, “Someone will call you back very shortly to set up a time to install the internet.”

9. Two days pass.

10. Start back at Step No. 1.

 

Anyway, I’m tired and about to head to bed. It’s after 11 pm here, not the middle of the afternoon like there.

Because I’m in Romania.

Noapte buna!

 

[Also,you can still by my book I, Superhero!! on Amazon and Barnes & Noble dot com, but only in e-editions. if you’re the 1,000th person to buy the book, I will come to your house personally and sign…well, not the book, because it will probably be on your phone, and you don’t want me signing your phone. I’ll sign something. An arm. I’ll sign your arm. Or another book you don’t like that much and which you think my autograph will class up a bit.]

 

[PS: I won’t really do that.]

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I did it! I really, really did it!

So, it’s been a while. How you doin’?

It usually takes me an inordinate amount of time to write a blog entry: thinking of a timely topic, trying to put my particular spin on said topic, finding funny yet relevant pictures, making sure I don’t include too many “Hitler” or “fart” jokes…it just burns up a lot of time. Hence no updates in…what, a couple of years? Yikes.

To streamline things a bit, I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone by writing my entries while walking on the treadmill. Because there’s nothing to look at in the gym except my co-workers jumping around like idiots to the latest exercise video, and that’s just too damn traumatizing for everyone involved. But mostly me. Which is what I care about.

So without further ado, here’s today’s short, non-illustrated, non-topical blog entry:

Fifteen Phrases You’ll Never Read in a Movie Review

15. Matt Damon’s innate intelligence shines through.

14. This film firmly establishes Tobey Maguire and Elijah Wood as the new Schwarzenegger and Stallone.

13. Judd Apatow’s “Miracle on 34th Street” reminds us of everything that’s pure and sacred about the holiday season.

12. Shaquille O’Neal inhabits the role of Hamlet like no one since Sir Laurence Olivier.

11. Rene Zellweger smolders.

10. Michael Cera is a revelation.

9. Gwyneth Paltrow is not annoying at all. Seriously.

8. Kristen Stewart is laugh-out-loud funny.

7. M. Night Shyamalan’s latest triumph.

6. Nic Cage totally didn’t take this role because he needed the money.

5. Jackie Chan brings a real sense of authority and gravitas to the role of Christ.

4. Michael Bay’s Pride and Prejudice is a masterpiece of subtle direction.

3. Keanu Reeves is Gandhi.

2. Lucy Liu proves once again that she is her generation’s Meryl Streep.

1. Niki Minaj will make you believe that an otter can fly.

Holy crap, I have a blog!

Totally forgot. I guess I should update it this week, considering I’m still getting over 100 hits a day (hey, don’t laugh, that’s not bad for not updating in almost two years).

New Feature: The Whitebread Letterhead!

So, I’m back!  More or less.  Just don’t expect sparkling wit and perceptive social commentary every day.  I’m still working full time, helping the loverly and talented Mrs. Whitebread raise our three chillins, and trying to write stuff that pays (as opposed to blog entries).  Basically, you’re my bottom priority.  There.  I said it, and I stand by it.  Sorry for any hurt feelings.  I’ll just tell you what dear old dad used to tell me when I whined: “Suck it up, Pedro!  Life’s tough!”  No idea why he called me “Pedro.”

Today’s entry is a copy of The Whitebread Letterhead, the official newsletter of my alter ego, The Amazing Whitebread.  I hope you like it, because they’re much easier to write than a “real” entry and I plan on posting them fairly frequently.

Best wishes and love to my #4 priority: you.  xoxoxo

No, not abducted by aliens…

“So, where ya been lately, Whitebread?”

I’m so glad you asked!  I’ve been celebrating the arrival of spawn #3, Graham Jones McMullen, aka “Hammy.”  Born 2/2/11 at 2:21.  I’m sure that means something, I’m just not sure what.  While I ponder that, enjoy these photos of the most beautiful baby boy in the world.

 

Sorry, this post was required by the PDAA (Proud Daddies’ Association of America).  I’ll try to be back soon with something slightly more interesting to the general public.

Stephen King: Murderer. Oh, and the Years 600-900 Never Happened.

So, here’s the continuation of my 9 favorite-est conspiracy theories:

7. Stephen King shot John Lennon

As everyone knows, a lone drifter named Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon on December 8, 1980.  Right? 

WRONG, SUCKERS! 

 
 
 

"You are so stoo-ped."

According to Steve Lightfoot, whose rambling, borderline incoherent website  www.lennonmurdertruth.com doesn’t make him sound the least bit insane, Lennon was “politically assassinated” by “Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and, you’d better sit down, horror novelist Stephen King.” 

 Lightfoot’s proof?  Well, first there are the “bold print headline government codes” appearing in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report magazines around the time of the murder.  Lightfoot points out “coded headlines” like, “Thinking About John Lennon…Johnny Comes Marching Home…Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, Ouch, Ouch…The Job Richard Nixon Really Wanted…Blasting the Opposition…America Needs A Poet Laureate…Maybe…Heeding Those Subtle Signs…Magazine Maze…All the Presidents Magazines…” and says they “plug into John Lennon’s assassination with up to 70% accuracy at times.”

 
 
 

Where's Robert Langdon when you need him?

 

I know, I know, that should be enough proof for any logical human being.  But wait, there’s more!  How about the fact that Stephen King looks kinda sort almost like Chapman if you squint and the light’s low and you’re comparing grainy, 30 year old pictures?

 
 
 

On the right...Lennon and Chapman, hours before the shooting. On the left...Stephen King. Conclusion: Incontrovertable proof...that cameras in the 70's sucked.

 According to Lightfoot, the caption “One Great Big Zippo Lighter,” which was a reference to Firestarter, the book King was publicizing at the time, “means fire and movement, and a man at night with a gun ablaze, crouched in a raincoat looks like a great big cigarette lighter. Subtle but dramatic codes.”

  

 

"I sense you're trying to tell me something....but what? Too subtle, my friend. Too subtle."

While dating a crazy chick just drives most men to drink and, in their darkest hours, contemplate monasticism, it led little Stevie Lightfoot straight into the arms of a dark government conspiracy: “[When] John Lennon was assassinated and I knew, instinctively, that the story about a lone drifter was government, media hogwash, that huge players were behind his murder and that America and all the people of the world had just been victimized by evil bastards.  Like most of you I assumed they would not leave evidence, the government rarely does, but when there was no trial for the alleged gunman, Mark Chapman, I knew, almost for certain, that, indeed, the government killed John Lennon.  He was the hottest political firebrand to threaten the establishment since Ghandi and possibly Jesus Christ, himself.”  (Or, according to Lennon, bigger than Jesus Christ himself.)

"He said what? Oh, no. No he dih-ent."

 

So what could make an otherwise normal (up until the death of Lennon) young man go so completely ass-burgers?  I think we all know, at least the guys do, but I’ll let him tell you in his own words anyway: “I met a young woman at the time who proved to be quite the traumatized liar. When we met she gave me a phony name and past and lived with me for a short time. Many melodramatic events, a breakup and over a year later I would find out her real name, past etc.  This experience made me different from most of you because I was no longer naive about liars or lies. I knew, intimately, how convincing they could be.

I get the feeling that when you say "woman," this is what pops into Lightfoot's head.

Lightfoot took his findings to a priest (He probably left out the whole “Lennon is as important as Jesus Christ” part.), who “…advised me to use an alias and rubber gloves for a while.”  Good lord…was he a crackpot or a cat burglar?  Maybe the priest told him to find a rubber room and Lightfoot just misunderstood.

Finally, let me leave you with the one piece of genuine wisdom and insight I gleaned from Lightfoot’s website: “No wonder America is in such shambles. New York City is out of control and disconnected, living under…Yoko Ono’s evil spell.” 

I can never tell if she's sining, or there's just a cat eating a baby somewhere nearby.

Amen, brother.  A-freakin’-men. 

6. The Phantom Time Hypothesis

The Phantom time hypothesis is the theory that there has been an intentional effort to make it appear that the period of the Early Middle Ages (614 – 911) existed when, in fact, they did not.  This hypothesis was originally proposed by Heribert Illig in 1991.  Illig theorized that the Early Middle Ages were “faked” using alteration, misrepresentation, and forgery of documentary and physical evidence.

LIES! ALL LIIIIIES!!!!

So what would make an otherwise intelligent person believe that, instead of 2011, we’re now living in the year 1714?  OK, try to follow me here:

The calendar we currently used is known as the Gregorian Calendar, and was introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582.  The previous calendar, the Julian Calendar, was introduced by Julius Caesar, and contained a miscalculation that made the year 10.8 minutes too long (when compared to actual, or astronomical solar time).  This means that, in the time between the introduction of the Julian Calendar and its replacement by the Gregorian Calendar, we should have gained 13 days that weren’t really there.  Therefore, when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, historians should have “set the clock back” by 13 days.  For example, if the Gregorian Calendar was introduced on July 14, 1582 (Julian Calendar time), the first day of Gregorian time should have been set back to July 1, 1582.   

Got that? Good...now explain it to me.

 The snag came in when the Pope Gregory’s astronomers and mathematicians took all their astronomical readings and observations and calculations and discovered the calendar really only needed to be adjusted by 10 days.  From this, Illig reasoned thusly:

A.      There’s a three-day difference between the calendar time and astronomical time. 

B.      Gaining 10.8 minutes per year, those missing 3 days should have taken approximately 300 years to accumulate.

C.      Since the three days aren’t there, that means 300 fewer years passed between Pope Gregory and Julius Caesar that previously thought.

Therefore, the entire Carolingian period, including the person of Charles the Great/Charlemagne himself, one of the most famous figures in history, is a forgery of medieval chroniclers.

Which brings us to the important question of “Why?”  According to Illig, emperor Otto III decided he wanted to be “Jesus Christ’s representative on earth at the dawn of the 7th millennium (6,000 years after creation, according to estimates of the creation year, the subject of which could take up an entire post of its own.  To do so, he had to be emperor in the year 1,000.  Setting the year back by three centuries would have screwed the pooch on his millennial plans real good, so instead of redating the world, he just fudged a little bit.  

"Hey! Everybody come look! I'm Christ's representative on Earth at the dawn of the 7th millenium! Ted, Bob, come look!"

Sounds logical, right?  (The 3 day/300 year thing, not faking three centuries to line up with your own personal religious beliefs.)  If only every scrap of scientific dating evidence, from radio carbon to forensic to astronomical, didn’t say Illig is full of crap, and we’re not really living in the 1700s. 

Which is sad, because I’ve always wanted to be a knight.

 
 

"NOW who's takin' Brenda to prom, Doug?"

Tomorrow:  White folks were created in a lab.  Plus, what, other than the entire middle ages, never happened?  That’s right: World War II.

REMINDER: Get the first 1 1/2 chapters of my humorous nonfiction book I, Superhero!! FREE just by writing me at whitebread@theamazingwhitebread.com and asking for it!

Reptiles and Nazis and UFO’s, oh my!

So, a lot of people think the world’s going to end next year.  Among those people, apparently, is George Lucas.

According to actor Seth Rogen, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg recently met with him regarding a movie, and Rogen reported that Lucas “sits down and seriously proceeds to talk for around 25 minutes about how he thinks the world is gonna end in the year 2012, like, for real.  He thinks it.  He’s going on about the tectonic plates and all the time Spielberg is, like, rolling his eyes, like, ’My nerdy friend won’t shut up, I’m sorry…”

Rogen then asked Lucas if he was building a spaceship to escape Earth’s destruction.  “He claimed he didn’t have a spaceship,” said Rogen, “but there’s no doubt there’s a Millennium Falcon in a garage somewhere with a pilot just waiting to go.  It’s gonna be him and Steven Spielberg and I’ll be blown up like the rest of us.”

Lucas: "We out, bitches!" Spielberg: "George, you so crazy."

I have a love/hate relationship with apocalypse and conspiracy theories.  On one hand, I usually can’t stand conspiracy theorists, especially ones that harp on important historical events that have been proven and reproven over and over again, like 9/11 “Truthers,” people who don’t think we really landed on the moon, etc.  However, I can’t get enough of the bizarre world of the truly insane conspiracists (Is that a word?  Well, it is now.)  Below are nine of my favorite theories and the people associated with them (in no particular order):

9. David Icke/The Reptoids

Some people believe the world is run by a secret cabal of powerful families known as “The Illuminati.”  Some believe shadowy religious sects are behind all the major events in world history.  Ex-BBC personality David Icke, however, really has it figured out.  It’s not the Rockefellers, it’s not Zemu and his wacky band of thetans: it’s the underground lizard people known as Reptoids (also: reptiloids or draconians).

Ickes contends that 5-12 foot tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system are currently living in the Hollow Earth (See theory #8) and control most of the world.

So, the world is controlled by the Sleestaks from "Land of the Lost."

Among those who Ickes and his followers claim are Reptoids are the British Royal family, the Bush family, and pretty much every other important political and religious figure of the last 2,000 years or so.

Huh. Maybe he's onto something after all....

According to Icke, in an interview with The Spectrum in 1999, the Sleestaks intervened in the “Royal lines” of the Near and Middle East 5,000 years ago, creating alien/human hybrids. Per Ickes’ impeccable (I’m sure) research, William of Orange, “to whom every surviving Royal Family in Europe is related,” was one of these hybrids, and “[a]ccording to  Burke’s Peerage, the bible of Aristocratic and  Royal  genealogy  based in  London,  every  American election since and including  George Washington, in 1789, has been won  by the  candidate with the  most European Royal  genes. 33 of  the 42  are  genetically related  to two  people: Charlemagne  (King), the most  famous monarch of what  we call France, and Alfred  the  Great, the  King  of  England.”

So, what’s the proof that all the world’s major politicians and royals are really giant lizards in disguise?

Well for one thing, that's what happened in "V." That was a documentary, right?

No, his arguments were based on much more powerful evidence than an awesome 80’s miniseries: he knows there are lizard-people here because, you know, people have told him so.

Anecdotal “Proof” No. 1: Icke claims that he met a personal friend of Princess Diana named Christine Fitzgerald, who told him that Diana had told her that the Windsor family were “reptiles.”  “‘She used to say, in all seriousness, “They are NOT human!”‘”  Icke went on to say that “Christine Fitzgerald went on to tell me: ‘You know, the Windsors are a reptilian line, they’re not human.'”

Anecdotal “Proof” No. 2: Per Ickes, “I was in Vancouver, speaking, and I met about 4 or 5 people who told me the same story, including a business woman, who is a real feet-on-the-ground, you know, power-dressing kind of 5,000 clients business woman. And she said she had this  relationship with a guy who was Portuguese, and he just turned into a reptile in front of her.”

OK, really, who hasn’t had that happen?  I dated at least three girls who turned into reptiles in front of me before I met Wifebread.

This was actually my business card for a short period of time.

Anecdotal “Proof” No. 3:  Ickes claims that a woman named Cathy O’Brien, co-author of the book Trance-formation Of America…

Looks totally legit to me, and not at all like the kind of thing you'd sell out of the trunk of your car at a flea market. Nope. Not at all.

…told him that George Bush himself personally informed her “that they were an extraterrestrial race that came from a ‘far off space place’who’d taken over the world, and no one realized it because they look human. But, she said, he changed in  front of her into a reptile.”

Because that sounds EXACTLY like that kind of thing an ancient lizard-alien posing as a human and subsequently elected president of the United States would do: expose his race’s 5,000 year old secret to…this chick.

"I'm not crazy. I'M NOT CRAZY!!!!"

Finally, Ickes reassured his interviewer that, “…when I talk about reptilians, I am not talking about all reptilians.  I’m talking about a particular group. I’m sure the reptilian form is a massive constant across great chunks of this galaxy and beyond, and I’m certainly not saying that anyone in reptilian form-any time anyone sees anyone in reptilian form, and there are a lot of people who do-and say, ‘I didn’t get bad vibes from them.’  [B]ecause we’re not talking about ALL reptilians, we’re talking a group that appears to take a reptilian form because that’s how people keep seeing these people in power.”

That’s right, kids: not all reptillian aliens masquerading as humans are evil.  Just the ones named Bush….

The “fact” that these reptilliodians supposedly live within the Earth bumps against one of my other favorite theories:

8. Hollow Earth Theory

The Hollow Earth hypothesis proposes that the planet Earth is…well, hollow.  One of the first proponents of Hollow Earth was Edmond Halley.

Yeah, the comet guy.

In 1692, he proposed that the Earth consisted of a shell about 500 miles thick, two inner concentric shells, and an innermost core.   According to Halley, atmospheres separate these shells, each shell has its own magnetic poles, and the spheres rotate at different speeds. Halley proposed this scheme in order to explain anomalous compass readings.

"Something's screwing this thing up. It's either the magnetic bracelet I wear for my tennis elbow, or the Earth consists of a shell about 500 miles thick, two inner concentric shells, and an innermost core, with atmospheres separating the shells, each shell having its own magnetic poles. Probably that second thing."

In 1818, John Cleves Symmes, Jr. suggested that the Earth consisted of a hollow shell 800 miles thick (those insecure Hollow Earth theorists, always having to have a thicker shell than the other guy). Symmes became the most famous of the early Hollow Earth proponents after proposing and expedition to find a hole into the Earth he theorized would be at the North Pole.  None other than President John Quincy Adams indicated he would approve of this, but Andrew Jackson replaced him as President before the expedition could be mounted.

Andrew Jackson is not putting up with your bullsh*t.

The Nazi era Thule Society reported much about Tibetan myths of openings into the Earth. There is even a theory that Hitler ordered a research journey for such an opening in Antarctica, but hey, Hitler believed a lot of freaky crap.

Everything I know about the Thule Society, I learned from watching "Hellboy" umpteen billion times. Great flick.

There are even claims that he bought into “concave hollow earth theory” (the idea that, not only is the Earth hollow, but we actually live inside it, with the sun at the center of the cavity) to the point that, at one point, he sent an expedition to spy on the British fleet by pointing infrared cameras up at the sky, in an apparent attempt to see through Earth’s hollow core to the British ships located above him.  Did I mention he was a little crazy?

Not "fun crazy," either. Just crazy.

In my mind, however, the King of the Hollow Earthers was “Dr. Raymond Bernard,” the pseudonym of Dr.Walter Siegmeister (Why would you go with a pseudonym when you already have such an awesome name?).  His 1964 book, The Hollow Earth,claimed that “the inhabitants of Atlantis took refuge in the Earth’s interior before the city was destroyed in great calamity.  It was Atlanteans who piloted the flying machines known in ancient India as vimanas and in the modern world as flying saucers. After the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Bernard claimed, the Atlanteans became concerned that radioactive air might flow into the world’s interior, and so some emerged in their flying saucers in an act of self-defense.”

There you have it: hollow Earth, Atlantis, UFOs, and World War II, all in one story.

Kinda like this, which is actually pretty awesome.

If we could only get George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to turn that into a movie instead of worrying about 2012….

Tomorrow: More crazy crap, including…Which horror writer really killed John Lennon?  And the Middle Ages never happened!

REMINDER: For a FREE PDF of the first 1 1/2 chapters of my humorous nonfiction book I, Superhero!!, just write me at whitebread@theamazingwhitebread.com and ask for it!  You don’t even have to say “please!”  (Although that would be nice.)