Saturday, April 28, 2007


It's been real, crossroads of Christian County.

The next time this computer is plugged in, it will be drawing power from Empire District Electric Company in Joplin. I have family from Tennessee and Kansas helping with this 80-mile move, and I can't thank them enough. Tomorrow, we'll load up the U-Haul. Monday, I'll close on my old Nixa house and new Joplin house. After that, I won't have to drive 80 minutes to work anymore. I'll get back almost 3 hours a day and almost $250 a month in gas savings. And that will end the chapter of my life in Nixa.

I'm leaving behind bittersweet memories of a city that accepted me as a lifelong resident. Even though I graduated from Kickapoo, I've always felt more like an Eagle. Get this: I actually cheered, whooped and hollered when Nixa smeared the 'Poo in the 2005 Blue and Gold. I leave behind memories of starting a family, only to have those dreams stolen by a cruel ex-wife. I leave a house that still holds the echoes of two step-kids I loved until it hurt.

I'll also leave behind a newspaper that I loved. I poured my heart, soul and guts into an award-winning newspaper that is now defunct. I thank Community Publishers, Inc. for giving me a chance to learn firsthand about community journalism, and teaching me about the corporate decisions behind them. For it to change into a hideous amalgam of eye candy and sound-byte journalism leaves me feeling like a failure of sorts. Sheesh, Nixa, don't you care about real news?

OK, I admit... there's more bitter than sweet. Christian County is the home of much heartbreak for me.

But life is looking pretty exciting. I'll post pictures of my new house, so y'all can see it. My job at the Joplin Globe is going very well, and I'll be able to do a better job without the massive drive sucking my energy. I'll be able to write much more fiction. I'll be able to take regular walks with my dog. I can start giving back to a community again. And I'm starting a new life with the best thing that ever happened to me: TLP. She is moving in with me! She means so much to me, and has sacrificed so much to move to Joplin with me. She is my beloved muse -- she keeps me writing and looking for beauty in the ugliness around us all. And, we'll be working the same hours, so we'll get to spend more time together.

Anyway, to all the friends and acquaintances I made in Christian County: It's been fun. I'll miss you and never forget you all. Thanks for taking me in as one of your own.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


This week's episode was filled with some interesting info. We found out that Jin is indeed the father of Sun's baby, but that means she is now on death row, alongside Charlie. We found out what that creepy nursery room was for. We found out that Jack may not be so trustworthy. We found out that Juliet is helping Ben because something is being held over her head. And we found out that the rest of the world thinks that no one on Flight 815 lived. Obviously, Penny didn't think that info was something La Senorita Paracaidas should know. That also means that the people running Oceanic Air may be heavily involved with Mittelos or whomever is backing the Others.

ANYWAY... the Mailbox's gripe goes back to last week's episode, in which Desmond saw a series of visions, including Charlie taking an arrow in the throat. If you recall, some of those images include Hurley picking up a wire, a blinking red light, someone dangling from a tree and Charlie helping with the parachute. Without a scar on his neck. Despite having that crucial piece of information, Desmond was still prepared to let Charlie hack and gurgle to death.

OK, so Des didn't know the exact order of the visions. Let's assume the arrow-pokey-neck vision came before the vision of Charlie helping with the chute. That would have told Desmond that he needed to save Charlie from the arrow. But, assuming necky-sticky-gurgle came after chutey-helpy-down, then Des would have already rescued Penny, meaning he would have been free to save Charlie.

There was no reason for Desmond to let Charlie die.
In other words, he's a dick.

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Monday, April 23, 2007


The Mailbox noticed something, while listening to Lacuna Coil and Dragonforce and messing around on MySpace. Politicians.

Don't worry -- they're not going Tipper Gore on us. They are using MySpace as part of their campaigns. They are featured in the "Cool New People" section on MySpace's front page. Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Sam Brownback, Barack Obama, John McCain, Tommy Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and many others campaigning for national office have their own pages.

Paging David Catanese... your expertise is required to let us know what the Brownback is going on.

The Mailbox thought that MySpace was for wasting time, keeping in touch with friends and exploring new music. It makes sense; bands use MySpace to send out announcements to fans, so why shouldn't politicians do the same type of thing? It's all part of an effort on MySpace's part to get people involved in politics.

So far, Repubs and Dems are joining up, taking up space on MySpace. Still, it doesn't seem like the right place for politics. The Mailbox has enough problems with the politics of determining who its top 24 friends should be. The Mailbox does not want to pull up these pages and hear Barack Obama's favorite song. And the Mailbox dreads getting a bulletin from Kucinich saying, "I am so bored so I filled out this survey." And what about the band-whores who fill their top friends with bands? Are we going to have politician-whores?

Then again, it shows that Tom can be friends with anybody. And speaking of friends, the Mailbox can't wait to see how many underage porn-bot slutty types are accepted as friends. "Oooh, look. Brownback is friends with 'LipsSoHot4U.'"

TLP's thought: "Well, it makes it easier for them to pick up teenagers..."

Check out John Edward's friend list. John is in every picture! Either he's "teh haxx0rs" with Photoshop or he has some strict rules about who gets to be his friend. And he has 39 top friends! Does the Federal Election Commission know about this unfair advantage?

Hillary Clinton has a dorky ad encouraging you to be her MySpace friend: "I am not only voting for Hillary, SHE'S MY FRIEND!" Gag barf puke. And how come Bill Clinton isn't one of Hillary's top friends? TLP's thought: "Maybe he realizes MySpace is crap and is too smart to have a page."

Michelle Sherwood, official friend of the Mailbox, lamented about Rudy Giuliani's cowardly appearance in the Ozarks. Giuliani's MySpace page gives us a clue about his ideas on sharing information. G'head, click on that link. WHY IS A CAMPAIGN MYSPACE PAGE SET TO "PRIVATE?!" That's stupid. That's stupid stupid. That's like having a fundraising dinner where one of the nation's top Republican's hosts you and promises the press a few moments, then takes it back.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Margo Crawford, official friend of the Mailbox, sent an interesting e-mail about T-shirt entrepreneur Todd Goldman, the guy who made those controversial T-shirts about boys being stupid. Some think Goldman is a hack artist, plagiarist and copyright infringer. The story is interesting, but it got the Mailbox thinking about another form of copyright infringement.

Apparently, some forms of copyright infringement seem acceptable, but they are really not. Those logos are intellectual property theft, advertising a religion that says, "Thou shalt not steal." Hell, even that trash-talkin' bunny was stolen by Christians.

Remember Calvin and Hobbes, created by Bill Watterson? God bless that comic strip will ever be as good. There was a legendary strip that was nothing but Calvin and Hobbes dancing. Art from that strip started appearing on T-shirts advertising spring break trips and parties. Then this abomination surfaced. Apparently, Calvin has no problem peeing on everything from car logos to entire countries. The next iteration of that theme was to turn Calvin from a pisser to a believer. Apparently, choosing between those two is quite difficult for NASCAR fans.

Watterson's struggle to keep his comic strip off of merchandise was legendary, and eventually forced him to stop drawing the strip. He said that he hasn't seen a dime from Calvin appearing on anything, including a sticker. That means Calvin peeing is on the same level as Calvin praying.

The Mailbox is more forgiving of the corporate-logo spin-offs, because the Christian twists are satirical in nature. Besides, these companies have paid big bucks to place their logos everywhere, burning their vector-based graphics into our brain cells. But what's wrong with originality? God gave us creativity; why not use it? The Mailbox found that some Christian stuff can be funny and original.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007


This week's episode was interesting, but kinda corny. Damn, Kate is a cold bitch. Then again, Sawyer probably likes it that way. The "surprise" ending was no surprise. OF COURSE it wasn't gonna be Penny! The only OMG moment came when the strange woman said Desmond's name.

The Mailbox is kinda puzzled about Penny, who has appeared to have finally found where Desmond is (unless the producers pull a whole new story line out of their asses). If Penny knows, why wasn't she on the copter? Or does she know about the island's power to bring down aircraft? Apparently, Desmond was wrong -- the copter going down proves that Desmond didn't crash Flight 815, as he previously thought. Admittedly, all these questions may be answered by the end of the season.

The Mailbox's gripe: Why the hell does Jin do anything with anyone else?

Desmond sees Jin in his vision and wants him to go along, but doesn't know how to convince him. Hurley interests Jin by telling him it is a "camping trip." What is the point of all the male-bonding if he can hardly understand what everyone is saying? Usually, these expeditions end badly. Sure, he doesn't know the language, but he's seen enough of these trips to know NOT TO GO ON THEM. Sun need to teach Jin how to say, "Screw you, I'm staying home."

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Saturday, April 14, 2007


Remember that scene from Revenge of the Nerds, where Louis Skolnick scores with Betty Childs in the funhouse? Remember how she was fooled, because Skolnick was wearing a mask, but then realized that nerds make better lovers? Remember how Skolnick said it was all because nerds think about sex all the time? Ever thought that was a load of Windows 2000?

Regina Lynn proves you wrong. Eat it, jocks.

Even Justin Timberlake thinks so:

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Friday, April 13, 2007


OK, so the Mailbox hasn't posted since March 27. Question for Catholics: Is there a patron saint for bloggers who don't blog? How about a penance? Since election day, things have been crazy. The Mailbox apologizes for all it has missed, including:

~ Lost. There are still two episodes the Mailbox hasn't seen, including the ep that allegedly justifies Nikki and Paulo's existence.

~ The Saints' schedule and future. The franchise will be in town for at least four more years, which means for at least two years, talking heads on the radio and black-and-gold doom-and-gloomers will have to bitch about something else. The Saints open up the season against the Colts on Thursday night. And they have four prime time appearances this season. BLISS!

~ Don Imus. Whatever. The Mailbox thought the takes of Chatter and Ozarks Messenger were interesting. He said what he said, but the question that should be asked is whether his loyal listeners share the same sentiments. Sniderman, chief wordmonkey for The 2 Dollar Bill, has the best solution.

~ The new Nixa News-Leader and Ozark News-Leader. The Nixa NL hit the Mailbox's mailbox. It's interesting that they are going with a full-size format, with the same fonts and style as the Springfield News-Leader. Familiarity will go far with readers. But why the heck does a paper that says "Nixa" at the top have a picture of Donna McQuay on the front page? And why does a new publication have a bunch of old news in it? Overall, a weak start, but once the Gannett boat gets going, it's hard to stop. Another plus: It looks like the Springfield News-Leader used to look.

~ The death of Curbstone Critic, John Stone. He died doing what he loved. God bless him.

~ God of War 2. The Mailbox hasn't had a chance to play this yet, but wants to badly. Also, the Mailbox desperately wants Guitar Hero 2.

~ A code of ethics for bloggers. The Mailbox isn't a fan of the proposed code, because it tries to change blogging into journalism. The Mailbox thinks readers should hold bloggers to the same level as radio talk shows and the like. Bloggers may break news, but bloggers choose their news according to their own opinions and news values.

The big news for the Mailbox: The big move is finally happening! The Mailbox will introduce you to its new digs in Joplin when it gets moved in. Until then, posts will be few and far between. So thanks for your patience.

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