Monday, December 10, 2007

Making the List. Checking it Twice. Yup. Still there.

--
Jen, who is most definitely a Chic Chick has chucked the mouse my way,
so here we go...


The AW December Blog chain is almost halfway gone, as is the month of December,
("Christmas times a'comin', Christmas times a'comin'!")

I wanted to take the topic back to the top, with lists.

But only because I wanted to pass on something that happened this last weekend.

I was reading Christmas stories to kids over at the local library Saturday morning. As part of the session, I asked kids, while their parents could stand in the background and hear what was mentioned, just what was on their christmas lists this year.

You have to understand, here in the sticks the kids don't really see the jolly old fellow in advance. In a town where everyone knows everyone else, it doesn't work out so well. As one little girl whispered to me, so that her little sister couldn't hear, "That guy we saw wasn't the real Santa. He's the janitor at my school."

So, we discussed Christmas wish lists. There were the usual, Ipods, video games, dolls, bikes and such. And then one little girl said she wanted a remote control butterfly.

What a unique toy request, I said. Meanwhile my brain is cycling. Toys R Us? nope. K B Toys? nope. Best Buy? Penneys? Lowes? Sears- In the Craftsman aisle? Nope.

All the while I'm looking over the girl's shoulder at Mom, who is looking at the ceiling, shaking her head. I guess this wasn't a recent addition to the child's list.

The little girl's brother poked her in the arm and demanded, "I've never heard of a remote control butterfly. Do you even know what one looks like?"

She looked back at him, defiant. "Santa knows what they look like."

"Wow, no pressure there, Mom," I'm thinking to myself.

Which brings me to tonight. I just Googled "remote control butterfly" and came up with a list of them, for sale, at "adult novelty stores."

Maybe I misread Mom's expression.

How's this for a transition? Twisted Fantasies is next on the list.

---------------------------

Here's the entire list for the December Blogchain.
Check 'em out, and a Cool Yule to you all:

A Thoughtful Life
Gillian’s Food History
Getting Confused and Coming All Undone
Life in the Middle
So You Want to be a Chic Chick
Williebee
Twisted Fantasies
It Had To Be Said
Finding Boddie
Virtual Wordsmith
Random Acts of Unkindness
Chocolate for Your Brain
Virginia Lee: I Ain’t Dead Yet!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Did Mattel fold before China?

Check this out. Read a few paragraphs in.

Go find a few more stories on this. Check out the news stories on it.

Did Mattel just fold and put their manufacturer ahead of their customers?

Am I wrong on this? (hey, it's happened before....)

But if I'm right, Mattel's not getting another dime from me. It isn't just the patriotism issue, it's the practicality... the safety.

If they, as the customer, are willing to subjugate themselves to their vendor on this issue (and apparently pay them for the privilege) , what safety problems are they willing to pass on to their customers (us) next?

I don't want my family and friend's kids serving as their test lab, and I'm sure not willing to pay them for it.

Rant over. I will now go put my lead based paint covered soapbox away....

Saturday, September 08, 2007

my brother's cousin's barber's carwasher told me....

---
When it comes to news in print (digital or old school) I tend to read the top three paragraphs or so of ongoing stories, and the last couple paragraphs of new ones.

With old or ongoing stories there's rarely anything new after the first few 'graphs. So, you can stay up to date just by reading the first couple paragraphs. The rest is regurgitated words from past stories, used to fill the space.

With new stories, talkradio, and TV have already given you the "fresh meat" of the story, as quickly and as many times an hour as they could. (And, some times, as accurately as they felt they could get away with.) So, when it comes to the print story, the fun stuff is the oddball things they have to come up with to fill the space.

This is pulled from this morning's USATODAY. Anybody who cares already knows the current High School Musical picture scandal story. You don't need to read that over again here. But this was filing space near the bottom:

"Michael Sands, a publicist whose clients have included the divorce attorney for Britney Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline, said Hudgens should be commended for coming forward quickly and saying it was her pictures."

So, they felt that it was worth noting what Britney's EX husband's EX publicist thought.

Makes me wonder if Mr. Sands has a publicist of his own.

"Ooh, ooh. Tell them I said this!!!"

Monday, August 27, 2007

remember red wigglers?

---

There's one of those marquee signs on a trailer just south of town. It sits next to an open chain link gate.

It reads:

Henry's Gifts and Decor
WE HAVE LIVE WORMS

I don't have anything to add to this. You're on your own.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dinner Impossible, The Final Episode

---
Dinner Impossible

Tonite's challenge --

You're on a beautiful, picturesque small island in the South Pacific.

You've got a box of vanilla wafers, two cans of spray whip creme and a 40 year old Hershey bar.

And here are your guests, 300 cannibals. Bon Apetit!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

We are a weird species, take two

-- We've had decades of professional sports figures arrested or investigated (not always both, interestingly enough) for wife beating, drunk driving, dealing, distributing, using drugs, yadda, yadda.

A pro quarterback gets busted for dog fighting and the media goes nuts on it.

I mean, the only way this should have gotten this kind of press coverage is if he was actually fighting dogs. Lots of them. With a blindfold (him, not the dogs.) Now we're talking pay per view.

Of course I also think we should train and arm deer to fight back. Hey, it's working in Southern Illinois.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Writing news and an Elvis "Sighting"

--
Last week "Elvis" appeared at the local VFW.
It was big news in town. The local Walgreens was having a sale on cheesy "E" memorabilia. (What I want to see? A mashup of Elvis and Python memorabilia. Stuff like the "I'm not dead yet." t-shirt would take on a whole different meaning. OR! "I'm not dead yet." on the front, and on the back: "And I am NOT working at your K-Mart!"

Anyway, DB is checking out at the pharmacy/store and asks about all the knock off Elvis stuff. The nice lady behind the counter said she didn't know why they were selling it. Then she said,
"Did you hear that Elvis is playing at the V?"

And then she leaned in close and whispered, "It's not the real one. It's an impersonator!"

----

Work is coming along on the next book "That Dead Guy of Mine #2".
The next online story should start soon. (I have got to re-discipline myself.)
First book: Jazz and the Monkey Man is being pitched everywhere I can find. Currently two fulls, a partial, and a pitch out there. Keep your fingers crossed! (I can't, gotta write.)

Thanks, all!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Now available in the deluxe home game edition...

...
We had another episode of the monthly (or so) home refrigerator game--

Can You Guess What This Was?
As with all made up off the top of my head games, there are rules:

Rule 1) You must make your guess before whatever it was disappears down the garbage disposal.

Rule 2) You only get one look at whatever it was (while it's on its way to said disposal.)

Rule 3) The second person guessing is allowed to observe the facial expressions of the first guesser, and hear the gasps of disgust of all in attendance. The second guesser may use this information to help them come up with their guess.

Rule 4) You take turns being the first guesser, which also makes you the first smeller. You do not have to partake of the smelling, however, if you do, and you guess incorrectly, you will still get the points. So, take a big whiff. After all, you only live.... um, guess once.

Rule 5) Winner is the person with the most correct guesses, or the last person to pass out.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More News from Cornfield Township...

...

Mrs. Thomas, over to the Farm Bureau? You know, the one with 7 kids and a half dozen grandkids? She had hip replacement last week. She had the doctor put a bear trap in next to where her purse usually hangs. She says the kids still beg for money, but they're taking No a lot more seriously....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh the difference in our similarities

Standing out in my sun stroked backyard I realized how, with but one small sentence, I could demonstrate the vast gulf that exists between how I am similar to, say Marilyn Monroe and yet, how very, very different. Observe:

We might have stood, side by side, and announced: "Oh man, am I hot."

We would both have been so right... but Sooo different.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

loose ends, and how cat's are teaching us to comunicate

Lest ye mere mortals have any doubt that our cats are teaching us their language, I offer this:

Meh.

If you blog, or regularly read blogs, you already know what it means, the ultimate in "yeah, so what?"

Call the cat? You get Meh-ow. Offer the cat something she thinks is boring? Meh-ow.
Hold the door open with the cat sitting right in front of it, pretending she want's out? Meh-ow.

Meh. We're halfway there. They'll teach us to talk yet.


-----------


Loose ends. I Found a Knife is done.

I'm spending the weekend "at loose ends". Feeling restless and lazy at the same time. Trying to get up the energy to see what the next story will be. I love telling/writing stories. But planning the story is like chipping paint off the house. It has to be done, but that doesn't make it suck less. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, whine, gripe... Now shut up and get to work.)

Thanks to all who have read along. That's what makes the writing fun.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Chains that find me

---

Chains that find me. Chains that bind me. Chains to make me see.

As I said a couple posts ago, I volunteered for the AW Blogchain. Kelly at Organized Chaos just tagged me, so here we go:

The Chain started with Courage, and ran from comfort foods to food security, to the amazing conditions that people often elect to live in, in order to live in Alaska. Let's touch on all of that, shall we?

First off, I lived in Alaska for a couple years as a kid. We lived about 16 miles from "The North Pole". Don't get excited. North Pole, AK is a trading post near Fairbanks. My Dad was Air Force. This was near the end of The Vietnam War. He kept a flight bag packed behind the door. We'd come home from school and there'd be a note on the table, or Mom would say, "He's gone flying. He'll be back." We never knew where to. We never knew when. But, somehow, we knew not to ask.

My last stint in the Boy Scouts happened while I lived there. I got a merit badge for camping out in 40 degrees below zero. (Turns out "Be Prepared" does not equal "Be Bright"... or even "Be Reasonable".) I caught and ate my first salmon on a camping trip there.

Oh and I've blogged about Alaska at least once in the past.

I have a cousin who spent not just one, but several years working in a salmon cannery in Alaska; one of the nastiest, coldest, most brutal jobs on the planet. I think of HER every time I'm pan frying some salmon croquettes and baking up my mac and cheese.

I'm sorry, what was that? Yes, sir, you in the back? So what?.... So WHAT?? Oh, ok.

Here's the so what:

I'm not sure who had more courage, my Dad, who went off at a moment's notice on those mystery trips; my Mom, who stayed behind with four kids and never let us see her sweat; or maybe my cousin. Not for the first canning season, but for going back for more after she knew just how crappy it could be, saving all her money to send back home to family.

Wasn't me. I was just the schmo kid who played in the snow in the winter, and spent the short summers playing triple-header baseball games. What do you mean it's time to go home? It's not even dark yet. :-)

These days I'm that guy who, more than a thousand miles from the nearest salmon stream, can pick up fresh salmon for dinner (grilled on a cedar plank with a nice whiskey & peach barbecue glaze, thank you very much); can sit on my butt in front of the biggest tv screen I've ever owned and let the History Channel and Discovery Channel remind me of just how hard my life could be; and be greatful that it was just a little bit hard when I was a kid, so that maybe I learned something on the way from here to there.

And I can sit here and be amazed, remembering that, back then, there was ONE channel on TV and that Sesame Street (oh, and the network news) aired a day to two days later than in the rest of the United States.

And now?

I can click this, scroll that, copy, paste and click away, and point you toward a site where you can see Alaska for yourself, live, in color, from the comfort of your own chair. Not that the images can really substitute for the real thing. But, for those of us who have settled into a more comfortable lifestyle, it's a peek into a world where people are living and walking on roads less traveled.

Tag, Miss Peggy. You're it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A question about child abuse

--
If it's not appropriate to teach a child to smoke, is it child abuse to make them sit in the smoking section of a restaurant?

Or, is it just stupid?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blindly onward unto the web

Every now and then you have to jump with full keyboard into something you've never done before.

So, I agreed to participate in the absolutewrite.com current Blogchain, #9. The idea, as I understand it is, one person posts on their blog, then each person in turn creates a post that has something to do with the previous poster's post. Also, pre-post and post-post you are supposed read the posts and add, er post, a comment. Got it? Nah, me either.

Virginia Lee is starting us off tomorrow. If you want to see how it works, (I know I do) you can follow along below.
Participating Blogs

writing@cathsmith.com - http://blog.cathsmith.com/
hunt & peck - http://www.andreapeck.blogspot.com/
Life, Writing, and Other Things - http://tjwriter.blogspot.com/
periodically.org - http://www.periodically.org/
Virginia Lee: I Ain't Dead Yet! - http://virginialeenc.blogspot.com/
Food History - http://www.foodpast.com/
A View From the Waterfront - http://www.harboradvice.com/blogger.html
Organized Chaos - http://chaostitan.blogspot.com/
Williebee - http://williebee.blogspot.com
The Road Less Traveled - http://thoughtsontheroad.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 31, 2007

aspcEa?



So a friend gave DB (Darling Bride) an i-Dog the other day. If you haven't seen one, it shakes its head and lights up and the ears move.. in time with the music it hears. Apparently you can hit a button and reset it's personality.
(Way ahead of you: Right now I have a dozen science fiction fans and scientists locked in a small room until they figure out how to do this Robert Tilton.)

After you reset it you have to make it listen to the music of your choice for half an hour so that it can develop its new personality.

DB set it up on the coffee table with one of the Music Channels playing on the TV. But a storm was rolling through and the signal kept "hiccupping".

Bottom Line: Her i-Dog has a twitch. It's so sad.

Last one on the Quidditch-go-Round is, well, probably better off.

This from CNN this morning: Somebody talked someone with more money than sense into creating a Harry Potter theme park.

From the story:

"In a statement rich in entertainment hyperbole, the builders of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" said they planned to "create the world's first immersive Harry Potter themed environment."
Ignoring the fact that the LAST BOOK comes out this summer, so the books will all be out by the time the park opens. (What drives kiddies to want to see the mouse? the ongoing stories, songs, tv shows, about the mouse.)

Would seem to me that anyone visiting is going to want to see and do, the things they saw Harry and pals do on the screen. Brooms on wires aren't going to get it done for anybody over about 6.

On the other hand, I have a small list of people I'd like to inflate and float off like Harry did to Aunt whatserface.



Oh, and for those who haven't noticed the otherwise "discreet" link. Here's where I've been spending my time lately: knife

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Welcome to the real world...

There's a restaurant down the road with a sign out front that reads:

Congratulations Seniors
Graduating Class of 2007
Server wanted.

In my head I'm hearing Green Day--

"I hope you had the time of your life...."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Zimmers

Can the most joyous thing you've seen in awhile also be one of the saddest? Turns out.. yeah.
"My Generation"

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

CruiserMel tagged me while I wasn't looking.

Figured it had to happen sooner or later., You KNOW how bad she's always wanted to.

A - Available or Single? For parties, bar mitzvahs, weddings, Hell, I’d sing for soup.
B - Best Friend? DB (Darling Bride) —for 25 years now.
C - Cake or Pie? Cake, “I don’t want to be in a pie… I don’t like gravy.”
D - Drink of Choice? The next one
E - Essential Item(s)? laptop, jump drive, sandals, beach
F - Favorite Color? Green. But not just any green. That deep dark new money green, preferably in unmarked 20's.
G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Never had worms. Had a kidney stone once. Either way, ick.
H - Hometown? San Angelo, Texas
I - Indulgence? Trips to the beach
J - January or February? January, in Mexico, see “I”
K - Kids? A fortune teller once said I had a fine and uncommon destiny. Perhaps you’ve met my daughter?
L - Life is incomplete without…music.
M - Marriage Date? What?? I set one once... I even showed up. Why do I have to do it again??
N - Number of Siblings? Whole ones, Steps, Halves, more Steps… we’re not a family, we’re a disfunctional cult.
O - Oranges or Apples? Apples, baked in a pie, with cinnamon ice cream
P - Phobias/Fears? Puberty. If it ever catches me and my voice changes....?
Q - Favorite Quote? “No matter where you go? There you are?”
R - Reasons to Smile? Take a deep breath. Look around you. If you can do that? You got reason enough.
S - Season? Fall, the season of Technicolor snow.
T - Tag Three? I don’t know. Maybe later.
U - Unknown Fact About Me: Some folks are innies, some folks are outies? I’m a nonee.
V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? O-pressed, grilled, flame broiled, barbecued, smoked… whatever.
W - Worst habits? Easily distract... uhm...??
X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? Giving or getting? Always wanted those x-ray specs in the back of the comic books.
Y - Your Favorite Foods: Hamburgers, no freakin’ cheese thank you. That’s why it’s called a Hamburger.
Z - Zodiac: Leo, but more like the one from Oz…. “If I were King, of the Foreeeeeessssssstttt…”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Coming On Next: Alien Idol!

CNN Headlines tonite: New Immigration test reads like Jeopardy. They have a video clip. Son of a gun. It really does. I was a little bit heartened by the fact that most of the U.S. Citizens that they found on the street could answer most of the questions they were asked. I really was expecting it to sound like another Leno bit.

Elsewhere, Tom Poston died today. Too Bad. He'd have laughed 'til he cried at the story above. The man had genius comic timing.

Got a note from a publisher I had pitched my current book to. Said it was a "Satisfying Read" and an "Interesting concept". And that it just wasn't right for them.

Feel like I'm back in Junior High and Sylvia just read my note asking her to the sweetheart dance.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Piece by Piece- AQS and Alzheimers

---

In the last month I've been to the original Hancock Fabrics, in Paducah, KY, and spent the night in one of the very first Howard Johnson's, in Asheville, NC. Dear Lord, I ought to be at least 70.

Surprisingly not, though. Not the point.

The Point?

Spent the day with DB (Darling Bride) and a couple of friends, trying not to get run over by overzealous quilters with sharp needles at the American Quilter's Society Annual Show in Paducah, KY. The trip was a birthday present for DB. (Holy crap, you wouldn't believe how old she is. Oh wait... so'm I. Forget I said anything.)

There were, as always, some beautiful quilts on display. Hundreds after hundreds of them. A huge ballroom full. Another huge conference room full. But the most powerful stuff on display was on the far side of the convention center, in an out of the way display area. Quilts made for and dedicated to the fight against Alzheimer's.

Quilt's like this:

Losing My Mind A Piece At A Time

37 1/2" x 58"

by Jannett Caldwell
Avondale, PA

Click on the picture to learn more.

First, this display should have been front and center, not off in a side room three football field's walk away. I kid you not, there were elderly women in every chair in every hallway, resting from the journey. Half of 'em were asleep.

Second, These quilts are everything this American art form can be: art, history, social commentary, family memories ... did I mention Art, (big A)?

You can learn more here.

Want to own a piece of art that actually IS trying to change the world? Go here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What happens on the Internet....

--Soapbox alert--

What happens in Vegas only stays in Vegas if you were the only one there when it happened, but what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet... maybe forever.

Don't believe me? Google Vanessa Williams and Playboy. Or, e-mail Alec Baldwin in a couple months... or years.

Or, visit the Wayback Machine (Why, that's keen Mr. Peabody!)

Now, to hammer it home one more time. Take 75 seconds and watch this

Maybe show it to every teenager and "joe internet user" who hasn't seen it yet.

--soapbox put away now, thanks. --

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ironically enough, the Circle of Life does not belong at the dinner table.

Been watching Planet Earth?

Not a lot of TV gets watched around our house, but this we've made time for. Beautiful images, some interesting information. And lots of things eating other things.

It's as if something eating something else is scripted into the schedule. (OK, coming up on four minutes with the pretty seals, Cue tape two, bring on the sharks.)

So much so that, the catch phrase for the show at my house has become:

"Hey, that's a cute little fella. What's gonna eat it?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Abstinence makes the umm, "heart" grow fonder

From USATODAY today:


"STUDY: Abstinence classes don't stop sex"

And, inside the story, this:

"The students who participated in abstinence education did so for one to three years. Their average age was 11 to 12 when they entered the programs back in 1999."


So, at least a recordable percentage of these kids had sex WHILE enrolled in the abstinence classes?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

insert your joke here

This just in:


Nestle is buying Gerber Baby Food . (The company, not mashed carrots and green beans, silly.)

Ooooh Chocolate Strained Peas!!!

What interested me was that Gerber's previous owner was a drug company -- Novartis.

What, we can't grow healthy kids through chemistry, so we're going back to chocolate?

Wait.. sign me up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Acoustic Kitty never turned 40

Darn it, I missed it!

The 40th anniversary of the CIA's "Acoustic Kitty" project was last month.

Apparently, back in March of '67 The CIA got the idea to surgically insert microphones and transmitters into trained cats, with the idea that they would walk around the parks and neighborhoods of subversive characters and "listen in".

This from an old Guardian article:

"Having wired their first trained cat for sound, they released it near a park with strict orders to eavesdrop on two men on a bench,"

Alas, within just a few steps, the cat was run over by a taxi.

I'd say their first mistake was thinking they could train cats.



Saturday, April 07, 2007

The end is near

Sunday marks the end of the chocolate season.

I wrote about this awhile back.

Happy Easter, anyway!


And then, there's this:



If you want one, you can get it from cafepress.com.







And, lest we forget, Peeps in Peril. These guys really know how to handle their Peeps.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Technology and the Real World

---

ICANN has rejected, yet again, the .xxx domain suffix.

The proposal was, basically this: Any website that carried adult oriented content, would be given the .xxx suffix. Adult oriented businesses complained, saying that it was a free speech issue, but more realistically because they were going to have to fork over another 10 bucks a year for yet another domain name.

Because, let's face it. All it would have really accomplished is to give the internet naughtynurses.xxx to go along with naughtynurses.com, .net, .org., .us, .ch., .insert the country of your choice here.

The Southern Moonshiners Union objected because they figured .xxx should belong to them (now there's an old visual reference.) Of course they are also upset with So. Methodist Univ. for marketing all those SMU sweatshirts.

Which brings us, naturally to the old joke about the mating call of the SMU co-ed.....

Ok, I'm just wandering aimlessly around in my head now.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Real World Uses of Technology

It's 1 A.M.

---
You're drunk.

You're in a bar full of drunks, several of whom are helping you sing along with the band, into your cell phone, at the top of their lungs.

You are singing to someone who, 5 minutes ago, was blissfully dreaming of a lovely, quiet, isolated paradise, probably including a beach, blue water, and nubile, willing beauties of the sex of their choice.

And yet, this is going to turn out to be the single most important phone call you are going to make tonight.

Because an hour from now you are going to be calling this same person, looking for bail money.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Teach Your Children... well?

---
You know those guys you get behind in the 10 items or less lane? The ones with their kids with them, and they tell their 8 year old "Here, you take these 8 things, and your little brother can take these 6. And Daddy will take these 10, and we're all ok..."?

Ran into another one of those the other day. I hear he's getting his "Handicapped" tag for his mirror next week.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Thus it is written, So shall it be. Mulch 2 for $3.

---
Let me first kiss up by saying that, of the limited choices we have here in "just east of the sticks, Sillynois" Kroger is my choice of grocery store.

We also have a super-megalomaniac-mart that I'd rather take a beating than go visit. Between them and the big blue K, they drove the local grocers out of business. (I'm sorry, I tried to prevent it. I can only buy so many cases of canned beets and cat food.)

There is also a small "stuff that fell off a truck on the interstate and we brought the boxes in here" store that sells celery and lettuce right next to motor oil and electronics from companies like Sany and Pennysonic (NOT typos).

So, Kroger gets most of my grocery dollars. That being said....

Just inside the front door is the store pledge. We pledge to be good local citizens and provide quality, convenient yada yada yada....

But it ends with "Thus it is written, So Shall It Be."

Just what book of the Bible is Kroger in? I don't know, maybe they have their own. Maybe the order is actually Joshua Judges Ruth and today's Pastries... (or maybe they're in the ganoche-tic bible?)

Another thing. They sell mulch and fertilizer by the front door, like it's an impulse item. (Got me a hot date, let's see... I need me some Certs, some condoms, and hey, we're gonna want some mulch!)

I don't know, maybe they think that folks here in farming country always have manure on our minds.

"Wooo boy, I done loaded up on groceries this time. I'm gonna eat good and poo for a week. Hey, that reminds me....."

???

Monday, February 19, 2007

From the mind of William Shatner???

---
SCI-FI channel is advertising something called Fire Serpent. Some kind of flaming alien comes to earth thing.

Here's the fun part: It's being advertised as coming "From the mind of William Shatner."

My first thought was "Hey, Look. And it isn't even sticky!"

The second thought was "what the heck is that supposed to mean?" Does it mean that William Shatner actually thought of this and told somebody, "Hey how about an alien made of fire that comes to Earth? Maybe we could even blame them for global warming?"

Or does it mean that he said, "Hey, you guys come up with something that'll make the air and then pay me to put my name next to it?"

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan. I think the way he's re-invented himself is nothing short of remarkable. Seriously. I've never done anything as successful or largely loved as he has.

Instead I think it is sadly, more likely, that some marketing dweeb thought that this little tag line would help add some last minute credibility to the project.

The website doesn't tell us anything. And doesn't mention Mr. Shatner.

I notice that IMDB doesn't give him a credit, though. Bummer.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

We are a weird species.

---
This weekend more than a quarter million people have driven to Daytona, Florida. Spectators have arrived from all over the world, travelling in tens of thousands of vehicles: by car, by jet, by ship and boat and train, in order to watch 43 cars drive 500 miles in a circle, just as fast as they can go.

Several thousand folks more are involved in maintaining, supporting or reporting on, those 43 cars (44 if you count the pace car) and untold numbers of tow, media and other support vehicles.

And what do you figure? Somewhere along the drive there and/or back, 1 in 3?, 2 in 3?, WILL bitch about the price of gas?

We are a weird species.

BTW, average price of a gallon of gas in the United States today? $2.27

Friday, February 16, 2007

The third season of chocolate.

---
Any true chocoholic knows that chocolate is seasonal.

The best season is Easter, with Christmas and Valentine's Day in the place and show positions.

First off, Easter is guilt free chocolate. If you're a Christian you have an entire holiday telling you that someone already paid the bill. Eat until you croak. Heaven awaits. And if you're not a Christian, then gluttony isn't a sin anyway. Dive in.

And besides, you get to go all "Ozzy" and bite the head off a rabbit.

Christmas is second because there is a larger variety of chocolaty goodness out there than there is on V-Day. But let's face it, biting the head off of Santa is just asking for it.

Valentines Day has to come in third. Sure, there's an abundance of chocolate, but there's also an over-abundance of those sneaky cream filled buggers. Who decided this was a good idea? And, if you didn't get chocolate from someone else, you have that "I'm standing in line, buying my own freaking valentine." thing going on.

They don't even have a chocolate Cupid to go after. Santa must have warned him or something....

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You don't have the stones...

---
Always thought that phrase was some kind of challenge. Turns out it's a blessing. (My thanks for all the kind thoughts and words.)

"I don't need to see you again for six months or so...." the nice Urologist said. Of course, this was shortly after he had his finger up my bum. (I feel so used.)

But, no more stones. Oh, and no, I didn't get to keep the beasties I passed. They got sent off to "the lab". Probably some weird candlelit crypt where drug reps gather around them and invoke spells to increase their customer base.

I was at a restaurant/sports bar in town a couple weeks ago. Some drug rep had just left about fifty product pens on the bar for bartenders/waitresses to hand out. I don't think they understood that it was for a heartburn drug.

I took two and ordered the barbecue.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mom never told me there'd be days like this.

---

Waking up next to naked in a sterile room with a guy that you recognize as the county coroner, and he has his hands on your balls. Just what is the proper etiquette for this one, Miss Manners?

It's a small town. The county coroner also pulls a regular shift at the hospital emergency room. (At least he's not the town mortician, now that would REALLY be a conflict of interest.)

Turns out that I have kidney stones. That, as of this typing, I haven't passed yet.

24 hours or so ago I thought I was going to die. An hour or so after that I was afraid I was never going to die.

Now, every woman I've come into contact with has said the same thing: "They say that passing a kidney stone is as close as a man can come to experiencing the pain of childbirth." Up until now I was convinced that women were the smarter side of the species. Now I'm thinking that may well be a load of crap.

There's not a guy on the planet that would intentionally go through this pain , ever. Any woman willing to go through this kind of excruciating pain a second time (third, fourth!!!) is far too insane to be allowed to breed.

While I'm waiting for this miniscule (millimeters in size, I'm told) "stone" to pass, they have me on some of the most wonderful drugs. I'm thinking that, if I can continue to tell them that I haven't passed the stone yet, I can keep myself in la-la land until after the next election. (George who???)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sex vs. slacks?

---
NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters Life!) - For most women, the choice between sex and a new wardrobe is simple -- they go for the clothes.

Women on average say they would be willing to give up sex for 15 months for a closet full of new apparel, with 2 percent ready to abstain from sex for three years in exchange for new duds, according to a new survey of about 1,000 women in 10 U.S. cities.

Well that's just silly. What guy's going to pay a girl to NOT have sex with him?

"I... I'll buy you anything. New shoes... I'll buy you new shoes if you'll just NOT touch me right.. right...THERE. Ooohhh, yeah."
Excuse me. I need to get a towel... and my Sears card.


------------

OK, I had to come back and add to this after something was brought to my attention.

If I could PICK who the girl was? You betcha. If I could make the deal that my darling daughter didn't have sex with ANYONE for 15 months? I'd be a check writin' fool. I am in absolutely no hurry to be a grandparent. (I just want to get her through college.)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitor's people are wimps!

--
OK, not really. They are probably all very nice people.

Point is, how hard do they really have to work to get your business? When you think of doing something touristy, most folks naturally wander through a list of locations like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Florida, Paris, yada, yada, yada. Do they really need a heavily staffed tourism and convention bureau?

And then there's Nome, Alaska. The Nome Visitor's Center. These folks have to work HARD for your money.

Thought I'd help out with some catchy new slogans:

"There's No Place Like Nome."

"Beat the rush. Mush."

"You'll come for the snow, but you'll stay for the ice."

OR..., "If it's your last night on earth, don't you want it to last all year?"

Funny thing is, if you click on the link? One of these is real.

I've lost the remote and I don't care.

---
I lost the TV remote, so I can't change channels. But it doesn't matter. It's on the Tube Channel.

I can count the number of things on TV that I would readily endorse on one hand; two hands, but folks would think I was flipping them off.

But I love me some Tube Channel!

Remember when MTV was good? That's the Tube Channel.

No VJ's. No "reality shows". No BS. Just music videos. Videos from artists from now to then and back again. It apparently is the creative child of Les Garland, one of the founders of the original MTV.

Don't get TubeTV where you are? I am sooo sorry.

I'm reminded of the old radio slogan: "Can't hear us from where you are? Move, baby!"

Oh, for those who are about to rattle their keyboards at me and tell me to get off my fat couch and go change it manually? I can't. The buttons are broken. They were the innocent bystanders of a thrown book. I came in and Bill O'Reilly was on the TV and it startled me. Bugs said it best: "What a maroon!"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Drop a Dime, Free this guy's blog

A blogger in Illinois, lonetreeontheprairie, is holding his blog for ransom, for a good cause, Special Olympics. I didn't think of it first; wish I had. (Probably just as well since his gets a lot more viewing than this one does.)

So, I'll send you his way, in hopes that you drop a bit of change his way, for the athletes in Illinois.

Selah!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vote with your, ummm feet?

---
According to Salon Magazine here in the states, and the Metro site in the UK, women's mannequins are getting bustier. According to one of the articles, with quotes from a mannequin maker guy named Wang (insert your cheap shot here), the mannequins are intended to reflect the increasing number of women who have had breast implants surgery. Haven't met a lot of women who volunteered for the DDDD implants, but hey, I don't get out much.


Oh, and by the way, the FDA just recently re-approved silicone for breast implants. No indication that anyone bothered to make them safer than the ones that killed and maimed so many women in years past.

Now, I've always been a big fan of breasts. Never wanted to own a set of my own, you understand, just a big fan... (as a teenager I had a dream of being a connoisseur, don't you know? ba-da-bump-bump)

But, I've never really been a fan of enhancement for enhancement's sake. (Never agreed with the idea of toupee's either.)

Breast enhancement always struck me as a "dummies for Dummies"" kind of an idea.

And ain't it funny how karma works? Now I have a daughter. Once when she was twelve, and we were in the mall? It took everything I had, and the restraining glare of Darling Bride, not to go medieval on a couple of young turks that I caught ogling her.

Fortunately, the Golden Child has always been smarter, and usually saner, than me. God, how I hope she stays that way.

Last thought on the subject comes from David Wilcox, from his song, "Boob Job":

"You know, silicone is permanent
Even after you have passed
When the rest of you has faded
In some box under some stone
Yeah you'll still have your silly cones....
Balanced on your bones.

Boob job, good god, treat her like a man-made thing?
No..."


OK, I lied. The thought after the last thought:

In the Salon article the company founder said that she looked at doing "enhanced" male mannequins. But not enough people were interested.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Just how whipped am I?

---
Actually, not so much. (And probably not as much as I'd like to be, but that's a different conversation.)

I would, however, probably like to blame what will be on my TV during the Super Bowl on being a humble house hubby. (It's kind of like a house elf, without the black sock. Like Dobby's uncle, the one they don't talk about.)

What's going to be on has "Bowl" in it. Does that count?

Puppy Bowl III -- From the Animal Planet. You can learn more about it here if you aren't already familiar with this odd phenomena of cult cuteness.

Actually, I just don't have any interest in football this year. I haven't watched a game all year. And, comes the Super Bowl, I'm more interested in the commercials and the halftime show. And, we can catch those online.

Apparently our house isn't alone, though. If you want to believe this Wikipedia entry, the Puppy Bowl was the most watched show on cable opposite the Super Bowl last year, some 5 million viewers.

Which means that, although it's not mentioned in the Wiki article, right now there are some people placing bets on which dog will "win". Heck, there's probably a line available on which dog will poop first and draw the first flag.

Is any one else disturbed that I know that a dog pooping is why a flag is thrown?

God.... I am SO whipped....

Wonder if I can get a dime down on the dachsund?

Monday, January 29, 2007

If it walks out of the refrigerator? Let it go....

---

Softly in the night there comes a tapping,
a steady gentle tapping that brings me across the floor.

I follow the tippy-tapping and it leads me down the hall.

Down the hall into the kitchen toward the source of this mad sound,
a tapping, tippy-tapping, now a soft, insistent rapping coming from there inside the door.

Shaking fingers reach out for the handle.
The rapping beats in time with the pounding in my chest; ever faster, even louder, more demanding than before.

I want to let it out, but I do not want to see. I know I did not put it there. Dear God what could it be....?

What could it be that calls so loudly? Perhaps I do not have to know? Maybe it will pass me by? There, that surely is the answer. I will just set it free...

I fling wide the door and avert my eyes but I cannot stop my senses. My nose that knows the truth. My traitorous ears that relay every sound, each whisper and its call. Oh, that call!

That evil beckoning that has slipped inside my mind.

I cannot stop, I have to see... My hand falls away from my face....

Holy Crap! We've got cheesecake!!!

Cool.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Just a word or two away from genius

---


Funny how immortality can turn on the addition or subtraction of a word or two.


From Classic novel to classified ad--

To Kill (and eat) a Mockingbird.


Asimov's other fraternity --

I, Robot, state your name.


Philip K Who?

Do Oklahoma Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


And sometimes just a word is enough to show you how wrong a story could have gone. --

Anna Karenina Smith


Or take you from Joseph Heller to Penn & Teller --

Catch a 22


Friday, January 26, 2007

A whole new meaning to "Sugar Buzz" --

---

So, according to USAToday a molecular scientist from Durham, NC, Doctor Robert Bohannon, has developed something called a "buzz doughnut"; a caffeine enhanced little beasty that is supposed to be the equivalent of TWO cups of coffee.

Is nothing sacred?

I'm reminded of the line from Jurassic Park. Scientists spend so much time trying to figure out HOW to do something that they don't have time to think about whether or not they SHOULD.

You want to over caffeinate something? Focus on something useful... I don't know. Maybe edible liquid sexual aids.

Help a guy stay up and ... um... uh... up.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I can't afford to shop at Sam's Club

---
In the news today, a couple of guys in Florida (?) wandered into a Sam's Price Club and conducted a smash and grab in the jewelry section. According to the report they got away with a necklace worth a reported QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS. .... At a SAM's??

I know it's been awhile since I've been in one... But I don't remember any of the folks in line, (like the guy in the ripped, chili stained, Tony Dorsett jersey, or the lady in the purple velour sweat pants and the blue flannel shirt) looking like they were shopping for a special selection of old Sam's family jewels. (wait... that kind of went somewhere strange and necrophilic on me, sorry.)

Besides... It's Sam's. You can't buy just one of anything. You have to buy a case of those necklaces. And, you have to bring your own old cardboard beer flat to carry them home in.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Could I offer you something from our venial cellar?

---

Cable channels in the St. Louis area are running an ad for a company called alternatives insurance. Let me say up front, I don't know these folks from anywhere, never met any of them to my knowledge, never done business with them. So, this is NOT meant as an endorsement, and is NOT meant as a denigration. OK? I did go to the website to make sure I read this right on the ad. (By the way, they are a Drive insurance agent, if you care.)

But the website is "alternativesins.com". (and no, I'm not putting in the "click-through", that would be too much like an endorsement. You want to check my spelling? Type it for yourself.)

Now, it might have been the mood I was in; Might have been the wine. But if the true value of people like insurance agents, CPA's, lawyers, and professional companions is in their attention to the details?

I'm hesitant about a company that offers their services as
agents of "alternative sins."

"Perhaps, rather than jumping straight to murder, sir, we could offer you something in the line of public humiliation or financial ruin? After all, you could always move up to the mortal sins if you are not satisfied.... say, gluttony? Let someone else kill the poor bastard. You can just eat him. True, it's still a mortal sin, but at least you'll be well fed."


By the way? Regarding the "non-mortal" sins?
Proverbs says that even the "just man falls seven times a day." I'm pretty sure this piece pushes me into some time in August, 2012.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who the heck is this ad actually for?

---

Here we go again.

There's a Nexium ad running during the news that shows some middle-aged guy and his kids. He says his kids call him "the finisher". (ignoring the obvious Bush jokes here.)

The ad shows him running around the house talking to the kids, "finish your homework, finish your vegetables", yada yada.... and then talks about how he has all this heartburn.

Know what's not in the ad? Mom. No wife, no girlfriend, (or boyfriend for that matter). Not even pictures of a "late wife". Just Mister strong, caring, capable Dad... a role model for men everywhere.

Near the end of the ad there's a line of text that says "See our ad in Ladies Home Journal."

???

I gotta go find this ad. Whatcha want to bet Mr. Strong and Capable isn't front and center in that one...?


And yes, I am watching too damn much TV again.

Quick side note ... If DB (my Darling Bride) were reading this? Right about now she'd be dancing in circles chanting "Told ya women aren't responsible for the stress."

"Dying is easy. Parking is Impossible."

---

“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”


Art Buchwald was one of the most insightful, rational and accurate political commentators in our lifetime. R.I.P. Mr. Buchwald.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oh the land of cloudless days...

---

Not counting about a 15 minute span of of light last Thursday? Yesterday morning brought the first sunshine we've had in almost a month.

It was 15 degrees. The wind was up around 15 miles an hour, and I walked to work.

My fingers were frozen when I got there, and I didn't take my coat off for a half hour, but I got to spend the morning in the sun.

And then the alarm went off. I hit the button and lay there, watching the cold, gray clouds spit snow at the street in front of the house.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Playing back the conversations in your head

Ever script a conversation in your head AND have it actually happen
JUST like that in real time?

Like this one earlier today:

Me, on the cell phone with my Auntie --

Auntie: Whatcha doin?

Me: Making lunch.

Auntie: What are you making?

Me: Hang on a sec.

(Into the fast food squawk box) I'll have a #1, no cheese, Diet Coke.

Auntie: Yeah, That's what I thought.

------------------------

But sometimes? Not so much:


Me, same cell phone, with my bride.


BoB: Watcha doin'?

Me: Hangin' out with the guys, watching the game.

BoB: Cool. Where?

Me: Hang on a sec.

Girl at table: Lap dance is twenty bucks, sweetie.... Just like the last one.

BoB: Yeah, that's what I thought.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

It's the jeans that are important here?

Have you seen the new commercial for Total cereal? Mom loans her old tight comfortable/cool jeans to her daughter. After seeing them on her, Mom eats cereal, loses weight and then asks for the jeans back.

Now, that's kinda heartwarming, right?


But, while Mom munches down on breakfast cereal, daughter is shown escorting a series of different men/boys back to her room.

At the end of the commercial Mom only cares about the same thing that everyone else already did, getting the girl out of her jeans.

See, if I spent the commercials trekking to the fridge for a beer, I wouldn't have to think about this stuff....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I don't do politics. But I DO do stupid. Oh.. wait....

See, here's the thing. Is the President right? Is he wrong?

I'm not qualified to say.

But does it seem stupid to anyone else to:

1) Give the world your speech BEFORE you make it, AND still expect people to pay attention to you when you read it to them?

2) Not only tell the people you are at war with Yes, we're sending more people with guns; and then tell them, THIS is how many of them we're sending, but to also announce THIS is when we're sending them. (cnn/usatoday)

AND OH BY THE WAY--- Are we in fact, at war, or just still field testing for the military industrial complex?

Rant over... Soap Box put away. Thanks

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Call to Mourning

MomoFuku Ando has died.

A hero and saviour of college students world wide.

There should be an international day of mourning.

Or at least 90 seconds (on high).

Actually, read the obit. The guy was remarkable.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Whatcha get for those ears, Missy?

The Dallas Museum of Art is closing their Van Gogh exhibition soon. Go see it if you can.

One thing though. At the gallery exit is the obligatory gift shop. Now I can understand the usual, prints, posters, postcards, etc. but they have chocolate ears. Really. And Van Gogh finger puppets. and Oh Yeah... a "Van Gogh Action figure" which, my brother pointed out has the wrong ear missing.

Chocolate ears.... that's just wrong. At the Charlie Bird Parker exhibit will they have chocolate lips? Or maybe those wax ones? Just imagine if they had a John Holmes exhibit..... nah, don't.