Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mmmmm, linky!

  • This is sorta big. Now, if only someone would come forward and admit that they killed JFK.

  • Die Toten Hosen???

  • This woman looks really unhappy to be in jail.

  • This dude is definitely drunk.

  • OMGWTFBBQ!!! $1 billion?! Professional sports teams have completely lost touch with reality.

  • In case you were wondering, rugby unions are run by big babies.

  • I know where I'll be tonight.

  • In the spirit of Gene's daily word, I give you -- tallyho n.: A loose woman who keeps count.

  • And again, here's this week's column.
  • Base closing

    Sorry, Ladies, You Missed Your Chance

    Here it is: My latest column, in which I expose a deep, dark male secret. OK, not really that much of a secret. Please forward it to all your friends, family and the ex-girlfriends who can't make it a day without thinking about you.

    Monday, May 30, 2005

    My tender feelings

    A friend on Saturday suggested I change the name of this blog to "My Tender Feelings." I thought about it, but then realized that too many people would take me seriously.

    Beyond that, I have no post today because I am busy honoring America's soldiers. Freedom isn't free; America is safer; etc. If anyone needs me, I'll be drinking beer.

    Saturday, May 28, 2005

    My harem

    Random conversation that might occur if I had a harem and we all lived in Baltimore:

    "Which one of us is it gonna be tonight, hon? The rest of us is goin' down to the Coughing Rabbit to see Dokken."

    "Geez. Dokken is still around?"

    "Definitely, hon."

    "OK. Well how about Jeanie?"

    "Oh, don't know about that, hon. She was really looking forward to this one. She's been drinking MGD since noon. You know, to get ready for the show. What about Dana? She's in right smart heat."

    "Alright. Dana."

    "S'long, hon."

    Friday, May 27, 2005

    Ten things I have not done (but would like to do)

    I'm stealing a page from Dave, who is stealing a page from everyone else, in listing things I have never done. But there are plenty of things I haven't done that I have no intention of doing (I have never cut off one of my fingers), so here -- in no particular order of importance -- is a list of things I hope to eventually accomplish:

    1) I have never been to Japan -- or any part of Asia, for that matter. Apparently Tokyo's population is just shy of 13 million. That's almost half the population of Canada all packed into a little area. I sure as hell don't want to live there, but I'd love to be amidst it all for a while.
    The same is true of China. One billion people. Good Lord, that's a lot of people. I'd really like to visit before the United States declares war on them.

    2) I have never run a marathon. The fact that I was able to go running just two days after finishing a half-marathon has me thinking this is an achievable goal. I have yet to decide on whether I want to train to run the full marathon in Fargo next year, though. I also have visions of running in the London Marathon. Some 35,105 people completed that race this year. That is a massive river of people, a small city, all moving along en masse. It would be pretty cool to be in the middle of it.

    3) I have never had a book published. I'm working on that one. Talk to me in a few months.

    4) I have never gone skiing in the Alps. I have heard that doing this is a ridiculously good time. I haven't done a hell of a lot of skiing since I sold my skis to cover a bounced check when I was 19, but have dreams of getting back into it. The problem stems from the cost -- skis are expensive, dude. And rental skis suck.

    5) I have never completely rebuilt a pickup truck. I want to do this for two reasons: 1) For the sense of accomplishment; 2) My level of hatred for car mechanics* is rather high -- among groups not wanting to kill me (obviously, anyone who wants me dead, like a terrorist, is more despised by me than people who simply want to lie to me and take my money), car mechanics rank among the top ten.

    6) I have never owned a home. I am getting old that this is creeping in on my list of priorities. Sometimes I can't decide which I want more -- a cabin or a house. Right now I lean more toward a cabin (by the lake; we have a lot of lakes in Minnesota). I take this is as a sign I am not yet too far gone.

    8) I have never liked my teeth. I was going to say that my teeth have never been straight, but I assume they were at one point; before I took a picnic table to the face at age 5 (I was dancing in joy at the novelty of Chicken McNuggets). Follow this up with street curbs, baseballs, fists and what dentists call "occlusion" and you end up with a grill of true American South quality ("Hoo-wee, take the gun off the gun rack, we's goin' into town!"). I dream of the third item on this list turning out so well that I have enough money to rebuild my higgledy-piggledy mouth. Last I checked, doing so would require upward of $10,000 and two years of wearing braces.

    9) I have never seen the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. Polar bears, man. Big, cuddly machines of death. They're so cute and funny and they will hunt and eat people. How can you not want to visit them? It seems like a very old-person thing to do, though -- getting in a bus and driving out to the middle of nowhere to see animals you can see at the zoo. The same part of me that wants to do this is the part that wants to take a first-class train trip across India or Australia or learn how to golf.

    10) I have never had to shoo away an ex-girlfriend who has turned up to beg me to take her back. This will never happen. A man can dream, though.

    *I should clarify. I don't hate car mechanics, my brother's friends are mechanics and I like them a lot. I hate mechanics I don't know, and I especially hate this modern trend of having some sort of mechanic-customer middle man that you run into at dealerships.

    Mark my words

    Once again, I stand by my assertion that the EU will not last 50 years. The United States has more than enough problems running a democracy without the trouble of multiple languages and centuries-old divisions.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    Bo Bice was robbed!

  • I'm happy America has a new idol. The golden calf was getting a bit boring.
    Is it just me, or does BBC Radio 1 presenter Edith Bowman look a lot like "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood?
    I feel the need to point out that, yes, I did watch the "American Idol" finale, but the blame for this rests wholly on my wife's shoulders.
    The show was littered with uncomfortable moments, of course. Most of them, failed moments of humor or fucked up attempts to interact with someone who was broadcasting from another town. How long have we had satellite technology and still producers have not realized that it is impossible to have spontaneous chitchat across a satellite link? It is ALWAYS strange and uncomfortable:
    "Mike, what is that you're wearing?"
    "What is that you're wearing?"
    Five-second pause
    "I'm.. oh. This?"
    "Yes. What is that?"
    "I'm having trouble hearing you..."
    When I watch bad television, I always have to do so standing up so I can walk out of the room when I get annoyed. I probably walked a good two miles during the "American Idol" finale. And the moment that had me squirming most came in hearing the lyrics "In Birmingham they love the governor" sung with such clear and cheery annunciation by Bo Bice. Admittedly, the odds are rather strong against anyone in an "American Idol" audience catching the racial/historical implications of 70s Southern Rock (indeed, I would doubt Bo even knows), and I've always interpreted* the lyrics as being more unthinkingly dismissive of the Civil Rights movement than flat-out racist, but still. It gave me the heebie-jeebies.
    Oh, and Paula Abdul is a doofus (that's just for you, Jenny).

  • So stupid. So good. I can't wait. This was/is/always will be my favorite show. I can't help it. I still insist that James Best is an underappreciated comic genius (that damned sound file on his site is not helping to prove my point).

  • Here's a sign that your life may be a little off balance: Your dad died in March and you have been driving around with his ashes in your car.
    Maybe, though, this could become a trend; similar to the way Volkswagen Beetles come with a little place for a flower. New cars could come with an urn holder.

  • America is safer: "I plan on going undercover and then being the sheriff or chief of police somewhere."

  • Random news fact that sounds like a country music lyric: "The man had a bus ticket and some pesos in his pocket."

    *Of course I would interpret them this way. I am, by birth, a white Southerner. And I own the best of Lynyrd Skynyrd album. Man, I suck.
  • Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    The blog is feeling rough

    Of course, yesterday was my blog's birthday. Today it is very hungover after having gone out and gotten very drunk. There have been several uncomfortable glances today as it tries to ignore the fact that it woke up this morning sandwiched between my wife and me. It has no idea what happened after triple shooters at Psycho Suzi's.

    "What the hell happened?" it keeps muttering into the toilet amid dry heaves, watching the water ripple in response to its pained whispering. Isn't the water pretty? It looks so cool and peaceful. The blog wants to just stick its head into the peaceful cool water of the toilet; disappear from the physical and emotional discomfort that has risen from so much alcohol. It's only going to get worse when the pictures are developed.

    Anyway, that is the reason I don't have a proper post today. It has nothing to do with my watching a soccer match.


    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Happy birthday blog

  • Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. Here's my first blog entry.
    "Things may be rather stale for a month or so," I wrote.
    I am happy to report that they have, in fact, remained stale for a whole year. Here's looking forward to another year of poo! Rather appropriately, the traditional gift for a one-year anniversary is paper, which is probably where this blog should exist -- on paper, in a trashcan.

  • My obsession with all things Welsh has gotten out of hand. I didn't realize it until looking at this picture, but I am apparently trying to look like Tom Jones in 1966*.

  • I'm making it a goal to use these words. Actually, we have used "snirt" for a long time up here in Minnesota.

  • Things could be worse, I suppose, I could be trying to build my own light saber. Key element: "the 17-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man... suffered serious injuries."

  • Des Moines is more exciting than you might have thought.

  • "Police said (Bobby) Brown was at the restaurant performing during a weekly open microphone event when the people he arrived with got into a fight."
    It's his prerogative to rock open mic night. So, so, so sad, and yet, not at all surprising.

  • Great name of the day: Phonsavanh Thammavongsa.

    *I am desperately trying not to sound like a girl here, but I hate this picture. By putting it on the Internet I have set myself up for years of shame and embarrassment. Some day my children will find this picture and they will laugh and laugh and laugh, and then I will lock them in a dark and tiny box and they will have only their screams to keep them company. That'll teach them to make fun of their dad, the ungrateful little punks.
  • Monday, May 23, 2005

    Oh, she was nursing it alright!

  • I found this sketch today. I found it in the process of looking for this sketch.

  • I finally got around to seeing "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" on Friday and it was better than I had anticipated. It was a completely different story than the book of the same name, but if you accept that you will not be seeing a film version of your favorite book, it's funny enough.
    I also saw "Drumline" (it was on TNT, they know drama) this weekend. It was even worse than I could have imagined. The main character is in a marching band and he can't read music. Argh. And, stupidly, it made me melancholy for the days when I dreamed of being a member of Florida A&M's Marching 100. Strangely, the Marching 100 does not have a website (at least, not one that's been touched in the last eight years), but my high school marching band does.

  • Good on you, BBC workers.

  • Hey, anyone wanna give me $1,000? I want to take a language course.

  • "(Third-grade students) took the pledge to make the Blackstone swimmable and fishable by 2015." I think it would be funny to hold them accountable to this pledge: "I don't care if you're in the middle of college. You promised to clean up this damned river!"

  • "One of the individuals perceived his arm to be a roast beef sandwich and started chewing on his arm."

  • Someday I hope to be so famous that people make up words to describe me. Unputdownable?
  • Good enough

    I wish I could see this stuff live...

    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Drummer make a boom-boom

    Rock! It's Eurovision time. The fact that there is no way for me to watch this in the United States is yet another sign that the terrorists have won.

    I listened to/watched every song today. Man, that was a mean and spiteful think to do to myself. Go to the link above and watch the videos with me:

    UK -- Javine, the UK's entry is a bucket of suck. This is not surprising. Get ready for some hot "nul points" action. Although, my favorite explanation as to why the UK won't win is "We've invaded too many countries and nobody likes us."

    Albania -- Chorus sounds a bit like "iechyd da," which is a Welsh drinking toast.

    Andorra -- I watched the first 12 seconds of the video and got so dizzy I had to breathe into a bag.

    Austria -- The lyrics indicate the girl in the video is from Cuba. Apparently Cuba is in space. Space, apparently (check the video at about 2:43) is a British commonwealth.

    Belarus -- "Look at me. Me feel right."

    Belgium -- Did he say, "Dogs on éclair?" The best part comes at the very end of the song, when you can hear a single person clapping.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

    Bulgaria -- "I can still remember the rain in the rain." Car, woman on bed, wet fella, nipple, trumpet that is never used in song, blokes on "Casablanca" set, wet fella, different car, dove, group of wet fellas, dodgy hat, lame scarf, bad wiring in apartment, fire, wet fella -- we got ourselves a hit, boys!

    Croatia -- Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription is more timpani.

    At this point I am beginning to notice that a key element to adding emotion to one's music is flailing your arms about. Throw them up in the air and then slam them down; slamming an imaginary table in the imaginary courtroom of life. "Your honor, I object to this heartbreak!"

    Cyprus -- "I'm the king of the king of the Nile, I'm gonna show you tonight who I am." You just said who you are, you doofus -- you're the king of the Nile. Although, I seriously doubt the veracity of your claim.

    Denmark -- "You nailed me to the floor."

    Estonia -- If Eurovision songs are an indication of a country's musical influences, Estonia has been influenced almost exclusively by Katrina and the Waves.

    Finland -- Why indeed. Why am I listening? Hello? Is it me you're looking for? Lionel Ritchie wants his chorus back.

    France -- Like a rice cake without the flavor. Nice bodices, ladies.

    FYR Macedonia -- "Hand in your hand, tears in my ants." "Yo, cowboy toad, I am the boy who will break up with you."

    Germany -- "$25 wasted on you." Apparently she bought him dinner at Chili's. You sing your heart out leather pants lady, pitch is for losers. She looks a bit like this rugby player, but with breasts. It all has a WWE quality to it. I expect Marty Jannetty to show up at any moment.

    Greece -- "You are the sun to my rainy season." What's that mean? That I'm not there? That I am hidden by your overbearing nature?

    At this point I am beginning to notice that Eastern European countries love them a mess of Middle Eastern/Indian rhythms. Perhaps they have been confused by the whole Eastern-Eastern thing.

    Hungary -- Creepy Riverdance.

    Iceland -- Not enough videos end with some chick killing a guy. In future, honey, you may want to use a different weapon. You're a crap shot. I like the fact that she feels bad about breaking people's windows; killing a guy, though, good on ya.

    Ireland -- Apparently Ireland is in Eastern Europe, or so their song style would indicate. I find it somewhat endearing just how little Ireland tried this year. I'm inclined to believe that actual work had to be put into finding an Irish group suffering such a dearth of musical talent.

    Israel -- It is one of the clauses of the Patriot Act that I am not allowed to make fun of Israel. Those breasts are just about enough to convert me to Judaism (N.B. -- Israel is in Europe?).

    Latvia -- What if those guys who sang "More Than Words" never left high school? And what if someone made jackets for them out of an old set of drapes? This song just about killed my desire to carry on.

    Lithuania -- Nice dress, honey. I think it may still be 1974 in Lithuania.

    Malta -- I think that fella in the yellow coat may have some sort of inner ear disorder. He falls down a lot. That big chick never moves below the waist. I think she may be some sort of an animatronic songstress. Look for her to do a few shows a week at Chuck E. Cheese. When you're ready Moon Doggie.

    Moldova -- "Me love so much drummer make a boom-boom." If there is any justice in this world, these guys will win. The old lady with the drum puts them over the top.

    Monaco -- My wife had a swimsuit that looked like that when she was 14 years old. One fella clapping at the end. Yep. That's about right. Maybe he's the bloke who was clapping for that Belgian kid.

    At this point I am beginning to notice that those countries not keen on the Middle Eastern sound have been heavily influenced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This is wrong.

    Netherlands -- "I'll bite the big wide world." Nice random "Starsky & Hutch" guitar riff in there.

    Norway -- Wait. Did I say Moldova should win? Fuck that. These guys win. How can you not vote for four guys who have given themselves the nicknames of Teeny, Sporty, Glam and Flash? They should win on the strength of Flash alone. Flash is a winner; Norway wins. Here's their website.

    Poland -- Didn't anybody tell these guys about the Middle Eastern or Andrew Lloyd Webber sounds? You've got booze, women spinning around in circles and a bit of accordion -- that's about all a fella needs in life. Wait a second -- do I think this is good? In a way, yes. Perhaps it is just residual good feeling left over from Norway. Ooh, the girls are shaking and spinning. I like his little dance: clap hands above head, slap ass, repeat. I'm moving to Poland.

    Portugal -- "Happy freeway. Happy shiny day." What the hell is going on there? It's like having cataracts.

    At this point I am beginning to notice that there are too many entrants in Eurovision. I feel tired.

    Romania -- OK, just stop. Y'all are trying to be weird. Pat Benatar and the guys from Men at Work auditioning for "Stomp" in the desert.

    Russia -- "Nobody hurt no one." "Haddie swim America, wait I wanna drink me some beer." "She didn't want a garden school, didn't want a baseball in Spain." WTF? What are you people saying?

    Serbia and Montenegro -- Oh, my friends, what we have here are the makings of the quintessential Eastern European Eurovision entry!! Fuck yeah! In combo Middle Eastern and Andrew Lloyd Webber style, it has all the necessary elements: Aloof and beautiful woman (why is she holding a dog?) begins cross-country yarn unraveling journey amid timpani intro; fellas on rocks; one of these fellas should be wet, though; random horses; she's wandering through the snow; scrawny fella initiates much emotional flailing of hands; fella in tan jacket looks like Neil Patrick Harris of "Doogie Howser MD" fame; "look at those mountains behind me," says Doogie; she's taking her yarn to town; I gotta have more timpani, baby; rocks; nice scarves, fellas; take the yarn to church; "is this a great view or what?" asks Doogie; throw that ball of yarn at them, lady; ooh, and manly shouting; this is a magic ball of yarn.

    Slovenia -- Hey, there's a wet fella. He should move to Serbia and Montenegro. This has a real porn film quality to it. If they show his crotch again I'm going to be ill.

    Spain -- It's the girls from the Fanta ads. Chris Needs gets a speaking part at the end.

    Sweden -- Star Wars kid. This song should have ended 30 seconds sooner.

    Switzerland -- "Cool bike. Why don't you kill me?" Ladies and gentlemen, your Super Bowl XL pre-game entertainment.

    Turkey -- Again with this stupid Middle Eastern sound -- oh, wait. I always wondered what happened to the actress who played Red Sonja.

    Ukraine -- "God be my witness, we ready to love." Go chubby dude! Rock it! You look like you should be in a bar in Boston's financial area. Nice explosions. Never underestimate the value of a big finish.

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    But he does exist. He does.

  • I finally timed things just right today that I managed to capture Löwenbräu, via audioblog, yammering on for a full 43 seconds about the qualities of the Minnesota Zoo. But as it turns out, the phones at the headquarters of my benevolent employer are very good at eliminating extraneous noise. Despite the fact that Löwenbräu's voice was reverberating in my skull, when I listened to the recording it was barely audible. Even with the volume on my speakers cranked up, his monologue was fragmented -- "Sharks... good deal there... all the fish they got... fish... sharks... really liked the sharks..." -- and the audio ended with an ear-splitting beep. The end result is that I doubt I will be able to post audio of Löwenbräu.
    If we were in junior high school, you could completely derail me by suggesting that you think Löwenbräu is a made-up person.
    "No, he's real," I would screech, my voice lilting upward. "I didn't make him up!"
    Then I would punch you and try not to cry.

  • I wish I had thought up this prank.

  • Wow. Is it that time already? Today is Bryce Hasn't Updated His Blog In A Month Day.

  • Best hip-hop line I've heard in a while: "Your lyrics are gibberish. It's a microphone, not a clitoris."

  • Random IM conversation with co-worker:
    ME: To be fair to people who dress up for Star Wars -- it's not too much different than dressing up for Renaissance Fest.
    ME: Except that the Renaissance actually happened.
    CW: Yes, but there were NO FUCKING FAERIES.
    ME: You hush, you.
    ME: Everyone knows that the Renaissance was populated by faeries.
    ME: And Scotsmen carrying massive swords.
    ME: The both of them drinking grog and eating roast turkey legs. Every day. All day.
    CW: Yes, and everyone dressed like a peasant owned a broadsword.
    ME: Exactly.
  • Shaggin' a smart chick

  • I forgot to mention Tuesday that my wife took part in graduation ceremonies Monday to officially acknowledge her earning a masters degree in public health nutrition. She graduated with an overall GPA of 3.9, a full three points higher than my GPA in my final semester at the erstwhile-named Moorhead State University. There's something to be said for not spending all of one's time drinking heavily and pining for lost loves, I suppose.
    It can, at times, be a bit hard on my ridiculously fragile ego to be married to a woman who is so much smarter than me, but the bonus is that she is trained to make me eat properly so I can suffer the humiliation for an even greater period of time.
    Me, age 74: "I feel great and I'm still dumb! Huzzah!"

  • Please help me in a discussion I am having with a co-worker. Do you find any problems with this?
    The way that I've phrased that makes it sound like my co-worker are arguing over something. That's not true. We are in total agreeance*. My question is, do other people see what we're seeing?

  • I'm a dork. this made me laugh.

  • I hate to offend any of the fine North Carolinians who read this blog (like Greg) but, uhm, y'all's state is messed up. Key excerpt: "... after the horrors of Nazi Germany's attempts to form a master race, most states cut back their eugenics programs. Instead, North Carolina's increased its programs, targeting mostly poor black women."

  • Of course, I'm one to talk. Minnesota has the Swastikadome.

  • I thought about this today in response to No. 47 from Dave's post today: The first movie I ever cried over was "Sands of Iwo Jima," starring John Wayne (described on IMDb as "The greatest U.S. propaganda movie ever made."). I was home sick with the flu and watched it on cable. The movie is old enough that I think I'm safe in giving away the ending -- John Wayne dies. After scrapping all the way to the top of some damn hill he takes a bullet to the chest in a much-deserved moment of peace.
    "I'm feelin' pretty good," he says.
    In my grumpy, feverish, high school mindset I decided that it was a metaphor for life.

  • Here's another tragic true story. When I was in seventh grade, Sarah McNearney and I went "steady" for approximately two weeks. After I proved myself utterly undeserving of such an honor, she broke up with me via a note delivered by a friend. I was crushed. The hurt took years to go away.
    What I'm trying to say is this: Daunte Culpepper, I know what you're going through, my brother.

    *Thank you, Fred Durst, for your contribution to the English language.
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    Letourneau gives the bastards what for

  • As mentioned in the previous two posts (and several more before that), my wife and I traveled to Fargo over the weekend. You will be happy to know, I'm sure, that it looks almost exactly the same as when I left seven years ago. The only real changes I saw were in the respective downtowns of Fargo and Moorhead.
    A number of buildings have been razed along Broadway in Fargo, leaving gaping holes in the landscape, and the road has been given a number of multicolored intersections. It has a sort of "Pavement by Disney" feel. Esther, your old compound remains and Letourneau still sits atop the north tower, manning the guns. I shouted to him as our marathon procession made its way past the compound* and he fired off a celebratory volley from his beloved Vickers machine gun. Several out-of-towners were badly injured.
    Downtown Moorhead, having scrapped Kirby's and soon to rid itself of Ralph's, is following the trend of every suburb in the Twin Cities and slapping up urban-style apartment-condo things. Future residents will be within walking distance of KFC, Dairy Queen, and Atomic Coffee. Hell, that sounds so appealing I may establish a second residence there.

  • It looks as if the American version of "The Office" will dodge the bullet.

  • If you were wondering whether the Catholic Church has lost its mind, the answer is yes. Yes it has: "Archbishop Harry Flynn has been ordered by the Vatican to refuse communion to any Catholic wearing a rainbow sash."

  • "Miller was trying to explain to the students that the holsters are so secure that no one could take an officer's gun. At that point, Miller told a student to try and take the gun out." You can kind of guess what happens next.

    *Because I have reason to believe that the stunningly beautiful Alia reads this blog, I should point out before she does that the procession did not, in fact, pass directly in front of the old compound. But Letourneau was still able to pick off plenty of stragglers from his vantage point.
  • Running To Fargo, Not Running Away

    What was I doing in Fargo, you ask? Wonder no more, dear friends. My latest column is out. Please feel free to send it to friends, family and professional donut-eaters.


    Hey! I'm No. 223.

    Every time I run a race, I feel the need to blog how I finished. So, I'll do it again.

    My wife and I ran a half-marathon through Fargo-Moorhead Saturday. I finished with a time of 1:53:51, giving me a pace of 8:42 a mile. This is almost a full minute behind the pace I ran in March, but keep in mind that I ran an additional eight miles this time (21k rather than 8k -- 13.1 miles rather than 4.9).

    And I can take solace in having outrun my wife. She finished the race with a time of 2:05:42. That's a pace of 9:36 a minute.

    Another element of this run was that it allowed me to shake off a few old hang-ups, as mentioned in my column.

    Our planned next race is this one.

    Friday, May 13, 2005

    Malcolm Glazer is a damn liar

  • We're heading up to good ol' Fargo tonight. I won't be back till Tuesday (assuming I don't get a heart attack and die mid-run). Something tells me you'll carry on.

  • And it appears that we are going to Fargo just in time to say goodbye to an icon. I suspect that my wife, a teetotaler, won't really appreciate the experience as much as perhaps she should.

  • Get used to this type of FLAT OUT LYING, Man U fans: "We are... avid Manchester United fans."
    I feel sick.
  • Evil

  • Noooooooooooo!!!

  • Today's MSNBC error: Describing this baby as weighing less than a can of soda, confusing 11 ounces in weight as being the same thing as 11 ounces in volume.

  • Good name for a bar: The Coughing Rabbit

  • Every Minnesotan wants one of these.

  • Perhaps this was just happenstance, but I noticed today that all the stories in my local paper that were datelined Iraq came from female reporters. I have no intelligent comment to make about this fact; I just thought it was interesting. I thought this article by Ellen Knickmeyer was particularly well-written.
  • Thursday, May 12, 2005

    You suck so much, MSNBC

  • According to some bonehead on MSNBC, the wonderfully named Operation Matador is part of a greater operation called Raging Bull. Not surprisingly, MSNBC is reporting something that no other news outlet is reporting. For those of you who are not members of the liberal relativist Global Media Conspiracy, this means that MSNBC is, in common parlance, "full of shit."
    I watch MSNBC for a grand total of seven minutes (sometimes less) each morning while eating breakfast. I watch MSNBC because I pay $5 for my basic cable and that's the news channel I'm given. Clicking through a legitimate news website isn't practical because my hands are busy forcing tea and toast down my gullet at that time.
    During that seven minutes (sometimes less), I always spot at least one error, be it technical or factual. MSNBC can't make it seven damn minutes without screwing up. SEVEN MINUTES! Don't you think that if you did the same thing every day you would be able to hold it together for a seven-minute stretch?!
    My favorite recent mistake: When an over-the-shoulder graphic identified finding the bodies of two dead girls as a "grizzly discovery." Ignoring their use of a tired cliché, they got it wrong. This is a grizzly discovery. Or this.

  • Because my priorities are in order, I didn't know that Tony Danza almost died until two days after the fact. But, I think I speak for every American when I say: Thank you Rusty Wallace for giving it your best effort.

  • British troops prepare for thumb war*.

  • My favorite catchphrase at the moment: "Guess what? I got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell."

  • For those of you wondering, today Löwenbräu spent a good deal of time discussing the Whizzinator, whether it is OK for Macaulay Culkin to sleep in Michael Jackson's bed, and the fact that the weather Wednesday was "cool. Not cold, but cool, you know? Not too bad. Just cool. Tomorrow's gonna be 45 and that's cold. There's no arguing that."

  • No stuffed animals?

    *Operation Fist of Fury, according to an MSNBC report.
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    Operation Save Wendy's Ass

  • That's just not right.

  • The guy who comes up with names for military operations earned his pay this week. Operation Matador is a cool name. Much better than that that lame old "Operation Long-Term Self-Determination With Occasional Interference By Massive Super Power" crap. Quick, leave good names for military operations in the comments.

  • Who cares if it's got a finger in it? It's free!

  • Circuit City is evil.

  • I have decided that if I become a famous author, I am going to dress in predominantly WWI-era styles.

  • For those that care (none of you, then) I am back to writing on my Welsh-language blog and currently planning a trip to Wales for October. More on that trip as all the details fall into place.

  • What idiot thought "Rainbow Cup" was a good name for a rugby competition?

  • Strange hip-hop lyric of the day: "(I will become) famous like Lenny Henry." Huh?
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    Monday, May 9, 2005

    Global Media Conspiracy drops the ball again

  • I received an e-mail today in response to this column that accused me of being too lenient on Jennifer Wilbanks. The e-mail contained a rambling tirade based on information that Internet posters always seem to possess, despite its never having been reported, as well as a myriad questions like "Would there be 630 catered chicken dinners?"
    The e-mail concluded with this stinging lament: "Why, oh why doesn't the 'news media' ask the questions that the public asks?"

  • Yet another reason why I'm glad I'm married.

  • "Almost 150 Swedish fishermen took part in the study." Am I the only person who finds that to be sorta creepy?

  • "More people are killed by lightning in Utah than by any other natural occurrence." That seems sort of ironic to me. Maybe God is trying to tell them something.

  • When I first read the headline for this story, I got all excited and thought that Kenny Rogers had opened a theme park. Sadly, that is not the case.

  • Best quote of the week: "Personally, if something is meant for my 'hu-ha', I don't think I'm going to put it on my eyes."
  • Sunday, May 8, 2005

    You look a damned fool, America

    There are a number of mysteries to life. For example, if macaroni and cheese and eggnog are both so good, why is it so awful when you mix them together?

    Similarly, I can inform you from personal experience that a Mountain Dew-flavored milkshake is an all-around bad idea, despite the fact that it sounds like such a good idea. I mean you've got Mountain Dew, you've got a milkshake -- how could you possibly go wrong? It's a mystery.

    In theory, at least, some of the mysteries of life can be unraveled. My parents live in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb, through which runs a 7-mile stretch of road that has been under construction nonstop since my family moved to the area almost 20 years ago (meanwhile, in St. Paul, where I live, we have potholes so deep that mammoth bones have been found at the bottom). How could they spend that much time working on a road? Especially when it looks the same now as when my family first arrived.

    I'm sure that right now you are thinking of a similar or worse situation on the roads in your own municipality. And, as I say, in theory we should be able to do something about it. We should be able to determine what the heck is going on.

    Of course, you and I know that it's a mystery that will remain unsolved. If road crews can spend two decades blocking traffic and "working" on a road that never seems to change in appearance, they can easily stall your queries on the matter until well after both you and your children and their children have shuffled free of this mortal coil.

    But there are some mysteries that we cannot ignore. There are some issues that we simply must confront. There are some questions that, no matter how difficult, now matter how awful the truth may be, we must answer.

    The question that I have is this: At what point did it become OK again for teenagers to wear their hats sideways? What malevolent fashion consultant of Satan approved this look?

    When I was in high school -- 11 years ago -- the sideways baseball cap was popular for about a week. The boys of my suburban school desperately tried to strut their stuff whilst sporting a sideways baseball cap and they were laughed off campus by even the blind students.

    I assumed that, like the practice of bloodletting, this fashion statement had since died away and would never return -- its resurgence prohibited by its sheer stupidity.

    Sadly, shockingly, I was wrong. Just this past weekend, as I traveled along a certain perpetually under-construction stretch of road, I looked over and saw a teenage boy with his hat cocked sideways. No one was in the car with him, so he couldn't claim to have been hit in the head -- he had chosen to wear his hat that way.

    Later that day, at a mall, I saw another boy with a sideways hat. And another. And another. And then, like Robert Redford in the totally forgettable film "Havana," I threw my arms to the sky and screamed: "What has happened here?"

    I'm not trying to be a prude. I can suffer some regressive trends. If the president wants to cut Social Security to levels from a time before roadwork started on Interstate 494, that's fine. If Hollywood wants to make a "Bewitched" remake, I'm not going to complain. Heck, if people want to bring back bloodletting, I'll keep my mouth shut. But this?! This sideways hat thing is just wrong!

    Hat forward = OK

    Hat backward = OK

    Hat sideways = TOTAL GOOBER

    Sometimes society must take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and say: "I look like a fool."

    Now is that time, America. We must take a stand against sideways baseball caps. We must uncover the mystery of what menacing force brought this trend back to the world of high school fashion (my guess? the liberal media) and we must put a stop to it before it's too late.

    Then we can move onto greater mysteries, like Celine Dion's show in Las Vegas -- who would pay hard-earned money to see that?

    Saturday, May 7, 2005

    The wisdom of Löwenbräu

  • There is a guy at the headquarters of my benevolent employer who regularly stands and talks close to my worker pod. I call him Löwenbräu, because he once declared it to be the greatest of all beers. If you are having a party, he will try to invite himself by offering to "bring the Bräu" (I wish I were making that up).
    We all talk rubbish, it's part and parcel of the American corporate experience that we spend much of our day trying to decide whether Randy Moss is great or shit. But Löwenbräu is really loud and usually really wrong. He also uses conversational crutches (phrases or themes that he seems to always fall back on) that tend to annoy me -- that he hasn't got the time to do something; that he is old school.
    I spent much of my morning trying to time it just right to audioblog one of his rants, but the timing was always off and I gave up after two hours (Löwenbräu is always running around and it takes about a minute to log into stupid Audioblogger). But so you don't feel like you've missed out, here's a sampling of what he talked about today:
    - Billy Martin was one of the greatest baseball managers of all time. Remember him? He was back in the day.
    - Hispanics like to eat the heads of pigs.
    - "Shalom" is a cool word.
    - Indians always say it's just tobacco in peace pipes, but Löwenbräu thinks they're lying.
    - Löwenbräu's golf game was awful yesterday. He blames "sideways rain" (this was mentioned no less than five times during the day).

  • I'm happy to see that Mike Hancock held his seat in south Pompey. When he won in 1997, he came into the radio station where I worked for a post-election interview and brought champagne. To paraphrase Hoss, this is why I always vote Lib-Dem.

  • I was thinking today of that story from the Bible when Moses goes to see Pharaoh and turns his staff into a serpent. Unimpressed, Pharaoh has his magicians pull the same trick, but then Moses' staff/serpent chases all of Pharaoh's staff/serpents and swallows them up.
    All this snake eating must have taken a damned long time. It's the sort of miracle that requires an incredibly long attention span. I don't think it would work today.

  • Nice belt.
  • Thursday, May 5, 2005

    Walt who made thee mighty

  • In the process of kicking off celebrations for Disneyland's 50th anniversary today Michael Eisner drew a baffling allusion to the British Empire.
    "The sun never sets on Disney's global theme park landscape," he said.
    This all goes back to my suggestion that we give Cuba to Disney. Rule Dislandia!

  • Well, this was pretty half-assed. I have two theories on who is to blame:
    1) It's your typical drunken American who thinks he's a member of the IRA, despite the fact that he, his father and his grandfather were all born in Hackensack. There are millions of Americans who would bravely blow up a planter in the name of Eire.
    2) A jaded British reporter who wanted to ensure that the election got some coverage on American news networks.

  • I'll be honest with you, I don't get a whole hell of a lot of e-mail in response to my columns. But I've noticed that the feedback that I do receive usually comes from housewives. Why is that, do you suppose?
    If you were to ask me what my target audience is, I suppose my answer would be: "me."
    I am a housewife, apparently.

  • Best name I've seen today: "Porscha Liberator."
  • Sarah Kennedy will kick your ass

    Mrs. Kennedy could crush Cherie Blair with one hand.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2005

    Mother of the free

  • Ooh, Proms. This is the summer-long series of classical music performances that culminate in an over-the-top display of rarely seen British patriotism that was recently toned down by pansy boy American Leonard Slatkin. Maybe new conductor Paul Daniel will bring it all back in force, encouraging the nation to again think of itself as "the dread and envy of them all."*
    Either way, one of my biggest personal goals at the moment is to be there in the wane of summer 2006; if not Promming at Albert Hall at least part of the park festivities. My level of excitement for this event is ridiculous. I'm going to wrap myself in a Union Jack. I have already taught myself all the words to "Land of Hope and Glory." My wife is already embarrassed.

  • Quick, what is the funniest animal? For my money, it's got to be the goat. Even the name "goat" is funny.

  • Grand Rapids, Mich., is the number of the beast.

  • Some people have too much time on their hands.

  • "There have been 10 fatal crashes along Columbus highways since December from drivers traveling the wrong way." The hell? How hard is it to tell that you are on the wrong side of the road?!
    Oh, wait. OK, that explains it.

  • "Everyone makes their own choices and that was not a good choice."

  • I'll bet I can think of another judge that Tom DeLay doesn't like. The judge has basically said that Lynndie (The darlin' gal of Abu Ghraib) is too dumb to plead guilty. Yeesh, doesn't this judge know that people with speech impediments and learning difficulties are always the ones masterminding systematic torture?

    *It's a line from "Rule Britannia."
  • I can't feel my legs

    "OK, new drinking game. Any time Labour tries to dodge its complete mishandling of Iraq, you take a drink."

    "Wait. Who thought up this game?"

    Tuesday, May 3, 2005

    Utah: intelligent and beautiful

  • Mental note: an English muffin is not breakfast. I was hungry all day.

  • Man, I wonder where I can find some Jell-O pudding pops? Oh, hey. That's handy.

  • You know, there is something deeply flawed with your conservative ideology when America's theocracy thinks it's rubbish. I married a Mormon, which means that I am related to about half the state, and I assure you that residents of the Beehive State don't break step with the president flippantly. This is the same state that asked Congress to withdraw from the United Nations. Unfortunately for the president, however, Utahans want their kids to be, you know, properly educated. Stupid crappy LDS church and its emphasis on learning.

  • Speaking of Utah, dude, that's sorta creepy.
  • Advice For The Runaway Bride

    Ooh, look. My latest column is out and it's timely. Forward the link to all your friends, family, and Greyhound buss pass holders.

    Monday, May 2, 2005

    My mom thinks you're lame

  • Last night, the girl with no title, Vanessa (is she my brother's girlfriend? His concubine?) scored points with me by using an obscure reference to Corey "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" Hart, and, not surprisingly, my mother was befuddled.
    "Oh, I should really do more to keep up with modern artists," she said.* "You know, I tried listening to that radio station -- they say they're current in the name. Surely that can't be current music, though. I can't imagine young people wanting to listen to that. It makes me sleepy."
    You hear that, hipsters? My mom thinks you're lame.

  • Actual ridiculous language music in pop music: "Girl, I been knowin' you since we was 10."

  • Another reason my wife and I are going to Fargo in two weeks.

  • My worker pod at the headquarters of my benevolent employer is located right next to a window, and the headquarters of my benevolent employer are located beneath the flight path for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. As such, I am able to monitor the incoming traffic. I realized today that perhaps I monitor it a bit much. At 9:57 a.m. today I found myself thinking: "That big long plane (probably an international flight) that comes by every day is late today."
    I'm a dork.

    *Side note to this story. Many, many, many years ago, my mother brought home Corey Hart's "Boy in the Box" album (in actual vinyl form) from the library because it was listed as popular music and she thought I would like it. For some reason we never returned the album and it still sits on a shelf in my parents' basement.
  • Actual humor stolen from my brother

    Being a bull-riding aficionado, last night I was explaining to my brother all the fun things they do to the bulls to get them to kick.

    "What the hell?" my brother asked. "Was that the result of a bunch of cowboys sitting around and trying to think of all the things they could do to a bull?

    "'What's even more annoying than just sittin' on his back? Hey, man, you know what I hate? When somebody puts a rubber band around my nuts -- that hurts like hell! I'll bet that would piss off a bull somethin' fierce.'

    "'Yeah. And you know how I'm always gettin' Tasered by women at the mall? I'll bet a bull wouldn't like that none, neither.'

    "'Hey. We could call the bull by his middle name. Jesus I hate that.'

    "'I don't think that's gonna work, Clarence.'

    "'Goddamnit, what'd I just say? I just said I hate that. You guys are bastards, you know that?'"

    Sunday, May 1, 2005

    WANTED: Cheesy Brit-pop

    Do you happen to own an iPod-compatible version of Dodgy's "Good Enough?" I need it for a very stupid reason.

    Rather confusingly, iTunes sells the track through their UK version, but not their US version. And I am not smart enough to figure out how to dupe the UK version into allowing me to purchase from there.

    That means I am left to buy the album on Amazon, but I don't want to do that because: A) Then I would be stuck with the whole album; B) I want the track now; C) I don't want to pay $9 for a single song.

    If you can help me out, let me know.