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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cats and dogs living together

  • I realize this is almost blasphemous to say, but the American version of "The Office" is actually funny. My favorite exchange:
    "Hey, wanna get high?"
    "No."
    "I think you do, mon."

  • Speaking of great television, I'll bet watching this would be less fun than a colonoscopy without sedation. I think the only way you could get me to watch would be if I were sitting right next to Robin Williams at the time and he were making fun of it.

  • Try as I might (and believe me, I tried), I was not able to find the pictures in question anywhere on the Internet today.

  • I think I would rather have a ring that says: "Let Licking Last."

  • Good named for a band: The Stoned Kitties

  • Find out what kind of dog you are by going to this site and clicking "Game" (on the left). Apparently I am a Maremma Sheepdog

  • So, what stage of grief is it when you sell out the people who supported you?

  • While I'm showing my ideological cards, I'll point out this story, which I am sure will receive blanket dismissal from the majority of us here in the U.S. In fact, to save some time, I will now offer some instant crazy-person spin:
    --- The report "was drawn up by 1,300 researchers from 95 nations over a period of four years." But I'm sure that means nothing. After all, that's 95 freedom-hating nations and 1,300 tofu-eating researchers who are desperate to instigate a pro-death-liberal-elite-communist agenda through ideological terrorism, over a period of four years, during which most of the researchers were whacked out on hashish!
    --- "... humans have changed most ecosystems beyond recognition in a dramatically short space of time." So, wait. That's bad? We're trying to move America forward and these corrupt jackbooted blue-helmeted socialist thugs at the U.N. want us to throw away our freedoms and regress to the days of mud huts and cholera outbreak!
    --- "...the pressure for resources has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, with some 10-30% of the mammal, bird and amphibian species currently threatened with extinction." More lies from the Democratic Party transcription service that is the gay-agenda atheistic extreme liberal media. Since mankind didn't create Earth, he is incapable of destroying it -- any extinctions are the direct result of homosexual activity on the part of that species.
    --- The report suggests "changes in consumption patterns, better education, new technologies and higher prices for exploiting ecosystems." You see?! They admit it! This is just another attempt by the Wal-Mart-hating liberal intellectuals to rob us of our quality of life and condition us for higher taxes and women who don't shave their underarm hair!

  • Lately I've been fighting a ridiculous urge to listen to ELO. Please send help.

  • This story contains one of my favorite file photos.

  • North Carolina appears set to change its motto to "The Classy State."

  • I think if a bank robber is using a Dodge Colt as a getaway car it's pretty clear that he needs the money.
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    True since 1982

  • I've mentioned several times that I spend all day making people across the country conform to Global Media Conspiracy standards. What's very odd is that at least once a day someone will argue with me about corrections, despite the fact that Global Media Conspiracy code is there for all to see (we actually use this but I realize you don't have a password).
    Today's hullabaloo was over the correct usage of hot line. After I made the correction, one of my ever-talented colleagues wrote back to tell me: "(Hot line) is one word. This has been true since 1982."
    WHAT?!!
    I had no idea how to react to this total disconnect from thought. I just sat there shouting at my computer screen: "Are you autistic? Out of what orifice did you pull that 'fact?'"
    After several minutes of futile waving of my hands in frustration, I wrote back and calmly suggested that said valuable fellow employee actually consult the Global Media Conspiracy code before stating things as "true since 1982."
    Incidentally, the Global Media Conspiracy entry for "hot line" references the emergency telephone line between the United States and Russia. This hot line was set up in response to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Thus "hot line" has been true since 1962.

  • And now I can sense that you are just aching to leave an error-filled comment to this post. Go ahead, get it out of your system.

  • No evil here. Nope. None at all.

  • I HATE YOU, BLOGGER!!!! Blogger is continuing to be King Suck of Suckdonia when it comes to functioning properly. I spent 50 minutes trying to post to my Welsh blog today. You suck, Blogger. You are the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

  • I thought this story was interesting. Road signs in Western Ireland will soon be in only Gaelic. I'd like to see the same thing happen in Wales with its native language -- if not simply because it's confusing for those of us who speak Welsh to remember two names for every place.

  • I forgot to mention this, even though I spotted it a few weeks ago: You can now listen online to PureFM. I used to present the drive time show when I was living in Portsmouth. One of my radio high points came when I refused to leave the studio until someone brought me some fried chicken.

  • If the coffin does not fit... sadly, it does.
    OJ, by the way, was on a flight to Chicago when he heard the news. He was so upset that he crushed a glass.
  • Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    Charlie Murphy!

  • CRIPES! Blogger sucks. Server crash much? Attempting to post reminds me of 1992, when my family had a 14.4k modem.

  • I bought myself a snazzy new pair of running shoes this weekend. That gives me ample time to break them in before this run and this run (just the half).
    That's right, baby, I'm going back to Fargo. Adam Pemble was right when he told me seven years ago: "You'll be back."
    My wife has always been a little curious about the town that is the subject of so much lament. The time it takes to run a half marathon is more than enough time to take in all the wonders (or lack thereof) of Fargo. But if we can set it up, I may share dinner with the erstwhile Alia Bloom and her clutch.

  • My co-worker and I spent a ridiculous amount of time today talking about the Rick James/Charlie Murphy sketches on "Chapelle Show." Thankfully, Milk and Cookies has
    links to all three sketches.

  • I've been feeling a little old today. Remember when Faith No More was the best band on the planet? No, you probably don't. That only lasted for about a month.

  • Hey, look who's back.

  • A divorced, childless, male computer worker from Southampton certainly sounds like the sort of person who would be the unhappiest in Britain. No doubt followed closely by everyone else who lives in Southampton.
  • Friday, March 25, 2005

    Chops, the maraca man with gravy in his pants

  • Usually, when there's some ridiculous and overblown political issue flooding the news cycle, the one question I find myself asking is: "Golly, what does roid-freak and erstwhile WWF wrestler Ultimate Warrior have to say about this?" Wonder no more*.

  • This is my employee photoFor some reason my benevolent employer requires that each of us have our picture taken so that it can be placed on The Mighty Internet for all our fellow peons to view. Of course, in adherence to the Driver's License Photo Act of 1982, all of these pictures have to look like poo. I'm thoroughly upset that my Welsh flag isn't more prominent.
    That's not to say that other pictures of me are any better. Crystal describes my profile picture as Chops the maraca man. I'm not sure how a pint of Guinness looks like maracas.

  • Well, duh.

  • Dude. That's a big catfish.

    *The beauty of this is that it's 2,605 words long and completely unintelligible.
  • Whoa. Dad's been here

  • I think this is an interesting picture. Well, the picture is just of one bloke stepping on another's back. What I found interesting was the caption, explaining that this was how soldiers moved across barbed wire lines. How would you like to be the poor fella who had to have his whole group step all over him? I suppose it's better than getting shot…

  • I'm linking to this story only because it contains the phrase "his biscuits were burning."

  • Good name for a band: The Fighting Swiss Cows.

  • I saw an ad in today's paper that had a massive headline reading: "New year, new chance to talk to your teen about acne."
    If you are almost four months into the year and still thinking of it as new, I'm willing to bet that you're the sort of utterly disorganized crap parent for whom a teenager's acne is the least of your worries.

  • Sad but true fact: I can identify my father by his flatulence. The other day I walked into a room and thought: "Whoa. Dad's been here." Then he walked by.

  • Man, forget about the FIFA World Cup, I want tickets to the flag football World Cup.
  • Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Official lame mascot


    What the heck is that thing? He looks like a camel and a lion and the Bear in a Big Blue House. And what's with that demon soccer ball? Yikes.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    Jesus is our fullback

  • My co-workers and I had a long discussion today on the issue of what sport Jesus would play. Of course He would excel anything He put His mind to because, you know, He's the Son of God, bitches. But where would He perform the best?
    I think He's definitely in for any of those grueling activities, like marathon or Ironman, because He's got a really high pain threshold. I also get the gut feeling that He'd be a thoroughly reliable rugby fullback.

  • The new England soccer kit includes Teflon shorts. Apparently this is to keep them from getting too muddy on the field. Yeah, because no one has ever looked cool covered in mud. But at least we know that England's shorts will not burn up when re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.

  • What do you think of this idea? I sort of think it's a good idea, but I freely admit to knowing nothing.

  • Good name for a band: Partying With Fred*

  • Random quote from a co-worker: "When was it ever cool to get naked with your buddies?"

  • Man, I wish those of us in the U.S. division of the Global Media Conspiracy had a union.

  • I'm a bit slow on the take, but I discovered Wednesday that one of my favorite people on this ol' planet has a blog. Lindsay is from the Great State of Minnesota but moved out to Los Angeles to be closer to Disneyland -- it's her second favorite place (the first being Disneyworld).

  • According to science types in Warwick, if one partner in a marriage is happy, the other is more likely to be happy. I think I will suggest that I be the one whose happiness my wife and I focus on. Her waking me up at 2 a.m. for nookie this morning is a good start.

    *That one comes courtesy my editor, Adam, who loves UT**.

    **I never get tired of that link
  • Sports Brackets Life With Definite Results

    I've taken a stab at actually explaining why men love sports so much. So, it's a good bet that My Latest Column is complete nonsense. Regardless, please send it to all your friends and enemies.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    I love you, Big Thug

  • Did you happen to watch the Minnesota-Virginia women's basketball game Monday night? It was a bit more nail-biting than I usually like to see in teams I support, but you had a sense that Minnesota had the game under control when Big Thug (that's my nickname for Janel McCarville) laid out Virginia's LaTonya Blue on a screen.
    This was one of the best screens I have ever seen. If there were more of that in basketball, I would watch more regularly. McCarville didn't even move and Blue hit the floor like she had been hit by a truck (which, in a way, she had). ESPN2 showed the hit several more times from myriad angles and the best one was the angle in which you see McCarville lock her gaze on Blue and, while the rest of her body doesn't show it, something in her eyes says, "I'm gonna kill this girl."

  • Of course, Minnesota is presently home to the greatest basketball feat ever.

  • I, for one, don't really have a problem with rock homos. But I can certainly understand wanting to keep dodgy old Bob Geldorf at arm's length.
  • Sure, that makes sense

    In 2002 -- the most recent year for which I can find statistics -- there were 30,242 gun deaths in the United States.

    It was 29,573 in 2001; 28,663 in 2000; and 28,874 in 1999.

    Ignoring any likely upward trends that have occurred since 2002, and recognizing the insufficient nature of the statistics sampled, you've got an average of 29,338 Americans killed each year by firearms. Added to the 2005 statistics will be the 10 people who died Monday in my beloved state of Minnesota.

    I was not able to find any statistics on the number of women who died as a result of their husband removing their feeding tube after 15 years of being in a persistent vegetative state, but that number must be fucking astronomical because THAT'S the issue for which Congress enacted emergency legislation.

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Who the hell is Carl Edwards?

  • I had a rather frightening episode Sunday when I found myself intently watching NASCAR. I was able to shake myself free, but it was a scary moment. Must. Fight. White. Trash. Heritage.

  • Wow. They really care. Take a look at how my benevolent employer commemorated my birthday. Note the fact that my name is never used.

  • Blogger has been screwed to the hilt lately. I sense some sort of major rollout in the near future. I hope I don't end up having to pay for it. Or it could be that everything keeps going wonky because their servers are stretched too thin and they aren't doing anything about it.

  • What possible weapon can you use against a Satan turtle? A holy pan, of course.

  • Mmm, it's got that great Jesus smell.

  • So, wait. It's not candy?
  • 38:40

    My wife and I took part in an 8K race today and I finished with a time of 38:40. That means I ran a blazing pace of 7:47 a mile.

    I'll admit it's not all that fast, but compare it to my pace times of 8:02 in September 2004, 8:34 in August 2004, and 8:22 in June 2004.

    I've run more races than this, I think, but these seem to be the only ones I'm keeping track of.

    As usual, all that matters is that I beat my wife. She finished the race with a time of 42:30. That's a pace time of 8:33.

    The next race planned is this one.

    I'm 29, bitches

    I am 29 years old today. Thank you Jenny and Diego for the gifts. Thank you Sara, for the e-card.

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    GRAND SLAM!

    Wales 32 - Ireland 20

    Thursday, good; Friday, not so good

    OK. I can finally sit upright. I had planned to write a nice long post on my St. Patrick's Day, but to be honest, most of the day looks about like the picture below. But I'll do my best.



    Thanks to my boneheaded brother (more on him below), I arrived at the parade a bit late, so I missed the police band and the police bagpipers. But I don't think I missed much because the parade went on for a good hour after I got there.
    The parade primarily consisted of people with Irish names marching down Fourth Street; if your family is Irish and you live in St. Paul, you're in the parade. Each family carried a banner and marched along spelling out their name or singing songs that they had worked their name into. Most of the families were already thoroughly intoxicated, like the O'Keefe clan (pictured below). They were carrying their sign upside down but were rowdy and loud enough that you wished you were a part of them:



    Some of the families were a little wilder than others, these people decided it would be a good idea to throw a family member in the air:



    Most of the families were pretty laid back, though, using the parade as an opportunity to dress themselves and their children in silly outfits:



    It wasn't all just families. There were also bagpipers:



    Irish step dancers:



    And what's a parade without rollergirls?



    I spent a lot of time last week encouraging people to come out to The Liffey, and it looks like my efforts paid off. It was shoulder to shoulder in the pub. Clearly I just was not thinking clearly when I thought I'd be able to find a place to sit in an Irish pub in an Irish town on St. Patrick's Day -- especially when The Liffey was the closest pub to the end of the parade route.
    I couldn't physically get to the bar and had to have a man who had made it order my pints for me. Considering the crowd, I ordered two straightaway. When he was passing back my second pint, a little hand shot out from nowhere and took the pint away. I had my fingers on it but didn't want to yank it away because I didn't want to spill any precious, precious Guinness.
    "Hey, whoa! Whoa! That's mine," I was saying.
    Then I looked and saw that my pint had been stolen by a little old lady. Bare minimum she was 87 years old and I watched in shock as she completely ignored me and took a massive swig of the Guinness. Then she shuffled away through the crowd as I burst into laughter. What was I supposed to do?
    Then, behind me, her daughter was fighting to catch up with her.
    "Oh my God, did she take your beer?" she asked, digging into her purse.
    "Yeah. But that's alright. I just bought your mom a pint. She's having fun."
    "Too much fun," then turning to fight the crowd some more, "Mom! Mom!"



    It was so crowded that if anyone reading this blog had come to The Liffey, we likely never would have met up. I had enough trouble finding my brother, Jon, and his new pal, Vanessa. The two of them are presently living a drinking story that beats everything in my book.



    The story starts on Monday when Jon and his friends, TJ and Tony, decided they would drive to Aberdeen, South Dakota, to visit a friend of Tony's. In typical Tony fashion, he didn't bother to call his friend before coming out and learned upon arrival that the friend had skipped town rather quickly and mysteriously a few weeks before.
    Then the trio's car broke down.
    They got a cheap motel room and walked to the nearest bar, a dingy place with no windows; the only sign of its being an alcoholic establishment being a worn banner on an outside wall that said "Drink Specials."
    "Drink specials? That's good enough for me," Tony said.
    The bartender was 26-year-old Vanessa of the mysterious past. Vanessa claims to be related to this author and originally told me her last name was DeVine, a fact negated by her driver's license. But she was definitely South Dakotan. The strange thing about all South Dakotans is that 9 out of 10 of them are only about a degree removed from the other people you know from South Dakota. She knew the cousin of a girl I used to date, despite the fact that the girl was from a town 50 miles away.
    Upon hearing Jon, TJ and Tony's story of being stuck in Aberdeen, Vanessa decided she would drive them back to the Twin Cities the next day. In between that time, there was a great deal of drinking at the trailer home of a very large and crazy Native American, some wild and directionless firing of a .45 caliber handgun, and a near-death experience when Tony thought it would be funny to yank the emergency brake of Vanessa's car and sent it into a ditch.

    Despite Jon's observation that "every beer is a sandwich," we decided to leave The Liffey after my third pint to search for food. We landed at the Muddy Pig, home to some of the best bar food in the Twin Cities. I didn't take any pictures there nor at The Bulldog in Minneapolis, where we went afterward along with my friend, Heidi. The picture below was taken at the Turf Club, back in St. Paul, after I decided that turning off the flash made the pictures look cool. It certainly makes them look more like what I was seeing at that point:



    We went to the Turf Club to see Belfast Cowboys, a Van Morrison cover band that my best friend, Eric, happened to be gigging with. I should point out that his shirt is not, in fact, pink. We were sitting beneath some sort of black light:



    Not surprisingly, I suppose, Vanessa has a few friends in the Twin Cities. One of them, Jen, came out with us, along with her boyfriend, Joe. Joe took the picture below. From left to right you see Jen, Vanessa, Jon, Heidi, drunken me, and Eric:



    All said, I had a great time Thursday. Unfortunately, I paid for it viciously the next day. I was not able to drink water until 2 p.m. and even now I feel poorly. I'm thinking of using this picture as my new profile photo, what say ye?

    Worst hangover ever



    More later...

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    It's St. Patrick's Day!

  • If you're planning on celebrating at The Liffey with me today, I'll be on the 7th Street side of the pub (on the left when you come in) around 1 p.m. I'll be wearing a dark green sweater and a grey flat cap* and sitting with my brother and a woman I've never met that he's bringing along.

  • If you won't be celebrating with me, be sure to do some celebrating on your own.

  • It's not all about the drinking, of course.

  • You can also listen to the radio.

  • Plan a trip.

  • Read the confession of St. Patrick.

  • And finally learn some Irish.

  • Then, learn some more Irish.

    *Rachel bought me this last night.
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Join me as I pretend to be Irish!

  • Just a note to remind anyone who's interested (so, none of you then?): I'll be at The Liffey tomorrow shortly after the parade. As an added bonus, I'll be with my brother.
    We'll be on the north side of the pub (to your right when you come in either door) because it affords a great view of the ever-imposing Cathedral of St. Paul. Although, that's usually where the bands set up, so we'll probably actually be on the opposite side of the pub. I'll be wearing an old blue Nike baseball cap that was given to me by an Irish guy (it's a stretch, I know), and a dark green sweater.

  • Looks like there will be no excuses for this weekend's Wales-Ireland match.

  • I'm really looking forward to the next four days. I think I would go so far as to use the word "giddy." I don't have to work, I get to celebrate St. Patrick's Day properly, I get some time to work on my book, Wales plays Ireland, Final Four is getting under way, and Sunday is my birthday. Lovely. I don't even mind that the weather is going to suck.

  • Here's a fun fact I will likely be sharing with people tomorrow at the pub: Herring communicate by farting.

  • Sure, I always use a firearm for "bedroom activities." Who doesn't?

  • New weapon of terror: Mylar balloons.
  • Best. Birthday. Gift. Ever.

    Jenny has sent me one of the coolest birthday gifts I've ever received -- a handmade beer mat.

    If I am allowed any say in the eventual cover design of my book*, you are pretty much looking at the cover right now.




    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Miss Macaroni.

    *Touch wood that it gets published.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Why, some of my best friends are white

  • I think it will be interesting to see how the whole mess over Robert McCartney's death will play out. Because of it, Sinn Fein is being snubbed by both the White House and Ted Kennedy.
    It's pretty much accepted as fact that the IRA is bankrolled by Americans, so it could throw a serious wrench into the cogs for them if Americans were to start associating Irish terrorism with, you know, terrorism.

  • Continuing the theme of talking about things about which I am not well-enough studied to feel that I am saying anything valid*, I will now talk about black America.
    Last night I was listening to an interesting radio piece on Southern hip-hop, specifically the scenes of crunk and bounce (although, I should point out that the horn-based bed music they were using when talking about bounce was not bounce; it was, in fact, second-line jazz from Youngblood Brass Band**).
    As a Bleeding-Heart Liberal member of the Global Media Conspiracy, of course, I live in total fear of being called a racist, so it is physically impossible for me to tell you that I think crunk is dull and uninventive -- my fingers would cramp up and my body would go into seizures. Obviously, I think crunk is great, even though not one of the 1,000+ CDs in my collection reflects this fact (to remedy this, I have added Ludacris*** to my wish list).
    As I was listening to the program, though, I found myself thinking that it was like hearing about a music scene in another country -- the culture is so removed from my everyday understanding. Completely removed. I came to the painful realization this morning that not only do I not currently have any black friends, I don't even personally know any black people. It's rather disconcerting to suddenly think about what an isolated life I lead.
    When I lived in Houston, I went to a junior high school that was predominantly black and Latino (and so were all my friends). I've probably mentioned before that when my family first moved to Minnesota I asked the people at school registration if the black kids registered on a different day because there were none to be seen. But these days I live a rather homogonous existence. I can't say I'm particularly pleased about that. I'm not sure what to do about it, though. How shallow would you have to be to seek out friends based on their ethnic makeup?

  • Good name for a band: Poop-Chute Cancer

  • This is pretty cool: You can learn the Welsh national anthem along with a gaggle of Welsh celebrities. Saying "celebrities" is a bit of a stretch -- I only recognized one of them -- but it's still a mildly nifty little program.

  • If Tony Blair wanted to lock in re-election he would make an announcement similar to this one.

    *As those of you with some of that fancy college learnin' will have picked up from one of them logic of argument courses, a good way to spot that a person doesn't know what they are talking about is when they just throw everything out there, making several unsupported statements that don't connect. Bill O'Reilly does this a lot.

    **The erstwhile sousaphone player of this band was in Las Vegas last week gigging with my best friend and his band.

    ***That's right, Black America, I plan to purchase (or have someone purchase for me) a Ludacris CD; I am one of you.
  • Monday, March 14, 2005

    I am Chrus of the planet Uurth

  • Cripes, could the Blogger comments suck anymore?

  • I am so tired. I spent most of my evening Sunday doing my taxes. I'll be receiving $864 back, with the whole of it going directly to the new laptop my wife bought over the weekend.
    She had a sort of crisis of confidence with her old laptop, due to the fact that it would lock up occasionally when she attempted to copy stuff onto her jump drive. I had taken it to Computer Renaissance (WHICH IS RUN BY COMPLETE MORONS) and paid $100 to have them tell me that nothing was wrong, and then, when I showed them that there was, indeed, a problem, they told me they didn't know how to fix it. So she put up with it for a while and then one morning she was crying and I knew she would have a new laptop by the end of the day.
    If I were a Navy SEAL, and I was captured by the enemy, they could poke me with sticks and have rats gnaw at my flesh and all sorts of hideous things, but oh, Sweet Baby Jesus, don't bring in a pretty woman who cries. Crying breaks a man's will. It fills him with a sense of defeat and guilt that makes him feel as if every bad thing in the world is his fault. Mary cried at Jesus' cross and that's probably why He cried out "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
    So I sent her to Best Buy with instructions to find something that she was 100-percent happy with. There was no way in hell I was going along with her, of course. My natural-born desire to kill all salesmen would have taken all the fun out of her shopping. She returned a few hours later, happy, with a shiny new laptop and upward of $2,000 of debt for me to pay off.
    On a somewhat related note, I will not be going to Wales in April.

  • Spike TV has mysteriously dropped WWE Raw, which means that it will likely move back to USA. And that means I'll finally get to watch it again. Huzzah.
    I was looking through the trailers for Wrestlemania today and they were all pretty weak but for the HHH/Braveheart promo (you have to stick with it for a while before it gets good).

  • I figured out today that if you replace every vowel in your name, it gives you a very science-fiction-sounding name: Chrus; Crustul; Kuru; Usthur.

  • The Welsh: Lost tribes of India?

  • One million. That's a hell of a lot of people.

  • Headline that does not exist but that I wish did -- Special Report: That's Not Chocolate.

  • Good name for a blog or album --Muthfucka's Got Blendin' Skillz.
  • Eugene love democracy

    WWE's Eugene carries a torch (literally) for democracy in Lebanon.

    Saturday, March 12, 2005

    NASCORN

    A surprising number of people come to my blog as a result of searching for this picture.

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    You down with la sûreté pour l'Ontario?

  • After four years of my servitude I was issued a new computer today by my benevolent employer. This one doesn’t sound like a Cessna plane engine when it starts up and doesn't appear to have all those fun viruses that my old computer had.
    I was pretty happy until I realized that I needed to go through and reset everything as it had been. It was a bit like waking up and discovering that someone had moved all the trees and changed their color.

  • Read the crazed ranting of a nutjob judge-killer.

  • Huh? eBay-style banking? Is this a good idea?

  • Here's a random flashback moment: When Naughty-by-Nature's song "O.P.P." first came out, I remember a girl on the school bus singing the chorus (that was the most us white suburban kids could accomplish; the lyrics are spoken far too quickly) and then saying to me in hushed tones, as if she were sharing the biggest rudest secret known to man: "You know what that means, don't you?"
    "No. What does it mean?"
    "Uhm. Shut up. It doesn't matter."

  • Another flashback: The Fat Boys.

  • Good name for a band: Wayward Iguana.
  • Wednesday, March 9, 2005

    Orange you glad it's workplace-appropriate?

  • Today I left a comment on Kari's blog in which I suggested she get drunk and post pictures of herself doing "very inappropriate things with fruit." Then I got this really great idea for a sort of photo essay that I am simply too lazy to do, so I will just tell you about it.
    I would go around the fine city of St. Paul and take pictures of myself doing inappropriate things with fruit. But they wouldn't be rude inappropriate things:
    "Here's a picture of me speaking out of turn; as you can see, I am holding a banana."
    "In this photo I am jaywalking; look at the pineapple I'm balancing on my head."
    "As you can see, I've tied a tomato to my neck, and I'm not leaving a tip for the waitress."

  • Last night, in a fit of anger and frustration with the fact that this website has not been updated in months, I discovered that the BBC has entire section dedicated to complaints. It's interesting to look through what other people have complained about and how the BBC has responded. I feel badly for pitching a fit over my beloved Welsh learning, but hopefully the powers that be will take me more seriously than the person who complained about the rudeness of Richard Parks.

  • Does anyone other than me remember the World News Polka? When I worked in Reno, we used to blare it over the intercom system every Friday as we got ready to do the morning show. Anyone know where I can find a video file of this?

  • Poor little Lizard King can't get into college: "But what happened? How come my parents or the state or the university didn't look ahead?"

  • I want a T-shirt that reads: "All Our Disasters Come From America."

  • Occasionally I'll play that game of thinking about where I would live if I could reside in any U.S. city. I find it interesting that three of my top five cities are tied for the No. 71 spot of the most depressed cities. Also on my list are Austin (No. 36) and uhm, I guess Minneapolis (No. 78) -- a lot of non U.S. cities would win priority, though.
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2005

    For what it's worth, the light did go on

  • I was listening today to a fellow peon here in the palatial headquarters of my benevolent employer talk about her lost youth. From what I could pick up, she was one of those girls who went to Mexico on spring break. And now, predictably, she has kids, drives a white luxury SUV and the people at Starbucks know her name.
    "I've gotta change my life, you know? I've gotta do something," she was saying to a coworker. "I think this spring break -- the whole spring break -- I'm going to sleep on the couch."

  • Continuing with the "Tales From A Suburban Office Complex" theme, they (the ubiquitous "they") came to test our fire alarms today and a very large man showed up at my cubicle corral and recruited a coworker and me to help him out.
    "See that box over there?" he asked, pointing to a small red box, attached to a pillar, that has the word "FIRE" written on it.
    "Yes," we said dumbly -- belying the fact that we are employed to spend all day correcting English.
    "I'm going to go down stairs and set it off. Would you mind watching to make sure the little light flashes?"
    "Sure," we said, excited to have been trusted with such a responsibility.
    We were going to make sure that the light flashed! If the headquarters of my benevolent employer should ever burn to the ground, perhaps someone will stumble from the flames and proclaim, "Thank the Sweet Baby Jesus In The Highest for that flashing light! It saved my life!" and my coworker and I will be able to exchange high fives.
    I'm not exactly sure why this particular box needs a flashing light, though. It is smack dab in the middle of the building, which strikes me as a bad to place to be when the whole thing is aflame. Why not use a flashing light to lure people to the door?
    Nonetheless, for about 10 minutes my coworker and I stared at the little red box, doing no work and waiting for the light to flash.
    "MWEEEEEEET! MWEEEEEET!" said the alarm.
    My coworker and I confirmed to one another that the light was indeed flashing and that it was doing so quite impressively, as far as light flashing goes. We could barely stay in our seats as we waited for the large man to return so we could tell him all about the flashing light.
    But he never came back.
    As my coworker finished up his shift for the day, he looked about someone despondently.
    "He never came back," he said, his heart clearly broken.

  • Know what I hate??? People who use excessive punctuation!!!

  • OK, let's see here... 129 complaints in a year; that's once every three days. So, I can completely understand why police were happy to see the Midtown Live night club burn to the ground. But that guy who communicated to fellow officers, "Hey ... LOL," should be punished. Not for being insensitive but for being a dork and using chat language. Imagine if they used that all the time:
    "OMG!!! Code 10*!!!"
    "WTF??? 1145!!!"
    "ROTFLMAO!!! 5150!!"

  • They just won't let you have any fun in Spring Grove, Pa.

    *Code 10=SWAT alert; 1145=attempted suicide; 5150=crazy person ---- I did those from memory; I used to work an assignment desk in San Diego and spent all day listening to police radio. My favorite code was 1115, ballgame in street.
  • Getting Older Has Benefits

    Here it is: Click here for my latest column. I had planned to run it after my birthday but by running it before it serves as a reminder for you to buy me things.
    In response to this column, I fully expect to be lambasted by Old Horsetail Snake for my pissing and moaning about getting older.

    Monday, March 7, 2005

    I love a parade

  • Kari noted that my birthday is coming up. In celebration, I plan to take March 17 and 18 off from work. Here's where I'll be on St. Patrick's Day -- Woo, Daddy, I love me a parade.
    After the parade I plan to walk over to the Liffey. You're welcome to join me, if you'd like.
    I had hoped that I would be able to cajole Esther into joining me -- she usually reserves Thursday for a day of rest ("We must honor mighty Thor," she's always saying) -- but I have no automobile; my wife and I share a car and she is always using it to carry on her affair with an impressionable farm boy. Damn you, Tyrone!
    It's all a bit like being in high school again. I am shuttled to and fro by my parents and my girlfriend (read: my wife). I'll be taking the bus downtown to see the parade.

  • $85 a barrel? Can that be right?

  • One of the features of working on Ye Olde Internet is the fact that I work with a lot of people whom I've never physically met. So, I can't say for sure, but I think I work with this woman.
  • I make myself laugh

    Here's something I wrote about a year ago: "...my beard was itching like a sailor on leave in Amsterdam. It was the itchiest itch in all of itchydom. It registered a 9.6 on the Itchter scale."

    Sunday, March 6, 2005

    Gadzooks! What is that thing in the sky?!

    It's the sun, me old China, and every single one of us here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes went running out to dance and play in it today.

    Today's high temperature was 58º Fahrenheit (14º C) and most of us didn't know what to do with ourselves, the path that runs along the Mississippi River near where I live was packed with people as if they were on parade. People drove with their windows down and shouted and whistled and cheered at one another because they couldn't contain their joy.

    Tonight the temperature is expected to drop to 29º (-2º C) and we're expecting snow. How can you not love Minnesota? The weather keeps you on your toes.

    I apologize about not posting since Thursday (not sure why I need to apologize, I'm pretty sure you'll carry on). I've been intensely busy.

    PS -- I am hurting for ideas on my column (that is due tomorrow) if you've got any talking points that you can think of, please let me know.

    Thursday, March 3, 2005

    Return of the bear

  • My wife defends her master's thesis in a month, and as a result she is reaching all-time levels of grumpiness; she seems to be keen these days on picking arguments. As a woman, of course, the odds are very much in her favor that she will win any given argument, but she's so worn down that she's simply lashing out at anything.
    Last night I was working on some revision in my book and she started an argument with me over whether I ever mention the time period in which the story takes place.
    "It's in there somewhere, I remember," she said.
    "No. It's not. Even though all the dates correspond with 1996-1997, I was very deliberate about never actually mentioning the year. It gives it a more timeless feel. I did that on purpose."
    "No, I remember seeing it."
    She grabbed the manuscript that I keep on the desk and started flipping through.
    "It's in here; I know," she said.
    "I wrote the book, honey. And after that I read it through several hundred times. I assure you, the year is never mentioned."
    "It is!"
    "It's not. Why can't you argue me on something else? Anything else -- what I had for dinner last night; whether I really like beer. This is the one thing I know."
    She flipped through the manuscript a few more minutes then tossed it back on the desk, letting me know that I had not won but simply that she was not going to waste her time proving me wrong. It's going to be a long month.

  • I mentioned earlier that in news there are some words or phrases that will automatically move a story to the top of the stack. One of those phrases is "naked dog wrestling."

  • Mommy's new little helper: meth.

  • Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhh!!! It's freezing in Britain! Temperatures as low as -7 in some parts of England! Abandon hope all ye who enter here!
    (It was -14C this morning in St. Paul. Today's high was 1C -- my dad had his moon roof open when we went to lunch)
  • Wednesday, March 2, 2005

    O Empire wide and glorious

  • Right on the heels of the relatively obscure St. David's Day, today is Texas Independence Day. On this day in 1836, a group of white dudes got together on the banks of the Brazos River and said:
    "Hey, man, we don't wanna be Mexicans."
    "Yeah. Our Spanish ain't so good."
    "And we wanna keep slaves."
    "Yeah. That, too."
    So, with clandestine military support from the United States, the Texans bravely went about wearing down a financially strapped Mexican military that didn't really want to get into fight. Mexico's fate was sealed when its military made the colossally bad decision of taking a nap next to a swamp.
    Thus the Republic of Texas was born. The honeymoon lasted for nine years, until the country, crippled by debt, became part of the United States in 1845*.
    All of this comes from memory -- it was drilled into my skull as a child, albeit in more glorious fashion.
    An interesting fact about Texas: the state constitution has all the pieces in place to allow it to return to being a sovereign nation. I'm sure there are a number of people, several million, in fact, who wouldn't mind seeing Texas become its own country again. I assure you, people are working on it.

  • OK, so I'm not the only one with a criticism of The Current. In REV 105's defense, though, they played Spearhead pretty heavily and they did play Nas.

  • Man, there is nothing funnier than an obese rat.

  • I win.

  • Make your blog legible to rednecks and cockneys.

  • I have decided that even though I hate baseball, this year I should become a totally superficial fan of some team. I may just go with the Twins because they would be easiest to follow. Any suggestions for others?

    *Mmm, 1845.
  • A message from the Global Media Conspiracy

    Attention America: We have given up. Despite the depth of our resources and education we have decided that the pursuit of objective truth is neither worthwhile nor financially viable. From now on, the average third-grader will be just as reliable a news source. If someone says it, we will report it unquestioningly -- especially if what is said is the sort of thing that would have a paranoid Utah housewife reaching for a firearm; something like "black pagan."

    Tuesday, March 1, 2005

    Thank you, Chipotle, for upholding the musical standard

  • Dave Barry (or at least the makers of his desk calendar) shot up about 100% in my estimation today when I saw that his desk calendar observes St. David's Day. In flipping through the calendar I see that it also acknowledges International Women's Day (next Tuesday) and Canberra Day. It also refers to Ireland as "Eire" -- is this one of those Istanbul/Constantinople things that I haven't been alerted to?

  • How to sell your self-published book via Amazon.

  • How badly do U.S. radio stations suck that the BBC has enough of an audience to tour the United States?
    Even when we try to get things right it turns out poorly. Every time I attempt to listen to the Current it's little more than twangy rock from the 90s. Here's a random sample of the Current's play list, taken from the noon to 1 p.m. hour today:
    -Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven -- The hell? My girlfriend when I was a sophomore in high school liked this band.
    -The Hangups - Jump Start -- The hell? This is from a CD that was released 12 years ago!.
    -Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove -- The hell? Another song that was worn out before I graduated high school. Granted, Soul Asylum is local, but why play one of their most commercially recognizable songs?
    -Del Counts - Let the Good Times Roll -- OK, 50s doo-wop. I'll accept that. Why not?
    -Wilco - I'm a Wheel OK. More twangy rock that I can't stand. But at least it's new twangy rock that I can't stand (assuming you stretch your definition of "new" to include music released within the last year).
    -Belle and Sebastian - Step Into My Office, Baby OK. Again, it's not really new, but you can't go wrong with a group that was once voted Best Scottish Act Ever.
    -Lemonheads - Rockin Stroll -- The hell? My girlfriend when I was a sophomore in high school liked this band.
    -Electrelane - Enter Laughing -- OK. Newish rock released just a little more than a year ago.
    -Madvillain - Curls -- Good. Intelligent hip-hop that's only a year old.
    -Styrofoam - Anything (feat. Bent Van Looy + Miki) -- Ugh. But it is "new" -- released in December.
    -The Divine Comedy - The Happy Goth -- Good. Who knows how old this is, but how can you argue against the Divine Comedy?
    -The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom -- OK. Music that's almost as old as me, and again they choose to go with one of the most commercially recognizable songs from a band.
    -The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love -- Ugh. Newish (more than a year old) but already worn-out twangy rock with whiny chick lead singer.
    -Richard Buckner - Her -- OK. Just stop. I can't take anymore of this crap.
    So, out of 14 tracks, you've got only two songs that are really worth listening to and only two that aren't at least a year old. And they want me to pledge $10 a month for that? Rubbish. From what I understand, the Current is struggling to meet its membership goals, and I'm not at all surprised. Who is this station for? It seems to be directed at people who say they want to listen to "new and different" type music but aren't actually comfortable with the idea: "You know, I'd rather wait until a song gets a little airplay in Starbucks and Chipotle before I start listening to it."

  • Here's what I was wondering today: Is it illegal to simply be a member of al-Qaida? I was thinking about this in terms of the fact that in Oceanside, Calif., it is illegal for certain gang members to associate with one another, but to my knowledge it's not really illegal for them to profess to be members of said gangs. You can walk around all day long and say, "I am a member of the West-Northeast-Lower-Central-Near-The-Dumpster-But-Not-Quite-All-The-Way-To-The-Door-Of-The-Perkins-Side Crips," but as long as you never actually congregate with other members of the WNLCNTDBNQATWTTDOTP-Side Crips, you'll stay out of trouble. I get the sense that if someone were to simply utter the words "I am a member of al-Qaida" they would be locked up for at least some period of time.
  • Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

    (Happy St. David's Day)



    Baptized by Elvis, befriended by sea-monster riding Irish types and impervious to poisoned bread -- today is the day to celebrate the patron saint of Wales.

    You can celebrate by drinking heavily...

    ...eating well...

    ...listening to the radio...

    ...and, of course:
  • Learning Welsh
  • Learning Welsh
  • Learning Welsh
  •