Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Pancake Day 2006!

Tuesday was Pancake Day. Every year I promise myself that I will make a big deal of the next Pancake Day, because I like the idea of making a big deal out of just about any day. But, I forget this plan almost immediately, due primarily to the fact that it's not all that special to have pancakes. I eat pancakes at least once a week. It would be like celebrating Toast Day (which isn't really all that bad an idea).
If you could designate a holiday (other than one that focused on you), what would it be?

  • Just to amuse me -- if you feel like commenting today, I would ask that you do so in the style of a professional wrestler.

  • Although, admittedly, there's not much to comment on. Work, she's a kickin' my ass.

  • Stop. It's bloggin' time. MC Hammer has a blog. That somehow makes him so much cooler to me.
    (found via Kari)

  • Yeah, I think we've all been there: "Garcia was last seen running down a road with an IV hanging from his arm and vomit and blood covering the front of his shirt"

  • Good name for a band: Jenny Appreciation Society

  • So, uhm, things in Iraq are going well. Not a quagmire at all...
    Four months. Four agonizingly long months. When the UK Customs official stamps my passport I will give him or her a hug.
  • Gadewch y cwrw'n llifo

    Olde Expensive Ale
    Originally uploaded by ChrisCope.
    On Friday, the local paper had a feature piece on the 10 best beer experiences in the Twin Cities. A number of these experiences were pretty half-assed: "Go to a brew pub!"
    "Go to a bar with a large beer selection!"
    Whoa. What? I feel dizzy. I need to sit down.
    "Celebrate Oktoberfest!"
    OK, I'll mark that down for seven freakin' months from now.
    "Go to a liquor store with a large beer selection."
    Again, duh. But in this case, the liquor store suggested was one I hadn't heard about -- Blue Max, in Burnsville. So, I bundled into my piece-of-shit-car and drove 11 miles to the shop, my head filled with visions of exotic beers.
    In fairness, Blue Max had a hell of a lot of beer. There were coolers and coolers and coolers full of beers, with even more beers stacked on top of the coolers. But the selection wasn't immensely better than that of WineStreet Spirits, which is 1 mile away from my house. Nonetheless, I bought $35 of beer, my decisions based mostly on which labels amused me.
    The first beer I had was delicious, but the second (pictured above right) was one big Imperial pint of ass. In my life I have only once been so disgusted by a beer -- a Fischer -- that I poured it out after just one sip, and I came very close to repeating the experience with Olde Expensive Ale.

  • Not all my money was spent on fancy beers. I also wisely spent $5 on a six-pack* of Lone Star beer. I did this because Thursday is Texas Independence Day.

  • The day before, 1 March, is St. David's Day. Even the heralded Blue Max didn't sell Welsh beer, but I'll still be celebrating with beer. Every celebration is beer-appropriate.
    Then, on Saturday, the child bride and I will be attending a belated St. David's Day luncheon with the local St. David's Society -- a small group of folks who occasionally get together to celebrate their Welshiness. I was invited to the luncheon in the wake of my 15 minutes of fame, and the child bride decided it would be rude not go. I have never met this group because to my knowledge none of them speak Welsh, and according to a former member, "80 percent of them are very old."

  • England's FA today unveiled their new look (because, you know, that will make them play better). If you look at that first picture, I like the fact that they have two token women footballers at the press conference. I spent a while trying to determine whether one of them was Lindsay Johnson or Kelly Smith, but then I got distracted by Rachel Unitt. Hello, nurse**.

  • CO-WORKER SCOTT: "Wow, this sounds like you: Found dead in the front seat of a '78 Cutlass, naked, dead from CO poisoning during sex with a 17-year-old girl."
    ME: "One can only hope."

  • Can someone please get Black-Eyed Peas to stop? I can't take it anymore.

    *Yeah -- $5 (£2.87) is how much a six-pack should cost!

    **Extra points for Animaniacs reference.
  • Friday, February 24, 2006


  • Nice. First curling medal for the United States, won against the people who invented the game. That's a bit like what will happen when we beat England in the World Cup semifinals*.

  • Which reminds me: I know I have drawn attention to the assclown Bear in the Big Blue House-esqe World Cup mascot lion before, but I want to again. Actually, there are two mascots: Goleo VI, the mascot with "silky skills;" and Pille, the cheeky little football. I'm personally amused by the obvious anti-French jokes and Photoshop potential of this picture.
    Where did the rest of the world get the idea that goofy little mascots are necessary for major sporting events? For once, you can't blame the United States for this. For all our over-the-top lack of irony in everything we do, there is no cutesy Super Bowl mascot. There is no Homerus the World Series Bear.
    Some mascots are better than others. Neve and Gliz -- the mascots for the 2006 Olympics -- are completely outdone by Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini, the mildly disturbing anime clan known as the Friendlies. The Beijing 2008 mascots so nice they named 'em twice. If I were a Friendly, my name would be Chrischris. Wow. Just saying that makes me sound cuter.
    My favorite Friendly is Jingjing the Death Panda. He's a bad mutha-panda. Despite Jingjing's insatiable appetite for violence, Huanhuan is the one to look out for. You mess with her and your shit is going to get kicked in the fuck. A gun and a sword and she's made of fire -- that is the John L. Sullivan. Do not mess with her.
    That said, I think I am making Jingjing the Death Panda the official mascot of this blog. I want that shooting picture on a T-shirt. No, really. Does anyone know how I can make a T-shirt featuring Jingjing the Death Panda?

  • Good name for a band: Death Panda

  • Does anyone watch basketball anymore?

  • Random co-worker quote: "Give me a bowl of hushpuppies swimming in buttermilk, then I'll wash it down with a bottle of Southern Comfort."

    *Yes, I know. It's a stretch to think that England will advance to the semifinals.
  • Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Brer Cope

  • Not much of a post today, I'm afraid. Work continues to be very hectic, and I've been playing with Heather's new favorite website.

  • Oh, the shame of bringing big guns to the Olympics and then failing -- what an embarrassment. We're going to be the laughing stock of the Western Hemisphere. Canada will never let us live this down.
    Oh, what happened? I guess that explains why I hear gunshots coming from up north.

  • Bush said Thursday "he was struck by the fact that people weren't concerned about port security when a British company was running the port operation, but they felt differently about an Arab ally."
    Fair enough, Bushy, but it's been a while since the British have attacked the United States or any U.S. allies. Maybe in 200 years people will feel more comfortable about the whole thing, as with the British.

  • Good name for a band: Jurassic Beaver

  • Once again, Uncle Remus gets the shaft*.

    *Come on, a 'Song of the South' reference. I get extra points for that.
  • Wednesday, February 22, 2006


  • Here's a random fact about me. I have a lot of trouble with that damn word verification feature -- more trouble than I think I should have, at least. It regularly takes me multiple attempts to get the word verification right, so I can leave some utterly useless comment on your blog. When I comment on Heather's boobs, I have to do so three times. I have decided that this failure to get word verification right the first time is indicative of some sort of learning disorder upon which I can squarely lay all the blame for any and all previous and future academic failure.

  • Favorite threat I've heard today: "I'm going to cool that kid with a folding chair."

  • My ability to swim -- that's the secret of my successful marriage.

  • Quick, spot the guy who causes you to lose faith in humanity.
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Dick Button is an old queen in Eddie Bauer clothing

  • Women's figure skating gets under way tonight. One of the pieces of advice I always offer to newly married men is that they develop at least a tolerance of figure skating.
    It can be a trick to do that, admittedly. Obviously one can amuse themselves with rude thoughts of Sasha Cohen, but you want to be careful about doing this across the board; you may need to do a good bit of research. You don't want to sit there thinking rude thoughts about some 16-year-old girl -- God will strike you down:
    "Hey, I can think of a way to put that flexibility to good use. Gah! Suddenly I have a sharp pain in my left arm... can't breathe..."
    You're better off just watching for the same reason anyone watches NASCAR -- the crashes. There is something maliciously satisfying about the sight of a mentally unstable anorexic smacking against the ice.
    Every time I watch figure skating, I promise myself that I will come up with a good drinking game for watching figure skating, but then I don't. So far all I have is this:
    - Drink when someone falls.
    - Drink for every missed revolution on a jump. For example: if someone turns a triple into a double, take one drink; if someone singles a triple, take two drinks.
    - Drink every time someone claims the new judging system is confusing.
    - Drink every time a commentator evokes the name of some obscure former skater.
    Obviously, just with these four, you do not want to be drinking hard alcohol.

  • If I were Conan O'Brien, I would have Sasha on my show and spend the whole interview eating Little Debbie snack cakes.

  • According to Astrid, The Netherlands really is crazy about speedskating. Wow. The things you learn thanks to blogging.

  • Best punk music lyric I've heard today: "When in Minnesota... you got a drinking quota."

  • When Franklin Crow comes to visit, you had better have enough toilet paper, bitch. Otherwise you're going to get kicked in the fuck.

  • Most amusing mugshot I've seen this week. He looks like an 18th century rogue who's been pushed off a cliff.
  • Beautiful Oddities At Time To Move

    My aunt-in-law has accused me of occasionally taking myself too seriously; I think she has been proven right with my latest column.

    Time to make the donuts

    Stolen from Thomas and Omega

    6:30 a.m. -- Alarm goes off. Swear. Hit snooze and grab alarm clock to tuck up underneath pillow so it won't wake the child bride when it goes off again; bury head in same pillow.
    6:34 a.m. -- Hit snooze again.
    6:38 a.m. -- Hit snooze again.
    6:42 a.m. -- Turn off alarm clock; walk into main room and click on space heater; take shower; get dressed in front of space heater.
    7:15 a.m. -- Go upstairs; make tea and two pieces of toast; make sandwich for lunch; eat toast and drink tea whilst watching BBC World; listen to my dad comment again that one of their business reporters looks like Morticia Addams.
    8:00 a.m. -- Go back downstairs; bag up lunch; read.
    8:20 a.m. -- Kiss the child bride goodbye, making point to say, "I love you," so as to avoid ironic "What Dreams May Come"-style tragedy; go to work.
    8:50 a.m. -- Arrive at palatial headquarters of my benevolent employer; discuss most recent sporting event with co-worker; turn on computer and open the following windows: Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, BBC Radio Player, Microsoft Word, AIM.
    9:00 a.m. -- Open AIM chat with fellow proofreaders. There are three of us on the day shifts, reading the bulk of the news stories that come through for 73 news websites. Most of the stories would not earn a passing grade in first-grade English. I know this as fact because I saw the Cutest Niece in America's homework in December. It addressed issues that many news writers are still struggling with, e.g., their/there/they're, its/it's, your/you're. On a related note, "under way" is two words, for fuck's sake, unless you are talking about a naval vessel that is presently moving.
    My primary function is to identify libel, also known as The Thing That Will Get Us All Fired in the news business, but all too often my role becomes that of a remedial English teacher. I find that the stories make more sense if I read them with a Vietnamese accent, pretending that the author has just arrived to the Land of Opportunity having learned English by watching "Three's Company" re-runs.
    In a given day, I read upward of 250 news stories. On average, I read about the deaths of 43 people every day. Mixed up among those deaths are stories of rapes, abductions, attacks, house fires, car wrecks, pedophiles, drug addicts, celebrity worship, product recalls, fad diets, recipes, and false medical hopes -- all fired into my skull at the rate of more than one story every two minutes. I used to think that being aware of all this -- swimming in it all day long -- somehow made me a better person. I have since changed my opinion.
    In between proofreading stories I read blogs and build a blog post of my own in Word. I do this in no-more-than-30-second intervals.
    11:00 a.m. -- Maggie comes in. She is funnier than the rest of us.
    1:00 p.m. -- Lunch. Every day I have a sandwich, potato chips, an orange and three orange Milano cookies. While eating I read the sports section -- it's clear that I work in an Internet company because the sports section is always available and everyone else complains that the variety section has gone missing again. After I'm done eating, I read a book -- usually a novel written in Welsh.
    2:00 p.m. -- Repeat 9-1 routine.
    5:45 p.m. -- Quickly proofread whatever I've come up with for a blog post and publish.
    6:00 p.m. -- Head home. If I'm in my car I listen to sports radio KFAN, if I'm in my dad's car I listen to him offer commentary on the news of the day.
    6:30 p.m. -- Arrive home; work out. I either run 5 miles or spend 50 minutes picking up heavy things and putting them back down. It helps me maintain my sexy ice dancer physique.
    7:20 p.m. -- Little sleepy bear arrives home from work -- the child bride develops certain bear-like tendencies when she is tired and hungry.
    8:00 p.m. -- Dinner. The child bride almost always makes dinner. This is not a traditional-roles-of-the-sexes thing as much as it is a Rachel-is-a better-cook thing. I still remember the sense of triumph I felt when I thought to combine the ready-made alfredo sauce and noodles with chicken and broccoli.
    9:00 p.m. -- Head downstairs to write and/or record post for Welsh blog; listen to Welsh-language radio; read Welsh blogs; set out clothes for next morning.
    11:30 p.m. -- Write in journal.
    12:30 a.m. -- Go to bed; promise self I will somehow do better tomorrow.

    Monday, February 20, 2006

    The political drama of 'Dude, Where's My Car?'

  • According to Jake Gyllenhaaal, "All films are political, no matter what."
    I agree, Jake. I mean, think about the underlying political message of "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain."

  • Why, yes, I am immature; and I can't stop laughing at this.

  • Last night the child bride and I were watching the Olympics, and the NBC commentators made a reference to "speedskating-mad the Netherlands," and again I found myself wondering just how truthful the commentators were being. They are always claiming that these sports that we find to be obscure are, in fact, freaking huge in other countries. Do Norwegians really go completely insane for a bit of cross-country skiing? Is that Czech ski jumper really as wildly popular as they claim?
    To my knowledge, there are no Czechs or Norwegians reading my blog, but perhaps Astrid could answer my question about speedskating.

  • The critical side of me feels that the story of Lindsey Jacobelis is a metaphor for modern America.

  • Here's a random -- and probably overly simplistic -- thought: if the reason Muslims are protesting a cartoon stems from the fact that it is against the rules to depict a holy prophet, why is it OK for Christians to have pictures of Jesus, who is also accepted as a prophet?
  • Sunday, February 19, 2006


    Originally uploaded by ChrisCope.
    This is a sentence written in the alphabet that I made up when I was 14 years old.

    I found the Rosetta Stone to said alphabet yesterday, when digging through an old box of journals.

    If I remember correctly, I decided to make up a new alphabet because the existing one wasn't attractive enough. This alphabet was eventually abandoned, however, because I kept forgetting how to read it.

    Friday, February 17, 2006


  • All the hard work paid off, which means the child bride and I got our deposit back yesterday. We're rich. We're wealthy. Yahoo. We're comfortably well off.
    Our exciting plan for that money? We're using it to pay off a credit card -- the same card we managed to pay off months ago, but then immediately used to fund the trip to Dublin that we're taking in March.
    I hate money. Were it not for the fact that money can be used to acquire beer, I would be against the very concept of money. The child bride and I are desperately trying to save as much money as we can in the run-up to our move to Cardiff. And I regularly find myself sitting up at night cursing my benevolent employer for not paying me more and wishing I would win the lottery.
    Setting aside money, paying off debts and living by a budget is frustrating and hard. I can see why the Bush administration has given up on it altogether.

  • Drunken tree threatens core mission of rocking out and bringing funk to the funkless.

  • The U.S. men faired poorly in this year's Olympics. Perhaps they put too much thought into it. Salt Lakes skeleton racer Robie Vaughn got into the sport because he wanted to go to the Olympics and everything else was too hard.
    "We found out you got to be really good to be on the curling teams," he said.

  • What little work is done at the headquarters of my benevolent employer came to a grinding halt amid the women's hockey semifinal today between the U.S. and Sweden. It was pretty heartbreaking to see the U.S. women fail to score a single goal in the shootout.
    At least our team looks better on the whole. And that's what matters, right?

  • Well-written article illustrating what a punk Olympic figure skating disappointment Johnny Weir is.

  • It doesn't get more trailer-trash than this: 35-year-old grandmother. And by the looks of her, they've been a very rough 35 years.

  • You have to admire this guy's initial crap excuse: "Whoa. Hey. This floor is so slippery, I could have cracked my head open. Thank goodness I was saved by your crotch."
  • Thursday, February 16, 2006

    What is there to shoot?

  • Today I found myself communing the spirit of President Theodore Roosevelt were he to see the state of the national park system he set up: "So, what is there to shoot?"

  • I did my best to sound intelligent on Welsh radio this morning when talking about Cheney. I failed miserably, but fortunately the BBC has brilliant editors and they were able to splice my conversation in such a way that I came out sounding far more clever than I really am. Thank you, Radio Cymru, for promulgating the myth.

  • Britain has finally made it to the medal podium, thanks to a woman who's good at hurling herself down a mountain head-first.

  • Man, I love the Olympics. I really love the Olympics.
    I mean, I just cannot express how great the Olympics are. I really, really love the Olympics.
    The best part is that these slideshows exist on a site run by my benevolent employer. So ogling Lindsey Kildow is work-related activity. Poor ol' battered and bruised Lindsey. She needs a massage...

  • "The day I don't look at pretty girls, I die." -- I want that on a T-shirt. It is my new mantra.

  • Judging by the above two bullet points, I am a Dirty Old Man trapped in a 29-year-old's body. I'm very close to being proud of that.

  • Random painful memory: the band Ugly Kid Joe.
    Gah! And Jackyl's chainsaw song. Remember the chainsaw song (aka "The Lumberjack")? If it's been a while since you've heard this song, be sure to suffer 1:30 into the song for the solo. Oh, Christ on a tricycle, I need to sit down.

  • The great thing about this technology is that it sets up the potential for one to pawn their dead grandmother for drug money. It also lends itself to a good name for a band: 8 Ounces Of Me.
  • Wednesday, February 15, 2006


  • I'm feeling a bit worn out today and can't be arsed to form thoughts. Instead, I give you a few links I've been meaning to work into posts.

  • Idiot dog chases bird and ends up falling 50 feet to its death. OK, now, wash over that and make the dog a hero.

  • If I were rich, I would already own this car.

  • If you are headed to Mardi Gras this year, BYOD -- bring your own doctor.

  • This makes me nervous.

  • Mormons are fatties. This will not stop them, of course, from taking over the world.

  • No. Bad. Wrong. Very wrong.

  • You're an idiot, Kevin.

  • All around the country, police officers are asking to be transferred to Spotsylvania County.

  • There is something very hardcore about two guys who decide to get into a fight in a burning building.
  • Vice-Presidential Shooting Expert

    Thursday morning I will be on Welsh-language radio, talking about the whole Cheney fiasco. I am qualified to speak on the subject because I am an American and I speak Welsh and I am a member of the Global Media Conspiracy. If the BBC is as loose and fast with monikers as U.S. media outlets, they can bill me as an American Media Expert.

    I have been reading up on the incident today in a vain attempt to keep myself from sounding like an idiot. I now know that Cheney is the first vice president to shoot someone since Aaron Burr.

    I have been trying to form an intelligent opinion about all of this. At the moment I only have this: Dick is a crap hunter.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Sweet +3 lovin'

  • OK, apparently a "Contract of Wifely Expectations" is not a legally binding document. That pretty much ruins my Valentine's Day.
    I was personally amused by the fact that the "document spells out how many points can be earned by performing certain sex acts." It's like that wacky figure skating scoring system.

  • I tend to be amused by song lyrics. People attempting to express themselves within the constraints of a time signature tends to result in odd turns of phrase, like "You show up like semen on dark colored clothes."
    The lyric was sent to me by my friend, Anthony, who says the name of the band responsible for this poetry is Vendetta Red, which I think is a weak name for a band. They chose a name that sounds more like a beer. Do you think they first thought of naming themselves Vendetta Amber? Vendetta IPA? Vendetta Stout?
    Vendetta Beer: Tastes like vengeance.

  • I think, secretly, most Americans wish Islam would declare jihad against them. Fark is giving people that chance. Mmmm, sacri-licious!

  • Good name for a band: Throwing Chinese Women

  • Gold-medal snowboarder Hannah Teter easily takes the award for Most Likely To Make You Question Whether The Olympic Drug Policy Is Being Applied Strictly Enough. The only thing more painful than hearing her tinkle on the English language is the reporters attempting to up their coolness by mimicking her. This morning on CBS' Early Show, their Turin reporter, Tracy Smith, made a pathetic and groveling attempt to ride the wake of Teter's cool by trying to use similar speech.
    "Congrats, Hannah," she gushed.
    It was kind of scary, how badly she seemed to need the approval of Teter.

  • My mother has a cold of some sort, and this morning I made the mistake of suggesting to my dad that it is just psychosomatic -- her dad (of incomprehensible prayer fame) had minor heart surgery today. So, in the middle of the day, my dad made a point of sending me an IM to let me know that my mother had developed a fever and had to leave work:
    Cope the younger: OK. Trying to make me feel bad for saying it's psychosomatic, eh?
    Cope the elder: Hey, we all create our own guilt.
    Cope the younger: I feel a fever coming on.
    Cope the elder: That's just OLYMPICS Fevah!

  • And how could I not have Olympic fever after discovering the U.S. women's hockey team slideshow? The pictures are classy in that Glamour Shots way and play up their athletic side.

  • Kari apparently really hates odd pottery (I love that picture).
  • Night of fire

    Best. Video. Ever.

    God bless the Japanese.

    Germany: just like Austria

  • Bode Miller? Disappointment.
    Apolo Anton Ohno? Disappointment.
    Michelle Kwan? Quitter.
    But at least we can take heart in the fact that the U.S. women's curling team is hot.
    And it's worth noting that Ohno, Miller, and Kwan are not from Minnesota. Some 29 U.S. Olympians -- including the women's curling hotness -- are from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the most of any state. By comparison, Great Britain has sent 40 athletes. Minnesota is the shit.

  • By the way, this is the flag of Austria, and this is the flag of Germany. Keen observers will note that they don't look all that similar -- no more so than they look like the Hungarian, Lithuanian or Russian flags. I bring this up because the concubine last night incorrectly stated that the German and Austrian flags look alike.
    The child bride and I were watching alpine skiing last night and NBC's wacky HDTV feed made the country abbreviation of "AUT" look like "AUY," and made the small flag next to the abbreviation unclear.
    "What is 'AUY?'" my wife and I were asking of each other until the announcer identified the fellow in question as Austrian.
    "Oh, yeah," said the concubine in her knowing tone. "Because their flag looks so much like Germany's. You know, because they're so close together."
    The concubine is fond of stating as fact things that are completely untrue.
    When Miller failed to qualify for the downhill finals, my dad asked aloud: "Is that his only event?"
    "I don't know," I said.
    I said this because I didn't know. I find it's usually best to just admit when I don't have the answer to a question -- especially when the question is very specific, like, "Is this Bode Miller's only Olympic event?"
    The concubine clearly disagrees with this pansy-ass mindset.
    "Yes," she stated. "It's his only event."
    "He just needs to shake that off," the announcer said. "Because he is competing in a number of events in this Olympiad."
    "I think he also competes in the jump," the concubine said.
    In fact, Miller will compete in the combined alpine skiing event, the Super-G, the G. Slalom, and the slalom. He would be shit at the ski jump, I suspect, because he weighs some 70 pounds more than the average ski jumper. At 210 pounds, Miller is the right size for an intense sport that requires a good deal of power. Ski jumpers tend to weigh in at about 140 pounds.
    The concubine also questioned out loud, "I wonder if (Apolo Anton Ohno) knows his last name is an American phrase?"

  • Ski jumping with a Mini.

  • One Olympic athlete not bringing shame to his country is Shaun White, who won the snowboarding gold medal. I'll admit that he seemed like a dope to me until I saw him talking to the press.
    During a press conference he said, "I'm hoping Sasha (Cohen) dates gold medalists,'' then pointed at his gold medal and pretended to be hitting on her. "'Oh yeah, this, I just got it. How's it going?'"
    White is also a pro skateboarder and said he would like to see the sport added to the Summer Olympics because, "Sasha would dig that."

  • And can someone please explain why the Opening Ceremony featured American pop hits from the 70s and 80s. And Yoko Ono? The entire program was saved by the surreal experience of a F1 car doing donuts.

  • I want one of these hats, worn by the Canadians in the Opening Ceremony.

  • Utterly mysterious link of the day: British tabloid The Mirror published a single sentence about me.

  • As much as I want to make fun of Dick Cheney for shooting someone, I can't be arsed. The good news is that he shot a Republican.
  • Friday, February 10, 2006

    I've got Olympic fever

  • It's lame, I know, but I actually love me some Olympics, man. The child bride has been looking forward to the Opening Ceremony for weeks now, and has even planned a special dinner. The opportunity to see people in Lycra outfits suspended from wires is always a cause for celebration.
    She was so excited that she sent me an e-mail in the middle of the day to remind me:
    "America is so going to kick Great Britain's butt."

  • Japanese automakers are giving their workers bonuses, while U.S. automakers are laying off thousands of people. I can't help but feeling that if American automakers hadn't spent decades pissing off consumers by making shitty cars, they wouldn't be in this position.
    A group of co-workers and I found ourselves talking about American cars today and it struck me that Ford/GM/Chrysler not only shot themselves in the foot with the people they sold the cars to in the 70s and 80s (and arguably the 90s), but also to the families of those people. So, not only have they lost the business of people of my father's generation, but also of my generation, because we can remember that American automakers ruined our summer vacations with cars that broke down.
    In a country where we are ridiculously car-dependant, American automakers struggle to sell cars. They've got something everyone needs but no one wants want they have. Ford/GM/Chrysler are a case study in how to fail.

  • Mmmm, liquid candy bar. Just thinking about drinking one of those makes me want to lie down.

  • It was another long day at work, and I've got Olympics to watch, so I apologize for throwing up yet another half-assed post. Much of February may go this way. I hate sweeps.
  • Thursday, February 9, 2006

    Happy William Henry Harrison Day

  • Today is the birthday of the ninth president of the United States, William Henry Harrison, or Hank, as I like to call him.
    Happy birthday, Hank, wherever you are.

  • Work was kicking my booty today, so I'm afraid I haven't got much a post. Way to capitalize on those increased page views from the BBC article, huh?

  • Good name for a band: Jesus Pancake

  • British supermarket staple Tesco is planning to break into the U.S. market.
  • Born in Taxes, moving to Whales

  • I would like to point out that I do not actually use the word "bonkers." Beyond that, this BBC Wales news story pretty much sums me up at the moment.
    Here's the story again in Welsh. I appear to have been completely overlooked by BBC Russia*, however.
    My quoted use of "bonkers" comes from the press release that the BBC released about me the other day. The release also incorrectly states that I am 30 years old; I don't turn 30 until March 20. The press office ran the release by me before issuing it, but I didn't draw attention to these things because even though I am a big girl's blouse, I am not that much of a big girl's blouse.
    I'll also add that I did not choose that picture of the child bride and me. I foolishly gave the reporter a link to my Flickr page and told her to "feel free" to grab a picture from there. How was I to know she would go for the picture of me looking like a scuzzy Ukrainian pirate?

  • The story links to this blog, so I saw page views quadruple today and my inbox was full of notes from well-wishers and a guy who wants to sell me a kilt. I suppose that if you made kilts, you would feel that a kilt is the perfect self-reward for all occasions: Congratulations on teaching yourself Welsh! You deserve a kilt!
    New job? Get yourself a kilt.
    Lost weight? Fit into a new kilt.
    Getting married? Say "I do" to a kilt.
    Actually, now that I think about it, I can't think of a situation that would not be made better with a kilt.

  • It's interesting and mildly unnerving how things seem to happen in groups -- when things go bad, they tend to go bad all at once. Right now, though, a number of things seem to be going alright for me. I'm happy.
    I feel uncomfortable when things are going my way. It leaves me waiting for something crappy to happen, which is not a good way to feel shortly after having submitted student loan application forms. Fortunately, I am fighting a cold at the moment -- I have that to cling to. I'm thinking of going for an extra-long run tonight to keep myself sick. Stay away from me bad karma.

    *I can't stop laughing at the woman in this BBC Russia story. Apparently, she, too, just sent them a link to her Flickr page.
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2006

    Hello, and welcome

  • Since I indirectly suggested Google-searching my name in my column Tuesday, there's an off chance this blog will see a few more visitors than usual today. For the sake of maintaining my employment, I should point out that this blog is in no way affiliated with my benevolent employer. Nothing here should be seen as a reflection of the opinions of the fine people who run whichever of the 73 websites where you found my column. If it were up to those people, I would have been fired long ago. But because I am almost certainly a whiny-boy socialist America-hater (aren't all members of the media?), inevitably I would try to claim anti-Welsh discrimination, and drag the ACLU into the deal.
    If you are a regular reader of my column (both of you), you may be saddened to see that on this blog I use inappropriate language from time to time. My grandmother says I am better than this, but, in the words of my Papa, "sometimes it just fits."

  • Or, it's possible you've come here via my Welsh blog, which has gained a wee bit of attention today because I'm a BBC success story.
    The right person in the organization heard that I had taught myself Welsh almost exclusively using their Learn Welsh tools, so a press release was issued today and I spent much of my morning chatting amiably about the qualities of the BBC. I feel like a tool, but I also feel that I owe the BBC bigtime for teaching me Welsh. Obviously I don't have a TV license, so that's £759 ($1,324.47) the BBC has missed out on over the going-on-six years that I've been using the Learn Welsh site.
    That would be a bargain-basement education, anyway -- $19 a month for something that has completely changed the direction of my life. That's the way they would sell it on U.S. public television; by attempting to create a direct product/dollar relationship. They always say things like, "We can't continue to bring you quality programming like (the program you were watching before they interrupted to give you a 30-minute spiel) without your donation."
    The only thing I really watch on PBS, though, is "EastEnders," the episodes of which are aired here some five years after the fact. That's worth $10 a year, I'd say. I'll throw in an additional $60 for "Frontline."
    But, as I say, I haven't given a dollar or a pound or a peso to the BBC; so, I have a moral obligation to big them up at any opportunity. BBC rocks your socks, bitches.
    Still, I think I should be added to the BBC payroll as someone they can drag out to sing their praises: "Hi, I'm Chris. The BBC helped me become the person I am today. If more Americans were like me, jihadists wouldn't be so angry with the West. Please pay your TV license fees."
    I was interviewed a number of times today. You can hear my yammering in Welsh on Tuesday's Post Prynhawn (at time mark 18:52), or in English on tomorrow morning's Good Morning Wales. I'll also be mentioned in two stories that I'll have the links to on Wednesday.
    I think that pretty much ranks as 14½ minutes more fame than I deserve.
  • Which Chris Cope Dominates Online?

    My latest column is out. Help me secure my place as the most important Chris Cope in the world (according to Google) by forwarding my column to friends, elected representatives and other people named Chris Cope.

    Monday, February 6, 2006

    You were open; and now you are closed

  • So, uhm, the officiating in last night's game wasn't the best. Meh. I'm still wrestling with whether I believe the Super Bowl is fixed, or at least heavily influenced. There were four or five key plays, but for the most part, the actual game looked a bit pre-season from my view.
    The adverts, fortunately, were better than they have been in the last few years. Remember Super Bowl 2002 -- still in the wake of 9-11 -- when it was apparently against the law to have funny Super Bowl ads? Those were dark times.
    The non-existent award for best ad, as far as I'm concerned, goes to HeresToBeer.com. The ad simply encouraged beer drinking -- not the drinking of any particular beer, just beer drinking in general. That kind of public service announcement should be applauded. Of course, perhaps I am biased in my love for this ad because it features Welsh. Use Welsh in an ad and you win in my world. The child bride and I went over to a friend of a friend's house to watch the game and I went just a wee bit nuts when I heard Cymraeg spoken in a Super Bowl ad.
    You also win if your advert suddenly becomes a Benny Hill sketch, as was the case with the Sprint ringtone ad that aired in the third quarter.
    The Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday ran an interesting essay -- which is strangely not available on their website -- about the fact that the "contrived adversity" of the Super Bowl is, for better or worse, a reflection of the United States of America. As the Great Albino said just before kickoff, nothing is more American than the Super Bowl. Some 140 million people watched the game Sunday night; about 117 million voted in the 2004 presidential election.
    So it's worth noting that even the ultra-lame nice-and-safe halftime show was censored.

  • Speaking of which, I find it telling that there are no mainstream U.S. (or UK) media outlets offering a glimpse of the notorious cartoons.

  • If Americans weren't so obese, averse to spending time in crowds and likely to injure ourselves burning other countries' flags, it would at times be difficult to tell the difference between us and religious psychopaths who don't like cartoons -- very difficult.

  • I'm exaggerating, of course. We are far too busy being terrified of blogs to worry about cartoons.

  • The presence of Welsh in a Super Bowl ad almost made up for Wales' miserable performance on Saturday. I am so glad that I did not wake up early, drag myself across town and pay $20 to watch that (which is what you have to do if you want to watch Six Nations rugby live here in the Twin Cities).

  • "Did you hear something?"
    "Did you hear something?"
  • Don't shoot, or the pig gets it

    Here's a random picture from 1998, when I worked at the now-defunct Ponderosa Ranch. My dad came out to visit and immediately wanted to be photographed pointing a gun at my head.

    Friday, February 3, 2006

    Oklahoma, USA

  • Adding to my the fun fair that is my daily life is the fact that my father and I are both in the service of the same benevolent employer. So, not only do I get to live in my dad's basement, I get to commute to work with him.
    My father is far more employable than I am, so he does actual important things while I spend my day exchanging rude comments with coworkers in an IM chatroom. Here's an actual excerpt from:
    ME: I'll drink with you, lady.
    ME: I'll drink with anyone, though.
    ME: I'm a whore.
    MAGGIE: that would explain the lipstick and cheap perfume.
    ME: Oh, you're all high and mighty now, Catfish.
    MAGGIE: Talk to me when you get a new pair of stilettos
    MAGGIE: and i'll THINK about paying you.
    But I still get to see Dad around the office. It's all Dad, all day. All day. ALL DAY.
    If you spend ALL DAY around someone, you start to identify little foibles, like the fact that my dad seems uncomfortable with silence. This is a side effect of spending more than 30 years in newsrooms, I think. In newsrooms, TVs are always on and people are always yelling -- the whole experience causes a sort of sensory overload that doesn't go away when you leave the office.
    At one point in Jack Kerouac's "On The Road," Sal and Dean go into a Mexican bordello, and the volume at which music is played on the bordello's jukebox stands out as a key element of the experience. Sal says that he and Dean had never even thought to play music so loud.
    My father has never even thought to listen to television or the radio quietly. And often just that noise is not enough. This morning as we drove in through a snowstorm (you know, the sort of thing that you would normally want to pay attention to whilst driving), my dad was listening to public radio at full volume and shaving with the World's Loudest Electric Razor. Add to this my favorite sound -- windshield wipers pounding away on a dirty windshield -- and I was in a twitching state of brain-numbed silence. It is too much for the morning.
    As we shot across the marsh that extends from the Minnesota River, Dad driving in an erratic style that reminds a little bit of the old-fashioned cars you could drive at Astroworld, the Kinks' "Oklahoma, USA" was blaring on the radio.
    "This is my American experience," I thought. " Wheeeeee."

  • I tend not to believe that Vinny Mac would do this; but I also wouldn't be surprised.

  • Really? That's it?

  • Good name for a bar: Slummy McSlummerton's
  • Why I'm buying Clawfinger's newest album

  • On Tuesday I poked fun at the lyrics of a song by Swedish heavy metal band Clawfinger, then today I see that the lead singer of said band actually left a comment on my blog. How cool is that?
    So, in response I have pre-ordered Clawfinger's latest album.

  • My dad has written a response column to the column I wrote last week.

  • I'm sorry, but I'm afraid we're going to have to kick you off the squad. One male fantasy at a time only, please. Anything more and you may cause men's brains to explode.

  • Sensationalize much? Here's the most half-assed news copy I've seen today: "A twisted crew of Colombian drug dealers turned purebred puppies into cuddly drug couriers by surgically implanting them with packets of liquid heroin."

  • "A duck loves bread but he does not have the capability to buy a loaf; that's the biggest joke on the duck ever."
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2006

    All out of bullets

  • The great Richard Longoria -- who would later call me a "chicken-shit son of a bitch" -- once told me that in the news business you have six bullets and there is a hill full of idiots coming down at you. So, it's important to be judicious in who you kill.
    The sage Terri Russell used to sum up the same advice by asking, "Do you really want to die on that hill?"
    Both are metaphors for choosing your battles, but I think Longoria's fits a workplace situation a little better. In a throng of idiots, you won't die. You can keep fighting, albeit ineffectively. So the bullets are your clout -- your ability to actually affect things.
    I have five months left in the service of my benevolent employer and everyone knows I'm on my way out. I'm all out of bullets and swinging wildly.

  • Today marked five years of service to my benevolent employer. I realized that fact as I was sitting in the break room feeling like warmed over poo. I may or may not be coming down with the Worst Cold Ever. It's hard to say. The cold has taken on a sort of brutal hit-and-run tactic but no full-scale attack has occurred. My body is the Afghanistan of cold battles.
    I felt awful my first day on the job for my benevolent employer, as well, but that was because I was severely hungover. The benevolent employer had flown me up to Minnesota from San Diego, for training. I made the best of this paid trip home by going out for drinks with my best friend, Eric. We drank until closing time and I was up and wobbling through training at 8 a.m. When everyone else went to lunch, I went back to my hotel to sleep.
    Interestingly, of the people with whom I trained, I am the only one still working for the company.

  • In this story, a fella is quoted as saying that he expects a London-to-Wrexham train journey would cost £25 return on average. The hell? I just checked the cost of the trip from London to Cardiff -- a shorter journey -- and the cheapest ticket I found was £47. I do not understand the British rail system.

  • Saddam Hussein was given a key to city of Detroit in 1980, an honor he now shares with Jerome Bettis.

  • I want a "Drink Like A Champion" T-shirt, just like Ben Roethlisberger.

  • Cripes, everything about AOL is stupid.
  • Malaise

  • Have I ever told you how much I love my job? I haven't?
    There's a reason for that.
    Connected to this, I have spent the day being swamped with work and can't be arsed to put together a good post, or even a substandard post. I am so tired. Thus I defer to what shall henceforth simply be referred to as Jenny's Prayer.

  • "The Seahawk logo claims you don't have what it takes, while having its way with your girlfriend on your kitchen table in front of your mother. If you want to talk shit, you know where to find the Seahawk logo."

  • The other day, Huw sent me a link to a story discounting a picture of two airplanes that appeared perilously close to one another. Now, suddenly the pictures have been removed and the story is mostly useless.

  • Good name for a band: Drowning Nebraska

  • Strangest line I've heard screamed in a heavy metal song today: "Find the faggot in you!"
    It's from Swedish heavy metal band Clawfinger. Say the words "Swedish heavy metal band" out loud without laughing. Can't be done.