Thursday, July 28, 2005

Too darn busy! That's my story, but here are a few photographs I took last weekend that I think are kinda nice, and if that's not enough there are some more kinda nice photographs to flip through right here (these are less minimal Greenpoint-scapes and more cats with stuff piled atop them, if that's the sort of thing you're into).

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I've come down with a debilitating headache today and had resigned myself to a day with no blogging (somewhat similar to "A Day No Pigs Would Die", yet at the same time not really at all) when lo and behold I was presented with a tip of great wonder, courtesy of reader Andrea B. This one needs no further quipping from me, just start with the Cabbage Casserole Czarina and keep clicking the next arrow through Hot Wrap-ups, Chilled Celery Logs, Mackarelly and all the rest until you end up at the Frankfurter Spectacular and the joyride, like all good things in life, must come to an end.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If you live in New York there’s a good chance you’ve heard about this “24/7 water gun assassination tournament” that’s going to be kicking off next Monday, and when you did your first thought was likely, “I wonder what Paul thinks about this?” Well, I’m more than happy to tell you: I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. On the one hand, the whole idea that adults should be able to enjoy a little kid-style playing, etc. is something I agree with, and I don’t have any sort of knee-jerk anti-gun "this game is promoting violence" reaction to it… but on the other hand, if I’m just trying to walk down a hot and crowded sidewalk and all of a sudden some securities lawyer comes barreling past with a giggly i-banker hot on his heels spraying wildy with a water pistol, there’s gonna be a small part of me that’s will be hoping that there are some British police officers around to throw them to the ground and shoot them each eight times in the head. I mean, not really… but sorta. I don’t entirely get how this is supposed to provide a welcome break from reality for the players either. Veteran players said it offers an escape for adults … "You feel what it's like to stalk somebody and also know that you're being stalked … You kind of live in paranoia for a while." Yes, that’s a real change of pace all right. Oh hey, and I just noticed this headline right above the headline about this game on MyYahoo's Top Stories. Like the securities lawyer who “created” this game says himself: "It's not really the best time in the world to have a game like this.” No shit, huh? A third, minor, problem I have with this story is that no account I’ve read about it yet has even mentioned that this live-action role-playing assassination crap was all over the place in the early eighties and there were at least two movies about it, T.A.G. and Gotcha. Hey, maybe there’ll be some kinda T.A.G. / Mazes and Monsters “one of the players isn’t playing” situation, too! Anyway, such are my thoughts on this news item. AND I’ve got a bonus thought for you, too… in another nearby Top Stories link we learn that putting a “heart” symbol in your headline doesn’t always translate properly: MIKE: I #™%¥ TOURISTS. Just one of the perks of the office, I guess.

In this new media age where fun n creativity is the notion adopted and the way the things organised in most of the parties, shows, carnivals, promotions & openings is going to be different. We are worlds leading Manufacturer and Exporter of Fur and Inflatable Costumes. We are 15 year old company in this field and know the nitty-gritty of it. We have a state-of-the-art production facility where in you could expect the best possible results in terms of design and comfortability in wearing our costumes. We have a wide range of costumes for every need or occassion and keep our options open to imbibe more creativity. The costumes displayed here are supplied to some of our valuable clients and are being well appreciated.
I found myself in the wacky world of inflatables while doing a quick spot of research after someone had mentioned seeing a 'clown jump' to me without offering any further explanation. Was it like a diving mule sorta spectacle? Was Robbie Knievel involved? Upon googling, the real answer became immediately apparent and I felt pretty stupid... of course, it's a moonwalk/bouncy castle, that Clown Jump. And it appears that it's not only your customer service and tech jobs moving over to India these days, this company Unique Inflatables is based over there and they're aggressively targeting the worldwide moonwalk, ball pool, slide, tunnel, obstacle course, waterports, and costume markets all at once! There are too many highlights to even begin making clever little quips about them, just go flip through the costumes yourself (a few random favorites from that 'costumes displayed here' link: IC 02, IC 05, IC023, IC038, IC041, IC071, IC067...) and then move on to the bouncy structures operation here. A few choice options are pictured above, two "ball pools", one fun slide, and one perplexing promotional bouncy. Posted by Picasa

Watch out, I was digging around under my bed last evening and found a veritable crapload of old negatives that my grandfather took back in olden times. Word on the street is that this is quite possibly my cousin Carole, Uncle Paul's daughter... we're still awating confirmation on that but I'll be sure to let you know the very second I find out for sure, cause I know it's going to be gnawing at you ("But is it definitely Carole though? What if it's really Patty... or Kathy? Damn you for leaving me hanging like this, damn you to hell!") Really, though, the most important thing here is that it's a good-looking photo, plus there's a bunny.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Up above Delancey last Thursday.

99 problems but rampaging super-sized rodents with an unquenchable lust for blood ain’t one… oh crap, yeah it is.

He credits the development of his strong finger and forearm strength to milking the cows on the farm. "I'm going to keep squeezing this thing," he once said, "until nobody calls anymore." Oh for Pete's sake, get your filthy minds out of the gutter and show some respect, the Happy Norwegian is dead (the Happy Fisherman, on the other hand, appears to be alive and well).

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hey, via poking around the site where Syd's tip was found I've come across this fun Cartoon Strip Generator... take a moment to enjoy the strip I've just created, "Bryan Adams and the Bats", then go ahead and create your own and send in the link to the tipline so we can all enjoy!

Hooray for tips! Reader Syd B. has supplied us with this great link which casts doubt on Sting's assertion that "the Russians love their children too"... unless 'love' translates as 'traumatize for life with freakishly terrifying reading materials' over there.

"Hey Blindy, got yer cane! Ha Ha!" No wonder this guy's approval ratings continue to plummet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hey, viewer alert! Bob Newhart's going to be featured on American Masters tonight on PBS. Check your local listings, but I think it'll be at the start of primetime, so 8pm eastern and pacific, 7pm central (I don't know nothin' bout no mountain). From his stand-up through The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob, and George & Leo and every once in awhile in the movies this man has always been very, very funny (well, maybe not so much George & Leo, but that did have Jason Bateman on it so maybe he'll show up and have something to say about Mr. Newhart) and I think it behooves us all to find out more about him this evening. In short: recommended! Posted by Picasa

You know, I'm actually perking back up a little today, BUT also continue to be quite busy. There's all sortsa other sites linked over there on the left though if you yourself are not and are in need of distraction. A few examples: my new favorite Comics Curmudgeon finally takes a quick break to deal with the tragedy of Mary Worth's swans, Cityrag has two new posts that I particularly enjoy, the always great 14 Places To Eat continues to always be great as evidenced by a couple of my recent favorites, Strange Reaction, Something I Learned Today, and Buked & Scorned continue with the top-notch MP3 blogging, and though he doesn't specialize, Jason's been putting up a lot of cool mp3's at Lefthand Pathos himself as of late. A Working Mom's Dinner Diary, on the other hand, hasn't been updated in over a month... I fear the family may have succumbed to malnutrion following the last menu she posted. And Transparent Smile's Andrew, pictured above, has likewise been letting his cyberfanz down for many a moon. That 'brand-new father' excuse isn't going to last forever, buddy! Finally, if all that isn't enough to waste your available time, here's two fresh news stories you may have missed: Some Weed Grows In Brooklyn, and Snohomish County Coronor Remembered. Now get to it, whilst I get to these freakin' pie charts.

I saw a headline for this story somewhere yesterday but didn't really want to read it, since my stomach's been a little upset recently to begin with. But I've been looking for tips to help out, and now reader Teresa S. has tipped it, so... "We couldn't believe what we were seeing," said Sortland. "In the rare, rare case this happens, it's the person doing the animal. I think that has led to the astonishment of all of the entities involved." Yes indeed, a man being fucked to death by a horse is rather astonishing. That quote is from a different article in the local Seattle paper, and here's Teresa's tipped story from the South African press, which contains a bit more in the way of nasty detail. Also, that 2nd story has a surprising number of 'related articles' over to the side... seems that bestiality may be somewhat on the rise over in Africa, which may partly be due to fear of contracting AIDS from sex with humans, or at least that's the people who get caught are saying. The 'Man Up For Bestiality' and 'Goat Sex' ones have a few sentences in them that could be seen as amusing, if you can get past just feeling horrified and sad for the poor goat. No arrests have been made so far in the Washington case, since Washington currently has no law against bestiality, and the morality question there is slightly different than most of these other cases in that the animals were doing the violating... for instance, if being fucked by a horse is illegal would letting a dog hump your leg also be illegal? (Oh, you know, that reminds me of a joke I heard recently... Q: How do you get a dog to stop humping your leg? A: Pick him up and suck his cock.) AND here's one last bit of related information to be pondered - as you learn in the initial article, Washington is one of 17 states where bestiality is not illegal... however, in this brief overview of bestiality I found it says that "As recently as 1953, 49 states regarded bestiality as a felony or its equivalent." So between 1953 and today 16 states have legalized bestiality? What's up with that? Further research may need to be done here...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Whoa, it's a small world, this Cookie-hatted Bunny Superhighway... I found this entertaining and beautifully illustrated story, Curious George Goes to Mars, and was curious myself as to whether the Darryl Eby mentioned was a real basketball player. When I did a search the only Darryl Eby who turned up was this guy who found a biscuit-sized rock of cocaine with his friend Dutch back in 2000 in Everett, Washington! You know, up in Snohomish County, home of The Herald of Everett and the Everett AquaSox? In recent AquaSox news, Ronnie Prettyman became the team's 2nd player to get four hits in a game this season, meaning he won't need to return to his acting career anytime soon - perhaps you remember him from Greedy? That was the movie with Michael J. Fox and Kirk Douglas where the nephews of the old uncle John attend their birthday and hope gasping to that he dies to inherit the great fortune that he has, but do not tell on the presence of the Molly young person whom is taking care of the old one and which he can be a possible candidate to remain with million, as you may recall. Fun fact about the flick: Michael J. Fox was coached by professional bowler Johnny Petraglia to help his bowling style look convincing. You can get a little coaching from Johnny yourself by reading this USA Today chat transcript, where amongst other things you'll learn that he's left-handed (Oceanside, NY: My question is the lefty vs righty harressment that I always receive if I bowl good, or lead a tournament. What should be my response? They hate us, but want us on their league teams! Johnny Petraglia: I could talk forever on this answer. The first thing you can say is lefthanders have 6-year shorter lifespan than righthanders. Then you can also mention that if you want any of my other problems our country's laws are based on the bill of RIGHTS..even my religious leaders tell me a good person is a RIGHTEOUS person..- Do you want my problems or do you want to stay righthanded! Seriously, lefthanders are as good as righthanders and it's time the righthanders believed it.) I wasn't sure what they were talking about with the harrassment of left-handed bowlers, but you can find that out by reading this FAQ, which has tons of information about left-handers like the guy from Oceanside, Johnny Petraglia, and actor James Marsters, who's not only left-handed, but you know what his nickname was as a child? Curious George. It's fucking spooky, man.

Well, what do you know, it's a tip! We were perilously close to having today's only content be me writing "oh, what's the point?" and then laying my head back down on my desk, but reader Jay O. saves the day with this: Current mobile communication devices do not grab our attention in a socially appropriate way. They could be disrespectful of ongoing social activity such as an important meeting or private dinner. To improve on this, I have built the Cellular Squirrel, a system where the agent that controls my cellphone is embodied in a small portable animatronic device, as a personal 'companion' for the user. This embodiment is able to use the same subtle but still public non-verbal cues to get our attention and interrupt us like humans would do (like eye gaze and small gestures), instead of ringing or vibration. The user can whisper and listen to her squirrel, receiving and replying to voice instant messages. Videos of the squirrel, along with earlier embodiments cute bunny and parrot, will be found toward the bottom of the page.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I was downstairs just now when a truck bearing the logo and web address of these folks pulled up next to my office building. I lingered for a moment to see what the hell might be up, but when they pulled open the back door, rather than dogs they just unloaded a big armful of around one dozen black umbrellas. Color me perplexed.

Oh, here's something... I went to Shea Stadium with Mike & Jenn yesterday to watch the Mets beat the Braves, and took this photograph of Mr. Met. He was the first live-action major league baseball mascot ever back in 1964, and though I'm not much of a Mets fan, you gotta love Mr. Met. In case you'd like to know more:
  1. Official Mets bio
  2. Much more thorough profile from the Queens Tribune
  3. The adventures of Mr. Tiny and Stuffed Met
  4. And his interview with Cupcakes Take The Cake
  5. "No really, I swear, they love it! That's just the excitement makin' them act like that." You might want to check out the whole site here.

Busy, tired, ill, generally wore out... you know my story by now. I need a vacation or something. Here's a few things that I have read today that you can also read if you so choose: 1) How do porcupines make love? 2) I've been very into this Diplo fella for the past several months, and here's a good profile of him. A few weeks back I ordered his new Favela Strikes Back baile funk mix CD off his site and he had it all packaged up and at my door two days later! Ordering a copy your own self, highly recommended. 3) Another recent purchase that I've been enjoying is Season 1 of Ask This Old House on DVD. So here is an interview with Richard Trethewey (you'll find links to interviews with Norm, Tom Silva, and the rest there too, along with various other features whic might be of interest to those who enjoy watching This Old House and its' companion show).

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Friday, July 15, 2005

Wait, one more: I guess those conservative groups were right, SpongeBob is promoting fruits to the kids. Hey, I'm feeling poorly today, cut me some slack. I'll be funnier next week, promise. Oh, and weekly topic tips are not unwelcome.

This unexpected lull does give me a chance to catch up on the news though... today's top headlines, snidely:
  1. Source: Rove Got Agent's ID From Reporter, used it to buy top-secret beer.
  2. Local celebrity Ben “Cooter” Jones is not so crazy about the soon-to-be-released “Dukes of Hazzard” movie. Jones, who lives in Rappahannock County, starred as the wisecracking mechanic in the good ole boys TV show from 1979-85. However, the former Georgia congressman is urging “true blue Dukes fans” not to support the “sleazy” Hollywood version. “[Our fans] love the positive values of the show, the blatant and violent disrespect for law enforcement, its wholesome friendliness, Catherine Bach's ample cleavage and tight shorts, and the fact that my character's name is a synonym for a lady's honeypot,” Jones said in his Web statement. “How can the producers of this film be so cynical, so jaded, so out of touch with America’s heartland as to trash a great family show in this way?”
  3. U.S. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said he has no immediate plans to retire. "I want to put to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement,'' said Rehnquist, 80, who is battling thyroid cancer. "I am not about to announce my retirement. I will continue to perform my duties as chief justice as long as my health permits, so you just stay retired there, Sandra. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm a little fatigued from the dying of cancer and oldness and need to go re-admit myself to the hospital."
  4. Tom and Katie just keep making headlines. "I got a call last week at the clambake area that they ate all the hot dogs and hamburgers," said Vinnie Pennatto, one of the town's animal control officers. "It's kind of scary." Yeah, I'm just foolin', it's the raccoons.

Well, now this poor attitude I've been harboring over the past week has gone and messed my stomach all up, causing me to work from home today. Or more accurately, not work but remain in a position to do work should the need arise. Well, I suppose I can't be positive that the attitude has anything to do with it, but like they say, "in with the mood, out with the food". Reminding me, I got a food-related link from reader Will H. in my mailbox this morning, with a little animation showing that it's not any easier being a banana in this city than it is being a carrot.

1988, I'm guessing. Been there, done that, whatever. The personal growth I've achieved over the past 17 years is astonishing.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sorry yet again for the minimal content today, but I thought I should give you time to truly savor the delicious quip I made in response to that messed up Yahoo! photo caption. See, they probably meant to say the Cabinet Room of the White House, but ran out of room and left off the last part, which made it seem as though the meeting had actually occurred inside an honest-to-god cabinet! In case you didn't get it. And pushing the whole thing straight over the top into yuk-tastic territory I threw in the bonus pun of closed drawer rather than the usual closed door, cause armoires have drawers. Yeah, that's some choice stuff there, boy. Also, in addition to work I've been doing some personal research to find out what people from Massachusetts are called. You know, New Yorkers, Iowans, Floridians, Californians, New Jerseyites... but no one had any idea about Massachusetts citizens, not even people from Massachusetts. Reader Andrea B. opined that there was no word, while reader Mike A. definitively replied with New Englanders, which is just the sort of liberal/commie collectivist thinking you'd expect from those people but quite incorrect. Turns out they're Massachusettans, which is the clunkiest of all the state resident terms, though Connecticuters isn't much better (which is why they sometimes opt for the less awkward "Texans", I suppose). Here's the whole list. Before finding this I did discover that Maine residents' unofficial moniker is Mainiacs, which is a little better than the official Mainers, though not so good as my guess of Maininites, in my opinion. And I agree with the person who posted the whole list that Michiganders is the best, though it would be even better if you called the ladies Michigeese. I don't think you do, though. As you may have guessed by now, there is a fourth reason I haven't written anything here this afternoon in addition to allowing time to savor, working, and state resident terminology researching: I have absolutely nothing of interest to say. Tune in tomorrow when we find out whether this little rock or something that's been in my shoe for the past two days but whenever I look for something I can't find it and I tip the shoe upside-down and shake it vigorously but then when I'm walking around I feel it again is still there!

After answering a few questions he left to attend a closed-drawer session with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the armoire... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wait, I've got a few more links to close out this lackluster day of blogging, which I found when reading this story from Sploid about a drunk who attacked a bear in Russia.
  1. This makes me fearful that I haven't found my last body of a dead roommate.
  2. $1.50 a month is surely much more than that stuff would bring in on the black market, right? Whew, fiery doom averted, bring on the monkeys.
  3. Nazi monkeys, that is. Anatoly Marchevsky said he opted for monkeys to represent Nazis because it was easy to design costumes for them. “You can not dress a horse like a Nazi.”

I haven't written much, if anything, about my surprising Baltimore Orioles since they moved into first place in the AL East back in April, mostly because I doubt the majority of regular readers are interested. But I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to shortstop Miguel Tejada today after he was named MVP in last night's All-Star Game. Both starting Baltimore players did well in the game, with Brian Roberts getting this ringing endorsement from the carpenter of Nazareth himself: "Any time you have possibly the league's MVP (Baltimore's Brian Roberts) batting ninth, you're a pretty good team," said Boston's Johnny Damon, the AL's starting center fielder and leadoff man. And Melvin Mora is not afraid to bathe his babies anymore. Baltimore, of course, has been struggling over the past month or so and have fallen back to second place, though in the series with Boston right before the break which could have totally buried them they took 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox to move back within 2 games of the lead. So we'll see how things go when they get back to business against Seattle tomorrow, a lot of the starters who have been on the DL for awhile now are starting to return and I think the Orioles should be in this race til the end for a change. Might want to get themselves another pitcher or two from somewhere, though.

Sorry for the lack of posting, but in between bouts of working I've just been reading this great blog I found today, The Comics Curmudgeon... very funny musings about comic strips, archives handily grouped by strip, you know I'm gonna love that. I'm going to go back right now to look through the Curtis posts to see if that white kid who comes from Flyspeck Island has been discussed yet, and I'd suggest you do the same (well, whether you read about Curtis or not once you get there is your call to make).

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Meanwhile, what fresh figurines hath the collectible makers wrought? You've probably seen an old western or maybe an episode of Little House On The Prairie where a horse gets all panicked or ridden too hard and maybe he's broken one of his legs and Pa is forced to shoot him... it turns out that the word to describe that look is "whimsical". I don't think that the English language has a word to properly describe the latest entry from the Coots and Biddies line, though I'm sure the Germans do... the closest approximation I can come up with is nasty. I don't have any statistics, but I tend to think that a majority of figurine collectors are people of faith, so this new figurine where faith is about to cause serious injury to one of their beloved Snowbabies is what you call ironic. Lastly, I've discovered a line of collectibles we haven't looked at before, which I'll let the manufacturers describe in their own words: Lassie and Rin Tin Tin were dogs. Zelda is US! Who hasn't looked in the mirror and seen Zelda looking back at them? Her wisdom is a reflection of our hearts and souls. Zelda allows us to laugh at ourselves and to recognize that "it could be worse."

I think the thing that I appreciate most about Kristi O'Harran's periodic columns on unusual animals residing in the Snohomish County area is the way she always lists all of her previous animal stories before recounting what the current crazy critter is up to. At least I believe this to be the third time I've read a column where she does that; maybe it's just because there's not a whole lot to the actual stories, but whatever the reason, I approve. The latest freaky fauna to grace the pages of The Herald of Everett is a chicken who may be having seizures.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This is the sort of thing that might be more at home over at Overheard In New York, but I'm a little light on content today and they already got the last thing I overheard that bordered on interesting (did you see it? it was something an au pair was saying to a little kid on the street next to my office, it was on there about a month ago... you might just remember it as "that really bordering on interesting one"? No? Well trust me, it was there). This was heard while I was walking down 6th Avenue, around 52nd or so, and if I had headlines I guess the headline would be Believe It. Irritated business-jerk speaking loudly into his cell-phone: "Okay, I need to get some kind of reduction here, because… because look, I’ve spent- I just got this car a week ago and already I’ve thrown close to $1,000 at it. I mean, shouldn’t the fuses still work at this point? Isn’t that what they do? I’d like to see a copy of the module. The module. The MOD-YU-UHL. Well, I need to see something. Hello? Hello? [angrily flips phone shut] Unbelievable."

Tinglebutt Tidbits: Here are the results of my tinglebutt research, or dodgeball research, since the first thing I found is that there is no reference to the game being called tinglebutt anywhere on the web other than in the photo below, as least that I was able to find. And so far I haven't managed to track down a particularly good dodgeball history or thorough discussion of variations and names for it anywhere either. The wikipedia entry offers a fairly good overview but doesn't mention bombardment at all, though most other articles do say "dodgeball, or bombardment"... and nowhere can I find out exactly what lining kids up against a wall and winging a red rubber ball at them is called, but it was a constant activity over the course of my grade school years. That one was never sanctioned by a PE teacher, it was just organzied by 4th and 5th grade boys herding together a suitable number of kindergarten and first grade boys and making them stand against a brick wall. I was vaguely thinking maybe "smear the queer", but this is of course a rugby-like tag variation, which came back to me once I looked it up. Dodgeball itself was always called War in our gym classes, though in high school a variation was introduced where there were pins lined up at the back of the court and a team would win if they knocked all 3 or 5 or however many there were down, rather than waiting until there was only one man standing. Otherwise it worked the same as dodgeball, but it led to a lot more running in front of a ball and trying to catch it since you also had the pins to defend. And this variation was labelled Bombardment by our gym teacher. I always hated War but was also surprisingly good at it. I was one of the geeky kids who always got picked last, but I wasn't really hated enough to be actively targeted by everyone early on and was good at avoiding getting hit and occasionally lobbing a ball at someone who was looking the other way. Then toward the end the remaining players on the other team would suddenly notice that I was still out there, but like I say I was very quick and agile and very hard to get out as long as I didn't throw any balls back, because I couldn't throw very hard and they'd usually get caught if the person was looking at me when I threw it. Often the teacher would invent some new rule that you had to throw back just to put an end to the game. Anyway, other than that Wikipedia entry I've also found this article from the SF Weekly on a San Francisco Bombardment League, an opinion piece on the sport from USA Today, which is generally con, and a couple of competing leagues which have sprung up recently. If I come across anything else interesting on this I'll let you know.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm pretty sure I did link to this Portugeuse According To Jim website before, but I have a feeling most of you probably didn't devote the time necessary to fully explore and appreciate it the way it deserves to be appreciated, so I'll recommend that you go back and try again now. According To Jim, of course, is Jim Belushi's groundbreaking television comedy hit wherein Jim tries to deal with its beautiful Cheryl woman that it makes all its desires while working as constructor with Andy, the unsafe brother-in-law who is architect, and that also deferred payment in its house, not to mention Injures, sister of Cheryl, that works in an advertising agency, and, even so either pretty, it has problems for still being solteirona."It is one face surrounded for the woman, trying to survive." Belushi adds that Jim "is not donkey. The men are only different of the women, and them they make dull things.” The area to fully explore here is the episode guide, where you can relive all your favorite episodes, like the one where when Cheryl wants to redecorate the bathroom, Jim insists on installing a sanitary vase of last generation - Cheryl promises to take the opinions of Jim the serious one when it decides to redecorate the bathroom, but it moves of opinion when Jim insists on including a vase sanitary of last generation that speaks. Or the classic ATJ I've mentioned here at least twice before, where Cheryl asks for Jim to open hand of its vices so that it can be pregnant again, plus who can forget the hijinks which ensued when Jim becomes friend of the Cheryl former-boyfriend and feels the taste to take a foot in the bunda. The time you spend perusing this site will surely provide you with muitos sorrisos.

Hey, thanks everybody for the thoughts and kind words and such... I took yesterday off due to lack of sleep and general sadness, so now that I'm back at work it's all crazy with the busy. And I'm still a little sleepless and sad, so I'm not sure how much interesting nonsense I'll have time to dig up for posting today. Here's a link that I just found in my bookmarks that I don't think I've ever put up here before, since I don't ever remember seeing it before myself... I'm thinking elves may be bookmarking links for me while I sleep or something. And they've picked a good site here, it has all sortsa stuff related to a Grape Nuts commercial from the late 60's.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Soon after I moved into a new apartment on Fell Street in San Francisco with my friends Mike and Syd, Mike and I decided to get a cat. Syd and I had gotten a kitten at our previous apartment, but a few of our other roommates had objected to him and within a day or two he had to move in with our friend Julie instead. This time, though, Mike and I knew that Syd would enjoy a feline surprise when he returned home, so we got in Mike's Rambler and headed down to the local ASPCA. The first cat that caught our eyes was a tiny and adorable black kitten, but when they opened his cage for us to go in and get acquainted he arched his back, hissed angrily and ran into the corner, so cute as he was, we had to take a pass. Then when we were wandering around looking for another prospect a cat in a smaller cage up on a counter we were walking past reached out and batted at Mike. He was Cassius, or "cat - 6 mos." at the time, and he was just lolling on his side and being playful, and when his cage was opened he didn't hiss and back away but rubbed against your hand and purred. We found out that his original owners had gotten a dog not long after they'd gotten him and the dog had attacked Cassius, and when you've got to choose between an attack-prone dog and the friendliest and sweetest cat ever, I guess the choice is obvious... gotta think of the kids and all. But that family's loss was our gain, because he really was the friendliest, most affectionate, and all-around best cat you could ever imagine having. Syd taught him how to fetch very quickly, and he would constantly be bringing you a stuffed mouse or bottlecap or some random piece of trash and dropping it on your chest for it to be thrown. There were some built-in shelves that went up to the ceiling in Syd's room and you could throw the fetching item up onto the top shelf and he'd leap and scramble all the way up to get it and then jump back down and bring it back. Six months later Mike and I moved to another apartment with our friend Andrew and Cassius came with us, staying there for 7 years, and then when Andrew moved to Dublin and I moved to New York he came with me, driving across the country and staying in many a Motel 6. It's nice to always know there's someone there when you get home, who will come jump up on your bed and curl up next to you when you're sick, or sad, or just watching TV. He was my friend, and I miss him. Goodnight, Cassius Clay.

"Floats like a cat, stings like a cat."

Cassius "The Cat" Clay, 1992 - 2005.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

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Looks like I may have exhausted my post-holiday inspiration yesterday, I've had nothing to do so far today other than look at the internet and still struggle to come up with something to post here... oh wait, this just in: raccoons are rascally.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I've tracked down the behind-the-scenes story of Abbott and Costello's creation of the "Who's On First" routine and it's pretty fascinating. Evidently they'd worked up a rough version of the bit in their stage show and took it to their radio producers in hopes of putting it on the air. After an initial read-through produced fewer laughs than expected one of the radio people noted that the problem was that most listeners were already familiar with the Yankees' lineup, so after an all-night brainstorming session the duo returned with this retooled version:

Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bookie Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.
Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.
Abbott: I certainly do.
Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.
Abbott: Okay, let's see, we have on the bags, Lou Gehrig's on first, Joe Gordon's on second, and Red Rolfe is on third.
Costello: Gehrig, Gordon, and Rolfe. Okay, that should be easy enough to remember.
Abbott: I would think so.

In the end, however, they found that this new script left 7 minutes of dead air at the end of the broadcast and thus opted to go with the original routine which we are vaguely familiar with today.

As a follow-up to my last post, I've done a Google Video Search for "who's on first", and the results are indicative of the shocking cultural illiteracy gripping our nation today. There are plenty of circumstances in which you could appropriately allude to the classic Abbott and Costello routine, but in every one of the examples I found the speakers just seem to think it's something people say that has no real meaning. In the following exercise I will list a quote containing a "who's on first" reference followed by a reworded version that makes just as much sense.

#1: Just like Abbott and Costello said, "Who's on first?" When you're watching these cells develop, one of them is going to make a mistake first-- one of the genes in the disease cell line is going to screw up - and we want to be watching it every minute to say, "Who's on first? Who screwed up first?"

Just like Clara Peller said, "Where's the beef?" When you're watching these cells develop, one of them is going to make a mistake first-- one of the genes in the disease cell line is going to screw up - and we want to be watching it every minute to say, "Where's the beef? Where's the first screw-up?"

#2: I'm glad you sort of gave the backstory because there's more to it than just the question about gays and what happens to the kids, because in this case, I mean, it's almost a who's on first situation. Jill, get us up to speed on this. We had two women here, right? >> That's right. >> Reporter: one woman -- both were incapable of having children -- >> on their own. >> Reporter: one because? >> One because her uterus was incompetent and the other because her ovaries were incompetent. >> Reporter: so basically took the eggs from one, inseminated and put them in the other and they had children.

I'm glad you sort of gave the backstory because there's more to it than just the question about gays and what happens to the kids, because in this case, I mean, it's almost an atsa spicy meat-a-ball situation. Jill, get us up to speed on this. We had two women here, right? >> That's right...

#3: Caller: don't change your format of covering event. Don't ever do what Fox does. >> Host: don't worry, we won't. >> Caller: their coverage is like an Abbott and Costello routine, who's on first. >> Host: but it worked. It worked financially, it worked from an audience standpoint. There's something there that got people's attention. >> Caller: I watch you for the facts.

Caller: don't change your format of covering event. Don't ever do what Fox does. >> Host: don't worry, we won't. >> Caller: their coverage is like a Jeff Foxworthy routine routine, you might be a redneck if...

#4: Chris, who's on first? >> What's on second. >> We'll have an update on Barry Bonds' condition after the break.

Yes, we have no bananas? >> We have no bananas today. >> We'll have an update on outfielder Barry Bonds' condition after the break.

I just did a quick search to see if there were any fireworks mishaps of interest to report, and found this unusually flippant dispatch from the Boston Herald: The Pawtucket Red Sox canceled a July 4 fireworks display at McCoy Stadium after a Sunday night fireworks mishap played like an explosive rendition of 'Who's On First'. Not only did this seem like a somewhat disrespectful way of describing an event which injured several people, the reference didn't even seem to make sense... until I found a transcript of the 'Who's On First' routine and realized that you rarely hear the complete bit the way it was originally performed anymore:

Abbott: Well Costello, I'm going to New York with you. You know Bookie Harris, the Yankee's manager, gave me a job as coach for as long as you're on the team.
Costello: Look Abbott, if you're the coach, you must know all the players.
Abbott: I certainly do.
Costello: Well you know I've never met the guys. So you'll have to tell me their names, and then I'll know who's playing on the team.
Abbott: Oh, I'll tell you their names, but you know it seems to me they give these ball players now-a-days very peculiar names.
Costello: You mean funny names?
Abbott: Strange names, pet Dizzy Dean...
Costello: His brother Daffy.
Abbott: Daffy Dean...
Costello: And their French cousin.
Abbott: French?
Costello: Goofè.
Abbott: Goofè Dean. Well, let's see, we have on the bags, Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know is on third...
Costello: That's what I want to find out.
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.
Costello: Are you the manager?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names?
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who's on first?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: I mean the fellow's name.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy on first.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The first baseman.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy playing...
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: Hey, what the heck is that? Ow, I'm on fire! Oh God, I'm burnin', I'm burnin' up Abbott! AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

That mystery solved, I then went on to look for some more fireworks-related news, and found that there is a definite trend forming in the reportage on these stories this year:

In circumstances reminiscent of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s “2000 Year Old Man” routine, a Coast Guard patrol rescued a Sanibel man who was face down in the water near the Sanibel Causeway minutes after the fireworks show ended late Monday.

Police said a man shot and killed his neighbor Sunday outside a Chicago Heights home when the victim refused to stop lighting off fireworks, a scenario eerily similar to Bill Cosby’s classic riffs of Noah talking to God.

In a scene witnesses described as “like Steve Martin’s ‘Let’s Get Small’ bit”, several spectators in Florida were burned when a wayward rocket from an annual July Fourth fireworks display veered off course from a city pier and exploded in a crowd of people on a nearby beach, according to a Local 6 News report.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Friday, July 01, 2005

A young raccoon that apparently had gotten its head stuck inside a discarded food can while scavenging overnight was freed from its predicament about 6:15 a.m. this morning thanks to a concerned citizen and Greeneville police.