Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Reader Andrea B. has sent us a tip. It is the single greatest creative achievement in the entire history of the known universe. If you feel you are ready to experience true joy, click on this link (to a Quicktime video) and say hello to Smiley Muffin. I am currently too overwhelmed with awe to have watched them yet, but there are also two further episodes. Cats everywhere are advised to be wary of failure.

So, I am back in town after my Thanksgiving excursion to Texas with Our Lady of the Squirrels... the holiday itself was very nice but my journey home was a total nightmare involving me getting stuck in Chicago overnight on Sunday and not making it back home until Monday afternoon. I don't have time to get into the whole traumatic saga, but I would like to strongly urge the entire readership to NEVER FLY AMERICAN AIRLINES. They are a shoddy and incompetent organization whose employees will repeatedly lie to your face for no discernable reason. Anyhow, I've got some work backup I'm still trying to get through as a result, but I do have a few items to share with you before getting back into that this morning:
  1. Reader Andrea B. reports that while most of the other elements that we had previously uncovered about the life-threatening Shania Twain Apprentice episode were in evidence when the show aired last Thursday, there was NO MENTION OF THE STAGECOACH ACCIDENT that made all the local papers at the time and has been extensively covered here. Does no one care? Are we just going to let a taste-deficient fat-cat get away with endangering the lives of our city's horses, police officers, and everyday citizens such as you or me? Apparently so...
  2. Okay, how about if instead of some cops and average New Yorkers being under siege it was an 80-year old church organist and instead of Donald Trump instigating the rampage it was an angry and volatile billy goat? Might you be interested then?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I've always assumed that these ornaments they annually put up around Rockefeller Center were just for festive fun, but Fox News has uncovered the shocking truth that they are in fact weapons of mass destruction which allow the brutal ruler of the merpeople to retain his iron grip on power under the seas... DEVELOPING...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to one and all! Well all except for the family and loved ones of the inventor of Stovetop stuffing, who has died.

I will not be having any Stovetop tomorrow myself, as Our Lady Of The Squirrels and I will be travelling down to Texas for Thanksgiving with Mom, who will be preparing good old homemade stuffing (the secret is the sausage). Come to think of it, I won't be having that tomorrow either, as I won't be arriving until around 1pm Central Time (assuming I encounter no delays) so we are going to have our big dinner on Friday. Anyway, hope your holiday is nice and cozy and warm and fun and delicious and I'll be back next week!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Before I leave for the day, I also have a quick update to the Gary Glitter story from last week - Mr. Glitter was captured on Saturday trying to flee the country, one of the girls who said he had sex with her is 12 years old, Vietnamese law considers sex with a 12 year old child rape whether it's consensual or not, and the penalty for child rape is death by firing squad. They probably won't need any help getting themselves pumped up to execute a British child molester, but I know of the perfect song for them to put on if they do...

I find it SHOCKING that so far no one other than myself, reader Andrea B., and Our Lady Of The Squirrels seems to be at all interested in the groundbreaking SCOOP which we had confirmed at the end of last week. Where is the outrage, readers? Anyhow, what with work leading up to the holiday this week , and of course the holiday, I think I may hold off on the thought or two I had concerning last week's A:MS episode until right before the next episode (which won't be until next Wednesday), since that way you'll get a little reminder of what happened previously before watching. While I really think your time today would be best spent going over Friday's post in painstaking detail and thinking about whether you would like to be part of the problem or part of the solution, I do have a tip which has been sent in by reader Rob C. that may be of interest to the urban small mammal enthusiast. Rats have a very bad reputation generally, even though they're not really all that different from their rodent brothers the squirrels, and there's now a group here in the city who believes that this can perhaps be attributed to their name. Therefore, a campaign has been launched to call them Great Pointed Archers instead, and there is a nice-looking website with fun facts (their fur smells like grape soda!), a GPA customizing game, and more... go check it out and learn how to love!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Vindication!!! Remember back in May when IAAFOTS had our first bonafide red hot scoop and tried repeatedly to get the Post, Daily News, Times, Gawker, Drudge, ANY other media outlet to pick it up but no one paid us any attention? If your memory needs refreshing, this wrap-up is the best overview of the scoop, and here's the first and second posts (plus an addendum to the 2nd) where the case was put together. I imagine some of the links to news stories in those will no longer be functional, but I think all the pertinent information from them was transcribed in the wrap-up. Now for this vindication I speak of, and for that let me turn to our colleague at the IAAFOTS Center for the Study of Short-Lived Phenomena, reader Andrea B., who has filed this report:

"Subject: omg!!!ALERT!Shania!!omfg!!!
WE WERE RIGHT!!!!! I was just watching the end of the Apprentice (Donald edition) and they had a preview for next week's two (yes 2 new episodes) Thanksgiving day shows. Then they show a quick clip of Bill Rancic and they're saying"next week on The Apprentice...blah blah blah..." and then they show a couple of draft horses and then they show freaking Shania Twain!!! and say "...with special guest Shaina Twain." Dude. The whole Shania fragrance, Bill Rancic, poster in the window of Lee's Art Shop, camera crew, black guy being interviewed, New York Post swept under the carpet carriage crash thing was totally an Apprentice stunt! I have to say, this is very satisfying."

It is indeed very satisfying, but I will not feel truly satisfied until the word gets out and someone else who can reach a broader swath of the public reports the fact that a stupid stunt for Donald Trump's reality show needlessly endangered the lives of our policemen, citizens, and two innocent horses AND IT WAS COMPLETELY COVERED UP! All the papers and television stations in town covered that story and NO ONE reported on the Apprentice connection, even though a) it was fairly obvious even without the exclusive IAAFOTS uptown Twain info; b) that info and our conclusions were sent multiple times to all these outlets, in the case of the Daily News both to the main news desk and to the specific reporters who covered the stagecoach story originally; and c) the Trump tie-in would have given that story legs that could have sold papers for at least another week after the initial report, so why wasn't it reported??? You may have a lot of money, Mr. Trump, but you didn't pay off quite enough people to keep quiet on this one. You might think you can sneak this on the air now and no one will remember the officers lives your production put on the line or the animals you endangered, but you are greatly mistaken. That little envelope icon next to the Comments link at the bottom of this post is a quick and easy way to forward this to anyone you can think of [a few suggestions: PETA:, New York Daily News: (main news desk),, (reporters who wrote original story), New York Post: (news desk), New York Times: news-tips@nytimes, Gothamist: and, and Gawker:] and I encourage any readers who believe in justice and/or the prevention of cruelty to animals by Donald Trump to make use of it. Join our crack investigative team today and help make a difference!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I did watch A:MS and will have a thing or two to say about it sooner or later, but for the moment I'd just like to share a fun little link I came across posted below one of my Flickr contacts' photos (thanks, Meadows). It's not much of a game really, you just click on one of the circles and then sit back and see how long the chain reaction keeps going for, but I am finding it oddly satisfying and hypnotic (and I think it may be especially enjoyable if you play while listening to techno - if you don't have any handy, here's an excellent spot to buy some). Good luck trying to beat my high score of 2118! [UPDATE: hmmm, now that link for the game doesn't seem to be working... it was not long ago, though, so perhaps try it again later if you can't get to it at first. OH wait, I've also found it somewhere else - it's tinier than the above version, but otherwise the same.]

I was kinda holding off on this for a bit in hopes that someone else would send it in to the tipline so I could call it a tri-tip... but if some reading parent ending up hiring this fugitive as an au-pair or something before I get to it I just couldn't live with myself, constantly thinking "If only I had posted about that story a little earlier..." So we'll just call it a dual-edged tip, sent in by both reader Syd B. and Our Lady Of The Squirrels this morning: Gary Glitter is once again on the run from authorites due to his love of underaged girls, this time in Vietnam. "Glitter fell from grace in 1999 when he was convicted in Britain of possessing child pornography. He served half of a four-month jail sentence before being released. He later went to Cambodia and was permanently expelled in 2002, though Cambodian officials did not specify his crime or file charges, saying only, 'Everything that he touch start to melt in his clutch. He too much.'"

(Actually, I've got two holiday tie-ins for this story: "Kissin' under the mistletoe, I love to hear the children sing, Pull my cracker..." And reader Syd B. brings up another interesting point: "I like this new trend by celebrity criminals of having hair so crazy there is no way you‘d think they are guilty.")

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

While I continue to survey the world of Christmas collectibles, reader Jenn S. has sent in a link to an exquisitely illustrated tale of the closer holiday: "The Indians asked the kitties to come and help celebrate the thankful feast. Now these good kitties knew that they, too, had to contribute to the feast. But what could they bring that would please the Indians and help them at the same time?"

I'm hoping to get to some more holiday research before today is through, but for the time being you'll have to make do with this owl perched atop a dog's head (which would, in fact, be a thoughtful gift for the owl lover on your list).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm a traditionalist when it comes to the Christmas holiday season, believing that you shouldn't be putting up boughs of holly, listening to Mele Kalikimaka, or flocking anything until Santa shows up at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade next week. However, once that moment has passed you'll want to be doing all that and much more AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, so now is a fine time to be getting your preparations in order. To that end, I will now begin to survey this year's crop of holiday collectibles and skim the cream so as to save you, the readership, precious time which could be better spent hustling and/or bustling.
  1. Special Delivery: "A Dancing Dragon national exclusive! This is not your mother's Rudolph! By the firey glow of dragon-light, Santa delivers his gifts to young and old alike and leaves a blackened trail of death and destruction in his wake unless children of the village leave milk, cookies, and a sacrificial virgin out before retiring to bed on Christmas Eve. Cast from poly-resin, this detailed, hand-painted sculptuer will set the mood for your very special dragon Christmas!"
  2. Fa-La-La-La-Lah 2002 Pocket Dragon: "Deck the halls with Dragons Jolly, Fa la la la la la la la Hedgehogs sing and wear their holly, Fa la la la la la" I know there's some obvious humor potential in the very name of this product, but I'm too busy trying to wrap my head around the hedgehog to get to it at the moment. It probably made perfect sense three years ago, but at this point I'm baffled.
  3. Bag Lady Snow Nurse Ornament: "This adorable polyresin ornament features a nurse baglady snowwoman holding a pill, syringe, ambulance and case of medicine. She has moveable legs!" So don't fall for that cripple act she pulls sometimes to panhandle for pill money. I assume this was originally pitched as just a snow nurse but the collectible executives said, "No, the market's flooded with snow nurses now, we need some other angle to stand out from the pack... maybe if she was an angel too, maybe a patriotic angel snow nurse? Or no, WAIT, I've got it, you're gonna love this: bag lady."
  4. Lady Executive Ornament: "This Kurt Adler polyresin ornament of the teddy bear executive is perfect for the nurse executive on the go!" Really, I didn't notice anything specifically nurse executivey about this one, I think it would be perfect for any and all lady executives. And now, if you'll indulge me, I am reminded of a scene from a movie. "Romy: Do you have some sort of businesswoman's special? Waitress: Come again? Romy: Well, we're businesswomen. Michelle: Yeah, from L.A. Romy: And, you know, some places have, like, a lunch special. Michelle: For businesswomen. Waitress: We don't have anything like that. Romy: Well, then just give us... two burgers and fries and diet cokes, 'cause were in a hurry. Michelle: We're due in Tucson later... for a business thing. You know."
  5. "Hey, just wait a cotton-pickin' second, I'm Jewish," some readers may be saying at this point, "What have you found for me and my family to purchase, display, and enjoy this December?" I'm glad you asked, my Hebrew friend. For you, Hanukkah Pooh.

Monday, November 14, 2005

This is how my day began this morning. Click to get to a larger version of the moose caboose!

Oh no! It's not just 7th Heaven and Arrested Development getting the ax, now they've gone and announced that The Apprentice with Martha Stewart will disappear forever after the season finale next month. I think one of the reasons cited was "even that one blogger who watches your show can rarely be bothered to write anything about it" which makes me feel a little guilty, but c'mon NBC, I can rarely be bothered to write about anything these days! And really, I think part of the reason I find it a little more difficult to think up amusing quips about this version is that I'm actually enjoying watching it or something... Anyhow, let me toss out a note or two on last week's show while I still can.

  1. I've come to the conclusion that Jim Bozzini could well be the smartest person on the show, but this news highlights the fact that he made one major miscalculation. The ease with which he can turn the crazy snakin' action on and off like a spigot shows that it's all pretty much an act, designed to make him the next breakout reality star like that Omarosa or whoever. That kind of makes sense in that becoming a low-level personality for a few years is probably a better deal than actually winning the show, but unfortunately no one's watching this show and no one is going to remember Jim Bozzini in 2006 other than his neglected wife and the child whose birth he blew off for this shot at oblivian. Well, and perhaps you and I.
  2. I enjoyed the shot where Leslie Sanchez got SO very excited that the task was going to involve QVC - you could almost hear her saying to herself, "I KNEW this was a good day to wear my turquoise pantsuit." By the way, prior to her A:MS appearance, Leslie, who once sold encyclopedias door-to-door, spearheaded the Republican Party's first multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting Hispanic voters. Also by they way, Leslie is Hispanic, which is a good way to tell her apart from Dawna Stone. Dawna's dogs: Val and Buffett, Leslie's dog: Jalapeña.
  3. My two favorite moments from the show gave us a little insight into the Stewart women and the things they love. In the visit to Martha's house in the Hamptons, Lily Pond, we discovered that Martha collects taxidermy. "Oh yes, Martha is the biggest animal lover there is." Meanwhile, her daughter Alexis gave us a glimpse into her own heart in the conference room while filling Mom in on how Team Primarius had fared. "They chose the Bonaire Portable Air Inflator - which I love - and they sold it for..." If anyone else was watching the very first show, you may have caught the most uncomfortable moment of the proceedings thus far when Martha introduced Alexis and said that she was "still waiting for grandchildren!" Now we know why she continues to wait, because though the Bonaire inflator can perform many useful tasks around the house, ejaculating sperm does not appear to be one of them. Prior to this revelation I had just chalked the lack of progeny up to the lesbianism, but this romance is ever so much more detrimental to procreation... because I doubt that handy appliance is pals with David Crosby or anyone else who could help a sister out with some spare baby batter.
  4. My last note of interest doesn't concern the show itself, but an advertisement that ran during it... Jamie Lee Curtis is the new spokesperson for Hasbro? On the one hand you could see it as embarrassing evidence that she doesn't have much of a career going these days, but I applaud the fact that she's gone ahead and thrown herself into this role wholeheartedly, dressing up in striped prison togs to highlight Monopoly and such... it's still a little embarrassing, but I applaud it.

Okay, that's all I've got for now, tune in this Wednesday evening and catch the magic before it's gone like The Dragon, readers!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reader Steve L., who has come out of nowhere to become our most prolific tipster of the moment (well, knowing Steve I'm sure he was somewhere or other) has sent in one excellent tip today, some super sweet paintings by a Mr. Mark Ryden. At first I was thinking that I'd seen some of his work before, but I'm now leaning more toward the likelihood that he is simply working in a style which is pretty popular in the art world currently and I'm confusing him with someone else who does a similar 21st century figurative hyperrealism sorta thing. In any case, this guy does it really well, plus a lot of these particular paintings have bunnies in them.

Hello there. After the delightful little visit from Our Lady Of The Squirrels on Friday-Monday I've come back to some extra busy business which is cutting into my blogging availability at the moment. BUT things should be returning to a more leisurely pace by later today I'm hoping. In the meantime, both my ladylove and myself have started posting some weekend photos on Flickr that can be browsed, and let's see if there's any breaking squirrel news to go along with this photo I took of a Monsignor McGolrick Park resident... why yes, there is: "I'm a country boy, so I'm thinking dinner time."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

So, I did watch The Apprentice with Martha Stewart last night, and I do have a few things to say about it, but I do also have work to do today and then Our Lady of the Squirrels is arriving bright and early tomorrow for a whirlwind weekend visit to NYC, so the likelihood that I'll be sharing these things in a timely manner is not super great. But you can be just like Martha herself and steal a little taste, as Gawker has a post this morning on the best line from last night's episode. My two cents concerning this quote:
  1. The editors of the show really dropped the ball by not incorporating the Bobby Sherman song "Hey, Honeybun" into this scene:
    Hey, hey, honeybun
    Won't you let me be the one
    Open up and let me come
    Closer to you...
  2. I doubt Marcella is going to be going all the way on this show, but with her work on That 70's Show and The Family Guy I don't know how she'd have the time or energy available to add Martha to her plate anyway.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005