Tuesday, January 31, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

It's not going to be getting a whole lot more content-rich here for at least another month, I predict; I've just got too much to do and freak out about regarding my impending move to manage to think of anything funny and/or interesting to write. But for the next week, at least, I can direct you someplace else where someone IS writing some funny and/or interesting words: Chuck Klosterman's blogging Super Bowl Week up in Detroit for ESPN.com. If you are unfamiliar with Chuck Klosterman, I can tell you that he is one of those hot shot young writers who pontificate on pop cultural matters and tend to annoy me on occasion but are still pretty good and often funny. I'd mention David Foster Wallace now but god how I hate that guy. Dave Eggers, too. But Chuck Klosterman, occasional annoyances aside, I do not hate. So there you go, even if you care not for the football I think you may well be entertained by Mr. Klosterman's blog, which has four posts so far.

Also, reader Syd B. has sent in a tip: Fender is making Hello Kitty guitars! And Badtz-Maru basses! I don't have anything further to say about this, but I did enjoy looking at them and thinking about how much it would rock to own one, so perhaps you might want to do the same.

Friday, January 27, 2006

When I alluded to the fact that I'm engaged to be married in this space recently, did I also allude to the fact that I'm moving to Portland, Oregon at the beginning of March? Well, I am, which has lead to my being very very very busy and all stressed over the business and everything, which has lead to a dearth of blogging even though I got a tip or two yesterday! Which I am going to share with you now. Our Lady of the Squirrels has sent in these tips, the first of which is small mammal-related: the Preble's meadow jumping mouse does exist! I may be alone in actually knowing what I'm talking about there, but the background should be explained in the article here. One way or another I'm sure they will still be wiped off the face of the earth by Bush-aided developers, but these findings might slow that down for a little while anyway. The second tip is also mammal-related, though of the not as small, hubcap-wielding variety: it's Tonya Harding's website! A few do's and don'ts to help you in navigating the site - do check out some of the movies, especially the one of her singing, don't look at the fantasy messages. Fair warning. If you don't have the time right now to read her entire bio, here is the IAAFOTS Condensed Version:

Tonya Harding was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. On a trip to the Lloyd Center, Tonya watched other kids skating and wanted to try it. When she first stepped on the ice she made piles of shavings and ate them. She was the first female skater to land a triple axel in competition, and recorded a CD of an original song, which she dedicated to the victims of the Oklahoma bombing tragedy. She also made a successful commercial for a very popular car dealership in Portland, showing her acting and comedy skills. People are amazed by the inner strength that she has, and many have expressed this to her, through letters and email. They write that she inspires them to keep going, when times have been rough for them. She has become a source of encouragement to many people. Tonya still loves to skate, and can still do the Triple Axel, although she doesn't feel the need to do it anymore.

I've also found another Tonya Harding website which may be significantly better, but not as lovable... which if you think about it, is sort of the same problem Tonya herself had during her skating career. Well, that and the assault conspiracy. Stay tuned for more profiles of famous Portlanders in this space as I continue learning more about my new home and its citizenry; subjects may include Lindsay Wagner, The Hudson Brothers, Beverly Cleary, Dallas McKennon, Mark Rothko, Sally Struthers, Henry F. Phillips, Rebecca Schaeffer, and/or Dick Fosbury!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

Shooter, shooter, shooter...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Okay, I have just finished tabulating all the votes for The Top Flickr Wedding Photo of All Time or whatever we’re calling it. I myself was leaning towards #5 or #10, but the readers have spoken and our winner is #4. Now for the personalized story, and in the random drawing to select the reader for whom it is personalized, I draw out… reader Jenn S.! Okay, here we go:

The wedding was the social event of the season in Okoboji, and even though she had not been invited Jenn could not help but sneak down that evening to get a peek. The reception was in full swing when she arrived at Vacation Village with her cat, Alfie, and Jenn stood beside a Mountain Dew machine at the edge of the dance floor, green with envy at the glittering spectacle which whirled before her eyes. Women dancing with children, men dancing with babies, random guests standing alone… it certainly was an affair to remember. Suddenly from across the floor she saw a young man approaching her, and everything else in the room seemed to turn sepia. “Why, he looks just like Michael Badalucco,” thought Jenn, "You know, from The Practice..." But her reverie was soon shattered by the piercing shriek of some lady with a cane. “That girl’s got a cat in here! Are you going to allow such behavior on your wedding day? Punch her in the head!” With a start Jenn realized that this was not Michael Badalucco at all, but the groom himself, and an angry groom at that. Whatever was she to do? Closer and closer the newlywed strode, swinging his head-punching fists, when all of a sudden Alfie leapt from Jenn’s side and latched onto the man’s head, scratching the hell out of him. After flaying the groom mercilessly he sprang over to give the cane-leaning instigator more of the same, then bit the baby several times before strolling coolly back to his owner. “My hero!” cried Jenn, running out to greet her cat with open arms, which he proceeded to scratch the hell out of. The End.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's been awhile since we've checked in on the small mammal beat, but that doesn't mean our furry little friends have stopped making headlines. In fact, I have in a short period of time managed to amass no fewer than SEVEN such stories, which I present to you now:
  1. Hamster and Snake: Best Buddies (the real question here, I think, is what the hell kind of "zoo" uses a cardboard box as a habitat?)
  2. "Raccoon tastes like raccoon," English said. "I've never heard of any elected official or politician who didn't like coon."
  3. Raccoon Attacks Woman In D.C. "It's highly unusual ... we occasionally have reports of attacks by de sharks or de orcas or de jellyfish, but you just don't expect to encounter a raccoon in D.C." OK, I realize this joke doesn't make as much sense when written down, but just read it out loud to yourself and then bask in the hilarity of it all. Bask, I say.
  4. Luminita Marinas, who sells crystals, incense and angelic bric-a-brac at her gift shop on Nine Mile in Eastpointe, first ran afoul of city officials about four years ago for feeding squirrels.
  5. Vagn Flyger, 83, a retired wildlife biologist at the University of Maryland who became a leading authority on squirrels after documenting what was dubbed the "Great Squirrel Migration of 1968,'' died Monday at his home in Silver Spring, Md.
  6. I don't know that this really counts as news anymore, but sadly my favorite of all the small mammals, the wonderful pika, continues on the path toward extinction.
  7. On a brighter note, though, the similarly endangered Vancouver Island marmots are apparantly rebounding a little bit, thanks in part to the efforts of the marmot shepherds. I think it goes without saying, but if anyone hears tell that a posse of pika shepherds is being rounded up, I should be contacted immediately via our tipline and rounded.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I still haven't had a chance to go through and tally all the many thousands of votes for the Top Flickr Wedding Photo yet, so if you have not yet had a chance to comment your own preference you may consider yourself still free to do so. Our Lady of the Squirrels has also come across another possible entrant, which we will refer to as #12. The real highlight in this one is the small child who has just had his ass kicked clean out of his shoes in the background (what his ass was doing in his shoes in the first place remains a mystery). ALso, please note reader Steve L.'s commentary on the previous Family Circus post, as it contains an interesting Alexis Stewart news item (and thanks Steve! I assume the congratulations are for my engagement rather than my not inconsiderable skill at combining a cartoon with the caption to a different cartoon). OH, and I've also been alerted by my fiancee to a sad follow-up to a previous post (I can't seem to find the original post I'm referring to at the moment, but it's back in somewhere in the September or October archives) - the body of Barry Cowsill, missing in New Orleans since September 1st, was discovered floating near a wharf on December 27th. R.I.P.

Monday, January 16, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

While you continue voting for your favorite Flickr Wedding Photo (please note that #3 appears to have taken itself out of the running, but we do have a late entrant in #11 to take its place) I have for you today a humorous anecdote. All day long there's been some sorta doings in the FoxNewsLounge directly in front of my workspace which has involved many bright and eager, well-heeled young business people sitting and talking with slightly older business people... I don't know if they're new hires or new interns or interviewees or what their story is exactly. But about 10 minutes ago one of them approached the coat closets that are directly to my left and spent a few moments trying to wedge his fingers into the hinge area of one of the doors, then pushed randomly on the doors in various spots before finally turning to me and saying "Excuse me, but could you help me get into here?" I stood up, strode the few steps over to the closets, grasped one of the handles, and pulled, revealing the garment-laden riches within for the young man. Now granted, they don't have your traditional door KNOBS on them, just a steel plate on the edge of the doors with a rounded end which forms a handle, but they're not particularly esoteric either. If you've encountered a wide closet or sliding door since the mid-twentieth century or so, you ought to be familiar with such an operation... come to think about it, most business establishments across the country have a pretty similar mechanism on their exterior doors instead of a round, turning knob. But, oh readers, here's the part that really kicks this anecdote to the next level: not five minutes after this unfathomably hapless businessman walked away with his jacket ANOTHER of the young visitors, this time female, came over and stared at the doors for a moment before turning and asking me, "Do you know how to open this?" Trying my best to hide my flabbergastation, I stayed seated this time and simply said, "To open a door, you grasp the handle and pull it towards you." These are people who are going to be telling some of the world's top corporations how they should be running their businesses. They probably make a whole lot more money than you do. They do not know how to operate a door. This concludes my anecdote.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I've stumbled upon another possible entrant in our Best Flickr Wedding Photo contest... you may wish to check out the whole photostream that this one is from, as there are many good shots to enjoy, including one with kitty statuettes (as ell as a reall live kitty). You can call this one #11 if you decide to vote for it, and speaking of that I will be keeping the voting open for the remainder of the week so there's still time for your voice to be heard! And do be sure to include your hometown, favorite color, and pet's name in case your entry is chosen for the fabulous personalized wedding photo story prize. Oh, and in response to Our Lady of the Squirrels' question as to what my news of possible interest is... um, we're engaged to be married, honey. I thought you were gonna write that on a post-it and stick it on your monitor or somewhere so you wouldn't forget!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I don't think I'm going to address this news of possible interest that I mentioned last week as of yet, though a large portion of the readership already knows what it is anyway. But I have composed a little feature for today that could be seen as a hint of sorts... The Top Ten Wedding Photos on Flickr, selected by me, in no particular order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Vote for your favorite in the comments section and I will write a brief story about the winning image that will incorporate the name, favorite color, hometown, and pet's name of a lucky reader entrant chosen at random (please include these details along with your entries).

Monday, January 09, 2006

"The fire was spreading throughout the room. I picked Tobe up and carried him out into the hall. We'd gone to a cockfight that afternoon, and afterward we were riding back to the captain's house together. He was singing some of his war songs, and when we passed the bridge, he spurred his horse and headed for the fence at the corner of the lawn. It wasn't much of a jump, but the horse stumbled at the edge of the road, and when the captain's foot caught in the stirrup, he went down against the fence like a sack of meal."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year! I've been on vacation since the 23rd of December, so I haven't yet had time to think up much to blog about so far in 2006, though I did have a fun and exciting holiday extravaganza with Our Lady of the Squirrels during which a few things of possible interest did occur... but for now, I'll just share this diggin' squirrel photo I snapped in Monsignor McGolrick Park in GPT and a few links, one to the NY Times story on cuteness (viva la Stick!), and one about a heroic cat which has been sent in to the tipline by reader and noted cat fancier Jenn S., with an accompanying video.