Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Trivial Pursuit

Just wanted to drop a link to the Trivial Pursuit site.

I haven't played online. Yet.

But I will.

Because no one will play with me in real life.

It's not fun, they say.

I haven't played much lately. But I have lost exactly one game of Trivial Pursuit in my life. To my cousin Paul. And he whipped everybody's asses.

We played at church one night when I was about 14 at a Youth Group lock-in. And I think I made Mr. Lawson and Mr. Wilburn both unbelievably angry when I went on a run and picked up four pieces of pie in one turn to win the whole thing. I think Mr. Lawson had to go outside to cuss.

Oh! If it's the special Star Wars edition? You'd better hope I go last the first time around, otherwise you won't get to play at all.
Going to Atlanta

Going to load up the truck before too long and drive over to East Tennesee. Meet up with my folks and Steven, and we'll motor down to comparatively lovely Atlanta, Georgia.

I know that post last night was terribly selfish and self-indulgent. But I've been thinking of that day in October 1998 pretty heavily for a week or so.

Just getting it out of my head.

Just a little bit of therapy, if you will.

Got a very nice e-mail this morning from a lady who hated this blog and thought that story was pathetic.

It's like Rome says: "Nothing like starting a day with a Fresh Blast!"

Monday, September 29, 2003

This is Why I want the Braves to Lose

I had tickets to Wrigley, Game 4 in 1998.

Swept in three. By the Braves.

It was the worst that night in that Hampton Inn motel room next to Midway, watching the Cubs lose game three. I felt so bad, because I felt like I'd dragged my family to Chicago for nothing.

And for that reason, the Cubs' losing actually got to me.

You bullshit yourself. You tell yourself that it was cool to get to go see Wrigley the morning after, when it seemed so empty and gray and cold. We ate at McDonald's, and Mom got interviewed under the marquee by WGN. She told them we'd come all the way from Tennessee. You tell yourself it was fun to go see the Shedd Aquarium when the Cubs should have been playing. You say it's alright to go to Navy Pier.

And I think we all felt that way.

And as nice as it was...and with all apologies to my family....and as much as I know that it's just a game, and not all that important in the scheme of things...it was one of my least favorite days I've ever spent.

And I hold nothing against the Braves, exactly.

Living in the south, the Braves kind of end up in your consciousness all the time, and I'm a forgiving soul, believe it or not. I hold no true ill will against the Braves, per se.

But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I could watch a Braves game and not think about that night, in the Hampton Inn next to Midway, where I actually took the Cubs' losing to heart.

We have the opportunity to take it back.

And I'll be there for it.

We'll make Javy Lopez eat his words.
Open Letters about Self-Checkout Lanes.

There are two letters.

First, to the retailers.


The self-checkout lanes are an alternative to having a living, breathing checker check you out. Not a replacement.

Why were there no checkers at the other lanes? And this wasn't for a minute while somebody was on break. This was like 10 minutes, as I walked to different parts of the store to pick up different things. Never once did I see a checker.

That was my loaf of bread, dish soap and a pear that you found in a basket on the floor. I stood there for about five minutes before leaving. No living, breathing checkers were anywhere to be seen. There was one guy at the self-check lanes frantically trying to explain to people how the things work. People were trying to take cartloads of stuff through the self-check lanes. Ideally, these are for express orders. There's no excuse for this.

You did not get my money today.

Also, a specific note to Ingle's Markets: there's no need to have a person at the counter to O.K. everything that's scanned across. That's counter-productive. It ends up taking longer.

Big Stupid Tommy

Now, to my fellow customers.


This self-checkout thing is not so hard. You know that bunch of straight lines in a box at the bottom of EVERYTHING? The one that's been there for nigh on 30 years now? That's how the machine knows what your cereal costs.

Ma'am....If you were 89, you would have an excuse for not understanding the futuristic scanners. But you're in your 30's, and you should know this. And don't get testy with the guy who's trying to help you. It shouldn't take you twelve minutes to buy Cap'n Crunch and a jar of olives. Who the Hell buys Olives? Are you needing them for martinis? If you're drunk, you need to stay home. If you're stupid, marry smart and get him to come to the store with you.

The circumstances above not withstanding, you should never take a large load of groceries through the self check lane. No matter how stupid you think checkers are and how much of a waste of time they are. Because then you become the waste of time.

Yours Truly,
Big Stupid Tommy

I'm trying hard to calm down about the little things in life. I thought I was going to have a coronary the one day I got behind a lady trying to scan lip gloss at the Wal-Mart self-check lane, and she couldn't quite get the knack of it.

Today just about drove me crazy. I went from calm and serene happy daisies to stark raving lunatic in the space of five minutes.

But that mess where they didn't have any checking lanes open? That was bullshit.

I really wanted to eat that pear, too.

p.s. The checkout lanes at Ingle's drive my Dad bonkers, too.
A couple of blogs to look at

Got an e-mail from Gooseneck tonight. He's a Cubs fan too, so he's 3/4 of the way to being a GREAT person in my book. Cubs fans are generally good people. We're definitely better people, than, say, Braves fans. Who are fickle, spoiled and can't even support their team in the NLDS, because this round isn't prestigious enough for them.

Anyway. Take a look at Gooseneck's blog. Scroll down and read the scary story about flipping his car. That's good reading.

And I kind of liked Daisyblossom.com, too. She's a Giants fan...so she's had it good the last couple of years in that respect. It balances out, though, because she's a 49er's fan. It's gonna be a LOOOONG season for the niners.
Subliminal Thoughts

Herpes:: Hades
Freddy:: Elm Street
October:: World Series
Hunting:: Finding
36:: Hours
Hotel:: Elevator
Travesty:: Selig
Health:: Doctor
Conditions:: Terms
Boy Is My Butt Tired

I'm not sure, but the Dog Show post may be my longest post on this page in the 10 months or so I've been blogging. A couple of thousand words. And in just about an hour. Haven't seen that kind of efficiency since that paper on Taming of the Shrew that somehow eluded my memory until a couple of hours before class.
The Dog Show

You don’t know what trepidation is, until you’ve walked the ring in a dog show, deathly afraid that you’ll step on one of these show-dog’s feet with your giant clodhoppers.

My friends Steven and Janet came out to Murfreesboro for the weekend.

There was a dog show on the campus of MTSU this weekend. Janet takes dogs to shows all through the year. It’s often why she doesn’t join us on any weekend excursions that Steven and I might engage in (that, and the fact Steven and I act like 11 year olds when he and I hang out together).

But they both came out this weekend.

I’d never been to a dog show before.

And since it was within walking distance (roughly 1200 feet), I went on Sunday to check things out.

I borrowed my roommate’s camera.

But I took maybe three pictures. The first person I saw, was using a pick comb and what looked to me like a small vacuum cleaner on a beautiful wolfhound. I took a picture, because I’d never seen anybody using a vacuum cleaner on a dog (though it’s a brilliant idea, if you can get the dog to stand still). But the lady got a little upset when she saw me taking the picture. So I didn’t take many more. Also, I learned that it wasn't a vacuum cleaner, it was a blowdryer that looks like a vacuum cleaner.


Also, yes, I know it’s rude to take pictures of a person without asking, but if it’s not continual and not up in my face, it’s never bothered me. But Janet informed me that “show people” are quite temperamental in the morning before showing.

I went up to the building and saw a fellow walking a bulldog who was wearing a Cardinals cap. I was wearing my Cubs cap, and we talked for a good fifteen minutes about our fortunes this past baseball season. I said, I can’t bring myself to actually like the Cardinals, but I’ve always respected them as a team and as an organization. He said he hoped a lot of Cubs’ fans’ faith in their team paid off this year...and if not this year, sooner rather than later.

His Dad was a Cubs fan, he said. His Dad was born in 1933, and died in 2001, and went his whole life time without seeing his team, of which he was a fan nearly his whole life, win it all. (This guy’s mother was from St. Louis, and they lived 15 miles from St. Louis, so he became a Cardinals fan).

We said our goodbyes and good lucks and I went into the Agricultural Center. It’s a smaller building, ringed with boxes with folding chairs around 2/3 of the building. And in the center floor space, there were a couple hundred people with their dogs, dividing themselves among 10 smaller rings.

Janet and Steven weren’t there yet. I didn’t know when they’d shown, of if they had already and gone back to their motel. I found an out of the way spot, and just watched.

Let me say first that watching the goings on of a dog show without knowing the specifics is kind of like watching Kurosawa with the subtitles off. You know basically what’s going on, but you don’t really know the whys and wherefores. Little things happen, and you aren’t sure why. Little peels of applause break out, and you turn to see, and find out why, and everything’s done past.

The first thing I figured out is that I needed to find something to focus on. A dog show is a lot like a carnival, or Times Square, in that there’s so much going on, and so much to look at, you don’t know quite which way to look.

Look this way, and there are little bitty old women towing along Great Danes as tall at their shoulder as she is. Look the other, and you see a large man carrying a very small, very fluffy, very squirmy little dog in the crook of his arm while he eats cracker jacks out of a box.

And then there was the dwarfish lady who was showing a chow. And the chow was bigger than she was.

There is a portion of showing the dog to the judges that take place in the rings I spoke of, where you show the movement of the dog in relation to what the dog is supposed to be able to do. And you run the dog in a circle. Sometimes, many dogs run in a circle, with the owner trotting along side it. I called this move the vortex....because it looked like if enough dogs and owners ran the circle, it would create a whirlwind.

And when this very small lady ran along her chow, she was literally dragged along side it. It was bigger and stronger than she was.

I don’t mean to laugh at anybody’s physical make up. But pragmatism forces me to say there’s a mismatch when it comes to the breed of dog she’s chosen to show.

As I looked around, I saw something that interested me greatly.


My parents adopted a pug named Maximus back around Christmas last year. One of my sisters’ friends had to give him up. And Max has more personality than anybody in my family (yours, truly, included).

So I went over to the ring where they were showing the pugs.

And things happened that I didn’t quite know why. They ran in circles. And then the dogs stood there, while somebody came along and “felt them up.” They would feel one shoulder and one leg, lifting it slightly off the ground, then they would repeat the process. Then, they would feel the back legs.

I almost cried when they checked the testicles of the male dogs.

(As opposed to the testicles on the females (or bitches)).

Then they run around some more, and the judges will get in and look at the eyes of the pug...little known fact: The mass of the head of the pug is roughly 80% eyeball.

The judges will also check the teeth, the skin.

There were four pugs in the ring that I saw. And they ran around, and they all walked around with that same grin Maximus walks around with, tongues lolling crazily from their mouths, all of them breathing like they’re trying to speak Hebrew but getting only the Kh syllable out.

One of them won, and got its picture taken. It wasn’t my favorite. It was a little too fat for my tastes (said the pot to the kettle). This pug didn’t look like it would chase a tennis ball or a rubber sandwich, or nose his way into the bathroom while you’re sitting on the toilet. They picked the pug that looked like it had gotten too much Alpo, and who would probably chase a sandwich only if it were real.

Though if they could teach a pug not to chew hickory nuts until little sharp shards are ground into the carpet, I might be willing to consider a trade.

I walked through the vending area. Not a whole lot having to do with actual dog grooming or anything like that. At least, not as much as I’d thought. There were a couple of booths set up with that type of thing. But mostly there were booths selling knick knacks of dogs. Pillows with dogs’ pictures on them. Beanie Babies.

My favorite booth, though, was the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods booth, which sold specialized raw food for the dogs.

With the letters B.A.R.F. emblazoned in red across both the banner and the hat of the fellow selling the pet food.

I so badly want a hat that reads B.A.R.F. across it that I can hardly stand it.

As I wandered back to my vantage point where I could see the whole arena, I ran into an acquaintance from my former workplace.

He and I never really got along. Actually, it was one of those relationships where he liked me a bunch and sought me out to talk to me whenever he had a chance, and I was annoyed to no end by him. I never had much use for him. And when I heard his voice behind me, it sent a cold chill up my spine. I knew exactly who it was.

He’d brought his St. Bernard into show.

I’ll say that I never cared much for the guy, but he did take in the St. Bernard from a neighbor who had been abusing it. He’s gotten the dog healthy and re-acclimated to people. And I’ll say that he brought in a beautiful animal. He’s done really good by that dog, and I can’t fault him a bit for it. It’s a good dog. So that’s a good mark by his name, I guess.

I’d just gotten back to my vantage point when I saw Steven strolling in. They’d overslept, he said. And since they “were robbed” by the judges on Saturday, Janet wasn’t stressing too much about coming in on Sunday to show Lola, her Australian Shepherd. Apparently, she dislikes Steven’s name for her “Lola Granola.”

I like it, personally. Another good dog, Lola.

We walked around a bit. Janet explained to me a lot of what was going on, especially when it came to scoring. They weren’t creating a vortex when they ran in a circle. Rather, they were showing off movement, seeing if a dog could move the way it was supposed to. They were checking the bite in some dogs. When they “felt up” the dogs, what they were doing was checking musculature and skeletal structure. Seeing if the hips were set at the correct angle and whatnot, for the dog to be doing the job it’s supposed to be doing.

They were scored on disposition, as well, she explained. Certain dogs are supposed to act certain ways, and if a dog in a certain breed category doesn’t adhere to that disposition, they lose points. I liked the part where it might be okay for a Rottweiler to growl at a judge, so long as they don't snap at them.

And it all comes down to breeding. That’s what it’s all about. A dog gets points based on its performance at these dog shows. And as points accumulate, the dog’s value when it comes to breeding rises.

I was glad I’d gone to the dog show. I’m a people watcher. If you’ve ever seen Best in Show, you know that it’s an....eccentric...group of folks that go to these things.

Maybe I’ll speak more on some of my favorite people later. Right now, I want to talk about passion and obsession. Passion is a wonderful thing. Obsession...now, that’s scary.

There are a lot of passionate people in the room.

But there are a lot of obsessed people too.

In the abstract, it’s interesting, and maybe even funny to see.

But up close?

I talked about the lady who took issue with my taking the picture early on in the day.

I must have counted sixty or more Recreational Vehicles. Some of these things, Steven noted, were $130,000 and $150,000 vehicles. That's a lot of money to plunk down. But then...if it's coming in....

Here's what bothered me. At one point, I witnessed an exchange between family members. A kid was doing what looked like schoolwork, sitting on the floor of a van. A lady came to the van. I assumed the lady was the kid’s mother. The mother jumped her dog up into the van, opened up the cage, put the dog in the cage, and got another out of another pen.

The kid asked the lady something. I didn’t hear exactly what.

The mother never acknowledged the kid. Never spoke. Never even looked at the kid. She only turned with the dog and walked back to the show.

Now, I don’t know the circumstances, but it bothered me a bit.

Yeah, I know the dog show’s important. But acknowledge your kid. Look at him. Say something. Answer his question. Make him seem at least as important as the damn dog.

That’s why there are so many screwed up kids in the world. Because a parent’s priorities are out of whack.

But I digress.

On the whole, I enjoyed my day at the dog show. I saw a lot of interesting people. And luckily, most of the people I saw were like like Janet. They talked to their dogs (and their children, for some part) and treated their dogs with a respect.

There were a few who only touched their dogs to shove them into and pull them out of carriers. And that seemed to treat them too much like merchandise for my taste.

Maybe I anthropomorphize too much, but to me, a dog is a friend.

But again, I digress.

It was a neat experience. If I have a free day again, I might go to people watch again.
Who is Killing the World's Oldest People?

I saw this Earth-shaking headline this morning when I signed onto the internet:

World's Oldest Man Dies.

I was saddened, and a little surprised. See, the World's Oldest Man also died back in the spring. It was another guy. This guy didn't die twice, that I'm aware of.

And in looking for a suitable link, I also found this story, from January 2002:

World's Oldest man dies in Italy.

And also this story, dated December 2000:

World's Oldest Man dies in Oklahoma

And even this story, Dated 1997 which proves women are also a target:

World's Oldest Person dies in France

I can only ask myself What the Hell is going on here?

All the Oldest Men (and People) in the world, seem to be dying.

Coincidence? I think not.

I know somebody's doing this. My question: Is there some group, or one lone, really old and crazy individual that waits in the wings to kill off the oldest people in the world?

Yeah. I think I'm right about that. We'd better put the Secret Service on this.

Somebody needs to protect the World's Oldest People!

They're in Danger!

Help Them!

Actually, extreme old age is fascinating to me. Just for all the stuff they've seen. Take Yukichi Chuganji, the subject of today's story, who passed away at the age of 114.

Now, assuming he turned 114 this year, he would have been born in 1889. Which means he as 19 in 1908, which was the last year the Cubs won the World Series. He was in his late 20's during the first World War. He was 52 (approximately my parents age) when Japan attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, and 56 when we dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was in his 60's for Korea, late 70's and 80's for Vietnam.

When I was born, he would have been 88 years old. And by all accounts, 88's up there. That's pretty old.

He lived a full life. He owed his long life to drinking a glass of milk every morning.

I didn't read who the new Oldest Man in the World is. But hadn't he better look out? Everybody who's named World's Oldest Man seems to die soon after.

If there is nothing sinister, I guess we'll just have to chalk it up, and say: It's a mystery!
Thoughts from the Ass-End of the Night, volume 924

Not really the ass-end of the night. It's just a little after midnight. I'm watching the Two Towers. It's a kickass movie. I'm looking forward to Return of the King like I've looked forward to few other movies (Police Academy 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7).

Sunday, September 28, 2003

The Playoffs

Oh yeah. Guess who's going to the playoffs?

The Cubs.

And me.

Turner Field, Game 1, section 222, along the left field line. Kerry Wood vs. Russ Ortiz. It'll kick ass.
The End of the Baseball Season

Wow. I can remember saying during a meeting up in Nashville with my old job to one of the other supervisors about how much I was looking forward to baseball season this year. Seems like yesterday.

Just a few meandering thoughts on the season as a whole:

I was surprised and saddened, but got over it, with Sammy's corked bat.

I'd forgotten Rafael Furcal's unassisted triple play, but he had one.

Eric Gagne is unstoppable. I'm not for pitchers winning the MVP....but I maybe willing to listen to arguments in Mr. Gagne's case.

I was angry with Rafael Palmiero for not wanting to come to the Cubs, but I got over that, too. Hope he enjoyed coming in last with the Rangers again. And now the Rangers have no real reason to bring him back. But then, he was only looking for the easiest season, and the best money, I think.

I'm glad the Tigers held on and didn't set the record. But still. They're easily the worst team I've ever seen.

Thanks to Mark Grace, one more time. Now come to Chicago and coach. Or announce. Failing that, find something to do in baseball. I'm of the opinion that baseball needs more gamers like Mark, who just enjoy the game.

Thanks to the Rocket, too. As much as I wanted to hate you and your asshole tactics. I loved watching you pitch. I wish you hadn't pitched for the Evil Empire.

God help me. I finally admitted to myself that Barry Bonds isn't such a jackass, and he really is the best player I've ever seen. (He's still a bit of a jackass...just not as much as I'd once believed)

That was a Hell of an All Star Game.

Bud "the most incompetent man in the world" Selig isn't redeemed by it.

I'm tired of hearing about Pete Rose.

I was rooting hard for the Royals. I hope this wasn't a fluke. The Twins and A's are now fixtures. I don't see why they can't be.

Doesn't change the fact that it's still easier for the Yankees of the world. Yeah, A's, Twins and Royals played hard, smart ball. I don't think the Yankees had to play as hard or smart. But they won the East again.

But this year, I think they won in spite of Steinbrenner.

I actually hope the Mets do better next year. I'm ready to start hating them again.

Hideki Matsui deserves the rookie of the year award. Jackie Robinson played in the Negro League for a long time before coming to the Majors.

My other award picks:

Barry Bonds, N.L. MVP. Without Barry, the Giants weren't even the Dodgers. I think Javy Lopez deserves as much consideration as his teammate Gary Sheffield or Albert Pujols. Lopez catches, which sucks. He handles the pitching staff. And he went out and hit all those home runs. But Barry Bonds was the man, once again.

Nomar Garciaparra, A.L. MVP. Nomar's the top in a list of about 4 guys in the A.L. who really deserve the award. I think he's the spark and the leadership in that Boston clubhouse. I think Vernon Wells deserves the most consideration among teams not in contention.

Eric Gagne, N.L. Cy Young. The man's money. Period. I'd vote Mark Prior second and it would be a tossup between Jason Schmidt and John Smoltz (who was injured the last month, but was money just short of Gagne's mark) for third.

Esteban Loiaza, A.L. Cy Young. This was a coin-flip to me, with Toronto's Roy Halladay losing. Pedro Martinez getting consideration for third, despite his odd illness that kept him from pitching a key matchup in early September.

Dontrelle Willis, N.L. Rookie of the Year. He energized that Marlins pitching staff. I think he's the big reason why the Marlins are in the post season now. Webb and Posednik rounding out the voting.

Matsui, A.L. Rookie. Like I said.

And the Cubs made it to the playoffs. I haven't been as happy in a while.

And, you can't argue with a season that has two teams, the Cubs and the Red Sox, with 180 combined years of post-season futility between them, making the post season in yet one more attempt to rectify their position.
Bush and Putin

There is a 13-year-old still inside of me that smiles whenever he thinks that the leaders of two of the most powerful countries on Earth are named Bush and Putin (Pootin').

Whenever I look at Putin, I'm kind of glad he's not the one who was looking over the desk at us during the cold war. He looks cold. Like a Terminator. Like he doesn't have the same emotions as you or me. Like it would mean all the same to him to shake your hand or remove your eye with a caviar spoon. Nor would he think twice about sending 10,000 nukes at various targets in America.

Is there such a thing as a caviar spoon? Or do you use a fork?

And whenever Bush and Putin get together, it's like some ill-conceived buddy comedy.

This isn't at all like Clinton and Yeltsin. I just remember the footage from a tape they advertised called "Presidential Bloopers," and it's Clinton and Yeltsin standing shoulder to shoulder, laughing their asses off at something (I believe a photographer had back into a fountain, and fallen in, but I don't remember for sure).

But Putin looks like if he still carries a length of piano wire in the sleeve of his coat. And at some point, Bush is talking (and talking and talking...about strategery), and Putin pulls the piano wire from his coat. An aide stops Putin just as he's gotten behind Bush, and is preparing to put the piano wire around Bush's throat.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

the Cubs

You know, you hate to have such an emotional investment in something as inconsequential as a baseball game.

But damn. This is the best I've felt in a long time.

Didn't get the second game in Nashville. Saw the highlights on SportsCenter.

I'd have given my left nut to have been at Wrigley today.

God love those Brewers.

But there's a little bitterness in amidst all this sweet. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are two of my favorite players who have never played for the Cubs. Both of those guys have come to play, day-in and day-out for more than a decade each.

I was secretly hoping the Cubs and Astros would both find a way to overtake the Fish, and the second place team would make the playoffs.

Like I said. I'd have given up kidney function to have been at Wrigley today.

But here's to even bigger and better things...in a just a few days.
Fox 17 is OF THE DEVIL

Okay. I don't care if it is the vaunted "second-to-last" game at historic (crappy) Veterans Stadium. The Braves have decided their fate. This game, while not completely meaningless, shouldn't be the primary game on Fox this weekend.

Fox 17, WZTV, out of Nashville, has decided to show it, though.

Both the Cubs and the Astros are playing arguably the two most important games in the Major Leagues this Saturday.

But I'm stuck with the Phillies/Braves.

Nashville's Fox affiliate sucks.

I think I'll burn it down.

They just made the list.

Lighten up, Francis.

I really ought not write posts when I'm first getting up in the morning. At least, I should give a few minutes to let the coffee or the Diet Pepsi take hold. The typographical errors are horrendous.

I wrote "of" when I meant "off."

I wrote "I" instead of "In."

I wrote "Republican Party" when I meant "minivan."

I wrote "by" when I meant "buy."

You know how it goes.
Mark Grace retiring

Just saw the ESPN news story on Mark Grace announcing his retirement.

I felt like the Cubbies letting Mark go was a mistake. What a perfect guy to train Hee Seop Choi, whom we were hearing about even in 2000.

And in 2001, what was the big thing we were missing before we picked up Fred McGriff? A left handed bat behind Sammy.

I'm glad Mark went to Arizona, though, and got himself a World Series ring. Mark's an old school player. He played the game right.

Here's an idea: Let Steve Stone and his consortium buy the Expos, move them to Vegas, and put Mark in the broadcast booth with Chip Caray. And then one day, Mark can just shove Chip out of the booth and say "I'm going to call this shit myself."

I keep my old VHS tapes in an old Mayfield's milk crate (with the date 9/79 stamped on it). Normally, I keep it in the hall closet. But I took it out a week ago to look for something. In doing so, I found a copy of American Movie, which I'd apparently dubbed off HBO back before the cable company realized they'd given HBO to us by mistake. I'd forgotten altogether about having a copy.

Check it out if you haven't. Mike is asked to do some audio looping. When he's asked to scream into the microphone, you witness probably the greatest catharsis ever captured on film.

But anyway, I've kept the crate out, just because of all the neat stuff I'm finding in there. My tape of Clash of Champions VI, in which Ricky Steamboat wrestles Ric Flair two out of three falls. My tape of a couple of movies off Joe Bob Briggs' old Monstervision show on TNT.

My favorite, though is the tape of baseball's 1971 All Star game, which I bought off Ebay, before Major League Baseball went apeshit over that little violation of their copyright. Can I just say that if MLB is so up in arms over someobdy buying an old All Star Game, and they're able to stop people from selling it, couldn't they try to make these things readily available? Copying technology is so cheap you could almost take orders and copy something to a DVD just as quickly as the order comes in.

But I digress.

The crate is still out because I'm finding stuff, and also because I'm too lazy to pick it up and put it back in the closet. So it's there, next to the couch, wedged up againt the end table. It juts out about three or four inches from the couch.

Just enough to catch your little toe on it when you walk by it.

I've done it a couple of times, and my roommate did it just a few minutes ago.

Why does that frigging hurt so much?

It's one of the kinds of pain that they'll give you in Hell, I'm fairly sure.

I'm going to put it back in the hall closet, now.
A Recommendation

I'm going to give a "shout out" to Jim Dandy Smile's Apple Butter. Because it tastes good. And I think it's made with crack. Because in the space of a week I've eaten nearly 17 jars. And I think I shot a man tonight at the gas station. It's been like living a dream about wheatcakes. I don't think I've been sleeping, though. But I've not been awake either. I'm living in a liminal state, called South Dakota, and they aren't letting me gamble here because I don't have any money, and I'm not desperate enough to put out. Yet. My shoes are merely stapled together copies of the Guinness Book of World Records. I spent the better part of the evening trying to make sense out of an episode of Diff'rent Strokes, when my roommate told me that the television wasn't even on. I decided that if he wanted to, Eeyore could have kicked all their asses.

Eat it on toast. Or with your hands. Or drink it out of the jar. I don't really care, just so long as I have an unending supply. If you touch mine, I'll cut ya.

Friday, September 26, 2003

More Funny

I just bought a new video camera, but I'm afraid to turn it on, because Ariana Huffington will knock me over to get in front of it.

--Comedian on the Bob and Tom Show.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Last Meal?

I watched Run, Ronnie, Run this afternoon, and saw Ronnie's death row dilemma in deciding his last meal (he skips the filet mignon and lobster, and has trouble deciding between his favorites: corn dogs or waffles).

I got to thinking what my last meal would be, were I a condemned man.

I think I'd get the deep fried pickles from Toot's, a double bacon cheeseburger (with cheddar cheese), perhaps from Fat Mo's, a couple of chicken fingers with honey mustard and a couple of peanut butter cookies. Don't know what I'd drink. Maybe a Labatt's. Maybe just a Coke. Or a sweet tea.

The roommate said he'd probably go with an Extra Large Papa John's pizza with everything, since he wouldn't have to worry about the heartburn or the gastric distress.


At dinner, Julie said she'd also go the Pizza route, but she'd get Pepperoni, from Pizza Hut.

Jason, at first being silly and saying popcorn kernels that would pop when he went to the electric chair, finally fessed up and said he'd ask for Lobster.

Just curious what anybody else who's reading would take as their last meal. Comments?
Chinese TV

You know, I'm not terribly keen on whole Communism/Human Rights Violation/Piracy of American Media thing China has going on over there.

But I think they have the right idea with this:

China has banned unappetizing commercials during meal time.

Generally, I eat in front of the TV. And I don't know how many times I've had a meal (generally, I eat chili) interrupted by an ad for some ailment: the roids, diarrhea, feminine hygiene.

Personally, all these medicines they advertise, too, bother me. What with all the side effects. You don't want to hear about these when you're eating, do you? You can take NoMuke for your allergies, but side effects may include: Upset Stomach. Heartburn. Diarrhea. Dry Mouth. Burning Lungs. Nosebleeds. Vomiting. Hole in your side. Weeping Jesus. Oozing sores. Hungry Hippoes. Clammy Palms. Sore Teeth. Scary Skeleton. Fainting. Nausea. the Shakes. The Vapors. Inflamed Sphincter. Craig T. Nelson. Chewy Granola. Swollen Tongue. Swollen Nose. Swollen Eyelids. Penis Envy. Illiteracy. Cirrhosis of the liver. Ford Bronco. The Hives. Formal Dinner. Sore pinky finger.

Yeah. I haven't finished a bowl of chili in weeks.
A classy way to honor John Ritter

And while it's bothered me the accolades and attention that have come his way since his departure, on the Disney Lot, they seemed to have done something right concerning his death, as Mark Evanier reports in his blog.
Shawn Estes and the Chicago Cubs

You know, I've been wincing since May, any time I saw Shawn Estes' spot in the rotation come up.

And he's only gotten worse over the course of the season. I was praying for the savior that was Juan Cruz, only to see him get rocked almost as badly--gotta teach that kid to stop relying on emotion and just depend on his stuff.

But it didn't make me like Estes, either.

So I winced when I saw Estes was pitching against the Reds. Despite a lineup full of kids younger than me (which is pretty much the first time I've ever seen it--I'm just 26), I knew the Reds could hit the ball. A couple of guys in their lineup were playing in Chattanooga a couple of weeks ago when Steven and I hit the game the Sunday before Labor Day.

I don't know if Estes came out rested and inspired, or if the Reds were just young and inexperienced. But I've never seen so many guys fooled by a slow, looping breaking ball.

Four games left. One game up. We have one more with the Reds, and three with the Pirates. And given our performance against the determined-to-spoil-somebody's-season Pirates last weekend, I'm nervous.

David Justice and his ESPN announce partner were talking about the Red Sox and the Cubs, and how their fans are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The Astros have four with the Brew Crew. Would the Brewers please give another team in the Central as much trouble as they seem to give the Cubs? Please?

Is it just me, or has this baseball season just shot by?

Note to any Cubs fans not in the Chicagoland area, unhappy with the lack of WGN games, make sure to check ESPN today and this weekend. They may surprise us and show the game, since the Cubs are in contention, and the Central is one of two or three races (did the Red Sox clench the AL Wildcard last night?) that hasn't been decided. Sure it's not Chip and Steve, but it's the Cubs on TV.

I bought some toothpaste. At Fred's. Ultra-Brite is the brand.

And now I can't find it. I left my Arm and Hammer at the folks' house. And I don't know where I've put my new tube of toothpaste. It's in my apartment somewhere.

I don't know where it is.

I used Comet to scour my teeth clean this morning.

But I need regular toothpaste. Because it's too hard to fit that entire scrub brush into my mouth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


You know, I got no real use for Tony LaRussa.

But if we're going to start suspending people for saying bad things about the umpires...including things like umpires holding grudges...

Then the umpires need to be a little thicker skinned.

And they need to do a little better job than they've been doing. Period. This season, it seems like I've seen more bad umpiring than I've seen in my entire life. And they need to be held visibly accountable for their actions when they screw up or go out of their way to bait a player or manager.

And they need to stop holding grudges.

Against Tony LaRussa. Because he's going to run his mouth.

Because he's an oversmart crybaby.

(But he's right. This time. About the umpires.)
What have you done for me lately?


To borrow a phrase or three:

If you love me, you'll buy me this.

Dude! He eats planets for Heaven's sake!

And, he's the only Transformer to be closely tied to Orson Welles!

So. Do what you must.

I thank you.
More Funny

Heard on the radio this morning:

Why does a bass player carry a turd in his pocket?

In case he needs to show his ID.

Wokka Wokka Wokka
An astounding number

From Warren Ellis:

There are now 260 million pages of porno on the internet.

That's almost a page per person in America. That's right around a page for every 20 people in the world. And when you consider the fraction of those who have access and are on the internet, that means there's more than enough porn for everybody.

My roommate says he's only been to about 235 million of them.
the Redbirds

Stupid Cardinals. They're just 3.5 games out. Not eliminated yet. If the Cardinals come back to win it all, I'm going to burn down St. Louis.

It's a small chance.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Big League Chew

I spoke about Big League Chew earlier. And how I bought some. And chewed a whole heaping mouthful like a doofus. Chewing so much gum that it's hard to breathe.

It occurred to me that somebody might not know for sure what Big League Chew is. It's bubblegum that comes in a pouch, not unlike chewing tobacco.

You can see why it's not readily available.

And the gum comes in strings about like spaghetti, about two inches in length.

And you can chew as much as your fingers can pinch.

And it's been terribly hard to find.

But I found some. They had some at my local video rental outlet, but they wanted like 1.85 a pouch. What a bunch of garbage. However they are Middle Tennessee's leading purveyor of Toshiro Mifune.

Found the Big League Chew at Big Lots. Chew at your own risk.

Note to the wise: Don't blow giant bubbles while you're driving. It's "dangerous."

Here's the Big League Chew official Website.

I'd bet Randy Johnson could chew two whole pouches at the same time.
Banned Book Week

It's a little late in the week, but better late than never. It is banned book week.

Here's the list of the 100 most challenged books

I've read 25 of them, including all the Harry Potter books, but just one of the Goosebumps books.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is probably my favorite book of all time. Of Mice and Men is another favorite. Flowers for Algernon is one of the few books that's actually brought me to tears.

Whenever somebody challenges Huck, it makes me laugh, but it also makes me sad. Generally, they object to the racism and the racist language in the story. But if they'd actually read the book, one of the most important passages in the book comes when Huck comes to the realization that he'd rather judge Jim by merits rather than his color.

It's also got one of the funniest scenes in all of literature, when Tom and Huck want to stage a grand prison escape for Jim, but in order to accomplish this, they break Jim out of his makeshift jail in order to round up all the materials necessary.

The irony, to me, is that the people that challenge these books (especially in the state of Tennessee), are the people that generally aren't even capable of reading books on the level of a Toni Morrison or a J.D. Salinger, or even a J.K. Rowling.

Go read one of the books. Or better yet! If you have a school age child, read the book with your school age child! It'll piss an ignorant Bible Belter off, especially if you check the book out of a school or public library.

Personally, I think if these people spent a little more time at home parenting their children and a little less time ranting in public forums about why Harry Potter is of the Devil, we'd be doing a little better as a society than we are now.

Links seen at a Moveable Beast and at A Perfectly Cromulent Blog.
Giants with a tenspot!

Kerry Wood and the Chicago Cubs shut out the Reds tonight. I didn't look until just now.

But the better news? My new second-favorite National League team, the San Francisco Giants, put a 10-spot on the board against the Ass-Trolls (with appreciative props to the Uncouth Sloth).

Somebody call Hell and tell them to check the thermostat. Am I rooting for Barry Bonds?

Just this one night. And tomorrow night.

Did you ever change pants in the middle of the day? And in doing so, did you forget to transfer the contents of your pockets from the first pair to the second pair of pants?

And then later, you put your hand into your pocket, to get your billfold out, and you have that moment of terror where your billfold isn't where it should be?

That's a good metaphor for how today's been.

Or is it?

I'm not impressed with drivers from Illinois today. Are any of my sevens of readers from Illinois? I know I've got a few Cubs fans who come here. Can they explain this to me? The two types of Illinois drivers I'm seeing are either cruising along at 12 mph in the passing lane, or they're riding on your bumper....no...they're riding up in your butthole in the right hand lane.

Are the lanes reversed in Illinois?

And that tan Dodge pickup? You're why I hate people on cellphones. I know your conversation is important, but not important enough to sit at a green light for nearly the whole cycle when I've absolutely got to find the bathroom. And that stuff where you waited an extra couple of seconds so you could go through the light and I'd miss it? That was just petty.

I was nearing an explosive scatalogical incident, known around Casa de Big Stupid Tommy as "the Blowout."

And screw Comcast, too! What's this shit where they change where the channels are on the TV? I'm trying to watch "the Joe Schmo Show," and Spike TV is suddenly not on channel 31 anymore! Also, the channel up button on my remote doesn't work very well.

And is anybody else watching Joe Schmo? Can it be for real? I mean, wouldn't and couldn't the guy (Matt), who is the butt of a fake reality TV joke, end up suing the hell out of the producers? Especially in our litigious society?


On the upside, found Big League Chew at Big Lots. There's nothing that says "I'm not grownup yet" by chewing a wad of gum that's way too big for your mouth.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Six Games

The Astros lost tonight to my new second favorite team, the San Francisco Giants. Judging from the box score (all I have, pity me), the Giants lit Billy Wagner up for three in the top of the ninth.

The Cubs and Astros are tied, with six games to play.

Do you know how long it's been since I gave a damn about the last week of the regular season?
The Howard Dean/Boston Red Sox Controversy

If you're here for enlightening political thought, go away. I don't get terribly political in my blog. For one thing, I feel there's enough of that in the blogosphere. I feel that most political commentary and/or dialog nowadays is about as interesting as two women in tube tops arguing on Jenny Jones who their babydady might be.

But there are three things I cannot condone in the political world:

1.) Censorship. I don't care for being told what's good for me by those who say they know better.
2.) The Excess Taxation of Liquor
and, most importantly:
3.) I will not stand a waffling of a political candidate on their favorite baseball team.

The first two are self-explanatory.

In pro wrestling, they've got cheap heat. One way to get heat (a negative reaction from the crowd), quickly and easily, is to run down the local sports team. If I'm wrestling in Boston, and I want to get the crowd to acknowledge me as the bad guy, then I'm going to denigrate the Red Sox, or the Celtics or the Patriots (depending on what sports season we're in).

It works like a charm.

In the political arena, we have the opposite.

Most politicians, when they acknowledge sports at all, will use it as a tool to ingratiate themselves to the populace. Hillary Clinton was pretty good at this. Remember when she was the first lady, and she came to Wrigley to sing and talked about how long she'd been a Cubs fan and how she and her family came to Wrigley and all that jazz.

But what happens when she goes to run for the Senate in New York? The most dangerous place to be was between Hillary and her New York Yankees baseball cap.

That's why this stuff with Howard Dean and the Red Sox bugs me.

I don't like Howard Dean. Let alone all that stuff where he's smug, condescending and has something of an inability to relate to people. Has nobody else noticed that he treats everybody like they're below him, even in interviews? Odd from a man who's working the blogosphere, trying to transform himself into a man of the people.

None of that's important.

The man switched allegiances in his baseball teams, without sufficient reason.

In my book, that's right on the verge of blasphemy.

I don't buy that you can change allegiances, especially between rivals like the Sox and the Yankees. And be trustworthy about it.

Especially when you're trading from the Evil Empire to the underdog of underdogs (at least in the American League).

I'm a big believer that unless your team betrays you (a'la the Brooklyn Dodgers), you never trade allegiances. Not completely. You root for the Diamondbacks while you're living in Phoenix, but when the Cardinals come to town (if you're a Cardinals fan), you root for the Cardinals.

You don't change allegiances. And the person that does, without just cause, isn't to be trusted. I don't know if it's because a leopard doesn't change its spots. But I don't trust a person who changes allegiances.

And changing to a Sox fan when the Yankees have done nothing but win? When you're a politician living in an area populated by Sox fans?

The best thing you could do would be just not bring it up.

But I know some of you people are going to pooh pooh me and say baseball's just a game. But to me, it's the closest thing I have to a religion. And there are a lot of people who believe similarly. And if you're able to throw around an allegiance like that, you're going to end up insulting more people than you'll be drawing toward you, ultimately.

Just call it a small survey sample.

All of which reminds me.

It's an old joke.

There's a surprising lack of zoning laws in McMinn County. So if you want to build a junkyard right next to a church and a school, you've got no laws on the books stopping you.

So I asked, hypothetically speaking, if I set up a strip club in the field next to my parents' house, what could the county do?

Mom said: "Little things. There are obscenity laws, but with zoning, you'd probably have a hard time getting a liquor license, for example."



"Hell, Mom. I don't want to liquor. I just want to watch her take her clothes off."

I really shouldn't be writing when I'm this sleepy.

Is it just me, or is this Broncos/Raiders Monday Night Football game just about the most boring meeting between the two ever?
Monday Thoughts

I don't know where you are, but on this Monday in McMinn County, Tennessee, it's a rainy, rainy sumbitch.

You haven't seen a rock and a hard place until you've seen a pug who really has to take a crap, but doesn't like to go out into the rain. He would look at the rain, then he would look at his ass. As pensively as possible.

Scary moments this past Sunday at Say Uncle's house. Listen to your bodies, guys (and gals). This is not something you want to screw around with.

And over at a Perfectly Cromulent Blog, he hits on something I've thought about, but never was compelled to write about: John Ritter was a fine performer. But shouldn't his death have been an afterthought on the same day Johnny Cash died? Maybe I'm biased. But Pete asks if Ritter warranted the big teary tribute from Henry Winkler (you know? the Fonz) that lasted entirely too long.

It was overblown, because Ritter wasn't that great an icon. I personally rank him along the same lines as a Ted Danson, a Tom Selleck or even a Henry Winkler, a Jane Curtin or Alf: all solid, long-time performers, but not terribly important in the long run.

And it was overblown when guys like Fred Rogers died, as well. Didn't see any big tribute to Fred Rogers. How many people grew up with A wonderful day in the neighborhood? It was nice to see Fred get the final word in the list of famous TV people who died, but still.

Bob Hope warrants a speech. John Ritter did not.

Personally, I'm also a little ill with ABC, promoting the hell out of the first three episodes of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter: See Ritter's historic last episodes.


Sunday, September 21, 2003

The Awards Shows

I was Miss America in 1997. Anything that's happened on the pageant after that, is simply gravy. I didn't cry nearly as much when I won.

I won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1989, for my work on L.A. Law, as Victor Sifuentes. I cried a whole lot more than anybody else when I won that. I mean, seriously, I was a blubbering mess. Timothy Busfield and Burt Young had to haul my off by my coattails.

Also, the views on Television's Self-Congratulatory Ceremony:

It was nice to see Tony Shalhoub get some recognition for Monk. It's probably my favorite show that I never get to watch. And while you don't want to chastise a show for having too much characterization, I think that's what's keeping Monk from being a great show: too much attention upon Monk and his relationship with the other characters, not enough on the mystery portions of the show.

Conan O'Brien's segment on tonight's Emmy's was probably the funniest. When he growled at the dancing girl, not knowing if she'd be paid or not? That's good comedy.

And normally I like Wanda Sykes. But her segments in the audience were among the most irritating in recent television memory. Was it just me or did Bill Cosby and Larry David put her down in succession?

Most of the show, I read my book (Ferrol Sams' When All the World was Young), which I'm terribly close to finishing. Can't remember taking this long with a book in a while (a couple of weeks). Sams packs a lot of words into his phrase-spinning. Don't know why this one's taken me so long. I think I didn't want to miss anything. Sams spins a good phrase.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Now that's a rivalry

From Leaning Toward the Dark Side

A Giants fan seems to have shot a Dodgers fan after their game last night at Dodger Stadium.

Now, I can appreciate having passion for you team. But when you've managed to vilify the other team in your own mind to the point you want to kill their fans. Well. Maybe you need a couple more hobbies to keep your ass busy.

My parents are Braves fans, and I'm a Cubs fan, and this has led to no particular discontent in our relationships, even when the Braves knocked the Cubs out in 98.

I mean, sure, my Dad and I engage in a battle of wits over such things (which, when you think about it, is much akin to a shove fight between pre-schoolers over their favorite toy), but we've not managed to elevate the animosity beyond making jokes about how ugly the other is.

Friday, September 19, 2003

The Cubs

Peggy commented on the travesty that is WGN showing only three more games from here on out. What a bunch of hooey.

What's more, I'm over in East TN, at the folks house. And apparently they stare at the sky and light fires for entertainment, because they've seen fit to live the past 14 years with only the antenna.

Part of it's because we're too far out to run cable.

But they just don't want a satellite.

And all that's fine. Except when I don't get to watch SportsCenter in the morning.

But I digress.

the Cubs won the first game of their double header with the Pirates, 10-9. I like the win. I don't like seeing Zambrano lit up, because I also had him going on my fantasy team, and I'm losing in the league championship to Joebo. Zambrano didn't help in that regard.

But the Cubs won, so I won't complain.

The Astros are also winning something like 8-1 in the ninth. If the Cardinals get swept again, I might have to give Tony LaRussa a talking to.

The Cubs are currently losing 6-3 in the second game of their double header. That sucks.

Yeah. This was the post where I talk all boringly about baseball.
the Friday Five

Finally some decent questions from the Friday Five.

1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?

Smartass answer: Andy Williams. Because his songs are the prettiest.

Serious answer: the Early R.E.M. The songs were smart, they could be artsy or fun and there's nothing more fun than out Stipe-ing Michael Stipe when you're singing.

2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?

Toby Keith. Bill asked the excellent question: Why couldn't he have died instead of Johnny Cash? Overexposure is the biggest reason. I don't listen to much country, but any time I do, there's the Giant, Toby Keith.

3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?

Never having met any member of R.E.M., I can't say for sure. Stipe seems a little artsy and pretentious for my tastes, but he shows an odd sense of humor now and then that I think I could dig.

I really would have liked to have met Johnny Cash

4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?

Not many. Too expensive. Plus, I have extraordinarily bad taste in music.

My guilty pleasure band is AC/DC. But I was on an anti-AC/DC kick when they played at Murphy Center...a mere 3000 feet from my house. And I decided I didn't want to go. Because I'm stupid.

If you won't laugh, I'll tell you that I probably enjoyed seeing Ray Stevens when I was, like, 9 more than any other show. Just because every body else seemed to be having a good time, too.

Stop laughing.

5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?

As a person who would one day like to make a living off of my created work...I would like to be paid for my labors.

The problem is, the people who think it's right to be downloading music (or movies or written works) without paying aren't trying to screw the artists. They're trying to screw the record companies.

The record companies really, really suck. They're the ones taking the money out of artists' pockets.

What the record companies need to do is find a way to capitalize on the downloading craze instead of cracking down on file swapping. That way they can pay the artists and get paid themselves.

The RIAA's pursuit is a desperate act by a desperate entity. I think they see themselves as badly outmoded, and instead of using the technology and ingenuity to catch up, they are instead entrenching themselves in the past and choosing to operate by fear and intimidation.
More Talk Like a Pirate

In honor of the Cubs series this weekend:

"We're going to sweep the Cubs in four this weekend while the Astros sweep the Cardinals in three and completely break the hearts of very nearly every baseball fan out there."

Talk Like a Pirate, Jim Leyland edition:

"What do you mean there's no smoking in the dugout?"

Talk Like a Pirate, Andy Van Slyke edition

"They kept me instead of Barry Bonds."

Talk Like a Pirate, Tike Redman edition

"My name rhymes with Mike, not Leaky."

Talk Like a Pirate, Kevin McClatchy edition

"I hate Pittsburgh and the Pirates' fans."
Talk Like a Pirate Day

It's September 19th, and you know what that means, right?

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day.


"I'm going to make copies of American CDs, Movies and Computer Software and sell them cheaply, all for profit, in my home country of China."

How'd I do?

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Hurricane Isabel

Does anybody else get an odd sense of enjoyment watching CNN reporters getting kicked and blown around by hurricane force winds? My favorite so far was the CNN reporter who couldn't weigh 110 pounds bracing herself against a large concrete planter, bent nearly in half by the force of the winds.

You know some producer in Atlanta is laughing his ass off, as well.
The dream

Had a dream last night that my sister was keeping an alien from the Sigourney Weaver movies in the basement at my parents' house. Because she thought it was cute.
Volunteer Tailgate Party

C.J. at Up For Anything is hosting the latest edition of the Volunteer Tailgate Party.

Lots of good reading.
Me so Hungy

Other people do this, right? I get snippets of dialog in my head. Like you might get a song in in your head, but speaking. If a piece of dialog from a movie, or the radio, or a TV show, even a conversation strikes my fancy, I'll run it over and over in my head.

Sometimes, I think it's so I'll write it down. I find that my friends Jill and Larry J. both have a way of saying things so that I would want to remember them.

Generally, I'll write it down. Sometimes to use them in stories or something.


Sometimes I'll get a snippet of dialog in my head, and I won't know exactly where it came from. And it'll bug me almost as much as getting a song trapped in my brain.

Today's was "Me so Hungy." My mind kept having Homer Simpsons saying "Me so Hungy."

I knew it was Homer Simpson's. I couldn't remember the exact circumstances.

Or actually, I kind of remembered, but talked myself out of the right answer. Even when Bill suggested the right answer, I couldn't accept it.

But Bill was right.

The episode of The Simpsons in question is Hungry, Hungry Homer, in which Homer discovers his beloved teah, the Isotopes (Springfield's minor league baseball team) is moving to Albuquerque. The owner of the team denies this. Homer stages a hunger strike to protest the owner's dishonesty.

The owner (H.K. MacDuff) moves Homer to the centerfield grandstand. After 12 days, Homer gives up, and wants to eat.

The exchange between MacDuff and Homer:

H. K. Duff VIII: Well, Homer, your hunger strike lasted 12 amazing days.

Homer: Me so hungy.

I was wrong. Bill was right.

I would do well to remember that.

And you would too.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

More Funny

Another from Say Uncle.

Remember what I said about dogs wearing hats?

Dog + Hat = Hilarity

It's funny because dogs don't wear hats, unless we put them on them.

And once they're on, the dogs seem so happy to be wearing them.

Ever tried to put a hat on a cat? Most cats hate it. Pisses them off.

But dogs really dig it. Just look at them.

SayUncle's dog, Politically Incorrect Dog, wearing a hat.

A horse is not a dog. I like dogs better. You can't wrestle very well with a horse. If you do, you're liable to lose, and lose badly. And as such, it's not quite the same thing. Peggy's entry made me smile, though:

From a Moveable Beast: Hat.
Cubs win! Cubs win!

With the Kerry Wood shutout, the Cubs guaranteed themselves a winning season. I said a small prayer back around my birthday (Dear Superman, please let the Cubs have a winning season). Looks like he came through.

Now let's win the whole shebang.

Just for shits and giggles.

Late Night Update: The Astros lost (for once). Puts the Cubbies 1/2 a game back.
Ignore Paris Hilton

At the behest of a couple of people, we now should start ignoring Paris Hilton, until she starts showing some tangible reason we should be talking about her. Singing. Doing comedy. Playing Basketball. Running for Governor.


Until such time.

Just woke up.

What are you people doing in my living room?

Thanks I'll be here all week.

Scary talk on Coast to Coast AM about the volcanic potential in Yellowstone. By the way, Art Bell will be back hosting Coast to Coast on the weekend editions. And he'll be doing it from the High Desert in the Kingdom of Nye.

I've been reading Ferrol Sams' When All the World was Young, about Porter Osborne Jr.'s experiences in the second World War. As a result, I've dreamt about WW2 a couple of times the past couple of nights.

I fixed a link in the post from real early this morning. It's to a picture of a dog named Gromit wearing a Santa cap. And it's very funny to me.

You'd think that I'd learn not to do anything complicated when I've been up for that long.

Yeah. You would think that.
Reading Material

Here are a few blogs I'm reading, and think you should too, because I'll be quizzing you*.

Hi, I'm Black. I won't link to any specific post, because he's a good read from top to bottom. I got a kick out of the fear he put into himself over whether he'd given his blog e-mail address on a work e-mail or not. He was also doing a fantasy round of fights between the Rocky villains. He's got an entertaining blog that I've taken to checking a couple of times a day.

Pizza Dreaming. I've linked a couple of times to this blog in the past week. I read it because it makes me laugh. It's got two of my favorite things: Toilet humor and Dogs in Hats.

I've been linked to Say Uncle since I joined the Rocky Top Brigade. But his is one of the blogs I'll check in the morning and the evening. He posted this story, about how to bring the heat back to your relationship...or something along those lines. Come to think of it, I think I got the link to Hi, I'm Black from him, because I remember him saying he enjoyed the Mr. T motif.

I also enjoy the Mr. T motif, Glenn.

And lastly, the Evil Hippy, who apparently had a really, really good day at the buffet bar at the Kentucky Fried Chicken. He's a man of simple tastes.

Also, the Evil Hippy punched me today, twice. I only got one back in retaliation. He feels that we're even, he says, since he was in the right to punch me unprevoked the first time.

Some people, he said, are just good and right, like him. And some people are just constantly walking in the wrong, and deserving of correction, like Big Stupid Tommy.

*the quiz was a lie, said through a false smile mostly to get attention.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


Yeah. I was giving his site my daily readthrough (you know, to check for mistakes), and I saw that Glenn Reynolds gets more readers in an hour as I get here in a couple of months.

He may have readers. But I've got something he doesn't have:

A toy cheeseburger that turns into a robot.

And his name is Ghandi.

And he keeps me company.

And I wouldn't trade his conversation for all the counter hits in the world.
The Errors at Wrigley

Is there something up with the lights at Wrigley tonight? Both the Mets and the Cubs are misjudging fly balls like mad. I'd chalked it up, at first, to the Mets outfielders being young and unfamiliar with the field. But both Sammy and Moises Alou seemed to badly misjudge fly balls, as well.
Will Ferrell in Confederacy of Dunces?

I'm trying to make my mind up about the rumor that Will Ferrell may soon be tapped to portray Ignatius Reilly, found on Ain't It Cool.

First, if you haven't read John Kennedy Toole's Confederacy of Dunces, stop what you're doing, run to the bookstore (or library), quit your job and read the book. It's one of my favorites. Absolutely hilarious (and occasionally disturbing).

If you're unfamiliar, it concerns itself with the merry misadventures of Ignatius Reilly, of New Orleans, an elephantine lout who fancies himself a writer and social critic. He believes himself much maligned by both society and his mother, who makes him find gainful employment.

My favorite character is Jones, the black man who takes employment in the Night of Joy, a French Quarter Burlesque. Jones is largely the voice of reason throughout the book.

Anyway, largely through the efforts of Drew Barrymore and Steven Soderbergh, Confederacy's going to be made into a movie. And while I can't say I'm pleased with Ms. Barrymore apparently casting herself as Darlene, another of my favorite characters, I am happy (I think) that movement is being made toward getting a movie made of the book.

Could be one of the funniest movies ever made. Done correctly.

The other thing I need to say is that Will Ferrell has become one of my favorite comedic actors.

Inappropriate, exaggerated emotional responses to everday, ordinary occurrences are among my favorite parts of comedy (and pro wrestling, now that I think of it).

I hated Will Ferrell, initially. I hated a lot of the cast of Saturday Night Live when he was a part of it. What brought me over to his camp, though, was the skit (with Christine Baranski) where he screamed at his children who were off screen: "Get off the Shed!" Over and over. Loudly, and inappropriately angrily.

A better illustrator of what I mean can be found at the end of Old School, in which Ferrell's character suddenly violently turns on a new Fraternity pledge, who questions him on the seriousness of his order.

Okay. That all said....I don't know how much I see Will Ferrell as Ignatius Reilly.

And I'm trying to put my finger on why not. Maybe I'll write more later.
Celebrity Idiocy

I know having a show on the UPN hardly qualifies you as a celebrity.


When did Dan Cortese start pronouncing his last name "Kor-Tay-Zee?"

So that it kind of rhymes with Scorcese?

Yeah. Looks like someone's talent isn't enough to distinguish him, so he's taken to being a little uppity and pronouncing the name uniquely.

But some of us remember MTV Sports, when he was just simple old Dan Cor-tez.

One of the few skits The State did that openly mocked somebody was one where Kevin Allison portrayed Dan Cortese on the golf course. (Golf! Golf! Golf is a game! Golf is a game that you play!) He asked one golfer: What's your name, dude?

And golfer, who was not Frank Sinatra, replied: "Frank Sinatra...leave us the hell alone, please."

For some reason, the soundbite is even funnier than the TV set up. Look under Kevin Allisons's section, somewhere along the third or fourth episode for the sound in question.

Also: the funny of the day, from Bob Zany:

"Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez split up. Looks like they got as bored of each other as we were already."

Monday, September 15, 2003

Toilet Humor

Yeah, if don't like toilet humor, you shouldn't read it.

Otherwise, this made me laugh for a long, long time.
Cubs thoughts, which meander

Peggy, over at A Moveable Beast, has a few nice things to say about the Cubs.

A short discussion has begun on her comment section about the life and times of a Cub Fan in Tennessee.

WGN spawned a lot of Cubs fans nationwide, I think. I started watching the Cubs in 1983 or so, though 1984 was the first season I started remembering stats and understanding wins and losses. And I can remember keeping track, knowing when the Cubs were home. Because I knew that when I got home from school around 3:30 or so, the Cubbies would be somewhere in the fifth inning or so.

Now, I don't know what the TV situation is like up around Chicago and otherwhere when it comes to the Cubs.

But here in Middle Tennessee, we have WGN. And they show something like 11 games a year. I mean, tonight, with the Cubs playing the Mets, they're showing re-runs of Becker and Will and Grace...which are fine television programs, I'm sure.

But if it's not Becker, it's the Rockford Files. Or Rambo. Or some other dumbass shit which I can't believe anybody really wants to see.

Except Rocky. They showed Rocky the other night. Can't hate on Rocky.

But it ain't the Cubs.

Our Fox Sports Affiliate on our cable is Fox Sports: Backwoods. It is absolutely the most worthless Fox Sports Affiliate I've ever seen. They'll show Nashville Predators games during hockey season....and beyond that, they show hunting shows, the "Best Damn Sports Show, Period" and that 54321 Extreme Sports Show. And nothing else. They've shown something like two Braves games this year, that I've seen.

ESPN isn't much better, tonight. They're showing some back woods reality game show on the main channel, and a billiards trick shot show on ESPN 2.

There was a day that you could go to the internet, and listen to the radio feed on the Cubs site. But noooooo. Major League Baseball, under the direction of a used car salesman, decided to make you pay to listen to the radio feeds.

Paying for radio, to me, even for the Cubs, is ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

The good thing? When the Cubs play a night game....And the atmosphere is right.....I can pick up WGN radio clear as a bell. All the way here in Tennessee. During the day? not so much.

But tonight....it's clear as a bell. And as such, I'm a happy, happy Big Stupid Tommy. The second happy is because the Cubs are winning, as I write, 4-1.

Other thoughts on WGN: I think fans of the 80's G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoons owe a lot to WGN. That's how I saw them.

And the Bozo Show! Ye Gods! There isn't anything on kids' television nowadays that can compare with the Bozo Show!

And Bozo's Grand Prize Game? I think I'd still sell my soul to be an At-Home player for the Grand Prize Game.

I miss Cookie.

Wizzo! I got in trouble at Bible School for saying "Doody-Doody Doo"

I think I started liking Batman because every now and then Bozo would show a Batman cartoon.

Damn I miss the Bozo Show.
Big feet

I'm watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and the host Meredith Veira (sp?) is marveling at the size of the contestant's feet.

She even made him take his shoe off. What size, she asked?

13, the contestant replied.


I gotta have a 14 Wide banana boat to put on my foot.

And if Nike or Reebok make it, I gotta wear a 15.

At my old job, occasionally we'd have to sort shoes. Somebody would laugh or act astounded because they've run across a particularly large shoe.

I'd pick up the shoe, hold it sole to sole with my shoe. Without fail, it would be smaller.

And everybody would back away from me. Frightened. Perhaps afraid I would eat them...at the very least stomp on them.
See Puny Humans

Got a kick out of Warren's site today.

The internet is made up of people. It's something I think we all forget...or try to forget when we get online.

Go to the September 15th entry of Warren's blog and get a look at some of them.

A Japanese astronomer has predicted that Tokyo will fall victim to a major quake some time this week.

Reading this made me think of something I haven't thought about in a little while.

Maybe it was a phenomenon centered around McMinn County. Maybe that's why I bring it up: I was always curious.

I was in the seventh or eighth grade when this happened, which would put it around late 1989, 1990 or early 1991.

Does anybody else remember when some scientists predicted a lot of major quakes in the world based on the gravitation pull of the Moon and some of the planets which had fallen into an odd alignment?

Quakes were predicted in Turkey, and in Asia, and also along the New Madrid faultline. And the quake that was predicted along the New Madrid fault was supposed to be a biggie....along the lines of the quake in the early 1800's that made the Mississippi run backwards, was felt in Cincinnati and made church bells ring in Charleston.

People really took the prediction seriously. There were ads on TV for earthquake insurance and we actually had earthquake drills at my little school in Riceville, Tennessee.

And on the day and the time of the predicted quake, we all had to climb under our desks. Which was unpleasant for me, because I shared a double desk with a kid named Travis, who blamed his lack of deodorant use on his religious convictions.

I haven't thought about those days in a long time.

There was no earthquake, obviously. Otherwise, I'd think about it quite often.

Good times...good times.
Today's Funny

Heard on the Bob and Tom Show:

"The ballerina was so fat, she had to wear a threethree."
Sports Sunday


I'm not even going to dwell on how fugly the Titans looked against the Colts. The Titans fell victim to the same thing the Raiders fell victim to last week: their opponent was simply up for revenge.

But however pumped the Colts were....the Titans just played ugly football.

Actually, I fell asleep during the third quarter. My three hour night's sleep last night combined with the Claritin I took put me out for about an hour. When I woke up, the Titans and Colts were finished and they were at the start of the second quarter in the Eagles/Patriots game.

National League Central

The Cubs lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Reds. Zambrano pitched a near-gem, looking at the box score (which is what I had to do because damn WGN was showing the White Sox and not the Cubs--which is the source of my personal animosity towards the south siders). But the Cubs went hitless when they had runners in scoring position.

They won the series with the Reds. But they should have won this game, too.

On the upside, I think that pretty much wraps it up for the Cardinals. Too hard to climb 5 1/2 over the Astros.

Hell, it's going to be hard enough for the Cubs. The only thing that saves the Cubs is that they play the Mets, Pirates and Reds again from here on out, while the Astros have to play the Cardinals again for three and the Giants (for four? is that right?).

Rutherford County Invitational Sumo Basho and Krystal Eating Contest

Well, we got the Krystal Eating Contest in, and it was won by Takanohana, who downed an amazing 44 Krystals (which are the Southern equivalent of the White Castle, for those unfamiliar with the term) in the five minute contest. Dejima came in second, downing 40 in the same time period. Tennessee's own John Jay Hooker came in third, downing 38.

The Basho did not begin as planned. All who participated in the Krystal-eating contest who had also signed up to participate in the Basho were unable to wrestle. No specific reasons were given by any camp or stable.

However, many requests for more toilet paper were made by each of the camps and stables.

Plans are to rearrange the schedule for next year's competition....to hold the Krystal eating contest after the Basho.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

I didn't even go back to sleep. I went back to bed, but at 6:20, I just said "Screw It. I'm up."

I watched Ebert and Roeper. I agree with their two thumbs up stance on Once Upon a Time in Mexico. It's violent, but it's good. Rodriguez keeps up a frenetic pace throughout. Johnny Depp continues his streak from Pirates of the Caribbean: he just rules this movie. Eva Mendes is hot, by the way, and she manages to kick ass in the flick, too.

Rodriguez generally insists on real stuntwork, instead of CGI; as much as he can, anyway. That said, there are a couple of stunts that you had to ask yourself: How the hell did they do that?

Just saw where Shane Mosely beat Oscar de la Hoya by unanimous decision tonight. And de la Hoya is acting like a cry baby and vowing to hire investigators into the matter of the ring judges' decision.

What if they came back and told him: "We found out that you were too busy being a wuss and worrying about your pretty, pretty face to actually come out and fight and win a fight you should have won easily."

I shouldn't say that without having seen the fight.

But I'm fairly confident that I'm right, all the same.
More Fun with Search Strings

At this point in the night on a weekend, very few people are up actually looking for anything constructive on the internet.

I did get a hit from somebody doing an AOL search for "Stupid Tommy." But somebody was probably getting me confused with Little Stupid Tommy or Medium Stupid Tommy.

I'll say first that there are entirely too many people out there curious about/infatuated with Tommy Lee's junk. (Click here for a brief explanation of the term junk).

I do get quite a few hits for people looking for naked pictures of Keira Knightley, Stephanie McMahon and the NWA-TNA's Trinity.

And I've gotten a fair number of folks looking for pictures and sounds from Comedy Central's Reno 911. I applaud the desire, as I think the show's one of the best on TV right now. But I got no pictures here, and I don't record sounds off the TV. Anymore.

And the one I've gotten over is the nude pictures of Ariana Huffington. I mean, if I'm going to put her on the ignore list, then I'm going to show up on searches.

But the two that bothered me were

1.) Dead Johnny Cash sounds. Are they looking for sounds from Johnny from the great beyond? Otherwise, I don't think you need "Dead" to describe him. Show some respect.


2.) Nude pictures of "Double A" Arn Anderson. Arn Anderson is a favorite pro wrestler from back in the day. He's the Enforcer, the heart and soul of the Four Horsemen, and you'll always find him standing behind "the Nature Boy" Ric Flair. And as big a fan of him as I am....I got no nekkid pictures. Don't want or need any.

This bothered me the first time I saw it. And it bothers me more and more each time I see it. Because I don't know if it's several different people looking for the pictures, or if it's like one girl (or guy) in Pig's Knuckle who desperately searches in the hope that one day they'll appear.

And don't tell me that the more I write about these things the more I'll show up on search engines.

These are the things that make me laugh.
Notes from the Ass End of the Night, volume 281

I've been through with that cold I had for a few days now, but I never really got rid completely of the sinus congestion. I think the ragweed in the air's got something to do with it. I've got a pretty decent sinus headache, right now. Don't care much for it, to tell you the truth.

Whatever the cause, it's 4:45, and I'm awake.

It's also been one of those nights where I woke up from a dream with no idea of what the dream was about, but bothered by a recurring image from the dream. Not because that image is particularly disturbing or scary or anything like that. It's bothersome only because it just keeps popping back into your head, and it's like your mind, which is about 25% asleep/75% awake, wants to keep running scenario tests.

Tonight, it was walking around in a large city. Nothing too bad. Except that you keep trying to clear your mind to go back to sleep, and without fail, the whole thing where you're walking around in a large city keeps popping back into your head.

And like I said, different things pop up each time you almost fall asleep. It's like a thousand variations on a theme, with your mind just throwing out various scenarios:

Let's see what happens when we give everybody guns.

Wake all the way up. Fade back to sleep:

Okay....let's see what happens when we add....Donkey Kong.

So I got up to get a drink of hot water, take a decongestant (which sometimes causes bad dreams, as well) and see if I could clear my head just a little.

The last thing that kept me up? This was what got me up and out of bed.

Sometimes, listening to the radio or to a CD on low volume will help me. But tonight, I turned on the radio, and at every commercial break, an ad for a hemp shop up in Nashville would come on, and mid-ways through the commercial, somebody in the commercial screams in frustration. And that pops me all the way awake, each time it plays.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Cubs and Astros and Cardinals

The Cubs won 9-6 today. I think Mark Guthrie has become this week's Antonio Alfonseca. I'm thinking Guthrie might need three or four days' rest. Or something.

The Astros also won, shutting out the fast-fading Cardinals 2-0.

Dude. The Astros, who are still up one full game, are just as hot as the Cubs. If not hotter. They might be hard to catch.

If I were a Cardinals fan, I'm thinking tomorrow's game is absolutely a must-win situation. If they win tomorrow, they'll be 3 1/2 games back with three more games to play against the Astros.

But if they lose, they're 5 1/2 back. And with two weeks left in the season, that's damn near insurmoutable. Even if you sweep the Astros the next time you play them, you're still 2 1/2 back.

However. If there is a streaky division, it is the National League Central.
Paris Hilton

I don't have a long, angry rant to give here.

Just wanted to say that I'm perturbed at all the Paris Hilton I'm seeing in the media, lately.

I know I'm pretty oblivious when it comes to these things, but I hadn't even heard of her before this summer. And then, all of a sudden, she's all over MTV and Entertainment Tonite and those When Celebrities Attack specials they show on the E! Channel. And now you go to the grocery store and she's on the cover of some checkout lane magazine holding a dog. And she's on the cover of one of those Maxim-type magazines that isn't Maxim.

I'm just being completely inundated with Paris Hilton, and I feel completely unequipped to handle the barrage.

Somebody tell me. Is she just famous for being rich? Because I haven't heard of anything else important or noteworthy that she's even been tangentially related to.

I mean, if that's the case she's even more worthless than Melissa Rivers.

Just curious.
Ghostly Outrage

Yeah, infrasound may cause hallucinations and feelings of dread.

But can infrasound drink my beer?!?!?!?

Ghost or Scientific Phenomena. Either way, I'm a little pissed.

Friday, September 12, 2003


I've not cared for the Friday Five for much of the past month, so I've abstained. One question in particular from this week's edition caught my eye, though.

4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?

I've not had many good experiences with the name Jeremy. In fact, I can think four different guys named Jeremy (would that be Jeremies?) who have, at different points in my life, caused varying degrees of consternation.

One was from my church when I was growing up. One was from grade school. The other two were from college.

Add another if you count the Pearl Jam song, which has a tendency to get into my head and bounce around the insides for hours on end.

I don't hate the name. But it won't be an option when I go to naming my kids.

When it comes down to naming rights, I'm going to insist on Festus Gristledick.
The Man in Black

Johnny Cash has died.

He can rest now.

At the end of American IV, his last released album, Johnny covers "We'll meet again." When I was listening to the album for the first time, I was doing some cleaning. I stopped what I was doing, and leaned against the wall, and listened.

It was one of the saddest songs he's ever done.

It felt like, with that song, he was saying goodbye.

I think we'll all miss him.

Thanks, Johnny.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Christian Bale is Batman

MTV News and Variety are reporting that Christian Bale has been tapped to play Batman in Chris Nolan's upcoming Batman picture.

"What I see in Christian is the ultimate embodiment of Bruce Wayne," Nolan said in a press statement. "He has exactly the balance of darkness and light that we were looking for."

Bale's not a bad pick, now that I think of it. Personally, when casting the movie in my head, Bale's name never really popped up. He was believably psycho in American Psycho.

I think what brings down a lot of superhero movies is this constant urge to establish the dichotomy between the separate worlds of the hero's alter egos.

I mean, if you could get past the concept of a guy wearing an elaborate costume to fight crime, I think it's possible to make an entire movie about the Batman fighting the Joker without having to look at the world of Bruce Wayne. Especially with four Batman movies having come out in the past 14 years to have hammered that part of the story to death.

As a film maker, I would assume that, by now, a lot of the movie going public is media savvy enough to know Batman's back story, if only because of the four movies that have come out in just the past 14 years, along with three different cartoon shows he's been part of.

But again, when I assume, I make an ass out of you and me.

I'd be pissed if I were you.
Movie Thought

I gotta recommend Identity. I thought I had it figured out, and then it threw a nice little knuckleball. Swung, missed and looked stupid in the process.

It's kind of a twist on the old Christie mystery Ten Little Indians.

John Cusack and Amanda Peet both give nice performances, one of which plays into the knuckleball.

Because so many people can say things so much more eloquently than I:

South Knox Bubba

Susan, at Coney Island of the Mind

Mark Evanier

Bill, at Tainted Bill

Say Uncle

We're all thinking about it.

My day was nothing. I sat here in Tennessee, and watched it all from afar. It does not compare.

I wrote, and even posted a long and rambling post. But I deleted it.

It just came across as selfish.

I especially hated the part where I was relieved that TNN switched from news coverage the night of September 11, to a showing of Star Trek III, and I was actually relieved that something else was on the TV.

Incredibly selfish. I'm sorry.

All I can say is, I'm sorry for that. I've done better.