Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Prior's out till May.

I said I watch the Spring Training with Interest, but not concern.

It is this stuff that I watch with concern.

The left brain says it's an injury (or two) that could happen to anybody.

I will listen to the left brain.

I'm not going to tell you what the right (demon-infested) brain says. Especially not where it concerns trading Juan Cruz before we were all that sure of God on Earth and his achilles tendon, or the part where in the poetic string of events, Kerry Wood's arm loses its steam, Mad Dog shows his age, Matt Clement gets knocked into a coma by an errant E-Ramis throw and Carlos Zambrano loses his cool facing the HGH-enraged Barry Bonds, who uses his 9 5/8 sized dome to headbutt the fiery youth into the darkness.

No. These are the things I must keep to myself, when reading the newsfeeds in the middle of the night.

I'm losing weight. Slowly but surely. I've had a lot of crime to fight lately, so I've been getting that extra exercise in.

Problem is, I don't have a properly fitting pair of britches, anymore.

Some are too big.

Some are too small.

I belong to neither group. I'm a man without a country properly fitting pair of pants.

The shorts fit just fine, though. That's good.

Tomorrow is the First. I dress like I'm nine years old, and the First of April means it's officially BST Shorts-Wearing Season. (Lasts from April to Thanksgiving). Mark your calendars.
I'm Touched (in the head)

Len Cleavelin thought enough of what I ranted about reality TV yesterday to make what I'd said his Thought of the Day.

The weird part was how I didn't recognize what I'd said until I got a couple of lines in.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Peter Ustinov

Peter Ustinov died a couple of days ago. He was one of those actors whose face I knew, but not the name, even when I'd see the name Peter Ustinov.

I'm like Emily. I knew him largely from the Great Muppet Caper.

And also from Spartacus.

But I got to looking at his IMDB filmography, and I found the title of a movie I'd been looking for quite a long time.

Treasure of Matecumbe.

It's been twenty years or more since I've seen it. I remember it from summertime Disney Channel viewings. I probably watched it three or four times, but now I remember very little other than images from the movie: the band of travellers (whom I'd think are searching for a treasure) fighing huge, black swarms of mosquitos with a campfire, only to have it doused by a downpour. An Indian announcing a coming hurricane.

And Peter Ustinov's character getting swept away by a tidal wave.

Ustinov plays a doctor. Who's possible treacherous. I don't remember how the plot plays out. Much at all.

I saw a picture of Ustinov with a beard attached to one of his obituaries, and that's what jogged my memory enough to look in his filmography.

I don't remember much else about the movie. Like I said, it's been 20 years. But now I know the name, so I'll have to look for it, if only to be able to put the images in my head in some manner of agreeable storytelling order.
Vending Machines

The coke machine at work gave me the wrong drink last night. I wanted a Diet Mt. Dew, and it gave me a Sierra Mist, which was tasty, but not caffienated, and not even a choice on the menu.

It made me think of this picture. Don't know whose it is originally. But I first saw it as an avatar on a pro-wrestling internet forum.

TV Tuesday

It's that time again. The third iteration of TV Tuesday:

Reality TV is everywhere, love it or hate it. From Survivor to My Big Fat Obnoxious American Idol - Oh, sorry, there are too many to keep track of!!! So do tell- what's your take on the topic???

1. Do you consider yourself a "fan" of reality TV?

Nope. I've come to loathe Reality TV. And this from a guy who takes great delight in living vicariously though others.

I think my biggest irritation is the fact that instead of finding new, talented writers and creators to make actual new television programs, TeeVee seems to use the same pool of writers to pump out the same crap that people are getting tired of.

And instead of assuming that it's the writers that suck instead of all fictional TV, TV execs just keep dumping reality television on us. And like a bunch of crap-eating dogs, the viewing public just keeps going back to it.

2. What's your "can't miss" reality TV show (or shows)?

All that said, I wasn't against reality TV from the start. I liked Survivor when it started. Mostly because of Rudy, who was cool, and Elizabeth Hasselback, who was purdy.

Tough Enough, the WWE show, I watched pretty regularly all three seasons.

But the best ever reality show: Joe Schmo. That was awesome TV.

3. What reality TV show do you suppose the devil plays on the TV in Hell as punishment?

American Idol.

I've never seen an episode. But somehow the names Simon, Paula, Ryan, Justin, Clay, Ruben and Kelly are branded into my frontal lobe. You can't sling a dead cat without hitting something having to do with American Idol.

I'm so sick of hearing and seeing about American Idol my ass is sore.

The concept bugs me, first and foremost. Let's have a bunch of semi- and quasi-talented middle-American looking people get on the TV and sing covers of adult contemporary classics. And let's do it two and three times a week. All in favor of fine television shows like Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Bernie Mac, Wanda Sykes, the Tick, and Arrested Development.

It's just rude, to me. I don't go to karaoke bars. I guess this is TV's way of bringing the karaoke to me. But it's not enough to have karaoke. We have to have a bunch of talentless hacks in the forms of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and that fat guy whose "autobiography" had the word "Dawg" in the title in a form not referring to the University of Georgia bicker with each other over the course of several different nights a week as to whether the little weaselly looking girl's cover of "Wind Beneath My Wings" was up to snuff or not.

And then, the snotty Brit flips somebody the bird, or doesn't, and it's front page news.

I'm tired of not being able to check out at the grocery store without seeing Clay Aiken's weird wirey/junkie/cowboy/mindless grin on the cover of some tabloid, or seeing somebody else fret over the fact that Ruben Studdard is fat.

Can we let Paula Abdul fade back into obscurity?

Can we leave the karaoke to the Japanese?

And would Simon Cowell and Ryan Sechrest please just go do it and leave the rest of us out of their weird commonlaw marriage bickerfest they have with one another?

And mostly: I'm tired of knowing every bit of that information.

I've never seen the show C.S.I.

I don't know anything about C.S.I.

I'm sure it's a fine show, but I'm comfortable knowing absolutely nothing about the show.

There are no C.S.I. radio show news updates. There are no C.S.I. articles in the newspaper. And Matt and Katie do not discuss the ramifications of C.S.I. on the Today show every morning.

I'm tired of being bombarded from every possible media outlet with news ON A KARAOKE CONTEST. American Idol makes me very sad for the American Public, if this is what it's eating up when it comes to TV.

~Bonus~ If you were given a free ticket to be on any reality show, which one would you choose?

Am I allowed to bring a gun? Given my answer to the previous question, an assassination or four might do Idol some good.

If I'm just playing, the roommate and I discussed Real World's need for a surly, anti-social guy who builds a fort out of couch cushions in the corner of one of the rooms, and never come out over the course of the show, except to steal food from the roommates, and to use the bathroom on the balcony.

To me, that would make for interesting reality TV.

Thanks for playing, evidently fear is not a factor for you!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Some Kind of Marketing

I wrote about this a little while ago--found on a tree off the highway in Riceville, TN.

Flea Marketing

As an exercise in photojournalism, SKBubba takes a look at his bargain shopping excursion to the Flea Market, in a piece called Southern Culture on the Skids....

Sunday, March 28, 2004


Not a lot happening this Sunday. Just a couple of links:

Mark Evanier, with a couple of thoughts on Blazing Saddles, including attending a screening with Mel Brooks in attendance.... (Blazing Saddles is one of the absolute best, and one of my personal top 5 favorites).

Bill McCabe went to a geekfest this weekend. I always enjoy the folks who are dedicated enough to a movie to emulate it in their dress. (Note: enjoy is not the same thing as admire, or even agree with).

But in the abstract sense, I'd like to see a few folks in Jedi robes walking around in every day society. Just for kicks.

I'm going to the Atlanta Comicon in April. Not nearly as big as DragonCon, which is the biggie in Atlanta. But you make up for the relative lack of media guests and some of the sideshows by having a lower number of nerds and geeks who lack even the simplest social skills (washing daily....not picking their nose while they talk to you....not walking in front of you when you're looking at something.)

But it's cool just to go and hang out with friends. The Braves are in town, too....might just make a cool weekend out of it.

And can I just say: March Madness...Pfah.

This basketball shit's getting old, and in a hurry. Baseball season's, like, a week away. And it's about friggin' time.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


Not a whole lot going on this Saturday.

Watching basketball. UConn's tough.

Updated the Read List. Up to 44 books, in the last 6 months, which is a goodly amount, I guess. It's a little off pace of the ridiculous, arbitrary, whimsical and ultimately meaningless goal I set for myself, of 100 books in a year.

But it's gotten me off the glass teat that is the teevee a little bit. And to that end, my little quest has done its job.

Excellent weather this weekend. Like, 80 degrees today. Warmer tomorrow. It's all good on BSTommy's neck of the woods.

Friday, March 26, 2004


Mmmmm.....2 Dollar Pizza.

Mmmmm.....Famous Nathan's Hot Dogs



Thursday, March 25, 2004

Cubs Trade

Saw that the Cubs traded Juan Cruz to the Braves. Along with pitcher Steve Smyth.

The Cubs get lefty pitcher Andy Pratt and infielder Richard "I'm not the horrible comedian" Lewis.

I'm kind of ambivalent on the trade. I was willing to give Cruz one more shot, but wasn't setting my expectations all that high. Apparently, Pratt's in a lot the same position within the Braves organization that Cruz is within the Cubs'.

Still, my eyes did perk up just a little when I saw LHP. Maybe he can work his way into a spot start every now and then. To break up the monotony. I mean the Cubs have more righties than the Republican National Convention.

But beyond that, I'm not expecting a whole bunch. Kind of like with Cruz.

On the flip side, there's a 1 in 750 chance that under the watchful eye of Leo "I say the f-word and rock on my seat" Mazzone that Juan could become the next Pete "Anti-Zimmer" Martinez.

Plus, we got a minor league infielder. It's a rare condition that the Cubs have so much pitching down in the minors, and that position players (Catchers, especially) seem to be coming up short.

I saw the news at Large Regular first.
Zombie Dad

Dad's home from the hospital. My sister called just after I went to bed this morning. I called back when I got up to go the toilet.

Everything went well. They even worked on the correct knee. He's at the house, snoozing under the blanket of pain medication.

With the pain medication, that whole zombie-thing may be more of an apt descriptor than I'd thought.

Mom says they've got his leg wrapped from hip to ankle in gauze.

Zombie Knee. Mummy Leg.

To my mind, Mummy is a just a Zombie on an Ego Trip. Don't matter to me if they royalty or not. You're just the Undead in Gauze. I'll use my katana and my sock full of nickels on a mummy just as quick as I will you're old run-of-the-mill flannel-wearing mall-shopping zombie.

To their credit, Mummies have Rachel Weisz in their movies. Zombies just have Sarah Polley.

They gave Dad a weekend's worth of Oxycontin. I tried to tell him to give Rush a call, and to spend what he made from the sale on Aleve and Butterscotch Pudding. Because Butterscotch Pudding makes everything better. Especially if it's made with whiskey.

Shouldn't I be asleep right now?


But I should also eat like 8 servings of vegetables a day, so you can see I'm not a stickler for shouldabeens.

My Dad's going under the knife this morning. A while back, he was changing a lightbulb in the basement of my parents' home, and there was a sudden gravitational attack, which resulted in a fall from the chair he was standing on, and a torn ACL.

Yeah. It's all fun and games until somebody blows a knee.

He's going up to Knoxville. As I write, actually. He's getting everything done this morning.

I spoke to him yesterday. He got a call from the doctor's office yesterday to confirm everything--insurance, times, everything like that, including which knee was getting the work done.

Dad's getting the right knee worked on. The nurse, during the conversation, kept saying his left knee would be getting the operation.

Each time the nurse said this, Dad would correct her. Making sure to say "No, the other knee" just so that the nurse wouldn't think he was confirming the left knee as correct by saying "right knee."

And this little rondo went on.

To the point of Dad wanting to write in Sharpie marker on each of his knees which was the one needing the surgery and which wasn't.

So, I'll keep you updated on whether a hospital in Knoxville is getting renamed Big Stupid Tommy's Dad's Great Big Ol Very Own Hospital.

Did you know that they replace ACLs with the ACL from a cadaver? I think I've talked about this before. That means a small part of his body will be zombi-fied.

I just hope my natural anti-zombie instincts don't take over the next time I see my Dad. Because zombies are my sworn enemy, and I must destroy them all.

I'm pretty good at my job. Have you seen any zombies around? Not around my house, anyway.

Dad doesn't get to pick the cadaver his knee ligament comes from. I think that's kind of unfair. Not that I'd know how to pick a new knee ligament. It's not like you can thump it near the stem to see if it's ripe.

I mean, what if you take the ACL from a guy who was really evil? And his essence is trapped in the dead body's ACL? And when it gets put into my father's body, it starts taking over my father, kind of like how the Vigo wanted to take over Dana Barrett's baby in Ghostbusters 2.

We don't have enough slime at my folks' house to stop my father.

Come to think of it, I'm not all that great at picking ripe melons at the produce stand, either. So maybe it's for the best that the doctors get to pick the new/old ACL's. It's sometimes best to leave things to the professionals.

But it is important to keep track of the little things. Like the difference between left and right.
Today's Funny

From Alex (the Nouveau Wisconsinite):

Two strangers were seated next to each other on a plane. The guy turned to the cute blonde next to him and made his move. "Let's talk," he said. "I've heard that flights will go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers."

The blonde, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly, and said to the guy, "What would you like to discuss?"

"Oh, I don't know," said the passenger. "How about nuclear power?"

"OK," said the blonde. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first: a horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass. The same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces muffins of dried poop. Why do you suppose that is?"

"Oh brother," said the guy. "I have no idea."

"So tell me," said the blonde, "How is it that you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Short Attention Span Day

Did chores this morning. Got a couple of things done. Feeling productive, so I sat down to check e-mail, and then get some writing done.

But after e-mail, came looking at blogs. And then I read an article Sheila linked to. And baseball news. And then came a look at fark.

And then I played Tetris over at the Hippy's site. For a long time.

Luckily, I kicked Tetris' ass. So it's not a total wash.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Today's Funny

213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the Army

33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.

34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I *did* bring enough for everybody.


183. My chain of command has neither the time, nor the inclination to hear about what I did with six boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups. ®

(Saw it at Obscurorant).
TV Tuesday

It's time for everybody's favorite new Tuesday Tradition, where we talk about TV, aptly named: TV Tuesday.

1. Which TV doctor would you choose to remove your appendix?

Beverly Crusher. Because she's got all that 24th century medicine behind her. They could probably just beam the appendix from you. Out into space. Where it couldn't hurt anybody.

2. Which TV doctor would you not let touch you with a 10- foot pole?

Frank Burns, from the 4077th. Ol' Ferret Face. No, please.

No Dr. Nick Rivera, either.

3. Which TV doctor/hospital would you choose for the best medical care?

Can I just choose Starfleet Medical, again? We never actually see it, but it's where Dr. Crusher went when she disappeared in the second season of Star Trek: the Next Generation

~Bonus~ Everyone knows nurses run the hospital. Who was/is your favorite TV nurse?

Abby Lockhart.
Showing My Arse

I tore my pants a little while ago. From pillar to post. Came home at lunch to change.

Because I don't like showing my ass to everybody.

Unless it's on my blog.

Y'all have a good night.

(Much warmer with no 8-inch hole in rear end of britches).

Monday, March 22, 2004

Today's Stupid-Ass Bullshit

From the Department of Duh, Homer Simpson is a bad role model, what with his poor eating and exercise habits. And some people want to make him change.

(Later note: I really shouldn't post when I'm about to fall asleep....two words out of place completely change the meaning of a sentence, don't they?)

Sunday, March 21, 2004


I decided that I was basketballed out. Since my NCAA tournament bracket's trashed, I'm now all the way ready for baseball season to start.

I picked up a Nashville Sounds pocket schedule at the gas station this morning. I put a request in the mail for a Cubs pocket schedule. I like to have one with me at all times. In case of emergency.

I read for a while. I watched Underworld and Matchstick Men. I went in thinking I wouldn't like the first much, and the second I would like a lot.

The opposite happened.

While Underworld didn't blow me away, I kind of liked it. It helped that Kate Beckinsale was on screen most of the time. But the whole werewolf vs. vampire fight is enough to keep a dork like me interested to.

I really got annoyed halfway through Matchstick Men. Not even the magical presence of Sam Rockwell could save that one. I think what got to me was that I just wasn't in the mood for the Nicholas Cage performance. You know. The slightly frenetic Nicholas Cage that he perfected in Moonstruck, got praise for, and has been cashing in on ever since?

I'm not condemning it. I just need to try it another day.

Speaking of Sam Rockwell, if you haven't seen Safe Men, you need to. It's Sam, Steve Zahn and Paul Giamatti at their comic best.

Paul Giamatti, as Veal Chop, casually lamenting getting punched in the penis. Need I say more?

I went back out to the K-Mart. I was driving back toward Casa de Big Stupid Tommy, when I turned up into the shopping center with the movie theater in it. On a whim, just to see if anything was starting right then. Remembering my Waterboy experiences, I knew I was treading dangerous water, but I said to myself: "Self: We'll only go see a good movie, if it's starting in the next ten minutes."

It was 4:20, and the Passion of the Christ was starting at 4:30.

But before I could see the movie, I had to take a minute to weep for the future. I got behind a group of people roughly my age, who couldn't quite master the pronunciation of the title of the movie they wanted to see.


Now, I know it's not a word you'll run across every day. But it's not like it's that hard to sound out.


They kept trying to buy tickets for something pronounced "Hide-a-go," and the ticket girl wasn't getting what they wanted. The lead of the little group finally got fed up after three tries, and pointed with a huff at theater #3, and said something along the lines of "the one with the horse."

When I got up to the window, I thought about struggling with the pronunciation of Christ, and then asking for the one with the crucifiction.

I won't share all my thoughts on the movie just yet. I'd like a couple of hours to chew on it.

I'll say right now that it's a jarring movie. I was struck by and impressed with the treatment of Judas whose demons move between the figurative and the literal in his torment, as well as the androgynous, beautifully grotesque Satan. I'd not seen either of those two talked about much, in the wake of the anti-Semitism debate.

It's an intense movie. I'll have to think on it a little while.

Now, Tommy goes to sleep.
Tournament Bracket

Remember what I'd said yesterday about my tournament bracket usually not getting destroyed until this weekend?

I did well in the first round.

But, yeah. My bracket got a really big dent put in it yesterday. Gonzaga hurt, but not badly. I had them losing the next round, anyway. But Stanford? Stanford losing to Alabama. That sucked. I witnessed that little debacle at Applebee's last night. My attention kept veering from the conversation at the table to the TV's over the bar.

Stupid Stanford.

Did you hear about the tragedy on the U. of Alabama Campus?

Their library burned down.

All five books were destroyed.

And the last one wasn't even colored in, yet.
Best Of....

It's probably in bad form to quote yourself, but looking for the link to the storm stuff from last May, I ran across this question that I asked on May 18, of last year:

Does anybody else, when they hear the phrase "freak accident," think of something along the lines of Michael Jackson running his transfer truck cab over a tricycle-riding Andre the Giant?

It made me smile.
Mama Always Said.....

Nice day yesterday, until the storms blew through, on the first day of spring.

They weren't terribly bad. Windy. Raining. A little lightning. Certainly not the worst will get in the spring. Hopefully none will be so bad as to send me scurrying under the kitchen table, but you get the occasional twister, especially around these parts. So ya gots to stay vigilant.

Since there's not a lot going on this Sunday morning...a little bit of RTB link love, at it concerns said storms.

Busy Mom.

Say Uncle, who was making chicken.

Eric, the Straight White Guy.

How did Big Stupid Tommy weather the storm?

Fairly well.

Actually, what happened to me happened as the storm was brewing. It was still a few minutes off from the wind and the wet, but it was pretty dark outside. Dark enough for the security lights to have been lit of their own accord.

I was talking on the phone to my friend Julie. I was listening to her accounts of her travels that morning (she'd gone up to Lebanon, to see what she could see). She'd just gotten to the part about the shoes when SCHPOP!

The phone shocks the hell out of me.

You know when you scoot socked feet across a carpeted floor, and touch somebody's ear? That kind of static shock? It was a lot like that, only a lot more intense, surprising, and a little more painful. I dropped the phone, swearing and cursing (I said Shit, except it was more that extended, shocked SHIYIT!, and What the Hell?). I picked the receiver back up, but it was dead.

It's about then that I put the flash I'd just seen from outside, the thunder which was basically instantaneous, and my little electrical jolt together.

Julie called me back a minute later, and asked what happened.

"Struck by lightning," I said. As nonchalantly as possible. We made our dinner plans and I got off the phone as quickly as was possible.

I spent the rest of the day in my apartment sitting across from the living room, staring suspiciously at Mr. Bell's invention.

It was later asked if I'd gained any superpowers from the ordeal, or if I'd just gotten the old garden variety brain damage.

No superpowers to report, yet. And we'd have to take time to seperate any brain damage I got from the jolt from what I'd had already.

So. I think I win. Telephone struck by lightning in the storm.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I lied

I admit it. Big Stupid Tommy is not your online headquarters for all things Bea Arthur. I got called on this little misdirection. I've changed that little tag.

It was simply a ploy to get hits off search engines.

I can't imagine what the flaw in that plan was.

But I have removed the offending statement. I hope only that this doesn't ruin my chances for the Presidency.

Friday, March 19, 2004

The Happy Meal is 25

The McDonald's Happy Meal is celebrating its 25th anniversary today.

You mean to tell me that I'm older than the Happy Meal? (Yes, apparently).

Around the time I was in kindergarten, McDonald's did a Dukes of Hazzard promotion (synchronicity...4th time today the Dukes have come up in my life today). The Happy Meals were served in these plastic containers, which came with stickers.

And after you ate your happy meal, you put the stickers on the plastic containers, which were in the shapes of the Hazzard County cars, and tada! You had your very own General Lee, or Daisy's Jeep. I think Roscoe's car was another choice, as was Uncle Jesse's truck. But I may be wrong.

But it was cool.

I remember it being kindergarten, because I took my General Lee to show and tell, and Ms. Creasman said I'd done a really good job putting on the stickers. I hold that compliment among my five proudest moments in my life.

McDonald's also did the plastic container/toy thing with Happy Meals that became boats, with Ronald and the McDonaldland Gang driving the particular boats. I lost a couple of them up on the North River near Tellico.


Nothing can kill the Grimace.
R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey's a regular on Nashville radio. He's a friend and favorite guest of George Plaster, and through talk radio, Nashville listeners have listened to R.A.'s thoughts as he's progressed from college and through the Rangers' minor league system. He pitched well for the Rangers last year, but is competing for a spot in the Rangers' bullpen. has an article about him. He doesn't have to worry about Tommy John surgery, because he has pitched without an ulnar collateral ligament most, if not all, of his life.

"Doctors look at me and say I shouldn't be able to turn a doorknob without feeling pain. I shouldn't be able to start my car without feeling pain," Dickey says. "But here I am being able to throw five out of seven days in the major leagues over 90 mph consistently. It's a miracle."
The Friday Five

Mmmmm....Friday Five.....

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Various eggs. And whiskey.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?

One of my favorite things to say when I'm pissed here lately is that I'm going to open a store that sells asswhuppings. Because everyone seems to need one.

But that's a lie.

I'd sell Doritos.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?

Romance, definitely.

A horror/romance.

A horror/romantic comedy.

A horror/romantic comedy/biography.

A horror/romantic comedy/biography/history of Paraguay.

A horror/roma......

Actually, it would be about the Religious teachings we find in the Dukes of Hazzard, and I think we all knew that without my even having to answer the question.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?

Monkey Shovelling. My office hours are from 9:45 until 12, except on Thursdays.

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?

Bagpipes. Lots of Bagpipes.
The Left Lane

Off of Fark, we get this story about Colorado making it against the law to cruise in the left lane on a major highway, unless you're passing.

You know, I'm generally for smaller government and getting government out of our lives.

But I'm all for getting this kind of thing passed in Tennessee.

Good for safety, yes.

Better for mental health. I mean, how close have a lot of us gotten to blowing a gasket in that lefthand lane when we've gotten behind Clem and Erleen from Slowpoke Springs Arkansas, and they're walking the car along?

Let's get the guvmint involved. Keep these slow, self-involved bastards who go 12 miles under the speed limit while they talk on their cellphones out of the left lane. Put a little state-trooper rough justice on these people. Make them pay attention, and maybe we'll all make better time on the highways.

I mean, if you're driving in the left lane, you look in your rearview mirror, and you see a line of cars that stretches all the way to Texas (or, if you're reading and driving in Texas...the line stretches to North Dakota), then you're no longer a part of the "quicker" traffic, thus making you a part of the "slower" traffic directed by the signs to Keep Right.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Ol' N-C-Double-A Seven for Eight

I said that post title to myself.

Say it to your yourself.

It rolls off the tongue.

With 8 games played in the tournament (which they did while I slept this afternoon, of all the rude things that could be done), I got seven predictions right on my bracket, missing only the Southern Illinois upset that I'd called. Alabama won. Stupid, Stupid Alabama. 65-64.

My bracket isn't usually destroyed until Saturday or Sunday, when I usually lose one of my final four team.
This is Why The Man With Three First Names Kicks Ass

The Fat Boys.

I still have four Fat Boys Tapes.

Human Beat Box. It's a lost art.

One day, we'll be saved from annihilation by an alien race by someone whose beatboxing skills are shunned by society, but are completely understood and worshipped by said alien race. I honestly believe this. With all my heart.

Joe laments their lack of output. As do we all.

I've been writing most of the morning.

The problem with the internet....the information superhighway, such as it that it's not like a four lane highway that takes you straight to where you want to's more like a small, one lane curving road that is lined on both sides with all the lights, lures and glitter of Las Vegas. And given my slow connection this morning, it's like I'm stuck behind a tractor pulling hay bales.

And I'm so easily distracted.

So when I get online to look something up (checking a fact or wanting to looking for some obscure piece of information), instead of getting right back offline, I end up online for a half hour or more, just farting around. Answering e-mail. Looking at the NCAA bracket or reading stories on fark.

Or updating the blog.

But the writing's done for the day. It was mostly conversation I was writing, and that doesn't always come easy for me. But one of my co-workers tends to come up with colorful phrases or euphemisms, and manages to work non-sequiturs into conversations that throw me into laughing fits that keep me tickled (and a little inspired) for most of the evening.

This wasn't necessarily one of the funny conversations, but it is one we had last night. We were talking about this whole Rhea County resolution. Turns out he lived in Dayton for a year, going to Bryan College. It also turns out that the whole town was just a little too obtuse for him, so he says. It stopped him for a second when I asked if he was just a little too acute for them.

He believes he got pulled over as many times by the police as he did in Dayton because of the bumper tag he had which mocks the Christian fish...his is the "reason" fish eating the "Christian" fish.

On the other hand, I tend to think it's because he drives like a maniac, and given the shape his car's in, he's probably being pulled over to pick the pieces he's dropped up off the highway.

Whichever, the local deputies were devout Baptists, it somehow came up in conversation. It also came out that the co-worker is quietly agnostic, which led into having to explain to the deputy what, exactly, that word meant.

Of course, in the midst of telling me this, he interrupts himself once to tell me that he needs 2 new tires, and again, to mention that there aren't enough words with the letter "G" and another consonant like "N" put together, like they are in "agnostic."

There is no point to this post, other than that I'm still wanting to write, but have said pretty much what I want to on the story, and I still have gas in the tank.
Today's Funny

This is one of my favorite jokes:

Ronald McDonald decides he's had enough of the fast food business. The stress and repetitive nature of his job were too much. He went looking for new work.

He looked for a long time in the want ads, and an ad looking for a bus driver for the local school caught his eye.

He went down the school office, and the supervisor hired him on the spot.

Grabbing Ronald by the arm, the supervisor guided Ronald to his bus. It was a very brightly painted bus, with Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Grover and a lot of the characters from Sesame Street painted all over the vehicle.

With a pat on the back, the supervisor gave Ronald his route, and Ronald was on his way.

Ronald follows his map, and on his first stop, a little girl with a weight problem gets on.

"Hi," she says. "My name's Patty."

Ronald shakes her hand, and drives on to the second stop.

There, another heavyset girl gets on.

"Hi!" she says. "My name's Patty!"

"What a coincidence," he says.

The next stop, a little boy on crutches gets on.

"I'm Shaun," he says with a stutter. "And I'm special."

Ronald helps Shaun into his seat.

He drives on, and at the next stop, a little boy limps onto the bus.

"I'm Lester Chase," he says. "And my feet hurt!"

"I'm sorry," Ronald says.

And Ronald drives on, and something starts nagging at him. He can't figure out what it is, until he looks in his mirror, and sees Lester with his shoes off, picking at sores on his feet.

Ronald slams on the brakes, lets out a scream, jots a note, tapes it to the window, gets off the bus, jumps into traffic and dies.

Police investigators are at the scene when the bus supervisor shows up.

"What happened?!?!" he asks.

The policemen only shake their heads sadly, and hand the supervisor the note...

It read:

"Goodbye World....Everyplace I go, it's always the same....Two obese Patties, Special Shaun, Lester Chase picking bunions on a Sesame Street bus...."

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Rhea County

Here's WTVC's story on the whole Rhea County commission attempt to persuade their representatives to submit legislation that would allow the state to charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.

And a link that's somewhat related, given the ignorance involved, WBIR reports that half the folks in the state can't read at a functional level.
St. Patrick's Day

It's not been a good one folks.

I didn't wear green, last night. The co-worker I scared last week got his revenge by punching my arm every time he saw me, and telling me I should have worn green. I kept telling him he was doing St. Patrick's Day wrong, but he didn't believe me.

And then, I got home and was going to make the traditional BSTommy St. Paddy's Day Breakfast (Scrambled Eggs), and in the midst of tranferring that feast from frying pan to plate, I managed to drop the sunsabitches on the floor.

Given the general disrepair of the BSTommy Compound, I decided that the 5-Second Rule did not apply, and I put my eggs down the garbage disposal.

Then, things got really bad.

As I turned away from the sink, I caught a little movement out of the corner of my eye. It was smallish, and running along the baseboard, under the table.

Jeezus, I said. That was a big mouse!

And then I saw it run behind the garbage can. Yeah. Too big to be a mouse. Begorrah! I've got a rat. I cussed a green streak (in honor of the holiday).

Watching to make sure it didn't run under the cabinet, I slowly took the hammer out of the junk drawer, grabbed the trash can, jerked it away from the wall, and I attacked!

I'll give myself a little credit. I displayed some surprising agility and quickness for a big man. And some deadeye hand-eye coordination.

One bop with a hammer. And it was dead.

But it wasn't until I'd had a moment to breathe, to see what exactly this bleeding dead thing exactly for what it was.

It was an animal, and it was smaller than a breadbox, but the 20 question similarities diverge there.

The smoldering remains of its pipe lay broken in two by its side. It's little green hat and coat were now turning a remarkable shade of crimson. One tiny shoe with a little silver buckle had come flying off its foot, and had come to rest by my own giant-sized-by-comparison hoof.

I kept looking at its beard. It's remarkable red beard. Which was now two remarkable shades of red.

Rats don't have beards. Nor do they smoke pipes or wear little green coats. Or tiny black shoes with silvery buckles on them. No, rats certainly do not.

But Leprechauns bleed the reddest blood of all.

I don't think this is going to fare well for me. The Notre Dame football team came over about an hour ago and beat the snot out of me.

There are a whole boatload of snakes writhing around the apartment now, all of them speaking of deep brogues and cursing haven been driven from their homeland.

And, with apologies to Frank Cho, I think I've contracted Potato Famine.

And the worst part? The leprechaun was protecting his pot of gold, which was hidden in the BSTommy Compound. In my sock drawer, no less. The two little guys who came to get their friend took the pot of gold, too...mentioning in passing its value of nearly $13 million.

No folks. It ain't been a good one at all.
The Bizarre

I don't know how to describe this, which I found on Warren Ellis' blog originally. It's just bizarre, and a little scary.

The Crazy Neighbor.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I'm a Follower!

Lots of people doing this one. I'm posting for similar reasons...just waking up...don't have any original thoughts (not that I do on the other days...I'm really just a Frank Caliendo ripoff, funny voices and everything).

I remember this list getting passed around my circle of e-mail friends a while back. Some answers change, and others do not.

Firsts and Lasts

FIRST JOB: One summer I watched a younger cousin during the day while my aunt worked. I got $80 a week. Which seemed like an assload at the time.

FIRST SCREEN NAME: Earlboy. It somehow seemed much cooler then.

FIRST SELF-PURCHASED CD: CD? R.E.M.'s Out of Time in 91 or so. Cassette? Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 86 or 87.

FIRST PIERCING/TATTOO: No identifying marks.

FIRST TRUE LOVE: Show Tunes I plead the fifth

FIRST ENEMY: There was a kid named West early in my grade school, and we were alternately good friends and worst enemies. (Unless you count myself...I've long been one of my worst enemies, and I've known myself all my life).


LAST BIG CAR RIDE: What's big? I count the trip to South Carolina last summer as a big car ride. Because everything else is right around a couple of hours.

LAST KISS: Does the candy count? And that's been a while, too.

LAST LIBRARY BOOK CHECKED OUT: I don't even remember. I tend to buy or borrow from friends.

LAST MOVIE SEEN: I watched part of The Shining this morning.

LAST BEVERAGE DRANK: I'm just getting up. Cup of coffee.

LAST FOOD CONSUMED: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

LAST PHONE CALL: My folks yesterday.

LAST CD PLAYED: The Mavericks, Trampoline

LAST ANNOYANCE: All this food in the house yet none of it pleasing to the eye or mouth.

LAST POP DRANK: We drink cokes around these parts. Not pop or soda. Cokes. And as such, the last coke I drank was a Diet Mt. Dew. (No, it doesn't make sense outside of the region where we say it....but it's one of the last regional dialect indicators we have, and I've got a feeling my side's losing).

LAST ICE CREAM EATEN: It's been a while. I don't eat too much dairy here lately.

LAST TIME SCOLDED: A complete stranger chastised me for wearing a Cubs cap the other day. I beat him to death with my fists.

LAST SHIRT WORN: My Psycho Chihuahua shirt.


I AM: just waking up.

I WANT: To finish the novel. Get it published. Be hailed as the next great thing. Cash the bling book deal. Fade back into relative obscurity.

I HAVE: a bruise on my right arm where I pinched the flesh of my forearm between a case of water I was buying and the edge of my pickup truck bed. It's a nasty blue with yellow on its edges. I got myself good.

I WISH: that we'd stop given so much credence to the lunatic fringe by listening to them and doing what they say, out of fear of reprisal and litigation. We live in a democracy, not a theocracy. (Emily says Fuck the FCC. And she's right.)

I HATE: Fundamentalists of any sort. People who live to correct other people. Snakes. Crowds. Rob Schneider and his movies. George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees. The writing on the Simpsons most of this season.

I FEAR: That this whole newfound morality thing we've been going through as a nation's going to last quite a bit longer than the election year. Also, that somebody is going to throw a box of snakes on me. Probably Rob Schneider and George Steinbrenner.

I HEAR: My fridge buzzing. Water dripping from where made coffee and I didn't turn the faucet all the way off. My computer has a low hum. I just cracked my knuckles.

I SEARCH: For enlightenment.

I WONDER: What, exactly, is wrong with Dick Vitale. And is it catching?

I REGRET: I'm trying to stop regretting things. It's not healthy. It's too much my nature to dwell on things.

I LOVE: My family. My friends. Living in America. Baseball. Anything that makes me laugh.

I ALWAYS: Put my glasses on the nightstand before I go to sleep. Because the comedy that ensues when I cannot find them when I wake up is not necessarily funny to me.

I AM NOT: as bad off as I tend to think I am, sometimes.

I DANCE: Nope. I last danced for 4 seconds at my friend Jill's wedding.

I SING: fairly well.

I CRY: at some movies. I can't watch some movies with people. Field of Dreams, when Ray asks his Dad to "have a catch." Jeez. The Green Mile? Old Yeller killed me.

YES or NO:

YOU KEEP A DIARY: A journal. Other than this one, too.

YOU LIKE TO COOK: Sometimes. When I'm in the mood. Not for myself, though.


DO YOU...?

HAVE A CRUSH: Yeah. I do. But I recently found out she's got a fiance. So I've had to leave it at that. It kind of sucked.

WANT TO GET MARRIED: One day. I suppose.


THINK YOU'RE A HEALTH FREAK: No. Though I do tend to wash my hands quite a bit.

CURRENT HAIR COLOR: It's brown, with my blond spot on the side.




NUMBER: 12 and 23

COLOR: Green

DAY: I like Saturdays, now that I don't have to work them.

MONTH: Both April and October are pretty nifty.

SONG(S): "The Long Black Veil" as performed by the Chieftains and Mick Jagger. I can't let Don McLean's "American Pie" go without singing along. AC/DC's Thunderstruck wakes me up. Johnny Cash's "Joe Bean."




CUDDLE OR MAKE OUT: I don't even know you people.

CHOCOLATE MILK, OR HOT CHOCOLATE: Don't do chocolate, anymore. If you won't laugh, I'll tell you that it causes nightmares, and depending on how much I eat, it either depresses me or makes me pretty evil.

MILK, DARK OR WHITE CHOCOLATE: You don't listen, do you?

VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE: Vanilla. Though not very much, either.


CRIED? Nope.


BOUGHT SOMETHING? Lunch, last night.

GOTTEN SICK? No, I'm over that crud I had last week.


SAID 'i love you'?: Not in the last 24 hours.

WRITTEN A REAL LETTER: Yes, actually. There are a couple of people I correspond with.



WRITTEN IN A JOURNAL?: Not in the last 24 hours.




MADE A GIRL MOAN? Nope. Not in the last 24 hours.

Other people from my link list have been playing:

Tainted Bill.

Second Breakfast.

Sheila O'Malley

Dan, at Obscurorama
TV Tuesday

Because I like TV, and there's a new blog, TV Tuesday where questions are asked.

This week's questions:

1. What is your favorite "Classic" TV show?

The Andy Griffith Show. Andy, Barn and the gang kick ass. My favorite character was Ernest T. Bass, though Rafe Hollister is another good one to have around. The Darlin's were good to have on and episode, too.

2. What character from a "Classic" TV show would you like to be?

It would be hard to argue with being Captain Kirk, from the original Star Trek. I mean, he captains the ship, has a best friend with a kickass ninja Vulcan neck pinch, gets free medical care, and he gets all the women.

Although, I admit a little more grumpy Dr. McCoy, or even the highly caffienated panicky Mr. Scott.

Or going back to the Andy Griffith thing, the way I get ideas in my head every now and then, I'm a little bit Barney Fife.

3. On which "Classic" TV Show would you have loved to have a walk-on role?

The old 60's Batman show. So colorful.

Or Charlie's Angels.

~Bonus~ Can you remember a line you liked from a "Classic" TV show?

For some reason, this moment from MASH sticks with me....Radar O'Reilly peers in the operating room window, and he walks into the bustling O.R., in a daze. Hawkeye tells him to put on a surgical mask.

Radar says:

I have a message: Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake's plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spun in. There were no survivors.

Haven't been many more TV death scenes done better.

(Got the TV Tuesday link from Busy Mom.)

Monday, March 15, 2004

Funny Signs

Here's a link for you to buy burial caskets for your pets.

There's a billboard for these folks on I-24, heading West, in or around Manchester, TN. I've seen it a couple of times, and wondered exactly what percentage of the budget this little venture has was taken up by renting a billboard with excellent sightlines for the interstate.

I mean, you'd think you'd spend your money a little more wisely advertising in pet or home magazines. Or perhaps undertakers' trade publications.

But since the site's up and running, they at least have money still to pay for server space somewhere.

Still, it seems out of place to me. Lots of times, I've been driving down the road and seen signs for a service or good I needed. Hamburger. Motel Room. Gas. And I was entertained by those billboards from God that said stuff like "Don't Make Me Come Down There."

But I've never been driving down the interstate and said, "Eureka! That is What my Life's been missing! A Casket for my pet!"

Of course, I've never said that for a Burger King or a Holiday Inn billboard either. So who am I to judge?

The whole thing just seems counter-productive, to me. I mean, how the hell are you going to get that 24" x 30" cherry box to flush down the toilet?

Just one of those products for people with more money than sense.....personally, I never carry more than 11 dollars.

And then there's the handpainted sign nailed to a tree on the side of a road in my home county advertising mid-wife and childbirthing services, along with a phone number. I'll have to get a picture of this one, because the one person I've told about it didn't believe me.

But it's cheaper than getting an ad in the yellow pages, and sometimes you just have to make do, I guess.

Now, the beginnings of a short story.....

"The Birth of Jimmy Dale McEvertong"

The night is torn asunder with a scream:

"Take me to a doctor," she cries. Her name is Carrie Lynn, she is 18, and she puffs on a Marlboro Light to ease the labor pains.

"No, baby," David McEvertong says, putting his hands on her shoulders. "I can't afford no doctor. Besides, they see these burns from the meth lab fire, they'll take me in...."

"What are we gonna do?" She grabs hold of the faded black t-shirt he wears, his favorite, the one pronouncing the virtues of the Flying Black Eagle Truck Stop and Huddle House in Dothan, Alabama.

Pulling him within inches her face, she says, through clinched teeth: "Damn. It. I'm. About. To have. This baby."

David clutches his head in his hands, kind of praying but not really, just saying "Oh Jesus" over and over again.

And then the lightbulb comes on.

Carrie starts at the light in the eyes of her boyfriend of 11 months.

"Baby! You hold on! I'm going out to get that phone number offa that tree!"

Links, and stuff

Stephen Silver's got himself some new internet digs, complete with his name on it. I give Mr. Silver a read every morning. You should too. I mean, you're already here. It's one click away. Do yourself a favor.
NCAA Tournament

Wouldn't it be great if March Madness was an acceptable defense for a crime that you've committed? Say I punch the crap out of the person who walks in front of me while I'm looking at something at a store.

And when I stand before the judge, the judge asks, "Why'd you do it?"

"Because," I'd say, "I was looking at basketball on the TV at the store, and they got in my way. March Madness, your honor."

"Not Guilty!" He'd yell. And then we'd dance.

One time, a couple of years ago, on the Thursday or the Friday they were playing the first round games in the round of 64, there were roughly a hundred people in the lounge of the University Center at MTSU, watching a particularly lively game. It was early afternoon. I was in a corner of the room, just checking score before I headed off to my Mass Media Law class. In the middle of the game, this lady just saunters in to the room, walks right up to the big screen, and changes the channel from the CBS coverage to another channel with a soap opera on.

It's like she'd never noticed at all the hundred or so people sitting on the chairs, on the floor and standing all around watching intently the action on the screen. All that mattered was that Days of Our Lives was coming. There was a nasty uproar among those wanting to watch the game, and the channel was quickly turned back.

And then there came an even nastier uproar from the one girl wanting to watch Days of Our Lives. I was impressed by her chutzpah, as she told all those of us watching the basketball to go upstairs to the gameroom to watch the basketball.

And then she turned to turn the channel back!

She was stopped, and escorted out by another girl. But as she was leaving, I heard her exclaim, with all the Raven-Simone Dr. Doolittle No-Cellphone-asking indignation that they were just stupid basketball games, and what did everybody care about them for?

I'm not even a big basketball fan anymore. But in these weeks leading up to baseball season, the pickings are a bit slim. So I'm wathing the proceedings with interest.

A last bit of March Madness....

Last year, it was really early in the baseball season. It may have even been the first homestand of the young season for the Nashville Sounds, the Triple A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. I'd gotten off early from work that day, and I'd thought about heading up to Nashville to watch my first game of that season. But it had rained some, and there were forecasts for more in the evening. And the finals of the NCAA tournament were on that night. So I changed my mind, and decided to stay in and watch that championship game.

That night, John Wasdin of the Sounds pitched a perfect game.

Yeah. Even though it was early April, I had me quite a bout of some March Madness that night. Stupid basketball.

I guess that's my point. As fun as this basketball stuff is, we should never succumb so totally to the March Madness, so as to lose sight of our priorities.
Wrestlemania XX

It's hysteria. Dogs and Cats living together.

Vince McMahon, who is the personification of Style over Substance, has let Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero, each arguably the antithesis of the musclebound plodding superhero McMahon has long favored, walk out of the biggest wrestling show of the year, and the twentieth reiteration of that show, with the two biggest wrestling titles in the industry.

Up is Down, my friends.

I'm pleased with the outcome of the Wrestlemania show. To be honest, I'd kind of thought Guerrero (who is like, 5'9" and whom I could probably heave a good eight feet if I tried) would end up losing the Smackdown version of the World Title, and I felt like Benoit was probably third in line to win his triple-threat match behind Hunter Hearst "I'm a McMahon" Helmsley and Shawn "Vince Loves Me" Michaels.

But I was wrong. Kurt Angle didn't defeat Eddy. Chris Benoit won the title over Triple H and Shawn Michaels, with the defending Champ Triple H submitting to Benoit's Crippler Crossface.

It's interesting storytelling. And surprising, like I said. Neither Benoit nor Guerrero is that big a guy (I don't think either's much bigger than 5'9"), and neither is all that flashy with their ring personas. Guerrero's good on the microphone, and Benoit's decent, but neither of them has ridden their talking skills to the top of their game.

They did it with their in ring technical ability, for the most part. If they had to, each of them could get out there and put on a good show, wrestling almost anybody. There aren't many who can do what they do.

Props to Vince, who's admittedly a fan of the bigger, musclebound guys (Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, even Triple H). Props for letting somebody whose technical ability has carried them this far take the titles, rather than somebody who depends on persona and microphone skills than anything else.

The other thing that I noticed was the Brock Lesnar/Bill Goldberg match, and how the Madison Square Garden crowd turned on Brock based on the recent reports that he's looking to leave the WWE in favor of some other line of work (some reports say he wants to try out for the NFL--this I'll believe when I see it). Goldberg won. Special Ref Stone Cold Steve Austin gave each competitor a stunner for his troubles. The crowd didn't give either Lesnar or Goldberg much respect, as it's come to light recently how little either man wanted to make wrestling his top priority.

The MSG crowds know their stuff. I'm thinking any other arena in any other town (with the possible exception of a Philly crowd) would largely have bought ever second of the Lesnar/Goldberg match. But the New York crowd told the two what they thought of their efforts, letting loose with several "boring" chants. It was enough to make Jim Ross comment on the crowd's demeanor..

All in all, it looked like a good show. I feel a little goofy posting thoughts on a fake-fighting extravaganza I haven't even seen (That's an expensive show, $40 and $50 to watch fake fighting on TV? Screw all that). But it looked entertaining. I'll have to check it out, eventually.
Tenth Planet?

Didn't we learn anything from Gordon Shumway?

I thought Alf taught us that the next two planets out after Pluto were going to be called "Alvin" and "Dave."

(Hello: It's possible I am misremembering my late 80's, Monday Night, NBC Prime Time Television Programs, but I seem to remember the kid on Alf coming home and yelling at our favorite alien after proposing at a science fair that the tenth and eleventh planets were named after Chipmunks characters)

But "scientists" are calling a planetoid thing orbiting our sun a few billion miles out "Sedna," after the Inuit goddess of the sea. Oh. OK, then.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Saturday Thoughts

A player from Depaul's basketball team punched a member of Cincinnati's basketball team in the junk today. That's against the rules, so far as I believe. I mean, it's not stated explicitly in the rulebook: Don't punch other players in the testicles. But it's kind of understood.

For my money, the Depaul coach didn't do enough to get his player off the court. He should have gotten some of that Bobby Knight grab'em by the neck coaching mojo going, and dragged that kid off the court.

There's no place for nut-punches in college basketball.

Maybe it should be written in the rulebook.

Rule #1: Don't punch other players in their nuts.

Punishable by Drawing and Quartering.

Or castration using plastic picnic forks and knives.

In fact, I can't think of many sports where a shot to the groin would be appropriate.

Except maybe on the pro golf tour. I might be interested in watching, if Tiger Woods were looking to win the Masters, but at the same time he's having to keep an eye on Phil Mickelson, who's looking to cheapshot Tiger. Although, it would probably get old after a while.

Another exception might be those trick-shot billiards competitions. Where it might be legal to hit your opponent in the family, but only the process of making your shot, and without using the cue stick. Caveat: If you miss your shot on the table, your opponent would be allowed one free shot. With the pool cue.

How about Curling? I mean, it's guys pushing a stone down ice. Seems to me it might make the competition a little more viewer friendly for the Americans....I mean, it's guys using brooms and rocks. On ice. It looks like it was come up with during a round of drinks. A fistfight complete with dirty shots can't be far behind, can it?

Kaber Tossing? Adds a whole new element of danger, doesn't it? I mean, you're throwing a telephone pole. It would add a whole new level of excitement. Hard to throw a log when your opponent's running along side you looking to see who gets nailed.


It's Saturday. And you may have just witnessed a new low.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Friday Five

Friday Five:

1. What was the last song you heard?

The Theme Song to Bonanza

2. What were the last two movies you saw?

Bonanza: the Return and Bonanza: Under Attack

3. What were the last three things you purchased?

Tapes of the aforementioned, plus Bonanza: the Next Generation

4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?

Watch all the episodes Bonanza from the second season.
Make sure my Bonanza scrapbook is up to date.
Update the Bonanza website.
Visit the grave of Michael Landon.

5. Who are the last five people you talked to?

(And while I wish it were Hoss, Little Joe, Hop Sing, Adam and Pa Ben)....

From most recent backward....the roommate, the downstairs neighbor, the guy at the gas station, my boss, co-worker Judy.
The Almost Dirty Headline

The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal has an almost dirty headline this morning:

School System Lets Rapist Slip Though the Cracks

Absolutely Scandalous.
Wrestling and Drugs

There's an article in today's USA Today about the high rate of drug and steroid abuse, and the ridiculously high death rate the profession's had in the past few years.

Here's a link to the whole article, written by Jon Swartz.

From the article:

Fifteen current and former wrestlers interviewed by USA Today say they willingly ulked up on anabolic steroids, which they call "juice," to lok the part and took pain pills so they could perform four to five nights a week despite injuries. Some admit to use of human-gorwth hormones, a muscle-building compound even more powerful and dangerous than steroids. And many say they used recreational drugs.

I think the most telling quote come from Scott Levy, who has wrestled for years as Raven. He says of the rampant drug and steroid abuse in the business:

It's part of the job. If you want to be a wrestler, you have to be a big guy, and you have to perform in pain. If you choose to do neither, pick another profession.

And Roddy Piper, whose glorious, dramatic sanctimony loses very little in the interview process, talks of "the silent scream" of pain, drugs and loneliness:

You're in your hotel room. You're banged up, numb and alone. You don't want to go downstairs to the bar or restaurant. The walls are breathing. You don't want to talk. Panic sets in and you start weeping. It's something all of us go through.

Wrestlers, the article says, have death rates about seven times higher than the general U.S. population, and they are 12 times more likely to die from heart disease.

Along with steroid abuse as a key contributing factor in this high mortality rate, Swartz cites the "rock god" lifestyle. The emphasis added is mine:

Despite, or because of, its testosterone-fueled danger, wrestling attracts mostly young men to a circuslike life built on outsized personalities, "ripped" bodies and death-defying stunts. Newcomers dive headfirst into the rough-and-tumble profession. Current and former wrestlers interviewed say they live on the edge and see few career options. Only a handful of stars have more than a high school education.

(It's an industry where there is constant pressure. You have to perform in the ring, stay in shape, live on the road , travelling a thousand miles or more in a week, usually with nobody to depend on but yourself. It's trying on anybody. But it would be even more problematic for those without education and the little bit of maturity one might gain from the educational experience).

Money is the lure, Swartz says: top performers can make more than $1 million a year.

(It's get in and get as much as you can. And many go to extremes to make the look and the ability come about, to maximize the amount of money they can get in a short amount of time, not realizing that they're sacrificing much of the future they're looking to provide for by using the painkillers and the steroids....and often, with the money comes a lavish lifestyle that sucks the money up like nobody's business.)

More than that, many look to parlay the cult celebrity of professional wrestling into a more diversified stardom....Swartz cites Mick Foley moving from hardcore wrestling to other forms of entertainment, including writing both fiction and non-fiction that have had extended runs on the bestseller lists.

(Piper, Hulk Hogan and the Rock would also apply, each having gained limited success in other fields of entertainment.)

But the fact of the matter is (and this is true with just about any entertainment or sporting venture), most wrestlers toil in obscurity. Swartz talks of "Strongman" Johnny Perry and Curtis Parker, two wrestlers on the independent circuit who died in 2002. Without ever achieving any of their goals.

Lastly, Swartz speaks of the changing tide of wrestling, and wonders if things are starting to look up.

Younger wrestlers are taking better care of themselves, says Sean Waltman (who wrestled as the 1-2-3 Kid and X-Pac).

John Cena says he's learned to work in pain, but also knows his limits. If the injury is serious enough, he takes time off.

(And it seems that the WWE has been more willing to grant that time off in recent years for injuries. If you look back to the 80's and early 90's, wrestlers often had to work hurt, or be says Piper, who lived on a steady diet of painkillers, and also Jake Roberts, in the documentary Beyond the Mat...neither was allowed time off for injuries or family time....and each wound up destroying their bodies and (Jake especially) their relationships with their families.)

Also, the NWA-TNA (based out of Nashville), the nation's second-largest promotion, is considering mandatory drug testing. It's making a little progress: the small promotion began offering medical coverage for injuries in and out of the ring to its workers, and it is considering offering full medical and dental coverage.

And the article says that the WWE is also making headway. Swartz says the WWE released worker Jeff Hardy when he refused drug testing...(though I've read that Jeff leaving was a bit of a mutual decision, as Jeff was tired of the business in general, and the WWE was tired of Jeff Hardy's shenanigans, the drug use among them....)

But the more things change, the more they stay the same....Piper says that when he began to raise a stink about the impact drugs have had on the business during his last tenure with the WWE, he got fired...(though this is a little bit of hyperbole on Piper's part...he was essentially working a week-to-week contract, though it was one that was not renewed after Piper appeared on an HBO Sports segment....)

It's an interesting story.

Wrestlers and wrestling fascinate me. It's all the show. It's kind of a synthesis of the rock lifestyle and the need for testosterone-fueled retribution/violence.

I'll think more on this.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Thinking Out Loud

First, my thoughts go out to the families and friends of those lost in Spain today. The world we live in is a tough one. One or two, or a few people with an axe to grind and enough money to get ahold of some high-yield explosives can sour a lot of people's lives in a second.

Here's a thought, and I'm interested in anybody else's thoughts.

A lot of these splinter groups form as a reaction to oppression (actual, or percieved) from authority figures.

We're getting a lot of movement from the authorities to clamp down on little things here lately. Whether it's the language on the radio, the skin on the television. Or making sure that something as inconsequential to our status as a nation as the definition of marriage stays within certain bounds. Or making people jump through 1900 different hoops when travelling, or dancing 89 different bureaucratic dances when it comes to anything else in our lives, nowadays (it is tax time, don't ya know?).

There are so many controls, small as they may be, being placed on our lives. Here lately, it's seemed that our government's not much more than a scold.

How many of these little pressures are the seeds for larger discontents down the road?

It's kind of like the story of the preacher's kid. Placed under the largest amount of discipline, they often rebel the hardest, and become the wildest of the bunch.

Just thinking out loud. With all the fines and scolding we've seen the FCC hand down lately, and with all the attempts to protect everybody's eyes and ears from anything much is too much? At what point does the pressure create the dangerous splinters that we spoke of earlier?

I say all this not being completely clued in on the Spanish political situation. It's something I intend to read up on in the next couple of hours.

Again. Just thinking out loud.
Harlan Ellison Eulogizes Julius Schwartz

Longtime DC Comics Editor and all-around SF guru Julius Schwartz passed away a little more than a month ago. His friend Harlan Ellison remembers him with this piece.
Pure Joy

Does anybody else get a surge of joy when they successfully manage to scare somebody? Whether it's simply startling somebody out of something they're involved with, or something more involved, like jumping around a corner at somebody, or breaking a long silence in a car ride with a bloodcurdling scream?

I do it unintentionally, sometimes. I'm pretty tall, and imposing, but I move kind of quietly (ninja training, don't ya know). Sometimes, I'll walk up on somebody with their back turned, and without intending to, I'll startle them when I move into their field of vision. Or if I speak.

Those times are nice, but the times I'm talking about, the times I really, really live for, are those that you catch a victim completely unawares. And you jar them completely out of their peaceful daydreams.

Last night at work, I managed to sneak up on a co-worker who was sitting and writing at a table. He was completely involved in whatever it was he was writing, and he hadn't heard me enter the room.

Slowly, ever so delicately, I moved into striking position. Without taking another step, I moved my body as close to his hunched frame as I could without violating that personal space radar that we all have. Taking care not to inhale so sharply as to be heard, I took a slow, deep breath.....

Ka Blam! I yelled, a scant 18 inches from his back, as loudly as I could.

Victory. Plain and Simple. Many of us have antagonistic relationships with people at work. This one is a friendly antagonism. An on-going test of wills to see who will break under the pressure of the other's thumb.

I won this round.

I think I almost caused my co-worker to have a heart attack. He jumped off the bench he was sitting on, and had he been in a chair, he'd have fallen to the ground.

He looked at me, bewildered at first, and maybe a little relieved. And then he got incredibly angry.

I got called several bad names, and was told that I'd scared the shit out of him.

And somehow, when I said that such a thing wasn't possible (for one thing, there was no 5'6" pile of feces and a skin lying on the ground like a discarded, deflated balloon), that seemed to make it okay for him to strike me with a cardboard mailing tube.

In a way, it's a double victory, as he resorted to violence, thus wiping out any karmic retribution I might have otherwise recieved.
Today's Funny

I post this joke hoping to end the cycle. It was a fine joke, the first time I heard it. That was a while ago. But in the past three days, two people e-mailed it to me, and one of my co-workers told it to me last night. Maybe by doing this, I can show the world that Yes, I have heard this one:

A little old lady answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner.

"Good morning," said the young man. "If I could take a couple of minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners."

"Go away!" said the old lady. "I haven't got any money!" and she proceeded to close the door.

Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open.

"Don't be too hasty!" he said. "Not until you have at least seen my demonstration."

And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure onto her hallway carpet.

"If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder."

The old lady stepped back and said, "Well I hope you've got a good appetite, because they cut off my electricity this morning."

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Go Read This

Do you know how I read something on the internet? It's got like seven seconds to catch me. Because there are like a billion and a half other pages for me to go read.

Sheila's post had me from word one, and I don't think I moved, other than to scroll down, while I read.

Go read this entry, Rimbaud's Son, from Sheila O'Malley. It's some of the best writing I've read in a while.
Dog Food for 60 Cents

Big Cans. Big cans of Dog Food. Pedigree. The good stuff. Not that Skippy shit, that they make out of sawdust and carpet scraps. Pedi-Damn-Gree.

Different varieties. Chunky Chicken. Lamb and Rice. Turkey and Bacon. The mind boggles.

I mean, Pedigree has stuff that vaguely resembles what's being advertised on the can, in the can. I mean, if it says Turkey, it's like the dangly thing on the turkey's chin, and the toes, but it's turkey!

And by Gorsh, that Country Stew looks just like people food!!!!!!!

It's being closed out. I don't know if they're getting new Pedigree, or if they're getting a different brand.

I don't care.

Because, I've hit the mother lode.

It's on closeout. Should I share? Or should I just splurge, and spend my entire lottery scratchoff ticket winnings ($77) on closed out big giant cans of dog food?

I carry around 20 cans, while I look at the paper plates and the flushable wipes with the aloe on them that get you cleaner than regular Charmin, and I do the math in my head.

20 x .60 = $12.

I am astounded at my mathmagical abilities.

Even more that I can buy more dog food.

In all, there are 72 cans that are being closed out.

Three meals a day.

Tommy's eating good for the next 24 days.

Share schmare. Sometimes, ya gots to fend for yourself.

(Big Stupid Tommy, Mathmagician).
Bobcat Goldthwait

Bobcat Goldthwait, on getting to go to the Oscars:

"I felt like a Make-a-Wish Kid."

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

This ain't Jack's Chinatown

Laurenn goes to Chinatown. (Scroll to March 8, if it doesn't take you there....)

...yessir, I understood that hong kee part, but I don't get ya when ya call me wheat smell cracker.....
What is Killing the World's Oldest People?

Diane, who is on the alert for these kind of things, sent me this:

World's Oldest Man, Dead at 114.

It seems to be a weekly occurrence. It's beyond me. It's a mystery. What is killing the world's oldest people?
The Meeting of Pop Culture and The Ad Industry

Mr. Warren Ellis seems a little irked, but I'll let you judge.

On a personal note, I'm feeling much better.

I spat out a huge wad of nastiness this morning which, upon hitting the floor, gained a rough sort of sentience. It wasn't capable of higher philosophical discussion, or even the stringing together of words in display of coherent thought, per se. So, naturally, me and my phlegm had a lot in common, and we got along really good.

Not really. On either count. It was possessed of a conniving, cunning problem solving intelligence. Which made smashing it to death with a hammer after it spat back at me something of a problem. Actually, it managed to ensnare me in a quickly devised trap based on the principle of the lever, my love of cupcakes and a large, wooden crate.

Oddly enough, when I explained to my co-workers that a wad of phlegm managed to trap me in the wooden box, it seemed to satisfy them. At least, that's what meaning I took from their shaking their heads sadly at me, and turned away.

I don't know where my wad of phlegm got to, though I've got a feeling it's got a place in the upcoming presidential race, if that's what direction it goes. I know only that it got away from us last night. So be on the lookout.

(there is still something wrong with my brain).

Monday, March 08, 2004


I was a bit under the weather this weekend. In that time, I found out that it's possible for me to sleep 33 out of 48 hours, that my new Hell would be Wal-Mart on a Saturday while feeling fluish, and that is is necessary to check your rental ticket when renting a movie, otherwise you accidentally end up with a copy of the Amanda Peet classic Whipped.

I don't know if I accidentally grabbed the ticket off the box, or if that ticket had been put in the box of the movie I meant to rent by accident or by malice. I did learn to make sure to look carefully at the ticket. It is possible I was given the movie by accident at the counter. After careful consideration, there's no way to be sure. I thought about burning the place, just to make a point. But since I'm not sure what the point would be, and since I enjoy renting movies there, it would probably be a bit extreme.

Whichever, take my word: Whipped is a turd.

And I like Amanda Peet.

But Whipped is horrid. Though it's interesting to watch as an exercise in how not to construct a movie.

I did rent Intolerable Cruelty, which I liked, though it went round and round a bit much for my taste. The didn't write the original script, but the Coens managed to meld the original with the dark humor that comes from their corner of the universe.

And School of Rock, which was light and funny, and just what I needed, to be honest. If you watch the DVD, watch the extras, especially Jack's MTV Diary. I like Jack, as he doesn't take himself seriously.

Watching Gangs of New York right now, which I haven't seen since I saw it in the theater. I need a bigger TV. What looks like a grand throng on a big screen looks like a busy beehive on my television.

That's all.
Hercules Hernandez Passes Away

Pro Wrestling Insider is reporting that Ray "Hercules" Hernandez has passed away, possibly due to a heart attack. He would have been 46 in May of this year.

Hercules had a couple of memorable feuds in the culminating in a Full-Nelson match with Billy Jack Haynes at Wrestlemania III, and another with Ted Dibiase, after Bobby "the Brain" Heenan sold Herc's services down the river.

He also was part of the tag team "Power & Glory" with Paul Roma, which had a decent mid-card run back in their day.
Today's Funny

A little boy went to his teacher and told her he found a dead cat on the playground.

The teacher asked, "How do you know it's dead?"

The boy replied innocently, "Because I pissed in its ear and it didn't move"

The teacher, astonished, replied "You did what?"

The boy then stated, "You know, I bent down and went "psssst" in his ear and he didn't wake up!"


(Hell yeah--Let's the the pedants ruin this one--two e-mails and a Gunny comment explaining how the telephone number trick thing works are all I can take).
Key West

Anybody remember the TV Show Key West?

It was a mid-season replacement, I believe. In 1993. Eleven years ago.

On Fox. That part I remember.

Fox cuts all the great shows short. That should be their motto. "Give us a great television show, we'll bury against a monster like Friends and cancel it, so that we can air something like American Idol 9 nights a week."

It had Fisher Stevens, who was a writer, who moved to Key West to be like Hemingway. And Denise "Yar" Crosby, as the Mayor. And Jennifer Tilly, who was Savannah, the town hooker, with a heart of gold. And also, the guy who was the badass stab-other-aliens-in-the-neck alien from X-Files. He was like the town sheriff.

And I don't remember any of the specifics of the show. I mean, it wasn't that great a show. You good that I actually remember what specific episodes are about. I mean, Key West is no Webster.

But it was pretty cool, nonetheless.

Sunday, March 07, 2004


From SKBubba comes a link to a very well done article from Metro Pulse and writer Mike Gibson, looking at Knoxville, Tennessee's place in pro wrestling's territory days:

Wrasslin' the Way it Oughta Be
Phone Number Trick

From the e-mail:

A calculator and your phone number: a mind-blowing combination.

--Note, if you are using a graphing calculator, do not enter all of the information at once. do each step one by one.--

1) Ignoring your area code, key-in the first 3 digits of your phone number into the calculator

2) multiply by 80

3) then plus 1

4) multiply by 250

5) plus the last four digit of phone number

6) plus the last four digit of phone number again

7) minus 250

8) divide by 2 at last

Now, it may because I'm still working whatever creeping crud sickness I've had the last couple of days out of my system, but this was entertaining for a good couple of minutes.

Photoshopped recreations of Gary Larson's Far Side Cartoons

Do you think my bank would approve a loan on the EBay MIG Jet auction? Yessir, I need at least $3.5 million so that I might buy a jet. For purposes of revenge and/or showing off.

From Perfectly Cromulent, we find a little bit of Shatnerian Catharsis.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

More Definition

You are 34% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

Seen over at Rebel Yell.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Friday Five

Haven't played Friday Five in a while.

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name?

Ms. Lingerfelt. She was pretty mean, and we fought on 19 different occasions. I'd win sometimes, and she won her share. I think we came out of the ordeal with a grudging respect for one another.

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?

Being a young comic geek, I really enjoyed the Super Powers show. The Amazing Spider-Friends was another good one. But the all-time best was Muppet Babies. Because it was the single-most formative influence upon my current moral situation.

3. ...the name of your very first best friend?

Michael. We liked baseball.

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?

Back in the day, I was a huge fan of the Apple Jacks. They aren't as good anymore. Literally. They don't taste the same. Plus, I don't know if it's the idea to put in green rings, or add shapes to it (what the hell do blue carrots have to do with Apple Jacks?).

When I eat cereal (I don't much), I like that Raisin Bran Granola Crunch. Peanut Butter Crunch is pretty good, too.

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?

Dude, if it was baseball season, and the Cubs were at home and on WGN, I'd usually get home right around the fourth inning or so. So I was in front of the TV, watching the Cubs.

If the Cubs weren't playing, I'd watch any manner of cartoon...G.I. Joe, Transformers, M.A.S.K., Thundercats, Go-Bots. And there were quite a few episodes of Diff'rent Strokes thrown in for good measure.

Also, I enjoyed going to my buddy Tregg's house, until we moved out into the country, and it would have been a ridiculously long walk then.
Charlie Brown Karma

Sometimes, I think I'd do better if I'd just not even open my mouth at all.

In yesterday's post about football and bowling, there came a discussion about germs, and how bowling lane balls have fecal matter and other various unpleasantness in the finger holes.

And Gunny brought up the very good point germs being everywhere, and how we have an immune system to protect us from such things.

And I made the statement that you have to strengthen the immune system, blabbity blabbity blabbity.

I just want to say that this morning I feel miserable. Pounding head, with snot, and cough and an overall rundown feeling. A cold's been going around at work, and I'd managed to dodge it. Until now, I think.

Don't ever taunt your immune system. It's spiteful. And petty.