Monday, January 31, 2005

Link Love

Link Love

Because I's a lay-zee mofo.

I didn't touch on this last night. That rambling, nonsensical Sammy Sosa post was the longest thing I've posted here in a while. But I did forget to mention one of my thoughts. Who's gonna play right field? The Cub Reporter quotes the Chicago Tribune....Jeromy Burnitz!!!??!?!?????!????!!!!!.

That would make me crazy. Not fun crazy, either. More like talking-to-the-voices-wipe-my-feces-on-the-wall-cut-people-up-with-ginsu-knives crazy. Or, as I heard the other night, "Textbook Crazy." Somebody used that phrase the other night. "She's Textbook Crazy." It made me smile, hearing that.

Well, signing Jeromy Burnitz would be textbook crazy.

Surely Jim Hendry has more sense. Surely.


Bill McCabe watched the William Shatner Classic Kingdom of the Spiders. I watched Kingdom of the Spiders once when I was in elementary schoo, and I was home from school sick with something or other. And in my weakened, fever-delusional state, I told myself that it was a good movie. Then, a couple or three years ago, I rented it again to watch it. It's impressively bad. Now, if I'm sick, I stick to the game shows.


If Richard Gere can do it, so can she...The Mad Sister speaks on the behalf of the people of Earth:

You may say over and over that you know someone who looks exactly like me except for the fact that they're East Indian, but I'm pretty sure that they can't really be my twin if I'm a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman. Now if you said you met someone who looked exactly like me and her name was Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, then I might be more apt to believe you.

And, finally:

Luche Libre hurts the Evil Hippy's he decides to hurt our brains, too....

Sunday, January 30, 2005



Well, barring the used car salesman ostensibly in charge of baseball making an ass of himself yet again by vetoing the trade...and barring Sammy or another player failing a physical...Sammy Sosa will not be a Chicago Cub this season.

I don't want to say this news excites me, but I had to call in sick to work today because I couldn't get a pair of pants to fit me properly.

Late last week, commenting on something Len had said last week on his blog, I said that I felt the media was painting the Cubs/Sosa situation a little more ugly than it was. It was ugly, said I, but not really as ugly as the portrait we've been seing. I felt that when we got down to the brass tacks of baseball, that Sammy would be there to play his role. Bitching about it or not. More than that, I felt like Hendry, Dusty and company had resigned themselves to getting Sammy on the same page (at best), or working around him if he decided to still be a problem.

But then I got told at work yesterday that the trade was close to coming to be. I jumped for joy. Literally.

In that conversation with Len, I also sad that if there's anybody who's happier than I am to see the big roided up goofball heading east, it's the Sloth, who reports on Cubs' GM Jim Hendry's ascension to sainthood....

Now, I'm not big on comparative analysis. I'll leave most of that to all you number crunchers who like distilling it down to the science in the stats.

From where I sit:

I think this helps the team chemistry. Chemistry's one of those important yet intangible things. It's not THE most important thing for a team. But I feel like over the course of a season, if you have two teams who are fairly equally matched in talent, the team that has a group of players who get along well and want to play together will do better than the team who merely shows up to cash their paychecks, and who doesn't get along well.

Maybe I'm a dope that way.

Sammy's bad for that chemistry. Always has been. Unwilling to adjust, slow to do so when made to do so. Always willing to announce his leadership role, but completely unwilling to do all the little things that go along with it. He was, however, always able to act like a sulking child when true leadership did emerge, and it went in a direction not the same as Sammy's.

Add to that the fact that Sammy's off the juice, declining in production and getting a little injury prone in his older age.

If nothing else, I'm glad to have that out of the clubhouse. And God Bless Peter Angelos and his willingness to take on a sulky, aging, injury-prone goofball, most probably to the chagrine and confusion of his staff and his team's fans.

But don't get me wrong. I don't know that I'm thrilled to death with what we're getting in return. The jury's out on Hairston. Sure, he's a leadoff type of guy, and that's something we've sorely needed, off and on, for years. And he can play just about anyplace on the field. But he's not had a healthy season in a couple of years. And while his ESPN bio states that he's learning patience at the plate, drawing more walks...that's the type of thinking Dusty "Walks are for Pussies" Baker can reverse in a few weeks of spring training.

Also, he hasn't had a healthy season in a couple of years. Injuries put us in the hole last year. That's a concern.

I'd like a closer. I'd like to have that guy at the end of the game who doesn't have a Joebo Arm, and whose name isn't LaTroy Hawkins. Jorge Julio would probably frustrate me, too, but if his name isn't LaTroy "I'm a setup man dammit" Hawkins, I'd sign him to close.

Let me pause to say that anytime I write Jorge Julio's name, I have to stop to make sure from another source that I have his first and last names in their correct positions. He's got a couple of first names, there

But anyway.

Do I think the trade will go through? Yeah. I think everybody will pass their physical. I think if Peter Angelos can show that he wants Sammy badly enough, Bud will do a little bit to appease the man who's pissed about having had his territory violated by the Nationals.

Don't know what else to say. We'll just hope everything goes through and that we can start a new chapter.

Friday, January 28, 2005

One of those days

One of those days

Do ya ever just get in "one of those moods?"

You know. Where nothing suits you. Nothing's good enough. Where it doesn't matter what anybody does, they're doing it seemingly just to annoy you. Everything seems like it's been smeared with a glaze of shit? I don't know what that last part means.

Mostly, it means i've been kind of sick of people, lately. I just need a break.

So, when I'm not all social and smiley and happy, and somebody gets on my nerves, and even though I'm not ill or anything with them....

Somebody said "Tommy's on the rag, today."

Jeebus. Admit to one person that I have a monthly menstrual flow, and suddenly I'm more of a girly-man than the guy who admits that he tapes All My Children every day to watch when he gets home from work.

The past couple of days, I've just had very little use for people. It happens every now and then. I'm not a people person. I think I have a quota. Tommy's met his socialization quota for the he will watch re-runs of Family Guy....

People wear on me after a while. Any of you other people with sociopathic tendencies get this? Do you ever notice how you get treated when you admit that people wear you out to a "people person?" You're treated like some kind of freak. He'd rather stay home and read than go out to Ruby Tuesday with the rest of us? Tommy's on the rag.

Stop making fun of my menstrual flow!

It's not my fault that I cry during long distance telephone commercials.

Now, a couple of links that are apropos of absolutely nothing, except that they are what I read while I sat here at the computer, muttering "revenge soon" under my breath:

Chemical testing shows that parts of the Shroud of Turin may be older than the carbon-14 testing results showed in 1988....

We're only cancelling spelling bees, but it leads to a brief point: I'm really sick of this No Child Left Behind bullshit. We're making our kids only as strong as the weakest links.

Robby has a started a discussion of sorts on the emergence of nerds, science nerds specifically, as heroes on our television....

Read those. Maybe I'll be off my PMS tomorrow.



I've been playing morbid astronerd this morning, sitting here in the dark and the cold reading (re-reading, in some cases) stuff on the Challenger accident. It was nineteen years ago that the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. Here's a site with a lot of info....

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Medical Help

Medical Help

Does anybody know the answer to this?

When you're at the doctor's office, and they're doing the hernia test where they palm your nuts, and he tells you to "turn your head and cough," is there anything medical to the "turn your head" part?

I mean, I understand the cough and the nuts part.

But what I'm asking is, does the doctor not want you coughing in his face, or is there some kind of medical occurrence that happens between your lungs, diaphragm and nuts when you turn your head?

I Ain't Writing Nothing

I Ain't Writing Nothing!

I had the day off. And I didn't write a damn thing! And there wasn't a one of you who could make me!

I did laundry, and I vacuumed. I watched a tape lent to me by a friend of episodes of the old WWF show Saturday Night's Main Event from 1988, right around the time of the Wrestlemania IV tournament for the World Title.

The old school WWF is cool, but the commercials from 1988 are really awesome. A Couple of the episodes come complete with 17 year old commercials: an ad for Shakedown, a movie starring Peter Weller and Sam Elliot...commercials for Comtrex....the Old Milwaukee Beer commercial where they're sandsurfing....and a Jack in the Box commercial that I'd never seen, because we didn't start getting Jack in the Box in my part of Tennessee until just a couple or three years ago.....

I did this quiz:

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

I saw it at Dark Bilious Vapors...

And now! I'm going to eat dinner. Chicken. A chicken dinner. A dinner, made up of chicken. And nothing else. Except pudding. Chicken and pudding. Butterscotch pudding.



Stuff, and things

Stuff, and things

Boing Boing had this link, this morning. I've managed to put off a couple of errands with this page: Figurines based on the work of Heironymous Bosch

I'm thinking with my birthday being three or so weeks away, some of you needed birthday gift ideas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005



In other news, it turned Wednesday something late today. Around 9:12 AM, if memory serves.

More later.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Tsunami Spirits

Tsunami Spirits

Warren Ellis had this link up...many in the regions ravaged by last month's tsunami in Asia now believe they are plagued by the spirits of those who died in the disaster....

The Top 5 Americans in History

The Top 5 Americans of the 20th century

These are the top 5 Americans of the last century.

5. Franklin Roosevelt.

He was in Annie. Also, he's on the dime, which is, like, the second or third most important coin. He was in a wheelchair, and he was President of these here United States from 1933-1966. He single handedly fought Godzilla, and won. He's coolest because he started each day with a bowl of Quaker oatmeal.

4. Jackie Robinson

He was in a movie about himself, and he's had his number retired by every Major League Baseball Club. My uncle once got beaten up by Jackie Robinson. It wasn't a racism thing, either. My uncle really needed beaten down, and the only guy around to do it at the time was Jackie Robinson.

3. Abraham Lincoln

Imagine how frightening it would be to be around Abraham Lincoln when he's wearing that stovepipe hat. He'd be like 9 feet tall. I'll be he had hands like dinner plates. I'm thinking he'd be a scary guy to deal with. His wife was loony. He was the first wrassler to become President.

2. Eudora Welty

When I picture Eudora Welty in my mind, I picture a frog. And the idea of frogs writing these great southern stories is very funny to me. I wonder if she ate bugs. A lot of writers (Danielle Steele) do that. Also, when I picture Flannery O'Connor, I picture a quilt.

1. Arthur Fonzarelli (the Fonz)

It's a little early in this century to declare these things, but he's my early bet for most important American in the 21st century, as well.

Wrasslin' Thoughts, in brief

Wrasslin' Thoughts, in brief

Just a couple of thoughts on last night's Monday Night Raw.

A positive effort, on the whole. With the exception of it being yet another episode ending with Lex Luger Randy Orton staring defiantly at Triple H.

I don't think Batista's going to win the Rumble. I'm fairly sure they're gearing him up for a Diesel/Stone Cold run in the Rumble. That's where we have Batista coming in, clearing out the ring (usually starting with the biggest dog in the match, which has to be Viscera), and then standing by himself for a couple of entrants.

I say I don't think he'll win the Rumble, but that doesn't mean much with the WWE. They book stupidly, here lately.

My wishful thinking booking? Triple H had Ric Flair put in the Rumble as kind of an afterthought. Have Flair win the thing by surprise. You can have Orton win the World Title match (how it makes me shudder to say that), but have Batista interfere somehow. Have Orton, Batista and Triple H feud to Mania.

Meanwhile, you have to ratchet up how Flair's viewed. The Hippy and I hit it last night. Here lately, Evolution's Ric Flair is more like Jerry Van Dyke on Coach than he is The Nature Boy we've all known for years. You take Flair off the retard pills. You have him win a couple of matches cleanly from the Rumble to Wrestlemania.

And then, at Wrestlemania, the other members of Evolutions' feud culminates in a triple threat match for the title, with the winner (Triple H) facing the Rumble winner Ric Flair. Flair wins, gets the big showy sendoff, and retires.

It'd never happen, and it would leave a vacant title twice in a four month span (which isn't reason enough not to do it in the WWE, I'll grant...they're the stupidest people outside of the NWATNA and Dusty Rhodes, here lately....)

But it's wishful thinking. They'll probably do the triple threat thing, but with Batista winning the Rumble. Or some shit like that.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Monday Morning Miscellany

Monday Morning Miscellany

An alliterative post title for a morning where I have to drag my ass out of bed extra early. For what? More work. And I was having a delightfully weird dream about living on the bank of a river. Although, I probably need to count my blessings and my victories, because when I woke up, I had to pee like a racehorse.


I was 15 or so when Johnny Carson retired, so I don't have a huge number of memories surrounding the guy or the show. The Tonight Show was the show I'd watch on Friday nights when I was 10 or 11, and my folks let me stay up because there was no school. Summer vacations, I watched the Johnny Carson. But by that point in his career where I'd reached the age where I could really come to appreciate a lot of the comedy, he was working three or four nights a week, and Jay Leno was working a lot of his nights off. I've never cared much for Leno...on Leno nights, I watched Arsenio Hall.

Still, what memories I do have of the guy and his show are pleasant. And it was surprising and saddening to turn on the computer and see that a giant in the field of comedy had passed on.


I said it last year...if there is a problem with all this parity in the NFL (and keep in mind that I don't think there's really a problem at all...), it's that you're gonna have Super Bowls every now and then with two teams you don't really care about. I don't have anything particularly for or against either the Patriots or the Eagles. Well, that's not true. I've never cared for the Eagles, much. But I've always had more against those classy, classy Eagles fans than I did the team. But the Eagles helped the cause when they picked up T.O. I've got no use for Terrell Owens.

I'll probably root for the Patriots, if only because I appreciate the role-playing non-superstar, get the job done approach they take with their team. That said, it's hard for me to cheer on a dynasty, or someone building a dynasty. It ain't logical, but I never once claimed to be a logical sumbitch.


It's 7 degrees here this morning. SEVEN!!!!! Huzzah.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Too Stupid Not to Post

Too Stupid Not to Post

What do you call a flat backed camel?


Today's Funny

Today's Funny

I liked it:

A busload of politicians was driving down a country road, when suddenly the bus ran off the road and crashed into an old farmer's barn.

The old farmer got off his tractor and went to investigate. Soon he dug a hole and buried the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus and apsked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone.

The old farmer said, "I buried them."

The sheriff asked the old farmer, "Lordy, they were ALL dead?"

The old farmer said, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them crooked politicians lie."

Wokka Wokka.



It's not my immediate neck of the woods, but I wouldn't bat an eye if I found it there....

Found at Warren Ellis' site.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Who Knew?

Who Knew?

Your Famous Blogger Twin is Wil Wheaton

You're a friendly, funny guy (or girl) next door
With more than a touch of geekiness


Seen at Steve Silver's blog....

Thursday, January 20, 2005



Man. Sometimes it just hits you like a ton of bricks. (Or a ton of peanut butter).

Yeah, Spring Training's nice an all, and pitchers and catchers will start reporting about a month from now.

But baseball. Real Baseball that means something? It's still 2 and a half months away.

And local baseball is three months away.

On the upside, the Chattanooga Lookouts' home opening series is against the Diamond Jaxx, so I get to see me some Double A Cubs the first home series of the season.

Mike Piazza and Alicia Rickter's Wedding Registry

Mike Piazza and Alicia Rickter's Wedding Registry

Chris had this link, to the wedding gift registry for the soon-to-be-married Mike Piazza and ultra-hottie Alicia Rickter.

Sweet Shit! Look at this crap!

214 dollars for a Tray Table!?!?!?!

330 dollars for a Teapot?!?!???!?!!

498 dollars for an ostrich legged Chest of Drawers??!??!??!!!

A grand for a gameside table?!?!?!?!

I don't even know what half that shit is!!!!!!

And I'm thinking that Mr. Piazza's making some decent scratch from those NY Mets. If he wants a 330 damn dollar teapot, he can buy his own 330 damn dollar teapot. If my 2 dollar bought-at-Goodwill teapot makes tea well enough for me, it should make it well enough for Mike and (especially) Alicia.

And let me say this. If I'm Mike Piazza and I'm working to prove I'm not gay, while marrying Alicia Rickter isn't a bad move, not a bad move at all...I'd have a few macho things on the wedding registry. Maybe a gun, or perhaps a really macho pickup truck.

Hell, put a truck on there. People are buying you thousand dollar tables you crazy millionaire you. I'm sure if you put The A-Team Van on there, somebody would pick that up for you.

Or do you think that's what he's spending some of that baseball scratch on? That's why they're getting teapots and tray tables? Because Mike's blowing his money on A-Team vans?

That's what I'd do, if I had baseball money. Buy the A-Team van.

Maybe they're related

Maybe they're related

Breaking my own no-politics rule:

You know, ever since Condoleeza Rice burst onto the public scene, I've tried to remember who she reminded me of. Pete hit the perfect picture, and it hit me.

Maybe they're related.



World Wrestling Entertainment's Viscera

Now, Condy dresses much better. Viscera prefers capes and vests that seem to be fashioned from trashbags.

The French are Rude

The French are Rude

Via Fark and the Weekly World News:

For generations, Parisians have known that the Eiffel Tower is a portal to Hell, and have left unsuspecting tourists prey to Satan's sinister minions who enter our world through a secret trap door under the tower. "People frequently say they leave the tower changed, and they do. The demons sometimes take people back down with them, but more often they suck their souls and leave the bodies to climb back down in a daze and carry out their evil missions," says Jacques Boudreau, visibly shuddering. "Parisians have known about the portal for years....."

Of all the classless things in the world, you don't let people know where your country's portals to Hell are? It seems to me that should be something included in the fine print of your advertisement material. Maybe there should even be an asterisk (or, to my coworkers, an astrix) to denote that Hey! The Eiffel Tower Has a Hell Hole!

Or put a sign up! "Warning! There is a portal to Hell in the Eiffel Tower!"

I wonder if the portal to hell opened when Superman had to save Lois Lane from those terrorists at the beginning of Superman II. On second thought, I would say not, because Superman did take that bomb up into space, where it released General Zod and company.

Anyway, in the interest in making America less like France, I'm going to post a big Hell Hole Warning sign for EVERYBODY.

Folks, we have one portal to Hell in America. Our Hell Hole is hidden well, but like the best hiding places, it's out in the open. It's advertised every October on ESPN and Fox TV. Our portal to Hell in America is called Yankee Stadium. Every year, Satan uses whatever means necessary to draw people to his portal by the millions, so that he can eat their souls.

So. Don't go to Yankee Stadium.

Also, far be it from me to correct the grammar of a reporter from the fine Weekly World News publication...but they say that Jacques Boudreau is visibly shuddering.

As opposed to what? Shuddering invisibly?

I hate it when people shudder invisibly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Long, Rambling Post in which I talk about a movie I saw

A Longish, Rambling Post in which I talk about a movie I saw

I sat down tonight to do nothing but watch a movie. It's been too long since I've done that. Far too long.

I've been writing a lot, lately. A goodly bit. If I made a New Year's Resolution, it was to buckle down just a little bit in the writing department. I've been too lazy in the writing department. It's meant a lot of early, early mornings, a lot of nights spent with my ears in the earphones to block out all the distractions, and a lot sitting in front of a computer screen ruining my eyes.

I've reached a stopping point. It's the stopping point, and that's pretty much all I know at this point. It's a frustrating point where I can't seen the forest for all these frigging trees. I'm at the a put it away in a drawer stage, and let it get out of my mind.

So, I've got a little time on my hands.

And I feel entitled to a break. This is maybe interesting, maybe not. I don't holler at myself when I watch the Sunday night Fox lineup of The Simpsons, Arrested Development, and the recently added Family Guy. I don't get ill at myself when I go to watch Monday Night Wrasslin'. (which tho I do enjoy it, I will grudgingly admit wrasslin is very nearly the most mindless thing on the teevee...entertainment at its most base...methinks thats why I like it...the mindless entertainment of it all...).

But if I want to sit down and watch a movie? Here lately, I give myself hell for it.

But tonight, since I was at a stopping point, I felt a little entitled to take a break. To do something like watch a movie. You know, make it worth the money I'm paying for that Netflix account.

I watched Collateral.

Quick word: Very good.

Let me say this before I ruminate on the flick.

Though there are many, many fine movie-viewing establishments in and around East Tennessee, I live quite a way away from the majority of them. Not so far so as it is prohibitive for me to watch a cinematic effort. But far enough way that it becomes difficult to be spontaneous and say to yourself "I wanna see a movie," and then go, especially if it's just me going. If I'm going with a group, or meeting somebody someplace, it's nothing at all. But if I'm just carting my own ass around, somehow, that trip becomes a little bit more of a hassle.

It's called living in the boondocks.

Second bummer? I live so far out in the sticks that there's no cable service, and I'm so deep in the tall, tall woods that I'd have to cut several trees to get reliable line of sight for a satellite.

I'm digressing.

The environment is decent for writing, and that's what I do. With varying amounts of success. This post being not the best example of such the success, I'd say.

Suffice it to say one of the things I gave up when I moved here was a nearby decent movie theater (there are a couple nearby crappy theaters...I don't know if I wrote the debacle that was trying to see Ocean's 12 here in my small town at the small theater....I'll just say that I had to wait until another viewing to see the last half hour or so...I got so fed up with the projection screwups that I went and got my money back....)

Anyway, being that decent sounding, decent viewing, clean, show-movies-all-the-way-through-with-no-breaks theaters are such a nuisance to get to, I've missed a lot of movies this past year. A lot.

Collateral was one of them.

That's what I watched tonight.

And it's been a while since I've been sucked into a movie like this one.

Gotta love that conflict between the soulful man with the hopes and dreams, but a lack of gumption to take them anywhere, with the man with all the gumption in the world, singleminded and direct, but who lacks a soul to have hopes and dreams. Vincent and Max complement each other nicely, in the pragmatic ways. It was interesting to watch the interplay between them.

A good effort from Michael Mann. This one jumpst to the top of the list of his works, for me. He takes on a lot of interesting subjects...but My Heavens can he be slooooooow sometimes. To the point of my losing interest (Ali is the big one tat comes to mind: I lost interest about halfway through). But Collateral manages to throw a couple of jolts into the generally slow burn of tension.

I also appreciated the camera work...the claustrophobic feel of being in a cab with Foxx and Cruise was excellent.

It's now 12:37, and this is probably not a coherent post, or review.

I'll just say that I recommend Collateral. It's a fine, fine flick....

Poor Phrasing

Poor Phrasing

We need clarity on the TV.

It is poor phrasing for the local news to tease a story with a line something along the path of this:

"A miracle baby? Learn how a doctor performed the surgery while he was still in the womb."

Man. A doctor, while still in the womb? That beats the shit out of Doogie Howser.

That hospital's gotta have both a helluvagood lawyer and an even more helluvagood malpractice insurance policy.

How did he see? Did he have a monitor set up inside the womb? Because I tend to think that he's working out of the, well, the exit hole. I tend to think his arms would get in the way of his line of sight.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday, because I have to fill the blog with something more than these random thoughts that have no connecting thread....

Week 40: Jumping the Shark
As TV fans, we hear it all the time--"This show has jumped the shark"

For those of you who might not be aware, there is a web site called The site attempts to find the exact moment when a TV show goes from being really good to being not as good. The Jump the Shark refers to the infamous Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumped over a shark on water skis. After that, it was all downhill for the show. (If you head over to the Jump the Shark web site, you can see a huge database of shows and the moment when fans feel they made the fateful jump.)

Right now, fans are debating if a couple of shows aren't becoming Shark bait. So, this week, we'll take a look at just when good shows go wrong.

1. What is the worst Jump the Shark moment for a show that you've faithfully watched? Did you continue to watch after the show took the jump or did you give up in disgust?

There are a couple of moments with The Andy Griffith Show. The first is when Barney left. What the hell is this Warren crap, huh? Huh? Huh? Yeah, it was the Andy Griffith Show, but Barney was its heart.

But I'll watch a black and white episode without Barney. However, under no circumstance will I watch a color episode of The Andy Griffith Show. There's just something wrong with an episode of Andy Griffith in color. I mean, there's a timeless quality to the Andy Griffith Show when seen in black and white. But when it's in color? I don't know. It dates everything....


Nobody could have helped it, but when Phil Hartman died, Newsradio lost a lot of its oomph. I like Jon Lovitz, but nobody could have replaced Phil Hartman in that show.

2. Is there a show that you're currently watching that you think has Jumped the Shark? Any show that currently is putting on a life vest and strapping on water skis?

I don't care much for West Wing, since Aaron Sorkin left. And it's not the small changes in political focus, or the darker tone of the show. It's the fact that none of the characters are as sharply defined as they were in the first couple or three seasons.

There was a time that you could read a few lines of dialog from a script to me, and based on who was saying what, I could tell you who's in the scene.

That focus is gone.

A friend of mine argues that maybe West Wing jumped even before that. He says that the show lost a lot of its appeal when Rob Lowe's Sam Seborn left, that more than any other character, he was the moral compass.

A second answer?

The Simpsons lost a little something for me when the effects of one episode had anything more than a superficial effect on other episodes. I liked that each episode of the Simpsons was a self-contained story taking place within its own universe, without fear of ramifications in the future.

And it's not even big things. But little things, like Maude Flanders dying, and staying dead...or Apu getting married and having the litter of kids. Those things are little more than a jumping board for somebody to tell a story later (we've had a couple of Flanders relationship episodes since).

It just seems like they're constricting themselves, somewhat. Setting boundaries, where none of the other episodes had boundaries. I don't think it's necessarily jumping the shark, but there is the smallest line of dermarcation.

3. Is there a show that has never taken the jump?

Cheers was pretty consistent all the way through, in my book.

4. Is there a show that got close to jumping but then came back?

You know, when they introduced the kid (Seven) in Married With Children, and then had him vanish without a word of explanation, I always considered it a funny kind of joke. Like maybe somewhere in the Bundy household, there was a small child that had starved to death.

Well, maybe not that funny.

But I appreciated that the folks on Married With Children just ignored the little bastard like he'd never been. How many add-on characters are there that I wish that had happened to?


5. What elements do you think most contribute to a show making the jump?

Time, mostly. Money, is another. Most characters have a finite story to be told. But if there are advertising dollars to be made, still, then we'll just create new circumstances. Sometimes, those circumstances just don't work.....

Tuesday Quick Random Thoughts

Tuesday Quick Random Thoughts

Somehow, the morning on Tuesday squirts through my fingers quicker than the other mornings.

I'm not gonna rant about wrasslin' this morning. Except to say that if the WWE is going to continue to shove Randy Orton in my face as a main-eventer, they could, at least, get him to calm down enough when reading to his teleprompter to not use phrases like "my most greatest night," in reference to his World Title win in Canada.

Is it as ass-freezingly cold where you are? Probably colder, I'll wager. But we got down to 9 degrees up here at the BSTommy Compound. God Bless You if you're someplace like Minnesota, or even in the aforementioned Great White North. I like the cold, but I don't like the cold which causes my testicles to hide somewhere up around the lungs.

Three of my Dad's sisters are going to President Bush's Inauguration this Thursday. Mostly for the experience of having gone, though at least one was a big W booster...I know that one is not a fan, and is going simply for the experience of having seen a swearing-in ceremony.

My friend Julie e-mailed to say she was reading Carl Hiaasen's Skinny Dip. I think I'll pick that one up to read as my lunchtime book. It's been a while since I've read something at the same time as somebody else.

I just finished Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan's diary of the 2004 Red Sox season Faithful. I enjoyed it, even if it got a touch tedious...O'Nan's sections were a little boring to me...too much recounting of individual games. Good for some, I guess. But while I was reading, I was more interested in the gut reactions of the two fans than what was actually happening in the Sox season.

Still, I liked the messages between the two writers, mostly bitching about their team. Mr. King screaming for somebody, anybody, to take a pitch!!!, and both their hostility towards manager Terry Francona, whom they name at one point as a puppet for Theo Epstein in the Art Howe/Billy Beane/Moneyball mold. I liked their bitching because it reminded me so much of what a lot of blog writers do on their sites about their respective teams.....

Saturday, January 15, 2005



Another quick annoyance....buying a book you've been looking for a while, and then finding it at the used book store for much less, even after having looked there 19 times. The price wasn't significant enough to try to take the new book back to see if I could get my money back or trade for something else...but still, you get that small feeling in the back of your head that somebody, somewhere, is getting a chuckle out of it. (I tend to blame Loki)

Got the e-mail from the Jeopardy people yesterday, so I get to go do the constestant test and audition in Atlanta next month, assuming this here internet doesn't do something devious and eat e-mails or anything.

This will be my sixth time trying out for the show. I'm a stubborn cuss, I guess. Possibly misguided, I mean, it's just a quiz show.

Going to Bristol later today, to see some family. We'll talk to ya'll later....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Little Annoyances

Little Annoyances

Ain't much going on in this neck of the woods. Sleep's been rough the last little while. I'm getting grouchy, and sniping at little things.

Like what?

Like, when somebody writes a sign, and they try to make a plural by adding an apostrophe and an "s". I saw this the other morning at a fast food joint. A particular type of biscuit was on sale. Somebody had written on a dry erase board leading into the restaurant "2 sausage, egg and cheese biscuit's for 2.22."

I have written many letters, threatened many lawsuits. But they will not tear that Hardee's to the ground.

So today, I say if ya can't beat'em, join'em.

Today, all plural word's will be noted with an apostrophe. I guess this holds true only for all written writing's, but if you can find a way to denote your use of the apostrophe when speaking, more power to you guy's.

Also, when speaking in term's of the possessive, it is probably best to use another form. Instead of John's Toilet Paper, you might want to say That Toilet Paper that Belongs To John.

(Tommy has had little sleep. It is safe for him to say "I gots nuthin'.")

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Today's Funny

Today's Funny


(Careful. That link's safe for work, probably, but some other stuff on the Curmudgeonly and Skeptical site might not be...)



I told the story the other day of meeting a fellow Chicago Cub fan at the post office. He told the story of how he listened to his Cubbies on the radio in that post, reader cubbiebluestew chimed in a similar length of experience when it comes to the Cubbies.

I don't mean to single Stew out. He's been reading for a while though. And I'd never thought about age when it comes to anybody who's reading these little diatribes I write.

So it got me to being curious.

In the comments section, fire off your year of birth. You can even post anonymously, if you like (Steven, we all know you were born in 1968, so don't even try that "I'm only 31" (or 32) mess...)

I'll start it off...I'm a 1977 kid....

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

I'm a follower. I'm also tireder than shit. What is this work bullshit that I have to do EVERY GODDAMN DAY?

Guilty Pleasures, huh? I'll preface all this by saying I don't have any shame. I should, but I don't.

CD I have in my car that I roll up the windows to listen to:

Well, people from the present have CD's in their car. I'm the doofus who's driving a truck with a tape player.

But anyway, once upon a time, I found a tape of the Ghostbusters Soundtrack, and I had one of those temporary obsessions with the theme song from Ghostbusters. I played it over, and over and as loudly as possibly. I probably should have been embarrassed, but wasn't really.

Book I read flat so no one could see the title:

Okay, I do have some shame.

I took a Pop Culture class once upon a time, and we had to read a romance novel as part of it (Janet Dailey's Rivals). I was reading in the library one day, listening to my headset. I looked up from my book (in frustration, probably...I probably threw that book across the room fifty times), and without meaning to, caught the eye of the girl working the info desk. She stared at what I was reading....I mean, it was pretty obvious from the cover what kind of book I was reading....

I had a George Costanza moment, and I had to explain that it was for a class.

She didn't believe me.

Crappiest song ever sung at karaoke:

I've never done karaoke.

Bad movie I watch repeatedly:

Oh hell. I loves me some bad movies.

But we'll stick with a love of disaster movies is well documented. If it involves something getting shaken to death in an earthquake, getting frozen to death or even stomped to smithereens by a giant monster, I'm there, dude.

Armageddon's one that I watch more than is healthy. And I laugh until I'm hoarse every time Steve Buscemi starts shooting with the gun on the rover.

Independence Day is another. You know, Mr. Emmerich is just good for this question, because Day After Tomorrow is another bad movie that I've now seen four times.

Outside the Disaster Movie arena...National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I, Mallrats, Star Trek V (which is closest in spirit, to my mind, if not execution, of the original series), Hell Comes to Frogtown (a Roddy Piper Classic).

But the best, the absolute best of the best bad movies, is the best bad karate movie ever made...Best of the Best. Starring Eric Roberts and Chris Penn. With James Earl Jones. And they're fighting Korea. It's like they had one person write an outline, and another write the dialogue, but never had the two look at anything the other person had done.

Article of clothing I love though I know it's wrong:

No shame. No fashion sense. I wear blue jeans and t-shirts. Nothing too embarrassing.

What I order at the bar when no one is listening:

How stupid is that, to order something when nobody is listening. If NOBODY is listening, then nobody's going to be able to get your drink.

I'll drink what I want to. And unless you want to tell everybody you got your ass whipped by the guy who's been downing appletini after appletini for the past hour, keep laughing, nancy boy....

Fast food item I adore:

I don't know that I adore it, but I really, really dig The Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap from Sonic. It's not on the regular menu, at least not at the Sonics around my parts. It shows up on special, sometimes. But they'll make it for you, if you ask nicely enough.

A TV show that is a good example of the downfall of civilization that I love anyway:

Probably Pro Wrestling. I've watched it for twenty years.

But I'll say this: If civilization can't survive a little pageantry and fake fighting, civilization doesn't really deserve to survive, anyway.

I saw this meme at Bill McCabe's fine, fine blog.

Other people who've played: Sheila, Emily, and the Llama Butchers....

Tuesday, January 11, 2005



Hey you dixiefied quiz show geeks, Jeopardy will be conducting a contestant search in Atlanta in February of this year. They swing through the south only once in a while, so I had to jump. Being that my head is filled with a goodly bit of useless trivia.

And also marshmallow cream.

Tuesday Random Thoughts

Tuesday Random Thoughts

Having one of those morning where all my joints and muscles feel connected. Which might be good...I mean, I do prefer my elbows to be connected to the triceps. But I don't want my shoulder to hurt when I move my left knee. I got my normal 6-7 hours of sleep. Don't know why I feel so worn out.


In the Stupidest Angel, there's a bit about California Schadenfreude, where the rest of the country is secretly happy whenever something horrible happens weatherwise, or earthquake-wise, in California. It's kind of a payment on all that sunny weather, author Christopher Moore (a Californian) opines...

Still. I have an occasional nightmare about mudslides and landslides. So those are spooky, scary images for me. And being buried alive under a mountain of mud? Forget that. I feel for those folks.


The inside of my truck smells vaguely of oregano. I got a Subway sammich the other day. A chicken breast, with oregano they put on before they nuke it. I don't trouble the Subway employees much, but they seemed happy to comply since it wasn't busy. Now my truck smells vaguely of oregano. There are (and have been several) worse things the inside of my truck could smell like.


Put Vaguely Oregano down on the list of nice sounding band names.


I met a Cubs fan at the post office yesterday. I was mailing an Ebay package, and an older feller got in line behind me. He was wearing a Cubs cap. We struck up a conversation. He's been a Cub fan since 1945. His family got their first radio (their first RADIO) in '45. He listened to the Cubs/Tigers series on that radio.

He lived in Indiana for part of the seventies and eighties, and made it to several games at Wrigley. He's seen them all. Ron Santo was his favorite player of all time, though he liked Sandberg a lot. His favorite current player is Aramis Ramirez.

He asked me how long I'd been a Cub fan, and I told him since the 1984 season. I realized that my experience paled in the face of a near 60 year man like this feller, but he said: "'re getting pretty veteran at this by now, ain't ya?"

I do alright.

Quick Raw Thoughts

Quick Raw Thoughts

I'm not gonna talk long about Raw. I'm more than a little bored with Raw.


1.) Okay, so we went through this whole 2 month rigamarole with Triple H having the belt, losing it, having a month of no champ, only to end up exactly where we started? Jeebus. I realize Triple H is a McMahon by marriage, but it's pretty tiresome seeing him as champ. The Triple H/Batista/Orton feud has legs without being over the title belt. Make a story for someone who doesn't have one (Jericho, Benoit) by giving them the belt....

2.) I almost threw up when they decided to show Lita's knee injury from Sunday night's PPV.

3.) Bret Hart fans? Look, I'm with ya, alright? I'm as big a Hitman fan as there was. But seriously. It's been seven years. SEVEN YEARS since Montreal. Let it go. It's a cover your ass business, and Vince and Shawn were covering their asses. Leave Shawn Michaels alone.

4.) Shawn? Don't even dignify them with response, when they start chanting that you screwed Bret. It wasn't an issue last night until you stole Edge's heat by taking a minute to dress down the crowd.....


1.) The "You Screwed Chyna" chant the front row fans gave to Triple H was pretty funny, to me. And to Triple H, too, I think....

Monday, January 10, 2005



I think I just saw a feller, on the news, getting saved from floods in California. Perhaps a little too late, for his tastes. It seems the flood (I assume it was the flood) swepts his britches away from him. They were having to blur his privates. He may have had underwear. There was whiteness in the blur. But considering that that part of my body hasn't seen may have just been his pasty, pasty skin.

I'm sure he didn't mind his ass showing. I mean, his life was in that there mortal danger, so I'm sure "Ass and Balls Swinging Free in Public" was at least second on his list of priorities, behind "Not Dying." I don't think I would mind, even if this seems like exactly the sort of thing that would happen to me.

Not only was I stupid/unlucky enough to get swept up in flood waters, and trapped out in the middle of the raging torrent. But the damned water took my pants and underpants with it.

I just see the guy out, trapped in the water, saying to himself "Well, it can't get any worse than this..." And then the water takes his pants....

Now, if it were me trapped out in the flood, it would be the day that I had to do something odd, like wear the undies that got dyed pink with the red sock in the wash, or the day that I wear the Spider-Man underoos. So, I get saved by these really tough and heroic people, and we look down, and I'm wearing 2XL sized Spider-Man Underwear.

The sad/funny thing is that I'm equally sure he's got at least one jerkass friend who, when all the weather junk is out of the way, is going to show him the video, just to laugh.

"Hey Rob? Remember that time you got saved from the flood with your balls hanging out...."

A tiny little nightmare

A tiny little nightmare

Had a really bizarre dream last night. I'm writing it down to get the whole deal straight in my head. It didn't flow necessarily in a smooth narrative fashion. It's like a lot of my dreams, mainly images and sequences.

I was a contestant on Survivor. Among the other contestants were Neil, a feller I work with, a friend from college whom I haven't seen in a couple of years, my brother-in-law-to-be and my high school Latin teacher.

And in the dream, we were making the hike from the starting point of the show (which was hosted by James Earl Jones in his Thulsa Doom attire from the Conan movie) to our campsite. Our hike began in the parking lot of a burned out grocery store. We proceeded across a grassland, and we ended up somewhere near Paris. At least, I'd assume it was Paris. In the dream, we all looked through one of those viewfinders you find at scenic vistas, the kind where you put a quarter in to look at trees and stuff for a minute or so. And in the viewfinder, I see the Eiffel Tower. Ergo, I think we were supposed to be playing Survivor in France.

My group was looking for our campsite, which we found via the viewfinder at the bottom of a cliff next to a river.

But we didn't make it, because members of the other tribe came down with some manner of flesh-eating virus. Before my group could set out, guys in bio-suits (which in my dream were copies of the radiation suit Doc Brown and Marty McFly wear when handling the plutonium in Back to the Future) swarm down upon our group and quarantine us.

And, my dream mind made it so that quarantining us means putting us inside one of those enclosed play pits you find at your finer fast food restaurants, you know, the one with the multi-colored plastic balls.

And it was there, sitting in that pit, that the flesh eating virus broke on the members of my group. I don't have a way to explain it, unless you've read the Firestorm comic book where the zombie Martin Stein uses his element powers to sandblast somebody's skin. I don't have a way to describe it other than that, because that's the reference tool my own mind used. Furthermore, that part of the dream wasn't seen motion/moving picture style. It was seen much the same way you would the panels in a comic book....

And then I heard AC/DC's "Who Made Who?" And I remember thinking, in the dream, whether this was a fitting song to have on the soundtrack, and that's when I woke up. The radio was playing, and there I was lying in my bed, struggling and straining to knock the Survivor dream out of my brain.

I got up, and went about my business getting cleaned up and ready for work. I even ate some breakfast. And then I went out onto the carport and looked through the big binocular viewfinder to see my Survivor campsite, at the foot of a cliff, somewhere near the city of Paris, France.

And then the guys in bio-suits swarm.....

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Random Saturday

Random Saturday

What do you call a psychotic horse with a broken leg?

Crazy glue.


My picks for Wild Card Weekend?


The Rams over the Seahawks (I flipped the coin on this one)
The Chargers over the Jets

The Colts over the Broncos
The Packers over the Vikings


Got the fifth season of The Simpsons the other day. The first disc of the set has no less than three of my favorite episodes. The Sideshow Bob sendup of Cape Fear...Homer with his new chainsaw and hockey mask....; Homer goes to College (The bee bit my bottom); and Homer's Barbershop Quartet (I really like the Baby on Board song).

That first disc also has the Treehouse of Horror from that season, and it's a good one. The sendup of the Twilight Zone Terror at 30,000 feet, with Bart on the school bus? Good stuff. But I had to rewind it four times in the section when Homer sells his soul for a donut, and declares "I'm smarter than the devil!", only to have Flanders Devil turn into a big scary devil, to retort "You are Not smarter than me!" I don't know why it cracks me up, but it does.


I guess I'm a freak. Another warm-ish and sunny day, after a rainy night here in east Tennessee. High fifties/low sixties for the high. I miss the cold. I kinda like the cold. The cold is my friend.


Remember the assbag from California who sued to have the words "under God" taken out the pledge of allegiance? He's now now making a fuss over the prayer at President Bush's inauguration ceremony.

You know, I'm not a religious guy, and I'm think that religious movements have entirely too much pull in our country. And I even think there's a little too much God in the government.

But here's how I see it. Nobody's putting a gun to my head saying "you gotta do it our way." Nobody's making me participate. Nobody's forcing me to kneel during President Bush's Inauguration to pray with everybody else.

So I'm cool with it. My personal car alarm of personal outrage? It's not set on "super sensitive." My personal belief line of demarcation? It's set somewhere right around gun at my head. If you wanna pray, pray all you want. I'll respect your connection to the Almighty, because by not forcing me into it, you're respecting mine.

That said, I think this Michael Newdow needs an asswhuppin' worse than anybody I can think of right now. I mean, there's drawing attention to a legitimate problem, and then there's talking to hear yourself talk. That personal belief line of demarcation shouldn't extend all the way to something you can turn on and off if you don't want to participate.

Mr. Newbow? If you want to talk to hear yourself talk, do what I do, and get a blog.

Talkity Talkity Talk. See?

I hate Sammy Sosa. See? See how easy it is?

I'm not wasting anybody's money. I'm not wasting valuable tax dollars going to court and making a fuss about how much I hate Sammy Sosa.

I'm not wasting taxpayer dollars by making a federal case (literally, in your case) out of something that really doesn't affect me in the slightest. I'm not even wasting my own money. Blogger's free, Holmes!

And guess the hell what? I'm thinking that the number of people who care about and agree with what you have to say is within an arm's reach of the number of people who care about and agree with what I have to say. And my coven of readers numbers somewhere in the sevens.

Eh. That's my ego talking in that last paragraph. I'll leave it to you, the reader, to figure just which section of that paragraph is ego, however. I'll let you think on your own, and make your own decisions. Because I think you're able, unlike some of the militant crazies out there.

Huh. Who'da thunk I'da come up on the side of the church on this one?

(Credit Barry at the Inn of the Last Home for the link...Barry's reading Who Censored Roger Rabbit, a book I've wanted to read, if only to compare it to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Found it

Found it

I know you were all worried, but I found it. The book that I'd been reading, but couldn't find? It was on the laundry table. Thanks to all the people who phoned in tips. I set it there when I went to transfer the towels from the washer to the dryer. And I got distracted when leaving. By the promise of money from Pat McCormick to help build an oil derrick. And then there was the treasure hunt and the bandits. It was all very sad....

The book was only lost for a day or so.

It's not as bad as the time I lost the remote control, and found it two weeks later in the pocket of a coat I'd been wearing back when it was cold. It wasn't long after that, that the episode of Simpsons came one, where Homer asks Bart, via megaphone, since Bart is holed up in the school with Principal Skinner and Ms. Krabappel, where's the remote? And Bart tells him to check his pockets....

I laughed until I crapped my pants.

That's not true.

I laughed, actually, until I crapped your pants....

Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Price is Right Updates

The Price is Right Updates

It's weird that it's come up three times in the past couple of days, but the Price is Right updates I did once upon a time keep popping up. Somebody I knew once upon a time found the blog, and really liked them. I got an e-mail (my one per month quota has been reached) about them, and whether I'd start doing them again. And there's a Kansas City Chiefs discussion board where they came up. I figured it was Gooseneck who started that, but a feller whose board name is Psicosis started the linking from that direction...) I got a few hits off that site.

If you want to read them, go to the May 2004 archive, and just scroll through. There are a couple of weeks worth. I got a little bored of doing them, before too long. Actually, I think I might have gotten a little annoyed that people were coming just for that. I don't know. I'm the world's worst about looking a gift horse in the mouth....

I can't do them anymore. I've been working days again for about six months. And I like Price is Right, but not enough that I need to tape it. Because, honestly, if you've seen one episode of Price, you've seen them all. It's frat boys, old women, military folks and Samoans, all bidding on stuff they'd probably never need, all wanting desperately to hug Bob Barker and spin the Big Wheel.

Boop Boop Boop.

I just thought it weird that such a thing is what people remember this blog for. But then, there's not a real direction I steer this blog in, so I guess it's cool that somebody can point to something they liked. I write here mostly to amuse myself, and partly to drain the crazy from my brain. I guess what I'm saying is that it's cool that people like goofy shit like the Price is Right Updates.

One more last thought...the discussion thread on the Kansas City Chiefs board is "do you read blogs." And I think that the initial questioner was meaning more the news and polito-central blogs, as an alternative to getting your news from the newspapers or TV news outlets. And the response was my blog, representing the all the blog writing world to a few KC Chiefs fans.

For a brief, brief second, I was an appointed representative.

Actually, the questions was: "What kind of blogs are we talking about? BigStupidTommy's, or the livejournals of angst-filled teenage girls?"

Which actually just shows that the writer hasn't read between the lines of the blog closely enough. Although I don't use livejournal, I am actually at heart an angst-filled teenage girl.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Your Horoscope

Your Horoscope

I've been pondering the stars:

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Things will happen in threes, for you today. Everything. Everything that happens to you one time, will happen to you again, two more times. Everything will happen thrice. Whether it's a compliment from a co-worker, an interesting piece of personal news, or a punch in the face from a clown.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Today, you will sneeze, and when you sneeze, you will fart at the same time. It will be an audible fart, so be warned. In fact, it may be the loudest fart you've ever let in your life. But don't worry. After you break wind, look around frantically and scream at the top of your lungs "Somebody catch that duck!" Everyone will be so wowed by your wit that they'll forget that you just pooted in their presence.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

In the tradition of your astrological sign, the ram, you should resolve any and all conflicts today with a headbutting contest. You'll win. Trust me. Argument with the spouse? Disagreement on where to go for lunch? Boss tell you you're fired? You will also be able to use your headbutting powers to thwart crimes. Really. You'll be so powerful, you'll be able to stop a moving car with a headbutt. I'm serious.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

You will receive a visit from the spirit of deceased pro wrestling announcer Gordon Solie. He will be trying to bum a cigarette. Don't give him one. Later, you will be visited by the spirit of Lucille Ball. She will also be trying to bum a cigarette. It would be best to give her one, but make sure you have a light, as well, or she'll haunt you all your days.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Things will happen in threes, for you today. Everything. Everything that happens to you one time, will happen to you again, two more times. Everything will happen thrice. Whether it's a compliment from a co-worker, an interesting piece of personal news, or a punch in the face from a clown.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Today is the day that you set a world record. I bet that you can break the world record for eating Mayonnaise. I bet you can. I have a lot of money riding on this. Seriously. You have to come through for me. These guys are gonna break my legs......

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Does it worry you that your astrological sign has the same name as a terminal illness?

It should. You really need to see a doctor. Now.

Leo (June 21-July 22)

Your lucky number today is 27. You should remember that there are 27 books in the New Testament in the Bible, and 39 in the Old Testament. An easy way to remember this is that 3 times 9 is 27. You should read John?s second epistle to the Corinthians, but read the whole thing out loud with an Australian accent. When you do that, John Madden will appear (Madden Cruiser and all) and grant you three wishes (ixnay on the wishing for more wishes).

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

Today, you are allowed one free feel off of any person you choose. All you have to do is show proof of your date of birth. They are not allowed to retaliate, unless they are a Virgo themselves. If you feel up a fellow Virgo, you will lose everything you own to them.

Also: Don't try to do it twice, thinking that the person you feel up won't know that you already used up your free feel. God will know. He'll make your genitals will shrivel up like the Wicked Witch of the East's feet after Dorothy crushes her with her house.....

Libra (September 23-October 23)

Today, you will be torn to shreds and eaten by zombies.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Things will happen in threes, for you today. Everything. Everything that happens to you one time, will happen to you again, two more times. Everything will happen thrice. Whether it-s a compliment from a co-worker, an interesting piece of personal news, or a punch in the face from a clown.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

If you're going to start that barbershop quartet, this is the time to do it. You and your new barbershop quartet will be discovered Thursday singing out in front of the courthouse. A record producer will wander by, sign you on the spot to a multi-album, multi-million dollar deal. You need at least a day to practice, so get cracking....

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

You live under a bad sign, my friend. Sagittarius is the most difficult of all the astrological signs to spell, and thus, all things come not easily to you. You will work hard to master something, and go through many trials and tribulations to get to your ultimate goal. Fear not, because you will meet your ultimate goal, but find upon reaching it, that there are much easier, flashy and effective ways of accomplishing those goals. Kind of like mastering archery, only to find we've had firearms for a couple or three centuries now.

You will be laughed at for you pig-headedness. Also, you?re gonna get spaghetti sauce all over that nice new dress you bought. And then you?ll be hit by a bus.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

Here's what you do. Everything that Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest do in their SNL sketch where the two guys discuss painful things they do (nail file area between fingers and pour tabasco in the wound, and whatnot). You have to do everything they mention in one of those sketches. In succession. If you get all the way through without shedding a tear, then you'll have my eternal, undying respect. I'll never come to your house to borrow money.

Will Eisner

Will Eisner

It appears that writer, artist and all around comics guru Will Eisner has passed away, suffering complications related to a quadruple bypass surgery he underwent in December. Here's a good piece with a lot of good info.. You can't go wrong with The Spirit, but I particularly enjoyed A Contract With God.

Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg

So. Ryne Sandberg's in the Hall of Fame, huh?

Cool f'n beans.

He was my favorite player, growing up. So I was a little more upset than most when he got his bufu the last couple of years.

He was only the first name in second basemen for more than a decade. I was confident he would get in. Eventually. However, I was preparing myself for the possibility that Ryno would get a few more seasons of the Gary Carter treatment, when it came to the Hall.

But 393 of the voters came through. Congrats to Ryno.

Congrats to Wade Boggs, as well. Chicken eatin' sonofagun.

It is a day of dizzying highs, and dank, dank lows, however.

Otis Nixon received no votes, in the Hall of Fame voting.

None. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

Technically speaking, I got the same number of votes to get into the Hall as Otis Nixon.

I commented on somebody else's site that were I voting, I'd have voted for Ryno, Boggs and Otis Nixon. And I'd vote for Otis because Otis needs the love. And because they could use the Otis Nixon bust to scare birds and small children.

I've said it before...Otis Nixon didn't get hit with the ugly stick...Otis got blown up with the Ugly Bazooka....

Anyway. Ryno's in the Hall. It's a good day.

A Non-Wrasslin Thought

A Non-Wrasslin Thought

I am pleased that Superman deemed to send up this nice weather in my neck of the woods. It's in the fifties at night, in the high sixties in the day. Sunny and in the 70's this coming weekend. Thank you Superman. I will leave you some Little Debbie cakes and some carrots for you reindeer when you come by my house this month.

Random Tuesday Raw Thoughts

Random Tuesday Raw Thoughts

Man, is it just me or are they starting Tuesday earlier and earlier?

This is a wrasslin' post. That's called fair warning.

Watched Monday Night Raw at the Filthy Hippy's house last night. I really felt like they came off a solid show with a real clunker. To point of being bad, even. Definitely not the show I'd want leading into a pay per view.

In a comment in a previous post, Mr. Crockett said that just about any yokel could have put together last night's show, and I'm really kinda thinking any yokel did. I mean, except for Triple H and Batista, I don't feel like any particular angle got moved along at all in the Elimination Chamber match.

Although...I like the idea of jobbing Benoit to Batista, as much as it might have hurt my sensibilities initially. It builds Batista up, and it gives Benoit something to simmer over for a week, giving him someone else to gun for besides Triple H in the Chamber.

The pairing of Edge and Jericho didn't do a whole lot for me. If you're wanting to turn the screws on the Shawn Michaels/Edge feud, this was the time to do it, not in the twelve seconds during the big schmozz at the end of the show. It's simple. Have the ref go down in a bump. Make Edge unable to pin Jericho because of it. Michaels runs down to replace the ref, and let him cost Edge that win. I still don't know that it would work great, because none of the matches really meant anything.

I guess that's what bothers me more than anything. The matches didn't mean anything. We're just supposed to care because they're in the match. This whole competitions thing is a framework. Use it. Let the winners of the match get to come into the Elimination Chamber match after the person they beat in the match....

I won't comment on Randy Orton's win. I hate Randy Orton. I hate his push. I hate the fact that he's in the Main Event on Raw every week. I hate the fact that he gives the worst interviews of anybody in recent history, and yet he's given time to spew inanities every week. I do bring him up to bring this up: Is he wearing an earpiece? I kinda think he is, and it's why his right ear is facing away from the camera all the time. I got a glimpse when he rants and turns to face the camera. I think Randy's being fed lines. Wouldn't be the first time, but it makes it particularly bad when he stumbles when he speaks...he can't even say what he's being told to say.

Then you've got Mohammed Saddam Hassan's feud with J.R. and Jerry Lawler. I'll say this for Hassan and his squeaky little manager, they've managed to get a bigger consistent crowd reaction than anything else over the past few months in the WWE. Mr. Crockett pointed out that a Stone Cold return would be a satisfying payoff for the Hassan introduction (the crowd with the "What?" chants only stokes that particular fire.) Don't know if Steve's neck is up to it, but I agree it would at least be more interesting than feuding with the announce crew.

Why not feed Stevie Richards or Val Venis or one of the other Sunday Night Heat guys to Hassan to build him up? That's why they make jobbers. To feed to guys like Hassan. Let Jim Ross announce the show. Let Stevie Richards job. Talk about underutilized. They don't even let Stevie Richards job on Raw.

It's not a good way to start Hassan's tenure. I mean, where do you go if you don't whip the hell out of the announce crew, even if it's a legend like Jerry Lawler? It hurt Tazz, and I think it's going to hurt Hassan.

And what was with Coach's face/heel confusion last night? After he filled in for the "injured" Ross and Lawler, he didn't stay consistent with his character, the impetus of which was "I'm trying to replace Lawler and/or J.R." Do I cheer for good guys, do I cheer for bad guys? I don't care so long as you're consistent Coach, or at least smart in your inconsistency....

Not a lot else good on Monday Night Raw. I'm tired of Snitsky, who's just a misogynistic Psycho Sid. I'm tired of Eugene (he's jumped the shark, says the Hippy). I'm really tired of Maven. Give the boy a last name.. Even a made up one. Maven Jones. Maven Crazy (I like that one). Maven Stark. Maven Snitsky.

Ultimately, I guess I'm saying that last night's Raw was a bit of a turd. A step backward from last week's positive effort.

In closing, I'd like to comment on the couple of rumors I'd seen concerning Paul Heyman and the fact that the Raw writing crew balked at his coming to join their efforts from the Smackdown crew. The Raw crew, and the head writer (Brian Gewirtz, I think his name is), according to rumor, said no because Heyman would engender hostility between the Raw and Smackdown writing crews, and start competition between the two brands.

What the hell?

Why is that a bad thing?

I came to the sad realization that pro wrasslin' on the WWE scale of things hasn't been consistently good for four years now. WCW was dying when WWE started to falter. The Invasion angle opportunity was squandered, and badly. And with no competition, there's been very little reason for either brand to step up their game.

I say make competition between the brands. Even between the booking and writing crews. See who can make the better show. See if they can make anything better than what they've been putting out lately. See if they can draw a bigger audience than, well, guys like me who are going to watch regardless.

Guys, I'd settle for consistently mediocre. You haven't even been that for a while.

Get Heyman on a writing staff. Let him run a show. Let him engender as much hostility between brands as possible. Let them work to one-up each other every week. If only to make things interesting.

Or do the rumored Return of ECW show that's also been rumored. Give Heyman something to do. In my mind, he's the single best wrestling mind who's worked for the WWE in the past 5 years, and he's being wasted.

Anyway. This has been the wrasslin' post.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Semantics in the New Year

Semantics in the New Year

We're in the year 2005 now.


Want to know something that sounds completely alien to my ear?

When somebody says we live in the year "twenty oh five."

A newscaster was saying it as such this morning. It clunks.

It's not wrong, I guess. It just sounds weird to my ear.

See, I'm saying, now five years into the two thousands, "two thousand five."

I understand the twenty oh five mindset. We spent the nineteen hundreds, and the eighteen hundreds before them, and the seventeen hundreds before them, one would assume, calling the year "nineteen-seventy-four," or "nineteen oh five," or "seventeen seventy-six." Mostly because it would be awkward and time consuming to say that we declare independence on July the fourth, one thousand, seven hundred, seventy-six.

Or that I was born in the year one thousand, nine hundred, seventy-seven. That's eleven syllables. Nineteen Seventy Seven? That's just seven syllables. Much easier.

But we're in the two thousands, now. I'm thinking that that hundreds column is what's alien to my ear. See, if it were 2010, we could say Twenty Ten, and it wouldn't bother me.

But if I say "Twenty Oh Five," it's alien. I think it's the vowel ending "Twenty" and the vowel in the "Oh." That merging of two vowels is hard for my brain to understand. It's why I can't abide Iowa, Hawaii, or footballer Chris FuamatuMaafala.

And we can't call it Twenty-five, and just assume I'll Know what you're talking about. I might think its January 2, 25 AD. And then I'll end up being several hundred years late to work, tomorrow. Don't think my boss will like that.

So. Until 2010, I'll just call it two-thousand five, alright? To cut down on the confusion.

Editor's Note: I was lying. I really like saying "FuamatuMaafala." More than you would ever know.

Pixar, and why they rule

Pixar, and why they rule

Fark had a link to this interview with Craig Good, of Pixar.

I liked this, on the superior quality of Pixar flicks:

We don't make movies for kids. We make movies for adults, actually ourselves, and then just make sure there's nothing in them that the little ones shouldn't see. The local cineplex is littered with movies made by studios who want to second-guess what the audience wants. We find we get better results by making what we want, and then assuming that there are other people like us out there.

If audiences in general are underestimated, kids really get the patronizing treatment.

A buddy of mine said something similar to this about the Star Wars prequels, the originals were made for the kids in everybody...Star Wars especially, while the prequels seem to be aimed at kids, and kids alone. It's a bit insulting, kind of like reading the Golden and Silver Age comics, when you realize a lot of what's going on is grownups writing down to kids....

I also liked this line:

I like what Brad Bird says: "Animation is not a genre." There is no kind of story that cannot be told in animation. Unfortunately, in this country at least, there's a strong association between animation and "kid's films" (whatever those really may be). In Japan, on the other hand, animated films are made for all ages, including action/sci-fi films which are clearly for adults.

Pixar, with The Incredibles, made the best SF movie, for my money, this year. In a couple of years. Maybe the best American SF since The Iron Giant (also an animated Brad Bird flick).

They also made one of my three favorite movies from 2004, with The Incredibles.

I don't know where the hump is, in American filmgoing society, or where that line of demarcation is that says "Cartoons is kid flicks!" I don't know what has to be done to cross that line, where we could start having really kick ass animated stuff over on this end.. I can only say that if the folks at Pixar keep making flicks like The Incredibles, they can go a long way toward helping that message along.

It strikes me that South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was and is still one of my favorite movie comedies of the last few years...that may be apropos of little, but it's just about the only other American animated flick I can think of in the past few years not aimed exclusively at the kid market....

My gripe about the Incredibles is that even though its target market isn't entirely (even halfly) the kids market, it was marketed almost exclusively at the kids. On shows where kids would be sure to watch. On cereal boxes, toy tie-ins and McDonald's Happy Meals, and the like. I waited to see it for a long time after it came out. I liked both the Toy Story movies, and I liked Finding Nemo. I had faith that Pixar would put out a good product. But because the movie was marketed almost completely at kids, I didn't want to see it in the theater.

Because I hate kids.

That's not true. I like kids. But I don't like kids in movie theaters. Because they're loud and because they get up to pee twice a movie.

But more than that, I hate kids' parents. Sometimes, it's because they're all chatty themselves. Other times, it's because they don't discipline their kids. For little telling the kids that when the movie's going it's time to shut up. Or, bigger things. I mean, there's no good reason for the kid to run up and down the aisles, or climb over the seats. So, it appears I mostly hate the kids parents for bringing the kids in the first place, when they treat the movie like a time they're exempt from having to govern their ragamuffins.

One of these days, I'm gonna bust out the discipline stick, and start whupping other people's children. And I'm afraid it's gonna be in the middle of a movie, at which time I disturb patrons, and I become the enemy to the quiet theater.

But I digress....

See, to avoid the ragamuffins and their parents, and possible incarceration for whupping somebody else's kid, I waited a long time to see the Incredibles. We went on an afternoon a month after the movie had been out. At a time when few kids would be in the movie.

What I wonder is just how many people didn't see the flick for the reasons I just mentioned. It's a really good movie. Like I said, one of my three or four favorites from 2004.

Don't know what I'm going on about anymore. Because if we do cross that line where Cartoons is No Longer Kids Movies, and more people show up at animated flicks besides the kiddies, then there are more people in the theaters to do annoying grownup things, like talk at the screen or talk on the cellphones throughout.

Ah well. I'm just griping to gripe, I suppose.

I do applaud Pixar for making good movies. I feel like when we look back at this time period for the classic flicks, twenty or thirty years down the road, it'll be Pixar flicks, and any movie made with that same philosophy will be what we're talking about.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Dead Love Affordable Prefab Furniture

The Dead Love Affordable Prefab Furniture

My friend Julie gave me Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel for Christmas. The holiday season being busy, I've been reading in dribs and drabs. I finally got around to finishing The Stupidest Angel this afternoon.

I recommend Mr. Moore's works if you're looking for a laugh. His work reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut, with a big old dash of Douglas Adams thrown in for good measure. I e-mailed him once upon a time after reading one of his books (he lists an e-mail address in his bio), and told him as such. He took it as a compliment.

I recommend Island of the Sequined Love Nun . It's my favorite of the works of Moore's that I've read so far. I've still got a couple left to read...if anybody wants to buy me Fluke, or Lamb, I'd be their best friend (which would mean I get to sleep on your couch, so buyer beware....)

The Stupidest Angel brings together characters from a couple of his earlier novels. Theophilus Crowe, pothead constable, and his somewhat loopy wife Molly Michon (former b-movie actress) both appeared in The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. Pilot Tucker Case's adventures in the South Pacific are chronicled in the previously mentioned Love Nun....

Raziel, the titular Stupidest Angel, appears in Lamb, which I haven't read....

Anyway. A couple of my favorite lines:

The Stupidest Angel ruminates on his mission:

He didn't like the whole abstract quality of the Christmas miracle mission. "Go to Earth, find a child who has made a Christmas wish that can only be granted by divine intervention, then you will be granted powers to grant that wish." There were three parts. Shouldnt the job be given to three angels? Shouldn't there be a supervisor? Raziel wished he could trade this in for the destruction of a city. That was so simple. You found the city, you killed all the poeple, you leveled all the buildings, even if you totally screwed it up you could track down the survivors in the hills and kill them with a sword, which, in truth, Raziel kind of enjoyed. Unless, of course, you destroyed the wrong city, and he'd only done that what? Twice? Cities in those days weren't that big, anyway. Enough people to fill a couple of good-size Wal-Marts, tops. Now there's a mission, thought the angel: "Raziel! Go forth into the land and lay wast unto two good-zied Wal-Marts, slay until blood doth flow from all bargains and all the buildings are but rubble--and pick up a few Snickers bars for yourself."

And I also liked this revelation:

Nobody knows why, but second only to eating the brains of the living, the dead love affordable prefab furniture.

And, a boy ponders the theological, after witnessing murder:

A commercial came on, and Josh's mac and cheese was still surfing the microwaves, so he debated calling 911 or praying, and decided to go with the prayer. Like calling 911, you weren't supposed to pray for just anything. For instance, God did not care whether or not you got your bandicoot through the fire level on Playstation, and if you asked for help there, there was a good chance that he would ignore you when you really needed help, like for a spelling test or if your mom got cancer. Josh reckoned it was sort of like cell-phone minutes, but this seemed like a real emergency.

A fun read.