Wednesday, December 31, 2003

New Year's Resolutions

My friend Julie and I discussed this in the simplest terms.

She asked: Are you making any resolutions for New Years?

Me: Nope. I'm perfect already. You?

Her: Me neither. Why mess with perfection?

However, I do have a suggestion or two for resolutions for you cell phone people.

Some of you don't understand that just because you have a cell phone doesn't mean you have to be talking to somebody all the time. I just can't imagine living with yourself when you can't stand to be alone with your own thoughts....that you have to have a little digital doorway to conversation with you at all times just so you don't have to be alone. I can't sit quietly. I need to call somebody to talk about stupid shit just to entertain me.

Just a few suggestions as to times you really don't need to be on the cellular phone:

1.) Driving. I know you think you're a perfectly able and capable driver while talking on your phone. Trust me. You're not. I'm the one behind you watching you weave, or cussing you because you can't speed up to the speed limit because you're so engrossed in your conversation.

2.) In the retail environment. If you're just walking through a store talking, that's kind of annoying, especially since most of you don't understand you don't have to talk loudly into the phone. But I'm especially irritated by those people who try to stay on their phone while making a transaction at the checkout. In the first place, it's demeaning to the person helping you, because it denotes to them you think they're not even there, and second, it's just like driving: You think you're going normal speed, but you're actually going about 30% slower than you need to be.

3.) Public Transit. Luckily, I haven't had to suffer this torture lately. But not everybody on the bus, or the train, or the plane needs to hear about your latest visit to Aunt Agnes' house, or how much of a hobag you think Tilly is. These are times that people have to share earspace, and you're hogging entirely too much of it.

4.) In the theatre/classroom/performance---Anyplace where you need to be quiet. Your time is not more important than everybody else's. It's not happened in a while, but if a phone goes off in a theatre again, that person will lose their hands.

Right now, I can think of no other occasions, though I'm sure there are plenty.

If I were king, the only people who would have cellphones would be doctors, policemen and superheroes. Like Mr. T.
Cold Mountain

The roommate and I went to see Cold Mountain this afternoon. It's a fairly faithful adaptation of Charles Frazier's novel, and quite a good movie. If there's one thing it carries over from the novel that perhaps it shouldn't have, is that it sometimes takes 15 minutes for something to happen when it could have been done in 12. Sometimes, things are just slow to develop.

But on the whole, I enjoyed it. Big props to director Anthony Minghella and to Renee Zellwegger, for playing Ruby Thewes right on the nose. She's my favorite character, and Zellwegger played her pretty well how I read her in the book....although it's odd how you see something or someone in your head when you read it....even though the age wouldn't be right, I had some version of Kathy Bates in my head when reading Ruby.

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Reverend Veasey's also quite good.

It's got me wanting to go back and re-read the novel.

A good movie.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Today's WTF? Moment

The Headline from Today's Tennessean:

Murfreesboro Man Tells Why He Froze 114 Cats.

William "Terry" Davis stored them in his condo freezer. 114 Cats. (Plus 5 Snakes and a dog).

Angry, and sad for the guy. That's how it ended up making me feel. Something is wrong somewhere in the household. Several things, probably. And that it had to be brought to the light in this manner is embarassing. I mean, doesn't the guy have family, or at least a neighbor who could check in on him now and again, and notice something odd like a kitten in a fridge drawer?

Today's Lucky Number?

Since Powerball is worth something like $210 million, and the Mega- Millions game is also in the hundred millions, I'll offer to you this lucky number for you consideration: 205.599118405850185

Monday, December 29, 2003

Big Stupid Tommy: The Warren Ellis Interview

Warren Ellis is a writer. He writes prose, comics, e-mails and (perhaps) grocery lists. Among his finer works: Orbiter, the series Planetary, and Transmetropolitan

In his e-mail newsletter, Mr. Warren Ellis, in order to tie off the stump of this old year, wants to get all his interviewing out of the way. So, he invited any and all websites interested to submit four (4) questions, which he would answer.

Since I fall under the auspices of any and all websites, I submitted my four questions, and what follows is Big Stupid Tommy's interview with :

BST: Among comic professionals, with whom do you especially enjoy going out and drinking? (Especially as it concerns who pays the best, and who gets hammered really easily.....)

Warren Ellis: I always like drinking with Garth Ennis. But, see, pub etiquette demands that everyone pays for their round, so there's no "who pays the best" thing. Pub etiquette is very important. Just ask Steve Dillon.

BST: You seem to take a certain joy in posting the occasional interesting oddity as it appears out of the Far East (Japan especially). Is there a Japanese Warren Ellis equivalent who takes similar delight in the grotesque and the erotic that emerges from England (or the West in general)? Does he have a website?

Warren Ellis: God, I hope not.

BST: Do you think it would ultimately help or hinder the comic industry if a media retailer with a little bit of clout (like a Barnes and Noble, or a Tower, or other some such vendor) took up the cause of comicdom? i.e. If they were to open a nation wide (or international) chain of comics stores?

Warren Ellis: Who even cares anymore? I doubt it'd make a blind bit of difference. The current comics store network clearly
exists to sell superhero comics. If any new chain sold
superhero comics, the odds are that the audience would
just switch vendors. You'd just be moving money around.
Probably less of it, if chain bookstores offered chain-
bookstore discounting. Maybe that'd be the end of the
current status quo. Who knows?

BST: Who makes you laugh?

Warren Ellis: Nobody. I haven't laughed since 1983.

Wasn't that great? Thanks to Mr. Ellis for his time.

Also, I got a very bad chicken sandwich this morning at a restaurant. Can't eat beef, they ruin chicken. What's the world coming to?

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek and George Perez

This one time, a group of us went to Heroes Con, a good-sized comic convention, held in Charlotte, North Carolina.

And it was good, and we had fun (except for where the hotel thought it would be cool to screw with like overcharging us, and then refunding, and then not letting us have local calls, and then making us pay like $1.35 more, which we paid in pennies--and then there was the bartender who ignored our party in favor of the women's soccer team that wandered into the hotel bar about the same time we did).

(That was a long parenthetical statement)

(And, in fairness to the bartender, I was paying my fair share of attention to the women's soccer team, as well....the drink of choice among women's soccer players? Rum and Diet Coke....except for the one girl who came in and ordered six shots of Wild Turkey, downed them all in one breath, and said to her teammates "I'll see you losers later!")

But anyway, one morning, everybody else had walked to the convention center, and I had to go potty, so I walked down well after everybody else had left the hotel rooms (though I probably walked the most comfortably).

As I was walking into the Charlotte Convention Center, I passed a little nook that many of these big urban convention centers have nowadays, that had chairs and tables and whatnot. And in this little nook, comic writers Mark Waid and Kurt Busiek, along with comic artist George Perez were all sitting, talking about stuff.

And I stopped, and I stared. I must have made myself conspicuous, what with my waving and drooling and saying "Hey!" Because Mark Waid saw me out of the corner of my eye. And he stood up, and he said:

"Get the Hell Out of Here, Fan Boy! We're talking about important stuff! Like Work!"

"And Girls!" added Kurt Busiek.

"And Pudding!" said George Perez.

Kurt Busiek then slapped Perez. And Mark Waid stared balefully at Perez, muttered something about "friggin' Crossgen people," flipped me the bird, told me to get out of there, and went back to talking about Work/Comics/Girls/Pudding.

Well, I couldn't have that. So I attacked.

This is why I can't turn my head to the left, and why I have a gimpy knee. Because I got dragged out of the Charlotte Convention Center by two of my favorite comic writers and a near-legendary artist, got my ass whipped "Puerto Rico" style and left for dead in a dumpster.

The worst part was getting found in a North Carolina landfill by Buddy Ebsen. (This was back when Buddy Ebsen was alive).

Editor's Note: Several parts of the post were true. Other parts were not. In celebrating the Titans' victory over Warren Sapp and His Ilk, Big Stupid Tommy ate the rest of the pickles in his gallon-sized pickle jar, drank the brine and then pulled the bag out of the garbage can and licked the bottom of the can....we don't know what exactly's wrong with him, though the licking garbage can thing is probably part of it. He's a little bananas this afternoon.
No Calendars

I didn't get any calendars for Christmas, either.

Which is fine. Usually, I'll wait until the second week of January, when Books a Million or one of the other large book chains puts everything they have out for like 80% off.

Besides, those first few days of the year aren't really that important, anyway. It's cold. It's grey. You get like 70 minutes of sunlight a day. So at that point, having a calendar's kind of an exercise in obstinance. I will adhere to the daily schedule, even though they've all melded into one drab stew of a sleep cycle.....

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Stuffy Nose

My nose is so stuffy that when I tried to blow my nose earlier, I blew off the top of my head.

However, this is probably a better indicator of and commentary upon on the soft, doughy consistency of the top of my head than it is the stuffiness of my nose.
An Odd Thing from Christmas

Not a lot of blogging going on this weekend after Christmas. Everybody's doing their own thing, and that's cool.

I was just unpacking from my trip east, and I realized this: I got no books for Christmas.

This is perhaps odd to my own situation. Everybody in my family reads books like nobody's business. And I probably read more than any of them. And it's generally an easy gift for me, come Christmas time, to, at the very least, give me a book that they've enjoyed.

I got an almanac. And a couple of Garfield comic collections for to read on the potty.

But no book books from my family.

Not that I'm complaining. I got a lot of nice stuff. Clothes, and some really good movies....and a copy of Simpsons Jeopardy! I hereby challenge you Simpsons watching sunsaguns in my small circle of people.....I'll hand out asswhuppin's and then we'll eat pizza

My buddy Steven got me a Cubs book, Banks to Sandberg to Grace, which I finished far too quickly. A good read, I really enjoyed the 80's section, with Leon Durham and Rick Sutcliffe getting to talk. I can't stand Rick Sutcliffe as a commentator, but the stories he tells in Carrie Muscat's book are pretty funny. And the stories other people tell about him are just hilarious....Sutcliffe's given up a lot of home runs in Cincy, and anytime a homerun was hit, Riverfront Stadium would set off some fireworks....Manager Don Zimmer comes out to the mound, and Sutcliffe cusses him, says he knows what to do. Zimmer says that he knows, but that he wants to give the fireworks guy time to re-load.

Not to worry about the no books. I went to Hasting's this afternoon. I picked up a couple of reads. I think I'm on a Larry McMurtry kick. And I picked up a Dom DeLillo book about the Shot Heard Round the World, which looks interesting.

Yeah. Just writing. Nobody's blogging.

Who Is Angry Jack? I've got an idea, but I'd like to be sure before I start talking ugly about him.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Don't Like Red Licorice

I don't like Red Licorice. Smells like hell, and tastes even nastier.

My mom got a big tub of it for Christmas. And my sister uses my hatred of red licorice as a weapon. She'll eat it, and then breathe that nasty sickly-sweet red licorice breath on me. Generally, the conflict will end there.

Yesterday, after presents had been opened, and all the good will had been drained out of the day, she escalated the conflict first by poking me with a stick of red licorice.

And then, World War III started when she stuck the end of a stick in her mouth, and wiped the wet end on my glasses, and she tried to stick the hellish stuff in my ear.

Yeah. We're grownups. At least in the eyes of the law.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas

Hey, fellers. Woke up a few minutes ago. The back door at my parents house will open back up if you don't shut it tightly....and by gum it was open this Christmas. Can we hold Christmas in one of the more temperate months next year?

Stoked the fires. Let the pug out of his little house...I think he promptly went in search of the warmth of somebody's bed.

It's 6 AM Eastern, which means it's 3 AM out on the West Coast. Conceivably, Santa could still be making his rounds out in Oregon, Washington and heading up the Pacific Coast to Alaska.

Checked just to make sure there were no stories about Santa Claus being blown out of the sky by one of the Surface to Air Missiles they've got protecting our skies.

I mean, the conspiracy theorist in me tells me that they've almost managed to take Christ out of Christmas, and now they want to take out Santa, too.

The clock on the mantle just rang six. I can remember even 10 years ago, when that meant it was still an hour to go before it was alright to yell down to the folks and wake them up. My sister and I weren't allowed to come to the living room until the folks were up. And of course, we were both awake at like 5:15, and we would count the minutes before it was alright to yell down.

Problem was, the parents didn't just have to get up...they had to get dressed, have the coffee made and the camera loaded with film before my sister and I were allowed to even come down the stairs.

Things are different nowadays. My sister works herself silly between her school and her job, so anytime she can snatch an extra hour of sleep, she will. The last couple of Christmases, it's been my folks yelling up to wake us up.

I thought about going to their door and yelling to ask them if it's alright that I get up.

Or even better, I think I'm going to post a note on their door, and shut it that says they aren't allowed to come out until I'm ready for them to come out this Christmas morning. A little Christmas Revenge, if you will.

I hope everything turns out alright for you all this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Happy Christmas

Just wanted to take a moment, this Christmas Eve, to wish each and every one of you the very best Holiday possible.

From Casa de Big Stupid Tommy to yours, Merry Christmas.
A Semantic Discussion

This is something we had to discuss last night at work:

The co-worker's definition of insane: Laughing to yourself (albeit, a little loudly) at a joke somebody told you earlier in the day.

My definition of the insane: Killing the co-worker because he called me insane by bludgeoning him to death with an end table, all the while singing the Canadian National Anthem.

But then, we come from different backgrounds.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The Filthy Hippy has Moved

Just wanted to pass along a note from the Filthy Hippy (who's apparently getting attention from certain authors he's reading....):

Hey, I've moved my blog over to my web server.....If you could mention it on your site I would appreciate it....

It's at

Please make a note of it.....

(As an aside, my intention is also to move off of blogspot in the next couple of keep watching.....)
Christmas Travels

Going over to East Tennessee for Christmas. Not enough time to see everybody I want to see....Dammit, I'll meet the Straight White Guy one of these days!

Hopefully, my trip won't be much like Sheila's. It made me smile....

My favorite character on West Wing is Josh. Josh, to me, is the most fully realized of all the characters. He's the most energetic, if not the most passionate, of the staffers in the Bartlett White House.

When Aaron Sorkin was writing, I kind of got the idea that since so many parts of the show center around or are seen basically from Josh's point of view, that Josh was the way Sorkin inserted himself a bit into the show. For good or for ill.

But anyway, Josh's most memorable episode, to me, is the special opener they did for one of the seasons right after September 11th. It was rush-written, and rush produced....the White House gets locked down, and Josh gets stuck with a group of high-schoolers in the process. And it becomes an episode of whats and whys about terrorism.

It's preachy, and a bit clunky. Toby's a bit out of character, and when Charlie comes in and starts lecturing in that schoolmaster's tone to kids that are just a couple of years younger than him about gangs, where he says his neighborhood is like South Central....that bugs the fool out of me.

But anyway, Josh does have a nice little moment with one of the kids near the end, where they ask if he believes in the death penalty, and he says no.

He said we should lock the perpetrators of the heinous crimes up, show him pictures and Christmas cards of all his victims, and let the families of the victims come in and punch them in the face every night, right before they go to sleep.

Malvo got life without parole today.

I kind of like the Josh Lyman plan as it might pertain to Mr. Malvo.

Only, without punching. I'm thinking more along the lines of cattle prods and sledgehammers.

But that's just me....
Festivus/Gift Wrapping

I celebrated Festivus back during the Volunteer Tailgate Party. But a couple of grievances for friends:

Julie: How can you not like Peyton Manning? He's from Tennessee!!!

Jason: Dude, I'm like one of your belches away from clubbering you to death with my shoe.

Steven: All that reading. Whaddaya think, yer bettern than me?

Diane: How could you call me Ed?

Shyam: Why haven't you called me Ed?

Bill: Where do I start? I don't really talk like that.....

The Guys at Work: Just let me read my damn book. Jeebus!

Big Ed: I have no grievances with you, whatsoever, sir.

Got the gift wrapping done this morning. I did well. In celebration, I drank the Cran-Grape juice I've been hiding under the sink, letting it ferment since April of 2001.

Wrapping presents is difficult for me. I guess I'm not "detail oriented" enough. Where's the tape? Oh! Here it is, under me. Where are the scissors? In the middle of the phone book? Completely logical. I have two rolls of red paper, and a seven inch square of the dogs with santa hats. Well shit. I've lost the tape again. You can see through the red paper, if you hold it up to the light. Scissors are sharp. Tape?

I managed to short-sheet only one box this year. You know, where you mis-measure, and when you bring the paper around it's about an inch from meeting.

But that's done.

Will somebody come pick up the little shards of paper that are left over?

Monday, December 22, 2003

Fantasy Sports Update

Because I know you're wondering: How's Big Stupid Tommy doing in his fantasy sport leagues?

Well, in my NFL Pro Football Pick'em League, (Pick set name: Can't Read....Can Pick Winners), I'm in third place, out of eight folks. My buddy Garrett's on top, and he's a winner-picking fool, and I don't think anybody can catch him. My Dad's in second place, and he'll beat me up if I call him any kind of fool. I am a close third, but I had a heckuva good week. We'll see how everything hammers out with the season's final week......

In my Fantasy Basketball League (team name: Alonzo's Old Kidneys), I don't know what I'm doing. I haven't watched an NBA game in two years, and I play simply by looking at statistics. I'm in fifth place, stuck in a pack with four other people. Third through sixth place is separated by 2 games or so....

And in my Fantasy Indian Wrestling League (pick set: Tommy's Powerful Pinky), I'm in first place!!!! And since I'm the only member of the very exclusive league....I'm also in last place. It all depends on how you look at things, and that there is the sole barometer of my mood for that day. Since I can't judge for my own....
Paper Cuts

Not a lot going on. The girl downstairs is leaving for Ohio today, for Christmas, and she'll be back next Tuesday. Yeah, she's taking her puppy with her. She has an excellent speaking voice, but someone should tell her there's no need to talk so loudly into her cellular being what it is they could put your phone's microphone n the Moon and you could speak normally and Joe Horn would be able to hear you.

I have three paper cuts going right now.

(Not on purpose)

The first is on the end of my left index finger. I got it first, and it's almost gone away. I almost didn't count it.

The second is on the outside edge of my right thumb. I got it on the edge of a manilla envelope. It sucks, and were gripping a hammer not so tantamount to my existence on this planet, I'd just lop my thumb right off. But my right hand's the one I use to smash things with.....

The third, and most irritiating, I got on a cardboard carton that holds a six-pack of cokes in place. And it's in the webbing between the index and birdie fingers on my right hand. I'm not sure how it came about that I got it...I just know I was grabbing a diet coke and things went suddenly and horribly awry.

But the worst part is this.

Last week, during one of my middle of the night galavants to the Wal*Mart, I found a big gallon-sized jar of Dill Pickles. On Special, even, for like Two Dollars and change.

They say never go to the store hungry. Well, I was hungry, and a big giant jar of pickles sounded like just the thing to hit the spot.

Now, I like dill pickles, okay? But generally just on my sammiches, or in spear form as a side....I have very little warrant in my life to go about eating huge dill cucumbers. I mean, it's an urge that hits me oncet or twicet a week, at most.

I know this because I've eaten precisely four pickles in the 10 days since I've had said big giant jar of pickles.

But anyway, just now, I decided to take advantage of said big giant jar of pickles. And I reach down into the jar. And in doing so, I almost knock the thing over. I manage to catch it before it tips and sends pickles and brine all over the kitchen, but not before my entire right hand is emerged in pickle juice.

I started talking about paper cuts. The one between the webbing of my fingers? That's fresh. Like three hours fresh.

And now it's covered in salty pickle brine.

Actually, it doesn't hurt anymore. It pretty much stopped hurting by the time I finished the first paragraph. But I'd already titled this post "Paper Cuts," so I was committed.
The Twelve Days of Christmas

This is what we established last December on this very blog:

The First Day of Christmas is John Denver
The Second Day of Christmas is Fozzie Bear
The Third Day of Christmas is Gonzo
The Fourth Day of Christmas is Robin, Kermit's Nephew
The Fifth Day of Christmas is Miss Piggy (Ba-Domp Bomp Bomp)
The Sixth Day of Christmas is Scooter
The Seventh Day of Christmas is Lew Zealand
The Eighth Day of Christmas is Rowlf
The Ninth Day of Christmas is Bunsen and Beaker
The Tenth Day of Christmas is Statler and Waldorf
The Eleventh Day of Christmas is Beauregard
The Twelfth Day of Christmas is Kermit the Frog

And if I had to pick one song to listen to for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure that it would be this one.

Or maybe the Space Ghost Rogue's Gallery's version.

Hi My Name is Brak.

Personal favorite Christmas song of the past few years? Robert Earl Keen's Christmas with the Family. Makes me laugh every time.

Sunday, December 21, 2003


I had another post here. I'd gotten an e-mail from a person who took objection to a joke I'd made about Delaware (state motto: Smooth Move, Ex Lax).....not because she likes Delaware so much (I mean really...who does?), but because she thought I wasn't funny and that I was wasting time (yours and mine), and that my time would be better spent doing something to myself that I have neither flexibility nor any real wish to do.

Also, she took time to run down Tennessee....Apparently we're all inbred rednecks who can't afford real cars and have to ride horses everywhere. Of course, what can you expect from somebody with the lack of sense to go defending a sissy-state like Delaware. Also, I'm not inbred. My eyes are so close together because I like them that way. Also, I just really lilke to eat a lot of applesauce. Is that wrong?

She also didn't like that I'd said Chelsea Clinton had signed the flag of Delaware "It Charms me to be here," right after using it to wipe chili from her face, though I didn't understand what her beef was there...."Jessica," please e-mail me to clear this up for me....are you mad that I used Chelsea in such a way, or that I proposed she'd defaced Delaware's flag. Or perhaps you just like chili.

I'll say this first. The message was sent via e-mail from a made up e-mail address. That doesn't make you untrackable, by the way....

I put up a post last night where I talked a little nasty, but mostly funny. I re-read it this morning, and it was just childish, so I took it down.

The gist of the whole thing was this: I'm really unimpressed by people who spend any amount of their time tearing somebody else down, especially when they aren't delivering themselves. Basically, there are too many people in this world too interested in what the other guy is doing, and making sure that other guy knows their place. It's just childish to tear something down for no reason other than to make yourself feel big.

Also, I thought it was funny that she thought I was wasting my time and other folks', yet she spent time penning an e-mail that was, ultimately, even less constructive.

Secondly. At the very least, if you're going to run something or somebody down, put your name behind it. Be a man (or a woman), and not a little kid about it. If you're going to opine, have a backbone and put your name on it.

At the very a comment here. Let somebody else see what you have to say.

I'll use the Filthy Hippy as an example, because I don't think he'll mind too much.

If I go to his blog, and decide to trash him and his pictures and his writing and his mama and his siblings and his heritage and his sense of fashion (though I think he hates Lucky Charms, the cereal, as much as I do).....It would be in poor taste not to leave some means by which he could communicate back me. Whether that's a link to my site, or my e-mail address. It's courtesy. That's all.

Nothing much else to say.

Saturday, December 20, 2003


Not a whole lot going on at my house this Saturday before Christmas.

I slept most of it. What with working nights, and all.

I did shave today. For the first time in a couple of weeks. I had a scraggly little beard going. I've got a bad combination of Cherokee and Irish on my Mom's side of the family when it comes to growing beards--it comes in, but it's a little spotty. Instead of a guy with a beard, I look like a guy who's a little too lazy to shave every morning.

Which is a shame, because in reality, I'm a guy who's a little too lazy to shave every morning.

I was the only one in my pick'em league to predict that the Falcons would beat the Bucs. I've worked on one simple rule when it comes to picking the winner of Tampa Bay games this year: the Bucs can't win at home.

Also, they've operated this whole year on the premise that they're the only ones who actually deserve the World Championship, and as such, they felt like they didn't actually need to play for anything. Like they figured they could swagger their way to the playoffs, and everybody would just lay down for them.

It will do my heart good to see Warren Sapp and the rest of his ilk sitting home come playoff time.

In other news....what in the world is going on with our sports teams this year? First, the Cubs come within five outs of the Series, and the Red Sox are the same....and now we have the Cincinnati Bengals contending for a playoff spot?

Also, it's cold outside. Not super cold. Not Wisconsin cold. Not Barrow, Alaska cold. Not Hoth--your tauntaun will freeze cold. But it's cold. With wind. And also goblins.

I can't type tonight. I keep transposing letters, and junk.
The Walking... Post

Eric, over at Straight White Guy, offers one of the very best blog posts I've seen in a while--really excellent writing. It's called Walking....
The Bartman Ball/Harry Caray

From out Len Cleavelin's way we find this little tidbit: The ball deflected by the notorious Steve Bartman has been purchased at auction, and plans are for it to be destroyed at Harry Caray's in February.

It's an interesting story--give it a read.

I bring it up, though, because the story mentions the toast to Harry in February, on the sixth anniversary of his death.

There was an odd day last spring or early summer. It was nice out...sunny, a nice breeze, and not too hot at of consciousness moment, I know exactly when it was: It was a week after I'd left my job of four years, and I had a job interview that I thought had gone well, and I was thinking about what a great day that it was.

And the Cubs were going to be on WGN.

And I thought about how great it would have been to be able to drag to the TV out onto the deck, take a cold drink with me, and just relax out on the perfect day, with Harry Caray calling the Cubs on WGN.

It's hard to believe he'll have been gone six years when it rolls around this February.

Doesn't the offseason suck by the way? It's cold, and there isn't any baseball, except for the rumor-mongering.

Friday, December 19, 2003

And.....We're Clear!

It's the nineteenth of December, and I'm finished with Christmas shopping for 2003, barring some shiny play-pretty catching my eye for somebody else.

I hit Hickory Hollow Mall up in Antioch this morning. Found what I needed for somebody who had proven oddly difficult to shop for. I picked up those things that I couldn't have found at the major department retailers....and made my final appearance in the Mall scene for the Christmas season (barring an attempt to see Return of the King sometime next week, should that occasion arise).

Let me just say that if there's an advantage to working third shift, it's that even on my days off, my sleep schedule was staggered just enough so that I could hit Wal-Mart at 4 AM, and be hassled by absolutely no other person.

This has been easily the least stressful Christmas season in recent memory.

Probably the only unpleasant moment of this Christmas season came for a brief few seconds at Media Play this morning....and it was my fault. I apparently can't tell a 9 from a 2 when reading price tags.

Beyond that, I've had absolutely no problems.

And I've gotten off, so far, without having heard "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," which is the most insidious novelty Holiday song written. It seeps in through your eardrums and fingernails and firmly entrenches itself in your gallbladder (that's where your soul is), and there it stays until you drink a gallon of apple vinegar to flush it out.

A few quick links:

Happy birthday and Anniversary to South Knox's that for simplifying the days to remember....

Congrats to Pete, at a Perfectly Cromulent Blog, who's now a Poppa.

And go look at the Hippy's pictures. I thought the one of the Pokemon machine was pretty cool.

Thursday, December 18, 2003




If I were a character in The Lord of the Rings, I would be Theoden, Man of Rohan, King of the Mark, and uncle of Eomer and Eowyn.

In the movie, I am played by Bernard Hill.

Who would you be?
Zovakware Lord of the Rings Test with Perseus Web Survey Software

From Bill
Football, and Soup

Campbell Soup is donating soup in the name of feeding the hungry. And they're taking a poll of favorite football teams. So go here, and click on your favorite team. Or just click on a random helmet, if you don't care for football.

A few baseball seasons ago, a group of friends and I had a fantasy baseball league on There was something screwy with my original account when I went to join the league, so I set up a quick second account. Bill had just written a story with a character named Television Set, and I liked the name very much. I appropriated it. The name the sandlot account was under was: Television Set Velazquez.

Sandbox was pretty good about selling their members' e-mails to spammers. And by "pretty good," I mean they were adept and quite practiced at it.

This has been three years or so since.

For a long time, I would get a lot of e-mails for Mr. Velazquez. Most of those now go directly into the junk folder, which I have to empty sometimes twice a day for all the spam I get. If I let it go for a couple of days, and I go to check it, I'll have a nasty message from Yahoo about my account being 121% of capacity, or somesuch nonsense.

Occasionally, one would get through the filter and Television Set would poke his head into my life once more.

Today was one of those days, and by God it made me laugh.

I'd forgotten that I listed Television Set's street address as something special, and was reminded of it when I read the subject line of the spam in my inbox today:

Get a New Lower Mortgage Rate on your Home at Bullshit Lane, Television Set.

If I remember, his complete address:

Television Set Velazquez
123 Bullshit Lane
Charley FU 77777

Over at Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener, we see that Len's been getting some interesting e-mail names too. I brought up Honorific J. Murray, who's a personal favorite sender of mine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Today's Funny

From the Bob and Tom site:

A woman is in the hospital in a coma. Nurses come in one day to give her a sponge bath when they notice that when they start to wash around her private area, her monitor starts blipping.

Thinking that the woman can relate to human touch, the nurses call the woman's husband in and suggests that he tries to have oral sex with her to try to arouse her out of her coma.

After some time trying to convince him, the husband agrees and the nurses leave the room so the husband and wife can be in private. About 5 minutes later, red lights start flashing, the heart monitor flat lines and all the alarms in the room start going off. The nurses burst into the room and ask the husband what happened. The husband answers, "I think I choked her!"

I updated the Read List. I hadn't in a while. Not necessarily because I wasn't reading. But because I'm forgetful. And I'm on my 21st book, which would put me right on my desired pace. I don't think I'll make it, though. By coincidence, what I've been reading was fairly short. The next few on my shelf are longer, and more involved. Got one about Stonewall Jackson coming up. A religious history or two. And I've got the damnedest urge to read a Faulkner.

But let me ask this, as it's been in my craw for a couple of days.

Okay, a lot of you read, I'll reckon. So I'm probably preaching to the choir.

Do you try to read at work? Like at lunchtime, or something?

Or maybe at the airport, or someplace similar.

Do you have that person in your life who, when they see you reading, assume that you're only waiting for somebody (them) to come talk to you?

Because you couldn't be reading to just be reading. That's ludicrous! Absurd! All Messed Up in the Head! Who would Do That?

And they come talk to you about some stupid little whatever they've been thinking about (eyebrow piercing) and to tell you about their nieces and nephews and what it was they watched on the TV last night.....basically whatever they can just to keep you from reading your book.

I'm reading W.P. Kinsella's Iowa Baseball Confederacy on my lunch breaks. I've been on it about a month now, but am only half through it. The co-workers can't have that. They need to come talk about anything. To save me from my literacy, I guess.

Monday, December 15, 2003


The guys down in Houston are promising hookers for life for the Rocket if he comes out of his retirement to play for them.

Now, as a Cubs fan, I would definitely prefer not to see Clemens in an Astros uniform as any number starter for them. It's something I said to my Dad while watching the World Series, when the Marlins fans gave the Roger a standing ovation as he walked off the field (for what was, ostensibly, the last time). I said, "He's still better than 60% of everybody out there...his work ethic is better than 95%, and that alone would carry him another couple of seasons, if he wanted."

And say what you will about Roger, I've always felt like he's been pretty straight with the media. And if he's saying he wants to retire because he wants to spend time with his family, then I believe him.

Now the Astros are looking to give him some kind of Nolan Ryan-like deal, where he pitches mainly at home, and doesn't travel much with the team...which would allow him in theory to have his cake and eat it to. Gets to see the rugrats. Gets to play the beisbol.

As a Cubs fan who's constantly waiting for the other foot to drop, I'm pretty sure this and this alone would be enough to see Clemens in an Astros uniform next spring.

Except for one thing. And my roommate hit on this, and he's not even a big baseball fan anymore.

He asked, "Wouldn't he have to bat?"

See, that's always been the argument as to why guys like Clemens and Pedro "Pete Martin" Martinez have stayed in the comfy confines of the American League. The Designated Hitter Rule protects them and their intimidation tactics. And don't get me wrong....nothing wrong with intimidation, in my mind. If you're willing to back it up. Which is why I don't have a whole lot of respect for A.L. pitchers, in that regard.

Now, Kerry Wood? Kerry hit something like 914 batters in September alone. All of them "accidentally." Kerry's got to get up every ninth batter just like everybody else in the lineup. And he comports himself well. For a pitcher.

And Randy Johnson? Nobody throws at Randy Johnson. Because he might just reach all the way out from home plate, pick the offending pitcher up by the back of the jersey, and drop him into his cavernous maw, Return to Oz style.

I like Kerry Wood. I like The Big Unit (and I desperately wish that were my nickname).

I wonder if Roger's got the scrote.

Like I a Cubs fan, I hope not. I hope he wants to stay home with his kids, like he says.

Ah well. Just rambling.
Customer Service

My friend Julie, on her Customer Service Experience this day:

I'm getting the lousiest, meanest customers today. I hope Santa shits in their stockings.

The Pairings are Up

I know all of you, Joe, have been waiting for this more than Christmas.

The pairings are up.

1. Harlan Ellison
16. Hydrox Cookies (All Hydrox Cookies Everywhere)

8. "He'd Raise Hell with that Dumpster, if he thought it screwed him."
9. Hand Held Yahtzee Game

4. That Movie Glory--I don't get it, are they soldiers, or superheroes?
13. A key to a door that might break if you turn it too hard

5. The Un-Dead Dale Earnhardt
12. Say Uncle

3. Steak Biscuits
14. Police Academy's Leslie Easterbrook

6. Breasts. And how much I like them.
11. Joe "Tournament" Thomas

7. John the Baptist
10. Lyndon LaRouche

2. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
15. Rain Phoenix's performance, in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

(Backup players, should these be unable to perform because of injury or whim of God, are listed below).

The Proceedings will begin with the Parade of Flags (no Delaware, you sunsabitches) at 7:45 PM, on December 23, followed by the Airing of Grievances.

The game will be played inside the old CBS series The Flash, hopefully out of the way of Mark Hamill's over-the-top performance as The Trickster.

We have a special series of judges this time around: The Golden Girls are Attending! Betty, Rue, Estelle will be there, and Bea Arthur will be joining us via satellite from Budapest, where she's shooting the film version of the F-Zero video game, as well as Park Overall, from the show Empty Nest, which was spun off of Golden Girls....

A few ground rules:

Don't sit in my recliner.

No betting on the tournament floor. Who the hell bets on the floor? Bet on the action, you dopes.

Down in Front.

Tournament will be shown in its entirety on Channel 4 once reviewed and approved by the Hegemonial Masters, when their schedules allow.

We bow to their wisdom.

Scoring is based on the modified Spears Standard, with priority given to quantity, and not quality.

Backups/Substitutes, each of whom qualified in regional tournaments, in order of their substitution priority:

AC/DC--the Razor's Edge
The guy in the movie store on his cell phone
The Dark Side of the Force
Facetious Lies
President Grover Cleveland
Strippers who appeared on the Richard Bey Show
All the Big Ass in China
I enjoyed this

I like Susan's blog very much. Some of most striking writing in our little blog world.

This post, a writing assignment based on Michael Jackson's dangling his baby over the balcony, was one of her best, I thought.
C.J.'s Lament

Over at Up for Anything, CJ has a commentary on "progress," and how "progress" has cost us many of the finer things in life.

Like Show Biz Pizza.

Dude. It was like the shit to go up to the Foothills Mall and go to Sho-Biz, and eat pizza, and watch the stage show. Skee-Ball? They had the good Skee-ball machines, with the wooden balls.

I always thought it was the greatest thing in the world that after you'd order your pizza, they'd give you a number, and when your number came up on the TV screens at the corners of the room, you'd go get your pizza. (I was five....get off my back).

And there was the barn that you'd climb up in and slide down the little yellow plastic slide? It was just a slide, but all the kids would go retarded crazy for that slide. It was just like five long, and you'd climb up in the little barn, and slide down. Maybe it's that the slide was inside....that juxtaposition for my little five-year-old mind.

I think they had to take the slides out. I think a handicapped kid wasn't able to play on the slides (because of the stairs you had to climb), so in order to avoid a ruckus, they were removed.

They took most of the good video games out when I was eight or nine. Too many teenagers were coming in and just playing video games, and ruining the family atmosphere.


Sunday, December 14, 2003

Return of the King

I asked yesterday what all the hubbub about this Return of the King movie is....I hadn't heard anything about it....

I looked over on the Internet Movie Database.

I have no interest in any movie that calls itself Return of the King, yet has no mention of Richard Petty in its credits. I mean, I just assumed Return of the King meant a story about The King coming back to drive #43 one more time. Perhaps to fight vampires.

Seems like false advertising to me.

Most of you woke up to it. I heard it when I was getting off work.

Saddam Hussein has been captured U.S. forces.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Smooth Move, Ex Lax

Somebody said this the other day. In actual conversation. And he wasn't trying to be funny or ironic or anything like that. Actually, he wanted to cuss another person, but restrained himself. Stuff got spilled while cleaning was going on, and the cleaner shouted: Smooth Move, Ex Lax!

We all laughed afterwards, because none of us had heard anybody say that to anybody in several years.

Little known fact? "Smooth Move, Ex Lax" is the state motto of Delaware. They voted it in in 1999, I believe. It replaced the old motto "We're really just one big bank."

If you look on Delaware's flag (their colors? Red, Green, Brown, Jade and Pine Green), you can see their motto on the left side.

And in the bottom right corner is the place where Chelsea Clinton accidentally used the flag as a napkin, to wipe chili off her face. She also autographed it: Lots of love, Chelsea. Charms me to be here.....
Random Thinkings

Thanks to the couple or three of you who sent get well messages after the turns out to have been just a cold. I think I was over-tired more than anything Thursday morning. I'm still a little snuffled up, but otherwise I feel fine.

People don't use the word "sissy" enough. You know, to describe somebody who is perhaps less tough than they should be. I think it's a word that's been lost to all the ever-shitting vulgarity we use like water nowadays.

Seriously. When's the last time you were called or called anybody a sissy? Especially you fellas? People use wuss or pussy nowadays.

I think it would be funny to break "sissy" out in a conversation one day. Try to bring it up in a conversation with your boss, preferably about another co-worker. i.e. I wanted to go that route, but Sampley's too big a sissy to try it....

Watching Empire Strikes Back right now. I think George Lucas should have sat down, watched a few Kurosawa movies, and then Empire, so he could have the best possible context for the characters and the galaxy they live in before he started writing the prequel trilogy. And not thought at all about the possibilities for toys....because the first two prequels seem like 2 hour toy commercials at times.

Also, George and company have blown one of the greatest cinematic revelations of all time by having Yoda play such a prominent role in the first three movies. It's one of my earliest movie memories seeing the little green guy irk and perturb Luke on Dagobah, and it is not until Luke blows his top that Yoda reveals his true nature. I think that if you want to watch the six movies from I to VI, when George is all done, you lose that truly magic moment.

(And you can't convince me that we're supposed to believe that the little green guy who comes to torment Luke initially is possibly a relative or another member of Yoda's species. It's a shaky theory, at best....and Frank Oz's voice cripples that theory to my view).

And I'm afraid that they're really going to screw up the Anakin/Darth Vader thing in Episode III. It's another of the greatest movie moments when Vader reveals his secret to Luke at Cloud City....but I'm almost willing to bet money that George and company will succumb to the temptation to show Anakin, somehow, as Darth Vader.

And that, my friends, will suck ass.

Speaking of movies....what's this Return of the King movie that everybody's talking about? I've never heard of it....

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Volunteer Tailgate Party XVII: Festivus Edition

Morning, folks. And Welcome to the Big Stupid Tommy blog. It's a pleasure to have you.

It's my turn to host our little celebration of the wares, writings, and wonderings of the Rocky Top Brigade.

And in doing so, I'm hoping to acquaint or re-acquaint you with the day my family celebrates each December 23rd at Casa de Big Stupid Tommy: Festivus

It was made famous on the TV program Seinfeld, but my family's been celebrating Festivus since the early 80's, when that whole Atari fiasco landed three members of the Big Stupid family in the County Klink for seven months......:

In deference to the show that made it famous, however, I'll allow Frank Costanza to explain:

Frank: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had -- but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Kramer: What happened to the doll?

Frank: It was destroyed. But out of that, a new holiday was born -- a Festivus for the rest of us!

Festivus was born out of a disdain for the commercialism displayed by the major December holidays.

The three main aspects of the Festivus holiday are as follows:

1.) The Festivus Pole: Which must be tall, skinny, aluminum, and have a high strength to weight ratio. Also, it must not have tinsel, as that distracts from the true meaning of the holiday.

2.) The Airing of Grievances. It is here that you list all the ways your family has disappointed you in the past year.

3.) Feat of Strength. In which you show off your strength. Duh. Festivus is not over until the head of the family is pinned.

I. Now, we'll take the Festivus Pole as read. I'll just assume you all have the pole set up in your home, because I don't have time to drive all over this state, this nation, nor all the way to China to deliver Festivus poles to all the members of the Rocky Top Brigade.

II. And now, we move to the second stage of Festivus: The Airing of Grievances. This is where I invite the Rocky Top Brigade into my family's celebration:

And awaaay...we go.....

A Media Grievance

The first act on stage is from one of our newest members: Goobage. Today, Goobage has brought us a piece on the (relative, and often self-important) value of the newspaper in our society. It is entitled "Afflicting and Comforting." (You might need to scroll down)

Dry!!?!?!!!?!? The Alcohol Grievance

Next up, coming in all the way from McMinn County--a little reluctantly--is our old friend Eric, the Straight White Guy. He was unsure which of his wares to present, so at his behest, I've asked him to present his thoughts on living in a dry county....

And in the interest of lubricating this Holiday Season (Christmas, Festivus, what have you....), Eric also gives us his recipe for mulled wine......

(I remind you that drinking on BST facilities is actually tends to hinder hand-eye coordination, and actually makes our guests fit in a little better with the host)

A Buddy Don Grievance

And now that everybody has the means to properly relax, we'll ask the Wandering Hillbilly wander up on stage. BuddyDon's brought a couple of wonderful pieces this morning for us to enjoy. As MC, I can do him little justice in describing his work, so I'll let him do the honors:

thankee fer doin this. i gut two to send along, bofem bout the war over in iraq:

firstuns takes off frum sun tzus art of war, witch its called 'the art of war'

secunts entitled 'ye cant win harts n minds with bullets'

Thanks agin

Thanks to you, Buddy Don....

A Politically Correct Semantic Shift Grievance

And now, we have another new RTB member, and she's attending her first Volunteer Tailgate Party!

Janet Dagley Dagley brings us this post from her Dagley Dagley Daily:
"Have yourself a Louisiana little Christmas," in which linguistic semantics are discussed, and how little things like school, holidays and civil unions are affected.....

Getting in Over Your Head

It's not a grievance so much, but it expresses something of a disappointment, and perhaps a lesson learned. From Shots Across the Bow, Rich Hailey sends us this recounting of his adventures on the ski slopes.

Racism in Academia Grievance

Aaron Chapman, at The Golden Calf, brings us a thought on the racism on the higher halls of Academia.

Voting Machine Grievance

From the Granny Rant Blog, we have a trio of inter-related grievances to be aired.

The first post concerns who knew what, along with what threats were leveled, with the makers of electronic voting machines Diebold.

The second post continues the thoughts of the first, with further information imparted about memos concerning the software.

And the last concerns what Congressional action is being taken concerning all this.

Say Uncle's List

It was once said, mostly in jest, that Say Uncle the only things he ends up talking about on his site are guns and dogs.

Well, in what is perhaps an effort to change perceptions, he offers this nicely put together piece on Who's Responsible for 9/11.

He also recently offered his thoughts on Corn Bread, which is not a grievance, though a very minor tempest arose surrounding sugar.

Just to show he's not strayed completely from his roots: a dog post, this time responding to reader e-mail.

The "Exactly What Is a Jedi?" Grievance

Les Jones offers up a subject near to my own heart, as he gives us a thought or two on the changing nature of Star Wars, and what exactly a Jedi is....

An Airing of a Blog Grievance, of sorts

In which Adam Groves calls Glenn Reynolds a geek....and still gets an instalanche for his trouble.....

The Filthy Hippy's Favorite New Album

In which the Hippy offers his thoughts concerning the debut rap album from Master of the Squared Circle, Randy "Macho Man" Savage.

I can't tell if he's being sarcastic or not.

We're Supposedly Equals, But We Aren't All Treated That Way Grievance

Mike Hollihan, at Half-Bakered, in an excellent post tells of his personal experiences with the church, and his anger and confusion at being excluded from the government, based on his beliefs in Discrimination Most of You Won't Care About. (It's the third post from December'll need to scroll down).

Not a Grievance, but a Question

Barry, at the Inn of the Last Home, asks A Question that has begun some debate on his site. (December 3).

Creepy Crawly Christmas Grievance

Teresa, at Hatamaran hits upon one of my favorite things about the Holiday season: the Memories....except I've never had a tree decoration go so horribly, and creepily, awry....

The Steel Grievance

AlphaPatriot tells us everything we might ever want to know concerning the recent issue with the Steel Tariffs, in The Steely Truth: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Steel Tariffs, but Were Afraid to Ask.

The China Grievance

Okay. Here's the deal. I learned by reading Voluntarily in China's Submission "The Other Great Wall of China" (from Thursday, the 11th) that blogger Tennessee Ruck, who is among the newest members of the RTB, cannot read this blog, nor any other hosted on blogspot, unless he goes through a proxy server. And while I can revel in the fact that BST is a threat to Red China, it's a small reminder of what we enjoy here in the States.

Two posts down, the second post from December 10, Ruck Comments on There's Even a Tennessean Who Says.... Concerning the line in a recent media article on the RTB, in which he responds to the statement "a Tennessean who says he blogs from China."

The Orwell/Leftist/Non-Thinking Grievance

Guy Montag offers a really great post from his journal, entitled: On Orwell, the Good Guy Left and the Non-Thinkers, lamenting, among other things, politically correct language and the dumbing down of what was once the great thinking class in America....

The BCS Grievance

CJ at Up for Anything relates a shocking turn of events concerning Major League Baseball! You know, where they used to do crazy things like decide championships on the field. It's nice to see them model their season after the perfectly and completely logical Bowl Championship it all in a post called Braves Win! Braves Win!

No Grievance here...Compassionate Capitalism

Mr. Lawson for a good cause: Compassionate Capitalism


Also not a grievance....suddenly wanting to re-think the whole Festivus theme.....

Peggy at A Moveable Beast, with an eloquent thought or two one what Christmas means to her....'Tis the Season.

Weblog Award Grievance

At Resonance, we find Brian Arner railing against the voting page used in the on-going Weblog Awards. "I want Resonance," cried Britney Ford, age 5, of Houston. So do we, Britney. So do we.....

the Political Process Grievance

Over at Rebel Yell, Stoney takes issue with Pips, PooPs, the voting public in general, and I think I detect a subtle dislike of Jay Leno, in his comments on The Political Process

The Chomsky Grievance

In a first-time entry into the VTP, Mark at The Conservative Zone talks of Chomsky, privelage and life in general, in This is Getting Fun....

The Rich Girls Grievance

I picked out this little rant Danielle made at Missives Anonymous, because it made me laugh. It's an open letter to MTV, and to Alison and Jaime of MTV's Rich Girls....and I think it's something of a commentary on just how low this whole reality TV thing has gone. Danielle just calls it Rant.

The Career/Health Grievance

And because I don't think enough people are reading Mind Warp, (and because he sent me boobs in my e-mail yesterday) I picked out Butchmule's double commentary: Firstly, a bit of a grievance about work, and how you describe your career isn't necessarily the way somebody else does....and also a bit of a scary incident with his health...all in a post called Careers, for What It's Worth....

The Janklow Grievance

I found a post I liked off of SKBubba's blog....about the now-guilty Congressman Janklow, and the insulting diabetic defense he used in his trial....

And Lastly....My Grievance

Let me say first, that as much as I gripe and moan, I actually have very much to be thankful for, and very little to despair, when you get down to it.

But in the tradition of the Festivus holiday, from my house to yours, here now, the Big Stupid Tommy Grievances:

The Cornbread Grievance


The Christmas Decoration Grievance....which is not a grievance so much, but I thought it was pretty funny.....

Here endeth the scripture lesson.

Which brings us to the close of VTPXVII:

III. The Feat of Strength

Before we get to the Feat of Strength....I want to say thanks for coming, for reading. I enjoyed hosting this Volunteer Tailgate Party. I'm constantly impressed by the number of intelligent, well-spoken, good writing folks we have in our little's VTP was no exception.

Thanks to all those in the Rocky Top Brigade who sent posts in, and thanks (and possibly apologies) to those who let me choose posts for them.

Also, if I have accidentally left anybody who sent me anything, or have linked incorrectly to you, please let me know....I'll change it as soon as is possible.

Lastly, let me give a note of thanks to Bill McCabe, from whom I took the Festivus links.

And now: As Host and Head of Household, I issue an open thumb-wrestling challenge to any member of the brigade who wants to come to Murfreesboro and knock me off my perch. Two out of three falls, Brazilian rules.

Thanks guys.

Update: I added in a post I liked from SKBubba, who got a little busy this holiday season......

Update 2: Changed wording on "The China Grievance" to clear up my own confusion.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2003


I'm hosting the Rocky Top Brigade's Volunteer Tailgate Party tomorrow. Finally found a theme I like to connect everything together. Thinking is hard. I'm just like Barbie.
Sloth's a year old

The Uncouth Sloth has been spreading it around for a year! A Whole Year!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Important Holiday Announcement

Mark Evanier has an important holiday season reminder.
Search Strings

Not a whole lot interesting in the search strings lately. There are still too many people concerned with Tommy Lee's privates. I get a fair number of people searching for "Stupid Tommy," which I like to pretend is people remembering the site, but not the address necessarily.

I'm getting an odd number of Bruce Vilanche searches, which is odd because I don't remember bringing up Mr. Vilanche at any point (though I must have).

I did get a search today from somebody looking for the WWF's Tornado's real name.

I assume they're referring to The Texas Tornado, who wrestled in the WWF for an 18 month to 2 year period early in the 90's, winning the Intercontinental Title at one point.

His name was Kerry von Erich, and he was a member of the von Erich family, whose name was legend in the Texas rasslin' scene in the 70's and 80's.

Here's a bio. It doesn't end well.

I didn't know that Kerry began his sporting career legitimately (under his real name of Kerry Adkisson), and was a track and field star at Southern Methodist (I believe). He specialized in the discus, and had a good shot at making the 1980 Olympic squad....which never came to be due to the boycott of the Moscow Olympics that year.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Christmas Tree

Here's how decorate Big Stupid Tommy-style for Christmas, by gum:

1.) Take Christmas tree from storage space. (The tree should already be decorated, with lights and Christmas balls, and should be no taller than 2 feet, because you store it on top of the fridge).

2.) While holding tree in right arm, extend left arm, and wipe everything off end table into a box. (Or the floor. I make a swooshing noise when sweeping everything off the table, but that's optional).

3.) Put the tree on the table. Plug in.

4.) Bask in the beauty of a Christmas Charlie Brown would have a stroke upon seeing.

Feliz Navidad
Arbitration Day

The Cubs ended up gettting Mark Grudzielanek and Tom Goodwin under contract, and letting Kenny Lofton go by the time Sunday's arbitration deadline go by.

Goodwin's good to have on the bench, and you can't really argue with the numbers Grudz put up last year--you just have to hope it wasn't one of those once every three seasons things.

I'm disappointed to see Kenny go. I thought a lot of what the Cubs lacked early in the season last year was a couple of legitimate table setters up high in the lineup, and when they picked up Lofton from the Pirates, they got one of the best. But he wants to start, and he doesn't see that opportunity with the Cubs. I'm thinking with Patterson's gimpy knee, Alou's gimpy legs and Sammy's gimpy self, Lofton would have gotten a bit of start time. But I understand his decicision.

Around the league....Pudge ended up not staying with the Marlins. No Maddux with the Braves. And I think I saw the Red Sox let Todd Walker go.
Arrested Development

It was nice to see Bob Odenkirk on tonight's episode of Arrested Development. He was a marriage counselor, and his scene with David Cross and Portia di Rossi had a touch of that old Mr. Show magic.

Arrested Development is the funniest show on network TV right now. And given Fox's track record with funny shows (the Tick, Andy Richter Controls the Universe), I'm not expecting it to be on TV for much longer.

The Simpsons was pretty good, too. I got a good laugh out of where Homer was taking Santa's Little Helper to get neutered: Nuts Landing. And Homer's Politically Incorrect/The View/Tough Crowd type of show was great....and how Homer convinced Krusty he was grotesque enough to host that show was fantastic. And I liked the gag where Homer thought Pepto Bismol was baby blood.

But the best part was Homer's Power fantasy involved his stopping both the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy.

And there's a commercial where Dave Chapelle fights with one of those roving handle-less vacuum cleaners, and it eats his pants. Very good, too.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Baseball Thoughts

Just a couple of things I wanted to comment on concerning baseball's hot stove:

It's looking like Pudge Rodriguez won't be a Marlin next year, barring something big happening in either his or the Marlins' camp in the next seven or so hours.

The article states that he's looking for something like a five year contract at at least $10 million a year. Now, if I'm a team (and it's running 60/40 that I am), I'm liking Pudge's leadership, his skills and his bat, so he may be worth that money in today's market. But I'd have a hard time committing to a 5 year contract with a 32-year-old catcher who's played one full season in the last four due to various injuries.

Of course I'm thinking Cubs....and it makes me smile saying that, looking at Pudge's 2000 season, in which he played 91 games and his offensive numbers were better than any combination of Cubs catchers from any of the last 3 seasons.

But still, if you sign him to that contract, you've got to do it with some manner of team option.

In other news:

The Rangers and Red Sox are talking Manny Ramirez for Alex Rodriguez, in a swap of a huge salary for a mega-huge salary. I bring this up because were it to go through, it would leave the Red Sox with an extra shortstop in one Nomar Garciaparra.....

Meanwhile, the Cubs have a shortstop that hits .228 and strikes out 125 times in a season....

I'm just saying, the Sox want to beat the Yankees worse than anything (and I don't think the Sox are as much about winning it all at this point as they are about beating the Yankees)....I'm sure we've got something they could use.

But ESPN says Nomar would like to play on the west coast, if not in Boston.

Isn't Chicago on the west coast? In that it's in the western part, kinda, of the midwest, and it's on the shores of Lake Michi.....yeah, you're right. Never mind.
Frigging Titans

Could Somebody please teach the Tennessee Titans how to hold onto the damn football? Please?

Losing to the Colts hurts. There's still the best chance the Titans we'll make the playoffs, but little chance they'll catch up to and pass the Colts...they'd have to, since the Colts swept them this have any kind of home field advantage.

There's still the best chance the Titans will make the playoffs, but only as a wildcard. They'll play on the road all they way through, most likely.

I'll be honest: I don't like their chances. Two weeks ago, I'd have made them one of my top two teams to go to the Super Bowl from the AFC. That was before losing to the Jets and to the Colts.....a week ago, there was a chance at an off week and home field.

That off week being the most important....the Titans are banged up and could use the rest. It seemed like every defensive play, somebody was down on the ground hurt.

I said over on Gooseneck's site that I thought the Patriots were the team to beat in the AFC, even considering the Chiefs' awesome start. I mean, the Patriots went into Dallas, Denver, Philly and Indianapolis and won, plus they beat the Titans at home, and they're beating Miami there right now.

Speaking of the Patriots, I like watching football played in the snow. Just the stubborn nature of it all, how we're going to get this thing done, damn the weather.
Health Scares

Butchmule had hisself a bit of a health scare earlier this week. Glad to hear he's feeling better, and that he'll be back on his feet before we know it.

In the same post, he discusses the particulars of job descriptions, and how the way you describe your job, and the way others describe what you do aren't necessarily the same.

(I list my job description as Social Critic)

Say Uncle is making cornbread.

All of which reminds me that we had a teacher in high school nicknamed "Cornbread." It was such an accepted thing to call him that many of the kids, and a couple of the teachers, called him Cornbread to his face. Not a respectable thing to do to a teacher, but as I understand it, he never took offense.

I never had him for a class. He taught Health, and also a couple of periods of Driver's Education.

So it never really came up as to why he was called Cornbread.

It wasn't until several years later that I learned why this man was called Cornbread.

One day, while driving kids around in Driver's Education, he had the kids drive by his house. There, he went in, and came out with a big plate of cornbread, and a glass of milk. Which he ate and drank on the drive from his house back to the school.

And thus, Cornbread was born.

Like I said, it happened a few years before I went to high school.

I commented on the brazen nature of the kids calling him Cornbread. And I guess that he'd been called that for so long, he just stopped getting angry over it.

In grade school, for a couple of months, my nickname was "Awful Kenawful." Because while at a friend's house, I rammed a four-wheeler into the back of my parents' pickup truck. And the teacher who dubbed me "Awful" said that what I was trying to do was jump the truck, like Evel Kenieval, and I just came several feet short.

Saturday, December 06, 2003


Arrogant Bastard comments on the just how peanut buttery the peanut butter flavored milkbones are....

Which reminds me of when I was four or five years old, and we were taking care of the neighbor's dog, who ate dry dog food. Up until then, our dogs had eaten canned dog food. The neighbor's dog really seemed to enjoy his dry dog food, as did our dogs. We all know that canned dog food generally smells like vomited feces. But dry dog food has an almost pleasant aroma. So I sampled.

I have this to report some 22 years later: I've never eaten dry dog food again....but if it came down to it, I'd rather eat dry dog food than cauliflower.

Also, I noticed that a couple of brands of dog food have "new better taste" on their labels. I imagine that they actually have a guy they have eat the dog food, or at least taste it, so that he might rate the taste. And of course, it all tastes horrible to him, but he's able to differentiate between the levels of horrid taste each different brand has.

"This one is less horrible than that one."

Other food thoughts, non-dog related:

Do they feed the inmates of an insane asylum "Craisins" at snack time?

My favorite lunchmeat is turkey, followed by chicken, and then Pickle and Pimento Loaf.

And finally:

Has anybody else ever beeing sitting on the pot and had to wonder to themselves: When did I eat peanuts?

Thank you, and good morning.
Karl Malone

Lord help me. I'm about to defend both a Los Angeles Laker, and Karl Malone his own crazy self.

Karl Malone's elbow and Steve Nash's head met up in the Lakers/Mavs game the other night. And it's resulted in a one game suspension for the Mailman.

Steve Nash is a whiny little crybaby, and Karl was doing nothing out of the ordinary rebounding the ball. This won't sound right, but Steve Nash's head just happened to be where Karl's elbow was going to be. And the two met, with disastrous results: Steve Nash had a split lip, and Karl got suspended for a game.

That's part of why I don't like the NBA. The enforcement of rules seems so spotty, and varies so much from league office to floor officials, and from game to game, that I just don't much care for the game anymore.

Friday, December 05, 2003

The Voice of God

God Said: Good Evening and Welcome

And I woke. And I was astounded.

And God Said: A pickup of four on the carry, first and ten for Boyd Buchanan

And I thought I just hadn't shaken off my slumber quite yet. I wiped the eye boogers from the corners of my eyes and I listened:

And then God Said: A pass attempt to number 38 Brian Algar, incomplete. Second and ten.

God's a football fan, apparently.

God: Handoff to number 28 David Climer (or is it Climber, or Klimer, or Klymer, or Khliemeir, or Smith, or Janofsky?) nets four yards. Third and six

Tennessee's High School football championship weekend is this weekend, and part (if not all) of all Tennessee's divisional championships are being played right across the street at MTSU's football stadium.

It's an interesting way to wake up. Damn but that P.A. system is loud. Apparently they're wanting to hear Championship Play by Play on the moon.
Bubba Ho-Tep

Pete, at a Perfectly Cromulent Blog, got to see Bubba Ho-Tep and meet Joe Lansdale. What a lucky, lucky sonuvagun.

It was playing near my parents' house over Thanksgiving weekend, but too close to a mall on Black Friday to have been easy to get to and back from before I needed to get back out to middle Tennessee.
Historical Lunatic

Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

I didn't know if the papacy was included, but I had an idea I'd come from that, if it was.

Via Sheila by way of Bill.
Miserable Failure

Go to Tiff's site, and follow her google instrutions.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

It's just not been a great day

Today was one of those days where I managed to squeeze somewhere around 5 hours of sleep out of around 10 hours of lying in bed. I was especially sensitive to little noises today. The phone woke me up this morning. Some asshole playing with the beep beep noise on his car alarm kept me awake for about 15 minutes in the afternoon. And sirens. I kept waking up any time a siren went by on the main road.

To make matters worse, they've taken my TV away from me.

I woke up about 45 minutes ago, turned on the TV and for some reason, the cable isn't coming into the living room. The roommate's getting it in his bedroom, but the living room is getting a "disconnected" message. So I don't know if that's a problem where it's gotten accidentally disconnected, either through chance or through a mistake by a cable guy, or whether they company has cut my cable off for some reason. Which would also be a mistake, because I'm paid up.

I'm going to call to see what's going on tomorrow morning. I've got to get to work here before long.

christmas holly
You are the Christmas Holly.

What Christmas Ornament are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found at Busy Mom, who is likewise hooked on West Wing re-runs on Bravo.

Now, if we can keep the phone from ringing, I'm going back to bed. Stupid third shift.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Party of Abject Failure

South Knox Bubba had himself a run-in of sorts with the Republican Party. I laughed my hind end off about it.

I would like that "The Side of Abject Failure" put on a button, or something. And wear it into either Party's convention.

Speaking of either political party, Say Uncle had some very keen thoughts on our current two-party system.

I may be wrong here.

But I think money's the big issue to why we've still got our two outmoded and out-thought political parties. The Democratic Party and Republican Party are brand names on par with Coke and Pepsi, to continue Uncle's metaphor. And until the status quo is changed, and people (and corporations) stop pouring money into either political machine, we're going to continue to have these two dinosaurs.

And of course, unless you're independently mega-wealthy (like Perot, or Steve Forbes), and the mega-superstar personality (like a Schwarzenegger....or, to a degree, a Jesse Ventura), you aren't going to be able to crack that system on a scale any larger than the local level.

If you're a party regular who's generally disenchanted with your current affiliation (like many Republicans and Democrats), you still generally need the financial trappings of one of the parties.

But if you're Schwarzenegger, you're probably not going to be taken seriously, unless you take up the banner of one of the two parties.
The Big Wheel

I would like to go on The Price is Right.

I think that if I were to get a game like the Mountain Climber game, or the Hi-Lo game, I would do well. It's all about guessing logically.

I wouldn't do so well with a game like A Hole in One (or Two), I think. I'm notoriously bad at putting games.

Plinko might be fun, but I don't know that I like the random nature of the game. I mean, with A Hole in One (or Two), at least I'd know that I was the one who messed things up, and not some variation in the degree of placement of the pegs the Plinko chips bounce off of. I guess I'm saying I'd rather blame myself than have nothing else to blame than chaos.

But the Big Wheel is really what I'd like to play. Especially if I'd already won something. I see that wheel, and I see these little old ladies get up there barely able to spin that drum all the way around. It gets me riled.

I want to get up there and spin the shit out of that wheel.

I don't want to hear "boops" as the wheel passes each peg. I want to hear a single, solid tone, as one boop melds into the next.

And then there's the guy who was trying to finesse the wheel. He was trying to get the wheel to go around 1 and 1 quarter that he could get a dollar. What did that get him? The crowd booed him!

Serves him right.

Hell yeah.

When you get to that wheel, it's time to cowboy up and spin that wheel as hard as is humanly possible. Give yourself a hernia you spin that wheel so hard! I mean, they aren't going to talk about it if you get $1,000.

They're going to talk about it if you rip the wheel off its moorings you spin that sumbitch so hard.

Make yourself famous. Spin the wheel!

But no Plinko.
Talk Radio

How long have we had call-in shows on the radio? Now, I'm not up on the invention of certain technologies, but I'm thinking thousands of years.

So why is it, that without fail, anytime I'm listening to a call-in show on the radio, at least once an hour, the host has to tell the caller: Please Turn Down Your Radio? I mean, why can't people get the time-delay down in their heads? I know it's probably weird to hear the voice on your phone and not the radio (because that's the phone, and not the radio), but if you're not careful, you might get hit with a feedback loop that might explode your head Scanners style.

Granted, it's not an everyday thing for most folks to be calling into the radio. But even if it's your first time ever listening to a radio talk show, you should learn it when the first moron who's got his radio up in the background and gets told to turn it the hell down, that when when you finally get to talk to Bob and Tom, or G. Gordon Liddy, or Sean Hannity, or Art Bell, or Howard Stern, or the local jock who's taking stories about the best set of boobs you ever saw, that you should have your radio down, too.

But that's just me.
Dry Counties

Eric, at Straight White Guy, started this particular ball rolling in my brain. Eric hails from the county of my birth, which is can get liquor by the drink in Athens, and that's as far as it goes. And that only came about within the last couple of years. There was a time in McMinn County you could only buy beer, and then only within certain hours of the day...and NEVER ON SUNDAY.

Eric's rankled by the fact he has to travel to Knoxville if he wants to buy liquor by the package.

Acidman responded, saying that if you want liquor badly enough, you can find it. He also adds that his local liquor store is outside the jurisdiction of of the codes of the a neighboring dry county, but is close enough to be convenient, and as such makes a mint.

Which is Eric's argument, basically: Knox and Hamilton counties in Tennessee are picking up the tax dollars of anybody from any of the neighboring counties who travel to get their liquor. And they're going to travel to get their liquor. Voting down things like package stores doesn't keep people from drinking. It keeps the county from getting the tax dollars associated with it.

Buddy Don says in his comment on Eric's site that the mentality that fought so hard to keep liquor by the drink and the package out of Knox County very likely kept Knoxville from becoming a bigger economic hub than it is.

And the Wandering Hillbilly also makes the wise, wise statement: dont seem to me lack ye kin engineer moralty with laws....which is steady-headed the likes of which you rarely find on the internet.

I have little to add to the whole discussion. I just rankle anytime somebody else does something for my own good, which seems to be the sole argument the anti-liquor people have.
Worst Storm in 100 Years

George Noory, and more probably, Art Bell are probably all over this story. Apparently, the worst storm in a century hit Melbourne.

Noory and Bell, the regular and weekend hosts respectively of Coast to Coast AM, an overnight discussion of all things conspiracy, paranormal and counterscience, love to hear and report stories like this.

Art Bell especially. With Whitley Streiber, he wrote The Coming Global Superstorm, where it's predicted weather patterns are changing so vastly the human race could well be wiped off the face of the planet before we know it. It's Laugh-a-Minute.

So any time something like this comes up, Bell likes to jump on it and point it out.

Speaking of weather.

Has anybody else seen the trailer for The Day After Tomorrow? I have an odd thing for disaster footage in movies. Especially movies leading up to some manner of post-apocalyptic storyline. And Day After Tomorrow seems to have both. All I remember from the trailer were newscasters talking about the worst storm ever....lots of wind....a tidal wave overtaking New York City....and then the same with snow/glacier/frozen stuff halfway up the skyscrapers.

That was enough to sell it for me. Easily influenced by flashy images like I am, I know that in May of next year, I'll be there to see The Day After Tomorrow.