Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Flair and Lawler

Flair and Lawler

From the "Thoughts That Kept Me Out of the Really Good Schools Dept":

On last night's Monday Night Raw, Jerry "the King" Lawler was defeated by The Nature Boy Ric Flair in a match put together, ostensibly, by that night's acting general manager Randy Orton.

The two were paired in a match in celebration of The King's birthday. Mr. Lawler was celebrating #55. Likewise, Mr. Flair celebrated his fifty-fifth earlier this year. Now, I've had quite a few years between now and the last time I studied a math, but that tells me that between Flair and Lawler, there were about 110 combined years in that ring last night.

That sum does not include the referee. I can't remember who the ref was...was it Mike Keote? The Filthy Hippy and I agreed, however, that the youngest man in the wrestling ring during a match should probably not be the referee. Earl Hebner (who is 139 years old) should have been out there for that one.

Compare Lawler and Flair's combined age, though, to either the combined ages of the the women's tag match from last night, where the combined ages of the four competitors (Victoria, Lita, Molly Holly and Trish Stratus) add up to 116 years, or the men's Tag Team Championship match, where ages sources disagree, but the combined ages of those competitors are somewhere between 116 and 120.

Beyond that, Lawler began his career in 1970, according to the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac, and Flair began his in 1972. That adds up to 68 years worth of wrestling experience whupping on each other last night.

Whereas the combined years experience (again, according to PWI's 2004 Almanac) of the women adds up to somewhere close to 18 years, though that's not the best comparison, since Trish and Victoria began their wrestling careers later in life, after fitness modelling).

An even more striking sum, to me, comes in the Tag Team Championship match, where the combined career experience of the four competitors in the match (William Regal, Eugene Dinsmore, Sylvan Grenier and Rob Conway) adds up to a paltery 32 years, with William Regal bringing the bulk of that number, with 18 years in the squared circle himself.

It's not terribly important, I guess, except when you realize that, more and more, reaching the age of 40 in the pro wrestling industry is something to pat yourself on the back about--drug and alcohol abuse, tough travel schedule and hard livin' in general taking its toll on the wrestlers.

It's just something I noticed, and had been thinking about through the day.

Flair won, as I said, via submission, using the old standard Figure Four leglock...but he did it as the Dirtiest Player in the Game should, by getting a little added leverage from the ropes, while the ref's back was turned.....

One last thought. You've gotta think that the Nature Boy's closing in on laying the robe down for the last time, right? I mean, you gotta think he's gonna retire at some point. Is there a possibility for the man to grab that World Title one more time, in a believable fashion? I don't know. Royal Rumble win, or something? Surprise victory? I'd like to see it, if only because I'm a sentimental fool sometimes.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This Just Struck Me as Funny

This Just Struck Me as Funny

I think it's stories like this that make it why I read Fark every morning...

Undertaker Fell Into Grave During Funeral

Now, being the pro wrasslin fan that I am, I automatically think of the WWE Icon, The Undertaker.

I imagine that the Taker's at a funeral on his day off from the squared circle Of course, in my imagination, he's not wearing dress clothes at the funeral, or even street clothes. He's wearing the black garb and hat that he currently wears on his way down to the ring. And through happenstance, he manages to fall into a grave. And now, at this funeral, you have a 6'10" heavily tattooed pro wrestler in the grave, rolling his eyes till only the whites how and trying futilely to climb out of an open grave....

But it's not The Undertaker, merely an undertaker.

Still, these lines made me laugh:

An undertaker was knocked off his feet by a gust of wind and blown into a grave during a funeral....He had to be rescued by cemetery staff equipped with a ladder after spending 15 minutes in the grave.

Now, I don't know all the specifics, but I'm assuming that there are people around. We know that a coffin is there, because the undertaker's fell in removing flowers from it.

I wonder if he cursed when he fell in. I've got what some call "a problem" with the casual swearing. It pops into my everyday speech now and then, but especially if I'm startled or surprised. I'm thinking falling into an open grave in front of a mourning family would qualify as a startling and surprising occurrence.

I wonder if any mourners cursed. I think it qualifies as a "Holy Shit" moment.

What's more, haven't you ever been in one of those situations where each minute seems like an eternity? What does 15 minutes of that, at a funeral, with a tiny man down in the grave feel like? For the undertaker? For those standing around at the funeral?

I wonder if anybody laughed. I wonder how many tried like the devil not to laugh. I mean, after the initial shock of "That tiny man fell my father's grave," wore off, and you're waiting the fifteen minutes it takes to find the cemetary workers and a ladder. It's such a bizarre situation, I'm not sure I could resist. If only to ease the tension.

I liked his professionalism, however:

But the funeral director....brushed himself off and carried on with the service.
The man comes in to do his job. This tells me that he probably did whatever he could to draw attention away from the accident. Even while standing in the open grave. Not that drawing attention from your falling into an open grave is that easy a thing to do. Or even a possible thing to do. But still, I'm guessing he didn't mention his imposition, even while down in the grave.

But I think he may have performed a service, without intending to. I don't know who died at the funeral, but I'm assuming he had family, and that his death is tough for some of them. And I'm thinking that some of them may have gotten a private laugh, out of the whole thing. If only for a minute, they had their minds taken off the death.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A Christmas Bounty

A Christmas Bounty

I hereby place a bounty of Two (2) American Dollars on the heads of each of the singers in those Old Navy TV ads where the carolers are singing songs about Old Navy products to the tune of Christmas Carols. I don't know how they figure I'm in the Gap/Old Navy demographic, but everything I watch on the boob tube has these ads...did they just plaster these commercials on everything?

(Corrected that it's not The Gap, but rather Old Navy with the ads. To me, it shows just how meaningless and interchangeable the brand names of these stores are, and also just how stupid I am sometimes...)

Friday, November 26, 2004



Today's craziness, with emphasis and numeration added by yours, truly:


From correspondents in Tokyo

A 19-year-old Japanese who was fed up with his parents' nagging about his laziness bludgeoned them to death with a four-kilogram (nine-pound) iron dumbbell as they were sleeping on Wednesday.

The man beat his parents around 10 times each while his 16-year-old sister watched television in another room in Mito, 100km north of Tokyo.[1]

The suspect, who cannot be identified because he is under 20, the legal age for grown-ups in Japan, called police after the crime and said he was upset that his parents criticized his lifestyle.

"After graduating from high school, the suspect neither goes to university nor works and his parents often asked him to do something," a police spokesman said.

The suspect had also wanted to kill his sister and his 76-year-old grandfather who was asleep[2], police said.

"He had planned to murder everyone, but told us he had given up after feeling exhausted by the killing" of his parents, said the spokesman.[3]

The 51-year-old father was a junior high school teacher and the mother was a 48-year-old housewife.

1. This is a poorly constructed sentence. Is the other room in another city, a hundred kilometers north of Tokyo? If so, is it remarkable that his sister did not hear the beatdown going on?

If the room is not a hundred kilometers north, I wonder what the sister was watching on the television. Because unless it's the Simpsons, or Arrested Development, I'm pretty easily distracted by the goings on around me. I'm thinking I'm probably gonna hear somebody getting themselves killed in the next room. Especially if it's the same people who are constantly telling me to stop watching TV.

2. This feller's what we call an idea man. What he needed to do was get put into a brain trust somewhere. He comes up with the ideas (kill parents, sister and granpa who is asleep), but isn't necessarily equipped to follow through.

3. Alas, in his ultimate act of passive aggression, he proves his parents correct. He planned to kill is sister (who either was in the next room, or 100 kilometers north of Tokyo) and his grandfather (sleeping), but his so worn out after bludgeoning the folks to death, he's unable to finish his act.

Because he's lazy. What pencil necked geek can't pick up a nine pound weight up enough to kill the rest of his family? I mean, he only beat his parents ten times each. That's 2 sets of 10. That's not even a full rep set.

If this guy had gotten up off his ass every now and then, gotten a little exercise, put a little muscle on his body, he'd have been able to kill his family with reckless abandon...but it takes away motive, because if you're working out, you're not lazy, I guess.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Random Thankgiving Thoughts

Random Thanksgiving Thoughts

I'm a thankful so and so. I'm thankful for the family, and my friends. I'm thankful to live in America. I'm thankful that I've got a roof over my head, an opportunity to work and learn, that I've got half a brain in my head. Beyond these things, I'm thankful for so many things. But it would be much like my Oscar speech, were I to win an Oscar...I'm afraid I would forget someone or something, so I'll just say that I'm very, very thankful.

It's early, this Thanksgiving. Couldn't sleep.

Hey! I might spoil a movie in the next couple of paragraphs! I went with Dad to see National Treasure yesterday. I liked it alright. It wasn't great, but it worked okay. It's a popcorn movie, so it works for what it was. It doesn't bear a lot of scrutiny. Just watch it like a popcorn fairy tale: if you're not into the whole "suspension of disbelief" thing, this one won't work for you.

I will say that at first, I was kind of annoyed that one of my few movie rules didn't apply, until I realized it had only been turned inward, on another character. The rule? Never trust Jon Voight. He's always devious, in the end. This time, he was merely devious toward the greater good.

A brief listing of my Top 5 favorite Thanksgiving desserts:

1. Pumpkin Pie
2. Pecan Pie
3. Banana Pudding
4. Pumpkin Bread
5. Apple Pie

That's really all I've got this morning, except to say that if anybody tries to tell you that Alice's Restaurant is the movie to watch on Thanksgiving, you plunk them in the head with a copy of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or you just declare it the Christmas Season, and pop Christmas Vacation in, and leave that hippie mess alone. It'll just grow hair on your palms.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wednesday Morning Random Thoughts

Wednesday Morning Random Thoughts

Random thoughts so far this week because I can't string together a coherent set of thoughts as far as the writing goes this week. Which sucks, if that's what you're trying to do with yourself.

You know what I hate? When you've got the day off, and you say to yourself: "Self, I'm gonna sleep late today." But apparently you don't get the message, and on your day off, you end up waking up at 6:30 on your day off. And no matter how hard you try to punch yourself back into blissful sleep, it just doesn't work. All you get is a black eye and a reason to tell people you fell down the stairs for the next week.

I'm not traveling anywhere for Thanksgiving. Work pretty much saw to that. It's probably a good thing. Because if there's anything I learned by looking through the extensive archives at a certain blog I've been writing for two years, it's that people don't know how to drive on the interstate.

We'll be eating at the BSTommy Compound. Just the traditional stuff. Turkey. Dressing. Sweet PoTayTows. Followed by the yearly reenactment of the Hard Boiled Egg eating bet in Cool Hand Luke.

Also, I've rectified the "No Dessert" thing. We's having the pumpkin pie. Because what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? (Hint: Think a gallon jug of mayonnaise that's been left out in the trunk of your car on a hot July day, and you're almost there.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Today's Funny

Today's Funny

I liked this one:

It was November, and the Indians on a remote reservation asked their new Chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.

Since he was a Chief in a modern society he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that it was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.

Being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked “Is the coming winter going to be cold?” “It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,” the meteorologist at the weather service responded.

So the chief went back to his tribe and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared. A week later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. “Does it still look like it’s going to be a very cold winter?” “Yes,” the man at the National Weather Service again replied “it’s going to be a very cold winter”.

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every piece of firewood they could find.

Two weeks later, the Chief called the National Weather Service again and asked “Are you absolutely sure that this winter is going to be very cold?

“Absolutely,” replied the man, it’s looking more and more that this is going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

“How can you be so sure?” the Chief asked.

The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”

It's a ways to go, but the payoff worked for me...found on this here internet...

Tuesday Morning Random Thoughts

Tuesday Morning Random Thoughts

Last night's WWE Monday Night Raw opened with one of the most enjoyable vignettes the WWE has put together in quite some time. Lampooning the Terrell Owens/Nicolette Sheridan towel incident from last week's Monday Night Football, it featured Shelton Benjamin, Trish Stratus, and a moral-fabric-of-America-saving Vince McMahon. Laughed my arse off at Mr. McMahon's statement to Mr. Benjamin..."I don't know if you know this, but you're black."

Good stuff, poking fun at how some in our society want to place role model status on sports figures, even when they're the least deserving.

Speaking of sports, the Expos become the Washington Nationals, huh? I can live with that. I was rooting a bit for calling them the Grays, myself. Give a little bit of that MLB love to the Negro Leagues. Even if it were for just a season or two, while MLB got their act together looking for a new owner.

I'd like it, by the way, if we started calling the Cincinnati team "Redlegs," again.

You know how there's Texas Toast?

The reason you can't buy Tennessee Toast in the grocery stores, or at restaurants? It's too hard to get the mayonnaise to freeze, and then reheat....

Monday, November 22, 2004

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

Last night's Simpsons was the best I've seen in a while. Homer was done well...gloriously dumb instead of the normal jerkass stooge he's been written as for the past few seasons. And the fact that the episode didn't focus on Homer was another positive. Who'd a thunk I'd have enjoyed a Marge episode? But this one was really cool, complete with lots of really good gags, like Nelson eating tadpoles and Ralph Wiggum's unending game of Duck, Duck, Goose.

That Duck, Duck, Goose game before commercial had the feel of a Norm McDonald joke.

Changing the subject, I'm a Chevrolet man, but Man do I enjoy the word "Toyotathon."

It just rolls off the tongue.

I've just learned that there will be no desserts at my family's Thanksgiving dinner this year. I can't help put express disappointment, and even anger at this development. Well, looks like I'm gonna have to bring pumpkin pie, and if they don't wanna eat it, then it's more pumpkin pie for Tommy.

(When I make the movie of this year's Thanksgiving dinner, it will be called "More Pumpkin Pie for Tommy. And it will be rated PG-13.)

Which wrestling move would be the most fun to slap on a random passerby?

I'd like to lay a DDT on some random person, though I can't deny the prospect of running down a street clotheslining people.

Ah well. Let's go do some work.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Things I had Forgotten

Things I had Forgotten

Add this to the ever-growing file of Things I Had Forgotten:

I had a forum, in the early days of my blog.

Cable Revelations

Cable Revelations

Bill has a damned funny revelation about the thought processes of Carl from Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force....

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Pistons/Pacers Wrasslin Match...

The Pistons/Pacers Wrasslin Match....

Chris pretty much hits the nail on the head when summing up the brawl at the Pacers/Pistons NBA game last night.

Your must read

Your must read

Go Read the Pepsi Spice blog.

The writer has decided to drink nothing but Pepsi's holiday special edition beverage, Pepsi Spice, for forty-five days. Early on, he's experiencing problems. Sneezing, itchy neck, bloody nose and diarrhea among them.

It's craziness.

Who Is Killing the World's Oldest People?

Who Is Killing the World's Oldest People?

Say what you will about me, at least I'm consistent...

The World's Oldest Man dies at 113....

Fred Hale, Sr. was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday.


(Deep Breath).

Who is Killing the World's Oldest People?

It's a dastardly occurrence.

My favorite part of this joke is that this running gag generates more blog e-mail for me than anything else I do. Like, mucho mas. The last time the world's (or just our nation's) oldest person died, and the couple of times before that, I got right around 4 e-mails concerning this joke, generally from other bloggers who like to point out that they've made the same joke, and hours and minutes before I did, at that...or that this is an old joke that they saw on the Tonight Show, or Ed Sullivan, or whatever (there's a Shakespearean gag that's very similar).

I usually get 1 e-mail concerning the blog a week. I do around 15 posts a week. So, I'll double my month's blog e-mail doing a post.

Which is good. I like reading e-mail. Because reading e-mail whups doing work. Any day of the week. Twice on Sunday.


In all seriousness, I wonder what the record for holding the title World's Oldest Person is. I mean, you can't hold the title long. Biology kind of assures that.

But Mr. Hale has been the World's Oldest Man, at least as it concerned the fine folks at the Guinness Book of World Records, since March 5 of this year. That's 8 months. Which is a ridiculous time to be ridiculously old.

Do you get a Guinness record for holding the title of world's oldest person longer than anybody else?

Or is it too much to wrap a brain around?

Anyway. Mr. Hale has passed on. Dude got to see the Red Sox win the Series. Good for him. But he's a guy who could say "86 years? pshaw. I could do that standing on me head."

I don't know if he would talk like that, though.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Friday Bird Blogging

Friday Bird Blogging

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Banned Books, another day

Banned Books, another day

I wrote a couple of days ago about a news story that ran in my local newspaper. It concerned the Etowah, Tennessee, school board's decision to remove a book from its school library, and even from the school grounds altogether, based on what seems to be a single complaint by a parent.

I reprint some of the Daily Post Athenian story. The bold sections and numeration are what I've added for emphasis:


By: BEN BENTON Staff Writer

ETOWAH — Although no action was required [1] a fictional book at Etowah City School has been removed after parents registered a complaint with the school about its content.

Parents Vic and Jane Wooten formally asked that the book “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” be taken from the school’s library.

Teacher Sharon Ordonez said the book was not actually a library book but had been purchased for use in a specific reading group.

“It was never on the shelves (at the library),” she said. [2]

Ordonez and Director of Schools David Green assured Board members and the Wootens the book was no longer in the school.

The Wootens filled out a “Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of Media” and attached two pages of excerpts from the book as evidence of its “immorality through language, teen-age drinking and sexual activities.”

The Wootens stated they believed the book was only appropriate for students who are college age. [3]

“In no way is this book appropriate for children of any age,” the Wootens stated in the Request. “I would hope we would uphold a higher standard for our children. Public schools should not promote or present material which teaches our children foul language, teen-age sex, teen-age drinking or any other immoral behaviors.”

The excerpts cited by the Wootens included conversations in quoted dialogue, some of it in adult language, between teens about the temptations of youth, including sex and drinking.

School Board Chairman Jeff Williams said he was concerned about the presence of the book in the school and called for such matters to be addressed “in a much more timely manner.”

“There were some items in this book that I wasn’t comfortable with as a parent, as a School Board member,” said Williams.

Board member Phil Waycaster questioned whether there were policies in place to prevent such books from entering the school.

“What we might want to consider is looking at the policy,” Waycaster said. “Maybe we need to get more people to look at this kind of thing. The more people we have involved in it, the better.”

Board member Daniel Tallent suggested that all the books in the library be reviewed.

“Are we comfortable that no more (questionable books) exist in our library?” Tallent asked. [4]

Ordonez said “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” wasn’t a library book and that it wasn’t on the school’s reading lists. The book wasn’t made generally available to students. She noted the book has been on many national recommended reading lists, however.

“I don’t think this book should ever be read,[5]” Vic Wooten interjected.

Here's the whole article, if you want to read about other issues related to Etowah's school.

I'm getting really sick of this. Whether it's on a national level, something like the Janet Jackson flashing incident, or uproar overt the Terrell Owens/Nicolette Sheridan vignette which ran before this last Monday Night Football game. Or it's on the local level, with people Mr. Wooten proclaiming "I don't think this book should ever be read," in reference to anything that doesn't pass muster of what they believe to be good, moral and upright. I realize that this sort of pushy pseudo morality has always been around, but when you start banning books, any books, it really gets under my skin.

A couple of points I wanted to make, in reference to the bold sections I numbered.

[1]: I'm hopeful you read the whole article, but in case you didn't, it ends with the Etowah School Board not only agreeing to make sure the book is removed from the school, but also pondering whether there needs to be more action taken to make sure there aren't more objectionable materials in the schools....even though NO ACTION WAS NEEDED.

(As an aside, I realize that it's poor form to correct another person's grammar and verbage, but this one bugged me: "fictional book" is a poor constructed phrase. "Book of fiction," is awkward, but works better, since fictional book implies that the book isn't real, but rather fictional. Simply saying "book" would have been better, and "novel" would have been best of all).

[2]: This was the first thing that bugged me. The book wasn't available to the general student public at the school. There was no danger of some random, hapless child picking up the evil, evil, dirty book. The book was brought into the school for a specific group, and was not available to the public. This wasn't enough for Vic and Jane Wooten. They not only want to rob their own child of an education (as is their right), but other kids, as well.

[3]: The Wootens believe that the book is appropriate college age readers, and above. Even though the writer, publisher, bookstores and all the book reviewers I've seen, praise the book as a good read for Young Adults. I found the book in the Teen Reader section at the Books a Million last night. Seems that the majority of people believe otherwise. Yet we've decided to listen to Mr. Wooten's opinion, and based on his suggestion alone, we've banned the book.

[4]: This part really burns me up. See, it would be one thing if it was some misguided fear of litigation from the Wootens that was driving this move. But the board members are frothing at the bit to get not only this book, but also any others that they deem objectionable. The phrase they use is "questionable." To me, the content of just about any book is "questionable." That's kinda what's so great about literature, that you can question what it means and the purpose for which it's meant. But obviously, questionable means "not evil, dirty, or dealing with sex or drinking."

It's cliched to say so, but lots of books were questionable to the Nazis, too. Also, the communists.

[5]: Again Mr. Wooten chimes in that this sort of thing "shouldn't ever be read." By anyone, apparently. Mr. Wooten apparently wishes that he got to dictate morality. Because the world's a bad place, and it's books like this, and moreover, people reading the book, that make it a bad place.

My main problem, aside from the Etowah School Board's froggy jump to get rid of the book, is the larger issue of not being able to see the forest for all the trees.

I'll be the first to tell you that there are a lot of problems in this here world, and this here America that we live in.

I'm sorry, a coming of age story in which youngsters learn to deal with some of those problems IS NOT one of those problems.

I haven't read the book. I desperately want to. Even if I'm not in the intended demographic audience. Everything I've read points to the book being an intelligent yet entirely accessible story of young people much like those who would be reading the book learning about the world and learning how to deal with the problems that any of us would face.

And I can't see how that's anything but a good thing.

(Please, please correct me if I'm wrong on the book's content or intent, anybody who's read the book--that's why I asked the other day....)

My point in all this:

Mr. Wooten's intent is good. I believe that. I understand the urge to protect and all that.

But he, and the Etowah School Board, are misguided in their actions.

Instead of hiding the book from the kids, and making sure that it's not read by anybody in the school, as parents you chould be seeing this as an opportunity for communication with the kids.

If the parents took an active role in the education of their kids (now I'm being foolish, I realize...) and talked with their kids and taught them how to deal with difficult and trying material, instead of effectively sticking their heads in the sand, we wouldn't leave them so ill-equipped to deal with something truly dangerous in life, when it does (and will) come along.

But the worse part is that it doesn't teach kids about right and wrong. It teaches only that if you scream long and loud enough, you'll get your way. And I'd say that in the real world, you don't always get your way, except that in this case, Mr. Wooten got his.

Ah well. I'm just ranting to hear myself rant, I guess. I don't have kids in school. If I did, I don't live in Etowah. But if I did, and they went to an Etowah school, I'd have to think long and hard before considering whether Misters Tallent and Waycaster need to be governing my kids' educations.

Sadly, I'm thinking more and more, these folks are more and more in the majority in their thinking, especially in my little corner here in East Tennessee.

Anyway. I'm just Big Stupid Tommy. But y'all do me a favor, and think about it.

Original Content? Pfah!

Original Content? Pfah!

Found at Missives Anonymous:

Your Lightsaber is Blue

Blue is often associated with depth and stability.
It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom,
confidence, and truth.

What Colored Lightsaber Would You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Banned Books

Banned Books

Anybody who reads this ever read the book Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares?

I ask because a local parent raised a fuss, and got the book taken out of their local school's library. I'll link to the Daily Post Athenian story about such a thing later (the DPA doesn't put online their current stories...you gotta pay 50 cents for a copy if you want to read about the latest meth bust and today's Snuffy Smith).

The parents involved, Vic and Jane Wooten "filled out a 'Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Media' and attached two pages of excerpts from the book as evidence of its 'immorality through language, teenage drinking and sexual activities.'"

I'd like to hear from somebody who's read it. I found a review or two, and saw a couple of blurbs on Amazon's page for the book.

But I'd like to hear from a person who's read it who might comment on any material found within that might be damaging to a child's psyche and development.

Because everything I've seen besides the Wootens' request seems that the book is a coming of age type story, and all reviews I read seemed positive, to even glowing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday

TV Tuesday, because fights at the Vibe Awards are cool.

The Holidays are quickly coming upon us, what will be on your TV?

1. Any holiday favorites you can't live without?

I try to watch Rudolph every year, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

As for movies, there's a rotation that begins with Planes, Trains and Automobiles at Thanksgiving, and moves on to A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life and the Laurel and Hardy version of Babes in Toyland.

2. Holiday viewing: Parades or Football?

Football. I strongly believe that if you've seen one parade, you've seen them all.

3. What's your favorite holiday TV memory?

For some reason, I remember being six or seven, and laughing my ass off at Garfield's dream he has at the beginning of the Garfield Christmas special. Neverending lasagna.

~Bonus~ Holiday remakes, are you a faithful fan of the old classics or do you prefer the newer versions?

Old classics. There's a reason they're called classics.

Remember to leave your link or answers in the comments!! :)

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

Ah, the Insomnia Posts.

In the past, a staple of the BSTommy experience. Here lately, I've been sleeping a bit better. But the past couple of nights have kinda sucked. And here I am, up and around at 2:30 in the AM.

I was having a dream. Not a bad dream, or a good dream, particularly. Just a dream about something pretty mundane, driving. But the dream was a bit tenacious, in that it kept wanting to be dreamed even while I was awake. I woke up out of the dream, but kept struggling to knock the dream out of my head. I'd try to start thinking of something else, or nothing at all, but my brain would just kind of fall back into the rhythm of that dream.

Sorry, boring, I know. But it's what woke me up. I'm the one more annoyed. I'm the one up at 2:30 instead of sleeping.

Maybe if I'd just wandered back into my driving dream, I'd be asleep now.

I'm quite the fool.

Obi Wan had something to say about fools.

Obi Wan had some balls, talking to Han Solo like that, what with his Wookiee.

I always kind of thought of that guy who travelled around with Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven as a wookiee. We got to talking about that show at work one day, and I couldn't think of the actor's name, or even the character's name, so I just referred to him as Chewbacca.

We talk about Highway to Heaven a lot at work.

A lot.

I've been struggling with a light cold for a couple of days now. More than anything, it just leaves me feeling worn out and run down. But I've got the stuffy head and scratchy throat, too. That may be part of my problem with this whole being awake thing. Come to think of it, I don't feel really good right now.

Maybe I'll call in tomorrow.

Eh. I'm too stupid to call in.

Is it cold where you are? It's kinda chilly where I am. In the 30's. Cool enough for a fire. But there's no fire. Thus, it's kinda chilly.

My radio just scared the shit out of me. I'd hit the sleep button for the radio, where it plays for an hour while you go to sleep, in hopes of falling right back to sleep...stupid mundane dreaming had other things to say. It was playing in the background...George Noory's talking about A.I. and all that jazz. But the radio cut off a few minutes ago. I figured I'd hit my 59 minutes. But it just cut the hell back on. Turns out the station had been doing the dead air thing while George was at station break.

You have no idea how much that frightened me.

I've been screaming for the past 20 minutes because of it.


I went out to Nashville this past weekend. Saw my friends Julie and Jason. We hung out. It was weird just how much heading out to Murfreesboro felt like I'd just been gone a week or two. I've been out here in East TN for four months now. File that one under time flies, I guess.

Picked up the Proclaimers CD with I'm Gonna Be on it, just in case that little booger got in my head again, while I was at Great Escape. The only way to exorcise that demon is to play a song over and over, don't you know?

Or, you could use Mr. Burns' memory eraser. But that seems like an extreme measure, for an 80's pop tune.

Anyway. I've bored you folks enough. Let's try this sleep thing again. No stupid insipid dreams about driving my truck. Power of positive thinking, and whatnot.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Two Years!!?!?!!!???!?!?!

Two Years!!?!?!!!???!?!?!

Wow. I can't even count to two.

As of yesterday, I've been at this whole blogging thing for two whole years.


Yep. Two.

Amazing, ain't it?

Thanks to those who come in to read. I enjoy writing it. I'm glad somebody enjoys reading it.

Saturday, November 13, 2004



I wrote most of last night and part of this morning. My brains are tired. Here are things other people on this here internet said what made me laugh:

----The Hulk, of Hulk's Diary That is On the Internet

I'm not sure how some dude taking a wizz next to it indicates that bus was not stolen, but that's probably why I'm not a cop.
---Ashby, of Knock/Snooze

If Luther Campbell were dead, he'd be rolling over in his grave from spasmodic laughing fits. These people just don't get it: every picket sign that shows up on the evening news, every corpulent white man with a community college divinity degree who gets interviewed on Access Hollywood, and every unfortunate child trotted out in a sandwich board by his "sex for procreation only" parents is one more ticket sold for [the film Kinsey].
---Pete, of A Perfectly Cromulent Blog

Lastly, I saw this a couple of places, Say Uncle and Elephant Rants among them.

Go there. It beats the hell out of subserviant chicken.

Yeah...I spent my whole morning "writing."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The German Language+Crazy Script=Comedy

The German Language+Crazy Script=Comedy

Bad War Movies

Bad War Movies

Re: the Theater Thursday meme I did yesterday:

Today, I was reminded by Bill, the Team America soundtrack and Steven that Pearl Harbor is a bad, bad war movie. Horrible. Horrible. Just...just horrible.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Theater Thursday

Theater Thursday

Theater Thursday, because this one time a yellowjacket stung me in my ear. IN MY EAR!!!!

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. With that in mind, this weeks questions are all about movies involving the subject of war.

1) Which war movie is your favorite? (Nothing about war could be considered a 'favorite', but ya get my meaning.)

The original Star Wars Trilogy is about a war, right? The rebellion against the Empire?

Or are you talking about wars here on Earth?

I find myself watching Glory at least once a year. It's just a well put together flick. Two parties who don't respect each other taking up the cause together. Lots of good fighting. Morgan Freeman, classy guy. And then it ends on such a downer. Great flick.

Three Kings is technically a war movie. It's a great movie that just doesn't seem to get enough love. It'll get its due, in time. It's one of those movies that just sucks me in every time I see it.

I also liked The Last Samurai, which is a war movie of a sort. We Were Soldiers is great, too. Full Metal Jacket, you can't go wrong with. Braveheart!??!?!

Wow, for a guy who said to himself "I'm not a huge fan of the genre," I'm getting a whole list of them going in my head.

2) What movie about war do you consider to be 'unwatchable', poorly done, or of poor taste?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any war type flick that really pissed me off. Wow. BSTommy is learning stuff about himself today. Maybe I love war movies.

I think A Thin Red Line was a ridiculously long movie with terribly little to say.

Gods and Generals is patronizing and ridiculously long, but I didn't hate it, for some reason.

I've never seen Casualties of War. I think I'll hate it, just to have an answer. A war movie with Michael J. Fox. The very idea!

update What was that movie with Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman? Behind Enemy Lines, or something like that? I didn't like that one. Stupid and consdescening.

3) Which actor/actress gave the best performance as a soldier? What movie?

You can't beat R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket. But that one's too easy, since he's not really acting there. He's just doing what he always did.

BONUS) If there was a movie to be made about the current war in Iraq, who would you most like to see as the leading man/woman?

Dave Chappelle. That guy can make me laugh until I whiz my pants.

With Keira Knightley, and Natalie Portman, and Maura Tierney.

Happy Veterans day to all the Veterans out there.

Baseball Fundamentalist

Baseball Fundamentalist

I only saw the headline, and said NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Baseball to discuss instant replay?

Because I'm a curmudgeon. Without and beyond reason. No replay. No discussions, even, of replays. I'm thinking we should take away that Cincinnati club's charter for even suggesting such a blasphemy.

Baseball fundamentalist? Maybe. Because baseball was perfect before Bud and company started screwing with it.

We should nip this assbaggy talk in the bud. Nip it. Nip Bud? Nip Bud! No instant replay. No talks of instant replay.

Yeah, I'm railing against nothing, at this point, so save your comments telling me not to get my knickers in a wad. My knickers ain't in a wad. I don't wear knickers, so far as I can tell. I'm not in the mind to start taking lives over the wrongs that are being done in the baseball world. Not yet, least ways.

Wednesday Morning

Wednesday Morning

Woke up with a booger of a sinus headache this morning. That's the problem of living in the atmospheric gutter here in eastern Tennessee. All the pollutants and pollen sweep in from the west, and don't wash over the Appalachians. Instead, it runs straight up my nose and into my sinuses. Makes me crabby, it does.

The Today show showed footage from the hostage situation in California, where the guy took a clerk from the Mexican consulate hostage, and got shot in his head for his troubles.

I didn't care for seeing it.

And it's not the violence that I dislike. I loves me some violence.

But if we can't have cussing or nudity on the major morning news shows, I don't think we should have the explicit violence, either.

A couple of quick links:

My buddy Steven, noting the relative absence of Braves blogs, at least in comparison to all the Cubs blogs out there, started one of his own last week. He had a good and quick analysis of the N.L. Cy Young race that I enjoyed....

Danielle is back from down under, and she's discussing jet lag.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Pairings are Up

The Pairings are Up

Tournament of Stuff be damned. This one's for Joebo, who enjoys these things immensely.

1. An appreciation for all things Natalie Portman
16. Getting Punched in the Face by a Clown

8. Steve Guttenberg, in The Day After.
9. Steve Guttenberg, in Short Circuit

4. A Brief Social, Historical and Economic Overview of New Zealand
13. A Pirate with a steering wheel sticking out of his pants.

5. "What'd you do when she wore the cheerleader outfit to work?"
12. "I appreciated it."

3. Kerry "Not Enough Balls to Smash Sosa's Boom Box" Wood
14. Scarlet Witch killed The Vision, Hawkeye AND Ant-Man.

6. I can eat more White Castles than any two of you.
11. The Bronze Age

7. Lost Frog
10. The guy who flips people off in Provo, Utah

2. The Island of Mypos
15. I ain't eating anything with the word "turd" in its name.

The Ground Rules

1. The Tournament will begin promptly at 5:40 AM, in the mind of the very last fifth grader on Earth not on ritalin.

1a. In the event of Sumo attack, EM Pulse, outbreak of genital warts or rain, the tournament will be held on a tuesday in september.

2. No Betting On the Tournament Floor. Betting on the action is recommended. The floor hasn't won in weeks.

3. Tournament will be single-elimination, scored on the Gould curve, with combatants deciding at time of kickoff whether to allow the George Kennedy exemption to come into play.

4. We bow to the hegemony, represented at this tournament by The Rock, and welcome his wisdom in judgment.

5. Yep.

6. Ain't it funny when a dog barks on TV, and your dog thinks it's a dog somewhere in the house, and runs, tear-assing through the house looking for this mysterious nowhere to be seen dog?

7. Now, due to the now-fabled unpleasantness at the July 1989 meeting, any disputes in scoring will be settled with a pencil fight. Because I like pencil fights.



Woke up laughing from a dream I had where we voted as a people to change our national anthem to "Whoomp! There It Is."

The version with the cussing.

I'm going to take it as a portent. An omen of sorts.

Today's gonna be a good day.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Hot Stove Quote of the Day...

The Hot Stove Quote of the Day....

On one of the many, many trade rumors swirling around a certain rightfielder for the Chicago Cubs:

Jim Hendry trading Sammy Sosa for Shawn Green will be the baseball equivalent to nekkid big-titty wimmin fallin' from the sky.

Monday Morning

Monday Morning

I am a sleepy, sleepy sunofagun.

Had one of those nights last night where I woke up every 45 minutes or so. I don't think I ever really fell into a good, deep sleep. Had one of those good math nights. You know, where you look at the clock, and you're able to instantly recognize just how much longer you're able to sleep? 2:12? I've got three hours and thirty-three minutes to sleep.

Just a couple of random thoughts.

I liked last night's Treehouse of Horror. Mostly for the Ned Flanders/Dead Zone segment. Homer trying to get his frisbee off the roof with a bowling ball made me laugh myself silly. Mainly because at the Goodwill job, I watched two co-workers trying their damnedest to heave a fourteen pound bowling ball 24 feet up onto the roof of the building. Mainly for the sheer hell of it.

The best part was the first time James tried to throw it granny style, and got too distracted watching it to realize that when it started coming back down, it would have landed on him.

I'm reading the late Stephen Jay Gould's collection of baseball essays Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville. Lots of good stuff. It's got the problem, though, where none of the essays were intended to be connected to one another, nor were any expected to work toward a common goal. So a lot of the essays tell the same anecdotes (Gould's father caught a foul ball off the bat of Joe DiMaggio, and he sent it to the Clipper to get it signed). But on the whole, it's good reading. I liked his essay written after DiMaggio's death, and also "Rough Injustice," on the playing of hunches in baseball.

I'm not a numbers guy when it comes to baseball. But Gould humanizes the numbers in a couple of his statistical analyses, and to my mind, that's the mark of a great science writer. I've enjoyed his talks in other areas in much the same way.

I recommend it.

Ah well. Let's wander off into the morning and get some work done.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

New York Marathon

New York Marathon

I was going to run in the New York Marathon today, but when given the choice between running 26 miles, or doing something else, I chose the latter.

Consider this a Sunday Morning Best Of....: Here's how I would have run it, if I'd decided to pay to run all that way....

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Papi is the Strongest One There Is!!!

Papi is the Strongest One There Is!!!

David Ortiz, who hulked his way through the hated New York Yankees and the hated St. Louis Cardinals, and whom you wouldn't like when he's angry, continues to smash his purple pants way through Japan. Puny Japanese. First Godzilla, and then the Hulk. Irradiated monsters seem to be drawn to Japan.

Ortiz smashed a puny baseball some 514 feet.

Little know fact? Because of little things like an international exchange rate, and time zones, the actual distance that baseball travelled when propelled off the bat of David Ortiz? 720 miles.

"I knew when I hit it that I got all of it," the Boston Red Sox slugger said after the major-league All-Stars beat the Japanese stars 5-3 Saturday night in Game 2 of their series. "I thought for a second that it might land in the Dominican (Republic)."

He exaggerates. It's a few thousand miles from Japan to the Dominican republic, but if you made him angry enough, he could do it.

"It felt like he hit that ball almost twice the length of the stadium," said Chiba Lotte Marines submariner [Shunsuke] Watanabe, who gave up six hits and three runs in five innings of work. "You can't make any mistakes against these guys."

Watanabe has faced a monster. Ortiz Smash!

Friday, November 05, 2004


Thursday, November 04, 2004



A couple of nights ago, one of the local radio stations played I Wanna Be by The Proclaimers, and since then, it's been in my head. Nonstop. For more than 2 days. It may just drive me mad. Or walk me mad. 500 miles, and 500 more. I would walk that far if it meant getting the song out of my brain. My fragile little mind is wobbling and struggling under the load of that song playing and replaying and replaying again.

Not really. But it's plenty friggin' annoying, let me tell you.

I call people "Chief."

I don't know exactly where I picked up the habit. It was sometime before (but not too long before) Letterman had a couple of segment called "Stop Calling Me Chief," in which a Late Show staffer would talk to people, and call them "chief" until they asked him to stop.

But I call people "chief." Strangers, mostly. I've never been asked to stop.

Hey Chief, how's it goin?

Hey Chief, can you tell me where the toilets are?

Thanks, Chief.

I'll call people I know "chief," too. It's kind of a catch-all in that way, I guess. Mostly I use it in greeting. To break the ice. I don't often whip out a "chief" in the middle of a conversation, unless I'm using it to get their attention.

For people I know, sometimes I'll reserve a special title. A specific title isn't necessarily reserved for a specific person. But I'll generally call someone I know a different title. Doctor, is one that's come up lately. Also (in the order I most use them): Captain, General, Admiral, Colonel, and Professor (reserved for the special occasions).

I have also tried: Ambassador, Lieutenant and Commander, but none of them have that ring that I listen for. None of them rolls off the tongue.

Mostly I call people "chief."

One time, I was afraid it had gotten me into trouble. I was at the convenience store buying the gasoline and a cold and tasty cold drink, and I paid, and I ended the transaction by telling the fellow behind the counter "Thanks, Chief."

As I turned away, I realized I may have accidentally used an impolite phrase. The man behind the counter was of the Asian Indian persuasion. Such a phrase might have been used in an insulting kind of way, taking the Indian thing a step further. I hadn't intended to insult.

Either he didn't notice, or he decided not to call me on it. I was kind of thankful that another customer had drawn his attention by their possible attempts to steal beer.

It was the closest I ever came to somebody telling me "Stop Calling Me Chief."

I call people "chief."

Don't know why.

The incident at the Kwik Sak didn't cure me of it.

I also call people "boss," sometimes. Usually the people I supervised. I like irony. (Except that it wouldn't have been ironic, really, unless one of those I'd supervised became my boss. Stupid Tibor.)

One time, one of the people I was supervising called me "Skid Row" in greeting.

I killed him for it.

No I didn't.

But he's still breathing through a machine. He'll never call anybody Skid Row again.

I call people "chief."

Just because.

Maybe it's testament to just how lazy I truly am. I see you. I know you. But I'm just too self-involved and friggin' lazy to think up your name. I've got those neurons firing on some other brainial activity. Listing all the WWF Intercontinental Champions. Too busy to think up your name, chief.

Actually, sometimes it takes me a second. I'm not bad with names. I'm just not quick with them.

And usually, how much do you use a person's name when you're talking to them?

Hey John How are You John I sure do like pudding John.

So, chief is a way of mixing things up.

I call people chief.

And I think you should, too. I think it would unite us, as a people. Heal this nasty wound left by the election season. I would respect both candidates, once they sort this whole mess out, if they said something like this:

"Chief, I'm sorry for that whole mess."

"That's alright, Chief. Don't ponder on it no more. 'tweren't nuthin...."

And then they would smile and laugh and the frame would freeze, and the credits would roll.

And then Roadblock would teach us about not touch live wires.

Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle, chief.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

He is a Hamburger

He is a Hamburger

He is a hamburger, yes.

But he is also a 2.5 billion dollar assassinbot, capable of infiltrating any environment, and carrying out any number of types of assassinations. He is responsible for the deaths of 17 rogue warlords in the wilds of sub-saharan Africa in the past year alone. He is believed to have been likewise involved in the deaths of several of the royal heads of Europe, the high holy hat of Australia and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is the deadliest assassin in all the world.

He is also very tasty.

Verrry tasty.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

Election Day

Hey! It's Election Day!

I hope to the American Dream Dusty Rhodes that this thing gets settled decisively today, and we don't drag this election out in the courts until January.

Because I'm really, really, really burnt out on the whole process.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The BSTommy Poll

The BSTommy Poll

Who will you vote for tomorrow?
George W. Bush
John Kerry
Not Bush
Not Kerry
The Ralph Nader
Purple Horseshoe
Trix Rabbit Gets to eat the cereal
Henry Winkler (You know, The Fonz)
Laura Prepon (Uncouth Sloth only)
Spicy Tender Crisp

Free polls from Pollhost.com