Thursday, June 30, 2005



Take the MIT Weblog Survey

In which he talks about himself in the third person....

In which he talks about himself in the third person...

Tommy? He doesn't like this shoddy internet service he's been getting lately.

He is also not crazy about this whole summertime deal, where it gets hot and humid, where he sweats if he's just standing out in it. He sweats enough without the help of the oppressive summer heat, thank you very much.

However, he speaks highly of George Romero's Land of the Dead movie. He liked it, though its value is more along the popcorn line of thought, than the social commentary-type.

He also liked War of the Worlds, although he thought Tom Cruise would have worked better as an Everyman type of character if almost everybody cast around him didn't seem to be cast for their relative shortness, so as not to make Mr. Cruise seem so tiny. It's like Earth was inhabitated with hobbits, or something.

It's almost like they told Tim Robbins to stay stooped over, too. Tim Robbins? He's a giant. Tom Cruise? Tiny.

Also? Tommy is somewhat frightened by Dakota Fanning. He has been ever since he saw her interviewing for the movie I Am Sam. Dakota Fanning had her shit together better at age 7 than Tommy does at age 28.

That's not a complaint on the movie. She's pretty good in the movie.

On the whole, it's a fun movie. He warns that it probably won't need or be able to bear a lot of thought being put into it. There's lots of kablooey. He knows that some people like to turn their nose up at Kablooey. But every now and then, Tommy says, we all just need some Kablooey. And this one has the Kablooey.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Notepad Nightmare

Notepad Nightmare

I have a notepad on my nightstand. Sometimes, if I have a really weird dream, I'll write something down. Sometimes, I won't remember what it is I've written a note to remember. The keywords are little more than sleep-deprived scribbles, or the keywords do little to remind me.

Once, I found: "Pickles and Bicycles, Hooray!"

Your guess is as good as mine.

But the one I picked up just now, as I was getting something to drink before I went to bed was legible. I'd forgotten the dream, but I don't think I will now.

Scrawled on the notepad is just the image I had from my dream last night:

"Spiders the size of baseball gloves that eat Human Hair to survive....."

Yeah. Guess what I'll be dreaming about again....

Glories Strung Like Beads

Glories Strung Like Beads

(That's the girliest title I've ever had for a post).

It's late, and here lately, I've needed an optimism boost:

From Norm by way of Sheila:

This is mine:

I love the smell of a summer day when it rains. All the crap gets washed out of the sky. The air just smells clean. It just smells like the day called "do over."

I love a contest between a great power pitcher and a great hitter. I love seeing the pitcher serve it up, saying "here's my best. Hit it if you can." And more often than not, I love seeing the pitcher blow the guy away.

I love comfortable silences. I am not so good with people, sometimes. It is rare that I can find a person who is comfortable with quiet, and around whom I am comfortable being quiet. I tend to think the person you can be quiet with is a true friend.

I love a person who can paint a picture with words. Who can put me in the environment. Zora Neale Hurston did it. Ferrol Sams can do it. Stephen Ambrose can do it. George Carlin, back in the day, could do it. Bill Cosby can do it.

I love good standup comedy. Can I tell you the admiration I have for a person who can stand up in the front of a room and make a group of people laugh? I love making people laugh. I could not do it for an audience. I have the utmost respect.

I love Maura Tierney. Yep.

I love when the Indians win the pennant in the movie Major League. I love the call of Bob Uecker's Harry Doyle, especially the "Oh My God, the Indians Win it!"

I love James Kochalka's comics. It is only recently that I have come to this way of thinking. He does the opposite of painting a picture with words. Sometimes, with his line drawings, he can make one of those thousand word pictures.

I love hot dogs at a baseball game. I love the taste. I love the texture. I don't eat them outside of a stadium anymore. But somehow the taste is just right at the baseball game.

I love professional wrestling. Gigantor posts preceding this one might help to prove that. I will watch 2 hours of bad wrestling because I like it better than most anything else that is on television. Wrestling is, by and large, a neverending stream of revenge stories.

I love revenge stories. Maybe I have an unhealthy fascination with people getting even. My favorite revenge story is that of a former co-worker's grandparents. His grandfather cheated on his grandmother. She took him back, took him to the bedroom, had him lie down, and she shot him in the back, and paralyzed him. Nobody knew if she meant to kill him, or just hurt him. She went to prison for a while. I never knew if the story was 100% true, and I'll say that it more than likely was part bullshit. I enjoyed it all the same.

I love the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Because it teaches that symbols and legends are often more important than the truth.

I love The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I read it for the first time when I was in seventh grade. I hated it for being made to read it. I've since read it four times. Once in high school. Twice for college. Once again, about six months ago. I love when Huck realizes the contradiction in the dichotomy of whites and blacks, and realizes that when taken on his own account, his friend Jim is better than most men he has ever known.

I love when Tom Sawyer shows up, in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Taken on is comedic merits, a finer piece of comic literature has never been written, especially when Tom shows up.

I love Arrested Development. Also, Futurama. Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Mr. Show. The State. Reno 911.

I love that they are putting shows on DVD fairly regularly. Because I have a bad memory for when things come on.

I love Keith Giffen's, J.M. DeMatteis' and Kevin Maguire's run on the old Justice League America/International Comic. I read it when all my friends in the sixth grade who read comics said that it blew chunks. It was funny. It wasn't about superheroes. It was about people, who were also superheroes. I love that it's made a couple of brief comeback runs in recent years. I am so sorry that DC made a sorry attempt to retcon the whole thing into a devious plan on the half of Maxwell Lord. I am even sorrier that they killed Blue Beetle.

I love a double play. I stole that answer. But a perfectly turned double play is like watching a perfectly crafted machine.

I love the Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat match from Wrestlemania III. In terms of story, in terms of athleticism, it was two guys at the top of their games letting it all hang out. It is, in my opinion, the best match ever put to the ring, and done on the biggest stage of them all.

I love it when a girl wears her hair in a pony tail, and pulls it through the back of a baseball cap. I cannot tell you just how bananas that drives me. I nearly failed an 8 o'clock English class because of this fascination.

I love it when I can make my parents laugh.

I love the movie Animal House. Whenever I feel down, I can watch Animal House, and I feel better.

Same with Super Troopers. I love Super Troopers. I love Broken Lizard. I love than they can make a silly comedy and let it stand on the strength of both the writing and the ensemble performance, and not depend on an Adam Sandler, or a Chris Rock to get all the jokes across to you.

I love Ellen Degeneres. I like her comedy. I like the misdirection. If you look at their standup comedy styles, Ellen Degeneres and Dave Chapelle have surprisingly similar standup styles.

I love camping. I don't camp enough. I'm going in a weekend or two.

I love sunrise. Especially when camping.

I love it when somebody uses the euphemism "See a man about a horse," when they're going to the toilet. It makes me laugh every time. Every time.

I love Harlan Ellison. His work. His persona. His writing output. I am not one to walk up to people, and engage them in conversation. I was proud of myself for getting the gumption to ask Mr. Ellison a question last fall at a convention at a time he was not scheduled to be entertaining conventioneers. He was gracious enough to not scream at me, and he was kind enough to talk to me for a couple of minutes.

I love road trips.

I love the calzones from the New York Cafe, in Murfreesboro. Is it even there anymore?

I love the burgers and fried pickle chips from Toot's, in Murfreesboro.

I love the seventh inning stretch, and singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I don't know if Disney's warped me, or my folks watched too many musicals, or if I just saw too many Harry Caray songs on WGN. The idea that there is a time where we all voluntarily stop what we are doing, stand up, stretch and sing a song is absurd enough that I get a small chuckle out of it every time we do it. It is terribly satisfying to me.

I love in the movie Run Ronnie Run, when Clay gets warned off, and called a hillbilly. He responds to this request with a disinterested "Am I?" and says "Moo."

I love used book stores. I love the smell of old books.

I love coffee from Waffle House. Nothing else from there is worth mentioning. But their coffee is excellent.

I love LaBatt's Blue. I love that we once got fairly buzzed on the sidewalk of a motel in Atlanta, venting our frustrations at vacation plans gone awry, on LaBatt's.

I love looking at a clock and finding a symmetrical time. 12:21. 10:01. I especially love looking at clock and finding a time like 11:11

I love Dr. Venkmen's indignation in Ghostbusters, when the Staypuft Marshmallow Man steps on the church.

I love the movie Contact. It's one that I don't think gets enough love, nowadays.

I love the movie Three Kings. Same deal.

I love that feeling you get when the writing comes easy. Especially after a drought, when every word seemed like drops of water being wrung from a dry cloth. I love that feeling when the words keep a coming, even after you've run out real things to say.

(I think I love having a forum to put in a few thousand words, even when there is very little really being said, and I love having no one to answer to for it, but myself.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Raw Thoughts?

Raw Thoughts?

Tonight's the first night in a while I've gotten to sit and do nothing in a while. What did I do with it? Something worthwhile? Read a book? Go out withe friends? Shit no.

I took notes on the laptop about watching Wrasslin'.

In an attempt to alienate every reader I have, I give them now to you:


Kurt Angle starts off tonight's show. Angle is awesome. If you had to look at the past five years of the company, and name an MVP, it'd have to be Angle (that is, unless, Triple H has the same pull in the voting that he does in the locker room). I mean, the dude does it all.

Nature Boy Ric Flair interrupts Angle's promo. Can't tell if Flair's taken his retard pills tonight or not.

"I'm a mark," says Flair to Angle. I seem to be in good company.

It bugs me that the night after what is touted to have been Dave Batista's greatest match, and what are we opening the show with? Indirectly, we open the show talking about the guy who lost three times to the current champion. Now, I can't argue with building a show around Angle. But Batista's gotta be the man, now. Open the show with him. See if the show can stand on that.

Yeah. Flair stayed out of the retard pills, but he did drink a big old glass of crazy before he came out. He's channelling the Tasmanian Devil again. I think Angle flinched when Flair spit as he said "Testicles"

Speaking of testicles, I'd have given my left one to see Kurt Angle vs. the Ric Flair of 1985. Hell, the Ric Flair of 1995.

2005's Ric Flair? I'm having a hard time getting excited about that. Still, our mission tonight is to stay optimistic.

So, I've missed a couple of weeks. Is Coach announcing with J.R. and the King now?


Commercial Break:

You know, I like Owen Wilson. I like Vince Vaughn. I just don't think I'll like them in this Wedding Crashers movie they're gonna be in.

Watching a Mariachi Band die is supposed to make me buy Starburst Candy.


And we're back:

Stupid stuff with Bischoff, Jericho, Christian and Tyson. It's called exposition, and I'd like as little as possible, gracias.

Tag Match.

Edge and Gene "I'm this generation's Sid" Snitsky vs. Kane and the newest Smackdown draftee.

Would they bring Undertaker over? It's so cheap.

Heidenreich is my second pick.

Gene Snitsky will be dead by the time he's 40. That's my prediction.

Biggest draft pick? Big Show. It's gotta be Big Show.

Yep. It's the Big Show.


Commercial Break:

My personal record for making a tape measure stand up without it bending is 14 feet.


I hate John Cena. I hate him so much. He's simply Smackdown's Randy Orton. Except, with Orton on Smackdown, Cena is now Raw's Randy Orton. Shoved down our throats because he has a good look, but marginal ring talent. At least Cena has a gimmick, and can talk on the mike.

The only thing I hate worse than John Cena is the idiot interviewer. It's like the teevee is trying to make me mad.

Okay. I just threw things.

Here's what happened. The interviewer gets flustered by the magnificence that is John Cena, forgets her question.

Cena sends her off to the side, to try to remember.

In the meantime, he reveals one of his partners in tonight's six-man tag match, Mr. Shawn Michaels.

Michaels gabs. Then, the vapid blonde comes back and asks her question.

"Have you found a partner?"

I threw things. You know, it would be one thing if we had wrestling bookers writing bullshit like that interview segment. But it's another thing entirely, because Frigging TeeVee Writers just Wrote that!!!!!! It's like the old golden and silver age comic writers, writing down to the kids. It's television writers who think the bulk of the wrestling audience is inbred, mallow-bar eating cretins who just eat that shit we just saw up.

And who knows? Maybe they're right. I'm finding myself in the minority more and more.


Commercial Break:

ECW Pay Per View on DVD tomorrow? Jeez that seems quick.

But I recommend you buy it. Even if you don't like wrestling. I think you should buy it. Just to have for conversation. Perhaps to use as a frisbee.


Chris Masters is still wasting my time. Would somebody please assassinate Chris Masters?

I think Tajiri could kill Chris Masters. Perhaps by thinking about it hard enough. I'm fairly sure most Japanese people can.

Tajiri is about to get jobbed, isn't he?

Why is the referee counting to disqualify Tajiri if this isn't a match? I thought it was just the MasterLock Challenge.

Fuck. Tajiri just did the job to Masters. What a bunch of shit. Somebody needs to assassinate Chris Masters.

It's even worse if he gets on the microphone. It's like having to eat rotting guts for dinner, and then finding those intestines are filled with crap, to boot.


Commercial Break:

Pee time. I am not drinking enough water. It's important to stay hydrated. I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge after I peed. Don't want my pee to be yellow like it just was. Nope. (I'm just typing to type, now, I think.)


I haven't watched a lot of Smackdown. I haven't really formed an opinion of Carlito Cool. It always seemed like a one trick pony, to me. But he seems to get good crowd reactions. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

And Carlito introduced Rob Van Dam.

Okay. As he wanders down to the ring, I say to myself: This could be interesting. He cut a helluva promo at the ECW PPV. Let's hope he's got some balls.

Rob Van Dam is the shit. I'm a huge RVD mark. Rob Van Dam could be a guy who could carry a brand on his shoulders. If they'd let him.

The return of "Mr. Monday Night."

Okay...Carlito just took out RvD's injured knee. I love the heels who take the cheap shots. I think I might like Carlito after all....

Wouldn't it have been awesome to have Sabu attack Carlito Cool after attacking Rob Van Dam? That would have been great. But it wasn't to be. Alas.


Commercial Break:

I got nothin'. In case you haven't guessed that at this point.


Okay. We got Angle vs. Flair. Like I said. The Flair of 1985, this would have been awesome. Here in 2005, Flair's still good.

I hope Jerry Lawler's right. I hope that Flair could hang with anybody, still, on any given night.


Commercial Break:

Okay. I just sat back and watched. An entertaining match, definitely. Go with the Flair being the dirtiest player in the game. Smart move. Plus, I'm a sucker for the Greco-Roman Thumb to the Eye.

Also, I find myself occasionally annoyed with commercial breaks mid-match. It's because there's stuff I'm missing. Even if it's a 3 minute rest hold, I like seeing the flow of the match in its entirety. But I'll trade a short match for the longer match, even if it means having a commercial break. I feel like you're cheating some of the performers, like Angle, or Flair, by trying to get them to shoehorn a match into an 8 minute window.


We're back, to Flair and Angle....And we come back to a Flair/Angle rest hold. We didn't miss much, I'd say. So it's cool.

Every time I see Flair take a back drop, I wonder just how many of those he's taken in his career.

I'd heard the submission called the S.T.F. called that for years without ever wondering why it was called that. Joey Styles answered the unasked question for me, once upon a time. STF = Stepover Toehold-Facelock. Good to know. Jim Ross also said it tonight. But I knew. Because I'm a badass.

Flair tried going off the top rope. Once again, no go.

Don't Superplex Flair! He'll break apart like so much beef jerky!

Post-match thoughts.

Flair tapped to Angle. I had one of those weird fanboy moments where I found myself going with the whole make-believe momentum. I wanted Flair to win.

Can't argue with Angle winning.

That was a good match.

Dear Monday Night Raw: More of that, less of that Chris Masters mess.



Now I dance


I do not recap the diva search mess.


Here's my deal with the diva search. If I want to watch half naked women, I will go to the internet, where there are fully naked women. I mean, that's what the internet's for, right? Naked women, baseball statistics and bitching about movies and pro wrestling on blogs, right?

Mystery partner in the upcoming six-man match has gotta be Batista, right? Who else hasn't been on the show? Benjamin's selling an injury, right? Triple H? Heh. Batista's the only one I can think of. And he's doing an interview talking about how much he hurts.

Jericho, Christian and Tomko are playing the guessing game, too.

Hogan? Hulk Hogan? Shit no. Fuck no. Please, please no no no no no......


Commercial Break:

In which I dwell on the possibility that Hollywood Hulk Hogan will be the mystery partner in the six-man match. Hulk Hogan makes my brain hurt. I mean, his presence (and the insistence that he be the man, both from him and from the McMahons) helped drive the WWF into the shitter in the early 90's.

His presence helped ruin the NWA/WCW that I grew up watching.

The rumors/speculation that he would show up in NWA-TNA were part of the reason I lost interest in that promotion, even when I lived 30 miles away from it


Okay. Hogan? Is it Hogan? We'll find out.

My respect for John Cena just went up a notch. Even if it's just my imagination, he had a look on his face that said "if Shawn calls out Marty Janetty after saying 'my favorite tag team partner,' I will shit in this ring and eat it...."

What if Shawn introduced Maven. Or Simon Dean?

Or Kamala the Ugandan Giant?



Commercial Break. I finish with Raw, or do I flip over at 11 to watch the Tick cartoon on Toon Disney? Decisions, decisions.


Match Starts.

Jericho does the best Flair flip since Ric Flair.

Big props to Greg Valentine, who always had a nice stun flop, too.

Do you think they'd draft Christian over to Smackdown, and put him in that six-man match in Big Show's place later this week? Christian needs a spot near the top. Period. He's not gonna get it with the glut of big names over on Raw, right now.

Hearing Jerry Lawler shill for Hogan makes me sad for the King. The King was pretty much the last of the Regional superstars, the breed which was pretty much killed by Hogan and Vince McMahon. Seeing how homogenized it's all become, I wish the regional system was still with us.

You know, after 25 years, you think somebody would have a scouting report on Hogan that says "Watch his right hand when he's hot on a tag...."

Okay. So Hogan pins Tomko. Makes sense. He's the only one in the match with no face to lose.

And it's pretty harmless that he's here tonight. Does Raw have a PPV between now and Summerslam? I think they've got a couple of months to play with now. Tonight was a good time to pop the rating's a bit without stealing momentum from any stories.

Next week, you can get started in earnest with a good summer program, after Smackdown finishes its draft this week.

Who's gonna get drafted to Smackdown? My vote would go to Christian and Jericho. They need a couple of names over on Smackdown. Put one of those two in the big match for the new Smackdown Title.

Are they going to unify Cena's title with Batista's? Maybe at Summerslam?

Anyway. This has been my live-blogging of Raw. Shows that I don't have enough to do with my time, I think.

Y'all take it easy....

Joe and Carolina

Joe and Carolina

Just want to take a second to send some congrats out. My friend Joe "Joebo" Thomas got hisself hitched to the lovely Carolina in an excellent ceremony this weekend. Very nice service. Very cool reception (on a riverboat, no less).

Congratulations, Joe and Carolina.

Blonde Joke

Blonde Joke

Tired as hell. Worked entirely too much today. Going to sleep, wake up, take a whiz, sleep some more. Had a busy weekend, with a couple extremely notable things to be talked about.

Until then, here's a blonde joke I've just about worn out this week:

A blonde gets on an airplane, and takes a seat in first class.

The stewardess walks over to her, and tells her that she's got a ticket for coach, and she'll have to sit in her seat there.

"I'm blonde, I'm beautiful and I'm going to Dallas!" the blonde says, a vapid smile on her face.

The stewardess is beside herself. She goes to the cockpit, where she tells of her trouble with the woman.

"I'll see if I can can handle it," the co-pilot says.

He goes to the blonde, tells her to move to coach.

"I'm blonde, I'm beautiful, and I'm going to Dallas!" is her only reply.

He returns to the cockpit, chagrined at his lack of success.

"I speak blonde," the captain says. "I'll speak to her."

He walks up to the blonde, leans over and whispers something in her ear.

"Oh!" she says. "I had no idea." And she gets up, and moves to her seat in coach.

The stewardess and co-pilot are amazed.

"What did you say?" They asked.

"I simply told her that First Class wasn't going to Dallas....."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hog and Okra Roll

Hog and Okra Roll

My sister is getting married in about six weeks. We're finding food for the reception. My recipe I've thrown into the hat:

Hog and Okra Roll

1 (16 oz.) package of hog (substitute fresh, if available).
1 jar pickled okra
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese.

Pat hog dry with paper towel. He prefers tarry cloth.
Spread cream cheese on the hog. Gently.
Lay the okra pod on top of the cheese. Again, gently.
Roll up and slice (quickly and cleanly) into 1/2 inch slices.

Minor League Baseball

Minor League Baseball

Took in a ballgame last night, on my night off. Hot night. Small crowd.

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In Birmingham, they line dance.

The heat and beer mellowed the rowdies out early on.

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Ria Corteso, in her second or third season umpiring the Southern League. She was the right side umpire (the Southern League uses three umps). She was much better at first and second than the home plate ump, who was one of the most inconsistent I've seen in a while.

Several players from both sides had words after striking out. At one point, I could read a Birmingham Barons player's lips as he said "It wasn't a strike last time." I may have seen the umpire's arm flinch, maybe to toss the guy. He stopped himself, though. Right or wrong, you can't and shouldn't argue strikes and balls.

It was a blowout. The Lookouts scored in each of the first four innings. They added three more late. Final score, 10-1.

Last picture. A little blurry. I'll just call it A Close Play.

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Antarctica Blog

Antarctica Blog

I like bloggers from the south.

You don't get a lot more southern than 75 Degrees South, which comes to you from Antarctica.

I lived in Antarctica for a few years, after I graduated college. I rather liked the winters.

The Baddest Badass in All the World

The Baddest Badass in All the World

I'm probably the last to see this, but I wanted to comment on it:

I don't know who has the World Badass Championship Belt, but he needs to just hand it over to Daniel M'Mburugu. Seems Mr. M'Mburugu got jumped by a leopard near Mt. Kenya, and he bested it in a wrasslin' match by grabbing the monster's tongue and ripping it from its head.

Peasant farmer Daniel M'Mburugu was tending to his potato and bean crops in a rural area near Mount Kenya when the leopard charged out of the long grass and leapt on him.

M'Mburugu had a machete in one hand but dropped that to thrust his fist down the leopard's mouth. He gradually managed to pull out the animal's tongue, leaving it in its death-throes.
First, I'd like to note that we don't have many peasant farmers in my neck of the woods.

And I'm kinda glad of the fact, because if Mr. M'Mburugu is any indication, they would lay waste to the land.

How big is this guy's strut, now?

You know, if he's got any kind of class, he'd never mention it. Never bring it up. The baddest badass in all the world, and he's even badder because he doesn't have to trumpet the fact that he killed a ferocious jungle beast with his bare friggin' hands. He didn't even need the machete. He used his hands.

However, if it were in my family, I've got a feeling we'd have t-shirts made up. There'd be talk show appearances.

There would be arguments which begin thusly:

The Missus: "Would you take out the trash?"

The Mister (busy watching the Real World/Road World Challenge, lounging in a recliner, wearing "leopard killer" t-shirt which barely covers his ample beer gut): "I don't feel like it."

The Missus: "You haven't done a damn thing around this house, lately! For years, even."

The Mister: "I don't know, I seem to remember ripping that leopard's tongue out."

The Missus: "That was Nine Years Ago."

The Mister: "It's tough work. Gotta rest up, in case they come back for revenge."

The Missus: "Revenge?"

The Mister: "Yeah. Leopards don't take that shit lying down. I mean, I did kill that sumbitch with my bare hands!"

The Missus (rolling the eyes): "Always with the bare hands. How many times can you keep bringing this up?"

The Mister: "How many leopards have you killed with your hands?"

The Missus (with a sigh): "None"

The Mister: "Let me ask you one more thing: How many leopards have you seen since?"

The Missus: None.

The Mister: "That's right. Why do you suppose that is?"

The Missus: "Never mind."

The Mister: "How many?"

The Missus: "I said never mind. I'll take the trash out myself..."

Anyway. I saw this one earlier, and saw it again on Fark.

Tonight, I name Daniel M'Mburugu World Champion Badass.

Thursday, June 23, 2005



I've sat down a few times to try to write something. Anything. Whether it's a story, or it's for a larger project I've gotten stalled on, or it's for the blog. And nearly every time for a couple of weeks now, I've sat down and nothing's come out. There's stuff up in there, but my brain is constipated.

A few random thoughts:

Okay. Nobody gave permission for them to start dumping 95 degree days on us. Add to that the sludgy humidity we get in my neck of the woods, and it looks like a day to swim through the atmosphere.


Danielle dropped me a line to say that the whole Tom Cruise on Oprah thing goes again today. Not that I'd advocate watching Oprah, but we've stumbled upon a (tragicomic?) sideshow to watch in this whole Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes thing. I didn't see the whole episode. I may actually set aside time to see this goofy sumbitch go crazy on a daytime talk show.


I don't use the word "assiduously" enough. But then, who does?


I like lists, and Steve Silver has made one. State by state, the best movies set in each state....


Speaking of constipation, I once cracked a joke in Sunday School about the mathematician dealing with it by working it out with a pencil. The Sunday School teacher didn't get it, but by the end of the church service, she'd figured it out, and had to find me to tell me that it was inappropriate for church consumption.

Isn't there a statute of limitations? Seriously. If you can't figure it out to be offended right then, don't you lose your right to it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005



I would like to take a minute to address something that was said in a dream I had last night.

To the Taskmaster/Slavedriver that was following me around, threatening to prod me with a shocker:

First, Sarcasm is not appreciated. When I tripped and fell and you said "We'd only been walking all day." That really hurt. You and your floating recliner can shock me and prod me all you want, but the sarcasm really hurts.

Also? That line about "I thought you were fluent in over six million forms of communication?"

That ain't me, dude. You're confusing me with C-3PO, from the Star Wars movies.

I know we're easily confused, what with our both having glowing eyes and prissy natures. My being voiced by Anthony Daniels also has something to do with it, I would say.

But still, I never claimed to be a protocol droid. I'm just barely fluent in the language I speak on a day-to-day basis. I've been known to let loose with such gems of the English Language as "I thought I knew a little weller than I did."

I can do a few phrases in Spanish (most having to do with the location of and my permission to use the toilet), and I can do a couple of really cool sounding German curses.

But other than that, I can't get what that little taunt was about. That one confused me enough to wake me up, where I am not plagued so much by hooded, shockstick having taskmasters who reside in floating recliners.

On this side, it's bees, mostly, that plague me. And they don't care how many languages I speak. Only that I'm trying to steal their honey.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Today's Funny

Cubs Commentary

Cubs Commentary

I think it'll be a little while before I decide to comment on the Cubs in a public forum again. Every time I do, this season, without fail, the Cubs decide to nosedive.

I said some things over on Hidden Rebel Base, mostly talking trash about how Big Z would rip Derek Jeter's head off, given the opportunity, before this whole bullshit Yankee series started.

Look where it got me.

So. No more public Cubs commentary. I'm not saying it's the whole reason they got swept off their asses in the Bronx there, Neifi Perez. But I'll back off. Not gonna take the chance.

Friday, June 17, 2005



I thought this one had been taken down. I may have been mistaken. I thought I saw it (or a replacement advertisement) through the trees just the other day....

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I like this sign

I like this sign

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Short and to the point, but neighborly all the same.



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I still like this sign.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I Have Seen the Batman

I Have Seen the Batman....

...And it is Good.

That's a helluva movie.

Granted, I've not had a lot of time to think about it, but at this point, I can't think of anything I really have to gripe about....



I think I might go see Batman Begins today.

I'm excited about this one. I've gotten out of the habit of reading movie reviews before I go to movies over the past year or so. Some reviewers were giving away too much information, and I was letting others give me notions and preconceptions (i.e. either building my hopes up or tearing them down) before I even sat to watch a flick. So for most of the past year, I've managed to ignore most movie critics until after watching a movie.

But I wandered over Ebert's way looking for a review of something else, and saw that he'd given Batman Begins a glowing review. More often than not, the thumb and I will agree more or less on the thumbs down/thumps up quality if a movie, if not necessarily it's final grade. He says good things.

Maybe I was a little nervous.

See, I'm a Bat-fan from way back. I've been reading Batman comics since I was 8, so that's 20 years or so of Batman fandom. Big Batman fan. Huge unbroken runs of both the Batman comic and Detective Comics dating back to the mid-80's. Even when I wasn't buying comics, I was buying Batman and Detective. Batman books. Batman toys. Batman clothes. I'm a Batman geek. I once won tickets to a production of the Scarlet Pimpernel because I knew the answer to the radio DJ's trivia question...what year did Batman first appear on comic pages?

Of the movies they've done in my lifetime? I'm still big on Burton's 1989 venture. I geeked out for it that summer. It's because I was waiting so much for the movie, but it just seemed like Batman and that big yellow bat symbol were everywhere. Posters. On TV. On T-Shirts. You couldn't throw a stick in the summer of 1989 without hitting three people wearing one of those black t-shirts with the bat symbol on it (I had 2. I remember Mom asking why I needed 2 Bat-shirts. One to wear while the other's dirty. Duh.) Batman was everywhere. And TV spots? That was a media blitz. They showed Batman previews every commercial break for every TV show, it seemed. I still have the image of Robert Wuhl's Allie Knox imprinted on my brain asking "Is there a 6 foot bat in Gotham City?"

The movie opened June 23 of that year. I desperately wanted to go see it that night. But when we drove past the Plaza Twin in Athens, we saw that the line stretched all the way past the Revco, the drug store in the shopping center next to the theater, Dad put the kibosh on that. I weren't happy. I was even less happy when my buddy Nigel called and told me that it was, in a word, awesome.

The next day, I got a call from my friend Lindsey, and his mother drove us to see the 1:00 show.

(This is an aside having nothing to do with Batman--I've just realized that I don't think I had a friend with a common name while growing up....there was Lindsey, and Nigel, and also Tregg, and his brother Browdy. Even Lance isn't that common.)

Little things I remember from that viewing?

I realized that I'd seen 80% of the movie, in previews, TV specials and in every Batman magazine preview I'd bought...but I hadn't seen it all put together or moving, so it was cool.

Remembering that Allie Knox's line "Is there a 6 foot bat in Gotham City?" in the movie is taken from a different take than the one they used for the trailer. Different inflections. I'd memorized that trailer....

Getting a little pissed at Batman's having guns on the Batmobile and the Batwing.

Enjoying the hell out of Jack Nicholson's Joker.

I think I saw Batman 5 times that summer. Maybe more. Maybe less. Once with my cousins Christine and Robbie and my Aunt Glenna at the Midway Drive-In, with my Aunt threatening to take us home because the movie was so violent.

Batman was also the first pre-recorded VHS tape we owned. I still have the tape, though it's just about worn out. When I was moving in over here, my DVD's were still packed, and I was looking for a movie to watch. I popped the VHS of Batman in. There's a Diet Coke commercial featuring Michael Gough's Alfred that I'd forgotten about, but still knew word for word. And also a Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck spot for the Warner Brothers Catalog.

That Batman still holds up for me. I think the Fanboy experience I had at 12 was more than half the reason why. But I like Gotham City in that first Burton Batman more than anything. It's as much a character as anybody in the movie. I just like the whole dreamlike, dark fantasy feel off the whole thing.

Of those movies that followed? Batman Returns is actually not that bad a movie. I remember not caring much for it the first time I saw it, believing that having both The Penguin and Catwoman drowned the movie. But I kinda like it here years later. It's got a weird noir feel to it that none of the others get. Plus, it's Christopher Walken in what I think of as his most Christopher Walkenesque roll.

The Schumacher Batman movies? Well, a lot of people get vehemently angry at their tone. And I was one of them for a long, long time. I wanted my Batman dark and crazy. Not part of some cartoon. I've mellowed somewhat. They're still crap movies, and I'll never need to see them again. But at some point I turned the page and said that Schumacher had so many things to try to do, but foremost among the production goals for Batman Forever and Batman and Robin was something along the lines of "Make a 2 hour commercial for our toys." Joel was getting paid, and he tried to make the best of what he could.


Let me take a brief break to collect a thought or two.

Briefly: My top 5 Batman comic stories:

1. the Long Halloween (Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale)
2. The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller)
3. Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison and Dave McKean)
4. Year One (Frank Miller)
5. Tower of Babel (from J.L.A.) (Mark Waid and Howard Porter)

Also, notable are the Death in the Family story, and the Batman, broken down and pissed off, of Mark Waid's Kingdom Come story.


I've tried putting pen to paper as to why Batman appeals to me. And I've never really gotten a satisfactory answer. A lot of it comes off as a rant about "Batman's cool because I say so."

So I can't put my finger on exactly why. The best I can say is that it's a combination of a lot of things. The largest of which is the fear of loss that we all have, especially as children, that Batman has to carry with him was easily relatable. He's lost his parents. He's trying to set things right.

Maybe it appeals to that whole vengeance portion of my brain. Batman's a 65-year old revenge fantasy.

I have always liked that he's established a code to work by, and despite all the craziness that's gone on in his life, no matter how insane the villain he's fighting, he sticks to that code. There's a samurai vibe there that I appreciate very much.

And there's just a bit of trainwreck fascination there. I mean, Dude's crazy. Even in an imaginary world, how sane is it to dress up in a costume and fight people?

In the end, I don't know exactly why I've been reading a character for 20 years. But in that time, I've come to know what he is.

That's why all I've been hearing about Batman Begins has me a little excited. Just that we're exploring Bruce Wayne as much as we are Batman. I mean, the costume's not kept people coming back for 65 years. The costume'll bring you in the first couple of times, but after a while, we've all seen the costume. What's underneath?

Well. I've rambled enough. Let's go do something else....

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Thoughts From the Ass End of the Night, volume 91

Thoughts From the Ass End of the Night, volume 91

Not much on my mind, here lately. Mostly, I'm lazy. So very lazy.

Here are the few things worth speaking about.


Not a whole bunch going on over in my neck of the woods, besides work and sleep.

Working the later shift, I've been sleeping until around 9 or so in the morning, and this morning, I slept even later than that. Jerri, from my job, called to ask something. I was in the middle of a weird dream where I was at a Presidential Press Conference. The phone rang. I answered. Tried to make sense of who was calling.

"Did I wake you up?" Jerri asked.

"Yeah," I said. "It's okay. I need to get up."

I asked what time it was.

"Almost 10," she said in that tone of voice that said only drunkards and welfare people sleep until 10. "You do need to get up."


I say this:

Either we put these attention deficit kids back on ritalin for the summer, or we make it legal for me to punch and/or kick screaming, hollering, running, climbing, non-parentally controlled kids into unconsciousness. There was one boy in particular, today at the Post Office, that made me want to do my own vasectomy with my pocket knife in the bathroom.

Screaming. Yelling. Wanting to push his sister's stroller through the front window of the post office. His mother (I assume it was his mother) did nothing, instead engaging the woman 2 spaces ahead of her in line in a conversation about somebody else's wedding.

I wish I had a taser. I think that would get a kid's attention.

And even if it didn't, by damn that would be fun.


I watched my cat eat a snake today. A foot long black snake. Couldn't tell what he was watching stir in the weeds. It was a snake. Just a baby. Doofus (that is the cat's name, and never has there been a name more fitting an animal) killt the snake and ate it. He ate what he could, anyway. Stripped the meat off the bones. He finished, and walked around like he was a badass for the next two hours.

Come to think of it, if I pulled a snake out of the weeds and killed it with my teeth, even if it was a black snake, I think I'd walk around like a badass, too. For a lot longer than a couple of hours, too.


I really like the movie Stripes, right?

I picked up the extended edition on DVD the other day.

You know how some things get cut simply for time, that might help tell a fuller story? Kinda like the Lord of the Rings extended edition? How it tells a whole story and how it makes watching the theatrical release feel incomplete?

This was nothing like that.

In the extended edition, there's this ponderously long and bad section where Winger and Ziskey (Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, respectively) go AWOL and get wisked aboard a transport plane loaded with Special Forces, who parachute into the jungle. John and Russell (who's tripping on LSD) get captured by rebels, but they manage to escape. There's singing and marijuana involved.

Sounds like it might be funny. It's horrible. Really, really bad. I mean, it's not even bad in that Police Academy Tommy's Gonna Like It kind of way. It's just so different in tone and timbre. It's horrible.

But it makes a lead-in to the whole scene where Sgt. Hulka brings the group together and says that somebody in the group has gone AWOL, and Winger fakes Ziskey into stepping forward. If you've ever wondered (and sadly, I had), that's what Hulka's talking about.

So. When directors (or others) make choices to cut certain scenes out of movies, sometimes it's the right decision.

A brief Raw Note

A Brief Raw Note

Just a note as I watch the tape of tonight's Raw.

Chris Jericho's betrayal of John Cena was terribly satisfying as turns go. Jericho's best as a heel, anyway.

It'll be good for Cena, or as I like to call him, Rapping Randy Orton. Cena's a one trick pony, and he'll need guys like Jericho and Christian, who are arguably the 2 best in the WWE at putting another guy over, to help him along....

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A few thoughts on ECW: One Night Stand

A few thoughts on ECW: One Night Stand


The WWE needs to hire Joey Styles. His match calling was easily the best we've heard, well, since Joey Styles last called an ECW show. Forget Michael Cole. Hire Joey Styles. I don't know that it could have been an ECW show without Joey calling it.

Highlights of the night?

Jericho reversing Lance Storm's knee bridge into the Walls of Jericho. It's a simple thing, but sometimes it's the simple things that are the sweetest.

Super Crazy moonsaulting off the balcony.

Super Crazy moonsaulting everywhere.

Rob Van Dam cutting his promo on the writers employed on Raw and Smackdown.

The Mike "No Mullet This Time" Awesome/Masato Tanaka match was my favorite match of the night, but only because I like watching people beat the shit out of each other with steel chairs.

Paul Heyman jumping on Bischoff, Edge and Bradshaw in his promo.

The show itself was probably the most enjoyable program, top to bottom, associated with WWE television in a long, long time. Which I hope sends a message to those at the top of the WWE ladder, because virtually nobody associated with the Raw or Smackdown creative teams had anything to do with this one. With the exception of the giant schmozz attack on the crusaders and the assault on Eric Bischoff, this had a lot of the feel of an ECW show. Which is largely why the Evil Hippy bought the show, and mostly why I wandered to his house to watch the thing.

This show had more energy from open to close than any show produced in America this decade. That's counting everything the WWF/WWE has done, anything the NWA-TNA has done, and anything your XPW's and Ring of Honors have done. And this show ran at something like 75% of the intensity of the best ECW shows from 95, 96 or 97.

I just hope somebody at Stamford was paying attention.

My wish? That the buy rate was high, and that customer satisfaction ran something along the same lines of my own feelings. Then, we set ECW up as a brand of its own, give it an hour of TV a week somewhere and let it run a couple or three pay per views a year. Set it up as a breeder/feeder for some of the younger WWE talent. Along with that, make it a home to guys like Tommy Dreamer, Rhyno, Kid Kash...guys who pour their hearts into their work but don't quite fit into the World Wrestling Entertainment mold. There's a niche market for it, and if you keep production costs low, you can turn a profit with a show that isn't trying to be all things to all people.

But if tonight was it, I think Paul Heyman and company can be proud of what they've done.

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night

A few days ago, I mentioned in a brief lament that I had never won anything from one of those coin-operated claw machine thingamajigs.

Well, I still haven't, a fact that plagues me in my waking hours and in my dreams.

I was buying bananas and bread at a small store in Charleston, a small town about 10 minutes to the south, and as I went to leave, I spotted one of those devil-driven machines. And what do I spot at the bottom of a pile of toys, pressed up against the front window?

A big foam baseball, blue and red, with the Chicago Cubs logo emblazoned on it.

God taunts me. Were I to get that prize, I would have to pull a couple other toys off the top at minimum (something, as I mentioned, I haven't done even once in my life) before I even got to the giant foam Cubs baseball.

Luckily, I was on my way home and the siryn call of banana sandwiches was stronger than a cheap foam baseball.

But not by much.


Mike went to Chicago and Wrigley Field. He went on the day Mark Prior had his elbow broken. His commentary on some of the Cubs fans in attendance who just weren't quite clued in on what was going on is pretty much dead on.....

It is also the best post with the use of the word "rad" in it I have read in many a moon.


Has anybody else ever had Jones Soda's Sugar Free Green Apple Soda? I enjoy it very much, but I seem to be the only person who enjoys it. I've shared it, and opinion has ranged from "eh" to "this is the most vile thing I've ever tasted."

More for me then. Anybody else tried it and like it?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

10 I recommend

10 I recommend

Eric asked us to name 10 books that one should read before dying, and here in the ass end of the night, I answer.

The answers may change once I've actually slept. But off the top of my head, here are 10 books that are of some literary value that I hold in high regard.

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain.
2. Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole.
3. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
4. Light in August, by William Faulkner
5. The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara
6. The Floating Opera, by John Barth
7. The Collected Works of Flannery O'Connor
8. The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis
9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
10. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Friday, June 10, 2005

Get Your Bicycle Out of the Creek

Get Your Bicycle Out of the Creek

I have but one piece of advice for you fine, fine people this dark and foggy evening.

Get your bicycle out of the creek.

Bicycles are expensive.

Bicycles don't go in the creek.

They go on the road.

In closing: Get your bicycle out of the creek, and don't put it in there again.

Thank you, and good evening.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

In Which I Amuse Myself

In Which I Amuse Myself

I was looking for something on this here internet. Looked for a link in my archives, and found this: one of the first Friday Five memes I'd done. It made me smile. It's actually one of my favorite silly things I've done for my blog.

From July of 2003, I was in South Cakalaki on Vacation, and I wrote this. The Friday Five topic was The Movie of Your Life:

My priorities/Friday Five
Proving that I have my priorities in order, I've gotten internet access just long enough to set the players on my fantasy baseball team and do this weeks Friday Five:

1. If your life were a movie, what would the title be?

Police Academy 8: the Son of Tackleberry

2. What songs would be on the soundtrack?

Well, the score to the Police Academy series, of course. But also "Joe Bean," sung by Johnny Cash; "Who Made Who?" by AC/DC; the theme to Transformers, by White Lion; "I got You Babe," the duet with Cher and Butt-head, from the first Beavis and Butthead album, and the Chili's Baby Back Rib song.

3. Would it be a live-action film or animated? Why?

Live Action. It would be ridiculous to try to animate the presence that is Bubba Smith. He's a human cartoon as it is.

Actually, though, I think it'd be neat to see a day of my life re-done anime style.

4. Casting: who would play you, members of your family, friends, etc?

I think I should be played by either Tommy Chong or Will Sasso. Or maybe Betty White.

Bill could only be done justice by Clancy Brown.

My Dad should be played by Wrestling's "Double A" Arn Anderson, circa 1993.

My friend Jason bares an uncanny resemblance (in both personality and appearance) to Bruce Campbell.

My friends at Tennessee Overhill, Diane and Shyam, must be played by a resurrected Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance.

My sister should be played by Mr. T.


Bubba Smith as Hightower
Steve "What else am I doing?" Guttenberg as Mahoney
Michael Winslow as Jones
Marion Ramsey as Hux
Bobcat Goldthwait as Zed
Tim Kazurinsky as Sweetchuck

And the Village People would play themselves.

5. Describe the movie preview/trailer.

The screen would be dark, and then lightning would light the screen and thunder would roll across a cityscape. And while different scenes of the violence that is marring the city cross the screen, the movie guy voiceover would say:

"In a world, fraught with violence and discord, in which, there is no hope...."

"They have lost one of their own..." And it would show the Police Academy crew around the grave of Eugene Tackleberry (who was played in the previous 7 movies by the late David Graf).

"And they must now meet their biggest themselves..." and here, we see that the movie's enemy is Mikhail Gorbachev. And the sinister Gorbachev "New York City....will be mine....."

Voiceover: "Or do they?"

And then I appear on the screen, bursting through the wall like the Kool-Aid Pitcher man, carrying a bunch of guns, firing them into the sky....laughing a laugh that is a cross between Eddie Murphy's and Robert Carradines and James Cromwell's laugh in the first Revenge of the Nerds movies.

And Mahoney looks at Hightower and says: "Tackleberry had a son?"

And then a quick cut to Bobcat Goldthwait, who says "I thought he was a virgin!"

Then there's a shot of my saying to a perp: "You're under arrest!"

The movie voiceover guy: "There's only one problem...."

Mahoney says to Jones: "He's not a cop," followed by a montage of several different characters saying "You're not a cop!"

"And now," the voiceover guys says, "their job is simple."

A shot of Gorbachev laughing maniacally.

"They've got to make him into a cop, or lose everything they hold dear..."

Then ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" starts booming in the background. And I show up in a police uniform.

And then you see half-second glimpses of the zaniness that follows. Me falling down the stairs. Sweetchuck being chased by some dogs. Hightower and Mahoney in a strip club. Jones making machine gun noises. Zed looking at a girl in a bikini. Somebody shooting a really small gun, followed quickly by me saying "No, No, No," and then me shooting a really big machine gun.

Voiceover guy: This summer....

Another shot of a girl in a bikini.

Voiceover guy: The Police Academy Crew is Back....

Shot of Sweetchuck getting his head slammed in a police car door.

Voiceover guy: And they're training....

Hightower pulling his foot out of toilet.

Voiceover guy: The next Generation of Recuits....

Me with a whole bunch of spaghetti and spaghetti sauce all over me, asking "So when's our date?"

Voiceover guy: On July 23....The Son Rises

Zed says to Sweetchuck: "This ain't gonna be easy...."

Jones says into the camera: "Here we go again....," and then as the marquee for Police Academy 8 flashes up on screen, you hear Jones doing his megaphone voice saying "This is the police..."

Hell yeah.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace

Flipping through the channels this morning and I ran across Arsenic and Old Lace on Turner Classics. And I hit it just before my favorite moment, when Cary Grant's Mortimer just happens to look inside the window seat to find the body of the man his aunts have just murdered. It's one of the great comic takes of all time.

I also love when he calls the telephone operator, to check his sanity.

"Operator, Can you hear my voice?"

A great pause.

"You can?"

An even better pause, where Mortimer is still struggling with reality.

"Are you sure?"

If it's possible to watch the hell out of a movie, I'm going to watch the hell out of this one today. I lent my tape out when I lived out in Murfreesboro, and I never got it back. I haven't gotten my Uncle Teddy fix in a while.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Wednesday baseball thought

Wednesday baseball thought

A random thought or two before I go wandering into my day.

I still hate interleague play. Blue Jays and Cubs? Rockies and White Sox? Braves and Angels? Yeah. These are matchups that people are just frothing at the bit to see. I haven't seen any attendance numbers or comparisons, but the crowds I'm seeing on TV don't seem particularly larger than your normal midweek crowds. Of course, it's hard to judge.

Speaking of the Braves and Angels, (since Cubs commentary on this site leads only to bad things for the Cubbies) I had no problem with Darin Erstad's hit on Johnny Estrada the other night. Erstad didn't do anything maliciously that I could see. He came in hard, like so many ballplayers are afraid to nowadays. I think Erstad took advantage of that last fact, because Estrada wasn't ready for any kind of hit. If he were ready for a hit, Estrada wouldn't have been sticking his chin out there so far....

Steven, who finally got a new computer, disagrees.

Conversely, I do feel Horacio Ramirez was completely justified in letting Erstad know that it wasn't forgotten by putting one behind Erstad's back the next night. Protect your players. I'm all about that. I just hate seeing these umpires jump into the situation so quickly, warning benches and whatnot. The time to jump in would be if the Angels played gotyaback the next inning.

And this brings me back again to the interleague play. The Braves won't see the Angels or Darin Erstad again unless both make the World Series, or more to the point, Darin Erstad won't see the Braves, Johnny Estrada or Horacio Ramirez. There's no reason Erstad shouldn't go balls to the wall when playing the Braves. There's no reason he couldn't play a little dirty, because there's no reason to look out for retaliation from the Braves. Interleague play lacks what I see as a check and balance built in the schedule. Outside of postseason play, or Erstad moving to another team, the Braves won't have to deal with the Angels again until, what, the 2008 season?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005



From the file of things I think in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.

I would like a monkey.

A few criteria:

1.) The monkey must be small enough to sit on my shoulder. Which isn't prohibitive. I'm a big guy. So a decent sized monkey isn't out of the question. But I'm not stout enough to walk around with a 20 pound howler monkey on my shoulder for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm thinking something like a capuchin monkey. I'd skew towards the smaller side of the bracket, if I had my druthers, because this is an all-day job....

2.) The monkey must be toilet trained. This is important, especially if the first point on my list is to be. I would prefer my shoulder monkey to be able to distiguish just when the appropriate time to take a dump is. Actually, I would prefer my shoulder-sitting-monkey to not become a shoulder-shitting-monkey. So if my monkey does not poop on me while sitting on my shoulder, we'll be cool. Any other time? That's probably alright.

3.) I would like the monkey to have a superior sense of rhythm. Because I think it would be very entertaining to see the monkey clap along, or even dance with something that has a beat.

4.) I would like the monkey to be able to understand and execute the small commands I give him. I would like him to understand that if I say "Monkey! Beer!" the monkey would know to run to the fridge and get me beer. Furthermore, if there were something up high on a shelf or above a cabinet, I would like the monkey (who is spry) to be able to go to the top of the cabinet, and grab what I need, and bring it to me.

5.) As an addendum to #4, I would like the monkey to be able to exact revenge upon my enemies and detractors. If I've received injustice at the hands of somebody, I would simply look to the monkey on my shoulder and say "Monkey! Vengeance!"

6.) As an addendum to #5, I would like the monkey to understand the difference between the words "detractors" and "the tractors," because there is nothing sadder or more train-wreck interesting than watching a monkey bludgeon himself to death trying to whup the hell out of a John Deere tractor. In that late monkey's defense, I probably should have been a little less vague when I said "Vengeance on Detractors!"

7.) I would like the monkey to come with TiVo.

8.) I would like the monkey to be able to do things like "high five." Because sometimes I say something really funny or witty, but there's nobody around to hear it. I would like to have the monkey there when I come up with a witticism muttered under my breath like "She's the idiot" to high five me. To let me know that I am, indeed, the man.

9.) I would like the monkey to be able to ride the back of a dog like a man would ride a horse. Because that's hilarious.

10.) I would like the monkey to refrain from touching himself in his private areas while he is sitting on my shoulder. I would like the monkey to understand that there is a time and a place for everything. And anytime he is on my shoulder would be considered "improper."

11.) I would like the monkey to choose his name from one of the Marx Brothers, or any of the Three Stooges, with the exception of Joe. Because I already have a friend named Joe. I am somewhat uncomfortable with Harpo, because it's Oprah backwards. But if he has a strong enough personality to overcome the association in my mind, it'd be cool.

Today's Funny

Today's Funny

It's two-fer Tuesday.

Stumpy and his wife Martha went to the state fair every year. Every year Stumpy would say, "Martha, I'd like to ride in that there airplane."

And every year Martha would say, "I know Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

One year Stumpy and Martha went to the fair and Stumpy said, "Martha, I'm 71 years old. If I don't ride that airplane this year I may never get another chance."

Martha replied, "Stumpy, that there airplane ride costs ten dollars, and ten dollars is ten dollars."

The pilot overheard them and said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal, I'll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won't charge you, but if you say one word it's ten dollars."

Stumpy and Martha agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did all his tricks over again, but still not a word. They landed and the pilot turned to Stumpy, "By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn't."

Stumpy replied, "Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but ten dollars is ten dollars."



A duck walks into a bar one day at lunch time. He orders a beer and a ham sandwich. The next day, the duck walks in, and orders the same. After several days of the same lunch order the bartender says "Never saw a duck eat lunch in here before."

The duck replies, "Well get used to it. I'm working on the construction job across the street."

A few days later the circus comes to town and the ringmaster comes into the bar for lunch. The bartender tells him about the talking duck that drinks beer and eats sandwichs. The ringmaster asks the bartender to send the duck down to the circus for a job.

The next day the duck comes in and the bartender tells him about the job offer. The duck looks surprised and asks "The circus is where animals do tricks inside a big tent right?" The bartender agrees.

"Nah," The duck says, "What the hell would they need with a drywaller?"

Wokka Wokka.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I think it's time for a talk

I Think It's Time For a Talk

Does my dog look high in this picture?

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A Rambling Saturday Post

A Rambling Saturday Post

Just a few random thoughts, this first little bit where I've sat down to try to put words to paper (or computer screen, as it were).

I've been really lazy with the writing. Really lazy. I mean, lazy even for me, and I'm lazy on the scale that if there were an Olympics, I'd medal, if I weren't too lazy to travel to wherever they'd hold a Laziness Olympics. I've been working the night schedule for a month now. I told myself that the new schedule would give me an opportunity to write without interruption, but I haven't taken advantage of that. Gonna fix that this week. I have a plan.

You see, I'm gonna forego the sleep cycle. I ain't sleeping. It's a waste of time. See, this way, I can work the evening. Then, I can come home and write for the six or seven hours I usually sleep. I mean, what kind of waste of time is that? Lie in a bed for seven hours when I could be writing a magnificent treatise on why the WWE seems to succeed despite all attempts to run itself into the ground, perhaps some opus on a sneeze I just made.

Then, I can watch my full slate of daytime television (Price is Right, E.R. re-runs on TNT, that informercial with the two midgets who know how to convert real estate [or perhaps sailboats] into cash....)

If I'm to judge by the advertising, the only people who watch daytime TV are wheelchair-people up to their ears in debt, obesity and incontinence.

And apparently, the U.S. Army wants them all.


Changing the subject. The Sloth hasn't been posting of late. He wanted to take some time away from the Cubs, and especially didn't want to ruin their seven-game-win streak. Well, Adam Eaton and his San Diego Padres ended that win streak last night. I blame the fact that I opened the e-mail.

I've done my best to not comment on Cubs when they're doing well. You see, any time I note that something's going right, even if it's in random conversation, or as an observation to myself, that thing, by the next game goes wrong.

I make a mental note that they Cubs have won a few in a row, and that streak goes caca. Padres win 6-2.


I have never won anything from one of those coin operated claw games. You know, the big, clear glass (or plastic) box where you put your money in, and you maneuver the claw on a track over the toy prize you'd like, and your push of a button makes the claw make a grab at the treasure?

Never won anything off one of those. I got close, one time at Showbiz Pizza, when I was seven or eight. There was a beanie type hat, on it was a Billy Bob, the bear who wore striped overalls who worked as a spokesbear of sorts for Showbiz, before the Chuck E. Cheese onslaught took Showbiz over.

I put my token in the game. I wasn't trying for the hat, necessarily. I just saw the hat as the easiest thing in the machine to pick up. I got the claw there. I dropped it. I had the moment of childhood elation (pooped my pants) when the claw picked up the hat. It picked the beanie up, carried it from the back corner, and was moving over toward the slot where it drops it for my hands to grab it. I was a split second away from being a walking, talking advertisement for Showbiz Pizza.

But just as the claw was coming to its stop point, where it would give me my treasure, it hit a bump or a jolt or something in its track, and it jarred the beanie loose, dropping it right on the plastic divider between beanieville and nohatland.

I tried jarring the machine a little bit, to see if I could get the hat to drop down the slot. But it was to no avail.

The fact that I write about it 20 years later would make you think that I think about it often.

Naw. Not much. Just 8 or 10 times a day.

You know, I think even at 7 I realized that the stuff in the claw machine was pretty much crap. On some level, I realized that. Still, that doesn't mean that every now and then, I'll look at one of those machines, and decide to give it a whirl for old time's sake.

There's a Cubs pennant in the claw machine at the local K-Mart. I took a stab at it the other night. I contemplated the prize for a second. Looked around to see if anybody I knew would be there to taunt me. I put my fifty cents in (Fifty Friggin' Cents these things cost now! And I thought Gasoline was expensive....) I maneuvered the claw...I was happy that this was the kind that let you move the claw more than once in each direction. I figured I had a chance.

Didn't even pick the sumbitch up. The little puffy pennant just slid through the claw.

You know, it's a little weird. Any sense of accomplishment or appreciation I would have gotten out of the Made-in-some-faraway-Asian-or-Latin-land-cheap-as-hell-polyester-stuffed-fire-hazard-for-sure-burn-my-house-to-the-ground-if-it's-left-next-to-an-open-flame-Chicago-Cubs pennant was far outweighed by my disappointment at not having gotten it.

That's why, when I get paid this week, I'm getting that sumbitch cashed in quarters. That costs 19 cents to make puffy pennant will be mine. Whatever the cost.


Lastly, I'd like to close with a picture.

My Dad took this picture. He was walking out in a field, when he came upon a couple of deer. He's good like that. He's 6'3" and built like a bear, but he moves silently like the night. He's managed to sneak up on me more times than I can count. He's got ninja skills. Scary thought? He's probably snuck up on you, too.

Anyway, he managed to get close to a couple of deer and snap a few pictures.

Image hosted by

In this one, they've noticed him, and they've started to fire up their defensive eyebeam lasers.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Give a little

Give a little

Laurenn McCubbin, a comics and art professional who runs a fine, fine blog here, is running for a good cause.

She says:

I am training to participate in an endurance event as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training. All of us on Team In Training are raising funds to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. I'm completing this marathon in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people are the real heroes on our team, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure!
It's for a good cause. Go help out over here....

Willie and Bob

Willie and Bob

Well, just got back from Bellsouth Park down in Chattaboogie, were Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson played.

A rainy, rainy night. Took the ponchos. Kept dry. Dry-ish. Rained hard a good part of the night, through most of the concert.

Felt bad for whomever the Bellsouth Park groundskeeper is...the stage was set up in center field. The infield was left uncovered, soaking in the rain that fell all night.

Me personally? I got wet. But not to worry. There was beer, so I wasn't worried about the rain....though there was the uncomfortable moment where my future brother-in-law brought me a watery cup of Kool-Aid Miller Lite. I drank it. Politely and quietly. Went in search of proper beer later in the night....

I won't pick the concert itself apart too. A good show, on the whole, I thought.

The opening act was a nice folksy/bluegrassy group. Green River, I'm thinking they're called, but I'm more than likely mistaken. I could look at my ticket stub. But we all know I'm much too lazy to do something like that. I'm sitting down for God's sake.

Willie Nelson rocks. It pleases me more than I would have thought to see him live, finally. Helluva show. Willie tore it up. He did a couple of gospel numbers, which got a big reaction from the crowd..."I'll Fly Away" had the whole crowd singing along. Best crowd reaction of the night was when Willie started "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" just after the hardest downpour had subsided.

Willie Nelson was worth the price of admission.

Bob Dylan? Well, I can say that I've seen Bob Dylan live. I can't say much else. I'm sure there were people at the show who loved his set. Dylan's just never really been my cup of tea. I enjoyed what I saw. But I just didn't get much out of it.

That said, I found myself wishing Dylan had played first, and Willie'd played second. Given the venue and the type of stuff each played, I would have thought that a little more appropriate, Willie closing things out. But that's just me....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Today's Bad Joke

Today's Bad Joke

I like the bad jokes most of all:

What do you get when you give a sixteen-year-old Viagra?

A Seventeen-year-old with carpal-tunnel syndrome...

On the Agenda

On the Agenda

Tonight, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson are playing Bellsouth Park down in Chattanooga. My sister had an extra ticket, so I'm wandering down that way this afternoon.

Looks like I may have to take a poncho. I woke up and it's raining this morning. Raining cats and dogs. And boa constrictors. The show's on rain or shine.

I would probably sit through a shower of boa constrictors to watch Bob and Willie.

But not gorillas. I think if it were raining gorillas, I'd probably stay home. Because they'd probably get pretty mad once they recovered from falling out of the sky. I tend to think that would really ruin a Willie Nelson concert, a bunch of angry, disoriented gorillas rampaging after falling out of the sky.

So hopefully it lightens up a little.