Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cheetoes is People

Cheetoes is People

Eh. Ain't got nuthin' to say. So, a re-run.

This one's from a couple years back:

Flying Cars?!?!?!!???!!?!!??!?

See, apparently we're still looking to the future when everybody has flying cars, Jetsons or Back to the Future style. Story says (in a most disappointed tone), that although NASA and Boeing say the technology is there, we are still many, many years away from the day we all have flying cars.

Now, I've got no problem with the idea of a flying car. I've been stuck in a traffic jam just like the rest of you, and thought about just how wonderful it would be to be able to lift out of the traffic jam harrier-style, and fly beyond the madness.

But am I the only one who sees the problem with this idea?

See, if you've got a flying car, that's great.

But it's great only if you're the only one with the flying car.

If the day comes that Average Joe can own his flying car...the problem is that every other Average Joe in the world will own a flying car.

I'm convinced that anywhere between a fifth and a full-on third of the drivers we have driving your standard ground-based automobiles nowadays aren't completely competent to handle their machines. Not in any kind of responsible manner. Look around you the next time you're out driving, and look at the people who do the little annoying things, like not signalling turns, like refusing to turn right on red even though there's an empty spot the size of Nebraska in the road, or like talking on the cell phone not realizing that they've become so involved with their conversation that they're going 11 miles per hour.

And when you're done with these guys, look at the jagoffs who do the stuff that makes you really psychotically angry. People who do stuff like backing up an entire parking lot for days on end just so that they can turn left out of the parking lot across four lanes of traffic. Or how about those who take it upon themselves to slow everybody in the passing lane of the interstate down by driving 68 in that left hand lane?

Have you ever noticed the number of those cars who drive slowly in that left lane who have that Jesus fish on them? The Jesus fish, or some other manner of religious paraphanelia? It's not a 100% across the board number, but the ratio is up around 4 to 1.

But that's neither here nor there....

Back to my little rant, also, when you're out driving and looking at these colossal boneheads, look at the number of cars you see broken down along side the road. Especially if you're driving on the interstates or freeways. There are two reasons for these breakdowns: Poor craftsmanship, and poor upkeep.

Some cars are just lemons. You get a huge number of moving parts working in conjunction, and if one's out of whack right off the lot, then another is going to start messing up, and another, and another. Even new, the car's constantly breaking down. I figure that if you've got a flying car, you're going to have half again at least as many moving parts as your every day land-based car. And probably more. More to go wrong, in my book.

And then there's the problem of upkeep. There are a lot of cars out there that because of age, or the financial trappings of the driver, or just the sheer negligance of the owner, that are liable to fall apart at any moment.

Now, it's one thing to have these accidents-waiting-to-happen driving around on the road. They break down? You pull them off to the side of the road. And if they cause an accident, the chances are slim that they'll do anything more than take out another car or two.

However, if you've got a Flying P.O.S. out there flying around when its wings suddenly fly off because Jimmy Joe Cottontongue forgot to change the hydraulic fluid, you've suddenly got a missile hurtling towards a random target somewhere on the ground below.

Personally, I'd rather not be sitting down to watch Seinfeld re-runs on the holovid and have a 2038 Mercedvrolet Flymobile crash down on my head, crushing me, the holovid and my Soylent Green Cheetoes in one fell swoop, all because Jimmy Joe couldn't be bothered to put more than 11,000 Astrobucks worth of plutonium in the flux capacitor.

Well, I've written more on this than I would have thought.

Heed my words. When somebody tells you that flying cars are such a long way away, you say "Good." And then you buy more Soylent Green Cheetoes.

Yeah. Cheetoes is people.

Monday, February 27, 2006

In which we link...

In which we link...

The blogger formerly known as the Uncouth Sloth made an appearance to discuss his disappearance, over at Goat Riders.

Be careful you people who blog from work. Lest you become a blogging casualty.

No danger of that here. We can't even check baseball scores from our work internet connection.

The Code Word for Today:

The Code Word for Today:

Today's code word is "La Bamba."

The only correct response is: "Lou Diamond Philips is the Man!"

Kill anybody who makes reference to Richie Valens.

That is all.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ed's Brush with Don Knotts

Mr. Knotts

When I heard about Don Knotts dying, I actually thought this story, that my friend Ed told me, once upon a time:

I worked with Ed during my time with Goodwill. Ed was a good fellow, an older guy. He read a lot, and was always recommending books to read. His favorite subjects were history and astronomy, but he also enjoyed a good mystery.

He worked in the Murfreesboro store, and he worked ten or fifteen hours a week tinkering with and fixing up the electronics that had been donated, seeing what he could get working. I talked to Ed quite a bit.

Ed joined the Army just after the second World War, and worked as a mechanic for a good long while. Served in Germany, did work in Korea and Japan, and ended up his time in the service in California. He left the Army in 1958, and settled near Los Angeles. He did several odd jobs for the next few months....he sold kitchen supplies door-to-door for a few months, he worked in a TV repair shop for a little while, but found steady work at a mechanic's shop in Los Angeles (which he eventually came to own half of).

One particularly busy day, Ed found himself not knowing whether he was coming or going, and he got called out to look at a customer's car, to see if it could be fixed quickly, or whether the customer would have to leave it.

Ed went to the car, and apparently didn't get a good look at the small man behind the wheel. Ed got up under the hood, had the fellow gun the engine a couple times. Ed couldn't immediately find what was wrong, so he told the fellow that he'd have to leave his car.

The fellow said alright, and asked if they had a phone he could use to call for a ride.

It wasn't until he went to answer that he realized who he was talking to. It was Don Knotts who had driven his car into the repair shop.

Ed worked on the car later that day, and Knotts came in to pick it up. It turns out that whatever had been wrong was something fairly simple and easy to fix. Ed apologized for keeping the car longer than he felt had been fair, but Don was cool with it. Even left Ed a good tip.

I always enjoyed that story.



I got the hair buzzed a few weeks ago, and I decided that a buzzcut and a full beard made me look like a cheesy B-Movie villain, so off went the beard. My fear was that nobody would take my plans for world domination seriously if I look like a guy who couldn't best Steven Seagal in 90 minutes.

But daily shaving last all of a week, before I decided that the minutes a day I spent scraping a sharp piece of metal across my face would be better spent sleeping.

There are others who share a similar point of view...

Two great ones....

Two great ones....

Dang. Came home tonight to the sad, sad news that both Don Knotts and Darren McGavin have passed away.

You know, it's one thing to lose Kolchak and Ralphie's Father, but to lose Barney Fife on the same day? Wow.

And of all the years to leave Don Knotts off my dead pool.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Today's Quote

Today's Quote

If someone says "Have a nice weekend," I never say, "You too." Because I never know if, perhaps, by the time the weekend rolls around, I will have other plans for that person. Come Friday, I may wish to have them slain.
---George Carlin

Thursday, February 23, 2006



Robby points out an extremely important holiday. I think I'm going to call into work in observance.

Wrestling Day.

Thursday Trivia

Thursday Trivia

It's a little known fact, but the 80's children's cartoon Voltron is based on the life of President Gerald Ford. Most people do not know that Ford was formed by five mechanical lions. Most people thought Ford to be slow-thinking. This is not necessarily true, as his thoughts and actions were the result of the five personalities who drove the five lions. Unfortunately, those five personalities were slow-thinking.

It is also little known that the life of Gerald Ford was, in fact, based on the life of writer, thinker and satirist H.L. Mencken. Mencken was himself the gestalt personification of five goblins.

It should be noted that most writers from the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century were made up of combinations of goblins, hobgoblins, gargoyles, orks and any number of your lesser imps and demons.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A high school thing

A high school meme

I would have let this one lie, but then I had a dream about being back in high school last night. Nothing special in the dream. Just about being in a class in one of the many, many windowless classrooms in my former high school.

Anyway, I stole the meme from Sheila.

1) Where did you graduate from and what year?
McMinn County High School, in 1995

2) did you have school pride?
Not especially. And there wasn't a lot of school pride in the school, that I remember. And I can't remember the school doing much to instill us with pride.

I remember going to football games and basketball games, not because I wanted to see us beat so and so, but because there wasn't much else to do in my town.

3) Was your prom a night to remember?
Not really. I didn't go to the prom itself, though I did go to dinner and a party afterward.

4) Do you own all 4 Yearbooks?

I have all except the one for my senior year. I'd kinda like to have that senior yearbook now, if only so that I can prove people that I'm not full of shit when I say I was voted Most Intelligent in my graduating class superlatives. Although, I got that, I think, because I'd tried out for the Jeopardy Teen Tournament a couple of times. I didn't get on the show. Didn't even get close. Strangely, that still awed a lot of people.

I also got lots of votes for Wittiest (I was even told that I won, and that the teacher in charge of superlatives didn't want one person winning more than one category--I don't know that it's true, but it makes for a good story), and a few votes for Most Studious (which was most untrue--I specialized in doing the absolute minimum)

5) What was the worst trouble you ever got into?

I don't remember anything terrible. There were lots of little things, but I can't think of anything in particular that kept me in trouble for an extended amount of time.

6) What kind of people did you hang out with?

A lot of the Art Hall people. Our school was designed along one big, central hallway, with the various departments getting their own halls. English Hall, Science Hall, Math Hall, Art Hall, etc. There were a couple of halls that had their own cliques of people, and the Art Hall was one of them (the Ag Hall was the other with a clique, mostly the farmers' kids, and it wasn't even really a hall--it had more foreign language classes than Ag classes). I don't know if from the outside I was necessarily considered one of the art hall people or not, even though I sang in the chorus and did play production stuff from sophomore year on.

I also hung out with the guys who were on the Academic Competition Team, which is even dorkier sounding than "Quiz Bowl" team. But we played Quiz Bowl. But we approached it in much the same way we approached our academics...like a game show where we knew what we knew not because we'd actively pursued it to study, but because we'd picked it up along the way of watching TV or reading....

7) What was your number 1 choice of College in HS?

I don't remember, and it's one of those things that I didn't make note of in my journal. I remember having this nebulous anxiety about it, and I think I was more anxious about not knowing what I wanted to do.

I was jealous of those people who had a good idea where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do.

Not so much anymore, even though I'm still not completely sure what I want to do when I grow up....

8) what radio station did u rock out too?

WOKI out of Knoxville was I-100, and in the middle of my junior year, they switched formats from a top 40 station with a nice hard rock lean to country.

After that, there wasn't really one. A lot of my friends really liked WUTC out of Chattanooga, but I couldn't pick it up with my shitty car radio.

The only station I could pick up well in my 1987 Bronco with its horrible radio and bad antenna was an oldies station out of Etowah, Tennessee. I think it was somewhere around 93.9, and I don't think the station even exists anymore. At least, I've never listened to it since. But it's what I listened to in my Bronco, since the tape player didn't work consistently, either. They liked the Bee Gees. A lot.

I still can't hear "Tragedy" without thinking about the ride from my house to school, because they played it almost without fail on that ride from 7:40 to 8:00 to school.

9) Were you involved in any organizations or clubs?

Academic Competition Team, which I talked about a couple questions back. And we weren't bad. We had an in-county rival, and we always beat the snot out of them. I think the only time we ever bucked up as a team to do better in competition, was when McMinn Central beat us early in our senior year, and they named our constant thrashings of them as their reason for bucking up.

I think we got the final word, and did beat them.

We were as good as you can get without studying. I think mostly we were there to have fun.

Chorus. I sang bass with Trean Bowers, Brandon Pennelly and Josh Mullins.

A couple of plays.

There were others.

10) What were your favorite classes in high school?

I liked a couple of my English Classes, especially senior year. World History class was also fun, except for the bit where the teacher, who was a great teacher and an extremely nice man who was just a bit too hefty for the pants he wore, would sit in front of the class on a stool, with his feet on a desk in the front row, exposing his giant, pendulous balls to the class through the strained fabric of his britches.

Yeah. See, I still can't thinking about ancient China without thinking of that man's gigantic balls.

Honestly. It was an achievement in self-delusion if he thought he still wore a pair of 36 inch waist pants....

11) Who was your big crush in Highschool?

There were a few. The one that was constant was a girl I went to church with. We had several classes together. If there was anybody who ever just made me forget how to speak the English language, it was her. I've not gotten as tongue tied around anybody else in my life as I did for her.

12) Would you say you've changed a lot since highschool?

I think I'm a little more comfortable with myself, a little more at peace. But personality-wise, I think I'm still much the same person.

13) What do you miss the most about it?

Monday to Friday, 8 to 3:15 would be nice.

I dunno. Seeing a lot of those people every day.

And having a cafeteria with an artificial river to dump your food into when you brought your tray back. My favorite lunch memory was watching somebody throw their whole tray into this sluice of water, and having the tray catch, and form a makeshift dam. The panic on the lunch lady's face is one of my top five favorite facial expressions ever.

14) Your worst memory of HS?

There's no specific memory or event. I remember being unhappy so much. If I could go back in time and give myself a kick in the pants, I'd do it in a heartbeat....

15) Did you have a car?

I drove a tan 1987 Ford Bronco. It got like 7 miles to the gallon. And I'm not exaggerating by much, there. It had no air conditioning. A crappy radio that we'd installed that wouldn't connect consistently with the antenna. It was loud to drive, and almost impossible to have a conversation in. It was awesome.

16) What were your school colors?

Black and Gold.

17) Who were your fav. teachers?

Ms. Godsey and Ms. Watson, both of whom did their damnedest to make me believe in myself, and neither of whom would put up with my lazy bullshit.

Ms Godsey was not as polite about it, and she used those words exactly. It was one of the saddest days of my life when I found out Ms. Godsey had passed away. Cancer got her.

Dr. Manley, the chorus director, I also liked a great deal, though we could have some big time arguments. He never took it personally, though. I still try to emulate that.

18) Did you own a cell phone in highschool?

No. They were just starting to pop up around then. I don't think anybody in my school had one. It was still a thing that professionals had, and it had only just started sifting down to kids.

19) Did you leave campus for lunch?

No. They wouldn't let us. Which is and was bullshit.

20) If so, where was your fav. place to go eat?

I often spent lunch hanging out in the chorus room, or in the library.

21) Were you always late to class?

Late to school itself, occasionally. First period. That was the first year Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers came on in America, my senior year. I was fascinated, and to this day I cannot explain why. I was made late to school by a program designed for 8-year-olds. Not once, but on a week-to-week basis. There were three or four of us who ruined many of a World History class by discussing, at length, that morning's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers episode.

I think we were most fascinated by Thuy Trang, who played Trini, and her declaration of "Sabah-Toothed Tigah" when she would become the Yellow Ranger.

Other classes, not so much. I spent four periods out of six my senior year on the art hall, in classrooms right next door to each other. Didn't have much excuse.

22) Did you ever have to stay for Saturday School?

We didn't have it. I think the principals were scared of doing so by the Breakfast Club.

23) Did you ever ditch?

Just a couple of times. Didn't do much.

Once, it was with Dad to go to a Braves/Pirates playoff game. Ronnie Gant's grand slam landed six or seven seats away. The principal would not excuse the absence. My excuse was this: Dad's a Braves fan, and just how often do the Braves make the playoffs?

Mind you, this was 1992, and it was just their second playoff appearance of the nineties....

24) What kind of Job did u have?

I bagged groceries. I also did some work at Mayfield's, a local dairy.

25) When it comes time for the reunion will you be there?

I didn't go to mine, last summer. The people I want to keep in touch with, I have.

26) Do you wish you were still in high school?

No. I've moved on....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A good birthday present

A good birthday present

Anybody looking for ideas for a belated birthday gift for your old pal Big Stupid Tommy?

How about Darren Daulton's 1992 RBI champion's trophy?

I think that would look nice on my desk between my signed Christopher Lloyd photograph and my pencil cup that looks like the word "Fucker" is written on it.

Be careful if you buy it for me, though. Make sure you wipe all the crazy off.

You know, those Phillies teams of the era were all crazy, but in the fun-to-watch/these guys would be fun to have a beer with kind of way.

But of all the guys on those early 90's Phillies teams to go gaga, I'd figure it'd have been Lenny Dykstra--probably for beating somebody to death with his hands.

Or maybe John Kruk, except I figure his would have been more the packrat type of crazy, where Oprah goes to his house and finds 18 years worth of newspapers stacked up inside.

Even Larry Andersen had a sort of "Go to the watchtower with a high powered rifle" thing going on.

And with props going to Mitch Williams, who's had his foray into crazytown.

But I gotta think the current champine, at least off all those early 90's Phillies teams, is Darren Daulton whose particular flavor of crazy comes out of the religious bucket, with a good bit of anti-guvmint paranoia thrown in for good measure. I don't know why I laughed out loud at this line, in which Daulton's off-the-field, post-career troubles are listed, but I did:

There was a horrendous car wreck on Interstate 75 outside Tampa in January 2001. He was arrested for drunken driving, but says that the truth is that he was intentionally run off the road because of a business deal with ties to the FBI and White House.

But you have to like this passage, and for it, I stand up and applaud.

First, I like this, which actually does Daulton quite a bit of justice, and actually rings true (and makes me feel like an asshole for ever having gone this far):

If he had to boil it down to one sentence, it would be this: "We need to stop judging each other. Because every one of us is on a different path."

True, true. How often have I felt belittled and even persecuted by others for my belief that Al Roker is controlling my mind using his formidable mind powers through the teevee?

But then, the whole article gets right back on the Darren Daulton Crazy Train Track:

But there's more to it than peace and harmony. Daulton is convinced that the day of reckoning is coming soon. Specifically, on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, the chosen will simply vanish from this plane of existence.

Alrighty. I hope, for Darren's sake, that he was quoted out of order. Because if not, it would be simply the absolute most perfect instance of comic gold to have the first statement act as prelude for the second statement.

"Folks, first, I have to say that we cannot judge each other. We all have different paths; I cannot judge you and you cannot judge me.

"Second, the day of reckoning is at hand. I and the other chosen will vanish from this plane existence on December 21, 2012, at 11:11 AM, Greenwich Mean Time...."

Yeah, that's a BSTommy Tip to Live By: If anybody uses the phrase "Day of Reckoning" in anything other than the ironic sense, you might want to give them a wide berth.

Anyway. My point in all this bleating is this: If you're going to buy me Darren Daulton's RBI award, wipe the crazy off. We're full up on the crazy at the BSTommy Compound. Don't need anymore. It's like Arsenic and Old Lace around here....Insanity runs in my family...it practically gallops....

Monday, February 20, 2006



It was a rainy Sunday some 29 years ago that I was popped forth onto the planet.

Birthday insomnia:

I can't sleep late on my birthday. I can't even sleep early, today. And the last couple of years. I was supposed to be waking up right about the time I'm writing this, but I woke up to take a whiz around 4 this morning, and couldn't wander back to sleep. It's a trend that's popped up the last few years. Maybe there's some sort of birthday anxiety. Or maybe it's coincidence.

29. A quick accounting of where I am:

Little heavier than I should be.
Not bald, though I'd have bet I would have been.
No chronic pain.
Though my heels kinda hurt in the morning...
No Toenail on my big left toe.
Cholesterol surprisingly good, given my diet and family history.
B.P.? Not so much.
Trying to exercise.

Never been married.
Never been divorced.
No kids.
No grandkids.

Not so much debt.
A little money in the bank.
Don't own a house, but I've considered it.

More friends than enemies.
More friends than ememas.

Never convicted.
I did inhale.
A published story or two.
Making decent wage.
I do work too much.

Never left the country....
Still wanting to road trip to all 30 MLB stadiums...
No Cubs World Series...22 years of fandom, and counting...

Make a pretty good steak...
Make an even better burger...
Eating healthier.
If God didn't want us to eat it, why would he have made red meat so tasty?

Likes Mexican food.
Likes Italian food.
Likes Indian food.
(Likes food...we'll leave it there...)

Strives to tithe, though more toward charity than church...
Haven't been in a church in a couple of years...
Kinda thinking of changing that, here lately....

A little shy. I'm working on that.

Scared of snakes.
Not crazy about enclosed spaces.

Occasional Insomniac.

Sporadic Writer. With goals to become less sporadic.

Movie Buff.
Wants more intelligent comedy.
Let's stop remaking TV Shows.
And what's this shit with no nudity in movies this past ten years?
Favorite Movies: Shawshank Redemption, Star Wars, Blazing Saddles, Braveheart, To Kill a Mockingbird, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Clerks, Pulp Fiction, Contact, Three Kings, Ocean's Eleven, Arsenic and Old Lace, Dr. Strangelove, Young Frankenstein, Apollo 13, Office Space.....

Favorite cuss word: shit.
Rising Star: Damnable.
Least favorite: Fuck...it's lost its power. I blame rap music.

Tries to read a book a week, though work's in the way, lately.
Favorite books: Huck Finn, Confederacy of Dunces, the Stand, the Wizard of Oz, the Bottoms....

Watches too much TV.
But loves TV so much.

Writes a blog.
3 & 1/2 years, now.

Needs a shower, and to go to work.

Good morning....



Couldn't sleep. I was reading Fark this early morning. Found this site. Enter your zip code, and it'll tell you how strong the signal strength for various radio stations in your area should be, for where you are.

Kinda interesting, if only because I found out just where that blasted bubblegum country station is that keeps bleeding into my sports talk station's signal when I'm up here on the hill.

Sunday, February 19, 2006



Why Isn't B.A. in this picture?I've had the weekend off. Just had a couple days to kick back, take it easy. See, my birthday's Monday. Number Twenty-Nine. Took a little while to read a book, see a movie, think about where I've been and just where it is I'm going.

Whenever I get introspective, whenever I start thinking about life and waxing philosophic, whenever I just let my mind wander and flow over its natural course, wondering what just what exactly it's all about, I often end up wandering in the same maze of philosphical questions.

Just how much did it cost to hire the A-Team? I've always assumed they were paid in cash, but I was never sure, since I never really saw money change hands.

Would their pricetag cost more or less if they actually shot at and hit the targets?

Why did B.A. drink anything other than something he'd poured himself?

What did Hannibal do to instill loyalty in B.A.? Especially considering how many times they pulled that sleeping-pill trick on the guy. Seriously. If anybody had reason to shoot a teammate in the stomach, it would be B.A. for that whole "sleeping pill/smuggle me on the plane" thing that happened, like, three times a season.

If there were a pie-eating contest among the members of the team, who would win? (I think B.A. is a natural choice, but Murdoch has a two-fold advantage...little skinny man's metabolism and the fact that he's howling mad, and therefore more willing to risk injury in the name of victory in a pie-eating contest.)

Did anybody really like Faceman?

Image hosting by PhotobucketAnd, lastly, in the fictional world of The A-Team, was professional wrestling real? Or was B.A. just a really big mark, and people are just too scared to tell him that it's predetermined? I mean, B.A. was friends with Hulk Hogan, and they had an adventure together, one episode. And B.A.'s at a match where Hulk's fighting Greg "the Hammer" Valentine (I think), and B.A.'s just eating it up.

Was even the Immortal Hulk Hogan afraid of what might happen if B.A.'s fantasy world, where wrestling is real and his friends don't drug him on a thrice-yearly basis, comes crashing down around his feet?

Were his skills that important to the team?

I dunno. If it's me, it doesn't matter just how strong he his, how scary his haircut is, just how well he drives that badass A-Team Van. I think if his grip and/or understanding of reality is that tenuous, he just might not be the guy I want standing next to me with an M-16. But that's just me.

Here's my theory...it's what I say to myself, to get myself to carry on through the day, sleep at night and keep my stomach acids from burning a hole in my gut: Maybe he owned the title on the van.

You gotta admit. That van was pretty sweet.

And knowing soldiers of fortune like I do, I know that you can't be effective soliders of fortune, without having a badass van.

And if B.A. owns the van, then I'm cool with his getting to carry a gun. It's simply the price you pay, for getting to ride in a sweet ride like the A-Team van.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blogging Pants

Blogging Pants

I'd noticed that Len had mentioned some technical difficulties he was having with his blog, Dark Bilious Vapors, and figured that he hadn't posted because of those difficulties. Well, I checked tonight, and saw that last weekend, Mr. Cleavelin announced that he was hanging up his blogging pants, too. That's my bad for not noticing that the former (and current, though non-blogging) philosophical scrivener announcing his retirement.

That makes two of my favorites to call it a career in the space of a week, with the Sloth and Len leaving it all behind.

Does that mean the trifecta is in play?

Robot Sex

Robot Sex

A thought on Robot Sex, at Kung Fu Monkey.

Tonight's Middle America Whitebread Funny

Tonight's Funny

One straight out of the 19 year old Reader's Digest I found in a box of books.....

A concerned husband goes to see the family doctor and says, "I think my wife is deaf because she never hears me the first time I say something. In fact, I often have to repeat things over and over again."

"Well," the doctor replies, "go home and tonight and stand about 15 feet from her and say something. If she doesn't reply, move about five feet closer and say it again. Keep doing this so we can get an idea about the severity of her deafness."

Sure enough, the husband goes home and does exactly as instructed. He starts off about 15 feet from his wife in the kitchen and as she is chopping some vegetables, he says, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

He gets no response. He moves about five feet closer and asks again. No reply. He moves five feet closer. Still no reply.

He gets fed up and moves right behind her, about an inch away, and asks again, "Honey, what's for dinner?"

She replies, "For the fourth time, WE'RE HAVING BEEF STEW!"

Friday, February 17, 2006

New Bio

New Bio

I've got a birthday coming up Monday, and I figured this was as good a time as any to update the bio I've got over on the sidebar.

I enlisted the help of a few friends. So far, only one has taken me up on the challenge, but he came through like gangbusters.

Joebo's biography

Your name:

Big Old Badass Joe

Where did we meet?

In Pre-Calculus class in senior year at the highly-esteemed McMinn County High School

Take a stab at Tommy's middle name


Does Tommy believe in God?

Tommy doesn't have a commonly-held belief system, though I hate to break it to him. Tommy believes in many gods which are organized in a very complex hierarchy, with the American Dream Dusty Rhodes sitting high above all other lesser gods. Superman and the Fonz being very high up, but their exact place is only known to Tommy and changes quite often based on Tommy's violent mood swings.

How long have you known Tommy?

For freaking years man.

What was your first impression of Tommy upon meeting?

I thought "there's a handsome fellow."

Color of Tommy's eyes:

The color only a mother could love.

Does Tommy have any siblings?

Indeed he does: a sister who has lead (as far as I know) a normal life up to this point and a brother the family doesn't mention much. He went on to become the body that housed "Krang" in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone thought that thing was a robot, but nope.....Tommy's brother. Don't know what I'm talking about? That's a good thing, but here's a link:


Scroll down a bit and you'll figure it out. But scroll down some more and holy mama mia!!! That's Shredder with his mask off. Now, aren't you glad you read this? You're damn right you are.

What's one of Tommy's favorite things to do

Tommy, though he might be surprised I know this, will climb a tree and sit there for hours on end, no portable music, no books; he just likes to survey the land and see what's a comin'.

Do you remember one of the first things Tommy said to you?

In a really uncomfortable way, he suggested that if I liked having legs, I might consider finding a different desk (in precalculus). He didn't want the new kid sitting next to him. I stood (sat) my ground and I think he respected that. Though I guess my legs could still be in for it ten years later.

What's Tommy's favorite type of music?

The collected tribal music of Central to South Africa and who isn't really? That's good stuff.

What is the best feature about Tommy?

Tommy, can recite any verse from the Bible. You throw out a book name, a chapter and verse number and he'll spit it out. Thing is, he'll get the story a little off, like when Jesus turned the fish into wine, or put a shocking twist in there, like Noah really was molesting those poor animals, or a conspiracy theory like how God always favored women and you could see it most in the Old Testament, or just a little quote you know doesn't belong like "Did you make this wine from........fish, Jesus?"

Is Tommy shy or outgoing?

Tommy is.

Is Tommy a rebel or does Tommy follow the rules:

Tommy is really anal about rules, but not really.

What's your favorite memory of Tommy?

Well, there are many, but the time we went to Roane State CC for a competition and we envisioned ourselves harassing some (scarily in good shape male and female) cheerleaders during their routine. We knew the results would involve high pitch screaming (by us) and flailing of arms. But that never happened, just the planning. And that's worth something. Coming back on the bus, we stared at the people stuck behind us and made them uncomfortable.

Then there was the time Robocop attacked us, Robocop was right to do so - completely within his rights, TRUST me, but I wasn't a big fan of the attack on me by Robocop. Tommy came to my defense and absolutely whipped Robocop's ass.

Absolutely no shit there: Whipped. His. Ass.

Something about, "you're a panzy robot without that gun. Like Data from Star Trek NG" Robocop, of course, disagreed. He put the gun down and Tommy fought dirtier than I could ever imagine. Robocop was never the same, but still a pretty good cop regardless. I always forget to thank Tommy for that; if it hadn't been for him, I would be one roughed up feller.

Any special talents:

Tommy is one of the finest gymnasts in East Tennessee. That doesn't say too much considering gymnastics, or "The Devil's Tomfoolery" isn't big in these parts, but Tommy holds his own with many in the continental US. He isn't the best mind you, but he can give the pummel horse what for. Also, his dance routines garner him special acclaim all over the world, but I didn't need to tell you that, did I?

If there was one good nickname for Tommy, what would it be?

If there _was_ a good nickname for Bigstupidtommy Earl "Sue" Acuff, I suppose it would be Sally.

If you and Tommy were stranded on a desert island, what is the one thing Tommy would bring?

A framed picture of James Brown doing the splits and sweaty as hell. I'm just kidding; that's silly. Tommy's very practical, so a photo album of James Brown in various poses, including (obviously) the one I mentioned the first time.

The Sloth

The Sloth

It appears that Rob has hung up the blogging pants over at Uncouth Sloth.

Don't know why, exactly. I can speculate, but it wouldn't be fair to him to do it here. One day, when he's ready, I'm sure he'll come forward to tell his story.

Until then, I'll just say thanks, Rob. Yours was a good blog.

I'll also say that I hope you pop in from time to time.

I found a kinship with Rob, in his critical eye, in his skeptical take of all things Chicago Cubs. Kept reading, found a guy with a wicked sense of humor, and unique take on the absurdity and outrage he saw around him. Made a connection, and I'm not a guy who makes connections easily, and even more tentatively online. Here's a dude, I said to myself, who's got his own point of view, and I dig it.

And I gotta admit, the girlie pictures didn't hurt.....

His wasn't the first Chicago Cubs blog I found, but it quickly became the first, and sometimes the only, one I checked every day.

I like to think we developed a pretty good relationship online. Did a little guestblogging over there. He was one of the first regular commentors over here who was not somebody who read my blog simply because I'd e-mailed them saying "Look, I made a blog!"

He'd laugh at my jokes, call me on my bullshit. Sent me a hat for my oversized dome...set me up with one of the "I Believe" rubberbands...took care of me as a Cubs fan on the local level when I'm down here in BFE....

Anyway. I still owe Slothy a beer or six.

Hopefully he'll pop back up. When he's ready. Let us know what's gone on.

Not much else to say here. A bummer, to be sure.

Thanks, Rob. We'll see you around.

Thursday, February 16, 2006



Call it a lack of discipline, call it absent minded, maybe I just don't give a hell what day of the week it is, but I'm not very good at changing over those day-by-day calendars. It's not rare to find one in my house that's a week or more out of date.

Part of it is that I don't have place where I sit every day and need to look at the calendar. The best luck I've had so far, changing one of those daily calendars, was a Jeopardy calendar that sat on the back of the toilet. It was like Final Jeopardy every time I woke up and had to take a whiz. Word to the wise: Those things tip easier than you'd think, and they don't make those page-a-day calendars sturdy enough to withstand a dunk in the toilet.

No place else that I can remember to do it. I often do my computer stuff on my laptop in the living room, but not every day, so the Jon Stewart America calendar often goes days without getting changed. I changed it over this morning, after it's been reading February 10 for a while.

I've got a George Carlin calendar on my desk. It does a little better, since I'll often look at it when I first wake up. But I let it get a few days behind, and I ran across this entry from Tuesday, Valentine's Day, that I kinda liked:

Valentine's Day is devoted to love. Why don't we have a day devoted to hatred? The raw, visceral hatred that is felt every hour of the day by ordinary people, but is repressed for reasons of social order. I think it would be very cathartic, and it would certainly make for an exciting six o'clock news.

Anyway. This is my way of saying "I got nothing to say today."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Iron Horse

Iron Horse

This is post #2,131 of the Big Stupid Tommy Blog. Thusly, I pass Lou Gehrig's number of consecutive baseball games played.

But I've had a lot of re-runs. Lou Gehrig couldn't do that. Just say "We're playing the White Sox today, but I think I'll just play the same game I played this time last year...."

Or could he? I mean, every game is different, but every game is basically the same. Lou could have been playing the exact same game every day.

Maybe he could have been living the same day every day.

It would have been impossible for him not to play. It was just part of his routine to get up and play baseball. Even in the dead of winter, he's out there in two feet of snow playing baseball. Some manner of psychological compunction, where it might kill him not to play baseball.

Or maybe it was like in Groundhog Day. You know, he just keeps living the same day over and over again. Except he's playing baseball. And he doesn't break the cycle until he gets Andie McDowall.

Or Lou Gehrig's disease, which wasn't called that until he got it.

Maybe I need a disease named after me.

Don't know what that disease would entail exactly, but I damn betcha is makes you lethargic and gassy along the way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

In which we answer a meme

In which we answer a meme

I may have answered this one before, I may not have. Who knows. Maybe you can look back and find out just how full of shit I am.

Anyway, Robby tagged me, and I answer thusly:

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Assistant Manager of a grocery store
2. Donations Supervisor for Goodwill
3. Worked Desk and Bell Staff at a Holiday Inn
4. Bagged groceries. Kind of a weird circle.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Shawshank Redemption
2. Star Wars
3. Blazing Saddles
4. Animal House

And the list goes on and on. Stripes. Clerks. Any of the Monty Python movies. Dr. Strangelove.

I watched Animal House the other night. I watch it whenever I get into a funk. It usually lifts me out of it. It worked, to a certain degree.

Four places I’ve lived:
1. Athens, TN
2. Williamsburg, KY
3. Riceville, TN
4. Murfreesboro, TN

I'll qualify that by saying I lived in Kentucky when I was just a few months old, and then only for a few months old. So I didn't have much of a choice in the matter, and I don't think I caught anything.

Four TV shows I love:
1. The Daily Show
2. the Colbert Report
3. Scrubs
4. the Office

I get to see Daily Show and Colbert Report almost every day. The others, not so much.

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven’t seen (much of):
1. General Hospital
2. The Young and the Restless
3. As the World Turns
4. One Life to Live

What? Each of these won the Emmy for best Daytime Drama in each of the last four years. In my book, that makes them highly regarded by somebody. And I've never see a one of them.

Or have I?

Four places I’ve vacationed:

1. Wildwood, New Jersey
2. Orlando, Florida
3. Cooperstown, New York
4. Chicago, Illinois

Family's in New Jersey. The other places were for all the other stuff you might guess. And liquor.

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. A nice burger. Medium rare.
2. New York Strip. A little cracked pepper. Grilled to a nice medium rare.
3. Barbecued Chicken. None of that medium rare bullcrap.
4. Good deep-dish pizza, with the crust so deep it's not even done cooking in the middle when you eat it....

I put all those because I like them all better than spiders. But not much more....

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Fark
2. Boing Boing
3. Coast to Coast AM
4. Prime Number Pooping Bear

Plus a goodly number of the blogs on the lefthand side bar.

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. A Cubs game
2. The planet Zeebex
3. Toronto
4. Camping

Monday, February 13, 2006

Batman vs. Al Qaeda

Batman vs. Al Qaeda

Just a link to a story about Frank Miller working on a story where Batman fights Al Qaeda.

I don't know if you're like me, but I kinda sneered when I first read it, but then Frank makes a good point about the role of comic book superheroes in World War 2 (not to mention TV Characters like Bugs Bunny or Donald Duck), being used to bolster morale and whatnot.

Things I wanna point out

Things I wanna point out

This is a link love post.

I first want to link to Pete from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog, for his review of the Pink Panther, which touches on something on Steve Martin's career that I've noticed. It's like he's suffering from Chevy Chase disease, and has forgotten how to be funny on screen. And the thing is, I like his prose the past decade or so very much--Pure Drivel is as funny a collection of stories as you'll find.

His on screen work is for shit, lately.

I had a friend who said you could link the last times Steve Martin was funny on camera to around the same time his friend John Candy died. He had no empirical proof for this, but I'd say it's as good a thing to say as any, here on a blog. I mean, what is a blog without an unsubstantiated assertion?

And this is just personal opinion: I'm as tired of this whole remake trend, as well. But I can't think of any movies that needed to be remade less than the Pink Panther movies. I think I'm probably the only person in the world who took very little from any of the Inspector Clousseau movies (with the exception of A Shot in the Dark, which is actually pretty good). Apparently, the makers of the new Pink Panther have managed to suck out the little that was good in the originals.

I also wanted to link to Pete's post on his blog, in which he comments on the experience of actually going to see the Pink Panther as a reviewer....

I have no context for the next couple of links.

Dave had a Jack Bauer list up that plays off the Chuck Norris list that's been passed around. My favorite:

31) If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.

Dave also had this link to a list of Comic Character Religions. I enjoyed it, for some reason.

And lastly, I wanted to link to Steven's pictures of attending an Atlanta Braves Caravan event down in Chattamanooga. Mostly, I want to point out the last picture, of announcer Pete Van Wieren signing. You'll have to scroll down.

Now, Pete Van Wieren and Jon Miller have the same haircut. But I'd wager that of the two, Pete Van Wieren is the most likely to be insane. Simply because Jon Miller looks like he's eating well, while Pete's looking a little scrawny.

It's just the impression I get when I see a haircut like that. You know, bald on top with that long, course hair that's left covering the ears?

Combine that with scrawny build and the eyes coming from thick eyeglasses. It just screams: "Dude's crazy," to me. Like he stopped giving a crap a long time ago.

Dude with a haircut like that has bigger problems than "how's my hair look."

I mean, it could just be along the lines of a Howard Hughes. Maybe Pete's afraid of barbers or germs or communists.

Or, it could be a little serious, like "Who has time to cut hair when you're planning to take over the world?" That there makes me afraid to eat at Pete and Skip's BBQ stand in the concourse at Turner Field. Afraid that maybe Pete's roasting up some enemies in that BBQ stand. Nothing like a little long pig at the ballgame....

In Which I State the Obvious

In Which I State the Obvious

Since the Sloth's not around here lately...

Some things are constant. You can count on them. They're just a given. You dont even think about them. The Sun Comes Up. Rain's Gonna be wet. Sammy Sosa's gonna act like a petulant child.

What a douche.

I've not slept much, so I'm not terribly coherent.

There were a couple times in my life, back in the days when Sammy was still with the Cubs, when people would find out I'm a Cub fan, and they'd want to rip them, and they'd always apologize for ripping Sammy, because apparently all Cub fans are supposed to hug the big turd like he's a teddy bear. And it wouldn't fail that not only could I outpace them with my distaste for Sammy, I could often end the conversation and scare them away with my vehemence about it.

But then, maybe that speaks more to my anti-social behavior than it does my dislike of Sosa.

Let my qualify my next statement with this one: While I think Sammy actually is contemplating retirement, and for the reasons listed in the article, I think Sammy will end up playing somewhere this year. Not because he'll give in and play for an incentive laden deal, but because somebody, somewhere will cough up a little more dough.

But if I may say so, if it were to come down to Sammy giving up the ghost and retiring, I think it would be the perfect punctuation mark on his entire useless career. This whole little pissy outburst is indicative of little more than Sammy Sosa's outright Refusal (not Failure mind you, but Refusal) to adjust. The world is supposed to change for Sammy, and definitely not the other way around.

Apparently, a baseball team is supposed to guarantee more money for juiced up clubhouse cancers who can't see themselves playing any other role on a team than batting cleanup, hitting the hhhhome ruhhhn, starting right field, and being the team teddy bear and/or team martyr.

And apparently, one has to get paid several millions to do so.

And any situation that does not meet every one of those tenets (except maybe that teddy bear thing), it is Absolutely Unacceptable to the big retard.

Sammy...shorten your swing with two strikes.

"No. I heet da hhhome ruhhhn."

Sammy...try hitting to the opposite field, you're hitting around the Mendoza Line.

"No. I heet da hhhome ruhhn."

Sammy...we're gonna bat you sixth, see if we can get you out of this slump.

"No. I seet on da bench."

Sammy...you haven't had a health season since the turn of the century. You injured yourself sneezing, for Christ's sake. You were out weeks because of an ingrown toenail. Your output the last two seasons, when you are playing, is pathetic. We can't guarantee you power player money, because you can't guarantee us you'll be a power player. You aren't useful at all to us as a team, unless you do work to protect the younger players and take a deal where you get more money if you perform up to standards.

"No. I a Hhhhall ov Famer. I get guaranteed deal. Beisboll been berry guhd to me."

If it's been so berry guhd, rest up on those millions, live on that for a while, take less money, and show us that you can still perform. Maybe you'll get that Hall of Fame nod you so roundly want.

And that's a rant that I can see coming five years down the road. Damn, dude. If Sammy Sosa gets in the Hall of Fame, I might stroke out.

I'll finish with these last two statements. To me, it shows that not even Sammy thinks he can perform up to snuff in the majors, even in a reduced role where his job would be protecting Jose Guillen, if he's refusing an incentive-laden deal. And if that's the case, he needs to retire. Get out of the game. Protect what little bit of that useless legacy you have left.

And from a personal standpoint. I'll just say "Retire Sammy." It'll be one less spotlight-hogging, no-basepath-thinking, no-strike-count-considering, corked-bat-using, juiced-up, petulant, refusing-to-adjust, music-playing-too-loud-in-the-lockerroom, clubhouse cancerous, fragile, egomaniacal, prima-donna turding up the game of baseball.

Sunday, February 12, 2006



Yeah, it's all about the weather.

We got another dusting of snow up in my neck of the woods. Just a dusting, though. Nothing substantial enough to cover up all the yellow and brown. A snow designed to irritate, more than anything. I'm starting to wonder if I've angered the weather gods. Perhaps they demand a sacrifice.

Speaking of the weather, I was wandering around one of the local TV station's websites, and I found that one of the weathermen has a blog. Thom Benson's blog can be found here, what with all its bounty of pictures of local snow that I didn't get.

On the flip side of the coin, Sheila's found herself covered up. She says "This is like a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, except that I have ... you know ... a radiator that is blasting heat..."

I have nothing else to add except that I think Charles Ingalls was a nineteenth century superhero. What with his super strength, speed and near-omniscience.

A Thought From the Ass End of the Night

A Thought From the Ass End of the Night

I've had the Men Without Hat song "Pop Goes the World" going through my head for the better part of a day now. Quite the persistent earworm. I've got half a mind to pop my skull open and dig that bugger out with a pair of tweezers. If you see me on the teevee tomorrow having just attempted to assassinate a major political figure, screaming something about synthesizers and band called the human race, y'all will know why.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Baseball, and whatnot

Baseball, and whatnot

Wandered to Knoxville yesterday to catch the University of Tennessee baseball team's home opener. Due to predicted inclement weather, the opener became a double header. We'd have stayed for two, except that Steven was hungry, and I forgot my gloves.

Still, I enjoyed it. Any baseball is good. I've paid as little attention to the offseason news and notes as I have at any point in my baseball fandom. Don't know why I've just turned a blind eye to the whole baseball thing, but I have. So, it was cool to come in and just enjoy a baseball game.

Tennessee won the opener 3-2, but not without a Rod Beck like performance from Tennessee's reliever in the ninth.

It was a game of a couple disillusionments.

Saw a kid cheat at the bat race. You know, the race where two people get called down onto the field between innings, put their foreheads on the end of a baseball bat, and twirl around until dizzy? One of the little kids didn't put his head on the bat. He kinda put his chin on the bat, but he was facing upright, and it wasn't enough to disrupt his equilibrium. Dammit. He won the race. Handily. When we all know that the point of the bat race...it's not whether you win or lose, it's how dizzy you get.

Also: We suspect that Joe ruined a no-hitter. Tennessee carried a no-hitter through four innings. Joe made an offhand comment about it. First pitch of the very next inning scooted down the rightfield line.

We watched a bit of the second game, but there was cold and hunger to deal with....

Headed to the Half Barrel down on the strip. Drank a couple beers. Had a really good Black and Bleu burger. Found further disillusionment with the fact that the great majority of those we ask think first of Horse Racing when they hear "Triple Crown."

As if abusing a horse to make it run faster is a greater achievement than leading your league in batting, homers and RBI. As friggin' if.

There was other talk. Me getting to take down a beer vendor at work. A former acquaintance's use of a catheter. A long discussion as to whether tennis was a sport. An invitation for immediate battle chess. And we were stymied with bar tricks.

If you're up that way, I recommend it. If you're looking for a good beer or two. Try the Rogue Dead Man. Very tasty. And you can't go wrong with the Yeti, for a stout.

Anyway. That's my Friday. Saturday? Mainly sulking about the lack of snow. And work. Huzzah.

Further Proof a High Holy Vendetta

Further Proof of a High Holy Vendetta

So, it went crazy at work with this week, what with two different snow scares.

Woke up this morning, expecting to find the 2-4 inches they'd predicted for us.

It fucking rained all night, at Casa de Stupid.

Some kind of cosmic cock tease.

Problem is, they've gotten it to the north, to the south. We just didn't get any to wake up to this morning.

Wanted snow. Wanted an actual snow that you could get out and walk in, that would cover up all the yellow and brown.

Because I'm a big girl.

Color me disappointed.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Where I Am Right Now/Thursday Morning Re-Run

Where I Am Right Now/Thursday Morning Re-Run

Woke up this morning to a dusting of snow. I was hoping for more. It flurried last night, and I was hoping that it'd be cold enough to put an inch or more in my little corner of East Tennessee. Some places nearby got it. But we just got a dusting up here on the hill.

Been writing for a couple hours this morning. It didn't come easy. Everything felt mechanical, and it didn't flow. I dunno. I've been trying to write more, here lately. Haven't written anything substantial since the summer.

So, I'm writing more. It's mostly new stuff, but it's going to go toward fixing something up that I wrote a couple years ago. The stuff I wrote a couple of years ago was kind of a straight up monster in the woods type story. What I'm doing now is framed around the same basic set up, but is more in the vein of some of the silly I try here, now and then. It's not a re-write, so much. Different characters, different goals. But the monster's the same. So, maybe it is a re-write. I don't know.

Whatever it is, it didn't come easy this morning.

It hasn't come easy the last few days.

But I've been forcing it. I've never forced it, but I kinda figure I need a touch more discipline when I try to write.

So, I haven't been posting much here, as much.

Don't know if anybody was wondering. I just looked at the Blogger dashboard, and saw that I'd just posted something like 6 days out of the last 13 or 14.


If anybody's looking for a good way to waste some time at work, here's something I wrote last year about the checking out at the grocery store:

Suddenly, I'm in Sinbad's standup act...

Everybody's got a story about an excursion to the grocery store, where they've managed to get in line behind the worst possible customer.

That's me, too. In the sense that every now and then, I seem to find the checkout line with the biggest possible wait caused by the most idiotic possible person. It's Harvey Pekar's luck, and when it comes to the grocery, I have it.

My personal pet peeve is still the self-check lane. I'm a surgical strike shopper. It's a military operation when I go in: a shopping sortie. I know what I want, and I don't want to hang around the store waiting to pay. I've decided that the self-check lane is a good idea, in theory.

However, the thing rarely works right. I have to stand there with purchases while some slackjaw comes to give me change for a five. Or, all the manned checkouts are full, and the self-check lane is filled with some piece of crap who has a cart and a half worth of groceries, but lives in the year 1967 and hasn't quite figured out the "bar code." Or you get behind the piece of shit who has 29 little bitty containers of lip gloss, and is taking roughly a week and a half to scan each one.

And...there's only one store in my town right now that has a self-check lane. And it's not really a self check lane. You scan your items. But the store has the scanner set, a lot of the time, so that things won't ring up unless the person at the station supervising the self-check lanes okays the purchase. So you don't get to buy your economy size bag of pork rinds unless the person at the counter says it's okay, which essentially takes twice the amount of time it would if you'd just gone to the manned checkout.

So, you're stuck in the manned lines.

My psychosis about the checkout lines generally directs itself at my fellow shoppers.

Today, it's the ones who just don't understand how the conveyor belt works. You know, the little line that you put your purchases on so that the checker has easy access to them?

Say you're buying a couple of things (a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and a car battery). The person in front of you is also buying a couple of things (three packs of Donruss baseball cards and a giant bottle of hand lotion). You know after a while, that car battery gets kind of heavy. You want to set it on the conveyor so that you don't pop your shoulder out of its socket.

The but person in line in front of you has their stuff on the conveyor, but they aren't letting their purchases ride the conveyor to the front of the line. Instead, they've got their hand in front of their goods, letting them slide along the belt. They're afraid, apparently. Afraid that if they let their baseball cards ride to the front of the conveyor, the whole shebang will fall off the edge of the Earth, into oblvion.

We've had electric eyes for years now. Just let your stuff go, and before it goes tumbling into the lap of the checker, the electric eye will catch your giant bottle of Jergens and stop the progress of the belt.

Meanwhile, I won't have to give myself a hernia holding onto my car battery so that it doesn't crush your purchases.

That's the grocery store gripe.

I write all this because I had similar luck this past weekend.

What I wanted to write about was the experience I had at a local fast food eatery.

I was helping my Dad fix the roof above the carport (he bought some old tin roofing off a fellow who'd torn down a barn, and Dad's putting the tin above the carport, but below the deck above...it'll channel the rainwater better, and give squirrels less of a place to make hidey-holes). Before we started, he asked if I wanted breakfast. He'd pay if I'd run into town to buy.

He wanted, specifically, 2 sausage and egg biscuits from McDonald's. Got orders from everybody, and off I wandered into town to find McDonald's.

I live in a small town. About 12,000 people or so.

Every one of them was at McDonald's this Saturday morning. In the drive thru.

After consulting via mobile telephone, everyone was still adamant about McDonald's biscuits. The eggs are better, apparently. But that's an argument for a different time....

Since the drive thru line stretched from the intercom box in Athens all the way to your home town, whereever you are, I decided to wander inside. The line was long, but not 15 cars long.

As an aside, McDonald's has an inexplicable draw on this town. It's ALWAYS busy. 9 in the morning, one in the afternoon, six at night, or 2:13 in the dead of night. I think it's the brain control drugs in their food that engenders such loyalty. I'm immune. I have no brain.

But I digress.

I go into the restaurant behind a guy in a blue flannel jacket. He gets into the same line I do, right in front of me. We're both there the same amount of time.

Now, I know exactly what I want. I'm picking up for a few people. I've got my order in my head, even before I come in the door. Since I left the house, even, some twenty minutes before, I've known what I want to get from the McDonald's.

We wait in line for four or five minutes. Not long, really. But long enough if you're standing in line at the fast food restaurant, to decide what the flying hell you want.

We're there. Doing nothing but staring up at the big menu on the wall, the one with all the food and the corresponding prices. For five minutes.

I could decide what I want for my
next 19 meals in five minutes.

We finally get up to the counter.

"Can I help you?" the girl asks.

"Uhh...Let me think," the guy says. And he does. For a long time. He doesn't say anything.

Suddenly, I'm in Sinbad's standup act.

I wish I'd had a slapjack. Or a sockful of nickels. I think I'd have been well within my rights to have put the guy out for a while. You get a time out. Rejoin humanity when you know how to act socially.

I made eye contact with the counter person, as the guy pondered "Breakfast Burrito" or "Sausage Griddle." She was wishing for a slapjack, too.

But then, aren't we all?

Luckily, the next register became free. The fellow in that line asked me to go ahead, because he hadn't decided. Nice fellow. I might have slapjacked him, too. But that's because
I don't know how to act socially, either.

By the time I got my six biscuits, the guy I'd been in line behind was just finishing ordering what he'd wanted, and paying. As I was leaving, we made eye contact, and he gave me a friendly nod, and accompanying the friendly nod was an odd facial expression, smiling with raised eyebrows. It still confuses me, and I'm still trying to decipher it.

I don't know what that eyebrow raise meant.

It could have meant "Wow, that was quick with your ordering! Good job."

Or, it could have meant "It was a pleasure sharing the McDonald's experience with you. I truly am lovin' it!"

Or even "Hey! You look familiar! Like a really heavy Neil Patrick Harris!"

But thinking back, and knowing the annoyance he'd put me through, I like to think that somewhere in the recesses of whatever passes for a brain in this human rain delay's head, as he smiles and nods at me:

"Hey! I can breathe air through my mouth and my nose! That's astonishing!"

Because I'm sure that's what people who annoy me think about.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Today's Word

Today's Word

Today's Word is Magnanimous

Use it in a sentence today!!!!

There's just one catch.

You have to use it incorrectly!

Example: "Damn, Cletus! Why don't you do your job? You're Magnanimous!"


"How's your lunch?"


Even Better, use it as something rather than an adjective...rename something....

Your computer now sits on your Magnanimous.

Or, You go to the Bathroom to Take a Magnanimous.

There you go. BSTommy, helping you through the work day.

Because you weren't going to do anything productive, were you?

Honestly. You weren't really doing work. But you're not using your loafing time well. Quit staring out that window. You're magnanimous.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Sunday Re-Run

Sunday Re-Run

I wrote this a couple years ago, almost to the day. I just thought it was kind of funny. Statistical Analysis.


I keep an Almanac on the back of the toilet. I read it when I'm moving my bowels. Out with the bad, in with the good, I always say.

Something I ran across whilst perusing my almanac...statistics involving the number of injuries caused by certain household/daily objects.

Actually, the name of the chart was Estimated Number of Injuries in U.S. from Selected Products, 2002.

There are a couple of household/daily objects that caught my eye, on the injury list.

Way down at the bottom of the list, with 37,285 estimated injuries in 2002, were Refrigerators and Freezers. Numbers don't explain everything. But what I first imagined when I read that number was 37,285 Americans wrestling with a fridge, and pulling it over on themselves. It's just how my mind works. Then, it occurred to me that some of the injuries must also have been things like people who locked themselves in an old abandoned refrigerator. And I thought smugly to myself, I learned never to do that when I was a youth, because I watched Punky Brewster.

And in a very special episode, Punky taught us not to play in refrigerators unless there's somebody around who knows CPR.

On up the list, I found Televisions and TV Stands, which caused an estimated 50,021 injuries in 2002. Again, I pictured 50,000 Americans pulling televisions over on themselves. But I also wondered how many these injuries came about as the result of fools falling off the roof of their house adjusting an antenna or a satellite dish. Or if those stats would come under Roof, or something.

Higher up, coming in at #15, or thereabouts, was Trampoline. Now, I can believe that trampolines caused some 89,393 injuries. I'm surprised they haven't caused more. My friend Lindsey's trampoline must have caused at least 20 back in 1986, including the time Lindsey jumped from the second story deck, onto the trampoline, and then landed face-first on the ground some 20 feet away.

I can still remember Lindsey looking up, face bleared with mud and blood, and asking "Was that awesome or what?!?!?!"

But it was the item at #1 that caught my eye. Because of the weight of its advantage over the #2 cause of injuries in America, in 2002.

#2 is basketball. Yep, Basketball is a big old bunch of Number Two. Especially that NBA garbage.

(I have never been simultaneously so proud and so ashamed of anything I've written here than I am that last line...it's why we call the blog Big Stupid Tommy)

But Basketball caused around 615,546 injuries in 2002. I'd assume that's stuff like contusions and cuts from all the chair shots.

But up at #1, chiming in with an astounding 2,028,968 injuries caused in the year 2002: Stairs, Ramps, Landings and Floors

That's 2 mil over 600 thou, from the one spot to the two spot.

I think you can call that domination. Way to go America.

But then I got to thinking about it.

Stairs causing accidents? That, I can buy. I can get tripped up with the best of them on some stairs. In fact, once upon a time, I managed to trip, hurt my wrist, burn myself on the coffee I was carrying and ruin a book all in one stumble thanks to MTSU's James Union Building's front steps.

Ramps? Yeah, I'll buy that, too. Isn't that how Harry Knowles hurt himself, not respecting the ramp? I've tumbled down a ramp or two in my time. I blame alcohol.

Landings....that's where this statistic starts straining its credibility.

Damn, boy! That's one alliterative turn of phrase!

But a landing? That's just a flat part at the top, bottom, or turning point on a stair case.

But then, I thought...how many times have you overestimated the number of steps on a staircase? Which is worse? When you get to the top, you think there's one more, and you step up for that last phantom step, and you just goose step it? Or when you're coming down steps and you think there's one more, and you end up jamming you're entire leg up into your kidney?

That considered, landings causing injuries, I can buy.

But Floors?

Come the hell on. Floors?!?!?!

Floors don't cause injuries.


Floors are just doing their job. They're just there. You fell. And because there's nothing else there to fall on, you fell onto the floor.

You injured yourself when you fell. The floor didn't injure you. The floor didn't reach up and punch you, or anything. You were clumsy. Floors don't hurt people, people hurt people. We might as well just blame Gravity. The floor was there.

Whaddaya want to do? Blame the floors? Well...Let's just get rid of the floors!!!

Yeah. Now I'm being ridiculous, you say. We all know that we can't get rid of floors. Where would we put our dirty laundry, you ask? Where would the pee go when we miss the toilet altogether? What would stop us from plummeting through the Earth all the way to Hell when we fell?


Therein lies the rub. We all know, as we have all been taught for generations: We have floors to stop our clumsy asses from plummeting all the way through the Earth all the way to Hell when we trip and fall.

So I say we should all be thankful for the floors.

Otherwise, Burned Alive in Fiery Pits of Hell would come in WAY up top on the list of injury causes.

As it stands now, Burned in Hell comes in somewhere below Power home workshop saws, with some 85,211 injuries caused, but just above Nursery Equipment....

And I, for one, intend to keep it that way....

I'm Tommy, and ya'll think about it, okay?

Super Bowl

Super Bowl

So, there's some manner of football game tonight, right?

I'll be rooting for the Steelers. My gut, a couple weeks ago, said Pittsburgh. It still says that, along with other things, like "Put Food in Me" and "Set Fire to that Man looking to hitch a ride along I-75."

But the other day, I lost the toenail on my big toe on my left foot. It was a horrendous swinging door accident, and afterward, I was very sad. I've spent much the last couple of days in mourning.

But I've decided to take this as a portent, an omen of sorts.

I've cast my lot along the lines of the Steel City, but if you're still looking for advice (and if you are, why the flying blue fuck are you here?), I'd say go with Seattle over Pittsburgh.

The Toe Says Seattle.

Cornelia Funke's Inkheart

Cornelia Funke's Inkheart

Anybody read Cornelia Funke's Inkheart?

A parent at my mother's school raised a fuss over it being in the school's library, complete with notations as to why. They want it banned.

I'm going to sit and read it this week, to see what's up.

Just curious if anybody's read it, and has thoughts to offer.

Movie Thoughts

Movie Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts this Super Bowl Sunday.

Went Friday to see The Matador, which I liked. Not going to go insane over Pierce Brosnan's performance as assassin Julian Noble, but he seemed like he was having fun with a character who's the diametric opposite of a James Bond character. A good flick, altogether.

Hope Davis is very good. She needs to be in more movies. There's a bit, when Noble shows up at the home of Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), in the middle of the night. Hope Davis, who plays his wife, "Bean," and in the space of one scene, goes from dismayed at having a visitor in the middle of the night to completely intrigued and entertained at the concept of having a hitman visit their home.


Also watched Stevie, the other night. Really excellent documentary. Didn't intend to watch the whole thing in one sitting, as I had to be in to work the next morning. But, sat, and watched the whole Stevie Fielding trainwreck. Stevie's a youth that the filmmaker (Steve James, who also made Hoop Dreams) counselled in a big brother capacity. James returns to see how Stevie's progressed, and in the process, Stevie is accused of molestation of a relative. The documentary turns into an examination of how the legal system short changes those who may not completely understand their circumstances...not in malice, but rather due to lack of time and resources.

I recommend it, if you haven't seen it. It's a good watch.

Something funny, though. I'd gotten the movie from the nice folks at Netflix, and after I've turned the movie off, I'm flipping through the channels before I go to sleep, what do I find on Independent Film Channel, but the very same documentary?


Speaking of Independent Film Channel, they've been running a short now and again that's a parody of Ocean's Eleven...it's about neighborhood kids planning a heist at the local candy shop. I never can remember the name of it, but I've watched it twice now. Good stuff.


Glory's one of those movies that I'll watch if I'm flipping by it, and find it on TV. It's on History Channel this morning. I couldn't bring myself to watch 83 hours of Super Bowl coverage leading up to tonights game. Glory's a fine flick to pass a bit of time.

Still one of my favorite scores to a movie, too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Moon Dust

Moon Dust

Moon dust tastes like Gunpowder.

A cool read.

Nothing to add, except for the visual of astronaut Charlie Duke realizing that moondust tastes like gunpowder, and then eating moondust by the handful....