Monday, July 31, 2006

Giant Dinosaur...

Giant Dinosaur...

Today's Reading, this National Geographic story about the fossilized remains of a Giant Dinosaur.

I should note that the headline notes that a Giant Dinosaur was found in Argentina, and that's not exactly correct. I tend to think such a thing would show up on the Today Show, nestled somewhere between the Lebanon/Israel news and the interview with Lance Bass. I mean, finding a living breathing 130 foot long dinosaur, that would warrant some manner of media attention...especially on a day when Willard Scott's on the Today show.

But anyway, it's just the fossilized skeleton.

Or parts of the skeleton.

90 million years has a way of destroying a lot of evidence, so scientists are forced to extrapolate based on a scant few findings. Based on the size of one vertebra, which measures right at 3.5'x5.5', they figure that this dinosaur measured anywhere from 115 to 130 feet, and could have weighed in at upwards of 110 tons.

Though the polite thing would be not to talk about a lady's weight.

Yeah. Scientists are forced to extrapolate these things, because, like I said, there's just not a lot remaining after that passage of time.

Now, I'm not a scientist in the traditional sense, but I do have an idea or two I'd like to pass along concerning this new dinosaur Puertasaurus Reuili.

1.) This dinosaur must have had to ingest an incredible amount of food. Once, when I was a kid, I saw an artist's representation of what a zoo feeds an elephant over the course of a year, and it was a mountain of food towering over elephant and keeper. Considering that Puertasaurus Reuili's chest is the size of 1 elephant, I figure that it would take a mountain multiple times the size of the elephant's to feed such a beast. And we're not talking about one of those pissant Appalachian mountains. We're talking badass jagged mountains, like the Rockies, or even the Himalayas.

But when you consider the lack of food-saving technologies (refrigeration, freeze-drying, even vacuum packing) in the Early Cretaceous, I'd say that somewhat led to the demise of these gigantor beasts.

2.) This dinosaur, Puertasaurus, was not a badass. We all know that there is one true badass among the dinosaurs. Stegosaur was a badass. I've been over this before. Puertasaurus was too large, too immobile to change with the world. This is unlike the Stegosaurus, which evolved, and survives today, as the Ninja.

And seriously, how much of a badass are you if you're having to take the name of the scientists who discovered you?

When the first remains of the Stegosaurus were found, they were about to be called "Einsteinasaurus" or something like that. But the remains arose from the dead just long enough to say "I'm a Stegosaur, Bitch!" They slapped those scientists across their heads, and then returned to where all the stegosaurs went when they died: Valhalla.

Yeah. How frightening is that thought, when the final battle comes, the vikings will be riding out of Valhalla on the backs of Stegosaurs?

The stegosaurs would ride on the Vikings' backs, if it were practical, but even the Norsemen are pansies in comparison to the Stegosaur.

This week....

This week....

Posting's gonna be sporadic. But then, that's about par for the course.

Moving into a new place. Lots of stuff still to pack. Lots of junk to sort through.

Packing in the middle of the night last night, I had to wonder at just why the blue fuck I have all these books. I can't even read. Heck, I don't even speak English. Been living the last 29 years phonetically.

Still. I'll be around. Filling up on coffee. Got an entire neighborhood's worth of territory to mark.

Thursday, July 27, 2006



Woke up this morning without the first clue of what the day was.

Took a couple seconds, had to think of it.

Last day before vacation.

Mmmm. Vacation.

What's on tap for vacation?

Right now, it looks like:

1. Baseball
2. Move
3. Fight Crime under the name "Professor Schadenfreude"
4. Camping

These things, of course, are subject to change....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You'll Excuse Me....

You'll Excuse Me....

We'll not be using the internet tonight.

Tonight, we'll be basking of the warm glow that is the Deluxe Edition of Road House, on DVD, complete with Kevin Smith commentary.

That's the job I'd like. Doing commentary on my favorite movies.

Doesn't even have to be the greats like Dr. Strangelove or Star Wars.

I'd be willing to do commentary for a special DVD edition of Best of the Best...or perhaps Hell Comes to Frogtown.

Somebody get that ball rolling for me.

Damn. I think I just added something to my life's goal list. Do a commentary track for a DVD.

How badass would it be to get to do a commentary WITH Rowdy Roddy Piper, on Hell Comes to Frogtown?

I think I'm going to have to go buy a Powerball ticket, win the thing and get that ball rolling myself....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Do you ever wonder...

Do you ever wonder...

...About the influences upon a generation?

I think that when it's said and done, the TV show Webster will be shown to have had an unspeakable influence upon my generation. Particularly, the episode where Webster uses the secret passageway in the old house to go into the forbidden room with the mannequin he thinks is a dead lady. We have more ruminition on the matter here...

I've said it before that when I make my way in this world, I'm going to build a house with secret passages. I could count any number of movies or novels with such contraptions as my inspiration...but fascination came from Webster.

It occurs to me that I should probably not keep telling everybody about my "secret passages," lest they become "Known Passages." There's nothing cruddier than trying to pass from room to room via ladder-behind-the-grandfather-clock and bumping into somebody who is travelling from the forbidden mannequin room, because they were as knowledgeable about my "secret passage" as I was.

Little known trivia about that ladder in Webster's house: the bottom terminus of that ladder was right at the doorway to Hell. The episode where Webster again ignores Ma'am's and George's entreaties not to go down there never saw air. Lots of Raiders of the Lost Ark style melting of people, I hear.

It's a shame. I think today such an episode would go great during Sweeps.

Applications, E-Mail and All that Jazz....

Applications, E-Mail and All that Jazz...

If there is one piece of advice I can impart to you in my writing of this, my Online Nerd Diary, it is that if you have an amusing and/or racy online screen name, you should probably keep one that is closer to your real name, or at least one not so potentially embarassing, to give out in public.

Case in point, somebody applied for a job using the online system for our store, and their e-mail address is something along the lines of (but not exactly, of course):

It's not that exactly, but it's not far off, either. I almost thought it was a joke, but I'm currently leaning toward it being legit.

Just thought I should share.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Movie Notes

Movie Notes

Ain't done much amateur movie reviewin' lately. So Tommy took advantage of the day off to take in a couple of flicks at the cinema.

Your pal Tommy gives his highest possible recommendation for Clerks 2. Maybe it won't leave the same long term impact as its predecessor (Tommy counts it among his top 10 or 12 favorite movies of all time), but it's definitely the funniest movie Tommy's seen at the theater in a long, long time. He missed a couple entire sections of movie because he was busy laughing at something that had just happened.

Randal's confusion over the term "Porch Monkey" will probably go down among Tommy's favorites scenes of any movie, ever.

Tommy also liked Lady in the Water, but he says so cautiously, and he wants you, the reader, to hear him out. He realizes that a great many people will react nastily to this movie, and to anything M. Night Shyamalan spits out....but there is something in there that speaks to him directly, and he realizes that it's a personal thing that 99% of you will probably not share.

Why did he like it?

Perhaps it is the fact that Bryce Dallas Howard just cemented her place as Tommy's newest movie star crush. There's just something about redheads.

Or perhaps there is something going on with Paul anything he does, Tommy somehow buys, even if it's ham-handedly written (and, well, this is certainly that...)

Or perhaps there's the bit where for good or for ill, this movie falls on Shyamalan's shoulders: writing, directing and producing. In this day and age where studios spit out more shit than movies, all of which seem to be made by a conglomeration of "talent," he'll take a little bit (or even a whole heaping bunch) of ham-handedness from somebody who's making his own picture, and nobody else's.

(Although that crap with the book that just got released that touts him as a misunderstood genius...that's a little much even for Tommy.)

Or perhaps even there is something in Tommy that identifies very much with characters who have not found themselves or a purpose in this world, and those characters inhabit M. Night Shyamalan's movies muchly.

But the smart money's on that whole Bryce Dallas Howard being a hottie thing. Dayum.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bonfire with 50 mph Wind

Bonfire with 50 mph Wind

Wish I had a picture. That would be the perfect thing to have here. But I didn't have a camera. Or a picture phone.

We had a storm blow up last night, whilst we were sitting around a bonfire. And when I saw blew up, I mean that we were sitting there on a still, sweltering summer night, wondering if the thunderheads off to our west were going to wander our way or not.

Next, I was laying a couple of logs on the fire, as a breeze blew in. It was cold, and it smelled of rain.

I'd noted that to myself when the cool breeze multiplied upon itself by a factor of ten, and then doubled itself.

Trees were rocking, leaves were flying, limbs were falling around us.

Meanwhile, the bonfire, which had started only a few minutes before, decided to start whipping sparks and flames into the 50 mile an hour wind. I wish I had a picture. It was a thing to behold, as what was little more than a small campfire grew upon itself, and started whipping flame into the wind. Then, it started to spread along the borders of the firepit, licking at the grass beyond.

Owing to that we'd hate to burn the woods and houses around ours down, we broke out the tools of justice. A waterhose stopped its progress, and ultimately killed the fire altogether.

Then, we went running for the relative safety of the house.

It was right then that the wind got really rough. Knocked power out. Knocked a couple of big old trees down in the woods.

I made myself laugh last night, as I sat in the dark and listened to the storm and wind pound the yard and house. There are both Amish and Mennonite communities not far from where I am, in either direction. Neither are inclined to use electrical power.

"How do they know if it's storming," my brain mused, "if they don't have power to lose?"

Heh. My brain really is a botard, sometimes.

Listened to the radio part of the evening. Listening to people call in damage from the area, hearing of huge swaths of land without power. The main of Athens still had power, but most of the outlying areas were without, as were Etowah and big parts of Cleveland. Listened to 104.1's DJ talk about the "incredible" destruction. Wondered about calling in on the nature of hyperbole in today's media, but decided it'd be best if I just went to sleep.

Then, a while after midnight, I got that wonderful awakening jolt of all the lights that were on, and every beeping thing that has a beep in the house coming online all at once.

But all seems well this morning. The sun's in the sky. The grass is green. And there's electrical power to distract us from our families. So we have the Amish beat. And that's all that's really important.

Friday, July 21, 2006



Just want to take a second this morning to often congrats and best wishes to Bill McCabe, who blogs here. He's getting married today. Congrats, Bill!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Help Another Blogger

Help Another Blogger

Hey guys. Robb over at Overfed Mind is doing work for a graduate course, and he'd like your help.

He says:

I am currently taking a graduate course. With this course I need to create a project that includes networking of people. I created a wikispace called 4casters. I am looking at global warming. It asks users to enter yesterdays temp from their zipcode, and the temp from the same date in 1970. It is pretty simple to do if you use The Weather Underground.

So, take a minute and go help Robby out. (His wikispace has more detailed space, so go there first).

He's got a good blog, too. Give it a read when you're done.

Honestly. You're just dicking around at work, anyway. Help a brother out....

A Joke that Made me Laugh (although the beer helped)

A Joke that Made me Laugh (although the beer helped)

Mediocre Joke + Beer = Tommy Laughing at 1:26....

Bacon and eggs walk into a bar after a long day of being Bacon and Eggs. They walk up to Bob the bartender and ask for a beer.

Bob the Bartender takes one look at them and says, "Sorry fellas, we don't serve breakfast."



From the e-mail, the worst written, funniest joke of the night:

Four guys go to a retreat in the mountains. To save money, they decided to sleep two to a room. No one wanted to room with Daryl because he snored so badly. They decided it wasn't fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

The first guy slept with Daryl and comes to breakfast the next morning with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot. They said, "Man, what happened to you?"
He said, "Daryl snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night."

The next night it was Jim's turn. In the morning, same thing--hair all standing up, eyes all blood-shot. They said, "Man, what happened to you? You look awful!"

He said, "Man, that Daryl! Shakes the roof. I watched him all night."

The third night was Frank's turn. Frank was a big burly ex-football player; a man's man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright eyed and bushy tailed.

"Good morning," he said.

They couldn't believe it!

They said, "Man, what happened?"

He said, "Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Daryl into bed and kissed him good night. He sat up and watched me all night long."

Monday, July 17, 2006

An oldie, but still a favorite...

An oldie, but still a favorite....

Pursuant to the Previous Post, I think I heard this one in the third grade:

Why do Gorillas have such Big Nostrils?

Because they have such big fingers....

Wokka. Tip the wait staff....

Saturday, July 15, 2006

For the record...

For the record...

My right nostril is bigger than the left. But not significantly enough to throw off the symmetry of my face.

So I've got that going for me.

Friday, July 14, 2006

12:40: In Which Tommy Prays

12:40 In Which Tommy Prays

Dear Jeebus,

Hi, how are you?

Me, I'm fine. I'm eating too much fiber, but in my line of work, you gotta embrace any chance to get off your feet. And whether the seat has a crap hole or not, it's a chair.

Anyway, I'm writing to you to ask for one thing. Could you please send thoughts and/or inspiration down to some inventor-type fellow, to make it possible for both time travel and the ability to jump through the television to attack the people inside?

Perhaps you could send them down to me, whilst I am whiling away the time on the crapper.

Anyway, here's why, Jeebus: I finally sat to watch Grizzly Man today.

Jeebus, I know that you work in mysterious ways. But why, in all your infinite wisdom, did you create such a tool? I mean, aside from the sheer entertainment value of being eaten by a bear, which is probably enough, now that I think about it....

I don't know at what point I actively started rooting for the bears, but I do thank you for that movie. It's re-established my belief in justice in this world. If there were ever man who needed to be ripped to shreds by wild animals, it was Timothy Treadwell.

What a douche.

So. Thank you, Jeebus. You done good. One of these days, I'm gonna buy you a beer.

Still, my journalistic training eggs me on, and I gotta ask: Is he up there in heaven. And if so, is here there simply for your amusement? Perhaps surrounded by bears, or perhaps by throngs of people, who instead of giving him the attention he so desired, ignore him completely?

Because that would be cool. And just.

Although, if you ever have chance it to do over again, I'd kinda like to see such a person die from rabies. Perhaps from that fox who stole his hat.

Yeah. A nice frothing case of rabies.

Thank you, Jeebus.


p.s. That salve really did the trick.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A lie

A Lie

During last night's All-Star Game, the Buck n' McCarver Show decided to fall over themselves to praise Ichiro Suzuki--his speed, his situational hitting, and most of all his amazing hand-eye coordination.

It made me a little angry, and not just in that normal, every day way that Tim McCarver makes me angry.

See, these guys haven't seen anything when it comes to Ichiro's hand-eye coordination.

Back in the day, I was spending some time in Japan. Japan has many things I enjoy: lots of bright, shining lights; a culture that values being quiet while on public transportation; and the neverending ability to make me the tallest person in the room. I spent several years in Japan.

During my time there, I befriended a young street urchin by the name Ichiro Suzuki. I met him when he was trying to boost tires off my crime-fighting van. After a brief scuffle that resulted in a couple of broken thumbs (mine) and an arrest for headbutting a young Ichiro nearly to death, Ichiro and I became fast friends.

Ichiro visited me in Japanese Jail every day. Brought me American Fast Food and gave me reason to get through each day. Honestly, if you've never been in Japanese Jail, I don't recommend it. The temptation to punch through the paper walls is too difficult to overcome. I always seemed to forget that there were several tiny men with taser sticks waiting on the other side of the walls, waiting to electrocute the Gaijin Headbutt Machine (their nickname for me) into unconsciousness. I think it was a badge of honor for them.

Well, in April of 1993, I was released from Japanese Jail. It was kinda like that scene when Red gets to leave Shawshank Prison, except I was screaming "Don't Electrocute Me Anymore!" as I sprinted from the prison.

Who was waiting for me, but Ichiro?

Ichiro explained that he was impressed at my ability to headbutt him into oblivion despite his wearing samurai armor. He owed me what I came to understand was something like a Wookiee Life Debt.

I was impressed by his dedication to me through my stint in Japanese Jail, and by his ability to turn into a tornado by uttering the words "Koze Neyo Ne Haiku."

He taught me the ins and outs of the Japanese Culture.

And I introduced him to the magic that is the game of baseball. It was a great feeling to pass along all that I knew about that magical game. I finally knew how it felt to be a father, and to have a son surpass me in my ability and greatness. It didn't lessen the impact of that moment at all to have it come roughly 20 minutes after I'd first said the words "This is how you play baseball."

Reports that I also uttered the phrase "you play your stupid fucking game, then" and stormed off into the Nagasaki night are false.

Anyway. Hand-Eye coordination.

There was one afternoon, when I went to congratulate my friend Ichiro on his acceptance to Japanese Baseball and Samurai University, and we went out for a night on the town in Osaka. We hit every bar in town, and well, you know the saying: You don't buy sake, you just rent it.

We found a Wendy's for me to use the can. And let me say this about Japanese Toilets: I prefer America. Seriously. I still don't understand all the hoses and switches. Let's find an importer/exporter to send a few porcelain toilets to the Far East, and civilize that country. I've probably pissed in more corners in Japan than any country north of the equator.

Anyway, after ridding myself of excess sake, I decided that while I was in Wendy's, I might as well have a Frosty. Well, after much shouting and screaming at the counter, I came to a realization: I wasn't getting a Frosty. To this day, I don't know if it was because I was so drunk, or becuase the Frosty machine was broken, or they were just out of the wonderful ice cream treat. Mostly because I don't speak that mess they call a language.

A young Japanese girl explained it to me. An older Japanese man, her manager, I supposed, explained it to me, and Sumo legend Akebono came out and explained it to me. Which ever way you turned it, I finally decided that I wasn't getting a Frosty.


Well, Ichiro was there, the whole time. Just over my right shoulder. He always stayed just behind my right shoulder, ready to spring into action. Which sounds cool, but it makes the following situations uncomfortable:

  1. Reaching over my right shoulder to buckle my seat belt--I was constantly elbowing Ichiro in the eye
  2. Making time with a lady friend. Having a Japanese Sidekick (even if it is Ichiro) in the room, tends to throw most ladies off their game.
  3. The aforementioned bathroom thing. You try taking a whiz with the World's Greatest Baseball Player standing right over your shoulder. Also, it's hard to impress ladies when they see your sidekick following you into the bathroom stall. There were several attempts to keep this from happening, but they usually ended with Ichiro smacking me with his katana.

But this time, at Wendy's, having Ichiro over my right shoulder came in handy. Like I said, no Frosty for your pal BSTommy. Well, there was a small amount of change on the counter. 3 coins. If you've read this far (God Bless You), you'll remember that three folks were at the counter, shouting in their gibberish Japanese language that I would got no Frosty.

It is only in retrospect that I realize that Akebono was speaking English...he was from Hawaii...I think the topknot and 4XL kimono threw me off.

However...all were yelling, and finally Ichiro sprang into action.

Lightning quick, he lashed out with a stunning heel kick against the counter. The three coins on the counter (worth roughly 42,000 yen) leapt into the air. Ichiro spun in the air, and flicked each coin in succession with his middle finger, and sent it hurtling through space into the foreheads of the two Wendy's employees and the sumo legend, knocking them out.

It was right around then that I decided to leave Japan. It was something having to do with that event, and the fact that I could be sure of finding Frosties in America; and also the fact that the Japanese "authorities" were making me leave, saying that my game of "Juggernaut," where I'd run through numerous paper walls, was causing havoc for the Japanese economy.

So. Tim McCarver can say all that he wants to about Ichiro's Hand-Eye coordination. He wasn't there at that Wendy's, that night in Osaka. Although, if he was, I'm sure he'd mention it about as much as he mentions the fact that he caught Bob Gibson.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Movie Quiz Thingamajig

Movie Quiz Thingamajig

(This is the long post that started 1 AM one night, and finished 2:45 Sunday Afternoon...)

Mmmmm....Movie Quiz...

Via Sheila.

1) Does film best tell the truth (Godard) or tell lies (De Palma) at 24 frames per second?

Short answer: it depends on my mood, and just how high on humanity I am that day....

Tonight...I'm in a state where I'm cool with the idea of a relative truth, and at the end of the day, film is only as true or as untrue as you need it to be.

It sounds like a copout, mugwump answer, but the only analogy my addled mind can come up with at 1 in the morning is this: It's all about perception. You ever read a book, have it become a favorite, and have it become a movie? And then when you see that finished product, you hated the shit out of it...felt like the director and/or writer took your favorite thing in the world, and then took a big old dump on it? And leaving out the whole Hollywood Money machine....what you're dealing with is not an adaptation of your favorite book, but rather an artist's representation of what they took from that same book.

I think the same goes with truth as portrayed on the screen. Not knowing exactly the intent or belief of a filmmaker, we are seeing only a projection of that idea. At the end of the day, it's all up to how well your own personal belief structures jive with the filmmaker's. As such, film is only as true as you need it to be.

2) Ideal pairing of actors/actresses to play on-screen siblings

For some reason, given my mind's amalgamation of both their on and off-screen personas, I'd almost say it's impossible that Matthew McGonaughey and Kate Hudson weren't brother and sister. Which kinda makes that movie where they're dating creepy.

Julia Roberts and Monica Potter look so much alike to me, that they could be sisters.

3) Favorite special effects moment

I still feel like a little kid every time I watch Yoda raise Luke's X-Wing from the Dagobah Swamp, in Empire.

Other favorites: The Water in the 4x4 as the T-Rex approaches in Jurassic Park...the whole bit with Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Dr. Strangelove...and it's horrible, but Mr. Creosote puking in Meaning of Life....

4) Matt Damon or George Clooney?

You know, this answer's tougher than I'd thought. I'm gonna go with my gut reaction, for Clooney. Anybody who can pull off Everett McGill and make me laugh while doing it, and at the same time, do Archie Gates, and manage to make him a normal guy, gets my consideration. But for some reason, his turn in Welcome to Collinwood turns the corner.

Damon got my consideration for his Kevin Smith stuff, and the fact that I bought him as a badass in the Bourne movies, when I really doubted I would.

5) What is the movie you’ve encouraged more people to see than any other?

Nothing's coming to mind. I've lent Arsenic and Old Lace out three times in the past while, so I think I'll say that.

That, or Police Academy II: their First Assignment. The Guttenberg/Goldthwait chemistry is comic gold.

6) Favorite film of 1934

I was going to say It Happened One Night, because it was the only thing I could find from 34 that I could remember having seen. I also ran across The Thin Man, but then I found one of my favorite Christmas Movies: Babes in Toyland. I've always known the Laurel and Hardy flick as "March of the Wooden Soldiers," its reissue title. It's a sentimental favorite.

7) Your favorite movie theater

I don't really have one that stands out. I'll say, for lack of a better answer, The Mid-Way Drive-In. Had some good times there. Not seen a lot of great movies there...most memorable: Total Recall, which was the first R-rated movie I saw on a big screen...Terminator 2...Twister, which was freaky for the tornado in the drive-in scene, which was rolling while thunderheads rumbled across the sky....

8) Jean Arthur or Irene Dunne?

Sorry. You have to remember that in many things in life, I come up fairly ignorant. Thanks for your time.

9) Favorite film made for children

The 71 Disney version of Robin Hood. I must have watched it 100 times growing up. I watched it again after not having seen it for years, and realized I knew all the words.

A close second is the Muppet Movie. Once, when working overnights, a co-worker and I were having a discussion of "the Best Movies made in our Lifetimes..." His list was centered mainly around the horror/sci-fi/action areas, until he broke out "The Muppet Movie."

"Muppet Movie?" I asked.

"Because I know all the words, and all the songs," he said. "And so do you, most likely...."

Don't know all the dialogue, but I know the songs....

10) Favorite Martin Scorsese Movie

I'll say Goodfellas, though I hadn't realized he did Bringing Out the Dead, which sucks me in every time I see it.

11) Favorite film about children

I like both Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach.

12) Favorite film of 1954

Looking down the list, I think I want to give a shout to the original Godzilla, and Them!

It's hard not to say Rear Window, which I get a new appreciation for every time (I once noted how I used to root for everybody to believe Jimmy Stewart's Jefferies, but how now I somehow want him to be wrong....

On the Waterfront, same thing. Watched it again just a few weeks ago.

But I gotta say Seven Samurai. Just a great story, and wonderfully constructed flick.

13) Favorite screenplay written by a writer more famous for literature than screenplays

Frank Miller's screenplay to Robocop 3.

14) Walter Matthau or Jack Lemmon?

I thought Walter Matthau should have beaten the shit out of Billy Bob Thornton for the remake of Bad News Bears.

Besides. I identify more with Oscar.

15) Favorite character name

You know, they made a flick out of Twelfth Night. It's my favorite Shakespearean name, so I'll just steal the answer for this one, and say that Sir Toby Belch is my favorite character name....

16) Favorite screenplay adapted from a work of great literature, either by the author himself or by someone else

I think I'll say Robert Altman's Short Cuts screenplay from Raymond Carver's short stories...not so much for bringing the stories for life, but for the way they end up fitting together, and for retaining the bleakness, yet somehow coming off optimistically...

17) Favorite film of 1974

Two of my favorite movies came out of 1974. I'll give a nod to Chinatown and Godfather II, but for my money, the best two movies out of 1974 came from Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.....

18) Joan Severance or Shannon Tweed?

While Joan Severance did have a fine turn in No Holds Barred, I can think of a couple big reasons why Shannon Tweed is a favorite memory from my teenage hornball years.

Or my current hornball years.

19) jackass: the movie-- yes or no?

There's a part of me wants to say no. Luckily, that part of me was beaten down by the part of me that knows there's something about watching guys roller skate in the back of a moving delivery truck that cracks me up. Every Time.

21) First R-rated movie you ever saw

The first one I remember is Robocop. It was a major influence in my life. It's why I believe in built-in-the-hip gun holsters and unisex dressing rooms. And it's why I ask "Can You Fly, Bobby?" any time I watch That 70's Show.

22) Favorite X-rated film (remember that, while your answer may well be a famous or not-so-famous hard-core film, the "X" rating was once also a legitimate rating that did not necessarily connote pornography)

Hmmmm. I'll just say Midnight Cowboy, and move on.

23) Best film of 1994

Holy Shit. Too many to name.

Shawshank Redemption has wandered up into my favorite movies list, so I'd be hard pressed not to say that. Pulp Fiction and Clerks are both on its heels....

24) Describe a moment in a movie that made you weep

When I was eight, I had the flu. And there was some Australian movie about a girl who loved a Kangaroo that came on TV. And in the end, the Kangaroo has to go back to its family, and I cried and cried and cried.

Granted, it may have been the 102 degree fever. I may have been delirious, and there may have been no such movie at all.

Also, we watched Old Yeller in grade school. That ought not be allowed.

25) Ewan McGregor or Ewan Bremner?

I had to look up who Ewen Bremner was. He was Spud, in Trainspotting. And as such, I pick him.

26) One of your favorite line readings (not necessarily one of your favorite lines) from this or any year

Lots of little things.

For some reason, I always dig Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption, when he's at his wit's end with the parole hearings, and gives the parole board his ideas on what reformed means....

Will Ferrell, in what I think is actually a deleted scene from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, telling sheriff Judd Nelson that he'd like to shoot him, Twice....

Billie Dee Williams, in Return of the Jedi, as he realizes that the Empire shouldn't be Jamming them...unless they knew the rebels were coming....

Bryce Dallas Howard is the gleaming star of The Village, and there's something really chilling in the reading of her lines, as she's heading to the Towns for medicine, and she's telling her escorts that she has "the magic rocks" that will protect her....

And then there's my favorite: Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace, when he is coming to grips with what's happening at his aunts' house...he calls the operator:

Mortimer Brewster: Hello... Operator? Can you hear my voice? You can? Are you sure?
[hangs up]
Mortimer Brewster: Well, then I must be here.

(I should note that this follows not long after Grant gives one of the all time best double takes of all time....)

27) What, if any, element in a film, upon your hearing of its inclusion beforehand, would most likely prejudice you against seeing that film or keeping an open mind about it?

The inclusion of the words "Deuce Bigelow" or "The Fast and the Furious" in the titles.

Also, seeing "Michael Bay" behind "Directed By:" Which is going to put me in something of a bind when the live action Transformers movie comes out next year.

As an aside, I called the local drive-in last night, to see what was playing. Cars and the new Fast and the Furious was playing last night, and I laughed when the recording mentions as a selling point "Hey guys! Vin Diesel is in this one!"

28) Favorite Terry Gilliam Movie

Time Bandits.

29) Jean Smart or Annie Potts?

Annie Potts. Gotta go with Jeanine from Ghostbusters.

30) Is it possible to know with any certainty if you could like or love someone based partially on their taste in movies? If so, what film might be a potential relationship deal-breaker for you, or the one that might just seal that deal?

I gotta have somebody with the ability to laugh. I don't know what the barometer is, but somewhere in there, we've got Clerks, Best in Show, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Terms of Endearment, Cabin Fever and Million Dollar Baby.

In Which I Call Bullshit!

In Which I Call Bullshit!

You Are Batman

Billionaire playboy by day. Saving the world by night.
And you're not even a true superhero. Just someone with a lot of expensive toys!

I call bullshit.

Everybody knows that my secret identity is "Captain Dumptruck" and I fight crime only to justify the state budget....

Seen here...

This Week in Tommy (TWIT)

This Week in Tommy (TWIT)

Where's Mel Allen when you need him?

A whole week without posting? Shit.

It wasn't intentional. I have a draft of one post, that ended up going way too long. I may end up finishing it today. And for about a day and a half this week, including the day I had off, I had no internet, owing to the fine fellows who have been blocking traffic on my two-lane road, running water from the city out to my neck of the woods. IN the process of burying the pipeline, they managed to cut phone and cable. Now, we can't get cable this high on the hill, but we do yell our ones and zeroes via telephone, and it's hard to do without a wire to connect you to the rest of humanity.

This week?

Worked a bunch. Missed about three different Fourth of July celebrations. Such is the joy of customer service. Instead of celebrating, I got the joy of shopping for an illiterate man who could not read the list his family made for him. And that's not me being funny or laughing. The man cannot read, and he and his family see no problem foisting his problem on somebody else. It's a small thing, but it eats at me. This is 2006, and we still have people who have the capacity wandering around who can't read.

Wandered to a Tennessee Smokies game, my first up in Kodak. Nice little stadium. Convenient to the interstate. I like the fact that it's nestled right next to a campground, for a bit of a backwoods vacationer's Wrigley experience. People in campers sat on picnic tables and watched the Smokies play the Montgomery Biscuits.

I'll say, first, that I wanted a Montgomery Biscuits cap. And the giftshop sold them, but I opted instead on a fitted Smokies cap. It's rare enough to find a fitted cap of any team that fits my size 8 melon, let a lone a minor league team cap, so I jumped on the size 8 Smokies cap....

The game itself? Well, we got as close as I've ever gotten to perfection. Tennessee's Steven Jackson went 7 1/3 perfect. He gave up a tough single in the eighth. High chopper to third, and a speedy runner made for the first baserunner for the Biscuits. Jackson got a good ovation for the effort from those in attendance.

Sad part is, Jackson and the Smokies ended up losing, taking a 1-0 defeat out of the pitcher's duel.

Very quick game, too. Like an hour and 45 minutes. Very quick pace.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Public Restroom Etiquette

Public Restroom Etiquette

Now, I want to take a second to discuss a little public restroom etiquette.

I'm speaking to the fellers, owing to that I've used a women's restroom only seven or eight times, so I'm in much of a position to discuss matters in that arena.

But I'm somewhat versed in the protocol of the men's room.

Today, I'm going to discuss the urinals, and a specific procedure surrounding them.

Yesterday, I had occasion to urinate in a public restroom. It happens, especially when I've had a couple of beers.

At the same time I was heading to the restroom to shake the dew off the lily, another "gentleman" had much the same idea.

Okay. I was first in the door, and this other feller was coming in just behind me.

We both needed to pee. There were three urinals, and all three were empty.

Now. Two strangers enter to piss at the same time. What's the correct thing to do?

Nine out of Ten men know the answer to this. Instinctively, even. I was never taught this. It's just something that I and most guys know already: You keep a courtesy urinal between you.

Maybe it's a comfort thing. I can still do my pissing in somewhat private.

Or maybe it's pragmatism. I was wearing shorts, and I'd prefer not to have some stranger's whiz bounce off porcelain onto me. I splatter enough as it is, and it's disconcerting enough realizing just how much when I'm wearing shorts....

Or maybe is the whole thing where while I'm not consciously thinking "that guy's going try to look at and/or grab at my junk whilst I'm peeing, so I'd better keep him at a safe range of distance," there may be something in my subconscious...I'll be honest with you and tell you that's why I've never peed next to Al Roker.

Well, this feller in the public restroom was either unaware of or unwilling to follow the rules. I take the urinal all the way on the left, expecting this stranger (whom I'll refer to as Sir Anthony Hopkins) to take the urinal on the right, leaving the middle urinal empty, as a buffer zone between us.

But no. Sir Anthony Hopkins decides to take the center urinal.

So, I pee, and he pees. We're shoulder to shoulder, in an arrangement that should not have come to be (come to pee?) unless we were joined by a third party.

I'd like to reiterate. I can pee next to somebody with no real issues. I don't have nervous bladder--heck, it's practically gregarious. But I also believe that certain situations can and should be avoided.

I'm writing this as something of an instruction, but also as an apology. See, when this guy was taking his whiz, he coughed. I took this as an attempt at conversation, and I took the only course of action I could think of at the time: I grabbed the guy by the scruff of his neck, and slammed his face into the wall, Terminator style.

No, actually, I walked around the barrier to the actual toilet (pissing the whole time as I walked) to finish my task in private. I ended up making a horrible mess of the bathroom.

Actually, I screamed "No Talking!" In my moment of vitriol, I accidentally turned to address the guy, and peed just a bit on his shoes. Which weren't shoes so much as flip flops.

Actually, I just finished pissing, and went on about my business. But then, I don't have much to blog about lately, and this is the only thing that's come up lately.

Monday Afternoon Re-Run

Monday Afternoon Re-Run

From July of 2004, I liked this. Mostly because I think I've lost my inner Busey, here lately....:

The Inner Gary Busey

That blank white page is frustrating me.

It's been frustrating me for a few weeks now.

It is my enemy.

Do you know who else is my enemy? Gary Busey.

Or, rather, the disembodied voice of Gary Busey.

I'll write something. Whether it's for myself, or intended for publication, or for this very blog you're reading now. And I'll write it. I'll struggle with it. I'll wrestle with it. Sometimes, it's like wringing water from a cloth, and the cloth is twisted until the tension in it is pulling knots and threatening to tear the fabric. The droplets that fall out? They suck.

Or, at least that's what Gary Busey says.

Gary will read what I've written. He sees with my eyes.

"Boy," he say, his voice wavering between disappointed incredulity and derisive condescension, "that really sucks."

Gary Busey is my harshest critic.

"You can't do no better than that? You've been sitting in front of that computer for hours, and all you got is a couple of paragraphs about how much you hate some guy named Alex Gonzalez?"
You write what you know.

The voice leans in. I don't know how. It's Gary Busey. Gary can do anything.

"You ain't got shit, then."

Gary Busey is my inner critic. And he mocks me. Dammit, he mocks. And I loved Under Siege so much.

The inner dialog, it goes a little something like this.

I write: The bear went over the mountain.

Gary wanders up, from out of nowhere, deep within the recesses of my brain. Reading what I've written, he comments: "Naw. That ain't no good."

The bear lumbered over the mountain?

"Lumbered, huh? Did you get that word the sameplace you got that haircut?"

What the Hell does that mean?

"Never mind. Why the hell you writin' about a bear?"

(I can see his big, googly, scary, baked and burned out eyes even across the ethos. I do not answer.)

"Everybody's already written the hell out that bear."

I'm trying to make myself write, Gary.

"By writing something's already been written? Something that nobody care much about in the first place?"

It's writing something.

"No, it's writing nothing, and it's re-writing nothing."

I'm just trying to be funny. I figured it was a start.

"Trying to be funny?"


"Like a clown?"

Well, after a fashion, I guess.

"After a fashion?" (Incredulous, and a little angry. Like he might lash out.)

After a fashion.

"Like a clown?"

You're confusing me.

"I hate clowns. They scare me. It's the mouths, and the big giant teeth. And also the eyes and noses."

How did we get from bears to clowns?

"I hate bears, too. They scare me. It's the mouths."

And the eyes and noses?

"Are you mockin' me?"

No sir. I think you're mocking me.

"You get riled too easy. Need to take up some tai-chi. Settle your mind."

Will that help my writing?

"Couldn't hurt."

What would you write about?


Texas? The state?

"No, retard, Texas the Panty Hose."

I've been to Texas.

"Texas the Panty Hose?"

What were we talking about?

"Your lack of writing skills. And that you suck. And bears."

You're scared of bears?

"Not scared. Maybe once. Maybe a long, long time ago."

But not anymore?

"One day, I had an inkling that I was scared of bears. And if there's anything that Gary Busey hates, it's being scared of something.

So, what did you do?

(Even though he's just a disembodied voice, I can feel Gary Busey leaning in, violating that personal zone, getting right in my face.)

"It's all about mastering your fear."


"It's all about letting that fucker know that it can't whip you."

Can't whip me?

"It's about getting in it's face, and saying 'Hey Bear! I ain't scared of you!' and then smacking the shit out of it, just to show it that you ain't kidding."

Doesn't that make the bear angry?

"Hell yes it makes the bear angry! It pisses the shit out of a bear! But you just gotta get back angry at it. Smack it again. Let it know that you're the boss."

I'm the boss.

"No, I'm the boss. Can you believe that Tony Danza is getting a talk show?"

Back to the bear...

"Glad to see you're payin' attention."

You just smack the bear again?

"Just hit it again. Poke it in the nose."

Doesn't the bear fight back?

"Yeah. It fights like hell, sometimes."

Does it win?

"Sometimes. But..."


"But at least you went out there and punched the shit out of the bear, and didn't sit there starin' at it, lettin' it whip you without even touching it. At least you got whipped trying."


"Yeah. I hate bears."

Thanks, Gary.

"Anytime. What are you thanking me for?"

Just the thought.

"Yep. What thought?"

What about clowns?

"Clowns scare me. It's the mouths, and the teeth. Also the eyes and........"

Sunday, July 02, 2006



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In which Diane plays with Photoshop...

Any other of you guys feel a real sense of accomplishment when you've managed to piss out a fire? Yeah. It's a guy moment.