Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I thought he was dead

My favorite recent news blurb, straight from the think tank of Florida:

"A Brevard County doctor dressed like Captain America was arrested after police say he pulled a burrito out of his tights and groped a woman."

Read the entire sordid and rather unpatriotic account here.

Apparently, getting beat out time after time for trash bag commercials by Tom Bosley takes it's toll on a guy

Still, it's shocking to see Dick van Patten reduced to riding the rails like a common tramp. Formerly an iconic network TV partiarch, he now dodges vengefull railyard bulls, fends off attackers with his aged, dull hunting knife and steals pies and feathered apples (chickens in hobo-speak) from more respectable members of society. But at least he has a loyal, four-legged companion to keep him company.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Now that's what I call progress

I heard an interesting phrase last night while watching the new "Forests" episode of the BBC series "Planet Earth" that the Discovery Channel is showing in hi-def ( the footage in this series in awesome, by the way).

Anyway, narrator Sigourney Weaver was describing the hatching/ maturation and subsequent trek of a shitload of Cicadas, a large, noisy insect. They were all walking en masse on the forest floor because their wings were still wet. Anyway, Ms. Weaver described the action thusly:

"They all march forward like zombies."

Outstanding. Do you see how far we've come? Not even five years ago the mass of Cicadas would have been described as marching forward "like soldiers" or something of the like. But now zombies, formerly a fringe monster at best to everyone except genre fans, have become so entrenched in our culture that they are referenced in nature documentaries. This makes me happy.

We've obviously reached a zombie "tipping point." What glorious times we live in!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Adult education is a good thing

You caffeine-starved rat racers can have your MBA's earned at night. Tonight me, the wife and some friends begin a grueling 3-night, $25 course at Minneapolis Community College entitled "Lake Monsters, Bigfoot and UFO's." I can't imagine what anyone could possibly teach me about any of those subjects, especially Bigfoot, but I decided to go along for entertainment purposes.

I'm thinking that I should view my role as that of Thorton Melon (that's Rodney Dangerfield to you) in "Back To School" as he sat in the lecture hall throwing zingers at the stuffy professor's outmoded views and theories of modern business practices. Yes, I think that's a fine idea. Now that I think of it, wearing sunglasses and a bathrobe would probably take things up a notch as well.

The Shit List groweth

Nixon kept one. And so do I. It's called a "Shit List," and it was a concept introduced to me by my Dad, who would trot it out when he was pissed at me, my brother, or both of us."You're on my shit list", he would simply say. What a staggering thought for a young lad to hear! My mind would race, wondering if there were an actual tangible list hidden in a drawer somewhere, rendered in my Dad's crude, mispelled scrawl. Was it numbered? Was it organized by date, or by the severity of the perceived offense? So many questions.

Anyway, it's phrase that stuck with me. And the newest addition to my Shit List, and in fact they've rocketed to the coveted #1 slot, is...the Genie garage door opener company!

I bought a Genie garage door opener kit with keypad and 2 remotes a couple of months ago, and then installed it (thanks to some Milwaukee peeps who held it aloft while I bolted it into place. Thanks, fellas!). Last week one of the remotes stopped working. Putting a new battery didn't help, nor did reprogramming the remotes. So I had to buy a new one for 27 clams. Now the exterior keypad isn't working, and attempts to clear it and reprogram it have failed. Finding no answers on their website, I attempted to call their customer service number, where I was put on hold for a lengthy span of time before being cut off.

Congrats, Genie! You have joined an ever-growing list of luminaries that includes (but is certainly not limited to ) the following:

Volkswagen, the guy who did our landscaping, Ivan Reitman, my landlord from 1987-1988, and if you're not careful, YOU.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The latest Bigfoot news

Nothing really major to report in the field of Bigfoot research as of late. But here's a fabricated summary that's nonetheless probably quite accurate: some people driving late at night probably saw something cross the road in front of their car, some hunter in a tree stand probably heard some grunting and smelled something really bad, and some middle-aged dude probably reminisced anout the time something big chased him and his buddies by some train tracks in Kentucky back in 1973. That kind of stuff.

No carcass was found, nor were any conclusive hair or DNA samples tested. No clear photos or decent video were proccured either.

But soon, people. Soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Kurt Vonnegut, 1923-2007

Kurt wrote 14 novels and many short stories. He started as basically a sci-fi writer and grew to become one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century and one of the finest humorists of all time. His work was sharp, funny, sad, cynical, hopeful, condeming, forgiving, simple and insightful. In other words, it was very human.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Field Guide to Arthur Fonzarelli

A lot of people bag on Wikipedia, and I can see why. It's literally rife with errors. However, I do enjoy clicking around it, following story link after link. You know, you search for a random something, you see a highlighted name within that story, click on it, and so on. It was just such a method that led me to this rather sober examination of the man known as The Fonz. I'm only printing part of the entry, but I love the clinical, fact-based approach the writer took. It's like an Encyclopedia Brittanica entry, written as if The Fonz were an actual human being and not a rather broad character on a dopey sitcom (although I love the early episodes, when Fonzie wore a light blue windbreaker and the show was shot on film instead in front of a live audience). Here goes:

"Fonzie is a leather jacketed mechanic who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sometime in the late 1950s. Although he is a high school dropout and is seen by the establishment characters in the show as a rebel, he has a number of skills and qualities such as womanizing, strong loyalty, and sexual attractiveness. Despite the low opinion of the authorities, he commands tremendous respect throughout much of Milwaukee for his well-deserved reputation for fighting (in one episode, he outduelled an expert fencer; in another, he literally mangled a gangster's prosthetic iron hand with one fist), his skills as a ladies' man and mechanic, his history of romantic involvement with virtually every attractive woman in Milwaukee, and his imperturbable "cool." Opponents far larger and more dangerous-seeming than himself back down from confrontations with him. Those who do confront him never come out on top, leaving 'The Fonz" without a scrape.

Fonzie usually exhibited a characteristic sangfroid during times of challenge, stress, or annoyance (although as the series progressed he became more susceptible to irritation). Fonzie's "cool" occasionally manifested as the ability to make mechanical objects function with a single touch, implying that he knew so much about how they worked that he could set the works in motion via one "Technical Tap"; he frequently started and stopped the jukebox at Arnold's diner by this process. This knack eventually became almost supernatural in nature when he proved able to achieve similar effects by snapping his fingers."

I must confess, I'm actually pretty impressed that the writer used the word "sangfroid" instead of "cool" at the beginning of the second paragraph. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if someone on Wikipedia has plumbed the depths of the complex and troubled Holden Caufield-esque delinquent known as Vinnie Barbarino.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Well said

Best response from someone regarding my recent post about watching "Doctor Detroit" via on-demand:

"I wouldn't watch that with your dick."

Touche', sir! Thou hast cut me to the quick.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Is this acceptable now?

And by "this" I mean, "shaving your junk in the YMCA shower in full view of others."

I saw a dude doing this other day. Is this how far we have fallen as a society? I couldn't believe my eyes. Just to paint the picture for you, the YMCA doesn't have private, individual showers (at least the one I go to in downtown Minneapolis doesn't). No, these showers are of the high school / prison variety. You know...25 spigots in a giant tiled room. The guy wasn't being shy or subtle about it either. No, he took his sweet time, pausing occassionally to tap the razor on the wall to dislodge the, uh, hairs.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cue the mournful Walter Matthau-esque tuba music

Here, courtesy of the Fantagraphics comics blog, is a picture of actor Peter Mayhew, the very tall man who played Chewbacca, setting up his booth at the recent Emerald City comic-book convention in Seattle.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good luck with the hatching, Annie!

I can't find my sister-in-law's email, so I'm hoping she'll read this and know that I'm wishing her the best of luck in her soon-to-be-commenced birthing process.

For some reason I hear jack Webb's voice as I re-read the above line.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I feel dirty

I watched "Doctor Detroit" using my cable's "on-demand" function last night. It was the free on-demand, but still. There's simply no excuse for this kind of behavior.

It was laugh-free and put me to sleep.