Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wait a minute...that's not that hard, after all!

Halloween is today and the GF and I celebrated by throwing a small bash with a few friends last weekend - complete with halloween themed cookies, colored lighting, and a smoke machine we bought for $20 at Target*. A good time (and many beers) was had by all.

Part of any good Halloween fete is everyone's favoritepart - the carving of the pumpkins! We all grew up wielding sharp kitchen implements and cutting ourselves trying to carve three triangles and a smile into a smelly round gourd that somehow was able to be transformed into a delicious thanksgiving treat only a few weeks later**. And it was freakin *hard*! Then these "pumpkin carving experts" came along and carved elaborately complicated designs that surely no human being could carve with a mere knife - clearly, they were jedis who used their light sabers. I mean, just *look* at this picture from the "most popular" picture list on Yahoo:

Seriously, what sort of person has the time to make these things!? Surely such a complex art form must require days of preparation; starting with scale models carved out of grapes and apples, and working up to the full sized model. But wait...that middle one looks awfully familiar...

Oh yeah! That's because all of these designs come with the pumpkin carving kit that I bought at Target last week. The GF's roommate carved the middle design herself. Granted, she is a carving maven. But *I* was able to pull off a different design that came with the kit myself - the scariest design that was obviously too frightening for the AP photographer. See for yourselves...IF YOU DARE!

Yeah, if *I* can carve something that good, then something is seriously wrong with the jack-o-lantern industry. Honestly, I feel a little dirty resorting to a pattern I got from a retail kit. As god is my witness, I'll never do it again. Plus, I simply don't have the time to spend another hour carving a pumpkin that often.

Still, it's wicked scary, ain't it?

* Who says cheap chinese manufacturing is a bad thing?
** Mom never told you what she did with your jack-o-lantern, did she? That's right...SHE MADE YOU EAT IT FOR THANKSGIVING!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's me again!

Well, after being told that getting my car fixed will take so much time that it won't be ready until Monday I spent the day trying to clean my place for the party tomorrow. I also made a trip to the liquor store to stock up.

But in general it's been a pretty boring day. Nobody knows this more than the GF, who has stopped answering her phone at work, no doubt because I've called her something like 5-6 times today with trivial updates such as:

"Hey! I got pumpkin beer!"
"Hi! I just got off the phone with the shop. They found that my car was basically being held together with spit and luck. They can fix it, but it's going to cost eleventy billion dollars."
"Hello! I don't really have anything to say!"
"The cable guy's here! Just letting you know!"

I guess I can't really blame her.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Plus, it's raining all day today

I’m sitting here at work waiting for the tow truck. I took a half-day off this afternoon but my car won’t start, choosing instead to emit a rapid-fire clicking sound that sounds not too unlike a cricket whenever I try to turn it over. Oh, the joys of car ownership. And, since my shop is in the city and I work in the suburbs, the tow in will probably run me at least $100-150. When I talked to the guy at my shop he said that my instrument cluster is probably going out which means the bill will probably result in my first child being born into indentured servitude.

Still, I have to be grateful for the fact that my car at least picked the most convenient time to break down, what with me having taken this afternoon and tomorrow off, with nothing but an assortment of errands to run before then. It sure beats breaking down in Madison, during a snowstorm.

Plus, now I’ll have a rental car with a trunk while I’m running errands tomorrow to prep for the mother of all Halloween parties that the GF and I are throwing on Saturday. Just think of how much more booze I’ll be able to bring home now! Jeepers, this is great!

Thanks Great Pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Madison Blogfest '06

Despite mother nature's best efforts to stop it, Madison Blog-fest 2006 was an unqualified success. When the GF and I arrived on Friday night, we checked into the Courtyard and began planning the weekend. Spice and J.Bro had supplied multiple activities for the weekend, so we planned away, and then collapsed onto the surprisingly comfortable bed.

In the morning, we woke up to clouds and spinkles, as nature threw everything she had at us in a muted midwestern way – as if to say “Hey you big-city types! Fear my wrath...if it's not too much of a problem!”. We went down to the Capitol Square farmer's market and I found myself in heaven – surrounded by baked goods, fresh apple juice, and cheese. We helped ourselves to strawberry rhubarb turnovers*, fresh apple juice, chocolate/cheesecake muffins, cinnamon rolls, and cheddar/basil scones. Sooo...tasty.

Stuffed with pastry, we then toured the state capitol building, and were shocked by the bad mojo that Wisconsin seems to have with building capitol buildings. There have been three different ones, the first two having burned to the ground**. Apparently, God was angry with Wisconsin for some unknown reason. Finally, in the third one managed not to self-destruct. My theory (revealed here for the first time) is that God's wrath had been appeased through the use of Minnesota limestone for the bulk of the walls in the new building. Obviously, since Minnesota is almost heaven, the use of building materials of that state has been enough to thwart the bad mojo. The building itself is gorgeous, in fact Wisconsin is still re-doing it, having just finished a complete restoration of the supreme court***.

After warming up inside the capitol, we walked through the shopping district along State Street and had a very tasty lunch at the Great Dane restaurant. By then we had to head back out to the hotel to change clothes and prepare for Blogfest. We met at a nepalese restaurant – myself, the GF, Spice, J.Bro, M.Bro, and the Geometrator. We had a nice dinner, entertained by a “belly dancer” who managed to get one table in the corner to slip dollar bills into her skirt and basically spent the rest of the evening over there trolling for more. Honestly, we felt that was too close to tipping a stripper to try it ourselves, so we left for an evening of indoor mini golf, which is where we snapped the obligatory foot picture:

Clockwise from the top are M.Bro, Spice, the GF, me, J.Bro, and the Geometrator. Oddly enough, I remembered the colors of the balls each of us were playing, but not the exact order in which we formed the circle. Lucky for me that we kept the balls in the picture.

The game itself was a good one, where we got to play over, around, and through various Madison landmarks. My front nine debacle was quickly balanced out by a back nine that would have made Tiger Woods proud. Still, it wasn't enough to catch the Jack Nicklaus-like stylings of J.Bro, who is obviously either on steroids, or who derives superhuman powers from exotic denim.

After the game, the staff gratefully took back their putters, shut off the lights, and kicked us out of the building – just in time to sweep off the snow and make our way back through the driving snow. Of course the next morning the snow was gone and honestly, we weren't quite sure whether it actually happened at all. But as we walked around the University campus on a the beautiful day when we were supposed to leave, we were struck by how pretty the campus was and how much fun we had while we were there.

So we celebrated with lunch at the Olive Garden. I think I'm *still* full.

* Made, we think, by skilled Amish craftsmen
** They did not, however, sink into the swamp.
*** Complete with plush, harvest gold carpeting!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's still better than Great Clips

Blogger is being a total doo-doo head this morning, and refuses to let me publish anything involving pictures again. So I’ve been foiled in my attempt to post the Blogfest ’06 post due to the presence of the foot picture.

Instead, I’ll have to rant about how much suffering I’m going through at the moment. This morning, groggy with sleepiness* I stumbled into the bathroom to give myself a trim before jumping into the shower. I’ve been cutting my own hair for a little over two years now, so I’m pretty good at it**. But the problem with trimming right out of bed is that the hair lies flatter than it does regularly – particularly if it’s been a week or so and my hair has some length to it***. So I often have to do a little touchup after getting out of the shower to get the one or two spots that weren’t trimmed enough pre-shower.

So, this morning after showering, I examined myself in the mirror – searching for where I needed some work. After identifying the targeted areas, I moved in with the clipper only to find I had given myself a complete reverse Mohawk. In my haste, I had forgotten to check the setting of the guard on the clipper and had inadvertently left it at “1”. Of course, once one trims down that far, the only thing one can do is do the entire head that way. After doing so, I threw on clothes and headed out the door.

Of course, the reason why I always do this prior to getting in the shower is because hair is really, really, itchy. And despite my best efforts to rinse off the hair from the second time in the sink, I failed to get it all and am now trying to make it through the day with the ever-present feeling like my back and shoulders are being attacked by thousands upon thousands of fire ants. It sucks.

The worst part? This isn’t the first time this has happened. One would think I would learn.

* As opposed to groggy with power…
** Plus, the GF got me a hand mirror I can use to see the back of my head – thus preventing recurrences of the “striped-noggin” so prevalent year-end 2005
*** Which in my case means it’s visible

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quickie - this is why I could never be a fighter pilot

Lots of fun from the weekend "Blog-fest '06" to come but not until I can get pictures posted right*.

In the interim - I present one of the most addicting games ever**. I've played quite a bit lately and have yet to last longer than 18.5 seconds.

* Damn you Comcast!!!!!
** Followed closely by that Line Racer game that TOWWAS found. But I keep killing the sledder on that one - or at least putting him into a state of perpetual freefall.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quickie - Is it just me...

...or do all these cats have an expression on their faces that lies somewhere in the grey middle area between mild distain and "I'm going to kill you *so* hard for doing this to me..."?

None of the cats we had growing up would have put up with this for more than a minute. I would have been smited*...yes, indeedy...

(Thanks for the link KC!)

* Smote? Smitten? Why can't I conjugate verbs this afternoon?

Without the world's biggest twineball, it's not a legit vote anyway

Some silly company has decided that the what the world needs now is a “new” set of 7 Wonders of the World, due to almost all of the original 7 Ancient Wonders having disappeared due to earthquakes or poor fire safety*. For those of you who never played Civilization, the original seven wonders were:
  • The Great Pyramid at Giza

  • The Colossus at Rhodes

  • The Mausolleum at Helicarnassus

  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

  • The Lighthouse at Alexandria

  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

But now this 7wonders.com website company is “allowing” people to vote on which still-standing edifices are good enough to be considered wonders for contemporary society. Never minding the fact that this has already been done several times by other groups. Of course, you can vote the first time for free, but if you really want to support your favorite candidate, you have to buy extra votes**.

Needless to say I find this whole thing to be schlock. I mean, where does it end? Hey, I know – all the original 12 disciples are dead, right? Let’s all vote for new ones! I’ll run the vote. Since it’s pretty much a popularity contest, I’d anticipate that the nominees would include:

  • The Pope (seeing as how Peter was considered the first pope, it’s sort of a legacy thing)

  • Any or all of the Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan scandal-triumvirate

  • Stephen Colbert/Jon Stewart (they seem to get internet votes for everything)

  • Pat Robertson (the evangelicals would sweep him into candidacy)

  • Elmo (either regular or the T.M.X. version – both wildly popular with the kids)

  • Chuck Norris

  • Gary Brolsma (the Numa Numa dance guy)

  • P-Diddy

  • Xenu (a desperately misguided attempt by scientologists to give their galactic overload crossover appeal)

You may laugh now, but once that’s done the next web-vote will no doubt be for new versions of the 12 days of Christmas*** and the Seven Sisters****.

* “Remember kids, only you can prevent wonder fires!”
** Sort of like lobbying a congressman. See, kids, it’s educational too!
*** “Fiiiive, iPod Nanos!”
**** Look out Vassar, here comes University of Phoenix!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quickie - The time has come for every kid to be legally obligated to fall down

As a child of the '80s, I did the following:
  • Swung (and fell) from monkey bars suspended above pits of gravel which may or may not also contain pieces of broken glass
  • Played touch football every day from 3rd grade through 6th grade
  • Had my thighs scorched by the playgrounds metal slide on warm afternoons in late May
  • Skinned innumerable knees on the asphalt-covered basketball/four-square court
  • Hit my head countless times on low-slung bars
  • Fell out of at least one tree surrounding the playground
  • Cut my hand on the poorly-sanded metal poles stuck into the ground as "entertainment"

And yet, somehow I managed to survive my elementary school years to become an adult. Now, thanks to the lawyers and stupid parents, kids in one school in Massachusets can't even play tag during recess. It's only a metter of time before "All right kids, it's time for recess! Everybody walk outside and sit down on the ground quietly...Billy! Get off the grass - don't touch the nature!"

No wonder the North Koreans aren't afraid of us - their kids are all working in textile mills, surrounded by deadly machinery while ours can't even play tag. They must all think we're a nation of milquetoasts...

Mommy? Can I wear my hootchie mama outfit today?

Hey! Guess what is the number one search result on Google when you search for “argonautical”! It’s me!

Not that I really think the masses will now come in droves, allowing me to quit my day job for a life of pay-per-click ad revenue luxury. But I think I’ve cracked the secret to getting to #1 on Google – just try to be #1 for things that nobody would consciously search for! Now I’ll just have to write a book about it, then I’ll sell it via late-night infomercials…step #3 = Profit!

In other news today, a woman in Florida is hysterical that her seven-year old’s school picture has allegedly been Photoshopped to make the girl look like she has cleavage. Of course, nobody questions why said mother sent her little girl to school on picture day wearing a denim jacket with nothing on underneath*. Seriously, why do all the weirdos end up living in Florida? Are they perhaps being overly influenced by all the crazy old people retiring there and feel they need to emulate that behavior in order to be accepted?

* I mean, is it just me, or does she not look like she’s not wearing anything but the jacket? Looks like the next generation of Congressional pages is rarin’ to go seduce senators!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It stands for "Department of Mental Viciousness"

The nice thing about living in Illinois is that for the most part I don’t have to deal with the DMV very often. It’s possible to renew your license plate tags via mail, and the emissions testing locations are located throughout the city, and have nothing to do with the Secretary Of State facilities. But, once every four years, you have to go in to renew your driver’s license. I’d been dreading this for months, and took it upon myself to go in over my lunch hour today to get it taken care of. The last time I’d needed to go into my local DMV it was a harmless 15 minute trip to renew my tags*, so I figured it’d take about the same about of time this time.

Not so much. As I sat there in the waiting area, I developed an appreciation for how much the DMV is like my old social studies classes. Back in high school, almost all my classes were broken up according to the abilities of the students. So there were honors classes, regular classes, and then the remedial stuff**. But the one class every year that was the great equalizer was social studies. No matter how hard one tried to get away from the thuggish rednecks, one was always confronted with them in social. In a way, maybe that was the intent of the whole thing – to remind the honors kids that the rednecks were people too. But what ended up happening was that the rednecks slowed down the class and basically passed via copying answers of the smart kids during exams.

After graduation, I didn’t really experience anything similar to the great “universal experience” of social studies until today. Sitting there, the first thing I noticed was that the “now serving” numbering system they use is designed intentionally to make sure nobody has any idea how long it will be until their number is called. Unlike the deli, where they just use numbers 01-99 and then repeat, at the DMV they use bizarre combinations of letters and numbers (e.g. A047 was my number). Since the letters change seemingly at random, I had no idea how long it was going to be even when A046 was called***. This system also had the effect of separating the smart people from the remedial people. Most folks were able to figure out what they needed, but there were a few to whom not only was the numbering system confusing, but every step of the entire process was a puzzlement. Granted, most of them were pretty elderly. I couldn’t help but think “If you can’t figure out how to use the eye test machine when there is someone there to instruct you, should you really be operating a vehicle?” and immediately promised to turn in my license the day I couldn’t renew it in 20 minutes.

The process after that was pretty quick and painless. But it still took freaking forever. The worst part of it is that the picture guy took pretty much the worst picture of a human being ever taken by man, beast, or rock. Instead of a relatively normal looking fellow, my driver’s license picture now resembles one of those pasty, lumpy, sweaty men who live in their mother’s basement. And being a Minnesotan (i.e. taught not to complain about the crap life gives you) I didn’t request a re-shoot. Besides I don’t want to be “that guy” all up in arms about how my driver’s license picture doesn’t look like it came from Glamour Shots.

Now I’ll just have a whole new reason to look forward to 2011. Or if I can’t hold out that long, I’ll just have to move again.

* When the mailed renewal form mysteriously never made it to my house
** Which for me included anything to do with welding or car repair – but in retrospect I kind of wish I’d taken some of those courses back then, just so I could say I know how to replace stuff. But I suppose OAM wasn’t really looking to boost its share of freshmen with experience replacing the serpentine belt of a ’71 Dodge Dart…
*** Mercifully, not long at all. Of course it took an hour to get from A041 to A042.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Note to self...don't ever fly in a dress...

This weekend was spent in far northeast Iowa, watching one of my cousins get married. She’s a peach of a gal, and I happen to like her now-husband quite a bit. I’ll probably be seeing more of them now that I just learned they have bought a house in the suburb where I work – about 5 minutes away actually. I’m stoked because now I’ll have someone nearby to do lunch with.

The wedding itself went off pretty much without a hitch. Half the fun was the drive out there, through the Wisconsin countryside. I passed a big wind farm and saw plenty of guys in trucks coming back from their deer stands with their prized dead bodies strapped to the back. The bride and groom are now supposedly winging their way to their honeymoon. I say supposedly because they were going to Hawaii, and I don’t know how the earthquake last night has hampered travel to the islands.

No matter how late she gets there however, her honeymoon won’t be nearly as bad as that of Andrea Medaglia though. She got married and enjoyed her honeymoon, only to not only have her flight out cancelled, but to have an AP photographer take a picture of her sitting on a curb with her husband Tony. Sounds innocuous enough, but she was wearing a dress for the flight home and the photographer was at, shall we say an “unfortunate” angle for poor Andrea:

Said photograph is now the “most viewed” picture on Yahoo.

So now not only is her flight cancelled but the AP just posted an upskirt picture of her that has been viewed by tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people – including (probably) her mother-in-law. What a way to start off, huh?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Even the weatherpixie knows!

IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!


I *lurve* the first snow of the year. I ran out to Target over lunch to see if they had any sleds on sale yet but the bastards were still tripping over their stupid halloween candy. Seriously, it looked like Willy Wonka had sent a small suitcase bomb of candy and detonated it inside...fortunately, the candy shrapnel only covered a quarter of the store, and it didn't damage the walls in that corner, which were obviously shielded from damage by their friggin Christmas decorations. Honestly, who buys a wireframe light-up baby deer in the middle of October!?

Anyway, apparently sleds aren't in season yet. Probably for the best, by the time I got back to work the snow had ceased and there wasn't any accumulation yet.

Mish-mash of topics, all rolled into one!

  • Every now and again, the world pops up to remind us that in the end, we have no control over the direction that it wants to go. For example, here I was buzzing along in my life when suddenly I’m confronted with the news that Eddie Murphy is marrying Scary Spice. Now I’m honestly a little freaked out by what is going to happen next in this strange “bizarro world” that I seem to have fallen into; will Terrell Owens marry Rachel Ray next week?

  • Say you are the Police Chief in small town America, and you decide one day to experiment with a life of crime. Do you start small, just to see if it’s a good fit? Or do you go on a massive crime spree, making off with tens of dollars of merchandise that you can use to…well…not to all that much with really? Honestly, if I were a criminal, I’d be buying a bus ticket to Lamar, SC post-haste because apparently their police force is comprised of idiots.

  • Given how candles burn in zero gravity, don’t you think birthday cakes will look a little creepy on deep space voyages? Not to mention that the cakes would be perfectly spherical to begin with, since they'd be baking in zero-g. Come to think of it birthday cakes would probably look like old fashioned floating landmines once you put the candles on the outside. How would you even cut them? Each slice would probably have a very high cake-to-frosting ratio since there would be no “top” to frost but only an “outside”. It would look like a little cake pyramid with a frosted bottom. Suddenly space travel is looking a whole lot less appealing. Hmmm….cake or space?…cake?…or space?…

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The founding fathers never thought we'd become this stupid, obviously

I know, when the city councilman in Charleston spoke up promoting the idea of forced sterilization for bad parents, we all recoiled in horror, saying “What ever could someone do that would justify such an action?” Then you read about incidents like this and wonder why it isn’t in the Constitution. Or at least the Bill of Rights.

Come to think of it, perhaps it is time for an alternative to the Bill of Rights. Let’s face it, the Bill of Rights just lists out the rights that all Americans have – making them public knowledge and putting them in writing to lend legal weight. But since our fellow citizens seem so darn determined to embrace idiocy in all it’s most base forms, I propose we add a second section where we list out all the rights Society has to put the Average John Q. Public back in line. I would call it the Bill of “Yeah, Right’s” – as in “Oh, you think you can get away with using your baby as a bludgeoning weapon because you say it was a ‘mistake’? Yeah, right!”

Here are my Suggested Articles for inclusion.

  1. The people shall have the right to discipline unruly children if they are causing a scene in a public place – provided that at least three parties agree it is needed.

  2. The people shall have the right to hang up other people’s cell phones if the talker is being obnoxious

  3. The people shall have the right to veto new television shows* with their cable or satellite provider, so that the provider would not be allowed to broadcast it into the person’s home. That time could then be filled with re-runs of MacGuyver, Arrested Development, and The Man Show**.

  4. The aforementioned right to decide when certain individuals have done enough damage to society via their reproductive organs

  5. The right of society to throw out lawsuits brought by idiots before they reach the courtroom and cost society any money. We could vote on them over the internet each week.

Any other suggestions? Strangely enough, the more I think about this, the more I like the idea…

* My first veto would go to the atrocity that is “The War At Home”
** The original with Jimmy and Adam, I’d use my second veto on any episodes with Joe Rogan and that other guy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm a manly man!

Even though I sell tools for a living, I don't consider myself do be much of a handy person. Sure, I know how to use a soldering iron, but I don't really know how to use them for some greater electrical purpose. I can paint and tighten screws, but I'm not about to rip out a wall, re-wire my living room, or replace my own toilet.

So this afternoon, when the condo association had a contractor over to do some work on the garage door, I took advantage of this to get an expert to look over some small stuff around my place that I've been needing to get done for months. One of which was a little power outlet on the exterior of my unit, out on the deck. It hadn't been working for a while, at least a month and possibly for years.

Needless to say, I had already tried everything I know to fix it, including pushing the GFCI reset button, staring at the circuit breaker for three minutes, and offering sacrifices of cookies and Hagen Daaz to the electrical gods on a small altar in the backyard. Of course, it took the professional about 10 minutes to repair it, going through a light switch in my living room. Whomever designed the wiring for an external outlet to go through a light switch indoors obviously had mental issues. Now I wonder if the wiring for my whole unit goes through that outlet. I had no idea it was so important - I'll have to protect it with my life.

The best part about it though was the look I got from the contractor when I cracked open my toolbox to reveal that not only did I own a standard screwdriver* but I also posess needle-nose pliers and more of all - a wire stripper. When I pulled that out of the tool box, there was a faint aroma wafting through the room - a smell that I can only classify as...respect.

And it felt GOOD!

* And phillips, and torx, and hex keys...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Quickie - Stewardess, more barf bags please!

All right, I admit - this is way worse than the landing in San Diego. OMG I'd never fly again if I was on that plane...

Still, you have to respect that pilot. The guy must have a pair of titanium balls.

It'll only be cured if the pink car wins

While running errands last week, I stopped over to the candy aisle to refill my candy stocks. Since Target already has Christmas decorations up, that means that Halloween must be just around the corner and it's now time for the sales on Halloween candy. I picked up cheap bag of candy bars and two bags of strangely-colored M&M's. Rather than the traditional red, blue, yellow, etc - the entire bag was *pink*!

I read over the label when I got back to the office and it mentioned that these were the pink M&M's that were created specifically for October, which happens to be "breast cancer awareness month". Now, I'm as big a fan of breasts as any guy - and I agree that breast cancer is a bad thing. But why do we still need an entire month dedicated to the "awareness" of breast cancer? Is there anyone in the US who seriously isn't aware of breast cancer anymore? Don't we all know who Susan G. Komen is these days? Moreover, I am somewhat skeptical that people are eating the M&M's only after pausing for a moment to reflect on their awareness of breast cancer.

One grows more skeptical when you see the sort of products that are being colored pink and sold as "breast cancer awareness" items - things like ribbons, overly-expensive jewelry, pedometers, and (of course) hair straighteners. One begins to wonder how long it will be until there's a breast cancer awareness NASCAR racecar...oh wait, there is one.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Secret GOP strategeries REVEALED!

As much as I try to distance myself from the congressional gossip machine, it’s been impossible not to watch the scrambling over Mark Foley without one’s jaw dropping. The rate at which Foley, and now the GOP in general are throwing out excuse after explanation is stunning. Let’s review the week’s events thus far:

Monday – Foley resigns his position in Congress and checks himself into an alcohol treatment facility. Obviously, he was only messaging pages when suffering the effects of “demon rum”. And hey, society never blames the person when they’re drunk, right?*

Tuesday – Foley’s attorney** steps up and announces that Foley was molested by a clergyman when he was a teenager. See? Not only is he quite ill, but he’s also a victim…just like you, America. And you aren’t a bad person, are you?

Wednesday – Foley declares that he is a homosexual – again through his attorney. Heterosexuals everywhere breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that only gay men are attracted to young, teenage boys.*** Meanwhile, House Speaker Dennis Hastert fights back against calls for his resignation, instead pinning the blame on Democrats**** and ABC News. Fox News’ Sean Hannity pins the blame for the whole thing on Bill Clinton.

So now what? Which direction will the GOP take us on this bull run through the Foley & Company china shop? I offer the following suggestions, just in time to get the GOP through the weekend until another two days of football make America forget all about politics.

Thursday – Bill O’Reilly digs deep into his investigative pool of “unnamed sources” to pin the blame on the internet and MySpace in particular, saying that use of “online social sites” has transformed America’s youth from a homogeneous, Boy/Girl Scouting, lemonade selling, football playing, freedom defending mass into a mumble jumble of sexually assertive miscreants, with their different religions, ill-fitting fashion and strange audio devices that play a constant stream of subliminal messages only they can hear. “If kids today dress like prostitutes they shouldn’t feign surprise when they are approached by a member of Congress! What do they expect? MySpace is turning kids into sexual predators that prey on congressmen, not the other way around!” Of course, the overall effectiveness of this strategy is somewhat limited by his posting this clip of his show on his MySpace page***** where it will be tagged as “Kewl!” by “Bill’sb*tch17” in Saginaw, MI.

Friday – President Bush, continuing his multi-month “Fear to the Masses” national stump-speech tour, brings the packed Boise Kiwanis Club “Potato Room” to its feet with a stirring address that pins the blame for Foley’s actions squarely where it belongs – Al Qaeda. “Only by bringing the insurgents to their knees will America finally be free of the looming danger posed by predators! We can’t afford to let the democrats ‘cut & run’, only full-scale carpet bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, the Palestinian settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, George Soros, and the headquarters of Planned Parenthood and MoveOn.org will result in victory over the evildoers! That, and I want a new hat – like the one Capt’n Crunch wears – that’ll put the fear of god into America’s enemies.”

Yep. I’m proud to be an American.

* Unless you are a stripper working a party thrown by the Duke lacrosse team, of course. Then it’s all your fault.
** Obviously, because Foley himself is busy in the rehab program, trying to cure his problem with alcohol. He’s an alcoholic, remember?
*** Well, gay men and hot young female teachers. Oh, and priests. Did we mention that Foley was molested by his priest while in rehab for his alcohol addiction?
**** Like that darn democrat Mark Foley, who is the cause of this whole thing anyway. Why isn’t anyone railing for Nancy Polosi to quit!?
***** Yes, I know it’s not actually his, but it’s funnier that way.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Spanking, Cupcakes, and a penguin conspiracy

The trip to San Diego for the show was pretty uneventful, actually. Other than overhearing one guy tell a female colleague “I will spank you so hard” on the trade show floor there was very little about the show itself that was blog-worthy. Even the booth babes were wearing full suits* Well, that comment and the information on the new scanners that virtually take off your clothes to search for weapons and explosives**, but that’s old news.

Last Saturday was the second part of the cupcake tour of the north side of Chicago and it was (again) fabulous. I’ve actually been invited to write a review for another site but I won’t know if the review itself would be worth publishing on another site until I get the actual article done. The long and short of it is of the eight places we visited, three really stood out for me personally:

  1. Sweet Mandy B’s - Really great cupcakes plus an incredibly broad variety of them. Mmm…banana chocolate chip cupcakes…

  2. Southport Grocery - Still my personal favorite, but the fact that they have only two kinds (vanilla or chocolate) loses them the top spot.

  3. Sensational Bites - Incredible variety of eclectic flavors with real “pop”. Not quite the perfect combos of cake and frosting that the first two had though.

Sunday was the last Cubs game of the year, and I had somehow managed to buy two tickets in the Club Box section along the first base line (10 rows from the field) for face value from the Cubs website. It was a gorgeous day – the weather was about 75 degrees, sunny, and although the sun didn’t hit us until the 8th inning, when it did it was pretty much the best day for baseball I’ve had at any of my games all year. Needless to say, the baseball gods obviously staged this in an attempt to get me to buy tickets to eight games again next year. I’ll show them. Sure, it was made more tempting by the fact that the Cubs rallied from 4-0 down to win – but I think I’ll only get tickets to 4-5 games next year.

This is why I like living in the Midwest***. Sure, it’s cold, but cold doesn’t blow your house down. Doesn’t it seem weird that South America and Antarctica seem like they’re the only continents that don’t have hurricanes? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they are the ones that have penguins. One wonders what the penguins know that we don’t…

* Yes, they were showing ample leggage, but nothing like the T&A fest that was the previous show.
**And sure, probably provide occasional thrills for airport security personnel. But honestly, given how many ugly people are flying these days I think that’s probably okay. I mean, can’t society throw those guys a bone by letting them look at something nice every few minutes as a break from their constant firsthand exposure to America’s obesity epidemic?
*** It’s a map of the paths of all global hurricanes from 1985-2005

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