Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Live, from AA Flight 503!

I'm writing this from about 34,000 feet as I make my way west for a trade show in San Diego for the next few days. I have never been to this particular show before, or to San Diego for that matter, so don't really know what to expect. Most of my understanding of southern California is based on television shows set in the area that I watched as a youth. Of course, most of those shows were from the 1970's – namely CHiPs and the opening scenes in Love Boat where passengers are boarding, Julie is telling them whether they are destined for the luxurious suites of the Promenade Deck or sentenced to the slums of the Lido Deck, Gopher and Doc are ogling the women traveling alone, and Captain Steubing is inviting everyone he mets to have dinner at the Captain's Table*.

So I'm fully expecting to arrive in a city full of people throwing streamers and confetti at me, only to catch a cab and be driven down the freeway to the hotel, dodging multi-car pileups every mile or two on the way there. It should be an exciting time!

We just flew over my grandma's house too! Hi grandma! So weird to be totally able to see her house from this high...

The captain on this flight is really chatty. It started when we ended up being on a particularly long taxi trip around the runway. Apparently about 8 flights all left at once and ended up jockeying for position out of the gate. Lacking that killer instinct, our pilot ended up being last into line. But frankly, I don't think that is a bad thing for someone who is going to be responsible for making sure the plane doesn't crash, or land in Canada by mistake.

One of the flight attendants just stopped to rave about how cool my iPod cover is. Like most things I own that could be considered “cool” the GF got it for me. It's regular plastic, but it looks like woodgrain, so I get lots of use of the “Oh, this is a special wooden iPod designed for the Amish” bit. Sure, not the most original piece of comedy, but it's usually good for a chuckle.

[Time Passes]

I'm writing from my room a the W now. All I can say is that the approach into San Diego is the scariest I've ever gone through. Basically, the pilot noses down at such a sharp angle that you're convinced the plane has been commandeered by evil and is about to crash right into downtown. You practically fly through downtown, weaving between buildings, and only at the last minute do you pull up and plop onto the runway. I think I aged about 10 years on that landing. Suddenly, the delays in and out of O'Hare seem tranquil by comparison.

Now, off to the booth babes!

* Because in truth, he is a very lonely man.

Monday, September 25, 2006

So, the "secret" is they're actually wearing underwear?

Apparently, Victoria’s Secret is in the middle of an advertising blitz on the web lately. Maybe they are trying to tap into a nascent market of young single guys checking their web-mail accounts by buying every conceivable inch of available banner ad space on MSN and Yahoo. Regardless of the reason why, the one product that they have all been hyping is their new IPEX bra*. If you somehow haven’t been on the internet in the past three weeks, the whole point of IPEX is that it uses advanced design, space-age materials, and “laser technology” to build a bra that is almost invisible under women’s clothes.

When I saw this in one of their tv commercials my confusion was complete. And it’s not limited to just over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders. Victoria has been on the leading edge of the thong revolution for years, fighting along side such lingerie patriots as Sisqo and the entire female population of Brasil in their “War on Unsightly Panty Lines”.

Now, my understanding is that most women view girls who “go commando” as only slightly less whore-ish than a full-fledged prostitute. And as evidence has shown, by and large, they are correct**. That said, why do women denounce those who shun foundation garments, only to turn around and buy ones that make them appear to be just as underwearless as the selfsame jezebels they decry? Hypocrisy, thy name is Victoria…

Honestly, I blame Girls Gone Wild for this. Of course I also blame them for high oil prices, Ann Coulter, people who cut me off on my way to work, stubbed toes, and my body’s inability to produce its own melanin***. Sure, I could try and actually do something about these problems, but being an American my instinctive response to to assign blame to some outside scapegoat, and then go about my business. It’s so much easier…

* I haven’t actually clicked this link, but copied the link from one of the banner ads. It’s probably NSFW for guys, but perfectly acceptable for women – in another of life’s little unfair-ities.
** e.g. the “compromising” pictures of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan getting out of their low-slung sports cars floating around the internet. Maybe there is one good thing about SUV’s…
*** Try it yourself sometime, you can pin anything that’s bothering you on GGW and you’ll feel much better about the whole thing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Everybody's WORKin FOR the CUPcakes...

You know that there is a serious problem when crack addicts are so broke that they can’t even afford a fanny pack to store their crack paraphenalia in. Admittedly, my ability to speak authoritatively on this is limited, but I would hypothesize that storing something like that “there” would hurt like hell.

I should have fun stories to share on Monday as my weekend is going to be full of adventures. The GF is out of town (again) so it’s another weekend on my own. I’ve scheduled a “cupcake crawl” with my friend S.Jo on Saturday – going from bakery to bakery sampling cupcakes from 5-6 of the most renowned* cupcakeries in the city**. Then I’m meeting up with my friend who runs a Chicago “foodie” website*** to go see a play at Steppenwolf and get dinner somewhere. I’m excited!

Sunday is opening night for the Theater Company’s fall season, so I get to go schmooze with all the important people and nosh on free appe-teasers. Woot!

I’ll try to bring along the camera so I can regale you with pictures of weekend adventures on Monday.

* You know, up until now I thought this was spelled “reknowned”. Thanks, auto-spellcheck! And here I had been making fun of the urinal screens in the men’s room all this time for no reason. Even more unusual, I apparently used to know how to spell it back in February, but had forgotten over the summer. Either that or dementia has started to kick in at the ripe old age of 31…
**Yes, including my favorite thus far – Southport Grocery! Woo!
*** Now available in the list of links!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sometimes, a sculpture is just a sculpture

Chicago has been rehabbing one of it's El lines for approximately the last half-century, trying to make it easier for people who ride it* to get to work. Apparently this involves destroying and rebuilding every single station so that the platforms are long enough to handle longer trains.

What with all the space on the new platforms to fill, the city commissioned an art piece from a local sculptor to adorn one of it's new stations. As a bonus, the design was such that people could use it as a seat while waiting for the train. But now some residents are in a rage because the feel the sculture looks too phallic and it offends their delicate sensibilities.

This from people who live in a city that prides itself on the size and girth of its phallic symbols. I didn't hear anyone complaining about the CTA wanting to provide them with "longer trains to ride". Oh sure, "...it's fine if I can get to ride the longer train, but I just don't want to have to see other people sitting on flowers with big stamens".


* The GF, for one

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Next year - Interrogate Me Elmo! (waterboard sold seperately)

As you all know by now, it's September and that obviously means one thing. As Nowhere Girl already discovered - IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME!!!! Woooo!!!!

Yes, unfortunately we don't even get to celebrate the equinox anymore* before the start of the yuletide assault. In another sign that the apocalypseason is upon us, Mattel yesterday unveiled what is sure to be the Tickle-Me-Elmo of 2006: Tickle-Me Elmo TMX! Allegedly, the "X" stands for X-streme. Frankly, I think this is a sign that the word "extreme" has officially become over-used, and property of marketing/advertising agencies. I, for one, will never use it again...the word is dead to me.

The sad thing is that the "big new toy" of the year is the same friggin doll that it was when I was in college. But this time around he not only giggles when you tickle him, he proceeds to go through several stages of laughter: first just giggling, then slapping his knee while laughing, and finally the big finish of rolling onto his stomach and pounding on the floor with his little fist.

Given that it's been ten years since the first doll, it shouldn't surprise me how the technology has become ever-more complex. And it shouldn't worry me when Mattel gives its latest iteration a moniker not unlike something found in a Terminator movie...but it does. Am I the only one who thinks it is just a bit weird to picture a four-year-old toddling into the living room saying "Oh boy mommy I love my Tickle-Me Elmo TMX!"? No doubt the technology inside the dolls is now so advanced that the TMXes will achieve self-awareness by next summer, rendering them capable of running around the house, saying "Elmo looking for Sarah Conner! Hee hee hee!".

Yeah, that *would* be pretty X-treme all right...

* Giving the Wicca just as much of a reason to hate retailers as those of us who adore Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Halloween, and Boxing Day. Welcome, pagan brothers and sisters!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quickie - Yeah, good point...

You know, this is completely correct. If the forces of good had the eagles on their side the whole time, why didn't Gandalf, Frodo, et al so it this way?

(Just in time to throw your mind off the tracks for the evening)

Booze = bad; Target booze = fun!

As much as I love Target I do give them some grief for essentially taking regular household stuff and developing their own brands to the point of silliness*. Sure, I love Archer Farms chips as much as the next guy* but the marketing cynic in me raises serious questions about whether the Michael Graves teakettle is really worth the extra cash**. But they recently started selling wine at Target, and a few weeks back the GF and I discovered the “funnest” way to booze it up since Franzia – Target Wine Cubes!

The classy stuff comes in a cube that breaks apart into four little boxes, sort of like the juice boxes we all enjoyed as kids***

Sure, the company who prints up the little "booze boxes can't spell "sauvignon" worth a darn****, but the boose itself is fairly tolerable. Plus, I believe they were actually able to spell "pino grigio" correctly, even if I have no idea how it's actually spelled.

Even funnier, the boxes all come with an expiration date:

In retrospect, that's probably a good thing. I have no sense of smell when it comes to wine, so whereas my french stepmom might be able to tell when wine has morphed into grape-colored vinegar, I'll just keep drinking it. So much for my career as a sommelier...

* “Now featuring new crack flavored kettle chips!”
** Obviously, the spinning whistle feature is the secret to great tea.

*** Except with a completely different kind of juice
**** Click on the picture for a close-up. Shout-out to TOWWAS for spotting this when she was over visiting

Friday, September 15, 2006

Admittedly, I *am* a huge drink nurser

Not that I get drunk terribly often anymore* but if you’ve ever wanted astrological insights into what you’re like when sloshed this is a pretty interesting site. (Thanks to Sam Burns for the link)

Mine was spot on.

Drinking style:

Aquarius and drinking don't go together that well (except for water, that is). They have an innate tendency toward know-it-allism, and if they get an idea while sizzled, they're more stubborn than a stain or a stone. If they're throwing a party or organizing an outing, however, they're too preoccupied with their duties to get combative -- and they make perfectly charming drunks in that case. Fortunately, they're usually capital drink-nursers. They also make the best-designated drivers (if you can get them before they start raising their wrist): Aquarius is fascinated by drunken people and capable of holding interesting conversations with soused strangers while sober.

Speaking of being hammered, what the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks is wrong with blogger today? If I wanted my blog to look like a word document I’d just post .doc files on the interweb. Even though I haven’t migrated over to Beta I’m going to blame it anyway because obviously all the blogger folks are too busy trying to fix Beta to keep decent maintenance on the regular stuff that actually works. Ergh. [UPDATE: Apparently, my rant got enough attention to get this fixed even before it was published - thanks to you, my 12 daily visitors, for obviously emailing Google to complain, enraged at the degraded viewing experience]

Weekend plans for fun are a boring Saturday (with the exception of watching Antiques Roadshow while donating blood). Sunday is going to be the greatest day ever, consisting of brunch + Cubs game with friends followed up by going to pick up the GF at the airport after her being gone for about eleventy billion years**. Needless to say I’m so excited that I just can’t hide it.

* Or ever, for that matter.
** Which in boyfriend years equals about a little over a week.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's the end of the worlds as we know it, I feel evil..

Astronomers finally announced the new name of “Xena” the minor planet* found way out beyond Pluto a few years ago. It has been re-named “Eris” after the Greek goddess of discord. Interestingly, this name continues an unnerving trend where new planets are named after increasingly dark and evil gods the farther away from the sun we get.

Cases in point, let’s examine the current planets, the gods they represent, and said deity’s perceived level of evil:

Mercury – God of speed, trade, and travel.
  • Essentially, the god of vacation – and what’s more good than vacation?

  • Goodness Rating = 10
Venus – Goddess of beauty and love.
  • Being in love is good, beauty is good. Also the goddess of sexual healing**. Only slightly less good than vacation because you can at least go on vacation when you’re single.

  • Goodness Rating = 9.5
Earth – Goddess of…well…earth.
  • Yeah, hey…the earth is good, right? Sure, it’s slowly turning on us what with global warming and all, but can you blame it given how it’s been treated all these centuries? It’s like Farrah Fawcett in “The Burning Bed” - I mean, if you don’t like it why don’t you just leave?

  • Goodness Rating = 7
Mars – God of war
  • It’s hard to say that any sort of war is terribly good. Maybe the war on drugs…but that’s not actually a war. Given all the references to WWII as being “the last good war” one wonders whether Mars has begun slowly moving away from the sun since 1945 in ways yet unmeasured by science…

  • Goodness Rating = 6 (and dropping possibly)
Ceres – Goddess of the harvest (and bad parenting)
  • Sure, the harvest sounds good, but remember she was also a terrible parent, allowing her daughter to be kidnapped by the god of the underworld and never instructing her not to accept food from strangers.

  • Goodness Rating = 5.8
Jupiter – King of the Gods, God of lightning
  • In general Kings aren’t thought of as terribly good, particularly when they sleep around as much as Jupiter did and using so many deceptive tactics to do so***.

  • Goodness Rating = 5
Saturn – Father of the Gods
  • Castrated his father, took his throne, and ate his own children. Not a lot of goodness here.

  • Goodness Rating = 4
Neptune – God of the sea
  • Also known as “the earth shaker” – responsible for earthquakes, shipwrecks, and drownings. Kind of petty, at times.

  • Goodness Rating = 3
Uranus – God of the heavens
  • Grandpa of the gods, his and Earth’s union resulted in the birth of Saturn and eventually, everyone else. Judging by his placement in the solar system however, it is obvious that he and Earth divorced a while back and he moved out to the suburbs as a deadbeat dad. No wonder his kid castrated him.

  • Goodness Rating = 2.5
Pluto – God of the Underworld
  • Ruled over the dead, kidnapped his wife, tricked her into staying over winters against her will.

  • Goodness Rating = 1
Eris – Goddess of Discord
  • Enjoys breaking up parties with her little apple. Started the Trojan War.

  • Goodness Rating = 0.6
Sedna – Inuit Goddess of the Sea
  • Ate her parents out of house and home, chopped off her father’s arm, took a dog for a husband. Not just bad…crazy bad.

  • Goodness Rating = 0.1

Here’s my problem with this theory though. Let’s say that Eris and Sedna aren’t the farthest dwarf planets from the sun? Haven’t we pretty much run out of bad gods to use? What’s left? Will the next one be named Satan? What happens when we start naming planets found in other solar systems?

This whole naming system needs to be re-done, IMHO. My recommendation would be to just re-name all the planets after cartoon characters, as we seem in no way close to running out of those. My name is Grrrbear, and I’m from Planet Spongebob.

* AKA planetoid, dwarf planet, “dinky”, destroyer-of-astronomy-world-peace
** Well, until Marvin Gaye at least.
*** I mean, disguising himself as “golden rain”? That’s going to extremes…

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Booth Babes Strike Back

Yesterday I spent the afternoon downtown at another trade show – this one designed to cater to companies that do metal working and heavy machining. It's always an interesting show to walk, if for no other reason than many small family-owned companies are there with their entire families*. So you have these groups walking together consisting of the dad trying to close the deal for carbide inserts, mom at the bar drinking, and the kids running around from booth to booth trying to see which sibling can make off with the most/coolest free giveaway stuff. For me, half the fun of these shows is getting to see the big laser cutting and milling machines in action, the other half is looking for the most shameless examples of “booth babes”.

I've blogged before about the booth babe topic. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures this time around since I was with my manager and felt that snapping pics of attractive young women in short shorts wouldn't be in my best interest. Still, there were some very memorable incidents from my time walking the floor – of which I now present to you my Top 5 Booth Babes from yesterday:

5) “Blondie”
Most booth babes fall into this category – young, attractive woman in a short/tight/lacy skirt/dress, well made-up and smiling constantly. The booth where this one was working had her working the front just long enough to slow or stop passersby by chatting pleasantly and just saying hello. Once stopped, she would step to the side and allow the homely guy in the polo shirt who actually worked for the company to begin his sales pitch. Blondie was bait – nothing more. She probably spent half the show wondering what she was going to do after work and trying to decide if her career as an aspiring model was really all that the “agency” she had won the contest for had promised it would be back in Rockford. Given that the show was 6 days long, one wonders why she was still thinking about it at that point.

4) Lanyard Woman
The only booth babe I interacted with. The name tags given out at registration were in pin-on holders, forcing attendees to score a giveaway lanyard if they didn't want to have holes in their shirt. Passing by one booth early on, I saw that they had one booth girl staffed solely to hand out lanyards. The trick was to walk up, ask for one, and then leave as quickly as possible before the aforementioned sales guy came over to pitch. While I was successful in that respect, I'll just say my execution was not as polished as it could have been. As I walked away, no doubt Lanyard Woman thought to herself “That's so nice of that company to hire the mentally challenged!”.

3) Japanese Anime Girl
One of the more common companies that you see at shows like these are companies from Asia. Japanese, Korean and Chinese makers of Heavy Equipment work these shows just as hard as American and European ones. They even have started bringing their own booth babes. One company had a booth babe dressed like one of those Japanese Anime women – complete with short skirt, pink wig with hair in pigtails high on her head, bright, clashing colors, and little fuzzy hairclips.

2) Cutting Tool Dancers
One of the companies there selling carbide cutting tools had hired a troupe of six models and basically decked them out like cigarette girls for the new milennium – shirt skirts, cropped tops and the big shallow cigarette box complete with the band around their neck to hold it. Only instead og being filled with cigarettes, mints, candies, gum, etc – these boxes had a variety of cutting tools in them! Ooohh, can I see that one please? Even better, they had a choreographed dance routine that they would stage every few minutes, whenever the booth wasn't busy. Complete with music.

1) Jungle Jane
The best one ever. As my boss and I were coming out one aisle and coming around to head down the next, I noticed that the first booth had an odd “beach/jungle” theme going on – complete with a blonde woman with a bad fake bake clad in nothing more than a very small bikini**. We were coming up to it quickly and my boss was looking over in the other direction, so I was optimistic that we'd be able to skirt by without her seeing it. Unfortunately, when we were almost to safety, a guy walking in the opposite direction elbowed her in the side***. She turned quickly to see who had elbowed her, and found herself about a foot away from a smiling Jungle Jane – and looking directly at her chest****. My boss, being a nice midwestern girl who attended a small liberal arts college***** was stunned, and turned a bright shade of purple with embarrassment. All said, it was hysterical and we pretty much laughed about it the rest of the day.

All told it was an amusing time. Not the most productive in terms of work, but entertaining enough to make the time pass and provide blogworthy material.

* Having turned a work trip into a family vacation to Chicago in order to justify the expense to themselves
** All right, and sandals. But that was seriously it.
*** No doubt distracted by all the butt on display in the girls booth.
**** Obviously, it was unintentional, but honestly at that close a distance it would be impossible to look at anything else.
***** No, not OAM, or the other one in town.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hopefully, I'm too low-energon to be appetizing

After being so overwhelmed with television 9/11 tributes over the weekend*, I sought refuge by going to art shows**, hosing off and folding the tent from the muddy camping trip***, watching football all day Sunday and then doing dinner with B.Da. Dealing with the tent was a pain because it’s just slightly too big to fit on my back deck, but I set it up there anyway and let it hang over the railing to dry, which worked pretty well actually.

Anyway I’m not going to blog about 9/11 today for a variety of reasons that you can probably guess anyway. Instead I’m going to write about something that has been bothering me for a while now, prompted in small part by this article in cracked that I found eerily accurate****.

I am indeed scared that eventually mankind will be eaten by robots. I know I’m not the first person to worry about this, as there are plot devices scattered throughout pop culture where man creates machine that eventually seeks to kill him*****. So even though the author is writing said article to include a heaping dose of sarcasm, I really do worry sometimes that my grandkids are going to be the Linda Hamiltons of the future, battling robo-killing machines and trying to stop their efforts to become Governor of California******.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m a complete robophobe. I still use my cruise control, and that’s pretty much a robot equivalent for my right foot. Once they come up with a robotic equivalent for my left foot******* then I’ll start building up my stock of energon to use to bribe my way to safety.

* I mean they were everywhere. Discovery Channel, History Channel, network news, etc. I’m surprised Cartoon Network didn’t have one. Am I the only person who simply can’t watch them anymore?
** And yes, buying another painting. Interestingly enough, this has resulted in my place finally having the same number of original art pieces as framed posters of art (which was my d├ęcor-of-choice for most of my 20’s).
*** Yes, I know I haven’t blogged about it yet. I would but I keep coming up with more topical things to blog about. Plus I can’t find where I put my digital camera with all the pics on it.
**** Except for the part about guys watching Jem and the Holograms – I never watched that show.
***** E.g. Asimov’s “I, Robot”, Syndrome in “The Incredibles”, Yul Brenner in “Westworld”, everything in “The Matrix”
****** Crap! It’s too late!
******* Or Daniel Day Lewis, for that matter

Friday, September 08, 2006

Quickie - Anyone have any Tums?

Ever get the feeling that you shouldn’t have had that second piece of pie after dinner?

I bet this big fella knows how you feel…

Even the title sort of bothers me, why *would* they lie?

Today’s post on Waiter Rant got me thinking about how I seem to have reached a turning point in my pop culture junkie life. Like many of you probably, when I was growing up I liked to think of myself as having a fairly sophisticated taste in music. I sought out bands that nobody had heard of, partially because I liked to find new music and partially because I wanted to know as much about music as My Friend and His Amazing New York Show*.

Yet, I still listened to the radio, and was still exposed to mainstream pop music. While I generally pooh-poohed much of the worst examples of musical drivel, I would typically find myself eventually turning on most of it. Secretly, I developed hidden enjoyment for hearing the latest one-hit wonder** and multi-platinum tabloid darling***. It’s not like I wanted this to happen, but since you hear the stuff so often eventually a hook or a beat catches on with you and next thing you know, you find yourself tapping your foot

If you’re lucky, eventually the song goes away and becomes a beloved piece of pop-kitch history****. If you’re unlucky then you publish your affection for these groups in a public venue where you can be publicly shamed beyond measure.

Yet to get back to my original point, reading through the Waiter’s post, I realized that Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” is one of the first instances where I have completely failed to get on board the hype train. I’ve heard the song countless times, and I really don’t like it – not ambivalence, mind you – I truly don’t think it is a very good piece of music. Sure, Shakira’s hot but even that’s not enough to make me want to go watch the video.

In a way this makes me happy, but in other ways it makes me sad. On the one hand maybe I’m finally shaking the grip that the big music labels have held over my for my entire life – thus freeing me to delve more deeply into new bands that have kept their indie street cred while putting out great tunes. But on the other hand maybe this is just the first step into losing my ability to appreciate new music altogether, and I’m destined to become one of those crotchety old men who sit at the cafeteria table in the retirement village and go off about how no good music has been made since Glen Miller.

Either way I’m a little disturbed.

* Who is a certified music genius, able to recall the contents of every mix tape he had ever created when we were college buddies.
** e.g. Chumbahwumba’s “Tubthumping”, Crazy Town’s “Butterfly”
*** e.g. Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, and even an occasional boy band
**** e.g. Toni Basil’s “Mickey”, Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are you ready for some crazy dingos?

Finally, after almost eight months of drought, it is once again time for my favorite time of year – fantasy football season! Wooo!!!!

[collective silence from reading audience…sound of crickets chirping…]

I know, I know. Given that the majority of my readership could probably not care less about football in general (much less fantasy football) you might be wondering why those of us who do get so freaking excited about it. For instance, the GF is so aware of how distracted I’ll be this first couple weekends of the season that she is taking off on a 10 day roadtrip adventure with her girlfriend tramping around the desert southwest*.

Actually, that is probably a good idea. The first two weeks of football season are the most hectic in all of fantasy football, as players curse bad draft picks and frantically try to sign available players who are off to fast starts. It’s two weekends of controlled chaos and backstabbing as each owner tries to pick up layers that the others are all waiting to grab. It’s hard to imagine how brutal it can be, but picture a pack of rabid dingos all fighting over the same bologna sandwich – only they can all breathe fire and their tails can be used as whips…and it’s all taking place underwater like the scuba war in “Thunderball”…and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are being held in a cage that is slowly being lowered into a tank full of sharks with friggin’ laser beams attached to their heads and only me and my team of NFL upstarts can save them…

Wait, that’s a different sort of fantasy.

Anyway, if you prefer to TomKat to Tom Brady and paparazzi to penalty flags check out this link. It’s a site set up to take the idea of fantasy sports and apply it to the celebrity magazines. You get to draft celebrities and then get points when they appear on the cover of magazines. Maybe if folks would be into it, I could set up a league where me and my readers could square off in a battle of pop crap culture supremacy. Feel free to comment if that’s something that appeals to you.

In the meantime, I’m off to figure out my starting lineup for this week…

* Sure, she claims this is a coincidence, but it still seems pretty “convenient”.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Quickie - Not that I really wanted to be known for this

Ooo! Ooo! My blog is a semi-googlewhack!

Looking through the referral pages that people used to find me, I discovered that one of my old posts is the only result you get when searching Google for the phrase “Adult Film Oscar”.

Now I know that a true googlewhack only uses two words in the search phrase, hence the “semi-googlewhack” term coinage. But still, I feel pretty cool.

Although, given the preponderance of porn on the web, don’t you think it’s a little weird that I’m the only result? One would think that there would be a link to the AVN awards page at least…

S'mores = Warm, Chocolatey Crystal Meth

Things I learned last night:

  • One s’more is good; two s’mores are better; four s’mores allows you to finish off a complete Hershey bar.

  • Unpacking wet stuff from a camping trip always takes about twice as long as the initial packing. Putting said stuff away in its proper place, however, can take days.

  • Youtube is a force for evil time wastage. It is way too easy to get sucked into a world of very angry cats, Daily Show clips, and bizarre clips of strippers/archers.

  • No matter how good one’s intentions, sometimes you can’t get everything done in one evening. So stories from the camping trip will have to wait a bit.

  • Before he passed, Steve Irwin had set up a non-profit to help promote conservation and awareness of wild creatures. It’s called Wildlife Warriors Worldwide and I went over there to give a little donation in his memory. Sure, it’s Australian, but I just loved the Croc Hunter – he was fun to watch, even if you thought he was a little over the top. Plus, it’s still tax deductible in the US. [UPDATE: apparently the site is currently being a little swamped with love for Steve. Good to see but you might want to wait a few days if you want to give something yourself.]

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A meal that weighs more than my head is never a good idea, even if it is vegetarian

Okay the camping trip was fun and I do have many stories to share about the time spent in the wilderness. But that post will take a long time to write and probably involve pictures, all of which I don’t have with me at the moment. So instead I’m going to rant about my lunch.

While I do have the option of going out to eat for lunch, I typically stay in and eat in the company cafeteria. This is because it’s usually pretty inexpensive and also doesn’t take a lot of time. I also like it because there are always decent vegetables to choose from, thus making it easier to stay on my “try to eat at least 3-4 servings of fruit/veggies every day” kick I’ve been on recently. So today I stepped over to the counter and selected the vegetarian lasagna option. From my vantage point, the little squares of stuffed pasta layers looked to be of a reasonable size, however as soon as the server dished up a slice and handed it to me, I realized that I had been looking at a slice that was cut in half earlier as a half-order*. An actual serving was twice that big and weighed in at approximately 30 pounds**.

For a second, I was torn. Do I just accept the massive plate-o-pasta/mass? Or do I tell her to put it back and ask for the half-order? In the end, I took pity on the plate*** and took it. In the end I only ate half and tossed the rest. Food wasteage, yes, but there was no way I could have eaten the whole thing. Plus even with just the half I’m pretty sure I’m already at 5 servings of veggies today – leaving open the option of the veggie-less**** dinner!

* On some entrees, we get the option to order half-sized portions (for those people who feel a life of forced obesity is not appealing) but the signs never say which ones you can and cannot split.
** All right, perhaps this is exaggerating a little bit. But it was at least 4 pounds and took up the majority of the available space on a regular-sized plate.
*** Which was sitting there in the servers outstretched hand creaking and groaning under its unnaturally large burden.
**** Read: using up the leftover s’mores ingredients from this weekend! Woo!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Quickie - Making up for missed time

Bullet points about some fun stuff located during my couple days off earlier this week:
  • So Microsoft Vista won’t be silenced, will it? Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Microsoft would actually want the world to know every time you have to re-start due to a crash, or because you had to download some critical update to prevent hackers from hijacking your PC? News like this makes me doubt whether I’ll upgrade from XP, and makes me doubly glad that my laptop is a Mac.

  • Hey, I’m going to be a billion seconds old in a little over a month! Maybe I should throw a billion-themed birthsecond party? Of course, it’d only be one second long…

  • I didn’t watch any of the MTV VMA’s last night because as far as I know, MTV hasn’t played a music video in about 15 years, and I knew that Madonna was just going to win again for “Like a Prayer”. Was I right?

  • That bull is a menace! I knew he was prone to violence after his outburst at my company “Take Your Kids To Work Day” event, but now he’s taking swings at cops? Maybe it’s time we seriously consider neutering him…

  • Seriously, I have nothing to say about the "Suri's Poop as art" story. I'm so friggin tired of them and their brood that i just want it to go away. You all probably know how I would feel aobut it anyway. Go ahead and think to yourself, "What would Grrrbear say?" I guarantee you have the right answer. Unless you have never read my blog before, don't know me personally, and only are reading this because you are searching for pictures of the US National Bikini team and found this blog in your websearch results, in which case I feel sorry for you because I'm the owner of the site, and even *I* can't find the link anymore. Stupid Blogger searchbar...

Sadly, the actual south is nothing like the Dukes of Hazzard

This weekend the GF and I head off to the woods for a weekend of camping adventures. While we’re not expecting all the fireworks from the first time we went camping together, I can say that I’m very much looking forward to it. See, this will be my first vacation trip of the year. Sure, I’ve taken days off – but I’ve always either been in town or out of town for some event (e.g. weddings, funerals). Frankly, I can’t wait for a weekend of hiking, sitting by a campfire, and s’more making. Of course, there’s a chance for some rain off and on for most of the weekend. But that’s why we’re bringing Mad Libs. Of course, I’ll probably bring a book or two along as well.

Speaking of books, let’s hear it for the state of Mississippi, for enacting a state law that one crazy woman used to file suit against a bookstore for selling “The Good Sex Bible”. Their crime? Putting it on a shelf where it was “visible to children”. Here’s my question: Are there copies of “Guns and Ammo” on the shelves of the magazine section? Any magazines about Ultimate Fighting? What about the Bible, is that available where children can see it, despite its objectionable content? Why are those okay but books about sex aren’t? Come to think of it, let’s look at the books shown in the art that accompanies the article…OH MY GOD!!! THERE’S A BOOK ABOUT LUNGS!!!! AND ANOTHER ONE ABOUT BELLYBUTTONS!!!! OH LORD PRESERVE ME! MY EYES…THEY’RE BURNING!!!! AIIIIEEEEEE!!

(Sigh). This is why I avoid the south in all its forms. Well, that and they don’t have snow…and they all love NASCAR.

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