Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wow. A Funny Commercial!

I Hope They Put Some Towels Down On The Seats...

This commercial aired during the 'Lost' season finale last night. It's the first time in a long while that I got an honest-to-God laugh from a TV spot.

When the driver starts to turn around and says "Ewww..." I just lose it, even after viewing it a bunch of times.


Vintage TV Quiz - SOLVED!

Something New Here At The Zoo...

Howdy, Y'all!

I was doing a bit of websurfing, and ran across a website dedicated to a TV show from a while back. I watched it quite a bit as a kid, mostly because I was too young to notice how crappy it really was.

This show, like many others from the era, was from a time where they cast television roles based on if you could actually act, not based on how attractive/sexy/willing to get nekkid an actor is. As a result, you look at the cast these umpteen years later, and your first thought is, "Wow, there's a shopworn set of old fogies..."

The Quiz involves a Villain-Of-The-Week from the show. I had serious nightmares for about a month just from seeing this episode, and truth be told, they still creep me out a little.

So, based on these pics of the icky beasts, can you name the TV show?

Good luck, and pleasant dreams!

And NO, they're not the Sesame Street "Yip Yip" Martians!!


Dan Hamilton correctly ID'ed the show as Space 1999. Flygirl gets awarded Miss Congeniality for noticing the cheap "Dr. Who" effects. As it happens, Space 1999 was filmed in Great Britain, where cheesy FX and slipshod production values are regarded as a cherished national treasure!

Yeah, you're right, Dash... It does look like Whoopi Goldberg after a tequila bender...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Ranting & Raving To No Real Purpose

Regarding the pinheads that are "allergic" to WiFi. These poor suffering pansies feel that the new municipal WiFi service is making them piss their britches and forget who they are for three days or something equally dire.

Y'know, if WiFi could cause these problems, how exactly have they been able to stand living with TV? Radio? Cell service? Electricity? The EM emissions from the sun?

Probably just some Luddite hippies looking for a payout. Fuck 'em. Tar and feather these assholes and stuff 'em in an outbound Greyhound bus cargo bin.

Regarding the Islamo-pinheads that are upset that their employer wants them to wear a uniform consisting of trousers and a shirt instead of their usual 'flowing skirts and scarves'.

Was I the only one that paid attention during the safety films in shop class? Raise your hand if you can tell the class why wearing 'flowing skirts and scarves' in an industrial environment is a Very Bad Thing...

Probably just some CAIR flacks and jihadists looking for a payout. Fuck 'em. Let 'em get sucked into the commercial tortilla press. Heavy chain-driven belts, superheated dough-squishers, smoky-hot cooking plates. Should turn 'em into a reasonable facsimile of pita bread or chapaties or whatever it is they eat in Somalia.

Regarding the pinhead scriptwriters responsible for 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'. Was that the best you could do? I mean, really! They paid you how many million dollars, and that's what you came up with? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Regarding the pinhead cops that found it more rewarding to ticket motorists instead of arresting that skank-ass ho that was loitering at the gas station the other night asking every arriving customer "Joo wan' me to suck yore deeeck? Twenny-fi dolla!". The store owner had only called 5 times trying to get a response, yet between the gas station and my house I spot 4 cops issuing tickets to cars. Protect & Serve, Ossifers...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Amazing Grace

Cuter Than Those Flea-Bitten LOLcats!

It's funny how quickly that "Play with my sister's kids" has rocketed up to the top of my 'Favorite Things To Do' list! I mean, three years ago, it didn't even have a spot on that list!

Here's my niece Grace, who's starting to sprout fangs!

Here's Sammy, with his 3rd Birthday Choo-Choo Train cake!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Liveblogging the 92nd Indy 500

More Like A Tape-Delay Blogging...

Howdy, y'all! Time for my yearly dose of motor sports. I first visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1977 after Dad was transferred up there, and I have been hooked on Indy car racing ever since. My Uncle Ray & Aunt Anita were huge racefans, and gave me a good schooling in Indy race lore. I sat and listened to the race that first year on my little AM transistor radio, and I could swear I could hear the roar of the cars from across town.

We only spent 3 years living in Indianapolis, but I came back to Texas thoroughly addicted to the 500. For the last 31 years, I've spent the Sunday prior to Memorial Day watching or listening to the race. This makes year 32!

And away we go!

11:55a - Whoever this no-talent bint is that's singing the national anthem needs to be dragged off and thoroughly flogged. Got-DAMN I hate it when people try to jazz up the song. Plus, she's dressed like a tramp...

12:00p - Playing of Taps. Nice moment of reflection. Dead silence in the stands, which proves some sports fans still know what's important.
Estimated crowd size - 300,000 The track is ginormous. Check out this graphic!

12:02p - Jim Nabors back after last year's illness to sing 'Back Home In Indiana'. Showing his years, but that mellow baritone is still there.

12:03p - "Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!"

12:05p - Sarah Fisher's car has delayed start, but engine finally starts and she joins pack out on track

12:10p - Emerson Fittipaldi driving pace car! Field lining up for the start after warm-up laps...

12:11p - And they're off!!

12:15p - Lap 5 with no wrecks! The Rookie Curse is absent this year...

12:17p - Yellow flag on Lap 8 - Debris on racetrack.. rear view mirror from Bruno Junqueira's car just fell off!.

12:20p - Most cars pitting for fuel.

12:25p - Sarah Fisher spun out on yellow. No damage to car, though. Junqueira's car still in pits to fix mirror.

12:30p - Back to green flag on lap 17. These speeds are amazing. I remember the hoopla the first time the 200 mph barrier was broken during Indy Time Trials, and that was an extreme engine-busting balls-out effort. Most of the cars today are reaching 224-226 mph in the straights and 210-212 in the curves during normal racing.

12:43p - Lap 37 - Yellow flag - Graham Rahal slid into into the wall on turn 4

12:49p - AJ Foyt IV's car on fire in pits - Fuel Spill - Back in race after car hosed off and cleaned

12:58p - Green Flag back on lap 46 - Scott Dixon in lead

1:09p - Lap 61 - Yellow flag #2 - Marty Roth into wall on turn 4. Most cars pit for fuel & tires under yellow.

1:28p - Lap 72 - Back to Green Flag racing!! Scott Dixon still in lead - Danica Patrick far back in pack - 11th place - Tony Kanaan running strong in 3rd

1:34p - Lap 80 - Yellow Flag out again - Rookie Jaime Camara slams into wall on turn 1, slides across track, slams into wall again past turn 2

1:54p - Back to green flag - Lap 91 - Wheldon takes lead, Kanaan moves into 2nd place, then takes lead at lap 94

2:01p - 101 laps down, so the race goes into the books. Should weather stop the race, the current lineup will be the official finishers in their current order.

2:03p - Yellow flag #4 - Lap 105 - Big Crash!! Tony Kanaan forced high on the track by passing Marco Andretti, slides into wall - Hits Sarah Fisher on rebound, both out of race...

Kanaan was quite restrained during media interview following medical check, but it's clear he wants to jam Andretti's helmet up his tailpipe. Major dick move on Andretti's part...

2:19p - During yellow. Jeff Simmons' car suddenly swerves right and impacts wall, then rolls across track to slam into opposite wall. Possible broken steering linkage?

2:24p - Green Flag - Lap 113 - 24 cars on lead lap, almost unheard of this late in race... Castroneves & Patrick struggle for 8th place, Her car has been lacking speed all afternoon

2:27p - Marco Andretti takes lead on lap 121

2:35p - 68 laps to go - Justin Wilson into infield wall after car's back end breaks loose and he spins across track - Yellow flag comes out for 6th time...

2:45p - 62 laps to go. Green Flag back out, Scott Dixon takes lead

2:52p - 50 laps to go- Moraes kisses wall for 2nd time, will probably get called into pits - Now we're getting to the strategy part of the race. Teams start managing fuel and betting on whether they can skip that last pit stop...

2:54p - Lap 152 - 7th Yellow of the day - Rookie Alex Lloyd hits wall after turn 4, slides all the way inside pit lane and takes out pit row speed limit timer! - Scott Dixon still in lead - Andretti 2nd, Scheckter 3rd

3:01p - Lap 156 - Wheldon in pits, car's engine cover being removed, so something is way out of whack. Scheckter has broken driveshaft, out of race.

3:05p - Green flag back out, 41 laps to go, Vitor Meira in lead

3:12p - Lap 169 - Yellow flag comes out for 8th time - Milka Duno spins out and shreds tires after almost colliding with Buddy Lazier - Vitor Meira still in lead, Dixon 2nd, Castroneves 3rd

3:16p - Ryan Briscoe hits Danica Patrick coming out of pits, breaks her suspension, she's out of race

3:24p - 24 laps to go - Green Flag back out, Scott Dixon in lead, Meira 2nd, Castroneves 3rd

3:33p - 11 laps to go, it's a sprint to the finish.. No more pit stops - Marco Andretti moves into 3rd

3:40p - Scott Dixon holds the lead and takes the checkered flag!

And that's all she wrote!

Is Your Cat Minty Fresh?

At Least She Stayed Out Of The Listerine...

Pookie Cat was sleeping peacefully on one of the office chairs, so naturally I had to scoop her up in order to tickle her pink toes and quiz her on late 20th century Chinese Communist dictators. She's not much of a history scholar, but she mostly gets that one right. (MAO!!!!!)

In the process, I noticed she smelled better than usual. Sort of... minty clean. WTF?

I held her close as she yowled, and sure enough, instead of fishbreath, I'm smelling a distinctive wintergreen aroma. Someone has been brushing this cat's teeth with Pepsodent...

As she struggles to escape, I notice she's got something blue on her belly fur. While she amuses herself by sinking fangs into my wrist, I probe her belly to find the remainder of a wad of toothpaste that's been mostly licked clean.

Miss PudgyGut must have been up on the bathroom counter, and found herself something amusing to roll in. No doubt I can expect to find a nice pile of blue cat vomit in the near future...

I don't recall any toothpaste spills, but I'm not fully awake during the morning hygiene process. For all I know, the cat has learned how to squeeze a toothpaste tube.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Damn, My Geek Is Sticking Out...

Next Quiz: Iraqi Surname Or Goat Breed?

This made me giggle quite a bit...

Found At Mostly Cajun's place.

More Clueless Co-Workers

Reminder: 1/2 The U.S. Is On The Bottom Side Of The I.Q. Distribution.

Some unnamed person that looks a lot like me (must be my evil twin) left a note on the breakroom fridge and over by the mailslots...

Hello, (Department Redacted) Employees!

I know we're all getting used to living in a hi-tech environment, but occasionally we have to interact with a relic of past technology, and I'm afraid from what I've observed, not everyone has remembered how it works.

In the freezer section of the breakroom refrigerator, there are these old-fashioned plastic gizmos that look like a bunch of tiny cups set in a rectangular frame. These are called ICE TRAYS.

If you fill these with water, then place them in the freezer and wait a few hours, the water will magically transform into ICE! You can then dump the ice trays into the ICE BIN (the large white bucket in the freezer) and then take a glassful of ICE CUBES so you can enjoy a frosty cold beverage.

Now, it appears that most folks have managed to figure out the Dump Ice, Take Ice, Have Frosty Cold Beverage part of the process.

Unfortunately, there's a breakdown in the ice making cycle. The ICE TRAYS do not fill themselves! I apologize profusely for not having the wherewithal to install an automatic icemaker in the fridge like most people have grown accustomed to in their homes. All I could afford was a stack of Dollar Store ice trays, but I assure you, they generate ICE CUBES just like your home icemaker if you'll complete one tiny additional step!

After you perform the Dump Ice, Take Ice, Have Frosty Cold Beverage part of the process, please please PLEASE take just one more minute to refill the trays with water, and place them back in the freezer. I know I'm being completely unreasonable to ask you to carry a small tray of water an incredibly arduous journey of 6 entire feet across the kitchen floor, but hard work builds character, and you'll thank me for it one day.

So pretty please, with sugar on top,


Many Thanks, Muchas Gracias, Molte Grazie, Shukran, Xie Xie, Tusind Tak, Merci Beaucoup, Danke Schön, Domo Arigato, Muito Obrigado, Bolshoiy Spasibo!!!!

Poor unnamed person probably get lambasted at the next staff meeting for not respecting other worker's right to be lazy f*ckheads.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Exploding Squirrels

How To Liquify A Backyard Predator

I'm not going to tell you how to build a Bumbe. A "Bumbe" is Clouseau-speak for a device that explodes. "Bumbe" also doesn't attract Google searches by jihadists or disaffected 13 year olds.

Telling you how to build a Bumbe would be irresponsible, and no doubt some pinhead would decide to experiment and end up blowing his fingers off, and I'd catch heat for it.

However, I was reading about Nelly's sad encounter with a chicken-eatin' fox that went bloody apeshit in her hen coop, and my initial reaction was to post instructions in her comments on how to make an anti-fox directional mine.

Her blog's not the best place for it, though. I'm sure the last thing you want to find on a Irish blog is "Bumbe"-making directions, so I thought I'd post some thoughts here.

With our over-abundance of squirrels, I've given a great deal of thought to exterminating them in fun & creative ways, and IMHO, the most fun of all is the squirrel land mine.

See, an enterprising person could conceivably put on some rubber gloves (no fingerprints!) and then pack a small can (like a 35mm film canister) full of compressed black powder, wadding and BB's, sort of like a ginormous shotgun shell. Instead of a shotgun primer, though, there might be an igniter from a model rocket engine buried deep within the powder, with the electrical leads hanging out. The whole can would be tightly wrapped in duct tape, except the open end which would be lightly taped closed with "This Side Towards Enemy" or "Have A Nice Day" printed on it.

A reasonably clever individual could figure out how to solder the leads from the igniter to some wires that will eventually link up to a 9 volt battery. He would of course leave a sizable gap in the circuit so he didn't blow his fool head off.

An even more motivated person would know how to rig a wooden clothespin up to serve as a detonating device. He might know enough to drive a metal pushpin through each jaw of the clothespin and solder a wire to each pinpoint, being careful to avoid contact with the metal spring on the clothespin. A non-conductive wedge would be slipped in between the jaws of the clothespin, ensuring that the pushpin heads didn't complete the circuit. The clothespin would then be securely attached to the can.

An especially tasty pecan or other squirrel bait (or a dead chicken, in the case of a fox) could be wired to that wedge, and the whole shebang would be attached to the canister.

When the small can is buried in a small hole and camouflaged with some sticks and leaves, the bait is left aboveground. Now, in the case of someone who's not too familiar with the process, it wouldn't be a bad idea to trail the wires a good distance away (such as inside the house) before connecting the 9 volt battery. That also gives you the option of command detonation if you leave off the clothespin trigger and wire directly to the igniter. I'm much too lazy to sit and wait for the squirrel, though.

Now, (in theory, mind you... I can't admit to ever having done this...) the squirrel or fox or chihuahua will approach the mine, grab the bait, and in the process, tug the wedge free, completing the circuit and detonating the mine. If you wired it up tight enough, the little cute & fuzzy head will be exactly above the open end of the can and receive three ounces of ball bearings to the nasal passages. Any excess blast and shrapnel goes straight up, harming nothing except perhaps a tree branch.

If done correctly, you should hear a muffled bang, and go outside to find a smoking hole and a headless critter. Small gobbets of flesh might still be raining down, so bring an umbrella.

I can't recommend making more than one at a time. While the thought of burying a couple of dozen mines and having squirrel genocide is intriguing, I guarantee you'll forget one, and your yard guy Francisco will lose a foot when he mows next weekend. That way lies incarceration and poverty...

Do check local laws and ordinances, and if building and deploying land mines is illegal in your area, you'd best refrain and use a humane animal trap to catch 'em alive.

'Cause then, you can bring 'em inside and experiment on them!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nova Lox, Elisson & Onions

That Deli Weren't Too Smelly!

The stars were finally aligned right, and I got to meet up with Elisson on one of his periodic jaunts to Houston! I had the pleasure to dine with Nancy and Pup and Elisson at Kenny & Ziggy's Deli over by the Galleria.

Alas, Elisson had no colander, and chose not to model underwear for the table, but he's still a pretty righteous dude.

We discussed the ins and outs of deli cuisine. From what I inferred, a bagel is an "innie" but a bialy is an "outie". I'm still not to keen on ginormous smoked fish that resemble marinated driftwood, but I'm assured it's delicious.

Of course, being a blogmeet, albeit a small one, we had to discuss the intricacies of over-muscled steers, used panty vending machines, tentacle porn, and the overabundance of testical festivals.

As they say, a good time was had by all. If you have a chance to meet these folks, please avail yourself of the opportunity! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Sword Of Destiny

Spartans? Meh. They Ain't So Tough...

I haven't regaled y'all with a Tale of Misspent Youth in a while, so I reckon I ought to fix that. Besides, the statute of limitations has long expired on this particular shenanigan...

Most pranks due to their very nature have to be pulled off in the dead of night, with no one around to see the event until the first rays of morning sun illuminate the dastardly deed.

This one got pulled off under bright spotlights in front of a stadium full of people. I even corrupted the morals of a straitlaced freshman reed-sucker to get the job done.

The time... The early 1980's, a warm fall evening.

The place... Tully Football Stadium, Houston Texas.

The event... A football game between my high school and Stratford High School.

A little background info first... In the 80's, in addition to the football team and the marching band, most Houston-area high schools had additional personnel littering the sidelines during football games. This included the cheerleaders, the Whore Corps Drill Team, and the school mascot.

Our mascot wore this moth-eaten old tiger suit with a ginormous head the size of a 30 gallon garbage can. Soaked with at least 20 years of sweat and hurled soft drinks, it was a pathetic mess.

Stratford High, OTOH, had a very nice outfit for their Spartan mascot. Their colors of green & gold were nicely reflected in the Spartan's leather kilt, greaves, breastplate, helmet and sword. The helmet had this big mofo crest on top, and you could see the guy yelling and jumping along with the rest of the Stratford cheerleaders during games.

Our mascot could barely walk with that ratty old tiger head on, and any sounds emanating from the suit were usually whimpers of misery and pleas to remove it before heatstroke set in.

The ritual at halftime was for the bands to take the field, visitors first, then the home team. While the first band was performing, the second would line up on the sideline in preparation for their own show.

Occasionally, the requirements of that week's marching drill would mean that a sizable portion of the band would have to enter from the opposite side of the field. So, instead of lining up on our side, we'd have to circle the field and wait on the opponent's sideline. This usually meant you were subjected to having insults thrown at you by the other team's fans, along with the occasional flung item from the concession stands.

The Whore Corps Drill Teams would wait until their school's band had finished marching, then would pony-step onto the field and give the popcorn-munchers in the stands their weekly dose of teenage T & A. The band would play current pop tunes at a criminally painfully slow tempo so the heifers could high-kick without straining themselves, or God forbid, crack a sweat.

During the performances, the cheerleaders from the visiting team would go around the field and socialize with the home team cheer squad. This was a chance for the mascots to rest for a bit, and drop some gear or remove parts of their suit to cool down.

So, on the night of the prank, I found myself lined up on the Stratford side of the field along with 20 or 30 of my band mates near the 20 yard line. Another 20-30 were on the other 20 yard mark, and the remainder of the 200-strong band was on our side of the field.

As I'm standing there holding up my sousaphone at Parade Rest watching the Stratford band pukes fuck up their spacing and bollix their route marches, I see the Spartan mascot peel off his breastplate and helmet, and lay them near a bench along with the shield and sword, not half a dozen steps away. As he and the other cheerleaders walked around the end zone to visit our side, I decide that I really, really needed that sword.

It's just too far away to reach, though. I'm shielded by the stadium wall, so the Stratford fans can't see what I'm up to unless they lean over and peer down. There's a scattering of trainers and booster-club types cleaning up the team benches, but they're all 20 yards away.

There's just no way I can lay the sousaphone down, though. With that huge shiny silver bell reflecting the stadium lights, it would draw too much attention. As I'm leaning about as far as I can lean, with my leg straining towards the sword's hilt, a clarinet player whispers "What are you trying to do?"

I could swear her name was Katie, but don't hold me to that. It's been a few years. She was a typical freshman girl, cute as a ladybug, and the worst transgression in her life was probably failing to say "Bless You" when someone sneezed...

"I'm trying to reach that sword!" I reply.

"We're not supposed to move on the sidelines! You're going to get us into trouble!" she said, giving me the reproachful look that only the truly innocent can muster.

"Well, if you'll help me, I'll quit moving! Reach your leg back and slide it over!" I asked, continuing to peer around for witnesses.

"NO! I'll get in trouble!" she replied, trying to remain expressionless and still as she spoke.

"C'mon!" I said. "Help me out here. I'm just trying to play a joke on their cheerleaders. I'm gonna give it to our mascot so he can wave it around next quarter!"

She wasn't buying it, and I was running out of time...

It took some convincing, but eventually she eased a foot out, stuck a toe behind a quillion and shoved it a few feet in my direction. I was able to drag it the rest of the way, then I slowly knelt and grabbed the hilt. My movement going unnoticed was aided by the fact that I wasn't wearing a busby like the rest of the band. With the sousaphone's bell right overhead, there was no way we could wear that stupid 15-inch tall hairy hat.

Coming back to Parade Rest, I had the sword in one hand, lying flat along the front of my leg. The sousaphone was being propped up in the other hand, and we were about 2 minutes from marching onto the field.

This sword (actually a sword-like object, since it was a cheap theatrical prop with a dull blade and cast aluminum hilt) was only about 30 inches long, but it was too long to carry unnoticed. Besides, I needed both hands to be able to march and play the sousaphone at the same time. Otherwise, Newton's First Law being what it is, a sharp turn whilst marching would likely send the horn spiraling off my shoulder to impact into a rank of flautists. No great loss to the band in that instance, but I might dent the horn, and that's expensive to fix.

What I needed to do was run the sword down a pants leg. I might march a bit stiff-legged, and climbing the steps back up into the bleachers would be a bitch, but I'd have it hidden, and no one the wiser.

I was able to shove the hilt up the bottom of my band jacket, and out through the neck. The overlay worn over the jacket made it difficult, but the neck snap loosened up enough so I could slide the pommel up past my chin, giving me enough clearance to lower my waistband enough to slide the blade in without tearing any holes.

About the time I got the blade mostly in place, we got the signal to gear up and get ready to march onto the field. It was a stroke of luck that the bank of valves and tubes of the sousaphone held the sword tight against my lower chest, so I had both hands free.

I made it through our drill with no issues, and was able to readjust the sword's position when we paused on the sidelines to play for the Whore Corps Drill Team. After the halftime show was complete, I waited my turn to climb back into the stands, and watched across the field as the Stratford mascot realized he was short one piece of equipment.

The clarinet player had apparently never heard the phrase "Loose lips sink ships", and as the Band booster club parents passed out the post-show cold sodas, word of my heist slowly filtered through the band.

Luck was on my side, though. I kept it under my uniform and denied everything, though I did have to spend the rest of the 2nd half standing against the back rail of the band section. Also, the usual douchebags (most often a sophomore or junior woodwind player) who took great joy in reporting the slightest infraction to the band director either didn't get the word, or didn't believe I'd done it.

The Stratford mascot kept looking for the lost sword for rest of the game. As we marched out under the dimming stadium lights, he and the other cheerleaders were still poking around the benches and peering under the stadium seats.

Once we were on the road back to our school, I couldn't resist hanging it out the window and waving it at the locals. (Stratford High is located right next to Tully Stadium...) The other bus occupants took the opportunity to add their insults to the pedestrians as we whooped and hollered on our way to the freeway.

I got the thing home without running afoul of any band directors or other adult-types. It hung on my bedroom wall for a while, a source of great amusement to me and my crew. I didn't even retain possession for a month, however. A French horn player with big brown eyes, an adorable smile, and a bodacious rack asked me if she could borrow it for a weekend, and I didn't even blink an eye as I handed it over.

I should have at least tried to make a quid pro quo deal first... not only did she not go out with me, she GAVE THE DAMNED THING BACK TO STRATFORD!!

Sigh... and the wimmens wonder why I've got some trust issues... If you're not keeping our cojones in a Mason jar, you're donating our phallic symbols for charity!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Losing My Marbles...

Senile Dementia Comes Early!

WTF is wrong with me?

I just sat down at the computer desk, swiveled around to address the cat seated behind me, and said:

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called...LIFE!"

At that point I realized I'd just quoted a Prince song of my own free will, and had to go find the bourbon bottle.

Christ, I haven't listened to a Prince song in ten years...

You can listen to it here, but I can't really recommend it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sonic Youth

Old Age & Treachery Beats Youth & Skill Every Time!

I really, really dislike my neighbor's kid.

It's not the goth/emo attire, the perpetually disdainful attitude towards everything, or even the late-night hanging out in his front yard with his stoner buddies. Shit, that's just being a teenager, and I'm guilty of the same thing 25 years back.

Well, not the goth/emo stuff, though we did dress up for The Rocky Horror Picture Show on more than one occasion...

No, what bugs me about him is his stereo system. Specifically, his subwoofer.

Since our respective bedrooms are separated by about 10 feet of yard, and I've only got a thin layer of paint, wallboard, insulation, some two by fours and a bunch of bricks to muffle the noise emanating from his Pit of Doom, we (meaning his parents and I) have already worked out the Quiet/Loud schedule. Up until 9 pm, he can rattle the walls, and I won't say a word. After 9, I don't want to hear a thing inside my bedroom, else I turn into Crotchety Old Curmudgeon with a chainsaw.

So far, he's followed the letter of the law. Standing or sitting in my bedroom after 9 pm, I can't hear a thing.

When I get ready to go to sleep, though, the problem suddenly becomes apparent. As soon as my head hits the pillow, the annoyance begins...


You're not hearing it so much as feeling it. The low frequency sound waves coming out of the woofer speaker are getting picked up by the springs in my mattress, which vibrate in a sympathetic reaction. With your head pressed down on the pillow, the miniscule vibrations are just strong enough to get your tiny ear bones to wiggling, and transmit sound impulses to your brain.

I'm in a bit of a bind, really. The agreement on the 9pm Quiet Time wasn't completely free of drama and hard-fought negotiation, and I'm certainly not going back next door with hat in hand to ask to adjust Junior's equalizer. Even with Houston's noise ordinance, I doubt Johnny Law will agree to put their sound meter inside my mattress.

No, I need another solution. I need a Mosquito...

The Mosquito is that electronic device that puts out a continuous high-frequency shriek that's only audible to young people. When you age past the 20-22 year old stage, your ears are just no longer capable of hearing sounds at that frequency. It drives kids nuts, though. It was invented in the U.K. as a way to keep teenagers from hanging out in front of stores and causing trouble.

So, I'm thinking that if I was to mount one of these gizmos under the soffet pointing towards his bedroom, and flick the "On" switch whenever he's playing something with heavy bass, he'll go nuts trying to figure out what's up. He'll turn down his stereo to try and figure out where the shriek is coming from, and I'll kill the power as soon as the bass dies down so he doesn't pinpoint the source.

Eventually, I'll have him as well trained as one of Pavlov's hounds. Or he'll leave for college. Either way, I win...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stopping Up The Wrong End

Saving Money Isn't Always Recommended.

Damned generic drugs...

In an effort to save a few bucks, I usually buy the store brand when purchasing OTC medications. I figure, if it's the same chemical makeup, why pay for fancy labels and spendy advertising. This is not always the case. Gaviscon and Motrin are worth every penny.

The problem with generics is that when you look for a brand name on the little foil pill packet (because the box got discarded weeks past), you sometimes only get the drug name, not the brand name.

So, yesterday, when I'm desperately trying to halt an overactive lower bowel which was doing a fair impression of the Erie Canal in monsoon season, I find the foil pill packet in the bathroom cabinet labeled "Loratidine" and swallow a couple.

Naturally, the flood continued unabated, much to my dismay. I was actually needing "Loperamide", the active drug in Imodium. Loratidine is the main ingredient in Claritin.

My nose didn't leak a drop.

Wish I could say the same about my bunghole...

As long as I'm crapblogging, I made a discovery last week. In an effort to reduce carbs, I picked up some roasted & salted nuts for midday office snacking. It was a pecan/almond/cashew/macadamia mix. As it happens, I seem to like macadamia nuts, which is funny, 'cause I spent the last 30 years assuming I hated them.

So, I drop by Walgreen's for some more, and discover they sell 9 oz bags of macadamias for $4. Deal!

The problem is, if you're working on a project and mindlessly nibbling, you can kill that bag in an afternoon. The salt and calorie count was astronomical, but there was an unexpected benefit.

All that fat content in the nuts merging with a high-fiber diet? I don't want to get too graphic, but let's just say it was like having teflon-coated turds. High speed, low drag tactical turds!

I'm just sayin', is all...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Can I Borrow $88,000, Please?

I Don't Want This... I NEED This!!

Wow. Check this out. For Sale on eBay:
(Link may only work until end of auction on 5/14)

A 1943-vintage Douglas DC-3. Also known as the Gooneybird, C47 Skytrain, Skytrooper, Dakota...

I've always been a fan of the big lumbering prop-driven cargo planes. Tops on my list will always be the C-130 Hercules, but the DC-3 is a close second.

The DC-3 was a major player in commercial air travel & air freight from the 1930's through the 1950's. With thousands sold into civilian service after WWII, it was the workhorse for most of the airlines.

So, what would *I* do with one? Man, the possibilities are endless! Salmon smuggling in the Aleutians, dropping an anti-Mugabe hit squad into Zimbabwe Rhodesia, running guns into New Jersey...

I'll need a CD player and cupholder installed.

Look how much weed you could put in here!

I guess I ought to fire up that Amazon tip jar now...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Do You Look Like Your Pet?

I Do, Assuming I Buy A Manatee...

OK, confession time. I've met quite a few bloggers. I've even met some of their pets. For the most part, the pets and bloggers do not look alike at all.

One of the bloggers on my sidebar needs to buy this dog, though, 'cause it's just a dead-bang spittin' image. Not the jowls so much. Not even the ears. Something about the eyes, though...

No, no hints. I'll leave it to y'all to figure it out!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Must... Control... Gag... Reflex...

This Is Just The Epitome Of Aggravated Wrong In The 3rd Degree

Found this on a website some time ago. It took a while before I could safely edit the picture without dry-heaving...

A contender for the Worst Cocktail of All Time.

Consisting of a dollop of mayonnaise floating in a shot of Jagermeister, I give you..

The Smoker's Cough!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mobile Wool Blanket?

Or Is It A 4-Legged Fleece Mattress?

Y'know, this has got to be a pretty comfortable place to take a nap, assuming you can get the sheep to quit bleating.

The cat seems OK with it. Who knows what the sheep is thinking... it probably wonders if the cat can have a flea collar, why can't sheep have cat collars?

Silly woolhead! That's what sheep dip is for!

Via Cute Overload.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Torches & Pitchforks

Belittle A Childhood Icon At Your Peril...

Wow. That was exciting.

I got several firmly worded yet polite comments on last Thursday's post that accused Mr. Rogers of Advanced Wussification, and a couple of blistering emails that propriety prohibits me from reproducing in a public forum.

The message from all was remarkably similar. Fred Rogers was a Saint, and I suck scrofulous donkey balls for implying otherwise.

Sadly, I got no links from infuriated (or appreciative) bloggers over the matter, which was the whole point of the exercise.

See, I've been languishing for a while in the blog doldrums. I was looking for something, ANYTHING to drum up some traffic, or at least cause a stir. The "TV Wuss" post had been percolating for a while, but I just couldn't find the right hook to use.

For those who feel Mr. Rogers doesn't belong on the list, you are wiser than you realize. He actually didn't make the original cut, or the next two revisions. Dick Van Patten (The dad on 'Eight Is Enough'), Michael Gross (The dad on 'Family Ties') and Johnny Crawford (the snot-nosed, mewling pissant kid Mark McCain on 'The Rifleman') were originally the placeholders for that slot.

As I edited photos and rewrote copy, I kept thinking I could do a better list. And as they say, if I couldn't dazzle with brilliance, I could always baffle with bullshit. There just wasn't enough punch to it. Not enough emotional impact. I mean, who's going to go to bat for Meathead Stivic or Phil Donahue?

No, I needed an almost universally loved figure to fan some flames.

Captain Kangaroo I considered only briefly. I liked the show too much, and besides, who needs Mr. Moose showing up and showering you with ping pong balls for revenge? I'd never get that crap all picked up...

Next on the Rotiss-o-Mat was Bill Cosby. Again, I couldn't do it. I spent too much time as a kid singing "Na, Na Naaaah, gonna have a good time! HEY HEY HEY!" with the Cosby kids. And I still miss Jello Pudding Pops.

That left Mahatma Gandhi and Mr. Rogers. And Gandhi didn't have a TV show...

So, there's the whole story. If you're looking for a moral to the tale, I guess "Don't troll your own blog" works as well as any. I won't be editing the list, but at least now you know the whys and wherefores.

And yes, Erica, we're still friends!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Top Twelve TV Wussies

This One's Longer Than The Usual Baboon Pirates Fare...

Do you ever wonder how you can ask any child how to play games like Hide & Seek, Tag, or Hopscotch, you'll get a pretty similar answer, even from little kids who've not yet entered school?

Most kids learn by watching either older siblings or other kids in the neighborhood. How to play games, how to interact with peers, how to chase the girls and give them cooties, all this we learn mostly by observing others, and correcting our mistakes as we go along.

We learn a lot by watching, perhaps more than we realize. One thing's for sure, we watch one hell of a lot of TV.

Television has done more to homogenize society that almost anything else you can name. With the pervasiveness of cable & satellite TV, all those regional differences in language and behavior that used to demarcate one area of the country from another are slowly being ironed out in favor of a universal standard.

So what brings me to this topic? I'd been reading Bill Whittle's remarkable book 'Silent America', and re-reading Kim du Toit's essay entitled The Pussification Of The Western Male, and I'd spent some time pondering how we as a country went from "Damn the Torpedoes" to "Damn, we're out of tofu..."

I can't help thinking that two and maybe three generations of American males have been hamstrung from the get-go by watching and imitating the actions and behaviors they've seen on television in the pre-cable broadcast TV era.

I mean, let's face it, you may get a John Wayne movie on Saturday afternoon, but Monday through Friday it's an endless buffet of ineffectual and nebbishy TV Dads, self-neutered talk show hosts, and a general lack of strong male role models that aren't presented as ultra-violent nutballs, or even worse, reasonably capable role models that are constantly undercut by smart-aleck kids and sarcastic spouses.

Now, if I was a deep thinker like Whittle, I'd turn this into a scholarly essay on Stealty Testosterone Removal Through Video Programming. As it is, I'm just gonna give you my votes as to the Top 12 Wussies of American TV.

(Note: "Wussy" is the unnatural cross between a wimp and a pussy.)

Now, on TV there have been men portrayed as goofballs, f#(%ups, sad sacks, etc. I'm not nominating any character that at their core is capable of doing the non-wussy thing.

For instance, you might think that Gomer Pyle might qualify as a wuss, but I'm pretty damn sure if he were sent to Vietnam and ordered to kill the VC infiltrators by Sergeant Carter, he'd be yelling "Goooo-oo-oollly!" as he squeezed the clacker on a claymore mine. Same for Maxwell Smart. Yeah, he'd probably shoot himself in the foot, but he'd at least go down shooting.

To qualify as a wussy, the character has to avoid doing the manly thing on most occasions, and either sit and whine about the sand in his vagina or else just demonstrate a tangible lack of testicles.

And awaaaay we go....

12) Maynard G. Krebs - Bob Denver played this proto-hippie beatnik slacker on 'The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis'. Krebs was a whiner extraordinaire, and when the going got tough, he'd departed long ago. Popularized the goatee and "soul patch" (sans mustache), a style of facial hair that infuriates me to this day.

11) Grizzly Adams - You'd think a man that pals around with a grizzly bear would own one hell of a hefty pair. In this case, you'd be wrong. Portrayed by Dan Haggerty in 'The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams', Adams was some sort of vegan animal rights wuss that preferred running away to standing up for himself. Probably got topped by the bear on a regular basis, but I can't prove that...

10) Davey and Goliath - When I was a kid, this show about a boy and his dog was the only thing remotely resembling a cartoon that aired on Sunday mornings. The catch was, it was produced by the Lutheran Church in America, and each show was aimed at injecting religion directly into your frontal lobes. I'm not opposed to teaching religion, but to do it via claymation at 6:30 am? Yeeesh... Anyway, Davey and his dog Goliath were about as toothless and non-confrontational as you could get. That damned moralizing dog... "Day-Vee!!!"
For a better story about a boy and his dog, watch 'A Boy and His Dog' instead.

9) Shaggy & Scooby - From the apparently neverending Scooby-Doo franchise, here's another boy/dog duo. Shaggy & Scooby are the gold standard for cowardice and general danger avoidance. To make matters worse, Shaggy was largely based on #12 above, Maynard G. Krebs, complete with the damned goatee. Zoinks...

8) Mike "Meathead" Stivic - Played by Rob Reiner on 'All In The Family', Meathead would have placed higher in the list, but he occasionally showed some backbone standing up to his nemesis, Archie Bunker. Meathead's a confirmed pinko, and married a screeching Maoist butterface harridan, so he places on the Wuss List.

7) BJ Hunnicutt - The mid-series replacement for the much funnier "Trapper John" on 'M*A*S*H', Hunnicutt was played by Mike Farrell. What earns Hunnicutt a spot on this list? Aggravated Wussiness in the 2nd Degree, but one episode in particular stands out... "Boo hoo! Boo hoo! I'm so miserable in Korea! I miss my wife! I miss my daughter! My daughter Megan called another man Daddy! Boo hoo! Boo hoo!" Fuck you, BJ. (An appropriate name, btw) You're surrounded by young men missing most of their internal organs and limbs, forever scarred by combat while you sit safely in the rear dry & warm in a tent drinking gin. Grow a pair, you fucking wuss.

6) Willie Tanner - Played by Max Wright on the show 'ALF', Tanner was a social worker completely dominated by a mutant teddybear-looking alien. When it comes to nebbishes, Tanner makes Woody Allen look like Bruce Willis by comparison.

5) Mr. Rogers - I don't care if he's a cherished childhood icon, and we should respect the departed, but Mr. Rogers was a Wuss Extraordinaire. I mean, the man couldn't even operate a thermostat. Why else was he always putting on that stupid sweater? And what's with the shoe fetish? Admittedly, he was mostly harmless and good with kids, but still pretty much a wuss. I mean, could you see Mr. Rogers during a home invasion robbery? Instead of pulling a Magnum and ventilating the goblin, it'd be more like "Quick kids! Let's go to the Land of Make Believe!" whereupon he'd be beaten to a pulp, and the goblin would rape & murder Henrietta Pussycat and King Friday.

4) Charles Ingalls - Played by Michael Landon on 'Little House on the Prairie', Ingalls is a far cry from Little Joe Cartwright, another Landon character. Ain't no blow driers or hotcombs on the prairie, dude. You'd have had that mop carved off by a wandering Pawnee war party just before they ate your liver.

3) Phil Donahue - Unfortunately, Phil Donahue is NOT a fictional character. He is, however, the poster boy for all those males with an inexplicable urge to remove their own testicles and keep them in a jar. IMHO, Phil never met a liberal issue he didn't like, and spent his career giving tacit approval to whiners and libtards.

2) John Boy Walton - Portrayed by Richard Thomas on 'The Waltons'. A character that could only exist on TV. Were a person like John Boy to appear in real life pre-WWII Appalachia, as soon as he'd mentioned he'd rather write stories than drink moonshine and fight, he'd be strapped to a corn liquor still and repeatedly molested, hearing phrases like "You shore got a purty mouth!" and "Squeal like a pig!!" from psychotic drunken hillbillies.

1) Hawkeye Pierce - It's hard to know where to start with this Über-Wuss. Played by Alan Alda on 'M*A*S*H', Pierce was a gun-hating whiner who took every opportunity to run down the military. Hell, Cpl. Klinger spent 5 seasons in drag and was more of a man than this pansy-ass.
I know it can't be pleasant to have to repair an endless stream of horribly wounded soldiers, but when push came to shove, Pierce started hallucinating chickens. All those soldiers in recent years who decided to desert , claim C.O. status or resign their commissions rather than go to Iraq can trace a direct line in their behaviors to the performances of B.F. 'Hawkeye' Pierce.

And there you have it. The Top Twelve TV Wussies.

I'm sure I've missed a few, so feel free to suggest others in the Comments below!