Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Birthday TPWK!

Happy birthday, blog. What, you thought I forgot? How could I forget something like your first birthday? This is a wonderful day.

Did I get you a gift? Of course I got you a gift. It's a gift we can celebrate for all the ages. Close your eyes...

Are they closed?

Are they closed?

Okay. Now, open them!



That's right. You're very own luck dragon! Now we can have even more magical fun together. You an me blog, we're gonna be okay.

We're gonna be ooooooooo-kaaaayyyyyy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Fair Response

Yesterday, my friend Ochuk offered a bumbling critique of the Minnesota State Fair on his blog. Read it here. Today, I am providing my response.

His critique of the fair rings utterly false. I will take his points individually. Ochuk argues against the fair's aesthetic value. Clearly, he is on firm grounding here, but he ignores the post-modern chic that is associated with the fair. Award winning jams and pickles, butter queens and all-you-can drink milk connote a rarified beauty, reflecting a set of cultural norms and values that has been rendered obsolete by the outlying city centers.

In fact, Ochuk completely disregards the fair's cultural value. The desire to visit the livestock exhibits (a desire I do not share) is borne of the desire of Minnesotans to celebrate the (predominantly) rural nature of our state. We eat our food on a stick because that is the way it has been done. It unifies us. Minnesotans delight in that which is distinctly Minnesotan, and the fair is a celebration of our affinity for our state. Given that this idea is the primary selling point for the fair, I find it curious that he has neglected to mention it.

Ochuks principal argument hinges upon the concept of excess. His first concern is monetary. I'm not sure this critique is fair. The average fairgoer spends $31 on food, a figure he deems excessive. For a typical Minnesotan, this represents about 75 minutes of labor. Given that this 75 minutes translates into hours of pleasure, the question of whether this is excessive is subjective, to say the least. Further, $31 squares the typical cost of a nice dinner out. One could justify the food cost of the fair by foregoing a meal in Uptown. If the swoon in local restaurant business during fair season is any indication, Minnesotans clearly do precisely that.

He mentions the sin of gluttony. Again, he appears to have an ironclad case, given the deep-fried excess of the food available at the fair. But let's take a step back. If the average fairgoer consumes $31 worth of food, we can reasonably assume they consumed about 6 food items. A cup of cheese curds has about 475 calories, and I think we can agree that this is a pretty representative item. Six food items at 475 a pop is 2,700 calories.

2,700 is a substantial amount, of course. However, this figure is offset by the average of six hours of walking one does at the fair. This subtracts about 500-600 calories from the mix, leaving us with 2,100. Further, the deep fried nature of the fair's offerings hardly spur fairgoers to consume any sort of substantial dinner, and most fairgoers forgo, at minimum, two meals in order to save room for the fair's tasty delights.

Compare this to a day spent, say, consuming Chipotle, drinking some beer, and eating some cheetos while watching football. A Chipotle burrito runs somewhere between 1,300 calories (for a plain veggie) to about 2,500 (for a burrito with meat, cheese, quac and the rest). A bowl of chips has about 300 calories. Beer has about 130 calories for every 12 ounces consumed. One could feasibly spend $15, consume 3,500 calories, and have plenty of room for a large dinner (after the preponderance of carb-loaded white rice sends the body into a state of sugar shock). Add in the fact that many fairgoers spend the next day eating salads out of penance, and your health argument falls flat.

Of course, Ochuk neglects his principal argument against the fair. He is grouchy and cynical, and the fair requires a willingness to appreciate it for what it is. The fair has attributes that I would liken to a southern belle. Pure, perhaps even dumb, but beautiful in her sincerity and charm.

Plus, there is always this pig with really huge nuts.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mocking DailyKos

I know. Poking fun at DailyKos is the intellectual equivalent of stuffing a nerd in a trash can, but hey, I had a rough childhood... Some fellow with the moniker Darksyde (how sublimely hardcore, DarkSyde, with a 'y', like a true gangsta'). He has an entry entitled "we were Americans", and guess what? He's mad. Go figure. Read the whole thing here. Selected excerpts with responses below.

"I suppose the tone was set five years ago, in the aftermath of 9-11 and in the build-up to Iraq, but it took a natural disaster for the horrible reality to really sink in:"


Ah, yes. a tirade about Katrina. That's keeping it fresh. Previous to the Katrina disaster, DarkSyde had a pretty open mind about the Bush administration. Then, reality set in.

Our White House and Republican led (sic) Congress are rife with incompetent, dangerous clowns.


Dangerous clowns? Really? Oh, wait, he's talking about the President. Also, I'm getting tired of the word "rife".

But make no mistake, the lingering, bungled response to Katrina was not solely due to incompetence, it's a stark illustration of neoconservative ideology in action.


Lingering response? Damn Bush administration. One year later, and it's still resonding. We've got response everywhere. It's even on my socks. Incidentally, DarkSyde seems to have a lingering problem with punctuation. This is beyond mere typos.

One year after the storm lashed the Gulf Coast, Biloxi is a wreck, Gulfport is in ruins, New Orleans is a ghost town of roach and rat infested debris, and hundreds of thousands of people have been scattered to the corners of the nation, forgotten, and left to fend for themselves. Stay the course? The course was never even set, much less embarked upon.

Wow! These towns are a mess. Looks like a hurricane hit them! Oh, wait. I thought there was a lingering response. Is the response lingering or non-existent? I don't understand.

There are few denizens in the national disaster universe that give more warning of the coming human misery than a Hurricane.


Just ask Indonesia.

Katrina was predicted for years and could be seen from the surface of the moon for a week.


Why the hell didn't the moon men warn us? We could've packed up the whole coast and moved it a hundred miles north!

No doubt, in the next couple of weeks, the battered gulf coast will be glossed over, again, the victims, uncounted, forgotten, again, the promises made and unrequited, again.


The demagoguery, again, the media preening, again, the commas, superfluous, throughout, this, entire, post. I would say that we did count the victims. 1,300 or so, to my recollection.

The neocons will conflate Katrina with 9-11 and steer the conversation away from the former and into the latter--as Kos said on Bill Mahr (sic), "what else have they got?"

You can't conflate two events and then steer a conversation away from one.

The victims of 9-11 lost their lives in a horrible tragedy that tuned (sic) into a political bonanza for GOP strategists, the dead and destitute left floating in Katrina's wake had the bad acumen to be casualties in a disaster that made the White House look bad.

What does this sentence mean? The dead bodies had bad acumen? Huh?

I predict the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in decades will be quickly pre-empted by stirring speeches sung over the graves of 9-11 by meat puppets of the right clothed in designer suits and wearing somber, rehearsed expressions for the multitude of cameras.

The Katrina anniversary will be interrupted by the Meat Puppets? That's a bold prediction. I predict the Katrina anniversary will be marked by left-wing bloggers and Dick Durbin angrily spewing DNC talking points. We'll see which prediction materializes.

I imagine in the not too distant future, Ph.D. dissertations and classes in political science will be devoted to analyzing how this crop of neocon miscreants lurched clumsily from one monstrous failure after another, and still held solidly onto a third of the electorate.

Um... That happened about one year into the administration.

For now, as one who has lived it, I find the phenomenon incomprehensible.

Let me help you comprehend. Have you ever heard the phrase "with friends like you, who needs enemies?" Think about that one for a minute.

When a co-worker defends Bush or Iraq or the handling of Katrina, I have to consciously try not to stare in open contempt, jaws agape, as a half dozen possible explanations for why they could be so sadly misled and yet so confident, wrestle with one another in the small part of my brain that insists on finding order in chaos.


The small part of your brain has apparently found another outlet.


I'll not feature President Bush strumming the guitar and eating cake on vacation, while hundreds of thousands of American clung desperately to life, waiting for a rescue and a bullhorn moment that would never come.


Hundreds of thousands were never rescued? Tell that to the coast guard. So, if the President were in the helicopters, lifting people out of houses himself, this sentence wouldn't read "while President Bush was getting his photo-op hundreds of thousands...?" Is there anything the President could have done right in this scenario, or during his entire presidency, for that matter?

Nature can only, at best, be understood, and perhaps predicted: And she can unite us.

There are a lot of colons in this piece. Thing about colons is that, when used casually, they really set you up to make your point. When you throw a colon in there, your audience expects the big finish. Alas, all we get is "And she can unite us."

The one tiny thread in the vast carpet of misery and death that accompanies any such event is that they can make us whole, remind us that we're all in this together, that we rise and fall as one nation, one people, from sea to shining sea: All of us, every man, women, and child, even children yet to be conceived.

See above... BTW, I can't get that meat puppets song out of my head.

And when I wake up in the morning (ka-jinga-jin)
And see the daylight on my face (ka-jinga-jin)



Never to my knowledge have so many innocent American paid so dearly, twice, for such opportunity for a leader to stand up and unite our country, only to see our President and the Republican Congress, aided and abetted by Karl Rove and a gang of media shills and partisan think-tanks, seize those apocryphal moments and use them to divide us into warring camps for their selfish and short-sighted advantage.


Apocryphal moments? Was hurricane Katrina a hoax perpetrated by the Bush administration? Talk about backfire. This guy doesn't know what words mean.

It's been five years of astonishing neocon ineptitude laced with a hefty dose of intentional malice, to a degree I would have not thought possible and would have handily dismissed as crazy, had someone tried to warn me beforehand.


Malice is, by definition, intentional. It is a matter of the will. If the administration is acting out of malice, and they are inept, you would expect good things to happen, yes?

Those that detest government, divert funds from community projects into the coffers of billionaires and corporations, and avoid accountability, aren't terribly effective at governance. Katrina was a stellar example, only one of many, of what that kind of philosophy produces.


Our government is malicious. Let's have more of it!

The reaction to both tragedies was in the end ineffective and divisive, and the crafty WH response was needlessly super-imposed on an already wounded nation.

Yeah, that was a pretty crafty response by the Bush administration. They sure looked shrewd in the wake of Katrina. They looked great at first, what with the Superdome and all. But as the weeks and months passed, we began to see holes in their response.

On those fateful days we were not Republicans, Democrats, we were not conservatives Vs. progressives; we were not partisan, we were not enemies: We were Americans.


Yes, amazing how Dailykos set aside petty ideological difference in the wake of Katrina. Instead of playing the blame game, America really came together on that one. Didn't they DarkSyde?

DarkSyde, for crying out loud. Who calls themselves DarkSyde? What, was Dungeon Master taken? Idiot.

Friday, August 25, 2006

You know what I hate?

Pants.

Damned uncomfortable, pants.

Ah, there we go...

mmmm.... Nice...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dropping the Hitler

So I read a news story about a restaurant in India. The headline was "Restaurant in India drops 'Hitler' from it's name. I wasn't expecting very much from the story. I figured the name was just paying homage to one of their Hindu Gods or something. Alas, open up the story to find this picture.



Yeah, not exactly a lost-in-translation issue here. The owner wanted to get attention for his join, which serves pizza, salad and pastries (here's betting matzah ball soup isn't on the menu), so he names his restaurant Hitler's Cross. Well, that's one way to do it. Apparently, the restaurant's name, and the image of a swastika struck some patrons to be a smidge offensive.

So, after sitting down with some prominent Jewish community leaders, the owner decided it might be best to switch to something a little more, I dunno, uncondoning of genocide. At least he got some expert council before deciding that it is, in fact, inappropriate to name a restaurant after Adolph Hitler.

Incidentally, this restaurant looks to be fairly busy. People are actually going here? How does this conversation go over the lunch hour?

Vivek: Hey, I'm running over to Hitler's, you want anything?
Rajneesh: Yeah, I'll get a spinach and artichoke pizza.
Vivek: Personal size, right?
Rajneesh: Yeah, unless you want to split a medium.
Vivek: No, I think I'm going to go with a sandwich.
Herschel: Hey guys, grabbin' lunch?
Vivek: Oh, no, we were just, um...
Rajneesh: We were just, going to go get some gas chamber, I mean (breaths in through teeth and winces).

I also love the tag-line. "From bite size to MEGA". Seems a little anti-climactic, you know, praising none other than Adolph Hitler, and following it with a somewhat benign summation of the amount of food one might reasonably expect to purchase at your restaurant.

Of course, this doesn't bode well for my new "Rape is Awesome" 24 hour pharmacy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This is going swimmingly

More tea, Ms. Snodgrass? Yes? Oh, how delightful. It's wonderful to wile away the time with you. Ms. Pepperfresh holds you in the utmost esteem, you must know, which puts me in quite a pickle. For, you see, I'm here to kill you.

Yes, I know this comes as quite a shock, but I'm afraid you've come in a bad way with my overseer, Mr. Rigglebottom. He has requested you be slain.

Do you take sugar in your tea?

No, no I haven't poisoned your tea. I'm not of a poisoning mind. Poison is the pox of scholars, and I am a but a mere serf. No, I prefer the bludgeon. I will simply bludgeon you. Until you breath your last.

But first, you must tell me more about that delightful Mr. Darby. He is simply ravishing. Finest dress in all of Hercestershire, I must remark. I'd gladly make his nipple a dalliance of my bosom, were I to remark of such things.

Oh, yes, I am of that persuasion. A sissy, if you will, desirous of men. A murderous sissy. I find the tawdryer skins of a man to be rapturous. Nonetheless, I will bludgeon you.

Shall we get on with it, then?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cat your blog is unnecessary

Cat, your blog is irrelevant. There is no valid reason why you should have started a blog. Your poetry is hackneyed, and I frankly don't find you to be that interesting in person, or in cat, or however that colloquialism applies to you.

Don't get me wrong, I impressed that you had the ability to go into blogger, choose a template, futz with the HTML, and establish links. Considering that you are a cat, that is damn near mindblowing. However, this begs the question of whether the ends justify the means.

You know how this is going to end. Your a cat. You sleep 22 hours a day. You don't have time for a blog. First, you'll blog about your favorite cat food, then you won't post for awhile. After two months, you will add an entry every other week that apologizes for the fact that you haven't updated your blog, as though everyone has been holding their breath, waiting for what a @#$%^& cat has to say.

No, I won't link to you. No, I won't. YOu are not getting free publicity from my readership. Don't scratch the chair. Oh, do not scratch my chair. Fine. I'll link to you. Everybody visit some cats blog.

I said stop scratching the friggin' chair!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Condo Solution

Minnesota has a lot of faith in Condos. On my way to work, I drove by Humboldt Avenue North. Savvy marketeers renamed this stretch of road "Humboldt Parkway". See, if you call it an avenue, or a boulevard, people think nothing of it, but call it a parkway, and suddenly it's something special. People ask "isn't North Minneapolis kind of rough," you answer "Oh, no, I live on the Parkway. We're one block over from urban blight."

On this particular parkway is a sign that says "Humboldt Parkway: Phase II". See, as part of the transition from mere avenue to Parkway (I capitalize for emphasis), the road is now strewn with large condos. Of course, by "large condos" I mean, condos that are the same size as the house I just purchased for less than half the price, but regular readers know what I think of condos.

So, what is it about condos? Do they have some magic ability to cure neghborhoods of their ills. Do criminals say "gee, I'd love to rape that woman, but I'd feel guilty doing it in front of the shiny new set of condominiums"?

Minneapolis has bought into the condo solution hook, line and sinker. Troublesome house? Annex it and build condos over it! Company moves their factory to Mexico? Perfect, all the more space for spiffy new condos! Crime problem? Have no fear, condos are here!

Are condos built with special laser beams that protect surrounding inhabitants from harm? If a level three sex-offender moves in down the block, do all the steel applicances get together and form a neghborhood watchdog group? I can see the headline now: "General Electric fridge stops pedophile with ultra-modern veneer sophisticated temperature controls. 'I thought it was a piece of art,' says confused suspect."

What happens when the economy crashes, and people are stuck with their $600,000 2 bedroom hoo-hahs in non-descript (at best) neighborhoods? I envision a world of 7 story condo-plexes, inhabited by over-mortgaged yuppies forced to steal their ownneighbors retro-vintage t-shirts to pawn in exchange for IKEA accessories and Level Vodka. Refrigerators overflowing with asparagus, lox and capers as families are forced to live in squalor, 20 to a loft-style efficiency, just to make the monthly payment.

I would laugh.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Wanna get high?

Hey, Richard Moll. Do you get smoked? You wanna maybe get high? I can score some. You in?



No, I get it. Bad experience with some laced stuff. I won't pull that. That's not how I roll. I wouldn't do that to you. I respect your work on Night Court, but understand that you have moved on as an actor.




That's the way. Yeah, man, let's go to my grandmother's basement, drop some goofballs, drink some Robitussin... Maybe smack the back of our heads with a steel mallet. Just get straight up dizzy. We can have some milk afterward. You know, just gettin' high, as we should be.



Yeah man. That's the enthusiasm. Let's go get high. I'll call my chiropractor and he can hook us up with some vicodin and an Atari. I'm really optimistic about us getting high. I like you, Richard Moll. You'll do great.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blogless

Sorry for the delay folks. I was sitting at home, tooling around on my work laptop (a.k.a. my only computer high speed access) when it took a tumble from my ottoman to the heavily padded carpet some 18 inches below. I have an iBook, so naturally this was sufficient to obliterate the screen, causing $1,300 in damage.

Who says Macs don't crash?

So, in ten days, my work will provide me with a shiny new (and equally ineffectual and fragile) Macbook. Talk about not learnign their lesson. It's almost like a country that has two planes fly into tall buildings in its largest city, and decides, five years later, that the measure taken to prevent a similar occurrence ar unconstitutional. Cause, you know, that would be pretty !@#$%^ stupid.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Blog

So, it appears that Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has started a blog.

To be honest, I'm not terribly optimistic. His first post was 2,300 words, so he clearly doesn't have a grasp of the format. I'm guessing he'll start strong, with feverish anti-American rhetoric, and amusing rants about his friendship with the always-whacky Kofi Annan.

Then, the posts will get shorter and shorter. He'll start talking about how much coffee he had that day, or just linking to news sites. Then, he'll decide to start posting quotes from the Quran that he finds inspiring. After a few weeks, he'll write about how he's sorry he hasn't posted in awhile, and how things have been busy, what with the international chess game he's playing with the free world.

Then, eventually, he'll just announce that he is through with blogging.

I am so not linking to him until he proves himself.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pretty Dumm ad



Hey everyone! The United States Department of Energy has launched a banner ad campaign!

Let's analyze this ad for a second. The word "energy" is crossed out, presumably by this trenchcoated character, who looks a cross between Peter Griffin and Travis Bickle. Hey everyone, I wear gray sweatshirts and I hate the word "energy" with a passion. Man, screw energy. Now let's go save Jodie Foster.

Actually, did he intend to only cross out energy? Because, the only potential headlines rendered by this act are "101 Ways to increase Dumm efficiency" or "101 ways to increase efficiency" or "Dumm 101 Ways to Increase Efficiency".

Whichever way, the message is clear: Increasing energy is Dumm.

What? Whoa! What's that exploding from the background? Why it's a HANDBOOK! At least, I think it's a handbook, though it's a bit difficult to discern thanks to the color scheme (yellow on yellow on yellow on yellow... Somewhere, there is an overpaid graphic designer).

So far, so good. I trust handbooks. Good to know that people are still making them. Damned informative, handbooks.

Wait! There's a call to action.

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO

(Go? Go where? Please don't leave me hanging! Little Orphan Annie needs my help!)

TO WWW.ENERGYHOG.COM

(Oh, thank God.)

Well, that sounds practical. Let's go see what we find.



Well, this has gone from bad to worse. Let's see, we've got our lovable creepy pig guy standing in front of a vault marked "NO ADULTS ALLOWED!" Yes, kids, follow your favorite porcine pedophile into a steel den of sensible energy-saving tips. But, by all means, don't let your @#$%ing parents know what you're doing. This is just between you and Uncle Travis.

Incidentally, why is Dumm spelled incorrectly? I thought it might be an acronym for some sort of organization, but in fact it seems simply to be an ironic play on the word "dumb". That's pretty stoopid if you ask me.

Oh, what the heck. I'm a kid at heart, let's open the vault. Hmmm... At the bottom of the kids site, there is a box that reads:

"The Energy Hog does NOT want you to tell us what you think of the Energy Hog Web site. So whatever you do, DO NOT take our online survey."

Ah, a little reverse psychology on the kiddies. Two can play that game. I answered the survey, and told them their website is FANTASTIC, and that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should they endeavor to execute an interactive marketing campaign that reeks of competence.

Actually, the whole box is rendered somewhat moot by the presence of a tab that says "Take the Survey!" This has surely been confusing to the half-dozen or so visitors to the site.

Oh, and this would be your tax dollars at work. Say it with me, folks:

This is why I vote Republican, people.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I found a mint on the floor


I found a mint on the floor. Should I eat it? It looks like it's in good shape. It's pretty much still in its wrapper, like someone tried to open it, but then fumbled it onto the floor.

Obviously they felt that the mint was unsalvagable. But what has that got to do with me? Am I forced to apply their ethics, re: floorbound comestibles, to my own experience? I don't see how that follows.

Cause if I don't eat it, I'm going to be thinking about it all day. Just thinking about how good it might have tasted, and wishing I had picked it up. I'm gonna grab it.

It's kinda sticky, moist to the touch at minimum. Other than that, it's very much intact. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't enjoy this particular candy. i am confident that I'll be in for a treat, should I opt to violate social mores by devouring food that most would consider litter.

What the saying? You only live once? That's right. You only live once. Gotta eat all the mints you can... So here goes.

Mmmm... Interesting. You know, now that i'm tasting it, this is actually a rsuty razor blade, and not at all a mint. You know, this is actually pretty awful. It's cutting me up pretty good.

Sorry to waste everybody's time.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thank You Islam!

So now we can't even bring bottled water onto planes. Let's all take a moment and thank Islam and it's much vaunted leader, Allah, for depriving us of yet another small pleasure.

Maybe they can devise a plan to store explosives in t-shirts, so everyone has to wear sweaters on planes.

This is why I vote Republican, people.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

PRESS RELEASE: Jackass Welcomed

Today, the national political scene welcomed the dangerously underqualified Ned Lamont. Having defeated Joe Lieberman in yesterday's Democratic primary for the Connecticut Senate race, Lamont, whose principal qualification is his popularity among the shrill, now has the inside track to becoming Connecticut's next Senator.

"It's a great day for democracy when the grassroots movement can leverage the ignorance of the populace to eradicate the last remaining vestiges of common sense from the Democratic party." Said Lamont, who brings nothing to the table.

"This wasn't a David vs. Goliath. This was an ant vs. the bottom of my shoe." Added some guy who constantly posts entries for DailyKos.com. "You had a three-term Senator, whose beliefs squared with the majority the American populace, who was a great campaigner and an excellent politician, and who had a reputation for representing the Democratic party with dignity. Thank to our efforts, he has been defeated."

Ned Lamont, a millionaire who is known across the state as the guy who isn't Joe Liberman, promises to change the way Washington does business.

"For too long, our elected leaders have been relevant, operating in a fashion that has provided a distinct benefit to American citizens," said Lamont. "Well, I'm going to change all that."

In a fitting response. DNC chair Howard Dean constructed a cake out of his own feces, which he has kept in a trunk in his garage for more than four months.

"It was time," said Dean.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Dinosaurs

I still wish you could see that picture. The dinosaur was sort of looking up at the sky, like he was standing up straight for momma.

It wasn't a real dinosaur or anything. Obviously, they didn't have cameras back then, but it's a pretty good artist rendition. I think if you saw the photo, you would realize that dinosaurs are pretty cool.

Maybe I can drag it from photo bucket or something. Give me another couple of hours, and I'll try to get that going.

Oh, here we go. I found it.




Wow. I'm sorry. Clearly that is not a dinosaur, but rather a scene from the Muppet Show in which Beaker is the victim of one of Dr. Bunson's crazy experiments. That is awful. I am just so, so sorry. I'll keep trying over the next couple of days. I think it would be really worthwhile for you to see that brontosaurus.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Babymania!




Everyone in my life is pregnant or having babies (except for my wife, who, being 34, is enamored of the concept). Everywhere I go it's baby did this, baby did that... Baby slept two hours, baby slept 4 hours... Baby farted six times, baby farted eight times... We painted baby's room light blue, we painted baby's room green, we didn't paint the baby's room because it was already painted the right color when we bought the house.

I'm about ready to stick a gun in my mouth.

I love babies. They are adorable. God's gift. Yadda, yadda. I even intend to have a couple of the little idiots myself. It's just that I have precious little interest in talking about the consistency, frequency, coloration of your baby's feces. A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law and his wife had a baby they named Cooper. Guess what grandma nicknamed him.

Before I was married, I could simply shelter myself from the baby world by avoiding parents at all cost. You want to talk about vaginal tearing during birth? I will simply leave the premesis. You have hemorrhoids? Sounds like the Kevmans cue to leave.

Cause, frankly, I found this conversation pretty boring the first time.

"Person A: Well, Sara finally had her baby. 8 lbs. 2 oz.

Person B: Oh my goodness, that's so big. Poor girl!

Person A: I know. She didn't even take an epideral.

Person B: Well that's nothing. My cousin's baby was (enter double digit figure here)

Me: Isn't 8 lbs. only slightly above average? I mean...

Persons A & B: YOU TRY GETTING SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A (bowling ball or watermelon) OUT SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A (lemon or grapefruit).

Me: No, I'm clearly an idiot. I had never thought of that.

What is it with baby weight anyway? Who cares. When people ask me how Khris is doing, I don't say "great, 102 pounds." But what else do you talk about, w/r/t babies?

And now, I am betrothed to a woman who, like all women (particularly those who are 34 and at their absolute peak of baby-related interest, biologically speaking) is obsessed with all things baby. The other day, my wife turned to me and said "little Cooper is back up above his birth weight. Did you know they actually lose a few ounces after they're born, and gain it back?" Then looked at me as though I'm supposed to be sincerely shocked by this news.

Let me tell you a phrase wives don't want to hear:

"Honey, I'm glad you like talking about babies, but howzabout I leave and have a beer while you and mother-to-be have a chat?"

So, I'm stuck. And, to be honest, I look forward to the day I can have my own little child, and we can can brigail you with utterly uninteresting facts like head-size percentile and what sort of baby lotion we use. Mwah...

Gizmo's Gonna Getcha



Yeah... Watch your back. Gizmo's gonna getcha. Hey, what's the over there? Ahhhh... Just kidding. Gizmo will track you down. He's gonna getcha.




Uh-oh... There he is. Scary huh. That's Gizmo. Always freaking you out. Difficult to handle, Gizmo, the way he haunts your dreams.

Gizmo's gotta gun. When he getcha, he's gonna use it. Yeah, Gizmo's proud of his shiny gun.

Bang! Just kiddin'. I'm just playin'. Gizmo's cool. If you see him, say hi. he likes cheez-its and Rum & Cokes.



He might still getcha, though.

Friday, August 04, 2006

MTV Turns 25

I remember, when I was three, being obsessed with two songs, "Safety Dance" and Taco's version of "Puttin' on the Ritz". MTV would play the videos, I would watch intently, video would end, Nina or Booboo or whoever the VJ was would come on the air and prattle, I would go back to my toys.

Since those days, MTV has been said to have grown up. As MTV and I are approximately the same age, I could be said to have grown up with it. The extent to which it has registered in my general consciousness has ebbed and flowed, to say the least, largely on account of its myopic focus on catering to the entertainment needs of the 13-16 year old middle class.

I remember the late 80s, watching my brother, sprawled out on the couch, hungover, staring at whatever Joshua Tree single was playing at the time, preparing to do some follow-up calls with whatever prey he had set his sight on the night before. I wondered what the fuss was about.

To me, music was stupid. And I didn't want to watch it.

Then, in 1992, I hit the sweet spot, and music wasn't stupid anymore. I don't know if Pearl Jam was that good, or if I was just that primed to like them, but MTV became my life for a good solid couple of years. I would say that the artists I enjoyed, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Tori Amos, Sonic Youth etc.. Mostly seem to be around and making relevant music, to the extent that they aren't dead, so I like to think I came of age in an era of pretty passable music.

Beyond music, MTV had some edgy stuff to offer, pioneering reality TV with the Real World, and introducing us all to Beavis and Butthead (which was funnier than any of us would ever want to give it credit for).

Then, I turned 16, Bush became popular (and, gag, spawned imitators), and music sucked again. MTV's response to this phenomena was to cease to play any music at all. In fact, the channel seemed to increasingly focus on the fans themselves. With Carson Daly at the helm, TRL became more about barely dressed, insecure twits than about musicians (who are way different).

MTV continued it's descent, Matchbox 20 became popular, and it was pretty much all over. Now, MTV pretty much devotes it's time to improving the look of poor people's automobiles.

Happy Birthday MTV, if you're still on the air!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm just a guy who's into dinosaurs

I like dinosaurs. Pterodactyls, T-Rex's, you name 'em I'm into them. No big whoop, I just like dinosaurs.

Yeah, I've got a few dinosaur related toys. I think that's healthy. It's healthy to have hobbies. And when it comes to having hobbies, I think dinosaurs are a pretty masculine thing to be into. For example, look at this picture.

Well, blogger isn't working, so I can't show you. But I can tell you it was a picture of a brontosaurus, looking magnanimous as always. The brontosaurus was the sort of beast who could crush you, but would rather have you over to discuss world issue over some cabernet.

Had you seen the picture, I think it would have opened a window to understanding my passion for dinosaurs, and would be better equipped to accept my 400 some odd dinosaur related posters, as well as my dinosaur soap dispenser collection.

You see, I am passionate about dinosaurs. You could, then, understand my consternation upon discovering that they are, in fact, extinct. They have been for quite some time, it turns out.

Still, I see dinosaurs as highly relevant. Most people find my pursuit of their pleasures to be in no way creepy or "childish at best" or "bordering on obsession" or "utterly incompatible with any identified social norm" to quote some responses I have received.

I'm just a 43 year old man who likes dinosaurs enough to wear pajamas bearing their likeness... Most of the time.

Hey, no big whoop... I just think dinosaurs are fantastic. Like anyone would do with anything they find to be fantastic, I spend 6-8 hours per day revelling in their fantasticness.

I like to think of fantasticness as a word, because it so aptly describes dinosuars. I would use it as a noun, as in "dinosaurs are fantasticness". I think that is a reasonable statement.

I mean, i really wish you could've seen that picture. Maybe you can google it. Just punch in dinosaurs. You'll get some great pictures. I think they'll be important to you.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I WANT SPACE ICE CREAM


What's a guy gotta do to get some space ice cream? I want it.

I remember, in the days of show & tell, some kid would bring in space ice cream, and every kid would get to have some little sliver of it, cause he'd only bring in one package. Those were the best days of my life. I loved space ice cream. MMM... Deliciously dry.

Now, I have a full time job. I can afford all the space ice cream I want. But can I just stroll into the grocery store and pick me up some? Oh, no. No space ice cream for the Kevman.

I walk into my local Cub Foods (for out of towners, Cub Foods is a popular grocery chain that looks like a cross between a bombed-out warehouse and a ward for the mentally-ill). I ask a nearby clerk where I might find some ice cream. He gets a big smile on his face, and directs me to a pile of rotisserie chickens, which are on sale for $4.

Bugger the chickens, I want space ice cream!

So, where am I to go for the dehydrated retro-goodness of space ice cream? E-bay? Ironic-treats-r-us?

Please help.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Avocado Facts



MMMMMM.... mmm. mmm... mmm.......

I do love me some avocado. The green butter of the Gods as I like to call it. Had me some avocado today. On a bagel. With salt and pepper. It's good for my depression.

Damn delicious, the avocado, and the bagel, combined.

That said, here are ten things you may not know about the avocado.

1. In spite of it's savory texture, an Avocado is, in fact, a fruit? Who knew?

2. Avocados contain enough potassium to do battle.

3. Avocados are actually high in fat. Don't worry, though, it's the good fat. The good fat still makes you fat, though.

4. You asked an avocado to the prom in 11th grade. Avocado said no, but still considered you a friend. Turns out the avocado is a lesbian.

5. Sorry, when I said "avocado", I meant Native American.

6. Avocados are notorious for producing hackneyed screenplays (see "Garden State")

7. While avocados have no stated political affiliation, avocados are often closely associated with the green party.

8. Yeah, I went there. A green joke. Whatever, start your own damn blog, Steve.

9. Commercial avocado orchards are planted using grafted trees and rootstocks. Rootstocks are propagated by seed (seedling rootstocks) and also layering (clonal rootstocks), as most of you well know.

10. Avocados wish you wouldn't look at them like that. They're uncomfortable.

Gotta go eat me some more avocados! They are absolutely fantastic!