Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Musings

Well, I couldn't credibly call them Monday musings, could I?


Note to a certain attorney representing a certain mortgage brokerage company that is threatening to sue a certain blog for "defamation", and who thinks a defamation case would be a "walk in the park". See below for a handy article about how defamation is defined, and the difference (or lack thereof) between written defamation and libel. Might help as you get your case moving.

Here you go cousin Vinny.


So the Senate passed their Iraq pullout bill. You might expect a bill labelled as the Iraq pullout bill to demand, you know, a pullout. You know, maybe that, instead of a non-binding request to bring troops home by 2008. Can someone explain to me the purpose of non-binding legislation? Can Congress do the non-binding stuff on the weekends? I mean, that's when I do my non-binding work.


Oh, and Harry Reid had quite the money quote. "We've spoken the words the American people wanted us to speak," said the baffling senator from Nevada. I have to admit that it's pretty damn bold for a leader to get up and say "we told Americans what they wanted to hear." Priceless.


So Michael Jackson wants to build a 50 ft. tall robot version of himself in the desert of Las Vegas. This robot will shoot lasers, so that it will be the first thing folks see as they fly into Las Vegas. Finally, tangible evidence that someone is reading my blog.


Can someone clarify something for me? Okay, so like all pet food is poisonous. Is it poisonous only to pets, or can humans still eat it? I only ask because I'm vomiting blood, and I would be utterly humiliated if my wife came home to find me dead in a pile of Milk Bone dog biscuits.


A kid is temporarily blinded from a prank he found online. He and his friends Googled "chlorine bomb" and thought it would clearly be a good decision to make one. Against all odds, the bomb actually exploded. The kid was asked what lesson he learned and responded, and I quote, "don't do stupid stuff".

You know what? That lesson is completely insufficient. I do stupid stuff all the time. I lock my keys in the car, leave my credit card at the gas station, tell my wife her jacket looks like something my mother would wear. Suffice to say, this kid is doomed to a life of doing stupid stuff. That said, nothing has ever exploded in my hands.

How about this lesson. Don't set goals which, if achieved, can only result in your destruction. Can we set the bar there for the time being?


Question for certain attorney, was it defamatory that I insinuated that this kid is stupid? Just wondering if we still have a first amendment in this country, or whether mortgage brokerage companies managed to do away with that technicality. Please advise in the comments section.


On a related note, I sure hope Barack Obama doesn't read this blog.


What's better than surprising your wife with a cat? Surprising her with four cats! I plan to test this theory shortly.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What you've been missing

I know what your thinking, and I've been feeling it too. This blog is cool and all. An entertaining read, but it is woefully incomplete. You think to yourself, "Does Kevin even care?"

That is an entirely valid question. After all, I have yet to link to a Swedish a cappella group that performs covers of theme music from Commodore 64 video games. Well, let me be the first to apologize. See, I don't want this blog to ever turn into one of those "look what I found on YouTube today!" blogs. I want to provide fresh, relevant information. You know, news you can use.

But does that mean I should deprive you? I mean, it's pretty obvious that you guys want to see a Swedish a cappella group that performs covers of theme music from Commodore 64 video games. What am I doing if I am not providing it? Being a damn idiot, that's what.

I am so, so sorry.

Here you go.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


On the heels of the announcement that Elizabeth Edwards (still) has cancer, the Democratic hopefuls weighed in with their views.

"This announcement couldn't come at a better time," said John Edwards. "My wife is a fighter, and I know that she will be able to engage the media on this issue."

"The important thing is not whether we are for cancer or against cancer," said Sen. Barack Obama, who is black. "The truth is we must embrace cancer as we build a bridge to a more hopeful tomorrow."

Governor Bill Richardson echoed Obama's sentiments, and urged voters not focus on policy, not cancer. "There are a lot of people out there with cancer," said Richardson. "It doesn't make them better people."

When asked for comment, current front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton offered her own unique take. "Boo-hoo! Look at me, I have cancer. Like nobody else has any problems," said Clinton while being fitted for a uranium corset.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich declined a phone interview, but did offer a handwritten response on the back of a Taco Bell receipt. "The death door is awakened! Now is the chance to prosper," said Kucinich, in crayon.

"So let me get this straight. Call a black guy articulate, and you're a pariah, but capitalize on your own wife's cancer, and that's totally cool?" Said Sen. Joe Biden. "Is that about right? Cause I just want to be sure I have the !@#$%^ rules down."

"It feels great to be in the news again," added John Edwards, who is busy planning a funeral for Elizabeth to take place three days before the Iowa primary.

"If she dies, she dies," added Clinton.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rock TV


Rock TV bonanza. I have a small part in this one as a driver. We are taking a jab at Christian Radio. You will enjoy it right now.

My name is Svetlana, and I am you destruction. Commence.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


So I went in for my MRI yesterday. What a lamefest. For starters, I didn't even get to go all the way in the tube. What's the point? Does my health insurer get a discount since I only get to do half the test?

Television told me that people getting an MRI always have dramatic violin music playing, while everyone gets a forlorn look on their face. Where was all that? My radiologist just smiled at me and calmly gave me instructons. He didn't even hold my hand.

As a consolation prize, they let me listen to headphones throughout the test. The only radio station with a strong enough signal to reach this underground radiation lair was 93.7. Two minutes into the test, "Animal" by Nine Inch Nails starts playing, which is given a whole new resonance against the ambient zaps of the MRI machine.

After that disconcerting interlude, the 93.7 disc jockey comes on the air. Apparently some fellow from the band Korn is a Christian and has an ablbum called "washed by his blood" or something. He also has a book out, much to the dismay of aforementioned jockey, who says, and I quote:

"Dude. This guy is... It's just. I mean come on. This is stupid. He's got an album out. He's got a book out... It's not... I mean, I just had to get that off my chest."

Oh, and I'll probably have to have surgery, which had better be good.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday Musings +48

Can someone tell me what is going on with Fox's nine o'clock news? Suddenly the newscasters have taken to standing right in front of the camera. Their main human-interest piece last night was a man who wants Sanjaya voted off American Idol (and wears a t-shirt to this effect). The American Idol blogger guy (yes, they have one) had a ventriloquist dummy appear to his side for no apparent reason. I turned off the TV when a teaser promised "stay tuned and we'll tell you why this monkey is so scared." Beyond parody, those folks.


The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is causing quite a stir by urging our leaders to act on environmental issues and (if nebulously) condemning torture. This is all well and good. I have long thought that the only way effective environmental policy will be enacted is when conservatives take the issue away from Democrats, who are more interested in using the issue to rally their base.

It is interesting to read news accounts of the NAE "taking on" the religious right. Just a few months ago, wasn't Ted Haggard the head of this organization? Wasn't he the religious doppleganger of the corrupt Republican congress, a symbol of the hypocrisy in the religious right, which they are now said to be rejecting? The NAE still opposes legal abortion and gay marriage. It IS the religious right. Perhaps the headlines should read "religious right takes the lead on environmental issues". That'll be the day.


I have discovered a little "game" called Yahoo Answers! You answer people's (often sincere) questions to the best of your ability, and you get points if they choose your answer. It's sort of like Apples to Apples writ large. Finally, I get valuable points for dispensing opinions, instead of hissy anonymous comments.


So the Center for Science in the Public Interest has determined that Chinese take-out is, in fact, unhealthy. Now that they have let this startling revelation out of the bag, they can go back to more perplexing issues, like the effects of steamrollers on cats.


Hard core NCAA tournament action!


I have to get an MRI today on my knee. Is that the one where they put you in a tube? I always thought that would be cool, but I thought you had to have cancer or something to get one. I get to do it just for jacking up my knee! Everyday is like Disneyland for me. Every damn day.


I don't think I could own a dog and a baby at the same time. See, dogs are bananas. If they decide you aren't paying attention to them, they go crazy and tear up the house. If they decide you are looking at them wrong, they'll tear apart your hand. A dog can be completely docile for four years and then BAM! Out of nowhere, they turn into Cujo. It's like living with Al Pacino. So yeah, I get the baby thing, I get the dog thing, but I wouldn't want them in the same house.


Monday, March 19, 2007


Do you have hope?


I do. I have hope for lots of things. Puppies and unicorns give me hope. I have a poster of a unicorn jumping over a rainbow, oding his very best. The poster bears the caption "Hope: The happiness of champions"

That's damn right.

One day, one of my co-workers put a Megadeath decal on my unicorn poster. We had a talk about why he chose to do that. The talk was unfruitful.

Someday, things will be just grear for me. Sometimes I like to joke that I should be wearing a tuxedo, so I can be ready for when everything gets fabulous. I wouldn't want to be underdressed for my own future!

Everybody keeps talking about war and famine. Sometimes I just shove M&M's in my ears so I don't have to listen to all that talk. My wife keeps asking my I get such severe infections. I'm like "what?"

You know what really frosts my cookies? Grouchy people! What's going on with them. it's time to turn that frown upside down. And stop hitting me like that! It's not funny anymore, Reynolds.

Seriously, stop it! I'm bleeding! Ha, it's fun to get attention, though.

*-Paid for by the "Hopefaces for Obama" a non-profit 501.c.4 devoted to the promotion of abject joy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

E-mail of Hate

One of the auxillary benefits of being married is the occassional e-mail missive from your sweetie. Nothing warms my heart like a "just making sure you got to work okay" type e-mail from Khris. Today, however, I got the following perplexing message.

"I got some nice partying gifts for our big even today. Some really nice pens, Wachovia key chain with flashlight, sunglasses and a lovely Wachoiva cooler bag. It's actually really good size. You could get 2 six packs in there. Nice for going to the beach of something and keeping stuff cool. It's go extrac pocket and a place for cell. Nice"

Ummmm... Let's break this down.

What exactly constitutes a "partying gift"? A cooler could be construed as a gift intended for partying, I suppose. However, "really nice pens" and a "key chain (sic) with flashlight" certainly stretch the definition, unless the party consists of playing Pictionary during a power outage.

Perhaps, she meant to write "parting gifts". That would make some sense, except that it begs the question of why she is receiving parting gifts. I am racking my brain for fear that, in the midst of some recent post-nap haze, I inexplicably assented to her leaving her company and becoming a stay-at-home wife. Perhaps she is 8 months pregnant? That seems unlikely.

And what, precicely is a "big even today". Does Wachovia hold something called the "big even"? If she meant to write that there was a big event, she certainly failed to provide context. What is this event commemorating? Is it a ruse for the distribution of dated, Wachovia-branded tchotchkes? Was free food involved?

In fact, it is unclear from her message whether she received said items at the event, or if she actually purchased the items for the event (as the first sentence implies). Should I be looking forward to a life of ornamental pens and cooler bags, or does this message not involve me in any material way?

If, in fact, we are the proud owners of a new cooler bag, I'm not convinced it is necessary to note that the bag will serve to "keep stuff cool". I was utterly certain of the bag's purpose previous to reading this superfluous qualifier.

I can't even begin to decipher "it's go extrac pocket and a place for cell." This looks as thought it was trasliterated from the packaging of a Japanese action figure. "The darksys is forthwith! Defend the enemees aganst many face! It's go extrac pocket and a place for cell!!!!!!!"

And, really, would it kill her to end her correspondence with some sort of punctuation? A period or exclamation point (or, possibly, a question mark) would suffice in this scenario. I guess this is what they mean when they talk about couples having communications problems. Frankly, I expect better.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Post confusion

No post today. The post I am tempted, nay, chomping at the bit, to write, I will hold off until at least tomorrow. As such, I have nothing. See, when I have something I want to write, it is tremendously difficult to write anything else. It's like when you really have to vomit, but you also need to mow the lawn or write a letter to your grandmother, but you really cant' do the latter two activities until you have achieved the former, to the extent the vomiting connotes achievment.

So, you get the worst of both worlds. A blog about blogging. And you liked it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Musings

So Minnesota Democrats want $3 billion in new taxes, including $525 million for "the arts". So, let me get this straight. Funding for our one and only baseball team? Crazy talk. Funding to display the work of whichever aspiring genius decided to piss on a portrait of Jesus this year? Priceless. Well, not priceless... $525 million.


I know, I know... Some of them crap on Jesus. Wouldn't want to constrain them.


I guess that Mayan people want to clean up their holy dealio after a visit from President Bush to Guatemala. Did you know there are still Mayans? They must be awfully good at that "toss the skull through the hoop" game by now.


You ever notice a car on the road that has damage to some portion of it, and then the driver of that car does something that makes the cause of that damage exceedingly obvious. I salute you, Mr. Brakeriding Corolla driver. Your crinkly rear bumper is a cautionary to us all.


On another art-related note, the Weisman art museum wants $10 million to expand their aluminum paradise. I have a question. If artists are so damn creative, why do two of our three most prominent art museums look exactly the same? Curious to find to architects from completely different schools offer up their own take on bomb-shelter chic, even more curious that the city moved forward with their plans.


You'll have to forgive me. I forgot that I have a duty, as a blogger, to have an opinion about Ann Coulter's recent trespass upon the arena of social graces. In politics, there is a phenomenon wherein whenever a person representing a particular viewpoint says something obnoxious, those who hold the opposing viewpoint attempt to attribute that viewpoint to as many as possible. In this case, because Ann Coulter spoke at CPAC, sells millions of books, appears on Fox News etc. liberals will point out that there must be a ready audience for her bigotry. Whether her audience was hankering to have John Edwards branded a "faggot" is not clearly defined, but the very notion is emboldening to opponents of conservative values.

My goal, then, is to pay her no heed, save for the rather obvious heed I have paid above.


Quick poll. What is more unpleasant? A steaming 40" pile of snow, or the ubiquitous soggy morass that invariably follows when temperatures abruptly increase immediately after the snowfall?


I watched the Departed this weekend. Great flick. My favorite exchange.

Leonardo Di Caprio: Do you have any cats?

Typically underdeveloped Scorcese female character: No.

Leonardo Di Caprio: That's good. I like that.

Exactly. There is something inexpressably manic about the combination of women and cats. Ladies, if you are single and don't want to be... Lose the cats.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Old Chicago

You know what I'm having for lunch? Old Chicago!!!!

Did you know that Old Chicago invented the Calzone? I didn't know that either! Even better, I have no way of verifying whether it is true, thought their advertising insinuates this fact. I think that is just great.

Old Chicago is like having a little piece of history, right here in Minneapolis! Don't think you can get quality deep-dish pizza with Chicago-like flair? Think again, stupid. Clearly, you have not been to Old Chicago.

The waitresses at Old Chicago are pretty! Whoa. Simmer down, big guy. You're off the market.

Here's what on the market, a delicious collection of appetizers and several dozen tap beers! Try finding that at Applebees. Go ahead, I'll wait for you while you disappoint yourself. There, does that feel good? Being disappointed by Applebees? Is that what you wanted?

I'll tell you what I want. Delicious, Chicago-style cuisine!

And a chance to clean myself in the women's restroom.

And that's what I get at Old Chicago.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Disturbing Roommate Conversation

A conversation between me and my former roommate.

Kevin: Hey Leroy, would it be possible for me to get my shovel back?
Leroy: Um, your shovel?
Kevin: Or at least borrow it back? Khris and I are trying to tag team on this snow.
Leroy: Well, there's only one shovel here.
Kevin: Is it black?
Leroy: Blackish...
Kevin: That'd be the one.
Leroy: Oh... I thought it was mine.
Kevin: Well, can I come get it?
Leroy: Um, I bent it up pretty good.
Kevin: Well, it is ergonomically correct. It is supposed to be bent.
Leroy: When I say "bent up", I am more trying to communicate that it is broken.
Kevin: Broken?
Leroy: Yep.
Kevin: Entirely?
Leroy: Pretty much. I mean you could probably scoop snow into it with your hands, but.
Kevin: How did you break the shovel?
Leroy: I got this pinata.
Kevin: You had a pinata party?
Leroy: No, it was pretty much a me and pinata thing.
Kevin: I don't like where this is going.
Leroy: It was goat-shaped.
Kevin: When did you get the pinata?
Leroy: Yesterday.
Kevin: During the snowstorm?
Leroy: I needed candy.
Kevin: They have candy at literally every grocery store.
Leroy: I don't see why I should have to defend myself, here.
Kevin: So you used our only shovel as a bat with which to beat a pinata.
Leroy: Well, first I tried it with a bat.
Kevin: Tried?
Leroy: I kept missing.
Kevin: Missing?
Leroy: I was blindfolded. We need new cupboards, by the way.
Kevin: So where does the shovel come in to play?
Leroy: The bat wasn't working, so I used the shovel.
Kevin: Very intuitive. So did you get the pinata open?
Leroy: Yeah, but there wasn't any candy.
Kevin: Come again?
Leroy: Yeah, I guess you have to add the candy yourself.
Kevin: Well, lesson learned.
Leroy: It's okay, turns out there was some candy under the fridge.
Kevin: I don't want to know.
Leroy: We need a new fridge.
Kevin: So, in the middle of the biggest snowstorm in years, you opt to use your one and only on-premises shovel to break an empty pinata?
Leroy: There are ways in which that summary is accurate.
Kevin: Where are you now?
Leroy: At the store looking for a shovel. Would you believe they are all out?
Kevin: I am beyond words.
Leroy: I know. I'm getting a leafblower to see what I can do with that.
Kevin: To the snow or to the pinata?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An unironic salute to pet hospitals

What is it with pet hospitals? Why do they inhabit the creepiest looking buildings in the planet?

I don't own a pet. My wife once owned a bird, but it died while she (my wife) was in the (human) hospital. Her roommate put the dead bird in a bag in the freezer, where it stayed for almost year, a fact which I found exceedingly weird, and for which she proferred no reasonable explanation. But that is not what I want to talk about.

If you were somebody's damn cat, and they locked you in the car, and you were engaging in the usual pandemonium we attribute re: cats riding in a car, would even one of your worries be assuaged by the cinder block fortress known as the suburban pet hospital?

As an owner of said hysterical cat, would you be at ease dragging Fluffybonnets (or similary named) into a building that could just as easily house an ammonia storage facility?

For the rest of us, would it kill our nation's veterinary providers to, at minimum, spruce up their collective aesthetic malaise. Nothing gauche, just some flowers, or maybe, perhaps, a sign welcoming visitors, or indicating hours of operation?

Perhaps I am naive, insofar as I presume veterinary clinics to be devoted to pet wellness. In fact, to my recent recollection, the preponderance of veterinary visits are predicated upon a desire to terminate this or that animal. Perhaps the decor is more, um, reserved out of consideration for the feelings of John Q. Dogowner, who has brought little Bonzo to his quietus make.

We can then understand the appearance of our veterinary clinics to reflect the execution (no pun intended) of their purpose. Perhaps the appearance of the color yellow (or, for that matter, any color at all) would run counter to the primary revenue stream of the local kitten incinerator.

So, I salute you, oh boxy butchers, oh ugly purveyors of puppy-related demise. Your veneer belies the veritable tempest of doom within, the painful wails of forlorn women and children, the confused snorts of dying rabbits and cats. Your cold efficiency contrasts the glorious, if breathlessly transient, beauty of our existence.

Chiropractic offices, on the other hand...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Global Warming: Extreme Edition!

I am what you might call an agnostic w/r/t the issue of global warming. Growing up, I attended a hippie private school that was heavily invested in the global warming issue. I was bathed in rhetoric regarding the impending environmental crisis. The ice caps were going to melt by about 2012 (when I was nine, I wrote a rap song about it). We would run out of gasoline by 2020, coal by 2045. Our children's children would surely die.

Temperatures would increase by 2-6 degrees celsius, causing dust bowls in Kansas, and literally cooking Australia to death. In fact, Australia played an almost mythological role in this narrative. Thanks to an almost non-existent ozone layer, school-age children were not allowed to go aside, I was told. Everybody wore sunhats, and veritable breadlines formed for the purchase of suntan lotion, all thanks to CFCs.

I remember a friend of mine sending me a sunhat in the mail while I was studying in Melbourne. It prompted this discussion with a guy in my dorm.

Him: You goin' fishin' mate?
Me: No.
Him: Take that thing off. You look like a poof.
Me: Okay.

So, yeah, I'm not exactly in on global warming hysteria. I am impressed by the linguistic cleverness of the term "climate change", which allows the user to attribute any particular climatological malady to some epic trend cause by the arrogance of man. I guess it helps us Minnesotans not feel included in the apocalyptic fun while we're shoveling 40 inches of decidedly unwarm snow from our global sidewalks.

I don't deny that global warm... sorry, climate change... exists, or that man has played a role in the process. It seems almost absurd to think that we haven't. Further, I have a natural preference for environmentally-friendly behavior. I drive a fuel-efficient car. I hate the suburbs. I judge people who drive trucks and SUVs. My wife and I even recycle, knowing full well that all the recycling in the world is unlikely to have any tangible impact on the environment.

But I don't like environmentalists. Most people don't. The whole movement suffers from a crisis of ambassadorship. When I was in college, Ralph Nader came to (beg for money and) deliver a message. He was (ironically) stuck in Los Angeles traffic, and so a pastiche of Nader supporters delivered impromptu message of varying coherency. The last of these absurd vignettes was delivered by the vice-president (or something) of the Nader Association (or something). The fellow apologized for his yellow shirt, stating that it was the shirt he woke up in. It was the most substantive idea expressed all day.

In this sense, environmentalism suffer from the same affliction as the pro-life movement. Every member believes themselves to be a warrior in the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. Only, the anti-abortion crowd is just fighting for babies, while the environmentalists are literally fighting for the planet. My SUV driving college friends were quick to remind me of this.

Richard Cizik, the VP of Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (not sure I would want to be a member of a church organization that employs a VP of Governmental Affairs, but I digress) has gotten some ink (and hot water) for his claims that the evangelical movement has ignored the issue of global warming. When asked if he was parterning with "green" groups such as the Sierra Club, his answer was "not yet..."

Translation: "What? No. Those people are batshit insane! Are you kidding me?"

Worse, a number of folks use the issue of climate change to fight a proxy war against our capitalist system. To them, the environment is part of a larger dialectic in which the free markets (or "big business") serve(s) in opposition to the needs of man. Of course, to the extent that the question of global warming is settled amongst scientists, the question of free markets are more than settled among economists. But no matter; the arrogance of major corporations is leading to our very demise. Enjoy your Applebees, Earth-killer.

And this, I suspect, is where they lose people like you and me. I am all for policy that holds the needs of the earth (broadly speaking) in harmony with the needs of our economy. However, I am unwilling to compromise the system of capitalism that keeps power in the hands of private citizens, and I see no reason, scriptural or otherwise, to do so.

In truth, science is incapable of predicting, with any measure of accuracy, how a particular policy will effect the recent warming trend. Any regulation we employ is, like most regulation, a crap shoot. The existence of SUVs was, in fact, predicated by legislation designed to increase fuel efficiency. Oops.

Those who believe the end is near, or may be near, would do best to ride the sideline of this debate. There are a number of questions that must be answered about the nature of global warming before we can determine the best course of action. As a Christian, I know that if doom is imminent, and if God will bring about worldwide apocalypse by way of greenhouse gas, then I can't do anything to stop it. I can't imagine that I am alone in my natural skepticism. A rush to action will result in window-dressing legislation that will do more to please special interest groups (*cough*ethanol*cough*) than it will to cool the earth.

Let's leave the talk of underwater Disneyworld to the eco-warriors. For the rest of us, let the real debate begin.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A springtime conversation

Husband: Well, if we are going to have a corner lot, we definitely need a snowblower.

Wife: Honey, there are other things we need to buy first, like a new mower and a leaf blower.

Husband: Maybe your parents could get us one for Christmas.

Wife: They are getting us an edge trimmer.

Husband: Can't we ask for a snowblower?

Wife: No, we need an edge trimmer.

Husband: For what?

Wife: For edges.

Husband: Did you say edge trimmer or hedge trimmer?

Wife: Edge trimmer. For the edges of grass.

Husband: I could cut edges of grass with scissors in the time it takes to shovel our property.

Wife: No. We need one. There's hardly going to be any snow anyway. We haven't had a snowy winter in forever.

Husband: (acquiesce)

8 months later...

Husband: (pushing car out of snow) Ah, my knee!

Doctor: Well, you popped a ligament. Try to keep your knee elevated for awhile.

Wife: Whose going to shovel the snow?

Husband: Just use the trimmer honey...