Monday, October 31, 2005


Happy Halloween. Quicky caption contest, best one wins.

I'll start: "Ask your doctor about early signs of osteoporosis."

If I weren't so annoyed by attorneys and frivolous lawsuits...

... I'd sue all the fast food places that advertise this:

And then deliver this:

On a recent trip to an unnamed fast food restaurant that rhymes with Schmardees:

Me to the manager: "Sir, this burger doesn't resemble the picture. Why?" Manager: "The picture is a serving suggestion only." Me: "So you suggest I bring in my own buns, meat patty and trimmings?"


I'd also go to a gas station, ask for exactly one gallon of gas and demand 1/10 of a cent change. If they couldn't produce the change, I'd sue them for it. Mobil: Take the stupid 9/10 sign down and round it up to the next penny, you're not fooling anybody. Well, maybe some people... but NOT ME dammit.


I'd also sue companies for rebates I've never received.

How stupid is this? The company needs the ACTUAL barcode from the side of the box, the receipt and the filled-out rebate form within 30 days of the purchase in order to send me the check. Ah, but here's the rub. If the item malfunctions within 30 days and I need to take it in for an exchange, they NEED THE BARCODE AND RECEIPT in order to exchange it.

So to boil it down, if you want the 30 day exchange option, you must give up the rebate. BULLSHIT. No more advertising of the after-rebate price when it's nearly impossible to get.


Well anyway that's how I roll. Peace out.

end rant

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Getting something off my political chest

The political posturing in the CIA leak investigation is getting as tiresome to watch as “Survivor 7 – Living Directly In an Incinerator.” (or whatever manifestation of a tired concept they are on now) Democrats are devouring it as if Bush fondled children, and Republicans are aghast that this “politically motivated” investigation would be so bold as to indict someone for a series of lies indirect to an investigation, and that it could lead to the “criminalization of politics.”

First, to the Republicans… come on. Much of politics should be criminal. Pork, cronyism, leaks, should be illegal. The day you give a critical government position to an unqualified buddy, use budget money for a useless pet project or abuse the press to forward your agenda, you should be impeached and charged with something akin to treason.

As for the investigation, remember when Bill Clinton was indicted (and impeached) for lying in a similar manner? It was pile-on time. He was lying about receiving oral sex, not about leaking a CIA agent’s identification, and possibly deeper, the origins and justification of a war. Don’t get me wrong, Clinton was guilty of lying. But such short memories you have. The feeding frenzy among the GOP at that time couldn’t have been reproduced by the best Hollywood special effect people as part of Jaws 4: Yet Another Goddamn Sequel.

And to the Democrats, calm down, this is still an investigation. Busy yourselves working on your plan. You people spend all day criticizing the Bush administration regarding the war, the deficit, health care, while taking no time to develop your own strategy to tackle those issues. I hear you rant about how bad things are, but see no evidence of you getting your political shit together. I’ve never seen a party that wants the White House so badly, yet has such little to say about what they’d do if they were actually there.

On another subject, the political bullshit squabbling surrounding the grim milestone of 2000 deaths in Iraq sickened me. Republican talk show hosts like the irritating Laura Ingraham spent the entire day talking about how any media outlet who reported the death toll milestone is a liberal outlet with an agenda.

Gee, Laura, I believe I spent a little time that day discussing our dead men and women, hoping it was not in vain.  And mourning. Perhaps you should hearken back to the lessons of Media 101: The Press’ Job is to Report Facts, and things which consumers find captivating and compelling. Doing so doesn’t mark the press as liberal, you idiot. There is plenty of real, actual evidence of the press’ political leanings.

One more thing. Philosophically I lean conservative, but I’m a member of the VAST majority in America who fall somewhere in the middle. Those who believe the world to be neither black nor white, but interesting shades of grey.  I’m growing weary of the misuse of the word “patriotic.” Somehow, the definition has been adulterated. It’s now a barely recognizable mutation, congruous to blindness.

Patriotism is not blind. It’s caring enough to keep your eyes open.

Fall back

Did you remember?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Fotos

On certain quiet nights, when it's just me and the laptop, I sometimes begin thinking I can write funny captions. And of course by funny, I mean "not funny."

"Is it beating time yet? Huh? Please can we have it now?"

"Ferdinand had clearly misunderstood Ed... it wasn't possible that THIS is what happiness is. Perhaps a less literal interpretation was in order."

"Witches brew, my ass. That was Jager!"

"Leon demonstrated his mastry of the latest party game craze, 'Scholling.'"

"Mary's worst enemy was boredom."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Half Nekkid Thursday

Facial nudity ahead! Because I don't change the blade often enough, my mug will soon be dotted with little pieces of blood-soaked TP. (note to self: add blades grocery list)

I'm thinking about shaving off the cheesy goatee.

Happy Half Nekkid Thursday! Click the link below to learn more and play along.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Key to Life

"It will be $150 and three weeks for delivery."

I hadn't asked about a piece of jewelry or the latest electronic gadget. Only a spare key for my car.

A key. Metaphorically, it's hard to find a more simple object with deeper meaning... the key to the future, to the heart, to the city... but when you strip away those metaphors, you're left with a piece of metal and a nonsensical contrast of importance and expense between different kinds of keys.

I took a trip to the hardware store recently to have a key made to the front door of my house for my cleaning lady. The clerk asked me how many copies I needed. "One, thanks."

It cost me .89 to make a tool that would allow its user access to most of my worldly possessions... and I didn't have to show proof of ownership, an ID or anything. For the spare car key I would need a copy of the title and my driver's license... but for my house, just the original key, and I could've made 10 copies for eight bucks and change.

Then we'll turn around and spend thousands of dollars on a home security system.

I have a neighbor who always leaves his house unlocked, but has a thousand dollar talking security system on his car. If you walk too close to it you'll hear, "MOVE AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE!! I REPEAT, MOVE AWAY FROM THIS VEHICLE!!!! But... if you need anything in the house, you know, GO RIGHT IN!!!"

Ironically, most of the time my $150-keyed car is unlocked and parked in the garage of... my .89-cent-keyed house.

I also find it humorous that we lock our luggage. Those little locks, with a good firm twist, will break into several pieces. Most times, those locks are simply securing two zipper tabs together. All of our traveling possessions are being guarded by cloth and a zipper, but we feel better when we click the little padlock closed. Keep your key, just give me a sharp pocket knife and I could lay waste to most any piece of Samsonite and take whatever's inside.

Keys. Complex or simple, they give us comfort somehow. We know our things are locked up, our lives are safe and we can sleep.

Yet for three quarters, a dime and four pennies you can go right in and take whatever you want.

If there is a valuable lesson here, it must be this:

Don't piss off the cleaning lady.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Smelly socks*

As a matter of fact, I DID have a good weekend, thank you. Despite the very busy nature of things around here, I was able (much like a bee is able to find the lovely bloom of a Buttercup, or a dingo is occasionally able to find a carcass) to find things to do that involve wine, sports and physical exercise. Two of these things were enjoyable.

Day 1 - Saturday, 11 am - a bunch of friends departed for Hermann... the heart of Missouri Wine Country. Oktoberfest continued this weekend and clearly some were quite, um... festive. We met a couple from Jefferson City who were toastier than most, and the husband was quite intent on showing us his wife's surgically enhanced breasts. I should add, quite unsolicited and with little warning.

She didn't seem to mind this Girls Gone Wild reenactment. She did seem very motivated to wear my sunglasses and when I returned from the restroom I found she had kicked them around on the ground, bent them into an unidentifiable $85 mass of wire and glass and scratched the lenses remarkably thoroughly for such a drunk person.

I was happy to be numbered among the wise in the group, and spent Oktoberfest observing the intoxication of OTHERS, sipping wine and enjoying the weather. We were back in the city by 7:30 pm and I crashed on the couch to watch the White Sox beat Houston in game 1.

Day 2 - Sunday 9 am - We were able to procure tickets to the Rams game, so it was an early rise (by weekend standards) and drive downtown. We wound up with a win over the Saints in a come-from-behind performance in the second half. It wasn't pretty, but I'll take it.

By the time I arrived back home, I barely had time for a load of laundry and to watch game 2 of the series. GREAT game, the White Sox won with a bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off homer.

There was very little rest, but lots of recreation over the weekend. I really need a couple of days off.

*nothing at all about smelly socks in this post.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dave's Friday Photo

This is the bugle my Grandfather played. He was in the Army, based at Pearl Harbor in the 1940's - and was the reveille bugler every morning. The bugle was played (in an official capacity) for the final time on a certain December morning in 1941.

This is the single most important thing I own. It has become a centerpiece in my living room and a warm rememberance of the most heroic man I've ever known.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Half Nekkid Thursday

Part 3. The naked part is not visible, so you'll just have to imagine. I learned a valuable lesson that night... never pee outside when there's a camera around.

To participate, click below:


Things I've Learned

My day is heavily scheduled, so I'm using the good old standby list of "Things I've Learned." Some of these lessons have come at great personal expense, so I hope you appreciate their wisdom.

I've learned...

After spending 30 minutes in vain searching for funnel cakes and the “guess my weight” guy, it appears Shoe Carnival is a goddamn hoax.

If dogs are as smart as the experts claim, why can’t they tell the difference between a Harley and a thunderstorm?

If you’re scoping women in a gym, it’s okay to consider what they WILL look like, instead of what they CURRENTLY look like.

If you’re running late and have no time to do laundry, you can improvise by wearing old underwear inside out.

If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bezbohl been berry, berry good to me

The weather is SO great here today I have the urge to blow off work, rent a convertible and go for a road trip. After the astounding Cardinals game last night, with Albert Pujols snatching the Cardinals from the precipice of elimination with a ninth inning, two out, one strike BLAST, I am still in a state of delirium. It reminds me why baseball is America's pasttime.

Of course, then the ticket broker prices I've had to pay to attend the games remind me of the things that are so very, very wrong.

So I'm off to the studio for a rousing day of voice overs, then an evening on the patio with a cigar. At least that's the plan... I will check in later with an update of how it actually plays out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Chad is kicking my ass

I hate Chad. He is my personal trainer. We began a vigorous workout schedule last week and I've just returned from 75 minutes of pure, unfiltered, plenary hell.

They say you'll get addicted to working out after a few times. You'll love that adrenaline rush and after a week or two, you'll crave it.

I don't f#$%-ing think so.

I don't have an addictive tendency. At times in my life I've done my level best to become an alcoholic. No deal. I smoke cigars and love how they make me feel, but do I need them? No, I only smoke them now and then. Has there ever been a sleep aid, mood management or pain relief perscription that I've ever wanted to continue taking even one day longer than prescribed? Huh-uh.

So the chances of me getting addicted to adrenaline, Chad or those goddamn weight machines is next to nil. That is why I chose to do this with my friend, Dr. Mike. We are tough on each other and if either weakens or wants to give up, the other will relentlessly harrass the quitter until they are a quivering, guilt-ridden pool of organic goo.

Plus the trainer is pre-paid and I hate wasting money.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Continuing education

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of four teams involved in the league championship playoffs, and I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets to both home games so far.

Things I’ve learned in the past 3 days:

-A liver is just a liver. It’s not titanium.

-If you can, avoid peeing in a parking lot with the belief that nobody will take a picture of you “in progress” and publish it.

-Don’t expect people to have the same capacity for drinking as you. If you do, it’s likely you’ll spend at least some time cleaning up puke.

-When 60-thousand people are all trying to get to the same 8 block area at once, it’s likely you’ll need both of your middle fingers.

-At a ballpark, pouring a beer down the back of the annoying asshole sitting in front of you will cost you 9 dollars for the beer and 30 dollars for gauze and bandaids.

-You can spend 600 dollars over the course of two games and still feel like you got a good deal. Your ex-wife will just have to understand about the child support.

-I can still sleep 3 or 4 hours a night for two nights in a row and work both days with relatively little body revolt, unless you include the shakes. And blurry vision.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

HNT, second attempt

For Half Nekkid Thursday, the knobbies and ESPN. To participate or see others' entries, click below.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Homeland Insecurity

If you want a good laugh, check this out.

SNL DeNiro Clip

It's a bit from Saturday Night Live featuring Robert DeNiro playing the part of the Director of Homeland Security. If you're into juvenile humor, this will do it for you.

Baseball Utopia

A friend called tonight to see if I was interested in buying tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals playoff game tomorrow night against the Houston Astros.

Hell yes! They are club seats, so you get outside seats and inside seats at a table behind glass. Inside the club is a food buffet and it includes beer and cocktails. My "friend" is upcharging me $100 per ticket, but he says he could sell them on eBay for $350 each, so I'll take it.

Houston is a tough team and this should be a great series.

He drinks! He SHOOTS!

"Sweet Home Alabama!"

A greatest hit of an ungreat blog

I was scouring the 'net for some hard news to exercise my mind tonight, and found something that would convince even the harshest religious skeptic of the existence of a creator:

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a grilled cheese with the virgin Mary on it. You may be skeptical, but it's 100 percent authentic. People are traveling the world to get a glimpse of this cherished religious symbol... hoping it bestows upon them the "blessing of the cheddar."

Then I happened across something even MORE astounding.

If you guessed this is a fish stick with Jesus on it, (DING DING DING) you are absolutely right! This morsel of mollusk is rumored to be a processed, homogenized and preserved piece of one of the actual fish Jesus duplicated in infinitum in the whole "loaves and fishes" thing. Obviously, a "Van DeKamp veneration."

It only took a few more mouse clicks until I came across...

The "Mary nursing Jesus" popcorn! That's right, this celestial kernel looks as if it "popped" right out of the heavenly husk of God. Who could question the obvious message He is sending through His mystical maize. If God has a name, it's probably Redenbacher.

But then, obviously satan became jealous of the attention given to the consecrated cuisine... and sent us THIS message (clearly authentic) on the side of a hot pocket:

What are we to make of this satanic snack? Could beelzabub be trying to lure us into his cheesy web of deceit? Or is the chef boyar-devil simply reminding us that, if we're not good, he'll save a nice little waterfront cottage for us... on the river STYX?

Side note: the luciferous hot pocket sold for 137 bucks on e-bay. No joke.

Finally my search for pietous pabulum was over, and I logged off the net. Faith in a creator is something you'll find in your heart - not in a grocery store.

Next stop, the pantry, where earlier I had spied a tater shaped like Hitler. That should fetch a handsome price.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cigar irony

A group of us decided to break routine last week for lunch downtown and a trip to the Macanudo Tent, a roadshow that the Macanudo cigar company takes from town to town. It's basically a big tent with leather chairs and couches, free shoe shines, free massages, a big screen television and door prizes.

We walked in and were handed our free cigar lighters and cutters, then given our choice of a cigar from the fine selection of Macanudos on hand. We sat on a big leather couch and I fired up my cigar.

The effect of such a flagrant violation was soon felt throughout the tent. "Sir! I'm sorry, there's no smoking allowed."

Is this the height of irony? Have things become so PC that a cigar event restricts the smoking... of cigars? It would be like going to a bar and being told you have to go home to drink. Or hitting your favorite restaurant, only to be told there's no eating. Or, going to Las Vegas' "Chicken Ranch" and being told you'll have to go home and have sex with your wife.

Okay maybe I've taken the analogies to the extreme... where was I?

Oh yeah. When we were outside, one of the Macanudo girls was drawing names for door prizes, which were mostly boxes of cigars - GREAT prizes. "Gary Stokes?" She called my buddy's name. He jogged over to her, elated to have won what he thought would be a box of cigars.

It was a cap. And he wasn't allowed to wear it inside.

Then the final piece of irony of the day, Dr. Mike noticed that the Macanudo girl had a suspicious looking growth on her lip... resembling lip cancer.

Me, Dr. Mike and Gary smoking one OUTSIDE the
Macanudo tent, next to the fountain,
which has been colored
Cardinal Red for the playoffs.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Saturday morning nostalgia

Since last night, I've been waxing a bit nostalgic. Maybe it's the cooler weather.

I looked across the table at my daughter over dinner, and realized that she's 16. I thought about all the simple things in my life that she will never experience. I pondered how the convenience and high technology of the 21st century has sort of robbed our children of the ability to appreciate and be thankful. I figured I would share a few things that crossed my mind.

I miss how my grandpa could provide entertainment for our family simply by taking us for a drive on "Seven Hills Road." No high tech amusement park or virtual reality ride could take the place of THAT kind of fun. It left my stomach in my throat and an ear to ear grin on my face. The old yellow Chrysler with fins on the back was our roller coaster for a few minutes, and there were no hour-long waits to get on.

My mom used to make the most amazing enchiladas. The kind you'll never find in a Chevy's, anywhere... and we didn't have to get a pager and sit in a foyer for an hour to get them.

A console stereo, a big stack of pillows and several vinyl 33 rpm albums were my entertainment on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Somewhere in the middle, during a Frankie Laine or Elvis record, grandma would sneak in with a glass of iced tea and some cookies and I thought the heavens had opened up. Thank you, Mother Nature, for the rainy days.

Did you ever take a little extra time on a roadtrip and drive the outer road? Some people don't realize that the outer roads of most highways WERE the highways at one time. Those smaller, mostly parallel roads remain so people who lived on them could still get home. I think it's those stretches of blacktopped nostalgia, where the old road wanders away from the interstate, that you'll find the neatest drive. You'll find some old dusty towns out there, some really neat farms and, every now and then, an old gas station, where you once could have had your tank filled with something called "Ethyl," the oil checked and the windshield washed by a guy in a uniform... all for the price of the gas, which was probably about 39 cents a gallon.

I remember cutting wood on weekends to heat our house. We didn't have a forced air furnace or baseboard heaters, we had to constantly stoke the fire. Better or worse, there is NO heat like that of a wood stove... it warms the heart as well as the hands.

And, I remember our weekly ritual of Friday night dinner at Howard Johnson's. It was such a treat to go "out to eat." Grandma would order fried chicken, Grandpa and I would have fried clams... and afterward we'd go to a store called Wild Woody's and see what was new. Today, Woody's has been replaced by Sam's Wholesale Club, where you pay a fee and need a card to enter. Howard Johnson's closed their last few restaurants this year.

Before you paint me as an old timer, understand that I appreciate technology, new roads and central heat. I like my life, I enjoy "today" and I know things change and progress. That's all good.

But sometimes I wish I could go back just for a visit. I wish I could hear Frankie Laine, taste that tea and watch the rain.

"There's a blacktop road, a faded yellow center line... it can take you back to the place, but it can't take you back in time."
Chuck Cannon

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dave's Friday Photo

It's great to be a kid and have a fort or treehouse that's all yours. A place to build, defend and just... be. This was the sign marking my kids' fort, St. Mutfort Kassil.

Ten things wrong with me

Karla's list of "100 things wrong with me" clicked with my blogging style, so I'm borrowing it. I will now list the first 10, with no promises of how big my list will be... I'm pretty perfect.

1 - I'm selfish, a little. Okay a lot. I'm an only child, so the concept of sharing is one I'm still working on. Although I seem to have NO problem with sharing duties. If you ever want a bite of something I have, it's likely you'll have to ask because I won't be offerin'.

2 - I drive really fast. Except in school and construction zones, I drive at least 10 mph over, and usually more. I have invested a good amount of money in a top-of-the-line fuzz buster.

3 - I have a thing about having the best of whatever it is, televisions, toothbrush, cigar humidor, washing machine. It is a big reason I don't have a million dollars in the bank, and it also makes me seem a little pretentious. I'm not... I just want stuff that will last.

4 - I am a news junky, watching hours of network news per day. While this keeps me fairly well informed, it also makes me a geek. I'm watching the news right now... at 12:15 on a Friday morning. I. Need. A. Life.

5 - I am neater and cleaner than any straight man I know. (and I am straight, my boyfriend told me so) My place is tidy and smells good. I have an issue with having a dirty sink... it must be completely clean and free of stains. I wish I felt the same about my underwear, but clearly... no.

6 - I give my pets a voice. Sometimes they speak to each other, many times they speak to me. And frankly, there are times when they speak to themselves. Usually, though, it involves some sort of reply after I've told them to do something.

"Regis, do you want to go outside?"

"Of course not Dave, I always dance around at the door for no reason. If I lifted my tail, a turd would ricochet off of at least three walls. But no."

7 - My sense of humor leaves many people wondering if I'm joking or serious. I enjoy this.

8 - I need help with my wardrobe. I have a TON of checkered, collared button shirts and a lot of flowered Hawaiian shirts. Many jeans, lots of khaki pants, but nothing in my wardrobe is remarkable... except a silk Italian suit that looks like a million dollars on me. I need sock and shirt help, mostly.

9 - I do not like the "Support Our Troops" ribbon magnets... sorry if that seems unpatriotic, but I do not like them. (I resist breaking into a "Sam I Am" skit here) It's not that I don't support our troops, it just feels so contrived and trite. I love and support the men and women in the armed forces, but they don't see the ribbons, so having one becomes an empty gesture designed to eliminate guilt or artificially elevate us in the eyes of our fellow motorists. I do not like them in a box or with a fox. Whoops, see what I did there?

If you support our troops, write one a letter and tell them. Send them a cake. Buy their kid a gift at Christmas. Spending $1.99 at Quick Trip supports nobody except Quick Trip.

10 - I have a problem with faith... the belief in something of which there is no proof. I have little patience with those who believe in ghosts but do not believe hard scientific evidence. It saddens me when people give their money to a church expecting they will be blessed in return... while their kids go hungry. I'll respect you, just don't try to sell your lifestyle to me.

Boy, I could go on all night but I really need sleep. Whoops! I mean:

11 - I really need sleep.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cars, From Dave's View: A Rebuttal to Bug's Butt

In response to Lightning Bug's Butt's blog, I must take exception to his characterization of car loving people. He says:

"You know this guy, don’t you? He wears a baseball cap with the name brand of his car on it. He’s got the matching key chain, belt buckle, coffee mug and boxer shorts. He budgets a weekly detailing service while his child-support falls into arrears. He masturbates to Hot Rod Magazine."

Holy Christ, I AM this person. I have the hat, the coffee mug, the key chain. No boxer shorts or belt buckle... what am I, a fanatic?

Bug, look. We agree on SO many things. You are the absolute coolest blogger on Earth.*

Yet you're dead wrong.

I think cars define people. We buy them like we buy clothes... to wrap around us, make us comfortable and make a statement about who we are. Like socks, the color matters. Like underwear, they need good "headroom." Like lingerie, they need to make you feel sexy. And like a jock strap... well, never mind. There are no jockstrap analogies.

For many, vehicles are an extension of our personalities, and we should flaunt, exhibit and celebrate them. God bless the car club member! He/she searches out and finds similar friends with which to revel in a great American pasttime!

My current vehicles are pictured above, (the car's an actual picture I took, the truck is a stock shot from GMC) but just look at a few of the cars I've owned, and you'll see why I am celebrating my current vehicular situation:

Really, need I say more? I've been to the deepest part of the valley, felt the pressure and heat, and begun my climb. I shall not stop until I perch percariously at the top of my vehicular Everest!

*so cool he's been published. I salute you, my friend!

One 'n only HNT entry

My first entry for Half Nekkid Thursday.

And because showing more could be detrimental to your vision, it will likely be the last one! But if you'd like to participate, simply go to THIS site for details... and to join the fun.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I've Never Been To Me, sixth edition

By popular demand (yeah right) here's another installment of...


I've never:

54 – Shared my popsicle with a squirrel while “breakin’ it down” in a trendy night club.

55 – Leveraged someone’s naivety about genetic engineering by convincing them I am a cross between Ernest Borgnine and a melon.

56 – Shamed a gargoyle into leaving its post atop a building to fetch me sum White Castle.

57 – Sled dogging with Gene Rayburn.

58 – Fetched White Castle for a gargoyle.

59 – Changed my priorities by attending a gathering of heavy-hearted monks suffering capricious attacks by Arabian sheiks dressed in Old Navy garb, instead of honoring my commitment to clear a camping spot for psoriasis-stricken Chilean trappers.

60 – Had more than 20 comments on any piece I’ve ever written.*

61 – Had to wonder WHY I haven’t had more than 20 comments on any piece I’ve ever written.

*could this possibly be a blatant attempt to get my ego stroked by accumulating more than 20 comments on this post? Nah. Course not.

Quick political note, then I'll shut up

It slays me that some ultra conservative groups are opposing Harriet Miers' appointment to the supreme court based solely on lack of evidence that she would overturn Roe v. Wade. Doesn't it make more sense to oppose her appointment based on the fact that she has no record AT ALL and has never been a judge a day in her life?

The last critical failure of an appointed person based on lack of experience was waaaaaay back in... gosh, you have to go all the way back to September. Ah, cronyism. Isn't it great?

I go on record in opposition of her appointment because of the name Harriet.*

*And THAT'S coming from a person who had a Grandma Blanch. God rest her soul, miss you Grandma.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Busy day

Below is a Dave replay. I was late jumping on the blog bandwagon, but I remember the feeling of joining something big. I wrote about it not long after I started this site, and have included a slightly edited version below:

You, unwittingly but very willingly, are part of a revolution. By reading this, you are perpetuating a movement difficult to measure by current standards. A shifting of the paradigm of journalism.

And to think I was just looking for a hobby.

I'm talking about the BLOG. (not to be confused with the kitschy horror film from the 50s, "The Blob") Okay, maybe a bit of a let-down, considering I made it sound more like the building of the Roman Empire. But it's interesting how journalism is undergoing a massive global redistribution of power... taken from the hands of a few large, powerful media companies (many for whom I work) and given to the fingers of individuals from Warsaw Missouri to Warsaw Poland.

Looking back, I've always wanted to be a columnist, sharing my twisted view of things with an audience of readers. Well... here I am. I didn't have to apply for a job with a newspaper... I didn't have to attend journalism school... heck, I didn't even have to leave the house. And the fact that you're reading this is a clear indication that - well, maybe that you have no life. I don't know.

The internet has long been expected to be instrumental in the shift from centralized control. It is only now beginning to see it's true potential. When you can click a mouse in Russia and turn your kitchen lights on in Chicago... or better yet, click a button on your cell phone and publish your autobiography for the world to read... you see how truly large the concept could become. People are using blogs for a myriad of purposes... showing off baby pictures, keeping a journal, group study... and it's free.

When one blogger can bring down an institution like Dan Rather, (the memogate scandal) it's a flashing, buzzing, annoying light that says THE WORLD IS CHANGING. Will this new instant access to publishing mean the demise of the mainstream media? Probably not - at least not in the short term. Billions of people still have no idea what a blog is. But it is certainly holding the media's feet to the fire, ready to shine a big bright spotlight on anything that appears counterfactual.

There is a danger, too. Unfortunately, we're depending on the honor system here... there are few rules or codes of ethic governing what can be written, other than the yet-to-be-defined outline of a broad, panoptic "morality." That's scary. For instance, I can hit a few buttons and publish in deadly detail a concocted story of a friend's nasty case of rectal warts.

I'm just giving you a few seconds to let that sink in - and then exorcise the visual from your mind.

You can see what a dangerous, exciting precipice it is upon which we stand. We will each have to decide how we will react to it. But one thing is clear. While spending billions of dollars trying to find life on Mars or Titan, we're discovering there is life on Earth. Individuals we didn't even know existed, now part of our lives... friends sharing opinions, pictures and ideas. How great is that?!?

Late observation

If you ever want to feel really lonely, listen to Fogelberg's "Same Old Auld Lang Syne" at 2:30 am on a Tuesday morning.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sexism Extraordinaire

When women make fun of men, it's fun. When men make fun of women, it's sexism.

So, these ATM instructions will be considered sexist. Sorry.


A sign in the Bank Lobby reads: "Please note that this Bank is installing new Drive-through teller machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers using this new facility are requested to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts.

After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender."


1. Drive up to the cash machine.

2. Put down your car window.

3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.

4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.

5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.

6. Put window up.

7. Drive off.


1. Drive up to cash machine.

2. Reverse and back up the required amount to align car window with the machine.

3. Set parking brake, put the window down.

4. Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.

5. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up

6. Attempt to insert card into machine.

7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.

8. Insert card.

9. Re-insert card the right way.

10. Dig through handbag ! to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.

11. Enter PIN.

12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.

13. Enter amount of cash required.

14. Check makeup in rear view mirror.

15. Retrieve cash and receipt.

16. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.

17. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of checkbook.

18. Re-check makeup.

19. Drive forward 2 feet.

20. Reverse back to cash machine.

21. Retrieve card.

22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.

23. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.

24. Restart stalled engine and pull off.

25. Redial person on cell phone.

26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.

27. Release Parking Brake.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Because I am not afraid to appear immature, crude and infantile, I will point out that Typhoon Longwang is currently storming toward Taiwan.

Now that's a bitchin' name! Longwang.

Meanwhile, we're over here stuck with something named Hurricane Otis. Do I need to point out that Otis is a guy from Mayberry... not a raging tempest of death? Christ, what's next, Hurricane Aunt Bea? I want menacing... or at least sexual names that puerile people like me can have fun with... like Longwang.

Ophelia? Who the hell is Ophelia?? Why couldn't it have been Hurricane Orgasm?

Why couldn't Rita have been Hurricane Raging-Wood, and Katrina, Hurricane Kegel?

If you have more ideas, please... do tell. Surely we can do better than the NOAA. I am convinced the person in charge of naming hurricanes looks something like this:

So far so good

Up at 5 am. A quiet morning drive across central Illinois farmland, on the way to Louisville, KY. Looeyville. Luavull. Louis-ville. Luaville. Luhvuhl.

A sculpture I couldn't resist, pictured here with the sculptor, Peter Haddow. He's from Zimbabwe, and the stone is from a quarry in Virginia. It's really a beautiful piece, sort of African looking. I don't know why a rube like me would own this sculpture, but I do.

You will be the first to know if I get any more wild hairs up my arse. There's more art to see tomorrow.