February 2006 Archives

Snap-Judging TAR9

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As usual, here is my instant and terribly biased evaluation of the racers in this season's Amazing Race:

  • Lake & Michelle: Not much travelling experience, differing personalities. That's not a great combination. Prediction: Early Exit.
  • BJ & Tyler: I'll either love them or hate them. Prediction: Early exit if I love them, Final Four if I hate them.
  • Danielle & Dani: Of course, I'll call them DDanielle and DDani. Lots of, um, 'personality,' not much travel experience. Similar to other pretty girl teams. Prediction: Mid-pack.
  • Ray & Yolanda: Stubborn and athletic. They remind me of two Season 1 teams, one of which tanked and the other of which finished second. I'll figure out which later. Prediction: whichever finish group BJ & Tyler aren't in.
  • John & Scott: This year's gay team. What? They're not? Sure. And one of them's afraid of flying? Well, we'll beat that out of him. Prediction: Final Four.
  • David & Lori: Steve & Debra, ten years ago. Prediction: Early exit.
  • Eric & Jeremy: Alpha males. Hate them already. Prediction: Winners.
  • Fran & Barry: This year's old couple. Good travel portfolio. Prediction: Mid-pack.
  • Lisa & Joni: Soccer moms. No travel. No shot. Prediction: Early Exit.
  • Joseph & Monica: This season's pretty couple. Well, at least she is. Prediction: Final Four.
  • Wanda & Desiree: Good language and travel skills; should do OK. Prediction: Mid-pack.

Update: Great job of handicapping there, Chris.


Life Imitates Family Circus

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The Family Circus comic strip occasionally featured the universal fall guy "Not Me!", whom the kids (especially Billy) blamed from everything from a broken lamp to mud tracked into the house.

Well, it looks like he's at it again:

The mystery deepened Monday in the case of the puzzling crash last week of a $1-million Ferrari Enzo on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

. . .

Detectives have been trying for nearly a week to sort out what exactly happened last Tuesday morning when [Swedish game machine entrepreneur Stefan] Eriksson's Enzo — one of only 400 ever made — smashed into a telephone pole, totaling the car. Eriksson told deputies that he was the passenger and that a man he knew only as "Dietrich" was behind the wheel. But detectives have been openly skeptical of the story, noting that Eriksson had a bloody lip and that the only blood they found in the car was on the driver's-side air bag. [emphasis added]

So now it can be told - Not Me's real name is Dietrich!

So I find out from Digg that MIT has made a huge collection of video lectures available online. Naturally, I start poking through them, and a lot of them look interesting, especially this one and this one and this one (especially since dude is the chief scientist for BP and he says “It’s really about reducing use if you want to save energy, not about efficiency.”).

And then I stumbled across one by Chomsky:

In this bitter commemoration of the end of the Vietnam War, the speakers dispel any comforting notion that Americans have absorbed lessons from that bloody time, much less sought the truth.

. . .

Chomsky scoffs at the view, circulated at least among Iraq-focused media, that the public has a Vietnam fixation. “There’s no concern, let alone obsession, about what actually happened in Vietnam,” says Chomsky.

Chomsky is actually correct that the public doesn't have a Vietnam fixation, but the media sure does. Look here and here and here and here (I especially like that one - it declared 'quagmire' on March 31, 2003!) and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and, well, you get the idea...

[Hat tip for the title goes to Art Fougner of Flushing, N.Y. via Brutally Honest]

My friend Brother Fnord has been goading me to snark on Olympic figure skating, and I told him that doing so would require me to expend enough effort to actually care about it, or at least pretend that I did (although I do admit watching the Italian ice dancing pair's final performance just to see if she'd rip his balls off in front of the whole world), but last night was the final straw. Fnord - you win. Here's your snark:

I've always maintained that figure skating is fixed worse than pro wrestling, and last night proves it. How the hell can you can fall TWICE in the final round and still end up with the silver medal?

And don't write in trying to explain it to me; I've already spent more time thinking about this than I really wanted to.

(And yes, I'm filing this under Media Stupidity rather than Sports since figure skating isn't a sport, and it's media stupidity to insist that it is.)


Today's earworm is The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army.

I'm going to end up hating the song by lunchtime.

The Bride Wore Kevlar


White Trash Wednesday

Teenage bride + pissed off dad + threats of firearms violence = White Trash Wedding!

the happy couple

ARMED police surrounded a wedding after the bride’s father allegedly threatened to SHOOT his daughter and BLOW-UP the groom.

Cops with guns hid in bushes and behind gravestones during the service at Moordown St John’s Church in Bournemouth, Dorset.

There was also an alleged threat to blow up the bridal car, so it had a five-car armed police escort to the reception.
Dad: "Ah don' know nuthin 'bout no threats:"
But Andrea’s father Antonio Martino, 42, said yesterday: “I have got no idea when these allegations about the wedding were meant to have been made but I didn’t make any threats like that.

“People are just making it up.”
. . .
Zimbabwe-born Brian, 20, and Andrea, 17, from Bournemouth, met just months ago in a launderette and wed after a whirlwind romance.
[H/T Bob Reno's excellent Wedding Heckler]

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


Life Imitates Minority Report

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First there's the workspace where Tom Cruise analyzes the evidence. Hypnotic. [H/T American Digest]

I loved it. It was much better than Cats. I'm going to see it again and again...

Second, are we close to MR's sick sticks?

Life Imitates Futurama


That's Head In A Jar(tm) brand, patent pending. Accept no substitutes.

So I Bought A Watchdog, But They Stole Him Too


I saw a commercial for the alarm company ADT over the weekend, showing various evildoers deterred by the presence of an ADT alarm system - actually more by the sign indicating the presence of an alarm system, since you have to figure it's unlikely that they see the sign, then bust a window, then run away when the alarm goes off. It occurred to me that you really wouldn't need the alarm system at all - the warning sign would be enough.

Of course, since ADT wouldn't want to sell you just the sign, you'd have to steal it from somebody who already had one. Oh, the irony.

Well, the Islamists are still acting like morons, so I'm still buycotting. Last Friday, it was Carlsberg; I think tonight it'll be Tuborg (also made by Carlsberg).

Ron White, one of my favorite comedians, was on Bob & Tom last Thursday, and he said something that didn't really register with me right away:

TOM GRISWOLD: In my hand I have the new CD, it's called You Can't Fix Stupid. Is there a reason it's called You Can't Fix Stupid?

RON WHITE: Yeah, that's what the record company wanted to name it . . . it's a very little bit in the show, in that show, and people see that it's the title and they think there's a whole list of these things like [You Might Be A] redneck jokes or Here's Your Sign jokes, but there was just one little kind-of-insignificant joke, but it made a good record title, but it's also the punch line to that joke, which no longer gets a laugh. [emphasis added]

It wasn't until yesterday that I envisioned this scenario occurring at the record company:

I.M. EMPTYSUIT, Head of Comedy Division: I see we've got another album coming out from one of those redneck comedy tour guys.

U.R. LACKEY, EMPTYSUIT's assistant: Blue Collar Comedy Tour, sir. Yes, it's Ron White's latest album, and we need to come up with a title for it.

EMPTYSUIT: Well, all those redneck comics have gimmicks, right? What's that one guy - the one with the mustache - say? "You're a redneck because -"

LACKEY: Jeff Foxworthy, sir, and it's "You might be a redneck if..."

EMPTYSUIT: Right. And that little guy - Ingram, Angstrom, something - "What's your sign?"

LACKEY: Bill Engvall does "Here's your sign," sir.

EMPTYSUIT: Sure. And the other one, Daryl the White Trash Guy -

LACKEY: Larry the Cable Guy -

EMPTYSUIT: - and 'Finish Up! -

LACKEY: "Git 'R Done."

EMPTYSUIT: Whatever. Anyway, let's take a look. [Picks up CD, looks at back] Here we go. Track 13: "You Can't Fix Stupid." Hell, he probably does a list of about fifty of them, just like Mustache Guy. Let's go with that.

LACKEY: Actually, sir, I've listened to the album, and that one's a very short track, just one joke. It's hardly his theme.

EMPTYSUIT: Great. I'm thinking "You Can't Fix Stupid" in neon, like one of those roadhouse places. Meet with Graphic Arts and have them, ah, what does Daryl say again? Yeah - "Finish Up!"

LACKEY: Sir, it's "Get 'Er -" ah, the hell with it.

And speaking of Ron White, does he get away with (about 8m40s into hour 4) saying something you can't say on the radio?


And It'll Help You Lose Weight!


White Trash Wednesday

Meth makes it way too easy to write WTW entries. Apparently this Arkansas schoolteacher felt the need to supplement her income with a little lab work:

As if the smoke in their classrooms wasn’t enough, a Sherwood Elementary School teacher has been arrested for smoking meth and operating a meth lab in her home.
Detective Ben Skeel, with the Sherwood street crimes division of the Sherwood police department, received information Jan. 27 about a third-grader at Sherwood Elementary who had a very strong chemical body odor. The child lived at 202 Sherwood Ave. and his mother was a schoolteacher. According to Skeel’s source, the child’s safety was in danger, and the chemical smell was from a meth lab.
On Feb. 2, Skeel received information that April Ashworth, 35, a teacher at the school, had an unusual chemical body odor. Ashworth had missed an unusual amount of work in the weeks prior, had undergone a drastic mood change, and had lost an unknown amount of weight in the past couple of months.

. . .

...on Feb. 17, Ashworth went to the Sherwood police department to give information about her sister, Charity. Skeel reported Ashworth’s pupils were dilated and she “had several open wounds on her face which are common for methamphetamine users to have, commonly referred to as picking at imaginary bugs that are crawling on their skin.”

I wonder if she also taught home ec?

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


Working Title: 'Brokeback Mosque'

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If you thought the Islamofascists got their burkas in a wad over the Mohammad caricatures, just wait until they get a load of this movie:

Sandi Dubowski, who won the Teddy gay and lesbian award in 2001 for his controversial doc "Trembling Before G-d," may cause an even bigger stir with "In the Name of Allah," which explores the struggles of homosexual Muslims.

Gay Indian Muslim helmer Parvez Sharma is directing the pic, which looks at gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims across the Muslim and Western worlds.

And forget Sundance, Cannes, and all the 'right' film festivals - they're headed right into the lions' den:

Sharma and Dubowski plan to submit the pic to all major festivals in the Muslim world as well as in the West, but if it's rejected, Dubowski said, "We'll find ways of screening it in every Muslim nation, even if it's underground."
Good luck with that. And 'underground' sounds right - six feet underground, probably.

I know I'm late to this Cheney shooting thing, but I've been busy. Anyway, a caller to Bob & Tom on Monday (maybe it was an email; I forget) had this contribution:

I think I'll have a bumper sticker made:


Incidentally, I think we now have the reason Cheney got five draft deferments during Vietnam - he would have been a danger to his fellow soldiers!


From Russia With Love For Valentine's Day

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pravda.ru is like the Russian local6.com - they have the best stories:

But my favorite is this one: Russian oligarch does not mind his beautiful wife starring in softcore porn film:

The wife of an influential Russian banker, Olga Rodionova, 31, shocked the Moscow elite when she posed nude for several men's magazines. Now she is going to act in a softcore porn film

. . .

Olga Rodionova, the owner of a fashionable boutique and a mother of a ten-year-old girl, says there is no problem if a woman wants to show her wonderful body. “I think there is nothing bad about erotic scenes in my film. I have always dreamt of being an actress and I think a nude body is an art. I have no time to dispute with those who criticize my photos; these people are just narrow-minded. I feel sorry for them because they see no difference between pornography and erotica,” Olga Rodionova says.
Hubby's take?
It is said that the husband approves of his wife's doings and even paid for some of the photo sessions himself.

Sergey Rodionov, 44, says that he was the first who took a nude picture of his wife. Some of Rodionov's business partners interpret Olga's behavior as adultery. “I tell my wife that rumors will die away soon, and the pictures will remind her of her young beauty even at the age of 90. I feel proud of her,” Sergey says.

Which reminds me of the old joke:

Guy goes into the confessional and tells the priest, "Father, I fornicated with a beautiful woman I just met, all weekend long. My place, her place, the car, the choir loft, everywhere.

"My son," the priest says, "Your penance is to say twenty - "

"But Father, I'm not Catholic."

"Then why are you telling me this?"

"Telling you? I'm telling everybody!"

Having A Blast On Super Bowl Sunday

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White Trash Wednesday

Bonus White Trash Wednesday Thursday today, as few things are more WT-ish than homemade fireworks and explosive mishaps involving same:

According to authorities, Norman Frey and his girlfriend planned to set off some homemade fireworks at a Super Bowl party Sunday.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says the couple blew up their car while transporting a balloon filled with explosive gas. Robinson says it's amazing they weren't killed.

The balloon contained acetylene, the gas used in welding torches.

What a shame. They didn't even get to the part where they'd say "Hey, y'all, watch this!"

Tonight, On A Very Special Episode Of Full House...

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White Trash Wednesday

The White Trash intoxicants of choice are cheap beer and meth - guess which one Jodie Sweetin preferred. Hint: you don't drink it:

Feb. 1, 2006 — As Stephanie Tanner on the 1990s hit sitcom "Full House," child actress Jodie Sweetin portrayed a young, innocent girl who lived in a happy, healthy supportive home.

. . .

When the show ended in 1995, she said she wanted to be a normal kid. She went to high school and college and by age 20 was married to a Los Angeles police officer — TV older sister Candice Cameron was in the wedding party.

But two years ago, she found herself dangerously addicted to one of the most debilitating drugs, methamphetamine. She said she was unemployed and bored and began simply by experimenting. Soon, she was using meth everyday.

The tabloid press reported a three-day bender as well as an intervention staged by her "Full House" castmates — including the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, John Stamos and Bob Saget. [emphasis added]

Wow. When Skeletor and Sister Of Skeletor are in your intervention, you know you've hit bottom. And The Road More Traveled takes a crack (heh) at the question "How come Officer Hubby never figured it out?"

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


By Day, A Mild-Mannered Securities Broker...

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In a feeble attempt to provide a 'feel-good' story to counter the unmitigated disaster that seems to have occurred in Schembechler Hall (outlined here and here, among other places), I present the riches-to-rags-to-riches story of Grant Bowman (OK, technically it's "practice squad-to-Lehman Brothers-to-practice squad," but that's not nearly so poetic):

On Monday, Grant Bowman was sitting in his office at Lehman Brothers in New York City thinking about what it must be like for his former teammates.

He was wishing he could be there with them, wishing he was a part of the excitement surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for Super Bowl XL.

"Forty-eight hours ago I was at my desk just doing my work and being happy about what is going on here, but jealous as can be," said Bowman. "It was great to see the run they were making. I still have a lot of friends on the team. But I am not going to lie, I was jealous thinking it would be great to go, but oh well."

Well, sometimes wishes do come true.

As the day wound down, Bowman checked the messages on his cell phone and was stunned by what he heard.

"I had a call from my mother and agent telling me the Steelers called," said Bowman. "I called my agent and he told me they wanted to sign me to the practice squad. I was like, yeah right, they probably just want to work me out. But they were sincere about it. It was tough to comprehend. I was so far removed from it. It is just great to be here and be along for the run."
And here's a link to a WSJ article about Bowman, from, of all places, SpartanTailgate.com.

And speaking of odd places to have a Grant Bowman sighting, it turns out that A) he's a huge Bob & Tom fan, and B) they liked his story so much that they did a 7-minute interview with him yesterday. As you're well aware, I'm both a huge Michigan fan and a huge Bob & Tom fan, so when the twain meet, I'm there with bells on.

My gift to you this day: the Bob & Tom Grant Bowman interview (2.8MB).


Hope The Kool-Aid Tasted Good, Katie

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Aaaaaaaand Katie Holmes' brainwashing is complete:

Well, it's happened. Katie Holmes is now shilling for Scientology.

I told you one year ago this week that I had received an unsolicited gift package in the mail from the Church of Scientology.

It included a personalized, signed note from Tom Cruise, informing me that a donation had been made in my name to the organization.

The package also included a framed set of Scientology lessons to live by. The most memorable was No. 12: Never fear to hurt another in a just cause.

Now I've seen the updated package for 2006, and it's a showstopper. The signed note now comes from Tom and Katie, and it includes both of their signatures.

And I see they're still pulling the same old tricks; e.g., 'endorsement by association:'

The package also contains a book that has pictures of smiling children and quotations, in large type, from people who would probably be surprised to find themselves in the company of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard: Kofi Annan and the late Martin Luther King, Jr. The quotations are made to seem as if their authors endorse Scientology.

Catching Up On Random Thoughts

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I think every car should come with two horns: a "Excuse me, the light just turned green. Thank you." horn, and a "You stupid #^(@ing mother(@*$er! What the $(#@* in the name of #(%()@ and #)@(%^*# did you do that for?" horn. I would have had occasion to use both just on my 10-minute commute home yesterday.

It took us 66 years to get from Kill Devil Hill to the Moon landing. It's been 37 years since then. How much farther have we gotten?

Apparently the NFL is going to pony up $20 million to help repair the Superdome. What, it isn't insured?

That Ain't Food. That's What Food Eats.


According to a market research group, the top Super Bowl snack is now vegetables:

The news came from market researchers, the NPD Group, who said vegetables were eaten at nearly 30 percent of all dinners on Super Bowl Sunday for the last five years, beating out potatoes, sandwiches, salads, salty snacks, and even the venerable pizza and chicken wings.
I question their methodology. I reckon they surveyed the ten Communist families who eat dinner instead of watching the Super Bowl like they're supposed to, and they found that three of them actually eat their vegetables.

Alternative explanations:

  • Vegetables are merely a Dip Delivery System.
  • Not every SB party has all the Usual Suspects (chips/salty snacks, pizza, wings, etc), but they all have some tofu-for-brains who thinks bringing a veggie tray counts as a dish to pass.
  • They count salsa as a vegetable.

White Trash Wednesday

Wanna get a tat, but you're too lazy to get off the couch and schlep on down to the parlor? Never fear - if you're in Springfield, Missouri, we'll come to you!

Some women in Springfield are regretting their decision last week to get a tattoo from a door-to-door tattoo salesman. At least one person had to be hospitalized and the others face serious health risks.

Friday night, a man knocked on doors holding a tattoo gun and offering his services.

Featuring state-of-the-art penitentiary-grade equipment:

Tamra Eason described the tool as homemade, but still agreed to pay for a tattoo. So did two other women in her apartment complex.

"It was wrapped with black tape, had a pin underneath it, had fishing wire going through it, you could tell it was a homemade gun," Eason said.

And just look at this handiwork!

And check out these satisfied customers!

Of course, we're not responsible for any side effects:

The next day, Linda Falls passed out and had to be hospitalized.

"I passed out in the store and they said I should have it checked out," Falls said.

All the women have an infection in the tattoo area and have been told to get tested for HIV and hepatitis.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


Monday on Bob & Tom, there was a report of a Baby Jessica sighting. Guess what? Girl's all growed up now and done got herself hitched:

KRISTI LEE: Do you remember the dramatic rescue of Baby Jessica when she fell down the well, remember, she was eighteen months old?


KRISTI LEE: Believe it or not, Baby Jessica is a baby no longer; she was married over the weekend.

BOB KEVOIAN: No kidding?

KRISTI LEE: She is now nineteen years old, and she apparently tied the knot Saturday at a rural church outside Midland, Texas. She's nineteen; her husband, 32-year-old Daniel Morales.
She's nineteen; he's 32. Today is White Trash Wednesday. Total coincidence, I assure you. But here's the line that knocked me off the elliptical machine (the timing was good; had it happened ten minutes earlier, I would have dropped a barbell on my head):
CHICK MCGEE: I bet they're on city water.

Of course, this being Bob & Tom, they proceeded to beat all the funny out of that line over the next hour and a half.



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