April 2006 Archives

Last year, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds laid an egg after several years of dominating their level of indoor football. Might the Freedom be headed for the same fate this year - without even the titles OV could show for their time? They got ownzored by Lexington on Friday night, 65-32.

With three losses in a row, Fort Wayne is pretty much out of the division title hunt - now being three games and a tiebreaker behind Lexington - and will be hard pressed to make the playoffs at all, let alone get a home game. It's clear that without Jeremy Dutcher (retired), Bryan White (shoulder), and Rocky Harvey (ankle), Fort Wayne's offense is in trouble, and the defense can only hold up for so long if they're always on the field.

And I think the fans sense this, too. The home crowds aren't nearly as loud as they've been in years past, and although I think attendance per se is down only a little bit (as judged by my totally un-scientific "looks like we got about this many" scale), there were several critical junctures in the Sioux Falls game a couple of weeks ago where the PA announcer had to beg the crowd to get into the game. Contrast that from the Lexington home game two years ago, where the crowd confused the Horsemen into two delay of game penalties.

Nobody fears the Coliseum crowd right now. Nobody fears the Freedom offense right now. If Harvey and White don't come back soon, the season is over.

Why Do I Loathe David Bowie?

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Because of this, which means that whenever a Detroit team gets behind in a playoff series it's supposed to win, the headline will read "Panic In Detroit."

Today's Public Service Announcement

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No matter where you live, something bad can happen to not only you, but everyone around you. Earthquake, large-scale fire, hurricane, tornado, alien attack, divine retribution, something. If that happens, emergency services will probably be overwhelmed, so you need to be able to take care of yourself until they can get to you.

That's the point behind 72 Hours, a site set up by the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services, who obviously has a vested interest in making the city's citizens self-sufficient for three days (hence the name) if that kind of thing happens. As you might expect, it's skewed towards San Fransisco's likely problems, so not every section is universally applicable - we're not likely to get tsunamis here in northeast Indiana - but there's lots of worthwhile stuff there for everybody.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled featherweight crap and weak humor. [H/T Randy Cassingham's Bonzer Web Site of the Week]

Iron Chef: Battle Tomato

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Theme Ingredient: Tomatoes, some red, some green
Iron Chef: Kobe
Challenger: Franco Canzoniere, owner/head chef, Il Fornello, Nakano, Tokyo
Remarks: The second attempt of 'Serie A' to take down an Iron Chef. This synopsis is based on the battle that aired on Food Network November 25, 2000.

Today's Reader Appeal - Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

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I'm looking for a comedy bit that I first heard around 1980, so I know it's at least that old. It was a parody of radio commercials for Sunday afternoon drag races, and it went something (loosely) like this:

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! U.S. Amphetamine Speedway! Sunday!

See the amazing wheel-standing rapping lunatic Corvair! Sunday!

See Shad Crapper light his nose hairs on fire as he pulsates and blasts down that quarter mile thrillway! Sunday!

See Tim Leary and his Superblown head! Sunday!

See Big Daddy Roth and funny cars from across the universe! Sunday!

12 bucks buys you the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge! Sunday!

BE there!

Some Googleage revealed the following: it was probably done by 'The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie' a/k/a 'Flo & Eddie' a/a/k/a Marc Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles - who, due to a spectacularly badly negotiated contract, couldn't even use their real names as musicians after The Turtles went belly-up - and probably as part of a Frank Zappa album. Since Flo and Eddie played only on these Zappa albums:

that narrows it a bit, maybe. If not, it could have been on one of these Flo & Eddie albums: Any ideas?

Bonus double WTW! Presented without further comment: Man sets self ablaze using chainsaw to open gas tank

An Ottawa man is in serious condition and was airlifted to the burn unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto after accidentally setting himself on fire yesterday morning while trying to cut open a gas tank with a chainsaw.

The Ottawa Fire Department said 62-year-old Stanley Hill had been doing some cleanup work on a rural property at 4679 Ridge Rd., off Walkley Road, about 10 a.m. when, they believe, a spark from the saw caused a small explosion and a flash of fire to spread up his body and head.

White Trash Wednesday

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


Life Imitates A Bad Redneck Joke


White Trash Wednesday

Old joke:

What's the last thing a dumb redneck says before he dies?

"Hey, y'all, watch this!"

Maybe this guy didn't die, but it wasn't for lack of trying:

FORT PAYNE, Ala. -- A Georgia man was hospitalized after jumping from the side of Alabama's DeSoto Falls and plunging 150 feet before hitting the water.

The leap wasn't a suicide attempt since several witnesses reported that prior to the plunge, the man yelled, "Watch this."

Tim Whitehead, superintendent of DeSoto State Park, said 23-year-old Jason Carter of Trion, Georgia, jumped from the east side of the canyon around 3 p.m. Monday. He was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after rescue personnel spent three hours removing him from the canyon. Carter, who was treated for a back injury, was reported to be in stable condition yesterday.

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


As if I wasn't already downcycled low enough over my ability to finish anything and get it published, Boing Boing points me to another pile of salt I can rub in my wounds - a look at the numbers behind paperback publishing:

Book #1 is a mass market romance novel called Crichton is an Idiot by a brand new author named Aeryn Sun. She doesn't know anyone, and no one's heard of her. You, her loving and caring editor, call in every single favor you've got, but no one has time. You do not take this as a bad sign that no one really likes the book at all, but you take everyone at their word. (This is your mistake. Although, of course, you've already bought the book -- there's not much you can do at this point.)
After a REALLY depressing series of transactions (during which, I assure you, not even the author makes very much)...
$26,971.40 is the net total this book earns for the publishing company. You have lost your company:

$12,500 + $36,000 - $26,971.40 = $21,528.60

And this is totally normal.

Guess I won't be giving up the day job anytime soon.

I had occasion to be at a local gas station/convenience store over the weekend. As I approached the counter with my bottle of Mountain Dew, my copy of Peddlers' Post, and the knowledge that I had used pump #9, the clerk said "Hiya, sexy." Now, she was turned sideways to me when she said it, but there wasn't anyone else in the store, so she must have meant me, right?

Apparently that thought process was tattooed across my face, given the look on her face when we made eye contact and I could then see the cell phone that she had cradled 'twixt shoulder and ear.

Turns out she had just called her husband. Good thing I didn't break out my standard response: "Ya think so? Then come over here and prove it."

If you're not a fan of geocaching, there's nothing in this post to interest you.

OK, cachers, now that the Muggles are gone, I've got to vent a little bit. I'm not real big on the 'take a trinket, leave a trinket' thing, especially given some of the, well, complete crap you find in the average full-size cache (incidentally, if you see a House of Blues guitar pick or anything with an AFATDS logo, chances are I put it there).

I like moving Travel Bugs around. There's just something about the idea of this thing that passes from cacher to cacher that really appeals to me. I especially like helping Travel Bugs fulfill their mission. For instance, Travel Bug Alina is a baby's pacifier that originated in Austria. "She" (they're usually anthropomorphised, right?) is trying to get to Disney World. I knew this when I picked her up last summer because of the onboard tag that said "I'm trying to get to Disney World." I thought, no problem, I can take you as far as Oak Island. Sure, it's off the beaten path to Florida, but somebody who's vacationing there later from, say, Charlotte or Raleigh can take you back home and put you back on track - and six hundred miles closer to Orlando.

Nice theory, and it looked like it was going to work, but it kind of fell apart after that. The last person to place Alina has literally put her in the middle of freakin' nowhere. I can only assume that the tag fell off somewhere along the way, because Alina has been going the wrong way for almost a year now.

Update: Well, never mind, maybe - somebody's picked it up. But I hope this was a typo:

We picked up Alina to move it closer to Disneyland, we hope, Determined2
because that'll put Alina about 3000 miles away from Disney World!


I've got about a dozen projects in some 'pause' state right now, which is a polite way of saying I'm not a very good closer. For instance, it took me almost three years to write my Iron Chef parody episode, and my magnum opus is still in work - and only about half-done - twenty-two years after I first thought of the central concept. I don't have any excuses, really. Between work, family, and school, I'm a busy guy, but who isn't these days?

And that's why I'm profoundly embarrassed to see this example of what a seriously motivated person can accomplish with basically no resources:

Following the communist takeover [Czech photographer Miroslav] Tichý spent some eight years in prison camps and jails for no particular reason other than he was ‘different’ and was considered subversive. Upon his release in the early 70’s, Tichý wandered his small town in rags, pursuing his obsession as an artist with the female form by photographing in the streets, shops and parks with cameras he made from tin cans, childrens spectacle lenses and other junk he found on the street. He would return home each day to make prints on equally primitive equipment, making only one print from the negatives he selected.

Here's the camera he constructed (click for larger image):

The camera built by Miroslav Tichy.  Click for larger picture.

Sure, one man's "seriously motivated" is another man's "obsessed." But when I've got everything I need at my fingertips and a head full of ideas available to me, and I take 22 years (and counting) to write a space opera buffa (the sparking event of which is now historically near-impossible), it forces me to reflect on my own inability to accomplish much of anything beyond the basics of trying to raise a family and putting in a respectable day's work.

And you all know how much I hate self-examination.

[H/T Boing Boing]

Every so often, I write something in the style of The Onion, but I think this is the first bit I've written that might be a good fit for Bob & Tom. If you listen to the show, you know they have somebody calling in impersonating Morgan Freeman as Red in The Shawshank Redemption. He's referred to as 'Morgan Freeman' even though he's in character, which I don't get, but whatever. One of the hallmarks of these calls is something bad happening to Andy Dufresne at the hands of one of the Sisters, nicknamed according to the topic of the call. Usually, it relates to something the gang is discussing.

But enough setup. If they ever talk about a chili cookoff, I've got just the call for them:


BOB KEVOIAN: Morning, Bob & Tom Show...

"MORGAN FREEMAN": Hello there sonny, this is Morgan Freeman.

BOB: Hey there, Morgan, how 'ya doing?

"MORGAN": I'm well, thank ya very kindly. I just wanted to tell you about the chili cookoff we had last weekend here at Shawshank Prison. My good friend Andy Dufresne made the finals with a venison serrano chili.

TOM GRISWOLD: Well, that's great, but how did he get the venison?

"MORGAN": He snuck outside the walls one night and killed a deer with that little rock hammer I got him when he first arrived here at Shawshank Prison.

BOB: Well, how about that!

"MORGAN": Unfortunately, the other finalist was a bull queer they call 'Cincinnati Five-Way.'

Ohhhh, Andy. That was the longest meal of his life.

And the next day, it hurt even worse comin' out than it did goin' in.

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.


White Trash Word Of The Day


White Trash Wednesday

So you're a hardcore white trash guy, sportin' the mullet like you're s'pose'ta, when one day you notice the 'business in the front' just ain't takin' care of bidness like it useta, so to speak. What do you do?

Mount a pre-emptive strike - shave the top and go skullet.

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


Can somebody tell me why the Jordyptians think they have historical precedence in Israel, when Jews were living there thousands of years before the birth of Christ?

Seriously, I'm looking for an answer here, because I just can't see an explanation.

[H/T Jihad Watch]

Live In The Studio

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Hey, if you're a Bob & Tom fan and a Pacers/Reggie Miller fan, drop me a line. I've got something for you.


More proof that PETA is an animal-worshiping cult (I've written about them before): Row over 'crucifix' protest

Vienna - A row erupted on Thursday over plans by animal protectionists to symbolically "crucify" three activists with animal masks in a Good Friday protest outside Vienna's St Stephan's Cathedral.

The militant pro-animal group PETA said the activists would be suspended from crosses with crowns of thorns on their heads.

The slogan of the protest action would be "We suffer and die for your sins of nourishment." [emphasis added]

Here's what you do: clear the square, detain all the ground-level PETurds, and rope off the whole area.

Take all the PETurds back to HQ for 'questioning.' Make them watch you eat your lunch. I recommend a nice veal parmesan or maybe some tuna-free dolphin.

What? The people on the crosses?

Leave 'em there.

[H/T The Shane]

I figure I owe you another White Trash Wednesday post, given that yesterday's turned out to be much ado about nothing. I didn't have to wait very long, as today we hear about a Missouri couple who pretended to have newborn sextuplets so they could hop on the sympathy gravy train:

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- A couple who claimed to have recently given birth to sextuplets apologized Wednesday night for the hoax, KMBC's Lara Moritz reported.

Kris and Sarah Everson admitted to police Tuesday night that they made up the story, but the couple never publicly addressed the issue until Wednesday night.

"We didn't mean to hurt anybody by doing what we did," Kris Everson said. "We did it out of necessity for financial reasons. Anybody who helped out will be paid back in full."

Moritz reported that the Eversons' plea for financial help included a Web site asking for donations, specifically gift cards or cash.

I ended up going to the James Taylor concert at the Embassy last night by accident, which is interesting when you consider that I'm not really a fan of his. Of course, I have some observations:

  • He's pretty tall. I'd guess 6'2" or so. Of course, I was guessing from my seat in Row O of the balcony, so I was a mile-and-a-half away, and it's possible that the only point of comparison (his piano player) was an actual Little Person, but I don't think so.
  • He called this tour the One Man Band tour, which is interesting given that he had a piano player and used a videotaped choir to back a few songs, so the show mechanics were a lot different. He brought a laptop-driven slide show, and he'd show some pictures between songs and a tell a little story or a couple of jokes.
  • From these stories, for instance, I learned:
    • I'd always assumed that Sweet Baby James was a song written for and about him by his girlfriend/wife at the time, whoever it was. Turns out it was a song James wrote as a lullaby for his nephew, also named James.
    • He was working (recording, maybe? I dunno) in England when a friend recommended they blow off some steam on a Mediterranean island off Spain whose name I forget. While they were there he met a girl named Karen and they made a side trip to (I think) Ibiza, where they lost track of time and missed the last ferry back. Lacking money for a hotel on Ibiza, they slept at the ferry dock. James got a little homesick then thinking about his family back in North Carolina, and he said Carolina In My Mind basically dropped into his lap. Karen, of course, is the girl mentioned in the song. Incidentally, he never saw her again after that.
  • He had a laptop with him, and projected some pictures and video clips to punctuate his stories....
  • ...or provide a punch line to a joke. For instance, he said he never got a picture of Karen, so he consulted a police sketch artist to do a drawing of her which he showed at the concert. As you might expect, it looked like something you'd see on a Wanted poster, and he said he'd made a mistake because now he can't think of her as anything but a fugitive from justice.

So how was the show? Well, I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. Since I'm not familiar with any of his stuff beyond the obvious hits, I didn't really know how most of what he played 'should' sound (although I thought he started out a little weak voicewise but warmed up quickly). He certainly gave a full show, at 2 1/2 hours counting a 20-minute intermission. All in all, it was very entertaining and I enjoyed it. If I were a fan of his, I'd have enjoyed it a lot.


An Incident Among White Trash Royalty


White Trash Wednesday

I imagine the whole WTW team is jumping on this story, and since it's noonish ET at press time I'm probably late to the party, but I have to mention it anyway: LA County child welfare officials visited the White Trash Palace last weekend:

Britney Spears' parenting woes haven't gone away just yet. Two months after she was caught driving with her then-4-month-old son Sean Preston sitting unrestrained in her lap, reports surfaced Tuesday that Los Angeles County child welfare officials and a sheriff's deputy visited her Malibu home over the weekend. Officials would not say what prompted their visit, but at least one tabloid's reported that they were looking into an incident in which Sean fell from his high chair and injured his head. [emphasis added]
I wonder if it's standard procedure for a deputy to provide an escort in this situation. If it isn't, I can think of two reasons they'd do it this time:
  1. Perceived risk to the social worker.
  2. The expectation that somebody was going to be arrested.
Since you don't expect social workers to be at risk in Malibu, what does that leave?

About Sean Preston's 'Humpty Dumpty' impersonation:

The Star reported Sean was treated briefly at a Los Angeles hospital six days after the fall for what was described as a minor "scalp fracture" and blood clot caused by the fall. The Star claimed a distraught Spears brought Sean to the hospital because he was sleeping more than normal.

My son, obviously, was once four months old. Had he fallen out of his high chair and hit his head, it would have been cause for a trip to the doctor's office THE SAME DAY. Actually, given our paranoia as clueless first-time parents, it probably would have meant a trip to the ER, but I'm giving Spears and Neckerline the benefit of the doubt here.

Maybe they wanted to avoid publicity over the accident; I can understand that. But surely in Malibu they can find a discreet pediatrician willing to make house calls.

Update: Other reports indicate that they did indeed take him to the doctor the same day, so sorry about that last part. But the mental picture of a social worker and a cop showing up on the doorstep of the White Trash First Family still makes me giggle.

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


Fealty To The King Of Battle


Michael Yon's latest dispatch includes a paper on counterinsurgency warfare written by Australian Army LTC David Kilcullen Ph.D. titled Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company Level Counterinsurgency. RTWT, as they say, but here are two excerpts:

23. Practise armed civil affairs. Counterinsurgency is armed social work; an attempt to redress basic social and political problems while being shot at.
I don't think I've ever heard CI summarized so neatly.

But there's also this, which reminds you of the potential consequences of crossing the King of Battle:

What if higher headquarters doesn't "get" counterinsurgency? Higher headquarters is telling you the mission is to "kill terrorist", or pushing for high-speed armored patrols and a base-camp mentality.

. . .

Over time, you will find ways to do what you have to do. But never lie to higher headquarters about your locations or activities: they own the indirect fires. [emphasis added]
Getting a 155 round dropped on your head because your DS battalion didn't know you were where you were can ruin your whole day.


Bob & Tom had Victoria Jackson on the show Friday. I never found her funny when she did SNL, and you know what? She's still not funny. How not funny is she? She's less funny than Margaret Cho - AFTER Cho Contracted BDS.


While perusing this Porkbusters article on The Blogfather, I encountered a very interesting quote from Don Surber:

Earmarks also can lead to insider playing. His [Rep. Allen Mollohan's (D-WV) (although the original NYT article doesn't mention his party until verrrrry late in the article)] ex-staffer Laura Kuhns now heads the Vandalia Heritage Foundation and sits on the boards of three other nonprofits that catch earmark money. Her Vandalia salary alone is $102,000 a year.

She and her husband are partners with Mollohan and his wife in five properties in Bald Head Island, N.C., worth $2 million.

BHI is the island just east of my favorite vacation spot. I've never been there - it's accessible only by ferry and I don't feel like spending $30 just to walk/ride around on it (since there are no cars) - but I've seen a lot of pictures of it. If they own five properties on BHI totalling only $2M, then those five properties are probably dumpsters. I suspect there's even more non-Euclidian accounting going on here than we think.

Update: I suppose they could be condos, but I don't think BHI has any. On the other hand, I may have found the properties that the Kuhns and Mollohans own! Go here and search in the price range of $250K - $500K.


Look Whose Career Got Sledge-O-Matic-ized

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Last Saturday, Rodney Carrington performed at the Embassy Theatre downtown (capacity 2,500). Guess who did his thing the same night across town at Snickers Comedy Club (capacity about 250)?



White Trash Wednesday

Hey, Niagara University - what'd the rednecks ever do to YOU?

Is There Anything Hotter Than a Coed, Dressed as a Trailer Park Bride, Hitting a Beer Bong? Pictures from the Niagara University Women's Lacrosse Team 2005 Initiation

It's worth a look just for the picture:
click for full White Trash Glory!

Many thanks to badjocks.com for bailing me out when I totally spaced on WTW yesterday.

Yesterday was White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


A couple wants to keep their livestock on their property in town. The town has laws that prohibit this, because the parcel isn't big enough. The couple does so anyway, in defiance of the law. Sounds like a classic WTW story, doesn't it?

Not really, as the couple in question are Hare Krishnas and they claim they're being discriminated against because of their religion:

Stephen and Linda Voith, followers of the Hindu-based Krishna Consciousness movement, bought a house on a two-and-a-half acre property on Main Street in 1999. Their beliefs include a concept called cow protection, in which cattle are revered. Cows are also used in the padayatra, a type of religious procession.

"She's the most important animal, because everyone is sustained by the milk," Mr. Voith said.

Officials cite a 1986 village ordinance banning livestock on lots of less than 10 acres, unless the land is part of a farm primarily outside the village or the owner gets a permit.

. . .

The Village Board denied their application for a permit, however, and after a series of court appearances at the village and county level, an acting State Supreme Court justice ruled that the ordinance did not violate the Voiths's constitutional right to religious freedom.
The Voiths are appealing to the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. I think their only chance is to prove that the permit was denied on religious grounds, and good luck with that.

This has been going on since 1999 when they bought the house. In fact, when the Leiths were finally forced in 2003 to move the cows to another parcel of land they owned outside of town, they tried to get asylum in India:

[Voith] said he has sought asylum in India for himself and his family, including two children adopted from India. He has written to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and India's Ambassador to the U.S. Lalit Mansingh.
Too bad they didn't try a little harder.

That's "Ace" As In "Ace-Hole"


A friend of mine challenged me today thusly: "You always claim that you, as a South Park Republican, are violently opposed to crooked politicians wherever they are, but I haven't heard a peep out of you on either DeLay or Cunningham."

The jury's still out on DeLay (heh), so I'm withholding judgement on him for now. As far as Duke Cunningham, I'm reminded of a '70s SF novel called Galactic Medal of Honor. I don't remember the book real well, but I recall that the Medal was awarded for extraordinary service in the cause of humanity against the alien invaders, or some such. It was, literally, a 'Get Out Of Jail Free' card, since one of its many perks was that a GMH holder was immune from any laws. It looks to me like Duke Cunningham thought being a flying ace in the Vietnam War was the equivalent of winning the Galactic Medal of Honor.

So let me be clear: scumbags is scumbags, no matter what side of the aisle they're on or how many MiGs they shot down in 'Nam.


The lid switch on my washer (the safety device that forces you to have the lid down before the basket will spin) crapped out over the weekend, just in time to trap us behind an entire laundry room full of dirties (as an aside, it continually surprises me how much laundry can be generated by just three people). After twenty minutes of staring at the thing trying to figure out how to take it apart, and actually unscrewing two screws that accomplished NOTHING, I put the adage "If you can't find it on the internet, it ain't worth knowing" to the test.

Thanks to applianceaid.com, I learned how to quickly and easily pop the ENTIRE CABINET off the washer. Twenty minutes later, I'd managed to replace the lid switch and reassemble the washer without flooding the house, shocking myself, or having any parts left over.

For those of you scoring at home: you have to remove two screws from the console, rotate it out of the way, release two clips holding the back of the washer on, slide the cabinet towards you about half an inch, and lift it up. That's it. YMMV, of course (e.g., I had to remove two pop-off plastic trim pieces to get to my console mount screws), but most new top-loaders work that way.

R.I.P. Indiana Stupid Time


I always maintained that there were six time zones in the continental US: Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time, Pacific Time, Indiana Stupid Time, and Arizona Stupid Time, to reflect the fact that Indiana and Arizona use Eastern / Mountain Standard Time year round. As of 2:00 this morning, there are now five: Indiana Stupid Time has gone away, to be replaced by Eastern Daylight Time. Never again will I have to tell customers, friends, and family elsewhere in the country that our relative time difference varies according to what month it is. Oh happy day!

Of course, I'd gotten used to not having to change the 27 clocks in my house twice a year, so I was grousing a little about that today when I had to do it, but it's worth it to finally be able to tell my parents and in-laws in Michigan that we are on the same time as them forever and ever amen. Or at least until the Farm Bureau lobbyists regroup and change the General Assembly's mind again.

Last night, a local radio station announced that as of midnight, Jimmy Page would become the station's new owner. Apparently, he heard the station between stops on his tour and was impressed by how much Led Zepplin they played. Callers to the station were going nuts all night long.

C'mon, people, what's the date as of midnight? I mean, they showed a little creativity by starting early, but geez.


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