Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas hangover

  • One SUV crammed with two-months salary worth of gifts for inlaws
  • One three-year-old
  • 400 miles worth of open highway to drive
  • Inlaws (any amount will do)
  • Four heavy Christmas dinners with all the "fixin's"

Directions: Combine ingredients and set tension level to medium for two days. On the third day, raise tension level to high and allow to boil over. Serve and enjoy.

Damn it's good to be home. 4 Christmases in 5 days is way too much holly freakin' jolly for me. I just settled in with a nice glass of eggnog that I make out of bourbon and nothing else.

Anyway, I have a lot of Christmas horror stories, some of which I might share. Actually, though, it wasn't all bad. I did get a few things from my wishlist. Plus I'm still on vacation for a few more days, so I've got that going for me.

Well, here's to wishing you all a happy post-Christmas recovery.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hello? It's your big brother calling

Here’s one that will send shivers down the spines of the paranoids.

A New York judge has granted the government its request to be able to track the position of cell phone without first getting a warrant.

I can see Dan going into convulsions already.

In related news, the government has also declared 2 plus 2 to be 5, War is now Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Freedom is Slavery.
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Even in New Jersey

I saw the governor of New Jersey wasn't happy with the state's new slogan, "New Jersey, we'll win you over," for which they paid a consultant a cool quarter of a million tomatoes.

Meh, it could be worse. But in an effort to get more entries, N.J Governor Richard Codey announced a contest open to NJ residents to come up with a new state slogan. Unfortunately, he didn't count on the sarcasm of his constituents.

The slogan committee has already had to weed out suggestions like "Come to New Jersey: It's not as bad as it smells."

Luckily, being from Kansas I have some recent experience with this sort of thing, so I’ve taken it upon myself to add a few of my own suggestions. Just PayPal me the $260,000, Gov. Codey.
  • New Jersey: Keeping it in the Family
  • New Jersey: Everyone’s a Soprano
  • New Jersey: Neither New, nor a Jersey
  • New Jersey: More than just a turnpike
  • New Jersey: The State Shaped Like an Appendix

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Give my regrets to Broadway

All right. Enough is enough. You're having a little trouble with your commute. We get it.

But it's not a national news story.

I think I can speak for the vast majority of North America when I tell the spoiled public transportation brats of New York that I'm tired of hearing about their problems all the time.

For the last few days in the news it's all "Transit strike snarls NYC for 2nd day"-this and Judge fines NYC transit workers $1 million a day"-that.

Well, here's a news flash for New Yorkers.

"Most of country has own problems to deal with."

Here in KC we've got a skyrocketing East-side murder epidemic, they've got wings falling off of airplanes in Miami, and let's not forget about the dire plight of European Union relations.

So sorry, NY, if I'm not that sympathetic with the fact that you'll have to walk a few blocks to get to that fancy Italian bistro. You're just going to have to deal with it. I mean, fer cryin' out loud, this isn't France.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Black talk

Sunday night I watched an interview of actor Morgan Freeman on 60 Minutes. Not my usual Sunday night viewing fare, but I was too busy clipping my toenails to change the channel.

Anyway, Freeman made a comment that was spot on something that's been going through my mind a lot lately. Interviewer Mike Wallace asked the tough question about what Americans should do to end racism.

Freeman's answer? "Stop talking about it."
"I'm going to stop calling you a white man. And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You wouldn't say, "‘Well, I know this white guy named Mike Wallace."’ You know what I'm sayin'."”
I do know what he's sayin'. It pretty much goes against the politically correct left, that segment of society that says in order to respect other races we must make sure to recognize (label) them.

This is something that was on the forefront of my mind a few weeks ago when my alma mater announced a new head football coach. University bigwigs and media mouthpieces alike proclaimed that KSU's hiring of former University of Virginia assistant Ron Prince was a seminal moment in college sports.

Newspaper articles proclaimed "KSU hires black head coach" and "KSU makes Prince 4th black head coach." Columnists wrote about the great opportunity and pressure on this black head coach.

Unfortunately, the theme couldn't be around "KSU new young head coach" or "KSU's promising new head coach."

Maybe someday we'll get to a point where race truly doesn't matter, when there won't be any black Americans, Asian Americans, Latino or Hispanic Americans. Maybe someday, we'll all just be Americans.

But I think in order for that to happen, we'll have to take Freeman's advice and stop talking about it.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

Glass half full (update)

Here's an update on the Nelson expansion I blogged about earlier.

Anonymous, you asked for more pics, so here are some shots courtesy of Matt the Architect. By the way, I love all of those quotes you're famous for.

Anyway, check these out...

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

A little good news

It looks like the election in Iraq has been pretty successful.

"The heavy participation in the parliamentary voting by the Sunnis, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year..."
"...But violence was light overall and did not appear to discourage Iraqis, some of whom turned out wrapped in their flag on a bright, sunny day, and afterward displayed a purple ink-stained index finger — a mark to guard against multiple voting. One jubilant Shiite voter in Baghdad proudly displayed all 10 of his fingers stained with ink."
It's nice to see some encouraging news from the middle east. I know a lot of people will say that this is meaningless and Iraq is a lost cause and the US has no business being there.

Maybe that's true, but we are there, and signs like this are at least hopeful.

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We interupt this blog...

Today marked the ninth day in a row when my morning bathroom "ritual" was interrupted by my supermodel wife and/or our 3-year-old daughter.

I guess when you're the only dude in the family (aside from our neutered dog, Dexter), you really don't have much privacy. Not that I need the privacy. But it would be nice to be able to look at my Playboys without being interrupted.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Glass ceiling

So my friend Matt is one of the project architects for the new expansion of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Because I have such a powerful and influential friend, I scored a private tour of the not-yet-completed expansion.

The new building, designed by well-known architect Steven Holl, has been the source of a fair amount of controversy in Kansas City. Some people object to his design, which uses hundreds of slabs of specially designed glass, saying it looks too much like a prefab metal shed and it's offensive to the grand old Nelson Atkins.

Others, like Tony from TKC, object on general principal to the idea of spending dollars on "cultural" projects, saying there's no benefit to the proletariat (his opinion).

My personal view is that this is going to be a kick ass building. It's a mistake to judge this book by its exterior cover. I was able to snap a few pics of the interior before my digital camera battery died, and let me just say it's pretty damn impressive.

The spaces and lighting will be amazing for the gallery and public areas below the "lenses." And the integration with the exterior landscape will only enhance the "sculpture garden" feel of the east side of the Nelson.

My prediction is that this building will become on of Kansas City's best landmarks.

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ain't no Tin Woodman in Kansas

Dan at Gone Mild asked:
What in the hell is the tin man? I mean, lions and scarecrows are part of the world, but I'm unaware of mechanized woodmen roaming Kansas or anywhere else ...
Well, Dan, here's one person's answer.

It helps to keep in mind that the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was highly satirical criticism of the socio-political climate of America circa 1900. So, many of the characters were metaphorical representations of the groups and social classes of which L. Frank Baum was critical.

The following deconstruction is from Henry M. Littlefield.
In the book, the Wicked Witch of the East had kept the little Munchkin people "in bondage for many years, making them slave for her night and day." (pp. 22-23). Just what this slavery entailed is not immediately clear, but Baum later gives us a specific example. The Tin Woodman, whom Dorothy meets on her way to the Emerald City, had been put under a spell by the Witch of the East. Once an independent and hard working human being, the Woodman found that each time he swung his axe it chopped off a different part of his body. Knowing no other trade he "worked harder than ever," for luckily in Oz tinsmiths can repair such things. Soon the Woodman was all tin (p. 59). In this way Eastern witchcraft dehumanized a simple laborer so that the faster and better he worked the more quickly he became a kind of machine. Here is a Populist view of evil Eastern influences on honest labor which could hardly be more pointed.
So there you have it. The Tin Woodman was a metaphorical amalgamation of the working class who had been conditioned to work for "the man" (which in Oz was the Wicked Witch of the East) until he became more machine than man.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mr. Picassohead

selfportraitI wanted to put up a quick post while I try to dig out from under 12 feet of snow and a mountain of email.

I found another online self portrait site at .

As the name implies, you use their flash program to "paint" you're self portrait (or anybody elses, for that matter).

So, here's my Picasso-esque self portrait. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Five favs

Dan at has posted his list of the most important songs on his iPod. It's a great list and I wholeheartedly agree with everything he says.

It's one of the only things that we agree upon.

Dan and I are miles apart in terms of our political views, mostly since I prefer a reasoned, moderate and respectful dialog and discussion of day-to-day events rather than Dan's extreme reactionary rants.

Be that as it may, we have very similar taste in music. Leave it to music to bring people together.

So, I've put together my top five of the moment, noting that these change as often as the weather in Kansas (can you believe we had tornadoes in November?)
  • Into the Mystic (Van Morrison): As far as I'm concerned, this is one of Van Morrison's best works as it fuses soul and blues with the Celtic-folk of his roots. This one is always at the top of my iPod's most-played list.
  • I Shall Be Released (Nina Simone): Pretty much any of Nina Simone's songs could go in my five favs list. I've chosen this one because of the strength of the lyrics (They say everything cannot be replaced. They say every distance is not near. So I remember every face of every man who put me here.) It's also a great vehicle for Simone's haunting vocals. I can feel the palpable pain in her voice, and I can't listen to this song without getting misty-eyed.
  • Rapper's Delight (Sugarhill Gang): Rap hit the mainstream when I was in junior high, and while Rapper's Delight wasn't the first rap song I heard, it was the most memorable. This song always takes me back to the after school on the playground rap sessions where me and my best friends were transformed into our new hip-hop heroes. It really exposed those small-town white boys to a new culture.
  • Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles): The list wouldn't be complete without an item from the Beatles and I think this one is my fav. I just really like the positive vibe and "springtime" imagery that Lennon used, proving himself (as if he needed to) a master lyricist.
  • Walk On (U2): This is a relatively new addition (that is, relative to the other items on the list) but when the World Trade Center was attached on Sept. 11, 2001, this was the album I was listening to at the time. Everyone was really depressed for a few weeks (months?) afterward, but the words in this song have uncanny relevance (And if your glass heart should crack, And for a second you turn back, Oh no, be strong). I've been a huge U2 fan for years and obviously still am.
So there's my five favs. I noticed with a bit of a different take. Tony being different? Imagine that.

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Monday, December 05, 2005

Desperate intervention

Honey, darling, light of my life, please don’t take this the wrong way. We’re here because we love you very much, and we only want to see you get better.

You see. We think you have a problem.

You are a great mother and supermodel wife. Any husband and daughter would be lucky to be part of your family. But your one little vice is starting to get out of hand.

For a while, it was easy to ignore. You kept it under control for nearly two seasons. But as with most addictions, sooner or later the vice begins to take control and we lose more and more of the beautiful person that we know and love.

Over the last couple of weeks, it’s become more and more apparent when you need your “fix”. When Sunday afternoon rolls around, you start to become irritable, even grouchy when your loved ones ask for your attention. As the evening wears on, the irritability turns to abject apathy. You lose focus on those around you as your mind fixes solely on the anticipation of next dose at 8 p.m.

And then, when it starts, and you begin to consume the televised narcotic that is , it’s as if your family doesn’t exist anymore.

So please, we’ve planned this intervention in an effort to encourage you to get some help. We want you the way you were. We know we can be happy on Sunday evenings again. I'm willing to do whatever it takes and be with you every step of the way.

Wait a minute... the game is back on.

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Friday, December 02, 2005

Amelie Friday

It's time once again for Amelies Friday, so let's play The Amelie Game.
Here they are, three likes and three dislikes for the week:
Things I like
  • free Senseo promotions
  • having my Christmas shopping done (thank you Amazon)
  • (you can buy it online, too)

Things I dislike
  • when dentists don't keep their appointments
  • Delta Dental doesn't cover my fillings
  • ("hatred of science, literature and minorities by the current populace" ... whatever, dude).
How has your week been?

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cyber Swag!

Or, "Holy crap! It actually worked!!"

About a month ago I heard an Internet rumor that Senseo, a single serve coffee joint venture of Sara Lee and Phillips electronics, was giving away free coffee makers as part of a promotion.

Knowing from previous experience the value of Internet rumors (man, that was one crazy Yom Kippur!), I was very skeptical. But I went to the Drop the Drip website to learn more.

So the deal was, you send in a picture of your old coffee maker (plus $15 shipping and handling, of course) and Senseo sends you a "free" Senseo Single Serve coffee maker -- a $60 value.

The website seemed legit, so I snapped a pic of my with my trusty and clicked upload. All that was left was the small matter of handing my VISA card number over to an internet form and waiting.

Well, to my surprise, my shiny new red arrived today. Can't wait to fire it up and drink myself into a caffeine-induced epileptic fit.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Southpark me

Since I don't really have the opportunity to meet in person with any of the thronging hoards who read this blog, I went to this page to create myself as a Southpark character.

Here I am...

Post a link to the Southpark you in the comments, so I can virtually see what you would look like in Southpark, Colo.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Nice to meat you

Welcome back. I hope everyone stateside had a great Thanksgiving, and everyone outside the US had a great, fourth week of November.

I know I did. We traveled to the middle of Kansas to visit my Supermodel Wife's supermodel mother and stepfather. I say it was the middle of Kansas, but it was actually the exact geographic center of the continental United States (at least, that's what the Lebanon, Kan., Chamber of Commerce says).

The trip gave me an opportunity to meet two individuals that will be very important to me when spring arrives.

They are known as No. 01 and No. 14. These two individuals are not agents of some super-secret organization, rather, those are the numbers on the eartags of the cattle that will become our beef in a couple of months.

It's all part of my campaign not to buy commercially produced "feedlot" beef. It's not that I'm any kind of animal rights fanatic. I mean, I still intend to eat a lot of beef. In fact, I'm getting a new smoker specifically for the preparation of briskets and the like.

But ever since reading an article in the NY Times a few years ago, I just don't want to risk consuming a force fed animal. points out that most beef is corn fed, and cows are ill-equipped to handle eating grains.

In fact, force feeding corn to cows makes them sick and they can die unless they are also force fed antibiotics and growth hormones. All of which can end up as residual elements of the beef that they become.
American regulators permit hormone implants on the grounds that no risk to human health has been proved, even though measurable hormone residues do turn up in the meat we eat. These contribute to the buildup of estrogenic compounds in the environment, which some scientists believe may explain falling sperm counts and premature maturation in girls. Recent studies have also found elevated levels of synthetic growth hormones in feedlot wastes; these persistent chemicals eventually wind up in the waterways downstream of feedlots, where scientists have found fish exhibiting abnormal sex characteristics.
Scary enough to make me think I might as well cut out the middle man. Get my own cow, grow it (or, have my stepfatherinlaw grow it) and have it butchered. It's like a fun do-it-yourself project. It seems healthier and it's definitely cheaper, and I get the meat from a reputable source (myself).

Plus, I think it's better for your soul to be close to the food you eat. So I guess I should carry this through with the rest of my diet.

Does anyone know where I can get some Twinkie seeds?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jedi Marketing Trick

One quick post before I hit the road for some holiday travel.

One of my coworkers knows the guy who developed the SithSense marketing flash for Burger King. I didn't really see BK choosing the Dark Lord for their spokesman, but this flash is pretty funny... and strangely accurate.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Targeted by Marketing Guerrillas

I was sitting in the bar of the Hotel Rouge in DC the other day sipping a Manhattan with some business associates when we were approached by a little hottie carrying a wine bottle.

I assumed, as anyone would, that she was a waitress at the hipster hangout. But I learned in the next few moment the waitress gettup was camouflage.

She approached our table and offered: "Hi, I wonder if you would mind trying a free sample of our new wine, Virgin Vines Shiraz."

Wha!?! I never thought I would hear the words "free," "virgin," and "sample" in the same sentence. And even though I can think of a better context for hearing those three words, I've never been one to turn down an offer of free booze.

But let me be clear. Virgin Vines is from the famous Richard Branson (err.. ahem..) Sir Richard Branson Virgin franchise.

That's right, the people who brought you Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Partially Gelatinated Non Dairy Gum Based Beverages, now brings you Virgin Vines from California's Napa valley.

Based on the website, Branson and Co. are targeting a younger, club-scene demographic. But you know what? Even though this old fart doesn't fit that demographic (I'm all of 35 years now), the Shiraz was pretty damn good and I'll probably buy a few bottles.

So I fell victim to the guerrilla marketing tactic. And if you've read this far, so have you.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Corporate Jet Lag

It's good to be back after a business trip to the coast. I had a great trip with lots of productive meetings. Unfortunately, there was one event that left deep and permanent emotional and psychological scars.

The corporate jet.

You see, I was given the opportunity to take my company's corporate jet out to the coast, rather than fly commercial with the plebs and riffraff.

It was oh so sweet. The Gulfstream GII had plenty of leg room for my five-foot-fourteen-inch frame. The cushy Barcalounger chairs were a welcome change from the back-breaking boards you're strapped to on a commercial airliner. The other passengers on the plane were all professionals, so they were courteous and pleasant to talk to.

A breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries and hot coffee was served by a delightful attendant who was attentive and polite and genuinely seemed to enjoy her job.

Yes, I would say it was by far the best flight experience I've ever had. So, why the emotional scars? Well, it has absolutely spoiled me for "regular" air travel.

My return flight was on United Airlines out of Dulles airport. If you've never been to Dulles before, count yourself lucky. It's like a stockyard compared to just about any other airport in the country. Upon arrival, you are herded down a series of chutes for flight check-in, followed by another series of chutes for security inspection.

Once you pass though security (and get you shoes back on), you rush down several corridors to the LOADING DOCK that takes you to you gate. That's right. you get on truck/bus that drives you across the tarmac to a barn-like structure that is the departure gate.

Now, if you're unfortunate enough to be a United Express customer, you are packed like cattle into this barn/departure gate to await the boarding call for you flight. When that comes, you are taken outside into a steel garage, herded once again down livestock chute out onto the tarmac where you get onto your plane.

Well, after my experience on the corporate jet where I was treated like a passenger rather than cargo, I just can't go back to regular commercial flight. I've decided to sell my home and everything I own and buy my own Gulfstream. I found one online for the bargain price of $1.4 million.

The way I see it, people live in motor homes or houseboats, why not just live in a Gulfstream?

The rest of you commoners can have the commercial flights (although, I strongly recommend you stay away from United).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Driver's seat

Well, I'm feeling much better now. My leukocyte and killer T-cells have finally fought off the Mutant Avian Flu Plague and I'm now able to sleep through the night. Thanks to Mi'chelle for the medical advice.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

I ran across The Taxi flash while blogsurfing. This is pretty funny, especially when pressing the 's' and 'h' keys on the keyboard. Enjoy.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Amelie Friday

It's Friday, that means it's time to play The Amelie Game.

You know the rules, three likes and three dislikes for the week. This week, I'm starting with dislikes:

Things I dislike

  • mutant head cold strains
  • two flat tires in one week
  • teeth-scaling implements used by dentists

Things I like
  • free WiFi at Homer's
  • Matt's Tawney Port
  • telecommuting

Okay, now let's see what you like/dislike this week.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Autorantic Virutal Moonbat

The other day, my supermodel wife was on the phone with her cousin, who just chose a college and will be a freshman next year. Somehow, the conversation came around to why my supermodel wife is a liberal and how evil the Repulicans are.

Most of the conversation didn't make much sense to me. Probably because I was only hearing one of the parties (my supermodel wife) and trying to watch the latest episode of HBO's Rome at the same time.

Luckily, I found Sean Gleeson's Autorantic Virutal Moonbat. This handy device allows me to recreate the conversation with stunning accuracy.

I know it's been around for a while now, so this is yesterday's news to a lot of you. But it's new to me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Good news/bad news

It's one of those good news/bad news days for me.

The bad news is that I still feel like shit. This is the strangest cold I've ever had. Really dry drainage into my throat. That's gross I know, so I won't go into the details.

But the good news is that I probably don't have Avian Flu. I rule this out because I don't make a habit of sucking the mucus out of fighting cocks.
Sometimes trainers go mouth-to-mouth with wounded birds to suck out blood and mucus. A trainer was one of 12 Thais killed by bird flu last year.
But the bad news is that I think I might have contracted Evian Flu from a tainted bottle of drinking water.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween hangover

  • 1 Headcold
  • overdose of cold medicine
  • way too much of my kid's candy
  • visiting Matt and Andrea and drinking Matt's Porto
  • staying up too late, getting up too early
Mix in equal parts. Enjoy.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tombstone Hold 'Em

If you get bored from trick-or-treating tonight, or if you have no more use for your immortal soul, you can try your luck at Tombstone Hold'em.

Here are the rules

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let’s play the Amelie Game

It’s Friday. So in the ancient tradition that I just made up, it’s time to play the Amelie Game. If you’ve ever seen the movie Amelie, you know about the lists of likes and dislikes made by the main character (coincidentally enough named Amelie) throughout the film.

Here’s my list for this week:

Things I Like

  1. The tangy scent of decomposing leaves
  2. Musician’s Friend
  3. Bluetooth

Things I Dislike

  1. Pumpkin-eating squirrels
  2. lunch meetings
  3. flat tires

There you go, add your own lists of likes/dislikes (three each please) in the comments section.

PS – If you haven’t yet, subscribe to The Delta Park Project podcast, the inspiration of this post and for which it is a blatant rip off — er, homage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Take this song, for free

No strings attached. No illegal downloads, no iPod accounts, no proprietary mp3 player specs, no cease and desist nastigrams from the RIAA.

Just a free song, offered to you by it's composer, Todd Lerner.


PS-Remember, you get what you pay for

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Today's Top 10

The category is the Top 10 Worst Starting Lines for a Conversation.

So if a conversation starts with these lines, you know it's going to be bad news and you should just avoid the conversation altogether.

10. Do you want to hear a funny joke?
9. Don’t take this the wrong way, but…
8. Hello {insert your name here}, my name is Detective Smith…
7. Your test results are back, and we're going to need you to come in to the office.
6. Hello. Yeah it's been a while. Listen, the reason I'm calling is that my test results are back, and...
5. May I please have 5 minutes of your time?
4. You've had a rich, full life...
3. I'm gay and just slipped you a roofie, it should start taking effect right about...
2. Has this ever happened to you before?
1. I've got good news and horrible, awful, devastating news

Big props to my boy Mike U. for pitching in. Keep it real man.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Virtual Jack-O-Lantern

I received this link from Katrina earlier today, so I took a "stab" at creating my own virtual Jack-O-Lantern.

Whatcha think? Let me know how yours turns out.

Friday, October 21, 2005

L.A. face with the Oakland booty

This has been out in blogworld for a week now, so if you've already heard it , you're just a little less out of touch than me.

But it's still freakin' hilarious.

Here's a note from the artist:

"I've wanted to cover this song for a long time, because it is excellent - there's a wonderful message in there for those of you who have big butts."

And here's the link. You're going to love it. Baby Got Baaaaaack

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whatever is Noble

I can't believe the serendipity of Pomegranate Pretty's 10/18 post and me reading it at this particular time.

You see, my super model wife and I went to church for the first time in months last week, and one of the passages that was read really struck a chord with me. I share it with you only because it seems particularly apropos.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

-- Philippians 4, verse 8

I'm not a bible-beater, and I'm not 100% certain who the Philippians were (I think they were followers of the advice of Dr. Phil, or something), but this seems like good advice no matter what religion you follow (if any).

Kind of an "accentuate the positive" message.

So, Pomegranate Pretty, keep you chin up and Illegitimis non carborundum.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Them There Eyes

KC is a great town for live jazz music.

I mean, I’m sure other towns are great too. I know for a fact that Chicago has some slammin’ joints. But I’m not trying to get into some kind of parochial pissing match about whose city has the best live jazz music scene. I’m just sayin’ KC is a great town for live jazz music.

Last Friday night my Supermodel Wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with dinner and a show at Jardine’s.
Angela Hagenbach
We had terrific table in the intimate club and enjoyed drinks and dinner while Angela Hagenbach channeled Sara Vaughn on stage. She knocked us out with her rendition of "Them There Eyes," and it didn’t hurt that she’s just a beautiful woman as well (though not as beautiful as my Super Model Wife).

The show really helped make the evening memorable. It also got me thinking that we need to start going out more often. We’ll definitely go back to Jardine’s (Hagenbach has shows there on 10/21 and 10/28 as well). We’ll also check out The Phoenix and The Blue Room.

Anyone wanna go along?

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Those who know me know that I'm a pretty even-tempered guy. I don't get upset to the extreme. I tend not to take things personally, and I usually assume the best in people.

So it's rare to see raging anger from me about anything.


Blogspam really pisses me off. I mean what the hell are these spammers thinking? Do they actually think the thinly veiled ads in the comments of blogs are fooling anyone?

Here’s a typical example:
"Hey, I saw your blog and I really like it. I'm thinking of starting a blog too. I think my blog will be about natural male enhancement. Sounds strange I know, but you would be surprised how much info there is about natural male enhancement. Anyway great job on your blog and please visit mine here."

What? You really like my blog? Okay then, I'll click on your link. NOT!

It's not that I have anything against advertising. I think it serves a valuable purpose in our economy. Hell, there would be no internet as we know it without advertising and marketing. But the blogspam format is just intellectually insulting.

I've made a practice of immediately deleting these offending posts, but I've decided to leave any blogspam comments to this post live for the purposes of illustration. Of course, I'll expect a cut of any revenue generated by these ads.

PS-I know you can turn on the verification to protect against spam, but it just seems like I shouldn't have to. I know, that's immature of me.

Friday, October 14, 2005


You probably heard about Apples big announcement this week of the video iPod.

As expected, the new device is sleek, sexy and bound to be a best seller. But it leaves you asking the question, what next from Apple?

Well, BT Laboratories has the answer: Musical Boobs.

That's right. It turns out the silicon in breast implants might just be the perfect medium for flexible electronic chips capable of storing your iTunes library. One boob would hold the mp3 files while the would have the playback software.
BT Laboratories' analyst Ian Pearson said flexible plastic electronics would sit inside the breast. A signal would be relayed to headphones, while the device would be controlled by Bluetooth using a panel on the wrist.

Technology blog Techdirt has coined the term “Breast iMplants”, although according to Pearson, the technology is still 15 years away.

But I already have some ideas for the "user interface" that I’d like to try out. Any volunteers?

PS-Thanks to Meleah for the tip.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Do you see any flippin' Sasquatches around here!?!

You thought the whole Napoleon Dynamite thing was over? Think again.

The Utah State Fair hired Napoleon and his student body president sidekick Pedro to be the pitch duo for this year's festivities.

In a series of TV and radio ads, Napoleon and his perm give insightful tidbits about the history of Utah blood feuds, the development of Sasquatch-killing horses and Utah carnival ride technology.

Granted, the fair has been over for a couple of weeks, but I'm hoping these two guys will show up in future ads -- maybe there's a new telecom or internet company looking for a new spokesduo.

The ads (click the "Napoleon's Sweet Ads" link) are in Real Media format, so I had to download the free Real Media player to see them. But it was worth it.

I mean, they were sweet!

PS - Check out this quote page.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hint: Not New Orleans

Nothing much to say right now but a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's one from our trip to Italy a couple of years ago. 10 points if you can name the city.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Subway terrorist threat

Not to make lite of current public events, but this is a great take on the terror threats to the New York subway.

I mean, you can't make this stuff up (well, okay, the people at Six Meat Buffet can make it up, and it's pretty damn funny).

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Her eyes sparkled to me. One day they were blue; the next day they were green."

Unless you're completely made of stone, I don’t see how you can listen to these stories and not get a tear in you eye or at least find yourself getting a little choked up.

This is part of the StoryCorp Project. It’s a project that has been featured regularly on NPR (I think NPR is a partner or sponsor or something). But it’s a terrific idea and I’m really into it. It’s amazing that with all of the creative talent in Hollywood, they still can’t produce anything as compelling as a couple of people right off the street.

One of my favorite stories is by Richard Pecorella. Damn good stuff.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Let that be a lesson to you...

Talk about your gluttons for punishment:

Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator

A 13-foot Burmese python recently burst after it apparently tried to swallow a live, six-foot alligator whole, authorities said.

This has Sci-Fi channel movie of the week written all over it.

The incident has heightened biologists' fears that the nonnative snakes could threaten a host of other animal species in the Everglades.

Other animal species? You mean like... PEOPLE?!?!?

It's pretty clear that the only thing that can save us now is... Giant Robot Lizards.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Here’s the theory I came up with while taking a shower this morning.

TV sucks.

Okay, I know I’m not the first person to think of this theory. And granted there are a few exceptions. But here’s the supporting logic. There just isn’t very much original thought in the mass entertainment world these days.

Sure, you’ve got some nice stuff coming out of HBO. Some of it is even watchable (I really like ROME).

But on basically network TV, there are really only about five shows on. Everything else is derivative of these five shows

1) Generic Family Sitcom: This show consists of a father who is often at odds with his parents, in-laws, wife or kids. Hijinks ensue. Other variations of this show involve groups of friends, roommates and gay people. But the comic situations are typically the same.

2) Generic Law/Cop Melodrama: My friend Chris likes to watch CSI. I was at his house when the show was starting the other night, and I accurately predicted what would happen: “There’s going to be a crime of some sort, some people will show up at the scene and investigate what happened.”

3) Generic Medical Melodrama: Same as Generic Law/Cop Melodrama, but in a hospital/medical setting. Why does Hollywood find lawyers, cops and doctors so interesting?

4) Generic Reality TV show: Interestingly, these shows have nothing to do with reality. They’re popular on the networks because the producers don’t have to pay actors or writers.

5) Generic Dramatic TV News Magazine: The network talking heads seem to have to make mountains out of molehills on a weekly basis.

The sad thing is that I know there are still creative people in the entertainment industry. But if an original concept does happen to make it to the pilot stage, even if, despite all odds, get on the air, it will quickly be cancelled because it doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator of the American viewing public.

Oh well. At least we still have sports.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Congratulations Steve

Congratulations to my college roommate and longtime friend Steve and his super-model wife, Melissa, on the birth of their first son, Avery. This one is dedicated to you:

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hokey post alert

I know this sounds corny, but: I have a really great daughter.

My supermodel wife, our 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter and I got together with the old college friends Saturday morning to watch the old college football team take on the opponents du jour. The whole gang was there, along with two other toddlers and a newborn.

With all those young’ns in one place, my expectations were for multiple meltdowns accompanied by screams, crying and tantrums.

What happened was amazing. Rather than freaking out, fighting with the other kids over toys, snacks, attention, etc. like most kids do, my daughter played nicely with everyone. At various times she was seen giving hugs and kisses to the other kids, trading shoes, reading books and basically being a sweetheart. She even got to hold the newborn. Now she wants one of her own.

Bethany (that’s her name), has always been a good kid (except for a few incidents during the potty training phase). But I’ve always wondered how she does around other kids. It was nice to be able to observe directly how she interacts.

She seems so mature for her age. And very happy, which is really all I want.

I’m a proud father, but Saturday reminded me just how great of a kid I have.

Okay, enough of that (for now).

Friday, September 09, 2005

Y'know, I was God once...

I saw the Waiter’s rant where he wonders how God allow people to drown in N.O. (or let other unimaginably horrible things happen).

The Waiter is basically asking the age-old question about why bad things happen to good people. Deeper thinkers than I have tried to figure this out, but the best answer I’ve heard was on the animated comedy series Futurama. You probably remember the episode where Bender the robot met God at the center of the universe.

The exchange went something like this:

Bender: Y'know, I was God once.

God: Yes I saw. You were doing well until everyone died.

Bender: It was awful. I tried helping them. I tried not helping them but in the end I couldn't do them any good. Do you think what I did was wrong?

God: Right and wrong are just words. What matters is what you do.

Bender: Yeah I know, that's why I asked if what I did - forget it.

God: Bender, being God isn't easy, if you do too much, people get dependent. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safe cracker or a pickpocket.

Bender: Or a guy who burns down the bar for the insurance money.

God: Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Katrina situation

I was discussing the hurricane and aftermath with some colleagues at work the other day. Someone brought up a NYTimes report about the administration considering invoking the Insurrection Act and taking over in Louisiana.

Another colleague pointed out that such discussions are moot and now isn't the time to place blame.

That's true. It seems some people, including Amy and MoveOn, have already assigned the blame to President Bush.

Anyway, there would be just as much backlash at Bush had the Feds taken over preemptively. When a tragedy like this happens, the first thing some people do is look for a reason why it happened and a person to blame. Personally, I feel like there are a lot of people who want to place all the blame on Bush for reasons of political opportunism.

I kind of agree with what Adam Curry was saying on the DSC earlier this week. That in general, Americans have been conditioned by the television culture to expect a problem resolution and closure within 28 minutes. We expect serious problems not to happen, and when they do, we expect somebody else to fix it before the next commercial break.

We seem to be trying to apply the episodic TV formula to this disaster. When bad things happen (hurricane Katrina), Americans want to see a victim (residents of N.O.), a hero (federal responders), and a villain (President Bush).

And the news organizations are happy to play along. Since we're all glued to the wall-to-wall coverage, each news org invokes special “Act of God” advertising rates that are an order of magnitude higher than the regular rates. Thus, it’s in their best financial interest when a tragedy happens and to keep the drama high.

Of course, real life isn’t an episode of Law & Order. And when the shite hits the fan as hard as it did in N.O., the “victims” don’t have the psychological wherewithal to handle it.

Look, despite what Kanye West thinks, there is no villain. Were there bad decisions? There always are in every disaster. Was there mismanagement? Absolutely, and on many levels from those who decided not to evacuate, to local and state officials who showed poor leadership, all the way up to the head of FEMA, DHC and the President.

But nobody caused the hurricane and no act of Congress, Bush or Bruce Willis would have stopped it. Sometimes bad things happen.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another list

Back when I was editor for a daily newspaper, my colleagues and I liked kept running lists to help take the edge off of the cynical world of “journalism”. Any time we saw/thought of a new item that fit the category, we would add it to our list.

This wasn’t a documented list, it was more of an oral tradition, handed down from one generation of suckers that go into journalism to the next.

One of these lists was a list of compound name descriptions. Journalists love to cut words by hyphenating and compounding adjectives and place them in front of a name.

For example, you might read about “ex-county commissioner and alleged nun killer Joe Smith.” The funny thing was that when one writer comes up with such a description, it is often used over and over again by other writers covering the same topic.

So we had a list of modifiers you never want to have in front of your name. I can’t recall all of it from memory, so I’ve started a new one. Please feel free to add you own.

  • alleged stalker of Madonna
  • bearded Montana recluse
  • spiderhole-dwelling former dictator
  • notorious Queens drug lord
  • celebutante hotel heiress
  • accused ex-Enron exec
  • Mafia turncoat and key government witness
  • militant anti-gay preacher

Friday, September 02, 2005


This isn't going to be popular.

It's not politically correct, and it's not what most people want to hear. But after reading much of the coverage of the tragedy in New Orleans, I can't help but feel disappointed in the people there.

The front page of the newspaper today detailed how, in only a matter of a few days, the residents left behind in New Orleans turned to lawlessness, looting, rape and murder in the absence of authority. There were accounts of rescue boats and cars being hijacked and gunshots being fired at helicopters bringing help.

At a time when there was a desperate need to come together to support their neighbors, the residents of New Orleans turned against each other like a reality TV version of Lord of the Flies.

The events that continue to unfold in New Orleans are horrible. Those of us who don't live there can't possibly comprehend the magnitude of the situation. But there have been many situations in our country's recent past that have shown the strength of American people when faced with great adversity.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of those times. It is my sincere hope that the opportunistic political sniping and finger pointing that has already started will be put aside in the interest of sheer survival.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I just received word from my mother that my cousin and her family no longer have a home in New Orleans.

I guess that's not 100% accurate. Technically, they still own their home near Lake Pontchartrain, only now it's under 20 feet of water.

My cousin, her husband and three children evacuated to Shreveport, but they are unsure what they'll do next. The short term plan is to move with the kids back to my aunt's house in Kansas so that the kids can get enrolled in school. They haven't decided whether to try to return to The Big Easy, or just relocate permanently somewhere else.

Obviously they are happy to be alive -- others weren't so lucky. But it is devastating to lose nearly all your worldly possessions.

Hopes and prayers to them and the thousands of others affected by Katrina. If the spirit moves you, you can donate a few bucks to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief fund.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Amelie game

One of my fav foreign films (foreign to me, that is, not to the French) is Amelie. If you’ve ever seen the movie, or listened to The Delta Park Project, you know about the lists of likes and dislikes that the main character (coincidentally enough named Amelie) makes throughout the movie.

Well, here’s my list for today:

Things I Like
  1. Vino Nobile
  2. Loose Park
  3. football season

Things I Dislike
  1. Monday morning
  2. coffee from the office machine
  3. open-mouth chewing

Okay, that’s my list from today. Add your own lists of likes/dislikes (three each per day) in the comments section.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

He was a man

Okay, I don’t want to come across as some kind of hater. I believe in basic human respect for all individuals. That said, what the hell is up with all of the Peter Jennings retrospectives?

It was bad enough when Channel 12 interrupted my nightly fix of Seinfeld reruns to do an hour-long death announcement and remembrance when Jennings died earlier this week. Then for the next two days it was one of the top stories in newspapers, TV and radio. Even as late as yesterday, one of the major networks (they’re all the same, really) was doing a prime time “Peter Jennings was a hero” special.

Again, I’ve got no personal issues with Jennings. As far as I know he was kind to his kids and didn't beat his wife. I wouldn’t wish lung cancer on anyone, and any loss of human life is a tragedy. And that’s kind of the point. What makes Peter Jennings more important, more of a loss, more deserving of a week of prime-time coverage, than, say, any of the dead soldiers in Iraq?

My theory is that “The Media” are the only ones who really care about Jennings’ death – at least to the point of the blanket coverage that it has received. I think that other “journalists” are professionally obligated to make a big deal out of this for the sole purpose of adding more importance to their jobs than they deserve. I mean, let’s be clear, Jennings read a teleprompter. Sure, he spent some time in the field, told stories, asked a few questions. But did he really contribute to humanity to an extent that would justify all of the death coverage?

Did he invent a cure for polio? Did he decipher the laws of relativity? Did he contribute to peace in our time? Did he even hit 60 home runs in a season?

The only reason he’s getting the coverage is because of his pseudo-celebrity. In my book, that puts him just a couple of steps up from Paris Hilton or Donald Trump. Come to think of it, Trump actually creates jobs for people (of course, he also fires them).

So to paraphrase the Bard, Jennings was a man, take him for all in all, and is deserving of respect for that. But he wasn’t the American hero that his colleagues are trying to make him.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Getting Kristine caught up

From her post on the preceding entry, Kristine seems to need a little help getting caught up. It's not an indictment of her, it happens to the best of us. She's a victim of the "Birth of Black Jesus" phenomenon, which is illustrated in the following chart:

So, in the interest of public service, here are a few more words/phrases Kristine might want to avoid. Please add your entries in the comments. Working together, we can all avoid the embarrassment of sounding like an aging hipster.

  • "metrosexual"
  • "voted off the island"
  • "all that"
  • "don't go there"
  • anything with "izzle" in it
  • "where's the beef"
  • "you are the Weakest Link"
  • Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Highlights of My Day

    1. Passed the dutchie on the left hand side
    2. LMAO at this
    3. Ordered a dopio espresso from Starbucks, paid with my immortal soul
    4. Got really pissed off at that guy in the next cube who chews with his mouth open
    5. Remembered how funny the word "ani" is
    6. Decided that guy in the cube next to me isn’t such a bad guy. But damn that chewing!
    7. Totally "phoned it in" at work today
    8. Drew funny pictures of coworkers (at lease I thought they were funny)
    9. Started a list of outdated catch phrases. It's "the bomb"
    10. Made light of someone else's misfortune. Became victim of instant karma.

    This post is an homage to Brian in Chicago. Nice work. Really top notch.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    Air Canada

    I've never been happier that America has Canada as a neighbor. That nice cool air the Canuks sent down yesterday was a Godsend, and it came just in time. I swear if I had to spend another day in 105 degree heat with 105% humidity and that guy in the cube next to me chewing with his mouth open... well, it wouldn't have been pretty.

    Anyway, here's a pic of the Golden Gate bridge I took during a visit to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago.

    If I had to live in California, it would be in San Francisco. I still can't believe they elected Ahnuld...

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Expectation management

    Okay, so I got one post up. I just want to send this warning to the intrepid readers of this blog (yes, all two of you): Don't get used to the idea of frequent updates.

    Unlike some bloggers (you know who you are amy), I don't have time to log in on an office computer to work on personal projects.

    Also, I frequently find I don't really have anything to say (er, write). So you'd just better get used to the idea.

    One of my favorite pastimes since my childhood years has been surfing around to other peoples' blogs, reading posts, then following links to their favorite blogs. It was during one of these blogsurfing sessions that I came across Mae's blog.

    Mae had a case of the Mondays and I and a few other posters took time to offer some words of encouragement. Things seem to be getting better for our young Canadian. It felt good to be able to reach out to a total stranger and give a virtual hug. Try that on the streets of most cities and you get slapped with an injunction and a restraining order (don't worry Ed, I won't go into details).

    Anyway, I just think that's what's great about the Internet. That and porn.

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    It's Ed's fault

    So I keep hearing about these so-called "blogs" from my so-called "friends" on the so-called "Internet." Kudos to the web powers that be for the further democratization of content. Anyway, you can all blame Ed V (last name withheld since Ed is wanted in several states and provinces) for this blog. You see, I was happy to stay on the sidelines and browse a few of my favorite blogs, then Ed kept daring me and pushing me on, and I finally had to respond.

    Don't believe me? Well, as my first entry, here's the proof (transcript of IM conversation)...

    Me: Hello? Just posted on your blog. Good stuff that blog o' yerz
    Ed V: thanks. sorry.. was away for a bit..
    So I gathered. Isn't it about past your bedtime?
    EV: wow. do i know you?
    me: Found your "handle" on your blog. Added you to my Adium list
    EV: awesome how'd you come across my blog?
    me: I ran across your blog while reading friends' blogs on blogspot.
    EV: wow.. that's pretty cool.. blog surfing?
    me: Yeah. Great word coinage
    EV: totally..
    me: Do you have any other IM handles I should add to my app?
    EV: nope.
    EV: actually.. one of my blog entries was related to that very topic.. read the MOPD one.. Multiple Online Personality Disorder.
    me: got it!
    EV: my better blog entries were my earlier ones.. haven't had too much time lately .. need to make more time..
    me: Haven't you heard of the Conservation of Time? Time can neither be created nor destroyed. Like energy, it can only be used or wasted.
    EV: lol the way i use my time.. some would say I waste it.
    me: Do you think the MOPD emails could have been hack attacks?
    EV: 'hmm haven't seen any..let me check..
    me: Maybe attempts to "probe" your "ports"?
    EV: lol. nah.. they were the ladies that replied on here.
    me: I'm a little paranoid about that sort of thing since talking to helpdesk last week re: my wifi network.
    EV: it was my way of telling them to pick a freakin name cause they each had so many i couldnt' keep up.
    me: Hey you know something just occurred to me. You should write a blog entry about blog surfing.
    EV: really? why's that? YOU need to get a blog
    EV: free. 2 min
    me: I'm thinking of saving this entire exchange and posting it as my first blog entry. wadyathink?
    EV: do it. lol
    EV: i dare you.
    EV: i double dog dare you.
    EV: you don't have the balls. lol
    me: Don't say it...
    EV: i triple dog dare you with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
    me: Okay. That's it... I'll copy you on the post.
    EV: rofl sweeeeeeeeet
    EV: forever immortalized in a blog
    me: What more could you ask for.