Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Blogthing: Flicked out

This week's Friday Blogthing is proudly, though involuntarily, submitted by Spyder at My Spyderweb.

Your Ideal Hairstyle:

Flicked Out

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YouTube Tuesday: Texas shuffle

Today's edition of YouTube Tuesday* is inspired by the upcoming tilt between my K-State Wildcats and the fearsome, top-ranked Longhorns from the University of Texas.

At least I thought they were fearsome. After seeing this video their helmet logo looks more and more like a female reproductive organ. Oh well, I guess you can't spell uterus without UT.

*Yes, I am aware that it's well passed Tuesday. Gimme a break, work is treating me like I slept with it's wife.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Obscene gesture

I almost feel bad to be a Kansan. I feel a little guilty about the role of my fellow Sunflower State residents for once again pulling the steel wool over so many Missourians.

I'm referring of course to all of the poor, duped Missouri-types who are sooooo outraged by recent obscenity indictments in Johnson County.

You Missouri types are so easy. Must be the school systems, or possibly the generations of in-breeding.

But I do have some friends in Missouri, which is why I feel a slight twinge of guilt about this. So at the risk of ruining the fun for my fellow Kansans, I'm going to 'splain this jig to our slow neighbors to the east.

Conventional Missouri "wisdumb" is reflected by comments like repressed, meddling, control-freak, Johnson County, Morality Gestapos really need to have someone pull the broomsticks out of your tight asses.
I can understand why someone with diminished mental capacity might feel this way about the story. On the surface, it appears that a bunch of prudes want to ruin the party for the rest of us by telling us what we can and can't buy.

But that's just on the surface. Hell, on the surface Brush Creek looks like it's NOT a conduit of raw sewage. But let's face it, Missourians aren't gifted at taking a deep look at an issue. Clay Chastain counted on this when he got them to vote for mass transit gondolas.

The thing is, you don't even have to look too deep into this obscenity indictments story to see what it's really about. It fact, it's written all over the newspapers and so-called local, so-called news TV stations.

But let me connect the dots for you anyway. With Halloween approaching and the economy in somewhat of a downturn, what better way to get publicity for your store than a controversial indictment?

According to my many inside sources, a secret cabal of Johnson County businessmen and political leaders hatched the scheme months ago. Using key sleeper agents planted at the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, the group was able to time the release of these indictments to coincide with a time when interest would already be high.

The group reasoned that an announcement that the stores are selling items that are too raunchy for public view would be sure to bring the depraved Missouri shoppers to Johnson County to spend their money.

And of course it worked like a charm. As soon as the story was released Missourians began to jump up and down in ape-like incredulity while driving their 1972 Pintos as fast as they could to Overland Park to buy Snake Charmers, Tricky Dicks and Country Lovin's.

So, once again, JoCo owns KCMO. And like I said, I do feel a little bit bad. To make up for it, I've got several hundred pairs of Billy Joel tickets. Anybody want one?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Iran so far away

My man Mahmoud made a big splash in the Big Apple yesterday during his appearance at Columbia University.

Like many Americans, I didn’t realize how bad things actually are in Iran. First, unless you’re a Muslim, you’re a second-class citizen. And let’s face it, with all of the rules and laws around being a Muslim, even if you are a Muslim you’re a second-class citizen.

And talk about being out of the loop! If you’re in Iran, you have to deal with being in such a historical backwater that you don’t even know what World War II was about, and that was more than 50 year’s ago.

Then there’s all the sand. For the love of Allah, can you imagine how cranky you’d be when you wake up every morning with sand in your underwear? It would just about drive me to develop weapons of mass destruction.

But Ahmadinejad noted the worst thing about living in Iran.
In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who told you that we have it.
Can you imagine living in a country with such a scarcity of gay people? I mean, forget about the how the quality of your porn would suffer without cinematic glory of Lesbian Spank Inferno. Just consider how badly everyone must dress.

There’s no one in Iran “creative” enough to design clothes and keep everyone honest with biting, sarcastic criticism of everyone’s wardrobe.

That extends to all aspects of personal grooming for men. Just look at that picture of Mahmoud. If anyone is in need of some tips from the Fab Five, it’s this guy.

And I shudder to think about the sorry state of interior design in Iran. With no one qualified to match the right color with the right texture in your living room, everything must look like it was decorated by the men of the Delta House.

My friends, Mahmoud’s speech has really given me a new perspective on Iran. I pity those poor bastards.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Tony is right again!

Gawdamit! You packed it up and split for the coast, and then things start getting interesting.

I’m talking about Tony’s well-considered, lucid post about what a true blogger is and how all of the poseurs are ruining the interweb for the rest of us.

Sure, he attracted a lot of defensive, whiner, low-self-esteem commenters. That was his (rather transparent) intention.

But he was also right on several counts.

You can’t really know someone unless you’ve met them. If you haven’t had a chance to shake the corporeal hand of a friend, to share drinks with him, maybe punch him in the face during a fight, but then make up later, you can’t really call him a friend.

The mere fact that you read a man’s thoughts on life every day for four years doesn’t give you the right to claim you know what he thinks.

Don’t assume that, by reading about a man’s life experiences, his loves, losses, joys and peccadilloes, you have earned the privilege of honoring him when he’s gone.

And absolutely do not even dare to think that your trifling thoughts about your cousin’s sister’s brothers colonoscopy passes (pun intended) for a decent blog post. You make me laugh.

There are certain standards to which all serious bloggers must adhere in order to maintain the dignity of the free press known as blogging. To do any less is to mock the form and expose yourself as a poseur and cretin.

For example, all true bloggers know that one key to real blog posts is hyperbolic criticism. It doesn’t really matter what you’re criticizing, as long as you do it with a high degree of rhetorical vehemence. In fact, it’s better to criticize everything, especially things you may have mistakenly not criticized in the past.

Just be sure to do it with the most extreme language possible. Use lots of ALLCAPS and RED COPY, too, fer Chrisakes.

Another thing that all serious bloggers realize as critical is the liberal use of stolen images of scantily clad women. If you don’t use lots of soft-core porn on you blog, well my friend, you can’t really call you site a blog, can you? How can you consider yourself the least bit credible without pictures of naked ladies everywhere? You can’t. So quit being a poseur!

Another thing you need to realize is that unless you’re me or Tony, your opinions and blog posts are weak. Your perspective is meaningless because you don’t know any minorities and you live in the suburbs. So don’t come onto the blogosphere with you lame, unoriginal weekly feature posts and pretend you have anything to contribute to the global discussion, fer cryin’ out loud!

And don't let me catch any of you losers blaming society's ills on anything other than racism. Everyone knows that all racial stereotypes are one hundred percent accurate except for the ones about Hispanic people being lazy and living in their parents' basements.

Finally, and this is may be the most important thing we can learn from Tony, always remember to qualify anything you write by saying that it’s just a joke and nobody should take it seriously. I mean any blogger who takes his writing seriously isn’t a real blogger and is ruining blogging for the rest of us who are serious about this form.
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Blogthing: Going back to Cali

Given the landlocked nature of the area, the result of this week's blogthing isn't really surprising. But with another business trip to SF (not "San Fran" you cretins!) on the agenda for next week, this topic seemed appropriate.

I still prefer San Francisco to New York.

You Are 8% California

You are a bogus Californian. Go back to the East Coast.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I need to take a nice big healthy dump

I can't tell you how happy I'll be when things ease up in mid-October. Work really has me by the short and curlies lately and today I barely had time to leave a couple of wiseass comments on friends blogs.

So instead of doing an actual post today, I'm just taking a link dump.

I have this list of links I've been keeping in case I ever get a chance to be bored at work. Maybe you'll find them entertaining or interesting or whatever.
Poke my penguin (I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard that.)

Sarcasm Society (yeah. right.)

Googlebot Incognito (I didn't try this yet. If you try it and it works, let me know)

monoface (weird but sorta cool)

Last will in testament (Canadian comedy + Japanimation = mildly amusing)

Barrack's twitter (Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk, it's still Barrack and roll to me)

Gorillaz shooting range (Love forever love is free)
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Cracked rear view

You can learn a lot of good life lessons on a daily basis if, like me, you make a lot of stoopid mistakes.

Today is a great example.

Everything was going along well. Everyone got up, showered, dressed and fed in time for me to leave by 7:30 to get the kid to school and me to work.

So I hop in the car, buckle up, and put the care into reverse to pull out of the garage. So far, everything is going according to the usual daily routine.

Then, for a split second, I look down to adjust the air conditioner/defogger that I had turned on during yesterday's afternoon rush-hour downpour.

Bad idea.

As I turned the temperature dial from medium to cool, I heard the sickening crunch of plastic on metal. In my inattentive backing up, I had run my driver's side rearview mirror into the metal garage door track.

I wasn't moving very fast, and I hit the break immediately. But the damage had been done. The mirror is pulled away from the door about a quarter of an inch, and it cracked at the base where it connects to the car door.

My first auto accident of any kind since 1993. Son. Of. A. BITCH!

For the sake of the kid in the backseat, I managed to internalize a stream of obscenities. The rest of the morning drive went off as usual, and my temper was soothed a little by the conversation with the kid's teacher wherein I learned that she had a great day at school yesterday and yada, yada, yada.

During the short commute I tried to grasp for one of those aforementioned life lessons. Always stay focused on the task at hand? It's better to move forward to backward?

The best I could come up with is "Watch where you're fuckin' going!"

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

YouTube Tuesday: R.I.P. Greg

This week's YouTube Tuesday is dedicated to Greg Beck.

I won't be able to attend the funeral this morning (damn work), but if you have a chance (and a red dress), here's the info:
Funeral Services:
Tuesday, September 18th, 11:00am
Palestine Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ
3619 E. 35th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64127
Please use the 35th Street entrance
And, just because it makes me feel a little bit better, here's a poem from one of my favorites, Billy Collins.

UPDATE: The Filegirl checks in with a nice update from the service. Thanks again, Filegirl, I hated to have missed it.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Random photo V: The Lizard (smo)King

This excerpt from a mural in a popular Prairie Village tex-mex restaurant illustrates what everyone already knows: That smoking and drinking can make even cartoon iguanas look cool.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

My Life's Soundtrack

I saw this on KCSponge's blog and it seemed like a good thing to do... at the time. Now, I'm not so sure. You be the judge.
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your music library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, whatev)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...!
I was a little taken aback by the appropriateness and/or irony of some of the random selections (and I promise, they were all as random as my iPod would allow). Of course, some of them make no sense whatsoever. But that's to be expected, right.

Anyway, on to the Soundtrack of My Life:
Opening credits:
Sentimental Mood - St. Germaine (seems pretty appropriate)

Waking up:
Santa Monica - Savage Garden (how the hell did that get on there)

First day of school:
Penny Lane - The Beatles (again, very apropos)

Falling in love:
One Step Closer - U2 (okay, this is getting eerie)

First Song:
Evidence - Thelonious Monk

Fight Song:
I Fought The Law - The Clash (how cool is that!)

Breaking Up:
Wheel In The Sky - Journey (Yeah, I like Journey. You got a problem with that?)

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (OMG! This is just freaky! What are the odds that I would get the SAME THING as Sponge!)

Mending Fences - Restless Heart (from my Supermodel Wife's music collection, but still strangely appropriate)

Mental Breakdown:
Anthem - Rush

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Diana Krall (Okay, that's pretty damn random)

Fins - Jimmy Buffett

Getting back together:
You Don't Know What Love Is - Fenton Robinson (oh, the irony)

If I Hadn't Been High - Detroit Junior (Now THAT is funny)

Birth of child:
Scuttle Buttin' - Stevie Ray Vaughan

Death Scene:
Right Here Right Now - Jesus Jones (Guilty pleasure? Maybe. Great song? Absolutely.)

Funeral Song:
Driftin' - Eric Clapton

End Credits:

Little Old Wine Drinker Me - Dean Martin (great closing credits song)
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Friday Blogthing: Powerful stuff

I don't really need much power. Just enough to utterly crush my enemies and squeeze national governments into my iron control. That's all.

Oh, and have a grande latte delivered to my desk every morning.

Your Power Level is: 71%

You're a very powerful person, and you know that all of your power comes from within.
Keep on doing what you're doing, and you'll reach your goals.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sunday drive

We've started a kind of ad-hoc family tradition this summer.

After church on most Sundays, during the drive home, we'll stop off at the Prairie Elementary School at 80-something and Mission Road to check out the incredible outdoor classroom they have created.

The gardens boast dozens of different vegetable and flower varieties. Our daughter was impressed with the sunflower, and took a few of the ripe seeds as a souvenir last Sunday.

There's also this really cool iron sculpture.

But the favorite of our soon-to-be-five-year-old is the pond with giant lily pads.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Knockin' on heaven's door

By now you've all read that reports of Greg Beck's death are true.

Damn. Just... Damn.

I expect there will be a ton of tribute posts today, each one of them well deserved. That's just the effect Greg had on people. He was one of the good guys, you know?

It's one of those weird-but-cool phenomena of blogging, you get to know people so well even though you may have never met them in person.

Anyway, I think this is the only thing I'll post today. It's from one of the first posts by Greg that I read when I discovered his blog a few years ago and one of the reasons I, like many, became addicted to his daily take on life.
One day I came home from work late and hopped into bed. Later the Roommate came home from her gig and hopped into bed. The Stressed Out Italian Stripper came home and I heard her stop at the bedroom door. I could feel her staring at the scene before her. In my bed laid myself and tucked in on the other side of me was the Roommate. I heard a deep sigh and then the Stressed Out Italian Stripper crawled in on the other side of me. I just laid there takin it all in, wow, I’m in bed with two hot women. Then the four cats and the stupid dog hopped into bed and that kind’a ruined that Penthouse moment.
and the monkey flipped the switch

Here are some other blogger thoughts and remembrances:
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I hope this isn't true

Tony just linked to the report of the untimely death of Greg Beck, author of Death's Door, from a heart attack Sunday night.

Somebody please tell me that this is a horrible misunderstanding or a ghastly publicity prank.

This is a major loss to the local blogging scene if it's true.

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The Sebelius Administration and Chemical Weapons

The Sebelius Administration in Kansas just earned another black eye, proving yet again that it is no friend of the environment.

A report by the Wichita Eagle details how the Sebelius Administration approved a plan to go all Nazi on hundreds of cute, innocent prairie dogs in western Kansas.

Exterminators contracted by Logan County received approval from the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department to use aluminum phosphide gas to execute the cuddly little creatures.

End environmentalists also fear the chemical weapons attack could have killed other cute meadow creatures such as burrowing owls, ornate box turtles, cottontail rabbits that tend to inhabit abandoned prairie dog holes.

The mass extermination was carried out with state support against the wishes of landowner Larry Haverfield.
"I hated to see them come on us and use that kind of poison," said Haverfield. "It kills everything in the holes. We would have liked to have someone come and seen us and talked about barriers and poison use."
The evil cabal of county commissioners and state undersecretaries took advantage of a 1904 state law that allows counties to poison prairie dogs and then bill the landowner for the atrocity.

With its support of this plan, the administration has revealed its deeply rooted anti-prairie dog sentiment. Oh, Sebelius' supporters will tell you that Priarie Dogs are vermin, that they carried plague and pestilence. Interesting how that is the same kind of rhetoric used by the Nazis in a little extermination scheme they had a few years ago.

Kansas shouldn't let this be swept under the rug. Today its prairie dogs in sparsely populated Logan County, tomorrow it could be the pet prairie dog in your back yard.

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YouTube Tuesday: Are we not men?

So I've received a couple of emails and comments about my fascination with monkeys, and just what's the deal with that anyway.

Well, I didn't really know I had a fascination with monkeys. Sure, there's the Smoking Chimp that I use in my profile, and a handful of posts about monkeys. But I wouldn't really call that a fascination, would you.

But in way of explanation let me just say that monkeys are funny. In a metaphorical sense they are a good way to poke fun at ourselves and mock our baser instincts in an exaggerated way.

Kind of like what Ernest Cline does here...

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Monday, September 10, 2007

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Our homeowners association had its annual neighborhood picnic Saturday evening.

We moved into our new house almost exactly a year ago. Since then we've put on a new roof, new siding, painted lots of rooms, changed out some electrical outlets and done tons of work on the previously un-maintained landscape.

We've visited extensively with our next-door neighbors and met the family up the street with a girl the same age as our daughter.

But we hadn't met many of the other people in the neighborhood until Saturday, so it was nice to get out and mingle.

The highlight of the day of course was having the OP fire department bring a truck down for the kids to check out. Then the hooked up to a fire hydrant and turned the hose on for a few minutes.

The kids loved it.
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Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday Blogthing: But first, are you experienced?

Wise beyond my years? Yeah, that sounds about right.

You've Experienced 80% of Life

You have all of the life experience that most adults will ever get.
And unless you're already in your 40s, you're probably wise beyond your years.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Troop surge

I'm about a week late on this, but it's something I wanted to get off my to-blog list.

The LJW posted a video report about recruiting problems at the Kansas Highway Patrol.

For various reasons (more people in the military, more people retiring) there are fewer qualified applicants to join the KHP (or, as I call them, KHiPs). One of the biggest issues is that the applicants they get can't pass the written and physical tests.

At first I wondered how tough it could be. I mean, I know how to drive. If the written test is anything like the open book test I took to get my driver's license when I was 14, I shouldn't have any problem with it.

And as far as the physical test goes, hell how tough can it be? It's not like you have to be an American Gladiator to sit behind the steering wheel all day drinking coffee and eating donuts.

But then I realized that the KHP is being smart and planning ahead. With oil reserves drying up by the day, the KHP realizes that it has to set higher standards for its troopers in order to deal with the coming apocalyptic dystopia.

Physical standards are being raised. The highway of the socially decayed future will require men of great stamina and strength. Marksmanship will be a key skill, as these new troops attempt not only to uphold the law, but to dispense justice and vengeance as well.

In their new roles as judge, juror and executioner, Kansas will need the best of the best.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Medium rare

Just easing back into blogger mode here.

I plan on doing some kind of recap of Labor Day weekend (maybe), but I wanted to post this neato portrait done by an artist in Great Britain.

When I first saw this portrait -- before reading the story behind it (pun intended) -- I thought it was quite a fetching likeness of the President.

He is depicted gazing stoically into the future, ready to do what is necessary to ensure the continuance of life, liberty and the Amercan way. I'm pretty sure that's was Republican supporters in Texas thought, too. Until they read the story behind the portrait.
US Republicans are none too pleased with Brit artist Jonathan Yeo, who's just completed a fetching portrait of George Bush constructed from grumble mag clippings...

According to the Sun, Republicans have reacted with predictable indignation. A spokesman for Republicans Abroad International said: "This will cause outrage in America. Some people will think it’s funny - but personally I think it is a cheap stunt."

A spokesman for the Texas tentacle of the Republican Party chipped in with: "This picture is very distasteful. Why would anyone want to make a picture of our President from pornographic material?"
That's right, look closely at the collage images and you can see (if you want) women and men in various stages of undress performing various acts upon each other.

Not sure what the artist's message is. The President is a boob? Something about being the "head" of state? Dick (Cheney, of course) is on the president's mind?

According to the artist:
"I did it for fun, not to offend, but I'm pleased with it. I did it to amuse."
Still, it's a pretty good portrait. It raises a few questions: What is the intrinsic value of the medium. Does the medium increase/decrease the aesthetic value of a work? Is that what I think it is on his earlobe?

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