Wednesday, January 30, 2008

That just happened!

I have to confess my lack of confidence in the good guys tonight.

I knew K-State had a good team this year. Good? Hell, they have a damn good team.

But I just knew in the run-up to "the game" that even though K-State had its best team in years, so did KU. I joked around with the 'Hawks fans at work whether KU had any chance at all (even the VP of my group... gulp), all the while knowing that in all likelihood, they would walk out of Manhattan with "the streak" intact.

I watch the boys in purple play a solid first half and go into the locker room with a surprising 2-point lead knowing that with Bill Walker's three fouls, they were in rough shape for the second half.

Even with the 'Cats up by 10 with four minutes left, I saw us losing the lead because of fouls and too many 3-point attempts.

It wasn't until about 57 seconds to go that I was reasonably assured that the good guys would win.

So a sincere well-played to the 'Hawks, and a hearty congrats to the 'Cats.

I'm glad I was wrong.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: HapP.I. Birthday

On this day in 1945 in Detroit, Michigan, the wold was granted the gift of Thomas William Selleck.

You may know him better as Thomas Magnum, the wise-crackin', Ferrari-drivin', Detroit Tigers baseball cap-wearin' private dick from Hawaii that made TV worth watching in the 1980s.

In honor of Tommy's birthday, here's one of my favorite scenes from the series. It featured Selleck in of his brawny mustachioed awesomeness.

Happy birthday man.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Monday

Holy CRAP I was busy today. I mean BIZ-ZAY!!!

I was busier than a one-legged man in a keester kickin' contest. Busier than a five-dollar whore on nickel night. I was busier than Tony's mom on basement cleaning day.

I had a lot on my plate, is what I'm saying.

I got tagged in than handwriting meme thing, so maybe I'll do that later. Right now, I'm just gonna get my kid to bed, pour myself a Scotch, and chillax for a while.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Feast: The last refuge of the unoriginal

How many times per day do you usually laugh?
I never laugh in the real world. I just find it undignified. However I do LOL online about 30 times a day (LOL!).

What do your sunglasses look like?
Like this:

You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?
From Fairbanks, Alaska to Panama City, Panama via Montreal, Canada (might as well make the most of a free vacation, right?).

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
It's where my wife and kid live.

If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
Purple, of course.

Here are some additional Friday Feast's. If you do one, let me know so I can list it.

Friday Blogthing: KA-CHING!!!!!!

You may have heard that our infinitely magnanimous government has graciously decided to give us back some of the money it took from us to fund wars, bridges to nowhere and corporate executive retirement packages in the hope that we will spend our way out of a recession.

It's just the latest example of how great and just truly terrific the people we elect are.

Yesterday, the KCStar posted a little widget to help you calculate how much of your own money the gubmint is going to give to you. Kind of like when your parents used to give you an allowance when you were a kid.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good idea, bad idea

Good Idea: Cutting up your old, expired credit cards into tiny pieces before throwing them away so as to avoid being the victim of identity fraud.

Bad Idea: Accidentally getting your thumb in the way of scissors as you slice said cards -- the very thumb you had nearly destroyed in the Christmas Eve Massacre of 2007.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's the little things

There are so many non-stories out there this week that it's making me feel anti-inspired. I mean, I care so little about these things that it makes me not want to post anything.

For instance, everybody's posing about the Francis Semler resignation. Getting Semler off (ewe!) of the all-powerful KCMO parks board is a huge victory for the racist west side Latino lobby. I'm glad they didn't waste all of their effort on unimportant issues like healthcare or education. But everyone has already said so much about it that I can barely summon the little interest I had a few months ago.

Then there's the untimely death of megastar actor Heath Ledger. My RSS reader lit up last night with bloggers bemoaning the loss of such a fine talent to what looks like a drug overdose. A tragic loss, we now will have to get by without seeing any of his future so-so movies (I was so looking forward to Brokeback Submarine).

My apathy to these stories is palpable. It's enough to suck the inspiration right out of you.

Then out of the blue, as I was getting my morning coffee in the break room today, something wonderful happened.

A coworker dropped a few coins in the Coca-Cola machine to buy her daily Diet Coke. The can dropped through the internal workings of the vending machine, and when it hit the dispensing bin it exploded like a syrupy, carbonated hand grenade.

The resulting mess of curse words and sticky cloths gave me just the schadenfreude I needed to get me out of my rut and back into the groove.

Thank science for the little things.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: TAG and Axe my back!

Part of the power of short-form online video, for better or worse, is to show how little the American online public needs the teevee networks.

Network execs can continue to put out more cheap un-reality shows, and writers can can continue to strike, and funny, talented independents will continue to put out interesting and satirical content like Chad Vader, or God Inc., or this week's edition of YouTube Tuesday.

So for those of you jonesing for more Laguna Beach, here's DouchebagBeach. Enjoy:

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Blogger shout out

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to all you bloggers who showed up at Cafe al Dente last night.

As usual, it was really fun hanging out with the cool kids for a change. I finally got to have some extended conversation with m.toast, who is every bit as interesting in person as she in in blog (FWIW, m.toast, I concur with you're thoughts about moving away from livejournal).

Also got to meet meesha, but didn't get to talk as much as I'd hoped. Maybe next time, comrade.

Then of course there was the highlight of the night for everyone, meeting the one, the only Chimpo live and in person (update your links, biotches!).

I'm always amazed when I go to these things how much talent this town has. But last night really blew me away when Chimpo got up on stage and showed off his acoustic chops with this rendition Straight Outta Compton.

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Friday Blogthing: barcode hopping

I'm officially just a number.

What's your barcode? Barcode Yourself to find out.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random photo IX: I hate myself for this

Uh! I feel so dirty posting something so... cute.

I'm not going to caption this. I'll just say it's a shot I took of a pair or evil kittens that my daughter loved to play with at her great-grandparents' house in north-central Kansas.

You can add your own LOLcat caption in the comments.

The best caption wins a MAJOR AWARD at tonight's blogger meetup.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SAM I am (or, "Is that a shoulder-mounted rocket in your pocket?")

I want to take a moment to recognize three American small businesses for stepping up to the plate in the daunting task of ensuring the further safety of the traveling public.

Fledgling small businesses BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and United Airlines have accepted a challenge by Charles McQueary, the Homeland Security Department's undersecretary for science and technology, to solve the pervasive threat of Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) fired at domestic passenger jets.
The companies, selected from a pool of 24 that sought the contracts, lead teams that will work on adapting defenses already used on military planes and Air Force One. All will test infrared jammers that redirect heat-seeking rockets away from aircraft engines.
The three companies face a difficult task. They have only six months and six million dollars between them to create a report for Congress on the feasibility of this kind of defense system. I'll repeat, only $6 million to do the study and create a report.

But I think we can all agree that this is something that must be done, no matter the cost, and sooner rather than later.

The threat of these weapons hangs like the Sword of Damocles on air travelers in this country, despite remarks made by Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security's undersecretary for border and transportation security, who said there is "no credible threat information involving shoulder-fired rockets."

This head-in-the-sand attitude may seem like prudence, but Mr. Hutchinson obviously isn't aware of the easy availability of shoulder-fired rockets, especially in the Midwest where so many of us use them to hunt game birds like doves, pheasant and wild turkeys.

Thankfully, we as voters had the presence of mind to elect Democrats to congress last year.

Democrats like Barbara Boxer and Steve Israel who, despite what the know-nothings in Homeland Security say, had the testicular fortitude to sponsor a bill requiring anti-missile defense on all domestic passenger jets as soon as possible.
"The threat is simply too severe to allow bureaucrats to set their own timetables to make use of those protections," said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., who sponsored the House version of a bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Boxer said under the Bush administration's timetable, no planes will have the systems before 2006. "That is not good enough," she said.
Sure, it will cost at least $10 billion for that equipment, but again we all know that no price is too high for safety.

My only concern in this plan is that even the infrared laser SAM missile jammers won't be enough protection.

In fact I would like to propose to the congressional Democrats that ALL U.S. passenger jets should be equipped with radar-seeking guided bombs. I know, you're thinking that might be a bit expensive, but as Boxer and Israel both know we are at war with terrorists and everyone must pitch in if we're going to win.

Commercial aircraft are no exception. If a passenger jet is targeted by terrorists with a shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missile, they must be given the weapons to fire back.

So write to Israel and Boxer and encourage them to expand their bill. It may cost another $40 billion, but freedom isn't free.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Post Nasal

I missed this when it originally aired on local TV (probably because I try to avoid the so-called local so-called news like it's a new Maroon 5 album), but I have to say there's a subtle comic genius in watching grown adults do with a straight face what we as 9-year-olds used to with milk in the lunchroom for laughs.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Headlines: G.M.'s alternative fuel bet

General Motors is taking steps to make sure it maintains it's position on the cutting edge of automotive technology.

According to the New York Times, GM has invested heavily in a company that is developing a process to create alternative fuels out of waste products.
General Motors, eager to ensure a supply of fuel for the big fleet of flex-fuel ethanol-capable vehicles it is building, has joined the rush into alternative energy and invested in a company that intends to produce ethanol from crop wastes, wood chips, scrap plastic, rubber and even municipal garbage.
GM is investing in a company called Coskata, which is keeping it's fuel-generation process largely underwraps. But it has released an overview of it's technology.
Coskata is one of many companies ... in an emerging world of start-up firms that are making alternative fuels with a mix-and-match approach to existing technologies. In Coskata’s case it is a combination of gasification and bacterial action.
This overview is giving local economic development officials a lot of hope.

According to my many inside sources, officials with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce have already contacted Coskata and notified them that Kansas City sits right on top of the largest source of gasified waste and municipal garbage in the Midwest.

He's on KMBZ each night at 6 and 10 p.m.

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3A.M. Poll: Worst pickup lines for d00ds

These options came from one of those emails that keep getting forwarded around, so don't think I made these up because, honestly, I would never use a pick-up line in a bar... honestly... I'm tellin' you I would never do it!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Blogthing: The Sounds of Sci-fi

Just to prove how much of a sci-fi nerd you are, I dare you to do better than me on this audio quiz.

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 71 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Guess the Sci-Fi Movie Sounds here

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rule of Thumb

Since we returned home from our Christmas trips, life at the emawkc household has revolved around my Supermodel Wife's injured thumb.

A few days after the previous post on the topic, the general practitioner referred us to a plastic surgeon specializing in skin grafts due to a mild infection that had developed in what used to be the tip of my SMW's thumb.

The specialist cleaned out the wound with a scalpel, removing the cauterized tissue to encourage the new skin to grow more quickly. He took a culture to better diagnose the infection and prescribe an effective antibiotic (and, I presume, to make sure we're not at risk from the dreaded MRSA).

He also directed us to soak the healing thumb in the mornings and evenings in warm, soapy water and then redress. Unfortunately, the first night we did this, there was a lot of pain as the dressing had stuck to the wound. Pulling it off was excruciating.

Last night was much better. Much less pain. We scheduled to go back to the plastic surgeon's on Monday for a check up.

Oh, before I forget, here's the obligatory picture.

Have you had lunch yet?

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My next million dollar idea

Wonderfully witty Amy, author of Wandering Amylessly (srsly, you should check out her work, it's always excellent even though her politics are all messed up), has a post today recounting her efforts to get her husband to carry a purse.

Oh... er... excuse me, I meant a "man bag" (yeah right).

The problem is, there's only one kind of man bag, and it is for the conveyance of family jewels. Let's face it, you can call it a "man bag" or a "European male carry-all," but that doesn't change the fact that it's a purse. A rose by any other name, right?

Her husband and 4-year-old son thought the same thing, which makes me wonder why chicks always think dudes want to carry a purse? Especially when you've got a wife with a purse that can stow all the useless crap a guy might need to carry around.

The way I see it, there are only two acceptable solutions to the problem Amy describes.

First is the Indiana Jones-style shoulder bag. It's the same kind of bag I used when I recovered the ancient gold-plated, jewel-encrusted Mayan disemboweling dagger while foiling a Nazi plot to foment a Mexican invasion of the American southwest a few years ago (but that's an entirely different story).

This is actually a MkVII British Gas Mask Bag. How freakin' manly is that! Of course it may be a little too bulky for today's urban male, and it could be considered a little too casual for use in the office.

My other solution is the tried and true cargo pants. I love the summer time because I have several pairs of well-worn cargo shorts that can contain everything from iPods, cell phone, wallets, pocket knives, gangster roll, screwdrivers, wrenches, grocery lists, etc.

But here again, even the pleated Dockers khaki version of these fashion wonders are probably a little too casual for the corporate cube environment.

This is where my next million dollar idea comes in: cargo dress slacks. I'm tellin' you this is a guaranteed winner. Imagine the convenience of having additional thigh pockets in you Armani suit pants!

It will be all the rage in 2008, mark my words.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: Fired Up and Ready to Bore

Are you as excited as I am about the presidential election cycle starting a full year before the election? If so, never fear, there's a cure for that exuberance...

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Friday, January 04, 2008

A salute to KU and Mark Mangino

3AM presents Real Men of Genius
(Real Men of Genius)
Today we salute you...
Mr. Grossly Overweight Football Coach
(Mr. Grossly Overweight Football Coach)

Some men follow the rules,
Some men follow their hearts,
But you follow your stomach
(Please pass me another gallon of gravy!)

Though some may doubt you,
And some may deride you,
You've stayed true to your quest through all of the heartache and heartburn
(I think I need some more Rolaids)

You know that winning is not just about brute force,
But also about scheduling weaker competition
And paying off bowl officials
(Have another bundle of cash)

And while some are content to stay on the sidelines following the rules,
You know that NCAA rules were meant to be broken
And that a slap on the wrist is worth a brazillion dollar bowl payout
(Find another coed to take my players' tests)

So knock back another pail of pancake batter, oh six-chinned coach of the year,
Because even though you have to ride in the freight section on the flight home, you're keeping cheating and corruption at the core of big-time college sports
(Don't spend your entire $50,000 bonus at Sizzler...)

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Friday Blogthing: Electile dysfunction

Today is a bit of a departure for the Friday Blogthing.

As I tried to recover from the gross tedium that was the coverage of the Iowa caucus, I became nostalgic for a simpler time. A time when candidates didn't have to spend millions of dollars on campaign ads and kickbacks. A time before meaningless YouTube debates with questions asked by idiots in costumes.

A time when political power was determined not by who could make the most promises to the most interest groups, but by how much your candidate could kick ass in a battle to the death.

Well, thanks to Atom Films we can now relive those halcyon days of yesteryear through the magic of the interwebs.

Check out Kung-Fu Election. Choose your candidate and your weapon and proceed to dominate the filed with extreme prejudice.

I played as Mike Huckabee and totally decapitated both Mitt Romny and John Edwards, but I hear that Obama-san is a real sonuvabitch to beat.

See if you can beat my score of 145,000.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowans love the caucus

Tonight is the climax of this thing up in Iowa. You may have heard of it. It's been in the news.

It's the presidential primary caucus. It's a pretty big deal. It's the biggest caucus in the country, way bigger than the Wyoming caucus (Iowans laugh derisively when you compare their huge caucus to the tiny, impotent Wyoming caucus).

Yes, Iowan's are quite proud of their huge caucus. It's a time when they get to make the rest of the country get on our collective knees and spray their choice for candidate right in our face.

But whatever final candidates come out of the huge Iowa caucus, it's important to remember that the real winner is the Iowa economy.

According to my inside sources, candidates dropped over $40 million for a taste of the Iowa caucus.

That's $40 million injected into the Iowa economy. That kind of green will buy you a lot of John Deere's in Des Moines.

And that's only the money spent by the candidates themselves. Add to that untold millions spent by special interest groups and PACs, and you can see why Iowans love the caucus.

They make a lot of money selling their caucus to the highest bidder.

Sure, all that money has a corrupting influence on the American electoral system. Certainly there's no rational reason to undermine democracy by narrowing the field of candidates nearly an entire year before the actual election.

But why let a little thing like idealism get in the way of a lucrative political transaction. The huge Iowa caucus is a tradition, and what could be more traditional than political corruption?

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

YouTube Tuesday: 2007 in Review

JibJab gives us all that we need to know about 2007, and set to a catchy Billy Joel tune to boot!

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Merry Bloody Christmas

To her credit, not that she needs more credit in my book, my supermodel wife didn't swear. Didn't cuss, didn't really scream like I would have if it were me standing there with my hand under the faucet watching blood spew from my fingers.

If it were me, you can bet that the sonsobitches, F-bombs, and even the nuclear MF-bombs would be going off all over the kitchen in my mom's house where we were visiting.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me reset the scene with some background.

We're all settling down for a traditional Christmas Eve lunch of Tuscan Potato Soup. I'm at the kitchen island preparing a plate for our 5-year-old daughter, and my SMW is across from me slicing some fancy cheese to go on some fancy crackers.

And because it was fancy cheese for fancy crackers, my dad gave her a fancy surgical steel cheese knife to cut it with. It was the kind with the blade through the middle that you're supposed to run over the edge of the cheese to cut a slice.

Like this one...

Anyhoo, SMW makes a witty remark about how the device looks like a deadly weapon, then proceeds to assume the cheese-slicing position.

Unfortunately, the cheese is a little hard. I think it had been in the fridge and wasn't quite thawed. So she adjusted her grip on the cheese slicer and put added effort into pulling it toward her. Suddenly, with a quick slip like an assassin's blade, the razor edge of the cheese slicer slid through the cheese... but it didn't stop with the cheese.

In a split second, the vorpal blade went snicker-snack, right down the length of fancy Cheddar and into and through the soft pad of the tip of my supermodel wife's thumb.

As the exclamations rang out, "OH MY GOD! Omigod, Ohmigod! OH MY GOD!" a slice of thumb, just the right size to top a Wheat Thin, landed on the counter top.

Out of some deep evolutionary impulse, she rushed to the sink to put the wound under running water. It was there that I caught my first clear view of the cleanly cut thumb, or rather the cleanly cut crater where the thumb used to be.

We all snapped into action. A paper towel was used at first to try to stop the bleeding while my sister-in-law brought the gauze and bandages from the first aid kit. My mother found the severed chunk of thumb and put it in a small container with some ice.

They call the emergency room as my wife and I head to the car. We turn the 20-minute drive to the ER into a 15-minute one, and soon we're rehashing the incident with physician's assistant, showing her the bite-sized bit of thumb we brought with us.

"I have some bad news," the PA said. "We're going to take off the dressing and bathe your thumb in betadine. It will hurt worse than anything you've felt so far. Then we'll have to redress it. We can't sew on the rest of your thumb, since it's already dead."

With that, the PA made good on her promise. Blood began to gush as the dressing was removed. When the thumb was dipped into the betadine bath (to the stifled cries of SMW) , a river of dark red blood began to mix with the pool of light brown liquid. The amount of blood prompted the PA to revise her prognosis.

"Okay, this is worse than I thought. I'm going to get my doctor in here to look at it, but I think we're going to have to cauterize the wound."

The doctor arrived shortly and concurred.

"It looks like you've cut deep enough to slice the small artery and also part of the nerve that runs through your thumb. That's why there's so much blood and so much pain," he said.

A blood-pressure cuff was used to help stop the bleeding while anesthetic was injected around the base of the thumb. Then the doctor performed the silver-nitrate chemical cauterization, turning the wound black and making it look even worse.

And, just because I know your aching to see it, here's what the thumb looked like after about four days.

Doctors have told her that the thumb will grow back over the next six to eight weeks, but it will remain tender long after that.

So how was your Christmas?

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