Tuesday, June 30, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Walkin' on the moon

Despite me showing clear evidence to the contrary, everybody still believes Michael Jackson has gone to meet his maker (no, I mean his metaphysical maker, not the San Fernando Valley plastic surgeons).

Anyway, as a way of remembering MJ for what he was, today's edition of YouTube Tuesday is a triple feature dedicated to Jacko's signature dance move, the moonwalk.

Contrary to popular belief, Jackson didn't "invent" the moonwalk. He copied/learned it from famous French mime Marcel Marceau.

(One of
you French speakers can put the translation in the comments if you wish, but I think the gist is that Marceau is saying what a great mime Jackson would have been because he wouldn't need to apply white face makeup.)

Jackson gets credit for being the first American to use the moonwalk in the context of dance, but as this archival footage shows, Bill Baily was years ahead of MJ.

Still, as the voice over in the video below notes, the moonwalk still has some street cred. So here's a little instruction on how to perfect your moonwalk.

tagged: , , , , , ,

Monday, June 29, 2009

Long live the king?

Yeah, yeah. I get it. Michael Jackson had a tragic life and his death was a tragedy because our culture lost a musical genius (although, I'm pretty sure Quincy Jones was the musical genius behind Jackson's best work, but anyway).

But to paraphrase Hamlet (who, for you culturally illiterate, was the author of Shakespeare, the box office hit), I come not to praise Michael Jackson, but to bury him.

Well, check that. Not to bury him, because I have a theory that I'm about to lay on you. I'm pretty sure old MJ is pulling an Elvis on us.

That's right. Despite wall-to-wall coverage to the contrary, Michael Jackson is not dead.

I'm makin' the call right now, June 27, 2009. Michael Jackson has faked his own death in an attempt to make his life easier.

What's that you say? Evidence? Well, the circumstantial evidence couldn't be more compelling.

For one thing, it's widely known that Mr. Jacko was in debt up to his synthetic plastic nose. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Mikey had roughly $400 million in debts. He'd lost The Ranch after defaulting on a $24 million loan backed by the property. So hiding some assets and faking your death would be a nifty way of starting over.

There's also an indication that Jackon wanted to get out of his 50-concert commitment in the UK. According to a former worker, he signed the deal while under the influence of painkillers. He thought he was signing for only 10 concerts.

And, much like Michael Jackson's face, there are other indications that something just ain't right. For example, there was the report of moving vans removing items from the mansion Jackson had been renting in LA. A few last minute items needed as he starts his new life perhaps? Hmmm? Just maybe???

Also, have you noticed that the majority of top downloads on iTunes now are all Michael Jackson songs and albums? Ditto for Amazon's Top Sellers in the music category. This kind of cash infusion is going to come in handy in setting up a new life.

All of the signs are out there people. Even to the most casual of observers like myself.

Ask yourself why nobody has seen Jackson's body yet. All of the reports I've seen suggest the "body" that has been presented is especially fake looking, like it's made out of plastic or wax or something.

Nope. It's already pretty obvious to me that Jackson has faked his own death to get out of dept, avoid some commitments and just basically start over. He'll probably end up moving to Cleveland and taking up residence as a local donut shop proprietor or something.

We'll soon start reading reports of "Jacko" sightings all around the country.

tagged: , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest Post: Remembrance of Michael Jackson

Today's guest editorial is contributed by Dr. Perry Cox.

As a solo artist Mike Jackson (he was 50 years old people, stop calling him Michael, Mikey, Mick and Jacko), really only had two albums that were even reheeheeeeemotely listenable, and the last one came out more than 25 years ago.

Aside from that, let's face it, he was only famous for being a pedophile cosmetic surgery train wreck adored by -- if anyone -- a legion of 12-year-old girls and overly effeminate medical interns.

Now I don't mean to be harsh, but I just can't shake the feeling that our country has a lot more important stuff to worry about right now. Iiiiiiin fact, why don't I just rattle off a few things that I care more about than Michael Jackson.

Lemme see, uhh... Low-carb diets. Michael Moore. The Republican National Convention. Kabbalah and all Kabbalah-related products. Hi-def TV, the Bush daughters, wireless hot spots, 'The O.C.', the U.N., recycling, getting Punk'd, Danny Gans, the Latin Grammys, the real Grammys. Jeff, that Wiggle who sleeps too darn much! The Yankees payroll, all the red states, all the blue states, every hybrid car, every talk show host! Everything on the planet, everything in the solar system, everything everything everything everything everything everything - eve - everything that exists - past, present and future, in all discovered and undiscovered dimensions... Oh! And Hugh Jackman.

tagged: , , , ,

Clear out

You guys remember back in the day, like in April of 2008, when a company called Clear was trying to get me to turn over a bunch of my personal information in exchange for quick passage through airport security?

You remember that?

I basically said no thanks to paying $130 bucks a year for the privilege of having some company I know nothing about collect my SocSec number, finger prints, retinal scan and DNA sample (although that last one sounds intriguing).

My point was, who knows what they're doing with that info. It can't be good.

Well if you did sign up for that service, it looks like you might be doubly screwed now. According to The Associated Press, Clear is going out of business, and they're taking your money and personally identifiable information with them.
The [parent] company, Verified Identity Pass, said it pulled the plug on the Clear program because it couldn't negotiate a deal with its creditors. It could file for bankruptcy.

Some customers received e-mails with the news, while others found out when they discovered Clear lanes at the airport were cordoned off.
Many Clear customers who paid up to three years in advance are, as they say in the travel industry, shit out of luck.

Not to mention, all of that personal information about them is floating around out there. Of course the Transportation Security Administration has it, and that means the entire federal government has it.

And, FYI, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.8 million civilians work for the Federal Government (excluding the Post Office).

Look people it should go without saying especially in this day and age -- you need to do everything in your power to stay off of these special government lists.

If not, you'll be one of the first to be put up against the wall when the revolution comes.

tagged: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bullitt list -- 06.24.09

Today's category: Well aged.

  • Condolences and congrats to Henry Allingham of the UK who became The Oldest Man in the World last week when former Oldest Man in the World Tomoji Tanabe died in his sleep in southern Japan.
    Congrats to Allingham for living long enough to earn the title, and condolences since having this title is essentially a death sentence.

  • Knob Creek, makers of fine bourbon for more than 300 years, announced in a marketing campaign that they've run out of bourbon and won't have any until the next batch is ready in November. The culprit of course is Xavier Onasis. Jeez dude, go easy on that stuff.

  • In case you missed it, PETA is in the midst of completing the total usurpation of Marxist hero Che Guevara by using his granddaughter to mock his name in an Argentinian ad campaign. In the campaign, a scantily clad Lydia Guevara urges the audience to "Join the Vegetarian Revolution." And while I agree that something about this is revolting, it certainly doesn't appear to be Lydia herself. I'm sure sure her grandfather would approve.

  • Everybody's complaining about the heat. Like it's some big surprise that it gets intolerably hot and humid in Kansas City in the summer. Like nobody's expecting that around this time of year we experience localized supernovae, and people who have the means flee to the Fourth Circle of Hell where's it's much cooler. C'mon people, I know it's hot but let's try for a little originality, mmmkay?

  • Did you guys see the sunset last night? Nice. Almost makes up for the thermonuclear temperatures we've been suffering through. Almost.

tagged: , , , , , ,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Deerly departed

By now, the it's no secret that the heartless Neanderthals in Johnson County are planning a Kristallnacht-like purge of cute, harmless deer from 1300-acre Shawnee Mission Park.

According to the KC Star's coverage last week:
The park and recreation board agreed unanimously late Wednesday with a staff recommendation to use the lethal option to reduce the herd from about 200 deer per square mile to 50 — a 75 percent reduction.
Yikes. The "lethal option" includes the wholesale slaughter of deer by sharpshooters armed with rifles and bows (and not the kind you tie in you hair, ladies).

Now I'm not PETA lover. Believe me, I love the taste of barbecued baby seal just as much as the next guy. But going in to kill of hundreds of deer just because they aren't paying their parks and rec fees seems a little brutish.

I get that we can't have an overpopulation of deer running around biting people and spreading deer ticks. And yes, the deer are kind of assholes for standing in front of on-coming traffic, causing so much damage to cars and area motorists.

But it seems to me that as usual Man is trying to solve a Nature problem in just the wrong way. Sure, we go in and slaughter a thousand deer or so. Maybe we have a big cookout, light a bonfire and dance around it like heathens to celebrate the hunt.

And we all know that those horny bucks can't control themselves. So what happens in a couple of years when the randy little breeders have become overpopulated again? Another orgy of blood lust?

C'mon people, haven't we evolved beyond this kind of thing? Don't we have a better appreciation for the natural order.

So here's what I suggest.

Everyone knows that Nature always seeks equilibrium. In the case of the Shawnee Mission Park deer herd, if people weren't here to begin with, the herd would be naturally culled by natural predators.

So instead of killing the deer directly, we need to instead reintroduce the deer's natural predators that we have driven out in our shortsighted development of the natural prairie.

As you all know, deer have a number of natural enemies including Gray wolves, cougars, alligators, jaguars, bobcats, Canadian lynxes, bears and packs of coyotes.

All of us life-long Kansans remember hearing the great stories from the pioneer days when alligators roamed the wide prairie, the wind whistling through their noble scales as they surveyed the tall grasses for signs of the evening's dinner.

Well it should be that way again. What right do we as humans have to decide which of nature's wonders should thrive? As responsible stewards of our land, we are responsible for allowing nature to take it's course.

Guns and arrows are not a part of the natural answer to this question.

tagged: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In case you missed it... the bailouts are huge

Just in case my Tomato illustration went way over your head, Barry Ritholtz submits a nice easy-to-read infographic (you know, for the USAToday Generation) showing just how insanely much our government has spent in various bailouts.

The executive summary: Adjusted for inflation, we spent more in twelve months than we spent on the Vietnam War, The New Deal, the Louisiana Purchase, the Invasion of Iraq, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, the S&L Crisis and the Race to the Moon -- COMBINED!!!

Click to embiggen the graphic, if you care.

tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Raptor attention

I pulled over to the side of the street on my way to work this morning when I observed a large, obviously well-fed red-tailed hawk having her breakfast.

She was a noble looking creature. She glared my way briefly as I rolled my car window and aimed my cell-phone camera. Then she went about shredding the mouse or vole or whatever small rodent she had captured in the front yard of a neighborhood house.

She tossed chunks of rodent into the air before snatching them with her sharp beak.

tagged: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Wiped out

I don't do many product endorsements here, but I have to say that the Comfort Wipe is a revolutionary leap forward in ass-wiping technology.

Only a cretin or a Luddite would use his hand when the Comfort Wipe is available. C'mon people! We're living in the future here!

tagged: , , , , , ,

Monday, June 15, 2009

GM ail

I just wanted to revisit a point that my good friend Logtar raised a couple of weeks ago when GM bit the bullet and filed for bankruptcy.

True to his form, Logtar is optimistic about the prospects of a restructured GM coming out of bankruptcy and competing on a global stage.

And true to my form, I'm a bit cynical. I worry that our government's decision to pour $50 billion in to a failed auto company will have unintended consequences.

Let me be clear here. I don't want GM to go bankrupt. Nobody does. Having such a large company suffer through bankruptcy is not good for America whether I like the cars or not.

But the rationale for pumping $50 billion into GM was that they were "too big to fail." That if the auto companies failed, our economy would be devastated with 9 percent unemployment.

Well, now we have a failed GM and 9 percent unemployment. Plus we're out $50 billion.

And let's face it, there's no way that a restructured GM will ever turn into a good investment for the American taxpayer. I don't even think anyone seriously believes we'll even get our original $50 billion investment back -- let alone a return on that investment.

That's all in the past. It is what it is. What worries me now is the ongoing trend this represents and the opportunities we've lost in following this approach.

For one thing there's a pretty good chance that the $50 billion investment in GM was mainly politically motivated. Nobody gets elected president if you don't win in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Allow auto companies to fail due to poor management decisions and you can pretty much kiss your re-election goodbye.

This political reality is present in many countries -- Germany, Japan, Korea. So there's a global trend of keeping automobile output artificially high. As a global system, we're allowing the automobile market to be inefficient. Too many resources are being dedicated to a product for which there is already a glut.

Again, I don't want to see the pain of a failed GM. But if we have to go through the pain anyway, shouldn't we invest our money in areas that are more deserving?

Tesla Motors, for example, has proven that it is innovative and forward thinking. Just imagine the technological leaps they could make with a $50 billion infusion. We would probably all be driving 100% electric cars within 10 years.

What's more, is this going to be a precedent for future corporate failures? What will we do when (not if, when) the big American petroleum companies are on the verge of failure because all of the oil has been pumped. Will we continue to invest billions of dollars of good money into bad companies? Shouldn't we instead seek a transition into more efficient and innovative endeavors?

Of course, all of this is academic. The bets have been placed and the dice have been cast. Nothing left to do but hope we don't lose even more.

Ah, now I know what Obama meant by "hope."

tagged: , , , , , ,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Blogthing: Star Trekin'

I was dangerously close to being an expendable redshirt. Yikes!
You are
Will Riker

At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

Will Riker 80%
An Expendable Character (Redshirt) 50%
Jean-Luc Picard 45%
James T. Kirk (Captain) 35%
Chekov 35%
Worf 35%
Beverly Crusher 30%
Geordi LaForge 30%
Mr. Scott 25%
Data 24%
Leonard McCoy (Bones) 20%
Uhura 20%
Mr. Sulu 20%
Spock 10%
Deanna Troi 10%

tagged: , , , , , ,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top Ten Thursday: Street Name entendres

I know this is childish and immature, but then so is 90 percent of what's out there on the Internet.

It struck me the other day while driving back from the Great White Northland that there are a lot of streets/roads/highways around the KC Metro area that -- in a certain frame of mind anyway -- have vaguely dirty sounding names.

So that led me to compile this week's Top Ten Thursday category:
Top Ten KC Metro Area Street Names That Sound Vaguely Dirty
10) Congress Street

9) Springhorn Lane

8) Dickman Avenue

7) Eaton Street

6) Bushman Drive

5) Woodend Drive

4) Hancock Avenue

3) Longwood Avenue

2) Johnson Drive

1) 69 Highway
Honorable mention goes to Beaver Drive up in Cowgill, Mo.

Okay pervs, submit to the comments any streets I missed.

tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Awkward Pie: Lunchtime casualty

I really felt bad about it. I hadn't meant to shoot the guy in the back. He didn't even seem to notice the thick, red, coagulating liquid that was oozing slowly down the back of his shirt.

It was identical to the liquid strewn across my own face and neck, like a slash wound from a sweet-tangy scimitar.

As I apologized to the gentleman, a spry fellow of some 80 years or so who was probably a regular customer at this particular IHOP, I myself was trying to recover from the tragedy, reliving the previous few moments which in hindsight seemed to happen in slow motion.

It all started when the IHOP waitress delivered our lunch, part of which was our 6-year-old's cheeseburger with fries. Me being the Awesome dad I am, I grabbed the ketchup bottle to dispense a blob for the kid's dipping pleasure.

And like every experienced ketchup pourer, I take the usual precaution of shaking the ketchup bottle to mix in that watery ketchup juice that always perks it's way up to the top of the bottle (a substance I call "ketchup tea" and it's just as disgusting as it sounds).

This is were it all goes badly awry. Someone, some diabolical joker or lazy loser, had left the cap of the ketchup sitting on top of the bottle, but unscrewed.

The upshot: When I gave the bottle a couple of vigorous shakes, the lid flew off, followed by ketchup spewing across the table, across my face and neck, and across the back of the gentleman sitting behind me.

As I apologized profusely to the guy, I realized he wasn't upset at all. In fact, as patrons at other tables observed in shocked entertainment, the fellow actually wanted to have a conversation about the event.

He seemed like the kind of guy who would get a lot of mileage out of this story with his friends at the coffee shop, the barber shop and everywhere else he hangs out with his geriatric homies.

But as much as I was sorry for the ketchup massacre, I still had lunch to eat and I was getting grossed out standing there with ketchup all over my face, neck and shirt.

I cut the old guy off in mid-reminisce and made my way though the lunchtime crowd to the restroom where I took off my shirt (luckily I was wearing a t-shirt underneath) and used a healthy helping of paper towels and soapy water to wash the rapidly ripening ketchup from my head and neck.

We finished our lunch in relative calm. As we left, I shot the guy a final apologetic look.

He winked and said "At least it wasn't mustard."

tagged: , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Zombie College

You remember back in the day (last Friday to be exact) when all those zombies were walking through the Crossroads District? Well, didn't ya ever wonder why they were just walking around?

I mean, c'mon zombies! Just wandering aimlessly around town is no kind of way to unlive. For cryin' out loud, get some direction in your after-life. Maybe take up a hobby, or get a part-time job. Maybe even enroll in some college courses...

tagged: , , , , ,