09/2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Newsday Tuesday

A new Range Rover. Christian Dior sandals. A shopping trip to L.A. But the birthday bash is what really takes the cake.

Like a penny-pinching pensioner clipping coupons, I'm always on the lookout for the next big story to mock on Newsday Tuesday. I clipped this out over the weekend from the Washington Post, planning to do my usual routine of multiple rereads mixed with highlighter overuse, scribbled one-liners, and quicky quirky sketches on Post-It notes.

Ayse Halac, as it turns out, is a high school sophomore from Leesburg, celebrating her 16th birthday Thursday night at the Northeast Washington club. And the crowd of "paparazzi" are in fact a posse of girls in short dresses with little digital cameras -- friends of the club owner's daughter, brought in to complete Ayse's chosen theme of "Hollywood Chic." Soulja Boy and Bow Wow are performing, and Ayse's mom threw in some extra money to fly in R & B singer Mario on a private jet to croon "Happy Birthday".

The problem with this article is that it might be impossible to make it any more of a mockery than it already is -- nothing I could possibly say about a $300,000 Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party would make it more ludicrous than reality. (Sadly, Ludicrous did NOT perform at the party, although Soulja Boy was pissed that he didn't get enough money to peform his one song).

Fifty television screens continuously loop even more photographs of Ayse (pronounced AYE-sha). Seventy-two LED panels, brought in just for the night, show a live feed of her entering the club. The 15-foot JumboTron outside the club displays Ayse's face, the first time a non-celebrity has graced that screen.

Also present at the party were the aforementioned gaggle of girls screaming Ayse's name, and Ayse's face plastered on five hundred cocktail napkins (Ayse's father vetoed her face on the toilet paper, preempting any jokes about Ayseholes).

Ayse's friends and acquaintances -- about 200 of them -- were picked up at Stone Bridge High School in limo-buses and chauffeured to the club . . . Of course, not all of the 200 guests are close with Ayse. Asked whether he is, Kaine Higgins shrugs. "Eh," he says.

Higgins was quick to add, "I'll be sure to sit with her at lunch for the rest of the year. I want to be invited to the open bar wedding in a few years. I hear those Turkey people get married young."

Thinking back to my own Sixteenth Birthday, I was obviously in a lower income tax bracket than the Halacs, having invited only 10 of my closest friends to eat Pizza Hut pan pizza and potato chips, and drink Coke out of 2-Liter bottles. The activities of the evening included Super Tennis on the SNES, Doom 2, a Trezur Hunt, and backyard games where players tied balloons to their ankles and tried to stomp everyone else's balloons first.

What did you do on YOUR sixteenth birthday?

Myspace founder's hacking past
Men parachute onto wrong football game
Malaysian man gets nut stuck in delicate place
What will your kids get on their 16th birthday?

A pony (1 vote, 14.3%)


The latest i-prefixed gadget (1 vote, 14.3%)


Ketchup packets from the drive-thru (2 votes, 28.6%)


A swift kick in the ass (3 votes, 42.9%)


tagged as newsday | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lego Day

The very first Lego set that I ever owned was the 1986 edition of the Shell Service Station. Shell's efforts to imprint children while they were young seems to have failed, since I only go to Shell stations when there's a line of cars at the cheaper station around the corner. Despite that, this set was pretty neat for a Town set, with all sorts of extra gadgets and subplots, like the mechanic in coveralls whose lifelong dream was to go on the road as a ventriloquist with his blue alligator puppet.

Though I would eventually own enough Town Lego sets to construct a massive BUtropolis on the living room floor, the next set I owned was also the first Space set -- the Cosmic Fleet Voyager. This ridiculous monstrosity looks like it was designed by a committee of preschoolers, and would probably get parked in the back of the spaceship rental lot for that special flavor of annoying customer. Note the two plungers in the nose of the ship -- these were designed to extract ice from the surface of the planet whenever it crash lands. The frequency of crashes was high, since the body was so aerodynamically unstable that pieces fell off whenever you picked it up.

Jumping ahead a few years, the first Castle-themed set I owned was the Black Monarch's Castle. Until the Pirate sets came out in the 90's, the Castle set was easily the coolest of the sets, mostly because of the massive collection of plastic halbards and maces. This set also introduced horses, each with an unsettling chunk of horseflesh missing in the middle, so you could saddle them up and stick a Lego figure in the saddle. This was probably the precursor to the cow at Virginia Tech with a window in its stomach.

My first Pirate set was the Forbidden Island, bought in the waning days of the BEST Company in Shirlington, where the Legos were on the basement level, down the escalator and back on the right near the household paints. You can tell how cool it was just by looking at the picture on the box -- this set came with a pirate flag, booty, palm trees, a rope bridge, a trapdoor, a jail, a rowboat, a monkey with a gun, a parrot, a shark, and a cannon. Of course, the set wasn't very extensible, since you can't exactly connect the parrot to the shark to make an alternate set (a preview of the modern sets where one in fifty pieces are old-fashioned Lego bricks while the rest are some variant on unreusable hot dogs or Star Wars motifs). Despite these shortcomings, the Pirate sets were the best, and I eventually owned the Caribbean Clipper, the Black Sea Barracuda, and the Eldorado Fortress (which I will some day pull out from under my house and rebuild).

Japan's new professional seducers
Think twice before swearing in storm
Cat hitchhikes 75 miles on a spare tire

tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Weird Search Day

or "how I stumbled upon the URI! Zone"

I thought it would take a few months before I had another worthy batch of search engine queries to post, but less than two weeks have passed since the previous installment and the denizens of the Internet have already proven their disturbing natures. Here are 7 real search engine queries that led the unwitting curious to my page. Since this post will now draw more readers interested in the same subjects, I've done what I can to appease their requests.

  • does frankie muniz sleep shirtless?
    Correspondence with Muniz' agent has revealed the exclusive fact that Frankie Muniz, star of Malcolm in the Middle and My Dog Skip, not only sleeps shirtless, but also races his fancy sports cars without any pants on. "If your willy's not chilly, your racer's just a pacer," said Frankie of his antics. The actor's favourite food is "jello with a hot dog in it" and is rumoured to be engaged in an tempestuous affair with Kelly Osbourne.

  • pictures of girls that are 5'2 and 120 pounds
    Here is a newspaper clipping of the 1996 Girls' Lightweight Boat at T.C. Williams. Crew lightweights are the only girls on the Internet that are guaranteed to appear as advertised, since the tell-all Livestock Scale on Race Day would be sure to reveal their lies and disqualify them.

  • "kathy hanna" kroger
    This sounds like a Craigslist Missed Connection if I ever heard one, although I don't know how Kelley Corbett's wife found a Kroger in Brooklyn. Regardless, here is text of the ad as it might appear on Craigslist: we laughed in the produce section after i admired your melons. you didn't know kroger sold firearms until i showed you my guns. it's obvious your trumpet playing husband will never make it big. i'm like the lighthouse. COME TO THE SHORE.

  • gagged with a bandana
    According to last week's poll about funny fruits, this search query would have been 100% funnier if it were "gagged with a banana". It might stem the visitors and cause my counter to slip, but I would find it much more appeeling.

  • magnet uri porn
    For a limited time, you can buy my pornographic refrigerator magnets online at $5.99 per five inch magnet. Each one is carefully laminated and glows in the dark.

  • les miserables why are they fighting at the 5th section?
    If you put the fighting in an earlier section, you ruin the pace of the plot. They didn't show Jaws in the beginning of the movie for the same reason.

  • I want to plan a simple Super Mario themed birthday party for my 7 year old twins:
    • Buy two plungers and call it a day.
    • Bake a square cake with yellow icing and paint a question mark in it. Then have the firstborn twin smash his face into it (make sure there is a gold coin inside).
    • Put the family turtle on the second step and have the kids stand on the bottom step. Tell them they will get extra points if they keep on jumping up and down. To be humane, the turtle need not ricochet back and forth.
    • Prefix MARIO onto every item in your household and refer to them by name throughout the day. Later, your Mario Husband can take the Mario Kids out of the Mario Party and go to the Mario Playground.
  • Suspected car burglar gets a dirty dumping
    Blame your marriage woes on your husband's genes
    Game of 'Beat the Dog' harder than it seems

    tagged as website, searches | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    three-time winner of the BUlitzer Prize

    ♠ Last weekend, we had an impromptu Labor Day picnic where Rebecca got a great deal (Buy One, Get One Free) on melons. We grilled giant ribeye steaks and floundered around the backyard playing badminton until it was too dark to see. This weekend, my parents are giving me a birthday dinner with ribs on Sunday afternoon, to celebrate my continuing adulthood and the fact that I wasn't eaten by predators or run over on the highway as a child.

    ♠ There was a time when I could wake up solely to the tinny beep of my watch alarm. As the inexorable trek to Age 29 progresses, I'm finding that I usually don't wake up until the annoying backup alarm goes off. Unfortunately, this alarm has the same sound as every stock TV alarm sound in the sound effects library, which puts me in a brief panic whenever one goes off in a TV show. I blame my reduction in hearing on all those years of loud student recitals and classical music concerts.

    ♠ I was never a big fan of symphony concerts because they always put me to sleep. My brain is so wired for multitasking that it gets bored and shuts off if there's not enough going on simultaneously. Symphonies would be greatly improved if, at any given time, the orchestra members who aren't playing walked to the front of the stage and traded fisticuffs, or improvised erotic, interpretive dances.

    ♠ Erotic, interpretive dance would also probably make the political Conventions more interesting. I haven't watched a single minute of the Conventions this year (although the Geneva Conventions are my homies), but I did hear about that one time the one guy said the other guy was lying and then the other guy was all like, "NO U".

    ♠ The election rigmarole would make for better television fodder if it were a Survivor-branded reality show, although I think Obama could stand on one foot on a coconut longer than McCain. Ratings would also soar when they put Palin in a swimsuit during primetime.

    ♠ Forget the possibility of a black guy or a woman in, on, or around the White House -- the historic moment of this Election will definitely be the moment the acronym VPilf was born.

    ♠ Just remember, if you're undecided on the day you go to the polls, Vote for BU! The electronic voting machines will lose your vote anyhow, so why not throw it away?

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Sleight of hand and sense of self
    Huge spider hangs over city block, waiting for Mike to walk by
    I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It...

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 5 comments

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Pet Day: Chameleons

    Probably the shortest pet fad to imprint upon my childhood was the pair of chameleons I owned around 1991 as a requirement for the Reptile Study merit badge. Because I owned them for just a few months and they lacked a cuddly nature, I don't even remember their names, although I'm guessing they were hilariously witty names like Cami and Leon that only an eleven-year-old could invent.

    The picture on the left is the only proof that these lizards actually existed, though they look deceptively small because the digital watch I wore was gigantic and told the time in every time zone of the world while having five settable alarms and an EZ Bake oven for goldfish crackers.

    The chameleons lived in a picturesque plastic terrarium underneath the skylight (because the sun is cheaper than a light bar) filled with sand and a stick to climb on. The fact that their home was boring didn't seem to bother them, since they didn't do much except sit on the stick.

    "Hey here comes that frog, all right. Maybe he'll come near me so I can pet him, and stick him in a mayonnaise jar, with a stick and a leaf, to recreate what he's used to. And I?m pretty sure I?d have to punch some holes in the lid, because he?s damn sure used to air." - Mitch Hedberg

    Chameleons eat mealworms and crickets, and apart from the novelty of storing bugs in the fridge, the only fun part of owning chameleons is to watch them catch their dinner. Granted, mealworms don't run away so much as they writhe in place, spelling words with their bodies (generally COUI or some variant), but the cricket-catching was much more enjoyable. Once, a cricket escaped, and lived under a set of shelves in the living room for about a week before finally coming out for recapture.

    After just a few months, the chameleons died to a skin fungus that turned their backs black. One day, I came home from school to find the last remaining one being eaten by the cricket that had been put in as its dinner -- opening up the situation to plenty of lame jokes about chameleons in Soviet Russia.

    Haunted spice rack for sale on ebay
    The mortgage crisis is good news for bobcats
    The bird who cried wolf

    tagged as memories | permalink | 2 comments

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Newsday Tuesday

    Spies get social network as CIA, FBI promote their version of Facebook

    At long last, US intelligence agencies have created a new system of sharing their information with one another to prevent another terrorist attack. And it's a lot like Facebook.

    Developers were quick to point out that their network would be based on the useful "classic" Facebook, and not the usability-inhibited patchwork of coloured squares and advertisements pinked together to form the New Facebook, which many users still have difficulty accepting as canon (see also, New Coke and The New Testament).

    Not to be left out of the social networking action, the FBI, CIA and the other 14 U.S. intelligence agencies are getting a new site called A-Space designed specifically for spying, CNN reported.

    When asked why the name, A-Space, was chosen over the more obvious "Spyspace", the assistant deputy director reasoned, "We're opting for security through obscurity -- terrorists are more likely to stumble upon spyspace.com when they're stealing secrets. And, I'm pretty sure those foreign keyboards don't have a hyphen."

    "It's every bit Facebook and YouTube for spies, but it's much, much more," said Michael Wertheimer, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analysis. "It's a place where not only spies can meet but share data they've never been able to share before," Wertheimer said.

    This sudden openness seems to run counter to the creed of spies, which was recently put to verse in a Zutons song. Wertheimer concedes that secrets are for keeping and if you tell them, they lose their meaning, but recognizes that spies need to collaborate more than they currently do.

    "This is going to give them for the first time a chance to think out loud, think in public amongst their peers, under the protection of an A-Space umbrella."

    When asked for comment, John Ramsey, father of JonBen?t Ramsey, said that an umbrella of protection would be far more useful than an umbrella of suspicion, but that he would stick with his existing $2.99 Wal-Mart umbrella. "I can do all sorts of things underneath it, even when it's raining."

    The site's goal is to combine all the intelligence agencies date in a single place so a crucial piece of information isn't ignored, like the pre-9/11 email from an FBI agent warning of people learning to fly airplanes but not learning to land them.

    Users will also be able to stream their favourite tapes from NSA-monitored phone calls so they begin playing immediately when the page loads, and every new profile will start with one automatic friend so users don't feel so alone and overwhelmed at first.

    Government officials left out the details on how the site would be protected, though they did describe a "mechanism" called MasterCard, which will find suspicious behavior from users and report it to system administrators.

    Initial tests of the MasterCard system showed poor results -- because the user base consists wholly of spies, it was near impossible correlate suspicious behavior with unauthorized access by terrorists. Developers say they have corrected these problems and planned to release a new security system soon called Visa: any user who has a visa is obviously not a US citizen, and will be booted from the site.

    Man run over by former child star in Payson
    Animal lovers angry over puppy body bags
    John McCain's Walter Reed puzzle

    tagged as newsday, mock mock, favourites | permalink | 4 comments

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Shredding Day

    Yesterday was Shredding Day in the BU Household, although there was no Guitar Hero involved since I'm intrinsically horrible at that game. When I attempt to translate the 100% abstract shapes flying at my face into simple motor skills, I feel like I'm playing a live action version of Frogger while dosed up on a Quil Bomb (a half pint of Nyquil with a shot of Dayquil), slipping further and further behind until I finally force the song to end prematurely because mediocrity is no longer an acceptable level of video game skill.

    Shredding Day in my vernacular is the day I drag the three foot high paper shredder out of the closet and commence the complete obliteration of a single year's worth of receipts, bills, and pornographic notebook sketches. There's always plenty to shred on this day, because I save anything and everything for at least three years (my stage name is Buri Packarat). The time limit on saving used to be "indefinitely", until I sensibly realized that I would never again need that receipt for two hash browns from 1997 unless I were planning to bury my filing cabinet as a time capsule. And even in that case, why would anyone from the future care that there used to be a Dollar Menu?

    It's a very satisfying feeling to watch my shredder get down to business. The motor inside is so powerful that you could probably despine your latest issue of Cosmo and send all the pages into the JAWS OF DOOM all at the same time. A year's supply of mortgage stubs from 2004 that only exist to remind me that I have eight billion dollars left of principal to pay off disappears in a puff of confetti, which I can then use to start small porch fires to scare unruly neighbours, lower property values, and decrease my land tax. I imagine that in a pinch, the shredder could double as a hamburger maker, or a processor for half-frozen filets of tuna.

    Even better, the shredder has a CD mode -- with the flip of a flap, you can convert a used CD full of blackmail documents into an avant garde work of art that will never be loaded into a CD tray ever again. Today, I had a full spindle of twenty CDs to destroy which the shredder consumed gleefully, without complaint or malfunction. The only danger of having this much horsepower in your study is the tiny voice in the back of your head, egging you on to destroy bigger and tougher materials. Science project backboards! Spatulas! Very small rocks!

    Bulgaria requests a skunk rule
    Man blames bad driving on spilled beer
    Man has eaten 23,000 Big Macs in 36 years

    tagged as random | permalink | 3 comments

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Resumé Day

    You've never truly had to artifically inflate your curriculum vitae until you have to write one for the Personal Management Merit Badge in Seventh Grade. It's good to know that I learned all about "different levels of life" in Life Science (cellular vs. society, not Kshatriyas vs. Dalits).

    Without tooting my own horn, I can honestly say that I was an expert on rear entry safety, and the school administrators felt good knowing that I was on rear duty. I was also an expert at "neatening". As for the shocking secret that I was on the AV Club, I WAS the AV club. Whenever a teacher needed a film projector, I would be the one to get out of class and roll it down the hall.

    Notice that I advertised my role as third cornet, which is the part I played, rather than my seat position in the band, which was LAST CHAIR. One of the songs only had two trumpet parts, so that's why I got to say I was "second cornet" as well.

    Luckily I've gained at least three inches and ten pounds since my days as a Sevie, and I definitely wasn't malnourished because my health was EXCELLENT. If you have any open positions for a typing gymnast who can also double as a rather large paperweight, please contact me.

    I'm guessing that the Recognizable Student award was judged on more than just familiarity. Obviously I was struggling to think of awards to list here -- Toten'chip? That means that I successfully passed a safety lesson on how to use an axe or a bowsaw, and was allowed to carry scout knives on camping trip. If you have any job reqs open for a knife-wielding housekeeper who will have perfect attendance, please let me know.

    Don't forget that tomorrow is 12 of 12!

    Original KFC Recipe moved to a new location
    Heinlein's Fan Mail Solution
    Burglary victims wake up to spice rub and sausage attack

    tagged as random, memories | permalink | 2 comments

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

    6:32 AM: To start off my three-day birthday weekend properly, I go into work an hour later than usual. This is me driving on the Beltway of Perpetual Traffic.

    7:02 AM: The view from my new office is great, but it's a dreary day.

    7:52 AM: Breakfast, obviously.

    11:14 AM: Taking a trip to Costco to pick up the essentials for the weekend birthday party.

    11:48 AM: A quick jaunt over to Home Depot to be fuel-efficient.

    12:16 PM: Unloading the trunk full of MEATS and BEERS.

    12:35 PM: Having leftover pasta with tomato/basil sauce for lunch while reading the paper and ignoring the politics.

    3:07 PM: On a conference call with the folks at work.

    3:48 PM: Dinner time for kitties.

    6:38 PM: My newly-rearranged living room (I believe this is either the sixth or seventh time it's been rearranged in four years).

    8:02 PM: Unwinding with a little World of Warcraft.

    9:50 PM: Watching Rebecca make my birthday cake!

    See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site!

    Hanging on to Biden's every word
    Verizon worker accused of making $220k in sex calls
    Fainting goat farm, with video

    tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 9 comments

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Birth Day


    Turning 29 with Duck Punch

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 7 comments

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Contest Day

    Name That Tune: Cacophony Edition

    It's been seven months since the last Name That Tune contest, mainly because it took about two months to mix these samples to perfection. There are 20 song fragments bunched together into just 4 clips. The person who correctly identifies the most songs out of 20 will win a gift certificate for $20 to Amazon.com. Read on for the rules!

    1. Each clip contains five songs mashed together, one from each of five genres. You must provide the following information to get a song correct:
      • Classical Song: Composer & Title (movement not necessary)
      • Jazz/Dance Song: Artist & Title
      • Musical: Musical & Song Title
      • Rock: Artist & Title
      • Theme: Show or Movie Title
    2. Remember, there is only one of each genre in each clip -- if you've already identified a classical fragment in a clip, there will be no other classical fragments!
    3. You do not need to guess an entire clip to get credit for a single song in the clip.
    4. I don't expect anyone to get all 20 answers this time, so play to your strengths! You can still get first place without knowing anything about musicals!
    5. In the case of ties or teams, the prize will be split.
    6. The deadline to receive your guesses by email (using the link at the top of this page) is Wednesday, September 24, 2008 before 6:00 PM EST.
    Clip #1
    Clip #2
    Clip #3
    Clip #4

    Good luck! Don't go crazy!

    Mom uses daughter's ID to be a cheerleader
    German shepherd dials 911
    Teacher okay after crashing into bear on bicycle
    How many Tunes do you think you can Name in the contest?

    20 (0 votes, 0.0%)

    15-19 (1 vote, 12.5%)


    8-14 (2 votes, 25.0%)


    1-7 (5 votes, 62.5%)


    0 (0 votes, 0.0%)

    tagged as music, contests | permalink | 8 comments

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Stuff in My Drawers Day

    Creative Writing, October 16, 1987

    The Famous Professor: Mike Howl

    It was 1934, April 2, 2:34. He'd just come from collecting bugs from a canyon. In his laboratory (the garage), Professor Howl was experimenting with the dead ladybugs he'd dug up.

    He found that they held evidence of time, and electricity. With this he could make a time machine!!! He copied the plans very carefully.

    He got in and checked it (and of course it wasn't running). When the cat came and spilled some muriatic acid into the hole the machine sped to life.....

    It drove to 'Stone Age'. The cavemen thought the machine was an Evil Spirit so they threw it into a canyon.

    Three hundred years later, the mirror self of Mike came to that canyon to find bugs for an experiment at Apr. 2, 2:34, 1934. It was the same as the beginning. Mike was making a time machine! Soon the canyon will be filled with machines!!!

    Iron Maiden to the rescue
    Pet bunny ears cause emergency call
    World's shortest man meets world's leggiest woman

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    Capsule Review Day

    There are no spoilers in these reviews.

    No Country For Old Men:
    It might just be that I am an uncultured swine, but I felt like this movie was greatly overhyped (I also wasn't a big fan of O Brother Where Art Thou?, another Coen Brothers film). The movie started out well, a good mix of artsiness and suspense, but it goes downhill in the second hour. I think the defining moment of the film for me was the point where a critical event in the plot happens... offscreen. The remainder of the movie just seems to meander towards an unresolved conclusion.
    Final Grade: B-

    Dexter, Season Two:
    I watched this season of Dexter in about two days, and was surprised that the quality had slipped so little from the first season. The plot is still very compelling, and the actor's all give top-notch performances. There were only two things wrong with the season: the introduction of a love triangle, which generally ends up being more annoying than intriguing in ANY story, and the humanization of Dexter. Part of the fun in watching season one was Dexter's complete inability to relate to anything remotely normal, and in season two, his character seems to be a nice guy who just happens to be a serial killer.
    Final Grade: B+

    Logitech MX620 Cordless Laser Mouse:
    My last mouse was a wireless Microsoft Intellimouse which had a wonderfully ergonomic shape but a horrible mouse wheel. Over time, the wheel would get jammed up, but not from dirt or anything easily cleanable. The only fix was to drop the mouse on the desk until the wheel ran smoothly again, but this only worked for about a year before the wheel was permanently dead. My new Logitech mouse advertised the "fastest mouse wheel in the world", and it really is. The wheel spins freely and smoothly and it takes split seconds to traverse an entire multipage document. The high acceleration of the wheel takes a little getting used to (especially in gaming) but after two or three weeks of practice, I can't imagine using any old-fashioned mice again.
    Final Grade: A

    Ant from Mars emerges from anonymity
    Celery-eating paramedic suspended
    Stuck 'agent' tells of secret bomb mission

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 4 comments

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    the Rosetta Stone of blogging bridges

    ♠ My birthday week has drawn to a close in a fairly predictable fashion -- everyone I went to high school with boggles at the fact that I'm still in my twenties, and everyone else says something along the lines of "Well, 29 may have been low-key but next year you'll be THIRTY!" Twenty-nine was pretty nice as greengrocer birthday's go -- my woman made me cake, I played Pin the Tail on the Llama, and had a four-day work week.

    ♠ Also on my birthday, Ryan Christopher Wright, 4th son of Jen (Anna's eldest sister) and Lloyd Wright, was born. I don't have any pictures to share, but I'm guessing that since his name is so much like mine, he also looks like me -- small, debonair, and Asian. Congratulations!

    ♠ Babies are like cicadas, but on a much shorter swarming span, especially in the Catholic parts of the country. I should make my next contest be a guessing match on who will have their first child next. (Smart money would be on Kathy and Kelley Corbett until you realize that Kelley would be raising it).

    ♠ Speaking of raising it, I will be playing poker this weekend inside the Beltway and winning all the money. It's only fair since I always lose in Sterling this year.

    ♠ I've been driving on the Beltway a bit more than normal these past few weeks and have noticed a disturbing trend -- an increase in shifting lanes (which are not just how earthquakes get to work). Because of all the idiotic work to build lanes that will tax yuppies in a hurry, the normally straight-arrow Beltway winds around Jersey barriers and parked construction machinery. And because 85% of Beltway drivers are on their phones and somehow lack the driving experience of even a very bent golf club, the twisty lanes are marked with solid white lines.

    ♠ In most areas of the US, unbroken white lines are the symbol for places on the road where you're not allowed to change lanes. Because this is so blatantly un-American (we have the right to choose our own lanes!), most drivers just ignore them. I'm guessing they could have saved some money by leaving the white lines dotted, but there'd probably be an increase in accidents. This could be offset by making a yellow warning sign with squiggly lines representing shifting lanes, but at the end of the day the costs are probably about the same. It's six of one or half a dozen of the other.

    ♠ "Six of one or half a dozen of the other" is probably the worst English idiom there is. Why waste a dozen syllables to say this, when an equivalent phrase like "It's two of one or a pair of another" is so much easier to say? Unless you're specifically talking about eggs or doughnuts, things that naturally occur in dozens, do your listener a favour and simply say, "Well, they're quite similar" next time.

    ♠ Have a great weekend working on the Name That Tune contest! Don't forget to TALK LIKE A PIRATE today!

    Why my sperm is so healthy
    Unknown Mozart work found in library
    Hotel fires philandering males

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 1 comment

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Weekend Wrapup

    On Friday night, we went to Jack's newly renovated kitchen in Arlington to play poker and sample home-brewed beer. Kathy came in first, followed by Kristy, and I clocked in at fifth place (which becomes first place after artificially weighting the score because of my minority status).

    I finished watching the second season of Heroes on Saturday, which wasn't nearly as bad as the reviews would indicate, although the Maya storyline got old very quickly and could have been discarded. David Anders was a great guest star, but the only thing I could think of in Kristen Bell's scenes was "Veronica Mars can shoot lightning bolts from her hands!"

    The dinner choice on Saturday night was Big Bowl in the Reston Town Center where I had calamari and a (suitably big) bowl of chicken dumpling soup. We then went to the theatre to watch Ghost Town which was highly amusing. Ricky Gervais doesn't fall on the short list of expected lead actors in a romantic comedy, but he definitely makes this one worth watching.

    On Sunday, we drove farther out into the wilderness of Virginia to attend the Bluemont Fair, where a $10 entrance fee got us access to a wine tasting and the fair at large (complete with llamas). We discovered a dessert wine that didn't suck, and ate fried Oreos near the goat pen.

    After returning to civilization, we cooked up a delicious meal of shrimp linguini in a creamy cheesy herb sauce and gave Amber a new kitted cat toy from the fair, packed with highly potent homegrown cat weed. Booty doesn't care about new toys, but got to lick up some of the creamy cheesy herb sauce.

    What did you on the last weekend of summer?

    Officials to pave over groovy road
    Brother says he was stabbed over a Hot Pocket
    Voting Republican may be a survival response

    tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 4 comments

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Museday Tuesday

    Owlish: (adj.) Resembling or characteristic of an owl

    My Composition (0:32 MP3)

    This excerpt is written for string section and percussion. Instead of directly composing a piece that felt owlish, I decided to write from the perspective of the mice being pursued by said owl.

    Austin welcomes rescue squirrels
    Idaho cheerleaders ditch skimpy uniforms after fan complaints
    Analyzing music the digital way

    tagged as museday | permalink | 0 comments

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Stuff in My Drawers Day

    Artwork of 1985

    This first picture was drawn on a trip to Smoke Hole Canyon in West Virginia. From the nearest town of Petersburg, you apparently can only reach the canyon by canoe on the South Branch Potomac River, passing through a scenic field of daisies. After paddling a ways, you should take Exit 22 to reach the canyon, which is nestled between two prickly African boobies.

    If you choose not to take Exit 22, you will have to get out of your canoe and walk up the road into the Land of Zero Depth Perception. Otherwise, look for the SOKO HELL sign, which obviously advertises that you can play the hardest levels of Sokoban in the canyon.

    These two self portraits might give you an idea of what I looked like when I was five years old. In the first, I'm wearing my SLUGGER sweatshirt and thinking about how cool it would be to build a treehouse (I LIKE IT!). I was very vain, as demonstrated by my disproportionately swelled head, and apparently think that treehouses should be very tiny so that no one gets injured when falling out.

    In the second picture, my ego is somewhat in check, although I'm still wearing a T-shirt that says "I'M A STAR!". Apparently, I've used the psychedelic balloon with the Batman-TV-Show-style hypnotic spinner to brain wash the giant seagull, who then proceeds to pop the dirty balloon covered in cat hair on the right. This gigantic flying bird seems to be some sort of chicken.

    Woman suffers orgasm-related stroke
    Teen fined for poking koala
    Monster pig traps woman in home

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Name That Tune Contest Results

    Congratulations to Anna Ahlbin for getting 15 points out of 20 on the Name That Tune contest! Anna wins a $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

    Runner-up was the team of "Mike, Chris Green, Kathy and everyone they know" with 8 points, followed by Rob with 4 points.

    The original clips are posted below, with a new clip playing the tunes in sequential order afterwards. The clips with stars next to them were not guessed by anyone. Highlight the empty space below the clips to see what the correct answers were!

    Clip #1
    Clip #1, Separated Tunes
      Jazz/Dance:
      Classical: *
      Musical:
      Rock:
      Theme:
    Clip #2
    Clip #2, Separated Tunes
      Jazz/Dance:
      Classical:
      Musical:
      Rock:
      Theme: *
    Clip #3
    Clip #3, Separated Tunes
      Jazz/Dance:
      Classical:
      Musical: *
      Rock:
      Theme:
    Clip #4
    Clip #4, Separated Tunes
      Jazz/Dance:
      Classical:
      Musical:
      Rock: *
      Theme: *

    Thanks for playing!

    The thirteen greatest error messages
    Man starts his sons early on beer
    Can you reset the Internet for me?

    tagged as contests | permalink | 5 comments

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    armed with Category 3 farce winds

    ♠ The URI! Zone saw a sharp uptick in page views (exactly 222) on Tuesday when I happened to link to the story about cheerleaders taking off their skimpy outfits and putting on something more modest. I need no further proof than that to confirm that you all are perverts and that boobies run the Internet.

    ♠ I should discuss cheerleaders more often to artificially boost the popularity of my site. I could even create little Flash games where you have to pull cheerleaders out of a human pyramid, Jenga-style, or Strip Hangman, using a disrobing cheerleader as the model. Of course, these tactics might also get my site picked up by the FBI Porn Squad.

    ♠ On the plus side, my naked dancing cheerleader web games wouldn't get sued by Jack Thompson, the crazy conservative lawyer who tried to tie every school shooting to violent video games, since he was just disbarred in the state of Florida. Good riddance.

    ♠ It's too bad that you can't disbar a senator (without a two-thirds majority). Think how much more efficiently the election and the economy talks would proceed if John McCain weren't in there being old and such.

    ♠ I AM looking forward to and/or dreading the upcoming Vice Presidential Debate based on the fact that Sarah Palin's interviews are so awkwardly embarrassing and uncomfortable, that I imagine that the Debate will be like watching an episode of The Office. I recommend that Steve Carell be the moderator.

    ♠ This weekend, we'll be taking a weekend trip up to Bethany Beach to relax, although the tropical storm and gas shortages are just a little intimidating. Should I get stuck up there without any gas, I plan to unilaterally withdraw from updating this website or going to work until the economy is in a better position.

    ♠ Have a good weekend!

    Teens break pelvises after lying under a car as a prank
    David Blaine's latest stunt plummets with viewers
    Father abandons nine kids under Safe Haven law

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 0 comments

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    End of the Month Media Day

    It's been over three months since I last updated my Photo archives, so today's post will rectify this sad state of affairs.


    Fourth of July

    Camping in Gore


    Birthday Party

    Poker, Fairs, and Bethany Beach


    Ella Everywhere

    Cats Everywhere

    Man released in flatulence battery charge
    Take a trip through Sarah Palin's head
    Women drinks bat-filtered coffee

    tagged as media | permalink | 5 comments

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Newsday Tuesday

    Mama's milk ice cream cone, anyone?

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking [Ben & Jerry's] to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

    Old readers might also remember the time PETA tried to convince the Boy Scouts to ban the Fishing merit badge because it results in mutilated fish who are in tremendous amounts of pain. That campaign fell apart when it was discovered that the interviewed fish was "just a little emo" and a cutter. (Soon after, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their patriotic mandate to only ban gays and heathens).

    "If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers - and cows - would reap the benefits," wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group. She said dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity.

    In rebuttal, the dairy industry notes that their products are also linked to such deliciousness as Velveeta Shells and Cheese and instant mashed potatoes, while human breast milk is "kind of like pee from a different hole". Industry experts also noted the inherent hilarity of "dairy farts" and making fun of lactose-intolerant people, speculating that the world would not be as amusing without milk.

    "We're aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the [same time], it's pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows," [the campaign coordinator] said.

    By conceding that this is not exactly the breast solution to the problem, PETA has once again shown that it cares less about the protection of animals and more about generating worldwide publicity to the fact that they're ape-shit (and/or) bat-shit insane.

    As a standardized product under federal regulations, ice cream must be made with milk from healthy cows. Ice cream made from goat's milk, for example, would have to be labeled as such. Presumably, so would mother's milk ice cream.

    Descendants of Robert Klark Graham have already submitted a labelling system that would identify the ice cream made from blond-haired blue-eyed donors. They suggested the name, Nordic Tracks, but are currently entangled in trademark disputes.

    To Ben & Jerry's, the idea is udderly ridiculous.

    Dear Associated Press, please stick to the news and leave the funny to me. Thank you.

    Then there's the question of who would provide the milk, and whether they'd be paid. ". . . There's a population of women very willing to share their milk. Whether there's enough to do it for a commercial entity, who can say?"

    PETA suggests that milk selling would be a good way for a poor family to make it to payday, or for an elderly relative who requires a caretaker to contribute to expenses. First though, the stigma of the phrase, "putting grandma out to pasture", would have to be removed. Until then, this idea faces a rocky road to acceptance.

    Jen Wahlbrink, 34, of Phoenix, who breast-fed her 11-month-old son, Cameron, said she wouldn't touch ice cream made from mother's milk. "The (breast) pumps just weren't that much fun. You really do feel like a cow," she said, cradling her son in her hands.

    In response, the FOX network has stated that they are developing a reality show called Breast Pumps Are Fun!! as a midseason replacement in 2009, in which new mothers would try to shoot tin cans or fill giant saucers with their breast milk. It could not be determined at press time if the idea had already been done in Japan.

    Exploding custard truck sends driver running
    Pub calls time on equine regular
    Prisoners allowed to order out food

    tagged as newsday, favourites | permalink | 3 comments

     

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