Friday, May 30, 2008


In this modern-age world
You can't drive your car around
Without a sticker.

Hello and good-morrow! I sadly have but a moment to post a missive, as today is "license plate tab renewal" day. I must off to the DMV and purchase myself a little sticker that says I've purchased a sticker for my car. It's a special sticker, made from the skin of unicorns by an certified US astronaut. It must be that special, otherwise it wouldn't cost me $100 to obtain it. Rumor has it that, once affixed to my automobile, I'll be able to pay a nickel per gallon less for gas, and, when traffic is really bad, I'll be able to drive on lawns and through small creeks without consequence. What a time I will have! In fact, I can hardly believe that I've waited so long to make these dreams come true. Anywho, I'd spend more time blogging, but I have mischief to commit. Sticker-approved mischief.

In a few brief other topics:
- You might notice that I listed a "feed" button on the right side of the page. If you have a website that reads feeds, then by all means click that button and have at it. If you, much like me, have no idea what a feed is, then stay away! Do not click the happy little button! It's nothing more than a world of trouble, that willy-nilly clicking!
- Tonight, Ferrari McSpeedy competes against Five Man Job in Punch Out! I know that things were a little heated earlier in the week. I believe that the mud-slinging and aggressive posturing will give way to two lovely sets of improvisation. You should come out and see for yourself. Punch Out! at the BNW at 11 pm. It'll be good. All good.
- Today's Joke!
Mars Lander Starts Moving Its Robotic Arm
NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander has successfully lifted its robotic arm, mission managers announced Thursday.
All of the joints are healthy, and we’re raring to go,” Matthew L. Robinson, the lead engineer for the mission’s robotic arm flight software, said at a news conference Thursday. Overcoming one of the few glitches in the mission so far, the arm was able to free itself from a protective sheaf that did not fully unwrap after landing.
The primary mission for the lander is to keep waving the robotic arm while watching the horizon for a creature to wave back. Upon first contact, the lander will then approach the creature and offer up a high five. If the creature responds positively, the mission to find life on Mars will be deemed a success, and the creature will immediately be captured to determine if it could either be sent to Iraq to help the war effort or used as a fuel for American automobiles.



Thursday, May 29, 2008


All across the globe
We message with each other
And make pants vibrate.

I was noodling through my phone yesterday when I came across the text message templates that come standard on the device. For the most part, the templates make sense. There's "In a meeting right now" and "I'm busy right now, will call later." Each of these are great templates, as you would send them in times that you wouldn't necessarily want to spend a lot of time typing. In fact, out of the eleven standard templates, nine of them were logical choices. However, there are two options that I have to question:
1) Happy Birthday.
I realize that my selection of friends is not immense. Weeks will go by during which not a single person I know celebrates a birthday. However, when someone I know does have a birthday, I'm willing to take a few moments out of my life to type the words "happy birthday." To use a template that already says "happy birthday" seems cheap. I know that the recipient would never know that it was nothing more than a template, but still...
Perhaps this is different if you have some seven hundred thousand phone numbers in your phone and you find yourself sending 1900 "happy birthday" text messages every day. But honestly, how many of you fall into that category? That's what I thought.
2) I love you too.
If not taking the time to write "happy birthday" wasn't bad enough, this one is truly the mark of a terrible person. If a person is willing to admit their feelings towards you via text message, shouldn't you honor that with a non-template reply? Let your heart speak for itself - don't use some boilerplate response programed by a complete stranger.
Perhaps you use the "I love you too" template simply because you're inundated with messages that say "I love you." If that's the case, maybe you should rethink how you're living your life. Someone's gonna get hurt, Lothario, and there isn't a text message template that says "I'm sorry."

Anywho, I should be off. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Dunkin' Donuts pulls Rachael Ray ad after Muslim scarf complaints
Dunkin' Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.
The coffee and baked goods chain said the ad that began appearing online May 7 was pulled over the past weekend because "the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee."
Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, complained that the scarf wrapped around her looked like a kaffiyeh, the traditional Arab headdress. Critics who fueled online complaints about the ad in blogs say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism.
The ad and the resulting criticism is reminiscent of a 1980's Dunkin Donuts ad in which Julia Child sold donuts to a number of blindfolded diplomats, who responded with lines such as "Iran, Uran, we all ran to Dunkin Donuts!" and "I'm a hostage to the great taste of Dunkin Donuts!""



Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Deep in the basement
While you sleep away the night:
Disco mouse party!

Pardon me for a moment, but I need to get this out of the way:

An Open Letter To The Person That Keeps Putting CGI Animals Into Movies.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please stop with the fake computer animals. I don't need a prairie dog's comical expression of bewilderment to tell me that what I just saw was bewildering. I can come to those conclusions on my own. Also, a chipmunk singing "Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?" might be sending the wrong message to our children. Do we really want to create a generation of citizens that has a strange attraction to rodents? We saw what happened to Richard Gere. We don't need that sort of trouble for the youth of America's future.
Next time you're moved to create a digital animal for a film, might I recommend getting a real animal instead and putting peanut butter on its gums? It worked wonders for Mr. Ed.

Much obliged,

Apologies. That's been bugging me.

Anywho, Mike and I are at Punch Out! this Friday at 11 pm at the BNW. We're competing against Five Man Job. As such, Mr. Butch Roy has already started making claims that Five Man Job will "destroy" Ferrari McSpeedy. Normally, I'm not one to get involve in these heated pre-show pissing contests (I save my anger for the softball field) but then I read this from Butch's blog:
No more sad orphans and angry impressions of high school basketball coaches you let down.

All right, Butch. If you want to play that way, then let's play:
After Friday night, there will be no more awkward rants to start a set.
There will be no more aggressively sexual assaults on children.
There will be no more gay-ass transformations.
There will be no more Five Man Job.

You started this war, Butch. Ferrari McSpeedy is going to end it. After we obliterate FMJ at Punch Out!, we're going to take over Go Go and start charging $2: one dollar for us, one dollar for the StageBenders.

Well, now that I'm done posturing for an improv show, I think it's time that I high-tail it out of here. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
McCain, Bush campaign together amid complex relationship of pitfalls, benefits
John McCain's complex relationship with President Bush can be summed up with a simple saying: can't live with him, can't live without him.
The president's own popularity is bottom-of-the-barrel low. Even allies privately fret that he's an albatross for the Republican looking to succeed him. Voters are crying out for change amid a prolonged Iraq war and a weakened economy.
But Bush also is beloved among GOP loyalists. He's a proven campaigner who can raise serious money. Those are huge assets as Arizona Sen. McCain works to rally the Republican base and fill his coffers while facing the Democrats' unrivaled enthusiasm and record-breaking fundraising.
As McCain put it in a recent interview, "Thirty percent of this nation still thinks the world of President Bush. I need to get those crazy motherf*ckers over to my side."
The president and his would-be successor were appearing together Tuesday for the first time in nearly three months at an event that epitomized both elements of their tricky alliance — they were holding a fundraiser with GOP faithful at a private home, without the media to document it. Among the invitees were Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Randy Brinson, Jack Abramoff, the former heads of Enron, a selection of scientists that call global warming a hoax, and Jesus.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Ferrari McSpeedy is at Six Ring tonight. Brave New Workshop. Come out and laugh!


Smoke wafts from the meat,
The sizzling fire crackles,
Our loins are ablaze.

Wowzers! What a weekend that was, huh? Since Thursday, I saw Indiana Jones, went to three different bar-be-ques, tried to make part of my back yard grow grass instead of mud, fixed the myriad of leaks under my kitchen sink, competed in a foot race of an undetermined length, and watched a show on the History Channel about the battle at Midway in honor of the Memorial Day holiday. In other words, I could not have shoved anymore fun into the holiday weekend if I had a shoe horn and a confetti gun. I can only hope that your weekend was half as action-packed as mine.

Let's hit some specifics like a basketball star hits nothing but net!

Indiana Jones! I'm not going to go too far into detail here as even though it grossed over $100 million since opening, you might not have contributed to this particular Harrison Ford retirement fund. Anywho, the middle of the movie (a good 75% of it) was fantastic. It was nearly everything a decent Indy movie should have been. However, the beginning portion of the movie was disappointing. From terrible CGI animals to Indy witnessing an explosion that should have melted his face like a Nazi with the Ark of the Covenant, the first twenty minutes of the movie were bad. Really bad. If you haven't gone yet, just show up late. Trust me, it will be OK.
In the end, Indy gets a FOTi. Honestly, if you and I have a conversation about the film, you'll hear me go on and on about the many issues I had with the film and you'll wonder why I gave it anything above an Fo. However, it's Indiana Jones. By nature, I can't give it anything lower than a FOTi. And really, that 75% that's good is really good.
Next topic!

B-B-Q's! Between a bachelor, a brother, and a co-worker with a birthday, this weekend was chock-full of outdoor grilling. Usually, the wife and I kick off the "unofficial start of summer" with a cook-out, but ours has been delayed to next Sunday. To whet my grilling appetite, I ended up doing a good amount of grilling at yesterday's bar-be-que. I cooked, for the first time ever, shrimp-ke-bobs and chicken wings. Well, technically, I cooked most of the chicken wings. There was one that made it through partially uncooked. Sorry Bobby. I hope you're not confined to the poop room all day long...

Yard work! Who wants to read about that?
Next topic!

Leaks! All I have to say about this is that Plumber's Putty is the greatest thing in the world. I'm using that on every home-remodeling project I come across.
Next topic!

Foot races!
After eating two turkey burgers and drinking a Coke, I and several other meat-laden friends decided to run around a lake to determine who could run around the lake on a full stomach the fastest. First guesses put the length of the race at about a quarter-mile. After running it, it seemed much closer to three-quarters. Fortunately, I've kept my body in such good condition that I ran the whole thing without wanting to die, and afterwards, I showed no signs of being on the verge of passing out.
Wait. Both of those things are wrong...
I need to stop competing in foot races.
Next topic!

Battle 360! This show on the History Channel retells the wars of our past with computer graphics and interviews with those that were there. It's so captivating that the wife and I spent an hour learning about the US fleets meeting the Japanese fleets at Midway. The computer graphics were used to map out the battle as it took place, and the interviews gave the show a humanity that made it all the more engaging. If you have the History Channel, I'd recommend giving Battle 360 a look-see.
Next topic!

Special bonus! Have you been wondering what Sinbad has been up to since Jingle All The Way? If you watched television last night, you might have been treated to his latest escapades! Sinbad hosted the 9th(!) Annual Movie Trailer Awards! Yes, your favorite actor from Houseguest spent his Memorial Day giving awards to people that condense movies into two-minute long commercials. Some stars shine so bright.
Next topic!

South metro students in trouble for T-shirt's naughty message
A naughty pun on a T-shirt has the junior class at Eagan High School in hot water.
School administrators have sent an e-mail to families objecting to the message on T-shirts ordered by juniors. It says: "Kiss Our Class Goodbye" -- 09.
The administrators say the students who proposed the shirt were told before ordering that it was improper.
"This is reminiscent of the 'Kiss our Class Goodbye' t-shirt scandal of 2007," said one Eagan High School administrator. "And of 2006. And 2005. And 2004. Now that I think about it, these kids order these shirts every year. Damn kids."
Those that wear the t-shirts to school will be asked to remove the shirts and don instead a woolen suit, top hat and monocle. "We'll give these kids some class to kiss goodbye," the administrator said.



Thursday, May 22, 2008


No time for a blog.
The whip is cracking loudly.
I must heed the call.

Sorry friends, but today is getting away from me faster than a bunny getting away from a wolf. A wolf that's on fire. And has a broken leg. And is wearing an eye patch. You know: a flaming crippled pirate wolf. I'd make a less nonsensical metaphor had I the time to think one through, but alas, the bunny/pirate wolf analogy is all you get. Apologies.

Anywho, I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that tomorrow's missive may be completely absent. There's a day-long meeting that I simply must attend, and blogging during these types of things tend to be frowned upon. I will catch up with the latest and greatest observations as soon as I can. I promise.

I also wanted to take a moment for Today's Joke:
To fix error, House to vote again on farm bill
The House of Representatives will vote again on sending the $289 billion U.S. farm bill to the White House to clear up an embarrassing clerical error discovered after the bill was vetoed, Democratic leaders said on Thursday.
They said the House would vote under rules that prevent any amendments and limit debate but require a two-thirds vote for passage.
House Agriculture Committee leaders said a clerical error actually made it a $289 billion "fram" bill that would "expand funding for 'framers' for public nutrition, land stewardship and biofuel development."
According to a spokesman for Sen. Larry Reid, the word "fram" was substitued for "farm" some three thousand eighty-two times in the lengthy bill. The spokesmen continued to say that the error probably would have been caught, had the majority of Representatives not been busy cheating on their spouses with high-priced prostitutes when the bill was up for review.


Sometime soon!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The street lined in green
Like a make-shift landing strip
For a plane of joy.

It's hard not to wear a smile today. It's mid-week, the sun is shining, and Indiana Jones is but a day away. I know that some folks out there are going to stay up late tonight and ride the adventure at the first opportunity. Not me. I'm waiting exactly twelve hours and catching the flick tomorrow in St. Louis Park. Why? Because I want people to see me leaving the theater crying tears of joy and cracking an imaginary whip. It's hard to pull that off at 2 am. 2 pm is a much more realistic time to make a fool of myself in public.

On the Indiana Jones note, the Parkway Theater is showing Raiders of the Lost Ark Saturday at noon. Although it's supposed to be a very nice day out, and I have that movie on DVD, and I have a number of things to do around the house throughout the weekend, I will probably still find myself cheering Indy on as he shoots a sword-wielding baddie in a Cairo market. I'll see you there.

In other, less Hollywood-type news, it turns out that the garbage disposal installation did not go quite as well as I initially thought. It seems that the seal on the drain isn't tight enough, causing droplets of water and other assorted liquids to traverse around the outside of the garbage disposal, finding a final resting place on the floor of the cabinet underneath the sink. On top of that, the sink sprayer has taken to leaking, and the initial attempts to solve that with a little Teflon tape have been complete failures. I know that I can fix both of these problems with a trip to Home Depot and an hour's worth of free time. However, I don't know if I have the confidence necessary to fix it. What if I seal up the drain, only to have the garbage disposal slip out of its perch and spew water and mushed up foodstuffs all over my pants? What if my attempts to fix the sink sprayer results in the dishwasher somehow becoming sentient and killing me in my sleep? That might seem outlandish, but plumbing is 10% knowledge, 90% confidence. A shaky ego has lead to thousands of sewage-related deaths since the dawn of the aqueduct. It's true. Look it up.

Fortunately, I won't have time to address my home's plumbing issues until after the movie tomorrow. I'm banking on the hope that Indiana Jones will inspire me to do great things. Great PVC pipe-related things. That's what these types of movies are for, right? To move us to do great things in our own lives. You should have seen the kitchen tile I laid after Independence Day...

Anywho, I should be off. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Playboy, junta tied to Senate hopefuls
Minnesota Republicans are scolding DFL Senate candidate Al Franken for a campaign fundraiser hosted Monday by Playboy CEO Christie Hefner at her Chicago-area home - and taking him to task for a sexually explicit satire he wrote for that magazine eight years ago.
Meanwhile, DFLers are calling on Republican incumbent Norm Coleman to divest his reelection campaign of nearly $10,000 received from the political-action committee and employees of a lobbying firm that represented Myanmar's military regime.
With endorsing conventions for the U.S. Senate race rapidly approaching, the leading candidates are under attack by political opponents for taking contributions from controversial donors.
Each party is asking Minnesota voters to forget party lines and judge which is the most morally-degrading connection: sex or violence. Minnesota voters, meanwhile, are excited that they won't have to pay attention to any "issues" or listen to "policies." As one voter put it, "Give me some baseless mud-slinging and irrelevant accusations and I'm happy as a clam! Wait! What's that over there? Shiny keys! Lemme at 'em!"



Tuesday, May 20, 2008


After we've voted
And the elections are done,
We'll want a monarch.

Another day, another set of primaries for the Democratic Party. This evening, we'll watch the results from Oregon and Kentucky roll in. For the past week, Obama has been hitting Oregon hard and letting Clinton have Kentucky all to herself. Why? If Obama takes Oregon today, then he'll have the majority of pledged popular vote delegates and the whole damn thing will be nearly over. Oddly enough, Clinton has started to complain that simply earning the majority of pledged popular vote delegates should not be a sign that the nation wants Obama as the Democratic nominee. This race has finally turned completely absurd. It seems as though Clinton is arguing that obtaining the majority of the popular vote is not a valid reason for choosing Obama is the candidate that most Democrats want to run for office. I wonder if Clinton remembers the last time the popular vote loser was declared the winner? My fingers are crossed that, by this time next week, the Democratic nominee is chosen. That would be super.

In other news, some video of me coaching last night's Skirt Turtles game has hit the YouTubes. Have a look. I particularly enjoyed it at the 1:17 mark. Turtles, we had a heck of a regular season. I can't wait for the play-offs!

In other other news, Netflix has released a TV set-top box that will allow you to stream movies from the internets to your television. If you have a Netflix account and $100, you can buy the box and watch, for no additional charge, any of the 10,000 movies Netflix has available. As a man that loves the gadgets and the internets, I am a huge fan of this as it combines my loves of watching things and sitting on my couch. As a man that hates most movies, I am an even huger fan of this, as this will supply my brain with so many more things to criticize and bad-mouth. Thanks, Netflix!

In other other other news, Today's Joke!
2 suburban students turned in for defacing portraits at Capitol
Two suburban high school students have been turned in and now face possible felony charges for defacing three portraits of governors at the State Capitol, authorities said today.
The students, juveniles from Eastview High School in Apple Valley, were at the Capitol on a school tour when they drew with markers on the paintings of Jesse Ventura, Harold LeVander and Elmer L. Andersen, said Capitol Security Lt. Robert Meyerson.
Once Capitol Security completes its investigation, the case will be turned over to the Ramsey County attorney's office for possible charges. Meyerson said the two could be charged with felonies because the damage was at least $1,000 to each portrait.
Along with any prosecution, the two Eastview students also face further punishment. The former governors (or estates thereof, if applicable) will be allowed the opportunity to draw on the students with markers during an all-school assembly next week.



Monday, May 19, 2008


The shutter opens,
The room explodes in a flash
I grin forever.

Goodness gracious! Welcome to Monday, huh? Today started with a bang. Well, actually, it started with a shot. A shot from a camera. The BNW's election show had its photo shoot wherein the cast members captured the figurative fight for the White House via non-figurative thrown punches and headlocks. It's not often one starts a week with violence and posing. I'm curious to see how this affects the next few days. Will I awake tomorrow and drop-kick the dog? Chances are: yes.

Anywho, I have a few topics to discuss, and not enough mental energy to expound on any of them at great length. Thusly, here are a number of shorter items for your perusal and enjoyment. They are not "things" and they are not numbered. I don't do that.

- Last night, Improv A Go Go celebrated its sixth anniversary. The sold-out crowd saw four pretty darned fantastic sets. For Butch and Five Man Job: congrats on six successful years. Here's to sixty more.

- For those that were there last night and are concerned about the future, Ferrari McSpeedy is not breaking up. Our set was so much fun that I've decided to not throw in the towel. Is that a good thing? We'll find out at Go Go's seventh anniversary.

- I installed a new garbage disposal yesterday afternoon. If you've ever considered installing a garbage disposal, know that it's actually not that difficult, unless you decide to install it incorrectly. For an hour, I tried installing it incorrectly and had a heck of a time. Then I tried doing it the right way and was mulching food mere moments later. I guess there's something to be said about reading the instructions...

- I started a new regimen to "get fit" this spring. The plan is to do push-ups in the morning. I've started at fifteen. I hope to work up to seventeen or eighteen in the next month or two, although after helping people move on Saturday and doing light appliance installation on Sunday, I was only able to do five push-ups this morning. That's not a good sign for my goal to be a muscle-bound meat-heat by the Fourth of July.

- Tonight, the Skirt Turtles play their final regular season game. If we win, we'll be .500 for the season. If we lose, we'll be an embarrassment to every theater company that's ever decided to band together and take on non-theater people in semi-competitive sports. If you want to see the action, we're at Lake Nokomis Diamond #7 (50th and Cedar in South Minneapolis, yo!) at 7:05 pm. Wear your finest skirt turtles in support. If it rains, I will construct a giant dome to make sure we can play. Or I will give every player an umbrella hat. I'm that serious about slow-pitch softball.

-Yes, I plan to be all hopped up on pain-killers to numb myself of the searing pain I'll feel every time I swing the bat tonight.

- Indiana Jones 4 is mere days away. The word on the street is that it's "OK." I'm giddy with anticipation.

- Two Orangutans Recaptured After Escaping From Zoos
At Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, part of a new exhibit is closed after a 10-year-old female orangutan escaped by climbing the exhibit's windows. Caretakers had to coax it into a back area using apples, carrots and vanilla ice cream for about an hour.
Meanwhile, 3,000 visitors at the Los Angeles Zoo were forced to head for the exit when a 29-year-old orangutan named Bruno punched a hole through mesh that surrounds his habitat.
Authorities say he was free for about 20 minutes until a handler saw him in a holding area behind the cage. Keepers quickly approached the orangutan and sedated him.
Both escapes are being blamed on the orangutans playing Grand Theft Auto just before their respective break-outs. When asked why the orangutans were allowed to play Grand Theft Auto, the zoo-keepers replied "it keeps them entertained and out of trouble."

- Huzzah!

- Tomorrow!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Three days of promise,
A weekend that holds our dreams,
Let's bathe in donuts.

We've made it to another Friday. This weekend is different from the others. Please don't make fun of this weekend - it's not nice to do that.
What makes this weekend different? Well, tonight, there's a performance of The Brave New Workshop At 50, but that makes it similar to the past dozen weekends. There's also a Punch Out! at 11 pm tonight at the BNW (wherein you can watch Sir Laffs A Lot battle Mitch, an improvisational sight worth seeing), but again, we've seen Punch Out!s before.
Perhaps it's not Friday, but later into the weekend that's so darned special...
Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Fred will be moving from an apartment to a house. That's pretty special, although people have moved before, so really, it's not that special.
Could the excitement be on Sunday? Let's take a look at the old calendar...
On Sunday, Improv A Go Go celebrates it's sixth anniversary, and Ferrari McSpeedy will be performing. That's never happened before. That must be it! That's what makes this weekend so great! I can't wait!
I think the best way to pass the time between now and Sunday's Go Go is to check out the BNW show, attend Punch Out! and help someone move. Before you know it, Go Go will be all over you like a teenager is all over a half-drunk can of Old Style left over from his parent's "adult party" the night before.


In other news, there's a new brand of snack chip on the market. This chip, much like this weekend, is different. How? Well, this chip (called ENGOBI*) is infused with caffeine! Why? Because when you're vegging out, watching television and trying to relax, there's no reason you shouldn't be ingesting tons and tons of caffeine, sending your body tons of unnecessary energy that you could use to get up off the couch and go for a run, but will instead be used to send your organs into fits that lead to your premature death. Wait. No. That's not why. Let's take at the ENGOBI "About Us" page:
Hi. My name is Bill. I'm the guy who writes this stuff for ENGOBI. It's a pretty cool gig, and I get all of the ENGOBI I can eat. Amanda, my boss, told me to write the "About Us" page for the website. I told her that nobody really reads that crap, but I didn't get very far.
I don't know what to tell you. I mean if you look at the bag it says "Energy Go Bites", and "Infused with Caffeine". That pretty much tells about ENGOBI. Except that it tastes great and gets you wired.
I used to drink those little energy drinks. But my first day on the job here, I stole a sample bag of ENGOBI from my boss' office and ate it. I got so juiced up. I mean it was intense. Then I found out that ENGOBI has 70% more caffeine than those little energy drinks. Dude, that was all I needed to know.

Hmm. No answers here. In fact, there aren't any reasons given for this product's existence anywhere on the site. Now that I think about it, the people that make ENGOBI might actually be trying to kill their customers. Perhaps they've taken Darwin's theories of natural selection to the next step: if you're silly enough to think you need to eat caffeine chips to stay alive and alert, then you deserve the possibly-fatal strain on your heart that the chips will deliver. Now that I think about it, ENGOBI could very well stand for "ENsure Genius Organisms Best Idiots." That's not too far of a stretch, is it?
If you see ENGOBI chips at your local market, stay away. Let the scourge of society feast upon them, and wait until their hearts explode in their garden apartments in front of their PlayStation 360's. It's all part of a larger plan, and dude, that's all you need to know.

I should be off. I need to enjoy the heck out of this day. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Woodbury man charged with starting fire on NWA flight
A 19-year-old Woodbury man has been charged with allegedly setting a fire in the restroom during a Compass Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Regina, Saskatchewan.
Eder H. Rojas was arrested Wednesday night in Minneapolis and was charged Thursday morning in federal court. The U.S. attorney's office for North Dakota will prosecute the case.
According to a criminal complaint, Rojas, a flight attendant, started a fire in the bathroom of the May 7 flight.
Flight 2040 made an emergency landing in Fargo. None of the 72 passengers or four crew members was injured.
Rojas did not give a reason for setting the fire, although he had marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs all over his face and shirt.



* ENGOBI stands for "ENergy GO BItes. Brilliant.

Psst! This lap-top case is great!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


My sour mood has rotted away, leaving behind a smile and a sunny disposition. It turns out that the problem with the Civic is fully covered under warranty and I won't have to spend a single dime to get it fixed. As soon as I found that out, the birds started singing, the smell of freshly-cut grass wafted into my nose, and every where I looked, I saw children playing soccer whilst eating ice cream in a meadow filled with puppies and kittens. Today's going to be OK.

For putting up with my complaining, here's another Today's Joke!
In Ohio, McCain outlines vision that achieves Iraq victory
John McCain, looking through a crystal ball to 2013 and the end of a prospective first term, sees "spasmodic" but reduced violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden dead or captured and government spending curbed by his ready veto pen.
When asked to clarify the "spasmodic violence" phrase, McCain replied, "well, there will be a lot of violence when the nuclear bombs are dropped, and then little shock waves of violence as the radiation ripples through the middle east, followed by pockets of violence here and there as the few survivors of the devastation fight amongst themselves for what little food and water is available, and then the violence will be reduced, as there will be no more insurgents left to fight. We will be victorious in Iraq, even if it means wiping the entire region off the face of the map."
"Then we can stop spending so much government money on this war and get back to funding the things the government should be funding, such as our defense program."




The sun glistening
In the early morning dew;
Beneath it all: WORMS!

Time is limited today as I scheduled my appointment to get my car checked out right in the middle of blog time. Apologies.

The thing that makes me angry about the car appointment is the fact that it's a beautiful day. The temps are supposed to be in the low 70's, it should be sunny all day long, and I have no obligations, except to get my car checked out. I already know it's going to cost a good chunk of change just for them to plug their computer into my car and read to me what the computer says. I also know that whatever the computer says is going to result in an estimate of several hundred dollars. That has soured my mood, and I haven't even gone in yet. In fact, it's just the possibility of what could happen that has soured my mood. I'm anticipatorily angry, and that, my friends, is the worst kind of anger.

I have already taken a little of my aggression out on a poor little wasp's nest. No, I did not use wasp spray, nor did I douse the nest in gasoline. I stood near the nest and told the inhabitants how disappointed I was in them. Before long, they were all hanging out of the nest in tiny wasp nooses. The power of the word is strong.

But you should not have your lovely day spoiled by my predicament. If you need a thing that will make you smile, then you should check out episode 1 of Dinner With Fotis. It's delightful. However, sometimes the audio player doesn't work correctly and it sounds like two chipmunks talking. That makes me so mad!

Sorry. It seems that my ire knows no bounds. I should just go, before things get really ugly. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
New revealing Starbucks logo has group screaming 'Slutbucks!'
Seems that one person's smut is another person's morning latte.
A Christian group out of San Diego has found grounds for outrage over the new logo for Starbucks Coffee.
The Resistance says the new image "has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute," Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. "Need I say more? It's extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves, Slutbucks."
Dice went on to say that the new logo will lead to thousands of sexually-aware teenage boys getting 'seduced' by the logo and attempting to have intercourse with a cup of scalding hot coffee.
"We either have to get Starbucks to change the logo back now," Dice insisted, "or we risk the burning off of the next generation's birthing sticks. Is that what we want, America? Is it?"
With a scowl on his face, Dice donned his tri-corner hat, jumped onto his horse and rode back into the late 1600's.



Psst: If you want to see the old and new Starbucks logos, head on over to the Strib.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


A pocket full of change,
An empty skeeball machine.
Fake moustache for me!

I wish today's missive was about a day spent playing skeeball. Sadly, it is not. In fact, I'm not certain what today's blog is about. It's one of those days wherein the mind jumps from item to item, never settling on one long enough to turn it into a blog entry. Thusly, I will instead give you a number of short thoughts on a variety of topics:
1) Everybody has a punk band. It's my long-standing belief (which I determined last Friday) that every person has one punk band that appeals to them. I recognize that not everybody likes punk music - in fact, most don't. However, with the glut of punk bands in the world today, I'm pretty certain that there is one band out there for each and every individual. It's kinda like a soul mate, but with more angst. Prove me wrong!

2) Guitar Hero IV is going to have a drum set. A drum set that's different from the drum set for Rock Band. A drum set that will not be interchangeable with the Rock Band drum set. Being that I already have a fake drum set taking up space in my living room, I will most likely not be buying a second drum set to take up even more space. Sorry, Guitar Hero IV, but I will not be banging the rhythms to your songs, even if you include Todd Rundgren songs.

3) The safety restraint system (SRS) light has gone on in the Honda Civic. This light is Honda's way of saying "your airbags and/or seat belts may or may not work." After looking around online, it appears that this light is also Honda's way of saying "be ready to fork $300-$900 over to get us to shut the light off." Tomorrow just might be a rough one.

4) I really like that "Paper Planes" song from M.I.A. That has me worried. Bang bang bang bang bang.

5) Honda robot conducts Detroit Symphony
The lights dimmed, the sold-out hall grew hushed and out walked the conductor — shiny, white and 4 feet, 3 inches tall.
ASIMO, a robot designed by Honda Motor Co., met its latest challenge Tuesday evening: Conducting the Detroit Symphony in a performance of "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha."
"Hello, everyone," ASIMO said to the audience in a childlike voice, then waved to the orchestra.
As it conducted, it perfectly mimicked the actions of a conductor, nodding its head at various sections and gesturing with one or both hands. ASIMO took a final bow to enthusiastic shouts from the audience.
"It is absolutely thrilling to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This is a magnificent concert hall," ASIMO said.
"I'm glad that I'm able to step into this very dangerous line of work," ASIMO continued. "Perhaps tonight's trial is the first step in saving the lives of the thousands of humans that get killed orchestrating each year."



Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Rip open your skin.
Cover the field with blood.
It's for America.

Well, my heart got in the way of my sense of self-preservation last night. I was on third base and a grounder was hit up to the pitcher. I had a choice: I could stay on third and watch the pitcher run throw out the runner, or I could draw the pitcher's attention towards home. I chose the latter. As the ball came to the catcher, I slid. I felt the scabs from the game two weeks ago tear back open. My knee lit up in a bright shooting pain. The ump called me safe.
As I stood up and walked back to the bench, feeling my sock grow damp and red, I decided it was worth it.

And then I fainted.

In the end, the Skirt Turtles won 13-14. It was a glorious, hard-fought victory. I just wish I was conscious enough to witness it.

In other news, it's been just over two weeks of writing on blogspot as opposed to MySpace. It seems as though the number of daily readers has dropped a bit, and I've heard a complaint or two about not being able to comment unless you have a Google account (which is easy to get, if you're so interested). Other than that, what are your thoughts on the switch? Like it? Hate it? Have you stopped reading the daily missives? If so, why are you reading this one? Post below (or on MySpace) and let me know!

I'd like to take a moment today to interest you in a little show this coming Sunday. It's Improv A Go Go's 6th anniversary. Ferrari McSpeedy is scheduled to perform, along with three other kick-butt improv groups. You should attend. It's promises to be outstanding in every way possible.

I should be off. Today requires that I hobble around both Minneapolis and St. Paul with my bloody knee, and I must therefore allow myself a little extra time to get from hither to thither. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
McCain Differs With Bush on Climate Change
Senator John McCain sought to distance himself from President Bush on Monday as he called for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States to combat climate change.
Mr. McCain, in a speech at a wind power company, also pledged to work with the European Union to diplomatically engage China and India, two of the world’s biggest polluters, if they refuse to participate in an international agreement to slow global warming.
“I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears,” Mr. McCain said pointedly. “I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges.”
"If we can reverse the effects of global warming and keep the earth from plummeting into chaos, then we must do everything we can to make sure that happens. I mean, I was there for the Little Ice Age, and I saw the devastation first-hand of a changing climate. You don't know what kind of trouble we're getting into with this climate change stuff."



Monday, May 12, 2008


You can't feel good
Shooting twenty over par
In miniature golf.

Last night, to put a fun cap on Mother's Day, the family clan got together and played eighteen holes of mini-golf. It was a pleasant excursion, although it only reminded me of two things:
1) I can't putt. Well, that's not totally true. I can putt. I just can't do it in a straight line. Nor can I judge how hard or soft to hit the ball. Each approach involves me eyeing up the hole, getting into proper putting stance, closing my eyes and hoping that when I open them back up, my ball will be near the hole. Or at least on the green. Or not in the water. Please don't let it be in the water...
2) Every person has a breaking point in mini-golf. It usually hits around hole #10 or 11. The absurdity of attempting to hit the ball into a little hole through a course riddled with obstacles butts head against a loose grasp on geometry and physics and, before you know it, you're throwing your club at the little children running through the course. We all know it's coming, and yet, when offered the chance to go mini-golfing, we all lie to ourselves, saying "This time I'll keep a level head. I'll putt well, finish a few over par, and, while laying in bed that night, dream of the delightful time I had." Then, hole #14 hits and you're being tackled by maintenance men as you threaten to poop into the sand trap like a gigantic kitty cat. Don't shake your head: it happens to all of us. You know that much is true.
That's why there's always a bench or two mid-way through the course - so on-lookers can sit and watch the melt-downs in comfort.

Even though I was reminded of those two items, it was still nice to get out in the lovely weather and spend some time with the family. It almost makes the bruises worth it.

Speaking of bruises, the Skirt Turtles are playing again at the Nokomis Fields (at 50th and Cedar) at 6 pm (field #7!) Last time I played, I scraped my knee up so much that it impressed the tough-skinned waitress at Matt's Tavern. Tonight, I'm going to try and not slide. Will I be successful in saving my skin, or will my heart lead me to another epidermis-destroying play? You'll have to come by to find out (or wait until tomorrow's blog. It's your choice, really.)

Anywho, I should be off. Today is a day of action and adventure. Well, writing action and adventure. My tales are those of the imagination. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Bank robber in Hastings leaves jacket, dye stained cash behind
A bank robber in Hastings got the cash, but he didn't get far before a dye pack exploded and he dropped the money and his windbreaker as he got in a vehicle and fled, the Minneapolis FBI said.
Authorities are still looking for the suspect who held up the TCF Bank at 1729 Market Blvd. around 11:15 a.m. Friday and left in a late model black Toyota sedan driven by an accomplice, said Special Agent Paul McCabe.
The robber is described as a black man in his late 20s, between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 6 inches, with a medium build, dark complexion and goatee.
The suspect is also jacket-less, which should make him very easy to spot come next December.
"We're just holding out until the temps drop," said one FBI agent. "We always get our man, even if it takes eight or nine months."



Psst! It's totally acceptable to pronounce "miniature" with three syllables instead of four.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008


You may have the urge
To tattoo "Mom" on your chest.
She'd prefer a card.

First and foremost, HUGE Theater is at Punch Out! tonight at 11 pm at the BNW. If you haven't been to Punch Out!, then you might not know that it's an improvisational competition in which two teams enter and, well, two teams leave, but not before one is recognized as the better of the two. Tonight, HUGE competes against 1-2-3 Improv!, a feel-good group that uses improvisation to improve the lives of those watching. We're going to need all the help we can get, so come on out and support HUGE.

Secondly, today is a big, big day for several of my friends. Two couples I know are purchasing homes today, while another friend is celebrating a birthday. Congrats are due to all involved. Having both purchased a home and celebrated a birthday in the past, I know that both activities can be stressful and exciting. No matter how rough it gets, always remember that at the end of the day, you've earned yourself a cake. Don't miss out on that.

On that note, I know of one person that would buy houses just to earn himself some cake. I cannot endorse that sort of lifestyle. You risk going into deep, moist, chocolaty debt that you may never be free of.

Thirdly, Today's Joke!
Suspended driver's license surprises Rybak
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has been driving without a valid license for nearly three months.
His driver's license has been suspended since Feb. 14 because he failed to pay the full amount of a 2006 speeding ticket, Minnesota court records show.
Local news outlets, upon hearing of the story, promised to sensationalize it to the best of their abilities, but also complained that the story lacked the "hookers, drugs, and/or illegitimate children" needed to catch the eye of the nation.
Said one Fox 9 news reporter, "How are the Twin Cities going to stay a major metropolitan area if our leaders can't get into national attention-grabbing news?"
The reporter then went on to urge either Rybak or St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman to "shoot some kids while roaming down the streets in a pants-less drunken stupor." The reporter then produced a bottle of Night Train and a 9mm handgun urged the mayors to "come and make some ratings."



Psst! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Tomorrow's children
Are alive and kicking hard
And we cheer them on.

Last night, whist lying in bed, I was treated to the sensation of feeling the baby kick from the womb. Actually, I guess I shouldn't say that I felt a kick. The kid could have been punching. Or head-butting. Or running from the back of the womb and slamming full-force into the front wall of the uterus. It's really hard to tell, being that we don't really know what's going on in there. Nonetheless, it was pretty damned neat, in that "there's a living being inside there" kind of way. It was like the G-rated version of Alien.
I know that the last thing you, gentle reader, would like is for this daily missive to turn into a sappy, sentimental flood of emotions about the little troublemaker, and I aim to keep that from happening. However, I hope you'll afford me a slight digression here or there. Hell, it's better than me talking about the yard work I'm going to do today.

Speaking of which, I've got so much yard work to do today!

Just kidding. To off-set the delightfulness of the forthcoming baby, I want to discuss video games for a moment. I've been playing that new Grand Theft Auto here and there for the past week (when I wasn't busy spending time in real jail for blowing up houses and running ver hookers.) Part of the attraction of the newest GTA installment is a little thing called the "Euphoria engine." This engine controls the bodies of the people in the game. If you shoot two pedestrians in the right shoulder, each of them will react differently. That's the Euphoria engine at work. Instead of the old "person gets shot, person falls down," you might get "person gets shot, person stumbles, person starts running away." You might also get "person gets shot, person drops to knees, person tries to get back up, person collapses." The variety of reactions helps make the game that much more interesting and real. It's quite the advancement from what we've become used to in the video game world.
I didn't really think this engine would be worth writing about until I "asked to borrow" a convertible from these two gentlemen that were waiting at a red light. I gently asked the driver to step out of the car. Once he did, I got in and urged the passenger to also exit the vehicle. As he was doing so, the driver decided that he wanted to be back in the driver's seat. He grabbed the door handle, attempting to open the door. I saw this and stepped on the gas. The ex-driver decided to hold on to the door handle, his body flapping in the breeze as I raced through the city streets. After a good mile or so, he decided to let go, waving goodbye as he tumbled down the sidewalk. Well, I think he was waving goodbye. His arm certainly was flailing.
Anywho, I took a moment to consider that when I first started playing games (Donkey Kong, Super Mario, Thudner Force III, etc.), the best technique was to memorize the patterns of the enemies and react accordingly. Now we have games that have dedicated engines for controlling random pedestrians that you may never come into contact with. It makes one wonder: why in the hell are there still fatal diseases?

I want to take a moment to reflect on the length of the GTA-themed part of today's blog as compared to the baby-themed part. I'm going to catch some flak from the wife for that.

I should be off. Like I said, there's so much yard work to be done. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Hillary Clinton's strategy of last resort
Unable to revive her presidential campaign at the polls, Hillary Rodham Clinton now envisions a road to the nomination built on disputes over Democratic Party rules and fights over delegate selections. But on Wednesday even that route looked unattainable, with some key party officials warning that they would not cooperate with Clinton's strategy.
The party leaders' comments came as they digested Tuesday night's election results from Indiana and North Carolina -- results that extended Barack Obama's lead over Clinton in both the popular vote and nominating delegates and led some to conclude that the New York senator simply could not catch up.
Yesterday, Clinton announced that she is taking the advice of so many teen comedies from the 1980's. For every five superdelegates that drop support for Obama and move into Clinton's camp, she will remove one piece of clothing. If all goes as planned, she'll be accepting the party's nomination dressed in only a leopard-print bikini.
If that doesn't work, Clinton has threatened to force the Democratic party to award her the Michigan and Florida delegates. According to an unnamed party member, "At least the bikini plan is fair."



Psst! My neck has returned to full turn-ality. I've been looking left and right all morning long!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


A man. A machine.
A dream of ten thousand boys.
We are all Iron Man.

Yesterday afternoon, Mike and I took in an early showing of Iron Man. What can I say? I love paying matinee prices! Anywho, before going, I had read and heard such statements as, "it's the best superhero movie ever" and "Iron Man is pretty darn great" and "this movie will make you a better person." That type of hype tends to sour a film for me. However, Iron Man was actually a decent movie and a kick-ass superhero movie. Usually, those two things don't go together, but FORSOOTH! Iron Man had characters that grew as the movie progressed, action scenes that were filmed in a way that you could actually tell what was happening, and just the right amount of humor. It's hard to fit all three of those items in any movie, let alone a comic-book movie. Yet, somehow, Iron Man prevailed. It also had a scene after the credits that delighted me and my limited knowledge of the Marvel universe to no end. If you go see it, be sure to stick around for it. FOTIs.

In other news, I have lost the ability to tilt my head upwards or turn it from side to side without wincing in pain. My guess is that I strained my neck whilst sleeping, although I'm certain there will be plenty of people that will suggest I have Lyme Disease or arthritis of the neck or possibly even meningitis. I'm going to hold off on diagnosing myself with anything super deadly or incapacitating for the moment and see if I can't just work it out. If I wake up tomorrow and it's worse, I promise that I'll begin construction of a robotic exo-skeleton to help me get around town.

Anywho, I should be off. The BNW needs a cleaning, and I'm just the guy to do it. If I had a superhero name, it would probably be "The Immaculator." It's got a ring to it.

Before I depart, here's Today's Joke!
Clinton wins Indiana; Obama sweeps N.C.
Barack Obama swept to a convincing victory in the North Carolina primary Tuesday night and declared he was closing in on the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton eked out a win in Indiana as she struggled to halt her rival's march into history.
"Tonight we stand less than 200 delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States," Obama told a raucous rally in Raleigh, N.C. — and left no doubt he intended to claim the prize.
Clinton stepped before her own supporters not long afterward in Indianapolis. "Thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House," she said, signaling her determination to fight on in a campaign already waged across more than 16 months and nearly all 50 states.
Both candidates announced that they were looking forward to at least another week of character defamation and personal attacks as the Democratic party continues to tear itself apart, leaving the road to the White House open and empty for John McCain.
"If we can't lose spectacularly come novemeber, we haven't done our job," said Democratic party head Howard Dean. "The flame-out I had in '04 will be nothing compared to this."



Psst! HUGE Theater is at Punch Out! this Friday. Prepare yourself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I find summer's truth -
Its sizzling realities -
In my armpit stains.

Last night, the BNW participated in the Fringe's Five-Fifths production of Romeo and Juliet. The evening was a true delight. I missed the fourth act, but I did get to see the fine Four Humors folks do a marvelous dance-based re-telling of the first act and the Rockstar Storytellers with a brilliant take on their act. We closed the show in the crudest, most violent way possible. It's what William would have wanted.

Anywho, I wanted to congratulate everyone involved in the show. It was a roaring success and a joy to be a part of. It also reminded me that I need to get back into the Fringe world soon. I've been missing a lot of fun for the past few years.

In other news, today looks to be unbelievably nice. Temps near 80, sunny for most of the day, a light breeze blowing... That's why I've decided to go see Iron Man. Sure, I could spend the entire day outside, chasing rabbits and laughing like a young boy with a set of Looney Tunes videos, but I've learned that you shouldn't over-do it on these first nice days. You need to just dip your toe in the pleasantness. Why? Because it will probably end up snowing this weekend, and if you get too comfortable with today's 80 degrees, this weekend's 20 degrees will only send you deeper into a spiral of despair and sorrow. I'm not saying that the forecast is predicting a cold weekend, but I am saying that we are bound to experience one if we enjoy this delightfulness too much. I've lived in Minnesota just long enough to realize that's how it works around here. I'm onto you, Mother Nature. You cant fool this guy!

Anywho, I should be off. I like to dress up when I go see superhero movies, so I have a lot of welding to do in the next hour. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
McCain rips liberal judicial system
Sen. John McCain today threw some red meat to conservatives, lashing out at liberal judges that make law rather than interpret the Constitution and ripping the current Supreme Court, considered by some to already be conservative.
The presumptive Republican presidential candidate said America's courts have strayed far from the edict of the Founding Fathers, who laid out "not just guidelines," but clear directives for the judiciary.
"The moral authority of our judiciary depends on judicial self-restraint, but this authority quickly vanishes when a court presumes to make law instead of apply it. A court is hardly competent to check the abuses of other branches of government when it cannot even control itself," McCain said.
"As we've learned in the past eight years, the true power for making, approving, determining the constitutionality and enforcing our nation's laws lies in the hands of the President. These uppity courts had better check themselves before they wreck themselves."
McCain then promised that if elected, his first act would be to send the 'liberal judges" to Iraq so they could do their judging on the battlefield.



Monday, May 5, 2008


The tales of yore
Come prancing to-wards this day
With stuffed codpieces.

Tonight, at the Theatre de la Jeune Lune (105 North First Street, Mpls.), five theatrical groups are banding together to retell the story of Romeo and Juliet in an effort to help out the MN Fringe Festival. It's part of their annual Five-Fifths fund-raiser. This year, the main-stage cast of the BNW is taking part in the festivities. This, of course, means that I am just hours away from putting on a pair of tights and making a damn mockery of the Bard and his most famous work. Delightful? I thinkest so. If you're a supporter of the Fringe and/or would like to see at least one very interesting interpretation of Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, you should consider leaving your hamlet and swinging on by as youmight like it. You will leave without the slightest (lover's) complaint. Actually, after looking at the other four companies performing tonight, it should be one tempest of a night. It's truly a midsummer night's dream of a line-up. Henry VI, Part 2.

I apologize for the end of that last paragraph. It was unnecessary.

In other news, this past weekend, if I were to describe it in just one word, was "babylicious." I went to a baby shower for a friend, visited Babies ARE Us several times (mostly to break the strollers that were on display), and started the baby registry. The only times not spent with young children at the forefront of my mind were whilst I was sleeping or performing at the BNW. It's a sign of many weekends to come and, in September, many weekdays to come. I am super excited for the kid to come along, but I must say that it's certainly odd to have this little tyke on the way and a laundry list of items to take care of before the big birth day. It's like we're awaiting the arrival of a tiny king or queen. I'll bet most actual kings or queens don't throw up on everything though. Do they?

Hey! Obama beat Clinton in Guam by seven votes. Seven! This race keeps getting more and more exciting! It's a shame they have no actual say in the November elections. Sure, they have a straw poll, but doesn't mean anything. It's like they always say, "The only people that go to Guam are tourists and people that like to vote without having their voices actually be heard."

Anywho, I should be off. I have a codpiece to pack. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Lights out for huge electric map of Battle of Gettysburg
For decades, visitors willing to shell out a few extra dollars at Gettysburg National Military Park could be entertained — or bored — by an electric light display showing troop movements in that pivotal Civil War battle.
With the opening of a new museum and visitor center that offers a bigger "wow" factor for the park's nearly 2 million visitors each year, the National Park Service has decided that its 1960s-era electric battlefield map is obsolete.
As patrons of the new $103 million facility learn about the battle by immersing themselves in new technology, the old center stands vacant, awaiting demolition next year. Before that happens, the 30-by-30-foot electric map — embedded with more than 625 colored lights — will be dismantled and placed in storage.
In its place, a small museum dedicated to the history of the Gettysburg electric map will be erected, featuring a state-of-the-art holographic image of the dismantled attraction. Park officials are hoping the new display will help spur interest in the field of historical ways of retelling history.



Psst! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Friday, May 2, 2008


When the tulips bloom
You should take that as a sign:
No more Christmas wreaths!

Our neighbor still has a holiday wreath hanging on the front of his house. It's one of those over-sized wreaths that's almost as big as the door it hangs next too. I hadn't noticed it until today. I'm never sure how to feel about holiday decorations that are left up too long. On one hand, I applaud my neighbor for keeping the holiday spirit alive. On the other hand, aren't there some other holidays that deserve their time in the sun? Where's the Mother's Day wreath? Santa didn't shoot you out of a vagina. Let's get with it, neighbor!

Apologies. That was a bit crass, wasn't it?

That Iron Man movie opens today. I must say, I'm excited for this movie for several reasons: the previews look pretty dang neat; the reviews all seem to like it (94%!); and it kicks off the start of the summer blockbuster season which, this year, includes Batman and Indiana Jones. For those that have been paying attention, this is a repeat of the year 1989 when Tim Burton's Batman competed against Indiana and his dad and their last crusade.
Oddly, the similarities between 1989 and 2008 do not end there. Let's examine!
- The Revolutions of 1989 signaled the end of Communist Russia's power and brought resolution to the Cold War. Similarly, in 2008, Castro was replaced (by Castro II!) and we've seen a dissolution of Communist power in Cuba.
- In China, in 1989, the government came under international fire for it's handling of the Tienanmen Square protests. This year, the Chinese government is coming under international fire for it's handling of Tibet.
- Quantum Leap debuts in 1989, a show that features a man that travels through time to help people. In 2008, The Sarah Conner Chronicles debuts, a show that features a girl that travels through time to violently kill people.
- Throughout most of September in 1989, I tried to get a girl to like me by telling her that I saw Aerosmith in concert. I have a feeling that same thing will happen in September of 2008.
- And of course, both 1989 and 2008 feature movies of strange loners using their status, power and determination to save the little guys. 2008's Iron Man is really nothing more than a re-telling of 1989's Roger and Me when you think about it...

Goodness. It's like the past is just repeating itself. Spooky.

Anywho, I should be off. Today is a day of busy-ness, as I've got to find the Easter eggs that I hid a month and a half ago. Before I depart, here two things:
1) Punch Out! at the BNW at 11 pm tonight. Come see it. It should be incredible!
2) Today's Joke!
Congress Passes Bill to Bar Bias Based on Genes
A bill that would prohibit discrimination by health insurers and employers based on the information that people carry in their genes won final approval in Congress on Thursday by an overwhelming vote.
The legislation, which President Bush has indicated he will sign, speaks both to the mounting hope that genetic research may greatly improve health care and the fear of a dystopia in which people’s own DNA could be turned against them.
“People know we all have bad genes, and we are all potential victims of genetic discrimination,” said Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York, who first proposed the legislation. "With this bill, we can make sure that we don't discriminate based on our genes, and we can keep our discrimination focused on non-genetic issues, such as income, origin of birth, religion, skin color, sexuality and gender. Today is truly a great day for freedom and equality."



Thursday, May 1, 2008


Erect the Maypole!
Dance around in your skivvies!
Uh oh! The police!

Well, we've made it to May. In most parts of the northern hemisphere, today marks the end of cold weather and the start of sunny days, thunderstormy nights, and an ever-rising humidity that will cause us to question life come late July. In parks around the country, parades will take place to signal the arrival of happy, warmer times. Families will start making their summer vacation plans today as their minds all turn towards the lazy months that lie ahead.
Luckily, here in Minnesota, we still have snow possible in the coming weekend's forecast. Snow. I really need to move.
Anywho, it's hard not to enjoy the arrival of May. The temps stay over 60 degrees consistantly, the windows are open, the furnace is turned off, and people walk outside wearing things ridiculous articles of clothing, such as man-capris and off-the-shoulder t-shirts.
Meanwhile, my closet transitions from long-sleeve button-down shirts to short-sleeve button down shirts. I'll start developing that lovely lower-arm tan any day now. I can't wait.

The larger change that May brings happens in my CD player. For the past few weekends, I've taken out the brooding albums that have inhabited my stereo systems for the past half-year and placed in poppier, more sing-alongable recordings. Early Ramones, some New Pornographers, a little bit of Stevie Wonder - all of this has become immensely popular to me. Mid-term Beatles also does a heck of a job fitting in to this temperate climate. Baby, you can certainly drive my car! Let's go nowhere, man!
However, I pose to you this: what am I missing? What song, album or artist is essential to the longer days of spring time? I need to know, either to add to my collection or to quietly judge you, depending on whether Mariah Carey is included in your response or not.

Anywho, I should be off. The lawn needs attention before it's dusted with snow again. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Pittsburgh named nation's sootiest city, but LA remains the most polluted
A city outside California has for the first time been named the sootiest in the nation, one of the categories the American Lung Association uses to determine the most polluted cities in the country.
Pittsburgh overtook Los Angeles in the category that measures short-term particle pollution or soot. Los Angeles, the country's longtime soot and smog leader, has enacted aggressive measures to tackle sources of pollution, resulting in a substantial drop in particle pollution levels, said Janice Nolen, the association's assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy.
Meanwhile, according to Nolen, Pittsburgh has been shooting metric tons of soot into the air above the city.
"It's like (the city of Pittsburgh) just wanted to win an award," said Nolan.
The mayor of Pittsburgh has scheduled a mid-day parade from PNC Park to Alleheny General Hospital in celebration of Pittsburgh's new status as "national soot leader."