Thursday, July 31, 2008


The sun isn't out.
It's taking vacation time
To play some Rock Band.

Egads, it's a dreary day out today, what with the thunderstorms and gray skies and all. Fortunately, wet weather is a good thing for theater as ticket sales tend to rise when people's picnic's get rained out. To all the Fringe shows opening tonight, may your houses be packed to the brims. To all the Fringe audiences, may the rain hold off while you're in transit from one venue to the next.
My lawn is also celebrating the arrival of rain, as the past few weeks have been quite hot and dry. Grass doesn't much care for that. I know that I could have set the sprinkler out once or twice and given the yard a good soaking, but I didn't. Why? I guess deep down, I knew that if I didn't water my lawn, then the grass wouldn't grow. If the grass didn't grow, then I wouldn't have to mow it.
I'm that lazy.

Anywho, I should be off. The continuing battle with the microwave installation shall be renewed momentarily. I'm giving myself twenty minutes before I call it quits and spend the rest of the day playing Grand Theft Auto. That is, unless there's a microwave installation mission in the game. I sure hope there isn't.
Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Ecuador to shut down U.S. anti-drug operation
The United States is losing access to one of its three counternarcotics bases in Latin America, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.
The Ecuadorian government has told the Bush administration it will not renew a 10-year agreement letting U.S. troops conduct anti-drug operations from Manta Air Base, an Ecuadorian Air Force installation, military officials said.
The United States has used Manta Air Base since 1999 to run aerial surveillance of the eastern Pacific Ocean, looking for drug runners on the high seas as well as illicit flights.
Ecuador notified the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday that it will not renew the agreement after it expires in November 2009, the U.S. military officials said. When asked why the agreement would not be renewed, an Ecuadorian official replied, "We had no idea how awesome these drugs were. We're going to keep this sh*t for ourselves."



Wednesday, July 30, 2008


The only trouble
With using technology
Is installing it.

Apologies for the delayed blog today. I've just spent the past few hours attempting to install a microwave above our stove. According to the instructions, all that I have to do is screw a few screws into the wall and hook the microwave to it. However, before I do that, I have to trim down the cabinets that currently make their home above the stove. Also, I have to figure out why the wall behind the cabinets (where the microwave shall soon find its resting place) is all uneven. On top of that, I have to cry to the heavens above for making this such a tedious project. Bah.

Anywho, I've had enough home renovation for one day. On to other things!

Last night, the wife and I took in a showing of Get Smart at the Parkway Theater. Get Smart was one of my favorite television shows when I was but a young child, and I've been somewhat excited for the movie ever since I heard about it. Granted, I wasn't so excited that I went to see it on opening night, or while it was at a first-run theater, but still...
The movie does capture a lot of the charm of the old TV show, and it does have a few moments of honest brilliance. However, the times in between those moments tend to exist in a very unspectacular way. Those times aren't good or bad - they just are. It's hard to really enjoy a movie that spends a lot of time coasting, which is what Get Smart does in spades. I'll give it a FOT.
In related news, the first season of the old Get Smart television show comes out in August. Delightful!

Speaking of delightful, the BNW has a new sketch/improv show starting this Friday. It's called "The After Party" and starts at 10pm on Friday night. Tickets are $10 (or free if you see the Friday mainstage show.) It's a show that will change each and every week. If you're looking for some late-night hilarity, I recommend that you come check this thing out. It should be interesting.

I should be off. I need to do some meditation to relax after the microwave disaster. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Jerry Lewis detained for carrying gun at airport
Comedian Jerry Lewis was detained by police in Las Vegas late last week when airport screeners found an unloaded gun in his baggage, authorities said on Tuesday.
Lewis, 82, had a small .22-caliber handgun when he arrived at the security screening area on Friday at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, said Officer Ramon Denby, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The comedian was briefly detained and the gun was seized. Lewis was cited for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, Denby said.
Lewis never explained why he had the gun, although he did refer to it several times as his "little donation getter."



Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Screams drown out bird songs
As blade meets blade in battle.
I'm a grass killer.

The thing about the summertime heat and humidity is that all outdoor activity has to be done before 10 am, unless you have scheduled a trip to the hospital into your daily planner. I've just spent the past three hours cutting down grass blades and small trees. I had to call it quits when I looked up from my hacksaw and saw the dead members of Lynyrd Skynyrd who then asked me how far away LSU was. I wiped the sweat from my eyes and the image vanished. I'll be spending the rest of the day inside.

Anywho, this incredible heat and humidity can mean only one thing: Fringe is almost upon us. The heat generated by the nerves of young actors and directors and the sweat of their anticipation are only adding to the natural spikes in temperature. I'm looking forward to Fotis's annual "let me sit and read to you" show, as well as the Rampleseed show. There are also shows from Joe Scrimshaw, Matthew Everett, Sara Richardson and Four Humors that all promise to be excellent. I also know that there are 150+ other shows out there. What in the Fringe are you going to check out? What in the Fringe are you performing in? Shall we get a malt and talk about what we've seen? Leave a comment! Or don't.

I should be off. I need to seat myself in front of the air conditioner for a while. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Irvin Mayfield Named Artistic Director of Jazz at Orchestra Hall
The Minnesota Orchestra chose the Dakota Jazz Club rather than its own hall to introduce its first director of jazz on Monday.
Maybe that's because artistic director Osmo Vänskä got hooked on the power of jazz when he played his clarinet at the Dakota. Or maybe it's because the new jazz director, New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, performed at the Dakota long before he played Orchestra Hall.
After accepting the position, Mayfield said, "I think there's a huge opportunity right now in a field where there's not a lot of leadership. This is something that the entire country can benefit from, especially the entire jazz industry." Mayfield then began to repeat that sentiment in different variations for the following twenty-five minutes.



Monday, July 28, 2008


I will watch time pass
And enjoy the day's moments
From the couch. Pants-less.

Well, the BNW's election show has officially opened, meaning this week becomes the week in which I attempt to catch up on sleep, world happenings, and chores. Before I get to that, however, there's a little bit of blogging that I need to take care of. Here it goes!
This weekend was a big one. We opened The Lion, The Witch, And The War Hero and I've heard a lot of positive things from those that saw it. Here's to a successful run right up to the November elections!
Also this weekend, we had a big baby shower with friends and family at the BNW. I said this at the party, but to reiterate: I am amazed and moved at the generosity and kindness of everyone that was at the shower. A million "thank yous" wouldn't be enough to express my gratitude.
On the topic of babies: the baby shower this weekend has made the whole "the kid is coming" feeling that much more intense. Sure, the wife has been dealing with the kid for eight months. Me? I'm an outsider. I don't get to really meet her (besides a few kicks and punches here and there) until September. However, all the physical signs of babydom are appearing. There's a crib, a stroller, a pack and play, a chest full of tiny clothes and a few packages of diapers already taking up space in the house, all for this tiny little stranger that I haven't met yet. It's weird. It's kinda like buying a Blizzard at DQ and, instead of eating it, you set it down and wait for someone else to come along and spit up on it.
Yes. It's like that.
Anywho, we have just over five weeks left until the scheduled arrival of the little one. I have a feeling that these will be the longest and shortest five weeks I've ever experienced.

That's enough about the baby stuff. For today, at least. I should get to the house-work that I've been neglecting for the past two weeks. Before I get to that, however, here's Today's Joke:
White House projects record deficit for 2009
The White House on Monday predicted a record deficit of $490 billion for the 2009 budget year, a senior government official told CNN.
The deficit would amount to roughly 3.5 percent of the nation's $14 trillion economy.
The official pointed to a faltering economy and the bipartisan $170 billion stimulus package that passed earlier this year for the record deficit.
The fiscal year ends September 30, 2008. That leaves just enough time for President Bush and his cabinet to try and bring a little more money in to reduce the predicted deficit amount. Their current plan is to hold a garage sale on Labor Day weekend, offering, among other things, Hawaii and Alaska.
"People forget that those are states anyway," said a senior government official. "I don't think that most Americans are going to miss having Hawaii and Alaska around."
Both states are scheduled to be sold for $200 billion, or a few barrels of crude oil.



Friday, July 25, 2008


The thunder rolls in
Like a semi-trailer truck
Driving through picnics.

Oh goodness. This week has simply gotten away from me. Apologies. Please do not even consider for a moment that my absence is in anyway a comment on us. I was not off blogging for some other group of readers - ones that think my daily jokes are really funny. Nor was I purposefully ignoring you, hoping that a little time and distance would end our relationship without a messy confrontation about how my missives have been lacking in content. No. You and I are perfect together. I would never change that. Unless there was money involved.

The past few days have been heavy with the final preparations for the BNW's new show, which opens tonight. Most of the preparations have been centered on getting the show in tip-top shape. On top of that, we've mounted a couple of flat-screen televisions to the stage. Getting them to work was nothing short of an ordeal, requiring: three trips to Microcenter; the connecting of 45 feet of VGA cable; and crying. Lots and lots of crying. It took time, but the TVs are up and running, and they're beautiful. They're full of stars.

Anywho, that's all over and done with. Today offers no obligations besides an early call and a opening night performance. I shall enjoy this freedom, but not before I offer to you Today's Joke. It's the least I can do given our recent estrangement.
Scientists Find Trigger for Northern Lights
Researchers working on a NASA mission to understand the interplay of magnetic fields and charged particles blown outward from the Sun have identified the trigger for the colorful electrical storms in the polar regions.
Scientists have long known that the dancing auroras of color known as the northern and southern lights are generated by charged particles flying from the Sun and interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field, which is then pulled into a windsock shape by the solar wind.
Scientists knew the events that occur in the tail of the magnetic field during substorms, but did not know which event acted as the trigger for the auroras. Scientists were able to deduce the order of events in a substorm in February.
The snapping of magnetic fields occurred first, followed by a burst of auroras. Surprisingly, the disruption in the charged particle current occurred after the aurora. Proponents of that hypothesis had thought that the magnetic snapping caused the change in electric current and that, in turn, led to the auroras.
“This defies our old paradigms,” Dr. Angelopoulos said. "Still, we're very excited to have taken some of the magic and mystery out of this wondrous event. If there's one thing that makes a scientist smile, it's giving a rational explanation to anything that is held as a miraculous spectacle. It makes us feel complete."



Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Home remodeling
Should only be done by those
That have a death wish.

At this very moment, there's a large microwave sitting on the floor in my dining room next to two kitchen cabinet doors which have been removed from the cabinets that they are supposed to protect. When we bought our house back in 2003, the wife and I were told that there was a microwave in the basement (still mint in box!) that could be installed over the stove, but the cabinets over the stove came down two inches too low to install the microwave. Cut to over five years later, and I've finally gotten around to completing this project. Well, I shouldn't say "completing." At least, not yet. I've started the project, there's no doubt about that. As for an estimated date of completion - it took me five years to just get the microwave up from the basement. I don't think it'll be installed until 2013 at the earliest. At that point, the kid should be old enough to help me with the install.

Anywho, I should be off. There's a little bit of video editing that needs to be done for the BNW show, and that just might be followed up by a little flat screen television mounting. It's funny that I'll be helping with that while my kitchen is in disarray. Not "ha ha" funny. More "that's not funny at all" funny.

Speaking of "that's not funny at all" funny, here's Today's Joke:
Ron Paul announces counter-rally
Ron Paul, the iconclastic former Republican presidential hopeful, announced today that he will hold a rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Sept. 2, as the GOP holds its convention across the river in St. Paul.
His supporters hoped to get him a speaking role at the GOP convention, but that does not appear likely. So instead he is planning the counter-convention, and has made entreaties with Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr. Paul was the Libertarian candidate in 1988.
The Texas congressman, who opposes the Iraq war and is a libertarian on economic issues, drew an avid following during the Republican primaries. His stance on many of the issues during the primaries were very different from the rest of the Republicans in the race for the nomination.
As such, the counter-rally will be as different as can be from the GOP's convention. Said one event agent, "Our balloons will fly up to the ceiling! How about that? Stick that in your eye, McCain!"
When asked why he was holding a counter-rally, Paul responded, "For the past eight years, the Democrats have been forced to deal with independent candidates, some of whom made a large enough impact to cost the Democratic Party some very big wins. It's time the Republicans got into that game. Let's overwhelm the voting public with choice!"



Monday, July 21, 2008


Armed with a chainsaw
I wage war with backyard trees.
Call the ambulance!

Look! It's a blog! I haven't seen one of these in days!

Well, we've made it through the weekend. The first four previews of The Lion, The Witch, and The War Hero are over and done with. The previews all went well, although there is still a tad bit of tinkering to do with the show. That will happen this week, but not today. No. Today is a day to do the housework that I've been putting off for a week. There's painting to be done, a touch of yard work, perhaps a little light demolition, and, if I have time, a little bit of roof repair. It's a big day, so I'll attempt to delay it as long as possible by wasting time with this missive. Procrastination! It gets things done!

Over the weekend, I did see two items of note:
- Mike Fotis put up a little preview of his Fringe show at the BNW late Friday night. It was a delightful collection of stories which made me laugh and will be highly popular at the Fringe. However, Mike failed (again!) to include any of the many stories about how he wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for me. Therefore: F.
- Yesterday, a group of us cleared our schedule for a showing of The Dark Knight. I should have taken note of the length of the film before going. That sucker clocks in at over two and a half hours! I wasn't quite prepared for the epicness of the movie. Also, Christian Bale's choice to give Batman a voice that was so low and gravelly at times made it hard to understand what was being said. (The low vibrations of his voice almost shook my bowels loose, but I think that's what the intended desire was.) That being said, The Dark Knight is darn fantastic. Heath Ledger is as good as they say, and that Gary Oldman... he's quite talented. I know that everyone else has said this, but FOTIS. There's no doubt about it.

There's a little guilt-ridden voice in my head telling me that I should get to work. Tomorrow, I'll be certain to tel you why it's a terrible idea to remodel kitchen cabinets on your own. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
NASA may buy Japanese spaceship
NASA needs a replacement for the space shuttle and it's reportedly turning to Japan to help keep supplies flowing to the international space station.
Japan's largest daily newspaper reports NASA is in unofficial talks with Japan's space agency to purchase the H-2 Transfer Vehicle, or HTV.
The HTV is an unmanned cargo vessel being designed to deliver supplies to the space station. The orbiting facility is currently kept stocked by the space shuttle as well as Russian and European spacecraft.
Originally created for the Japanese Defense Force, the HTV also has the ability to transform into a giant robot soldier. In 2004, an HTV was used to stop one of Godzilla's rampages through Osaka, and in 2006, a battalion of HTVs helped keep a demon army at bay on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. NASA is certain that the HTV will satisfy the demanding needs of bringing supplies to the space station.



Friday, July 18, 2008


As the lights went down
Sixty-five pages of scripts
Exited my brain.

Apologies for the lack of blogs this week. I feel terrible about it, but I'd feel more terrible had I been even more ill-prepared for last night's preview than I already was.
Anywho, today's missive is just a place-holder until next week. It's also a request to come see the BNW's previews of The Lion, The Witch, and the War Hero this weekend (Friday at 8, Saturday at 7 and 10) as well as a preview of Mike Fotis's Fringe show at the BNW tonight at 10:30.


Of course, there's also the matter of Today's Joke:
Obama Hopes to Improve His Image as Commander-in-Chief
Sen. Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East and Europe is a chance for him to be seen as a world leader, but with the klieg-light attention on him any mistake could be crippling to his effort to be seen as a capable commander-in-chief.
Obama's jaunt is shrouded in a blanket of security. The campaign has confirmed that the Democratic presidential candidate will visit the Middle East and Europe with stops in Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England.
The campaign's handlers believe Obama can help his standing as a world leader by being seen alongside other world leaders. That is the weakest part of his standing with voters. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that only 48 percent saw Obama as a commander-in-chief. As such, Obama is planning on donning a be-feathered tri-cornered hat and riding a horse to every locale he visits on his trip.


Next week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


My brain is jam-packed
With words trying to escape.
Please stay in there, words.

Nothing more than a haiku and a joke for today's missive. My time needs to be spent learning a show that I'll be performing in a couple of days. Apologies! Use this time instead to catch up on this year's E3.

Here's Today's Joke:
Seven in state on Starbucks' hit list
t's official: This is not friendly territory for Starbucks.

The Seattle-based coffee company has long battled with local coffeehouse operator Caribou Coffee for a share of Minnesota's market. The result? On Monday, Starbucks announced the first 50 of some 600 closings expected nationwide in coming months, naming seven stores in Minnesota, more than any other state except California, which had eight.
The Minnesota closings -- so far -- include a store in Coon Rapids, a store in Blaine, two of the seven stores in the Mall of America, the store on the south-east corner of Nicollet and Seventh (the store on the north-west corner will stay open), the store in the basement of the Caribou on 23rd and Hennepin, and the store located in the tree house of Billy Laabs in Richfield.



Monday, July 14, 2008


The bleat of trumpets
Signal the day's arrival.
I hate those trumpets.

Not much time to blog today. The day is filled with various rehearsals which should keep me occupied from the late morning to the late evening. In fact, this entire week might be aligning its forces against my daily missives. If we go a day without transferring words, do not worry. I probably haven't gotten myself into trouble. And if I have, well, that'll just make for an even better slate of writings for next week.

Anywho, I should be off. Before I depart, here are three things:
1) I am no longer made to stay up past 1 in the morning. Every minute past 1 that I stay up, a little bit of my brain seeps out of my ears. I'm not a fan of that.
2) The Minneapolis improv message boards are making a come-back. Go check them out.
3) Anheuser-Busch Agrees to Be Sold for $52 Billion
Anheuser-Busch has agreed to sell itself to the Belgian brewer InBev for about $52 billion, the two companies confirmed Monday in a joint release, putting control of the nation’s largest beer maker and a fixture of American culture into a European rival’s hands.
The all-cash deal, for $70 a share, will create the world’s largest brewer, uniting the maker of Budweiser and Michelob with the producer of Stella Artois, Bass and Brahma.
Both Anhauser-Busch and InBev have stated that fans of Budweiser and Michelob will experience the same great taste that they expect from their beers. The only difference will be the number of umlauts on the labels.
"I'm looking forward to sitting down tonight and having a Büdwëïsër or seven to help me escape the fact that I sold an American institution," said August A. Busch IV. "If there's one thing that unites people across the globe, it's using alcohol to forget the worries of our lives. With this merger, we can be sure that this tradition continues long after the cries of my forefathers guilt me into suicide."



Friday, July 11, 2008


I could just call you
But I'd rather teleport
With my new iPhone.

Today, the cell phone world is getting turned upside-down with the arrival of the new second generation iPhone. When the first iPhone came out, people were excited about the touch screen and slick interface the phone offered. I haven't really kept up with the new features announced for the iPhone 2, so let's take a look at what they're adding:
- 3G service! From what I've read about 3G cell phone technology, this means that the speed of connection is super-fast. Video calls and high-speed internet access will become the norm. The speed of 3G also means you'll be able to respond to a question asked over the phone before the question is even asked. That's how fast 3G is.
- New apps! The more-powerful heart of the iPhone 2 allows for new applications to simplify life for owners of the iPhone. As of right now, there are over 550 applications available for the iPhone. Programs range from "Box Offie" which finds movie theaters near you, gives ratings on the movies playing at those near-by theaters, and allows you to buy tickets, to "PhoneSaber" which turns your iPhone into a light saber sound effect-making machine. Most of the other 550+ apps are focused on reminding you what your life was like before you became obsessed with your cell phone.
- White! Now you can choose between a black iPhone or a white one. As much as you'll be holding this out for the rest of the world to see, it's nice to have an option as far as what color you'll be waving to the general public.
- Assisted GPS! When you find yourself lost in some rough-neck neighborhood after blindly wandering down the street staring at the beauty of your iPhone, you'll be able to find your way back home using the iPhone's GPS ability. Of course, when your iPhone is stolen by some hooligans in this rough-neck neighborhood, they'll also be able to find their way to your home. It's sort of a double-edged sword.

Well, there you have it. All of the new iPhone 2 features. Now I see why people are lining up for this thing. I would too if I hadn't already spent all of my disposable income on Rock Band songs... Perhaps I'll find myself in line for the iPhone 3 when it comes out in a year. I hear it's going to feature time-travel.

Anywho, I should be off. It's almost time for a weekend. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Minneapolis: Water stinks, but city says it's safe
The city of Minneapolis said Thursday that the strange taste and odor in its tap water could last two more weeks while it acts to correct the problem. They also assured water users, hundreds of whom have complained to the city, that there are "absolutely no health risks."
City officials say the bad taste is the result of too much organic matter, such as algae and leaves, entering the Mississippi River, the source of the city's drinking water. It's a phenomenon that usually happens after the snow melts in the spring, and they don't know why it's happening now.
City spokesman Matt Laible said the city uses potassium permanganate and sodium permanganate to treat the water for odor and taste year round, but the two treatment plants have been using 20 percent more of the those chemicals since July 3, when people started complaining. The city also increased the use of powder-activated carbon, which absorbs organic matter and makes it easier to filter it out.
In the meantime, the city is urging residents to find ways to cover up the water's odor. "A lemon or lime slice does wonders to fix the problem," said one city official. "You could also use powdered iced tea or lemonade mixes to mask the smell. Or you can do what I do and mix your tap water with an equal amount of whiskey. It's going to be a good two weeks."



Psst! Remember! The 24-hour improv marathon is happening this Saturday/Sunday at the BNW. Go see it! I'll be there Sunday at 7 with Ferrari McSpeedy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


We have no scrapbooks.
Our memories are all framed
By ones and zeros.

If I remember correctly, I promised a nice, big blog for today. Let's see if we can't make that happen.
There's been one parenthood-related issue that's been rattling around in my head for the past few weeks and I can't seem to come to a conclusion on it. It has nothing to do with what kind of diapers we should use, or what we're going to name the kid. Those answers have come easily, relatively-speaking. This issue is one that faces every new father, and it's not an easy one to deal with. I've already lost several nights of sleep thinking about it. Now that I only have eight weeks left to make a final decision, I'm turning to you for help and insight. Here's the question:
Does the baby get a web page?
A baby web site would be good because it would make the sharing of pictures and videos easier, especially for friends and family members that live outside of Minnesota. It might also be easier to maintain than a physical photo album in this age of digital photography. Let's face it: I have trouble taking a memory stick to Walgreens to print up pictures. That just takes so much time! I can't believe that people used to actually have film developed in the past. Geez! Imagine all of the things they could have been doing instead of that! Like blogging!
On the flip-side of the baby web page issue: it's a web page... for a baby. I'm not certain that I'm ready to take that step. Sure, it seems harmless, but before you know it, I'll have a web page for my dog and cats. And my XBox. And my alternate-universe cousin Bo Jozic. Then I'll have to spend ten hours of each day simply keeping up with updates on the fourteen different pages that I've set up. It's a slippery slope, friends, and I already have trouble writing one blog every day.

So there it is: the dilemma that plagues me. Thoughts? Reactions? Urges to vomit? Have at it.

I should be off. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
McCain Economic Adviser Calls US 'A Nation of Whiners'
Former senator Phil Gramm, a top policy adviser of Sen. John McCain's, said the nation is in a "mental recession," not an actual one, and suggested the United States has "become a nation of whiners."
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," Gramm said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."
"We have sort of become a nation of whiners. You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy."
Gramm is advising McCain to adopt a different type of economic stimulus package if he takes office. "I told him that if he wins the presidency, he needs to take each and every American over his knee and give them all a good spanking. That'll fix the economy faster than a deficit-inducing tax rebate."
Gramm then stormed out of the room, kicking dirt into the face of an orphan on his way.



Psst! The BNW's hosting a 24-hour improv marathon this Saturday and Sunday. You should check it out. It's for a good cause. Everyone likes a good cause!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


With a power saw
I cut up some two by fours,
Then I start bleeding.

Apologies for the lack of missives this week. We've been tearing down and rebuilding the BNW stage, and I found myself at the end of each day blog-less. The good news is that if you come in and see the stage now, you'll be quite surprised at the changes we've made. Surprised... and delighted. Granted, we're not done with it. Not yet at least. Soon, however. Soon.

Anywho, it's been quite the week. Last Friday, if I remember correctly, was the Fourth of July. The holiday was celebrated by cramming thirty-eight friends and family members into my backyard and cooking for them. Also, there were fireworks.
Saturday and Sunday each had a bit of BNW work in them. The wife and I also took in a showing of Son of Rambow om Sunday night. It's an independent film about a couple of British boys that become enamored with First Blood and decide to make a movie about Rambo's kid. It's adorable. Almost too adorable. FOTI.
Monday and Tuesday were both spent in the theater. On Monday, I covered myself in black paint. Yesterday I covered myself in red paint. Today I'm hoping to go paintless. It shouldn't be too hard to do that, as I'm not scheduled to paint anything today. Instead, we're putting this up-coming BNW election show onto its feet. With my luck, however, I'll somehow get doused with a gallon of blue semi-gloss.
Well, that's the re-cap of the past few days. I've got to get a few scripts in order before this rehearsal starts up. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to have a little extra free time for a super blog. Fingers are crossed that my hopes will materialize.
Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
Scams use dead doctors' IDs
Medicare scammers using the identities of hundreds of dead doctors in Minnesota and across the nation have bilked the government for an estimated $100 million over the past decade, according to a congressional report.
Using the ID numbers of deceased doctors, sometimes more than 15 years after they died, fraud artists have been able to treat Medicare like an ATM, making withdrawals at will, according to federal investigators.
The investigators were tipped off after seeing a number of prescriptions for medical marijuana from Hippocrates.



Thursday, July 3, 2008


At the sky's apex
A brilliant flash of colors:
Freedom's orgasm.

Tomorrow, America will explode in a celebration of America. It's a yearly occurrence and, frankly, one of the finest skills America has: celebrating itself to almost dangerous levels. As per the tradition, I shall be bar-be-quing, watching fireworks, and most likely lighting a few bottle rockets of my own off. It's as American as wrapping yourself in a flag and playing baseball with an apple pie and a pipe made of US steel.

I, for one, couldn't be happier about the holiday weekend. The weather forecast looks great, I've got a package of turkey hot dogs just waiting to be grilled, and I should be able to spend the next three days away from the old computer. This last item is the most essential, as the old computer has been nothing but a source of anxiety this week. You see, there's a little electronic gaming expo coming in a couple of weeks. At this expo, video game companies will release information about things that I like: video games. The next iteration of Rock Band, the return of Tecmo Bowl and some "major announcements" from Nintendo have all been rumored to be at E3. Therein lies the issue: these weeks leading up to the expo are laden with rumors, and there's nothing worse than a video game rumor. As soon as the rumor is posted, hearts begin racing, forums fill with wild speculation and dreams are born only to be shattered at a later date. It's a lot like pundit-filled political news shows, except geekier.
Sure, in these weeks before E3 I could just not visit the web sites that post these rumors. However, my computer is programmed to go directly to these sites as soon as I leave it idle for more than twenty seconds. These rumors are inescapable as long as I sit in front of the monitor. That's why this weekend holds so much promise - I might be able to tear myself away from the computer and see this world with rumor-free eyes.

Anywho, that doesn't start until tomorrow. Today shall be filled with unsubstantiated posts on various message boards about how Bubble Bobble's Bob and Bub are going to make a return this fall in an action-packed, blood-filled first-person shooter/puzzle game.

I should be off. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
U.S. Economy: Employers Cut Payrolls for Sixth Straight Month
U.S. employers cut jobs for a sixth straight month and service industries shrank in June, signaling that the economic slowdown may deepen as the impact of federal tax rebates fades.
Payrolls fell by 62,000 after a 62,000 drop in May that was greater than first reported, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The unemployment rate held at 5.5 percent after soaring the most in two decades in May. The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index sank to a five-month low.
Falling employment and record gasoline prices have lead experts to start looking at new ways to solve the nation's economic crisis. Some scientists at Ford have designed a new automobile engine that runs on the liquefied remains of the unemployed. The small town Randolph, Vermont, has instituted a complete ban on cars, requiring those on unemployment to earn their keep by giving productive members of the city piggy-back rides to and from their work.
"It's a time for innovation," said one Randolph resident from atop a forty-seven year-old unemployed man. "You've got to ride or be ridden. Tonight, I ride!"


Happy birthday, America.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I pull the trigger
And the laser hits its mark
Leaving a peep hole.

Today's haiku is brought to you by laser tattoos. As a man of the late twentieth century, I of course have adorned my epidermis with ink and pain. I currently have two tattoos and have designs on a third. The saying goes that once you get one tattoo, the desire to get more becomes almost overwhelming. Sadly, when I received my first two tattoos, I had trouble with the process of having a tiny needle stick into my skin repeatedly. The need to see my breakfast back on the table after ingestion is negligible, and I don't foresee myself overcoming that correlation anytime soon. Laser etching, though it seems painful, is at least fast. I imagine I'd be able to finish a design or two before mouth-voiding my last meal. If I can get my hands on one of these things, then expect to see the entirety of the first generation Transformers on my chest in the coming weeks.

For those of you that aren't interesting in scarring your body either temporarily or permanently, then perhaps you might enjoy a new hairstyle. Express your inner animal via a carnivorous coiffure.

Anywho, I should be off. I've got to find a good picture of Jetfire. Before I depart, here's Today's Joke:
CHP hands out 15 cell-phone citations in county Tuesday
California Highway Patrol officer Grant Boles says enthusiasm for patrolling is what got him into law enforcement. That includes patrolling for violators of the new cell phone law.
"I've seen numerous fatalities caused by distracted drivers," he said Tuesday, the day the new law prohibiting use of a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device went into effect. "We support any law that keeps people focused on the roads."
CHP officers issued 15 citations to cell phone users in the county Tuesday. Overall, officers were more impressed by the levels of compliance with the new law than disappointed by the number of scofflaws, Boles said.
However, the new law has brought a new unexpected danger to the streets of California. Boles recalled several instances in which a car passed by with no driver visible through the window. "It seems as though people are ducking under the dashboard to take calls. That's probably not good."
Initial reports show a three thousand percent increase in the number of accidents caused by drivers tucked under the steering wheel of their cars.
"People will go a long way to not get caught breaking the law," Boles said.



Psst! Thanks to Alicia for the hairdo link!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


A light gust of wind
Blows my calendar away
And frees up my day.

I know that my last missive mentioned a busy schedule and a doubtful amount of blogging time for today. It turns out that my warning was nothing more than a false alarm, as my day-time obligations wrapped themselves up before 9 am. It was an unexpected surprise that has left me with most of a morning and an entire afternoon to enjoy the finer things in life. I'm fairly certain that walking the dog and mowing the lawn will most likely become those "finer things." I can deal with that.

In other news, we've found ourselves in the mighty month of July. In just a few days, we'll be celebrating our nation's independence by wearing Old Navy t-shirts and putting our limbs and digits in immediate danger. My neighbors have already taken to waking up at 2 am to practice their firework-lighting skills. They're getting very good at it. Last night, they lit off at least a thousand firecrackers within a twenty minute span. That's a skill you just can't learn from a textbook. I'm not sure if there's some sort of contest going on for causing the most noise pollution, but if there is, I'm positive that my neighborhood is going to win.

Anywho, I should be off. It looks nice outside. I might try and sample some of this "sunlight" that I've heard so much about. I also have to clean the spent bottle rockets from my yard, roof, trees and lawn decorations. Before I depart, however:
- A quick rant: Yesterday's Pioneer Press ran a story on the front page about the winner of the US Women's Open over the weekend (go Inbee Park!) The story focused on Park's age, as the nineteen-year-old became the next in a string of young golfers winning LPGA tournaments.
To emphasize this point, the headline that ran with the story read "Never to young to win."
I understand that the English language is difficult. Hell, I constantly mix verb tenses, construct run-on sentences and misspell common words. Nobody's perfect. However, if you purport to be the main newspaper for a major city, you should have a better handle on the differences between "to" and "too." That extra "o" is what separates a major newspaper from the incoherent written ramblings of a third-grader.
Rant over.
- Today's Joke!
AT&T will sell new version of iPhone without service contract but it will cost $400 extra
AT&T Inc. will sell the new version of the iPhone without a service contract for $400 more than the price with a two-year plan, a break from the rules set when Apple Inc.'s popular touch-screen gadget debuted last year.
Two new models of iPhones go on sale July 11 for $199 and $299, depending on the amount of memory, with two-year AT&T contracts. The no-contract versions will cost $599 and $699 and will be sold sometime "in the future," AT&T said.
Besides being free from contracts, the higher-priced phones will also come with crowns for the buyer to wear, letting everyone around them know that they have the iPhone and they paid as much as possible for it.
Meanwhile, the old version of the iPhone, which debuted last year at $599 with a two-year contract, will soon be available for a nickel and a song.