Saturday, January 31, 2009

You Don't Know Dick...and Dee Dee?

My sister and I are members of a google group that is theoretically about politics. The topics occasionally stray from Bush bashing and Barack beatification as when one of the members posted a "Dead or Alive quiz:

Lyndsey Buckingham
Marianne Faithful
Tom Jones
Dick and Dee Dee (either one)
Everly Brothers
Sam and Dave (either one)
Connie Francis
Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas)

I was not surprised that a younger member of the group did not know who all these pop singers were. I was shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that my sister did not remember Sam and Dave or Dick and Dee Dee.

My sister is older than I am and got into pop music earlier. She introduced me to the classics of the early sixties:
-The folk singers with deed, socially important lyrics such as "Walk right in, sit right down, Daddy let your mind roll on."
-The teen idols such as Bobby Rydell and Fabian, manufactured pop singers whose only real talent was making teenage girls squeal - the David Archuletas of their time.
-Dick and Dee Dee who were, like Paul and Paula, presented as a couple for reasons I don't really understand. Were they romantically involved? Dick 'n' Dee Dee? The answer is no.

How bad were Dick and Dee Dee? I tried to google them for more information but every web site on the results page warned: "this site may harm your computer." Don't even think about listening to any of their songs.

Yes, this is why Don McLean calls the death of Buddy Holly "The Day the Music Died". Pre-Beatles, all we had was Elvis and these doofuses (doofi?). And their songs are still stuck in my head, so I wonder how Susan could forget them.

Of course one among them was not just a marketer's fan-mag product: The Great Shelly Fabares ("fab" is part of her name), a truly beautiful artist who I am sure returned my love and desire, but sadly could not marry a 6-year-old. I wish I could link to a video of her singing "Johnny Angel" (which she dedicated to me) but it has been removed from the internet due to her sorrow over losing me to Karen. Still she and I will never forget each other.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful; Film at 11:00

We had about 4 - 5 inches of snow this morning, followed by freezing rain, sleet and ice. Tomorrow morning we will have more snow. Where? How much? If you think those would be the most important elements of the TV weather forecast, you are clearly NOT a trained and certified meteorologist.

TV weather forecasting 101's first lesson is that you need video, LIVE!, on the scene of the impending snow disaster. You need a reporter and camera crew in the grocery establishing that people are buying shovels so that viewers without shovels experience fear and despair. You need a reporter and camera crew on the road, to establish that traffic is moving slowly over plowed roads, which are nevertheless impassable due to being blocked by TV camera crews.

Our local station had THREE reporters stationed around town without hats or scarves to establish that (a) freezing rain is cold and (b) freezing rain and ice have different properties than water. All three reporters had to pick up chunks of ice to prove that ice accumulates. The best part was that, when they switched to the third guy, he reported to the audience, "Big surprise, it sucks here too."

One reporter stood on the edge of the "slippery and treacherous" road to tell us that any of these cars might spin out of control at any moment. "The entire viewing audience were thinking, "Oh, pleeeease, somebody hit a patch of ice and take this idiot out!" This was the snow storm equivalent of the reporter standing next to the flapping power lines in a hurricane, reporting that it is "windy".

I think my neighborhood will be south of the 8 - 10 inches of snow and we will have only 4 - 6 in round two tomorrow. Hard to say because it took you longer to read that than it took the weather jerk to give us the information we had waited for.

Weather people aren't the only dumb asses in a Cincinnati snow day. This is the thought process of the divers in front of me on the way to work today: "I think I will be safer in the left lane, out of the way of people merging on and off the expressway. Ah, yes, this is great. The closest car in front of me is a mile ahead and al the crazy, fast drivers are going by me on the right. I made a good decision. So many cars are staying behind me, following my path. I am leading them to safety. It may take us more than an hour to go 15 miles, but we'll get there safely! Ooh, look, there's an emrgency vehicle way on the other side of the freeway. I'd better slow down some more."

I may just stay home tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Risky Business

Iceland's government fell today and I can't understand why this is such a big story, as if no one expected it. Have these people never played Risk? Iceland changes hands every other turn as people battle over control of Europe and protection of North America. Somebody rolled three sixes and wiped out Geir Haarde's forces. I'd suggest that the next government place at least five armies there.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern United States, Timothy Geithner was confirmed and sworn in as Secretary of the Treasury. This is great news for US taxpayers. Next time the IRS contacts you about unpaid back taxes, just call on Tim to back you up. It is now Treasury policy to allow you to slide on your obligations up until such time as you are nominated for a Treasury job.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Idgital TV Deadline Soon To Be Reality

On February 17, 2009 all TV stations in the United States will cease broadcasting any logical television signals and begin broadcasting exclusively idgital formats.

The idgital TV changeover will affect anyone still watching classic, scripted television shows. Viewers who have degraded their viewing to strictly basic cable and reality programming will continue to receive these programs, as they are broadcast in a lower level of consciousness to be perceived even while texting, twittering and doing homework.

If you watch any logical television programming, you must take action before February 17, 2009 in order to continue comprehending what you watch. If you do not purchase a converter box, any logical television show will no longer make any sense and will be perceived as if it were a basic cable or reality program.

Without conversion, dramatic shows such as “The Twilight Zone”, comedies such as “Seinfeld” and classic movies such as “Apollo 13” will be perceived on the same lower range of intelligence as “My Super Sweet 16”, “The Hills” or “American Idol.”

Viewers attempting to watch any logical shows like “The Wire”, will find the premise scrambled and they will be turning to their spouses and saying, “Why would anyone let themselves be filmed doing this?” “Why would people watch it? Or “On what planet does, ‘Dawg, it was a little pitchy but you a’ight,’ qualify as musical critique?"

The US government is issuing coupons to citizens smart enough to care, so that they can get a free converter to transform idgital TV back to any logoical format.
You must act now in order to be ready when February 17 rolls around.
To learn more, go to and download an information brochure.

Also go to Humorbloggers dot com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Gospel According to JohnnyB

11:1 When they drew near to Washington, District of Columbia, at the mall of the capital, he sent two of his disciples,

11:2 and said to them, "Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a new limo, in which no one has sat. Bring it.

11:3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'Obama needs it;' and immediately he will send it back here."

11:4 They went away, and found a limo at the door outside in the open street, and they started it up.

11:5 Some of the Secret Service asked them, "What are you doing, taking that car?"

11:6 They said to them just as Barack had said, and they let them go.

11:7 They brought the limo to Barack, and threw their jackets in it, and Barack sat in it.

11:8 Many held out papers to autograph, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and taking them as souvenirs.

11:9 Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, "Obama! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the President!

11:10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father Washington that is coming in the name of the President! Obama in the highest!"

11:11 Barack entered into the capital in Washington. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Alexandria with the family.

11:12 The next day, when they had come out from Alexandria, he was hungry.

11:13 Seeing a cherry tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for cherries.

11:14 Barack told it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" or so the media reported. Actually he just asked someone to get him a coffee and McMuffin.

11:15 They came to Washington, and Barack entered into the capital, and began to throw out those who lied and those who broke the law in the capital, and overthrew the tables of the Constitution-changers, and the seats of those who sold out the nation.

11:16 He would not allow anyone to subvert the Bill of Rights in the capital.

11:17 He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written, 'My White House will be called a house of integrity for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of war criminals!"

11:18 The Commander in Chief and the Cheney heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was inspired at his teaching.

11:19 When evening came, he went out of the city.

11:20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the cherry tree withered away from the roots.

11:21 The hangers-on, remembering, said to him, "Mr. President, look! The cherry tree which you cursed has withered away."

11:22 Barack answering said to them, "Don’t believe everything you hear.”.

11:23 For most assuredly I tell you, whoever may tell the media, 'I love America and have no hidden agenda' and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says; they shall misquote it anyway.

11:24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you say and text and email, believe that they receive them, and they shall spin them.

11:25 Then Barack went forth and rebuilt the great nation.

I invite thy analysis and interpretation of the scrpture within the comments.
Check out also the Humorbloggers

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Food Bowl

We usually go to a friend's house to watch the Superbowl and everyone brings food. The week before the game I start thinking about what to bring that goes with the teams playing. Sometimes it's easy: When the Bears were in, I made Chicago style hot dogs. For New England I made seafood chowder (clam chowder plus crab and scallops).

Indianapolis presented a challenge. The only "traditional" Indiana food I could find on the internet was a pork tenderloin sandwich. Wow, what's as boring as a pork tenderloin sandwich? - oh, I know: Central Indiana. So it's perfect.

This year we are having people at our house for the game. It was just after Arizona beat Philadelphia that I started thinking about the menu. I was rooting for Arizona - for Kurt Warner and against Philly - so I was happy they had won. Then I realized that Philly cheese steaks were now off the menu. Damn! There are some good Arizona foods, but cheese steaks, mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

So we started watching Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Somehow, as much as I hate the Steelers, I root for them against Baltimore. "But," my wife argued, "if Baltimore wins, we can have steamed crabs. Crab cakes. Crab salad. Crab dip. What foods go with Pittsburgh?"

Well, there's...uh...steel cut oats? Check the internet again. Here are traditional Pittsburgh foods: the Clark Bar, the Klondike Bar, Heinz ketchup, and any kind of meat sandwich with fries and cole slaw shoved into the sandwich. So now I am rooting for the Baltimore crab. "Come on, Crab Cakes! Smash those Clark Bars!"

Right now it's 13 - 0, Pittsburgh. I'm thinking of having pierogies.

(I think there may be as much controversy about spelling pierogi as there is about Hanukkah)

Have any suggestions for the menu? Put them in the comments. Thanks!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Movie Review: "MLK!"

Being Martin Luther King Day weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to observe by going to see “MLK!” at the theater in the mall, because I could also go to all the MLK Day sales. I was very happy with the deals I got but, as a white person, I was highly embarrassed by the movie.

Moviemakers always alter some facts when making a film “based on a true story”, but I think updating the “MLK!” story to be about gay rights instead of civil rights was a mistake. There’s nothing wrong with being gay but black people are sort of sensitive about that stuff. Jesse Jackson is still pissed about gay people co-opting the rainbow from his “Rainbow Coalition”. Gay people have been persecuted for sure, but that is nothing compared to what black people have gone through. What is next, a movie about President Lincoln, portraying him freeing the sex slaves?

There were other modifications of history that were uncomfortable. Changing Reverend King’s catch phrase from “I have a dream” to “I want to recruit you” was just uncalled for. And why would a film called “MLK!”, about Martin Luther King, have the main character referred to as “Harvey”? Was it because they needed to get around the fact that the real MLK wasn’t gay? Why “Harvey”? “Martin” sounds more gay than “Harvey”? Oh wait: Harvey Fierstein. I get it.

Still, that’s not the most egregious reality warp here. Sean Penn is a very fine actor; but he’s white. Really white. Having him portray a black leader seems especially offensive at a time when we are about to inaugurate our first pretty-much black president. What? Was Denzel Washington busy? What about Samuel L. Jackson or Eddie Murphy?

About the only thing in the movie that paralleled Dr. King’s real life was that this “Harvey” guy gets shot and that’s NOT really the most significant accomplishment of King’s life. He is a very important person in America. If you forget about the monumental historical refabrications, “MLK!” is a very enjoyable and meaningful movie. But, if you want to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., check out one of these fine movies.

Also check out Humorbloggers

Friday, January 16, 2009

Every Little Bit Helps

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a CPA. Irregular readers now know it too. Non-readers don’t know. Suck it, non-readers.

I figured it would be generous and condescending of me to offer some free financial advice in these uncertain times:

My advice is to find lots of ways to save small amounts of money. One thing I noticed at my house was that we have pens given out free by motels, bars, divorce lawyers, marriage counselors, Hamilton County Family Court, Cincinnati Free Clinic, etc. All these places want to advertise and I’m happy to promote them for all they’ve done to me. So now I have a bunch of pens and never have to buy them at Office Depot. If I save small amounts of money in many different ways, I can amass tens or even hundreds of dollars.

So I advise staying in hotels often. When you check in, you will find they have supplied your room with a pad of paper and a pen. Stick these in your suitcase. In just a few stays at different hotels, you can amass enough free stationery and writing tools to last a year. Also, go out to dinner often and pay with a credit card; then take home the pen they gave you to sign the receipt with. Restaurants are also a good source for free Styrofoam containers, lunch bags and little peppermint candies.

You know those prepaid postage cards they blow into magazines? They make great postcards. First, go on vacation, so you have a reason to do this. Buy some magazines to take with you and collect all the subscription cards. Use the name and address section to write your "great weather...wish you were here" crap. Then stick a blank label over the magazine's address on the other side (oh yeah, buy some blank labels to take with you also). Write the address you are sending the card to on the label and mail it. Free postage! Thanks, New Yorker!
(Bonus: Stay in a hotel on your trip and collect the free paper and pens!)

If any of you have similar money saving ideas, please list them in the comments.

And check out Humorbloggers

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Road to the White House

Here in Cincinnati we are preparing for the crowds expected to overtake the area on Tuesday during the inauguration. Take a look at the map here. People arriving in DC to see the event will be instructed to line up along the big black letters spelling out "Washington D. C.", then expand into a large mob, covering most of Virginia and West Virginia and much of lower Pennsylvania, bumping up against Pittsburgh.

People who live in the DC area and just want to go to the grocery or pick up kids from day care will be diverted around the crowd. They will be directed to drive North, then East through Buffalo. From there they proceed South West across Ohio, skirting the far edge of the inaugural campgrounds, and stopping for a break in Cincinnati.

Here we will be locking the cows in the barns and keeping the kids home from the little schoolhouses that dot the Cincinnati prairie landscape. We expect our Skyline Chili and Graeters Ice Cream parlors to be packed with DC residents taking a break before continuing South East to Charleston South Carolina where all DC businesses are setting up temporary operations as they flee the inaugural masses. There the weary DC refugees will grab their milk and bread and pick up their kids.

The DC natives should be able to get back home by early Thursday morning, when they can join the forced clean up detail clearing the mess left by the crowds indulging in the drugs and free love and communal bathing in the reflecting pool.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Santa Claus Is Coming To Court

Disassociated Press
January 12, 2009

Westchester County, New York - A lawsuit was filed today against Santa Claus on behalf of ten year old Morgan Deway. The Santa Claus suit seeks damages from Mr. Claus for pain and suffering resulting when Morgan discovered coal in his stocking which was allegedly placed there by Claus last month, on or about midnight, December 24.

The suit was filed by Morgan’s attorney, who is his mother, Carrie Deway, of the firm, Delight and Deway in Pencil Neck, New York. A copy of the court papers stolen exclusively by the Disassociated press, shows that the suit claims Morgan’s self-esteem was damaged beyond repair and his PJ’s were ruined by the coal dust. A spokeself for Santa has stated that the boy had violated a contract by "crying, pouting and shouting when it was clearly stipulated that had 'better not' do any of those things".

The Deways are also charging breach of contract, claiming Morgan did not receive the gifts he specifically requested both in writing and in a face-to-face meeting with Claus at the "Santa's Village" in Pencil Neck Point Mall.

Furthermore, Mrs. Deway has requested a restraining order requiring Santa to stay at least 100 yards from her son Morgan. The order charges that Santa has been stalking the Deway boy in an attempt to discern his proclivities toward naughtiness or niceness.

Reportedly, Claus has filed a counter suit charging that he has been harmed by Morgan Deway. Santa’s suit states that he has become obese by consuming fat laden cookies and egg-nog left out by Morgan Deway on Christmases Past. According to the lawsuit, also filed today, there was no warning label advising Santa that consuming the treats could lead to obesity, heart disease and damage to his sleigh due to exceeding the weight limit.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the nation, Republicans in the California legislature have submitted a bill that would deny Santa Claus the right to deliver toys in that state. The lawmakers said that Santa has been sneaking across the border for years with his toys, taking away delivery jobs that could go to US citizens and California taxpayers.

Democrats have answered that only illegal immigrant elves have been willing to do this delivery job which pays meager wages of snacks and cheap beverages. They have vowed not only to defeat the Republican bill, but to give Santa Claus free medical care and education for his reindeer in the public school system.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Of Course, Then "Big Radio" Would Demand a Bailout

Everyone has a suggestion for better ways that Congress and the Treasury could have spent financial or auto industry bailout money. Face it, most of the public’s ideas are just as lame as the government’s. “Pay off my mortgage.” “Buy me a car.” “Pay the pizza guy, would ya? And can I bum a cig?”
I do agree that the money should go to individual citizens, not big corporation capitalist pig dogs. But I don’t believe the schemes proposed in letters to the editors are any good; my mortgage is almost done, as are my car payments, and my pizza’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno. So your ideas don't help ME.
Suggestions that $700 billion be divided up among all of us are worthless. Even if you leave out overpaid, fat-cat, scumbag corporate CEOs, we’d each get only about two grand, which we would immediately spend on a tank of gas, a hooker, beer and some Slim Jims. The cool people would, anyway.
Instead, I propose that Congress directs the Treasury to fund a series of promotions on C-SPAN to distribute hundreds of billions to the general populous in ways such as these:

  • Send your credit card bills to C-SPAN and, if you are watching when they call your name, they pay off all your cards

  • Even better: “The Phrase That Pays.” Today it might be “misguided, liberal crapbag, waste of oxygen, mutant misanthrope”. When you hear that used in a speech before the House, be the 1,332nd caller to C-Span and win one million dollars.

  • C-SPAN plays a 10 second clip from a Congressional speech and the first caller to correctly identify the Congressperson speaking wins $1 million.

  • Or, C-SPAN DJs pick a “most ignorant testimony of the day” during hearings on steroid use in baseball or on bailing out the porn industry or something. The caller who can correctly identify the previous day’s most ignorant testimony, wins one million dollars.

Not only would my ideas boost the REAL economy, they would get people watching C-SPAN and we’d learn more about what goes on in Congress and we’d vote those f-ers out and get some smart people in there next time.
I called my Congressperson, Jean Schmidt, and told her my ideas. She said, “You sound like you are a loser, sad-clown, humor writer wannabee." I said, “So?” She hung up.
I don’t think my ideas are stupid. Giving hundreds of billions of dollars to failed business people and not even asking them how they spent the money…something like THAT would be stupid.

(By the way, “loser, sad-clown, humor writer wannabee” is today’s C-SPAN Phrase That Pays.)

Please list your own suggestions for C-SPAN promotions in the comments.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me

Gold Bond claims that their “Gold Bond Ultimate healing Skin Therapy Lotion” heals dry problem skin. When I heard their ad I immediately put that on my shopping list because I have dry problem skin on my right hand. Ha… and … ha; I hear what you are thinking. No, it’s because I prepare most of the meals around here and I clean up the pots and pans and kitchen counters afterwards. Do not be bringing your nasty thoughts into it.
The skin on one finger of my hand is particularly chapped and cracked – or it was. That lotion did actual heal the skin up, which other lotions never had.
It can’t be that Gold Bond’s healing lotion is so different from other lotions. I checked the ingredients on another brand my wife bought that never helped my skin. It contains, “Water, glycerin, dimethicone, petroleum, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and so on, etc.” I looked at the Gold Bond Ultimate healing lotion. It contains, “Water, glycerin, dimethicone, petroleum, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and so on, etc., Jesus, and trace amounts of other deities.” Ah ha! JESUS!
I figure the “other deities” are there for fragrance and color and it is the Jesus that causes healing. Sure enough, the other Gold Bond Ultimate lotion (softening) contains the trace amounts of deities but no Jesus.
But ingredients are always listed in descending order of quantity. Why is Jesus the next to last ingredient: why is there so little Jesus in the lotion? I figured if they increased the Jesus and cut the water, that lotion could go beyond dry skin and heal burn victims. With enough Jesus in the lotion, the blind could walk and the lame could see. But no – I realized (an epiphany)- for healing you need just a touch of Jesus.
Okay, I get that, but how do they have a product with Jesus AND water and NOT have the water turn into wine? It’s a FREAKIN’ SCIENTIFIC MIRACLE! That’s what it is.
Reading a little further, I noticed the advisories:
“WARNING: Keep out of reach of small children and atheists. If applying to a Jew, test lotion on an inconspicuous area first because it may cause burning and/or conversion.”
I don’t care-uh - and I am not worr-ied-uh.
I am throwing caution to the wind.
I am healing my blistered skin!
Brethren and sistern, I love this lotion
I testify to my devotion.
If you would like to get some of this miracle cream, send your love offering to the Little Blog Church of the White Creamy Gospel Truth.
Don’t make me holler, don’t make me shout.
Turn them pockets inside out.

Can I get an ame-lujah?

You Lost Me There

"Ala. policeman feared missing arrested in Vegas"
"Feared" missing? You might be "feared dead", but we know you are missing; the definition of missing is "not able to be found". Would you now say, "I know where he is, I fear he might not be missing"? Drop the "feared" and you have room to spell out the state "Missing Alabama Policeman Arrested In Las Vegas", which is even better because you've missed the confusing adverb-adjective-verb combo "feared missing arrested" mess in there.
So what I really liked about all this was the sentence used to illustrate the second definition of "missing":
"lacking: nonexistent; 'the thumb is absent'." What? Who says a sentence like "the thumb is absent"? And, really, the word you are supposed to be illustrating is "missing", not absent. I fear the logic is absent, not there, lacking, um, what's the word I want?

Please go to Humorbloggers and rate my blog with lots of stars and write a review if you wish.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Can't Swallow It

I am sure I am late with this riff, but I hope that. like me. you have not read other criticisms of Burger King's "Whopper Virgin" commercials, so that my comments seem fresh, never frozen. The premise is that Burger King prepares Whoppers and McDonald's Big Macs for some Fourth World people who have never sen a hamburger and ask which they prefer. If people in remote sections of Norway or Minnesota, who live on lutefisk, prefer a Whopper, don't you have to assume it is because the Whopper tastes most like dried fish soaked in lye? In someplace like Darfur, wouldn't, "Well, sir, my palate is attuned to a diet consisting primarily of dirt washed down with my own urine, so the Whopper tastes very, very familiar to me," be the likely response? I have eaten a Whopper and I haven't gone back. Why would the opinion of some communist in Romania change my mind?
PizzaHut has the opposite approach. Unfortunately their commercial is not on YouTube or any other video site I can find, but what they have just introduced is their "Natural Pizza". It features real tomatoes and real cheese and the tag on the commercial (now I'm going to have to wait to see it again to confirm) is something like "real pizza taste. Every time I see this commercial I can't help but think they are saying, "compared to the crap we've been selling you for years, this is actual food with actual flavor."
Somehow PizzaHut's honest comparison of their new product to their own inferior product makes me want to try theirs more than I want to try a Whopper.
By the way, blog vigins in Thailand who had no idea what a blog is and don't read English were shown my blog and Dooce and preferred the taste of my blog.

Please go to Humorbloggers and rate my blog with lots of stars and write a review if you wish.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Suicide is Painless

Saturday brought a depressing, winter, seasonal affective disorder theme to the comics.
In "Dennis the Menace", Henry Mitchell has just spun out on the ice-covered, quiet residential street. Since we know that Alice is the one who always wrecks the car (because she's a woman) we know this is Henry's deliberate, murder/suicide attempt. He had hoped to smash into something, anything and end this tortured existence with Dennis the Menace. He and his wife are clearly despondent at his failure, as Dennis still shouts in their ears. Meanwhile, on the sidewalk, a neighbor stood in place as the car careened toward him, doing adonut but just missing him (Henry failing again). The man was hoping ... hoping that the car would crush him because he cannot take another winter of shovelling away the mounds of snow the snowplows must have left, only to have his wife drag their daughter along the walk he's trying to clear - the daughter he knows will soon be a victim of this hellion, Dennis, who terrorizes the neighborhood.

In "Zits", Jeremy, sick of his mother's perpetual optimism in the face of a world sinking deeper into chaos, feigns a suicide attempt. In the background Walt is carrying out the real thing. He has the light cord around his neck and has knocked the ladder aside; we see his legs flailing helplessly as he struggles for air. Unfortunately, neither his wife nor his son cares enough to turn and see what he is gurgling about. And so we await Sunday's comic for the start of life without daddy in Zits.
These two tragic scenes made me think of John Prine's song "Souvenirs" (written by Steve Goodman).
All the snow has turned to water
Christmas day has come and gone
Broken toys and faded colors
Are all that's left to linger on.

Here is a video of it - Prine's throat in this is till ravaged by cancer surgery and his voice is rough and changed, which makes it all the more poignant to go with the sad theme of today's comics.

Is the Pope Catholic?

My old pal, Duke, has an insightful and touching review of a commercial about a woman trying to save her child from the horrors of a public toilet.
I have not seen that one, but I will be watching for it. Because I have been watching college football bowl games (there are 34 of them this year), I have seen the same 5 commercials 20 times per game times 30 games (so far). There is one I never tire of: the ad for Charmin with the papa bear and son bear (no longer a baby) playing football. But something is horribly wrong. When the boy bends over to center the ball, dad discovers toilet paper fragments on the kid's butt. I am so glad that P & G has dared to deal with this terrible social issue. Visible Toilet Paper Residue (VTPR) when people bend over to present their ass to someone has ruined many a job interview, sales presentation or pickup in a bar or public restroom.
And think what it means to the small bear. He is already in therapy for the trauma caused when a young woman (perhaps trying to find an alternative to a public toilet in the woods) broke into his house, ate his porridge, broke his chair and wound up in his bed. He is still dealing with the recurrent dreams of finding a young girl in his bed. Now his parents, meaning well, trying to teach him to clean himself so he will not have problems later are giving him a fixation about TP residue; they chase him around the neighborhood, trying to clean his ass with a broom. But the paper continues to stick to him - their parental pressure has made him anal retentive.

Friday, January 2, 2009


I just realized that I forgot something I wanted to write about. When Allie (the 19-year-old psych major) was here last week, we were listening to holiday music and "It's the most Wonderful Time of the Year" came on. When Andy Williams sang about "...scary ghost stories and tales of the glories..." I asked, "Who tells ghost stories at Christmas?" As soon as Allie said, "I always wonder that too," it came to me. "Oh, 'A Christmas Carol' - Scrooge is visited by ghosts." To which Allie said, "After 50 years of hearing that song, you just had that epiphany?"
First off, my dear, that song hasn't been around 50 years, it just seems like it when you hear it 2000 times every November and December. Regardless, it struck me that "epiphany" was the perfect word to describe a revelation at Christmas time and perfectly fitting to the theme of "A Christmas Carol". What I said, though, was, "I guess I never really tried to figure it out"; to which she replied, "Okay, I just thought people at your age didn't have any more epiphanies.
Oh, that's right - a sudden insight into a harsh reality from my daughter: You get a little bit over 50 and there are no more intuitive perceptions. You'd better have everything figured out by 49 because after that, everything is perceived according to stock footage of life in your brain.
I'd never realized life would be like that until she told me - but I just smiled because it did occur to me suddenly at some point that you can't argue with a 19-year-old.

I Did It My Way

Temporarily-President Bush's buddies belie belief that Cheney dicked up the first 4 years:
"One of the mythologies," Hadley said, "is that it was the vice president that somehow was pulling the strings on foreign policy in the first term and made it very ideologically driven and that somehow in the second term, the vice president's influence is in decline and, therefore, somehow the real Bush has come forward, and we have a more pragmatic foreign policy."
They put forth that the second 4 years were different than the first 4 (in sort of a reverse Old Testament/New Testament pattern). However they say Bush was just as responsible for the bad policy and screw ups of the first half of his administration as he is for those in the the second half. Glad they cleared that up.
"With friends like you, who needs enemas?" - G. W. Bush

Thursday, January 1, 2009

You Gotta Have Friends - For Reals

Blogs I linked to last year (the links are over there --->, not in this post):

Unfinished Rambler - a man of many identities who is one of several funny bloggers on Rambler somehow keeps up with a hundred blogs - many of whom I also enjoy, but have trouble keeping up.

PurpAnd - I am somehow related to Andy through a mere two degrees of separation. He includes the details of that relationship in his year-end review. It has been interesting to read about his personal journey in his blog through this year. Plus you get cat pictures.

The Stanleys - I started reading Cali's blog because she linked to mine. Cali writes about various things in her life - even controversy about Prop 8 in Cali-fornia. If you read her blog you will find that she and Geoff (or maybe Ray?) have a fabulous relationship that is very sweet - to the point of nausea (just kidding).

Everything You Know About English is Wrong - Bill is another former writer from the Gary Burbank radio show . He writes a much more intelligent blog than this which keeps his wits sharp and his books publicized. I recommend the books.

Where the Hell Are My Penguins - Scarletvirago (whoever she is) I think, found my blog through "Everything You KNow ...." leads an amusing life with a husband and a daughter somewhere in the DC area (for now). She admits to being a blogger stalker so I guess it's good that she's moving farther away.

Hail! Good Fellow, Well Met - Schottzie03, when he used to be Duke Sinatra, was the sidekick(?) foil(?) voice of youth(?) on the Gary Burbank show for the last couple of years. He has great wit and did some hilarious interviews, wrote comedy bits and played some funny characters on the show.

Mypalmike - Sadly, I thing I preferred his old caption contest to the new one, but he appears to still be a funny guy whom you can find commenting on Radosh or other places here and there.

Then there are the "fail" type blogs of quotation marks, language, cakes etc. that I don't know the people behind them.

I still am linked to my sister at "Daze of Wine" and "I'm Just Saying" and Jenny Smith at the "Medieval Best Seller" and Jen Rodis at "Levedy", who is perhaps being held hostage by two small people. And there's Daniel Radosh who has many interesting entries in addition to his anti-caption contest. And Dooce who manages to make a well-written humor blog seem easy.

What did I miss?

Today I'm watching a parade and a bunch of football games, eating leftovers from New Years Eve snacks and compartmentalizing my life so I don't think about work tomorrow.

2008 Annual Letter

Here's the annual family photo - after we took it, I noticed my pants were missing again, but this is the only one where we all were smiling and had our eyes open, so we used it.
I was going to write the annual holiday letter about the family to go with the picture but the bad news got me so down I just quit. I was so upset, I started drinking the dregs in the bottom of the beer, wine and Enfamil bottles lying around and then I forgot what I was doing.
I mean, the year started off with Ohio State getting blown out in a championship football game AGAIN and mostly went downhill from there, so why write the letter?
There was a bright spot when one of our youngest, little Barack, won the election thing. And I am tired of the rumors about him not being part of our family; he was born right here in the US of A, western annex of Hawaii. And our girl from Alaska stopped getting pregnant long enough to run for Vice President; she just had little Bristles take over the baby making chores. It's interesting that three of the four President/VP candidates were from the last three states admitted to the union, even though John McCain was born exactly 50 years before Arizona became a state in 1912. And three of the candidates' states make nice little puns: "Hawaii?" "I'm fine, thank you. Hey, what did Delaware today?" "I don't know, Alaska." If somebody can give me an Arizona pun, I'd appreciate it.
Anyway, the great news for the year was about our Barack, a half African person, being elected and proving that we are half over our racist past. And it also means that, HALLELUJAH, George Bush is out of a job. Sadly, many others are too. Uncle Billy lost the money he was supposed to deposit in the bank. He had a big wad of about a trillion dollars wrapped in a newspaper and now can't remember where he put it. If you see it, let us know. By the way, Uncle Billy still got his $40 million dollar bonus this year despite his mistake - and why not? It could have happened to anybody. Then our big three uncles in Detroit put on a production of "Dude, Where's My Car Company" which flopped, but the 3 Producers made millions by overselling shares in the production. Thankfully, nobody's going to jail - car makers or bankers. I mean, if the war criminals in the administration get a pass, how can we lock up mere financial scam artists? Prison and torture is for foreigners we don't like or understand, regardless of whether they committed a crime.
So now we're in a depression and I'm loading up the truck and leaving the farm to move the family to California, where we hope to make a new life, selling apples on the street or working in the fields for cruel bosses who beat us if we ask for fair wages and benefits.
We hope your family had a good year. Let's all get together soon. Hopefully I'll get around to writing the annual letter before then.