Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Erf Day!

I'm more than a little dubious about most "Green" products and strategies.  I'd have to say that the balloon in the picture below is, ultimately going to do more harm to the environment than it will achieve with it's message. And note all of those lights reflected in the balloon's surface -- Those aren't using up any energy at all.

I've seen comparisons that seem to show that when you balance gas usage against the energy required to build, recharge, and then dispose of the components of a hybrid car, it's kind of a wash.  I've seen reports that show that "green" laundry detergents do break down easier in wastewater -- because all of the bad stuff ends up in runoff during the manufacturing process.

With that in mind, I'd like to present some real ideas for going green.

1. The bottomless 2 liter soda bottle.  

Here's how it works.  First, you sew a pocket into the inside of a lightweight jacket that perfectly accommodates a 2 liter soda bottle.  You attach a piece of rubber tubing to the bottle.  You go into your nearest fast food restaurant that has a self-serve soda fountain.  Order just a drink!

Deftly, poke a hole in the bottom of the cup they give you and shove the plastic tube up through it.  Fill your 2 liter bottle.  Never throw away your bottle.  Just keep refilling it.  For extra points, instead of throwing away the cup, give it to a street musician to use for collecting donations!

2. Piggy-Back GPS.

It seems to me that it would be a fairly simple task to modify your in-car GPS to hack into the other GPS systems on the road.  You drive only as far as the nearest major road and then pull over.  You'd program in the destination you want to go to and your GPS would ping all of the other GPS systems nearby and point out to you a car headed close to your destination.  Then, you snag a ride!

Yup, as the target car passes you, you shoot the grappling hook onto its rear bumper and let the unsuspecting sap tow you where you're going.  Just release the hook when he passes the nearest point to your destination and drive the rest of the way on your own power.  I'm betting you could easily triple your current mileage figures.

3. Everyone needs to do their fair share.

I bet people get after you about leaving lights turned on at home.  But why should you have to sit in the dark?  Pick some neighborhood you don't spend much time in and use a BB gun to shoot out their street lights.  Turn enough of those suckers off to offset any amount of electricity you may wish to use at home.  To really take advantage of additional savings, run a line from your neighbor's meter into your electrical mains.  Not only will you decrease overall power usage in your town, you'll see an immediate savings on your own utility bills.

These are just three sure-fire, practical ways you can help save the environment.  Does anybody else have any bright ideas?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Right Needs Some Better Celebrities

There's a little slideshow on HuffPo showing "The Craziest Things 'Celebrities' Have Ever Said About Obama". Before looking at it, I was wondering why they put the quotation marks around the word Celebrities.  Before looking at it.

Who are these Crazy Celebrities they're quoting?
-Victoria Jackson: Saturday Night Live has-been who wasn't all that funny when she was an is-am(?).  Most notable recent public appearances include guest shots on The 700 Club and speaking at Tea Party Rallies.
Victoria Jackson speaking without the aid of a teleprompter.  I hope the wind stays calm.

-Jon Voight: Played Principal Dimly in the Bratz movie.  Chief source of recent attention is his ongoing competition with Michael Lohan for Father of the Decade honors.
"I used to be somebody you stupid fuck, you!"

-Stephen Baldwin: Voted Least Likely To Succeed at 3 straight Baldwin Family Reunions and counting.

-Ben Stein: The Dweeb who refuses to fade away.  Most recently made headlines when the NY Times fired him for his pitchman duties for  Still appearing on their commercials.

-Ted Nugent: I thought he was pretty cool back in 1978.  I also thought FedEx was a really stupid concept and they'd never last.  Nuff Sed.
Ted inspires a tragic mix of metaphors goading fans to violently overthrow themselves?

-Chuck Norris:  Biggest Badass in the World Meme aside...c'mon!  Chuck was always a douche and his movies sucked.  Three words:  Walker, Texas Ranger.

This is the list of Obama detractors the Right can come up with?  Really?
When the Left needs a celebrity to say something polarizing and get the Right all foamy, we trot out The Dixie Chicks...Sean Penn...Alec Baldwin!  These are people who inspire movie boycotts and mass burnings of CD's.  In the old days, the Right had people like Charlton Heston and Anita Bryant...people who could inspire some true loathing.  Does anybody really expect me to bother getting vexed over anything Victoria Jackson says?

Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair.  No wonder they all think Sarah Palin's a rockstar. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's All About The Ladies.

A few blocks from my house stands this lovely old building. It was built in 1851 from the generosity of John B. Graham, a paint manufacturer and philanthropist of sorts.  Total cost of the building (including the land it sits on) was $29,044.95.  And the purpose of this stately edifice?  It was the home of the ''Brooklyn Society for the Relief of Respectable, Aged, Indigent Females.''

It contained "55 rooms to accommodate 90 old ladies, (called "inmates" at the time), each with a closet; apartments for matron and attendants; eight large pantries and a complete bathroom on the 1st floor;  a chapel and committee room which opened on to one another, and an eight bed hospital, all on the 2nd floor". Admittance to the home was reserved for women over the age of 60 who had lived in Brooklyn or Williamsburg for at least 7 years and had appropriate character references.  The cost for life-long care was $60.00 (approx. $1,800.00 today).

In late 1887, there were of accusations of mistreatment of the old ladies played out in the pages of The Brooklyn Eagle. Dr. Minton, one of the attendant physicians at the Institute was interviewed by the Eagle and claimed to know the accuser well and to consider her a highly moral woman who couldn't possibly be lying, but, nonetheless, he couldn't believe the accusations.  He went on to say that he knew the Matron to have employed harsh methods, but that might be understandable since "old people are worse than school children."  Eventually, the uproar seems to have died away on its own.

I'm only guessing at the reason, but apparently, in 1899, being called "respectable, aged, indigent females" must have taken on a negative connotation, because they changed the name to the "Graham Home For Old Ladies".

By 1958, the fee was $2,000 ($16,300 of today's dollars). A brochure that year described a tenor of life that had endured for a century: ''Here every week . . . meets the Thimble Bee. So violently do the machines whirl, the needles ply, it is a problem to keep them in work.''

The Institute lasted into the 1960's and the house was briefly vacant until it re-opened as the Bull Shippers Motor Lodge which became notorious as a cheap hotel for prostitution. By 1985, the building was one of the most notorious welfare hotels in the city. "Up to 27 families were temporarily housed in such Gothic squalor that newspaper articles were written about it. Bob Herbert, then with The New York Daily News, described the former home as an ''ancient, soot-black, five-story building that sits back from the avenue and looks dismal enough to have been designed by Edgar Allan Poe.''  The building was, once again, closed down and boarded up in the late 80's.

In 2001, it was renovated into 25 two and three-bedroom condos which promptly sold for prices ranging from $325,000 to $495,000.  I'm not sure how many old ladies bought in.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The People Deciding Our Current Space Policy Grew Up With This Stuff. Relevant? YOU DECIDE!

I ran across this stuff yesterday on a link to

Sure, it's great that kids could imagine being on a Space Patrol!  But they couldn't imagine getting farther from their partners than the length of string connecting their hi-tech tin-can phones.

Automatic Orbiting Actions are a great thing. Guaranteeing we won't fall off the table might have set the bar a little low.

I have no idea what's going on here.  There's a guy-powered robot(?) with a rope(?) connecting him to his space ship.  And he's got some kind of big-assed TV on his chest.  AND there's a bunch of people standing around in their street clothes trying to figure out why he needs all that hardware.

Or maybe this was just a way-ahead-of-its-time ad for the iPad?

This one is totally retarded...but at least it (kinda) say, "We come in peace".

We seem to have been really impressed by sparks.  I hope that isn't one of the driving factors behind any current designs for exploration.

Who knew Timothy Leary was designing space toys?

I'm pretty sure this was actually propaganda foisted off on us by the Commies. "Saaaave your missles.  SAAAAAAVE your missles.  SAAAAAAAVE YOUR MISSLES."  And what's up with the 17th century stockade in the background.

Now, we get into some 'MURIKIN type messages.  "Take that, Space Coppers!"

More evidence that space would be a dangerous place where you needed to be prepared to illuminate stuff so it could be seen with 3-D glasses. You may also note that we were in grave danger of sandstorms and smacking our heads into shit but space would have totally breathable air.

I totally would have rather been a Space Outlaw than this pansy! The Planet Patrol had to wear pink helmets.  Puh-leeeeze!

Oops.  Apparently, the main thing to fear in space is...the EARTH MAN!

"OMG, Creche-Brother-Krandoor-thon.  It's another EARTH MAN."

Now, here's a product worthy of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray Glasses.  This one has Non-Stop Mystery Action!  "What's it do?" "Heck if I know -- it's a mystery.  But it's non-stop!"

More Mystery Action!

This one not only has mystery action; it's got missiles and two light saber penises!  You don't want to mess with Robotank-Z!

"You should smoke the brand that Smoking Space Man smokes!  Winston tastes good -- like a cigarette should!"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Music Week?

All the cool kids are doing it.  Apparently, it's UCF music week (look at the links on my sidebar!)  I'll go along with the bandwagon, but, being me, I'll just have to do it a little differently.

Remember, just a few years ago when suddenly, The Dixie Chicks were the AntiChrist, the Taliban, and Al Queda, all rolled up into one little band?  Well, Natalie Mains is still on vacation but Martie Maguire and Emily Robinson (the sister part of the band) are about to release an album together as The Court Yard Hounds.

I can't embed any of the music, but if you go to their website  you'll find a few sample tracks you can listen to. (It's over on the upper right under the banner "Pre-Order Now" -- you can listen without preordering.)

Anyway, I like throwing them some support 'cause I like who they are and I generally like their music.  Give it a listen.  (BTW, It's not for me all the time, but I'm a sucker for a fiddle and a pedal steel and some harmonies!)

And that's my contribution to Music Week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Got Nothin' Today...

...except for this bit of unsolicited advice.  If you find yourself running from a Police Dog, don't try running through a long cardboard tube, or going up and down a see-saw, or try jumping through flaming hoops.  They're trained for that sort of thing and they'll catch you.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Virginia's Confederate History Month Sparks Outrage & Admiration

Reaction to Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R-VA)  proclamation designating April as Confederate History Month in Virginia has created consternation both at home and abroad.  Gov. Hayley Barbour of Mississsippi is on record as follows:
Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), said Virginians know slavery is immoral without being reminded.
"I don't really see what to say about slavery, but anybody that thinks you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing--I think that goes without saying," he said

Reached by telephone, Bobby Joe  Bootstrap, a tollbooth attendant on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel carried the thought somewhat further.  "The South has apologized for slavery again and again, but I ain't yet to heard no damned Yankee apologize for burning Atlanta.  It's OK, though.  I've been collecting higher tolls from cars with Yankee plates for years now and I'm using all the money to open a Confederate Heritage Museum at my Uncle Orry's farm." When further pressed, Mr. Bootstrap conceded that he had been able to collect little of historical import.  "Mostly what we gots so far is some surplus automatic weapons, but we done embossed "Deo Vindice" on the buttstock of ever damn one of 'em.  They represents a proud heritage and a proud future to come.  Just you wait 'n' see."

Reaction has not been limited to the American South or even the United States.  Babbette Porcherie, reached at her home in Le Havre, France expressed envy at the Confederates' freedom to celebrate their past without the need to disassociate themselves from their treasonous ancestors.  "I am directly descended from Henri Petain and I'm forced to conceal my pride in my Vichy Ancestry", she said.  "People don't seem to be willing to acknowledge that it was only our collaboration which kept French Culture alive throughout the war.  Sure, we had to transport our Jews, but the trains always returned with foodstuffs.  Had the trains not returned with enough Bratwurst for the German High Command, all of our Andouille would have been confiscated."

Babbette Porcherie keeps her head shaved in solidarity with her Collaborationist forebears but is forced to wear a wig to conceal her sympathies in public.

She went on to say, "It is not widely known, but Gros-Grand-Pere Henri held out against the Bosch well past the point of breaking.  Negotiations were fierce, and Monsieur Petain only capitulated when threatened with the loss of his hat.  Many indignities could be borne, but I think you'd agree that the loss of his hat would have been an unacceptable compromise."

In researching this story, we encountered Le Kim Yat in Fenton, MI.  In spite of dubious documentation, Mr. Le claims direct lineage from Pol Pot.  Mr. Le immigrated with this family to America in 1979 from what was Democratic Kampuchea.  He dreams of one day returning to his homeland and "restoring the Khmer Rouge to the glory it sought to achieve".  "The People were not given adequate time to implement the programs envisioned by our glorious leaders.  Certainly, there were excesses", he continued, "but it takes a firm hand to lead a nation from being a primitive agrarian society to being a modern agrarian paradise."  He went on to say, "America's own leaders are beginning to see the light.  I hear much, these days regarding the tyranny of the 'Educated Elite' in America. Pol Pot was merely ahead of his time, as shall be seen in the fullness of time."

Bobby Joe Bootstrap maintains that there is no racism involved in today's Confederate Heritage movement.  "That's all in the past", he said.  "People of all colors are welcome to stand by my side and take up arms as my brother against continued Northern Despotism.  Why, the Sheriff in our county is a colored man and he drops in to visit with Uncle Orry quite regular like.  Sometimes they sit around and jaw for hours about ammo and such.  He's just hopped up as a bead o' water on a hot skillet waitin' for Uncle Orry to let him know when them surface to air missiles finally show up."

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Oddness of the Day.

Something bizarre is going on today.  I've talked about the horror of visiting Home Depot here in Brooklyn.  Well, Anon GF and I had to go again today.  And we had to go to the one that's usually at the pinnacle of suck because it also happens to be the one that has the largest stock...and is therefore, at least, probably capable of making our sucky visit into a successful shopping experience.  Painful, but successful.

So, today, we're standing in the aisle figuring out which things go together and do they have all of the bits that match all of the other bits we need and this woman in an orange apron stops and asks, "Are you finding everything you need"?

I looked around, and since it was just the three of us standing in the aisle, I realized she must be speaking to us.  We were actually picking out the last thing we needed in that section, so we said, "Yes", and both stood there with our jaws gaping as she walked away.

We got to the next section on our agenda and we're looking at the choices and we're trying to figure out if we need the one that's 18" 'on center' or do we need the one with variable measured resistance or...whatever.  And this guy in an orange apron walks up and asks if we need any help!  And we did.  And, not only was it a miracle that a second person had shown up and offered us help in a Home Depot, this guy actually knew what he was talking about! He knew where stuff was and what it was for and whether or not everything we'd need was in the box!

And then -- I hope you're all sitting down -- he looked at our list and guided us to the next section and helped us there.  We needed one more thing before leaving (with our massively loaded-up flatbed cart), and he suggested we just leave the cart where we were and run to get the last little easily carried item.  When we got back with our shopping complete, he even suggested a route through the store to the checkout that would get us out of the store quickest.

On the way to that checkout, we encountered the bane of all Home Depot shoppers -- the aisle that's closed due to forklift activity.  We looked for an alternate way out and found the two adjacent aisles were also blocked.  A fourth aisle was a bit of an obstacle course, but it looked like I'd be able to maneuver our way through.  As we approached the first obstacle, a woman in an orange apron approached and said, "Are you ready to checkout"?  Then she proceeded to move crap out of our way and led us to her cashier station.  And she checked us our immediately.  And arranged for our delivery.

I'm at a loss for words.  Can this have been Home Depot?  Can this have been Brooklyn?  The evidence all says, "Yes", but I'm still a little disoriented.

Arriving at home, having ridden with a cab driver who actually knew where he was going, I found the following email waiting for me.

Imagine...I could win an opportunity to see Justin Bieber!  In NY!  And they'd fly me! OK, there'd be three nights in a luxury hotel (which could be fun), and a $500 shopping spree, which might not be restricted to Swirly-headed-tweens-are-us.  How the fuck did I get on this mailing list?  Where's my usual quota of generic Viagra, Nigerian scams and work-at-home come-ons?

Odd day.

Monday is going to be a little weird too.  One of the things we got at Home Depot was a couple of new trash cans for outside.  I don't know how things are where you live, but the hardest thing in the world to throw away in a trash can.  I can put them in the new cans, but they'll just figure they're stuck.  I can put a note on them saying "THIS CAN IS TRASH" and they'll just look at it, say, "Duh", and leave them.  Let me know how interested you are in the follow up on my trash can disposal.

WBC Sends Sincere Condolences To Families of Killed Miners.

Not so much.

Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church plan to protest at the "sight(sic)" of this weeks "...mine explosion, to show West Virginians their transgressions".  They'll be there in a bout an hour.
(Protest schedule from WBC website)

I predict a warm welcome.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Cat, The Super-Villain.

Making Good: A Recipe & Some Long Owed Prizes. (And They're Both Good!)

Slightly more than two years ago, I promised to post a recipe once I had perfected it.  I'm not at all sure it's been perfected, but it's pretty damn good.  Before I get to that, though, there's another bit of unresolved business here.  It seems I had a contest almost a year ago, and there were winners, (Eric and Michelle), and I promptly forgot to ever send them their prizes.  Oops!  My bad.  I'll be rectifying that before the week is out.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to call this recipe.  It's based on a recipe I found for "Antipasto Squares", which I think is a lousy name. I've only come up with names like "Italian Meat Pie" or "Eat This! It's good and meaty and cheesy", neither of which is any better.  Suggestions are welcome.

Anyway, it's a variation on an Italian Sub.  An Italian Sub comes with a variety of salamis and hams and cheeses and oil and vinegar and salt and pepper and lettuce and tomatoes and onions and sweet peppers and hot peppers and...a whole lot of stuff that won't actually work in this recipe.  And the recipe isn't so much a recipe as me telling you what works and what doesn't work and what I actually did and feel free to monkey with it based on my own lessons learned.  You'll like it.  It's good and meaty and cheesy!

The key thing is that meats like Genoa Salami, Capicola, Sopressata, Pepperoni and Prosciutto are all delicious but one reason they're all delicious is that they all have large fat contents and when you cook them, you make a lot of grease in the pan and create something soggy and abominable.  Likewise, if you include too many of the delicious veggie type things, you're introducing lots of water content and overloading the mush factor that way.

You can mess with these ingredients, but I ended up using:
-Pilsbury crescent dough. (You can use another brand or get all ambitious and make your own puff pastry if you want.  Do not choose the one that brags about having more butter.  Normal butter content is more than enough and we're trying to keep the grease content to a minimum.)
-Black Forest Ham (it's a little drier than some other hams).
-Hard Salami (Ditto the drier thing.)
-Sweet Pepper slices (drained and patted dry in paper towels).
-Red Onion.
-Provolone cheese.
-Mozzarella cheese.
-a couple of eggs, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper and a teeny-tiny bit of red wine vinegar.

Start by lining the bottom of the pan with crescent dough.  I was using a small 8"X8" pan, so I didn't use up a whole package for the bottom layer, but a 9"X13" pan is perfect for the amount that comes in one package.  And it doesn't matter if the bottom layer is pretty. It's on the bottom and you want it filled in really well and even climbing the side of the pan a little.  DON'T GREASE THE PAN.  You'll make enough grease without it.
Start layering in your meats! Aside from choosing lower grease meats, it's important to use really thinly sliced meats.  You can layer in more if you like, but if you use thicker slices, you'll find yourself dragging components out of the finished product when you try to bite into it.

Allow me to digress for a moment.  Here's one of the knives I bought when I was in Seattle.  It's a Shun Nakiri knife and it may be the best kitchen knife I've ever owned.  This sucker slices stuff just by looking at it.  You can slice in nano-thicknesses.  It also comes with a 'D' profile handle and you can buy them made for right-handed or left-handed folks.  Does it sound like I like this knife?

You'd be right if you think that the order you layer all this stuff doesn't matter so much since you'll be biting through everything at once when it's done, but bear this in mind.  The cheese and the egg layers are what hold everything together.  Use them wisely Grasshopper.
After adding the onion, provolone and peppers layers, I added another layer of each meat.  Then I put on some shredded mozzarella and some fresh cilantro.  (Cilantro isn't all that Italian, but I like it, so sue me.) Sprinkle a little red wine vinegar on top of this part.
Chop up one small clove of garlic and lightly beat it with two eggs, some salt and pepper. The garlic should be as fine as you can get it and it goes in with the egg so it's easier to spread around instead of getting surprising clumps of garlic in the finished product.

Spread the eggy stuff around as best you can over the top cheese layer.

Now cover the top with another layer of the crescent dough. Try to be a little neater with this one since it'll show, but still, the baking part forgives a lot of errors.  Cover the whole thing with foil and bake it for 25 minutes at 375º.  At the end of 25 minutes, uncover it and give it an egg wash over the top. Let some egg leak down around the edges --- it's another thing to hold everything together. (One well-beaten egg with a few teaspoons of water will be more than enough). This is what it should look like with the egg wash. 

Stick it all back in the oven uncovered.  Bake it for another 20-25 minutes until it looks like this.

Let it rest for at least fifteen minutes before you slice it.  Slice it any way you like.  You can serve it warm.  You can serve it at room temperature.  It'll keep nicely in the refrigerator for a few days and you can serve it cold.

You can mess around with the ingredients and the amounts but you must serve it on Rivera Tableware. (OK, you can serve it on something else, but doesn't it look good on Riviera?)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Efforts at Bribery (Extortion) Have Fallen Short of Making Me Wealthy.

Last night, Anon GF asked me when I'd be taking that "Bribery Fundraising" thermometer off of my sidebar and I said, "Yeah, I've been thinking about getting rid of that."

And then she said, "You do know you have to donate the money somewhere, don't you?"  I glared at her thinking of my ill-gotten $7.43, and said, "Oh yeah, I just read a post on Janiece's Blog looking for money for a worthy cause."  (I said this as if I hadn't been thinking of just whisking off to Bermuda with the results of my bribery.)

Anyway, my thermometer is now down, Team Gonzalez is a little closer to their goal of raising money toward Cancer Research (and that much closer to having to shave their heads)!  And you'll all be happy to know that since I would have been embarrassed to donate only $7.43,  I dipped into my own pocket a little. So, my little plan to retire on the generosity of the internet has backfired and actually cost me money.

Why don't you go spend some cash there too!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Testing My Celebrity Awareness I.Q.

The NY Daily News has what they're calling the Worst Celebrity Feuds.   I'm shallow and all, so I decided to take a look.  And it wasn't really long before I found myself thinking,"Who the fuck are these people"?  There are 54 Celebrity Feuds and you can go there and see what they're all about if you like, but I'm just going to list them and tell you (because you need to know), which ones I've ever heard of.

BTW, recognizing a name isn't enough for me to say I've "heard of them" in this context.  Example:  I've heard of Heidi Montag, but only because she's apparently trying to become a cyborg.  I have no idea how she got to be famous in the first place, so she goes into the don't-know-who-the-hell-they-are column.

And since I'm sure you'll notice some patterns, I'll follow it up with some statistical analysis.

1. Chelsea Handler vs. Michelle 'Bombshell' McGee -  -heard of both, but I'm not sure I'd recognize McGee's name without the picture of the tatooed carnival lady.
2. Lindsay Lohan vs. George Lopez - heard of both.
3. Bethenny Frankel vs. Jill Zarin - no idea who either of them are.
4. Howard Stern vs. Gabourey Sibide's mom - I know who both are, but technically only know who the mom is by the name "Gabourey Sidibe's mom".
5. Conan O'Brien vs. NBC - know both. (is NBC really a celebrity?)
6. Lily Allen vs. Courtney Love - know who love is - don't know who Lily Allen is. (spoiler: beginning of a pattern here!)
7. Dina & Lindsay Lohan vs. Michael Lohan - know who all of them are.
8. Johnny Weir vs. Canadian broadcasters -know them both (but not the Canadian Broadcasters by sight.)
9. Johnny Weir vs. 'Stars on Ice' -know both of them, (but not Stars on Ice by sight.)
10. Pink vs. Prince William -  know who both are. (Note: Pink is the first person on this list that rates any of my attention.  Conan would have counted, but I have to admit that only the feud with NBC put him back on my radar in any fashion.)
11. Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell - know who both of them are.  (I'm mostly making this list without any judgments about the people, but I just have to note that Rosie really makes my skin crawl.)
12. Nicole Kidman vs. Sharon Osbourne -know who both are.
13. Denise Richards vs. Heather Locklear -know who both are.
14. James Cameron vs. Glenn Beck -know who both are. (and believe it or not, Rosie makes my skin crawl worse than Glenn does.)
15. Sarah Palin vs. Levi Johnston -know who both are.
16. Sarah Palin vs. Rush Limbaugh -know who both are.
17. Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift - know who both are.
18. Tom Cruise vs. Brooke Shields -know who both are.
19. Tom Cruise vs. South Park - know who both are.
20. Hilary Duff vs. Faye Dunaway -know who both are.
21. Elton John vs. Lily Allen -know who Elton John is...not Lily.
22. Shanna Moakler vs. Paris Hilton -know who Paris is...not sure about Shanna.
23. Kanye West vs. 50 Cent - know who both are (but from the pictures, I thought 50 cent was Tracy Morgan at first.)
24. Lindsay Lohan vs. Scarlett Johansson -know who both are.
25. Jamie Foxx vs. Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus -know who they all are.
26. Al Roker vs. Speidi -know who Al is. I know that Speidi is two people, but nothing more.
27. Eminem vs. Mariah Carey -know who both are.
28. Paris Hilton vs. Lindsay Lohan-know who both are.
29. NeNe Leakes vs. Kim Zolciak -not a clue on either one.
30. Bethenny Frankel vs. Rachel Zoe -also no idea.
31. Mischa Barton vs. Paris Hilton -yes Paris, I think Barton is an actress...don't know in what.
32. Katie Price vs. Pamela Anderson -yes Pamela, no Katie.
33. Lily Allen vs. Victoria Beckham-yes Victoria; still no to Lily.
34. Lily Allen vs. Katy Perry - yes Katy; still no to Lily.
35. David Letterman vs. Sarah Palin - yes to both.
36. Lindsay Lohan vs. Stevie Nicks  -yes to both.
37. Kristen Cavallari vs. Audrina Patridge -no to both.
38. Lauren Conrad vs. Speidi- no to all three.
39. Spencer Pratt vs. Mary-Kate Olsen- yes to Mary-Kate; no to Spencer.
40. Susan Boyle vs. Sharon Osborne - yes (I know this one so well that I caught the daily news captioning Sharon Osborne with Sharon Stone's name.)
41. Clay Aiken vs. Adam Lambert God forgive me, I know who both of these people are.
42. Jon Gosselin vs. Bethenny Frankel -Gosselin yest (but it's not my fault); Frankel no.
43. vs. Perez Hilton-yes to both (but I couldn't have placed in the right band without the article telling me.)
44. Perez Hilton vs. Demi Moore and Kirstie Alley  yup.
45. Whitney Houston vs. Wendy Williams-yup.
46. Anne Heche vs. Coley Laffoon  -Anne yes; Lafoon no. Lafoon?  Really?
47. Jim Belushi vs. David Cross - Jim yes; David no.
48. Rachelle Lefevre vs. Summit Entertainment- Rachelle no (although I'll assume she's an actress); Summit Entertainment yes (and once again, we have a corporate celebrity?)
49. Tyler Perry vs. Spike Lee-yup.
50. Beyoncé vs. Etta James -yup.
51. Tom Cruise vs. Brad Pitt-yup.
52. Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears -yup.
53. Nicole Richie vs. Paris Hilton-yup.

54. Suzanne Somers vs. 'Three's Company'- Suzanne yes; Three's Company yes.

 So, let's look at some results here:

-I count 91 individual celebrities involved in these 54 feuds, although NBC and Three's Company could be a whole lot more each.

-I have no idea who 17 of them are -- an 18.7% don't-know-shit factor. I'm not sure if that counts as good or not. I do know it won't get me a job at TMZ.

-Lindsay Lohan in involved in 5 of these feuds.
-Paris Hilton is involved in 4.
-Lily Allen has 4.
-Bethany Frankel is in 3 feuds.
-Sarah Palin has 3.
-Tom Cruise has 3.
-A few people are involved in 2 feuds, including Rosie O'donnell (only she doesn't know she's in a feud with me, so I'm not sure that counts).

Feel free to play along if you don't have anything else to do today.

"I started getting elbowed in the head and stuff. So, I just started diving over moms."

I try to be informative here and bring you stuff you might, otherwise, not know about.  Yesterday, as a completely selfless service to you, the reader, I showed you how to make Squirrel Melt Sandwiches.  Did I get any thanks from you?  Any reaction at all?  Nooooooooo, I. Did. Not.

Fine!  When you decide to get dinner from the backyard instead of that expensive grocery store down the block, you can just figure out how to prepare the damn thing on your own.

But since I'm such a caring and selfless guy, I'm going to attempt to enlighten you people on another subject.  This advice is something you'd think might go without saying, but apparently not.  Apparently it does need saying.  So here.  I'm gonna say it.  Ready?


It seems that a church in Rochester, NH, with the best of intentions, dropped a whole lot of eggs from a helicopter for the mother of all Easter Egg Hunts.  I'm assuming these were plastic eggs since I can't imagine anyone thinking real eggs would survive the fall. There were also prizes involved. The article isn't clear on how you qualified for a prize -- apparently, "standing in line for the bounce house" was enough to get one person a flat screen TV.

Anyway, instead of the expected turnout of maybe 2000 people, police estimate the crowd at 10,000!  As you might expect, the crowd was calm and well behaved and a lovely time was had by all.  Here's some first person accounts:
"As soon as they said go, we were all in the front going 'whoomp,' getting trampled on top of each other," said Deborah Savage, of Rochester.
"Nobody could grab any eggs because people just got trampled in," said Hanna Savage.
"Some kids got lost out there. They couldn't find their parents or anything," said Gabriella Savage
(I can't tell you if the reporter was lazy about getting a lot of viewpoints, or if Rochester just has an inordinate number of Savage families.)

And don't think that dropping shit out of a helicopter is only a bad Easter idea.  Dropping shit out of helicopters is never a good idea.

(For a longer version of that WKRP episode, go here.)

I will not be held responsible if you people aren't paying attention today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

'Cause You Know How Squirrels Like Their Nuts.

GF and I enjoy watching the cooking shows on PBS most Sunday afternoons. Somehow, none of them seem to have ever covered this niche. Yum!

I feel a little deprived not having grown up in this family.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Artist's Rendering, V.3.2.4

I have my doubts

I haven't had anything to say here about what's going on with the Catholic Church and the new finger pointing regarding pedophile priests, and who knew what/when.  Frankly, I've never understood the mindset of parents or abused children who reacted to abuse by going to the Clergy.  If I'm stabbed by a waiter in a restaurant, I'll call a cop -- not the maître d'.  But, enough other people are expressing their opinions on it and I didn't feel the need to add my voice.

However, there's an unsurprising uproar over Father Cantalamessa's homily, delivered on Good Friday at the Vatican.  Much of what's being written and said, takes him to task for comparing the treatment the Vatican is currently experiencing to the Holocaust.  Let's take that one off the table at the outset.  He never mentioned the Holocaust and unless you do some creative reading between the lines, it just ain't there.

That being said, the remarks he did make, in an apparent effort at easing tensions between Jews and Catholics* come off as utterly clueless and counterproductive.  At the end of his homily, he quotes from a letter he received from an unidentified "Jewish friend".  I had a little difficulty finding a decent translation of his remarks, so I'm going to trust this one I found on The National Catholic Register.  Here's the relevant portion.

By a rare coincidence, this year our Easter falls on the same week of the Jewish Passover which is the ancestor and matrix within which it was formed. This pushes us to direct a thought to our Jewish brothers. They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms. I received in this week the letter of a Jewish friend and, with his permission, I share here a part of it.

He said: “I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism. Therefore I desire to express to you personally, to the Pope and to the whole Church my solidarity as Jew of dialogue and of all those that in the Jewish world (and there are many) share these sentiments of brotherhood. Our Passover and yours are undoubtedly different, but we both live with Messianic hope that surely will reunite us in the love of our common Father. I wish you and all Catholics a Good Easter.”

My problem is that I'm left having to doubt one of three things:
-the existence of Father Cantalamessa's Jewish friend,
-the Jewishness of Father Catalamessa's Jewish friend,
-or the perspicacity of Father Catalamessa's Jewish friend.

1. Stating the obvious, Catalamessa doesn't identify this friend.  Who is the guy?  Is there anything about him that gives him an iota of authority? Who is he to represent the "many in the Jewish World"?

2. The letter talks about "...attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful..."   Is it just me or is the word "faithful", in this context, a term of self-identification.  Catholics and Muslims use the term faithful to distinguish between themselves and everybody else -- presumably the faithless.  I don't see a Jew using a term that carries the connotation that he's proclaiming himself an infidel.

3.  Then he goes on to discuss "the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism". Those sound to me like the words of an apologist. Please tell me just what are the less shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.

I've read that the Vatican is distancing itself from Catamessa's remarks, but not disowning or contradicting them.  I understand the instinct to "circle the wagons", but recent protestations of victimhood aren't going to prove useful as a strategy.
Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, who was host to Benedict at the Rome synagogue in January on a visit that helped calm waters after a year of tensions, laughed in seeming disbelief when asked about Father Cantalamessa’s remarks. 

“With a minimum of irony, I will say that today is Good Friday, when they pray that the Lord illuminate our hearts so we recognize Jesus,” Rabbi Di Segni said, referring to a prayer in the traditional Catholic liturgy calling for the conversion of the Jews. “We also pray that the Lord illuminate theirs.”

*Last week, the center-left daily newspaper La Repubblica , without attribution, that “certain Catholic circles” believed the criticism of the church stemmed from “a New York ‘Jewish lobby.”

This is cooler than cool and...

Just watch it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Totally Stolen Content Day.

If you watch the movie Jaws backwards, it's about a shark that keeps throwing up people until they have to open a beach.

If you watch Lost backwards, you realize it's the same thing as if you watch it forwards.

If you watch Heroes backwards you realize it's getting progressively better over time.

If you watch House backwards, it's still never lupus.

If you watch Rambo backwards, it's Sylvester Stallone healing people with his magical bullet vacuum.

And repairing helicopters with nothing but a bow and arrow.

If you watch the 1997 version of Episode IV, Greedo shoots first.

If you watch Memento backwards, it totally makes sense.

If you watch The Lord of the Rings Trilogy backwards, it's a saga about a little guy who gets a cool ring from a volcano and spends the rest of the three movies walking home.

Totally stolen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Apparently NOT An April Fools Joke.

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense budget Thursday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), was expressing his concerns about a plan to move approximately 8000 U.S. Servicemen and dependents to Guam.  While questioning Adm. Robert Willard, who commands the Navy's Pacific Fleet, Johnson said, "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize."

Republicans should feel free to consider this a gift.  Do with it what you will.


I Loathe April Fools Day.

Honestly.  I think April Fools Day and all of the pranks that go with it just suck.  My attitude may be related to the fact that I'm pretty sure this is the first year I've ever realized it was April Fools Day before being made a fool of.  I've never really appreciated that.  Anyway, I just don't care for this annual event.

What to do?  I could follow Shawn's example and just celebrate TMI Day instead.  But that would call for me, 1.) setting up a Twitter account and 2.) sharing a bunch of TMI-ish stuff with everyone and their mothers.  Neither of those things is going to happen, so no.

I could mark the day by telling you about all of the awesome people who were born on April 1st.  Here's an example.
-Emperor Go-Saga of Japan was born this day in 1220
- Luigi Schiavonetti, an Italian engraver was born this day in 1765
-Agha Petros, an Assyrian general was born this day in 1880
-Lor Tok, a Thai comedian and actor was born this day in 1914
-Dave Vankoughnett,  a CFL corner for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was born this day in 1966 (I hope he's retired.)
Really, other than Ali McGraw, Lon Chaney and Jimmy Cliff, this just isn't a great day for "born on this day in history" day.  And really...what have any of them done for me lately?

In fact the only really auspicious birthday today is Jamie Chan's. (She was the Producer's Assistant on a show I did last year.)  Why don't you all go over to her FaceBook Page and wish her a Happy Birthday?  And if it only allows friends to view and post on her wall, go ahead and Friend her.  And when she's wondering where all of these new friends she's never heard of came from, just holler, "April Fools!".

And you know what's even better? When I was getting the link for her page, I realized that Facebook had helpfully warned me that her birthday is coming up tomorrow.  Go ahead and tell her I sent you on the wrong day. 

Sometimes, I crack me up!