Monday, June 30, 2008

What the F*@&!

     What the f*@&!  Okay, we need to talk.   Something is terribly amiss here.  How could I not win the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew?  Honestly.  I have spent literally minutes of my life working on Big Dave and Company and crafting it into the well oiled hilarity machine that it is today.  I mean come on.  Nothing but greatness spews forth from your computer every time you log on, no matter the day or the time, and yet I couldn't even win the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew award!?  I mean it's my award for Christ's sake!  I WAS the possibly five-man Sherwin Williams Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Search Committee.  I spent literally dozens of seconds sifting through over two blogs before I found Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities and awarded it the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award presented by Mountain Dew.  I mean, come on!  That has to count for something.  I mean, I have videos and lots of pictures and quotes sometimes, what more do you want?  Was it the celebrities?  Did the real celebrities tip the scales?  I have lots of real celebrities.  Doesn't anyone look at my Celebrity Endorsement section?  I FEEL LIKE I AM TAKING CRAZY PILLS!  Okay, okay.  Let's calm down and look at what Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities has that I apparently don't.  Let's see what they had that set the apart.

1.)  A sweet name.  It's true, I really dropped the ball when it came to the name of my blog.  Wendy Molyneux really hit one out of the proverbial park here, I certainly did not.  I am actually jealous of the sweet names of a lot of other blogs; I will have to admit.  So you win on this one.

2.)  Quality writing.  Ummm...yeah.  I am certainly lacking that.  I tend to write as I would speak, and I don't speak tremendously well.  I am from the Midwest.  I speak like I am from the Midwest.  I once told The Russian the I speak "Midwestern Mutt English" and that in no way, shape or form should she try to emulate my way of speaking.  But she did anyway.

3.)  Excessive creativity.  Yeah, the good people at Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities are far more creative than I will ever be.  All I do is take what's going on in my life and things I see on TV or the internet and comment on them in a unique way.  They actually come up with smart and original content.  So they are writers.  I am a commentator.  There is a difference, and we are both great in our own ways.  We are like apples and blueberries: filled with vitamins and delicious when turned into a dessert.

4.)  Lots of commentators.  Yeah, I have nothing.  I love my small and dedicated group of commentators to death, but I would LOVE to see the amount of comments go over 10 on at least one of my posts.  Even Peg-a-Saurus Rex and the Stuffed Beaver couldn't get over 10.

5.)  Blogger Blog of Note recognition.  Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities was recently featured in Blogger's Blogs of Note section.  I am not sure how one goes about this but I really need to do that.  I think that this is where they beat me.  Because I have never been of note and they are.  See the Blogs of Note section is just a stepping stone to far more intense experiences like the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew.

Okay, so I guess I don't mind so much anymore.  Seriously though, go check out Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities.  It's is hilarious and entertaining and it is fully endorsed by Big Dave and Company.  It really is creative and hilarious.  There are tons of cool posts and some cool recurring ideas.  Nothing like my adventures with the BVM's but good stuff nonetheless.  I highly recommend it.  So once again...

So congratulations to Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities, winner of the 2008 Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew.

Chevrolet Presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award Brought to You by Mountain Dew

     Hello Company!  Big news today.  It's the 30th of June and that means that it's time for us to announce the winner of the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew.  You probably don't remember because I didn't tell you, but back in April I announced a list of the five finalists for the Chevrolet presents the First Annual Big Dave Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew. The five finalists were chosen from over eleventy billion blogs by the Sherwin Williams Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Search Committee.  Months and months of intensive research by this possibly five-man committee spit out five amazing finalists.  We here at Big Dave and Company would like to list the five finalists for you but they were written down by the committee on a cocktail napkin and most of the writing got smeared.  But what we DO know is the name of the blog that won.  
     It was chosen as the winner by the staff here at Big Dave and Company for its sarcasm and wit.  Its general hilarity and the fact that is is super cool.  The blogs on a general basis contain fantastic stories, some of which are serials that appear from blog to blog, there are fascinating lists of all sorts of things, and there are even amazing pictures that appear from time to time.  It even includes a list of links to other sites and blogs and other things around the edges.  Our winning blog is also to be lauded for it's amazing creativity in both fact and fiction.  The writing is also of a high grade, which leads to easy and enjoyable reading on a daily basis.  

So without further ado, the winner of the Chevrolet Presents the First Annual Big Dave and Company Blog of the Year Award brought to you by Mountain Dew is...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Best Larry King Impression

     I have always wanted to do a Larry King-style post, where I just sprout off random thoughts that pop into my head.  Thoughts that have no connection to themselves or anything.  Just random, rediculous thoughts.  So here goes.

-  Adult Swim is a funny name that makes no sense.

-  You don't need both an electric screwdriver AND a drill.  

-  Those Swedish and their socialized medicine really like to paint their houses pastel colors.

-  For my money, you don't get funnier than Dane Cook.

-  Jeff Goldblum shouln't be allowed to talk anymore.

-  Kelly green and black make for a snazzy color combination.

-  Whoever decided to bread and fry cheese is a genius and should probably win a Nobel Prize.

-  60-year olds shouldn't hang out in college bars.

-  Reality TV is nothing like reality.  

-  Covering anything from a griddle in sausage gravy makes for a tasty breakfast.

-  In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a cold linoleum floor in the morning.

-  Does anyone actually bathe in a bathing suit anymore?

-  Telemarketers should be on TV, not on my telephone.

-  Isla Fisher is a star on the rise.

-  Knock knock jokes are obsolete because everybody has doorbells these days.

-  8 x 8 is most definitely 64. 

-  Traffic signals are only stoplights if they are red.

-  Fruity tropical ice drinks are the way to go when on a beach vacation.

-  Protesting in public is not awesome.

-  Peanuts should only be served in three places: sports stadiums, airplanes, and bars.

-  Explosions are cool unless it's my stuff that is exploding.

-  The eggplant is a highly underrated vegetable.

-  Fresh snowfall is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

-  T-shirts are a wonderful form of clothing.

-  Meat should not be blended.

-  The Weather Channel doesn't need to be in HD unless it's showing pictures of tornados.

-  Medicine is helpful.

     Those are some of my random thoughts, Larry King style.  I know that I didn't quite match is high standards for senility or hilariousness but I don't care.  If you are thinking that this is a cover for terrible writers block then you are wrong.  If you think that this was a cop out because I didn't have the time or energy to write a proper blog, you are getting warmer.  If you think that I am just a little tired and it's super muggy you are totally correct.  Congratulations, buy yourself some ice cream and pretend that it's from me.

Friday, June 27, 2008


     It's Friday, and it's payday at my work.  And that pisses me off.  Mostly because I hate payday.
     I know.  That runs contrary to what one would expect.  You are thinking that I should be enjoying payday, looking forward to it even, because it's on that day that I am rewarded for doing the job that I do.  Plus, on payday you have money.  No I don't.  Let's no sugar coat this thing.  Pay the car payment, cable bill, monthly subscription to the Muffin of the Month Club and all my cash is gone.  It's all spoken for before I even earn it.  And I haven't even gotten to my credit card payment, rent, bookie, my dues for membership in the Dorothy Shaw Bell Choir, or the myriad of prescription drugs that I have to take to silence the voices in my head, or at least to get them to stop speaking German.  So anyway, I am broke.  And I know that.  But on payday it stares me directly in the face.  The other 13 days of the pay period I can just sort of ignore and avoid it.  Not so much on payday my friends.
     Another reason that I hate payday is that I am the person responsible for handing out the paychecks.  See, my place of employment is stuck somewhere in, oh say October, 1896, so direct deposit hasn't been invented yet for us.  And we can't mail the paychecks to people because the mail apparently has to travel via messenger boy, carrier pigeon, or dogsled and that takes too long and the geniuses up in payroll, with their abacus' and hand crank adding machines with those little see-through green visors on their heads; I don't think that they could ever even remotely have their act together enough to get the paychecks into the mail on time.  So I am stuck handing out 177 paychecks every other Friday. 
     There are two things that I hate about handing out paychecks.  The first is the people.  Now don't take that the wrong way.  Some of my best and closest friends are also my co-workers.  Of course I don't hate them.  And I really don't have anything personal against most of my other co-workers.  But half of them I don't know, so I have to ask for ID or I have to ask what their name is and then I feel like a dick because the bulk of them know me in some way, shape, or form.  So now I have to stand there and fumble my way through the checks until I find theirs, which is deceptively difficult because I work with numbers all day long and now they want me to do letters and it rarely ends well.  So anyway, while all this is happening I am having to make small talk and funnies while feeling embarrassed because I didn't know that Susie Chotchbag's last name was Chotchbag.  Great.
     Then there are the people who come sliding up to the counter who probably don't deserve a paycheck.  Usually they earn considerably more than I do yet accomplish considerably less.  they have no idea what is going on at any given moment and generally don't care to give me the day of the week, let alone the time of day.  Yet they are sweet as molasses (and about as charming) on payday Friday.  Which I prefer to the people who are grouchy, demanding, or condescending.  Especially those who do it in written form.  I get a note: "Billy Toolmotron will be picking up my paycheck on 6/27/08."  Not with that kind of attitude they won't.  Seriously, you should be nice to the person who controls your paycheck.  Maybe put it politely.  "Please allow Billy Toolmotron to pick up my paycheck on 6/27/2008.  Thank you."  How hard was that?  You catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar.  Don't chastise me, argue with me, yell at me, be impatient with me.  Don't question what I am doing.  Don't give me dirty looks when I ask you questions.  That's not how this f*&@$%g works.  If you aren't nice or polite or at least civil then you don't get paid.  End of story.  You don't bite the hand that feeds you.  That is just retarded.
     The second thing that I hate about payday is The Argument.  It baffles my mind.  It happens every time, and it really gets on my nerves.  It is a pet peeve of epic proportions for me.  Those who work the midnight shift are allowed to pick up their paycheck as they leave for the day; the rest of the world can get theirs starting at 9 am.  That's the rule.  I didn't make the rule, I just have to live by it.  Or at least near it.  Now sometimes we bend the rule a little bit and start handing checks out at 8:42, maybe 8:30 if you bat your eyelashes at me, that's fine.  And there is a rush when we start disbursing the checks.  That is also fine.  I understand that.  But here is the maddening part.  The entire opening rush of people, or at least 90% of it, is made up of day shift people.   WHAT THE F'S WITH THAT?  You started at 8 am.  You are stuck there until 4 pm.  You can't leave to go to the bank.  I sure as hell am not going to cash your check for you.  YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITH YOUR CHECK!  IT'S USELESS!  So why do you need it so desperately at 9 am?  What you have in your hand is a useless piece of paper that has no value until 4 pm, or more like 4:05 because the nearest bank is like 5 miles away.  So enjoy your colorful piece of paper.  If you want, I can give you a lime green florescent Post-It Note.  That will at least be useful to you because you can write notes on it.  Maybe a reminder to cash your paycheck, I don't know.  Seriously though, you have ALL DAY to come by and pick up your check; so slide by sometime when I am not busy and get it.  Don't stand in line at 9 on the nose with the rest of the proletariat and muck things up.  Use your head for Christ's sake.
     So the long and short of it all is that I don't like payday, even though I should.  It's really just a big pain in my behind.  I mean, giving myself my check is cool, but generally handing them out to everyone else is much less so.  But hey, at least I get paid to do it, right?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

UAB Has Proved That Golf Carts Aren't Terribly Dangerous. Congratulations!

     I am a big fan of education.  When I was in college I truly enjoyed going to class, even the 8 am version.  I feel at home in academia and love the whole idea of college.  People learning.  Crazy college sports fans.  New research discoveries in exciting new fields.  Coeds.  But sometimes I start to think that people in academia have too much time and too much money on their hands.  And that they are often times misguided.  Because every once in a while you come across a research topic that doesn't make any sense, that is a total waste of time and energy.
     And that's what I thought of when I saw this article.  The good people at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), instead of doing research on a cure for cancer, or maybe new improved foodstuffs that will allow us to feed the hungry, or alternative energy they decided to spend their time and your grant money on golf carts.    More precisely on how unsafe golf carts can be.  Yep, they are electric powered death traps on wheels.  Apparently we are managing to hurt ourselves at the rate of 1000 injuries per month with these devil machines.  The UAB study was the first in America to look into golf cart injuries, and there is good reason for that.  Because every other university realized that for about twenty bucks they could have asked any one of us if golf carts are dangerous.  Of course they are dangerous.  You are mixing a.) golf, a sport that involves hitting things with a stick and that routinely pisses people off, b.) alcohol, which is as important to golf in most cases as are the golf balls, c.) idiots like me on public courses.  For an extra $10 or so you could ask us what kinds of accidents golf carts have and what injuries result.  Instead UAB decided to spend a shit ton of money and man hours to find out the same things that I would have said: that crashes and rollovers tend to cause head trauma and broken limbs, and that teenagers and men over 80 (old people as I like to call them) are the worst about doing it.  Damn that was easy.  I would have just used common sense.  The researchers at UAB poured over three years worth of emergency room admissions from across the nation.  That's fine.  But I still think it was a waste of time.
     The study also goes on to say that golf carts lack safety features and that there are no overall Federal regulations governing golf carts.  Each state sets its own laws.  Some, like Florida even require that a golf cart be modified for more speed to drive on public roads.  Great, I am glad that you spent all that time looking into that stuff UAB.  Maybe you should spend more time teaching your students to spell, as this photo clearly shows:
Okay geniuses, there is an "h" in the middle of the word Memphis.  So spend some time learning how to spell geographic and historic names and less telling me what I already know about golf carts.
     Of course golf carts are dangerous.  That's why they are so fun.  That's why, when I am golfing, I try to drive them up and over and through any obstacle that I can find.  Hills, bridges, water hazards, other golfers, I don't care.  I will try to dominate it in a little open cart that produced upwards of 10 bhp at peak RPM.  And I will probably win.  Unfortunately the golf cart is often a tragic victim in these shenanegans.  But that is of little consequence.  Dewey might break his face open but us two big fat guys totally just jumped that funky little sand trap in front of the green on the eighth hole at Gentz's Homestead Golf Course in Beaver Grove, MI.  And it was awesome.  Sorry about your face Dewey.  Sorry about your cart.  But that had a coolness factor beyond belief.  That's just how life is.  It wouldn't be as fun if the cart had a windshield and seat belts and dual front passenger airbags.  Or doors.  Because then I would be able to stand, hanging out of the cart and pointing my 4-iron into the future like I am Braveheart or something as Dewey floors it up to 6 mph in anticipation of our sweet jump.  You have to be reckless with a golf cart to have fun.  Seriously UAB.  Go out and try it on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.  You'll see. 
     So congratulations on your sweet study UAB.  And congratulations to whoever got that pushed through as a research topic.  You deserve your doctorate in being persuasive as hell.  But you are a little out of line I think.  1000 people get injured by golf carts each month on average.  In 1999 over 1000 people were killed in automobile accidents in Alabama alone.  510,000 children under the age of 15 died from AIDS in 1998.  So why are you working on the all important golf cart issue when you should be working on things like automotive safety or AIDS prevention.  For Goodness' Sake spend that money to send mosquito nets to tropical areas.  That would be a better use of the cash.  Because I know that people get hurt in golf carts and I know why.  I've seen Jackass.  All you had to do was turn on your TV UAB and you could have saved everyone some time.  I should run you down with a golf cart.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let There Be Light

     Fantastic news Company.  Yesterday I was able, in the space of two and a quarter hours, to travel forward in time through approximately a century and a half, and I didn't even have to use a flux capacitor.  Three weeks ago I wrote about my troubles with the electricity in my bedroom, all as a result of a ceiling fan installation gone terribly awry.  Well I am glad to say that the electrician came by yesterday and after an arduous process was able to get my electricity working, and I only had to sacrifice one of the two switches.  
     As the last three weeks have slipped by this problem has been confounding us more and more as time has gone on.  We figured we had an open circuit somewhere and just couldn't find it.  Landlord Bob looked at it a couple of times after telephone consultations with Electrician Bob and managed to arc it out and weld the fuse to the box again.  I wasn't home for that one.  He even crawled around in the attic for awhile and couldn't get anywhere.  The Electrician Bob managed to be unavailable or forgetful on about five separate occasions.  But Landlord Bob didn't want to call in an electrician for hire.  He was pinning his hopes on his buddy from work, Electrician Bob.  And I don't blame him.  Electricians are expensive.  Plus, if I know the wiring in this house (and it's obvious I don't) they would have insisted that the whole house was rewired.  They probably would have reported us to some sort of inspector or code official.  Because the wiring is all messed up and probably crumbling.  
     So in strolls Electrician Bob (can we call him E-Bob for short?) with his trusty meters and buzzers and flashlight.  And up he climbs onto the ladder to the electric box.  I tell him what I know and off he goes, pulling apart wires and connecting his tester to stuff.  I am in there, the ever present assistant, holding lights and flipping switches upon command.   And the more he tests, from outlet to outlet, wire to wire, switch to switch, the more confused he seems to be getting.  At the point where E-Bob says "This gets more strange with every thing I test" I think I reached the bottom pit of my hopelessness.  You see Company, as the days had gone by and nothing was happening, I gradually slid from anger and frustration and foolishness to compete and utter despair and resignation.  I just basically assumed that it would never work and that I would be sleeping on my futon in the living room for the rest of my life.  So as the creases in E-Bob's brown got deeper and deeper so did my despair.  
     It was just about this time, as we were searching for some wire to make a jump, that Landlord Bob (we are going to call him L-Bob) walked in.  Monica had called him and told him E-Bob was here and he made a bee line home.  Cool.  So he knew a little more than I did and at least it was someone who knew the both of us.  So that livened things up a little bit.  E-Bob kept plugging away little by little and pretty soon he pulled two wires off to the side and declared "These wires go to that outlet."  Success!  My spirits perked up.  We were actually getting somewhere.  Then it was "These two go to this switch."  And so on and so forth until there were only two wires left.  And he had no idea where they went.  There were two that went to one switch.  There were two that went to another switch.  There were two that went to an outlet.  There were three that had on discernible use, one of which just ran off across the attic into oblivion.  So those three were bundled together to be removed.  Then there were a set of two that went somewhere, and needed to be hooked up but that E-Bob couldn't figure out.
     So he hooks up everything else, including the ceiling fan and decides that we should see how it looked.  So L-Bob runs downstairs and plus in the fuse.  We are all cringing.  E-Bob flips on the light switch.  And the fan motor starts to turn.  The fan light comes on.  It was glorious!  There are unconfirmed reports that I may have begun weeping.  But the reading light over the bed didn't work.  Nor did any of the small bathroom.  Nor did the outlet by the bed.  So L-Bob comes bopping back in and looks at us, and we look at him, and E-Bob declares "I guess I know what those other two wires are for."  Chuckles all around.  So he figure out which is white and which is black and hooks them up and all is well.  Everything works.  In the end we had to remove one of the two switches because it was complicating everything.  So it's gone, and soon will be covered by a stylish white plate.  But that's okay.  It's a small price to pay.  E-Bob even stayed and hooked up the mounting bracket for the fan, which is where it all went wrong for me all those weeks ago.  And the fan worked after that.  It was up there, turned on, no blades, motor whirring and E-Bob says "It's not moving much air."  HAHAHAHA!  Bad joke but I liked it nonetheless.  
     So E-Bob is my hero.  Today, after I am done with this and after I am done with lunch I will reassemble the fan, put the blades on and whatnot.  And since I am feeling industrious I will probably put in the window AC too, for those days when I have to sleep during the day and it's hot an muggy.  And I will put clean sheets on my bed and all will be well.  Thanks to the Bob's.  With very little thanks to me.  L-Bob and I decided no more messing with the electricity.  So I guess it's plumbing projects from now on.  And that's okay.  Because those usually take less than a three weeks.  Plus, I am sure that there is a Plumber Bob he knows out there somewhere, and I would love to meet him.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm Sorry Guy H, But the Sand River Is Not Kayak Friendly

     Well Company, it seems that summer has finally decided to arrive and I am excited.  And since I can now go outside in shorts and a t-shirt without becoming hypothermic, and now that inland waters have started to warm up a little bit I have been trying to commune with my kayak, The Miles Standish more often.  So the other day I decided to go out into the territory of my avid reader and good friend Guy H of Sand River, MI and kayak the mighty Sand River itself.  The reason I wanted to kayak the Sand River is because near Guy's house there is a dam that creates a small lake that is part of a wildlife refuge.  This spring and summer, for whatever reason, the dam has been open so far.  And because the dam is just one gate that opens and closes the river is simply flowing through the dam at one level.  It's not meant to produce power or anything so the river is simply lazing through the dam like no big deal.  So that means that I can kayak through the dam.  And that is a rare opportunity in a land of hydroelectric dams.  
     So I wanted to take the opportunity to kayak through the dam.  Off to Sand River I went, down the Sand River Road and to the boat launch.  It was a chore getting there though.  I have been to Sand River lots of times but I have only been down the rutted, overgrown, two-track road to the boat launch one time.  I knew that there was a house down the road to the boat launch so when I turned onto a rutted, overgrown, twp-track road with a mailbox at the end I wasn't too worried.  I got down a ways, and the road kept getting narrower and more overgrown.  I went past a driveway with a gate and went a little farther before I lost my nerve.  So I stopped.  And I backed up.  All the way down the rutted, overgrown, two-track road back to the main road.  I was convinced that I hadn't found the boat launch.  So I cruised back up the Sand River Rd. looking for the boat launch.  
     By the time I got to Guy's Mom's old house I knew I had gone too far.  So I turned back and went back the other way, all the way across the bridge to the rock quarry.  And the I still hadn't found it.  The only road along that stretch was the one I had already tried.  So I went back to it and turned back down the rutted, overgrown, two-track road.  And of course it was the one.  As usual I got it right the first time and didn't trust myself.  So I got down to the boat launch and parked and unhooked the kayak from the top of my Dykewagon, set my life jacket (always wear your life jacket) on the ground and then something inside of me said "Let's go take a look at the launch area."  So I did.  And what I saw was uncool.
     Obviously the lake was missing.  I was expecting that.  I knew that.  I mean, the dam was open.  I knew that there would be a slowly meandering river through a bunch of marshy area with the dam to my right and who-knows-what to my left.  But it was what was at my feet that brought me such unhappiness.  There was the usual DNR-style concrete boat ramp, but where it stopped there was a cliff.  If you stepped off the end of the launch you would step into thin air.  There was a drop of 6-8 feet from the end of the launch down to the muddy, murky bank below.  I couldn't get down there carrying a 14 foot kayak.  I looked to the left and right and found more underbrush than I cared to slog through, still with steep banks.  So I decided to try the dam.
     I strapped The Miles Standish down and started to drive away.  That's when I remembered that my life jacket was lying on the ground.  So I stopped and picked up my life jacket and started back up the rutted, overgrown, two-track road.  Soon I hear something scraping along under the Dykewagon.  So I stooped and got out and of course there was a piece of some branch lodged in the undercarriage, with leaves attached and the whole nine yards.  And it didn't want to come out.  So here I am, in the middle of the wilderness outside of Sand River, MI getting eaten alive by bugs and wrenching on this poor little brach, trying to dislodge it from the heat shield or whatever it was lodged into.  Once I finally got it out it was off to the dam site. 
     I feel bad about the people who live near the Sand River Dam.  For whatever reason, the county maintained road crosses the river and becomes their driveway.  So anyone who drives down the road ends up turning around in their basketball court.  Which is what I did.  As I was doing this I was dismayed by what I saw.  There was nowhere with good access to the dam.  Or to the river at all for that matter.  So topography had foiled my attempts at history.
     And that's okay.  I went to another lake on my way home and had a pretty good time.  But I am sad about my failed attempt to kayak through the dam.  I will figure it out eventually.  Some day when I don't have to work at all, and when I have a little more determination I will conquer it.  I have gone harder places through more difficult terrain just to putz around in my kayak.  But the bottom line is that the Sand River is not really kayak friendly.  Sorry Guy. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Living with the BVM: Update!

     This weekend, I witnessed my neighbor attaching something to his BVM.  After watching him for a short time it became apparent that it was a halo.  Fine.  Upon closer inspection it was not only a halo but a sort of crown of thorns.  Also fine.  But the when talking with him he told me that the halo was actually NEON and that he had forgot to get the transformer from his friend's house.  As soon as he could get that the halo would be lit up at night.  Great.  Fantastic.  Now, not only will the BVM be over there watching me all the time, she will be lit up so I can't sleep either.  And so that I can never forget that she is over there.  I swear that these BVM's are going to be the end of me.

Seven Words You Can Say in the Afterlife

     At 5:55 pm PDT on Sunday afternoon comedian George Carlin died of heart failure at a Santa Monica hospital, five days after it was announced that he was to receive the 11th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  Famous for a lot of his counterculture related comedy, he probably most widely known for his list of "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV."  This list actually led to a Supreme Court case in 1978 over whether or not the government can sanction TV and radio stations for broadcasting offensive language (they can).  Six years before that he was arrested for disturbing the peace in Milwaukee for using the same seven words during his show.  My mom's boyfriend was at the show a year later; this is the story as related to me.
     On July 21, 1972 after a show at Milwaukee's Summerfest, Carlin was arrested for disturbing the peace as a result of him using profanity during his show (click here to read about how he was able to ditch the cocaine in his pockets before the police arrested him).  He spent the night in jail but no criminal charges were ever pressed.  He was acquitted of civil charges by a judge later that year.  He returned to Milwaukee a year later for a show and things were tense.  His incident had gained him a fair amount of notoriety and everyone was expecting more.  The night of the show, there was a massive police presence, with officers lining the auditorium and stationed in every isle.  Before the show officially began, as the crowd stirred and waited, Carlin walked out on stage to a microphone and stated "The last time I was here I spent an extra night in town, unexpectedly.  As a result, here is a list of seven words that you won't hear during my show tonight."  He then read off the following list: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tit.  Those are the seven words that got George Carlin in so much trouble over the years.  And since he had proclaimed them before the start of his show there was nothing the officers in the isle could do about it.  The law might be able to control what you say during shows, but they can't stop a private citizen from swearing in front of a crowd, right?  So Carlin got away with it, stuck it to the man and the world moved on.  It was brilliant.
     And that's what was so great about George Carlin.  He was always smart, and always had great insight.  And he never shirked from controversy, and never backed off from what he thought was right.  And he went through his life and his fame laughing at it all with a sort of air of disbelief.  Fantastic.  He will be missed.  His abrupt passing has removed a part of our culture and comedy history that was indispensable and undeniable.  May you be blessed on your journey from here George, I hope that wherever you are going you can say your seven words without molestation.  Wait, scratch that.  I hope that wherever you have ended up those seven words still cause controversy and still piss people off.  You wouldn't want it any other way.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Living with the BVM: A Quick Note

     I understand that I am not the most cut, muscular guy in the history of the world.  If you had to compare me to one of the cops on NYPD Blue I would be more Dennis Franz and much less Jimmy Smits. If I were one of the characters in the Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze where they are auditioning to be Chippendale's dancers, I would be more like Chris Farley and much less like Patrick Swayze.  And that's fine.  But lately there has been a strange phenomenon going on outside.  Every time that I go outside with my shirt off to get some sun on my shoulders and maybe not have such a bad farmer's tan, within 5 minutes or so the sun goes under a cloud.  I am starting to think that the BVM's are behind this.  It's like their way of telling me to keep my shirt on.  I think they see me out there, call up Mother Nature and tell her to whip up a cloud.  Silly me, I thought that the Blessed Virgin Mary wasn't supposed to be judgemental.  I guess not.  I bet that they are behind the disappearance of my Salt Book too.

Susie Q and the Waterlogged Dollar

     Oh Susie Q.  Let me tell you about Susie Q.  Julia Goulia always called her Wild Woman and that is certainly right.  Susie Q is a 60-something grandmother who is more fun and active and outgoing than any 23-year-old.  She will cross country ski and snowshoe and hike and kayak and just about anything else you'd care to have her try.  And boy could she tell a story.  Half of the fun is the story itself; the other half is the way she tells it.  And for every classic story she had to tell us, we have one about her.  And one of my favorites is the first time that Susie Q and I went kayaking.
     Near where we live there is a long, narrow lake called Teal Lake.  On the west end there is a small sandy beach that is part of a recreational areas, there are large cliffs along the middle, and there is a town on the east end, with a small beach, a boat launch, and several small businesses: a pizza place, an ice cream parlor, etc.  We were interested mostly in the ice cream parlor.  Since Susie Q lived roughly three blocks from the beach on the west end of Teal Lake, we formulated the following plan: we would take our kayaks (well, mine and Little Jeffy's, which he was gracious enough to let us borrow) across Teal Lake, from the west end to the east end, stop and have some ice cream, and then we'd head back.  Simple enough plan.  Or so you'd think.
     The day dawned rather nice, sunny and breezy but with thickening clouds.  I went up and picked up Susie Q and we made our way down to the beach in the recreation area.  It had been a while since Susie Q had been kayaking, so I got her set up and snugged in and I gave her a shove out into the lake.  Out she glided onto the water, and by the time I was able to get myself situated and out onto the lake, she might as well have been gone.  She was having a blast and apparently that did not involve waiting for me.  So I make like a madman until I catch up and off we go.  And we are both having a great time.  Susie Q grew up around the history and the shores of this lake and the two towns it connects.  I did not.  So she is telling me stories about what we are seeing along the shore, what used to be there and what is there now.  All is well.  We make it across the lake, slowly but surely.  We glide up onto the eastern shore, stow our boats and stroll over to the ice cream parlor as the day continues to cloud over.  We have some ice cream, I seem to recall having a chili dog because I was hungry, and we goof around and have a good time.  Pretty soon we decide to leave and when we get outside things have changes.  The wind has kicked up and it has clouded over.  And the wind is coming straight out of the west.  This is where the problem began.
If you remember what I told you, Teal Lake runs long and narrow from west to east.  So with the wind coming directly out of the west and squeezing between the high rock cliffs the waves on the east shore were pretty aggressive.  I don't care a whole lot about this.  For me, with my relative strength and my larger kayak this poses no problem.  I never realized that these waves would be a problem for Susie Q, the 60-something year old novice.  That is because I am dumb sometimes.  I will give her credit, she gave it hell.  She got in in the choppy weather, I gave her a shove as I stood knee deep in the water and paddled like the dickens.  But she fought the waves got the better of her and spilled her over.  It happened to quickly.  One minute she was paddling there and the next minute the was standing there, waterlogged in about 4 feet of water, holding a dollar bill over her head and yelling "I still have my dollar!"  Didn't care about all the coins that were lying on the bottom.  Didn't care about the kayak rapidly floating back towards shore.  Not excited that her glasses were still on her head.  All she cared about was that she still had that dollar.  It was the most hilarious and endearing thing.  It is an image that will live in my mind forever.  A sopping wet Susie Q and he precious dollar.  Oh what the people driving by on the highway must have thought.
     Well, in the end we made it back to shore, got ourselves sorted out and regrouped, and gave it a second time.  And it was tough but we battled the wind all the way back across the lake to the beach.  We got everything strapped to the top of the car and we were ready to go home.  Despite the spill we both had a wonderful day, although I did feel bad.  It turned out to be a recurring theme.  I don't think that I ever went kayaking with Susie Q that she didn't fall in.  No wait, I don't think she fell in at Deer Lake.  I am starting the think that I wasn't a terribly successful expedition leader.  Be that as it may Susie Q and I always had fun when sporting together, and I will always have nothing but fond memories.  But few will be as amazing as the memory of Susie Q and her waterlogged dollar.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

Living with the BVM 2

     A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how my neighbors went out and installed a six foot tall statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) in their backyard that looked at all of the areas where I try to sin.  And that's fine.  Her presence has for the most part kept me from sinning.  No swilling beers in my driveway.  No belting out swears in the garage.  No stumbling up my stairs after a night at the bar.  No cheap floozies hanging around in my bedroom.  The BVM, as expected, has kept me in line.  But as I came wandering up the driveway and made the turn up my stairs, I saw something through my stairs.  See, my stairs are the kind that you can see through, so you can shovel the snow through it in the winter, maybe throw stuff through at your friends below.  I don't know why my friends would be hanging out down there, all that's there is a flower garden and a gas meter and a basement window well.  Until today.  As I trod up my stairs with my head down I noticed today a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary hanging out under my stairs, praying for my soul.
  I can smell the smoke billowing from your head as you try in vain to understand just how a six foot tall, cast iron statue of the BVM that was lashed to a deck could move roughly 40 feet from my neighbors yard to below my deck.  And for a minute I was thinking the same thing.  I mean, I don't think some hooligans came running in and moved things around.  I don't think that The Peg-a-saurus Rex did it even though she's had a hard on for the BVM lately.  I suppose it could have been a miracle.  Miracles are always possible then the BVM is involved.  But nay, it was none of the above.  As my landlord was cleaning the garage and getting prepared for their big rummage sale, he must have stumbled across their own statue of the BVM.  And keeping up with the Jones' being what it is, they put her out, under the shelter of my stairs, for all the world to see.  And to stare down the other BVM.  Just great.
     There are differences between the two BVM's.  My landlord's BVM is smaller, and she hasn't been repainted in some time.  She's cloaked in more of a yellowish robe as opposed to the resplendent blue next door.  But she's pretty enough.  And she's just as pious.  But she's much closer to me.  At least she's not looking at me.  But she can hear me.  So now they've got both bases covered.  And I am in a bad way.
Now, as I try to do my business, no matter what business it is I am trying to do, one of the two BVM's will be on to me.  Either the one across the way will be looking at me with that odd mix of mourning and benevolence, or the one under the stairs will be hearing all the juicy details.  I might look innocent enough talking to that girl who works at Menard's on the back porch to the BVM next door, but the BVM under the stairs will hear all the sweet nothings I am whispering in her ear.  We might look like four high school chums playing euchre on the deck to the BVM next door, but the BVM under the stairs will hear the terrible jokes and the horribly inappropriate banter.  We might sound innocent enough, standing on the deck looking at the stars to the BVM under the stairs, but the BVM across the way will see my trying to cop a feel on the neighbors daughter.  So great.  I am screwed no matter what.  I don't know if God in his omniscience tipped off the BVM that I was still up to no good and encouraged her to get some help or what but COME ON!  This is getting quite ridiculous.
     I've thought about being proactive in my approach, I really have.  I think that the BVM under the stairs would look lovely with some red earmuffs on, and the BVM next door could use one of those ornate sleep masks, or maybe a trucker hat that says "Highland Feed & Bean, Inc. Ault, CO 80610 (970) 834-2891" and has a picture of a cow on it or something.  I am thinking yellow writing on a black trucker's hat, you know the kind with the mesh on it.  So anyway, I am thinking that one of those on the BVM next door would really make it hard for her to see what's going on at my place.  Yeah, I want to do that.  I want to do that SO BAD.  But I can't.  I really can't.  Because you can't defile a statue of the BVM like that.  You just can't.  If you live in Cleveland, and the Indian's finally are playing for the pennant like you are in Major League or something, you can't even put an Indian's t-shirt on the BVM.  She can only be clothed in her motherly vestments.  The most that you can do to a statue of a BVM, other than place it in a half bathtub buried in the ground, is to put a rosary around her folded hands.  That's it.  That's all you can do.  Then she gets to pray the Rosary instead of her usual prayers.  It's like a refreshing change for her.  But that's all you can do.  That's it.  No winter hat in the winter to keep her hear warm.  No sleeping mask so she can't see my shenanigans.  That's the rule.
     So that's it for me.  There is not much else I can do.  I can spend thousands of dollars to soundproof my apartment and put two way mirrors in all my windows.  But that seems like an awful large investment for an apartment that only has electricity in half of it.  I suppose I could get another place, maybe a permanent room at a local hotel, but I am too poor for that business.  As far as I can see all I can so is shape up and be good.  And that is no fun.  But that's the price you pay, I guess, for living with not one, but two BVM's.  May God have mercy on me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chili con Genius

Sometimes it doesn't pay to fight.  Sometimes one just has to succumb and do what fate and karma and that kid down the street wants you to.  Recognizing that will make one's life go much easier and lower the old blood pressure a lot.  I realize this and so I am going to just take my own advice.  Since chili and cheese are have been looking me in the face and popping up in my life all day long, I am going to write about it.
Yeah, that's right.  Chili and cheese.  First Dingo was eating chili cheese fries for lunch today.  They looked pretty delicious.  Then I got home and was watching television and a Dairy Queen commercial came on, touting chili cheese dogs.  It looked pretty delicious as well.  So that got me thinking, chili and cheese goes well on a lot of things.  I wonder what else it would go good with?
-  Baked Potatoes.  Yeah, I am not sure if anyone has ever tried this before, but someone should.  I am thinking you hollow out the halves of the potato a little bit, nestle a little chili and in there, put some cheddar cheese on top of it, and maybe a dollop of sour cream.  Some onions if you are into that kind of thing.  Yeah, and then there are options after that.  Eat the chili and a little potato like it's a little bowl.  Or just eat the whole shebang, skins and all.  That's how I would do it.  And it would be delicious.
-  Tater Tots.  Now I can hear all you naysayers out there saying "Big Dave, come off the potato products, chili and cheese would taste really good with any potato product really.  Even potato chips but probably not mashed potatoes."  True, I agree.  But hear me out.  I am not thinking of a pile of tater tots with some chili and cheese slopped all over the top of it.  Well I am now that I wrote that but I am thinking beyond that.  I am thinking of a tater tot casserole with chili, cheese, onions, all layered and delicious with some sour cream as a garnish.  Throw it together and bake it until it's all nice and warm and gooey and bubbly.  Mmmmm...I am drooling on my love seat right now.  Plus, that is the kind of thing that is good cold in the morning.  Or warmed up in the microwave if you have a hangover.  Not if you are still drunk though.
-  Noodles.  Yeah, I think this will be good.  In fact I know it will.  Because back in the day I always ate chili with noodles.  That's called Cincinnati Chili.  I learned that on CSI:Miami.  I didn't live in Cincinnati, but that's how we ate it.  And I liked it.  And I think that if you tried it you'd like it.  Any kind of noodle would do.  We always used elbow macaroni but spaghetti noodles would work well I think, so would egg noodles.  Yeah, that would be real good.
-  Bread Bowl.  Yeah, chili in a bread bowl is all over out there.  I don't even need to write about it.  But what about a chili and cheese sandwich?  Instead of in a bread bowl maybe between two pieces of sourdough.  That would be sloppy but no more so than a sloppy joe.  Yum.  Just don't wear a white shirt.
-  Chili Cheese Burger.  This is out there if you look for it.  Carl Jr./Hardee's have these from time to time.  Many other family restaurants have them too.  I recommend it.  Get fries though and it's like a two-for-the price of one.
-  Eggplant.  I bet you've never thought of this.  I think that some chili and cheese on a bed of either sliced eggplant or even shredded eggplant would be great.  What would be really good would be like an eggplant parmigiana but made with chili and cheese instead.  Mmmmm...that would be tasty.  I should look into that.  For variation you could bread and fry the eggplant, bake it, whatever.  Or just do it straight up.  It would be a bit of an odd texture combination but I am telling you, the taste would be right on.  This is one that I am going to have to try sometime soon.
-  Salad.  Yeah, I've had this and it's actually pretty good.  Wendy's used to have it and I like it.  I mean,I refuse to eat at Wendy's in my town anymore (don't ask) but I tried it once somewhere else and Little Jeffy was eating it in Idaho and quite frankly it's delicious.  Seriously, just put chili and cheese and onion and sour cream on top of a bed of lettuce with some crushed up tortilla chips sprinkles on it.  It would be good.
-  Tortilla.  Yeah, I am thinking chili with all the fixin's would be good wrapped up in a tortilla.  Like a soft tortilla.  Maybe you'd have to throw in something to thicken it up a little, like make the chili thicker or put in some crushed up chips.  But it's doable I think and I think it would be good.  You could even pour a sauce over it like it was an enchilada or something.  I might have to try this one too.
-  Cornbread.  I think that that goes without saying.
-  Green Pepper.  You could do it like stuffed peppers.  Hollow out a green pepper, or maybe cut it in half and put some in each half and bake it.  Yum.  You'd have to somehow cut the strength of the green pepper but it could be done.  And I think that it would be delicious and unique.  Try it sometime and let me know.
     I think that these are all golden ideas.  Some of them are so golden that they've already been done.  If you have a bunch of leftover chili at your house then I am pretty much your hero right now.  If you are making chili and you can't get your kids to eat it, then I am terribly helpful.  If you are bold enough to try any of these ideas let me know, because I think they'd all be good.  Some of them I intend to try myself.  If you have any good ideas of your own let me know.  I can always use the advice.  So go out and make your chili and see what you can do with it.  Maybe we call all take over the Food Network and get famous.  And wouldn't that be cool?

Hedgehog Diplomacy

Sometimes things happen in this world that are zany.  Just off the wall.  Someone somewhere makes a decision, and it's usually a bad one, and the next thing you know you are a feature on news sites from Astana to Zanzibar.  And that is never good.  And so it went for Mr. William Singalargh of Whakatane on New Zealand's North Island.  Sometime in the early hours of February 9 he decided that he would pick up a hedgehog and throw it at a local teen.  I did not make that up.
This article is about his sentencing; I've unfortunately lost the article about the original crime.  Eureka!  I have found it and you can read it here.  If you don't like to read then...well, if you don't like to read what are you doing here?  This is all words unless I stick in a picture or two.  But anyway, if you don't want to read about it I will tell you.  They never tell exactly why out buddy Billy chooses to chuck the hedgehog at a 15-year-old boy, but he managed to hit his mark, leaving "a large, red welt and several puncture marks" according to Senior [Police] Sgt. Bruce Jenkins.  Singalargh was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and could have faced up to five years in prison.  In the end he was convicted merely of assault and offensive behaviour (I have to add the 'u', this is New Zealand after all) and fined $NZ 700 which is about $US 545, of which the majority went to the victim.  It was unclear if the hedgehog was alive or dead when utilized, and as such they charge of cruelty to animals could not be applied.  The hedgehog, however, was deceased when the local police collected it as evidence.
I am guessing that when Billy boy picked up the nearest object he could find and threw it at that bratty kid, he never realized the trouble he would cause.  And I am guessing that when the victim got into his altercation with Billy that he would be the victim of a vicious hedgehog attack.  But that's how it turned out.  Now Billy is out $NZ 700 and there is a 15-year-old with a sweet scar and a hell of the story for his buddies back in the math club.  Honestly though, it's always those little decisions that we make that balloon into something huge that get us in trouble because we fail to see the potential consequences.  Decide to pass that slow moving camper out on the gravel road and then BAM! you run head on into an Olympic equestrian hopeful on her horse.  Now you are in jail.  Use your credit card at the shady Szuchuan restaurant instead of the 20 in your pocket and now your identity is stolen and someone is enjoying a Lamborghini that you are stuck paying for.  Small decisions with major results.  Pass a camper.  Swipe a card.  Chuck a hedgehog.  Now an Olympic hopeful is dead; you are no longer you; you are bouncing around in the courts; you are in trouble up to your neck and sinking fast.  Who would have thought? 
I sure do hope that our boy William was drunk when he threw the hedgehog.  He had to have been.  No one sober or in their right mind would throw an animal, dead or alive, at someone else.  If it had been me on the misty New Zealand night, I would have reached down, picked up the furry implement of death and just started laughing.  Confrontation over.  The kid doesn't have a welt, I am not in jail, everyone goes home happy.  And I hope that the hedgehog was dead when he threw it.  Because, let's be honest, no wild animal is going to just sit idly by and allow you to throw it at someone.  First of all if it were alive that hedgehog would have been hiding from Billy and the Teenager.  He wouldn't have been sitting on the side of the road, eating popcorn, and taking bets on who would win the fist fight.  Secondly, if the hedgehog HAD been there chilling and realized that Singalargh was coming for him, he would have run.  So Singalargh would have had to chase him God knows where to get a hold of him before throwing him.  I can just picture a drunken New Zealander, probably wearing a rugby shirt, stumbling around chasing a freaked out hedgehog in an attempt to catch it so he could throw it.  No, scratch that.  I think it's even more hilarious if William is sober, making a concerted, coherent effort to chase and trap the animal to use as a projectile.  And why the hell is the Teenager standing there while this is happening?  I would be running for my young life.  Or hiding behind a parked Holden or something other than just standing there wondering what the hell is going on.  Save that for once you are at a safe distance.  Thirdly, most wild animals that I have met don't really take kindly to being held by people.  Just ask The Crocodile Hunter if that stingray wanted to be held on to. (Too soon?) Or any of the other animals that he came across.  Try to catch and hold a wild deer.  It doesn't work.  If on the odd chance the hedgehog wasn't hiding, and on the even more remote chance that Billy boy caught the damn thing, the hedgehog would have been scratching and biting and otherwise mauling Singalargh in every way, shape, or form possible.  It had to have been.  It would have been like a whirling tornado of hair and teeth and ears, biting and scratching and sticking quills in places that I don't even want to think about.  Don't you think?  Or am I way off base here?  I don't think so.  I've been outside, and I have Animal Planet on my cable system, and I've seen an awful lot of episodes of America's Funniest Home Videos so I know about how animals react to stuff.  And I know that they don't just lie there complacently while people pick them up and throw them.  If you think that they do you are stupid and obviously have trouble telling the difference between an animal and a baseball.  That probably answers your questions about why that animal in your yard won't eat the cat food you keep putting out for it.
So where do we go from here?  I am not exactly sure.  Mr. Sigalargh has presumably paid his fine and is now square in the eyes of the law.  The Teenager's leg has presumably healed; perhaps there is a scar there to document the incident for posterity.  The hedgehog was probably buried or thrown into a landfill, thus ending it's saga and assuring that it will never serve a stint as a bird again.  And the world moves on.  In another month or so someone will do something stupid again and Billy and his hedgehog will be forgotten.  Some airhead mother in Philadelphia will drive two blocks with her baby in a car seat on top of her car, or a hiker in South Africa will accidentally urinate on an electric fence surrounding a diamond mine and we will all forget about just how stupid William Singalargh, the Teenager, and their incident with the hedgehog really was.  Until someone else who is awfully stupid tries to pack a hedgehog as a weapon and go through airport security we can rehash this whole episode again.  I can't wait.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Plus Randy Stevens

     Hey there Company, it's me, Big Dave.  Please, please keep it down.  It's a tick after 12:30 am and I am in hiding in my super secret emergency bunker below the intersection of W 8th and Wollaston Streets in Wilmington, Delaware.  Earlier today I tried to go outside and throw some sprouted potatoes into the woods behind my house and discovered something terrible waiting for me outside my front door.  So I threw the blinds, went back into my apartment, grabbed my emergency provisions bag, punched out the screen on one of my living rooms side windows, hopped out onto the ledge, jumped down into a bush, and ran like hell, vanishing into the depths and shadows of my neighborhood.  I emerged at the airport, hopped a plane to Delaware via Minneapolis, Denver, and Birmingham, Alabama (it was a super saver fare, in which I had to fly on a weekday after 6:54 MDT and make at least two connections and fly for at least 2 hours on a propeller plane.  I know, it sounds awful but I saved $13.49 over regular ticket prices!) and scurried into my super secret emergency bunker.  So what was it that was hanging out on my deck, lounging in my deck chairs, rifling through my rooftop storage box, and paging through the very National Geographics that I was going to retrieve?  What was it that made me go to such great lengths to ensure my safety?  Well, when I opened my front door and stepped out I saw, waiting for me, five people who scare the shit out of me.
     1.)  Oprah Winfrey.  Yeah, I am going to start with her.  Oprah is like the new Hitler.  Yeah, I said it.  Except that instead of discriminating based on hair color or eye color or skin color like Hitler, she discriminates based on whether or not you have a vagina.  Or if you are a dude who wishes you 
had one.  Seriously, nobody seems to see this.  I feel like I am taking crazy pills!  Millions of people read a book just because she says to read it.  Millions of people tune in to television stations just because she's on them.  Millions of people would vote for her if she were to run for President.  And there is not one good reason why.  She has never done anything to make herself be revered other than cry once in a while while on TV with a teenage cancer patient or a homeless mother of 16 who is living in a shipping crate.  Seriously, just think about it.  She's so much more powerful than you will ever know.  That one guy, how do we say, embellished the truth a little bit in his book and made her look like an idiot.  He went back on her show, made his apology, and then WAS NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN.  I bet you can't even spit out his name.  I can't.  That's how she is.  Ruthless and unforgiving.  And that scares me to the very depths of my soul.
     2.) Martha Stewart.  Martha Stewart is pure, straight, evil.  I am serious.  She sets impossibly high standards in homemaking that even the most bored and industrious housewife or househusband could never 
even hope to achieve.  And honestly, most of the shit she does I would never want in my home anyway.  Because they make houses feel unliveable.  You know what I want in my house?  A couch, a TV, some pots and pans, and a bunch of filth and junk.  That's what makes your house feel like a home.  Her house feels like a magazine picture come to life.  Let's see why else is she evil?  I am pretty sure all of her product line that's for sale at K-Mart or wherever is made by European orphans in an underground lair in the hills of central Portugal, and then they are shipped out under dark of night avoiding all sorts of EU customs and taxes.  Also, she was willing to do time to be super rich.  That's messed up.  She could have been just merely rich doing things the right way, but she decided that being incarcerated was worth all that extra rich.  That dedicated.  It's that kind of dedication that would lead her to find me no matter where I am.  Even here in my super secret emergency lair.  Plus, I am about 98% sure that Martha Stewart is just Dick Cheney in a cardigan and page boy wig.  So that means that she will shoot me in the face at the drop of a hat.  Except in Martha Stewart guise she will have to shoot me with a hot glue gun instead of a hunting rifle.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I am sure that Martha Stewart packs a Luger in her sock.
     3.)  Ron White.  Yeah, that's right.  I said Ron White.  The comedian who was on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.  I know that he's hilarious, but he looks like at any moment he could go off, beat the shit out of me, and then put that in his comedy routine.  Plus, he could drink me under the table no questions asked.
 And I can usually hold my own.  But Ron White would blow me out of the water.  Or the high ball if you'd rather.  And at any party we happened to be at together he would totally steal the show and make me feel like shit.  Plus, he has a far cooler motor home than I will ever have.  EVER.  And although he doesn't lord it over me at the moment, I am always worried that he will eventually.  And it's tough to live while looking over your shoulder and seeing that all the damn time.  Yeah, that's what Ron White does to me.  And he could very easily do it to you too.
     4.)  Coach McGuirk.  I know, I know, I know.  He's a cartoon.  He's just on the show Home Movies. But honestly, he's an awful, awful coach.  And just about as poor a human being.  I know he means well but he always give awful advice and he leaves a trail of broken lives behind him as he goes ab
out his business.  He hates soccer yet he's a soccer coach  He hates kids yet he works at an elementary school.  And at any minute he is about three seconds from strangling me for using my hands.  Plus, it was an actual guy on my deck who was dressed like Coach McGuirk and who was acting like Coach McGuirk.  And that guy can't be right.  Because he's walking through life dressed like a cartoon character from Adult Swim.  So I don't know if it's the Coach or the Guy that scares me more, but either way it was messed up.  Really.
     5.)  Randy Stevens of Tuscon, Arizona.  He knows why.
     So those people were waiting outside for me when I emerged from my domicile and as you can see it scared the shit out of me.  But you would be scared too if you saw that on your deck when you came outside and all those people were there.  As such, I am in hiding in my super secret emergency bunker, watching all five of those people on big monitors with no sound.  Because I have no need for sound.  There are lip readers around who will translate for me.  And that's all I need.  But I am not going to come out of hiding until they leave me in peace.  So watch out, because I am desperate to save myself.  And I am not below selling you out to do it.  Not when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse plus Randy Stevens are involved.

Cat Strollers and Doggy Bags

     There are a lot of ridiculous things in this world.  And very few of these things are natural.  Most of them are man made.  And today on TV I saw one of the most ridiculous.  And not just because it was pink. Because it was a cat stroller.
     Now I've seen people walk their cats.  In fact, I'll up the ante.  I know people who walk their cats.  I absolutely adore some people who walk their cats.  But those people walk them with a leash and a harness.  That's normal.  That's how animals are supposed to be walked.  That why it's called a walk.  Because the people walk.  And the animals walk.  And it's fun and it's exercise.  And Mother Nature smiles and the world goes around.  
     The problem I have in not with taking your cats out into the world.  The problem I have is doing so in a cat stroller.  For those of you who don't know what a cat stroller is, it's basically a pet carrier, in this case
divided into two rooms, mounted to a frame.  It basically looks like some mad scientist took a pet carrier and welded it to one of those strollers like I used to have when I was a kid, the kind that had a flimsy metal frame and the handles made two little hooks and that the kids could get hurt if it tipped over or something.  Not like the kind they have now that are more stable than a tank, and have side curtain airbags in case a rogue shopping cart comes by or something.  So anyway, the front room of the pet carrier is covered with mesh, so the dumb cat can see out and be in the breeze or whatever.  And the back room is covered with a canvas material with little windows so the dumb cat can hide if it wants so.  So that room totally defeats the purpose.  Let's take the dumb cat outside to see the world and be part of our lame family so it can hide and not even see anything.  Oh how smart is that.  Someone who is dumb enough to have a cat stroller wouldn't be smart enough to think of that though I suppose.  So I guess it makes sense then, doesn't it?  
     The bottom line here is that if you own a cat stroller, or read this and want to own one, then you have such a warped sense of reality, and are so lacking in common sense, that you shouldn't even be allowed to go outside anyway.  So you will have to take your cat stroller inside and use it on the treadmill.  Because you obviously don't have a clue and will probably be hit by a bus, or fall into a small stream if we allow you to wander around unattended.  So this should be the law:  All cat strollers should be sold with either a.) a leash and harness combo, and not for the cat, for the person using the cat stroller, because they really should be tethered to a zip line or a park bench or something for their own protection and ours or b.) a state-approved sitter to make sure that they behave and don't kill themselves.  That's the only way that this works for me.  
     Now, settle down cat people.  I am not just picking on you today.  Because the dog world, the world in which I much prefer to live, has a version of this phenomenon as well.  And it's retarded for many of the same reasons that the cat stroller is.  The dog world's version is the dog purse.  You know what I am talking
 about.  This is a favorite of those young, hot, yet ultimately revolting Hollywood actresses who like their little tiny yippy dogs and who like to carry them everywhere with them.  To court for their arraignment, to the hot new Italian sushi restaurant, to rehab.  So they have these big purse or bag looking things that you get and you put your stupid little dog in there and off you go.  This trend was started by that psycho Paris Hilton and that dog from the Taco Bell commercials that she is always running around with.  And it needs to be stopped.  For several reasons.  First of all there are a lot of places that you really shouldn't be taking your dog.  Like the grocery store.  Or the antifreeze factory.  Or funeral parlors.  Or the International Pet Allergy Convention.  If you are Australian and reading this, and you own a dingo, then you should also not take your pet into a child care facility or a hospital nursery.  That's just common sense.  I don't care if you are the heiress to an eleventy billion dollar urinal cake fortune.  You still shouldn't be taking your teacup poodle into Wimbledon.  
     I think that one of the things that makes me the most angry about the dog part is that most of the people
who are big into these dog bags are very wealthy.  Or at least somewhat wealthy.  So they can afford a different solution.  If it is so terribly important that you take Tinkerbell or Mojo or Lilybelle or whatever you lame dog's name is into every building enter or every event that you attend then you should spend the money and get them trained as a seeing eye dog.  Because service dogs are allowed in just about every environment in today's society.  It doesn't matter if you are disabled (well, we know that you are mentally disabled in some way, shape of form if you have a what is literally a doggy bag) or blind or anything, because it's still a service dog and you are at least sort of trying.  
     So if you've gone out and bought a doggy bag or a cat stroller lately then you are no longer my friend.  If you are walking your pet, even if your pet is a ferret or a big white rat, then you are okay because you are living in reality and I can deal with you.  If you've in the past gone out and bought one of these monstrosities and have since realized that you have made a terrible mistake then there is still hope for you.  Go out and get into your vehicle.  Go to a town at least 72 miles away and find a rummage sale.  Arrange with the person who is running the rummage sale to allow you to include your cat stroller or dog purse in the rummage sale, and have them send the money they make from the sale to a post office box in a third town.  Then go there next week and check and see if your money is there.  Then you've removed the mistake from your life, and its all done anonymously.  And you can move on with your existence.  But please realize that you can never tell anyone about what you've done.  Because then I will have to put you in a tether.  And nobody wants that.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Your Dad

It's Father's Day kids.  So my question is this: what the hell are you doing reading my lame blog when you should be hanging out with your dad?  Unless you are reading this blog with your dad, then it's cool.  But seriously, go call him right now.  I'll wait...




...all done?  That's cool.  I know that you talked to your mom longer on Mother's Day but that's okay.  It's the thought that counts.  A lot of fathers aren't that talkative anyway, at least not on the phone.  They'd rather be building a tree fort or restoring a '69 Camaro than chit chatting on the phone.  And that's okay.  Maybe they are outside, manning the grill for a big Father's Day cookout, wearing a silly apron that says "Kiss the Cook," the sun beating down on his rapidly graying and thinning hair, cold Miller Genuine Draft Lite (he's watching his weight) in one hand, complete with beer cooler that says "A bad day of fishing is still better than a great day at work,"  and a set of grill tongs in the other, getting ready to turn the brats or maybe flip a burger.  Ahhh...yes, that's good stuff.  Sometimes they authorities get things right, putting Mother's Day in May when the flowers are blooming and putting Father's Day in June when the weather is just perfect for being in the backyard.  And generally there is no place that he'd rather be.  Surrounded by family and friends with good food, good beer, and the Royals on the radio.  
Even if your dad isn't into the scenario outlined above, that is cool.  You go and do whatever he wants to do.  Because he deserves a special day.  It's not easy to be a dad.  It's really not.  I know, there are a lot of piss poor fathers out there giving dad's a bad name.  But there are also a lot of men out there doing the right thing.  Sticking around to raise the kids regardless.  Raising children that aren't his.  The bottom line, what I am trying to say, is this:  There is a big difference between being a father and a dad.  We aren't here to honor the one who created you, we are here to honor the one who raised you.  That's dad.  And it's his day.
If it's the mother who makes the everyday working of life that click, by in large it's the dad who makes the memories.  You don't remember your mom packing your lunch into your sweet red Garfield lunch box every day, but you remember how your dad took you out fishing.  You remember your dad putting the swing set together for the first time in the back yard.  You remember the vein popping out of his forehead when the boat fell off the trailer on the way to your vacation cabin.  You remember him shaking down your boyfriend the first time he came to pick you up for a date.  And you don't remember, but he was so very proud when you were born.  This tough guy with the calloused hands and the scratchy beard turned into a big teddy bear the first time you were put in his arms.  And if you were his first, he was scared to death to break you, I guarantee.  Nothing brought him more joy than walking down the midway at the county fair, holding your one little hand while you held the ice cream cone in the other, with ice cream dripping all over your face and down your arm and all over your clothes.  He might have been gruff and annoyed by your messiness, but inside his heart was melting.  And he was working really hard to keep it together on the outside.
And so we honor the father.  Kids, remember that for the most part your dad is just trying to look out for you, keep you safe from harm, make sure you grow up to be smart and safe and successful.  It might seem like he's trying to cramp your style or ruin your fun, but he's just trying the shepherd you through on your way to adulthood.  So cut him some slack.  Nothing he ever did for you was ever done in vain, so make sure to return the favor a little bit.  Cut the grass so he can go fishing.  So out shopping so he can watch the race in peace.  Just make sure he's happy on this Father's Day.  Because he really does deserve it.  
So Happy Father's Day Dad!  Thanks for everything and I love you.

And Happy Father's Day to all the other fathers out there.  You're doing a heck of a job.  Enjoy your day.