Thursday, August 31, 2006

Commuters Rejoice, For Just A Few Seconds

Are you waking too early in the morning and missing time with your family because you return from work too late at night? Well, those times are coming to an end, some would say. The census bureau has announced that since 2000, the average daily commute time in the U.S. has gone down by 24 seconds. You read it right, our good friends who conduct the census actually took the time announce that your commute time is less than half a minute shorter!

And it gets even better because that’s only accounting for a one-way trip. That means your commute is actually 48 seconds shorter because I don’t know anyone who only drives to work and doesn’t bother driving back home, unless they’re employed by the mob, perhaps. So rejoice, break open the bubbly and make those early dinner reservations.

The new commute time average is now 25.1 minutes, which is down from 25.5 in 2000. I don’t know about where you live but the realistic commute time here in Southern California easily has to be double that. Around here, the urban sprawl has led to an urban crawl. It takes forever to get anywhere at any time of day where I live. The long travel times also apply to going to the grocery store, to dinner or just about anywhere. It’s an added challenge when you have twins that you recently potty trained in the car with you. Driving in traffic with them is a lot like the movie Speed. You can’t go over 55 mph and you’re driving around a ticking time bomb, so to speak.

Sadly, in most cities where the freeways have existed for 50 years now, there is very little room for highway expansion. Until we get to the days of the Jetsons where we can fly little teacup saucer looking UFO things to work, we will have to make do with long commutes. I have read that some freeways may become double deckers. Although by the time they are approved, engineered, built and opened, our commute time will be around 79 seconds less and all the work won’t be worth it because we’ll all be so happy with the extra free time. Let’s face it, for most of our lives, the definition of commute will continue to be “the action of driving long distances to work in a city where the driver cannot afford to live.”

But let’s not dwell on the negative grief that our ever-expanding nation has caused us. Let’s focus instead on all of the wonderful things we can do now with that extra 48 seconds we will have each workday.

With all that extra time, we can um, well, let me see… It’s more time to floss. It’s almost a minute sooner that you can sit down to dinner. It’s one less commercial on the radio or one less traffic update reiterating that the freeway you are currently on is stopped like a parking lot. 48 seconds is more than enough time to get another telemarketer call or bitten by one more mosquito while enjoying the extra time relaxing outside in the evening. It provides almost a whole minute more of game show watching. But most importantly of all, it’s 48 more ticks of the clock that you can spend blogging.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Let Me Put You On Hold, While I Throw You

Can you think of any aspect of our lives where cell phones have not penetrated? They are little miracles of science that put us in touch with anyone virtually anywhere at any time. I guess Star Trek’s “communicator” device wasn’t too far fetched after all. Well, the continued influence of cell phones in our lives has now become sport. Finland just hosted the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship. I don’t think it will rival the World Series yet, but it was important enough to be written about by news agencies on the Wondernet. And when that happens, I get to blog about it. Maybe we have finally found an acceptable alternative to dead eel tossing.

The competition brought in folks from around the world to showcase their phone-throwing prowess. A Finn won the event, which always makes me wonder about fairness when someone wins a sporting event on their home turf. The story about the event said that the competitors favor certain brands and weights for throwing. Remember those old original cell phones that were so big they practically had a shoulder strap? They reminded me of the field phones used in Vietnam. I wonder what really would be better to throw, a light little flip phone or the old industrial strength pseudo-military model. I know which one would do the most damage if it landed in the wrong place.

It’s funny to think that we can spend a few hundred bucks on a brand new cell phone and then turn it into a baseball just a year or so later. After “retiring” them, they can be used as paperweights, doorstops and even toys for toddlers.

The best part about the competition is not the few moments of exercise it provides. It’s a great way to recycle all of the old cell phones. Most of us replace our phones every 2 years, if not sooner, so there are a lot of old phones and batteries just sitting around. Maybe everything we recycle should be done in such a fun and competitive manner. Recycling old motor oil would be a lot more fun if it was thrown for distance. Since most utility companies sponsor recycling programs for old appliances, it could now be done by catapult. Ditto for non-operating vehicles we want to donate to charity and old car batteries.

This nation could become so much more environmentally friendly if our recycling programs are turned into competitions. After all, the rule in this country is if you make it a competition and put up a prize, you get people interested. Let’s just make sure we don’t extend the recycle tossing to include used cloth diapers or old dentures.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Strange Happenings Down On The Farm

I don’t know what British farmers eat or drink to be merry, but it seems like they’ve all gone a little ‘hay’ wire. After hearing about the following story, I’m thinking there may be some foreign farmers out there with a little too much time on their hands.

A report out of London stated that an English farmer has noticed that cows have accents that are varied by region. He is very close to his cows and noticed recently that they moo similarly to his own accent. This farmer has spoken with other cow owners who have noticed the same phenomenon. The belief among these farmers is that the more time they spend with their cows; the easier it is for the cows to learn their accents.

This of course begs the questions of how much time these guys are really spending with their herds and what all are they saying to them. Do they roam the fields with their livestock as they graze upon acres and acres? Are they speaking about philosophy, telling jokes or reciting bible verses to them? For cows to get familiar enough with their owner’s dialect to be able mimic it in their mooing, the farmers must be saying more than “come here” or “go there.” Do they serenade their heifers? Do we really want to know?

Whatever the disturbing answers to those questions are, it’s obvious that some English farmers are more than just owners to their livestock. It’s nice to think that they pass away the time with their herds talking to them and no doubt sharing their innermost thoughts. Provided you could tell the difference, it would be fun to hear cows moo in their different accents.

I wonder if the same thing is true here in the US. I don’t want to milk this, but if it is, it means we get our milk and beef from surfer cows (like, uh, Pauly Shore), New England cows (like the Kennedys), Deep South cows (like the Food Network’s Paula Dean), Cajun cows (like Dr. John), Wisconsin cows (I need a little help with this one) and Texas drawl cows (like Sam Elliot when he tells us that beef is what’s for dinner).

You know, a long time ago I was walking past a field of grazing cattle here in Southern California and could have sworn their calls and moos sounded a lot like “What’s up, dude?” I always just thought it was the wind, but now I’m not so sure…

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bring Ye Your Fat, Your Tired, Your Asthmatic…

Reuters recently reported that Australia has decided it’s time to increase the size of their army. Having committed soldiers in the Pacific Islands to monitor destabilization has left the Australian army a little thin. However, a new plan proposed by the military’s leadership will fatten their army, in more ways than one.

Australia’s army is going to loosen the requirements for military service (and waist size). This will allow overweight individuals and borderline asthmatics to become Australian soldiers. One of the highest ranking military officials in Australia was quoted as saying he wasn’t worried about the methods used to increase his forces because (and this is a real quote, not a fabricated one) “we're good at getting people fit and taking the weight off them.” He makes it sound so obvious that you wonder why any military wouldn’t run out and sign up all the unfit people they can find.

I am currently reading David McCullough’s “1776” about George Washington’s leadership of America’s Continental Army during the revolution. I bring this up because as desperate as this young country was for soldiers to fight the British, we didn’t even resort to what Australia has proposed. Now granted we had no problem enlisting the elderly and the occasional 14-year male, but we never enlisted asthmatics. That’s just cruel.

If the Australian government is anything like ours, I’m sure they’ve researched the impact this will have on their army. Have they thought about how many potential soldiers they will lose during training though? Can you imagine how grueling boot camp will be for these recruits? It’ll be very similar to NBC’s “Biggest Loser.” Man, that could end up being the next big thing in reality TV. The Australian Army could call it “Fitness Camp – March to the Death” and either sell the rights for it or air it themselves and make a killing (non-militarily speaking, of course) on ad revenue. The money they bring in could be used to bankroll their military industrial complex for years to come.

The recruits could be divided into teams with the overweight folks on one team battling against the asthmatics on the other. I’m not a big fan of reality TV, but this one might be fun to watch. The team that loses a particular week’s boot camp training exercise competition has to vote which recruit to kick off. The eventual individual winner of the show wins money and an automatic military promotion to a higher rank.

The Australians are brilliant. Not only did they give us Paul Hogan, Men At Work and shrimp on the bar-b, but they were also home to the Bee Gees for a few years before they made it big. All of that pales in comparison though to what they can teach our military leadership…a way to make Americans fit, increase the size of our military and entertain us at the same time. To Australia, I say thank you and Good Day, mate.

Not Every Restaurant Theme Is A Great Idea -- Update

I reported about Hitler’s Crossing Restaurant last week. It has got to be possibly the worst idea for a restaurant ever. Just one week later, the owner has said he’s going to rename the eatery because of the negative reaction to it. Let’s hope he picks something better this time around.

May I suggest something sweet to forever erase the memory of the mistake he made like “Bambi’s Den,” “The Peace and Happiness Café” or “The Nice Inoffensive Family Themed Diner.”

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Repost Sunday: Medical Journal Finds Barbequing Therapeutic

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off. This was originally posted July 12, 2006.

A big, fancy named medical journal recently announced the findings a 7-month study. The study was aimed at determining any medical link between stress and BBQ cooking. During the study, one individual was asked to grill food at least 5 times a week using a charcoal grill while a second patient grilled the same number of meals using a gas grill. Both patients’ stress and life enjoyment levels were monitored from the time charcoal preparation began through the plating of the cooked meat.

Researchers were able to determine that from the moment the charcoal lighting began, stress levels dropped 72.3% and the LEF (Life Enjoyment Factor) increased 97.8%. The only negative impact on the LEF was observed when there were fire maintenance issues before and during cooking. Remarkably, the patient’s stress levels sky rocketed during final grill brushing at the post-BBQ stage. Similarly, the gas griller experienced roughly the same pattern of performance. However the gas-using patient was only able to reduce stress levels by 64.2% and showed an 83.4% LEF increase.

The results clearly show that BBQ use is a strong contributor to life longevity. The highly controlled and scientifically monitored study proved once and for all the superiority of charcoal grilling. One could almost assert that charcoal briquettes are as essential for a healthy body as Vitamin C and rest. The same fancy medical journal hopes to conduct a similar experiment with key lime pie and coconut cream pie for tonight’s dessert.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Warning: Watching the Food Network Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

I don’t know if you’ve discovered it yet as I have, but the Food Network is great TV. Not only does it have plenty of traditional cooking shows, there are programs about the history of foods, profiles on restaurants and pretty much anything related to food or the food industry. They even air cooking competitions, which surprisingly don’t end in food fights.

But I’m not writing this to praise the Food Network. I am writing this because the Food Network has proven detrimental to my health. There should be a surgeon general’s warning that appears prior to every Food Network program. How you can sit and watch an hour-long show about North Carolina BBQ or Maine Lobster and not want to pig out is beyond me. Actually, I dare you to try it.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve got in your house to eat, if you eat it while the Food Network is on, it tastes even better. Through the evil magic of the Food Network, they can make plain rice cakes taste like gourmet pizza, provided that’s what you are watching. All you’ve got for breakfast is oatmeal? Not to worry, the Food Network is airing a special on wedding cakes. MMMM, that sounds good, doesn’t it?

Although I’m complaining about it, I won’t stop watching. I’ve become addicted to it. Back in the days of black and white TVs and only five or so stations to tune in, no one could have imagined watching a sixty-minute documentary on hot dogs. Back then, no one could have imagined anyone even producing a television program about them. A lot has changed and the Food Network proves that people will watch anything on TV.

So let’s summarize, folks can now stay at home all day watching the Food Network while snacking. And we wonder why America’s obesity problem is expanding along with our waistlines? Thanks a lot Food Network! Now, what’s for dinner? OOOO, I see the Food Network is doing a show about fried foods…

Friday, August 25, 2006

Raise A Glass Milwaukee, You’re America’s Drunkest City has released the results of their quantitative search to determine America’s Drunkest City. I’m sure all of my fellow Americans are appreciative of their effort just as I am. Of all the possible things to rank our major cities on (like lowest crime, most industrious, most populous, highest salaries, most Fred Willard fans, etc.), they decide to find America’s Drunkest City. Yeah, let’s publicize that to a world that already hates us and thinks we’re lazy.

In addition to being the home of the Milwaukee Brewers, the mayor of the city can now add being the drunkest place in our country to his cap. I bet the chamber of commerce is going to have a field day promoting their new honor. I hear they are acting to change the official city song to “There’s A Tear in My Beer.” What a great travel campaign they can now use. “Come drown your tears in Milwaukee, where you’ll never drink alone. It’s been proven, scientifically.”

To find our drunkest city, says it examined cities based on the following factors: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. After weighing all 35 cities chosen and all data collected, Milwaukee was the foam that rose to the top. Minneapolis-St. Paul (another party hot bed), Columbus (are you kidding me?), Boston (I can kind of understand that), and Austin (everything’s bigger in Texas) round out the top five. From these results, it appears that the mid-west is a lot more fun than originally thought.

Of course, Milwaukee was once the brewing capital of this country so on the surface it is not a stretch to believe that it could be America’s drunk capital. However, of all the breweries that once called Milwaukee home, only Miller remains. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why everybody’s drinking…to drown their sorrows.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

No Planet For You!!

There has been a lot of blog space devoted to this topic in the last few weeks, but it’s now official. Pluto is a planet no more. A group of scientists at the International Astronomical Union in Prague voted to reclassify the celestial object as a dwarf planet. The term dwarf was decided on after “not good enough to be a planet” was rejected. There has already been outrage that such a small body of scientists voted on Pluto’s fate. I guess that’s what those scientists get for leaving the symposium early.  But it's fitting that such a small group voted about a small planet.  I wonder if they used those short pencils to vote...

Pluto is now scheduled for demolition next Thursday to make room for a bigger, glitzier and more luxurious planet named Harrah’s of the Milkyway. Oh, wait, sorry I was looking at a brochure for Vegas. Because Pluto shares its orbit with other space objects and has not cleared the space around it (to be scientific), it no longer meets planet criteria. The approval of the new criteria also means that Pluto’s moon Charon (isn't that an 80s song?) is no longer eligible for planethood. It will be promoted from moon to dwarf planet, if that’s a promotion. I guess it's now Pluto and the seven dwarfs (or however many moons are now classified as dwarfs or dwarves or whatever).

When asked how this will affect future exploratory missions or satellites to Pluto, NASA officials replied, “We really don’t care, we’re most certainly not going to spend millions of dollars to explore a rock.” “We did that 30 years ago, it was called the moon.”

Educational materials around the country will be updated as soon as possible. Graphic artists will airbrush Pluto out of all maps, textbooks, charts and guides. The scientific community is concerned about how Pluto, smaller than the size of the United States, will cope with the stigma of being a “former” planet. Concern has also been expressed about how it will feel to be a dwarf planet among the eight other “normal planets.”

To deal with Pluto’s new planet envy, astronomers expect within the next few years that dwarf planets will again be reclassified to a more politically correct term. At this time, the leading reclassification term is “planetcita.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Excuse Me, There’s A Hair In My Chocolate

A man employed at a chocolate factory in Wisconsin had an experience that most people would pay dearly for (in more ways than one). He fell into a cauldron full of chocolate. The man was doing maintenance around the container when he slipped and plunged in. Apparently, reports that he was trying to get closer to the chocolate reincarnation of the Virgin Mary are unfounded.

After falling in, he quickly became stuck in the thick 110 degree chocolate. The mixture was so dense that the fire department that came to his rescue had to thin it with coco butter to get him out. He was trapped for about 2 hours before they freed him from the goo. A local hospital treated the sweet smelling victim for minor injuries and (I suspect) over eating.

“I figured the best way out was to start eating the chocolate, but after the first hour, I started feeling a little sick,” said the man. “It’s true what they say, dark chocolate really does taste richer than milk chocolate, but when they scraped it off of me, my skin felt so reinvigorated it made the whole ordeal worth it,” he added.

To compensate for losing money on the inedible chocolate, the company’s management quickly sought to find a use for it. Their first idea was to sell it at half price to a local shelter for dessert, but when all local shelters refused, they decided on an alternate plan. They are now selling the “experience” as “The Chocolate Spa Peel.”

"We spoke at great length with our employee," said one of the company’s owners. "Although he was initially in great pain with a lot of scarring and blistering, the hot chocolate eventually did wonders for his skin and since the FDA won’t let us use that vat for food production anymore, we’ve converted it into a chocolate spa therapy."

The company says that they are now taking reservations for the spa experience. All anyone interested in the 45 minute chocolate spa and peel treatment has to do is sign the liability waver for potential 3rd degree burns and ensuing infections.

If the service proves profitable, we can expect more products and body treatments from them. They are already working on white chocolate acne masks, an entire line of gummy gels and lotions and syrup-infused hair tonics. A potential caramel-based enema, “The Creamy Caramel High Colonic” has already been nixed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Airlines Say Save Money, Fly Dumpster Class

I have to thank my good friend Jeff for the tip on this story, so thanks Jeff! You’ve probably heard this by now, but to help the employees that it just took a 40% pay cut from, Northwest Airlines sent its employees tips on saving money.

Now on the surface, providing their workers ways to save money seems like a wonderful thing to do. One might also think that the airline is looking after its people. It’s when you go beneath the surface that Northwest’s tactics start to look a little odd. I’m sure the company never intended its tip sheets, part of a much larger book on dealing with pay reduction created by a separate vendor, to end up on the Wondernet (as I now call it because it provides wonderful stories such as this).

But the fact is the tip sheet did end up online and now I get to share it with you. Some of the tips provided to Northwest’s employees are: air-drying clothes, taking in renters, changing your own oil, asking family and friends for hand-me-downs and replacing kitty litter with shredded newspaper (which I actually thought was better for cats anyway, but that’s certainly not the point here). However, the tip that received the most attention basically urges employees to take what they want out of the trash. That of course is better known as dumpster diving.

I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but the pickings are pretty slim in dumpsters here in Southern California. Oh sure you might occasionally find a new pair of high heels that fit perfectly with your flight attendant dress or a brand new plasma TV, but that’s certainly the exception, not the rule.

Fortunately the originally planned tip sheet did not get leaked. Some of the suggested tips in it were:

Sell your lawnmower and save gas by borrowing a herd of grazing animals to trim your lawn

Give yourself a hair cut with scissors and a large bowl (it worked for the Beatles)

Forget the expensive meal for your anniversary, dress up in your best hand me downs and sit by candlelight behind the expensive restaurant waiting for scraps

Eat smaller main meals, collect food giveaways from other national airlines that have not filed for bankruptcy, and use them to supplement the meals

Things are bad enough when your company files for Chapter 11 and you have to take huge cuts in pay from your employees. It’s even worse when you feel you need to give them tips on saving money because you can’t pay them enough. But seriously, I want to meet the folks sitting in the think tank somewhere that thought a good, dignified money saving solution was dumpster diving. I’m pretty confident that I know how most of Northwest’s employees will respond to the tip sheet. In the words of the famous David Spade/Helen Hunt SNL flight attendant sketch: Buh Bye Now…I said--- Buh---Bye---Now.

If You Like Elton John, You’ll Love William Shatner…No really!!

Shatner Rocketman

A few weeks back, I posted a story about the worst music video I may have ever seen, although I still thought it was catchy. I didn’t think it was possible, but David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff has been topped. The depths of entertainment got even deeper while I was watching Comedy Central’s roast of William Shatner. They showed some of his musical clips and through the never ceasing wonder of the internet, which I shall henceforth term Wondernet, I can share it with you. It is William Shatner’s rendition of Elton John’s Rocket Man, and believe me, using the word rendition is being very polite.

The performance was done at a 1978 science fiction awards show hosted my Shatner. I hope to high heaven that this video was done tongue in cheek! Any credence it might have had as a legitimate muscial number was helped by the fact Bernie Taupin, the song’s writer, introduced the performance. When watching it I could almost swear I heard the audience beginning to laugh as they did not know what they were witnessing, but Shatner kept a straight face. He did laugh a little at the end suggesting it might have been done as a joke. If it wasn't meant for a laugh, Captain Kirk takes himself way too seriously.

TJ Hooker (or Kirk or Shatner, whatever you prefer) was known for his spoken word “interpretations” of songs like “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Tambourine Man” but there were some neato special effects that accompanied this unique star ship wreck of a performance. It features two digitally super imposed Shatners singing with the real one. This was before the weight gain and toupees, so it’s easier to tell which one of them is real. It was also long before anyone knew what digital special effects were so it made it that much easier to spot which were the super imposed versions, too. The low point, or comedic high point depending on your preference, is at the 3:50 mark. Trust me, you’ll know what I mean.

Although I am embarrassed to say it publicly for the first time since the 8th grade, I was a big Star Trek fan. Every episode of the original series and every movie are familiar to me. But, just as I dissed The Hoff, I must now bow my head in shame at Shatner’s performance. To say he boldly went where no one has gone before (which I have to do because this post is about William Shatner) is a big understatement. He went way past where anyone had gone before and where no one will try and venture to again.

For anyone wondering if there is a singing course taught at the often referred to William Shatner School of Bad Acting, the answer is a resounding: yes…there…is…

Monday, August 21, 2006

Not Every Restaurant Theme Is A Great Idea

In the last several years, there has been a huge increase in the number of “themed restaurants.” There are some really good ones out there like Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, NASCAR Café, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, Honolulu Harry’s and even Jimmy Buffet’s Margaretville. There is a new restaurant in India however, that takes themed eateries in a whole new direction.

Hitler’s Cross (that’s right, Hitler’s Cross, yep, Hitler’s Cross, you read it right, a restaurant actually named Hitler’s Cross – and I am not making this stuff up) recently opened in Mumbai, India and here’s a shock, certain groups aren’t too happy. (Insert your Mel Gibson joke here)

I don’t do awards on this blog but if I did, the Hitler’s Cross restaurant would certainly earn the Insensitive Idiot Award (of the century). Reuters News Service quoted the owner as saying that he wanted to create something different to stand out from other local restaurants. Well, mission accomplished. It’s just a guess, but the idea for this restaurant could only be the result of a drunken stupor.

“Hmmm, let’s see, we’ll name our restaurant after Gandhi. It’ll be a monument to peace…and food.”

“No, no one will want to come see that; Gandhi went on a hunger strike, didn’t he?” “Let’s name it after one of history’s most reviled, inhumane, and evil men. We’ll put his pictures and memorabilia on the walls like those goody two shoes at Hard Rock!”

Believe it or not, the inside of the restaurant is done in a Nazi red, white, and black. Diners at Hitler’s Cross eat their meals amid a portrait of Hitler and Nazi swastikas. The name of the restaurant is another name for the swastika, which was adapted by the Nazis from a Hindu symbol, although that’s not an excuse. I personally still think it’s the most asinine idea I’ve ever heard of!

I’m trying to get my hands on a menu, but scuttlebutt has it that these are some of the restaurant’s most popular menu items:

Fuehrer Flapjacks
Fuehrer Franks (only during Oktoberfest)
Eva Braun Brownies
Aryan Omelet
World Domination Grand Slam Breakfast Cornucopia
The V2 Rocket (most popular alcoholic beverage)

In other themed restaurant news, local restaurateurs have announced their plan for an eatery on Rodeo Drive. This one will be themed after Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer’s Place will specialize in (you guessed it) Sushi.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Repost Sunday: So You Want To Go To Space?

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling .' This was originally posted July 21, 2006.

It sounds cliché and a little cheesy, but for a few hard earned dollars, you can go where no man (make that civilian-person to be PC) has gone before. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial spaceline is now selling tickets for sub-orbital flights beginning in 2008. To answer your first question, yes there are takers. In fact well over 100 tickets have already been sold. To answer your second question, the tickets are a mere $200,000, which isn’t that bad a deal if regular airline flight prices keep rising! The spacecraft that will make all of this possible should be completed next year.

The 15 minute flight will offer passengers 5 minutes of 0 gravity. That’s just about enough time to feel the urge to grab for a barf bag and then realize you no longer need it. Unfortunately the flight probably won’t be long enough for stewards (if there will be any) to traverse up and down the aisle dispensing Tang and salted peanuts. Although if they did, think of the mess it would make at the end of the 0 gravity period. Heck, the falling nuts alone would be potential bullets.

As if that experience isn’t excitement enough, check out this space travel alternative. It’s only $35 million. Travelers have had the option to travel in a Russian rocket to the International Space Station for a while now and at least 3 (that I’m aware of) have already made the trip. Remember pop sensation Justin Timberlake expressing interest in going? The little trek to the space station, if you’ll pardon the expression, costs $20 million. Once you get up there, you can now tack on a space walk for an extra $15 million. Talk about up selling! Of course there will be extra training involved, but if you can afford it, what a great way to spend an evening.

The paying space walkers will be attached to the International Space Station during the entire space walk by a tether. The walk will last 90 minutes during which time Earth’s sunrise and sunset can be viewed. I wonder if you have to pay a penalty if you drop a spatula while you’re up there? Regardless, it would provide a great photo op and a big “I’m better than you are” for next year’s Christmas card!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm A Winner And It's My 50th Post -- I Think

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If I'm counting correctly, this is my 50th post. I can't believe I'm already there and get to use the big #50 to announce that I won First Place in The Theory Of Thought's "So You Think You Can Blog Contest."

My winning entry was for my essay (ok, blog post) on my concern over Rabid Girl Scouts and how their rabidity (if that's a word although I'm pretty sure it's not) could affect them selling Girl Scout cookies.

Thank you to The Thinker over at The Theory Of Thought for such a cool contest. Since this is the 50th time I've endeavored to waste's servers, I want to say a little thank you also to the awesome hand full of regular visitors (at least the ones that I'm aware of) to my little crazy house in cyberspace for giving me someone to want to write for. I like writing dumb stuff but it makes it a lot more fun when I know there's a chance that someone might want to read it.

Wow, I didn't think I'd get that sentimental at 50. Thanks again Theory Of Thought!!

I'll be back later today for Repost Sunday.

You Wouldn’t Dare Bite The Head Off This Chocolate Figurine

A Chocolate Factory in Fountain Valley is quickly becoming known for a chocolate creation it did not intend to make. A worker there noticed that drippings from one of their chocolate containers formed an unusual clump. That clump turned out to look a lot like the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus.

The chocolate quickly became a major attraction at the company’s facility as people from all over turned it into a makeshift religious shrine (you know, like Graceland). It has now been placed in a back room (for safety reasons, maybe) but the company’s owners have no problem bringing it out upon request.

It could become one of the most popular naturally occurring icons in recent history. Not only does it depict baby Jesus and his mother, the chocolate smells heavenly, which you can understand makes quite an irresistible combination. I’m pretty sure more people have already flocked to it than came to see my paint chip that resembled Richard Nixon back in 1989. Of course that feat would have been accomplished after the first two visitors to the holy Chocolate Virgin Mary (doesn’t that sound like a rock band or alcoholic beverage?).

To many people, chocolate is heaven on earth. To many more, seeing an image of the Virgin Mother is even more special. When the two are combined, forget about it. It’s better than chocolate and peanut butter mixing with caramel or coconut joined with almonds and milk chocolate. Break the chocolate bunny molds; I think we’ve found the next big thing in confectioning; especially at Christmas and Easter, but maybe not Valentines Day. Receiving a chocolate Virgin Mary from your special valentine might ruin the mood.

One thing is certain though; I won’t be the one that bites the head off…or the arms…or the feet…or the baby Jesus. On second thought, don’t break the chocolate bunny molds!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Maybe Flipper Ain’t All He’s Cracked Up To Be

A South African scientist has recently stated that dolphins are probably not as smart as we would like to give them credit for and may be “dumber” than lab rats and 25-cent feeder goldfish! Dolphins have large brains, which is the reason we have always believed they were so smart. However, there are some researchers who think the size of their brains is to help them cope with being a mammal living in colder waters.

The scientist says that there is more heat producing matter in dolphin brains than there are thought producing neurons. Interestingly enough, the same results were just found during my most recent CT scan (hence the term hotheaded?). What all of this means is that instead of being the valedictorians and salutatorians of the seas, dolphins are nothing but the cute, bottle (brown) nosed yes men and class clowns of our oceans. In dolphin world, anything goes for a fishy reward.

The scientist asserts that the flashy water park performance of dolphins is because of having good animal trainers rather than smart dolphins. After releasing study findings like this, let’s hope that they’re as unintelligent as we now believe they are. I imagine they would get very angry when told they cannot hold an intellectual candle to a rat or goldfish. Do you remember all those great fight scenes in “Flipper” where he would defeat his enemies by sucker punching them with his nose? Obviously, the guy hit first and thought later.

If this news gets out among the dolphin community, I fear a time when innocent and unsuspecting swimmers up and down our coasts will be rammed by angry dolphins that aren’t smart enough to deal with their stupidity in a calm and rational way. When that happens, we would be safer swimming among sharks with blood pouring from cuts on our bodies!

There is no doubt that this new incredibly shocking discovery will break the hearts of dolphin lovers around the world. Clearly, no one who has ever visited Sea World could have seen allegations like this coming. After all, most of the really brilliant people I know always prefer to display their intelligence by jumping through hoops 4 times a day for a snack.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Soldiers And Police Officers Urged to Get Breast Implants

A woman in Israel is thanking her maker that she recently decided to increase her cup size. It saved her life. She almost became another victim of the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Shrapnel penetrated her chest but was stopped in place by her breast implant. The amazing story has given military leaders and law officials in this country their “breast” idea yet. Unless your safety depends on bulletproof vests.

“It’s remarkable that we’re spending money on ugly looking bulletproof vests to protect our officers when there is such an attractive solution right before our eyes,” said a local police chief.

“It’s gonna look funny, but my soldiers’ safety is of the utmost importance, even if it means we’ll have an army of girly men” said an Army Major General.

My assumption is that the prices for both the vests and the implants are comparable but I have never had a reason to purchase either. Imagine what a great distraction it would be for opposing armies and criminals. Having big men in uniform approaching you with guns drawn would be intimidating. Now imagine those same men coming at you with guns drawn and cleavage showing. By the time your bewildered mind came to terms with what you were seeing, they would have you surrounded without a shot being fired.

Of course, if you were the uniformed officer or soldier (once you got over the embarrassment of having breasts) and the enemy does manage to get a shot off, you can always stick out your chest like Dolly Parton and let your implants save you.

I can see a time years from now when veterans will be sitting around comparing scars and telling war stories while suddenly several big chested men get up and leave in embarrassment because they paid the ultimate price for their country. Now just one question remains, what cup size provides the most protection?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elvis Has Been Gone For 29 Years…Or Has He?

Today, August 16 marks the anniversaries of the passing of two American legends. The term legend tends to be over used a lot these days. However, legend is really appropriate to describe the passing on August 16th of Elvis Presley and Babe Ruth.

Elvis passed away in his bathroom on this day in 1977 (out of my respect for the King, I’ll save any obvious jokes). He was found by his live in girlfriend and his color was presumably flush. Ok, couldn’t resist just one bathroom joke. His death was said to have been due to complications from all of the prescription drugs he was taking. Although he continued to tour in the last few years of his life, his health went down the toilet (sorry) and his weight fluctuated more than William Shatner’s.

Babe Ruth passed away on this day in 1948. He had suffered for a few years with throat cancer before finally succumbing to it. Babe was not only the icon of American baseball, but an icon of America. The records he set have been reached or broken by a select few and some of those select few did so amid accusations that they were juiced more than Otis, Mayberry’s town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show. His passing was such a significant event that his body lay in state at Yankee Stadium before his funeral.

It’s fitting that both men died on the same date. They were both symbols of America and helped redefine their respective fields. Both men had a huge capacity for life and exemplified good living for their generations. Babe Ruth ate hot dogs at a rate that would make this year’s hot dog eating champ green with envy (not green with sickness) and Elvis downed fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches (I found the recipe and they are actually pretty good). Babe Ruth would hit called home run shots for sick children and Elvis gave Cadillacs as gifts. Not bad ways to make friends if you ask me.

Of course, there are still those blue wigged folks that think Elvis never really passed away. One thing is for sure though, whether he is on an Island with Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hoffa and John Kennedy or buried on (or under) the grounds of Graceland, Elvis is approaching the age where one day we will be able to say that without a doubt Elvis has left the building for the last time.

**In happier news, my idea to abandon Monday and replace it with Funday continues to generate support. Odat1283 at Odat's Mumblings wrote this story in support of the new Calendarian Party’s idea to put Funday on the map.

Now how many signatures do we need to have our political party represented on the ballot? 5, I hope…

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stolen Doughnuts? 10-4 Good Buddy!!

Police chases are nothing new, especially if you live in Southern California (thanks a lot, OJ). Why, it’s the bread and butter for the show Cops, isn’t it? But a chase of a different flavor (if you’ll pardon the expression) took place in Kennewick, Washington last week.

It was a 30-mile per hour doughnut truck chase. The truck and its delectable cargo were stolen when the driver made a quick stop and left the engine running. I’m going out on a limb here, but I assume the driver (if still employed) won’t do that again.

The truck was spotted by local authorities and the driver was arrested without incident. “Ah heck, I just saw a neat looking doughnut truck that smelled very, very good,” said the arresting officer. “It wasn’t until later that I realized it had been stolen. I was just flashing my lights to get him to pull over because I wanted a glazed old fashioned,” he added.

The truck is currently being held “for evidence” by authorities. It’s still being determined, but the arrest of the doughnut truck’s driver may set a record for the number of responding units for a single apprehension. Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, private security guards, highway patrol officers, local coroners, National Guard troops and Coast Guard officials from every surrounding county, town, city and province “assisted” with the arrest and “recovery” of the stolen property.

“I thought there was a bomb scare or that the President was in town,” said a local resident of the extensive arresting force. Another town resident commented, “They had the streets blocked off for 8 hours. I’m still slipping on glaze and jelly and there is white powder and rainbow sprinkles all over my azaleas and mums!”

In completely unrelated news, the hospitals around Kennewick, Washington reported a sharp increase in the number of law enforcement officials treated for upset stomachs due to “chronic sugar intake” last week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, Monday? How About Funday, Funday!


Although it’ll almost be over by the time you read this post, I have to say how much I hate Mondays. I know that I am not alone and it’s certainly not a new sentiment among the blogging community. You can see the disdain for Mondays on the faces of coworkers, other commuters and just about everyone you interact with on this solemn day.

It’s time to address the issue head on. Monday should be removed from our calendar. I propose that we make Tuesday the new Monday. Of course, Tuesday has done nothing to deserve the wrath that becoming the new Monday will bring. Therefore, I also propose that Tuesdays become a universal casual dress day at work (by casual I mean shorts and sandals, not bow ties and suspenders). That and the fact that it’s one day closer to the weekend should help Tuesday remain the somewhat innocuous day it already is.

I don’t expect much flak about the abandonment of Mondays except from the folks getting royalties on music about Mondays. I’m speaking of tunes like “Manic Monday,” “Come Monday,” “Monday, Monday” and my favorite “Rainy Days and Mondays.” Those songs would become outdated over night. Would it affect “Ruby Tuesday?” I don’t know, although the Stones are doing pretty well financially so I’m not too concerned.

When we remove Monday from the calendar it will set in motion a horrible period of chaos and confusion as was expected to occur during the dawn of Y2K (remember buying up canned goods and erecting a Y2K bunker? No, well then never mind, you daredevil). To avoid the problems that converting to a 6 day week would cause, I’ve come up with a solution I hope will be a popular one. We will name the new day Funday and it will become essentially the new Sunday. This will create the 3-day weekend, every weekend.

So there you have it, a well thought out fair and balanced solution to Mondays. Now if I can just find some crackpot candidate belonging to some obscure political party, we’ll be good to go. We’ll call the new party the Calendarians. Imagine how well a candidate campaigning on the Calendarians’ “Create Funday” ticket would be. How in the world can you run a smear campaign against that? Even if the party loses, man the nominating convention will be a blast!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Repost Sunday: Sorry, I Just Vomited On Your Advertisement

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling .' This was originally posted July 19, 2006.

This one comes from the ‘Just Plain (or should I say Plane) Weird File.’ US Airways has announced it will begin selling advertising space on its barf bags (or in flight nausea collectors, to be politically correct) in a few months. I could see this happening in those great Airplane movies as a gag, but in real life?

My first question is how much will an ad cost that will most likely be seen in the last few fleeting moments before an airline passenger hurls? How many people do you know that board a plane, get their pillow, adjust their seat, fold their tables to an upright position and then search for the barf bag in case they get sick? The other question that comes to mind is what type of advertising is appropriate for a bag that is only used when someone needs to empty the contents of their last meal? I guess you could sell ad space for Dramamine, Pepto or Tums.

Of course there is a whole range of advertising you could use to induce someone into getting sick. On second thought, I’ll skip listing any of them as I just finished dinner. I know the profit margin for most major airlines is getting tight, but I sure didn’t see this coming as a form of revenue. What’s next, the person in the seat next to you pulls down the window shade and there’s an ad for Windex or Pella Windows? Oh, the possibilities…Just wait until the in-flight announcements and safety speech are preceded by paid advertisements from the airline's sponsors!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What's All That White Dust On Your Bible?

I am certainly no theologian, but the following story has to be a textbook way to get excluded from heaven.

An Indiana woman was charged with smuggling coke (and I don’t mean the soft drink known worldwide as The Real Thing) to her husband in jail by hiding it in 2 bibles. The cocaine was hidden, obviously not very well, in the spines of the bibles. It is my assumption that correctional officers became suspicious as they repeatedly saw the inmate sniffing the bibles.

“We thought nothing of it and that maybe he just liked the smell of old books the first time we observed our inmate sniffing his bibles,” said correctional officer Buford T. Justice. “About the 15th or 20th time, we thought there might be more to it,” he added.

“When we more closely examined the 2 good books, I thought it was kind of odd that it had Splenda all over it,” said officer Justice. “Fortunately our ole tick hound ‘Red’ caught the scent and helped us stop this awful and sacrilegious drug trafficking.”

The saddest part of the story is that the mother of 3 was sentenced to 6 months in jail for 2 charges of trafficking with an inmate. If only she had used just one bible. Her husband is serving a sentence for a misdemeanor so there’s probably a pretty good chance that she’ll end up serving longer than her husband.

This type of attempted smuggling has correctional institutions across the country on heightened alert. It will no doubt have huge repercussions for regulating future inmate visitations. After all, imagine what size shiv could be hidden inside a copy of War and Peace.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Now Australians Love David Hasselhoff Too?

I was sitting down preparing to blog about something completely different than this when I saw the following link on Google Video. It’s David Hasselhoff’s new Australian music video “Jump In My Car.” In one instant I was rendered speechless and completely forgot what I was going to write about. Last night I wrote about an anti-stupidity pill and I feel I must now overdose on them after watching the video.

It involves The Hoff (as he is apparently referred to in Australia because the Australian Sony Music website uses the word several times) and KITT from Knight Rider. Except it seems like this KITT has the steering wheel on the opposite side.

Normally I love seeing references to cult icons (by referring to Knight Rider as a cultural icon I am of course taking significant liberties) like when “The Simpsons” spoofs anything from James Bond, to The Beatles, to “Cheers.” One of my favorite all-time cultural references was on John Ritter’s last sitcom “8 Simple Rules” when the entire episode was a dream sequence of “Three’s Company” and it ended with Ritter waking up next to Don Knotts as Mr. Furley. However those were good references.

Now I grew up watching and enjoying Knight Rider very much (in fact I even sat in KITT during a mid 80’s visit to Universal Studios), but the Hoff’s new video is awful. He looks at times menacing, other times just plain goofy and towards the end, creepy.

Here’s the part that bothered me though; I found the tune catchy. By catchy I mean I’m still singing the dang thing! The video itself became a train wreck I couldn’t avoid. I just had to see how it ended.

I don’t want to relive an old Saturday Night Live phrase but the facts are that I kind of liked the tune, couldn’t turn the music video off and I am of German descent. I guess it just further proves the theory that
Germans Love David Hasselhoff!

Admit it, you saw that ending coming a mile away. Sorry, the post will be better tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Take This Pill, Stupid

Stupid is as stupid does, but it may become stupid was as stupid did. A German scientist, possibly a mad one, is working on a pill to treat stupidity. Initial tests at Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin looked promising when conducted on mice and fruit flies; the smartest things in the universe and the creatures with minds most like ours apparently.

To spare describing all of the scientific processes involved, the pill basically stops or slows down short-term memory loss. Again, it does this in mice and fruit flies. It is not known when tests will be used on mammals such as Polly the Porpoise and the duck-billed platypus (which for the sake of this article is a mammal).

“Ve have figured out a vay to pump – you - up, vell, at least your mind, dat is,” said Dr. Helmut Frankenstein, the team’s leading scientist.

The researchers working on the “RU Stupid 489” pill obviously believe that short-term memory is the leading factor in human idiocy. They have presumably ruled out other causes of being stupid such as alcohol, genetics, a predisposition for liking Jerry Lewis movies, seeing tight or skimpy clothing on the opposite sex and listening to boy bands.

The medical community hopes that the breakthroughs in Germany will lead to a multitude of varieties for the anti-stupidity pill. Future pill variations scheduled for research include the anti-stupid husband pill, anti-stupid political party members pill (in non-affiliated, Democrat and Republican), anti-idiotic co-worker pill and anti-moronic eyewitness on the local evening news pill.

Perhaps the most anticipated pill, the one that will prevent people from saying something stupid, is years from FDA approval. Its delay is due to the fact that it will affect the foot and the mouth in addition to short-term memory.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Case Of The Convict Cookies: Girl Scout Leader Caught Stealing

Really, what were the chances that there would be two great Girl Scout stories in a row? Apparently pretty darn good! This time we turn our attention to Ohio where Girl Scout Troop 225 recently lost their leader after she was charged with stealing over $5,000 to pay for her cell phone bill and other expenses.

The troop’s checks starting bouncing and it was then discovered that the troop’s bank account had only $8 left in it. Officials became suspicious and the trail of cookie crumbs, so to speak, led to the girls’ leader. If convicted of this heinous crime, she will have to pay back the stolen funds and serve 18 months in prison.

“Boy howdy a Girl Scout leader behind bars would make a great movie,” said a now-fired correctional facility employee.

Aside from the complete misuse of power (usually only exercised by members of Congress), needing to steal upwards of five grand for a cell phone bill is pretty shocking. My guess is that the phrase “other expenses” is probably law enforcement code for breast augmentation. To pay back the $5,000 she will owe, the leader could probably write a book chronicling her ridiculous crime, how she thought she could actually get away with it and her experience in jail.

She could name it something cool like “Samoa Snatcher” or “Troop Mom: Behind Bars.” I can see a Dr. Phil appearance in her future and a Lifetime Channel original movie, or maybe the Disney Channel now that I think about it. It could star Shelley Long in the reprisal of her Troop Beverly Hills role.

Let’s not forget the real victims of the story though; the girl scouts left behind to cope with the betrayal and the money they no longer have to use towards summer camp, crafts and the general fostering of local good will. I guess that’s what it’s used for, unless it’s for pinball machines, alcohol and backroom Monte Carlo nights. How would I know, I’ve never been a Girl Scout. I just write negative stories about them.**

My hope is that it won’t take too long for them to earn the $5,000 back. After all, that’s only about 9 boxes worth of Girl Scout cookies, isn’t it?

**Disclaimer: I have no problem whatsoever with the Girl Scouts as an organization, any particular girl scout member or their delicious cookies containing multiple addictive ingredients, which I crave for nightly.

Rabid Girl Scout Fears Mount

Approximately 1,000 Girl Scouts may have been infected with rabies after a visit to a recent camp. The fears began when girl scouts started telling their parents stories about bats living under the eaves of the camp shelter they were staying in. Many of the girls were not using the protective netting around their beds. They have been disciplined and promised not to be so reckless again.

Some of the bats that Virginia officials have captured tested negative for rabies, but the concern lingers. Rabies shots have been strongly recommended for the girls who stayed at Camp Potomac Woods. The camp now plans on adding screens to the doors, windows and sleeping quarters’ eaves to combat the problem. Why they were not added before it became a problem is still a mystery. “It seemed so odd that our windows did not have screens,” said girl scout Susie Q. “I figured it was just cheap air conditioning,” she added.

“At first the bats sleeping in our rooms scared the striped fudge cookies out of us, but then we grew to love them and kind of like adopted them as like our pets,” another Girl Scout said.

With approximately 6 months until the Girl Scout Cookie selling season begins, federal disease officials are concerned. There are growing fears at the Center For Disease Control that having up to 1,000 rabid Girl Scouts going door to door trying to sell cookies could lead to a national rabies outbreak that could not be easily contained.

“Most citizens would succumb to the threat of a rabid Girl Scout selling cookies and buy them but there could be those stubborn holdouts who refuse,” said an anonymous CDC official. “In a rabid state, these Girl Scouts could then become irritated and violent which would help the rabies spread very quickly. So for the love of God, please buy Girl Scout cookies whether you can afford to or not!”

Girl Scout leaders have rejected the violent cookie selling theory and say they are not worried about packs of rabid Girl Scouts roaming the streets. In fact they are cashing in on the public’s fear and are working feverishly to release new flavors for the upcoming selling season. They hope that Bat Bars and Rabid Rocky Road will be hot sellers.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Repost Sunday: I'll Have (53) Hot Dogs And A Coke, Please.

I'm going to begin rerunning some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight older stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling .' Here's the first installment of Repost Sunday (originally posted July 5, 2006).

Boy the spy business must be getting slow. I just read that 3 people were caught stealing Coke formulas and a new Coke product. One of the people was actually a Coca-Cola employee. Apparently they wanted to sell the secrets to Pepsi. Don’t worry about the great cola war flaring up again; Pepsi helped Coke with the investigation. Now we are just left to ponder what the secrets were. Maybe New Coke will make a comeback. Does anyone even remember what it tasted like? I sure can’t. Speaking of New Coke, here’s a list of foods it might be neat to make ‘new’ again:

New Spam
New Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
New KFC 13 herbs and spices
New Big Mac
New Chalupa
New 31 flavors…or would that be 62?
New Awesome Blossom

Ok, I'm done. If you've got any you want to add, just email me and I'll try and post them!

Now for the hot dog portion of the blog. Yesterday, one of July 4th’s most enduring traditions was held for the 90th time. It was the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. As hard as it was to stomach, I watched the entire hour-long coverage of the 12-minute event. It aired on one of the ESPN networks, so you know it’s a legit competition. In 12 minutes, Takeru Kobayashi of Japan ate 53 ¾ hot dogs, besting his previous record of 53 ½. This was the 6th straight win and ‘mustard belt’ for Kobayashi. It was a close competition this year as American Joey Chestnut, who led for a few of the 12 minutes, gulped, chugged and gagged his way to 52 frankfurters.

If you’ve been thinking about dieting or are worried about eating too much next July 4th, just watch the contest before your meal. You won’t have to worry about having an appetite, trust me. Now if you’ll excuse me, the smoke of my BBQ means my first 12 pack of all beef hot dogs are just about ready!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

In California Everything Old Is New Again (Because It's Not That Old To Begin With)

I was just looking through some old pictures from a trip to the East Coast a few years ago. There is so much history on the right coast of our country. It’s a little difficult for us “Left Coasters” to understand in a land where people are always trying to turn back time (or pull back and stretch in the case of our pretty faces) instead of embracing it.

Of course people in Europe, the Middle East and just about everywhere else on this globe will shake their heads when they read this. To them B.C. actually means ‘Before Christ’ instead of ‘Before Cable,’ the standard by which many of us judge the passage of time.

To illustrate my point, many of the photos I was looking at were of bridges, churches and battlefields and all had nifty plaques showing that they were all from the 1700s. It’s amazing and almost incomprehensible to me to look at something that was built when our country was founded, if not before. Out here in Southern California, we measure history by things like ‘this is where Jimmy Durante ordered a hot dog in 1952.’ Our historic buildings are old theaters, restaurants and spots where scenes from certain movies were filmed (and by old I mean just a hair older than my oldest pair of white socks).

We don’t have Civil War or Revolutionary War battlefields; we have fields where movies about the Civil and Revolutionary Wars were filmed. While we do have the famous California missions that dot our coastline, their ages pale in comparison to the settlements at Jamestown. We have no Plymouth Rock but we sure as heck have the Hollywood sign.

No matter what you consider history, as southern Californians, we have our own special type of it. I can’t say I’ve been to one of America’s first colonial taverns but I can probably show you the library where Charlie Chaplain once visited (silently of course) or where Clark Gable ate a pastrami sandwich on July 6, 1934.

But when all is said and done, there is one thing I’m sure of. The East Coast can’t brag about having the actual Brady Bunch house. And believe me, that is history no one can ever replace.

Award Time

My blog has won it's first award. It took 3rd place in the innagural 'So You Think You Can Blog' competition hosted by It was for my dead eel tossing story. After all, who doesn't like dead eels?

I feel like the dad from "A Christmas Story" as I run around yelling "It's a major award!!" Thanks to The Thinker at

I'll try and post again later today.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Help, I'm Stuck To The Toilet Seat And Can't Get Up!

Now tell me the truth, if you saw a headline about a woman suffering injuries after being stuck to a toilet, you’d read it. And so would I. It seems a woman in Council Bluffs, Iowa is now nursing burns she got when she found herself glued to a public toilet. The paramedics that responded (gosh I hope she’s not too bashful) had to use fingernail polish to free her from the toilet seat.

Officials believe that rubber cement was placed on the toilet seat as a prank. They are investigating the crime as both an assault and a vandalism. I’ll assume it’s vandalism of the toilet since there is also the assault charge. Local police officials fear more of what they are calling “sit and stick” crimes so they have hastily formed a new task force operation to combat that potential new problem.

In a complete invasion of privacy, Council Bluff’s city janitors have begun installing cameras in all public bathroom stalls. One city official was quoted as saying, “sure it’s constitutionally wrong, but if we catch these hooligans it’s well worth it. All residents and city visitors deserve to feel completely safe while sitting in a public facility with their pants around their ankles.”

Operation Anti Sticky Seat’s officers will be given the task of reviewing all restroom video. “It’s better than traffic duty,” said the head of the operation. “It’s a real challenge to head up A.S.S. since it’s vital we stop this from happening again,” said the official who begged to remain anonymous.

The victim is expected to make a complete recovery. She told local reporters that it was one of the most embarrassing moments of her life. If it was one of the most embarrassing moments, this lady should write a book. After all, if having to be rescued while being glued to a public toilet seat doesn’t top the list, this lady is one steely woman.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gone Fishin'

I'll be gone the next 2 days and without computer access. While I'm incommunicado (as Jimmy Buffet might say) here's links to 2 past stories I've written.

Yep, you can call them reruns. I guess you could say I TIVO'd these for later. I'll try and post Friday and throughout the weekend. I've already found some great (which means infuriatingly stupid) news items and tidbits. So for your reading or re-reading pleasure, I present:

BBQ is good for the soul
Intergalactic Spatula

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Crime Fighting Makes Me So Bloody Hungry!

After my debacle ending the last paragraph of my post last night, I promised to never write anything British again. Well that was until I came across another great story from our brethren across the Atlantic. I have nothing against Britain and this bit of news was too great to resist. Two Sussex Police officers were arrested because their fellow coppers believe they have been stealing from the police candy shop (or shoppe).

After a noticeable amount of candy began missing from the shop (or shoppe), the officers were suspected. The arrests turned into a full-scale investigation, however large that is in Sussex. Other officers were also suspected and removed from duty during the big scandal (my interpretation only). The candy store operates on an honor (or honour) basis as officers take candy and drinks and leave money in a tin to pay for it. Sussex Police have actually had to enlist replacements to cover for the depleted force.

It’s pretty sad that it had to come to this. I guess the equivalent in this country would be police officers knocking off doughnut shops. Sorry, had to do it. At least the British police force isn’t made up of hardened criminals. Money is left unattended in a jar in the police candy store and these guys actually go and steal the candy? Something tells me if that happened here in the good ole U S of A, the money would be what was missing.

Imagine how proud the newly deputized Bobbies are when they tell their parents how they became police officers. Then imagine the shock of these new officers’ parents when they learn that their child became a Sussex Police officer due to a police force shortage brought on by an internal candy sting. Not drugs, not money, not prostitution, but candy.

The candy part of it almost makes the whole thing seem cute and innocent doesn’t it? Almost like it was a celebrity caught shoplifting.

Also, 25 years ago today television as we knew it changed forever, kind of. MTV debuted on cable with their first music video "Video Killed the Radio Star." I don't think they've shown an actual music video since.