Saturday, September 09, 2006

THE LAST DASH

Here's a little something sweet and sentimental for those who may have lost someone recently. It's a beautiful slide slow called The Dash. I've lost a friend and a relative in the past 6 months, so I found the thought behind this rather meaningful.

And now, if you will excuse me, I am going through pork withdrawal and need a fix.

COOL GIFT IDEAS

Stumbled upon this site accidentally this morning and thought to myself, "Gee! These would make great gifts for some people I know!"

And now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go back to losing my hair.

Friday, September 08, 2006

GAS ATTACKS

You know what I love? Stinking up the elevator.

Here's what I do. I feel a good one locked and loaded in the ass chamber and I wait. I watch the numbers tick down (or up if that's where I'm headed) and when I'm just three floors away, I let rip. I then shake my pants a bit to work the aroma out, and exit confidently knowing the next person to step inside that ass locker is going to gag on the stench. Don't lie - I know you do it too! People fart in elevators as readily as they pick their nose in the car. It's just the natural thing to do. Elevators are already cramped, uncomfortable places - we can't help but get the urge to dish a little gas. And I, for one, don't fight it.

Have you ever stepped onto an elevator all by yourself and smelled something awful? Yeah - that was me. And the worst part is when the doors open up and someone else gets on. They immediately assume you were the one responsible for that aromatic catastrophe. And you desperately want to explain that you had nothing to do with it - that some monkey with a typewriter on the intenet was the one to blame.

But who'd believe that monkey business?

If I'm in a stinky elevator with a bunch of people, I figure I've got farte blanche to make a deposit of my own. If the air pool is already tainted, what's the point in holding back?

This whole conversation has got me worked up for my next elevator ride. Gotta run!

AYNtK - IN AND OUT AND ABOUT

Last week was a pretty good week. I started reading again for one. It’s been a while since I picked up a book and couldn’t put it down. The hook? “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. It was a book recommended to me by Dr. “I don’t have to wear pants if I don’t want to” Faber months ago, following my review of Al Gore’s rousing documentary (I never thought I’d put THOSE words together in a sentence), “An Inconvenient Truth.” I dismissed his recommendation out of hand on the grounds that I don’t waste my time with fiction. I’m an information junkie who’s never had much patience for storytelling, and a na├»ve, closed-minded information junkie at that.

Turns out I had the book “State of Fear” on my bookshelf – it was a gift I forgot I’d received for Christmas. Discovered it last Friday night when my recreational options included, as usual, get drunk and pass out or read. For the first time in my life, I opted to read – and boy, am I glad I did. Couldn’t put that book down. By Sunday I was through 300 pages (which is a lot for someone who has to get up and check his fantasy scores every 20 minutes).

The storytelling is superb, and the premise is based on sound science – Crichton actually goes to the trouble of footnoting the scientific assertions of his characters so you can look them up if you want. I don’t want to spoil it for you (as I know you are going to run out tonight and buy the book), but I will recommend it highly for anyone personally invested in either side of the global warming debate. The perspective afforded by Crichton’s insight was intriguing, if a little unsettling. It’s not a masterful work of literature…but it moves quickly, and the short chapters lend the illusion you’re making good progress. That kind of positive reinforcement roped me in and got me invested. There is actually a very good chance I will finish this book – a rare accomplishment indeed.

But I did more than just read last week.

I also took an architectural tour of the city of Chicago by boat. Fascinating how the city you grew up in looks so different when you’re floating down the middle of it. I found a whole new appreciation for the massive buildings I drive past every day without a thought. It’s easy to forget that people had to design and build these enormous things – and I take them for granted because they’ve always been there. Kind of like my wonderful parents, who always find time to read AYNtK. *wink* I think all city residents should be required to take the tour on its educational merits.

I also went to the Taste of Polonia, which was a crowded Polish street festival on the city’s far northwest side. Most ethnic fests I’ve been to are opportunities for city dwellers to experience the cultural contributions of a featured/celebrated people. The Taste of Polonia, we learned, was an opportunity for Polish people to get drunk together. We were surrounded by Polish people speaking Polish, eating Polish food, reading polish magazines, and drinking Polish beer (called Okacim, which is interestingly, and appropriately, abbreviated O.K. on the bottle). No, I'm not Polish, but when in Polonia… It’s really no wonder I ended up on a dance floor later that night, cutting up rugs with eyes closed, hands jerking like pistons in a sputtering car engine. I highly recommend checking out an ethnic street festival near you.

I also saw a puppet show. No, I’m not pulling your leg. Improv Olympic (now known simply as I/O) has nightly comedy shows at their theater on Clark Street, which is just down the street from historic Wrigley Field. My buddy saw that an improv comedy puppet show entitled “Felt” was playing for just $5, so a bunch of us decided to check it out. We figured for $5,we couldn’t go wrong. That was some seriously funny shit. Probably even worth $8 or $9 – but that stays between you and me. I highly recommend improvisational puppet shows.

I've also been jogging again because my muffin top is starting to spill down to my thighs.

A THOUSAND WORDS

The Senate Intelligence Committee declassified an interesting document today.

The envelope please...

According to the Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq, there's NO evidence Saddam Hussein had a relationship with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his Al Qaeda associates. The lack of support for the Bush theory that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda is nothing short of mindblowing considering where we are now, several years later. How did we let him talk us into this fiasco? Oh yeah, he didn't. He dictated our national interest in classic Patrick Swayze style: "It's my way or the highway."

(Where's that highway again? Oh yeah, it's coming up in a couple years.)

Actually, Bush said you're either with us or with them (the terrorists). Wow - I guess that means I'm with, er, the terrorists. That sucks! I don't want to be with the terrorists! Ugh. But I don't want to go to war for no reason either. That would only create MORE terrorists. Dammit - why didn't we have a third choice? "You're either with us, with them, or patient enough to get all of the facts before commiting troops to a cause that's as misguided as it is hopeless." I'll take C!

So now that it's "official," is the Bush echo chamber going to keep insisting the invasion was in our nation's best interest? Of course they will. The phrase "My bad!" wouldn't make for a good official State Department response. Nor would, "Oops!" Or, "That which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." How about, "Everything happens for a reason!" A lot of people already believe that - Bush ought to use it as his justification for the war. Case closed!

I'm just worried by all of this stuff I'm reading about North Korea and Iran. Clearly unimpressed by our resolve in Iraq, they've actually stepped UP their rhetoric. Wait a second - I thought by going to war in Iraq we were showing the other card-carrying members of the Axis of Evil we meant BID-NESS! Well, to borrow a phrase from death metal band, Megadeth (as I often do), "Killing is our business...and business is good!"

Cue Ice T: On with the body count!

By this administration's vaunted logic, we must now invade every nation that poses an indirect threat to our national security - since the direct threat was, at best exaggerated, and at worst completely fabricated. And that's a pretty long list of nations who pose an indirect threat, starting with Fred & Ethel: Mexico and Canada. Did you know a majority of Canadians actually believe the U.S. is at least partially responsible for 911! Those are fightin' words in the Oval Office. Heigh ho, heigh ho - it's off to war we go!

[try whistling this]

Better order your fatigues now so you're sure to get your size.





Amazing how a single photo can sum up the Bush Administration policy on pretty much everything.

Bush on the environment...
Bush on the Constitution...
Bush on foreign policy...
Bush on middle-class taxpayers...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

DOGS AND PARENTS AGREE

Sending the kids back to school is fucking great!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

JIFFY LUBED

My buddy Wetnap (don't ask) sent me this news expose on the popular oil change chain Jiffy Lube. The jig is up! Apparently, these folks are serial scam artists. 5 out of 9 Jiffy Lube locations recommended and charged for work they didn't do. And it seemed the franchise general managers were completely aware it was going on!

Great investigative reporting, complete with Stossel style confrontations and hidden cameras. A fun few minutes if you've got 'em.

Thanks to da nap, and oh yeah, caveat emptor!

WE CARE WHY?

Yes - it's a fucking baby. Bald with balled up fists. It cries a lot. And craps without warning.

People have been having them for a long time. As long, in fact, as people have been around.

I was one once. As I suspect were you. I doubt either of us made it to the cover of a magazine, though. What's all the fuss about anyhow? Why is this child so newsworthy? Because she was born with a gold spoon in her mouth, or because our culture is hopelessly obsessed with celebrity?

And what's with that name? If you've got the last name Cruise (which is not his original surname, incidentally), you may as well have a little fun with it. How about Caribbean Cruise? People could just call her Carrie for short. Or Control Cruise? I imagine it would look nice on a directory: Cruise, Control. Or what about Motley? Kickstart my heart! Here are all of my favorite alternatives:

Caribbean
Control
Motley
Booze
Carnival
Midnight
Princess
J
Ground
Missile
Casino

But, alas, Suri it is. And good for them. Now go make me another movie, dammit! Or at the very least insult another pill-popping celebrity. This whole procreation routine isn't impressing me. At least the picture is on the cover of the right magazine. Vanity Fair is right!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

FANTASY GUYLAND

I have a problem. I am living in a fantasy world.

Fantasy football world, to be precise.

The problem is that I can't tell people "no" when they ask me to join their league. I am a fantasy sports junkie and I reflexively accept every invitation I receive. This year I may have gone too far.

This year I am in 9 leagues.

Okay, it's not as bad as it sounds. They're not all full-scale fantasy leagues with drafts and player rosters and trades. Just most of them. Here's an inventory of my NFL-season-related activities. I'm in 1 Yahoo Fantasy football PLUS league, 3 Yahoo Fantasy Football standard leagues, 1 CBS Sportsline fantasy football league, 1 Yahoo survivor football Pick'em league, 1 Yahoo Salary Cap Fantasy Football League, 1 PoolHost survivor football Pick'em league, and 1 PoolHost standard football pick'em league. It's a lot to keep track of, but I'm committed to being competitive, especially when I've got $$ riding on most of these.

I actually need a Spreadsheet to keep track of my teams, strategies, and activities. It's a full time job, let me tell you. I don't know when I'm going to find the time to actually WORK. Besides bathroom breaks, of course.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to prepare for my final draft of the season by pre-ranking the league's top 250 players. Shouldn't take but a couple hours...

I SEE YOU!