Friday, May 30, 2008

It Could Happen to Me!

I mean, if she was hidding in the off-season section...

Let's Do the Time Warp Again!!

Whatever am I going to wear to see Sex in the City?

I'm suddenly under the impression I have some strange 'card-carrying girlfriend' obligation to wear a costume to the show. Where I live, things are somewhat south of casual. A typical movie night reveals most of the patrons in their 'only worn two days' sweat pants.

A local paper featured a woman buying a whole new outfit with stilettos to match. What is she going to do? Wear Dolce and Gabbana to the ten-theater Multiplex on the highway? Can't wait to watch those Jimmy Choos turn into Jimmy Chews as she gets to scrape the gum off the bottoms...

Let me guess. I'm going to pay top dollar to sit behind some idiot in that crazy acorn hat...

Yes, I Really Said That

So I swing by the local Evil - Mart (oh, like you're not a hypocrite...) to pick up some drugs for my desprately ill Al*. On my way out I see a teen girl facing the shampoo.

"When you're finished with that, check the watermelons up front for scorpions."

She didn't get it.

Don't young people read blogs anymore?

*Influenza is a serious condition that can lead to death. Like I'd get that lucky.

Things that make you go Hmmmm....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

If you Have it Your Way, Will You Please Move Forward???


Once again I have upset millions in a drive through line in the quest for a particular Happy Meal toy...

Nothing like someone with a heavy accent trying to hurry you to the next window by asking "Boy or Girl toy?", while you shout "Mach 5" and "I want the white car" into a rusty speaker. How sexist! Just because I have neatly paired chromosomes is no indication I would be thrilled with a Bratz doll. I wouldn't. And keep your Hello Kitty while you're at it.

Did I mention this was the Friday Lunch Hour Rush, and two SUVs and five mini-vans loaded with cranky toddlers were honking in impatience?

I can just imagine employees pressing the mute button and yelling to each other in Guatemalan, "Just give her the damn toy! She won't leave! Remember how many times a week she came in during the Cars promotion? She doesn't even have kids! LOSER!!!"

I have no desire to see the movie, but I was a fan of the original cartoon. This was way before I knew what manga meant. I just had a crush on Racer X! The hideous box office take should quell any thoughts of a sequel, and what little previews I've seen turned me off. Here's an excerpt from an interview with the stars of the show. No wonder it tanked!

These two don't sound like auto enthusiasts to me:

Are you car enthusiasts?

Ricci: I used to be, but I’m not anymore. It’s too much work. I had a ’67 Firebird, and my first car ever was a 1964 Ford Falcon Futura station wagon. Then I had the Porsche 911, the year 2000 model. I was kind of into cars, but it’s just too much work. The vintage ones break down, and they don’t pass the smog-emissions checks.

What do you drive now?

Ricci: I won’t say. It’s bad for the environment.

Emile, car enthusiast?

Hirsch: Only the new-technology cars that are absolutely good for the environment. I have a Toyota Prius. I don’t have an interest in any car that isn’t good for the environment, other than maybe an aesthetic quality in a picture book.

Sheeesh. Excuse me, I have to go find someone to co-sign a loan so I can get a tank of 93 octane for the weekend. Heard a rumor it might hit 75 degrees and have an hour or two without rain.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In-Die Weekend

Sad to report, but Indy the Indi-cator Fish has passed away. Just before this year's Indianapolis 500, I awoke to an empty bowl. Looking down, I saw that he had leaped from the bowl and aired* to death on a bistro chair. Was he like a faithful dog who knew his time was nigh and tried to go off quietly somewhere alone? I wonder how old he was. I purchased him around May of 2006, so he was with me awhile, but who knows how old he may have been when stolen from a shallow puddle in Asia for shipment overseas.

In other Indy news, I'm saddened by Danica Patrick's twenty-second place finish in this year's 500. I don't know the rules of racing to the extent of 'whose side' I would care to take on the Briscoe/Patrick contact that knocked both drivers out of the race, but I do think she was having car problems. As someone in spitting distance of a ten-million-dollar failure of Motorola's, I'd just like to point out perhaps she'd like to seek sponsorship with companies doing better in the stock market and able to produce cutting edge technology. Just a thought.

*Fish can't 'drown', so do they 'air' ?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How Now, Brown?

Even I must admit Big Brown looked quite commanding at the Preakness Stakes. So am I on board with this Knox Delivery Truck of a horse? The Big Brown Bandwagon? Perhaps. As noted earlier, I can't hold his handlers against him.

Here's some interesting info from AP's racing writer, Richard Rosenblatt: Big Brown has won all five of his races by a combined 39 lengths, including the Derby by 4 3/4 lengths and the Preakness by 5 1/4 lengths. Big Brown was so dominant, both margins could have been wider but jockey Kent Desormeaux didn't need to ask his horse to run any harder than necessary in the stretch.

"That was by design," Dutrow said. "If you have the overwhelming horse, why go out there and show everybody? Get the job done and let's get them next time. You got to save horse."

And what about the Belmont, which could be the final race of Big Brown's career? Will Dutrow allow Desormeaux to let Big Brown pour it on if he's got the race locked up? "There's no reason to put on a show. What's the reason?" Dutrow said. "Big Brown is a fragile horse. He's already had major issues with his feet, and we're dealing with another one now. And the more pressure you put on your horse in the afternoon, the more things are going to come apart."

Why, Mr. Riddle, why? Because it's all about money. He's entered a rumored $50 million dollar syndication deal and it has already been declared he will not race as a four-year-old. If the horse is injured to the point he won't make it to stud, there's lost dollars! Don't think for a minute it's about the safety of the horse. I wish he could be pushed to the maximum, just to see what he's made of! How will we ever know our greats if they are coddled? Do ball players not want to set records? Just the opposite! They knowingly jeopardize their health (see: steroids) in pursuit of the next record-breaking feat. Couldn't we somehow balance safety with performance? The sport needs heroes. Not more mediocre stud horses. He's already fragile? Well, there's that whole breeding/pushing too much too soon issue.

Cougar Catch-Up

CSI: Cougar

Ok, people, I'm sure you've all been waiting for me to weigh in on the whole Chicago Cougar Controversy. Due to my lousy attitude (thanks to our ungodly cold weather), I really haven't been posting as I should.

So here it is in a nutshell: There was NO REASON to shoot that magnificent animal!

A cougar ran loose in Chicago on Monday for the first time since the city's founding in the 19th Century.

Hey, what's that? Something rare and unusual? Let's shoot it! See Also: Why There are no Unicorns

But by day's end, the animal lay dead in a back alley on the North Side, shot by police who said they feared it was turning to attack.

The same police department that has been videotaped beating female bartenders senseless and slugging a man confined to a wheelchair...? Oh, yes, that feisty feline was a huge threat, cowering cornered in that alley and all...

Whatever its origin, the 5-foot-long cougar's unlikely journey ended in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, where residents reported sightings throughout the day to the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control.

Plenty of time to get trained zookeepers and a tranquilizer gun! Wonder how many of those reports were hung up on, dismissed as delusional residents?

Greene said he heard a volley of gunfire...

Not one shot. Not two shots. Not three. Neighbors reported hearing between ten and twenty four shots! At what point does 'for the public safety' become 'extremely unsafe to the public'? This is the same police force contemplating assault weapons for their officers!!! So they won't be out gunned by gangs - and circus animals?

As the shots stopped, Greene heard the police yelling, "We got him! We got him!"

with glee?

This cat travelled without incident from at least Wisconsin, only to be slaughtered in the big city. What do we need to do now? Have cougars declared endangered in Illinois, making it illegal to kill, harass, or harm one. Why? In life - or - death situations (this has not been proven one) officials could kill such an animal. But the average resident could not. Without a protected status, I could shoot one for fun and not be arrested for poaching, as there is no conservation prohibition or hunting season established for this animal.

Endangered Cat-trall,
cougar familliars

Of course, your next question is: Do you have an alibi for April 24th?

In his first public comments about a letter sent to his office from someone who may have tried to torch his Michigan vacation house, Mayor Richard Daley described the correspondence as "personal" and "very, very vicious."

Investigators, including the FBI, are looking into whether there is a connection between the fire and letters threatening Daley, possibly because Chicago police shot a cougar on the North Side on April 14.

No, I did not write the letters, nor do I condone threatening tactics such as those being investigated. And, yes, I have an alibi for the 24th (I'm hooked on 30 Rock). But I must admit I was more than a few people's 'first suspect' due to my outspoken criticism of the handling of this case.

Rest in Peace
Male Cougar, circa 2005 - April 14, 2008

Quit Blaming Reptiles!

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Dry Dog Food *
* to which my cat remarked: Salmon outbreak? Why wasn't my food included?

...Salmonella infections in humans from dry dog food may be an under-recognized source of illness in people, especially young children, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"This is the first time human illness has been linked to dry dog food," said CDC epidemiologist Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, who co-authored a report on the finding.

The CDC isn't sure how the Salmonella bacteria got into the dog food, Barton Behravesh said...
See: China

Oh, man. NOW what am I going to serve for dinner Wednesday?

Al: What's for Dinner?
Me: Beef By-Products
Al: What?
Me: Cycle 6: for the Recession Years

Low, Low, Risk (Most) Every Day

Scorpion stings girl at Barboursville Wal-Mart

One young shopper at a Wal-Mart in West Virginia had to watch out for more than falling prices. Or anti-labor actions?

A 12-year-old girl picking up a seedless watermelon from a bin was stung Sunday by a tan, inch-long scorpion that had apparently stowed away in a shipment from Mexico. Another fine illegal immigrant here to take jobs from domestic wasps and other venom-producing insects.

Megan Templeton, of Barboursville, was taken to the hospital as a precaution but later released. Her father, William Templeton, said the pain was a little worse than a bee sting.

He initially didn't believe his daughter when she said she had been stung by a scorpion, but then he saw the critter scurry underneath a box. It was captured by Wal-Mart employees.
Who were not paid extra for hazardous duty... In fact, they were all made to punch out and were told no one was going home until the scorpion was found.

Most of the nearly 2,000 kinds of scorpions are not dangerous to humans.
Some are quite cute!

Richard Coyle, senior director of international affairs for Wal-Mart, said store employees believe the problem was with a single shipment of watermelons.
Oh, please. Aforementioned minimum-wage workers are now going through every crate.

"We are very concerned," he said. "This is a very rare incident. When I spoke with the store manager, she said in her 17 years she had never heard of something like this."
...Ever leaking out to the press.

Moral of the story: Seedless Watermelons are Evil. Insist on seeded!

And Mao Years Were a Walk in the Park?

Mental trauma rampant after China earthquake

I think we should dispatch a contingent of Scientologists to help. Not helpful to the Chinese people, but it would improve my mental state to ship a few overseas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anybody But Brown

Eight Belles
February 23, 2005-May 3, 2008

Hate to hailstorm all over the Big Brown cakewalk to the triple crown parade, but I just can't support him. Yes, he's a beautiful, unbeaten equine of note, but the triple crown? Sorry, I don't like his trainer at all, and I guess that's reason I'm not rooting for him. I'm so sick of these 'redemptive' stories. They try so hard to bring out the human drama in sports shows.

Remember Afleet Alex? A true athlete with the desire to win, and a humanatarian bring-your-hanky icon.

However, I am far from convinced Dutrow's problems are behind him. His jockey is known as an arrogant jerk. I realize I shouldn't hold this against the horse, but for once I'd like to see a generally good normal person (i.e. myself ) win something spectacular and not have some sob story to flout in the press.

Secondly, why isn't anyone recognizing that Eight Belles could have beat him, had she been sound. What if she was breaking down DURING the race?* Talk about a traumatic Ruffian flash back!** This valiant filly could have taken the world by storm and really given horse racing the shot in the arm it needed.

Kudos to NBC for trying to address the issue of horse racing dangers and its critics. Her trainer says she was not on painkillers and her steroids test was negative.

I do support racing reforms, but I do not blame her jockey in any way. The PETA crowd is way over the top.

Breeding and the push to race too young are huge factors hurting these animals. I support Gary Steven's call for a national oversight board that does not allow any drugs (painkillers that mask injury) as well. We need to keep this sport alive, but in a manner that supports rather than destroys its star performers.

My picks for the Preakness? I boxed Racecar Rhapsody and Riley Tucker, with Stevil to show. A whopping $6 is riding on this!

*NASCAR analogy #2: Can I help but wonder if some nutcases are in the stands today hoping to see a breakdown?

**Would someone please alert me when the Eight Belles memorial beanie baby goes on sale?

Can Big Brown Deliver?

Is there anything left in America that does not have corporate sponsorship? Oh, wait, this blog...

Frankly, I'm still upset about jockeys wearing advertisements like NASCAR drivers. (Although I would be the first in line to sign my winning horse up for every product endorsement I could think of, from Wheaties* Boxes to Hanes Horse Blankets and Nike Air Horseshoes...)

Now if Fed Ex sponsored a horse, maybe we'd have a race. A match race would be cool.
Or this - "And they're spinning out of the final turn and it's neck and neck for Fed Ex and Big Brown passing a fading Snail Mail. Wait, what's this? It's Instant Message on the outside! Instant Message is closing the gap, and it's Instant Message by a nanosecond! Fed Ex second, Big Brown to show, followed by Snail Mail and a disgraced Telegraph in last..."

*Wheatie Whinneys, now with more real wheat!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am Awesome, Man!

Just got home from seeing Iron Man, and I loved it! Well worth the price of admission. (But I still gave the kid in the ticket booth a hard time about it: "What do you think you're doing, selling gas?" I asked. )

Just add Robert Downey, Jr. to the list of bad boys you can't help but love... (See Also: Sheen, Charlie and Wilson, Owen) I really do hope he's beaten his addictions and wish him the best. However, you won't catch me cosigning on any movie-insurance forms for him, if you know what I mean.

The origin story was very endearing, I liked that the character was a rich genius. I'm very anti-Hulk that way. Clark Kent never did anything for me, either. Just because everyone around him was so stupid they couldn't figure out 'glasses' as a secret disguise didn't make Clark a theoretical physicist, just smarter than those dopes. At least Batman was tortured. And rich. Hmmm. I'm seeing a trend... Oh, God, no! My comic dream date - Ritchie Rich??? Ew!! Maybe Aquaman. I'd like to live under the sea.

I understand Paltrow asked Marvel for issues that would help her understand her character. I certainly admire that, but I'm sure the material severely limited her performance. She had no depth because the character was written with none. Miss Moneypenny all the way.

The show was obviously sponsored by Burger King and Audi. Both Iron Man and Pepper drove Audi R8s! Nothing like being so rich your assistant drives an R8. However, I must alert readers to another grade of A this movie receives from me: A for Auto Abuse.

I'm talking about the disturbing scene where Tony is single-handedly creating the Iron Man suit in his monster garage - without removing any of the exotics or motorcycles along the outside wall. One glance and I knew disaster was about to occur. I should have covered my eyes. I spotted a Lamborghini, Porsche, Audi, and Cobra, along with a few others I couldn't ID.

Spoiler Alert: The Cobra gets it. This blatant movie destruction of a priceless automobile is more than this enthusiast could shrug off easily. It's only a movie, it's only a movie, it's only....

Also, I hated having to wait for the closing credits to hear the iconic Black Sabbath song. I do hope they open the next movie with it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hole in None

Q Mr. President, you haven't been golfing in recent years. Is that related to Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it really is. I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.

Poor President Bush! All alone in setting a good example while Dick hunts and Condi buys shoes during times of national crises.

You know what sends the wrong signal? Defense Secretary Rumsfeld not signing condolence letters. Throwing out the Geneva Convention. Invading an oil-producing nation and passing on the ten-billion-a-month cost on to domestic petrol purchasers.

Want to sent the right message, Mr. President?

Get those two bums you call daughters enlisted. That's right - you have two healthy children of service age, and all they did was follow in your footsteps with a prestigious college degree and never seeing a day of combat.

Honestly, how much danger would they be in? Very little.

A) it could be announced that they are in an undisclosed location due to 'security concerns'*

B) Let's face it, thousands of other soldiers would die keeping them safe, no matter how poor their decision making skills on the battlefield.

Sorry to hear you had to cut back on the golf, big guy. 1600 acres is plenty big for your own course. Now explain all those 'vacation days' at the ranch to service families who haven't seen each other in over a year.

*Funny, Prince Harry was caught doing his duty.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Take this Sandbag, Or I'll Shoot

YANGON (Reuters) - Desperate survivors of Cyclone Nargis headed out of Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta in search of food, water and medicine, but aid workers said on Sunday that thousands will die if emergency supplies don't get through soon.

Hmm...Hundreds of thousands of lives are dependent on aid efforts after a hurricane wipes out of miles of coastland... Sounds like another FEMA fiasco to me.

But wait! Shawn W Crispin, Asia Times Online's Southeast Asia Editor, thinks U.S. intervention is just what's needed. FORCEFUL intervention, no less! Read his take on the situation

This time, it is almost sure-fire that Myanmar's desperate population would warmly welcome a US-led humanitarian intervention, considering that its own government is now withholding emergency supplies. Like his father then, Bush is now clearly focused on his presidential legacy, which to date will be judged harshly due to his government's controversial pre-emptive military policies, waged until now exclusively in the name of fighting global terror.

Clean water at the point of a sword? We've done worse.

Soooooooo Sorry!

Once again, I'm making excuses for not posting regularly. Unfortunately a sad tragedy took us out of state for a funeral, and I haven't been able to sit down and type. Also, I really need to find a way to support myself without that pesky ten-hour-a day time sucker known as a "Job". Other goals include following a better diet and losing some weight. So tell me - what are you not accomplishing with your life?