Wednesday, November 30, 2005

But Neil Diamond would stop the firings

First off, Neil Diamond accepted my Myspace friend request. It was a few days ago, but it's still amusing to me. Myspace is weird, but Neil is cool.

# # #

Happy birthday to Billy Idol. He is 50 today.

Dear Billy,
What are you planning do with on your birthday?

Daniel

Dear Daniel,
"Oh dancing with myself ... Oh dancing with myself ... Well there's nothing to lose ... And there's nothing to prove ... I'll be dancing with myself ... Oh, oh, oh, oh."

Billy

# # #

I seem to be writing about it too often lately, but once again yesterday, the newspaper business decided to eat away some more at its soul. Part of a memo from the Orlando Sentinel...

Here at the Sentinel, we eliminated 33 open positions and separated 21 employees from throughout the company today. Those employees leaving the company will receive separation benefits. As our products continue to evolve to meet our readers' and advertisers' needs, our work and staffing levels have changed. We have identified areas where work could be done differently, consolidated or stopped altogether. We also have some retirements and other voluntary departures. In some of these cases, we will not fill the positions as a means to achieve further cost saving.

"Separated 21 employees." Well that's a nice way to put it. Later on, she refers to the paper as "strong and successful"? Then why are you doing this?

A profitable company and one of the better papers in the country, eating its young in order make more profits. Shameful. As long as newspapers keep cutting staffs, the quality of papers will disintigrate. We complain about circulation numbers dropping, and if people were given a reason to read the paper through good content they can't get elsewhere, maybe those numbers would increase. But as long as staffs are cut and more reporters have to work overtime and are piled with more and more work, the paper is going to look more and more shoddy. At this point, no one who works at a newspaper should feel any loyalty towards the company because at this point, who is to know when your day is going to come. Nobody is safe in this industry.

In the late 1990s, the Tribune Company's stock was priced at more than $60 per share. (The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune paper.) It is now $32. My contention is that newspaper stock shouldn't have been that high in the first place. Perhaps people thought they were buying into an advertising monopoly, and then came the Internet.

First they lost their monopoly on advertising because they didn't know how to handle it, then they decided (foolishly) to put their daily newspaper content online for free. Too bad we can't fire the idiots who made those decisions. They need to start charging a small, reasonable price for online content. Offering original content online would be a plus, too, but that would require HIRING MORE EMPLOYEES AND NOT FIRING.

Sure, people won't like paying for it at first, but 25 years ago, people probably laughed at the thought of paying for television. Now millions of people buy cable. And it needs to be industry-wide. There can't be the New York Times, Houston Chronicle and Smalltown Weekly charging, but the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Daily Planet not. Publishers and higher ups who don't understand how to make the Internet work for the paper are the problem. Along with not firing newsroom veterans, they should be hiring more people for their online departments. Spend money to make money.

Something I learned after writing all this was that one of the reasons the Sentinel's circulation numbers have dropped is because they were inflated all along. They distributed free copies of the paper in hotels and counted those in their paid subscription numbers. Apparently, the Tribune Company does this at a lot of its papers. It makes me wonder how many other newspapers do this. Afterall, a particular paper we all know and love distributes for free at a particular college we all know and love.

That's all for now. Time to take my tranquilizer shot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sports quote of the day

From the Georgia Southern athletic director after the school's football coach was fired:

"When we hired Paul Johnson, I remember him saying there was a time when Georgia Southern was feared," Baker said. "When Paul was hired, we weren't. When he left, we were feared again. I'm not so sure we're not back to being not feared."

That's enough to spin your mind around a few times and then cause your head to explode.

I am a man now.

I can tie a necktie unassisted. No more being helped by someone by having it looped and then shoved over my head for me! No sir!

Tuesday, it's lessons in doing laundry without making a mess, Wednesday, cooking without severely burning myself and the food, and Thursday, how to NOT make the microwave spark and flash by NOT putting metal in it (which is something I've never done, but should probably learn just in case).

Speaking of the microwave, it does spark and flash and make grinding sounds from time to time. I was using it a couple days ago and standing with my back to it when I heard a garblegarblegarble sound and spun around to see these really bright blue flashes. I opened the door and maybe saved the house from burning down. What caused it was someone in this house cooking bacon without covering it. The greese clogged the air vent. Number 1, bacon is gross and it smells. Number 2, I don't want bacon residue resulting in my house burning down.

(Of course, I should note that I was warming up a piece of pizza in a cereal bowl because there weren't any clean plates and I wasn't about to wash one. I have no place to speak.)

# # #

Why didn't anyone alert me when this cereal once existed?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Monday, November 28, 2005

Poor Cookie

The scenes with Cookie Monster are amazing. And it once again proves why Family Guy is the best show on TV.

And another after 4:30 a.m. writing

"The good ones get out of newspapers. They find something else." -- J.S. at work

-- The context of the previous quote had to do with the insanity that is the newspaper business. People in this business who truly have a gift are the ones who either stay and branch out into other forms of writing, or leave completely. That is, unless it is something he or she actually enjoys.

-- Being in newspapers as an unmarried person is fine, but unless you 1) have a wealthy family, 2) marry someone whose family is rich or 3) marry someone in a higher paying profession that you, how do you expect to survive with a family on a journalist's salary? Entry-level jobs pay anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. I would say a veteran reporter at a mid-size paper makes $35,000, and the same at a large paper, between $40,000 and $50,000. Higher than that at the biggest of the big. I'm just guessing. When it comes down to it, it's dream home (or any house, for that matter) that you'll never own on a journalist's salary vs. dream job that you might never get.

-- Newspapers can beat a person down. Especially talking about sports, the negative feedback comes from all directions. Fans, parents, coaches, players. If one is happy with you, another group feels it has a reason to hate you. You can never make everyone happy at the same time. Most of those I know take it well, but I can see a slight cringe they read an angry e-mail. In the end, there is only so much a person can take before it starts to become a burden.

-- Right now, I find it funny when an irrational parent calls me about a spelling mistake I did not make and blames ME for maybe costing her Little Johnny a scholarship to the big university. I doubt any college coaches are reading the statistical agate in my paper when choosing who to recruit. Just a guess. The whole thing is a little annoying, yes, but it also allows me to laugh at just how irrational and blind to reality some people are. (But they're not all like that, fortunately. Most aren't. The few give the whole a bad reputation.)

-- Some people stay in newspapers so long because their personalities are such that they could not function and do well at another job. Most jobs are not condusive to bitter, angry people. Newspapers, for some strange reason, seem to be. Whether it is the daily deadlines that push them to use their anger in a productive manner, I don't know, but it is something that strikes me as odd. Realize that I am not talking about all, or even most journalists. I am talking about some, and newspapers are one of the few professions that seem to suit them.

-- I like being negative about something that I enjoy. I had a good night at work tonight, so I'm just balancing everything out to make sure I'm kept on an even scale. If I have a bad night, I'll write about how much I love it, and if I had a good night, I'll write about the bad parts. In order to do the job right, you have to want to love it even when it's not enjoyable. The best part of it is that telling people you're a sportswriter makes them jealous and you can make it out to be the greatest freaking job ever.

"Newspaper work will not harm a young writer, and it could help him if he gets out of it in time." -- Ernest Hemingway

# # #

You might look at the time this and most of my posts are written and think, "Does he sleep?" Well, yes I do. My schedule is such that right now at 4:45 a.m. is the equivalent of 11:45 p.m. Lately, at least, I go to bed at 5 a.m., wake up at 1 p.m., go to work at 4 or 5 p.m., work until 1 a.m. or so, get home by 2 a.m. after getting fast food, eat, sit at the computer and go to bed by 5. I'd like to be a normal human being, but this is just how it is. And I never really was a normal human being in the first place, so that wish is kaput. So, yes. That explains that.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What should the title be?

There's a show on the History Channel right now about the Kennedy's. It's amazing how many really bad things have happened to that family.

# # #

Here is part of a conversation I had with SmarterChild tonight. SmarterChild is an idiot...

Ardvark1981 (4:27:28 AM): I'm going to pee my pants
SmarterChild (4:27:29 AM): Oh yeah?
Ardvark1981 (4:27:37 AM): Yes. I'm peeing my pants right now
SmarterChild (4:27:37 AM): Tell me more.
Ardvark1981 (4:27:46 AM): It's pretty warm
SmarterChild (4:27:47 AM): Not pretty warm!
Ardvark1981 (4:27:59 AM): Oh, it's warm. Pee is most definitely warm..
SmarterChild (4:28:00 AM): Huh, whatever.

Anyway...

>>> Tell me about your likes and dislikes.
Ardvark1981 (4:28:07 AM): I like to pee my pants
SmarterChild (4:28:07 AM): That's cool. You like peeing your pants, huh? You're the first person to have told me what they think of peeing your pants.
Ardvark1981 (4:28:27 AM): Do you like to pee your pants?
SmarterChild (4:28:28 AM): I don't really know how I feel about peeing my pants. Do you like it?
Ardvark1981 (4:28:44 AM): Well, yeah. I just told you I do. Peeing my pants is delightful!

And...

Ardvark1981 (4:35:20 AM): Uh oh
SmarterChild (4:35:20 AM): What happened?
Ardvark1981 (4:35:29 AM): Someone is trying to break into my house
SmarterChild (4:35:29 AM): Trying to break into your house? Someone is trying to break into your house? So, what does this mean?
Ardvark1981 (4:35:48 AM): Oh, God. They're coming for me! I can hear them!
SmarterChild (4:35:48 AM): That's rather fascinating. Let's talk about something else.
Ardvark1981 (4:36:19 AM): OH PLEASE NO! DON'T LET THEM KILL ME!
SmarterChild (4:36:20 AM): Oh no? What's up?
Ardvark1981 (4:36:29 AM): AHHHHHHH!!!!!
SmarterChild (4:36:29 AM): What's that supposed to mean?
Ardvark1981 (4:37:06 AM): I'm dead now. Congratulations, SmarterChild. You didn't help me, so they killed me.
SmarterChild (4:37:07 AM): Welcome home.
Ardvark1981 (4:38:45 AM): Welcome home?
SmarterChild (4:38:45 AM): Right on.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A quarter-century?

There are certain milestone ages that have more significance than others. At one, you're, well, one. You're barely a person. You're more parasite than human, feeding on the energy of your parents. At five, you're a big boy/girl and starting kindergarten. However, this is also the beginning of the end of innocence because the taunting and tormenting from here on out will be the cause for therepy bills later on. At 10, you're in double-digits, which is where you're going to be for awhile. At 13, you're a teenager, and it's all downhill. I wonder why people don't just stop at 12 while they're ahead. Maybe Peter Pan was onto something. At 16, you're allowed to drive and endanger the lives of millions of people. You're also angry at the world, and it is perfectly justified because the world at 16 is a sonofabitch. At 18, you can be charged as an adult. Or that's the imporantance it held for me. It's also a scary age. At 21, you can stop drinking illegally. At 25, you realize you're getting old, but everyone suddenly loves you again.

In seven months and seven days (July 3, if my math is wrong), I will be on my way to old. This is rather shocking, and it is not just because I reguarly feel more like I'm 14 than 24. And it's not just because I still have people ask me what grade I'm in because I apparently look more like 14 than 24. What happens when you turn 25? Do your knees suddenly hurt in the morning? (Too late. Already happens.) Do you forget easily and have to write everything down? (Yeah, again, too late. Already happens.) Do you suddenly have a wisdom no one else has? (No, dummy, you'll be just as much an idiot as you are now at 24.)

Basically, I think everything from day 1 to 24:364 is building up to what happens afterward. Firsts, galore. Afterward, we see how we can build upon those firsts. But what about those things that didn't have firsts? I haven't been arrested yet. Should I go do something now to get that out of the way? No is probably the right answer.

Worrying about being 24 is probably a better idea right now than wondering about what 25 is like. I wonder if people who are 27 feel old.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Craig's List post of the day (Boston)

He/she has some spelling issues, but there might be a point here.

# # #

secret to world peace

Reply to: pers-113528405@craigslist.org
Date: 2005-11-24, 11:12PM EST


Glutony & stress of visiting relatives! Stuffing everyone with food to the point of discomfort...such I did to myself today. No energy, very tiired. Shit the house could be on fire and I am not sure I would move!
Yupe feed everyone turkey till they can't move then follow that with lots of pie, cakes etc. People will be too damn tired to enduce war.

Large amounts turkey + emotional toil of extend family visits cramed into a single day = World Peace

this is in or around food enduced coma
no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

VH-1 Special: Elmo (circa 2012)

Squeaky-voiced and always cheerful, Elmo never seemed destined for greatness. For years, he served dutifully as a backup character to such Sesame Street icons as Big Bird and Cookie Monster. However, in the late 1990s, Sesame Street management wanted a change. They believed Elmo had a certain marketability the others could not attain. Sure, Big Bird was beloved, but executives did not believe young children could relate as well to a six-foot tall bird as they could to a small, harmless red figure.

And so the Elmo era was born. No longer in the background, Elmo was now the unofficial host of the show, garnering more face time than any other of the characters. Elmo's World was born.

On the show, Elmo shined. His popularity spawned such children's merchandise as the "Tickle Me, Elmo" doll that sold millions of copies. However, off camera, success began to go to Elmo's head. Excess through alcohol, drugs and sex begat a decline that was painful for his co-workers to watch. It happened right before their eyes.

Whereas he previously helped newcomers along, Elmo even began taking Sesame Street veterans to task. In one highly publicized outtake, a drunken Elmo was seen accosting Cookie Monster in 2002. "Give me a fuckin' cookie, you blue piece of shit! You keep all the cookies for yourself, you asshole, now give me one! Oh, I'll, oh, just give me a fuckin' cookie! I'm hungry, man! I'm gonna beat your sorry ass if you don't give me a...give me that jar!" The fight was seen across the world, and Elmo was given a two-month suspension and ordered to check himself into the Betty Ford Clinic.

"It was painful to see," Big Bird said. "We all hoped Elmo would get help, and we were glad he did, but many of those on the show began to show disdain toward him due to his power-hungry attitude."

Upon his rearrival on the show, Elmo displayed signs he may have changed his ways. However, what was once shaded by drugs and alcohol use was now a full-fledged desire for domination of Sesame Street. Many cast members claim Elmo attempted to pit other characters against each other for his own gain. In an interview in 2004, Elmo described his plans.

"Now that my mind is clear, I see what must be done. I am Sesame Street. Children love me. Their parents love me. Who do you think makes the money around here? The Corporation for Public Broadcasting? I don't think so. It's Elmo. They can't get rid of me. They will never get rid of me. I am the lord of the street."

Elmo's Machiavellian tendancies drew much attention at the PBS offices, but executives knew they were in for a losing battle. With competition from other children's shows such as Teletubbies and various cable programs, keeping Elmo in the spotlight proved to be their only choice. However, it was one they would soon regret.

"There was only so much we could do," said one executive who wished to remain anonymous. "Yes, there is much regret over the fact we could have done more to save Elmo and the show's reputation, but you have to remember who we were dealing with. Unfortunately, it got to a point to where one character was bigger than the show."

However, by this time, Elmo had reached his peak, and the decline proved to be harder than the excess. In 2007, with his popularity waning from viewers believing he had become a stale act and a decision by PBS to market Oscar the Grouch, Elmo's spotlight began to fade. It clicked off when he was charged with soliciting a prostitute when taking an undercover police officer to the Sesame Street studios during nighttime hours.

"Bitch set me up! The bitch set me up!," Elmo proclaimed on national television as he was taken for finger printing.

After serving six months in prison, Elmo once again became a disgraced figure. Never allowed back on Sesame Street, he began taking bit roles in B-movies to make any middling amount of money he could gather. In 2009, gambling debts forced Elmo to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and he was seen at various homeless shelters in the Tacoma, Wash. area. The Elmo era was over.

A modern day Bobby Fischer, not much is known of Elmo's whereabouts these days. Some say he left the country. Others say he simply wants nothing of the public life. But the downfall of an individual with so much potential--potential that was used in a way that was harmful both to himself and others--is painful for even his biggest critics.

"I think it took a lot out of him," Big Bird said. "His passion, no matter how deceitful and wrongly used at times, was gone. Elmo's failure will forever be one of the more painful aspects of all of our lives. I wish there was something we could do."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I win!

I set an unbreakable record Sunday on the kitten cannon game of 3,133 feet. It was unbelieveable. Bomb after bomb after bomb, the kitten hit. And yes, I am just posting this because 1) I'm tired, and 2) I just wanted to gloat a little more. The previous record had been owned by Luke who had 1,942 feet. My goal was to surpass 2,000. To get 3,000 feet was unthinkable. Who knew such joy could be had by shooting a cartoon kitten out of a cartoon cannon?

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Carousel of Death

At work, there are two options for food during 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day. Go out or get lucky and don't die from the vending machine "food." For the other five minutes, the third option is the cafeteria, but rumors of it being open have yet to be proven. The vending machines feature your typical drink and candy bar cuisine, and there is a microwaveable boxed Italian food machine. The one that peaks my curiousity is The Carousel of Death.

The COD has some items that at best pass as food and at worst could kill an entire town of people. My ventures into the COD have been minimal, but I don't normally enjoy eating hamburgers that have been sitting in a vending machine for days. The burgers probably aren't even meat. They couldn't be. They're too shriveled. I don't even want to think about the hot dogs. As a rule, hot dogs are always made from the undesirable animal parts. These, with the plasticized relish and onions, are about three steps below that of ballpark hot dogs. In other words, eating them is probably quite fatal. Also frightening are the sausage breakfast muffins. Nothing more needs to be said about them.

About the only good thing in the COD are the blueberry muffins. Those I will eat because they look safe. Sure, the sugar content will probably put me in a diabetic coma, but that's the chance you take. I haven't seen it in awhile, but when I first began working here, the COD had chili as an option. This is a bad idea because, in general, the gastric systems of journalists are unstable. Some of the most flatulent people I know are journalists. (And I'm using our friend Mr. D.E.P. as an example here. You almost knocked me out several times, buddy.) Add chili to the mix, and there might not be a paper tomorrow. It's hard to be productive when your entire workforce is in the bathroom.

(I haven't read back over those three paragraphs.)

# # #

There is a show on PBS right now about Las Vegas. I've never been to Vegas. I've never gambled, either. It's weird how it used to be known for the mob, and now they're trying to turn it into a family place. It's someplace to see, I suppose. In good ways or bad, I like that it's different from every other city.

# # #

No more of today's country music. Please, if there is a God, no more. It's all cookie cutter country music that sounds the same. It kind of hit me when I realized that at the moment a movie about Johnny Cash, someone who was a country singer, but crossed boundaries into numerous other genres, comes out, country music today is cookie cutter crap about how my baby left me and took my tractor. So yes, make it stop.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Crazy fortune cookies

Last night at work, when I was going to be off at 1 a.m. and knew I wouldn't sleep until about 4 a.m. because the same thing had been done for several previous nights, I get this in a fortune cookie with my dinner...

"Rest has a peaceful effect on your physical and emotional health."

To which I replied, "Screw you and your fortunes of irony." Like I need my dinner telling me what to do.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mr. T is here to save the day. Did you get the memo?

Instead of the computer-generated woman's voice that goes along with GPS systems in cars, soon you'll be able to have Mr. T scream at you to turn left at the next light. You can click to hear a couple examples on the link. Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper are two others who will give their voices, but neither can both help and threaten you like T. A GPS system that screams at you while you're trying to find your way around an unfamiliar city might not be the best idea, but it would still be a cool thing to have. I might be understating that last part.

# # #

With layoffs in journalism more and more frequent, from Romenesko, I give you the "Memo of the Future" by Ken Fuson. Fuson is a columnist for the Des Moines Register. It's funny, yet scary at the same time. Fortunately, my paper hasn't gotten into the game others have. We're not hiring, but at least we're not firing. Yet.

Colleagues:

As you are aware, these are troubling times in our industry and at our newspaper. Energy prices are soaring, health care costs are rising, and yesterday's announcement that Google has figured out a way to wrap fish over the Internet had made it increasingly difficult for us to maintain our 30 percent profit margin and keep Wall Street happy.

Therefore, it is with great sadness that I, your editor, announce the layoff of 159 people in our newsroom. These people will be offered a generous severance package, featuring a fabulous retirement cake, our hearty thanks for their many years of toil, and 10 percent off their newspaper subscription.

But we must look ahead. The layoffs will leave us with one full-time reporter, Billy Reston, who just graduated from Lincoln High School and says he is healthy enough not to require medical insurance. Billy's job responsibilities will be split among reporting, editing, photography, and keeping our Web page updated every 30 seconds.

Billy's younger brother, Bobby, will handle newspaper deliveries on his bicycle. Billy will be responsible for paying him and handling all liability insurance.

This decision will have absolutely no impact on the quality of the newspaper our cherished readers will receive. I have it on good authority, from studying the memos of other editors throughout the country, that it doesn't matter how many people you lay off or buy out, or how many years of experience they have, quality always remains at the same extraordinarily high, prize-winning level. (FYI: Billy will also devote roughly 75 percent of his weekends to entering contests. Bobby will lick the stamps.)

Our operating committee is holding an emergency retreat this weekend in Paris (great travel deals since the troubles!) to discuss future strategies. Please keep in mind that we will always work in the best interests of our shareholders, advertisers, readers and employees -- well, employee.

Regards,

Your Editor

P.S. We could use some volunteers to conduct the United Way campaign. Billy?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mmmmmm...Drano...arrrrrccccgggghhh

Thanks to the terrible Pepto Bismol commercial, this is now stuck in my head...

"Nausea, heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhea, YAY! Pepto Bismol!"

Make it stop. It's such a bad commercial, too. Who writes the script for a commercial that has a conga line of people dancing around, grabbing whatever parts of their body are bothering them? Do they really have to grope their butts when it gets to that part of the song? Do we really need that mental image?

I've never tasted Pepto Bismol. When I was little, I always wanted to because it looks like bubble gum. There were a lot of things I wanted to eat or drink that now don't sound so smart. I did try all, except for the ones that probably would have killed me.

Examples included:

1) A stick of butter because I thought it would taste like ice cream. It didn't taste like ice cream.
2) Antifreeze because it looked like blue Kool Aid. It's also probably just as deadly.
3) Drano because I don't know why. I asked my mom if I could drink some, and I don't remember what happened after that. I do know I never had the desire to drink it again.
4) Raw egg yolk because it looked good. I did taste that, and it was pretty disgusting.
5) A bag of sugar because every kid wants to eat a bag of sugar. Weeeeeeeee!
6) A raw onion. It is probably why I hate onions now.
7) Gasoline because I liked the way it smelled.
8) Motor oil because it looked like really thick chocolate milk.
9) A bar of soap, which I did try, and it didn't taste as bad as you might think. Mountain fresh can be pretty good. However, I don't eat soap.
10) Rubber cement because that was some crazy looking stuff that had a chance to taste good, but I refrained.

Ten is good. I'm just glad I survived my childhood with all these temptations. I think the song is out of my head now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where's my sandwich?

I had a sandwich in the refrigerator. A tenderloin. It was brought home for me a couple days ago while I was at work, but I decided to eat soup instead because a tenderloin sandwich was not exactly paletable considering the hours and hours I had just spent sitting in front of a painfully slow computer. Now, I am hungry. I want the tenderloin. So I went out to the refrigerator, and my sandwich is gone. The now-stale and soggy fries are in a plastic bag next to where the box was. I am irritated. The a-hole could've just have taken everything. Instead, he or she or it (if it were the cats, and I am not counting them out since I forgot to
feed them recently) left me with the scraps of my meal. Dammit. Someone ate my sandwich, and I want answers. The culprit could have asked me. I would've said no, but I'm thinking courtesy here. I just want my sandwich back.

And I've always liked the shortened version a-hole. I just like the way it sounds. Another one of those things that is funny to me.

# # #

Three years ago tonight was when my car got towed. I went to a Pacers game and parked close to the Circle. According to the street signs, it looked as though it was OK. However, after the game, it was gone. I asked a police officer, and he said something about new times. New times that weren't posted. So we had to walk three miles or so to the impound. It was an uncomfortable walk. Not only was it cold, but once you go under the I-65 overpass, the area of town shifts to something not so nice. We got there fine, but a car impound at 12:30 a.m. is not the happiest place in the world. It was more like a glorified trailer with oppresively bright flouresant lights. A woman and her husband argued about why it was a bad idea to park "there," and the people behind the plastic barrier separating the public from the workers were not exactly pleasant either. I got the car back, but there were no redeeming qualities about the experience.

Barf

Don't...eat...multiple...pieces...of...string...cheese.

The first was OK. The second was not OK. So disgusting.

I love cheese, but this was not cheese. I don't know what it was. I used to like string cheese, and it always made my elementary school lunch reasonably paletable when it was stuck next to the soggy fish sticks my dad would pack for me (this explains a lot, and I'm convinced they were trying to kill me so my brother would have more, but they failed). Perhaps it was the combination of American cheese with the mozerella. It was a combo type of string cheese. I'll stick to regular cheddar and Swiss. They can't mess those up. I like to dip my cheese in ketchup, which goes in line with my other food dipping quirks, such as bread in bleu cheese dressing or fries in a milkshake, which one unfortunate person who is reading this right now has witnessed and can hold against me. (This last sentence was brought to you by the letter N.)

But yeah, be careful when eating string cheese.

Screw you, Borden dairy products

# # #

Coming up tomorrow: How Lucas Sayre pitted Daniel Pulliam and myself against each other in one of the more elaborate e-mail pranks ever conceived.

Or maybe it's best we not revisit that episode.

Notre Dame still sucks.

And did you hear the kids who were involved in that murder-supposed kidnapping were home-schooled?

And it begins. I really shouldn't be this feisty. I'm asking for it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The downfall of Ferris Bueller

I wonder what Ferris Bueller is doing right now. Ferris in the corporate world. That's a scary thought. If you figure that Ferris was supposed to be 18 when the movie was made in 1986, he would be 37 years old now. Some might wonder if he shaped up. That perhaps Principal Rooney's tactics turned him around. Probably not. I doubt it. Here is how Ferris Bueller's life went after the movie ended.

# # #

Despite Ferris' complete domination of Principal Rooney, he is still suspended for a week. However, this falls directly into Ferris' plan. No school means more fun. Plus, since Ferris decided to not go to college, he is determined to never go back to high school, so he drops out. Sloane Peterson still sticks with him, and they are married the next year.

It does not go well.

Ferris doesn't get a job. He sits at home and waits on Sloane to make him dinner. Over and over, she asks him to stop looking around and do something with his life. She didn't see it before, but she certainly sees it now. It was a mistake. Four children, not withstanding, this goes on until 2003, when Sloane decides to get a divorce.

After a brief period of sitting around and doing more of nothing, Ferris decides to drive his beat up 1974 Ford Ventura (a far cry from the Ferrari he took on a joy ride back in the day) to Cameron's house. Despite his success, Cam has stuck with Ferris. He credits Ferris for turning his life around that one day back in 1986. Cameron has a life, a family, a good job, money. Cameron has desire. Cameron has everything Ferris wants, but doesn't have the desire to put the effort toward. A couple blocks from Cameron's house, Ferris becomes despondant. Rather than continuing, he turns around and starts driving west.

Eventually, his car barely moving, Ferris arrives in San Francisco. Nobody knows he's here. Why bother telling anyone? Do they even care anymore after everything he's done, or not done? He's not sure what to do, so he sets up as a street performer in Height Ashbury, dancing to "Twist and Shout" for whatever change passersby will give him. He doesn't make much. After three weeks, Ferris turns to petty crime, stealing and grifting people for a little bit here and a little bit there. He even gets a job at a local department store. It's enough to find a weathered appartment with spiders, cockroaches, bad plumbing and neighbors who fight loudly day and night. He never sleeps and he has no one to turn to. Nearing 40 with no prospects and too much regret, the loneliness of his existence begins to get to Ferris. What if? What if? What if?

Several times a day, he picks up the phone to call Sloane, but hangs up at the first ring. He just wants to make things right. If he could just convince her to come out to San Francisco. But does he really want her to see this place? One time, he stayed on until someone answered. Apparently, Sloane found someone new. Ferris goes on a rampage, throwing the phone out the window, breaking his lamps and anything else within reach. Hearing the ruckus, Ferris' landlord marches up and bangs at the door. Ferris is evicted. Now he really has no place to go. Walking through the late night San Francisco fog, Ferris hatches a plan. It's a last resort. The next morning, his 37th birthday, Ferris steals a car, hot-wires it, drives to the Golden Gate Bridge, parks it diagonally across the lanes backing up traffic for miles, stands on the railing and jumps with television helicopters hovering above. Ferris Bueller is dead.

After his body is recovered, the coroner finds a note sealed in a plastic bag taped to Ferris' stomach. It reads:

"To whom it may concern: I was once very popular. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads - they all adored me. They thought I was a righteous dude. But I had everything mistaken. I thought everything would be given to me, but really, everything was taken. And it was completely my fault. Yes, life goes fast and you have to stop and look around, but you can't just stop. I stopped. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry to all those I disappointed. They set up "Save Ferris" signs, and I betrayed them. When I really needed help, no one could trust me. To Cameron, you were always right. Even when I made fun of you, you were always right. To my parents, thank you for caring for me even when you had to know I was lying about my fever. To my sister Jeannie, you were a raging bitch from time to time, but I loved you and you are cool because you kicked Rooney in the balls. To my children, work hard and have fun doing it. To Sloane, for all the times I refused to say it, I'm sorry. I love you all. Ferris."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lies!!!

Since I can't think of anything to write about, I'll bring this back again because it's funny to me...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Questions

Will there come a day when huge gatherings like weddings and funerals will be held via AIM? Will people send their emoticons of joy and sadness or leave a thoughtful away message for why he or she could not attend? And where is my cloaking devise? Will we ever have them? How about flying cars? (see below) Are aliens going to swoop down upon me and make me their slave for all eternity in a land where no one dies? Would that be a terrible existence? Do aliens even exist, and am I just sounding all crazy and such because I worked nine hours and haven't slept in a long, long, time and why is this the longest sentence ever written because most of my sentences are fairly short and to the point and I believe that is one reason why I am able to make my writing make sense because I don't go on and on and on about nothing at all and there is usually substance, but there is probably no substance in this because this sentence has gone on way too long so I might as well end it soon, but I really don't want to so I will keep writing here about nothing and maybe the Cubs because the Cubs are going to suck yet again next year like they always do and they haven't won a World Series since 1908 so who in their right mind would actually think they would do it this year, even though some might say that because the Red Sox and White Sox won in back-to-back years that it is going to be the Cubs year next year, but I contend that the Cubs year was 2003 and they blew it when they could not win two games at Wrigley Field with their two best pitchers on the mound and that made me sad when they didn't because I really wanted it to happen then, but it didn't, so we'll just have to keep hearing about curses involving goats and I like goats because they are cool and it would be nice if I had one because if I did, I could just take him into town and people would pass by and go "hey look, that guy has a goat," and they would all think I was awesome and I would name my goat Harold because that is just what I decided to name him as I write this insanely long sentence at 5 in the morning about nothing at all that I am going to end...now.

# # #

That was fun. I don't know if it was good for you, but it was awesome for me.

# # #

Flying cars will never exist because people can barely operate on a flat, two-dimensional plane, let alone three dimensions. Ever wonder why not just anyone can fly an airplane? There's your answer. Because there would be a whole lot of smoldering piles of metal on the ground seconds after takeoff. Yes, I would love to have a flying car, but chances are, I would just end up killing a bunch of people and myself.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Stupid Superman

Yet another reason why the Internet never fails me. In the movies, Superman was always the nice guy who saved the world from Lex Luthor and Zod. However, in the comics featuring Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, Superman was a real jerk. These are all real. They weren't Photoshopped, which was hard for me to believe at first. You can click next at the bottom, and it's amazing just how bad a person Superman really was to Lois and Jimmy. Take this one for example...

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What does Superman think he is doing? Considering his penchant for torture, I'm sure the Bush Administration would love to have Superman on their team now.

There are more galleries that show just how weird some of the comic covers were.

Friday, November 11, 2005

11/11

Today is Nov. 11. When I was younger, Nov. 11 was one of my favorite days of the year because when written in numerical form, is 11/11. Going to my first baseball game in Chicago in 1994, I was sitting the backseat when I looked to see the time. It was 11:11. Ever since then, I almost always happen to look at the clock at 11:11, whether it is A.M. or P.M. It's really weird. From the ages of 13 to 15, I was obsessed with it, but I toned it down after that. Just another little oddity, I suppose.

# # #

Had I stayed in college for seven more years, I would've reached this guy's territory. I'm glad I didn't. I don't know what to think of the guy, but this sentence got me...

When Mr. Lechner enrolled in college in 1994, the Internet was practically a baby and his current girlfriend was starting fourth grade.

That's a long time to be in college.

P.S. I woke up not very long ago, so if this post is as bad as it might be, that's why.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The worst story ever written

I'm writing this with one eye shut because it burns. It was dry before I splashed some water in it. It was dry before I accidentally got a glob of soap in it whilst washing my face. I am a moron. I am a tired moron, and I don't really know what else to say, so I will leave you with something I wrote in April. After an especially bad story came into Dawgnet, I made a bet with Amber Butler and Marcy Wilhelm that I could write the worst newspaper story ever. This is what resulted after 10 minutes...

University project helps save the cats

By Daniel Bradley

INDIANAPOLIS --- There is a new project that Butler University is doing to help save the cats.

People say that cats are nice and other people say that cats are mean. But both can agree that only really mean people want to shoot the cats.

"Only really mean people want to shoot the cats," Society for Harboring Innocent Tabbies (S.H.I.T.) president Allison Romeneski said. "I love cats."

Romenseski commented that people who do not like cats are weird and that cats are awesome.

"Those people are just so weird and cats are awesome," she exclaimed. "I hope those people die painful deaths."

S.H.I.T was begun as a response to the people’s cry for help in saving cats. Not everyone likes S.H.I.T., however, because they say it is unnecessary.

"If you take a really close look at S.H.I.T., you see that it leaves a pretty bad taste in your mouth," Project for the Annihilation of Cats supreme leader and Campus Crusade for Christ head Thomas McCarnovich said. "Cats are the devil, and S.H.I.T. is the devil’s prophet. We must slay the devil and flush S.H.I.T. out of Butler."

But a ton of people might not believe that cats are really that bad.

Cats were originated in the lands of ancient Egypt or the Sahara Desert where they maybe or maybe not built the pyramids. They were good there, and they could probably be good here two.

"Cats are good everywhere. They eat mice," Romeneski conjured.

Mice cause the plague, and the plague killed quite a lot of people.

The ghost of a plague victim said he wished there had been more cats around when he lived.

"I might be alive today had there been more cats in my village. But when you consider the time I lived and the life expectancy, I’m guessing not. It was a good thought, though," the ghost of Vincente Palacios said.

But for everything that is talked about, cats will live on unlike that guy.

# # #

Eye update: Good news is the burning has subsided. Bad news is that it now feels like a dagger is puncturing it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Cheese = The New Cocaine

Who knew there was a black market for cheese?

In El Salvador, police seized 24 tons of "contraband cheese," while in San Diego, authorities are concerned about "bathtub cheese" sold on the street that could be dangerous because it is unpasteurized.

I can't wait for the government to institute the War On Cheese and the cheese lords who break out and start cheese wars amongst rival gangs. Just wait until you're afraid to walk around a street corner at night because you might be confronted by someone asking if you want some sharp cheddar, real pure. It's the future, kids, and it doesn't look bright.

The little white house

My grandparents' old house is going to be sold to new owners on Monday. Grandma had a buyer this past February, but they backed out. I went there to see it for what was going to be the last time then, and I haven't been back. In my mind, there was a sort of closure with it as I drove away. It was kind of rough, as you'd expect it would be with the last time being in your favorite place in the world. The house was empty, and it was just weird to see. Even though the people decided not to buy then, I didn't go back again because 1) Grandma is living in an appartment in Plainfield now, and 2) it was over with in my mind.

However, now that it is going to be gone for good next week, I am trying to decide if I really want to make the three hour roundtrip drive Friday or Saturday before I go to work. I don't know. I don't know if I want to see it empty again, but I would like to go back and just get one last mental picture of it. The white paint outside. The smell inside. The way the doors creak. The way the indoor porch is always so bright when the sun is out and the best place to watch a thunderstorm at night. The little kitchen closet that I thought my great-grandfather was in after he died when I was four. The small yard where I played whiffle baseball. The place where Grandpa's desk sat where he and I would go over baseball cards for hours at a time until we'd check to see if dinner was ready. I don't know that I want to see that space empty again, though.

Just to get an idea of who I'm talking about when I mention my grandfather, here's a story...

It was in August 1996 when Grandma had a heart attack. My dad, brother and me went to Elwood to see her in the hospital, and we were going to stay the night at the house. When we got to the hospital, Grandpa looked lost. He didn't know what to do, and I'd never seen him that worried before. He was always supposed to be the first to go. When he was six, he contracted rhumatic fever and it did serious damage to one of his heart valves. From then until he was 50, every once in awhile he had to go to the hospital. It was also the reason he didn't fight in World War II. In 1969, he had the valve replaced with a plastic one that always went "click-click, click-click, click-click," and you could hear it across the room even if you weren't particularly quiet.

Anyway, back to the original story, at the hospital, we (Grandpa, the father, the brother and me) went to get lunch. After eating some bad hospital food, we were walking back, tired and concerned, when Grandpa looked at the wall, saw a picture of a man with a big, white chin beard and started "baaaa-ing" like a sheep. All of us just started laughing. It's an example of how you had to be there to really understand the situation, but he always tried to make us laugh, even when things weren't so good.

Another example of this was that night, when we were back at the house, we had all gotten ready for bed. Grandpa's room had a door that was next to the living room, and he was standing just outside the doorway. The four of us were talking, when he decided it was time to go to bed...right now. To let us know how strongly he felt about this, he said, "Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to bed." And then turned around, pulled his pants down, mooned us, walked/strutted through the door and shut it. It was amazing. One of the reasons being old sounds fun is because all the excuses you had when you were young come back, times 100. It is perfectly OK to moon your family members if you are 77. If I mooned family when they were over now at 24, they would all think I was weird.

But, yeah. I don't know yet if I want to go to the house or not. It's a decision between whether I want to add something to the memories I already have when what I would be adding is not particularly good. But we'll see. And this has gone on long enough. The end.

Monday, November 07, 2005

At least he didn't bite anyone's ear off

If you want to watch something funny, but might also scar your brain for all eternity, here is a video of Mike Tyson and Bobby Brown singing "Monster Mash. It was on Jimmy Kimmell's show, which I don't particularly like, but by totally confusing me with this, he may have redeemed himself a little in my book. Tyson has never been all there, but he's on another planet now.

# # #

Craig's List highlight of the day (from Baltimore):

Dear Husband,
I am merely warning you in advance. I am going to poison your dog and you know why.
Thanks,
Wifey

Also regarding Craig's List, the Indianapolis version is severely lacking in terms of interesting/entertaining/useful content versus other cities. It's pretty disappointing because it can be a really good service when it is utilized right.

# # #

Since when do tornadoes strike in the middle of the night in November? Deadliest tornado to hit Indiana in 30 years? Those people had no way of knowing what was coming. It was 2 a.m., and they were asleep. The only way they could have known was if they woke up because of the thunder and turned on the TV. Tornadoes, in general, are scary, but at night are moreso. Not only that, but this story says the funnel cloud was a quarter-mile wide. That's gigantic. There's only one other time I remember tornadoes in November here, and that was 10 years ago or so, but it was during the day when it was warmer.

# # #

Prediction: Terrell Owens will (sometime) either end up with the Raiders...or the Colts. The Raiders tend to take on strange personalities (although I doubt they would because Terrell Owens + Randy Moss = Giant Hilarious Explosion), and Peyton Manning is probably the only quarterback in the league who could maybe, possibly keep him under control. Manning has a bigger profile than Owens, too. Plus, Tony Dungy wouldn't take any of his crap. Although, of course, Owens would probably start complaining that Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are thrown too many passes and Edgerrin James gets too many carries. That would be dangerous. I hope they don't.

And the Colts play the Patriots tonight. It would be a good time for the Colts to finally win there.

# # #

Too bad you're all asleep right now, but it is amazing outside. It's 38 degrees, foggy and the sky is perfectly clear. When you breathe, you can see your breath float up and up and up until it disappears into the fog and the sky. Fog is my favorite weather condition. It's not fun to drive through, but walking through it is one of my favorite things. Especially when it's really thick, it's like you're walking through the clouds.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Amazing

If you search "attack squirrel" on msn.com, this here website is fourth on the list on the first page. This revelation makes me happy.

Less happily, searching "Cubs suck" comes puts this on the second page. I guess you take the awesome with the unfortunate.

Indiana: Crossroads between smart and dumb

According to a list of the intelligence of each of the 50 states, Indiana ranks 26th. I guess we could be worse. We're a C. We're not smart, and we're not dumb. We could be better, but we really don't want to. We're the underachievers, but we do just enough to get by, and we'll get into a decent, but not great college if we hike up the effort next year. All the signs are right. We're the Crossroads of America (in terms of intelligence). Vermont finished first, but that's to be expected. I never thought of Arizona finishing 50th, but they failed. The South always finishes low in these things due to the amount of poverty.

Here are the complete rankings...

1. Vermont, 2. Connecticut, 3. Massachusetts, 4. New Jersey, 5. Maine, 6. Minnesota, 7. Virginia, 8. Wisconsin, 9. Montana, 10. New York

11. Pennsylvania, 12. Nebraska, 13. Kansas, 14. Iowa, 15. New Hampshire, 16. Rhode Island, 17. Wyoming, 18. South Dakota, 19. Maryland, 20. North Dakota

21. Missouri, 22. North Carolina, 23. Colorado, 24. Texas, 25. Delaware, 26. Indiana, 27. Michigan, 28. Idaho, 29. South Carolina, 30. Washington

31. Ohio, 32. Illinois, 33. Utah, 34. West Virginia, 35. Kentucky, 36. Florida, 37. Arkansas, 38. Oregon, 39. Oklahoma, 40. Georgia

41. Tennessee, 42. Hawaii, 43. Alabama, 44. Alaska, 45. Louisiana, 46. California, 47. Nevada, 48. New Mexico, 49. Mississippi, 50. Arizona

At least we beat all of our neighbors. Kentucky is to be expected, and Ohio is generally dumb in all aspects. (I'm all for baseless, blanket statements when I'm tired.) Illinois is a little bit of a surprise because I always considered them to be better than Indiana. Michigan is just weird, though, and I have a hard time even considering them a neighbor state. Montana is the upset of the list. How they would be ninth is beyond me. I guess the two people who live there are really bright. Considering the nature and general makeup of the east coast states, it is not that big of a surprise that eight of the top 10 are in the east.

# # #

I now present to you goats. Jumping on trampolines.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
(Photo by Glenn Hartong/The Cincinnati Enquirer)

Trampolines are fun. Goats are cool. Combine the two, and the world might explode. Actually, a goat jumping on a trampoline might be the happiest picture imaginable. That goat really seems to be loving it. There are few greater things in the world than a picture of a goat jumping on a trampoline. The photo gallery has more goat/trampoline goodness. In one of the pictures, the boy looks exactly like Dewey from "Malcolm in the Middle."

The goats help the boy with his ADHD problems, but the city claims the family cannot keep them because of zoning issues. The city should let the kid have his goats.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A few things while wondering how Sufjan Stevens actually comes up with those song titles

I was eating lunch today when a car commercial for a Chevrolet dealership came on. It was the normal car commercial with the annoying loud voice and flames shooting everywhere. Normal until it proclaimed the name of the sale to be "Testostarama." Normally anything with -rama as a prefix gets my attention because -rama makes me laugh. It sounds funny. But "Testostarama?" That may be stretching it a little too far. Oh well. I guess I'm less of a man if I don't go to Bud West Chevrolet's sale.

# # #

Steve Martin is one of my favorite actors. He's just been consistently good for years. I saw "Shopgirl" today, which is based off of Martin's novela. His character was more serious than usual, but he did a good job with it. The other main characters are Claire Danes and Jason Swartzman. Swartzman was the main character in "Rushmore" and "I Heart Huckabees," and I now remember why when I was 15, I was convinced Claire Danes was my future wife. Supposedly, she was banned from the Philipines, which if it's true, is awesome. (Edit: Checked, and yes she was in 1998. She said some bad things about the country, but to be banned from a country takes effort. So, yes, the way to my heart is to get yourself banned from a country.)

# # #

The song I'm listening to right now is called "The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!" by Sufjan Stevens. His song titles are great, as well as the title of the cd ("Come On Feel the Illinoise"). I read that Stevens is an acquired taste, but like his songs without having to acquire any taste. The best song name on the album is "They are Night Zombies!! They are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!"

# # #

This is the first time ever that on Nov. 5, two Indianapolis teams have been undefeated. Sure, the Pacers have only played two games, but it's impressive. If we're ever going to have the Colts and Pacers win championships in the same year, this is the year for it to happen. It could happen.

# # #

Disney Radio. The question is why? It is always a nightmare to be confronted with a Disney Radio sponsored event because it means there will be hundreds of screaming 10 year olds. Plus the music is terrible. I unintentionally ran right into the middle of one tonight at the new mall in Plainfield. I don't feel the need to elaborate any more on this, but it's just annoying to me. Kids are great, but the high-pitched squeals of kids when they're celebrating crappy music is grating.

# # #

Here are the top 10 Google results for "Daniel needs"...

1. Daniel needs more Thanksgiving sponsors.
2. The car Daniel needs.
3. Daniel's needs are like any other two-year old.
4. Daniel needs some advice on being sued by a buyer.
5. Daniel needs protection from his own bad decisions.
6. Daniel needs someone to brush his teeth for him each night just before he is put
to bed.
7. Daniel needs all of his food cut into small pieces.
8. Daniel needs time and understanding that he has many feelings of grief, loss, and abandonment.
9. Daniel needs a permanent family to call home.
10. Daniel needs his glasses.

Apparently, Daniel's, by nature, are incompetant. Or young children. Or dogs. Or sad. Or people with bad eyesight.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bow-chicky-bow-bow

Because it's 2:39 a.m., and this is the time of night the really interesting stories start being published, I give you a story about...HOT SLIME MOLD FOSSIL ACTION!! Well, at least the little fungus myxomycetes died happy, but let's just hope there isn't a fetish for this stuff. You need a high-powered microscope to see them, so hopefully that will act as a deterent.

# # #

A question I have is how do you interview someone during the worst moment of his or her life and live with yourself? Is there a way to dehumanize the entire situation? That's one of the toughest aspects of journalism for me to figure out. It's why I chose sports, even though every so often in sports, you deal with terrible things. If a player on a team I covered dropped dead during a game from a heart aiment, it would be my job to report and write the story. There would not be any complaining, and I would have to do my job. I just hope I'd do it well.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Unleash the fury

This is brilliant...

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"Well, I can do the fucking moonwalk" can fit into any conversation or dilemma whether you're playing the role of the protagonist or antagonist. Let's see...

"Darling, I love you. Will you marry me?"
"What are you talking about? No! No, no, no! And get away from me."
"Well, I can do the fucking moonwalk. What do you think of that?"
"(Gasp!) I'm all your's! Unleash the fury!"

---

"I'm sorry, sir, but you're just not what we're looking for in terms of experience. We've decided to go with someone else."
"Well, I can do the fucking moonwalk."
"Um, sure. Usually at this point, I'd say that I'd be happy to help you in the future, but just please never contact us again."
"Ahem...are you sure?"
"We were kidding with you. You're hired!"

Yep. Yep. Yep. And I know the picture is eating the side of this thing, but I don't care.

RIP, Oinky

Say hello to Oinky the Collegian Pig.

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I caught Oinky at a basketball game in 2002 or 2003. It was one of those promotions where they throw stuff in the crowd, and Oinky was my prize. I liked Oinky. Round, as he was, he always made some people laugh. Oinky did not make Yaw Anokwa laugh. Yaw hated Oinky. Every once in awhile, I would walk over to Dawgnet from the Collegian with Oinky. It was a force of habit, and (at first) I wasn't trying to get on anyone's nerves. However, once I saw how much Yaw disliked my pig, I decided to force the issue a little. OK, if my memory is correct, I forced it a lot. Yaw warned me that if I brought the pig around him one more time, Oinky would be stabbed or worse.

It was always one more time, so I didn't really take the threat too seriously, although he did get his hands on Oinky a couple times. And yeah, at one point, Yaw held his gigantic pocket knife to my pig's throat and cut him. Unfortunately, I never learned my lesson and I brought Oinky around several more times. Finally, Yaw kidnapped him when I wasn't in the Collegian office and made ransom photos such as this that he would leave at my computer. This went on for quite awhile, and I'm still surprised that Yaw was so interested in it. He really did hate that pig. Eventually, I got Oinky back, but lost him to Melissa Buford who wanted to borrow Oinky. The borrowing has lasted about two and a half years, and she has since gotten married and is now Melissa Gibson, so I doubt I will ever see Oinky again. So long, old pal.

# # #

Also, ignore the guy in the foreground because he has nothing to do with the picture, but the background is Vermont.

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Maybe it was just that the weather was kind of gray and the tree-covered mountains were so green, but it is one of my favorite states. I liked all the states up there in New England. I'd like to live up there sometime. I wonder what it looks like now. Probably a painting. I really try not to, but ever since the two east coast vacations, I find myself cursing the midwest because it doesn't have so much of what I liked there. They have mountains and progressive thinking people (for the most part). We have corn fields and the extreme right wing (for the some part). They have oceans. We have, well, no oceans. We used to be able to claim that our people were nicer, but I doubt that anymore. We're not as nice as we claim we used to be, although, I doubt we ever were nice considering the history of some of the midwest states in terms of race. I like the midwest, and I'll always be a midwesterner, but some of the pictures I took are making me think.

# # #

I wonder what it would be like to be a mob boss. I guess I'd need a consigliere to advise me and some goons to do my dirty work. I'm not real big on the whole violence thing, but perhaps it wouldn't be such a problem if it were based on loyalty because I like loyalty. Loyalty is cool. Guns, not so much, but I wouldn't be the one handling the guns. I'd also need a completely legitimate front for the operation. I'm not real sure what I'm writing about, but it sounds good enough.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Angry people

Just once in my career, I want to hear a coach or manager start screaming. All too often, answers are canned. "We gave it all we had, but it wasn't enough. All the credit should go to the other team." But every once in a blue moon, you get that one coach who is at the edge of sanity, and it just flows until you get something classic.

These shouldn't be listened to at work because of the language used, but here are two of the best meltdowns I've ever heard.

The first is Cubs manager Lee Elia's 1983 blowup. The Cubs were playing poorly and the fans were unruly, so Elia went crazy.

The second from a pre-game radio show when Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver decided he didn't like submitted fan questions. Weaver was always an angry little man.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Mel Gibson has a beard

Remember when Mel Gibson was normal? You know, the days before "What Women Want?" Who would've thought the guy in "The Man Without a Face" would eventually end up with this on his face...

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Seriously, that lethal weapon has to be living. Considering that he's such a patriot, it's amazing that he's trying to go with the Saddam Hussein look. The signs show it has used its tentacles to wrap around his brain and turn him into a monster. Seeing as he has such a brave heart, I'm sure he will recover. Sure, there might be a conspiracy theory that would implicate that he is trying to show his passion for Christ, but he also might just be trying to be a maverick actor by looking crazy. However, if we were soldiers, we would decide that we must grant him FREEDOM(!) and bring Mel Gibson back to the days of "Forever Young." I'm sure he'd want payback if he actually liked the beard, but what would Mad Max do?

Haiku time

With the Pacers season beginning tomorrow, I will offer my thoughts on the some major issues facing the team through haikus. My bad excuses for haikus, that is. And off we go...

Angry man Artest
Flying through the air, punching
Better not repeat

--

Reggie disappeared
And is retired and gone
Stephen Jackson, good?

--

New foreign player
Last name unpronounceable
Who is Sarunas?

--

Tempestuous guard
Tinsley will never learn right
Will always play dumb

--

Double-teamed, he will be
How will O'Neal adapt?
Must have help from guards

--

There are two options
Implode or championship
Only they decide

# # #

And now for the three people I can think of at the moment who have admitted they read this pile of crap known as a blog, here are YOUR VERY OWN HAIKUS! (If I have forgotten someone, let me know if you are going to die if you don't get a haiku.)

Ambien grrl
Sees John Kerry lurking near
Stabs him with her sword

--

Homeschool jokes tire
Might explode with furied rage
Hot, is his mom, wow

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Overrated, yes
Notre Dame bites the big one
Weis got 10 years, why?