Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And a Monkey Shall Lead Them

Interspecies Telepathic Communication

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As a zookeeper, I was very excited about the possibility of being able to communicate telepathically with the animals. I figured this would make my job a lot easier since they could just tell me directly when they needed something. If an animal was sick, I would know it. If they didn't like their living quarters, I could adjust them to their liking. I really thought this would be great - but I couldn't have been more wrong.

I put hours into learning the necessary techniques of Interspecies Communication and now I'm sorry I did. First of all, the squeaky noises that dolphins always make? That's basically how they sound telepathically too and it gives me a major headache. And they're such whiny creatures! The monkeys are even worse. They curse like sailors and I have no idea where they even picked that up. It's never "Please bring me a banana". It's always "Get me a (bleeping) banana!". They're very rude and have taken to cursing me loudly telepathically during the night just so I can't get a decent nights sleep. Not to mention that the Zebras are such prima donnas. They're extremely demanding and they treat me like a servant. Still, they give me evenings off, so I can't complain too much.

Don't get me wrong though, there are some positives to all this. The penguins are as nice as they are cute. Real friendly creatures that don't ask for too much. The camels are a lot of fun to hang out with too, but their knock knock jokes get old fast. For some reason I have yet to figure out, the lions all speak with English accents. They're a lot friendlier than they look, but trust me, you don't ever want to refer to football as soccer. It's the one thing that will set them off.

I've tried actually de-programming my mind so I don't pick up the signals being sent by these animals, but so far I've found no technique that really works. I definitely don't recommend Interspecies Communication, but the website is interesting and worth a look.

UPDATE: Well, I snapped and threw a banana at a belligerent monkey. Some of the zoo visitors saw it and, long story short, I'm currently looking for work. I think it's for the best anyway. I've talked to a horse at a petting zoo who thinks he can get me in there. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Better Hide the Good Silver

"Parents refused to believe their son who told them that spoons and forks could "stick" to his face. The parents were astounded after watching the phenomenon with their own eyes. Now they consider filling an application for the Guinness Book of Records."

This kid could be the Babe Ruth of busboys if he just continues his training!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Meditate On This

Massurrealist Meditations on Scrambled Images on Television

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This site provides visual images that when viewed are supposed to have a calming effect on an individual. For example, if you meditate using this TV signal, it will supposedly reduce your stress level and completely relax you. In retrospect, I must have been the most laid-back kid around when I was a growing up because I meditated over the scrambled porn channel for hours on end.

Do You Have the Nothing To Do and a Lot of Time To Do It In?

The Thomas Wall Clock Kit

"This Thomas Wall Clock is made out of paper, popsicle sticks and pencils. The only tools used in building this clock were tweezers, fingernail clippers and a razor blade! It took inmate Roger Sutton four months to build it! He says it keeps great time!"

The guy was given tweezers, fingernail clippers and a razor blade in prison and he used them to make a clock?? Ummmm...hello...prison break...does it take a ton of bricks to fall on his head?!?

It's Superman? Nah!

Ananova - Superman spotted in Serbia

I can see where people might think this is a person flying over the town. At first I thought they were really on to something.

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But a closeup shot of this "flying object" reveals the truth - it was just a weather balloon. Another crazy myth is dispelled.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

I Hate Punks!

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It's true. I do not, in fact, like punks. I really dislike them actually. Not the Ramones kind of punks. Those guys were talented and made great music. Not the Green Day kind either. Again, great music. I'm talking about the "snot-nosed" variety. The ones that hang out in the streets basically daring anybody who has the nerve to drive their car down their street to hit them. Most neighborhoods have some. I have some punks a street over that enjoy wheeling their basketball hoop out into the street for a spirited pickup game. I think they're taking the whole "street ball" concept a bit too far. No matter how many times you beep at them, those crazy knuckleheads won't move any faster either. You gotta love it.

Here's an example of my hatred for punks taken fresh from the pages of my life. This one is but a day old. Yesterday my wife and I went for a bike ride. Now, before I get too far into this story, let me say that the combination of bike riding and punks has never been a good one for me. I seem to recall one warm summer evening some years ago in which a relaxing bike ride netted me the comment, "Get a ****ing car!", from an absolutely charming young lady. And oh how her punk friends laughed. You really should have been there. But I digress.

So the wife and I are out for a little exercise. We ride to the local elementary school, where we dismount our two-wheeled vehicles and proceed to the playing apparati to sit on the swings and talk. I know it sounds harmless enough, but we had no idea we were encroaching on land owned by punks. As we're minding our own businesses at the swingset, suddenly the din of pre-pubescent angst overtook our eardrums. There were four of them headed right for us. Two male punks and two female punks (one of which they must have purchased on the way because they were pushing her along in a shopping cart). My wife said, "Do you wanna leave?". I, of course am a man, therefore I have no sound judgement in these matters and I responded with "Why should we leave?". So we returned to our regularly scheduled conversation. But these punks had other plans for us.

When the quartet got to within 10 yards of us we suddenly heard (and felt) a loud "Clank!". The punk ringleader had thought it would be cool to jump off his bike and let it ride unmanned out of control right into the swingset we currently occupied. It didn't hit too close to us, just made a loud racket. I did what all men would do - I glared at the little jerk. They set to climbing onto some monkey bars while being extreme loudmouths (it's their m.o.), liberally peppering their topic of choice with a certain mono-syllabic curse word. It was becoming quite clear that they aimed to have this entire playground to themselves. It was at this point that I said, "Maybe we should just go." And then something ridiculously ridiculous happened.

As we're getting back onto our double unicycles, the ringleader yells, "Hey! Why are you leaving?!". When we didn't reply the tenacious little monkey yells it again, "Why are you leaving?!". At this point one of the punk girls asks him, "Who's leaving?". The punk leader responds, "Those old people are leaving". I kid you not. I guess when you're 12 anyone over 15 would be considered an old person, so that didn't bother us. It was more the nerve the kid had that surprised me. Have kids always been such idiots? I don't remember them being such uber-idiots when I was a kid. Maybe they were and I just didn't notice it. The real unfortunate thing is the kid caught me so off guard I didn't even have a snappy comeback. Of course, two minutes later when we had already left I thought of a great retort - "Don't worry about it, you little punk!". Oh well.

In summary:

Punk music - good
Punk kids - bad
Bike riding - usually a mixed bag.

That's Not How You Play a Trumpet


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For a company that hangs its hat on their advanced hearing products, the logo of the viking holding one of those old ear horns doesn't exactly instill the confidence in one that they have the latest in "modern technology". Apparently they are also a Christian business, so for those in the market for a Christian or two, these would be the people you would want to see.

Mary, Your House Is Delicious!

Future Feeder & Archive & Sustainable House of the Future Runs on Spinach

"The winning entry to the Cradle to Cradle C2C Home Competition is an incredible single family dwelling by Matthew Coates and Tim Meldrum that goes right to the core fundamentals of the Cradle to Cradle principles. Not only does the building run a photosynthetic and phototropic skin made with spinach protein, but it also produces more energy than a single family's needs, allowing the excess to be distributed to neighbors. This radical shift, from centralized energy systems today, fosters community interdependence as neighbors benefit from the resources of others."

A few thoughts on this house. First of all, it's already bad enough that I have to cut the grass every week, but I sure don't want to have to worry about "picking the spinach" every few days. Also, gone would be the days where you could say to your kids, "Shut the door! Are you trying to heat the entire neighborhood?". Now their smart aleck answer would surely be, "Yes!". I personally wouldn't want to give them the satisfaction of being right. Not to mention the fact that I don't even like my neighbors and wouldn't want to share a cup of coffee with them, much less my energy resources. And believe me, I'm not knocking this house just because my collard green powered house came in second.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

No Ticket Scalping Please

gizmag Article: Miniature robot for exploring your inner self (quite literally!)

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I was the first patient at my doctors office to get the "miniature robot" treatment and I probably won't do that again. They have you swallow this small capsule with a camera and your insides are shown on a monitor. So many doctors from the area were interested in seeing this that they had to rent out a small hall for the viewing. The video screens were huge, which made me a little shy, but even worse was the surround sound speaker setup they used. Every growl of my stomach was amplified 1,000 times! To make matters worse, I couldn't eat for 24 hours before the "exploration" and I was really hungry. Trust me, when you're famished, a little capsule camera doesn't satisfy very much and it would have been nice to have had something to wash it down with.

Basically my insides looked like the description of the layers of hell in Dante's Inferno. It was a good show, but I felt the applause at various times by the doctors was a bit much. I found the vender strolling around selling popcorn to be completely inappropriate as well. This whole thing turned into much more of a spectacle than I would have hoped for, but I have to admit, the DVD that they made for me from it is a thrill-a-minute train ride. I'm now in talks with a major studio to release it in theaters, and already there's Oscar buzz for my small intestine, so if things go well it could turn out to pay off in a big way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Class With a Capital C

Treehugger: Recycled Squirrel Decanter

Yeah, it's a recycled squirrel decanter. Nothing says class like yanking off the head of a dead squirrel and filling your glass with liquor from its carcass. This would be ideal for that important business meeting. I'm waiting for the dead skunk companion piece. I don't think I need to mention where the liquor flows from that animal.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

They'll Behave...Or Else!

gizmag Article: EasyChild behavior modification software system

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I'm all for new systems that encourage kids to behave, but the inclusion of these* in the "deluxe" kit is a bit out of line if you ask me.

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Sure it's easy, and they'll definitely behave...but at what price?

* Just ask for the "Extra" Encouragement System when ordering

License Plates: They're Not Just For Criminals Anymore

ACME License Maker

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Okay, so you can make license plates. I made these two. Now what on earth am I supposed to do with them???

Throw the Book At 'em!

Ananova - Cow jailed in Colombia

"A cow has been put in prison after it was blamed for a road accident in Colombia."

Through my various connections in the meat packing industry I was able to get a copy of the cow's mug shot and it's pretty plain to see that this Holstein was all hopped up on grass at the time of the incident (just look at its eyes!). I have to believe after reading this story that in the history of mankind (and cowkind), there was never a more legitimate need for more cowbell.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

In the Grand Tradition of...

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There are some who may recall that in 1998 Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a movie called "The Man In the Iron Mask". I'm one of those some who recalls it. I must admit that I have never seen this movie and actually know very little about it. There is one thing I know all too well though - this movie was in the grand tradition of epic adventure. Some of you may be wondering how I know this. Others may be wondering why they're still reading this. I can only answer the first question. You'll have to do some serious soul searching for the answer to the second one.

My one lasting memory relating to the release of this film is the TV trailer in which the voiceover proclaims the movie to be "In the grand tradition of epic adventure!". It was quite effective because it was spoken in that deep, raspy, official sounding narrater voice. Apparently there are only two guys working in Hollywood doing these spots, because it's usually either this guy with the deep, raspy voice or the guy with the vaguely Swedish (possibly) accent who's always doing voiceovers for movies that end with the line - "A Mimi Leder Film". Now, I'm not sure if the adventure in "The Man In the Iron Mask" was truly "epic" or even in the "grand tradition" of anything, but when a line sticks with you so many years after the fact, you've got to believe someone did their job right. And while I can't recommend this film (I make it a practice to never recommend a movie without seeing it first), I can say with complete sincerity that I highly recommend it's ad campaign.

The point I'm trying to make is, it's such a singularly great line that I wish it could be used more often and not just for adventure films. It could be applied to just about anything really. Websites? Sure. For example: eBay - "In the grand tradition of wasting your paycheck!". Or Google - "In the grand tradition of searching for porn!". What about music? Celine Dion - "In the grand tradition of giving you a headache!". Even medicine, for that matter! Tylenol - "In the grand tradition of ridding you of your Celine Dion induced headache!". You get the idea.

Of course, there are some things that just don't deserve a cool narrative line. A prime example of this is terrorists. When you kill innocent people indiscriminately, you forfeit your right to a great voiceover. I think most right-thinking people would agree that, "In the grand tradition of waging jihad!" just doesn't sound right. Another good example is coronary blockage. "In the grand tradition of massive heart attacks!" is just a total misuse of narration, if you ask me (I don't want to offend any coronary blockage apologists who might read this).

In closing, I believe it was Friedrich Nietzsche who, "In the grand tradition of epic pontification!", said:

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow."

I have no idea what that means, but "In the grand tradition of epic humility!", I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A New Innovation For the Embarrasing Drunkard In Your Family

gizmag Article: Alcohol without liquid (or a hangover)

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This new idea of alcohol without the liquid (AWOL, as they call it) is interesting, though flawed. Instead of drinking the alcohol, you simply inhale it, which somehow results in no hangover the following day. Don't worry, you can continue to make embarrassing passes at your girlfriend's sister (or whatever), because you'll still get higher than a kite - that much won't change. Unfortunately though, I foresee problems with this that the inventers most likely never imagined.

First of all, we won't be able to use the term "drunk" anymore. We could say someone is "inhaled" but that conjures up a bit of a weird image. For example: "Man, I was so inhaled last night that I woke up this morning in the bed of a pickup truck three states away!" It just doesn't work. We could say "sniffed", but that's probably no better than inhaled when you get right down to it. Example: "I pulled you over because you were weaving in and out of traffic. Have you had anything to sniff tonight?" Not so great. The entire alcohol vernacular would have to change.

Also, providing liquor for your parties would more than likely be problematic with these unwieldy and expensive units. And let's face it, it's just not going to be real cool when someone shows up and you say, "Hey Bob! Great to see you! Can I get you a mask?" Not to mention that if your friend translates this to mean, "Lets cover up that ugly mug of yours fast!", the result could be a punch in the nose for you.

Finally, let's put two and two together here. If, as they say, the alcohol vapor is being mixed with oxygen, you know it's just a matter of time before guys start getting "air bellies" from too much inhalation. I think it's clear that this is an idea that needs a little more planning before being unleashed on the masses.

On the other hand, I happen to have an invention that's ready NOW. It's the beer IV, or the BIV®, if you will. Just hook it up to any vein and let the party begin. I maintain that people will continue to prefer ingesting liquid (via oral intake or IV) to vapor for quite some time and this seems to fit the bill. Your conversation need never be interrupted by "drinking" again. Unlike AWOL, BIV® is a straight 100% beer solution (absolutely NO oxygen!). And best yet, BIV® is completely portable, just hang it onto one of those metal IV holders and wheel it around with you anywhere. Alcohol has never been so much fun!

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On a side note, if your company is interested in advertising on my IV bags let me know and we'll see what we can work out. Keep in mind that when people are drunk, they're liable to buy anything!

Another Good Idea I Didn't Come Up With

Straight Thinking

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This Harmonograph site is really cool. The drawings it can make are pretty incredible. It got me excited about making one myself, so I collected some material from around the house and bought a few things that I didn't already have and made my own version. Keep in mind that it's very rough and I'm currently working on a better one, but here's what I have so far (sample drawings included):

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When I find a place that will mass produce these for me, I'll offer them to the public for around $7.99 each. Let me know what you think of it.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Adopt a Veg (But Don't Eat It!)

HDRA - Adopt a Veg

The wife and I have been looking to adopt a veg for a while now, but with all the red tape here in the U.S., it can be a lengthy and difficult process. I understand from this site that laws in the U.K. regarding vegetable adoption are much more, shall we say, "relaxed". I like the fact that this site makes it easy to go through the adoption process, but I find it slightly off-putting that they're offering "Gift Pack" incentives to entice people to adopt. If someone can't find it in the goodness of their hearts to adopt a veg because they want to, I don't think their affections should be bought with "bonus items" or such. At any rate, even after poring over this site I have some questions that I need answered, in particular, if we do adopt a veg, does it behoove us to not eat it? Also, when is the best age to explain to the vegetable about it's "real" vine? I guess I'll just have to call and see what they tell me. Overall though, it looks like a real bargain. The standard price is 12 pounds. I'll be honest, I don't know a pound from an ounce, but we're so desperate for our own vegetable that at this point we'd pay a TON if we had to!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Blackbelts With White Collars

Museum of bad album covers: the worst album covers ever!

Yeah, this pretty much looks like the way God would probably want his message presented.

Boyfriend Arm Pillow

gizmag Article: Boyfriend Arm Pillow a sales success

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At first I laughed at this, but then after the laughter subsided (roughly 37 minutes later) the wheels in my head started turning. Maybe it's not so crazy afterall. I see possibilities for interesting variations on this idea, beyond the warm (or in this case, room temperature) embrace of a faux boyfriend's arm and half torso. Allow me to explain. Who doesn't at times yearn to return to the carefree days of their youth, when the world revolved around nothing but fun and you hadn't a care in the world? That's the basis behind my entire line of "Nostalgia Parts" (patent pending).

Remember that trip to Tennessee (or if you're from Tennessee, make it Wisconsin) that your family took when you were seven? Your mom was yelling the whole way there because your older brother Billy (or if your name is Billy, make it Robby) kept sticking his feet in your face? Sure, it wasn't much fun at the time, but isn't it a great memory now, feet and all? You can relive those great memories with the "Brother's Feet Pillow":

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Or how about when you were but a child and your grandmother held you in her arms because you were crying so hard after she just removed a Tic Tac from up your nose? Maybe that one applies to me only, but now there is a pillow that's perfect for everyone who had a grandma (which is most people). It's called the "Grandma's Arms Pillow" (torso not included):

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Last but not least, there's a pillow for those who were mischievous little tykes. Back in the day, before there were "timeouts" and other ineffective forms of child discipline, there was the classic "smack on the arm". Considered "poltically incorrect" these days, the "smack on the arm" ruled the day when I was a kid in the 70's. Now as well adjusted adults we can laugh about it, nay, even relive fondly the memory of those little love taps with the "Mom's Hand Ready to Smack You Pillow":

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These are just a few of the pillows I'm working on. I'm currently lining up investors, so if you wanna give your money to someone, why not give it to me? I think this could be huge. If it does happen to hit big, I'll make us some "guy laughing all the way to the bank" pillows, just for fun.

Batteries Not Included

New Scientist Breaking News &045; Pee-powered battery smaller than a credit

Somewhere in Singapore not so long ago there was actually a day when someone went to work in a lab and put these words together in a sentence, "I think we should study urine to see if it can power a battery." Furthermore, there were others in that lab who said, "Yes, studying urine to see if it can power a battery is a good idea. Let's do it." I have one question and one comment for these people:

1.) Are the batteries rechargable?


2.) Please, for the love of God, don't you EVER try to figure out an alternate source to power the big, weird batteries that go in those industrial size camping flashlights!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Movie Review: Race With the Devil

Race with the Devil (1975)


* Spoiler Alert! (Don't read this review if you TiVo'd the race and don't want to know who won!) *

"Race With the Devil" is a 1975 action/horror film starring Peter Fonda, a relative unknown at the time who went on to do little else beyond this movie. Along for the ride is Warren Oates, Lara Parker and Loretta Swit. You may remember Warren Oates as the lovable Sgt. Hulka in "Stripes". Well, rest assured, he's just as lovable in this movie. Lara Parker is probably best remembered as Angelique Bouchard Collins DuVal Rumson on the TV series "Dark Shadows". And of course, Loretta Swit played "Hot Lips" Houlihan on the TV series "M*A*S*H".

To say "Race With the Devil" gives you the most minimal of backstory is an understatement. You get a vague sense that Frank (Oates) owns and operates a motorcycle repair shop (or something) and that he is friends with Roger (Fonda) who, quite possibly, races those sporty looking motorcycles where the guy gets so close to the ground on every turn that he almost scrapes his side on the concrete. It's of no real importance anyway since after about the first five minutes they all take off on vacation together in an RV and little is mentioned about anything else other than how cool the RV is, which, we're made privvy to the fact, cost $36,000. I don't want to give away too much, but we also find out later that the wood-grain finish of the cupboards is actually vinyl because it's easier to clean than real wood.

They drive for what seems like a good three minutes until they come upon their destination. A beautiful rock and broken tree limb filled desert, which appears to be completely desserted (or is it the dessert is deserted???). Fortunately, Frank and Roger brought along their dirt bikes and aren't forced to sit around and actually communicate. They immediately begin riding through the desert at breakneck speeds. They hold the obligatory race with some kind of stupid bet that I believe included wife-swapping, but I could be wrong. When Frank tries an almost laughable-in-it's-certainty-for-failure jump over a small pond and lands in said pond, Roger pulls up, laughs at him, and makes a sufficiently smart aleck comment (as any friend would).

In the evening Frank and Roger sit around outside the RV and drink themselves silly, while their wives sit inside, more than likely discussing all the great features of the RV. When they begin to hear chanting off in the distance they grab the binoculars and move in for a closer look. If you guessed that it's a cult of devil worshippers preparing to sacrifice a virgin to lucifer, you're correct. Frank and Roger leer at the numerous naked women for a while until the actual sacrifice significantly harshes their buzz. At this point Frank's wife, Alice (Swit), decides now would be a good time to turn a garishly bright light on and begin calling the guys rather loudly. All I can say is, what a nit Swit! The cult is alerted to their presence and a chase ensues.

They manage to get away and go to the police, but the police are no help at all. In fact, nobody in this movie is of any help to them. We're led to believe that the entire population of Texas may in fact be devil worshipping murderers (even the librarians!), which I'm assuming is not the case in real life (though I've never been to Texas, so I can't say for sure). At this point though, it's safe to say that the "race" is on. Which brings me to my biggest problem with this movie.

The introduction of motorcycles would lead one to expect any "racing with the devil" to be fast and action-packed. Well, I'm sorry to say that the motorcycles get trashed early on and the only "racing with the devil" is done via RV, and believe me, it's more of a marathon than a sprint. They're even able to make numerous stops along the way in which the "devil" has ample opportunity to catch them, but somehow allows them to continue on mostly unharmed. Satan certainly loses his share of minions though when they get in the way of Roger's shotgun during a few low speed chases.

The thing I loved most about this movie is how the two couples openly discuss their plans at every stop along the way, being just loud enough for someone to overhear and alert the rest of the cult to their entire agenda. The satanists always have the necessary people in place at the next stop to throw menacing looks at Roger's wife, Kelly (Parker), who it's insinuated, may be psychic - but probably isn't. You gotta hand it to the devil, he can network with the best of them!

In the end, the foursome manage to make it about five minutes without being chased and they naturally assume they're out of the woods, so to speak. The RV is pretty messed up, but as luck would have it the liquor is unharmed so they decide to camp for the night and celebrate the fact that they've won the race. I won't tell you the ending, but suffice it to say, they never get to enjoy the dry martinis that Roger promises to make.

"Race With the Devil" is one of those movies where the filmmakers want you to wonder about the motivations of each character that is introduced. Are they a cult member or are they just strange and quirky? We, of course, are way ahead of them all the way. Clearly EVERYONE is a cult member and the devil is a heck of a recruiter. In closing, let me say that for the most part I actually enjoyed this movie. It's decent 70's fun all the way. As an action/horror film it doesn't always work, but as a promotional video for the RV industry it's spectacular!

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Note: This review was written by me and though I link to IMDB for information purposes, the review does not reflect the opinions of IMDB or any other letters of the alphabet

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Where Art Thou?

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Georges Adrien Vernissage - "Artist"

Here's the homepage of an unusual artist. His name is Georges Adrien Vernissage and his medium of choice happens to be Gnome. That unto itself isn't so different (even Da Vinci was known to dabble in elves once in a while), it's what he does with them that is quite unique. It's clear that there are statements being made by each of these works. Fortunately, I minored in Art Interpretation in college, therefore I am more than qualified to analyze a few of Monsieur Vernissage's pieces for you.

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In summary, after a closer look, I would have to say that Mr. Vernissage's technique is very flawed. He seems to paint every Gnome with too broad a brush (but that's a technical detail that I wouldn't have expected you to pick up on). If you're interested in purchasing a "Vernissage", I would recommend that you consider buying your own Gnome, a frame and some cloth material from Michaels and letting your kid (or niece, nephew, neighbor kid, etc.) have a go at making you a "statement" piece first. As an expert, I can honestly say that you won't know the difference.

This piece, entitled "Old Fashion Army", has a simple message - Gnomes make great soldiers. Why aren't we using them?

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These three are a set (oddly named "The Trilogy") and the message is that each one is slightly different and they're gonna cost more because instead of buying one, you're buying three.

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These come as a pair and they're named "Brothers On Mars". No real social commentary here, more of a science lesson. Despite everything we thought we knew about Mars, the planet is actually white (not red) and the surface pretty much looks like bubble wrap.

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This one is called "". I have know idea what the name is supposed to mean, but the message is clear - Gnomes that strip for a living clean up on tips!

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This minimalist art piece has been named "The Unknown Dwarf". First let me say that Mr. Vernissage betrays his lack of true understanding of his medium by referring to a Gnome as a Dwarf. That aside, the commentary made by this one is that he dropped one and glued a few pieces on some material and put it up for sale. You can make your own statement about yourself by giving him money for it. In that sense, it's kind of an interactive piece.

Zen Again

Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors

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This site Zenned the heck out of me. Reading these stories put me in such a peaceful and tranquil state that my heartrate nearly dropped to zero. It was actually not a problem as I was completely at one with both mind and body and was able to spiritually give myself CPR. I then kept myself in a total state of Zen overnight for observations.

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Little Less Conversation

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Have you ever been out and run into someone that you didn't really care to see, much less talk to, but your best attempts to avoid them failed and suddenly you found yourself knee-deep in the middle of a conversation? I'm speaking from experience when I say that it can prove quite difficult to extricate oneself from these encounters. For some odd reason, these people are always loud and very animated. They usually grab your arm a lot too in the "you're not going anywhere" vice grip. No amount of looking at your watch can deter them. They're in it for the long haul, and consequently, so are you.

This problem isn't always limited to unintentional encounters either. Sometimes a well-meaning relative can keep you held hostage for hours on end. You can say "I'm going to have to be going soon" all you want, but this only translates in their minds to "One more hour". If you try the old stand up and stretch technique they'll start breaking out the refreshments faster than you can say cherry flavored Kool-aid. And if you do manage to make a break for the door, the awkwardness of the abrupt goodbye is almost enough to make you sit back down for another story about how "Timmy" made the finals of the school spelling bee. I've come to realize that this is more of a modern day dilemma. Fortunately, I have an old-time solution.

It's actually true that back in the early to middle 1900's this problem was completely non-existent. When someone needed to end a conversation or a visit, they would do so with absolute style and grace and the people they were leaving accepted it good-naturedly. Watch any old movie from those days and it's plain to see that they simply used the "right" words.

Think about this - if you met up with someone at, say, Hooters and suddenly in the middle of your conversation they were to say, "Sorry old chap, but I must take my leave now", what would your reaction be? Beyond the fact that it's the 2000's and you're in a Hooters restaurant and someone just used a phrase from the 1920's (or thereabout), you would more than likely be totally accepting of their need to get away from you immediately. Based on that, the solution is as obvious as Becher's "Phlogiston Theory of Combustion" - everyone must go back to talking like people did in the first half of the 20th century. It's the only way to solve this problem.

Now I know a lot of you are wondering how this might affect your day to day conversations, in particular your ability to curse, and to that I must say that all cursing would be out. They didn't have those words back then and their use would be too jarring in a world full of such eloquent speech. If you're still on the fence about this concept, I ask that you simply try it the next time you find yourself talking to someone you would rather not be talking to. I guarantee if you drop an "I would love to continue this conversation my dear, but there is a small matter of great importance I must attend to", you will know a freedom unknown to man in many a year. And that alone is worth any sacrifice.

The Grinch Just Couldn't Help It

Two Sizes Too Small Grinch

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I'm gonna stick up for the Grinch here a little, since noone ever seems to. If, in fact, the Grinch's heart were two sizes too small, well that's a serious medical condition and you would have thought the Whos could have been a little more compassionate. I'm sure a condition like that would have contributed to all sorts of mood swings. I consider them lucky that all he did was steal Christmas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hitler's Bad Teeth

DOF: Germany-What remains

These are actually Hitler's upper teeth and I think I speak for everyone when I say that it comes as no surprise that his teeth were as dark as his soul.

Raising Awareness One Bowl At a Time

National Depression Glass Association HOME PAGE

I have to admit, I wasn't aware at all that glass suffered from depression until I found this website for the National Depression Glass Association. Believe me, it was a real eye opener. I would like to encourage everyone to check out the site and learn more about this growing epidemic.

"We're going to tell you all about "Depression Glass", maybe more than you really wanted to know about it, but that's what this web site is all about."

It may be more than people want to know...but certainly no more than they need to know.

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Fortunately, police were able to talk this 1935 glass bowl out of jumping. Sadly though, most of these situations don't have such happy endings.

Another Failed TV Show

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Hindsight is 20/20, but back in 2003 ABC thought they had a real ratings winner when they decided to put ten C-list "celebrities" on an island, Survivor style, to see who could outlast and outwit their opponents. As celebrity TV shows had been getting progressively more outrageous, this idea actually seemed harmless enough. The show tanked miserably, but it more than likely fared better than the much edgier show they had originally planned to go with. Someone at ABC had the bright idea to mix Reality TV with Religion. They were trying to create a new niche, which they were going to call "Realigion" TV. The ridiculous premise of the show was to get seven Mormons and put them to work in a video store on a sunday (their day of worship). The last Mormon to quit would be deemed the winner and receive $5,000. Some prominent ABC sponsors caught wind of the plan and threatened to pull their sponsorship. Because of this and the understandable protests from the Mormon church, ABC was finally convinced to scrap the show altogether, but not before a promo poster had been designed (which, for some strange reason, recycled an old album cover from an obscure 80's song called "I'm a Mormon" - the original cover can be seen here ):

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"This is the true story...of seven Mormons...forced to work in a video store on sunday...and have their day taped."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Deviled Ham

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"In all his evil, foul, wretched, stinky-stupidy guises, wherever he is found, Satan is now blogged."

As a "Died Again" Satanist, I've been looking for a blog that I could not only read, but actually worship and I think I finally found it. It's an excellent new blog called "Deviled Ham" and it's the only blog 100% dedicated to pictures of Big Red. As someone who is currently in negotiations to sell my soul, these pictures give me a great perspective on what exactly "Team Satan" has to offer. I have to admit, so far I like what I'm seeing. If I can just get a bit more information on the Devil's dental plan, I'm in.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Here's the Twist

gizmag Article: Convertible High Heels

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At first I thought the idea of "Convertible High Heels" (shown above) was very clever. It makes a lot of sense for women on the go. Frankly, I was jealous that I didn't think of it first. But this is a great example of how a good idea can sometimes be taken too far. Heels maybe, but how many women would actually wear "Convertible Sneakers" (shown below)? As you can see, the conversion is not nearly as seamless as with the heel addons.

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