Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The best part of being famous

OK, aside from the insane amounts of money people get from being A-List actors and all the perks that come with that, I think the best part about being famous is this.

If you ever forget your camera, you're covered.

No questions asked.

(Yes, that is a picture of Ms. Barton taking her own picture as someone takes a picture of that... Whoa, meta...)

By the way, jump on over to the site I saw this on - - it's a lot like Tyler Durden, but with less text and a bit more brutal.

I'm sure you'll all love it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Vroom, vroom...

I'm surfing CraigsList tonight looking for a possible work truck to keep the miles off my baby for unknown reasons - really, what do I have to gain by keeping a truck with 125,000 miles on it at this point? - and every few minutes I lean over to The Girl and make her laugh.

Sorry if the links go down before you see them - the pertinent quotes have been included and I hope you get a chance to see some of these trash heaps.

The highlights?

* This little gem - Only one bullet hole. Well shit, only one? Awesome, how late will you be up tonight? I'll run right over.

* Also, there are a minimum of two school busses on sale (sweet) which I bet would make hauling gear to work sites pretty simple.

* This guy got screwed pretty badly - "I have a loan on this truck for $3,700 dollars." That's for 189,000 miles on a banged up Toyota. And there's nearly 4,000 bucks left. Wow.

* And this is really great - "Please take it away, starts runs good no forward gears... " That might be a problem. Unless you want it to just sit around in such a sweet ride to wait for the girls to be drawn to it like iron shavings to a magnet.

Man, that guy sounds more desperate than the dude with four grand left on that other heap.

Something tells me this isn't over quite yet...

(Photo from CraigsList posting)

Monday, November 27, 2006

This is why the rest of the world hates us

For me, it's strange to see the Mall of America as a tourist destination sometimes.

While I've been on the other side of the fence before - the, "Oh, let's hit the Mall of America! We're in Minneapolis!" side of the fence - now it's the big mall 10 minutes from the house.

We were there Sunday afternoon to do a little holiday shopping while the only football game on local television was Vikings/Cardinals from the Dome.

While I'd heard a very low buzz about the gingerbread mansion, I'd kind of forgotten it was there until we were in the mall and saw the signs for it.

According to the official web site:

Gingerbread artist and current World Record Holder Roger Pelcher and his team of gingerbread experts will log 1,700 hours between now and November 24 to create a 60-foot gingerbread wonder. Encompassing 1,496 square feet, the house will consist of 14,250 pounds of gingerbread and 4,750 pounds of icing. KKE Architects and PCL Construction Services, Inc. are serving as major sponsors of the construction, donating time and resources to the completion of the house...

Donated embellishments include 1,800 Hershey's® chocolate bars; 2,800 Pearsons Nut Rolls; 1,200 feet of Twizzlers®; 100 pounds of large-sized Tootsie Rolls®; 300 pounds of DOTS®; 100 12" Whirly Pops®; 100 pounds each of Brach's Star Brites® Mix, Holiday Mix, Crimp Ribbon, Christmas Spicettes and Christmas Nougats; and thousands of candy canes from Farley & Sathers.

If I'm a starving person in the Twin Cities, I'm very, very angry right now. As a guy who eats more than he should, I'm just angry.

Yes, I know there is money being donated to a senior center and all... but still.

If you'd like to see the monstrosity in web cam form, here it is and it's worth noting it's hosted by the construction company that built it.

Try and defend this however you'd like, but the bottom line is this - a house bigger than the one we're renting is being made of food. The end.

* Also worth noting was the sign I saw walking into the mall through one of the retail chain stores. It was full of kids clothes - hats and mittens - and everything was 50 percent off.

That is to say that when you read the price, you were to assume that the price you'd pay at the register would be exactly half.

The original prices were even, round numbers - $6, $8, $14, etc. - and they still felt the need to break down what half of 6, 8 or 14 was on a handy sign. Are we really that dumb, or does the store just assume we're that dumb?

I'm pretty confused by it all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Secret Santa is dying

A few times a year, a story pops up where someone with a lot of money gives some of it back. What makes it interesting and special is that instead of donating it to a faceless do-good type operation - which is fine, don't get me wrong - they do it quietly, face to face and to help out just one person.

A waitress in a small diner in the middle of nowhere is asked what the biggest tip she's ever been given has been and when she goes to pick up the check, there are hundreds of dollars or more waiting for her.

When the credit card receipt is checked, it turns out the guys who swung in on a quiet night for pie and coffee owns a multi-million dollar company. Only then does word spread and the media gets involved.

The really good stories end quickly because the guy with the thick bankroll doesn't want to talk about it.

It's happened again.

Like I said, it's always pretty cool and I'm not sure how I'd handle it if I suddenly made a small fortune. If you spend time scrapping and saving, I'd imagine a huge $1,000 tip would still sting no matter how much money you made - you never really get out of the mindset that you need to save and sacrifice.

Still, I love these stories when they come through. Someone gives way too much and only to try and make life a little bit better for a stranger they just met.

It's enough to entice you to drop a $20 bill in the guy's cup at the stoplight. It sounds like that's how this secret Santa got started.

(Image from

Monday, November 20, 2006

Don't even joke about stuff like that

The Girl and I had to go to church last week to meet with a deacon who would be filling out the paperwork to allow us to move ahead with church counseling, church-related wedding planning and other things we need to complete to get married - you guessed it - in a church.

Let me just say that some of the questions were odd and I had to restrain myself several times to keep from making smart-ass comments that may or may not have put our wedding in jeopardy.

I really wanted to ask if when they asked a bride and groom (to be) sitting at the same table in the same room when they were engaged - and did so seperately - if they've ever had different answers.

I can see if it were some sort of test and all, but still.

Also, I had about three green card-related jokes to the question, "Are you here to be married in a Catholic church free of duress..."

Maybe four.

All would have killed. Most would have killed the wedding.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The thing they don't tell you

I was on my way home from work when I saw the first wisps of smoke from the orphanage.

Risking life and limb, I sped to the fire and started grabbing as many kids as I could, fighting smoke and flame to save orphan after orphan until the fire department could arrive.

That's why it's been so quiet here lately. That, or I got an XBox 360.

Oh, Microsoft will sing all day about the upgrades to graphics, processing speeds and networking options, but the thing they don't tell you?

It will sap you of all motivation to do anything not related to the XBox 360. Work is a vector to gain cash to buy more games, pay for acessories or keep the cable modem humming along.

In reality? You're like a junkie, sneaking off from work with a single-minded purpose - to play more XBox.

Sony and Microsoft may be squaring off for what the industry is calling a fight for your living room, to create a system that will handle gaming, music, movies and an assortment of network-based entertainment, but you know who the real loser will be?

The crack trade.

Crack might be addictive and all, but it's not zombie killing, you know?

(Image from

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A house divided

I'm going to take a bath in my Pick 'Em league this week.

With losses by New England, Kansas City and Minnesota, I took a big dump at the top half of my picks for the week. The only reason I'm not a complete basket case tonight is because of that last one.

Green Bay beat the Vikings and I couldn't be more pleased.

In our house, I can get pretty geeked up over football, especially later in the fall and to combat this, The Girl made no secret of her rooting interests from the first fall we were together.

Already today I've compared the team and its fans to all sorts of nasty things/groups and may or may not have crossed several lines in doing so. I also mentioned loudly on several occasions that the Vikes were behind because they were bad people.

I spent most of the game by myself or with the dog.

Still, for having such low expectations, it's been a good week. The team isn't as awful as I'd thought and they're stealing a win here and there. I have no illusions about the end of the season game in Chicago, but at least now I'm not shrinking in disgust. It's a dangerous place to be as a fan.

Tonight though, it's a happy time - even when The Girl ramps up her cheering for the Vikings dependent on the score of the games - and the Favre Watch on seems a little less ridiculous.

It wasn't Packers/Bears and the fans play possum a little too much for my liking (just listen for the air to come out of the building when Minnesota goes down by more than two otuchdowns next time) but it was a nice win. I was pretty excited to see Favre jumping around like old times. I wasn't even that irked about the play calling which seemed like a kid picking up the controller at Best Buy to demo the new Madden game - Uhh... the only reciever I know is Driver and he's good, right?

I'm pretty sure I'm going to write 23-17 in the dirt on the truck door before I head to work tomorrow. Let's just say I might be looking forward to a Monday for a change.

(Photo from

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Einstein, Hawking... Manning?

On the short list of those in sports that I simply can't stand, Peyton Manning is one of the guys that I have no personal reasons to dislike.

Give me Alex Rodriguez for his Yankee-related misdeeds, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for their yearly attempts to ruin the road to the World Series and Luke Walton for general douchery, but as far as Manning goes, he's just a general knucklehead who hasn't done much to me personally.

He hasn't knocked my team from the playoffs or killed them with a last-second drive. No, he's just been a general annoyance and his high-profile on the national scene just leaves him little place to hide from my unfounded anger.

Right now Indianapolis is playing New England in the Sunday night game and after a week's worth of columns and hype, it's nice to see the tide turning on the king of the late-season choke job. Especially with the match-up against Tom Brady, the natinal media has picked up the banner for "That's great, Peyton... but why can't you win when it matters?" and I couldn't be happier.

I think the breaking point for me was before the 2004 season when the league handed down a new set of rules for the defense that made it illegal to do anything more than speak softly to wide receivers after the Colts bitched and moaned all winter about how they were mugged in the previous year's playoffs.

To this, I say, "Easy, ladies - it's football, not figure skating."

The general consensus was that Manning was a genius because he called audibles at the line and helped to tailor make the team's game plan from line line. He was so smart that he was able to read a defense and call new plays on the fly, earning him a reputation as a genius...


You know who is the real genius? Tom Moore. Somehow, he's pulling a paycheck from the Colts for a job that we've been told for years is being done by Manning. I'd take a six-figure salary to hold a clipboard and fetch coffee 16 Sundays a year, wouldn't you?

That year the Colts broke free under the new rules, rolled up scoring records and ran roughshod over the league's defenses. Then the playoffs came as always and the Colts still lost. New rules, what seemed to be the unspoken blessing of the league and in the end Indy crapped the bed and went home early.

Later that winter, reports came back to the States that Manning and his wife were vacationing in Mexico and he was still pouting about it. Mrs. Manning dragged old Peyton out of the house for sun, fun and margaritas on the beach and he spent the whole trip making bitchy comments about how he was paying for all of it, even if she used her credit card, and generally acting like a big baby.

I took the cutout of that story and posted it in my cube. Even if the Packers are due for a series of rebuilding years, this storyline will keep me interested in football until they can come back.

Anyways, this week has been interesting as the new storyline is how Brady is the closer and knows how to win and Manning may throw up gaudy numbers but has yet to show he knows how to put games away in the playoffs.

I just take a liking to the unheralded QBs making a bigger splash in the league (on the whole) that the top picks that are churned out yearly. (Going back now it's Ben Roethlisberger for the Steelers last year, Brady twice, Brad Johnson, Brady again, Trent Dilfer, Kurt Warner and then John Elway. Maybe later in the season I'll go back and pull draft positions for the QBs for the past 20 years, but looks back to the history of the league and there are plenty of late-round superstars. Why this happens is a source of constant debate, but it makes things a lot more interesting.

Regarding the Colts, there are as many theories as scoring records at this point - from Indy being tired in December after blowing teams out all season to a squad that fails to grasp the "team concept."

I don't care what happens as long as they keep losing.

(Photo from

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Mother Nature, what a gal

It started out inncoently enough - Some friends and I were ordering pizza together at my last job and as we worked out what would work for all of us, I let my hatred of olives surface once and for all.

"Olives? The olive is nature's bum's asshole."

I stand by the statement.

Over at the Chronically Insane household, he's got to watch the language around the kids and such, but it's leeching into their vocabulary as well.

This makes me happy.

Anyways, I tend to add and subtract as it suits my purposes, but learned a new one this weekend.

Already on the master list are:

Corn: Nature's tracer bullet and one we as a couple cribbed from a television show that went under a year or so ago and whose name I'll never be able to remember. That one was: Ants: Nature's pallbearers.

This weekend's revelation?

Fire: Nature's rake.

(Image from

Ugly Americans

There's a show devoted to diners across the country on the Food Network late tonight and it's showing all sorts of people eating all sorts of things that are awful for you.
From chili burgers buried under a half pound of onion rings to meatloaf baked in alfredo sauce, I'm pretty sure I'll have chest pains tomorrow just from watching this show. Actually, they're starting now.

At a South Carolina joint there's a local girl who is home to visit talking about how the food around her new home sucks. Her new home is Paris, France.

While I won't fight her on this as I am one of the worst culprits when it comes to dragging my feet on international travel - My stance is that there's plenty of cool stuff stateside that I haven't seen yet, so why devote more time and money on a vacation when there's so much to be done here - I just wonder how much smack-talking she does when she gets back to Paris.

While I haven't given it a boatload of thought yet, there's really not a lot of middle ground when it comes to American stereotypes these days.

It's pretty much redneck or stuffy blueblood and California cool versus cowboy when you're painting Americans with a wide brush.

Don't get me wrong, I don't see myself as any of the above and look around and see perfectly fine, perfectly normal people and I feel as good as the next guy when I see all those honest, hard-working Americans in truck commercials on during the football games, but I'd bet if you polled 100 people on the street in any of the world's major cities, they wouldn't have a clue about your run of the mill folks that you'll see on a daily basis.

Then again, when we crap a new McDonald's onto some unsuspecting populace every 15 to 20 seconds, I can't really blame them.

(Photo from

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's like Punk'd but, you know, not funny

Wanna know the best only good thing about The Jamie Kennedy Experiment?

You can tell that the people Kennedy "tricks" have no clue who he is and that there's a show that he's currently hosting.

In fact, right now I'm betting half the people reading this are scratching their heads and looking confused (To answer your questions, he's the hyper guy from Scream and it's a hidden camera show like Punk'd but with boring people instead of celebrities).

I bet there are hours upon hours of B Reel on the cutting room floor that are just Kennedy trying to explain who he is and that yes, in fact, he does have a show.

I mean, what would your reaction be if someone told you you'd been "X'd?"

I'd probably say, "What the hell are you talking about?" And, "Why is there a rubber rat in my soup?" Also, "No, I won't sign the waiver. Fuck you, I'm glad you wasted 50 bucks in film."

(Photo from

It'd have conclusions you'd jump to!

I read the comments made by Kanye West at the MTV Europe Music awards and immediately e-mailed Frankie.

I asked him if he saw it as the hop-hop version of the Office Space meltdown about, "I'm a people person, dammit!"

Frankie thinks it's the hip-hop Jump to Conclusions mat.

I'm torn.

Also, I've watched this damned thing a few times, and I can't tell if he's kidding or not. I really can't. Also, after seeing the video that he lost to, he just might be right.

It looks like a bunch of hungover guys trashing an IKEA. Not really cutting edge. Or jumping canyons and shit.


I'm watching a half-hour program on the progression of Madden Football to the next-gen consoles and it's getting to be pretty scary.

The horrors and twisted beauty of 300 pounds of meat springing to life combined with every grunt... Yeah, John's got a hard road getting out of bed these days.

Also, there's apparently a plan to hire ex-players and pro wrestlers to come to your house every Sunday and beat the living piss out of you to make the game stick with you all week.

Did you know they're creating animations for blades of grass now?

Or that the audio contains footstep and breathing tracks?

And that they change the sounds of rain depending if you're running or standing?

I was considering picking up a copy now that baseball season is over, but seeing this I can't see how I've managed to live this long without an XBox 360. I mean, really - are you aware of how empty I feel right now?

Considering this game and car commercials are my only connections to popular music these days, I'm pretty much forced to buy this game soon, but the chance to see a fully animated version of David Carr's face as it gets stuffed inside his anus 15 times a game because the Texans management has no business running an NFL team is almost too much to resist.

I can almost smell the virtual Ben-Gay and it's calling my name.

(Photo from

Today's garage tip

Seeing as this information exists no where else on the Internet (trust me, I checked), here is the simple code for resetting the oil change/service light in a 2002 Mercury Cougar.

First, get the old oil out of the car somehow and get some new stuff in.

Then, press the "Units" and "Reset" buttons at the same time and hold for five seconds.

The little wrench light will turn off and you will be free to resume your life.

Seriously, kids - if you keep your gas tank full and replace the oil regularly, you'll keep a car running for decades. It's really not that difficult anymore.

(Photo from