November 30, 2004


My friend and former colleague Kevin Thompson has a new blog. One of the posts he has talks about Bravo's list of the 100 Most Underrated TV characters of all time. Kevin and his co-workers came up with their own list, too. Tops was Jan Brady.
While Jan has many admirable underrated qualities, I was forced to come up with my own list:
Danielle Spencer on "What's Happening!!" - played by Dee Thomas
Screw Urkel. To hell with Arnold Jackson from "Diff'rent Strokes." By far, Thomas was the funniest child to ever on television. Dry, sardonic, sarcastic, dark humored. She could steal any scene with just one line.
Warren Cooledge on "The White Shadow" - Byron Stewart
He was Shaq before Shaq was out of diapers. The big man in the middle of a tight group of basketball players at an inner city high school, "Cool'' was the epitome of his name.
Chet Kelly on "Emergency" - played by Tim Donnelly
Kelly was the wise-ass on a cool show. While everyone was jibber-jabbering about Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe, I thought the guy who always had to stay behind with the dog at the station house was cool. Says a lot about me.
Buddy Sorrell on The" Dick Van Dyke Show" - played by Morey Amsterdam
Rob Petrie was funny. Sally was funnier. And you never knew what would fly out of Buddy's mouth in the writing room. I always had the impression that Buddy would have died at the dog track. He seemed like that kind of guy.
Roz Russell on "Night Court" - played by Marsha Warfield
John Laroquette owned this fairly-stupid series until Warfield showed up. She was in the same mold as Danielle on "What's Happening!!" - she could steal a scene with one zinger. I also liked the fact she could have snapped any one of the cast like a twig. I bought the idea of her as a baliff.
Jeff Greene on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - played by Jeff Garlin
For every Costello, there must be an Abbott. Sometmes Garlin's character plays along, but mostly he's the wall for Larry David's comedic handball. My favorite line came from the episode in which he refuses to pause on the naughty parts while watching "Girls Gone Wild" with Larry, who says he doesn't want to watch while it rewinds. "There's no story! Give what away? There's bosoms! That's it!"
Dwayne F. Schneider on "One Day at a Time" - played by Pat Harrington
Never has so much been done with a tool belt and a pencil-thin moustache. He was so influential, the wife-beater/vest look hung around for at least a decade in Largo, Fla.
Jennifer Marlowe on "WKRP In Cincinnati" - played by Loni Anderson
If you could look past the boobs, the hair and the makeup - and really, what boy going through puberty at the time really could - you'd have seen a character that was as funny as any other on the show. Herb Tarlek would have been only mildly pathetic without Jennifer to put him down.
Mentor on "Shazzam" - played by Les Tremayne
I never understood the man-boy relationship between Mentor and Billy Batson. I wasn't complex enough to question why a geriatric would drive a motorhome around the country wth a teenage boy. Or why Mentor couldn't seem to wear anything other than a safari leisure suit. But hey, it was the '70s. Things were more simple then. And the show was broadcast on Saturday mornings. I had too much Honeycomb in me to make any deep insights into life, much less make the rocket jump across the psycho-sexual Snake River Canyon.
Zan and Jayna, The Wonder Twins on "Superfriends" - played by Liberty Williams and Michael Bell
Zan and Jayna were a pair of aliens from the planet Exxor who were defacto super-heroes-in-training that the Superfriends sort of tolerated. They were the Sheilds and Yarnell of super heroes. Zan, the boy twin, could spontaneously change into any water-based form, while Jayna could become any animal. They'd touch fists to activate their powers. I kept waiting for Zan to yell, "Wonder Twin Powers, Activate! Form of.... an embarassing stain!"
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Some people say our society has become more coarse, less cultured, less mannered and dignified.
I'd say those people were right.
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Apparently the pranksters at Fark have been having a little fun with the idea of what Dan Rather will be doing after he steps down from the CBS anchor desk.
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November 29, 2004


We're off to a flying start. Not only did this lame premise get started two days late, it's now skipped two days.

Time to make up for lost time:


I know Santa. I've been friends with Santa for 39 years. You, Harvey Firestein, are no Santa.


"Homeland security my ass. I bet you didn't bust Hannukah Harry's balls like this."


Santa down for the count.

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How much wood should you burn at one time in a Mexican chiminea?

Enough to warm everyone nearby but not so much that it melts their contact lenses.

*This message brought to you by the Committee to Blame Sambuca.

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Wanna be a sheriff's deputy? How about a fire chief?
Get your start by building your own badge.
It's so comforting in this time of heightened national security that this is so easily available.
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Remember the story about the woman who sold her grilled cheese sandwich with the face of Mary on it to for $25,000?

It's nice to see they've used it for good and not evil.

Well, sort of.

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November 28, 2004


21-14, Bucs lose to Carolina. We are impotent.
Three unmade field goals. Difference between win, loss. That and four fumbles.
Short hair or long hair. Doesn't seem to help Martin. Time to shave it all.
Was there any good? Any game without a death Qualifies as good.
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November 27, 2004


Last year, the Salad bowl inaugurated a new holiday feature: The Calendar of Disturbing Santas.

The gimmick: to showcase daily a Santa that didn't exactly fit the Currier and Ives mold.

Some were silly. Some were repulsive. Some truly were disturbing.

But best of all, they filled up space on the blog. And there's no price you can pay for filling that sort of basal requirement.

So without further ado, here goes Round Two:


Looks like Nick Nolte had too much egg nog again this year.

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Thanksgiving over?


Christmas tree up and decorated?


Christmas cards started?


Mess with the dog?

So we got a little bored. So what.
Like we're not entitled to take that boredom out on the dog?
I mean, it's not like we expect the dog to enjoy it.
Toleration. That's all we ask. At least until we get it out of our system.
And until we finish executing a wardrobe change.
Or until exhaustion sets in.
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November 25, 2004


It's Thanksgiving, which means it's time to put the turkey fryer to use again.

Despite my family's fearful instincts to do otherwise.

Last year was the first time I attempted to fry one of those bad boys. Every relative and friend fully expected me to burn the house down, so there were some stipulations...


1. I had to put the damn thing far enough away so as not to catch fire to anything that wasn't insured.

2. I had to have it resting on a surface which would absorb flying flecks of oil.

3. I had to leave the country if I did indeed burn the house down.

So, it's safe to say I was a little hesitant to cook the damn thing. As a precaution, I bought two turkeys. One to test, the other to eat.


The test turkey came out just fine. A little underdone, but edible. And microwavable, I might add.

There was no incident. Nothing burned. Nothing was singed. No body parts were lost. No passport out of the country was needed.


That didn't stop the self appointed Safety Politburo from standing a considerable distance away from the second turkey while showing great gobs of non-verbal concern for everyone's medical well-being. Except for the dog. He could have cared less.

And what was the result?


Another perfect turkey. Delicious. Attractive. And non-scarring.

Of course there was the minor incident of me dropping the lifting hook into the boiling oil. But all was well after I ran to the garage and fished the turkey from the kettle with a Fiskars yard rake.

White-trash cooking never tasted so good.

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A crispness in the air...

Leaves falling to the ground...


And Kermit dry-humping Central Park West.

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November 24, 2004


Apparently I have a secret Christmas nickname. We all do, actually.

Posted by Jeff at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Want proof?

Click the link below:

Please pray that I get some blogging dignity. I'm not very proud of myself at the moment.
Posted by Jeff at 11:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


The first Christmas lights of the year, shot on Monday night:


Man, some people just can't wait until after Thanksgiving to get started.

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November 23, 2004


Apparently Martha Stewart has made a Christmas list.

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This is a story even Willie would love:
BERLIN - Thieves have stolen scantily clad garden gnomes from a gnome peepshow in an eastern German amusement park, park manager Frank Ullrich said on Thursday.
"The gnomes display naked body parts -- the same ones you'd expect to see in a human peep show," Ullrich said of his missing stars.
The adults-only attraction at Dwarf-Park Trusetal, where visitors peep through keyholes to see the saucy German miniatures in compromising poses, was smashed open early on Thursday morning.
Ullrich said he feared the gnomes would not be traced.
"I doubt they're standing in someone's garden, they'll have to have been hidden inside."
Two words I never want to read again: Gnome peepshow.
Three words I never want to read again: Saucy German Miniatures.
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The trailer for the sixth - and hopefully last - Star Wars episode is out.
Let's hope the trailer is a sign of how good the movie is.
Click here to see it.
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November 22, 2004


Blue sky. Temps in the high 70s. An opposing football team with a 1-8 record.
Perfect day for Tampa Bay Buccaneers football.
My wife and I took in the game Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, the second game in two weeks we've been to. It was great fun watching the Bucs throttle the San Francisco 49ers 35-3.
(More photos below)
Who'd have thunk that among all of the tens of thousands of fans we'd see someone we know. At the corner of Himes and Tampa Bay, there stood Al and Crystal.
Small world, man. Small world.
Before going into the stadium, it's important that you drink a lot of fluids if you're going to be out in the Florida sun all afternoon.
Gnawing on a turkey leg the size of a Flintstone Brontosaurus Burger while perching on a flower bed wall is another issue entirely. You're on your own, Sparky.
An aside: Has anyone ever looked dignified while eating one of these? I see people grinding on these stumps at theme parks and ball games and festivals. Each one looks like an outtake from "Quest For Fire."
There was a large crowd, but nothing like games earlier in the season. Or two weeks ago against Kansas City, for that matter. The mood was subdued, just what you'd expect when the team you're rooting for has a record of three wins and six losses.
Walking up to the stadium, some guy 25 minutes before game time tried to sell us three seats for $25 each. I suspected that the sales price was influenced by some sort of pharmaceutical. Closer to the stadium, decent tickets could be had for $10. Hell, ours were given to us by my wife's generous boss.
Also, parking was not a problem. Not by a longshot. Usually trucks and cars are parked anywhere they can find space on side streets and private lots. On Sunday, there were huge gaps in lots unfettered by vehicles.
Tats, a rat tail and back sweat. It's astonishing that these men were lacking in female companionship.
The flyover - now a staple at every game - was way cool. I'm starting to think the flyboys do it so they can get free tix to the games.
(For a larger version of this photo, click here.)
For this game, we were in the upper deck. This is the mezzanine area.
Even though the seats were high up, the view was wonderful. There really isn't a bad seat in the stadium.
I will say, though, that the angle of the seats was severe. My acrophobia kicked in big-time. I thought I was gonna need a Sherpa to get to our row. One guy joked that they would be selling oxygen at halftime. Another chastised the beer guy for not climbing all the way to the top.
"Don't just serve the rich people down there,'' he yelled. "Come up to the poor section!"
The beer guy wasn't alone. There were plenty of fans who took the game off, too.
Time for kickoff.
Take a good look at kicker Martin Gramatica, folks. (He's sixth from the top.) "Automatica" Gramatica won't be with the team next year.
Perhaps sensing his own Buccaneer demise, Gramatica kicked off deep all day. Before this game, it was a stretch for him to get it to the 10 yard line.
The defense lines up against 49er quarterback Tim Rattay. The 49ers were pathetic. They were only 1-for-8 in third-down conversions. That means that they were able to convert a first down only 8 percent of the time. Rattay averaged only 3.5 yards per pass. One of them was intercepted for a touchdown.
The Bucs offense pretty much did what it wanted. It also was nice to see No. 40, Mike Alstott back in the lineup.
Still, Bucs quarterback Brian Griese was far from perfect, throwing two interceptions.
There was plenty of time to take in the sights.
From our seats you could see Legends Field, spring home of the New York Yankees...
...and downtown St. Petersburg...
...and, of course, downtown Tampa.
This asshat is one of the many detrimental byproducts of the digital communications age. There's one at every game - the man or woman who insists on standing up with their cellphone and waving, hoping to attract the eye of whoever they are calling in another part of the stadium.
This is the ultimate definition of narcissistic optimism.
I can only hope that he's being charged double on his analog roaming rate.
This woman just would not shut up all game long. And when her boyfriend wouldn't talk to her, she'd lean down and flirt with the four drunk guys in the row in front of her. At one point, they invited her - with her boyfriend, of course - to leave the game early and go to Mons Venus.
Who says chivalry is dead.
Wait, what's her back tat say?
Ah, I see. The letter H.
Stands for hepatitis.
We strolled by the souvenir stand on the way out and noticed something interesting in the corner.
Nothin' like kicking it old school in a little retro creamsicle Bucs shirt.
The price was a little steep. I guess now that the Bucs have won a Super Bowl and are back to their losing-record ways, it's appropriate to don the colors of the first team to go winless for 26 games straight back in 1976-77.
Yes. Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.
All that bad juju and the guy still wanted to buy one. Amazing.
As if Bucs fans haven't suffered enough this season, the local Coca Cola bottler decided to get rid of a huge stash of C2 sodas that no one seemed interested in buying.
As we walked back toward our car, Coke handlers were shoving 12-packs in people's arms. It looked like some sort of hurricane looting scene. Didn't matter that the beverage - a lower-carb version of Coke - tastes like ass. It was free. And that's all that mattered.
And we carried seven cases home, thank you very much.
Guess what the Thanksgiving beverage on the table will be this year?
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November 21, 2004


Zook beat FSU. Hark, let the angels rejoice. It's miraculous.

First in 16 years

To beat FSU at home.

Ta-ta, Coach Zook

Sixty-three seconds,

The game was still in peril.

Zook gets damn lucky.

Two missed field goal tries.

There's a special place in hell

For Bowden's kickers.

Salvation from Rix?

Alas, it was not to be.

Nice interception.

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Went walking through the mall today with my son. He wanted to go to Spencer Gifts. I hadn't been there in ages.

It was nice to see that Spencer's is still the same crass, offensive place it was when I was his age.

Here were some of the trinkets:



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Utah beat BYU today to earn a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

And how did they celebrate?


The only way you can celebrate something momentous: with sombreros!

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November 20, 2004


People ask me why I carry a camera with me constantly. (Okay, no one really asks me. They just look at me as if I had the Black Plague.) But if they did ask, this is what I'd have to say:

Because you never know when a co-worker will bring a French fry to work that looks like a penis.


The story goes that Karla was making a batch of fries at home Thursday night for her husband Keven and son, Zach. Lo and behold, she looks down amid the greasy, crispy spuds and sees Fry Daddy looking up at her.

Great hilarity ensues. She shows it to her son. He immediately giggles hysterically.

The first thing she thinks of? Bringing it in to show me so I can take a photo.

And so I did.

This one's for you, Karla.


I mean, look how happy she is. How could I refuse?

For the record, Karla is the one in 2002 who noticed a woman in the news whose hyphenated last name was Penix-Johnson. She flew into such a hurricane of gut-wrenching laughter over that one that she was dabbing her eyes for close to two hours.

"I live for that kind of thing,'' she proclaimed.

Then last year, she sent me a news item that said:

The coach's name (Wally Butts) graces the school's athletic hall of fame along with that of former coach Harry Mehre. Locals are always careful to pause in the middle of the name of the building ... Butts-Mehre.

That's right, Butt Smear.

So you see the type of humor we're dealing with.

Karla's husband suggested that someone might think she was weird if she brought the potato penis to work. She assured him that "we've passed that exit long ago."

And she was right. I mean, look at our co-worker Kevin's face:


That's the human embodiment of morbid curiosity, with nary a trace of a judgmental eye.

For the record, I told Karla that for full effect, she should display it this way:


She argued that from her vantage point, this was the most accurate position:



More importantly, it now takes its place in Mitch's Pantheon Of Disfigured, Disgusting and Otherwise Odd Food:


Mitch keeps most of these objects in a Ziploc in his desk. The various items are becoming quite an impressive collection.

They include:


The M&M with a nipple.


The diseased, flagellating pork rind.


The Siamese jellybeans.


And the slice of crustless bread that has yet to mold after almost three years of exposure.

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My friend Jessica at The Village Voice sends along this link to a blog called The Bush Beat.

Apparently there's a company manufacturing clothing with this tag attached:

Bush Clothing Tag.jpg


Bush Clothing Tag2.jpg


I'm all for confrontation. Confrontation for the right reasons is good. It's healthy. It cleans the pipes and washes the soul. It scrubs us like an emotional loofah.

But... if four presidents and two presidential candidates from two parties can stand in the rain in Arkansas two weeks after calling each other scumbags and liars and yet still find a way to get along for an afternoon, I'd like to think we could move past the childish bullshit at some point and focus on the issues.

Not crow about mandates. Not make Web sites saying "We're sorry" and then counter Web sites that say, "We're not sorry." Not browbeat distinguished senators into submission.

Just talk. That's all.

Apparently that's not going to happen.

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Raising Arizona.jpg
Lawren over at Martinis, Persistence, and A Smile writes about the American Film Institute's new survey of the top 100 movies quotes of all time.
This was quite the topic of discussion at work Friday, especially since we got a voting ballot.
I'm sure our critic will make great selections. But the rest of the thing just seems aimed directly for mediocrity. Consider this paragraph in the story about the survey:
Other contending quotes include Clark Gable's "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from "Gone With the Wind," Mae West's "Why don't you come up and see me?" from "She Done Him Wrong," Tom Hanks' "Houston, we have a problem" from "Apollo 13," Cuba Gooding Jr.'s "Show me the money" from "Jerry Maguire" and the "Star Wars" gang's "May the Force be with you."
Okay, I don't have a problem with those. Except the "Apollo 13" one. That's was said by someone in real life. It's not a movie quote if it came from real life. Sorry. And "Show me the money." That one clearly was written by someone in search of a movie trailer line. It's hardly an organic choice.
Anyway, we were all trying to come up with lines at work on Friday to see if they were in the nominating book. An alarming number of them weren't (although you are allowed to write in your own).
What this did was unleash a torrent of quotes that I had backed up in my head. Hell, the triumvrate of "Raising Arizona," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "The Godfather," "Caddyshack," "Vacation" and "Groundhog Day" alone kept me busy for the better part of an afternoon.
So as a form of therapy, I thought I'd list a bunch that are constantly coursing through my head at any one time. They aren't the best ever - nor are they the best of the past 20 years. They're just the ones that strike me:
"You got a table and chairs, you got a dinette set. You got a table and no chairs, you got dick." - Nathan Arizona, "Raising Arizona"
"All right now, I'm comin' out. Any man I see out there, I'm gonna shoot him. Any sumbitch takes a shot at me, I'm not only gonna kill him, but I'm gonna kill his wife. All his friends. Burn his damn house down." - Bill Munny, "Unforgiven"
"If you cook like you walk, baby... I'm gonna lick your plate." - Cesar Castillo, "The Mambo Kings"
"Oh man shut your anorexic malnutrition tapeworm-having overdose on Dick Gregory Bohemian diet-drinking ass up. Leave me alone!" - Sidney Deane, "White Men Can't Jump"
"Want a beer? (burp) Don't cost nothin'." - John "Bluto" Blutarsky, "Animal House"
"Amazing tradition. They throw a great party for you on the one day they know you can't come." - Michael, "The Big Chill"
"He'll keep calling me, he'll keep calling me until I come over. He'll make me feel guilty. This is uh... This is ridiculous, ok I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go, I'll go. What - I'LL GO. Shit." - Cameron Frye, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
"I'm gonna keep the soda and the fries but I'm gonna send this back. If you bring me another hamburger with mayonnaise on it, I will chop off your legs, set fire to your house, and watch as you drag your bloody stumps out the door." - Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, "The Whole Nine Yards"
"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." - Lloyd Dobler, "Say Anything"
"Archie was the bitch and Jughead was the butch. That's why he was always going around wearing that crown-looking hat... he was the king of queen Archie's world." - Hooper, "Chasing Amy"
"I'm a god. I'm not the God... I don't think." - Phil Connors, "Groundhog Day"
"Well suck me sideways!" - Lloyd Christmas, "Dumb & Dumber"
"I... don't... bargain." - Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard, "The Fugitive"
"Here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole vaulting, laughing gas, choppers - can you see how incredible this is going to be? - hang gliding, come on!" - Dignan, "Bottle Rocket"
"Excellent breakfast flakes, Mrs. McDonnough." - Evelle, "Raising Arizona"
" I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself, huh? I like it better than tuna helper myself, don't you, Clark?" - Cousin Eddie, "National Lampoon's Vacation"
Got one that you would add to the list?

Posted by Jeff at 07:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 19, 2004


Still licking your wounds from the election's results? Soothe yourself with some Kerry/Edwards memorabilia on sale at eBay.
Among the items for sale are a Jib-Jab baseball shirt, a Teresa Heinz Kerry/Elizabeth Edwards button, an "Elvis Impersonators For Kerry" pin, a Kerry/Edwards Election Barbie Doll Dress, a union-made "Victory Night" pin, a Kerry/Edwards donkey mug, a "Paint Ohio Blue" pin, a Kerry/Edwards Italian bracelet charm, a set of Kerry/Edwards bobbleheads, a homemade Kerry/Edwards political pig doll and a venerable set of poker chips.
My favorite, though, was this Jessica Simpson pin.
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Tired of covering for co-workers while they're on vacation?
Need a way to channel that frustration?
This site is for you.
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Jesus Jones. Google keeps getting better and better.
Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the Web.
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I wet my pants every time Michelle at A Small Victory posts this story about a "blonde psuedo-actress/celebrity who shall remain nameless here, but who is easily identifiable by the stature of her breasts and her hips and by the fortunes of her now dead, but then elderly and frail, husband and whom we shall call "A" so as not to place me in the path of people searching google for naked pictures of this model/B-movie actress/celebrity." But it's definitely not about Anna Nicole Smith. Not at all.

It's only coincidence that Michelle's reposting came after Ms. Smith made a... how do you say in America... supremely psychotic introduction this week at the American Music Awards. Now, apparently, it was her eyes that caused all the problems. Click here to see the video. You make the call.

Anyway, Michelle tells about the time that "A" made an appearance at the funeral for one of her relatives. You owe it to yourself to read the whole thing. Especially the part where she's petting her fur coat.

But this part elicits peals of laughter from unnatural places of my psyche. Mostly because I can imagine it happening in my family:

And with that comment, the doors to the room swing open and A walks in with a sweeping gesture and stands there, waiting to be noticed and admired. When no one stands up to applaud her entrance, she saunters her way towards the coffin, flipping her hair as she walks. She gets to the coffin, looks down at the man she barely knew yet whom was apparently a father figure to her, turns her head to make sure she has our rapt attention, and begins to wail. She's incoherent, crying, sobbing, and there is not a person in the room who doesn't know that it is all an act. We've seen her movies. We know bad acting when we see it. Suddenly she puts the back of her hand up to her forehead, 50's movie star style, and falls to the floor in a faint. No one moves to help her. She lays there, hand still on forehead, skirt hiked up, a spectacle on display. Finally, the director/relative comes over, picks her up and walks her out to the chair in the hallway.

God, I love that.

In somewhat related news, E! has marked down their Anna Nicole bobbleheads. Probably because the doll is unrealistically sober.

While you're there, you can navigate Anna through a video game. Oh, and apparently there's a working title for an upcoming True Hollywood Story.

Lastly, the outtake photos Yahoo has of her AMA extravaganza are well worth a look:


The guy in front looks amused, doesn't he?


There's something very Michael Jackson-ish about this photo. Maybe it's the nose.


"Hey, look at my brains!"


Piddle alert on Aisle 5.


Dog's thoughts: "Kill. Me. Now."


"The itsy, titsy spiiiiider went up the waterspout..."

Posted by Jeff at 07:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2004


Condi Rice.jpg
Now that Condi Rice seems to be headed down the aisle as our next Big Honkin' U.S. Diplomat O' Love, Bunsen sounds wistful for the day he discovered a few typos after she testified before the 9/11 Commission:
Ms. Rice's testimony has sent copy desks clerks everywhere scrambling to check and double-check the spelling of her name. (One z or two? Three? Two or three e's? Rice like motherf#@!&ing Rice-a-roni? For the love of God, why are there three goddamn z's? ) Here are the top misspellings of her name, pulled directly from various sources:
* Condoleeza Rice
* Condoliza Reiss
* Condoleeso Ricceé
* Condoleezza Riceberg
* Condoleeza Gibbons
* Condorosa Manigault-Stallworth
* Condomania J. Lubricates (spammers only)
* "Three Days of the" Condi Rice (frequently-used Bush nickname, internal White House correspondence only)
* That nice black girl that's gonna lie for us (Dick Cheney e-mail only)
* Donna Rice (Gary Hart staffers only--error led to very embarrassing, short-lived attempt at 2004 presidential campaign and purchase of a new yacht)
* Condolarence Thomas-Rice (Unnamed Supreme Court Justice's legal pad doodlings with little hearts only)
* Nomar Garciaparra
Posted by Jeff at 10:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This story is enough to make you soil your drawers.
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As LeeAnn noted on Wednesday (thanks to Karla), eBay is again allowing bids for half of a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich that its owner says bears the image of the Virgin Mary.
But as Abraham begat Jebediah, and Jebediah begat Samuel, and so on and so on, so has the cheese sandwich generated this t-shirt, this Wesley Snipes version, a W sandwich, this pop art, a Michael Jackson cheese sandwich, and, of course, a Homer Simpson pad of butter.
The hooligans at Fark have had a blast with it, too, comparing it to everyone from Pat Benatar to Bea Arthur.
I don't think I'm alone, though, in echoing the thoughts of Indiana Jones:
Posted by Jeff at 07:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Hardee's has a new product on the menu:
The "Monster Thickburger" — two 1/3-pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. It sells alone for $5.49, $7.09 with fries and a soda.
Number of calories: 1,420.
Grams of fat: 107
It's being called "The SUV of burgers."
It's being described as "food porn."
It's being labeled "A heart attack on a bun.''
Or, as a co-worker said yesterday, "You can go ahead and start driving toward the emergency room while you're eating it.''
Posted by Jeff at 07:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


So I got a chance to do the Great American Teach-In yesterday at my son's school, which was nice. For the uninitiated, the teach-in is essentially mom-and-dad show-and-tell. Parents come in, they talk about what they do for a living and the kids essentially get to learn that there's more to life than worrying about the FCAT tests.

I talked to the kids about newspapering. What I lacked was a truly impressive set of props:


I mean, how do you compete with McGruff? Truth is, you can't. Other kids' dads brought huge dump trucks and concrete cranes.

I brought newsprint and No. 2 pencils.

Chalk it up to prop envy.

However, I will say that none of my pencils reared up and crushed any kindergarteners. So I had that going for me, which was nice.

Note to self: leave crinkly Celophane at home before going to the stables.

Posted by Jeff at 07:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2004


So apparently there's some sort of brouhaha over the opening of Monday Night Football this week that featured Nicollette Sheridan dropping her towel in front of Terrell Owens in the locker room.
This is how the New York Times dryly described it:
After asking Owens to miss the game, Sheridan dropped the towel; the camera showed her upper body from behind. Owens, smiling broadly, said the Eagles would have to win without him, and Sheridan leapt into his arms.
Let me get this straight: T.O.'s childish, braying antics aren't offensive. Neither are the gratuitous shots of cavorting cheerleaders on the sidelines. Nor are the one-dimensional, cartoonish depictions of "housewives" as some sort of pent-up suburban sexual predators an issue. Only the wildly implausible pseudo-sexual scenerio aired after primetime without any more nudity than what you'd see in a Victoria Secret ad is up for discussion.
Got it.
We'll all be fine, I think, as long as Monday Night Football doesn't resort to this.
Posted by Jeff at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Gotta give him props. When Miami Herald columnist and novelist Carl Hiaasen takes a swipe at his gainful employment, he digs his nails in.
I bet the Herald newsroom is abuzz over this:
For fans of Hiaasen's 2002 novel Basket Case, this is familiar terrain. That book's hero was a muckraking reporter busted down to the obituary beat after publicly embarrassing his paper's new budget-slashing corporate owner, Race Maggad, head of the Maggad-Feist newspaper chain. "These days we buy the loyalty of readers with giveaways and grocery coupons, not content," Basket Case's protagonist laments. Meanwhile, Maggad's mandate was to "strive for brevity and froth, shirking from stories that demand depth or deliberation, stories that might rattle a few cages and raise a little hell."
Maggad, of course, was a barely disguised caricature of Tony Ridder, CEO of the Herald's own parent company, Knight Ridder.
Did you ever hear from Tony Ridder after Basket Case was published?
"Not a word," Hiaasen answers dryly.
The real-life inspiration for Race Maggad wasn't exactly veiled.
Hiaasen leans forward, all the humor drained from his voice. "How could I not write about him? I grew up with this newspaper. I've put my life into it! It was the paper that landed on my doorstep every morning. So I have a right to be pissed, just like any reader. Anyone who can look you in the eye and tell you the Miami Herald of 2004 is as good as it was in 1984 is out of their skull. It's palpable, the difference is palpable."
Exhaling, Hiaasen slumps back in his chair. "But to be fair, I don't know what the options are. I don't blame the Herald. I blame Knight Ridder. There's plenty of good talent there, plenty of good editors, all the ingredients. But when you're not in charge of the money, when you're getting memos that say 'cut here, cut there,' you're screwed. Short of quitting, what do you do? It's amazing what they still do given how the budget has shrunk, the staff has shrunk, the news hole has shrunk. But it's really silly pretending it's the same paper it used to be."
While its metropolitan news-gathering has certainly suffered from staff reductions, the Herald's recent redesign has helped to spotlight arts and cultural coverage, which now rivals that of any weekly paper. But such arguments leave Hiaasen unmoved.
"It's been redesigned in such a way that you get more graphics than copy," he scoffs. "Since I've been at the paper, almost 29 years, I can't tell you how many redesigns there have been. But I can tell you how many actually improved the circulation figures: zero. You can blame the Internet, but if you're not putting out a product people feel they have to have, why the hell would they buy the paper? What they don't get anywhere else are the investigations, the really good writing -- Dave Barry, Leonard Pitts, the people you can't find anywhere else. If you're going to recycle the same old stuff, of course your circulation is going to go flat."
Posted by Jeff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Never a band that would miss an opportunity to put its mugs on anything inanimate, KISS now introduces:
The KISS Bowling ball.
That's right folks! A Real Bowling Ball! Hit the lanes in style and be the envy of all when you pull your KISS bowling ball out of your bag.
All for a nominal fee of $139.95, of course.
Oh, and there is this notation:
Balls are shipped WITHOUT holes. If you wish to bowl with your new ball, you will have to take it to your local bowlers pro shop and have it drilled.
They have to ship them that way, you see. Otherwise, Gene Simmons would try to make sweet love to them.
Drilled or not, I still wouldn't buy one. Not because of the price or the greasepaint or the affiliation with a bass guitarist with a wayward tongue.
No, when I go to the lanes, this is how I like to roll.
'Nuff said.
Posted by Jeff at 07:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Courtesy of a search engine called A9, you can see the thumbnails of images featured on Side Salad during the past two years. Or at least 353 of them.

This is my favorite.

Thanks, J-Walk.

Posted by Jeff at 06:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2004



A press kit for a new video game called "Rumble Roses" came through the office the other day.

What is it?


A wrestling game featuring scantily clad women. (The morbidly prurient can see screen shots here.) Who the hell thinks up this crap?


I'm guessing this game is aimed at guys for whom Maxim isn't nearly interactive enough.


The press release came with a Beauty Kit, including this mirror you can put on your monitor. You know, in case someone comes up behind you while you're watching scantily clad fake women wrestle in mud.

That can be such a faux pas.

What else is in the alleged beauty kit?


A packet that allows you to make your own mud.


Good thing they put the warning on there. They might have been sued.


This tube allegedly contained lip balm.

Where did they expect people would be playing this? On the slopes in Aspen? Crossing the Gobi Desert?

Call her Suzi "Hammer Lock" Chapstick.

Posted by Jeff at 07:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Pickup truck.
Red, white and blue paint job.
Dale Jr. sticker on the back window.
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that this guy voted Republican.
Ohio, eh?
Yup. Republican.
Posted by Jeff at 07:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 15, 2004


Got this note from Willie Drye, author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Seems he's been out cruising the Web again for sordid stories.
Hey Jeff:
OK, I know this plays right into the sordid little stereotype you've hung on me, but this is too good not to pass on.
Stereotype, Willie? I'm not the one who sent the story of the woman who stabbed her husband's penis.
It was also your genital paranoia, Willie, that compelled you to pass along the juicy news item about the guy who was found naked while pinned under his girlfriend's gate.
And, yes, it was you who sent the story of a man who celebrated his birthday wearing only nacho cheese.
I'm not saying anything, Willie. I'm just sayin'.
His letter continues:
This little tale reminds me of growing up in the country and the first time I saw two dogs --- oh, never mind.
Ah yes, the faint whiff of resignation to compulsion.
That's right, Willie. Bring that high cheese cheese.
This one's for you, brutha:
German police halt sexual intercourse in public
3 warnings needed to stop couple's love-making in shopping area
BERLIN - German police detained a naked 25-year-old woman and her 23-year-old partner who were engaged in sexual intercourse on the pavement in the middle of a busy shopping district, police said on Saturday.
Police in the western town of Duelmen said the couple were spotted by pedestrians late on Friday morning having intercourse. Pedestrians in the town of 40,000 called police, but the couple initially ignored police orders to stop.
“The naked couple continued their passion-filled activity on the cold asphalt,” a police spokesman said. “They finally followed police instructions to stop on the third warning.”
The spokesman said the two face a 100-euro ($125) fine each for disturbing the peace.
Posted by Jeff at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Looks like I only came in second in Wizbang's caption contest this week.
Better luck next week.
Posted by Jeff at 07:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2004


El Taconazo. Taking a day off.
Posted by Jeff at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Ol' Dirty Bastard,
Dead at 35 years old.
Grammy potty mouth.

Posted by Jeff at 12:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


There's a great interview with U2 today in the New York Times. The story is terribly overwritten, but you can comb through the details to find some great nuggets:
The other band members say they don't mind Bono's comings and goings. "I wouldn't trade my place with him for a billion dollars, not in a million years," Mr. Mullen said. "I make music, that's why I joined a band."
"When Bono's away there is a different chemistry," Mr. Clayton said. There's much more contact and interaction between the three of us than perhaps when Bono's there, because he has certain needs and demands. It can be like a benevolent dictatorship. But he works so hard on the band's behalf, and just because he's not in the room it doesn't mean he's having a better time."
Apple is manufacturing a black-and-red U2 iPod with the album stored on it, and later this month its iTunes Music Store is releasing "The Complete U2," a digital album of 400 songs, including 25 previously unreleased. To inaugurate the band's partnership with Apple, U2 and its song "Vertigo" appear in an iPod commercial for which, Bono said, the band was not paid.
"My idea of selling out is when you do naff things for money," he said, going on to define "naff" as very embarrassing. "That's subjective, but I think it's quite clear: don't embarrass your fans, they've given you a good life. Our audience are thrilled about the Apple thing. They can't believe their band has its own iPod.
Many of the songs ponder faith. The album's finale, "Yahweh," is nothing less than a prayer. When Bono was singing nonsense words to come up with a melody for the song, he found himself singing "Yahweh," a Hebrew name of God.
"There's cathedrals and the alleyway in our music," Bono said. "I think the alleyway is usually on the way to the cathedral, where you can hear your own footsteps and you're slightly nervous and looking over your shoulder and wondering if there's somebody following you. And then you get there and you realize there was somebody following you: It's God."
Posted by Jeff at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2004


You have a gun aimed at your head. You're forced to choose one idiot to sit next to you on a non-stop Greyhound bus from Key West to Anchorage.

Which one do you choose?


Ill Mitch?



Supa Greg?

Tip of the hat to Katherine and Joe.

Posted by Jeff at 08:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


"Halo 2" is out. So is "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

But here's the one the kids are really salivating over:

I hear Jerry Orbach busts some caps and runs over hookers in this one.
Posted by Jeff at 08:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Brandon, Fla., 6:45 a.m. Nov. 12.

For a larger version, click here. For a gigantic version, click here.
Posted by Jeff at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 11, 2004


Look at him. He's 88 years old and happy as a clam.
That's my grandfather, Dale Kelly, standing on the porch of his Baltimore home with his wife, Ethel.
I've been thinking about him today, Veterans Day.

Grandpa served in the Navy during World War II on a ship used in Patton's invasion of Sicily. Nearly got blown to bits by a shell that hit his ship. All that saved him was a split-second reaction and a thin sheet of turret steel between him and the bomb blast.
It's ironic, I guess, considering he worked most of his life at the Bethlehem Steel plant at Sparrow's Point.
He doesn't talk much about his war days when I visit. (Above is a photo of him with my grandmother, Josephine.) If there's a war story to be told, I mostly have to drag it out of him. He's a man who lives in the present. I've always respected that about him. Maybe there's something about going to war forces that perspective upon you.
He still has his uniform from his service days. He takes it out when I ask. I joke with him that he could still fit in it. He always launches a gravelly belly laugh when I do.
A year ago today, Brian said that we should call his great-grandfather.
"Because it's Veterans Day, Dad."
And so we did. And we will again today.
Because he served. And because we love him for doing so.
Posted by Jeff at 07:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack



I've heard of some lame celebrity charity efforts. This takes the cake:

Staplers of the Stars Online Auction
Nov. 16 - Dec. 6, 2004

The good, old-fashioned, humble stapler is going "glam" this holiday season as more than 100 celebrities ranging from Bill Gates to Paris Hilton to Tiger Woods, lend their signatures for the "Staplers of the Stars" online charity auction created by Staples.

Celebrities from film, music, sports and business have donated autographed staplers for this charitable effort. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to charities designated by the celebrities including City of Hope, Global Green, the Harlem Boys Choir, and Staples Foundation for Learning.

Contributors to date include actors Meryl Streep, Katie Couric, Ringo Starr and Alice Cooper.

Partial list of celebrity signers and the charities designated to benefit from the sale of their autographed staplers:

Doug Flutie
Adam Vinateri
Hank Aaron
Tiger Woods
Picabo Street

Ringo Starr
Natalie Cole
Melissa Etheridge

Rudy Giuliani
Tom Stemberg
Art Fry
Dr. Stanley Pearle
Chuck Schumer

Orlando Bloom
Chuck Norris
Samuel L. Jackson
Spike Lee
Meryl Streep

Katie Couric
Matt Lauer
Ellen DeGeneres
Paris Hilton
Mary Hart

Are you kidding? They got Art Fry, inventor of the sticky note, but missed the biggest stapler celebrity ever!!!

Posted by Jeff at 07:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


For taking first prize in the Great Royal Pranks contest, Col. Simon West, this Bud's for you.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has every reason to be proud.
Posted by Jeff at 07:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2004


My buddy Drew and I went to Barnacles the other night after the Alan Jackson concert. We had fun, if only because we witnessed the entire spectacle of human degradation. We saw things you wouldn't find in a bus station bathroom.

For the uninitiated, Barnacles is a sports bar with more than 458 televisions and 15 big screens. It is Mecca for any sports fanatic.

But at 10 p.m. on Saturdays, half of the bar converts into a dance club. I'm not exactly sure why. It just does.

But since it's not your normal dance club, you find this odd confluence of amped up wannabe jocks and, um, very amateur dance club aficianados.

We took our cameras on Saturday night, expecting to witness spectacle in what had the makings of a target-rich environment.

Oh. Billy.

As a result, I have started a list of the images I never again want to see.

They are, in no particular order:

1. Middle-age dirty dancing.

2. Pot-bellied nipple ring dance floor displays.

3. Unsolicited sunburst back tat revelations.

My therapy sessions start in two weeks.

Posted by Jeff at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


...this geriatric beefcake calendar.

Posted by Jeff at 08:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The Onion has some new shirts for sale.
Posted by Jeff at 08:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Got you some sweaty britches? Keister been sitting too long?
Get yourself some Anti-Monkey Butt Powder.
Sold at all fine anti-itch powder outlets.
Posted by Jeff at 08:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2004


The old adage is true: If you want to see the world the way it really is, get on a bike.
Rev. Joe Kendall, star of the show "Pastor Cop" and 1996's Crimefighting Clergyman of the Year, sent me a couple photos he shot while tooling around Tampa.

That reverened, he do get around. (For a larger version of the above photo taken in the Flatwoods county park northeast of New Tampa, click here.)


The Flatwoods section of the county's 16,000-acre Wilderness Park Off Road Trail has a 9-mile paved loop trail for bicycles, rollerbladers, walkers, and joggers. Unpaved bicycle trails are accessible from this area. Picnic tables are available, as are restrooms. (For a larger view of the above photo, click here.)

The right reverend is such a good photographer, he even managed to make Hillsborough Avenue look beautiful. Didn't hurt that he had a Florida sunset as a backdrop.


As for Flatwoods, I took my son there a couple weeks ago at the urging of Rev. Kendall.


It was just as he advertised. Lots of smooth pavement, no worries about traffic. Peace, serenity, and lots of hard-core cyclists.


To the untrained eye, the landscape is flat and fairly featureless, minus the palmetto scrub and pine trees.

But there is beautiful foliage to be found. As the reverend put it so well:

Florida's natural beauty is more subtle than the spectacular Rockies or fall foliage vistas. But it's just as inspiring.

And if you sit long enough you might encounter some wildlife.


Okay, so this isn't wildlife, but it was a unique life form. I don't remember the dog's name, but it should have been Gizmo.


His compadre was much less friendly and attempted to bite me. When the owner told me she kept both dogs on a leash because she had heard that an osprey had swooped down and snatched a friend's chihuahua while walking through Flatwoods, I half-hoped this would be his second catch of the day.

Posted by Jeff at 06:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



For fans of the "Bloom County" comic strip - and it's latest incarnation, "Opus" - this is big news:

NEW YORK - The Steve Dallas character of "Bloom County" fame will appear in Berkeley Breathed's "Opus" comic starting Nov. 21.

"While he's a bit older, he certainly is no wiser," noted the Washington Post Writers Group. The syndicate added that Breathed received hundreds of letters requesting Dallas' return.

Dallas and the title penguin character in "Opus" were among the cast members in "Bloom County," the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic that Breathed ended in 1989.

I found this ad on a fan site:


Posted by Jeff at 05:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2004



Got a chance on Saturday night to review the Alan Jackson/Martina McBride show at the Ford Amphitheatre.

The concert was good, but the sideshow surrounding the event was even better:

First of all, it was a perfect night for an outdoor concert. Crystal clear, temps in the mid-60s. You couldn't have asked for anything better.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do: Go smokeless.
Gotta love the Tent O'Nicotine. Guess they couldn't get a doublewide in the gate.
The teeming masses lined up for souvenir trinkets never ceases to stun me. It's not that fans should be faulted for standing in line six deep for a t-shirt they can get at Spencer in the mall.
It's that, well, the goods are a little expensive.
For that kind of money, Alan Jackson really should come with the shirt.
I can't say that I would have predicted that a frozen margarita bar would be that popular with the gun rack crowd. Much less margaritas served in test tubes that normally are used for fetal research.
Ah, now I see the appeal. They're southern.
Just so you don't think the world has fallen off its axis, you can see that beer was still the adult beverage of choice.
We had great seats for the show, right behind the seating row reserved for wheelchairs and the handicapped.
Wait, what's that on his head rest?
Okay, bud. Got it.
This woman sat next to me at the show. She said she worked at the Hooters in Brandon and that earlier in the day Jackson and his band showed up to eat. They gave everyone free tickets to the show.
My question: Whose idea were the matching camo overalls? His or her's?
Martina McBride sang one helluva set. Really let it fly.
Jackson was his usual laid-back self.
He announced about halfway through the set that he had spent a few days in the area. He has a home on the east coast near Jupiter and does a lot of boating when he's not on tour.
Name of the boat: Hillbilly.
Jackson said he enjoyed the weather that night. "Usually, it's hot as fire up here."
Posted by Jeff at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2004


You could be this unfortunate woman I saw at the airport recently.

I'm endlessly fascinated by the fact that she can't move her neck but still feels the need to put her reading material below chin level.

Posted by Jeff at 05:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2004



News reports say Steve Spurrier won't return to coach the Florida Gators. Spurrier took his name out of the hat Thursday to replace Ron Zook.

Which inspired me to verse:

Coach Steve Spurrier;
Too many golf balls to hit.
No time for football.

Hey Coach Spurrier,
Please do us a favor and
Throw us a visor.

The ball coach says, "No."
Probably didn't want to
Do worse than Ron Zook.

Posted by Jeff at 12:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2004


The sun came up today.
(Okay, so this is a photo of a sunset from Tuesday night, but technically, I'm correct in saying the sun came up today.)
Posted by Jeff at 08:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


There's a deep divide in America. The electoral map doesn't have to show you that. There's been far too much partisan rancor for far too long. Too many jokes flying across the Web and through e-mail. Stuff like this is pretty funny, but it's not very constructive.
A pro-Bush friend sent me this. It reminded me of the shirt I saw and photographed, above, when we were leaving the Gator game three weeks ago:
Kerry/Edwards Team to Lead Florida Gators
Gainesville, FL - In an effort to win votes, in the critical swing state of Florida, the Kerry/Edwards team has volunteered to replace fired coach Ron Zook for the remainder of the season.
"When I played football as a young man in Vietnam, I did not hesitate to beat the Bulldogs and I won't now.
Floridians are tired of this failed Zook administration. They continued to call the wrong play at the wrong time in the wrong game. It's time for them to come clean with this Gator nation." When asked what he would do differently, however, the senator replied "I would have done everything differently. I would have recruited the same players and called the same plays, but other than that I would have done everything differently. We should not have tried to go it alone against Mississippi State. The Zook administration has failed us.
"In fact, I actually voted to go for the two point conversion before I voted against it."
Problems immediately arose, however at their first practice on Monday. When a player was hurt and taken to the hospital, offensive coordinator John Edwards unexplainably chased the ambulance out of the stadium. It is unclear what his motives were, but was reported as saying "No longer will there be two Gator nations. No longer will there be winners and losers at these football games. We will ensure that every player is a winner."
The coach would not lay out specific ideas about how to turn around the season for the Gators, but ensured everyone that he "has a plan." He insists it involves improving the strength and conditioning program over several years, but just recently he has voted to cut funding for the weight lifting equipment by over 6 billion dollars. However, he's going to upgrade other facilities by raising ticket prices only for those who contribute over $2000 per year.
Other details of his "plan" have not yet been revealed. But, at least he's not Ron Zook.
Posted by Jeff at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I knew Tuesday would be a crazy Election Day when I got in the car and passed this scene on the way to work:


Cars along Lithia-Pinecrest? Outside a church on a Tuesday?

Must be a polling place.


The line was crazy long. Kept running out into the parking lot. Voters were having to dodge cars coming and going.


Then I went past another. And three more. Same images. Total mob scene.


Then I drove past the intersection of Lumsden and Kings. A gaggle of teen Bushlets were waving signs and yelling at traffic.

At 7 a.m.

On a school day.



I figured I'd vote after work. I guessed that everyone would get it out of their system by noon.

I was wrong. The same scenerio played out on the ride home.


You could tell something momentous was happening. The only time we wait in lines like this in Florida are when we want to get into Disney World, when we want to get into a football game, or when we're trying to buy ice after hurricanes.

Oh, and for early-bird specials in Boca Raton.


Once I got to my poll, there were about 35 people in line ahead of me. After I arrived, about a dozen went and filed behind me.

People were reading their sample ballots. They were carrying newspaper editorial pages with voting recommendations. They were reading books. They were making quiet, polite small talk.

There were no epithets. There were no fist fights. No one slurred ideologies (except for a woman who stood out by the road with a "Fire the Liar" sign). This for all practical purposes was a shining example of what America is supposed to be: Democracy in action.

Amazing day, really. Can't say I'm happy about all the results. A lot of the candidates and ideas I cared about went down in defeat.

But if this is what an energized populace looks like, I'm all for it.

Posted by Jeff at 08:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Still recovering from the election?

Whether you're crying in your beer or doing a victory dance, perhaps a t-shirt is in order.

Posted by Jeff at 08:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004


A head's up to my loyal reader: No posts this morning (beyond this one, of course).

Head hurting. Must soak feet. I've got me some exit poll whiplash to treat.

Posted by Jeff at 07:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 02, 2004


When I was a reporter in Anchorage, I would hear hilarious stories about people who had passed through the doors of the newsroom. Alaska was chock full of characters. Something about being in the largest state in the union loosened the shackles of the personalities of people who lived there. In a large place, they too could live large.
So you'd hear about rather, um, complex individuals who had worked at The Anchorage Times. Like the guy who rubbed his ears the closer it got to deadline. And the religion writer who liked to sing in the john because she liked the acoustics.
I started remembering all this over the weekend while I was cleaning my garage. I stumbled across a packet of clips I had made on my way out of town, copies of a column that once was written by a woman named Corinne Carson Blair.
I don't know the full story of who she was - a longtime Anchorage resident, Corinne had been a friend of a friend at the paper, if I recall correctly. Someone thought she had a rather unique take on life, so they gave her a regular column on the bottom of the Metro page. I heard she smoked so much that some in the newsroom called her Corinne Carcinogen Blair.
In that column, called "Life In The Slow Lane," she'd write about three or four totally non-relatable subjects. Every now and then she'd throw in a mention of her friend, Pudj, or her husband, Big H. If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Jack Handey had used them as the basis for his "Deep Thoughts" bits on Saturday Night Live.
Anyway, I've stumbled across this packet of clips in previous years and shared it with friends. Read enough of her one-liners and you start to feel your head elevate with psychotropic hallucinations. Their simplicity and banality have a way of freeing you from the real world. If Lithium came in word form, this would be it.
So here are some of them. Make sure you don't operate any heavy machinery for at least an hour after reading these:
My friend Pudj's daughter, Kristen, wears contact lenses instead of glasses, and I asked why. Pudj said it is one of the mysteries of the universe.
* * * *
I wonder - if pocket billiards were included as an extracurricular activity in the school system, would school enrollment increase?
* * * *
Everyone looks ridiculous chewing gum.
* * * *
Probably the two most important partners in my life are my husband and my dog ... and in that order.
* * * *
What sounds more proper, toilet tissue or toilet paper? It is decisions like these that I find hard to make.
* * * *
Next time you're at the grocery store, don't forget the cranberry juice. It's supposed to be good for you.
* * * *
In 1951, I rode in the same elevator with Alfred Hitchcock.
* * * *
My story "Put The Fun Back In Funerals" started out as a book, then I cut it down to a novelette, then a brochure, then a pamphlet, and now it's just a flyer.
* * * *
Just because a person has a lot of money doesn't mean they have to spend it.
* * * *
There was actually a time when I bought back a sweater I had donated to the Good Will.
* * * *
"Small talk" sounds simple, but it is not.
* * * *
I have made up a ton of parlor games. My favorites are "Knee Deep In Trouble," "Whose Nose?" and "Pennies From Heaven."
* * * *
I have a friend who thinks "preppy" means something to do with a baby.
* * * *
No, I have never been to Europe.
* * * *
Boy George, break dancing and fiber are three subjects my husband cannot relate to.
* * * *
Isn't it wonderful that there are so many uses for the paper towel?
* * * *
My friend Pudj told me that there seemed to be more dandelions last summer than she can ever remember. I asked Pudj the reason why this unusual growth ... and well, Pudj did not have an answer.
* * * *
There is no such thing as a minimizer bra when you are a 34-D cup.
* * * *
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give myself a 6.5.
* * * *
I never badmouth my husband's relatives.* * * * I have started biting my fingernails but there is nothing going on in my life to be nervous about ... except my dentist wishes to be paid in advance before he sees me again. It seems that I have an extensive dental program ahead of me, like three root canals, new bridge work, two gold crowns and a partridge in a pear tree!
* * * *
My sister Kit is allergic to cats and that's a fact.
* * * *
I feel fortunate after five children that I don't have stretch marks.
* * * *
Some people might feel lot better about themselves if they would just wear one size larger.
* * * *
Why, I have eaten so many tossed salads, I swear I have acquired a slight but noticeable hop in my step.
* * * *
The car that I am driving must have brakes that work and a horn that honks.
* * * *
We know someone - and I won't mention his name - who would never eat a tuna surprise.
* * * *
Figure you have had a nice day when you have had a good laugh and a private rap session with the Lord.
* * * *
My son Peter called the other day and asked me what is stronger, rubber cement or Super Glue ... gee, I do not know, and I am not going to bother Pudj on this one.
* * * *
I wonder if it really is lonely at the top.
* * * *
In our family we try to live by the advice our dear Grandma Kitty offered ... "We can do anything we ought to do."
* * * *
There is something infectious about a wheezy laugh.
* * * *
I would like to explain how my husband "Big H" acquired his nickname. He is 6 feet 6 1/2 inches tall and his first name is Harry.
* * * *
My daughter and husband live in Denver and they have been "ripped off" (excuse the expression) four times - or maybe five times - in less than a four-year period. When I say ripped off, I'm talking robbed with a capital R. Lord save us, cried the duck. These kids are just starting out. Whoever you are out there in Denver, pick on someone else.
There, I've said my piece.
* * * *
This may sound a little morbid, but sure, I have had brushes with death ...however, I don't think about it very often.
* * * *
My son Edwin suggested to me at one time: To make things a little simpler, when you invitefriends over for dinner, suggest to them that they might eat a little bite before they come.
* * * *
No, I've never met my mother-in-law.
* * * *
Anyone in their right mind would certainly rather tip-toe through the tulips.
* * * *
I lost my purse in San Francisco. I left it on a cable car, honest to God. I f you can believe it, after only an hour's search, I found my purse - intact. I would just like to thank whoever you are for your honesty; it is comforting to now that there are still lots of honest people in the world.
Let me refresh your memory. The incident took place in September of 1974, the purse was tan leather, not vinyl, with a gold clasp for opening and closing. It was left at the manager's desk on the second level at the Fairmont Hotel, where I was not staying but happen to love walking through the lobbies.
Posted by Jeff at 06:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Today's election day.

I don't have to say how important this vote is.

I attempted to sway the vote way back in February when I committed the full weight and influence of Side Salad's resources for the future of America.

Again, for me, there is only one issue: the availability and exploration of hot butter.

So I'll say it again: You only have one vote. Make it count.

Make it for...



***This message is an unpaid political advertisment by the Lobster Consumers of America for Truth, which is solely responsible for its endorsment.

Posted by Jeff at 05:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Remember the story late last month of the student whose TV started sending distress signals that were picked up by Langley Air Force Base?

The New York Times did a follow-up and found out that it's not all that rare for our appliances to communicate without our authorization.

Seems that there is an old distress frequency mandated by Congress in the 1970s which just so happens to correspond with signals emitted by everything from toaster ovens to TVs.

In fact, in the United States, only 369 - or 3 percent - of the more than 12,000 distress signals in 2003 proved to be real emergencies.

In 2000, for instance, the emergency system started receiving weekly distress calls from Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark., after the University of Arkansas unveiled a new, 30 feet by 107 feet SmartVision scoreboard. Its video processor system, it seems, was emitting spurious signals on the 121.5 frequency.

Posted by Jeff at 05:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2004


A large time was had by all at Casa del Sombrero last night. We had scads of trick-or-treaters. And we decorated, as you can see, up the wazoo. Officially.
My favorite decoration:
I call it, simply, "Kobe."
As you would expect, I took lots of pics of the kids who came to the door:
This is my neighbor Nicole. She was accompanied by...
Super Fluff.
Gotta love how the witch in the middle is already toking on a Dum-Dum.
Florida... 80 degrees... costume entirely of plastic...
This kid wasn't hot at all.
How sad. That kid on the right is wearing a uniform from three running backs ago.
A smart parent always waits in the background.
What were they going as? Lip synchers.
Good thing the kid on the right had a blood smear. I would have never gotten that he was a flesh-eating monster.
This is my neighbor's son, Curtis. He said he was Blade something or other.
I think he secretly was dressing up like Billy Idol.
Man, is she going to be upset when she grows up and finds out that there is no prince, there is no white horse and the light-up wands run out of batteries.
These girls learn the perils early of buying off-the-rack.
The child in the middle said he was trying to be Doug Henning.
Could have used a moustache.
And the award for Most Politically Incorrect Costume Of The Night goes to...
Posted by Jeff at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'm not a big fan of memes, but this one was kinda clever:


Which Nigerian spammer are You?

Posted by Jeff at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Only one day of campaigning left. Which of course means there's only one day left to bleed this tired premise dry.

So here, for the last time anywhere, is another glimpse at the ludicrous way we elect a president, in photo form:


Who the FUCK gave me waffles?

I hear Blitzen is voting Libertarian.
"Sen. Kerry, how many electoral votes are you expecting to pick up in Texas?"
Finally, irrefutable photographic evidence linking Dick Cheney to former Enron executive Ken Lay.

PREVIOUS ENTRIES Beer and babies. Kevlar and Snuggles. Condi and Jumbos. Ties and guitars. Bloodlines and blood pressure. Fishing and fans. Baseball and Girlie Man Cue cards and statues. Jesse and the pits. Fireworks and a great melon.
Posted by Jeff at 07:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Sixty months of payments on $35,990. For this:


Did someone lose a bet at the car dealership?

Posted by Jeff at 06:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Luka (not her real name) over at Incogoblogo was pimping something called Blogexplosion. Supposedly it will boost traffic to your site, just by you going and clicking on other people's sites.

It had all the aroma of a blog pyramid scheme, but I decided to check out the site anyway. Turns out it's one of these nouveau "viral marketing" sites.

Here's their pitch:

You read other blog sites and they in return visit your blog. Blogexplosion is the internet's first blog exchange where thousands of bloggers visit each other's blogs in order to receive tons of blog traffic. Imagine how many other people out there could be adding your blog to their blogroller and how many people would be reading your blog every day with this sort of attention.

One question, when do you actually find time to leave the house? I mean, if we're all busy doing some sort of electronic daisy chain, when do we actually get to absorb sunlight?

There is no answer. It was rhetorical merely by the silence the question elicited.

The pitch goes on:

When you refer new members to Blog Explosion you receive 10% of the traffic they generate five levels deep. By referring new members you receive bonus blog traffic for life!

I have no idea what "five levels deep" means, but it sounds vaguely like Scientology porn.

It also annoys me that Blogexplosion exhibits the heartfelt passion for using exclamation points, which to me are the punctuarial equivalent to people who talk too close to you at a party.


Back to the selling text:

Blog Explosion Features!

* 2:1 traffic ratio means for every two blogs you visit, one person will visit your Blog in return!

There's also a 10:1 ratio of exclamation points to words in the previous two sentences.

* Get your blog listed in the Blog Explosion blog directory and get free trafffic as long as you are a member!

* Add unlimited blogs you want to promote!

* Add unlimited banners with clickthrough reporting to help promote your blogs

*Enter great monthly contests and win bonus Mystery Blog traffic 24/7!

*Blogexplosion provides full statistics for your blog traffic including total visitors, unique visitors, time of day, and what country your blog traffic is coming from

* Refer new members to BlogExplosion and generate huge referral traffic on five tiers (10%,10%,10%, 10%,10%). Watch your blog traffic fly as you earn a percentage of blog traffic from people you refer to BlogExplosion.

And if you click three times, kids, everyone gets a pony!

Jesus H.

Excuse me, Jesus H.!

Anyway, I'm a traffic whore (when I'm not busy being a catastrowhore). So here goes the plug:

There. That's the extent of my viral pimpage.

An update: I just tried to fulfill my Blogexplosion duties by clicking on other members. (Man, that sounds dirty.) This was the first entry on the first site I hit:
Autumn and Winter, in my humble opinion, are the perfect months to be in a relationship. The cold weather gives one more reason to snuggle up against your loved one. The winter chill erased by loving warmth. Ah, how I would love to be held like that once more.

What, Blogexplosion didn't offer to hold you like a kitten?

Posted by Jeff at 06:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Saw this story linked to over at Lawren's place.

The Roman Catholic church is trying to prevent rosary beads from becoming a fashion statement after both David Beckham and Britney Spears have been spotted wearing them. While Becks wore four sets around his neck at a party recently and subsequently appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing the $1,000 Dolce & Gabbana version, Britney was photographed in London wearing a white set of beads. Now, with Christian shops being inundated with requests from fashion conscious teenagers, the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has published a leaflet stressing the religious significance of the rosary.

What's next, two yarmulkes tied together for a bra?

Excuse me for a moment... Gotta get the phone.

:::Long, uncomfortable pause:::
Britney, Madonna just called. She'd like her career back.

Posted by Jeff at 05:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



Just got an e-mail from Walgreens. Seems that because I was stupid enough to give them my e-mail address the last time I was at my pharmacologically weakest, they feel like we have a relationship. Next thing you know, they'll ask me to go private in a chat room so they can talk dirty about my meds.

For now, they merely feel comfortable enough to share their "featured online specials."

Included in that list:

Huggies Baby-Shaped Diapers
56 ea.
Regular price: $11.99
Sale price: $7.99

Um, what other shape besides baby would there be? And don't say Jeff-shaped.

Posted by Jeff at 05:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack