Archive for the 'humor' Category

All about Librarians

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Librarians hoard the wisdom of humanity. They are the keepers of all knowledge, the guardians at the temples of understanding, and devoted protectors of the sanctuary in the midst of uneducated anarchy. Plus, they are often aware of very cheap places to dine alone with books. Let us not mince words: as Stephen Colbert so profoundly stated, “librarians are hiding something”.™ A group of librarians is also known as a shoosh.

Super Powers

Most librarians’ super powers are relegated to mind reading, reference and collection development. Some librarians have heightened awareness for cataloging and categorization. Most enjoy fining patrons for late and or damaged materials.

Years spent in the quiet environment of the library have also heightened their awareness of movement within the library. This, coupled with the powers of mind-reading, gives them much knowledge as to the whereabouts and activities of patrons. Both of these combined with the heightened awareness for cataloguing and categorization provide fair warning when a patron is about to re-shelve a book on their own, which is the bane of library organization, and the librarian can inform the patron to “Please leave all unwanted materials on top of the shelves, on tables, or on provided stands. Direct spontaneous combustion may occur otherwise.”

They often know the answer to a reference question prior to being asked. This super-power is heightened when it being asked by a college student with a hangover. The answer is always “Our collection of government documents related to drunk driving laws are located over here.”

Additionally, librarians can identify the enemies of the library system by smell: thieves, small children, politicians, tax payers, homeless people, teenagers, porn addicts, and the elusive library masturbator. These enemies are vanquished typically with the famous “Shhh” or the newer phrase “I’m calling the police.”

Cats

All real librarians have cats, however some deviant librarians also have dogs. Librarians who lack cats and or corrective lenses should not be trusted as they are abnormal to the species and should be destroyed.

Hobbies

Librarians can often be seen reading for recreation. Some enjoy sniffing book spines to ascertain the age of books in a competition known as “Guess how old this is.” Master librarians can even smell a book’s ISBN. (This skill prevents librarians from enjoying the delicate art of kitten snarfling.) They also frequently knit, play scrabble, and do crossword puzzles when they’re not out rampaging with their motorcycle gangs and getting awesome tattoos.

Attire

All librarian attire is loose, layered and comfortable. Librarian clothes may be slept in for several days prior to wearing outside of the home. Cat fur is always present on pant cuffs and typically on sleeves as well. Elbow patches, bow ties and pipes are optional for men as well as women, though it should be noted that pipes are never smoked in the presence of books as the tobacco may damage them. It is also not unusual to find the color worn away from one knee of a librarian’s pants, created by frequent kneeling to shelve items on the lower shelves.

Knitting paraphernalia is often used as an accessory, in addition to:

  • Pens
  • Keys
  • The Jolly Roger
  • Paperclips
  • Barcodes
  • Ponies
  • Date Stamps and Pads
  • Rules of Conduct
  • Tote bags

The Book Love

In a recent scientific study librarians were reported to love books. Book love is described in the DSM-IV under Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic and Other Cognitive Disorders as:

  1. The presence of book love as manifested by motoric immobility, excessive motor activity (that is apparently purposeless and not influenced by external stimuli), extreme negativism or mutism, peculiarities of voluntary movement, or echolalia or echopraxia.
  2. There is evidence from the history, physical examination, or laboratory findings that the disturbance is the direct physiological consequence of reading.
  3. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., a Manic Episode).
  4. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Delirium.

Average people only like books, and should not be trusted with books for more than 21 days in a row without incurring a daily fine of no less than ten cents per day for each day after 21 days, however this fine should not to exceed the replacement cost of the item.

How to Vanquish a Librarian

TIP! Vanquishing Librarians is most effective in non-book environments.

Repeat the following incantation three times “Your field is obsolete and you will be replaced with improved content and slicker GUI interfacia from Google.” This should be sufficient to destroy the non-technical librarian.

A geekier librarian may be resistant to this incantation and should simply be bludgeoned with the first volume of the OED or a similarly large reference book.

Trivia

A widely publicized gesture in which a female librarian unfastens her hair and shakes it loose is an ancient code used among male and female librarians to signal each other. Though the action was long believed to be a mating zritual it was later discovered to be a call to an unrelated ritual in which the male implants seeds of doubt, which the female then destroys by conducting further research.

Source: The Uncylopedia

I think they mean “rate”

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a nice Mother’s Day weekend.

I started my day today, as I do most every day, with a cup of coffee and checking my e-mail. Here’s an actual, un-retouched screen grab from this morning’s “in” box:

marriott.jpg

Whoa, now that’s what I call a hotel amenity. I guess these must be your high-class “designer” rats, which are apparently exclusive to the Marriott, and not the ordinary garden-variety rats you might find at a Holiday Inn or Motel 6.

Get out the credit card, I gotta book this one toot sweet!

Random grocerocity

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

An otherwise ordinary trip to the grocery store can be a fascinating experience in cultural awareness, or at very least the power of marketing in our lives. Two quick examples:

1. Based on the success of Unilever’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”, several grocery chains have come up with their own “house brand” versions of the product. Kroger has their “Butter, It’s Not”, and the HEB stores here in Texas have something called “You’d Think It’s Butter”. I don’t know why they don’t just stop beating around the bush and call their product “I Can’t Believe It’s Not I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”. Also, “You’ve Got To Be Shitting Me, Whaddaya Mean This Ain’t Butter?”, or “If This Is Butter, Then I’m Freaking Tony Orlando And Dawn” might be good alternate names as well.

2. This whole celebrity product naming thing is getting out of hand. This weekend Mrs. Toast picked up a package of Nolan Ryan Steaks. Would someone please tell me what the hell a former professional baseball player has to do with USDA choice meat? So let me get this straight: I can buy Nolan Ryan® beef, marinade it in some Paul Newman Dressing®, cook it on my George Forman Grill®, cut it with an Emeril Knife®, and then eat it on Martha Stewart® Tableware? What’s next? To complete the cycle, Sheryl Crow Brand® Toilet Paper? (“So strong, you only need one square!”)

Please, stop the madness.

Be sure to pack your bathing suit

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

One thing you can say about the folks at Google, they’re about as wild n’ crazy as a bunch of software engineers can be. For example, they’re well known for their annual April Fool’s jokes like this one.

The guffaws continue at their mapping portal, where you can create a trip route to your chosen destination complete with the usual turn-by-turn driving instructions. Click on the “Get Directions” tab, enter Houston to Chicago: 1078 miles in 17 hours and 40 minutes. OK, typical stuff; any number of sites will do that. But on Google Maps, create a route between two locations not directly connected by roads — say, Houston to Frankfurt, Germany — and you’ll get this:

googlemap2.jpg

This is nerd humor at its finest, people.

Check this

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

My brother-in-law Ray and I recently had a friendly little discussion about the upcoming presidential elections. It went something sort of like this:



Comic Truthiness

Monday, March 26th, 2007

The “Sunday Funnies” have been decidedly un-funny lately, in fact I can hardly remember the last time I had a good laugh at one of the so-called comic strips. Most of them are just plain stupid, and then there’s strips like “For Better or Worse”, or “Funky Winkerbean” that try to straddle the line between funny and serious and wind up being neither. But I’ve always been a big fan of Berkeley Breathed from the “Bloom County” days, so I especially enjoyed “Opus” today:

opus.gif

Way back when America was a civilized country, presidential elections meant six leisurely months of state primaries, followed by articulate and compelling national conventions, and a mercifully short general election campaign. Not any more. Arm yourselves, indeed.

Extra!

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

MR. TOAST SHAVES HEAD, GOES INTO REHAB!

TEXAS (AP) – The blogosphere was still in shock this evening after the pop icon known as “Mr. Toast” unexpectedly shaved off all his hair before a stunned group of onlookers earlier today. The stock market plummeted, rivers reversed their flow, and planes fell out of the sky as the world reeled from the astounding news. Major television networks interrupted their regular programming to trot a non-stop parade of behavioral experts including psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and psychologists (with a couple of phlebotomists thrown in for good measure) in front of the cameras, all seeking to answer the endless public cries of “Why? Why would anyone do such a shocking thing? Why? Oh my God, Why?”

Paparazzi from all over the world converged on the Lone Star state trying to snap pictures of the newly bald Toast, however he remained secluded at an undisclosed location, releasing only one publicity photo (shown above) to the media. When it was pointed out that the image strongly appeared to be Photoshopped (and poorly at that), Mr. Toast responded that anyone foolish enough to consider going to this website to place a minimum one million dollar bid for the locks of a former Pop Icon also might conceivably be dumb enough to fall for this stunt as well.

In an attempt to escape the media circus, I, er… that is, Mr. Toast then checked into Rehab. Seriously. OK, we’re talking about cardio-pulmonary rehab here people, where you work out on exercise machines at the local hospital while a nurse monitors your vital signs. Yeah sure, it’s supposed to help people with heart or lung problems stay healthier and technically speaking it’s a “multi-disciplinary program of care for patients with chronic respiratory impairment that is individually tailored and designed to optimize physical and social performance and autonomy” but it’s still rehabilitation and maybe I was kidding about the hair thing but hey give me a freakin’ break already.

At least I’m wearing underwear.

The simple life

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Anyone into PowerPoint presentations? I’ve discovered a great site called SlideShare that lets you upload and share .ppt files as slide shows, and conveniently embed them as flash objects in a web page or blog. You can also browse the site and view presentations made by other users. Here’s an example that features some feel-good photos of animals and nature; I guarantee at least one of these will bring a smile to your face.

Controversy For All

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Perhaps you’ve heard that the Mars Corporation, makers of Snickers®, have responded to protests by several Gay and Lesbian groups over its Super Bowl commercial (featuring two “manly men” who accidentally kiss while enjoying the candy bar) by yanking all further replays of the spot. The company also pulled the plug on a planned extensive follow-up campaign around the ad, which had been on the web at www.afterthekiss.com. Protesters called the theme of the ad “violent” and “homophobic”, and in a statement announcing the cancellation, a spokesman for the candy maker said “We know that humor is highly subjective and understand that some people may have found the ad offensive. Clearly that was not our intent.”

You probably know as well that the American Association of Fast Food Workers also complained about the Kevin Federline Nationwide ad, saying it demeaned employees in that industry. Apparently, this means it is no longer politically correct to say “you want fries with that?” in a jocular manner. Remember that the next time you’re trying to be funny at a party.

But most amazing to me is that just when you thought it was again safe to watch the half-time show, religious conservatives and some journalists are complaining about Sunday’s acclaimed performance by Prince. It was not enough for them to decry the thousands of children who would forever be doomed to a life of crime and moral depravity by their 9/16-of-a-second exposure to Janet Jackson’s right breast in 2004, they are now upset that Prince’s silhouette, projected on a flowing curtain during his rendition of “Purple Rain”, contained (gasp!) phallic imagery. New York Daily News TV critic David Bianculli called it “a rude-looking shadow show,” and “embarrassingly rude, crude and unfortunately placed.” A spokesman for the NFL countered, “We respect other opinions, but it takes quite a leap of the imagination to make a controversy of his performance. It’s a guitar.”

Look at the photo and see what you think. All I can say is if the image is meant to be anatomically correct, the man must have a hard time picking out a pair of pants at Wal-Mart. (Not that Prince would shop there anyway.)

Anyway, I think what we’re seeing here is just the tip of the iceberg. If controversy can be sparked by this somewhat overzealous interpretation of Prince’s act, then a lot of other special-interest groups are missing the boat and should jump on the bandwagon of criticism as well. For example:

  • Atheists should be upset that Prince sang a portion of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” during his show, a direct reference to the official publication and website of The Jehovah’s Witnesses. Has no one else picked up on this? Prince became a Witness in the 1990′s, and obviously used his halftime appearance to deliver thinly-veiled religious propaganda to millions of Bowl viewers.
  • The National Association for Mental Health and Mental Retardation should be all over Prince for his song selection as well: his opening number, “Let’s Go Crazy”, is clearly a derogatory term and a stereotypical slur to the mentally handicapped. At the very least, they could force the Purple One to change the lyrics of the song from “Let’s go crazy/let’s get nuts” to “Let’s exhibit situationally inappropriate behavior/let’s have a learning disability.”
  • The NAACP can complain that Prince wasn’t a “black” enough choice for the Super Bowl crowd, while the Aryan Nation can be offended that he wasn’t “white” enough. Every other ethnic group could follow suit, including Asians, Hispanics, etc. NOW could protest that he’s not female, and the Anti-Defamation League could protest that he’s not Barbra Streisand.
  • Any person of British descent should be appalled by Prince’s choice of his own name, an obvious slap in the face of The Royal Family. Unfortunately, this is a no-win situation for the entertainer, as when he changed his name back to Prince some years ago, he received howls of protest from The Association of Artists Named After Unpronounceable Symbols at his defection from their ranks.
  • The Fashion Designers Guild must protest Prince’s choice of his outfit. I mean, a light orange umber shirt under a light-aqua-blue jacket? What was he thinking with that abominable color scheme? What horrible message does this send to our esthetically-challenged youth?
  • Finally, a newly-formed group, the Association of All Recording Artists On The Planet Except For Prince must no doubt find it highly discriminatory that sales of Prince’s album catalog jumped by an astonishing average of 653% after his Super Bowl gig. “The Very Best of Prince” moved from No. 710 to No. 71 on Amazon.com’s Top Sellers list, and following his soaking-wet rendition of the song, “Music from the Motion Picture ‘Purple Rain’” moved from No. 432 to No. 53 on the chart, an increase of 715 percent.

In a related story, the NFL announced today that due to the controversy over Prince’s halftime performance, there were only three “safe” acts left in the world being considered for future shows. Viewers of the 2008 Super Bowl will see either (a) Pat Boone, (b) Michael Bolton, or (c) The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

I feel safer from depravity already.

Tasty News Bits

Friday, January 12th, 2007

Yes friends, once again it’s time for another rousing issue of…

Always on the cusp of current events, Wind In The Wire takes a look back at a few of the more bizarre news items from the first full week of the new year. Please note that while I did not plan it this way, it turns out that several of these stories are somewhat scatological in nature; so please, if you are a young, impressionable high school student whom your school board has deemed unfit to think about such things for yourself, click here and do not, repeat, do NOT read further. You’ve been warned.

All right, the rest of you may recall that earlier in this space, we reported on one Stephen Murmur, high school teacher and so-called “Butt Printing Artist”, who had been suspended by the Richmond VA school district where he was employed, for using his buttocks and genitals to create abstract artwork such as “Tulip”, shown above. These paintings sell for up to $900 on his web site. Word now comes that he has been fired, according to a spokesperson for the Chesterfield County School Board. Despite overwhelming support for Murmur from students, parents, and Wind In The Wire readers, the board stated that students have a right to receive their education in an environment free from distractions and disruptions”. (I guess this means that the gum-snapping, rubber-band shooting smart-ass who sits in the back of the room, constantly interrupting the class with wisecracks, will have to go too? After all, fair is fair.) Here is a comment from a parent of one of Murmur’s students:


“Stephen Murmur has been an inspiration to my daughter for the last 3 years. He has been her teacher and mentor and he is highly respected in the school where he was teaching. My daughter knew about his artwork years ago but it was no big deal to her – it was what he did. What message are we sending everyone when we say that you can’t have harmless creative outlets? We want to tell our children they can be anything they want when they become adults EXCEPT who they truly are? I don’t like that message. Are we saying that all people have to be “G” rated? How many people do you know that are like that? Uh oh, we better not talk about body parts, those very things we were born with. Stephen Murmur is a credit to the teaching profession and was wrongly fired. He inspires students to excel, they take him into their confidence and they trust him. We should all be so lucky as to have Stephen Murmur as a teacher in our schools.”

Frankly, I’m having a hard time determining exactly what the school board is worried about. Not only did Murmur practice his craft totally removed from his class and on his own time, but these are high school kids, for heaven’s sake. They are regularly exposed to a lot more material with the potential to warp their minds than this. The lesson, if any, that they will learn from this is that you must conform, you must submit to authority, and that art, individuality and creative expression is wrong. Shame on the School Board. Murmur’s attorney Jason Anthony summed it up perfectly when he referred to the Board’s decision as “a bad day for the first amendment.”

Speaking of art, let’s move on to our next story. It’s no secret that we are a nation of celebrity worshipers who delight in the exploits of Britney, Paris, Brangelina, and other high-profile star types. Now, as if Ms. Jolie isn’t famous enough, a painting of the actress as the Virgin Mary hovering over a Wal-Mart check-out line is on sale for $50,000. The artist, Kate Kretz of Burlington, NC, says that the work “addresses the celebrity worship cycle.” She said she chose Jolie for the subject “because of her unavoidable presence in the media, the worldwide anticipation of her child, her unattainable beauty and the good that she is doing in the world through her example, which adds another layer to the already complicated questions surrounding her status.” Even more exciting is the fact that Ms. Kretz has a Blogger Blog where she is relating the daily adventures of her sudden notoriety, and her blog has gone from near obscurity to thousands of hits a day since her Jolie painting. So now not only can you be pop icon by being a star, you can be one for painting a picture of a star, and blogging about it. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

In Columbia, South Carolina, the body of James Brown has yet to be buried, and remains in a sealed casket inside a funeral home while attorneys for various relatives fight over where he is to be laid to rest. Security guards are watching over the late singer, who died of heart failure on Christmas Day at the age of 73. His will has yet to be filed, and legal wrangling over his estate continues. Brown’s home has been locked since hours after his death to protect his memorabilia, furnishing, clothes and other personal items, according to his attorney. “Just imagine what would have happened,” said Buddy Dallas. “Items of James Brown would have left there like items off the shelves of Macy’s in an after-Christmas sale.” What a sad end for the Godfather of Soul.

Meanwhile, we can authoritatively report to you that executed former Iraqui dictator Saddam Hussein is, in fact, still dead. We’ve seen the video. (What, not what you were expecting?)

Across the pond in Lancashire, England, police are stumped following an incident where a man broke into a woman’s home, put on her clothing, and proceeded to, er, make himself happy on her bed. According to the BBC, the prosecutor in the case claimed that he “could not find an offense for the case to proceed”, in that burglary was out, since the man never tried to steal anything. The best they could come up with was that the defendant had “intruded appallingly on someone’s privacy”. Can we charge Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell with this, I wonder? Please, anything to make them both shut up.

If you’ve ever considered converting to Hinduism, this may change your mind: in the largest religious pilgrimage on the planet, over the next six weeks some 75 million Hindus will make their annual journey to bathe in the sacred waters of India’s Ganges River. Problem is, it’s more like holy sludge than holy water, due to the millions of gallons of raw sewage and thousands of sacrificial animal carcasses that are dumped in the river. Levels of fecal coliform bacteria are up to 3,000 times the accepted Indian standard and 1.5 million times the safe level in this country for drinking. Think aboout that the next time you slug down an AquaFina.

Finally, here’s a related story that hands-down earns the Wind in the Wire “What Were They Thinking?” award for this edition: in suburban Miami, a 20-year old man showed up at an emergency room complaining of rectal pain. Upon closer examination, doctors found “
a stony hard, vertically oriented, low-lying radiopaque object in the rectum.” After being questioned further, the man finally admitted that he and his boyfriend had been “fooling around”, and had stirred up a batch of concrete mix which had then been poured into his rectal cavity using a funnel. After surgically removing the hardened object, the physician’s report further stated “Examination of the specimen revealed a perfect concrete cast of the rectum, measuring 12 X 7 X 5 cm and weighing 275 grams. Grooves in the mass were consistent with rectal mucosal folds. A layer of concrete was chipped off the upper part of the specimen and revealed a white plastic ping-pong ball.” Click here, if you dare, for a photo of the object.

There’s really not much else that can be said after that, is there?

An Engineer’s Christmas

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

We’re in Houston tonight, fortunately at a hotel with high-speed Internet access. After my post yesterday in which I spoke of The Engineer and the half-full glass, a fellow techo-geek sent me this gem. For anyone who’s ever wondered how Santa can leave presents for kids all over the world in one night, here’s the scoop from someone who has figured it all out:

There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the population reference bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.

Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh and get onto the next house.

Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.

This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second–3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.

The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized LEGO set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying over 500 thousands tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that the “flying” reindeer can pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with eight or even nine of them: Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).

600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance—this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would adsorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.

Not that it matters much, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 mps in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 g’s. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo. Therefore, if Santa did exist, he’s dead now.

Merry Christmas!

The Sound of Opportunity

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Over the weekend, we got a much-needed breath of fresh air as a cold front passed through the area. This means I can finally turn off my air conditioner and open the windows, as the outside temperature has finally dipped below the ninety-degree mark for the first time since about April, I think. While those of you in more moderate climates have four distinct seasons, we here in Texas have only two: “hot”, and “damn hot”. In any case, while the cooling breezes were blowing through the house, Mrs. Toast remarked that all we needed was the sound of crashing surf to feel like we were on our own private island. This comment naturally sent me off to scour that source of all things Good and Wonderful (i.e., The Internet) in search of “surf sounds”. After struggling through many links to tunes by the Beach Boys, sure enough, I came upon this site, which featured a vast selection of “ambient sound” CD’s perfect for relaxation and meditation, all at the bargain price of just $12.95 each. Wow! Check out some of these actual selections from the web site:

Yes, this is what exactly we’re looking for. Soothing relaxing ocean sounds, including crashing waves, and squawking sea gulls. Ahhhhhhhh. Close your eyes and you can almost smell the salt air. I wonder what else they have in this genre?
Oh, storms. That’s nice. Who can resist the soothing sound of tinkling rain and the rumble of a distant thunderstorm on a summer day? I can easily see how someone might want to pay $12.95 for an hour’s worth of relaxing ambient sounds like these. I mean, what a great deal!
And now we … huh? What’s this? “Soothing Air Conditioner”? Um, this is a little bit of a stretch as I just turned OFF the air conditioner. Hmmmm. Other titles in this series include “Soothing Shower Head”, “Peaceful Air Purifier”, “Calming Electric Fan”, and “Smooth Radio Static”. Who knew household appliances could be the source of calming, soothing, ambient sounds? And at the bargain price of only $12.95 each!
I’m amazed to learn that babies find the sound of vacuum cleaners to be soothing. Even though I can remember being awakened as a child by the sound of a vacuum cleaner, apparently nowadays major appliances are a source of great comfort to small children, as in addition to this disk, others in this series include “Baby’s Blow Dryer CD”, “Baby’s Dishwasher CD”, as well as Baby’s fans, washing machines, and clothes dryers. Did I mention each disk in this series is only $12.95?

OK, by now I am starting to realize that there is a vast untapped market here, and I am struck with an idea. If these guys at Pure White Noise® can get people to pay $12.95 by sticking a microphone up to a vacuum cleaner for an hour, there must be many other sounds they’ve overlooked that I can capitalize on. So, allow me to now present my own entries into the ambient sounds market:

CITY SOUNDS: Sure “nature” sounds are great if you find rustling leaves and chirping crickets to be relaxing. But quite a few people who live in big towns like New York City, San Francisco, and Fargo become quite accustomed to the background noise of the city, and go crazy when they get out into the deafening silence of the country. So for those poor deprived city-dwellers, my first CD in the series will feature sixty minutes of various city sounds such as honking horns, shouting, rumbling subways, the muffled thud of bass from the neighbor’s stereo system, domestic disturbances, sirens, gunshots, etc. Urbanites will feel relaxed and right at home.
TRAFFIC NOISE: In case general-purpose city sounds aren’t enough for you, here’s an entire CD of Traffic Sounds which I can record “live” in one afternoon on Houston’s Southwest Freeway. This one will specialize in typical Texas traffic noises, including busses, 18-wheel diesel trucks, lots of cursing, and the occasional crackle of small-arms fire. Nothing like a nice relaxing drive around Loop 610!
BARKING DOGS: Dog lovers will really go for this one. One hour of incessant yapping, relentless barking, and wretched howling. If you’re away from home and miss the sound of Fido in your back yard, be sure to bring along this CD.
BABY’S FIRST CD OF GARBAGE DISPOSAL SOUNDS: Air conditioners, fans, washers, dryers … how could this major household appliance have been overlooked? Crank this one up loud to “create an oasis of relaxation and calm, promote sleep, provide stress relief sounds, block annoying noise for a more restful sleep and improve concentration, and ease the symptoms of colic, tinnitus, ADD/ADHD and hyperacusis”. Includes sounds of grinding chicken bones, silverware and other items. Sure, you could just turn on your own disposer, but this CD is only $12.95! Wow!
CRYING BABY SOUNDS: I’ve saved the best one for last. Are you childless? Ever been out to a restaurant to hear a toddler screaming at the top of his lungs at the next table, and wish that you too could experience the joys of parenthood for yourself? Well then get this disk for all of the fun and none of the dirty diapers. This one’s also perfect for empty-nesters who miss the cries, the wails, the blood-curdling screams that only a hungry, wet, and colicky baby can make. Yes, at just $12.95, you’ll want to pick up several of these for everyone on your Christmas list. I guarantee they’ll never forget you and your thoughtful gift this coming Holiday Season!

Note: No actual babies were harmed during the making of this CD, although we came pretty damn close and had to restrain ourselves on a couple of occasions.

Over the river and through the woods…

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

…we’re off on a Houston drive!
For my hospital tests
I’m feeling quite stressed
I hope I get home ali…ive!

Ho, ho, ho! Time to get out the sleigh bells and put a wreath on the front grill of the van, as we’re about to hit the road for the holidays. In addition to visiting the relatives, it’s also time for me to go back to Methodist Hospital for another pre-transplant evaluation of my lung functions for my IPF, so I’ll be spending the better part of Wednesday and Thursday being poked, prodded, stuffed into a little airtight cabinet, and blowing into tubes. What jolly fun! After quite a few of these pulmonary function tests, I think I’ve about got the routine down by now.

The good news is that I seem to still be doing fairly well considering that two years ago, I was told that I had perhaps 18 months left to live … and I honestly feel better now than I did then. I can’t help but think that my experimental pirfenidone treatment has had something to do with that (and of course, all that clean living – hah!) so I’m optimistic that the test results this week will show that I’ve remained relatively stable in the six months since my last exam. I have noticed that I’m coughing more and seem to be getting tired more easily than I did over the summer during my whirlwind New England road trip, but we’ll see what my pulmonologist has to say. Most likely, I expect he will tell me to come back in another three months (or six months if I’m lucky) and we’ll do this drill all over again. It’s a bit frustrating to be stuck in limbo like this: dependent on supplemental oxygen and not well enough to be able to carry on “normal” activities, yet not sick enough to need immediate transplant surgery. But hey, I am not complaining! On the contrary, I consider it a major blessing that I’m doing as well as I am, and have learned to cope with the limitations imposed by my condition. This glass is definitely half-full. (Which, being an engineer, reminds me of the old joke that an optimist sees a glass as half full, a pessimist sees it as half empty, and an engineer sees a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.)

But once this business is out of the way Thursday afternoon, it’s on to more pleasant things including some shopping and dinner at a nice restaurant in Houston, and visits with friends and family there. We’ll be back on Christmas eve to spend a quiet holiday at home, and may find a few minutes for an occasional blog post here and there. I’m sure most of you will be busy with your own family gatherings, but please stop by and say “hi” if you get the chance. I know one blogger friend in particular will be quite busy with having a baby over the holiday; please visit April’s blog and wish her congratulations once her little bundle of holiday joy arrives (any day now). Talk about a great Christmas present!

I’ll leave you for now with this sacred and uplifting tune that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment of the season; I think it captures the true spirit of the holiday. Just click on the little “play” button below. If I’m not able to post again before the weekend, let me take this opportunity to say…

Merry Christmas to All
And To All a Good Night!

Library hijinks

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Here in East Texas it’s exams week at the University where Mrs. Toast works as a Librarian, which is the time that students go absolutely bonkers. Everything they’ve worked for all year in large part boils down to how well they do this week, and the pressure is enormous. And what do college students do when they’re stressed? Apparently, they have parties in the library, take off their clothes, and urinate in the stairwells. The library is open 24-hours-a-day all this week, allegedly to give students a quiet place to study for exams, but the librarians who have been working the overnight shift (not Mrs. Toast, fortunately) have witnessed some strange goings-on in the halls of literature. One of them has been sending a daily e-mail to the rest of the library staff reporting on the nightly carnage, including the theft and vandalism of wall signs, water gun fights, students taking off their clothes to study in their underwear, and the most heinous crime of all (gasp!), loud talking!! Hey people, put a lid on it – this is a library here! But things seem to be improving: here is an excerpt from one of his daily reports:

The building has cleared out a lot. I see no sleeping or signs that those who are left are slowing down. I noticed that a lot more trash has been picked up and put in the garbage instead of being left out. I think I have begun to make some sort of bond with the natives. They appear more docile and cooperative. I brought my camera with me this time around the building. Some were shy and had to be coaxed out of their hiding places while other strutted and thumped their chests demanding that their primitive nobility be recorded for the ages. I quickly made new friends and passed the word about the vandals and damage, and recruited their help in watching for trouble. I don’t know if this will help but I suspect that it has. Word is spreading of the strange silent pale one who stalks the stacks at night.

In the course of discussing these disturbing incidents, several of the librarians got together and came up with a brilliant plan: build a deck on the roof, add some lights and a DJ, sell drinks, and the library would become the hippest spot between Dallas and Houston. They could even call it … are you ready? … “The Library”. Hit up the patrons for a cover charge to get in and the University could make a fortune. I don’t know why they’re not all over this idea.

Meanwhile, another faculty member mentioned that a library in his home town sponsored something called “librarian night” at the local strip club. All the girls at the club (not the librarians) dressed up as librarians (or at least started dressed that way) and then gave a portion of the proceeds to the library. Here’s another great idea the University needs to capitalize on; they could even do a poster session for ALA, plus “Librarian of the Month” calendars and desktop screen savers!

Never let it be said that librarians don’t work hard to further their careers.

Toasted Gift Guide, Part Deux

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

We’re back!

After hours of meticulous research which proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I have way too much time on my hands, Wind In The Wire once again comes to your rescue with another round of gift suggestions which are sure to cause surprise and delight on Christmas morning, not to mention shock, disbelief, and possible bodily injury. Happy holidays!

Let’s save the truly gross and disgusting items for later, and start off with a cultural icon that seems to have come out of nowhere this year. In the unlikely event that there is a single person left on the planet who has not seen the beloved heart-warming 1983 family classic film “A Christmas Story“, the plot features a young boy named Ralphie who is obsessed with getting the Christmas present of his dreams: a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle (OK, I’ve updated the story a bit for the modern times we live in). Meanwhile, Dad becomes positively orgasmic over this Leg Lamp, replicas of which have now suddenly appeared in many catalog and novelty stores. Seriously, I don’t ever remember seeing this item available before this season, and now there will be thousands, perhaps millions, of these things being as given as gifts this year, to spend one solitary day of incandescent glory in living rooms all across America before the Head of the Household (aka “Mom”) banishes them to the attic or garage. Somehow, I expect to see lots of these on eBay after the holidays.

Speaking of fake body parts, do you know someone who will be lonely this season? Perhaps they’ve just broken up with their significant other and are in need of some comfort. Well have we got just the thing for them … a bottle of Xanax! No seriously, how about The Boyfriend Pillow (which features an arm which wraps reassuringly around you) for the ladies, and The Girlfriend Pillow for the guys, complete with red miniskirt and a plush lap they can rest their head in, or do other perverted stuff, you know, with. (Feel free to switch genders if your forlorn friend happens to swing that way.)

As “A Christmas Story” proves, nothing celebrates the blessed birth of Jesus quite like the gift of firearms. But if you’re worried that someone will put an eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun, how about The Marshmallow Shooter? This plastic, pump-action device “sends fluffy marshmallows flying over 30 feet!” Imagine the fun as you set up cups of hot chocolate and try to dunk marshmallows in them from across the room (tip: a rebound shot off the wall works best). Alas, if only we could get all those fighting in the middle east to use these instead. Marshmallows not included.

Another update to a classic gift item, not to mention a personal favorite of mine, is The Sarcastic Ball, a different take on the old “Magic 8-Ball”. Instead of the boring, stock 8-Ball answers to your questions, the Sarcastic Ball will repeatedly amuse and abuse you with replies like “As If”, “Ask Me If I Care”, “Get A Clue”, “Whatever”, Who Cares?”, and “Yeah And I’m The Pope”, among others. You love it, you know you do. This is sure to keep your friends and co-workers in stitches, providing it doesn’t get you fired.

A favorite gift sure to cause merriment around the tree is the Fart Machine, and you can find more variations on this high concept than you ever knew existed here. If you have any doubts as to just how much wacky fun flatulence can be on Christmas morning, read this tale of hilarity from a fellow blogger friend about her adventures with such a machine (a top of the line model, with remote control!) that her mom gave her uncle and cousin two years ago. This is the true spirit of Christmas, folks.

While we’re on the subject, have you ever wanted to have your very own, custom-printed toilet paper? Of course! What red-blooded American wouldn’t? Send in any photo and it will be reproduced on every sheet, for only $12 a roll. Think of the possibilities … or maybe it would be better not to think about it, actually. Still, as novelty items go #2 is still #1. I especially like the “Paris Hilton” motif pictured (left). Speaking of the dear girl, another friend and fellow blogger Curly McDimple reports that she was shopping around New York’s East Village a few weeks ago at a shop that featured incense. Among the typical Patchouli, Passionflower and Sandalwood scents was this curious fragrance, which she naturally had to take a picture of:

Which begs the question: what does Paris Hilton incense smell like? I guess if you’ve ever wanted to infuse your home with the odor of ignorant, low class, stage-puking skank-ho, then by all means fire up a stick of this stuff. Personally, I’d prefer the fart machine.

Oops, kinda got off track there! Sorry. Back to the gift suggestions; these last two items are actually very cool. Did you know that you can legally purchase an acre of land on the moon? According to the Lunar Land site, “Give the top rated gift that is loved by over 250 very well known celebrities, more than 30 past and present members of NASA, 2 former US Presidents and over 2 million average everyday people from around the world. What could be more unique than giving someone an acre on the Moon? For the average person, an acre on the Moon is an excellent gift and great conversation piece.” Acreage starts at just $29.95 … although you may have a little trouble getting there to inspect your property and build that weekend getaway cabin.

Finally, I know a lot of bloggers out there are by definition writers, or at least would like to be. Everyone has The Great American Novel in them somewhere, it’s said, but few of us get to publish that book we long to author. So if you’ve dreamed of having your name on the printed page but haven’t been able to draw it out of you yet, here’s the next best thing: enjoy the adventure of starring in your own personalized romance novel! All you do is supply the basics — your first and last name, hair and eye color, name of your co-starring hero or heroine, and a few other details of personal information, and this site will crank out a 160 to 180 page novel, complete with a bodice-ripping picture of you on the cover. The “Romance By You” site offers the following plot variations: Medieval Passion, Tropical Treasure, Love’s Next Door, Pirates of Desire, Vampire Kisses, Western Rendezvous, and ER Fever are “love stories full of romance, passion and humor.” You can even get a preview of the steamy potboiler. For example, here’s a sample I generated using my name and that of a Well-Known Public Figure:

The two nurses prepared for the cardiac patient’s arrival and heard the ambulance pull up outside County General’s emergency room entrance. As Margaret and Queen Elizabeth walked in the direction of the sliding glass doors, they saw a man in a white lab coat striding toward them.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Toast,” he said, extending a hand to Margaret. She accepted it and was instantly captivated by his warm touch. His salt and pepper hair looked professionally messy, as if he had just rolled out of bed and into Margaret’s ER. She could not help but notice that his body was perfectly proportioned and undeniably sexy.

“Margaret… Margaret…” she stammered, searching her memory for her surname. She was still shaking Dr. Toast’s hand when Queen Elizabeth coughed loudly behind her, breaking her friend’s reverie. “Margaret Thatcher,” she finally blurted out. “I’m the charge nurse tonight. Nice to meet you, Dr. Toast.”

Her friend grinned at Margaret’s unusually flustered demeanor. “And I’m Queen Elizabeth, and here’s your first customer, Dr. Toast,” she said hurriedly, as a stretcher wheeled past guided by two paramedics.

“We’re ready in trauma room nine, guys,” Margaret shouted over the noise of the ER…

Later that day, they met and stood facing each other in the hallway, her blue eyes meeting his hazel-eyed gaze. Margaret opened her mouth to speak but before she could, Dr. Toast wrapped his right arm around her waist and pulled her to the left, pushing open a door that led to the janitor’s storage area. They were surrounded by brooms, cleaning supplies and garbage bags were stacked from floor to ceiling. The area was tiny and Dr. Toast held her close.

“Well, if this isn’t the ultimate cliché. A quickie in the broom closet!”

“No quickie, Doctor,” Margaret stated firmly.

“Ah. I see you want it slow and long then,” said Dr. Toast. He put both arms around her waist and pulled her into him. She pushed against his chest trying to break the embrace, but he had already begun kissing the base of her neck, and she was weakened by his touch. He covered her face with soft kisses as he slowly rotated her body so that he stood behind her. His arms were wrapped around her, his hands joined together just below her navel.

“Dr. Toast, we can’t do this.” it came out as a whisper.

“Yes we can. It’s more fun if it’s dangerous.”

Whoo! I don’t know about you, but ah do believe ah’m gettin’ the vapors! That Maggie Thatcher is one hot hoochie-mama! Check out the site to star in your very own novel; they also have children’s books (with much tamer plot lines) to make your child a hero as well.

Well, that wraps up the Toasted Gift Guide for this year, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Remember, it is better to give than to receive, especially with some of these bizarre items. Have a great holiday!

Toasted Gift Guide, Part 1

Monday, November 27th, 2006

I picked out a Christmas present for Mrs. Toast online today which shall remain nameless, as she reads this blog and I don’t want to tip my hand. But since I have now been an active participant in both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I feel not only qualified but, dare I say, compelled to offer — as a public service — a few heartfelt gift suggestions for anyone who may be having trouble figuring out exactly what to get that special someone this year. No need to thank me, just remember that this advice is worth every penny you paid for it.

Anyone living in South Florida knows of the recent problems there involving giant Burmese Pythons formerly kept as pets being released into the wild by their owners after the snakes grow too big for them to handle. These critters thrive in the sub-tropical climate, and a number of incidents have been reported involving giant reptiles dining on local yard chickens or house cats. So if you want to give someone the thrill of finding a 12-foot long killer ‘Boid in their commode during the holidays, consider this fun item. They’re sure to thank you.

Actually, the McPhee site is a gold mine of great ideas. Where else could you find, in addition to your run-of-the-mill rubber chickens, such classic gifts as the “I ♥ Meat” lapel button, Jesus Air Fresheners, as well as a complete selection of Parasite Pals®? The informationologists on your gift list will certainly appreciate the Librarian Action Figure, complete with glasses, bun hair-do, and “amazing shushing action”. Yes, for that hard-to-please person, this place has got you covered.

While the holidays are a great joy for most of us, some folks are affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and can get very depressed, perhaps even suicidal, at this time of year. So if someone you know has this problem, consider showing your support by getting them this:

They’re sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness. As an alternative, Java lovers and readers of this blog who may not be lethally despondent but only “mildly antisocial” might like this mug instead.

The Daily Calendar, along with the sausage log, has long been a staple of holiday giving; I have gotten Mrs. Toast her “365 Cats” calendar virtually every year since we’ve been married, and she now pretty much expects it. So this season, just for a change of pace, I’m considering this calendar instead. Hey, do I know how to charm a girl, or what?

For those addicted to burgers and fries, nothing says love like tomato-flavored condiments. And this year Heinz is again offering to print customized labels on an Actual Bottle of Ketchup at its Create-A-Label site. Unfortunately, some suit in the company’s legal department has evidently decreed that certain taboo words are not acceptable, so such innocuous phrases as “Don’t Touch! Bob’s Ketchup”, for example, are fine and dandy but even mildly suggestive expressions like “Blood of Dracula” (not to mention the more profanely obvious ones) bring up a stern admonishment that “the message you have entered contains language that violated Heinz’s terms and conditions. Please re-enter your message.” Personally, for six bucks a bottle, I think you should be able to get any damn thing you want printed on the label. It’s a moot point anyway; you need to have ordered by November 3rd for Christmas delivery, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

Well, that should get you started down the road to crass commercialism the joy of holiday giving. More Toasted Gift Suggestions tomorrow, not just because I care, but also because it’s a shameless way to knock off another NaBloPoMo post. Only three days to go!

Regional identity crisis

Monday, November 13th, 2006

A pine tree by any other name would be — what? Still a pine tree. And therein lies the absurdity of whatever marketing brain-trust has convinced area civic leaders and chambers of commerce of the need to “re-brand” the part of Texas I live in. For many years, our chunk of the state — roughly bounded by Houston and Beaumont to the south, Tyler to the northwest corner, and the Louisiana state line to the east (see the green shaded area of the map on the right) — has been simply known as “East Texas”, or “The Pineywoods”. But apparently that’s no longer good enough to lure tourists and new residents, so these geniuses are attempting to come up with a regional moniker that will somehow make more people want to visit and/or relocate to this area. Examples of successful regional names used by other parts of the country might include “The Texas Hill Country”, “The Rocky Mountains”, “The Golden Triangle”, “The North Country”, “The Gulf Coast”, and “Las Vegas”, just to name a few.

For years, “The Pineywoods” has seemed like an appropriate description of this area, because the main topographical feature of East Texas is trees, lots and lots of them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ll take a peaceful forest, with secluded lakes and gentle rolling countryside, over a crowded, polluted city any day. (Except, of course, when shopping and dining is involved.) But according to an editorial in the local paper:

“The emphasis on trees might lead those who have never been here to imagine that we’re nothing but a giant tangle of trees, and only one kind of tree, at that. Certainly, there’s no mistaking that we abound with trees and forests, but we’ve got much more to offer. We’re a region rich in Texas history. Our area abounds with lakes and rivers, national and state parks. Most people who have never been to East Texas have no idea that there is a part of Texas — our part — that more resembles an English countryside than it does a Hollywood version of Texas.”

But what to call it? Here are a few ideas from a recent contest soliciting suggestions (somehow I suspect that some of these may be more tongue-in-cheek than others):

  • Abitibi’s Bitch (Abitibi is a big local lumber/paper company)
  • Baja Rivercrest
  • The land north of the Gulf of Mexico, East of Interstate 45, South of the Red River, and West of the Sabine, excluding Houston and Dallas
  • BeauTylerAna (Beaumont-Tyler-Texarkana)
  • Angelachia (from a prominent area river, the Angelina)
  • Hoo-Hooville
  • Greater Rivercrest

With the possible exception of “Hoo-Hooville”, I don’t really care for any of these either. Over at The Critical Poet, a Steve Morgan writes:

“As far as I can tell there are about three things in East Texas: mobile homes, Baptist churches, and catfish restaurants. Lord, the catfish restaurants. Crazy Catfish, Ken’s Catfish, Catfish Cabin, King Catfish. None of these features of East Texas lend themselves to a catchy moniker, though I suppose the local boosters could go with Catfish Country — requiring everyone to overlook the the fact that a catfish is a hideous looking, bottom dwelling scavenger.”

Hey, there we go: “Land Of The Hideous-Looking Bottom-Dwelling Scavengers”. Perfect.

Fake News

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Rumsfeld Lets Door Hit Him In The Ass On His Way Out

Washington, D.C. – The Bush Administration’s hallmark lack of exit strategy has claimed yet another victim, this time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld himself.

Sources inside the Pentagon confirm Rumsfeld had paused to bestow one last condescending smirk as he exited the building yesterday afternoon. Witnesses say a gigantic reinforced steel door swung closed onto his buttocks, knocking him several feet into the air. He walked with a noticeable limp following the incident, and subsequent medical tests at Bethesda Naval Hospital revealed an injured coccygeal attachment.

The Secretary is said to be recuperating at home, and has received numerous cards and emails encouraging him to “break a leg,” “choke on it,” “drop dead,” and “take a flying leap on a rolling donut you smug incompetent worthless piece of crap.”

When asked for comment, President George Bush said only that he felt the former Defense Secretary had done “a heckuva job.”

Source: The Specious Report

Election results

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

No, not those elections.

Oh sure, yesterday was historic, all right — a day described by NBC’s Tim Russert as “seismic” — in which a wave of voter discontent and backlash against Republican greed and cronysim led to Democratic victories which ended twelve years of GOP domination, and made California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi the new Speaker of the house. It was nothing less than a stunning rebuke of Bush, Rove and Co., a mandate against this administration’s bungling of the Iraq conflict, and a swing of the political pendulum back to reality. Among other landmark decisions, voters in South Dakota rejected a proposed extreme ban on all abortions, which carried no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the woman. Florida voters ended the political career of Katherine Harris, the harpy ex-secretary of state whose dubious maneuvering of the Florida recount won the 2000 presidential election for George Bush.

It’s true that this morning the dawn broke on a Blue Day in America, bringing a breath of fresh air and hope for a return to political sanity.

But fuggedahbouddit! I’m talking about important stuff here: voters rejected Mr. Toast’s beard!

Yes, in a stunning rebuke of facial hair, readers of this blog cast their vote, deciding by a landslide margin of 9 to 4 that the goatee I sported earlier this summer was “not an attractive look for you”. There was some bipartisan support for “cool, dapper, and bohemian”, but overall the bearded Toast went down in crushing defeat. Therefore, I shall bow to the will of the public and never again allow 5 o’clock shadow to darken my chin.

In other blog election news, with nearly all of the precincts reporting, a similar poll of blog readers revealed that none of them own a pet python named Monty, and a full one-third of all respondents think that “Mr. Toast is an idiot”.

The people have spoken. Democracy is safe.

Bad Toast

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I’ve actually had a couple of people call or write in the last few days to inquire if all is well with me. As in, “Uh, we noticed that you hadn’t posted to your blog in over a freaking week and we were wondering if you were, like, still alive?” I do thank you for your concern, even if it forces me to publicly admit that I have been one lazy-ass you-know-what. Yeah, I’m lazy all right. How lazy am I? I’m so lazy I think we’re a two-income family because Mrs. Toast has two jobs. I’m so lazy I hired a handyman to empty the recycle bin on my computer. I’m so lazy I actually have a remote control for my remote control. Bada BING. Thank you, thankyouverymuch.

But seriously folks, there’s been some righteously blogworthy stuff in the news lately, and I apologize for not being on it like a pit bull on a pork chop. Let’s see … there’s the continued glorious self-destruction of the Republican party, mutant human-rabbit hybrids, 14-year old girls being interrogated by the Secret Service for Bush-bashing on their MySpace pages, just to name a few hot items … but darn it, I’ve just been too busy carrying on those seedy IM chats with my good buddy, Fla. Rep. Mark Foley … er excuse me, Maf54.

Speaking of, I loved this quip from Jay Leno the other night: “ABC is reporting that Mark Foley interrupted a vote on the House floor, stopped the House floor vote, so he could have online phone sex with a 16-year-old. Say what you want about Bill Clinton — he could sit at his desk and have sex and work at the same time.”

This would be even funnier if it wasn’t true.

But I swear I will get up off my lazy ass and back into the swing of semi-regular blogging soon, honest. In the meantime, however, I would like to leave you with this thought: wouldn’t you say that I bear a rather striking and uncanny resemblance to Bill Gates? (Note: mustache added for emphasis.)(Note to Note: his, not mine.)


I think I can use this to my advantage: all I have to do is stop by the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA, walk through Bill’s office, and raid the petty cash jar on the way out. That ought to be good for a couple of million bucks.