Welcome! (I guess...)

For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - Person of 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

End of 2007 Rankings December 18, 2007

2. Kevin Federline - This should come as a huge shock to regular readers of the Spears-Federline Rankings. Federline has had an unbelievable year. He has gone from lame former backup dancer for a lame disbanded boy band to a lame former backup dancer for a lame disbanded boy band, but one who totally worked Britney Spears over in the custody battle for the former couple's children. It has been such an outstanding year that one publication has even named Federline the co-father of the year. Now granted, the Committee had never actually heard of this publication, and Federline shared the award with Larry Birkhead, so it is questionable whether this award is truly noteworthy. However, it is certainly better than any award that Spears has received. And did the Committee mention that Federline is set to guest star on the television program One Tree Hill in January? This is some outstanding work out of Federline, and it certainly should garner him the Spears-Federline Person of the Year award, but...

1. Britney Spears (1) - Britney Spears heads the year-end Spears-Federline Rankings. In what is certainly an upset, Spears impressed the Committee enough to somehow nudge past Federline at the finish line. What impressed the Committee enough to help her surge past Federline? Was it the bizarre decision to shave her head earlier this year? Was it that she still wanted to continue her marriage with a certain lame former backup dancer? Was it that she developed into a veritable alcoholic? Was it that she started to run people down on the streets at a rate that normally would be expected of someone four times her age? Was it that truly outstanding performance she put forward at the MTV Video Music Awards? No, none of these things helped, and thus Spears was miles behind Federline for this title. Nothing short of ending the Hollywood writers' strike could have saved Spears because the Committee has truly missed the Committee's favorite television shows. But then the Committee pondered this; if Britney Spears did end the writers' strike, that would increase the chances of Federline appearing in more episodes of One Tree Hill. Though no member of the Committee actually watches this program, the Committee does realize that more Federline television appearances is something that no one wants. So by not ending the Hollywood writers' strike, and sparing us from more Federline, Britney Spears wins the Spears-Federline Person of the Year.

2008 is a new year; who will get off to a fast start?

Red Light Camera Signs

A somewhat recent phenomenon in Houston, Texas is the use of red light cameras at certain intersections. Now, I have no complaint about the use of these cameras. I actually have a good laugh each time I see one of the cameras flash when some idiot runs a red light. However, what I cannot really understand is why they actually put up signs warning people where the red light cameras are located.

Isn't the point of the red light cameras to catch people breaking the law, catch people running red lights? Or is the point of the cameras to truly just stop people from running the lights out of fear of receiving a ticket? If the former is true, why alert people to where it is safe and unsafe to break the law? Really, is having these red light camera signs really that different than if banks had signs outside saying "Armed Undercover Police on Patrol Inside"? The bank robber, if believing this sign to be true, would just move on to a bank that does not have one of these signs. However, if the manager of a bank realizes that robbers are less likely to rob a bank if such a sign is present, why wouldn't the manager just put up such a sign irrespective of whether undercover police actually patrolled the bank? This question goes to addressing the second possible reason for the red light cameras that I mentioned above. If you just wanted to stop people from running red lights out of fear, why not just put up the signs everywhere irrespective of whether cameras are located there are not? Is it that the belief is that people will figure out which of the intersections really have cameras and will stop where the real cameras are and continue to run lights where cameras do not really exist? If this was the thought process behind putting up the signs, then congratulations, this seems to make sense...sort of. But this begs the following question: why do we have red light cameras?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Misadventures of the Fun Police: Naples, Italy

You've had it happen to you before; you take a little boy's ice cream cone and run around laughing because you know he can't catch you until some adult comes out and scolds you, telling you to give the boy back his ice cream, or you're having a perfectly good time swatting butterflies with your suit jacket on the roof of the church until your mom scolds you and tells you to come down off of the roof. These are both perfect examples of the Fun Police getting in the way of good natured fun. Allow me to give you a recent example of the Fun Police striking again...

It seems that there are some good people from the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. who have taken/may take it upon themselves not to embarrass some other people more than they already have been embarrassed at this point. Apparently, a court in Naples, Italy has brought a case against a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting products of Disney and Warner Bros. And included among the star witnesses for the prosecution are Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Tweety Bird. This is the sort of thing that no one can actually make up. This incident provided the opportunity for both Disney and Warner Bros. to endear themselves to an older audience. Nothing would have pleased me more than to read about, or see, people portraying these characters actually testify in this Italian court. Because these companies have either decided not to further embarrass the court (Disney) or most likely will choose not to further embarrass the court (Warner), they earn recognition as being members of the Fun Police.

Oh Fun Police, why do you injure us so? Why do you not send Tweety Bird in to testify? Let me provide some insight as to how this might play out. My Italian is a little rusty, so I'm going to just translate it all into English.

Attorney: Mr. Bird, would you please state your name for the record?
Tweety Bird: I'm a tweet wittow biwd in a diwded cage; Tweety'th my name but I don't know my age.
A: We really don't care how old you are.
Court Reporter: I'm sorry to interrupt, but did you say that your name is Tweeteeth?
TB: No, Tweety'th my name but I...
CR: ...don't know your age. Yeah, I got that part, but I don't care. But you did say your name is Tweeteeth, correct?
CR: Oh, Tweety! I have it now, you can continue on. Sorry for interrupting.
A: Thank you Mr. Bird. Mr. Bird can you explain to the court what you were doing when you encountered the defendant on the night in question?
TB: I tas in my diwded cage when tuddenwy I tawt I taw a puddy tat!
A: I'm sorry, what?
TB: I did, I did, I taw a puddy tat!

You get the picture. This could have gone on and on forever. And then if you throw in a character like Donald Duck for whom it is possibly even more difficult to decipher what he is saying, and you get a fun time had by everybody. Oh those accursed Fun Police at Disney and Warner Bros...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dumb People?!? In Hollywood?!?!?

It seems that the good people at the New York Daily News have taken it upon themselves to do the job that only I should be paid to do. And what might that be? Well, it seems that the paper has named its list of the Top 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood. Naturally, I have a few issues with this article. My first complaint with it is the wording of the list, the Top 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood. What is the necessity of beginning the title of the list with the word top? Wouldn't just saying the 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood have adequately conveyed the meaning of the list? It's kind of the reason why you add the suffix -est to the word dumb in the first place. Or were they assuming that if people just saw the name 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood their readers would have wondered whether they meant the Middle 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood?

Okay, that aside, I won't necessarily bicker about the fact that in truth there are probably countless dumber people in Hollywood than some of the people mentioned on this list who just aren't famous. I get it; the point is actually to name the 50 dumbest celebrities in Hollywood. With that said, how does this Spencer Pratt character come in at number 3? I had never even heard of this guy before reading this article. Shouldn't you have to have at least a certain minimum level of celebrity to be considered for this list beyond I appear on a crappy MTV pseudo-reality show? Shouldn't you have to be known by more than the high school girls demographic to make it on this list? I don't want to take anything away from Mr. Pratt; he may very well be the third dumbest person in Hollywood. However, I would hardly call him the third dumbest celebrity in Hollywood since I still really don't have any idea who he is. And keeping with this general line of thinking, how do we come up Jeff Kwatinetz as the fourth dumbest person in Hollywood. Oh, I see, it's because he gave the green light for the Britney Spears performance at the MTV Video Music Awards... I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with this selection. First of all just because Kwatinetz gave the green light for this performance, that doesn't make him a celebrity, and second, in hindsight, this was a brilliant thing for him to have done. If you are like me and you believe that Britney Spears is an overrated never-was, what could possibly be better from an entertainment perspective than that performance she had at the VMAs? Strike number four from the list; the guy is a genius.

But then of course I can't discuss numbers 13, 14, 38, and 39 except in a grouping. Here we have J. R. Rotem, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, and Shar Jackson, respectively. My first question is why is there such a huge gap between Spears and Federline? Is it because the people who compiled the list think that Federline is that much less dumb than Spears, or it purely because Federline is completely owning Spears in this custody battle? Also, I'm not quite sure I understand the logic used in the ordering. If J. R. Rotem is penalized for being the possible baby daddy of Spears by being placed a notch lower than Britney, than how come Shar Jackson is not penalized for being the possible baby mama of Federline (note: in this case I'm not actually talking about the two kids that the two are confirmed to have, but rather I'm referencing the rumor that sprung up during the summer that she was pregnant again with his baby) by being placed one notch below the K-Fed? Let's be clear, it seems very unlikely that she would be placed on this list simply because she happened to have slept with Federline a few years ago. If the reason she is on this list is because of a recent dalliance, then why isn't she listed higher on the list than Federline because of such a frightful indiscretion?

Like I kind of intimated at the beginning, it seems that the only person who could correctly compile such a list would be me. However, I have to give them credit because they get certain things right about this list. First of all, I have no argument with Lindsay Lohan being at the top of the list. Though I have not seen/do not plan to see/have no idea what it is about/have no idea when the movie was released/is supposed to be released, there is no chance that I will ever see it, and I can pretty much guarantee you that the movie sucks/will suck. Also some of her non-work related activities go to the point where it is way too kind to describe them as foolish. Hence, Lohan seems to be the perfect candidate for number one. Also, it might come as a surprise to some that I fully support Paris Hilton's absence from this list. Why is that, you might ask? Well it's simple; she's not in Hollywood, she's cryonically frozen in Michigan right now...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - November 27, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for November 27, 2007

1. Kevin Federline (1) - Kevin Federline again tops the rankings and, according to the Committee, he is making quite the charge at being named Spears-Federline Person of the Year. What has Federline been doing to so impress the Committee? Or is it what has Federline not been doing that has not irritated the Committee? In this case, Federline has been very impressive. It seems that the magazine titled Details has name Federline one of the "50 Most Influential Men under 45." Now, no one on the Committee had ever heard of Details before this story came to light, but how can the Committee argue with such a labeling of Federline? Surely there cannot be fifty more influential men under the age of forty-five than Kevin Federline. Oh, wait. Apparently Federline is ranked seventh on the list alongside Larry Birkhead, the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby (note: Larry Birkhead's performance will place him at the top of the forthcoming Birkhead Rankings). Surely there cannot be seven more influential men under the age of forty-five than Kevin Federline. Though the Committee knew it would be a futile exercise (because Details has already told the world that there are only six), it decided to try to come up with seven. Let's see, Will Ferrell is only forty, and Lebron James turns twenty-three at the end of this year. That's two. I see that Diddy (or Puff Daddy or P. Diddy) just turned thirty-eight, and Mario Lopez is thirty-four. We're up to four already. David Beckham is only thirty-two and he still has some influence. So that's five. Let's see, only one more under 45... Oh! How about Ryan Seacrest! He turns thirty-three in about a month. Well there you have it. Just as Details says the Committee could only find six men under forty-five who are more influential than Federline. Way to go Kevin!

2. Britney Spears - At the other end of the spectrum, we have Britney Spears. As much as the Committee desperately wanted to move Spears back to the number one spot in the Spears-Federline Rankings (and in so doing mirror Spears's recent climb to number one in the Winehouse-Fielder-Civil Rankings), when Dr. Drew made the unequivocal statement that Britney is an addict, the Committee found itself overruled. While Kevin Federline is essentially being named co-father of the year by Details for allowing two of his four children to watch cartoons and trying his best to limit the time those two children spend with their drug addict mother, Britney Spears is the drug addict mother of two of Kevin Federline's children. The Committee didn't say it; Dr. Drew did. Let's recap: 1) Kevin Federline IS the father of the year and 2) Britney Spears is a drug addict.

Where is Barry Bonds on the Details list?

Note: Crap, the Committee was wrong. Ryan Seacrest is only number twenty on the list. And Barry Bonds comes in at number thirty-three...

The Fabio Conundrum

Fabio is one of the biggest mysteries in the world to me. I understand how he gained fame many years ago with the whole male model thing, but his continued fame mystifies me. Here is a man who is most noteworthy for appearing on the covers of countless romance novels during the 1980s and 1990s. Outside of this, what has he really done to garner so much of a fan following? Okay, I can understand the appeal that he had during the '80s and '90s when he still appeared on the cover of the novels, but I just don't understand it now. Truly, how does one explain a photo like the one seen in this article?

I'll get to the substance of the article momentarily, but I wish to discuss the picture itself first. In the photo Fabio stands with Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere, both of the show Heroes (and one of my favorite shows, by the way). And surprisingly to me, neither actress seems too creeped out that Fabio has a hand and arm on her. (Panettiere seems positively delighted in fact.) Call me crazy, but I would imagine that I would be a little creeped out if I was a girl and some dude who is known for appearing on the cover of romance novels and is old enough to be my father grasped me. Yes, I know it was just for a photo, but still... (Hayden, please, relax there for a moment...) At this point I would guess that Bell and Panettiere are each considerably more bankable stars than Fabio. I cannot imagine that either of them has read any of the novels, the covers on which Fabio has appeared. And I really cannot imagine that one of these actresses (okay, again, looking at the look of pure joy on Panettiere's face maybe I can imagine this out of her) would go up to Fabio and say, "I simply loved you in that I Can't Believe It's Not Butter commercial." This is what I call the Fabio Conundrum.

I think the argument can be made that Fabio has become a living parody of himself, if such a thing is possible. Consider for a moment this Nationwide commercial. Now I definitely laughed at the commercial the first time I saw it, and I still get a bit of a chuckle out of it, but am I laughing because the commercial is really that funny, or am I laughing because Fabio seems to be a veritable joke? I contend that I find the commercial funny because Fabio is such a joke. The only reason that this commercial is remotely funny is because of the romance novel cover model persona that has been created of Fabio. Fabio is making fun of this image of himself, and in so doing, has become a living parody of himself. I defy you to find an occasion in which you see Fabio and you derive entertainment out of him other than because he is a joke, a parody of himself.

But let us finally come back to the substance of the article. Let us believe for the moment that everything transpired just as the article claims Fabio says it did. First, try to imagine Fabio telling George Clooney, or anyone for that matter, "stop being a diva." I mean, mentally picture this happening. If you are like me, you are already laughing hysterically. In your mental picture, does he use just one hand or does he use both hands to clear the hair from his face as he is saying this? And does he have five or does he have just four of the buttons of his shirt unbuttoned? And if you are George Clooney and you are drunk or otherwise, and Fabio tells you to stop being a diva, how do you possibly react? Do you get scared and run out of the restaurant? Somehow I really don't see things playing out exactly like Fabio described. I can see Clooney laughing uncontrollably and stumbling out of the restaurant, but running scared?

Let's not forget that in the second season of the show Average Joe, the winner dumped a fairly hot girl because she revealed to him that she had once dated Fabio. This is the winner of some stupid reality show who is refusing to date a hot girl for no other reason than she once dated Fabio! If this does not put Fabio in perspective, I don't know what does... And that girl that was dumped because she dated Fabio, Larissa Meek, is only two years older than Kristen Bell. Kristen, maybe you should be a little creeped out...you too, Hayden.

The Fabio Conundrum...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pepper Spray

I was depressed for much of this weekend. True, it was great to have a few days off from work, but days off from work always end with the dreadful prospect of returning to work. And so I dolefully came into the office this morning, and as fate would have it, I made a wonderful discovery. Do you know how at times you wonder whether certain competitions have begun to lose their pizzazz? For example, let's consider the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. During the 1990s this was a great rivalry because the teams truly hated each other. You knew that during a game between the two there was a very good chance that you would see someone get punched or see the coach of one of the teams hanging on for dear life to the legs of one of the opposing players to try to prevent someone from getting punched. And now it's at a point where no one really cares about these teams. You get the picture. And so it was that I believed the state of beauty pageants to be until I read this.

That beauty pageant contestants hate one another is no surprise. All of that nonsense where the losers are hugging the winner and saying congratulations and the like is a total farce. The first runner-up is not happy for the winner. The second runner-up is not happy for the first runner-up. Each contestant despises the person who finished one position ahead of herself because she knows that that is one more person who will need to not be able to perform the duties required of the title in order for her to ascend to the throne. However, I would not have dreamed that the hatred reached women's figure skating levels. Let's be clear, the only time you would go out of your way to sabotage someone else's chances are if you don't really believe you have a chance to win (e.g., when Tonya Harding and her group of thugs attacked Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships). But putting pepper spray in an opponent's gown? Spiking the opponent's makeup? And despite all of this, Ingrid Marie Rivera still won.

I'm not saying that I am once again on board as a beauty pageant fan. (I still don't think that I'm quite over that incident back in '98 when Miss Massachusetts was clearly robbed at the Miss America Pageant. Perhaps I never will...) But these are the sorts of things that could reinvigorate interest in beauty pageants. Where are we headed next in these beauty pageant battles? Will we see the camp for one contestant spiking another contestant's drink or something so that she stays on the tanning bed much longer than desired? I don't know, but buckle up; the beauty pageant thrill ride is back on the expressway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Winehouse-Fielder-Civil Rankings - November 20, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for November 20, 2007

1. Britney Spears (1) - The Committee can be counted among those few people who know very little about Winehouse and Fielder-Civil. And since the Committee was tasked with coming up with something to say in these rankings, the Committee decided to go with someone it knows for the top spot: Britney Spears. Now sure, Spears has not had the greatest performance over the last couple of weeks. She has been ordered to refrain from driving with her children in the car with her. However, she can say triumphantly that her new album, Blackout, opened at number two on the Billboard 200 charts. Way to go Britney! Oh, and she can also say that she is not Amy Winehouse. The Committee never thought it would see the day when Spears could say without any sense of irony and without being accused of hypocrisy that someone else is a total lunatic. Sure, Spears's performance at this year's MTV Awards left much to be desired, but at least she is not Amy Winehouse.

2. Amy Winehouse - Wow... Wow... The Committee was truly unaware of Winehouse's existence until maybe two months ago. Why, you might ask? Well it is because the Committee has worked so tirelessly over the months compiling the Spears-Federline Rankings that it has had little time to do anything else. The Committee just assumed that Britney Spears was the standard by which veritable insanity should be judged, and the Committee, for once, was completely mistaken. The Committee hesitates to use any adjectives to directly describe Winehouse because the Committee realizes that if it does so, it can never again ascribe these adjectives to any other person. How does one describe a person who is drug addicted, bulimic, prone to self-harm, and puts on performances such as the one described here? If you don't want to read through the entire article, just read this quote from Winehouse when people started booing her:

"Let me tell you something. First of all, if you're booing, you're a mug for buying a ticket.
"Second, to all those booing, just wait till my husband gets out of incarceration -- and I mean that."

Wow... "...just wait till my husband gets out of incarceration -- and I mean that..." One can only imagine what Winehouse means by this. But trust me, whatever one does imagine it will assuredly not be what Amy Winehouse had in mind. Amy Winehouse is...Amy Winehouse.

When will Blake Fielder-Civil get out of incarceration?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brady to Moss...Touchdown!

Let me just say this for the record, I absolutely love what the New England Patriots are doing. Although years ago I never would have rooted for the Patriots as I was continually irritated at having to hear about them during my college days, conditions have changed. I no longer live in Massachusetts and fantasy football has almost completely stripped my sense of loyalty. But even more so than those reasons I have already given, I am ecstatic about this New England Patriots' football season because of one man: Randy Moss.

Okay, so in the interest of full disclosure, Randy Moss is on one of my fantasy football teams this year. He is having a big season with sixteen touchdown receptions through ten games. But even if he were not on my team I would still relish the fact that he is enjoying success because it surely pisses off so many other people out there. And who are these people who are certainly annoyed by Moss's success? Well, I would imagine the people who whined incessantly when Moss said, "I play when I want to play," would have to be upset. Also, I would imagine that Joe Buck, who threw a little crybaby hissy fit when Moss fake mooned some Green Bay fans in the playoffs a few years ago, can't be very pleased.

Randy Moss and fantasy football aside, though, what the Patriots are doing is so great because it breeds another form of whining: the whine that the Patriots are running up the score. Let's make things clear; I do believe the Patriots are running up the score. But do you know what? I don't care. I'll tell you when I would care about whether the Patriots were running up the score. I would care if the Patriots were in a league with a bunch of sixth graders and there was a chance that either one of sixth graders would start to cry or an idiot parent of a sixth grader would do something stupid on the field because the Patriots were running up the score. But I'll tell you when I won't care; I won't care when the Patriots are running up the score against grown men being paid millions of dollars to stop them in the highest league of professional football in the world. You're playing against the Patriots and you don't like that Tom Brady is still throwing touchdown passes with the Patriots up 42-7? Well then, I'll give you three options. Try harder playing defense and prevent them from scoring, execute better on offense so that you keep the ball out of Tom Brady's hands, or surrender the rest of your paycheck for the year and buy a ticket to the game where you can boo and complain to your heart's content.

The best thing about this situation is that the Patriots' coach, Bill Belichick, seems more than willing to run up the score despite all of the crying coming from a lot of other people around the league. The Patriots have scored 411 points through the first ten games of the season. Here's hoping they score precisely 255 points over the last six games of the regular season. Ah, 666 points: never would a number be more symbolic.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Return to the Twenty-First Century

On October 26, 2007, two events took place that would change the course of history as we know it. Paris Hilton went forward with her decision to be cryonically preserved so that she could wake up near the middle of the twenty-second century. While simultaneously, thousands of miles away, Superman donned his red briefs over his blue tights and began to fly swiftly around the Earth, into the future, to discover whether some little girl who was rescued from a bear attack would grow into a ridiculously hot chick in fifteen years. But things went terribly wrong...

Both Paris Hilton and Superman find that they have arrived much farther into the future than they originally planned to travel. They find that they have travelled all the way to the year 2627. Hilton discovers that while her mind has not aged, her body has - by 620 years. And Superman discovers that he has arrived in a time and place where the laws of physics cannot be violated. The two join forces in their quest to return to the twenty-first century...

Chapter I - Arrival in 2627

Clinton Township, Michigan - A lab technician momentarily nods off while monitoring the patients in suspended animation. In those brief minutes, the liquid nitrogen level preserving one of the inhabitants drops to a dangerously low level. While there are alarms in place to alert the workers of such a condition, things go terribly awry. Inside the containment unit, Resident #61181991 slowly begins to move her eyelids...

Houston, Texas - High above the heads of those going about their business in Houston, an object streaking through the sky begins to slow down. Houston, the home of the US space program, is used to seeing objects flying through the air, but this one is a little different. This flying object is blue, and if you are able to move your head especially fast, you might see a bit of a red speckle...

Clinton Township, Michigan - Waking up can be a disorienting experience on any occasion, and waking from a coma, needless to say, is significantly more intense. But comas rarely last more than five weeks. Just think of waking from a coma that lasts just a bit longer, a coma that lasts 620 years. That's what it was like when Paris Hilton stepped out her suspension chamber, and it was not long before she stumbled past a chamber where another resident slept and caught a glimpse of her reflection. She let out a horrified scream...

Houston, Texas - Slowing ever more, and finally coming to a halt while descending to the ground level, it becomes clear that there is something strangely familiar about this red and blue "object." Or at least if this was when this traveler had intended to touch down, there would have been several who would have recognized him. But the man named Kal-El at birth had erred slightly in his time travel. He would soon realize that he has traveled 605 years further in the future than his intention. When the first people saw him land wearing red briefs over blue tights, there was nothing they could do but laugh hysterically...

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Miley Cyrus Fan Club v. Miley Cyrus Fan Club

Okay, this is getting out of hand. This is the second time in two weeks that I'm discussing this Hannah Montana phenomenon, and thus I am introducing its own label. (Congratulations, Hannah Montana! You've finally made it!) Apparently, there is a class action lawsuit in the works that is seeking damages from the Miley Cyrus Fan Club. For those who are unaware, Miley Cyrus is the actress who plays the Hannah Montana character and is also the daughter of one of the more unfortunate musical acts the 1990s produced, Billy Ray Cyrus. (He used to wear a mullet!) Now ordinarily, I am all for big class action lawsuits that punish big business crooks who have profited by sticking it to the consumer. But this situation is a bit more complicated, and so I must provide some context to explain my decision as to which side to join.

On the one hand, you have the poor complainants. I sympathize with them because though I am in no way, shape, or form a fan of Miley Cyrus or her alter ego, I, too, have been screwed over by big business in the past. Though I cannot come up with a single instance of this happening, I know for a fact that it has because I have dealt with big business in the past and this is what big business does: screw people over. That's a point to the complainants.

Conversely, in reading through the article, it seems to me that the maximum any of these people lost was the $29.95 yearly price for joining this club. There was never, ever, ever any guarantee that by joining this club members would definitely receive tickets to performances. (At least the lawsuit does not claim this as a guarantee.) If this condition were guaranteed, trust me, membership would have cost considerably more than $29.95 a year. And who is to say that those people who did win the "Hannah Montana Ticket Lottery" but then went on to scalp the tickets for much higher prices were not members. If these people were members, and did end up getting tickets through the membership, then the fan club could potentially justify the claim that members do have an easier chance to win tickets.

Compelling arguments on both sides, I know, and you must certainly be wondering on which side I will come down. Let me state here and now that I join the Miley Cyrus Fan Club. By doing so, and by paying the small fee of $29.95 a year, it seems clear that I will have a greater chance of getting Hannah Montana tickets than if I were not a member. Now of course I have no real interest in seeing this show, and so if I do not win this year, oh well, that's $29.95 down the drain. But if I do win, I hear that there is big money in scalping Hannah Montana tickets.

See how this works?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

It's a New World Record!

Okay, now for some more news that everyone cares about! Did you know that there was a world record broken yesterday? It's true! Just read for yourself. I'm quite certain that you join me in congratulating Jackie "Texas Snake Man" Bibby in breaking the world record of sitting in a bathtub with the most rattlesnakes for forty-five minutes. Or at least I think that this is which sitting in a bathtub with rattlesnakes record that the Texas Snake Man broke. (It's been awhile since I consulted my Guinness Book of World Records to see what are the different categories of records for sitting in a bathtub with rattlesnakes.)

The great thing about this world record is that the Texas Snake Man just didn't break the record, he destroyed it. By using eighty-seven snakes in this most recent attempt, he beat his own previous world record by twelve snakes. Twelve snakes people! That's ten more snakes than the requisite for the movie Snakes on a Plane! I mean Asafa Powell of Jamaica broke his own world record in the 100 meter dash this year by a measly .03 seconds and people went crazy. However, Jackie "Texas Snake Man" Bibby breaks his world record by twelve snakes, I repeat, by twelve snakes and there is barely a mention of the feat.

But what's next for the Texas Snake Man? I'm glad you asked. Unfortunately, I don't have quite as much time or effort to spare as evidently the good people at the Guinness Book of World Records do, and thus I will not be able to make it out to Dublin, Texas to conduct an in-depth interview with the newest world record breaker. However, I can tell you some of the questions I would ask....

What's next for you? Will you go for, and I can't believe I'm possibly saying this, but will you go for 103 rattlesnakes on your next attempt? Your bathtub didn't seem to be completely full the last time; do you think that you could have had eighty-eight rattlesnakes placed in the tub? How about eighty-nine? Do you think that you would have been able to make it to fifty-one minutes, or would fatigue have set in? Or do you already hold the world record for sitting in a bathtub with eighty-seven rattlesnakes for fifty-one minutes? How would the dynamics of your record attempt have changed if you did it on board a plane that was in flight with Samuel L. Jackson present? Without Samuel L. Jackson present?

You see, these are great questions! If only I had time to get out to Dublin, Texas...

Childhood Obesity Solved

I came across this story yesterday and I'm stunned that I finally have found something that I agree with 100%. The following quote is the first paragraph from the article:
Here's another reason to get the kids to bed early: More sleep may lower their risk of becoming obese. Researchers have found that every additional hour per night a third-grader spends sleeping reduces the child's chances of being obese in sixth grade by 40 percent.

Okay, that first paragraph said it all to me and thus I did not have to read any more. It all makes perfect sense to me now. I have noticed that I have seen many more fat kids these days, certainly more than I can remember seeing as I was growing up. So inspired am I at having seen so many fat kids in recent years that I have written a song that I am debuting here for the first time ever. It is to the tune of Old McDonald Had a Farm. I hope you like it!

Houston, Texas has some schools, E I E I O
And at these schools it has some kids, E I E I O
With a fat kid here and a fat kid there,
Here's a kid, yes, he's fat, everywhere a fat kid!
Houston, Texas has some kids, E I E I O!

(You get the picture. If you wish to sing along for a few more verses, just substitute your town and state for Houston and Texas. Be creative!)

And of course the only possible reason that these kids are so fat is that they are not getting enough sleep. And so this clearly, logically says to me that every hour that a kid is not in bed, he is gorging himself like there is no tomorrow. I mean this obviously explains why my parents continuously had shackles on the refrigerator doors every night as we grew up. They knew that if were not sleeping, there was only one possible thing that we could be doing: heading toward the fridge to get fat. Well, I know I never say this enough, but thanks mom and dad!

And all of you teachers in schools, this means that you have two simple directives to undertake: more nap time and less book learning. We cannot possibly allow the children to continue to get fat at this alarming rate, so don't wake them up if they start to doze off in class. More sleeping and less doing of other stuff will solve our child obesity problem.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - November 5, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for November 5, 2007

1. Kevin Federline (1) - The Committee finally decided that Kevin Federline deserved a return to the number one spot in the Spears-Federline rankings and is currently of the belief that maybe Federline never should have dropped in the rankings. The simple reason for this is that the Committee members, just like any other sensible people, do not enjoy working and thus are being kept way too busy having to keep up with all of the screw-ups in which Spears is continually involved. Perhaps it is not a lesson that should be taught to impressionable youths, but in this case, Federline must be rewarded for doing nothing.

2. Britney Spears - The Committee did not penalize Spears in the first incident when she ran over someone's foot with her car. On the contrary, the Committee actually rewarded Spears for having left a tire mark on a paparazzo's sock. The Committee believes that it must suck a lot to have idiots follow you around with nothing better to do than to take your picture. But running over a cop's feet? Come on Britney! The cops did not even arrest you when they booked you a few weeks back, and this is how you show your thanks?!? Moreover, given that Spears lost all physical custody of the kids due to violating an order from the judge that neither of the two parents, Spears or Federline, should transport the children unless in possession of a valid California driver's license, one would have thought that after running over the cop's feet that she would have at least been stopped to see if she did have the license. But what really caused the need for the Committee to convene and create new rankings were the dangerous rumors that Spears was getting cozy with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. This would be absolutely unacceptable since one of the Committee members has Tony Romo on one of his fantasy football teams and does not need Britney Spears train-wrecking Tony Romo's season and in the course of doing so, train-wrecking the Committee member's fantasy football team's season. (Yes, that was a mouthful.) To his credit, Romo denies rumor of any relationship, and his performance last night in destroying the Philadelphia Eagles suggests that there is nothing to this gossip. Britney, here's a suggestion; if you want to earn good favor with the Committee, then stay away from Tony Romo, Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, and Clinton Portis.

What's that Britney? Is Tom Brady available?

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Misadventures of the Fun Police: South Carolina

You've had it happen to you before, you take a little boy's ice cream cone and run around laughing because you know he can't catch you until some adult comes out and scolds you, telling you to give the boy back his ice cream, or you're having a perfectly good time swatting butterflies with your suit jacket on the roof of the church until your mom scolds you and tells you to come down off of the roof. These are both perfect examples of the Fun Police getting in the way of good natured fun. Allow me to give you a recent example of the Fun Police striking again...

It seems the Fun Police are at it again. This time the Fun Police take the form of the South Carolina Democrats executive council. It seems that yesterday, or perhaps two days ago, the executive council voted to keep Stephen Colbert's name off of the ballot in the upcoming South Carolina Democratic Primary. Now I don't want to accuse the entire South Carolina Democrats executive council of being members of the Fun Police, just the thirteen of the sixteen that voted to keep Colbert off of the ballot. Oh, so he's trying to treat South Carolina Democrats like suckers and he detracts from the serious candidates on the ballot, they claim. Oh will the Fun Police never learn? Your tactics are transparent. You just fear that Colbert may actually get more votes than say, rock man or UFO boy. Oh Fun Police of the South Carolina Democrats executive council, you must ask yourselves this question: do you choose to keep Stephen Colbert off of the ballot because you believe that South Carolina Democrats are suckers? Please Fun Police, you can at least take solace in the fact that evidently Colbert would be trying to treat South Carolina Republicans as suckers too. Well, at least the Republicans are charging him more to make their party members look like suckers...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh the Humanity

So I came across this story, and needless to say, I'm outraged. All people should be as outraged as I am because what has this world come to when parents cannot take their children to Hannah Montana concerts without paying exorbitant prices? But before going any further in this discussion, there is something very troubling that I noticed that is largely unrelated to the subject of the article. In the current form of the article, in creating the plural of the term attorney general, the author chose to write attorney generals. This is absolutely inexcusable since the noun in the term is attorney and thus the plural is properly formed as attorneys general. Okay, there, I'm done whining about grammatical errors (and by the way, errors like the one discussed really irk me to no end) and can get back to the real point of the discussion...

This situation is quite comical to me because I did touch on this subject to a degree many months ago. Parents, I'm speaking to you directly here again. I know that you love your kids and you want to see them happy, but you have to protect your own interests at the same time. You know that most children's programming like Hannah Montana is atrocious and you can imagine that you would rather be doing just about anything other than sitting and watching the show with your child(ren). However, you realize that it's good to spend quality time with your kids and you keep your mouth shut while reluctantly sitting and watching. Right? Wrong! At least going forward you should not do this. Just follow my plan.

Purchase the DVDs of programming that you enjoyed as a kid, but making certain it is actually "children's programming" and not the adult videos that you took out of your parents' room each time they left you with the babysitter. As an example, I already have The Transformers and Batman: the Animated Series on DVD and these would be perfect candidates. Tell your kids that you have great new shows that your kids simply have to watch and produce the DVDs. When your kids complain, as they inevitably will, that they want to watch Hannah Montana, you have but one recourse, and this is very important: lie to them. Face it, you are already good at doing this, what with having convinced them that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, leprechauns, and David Hasselhoff exist. So when your child complains to you, "I want to watch Hannah Montana," say to her/him, "Stop complaining and watch The Transformers, otherwise Santa won't bring you any presents for Christmas." And then on Christmas, when your kids open their presents, see that they have received Transformers toys when they had asked for Hannah Montana dolls, and complain about this fact, you can tell them that Santa thought that they wanted Transformers since they had enjoyed watching the DVDs so much. And then you'll have perfectly new Transformers toys that you can play with and you have avoided spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on useless Hannah Montana tickets. Everyone's happy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Countdown is On

It is almost that time; or at least it already feels like it is almost that time. For some weeks now, the country has patiently waited (okay, perhaps we have not been that patient collectively) for the November 4 match up between the New England Patriots and the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. If you'll recall, the Colts, led be Peyton Manning, finally got over the hump, so to speak, and defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Trailing by a wide margin at one point, the Colts rallied to beat New England, and then went on to defeat the Chicago Bears for their second ever Super Bowl victory. On the other hand, the Patriots have been the most successful NFL team of the last decade, having won Super Bowls during the 2001, 2003, and 2004 seasons. In those latter two seasons, New England had ended Indianapolis's season during the AFC playoffs. Yes, it is safe to say that there is a bit of a rivalry between the two teams.

And now we fast forward to the present day: six days before this season's epic showdown between the two teams. The Colts come in at 7-0, after having defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-7. The Patriots are 8-0, after squeaking by against the Washington Redskins 52-7. There is a general consensus that these two teams are the best in all of football. Despite playing the game on the road, the Patriots are early favorites. The game has the potential to be a classic, and despite the fact that it is a mid season game, the outcome could be the most determining factor in deciding this year's Super Bowl champion. I cannot wait to curl up under the covers on the sofa at home and watch this game this coming Sunday afternoon...

Oh but wait, I can't do that. It seems that due to absolutely fabulous scheduling, I get to watch the Houston Texans play the Oakland Raiders at the same time that the Patriots will be playing the Colts! Good times! Yes, I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing than watching my home market last place Houston Texans play the last place Oakland Raiders. Yes, that was sarcasm. But I should not complain; surely there are people in other parts of the country who have to deal with similar disappointment. Wait, what's that? The Houston at Oakland game will be the only other game that CBS will be showing concurrently with New England-Indianapolis? Wow, I feel just like I hit the lottery. I guess it's off to the sports bar for me that afternoon... Oh, and by the way, I'm pretty sure New England will win big (again) and I'm also predicting that I don't care what happens in the Houston-Oakland game.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy

Superman is without a doubt the greatest superhero ever created. How do we know this? Well, Superman is the most powerful superhero and that naturally means that he must be the greatest. Let’s see, Superman can fly, he has super breath, x-ray vision, heat vision, virtual invulnerability, super speed, and so on and so forth. But those are only his most commonly used abilities. Did you know that Superman is capable of time travel? It’s true! He did it in Superman: the Movie, and in the course also violated many laws of physics. Superman is also capable of creating illusions of himself (he did it in Superman II) and telekinesis (okay maybe he didn’t do this himself in Superman II, but one of the other Kryptonians did so and this must mean that Superman can do it). And then of course one can make the claim that he is capable of actually replicating himself (did it in Superman III), but this may have actually just been a war within his own head without Clark Kent and the evil Superman actually fighting. But I have not mentioned Superman’s greatest power – one that is always overlooked. His greatest power is his ability to wear red briefs over full body covering blue tights. This ability no other superhero has been able to duplicate.

Whew! That was a mouthful. Superman often wonders what life would have been like if he had not been such a boy scout, but rather, was “bad to the bone.” Luckily enough, I have discovered Superman’s very own diary about these subjects, and now I present to you an excerpt from the Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy if He Could be a Boy Again…

10-26-xxxx - I came across this story recently, and I can tell you that it is really touching. The fact that some ordinary guy would risk his life in such a way to save some helpless little girl is certainly inspiring. Oh, I'm sorry; what I meant to say is that it would certainly be inspiring if it were not a total load of crap. This story is labeled as "Heroic Exploits," and we all know that there cannot be any heroic exploits unless Superman is present. I'm pretty sure that I did not rescue some little girl from an angry bear any time recently. But let's go a little deeper into these outlandish claims. Actually, that would take too much than Superman has to spare - you know, having to constantly save the world and such. Let's just say that there is no way that some ordinary guy could go toe to toe with a bear and come away with only a scrape across the forehead. The only being that could survive such an encounter with a bear with just a scratch is me, Superman. Except that I would not even be injured by the bear because a bear can't injure Superman. I'm not even sure Superman could injure Superman.

But there is something far more important about this story. What happened to the little girl that was saved? Is she okay? And more importantly, is she cute? If she is cute, this means that one day she could be super hot and hot chicks dig Superman. So the only thing left to do is to fly into the future about fifteen or so years and this cute girl/hot chick will be mine.

Now where did I put those red briefs...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paris Hilton in the Twenty-Two and One Half Century

Good news everyone! Just as a number of you were worried that future generations of American children would be denied another of the benefits that we present day citizens of the great country that is the United States enjoy comes the fabulous news that Paris Hilton is considering being cryonically preserved so that in theory she can live for hundreds, if not thousands, more years!

I said good news a moment ago, but really this is stupendous news! You know, I came in to work today really depressed because I did worry that American youth of the twenty-second century and beyond would have to live a life not knowing about the legend that is Paris Hilton. Realizing this, I lamentingly added this fact to the list I had already compiled of things that the children of the future would never know: social security, winters (global warming is here, people), bananas, and New York Yankees' World Series championships. But now I can expunge this item from the list. (That's a relief!)

But in order for future generations to come to know the Paris that we love and adore, the Paris who has overcome great odds to stand as a true role model to the members of Generation Y, they should see Paris exactly how we see Paris today. This means that Paris Hilton should waste little time in becoming Ted Williams's neighbor. For how will young children in say, the year 2147, relate to an elderly Paris Hilton "roughing it" the way she has done in the Simple Life? Are we not told when young by countless old people about how rough they had it growing up? (Miles and miles in the snow, uphill both ways to and from school...) If they see an old Paris Hilton having to work through hard times, they'll just say alright, I get it, things are going to be tough when I'm really old. And also, who better to encourage the youth of America to snap out of their apathetic ways when it comes to elective politics. You see, I have rarely voted. The reason I have rarely voted is because I'm still young (sort of), and young people are supposed to be apathetic and not vote. But seeing Paris Hilton assure Larry King that she had voted in the 2006 US Presidential Election has taught me that apathy is not the way. Paris Hilton has inspired me and so now I'm planning on voting in the 2007 US Presidential Election, which I'm pretty sure happens in the next couple of weeks. No, in order for Paris Hilton to act as a benefit to the society of the future to the degree to which she has acted for the society of today, she cannot waste her youth in today's world any longer. To the freezing chamber!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - October 23, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Note: Things are coming fast and furiously folks! Such is the influx of new information that the Committee is considering giving up all other activity and purely focusing on consistently updating these rankings to ensure that they are as current as possible.

Rankings for October 23, 2007

1. Britney Spears (1) - For the second time in a row, Britney Spears tops the Spears-Federline Rankings. However, this race like most others was almost too close to call. Since the last rankings, Spears lost visitation rights with the kids and then gained them back (and maybe lost and gained visitation rights once again...), was booked and released on driving related charges (to be fair, the driving related charges happened back during the summer and really did not influence these rankings), and enhanced her lips to enormous proportions. All of these things were a net negative and probably would have forced Britney down to number two in the rankings - especially considering the tremendous performance by Federline (see below) - if not for Spears's other big news: she ran over the foot of a paparazzo. Somehow the Committee missed that Britney Spears and the late Princess Diana are apparently kindred spirits. It's true! Or at least it appears Spears thinks so. And what better comparison ever existed? Princess Diana worked to change the way people perceived those people suffering with AIDS, and in addition, worked tirelessly to convince the world to ban landmines. Diana also was the mother of the two men that currently are second and third in line to the throne of the United Kingdom. Similarly, Britney Spears has sung songs titled "...Baby One More Time," "I'm a Slave 4 U," "Toxic," and "Gimme More." And just in case the similarities are not yet clear, Britney Spears is also the mother of two sons who are heirs to a former backup dancer for LFO. So maybe in Britney's mind she took the first step in avoiding the fate that befell Diana by running over a paparazzo. Good show, Britney, and paparazzi beware.

2. Kevin Federline - Federline made a hard charge to regain the top spot that he had so long enjoyed but came up a bit short. Since the last rankings, he regained sole custody and then lost partial custody of his children to a crazy person (see above). In addition, the Committee notes as a bright spot that Federline has maintained his recent habit of not releasing rap albums. The Committee also took into account that new opportunities have opened up for Federline with the comeback of the Backstreet Boys. Said Backstreet Boys are one person short with the retirement of former member Kevin Richardson, and who better to join the group as lead backup dancer for the next two months until the band goes on hiatus yet again than Kevin Federline? The new album is to be released next week so everybody get in line!

3. Sean Preston Federline (second in line) - "Mama, what big lips you have..."

4. Jayden James Federline (third in line) - "Mama, what big lips you have..."

Will Kevin Federline make it back to the top?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Perchance to Write a Cartoon

I've almost come to the conclusion that at one time mental patients were in charge of developing cartoon programming. I know what you are going to say; you are going to tell me that I should not watch certain shows if they are so offensive. And you are probably right. However, in my defense I will say that I watch cartoons because everything else on TV is far crappier - well maybe except for this. Well with that said, I'll tell you about an experience I had watching the Boomerang Network last night.

So I was watching Boomerang late last night and they happened to be showing one of those Superman cartoons that I would imagine was made during the 60s or 70s. (I did my research, and it was actually made during the 60s.) The title of the show was "The Wisp of Wickedness," and in the show some sort of evil mist comes from outer space and inhabits a hat. At least three different people put on this hat, and it causes them to do evil things. And this makes sense because one would expect that a hat inhabited by an evil mist would make good people do evil things. Also, one would fully expect that any sensible person, when finding a hat just lying on the ground would certainly don the hat irrespective of the hat's history. (It makes one pine for the days of the 1960s when evidently such things as head lice did not exist...) I mean, if I found a hat lying on the ground I would certainly wear it because of even the small chance that I can turn into a living snowman by doing so. That's always been my dream.

Getting back to the actual plot of the show, once Superman finds out that people are mysteriously doing evil things, he goes into action. He discovers that the hat must have been the source of the evil and manages to separate the hat from the evil mist. At this time I would like to point out that it was a good thing that Superman encountered this evil hat while Superman rather than Clark Kent. Again, it is clear from this show that during the 60s, no one could resist wearing a hat found lying on the ground. We can only assume that Superman was able to resist because that particular hat just would not have gone well with his blue body-length tights and red briefs. If Clark Kent had found the hat, I'm sure we would have seen a plot play out in this cartoon very similar to the one that played out a decade and a half later in Superman III.

When Superman discovers that it is the mist that has caused the hat to be evil, he realizes that he cannot actually grasp the mist, but he uses his very advanced scientific knowledge to realize that since this mist is a vapor, it can be frozen. (The process is called deposition.) And so Superman uses his freezing breath to freeze the evil mist and then throws the now solid mist into outer space, never to threaten to inhabit innocent Earth bound hats again.

Great stuff that is, but extremely contradictory. If Superman was able to use his freezing breath to freeze this mist on Earth, then how in blazes was this mist not frozen when it was initially in space? I know that Superman has an awesome freezing breath, but he cannot possibly freeze something better than the vacuum of space that has a temperature of 2.725 Kelvin - close to absolute zero. Also, while it's great that Superman was able to throw the frozen mist into outer space, and while this means that he could be an excellent starting pitcher for either the Mets or Yankees (particularly since he does not have a fatigued right groin), since Superman was not in the vacuum of space when he threw the frozen mist, the frictional energy caused by the drag of the atmosphere certainly would have sublimated the frozen solid back into mist. Sorry hats; you still must beware...

Great job there out of the writers...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Please Baseball End Soon...

I hate the fact that I'm even going to discuss this, but I am so tired of certain aspects of baseball. Anyone who has ever followed baseball and any other sport realizes that baseball keeps track of the most useless statistics as compared to other sports. For goodness sakes, I believe that baseball would keep track of the statistic "highest batting average with runners in scoring position with two outs and nobody on base" if it were at all possible to achieve this situation. With that as a background, I want to tell you precisely why I cannot wait for this baseball season to be over.

When I woke up this morning, I turned on ESPN's program SportsCenter, which I sometimes do at the beginning of the day. I was soon updated with the fact that the Boston Red Sox had lost to the Cleveland Indians in game four of the American League Championship Series (ALCS), 7-3, but was also informed by ESPN's Tim Kurkjian that (and I'm paraphrasing) prior to the eleventh inning of game two of the 2007 ALCS, the Cleveland Indians had never scored seven runs in an inning in a postseason game. And also scoring seven runs in the fifth inning of game four, these two big innings were a big reason why Cleveland is very close to moving on to the World Series (they're up 3-1 in the ALCS). If you guessed that my first thought when hearing this was "wow, that's some excellent insight," you would be very wrong. No, my first thought was "wow, that was an incredibly useless statistic, and at the same time it's completely obvious that those two innings are important in Cleveland having built such a lead in the series." My gosh, what would Kurkjian have started off with if Cleveland had only scored six runs in the eleventh inning of game two and six runs in the fifth inning of game four? (Assuming Cleveland had scored six runs in a postseason inning prior to game two of this series...)

So there you have it; I'm looking forward to the end of this baseball season and a cessation of useless statistics being stated for a few months. Oh wait, the NBA is about to start, and they endlessly tell us useless stats like "the team in the league with the most points scored from the 10:57 mark of the first quarter to the 1:43 mark of the second quarter." No, I'm just kidding. Only baseball analysts would think it was useful to search for and relay such useless information.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cavemen is a Hit! And Another Show Idea...

I have to humbly admit that I have evidently been wrong. It seems that the reviews are in and the critics have nothing but fantastic things to say about the show Cavemen. ABC clearly has a winner on its hands, and based on the incredible prescience that they showed in knowing that a sitcom based on extraordinarily funny television commercials would be a big hit, I would like to suggest that they again look for inspiration from television commercials in choosing their next can't miss show. To that end, I'm going to suggest that they consider those fabulously funny Coors Light post game interview parodies!

My goodness, is there anything even remotely as funny as these commercials?!?! I mean, is there anything remotely as funny other than the Geico cavemen commercials? The answer is obviously no. And the thing about it is that creating this new show based on the Coors Light mock post game interviews will require even less hard work than show creators obviously put into Cavemen. And the reason for this is that the footage of the NFL coaches is already available. More than half of the hilarity needed to make the show is just waiting to be built around. Sort of like this... Wow, those guys are funny! ABC, I know you already have your best creative minds working on coming up with show ideas, but feel free to contact me if you need additional input.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - October 12, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for October 12, 2007

1. Britney Spears (1) - Finally!!! At long last Britney Spears assumes the top spot in the Spears-Federline Rankings. The Committee believed that all of the hard work that Spears has been doing in recent times should finally be reflected with deserving accolades. But what has Spears been doing that has so impressed the Committee? Well, since the last rankings she has begun the process of reconciling with her mother. The two Spearses may even have reached the point where Britney is now Lynne Spears's favorite of the former married couple rather than Kevin. That's a big step. In addition, she has released a new music video that can only be described as fantastic! And finally, but most importantly (saving the best for last), she has won a weekly night's chaperoned slumber party with the former couple's children, Sean Preston and Jayden James. The Britney Train has regained momentum!

2. Kevin Federline - The Committee was really struggling to make up things that Federline might have been doing for these rankings partially because one of the Committee members suffered a temporary debilitating head injury while fighting a bear. However, as luck would have it, the Committee did not need to go to these extreme measures. For what does it say about you when a judge is willing to partially reverse a custody order he handed down less than two weeks before in order to allow a possible alcoholic/drug addict who showed up for the hearing five hours late to spend a night with your kids? What this said to the Committee is that the judge is looking for any excuse at all to award Sean Preston and Jayden James to Ms. Spears and so Mr. Federline would be wise not to do anything (and in particular not to make any more rap albums) and just allow Ms. Spears's own actions sabotage her chances. Oh yeah, that appears to be precisely what Mr. Federline is doing. Maybe he should be ranked higher...

3. Sean Preston Federline and Jayden James Federline (tie) - Yikes! Boys, this is a disaster!

How long can Britney stay on top?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The New Scar Adorning My Forehead

There are some people who are apparently aware that I have a new scar that adorns my forehead. And since unlike almost twenty-three years ago when I obtained my first scar across my forehead (requiring stitches on that occasion) my older brother was nowhere to be found to inflict the scar upon me, there must be, you reason, another explanation. And so there is...

Late Thursday night of last week, I happened to be walking the pathways in the zoo when I happened to notice that some innocent, sweet five-year old girl happened to have squeezed herself into a bear's habitat. Looking around, I saw no one else available to rescue this little girl, so I ran over and scaled to the top of the gate surrounding the area and jumped to the ground. I immediately dashed between the bear and the little girl. The bear informed me (and I'm not sure whether the bear actually talked or whether this was some sort of psychic communication we had going between us) that the encroachment that had been enacted upon his ground could only be sated with blood. And so I made a bargain with the bear; the two of us (the bear and myself) would box in order that this blood requirement be fulfilled.

We made a few ground rules for the the fight. The first rule was that the fight was to last no more than ten rounds. This was not a championship bout, after all, but if it were, we would have planned for a full twelve rounds. If the fight did go the full ten rounds, the decision would be turned over to the judge (probably the little girl, I guess, but I really don't remember where she was at this point anyway). Secondly, the fight was to be stopped at first blood. We each had monkeys acting as corners, and at the very least, I instructed the monkey in my corner not to throw in the towel under any circumstances. (But since I was talking to a monkey and not another human, I instructed him not to throw in his poop under any circumstances.)

And so the fight started. It was quite the epic, but around the middle of round seven I had to look back at my corner monkey because he was making a lot of noise. First I had to dodge some poop that he threw, which made me very angry because I had instructed him not to do so, but then I realized that he was pointing at my forehead. When I rubbed my forehead, I realized that I was actually bleeding. This was strange because I could not recall the bear actually landing a decent punch on me. However, rules are rules, and with my forehead bleeding, the blood requirement was fulfilled. With the match over, I jumped the gate and went home for the night. I believe that the bear said that he was going to go into hibernation for a few months.

Epilogue: The fight really should have been over far earlier considering the mauling that I dished out to this bear in the opening rounds. I was at the top of my game with my lightning fast jabs and powerful crosses. The bear was almost certainly bleeding by early in round two, but he kept claiming that it was just that he was sweating and that his sweat was red. I decided to let this slide since this was the bear's home after all, and I did not really want to embarrass him there...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Diminishing Returns

I'm sure most are aware by now that the New York Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs last night. As an avowed Yankees hater, this should have brought me great pleasure. After all, have I not told many people that I am more driven by Yankee losses than by wins by my own New York Mets? I'm afraid that sadly last night's exit by the Yankees from the playoffs brought me little excitement.

Who would have guessed that the economic law of diminishing returns would have any bearing on baseball? I suppose that I should qualify the last sentence by asking who would have guessed the law of diminishing returns would have any bearing on my own enjoyment of baseball. For it is quite obvious if one follows the history of the Yankees over the last few years that this principle does apply. For every additional million dollars that the Yankees have spent on some washed up has been/never was who with all likelihood only ever achieved success because of steroid use, how much closer to the championship have they ended up getting? Marginally at best, and even farther away at worse. I mean, the Yankees certainly got a sweet deal with all of that money that they spent on Roger Clemens.

But getting back to the Yankees losing, I find it very hard to get excited about it anymore. This is probably because I am not surprised by the outcome in the very least anymore. The late playoff run that the Yankees put forward over the last two months notwithstanding, did anyone really expect the Yankees to get their acts together after such a disastrous start? This season got to the point where you basically expected Mike Mussina to give up about eight runs or so every time he pitched, or you expected Roger Clemens to go down with a strained hamstring or fatigued right groin every time he pitched.

But alas, it brought to me no great enjoyment other than the fact that I can now bid adieu to the 2007 baseball season.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Before there was Inspector Gadget...

Many people who know me know that I spend much more time watching cartoons than one who is ostensibly an adult without children probably should. Of course, I can always counter back that I more than create proper balance by virtue of the amount of time that I spend watching C-SPAN as well. But the watching of C-SPAN is a discussion for another time, perhaps, and so I will return to the topic of cartoons.

Frankly, I think that most of the cartoons that are created these days are atrocious. What, is it that when selecting ideas for children's entertainment people actually go through a process similar to this? It's extremely bewildering, let me tell you, and for this reason I tend to go for nostalgia and watch cartoons that were around when I was growing up. And of course this makes the Boomerang network perfect for me. For those who do not know, Boomerang is operated by Cartoon Network, but shows primarily much older cartoons. But in watching this channel in recent days, I have come to the realization that cartoon creation for children has perhaps always been done in an idiotic fashion.

A few days ago (I cannot say with certainty on what day this occurred), I happened to be watching Boomerang late at night or very early in the morning and I came across the program The Robonic Stooges. Now if you guessed from reading this show's title that it was a cartoon about The Three Stooges, then give yourself a pat on the back. Apparently, the Robonic Stooges first appeared as part of a show called Skatebirds in 1977, but then began a sixteen episode run of its own on January 28, 1978. And I know what you are certainly thinking right now, because it was the same thing I was thinking when I saw the show: how in blazes did it take people so long to come up with a great idea like creating cartoon versions of the Three Stooges, but only as cyborgs, who went around fighting crime? I mean gosh, if I were creating a cartoon this is the very first idea I would come up with...if I were an advocate of torturing children, which I am not.

So this is a good idea for a cartoon? So, I can only gather from the creation of the Robonic Stooges that the target audience for the Three Stooges was children. I guess this could make sense because I do have a hard time believing that adults would find the Stooges that entertaining. Maybe it's a generational thing, but I just don't get it. But let's go back to the thesis that the original target audience for the Stooges was children. The timing of this show's creation can only mean that the children of this country were distraught that their beloved Stooges were never to perform again. After all, Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp were all dead by 1975. I'm sure those people in charge of children's programing at CBS in those days must have been saying, "These poor children, their adored Stooges are now all gone and there has not been a Three Stooges movie since 1970. I know what we can do! We can create a cartoon where bionic versions of the Stooges haphazardly foil crimes! This idea is a winner!" Yes, that idea certainly was a winner and proves that people in entertainment just don't get paid well enough for great ideas.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

(i)Phony Lawsuit

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I couldn't resist! If you've seen this story, then you certainly know where I'm going with this. It seems some lady in New York is suing Apple Inc. claiming price discrimination due to Apple's decision to cut the price of the iPhone. On a morning when I woke up overjoyed to see that both of my fantasy football teams had won for the week, I thought to myself, now what could possibly make this morning any happier than it has already been? And so of course this wonderful story fell into my lap (or more precisely, onto my computer screen).

This story is so funny to me because I'm the type of person who never buys a new gadget when it is first introduced. For one thing, they almost always have bugs in them. Secondly, they are almost always way overpriced. And so it was the case with the iPhone, which upon initial release enjoyed a roughly 50% profit margin. The more discerning of you will have realized that this article detailing the expected profit margins that Apple would enjoy came out in January of this year. On the other hand, the iPhone was not released until late June. So there was already readily available information suggesting that a person would be wasting a good deal of money in purchasing this item soon after its release. And assuming no complete absence of intuition, a person should have known this anyway. And yet, I recall that people lined up at stores for hours if not overnight to get this thing. And for what reason? Just so that they could for a few brief weeks be cool...or huge dorks.

And so now we come to the point where Apple has decided to slash the price of the iPhone, and for one particular customer, this appears to be an outrage. Obviously, the only reasonable thing to do is to sue Apple, but for how much? Should you sue for $200, which is the difference between the old and new prices? No? Well, how about suing for $399, the new cost of the phone? Doesn't work for you? $599, the original cost of the phone? No deal? Well, why not one million dollars? You know, because $1 million is not all that much these days...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Let's Go Mets!!!!!!!

So there are many out there who may be unaware that I am fan of the New York Mets. And I have no problem admitting to this even a day after the Mets accomplished one of the most monumental collapses in recent memory. What allows me to go on completely without depression this day is that I long ago divorced myself from the seasonal fate of the Mets. Now of course, if one of these days the Mets were able to do the improbable and win the World Series I would be extremely happy. However, I know that this is not going to happen, so why should I be so sad in witnessing an outcome that I clearly expected?

That said, there was certainly something poetic in the way the Mets fell this season. And if this were not a team of which I was a fan, you can be sure that I would be laughing heartily about how this particular poem came to a conclusion. Okay, you got me; even as a Mets fan I am forced to laugh at how this season came to a conclusion.

Let's go back in time about a month or so. (I don't actually feel like going back to make sure this is 100% accurate, so my memory of the events will have to suffice.) The Mets came to the end of August/early September time frame with a lead of roughly 5-6 games in the National League East. They went to Philadelphia and promptly got swept three or four games, cutting their lead to two games I believe. However, as luck would have it, the Mets ended up getting a helping hand from the Atlanta Braves of all teams who ended up winning a series from the Phillies, allowing the Mets to gain some breathing room as they were beating up on a crappier (than the Mets) opponent. As September progressed along past the ides, the Mets were able to build a seemingly insurmountable seven game lead over the Phillies. It was time to start opening those champagne bottles and printing playoff tickets! No one blows a seven game lead with roughly sixteen games to play! Sorry my friends - I should say no one does this but your Amazin' Mets!

The Mets got swept again by the Phillies in a series at Shea Stadium that enabled the Phillies to really close the gap. Going into the final weekend of the season, the Mets and Phillies were tied at the top of the National East as play began on Friday, September 28, 2007. The Phillies won that night, and the Mets lost. And so as play began on Saturday, the Phillies had a chance to wrap up the division with a win coupled with a Mets loss. And then came the simply splendid; the Mets finally won a game in dominating fashion. On that Saturday afternoon, the Mets won 13-0. In the process, Mets pitcher John Maine went 7 2/3 before finally giving up a base hit. In the forty-six year history of the Mets, they have never had a pitcher pitch a no-hitter. However, Maine's dominating performance (he also struck out fourteen batters during the game) seemed to breathe new life into the team. (Both my brothers were apparently in attendance at the game.) And then things got even better; the Phillies lost that day meaning that the two teams would enter play on Sunday tied atop the NL East with one game to play.

Sunday was sure to be a day filled with drama as both teams were watching the scoreboard as their own games played out. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), one of the teams failed to bring the drama on that day. The Mets, by giving up seven runs in the first inning of that 162nd game of the season dashed any hope that their more naive fans had falsely gained from the day before. And it probably did not help matters to see that the Phillies were putting more and more runs on the board as the afternoon progressed. The Mets lost that day 8-1 as the Phillies won 6-1.

As I watched the replays of what may ostensibly be referred to as highlights from that Mets game late last night, and watched the crying faces of distraught Mets fans in the crowd, I could not help but feel how tragically and poetically this weekend played out. (My goodness people, why were you crying?!?!? You couldn't see this coming?!?!?)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Liberation of Sugar Bunny

Just like most rational people out there, I have utter disdain for those who would harm animals. Acts of cruelty against such cute, defenseless critters cannot be tolerated. And for this reason I would like to voice my unconditional support for the brave individual (or individuals) who orchestrated the daring rescue of the rabbit Sugar Bunny from a Spokane, Washington preschool.

The heroes in this story apparently were protesting circus animal acts in rescuing poor Sugar Bunny and I agree that there can be no possible better way to protest using animals in circus acts than to steal, err...rescue a rabbit from the clutches of vile preschoolers. Oh the sort of trauma that Sugar Bunny must have been exposed to while in that class! All that poor grammar! (I'm in pain!) Having to suffer through nap time! (The agony!) The finger painting and the story time! (Oh the humanity!) Take that you evil ringmasters, and you also take that, you dreaded preschooler bunny rabbit owners!

Of course I know not where this valiant savior of mistreated animals will appear next, but my only hope is that the days when goldfish are horribly mistreated in the various parts of this country are numbered.

Spears-Federline Rankings - September 26, 2007

There are very few people who have not heard of Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. As to whether this fact is a good thing or a bad thing is up to one's own interpretation. (It's a bad thing.) But with all that has been going on in the lives of these two very talented individuals, I thought that it would be worthwhile to periodically provide updates of the current rankings of the two. So, what follows are the current rankings between the two, with short explanations given for each. First place votes appear in parentheses.

Rankings for September 26, 2007

1. Kevin Federline (1) - After a one ranking absence from the top spot, Kevin Federline once again retakes the number one position. Considering that the Committee almost always ranks Federline number one, it is highly considering leaving him in this spot permanently. Or check that, the Committee has decided that instead of doing this, it will make things up about what Federline has been doing and see if what Britney Spears has been doing actually tops this. Loyal readers of the Spears-Federline Rankings will remember that the Committee tried this before, and was unsuccessful in finding a possible way that Britney Spears through her real actions could actually take the top spot. This time the Committee will go one step further and make things up that Federline has been doing while the entire Committee is completely drunk. Let's see, Kevin Federline was Tasered for stealing a bunny rabbit at a preschool? Okay, how about Kevin Federline has reforged the One Ring and become the evil Dark Lord Sauron reborn? Well, evil acts like this should certainly allow Britney Spears to move up to number one...

2. Britney Spears - Oh but no, Britney Spears's real life world is an utter disaster. It truly is amazing when drunken people cannot use their imaginations to come up with more damning evidence of a person's decline than real life evidence provides for another person. It has almost gotten to the point where the Committee is completely exhausted because of all of the meetings that have been taking place discussing new information on whatever it is that has become of Britney Spears's life. Train wreck cannot describe this any longer. Let's see, since the last rankings there have been allegations of drug use among other things by a former bodyguard, she has been ordered to undergo drug and alcohol tests to keep any custody of her kids, and she has been charged with hit-and-run while driving without a license. And only two weeks have passed since the last rankings! But never fear, at least someone (warning, unedited for language) has Spears's back. The Committee weeps for Ms. Spears...

The Committee will see you again with the new rankings...tomorrow?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Utter Outrage

I read this story (or perhaps I should say I read part of the story) and must say that I am utterly outraged. However, I'm having a little bit of difficulty deciding precisely why I'm outraged. I'm outraged! There are obviously two sources of the pure fury that welled up within me upon reading the article and I feel that now is the appropriate time to discuss them.

What has become of our great nation when a man can no longer go out to a bar (or perhaps even sit at home by himself), get David Hasselhoff level plastered, and then climb into the chimney of his ex-girlfriend's residence in an attempt to win back her heart? What indeed has happened? Would the Founding Fathers have approved of such harsh treatment of a man who was simply exercising his rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness through booze and breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home through the chimney? Well, the Founding Fathers are no longer around to answer this question, but it is my belief that these very worthy thinkers would answer this question with a resounding NO! I cry for the state of the nation.

But the questions for the Founding Fathers resulting from this incident have regrettably not all been posed. What has become of this nation when an honest woman cannot defend her property from meddling firefighters wishing to save a drunkard who has climbed into her chimney? What has become of this nation indeed?!?!? It would have been one thing if the firefighters were there to fight a fire, but has it not been said by the great scholars that a woman's home is her castle? What would the Founding Fathers say? What say you George Washington? What say you Ben Franklin? Would this fair American woman have been similarly cited if it were an Englishman or a squirrel similarly invading her home? The Founders would not tolerate such an encroachment on liberty! For was it not Alexander Hamilton who said Give me Liberty or Give me Death?!?!?

And there you have it. I cannot hide my outrage. I am outraged that a drunk decided to climb into his ex-girlfriend's chimney when it seems she did not want him back and got himself stuck in the process. I am similarly outraged that the ex-girlfriend decided to call the fire department or police (who else could have made the call) and then decided to interfere when a rescue was attempted. This nation, I'm afraid, is falling apart...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy

Superman is without a doubt the greatest superhero ever created. How do we know this? Well, Superman is the most powerful superhero and that naturally means that he must be the greatest. Let’s see, Superman can fly, he has super breath, x-ray vision, heat vision, virtual invulnerability, super speed, and so on and so forth. But those are only his most commonly used abilities. Did you know that Superman is capable of time travel? It’s true! He did it in Superman: the Movie, and in the course also violated many laws of physics. Superman is also capable of creating illusions of himself (he did it in Superman II) and telekinesis (okay maybe he didn’t do this himself in Superman II, but one of the other Kryptonians did so and this must mean that Superman can do it). And then of course one can make the claim that he is capable of actually replicating himself (did it in Superman III), but this may have actually just been a war within his own head without Clark Kent and the evil Superman actually fighting. But I have not mentioned Superman’s greatest power – one that is always overlooked. His greatest power is his ability to wear red briefs over full body covering blue tights. This ability no other superhero has been able to duplicate.

Whew! That was a mouthful. Superman often wonders what life would have been like if he had not been such a boy scout, but rather, was “bad to the bone.” Luckily enough, I have discovered Superman’s very own diary about these subjects, and now I present to you an excerpt from the Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy if He Could be a Boy Again…

09-19-xxxx - I really do enjoy helping people - fighting for those who are not able to fight for themselves. The way I look at it, I'm really fighting for truth, I'm fighting for justice, and it really feels great to go out there and save a person's life so that he or she is able to go home and see his or her family. Some people just aren't that lucky.

Obviously this isn't something that has just come to mind now. I have been thinking about this for a long time. I've been thinking about so much especially in reference to my friend Bruce Wayne. He's Batman, and I feel free to reveal his identity in this my diary because I know that there is no possibility that anyone else will ever read it. But as I was saying, Bruce has given so much, he's saved so many lives. It's a shame that he had to experience such a loss at such an early age when his parents were murdered. But do you know what? I can do something about that. All it will take is one serving of body-length blue tights, a pinch of red briefs, and a hefty dose of relativity violating time travel. I'll go back in time and save Bruce's parents as a gift to him because he has given so much...

Ha, ha, ha, ha - just kidding! No, I mean I really am going to go back in time and save Bruce's parents, but because that will mean that he will never become Batman. Let's be honest, all those people that Batman has been saving, I could have very easily saved them myself. Come on people; I'm Superman! And without Batman hanging around all of the time, Wonder Woman will finally come to her senses and realize that the Man of Steel is the only one that any of the chicks should ever want. Caped Crusader... What a joke.

Now where did I put those red briefs...