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, March 27, 2007

The Answer is Yes

There's a new phenomenon sweeping the country (and by the country I mean the United States). And this phenomenon is the Fox network's new show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? I would say bonus points go to those of you reading this who already know that there is not a chance that I have actually watched this program to date (and it is highly likely that I will never watch this program), but I probably should be a bit more stingy with the bonus points that I am handing out. But as many people are well aware, the fact that I have not actually watched this program does not in any way preclude me from making comments about its merits.

The first brief statement that I will make is yes, I am smarter than a fifth grader. I know that this was a long time ago, but I do remember being smarter than several fifth graders way back when I was in the fifth grade. (I do not like to brag, but as the smartest kid in my class, I was smarter than all of the other fifth graders.) To take this a step further, I was smarter than a fifth grader when I was in the fourth grade, and finally when I was in the third grade, my older brother was in the fifth grade and goodness knows that I was smarter than many of his classmates. So at this point, for at least twenty years I have been able to answer in the affirmative as to the question of whether or not I am smarter than a fifth grader. So obviously with this in mind I would have to automatically be declared the winner once I start playing the game, right? The show and game is called Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? and the answer is yes, so I win. That's good work by me, but moving on, I find some things troubling.

The first thing that is troubling is that Jeff Foxworthy is the host. I would suggest as evidence for why he should not host any sort of show exhibit (a) The Jeff Foxworthy Show, (b) any of his CDs, and (c) any of his "comedy" routines. It's about as bad as getting Bob Saget to host 1 vs 100, only replace The Jeff Foxworthy Show with Full House, and drop the part about CDs since as far as I know Bob Saget has not released any CDs. The second thing that is troubling is why they chose to use fifth graders in the first place. Was it that they could not find some supposedly all-knowing fourth grade wunderkind to use on the show? And to some degree related to the last troubling part, what happens to Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? next year? I'm sure the kids will want to reprise their roles on the show in the next season. But guess what; the kids won't be fifth graders anymore. Will these evil show producers force these kids to fail in their current grade just to keep their jobs? Well, it is Fox so you never know.

That's just horrible.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Countdown to Game Time

Okay, we're less than four hours from the start of the big flag football game tonight, but it's no time to get nervous. I think that there will be plenty of fans out there, and I'm hoping for a bunch of pro scouts. That's why I missed the pep rally early this afternoon; I was working on my poses, working on answers to interview questions that the scouts may ask after the game. I don't know if I can quite make the first round of the draft, but I'm hoping with my 5.4 second 40 yard dash, 16" vertical leap, 1/4 rep at 225 lbs, and 23 yard passing range I can at least be picked up late second round or maybe early third. I really don't want to leave Houston either, so maybe the Texans can pick me and I can back up Matt Schaub before taking his job...


First of all, this is a big moment for me. I never would have guessed that I could possibly post seven times in one month. I mean, during both January and February I almost got all the way up to seven, but for some reason I could not push beyond that six-post barrier. This is a magical event for me, kind of The Brave Little Tailor-ish.

But what would I possibly discuss in this monumental post? Well, none other than the Power Rangers! I can say quite honestly that what caused me to watch Power Rangers for the first time those many years ago was a nostalgia for a favorite cartoon of mine from my early childhood, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Voltron was great; you had five humans who were faced with crisis after crisis, and in dire circumstances, they would pilot five giant robot lions. These lions were all hidden in some location surrounding the castle where the humans were based, and they usually could only access the lions from within this castle. Once within the lions, they would continue to battle the attacking evil, but would almost always have to unite to form one more powerful robot: Voltron. (And yes, I do know that there were other forms of Voltron as well - I can remember seeing the cartoon for the vehicle Voltron on occasion as well - but the lion Voltron was shown on television far more regularly.) And once Voltron was formed, there seemed to be no beast who could withstand its powerful sword. Oh, that was great stuff, but let's revisit the Power Rangers now.

The Power Rangers suck. I'm sorry, I just cannot possibly speak eloquently about this crappy show, or make that, these crappy shows. It is most disturbing to me that this show (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), which apparently first premiered in the United States in 1993, just recently started its fifteenth series. Yes, that's right; we are now on the fifteenth entirely different series. If you have seen one episode of any of these Power Rangers series you are probably wondering just as I am how this is possible. Check that, if you have seen two episodes of any of these Power Rangers series you are certainly wondering how this is possible. If you have seen one episode, you are probably saying to yourself, "this is stupid," but if you have seen two episodes, you are probably thinking that you could write for the show but you would have to use a pseudonym because you would be ashamed to let anyone know whom you respect, and likewise respects you, that you are responsible for producing any of this crap.

Now, it is not because each of these episodes is essentially the same that this show is crap (although it certainly does not help matters), it is rather that the plot of this episode(s) and the acting within are so atrocious that one has little incentive to actually tune in again. One actually has a greater incentive to hit his or her television with a baseball bat (or some similar blunt object) so as not to have to watch the program again. But in reality, the plot did have similarities with Voltron's plots, but the presentation was horribly different. In Power Rangers, in every episode, there is some hand-to-hand combat. This is not necessarily bad except for the fact that there is a lot more choreographed dance-like nonsense that takes place leading up to the fight. There is also a lot of talking going on during these circumstances. If you're going to have a fight, then have a fight. If you're going to have do a lot of talking leading up to the fight, with a lot a dancing included, just commission someone to write some music and let's just turn this into West Side Story. Finally, the Power Rangers do end up defeating the monsters (as the Rangers wear tights in the process - another strike against the show), only to be forced to face one of the monsters who has grown to a size that dwarfs the city. (And yes, this happens in virtually every episode.) What are the Power Rangers to do? Well, they just say they need "Megazord Power" and summon their Zord robots who just happen to appear barreling down the landscape toward where the battle is taking place. Now, they don't actually fight with the individual Zords, they just immediately merge to form the Megazord. This begs the questions: what is the purpose of ever having the Megazord split up into individual Zords, and why would the creators possibly want the actors to fight these beasts while wearing tights?

But the larger question is who is possibly watching Power Rangers now that has allowed them to create fifteen series? I mean as children's entertainment goes, this is far less damaging to a parent financially than such things as Hannah Montana (which I talked about at length previously), but it is even more damaging because this is far, far stupider. So parents, stick with C-SPAN.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - March 21, 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 March 21, 2007

1. Kevin Federline (1) - Kevin Federline retains the number one ranking in this poll mainly because the voting committee has heard little about him in the past few weeks. It has been said by others that no news is good news, and I cannot think of anyone for whom this applies more than for Mr. Federline. The fact that we have heard nothing about him releasing albums, performing at concerts, and fathering children with naive, overrated young pop stars can only mean that these things are not happening (or perhaps the press has wised up and realized that this guy is better suited to being the paparazzi stalking them). And also, apparently it's Kevin Federline's birthday this week! We cannot possibly drop the guy in the rankings during his birthday week. And apparently, according to his publicist, he has two bashes scheduled this week to celebrate his birthday, which likely means that someone mistakenly called his home (wrong number) and the voice mail message that Federline left informed this unfortunate dialer that Federline would be attending two spring break wet t-shirt contests this week. (Spring break, yeah!) But in being able to afford his "publicist," Federline is showing that his gainful employment at Taco Bell is paying off.

2. Britney Spears - Britney Spears retains the number two spot in the rankings, despite making a powerful charge toward the number one spot. But if you cannot be ranked number one, being ranked number two is not all that bad. Spears's near rise to the top was propelled by her completion of rehab in twenty-seven days. And since that twenty-seven days was almost a full week longer than Ted Haggard's three week rehabilitation, that means that it must have worked! Spears has family that cares for her (an aunt is urging her to move back home to Louisiana to get the help she needs), and as far as we know, she has an insurmountable lead over Federline in this particular race. Somewhat troubling, though, is that there are rumors that she is near bankruptcy. This information lands Spears firmly behind Federline's Taco Bell toilet cleaner role in terms of gainful employment, but having no money might just prevent her from buying more booze and having to spend another stint in rehab.

This race is really heating up folks!

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's Once Again Time to Dance with the Stars!

The big news in entertainment for today is that tonight is the premiere of the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars. Anyone who knows me knows that I will not be watching this show. The reasons are varied, of course, but ultimately you can narrow it down to the fact that I hate reality shows. I refuse to watch Survivor, American Idol, or any of these other shows. There have been exceptions over the years - most notably when I watched just about the entire season of Joe Millionaire, you know, just to see how much of an idiot the star was. However, that's been just about it.

One of my major objections to DwtS is that it is false advertising. Other than on the show DwtS, where would these people be considered stars? To me, it is very much similar to when that show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here! came along a few years back and I was barely able to identify any of the "celebrities," let alone identify anything any of them had done in at least the previous five years. People whom most would label as stars are usually busy with work and thus would not appear on one of these programs. But, and I know I'm not the first to discuss this, the presence of Heather Mills on this coming season is bewildering.

First of all, you need go no further than reading the Wikipedia description of Heather Mills on the DwtS Wikipedia page: former model and ex-wife of Paul McCartney. Those are her credentials as a "star?" Wow! Can I get on the show because I'm a former athlete and I met Dick Vitale once? However, as we all know, it is now her standing over her star legitimacy that makes her intriguing. It's the fact that she has a prosthetic leg that makes her intriguing. Now I do think that it would be quite insensitive for one to watch this program just to see whether her leg will stay attached (of course I will not be watching this program at all), but the promotional commercial that ABC has aired in which Mills states that her biggest concern is whether the leg will stay attached gives cover to those who were feeling a bit ashamed about watching for this reason and were wavering. ABC is essentially saying, "Oh come on, watch DwtS! Oh you're a little bit concerned about watching just to see if Heather Mills's leg comes off? Well look, she has no problem with it! Go ahead and watch it!" That's classy.

Well, at the very least, I do hope they play nothing but Beatles music when she dances...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In Support of DePauw University

I'm not sure if you have heard the news everyone, but DePauw University has cut ties with the Delta Zeta sorority, asking them to leave campus by the fall of this year. You can read about it here http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/03/12/troubled.sorority.ap/index.html, if you are so inclined. Well, I do want to say that I support DePauw University in its accusations of the sorority's discrimination, and believe that the actions of the university were quite appropriate. For the Delta Zeta sorority clearly has a discrimination problem if they are unable to discriminate between girls who are hot/popular and those who aren't hot/popular and are thus letting girls in who are neither hot nor popular.

The evidence is quite clear in this case I'm afraid. The sorority started the year with thirty-five members, but had to move twenty-three to alumnae status to get them out of the sorority house. You don't have to be a math wiz to see that this was an exceptionally poor hot:not hot ratio. Nearly two thirds of the girls in the sorority clearly were not hot, and the university could stand for it no longer. But since the thirty-five girls that populated the sorority house at the beginning of the year represented about a third of the house's capacity, it is clear that there was a deeper problem. Again if you do the math, this means that Delta Zeta at DePauw University had populated the sorority house with roughly only one ninth of the hot girls that the university was expecting. Since seventy percent of the student population joins the Greek system at the university, this means that Delta Zeta clearly was not pulling its weight. Delta Zeta had to go; it was a sound business decision. Any sorority that cannot do what it is meant to do and attract a house full of hot, popular girls has no place on an academic campus.

Bravo DePauw University!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ownership of the Pebbles

For many a year now a debate has raged as to whom one should lend support in the fierce competition between Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble over the possession of Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. Many might think it to be a very simple argument. After all, Mr. Flintstone quite frequently exclaims “My Pebbles!” when Mr. Rubble comes into possession of one of the cereal varieties. There are those who are on the side of Mr. Flintstone who will uncritically accept Mr. Flintstone’s exclamations as proof of ownership of the Pebbles, but two questions beg to be asked: are Mr. Flintstone’s claims sufficient to demonstrate ownership, and is it possible for Mr. Rubble to demonstrate an equal or even greater claim of ownership of the Pebbles?

Please remember that although the Flintstones are described as a “modern Stone Age family” the important part of the description is Stone Age. In any era in which one is living it is modern. The point of this is that clearly we cannot define ownership of the Fruity Pebbles, and for that matter the Cocoa Pebbles, by applying the laws of today. (So I really do not want to receive protestations from lawyers claiming that “this isn’t how the law works” or going even a step further, “this isn’t how the law works in Texas.”) In order to properly assess who is the rightful owner of the Pebbles at any given time we must analyze the laws and economic rules of Bedrock during the time in which Mr. Flintstone and Mr. Rubble were living.

From close observation of life in Bedrock, it would seem that there is very little in the way of law enforcement that takes place. For instance, on each of these occasions when Mr. Flintstone would assume that he has had a theft perpetrated against him (when Mr. Rubble comes into possession of the Pebbles) no officers of the law jump to his aid. There are two plausible explanations for why no officers come to Mr. Flintstone’s aid: either they are all hanging out at the Stone Age Bedrock doughnut shop or there is a sparseness of officers – there are no laws, thus crimes cannot truly be committed, and thus officers are not needed. I lean toward the second explanation since (1) everyone knows that police officers don’t really hang out at doughnut shops all day and (2) if there were laws on the books in Bedrock, don’t you think that one would exist that forbade people from letting dangerous dinosaurs run around their homes in the presence of infants (as Mr. Flintstone constantly allows)? I would say that it is absolutely clear that no existing law in Stone Age Bedrock would support Mr. Flintstone’s claims of ownership.

The examination of the laws governing Bedrock would seem to weaken Mr. Flintstone’s claims, but it does not provide an answer to the question of rightful ownership. Mr. Flintstone still might be deemed the owner of the Pebbles. But to obtain a definitive answer, we must examine the economic rules that governed Bedrock. A great many people are familiar with the great 18th Century Scottish economist Adam Smith and his very important publication An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, or The Wealth of Nations, for short. In this work, as many of you are no doubt aware, Smith spoke of the notion of an “invisible hand” guiding the free market whereby acting in one’s self-interest actually contributes to the benefit of society. The benefit to society is accidental, but often greater than the benefit that would be accomplished if the individual was endeavoring for the greater good rather than acting in self-interest, Smith argues. This is very similar to the notion of laissez-faire capitalism (or at least proponents of laissez-faire capitalism would likely use Smith’s statements in support of their own arguments). Now, Adam Smith did not live at the time of Stone Age Bedrock and this concept of an “invisible hand” was a notion unvoiced. And I’m fairly certain that the term laissez-faire capitalism would have seemed quite foreign to Bedrock residents as well (good luck trying to find a Bedrock resident who spoke French), but after intense study, I believe that Bedrock did have economic rules that were very similar to laissez-faire capitalism as we know it today. I call this economic system Bedrock Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

The principles of BLFC were quite similar to the familiar laissez-faire capitalism; the economy was allowed to operate with minimal government interference. And by minimal here, I mean no government interference. We have already established that there was nothing in the way of law enforcement in Stone Age Bedrock, so there could not be a notion of “theft.” If Mr. Flintstone was unable to hold on to his Fruity Pebbles (or Cocoa Pebbles), then that was tough luck. Mr. Rubble has the Pebbles now. I guess that one could say that BLFC was at its heart a combination of what we know now as laissez-faire capitalism combined with among the purest forms of Darwinism. But since Charles Darwin was not alive at the time of Stone Age Bedrock, it was called something else. It was called Toughguyism. In Toughguyism, the strong get the Fruity (and Cocoa) Pebbles and the weak are left running after the strong whining about not having the Pebbles. In my determination, this form of economy is closest to anarcho-capitalism, but perhaps even a little bit tougher. So it is clear after countless hours of study and examination that Mr. Rubble has demonstrated ownership of the Pebbles. Rules governing the society allow Mr. Flintstone to take possession if he is tough enough, but this is unlikely since Mr. Rubble has on his side his own son (Bamm-Bamm Rubble) who seems even at an early age somewhat likely to be the pinnacle of Toughguyian evolution.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Diary of the Adventures of Superman as a Boy if He Could be a Boy Again

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…

03-13-xxxx - Man was I unbelievably wrong when I was in high school! The other day I was so incredibly bored with those whiny people in Metropolis whining about the fact that Lex Luthor had sent a nuclear powered man to devastate the city or that Bizarro had taken a bath in the sewer and was now trying to "help" people. I just needed to get away. So I decided to pull out my trusty red briefs and do some time travelling. So I did my thing, flew around the world a bunch of times and then happened to stop at this place called Bayside, CA. I happened to use my x-ray vision and I looked inside this place called The Max, and all I can say is wow! Seriously, those girls in there were hot. All I can say is that those girls would look great naked. Yes, I said naked. Well, all of them would look great naked except Jessie Spano. For some reason, I don't think that she would look great naked and that is not because I have already seen her naked with my x-ray vision.

But in all seriousness, why are these girls even bothering with these dudes at all. This Screech fellow seems like the last guy that could ever pick up chicks. He seems like the type that is much more suited to appearing in amateur porn tapes. And this Zack dude, come on! I could clearly pick up Kelly so much easier than he could. And then finally Slater? This guy is supposed to be the tough guy of the crew? Please! I would totally own this guy in a wrestling match. And would you look at the crappy wrestling tights that he wears! I would never be seen in anything like that. Well excuse me please; I have to go put on my blue body length tights with the red briefs over them and wrestle Slater into submission. The girls of Bayside will totally be mine, except for Jessie who can't possibly look hot naked.

Now where are those red briefs...

Friday, March 2, 2007

Wild Hogs - Yeah!

Wow! It has indeed been some time since I posted anything. Why is that (you most certainly must be asking)? Well, it's quite simple; I have been preparing myself for this very big day - today - March 2, 2007. And why is this a big day? Well, it's a big day because today is the nationwide release of the movie Wild Hogs. And I could not be any more excited about this.

When I heard some weeks ago that Wild Hogs was going to be released in some areas for a sneak peek on February 24, I did what any other sensible person who has been anxiously awaiting the release of a movie would do. First, I went to the closest movie theatre to my home on the 24th, checked to see whether they were showing Wild Hogs, when I found out that they were not, I started berating the teenager who informed me that I was out of luck, I poured the bottle of Gatorade that I had snuck into the theatre on the teen's head (everyone deserves to have a Gatorade shower at least once in his/her life), and I poured the bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup that I had snuck into the theatre all over the floor. I was then forcibly removed from the theatre. Secondly, I went to the next closest movie theatre to my home, checked to see whether they were showing Wild Hogs, when I found out that they were not, I started berating the teenager who informed me that I was out of luck, I poured the bottle of Gatorade that I had snuck into the theatre on the teen's head, and I poured the bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup that I had snuck into the theatre all over the floor. I was then forcibly removed from the theatre. Well, this pattern continued until I finally accepted the fact that I was going to have to wait an extra week to see this movie that I had been eagerly anticipating. (I visited about eight movie theatres that day.)

But really, can you blame me? I mean, it's Wild Hogs! It's a biker comedy movie starring John Travolta (who apparently could have used the power of Scientology to save Anna Nicole Smith), Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and, wait for it, William H. Macy. If this cast doesn't fit the definition of excellence, I don't know what does. Okay I do know what does; just throw in Ashton Kutcher and if you didn't have a cast that fit the definition of excellence before, you would now. Now sure, I really don't know anything about this movie beyond the fact that it is allegedly a biker comedy, and perhaps they are using the term "comedy" loosely, and I have only seen one movie in the theatre starring any of the aforementioned actors appearing in this movie (William H. Macy - Boogie Nights), but it is nice to know that after making questionable movie choices like Battlefield Earth (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/battlefield_earth/), John Travolta's career is back on the upswing (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wild_hogs/). Now if you'll excuse me, I have to leave work early to go see Wild Hogs. And yes, my car is fully loaded with Gatorade and Aunt Jemima syrup.