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...)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Wilford Brimley Effect

Have you ever been watching TV and been quite suddenly presented with the unexpected? Well, I'm sure you certainly have. Good entertainment is supposed to keep the audience on its toes. I'm talking about something slightly different in this case. Have you ever been sitting and watching TV and an endorsement commercial came on - let's say a commercial for Liberty Medical for the sake of argument - and you were almost certain that the person endorsing the product - let's say Wilford Brimley for the sake of argument - was dead, and had been so for years? Well, believe it or not, this is what happens to me each time I see Liberty Medical commercials and see Wilford Brimley endorsing the company. It has gotten to the point where every time I see one of these commercials I audibly and incredulously say, "Wilford Brimley is still alive?!"

And so was started what I like to call the Wilford Brimley Effect. The Wilford Brimley Effect holds such power over me that now I no longer know whether or not I am truly surprised that he is alive - or wait, is Wilford Brimley alive? You see, it happened again. But the WBE is more than pure shock at the discovery of Brimley's continued vitality. The WBE is also the pure shock that upon finally accepting that Brimley remains one of the living, you discover that he has actually dwelled on this planet for much less than 127 years. Surprising, isn't it? At the same time, I have also discovered that the WBE has spawned many similar effects.

Perhaps it is the consequence of having weekday daytime television on in the cafeteria during lunch, but it seems that I have discovered quite a few of these similar effects that I shall call Wilford Brimley Effect Analogs (or WBEAs). The two greatest of these WBEAs that I have discovered are the Robert Wagner Effect (RWE) and the Susan Lucci Effect (SLE). The RWE actually operates in an opposite fashion to the WBE. When I see Robert Wagner, I don't believe for a second that he is as old as Wilford Brimley. And then, given that Brimley is only 72, with his 73rd birthday coming in September - much younger than the apparent 127 years of age, it becomes almost impossible to fathom that Robert Wagner is actually 77 years old. Consequently, the result of the WBE and the RWE working in tandem is to make Wagner seem much younger than he actually is.

And then we come to the SLE. The SLE works in a similar manner as the WBE, but it does not operate free from the WBE's influence. Obviously, when I (and probably a lot of you as well) look at Susan Lucci, I do not think for a heartbeat that she is under 75 years of age. And even if you were to show me her birth certificate one million times, I still would almost be willing to wager you that she is not only sixty years old. But this is when the WBE kicks in as well. I know that Wilford Brimley is only 72 years old, but I think that Susan Lucci is at least that age. However, at the same time, I think that Wilford Brimley is older than 72 (by several decades), and thus, Susan Lucci in my mind must be older than 75. Do you follow the logic? As I type this, I have in fact convinced myself for the moment that Susan Lucci is 86 years, 4 months, 17 days.

Some famous people for whom the WBE applies: "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Keith Richards, and Brigitte Nielsen.

UPDATE - 10:00 AM: Wilford Brimley is still alive?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - May 22, 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 May 22, 2007

1. Lindsay Lohan (1) - Lindsay Lohan takes the top spot in this edition of the Spears-Federline Rankings. Though these events are somewhat dated, it appears that Miss Lohan has a thing for cocaine! Now don't be confused, the committee would never approve of drug use. The fact that Miss Lohan allegedly has been seen taking up to twenty lines of cocaine on a given night actually caused Lohan to drop perilously close to the number two spot in the Spears-Federline Rankings. The committee does not enjoy celebrity self-destructive habits and would never celebrate them. However, Lohan keeps the top spot in the rankings for having starred in the movies The Parent Trap, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and Georgia Rule, and for having released the album Speak, all committee favorites.

2. Paris Hilton - Paris Hilton takes the number two spot in this edition of the rankings because though her overwhelming sense of self-importance and her wanton disreguard for the law are quite remarkable, they were not enough to keep her out of jail. Though Hilton's position at number two was initially quite solid (we could not but laugh at the fact that she was crying, claiming to have been treated unfairly, and we truly pitied any potential cell mates), the committee had serious thoughts about moving Hilton to the number one spot when it learned that by some unfathomable stroke of the most infinitesimal of chances the committee happened to be on the same side of an issue with the truly unbearable Nancy Grace. The committee instantly awarded Hilton several bonus points, but they still were not enough. (Come on, we're talking Herbie: Fully Loaded that Paris is competing with!) Better luck next time Paris, and good luck with that good behavior in jail.

One can only wonder who will head up the rankings next time...

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Hate is Back

Hate. It can be a very good thing when properly applied. But what is the proper application of hate? There are many answers to this question, it is almost certain that many people will answer the question differently. I intend to give one perspective, one that I feel is unequivocal, one that is inarguable.

Hate is properly applied when it is directed at the New York Yankees, and particularly, when the roster of the New York Yankees includes Roger Clemens. The picture will prove my credentials in this particular subject, or at least the broader subject of Yankee Hating. I know what it is to hate the New York Yankees, and if you do not, I wish to persuade you that it is an altogether natural and positive course to pursue.

Pure and simple, the New York Yankees are evil - among the purest forms of evil that exist. Consequently, they were quite easy to hate during the early stages of this baseball season. However, the Yankee hatred seemed somewhat incomplete. I could not put my full heart into the hate. There was something missing. Enter Roger Clemens and the completion of my hatred.

The last few baseball seasons have been quite satisfying: the Yankees have been eliminated from the baseball playoffs in arguably ever more humiliating fashion as the years have progressed. This pleased me greatly, but the problem was that my hatred was divided. While the New York Yankees will always be first when it comes to my hatred, whatever team Roger Clemens happens to call his own will be second. Divided hatred can be quite difficult, and this is especially true in a sport like baseball. Divided hatred meant over the last couple of seasons that I had to pay attention to twice as many teams hoping that they would lose as would be the ideal. Now with Roger Clemens rejoining the Yankees my hatred is focused in the one place that it belongs.

And why does my hatred of the Yankees increase when Roger Clemens joins them? Well, quite simply because Roger Clemens is a bona fide jerk. The only people who are likely to see otherwise are his family members, a few of his forgetful teammates, and a great many idiotic Yankees fans. (Those foolish Yankees fans who will cheer his return seem to conveniently forget that he "retired" from their team three seasons ago only to show up pitching for the Astros for a couple of seasons. I cannot begin to tell you how pleasing it will be to see Yankees fans' faces when they realize that (a) Roger Clemens is a jerk and (b) he won't be leading them to some glorious victory.)

Alas, the next few months should be enjoyable to watch as old man George Steinbrenner gets ever closer to the point where he literally try to strangle Joe Torre as the Yankees fall apart. The hate is back...

My Night of Television Watching

So it turns out that watching television last night (May 20) provided quite the revelation for me. It was kind of a perfect storm of unfortunate events that led me to discover that television can be great again. Upon returning to Houston from California last Thursday my cable reception was having a few issues. And quite naturally, these issues had not resolved themselves by the time that I returned to Houston from St. Louis on Saturday. Consequently, I was exploring channels that I usually would not explore throughout the rest of this past weekend. What made matters worse was that somehow the New York Mets forgot that they were playing a crappy team like the New York Yankees Sunday night and started to suck. (More on this later...) This fact facilitated the ease with which I constantly flipped channels last night.

During my meandering through channels I happened to stop on the VH1. Now, the VH1 is a channel that I may stumble upon once every three weeks to month. It's one of those channels that I know that I have, but would struggle to tell you within ten numbers what number it is. I happened to come upon the current season of Celebrity Fit Club, and my how intriguing this episode was! Now generally, I prefer to hear news about fat pseudo-celebrities losing weight in thirty-second intervals (e.g., the Dan Marino et al. NutriSystem commercials). However, I became transfixed as I watched near the end of the show as Dustin "Screech" Diamond preceded to irritate all of the other "celebrities" until the point that six of the other seven walked off stage (ultimately I did think that this was a gross overreaction by the other cast members as it seemed that they were all forgetting that they were allowing Dustin "Screech" Diamond to humiliate/irritate/get the better of them), seriously argued that he took offense to being labeled a porn star, but was okay with being labeled a pornographer, and nearly signed his own death warrant by possibly challenging US Marine drill instructor to a fight (this part was a bit confusing). Oh good times...

But this only served as a prelude to what I was to experience. While Celebrity Fit Club was on, I happened to flip through channels during a commercial break and stumbled upon what to me now is one of the greatest programs ever: Women of Ninja Warrior. If you have never seen it, then you have certainly missed out. The show comes on the G4 channel (sorry, I'm too lazy to actually search for times when it airs) and involves women trying to complete four stages of an obstacle course in order to attain "total victory." Apparently, this show was spun off from the original male versions called Ninja Warrior, naturally. Oh, did I mention that this show is a Japanese production in which the action is called in dubbed English? (The comedy meter is rising...) Oh, and did I also mention that of the 100 women that begin each competition, fewer than 10% complete the first round of the challenge? (The meter is rising higher...) And that only one woman has ever completed all four stages? (Higher...) And of the 90+ women that lose in round one, probably about 90+% end up falling into the water? (Higher still...) And did I mention that some of the costumes these women wear are absolutely absurd? (I can barely contain myself now...) And would you believe that despite all of what I have told you about the show, it is still probably at least one hundred times better than I've described when you actually watch it? (Comedy gold!) The show is absolutely thrilling because you know that almost invariably the woman is going to end up taking a dive into the water, but you just hang on to see just how creative that dive is going to be this time. This show certainly meets with my seal of approval.

However, this was not the lone show that I watched as the night progressed. I ended up turning back to the VH1 and somehow got stuck watching Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School. Now many are certainly aware that I hate reality shows. For the most part, they are not entertaining in the slightest. This show is different because you bring together a bunch of superficial girls who all absolutely hate one another, competing for a chance to win $50,000, will do any amount of backstabbing to try to win, and the judges of the show appear to be at best completely detached from the realities occurring on the show, and at worst completely incompetent. This all makes for some brilliant television. Okay, brilliant is certainly too strong for what appears on this show as I'm certain that this adjective has rarely been used to describe any of the show's participants. But can you imagine a show that has more comedy potential than one in which the contestants are tasked with selling as many of their clothes as possible to a thrift shop but one is essentially unable to sell anything since she is a stripper and the only clothes that she has brought with her are stripper clothes? Oh, and did I mention that all of these girls absolutely hate one another?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Geoffrey's Revenge

Quite honestly I thought something like this would have happened sooner. It seems that the giraffes are finally up in arms over our horrible mistreatment of them over the years. The retaliation began in Lithuania, but it very easily could have started here. It probably should have started here.

Perhaps you are familiar with the most famous giraffe in the history of the world. That would be Bridfard Giraffe of course. A photo of Bridfard appears to the right. Oh wait, I'm sorry. I forgot that some - if not all - of you are not quite studied up on giraffe history. You don't realize how these great creatures were once allies of ours as we struggled for freedom against England. If Nathan Hale was the first American spy, then Bridfard Giraffe was no worse than the second American spy. In fact, after Hale was captured Giraffe could have easily escaped to save his own neck, but he valiantly risked his life to try to rescue Hale and in the process was also captured.

These events have disappeared from the knowledge of all but those of us who are the foremost in the study of giraffe history. Well, today the best known giraffe in the world is none other than Geoffrey the Giraffe. I bet you didn't know that Geoffrey the Giraffe is a direct descendant of Bridfard Giraffe. (How could you know? Bridfard's legacy has been buried for centuries now.) Well, how have we rewarded this descendant of a true American hero? Well, we have treated him to a life of indentured servitude where the price of his debt can never be repaid. While Geoffrey the Giraffe has remained a prisoner with in toy stores, never growing up, his friends have all grown up. His friends no longer have to face the embarrassment of playing with Tonka toys and Rainbow Brite dolls. They have moved on to cool stuff like skipping school, going to detention, smoking cigarettes, and getting drunk.
Well, it would appear that Geoffrey and his brethren have finally had enough. They will no longer be forgotten. So if you want to drink, drink. But trust me, don't drink and then get into a cage with a giraffe unless you have plenty of alcohol left for the giraffe to drink as well. The giraffe wants to party just as you do.
And don't drink and drive.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Spears-Federline Rankings - May 9, 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 May 9, 2007

1. Kevin Federline (1) - Kevin Federline retains the top spot again, not necessarily because of what he has done, but more for what he has not done. The committee has heard no news about him recently which means he must be laying low. However, this explanation would be well too short if it was left at this, and so the committee has decided to imagine what Mr. Federline has been doing since the last rankings appeared, and these imagined exploits have kept Mr. Federline ahead of a hard charging Britney Spears. Here are those exploits... Over the last several weeks Kevin Federline has been very active in a positive way. Federline rescued a man who became trapped in a tree in the Houston area when the man's valued pet parrot escaped into the tree from the man's nearby home. In so doing this, Federline saved both the fire department and the Coast Guard an incredible amount of time and effort. Also Mr. Federline anonymously released the voicemail message of Alec Baldwin berating his little pig daughter, the recording of a drunken David Hasselhoff eating off of the bathroom floor, and he took the photos of Lindsay Lohan snorting cocaine. By helping bring to light the dangerous problems these cherished Hollywood actors face - and hopefully driving them to get the help they need (and the committee does literally mean that we hope that he will drive them in a car to wherever they need to go to get help) - Kevin Federline once again retains the top spot.

2. Britney Spears - Britney Spears once again made a hard charge at the number one spot, but unfortunately it was not enough. Spears seemed to rebound nicely from the slapdown that Federline dished out to her a few weeks ago by appearing in concert for the first time in quite awhile at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA. After keeping fans waiting for hours she finally came on performed for about fifteen to twenty minutes. There were a number of details surrounding the event that nearly caused the committee to vault Spears over Federline:

First of all she had her fans waiting for hours for her to perform - That's good stuff, and a perfect punishment for those who foisted Spears on us in the first place.
She only performed for fifteen to twenty minutes - While not quite the zero minutes the committee would prefer, it is getting pretty close to that number.
She lipsynched through the songs - If you have to listen to Britney Spears sing, the committee feels that it is probably best not to listen to her singing live. Kudos to you, Britney.

All of this is great stuff and one single other action would have ensured her vaulting to number one but alas it was not done. If Spears had simply lipsynched to someone else (anyone else - including anyone who has ever appeared on American Idol) covering her songs, then that surely would have been enough to vault Spears up in the committee's eyes.

Better luck next time Britney, but Kevin, watch your back!