Sunday, March 30, 2008

Early Birds

Friends in L.A. have some unexpected guests in their backyard lemon tree: baby hummingbirds.

© 2008 Juan Bastos

Lordy, Lordy

And I thought they were humorless.

Now You Know

To recap:
  • Keep in mind, you're ordering a naked person to obey you.
  • Capsules, containers, and even small hacksaw blades have been found in the nasal passages.
  • Narcotics, stabbing instruments, notes, wire, and money have all been found taped to the soles of the feet or under the toes.
  • Observe any constricting of the rectal muscles, which may indicate the inmate is straining to retain something.
  • If you have any suspicion, ask the inmate to squat and cough deeply, which could dislodge it.
  • You're not authorized to make any intrusion into the inmate's body orifices.
  • Remember: Do not deviate from what is appropriate and professional.
From Derek, who always plays by the rules.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Some cause happiness wherever they go;
others whenever they go."

Oscar Wilde

Remember Me Well

The Post's obituary writers have made a conscious effort lately to personalize their tributes. Some examples from today's paper:

"He belonged to [a masonic lodge] and served as Worshipful Master."

"She was especially known for her deviled eggs."

"She collected spoons, Norwegian folk art and houseplants."

"[She] was born ... either in 1908 or 1909. She never knew for sure because the city hall burned down in 1914, public records were lost and family memories were fuzzy."

I'm a little sad that none of the above will be said of me. Perhaps I should start feeding quotes to friends.

Like: "I thought he'd never leave."

And: "No one could load a dishwasher like her. No one."

And: "He was a pain in the ass, but he made me laugh."

And the ne plus ultra: "You know, he donated his brain and spinal cord for ALS research. So he is in death as he was in life: brainless and spineless." Extra points for whoever gets that in the paper.

Hot Rod

Rock star and fashion icon -- at least in his own mind. I was never much of a fan. Snarky article here. Freaky slide show here.

From Riley.
The Vickers Viscount airplane undergoing high altitude trials over Mount
Kilimanjaro in East Africa, 27th June 1950. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Today's Top Story

Drug run in scooters at 4mph
DRUG dealers are transporting their stashes in MOBILITY SCOOTERS, police revealed yesterday.

Dealers pose as disabled people and pack drugs in the vehicles – which have a top speed of 4MPH.

Cops say suspects are using scooters because cars can be tracked with numberplate cameras.

A Met Police source said: “We assume they are doing it because they think we won’t search them. These are not disabled people.”

One scooter stopped in South London was covered in jewellery to look “gangsta” – and Class A drugs were hidden inside.

You know, I never did think I got my money's worth out of my scooter.


Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte

This happens to me all the time. Just not on the air.

Thanks for the laugh, Riley.


Sometimes the original is almost as funny as the parody. Except the former doesn't have gems like: "Here's what I wear to bed. It's ... it's like a trap, a spider trap. I get them into my boudreau, and then I ... I eat their head off!"

Part 2 is much shorter -- and much raunchier. You've been warned.

From Derek.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Will Mail Your Undies Soon

Hi sweetie,

Do you know how to google yourself? I heard on the radio that people can google themselves. I’ve done a lot of things to myself before, but I’ve never googled myself.

Which comedian used to go onstage and play neurotic phone messages from her mother? I can't remember, but it was hilarious.

This site is sort of an email version. You might be comforted (or saddened) to discover that you don't have the kookiest mom after all.

Toxic Toys

As cute as Beanie Babies and a lot more educational: Parasite Pals.

From Pinkeye Peg.
Chinese women carry out maintenance work on high tension electrical
cables at the Fushin Power Plant, 1980. (Keystone/Getty Images)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Peeps on Parade

Some people have far too much free time. That said, the creativity on display in the Washington Post contest is truly impressive.

Happy Easter

From Juan by way of Eugene, professional buzz-killers both.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Gore

This time expounding on the state of American society.

I think a good laxative could do wonders for his outlook, but he makes some valid points even while sounding like your crotchety Uncle Harry:
All we do is hear about little cures for little pains. Nothing important gets said. There used to be all those talk shows back in the '50s and '60s, when I was on television a great deal. People would talk about many important things, and you had some very good talkers. They're not allowed on now. Or they're set loose in the Fox Zoo, in which you have a number of people who pretend to be journalists but are really like animals. Each one has his own noise--there's the donkey who brays, there's the pig who squeals. Each one is a different animal in a zoo, making a characteristic noise. The result is chaos, which is what is intended. They don't want the people to know anything, and the people don't.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today's Top Story

I thought death rays were a type of laser.

From Derek.

Cat Scratch Fever

Vidal has, it seems not forgiven Buckley; either for the insults or for his role in ushering in the 20th century's conservative ascendancy. The accusations pile up: "Although Buckley was often drunk and out of control, he was always a spontaneous liar on any subject that his dizzy brain might extrude." That's how you remember the dead.
A truly delicious dish. Follow the links.

Thanks to Terry.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hair of the Dog

A little charming, a little creepy. Maybe I'm just jealous, because we'd be lucky to get a beer cozy out of Zap and Devo.

From Riley, ever on the lookout for warm, fuzzy stories.

From Fluffing to Flipping

This guy is going to have a riveting obituary.

From Michael, who has several pots on the stove himself.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a
man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool."

Joseph Roux


If O. Henry and Franz Kafka had ever collaborated on a story, it might have read like this.

Thanks to John.

Jet Lag

I did shamefully at this, but ALS is far more to blame than my schooling.

From Anne, who didn't tell me how she did.

Classical Rock

What culture gap?

From Riley.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tee Hee Haw

Here in Virginia, contractors tend to be good ol' boys. (And rarely even remotely attractive, more's the pity.) So it is with the crew that's been building our new bathroom.

We're finally nearing the end, and this morning they installed the commode. Things were pretty quiet until the merry trio got the washlet on and started testing it.

Lawd a'mighty! Such hootin' an' hollerin', you'da thought they was a passel o' boys what snuck into the wimmin's changin' room.

I shouldn't have been surprised. I had a friend who grew up in a tiny hamlet on Virginny's swampy southern border. His father was the town doctor, his mother a nurse. They had the first Volvo in town (in the 1980s!) -- and the first and only bidets. One of his sisters was showing a local friend around their newly built house, and when they got to the girls' bathroom, the friend exclaimed, "Oh my gawd! Dual stools!"

More recently, a friend in North Carolina had her master bath redone. The workmen were the usual sophisticates, and one of them asked, "Whaddya want that for?," referring to the bidet. "I considered telling him you get a lot more lovin' with a fresh lulu," she said, "but instead I told him to mind his own damn business."

Likewise, I could have told our plumbers about my gnawing apprehension of losing the ability to wipe my own ass, but I didn't. It was none of their damn business. Besides, they were having a blast.

In Other Words

I don't know from Christina Aguilera, but this made me smile.

From Marty, Christina's No.1 fan.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile."

Albert Schweitzer

A Race to the Finnish

This is the kind of mischief that results from long winters and too much free time.

From Derek, a born troublemaker.

Wee Snacks

Despite my oft-stated disdain for crafts, I have to admit a grudging admiration for this. I mean, even grease spots ...

Thanks to Peggy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Believe those who are seeking the truth.
Doubt those who find it."

André Gide

Products of a Sharp Mind

A touch wooden, but very creative.

From Derek.

Local Color

I suspect this gluten free-for-all is better experienced in video than in person. My throat started to close up just watching it.

From Riley, who enjoys a good dustup every now and again.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Excruciating De-tail

This glamorous saga offers so much -- not least an entirely new definition of "normal relationship." Talk about throne your life away ...

As seen on OMG Blog.

Toilet Training a Snap for Ginger

Since we're already in the crapper, I guess we might as well linger.

Oh my God! What's that?

From Prunella, whose cats do not possess this particular talent.

The Remains of the Day

This crash course at "Brown U." was shared by Peg, who noted that parts of it "were even too much for me." I think of myself as profoundly unsqueamish, but in this case I have to concur.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Reel Talent

Another hilarious example of life imitating an "SNL" skit.

From Colleen, who's desperate for an excuse to hire these auteurs.

What's in a Name?

Studies showed that children with odd names got worse grades and were less popular than other classmates in elementary school. In college they were more likely to flunk out or become “psychoneurotic.” Prospective bosses spurned their résumés. They were overrepresented among emotionally disturbed children and psychiatric patients.

Some of these mental problems might have been genetic — what kind of parent picks a name like Golden Rule or Mary Mee? — but it was still bad news.
From Laura, who wishes her middle name were Danger.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"If the automobile had followed the same development
cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost
$100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once
a year, killing everyone inside."

Robert X. Cringely

Victoria Regina

Thirteen years ago last month, Dan schlepped up to the bustling metropolis of Colfax, Calif., to claim Zap. He was accompanied by his friend Gene, who declared: "That's the ugliest puppy I've ever seen."

Gene's judgment is subject to question, because I've seen Zap's puppy pictures and he was adorable. In the years since, he's routinely been described as elegant, regal, and even beautiful. How often do people call you regal, Gene? That's what I thought.

Zap has one of the sturdiest egos I've known, yet I haven't had the heart to share this news.

Paint by Numbers

Get a statistical snapshot of your ZIP code and find out how it stacks up against others.

From Diana, who can make even numbers seem interesting. Odd ones too.

Will o' the Wisp

In video for maximum impact.

This was on "Countdown" last night, but Riley, always ahead by a hair, had already sent it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Life is a long lesson in humility."

J.M. Barrie

Pop Goes the Wheelchair

By and large, the cripple's existence -- this one's, anyway -- is a quiet one. Not always, though.

Yesterday I was sitting in my wheelchair, writing something profound/reading obituaries/surfing porn (take your pick), when I heard an odd, soft little noise: Pop. Pop pop. Pop.

"What's that sound?" I asked Dan. He didn't hear it at first, but then it continued. Pop pop. Pop. Pop pop pop.

"It's coming from my chair," I said helpfully.

He did a quick scan, and when his eyes reached the wheel facing him, they bugged out of his head. He leapt backwards a split second before the tire exploded with a skull-shattering crack, spraying black flecks across the room and leaving the chair -- and me -- listing forlornly to starboard.

Dan later told me that a bloated stretch of inner tube "the size of a clementine" had somehow squeezed out between the rim and the tire. Not an orange or a tangerine, mind you, but a clementine. I think he might be gay.

The chair is now fixed, but my nerves are still a bit frayed. If there are any loud noises in my near future, I hope they come from the TV and not from under my butt. Looking back, though, I did find one point of pride: Neither of us shrieked.

Ad Infinitum

That insidious gay agenda -- is there nowhere its slimy tentacles don't reach? You know you're in the mainstream when you have a catalog this extensive.

From Derek.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Only the shallow know themselves."

Oscar Wilde


How do you really feel about the presidential candidates? This test is slightly dated -- it includes Mike Huckabee -- but fascinating nonetheless.

I placed Clinton slightly above Obama -- no surprise -- but apparently I favored Huckabee to McCain, which was news to me. My eye-hand coordination was always abysmal, even before the ALS, so maybe that had something to do with it.

From Peg, who also surprised herself.

Snorkeling in Wisconsin

Friday, March 07, 2008

"I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking,
and then I thought: What the hell good would that do?"

Ronnie Shakes

Have a Nice Fall

Your brain starts shrinking at 25. Your handshake starts going soft at 30. At 40, your memory starts to slip. In a new book, author David Shields catalogues the myriad ways that our bodies gradually betray us.

I might be decrepit, but I can still turn on the gas. Or roll in front of a bus. Or off a pier.


It's that time again.

From Riley.
Young television viewer Malcolm Graves watching his favorite program, "Muffin the Mule," at home in Harrow, June 1950. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit.
There's no point in being a damn fool about it."

W.C. Fields

Today's Top Story

Mr Weston-Webb, 70, fears that his company, Grumpy Joe’s Flooring, has been a target for rivals in the portable flooring industry ever since it won a lucrative contract to supply the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.
From Riley.

Field of Schemes

The Chronicle of Higher Education has invited the public to submit design proposals for Dubya's presidential liberry. Some are quite inspired; check out the video.

I'm more curious about the contents of said structure. With every scrap of paper "lost," shredded, or classified, what's left to house? Books? Please.

Thanks to Terry.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang

I was so distracted by Disney's quest for world domination that I didn't even notice another threat creeping up on little cat feet.

I knew Hello Kitty was ubiquitous, but I dismissed it as harmless. I mean, if someone really wants a pink, crystal-encrusted laptop, far be it from me to step on her paws. However, this latest merchandise is distinctly more sinister. Pardon the pun, but what's the target market for such an item?

And then there's this, which is probably a hoax, but then again ...

Inspired by Terry, who enjoys nothing more than wrenching off a girl's rose-colored glasses and exposing her to the harsh, ugly glare of reality.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Double Duty

Another ad you won't be seeing on American TV.

From Derek, whose crisper is protected by strict inventory controls.

Why So Quiet?

Cymothoa exigua got your tongue?

And some people don't believe in evolution ...

Thanks to Alan. Thanks a lot.
Winston Churchill with his wife, Clementine, holding a lion cub during a
trip to London Zoo, July 1943. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Noteworthy Names

Verna Squirrel
Haywood Wigglesworth
(Miss) Peculiar Smithfield
Suzanne Sousan
Morris Morris
Anita Barber
Pearl Gunn
Pearl Chew
Pearlie Oates
Dusty Spangler
Penelope Longbottom
Emmeline Pankhurst
Rev. Dan Christian
Pastor Charles H. Doom, Jr.
Vernetta Chinn
Chinnetta Clegg
Missy Booze
Dustin Loser
Ferguise E. Mayronne IV
(Mrs.) Mellowese Pegues
Asia Shorter
Burma Burch
China Roots
China Jesusita Shavers
Silky O. Sullivan
Matilda Tennessee
Sadie Dingfelder
Olive Brown
Peachie Brown
Temptress Brown
Lance Cheek
Francis A. Cooch IV
Hyman Young
Sherre Pack-Hookfin
Wiley Farmer
Cletus Durkin
Tynesia Hand-Smith
Staccato Johnson
Marionette Allen
Crystal Sparks
Legend Plater
Taylor Fitton
Whetten Reed
Genius Sharp

Jessica Lang
Francis Bacon
John Stewart
Walter Johnson
John Hancock
Clarence Thomas
Ben Bradley
Jacqueline Smith
James Earl Carter
Philip Collins
Brian Wilson
Anne Murray
Billy King
Van Johnson
Molly Brown
Donald Henley
Ed Wood

Bless Her Heart

The ultimate Fosamax commercial.

From Caroline, who could very well be this gal one day.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

"All generalizations are dangerous, even this one."

Alexandre Dumas

Pursuing Youth in Asia

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that there'll always be a bit of a gap between Japanese and American culture.

From Riley, who knows nothing about boy cafés but plenty about boy bars.