Sunday, February 24, 2008

Speaking Of...

I read the other day that Janet Napolitano endorsed Barack Obama. At first I thought it was pretty cool that an endorsement from the lead singer of Concrete Blonde made headlines. Then I read a little further and a little more closely and realized that Janet (not Johnette) is the governor of Arizona. A female governor… who would’ve thought? I have to say that Johnette’s endorsement would have meant more to me. Because I always look to artists for advice on politics. I usually just vote for whomever George Clooney is supporting because he’s so darn cute.

Speaking of George Clooney, I’ve done a survey and 63% of the women on the train are reading Eat Pray Love on their daily commute. I have no idea what the book is about, but I have a hunch that the ones reading it are probably the people least likely to need it or most benefit from it. Great scam. People read what they already believe or want to believe so keep feeding it to them. Oprah Winfrey and Rush Limbaugh have made boatloads of money with this model. Oh, and I think most of the women reading it have the “Eat” part covered pretty well – probably could have left that part out. Unless it’s some sort of book for runway models. Then it might help to remind them to have a cheeseburger.

Speaking of cheeseburgers, I was watching coverage of the latest school shootings and noticed how fat so many of the students were. Yeah, the event sucks and I feel bad for all those affected but when they said the school told all the students to go home, I was thinking they should be telling them to go to the gym instead. How about taking 30 minutes for a couple miles on the treadmill during recess?

Speaking of not going to the gym, I recently saw a picture of Curly Howard somewhere and laughed. How could he have been anything in life but a Stooge?

Speaking of stooges, it appears the tax rebates are coming. I’m proud to live in a country whose new motto appears to be “A Wii for every living room!” as a solution to our economic troubles.

Speaking of more stooges, I’m glad our representatives are spending whatever time it takes to find out what might have been injected into Roger Clemens’ ass. They’ve finally helped me realize that performance-enhancing drugs in sports is obviously one of the most critical issues in this country. Not funding Medicare and Social Security or healthcare or foreign relations. Nah, the next guys can figure that out. And despite how PETA might feel, I don’t care if players shove live gerbils up their asses to deliver a case of Red Bull to their endocrine systems if they think it will help them get a bigger contract. Go for it, dudes.

Speaking of live gerbils, I got an email with the subject line “Is it too small?” How did they know I needed a new television?

Speaking of email, why would you say “kindly” when “please” will suffice, you pretentious bastard? Kindly refrain from doing that from now on.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Scientific Dreams Collide

The construction and testing of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is just about complete and is expected to be cranked up in May. Once in operation, this machine may unlock secrets of the universe scientists have dreamed of understanding ever since their mathematics told them to go to sleep and dream about them. “No more dreaming about Doctor Who,” the Math said, “you must dream about hypothetical particles suggested by me.” Lucky for us, the scientists took Math’s advice. They dreamed about particles so much, they created the Large Hadron Collider so they could actually meet these particles of obsession. It’s similar to what Anthony Michael Hall and that other guy, who we never heard of again, did in the movie Weird Science. Now it looks like those scientists’ dreams will soon come true.

The Large Hadron Collider is a seventeen mile long metal and concrete tube formed in giant circle. It is located underground spanning the border of France and Switzerland. The bond this device creates surgically connects France and Switzerland. With this collider, I thee wed. This is bad news for the people of Switzerland. The next time France gets their ass kicked in a war, the Swiss are going down with them. There is no waving the flag of neutrality when you are connected at the hip by a super collider. Just ask Paul McCartney.

Basically, what the LHC does is smash things. We haven’t come a very long way from the cave man days. Smashing things then, as it is now, was the primary method for discovery. “Groc wonder what in walnut shell.” SMASH! “A walnut.” “Groc wonder what inside egg.” SMASH! “Goo taste good.” “Groc wonder why Drok is such jerk.” SMASH! “Him dead now, him not jerk no more.” The only difference is that now we are smashing considerably smaller things.

Here is how it works. They take Hadron, who is the Half-Giant character from the Harry Potter stories, and launch him around the seventeen mile tube. (Hey, JK Rowling can’t write for ever. The guy needs some other source of income). With each pass he picks up more speed. Once he gets close to the speed of light (don’t worry, his mass won’t convert into energy at that speed because he wears safety goggles), they shoot a beam of sub-atomic particles, some of which are bread crumbs collected from the CERN (Council European for Research Nuclear where the LHC lives) cafeteria, in the opposite direction around the tube. Theoretically, Hadron will collide, eventually, with a bread crumb or maybe a proton. This collision will produce other sub-atomic particles that will be detected by a giant refrigerator magnet. The magnet is wired to computers on which the scientists will be playing Pac Man. They will be able to tell what kinds of particles were emitted by the color of the ghosts that emerge from the middle of the Pac Man playing screen.

The LHC’s primary objective is to find the Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson is a hypothetical particle scientists believe explains why matter has mass. This is a key element in determining why the W and Z bosons are lard asses, while photons remain is such good shape. It ties all of their loose ended theories together, including the conspiracy theories of JFK, the holy grail and why Jim Belushi got his own show . If you want to learn more about this, I suggest you watch PBS until Nova comes on. And then tell me. The point is, scientists cannot actually prove their theory about mass until they can capture the elusive Higgs Boson and interrogate it under a hot lamp. And maybe poke it with a stick.

As it turns out, they built the LHC for nothing. I happen to have gazillions of Higgs Bosons living in my house. In fact, they’ve overrun the place.

Years ago, I was at a garage sale at the home of Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. I was a wide-eyed college lad. He was trying to clear out some of his old stuff so he could fit a bubble hockey game in his basement. I thought I’d buy some of his drawings, if he had any for sale. We struck up a conversation that led to him telling me about his travels to Brazil. Before I knew it, we were jamming together, he on the frigideira and me on the pandeiro. We were laughing and hugging and giving each other noogies. Before I left he told me he wanted to give me something. He ran inside the house. I grabbed a few of his drawings and shoved them down my pants. He came back with a cardboard box with a big red question mark painted on it. He gave it to me and told me not to open in it until I got home. We played one more song (Electric Avenue by Eddie Grant), and I was on my way. I never opened the box when I got home. Charles in Charge was on TV, so I threw the box in the garage and forgot about it.

As I’ve moved to different places throughout my life, I brought the box with me, never thinking to open it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, while I was looking through the back of my closet for yarn, when I came across the box and decided to open it. When I lifted the lid, a single Higgs Boson peaked over the rim and looked around. It ignored me and yelled back inside the box, “All clear!” All of a sudden immeasurable amounts of other Higgs Bosons poured out of the box and scattered all over the house – and they kept coming. As you may know, Higgs Bosons decay into other particles pretty quickly, but that hasn’t stopped them from commandeering my house. As soon as one decays, there is another one to take its place and continue doing what the other one was doing. It’s like they’ve been trained by army ants. For example, one of them started to make a liver sausage and honey omelet. That one never lived long enough to eat it. Fifty million other bosons teamed up to finish cooking it and twenty million others ate it. And none of them cleaned up. They’ve ripped off the lid of the box and bolted it to the floor. I can’t get rid of them. And they keep coming.

I’ve learned to live with their disregard for me and their maniacal living style. To tell you the truth, it’s not much different than my normal swinging bachelor lifestyle, if you don’t count the wild parties, naked women, drugs and Mah Jongg tournaments they have.

In the interest of science I stopped one of them the other day and asked it, “Why does matter have mass and what role in it do you play?” It replied, “If it was up your ass, you’d know.” And then it decayed, leaving its cigarette burning on my couch.

If it was up my ass, I'd know. Very profound. I can see why the scientists are looking for such a remarkable particle. So I decided to call the smart people at CERN and tell them to look in their asses for the answer to their dreams. But the Higgs Bosons destroyed my phone, and part of my ear, when I tried to make the call. I think the people who created the LHC are better off not knowing for now. They’ll find out soon enough.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No More Amboolunts to the Hossuhbul

Remember when I was in kindergarten and I could not pronounce the word “hospital”? Instead I would pronounce it “hossuhbul”. No matter what I did, I could not figure out how to work that “T” sound into the word. It was as if I was speaking Hawaian without the glottal stop. The best I could do was phonetically average the “P” and “T” phonemes to come up with a “B”.

Naturally, the other kids made fun of me, especially since I could not properly pronounce the word “ambulance” either, saying “amboolunts” instead. They would mock me, “Are you going to take the amboolunts to the hossuhbul, little kindergarten version of Moist Rub?” Shut up, Riley Teirney and Vanessa With The Red Ribbon In Your Hair and Joe Who Smelled Like Pee. All of you - STOP IT!

Not only could I not pronounce “ambulance”, the word itself confused me. How could “ambulance” and “ambulate” come from the same Latin root meaning to walk? Were the original ambulances boy scouts who would walk the ailing to the hospital? What if I had a broken leg? Would I still have to walk to the hospital? Whose insane idea was it to make sick people walk to the hospital? It was probably that sadist Hippocrates. Although, he probably didn’t know what ambulare meant in Latin since he was Greek. Maybe he was just bad at Latin. Everybody is bad at Latin. Even Cicero couldn’t remember when to use hic, haec or hoc. As you can see, I was a confused little kindergartener. I’ll give Hippocrates the benefit of the doubt.

But I won’t give Riley, Vanessa and Joe the benefit of the doubt. Do you know what kind of emotional damage your cruel ribbing did to me? Well, none, actually. I just happened to remember my puerile speech impediment while I was making a speech at work while sucking on a Tootsie Pop. I kept stumbling on the word “infrastructure”. The weird part was my speech was not even supposed to include the word “infrastructure”, but whenever I got lost I would say it so people would think I was smart. I forgot all about the “hossuhbul” ordeal until then, at which point I took the Tootsie Pop out of my mouth and enunciated, “Hos - Pi- Tal” and finished the speech. This didn’t seem to confuse the audience any more than they already were.

I sure hope Riley, Vanessa and Joe were not at my speech. Just in case they were, I want to make it clear that I can pronounce “infrastructure” when I don’t have a Tootsie Pop in my mouth. I can also now pronounce “hospital” and “ambulance”, and I can even pronounce “ennui”, but I’m too disinterested to remember what it means. I hope Riley, Vanessa and Joe remember how they treated me and feel shame. But, I cannot blame them for what they did. I must have sounded like an idiot. What kind of lunatic goes around saying “hossuhbul”? I must have been out of my mind. I wonder if Joe still smells like pee.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In Honor of President's Day

Click to enlarge. Or you can try fondling them.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hannah Montana Hates My Baby

Here is all I was told. The movie is only going to show for a week. Only a week. It’s never going to come out on DVD. If we don’t see it next week, we will never, ever, be able to see it. My life will be ruined if I don’t see it.

Well, that last part wasn’t spoken. It came across loud and clear on the expression of my daughter’s face when she was pleading with me to try to buy tickets to the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3-D cinematic promotional propaganda buzz saw.

Sorry, honey, your life will just have to be ruined.

I tried to explain to her that this was just an evil marketing ploy created by the evil Disney corporation to drive up demand for a below average carnival act. The more I spoke of their diabolical plan the more her bottom lip jutted out. Eventually it was so far out that helicopters began landing on it. I could not make her understand what a huge farce she was falling for. I even told her that Miley Cyrus must hate her fans if this is how she chooses to treat them. Why would she make the movie available for only a week if she really cared about you? You don’t want to go see somebody that hates you, do you? Logic, even distorted, and possibly mean, logic, was no match for her infatuated will. So I turned to education. I showed her a typical supply and demand chart and explained to her how it works: no matter what the supply and demand, the price is always too high.

She didn’t seem to get it. So, I threw some puppies and bunnies on it.

Still, no response. I carried on and showed her what happens when an evil corporation decides to limit the supply of something that they know young, sweet, adorable kids want so bad.

To make it a little more relevant, I added some real life consequences to the chart.

“But why can’t we go?”

Because it’s all bullshit, that’s why. Well, I didn’t say it like that. But I assured her that she will have an opportunity in the future to see the movie, and that she will look back on this event when she is older and realize how wise and caring (and handsome) her daddy was to make such a difficult decision, not to mention how average of an act Hannah Montana actually is. The same thing happened to me with Shaun Cassidy. She’ll understand one day. Once the hate, vindictiveness and emotional scarring clears up.

She walked away with her head down. I felt crummy but I knew I was doing the right thing. I would not be a Disney pawn of torture, even though that is what I was. But it wasn’t me dripping water on her forehead. Disney ran the hose and set me up as the conduit of pain. I curse them, flagrantly.

My daughter seemed to get over it in about an hour. The next day I received a phone call from my ex-wife: “Go on to Fandango and help me buy Hannah Montana tickets.”

I most certainly will not!

After denying her request I emailed her my supply and demand charts as evidence. Her response was, “I know but she REALLY wants to go.” I can’t argue with that, but I was determined not to be an accessory to blatant marketing malfeasance. It took her most of the day to navigate through Fandango’s server clogs, but she was able to buy four tickets to a 9:15 pm show for tonight at a theater miles and miles from her house. They are probably at the show right now. I declined their invitation to join them, so my successor had to go. He didn’t seem very excited about it.

Today I learned that, now that the hysteria of being the first on the block to see the supposed limited-time-only concert movie has subsided and all the money has been collected, Disney has graciously extended the run of this fiasco, allowing theaters unlimited showings.

Someday my daughter will realize that I am never wrong, and when I am, it’s only because I wasn’t right. I hope she enjoys the movie, but I also hope she learns a lesson. And that lesson is: get some better taste in music.

As for Disney, you can suck my left nut.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Neighborhood Watch

I took some time tonight to watch my neighborhood. Neighborhood watches are one of the most effective security measures used in urban and suburban areas. I don't know about rural areas; occasional cow mischief I would imagine. I was not watching the neighborhood for security purposes. I was just being nosy.

It was a gray night, the sky being illuminated by city lights ping-ponging between the clouds and the snow. There was little wind. Nobody was outside. Nobody walking home from the Seven Eleven toting a twelver of Busch Light under their arm. No cars drove by. No snow plows, either. It was quiet.

All of a sudden, a light went on in the bedroom window of my neighbor's house across the street to the left. After about a minute, the light turned off. My neighbor probably went to the bedroom to change his pants. I'm guessing he spilled some sauce.

I continued to watch for about a half hour. Nothing else happened. I felt lucky to have seen the light. Thank goodness for the sauce.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Republican Illegal Immigrant Round Up

I don’t belong to a political party, but I have been paying attention, somewhat, to the political environment lately. And by “somewhat” I mean it doesn’t put me to sleep as much as it used to. So, I’ve learned some things.

One of the things I’ve learned is that Republicans hate illegal immigrants because they tend to vote Democratic because Democrats want them to be in this country in order to get more votes. I have no clue how illegal immigrants obtained that right, but, apparently, they have it. I haven’t been able to stay awake for long enough to learn more about it, but I certainly didn’t vote for that rule. I’m sure there are other issues behind this hate for illegal immigrants than just their ability to vote Democratic. The reason for the hate does not matter in reference to this topic. Personally, I don’t know why I have to suffer the laws of this country while the illegal immigrants don’t. It doesn’t seem fair. Maybe President W. Bush is an illegal immigrant. There have been plenty of times I wanted to make a right hand turn on a red light but couldn’t because of some fascist sign telling me I can’t (maybe we need more signs at the borders). Have you any idea how many speed dating sessions I’ve been late to because of my law-abidingness? But, I’ll whine about that on my own time, in the bar while I’m getting drunk and hugging men I don’t know. I’d prefer to hug the women but I’m tired of getting slapped and yelled at.

Consequently, Republicans want to pass more stringent laws regarding illegal immigration. This sounds like a good plan, but it is not necessary, especially since the current laws, if enforced, should be enough to alleviate the alien plague. If the Republicans looked deep inside themselves and took an inventory of their beliefs and the relationships between those beliefs, they would realize they already possess a characteristic that complements their hate for illegal immigrants that would lead to a solution to their problem. Republicans LOVE guns.

I propose that Republicans take those guns they love so much and use them to round up those illegal immigrants they hate so much. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas, Dorothy. There’s no place like get the hell out of our country. But your ruby slippers aren’t acts of legislation. They are semi-automatic firearms and vigilante justice. What good is having the right to bear arms if you can’t use those born arms to protect yourself for any connotation of the word “protect” you deem applicable? Don’t hang a gun over the mantle if you don’t intend to use it by the end of the story. It’s the ultimate exemplification of foreshadowing.

Once they have rounded up the illegals, the Republicans can drive them to one of our borders (I suggest the Alaska/Canada border) and force them out using their guns as incentive. They could even dress up like pirates and construct a plank for the unwanted to walk on while they are de-Americanified. Unfortunately, the transportation of these people might be pretty expensive because of the record high energy costs of late. Maybe they can ask Exxon to share some of their record high profits to subsidize the illegal immigrant exodus.

There is one problem with this plan, other than it is against the law (although I think Republicans are allowed to follow the president’s precedent by choosing which laws to take seriously or not). Some of the illegal aliens may be bearing arms themselves. If they are not going to abide by our immigration laws or our “don’t vote if you aren’t legal” law, what’s to stop them from toting illegal weaponry? That’s a bed made by the Republicans in which they will have to figure out a comfortable way to sleep. I can’t solve all of their problems.

After the country is sufficiently exterminated of unlawful pests, the Republicans can use their rightful arms to patrol the borders, adopting a shoot on sight philosophy. That should keep those bastards out.

You see, the problem isn’t that foreign people take advantage of our ineffective legal system. The problem is that Republican people are not willing to act on their beliefs. They expect others to take care of problems for them. You have to do more than just vote in modern day America if you want something done. The effectiveness of your single vote is so watered down by our political process that it’s like trying to ward off a hurricane by tickling an ant’s belly. You must get involved, and kill immigrants, if necessary.

From reading this, you may think I am against Republicans. If so, you are wrong. I am not against them, not any more than I am against political parties in general. But, I am disappointed in them for not living up to their own expectations, and I want to help them. It is a lack of conviction that is their bane in this case. I suspect Democrats suffer a similar affliction in that regard, but I don’t know for sure. It’s not like one of them has confronted me in the street to physically take money out of my pocket to give to an illegal immigrant. Maybe they would if they had any balls. I haven’t been able to stay awake long enough to peg their bag yet. I trust I will eventually.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Google This, Bastards

Google’s shares were down almost $50 today – over 8%. Good. They were getting a little too cocky anyway. Besides, I’m just bitter that I had decided the shares were overpriced when they went public at $85. They’re still over $500 even with today’s decline. But, hey, I love coming to work when it’s single digits and there is 8” of snow on the ground so who cares if that 600% return would have brought me a little closer to retirement. I can work another couple years. My minus 13% gain on Under Armour stock will help me reach my financial goals in about minus 27 years. But I digress.

I blew off Google because it was just a search engine to me. Sure, everyone was using it, but to me it was just a giant card catalog for the Internet. And last time I checked, my local librarians weren’t driving exotic cars to work. But that’s because libraries don’t sell advertising in their card catalogs. There’s an idea for all you cash-strapped municipalities that can’t figure out how to balance the budget without taxing the crap out of me. Sell advertising on your catalog searches. Someone looks up Stephen King and gets a link to buy or rent a DVD of the screen adaptation. The library gets some cash for the ad. The video store makes some cash on the sale or rental. The producers get royalties on the sale. And less wear and tear on those silly books. Winners all around in my trickle down economic stimulus package, all while increasing revenues for my local government. There’s my contribution to society – it’s all yours, free of charge. You’re not going to make any money collecting ten cents a day because Grandma Moses returned Tuesdays With Morrie a couple days late. But I digress.

Google earns 99% of its revenues from advertising. Sure, I saw the ads but I didn’t think anybody actually clicked on them. But I guess there are enough people with computers who are clicking on those ads like rats in a psych lab looking for a Scooby Snack, and thus making the people at Google very rich. And making the people that bought those shares at $85 a bit wealthier.

But that’s not the only reason I’m bitter about Google – it’s their not so subtle placement of ads in their mail program Gmail. When I go to Google and do a search for hot fudge bikini waxing, I understand if I get some ads for laser hair removal or the latest offering from Dairy Queen. But now Google is analyzing the content of my email and providing what they believe to be helpful links. Telling me, objectively, what they think I need in my life based on my communications with other boneheads in the world. On a recent email, I reviewed the sponsored links and the list was as follows:

5 Essential People Skills
Dale Carnegie’s Free Tips
End Your Procrastinating
Leadership Skill Coaching
Success/Life Coach

Really. Screw you, Google. You don’t think I have people skills? Well, yo mamas are all fat. And that’s fat with an “f” and not phat with a “ph”. You think I need to hear what some jagoff named Dale Carnegie has to say? He’s probably some loser living in a van down by the river. You think I need to stop procrastinating? You should be thankful that I do or else I would have ripped you when I got this email back on January 12th. I’ve been busy, okay, because I can’t motivate the people who work for me to do anything right and have to do it all myself. So back off. It’s not my fault I have a cruddy job and the stress in my life is overwhelming. Sitting in your little Silicon Valley ivory towers thinking you know what’s best for everyone. Well, you don’t. So just screw you, Google. Bastards.

Oh, by the way, this blog is hosted by Blogger, a Google company. So please click on our little, hidden, unobtrusive ad box somewhere down the page on the right so we can share in their wealth. Moist Rub informs me that we have earned $0.23 to date through the Ad Sense program. But I haven't seen my $0.115 yet and he's not answering my emails so he has obviously absconded with the funds. Bastard.

Ed. Note: I've just been informed by Moist Rub that telling people to click our ad violates our terms of service. So don't click our ad. Ever. It's dumb. Forget I even mentioned it. Besides, last I checked it was a link for a gentleman's club directory. You don't need that - just email me and I'll tell you where to go. Or just send me the $25 and I'll describe in great detail via return email the table dance I'd give you.