Archive for August, 2013

Ten Random Things That Have Kept Me Awake At Night

August 30, 2013

Miley Cyrus and her foam finger (and not in a good way)

Giant snails

Thanks to Time-Warner Cable, I’ll never see how Dexter ends!

MOOCs (whatever the hell they are)

That waving fungus

Fast food workers’ strike (who will make my Doritos® Locos Taco now?)

The Amish Mafia

Where did I leave my passport?


The fear that those crappy, fake ghost hunting shows on SyFy may actually be real!


August 28, 2013

“If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get one million miles to the gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.” — Robert X. Cringely

One hundred dollars … a million miles … explode and kill …? Heck, that’s not a Rolls, that’s a Gremlin!

Claw Your Way To The Bottom

August 26, 2013

It’s happened again. Another kid got stuck in a claw machine.


I think it was England or thereabouts but it doesn’t matter if this was Mars because it’s one more time than it ever should have happened. Same applies to last time. And the time before and the time before and, well, you get the idea. In fact any time after the very first time is one too many. I mean, I’ll give you one. One time. Just so we can have something to talk about and recollect. “Hey, remember that kid that got stuck in that claw machine that one time?” “Yeah, that was sick, yo!” Now it’s all, “Daaaamn. Another kid got stuck in a freakin’ claw machine. Are these dudes messed up or what?!”

It really is getting to the point that we need to react not with amusement or scorn but with the cold discipline of logic and once a child crawls into a claw machine we systematically spay and neuter the parents, seal up the claw machine and ship it off to a special island or facility where the child can be adopted by people who can instill a modicum of common sense. Once there, we can raise all the claw machine children as a special army or workforce or volunteer corps or whatever the hell society needs most – and, hey, before you protest with cries of slavery or injustice amid the throes of whatever liberal guilt or political correctness that grips you just understand that whatever fate befalls these claw machine moppets it will be a damn sight better than anything that awaits them as children of parents who ALLOW THEIR DAMN KIDS TO CRAWL INTO CLAW MACHINES!

Seriously. Let’s just stop this crap before social services gets involved.

The Shunning!

August 24, 2013

Hey, all you 20somethings. Mock us old fogies all you want but our cartoons were far groovier than any of that toy-inspired dreck you grew up on! Check out this cartoon from The Electric Company

By the way, I also think stuff like this is why I’m a liberal now. (Who says PBS doesn’t have an agenda?)

Just Desserts

August 23, 2013

You can sometimes return a gift that you don’t like. But you really can’t return a half-eaten ice cream cake. The guys at Carvel look at you funny like you’ve just stepped off the surface of Neptune or grown another forehead. And then Cookiepuss ends up getting shoved somewhere uncomfortable and the police get involved and then there’s handcuffing and a struggle and the inevitable perp walk on the local news, then YouTube, then CNN. It’ll all end in tears. TEARS, I tell ya!!! Sigh. Oh what the heck. Okay, Moira, I’ll eat the rest of the damn cake. I don’t want a bloody scene.

There Goes The Neighborhood

August 21, 2013

Hey, State Farm. I had a minor fender bender recently. So seriously minor it doesn’t bear mentioning except that I’ve been driving since, like, the Eisenhower administration and never been in an accident so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Point is – those commercials you guys air are so egregiously misleading there outta be a class action suit. I mean, I stood there singing, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!” with such gusto I might as well have been auditioning for the revival of The Fantasticks and – NOTHING! No insurance agent magically appeared to offer me money or teleport me out of harm’s way or turn the dude in the other vehicle into a hot babe that wanted to have sex with me. So what’s up with that, huh? You got those spots all over the tube and I have to believe you can’t legally say it if it’s not true so what gives? After a while, my voice got hoarse and all I could do was whisper your jingle through tears like some deranged auto insurance groupie. Hell, I woulda settled for that joker with the dollar bill on the fishing line at that point.

Bottom line: fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again! Either change those damn ads or I’m gonna start talkin’ to a certain Gecko about my insurance options. He’s a friendly little fellow. I bet he’ll come when called. (Although with my luck I’ll get that bloody squealing pig.)

No. Just … NO.

August 19, 2013


These are the newest dolls by the creator of the Bratz series. Jet setting anthropomorphic dogs that have dogs for pets. Seriously. If the uncanny valley alone doesn’t freak you the hell out consider the implications of spoiled, rich humanoid canines who walk dogs. Imagine the cast of Gossip Girl with small naked humans on leashes and you’ll begin to get where I’m coming from.

Broadcasting Recall

August 17, 2013

It was 1954, television’s golden age, and I was working as assistant to the lead property master at the now-defunct Dumont network. Aside from Captain Video and Studio 57, our main project was a fledgling game show called Blow Out The Candles. The premise was pretty elementary: three contestants vied for the chance to have their very own birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream. The questions were pretty simplistic, too (“Who created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse?”), and it was a bona fide hit for three weeks during the summer. 

However, one night, the lead prop guy, Buster “Crabby” Stunton, got stinkin’ blind drunk and fell onto the birthday cake we were gonna use in the prize sequence. Well, we didn’t have any others baked and the studio chef had already clocked out for the day and all nearby bakeries were closed. So, we made up our own, a “faux” cake, out of plywood and caulk and painted it with white chrome matte. It looked beautiful and no one would have been the wiser had not the emcee, on a spur of the moment lark, tried to take a bite right out of the upper tier. He broke two teeth. On live television.

Crabby and I got our heads handed to us by the producers and we never worked network television again. Last I heard, Crabby lived in a tent Phoenix where he spends his days taking pot shots at iguana with a pellet gun. Compared to my lot, that’s a bloody paradise.

There We Were All In One Place, A Generation Lost In Space

August 15, 2013

It seems hard to believe that it was only 44 years ago we all gathered together there on Yasgur’s farm.  I don’t recall much of the experience, primarily due to sleep deprivation. (Do you know how hard it is to catch forty winks when half a million hippies are groovin’ to rock music?  And the music was, like, nonstop!) Still, I jotted down a few notes for my school paper. Sadly, the article was never published because the principal refused to celebrate “those counter culture weirdos.” 

Nonetheless, here are a few excerpts from my own personal Woodstock diary:

“An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music.” So says the poster. For 18 bucks, the Beatles better show up carrying the Rolling Stones, the Doors and Cream on their freakin’ shoulders!

A 20-mile traffic jam?  We are not walking all that way!

Sigh.  We’re walking all that way. (more…)

Buttersweet Empathy

August 12, 2013

Love this ad from Down Under warning about the nuisance of hard butter. (And poor, poor Steve.)