Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Man of the Hour

It's been a while since i've graced this site with a few choice words, and to those ofyou who're still listening...my apologies. Life being what it is, I found myself lacking a certain voice; the need to express my thoughts to the world at large had, temporarily, vanished.

However, like the mythical phoenix, my narcissism has been reborn. The fire that birthed this re-entry into the blogosphere?

Occasionally...rarely, an individual comes into the public consciousness that inspires us. Often positively, sometimes negatively, but there is no question that we are forced to *opine* upon their existence. We argue about them, households becoming divided in the intensity of these discussions. We obsess over them, we watch anxiously for scraps dropping from the literary tables, looking to snatch a morsel of information - any information - to sate our appetite for knowledge of this individual, for tidbits and crumbs that serve only to fuel the fires already raging inside of us.

For months now, perhaps longer, there is one individual who has caused such intensity of emotion as to cause the weak to swoon, that has inflamed the outrage of some even as the passions of others have been fanned to inferno proportions.

Yes, you know exactly whom I speak of.

Edward Cullen.

Laugh, did you? As did I, when I first heard of this character. And character he is! For those of you who (a) have been living under a rock, or (b) are not female, Edward Cullen is the protagonist in Stephanie Meyer's young adult "Twilight" series of books, with a motion picture by the same title to be released next week.

Gentlemen. If the woman in your life has not been introduced to this...this...leech...do all within your power to keep her from him. Do not, under any circumstances, let these books take root in her mind and imagination, or - and I say this with the plight of all men in mind - YOU WILL BE DESTROYED.

When a friend first mentioned his name, I made the honest mistake - being male, and of sound mind - of admitting I did not know who he was.

This is a mistake. If confronted with a similar question, do not under any circumstance admit a lack of knowledge. To quote the great playahs of our age:

"Fake it until you make it."

Why, you ask? Very simpe, my friend. Becausr if you profess ignorance of the Great Edward Cullen...she will EDUCATE you.

She will gush. She will swoon. And she will COMPARE him to you, and in that moment, true believer, you will be undone.

Again, you ask: why so? It is, after all, only a character. In a book. He's fake...

Please. I beg of you, do not make that statement to your woman. Or, I suspect, any woman. Because while we, being creatures of logic, can dismiss him as being non-existant, fake, and therefore not a threat...

...to her, he is not fake. He is a Fantasy, and you - I can never, never hope to live up to the ideal that is Edward Cullen.

Cullen, you see, is a teenaged vampire.

A boy, you scoff? Again: do not underestimate his power. Part of his appeal is his youth. He is immortal, forever trapped at a single age.

Whicham incidently, is the peak age of male sexuality.

Do you begin to see now?

Oh it is worse than you think, because there is more in his power that you cannot hope to overcome. Because he, unlike you and I has had over 300 FUCKING YEARS to get his shit together.

Imagine that. 300 years of making mistakes and learning how to correct them. Meaning, 300 years as a young adult, in his prime age, learning the best ways to seduce impressionable teenaged girls.

And you hope to compete, on any level, with that?!

So I encourage you, should these novels arrive in your home: channel your inner Palin. Burn them, and invoke the name of God while doing so.

For all of our sakes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Got Milk?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk.

Human. Breast. Milk.

In my ice cream.

The letter specifically reads:

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

Rather than comment on my feelings about this letter, I decided it would be best if I, on behalf of Messrs. Cohen and Greenfield, responded in kind.

Dear Tracy Reiman,

With specific regards to your letter to the Ben & Jerry Homemade, I felt obligated to respond to the idea of replacing bovine milk used in the making of their ice cream with human milk instead.

While it is an incredibly intriguing concept, I feel that you have quite possibly lost your fucking mind.

Forgetting the absolute silliness of asking a major corporation to replace a food product - which, incidently, human beings have been consuming for as long as mankind has learned to domesticate animals - with HUMAN milk, I would like to address the impracticalities of what you've asked this corporation to do.

You use, as an example, a solitary Swiss restaurant that is paying human volunteers to donate their breast milk so that they can make sauces for their dinner menus. While I believe this is a novel innovation on the part of the Swiss, the fact that you have extrapolated this concept to be used by a corporation that uses more milk in a day than this restaurant would in five years shows your complete and utter (udder?) ignorance and stupidity. Perhaps you should have directed this to the Swiss chocolatiers, as I'm certain you would enjoy milk chocolate made from human breast milk?

Do you intend for this major corporation to then reduce itself to relying on the good graces of female volunteers to fill their milk vats? Perhaps, instead, you envision deprived women in third-world countries lining up by the thousands, on a daily (if not hourly) basis, in order to donate their limited quantities of breast milk such that this corporation can meet their distribution goals?

You voice such concern for the state the cows exist in, and for that you should be applauded. You should, however, be bitch-slapped, several times in fact, for your implied suggestion that while it is deplorable for cows to exist in these conditions, it would be perfectly acceptable for human women to take their place. Perhaps we, as a nation, could enact a mandatory government draft - conscripting women by the thousands, in the name of public consumption - to volunteer for Milk Duty. These women would then spend, say four years of required service at the pumping stations to supply the needed milk for companies such as Ben & Jerry's to survive.

Conversely, as we seem to now be a nation of conquest - as evidenced by our soon-to-be annexation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the upcoming years Iran - we could instead enact slave labor camps. As you care only for the state of cows, you may be happy to know that there are very few cows in these countries; we could, instead, relocate our dairy factories to these otherwise useless nations and chain their women to these machines, creating a Nike-like cheap labor that would suit our digestive American needs.

I would not, myself, go so far as to suggest the methods by which these women would remain in a state of pregnancy - which, as you so pointedly noted, would be required in order for the women to consistently produce the milk needed. However, should the need arise I would be more than willing to volunteer my own services in this regards. No payment would be necessary, and travel to remote locations would not be a concern.

Of some concern, however, would be the potential "taint" posed by, shall we say, less sanitary women and the milk they would in turn produce. Perhaps B&J could enter into the drug trade, as I'm certain a large percentage of the women volunteering their services would already be some form of substance abuser. Kill two birds with one stone, as they say; Ben & Jerry Crack Houses could become a new franchise and source of income for the company.

I do have some trepidation; the costs of these enterprises would likely increase the price of ice cream tenfold. However, by putting the label "organic" on each carton, it by default enhances the quality of the product and guarantees the ice cream's inclusion on the shelves of Whole Foods. Price, as we already know from current Whole Food shoppers, would then not be a concern.

As I'm more than certain Ben & Jerry's is strongly considering your suggestion, may I be so bold as to further compliment your idea by proposing names that the company could use, in their new Breast Milk line of ice cream flavors?

Brownie Brown-Eyed Susan
Hazelnut Honkers
Tropical Fruit Melons Medley
Bouncing Berry Betties
Traffic Light Triple Medley
Around the Globes
Bananas 'n Bongoes

If I may be so bold, I would like to finalize this letter by sending you several mops; by now, after reading this document, your floor must be flooded with the dripping sarcasm it has left. You may also find the wooden handle of the mops very helpful, as the stick you already have up your butt is by now completely splintered by your tight-assedness.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bubbly Goodness

When I was young, there was a candy we all loved (at least, in my Bronx neighborhood we did) called Orbits.

Orbits, for those of you not in the know, were tiny pebble-sized sugar dots that came in a small box for maybe, 10cents. The boxes also came with a straw, the type that they give you with drinks at a bar, so that you could suck up the candy in the box with the straw.

Kids being kids, we all very creatively found a much better use for the candy AND the straw.

Pellet shooting.

I mean let's face it, they were absolutely perfect for this; tiny pellets, spherical, that came with it's own projectile launcher. They SOLD it to us, we'd be remiss if we didn't take full advantage of it. Who needed paper spitballs when you could literally shoot someone's eye out with sugary goodness? It came WITH the pea shooter, for christ's sake! This, to a child's mind, meant it was LEGAL!

When you shot someone with an Orbits pea, it was practically government sanctioned!

I bring this up, because there is a phenomenon that, admittedly, I do not see the appeal to. Not in the normal, sane-member-of-society sense, anyway.

We're talking about bubble tea.

To the typical American who has no idea what the freak I'm talking about, bubble tea is an asian - Taiwanese, to be specific - import that has overwhelmed the chinatown areas of our major cities. The abridged version of the Wiki description is as follows:

The distinctive characteristic of bubble tea is the presence of chewy translucent balls of pearl tapioca (that sit at the bottom of the glass). Cooked, large pearls have a diameter of at least 6 millimeters. The pearls are prepared by boiling for 25 minutes, until they are cooked thoroughly but have not lost pliancy, then cooled for 25 minutes. After cooking they last about 7 hours. The pearls have little taste, and are usually soaked in sugar or honey solutions.

Bubble teas are generally of two distinct types: fruit-flavored teas, and milk teas. However, some shops offer a hybrid "fruit milk tea." Milk teas may use dairy or non-dairy creamers.

The original bubble tea consisted of a hot Taiwanese black tea, brown large pearl tapioca, condensed milk, and honey. As this drink became more popular, variations were created.

Today one can find shops entirely devoted to bubble tea, similar to juice bars of the early 1990s. (They are served with a straw.) The straw may be brightly colored, and is oversize, large enough for sucking up the pearls.

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

So. These drinks come with rounded, tasteless wads of sticky gluten. And a fat straw.

Why am I the only one who seems to see the dangerous applications of this?

I have to tell you...these straws and tapioca balls are perfect for spitballing. Per-fect. I wish they'd had these when I was growing up!

Forget the drinks they come with; I could pour snapple over beheaded gummi bears and come up with the same flavor. The draw, to me anyway, are the wonderous projectile applications of these tapioca balls! Why aren't there more kids being suspended or given detention in school for having bubble tea wars?

What the hell is wrong with kids today?! I've personally tested these, many times, and I have to tell you - with the size of the straw and the rounded consistency of the tapioca, you can achieve considerable range. And we have the added bonus of the stickiness of the tapioca upon impact.

Walking with a friend who *snort* actually buys them to DRINK (!), she didn't believe me on the range and accuracy of these pudding dots. I then fired off a round or two at the stop sign across the street, smiling satisfactorily at the metallic *ping* that followed each.

I'm sure she was impressed. Really.

We decided, in the interest of science, to continue to prove this theory and found multiple targets for me to practice my sharpshooting (sharpspitting?)

In hindsight, I did consider that perhaps defacing public property was not the brightest move. Doing so by the Department of Corrections and the Chinatown prison, possibly even less brilliant. Fortunately we came to this conclusion before any police could watch our demonstration.

She did manage to get off a shot of our handiwork before we ran for the hills.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Checkpoint Charlie

After dropping Deli home tonight I figure hey, it's 7:30 - i've got enough time to make it home in time to drool over Felicia Day on "House", and I won't even need to kick in the hyperdrive engines.

Of course, this didn't take into account the U.N.

The fuckers.

A 20-25 min drive turned into nearly an hour, thanks to the single-lane checkpoint the NYPD has set up along the FDR.

This kaleidoscope of color you see isn't xmas come early - this is the highway as I sat in it, cursing myself for not crossing to the west side before heading uptown.

And what draconian procedure do the cars have to endure, as they reach the checkpoint?

I stopped. They shone a flashlight in my face. Then waved me on.


Was the flashlight some star trekkian genetic scan, some futuristic facial recognition device as yet unheard of by the general public? What purpose did that serve?

"He's american. Let him through."

It really does beg the question: what would have caused them to pull me aside? Did I need to have bombs in the passenger seat?

Or maybe, things would have been different if i'd been wearing a turban.

Arab IS the new Black, after all. Are Pakistanis going to complain about getting pulled over for DWAs now?

That checkpoint...concerns me. I don't want to return to the Jim Crow days.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thanks, FDNY

here's the scene this morning as I patiently (hah!) wait for the fire trucks to eave, so I can move my car :(

Monday, September 08, 2008

Worldly Concerns

Bless me father, for I have sinned. It's been nearly two weeks since my last confession.

Blog, confession. Whatever. You get the point.

I can't say why, really; perhaps, as in all things in life, I just needed a slight break. A digital vacation, a literary getway. There have been so many things to talk about, things of great import - the Democratic Convention, McCain's Vice Presidential choice, the US Open, the hurricanes, the start of the NFL season. My brain is stuffed near to brim with all of the possible topics; how, I ask myself, do I start my first day back on the blog? What topic could I choose, from amongst so many?

Cat poo coffee.

Yes, you heard me. Coffee, from cat poo.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Slightly. But not by much.

It's called Kopi Luwak, and is coffee made from coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet.

The civets eat the berries, but the beans inside pass through their system undigested. This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines (where the product is called Kape Alamid) and in East Timor (locally called kafé-laku).

The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but it has been proposed that enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee's flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated still covered in some inner layers of the berry. The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Some sources claim that the beans may be regurgitated instead of defecated.

Now...as eager as you obviously are to rush out and get your freshly shat pound of coffee, consider this. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $120 and $600 USD per pound.

Can I get a collective WTF, hallelujah and amen?

Seriously. WTF? W-T-F?! Why is shit-flavored coffee more expensive than others? Insanely more expensive?

...you know, in retrospect, I guess it makes a certain amount of sense. I mean, let's face it - you're gonna have to pay me a shitload (pun intended) of cash to chase after a nasty little bugger that looks like a raccoon, dig through it's feces looking for berries, to turn into coffee. Cuz that's not exactly a job that's gonna bring in the ladies, 'knamean?

But consider this question, which naturally popped into my head.

How, exactly, did this whole enterprise get started?

Think about this for a second. Some guy in kuala lumpur, wandering through the jungle, steps in some cat shit and, as he's wiping it off with a handy leaf, discovers coffee berries.

This guy, being of obviously sound body and mind, then popped said berries into his mouth. And oh-boy oh-boy, what a taste sensation THAT was!

Fast forward, and now he's living in a giant plantation house with a backyard pen full of these nasty little weasels. All they get to eat are coffee berries, which incidently probably makes them fairly exciteable little things. Which may also be why the coffee is so expensive, because fuck YOU if you think I'm going in a pen full of weasel-cats hopped up on caffine and NOT get paid a ton of cash.

Now...forgetting the fact that someone came up with this shit of an idea.

Someone had to actually BUY these beans from him, KNOWING it came out of a civet's ass. And did so eagerly.

In light of this, Governor Palin calling Obama a Sambo just doesn't seem all that staggering, does it?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cuckoo for Cocoa

Chocolate lovers: this one's for you.

Yes, you are seeing this correctly. A cuckoo clock...that spits out chocolate. On demand.

Firebox is selling this wonderful $40 ChocoClock online through their UK site, I assume because while those Britons "just gotta have it", Americans just don't want it that badly for forty bucks.

Their ad suggests:
This stylish retro-modern timepiece is a bit like a cuckoo clock but when its shutters open, on the hour every hour, it delivers a scrumptious chocolate treat to the tune of the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'. You then have 30 seconds to retrieve your reward before the clock snatches it back.

An ideal gift for the chocoholic with everything, the Chococlock is bound to become a must-have accessory for executive diet-dodgers everywhere. Simply fill it with your favourite bite-size sweeties (Maltesers, Revels, Minstrels, etc) and wait for the big hand to reach that magical number twelve.

For the weak-willed amongst you the Chococlock features a naughty but nice cheat button that will deliver a treat whenever you press it.

Okay. Let's face it. This is, easily, among the top 10 stupid products for the month. Why would I pay for a clock that dispenses chocolate - a clock, incidently, that i have to FILL with said chocolate - when I can just leave the box of chocolate open on my desk? How fat and lazy do you have to be, to want a clock that *dings* and presents you with a nice candy treat, every hour on the hour?

Do you really have such a need for a steady supply of chocolately goodness, that you need a device to set up an automated schedule for eating it?

I do like that the site is somewhat tongue in cheek, recogizing that if you're that much of a candy freak you're probably a moron - and they don't pretend to hide the fact that they're assuming you ARE a moron"
The Chococlock holds about 30 bits of chocolate, so assuming you resist hitting the cheat button you can sit gawping in anticipation for a marathon (or should that be Snickers?) 30 hours. Which is obvious, we know, but if you're loopy enough to sit by a sweet-dispensing clock for that long it's unlikely you can count.

It even has FEATURES, to protect you from yourself: a light sensor, to ensure that it doesn't dispense chocolate in the dark.

Because heavens forbid you should wake up to a small mountain of chocolate by your bedside.

I'm Ashamed To Be Black

I know, on occasion, black folk can be extremely ghetto. Ghetto fabulous. Every year we get the prom photos, we hear about the tacky weddings, we get to see the thugs all blinged out in their run-down tenement apartments. We get morons who make deals for KFC in exchange for criminal confessions. I get it. I may not agree with it, I may even be embarrased by it. But I get it.

But. People. Come the fuck on. Sometimes ya'll just gotta step the fuck in and bitch slap somebody!!

This video...is disturbing. On many levels. Thanks Tammy for sending it to me, but I gotta tell ya...I almost didn't want to post this. It borders on kiddie porn, at the very least somebody's parents need get a serious slapping, those kids need to be yanked from their home, and frankly I'm fully convinced now that some people need to be LICENSED before they're allowed to have children.

When it comes to knowing what's good and bad for your children, there is a...no. No no no no. Fuck that shit. The line isn't fine, it's broad as an 8-lane fucking highway. There's just some shit you don't let your kids do, and you sure as FUCKING HELL don't videotape it and put it online! I'm convinced I'm going to hell just for sharing this shit - but since I'm going to hell anyway, fuck it; I'm trying to make a point, and just DESCRIBING the video will not convey how disturbing it really is.

I'm going to let you watch this video and decide for yourselves whether or not I'm right. Even though I know I am, but I don't need to convince myself of that - you need self-assurance, and I respect that. So watch, and form your own conclusion.

And when you're done, I'll have held your place on line behind me. Because I know there's a couple of parents you're gonna wanna slap the shit out of in about a minute.

They'll Have to Permanently Graft Them To My Face

In New York, a fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking "at a woman in that way." A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a "pair of horse-blinders" wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll.

Prince, in a song off his "Batman" album, had a line: if a man is considered guilty for what goes on his mind, then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes.

Book 'im, Danno.

All of this came about because a friend (thanks, Jasmin!) forwarded me a law she found in Texas, that requires criminals to give - orally or in writing - 24hrs notice to their victims, explaining the nature of the crime to be committed.

Can I get a WhatTheFuck, amen and hallelujah?

Can you picture this? There's a knock on your door; a man in a suit is there. You open it; "Hello, are you Mrs. Sanderson? These are for you." He hands you a sheaf of papers. In it are documents outlining someone's intent to rob your house. They specific the rooms they intend to burgle, the possessions they expect to find and take, and the damages they expect to incur to your property. The man in the suit - a process server - ask you: "Now, can you sign here...initial here...and here. And sign here." He hands you a copy, and wishes you a lovely day.

Does following the law then make the "crime" now legally sanctioned? Is the potential victim required, by law, to then allow the acts outlined in the notice to occur, or face penalities themselves? If the victim attempts to disrupt the criminal act, are they in fact then breaking the law?

Who the FUCK came up with this shit?!

The fun, unfortunately, does not end with Texas or New York. This wonderful country of ours is FILLED with stupid laws that, for whatever reason, have not been taken off the books and remain in effect to this very day. How stupid, you ask?

Well, why don't we go exploring and find out!

In Florida, an unmarried woman is prohibited from parachuting on Sunday or they risk arrest and/or a fine. Because God don't like spinsters, and sure as Hell doesn't want the Devil to see up their skirts as they come floating down to the ground.

A New Mexico law prohibits females from appearing unshaven in public. Okay, this one I can understand, cuz have you seen some of those Mexican women...? (joking! sheesh!)

In Pennsylvania, no man may purchase alcohol without written consent from his wife. Well Ted Kennedy's pretty much fucked then.

Washington, in an effort to prove they're better than Texas, has a law that makes it mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town. Where, I assume, they will be fined for speaking on a cell phone while operating a vehicle.

Ladies, take notice: in Arizona, it is illegal to have more than two dildos in a house. So, His and Hers? Hers and Hers? His and His?

Which isn't so bad, when you consider that in Georgia, ALL sex toys are banned. Which plays hell with the entire Georgian porn industry.

In Idaho, it is illegal to fish from a camel's back. Dammit, there goes my chance at Olympic gold in Camelback Fishing.

Speaking of strange animal laws, in Massachusetts no gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car. I'm assuming this means it's okay for them to drive.

Occasionally, however, someone gets it right. In Rhode Island, any marriage where either of the parties is an idiot or lunatic is null and void. Which, were it to carry over into New York, would pretty much make everyone newly single.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Officer, I Need It To Measure My Coffee Sugar

I'm a gadget nut. I'm a guy, it almost goes with the territory - but I like finding odd little gizmos that inexplicably people line up to buy. However, there often comes along something that boggles the mind.

This little piece of 80's retrocity (is that a word? Who cares. My new name is Webster.) is called a WatchScale. It's a scale...for your wrist. For portable scaliness. Because I often have a need to measure the weight of things when I'm on the move.

I love the product page for this thing. Here is how they describe the "Key Benefits":

The first Pocket WatchScale® ever!
Because there was SUCH a void that needed filling here.
It's amazingly small, the smallest digital scale ever made (2008)
I'd have said "stupidly small", but hey, that's me...
Reads in Grams, Ounces, Troy Ounces & PennyWeight
That's good news for our friends in the UK, since I don't think anyone else actually uses a "pennyweight"
Protective-Cover doubles as an Expansion-Tray
...and why does it need a tray?
Stylish Leather Wrist-Band
I don't care if the band says Dolche, nothing could make this monstrosity "stylish"
Bright-Blue Back-lit LCD Display
Because when you're measuring things in the dark, this is really helpful
Your friends will gawk and say 'Holy cow!' when they see this amazing invention
More likely your friends will laugh and call you a geek.

Now...here's the thing. Because with me, there always is. I've been mulling this over and over in my brain, and I've come to a singular conclusion.

Is there anyone OTHER than drug dealers that would use something like this?

Seriously, isn't this like hi-tech for cocaine traffickers? "Hey man, lemme get a gram..." "Sure, let me whip out my handy Pocket WatchScale® and spoon out a perfect gram-size vial for you!"

What the hell would ANYONE else need this Dick Tracy-esque gizmo for?

Old women, measuring out their Equal for their morning tea?
Chemists who like to see what happens when they mix two powders while sitting on a plane?

How does a commercial for this product go? What do we get, some lab tech in a white coat, bemoaning the fact that his table-top scale is sooooooo far away on the other end of his work counter? "Oh lawdy, if ONLY someone made a smaller, more portable scale that I could carry with me alllllll the way over here?"

Cut to: a sudden flash, and a guy in a superhero caped costume appears. "Never fear, NerdGuy is here!" He flashes his wrist, and ta-da! There's a Pocket WatchScale®, ready for the lab tech to use!

"Thanks, NerdGuy!"

Somehow, I think this commercial would sell a lot better if they were just honest.

Scene: a dark alley in an urban neighborhood, deep in the inner part of a major metropolis. A car pulls up to a guy leaning against the wall. "Hey man...lemme get a couple of grams."

The dealer looks around, nods; walks up and hands the guy a vial. The driver looks skeptical. "Hmm. How do I know you're not shortin' me, bro?"

The dealer grins, snaps his wrist - and shows the guy his Pocket WatchScale®! "Check this out, hombre!", and weighs the vials on the scale.

The driver squints. "Man, I can't see JACK! It's too dark!"

The dealer winks. "Check this shit out!" and presses a button, lighting up the display with the handy LCD backlight.

The driver nods, smiling. "Fucking A, man!", and drives off happy.

Fade to black.

Hell, I'd buy one with a commercial like that!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

His Darwin Award is Still Pending

Kite Surfing, for those who aren't in "the know", is an "extreme" sport where a surfer uses a giant kite and the whims of the wind to propel themselves across the water. Naturally, the more wind you have - the greater the speed, and assumedly the more fun you have.

However. There are limits, people. Hence today's Darwin Award candidate.

To recap: the Darwin Awards are given to people who, through their own moronic acts of sheer stupidity, have done the world a great favor by removing their stupidity from the gene pool - saving the rest of us from having to deal with their potentially stupider offspring.

While I am not wishing any ill will on this person, if the fates should have their way he is a definite strong Darwin candidate.

26-year-old Kevin Kearney had a sudden inspiration - that Tropical Storm Fay and her 50mph winds, currently hitting the Florida coastline, would be the PERFECT time to break out the kite and board and head down to the beach.

He ends up getting flung across the beach and into the side of a building - fortunately for our viewing entertainment, it happened right in front of a local news crew. The video footage is a bit grainy and waterlogged, but they do a slo-mo rewind later and it's worth watching:

He's currently in critical condition. While I wish him well...just in case, his Darwin Award is on standby.

Is it Live, Memorex...or Something More?

I've never been a big fan of CGI.

Let me clarify that. I do not believe that CGI can effectively replace the human element in film. While, with motion-capturing software, we can simulate the movements of the human body, we can create "skins" over these wire-frame models that give a very reasonable facsimile of the textures and blemishes of the human face...I have not been convinced, based on existing use, that a computer can mimic the subtle nuances of physical facial expressions to such a degree as to be believeable.

In 2002, Al Pacino starred in a fairly unknown film, Simone ("S1m0ne"), that sort of brought this point to bear. A producer, desperate for a hit and having had his star actress quit a film, finds himself in the sole possession of a piece of new technology that allows him to digitally create a synthetic actress (there's an oxymoron). The actress, Simone, becomes an overnight sensation - with a singing career to boot. She's so believable on screen, so talented - as guided by the director's technical manipulations - that everyone completely believes she is a real person, which of course causes problems for the director who has to explain why his actress is never seen in public.

I'd never really believed this could ever be possible.

Until - maybe - now.

There is a company called Image Metrics that does quite of bit of facial imagery for the gaming community. Their proprietary software does not use motion capture; instead they film an actor's face as they emote during a dialogue, digitize that face, and allow their software to analyze the nuances of the brow, eyes, and mouth movements as the person speaks. The resulting data allows them to then attach those motions to a digital character, allowing them to very accurately simulate human expressions. You can watch the promotional video here:

However. There is another video that could be potentially more mind blowing. Here is an Image Metrics spokesperson, going into more detail on the specifics of how far advanced they actually are in this process:

Once, Hollywood told us: you will believe a man can fly.

Now, maybe that man flying isn't a man at all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Spandex Not Required

It's mid-August folks, which means...

Only 73 more days until Halloween!! Whoo-hoo!

Yes, you heard me. Halloween. You got a problem with that?! Listen, if KMart, Walmart and every other goddamn Mart in this country can start putting up Xmas decorations in October, then I can damn well push my calendar up two months as well and start talking about Halloween in August. So fuck off, buzzkiller.

Anyway. As I sit here gleefully contemplating the upcoming holiday, I can't help but think back to holidays - and costumes - past. One year I was particularly brave and yes, Virginia, I did go with the spandex body suit. I at least had the decency to wear a black one, and I was in enough shape that it didn't look bad on me.

However. I am no longer in the shape I once was, and there is just no way in hell I'll be caught dead in a spandex bodysuit this year.

Just as importantly...neither should a bunch of you.

I've decided that this year will be the Year of the Superhero, in terms of costumes; maybe Year of the Comic Book might be better, as I'm sure the land will be filled with Batmen, Nurse-Jokers, Suit-Jokers, Two-Faces, Iron Men, Iron Mongers, War Machines...

But please. Don't go with the spandex unless you've got the figure to pull it off! Don't, for the love of god, be this guy:

As a public service, the following is a No Spandex Required list of comic book figures that will allow even the pillsbury-doughiest of us to walk proudly down the streets of Greenwich Village:

The Thing
The original wrestler known as the "rock". He's big, he's orange, he's covered in stone. Fat guys rejoice, this is styrofoam and spray paint project that might take you all of a couple of hours work.

The Hulk
Get green paint. Bathe in it. Be fat. Welcome to the Hulk costume.

Iron Man
Squeeze into tin can. Paint red and gold. Include flashlight, pretend it's a repulsor ray.

The Question
Brown trenchcoat, white shirt with tie, fedora, and tan pantyhose to pull over your face. Of course the real question everyone will be asking is...who the hell are you supposed to be?

From the upcoming Watchmen movie. Take Question costume above, substitute white pantyhose for tan, and splatter with ink blots. Outcome will be the same, no one will know who the fuck you are anyway. Nerd.

Knock knock. Who's there? The 80s, they'd like you to forget they existed, thanks. Seriously folks, if you show up in a Robocop costume you're begging to be hit in the back of the head with a pipe. What, you couldn't afford an Iron Man costume?

A card-carrying member of the Trenchcoat Brigade. Ha. Ha. Paint a big stick grey, carry a deck of cards. Fling them at people and yell "Boom!" a lot. Should win prize for Most Annoying Costume, Ever

Okay, so technically A) he's a villain, and B) he DOES wear spandex. But this is supposed to be a backwards universe, so add some pasty white makeup and be proud of your out-of-shape body, you Bizarro-stud you!

Ghost Rider
Leather jacket, spikes, and carry a chain. Get a skull mask, set on fire. Guaranteed to spook the kiddies, and best of all with all that burning rubber (...okay and hair, and flesh) they won't be looking to see what kind of shape you're in.

So you see? You do have choices. And even if your beer belly is large enough to hide a truckload of kegs inside, just imagine: this could be you in 2+ months:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Sometimes you come across a thing that is oddly disturbing, and you're not quite certain what to make of it.

In Boise, Idaho, there's a trial going on to convict Joseph Edward Duncan III, a 45yr old pedophile who abducted sexually abused an 8 and 9 year old girl and boy "after Duncan fatally bludgeoned the children's mother, Brenda Groene; their 13-year-old brother, Slade; and the mother's fiance, Mark McKenzie."

Absolutely horrible, and I hope this guy fries in a very painful way for his crimes.

What has me...a bit freaked, the obvious notwithstanding, was the artist rendering of the courtroom defendant.

I'm not making that up. That's the actual drawing by the courtroom artist, done during the trial.



Are you kidding me? I'm not even going to talk about his crimes. I'm upset at the artist. What the FUCK were you thinking, when you drew this? And it isn't the first, I've found others that are similar. I don't give a rat's fucking ass if he did grow his hair long, add a beard and sat there in prison robes...what the hell is with the yellow glow, and the peaceful look?

Seriously, is someone taking a good hard look at the courtroom artist's background? Because this fucker obviously has a jesus-complex about this pedo! How in the hell do you DRAW something like THIS about a guy who molests and kills a NINE-YEAR-OLD BOY...and not think to yourself, "Hmmm. Perhaps I've put him in too good a light."

Was this just coincidental? Or is this a twisted joke?

I'm not even a Christian, and I'm offended at this crap! What the hell, man!

This is some seriously creepy shit, that's all I'm saying. And anyone who draws a child molester to look like Jesus, well...I'd be checking his references, hard. Kna'mean?

Sibling Love

Excerpts from an actual IM chat I had last week with my youngest sister. You gotta love 'em.
[11:46] monique: You should apply for a position with the village voice
[11:47] monique: and then buy me a car with your chump change because it was my idea. =)
[11:47] EricTrickster: I couldn't afford gas for the car, from a job at the village voice
[11:50] EricTrickster: why this sudden inspired suggestion?
[11:50] monique: because you write better than alot of these columnists out there
[11:50] EricTrickster: well thank you
[11:50] EricTrickster: but see, you said Village Voice and not the Times, the News...hahaha
[11:51] monique: you're way too vulgar for the times
When she's right...she's right! :)

Age Ain't Nothing But A Number

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All Washed Up

I've previously criticized the waterfall displays recently put up here in NYC (only a few million dollars to do, mind you), mainly because I felt they look cheap and uninspiring. Nice concept, poor execution. I realize I'm in the minority, but all great thinkers and visionaries are, so screw you all. Nyeh.

But to drive the point home, there's a similar project on display in Fukuoka, Japan - in a shopping mall. The waterfall uses a computer to control hundreds of nozzles to precisely deliver water drops so that they fall forming a pattern... and that's anything from words to pictures. You'll be amazed, watching this video, at the level of detail they're able to achieve using falling water; it's a fantastic degree of precision.

And I watch, this, and go...

How much did we pay for those damn waterfalls again?!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

No Bottle of Hennessey?

New Yorker Tremayne Durham, 33, struck a plea bargain last month in which he was guaranteed a meal of KFC chicken, Popeye's chicken, mashed potato, coleslaw, carrot cake and ice cream - in return for pleading guilty to murder.

As part of the deal, and after receiving a life sentence this week in court in Portland, Oregon, Durham will also get a second feast, this time on an Italian theme, with calzone, lasagne, pizza and ice cream.

The judge, Eric Bergstrom, is understood to have accepted the bargain because it would save the state of Oregon thousands of dollars in hosting a trial and possible subsequent appeals.

The murder happened in June 2006 as a revenge killing. Durham travelled from New York City right across the country to confront an Oregon company from whom he had ordered a truck costing $18,000.

He had been intending to enter the ice cream business, but when he changed his mind the company refused to give him a refund on the truck.

In a blaze of fury, he intended to collar the owner of the truck company but instead came across a former employee, Adam Calbreath, and shot him dead.

Bruh...you just set the civil rights movement back 50 years. Why the hell couldn't you have asked for a nice filet mignon, scalloped potatoes, a bottle of wine...

No. Your country-ass had to ask for FUCKING FRIED CHICKEN, didn't you?! What, no grape Kool-Aid?! Maybe some watermelon to go with that to? What the fuck!

Goddamn it. You Toby-ass motherfucker. Damn I hate this crap. All it ever takes is one cotton-picking, nappy-headed dipshit to make the news, and that's all people will remember:

The negro who signed his life away for a chicken leg.

Crap like this makes me remember the Chappelle Show skit, in which they did the Racial Draft - the various races would lay claim to certain celebs, based on their race - perceived or actual. Whoopie Goldberg to the Jews, Tiger Woods being fought over by the Asians and Blacks...you get the idea.

I think on that, and wonder...

...can we trade? I'd rather take two Vanilla Ice's over this moron.

Choose Wisely

Okay, this is taking the whole "Beauty and the Geek" thing a bit too far.

In a moment of complete serendipity, given that I had a near-identical conversation with a friend yesterday over this, I stumbled across a very interesting little bit of Fall television news.

Playboy TV (I only watch for the articles) is planning on launching a new game show, "Gadget or the Girl", where a male contestant gets to choose between a) an unknown piece of high tech gear, or a date with a playboy hottie.


Gidget, or gadget?
iPod or iPootang?
PS3, or Puss?
HDTV, or H.I...vicious, too vicious. Forget I just said that.

The show starts with the guy forced to choose immediately between three women, ditching one. The remaining threesome (hah! he should be so lucky) go on a date to get to know each other, and eventually he narrows his choice down to one woman. But then he has to decide between a gadget or a getaway weekend with the girl, with the possibly high-tech toys ranging from a 60" plasma TV to an arcade game machine.

In what sounds like Let's Make a Deal, though, the guy doesn't know what the gadget is until he makes his pick. And, to give the girl more incentive, if he picks her, she gets her own gadget.

So, let me get this straight.

The girl gets:
- a free three-way date, where she all but throws herself at the guy to get him to pick her;
- if chosen, a free mystery gadget (insert "batteries not included" joke here) of her own;
- if chosen, a free weekend romantic getaway with a guy she barely knows and will probably ditch as soon as she gets off the plane.

The guy gets:
- a three-way date, where two women will pretend to fight over him for the sake of television;
- a chance to choose between a gadget that may be a 60" HDTV, but will likely be an electric nose hair trimmer, or a date with a playboy hottie;
- if he chooses the hottie, he gets to spend a romantic weekend getaway alone while she makes out with the cabana boy.


Not for nothing...but unless she's guaranteeing me some action (and I'd want video!), I'm going for the XBox.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Down, Rover

First...the following video may disturb you. If you're anything like me, it will most certainly amuse you. I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes, from laughing so hard.

But I do have a question. Forgetting completely the poor child who was being violated by the dog, and the surrealness of it all...

...who was behind the kid, FILMING the entire event?

And not stopping it? WTF?!!?

This kid is squealing like a stuck pig (pardon the metaphor), and his Mumsy and Daddykins are chuckling behind a lens, watching this molestation happen. Somebody bitchslap them, please!?

Parents. This is why ya'll need to get involved, ya see? This poor kid will now be scarred for life, huddling up in the corner of his room, twitching every time he hears a bark. All because you wanted to get some film for America's Funniest Home Videos.

Fuck you, you retards.

This takes me back to my Prime Directive post of a little while back, about a penguin being assaulted by a seal.

People. Please. Drop the camera, step in, and you know...pull them apart, or something.


God Save The Queen

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.
A Message from John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Colony, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. [Note: go ahead, look it up. I had to.]

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as 'like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you European cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $10 per US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is hardly played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An official from Her Majesty's Inland Revenue (i.e. tax collector) will be with you shortly to ensure the collection of all monies due (backdated to 1776). Until these are paid, there will be no representative government in the USA , in line with the policy: 'No representation without taxation'.

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups and saucers (never mugs), and with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

18. Some tea has gone missing, and we expect it back. We'll be searching Boston first.

God save the Queen

Let's Go [Insert Country of Choice Here]

Assuming you're not some bear-loving wildman living in the Adirondacks where the closest to a television you've seen is your own reflection in a bedpan, you're probably aware that the 2008 Summer Olympics is taking place right now in Beijing.

First. Kudos to the Chinese, that open ceremony was spectacular, and the venues look great. But I gotta say, your skies make New York City's air look like it was imported from Iceland. I'm looking at the buildings, the architecture, and thinking...gee, it'd be nice if you could actually see them from further than 50yards away. Britons are wishing they were back in a London Fog, at least that gave you a little visibility. The last time I saw skies that clouded was in the movie The Fog, and there were giant insect monsters lurking out there.

Me, I'd be walking around with a big ol' can of Raid. I'm just saying.

But, the Games Must Go On, and so they have. And like quite a number of you, I've been sitting there absolutely addicted to everything the Olympics has to offer.

Why the hell am I sitting on my couch, absolutely glued to the set watching Korea vs. Poland in a soccer match when:
a) I have no goddamn idea who any of these people are;
b) I have no interest whatsover in the outcome of this game;
c) I don't even LIKE soccer!

And yet, there I am, on the edge of my seat with every out-of-bounds pass.

Water polo?! Why is that even a sport?! a bunch of guys splashing around in a pool, pretending they're playing hockey with a floaty midget basketball. With bathing caps on their heads.

I sat there watching the Women's 100m Butterfly, and thinking...why? gods, why am I watching this? Do I care about swimming as a sport? No! They're bouncing up and down like Flipper, I kept expecting someone to throw them a fish or hear them go "eh-eh-eh-eh-eh". But there I sit, watching like I know allllll about the sport, even going to far as to comment to myself "why's she not pushing off on the turn well?", or "come on, get more extension!" - WTF?

How is it we all become sudden experts in sports we've barely ever heard of, once the Olympics come around? Is there some genetic marker we've all been implanted with, that - by way of extreme example - will make us watch CURLING with the same intensity we'll watch a heavyweight prize fight? It's a rock, being pushed on ice. And guys with brooms, sweeping the path. God help me.

Ooop, I gotta run. Badminton's on, and I don't want to miss Venezuela vs. Poland.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Kitty At War: A Historical Perspective

According to some, Hello Kitty's militant roots go back much further than Sanrio's so-called introduction of the innoculous looking cat back in 1974. A little investigation turned up two very interesting facts about HK:

1) Her roots appear to be Chinese in origin, not Japanese;
2) She's appeared as early as WWII, and perhaps even earlier according to legend.

LEGEND. There's a fucking LEGEND of the Hello Kitty.

Think I shit you?

Now...I don't read Chinese, but supposedly all the real info can be found here.

For all of you other gwai-lo's, here's the story of the Hello Kitty as I found it:
It was a story about a Chinese general back in the 1700’s who had many wives. One of the daughters of one of the lesser wives was distraught over never being recognized in their house. She ended up committing suicide. Now, the rest of the house was very angry at this because they claimed the girls room was now haunted…as they would often hear the dead girls voice calling to them asking if they wanted to play. To calm everyones fears, the General had a doll made in the shape of a cat, I think for good luck, and insisted that it not be given a mouth. The doll was to replace the ghost and without a mouth would not be able to speak any more.

My co-worker told me that this information is not unknown…but I begged to differ, as no web site I visited mentioned anything like this. She then went to her computer and showed my numerous sites that made mention to it…but being in Chinese, I still had no proof. Then we saw this site! The two images that I am including are taken from a World War II display case in a Southern province in China. The medal is dated as 1940!!! And was warn by an American soldier who died fighting the Japanese. Interesting yes!!!. Hello Kitty seems to have an earlier history than Sanrio

So. A ghost kitty with no mouth, suddenly resurrected and reinvented as a cute child's companion, and so pervasive it's now appearing on military weapons.

I don't see Mickey Mouse on M-15's.

Where's Bugs Bunny on grenade launchers?

You don't see them, do you? Why? Because...they're not haunted!

Forget what I said about Sanrio having world domination aspirations...well, then again - don't forget. It's being run by a GHOST, dammit! A ghost who wants revenge!

Why else would it suddenly appear during WWII, then vanish...only to appear years later, in Japan of all places? Because it knew the Chinese didn't have the power yet...it needed a stronger weapon.

Japanese toy manufacturing, and the Japanese obsession with all things cutesy.

It's truly an insiduous ploy, almost sinister. Dr. Evil has nothing on this cat!

You laugh. But in another decade, when you see an American President's young daughter carrying a Hello Kitty doll to the stage to watch her father be sworn in...think back on this and remember.

It's now *that* closer to The Button.

Kitty Gun & Ammo

I had to continue with this, only because I found more fuel for the fire.

First: the rifle is not a photoshop job, it's absolutely real. Frighteningly enough. Here's an article on it:

A gun supply shop in Wisconsin is painting and decorating guns to look like children's toys, and many police officers are concerned.

"If somebody points it at an officer, he could hesitate," Bryan Soller of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police told CNN, "in which case he could get shot or, even worse, the officer could react and take the life of a child."

Sgt. Manny Mendoza of the San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department in Barstow, CA warned that "now we’re at the point where anything that looks like a gun, no matter what color, is considered a firearm, and we will act accordingly to defend ourselves and the public."

Jim's Gun Supply of Baraboo, Wisconsin, which boasts on its website that "we adhere to the highest legal and ethical principles in the conduct of all aspects of our business," primarily offers the customized guns in camouflage patterns. However, it also provides a selection of items in shocking pink, including one with a Hello Kitty logo on the stock, as well as other garish and historical replica designs.

The DuraCoat product used on the guns was originally designed to prevent corrosion. There have been concerns in the past that it could be used by criminals to make real guns look like fakes, but these candy-colored designs that might prove irresistible to children create new worries.

The owner of Jim's Gun Supply, Jim Astle, defended his business in a statement to CNN. "Over 75% of them are law enforcement," he argued. "They're buying them for their wives so they'll go to the range and shoot with them. ... Paint doesn't make it any more deadly than black."

There is a video on the site from CNN.com, broadcast February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kitty's Got A Gun, And She's Not Afraid To Use It

Okay...I'm not even sure what the purpose of this is, but what the hell:

A Hello Kitty AR-15 Automatic Assault Rifle.

This is not a toy, folks. This is a fully functional lightweight, air-cooled, magazine fed, autoloading, centerfire shoulder-fired rifle. That spits pink bullets.

Is Sanrio planning on taking over the world? Is this the first stage in their all-out assault? Is there a secret army of plushies out there, armed with these things? "You can never have too many friends", says the Kitty...

...or does she? Is this a recruiting ploy? Is she just the vanguard for the rest of the militia? Are Chococat's whiskers really picking up satellite transmissions? Are we going to be scanning the skies for squadons of Cinnamarolls, dropping paratrooper Badtzmarus?

Beware, parents. Those talking dolls might be whispering in your child's ear, even now.

2007 Darwin Awards

Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it. Usually in a very, very stupid manner.

Case in point:
December 9, 2007, Indiana. Russell, 19, had a grudge against a semi truck abandoned on a rural property. And Russell was not the silent, brooding type. He was a man of action. He built a gunpowder and propane tank bomb, attached a timer, planted it in the moldering truck, and retreated to a distant vantage point to wait for the fireworks.

And waited.

And waited, until he could wait no more. No boom? This was not right. Why was nothing happening? Russell approached the stubborn truck--just in time for an up-close-and-personal look at a cloud of rapidly expanding incandescent gas.

So long, Russell. It's been a blast.

22 November 2007, New York. Joe, 20, was drunkenly driving through Wayne County farmland in upstate New York. With the utmost of inebriated care, he steered his car directly into a ditch and knocked over a power line. Oops! How could he rescue his car from the ditch without getting a DUI?

Eureka! He'd steal a nearby farm vehicle, and winch the car out himself. So he aproached the nearest farmhouse, managed to start a tractor, and motored over to the scene of the accident. Then with the utmost of inebriated care, he then proceeded to drive the tractor - several tons of conductive metal - directly over the downed, exposed power line.


Goodbye Joe. Hello Darwin Award.

June 24, 2007, Colorado. After smoking marijuana and liquoring themselves up at a popular party spot in Routt National Forest, a group of teens decided that it would be fun to leap and cavort on an oil tank.

The energetic gyrations of the dancers caused fumes to leak from the relief valve, and "there were several ignitions sources," according to the sheriff. People were smoking, and there was a bonfire nearby. One of these ignition source sparked a "flashdance" and the crude oil storage tank exploded, hurling two men 150 yards to their deaths.

Do you think they were dancing to "Stairway to Heaven"?

January 10, 2007, East Germany. A 63-year-old man's extraordinary effort to eradicate moles from his property resulted in a victory for the moles. The man pounded several metal rods into the ground and connected them - not to household current, which would have been bad enough - but to a high-voltage power line, intending to render the subterranean realm uninhabitable.

Coincidentally, the maneuver rendering the surface of the ground uninhabitable as well, electrifying the very ground on which he stood. He was found dead some time later, at his holiday property on the Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before venturing onto the property.

Rumor has it they figured out the time of death by looking at his electric bill later.

September 12, 2007, Florida. A woman wins two concert tickets from a local radio station and invites her friend to join her.

Fast forward to the night of the concert; it's 8:30pm and pouring rain. The show is delayed. Deciding to leave the concert venue, they purposely pass multiple free shuttle buses that run directly to the parking lot. Instead, they opt for a shortcut across a 7-lane Interstate.

The two women run a hundred yards through wet grass and torrential downpour, and jump a six-foot fence that borders the road.

Ahead of them now are: 3 lanes of freeway traffic, a 100ft median, and another 4 lanes of traffic. Beyond that is another six-foot fence, the maze of an 'under construction' garage, and a long hike around a casino.

All in all, the 'shortcut' to their vehicle covers a distance of half a mile through dangerous terrain. In the rain.

Go back and take the free shuttle bus, or mad dash across 7 lanes of traffic?

The first vehicle struck the women at approximately 8:30 pm. Oddly, this was in the VERY FIRST lane of traffic, on a straightaway where one can see headlights for miles in either direction. The impact hurled the women farther into traffic, and each was struck by a second car. They did not survive the collisions.

Should have saved the slam dancing for the concert, ladies. Here's your award.

These next two HAD to be grouped together, for reasons that will become obvious:

July 28, 2007, Czech Republic. A pack of thieves attempted to steal scrap metal from an abandoned factory in Kladno. Unfortunately for them, they selected the steel girders that supported the factory roof. When the roof supports were dismantled, the roof fell, fatally crushing two thieves and injuring three others.

June 21, 2007, Philippines. Three entrepreneurs planned to profit from stolen scrap metal. They entered a former US military complex and approached the prize: an abandoned water tank. Bedazzled by the potential upside, the three threw logic to the wind, and began to cut the metal legs out from under the tank. Guess where it fell? Straight onto the thieves. Their flattened bodies have not yet been identified.

Great minds think alike, huh? Personally I think they were playing a giant international game of Jenga. You both win; here're your prizes.

April 4, 2007, Germany.Near midnight, a 49-year-old man attempted to impress his wife with his unbelievable strength. He climbed over the balcony of their 7th floor flat, clung to the outside of the parapet, and began a set of pull-ups. After a few pull-ups, which were undoubtedly impressive to his wife, his sedentary lifestyle began to take its toll. His muscles lost strength, and he was unable to lift himself back onto the balcony. He eventually fell seven stories (eight if you include the ground floor) and impaled himself on a thornbush.

Get the point?

And to finish off the list in style:

June 20, 2007, South Carolina. A passing cabbie found a 21 year-old couple naked and injured in the road an hour before sunrise. The two people died at the nearest hospital without regaining consciousness. Authorities were at a loss to explain what had happened. There were no witnesses, no trace of clothing, and no wrecked cars or motorcycles.

Investigators eventually found a clue high on the roof of a nearby building: two sets of neatly folded clothes.

Apparently the couple decided to climb up on the roof of the building - the pyramid shaped building - to have sex, slid off (I'd make a lubrication joke here, but it's way too obvious) and plummeted to their deaths.

Not exactly practicing safe sex, were they?

Is It Something In The Water?

Hot on the heels of the Subway 911 Caller comes this:

TAMPA, Fla. - A second Florida man has been arrested on charges of making false 911 calls in as many days. An arrest report says 47-year-old Carlos Gutierrez was at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino early Monday and called 911 to say the slot machine stole his money. The report says Gutierrez left the casino to place a second 911 call to say the same thing.


He was arrested and charged with making a false 911 call. He's being held with no bail set.

Seriously folks...what exactly ARE ya'll drinking down in the everglades?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Somebody Get My Nightstick

Okay, yes there have indeed been way too many instances where police have gone overboard in subduing a felon. However...sometimes, a person is just asking to get their ass kicked. Case in point:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The sauce for a spicy Italian sandwich was apparently a must have for one Florida man. The man, Reginald Peterson, called 911 twice after a sandwich shop left off the sauce.

Peterson initially called the emergency number Thursday so that officers could have his subs made correctly, according to a police report. The second call was to complain that police officers weren't arriving fast enough.

Subway workers told police that Peterson, 42, became belligerent and yelled when they were fixing his order. They locked him out of the store when he left to call police.

When officers arrived, they tried to calm Peterson and explain the proper use of 911. Those efforts failed, and he was arrested on a charge of making false 911 calls.

Out With The Old

Some of you more observant readers may have noticed that my archives have magically grown, considerably.

Before I joined the ranks of the blogspot elite, I was...a Myspace junkie. Yes, I admit it and I'm not ashamed; I'm over it, and now I host weekly meetings to help others deal with their self-abusive behavior.

However, during that shameful period I did quite a bit of blogging over there. And I realize...I don't want to lose those thoughts. I've looked for ways to easily import those files, but there aren't any.

So I'm manually doing it, one by one.

I grabbed a few from 2007, then skipped backwards. I'm nearly done with 2005. But it's somewhat gratifying, not only going back to see things I've written years ago, but also to know that in just a day or so I'll be able to completely delete that MyGhettoSpace page and forget it ever happened.

It's nothing personal against Myspace, but let's face it - it's a hookup spot, or a kid's hangout. Often both, which is really creepy but I'm just reporting the facts. I have no reason to be there other than to check up on my younger cousins who love the place, and while I do love them...I can't look at their profiles anymore. I can't believe how hoochie they can be, it's...disturbing.

But hey, they're young and allowed to be. So it's ME that needs to step out of the room, and let the kiddies have their fun.

Vita Soy, It Good For You (repost)

This post is actually a re-post; I was clearing out my old myspace-blog archives moving them to this site, and decided that this one was worth sharing again. Enjoy.

originally posted 11/30/05

Joking around with a friend the other day about a particular picture she recently took, I thought I'd poke a little fun at her and blazon the image with all kinds of japanese ad slogans and cartoon characters.

Well I got a little sidetracked from that plan when I stumbled across a site where two ugly Americans (are there any other kinds?) decided to taste, test and review various Asian soft drinks. Several seconds later I'm still looking for the intenstines I laughed onto the floor somewhere; needless to say, I had to share some of their reviews!

Disclaimer: None of the opinions expressed in the following are representative of the views held by Fried Monkey, Trickster Studios, or any of the poor fools chained to their desks under the guise of "working" there. Meaning me. But the opinions are funny as shit, so have fun reading them.

Basil Seed Drink with Honey
If the can on this drink hadn't expressly stated it was a "drink", I would never have believed it. It even shows the stuff in a bowl on the side of a can. I identified the flavor as banana. I thought maybe basil seeds taste like banana. But I just read the ingredients and the final line is "banana flavour added." At first I was amazed that the basil seeds seemed to float serenely and evenly throughout the drink rather than collecting at the bottom. It was only after I tried it that I realized they weren't floating in anything, they were stacked one upon the other. I can only imagine enjoying Basil Seed Drink is exactly like enjoying a jar of frog eggs.

Ah, "Made in Korea", as the can claims, but I wonder...which Korea? For would not North Korea develop a seemingly innocuous, citrusy, foamy, "tastes like kids aspirin" taste sensation in order to entice heretofore U.S. citizens into consuming an "allied" beverage - brewed from spooge? I just bet they're snickering all the way to Pyongyang at the Imperialist Americans. But granted, it didn't taste bad. Not "good", but not puke enticing. By the way, my notes read: "Foamy white." Sounds like manjack to me!

Grand Western Grass Jelly Drink

Drinks ought not to have flesh in them. Seems rather obvious, except to Taiwan. "Wrong" permeates this thing like stink on colon beef. I hate to repeat my cohort in the defense of the World Against Crazy Asian Drinks, but it tastes like flat, lukewarm cola with chunks of gelatin. Chunks-of-gelatin. As you swallow, the chunks invade your mouth, march upon the gullet and occupy your stomach where they celebrate until you upchuck. This drink is very nearly a declaration of war by Taiwan on the Land of the Free and the Home of Coca Cola, and I think we should respond. With big guns firing.

Pearl Milk Tea
I think this drink looks much worse than it tastes. Canned tea isn't my cup, but it certainly isn't on par with Grass Jelly Drink - yet. Chin Chin Brand obviously didn't expect people to look at the stuff. I mean, doesn't it look like someone ate a can of bad corn, then filled their mug with a juicy burst of diahrrea? I wonder if there are fine-dining establishments in Asia that serve this thing by the glass? You'd never know from looking at Pearl Milk Tea that it's just a too-sweet, non-refreshing, slightly disturbing drink filled with grody balls of dough.

Pocari Sweat
Pocari Sweat is easily the most well known Asian drink we've had the displeasure to taste. Hundreds of letters have poured in: "Dude, them's some sick drinks - but have you tried Pocari?" Well we have, and here we go: Are you an athlete who enjoys the taste of semen? We've found the sports drink for you! Japan's version of Gatorade, Pocari Sweat is thick, salty, sweet - and looks like a sumo wrestler wrung out his diaper moisture into a glass after a day of slapping his belly against other dudes. Worse it smells like thos chemicals you're not supposed to sniff, like ammonia.

Shirakiku Soft Drink
I'm not an expert translator, but I have heard Japanese, been to Tokyo and watched Pokemon - so I think I'm qualified to say "Shira Kiku" means "Butt Chrysanthemum" in Japanese. I'm not trying to imagine how these ass flowers are harvested for pre-drink production, even as I admit it was the best tasting drink of this batch. The package shows kids playing soccer and it did seem like the sort of treat given out mid-game with orange slices. "Watashi! sukoro goro! Moru ass furower, purise!"

Yeo's Soya Bean Drink
Beans. Screams "thirst quenching", doesn't it? It stank like day-old barf, baking in the sun. Had it been the 10th drink of the day instead of the first, I would have puked just from the smell. My body already quivering in anticipation of a good retch, I forced myself to choke down a sip and immediately triggered the gag reflex. "Oh Jesus no!" I scremed before all went dark, dark, dark. I awoke some hours later on the floor. The others were standing over me, pointing, laughing, and zipping up.

(this one was so good, I had to post a second review!)

I've never considered distilling my grandfather's underwear into its pure essence and packaging it in a can for ingestion - but apparently some Malaysian named Yeo did. Popping the top on this thing was like sweeping the dust from the top of a bookshelf into your sinus cavity. It tasted like liquid cardboard.

Cheon Yeon Cider
This so-called "cider" (yeah, right) did have a nice, seemingly innocent can. The drink itself looked like mineral water, harmless enough, or so it seemed. But for christ's sake, it went down like rubbing alcohol! And what the fuck is "carbonic acid gas"? It can't be good. Jesus this shit hurt me. I thought my burning nose was going to fall off into my glass. After I finally stopped wincing in pain, I detected the faint taste of chewing gum, which was somewhat nice.

Chaokoh Young Coconut Juice with Jelly
I'll need a psychotherapist to wipe the memory of my big swallow of Young Coconut Juice with Jelly, gagging on the taste and the bombardment of endless jelly bits against my teeth and tongue. Being hetero, I can't be certain - but I'm pretty sure this drink was like gay sex. I believe the name of the drink is just an error in translation - it's probably really called Young Coco's Nut Juice with Semen.

Chrysanthemum Drink
An open letter to Tommy Thompson, US Health and Human Services Secretary: In the interest of saving civilization, please determine if "Permitted Yellow 5" is permitted and, if the next listed ingredient, "Yellow 6", is even a color. We, leading experts in Asian bioweapons/drinks, suspect it is the urine of Vietnamese political prisoners and prostitutes who must drink the piss of their wardens and pimps, then piss the piss, whereupon the repissed piss is then canned and sold as a drink (read: bioweapon) to the West.

Shirakuku Ramune Drink
Ramune Drink, with the coolest looking bottle EVER, had more warning labels plastered on it than an episode of Jackass. Don't swallow small parts! Don't damage your eye! Don't remove the marble - yes, MARBLE - that floats around in the bottle. It took so much effort to open, and the directions were so fucking complicated, that we needed refreshment by the time we were finally able to get the thing open. Unfortunately it tasted like someone had added powdered sugar to carbonated water.

Non-Carbonated Soft Drink
The heart of a hero beats within me, for I have met - and consumed - evil itself, and though I now lay in my deathbed, anguished and fevered, I survive long enough to save humanity from it's false promises. Non-Carbonated Soft Drink is indeed without carbonation, but then, great lies begin with little truths. It's not soft, it's grainy and fiberous. Its not a drink, but is as thick as shit (taste tests conclude that ass-mass may be its one and only ingredient).

40 Questions

I don't know why I fill these things out, but what the hell right?

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
Yeah, those bastards.

2. Do you close your eyes on a roller coaster?
Why, I'd miss all the fun!

3. When's the last time you've been sleigh riding?
Ah've naugh bin onna sleigh in many a year, laddie!

4.Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Depends. Do they snore? Is there B.O.?

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
More importantly, do THEY believe in ME?

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
I define it, baby!

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
If the glove don't fit, you should'a convicted the bum anyway!

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
Uptight "America's Sweetheart" or kinky sex kitten? Hmm, tough choice...

9. Can you honestly say you know ANYTHING about politics?
You don't have the security clearance to know everything I know. And technically neither do I, but I have well-placed friends. So there.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes. Yes I do. But I'm really getting sick of this Texas Hold'Em fanaticism.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
At that point, who's actually counting?

12. Did you just make up Question 12 just now because it was missing?
Wow. This question feels so existential.

13. Do you hate midgets?
No, I have this recurring dream where I'm in a massive sexual orgy with dozens of them.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around you, do you run the red light?
Depends on where I am. Damn traffic cameras.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Ohhhh yeah. Shh.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
I bleed pinstripes. Bizzatch.

17. Have you ever Ice Skated?
Yes I Have Ice Skated. Why Are We Talking In Robot Voice?

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Usually, every morning. ?!?!?

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I have to think about that one. Can I phone a friend?

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?
I tried, got bored, quit. No.

21. Do you despise the person that absentmindedly left out Question 21?
Another existential question. Do I hate someone I don't know, for doing something I didn't know that they did? Yeah, fuck that bitch.

22. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in lust at first sight.

23. Do you know who Ba-Ba-Booey is?
Is he related to Bo-Bo-Bobobo? (Betcha Howard doesn't get that joke)

24. Do you always wear your seat belt?

25. What talent do you wish you had?
I once heard that John Holmes could tie his penis in a knot. I don't want that talent, that's for sure.

26. Do you like Sushi?
Tastes great, less filling.

27. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
Let's think about this one. If you narrowly avoid a FATAL accident, doesn't that imply that you were actually in a near-fatal accident? I mean, how else would you know it could have been fatal?

28. What do you wear to bed?

29. Have you ever been caught stealing?
Define "caught". I've been found out, held - but not kept. Does that count?

30. Does size matter?
If it echoes, I'm not going in there.

31. Do you truly hate anyone?
I'm ashamed to say yes, and if I were to see this person today I'd likely end up in jail.

32. Rock and Roll or Rap?
Joan Jett said it better than I ever could.

33. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
I have slept with a famous person. But then she woke up and had me arrested for breaking and entering, criminal trespass...

34. Do you know anyone in jail?
This implies a current incarcerated status, in which case to my knowledge: no.

35. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror like your favorite singer?
Nope. But then, my favorite singer is Prince. And that would be just too embarrasing.

36. Do you know how to play chess?
Knight to Bishop, check.

37. What food do you find disgusting?
Stinky tofu. And you asians out there know exactly what I'm talking about - anything that smells that bad and that strongly that I can smell it before it comes out of the kitchen, should not elicit a response of "mmm-mmm good!"

38. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?
Yep. 6th grade. Almost got me expelled :)

39. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Behind their back, in front of them, next to them...

40. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
On occasion

41. Have you ever been punched in the face?

42. When was the last time you threw up from drinking too much?
About a year ago. Here's a tip: don't starve yourself all day, go out for sushi, then hit a bar where you know the bartender and they start making up drinks for you all night. Ugh.

Letter To A Friend

Dear Alcohol,

First & foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan of yours. As my friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around in the holidays, hidden inside chocolates as you warm us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings. However, lately I've been wondering about your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unwise consequences:
1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity takes place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call those boyfriends/girlfriends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me at all hours of the night?

2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat a taco with chili sauce, along with a big Italian meatball and some stale chips (washed down with WINE & topped off with a Kit Kat after a few cheese curls & chili cheese fries)? I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time.

3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see NO need to hammer the issue home by causing me to fall down. It's completely unnecessary, and the black & blue marks that appear on my body mysteriously the next day are beyond me. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.

4. Furthermore: The hangovers have GOT to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for our previous evening's debauchery may be in order, but the 3pm hangover immobility is completely unacceptable. My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal & in no way interfere with my daily activities.
Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now & would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets. In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above & address them immediately. I will look for an answer no later than Thursday 3pm (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions & hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.

Thank you,
Your biggest fan