Friday, March 05, 2004
Yeah, I Never Believed in Numerology, Anyway...
Hey, folks. I'm back, albeit temporarily. After three days of happy happy fun blogging on my very own domain, it seems that some Friday evening DNS shenanigans are keeping me -- and you, and everyone else -- from getting to my new digs. So, as poetic as it seemed at the time to wrap this site up with the 360th post, it looks like I'll be writing post 361, after all. And maybe more; we'll have to see how long the glitch lasts. I'll fill you in as soon as I know more.
In the meantime, I suppose I'll remove the 'I've moved!' sign, and give you some content. Recycled content, perhaps, but content, nonetheless -- I'll assume, since you're here and not banging on the currently locked-up door of the new site, that you probably didn't catch today's version of Punchline Fever, which was up for several hours over there today. And you know you want to see that, so I'll replay it for you now. Here goes:
The rules of Punchline Fever are as follows:
1) I'll sit around, day and night, thinking of a short but flexible setup for a joke.
B) I'll post the best setup I can think of, but with a blank where the punchline should go.
iii) Then it's up to you to come up with your best line, and leave it in the comments, for all to snicker over.
That's it, folks. Now get out there and make me proud!
Punchline Fever #3:
'The 'airline with an all-nude staff' seemed like a good idea at the time. But they had to close down when the passengers started ___________________'
Oh, this one's gonna be fun, folks -- hop in there with your best punchline, and feel the fever! Happy Friday, everybody!
Okay, that's all I've got for now, while I try to figure out what's going on with the new site. Hop in there with your punchlines to keep me entertained, won't you? And please remember to update your links and bookmarks to point to http://www.wherethehellwasi.com. Just... you know, not right now. Meh.
Update: Okay, then, how about now? Things seem to be cleared up over at http://www.wherethehellwasi.com, so update those links and come see!
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
You Just Can't Ignore Numerology
Hi, everybody. I've got a teeny little bit of news for you. But first, some context:
This is my 360th 'official' post on this blog. Sure, there are also the 101 Things, and extras like the standup show pages, but the 'main' site now has 360 entries, one for each degree it takes to come 'full circle'. That's symbolic somehow, and I've decided to take it -- along with thoughts I've already been having -- as a sign.
And so, I have an announcement: this post, the 360th on the blog, will also be the last you'll see here.
(Hey, now, all you bastards dancing around because you think you won't have to read my crap any more, cool it. It's not quite that simple -- you're not getting off the hook that easy, dammit.)
The other part of my announcement is that I'm not quitting on this blog -- I'm simply moving it. I've finally spent the time and effort (and a small bit of cash) to craft a more suitable medium for my rantings and brain spews. So I'd like to ask all of you, my dear friends, to come over to my new digs at http://www.wherethehellwasi.com.
I haven't done quite everything I'd like to yet -- while the old posts are there (yes, all your favorites, plus all the crap you hated), it seems I'm going to have to do a bit of coding to get the comments ported over there.
(And I will do it, dammit... I musts haveses my precioussss commentsesss. Yesss, it mustses haves them!)
So please bear with me for a few days as I smooth out the rough edges. And please feel free to leave me a comment or an email to tell me where goofy things are happening.
(On the site, people, on the site only. If you've got midgets playing Twister in your bathroom, there's nothing I can do about it. Yes, it does sound 'goofy', but it's simply not my problem. And I've got plenty of my own right now.)
Anyway, be a dear and come join the party at my new place. I'll keep this site up and running for a while, until I make sure that we've got everybody. Then we'll really start having some fun, eh? (And that Twister board full of midgets will sound a lot more interesting suddenly, too.)
It's been a good run here at the old Blog*Spot blog spot. But I think it's time I was 'movin' on up'. We'll see just how well I can tame this new fancy-schmancy equipment and shit. I may bring the server to its knees yet. There's only one way to find out, right?
In Summary: Please (oh please, oh please!) stick with me, and update your blogrolls and links to point to the new (and soon to be 'improved', too!):
Where the Hell Was I? at http://www.wherethehellwasi.com
Thank you, one and all, for reading, and commenting, and emailing, and -- aw, shucks, for just being you. You're the best damned readers a blogger could ever want, and I hope to see each and every one of you at the new digs very soon. And hey, bring a friend, why don't you? There's plenty of room over there. The more, the merrier!
Monday, March 01, 2004
Who Do You Love? And While We're at It, Who Do You Hate?
Okay, here's one for the sports nuts among us. (Joe, you should like this one.)
I was in the shower a little while ago, and I had a thought.
(No, the shower isn't the 'sports' part, all right? Maybe I do some sort of calisthenics in there, and maybe I don't. That's for me to know, and you to take pictures of if I ever run for public office.
And I don't want to hear a word about 'water sports'. That's either a horrible pun or really gross. And if you're not sure which, ask somebody. It's probably both.)
All right, where the hell was I? Oh, my sports thought. Right.
So, I wondered, for reasons not completely clear to me, whether I could make a list of my ten most favorite sports teams, college and pro, in order of preference. That is, the ten teams (or people, I suppose, if we're talking tennis, golf, or some other individual-type activity) that I cheer for the hardest, live and die with in every game, and would skip a free kegger to watch. Maybe even a clothes-optional free kegger. (Now that's love, people.)
I haven't tried to put that list together yet -- ten teams is a lot, and ranking them is going to be tough after the first couple, I'm thinking. I'm thinking about it right now, with the three neurons I'm not using while writing this sentence.
(Bow before my multitasking prowess, mere mortals!
Oh. Oops, shit. Forgot to breathe. Never mind. Poopstain!)
Anyway, before setting my list in stone, I thought I'd raise the stakes a bit -- while I'm at it, I'll also make a list of my least favorite teams from the world of sports, from the vilest, cheatingest bunch of bastards down to the... well, the slightly less vile, only sometimes cheating bunch of bastards in tenth place. Somehow, I think it'll be easier to find ten teams I loathe than ten teams I love. I'm sure that says something unpleasant about the way I live my life.
But no matter! The time for listmaking has come -- behold, my lists of The Very Best That Sports Has to Offer and Hey, Hasn't Anybody Indicted These Assholes Yet? Behold, I say:
| ||The Best|| ||The Worst|
|#1||Syracuse University hoops|
| ||New York Yankees|
Nemesis of both my baseball teams
TBS was a childhood godsend
| ||Duke University hoops|
Sure, it's jealousy -- I don't care
|#3||Boston Red Sox|
Fenway Park will do that to you
| ||Indiana University hoops|
Since 1986, plus Bobby Knight
|#4||Syracuse University football|
Long live the Big East
| ||Dallas Cowboys|
'Michael Irvin, poster child' says it all
I spent seven years there -- it was inevitable
| ||Auburn University football|
Three words -- Pat 'Tie' Dye
|#6||New England Patriots|
I'm not bandwagoning -- I live here, dammit!
| ||University of Kentucky hoops|
Suffered their fans for four years of college
|#7||Marshall University football|
It's a 'family geography' thing, okay?
| ||New York Mets|
It's almost sad... but I still hate 'em
I'm telling you; there was something in the water there
||San Francisco 49ers|
Mainly historical, but TO keeps the fire burning
I came for 'Nique; I stayed for... um, yeah. Next!
| ||Penn State University football|
I went to Pitt for grad school. Nuff said.
|#10||University of Pittsburgh hoops|
They can come in second in the NCAAs any time
| ||Detroit Pistons|
Holdover from the Laimbeer era -- hey, I ran out, okay?
So, there you have it -- my top ten, and my bottom ten. So what's yours? If you wanna play the 'Two By Ten' game, post your picks in the comments. Or better yet, post 'em on your site, and leave me a comment or a trackback. Let's see who the sports fans are out there!
Sunday, February 29, 2004
I'll Let You Bump, Just So Long As I Get to Spike
You wanna know what's unfair? I'll tell you what's unfair.
I play volleyball. I'm not bad at it; I'm not great, but I do okay. I'm good enough that it's actually interesting for me to watch volleyball on TV, to see what the really good players do, and pick up pointers, that sort of thing.
You know, in the same way that watching golf or skiing isn't interesting. I've tried those those things -- I'm not good. I've never been good. And I'm never going to be good.
I'm more likely to physically hurt myself playing those things than improving to the point where I could talk about the sport without some measure of personal shame and embarrassment. So I sure as hell don't want to watch some smart-ass goober on television making me look like a brainless jackass by being infuriatingly good at one of those stupid sports. I'm just too far removed from real 'talent' to make it worth my time.
But volleyball is different. I don't do the right thing often enough on the court, but I occasionally know what the right thing is. So I genuinely like watching volleyball, as a sport.
So what's unfair about that?
Well, volleyball's not on the tube too often. Once in a while, they'll show a college match, but that's about it for the indoor game. If there's any interest out there, it's in the general vicinity of beach volleyball. And why not, right? What could be better than watching ripped, tanned, and nearly-naked members of whichever sex you're attracted to getting sweaty and sandy and patting each others' asses?
Nothing, if you're in the mood for softcore porn. (Which I usually am, of course, but that's not the point. Stick with me here.)
See, the problem is that I -- and, it seems, only I -- actually want to watch beach volleyball for the sport it is, and not the pants-tenting adolescent wet dream fantasy that it... well, also is, frankly. And all of that sweaty-girls-in-teeny-bikinis really gets in the way of trying to analyze each point on its strategic merits and athletic execution. Honestly, how can I be expected to take away anything about the game of volleyball from these matches when there are bikini wedgies and bare hips and nipples poking through Spandex all over the place? It's all very conflicting.
But that's not the unfair part. That's just reality. And honestly, I've managed to cope with balancing my two, erm, 'interests' in watching women's beach volleyball. During the points, it's all business. In between, before and after -- and especially during the post-match celebrating -- there's time for a little ogling. I've done a lot of work, and honed my mental skills with years of practice, until I can finally, barely, manage to concentrate on volleyball when I'm supposed to.
At least, I could. That's where the 'unfair' part comes in.
You see, I've started paying more attention to beach ball recently, and I've found the bios of the USA's top beach players. The more astute among you will note a disturbing trend. Namely, the women players are starting to develop porn star names. Have a look -- Misty May? Holly McPeak? Oh, come on!
Look, it's all I can frigging do to keep my mind on the game as it is, with all the scantily-clad frolicking going on out there. But if I know, in the back of my mind, that one of the women is named 'Holly Mc-frigging-Peak'?! Forget it! I'm done. With a name like that, the corny porno music could start at any time -- if just one pizza guy were to wander onto the court, it'd be all over. How the hell am I supposed to concentrate on the game with that hanging over my head?
Hey, don't laugh, you man-watchers out there -- you've got the same issues, you know. Dax Holdren? Now there's a porno character's name, if I've ever heard one. (Not a porn actor's name, though -- that would be 'Dicks Holdren'.) And don't even get me started on Kevin Wong.
Anyway, that's my latest problem, and it's not damned fair. Plus, it's getting worse -- I'm certain of it. Sure, right now, only two of eight US beach ladies have porn names... but do you really think it'll end there? We all know who the pimply-faced, heavy-breathing target demographic of these telecasts really are. It's only a matter of time before we're sending 'Christi Crotchless' and 'Sandy Nipples' to the Summer Olympics. Can naked volleyball be far behind?
Say... actually, that's not a bad idea. Hey, it's not fair, but that would be hot. Who am I to stand in the way of progress?
Say 'Cheese', Swiss-Style
Not a full post this time, folks. I just wanted to take a moment to give a shout-out to Wyn, who recently asked his readers to challenge him with photo assignments. Well, I threw him a thought, and he's picked my idea as the first challenge.
For those who are interested, I've asked Wyn to go snap some pictures of the spot where the original Geneva Convention was signed.
(Now, before you get all excited, or think I'm an unreasonable bastard, you have to realize that he lives in Geneva already.
I may be an unreasonable bastard, but you're not gonna use this challenge as evidence, people. Get over it.)
Anyway, go check out Wyn's site -- it's tres cool as-is, and soon, very soon, we'll have a birds-eye view of the site where one of the most famous documents of the twentieth century was signed. So thanks to Wyn for taking my challenge, and I look forward to the pics. Woo hoo!
(Okay, fine, so my idea wasn't all that creative. Look, what the hell do I know about Geneva? It was either the Convention thing, or snaps of a girl dressed up in a Swiss Miss outfit.
Oh. Huh. Actually, I never thought of that.
Is it too late to change my challenge?)
Play? Play Ball! And Pour Me a Beer While You're At It
Step right up, folks. It's time for this week's Blogger Idol post. No lines, no waiting. Bring your popcorn and find a seat; the show's about to begin.
(Click icon to see all Week Seven posts)
Week Seven Topic: 'Play'
Well, this is a timely topic; just this week, I've begun to think about 'play' again, after several long months of winter. Specifically, I'm ready to 'play' one of my most favoritest games, softball. Now, lest you judge me on looking forward to one of the quintessential triumverate of 'lazy fat man' sports (bowling and fishing being the others), I'll tell you a little bit about our team's softball experience.
First off, we're called 'Team Guinness'. (At least when we're not being called, 'that group of lazy fat guys over there'. Hush up.) Anyway, it's a nod to our post-game (and for some, pre-game) ritual of schelling out to a bar for food and pints after a hard-fought game. Or an easy-fought game. Or a forfeit. Look, we're not pick, all right?
Also, we're a co-ed team, which means that we're not all lazy fat men.
(See, now, the joke here is to say that 'some of us are, in fact, lazy fat women'. But I'm not gonna go there. Partly because it's simply not true, of course. But mainly because some of the energetic, slim women on our team could probably kick my lazy fat ass. And not in a 'good' way, involving lacy teddies and pillows, or bikinis and Jell-O, either. So let's just move on before I piss one of them off.)
Anyway, the frost is starting to lift from the frigid New England ground, and the sun has been shining lately, and all of that has got me just itching -- but not 'jock-itching, thank you -- to get back on the diamond. The early league starts in about a month, so it's just about time to get out the old glove, and warm up the old arm, and buy the old tub of sunflower seeds to munch on. Softball season hath not arriveth yet, but it will hath arriveth thoon. Er, soon. Arriveth soon. Damn, that's hard to say.
Of course, I'm particularly pining for the game today -- our league plays on sunny Sundays just like this one, and from the relative warmth of my living room, it's easy to look out there and believe that it's sixty degrees or more, and that the sandlots are just begging for games to be played.
(At least, it's easy until I see people out there, bundled up in coats and scarves to stave off the chill. I mean, sure, if there's just one or two, I can pretend that they're just crazy hoboes, wearing all their clothes at once for convenience. And I can make myself believe that the steam coming out with every breath is just smoke, that everyone out there on my block is chain-smoking furiously, but that it's really not cold.
Eventually, though, I come around, and allow that it's really nad-freezing cold outside, and I should stay indoors, watch TV, and drink beer. Yeah. Life can be so disappointing that way, sometimes.)
Soon enough, though, the games will be on. I play the 'hot corner' on my team -- that's third base, for those of you non-baseball followers out there. I like third base, and not just because it's the euphemism used to describe really heavy petting, either. (Though that helps, believe me.) I also like it because there's a lot of action there -- game action, people; game action... we're off the 'petting' thing already. We copped a feel, and we're done with that now, all right? Keep up with me here.
Anyway, it's called the 'hot corner' for a reason -- hot grounders and line drives scream off the bat in that direction, and runners on the opposing team digging for home come chugging by. (A lot, actually, if you play on my team. I'm thinking of putting in a turnstile to slow them down a little.) It's a nice place to get some fielding done; you can never let your guard down at third base, and I like that. But I dabble in the outfield, and at first base, too, when needed -- third base is home, but it's nice to see other places once in a while, too. Travelling is fun.
So, that's what's on my 'play' plate these days. I can't wait to get back out there -- running the bases, taking ground balls off the shins, and arguing bad calls with the blind, cocky, brain-damaged umpires. And then off to the bar for a few Guinness, to relive the horrific loss, bandage my wounds, and try to convince the rest of the team that 'I can too hit! The sun was in my eyes!' Just another Sunday afternoon in paradise. Man, I can't wait!
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Whatever You Do, Don't Let Me Near the TiVo!
I've thought of yet another reason why I should be a writer when I grow up. I'm a technoboob.
(And no, that's got nothing to do with robot breasts. Nor virtual hooters, pixelated nipples, or motorized mammaries. It's nothing nearly so exciting as that.)
What it means is that 'computers' -- and its filthy, unwashed cousin, 'electronics' -- and I rarely get along. And that's unfortunate, since my job involves programming. Okay, so my job is programming. You can see where being a technoboob would get in the way.
Don't get me wrong, now. I'm not clueless when it comes to 'puters and tuners and speakers, oh my. Actually, it's worse. You know how some people 'know just enough to be dangerous'? Well, I know more than that -- I know enough to be lethal. I get past those first few merely 'dangerous' defenses that a funked-up printer or cranky video card might have, and soon find myself doing suicidal shit like poking at live wires with a screwdriver, or jamming my finger in some random port-hole.
(No, not the porthole on a ship.)
(And no, not some person's 'port-hole', either, all right? Fer chrissakes, keep your mind out of crotches for ten freaking seconds, would you?)
Anyway, I get myself in a lot of trouble, electronic-wise. The latest episode came today -- I finally got off my ass and bought the cable I need to connect my stereo to my computer, the better to -- someday -- record some old vinyl records of mine to MP3s. Fine. I got the cable, hooked it up, fiddled for a while, and finally got it working the way I wanted. Peachy.
Now, I don't actually have a turntable, so I couidn't work on the LPs. However, my old stereo does have a nifty casette player, and I do have a few old tapes that I'd like to hear at work, or in the car, or on the can, perhaps, so I started in on those. I popped in a tape, and got to work. Song one, check. Song two, no problem. Song three, done and done.
Song four... well, then there was song four. I made it through about two minutes of song four, when the music suddenly sloooooowed down, and the tape player made a charming, teeny little noise. It sounded a little like this:
No, no, that doesn't really do it justice. Try to imagine a high-pitched jet engine whine, as imitated by a cow going around and around in a clothes dryer. That's something like it. I'm not sure I can really get you closer than that.
So, of course, I stopped the player right away, well-aware of the irony of wearing this tape out for years, and then not playing it for years, only to have the damned casette player eat it the one time I wanted to record it digitally, so I'd never have to risk playing it again. Maybe that's not technically 'irony'; I don't know. Maybe it's just unfortunate, or unexpected. All I know is that it sucks ass.
Only, the tape wasn't being eaten. Screeched at, perhaps, but I was able to pull the tape out, intact. I tried the song a few more times, and the same thing happened, never in exactly the same place. Other songs, same thing. Other casettes, ditto. It gradually became obvious that the player was likely to blame. 'Maybe,' I said to myself, 'I should have a look at it.'
Nice. What kind of dumbass talk is that?
Four hours, three Q-tips, two screwdrivers, a can of compressed air, and some WD-40 later... and now the damned thing doesn't play at all. It rewinds like a gem -- and much more quietly, if I do say so myself. It fast-forwards like a dream. But play? No. Not so much. It groans a little, and some of the list moving parts twirl around the way they're supposed to, but no actual sound comes out of it. I suppose the good news is that it doesn't make the clothesdryer-cow-engine noise, either. But that's small comfort. How the hell am I gonna record the rest of my Royal Court of China tape? Or my old dB's stuff?
Eh, screw it. The thing wasn't working right, anyway. Now I'll just have to find a place that can rent me a nice turntable and a component cassette player for a week or two. The world's all CDs and MP3s now, anyway. I didn't need the thing, right? Um, right? Hello?
Bleh. Cut me some slack. Everybody gets one technical brain fart, right? I'm not so bad, really.
Oh, in other news, I've also got to call Office Depot on Monday to cancel the order I made online today. I wanted to buy a printer to replace our current one -- which I can't fix, thank you very little, dammit -- and ended up purchasing a scanner, instead. In my defense, the Yahoo shopping site listed it as an inkjet printer. Of course, in my prosecution, I didn't read the fine print, and realize that their half-brained, barely-trained intern screwed up the data input. And also, to add to the shame, if I could fix the stupid fricking printer we have now, I wouldn't be in this boobered mess in the first place.
Dammit, I hate technology. If it wasn't for my freaking TiVo, the occassional game of Madden, and my Soul Coughing CDs, I'd junk every piece of 'tronics in the damned house, and go back to living like a damned Pilgrim. Well, okay, so a Pilgrim with central heat, a cool car, and an oversized refrigerator. You know what I meant, dammit!
Man, I've got to get away from this computerized crap. Anybody got a nice, comfy job that involves only a typewriter, some pencils, and maybe the occasional bottle of tequila? Anyone?