Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Dick Cheney is Back: Where’s the Wood Chipper?

June 25, 2014

Recently I’ve been working outside, clearing a buncha trees which have appeared on the edge of our lawn over the past 7-8 years, since the last time I did this. These speedy bastards can grow like 2-3 feet a year, which means that some are now 20 feet tall. After detailed research (I asked my wife, who knows things), I determined that these are mulberry trees. In addition to sprouting up everywhere, mulberries produce dark, sweet berries, much loved by birds who then shit purple on your vehicle and trousers.

Die, mulberries, die! Ahahahahaaaaa!

Die, mulberries, die! Ahahahahaaaaa!

I hate mulberries. Hate ’em. They grow so fast that they can crowd out crops in your garden. That’s not normal. I believe they were created by terrorists because they hate our freedom.

Anyway, I’ve taken down maybe 10 trees, with 20 or so more to go. I’m using a ripsaw and chainsaw, which is fun, but I’ll soon be left with the corpses of 30 trees to deal with. That’s where the wood chipper comes in. I’m thinking about renting one.

Of course any time there’s a wood-chipper, one immediately remembers that scene in the movie, Fargo. You know, the one near the end in which that creepy dude did That Thing with it. The scene with the sock.

And that brings to mind Dick Cheney.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention lately, but things have been going quite badly in Iraq. The country is in danger of being overrun by psychos from Syria. Plenty of people are saying that the US is at least partly at fault and that we need to immediately bomb something or drop troops somewhere or at the very least let loose Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger with some rpgs and wearing sweatbands and wife-beater t-shirts. Something, dammit.

Would you by advice on Iraq from this man?

Would you by advice on Iraq from this man?

One of these critical people is Dick Cheney.

Let that sink in. Dick Cheney.

He’s criticizing President Obama’s actions in Iraq.

Dick Cheney.

Critical of somebody’s handling of Iraq.

While wearing a cowboy hat.

I’m not going to go into all of the reasons this is outstandingly ridiculous and mind-numbingly infuriating, because I bet you know ’em already. But if not, check out this HuffPost article. It links to Jon Stewart’s brilliant commentary. If it doesn’t make you mad, you must be Paul Wolfowitz. Hi, Paul. Thanks for reading! Go fuck yourself you incompetent tool.

Anyway, the point is, when I consider wood chippers, I begin thinking about Dick Cheney. And this is disturbing. I’m not a violent person. I find it difficult to discipline a dog when it poops in my shoe. I have been known to hurl a kitty into the Outer Darkness when it leaps onto my groin from a great height in the middle of the night, but that’s a matter of reflex rather than rational thought. But when it comes to Cheney, I begin fantasizing about doing Things. Bad Things.

And I feel guilty about this. I feel that somehow I’ve cheapened myself by even in fantasy adopting Cheney’s stupid, cruel, and ultimately fruitless advocacy of violence to solve difficult problems.

Fargo, which taught me many important things.

Fargo, which taught me many important things.

So no more wood chipper, Imagination. I’m better than that.

Happily, that does leave me the steaming piles of horse excrement we have strategically deployed in our pastures and barn. And if that vicious, murderous son-of-a-bitch comes within 10 miles of this place I’ma load up a huge pitchfork full of righteousness and dump it on his evil, scheming, lying, ugly, war-criminal noggin.

It’s good to have dreams.

P.S. About Iraq? I haven’t got a clue what we should do there. But I DO know that we shouldn’t listen to advice from the very assholes who got us into this mess in the first place. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Ants in the Pants

June 11, 2014
Too sexy for my pants!

Too sexy for my pants!

Excuse me, but do these suspenders make me look like “Ants in the Pants?” I’m asking you, people who have never met me, because my wife is blinded by love and totally cannot be trusted when it comes to questions about my personal appearance.

She has shown this over and over again, the most outrageously at a Thanksgiving several years ago when she told an appalled group of relatives that I looked like Emmitt Smith. This while I was standing right there, mind you – and it was clear to anybody with working eyeballs that I do not at all look like Mr. Smith, nothing like him. Even a little. They don’t call me “the White Burl Ives” for nothing.

Me and Gregory Peck. (I'm the handsome one.)

Me and Gregory Peck. (I’m the handsome one.)

Anyway, my wife loves the suspenders. But is she correct? Do they give me that certain jeu ne sais quoi that a man of my declining years and hairline look for in a trouser-support device?  Or do they merely make me look like a sweaty extra from “Inherit the Wind?”

I’m usually not fussy about my appearance, which is good, given what I have to work with, but I do periodically get these ideas. Suspenders, for example. Who the hell wears suspenders? Beats me. Why did I start wearing suspenders? I dunno. Maybe it’s because my boyhood idol, Sandy Petersen, wears ’em, and he’s a stylin’ dude.

Now by “boyhood idol” I mean that Sandy’s like maybe five years older than I am. He’s one of the writers of the Chaosium roleplaying game “Call of Cthulhu” and an expert on insects and disgusting foot diseases, so naturally I’ve striven to be like him in every aspect of my life.  He’s also the creator of a hugely cool Cthulhu boardgame titled “Cthulhu Wars,” which you need to buy RIGHT NOW. (If you do buy a copy, please let Sandy know where you heard about it, so he sends me a free copy or at least some Cthulhu suspenders.)

Army Guys, come quick! There are monsters!

Army Guys, come quick! There are monsters!

But I digress.

Clearly suspenders are cool, but are they correct attire for a professional like myself? Should I get the fat red ones with big green dollar signs, or something in a nice subdued paisley? If someone compliment me on my suspenders do I offer to let them snap one, or is that too intimate?

I’m counting on your guys to guide me here. My wife keeps urging me to dress like I did on “Dancing with the Stars.” That has me worried.

I am a handsome devil, aren't I?

Screw the suspenders. I want that cummerbund.

Dumbness in America

June 6, 2014
"Cracking good cheese, Gromit!"

“Cracking good cheese, Gromit!”

It’s kind of depressing how much dumbness there is in the country today. Seems like everybody in the USA has decided to get really stupid all at once, and I don’t understand why. I kinda got the whole “birther” idiocy – Barack Obama has a funny name and his dad’s Kenyan (and he’s well, you know, a negro, not that there’s anything wrong with that, we’re all for equality and everything, but what if he’s a secret racist and mad at us for that whole slavery thing, not that it’s our fault, but you know about their urges: what if he wants our women?). Anyway, you could understand why certain people were desperate to believe that he wasn’t really our president. It was grossly stupid and moronic and sad and all, but it was understandable.

But as God is my witness, I don’t get the whole climate-change denial thing. That seems to be stupidity without purpose – self-destructive stupidity, as it were.

As John Oliver so eloquently points out, there is no argument against climate change. It’s settled science. It’s like arguing that there is no cheese. Clearly there is cheese. I can show it to you. Everybody knows that there’s cheese except this whole group of bozos who staunchly deny cheese. “I’m no scientist,” says Boehner, “but the debate is far from settled on the existence of cheese. And if we go around believing in alleged cheese, then American jobs will be lost and the American economy will suffer.”

Dude, cheese. It’s real. I got some here, in this pocket. Want a slice? Hello? Hello? STOP DENYING MY CHEESE YOU NITWIT!

Now I certainly understand why the Koch brothers deny my cheese. They’re evil. Acknowledging the existence of cheese – all right, you get the point – climate change – would cost them money. Since they’re evil, they’ll do anything, anything to avoid losing money, including selling out their own grandchildren. It’s part of their charm.

But other folks – nice folks who don’t own oil companies – also deny climate change. Why? It’s insane, senseless. They’re putting the lives of their children and grandchildren at risk, not to mention, I dunno, the whole species. And for what: a couple more years of buying cheap gas and big, dumb cars before the planet starts roasting and Florida goes bye-bye, along with Gramma and Grampa’s condo and a couple million people living in Bangladesh? It’s crazy, I tell ya.

The best explanation I’ve heard is that folks deny climate change because Al Gore warned them about climate change, and they hate Al Gore a lot. Acknowledging climate change would mean admitting that Gore was telling the truth, and they’ll be damned if they’ll give him the satisfaction.

If true, that’s amazingly, mind-bogglingly, grossly stupid. But for the life of me I can think of no other explanation. Can you? I’d love to hear a rational explanation for climate-deniers’ irrational behavior. Drop me a line if you get one.

Once that’s settled we can tackle anti-vaxxers, Jets fans and those characters who feel the need to bring AR-15s into Taco Bell, presumably because there might be commies lurking in the pico de gallo. We’ll have this whole thing sorted out in no time!

In the meanwhile, all this gabbing about cheese has made me hungry. Let’s go eat. Anywhere but Taco Bell, if you don’t mind. Cuz commies.

Violent extremists.

Violent extremists.

Fighting for our freedom! And snacks.

Fighting for our freedom! And snacks.

 

 

A Night at the Museum

February 23, 2014
The De Young Museum. Nicer on the inside I promise.

The De Young Museum. Nicer on the inside I promise.

It began – as all great stories begin – with a phone call from my wife. “Hi, Darling! What are your plans for today? I hope you’re going out. You spend too much time in that apartment!”

“You know, Honey, it’s been a really tough week. I was thinking of taking it easy, maybe playing some video games, catching a nap…”

“A museum it is, then! Which one are you going to?”

Of course my wife was right. I need to get out more, lest I turn into a total pasty pudding. And I like museums, especially art museums. They’re temperature-controlled and mostly free of hordes of screaming children found at other public venues. And sometimes I even like the art.

So doing the standard level of research – typing “San Francisco museums” into Google maps and tapping on an entry at random, I decided to visit the De Young museum in Golden Gate Park. I hopped on the handy Powell streetcar, rumbled down to Market, and jumped off in search of adventure and coffee and the N train.

I don't know what the hell it is, but it's cool. By some Inuit with a sense of humor.

A boat crewed by humans and I dunno – seals? Pigs? They seem to be getting along.

A quick note: If you’re coming to San Francisco, one of the top food cities in the world, be sure to eat at the Burger King at Powell and Market. I mean it’s not like there aren’t 200 fine restaurants within a quarter-mile of that establishment you cretins. What’s wrong with you people?

Anyway.

I got coffee and a cheese Danish and boarded the glorious N train. Then I cursed and exited at the next stop, because it was going in the wrong direction. Eventually I got on the right goddamned train and headed off toward the museum.

On the train I noticed a couple of young men sitting across from me engaging in what could only be called “spooning.”  I wanted to go over to them and apologize for the fucking asshole homophobic Arizona legislature, but decided against it. Why ruin their day? After a couple of minutes one dude pulled out a liter bottle of Stolichnaya vodka, took a snort and offered one to his swain. He then yanked out a large bag of pot and both began rolling huge doobies. Or fatties. Or maybe they were reefers. I dunno. But they were clearly totally unconcerned that about 25 people were watching them. Presumably they had medical conditions – excessive tumescence, perhaps. Poor bastards.

Cribbage boards. Made out of some material you disapprove of. Suck it up: it's art.

Cribbage boards. Made out of some material you disapprove of. Suck it up: it’s art.

Eventually I reached the designated stop in what I’m claiming is the “Inner Sunset” neighborhood and strode manfully north into Golden Gate Park. Passing the Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Tea Gardens (about both of which I have written elsewhere) I made it to the De Young Museum.

The De Young is a long, low steel-brown building with a vaguely rectangular protuberance atop it, designed (one assumes) by an architect hoping to build the world’s ugliest art museum. On the inside it’s a fine museum, with well-lit galleries and comfortable viewing spaces, but outside it looks like the kind of place where the Germans used slave labor to make tanks in World War II.

Because of my extensive non-preparation, I was surprised to see that the museum was featuring a big Georgia O’Keefe exhibit. Sharp questioning revealed that the exhibit cost 40 bucks to enter and there were no tickets available for an hour. Deciding that if I wanted to pay 40 bucks to see a bunch of vaginas I could always go to the Condor strip club on Broadway*, I declined the O’Keefe show and contented myself with the purchase of a general-entry ticket.

Dead on a highway to heaven? What?

Dead bunny on a highway to heaven? What?

Let me just say for the record that I LOVE THIS MUSEUM. I can only assume that the curator has been secretly reading my mind on what I’d like to see in an art museum and put it into practice. The De Young is not too big, and not too small. It has an eclectic collection of collections, including Modern, Native American, photography, textiles and (Lord knows why) a ton of wonderful stuff from New Guinea.

I started off in a room filled with Inuit sculpture and scrimshaw, then hit a gallery of big, glowy weirdo glass art thingies, then stumbled into a collection of old Peruvian works, then into a horrid room filled with those awful modern things that all seem to consist of squares of grey paint labeled “Reflections on Mortality Number 38.” From there I found myself in an exhibit of sketches and photographs of the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. After that it was upstairs into the wonderful New Guinea art, then into a surprise collection of American primitives and cool-ass old furniture and then out.

Some dudes. With hats.

Some dudes. With hats.

I spent maybe two hours in the De Young and was constantly educated, entertained and amused. Clearly the collector/curator has a wonderful sense of fun, and I would be proud to display most of the pieces in my home. (Except maybe for the many New Guinean carvings of dudes with enormous boners.  They’d probably give me an inferiority complex.)

I took a bunch of pictures which I hope you like. Give me a yell the next time you’re in San Francisco. I’m itching to hook up the boner’d statues with O’Keefe’s vagina pictures. Yowsers.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

Ancient astronaut.

Ancient astronaut.

This mobile was made from bits of a southern church that was burned by arsonists. Wow.

This mobile was made from bits of a southern church that was destroyed by arsonists. Wow.

He's glad to see you.

He’s glad to see you.

And we end with William Techumseh Sherman. Because why not?

And we end with William Techumseh Sherman. Because why not?

_________________________________________________________

* Just kidding, Honey! Ha, ha!

The Zoo Story

February 7, 2014
Giraffes are cool.

Giraffes are cool.

Long-range relationships are difficult. As many of you may know, I’m working in San Francisco, while my wife is on our farmette in rural Pennsylvania. The other day we had one of those conversations.

Me: Hi, Honey! I just went to the San Francisco zoo! I saw some penguins there – they are sooooo frickin’ cute! OMGeezers! I just want to pick them up and squeeze the li’l fellers! So how are things on the farm?

Her: It’s 20 degrees out and freezing rain.

Pause.

Her: We have no power.

Me: Oh.

Her: Fritz* pooped in his water bucket. Again. It’s frozen.

Pause.

Me: That’s too bad, Honey.  Did I mention that I hugged a giant hairy anteater?

Her: You’re dead to me.

At times like these I find it’s best to not gloat too much about how cool it is here in San Francisco because I have to sleep sometime and she knows where I live. But I will state for the record that the SF Zoo is a fun place and I enjoyed my visit. (Perhaps not as much as I’d enjoy chipping our car out of the ice in PA, but it was a good time.) You should check it out.

Some birds. Presumably fighting over manflesh.

Some birds. Presumably fighting over manflesh.

So with love and sympathy to my poor wife who is suffering through a terrible ice storm back in Pennsylvania, here are some pictures from my trip to the SF Zoo. I’m flying in tomorrow, Honey! Save some ice for me!

I did not like the way these birds were looking at me.

I did not like the way these ostriches were looking at me.

Generally, you only see two types of folks at the zoo: parents with young children, and teenagers**. The kids are either trying to throw themselves into the alligator pit or are rightly terrified of these creatures. Here’s an actual conversation I overheard between a dad and his young son.

Dad: Timmy, do you see the Mccaw? It’s sleeping!

Kid: Yeah, can we please go before it wakes up?

The lad clearly understands the perils of hurled poo.

Gorillas. Doing gorilla stuff.

Gorillas. Doing gorilla stuff.

Rhinos are cool.

Rhinos are cool.

The teenagers are almost universally jerkfaces. The boys have clearly determined that the best way to impress their girlfriends is to act like huge assholes, and the girls are too busy texting to give a shit.

Teenage Boy: (Pointing at a giant anteater, shouts) It’s a dick! A huge, hair dick! Hey Michelle! Look at the huge hairy dick!”

Michelle: God, Brad, shut up! I’m texting that bitch Rachel.

Teenage Boy: Seriously! Check it out! It’s a huge hair dick! A huge, hairy, anteating dick! Don’t you see it? Hey Michelle…!

As a rule, all teenagers should be eaten by tigers.

This tiger's waiting for the teenagers to be hurled in.

This tiger’s waiting for the teenagers to be hurled in.

Penguins. Cute - and delicious!

Penguins. Cute – and delicious!

Penguins are adorable and ridiculous. Presumably they survive because anything that tries to eat them is likely to bust out laughing when they get close.

Aww! Want!

Aww! Want!

A mama grizzly. Probably Palin.

A mama grizzly. Probably Palin.

The Zoo was a blast, and I recommend that everybody go visit. Rent a small child to take with you if you don’t have one of your own: they really appreciate this stuff and through their eyes you will too.

I also got to see the Pacific Ocean, which looked chilly and very wet. There were crazy dudes with surfboards out there waiting for the big one. I watched to see if they caught a wave or got eaten by a giant squid, but nothing happened.  so after about 30 minutes I left. The whole thing was sandy and anticlimactic. But all in all it was a great day and I wish my wife had been here to share it.

Tomorrow I’m off to Pennsylvania to help chip ice and yell at the power company. That should be fun too!

“Hey, Honey! That icicle looks like a  huge dick, doesn’t it? Hey!”

_______________________________________

*Fritz the horse. Who did you think it was?

**And rarely, creepy old dudes with cameras.

A Bridge Too Far – My Walk to the Golden Gate

January 27, 2014
Seriously. Say something cynical here. I dare you.

Seriously. Say something cynical here. I dare you.

When engaging in an epic journey – say, walking to the Golden Gate Bridge from your bijou Nob Hill room – it’s best to do no planning whatsoever. Instead, you climb out of bed around 11 am on a Saturday and stumble toward the nearest Starbucks. On the way you vaguely remember that you thought about going to see the Golden Gate Bridge today – and since the Starbucks is in the same general direction as the bridge, what the hell. This is exactly how Bilbo Baggins began his journey in The Hobbit, and that worked out pretty well for everybody involved, did it not?

Nobody goes to the Fisherman’s Wharf Starbucks any more: it’s too crowded*. But I was desperate for caffeine so I elbowed my way in through the cow-like herd of tourists and stood in line for 15 minutes, eventually emerging triumphantly with a cup of coffee and a blueberry scone. This would be my entire sustenance for the upcoming journey (unless there happened to be a noodle shop or burger joint or something along the way, or maybe ice cream).

A tall ship and Alcatraz. Now they're just rubbing it in.

A tall ship and Alcatraz. Now they’re just rubbing it in.

Checking my phone’s Google Maps, I was somewhat taken aback to learn that the Golden Gate Bridge was some 4.5 miles away, plus another half-mile to the middle of the bridge itself. But I was committed, so I followed the trusty blue line west along Bay Street. I marched up a hill, then down a hill, then up another one. I was getting winded, so I sat down on a nearby park bench to finish my coffee and check progress.

By my calculations I had gone about one-and-a-half miles. By Google Maps’ calculations I had done half that. Grumbling like an old dog, I levered myself up and proceeded on my way, snapping pictures and frightening women and small children I met along the way.

As I’ve stated before, San Francisco is goddamned picturesque. I passed steep hills leading down to tall ships anchored in the bay, with Alcatraz squatting off in the distance. There are mysterious stairs leading up to mysterious stucco houses in-between big old Victorian row homes. There are murals on chain drug store fences. There are doggies.

It's January.

It’s January.

And there are joggers. And cyclists, whom you quickly grow to hate with a cold, deadly passion. As you get closer to the Bridge, you enter prime biking/jogging terrain. And because you’re heading toward one of the top 10 coolest objects on the continent, many of the cyclists are tourists, with limited grasp of the rules of the road or common courtesy.

There’s nothing more invitorating than being rammed in the back by a wobbly European mom on a bike.

Me: “Ow.”

Mother: “Gabble, gabble, gabble,” gesticulate wildly.

Daughter: “[Oh God you hit this bald fat guy. I wish I was dead. Why do you always embarrass me? Can we go back to the hotel now?]”

Me: “That’s all right. I’m fine. Please go away now. Thank you.”

Mother: “Gabble, gabble, gabble.” Smile, wave, wobble off.

Daughter: Adjusts earbuds, looks at me as if I’m an insect, follows her mom into the sunset.

Boats. It's January.

Boats. It’s January.

Despite the peril, I was enjoying myself. There was lots to look at, including water, boats, islands in the distance, marinas, the bridge itself, more doggies and tourists. I took many terrible photos and was happily distracted from the increasing pain in my feet.

The area being surprisingly bereft of convenience stores and bars and pizza joints the like, I found a terrifying water fountain to drink from and kept moving. I could see that I was making progress. The bridge was definitely getting bigger, and the tourists more dangerous. Eventually I reached the part of town which had at one time been the Presidio, a big military base which originally defended San Francisco from Japan and Mexico and Canada I guess, but which had recently been abandoned and turned over to the civilians. The area is an odd mixture of construction, shabby old Quonset huts, scrubland, shoreline and sandy parks filled with doggies and huge sculptures by some guy who makes huge sculptures.

The first thing I think when I see this is, "Gosh, what a great place this would be to dump a body." What's wrong with me?!

The first thing I think when I see this is, “Gosh, what a great place this would be to dump a body.” What’s wrong with me?!

The bridge was definitely closer now. In fact you could reasonably say that it was “looming.” Which was good, because I could feel impending blisterage. I wandered down toward the water and around some old military buildings, where I was surprised by a buncha dudes in Civil War-era garb marching purposefully somewhere. They seemed hilariously out of place here, but they were carrying bayonets, so I hooted “huzzah!” respectfully and went on my way.

I climbed up a stairway which led up through some bushy scrub to the entrance to the bridge itself. There were flowers blooming in late January, and things being fragrant, with the water twinkling an alarming distance below me. It was pretty beautiful.

bridge11

Up close, the Golden Gate Bridge is still frickin’ breathtaking. It’s a beautiful dark red color, and it frames the bay on one side and the Pacific on the other. Geometric shapes and graceful curves soar up into the heavens, and under your feet the whole thing thrums with a mighty thrumminess. Not even the terrible, terrible tourists gone amok on bicycles can ruin the experience. I marched to the middle of the bridge and took a lot of photos of stuff and gawked.  I was on the Bay side of the Bridge (it’s impossible to cross to the Pacific side while you’re on it unless you’re insane) so I got lots of pictures of the city and bay and Alcatraz, but not so many of the Pacific. That’ll have to wait until next time.

bridge13a

By then I had been walking for two-three hours and it was getting late. I turned around and headed the five long miles back home.

I haven’t got much to say about the trip back except “ow.” I saw some cool things and stuff, but it was getting dark and I was kind of busy discovering new places to be sore.

bridge15

It was a great adventure and I’ll do it again, once these blisters heal. Except maybe the next time there will be a taxi involved. Or I’ll rent a bike and do some damage of my own. Stay classy, San Francisco. I shall return.

bridge16

______________________________________

*Thanks, Yogi Berra!

All the Rage

December 10, 2013
I'd totally take a selfie with that. Well-played, Mr. President!

I’d totally take a selfie with that. Well-played, Mr. President!

I’m angry. It’s 20 degrees back home in Pennsylvania and snowing, but that’s not what I’m angry about. My wife, who is stuck on the farm with her horses, dogs and goat is pretty pissed about the weather, but I’m 3000 miles away in San Francisco, so in all honesty it’s hard for me to be really enraged. Let’s just say that I’m enraged by proxy.

Two of my three fantasy football teams are out of the running, but that doesn’t particularly infuriate me.  I can shift the blame for these losses on the lame new NFL rules that make players sit out games merely because they’ve suffered brain trauma. Goddamned sissies are ruining the game.

I’m far away from many of my friends and family. That sucks, but I’ll be heading home soon for an extended stay, so that doesn’t anger me so much as it makes me impatient. There will be cookies!

There’s war and poverty and illness and inequality and death and stuff like that, but that’s life, right? If you went around being angry over that stuff, your heart would wither and you’d end up looking like Dick Cheney’s daughter*. Screw that noise.

No. You know what really pisses me off? President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s funeral. And he took a selfie with the hot Denmark Prime Minister. Goddamned dude ruined the funeral.

Of course Mandela was a commie terrorist anyway, so this whole “world mourns the death of a great man” nonsense is overblown, but still. Obama should have treated the whole thing with more respect. Dude destroys America’s reputation wherever he goes.

Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney's daughter from the evil Star Trek universe.

Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney’s daughter from the evil Star Trek universe.

It’s like when he kissed that Saudi Prince. Talk about inappropriate.

Oh wait, that was Bush II.

Or when he barfed on the lap of the Japanese Prime Minister.

Bush I? Really?

Damn.

But he did shake hands with admitted Commie and mass murderer Mao Zedong, right?

That was Nixon? What the fuck.

How about trading arms to Iran for hostages…? No. Reagan, huh? Shit.

Anyway, Obama’s a total disgrace, and he’s ruined the entire Christmas holiday. Which, incidentally he’s declared war on by angering the Israelis or something.

But it’s not all bad news. This latest outrage does give me something new to be angry about since the ACA website appears to be working better and unemployment is at the lowest level in five years, so I need to change the subject fast.

Frankly, if Obama hadn’t done this totally outrageous and terrible thing I would have had to make it up.

______________________________

*The mean one from the evil Star Trek universe. The daughter with the goatee.

For Want of a Nail…

December 5, 2013

As a valuable and highly-trained Internet Tech worker, I hop jobs frequently. When I worked at AOL I had an AOL email address that I used as a business and personal account. When I quit that company I had to change my personal email address. My next address was something like dude@netscape.com. Then Netscape folded, and that address was no good too. So I used my next work address for personal email. Until I quit that company and was once again orphaned. At that point I decided that enough was enough and I ought to get my own goddamned domain name and email address that I would never-ever change. Ever. I went to GoDaddy.com because it was cheap and featured Danica Patrick in few clothes.

Lies. The hot chicks are all lies. At GoDaddy there is only sadness and despair.

Lies. The hot chicks are all lies. At GoDaddy there is only sadness and despair.

Because I’m a witty dude, I picked “Mr Victim.com.” for my domain. So my address is paulmurphy@mrvictim.com. Which is hilarious. Except when I have to give it to somebody over the phone, then it’s unmitigated torture. The conversation always goes like this:

Phone Dude: And what is your email address, Mr. Murphy?

Me: I’d prefer not to say.

Phone Dude: We need it to verify…

Me: Yeah, yeah. Okay, it’s Paul Murphy at Mister Victim dot com. Let me spell that out for you.

Phone Dude: Mister… Tim? Could you please spell that out for me, Mr. Murphy?

Me: I just said… never mind. It’s ‘p a u l m u r p h y at m r v i c t i m dot com.’ Got it?

Phone Dude: M r v i c… Mister Victim…?

Me: Miserably. Yeah. It’s uh, kind of a joke.

Phone: Oh, ha ha. Very funny. Could you repeat that please?

And on it goes. I’d love to change it, but I’d rather fry my eyeballs in lard than have to tell everybody that I’ve got a new email address. It’s just too painful to contemplate.

The other day I wanted to add a new email address to my domain. (To run a new Twitter account. Long story. Not very interesting.)  In order to do that, I needed to log into my account at GoDaddy, which I hadn’t done in about a year. The process went something like this.

GoDaddy Website: Hi! What is your customer login name?

Me: Is it this? Typetypetype.

GoDaddy Website: No.

Me: Then I forget.

GoDaddy: No problem! What is your customer number?

Me: I have no idea.

GoDaddy: Hmm. What is your password?

Me: Is it this? Typetypetype.

GoDaddy: No.

Me: How about this? Typetypetype.

GoDaddy: Hardly.

Me: Then I forget.

GoDaddy: Here’s your password hint. Does that help?

Me: Typing and cursing. Apparently not.

GoDaddy: Sighs. What is the email address you used when creating the domain? “

Me: I dunno. Let me test several dozen possible addresses and go through your horrid “captcha” robot test for every one.

Long angry pause filled with more typing and more cursing. 

GoDaddy: You got the captcha wrong. Again.

Me: Eat me. Type.

GoDaddy: You got the captcha right, but we have no record of that email address. Jesus. How many gmail accounts have you abandoned over the years anyway?

"You can tell I'm not a robot by the way my eyeballs are bleeding while trying to interpret this chicken-scratch."

“You can tell I’m not a robot by the way my eyeballs are bleeding while trying to interpret this chicken-scratch.”

Me: Shut up. Typetypetype.

GoDaddy: Wow. At last. That one works. Christ you’re an idiot. We’ve sent a password reset link to that address. Do you think you can find your way there to click on it, you bonehead?

Me: Die why don’t you? Typetypetype.

Gmail: Welcome back to the email address you used for 20 minutes that one time three years ago when you were setting up your GoDaddy domain and haven’t thought of since. Do you remember your password?

Me: Is it this? Typetypetype.

Gmail: No it is not.

Me: How about this? Typetypetype.

Gmail: Not even close. Want us to send you a password reset?

Me: Sure. Why not?

Gmail: Do you remember which email address you gave us when you set up this account?

Me: Silence.

Gmail: You don’t, do you?

Me: [Brain explodes messily.]

Fade to Black Friday

December 2, 2013
Hungry for great holiday deals -- or manflesh?!

Hungry for great holiday deals — or manflesh?!

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and that the Detroit Lion’s victory doesn’t mean that the End Days are here. But if they are, it’s not a moment too soon.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with some extremely kind people who took pity on me because I was far from home in another city and stuff. The meal was tasty and the company was excellent. We had the standard Thanksgiving discussion which ranges from how thankful we are to have friends and family to describing previous exciting holiday visits to the Emergency Room*. Then there was pie.

Fully sated and drowsy, I was loaded with about 15 pounds of leftovers and waddled off to my bijou shared apartment in Chinatown.

Once there I began obsessively surfing Twitter for reports of rioting consumers beating the shit out of each other in WalMarts to get an extra 15% off of a set of Paula Deen holiday muffin tins. They weren’t difficult to find. Happily many of the worst moments were videoed and proudly displayed on You Tube. Here’s a wonderful compilation by G4SportsNews** of the worst of the worst. It’s nine minutes of consumer frenzy hell.

The next morning (by which I mean after waking from my calorie coma at around 1pm) I ambled down to the Macy’s at Union Square, San Francisco, to survey the damage. The entire city was crawling with excited shoppers who I had to ruthlessly say “excuse me” to because they were all texting rather than watching where the hell they were walking, the mooks.

Once at the Square I was appalled to see a huge-ass ugly Macy’s Christmas Tree cone-thing soaring gracelessly into the heavens and wondered how such an abomination could be allowed in a city full of artsy gay guys and gals. While thus distracted I was assaulted in turn by a dude in a plush menorah hat giving out “Jews for Jesus” literature and some poor bastard in an elephant suit peddling some damned thing or t’other. Acting on instinct and adrenaline, I kicked the elephant man in the elephant-nards and hurled the Jewish fellow under a bus and got away in the confusion.

Fact: The dude in this costume is TOTALLY NAKED under his clothing.

Fact: The dude in this costume is TOTALLY NAKED under his clothing.

On the way out I gave a buck to a couple of young people playing classical music on the sidewalk and all of my change to a really smelly dude to get him to go away. This led to a concerted assault by other smelly dudes (who apparently can spot a mark at 500 yards). My holiday spirit totally crushed, I went back home, where I again jumped onto social media.

There I read about Pope Francis’s recent Church mission statement (Evangelii Gaudium), in which he urged the Church to get its hands dirty and to stop obsessing about gay dudes and stuff. (He remains pretty darned opposed to abortion, which is unfortunate but understandable.) He also criticized the West’s obsession with material goods and horridly unequal distribution of wealth.

These guys were good and kinda made me happy I had gone downtown. I gave them a buck.

These guys were good and kinda made me happy I had gone downtown. I gave them a buck.

This cheered me up until I read a few of the many articles (some written by “good Catholics”) calling him a Marxist for his pro-poor, anti-Consumerism stance.  I learned that Francis’ desire for rich people to help the poor was based upon his dubious Leftist background and his weak understanding of economics. Reading on I discovered that Pope Francis was imposed on the Church by an angry God to punish it for its transgressions. In conclusion: screw that guy and pray for his early death.

Gotta wonder what these clowns would say about Jesus if he came back now, don’t you?

By this time I was a broken man. I ate Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner and drank beer and played Minecraft until the wee small hours of the morning, rejoicing in a blocky world of cows, ducks and exploding zombies – and no goddamned holiday shoppers.

So if these are End Days, I hope to hell the End comes before this time next year. If not, I’m gonna ride the next Black Friday out on a beach in Cancun, far from all of them crazy bastards.

I’ll save you a spot.

Minecraft: Here I'm totally ganking the crap out of this skelly while a curious pig watches from across the gulley.

Minecraft: Here I’m totally ganking the crap out of this skelly while a curious pig watches from across the gulley.

_______________________________________

*Maybe it’s just me, but in my experience all holiday dinner conversations eventually devolve into graphic descriptions of wounds and/or illnesses suffered at previous dinners.

** Yes, rioting on Black Friday is now a sporting event. It’s like soccer hooliganism in the UK, but with more women. And boy howdy are they vicious.

Talking Turkey

November 27, 2013
Johnathan Swift would be proud!

Best costume EVAR. Johnathan Swift would be proud!

I see that the President pardoned a turkey today. It may be a cute photo-op, but I must say that I find the whole business kind of weird and grotesque. Setting aside Obama’s depressing failure to pardon many actual human people worthy of Executive Clemency, it suggests that the turkeys we’re eating have committed some kind of crime, and that’s why they’ve been slaughtered and sent to market.

If that were true, it would be good if all turkeys were labeled with the crime that got them executed. It might help you make an educated purchasing decision.

“Hmmm. This turkey weighs 14 pounds and stole a Honda CRV. Whereas this one had unnatural relations with an emu. Ew. I’ma go with the car-thief.”

“I wonder if the cannibal turkey is juicier than the insider-trading fowl.”

“Say. How does a turkey ‘corrupt the morals of a minor,’ anyway? Was it a minor turkey, or human? These things make a difference!”

And so forth.

Speaking of turkeys, here’s a tweet I got from the President this morning, which I swear to God I thought was from a parody account:

What the hell is the illo in the middle supposed to be, anyway? A fez? Some Jello? What??

What the hell is the illo in the middle supposed to be, anyway? A fez? Some Jello? What??

I don’t know about you, but if I were the President the last thing I’d want folks discussing over Thanksgiving dinner is the smoking train-wreck that is the ACA rollout. It’s like the Redskins’ defense: some things are just so awful they should not be brought up during the holidays.

I’m thinking that the President’s PR dudes may want to ask Santa for new careers for Christmas.

Anyway, I’m in San Francisco for Thanksgiving, far from my beautiful wife and family in Pennsylvania. It’s totally a bummer, but I have been invited to dinner by some excessively kind friends in the Bay Area. So while I may miss being home with my loved ones, I will still enjoy companionship and pie and cursing the Detroit Lions.

I hope that you are with your family for Thanksgiving, and that your turkey is crime-free and juicy and that nobody brings up Obamacare or the Redskins while you’re eating.

Have a great holiday!