Friday, August 31, 2007

I remain unconcerned

I don't care if Dan Shaughnessy called the division weeks ago. I don't care if the Boston Herald declared "It's Over!" on Tuesday. I don't even care that the Red Sox got swept in New York. OK, well I care about the last thing a bit.

But if you didn't think this race was going to come down to the last week of the season, then you just haven't been paying attention for the last 10 years.

Er, 80 years.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Australian News Roundup

New Zealanders, rejoice. I'm going to make fun of Australia.

If it weren't the BBC, I'd just assume the line "the woman apparently became the object of the male camel's desire" was a joke. A woman in Mitchell, Queensland who was given a camel as a 60th birthday present died when the camel tried to mate with her. The camel was probably just frustrated because its efforts to mate with the family goat had failed on a "number of occasions."

You should see their drunk driving PSAs. The New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority wants to make speeding seem uncool among young male drivers by suggesting that men speed as a way to compensate for other shortcomings. So these ads spell it out. Fast car = Well, figure it out.

From Nitro at Rest to Nitro Redux. NBC is bringing back the 1990s classic American Gladiators. This has nothing to do with Australia, unless Thunder and Blaze were Australian. I'm not saying they were, just that they might've been.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Idaho? No, he da ho.

Republican Senator busted for a failed gay tryst in an airport bathroom? That's low hanging fruit, but I'll take a shot.

Larry Craig (Green-Rainbow - ID) was arrested in June when he tried to go undercover with an undercover cop who was on a gay tryst detail in the Minneapolis airport. (Who did he piss off to get that assignment? Might've been because he's so handsome, at right.)

According to the police report, the Senator knew all the hand and foot signals (waving and tapping, respectively) that are "used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct."

"I was able to see Craig's blue eyes as he looked into my stall," Officer Friendly reports, along with the delightful nugget that later Craig said he is "unable to take his gold wedding ring off his left ring finger."

When the officer flashed his police ID, it apparently wasn't the package Sen. Craig was looking for, and he exclaimed "No!"

Later, when being brought in for questioning, the not-so-happy senator gave the officer a business card identifying him as a U.S. Senator and said "What do you think about that?"

Don't know about you, but I think he's f'd.

All of this was a delightful prelude to yesterday's Craig news conference in Idaho, where he uttered the now famous line: "I'm not gay. I've never been gay."

Funny -- he left open the possibility of being gay in the future.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Goodbye, Alberto

I can only hope that the enduring image of the Alberto Gonzales era at the Department of Justice will be this crudely doctored photo that I whipped up on MS Paint.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Separated at Birth

The man on the left is a self-described pedophile who for some reason gave a TV interview to a station in California. He clearly took tips on how to be clandestine from one of the Spy vs. Spy spies, on the right.

When I saw Red Sox teammates Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz celebrate a homer, I thought of another enjoyable duo, Laurel and Hardy, who are seen here in animated form.

And speaking of sports, busy blogger Bean Stringfellow pointed out that the Pittsburgh Steelers new mascot Steely "Insert your own joke" McBeam bears a striking resemblance to former Steelers coach Bill "The jaw" Cowher.

Which makes me wonder if the transitive property applies to separated at birth. In the very first installment, I paired Cowher with New York governor Eliot Spitzer. Does that mean the governor and the mascot look alike? Spitzer says, "Just a bit."


Friday, August 24, 2007

I've been e-mailing it in for a month now

I'm ebbing in the funny department. Good thing the Stringfellows won yesterday's guest blogging contest.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let's get ready to Bumble

Fox debuted a new show last night that blends reality, news and sitcom. A struggling Texas TV station hires a bimbo as a news anchor. Cameras roll. Hilarity ensues.

My first reaction was to bemoan the death of journalism, the blending of news and entertainment, the sad commentary on blah blah blah. Just typing these bland and banal arguments makes my head hurt.

Actually, I don't so much mind. I mean, this Texas TV station is just admitting publicly what all the other stations do without the wink and the nod: They're hiring a pretty person who doesn't know anything about news.

Even the pretty people who do know something about journalism can be a little vapid.

Case in point: When working in a TV/radio newsroom, I got a stationwide memo from a recently hired anchor that said, in essence, "Hi, great to be at the station. Please stop using my Bumble & Bumble hairspray in the bathroom."

She's still in the market. You can write a guest blog if you guess her correctly.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Celebrity athletes: They're just like us

A couple times I've pointed out how celebrities are just like us. Turns out, athlete celebrities are just like us, too.

They go to psychics. Red Sox centerfielder and delicious breakfast treat Coco Crisp told a Sox clubhouse reporter the other day that he was dressed head-to-toe in green because "My psychic told me that if I wore green, it would be good luck." I wonder if his psychic was dumb enough to draft him in fantasy baseball this year, as I was.

They struggle to get time off work. Man-about-town Tom Brady ("A good looking guy with a few nice suits") would like to get some time off when his super pregnant ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan gives birth, which judging by the picture at right is going to be any second now. But not so fast. Brady's shift supervisor, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, has yet to approve his time-off request form. "We’ll see when it happens. Like I said, it’s up to Bill," Brady said recently.

They wear the same clothes each day. And speaking of Coach Belichick, it looks like that hoodie is getting plenty of reps with the first team offense at Patriots training camp.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Usted es el decider

They're calling the meeting of President George Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon the "Three Amigos Summit." I think this is fitting, because I bet none of the three can correctly define infamous. Also, all three are fighting Oguapo bin Laden.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Calvin at Rest

Cedar pointed out that some web site has committed a major copyright violation by posting all the Calvin & Hobbes comics. I was addicted to this strip when I was a kid. This one here is probably my favorite.


Friday, August 17, 2007

NaturalBlog News Update

Man, what a good friend. A motorcyclist in Japan was in a pretty bad accident where he slammed into a safety barrier. It was so bad it severed his right leg below the knee and he didn't even notice. (Though he did say he felt excruciating pain.) A friend riding behind him had to pick up the bottom half of his leg. I thought you needed both legs to ride a motorcycle. Can someone clarify this?

In her defense, it's not a good song for karaoke. A dude singing "Yellow" by Coldplay was attacked and beaten by another patron at karaoke at a Seattle bar. The 30-year-old victim says he was surprised, because he'd even danced with his attacker earlier in the night ("But she was really, really aggressive, throwing me around," he said.) The woman said she doesn't remember the attack. The bartender says she was only served one shot of Jägermeister. And that's why I don't drink Jäger.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jose Offerman: Anagram for maJor Offense

I was pretty excited when I saw the Associated Press slug "BC-MA-OffermanBatAttack" move across the wire yesterday. Had former Red Sox infielder Jose Offerman been attacked by bats? Eaten? Turned into a vampire, perhaps?

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that Offerman had been arrested for attacking an opposing pitcher and catcher with his bat, after getting beaned in an independent league game in Connecticut.

I think he may have surpassed Izzy Alcantara for worst reaction to a beaning.

No surprise: Former Red Sox moonbat Carl Everett is Offerman's teammate on the Long Island Ducks. Or was his teammate, before Offerman's indefinite suspension.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Appreciation: Bobby Cox's irascability

I'm not a big fan of cumulative records, because basically it just rewards you for not having died. I much prefer a lifetime record that includes a denominator, rewarding Ty Cobb's .366 lifetime average over Pete "I only bet on them to win" Rose's 4,256 hits.

But there's was a milestone passed last night that deserves some recognition. Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox (.562 lifetime winning percentage) was thrown out of a game for the 132d time in his career, a major league record.

He's an old pro who doesn't need any help on the finer points of getting tossed. But if he did want some help, he'd have to look no further than the Braves farm team, where manager Phillip Wellman knows a thing or two about flipping out.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Mmmm, Puffins.

I was happy to see puffins in the news this week, when the Boston Globe reported that a puffin sanctuary in Maine set a new record in its efforts to restore the birds' population.

I've never really understood how puffins ended up as the inspiration for the tasty breakfast at top right, but I have always lamented that the cereal lacks the tender sweetness of puffin meat. C'est la vie.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

You are the Decider: Take your candidate to work day

The NaturalBlog's occasional series on the 2008 presidential race "You are the Decider" returns today. Hit the graphic:

What shall be made fun of today? Gimmickery run amok, in the form of the SEIU's "Walk a Day in My Shoes" program.

The campaign invites candidates running for president to spend a day shadowing nurses, laborers and others across the U.S. Why? Because there's no better way for the super wealthy to pretend that they understand paycheck-to-paycheck living than to spend eight hours with a union member, before going back to the phones to solicit thousands of dollars in donations from the nation's top one percent of earners.

I'd much prefer to see the candidates follow Mike Rowe on the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs. You could really get the measure of the candidates by watching them count salmon carcasses, clean up beetle poo, or maybe try to mate alpacas.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Friends are breaking down my door

So I've eclipsed the 1,000 MB-mark of storage on my gmail. I started using gmail as my primary email in June 2004, about 1,000 days ago, which means I send and recieve about 1 MB of mail a day. A lot of that is skewed by audio files and pictures, but the point stands.

One megabyte a day of email is 15,000 times the total storage capacity of my friend's C-64 that I coveted so much when I was a kid. I think that's kind of awing.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is it that time already?

I was shocked to see a (preseason) football score on the ESPN crawl the other day. Shocked and pleased, that is, because the part of the year with both baseball and football is one of my favorites.

And now that Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy has jinxed the Red Sox with his annual "It's over" column, I'll need football as a salve, and soon.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Advantage, Washington

While Mrs. N-B and I failed in our quest to drive both ends of Interstate 90 on the same day, our trip to Seattle did allow us to complete a tastier feat: tours of both Red Hook Breweries in Woodinville, Wash., and Portsmouth, N.H. in the space of about two weeks. We hit the Washington brewery last month and the Portsmouth on yesterday.

And while the tours were substantially the same ($1 for five five-ounce samples), I have to say I preferred our tour in Washigton.

Two reasons for that. First, in Washington the beer drinking was mixed in with the tour, while in New Hampshire the drinking was all at the end. Second, though the New Hampshire tour guide was entertaining, he relied on jokes about his ex-wife to carry the load of his humor; our Washington guide was just all-around funny.

Plus, he was willing to lambaste the ridiculous new marketing campaign for Red Hook's repackaged "Long Hammer" IPA, which reads in part:

Everything great that was ever built required a long hammer. A trusty tool used by ordinary men to make extraordinary things. Transcontinental train tracks. Impossible pipelines. Soaring skyscraper. Long Hammer IPA puts this bold spirit in a bottle.
Ugh. Fortunately the beverage itself isn't as heavy handed as the advertising. Beer hasn't come so close to making me barf in a several years.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

When words have no value, no one will pay attention

Do you remember way back, 1992 maybe, when CNN's Breaking News graphic used to actually mean something? It wasn't just a chyron (fancy news word for "words on a screen") back then, but a three-dimensional graphic that spun from right to left across your entire screen. It was so important that it was accompanied by a voice-over from James Earl Jones. Darth f'ing Vader himself, people.

But now? Every damn thing is breaking news. And if it's not breaking news, it's a developing story. And if it's not a developing story, then it's new video.

The newsmerizing coverage of this week's big story drives home this point. Just this morning, here was the breaking news out of Minneapolis:

Red Cross has set up a family assistance center.

That's breaking?

The visual pollution on my TV screen is worse than a superfund site, and there's no one around willing to clean it up.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Lohan Redux

I know I promised that I was done with Lindsay Lohan, but I couldn't resist this observation.

Take a look at the mugshot from her DUI and drug arrest in Santa Monica, Calif., last week. While her hair looks pretty good for a coke- and booze-fueled car chase, her skin is downright awful. (The herpes sore on her lip is kind of gross, too.)

But the reason I mention the skin is because it doesn't make sense given her $2 million dollar contract with Pro-Activ, the high-priced acne medication.

I guess they don't allow designer face washes in prison. Go figure.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It is my honour to be the decider. Cheerio.

This may or may not fall into the You are the Decider category. But I thought it was funny, so here it is: President Bush and the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown cruising in Golf Cart One.

I wonder if the president puts "One" after everything he uses. "'Scuse my bad breath, Gordie. Couldn't find Toothbrush One this morning, and I drank two cups from Coffee Mug One before you came over."