Friday, November 30, 2007

Tough week

Does anybody have a stamp? I'm mailing it in.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jobs I Wouldn't Mind, Vol. IV

It's been more than a year since I've written a new installment in my (very) occasional series Jobs I Wouldn't Mind, but I'm back today and better than ever.

What profession has caught my fancy today? Reclusive billionaire.

This is the sort of job I could really get used to. There's little pressure to interact socially. Indulging odd and unusual hobbies isn't frowned upon, but encouraged. Personal hygeine is suddenly not very important.

Sure there are drawbacks. I might grow tired of spending years at a time on board my yacht, or holed up in my Sun Valley mansion, or my hot air balloon. But if I got bored, I would just buy an island, or maybe a newspaper chain.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

NaturalBlog News Update

Falafel flap as silly as it is delicious. Congressional Quarterly says the FBI tracked terror activity in San Francisco by looking at sales of falafel. The thinking went that the more falafel, the more likelihood of a terror attack. An FBI spokesman says it's "too ridiculous to be true." Too ridiculous? That from the same government that came up with an exploding cigar to kill Fidel Castro and a bomb to make enemy soldiers gay.

This is the stuff nightmares are made of. A forensic artist is credited with helping identify a girl whose body was found in Texas. She drew what she thought the girl would've looked like alive. News reports call her sketch precise, but I have to say the drawing looks more like Chucky than the victim.

Robert Cade eaten by alligator. The man who founded Gatorade has died. I would recap how Gatorade came to be famous, but Keith Jackson does it better:

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Joke's on me?

We get a lot of books at my office, mainly because liberals like to read. Usually they're on pretty abstruse topics, like jihadis or baseball.

Only sometimes is it news you can use, like this gem that came addressed to me last week: The Fertility Diet, subtitled Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation & Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant.

Why am I receiving this book? Are co-authors Jorge Chavarro and Walter Willett trying to tell me something? Who have they been talking to?


Monday, November 26, 2007

You Are The Decider: More Chuck Norris

If you live in a place where your presidential vote doesn't matter -- so pretty much anywhere but Iowa, New Hampshire or Florida -- then you might not have seen that Chuck Norris has put his money where his mouth is.

He endorsed Republican Mike Huckabee a few weeks back, and now he's doing a Huckabee ad. Pretty funny. Maybe enough to turn the tide in Iowa.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Boy am I drowsy

Yesterday was tryptophantastic.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Man Crush: Mike Lowell

I never blame athletes for taking the money. Sure, it hurt when Johnny Damon signed with the Yankees, but who would turn down a raise, especially when that raise is seven figures big?

That's why I was so happy when World Series MVP and part-time offensive lineman (see above) Mike Lowell took a three-year deal worth a reported $37.5 million, instead of a four-year deal worth $13 million, maybe $20 million more somewhere else.

The dude decided he could do without millions of dollars because he liked playing in Boston. I can't say I'd do the same.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blasts from the past

Oh, those wacky scientists.

A week after announcing they'd found skeletons of an ancient dinosaur described as a pre-historic vacuum cleaner, they now say there's evidence there were once eight-foot tall sea scorpions. Below are my renderings of each.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The march to perfection has its critics


Monday, November 19, 2007

You are the Separated at Birth

I had such a great time when my occasional political series You Are the Decider and my gimmicky Retro Week collided a few weeks back, so I'm please to try it again, this time with You Are the Decider and N-B's longest running gag Separated at Birth.


Alan Keyes is my kind of presidential candidate, a long-shot kind of guy who tells it like it is. If Marvin the Martian were more loquacious, I imagine he'd be the same kind of straight talker.

And speaking of people who don't have a shot of winning the presidency, here's Dennis Kucinich and Gollum, a pairing passed along by my good friend Biff Tannen. I will say this, Kucinich's wife is hotter than Gollum's.

And finally, here are Ghostbusters II villian Vigo the Carpathian and right-wing white knight Fred Thompson. One of my anonymous commenters passed this on, and I have to say these two are dead ringers. If we do elect Thompson, hopefully he's a better ruler than Vigo was.

Did you notice that each of these candidates is paired with someone fictional? I wonder what that says about our political process.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 16, 2007

The best is ready to begin

When I was a kid, I used to enjoy watching ABC's Growing Pains, though I was always miffed at their pedantic portrayal of gender roles, what with brainy Carol and stupid Mike. At least until Mike got to star in Our Town and finally found some direction in his life.

When I used to watch the show's opening sequence and theme "As Long as We've Got Each Other," I used to imagine that the Seaver parents, Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns, were the ones singing those soulful lyrics.

As long as we keep on giving,
We can take anything that comes our way.
Baby, rain or shine, all the time.
We got each other, sharing the laughter and love.
I was disappointed the other day when I was browsing the TV's Greatest Hits album on this music "sharing" web site to find that the song wasn't sung by them.

But there is a silver lining, Alan Thicke did write the themes to not only The Facts of Life, but also Diff'rent Strokes. Go figure.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The legend of free drinks and other casino myths dispelled

I made an $80 reparation payment to the Mohegan Indian tribe of eastern Connecticut last weekend, so I figured I'd share a few thoughts on casinos.

A lot of folks talk about getting free drinks at a casino, but that's certainly not the case. Even if you are lucky enough to snag some booze from one of the three waitresses working the 44-acre casino floor, you're paying for it alright, in the form of the house edge on every bet you make.

I've decided I prefer Foxwoods to Mohegan Sun, mainly because its smoke-free gaming area is much larger. For example, there are no craps tables in Mohegan's smoke-free areas. I also like the Foxwoods layout better. It's still sprawling, but it's easier to find your way around.

As you may know, Massachusetts is thinking about bringing in three casinos. I'm all for it, partly because I think I'd make a great pit boss. At the very least, the casinos would be closer, greatly reducing the long trip home after a loss, or, as I call it, "Trail of Tears."


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

But who's minding the IT department?

I'm sorry that I missed a documentary on the Independent Film Channel the other night called "Darkon," which looked at the world of live-action role playing. If you don't know what that is, and I didn't before the other day, I'll explain it in these two simple steps.

1. Imagine a small army comprised of IT people who talk down to you all day and baristas who have personal conversations with coworkers while they ignore you in the Starbucks line.

2. Now imagine all these people acting out a battle in a fake world of their creation in a park on a Saturday morning.

Here's the trailer. Don't worry. They fight with padded swords. Just one step from being in a padded room.

The bad boys of Darkon call themselves Mordom, or did before they disbanded shortly after the documentary was made. Mordom is described as the all-dominating imperialistic force that hasn't lost one of these glorified pillow fights in 15 years.

Can you imagine how incredibly insufferable these Dungeons & Dragons superfriends are when they finally feel like they have a modicum of power? A lifetime of being a loser, 25 years of living in your parents basement, of being scorned by women -- none of it matters For these three hours, on this glorious morning, on this soccer field in greater Baltimore.

Cast aside the fetters of your nerdom, for today you are Mordom. All powerful. All controlling. The nerd de tutti nerds. You are the jock. You get the cheerleader. You have great hair and great skin.

I can't help but think of the funniest ten minutes of television ever, when Triumph made fun of the Star Wars nerds. So funny, I had to distill it in two parts.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

She can be taught

I wrote a week ago about how Britney Spears and I have the same phone. While I mainly use mine for talking and texting, she likes to use hers as a mask.

You can see she's getting smarter, because she's now using its sideways flip feature to keep photographers from seeing her beautiful face, and her bloodshot eyes from seeing the road.


Monday, November 12, 2007

I have an acutely developed sense of irony, and you can too

I saw two things that struck me as funny yesterday, so I will share them today.

First, there was a story about an auction of foreclosed homes at a Boston convention center over the weekend. In addition to details of the usual smarmy auction stuff ("Hey, that guy is about to buy your home!" one auctioneer told a hesitant couple. "What's another $10,000?"), there was another great detail. Winning bidders were whisked into a separate room, where the mortgage lender Countrywide began working with them on home loans. I thought it was funny, since Countrywide's lending practices are blamed for many of the foreclosures that made the auction possible in the first place. I wonder if they doing anything different this time around.

Second, there was the matter of the new Jerry Seinfeld animated film about the secret lives of bees. Seinfeld does an HP ad where he touts the movie, as well as a new book his wife has written about tricking kids into eating healhty. "She's a genius," he says. Perhaps, but all the calories she saves young people are likely to be eaten up ten-fold, by Seinfeld and Bee Movie's partnership with McDonald's.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Continuing Coverage

I'm pleased to present DAY TWO of the continuing coverage of the NaturalBlog's second birthday celebration. How long will it go on? Who knows? In the meantime, kick back and enjoy this post from The Vault -- all the way from June 1, 2006.

Somebody get Akshay Buddiga a chair, and fast

This week ESPN and ABC wake up to what I've been saying for years: Spelling makes for great television. The 2006 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee finals are on network TV. During prime time. Chris McKendry is out on play by play, and Robin Roberts is in. It's even in spectacular HD. I'm not making this up.

This is like geek survivor, with gangly home-schoolers facing off against their gangly public and private school counterparts, comparing the size of their respective mental muscles before they head back to their hotels to don their head-gear and curl up with some comic books. Only the most awkward survive this day.

Could the tension be any greater, when a speller hacks his way through schwarmerei, pausing after that final "I" to see if he'll get the dreaded ding that sends him back to the "comfort room." That's bee-speak for the room for the vanguished, where the weak bawl and even the strong whither under the angry gaze of their "When-I-was-your-age" parents. They should put a camera back there, and put it on PPV. I'd pay $100 to see an eleven-year-old get scolded for not knowing how to spell appoggiatura.

Watch the excitement, distilled one letter at a time, tonight at 8.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

The NaturalBlog turns two years old today. Hard to believe, I know. Let's take a trip in the wayback machine and see how it all began...

When Blogging Jumped the Shark

Though the jury is still out on whether blogging was ever cool (witness for the prosecution), historians will likely cite November 8, 2005 as the day blogs jumped the shark -- the day I acquiesced to what is probably the most powerful cultural zeitgeist since disco, certainly since the Macarena.

Think of this as a nascent attempt to chronicle the all the times I think I'm being funny, the way the sediment along a riverbank traces the history of that river, the oldest deposits at the bottom, the newest at the top. Perhaps it's not a bad analogy considering blogs appear on your computer deep but not broad.

That's me, the Grand Canyon of funny.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sick day

You'll have to make do today.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Phoning it in (again)

A lot of the NaturalBlog's friends and colleagues have been showing of iPhones lately. They're pretty much the coolest phone ever, and I was starting to have a little telephone envy, to be honest.

See, a few weeks ago I bought this sweet flip phone, the Samsung u740, which opens both tall and wide for talking and texting, respectively. (Wide at right.) I thought it was pretty nice, until my friends started watching YouTube videos on their touch-screens.

Well, I'm happy to say I'm back among the cool people, because these paparazzi photos show that Britney also has the Samsung u740.

As you can see, our phone isn't a very good face covering, but I bet the iPhone is.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Everything is right again in this topsy-turvy world

Thanks to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from quarterback Tom Brady, the New England Patriots managed to beat the Colts for the first time in their last four tries.

The march to 19-0 is still on, but more importantly my good friend Sad Peyton is back after a long layoff.


Friday, November 02, 2007

You are the Decider: Alien Abduction Edition

It's time for the NaturalBlog's occasional political series You are the Decider. Hit the graphic:

Those are bulls pooping in the 0's, by the way.

I'm pretty pumped about this post because it involves two of my favorite things:
  • Longshot democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich
  • UFOs
Well, to be honest, neither of those is one of my favorite things, but it does make for a pretty good blog post.

The democratic Man of La Mancha, who somehow ended up with a lithe and beautiful wife (right), admitted during this week's candidate debate that he saw an unidentified flying object, over Shirley MacLaine's house in Washington state. (Where else?)

"It was an unidentified flying object, OK," Kucinich said to moderator Tim Russert. "It's, like, it's unidentified. I saw something."

In a new book MacLaine writes that Kucinich heard directions in his brain, ostensibly from the beings aboard the UFO. Somehow, for some reason, Russert did not press Kucinich on what the directions were. We can only assume it was the aliens who planted the seed of Kucinich's idea to replace the Department of Defense with a Department of Peace.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Who knew?

I got an e-mail the other day from "Rachel at Geico. I had once joked that the "good people at Geico" read my blog, and this proves it as fact.

She said she'd seen that I'd blogged about the cavemen before, and wanted to be sure I saw their new "masquerade party" adventure at Caveman's Crib. (Screen grab at right.)

On a related note, I caught the Caveman TV show on ABC a few weeks back, and I was shocked by the degree to which it didn't suck. I went in ready to hate it with all my heart, but the writing was great and there were enough small gags to keep it moving. I can't imagine the well of caveman humor is that deep, so tune in soon or not at all.

Labels: ,