Monday, August 31, 2009

I took the plunge

I'm sure you're anxious to hear about my week in America's lawless west. Just how lawless is it? Well, here's photographic evidence, from a gas station bathroom in Hallelujah Junction, Calif.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Summer Break (II)

We're on the eve of my second summer sojourn. If you think I should return in September, drop me an ecard.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caviar dreams, lobster nightmares

And now for a Naturalblog Public Service Announcement.

If you're going to try and kill a lobster in your kitchen before throwing him on the grill, don't just follow the instructions on some random web site. If you find a web site that says slicing the giant sea cockroach between the eyes will kill it right away, don't believe it.

The more you know.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Give a cheer for the orange and blue

You know it's time for college football when GQ weighs in on the subject.

The men's magazine devotes some time this month to a pair of Gators -- current Florida QB Tim Tebow and former Florida "Dazzler" Erin Andrews.

Naturally, the Erin Andrews "article" is really a vehicle for pictures of her in a football uniform. They were taken some four months ago, long before she illicitly videotaped in a hotel room.

The Tebow piece is plenty fawning, too, but mainly in words. "He smells strongly of deodorant, and his thick-lashed eyes are impressively serene..." Despite lines like that one, it does a nice job parsing his on- and off-the-field religions. Give it a read, but only if you're ready to learn that Tebow is "all thick polygons and smooth flat planes and inescapable corn-fed handsomeness."


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

J. Crew, inspired by Kubrick

Is anybody else creeped out by the latest J. Crew ad? I spotted it on The New York Times web site (after a full-screen takeover ad from BMW).

It used to be that J. Crew ads only invoked thoughts of springtime brunches, WASP family reunions, and the miracle of modern American dentistry.

But one look at this new one, and I couldn't help but think of The Shining.


Monday, August 17, 2009

A disappointing check on the Vice Index

Even long-time NaturalBlog devotees probably don't remember all the way back to February 2007 when I conceived of the "Vice Index," a mutual fund of stocks tailored to people's bad habits. There's the beer-maker Molson-Coors, the winemaker Constellation, Starbucks for your caffeine, MGM for the gambling, Camel cigarette-maker Reynolds, and finally the maker of Trojan condoms (and First Response pregnancy tests), Church & Dwight.

Well, I'm sorry to report the intervening 28 months have not been kind for vice. The value of Vice Index shares is down around 41 percent (compared to a 31 percent loss in the S&P 500 Index in the same period). All of my vice stocks tanked in the recession brought on by recent liberal governing, except for the company that makes condoms.

I guess that tells you all you need to know about how people are weathering the downturn.


Friday, August 14, 2009


The New England Patriots topped the Philadelphia Eagles in preseason football last night, but the real story was elsewhere.

The Eagles signed Michael Vick, fresh off a jail sentence for dog fighting. to be their backup QB. Oft-embattled starter Donovan F. McNabb responded by joining PETA.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

All she did was fall in love

You may remember the May-December romance of Red Sox owner John Henry and his 19-year-old bride, Linda Pizzuti.

Here's a great photo that was in the papers last week. Apparently he's taught her how to read.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summer Break (I)

The blog is taking another break. I know you'll be able to make it without me. Back in a week. In the meantime, check out the archives from back when NaturalBlog was still motivated. Or this site.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mmmm, cheese

I'm no grammar vandal, but I'd enjoy this bathroom wall sign, even without the typo.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Shark Week!

In honor of Shark Week, I'll post something I wrote for a humor magazine last year.

Sharks protest Discovery's "Shark Week"

Dozens of sharks gathered outside the Silver Springs, Md., corporate offices of the Discovery Channel Sunday to protest the network's annual "Shark Week" programming.

Carrying signs that read "Sharks for Truth" and "It's safe to go in the water," the vicious fish demanded equal time on the popular cable network to present pro-shark programming or that Discovery spend a week devling into the dark side of dolphins.

"Not since the violent hatred of Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, and Jaws: The Revenge has there been such an unfair media portrayal of sharks," said one of the protestors, who identified himself only as Bitey. "[Discovery Channel President John] Ford will soon rival Peter Benchley for the pain he has wrought on our community."

"And now that Discovery is simulcast in spectacular HD, we're made to look even more vicious," Bitey said.

The 21st annual Shark Week on Discovery began Sunday August 2nd with a two-hour Mythbusters Shark Week special, in which hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will investigate myths including whether chili powder repels sharks.

"Here's a myth you can bust, pal. How about the myth that all sharks are maneaters," shouted Chompers, a four-foot angel shark who was eating a mollusk. "Oh no, you'd never bust that myth because you're too busy perpetuating hateful stereotypes."

"I might eat crustaceans from the sea floor, but the real bottom feeders are these Discovery executives," Chompers said.

A Discovery spokesman said network executives will only meet with the sharks under the protection of a 1,300-cubic foot steel cage, a demand the sharks described as "petulant" and "insulting."

Discovery will broadcast 36 hours of shark-related programming during Shark Week, much of it devoted to the stories of people who survived shark attacks and tips on how to avoid shark attacks.

"Here's a tip," said a 6-foot 2-inch land shark who lives in nearby Chevy Chase, Md. "Quit swimming in my ocean. That's a sure way to keep from getting eaten."

"Candygram," he added.