Monday, February 28, 2011

And the loser

I can't believe it. We've almost made it through another painful movie awards season with all it's gratuitous self-aggrandizement. As all the hollow praise subsides let's review what we have been through. We have been subjected to the Critics Choice Awards, The Peoples Choice Awards, The Golden Globes, The Screen Actors Guild Awards, The MTV Movie Awards, The Independent Films Awards, and finally, the Oscars. And that's only the ones I can remember. If you count BAFTA (England) and Cannes Film Festival (France) you see there are nearly 10 award galas for just one profession. It should be pointed out that the same stars and movies usually win at each show.

How many other professions can you name that have 10 different awards ceremonies to honor the best and the brightest? How many even have more than one? TV (Emmys), Broadway (Tonys), Music (Grammys) only have one show. OK, country music has it's own awards but it is distinctly different. Education, medicine, law, architecture, etc.etc.etc. all have pretty low profile yearly awards. Many are done on a local basis but if it's national it is not only relatively rare, but quite subdued in comparison. Even sports, with all its massive egos doesn't gather for self praise on multiple occasions.

And when did the pompous entrance of the narcissistic guests to these affairs become a TV show in itself? There are actually people making wads of money just for critiquing the dresses the starlets wear. There even may be a major for that in colleges now, I don't know. Sad to say, but that's the best part of the evening. Once the show starts, it's boring, embarrassing, awkward and excruciatingly long. The same people who are patting each other on the back will be at each others throats the next day.

What I would like to see is more realistic award categories. No one cares about the best set designer, choreographer, wardrobe designer, screenplay writer and so on. Sure, these are talented people, but what I want are categories that reveal the real Hollywood. Like maybe these for example:

Best performance while high on crack cocaine

Best performance during a mug shot

Best performance in a real courtroom.

Best performance from a  jail cell.

Best performance while on probation.

Best performance while going through a divorce.

Best supporting performance by a concubine.

Best performance during a DUI stop.

Best performance during a custody hearing.

Best supporting performance by an enabler

Best new addiction

Best performance from a rehab center.

Best performance while abusing a spouse.

Best performance while attending an anti-Tea Party rally.

Best supporting role defending a foreign dictator.

Best performance foisting a political view on a captive audience.

Now there's an awards show I would watch!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scientists discover millions upon millions of new "Black Holes"

In a startling announcement, the scientific community has revealed that there are possibly billions more black holes than ever before imagined. For those of you who still aren't sure what a black hole is; consider this definition from Encarta dictionary:

1. object in space: an area in space with such a strong gravitational pull that no matter or energy can escape from it. Black holes are believed to form when stars collapse in on themselves.

2. place where things get lost: a place or thing into which objects disappear and are not expected to be seen again.

It is this latter definition that scientists lean on when referring to their recent discovery. When asked by reporters if they had given a name to this newly disclosed phenomenon the committee replied: "Yes, we call it purses." When queried further to explain this technical term the spokesman, looking rather incredulous, elaborated saying "pocketbooks, handbags, shoulder bags... call them what you want!"

That's right, verifying what most men have long suspected, common womens purses are now officially a part of the scientific lexicon of  the unexplainable. It comes as no surprise to most husbands, or men in general for that matter, that even the most erudite among us cannot completely grasp the chaos that is these seemingly indispensable devices carried around by every one of the other gender. For the most part, we have been very content to not know. The mystery surrounding the contents of purses, while occasionally piquing our curiosity, is at the same time threatening and best left unexplored. 

Who among us hasn't frozen at the command "check my purse, I'm sure it's in there." Aside from the frustration of trying to find something in there, we all imagine being skewered by some grooming device with sharp points. And what if there is a varmint living in the bottom of the bag? With the daily accumulation of so many articles who could possibly know what lurks in the abyss? 

But why now, after centuries of everyone ignoring this rather mundane item, has it become such a wonderment? Simple. The cellphone. It's only since the advent of the cellphone that the comparison to a black hole has taken on such significance. Here's the scenario: the cellphone rings; everyone hears it; everyone knows it is in the purse. Will the owner find it in time? Probably not. I would rate the odds at 100 to 1 that it will be a "missed call". Not only will they not get it in time but they won't find the phone at all. Life is suspended while the inevitable search is executed. It's such a pathetic sight because almost every new purse now has a specially accessible pocket just for the cellphone. But somehow it just doesn't seem to want to stay in there. We won't go into the reasons.

While nothing has changed and this ritual of pocketbook combat will invariably continue down through the ages, it gives some comfort to know that science has at least given it credence. That gives me solace for the next time I am asked to search my wife's purse, or as I like to refer to it, the "Event Horizon."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"They did what"? Awards Volume II 3rd Edition

1. The " ads you won't see at the Super Bowl" award to Hacienda restaurants in South Bend, IN for the above billboard which refers to the mass suicide of 900 followers of Jim Jones in Guyana in 1978. The restaurant was forced to remove the billboard because of so many complaints by offended citizens. In a statement that is sure to be nominated for "spin" of the year, the VP of Marketing said "while we want to be noticed, we don't want to be too controversial or edgy. We don't want to be viewed negatively in the local area". Maybe a special "Branch Davidians eat free" night would smooth things over.

2. The "rob like an Egyptian" award to the man in Pittsburgh who robbed a convenience store dressed like a mummy. Police put out the following "wanted" description: male, between 5'7" and 5'9" tall  and 140-150 lbs, missing several teeth and may answer to the name of "Tut".

3. The "I just thought he was a sound sleeper" award to Patrick Lara of Merced, CA (where else?). Lara kept his uncle's dead body in the house for 30 days while he used his bank and credit accounts to gamble. Lara says the uncle allegedly died of an untreated broken arm (you can't make this stuff up). The smell of the decaying body caused Patrick to turn on the swamp cooler, which weakened the roof, which caved in. That caused mold to grow on the corpse. Charges are pending. Homicide is definitely in play but only because sheer stupidity is not a capital offense.

4. The "poster child for PETA" award to the elderly woman in Long Island who harbored well over 100 animals in her house. Not to be outdone by the aforementioned Patrick Lara, the woman had kept scores of dead animals around her living quarters. Included in the tally of "lucky to be alive" animals were ducks, rabbits, mice, pigeons, chinchillas, dogs, cats, goats, a pig, and a cow, all undernourished and filthy. In one of the most incredible politically correct statements of this or any other year, authorities said the woman, and I quote, "could face animal cruelty charges". To which I respond, "does the Pope wear a funny hat?"

5. The "taking food fights to a whole new level" award to Hersha Howard of Naples, Florida. Howard went on a rage and severely beat and bit her roommate Jasmin Wanke because Wanke had eaten her box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. And you thought you were addicted to those! Did I mentioned that Howard weighs in at 400 pounds? Apparently, Howard had consumed the rest of the truckload of thin mints herself.

6. The "it's all downhill from here" award to Roland Fleck, a retired 78 year-old doctor. Roland was arrested at a ski resort in Jackson, Wyoming for skiing uphill. When he refused to stop he was handcuffed and led away on a toboggan. Resort officials said avalanche dangers and snow making machines created a hazard for the skier. He was jailed on charges of trespass and unsafe skiing. Unsafe skiing? Isn't that redundant?

7. The "even your best friends won't tell you" award to the man in Beijing, China who has had a 4 inch knife blade stuck in his head for 4 years. The man had been robbed and stabbed back then, but unbeknown to him or his family, a part of the knife blade had broken off and stuck in his skull by his right jaw. Noting that he had been having severe headaches, difficulty breathing and halitosis all those years, the man finally went in for x-rays and voila! Doctors removed the blade but cautioned the man that he will never again be as sharp as he was before the operation.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Would you buy a used car from this man?

If so, please contact "Crazy Muammar" at Gaddafi Motor Sales, 123 Main St. Tripoli, Libya. Owner is relocating and government fleet is available. His prices are insane!. Most cars available with 4" armor plating. All sales are final.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This isn't a train wreck, it's a SuperCollider........

Now I've never really been witness to an actual train wreck, except for what I've seen in the movies. It looks like a pretty violent and awesome spectacle. I guess if I did see one happening for real I would have a hard time turning away. But fortunately I don't have to wait for a real one, I can just watch the Hollywood portion of the nightly news.  There, I can watch two personalities acting out their very own version of an inevitable collision course with death.

Of course, I'm talking about Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen. These two self-loathing Malibu types are providing a real life drama far more interesting than any characters they have portrayed on the silver screen. It's really quite incredible how they are throwing away second, third and fourth chances to get their lives back.But it's fascinating viewing isn't it?

For Lohan, it appears to be a case of just not getting it. It's as if she really believes the rules are for everyone else but not for her. She barely gets out of court from one charge when she's hauled in on another. She shows remorse but it's the "sorry I got caught" type of remorse. Where are the family and friends who should be helping this woman with reality? Probably where most Hollywood type family and friends are; always by your side when the times are good and AWOL when it turns sour. But they'll be the first to say how they "tried".

With Sheen, it's just a flat out death wish. He knows what he is doing is destructive but he doesn't really care. Give him credit for one thing, he's a good goal setter. His goal is obviously to have as much fun with drugs and sex as he possibly can in what will be a short life. His current "rehab", a four week stint at home, is a joke. Just a few days ago, he was begging CBS (a first class enabler, by the way) to start up his hit TV show again. His reasoning: and I quote,  "It's like, I heal really quickly. But I unravel pretty quickly. So get me right now, guys," Now that's what I call a great rehab. Of course, the $1.5 million per episode can buy a lot of drugs and prostitutes too, so there's that.

I could wax eloquent on the perils too much money, too much early fame and on down the list. But the truth is many actors survive Hollywood without all the "woe is me" theatrics. In fact, they use their fortunate wealth and fame as a reason to help deserving causes around the world. No, this is just another example of the epidemic of losers who can't or won't take personal responsibility for what happens in their lives. It's just not their fault.

We'll see the headlines and we'll be shocked. We'll ask, how could this have happened right in front of us? But that will just be a way to assuage our guilt at not being able to turn away from these runaway locomotives.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Something else to add to the list of things I should never attempt......

It was going to be a typical day of babysitting my 7 year-old granddaughter Cece. She was coming over so her parents and sister could go shopping. I expected  the usual games to pass the time:  First, "Waitress" Cece, complete with computer designed menu and serving a pretend meal. Then it would be "Doctor Cece", checking my blood pressure, listening to my heart and telling me I needed to lose weight. She just loves that part! Then it would be playing keep away with Queenie our Labrador. Queenie, by the way, never thinks for a minute that we are quick enough to keep that rubber bone from her gaping jaws and she's right. So, I figured, piece of cake babysitting job, right?

That was all before Cece discovered the "make a Gingerbread House" kit that my wife had purchased for a Christmas gift but never used. Drat, I thought I had hidden that where even Cece's keen radar would never find it. But, alas, out she came with the biggest smile you ever saw, mostly because of all the bags of candy that were with it to be put on the house. With great trepidation I unwrapped the package and started reading the directions. I was sure I would conquer this craft and be a hero in her eyes.

Sure enough it looked like a no brainer! I wondered for a minute how this kit creator knew that I had no brain. Anyway, the directions were simple and it even had a fixture to set the ginger bread pieces in to start the build. And the icing was provided that would act like glue and hold it all together. You're thinking to yourself, no one could mess this up. You'd be wrong.

Looking over all the pieces representing the walls and roof, we began assembling the house when I discovered that the manufacturer had made a grievous error. The side walls were too long and wouldn't fit into the fixture. How could this happen? Didn't they know this poor child would be terribly disappointed at their carelessness? Going immediately into rescue mode I summoned all my powers of invention and decided to just cut the walls down until they fit into the fixture correctly. Cece was amazed at my genius. About the time I got that done was when I realized that I hadn't been dealing with the walls at all, but rather the roof parts. Oops. Now I had no choice but to make the remaining wall parts into a roof. By this time, Cece's look of amazement had changed to something more quizzical . I'm not really sure what she was thinking but the expression had kind of a "I've put my life in the hands an idiot" look to it.

My solution was to add extra icing, lots of extra icing, to make up for what was going to be the gaps in the roof. To make a long story short (I know, too late), we got the house assembled long enough for Cece to put some candy decorations on it. Shortly after that, it came crashing down like a California cliff side dwelling.

To every story, there is a moral. In this case: "never send a grandpa to do a grandma's job"! Not one to waste a valuable lesson, I'm now taking an online course titled " Everything you've always wanted to know about Barbies". I'll be ready next time.

The objective

                                                    The result


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

OMG! You don't know tweet speak? LOL

Seniors of the world beware!  There is a new language being spoken right under your noses. Parents have finally broken the code and now it's your turn. If you ever hope to communicate with the younger generation, there's a good article on this website that will get you started on how to text and tweet with the best of them.

Y? B/C kids speak this language 24/7 365 and b4 u know it all 411 B/W ppl will be thru this medium. Pls take this advice re T&T if u want to know sup, K? U2 can be hip B/C u will know the answers to all the FAQs. I realize that not just NE1 can learn this without probs but it's worth it if u don't want 2 sound like a 4NR. I'm sure 1C u get the hang of it ul b GR8.

If u have any ?s just txt me or IM me ur email address and I'll answer. U won't have to W8 long. I promise that L8R ul send me ur THX because u2 will be able to MSG on twitter.

GA2 go now, need some ZZs.

Big Al

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"They did what"? Awards - Volume II - 2nd Edition

1. The "Chicken Little and I told you so" award to the farmer in Hartford, CT. who lost 85,000 chickens when the roof of the chicken coop caved in due to heavy snow accumulation. Maybe next time you'll take my blogs more seriously ( ).

2.The "my office is always open" award to an insurance agent in Tampa, Fl. One of his clients was driving along, suddenly swerved off the road, jumped the curb and crashed into the building where her insurance agent was working. The woman client, who was uninjured, was heard to say after the accident, "Could you take care of this claim right away? I'm late for Pilates".

3.The "You can never get a taxi in this damn town" award to the 26-year-old man who was arrested in San Pablo, Calif. and accused of stealing a taxi after tricking the driver into momentarily exiting the cab. The man then drove to a Department of Motor Vehicles office, where he attempted to register ownership of the car. Guess he just got tired of trying to flag one down.

4. The "You should have seen the one that got away" award to the ice fishermen in Minnesota. While ice fishing through the hole they snagged "the biggest one they ever saw", but it turned out to be a scuba diver who had been diving with 2 friends and had entered the lake through a hole further down the ice. I hate it when that happens, don't you?

5. The "Sorry I missed your call honey, my phone was on charge" award to Cody Wilkins of Silver Spring, MD who, while burglarizing a house, was surprised by the homeowner and jumped out a window to flee the scene. Only problem was, he left his cell phone which he had plugged into a wall outlet to charge while he was busy stealing. Of course, the police tracked him down and he is now charged with other burglaries in the area. It just goes to prove that old adage "you can't take it with you" (at least not while it's charging).

6.  The "This is why the government is trying to ban smoking in your own home" award to the tenants in Portland, OR who started a house fire when they began using a hole in the floor as an ashtray. The fire caused $30,000.00 in damage. The tenants refused to comment to reporters, claiming they were late for a Mensa meeting downtown.

7. The "I was only kidding, can't you take a joke"? award to Robert Michelson of Connecticut who, not being right up to snuff on the drug laws, called 911 to ask how much trouble he could get into for growing one marijuana plant. When told he could be arrested he said thank you and hung up. Unfortunately for Robert, he had used his home phone. The police went to his residence and sure enough he had a marijuana plant. Apparently Robert had never heard the old proverb "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission".

8.  Thieves in Malaysia stole 1.5 million dollars worth of condoms manufactured by a large Japanese firm. When questioned about the theft, the company said there were 725,000 condoms in the shipment. As an added note, investigative reporters later learned that the shipment was on it's way to a Charlie Sheen in Malibu, CA.

My thanks again to all the above folks who provide fodder for the "They did what"? blog series, proving yet again that truth is stranger than fiction.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's called weather, Al

Algore, busy in his office. One cannot help but wonder how much CO2 was emitted to make all the paper he has scattered around his office.

You've all heard the saying "everyone always complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it". Not our hero, Algore. Al has made doing something about the weather his own personal crusade. Notwithstanding his Oscars, Nobel prizes and myriad honorary degrees, Al has put his own personal life, including his marriage, on hold to save the rest of us from ourselves.

In a blog article relating to the recent large amounts of snow throughout the country, Al said: "As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man made global warming. In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow. A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

I'm pretty slow on the uptake, but I finally tumbled to the fact that Al is not going to rest (nor let any of us rest) until the weather is perfect. In honor of that and the tremendous respect I have for the man, I post for your sing-along enjoyment, the following song tribute to Al for his tireless efforts. To be sung to the tune of "Camelot" (my profound apologies to Lerner and Loewe):

It's true! It's true! Algore has made it clear.
The climate must be perfect all the year.

decree was made by Algore long ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Al’s Camelot.

The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Al’s Camelot.

Al's Camelot! Al's Camelot!
I know it sounds a bit bizarre,
But in Al’s Camelot, Al’s Camelot
That's how conditions are.

The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Al’s Camelot.

Al’s Camelot! Al’s Camelot!

I know it gives a person pause,
But in Al’s Camelot, Al’s Camelot
Those are the legal laws.

The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering 
than here... in Al’s... Camelot.