Monday, November 29, 2004

Merry Christmas And Pass the Axe
Every year the Christmas tree that graces the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol comes from a different state. The tree that will do so this year arrived in DC earlier today, and for the first time it's one from Virginia.

The winner is--or was--a magnificent 82 foot tall red spruce that had been growing in the George Washington National Forest for the last 106 years. The red spruce is actually native to New England, and survives this far south only in isolated pockets at higher elevations. Plus, the area where this particular tree was found was largely clearcut by timber companies some 80 years ago. It was only by dumb luck this particular one survived and grew into such a proud and beautiful representative of its species.

The lesson in all this? If you're a tree, you'll live longer if you remain a pathetic, scrawny sapling.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

1936 Just Won't Go Away

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently one of the best teams in the NFL. They are the only team to have handed Philadphia and New England losses this year, and the Steelers will likely be in the Super Bowl come February.

So when the hapless Washington Redkins went up against them earlier today, pretty much everyone was expecting a bloodbath. And though the Skins lost 16-7, at least they didn't thoroughly embarrass themselves like in last week's 26-6 loss to the Eagles.

Indeed, the Redskins have been having a horrible year, and it's all the more disappointing because everyone had such high hopes with the return of Joe Gibbs. Not only are they at a dismal 3-8 for the season, the team has now gone 11 games without scoring at least 20 points. This is the first time that has happened since 1936.

But the low point had to be when they blew the outcome of the presidential election. As you may recall, the Redskins had been accurately forecasting the outcome of the presidential election since--there's that year again--1936. Whenever the team lost their last home game prior to election day, the incumbent party would end up losing the White House. Likewise, whenever Washington won their last home game before the election, the incumbent party kept the White House (See item 5). So when the Skins lost to Green Bay at home on Oct. 31, it seemed to foretell a John Kerry victory on Nov. 2.

Oh, and there's one other noteworthy item about how 1936 ties into the events of 2004: It's the last time the cicadas came out during a presidential election year!

Yes, it's true. Those horny little buggers, who operate on a 17 year cycle, emerged to have sweaty cicada sex in 1987, 1970, 1953, and... 1936!

Isn't it obvious what this means? The Redskins won't be scoring 20 points or more again until the year 2072!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Buy It Or He'll Kick Your Ass
NBA bad boy Ron Artest can't seem to get a break. He was unjustly suspended for the rest of the season for trying to kill a spectator a fan last Friday night. Then earlier this week a lot of people criticized him for not showing any remorse over his actions when he was interviewed on the Today Show. In fact, every time host Matt Lauer tied to ask him about the brawl, instead of answering the question Artest would work in another plug for his new rap CD, Chapter III.

Despite all that free publicity, the aforementioned CD just isn't selling. Tower Records in DC sold only three copies the first day it was out, and is reporting its ranking as being 13,565.

---------------Cameron Cardow, Ottawa Citizen

I will admit that I was one of the three people who bought a copy of the album. No, I haven't listened to it, nor do I plan to. But if Artest shows up at my front door and tries to kick my ass, I'll at least be able to pull out the CD and beg for mercy.

The rest of you are on your own.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Today is traditionally considered the biggest shopping day of the year, and many retailers are out to get as much of your money as quickly as they can. Kay-Bee Toys is opening as early as 5 A.M. Others, such as Circuit City, Best Buy, And Sears are opening at 6.

This is kind of early for most people to be dragging their keisters out of bed just to go shopping. That's why Target stores are offering free, no obligation wake-up calls from celebrities such as Ice T, Heidi Klum, Cheech Marin, and even Darth Vader.

This is an extremely clever idea, but it does propmpt one important question: Who the heck is Heidi Klum?

---------------Dana Summers, Orlando Sentinel

Thursday, November 25, 2004

---------------David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Oh Thank Heaven for 7-11
I'm afraid to go into Starbucks.

I think my fear is due to emotional scars that still inhabit my psyche. You see, the first time I ever wandered into one of their stores, I made the mistake of ordering a "medium coffee." No fancy-schmancy cappuwhatever or frappasomething. All I wanted was a "medium coffee," and that's what I ordered.

Needless to say, everyone began laughing and pointing, and I quickly fled in tears.

The whole incident left me bitter and disillusioned, and to this day I have never set foot in another Starbucks. Just between you and me and the keyboard, I still don't know what a "latte" is. And don't even think about asking me to explain the cup sizes!! Just what the hell is a "venti" anyway? I mean, if I wanted to learn freakin' eye-talian, I'd go take a foreign language class.

Now comes word that Starbucks has prepared a 22 page "Guide to Beverages." Is this what our world has come to? An instruction manual to order a cup of coffee!?!

Besides, I'm a man. I don't do instruction manuals.


---------------Walt Handelsman, Newsday


I went to the fights last night and a basketball game broke out.

Monday, November 22, 2004

---------------Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sports news for the last several days has been dominated by talk about the big brawl at the Detroit Pistons/Indiana Pacers game the other night. While fights between opposing players during a game are not that unusual, this was one of the few times that players have actually gone after fans in the stands. Today, the NBA suspended Indiana's Ron Artest for the rest of the season for his role in the melee.

The whole thing was actually started by a Detroit fan when he threw a cup of beer at some of the Pacers. Did that childish act justify a near riot? Well, I certainly think so. And instead of a suspension, Artest should be given a medal for trying to subdue an obviously deranged lunatic.

I mean, have you seen the price of concessions these days at sporting events? At seven bucks for a 16 oz. cup of beer, you'd have to be seriously crazy to go around throwing the stuff at people.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Gobble, Gobble, Arrgh....
In what is one of the odder traditions around here, the President has issued his annual pardon on behalf two turkeys. This years lucky recipients were named, appropriately enough, Biscuits and Gravy. The normally lighthearted event nearly turned tragic when Bush inexplicably grabbed one of the defenseless birds by the throat and decided to demonstrate exactly what he would do if he ever met filmmaker Michael Moore.

A benefit of the pardon is that the lucky pair will be allowed to live out their remaining days at a nearby Virginia petting zoo. Meanwhile, millions of their brothers in feathers will be slaughtered for no reason other than that they voted for John Kerry.

After the ceremony there was an embarrassing mix up when petting zoo officials inadvertently took the wrong pair of turkeys back to Virginia. The mistake was discovered when the President of Sri Lanka, an integral member of the Coalition of the Willing, showed up for a meeting and discovered Biscuits sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office. A subsequent search of the White House grounds failed to turn up either President Bush or Vice President Cheney.

Petting zoo officials were contacted and arrangements quickly made to correct the mistake.


---------------Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal Constitution Click for story

Thursday, November 18, 2004

But Does It Have a Cigar Shop?
The William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library was dedicated in Arkansas today. It is expected to immediately become one of the top tourist draws in the state because, well, it's Arkansas.

The library features stunning architecture, a timeline of the Clinton presidency stretching the length of the gallery, a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, interactive displays, and a bucking mechanical intern that visitors can ride for a quarter.

---------------Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Of Course the Needle Is Sterile. I Wiped It on My Pants!
Lionel Richie's estranged wife has been arrested for running an illegal plastic surgery operation out of her home. Evidently she would hold "botox parties" during which her boyfriend would inject people with various anti-wrinkle medicines. Unfortunately he was unlicensed to do so, and several people suffered complications from the injections.

Hmmm.... I have an old wet vac out in the garage that's just sitting there. Maybe I'll hold a liposuction party next Saturday night!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

---------------McPherson, Close to Home

Monday, November 15, 2004

Some Helpful Tips
Microsoft has announced it is releasing Service Pack 6, which will plug the holes in Service Pack 5, which took care of the holes in Service Pack 4, which was supposed to cure the problems with Service Pack 3, which improved on Service Pack 2. As a public service, here is a sneak peak at some of the features of SP6.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

That Was Special "Medicinal" Spinach in That Pipe of His
Popeye the Sailor Man turns 75 this year, and to mark the occasion the Museum of Television and Radio in New York today unveiled a new exhibit dedicated to the man who made spinach seem almost edible.

After leaving the service, Popeye married his longtime love, Olive Oil. Their wedded bliss was short-lived, however, as the bride soon started a illicit love affair with her husband's arch-nemesis, Bluto. It didn't take Popeye long to discover what had been going on behind his back, and in a drunken rage he killed Bluto.

He was convicted of manslaughter and served 23 years in a federal prison. Deprived of his precious spinach, Popeye proved to be a spineless wimp and quickly became a popular bitch to be passed around among the other inmates.

Upon his release, Popeye tried his hand at a number of menial occupations. His uneven temper and frequent bouts with depression made him incapable of holding down a job. Out of work, and unable to afford even the cheapest store brand cans of spinach, the former sailor turned instead to booze and drugs.

Popeye awoke one day in the late 90's and decided to take stock of his life. Faced with with mounting medical bills because of mouth cancer brought on by the constant smoking of that pipe, and tired of being Courtney Love's aging boy toy, Popeye decided to clean up his act. In a bold move, he quit both alcohol and heroin cold turkey. He went on to become an obnoxious self-righteous born again Christian who was constantly passing judgment on others. And yes, he voted for George Bush on Nov. 2.

When last heard from, the retired navy man was working as a greeter at a Wal-Mart outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Friday, November 12, 2004

---------------David Horsey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Is That a Vegetable in Your Pocket or Are You Just a Sex Ed Teacher?
Parents in Montgomery County, Maryland, are in an uproar over a new sex education course being offered to high school students. Among its more controversial elements is the way the class deals with the discussion of homosexuality. Also, it features a video in which a girl is shown fitting a condom onto a cucumber.

This really is outrageous!! Kids should be allowed to learn about sex the same way I did: From the sticky pages of tawdry magazines found under my dad's mattress!


Don't They Usually Travel in Pairs?
Believe it or not, Janet Jackson's exposed breast continues to jiggle across the American landscape. It's latest victim is tonight's showing of Saving Private Ryan.

For the last several years, ABC has shown the Steven Spielberg's movie every Veterans Day. And under the terms of the agreement between the director and the TV network, the film is to be shown in its entirety, completely unedited and uncensored. In the past, this has not been a problem.

This year, in the wake of heavy fines imposed on local broadcasters that unwittingly aired Jackson's Super Bowl stunt, a number of TV stations have decided to pass on it. The reason? The movie is graphically violent and peppered with raw language. Consequently, the local station owners are afraid of getting hit with more fines.

Oh, puh-LEEZW!!!

American mothers and fathers don't care if with their little ones see a movie with graphic scenes of mass death, severed limbs, heads exploding into a cloud of red mist, and blood squirting every which way. Nor are they likely concerned with the occasional 'f*ck' or 'sh*t.' So no, violence is not a problem for parents.

However, heaven forbid that their precious little Percy should ever see a cucumber wearing a rubber.


---------------Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Britney With Child?
Rumors have surfaced that Britney Spears is pregnant. If true, and if it turns out to be a boy, that will mean that Spears will have TWO unemployed guys leeching off her.


---------------Wiley, Non Sequitur

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bang! Bang! Oops!
An F-16 assigned to the DC national Guard strafed a school in New Jersey one night last week. An estimated 25 rounds hit the building's roof and several actually damaged a classroom below. Embarrassed Guard officials insist the incident was an accident.

Hmmm.... The plane just happened to fly out of Andrews Air Force Base, which is the same one President Bush uses.... And New Jersey just happened to vote for John Kerry....

Accident my ass!


---------------Dana Summers, Orlando Sentinel

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Good Grief!
Granted, I'm upset that Bush won, but I'm not THIS upset!!




Redskins Finally Win Again
Amazingly, the Redskins have managed to win another game, beating the Detroit Lions 17-10. This is osmething of a surprise since Detroit was having a decent season going into today (4-3), compared to Washington's 2-5 record.

The winning touchdown actually came off a pass not by quarterback Mark Brunell, but by running back Clinton Portis. While this may sound surprising, it's really not. Portis is one of the few bright spots on the team's offense. Brunell, on the other hand, seems to have better luck completing passes to opposing players than to his fellow Redskins. So obviously the key to the Washington's passing game is to have someone other than the QB throw the ball.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Just Remember Not to Drink the Remote
The only way I've been able to get through the last several days is through the calming power of heavy drinking. And every time I would begin to sober up, I'd start thinking about how 59 million of my fellow citizens decided that strong moral values are the most important quality of a President and thus voted for a man who has repeatedly lied to them. Then I would start another bottle of Jack Daniels, and the insanity of their twisted logic would no longer matter.

Tomorrow night, however, I'll have to remember to let the alcohol induced haze lift long enough to catch the season premier of one of my favorite shows, Arrested Development. One reviewer describes it as "Dynasty as it might be rewritten for the Three Stooges if there were a dozen of them." That seems like a fairly accurate summation of the show.

Of course, it will be preceded by The Simpsons' annual "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episode.... Even though, in a strictly technical sense, Halloween was LAST Sunday.

And after this magical hour is over, I'll be free to return to my drunken stupor.


Thursday, November 04, 2004


The Aftermath
Well, I think it's good that we've regained the world's respect.... And yes, that is the actual front page image of today's London Daily Mirror.

This election saw a tremendous effort by Democrats to get the youth vote out. Traditionally, that group has always been slow to participate in the political process for whatever reason. But many people felt that given the strong antiwar sentiment among America's young people, THIS would be the year they go to the polls and make themselves heard. A number of well known stars worked their tails off to that end. A group of musicians, including Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, and John Mellencamp even went on tour to promote the importance of voting. A tremendous surge of anti-Bush voting was expected from this group, and pollsters even conceded that they had no way to measure the potential impact of this group.

So how did that whole youth vote thing work out, anyway?

Well, in 2000 the 18-29 year old demographic made up only 17% of voters. This year thanks to their overwhelming participation and interest in the future of our great nation, that percentage soared to a whopping, um, 17%.

In another year or two when the draft is reinstated, they had better not start whining about it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

In Retrospect
While my Nov. 1 prediction for the electoral college totals was way off, the forecast for the popular vote breakdown was remarkably close. My call was for a 52% to 46% split with a total of 122 million votes cast. That total is expected to approach 120 million once all the absentee and provisional ballots are counted, and the current breakdown of the popular vote is actually 51% to 48%! Not bad, eh?

Granted, I did kinda have the candidates backwards, but that's a relatively minor detail.


---------------Michael ramirez, LA Times


It's 5:00 A.M. Do You Know Who Your President Is?
Hmmm.... I sure hope none of you were dumb enough to put money on the election based on MY prediction....

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Update

The big news of today is the huge voter turnout throughout the country, and I can vouch for that firsthand.

I got in line to vote at about 10:45 during what everyone had said was expected to be the slow part of the day. At that point the line was around the corner and down the block--and that was only the A-L line. There was a second line for the M-Z people on the other side of the building. I actually considered leaving and coming back later, but I decided it would only get worse later in the day.

So I stuck it out, and it ended up being about a 50 minute wait. When we finally got inside, we could see what the problem was: They only had two voter printouts, and there was a single poll worker handling each one. Consequently this was creating a huge backup in the line. Meanwhile, they had close to a dozen voting machines basically sitting idle. It was actually taking longer to process each voter than it was to vote once you were at the machine! They should have broken the list of names down further, perhaps into five or six portions of the alphabet.

On the other hand, this is how they handled it four years ago. But back then, the two lists were perfectly adequate and there was no line.

I should also add that while I live in a heavily Republican area (63% for Bush in 2000), there appeared to be a surprising number of Kerry supporters among the people in line around me.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Predictions and Predilections
Tomorrow is election day in the good ol' U.S. of A., and by now all the pundits with their fancy-schmancy degrees have weighed in. And their consensus as to the winner? It's too close to call!

Give me a freakin' break! You'd think these people with their "statistical dead heats" would have enough cajones to go out on a limb like I'll be doing in a moment!

But first: One of my favorite sites, (the site's color coded map appears to unavailable at the moment) has Kerry winning 298 electoral votes compared to Bush's 231, with 9 still too close to call. Incidentally, that site's previously anonymous owner has just been outed--and it turns out he lives in Amsterdam!

Although the various daily tracking polls have been all over the board during the past two months, there has been one consistent problem that has plagued all of them: They're not allowed to call cellphone numbers. And with an increasing portion of the population doing away their traditional landlines, that's a significant number. And since most of these people are young adults, a sizable majority of this unmeasured quantity can be expected go for Kerry.

That's why when all is said and done, this election will turn out to NOT have been as close as most people are currently expecting.

My predictions:

Total turnout: 122 million (compared with 106 million in 2000)

Popular votes:
52% for John Kerry
46% for George "I Coulda Sworn They Had WMD's" Bush
2% for Ralph Nader and the assorted other wacko gadflies

Electoral College (270 to win):
340 for John Kerry
(Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida will all go for Kerry.)
198 for George "Everything Is Going Great In Iraq
Provided You Ignore The Growing Pile Of Dead Bodies" Bush

As for my predilections, well, my lawyer is advising me to save those till after the trial.