Monday, February 26, 2007

Driving an Idiotic Looking Car: Rites of Passage

Uncle Artemus (the good looking one in the middle) and my two younger brothers with my '63 Chevy Nova Deuce. circa 1980

Big Mama and I were talking the other night about teenage responsibility. You know the kind of conversation people like to indulge in who are old enough to have teenage kids but don't.

Stuff like...
"Well if it was my kid he wouldn't be doing that."
"He needs to get a job and learn some responsibility and stop playing that damned GameBoy all the time."
"When I was his age I couldn't wait to get a job so I could get a car and be independent."
"Yeah, me too. I had to buy my own car and my own gas and insurance, etc. etc."

Blah, blah, blah, old peoples' crap ad nauseam.

That led to a conversation about our first cars in which we reminisced and talked about what wonderful piles of junk they were and so forth. All very romantisized in hindsight.

We've been married for fifteen years this April so believe me, Big Mama has heard about my first cars before, but it's one of those conversations that's fun to drag out and dust off every couple of years, just to remind you of what a goofy but lovable and very good and responsible kid you once were. So unlike these no-good hoodlums that run the streets today.

All of that got me to thinkin' about this particular car, technically my second; one out of a long line of pieces of crap that was easily the goofiest looking piece of crap I ever owned. I am proud to say though, that all of my pieces of crap died of natural causes, none were wrecked. I told you I was a good kid.

This one was a 1963 Chevy Nova Deuce, four door, four cylinder, born the same year as I was which I thought was pretty cool. When you popped the hood the motor looked about as complex as a hamster in a cage wheel; just a big empty engine compartment with a grease encrusted blob with some wires coming out of it floating in the middle.

It was a good thing there was room to get around in there too because the only way to start the thing was to turn the key on, pop the hood and grab the rubber handled screwdriver kept for just this purpose and lay it across the posts on the solenoid (mounted on the firewall) creating a frightening Frankenstein-like electrical arc, melting chunks out of the screwdriver, slamming the starter motor into action and hopefully turning the engine over; all the while yanking at the throttle cable to feed it some gas. If it flooded (which it almost always did) you were screwed. You had to wait five minutes and try again.

This car also had a penchant for flat tires. Since I never had any money but did however have friends who lived in a junkyard (literally, no kidding) they kept me stocked with a couple of spares in the trunk all the time. I went through about one every two weeks and pretty much got to be like the dad in "A Christmas Story" and could change one in less than ten minutes.

There's nothing like being a scrawny dork of a sixteen year old out in the high school parking lot every day changing flat tires and trying to start your car with a screw driver. Yeah, chicks really dig that. Big Mama said she thought the paint job on this car was fun and back in the day she definitely would have dated someone who would drive something different like that. But then again she married me so her taste is questionable by default.

I hated this car, at first. But skinny sixteen year old beggars who bussed tables and mopped nursing home hallways for a living can't be choosers. It ran (sort of) and it was cheap, so I bought it. I aquired this rolling Lee Greenwood-mobile from my step uncle for I think about $200 bucks. It had been painted that way for a bi-centenial parade in 1976. It was 1980 when this picture was taken and nobody had ever thought it necessary to de-flag the thing. It actually would have been a pretty cool car if not for being a four door and having that, patriotic paint job.

It was a real attention getter and the last thing I wanted at that age was unwarranted attention. I lived in a VERY small town (1100 souls) in the Illinois flatlands and every time I drove through one of the neighboring small towns people on the street would nudge each other and point or stop, stand at attention and salute as I chugged past. I kid you not. It's funny to think of it now but at the time I was mortified and cursed my star spangled beater mobile every time it happened. They stopped doing it in my own town when the joke wore thin after a few months, but it never seemed to get old in other places.

Although I sure didn't like it at the time, I'm thankful now for the lessons that owning cars like that Chevy taught me. I think maybe kids have it a little too easy these days with cell phones and Mom and Dad running to the rescue every five seconds, it makes it harder to learn self reliance and problem solving skills. The only thing more humiliating to me than driving that car in the first place would have been calling my Dad unneccessarily to come rescue me before I had done everything I could think of to deal with a problem myself. And if I had whined to him about the paint job his anwer would have been brutally simple. "So paint it."

I once saw a guy paint his truck in the high school parking lot during lunch hour with a brush and a can of white Sears house paint. Looked pretty good too until a few days later as the rain washed it all away in big runny streaks while we stood watching out the window of English class. Seemed like a good solution to me, I'm just glad he tried it first. Ahh the lessons of life.

It's these kind of experiences that give us good stories in our middle years to pass on to our overindulged, entitled teenage offspring. Who of course could care less and wish we would just shut up and go away.

"Oh yeah? Why in MY day..."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Uncle Artemus' Oscar Pics 2007

Best motion picture of the year
  • Babel - Didn't see it
  • The Departed - Didn't see it
  • Letters from Iwo Jima - Didn't see it
  • The Queen - Didn't see it
  • Little Miss Sunshine - Saw it

And my pic is for best motion picture of the year is...
  • Little Miss Sunshine

My other pic for 2007 is...
  • Peter Litwinowicz and Pierre Jasmin for the design and development of the RE: Vision Effects family of software tools for optical flow-based image manipulation.
Those guys totally rock.

Sunny Days in Pretty Places

A couple of weeks ago Millie made a comment while we were in the car. I don't remember the context but from the back seat came a tiny voice...

"I like pretty places. Sunny days in pretty places."

I smiled and said, " You know what sweetie, so do I."

I've thought of that phrase almost every day since then. I don't know what to do with it, but I really, really like it.
Thank you Millie, we could all use more sunny days in pretty places.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

American Idol is Eating My Brain

Okay I'll admit it, I'm a shameless Idolater and can't wait for the show to come on during these dark, dreary February and March evenings. I'm excited by the prospect of it eating up airwaves and Tivo space for five solid hours this week. I hope it will eat five more hours next week as well. That's time I will never recover for family, my own creative purposes, dog baths, nothing. And I'm okay with that. I care about it as if in the grand scheme of things it actually mattered one hair on a rats ass. Why? It's a sickness, a disease. I need help. Help me.

Maybe I should get out the tinfoil helmet again because I swear there's mind control involved. I think they're sending subliminal messages through the theme music. Really, because when you hear that electronic, "nananana nananana" sound at the beginning you have to stop cooking dinner or having sex or whatever you may be doing, park your face in front of the TV and bear witness to the parade of nerve addled hopefuls to find out who will deliver a Simon approved performance and who will be horribly mangled and humiliated in a melodic train wreck. You HAVE to watch. I think they passed a law in congress about it this season.

And while you look for the ones you favor to do well and receive the coveted Ranpaulsime Blessing, you also hope certain ones do really badly. And often times they don't disappoint. What can be more fun than watching a pretty, size four, nineteen year old girl who you just know is too perfect and popular to have ever suffered any kind of real rejection, whither under the humiliating verbal assault hurled by the god like pile of condescending self importance that is Simon Cowell. And how much fun is it to hear Paula tell the same sweet thang that, "You have a great voice and you're a beautiful girl," which all of us addicted to the show recognize as saccharinized Paulaspeak for - "Good thing you're pretty 'cause you SUCK!" Watching this is what passes for entertainment in the sad abandoned Disney Land that is the average American life, helping we average Joes to feel a little less sad and abandoned through witnessing the public humiliation of those younger and hotter than we are.

I really enjoy the good performers as well and sometimes all the dressing room voodoo works and someone does something truly extraordinary. As the season matures I pick out my favorites and place bets with my bookie and argue with my wife, then suffer indignation for the ones I like that get booted off the show at the whim of an utterly stupid and tone deaf American public. When it's all over in May I feel tired and spent from all the pent up anxiousness that has built through the weeks, finally releasing in one great orgasmic performance of some tremendously bad manufactured pop radio melody like, "Do I Make You Proud." Then I smoke a cigarette and take a nap.

The next day I completely forget about the whole thing and never buy a single record by any Idol because I think all the music done on the show ultimately sucks. My theory is that after the big Finale of Mediocrity the aliens that actually run the show head back to the great Void, the mind control wears off as the weather gets nicer and everyone notices how freaking boring American Idol really is.

In the meantime, I'll root for my favorites and gloat over the misfortunes of the less likable, hopefully the two not intersecting. From what I've seen so far this year they can just send all the white people home now and save us the trouble of not voting for their no talent asses. Okay, where did I put that tin foil helmet anyway?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Uncle Artemus' Top Five Mix Cuts of the Week: Introductory Installment

This is a new blog segment I've decided to put up after a painful viewing of the Celebration of Mediocrity that is the Grammys.

I have a penchant for making mix playlists from my fairly extensive iTunes library. I mix 'em up and burn cd's to play in the car, at work, in the kitchen, wherever. I've been making music mixes one way or another since I was ten or eleven years old. The first two albums I ever owned were received as Christmas gifts, and I continued to ask for and receive record albums and Sci-Fi books as my standards for Christmas and birthdays until well into my twenties. Those first two were Bachman-Turner Overdrive II and Paul McCartney and Wings - Band on the Run. I remember wanting the McCartney album because I loved the title track; the BTO because that album happened to be playing the first time I ever saw a real naked girl, so of course I absolutely had to own it. Don't ask.

The next one was Queen - A Night at the Opera. Death on Two Legs totally rocked and that's about the time I decided I needed a better way to listen to music. I had three great albums and a bunch of 45's but I didn't like all of the songs on any of LPs. So I asked myself, how could I just listen to the ones I liked without having to plod through the slow, long, boring or otherwise crappy cuts scattered among the gems? A mix tape was the answer.

But that meant using a cassette tape recorder, which to me was a new and outrageously wondrous piece of technology that was light years beyond my meager eleven year old means. The only way to procure such a big ticket item was as a Christmas gift and that was a long shot. In my mind I might as well have been asking for a new car. Portable tape recorders were so unbelievably high tech t
hat I didn't really believe that my parents would ever agree to forgo rent, groceries, gas and electricity to buy me one for Christmas. Eventually, though, the holidays rolled around and after much begging and pleading my parents parted with the twenty bucks or so that the thing actually cost and paid Santa to bring me my very own sound mixing device; in my eyes the absolute, ultimate far out-est thing ever invented for use by those of my meager ilk. In actuality it was a plastic box with a detachable wired mike that my brother and I promptly employed to record our farts and resulting hysterical laughter. Coooool.

But I digress.

I quickly got around to the serious business of recording my favorite songs. I used an old record player with a broken drive belt that my mom had given me. I took it apart, figured out how it worked (not much to it really, a motor and a turntable and a rubber belt between the two) rigged a new belt out of a big rubber band and played my records. Granted the speed was a little off, but it played. And I loved listening to music so much it didn't matter to me if it made Freddie Mercury sound more like Tiny Tim.

I quickly figured out the recording process; queue up the tape, hit record and pause at the same time, park the microphone in front of the non blown speaker, drop the phono needle at the end of the previous cut, wait for for the click and pop filled space between songs, release the pause button and sit very quietly.
Then repeat the process for every song wanted to to go on tape, carefully choosing the order and starting again every time my brothers ran screaming through the room or mom yelled something or a truck ran by on the road outside. "Be quiet I'm recording!" I would whine. The mike didn't just pick up the music, it picked up every sound within two hundred yards. It took days sometimes to record one tape. The coolest technology in the world.

Thus began my history of mixing playlists, many years before iTunes was a little thought bubble in Steve Job's head. As I got older I eventually got a better stereo, and
for a time actually was able to record mixes on Eight Track tape. By the time CD technology came along I had at least fifty or more different mix tapes recorded, and dozens more that were lost or eaten by cheap car stereos or borrowed or given away. I mixed tapes for friends, parties, road trips, road trip parties, anything. My mixes were generally very popular and appreciated as well considered and executed. I always loved hearing someone say at a party, "Cool! where did you get this music?"

For me as a mix tape junkie, iTunes and mp3's are the most awesome thing to happen to mix technology since the internal tape deck and microphone. I have dozens of playlists, quickly assembled and recorded for the car or whatever. What used to take me hours of playing real-time album cuts to record a mix now takes minutes. I absolutely love it.

Why, you may ask, do you record them at all? Why not just leave them as playlists on your iPod? My answer is, because I don't have and iPod! I have iTunes and an amp on my Mac and a good car stereo CD player so I never really saw the need to spend the two-hundred bucks or whatever they cost. I have recently discovered though that there is an adapter to play the iPod through your car stereo. Now I want one but still can't afford it.

All of that brings me finally to the point. My intention is to share each week my favorite five mix cuts of that week. My criteria is my own but I can assure you, if you like music for music's sake, you'll probably like a lot of what I put out here.

My tastes run the gamut of genre's but I tend to steer away from the more predictable main stream styles. I may dip into Country or Hip Hop a little, but the rhythms and chord progressions tend to be too constant and easily anticipated for my taste and the vocals of both have too much to do with cultural accents. I'm not a big fan of urban contemporary' modern R&B either, it all has the same overaffected overstylized vocal sound to me. For mostly nostalgic reasons I love a lot of 70's music. Jazz is good but not three different guys playing random notes simultaneously, I like it better when there's a melody of some sort but most smooth jazz has to struggle not to be sleep inducing. Alternative Folk is usually pretty listenable.

I enjoy anything that sounds a little unexpected and tend to favor strong moderately complex bass and drum/rhythm lines, lots of layers and texture to the sound and styles that cross over and become difficult to define. I especially like anything that has an unusual time signature. If that's combined with a strong bass hook or rhythm groove I'll listen over and over again.

Also, my picks are almost always album cuts but just because I like a song doesn't mean I like the album. That's the nature and purpose of music mixes; you can pick the best of the best and skip the rest. I never ever listen to top forty radio so sometimes I make what I think is a big discovery only to learn it's been playing on the radio for weeks. I don't mind, if it's got a cool hook I'll usually go for it.

Anyway, here's my picks for this week. I'll link each one to a source, either Amazon or the artist's website and make a few notes about each song. I highly recommend listening to samples of anything here that's unfamiliar. Check 'em out, you'll be glad you did.

1. Artist: Jim White

Song: A Perfect Day to Chase Tornados
Album: Wrong Eyed Jesus

Jim White is a little known folk artist from the Florida panhandle with a penchant for dark or just plain weird lyrics and amazing music. His folky arrangements are routinely underscored with layers of Pink Floydian style
effects creating a sound that is hard to categorize. It's a little like country music on acid. Jim White is one of my favorites and one of the few artists that I have dedicated whole mixes to. (meaning all the songs on the mix are by the same artist) This song is one of the best, the first of many I will recommend in weeks to come.

2. Artist: Carbon Leaf

Song: Paloma
Album: Indian Summer

Virginia based Carbon Leaf is best known as a support band (see opening act) for such headliners as Dave Matthews, Counting Crows and John Mayer. Indian Summer is their 2004 major label debut album. The song Paloma is my personal favorite on the album with a great groovy bass hook and super tight signature vocal harmonies. This one will get you doing the head bob in the car pretty quick.

3. Artist: Frank Zappa

Song: Tink Walks Amok
The Man From Utopia

What can you say about F
rank? A master of music and ridiculously funny and poignant lyrics. 1983's The Man From Utopia isn't one of his better known albums but a couple of true gems can be mined from it. Tink Walks Amok is a superb instrumental groove with an unusual time signature featuring Arthur 'Tink' Barrow ripping on multiple bass parts. Very, very cool.

4. Artist: Cake

Song: Arco Arena
Album: Comfort Eagle

Cake is a hard to classify California band that a photo client turned me onto a fews years back. I wasn't sure about them at first but they really grew on me. Sort of lounge rock with a single trumpet and spinning clicker thing thrown in. They can be kind of hit and miss but when they hit they do it really well. Arco Arena is a short instrumental piece that really shows off the bands musical talents. Comfort Eagle isn't my favorite Cake album but I'll be recommending many more Cake songs from other albums in the future. They also have the absolute coolest album art of any band I know. I want t-shirts of them all.

5. Artist: Ben Harper
Song: Touch From Your Lust
Album: Diamonds on the Inside

Ben Harper is an extraordinary guitar player with a completely unique sound. The thick, ropey flangey bluesy guitar leads in Touch from Your Lust just make me sit back and say, "whoa". This one's a little heavier than most that I would recommend; featuring not really screaming guitars but rather hoarsely shouting ones. Turn it up really loud.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dumbest Website Ever

This is my vote for the dumbest website I've ever encountered. Click here if you're curious.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Further Proof that the Grammys Have Nothing to Do With Actual Music

Well I watched the Grammys the other night for the first time in oh...about fifteen years at least. I don't know why I did it; temporary loss of good taste I suppose. I know at least in part I watched because I wanted to see the Police perform, but I tuned in too late and missed them. Pity, because for some unfathomable reason I continued to watch anyway and judging from what I saw The Police had to be far and away the high point of the evening. Seems I remember the Grammys actually being about music at one time.

I have no idea who this chick is, but about an hour into the show she showed up dressed like a stripper, shaking her ass and doing some interesting things with her belly. I think she sang something too but I didn't really notice.

Anyway... can someone explain Justin Timberlake
to me? I looked it up and I believe his name translates from Southern Californian to, "I'm a big wussy douche-bag." At the risk of revealing my advanced age and state of chronic uncoolness I have to say that he looks like a badly dressed concentration camp survivor and sings like he was classically trained at the R&B Academy of Soulless Suburban Panzie Boyz. I can only surmise that his allure is his acceptability and relative inoffensiveness (see lipstick smeared posters adorning pre-adolescent girl's bedroom walls) to WASP Volvo driving soccer moms who are otherwise intimidated by the rhythmic thrusts of genuine fully grown African American R&B/Hip Hop gangsta types. Personally I'd rather poke pointy sticks in my ears than listen to JT's over inflected wanna be R&B ruinations.

I was surprised (and gratified) to see the Dixie Chicks win so many awards. I'm personally not a huge fan of their music, or any country music for that matter, but I had been under the impression that all true God fearing Americans righteously hated the Chick's guts for their audacious employment of the First Amendment of the Constitution a couple of years ago. It was good to see all that put aside and their true talents appreciated. NOT!

It was obvious after the second Grammy was awarded to the Chicks that the sensitive but retaliatory liberal Grammykins believed they had a political point to belabor and dumping great piles of Gramaphone statuettes on the "talk before you think" Chickies was the way to do it. The undertone of political correctness woven through the entire proceedings was almost palpable. I was happy to see that Barack Obama wisely eschewed the whole affair but I guess Al Gore (having nothing to lose) just couldn't resist popping in.

It all really made me wonder just who the Dixie Chick's fan base are now. They managed to royally piss off their former core fan base of country pop boneheads but it doesn't seem very likely that th
ey're going to get a lot of crossovers from the heavy metal or hip hop crowd. Who's actually listening to them these days? They're kind of like a black Nascar driver; maybe really good at their job, but no self respecting red-neck will admit to any admiration for them.

Unsurprisingly, the Grammy Academy is just slightly more liberal and progressive in their thinking than the CMA academy, who completely froze out the DCs in a fit of (self) righteous indignation and good 'ol American Klan values. I didn't watch the CMAs, never have and most likely never will, but who can resist standing in awe of Toby Keith as country music's voice of all "right " thinking Americans. Who needs a sense of fairness and awareness of hypocrisy when you have a red neck bully to sing your anthem for you. I admire the Chicks for standing up to him in the past and for making the album they wanted to make; flipping the bird to the fascist public who would dictate to us all the "correct" manner in which to love America and exercise the freedoms we are all equally given.

Also, the Red Hot Chili Peppers totally rocked.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Random Refrigerator Magnet of the Week #3

Invasion of the Doughnut Monsters

As I wrote week before last, Millie the Four and Three Quarter year old had a birthday and officially became Millie the Five Year Old. A ruckus of a party ensued and I've been asked by a few individuals, "How was the party at Krispy Kreme?"

"Oh, foolish person," I reply. "Do you ask how high is the sky? Do you ask how far distant the infinite reaches of space? Do you ask why the hummingbird hums and the dolphin makes that weird squeaking noise?" Well...maybe. But a five year old's birthday party at a Krispe Kreme doughnut shop with a dozen pre-school party guests, limited space and activities for said guests, and enough refined white sugar injected directly into their miniature vascular systems to animate a decade dead zombie boy scout troop? How do you think it was?

It was LUNACY! Look at this! Look at this picture! This is what they ENDED the party with.

It ain't right. This disgusting pile of glazed fried dough buried in a lake of blood red sugar sprinkles is what Krispy Kreme calls a doughnut cake. I'm not kidding, this was the cake. If you have your kid's birthday party at Krispy Kreme this is what you can reasonably expect to receive as the cake that they include in their birthday party package. Yuuuuuuuuumeee!

Here's the rundown. Somewhere on the internet Big Mama found a description of children’s birthday parties hosted by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for a fairly reasonable price. According to the description the party his hosted by an employee of the doughnut shop and includes the above mentioned cake o' doughnuts, games, balloons, drinks, a tour of the doughnut making facilities, a doughnut decorating session, gift boxes, a hat and a t-shirt for the birthday kid and of course, lots and lots of doughnuts.

The employee running our party, while being good natured and amiable, seemed to have little experience with small children or the management of one of these parties. In addition she informed us that a kid had slipped and fallen in the doughnut making room during a party the week before and the parents were suing, so there would be no tour of the facilties for fear of the appearance of more litigation crazed adults.

That being made clear she proceeded to present multiple trays stacked with, what else, cold, sticky glazed doughnuts and prompted the kids to sit down and eat some. The kids were fairly compliant in this, seeing as how it meant eating doughnuts without having to eat any other kind of disgustingly healthy dinner food first. Each child consumed no less than two doughnuts each in five minutes or less, washed down with plenty of good old corn syrupy orange soda.

After that the natives were naturally getting a bit restless and having a hard time staying in their seats playing with the unsharpened pencils and Krispy Kreme logo stickers in their "fun' boxes. Amazingly, the "director" seemed a bit confused that her soft spoken suggestions were being ignored by a dozen pre-schoolers ramping into their first solid sugar rush of the evening. Chaos soon followed as children launched themselves from their chairs into a vigorous game of "Run Aimlessly Screaming at the Top Of Your Lungs."

This game went on far longer than it would normally have been tolerated under other circumstances and exactly long enough to give me a distinct pain directly between my eyes. But we thought, what the hell, it's a party and it's what little kids do. Subsequently more doughnuts were consumed, a game of musical chairs was attempted (there's nothing like a game where someone is routinely excluded every round to ignite the fair play instincts of a four year old) with the music supplied by an old clock radio from the employee break room straining at the end of it's power cord. The game was wisely aborted after about ten minutes of alternating tantrums and rampant disinterest. More doughnuts were served instead.

There was also a game of throwing big round unglazed doughnuts at stacks of empty coffee cups. Boring. Now fill them all with scalding hot coffee and throw doughnuts at them, that would be an interesting (though probably very short) game. The prize was a dozen doughnuts to take home which the father of the winner wisely declined at the end of the evening. Some disgusting doughnut chocolate dipping was also done (that was the decorating portion of the show) and those were consumed as well.

I believe the high point, though, was the Q&A after the lecture given in lieu of the official tour of the production area; cancelled because of clumsiness and the American judicial system. After relaying all of the relevant Krispy Kreme marketing facts designed to make doughnut eating (and buying) automatons out of a bunch of pre-schoolers, the director asked if there were any questions.

It went something like this...

Director: ...and there are approximately nine hundred thousand billion doughnuts sold by Krispy Kreme between four p.m and six p.m. worldwide every single day. Are there any questions?

Future Automaton #1: Yeah! If a truck had doughnuts for tires, could you still eat them?

Director: I don't really know. I suppose you could if they weren't too dirty or...something.

Future Automaton #1: If doughnut tires ran over you would they kill you? Or could you eat them before they squashed you?

Director: don't....

Future Automaton #2: Have you ever seen a monster made out of doughnuts?

Director: Well, no... but our sales in the last quarter have risen by twelve...

Future Automaton #2: If you ate a doughnut monster before he got you then you could be safe couldn't you?

Director: Um...'s have some doughnut cake!

But first there were presents to open and be kept track of for thank you note purposes. The director was supposed to do this service as well but apparently neglected to review that part of the job description.

After what seemed like an interminable amount of time the cake finally came out but none of the parents would let the kids come anywhere near it for fear it was really the fabled doughnut monster recently mentioned. Big Mama and I immediately started telling everyone, "Take what you want, take some home! Get this stuff out of here because if you don't it's going in the dumpster. We are absolutely NOT taking this monster home with us; Millie is the only monster allowed in our house tonight. Dig in!" And everyone got a little chunk of heaven to take home and microwave for breakfast in the morning.

Millie and all her party guests had a wonderful juiced up time and Big Mama kept apologizing to people for being responsible for their children's eyes spinning in opposite directions an hour before bedtime. Having eaten two doughnuts myself I had a big sugar and child induced headache and a huge craving for black coffee and a Rueben sandwich. Anything to get the sickening sweet taste of cold Krispy Kreme glaze out of my mouth.

I still don't know what the big deal is about those doughn
uts. A friend told me they're terrific when warm and fresh. Maybe so, but when they're old and cold I personally would rather eat Spam straight from the can. Seriously.

So you ask, "How was the party at Krispy Kreme?" And I reply, "Well, if a truck had tires made out of doughnuts I would imagine being run over by it would feel pretty much like attending that party."

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Slacker, Slacking, Slackest.

Well, a whole week has gone by and I haven't posted a single new thing on this here blog. I am deeply ashamed and apologetic to anyone who stumbles by here expecting to see some sort of new and vaguely interesting content.

I shall endeavor to do better but the frequency of my postings my be a little more thin during the next few weeks due to the fact that I will be WORKING! That's right, Uncle Artemus has a three week shooting gig that should pay enough to keep Millie in doughnuts for the next month at least. But alas, making a living sort of trumps the blogging, that's what Big Mama says anyway, and she makes me go to bed at a reasonable hour so...
I expect to get in a couple of entries a week at least, though, so keep coming back!

In other news I won second place again in Mimi's comeback challenge#12. Missed first place by one little point! I'm well on my way to having meaning in my life!

Here's my comebacks from last weeks contest...

1. My best assets are my open mindedness and my belief that everyone is essentially good at heart. Luckily, I have no faults but I do sweat a lot when I dance.
I dance really slow in the driveway. I'm a very good dancer.

2. I dont really know what the problem is. I tried the nice guy approach - that hasn't worked. I tried the treat you like dirt approach - that hasn't worked. I tried doing the whole ignoring you thing - that hasn't worked. I watched the movie What Women Want and you apparently still don't get it.
Have you tried the, get a life, a job, and a personality approach?

3. Hanky Seeks Panky! does that mean you want me to blow my nose on you?

4. I'm in the dark. Are U afraid of the dark?
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

5. I am quite accomplished. I invented an equation to measure happiness that multiplies the acres of your land and the number of your trees.
Interesting. Could you invent an equation for me to measure the velocity of meaningless drivel by multiplying your IQ by the number of live brain cells still rattling around in your head?

6. hi my name is frank and i've been lost for seven years. i lost my love seven years ago and i am thinking that its been time to look for a new love.
Where oh where has Frank's mind gone? Oh where, oh where could it beeee?

7. Someone Who Is Going To Get Lucky. I'm a leo, a tiger, and was born on the cusp of the 186th and 187th day of the Mayan calendar, which is a death day #4 and a deer day.
That's too bad. I was looking for someone born on the cusp of 189th Death Star #2, an addled gopher day. I think we're just too different to ever be happy together.

8. At first, I wasn't too keen on trying to meet someone this way then I figured this might be a really good way at meeting someone.
And then I looked up the word confused and realized that confused was a good way to not know what the hell I was talking about.

9. Looking for a female who shows interest. If any of this interests you drop me a massage!!!
Dropping a massage on you would certainly be interesting.

10. I would hope the person I could hopefully be with, would be open and honest about herself as I would hopefully be about myself.
I hope your hopes become as hopeful as I could ever hope your hopes to be. Hopefully.

BONUS BooBoo: My ideal dream date and I would watch spinner dolphins earn their name as your panga slam-bams over glittering seas. (I'm so there.)
Wow. Your words make my eyeballs spin in opposite directions.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Millie Experiences Her 1825th Day as a Person. Party Ensues.

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Millie the Four and Three Quarter Year Old. Henceforth (for the next few months anyway) to be known as Millie the Five Year Old, subsequently Millie the Five and a Half year old, etc, etc, (as Uncle Atemus and Big Mama are informed by Millie of the upgrade in chronological status) until the lofty and kindergarten-y age of Six is achieved.

Release the Pigeons!

Big party planned for Sunday at the local Krispy Kreme donut shop (I kid you not). Millie chose the locale personally. The guests get to see the donuts made up close and then decorate their own. And a cake made of a big pile of donuts is provided to be devoured by a herd of party hyped, sugar frenzied pre-schoolers. A good time will be had by all. Then they get to go home to their parents. HA!

Millie shares a birthday with such prominent personalities as...
Eddie Van Halen, Gene Siskel, Bob Uecker, Ellen DeGeneres, Paul Newman, and my personal favorite, science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer.

Now if she just grows up to play like Eddie, have Ellen's sense of humor, and write like Phillip she'll be the man I always wanted to be.

Brazil was discovered on this day, as was the world's largest diamond (about 400 years after Brazil)

Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte premiered in Vienna.

Michigan became the 26th U.S. state.

The first electric dental drill was patented.

The Apollo Theater opened in New York.

The first baby sitter's insurance policy was issued in St. Louis, Mo.

The guitar synthesizer was first demonstrated.

The Chicago Bears beat the New England Patriots, 46-10, in Super Bowl XX (Go Bears! I had a big party in my apartment for that Super Bowl)

Not one of these things has even remotely the historical significance to me as the birth of my silly Millie.

This is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds me of how unbelievably blessed we are to have such a precious gift as our only child. She's approaching an age when she can more fully understand who she is and where she came from and I'm very interested and a little anxious about how she will deal with it and in what ways it will effect her sense of herself.

Millie is adopted. And the story of her adoption is one of the best stories I've ever heard or told; nothing less than a genuine, walk on the water miracle.

It's a long and detailed story and one that I will tell in full sometime in the future but I'm not prepared to do so right now. I can say, though, that we knew the birth mother and she lived ten minutes away from us. She was 27 yrs old so it wasn't a confused teen kind of thing; and she had been through this before.

We connected with her through friends of friends - word of mouth. No agencies until after we had met her. And the mother chose US! We had one meeting with her at her apartment and she literally said. "I like you guys. I want you to have my baby."

And that was IT! That's how it worked. We were there for the pregnancy, for the delivery and we took the baby home from the hospital. And the birth mother was the most awesome you could ever imagine; genuinely happy for us and happy that the baby was going to be raised by people who would love her so much.

Since Mama and myself were present at her birth, and held her from the moment of her first breath, her birthday is very special to us. It reminds us of how close we were to the possibility of forever being a couple, but never a whole family. And to remember again how grateful we are to God, for granting mercy on two lonely people desperate to have someone to love and care for, and for giving them the greatest gift in all creation. No parent ever loved a child of their own body more than we love our precious little girl.

Happy Birthday Millie.

All photos by Uncle Artemus, aka, daddy

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Test Proves Conclusively that Uncle Artemus is Not a Loser After All! Wife to be Notified Forthwith

Well it seems that old Uncle Artemus isn't as big a loser as it would, er... my wife, friends, general public.
Mimi has this wonderful fun little contest going called Dating Profile of the Day. It works like this...

She posts ten headlines or snippets from posted dating profiles, bad grammar, misspellings, idiotic comments, everything left intact. The goofier(is that a word?) the better. The challenge is to make a witty, snappy, or otherwise generally amusing comeback or response to the said snippet. Check the site for detailed instructions.

I came across this contest randomly and loved it at first site (so to speak) and this appeared to be the perfect opportunity to cut loose with some primo smartassiness. I just couldn't resist. And whattaya know, Mimi awarded me with points enough to take Second Place; my first time out, no less! I'm proud as punch and would like to thank Judge Mimi and all the flat headed little people I stepped on to achieve these lofty heights of recognition.

Again, click here for contest specs and ALL the responses to the last postings of profile snippets. (which, incidentally was round 11) I include below a copy of the snippets and my OWN responses because I'm a self centered old bastard and really only care about hearing my own voice inside my head.


1. I would like to find a woman that makes me fell like a man.
What can I say, I'm a pushover.

2. I don't Know what I want and I don't know who it is sooo . why say too much cause what I don't like might be OK if I like you and what I do like might be wrong anyway . So who cares what will keep us together and make honesty worth having, might be OK.
We now return to our regularly scheduled schizophrenia.

3. God Didn't Intend For Us To Be Along!
But God Did Intend For Us To Have Away!

4. I am a hard worker and very honest a one women man.
Also I am smarter and mothers is love as me, sometimes.

5. Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose
Wait... just give me a second to check my Gibberish to English Handbook.

6. Love to drive, Like to Cuttle too!
I can Cuttle and Drive all night long, baby!

7. Looking for someone that can show there real self without realizing it.
Also someone who has good cents without using it.

8. I have traveled alot around the US had afew realasionships but still looking for the write one. A ladie whos faithfull caring with a good sence of hummer as I have.
I really like good faithful hummer. If you owne a first grad Spelling Primer is also a plus benefite.

9. I am a licensed plumber by habit but I would rather be sailing.
I got into the habit of plumbing back in high school, hanging out with the cool kids in the empty lot next to the Industrial Arts Building, sweating copper pipe fittings and practicing garbage disposal installation. If only I had sailed instead, but no, I had to plumb. (I think mimi liked that one, it was my personal favorite of the buch)

10. Someone who realizes that the grass is always half full when you are pouring into it and only half empty when you are drinking it.
Ahh yes. And the glass is always greener when you're smashing the bottle over an idiots head. (Uncle: Mims says Stop The Violence)

So there you have it. I hope I've amused you as much as I amuse myself, which is really what this is all about anyway, isn't it? I just hope I haven't peaked my first time out. I've gotta win this thing or my life will have no meaning...again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When Rednecks Earn Art Degrees

I got me no teeth, I eat out of the same bowl as my dog, my meth lab needs a new bathtub, and my mullet needs a trim, but check out how the spacial relationships between these rectangular forms applied to my mobile home create a pleasing visual balance that works well with the chosen color palette and in such perfect conjunction with the rusty swing-set, pile of laundromat washing machines and the '74 Trans-Am parked in the front yard.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A New Appreciation for Cranial Geometry Blooms in the Artemus Household

Watching the football playoffs and Joe Buck reminded me of a comment that huge baseball fan Millie the Four and a Half Year Old made during the World Series last year.

She stepped up close to the TV....

Millie: Who is that?

Me: That's Joe Buck, the announcer.

Millie: (Staring intently) I like his face.

Me: Oh yeah?

Millie: Yeah, it's like a rectangle shape, not round like ours. I like rectangles.

Me and Big Mama: Laughing our deeply proud and standard round shaped heads off .

Pre-K has been money well spent after all.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Random Refrigerator Magnet of the Week

This is a new weekly segment called, you guessed it, The Random (or maybe not so random) Refrigerator Magnet of the Week. They are all borowed from a site called so if you like them you can get them there.

Since this the innaugural launch of this feature I'm going to post two to start. One is for Dirk over at Eddie, Are You Kidding? and the other one is just because I like it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Reality Check Completed and Found Wanting. Thank You Very Much for your Kind Patience.

Well it's been a really busy week in the Artemus household and I haven't had time to get on the computer much. We were going to travel to central Missouri but ice storms kept us at home. So we did what any housebound family with art degrees and obsessions with home decorating would do; we painted the living room. We managed to do it in just two days of actual painting but we have had swatches and color tests stuck to the wall for the better part of a year now. We may be slow but at least we're thorough.

After much agonizing at the altar of Benjamin Moore we went with this orangy/spicy colored glaze. We're very happy with the way it turned out. Maybe not everyone's cup of herb tea but it's a damn site better than the Victorian Funeral Parlor/ Old People's Play Room thing we had going before. I hated that look from the day we did it.

We also got a contract on the albatross of an old building we have in the city that I've been rehabbing for seven years now. That, I assure you, is glorious news. Thank God Almighty, we're free at last! (pending buyer's loan approval)

I have grown to despise that place with every fiber of my being. Years ago I lost count of weekends and vacations spent with my head in some hole over there. In light of my current employment situation, the proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Uncle Artemus Feed My Family and Build a Garage Fund. We close at the end of March. Here's some before and after I went insane.

Ebay has a special deal of .20 cent listing fees today only so I must gather more crap around the house and unload it on the unsuspecting, overpriced shipping paying public. Gotta make a living you know.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Check, Check, 1,2....This is a Reality Check

For reasons beyond my control I am compelled to interact with reality for the next couple of days. Later. UA

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sparkle the Worm and the Bubbadog Acquisition

Well, after my little cathartic rant of yesterday I would like to move on to lighter things and share the heartwarming story of Sparkle the Worm and the Bubbadog Acquisition.

It goes kind of like this...

Big Mama: "I don't like animals in the house. I didn't grow up with animals, I don't have experience with animals, they loose hair off their bodies and smell bad and urinate in inconvenient places."

Uncle Artemus: "I like animals. I grew up with them, hair doesn't bother me, they can be bathed and released into the yard for urination purposes."

Millie while playing in the sandbox: "Look Daddy, I have a pet."

UA: "Really sweetie? What?"

Millie: "It's a worm, see?" (holding it out in the palm of her hand) "He's all sparkly, I'm naming him Sparkle. He's my pet." She hugs the worm close.

UA: "Uh, I have to talk to mommy."

UA to BM: "We have got to get that kid some kind of pet. She's just adopted a worm she found in the sandbox and named him Sparkle. That is just too pathetic to even contemplate. The kid's never going to have a brother or sister, she needs a cat or a dog."

BM: "How about a fish? A lot of people love fish."

UA: "Fish are mind numbingly boring pets unless you have chemical assistance and listen to Pink Floyd while you watch them. She's four years old,
she needs a mammal of some kind."

BM: "You didn't take care of the last dog we had, blah, blah, blah..." Old argument.

UA: "We never let her into the house or gave her a chance to be part of the family, blah, blah, blah..." Old counter argument.

Flash forward about six months; Sparkle the Worm has long since passed on to the big sandbox in the sky. Big Mama gets an e-mail from an acquaintance with a picture of a cute blonde cockapoo named Bubba in need of adoption. BM shows the picture to UA.

BM: "What do you think?"

UA: "He's cute, I like his looks. What are his specs?"

BM: "He's older, he's house trained, he's fixed, he's a rescue, he's under twenty pounds, he's half poodle."

UA: "Cool. He should be mellow, he won't urinate inconveniently, he won't reproduce, he'll appreciate a place to live, he won't eat much and he won't leave hair in the dinner plates."
"Sounds like the only dog on the planet that could ever live successfully in this house, we should meet him. You're really okay with this?"

BM: "Yes, believe it or not, I really think I am. Millie needs a pet and Sparkle is dead."

So we met him. And Bubba became the newest member of our family and loves and is much beloved by a little girl. Sparkle, however, will be sorely missed.

Innovations in Adolescent Assholery

I met some nice people in blogoland yesterday, one of whom is a young man who had some things to say about cyber bullying that got me thinking about what a different world we live in than the one I experienced as a young teenager in the seventies. Different not in good ways like ipods and Hybrid Toyotas have made things different, but in the new and inventive ways that young people find to be mean spirited and cruel to each other.

Of course teenagers and pre-teens throughout all generations have possessed that very special gift for heinous emotional destructiveness toward their fellow kind. But there's an extra special degree of heartless shittiness displayed by younger generations that I seem to remember as being more tempered when I was a youngster, even one on the receiving end of an atomic wedgie.

Internet technology alone has elevated adolescent cruelty to new and exciting heights, which is only just and fitting and certainly in itself nothing new. The Inquisition employed state of the art technological innovations in the middle ages for the creative application of pain. Now, in addition to the traditional avenues of assholery like school halls, bathrooms, playgrounds, locker rooms and, for that extra-added dose of humiliation, right before the eyes of a particular infatuation de-jour, teenage bullies can now casually seek to publicly destroy the lives of their targets with a laptop paid for by mom and dad. And as a bonus, it's easier on the heartless little fuckers' tender conscience when they can't hear the lonely weeping over the distance of cyberspace.

Is bullying really that much worse than it was when I was a kid? Unfortunately I honestly believe that it is. Why, then? Is it because younger generations have been more indulged? Ignored? Feel more entitled? Spend too many hours in front of a tv either being spoon fed psychotic crap or playing endless hours of worthless Grand Theft fucking Auto with clueless parents saying, "it's only a game." Have they been deliberately taught not to care about other people because all that matters is what you can get for yourself, how you look, what you wear, what you have? Is this the natural evolution of the entitled, me, me attitudes cultivated by the boomer generation and passed on down the line? I suspect all of the above has something to do with it. I should probably check with Oprah on this.

When I think of this stuff I get angry and frustrated because I know it exists and there's really nothing I can do about it aside from trying be a responsible parent and not raise a child who thinks it's okay to casually hurt people. My daughter is just turning five years old and it scares the hell out of me to think of the kind of evil crap she'll have to face by the time she's in high school.

End of rant.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What's For Dinner, Revisited

I liked that rice stuff so much the other day that I made it again tonight. In doing so I discovered that I have made a huge omission to the recipe that I posted here.

There should be a can of Cream of Mushroom soup and about 1/2 cup of milk added to the mixture to hold the whole thing together. It's still tasty without it but it's pretty dry.

So if anyone out there has started cooking, STOP. Go to the store and get some mushroom soup and milk and dump it in before you bake this stuff. You'll be glad you did.

I will be updating the recipe forthwith. Thank you for your understanding. No hate mail from angry spouses, please.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Keep the Salami Away From My Computer!

File this one under, "Things I never dreamed I'd say in a million years." However I just found myself barking this merry refrain at Millie the Four and Three Quarter year old as she motioned to paste a slice of hard salami she had been chewing on to the screen of my very expensive Mac laptop.

She can't get enough of the stuff; Slim Jims, beef jerky, all the tasty beef snacks that daddy loves (and neither of us get very often). That's my girl! Just keep the greazy stuff off my computer kiddo.

Monday, January 8, 2007

What's For Dinner?

As you may or may not know one of my favorite things to do is to eat. Since Big Mama has a tendency to shun ingredient assembly as a matter of principal I do most of the cooking in our humble abode, and most times I enjoy it. I like to do some experimenting, sometimes with success, sometimes without, but always with at least interesting results. My favorite thing to do is to get about ten different recipes for the same thing from someplace like, and combine the parts that I think will work well together. It's a fairly Frankenstein-y approach to culinary art but my monsters rarely maul anyone.

I usually have a Tivo'ed episode of Good Eats playing on the little kitchen tube while I assemble some epicurean delight just in case I want to brine a turkey at the last minute or have an urgent need to understand the molecular structure of BBQ sauce. That is, I have on the tube either Alton Brown or my other hero, Norm Abram, depending on whether or not a table saw is required for a particular dish I'm making.

I have collected and perfected a few core dishes as part of my personal edible aggregate, all of which have been tested and approved by objective and picky as hell eaters.

I thought it might be nice to share a few of these recipes. The one I'm starting with here is one I made for the first time last night, mostly by just throwing together random stuff that I could find in the house
. It turned out remarkably yummy. Millie nearly ate it all gone and Big Mama said it was the first successful casserole dish I've ever made. (She started out fifteen years ago being forced to endure what I called Bachelor Slop - cheap boxed mac&cheese mixed with anything at all I could find, so she has a uniquely qualified opinion)

So this is what we had for dinner...

Tasty Chicken & Rice Casserole
click here to download recipe

2 Large boneless chicken breasts, boil until just cooked through with a pinch of kosher salt and approx1/2 tsp poultry seasoning. Drain and cool. Shred.
(For convienience, cook large quantities ahead of time and separate into 1lb portions – freeze)
1 1/2c. quick cooking brown rice (or long cooking if you like to wait)
2c. chicken broth or (stock strained and frozen after boiling all that chicken previously)
1/2 ea. green pepper, red pepper, onion diced
2 med carrots diced
1 stalk celery diced
3/4c. peas (frozen is fine)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tblsp olive oil
1 1/2c. shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese is in the house)
1c. Parmesan cheese
approx 2 tsp McCormick Garlic & Herb seasoning
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 wad of fresh chopped parsley (if you happen to have some)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
approx 1/2c milk

Cook rice in chicken stock and a pinch of kosher salt according to proportions or instructions on bag or box. While that’s going…

In a big skillet or chicken fryer sauté in olive oil w/ approx 1tsp of Garlic & Herb seasoning & a good pinch of kosher salt –
Peppers, onion, carrot, celery, & garlic. Feel free to leave out what veggies you don’t like and add in ones you do. Cook until carrots and celery are somewhat soft. Add in frozen peas.
Add in cooked chicken and poultry seasoning. Stir and heat through.

Rice should be done by now.

Preheat oven to 350

Add rice to veg and chicken mixture. Add another tsp or so of Garlic & Herb seasoning, parsley, mushroom soup/milk and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Mix thoroughly. Try to keep it from spilling all over the stove.

Once mixed, spoon into 9x11 casserole dish. Spread evenly. Sprinkle approx 1cup (or as much as you like) shredded cheese on top. Sprinkle 1cup (or again, as much as you like) Parmesan cheese on top of that.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so.

It was suggested that some crunchiness may help this recipe. If you like, add Durkee onions to the mixture and sprinkle some on top before baking.

Or do this Rachael Ray trick…
Mix 2 cups of stuffing bread crumbs (she recommends Pepperidge Farms) with 4 tblsp of meted butter and the cheese. Spread all that on top before baking.

Serves anywhere from one guy to a family of six. (I ate half of this myself) Yum.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Introductions and Hidey Ho's!

Hello and welcome to blog entry number two. Since I'm new to the blogosphere I figured the polite thing to do with this second entry would be to introduce everyone to the family and tell you a little about us. However I'm completely paranoid as the result of prolonged exposure to My Little Ponies cartoons and of course having that steel plate in my head, so I'm reluctant to reveal the secret identities of myself and those close to me who foolishly believe I know what the hell I'm doing. You just never know when the Interninja Web Assassins will finally track you down. But in the interest international diplomacy I've decided to chance it and share a few photos and personal info.

So anyway, this is a picture of me, Uncle Artemus. I'm the one on the end with the pretty legs and oh so stylish tube socks.

This next one is a picture of my wife, Big Mama. She's really sweet. I have to say that or she will beat me up. She rides a motorcycle.

This is Millie, our daughter. She turns five years old this month. She doesn't really wear glasses, I just drew those on as a clever disguise. That other thing's a giant catfish, but he's technically not part of the family.

This is our dog, Bubba the Cockapoo. He barks a lot at the bookcase which kind of freaks me out at 2:00 in the morning. Other times he seems reasonably intelligent, except maybe for the incessant grunting, chasing of concrete trucks and licking the place where his balls used to be.

We live in an old house in a small town outside of a big town somewhere in the midwest.
See map for details. Sometimes I forget where I live exactly, what with the flashbacks to the time spent in the asylum and all, but I know there's this big river nearby and some cornfields and a giant sculpure shaped like the form created by suspending a chain from two horizontal points. He who has ears, let him hear.

I'm a commercial photographer by trade. Liberated of late from the daily grind of making enough money to pay the bills. Lucky me. I keep waiting for that kicked in the ass by a golden horseshoe feeling but so far it has eluded me. Fortunately I have some good people channeling work my way as they can, so at least Bubba's not wanting for kibble just yet. Also, being a photographer means I have about two hundred thousand pictures of Millie so you will probably be seeing more of her, (and probably without the disguise) And having an intermittent work schedule gives me plenty of time to pursue the truly rewarding things in life, like cleaning the basement and writing this blog.

Big Mama is a talented freelance graphic designer who works out of our home office, but work is kind of thin for her these days as well. To make a little extra scratch we recently tried our hand at e-bay, selling some of the left over internal organs we had lying around. By the time I researched the going price of spleens and pituitary glands, wrote the descriptions of said organs in a reasonably concise and readable manner, (
have you ever read some of those ebay product descriptions? A million monkeys writing for a million years write millions of e-bay product descriptions long before they complete a Shakespeare play) watched the bidding obsessively, tried desperately to figure out PayPal and shipping expenses, and boxed up the troublesome shit and hauled it to the post office I figure I made about .13 cents an hour for my trouble. Where are the Chinese kids when you really need them?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

My First Ever Blog Entry or...How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Just Write It Down

This is the first time I have ever made a blog entry in any capacity for any reason and if you're actually reading this I have no doubt you're already thinking , "Great, how did I get to be the turd kickin' lucky one to read this numbnuts first blog entry?"

I figure the beginning of a brand new year is a good time to embark on a brand new way to make a fool of myself. Since I've perfected a few others it only follows that I'll be quite a success at making a fool of myself in this newfound capacity. Just so you know, it's my friend Trish's fault, she made me do this.

Since I haven't the slightest clue as to what I'm doing I will ask my reader (yeah you, the one) to please bear with me as I try to figure out all this website crap. I just got me one of these internet thingies and I don't want to push some button that will make me start hallucinating or attract them flying monkeys to my front yard. Who knows what this thing can do? Hello? Mr. President? Does this run on nookuler?

I expect to have more than a few rants in the upcoming days, weeks, months. Maybe an interesting story or two, some musings on being a father to a four and three quarter year old, some movie and book reviews, some links to some of my favorite sites and general rambling about anything that suits me.

Here's a few things I hope to be addressing in upcoming entries:

Insurance Companies; Leeches on the Testicles of Humanity

Aliens are Just Pretend

Sparkle the Worm

How to Break Free From a Harmful Religious Cult in Five Years or Less

The Ronco Blogomatic (for those slow news days)

The River Bottom Bar Hopping, Limo Bus Birthday Bash of 2006

Slutz er... Bratz Dolls

I'm looking forward to this, I haven't made a fool of myself since Sunday night, I'm overdue.
It's late. I need to go to bed now. I have a, really I do. No shit.