Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A dog's revenge

Another reason that I need a camera in my cell phone: I was out doing some work, driving around Chicago. I actually saw a sign in Korea-town that said "Live Korean BBQ." Harsh place. I never understood why people would put cameras in their phones until I started blogging.

This week's theme:

I'm not in much of a mood to write anything clever here today. Here's your daily dose (here and here)

On to the news:

Man loses wife in a game of poker
(Is the proper verb "lose"?)

Man looking to rent girlfriend
(If I'm not mistaken, that's the world's oldest profession)

Bright, shiny objects:

Santa's sleigh training
(Someone clearly has a sense of humor at the North Pole... too bad global warming will cause Santa to move.)

A white Hungarian man rapping about the war
(I'm not making this up... if you click on nothing else today...)

Today's random "next blog":

Braking news
(Looks like computer-related news. Perfect for your favorite techno-geek.)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 31, 1928 -- Scotch tape 1st marketed by 3-M Company. Happy birthday to Scotch tape?

Fun fact of the day:

The correct response to the Irish greeting, "Top of the morning to you," is "and the rest of the day to yourself."

And finally:

Where was this song when I was in high school? I would have been singing it all day. Perhaps this is why they waited 10 years to release it.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In famer, you know so hagadablealeekysay, a-lickity boom boom down

It's time for our usual Tuesday look around the world to see what's happening!

  1. Microsoft is putting out another Windows product that will completely revolutionize computing as we know it. At least that's what the computer geeks say.
  2. The Hubble telescope is broken again. I hope those astronauts can get off it in time.
  3. The Miss America pageant was held and if anyone bothered to watch it, it was to see the amazing amount of "talent" that these young ladies have.
  4. Yes, I know that there are no astronauts on the Hubble telescope.

In other words, nothing new is going on.

This week's theme:

This week, after watching your FDA daily recommendation of I Heart the 90s, (here and here), let us consider a shining example of the musical video given to us by the year that was 1993.

Today, we pay tribute to the greatest white Canadian rapper one-hit wonder of 1993: Snow. His delightfully titled disc 12 Inches of Snow was released, powered by the completely incomprehensible single "Informer"

Our Where's Waldo checklist:
  1. Nah, couldn't be.
  2. Did anyone else think that this song was about a farmer?
  3. According to Wikipedia, Snow is related to Barenaked Ladies' Steven Page (According to this, they are second cousins)
  4. Oh yeah, here are the actual lyrics
  5. Nah, couldn't be.
  6. If I'm not mistaken, this song is actually about both booty shaking and police brutality at the same time.
  7. Nah, couldn't be.

On to the news:

A psychologist tells people how to get lucky
(Anyone who knows me personally is snickering)

Cat put on anti-depressants
(Next... pet therapists!)

In preparation for St. Groundhog's Day, we present a story on the breaking of the Grass Ceiling
(I know, that was terrible...)

DUI attorney going to pick up his client is pulled over for... DUI
(Irony police made the arrest)

Bright, shiny objects:

And now, video from our wedding
(Think of it as line-dancing...)

Photos taken at just the right angle
(Always worth a laugh)

Today's random "next blog":

Bone Junior
(A diary blog)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 30, 1973 -- KISS plays their 1st show (Coventry Club in Queens NY).

Fun fact of the day:

Very small clouds that look like they have been broken off of bigger clouds are called scuds.

And finally:

A small Super Bowl preview
(Click on this... it has nothing to do with football...)

Stop the presses!

FIF Bonus material brought to you today by friend Steve.

The following item is from the Jacksonville Florida Times-Union. It's apparently "freezing" in Jacksonville.

Then, I clicked on the five-day forecast for Jacksonville. The horror... it's going to be 70 degrees on Thursday.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm the me in monogamy

A moment of seriousness on FIF! Over the weekend, I came across a website that I'm happy exists. It's called Donors Choose, and it's a repository of requests from teachers for big ticket items for their classrooms. The idea is that people can donate to cover the entire cost of an item, or just contribute a little bit to it. Think of it as a gift registry for schools. As much as I hate to come across as a cheesy pitch-man, I recommend taking a look at it.

In not-so-serious news: Baby Spice is... well, expecting a baby. Is this teenage pregnancy?

This week's theme:

On a VH-1 related note, I got sucked into VH-1's top 100 one-hit wonders this weekend. Featuring none other than William Shatner. So, now get sucked into Part 1 and Part 2 of 1993.

And the actual events of 1993.

On to the news:

It's always good to begin a week with a healthy dose of WTF factor:
A Chinese man has married himself to express his "dissatisfaction with reality". Liu Ye, 39, from Zhuhai city, married a life sized foam cut-out of himself wearing a woman's bridal dress.

"There are many reasons for marrying myself, but mainly to express my dissatisfaction with reality," he said. "This marriage makes me whole again. My definition of marriage is different from others."

The ceremony was held at a traditional courtyard packed with more than 100 guests. The 'couple' were led out by a bridesmaid and a groomsman and bowed to ancestors and senior guests for blessings. Liu says he is not gay, but admits he's "maybe a bit narcissistic", reports New Express.

(Dissatisfaction with reality?)

62-year-old grandmother gets 3 years for running pot
(Bonus: It was to support her bingo habit!)

Braces don't make kids happy
(Oh really?)

Man sells his life on eBay
(Today's proof that you can find anything on the internet)

Bright, shiny objects:

Get your coffee from here

And now our bright, shiny objects theme song
(Well now doesn't that just make you happy?)

Today's random "next blog":

How the Real Mother Hen Sees the World
(The wonders of the "next blog" button.)

The Monday playlist feature:

Late January 1993. Warning: This is pretty cringe-worthy.

5) Prince and the NPG -- 7

4) Boyz II Men -- In the Still of the Night

3) Shanice -- Saving Forever for You

2) Madonna -- Deeper and Deeper

1) Whitney Houston -- IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Will Always Loooooooooove Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. (sorry... I won't bother putting the link up because it's currently in your head)

5, 3, and 2 I've never actually heard of. I enjoy the B2M cover of that old song, but it can't take away the pain of having to deal with that Whitney Houston song. However, back in college, I was involved in a Gospel choir (yes... jaws off the floor... the white guy with no rhythm was in a Gospel choir) and I sang a solo originally sung by Mrs. Brown herself. My nickname for the rest of the year was "Whitney." Makes me want to dance with somebody who loves me.

Today's strange anniversary:

January 29, 1982 -- Wayne Garland, baseball's 1st millionaire free agent, waived by (who else) the Cleveland Indians. If you're from Cleveland, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you're not, just be happy you weren't an Indians fan in the 1980's.

Fun fact of the day:

Sunbeams that shine down through the clouds are called crespucular rays.

And finally:

A thought that occured to me as I was driving with my wife to the grocery store: Suppose that you have one of those "life flashes before my eyes" experiences, but survive. Then, idiot that you are, you have another one. Do you have to go through the entirety of your life flashing before your eyes from the first time? If you had a third time... well, this could get out of hand.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What's the difference between a cow and a chicken?

Maybe it's best to hide the kids this weekend.

This week's theme:

Let's finish off 1992 (your ILTN's fix here and here)

In 1992, I think I went to my first middle-school dance. I remember that Blind Melon's "No Rain" was really big then. Maybe I'm confusing it with something else. I think 1992 was also the year that I became an official Trekkie. (Nerd Pride!)

On to the news:

Irony police were called to the scene when...
(It's like rain... ah forget it)

Coffee and doughnuts at the same time
(Will wonders ever cease?)

It's raining money in Germany
(Das ist gut!)

Bright, shiny objects:

The lights are on, but nobody's home, my elevator doesn't go to the top, I'm not playing with a full deck, I've lost my marbles
(So, why are you a vegetarian?)

Does your friend carry a mobile phone?
(Find out where that friend is right now!)

Today's random "next blog":

Diary of an Ad Man
(Now that's hilarious!)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 26, 1875 -- Electric dental drill is patented by George F. Green. Sorry, wife.

Fun fact of the day:

Mice, whales, elephants, giraffes and man all have seven neck vertebra.

And finally:

After our usual check of Is It Friday dot Net, start the weekend with this story about my friend's brother who has written and produced a play in honor of a student who passed last year.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

FIF: The musical!

A happy saint's day to my wife! At least on the Russian calendar. For you non-Orthodox out there, this is a big deal. Every person has a personal saint and on that saint's feast day, you party. Mine is September 4th.

This week's theme:

A few things about 1992, in movies and music. Biggest movie of the year was Aladdin (with the fantastic Robin Williams) which was pretty much the pinnacle of the Disney animated movies. A thought... when was the last time they put out a good one. Toy Story doesn't count because that was all Pixar. Checking in at #6 is Sister Act... now that's entertainment.

Your recommended daily allowance of 90s nostalgia (1992:Deux:2 and 1992:Deux:3)

On to the news:

Missing: a soulmate
(So, put it on a milk carton)

Man convinces authorities that dressing up like the Joker from Batman is part of his religion
(I haven't the time to make this up)

Chinese man convinces his new wife to have plastic surgery to look like his first wife
(This screams: I have issues)

Our dumbest criminal of the day goes to...
(Italy, actually)

I can only imagine what the wedding night was like
(Use your clean mind. I didn't.)

Runaway Bride, the Rock Opera
(See below)

Bright, shiny objects:

Legally Blonde... the musical
(But then again, we know that Reese Whatshername can actually sing)

Apparently things haven't been going so well for Chad Vader
(The force is strong with this one)

Today's random "next blog":

(Looks like a photography blog... it's in English)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 25, 1985 -- "We are the World" is recorded. I hope Bruce has eaten some fiber in the last 22 years.

Fun fact of the day:

Why do they call it a Phillips screw
(Duh, the guy that named it was named Phillips)

T-shirt of the week:

Attention, wife

And finally:

A story shared with my wife that actually happened a few years ago. As part of my training as a psychologist, I attended a series of seminars in which we discussed different psychological tests. One of them was developed, unfortunately, by two men named Woodcock and Johnson. (To make things worse, Woodcock's name was Richard.) The test, known as the Woodcock-Johnson measures academic achievement and is used in the diagnosis of learning disorders. Someone brought it up in this conference, and one of my classmates innocently stated, "I heard that was a long one."

We stopped laughing about 5 minutes later. Gotta love psychology humor.

What to write...

I wasn't really sure what to write about today in this space. I suppose I could go political and talk about how G-Dubs gave his speech last night (didn't see it... can't have been that interesting) or how J-Care decided that he'd had enough public humiliation for one lifetime. I could go with the odd: Marilyn Manson is dating Evan Rachel Wood. I could point out that Fidel Castro has defied death yet again. I could write an amusing anecdote from my life (the problem being that nothing really amusing has happened in the last 48 hours.) Or, I could just leave it blank.

This week's theme:

I didn't really love 1992. But apparently, VH-1 did. When was the last time that VH-1 actually played a video? (Your daily double dose is here and here.)

I plugged "1992" into the vast wasteland that is Google and one of the first links that came up was Wikipedia's entry on the 1992 Presidential election, which gave us such images as... well... Bill Clinton answering whether he wore boxers or briefs on MTV (the person who asked that question is now about 30-something...), Bill Clinton on the Arsenio Hall Show, (whatever happened to him? Arsenio that is...), and this guy who to this day scares me.

On to the news:

Protestors for rent
(Now this is a great job!)

Man attemptes to sneak 500 parrots into Kazakhstan
(High five!)

Bright, shiny objects:

There's a picture of a horse in a sweater
(Thanks, wife, for the link. Scroll down a bit.)

Reverse graffiti?
(Street art by cleaning something dirty)

Today's random "next blog":

Schreiners's Media Landscape
(It has something to do with Utah and clean air....)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 24, 1902 -- Denmark sells Virgin Islands to USA. Sounds like a good idea right now...

Fun fact of the day:

The hyoid bone, in your throat, is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone.

And now a word from our sponsors:

Need glasses?
(This is why you should drive automatic transmission)

And finally:

Last night, my wife mentioned that she knew someone who had been given a $600 handbag. Maybe I'm just too much of a guy here, but what on earth does a $600 bag do that a cheap $30 model won't? Does it have a laser somewhere on it? Does it organize itself? Is it the bag that Mary Poppins had?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What are you doing right now?

It's time for our Tuesday look around the world to see what's going on!

  1. Hillary Clinton has finally come out and said what everyone already knew...
  2. ... and apparently ran the first campaign smear trick of the 2008 election?
  3. The nominees for major media awards were announced and everyone grumbled about their favorite movie not being included. However, Al Gore (!) was nominated for an Oscar... sorta.
  4. MySpace will distribute amber alerts (after surely being partially responsible for their creation)
In other words, nothing new is happening.

This week's theme:

As now appears to be the Tuesday tradition for this theme series (in addition to giving you your daily dose of I Love the 90s here and here), I take a music video from the year and review it using my not-exactly-patented Where's Waldo checklist system.

Today, we honor 1992's MTV VMA video of the year... Van Halen's "Right Now?", which somehow beat out "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Under The Bridge" But then again, at the time no one thought grunge would last. Anyway, right now, Waldo is looking for the following.

  1. Right now, people are having unprotected sex. But not you, because you're watching this video.
  2. Or first three images are sperm, a naked man, and a power screwdriver. Message anyone?
  3. And then, God kills your mom and your dog? This is apparently supposed to be an uplifting song.
  4. Right now, Van Halen hasn't been on tour in two years.
  5. Perhaps the adjective I'm thinking of here is "incongruous"
  6. Right now really is just a space between ice ages, apparently
  7. Is this what you wanted, Sammy Haggar? Sammy Haggar, is this what you wanted man?
  8. Breast implants, then commentary on the minimum wage. America, remember, when considering how to vote, first consult celebrities on what they think.
  9. Right now, someone is walking onto a nude beach for the first time. And is sorely disappointed.
  10. And they end by all going into the men's room. When have you ever seen men go to the bathroom in a group?

On to the news:

Something amusingly interesting is happening in Tulsa
(More to the point, something is happening in Tulsa)

Creative prison escape of the day award goes to...
(That should be an actual award. How about a shameless Shawshank Redemption plug?)

Bright, shiny objects:

A little soccer humor
(Does anyone get soccer humor?)

Australians (y'know, the ones next to Germany) ask Americans questions
(Yep, that's my country)

Today's random "next blog":

MBA Cutie
(Apparently, a cutie, getting an MBA at the University of Michigan)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 23, 1719 -- Principality of Liechtenstein created within Holy Roman Empire. Happy birthday, Liechtenstein!

Fun fact of the day:

A Chinese checkerboard has 121 holes.

And finally:

Apparently the State of the Union speech is tonight. This past weekend marked the halfway point of G-dubs second term. In two years, someone else will be President. So, depending on your viewpoint, the glass is either half empty or half full. Or something like that. Too bad I won't be able to cover the speech, because I teach on Tuesday nights, because long-winded political speeches always make for good comedy, no matter who's giving them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I heart Soren Kierkegaard

Yesterday, the Chicago Bears won the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints. Going into the game, I was ambivalent toward whether I wanted the Bears to actually win. I really don't care about football in general or the Bears in particular. If anyone, I'll root for the Cleveland Browns, but I'll never be confused for a hardcore fan or even a casual fan. Here's the problem: had the Bears lost, Chicago and everyone around me would have entered into a three day long period of depression and would have been unable to function. Then, after three days, life would have returned to normal. Now, instead of depression, I'll have to deal with a city wrapped up in two weeks of frenetic mania (in which everyone around me will be talking about the Super B... oh wait, can't say that without getting sued). Everyone will ask me what I thought of the game (saw about five minutes of it... it was... great... I guess...) and asking me who my favorite Bear is (Yogi).

But, rest assured, as it is a major cultural event, FIF will be there at the Sup... I mean, the "big game"... or at least in contact with it from our World Communication Hindquarters... yeah, I'll watch it on TV) to liveblog it. I hope.

This week's theme:

Why stop a train when it's rolling? I'm enjoying this perfectly good excuse to watch I Love the 90s. I promse though that after we get through 1999, I won't do an I Love the 80s week. Anyway, I Love 1992, Part I and Part II.

And the actual events of 1992.

On to the news:

Boy, the things we'll all do to get health insurance
(Next, you'll have to make the incision yourself!)

The food in the fridge is looking at me...
(Anybody remember the show Dinosaurs?)

Dogs and alcohol... apparently coming to a store near you
(Only in Holland)

So, how many of you have done any of these things while driving?

Proof that broccoli is good for you
(Or at least gives you lots of energy)

Bright, shiny objects:

Good to hear my profession is doing well in Japan
(Here's to this week's entry from

Hilarious student excuses
(Courtesy of Rate Your Students)

Today's random "next blog":

News from Fort Worth, Texas
(Apparently, this merited it's own blog)

The Monday playlist feature:

Well, keeping with the theme of the week, it's time to take a look at what America was listening to at this time in 1992. Sadly, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was only #7.

5) Hammer (nee MC) -- Addams Groove

4) George Michael and Elton John -- Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me

3) Color Me Badd -- All 4 Love (yikes!)

2) Michael Jackson -- Black or White

1) Mariah Carey -- Can't Let Go

I apologize for inflicting this unfortunate period in American history on the readership of FIF. Hammer did the theme for the Addams Family? Color Me Badd was still making music? Michael Jackson videos were actually politically relevant?(!) Mariah Carey is that old? I do have to admit that I have a soft spot for the Michaels/John song.

Today's stange anniversary:

January 22, 1951 -- Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Crowe Ransom. Not really odd, just a good excuse to shout out to my college alma mater, where Ransom was in the English department for years. To this day, the President's office is in Ransom Hall.

Fun fact of the day:

At latitude 60 degrees south you can sail all the way around the world.

And finally:

Is it overly nerdy that I'm happy that I bought this book over the weekend?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Being lazy on Friday

Irony police alert: Be on the lookout for a large SUV being driven by a single female. License plates "WIND NRG." The car was seen driving through Chicago earlier this afternoon.

This week's theme:

Finishing off I Love 1991, Part 4 and Part 5.

If I recall correctly, the only interesting event that happened in my life in 1991 was that I got glasses around Thanksgiving. I went to junior high that year, which wasn't really all that interesting in the long run.

On to the news:

Irony police, additional suspect sighted: British would-be king and environmentalist
(Notable feature: large ears)

Spice World finally wins cinematic award

Thieves steal GPS devices
(Guess how hard it was to find them)

Millionaire sues homeless
(For what?)

And finally:

It's time for our weekly check of is it Friday dot net.

Short one today. I've been out and busy all day. Monday I'll start my annual Super Bowl poll, where I ask people for whom I should cheer in the Super Bowl, despite the fact that I don't care either way.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We need more global warming!

The other day, while riding home from work, I observed a poster on the train from a group opposed to fur. The ad pointed out that it was really bad to wear fur. Sitting just in front of me was a woman in a fur coat. It's times like these that I wish I had one of those new-fangled camera phones so that I could take pictures of things like this. Such is life.

This week's theme:

A quick review of the year in movies and music. Is it a bad thing that of the top five movies from that year, the only one that I've actually seen in Beauty and the Beast? But I've seen Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. A thought: Keanu Reeves, despite lacking any acting talent, has now been in two cult classics which spawned sequels (The Matrix movies being the other.) Is it really that easy to have a Hollywood career? Another thought: What happened to Alex Winter (Bill)? He is perhaps the best personification of the theory of "That Guy" out there. "That Guy" is someone who when you mention his name (Alex Winter), no one knows who you're talking about. However, when you mention something about him (He was Bill in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure), everyone says, "Oh yeah, that guy!"

While we're at it, I Love 1991, Part Deux: Part Deux et Part Tres.

On to the news:

There's a Starbucks in China's Forbidden City?
(I suppose there's one right across the street in the City We're Allowed To Go Into)

Latest place to be breathalyzed: Before getting into a bullfight
(Because that's something you do when you're sober... And apparently they're also testing the bulls...)

Adulturers could get life in prison in Michigan
(Moral of the story: Don't cheat)

Bright, shiny objects:

How to quit your job
(Note to self: buy black body paint)

How to dance like a white guy
(Note to self: buy video)

Today's random "next blog":

Archaeology News, the Blog
(Proof that you can blog about anything)

T-shirt of the week:

Now here's a t-shirt I can get behind on this 20 degree day
(If global warming is caused by people polluting, then thank you for polluting!)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 18, 1961 -- Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi party wins 1 seat by a single vote & parliament by a single seat. So, next time you think that your vote doesn't count, remember: you don't know where Zanzibar is either.

Fun fact of the day:

The Roman emperor Caligula made his horse a senator.

And finally:

We're cleaning up FIF's world hindquarters (aka, our apartment) this week. We're having our home blessed. I actually dusted. That's right, mom, if you're reading this, I actually dusted.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

FIF comes at you fast

Well now, I suppose it was only a matter of time. It's time for another presentation of a Shatner Award given to the person who excels in the area of losing the greatest amount of personal dignity for the least amount of money. Today, we induct another member into the fold of people that already includes Mike Tyson, O. J. Simpson, and, well, William Shatner himself. Today's winner almost won a Shatner Award a while ago, but today, he takes his final step:

Today, we at FIF are proud to present a William Shatner Award to Kevin Federline.

From the press release:

Columbus, Ohio — Nationwide announced today that it will continue its award-winning Life Comes at You Fast advertising campaign with its second national Super Bowl ad, featuring Kevin Federline.

Typical of other ads in the Life Comes at You Fast campaign, the spot opens with a situation that changes in a dramatic and unexpected way. Just as viewers believe they are seeing a Kevin Federline rap video, the ad takes a funny, surprise twist. Nationwide’s Life Comes at You Fast slogan is the punchline.

“The Life Comes at You Fast concept was created to remind people that they need to think about preparing for the future,” said Steven Schreibman, vice president of advertising and brand management for Nationwide. “No one has personified Life Comes at You Fast in the media better than Kevin Federline. Our partnership with Kevin shows the world that he has a great sense of humor. He’s poking fun at himself, and in the process gets to have the last word.”

I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry, applaud, or just stand in amazement of the unintentional dead on social commentary. I'll have to watch (and liveblog) the Super Bowl just for this.

In completely un-related news, YouTube has what is reported to be a bootleg copy of a new Britney Spears song called "Fed Up." Now that's hilarious.

This week's theme:

Your daily dose of I Love the 90s (Part V of the first, Part I of the second)

I typed "1991" into Google and got these rather intriguing links

Physics News Updates from 1991
Picture from the brand new Hubble telescope from 1991
Cornell's Class of 1991 website

On to the news:

Nerd brawl!
(Over World of Warcraft, no less)

Canadian Pillow Fight League
(Today's "Why didn't I think of that?" story)

Bright, shiny objects:

The world in seven pictures
(Only in America...)

What happens when women try to pump gas

Today's random "next blog":

I hit the magic button and this came up
(Someone's portfolio of art work. Neat.)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 17, 1861 -- Flush toilet patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper. So, today when you do your daily duty, be sure to wish your toilet a happy birthday.

Fun fact of the day:

How are area codes assigned?
(Good question)

And now a word from our sponsors:

Two grandmothers rapping in Dutch
(What is it about the Dutch lately?)

And finally:

Just a little update on the ongoing Trivial Pursuit challenge between me and my wife. It was a tight game, but I got all six of my pieces and answered the final (now obsolete and incorrect) question: Who holds the single season NFL Record for touchdowns scored. In 1981, the answer was none other than O.J. Simpson. (My second mention of him today!) Unfortunately for such trivia-based games, they can't keep up with the times. It's also really fun trying to answer 25 year old trivia questions.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Giant banana over Texas, where they invented the hamburger

It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for our weekly look around the world to see what's going on.

  1. The Yankees get another All-Star
  2. Fidel Castro is rumored to be dying. Again.
  3. Barak Obama is apparently running for President.
In other words, nothing new is going on.

This week's theme:

Maybe somewhere in the next few weeks, I'll throw in an actual "This week's theme." Until then, you'll just have to make due with more "I Love the 90s". The way I figure it, you'd feel guilty sitting down and watching all ten episodes in a row. Now, you can spread it out over a few months but not really miss anything. Aren't I nice? Part III and Part IV of 1991.

Additionally, it's Tuesday, so we take a look at our video pick of the year for 1991. This year's video of choice is "Voices That Care" by just about everyone who was on an easy listening station at the time. Ever since Band Aid did "Do They Know It's Christmas Time?" it's a guarantee that when a major event happens (or if it's Christmas again), a bunch of artists will get together and do one of these "one for all" songs. For those of you too young to remember it, this song was dedicated to all the troops who were in Desert Storm. And now, a trip back to 90s nostalgia with our Where's Waldo checklist. Hardcore readers of my blog may instead prefer the "Where Are They Now?" version. Actually, as the writer of this blog, I prefer that one.

  1. Leading off for the singers, Ralph Tresvant? (Remember that Jeremy Giambi too was once a leadoff hitter)
  2. Cousin Celine Dion! (She's my eleventh cousin, once-removed. Seriously. My father is an amateur genealogist.)
  3. Check out the listing of the people in the choir.
  4. Peter Cetera. Five years after this: same turtle neck, same facial expression, same "vaguely looks like he's made of plastic" appearance. And now a Chicago reference: Long Live Demon Dogs!
  5. Who the heck is Brenda Russell?
  6. What was the point of superimposing Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson (who may or may not have any singing talent) pretending that they were singing background vocals to Luther Vandross (who clearly does)?
  7. You are witnessing the high point of Kathy Mattea's career. She got to sing five seconds of duet with Garth Brooks.
  8. Nelson. Actually finding them now would be a real "Where's Waldo?"
  9. Why does a man with long blonde hair wear an ill-fitting black suit?
  10. Will Smiff!
  11. William Shatner and Mike Tyson shown within about half a second of each other within the same montage. I have to wonder about some of the conversations that were had that day.
  12. Was it necessary for Cousin Celine to do that?
  13. Fred Savage!
  14. Warren Wiebe, the bald guy who sings the last two lines... and was never heard from again.
I believe the only thing I can say at this point is

On to the news:

Texas and Connecticut are arguing over who invented the hamburger.
(Today's winner in our "need something better to do" contest.)

Romanian snowboarders protest lack of snow
(I heart global warming. I just wish Chicago was part of the globe)

Female considers male too heavy to be sexually attractive
(I believe I just made some subtle social commentary...)

Polar bear has root canal?
(I know that polar bears are endangered, but...)

But today's top prize goes to this story:

A Montreal artist wants to construct an enormous banana that would float over Texas, but critics say the project isn't worth government funding. Cesar Saez conceived the project, called "Geostationary Banana Over Texas," and prefers to let the art speak for itself.

When asked why he would want a helium-inflated 300-metre banana to hover above Texas for a month, he simply told CTV Montreal: "Texas is as symbolic as the banana." Then he added: "The banana has a lot of symbolism: phallic, humour, and political, too."

But some people were less than amused by the idea, considering both the federal and Quebec governments have already spent thousands of dollars for Saez's research and planning.

"I'm paying $65,000 to send a banana to space?" one woman balked. Another said the money should have been spent on solving Montreal's homelessness problem instead.

The Canada Council for the Arts has defended the project, arguing Saez is an established artist and his proposal was chosen by a jury of his peers. "The project was eligible and went to a committee, and the committee felt that the project had merit according to the criteria of the programme," said the council's Claude Schryer.

Beatrice Pepper, of the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, said the attention focused on "Geostationary Banana Over Texas" can only benefit Quebec culture, because most contemporary artists are ignored.

"It's a big, big, big day today for visual arts in Quebec," she said. "For probably one of the first times, a piece of visual art is getting the attention that it never gets from the media." The project will likely require a total of $1 million before Texans see the giant banana sailing above their heads.

Bright, shiny objects:

I believe we have a new internet celebrity
(Funny accent + naive looking person + odd topic = instant celebrity.)

Come on, it's a cat brushing his teeth...
(What's the word I'm looking for here?)

Today's random "next blog":

To Have and To Hold
(Apparently a married couple. I couldn't find a theme. Sounds like a good blog!)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 16, 1920 -- The 18th Amendment, Prohibition, goes into effect; It was repealed in 1933. So, if you need a reason to drink today...

Fun fact of the day:

The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding.

And finally:

Today's my "long" day. I get to teach statistics tonight for three hours. Oh joy!

Monday, January 15, 2007

After writing this one, I had a certain B-52s song in my head

As a Clevelander myself, I believe that I can send out my condolences and sympathies to the entire city of San Diego, California. It's been twenty(!) years since "The Drive" and it still hurts, even though I was all of seven at the time. I don't really follow football, but even I appreciated the fact that Marty Schottenheimer can not win a playoff game.

However, the city of Chicago is happy because the Bears are one win away from the Super Bowl. God help us if we have to live through this again, though. I suppose now would be a really good time to jump on the bandwagon and become a huge Bears fan despite the fact that I can only name one Bear (Brian Urlacher) and that's because I think he used to date 2006 Golden Federline Award Winner of the Year Paris Hilton.

This week's theme:

It seems like only yesterday that Gulf War I was getting started. Now, we just have the sequel.

Let's see what else we can remember about 1991. (Part I and Part II).

And of course, the actual serious events of 1991.

On to the news:

Couple plays a game of putt-putt to decide who takes whose last name
(Sweetie, if you're reading this: Trivial Pursuit, tonight.)

Little Sisters of the Poor root for the Saints
(Since I seem to be doing football stories today...)

Man leaves his fortune to strangers picked out of the phone book
(Anybody got a copy of the Chicago phone book)

Bright, shiny objects: promoting alcoholism
(What exactly is the stick figure supposed to be doing?)

Little kids playing the piano... sorta
(I still want to know what the woman in the bunny suit was there for)

Today's random "next blog":

The Daily Warrior
(A woman living with ALS, and I emphasize living.)

The Monday playlist feature:

What was America listening to this week in 1991. You know, as we announced that we were going to war.

5) Ralph Tresvant -- Sensitivity

4) Suzanne Vega -- Tom's Diner (warning: if you don't know exactly what you're getting into, don't click this.)

3) Damn Yankees -- High Enough

2) Janet Jackson -- Love Will Never Do (Without You)

1) Madonna -- Justify My Love (warning: like any Madonna video, there's always a chance that it's NSFW.)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 15, 1797 -- 1st top hat worn (John Etherington of London). How do they know that?

Fun fact of the day:

It takes a lobster approxiamately seven years to grow to be one pound.

And finally:

I have to admit that I miss doing "Baseball Bits." I could point out that the Blue Jays have completely overpaid (shock, I know) for Lyle Overbay. And I could marvel at the fact that everything really does come full circle in life. The Cubs want to trade Jacque Jones, a 32-year-old, .280 career hitter who strikes out roughly once per 5 plate appearances, so that they can sign Cliff Floyd, a 35-year-old, .279 career hitter who strikes out roughly once per 5 plate appearances.

Gotta love graduate school...

Friday, January 12, 2007

You have died of dysentery

Ummm, there's nothing interesting going on. For the first time in a month, we will actually be in Chicago for a weekend. I even went to Walgreens tonight and nothing weird happened there, other than them having their Easter candy already out. We now enter the lull in winter after Christmas when it's not really festive any more and if we thought about it, we'd realize how stupid it was that we all sang "Let it Snow" last month. I hate snow.

This week's theme:

The end of this week's shameless exploitation of VH-1's I Love the 90's series. But admit it, you watch it, you can't take your eyes off of it. And here's Part 4 and Part 5 of the rest of I Love the 90s, Part Deux for 1990.

I'm trying to remember if anything salient in my life happened in 1990, other than finishing fourth grade. I had Mrs. Bevelaqua, and I now wonder whatever happened to her. I was 10. Nothing really interesting happens when you're 10. At least in hindsight, anyway.

Four word movie review:

My wife and I made a trip to Blockbuster tonight and ended up with The Breakup. Here then is my four word moview review of the movie.

Life imitating art imitating...

On to the news:

Want to drive a skunk cross-country?
(How much you paying?)

Thieves steal... cacti?
(Apparently there's a black market for them?)

Bright, shiny objects:

Complaints received about custom license plates
(America needs a hobby)

It's disturbing, involves hedgehogs, and it's in Dutch
(I'd usually make this "And now a word from our sponsors", but I was short on BSO's today.)

Today's random "next blog":

Tigertang in Tangoland
(It's just what came up...)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 12, 1954 -- Queen Elizabeth II opens NZ parliament. This isn't really strange, but it does make you think "Exactly how old is she?"

Fun fact of the day:

Many Japanese golfers carry "hole-in-one" insurance, because it is traditional in Japan to share one's good luck by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an "ace." The price for what the Japanese term an "albatross" can often reach $10,000.

T-shirt of the week:

A new feature that I had originally intended to do on Thursdays, but, ummm, forgot yesterday. Anyway, this is dedicated to all of the wonderful purveyors of funny t-shirts out there.

Now this is old school
(It's OK, that just means it's time to go hunting)

And finally:

It's time for our weekly check of Is It Friday dot Net.

David Beckham, Macaulay Culkin, methamphetamines, knitting, and goats

And now one of the most terrifying things I can possibly say. The Spice Girls (at least one of them) are coming (back) to America. And they're bringing David Beckham? If you don't know who David (Bend It Like)Beckham is, here's a quick introduction.

For those of you who wondered about the headline today that said that David Beckham was joining the Los Angeles Galaxy from Real Madrid (funny, he goes from the Galacticos to the... eh, soccer jokes that no one will get...) and thought that maybe the Galaxy was an NBDL team, he's a soccer player and the Galaxy are a professional soccer team. At one point, Beckham was considered to be one of the world's finest, and he's still rather good. Now, why he would come to the U.S. to play in a league that really doesn't have a high standard of play is beyond me. Oh wait, he'll make money like a banshee here. But, lest you think America is ready to pick up soccer, I just checked They're top story is a preview of the Chicago Bears this weekend.

This week's theme:

I love the 90s, Part Deux, 1990, Part Deux and Tres

The music and movies of 1990, in a lovely table form. Speaking of movies, the top grossing movie of the year was Home Alone, which launched, and subsequently ended Macaulay Culkin's career.

And now, a few memories from a masterpiece.

On to the news:

And apparently, a partridge in a pear tree
(A squirrel and a crocodile? Or just a bad snakes on a plane joke?)

Burglary suspect hides in county sherrif's headquarters
(Could this be your future cellmate?)

Would you like some meth with your coffee
(It's like the Cocaine energy drink, I guess)

Bright, shiny objects:

The top ten dumbest products for babies
(A fellow blogspotter!)

Knitted graffiti?
(Thanks, wife)

Today's random "next blog":

A billion questions blog
(I think it's in English)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 11, 1873 -- 1st livestock market newspaper published, Drover's Journal, Chicago. Well now, let's have a party with goats. At least we'll know how much they cost.

Fun fact of the day:

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

And finally:

Another trip to Walgreens, another sign of the imminence of the apocalypse. My wife and I had to stock up on things like toilet bowl cleaner and a carbon monoxide detector. In all, it came out to 80-some dollars. My wife had a gift card that she thought was worth $10. Apparently, it had 80-some dollars on it. We have no idea how. We actually pointed this out to the store manager, but finally she just shrugged and sent us on our way.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Where was the beef anyway?

My niece is the cutest!

This week's theme:

The end of I Love the 90s, 1990
(But wait, there's more! I Love the 90s, Part Deux, 1990, Part I)

If you're in the mood to buy some slap bracelets, here you go.

I typed "1990" into Google and got an assortment of links for your reading enjoyment:
Afghanistan's constitution of 1990
Estimated Water Use in America in 1990
The most popular baby names in 1990

Further proof that you can find anything on the internet.

On to the news:

Wanna buy Dracula's castle?
(Right after I buy that country)

No more doughnuts for inmates in Ohio
(Because of trans-fat!)

Bright, shiny objects:

Nothing quite like Finnish a capella polka
(WTF Factor: Off the scale!)

Today, we ask the question, "Is that a mouse?"

Today's random "next blog":

The, uh, Random Blog Button Blog
(An entire blog devoted to basically what this section does every day. It's what came up. Irony?)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 10, 1984 -- Clara Peller 1st asks, "Where's the Beef?"

Fun fact of the day:

Former Major League Baseball player Will Clark is a direct descendent of William Clark (of Lewis and Clark)

Today's Public Service Announcement:

How not to raise your children
(I'm a child psychologist. Trust me on this one.)

And finally:

A few more thoughts on weddings. Any time you go to a wedding reception, there are a certain set of songs are guaranteed to be played, but sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever stopped to consider what exactly the DJ is playing:

B-52s -- "Love Shack" -- The lyrics are about a swingers' club outside Athens, GA.

The Village People -- "Y.M.C.A." -- The entirety of the Village People's act was intended to poke fun at the gay subculture, and Y.M.C.A. was no exception. Just don't tell grandma that's what she's singing about.

Gloria Gaynor -- "I Will Survive" -- Nothing like a song about domestic violence to cheer up a wedding! Actually, she wrote it while recovering from back surgery. Still, I suppose it's better than Pat Benetar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"

Meatloaf -- "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" -- "So now I'm praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive..." Although, this one's usually done pretty tongue in cheek.

But then wedding receptions are where you can drunkenly warble any song by Journey and it's socially acceptable (and people will join in!)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The First Federline Award of 2007

It's time for our Tuesday look around the world to see what's happening!

1) Britney Spears and Paris Hilton still don't know how to dress themselves
2) The entire state of Ohio got slapped on national TV
3) New Yorkers are making bad smell jokes about New Jersey
4) Pete Rose didn't get into the Hall of Fame... again

This week's theme:

Part III and Part IV of I Love 1990
(Roman numerals make it look cooler)

Today, we take a look at the omnipresent video of the year, Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor. And bring back an old friend: The Where's Waldo Checklist. Watch the video and be looking for the following:

  1. I'm not saying that there's a resemblance, but... well maybe I am.
  2. David?
  3. I'm not saying that there's a resemblance, but... well, it is kinda eerie.
  4. In the bridge, there's a guy walking around in a black trenchcoat in an abandoned park. Sinead O'Connor is glorifying drug dealers.
  5. The infamous tear.

On to the news:

Humans go on display at an Australian zoo?
(Bonus: They're turning it into a reality show!)

Man stages robbery to get back into jail?
(Bonus: He loved it at the last prison!)

Stamps that taste like sweet and sour pork?
(Bonus: Because it's the year of the pig!)

Bright, shiny objects:

Free tie-dye t-shirt with a negative drug test
(Who in their right mind would wear tie-dye? That's right, someone on drugs.)

Epic Movie!
(I was just telling my wife that I needed to make one of those... Someone did it for me.)

Today's random "next blog":

(The blog itself is just a bunch of family pictures, but it's also got a great inside joke in there...)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 9, 1894 -- "Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze" released in movie theaters. Sounds like a thriller. Maybe next summer, they'll make a sequel.

Fun fact of the day:

Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

A public service announcement:

I was going to put this in bright, shiny objects, but this deserves a section of its own. In what will surely become a recurrent theme on the blog, I present to you the future of America.

I have a two-step solution for such problems. The first step is to extend your right hand so that it is approximately six inches to the right of the person's left cheek. If you are left handed, reverse those direction. The second step is to make a sudden and violent motion to the left. Congratulations McKenzie, by your outstanding contributions to the field of stupidity (and whining) you are hereby the first civilian to win a Federline Award. Salve stulta! Popozao!

And finally:

My wife beat me again in Trivial Pursuit this past weekend. What's worse is that I had five pieces of pie and just needed the Sports and Games piece (normally my strong suit). I couldn't nail down the question (I got a question on darts that I had no idea about...) and she beat me to it! So, in the four games we've played, we're tied 2-2.

She's perfect for me.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Driving through Michigan

I know, there was no blog this past Friday. This was due to the fact that my wife and I spent the day driving to Northern Michigan for a wedding. Two of our college friends got married (to each other!) at a ski lodge. It was a wonderful wedding. I got to see a few old friends and make some new ones. And I got to dance. Well, at least I call it dancing. My theory is that I'm always the first one out on the dance floor at a wedding reception, because no one else will do it. Then, by default, I'm the best dancer in the room.

Anyway, driving through Michigan, we got to see a few fun road signs. Including the one on the two lane mountain road which said, "Do not pass when traffic is oncoming." No kidding... Also, "Dead Man's Hill Scenic Overlook." I think that one explains itself. There was also a billboard for the Alba Public School. Not schools, mind you, but school.

This week's theme:

Because I can, I'm beginning a new series of "this week's theme" celebrating the 1990s. Each week will be a year. This does two things: Provides a recap of a very fun decade (for me, anyway) and gets me out of coming up with a new theme until at least mid-March.

So, a few things from the year that was 1990:

I Love 1990 (Part I)
(You know you watched it... and you want to watch all ten parts again...)

And while we're at it, here's Part II

A few big events from 1990
(How many of them do you remember?)

On to the news:

Thief steals... urinal?
(Apparently, the kitchen sink was next...)

Menace of Hundred Acre Wood on the loose
(Apparently, the joke about Crouching Tigger, Hidden Dragon came true)

Wanna buy a country?
(Proof that you can buy anything on the internet...)

The annual Wacky Warning Label Awards are out
(Bad idea: Washing your kids in the washing machine. Here's their website, by the way)

Bright, shiny objects:

It's time for our Monday check of

Goats... in trees...
(I don't make these things up... I just report them.)

Today's random "next blog":

Another in the ever-popular "baby blog" genre
(Check out the entry on the haircut)

The Monday playlist feature:

Well, of course, if it's going to be a 1990 theme, here's the top five songs from this week in 1990s.

5) NKOTB -- This One's For the Children

4) Taylor Dayne -- With Every Beat of My Heart

3) Technotronic -- Pump Up The Jam

2) Phil Collins -- Another Day in Paradise

1) Janet Jackson -- Rhythm Nation

Let's see, NKOTB was another episode of American history that should have been left back in the 1980s... Taylor Dayne is doing the casino circuit now... If anyone has any info on Technotronic, please call the FBI... Phil Collins. Wow... And then there was Janet Jackson before her clothes malfunctioned.

Today's strange anniversary:

January 8, 1798 -- The Eleventh Amendment is ratified. To this day, no one can yet determine what the hell it means.

Fun fact of the day:

Since 1896, the beginning of the modern Olympics, only Greece and Australia have participated in every Games.

And finally:

Tonight, The Ohio State University takes on Florida in the BCS National Championship Game. This despite the fact that really what they should do is have a BCS Second Place Game, seeing as there wasn't anyone on par with OSU during the regular season (Michigan vs. Florida?). Growing up in Cleveland, it's odd. OSU is more of a Columbus thing, but since there's no really big college sports franchise in Cleveland (what's the biggest Oxymoron in Cleveland? Cleveland State Sports! Or Academics, for that matter), OSU is the default college team. Since I don't really care much about football, and haven't been much of an OSU fan, I feel divided. It's not over for whom to root, but more about how much should I care? Should I watch the game and hang on every play? Should I check the score at the end of the night? Should I flip between the game and Law and Order?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

O.C. should only ever stand for "Oh, Canada!"

Apparently, while I was gone, the Dark Side won.

And, in a sign of intelligence among TV executives, the O.C. lost. I'm sure will be reeling from the eulogies that it will surely receive.

But, the O.C. wasn't the only thing that got the axe. Paris Hilton has been fired. Last years's Golden Federline winner Paris Hilton is making a good opening statement for her title defense by getting fired as the spokesperson for Club Paris, which is named for her.

This week's theme:
Never Ending Story

My personal favorite scene from the movie, mostly for the music. Between that and the Voltron theme, it's really all you need for a heroic intro in the 80s. I suppose the score to the movie is out there somewhere. I should find it.

On to the news:

Apparently, people in bars think that something completely inane is absolutely hilarious
(It's this week's alcohol was involved story)

Apparently, people who drink beer do not make effective criminals
(It's this week's alcohol... wait a minute...)

Proof that anyone can get a credit card
(Even non-humans?)

Open-mic opera night
(Something so strange, it has to be from the C-State)

Bright, shiny objects:

A college saga, part I
(WTF factor: Captain, she can't take much more of this! More parts to come... I suppose you could find them on YouTube anyway, but you know how it goes)

Tara Reid counting backwards

Today's random "next blog":

Days of my life
(Today's entry starts off with a story about a coffee house. I hate coffee.)

And finally:

Congratulations go out this weekend to two dear friends of ours from college, Matt and Ayesha who are tying the knot this weekend. At a ski resort. Perhaps I shall ski. Now, for those of you who know me, that's a mental image to ponder!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

50% off at the dollar store

Like many stores, the store that my wife and I went into a few days ago was trying to sell off its surplus Christmas merchandise, so they reduced everything 50%. The problem was that the name of the store is "Everything's A Dollar!" But then again, my wife and I also went to Michael's Craft Supply where they were selling Christmas craft supplies, as well as decorations for St. Patrick's Day(!) I've come to grudgingly accept that Christmas items go on sale in September, but St. Patrick's Day decorations before the New Year?

I rung in the New Year with my Russian in-laws. And my nieces. Every year, they have a big party (my in-laws, not my nieces), and they invite a bunch of Russians over. There were two people who came to the party and afterwards no one had any idea who they were. I almost tried caviar.

This week's theme:
The Neverending Story

This is the first movie I ever remember seeing. Scary that it's now 20+ years old. I was actually noting that to my wife the other day. There are now portions of my life that I can look back on and say, "Yeah, but that was 20 years ago..."

But for you 20-somethings out there who remember the movie and love it, you'll be singing this one all day. I hadn't known this, but apparently, Limahl is the same guy from Kajagoogoo. Amazing that the same artist was an 80s one-hit wonder twice! (Don't ponder that sentence too long or blood will shoot out your nose.)

On to the news:

French hold anti-New Year protest!
(Apparently, even the French occasionally have a sense of humor!)

Dog massages!
(What are "gourmet dog biscuits?")

Trivial Pursuit, the drinking game
(Apparently, one woman didn't do so well...)

Bright, shiny objects:

Happy New Year from
(First resolution, quit my job here)

Old NES games, now playable on your desk top
(Time wasting factor: off the scale!)

Today's random "next blog":

The Pain Dealer
(If you're from Cleveland, you know why this is hilarious. I normally don't link politically oriented blogs, but this guy gets points for being from the most beautiful place in the world, Cleveland.)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 3, 1825 -- Scottish factory owner Robert Owen buys 30,000 acres in Indiana as site for New Harmony utopian community. Indiana?

Also, on a more serious note (I occasionally have those), today marks the anniversary of the founding of March of Dimes (1938). This is an organization dedicated to understanding and eventually preventing birth defects and pre-mature birth and treating those infants born in these circumstances. I encourage you to support them.

Fun fact of the day:

The two longest one-syllable words in the English language are "screeched" and "strengths."

And finally:

More oddities from my exile in Russia-lite: My in-laws subscribe to Dish Network and all of the Russian-language channels that they provide. (It's amazing how many TV channels are out there...) They favored one in particular, which showed strange and trippy cartoons from the 70s that scared me (I suppose the Smurfs would have the same effect on them... Ever wanted to know how to say "Smurf" in Arabic or Icelandic?) During the commercial breaks, they advertised this rather interesting piece of history as well as a product that was called "Royal Placenta... Best for Hair."