Friday, May 26, 2006

Am I Man or Cat?

There have been two flys, one big, one small, buzzing around my home for the past two days. Flys, while not particularly harmful, are annoying. These flys were annoying me.

Last night, the big one made a fatal mistake. As I was laying in bed, watching TV, he dared to fly within arms reach of me. With the quickness of a cougar I spun, snagged, and caught. He never saw me coming. I threw him into the toilet and flushed him. This morning, as I prepared my bowl of Cocoa Crispies, the small fly committed the same error as his larger brethren. He flew within my reach. BAM. I grabbed him out of the air in the first try and threw him as hard as I could into the sink. He was done. Before yesterday, I don't know that I've ever snatched a fly out of mid-air. Those little buggers are quick. Then, within a 12 hour span, I snagged two; both on the first try. Maybe I'm gaining some sort of super powers. I don't know where this quickness and deadly accuracy came from. Maybe I have other powers that I don't know about. I think tonight I'll get into a bar fight and see what happens. See what these other powers are. Whatever. I just know that if you're a fly and you're reading this, stay the hell away from my home. I'm deadly.

On a somewhat related note. When I was younger, one of my friends was barbecuing with his father on their deck. A songbird landed on the railing near the grill. As it took off to fly away, my friend's dad, in one swift motion, dropped his spatula, snagged the bird out of mid-air, snapped its neck, and threw it to the ground. He then grunted to my friend, "Clean up bird." What an amazing display of both quickness and brutality. They were Russian immigrants. I've always been awed by that display.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Jack the Ripper Revisited ... Possibly

Last August I traveled around Europe. Some of you probably read all about that trip on this very blog. Anyway, on our first night in London, PositiveMode, PositiveMode's friend Mark, and I went on a "Jack the Ripper" tour of London. At the time, I didn't really write much about it because I was somewhat bitter (see post here). However, it turned out to be one of the more fun things we did, only because of the extreme ridulousness of the whole thing.

I know I've alluded to this before, but, you see, no one knows anything at all about Jack the Ripper. Basically, the only hard facts they have are as follows: a few people died in a certain area of London a long time ago and someone killed them. So, when those are your only facts, it's quite difficult to give an informative tour. If you couple that with the fact that the scenes of all the murders are now either parking garages or alleys between office buildings, you can only imagine the ridiculousness of this tour. Basically, we walked through alleys in London, looking at various parking garages and dumpsters while some struggling actor told us who Jack the Ripper may or may not have been. He could have been a doctor, or lawyer, or random drunk. He could have been an anti-Semite or he could have been a rabbi. He might have killed one person or fifteen. You get the idea. No one knows anything about this person ... it would be like going on an Easter Bunny tour and looking at his favorite hangouts.

Of course, the best theory (if you even want to call them that, they're more like random guesses) that we heard was that "Jack" was actually "Jill", i.e., the killer was a woman. That one really cemented the idea that no one has any idea who this Ripper really was. Well, what do I find on The Australian today? This headline: "DNA Hints at Jill the Ripper." Now, of course, I thought there would be conclusive evidence for a prominent news source to print (upload?) such a headline, but, like everything else Jack the Ripper related, it is entirely speculation. From the article:

JACK the Ripper could well be a Jill.

In a bid to crack the identity of one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time, technology developed in Australia has tested 118-year-old DNA the notorious serial killer may have left behind and built a partial female profile. Scientist Ian Findlay today said the partial profile had been created from saliva possibly from the Ripper on the back of stamps on the envelopes of letters sent to London police.

"It's possible the Ripper could be female but the results are inconclusive," said Prof Findlay, who is the chief scientific officer at the Gribbles Molecular Science forensic lab. He said because the samples were so old, very small and poorly preserved, only a partial profile was built that "didn't reach forensic standards" nor identified an individual.

I've highlighted the appropriate words for you. Basically, they tested the DNA on some old stamps and found no evidence. However, it could be from Jack the Ripper, who could be a woman. Thanks. Very helpful. It's also possible that I'm Jack the Ripper. There just as much conclusive evidence.

Anyway, that's my Jack the Ripper story and rant for the day. Like the expensive prices in Iceland, Jack the Ripper is a frequent topic of this blog, so get used to it. Sorry, but these things fascinate me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Optimus Prime

Ignore this post if you aren't a Transformers fan (i.e., non-male born outside of 1975-85). Those of you who grew up watching the Transformers, playing with Transformers toys, etc., here's your chance to see Optimus Prime transformed from a cartoon into reality (sort of, it's CGI). Maybe only the true Transformer freaks (like I was in my youth) will appreciate this. Oh well.

Friday, May 12, 2006

What's that Smell?

I'm sure most of you know that I really like cheese. Actually, maybe none of you know that. I don't really care. Point being, I like cheese. A lot. Some day, I'd even like to be a maitre de fromage (a sommelier, but for cheese). However, as much as I like cheese, I don't want to smell like it.

I heard on NPR today that British (English, to be more specific) Stilton producers, in an effort to educate people and encourage them to try eating Blue Stilton cheese as part of everyday meals, have commissioned a Stilton perfume. I suppose that's a good and unique marketing scheme, but if you ask me, the last thing anyone would want to smell like is blue cheese. Don't get me wrong, I sprinkle blue cheese on my salad every night; I love the stuff. But to smell like it, no thanks. According to the press release, the perfume is "eminently wearable". I encourage all of you to try this perfume and report back to me, as I'm curious to see the results. I suppose, if you really want to smell like blue cheese, you could just rub some on your face. It's probably good for your skin anyway....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Johnny Five is Alive!!!

I want to take a moment to point out that today is the 20th anniversary of the release of one of my favorite childhood (fine, adulthood) movies ... Short Circuit. Released on May 9, 1986, and starring Steve Guttenburg, Ally Sheedy and a bunch of other people I never heard of including the funny Indian guy, Short Circuit is the story of the lovable Johnny Five who just so happens to come alive.

I know you all remember and love this movie. Who didn't? In honor of the anniversary, do yourself a favor and check out, dedicated to our favorite robot. Happy 20th Johnny!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Follicular Facial Fun

For those of you who don't follow global facial hair related news, last weekend was the International German Beard World Championship, held in Hesel, Germany. No need for me to get into the details when they can all be read here, on Der Spiegel Online. I'll just post some of my favorite pictures and comment that, some day, I can only hope to compete in one of these competitions. I swear, I'll do it, and the pictures will be here to prove it. Until then, enjoy these brave competitors:

I do want to briefly mention this quote from the 8th paragraph of the above-linked article: "His friend Steve Parsons entered the competition sporting a cricketing outfit and an "English" mustache -- thin with fine, long points, sported by Victorian army officers and possibly Jack the Ripper." Ca'mon. Enough with this Jack the Ripper nonsense. No one knows a thing about him, including whether he even existed or whether he was even a he (as opposed to a she, geniouses), and you're going to say that he may have had an English moustache? Of course he could have. He could have had anything, including a glass eye and Jack shaved into his head. No one knows. Just admit that. I'm talking to you London.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Will Not Eat Cat Poop!

Anchorman was a really good movie. I especially enjoyed the scene when Ron was down on his luck and forced to eat cat poop. I mean, we've all been there, right? That's why this article from Northwest Indiana Times Online really hit close to home with me. I've reprinted ("reposted?") the article below. Just keep in mind while reading it, Dick Carroll isn't just crazy, he's crazy about his rights:

CROWN POINT A Highland man, who claims to have mailed boxes of "cat poop sandwiches" to Lake County courts Monday to protest a small claims case, has locked himself in his home in anticipation of being arrested.

"I'm not coming out of this house," he said. Richard Carroll, 54, is the same man who early last month sent a package to Lake Superior Court Magistrate Michael Pagano that a hazardous materials team examined.

Carroll, who insists he's not violent, said he believes he's making his stand. The six boxes mailed this week contained the excrement, bread and torn up money with some change thrown in, he said. "They all say I'm crazy, but I'm crazy about my rights," he said.

Authorities said they are aware of his actions. The owner of three cats, Carroll, who also goes by the name Vampire Killer, said he intends to mail similar boxes weekly. He claims he will only leave his home if police arrive with an arrest warrant and a federal agent.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pantalones? No!

Keeping with my trend of informing you of all the latest holidays, two very important ones are coming up on Friday. First, you probably already know that it is Cinco de Mayo. A simple look at the calander can tell you that. Nice that it's a Friday this year. Be sure to drink as much tequila, margaritas, and Coronas as possible. Luckily for you (and me), Friday isn't only Cinco de Mayo, but, in a perfect-storm of holidays, is also No Pants Day.

No Pants Day is simple to celebrate ... just don't wear pants this Friday. According to this article from

It's hard to say what No Pants Day commemorates other than simply the
freedom associated with not wearing pants.

Participants are urged to show up for work or play in modest boxer shorts
or other types of underwear, such as bloomers, slips or briefs.

But whatever you do, don't wear pants,
and wearing skirts, dresses or kilts doesn't count.

So, I encourage you to participate in both holidays voraciously. What does that mean? Well, just drink as much as you can while pantless. Really, I don't see how anything other than good can come from that. You might want to take the day off, but that's your call. As to whether I'll be celebrating, I guess the answer is yes. Not so much because of the holidays though, but because I drink pantless everyday. Feel free to join me....

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Law Day

Please join me in celebrating what is, quite possibly, the lamest "holiday" of the year: Law Day. I suppose as a newly crowned member of the Bar, I should be celebrating this holiday by taking the day off of work and getting drunk, but I'm not. Instead, more appropriately perhaps, I will celebrate this glorious Law Day by laying out the law, working for the Man, and general TCB.

In case you are curious about the holiday, check out the American Bar Association's special Law Day website. Further, if you're not sure what to do to celebrate, the ABA suggests that you "focus on our heritage of liberty under law and how the rule of law makes our Democracy possible." Or, you could go get a hooker and some blow and party like the Law Day it is. Your call. Anyway, enjoy this lovely holiday, and don't forget to get your Law Day merchandise here.

Special thanks to KetchupMode for the heads up on this important day.