Sunday, December 14, 2008

Putting The "Ü" in Fücker

Ever since I first saw the Fücker bus, I've dreamed of riding it. Today I did just that. A day trip to Brussels was really just an excuse for the above photo. Woo hoo!

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Worked in Profanity the Way Other Artists Might Work in Oil or Clay"


That was me today, after roughly the 4 BILLIONTH time our IT people had slightly changed a file without bothering to tell us. I covered the entire gamut today -- religious, sexual, animal, vegetable AND mineral. I was on a roll, and I would not be denied. I don't mean to brag, but I offended MYSELF near the end, and that's hard to do. To stay in condition, I like to make sure to have at least a 5-consecutive-curse burst a week. But today I was like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" -- if she'd been an angry, alcoholic Teamster BEFORE possession.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Well Done, Sir

Extremely insightful analysis of the forces behind the Mumbai tragedy. Great investigative journalism by John Oliver!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What The Hell Is Wrong With You People?

People trampling a man to death to get into Wal-Mart early on Black Friday really make me proud to be an American. Ugh

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nothing Like Snow on the Day After Thanksgiving

Ok, so it was the day after the OBSERVED Thanksgiving. But the snow was still pretty sweet. Now, 2 hours later, it's almost all melted, but it was quite pretty. This makes two unseasonable snows in one year in the 'dorf. Good times!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mmmmm... Nerdery...

If only there were Murphy's, all of my loves would finally be combined!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Penance for Voting For Obama?

Ahhhh... psychotic, irrational conservatives. They make finding blog topics easy. Rev. Jay Scott Newman took time out of his busy schedule at St Mary's Catholic Church to inform parishoners that they must do penance if they voted for Obama. No word if the Catholic Church will relocate said voters to third-world countries unlikely to sue if said votes are uncovered and publicized.

Even worse, Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia fears that Obama has potential to be another Hitler or Marxist dictator (he apparently doesn't realize that Hitler wasn't a Marxist):

"That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did," Broun said. "When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

The era of bipartisan unity was a nice 5 minute break from the recent hyper-partisanship.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Champagne, Day 3

Day 3 was short -- breakfast, then the Reims cathedral, then headed home. The cathedral is beautiful, but very reminiscent of Notre Dame. One might even say "derivative", especially as the architects & all involved are long dead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Champagne, Day 2

Day 2 started a bit later due to some overagressive sampling the night before. But we made our appointment at Andre Clouet, a small producer in Bouzy. The guy gave us a great tour, capped with a rather bizarre ending. First, one of the other employees took a sheet of plywood off of the bucket it was covering to reveal a live hedgehog. Then he dumped the hedgehog on the lawn (see the photo). This led to two questions:
1. Why did they have a hedgehog in a bucket?
2. How did it get there?

Our guide quickly moved on (after disparaging hedgehogs as "full of all kinds of shit") and showed us their caves and storeroom -- but refused to sell us any! He did give us a bottle, which was very nice, but he wouldn't sell us any more. Oh well.

Next we went to Moët & Chandon, and the one thing they will definitely do is sell. Their 12+ miles of cellars are filled with various vintages of both Moët and Dom Perignon. It's impressive that Moët can be blended so that it tastes the same every year, but I have to admit that I'm not a fan. It was by far my least favorite of what we tried, which is probably for the best -- it was also the most expensive by far.
Ja, Sehr Gut!

While the Ben Affleck episode of SNL was very good overall (especially the McCain and Obermann parts), the Bierhof Bros. Coat Store really made me laugh. "Our coats are no nonsense because that is the only thing that makes sense to us!"


Monday, November 10, 2008

Champagne, Day 1

After a very late (almost midnight) arrival in Épernay on Thursday, Scott & I woke early, went for a jog, had a tasty breakfast, then hit the town. We quickly found out that most of the largest houses only worked by appointment (or with people significantly more famous than your humble blogger). We got a list of smaller houses in the nieghboring town of Bouzy and hit the road. The first was E. Barnaut, fairly applicable as we've done our share of bar exploration. The it was across the street to Paul Clouet and down the road to Andre Clouet (who told us to return on Saturday).

We finished the day with a return to the Champagne Bar for more tasting and observing the local nightlife.

In case clicking the pics didn't work, go here.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This About Sums It Up

After 2 full days of Champagne tasting, this says it all. Tasty bubbly!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Well, This Is Surprising

Apparently, this whole Obama victory thing isn't just an Orson Welles-style hoax. America actually elected a black President. I have to say, I was wrong. Apparently Americans aren't all "a bunch of brain-dead, racist crackers that make the cast of 'Deliverance' look like faculty of CalTech" as I might've said on a few occasions. Bully for them.

After watching Obama's rousing acceptance speech, here's what I expect to see from him in his first 100 days as president:
- Fix the economy
- Sell my house for 140% of its value
- Make me 6 inches taller (but keeping the same amount of legroom on long flights)
- Cure AIDS
- Rerelease versions of Star Wars 1 and 2 that don't suck
- Heal Tony Romo (or at least stop Cowboy Nation's whining)
- Get me a date with the redhead from Mad Men
Let's Not Go Overboard

Worst headline of the day: "Analysis: Next up after Obama win, governing". No shit, Sherlock. That's one the AP apparently keeps ready every 4 years.

Yes, I'm thrilled that Obama will be the President (and even more thrilled that we have at least 4 years guaranteed of NOT having Palin as Pres). But he must deal with the looming specter of a Democratic Congress. They showed all the good sense of a pack of retarded monkeys when Bill Clinton was elected, can they do better now? Sure, Ted Kennedy isn't there, but they still have to contend with Pelosi's rants and the Dem's natural inclination to screw up a good thing.

I'm just happy that with the election over, the economy is fixed, we've withdrawn from Iraq, are friends with Iran, have ended our dependence on Middle East oil and can get back to watching "America's Worst Acne" on Fox.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Well, That Was Impressive

If you're going to be a Euro-douchebag, it really helps if you have mad skillllllz.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Breaking Up Is Tough But Fun

I'll be honest -- her firm, full body, dusky good looks and shocking mane of light hair called to me from the start. I never thought I'd fall for another, but I have -- deeper, more soulful, less tinged with bitterness. Never was cheating so good. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be stuck with second best for a while

The Old Model

The Much Improved New Model

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When In Doubt, Go With What You Know

With poor recent play and currently outside automatic qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, Argentina is looking for a cook to make a difference. Do you go with the coach who guided the Olympic team (which is largely composed of senior team players) to the gold medal in style, or do you go with a washed-up superstar with ego, addiction, and eating problems, but no significant coaching experience? Clearly, option B.

Here are some of Diego Maradona's planned changes:

- The jersey sponsor is the Medellin cocaine cartel
- His assistant coaches? Manu Ginobili will cover flopping and hand skills and Fidel Castro will cover politics and cigar smoking technique
- All team dinners (and lunches and breakfasts) will be held at Fogo de Chao (if there is none, anyplace serving gargantuan portions of fatty food will suffice)
- The team locker room now has a 2 drink minimum
- To encourage strong play, players will only be allowed 2 hookers after a loss (the spares will help the coach with game planning)
- No player will be allowed to remain on the team if any media outlet compares them favorably to Pelé instead of Diego
- Any player putting themselves above the good of the coach will be immediately released

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"We'd Let You Vote, But You'd Only Lower The Tone"

George F. Will tends to be a sanctimonious jackass. Sure, he hides behind an obsession with baseball, but he has always subtly made it clear that he feels he comes from better stock. But he's finally gone from smirking quietly behind his words to proclaiming his superiority to the unwashed masses -- those who might avail themselves of the early vote. Let me paraphrase for you:

Early voting has been expanded to allow lazy, loutish non-voters to be lured to the polls before they've fully digested the nuances of the entire campaign. Normally these troglodytes lurch through the entire election without tearing themselves from their reality tv, but now they're befouling our election with their baseness.

Ok, what he actually said was, "The second problem with early voting is that one of its supposed benefits is actually a subtraction from civic health. The benefit is that it makes voting easier—indeed, essentially effortless. But surely the quality of the electoral turnout declines when the quantity is increased by "convenience voting.""

"Surely the quality declines"? I would beg to differ. Call me a raving populace, but i believe that a "democracy" works best with the engagement of the entire population. Jackhole.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Twist

In the midst of my Mad Men marathon (the advertising advocates alliteration), I have to say that the Twist was a gift for lazy white people like me. Thanks to Chubby Checker, no longer did we have to spend hours learning to Fox Trot, Waltz, Cha Cha -- just give a partial spasm (or "twist", if you will) and try to move your hips. Voila! Dancing! Thank you, sir!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Am I Pro-America or Anti-America?

"We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation."

At least she's not pandering to the lowest common denominator. I would say that I am pro-American because I believe in freedom of speech and expression. Hell, I believe in checks and balances and the separation of the Executive and Legislative branches, but that would not be pro-American.

GFY, Sarah Palin, G.F.Y. On the bright side, it's cool Dick Cheney has been preemptively reincarnated into a younger, hotter, dumber female version. His exit strategy for hell apparently worked better than it did in Iraq.

Monday, October 20, 2008

This Is What a Leader Sounds Like

Following Sarah Vowell's example, I have started reading FDR's Fireside Chats. And, I have to say, these are really going to piss me off. Apparently there was a time when Presidents spoke to the public in an open, lucid, intelligent way (see below). That time has passed.

Now, I know we can't force our presidents to have polio, but perhaps candidates can be confined to a wheelchair from the moment they declare their candidacy. This will hopefully have three effects:
1. Reduce the length of campaigns.
2. Imbue presidential hopefuls with the FDR spirit.
3. Allow failed candidates to "make a stand" when they end their bids by publicly standing.

Later this week, I will detail my plan for replacing the last debate (though it was far superior to the 1st two) with each candidate going through a Yalta reenactment -- a hard drinking summit with the Russian and British heads of state.

Now for some FDR tidbits:

I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking -- with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking but more particularly with the overwhelming majority who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks. I want to tell you what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be. I recognize that the many proclamations from State Capitols and from Washington, the legislation, the Treasury regulations, etc., couched for the most part in banking and legal terms should be explained for the benefit of the average citizen. I owe this in particular because of the fortitude and good temper with which everybody has accepted the inconvenience and hardships of the banking holiday. I know that when you understand what we in Washington have been about I shall continue to have your cooperation as fully as I have had your sympathy and help during the past week.
I do not promise you that every bank will be reopened or that individual losses will not be suffered, but there will be no losses that possibly could be avoided; and there would have been more and greater losses had we continued to drift. I can even promise you salvation for some at least of the sorely pressed banks. We shall be engaged not merely in reopening sound banks but in the creation of sound banks through reorganization. It has been wonderful to me to catch the note of confidence from all over the country. I can never be sufficiently grateful to the people for the loyal support they have given me in their acceptance of the judgment that has dictated our course, even though all of our processes may not have seemed clear to them.

After all there is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold, and that is the confidence of the people. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system; it is up to you to support and make it work.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

America, Meet Your Swingvotes!

It's a bit old, but quite hilarious. Mmmmmm... Daily Show...
Beatdown 2008 -- Closing Soon!

My self-imposed voting deadline is tomorrow, and so I've been trying to decide on my selections for US Senate, Congress and the State Board of Education (I don't vote in local or state elections when I'm abroad -- I make an exception for SBOE because I think they're morons). Sitting through the first Senate debate was tough. While the candidates actually answered questions, the inclusion of the Libertarian really was odd -- Noriega and Cornyn almost completely ignored her. Of course, her claim that the instead of the bailout plan, what was needed was LESS regulation. This incredibly illogical statement was left unchallenged by her opponents. Of course, she answered every question the same way -- the free market will solve all problems. Riiiiight.

Libertarians are not doing well with me in this election -- their candidate for State Board of Education has ZERO information about herself on the web. Ugh.

Congress is a moot point -- the Republican is running against a former Democrat who apparently isn't recognized by the party. Good times.

Either way, tomorrow means the election becomes an academic issue for me. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Germany-Wales Recap

We got our tickets to Germany-Wales in Mönchengladbach with the idea that from our 3rd row vantage point, we could see some goals. 2 or 3 at a minimum. Unfortunately, that wasn't the plan. Germany's plan was to screw with the ball and sometimes take long shots but not that often. Wales' strategy (or tactics, I need to ask McCain about that) was to pray that Germany didn't stop screwing around.

Germans even sing at halftime of a game they're unhappy about.

Wales attempts a corner in the second half.

Wales played a bunker D for most of the first half, leaving their incredibly speedy lone striker stranded. However, Wales did score 3 goals* in the first half, which shocked the crowd.

Germany takes a second-half free kick just outside the box.

But the second half was better with Wales challenging even before Germany scored the lone goal on a long shot from outside the box. All in all, a lot of fun. The second half was very entertaining

* Using the standard Welsh definition of "goal": touching the ball in the opponents' half of the field.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eating Paris Part I

I had the best intentions to go all French for the first time in a trip to Paris (don't ask how many I've made, it'll just piss you off), but while trying to find the dinner place to make a reservation (they apparently don't answer le phone), I found myself surrounded by tibetan restaurants. The Latin Quarter now has a distinctly Himalayan feel. So, I decided to try one.

I went for the prix fixe menu and had a toasted barley soup for an appetizer (or "entreé" as they say). It was good, but nothing special (notwithstanding the menu's attestations to the contrary). It had a unusual flavor, but the mysterious meat (yak?) at the bottom was tough and flavorless (like Joe Biden).

The main course was samosas (or gallettes, and yes, it might be misspelled) filled with herbed, cooked ground beef. Tasty, especially with the herby side that was kind of like a chimichurri sauce. Tasty, but I didn't whip out the laptop for instant blogging. The house rosé went nicely with it.

For dessert I went with the homemade yoghurt. This was very tasty stuff. Easily the best I've ever had, my doubts about it as a dessert. Those doubts were misplaced. mmmmm... good.

I'll post tomorrow about dinner. It was quite tasty. And french.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bringing "The Office" A Game

I can't watch "The Office" or other US TV shows until I get a Slingbox, but if i could, I would've loved the latest episode of The Office -- Jim was in fine form (or so I would think) as he taunted Dwight's insistence on professional ethics. It's really a shame I couldn't enjoy watching this. I also would have enjoyed the continued awkwardiousness (if it's a derivative of "awkward", shouldn't the word also be awkward?) between Michael and Holly.

Photo courtesy of NBC. If I could see it.
Mmmmm... Train Food

Hard to go wrong with a boiled shrimp with extremely garlicky garlic butter on a wheat roll, fresh pineapple and strawberries, and a creme tart. Accompanied by a delightful Viognier? All it needs is a slice of canteloupe to be a great brunch.

So, here I am, riding in style in 1st class to Paris. I have to admit, it is nice to be separated from the hoi polloi -- and the breakfast was worth the 3 euro increase over 2nd class.

Mmmmmm... bourgeois...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Scientists Disprove Conservation of Cookie Matter

Zurich, Switzerland (AP): The first results from the Large Hadron Refrigerator are in -- and scientists have proven that cookie matter is not conserved.

"I had some chocolate chip dough in the fridge for after the 8pm quark smashing and when i returned, there was a noticeable concavity. Normally I would attribute this to Neumann, but he was out on his postal route. I then decided that this had to be explored in detail. After setting up cameras, I've found that somehow the smell of fresh-baked cookies accelerates the loss of matter. We've found that chocolate-chip is most likely to lose mass, followed by snickerdoodles and oatmeal-raisin. Peanut butter seems immune to the phenomenon."

The phenomenon is rumored to have first been seen in East Texas, but no data has been offered.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Techno Teletubbies

This is exactly why we should restrict internet access for Techno fans.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Detective Puts The Dope In The Basket!

Did anyone else have "Silence of the Lambs" issues when they realized Russell Crowe's boss was played by Buffalo Bill? I kept expecting him to walk into the Captain's office to the sight of dancing, tucked naked man. Thank God it didn't happen.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I Respect Spite Sickness

So, I probably shouldn't have cackled so maniacally to Scott about our luck in being able to head to Paris for a night. We thought it was quite hilarious to imagine our friends' reactions when they heard we'd gone to the City of Lights and done nothing but eat, drink and see Jimmy Buffet.

Apparently the God of Texas Residents didn't think this was so funny and s/he smote me with a bit of Mitterrand's Revenge (true to French form, he capitulated after 24 hours of harsh "resistance").

Have I learned my lesson? Not so much. I am off again next weekend to see Sheila (aka Cougar No. 2) before she heads to Africa to help The Man. Will I taunt or just be thankful for my good fortune? Do you need to ask?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is This Anti-Semitic?

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

I'm saying no, since I went to school with a lot of people who had Jewish grandparents -- so I'm clear. And it's funny, which pretty much gives it a Get-Out-Of-Liberal-Jail-Free card.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maybe Mr. Burns Has The One Trillion Dollar Note?

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

I prefer to think of it as a new Mastercard with a really high limit...
Well, This Is Awkward

I gotta say, I think Tina Fey makes a much better Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin does. After watching her interview with Katie Couric, it's clear that the GOP has learned from the Dick Cheney Experience and gone with Dan Quayle 2.0. Good times!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're For A Small Government -- Balls, Not Pockets

From an article on the public reaction to Congress having the "audacity" to want to control executive pay as part of the bailout bill:

"We support the bill, but we are opposed to provisions on executive pay," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president for government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, a trade group. "It is not appropriate for government to be setting the salaries of executives."

Apparently it's appropriate for the government to bail out these jackholes, but NOT appropriate to mandate how the money is spent? GFY, my friend. GFY.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Was FEMA Called In?

Auburn (shout out to my sister's alma mater) STOMPED Mississippi State 3-2 last Saturday. "It was a true defensive game,"said Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. Um, no. This was OFFENSIVE. As in "I might call Amnesty International if I were forced to watch this game." But Sominex has just signed up to sponsor both teams for the remainder of the season.

On the bright side, I watched a great 1-0 soccer game last night.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do

What I love about Condi Rice is that she sticks to a deal. Some people, like Colin Powell, Karl Rove or Donnie "Buster" Rumsfeld, might ditch a floundering administration in search of dignity or integrity, but Condi is the most loyal supporting actress since Eva Braun. Condi's a Russia expert, so she knows that the country, and especially Putin, are pathologically afraid of being marginalized (just as Bush is pathologically afraid of admitting a mistake). So, she makes a public address to say:

"Russia's invasion of Georgia has achieved -- and will achieve -- no strategic objective," Rice said. "Russia's leaders will not accomplish their primary war aim of removing Georgia's government. And our strategic goal now is to make it clear to Russia's leaders that their choices are putting Russia on a one-way path to self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance."

The best part is her apparent inability to remember the Bush Doctrine (Sarah Palin knows how she feels) or to refuse to allow The Bear the same violent, xenophobic powers W claimed for himself. To be fair, though, Putin hasn't overseen nearly as many failed companies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

No Need For Emergency Bratwurst Shipments

This was in my inbox today:
Dear Joe XXXXX Richardson (blocked for security),

I'm very sorry to hear about the recent disaster that affected your community. Please know that Discover Card is here to help you through this difficult time.

We can assist you with locating ATMs, issue emergency PINs to access cash, and provide additional/replacement cards for immediate use. You can also view your statement summary online and make an immediate payment or schedule a payment in advance – whenever it's most convenient for you. We also have additional services for qualified accounts that may be helpful.

Thanks for being a Discover Cardmember. If there is anything we can do to serve you better, please let us know. Knowledgeable Account Managers are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at
1-888-668-8767, or you can always visit

Well, finally! The 'dorf was hit hard by Hurricane Ike, with SEVERAL Citi employees (ok, well, one) able to go to work on time on Monday. But Discover was able to help me find an ATM so that I could buy lunch. Thank God!
Apparently God Does Have A Sense of Humor

So, while there hasn't been definitive research that people look like morons while wearing their Star Trek-inspired Bluetooth headsets, research has shown that these men are less likely to have kids. This proves two theses:

1. There is a God (or other guiding force to the universe, possibly responding to the moniker "Dude")
2. S/He/It has a sense of humor.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

President But Not CEO

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina thinks that none of the Pres or VP candidates could run a major company -- but they might be qualified to run the country. Um, no. I hate to break it to the majority of you who haven't worked for a major company, but most CEOs are as useless as FEMA during a hurricane. Here are the skills needed:

- A nice set of suits
- An offshore bank account
- Ability to weasel out of blame, preferably by means of a scapegoat
- inflated sense of importance
- no conscience or sense of ethics

I'm not advocating cynicism, just a reasonable comparison of skill sets.
Degrees of Incompetence

The best part of the Lehman bankruptcy announcement is that it gives us a good indicator of just how bad this financial crisis is:

"Lehman was only incompetent enough to blow up and destroy themselves, where as Bear's degree of incompetence was enough to threaten the entire financial system,"

Now major collapses have to be sorted into categories. I offer this system for your approval:

Paticle Accelerator: Possible lack of effects, also possible end of universe. Definite job and income boost for those involved.
Texas Rangers: Expected, doesn't affect anyone outside the bank
Dallas Mavericks: Partially due to foreign and regulatory problems
New York Yankees: Formerly dominant team/company collapses under the weight of its own hubris
British Empire: Hubris threatens world order but ends up being not such a huge deal
Roman Empire: Causes collapse of entire civilization

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I WIN!!!

Surprise parties are not easy, especially when planned from afar. But because I'm just so awesome (or lucky, reports vary), I pulled off TWO within 24 hours.

My dad turned 65 last week (date withheld for security reasons), and didn't know I was coming to Dallas (much like some of you). The plan was for the other two Wemyssi to go with me to Nac in my craptacular rental car (post coming soon!) and surprise Dad at dinner. Mom, Carin & Noah distracted him and delayed eating as long as possible until we arrived. When we finally showed up, I walked in first and the look on Dad's face was priceless -- utter nonrecognition. He looked me square in the eye and resumed eating. Then Noah got up to see me, at which point Dad looked up again and recognized Chad and Courtney and started beaming. FINALLY, he realized that the potential pederast hugging his grandson was, in fact, me. To be fair, I was wearing a new shirt.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Did The Train Have A Credit Card Stolen?

In a "news" article on, (I put "news" in quotations as it's hardly news when Italian soccer fans act violently), it was reported that the fans did $730,000 worth of damage to a train. This is just not possible. Even with the devaluation of the dollar, NONE of the trains I've been on in Italy could be worth more than $150,000, tops. They are shitboxes. Clearly this is a case of either the government being overcharged for trains or of officials lining their pockets by overestimating damages -- both far from implausible in Italy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Dealing With Olympics Withdrawal

Having trouble making it through the day with no beach volleyball, Redeem Team or Michael Phelps fix? Here's a little trick I discovered to keep the Olympic spirit alive.

When I enter an elevator with other people, I give them a quick glance and then "race" them to touch the button for my floor. When I win, I immediately start jumping and yelling "YES!", often adding tears of joy if I can muster them.

As they leave the elevator, stand at attention, put your hand over your heart and start singing "The Star Spangled Banner". This really gets the crowd going.

However, I've found that draping myself in the flag is overkill. And HR just instituted a "no gold medal" dress code, so check your company's policy first.

Since we won't be seeing any children named Katrina anytime soon, I guess we should thank the Weather Nerds for killing the name Gustav for the foreseeable future. Actually, I think that tropical storms should be named after book, movie and comic villains. If my house were destroyed, I would prefer it to be done by Hurricane Vader than Hurricane Jane (though that has a nice ring to it).

And why can't we sell naming rights to these (before the season starts)? I think some of the costs of the service could be offset by angry men & women naming violent storms after their exes. Or as a birthday present. Hurricane Chaddissimo, anyone?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Damn Straight

Finally, the coddling can stop! Johnson & Johnson introduced their "nothing but tears" brand shampoo, and I, for one, say it's about damn time. Click on the link for details, but I think we can all see from the ad above that this is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Better Than a Sixth-Round Draft Choice...

In "Stolen Season", David Lamb mentions that minor leaguers have been traded for sacks of balls, but in Romania a player was traded for 33 lbs of meat (the type of meat wasn't specified). The kicker?

"We are upset because we lost twice -- firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team's food for a whole week," a Regal Horia official was quoted as saying by the daily in its electronic edition -- the guy retired "to find a job in agriculture or construction". Ouch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Does It Double As Cologne?

Time had an article last week on a German man frustrated with the fit of his condom (he probably shouldn't have gone for the "boot cut"). His solution? Surprisingly, it wasn't to require rules for all German men to be registered by penis size, but it was to create a spray-on condom from liquid latex and common hardware. How did it feel? "I felt a little like MacGyver" (hopefully that wasn't from using duct tape at some point).

The catch? It takes two to three minutes to dry, which for many men is enough time for them to leave & start trying to have sex with someone else. He wants to get this down to a few seconds, since he believes that condom application should take less time than the actual act.

In the meantime, he's marketing an online set of variable size condoms. Online because men apparently aren't keen on saying "I'd like a pack of your smallest condom, please" to a convenience store clerk. Though his claim that "Men on the Web, they are very honest" doesn't match what my friends that have tried online dating have said.

Thanks to Nicole for the heads-up on the article!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Forget NASA, We Need to Research This

It's great that we can test what kind of screws work better in zero-g, but what our science budget needs to go to is figuring out the exact rankings of predators in the wild. The idea all came from a Reuters article on a polar bear jaw found in the stomach of an arctic-lurking shark. The general belief is that it was either scavenged or weakened. This kind of uncertainty is not acceptable. If we can put a man on the moon, we need video of a wild shark-polar bear brawl. After this we can move onto others, such as mountain lion vs. bear, bear vs. wolves, and coyote vs (unarmed) rush limbaugh (clearly a big meat eater)...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Le Jacques Namath

Le quote: “The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for,” Bernard said. “I’ll start my Games in the 4x100 meters freestyle relay final, confident that my pals will have qualified easily. If the relay goes according to plans, than we’ll be on a roll.”

Le douchebag:

Le Outcome:

Le Response:
Ok, It's not Alain's fault he's French, but if you go out & say you're going to "smash" another team, you should probably give 100% on the final touch. At least he carried on the tradition set by earlier luminaries:
"I'll be brunching in Waterloo tomorrow on English muffins" -- Napoleon
"They'll be choking on their kraut in days" General Joseph Joffre (architect of the French plans for WWI)
"The series of defense emplacements will be unbreachable" André Maginot
"We shall never surrender to Germany" General Maurice Gamelin
"Algeria will always be French" General Charles DeGaulle

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beware of Antimatter Families

Apparently Barcelona's cathedral gets visitors from the antimatter universe, too. Please be careful of these visitors, as contacting them will annhilate you both. As all Star Trek viewers know, morality is reversed in that universe and the evil doppelgängers can be identified by their goatees.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

All Hail Shemp!

When you think of the Stooges, everyone knows Moe, Larry and Curly. And guys HATE Joe (rather justifiably, I gotta say). But everyone forgets Shemp. He gets the job done, he brings the funny, he has that workmanlike style that may not make you remember, but it makes you laugh. Similarly, my bike gets me to work but doesn't get (positive) second glances. Not even from bike thieves -- I've left it unlocked for days downtown with no troubles.

Don't dog Shemp!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Do you have a friend that is offering up lame excuses before an upcoming fun event? Is s/he constantly having to "do laundry", "work on taxes", or "just relax at home" -- instead of going out with the guys or taking that cool road trip? Well, your friend is pre-weaseling.

pre-weasel, v the art of offering up lame excuses for missing a fun event -- in advance.

use it in everyday life. You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barack Bedazzles Bild!!

Bild is a German newspaper somewhere between "The New York Post" and "The National Enquirer" -- but with breasts (God bless German journalism!). So they naturally sent (at least) one reporter to the gym at Obama's hotel. She just happened to be there when he was working out, and here are some of her reports:

"Obama (with toned arms and a strong back) puts on his headphones for his iPod to listen to pop music. He hums quietly. Then he jumps on a fitness bike. He pushes three times on the pedals -- but then can't be bothered with it."

"He picks up a pair of 16 kilo weights and starts curling them with his left and right arms, 30 repetitions on each side. Then, amazingly, he picks up the 32 kilo weights! Very slowly he lifts them, first 10 curls with his right, then 10 with his left.

Quickly I ask: "Mr. Obama, could I take a photo?". "Of course!" he answers, before asking my name and coming over to stand next to me. "My name's Judith" I reply. "I'm Barack Obama, nice to meet you!" he says, and puts his arm across my shoulder. I put my arm around his hip -- wow, he didn't even sweat! WHAT A MAN!"

um, I think that you need to take some deep breaths and learn to translate "restraining order" into German.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thank God Beer Is Cheap Here

Less than a year after Citi shelled out $28 million to fire its CEO, they one up themselves, spending an astonishing $42 MILLION to fire the former head of the investment bank, Michael Klein. Remember, this is the genius behind over $30 BILLION dollars in writeoffs in the last year. The best part? Of this, $28 million is expressly to prevent him from working for the competition. Did the Knicks pay Isaiah Thomas extra to not work for another NBA team? No. Most businesses see rampant incompetence as less than perfect for filling a résumé, but apparently this is not the case at all firms.

It's just a damn shame that this sort of thing will be idle curiosity for me as of Dec 1...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is It That Hard To Run An Automatic Toilet?

The NY Times recently ran an article about Seattle closing down its public automated toilets -- a fixture of the european cityscape. The toilets had become a haven for drug abusers and prostitutes (yet the DC mayor's office remains open) and so were closed down.

The best bit? The last line: “We in the U.S. have yet to shed our puritanical roots,” he said. “We are uptight about toilets.”

Not just about toilets, Sparky. Don't forget sex, marijuana, human rights, racial relations, ...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Understated Elegance

Say what you want about brutal oppression of his country and no respect for human rights, but Robert Mugabe has style. It's the style of a brain damaged, overly shiny person, but it's style.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


So, Citi announced on Friday that Credit Mutuel won the bidding with Deutsche Bank (apparently almost $8 BILLION in CASH is better than $7 billion in cash, stock and a second-round CEO pick to be named later). What does this mean? Well, first, I won't be getting my Summer of George -- no severance. They guaranteed no reductions in force for 22 months. Which is great for my job security, not so great for my plans to tour southeast asia, wear sweatpants, and play Frolf.

The good news is that since they don't have many (any?) people that do what I do (surf the net and write a snarky, barely-read blog), this could be room to grow into Eastern Europe (mmmm... hotness) or France (mmmmm... cheese-eating surrender monkeys).

I'll keep you posted. If you're in Texas and are wondering why I'm not moving back, ask yourself, "What would Jesus do if he were in a recession and had a job that guaranteed almost 2 years of work plus unsurpassed health and unemployment benefits?" Of course, Pat Robertson would answer, "I'd go beat the hell out of some gays and poor people. Jesus hates them the most." But I think Big J would enjoy Europe and save mankind a bit later. But that's just me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Do I Need This?

Why, exactly, does one need a small (3 in by 3in) bag that matches my new swimsuit on one side but is mesh on the other? It's too small to store a wet swimsuit in, it's not sturdy, I just don't get it. If anyone can clue me in on this one, I'd really appreciate it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

JT's Midyear Performance Review

I'm pretty ticked that my boss told Scott Adams the details of my performance review. Sooooo unprofessional.
Is This An Oxymoron Or Preparation?

Are they trying to say that their underwear is a prelude to being naked? Or that you'd rather be naked than be seen in this stuff?
Does One Lemur Constitute A Reunion?

Being in Prague was great, but also bittersweet. If it weren't for the price-gouging airlines, I'd have been joined by the Lemurs. Instead, I had to make do with a photo of a Lemur. On the bright side, IT didn't try to mooch beer off me :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangster

From about 1:45 to 2:15 or so, you get highlights of Ultimate DeLux putting the smack down on some lager-swilling wankers from London. Capped by a score by yours truly. Had it not been for the guy filming, I would've spiked it on my defender -- it would've distracted him from the pain. That's just good spirit.
Mmmmm... Frenchy

So the French soccer coach has gone from World Cup runner-up to 1st round exit at the Euro 2008 championships (while only scoring 1 goal in 3 matches) and he keeps his job. According to article, the president of the French Football Federation said:
"Domenech's record is not that bad as coach,'' he said. "It is not catastrophic. He qualified us two straight times for a major competition,''

So, going from winning the World Cup in '98 to 1 goal and no wins in 3 games is ok? This is why the French went from the dominant economic, political and military power of the 1600s to completely irrelevant on all 3 fronts in the world today. To make it worse, the decision to keep Domanech (who couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper sack) was completely supported by the French football establishment. The president of the French league said, "I back the decision taken by the president. When you are in trouble the only answer is solidarity.'' Um, no. the answer is fire the dolt and hire someone who a) can count to 11 with his fly zipped and b) would finish in the top 5 of the coaching search for my nephew's little league soccer team. Jesus, not even Jerry Jones extended Barry Switzer's contract.

The thing is, I dislike the French team. Aside from Ribery, they play ugly, cynical bullshit soccer. I just don't like seeing incompetence rewarded (I get enough of that at work).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Probably Not Quite Ready For the G-8

From an article on "It pays to use a toilet in southern India, as residents are earning close to a dollar a month by using public urinals, a scheme launched by authorities to promote hygiene and research in rural areas."

"Sorry, India, but if you need to bribe people to use toilets, we've gotta say you're just not ready for the big time on the economic world stage. We appreciate your interest, but please call us back when you've got the whole public sanitation thing under control. Also, maybe work on getting rid of the plague. Until then, feel free to join our meetings as an observer."

Best of luck,
The G-8
Thou Shalt Not...

I know that churches are big on rules, but this was a bit much. I understand the rationale behind these, but is there really a big problem with people bringing their dogs into church? And is it the lack of respect or past issues with not cleaning up after pets (which does, of course, imply a lack of respect)? I gotta say, though, I'm betting Jesus would've been a big fan of ice cream.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Guess "Beware of the Bears" Wasn't Strong Enough

Most people would consider a) large metal spikes and b) live BEARS as deterrent enough. But the Czechs are a resilient, often drunk people, and they need immediate, visual deterrents. And apparently being impaled in the gut is just the deterrent they need -- though this also might just be to deter people from vomiting on the bears.
Citi's New Growth Strategy

Facing some staggering losses over the last year, Citigroup has been desperate to come up with a new profit-making enterprise. And I saw a preview of it in Prague:

You gotta give it to them, they know that people love their tobacco. Now, if they can just open some clinics for lung cancer patients they could really capitalize on some corporate synergies.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Prague 2008: Part 1

I took a LOT of photos this one is the "Cesky Krumlov 2008" album), so this will be broken up into a few posts & albums on Shutterfly. First up is my weekend trip to Cesky Krumlov. It's a town that looks like it's still in the Renaissance. This comes in handy during their annual Renaissance Festival, The Festival of The Five-Petaled Rose. It's the town symbol and refers to a king using it as a symbol to represent his 4 legitimate kids and one bastard (sorry, Mom, but that's what the bastard was -- a bastard). Anyway, it's the 2nd biggest tourist spot in the Czech Republic for a reason. Pretty town, a castle, lots of hiking, biking & water sports in the area -- pretty much everything a Drunken Lemur could want (yes, I'm still bitter about the reunion falling through -- I blame Satan).

I spent Saturday walking through the town and Sunday biking through the surrounding hills. It was perfect weather -- painfully sunny and in the low 80s or high 70s (suck it, Dallasites).

And to top it all off -- they had good cheap beer and a mountain of MEAT.


Since I can't sleep, I might as well get started on the post-Prague blog. The bathroom at the Citi office in Prague was bizarre. First, there's a reflector between the two stalls. I have no idea why that's there. Are they worried that drivers in oncoming cars will have trouble seeing the doors at night? What possible circumstances would make one think that a reflector is needed?

And then there's this gem. What is this telling me? Is it a guide to the proper position for Czech toilets (note the feet are NOT in a wide stance)? Is it a warning that there may be someone in the neighboring stall? I can't figure it out. Please help me!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reasons Why German TV Sucks #4

The most anticipated tennis match in YEARS started today at 4, Germany time. The morons at DSF decided that tape delaying it until 9 pm was the best move -- so it should finished around 2 am. What dolts. On the bright side, the douchebaggy auto racing weekly show was shown at its normal time.

I'm back from Prague and should be blogging normally this week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Living Large

Once again, the 'dorf has come up big in annual rankings of the best places to live. It's 36 on the Mercer list of best places to live. Apparently the availability of Mexican food is not a ranking category. But it still ranks ahead of Amsterdam (apparently weed is also not a category), Copenhagen, and NYC. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Doctor Zhivago Update

This was a huge mistake. On the heels of the "Wuthering Heights" beatdown, I started "Doctor Zhivago" (my copy is actually 50 years old). Ouch. If this is a faithful rendering of life before the Communist Revolution, I can see why people were ok with Lenin, Stalin & co. It's a gulag archipelago of boredom. Here are some excerpts:

"More vividly than ever he realized that art has two constant, two unending concerns: it always meditates on death and thus it always creates life. All great, genuine art resembles and continues the Revelation of St. John."
"All the same, I'm feeling wonderful. I'm so happy."
"His relations with his wife were good but lacked simplicity."

It's picking up a bit now that war is setting in, but this is just a beating. How do relations with a wife lack simplicity? WTF? If this doesn't improve, I'm shunning "classics" like baseball shuns Bonds. On the positive side, the upcoming winter leaves open the possibility of everyone being eaten by rats.

Monday, June 09, 2008

French Open 2008

If you get a chance, you should go. Period. It's amazing. Great tennis, great atmosphere, and it's in Paris. So it's really a nice little deal. We spent Thursday with a court pass which let us into 17 of the 20 courts. We roamed & saw some good matches. Friday we stolled the outer courts some and then watched a few matches in the 2nd largest court, Suzanne Lenglen. As always (at least for now), more photos at (the "French Open 2008" album)

Olga Dormaschow (sp?) trying vainly to hold serve against Dementieva (taken from the 2nd row, thanks to the rain delay!).

Serena tries & fails to keep it together against Srebotovic.

Nadal treats another hapless opponent to a good, old-fashioned ass kicking.
John Voight Is In The Dorf!

What should be parked in front of my building yesterday? That's right, the Jo(h)n Voight car. Sure it's had a paint job, but who knew an Academy Award winner would visit the 'dorf? I tried to get an autograph, but he bit me.
Why It's A Bad Idea to Let Someone in Amsterdam Pick Uniform Colors

Easy, legal access to pot has been shown to lead to bad decisions. Case in point: the light blue socks on the 2008 Netherlands Euro uniforms. Ouch. Ease off on the brownies before you design the 2010 World Cup version, potsie.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ahhhh... Paris

Other than Bologna, Paris is the only city I've stayed in all 3 years I've been in Europe. Each trip has been very different, the first being the big group Grand Tour, the second a short weekend to myself, and this one was about the French Open. I've seen most of the major sights (and all the ones I "must" see), and so this time Scott and I could just hang out at the tournament during the day and enjoy the food, drink and scene at night. Photos, as always, at ("Paris May 2008" album).

Unfortunately, Paris isn't the most convenient city at night. Subways stop at midnight, and cabs are rarer than finding someone who pines for the Occupation. On the other hand, forgetting to bring a map is a good incentive to see a bit more of the city than you'd planned. After midnight.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bibione Photos

For the last 15 years I've been hearing how great Paganello, the monster beach tournament in Italy over Easter, is. It's not bad. Bibione, however, is better. It's more of a social atmosphere and less of a destination. People are there to play, relax on the beach and have fun -- not to check it off their ultimate bucket list. Of course, having checked Paga off my ultimate bucket list, I'm free to sneer.

Anyway, Bibione is one of the top 5 ultimate experiences of my life, without a doubt. If we'd finished 9th instead of 8th, it would've been bizarrely perfect. We had a blast, lost a minimum number of games, and I was on an unbelievable roll -- off the field. I was the comedy equivalent of Larry Bird in the '86 playoffs. Unfortunately, Like Larry Legend, I choked badly in my follow-up in the 'dorf.

Check out the photos at -- it's the Bibione 2008 album.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ahhhh... Venice

If you only have a day in Venice, make sure to spend it with good people. And eat some good seafood.

It was only a day, but it was a great day. CHeck out more photos at my shutterfly site,