July 29, 2005

Gay baiting

So, it's my understanding that Democrats represent themselves as the party of equality, whether it be racial equality, gender equality or sexual preference equality (limited to humans, of course).

All of which is great. Yay, equality!

Something I've noticed though, and I'm by no means painting with an all-encompassing brush here when it comes to ALL Democrats, but there seems to be a bit of glee on the part of some segments of the Left who enjoy speculating as to who in the Republican/Conservative camp may secretly, or not so secretly, be gay.

While I was researching this light-hearted post earlier this week, I encountered this little bit of moonbattery. I almost feel bad that I'm about to rip on this guy so mercilessly, simply because I stumbled upon his drooling nonsense completely by accident. But, hey, SHIT HAPPENS!

The moronic post basically pontificates about Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and wonders about his "true" sexual preference, based almost entirely on a Wikipedia search. Specifically:

* Roberts graduated first in the class of 23 from La Lumiere, a small, all-male Catholic boarding school

Hey, guess what; I finished respectably high on the list of my graduating high school class, too, an ALL MALE Catholic international school in Tokyo, Japan. Gay, gay, I must be GAY!

* He studied six years of Latin and some French

So what? He's educated? Probably more than you?

* He also wrestled

GASP! So did I! I wrestled with MEN! And now I'm in Jiu-Jitsu, rubbing against MEN! Gay, Gay, I must be GAY! Sure, I could probably kick your sorry ass 25 ways from Friday, but I'd be so GAY doing it.

* He was co-editor of the student newspaper

ARGH! And here I am Managing Editor of an IBM Magazine. And, and, and. . . I was elected publisher of the one-time newspaper my sixth grade class put together back in elementary school!! I must be dripping with the GAY!

* He also took part in choir and drama.

I was in band! I played the phallic TRUMPET! Surely that means I want to ride the SKIN TRUMPET!

* he *served under* President George H.W. Bush

Okay, now he just thinks he's being clever, without actually being clever.

* he wears black dresses

Ah, now he's just descended below clever into the realm of just plain stupid.

But here's where it gets really good:

you know where im going with this.

he was single till he was 41, then he realised that he needed the proper accoutrements (he DOES speak french) to get ahead - so he got himself a pinkfrocked frau-frau and borrowed a couple of kids from someone. (remember, this was before mehlman's ground-breaking career)

Single till he was 41. Oh, the HUMANITY! Apparently that's a crime, and a sure-fire indication of gayness. It's certainly not that he put his family life on hold because he wanted to focus on his career or anything, a career that has brought him to the pinacle dream of the legal profession: a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. Nah, it's not that, it's just that he's GAY. Oh, and he's Catholic, so he has to adhere to every single dictate of the Catholic Church, apparently.

I'll throw this next paragraph out there, just so you can absorb the pure, asphixiating bile of the author.

he can be honest to his 'faith' (in the way only repug hypocrites can be) - cos he doesnt use any 'protection' (with his wifey). the catholics like to spin themselves into a ball by saying that they use the rhythm method - aka - not having sex when it might result in pregnancy. the roberts family are cautious types and recognise that mistakes are possible, and therefore they never have sex (together). but mr roberts needed a family for career purposes, so he went and got a potemkin family.

Again, because you're a Catholic believer, you must be in lock-step with all the dictates of the Catholic Church about EVERYTHING. Shhhh, don't tell Andrew Sullivan.

And now that you've read through that hate-filled diatribe, there's this:

lets play a game for the next three months - lets see whether it is ever mentioned in the media that he got married at 41 (including any mention of his wedding date), or any mention that his kids are adopted.

Yes, let's play that game. Let's play that game where unbridled speculation should be unleashed upon a family man in an attempt to ascertain his gayness or not gayness, which is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT TO THE POSITION FOR WHICH HE'S BEEN NOMINATED. And, hey, let's destroy his family in the process because, even though it's just speculation, and he could be fully proven heterosexual in the end, it's not as if crazy nutjobs won't continue to be convinced he's gay and harrass Roberts and his family for the next 20 years or anything.

So, what if Roberts is gay? Exactly. SO WHAT? If I all of a sudden turned gay, right here at my keyboard--which is apparently totally possible, what with all the red flags outlined above--will I suddenly lose my ability to write magazine content? Will my editing skills be replaced with a sudden flair for color coordination? Will I pick up an uncanny method of snapping my fingers twice while saying "You go, girl!"?

Look, unless you're one of the Fab Five, your sexual orientation shouldn't have any bearing at all on your employment. No one should give a flying fuck if you're gay, straight, or otherwise. Yet, strangely enough, this guy (who's all about inclusion, I'm sure), thinks it's great fun to speculate wildly for no particular reason but to be spiteful.

Ah, but then, the author attempts to exonerate himself, basically saying "I'm just kidding," and "all that hate-filled ignoramus shit I just wrote? Well, this makes it okay."

ftr - of course:
a) my heart goes out to people who want to have babies and cant for one reason or other
b) i have a lot of respect for people who adopt kids - *particularly* people who chose to adopt when they could have kids naturally.
c) theres nothing wrong with being unmarried at any age
d) its only the hypocrisy that drives me mad
e) this is mostly satire

For the record. Of COURSE.

Posted by Ryan at 11:07 AM | Comments (31) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

Ah, Political Discourse In America



Personally, I'm pretty sure it's a thumb. It's still funny, either way.

Posted by Ryan at 03:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 27, 2005

Political Man Weighs In On, Well, Politics

Well, July has reached an end, and what a month it was! Politically-speaking, July 2005 will no doubt go down in history as that one month during that one year when a lot of political stuff happened. Yes sir, as politics goes, July was just as important as November of 2004, when an election happened, or something.

What's my point? Well, I don't have one! No, wait, I do. My point is that, in these charged political times, EVERYONE has a political opinion. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone with a political opinion. Believe me, I know, because I was outside the other day, swinging a dead cat, when I accidently hit some guy outside of the government center who was lobbying for a ban on dead cat swinging. What are the odds?!

For those of you without a political opinion (all two of you), it can be a challenge trying to understand the political issues and news of the day, particularly the issues and news that bombarded us during the month of July.

Thankfully, in addition to being a marginally humorous blogger, I'm also an adept political analyst, by which I mean I look at headlines once in awhile. Nevertheless, I feel fully qualified to inform you, my valued readers, about some of the most important political issues that boiled forth during the last month.

We begin with the political intrigue that is the Karl Rove/Valerie Plame story, a story so twisted and confusing, you need a Mensa degree to understand it. Unfortunately, I only have a Winona State University degree, but I'll still take a crack at it.

Karl Rove is, depending on who you ask, a political sorcerer who can bend the will of man and creature alike to do his bidding and, should the need arise, he can summon a genie twice a day; others maintain he's a sleazy, mud-slinging political spin master who is so dirty, pigs and even Michael Jackson avoid him. What is for certain is that he's the deputy chief of staff to the Bush White House.

Valerie Plame worked as a United States CIA officer and was identified as a CIA operative in a 2003 newspaper column. Recent evidence has come to light indicating that Rove was the source who leaked Plame's CIA operative status to the author of the 2003 column, which would apparently be in violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, even though many maintain that Plame's CIA status was common knowledge within the Washington D.C. beltway, so much so that beggars often implored of her, "Spare change, Secret Agent Plame?" Plame also had even reportedly trained her dog to say "I love you, CIA officer."

So, why is this story so important? Because, EVERYONE has a political opinion, that's why! To hear some tell it, if Rove isn't flattened by a streamroller tomorrow, justice will not be served, while others steadfastly maintain that Rove did nothing wrong and should be given a Congressional medal of some sort, and maybe a box full of puppies.

The mad cloak and dagger intrigue (also known as RAMPANT BOREDOM) of the Rove/Plame issue, however, was surpassed in political importance later in the month when President Bush made his selection for the Supreme Court replacement of Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, who stepped down recently because, according to sources, "her feet hurt."

President Bush's selection for the vacant post was 50-year-old John Roberts, who had previously served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Upon first review of Roberts, the national media concurred that he was, and I quote, "the most super-awesome Supreme Court nominee ever in mankind's recorded history."

Naturally, with Roberts initially appearing bulletproof, the media instead focused its incredulous eyes on Roberts' four-year-old son, Jack, who seized the moment of his father's nomination to break into a spontaneous dance that resembled a cross between "The Robot" and "The Decapitated Chicken."


Shortly following the show of playful exuberance, Jack, his sister and mother were all whisked offstage by CIA agents, presumably to debrief them on their knowledge of Valerie Plame's secret identity.

Posted by Ryan at 11:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

This prison abuse must stop!!


Via commenter Jimmo, who remains frustratingly anonymous.

Just for the record, Jimmo, the tiger picture on the door was a particularly nice touch.

Posted by Ryan at 09:08 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

Phantom of the Magazine

Evelyn says: Is Timothy Hahn a MF writer?

Ryan says: Never heard of him.

Evelyn says: Hmm.

Evelyn says: Yep, he is. I'll forward this outline on to you. He wants to write in your November issue.

Ryan says: YAY!

Evelyn says: Yeah, looks like your predecessor must have lined him up before she left. He's a decent writer and seems to be easy to work with.

Evelyn says: I sent him a note telling him who you were.

Ryan says: I'm the Phantom Managing Editor.

Evelyn says: That's you.

Ryan says: I'm even typing away madly at my keyboard with a creepy, white half-mask.

Ryan says: And a cape, because capes are cool.

Evelyn says: Yeah, they're right up there with light sabers.

Posted by Ryan at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Things That Make Me Laugh - Part II


Via this Fark thread.

Posted by Ryan at 09:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

Did Anyone Else Notice. . .

I happened to catch the overly-dramatized, but-still-okay-movie "Cold Mountain" last night on cable (okay, my girlfriend wouldn't let me change channels). And one observation trumped all others in my mind:

That baby of Natalie Portman's. . .

Was that not the most gi-normous, huge, crazily-massive baby ever to grace the cinematic screen?

I mean, that baby was as big as Portman! When she said "He hasn't been eating," I was left thinking, "well of course not! He should be out doing chores!"

Seriously. Biggest. Baby. EvAr!

Posted by Ryan at 01:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

Missing Nick

Ryan says: And, where the hell is Nick Coleman lately?

Caroline says: Is he MIA?

Ryan says: Hasn't had a "column" in over a week.

Caroline says: maybe he's on vacation from "work"

Ryan says: Giving his "brain" a rest.

Caroline says: Or maybe he's out "learning more stuff."

Ryan says: So as to better augment his "talent."

Caroline says: To work "hard" for the money.

UPDATE: Via Mitch Berg, I learned that Nick is on vacation following the birth of his child. So, not to worry Nick Coleman fans. Nick's alive and well. And breeding.

Posted by Ryan at 01:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Word Choice

This is something that annoys me, so I figured I'd throw it out there for discussion. So, I'm reading this story in the Star-Tribune, and I immediately get bogged down by the headline:

Investigators blast Mayo accounting practices

Now, I see this a lot, particularly when the media reports on Democrats criticizing Republicans or vice versa, but also in cases like this one. My question is, why the hell do they opt for the word "blast?" They also use the term "bash" with regularity.

I mean, maybe it's just me, but the word "blast" conjures images of, you know, explosions and shit, or maybe a party that is just super-duper kick ass. If somebody is actually blasting someone else, there better be blood and bone fragments and loose teeth. A person blasting another person sounds suspiciously like someone got run down by a shotgun-weilding maniac.

But, according to news stories like this one, "blasting" means investigators saying they've:

"never seen an accounting system with such basic failures,''

That's not a blast. That's not even a severe tongue lashing. Face it, it's insulting to the very word "blast." I think the media needs a better word here. "Blast" and "Bash" should be reserved for stories in which somebody actually gets blasted or bashed, as in "The accused assaillant reportedly bashed the victim's head in with a lead pipe, and then blasted them with a 12-gauge."

Any thoughts? What would be a good word to use in these cases other than blast or bash? Keep in mind, the media likes "bash" and "blast" because they're short and fit well in headlines, but also because it gives the impression of conflict, which of course sells. So, something other than "bash" or "blast" Discuss. I'll be over here at my desk, having a blast bashing on my keyboard.

Posted by Ryan at 04:12 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

And cross our fingers, too, because that should help!

From today's Star-Tribune.

Foreign fighters make up a small percentage of those involved in the insurgency. Most insurgents are Sunni Iraqis, former Iraqi soldiers and those still loyal to Saddam Hussein. But the foreign terrorists, radicalized by the war, are responsible for most of the suicide bombings that are killing Iraqis in such great numbers. The few senior Al-Qaida leaders operating in Iraq are using these young, ardent Sunni "martyrs" to great effect -- to kill as many "infidels" and Shiite Muslims, their traditional enemy, as they can.

That will likely continue so long as American and other occupying forces remain in Iraq, and will probably taper off with their departure. Ending the occupation sooner rather than later would be wise, and might herald the kind of progress so many ache for in Iraq.

Emphasis mine.

Posted by Ryan at 11:24 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

*shaking head*

Reading this post and the comments, I'm reminded of this silly thing I wrote way back when:

Bush Picks Nose; Dems Vow To Fight Appointment
Conservative Bias Seen In Gelatinous Nasal Discharge

WASHINGTON D.C. (Rhodes Media Services) -- President Bush today hand-picked a new mass of semi-hardened mucus matter, commonly referred to as "a booger," from his nose but, no sooner had the golden nugget been exposed to the outside air, then Democrats vowed to fight the president's latest pick for "whatever post it may be up for."

"Obviously, anyone or anything picked by this administration will be rife with conservative ideals," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "Given the Democrats' tenuous position in Congress following the election, we have to make sure that anything Bush picks will be met with staunch resistence: that includes people, and that includes boogers."

President Bush was apparently taken completely by surprise by the onslaught against his latest pick, which he had intended only to "wipe on his pant leg," or possibly, in his words, "roll it around back and forth between my thumb and forefinger during an important call with some head of state or something."

For its part, the booger seemed unaffected by the harsh spotlight being shined upon it. Instead, it sat silently on the President's desk in the Oval Office, where it was eventually removed by the White House janitorial staff.

Posted by Ryan at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2005


I lurk around political blogs, both Right and Left, and I particularly prefer those blogs that actually have the cajones to maintain comment engines.

I realize that some blogs can get to be so popular, they simply can't maintain comment threads because the crazies on both sides come out in full force. But, political blogs with less traffic can still support comment engines without having them totally inundated with hate from both sides.

Something I've noticed though, is that the term "Troll" has undergone a transmogrification. There was a time not so long ago when a "Troll" was a commenter to a political blog who would drop an opinion counter to the prevailing opinion of the other comments and the post itself. The opinion typically would be poorly considered, usually include an insult, and the commenter was almost always "Anonymous." These people, rightly, were labeled "Trolls," ugly little creatures lurking under a bridge until the right moment to leap up and make a nasty little scene. A "Troll" commenter typically made one comment and one comment only, after which they'd disappear and the other commenters would rip apart the troll's comment for the next 50 comments or so.

Nowadays, I've noticed that the term "Troll" is applied to basically any commenter to a political blog who offers up any differing opinion, no matter how thought out, no matter how considered, and no matter if the commenter uses a name other than "Anonymous."

Again, I see this happening more and more on both the Right and Left. I'm wondering if anybody else has noticed this trend.

I mean, if you can't offer up debate on a political blog without simply being dismissed as a troll, what's the point of political discussion at all? To preach to the choir? What fun is that? What value is that?

Posted by Ryan at 04:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

It's been awhile. . .

Since I've had an opportunity to rock out with my cock out.

Just sayin'.

Posted by Ryan at 10:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Work Stinks

Ryan says: I just let the hottest, most sour-smelling fart I think I've ever released.

Caroline says: What will Neil do?

Ryan says: I had to break out the black marker and start scribbling to try and mask the odor from Neil.

Caroline says: Niiice

Ryan says: Sweet Lord, it was so powerful, it felt like it actually had sides.

Caroline says: heeeeeeeeeee

Caroline says: That is disgusting.

Ryan says: Unreal, even by my standards.

Caroline says: Wow, that's bad.

Caroline says: What did you eat?

Ryan says: I think it was the leftover India Garden food from last night.

Caroline says: that'll do it

Ryan says: It had a certain Chicken Korma tinge to it.

Caroline says: chicken korma, incoming!

Ryan says: Bad Korma Karma.

Posted by Ryan at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Introducing, the Rhodes Reader

Ryan says: http://jobsearch.monster.com/getjob.asp?JobID=32054407&WT.mc_n=MKT000125

Caroline says: WHat's Utne?

Ryan says: Pretty much a general interest magazine.

Ryan says: http://www.utne.com/

Caroline says: It's a guy's last name!

Ryan says: Executive editor doesn't sound like my thing, but I thought you'd be interested.

Caroline says: Rhodes Reader---the possibilities are endless.

Caroline says: Thanks for passing that along. I'm going to apply.

Ryan says: Rhodes Reader sounds like some sort of reading aid for slow learners.

Caroline says: Well, there's your angle.

Ryan says: "My son, Timmy, couldn't keep up with the rest of his first grade class, but Rhodes Reader helped him catch up with the slowest fifth percent. Thanks Rhodes Reader!"


Caroline says: do you happen to have a Sept. MF folio?

Ryan says: It's back under construction due to the Buyer's Guide. Why?

Caroline says: I'll just need one eventually

Caroline says: whenever they have a final one

Ryan says: I'll be sure to update you once Jonathan gets it figured out.

Caroline says: awesome

Caroline says: I can't friggin' wait.

Ryan says: Don't be so negative.

Caroline says: That's not negative.

Caroline says: I mean it.

Caroline says: I can't friggin' wait.

Caroline says: yaaaay, folio

Ryan says: You'll be gettin' friggy with it?

Caroline says: na na na na na na na

Caroline says: ree roo ree roo

Ryan says: Ree roo. . . nevermind.

Caroline says: Gotcha

Ryan says: It all comes back to ree roo.

Caroline says: There's a Chapter Ree Roo in the Rhodes Reader.

Caroline says: subhead: Cats that don't answer

Ryan says: The Rhodes Reader is one of the most confusing books in the world.

Caroline says: In fact, you need a Rhodes Reader to decipher most of what's in the Rhodes Reader.

Ryan says: You can actually feel yourself getting dumber while reading the Rhodes Reader.

Caroline says: So dumb you start drinking beer and playing trivia.

Caroline says: Then we have a magazine for YOU!

Ryan says: Yeah, in order to understand Beer -N- Trivia Monthly, you must first read the Rhodes Reader, and before that you have to read the Rhodes Reader's Guide to the Rhodes Reader.

Ryan says: It's a fucking gold mine for me.

Posted by Ryan at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Could Care Less About Lawn Care

It has been dry here in Minnesota. For roughly 216 straight days--to hear some local news outlets tell it--we endured 90+ degree weather with nary a cloud to be seen, to say nothing of clouds pent up with watery goodness.

weather like this had not been experienced since 1989, according to some Minnesota weather historians/nut-cases/people-with-too-much-time-on-their-hands. Some people on the more hysterical fringe insist that weather like this hadn't been experienced for over 4.3 billion years, when the earth was a molten ball of soupy hot rock.

A drought, some would say. A dry spell, would say others. Myself, I liked to think of it as just fucking hot out.

The result of this perpetually baking weather was a lawn cooked to a fine brown crustiness. Even the dandelions, which can live on Pluto if they managed to take root, were finding existence to be exceedingly difficult. Day in and day out, for many, many straight days, the sun beat down upon my lawn and leeched out any semblance of moisture from grass and weeds alike.

And I really didn't care much, which must have driven the neighbors insane.

My lawn was pretty much the only lawn in the neighborhood that never saw even the hint of a sprinkler during the two week sun offensive. Whereas pretty much every other lawn had water sprinklers sending out their fanning, life-giving water spouts, I stubbornly opted to use my water for drinking purposes only.

The end result, of course, is that my lawn is an oasis of dead grass amongst a sea of green lushness, and I've seen more than a few neighbors standing outside, pointing at my cooked, dead lawn in obvious disdain.

Thing is, I don't care if they're disgusted. Watering a lawn has always struck me as an entirely wasteful thing to do. I understand the appeal of a soft, squishy green lawn, but beyond the coolness under the feet, it's always seemed like more of a competition between neighbors to see who can out-green the other, and I simply refuse to take part. You want to compete with me about something, I suggest paintball, not lawn care.

It finally rained last night, so maybe some part of my lawn will be rejuvenated as a result, but generally I don't care one way or another. Last year, the weather was so freakin' cool and wet all season long, I was mowing practially every three days.

This hot spell, as hot and uncomfortalbe as it was, was a mowing reprieve, and if you've experienced the joy of mowing my hill-laden lawn, you know damned well I'm not going to encourage grass growth by watering the damned lawn.

Hell, I'm considering tilling it all up and sowing the soil with salt. Then the neighbors would REALLY freak.

Posted by Ryan at 11:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

As Promised. . . CATblogging!

For the occasional sport, and of course for the sake of high art, my girlfriend and I put Kit and Kat in trees, and then she takes pictures of them. Featured here is Kit. He's about as smart as he looks in this picture which, as you can tell, isn't very.


On the flip side of the coin, here we have Kat. He's only slightly smarter than Kit, by which I mean Kat has never peed on me, whereas Kit has. Kat is also strangely photogenic, owing probably to his black fur and white "socks." Come on, admit it, you secretly want to pet him.


Kit and Kat will be one year old sometime later in August. Gifts are accepted, particularly expensive ones. Both cats are experienced automobile drivers, and I heard Kat the other day mewing something about really wanting a Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible. It was either that, or he coughed up a hairball. Whatever the case, if there's a PT Cruiser Convertible in my driveway sometime on or around August 21st, in my name, I'll be sure to transfer the title over to Kat as soon as possible, and I thank you, in advance, for the kind gift.

Posted by Ryan at 12:01 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Blog Day Afternoons

I have been informed by my Sister-in-Law, one Jody Rhodes, that my blogging as of late has been at a certain level of suckitude. She is correct in this assessment. I have, indeed, been blogging at a less than stellar/thoughtful/ass-focused level, and for this I apologize.

I can only assure you that my lack of blogging has everything to do with my crushingly-massive workload, and nothing to do with the contempt I hold for my readers, all four of you.

To rectify this unfortunate period of blase blogging, I plan on posting pictures of my cats after work tonight. Hopefully, this will tide you over until I can steal 10 minutes away from a shitty work day and post something compelling. In case you're wondering, the last time I posted a picture of my cats, they looked like this:


They're bigger now, and they shit more. And they sleep on my chest in the morning and purr extremely loud, so I have to throw them across the room until they hit the wall, and then they come back to do it all again, in a game that I've taken to calling "Goddamn fucking cat! I'm trying to fucking sleep!" I plan on contacting Parker Bros. in the hopes of making it into a board game, sort of like Chutes and Ladders.

Posted by Ryan at 03:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

Some things just make me laugh

Like this, for example.


Posted by Ryan at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


There is a common misperception shared by many non-Minnesotans that Minnesota is a fairly cool state, temperature-wise, throughout the year.

However, while it may be true that our winters can be bone-breakingly cold our, summers, alternatively, can feature high temps that rival anything the other 49 states can achieve.

The following week, for example, has been a hell-house of hot temperatures, tipping up into the 90s for a couple of days. But, as any good Minnesotan will tell you, it's not the heat, it's the humidity. Yes, once you throw the humidity into the mix, you have some pretty unbearable weather.

And, it just so happens that I'm now enrolled in a Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu program that features workouts I haven't experience since my days of high school wrestling. These workouts are seriously intense: two hours of muscle-straining hell. Granted, I'll no doubt become acclimated to the workouts the more I attend, but for now I struggle through minute by dragging minute.

And I sweat. Holy crow do I sweat. It certainly doesn't help that there's no air conditioning, but I'm a natural-born sweater to begin with, going back as far as I can remember. The combination of no air conditioning mixed with workouts I'm not used to quite yet, results in a display of personal waterworks I can scarcely believe.

I mean, last night, sweat just poured off me. I literally looked like I was fresh out of a shower for the entire two hours. I was sweating so incredibly much, I was actually starting to wonder if maybe something was wrong with me. I spent every free moment practically making love to the water fountain, trying to maintain my rapidly-depleting fluid levels. I can't, in my memory, recall sweating anywhere near as much as I sweated last night. It was almost horrifying.

I really hope this is only a temporary affliction, because if I were someone else, and I had to grapple with me, I'd be pretty well disgusted.

Posted by Ryan at 11:06 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Yeah, What He Said!

Bang, Bang, Bang!

Then again, there's some truth to this, too.

Posted by Ryan at 01:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 08, 2005

A Telemarketer Just Called. . .

And his name was, wait for it. . . Mahogany.


Posted by Ryan at 02:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Media Contempt For Bloggers?

Joshua finds an egregious example.

Posted by Ryan at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ye Olde Butcher Shop

The following was inspired by this post.

While I was growing up--and there's a strong case to be made that I haven't yet grown up at all--I lived about half a block away from a butcher shop. It was a sagging brick building, with very few windows and a circular asphalt driveway that I loved to go around and around on with my bicycle.

My parents referred to the shop as the "Meat Locker," and it was a place where, for a time, some of the best bratwursts on the face of the planet were produced.

The Meat Locker held a great deal of fascination for me during my formative years. Occasionally, the smell of assorted meats being smoked would waft along on the wind to our yard, and set my mouth to drooling. Other times, I'd watch as a big truck would pull up to the building and begin emptying large drums of animal entrails, presumably to become Alpo and Science Diet sometime in the near future.

Adding to the fascination, the Meat Locker was located about 30 yards from a sinkhole, a geologic depression that for years local inhabitants illegally used to dispose of any number of household items. Naturally, a dangerous dumping ground like that enticed curious youngsters from blocks around.

Well, one day, I was playing around the sinkhole with my neighbor friend, Benji. We were throwing rocks at a dead cat floating in the sinkhole when we became aware of a bleating noise coming from the Meat Locker. Curious, we approached the building's livestock pen, where we discovered an adult and a baby goat.

For about an hour, Benji and I petted the goats and fed them grass we plucked from around the sinkhole. We even liked to think we had taught them the trick of standing upright when they leaned against the gate with their hooves while we fed them. Yes sir, we were little animal tamers.

About the time Benji and I were about to name our new goat friends, a door opened towards the back of the pen, and a man in a blood-stained apron entered and herded the elder goat into the building. The door closed, and about a minute or so later a lightly-muffled gunshot-like report reverberated off the walls.

It was one of those moments in life where you're absolutely certain you're learning some sort of important lesson, but darn it if you can't quite figure out what it is. As we stood there, Benji and I, with tufts of grass clenched in our little hands, while the baby goat bleated frantically and lonely in front of us, I was fairly certain there was a lesson about life and death unfolding right there, and I was trying my very best to sort it all out.

Just when I was about to settle on the life lesson of "In Life There Is Loss," the blood-stained apron guy came back into the pen and herded the baby goat into the building. A moment later, the same gunshot-like report pierced the air.

And then it was all quiet. Utterly, painfully, eerily quiet.

Benji and I returned to the sinkhole, where we played for awhile longer before heading home, and all the while I played the goat incident over and over in my head, trying to figure out some sort of life lesson. Finally, that evening, it dawned on me:

"Man, it sucks to be a goat."

Posted by Ryan at 01:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

For Your Reading Enjoyment

Right now, I'm reading "Under The Banner of Heaven," by Jon Krakauer. It's a real-life crime novel that explores the 1984 Lafferty murders but, more generally, it sheds light on the disgusting practices of fundamentalist Mormon polygamists. Seriously, these people are sick and twisted. Their stunning abuses of women, children and welfare system is enough to make me scream.

Ahhhhh, fundamentalist religious belief. It can lead to the bombing of a church full of blacks by the KKK. It can lead to pedophiles raping 12 year old girls in the name of God. And, oh yeah, it can lead to a string of bombings in the U.K., killing 40+ people.

I'm not an atheist or agnostic. If anything, I tend to believe in my own personal variation of what God may be. You can call it "God Lite," I guess. One-sixth the sin of those established religions! But, man, the day I think I hear a voice in my head telling me to do God's work is the day I put a gun to my head and pull the trigger, so I can speak to God directly, cutting out that annoying middleman in my head.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the book, even though it makes me think along lines such as those expounded upon in the preceding paragraph.

Posted by Ryan at 02:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


You ever feel as if your job is conspiring to slowly kill you?

You ever come into work one day, look at your list of responsibilities, realize you're almost hopelessly behind on every one of them, and then further realize that the only way you could have hoped to have been caught up on everything would have required 14+ workdays, taking work home, foresaking every semblance of a personal life, and basically sacrificing yourself on the alter of unrealistic increased productivity?

And then you think to yourself: "Self, why are you doing this to yourself? Look around for other work, self. Comb through the want ads, peruse Monster.com, look everywhere!"

And then do you find yourself responding to yourself by saying: "Look, self, the number of job offerings in my field in this particular geography are rather limited, and I do apply for every opportunity that presents itself. Thing is, I have a house payment to think about, and food to think about, so I can't just throw caution to the wind and walk out the work door in the foolish hope that a job will just land at my feet, so I'm kind of stuck here until something comes along."

And then my self says: "So, you're kind of a slave."

And I respond to self: "Well, I'm getting paid."

And self says: "Okay, you're a paid slave. Good luck with that."

Why, yes, my week is going terribly. Why do you ask?

Posted by Ryan at 11:11 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

Hey, We're Over Here.

For Joshua. A Washington-themed photoshop contest.

Posted by Ryan at 11:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Get Spam At Work

I'm going to quickly fisk a spam I just received, because I can, and because Fisking Spam would be a great name for a rock band.

Dear sir/ma.

So, it's either addressed to the sirs of this world, or his mother.


I wish the best in life for you and your family, and I hope you will receive this mail in good spirit and respond quickly with ultmost secrecy and confidentiality.

I'm all about secrecy and confidentiality, so I'll only post this spam on my blog once. That's it. I promise.

I got your address through my professional relationship in discharging my duties for my government.


My name is COL. Steve john Kabwe and I was the chief of security and operations for former president (sani abacha of nigeria).

A Nigerian named Steve?

Please protect this mail for the safety of my life and that of my family to avoid us being ortured or killed by his left behind secret agents.

Consider your e-mail protected! Except for it appearing on my blog, I mean. Sorry about that. Left behind secret agents? But. . . but. . . what about Nigeria's famous "No Agent Left Behind" initiative? What happened to that?

Please i humbly beg you from the bottom of my heart to listen very carefully, the situation in my country is very critical and chaos, uproar and hostilities had brought the country to its knees and from intelligent report the center cannot hold anymore for former president sani abacha and his government.

The situation is so dire, in fact, that rambling, incoherent, run-on sentences have become rampant! That settles it, I must assist Col. Steve John Kabwe with whatever it is he requires of me!

The intense pressure from united states, united nations, international community and west African peace keeping to [Ecomog] had made him [fomer president sani abacha] before he died as gone on exile and also pressure to face war crime charges against humanity.

Wow. Abacha's not just facing war crime charges, he's facing war crime charges against HUMANITY! They dropped the charges of war crimes against bovines and war crimes against simians, apparently. As an aside, Ecomog sounds like some sort of organic-grown coffee. Enjoy a hot cup of Ecomog today. Mmmm, mmmm. . . Ecomog.

Listen very carefully, you know my country nigeria is very rich with crude oil, and with my position as former chief of security and operations I have accumulated so much crude oil which I had sold to generate close to $32 Million over the years and it is this fund that I want to move to you for safe keeping.

It's a good thing he managed to sell that crude oil, because all those horded barrels made it impossible to park his car in the garage. Also, notice that he apparently accumulated all that oil thanks to his position as FORMER chief of security and operations.

The fund are in boxes in dollar denomination and it would be sent you through diplomatic courier service with your name as the beneficiary within few days. Please would you do me a favour to receive this fund for me? Else the government in power will seize the fund and plunder it.

Dude, you have $32 million in DOLLAR denominations? WTF? Ever heard of a $100 bill? I love the polite language in the second sentence: Please would you do me a favour. Well, since he said "please," I guess I feel obligated.

If you are capable and know that you will truly and honestly help me, write me now, time is no more on my side. I will give you 30% of the fund and I will come to your country to take my part. Extend a friendly hand and help me.

I don't know, man, all those boxes of $1 bills might raise a few eyebrows around the neighborhood. Wait, I'll just say they're full of grass clippings. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Please bear in mind that this fund is not a looted or stolen money but rather a hard earned money generated.

Yeah, that he earned through embezzlement, if I read him correctly above, but maybe that's considered okay in Nigeria. I'm not familiar with Nigerian culture, so I don't know for certain.

Pls if you are willing to help kindly forward to me your personal detail to enable me reach you this includes.

1. Your full names

Ryan Carroll (shut up) Rhodes. Come to think of it, I don't have any other full names other than that, although I used to pretend my name was Zakron StarThruster, of the planet "Groktavia," but that was more of a childhood thing. Okay, that last part I made up completely, because I wanted to take your mind off my middle name.

2. Your residential address

Yeeeaaaahhhh, I don't think so. I hardly know you, Steve. $32 million in $1 bills is a lot of money and all that, but I think I'll hold on to my small scrap of my anonymity for now.

3. Your occupation

Managing Editor, IBM eServer Magazine - zSeries Edition

4. Premable about yourself (marital status)

Steve, Steve, Steve. You're going about this all wrong. Try eHarmony.com.

5. your phone number and fax number

Again, Steve, I have to decline.

I urgently await your reply via my this address:
Yours Sincerly,
Col. Steve Kabwe

Good luck to you, Col. Steve. Good luck to you.

Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker. Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker. Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker.

Posted by Ryan at 11:27 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
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