January 27, 2006

Oh, why not.

Nick Coleman keeps writing 'em, so I may as well fisk 'em.

The worst news in Minnesota Thursday --judging by the top of the front page, where bad news usually goes -- was the imminent arrival of a bait shop at the Mall of America.

For Nick, that constitutes pretty much where he gets all his news which, if you know the Star-Tribune at all, is kinda sad. Besides that, for Nick, everything is bad news. He could read a story about how a truck hauling puppies crashed into an orphanage and that, miraculously, in addition to no injuries, every orphan ended up with a puppy, Nick would still no doubt find some way to heap scorn on the story.

I agree with the Star Tribune editors who decided to "play" the bait shop threat as the top bad news story of the day. This is grim stuff.

What's grim stuff? The column that's now underway? If so, yes, it is grim stuff.

Minnesota used to be the kind of place where you got your bait from freckle-faced kids who tore up their mom's flower garden and sold crawlers for 50 cents a dozen, or by wandering into a back room at a service station to scoop shiners out of a wash tub. I even wrote a story for this newspaper in 1981 about a guy who invented a Minnow machine that would dispense a cup of live minnows for a buck and a half.

Nick Coleman. He gets the story, so YOU don't have to! I don't know which is sadder; that he had to write such a story in his past, or that he remembers it with apparent pride. I had to write my fair share of fluff pieces starting out, and I do my best to forget about them.

All pretty much gone now. Along with a lot of the fish.

What Nick fails to mention, in Nick's mention-failing way, is that, in many places, fish populations are making a comeback.

Now we have plans for a 300,000-square-foot bait shop at the Mall of America and a limit of six walleyes, except where the limit is four, or two.

Anyone see a connection?

Just you, Nick. Just you.

You've heard of Big Tobacco. Now we have Big Bait, a Missouri-based big box sporting goods outfit called Bass Pro Shops, which may provide the anchor (so to speak) of phase II of the mall. And when I say Big Bait, I am talking a bait shop as large as 200 average homes that is part of a chain that grosses $1.6 billion a year.

They make money. They're EEEEEEEEEEIVLEEEEEE! By the way, there are major differences between a fishing pro shop and a bait shop. Ten points to those of you who can name five.

That is a lot of fatheads. And I don't just mean a variety of minnows.

If anyone can speak with authority about fatheads, it would be Nick Coleman.

A super-sized outdoors store is nothing new, of course. It's been almost eight years since Nebraska-based Cabela's moved into Minnesota with a 150,000-square-foot store in Owatonna.

Which, of course, begs the question: what the hell is he moaning about this one for? If Cabela's has been in Minnesota for eight years, and has been by all appearances a great success, what is this fathead complaining about?

Cabela has stores in East Grand Forks and Rogers, now, too. I visited the Owatonna store when it opened and found it very interesting, like visiting a religious shrine from a religion that was not mine.

Nick's idea of a cool store is an outlet that specializes in pictures of people scowling and looking displeased. I imagine that's kind of what his house probably looks like.

Don't worry. I am not going to go all vegan on you. I eat meat, I love walleye and I have shot a few whitetails who didn't know the password.

You go, girlfriend! *snap, snap*

But Cabela's was too much for me: There were so many dead animals on the walls that I kept my voice down and walked softly, as if I were in a temple of Thanatos, the god of death. To be complete, the place just needed a few human heads.

I wonder if Nick has ever visited a natural history museum in his life. Or, hell, the Minnesota Science Museum alone has more stuffed animals on display than Cabelas. I wonder if Nick walks with solemnity when he walks through those exhibits.

Now comes Bass Pro, nearly six football fields' worth of fishing poles and outdoors gear intended to make it easy for every computer-bound stock analyst in the state to imagine himself as an intrepid "sportsman" without ever having to stop off in Motley or Milaca in search of a crappie minnow.

That's your classic Nick Coleman "worst case scenario." He can write a huffy column bemoaning the possibility that Motley minnow sales could take a hit thanks to Bass Pro. This is just my own "Ryan Rhodes Knows Stuff" aside, but having fished using minnows, I've noticed that the minnow mortality rate, even when not in transit, seems pretty high. So, although I'd probably buy a pole and tackle from Bass Pro, I'd still opt to buy my minnows as close to my fishing destination as possible. Too much potential for minnow-related deaths and spillage en route.

I blame it on the creeping Bubba-fication of Minnesota, which includes NASCAR billboards, exploding turkey fryers and back-yard hot tubs.

Yup, if you enjoy fishing or hunting, you're a back-woods Bubba. It's statements like this that just make me want to biff Coleman like he's never been biffed in his life. And since when is a back-yard hot tub a symbol of Bubba-ism? It's this kind of double-standard that Nick excels at. He rails against stereotypes when they're applied to, say, illegal immigrants or the homeless, but then he'll turn around and say that people who live in New Ulm are beer hall lushes, or that if you enjoy hunting and fishing, you're a dimwitted NASCAR Bubba. Politicians are fat cats, except for when the politician is his little brother. Nick's such a sour, bitter man, and he's been sour and bitter for so many years, he doesn't even know why he's sour and bitter any more.

This is not how my friend Howard would have wanted it.

There. THAT should have been the lead sentence to this column. Hell, it should have been the headline. STOP THE PRESSES! Nick Coleman had a friend!

Howard was a neighbor when I lived in Rochester in the late 1970s, a retired mechanic who knew where the trout were in southeastern Minnesota and who had rigged up an electric cord to a metal rod with a wooden handle. When Howard plugged in his "Worm Finder" and jabbed the metal end into the ground, our feet would tingle and my hair (yes, I had some) would stand up. But something else happened, too: Stunned worms would leap from their underground lairs and roll drunkenly on the grass, making easy pickings on our way to a trout hole.

One wonders if Nick is also a proponent of, say, chucking a stick of dynamite into a lake and plucking the stunned fish into the boat when they bob to the surface. See, to me, if I were to define a Bubba, I'd think about it for a second and then say: "Well, if you create a machine, for the sole purpose of shocking worms out of the ground, you might be a Bubba." / Jeff Foxworthy off /

And I didn't know Nick used to live in Rochester. *shudder* I need a bath.

Now that was real outdoorsman-ship. I miss Howard. He wouldn't have been caught dead at a mall.

No, but he would probably have been caught dead when he upped the amperage on his worm shocker.

Posted by Ryan at 07:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

You there! Improved Economy At The Back Of The Room.


I saw this picture and caption on CNN.com just now. It cracked me right up.

Posted by Ryan at 01:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Blogging Cons and Pros

It's been a mixed week for me when it comes to blogging. First, there was the kinda, sorta creepy update to the IBM double door story. Then, yesterday, a comment I left in jest at one of my daily reads actually earned me a chastising e-mail from my company president. Which. . . whoever forwarded that comment on to the Prez, let me just say. . . "Hellloooooooo! Comedy/Satire/Parody/Humor. . . familiarize yourself with these concepts before you start taking every comment you read seriously.

On the plus side, I did receive an e-mail from a friend from Tokyo who I hadn't heard from in about 13 years after he discovered my blog, which was way cool.

Posted by Ryan at 10:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 25, 2006

Door Update

In a creepy development, I've been informed that the double doors from this post do now lock. Why this was not the case weeks ago, I'm not entirely certain.

This is yet another outstanding reason why I should really consider blogging anonymously.

Posted by Ryan at 10:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 23, 2006

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Over the weekend, my girlfriend's dad went and got himself into a car accident, which led to a series of unfortunate events, as Lemony Snicket would write.

Since her dad broke roughly every bone in his body, except for maybe his coccyx (which isn't used much any more anyways--thank you very much evolution), one of the most immediate unfortunate events was that we had to take care of his dog, a German Schnauzer named Sam.

Did I mention my girlfriend and I have two cats? My girlfriend and I have two cats, named Kit and Kat. What follows is my take on what was going on in the minds of the three animals upon encountering each other for the first time.

SAM: Oh boy oh boy oh boy! A new house! New people! New smells! I'm so excited, excited, excited! I must smell everything! I need doggie Ritalin! I can't concentrate on anything!

KIT: Ho hum. The litter box needs cleaning. . . AGAIN. That owner of mine is so not on top of things. Oh well, I may as well go upstairs to be admired.

(Sam meets Kit as he rounds the corner coming up from the basement in a sort of matter meets anti-matter reaction)

KIT: HOLY HELL! What the heck is that! I'm hissing uncontrollably here! I've never hissed before in my life, but I'm apparently really good at it! I am so not happy about whatever that thing is that's about my size but is clearly not me!

SAM: Oh boy, oh boy oh boy! A FRIEND! Wait a minute, I'm getting the distinct feeling my new friend doesn't like me! Maybe if I get closer!

KIT: Attack! Attack! Attack! ARGH! My front claws have been removed! I keep forgetting! Oh well, I can still dish out a fierce muzzle pummeling. Take that! And that! And that!

SAM: Oh boy, oh boy oh boy! He's high-fiving my nose! I just know we're going to be the bestest of friends!

KAT: *yawn* Hey, what's all the commotion? I was just napping on the bed when I heard. . . HOLY HELL! What the heck is that! I'm hissing uncontrollably here! I've never hissed before in my life, but I'm apparently really good at it! I am so not happy about whatever that thing is that's about my size but is clearly not me!

SAM: Oh boy, oh boy oh boy! ANOTHER NEW FRIEND! I'm so excited, I'm going to let out a little yip!


KIT and KAT: HOLY HELL! It spoke! It must die! Attack! Attack! Attack! Curses! Our lack of claws clearly is hindering our ability to vanquish this new, unexpected foe! We must regroup! To the basement! We'll plot our next move from there! Either that, or we'll hide there until the infernal beast departs!

SAM: Oh boy, oh boy oh boy! Where did my new friends go? What's that smell? I'm going to lick myself! Oh boy, oh boy oh boy!

And the good news? Despite a week of respite, my girlfriend and I will probably have to watch Sam again in the fairly near future.

I'm sure the cats can't wait.

UPDATE: I thought I'd mention that the following women are hot: Namrata Singh Gujral. Cerina Vincent. Lauren Lee Smith. Tawny Cypress. Jayma Mays. Rose Byrne. Natalia Tena. Carice van Houten. Sonya Walger. Michelle Ryan. Alice Braga. Kristen Stewart. Katie Leung. Vera Jordanova. Mia Maestro. Ninel Conde.

Posted by Ryan at 08:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Who's going to hell?

Everyone who submitted an entry to this Fark Photoshop contest.

And of course me for laughing at them.

Posted by Ryan at 04:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

My First Ever "Not Safe For Work Post"

Based off an e-mail I received from my sister-in-law, I thought I'd post my first ever not safe for work entry. Be advised: the extended entry features exposed female breasts, and is photographic evidence as to why the Chinese routinely outperform Americans when it comes to math.



Posted by Ryan at 03:34 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

This Just In: Nick Coleman Still Sucks

Media bias against guns is a given. And media ignorance about guns is even more of a given. Ask your run-of-the-mill journalist to explain what an "assault" weapon is, and you'll likely be give the wrong answer. Which of course means that the media-consuming public is generally woefully misinformed, and often outright misled, about guns. I certainly don't claim to be an expert about guns, but I've fired a variety, and I'm for the right to own and bear arms, although I start to get squeamish when it comes to "Street Sweepers" and guns that tout "finger-print proof" handles, but that's just me. But, I own my own guns, for my own personal reasons, so there you have it. I'm betting, however, that people like, say. . . Nick Coleman, haven't owned a gun in their life, and would probably wet their pants and shit themselves if they found one pointed in their direction, or even if they wandered into a gun show, or probably if they even imagined holding a gun.

State's Exhibit No. 1 in the murder trial of Harry Jerome Evans is a 15-ounce piece of cold steel whose history is a mystery.

Perhaps Nick would be more comfortable if the gun was warmed up a bit? Simmer it over a stove perhaps? One wonders if Nick took the gun's temperature before he determined it was cold. Just a guess here, but I'm betting it was probably at room temperature.

All we know for sure about State's Exhibit No. 1 is that it is an old, beat-up Smith & Wesson Model 37, a .38-caliber five-shot revolver that was emptied in an alley on the East Side of St. Paul at about 2 a.m. on May 6, ending the life of St. Paul Police Sgt. Jerry Vick. Once upon a time, it was called a Chief's Special. But it became an officer's nightmare.


Two weeks into the trial of Evans, the most important questions about State's Exhibit No. 1 remain unanswered:

Who was carrying it that night? Who pulled the trigger? Who threw it onto a sidewalk between two homes on Reaney Avenue, leaving it in plain sight next to a drain pipe, where it was found after sunup when police combed the area near Erick's Bar for evidence and practically tripped over the murder weapon.

Nick Coleman. . . Attorney-at-law!

The trial may provide the answers. Or maybe not.

The U.S. justice system. . . MEH.

"Potent, highly concealable, top of the line." Those are some of the qualities attributed to the Model 37 in an online sale, where you can pick up one for under $300. Another feature: You can hide it in your pants easily, especially if you are going out for a night on the town and are afraid you will bump into an undercover officer or two while you are relieving yourself.

Because you'd be more enticed by an online gun sale that touts the gun as "Unwieldly, weak as a newborn fawn, about 125th on the list of guns we'd recommend. Your's for only $7,000." You know what else you can hide in your pants easily? A knife. An asp. A condom. A wallet. A sling shot, according to Bart Simpson. Newsflash: Hand guns are concealable! Film at 11.

I should note here that I think the death of Sgt. Vick is deplorable, but Coleman's attempt to position Vick's death as an anti-gun diatribe is pathetic, as is most of Nick's writing in general.

On Friday, the jury heard more testimony from Evans' friend, Antonio Kelly, who was arrested with Evans after Vick's killing but who has become the star witness against his erstwhile pal. Kelly testified that he and "Mo" went to a karaoke club and -- answering a question that was the subject of speculation in the courthouse -- performed a song by country star Tim McGraw and rapper Nelly. Sadly, Kelly (his nickname is "Oil") could not remember the name of the tune. But maybe it was "Over and Over," which has this chorus:

"I think about it over and over again;

I replay it over and over again

And I can't take it, I can't shake it."

For those not familiar with Nick's writing "style," this is his was of straying away from anything resembling a point. He thinks he's being creative and smart and, sadly, there are apparently readers who actually think he's creative and smart. People also believe the Holocaust never happened, and that man never walked on the moon. Oh, and the earth is flat.

Maybe it's about someone dying in an alley. I've never heard it. But I know the feeling.

Nick knows what it feels like to die in an alley? What is he? Catwoman?

One mystery: Patrons at the karaoke club were "wanded" -- electronically checked for weapons. Where was the battered Smith & Wesson Model 37? No one has said yet.

Quick poll: who here has been wanded? I have. Several times, in fact. Practically every visit to an airport earns me a wanding. And I'm here to tell you that, even at airports, a wanding can be a half-hearted exercise on the part of the wander. I can imagine that a wanding at a Karaoke bar is even less so. If someone really wanted to hide a .38 from the all-seeing wand, particularly if they may, perhaps, know the person doing the wanding, I imagine it's pretty easy to do so. But Nick Coleman, attorney-at-law, doesn't seem to understand any of that.

Oil said Friday that he did not see a gun on Mo that night. Or so he said before apparently contradicting himself later, when he testified that Evans raised his shirt to flash the butt of the gun at the undercover officers who got into an argument with Mo and Oil outside Erick's Bar.

Anyone here guess Nick's point yet? Anyone at all? Is he making a case for the defendant? Against guns? Against Karaoke?

As long as Nick is playing the role of Columbo here, here's my two cents. Isn't it possible "Oil" didn't see a gun on Mo that night until he raised his shirt and flashed it? Nevermind. Nick seems determined to make a case to his readership (which, sad to say, he actually does have) and play the role of attorney to the accused, which is always such a good idea for journalists.

Did Vick or his partner that night, Sgt. Joe Strong, see the gun?

Oil didn't know for sure, but he said one of the officers, the big one (which would be Vick), seemed to back down and said, "That's cool, that's cool. You ain't gonna go there."

Minutes later, Vick was dead, his service pistol, still in its holster, on the pavement. The empty murder weapon -- spent cartridges tossed in the grass -- lay on a sidewalk between two houses nearby, waiting for sunup. Its work was done.

The gun was waiting for sunup. It even set the alarm clock. Bad writing. . . such. . . bad. . . writing.

Because its serial number has been illegally altered, it is impossible to tell much more about State's Exhibit No. 1.

Quick question here, but can a gun's serial number be LEGALLY altered?

Other than it is old, so old that someone covered the gun's worn handle in black tape to give a better grip.

I've never actually heard of black tape being used for a better grip, although I'm admittedly not a scholar of guns. However, I'm wondering if the black tape had more to do with preventing fingerprints than providing a better grip.

And that it was entered into evidence at the start of the trial after Ramsey County District Judge Kathleen Gearin first made sure that it was empty and locked, a steel cable running down the 17/8-inch barrel, preventing the cylinder from being closed.

Yeah, because most courts like to have a freshly-loaded gun with the safety off entered as evidence.

"It's secure," the judge reassured the jury, awkwardly displaying Exhibit No. 1 from the bench.

On what basis does Nick decide the judge was "awkwardly displaying" the gun? Was the judge wearing clown shoes? Stick their pinkie finger down the barrel? What made it awkward.

Secure, but still "serviceable," as a firearms expert described it. Somehow, "serviceable" does not seem like the right word for a gun that was used in the dark of night to kill a cop.

If Nick were a firearms expert, I imagine he'd deem the weapon "cop-killerable," or "officer-smiting-worthy" or "dark-of-night-police-shootable."

Just a cold hunk of stupid steel, worthless and useless, until it cut short a life.

It's still cold! Take that fucker out of the freezer already! And it's worthless. . . except that you can buy it for under $300. And it's useless. . . except for when it's used. Nick, a lighter is useless until the moment it's used to light something. And, where's your freakin' point again? Somewhere near Oregon?

A neat little gun, a nifty little gun. Guns don't kill police officers. People kill police officers.

With guns.

Oh, that's right: it's an anti-GUN column. I nearly forgot.

"The 37 Chief's Special is a 'must have' where deep concealment is an absolute," it says on the Internet site. Yes, yes, a handy thing to have.

Especially when you go out for karaoke.

I don't know. . . I've been to more than a few karaoke bars where I'd liked to have had a pistol handy.

Posted by Ryan at 12:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

Oh, the places I've been


Where have you been?


Posted by Ryan at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


So, awhile back, someone asked me to take a post down from way back in 2003. I don't typically agree to delete posts, but in this particular case, I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. So, I deleted the post.

I just now received an e-mail from the same person, who had found the post again, despite the fact I deleted it many months ago. My question is, is this a Google cache thing, or did I miss a step in the deletion process. The post does not appear in any of my archives, so it definitely appears deleted on my end, yet here it is.

Believe it or not, it wasn't Mel who asked me to delete the post, either. Anyone know why it's still showing up? I'd like to delete it entirely, if possible.

At any rate, here's a list of hot women: Let's travel back in time, say, 30,000 years or so. I pick this historical time frame because it's from this era, presumably, that we have evidence of the very first shaving razors. For whatever reason, mankind decided that, during this epoch in its evolutionary development, it was high time to divest itself of the annoying beards that had plagued faces for so long.

According to the archeological evidence, the earliest shaving razors so far discovered were made of flint. Flint, of course, was also the rock of choice for making spear and arrow heads. So, it stands to reason that, at some point in our ancestral past, a man picked up a spear or arrow head and decided, for whatever reason, to attack his face with it.

Because I don't like to think that the current multi-million dollar shaving industry was borne from the psychotic actions of some masochistic Neanderthal over 30,000 years ago, I've developed the following alternative theory of how shaving came to be.

THE SCENE: 32,985 B.C. A large camp fire is the centerpiece for a group of about 20 hominids. There is much activity, as the women are skinning a recently-slain mastodon, while the men are hunkered down, fashioning new weapons for the next hunt.

KAROG: Ugh, me eat too much of the great beast me killed. Need nap.

BA-BAR: Beast you killed? You mean beast ME killed!

KAROG: No, Ba-Bar, Maker-Of-Pointy-Stones, I mean beast ME killed!

BA-BAR: Without pointy stones, great beast would have mashed mighty Karog!

KAROG: You dare insult Karog?! You die now!

(a frantic fight ensues, during which Ba-Bar narrowly misses slicing Karog's face, and instead hacks off the entire right side of Karog's beard. All the women suddenly perk up and admire Karog's new look)

LORETTAG: Ooh, me like Karog's face now. Reminds Lorettag of when Karog was young man. Lorettag has new interest in making babies with Karog.

LISAG: Me first!

KAROG: Quick, Ba-Bar, cut hair from other side of face! I give you 25 snail shells if you do good job!

And so Ba-Bar became mankind's very first "barber," and the world hasn't been the same hairy way since.

I myself am particularly in Bar-Bar's debt because, in addition to shaving my face, I also—thanks to a genetic propensity towards premature hair loss—have been shaving my head now for about a decade. What struck me last week, as I wandered the aisles of a local pharmacy, was just how far mankind has advanced from the flint razors of old. I mean, today, shaving is, if the advertising is to be believed, about as exciting and action-packed as a sporting event.

I stood there, confronted by a collection of razors so advanced, I wasn't sure if I was even qualified to use them. There's the Gillette M3 Power Razor, which comes packaged with a battery. Now, maybe I've just been stuck in my Mach 3 rut now for too long, but as awesome as the Mach 3 is when it comes to shaving my head, I've nicked myself enough times to know that I probably don't need electricity coursing through a razor during the shaving process. I think the triple blade is plenty dangerous without a Duracell assist.

And speaking of the triple blade, I noticed that Schick has come out with a four blade razor called the "Quatro," because apparently shaving is all the more hip when it's conducted in Spanish. At any rate, I'd like to think that the oneupsmanship when it comes to adding more blades to a razor is going to end sooner rather than later, maybe around the release of the "Ocho." Because, really, I don't think additional blades actually have that much of an impact, beyond upping your chances of cutting yourself. Actually, I think it's high time we went back to the world of flint razors.

After all, if they were good enough for Ba-Bar, they should be good enough for us.

Now, for no particular reason, here's a list of nonsensical words that make me giggle:

Frugal. Mukluks. Blubber. Gabardine. Eskimo. Whale. Bulbous. Galoshes.
Frugal. Mukluks. Blubber. Gabardine. Eskimo. Whale. Bulbous. Galoshes.
Frugal. Mukluks. Blubber. Gabardine. Eskimo. Whale. Bulbous. Galoshes.

Posted by Ryan at 02:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Garbled Lyrics

Holy hell, this is a freakin' scream!

Posted by Ryan at 10:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

I Hear Dead People. . .

I swear to God and sunny Jesus that, even if I live to be 127 years old, audio and video tapes will still be released by Osama bin Laden. The man is the Elvis of the Middle East.

UPDATE: Okay, upon further review, he's more like the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Middle East.


Posted by Ryan at 02:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 18, 2006

Customer Service

Without going into detail about who my high speed Internet provider is (*cough* rhymes with Barter! *cough*), I thought I'd share my recent experience calling into Barter technical support when my high speed Internet access became neither "high speed," "Internet," or "Access." Keep in mind, this is an approximation of my experience, so some of the dialogue may not be entirely correct, thanks to my own sieve-like memory.

computer female Voice (CFV): Before I direct your call, I'd like to ask you a few questions. Is your computer currently turned on?

Me: Yes.

CFV: That's good. You should turn it off before proceeding. When you've turned off your computer, say "Continue."

Me: Continue.

CFV: Okay, next we need to locate your modem, which should be near your computer. Do you see your modem?

Me: Yes.

CFV: That's good. Now, I need to know what kind of modem you're using. Look at the front of your modem and see what brand you have.

Me: SurfBoard.

CFV: You have a SurfBoard modem. Is that correct?

Me: YES!

CFV: That's good. If at any time during this call, you don't understand something, just say "there's a problem." Now, look at the front of your modem, there should be four solid green lights. Do you see four solid green lights?

(I should note here that this was the very nature of my call. The modem lights clearly indicated that there was no connection being established.)

Me: NO!

CFV: That's good. We need to restart your modem. Unplug the black power cord from the back of the modem, and then plug it back in. Then say "Continue."

Me: I've already done that about 20 times!

CFV: I'm sorry, I didn't understand you. We need to restart your modem. Unplug the black power cord from the back of the modem, and then plug it back in. Then say "Continue."


CFV: Good. Wait a few moments for the lights to go solid green, then say "Continue."

(The lights continue to blink ineffectually for about three minutes).


CFV: It may take a few minutes for the connection to re-establish itself. Wait a few moments for the lights to go solid green, then say "Continue."

Me: . . .


CFV: Good. Are all the lights solid green?

Me: NO!

CFV: We need to restart your modem. Unplug the black power cord from the back of the modem, and then plug it back in. Then say "Continue."


CFV: We need to restart your. . .


CFV: . . . Unplug the black power cord from the back of the modem, and then plug it back in. Then say "Continue."


CFV: Are you connected through a router?

Me: . . .


CFV: You have very pretty eyes.


CFV: And you have a good build. Have you been working out?


CFV: Seriously, if I weren't a computer, I'd pounce on you like Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch.


CFV: I'm sorry, but I can't figure out where your trouble is occurring. I'll now direct you to a customer service representative (CSR).

CSR: Hello, my name is Steve, how may I help you?

Me: Hi, Steve. My name is Ryan. My Internet's been down since this morning, and the modem lights indicate there's no signal coming through.

CSR: I'm sorry to hear that, sir. We'll try to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

Me: That's good to hear.

CSR: First, we need to restart your modem. Unplug the black power cord from the back of the modem, and. . .


Posted by Ryan at 12:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Quick Question

Why is Jonbenet Ramsey now the poster child for a walk against diabetes?

Yes, I'm going to hell, but we already knew that, didn't we?

Posted by Ryan at 09:18 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 16, 2006

As a former wrestler. . .

I still find this funny.


And having never bungee-jumped, I still find this funny, too.


Both images found on this Fark thread.

Posted by Ryan at 10:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

Ski Talk

Ryan says: Only in America can you make a joke about how hard it is to ski while drunk, and then have to apologize for the remark.

Caroline says: no doubt

Ryan says: Good God.

Caroline says: If you say "slalom" enough times, you start to sound drunk anyway.

Ryan says: Or you start considering becoming Jewish.

Posted by Ryan at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

When The Media Makes Excuses. . .

They try to be so cute and creative about it.

Hey, let me try!

Playwright's note: This a work of fiction.
(The scene: a bedroom in an American starter home, circa 2006. The pale light suggests a January morning. There is no movement; the bed is disheveled and heaped with blankets. On the bedside table, a telephone rings 10 times, then stops. It begins to ring again, and a hand emerges from the pile of blankets to pick it up, knocking over an empty bottle of Karkov Vodka in the process.)


VOICE ON PHONE: Coleman! That you?

(The bedding erupts as a startled moron recognizes the voice of his boss and bolts upright. He is NICK COLEMAN, an earnest old codger who has slept in his glasses and Depends.)

COLEMAN: Yes, yes, this is Coleman. Is that you, Chief?

CHIEF: Don't call me Chief! Listen, Coleman, and listen good, because you're in the soup and my hand's on the gas.

COLEMAN: Did I do something wrong? Again?

CHIEF: Wrong? Something? Did you? I swear to heaven, if you weren't in the union I'd be playing kick the can with your head right now! Turn on the news!

COLEMAN: I don't have a TV yet. I have a HAM radio. And some soup cans attached by a string.

CHIEF: Figures. Look, you sniveling forgery, I put my trust in you. I left you in charge last night. You wanna know when I'll do that again? Sometime after I retire and die!

COLEMAN: I did something wrong. I can sense it. I know stuff. I'm nobody's monkey.

CHIEF: Well, that's good, because you sure didn't see it on the wires, you dumb monkey. Evidently you don't look at the wires.

COLEMAN: Of course I do! What's this about?

CHIEF: There was a major development last night. In a front-page story. You missed it.

COLEMAN: Oh, no. Was there a fight outside the hockey game? Did something happen to the poor?

CHIEF: Bigger than that.

COLEMAN: Don't tell me something happened with the miners. Or the poor.

(Playwright's reminder: Remember, this is fiction.)

CHIEF: Hello? Yes, the miners!

COLEMAN: Those poor men. ... And the poor poor.

CHIEF: Hey, look at that, it's not even 9 a.m. and you're wrong already. No, bean brain! They're alive!

COLEMAN: What? That's wonderful! But what about the poor?

CHIEF: Wonderful for them, not so wonderful for you. Did you or did you not see a bulletin at 11 p.m.? Two! Hours! Before! Your! Shift! Ended! More important, why did you leave after your shift ended when you knew full well this was still a developing story, you meathad?

COLEMAN: Oh, well. Yes, I saw that. The details were sketchy. No confirmation from the mining company.

CHIEF: No confirmation? They had it from the families!

COLEMAN: Unreliable. I prefer to talk to random people on the street for confirmation.

CHIEF: And a member of Congress!

COLEMAN: Could have been K Street talking. You can't trust those fat cats. But, the random phone call or e-mail in praise of me? That's unimpeachable, because I don't get 'em very often.

CHIEF: And the governor! The governor announced it!

COLEMAN: Pawlenty's a stooge. A fat cat stooge. I don't believe anything any government official says, except for my brother. Besides, I just thought it was strange that we weren't hearing anything from the mining company.

CHIEF: It never occurred to you that the mine bosses might have been thinking about something else -- like how to keep from losing their shirts to lawsuits by 12 angry men?

COLEMAN: I was mainly thinking that it would be irresponsible of me to get anybody's hopes up. So, I decided to go home, drown my guilty sorrows in screwdrivers, possibly masturbate to the the J.C. Penny catalogue undewear section, and then pass out.

CHIEF: Ah. I see. So much better to be the one paper in three time zones to miss the good-news story of the century. And I love the photos of laughing survivors holding up our headline, MINERS STILL MISSING. Priceless.

COLEMAN: The one paper? You mean everybody else gambled that the families and the governor were correct? Those monkeys.

CHIEF: Yep. I suppose we should be grateful you weren't on the desk when Apollo 13 splashed down or the Shackleton Expedition got home.

COLEMAN: OK, OK. I'll try to do better, if you give me a chance. But ... do I still have a job?

CHIEF: Are you kidding? We couldn't fire you if you were caught doinking a 12 year old boy on the copy desk. If we haven't fired you by now, chances are you'll have a job here until the Rapture.


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

January 10, 2006

A victimless Crime

Ryan says: In a letter to the editor, it reads:

Ryan says: "I am very upset with the article about the suicide victim (in Monday's edition). There are young children in the family and they don't need your help with the shock and pain of this tragedy. You have done this family an extreme injustice. I am very disappointed. I have heard this from others, also."

Ryan says: How can one be a suicide victim?

Caroline says: Multiple personalities?

Ryan says: LOL!

Caroline says: Suicide victim eulogy: "Lance was a great guy who would do anything for anyone. He had wonderful personalities, except that one ... that one that made him take all those pills."

Posted by Ryan at 11:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Go read Joshua. He went on a tear. An entirely amusing tear. Of course, I don't agree with him on some of his linky points, but a good laugh is still a good laugh.

I wish I could give myself a blow job.

Posted by Ryan at 10:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Anyone? Bueller?

Is the following partial logo familiar to anyone, particularly Minnesota readers? It strikes me as familiar. Not like this logo, mind you, but familiar. It's driving me buggy. If you recognize it, let me know.


Posted by Ryan at 09:43 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

A Productive Day

Today, I sat for seven straight hours listening to people talk about IBM stuff. It was mind-numbingly dull, so I started doodling and writing random stuff. This is just a sampling of how I spent my day (Click images for larger versions).



Posted by Ryan at 04:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

Harmonizing With Dean and Sam

This just cracks me up.

Posted by Ryan at 04:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Media To Blogs: Stop Saying What You Think!

From the Star-Tribune:

So we finally know who Minnesota Democrats Exposed is. And who cares? I don't.

In fact, he doesn't care so much, he's about to dedicate an editorial to it. Also, the word "finally" seems to indicate he's been following the story now with at least SOME interest. But, nah, he doesn't care.

Michael Brodkorb's website is described as a blog. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. A blog offers analysis and opinion -- be it snarky or thoughtful; Brodkorb's is a clearinghouse for anything remotely negative about the DFL -- articles from newspapers or press releases from campaigns or the Minnesota Republican Party.

So, there you have it. A blog is only a blog if it offers analysis and opinion. So, by that definition, Rambling Rhodes is barely a blog, because I post photoshopped pictures of my ass and write expansive expose about my experiences and thoughts of going to the bathroom. Because of that, this is not a blog, so I apologize for positioning it as such for all these years.

Wait a minute, no I don't apologize. A blog is whatever the author wants it to be. If you want to blog about cats, you have a cat blog. If you want to blog about hot women, you have a hot women blog. If you want to blog about your political party in a shamelessly partisan fashion, you have a shamelessly partisan political blog. It's your right as an extension of free speech and, I would argue, free press.

That would make sense -- the state GOP is Brodkorb's former employer, and, whether he is on the payroll or not, it is obvious from a cursory look at his site that he's still carrying water for the party.

So what? If his political ideologies are still aligned with the GOP, it's his right as an American citizen to opine to the skies about what he thinks of the GOP and what he doesn't think of the the DFL. A person can certainly be ridiculed for those opinions, but he still has a right to those opinions and to blog about them as he or she sees fit.

I don't know enough about libel law to offer an educated opinion on New School Communications' libel suit against Brodkorb (a friend who does know says it's a pretty weak case). But I do know this -- Brodkorb is no John Peter Zenger. Just look at the name of his website. He's no First Amendment martyr.

If an anonymous blogger is outed due to a frivolous and weak lawsuit that isn't intended to actually win, but to simply out an anonymous blogger, you better believe there's a First Amendment threat going on. If Brodkorb didn't have the right to blog anonymously, then journalists have absolutely no right to cite anonymous sources in their articles, or to pen anonymous editorials and commentary.

He has an agenda. So do the operators of Minnesota Republican Watch, Kennedy vs. the machine, Dump Bachmann, etc. And that's their right. It's just one of the ways that the blogosphere is changing -- for better or for worse -- the political landscape. And while some of these sites are interesting and worth a bookmark, remember their purpose as you read their posts.

Yeah, because the casual visitor to ExposingMinnesotaDemocrats.com would have no idea there may be a political bias going on there. They'd be SHOCKED to learn that DumpBachmann has an anti-Bachmann leaning. Be warned, oh ye Web surfer, thar be opinions out here! Arrrrrrrrr!

It's too bad. Blogs should strive to be something more.

Really? We should? These venues for Joe Everybody should strive to be something other than our own unfettered opinion and thoughts about stuff that interests or amuses us? If so, I'm not sure I want to blog any more. Which, of course, most in the mainstream media would love to hear collectively from bloggers.

The mainstream media get rapped on the knuckles a lot, and rightly so.

Yeah, and so do bloggers, whether via e-mail, or those maddening free speech comment engines or, in the case of Minnesota Democrats Exposed, frivolous, weak lawsuits setting a horrible precedent. So, boo-hoo if the mainstream media gets rapped on the knuckles from time to time. Bloggers are hardly immune from the same. We just tend to respond to it better.

By the way, I've had more lively, thoughtful debate in my comment section over the years than anything I've ever seen in any newspaper.

This new forum for investigative journalism and political discourse should be utilized for those purposes, rather than partisan hatchet jobs.

Again, blogs can be utilized for whatever the fuck their authors want, dumbass.

Go ahead and read the rest of the piece, which is amusing in its irony. After complaining about how blogs should be used for less partisan-sniping commentary, the author cites several examples of stories that were kept alive and kicking in the mainstream media thanks to interest and drive in the blogosphere, providing the mainstream media with all sorts of news to cover over recent weeks. You'd think a "thank you" would be forthcoming, but nope.

Posted by Ryan at 01:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 05, 2006

Expunging A Guilty Conscience

I have a confession to make, and it's a confession about something that has eaten slowly at the guilty section of my brain for over two decades. It's a confession so dark and insidious, so scandalous, I've never, ever told another living soul.

For those of you with strong moral fibers, you may not want to continue reading, because the confession I'm about to reveal could very well shock you into a catatonic state.

Despite the ramifications of this vile confession, I know that I can never fully be at ease unless I come clean, so here goes. . .

*deep breath*

I used to lie during "Show and Tell."

I'm not talking about little white lies, mind you, I'm talking about big, gargantuan whoppers, the kind of sustained, full throttled lying that would have grown Pinnochio's nose long enough to double as a trans-Atlantic cable, or as a stripper pole to the moon.

The problem with "Show and Tell" in first grade was that the teacher didn't require the students to actually bring anything in to tell about. Oh, sure, if you could swing it and bring in your favorite toy tractor to jaw about, you could certainly do that. But for those students who either forgot or were just too plain lazy to bring in an object, we had the option of telling interesting stories that happened to us.

The thing is, I was in first grade: nothing interesting had happened to me yet, and I didn't remember being born, so that was out. So, when my name was called, and I stood there in the front of the room, facing my classmates, I just kind of opened my mouth and started making shit up like you wouldn't believe.

And oh my Lord could I spin a yarn! I would make up stories about cousins I didn't even have and how we all had these cool guns we made that could shoot walnuts as ammo, and how I knocked my one cousin out of a tree with an awesome shot from across town. I could go on and on about how I modified my wagon to be a miniature tank, and how I rolled it down a hill and hit a car, but my wagon didn't get damaged, but the car was totalled.

And the thing I discovered was that the more amazingly impossible my stories were, particularly those stories that involved the slapstick injuries of my fictitious cousins, the more the rest of the class laughed and hung on my every word.

I could tell by the wry look on the teacher's face that she knew I was full of it, but she never stepped in to stop me, so I just ploughed ahead during every show and tell, going into ever more fanciful detail about stuff I never did, and the class drank in my lying narratives like Ted Kennedy at an open bar.

Yes sir, by the time I wrapped up my tale about how I used a telescope lens to focus sunlight to cut down a tree, little Andy telling about his pathetic jar of grasshoppers was about as uninteresting as, well, a jar of grasshoppers.

So, there you have it. I lied during "Show and Tell." I told long, fake, entirely fantastic stories simply because my classmates positively loved them. I fashioned complete fabrications because they played so well with my captive audience.

I could tell early on, in other words, that I was destined for journalism.

Posted by Ryan at 03:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 04, 2006

Spreading The Wealth

As long as you're here, go visit Joshua. He needs a friend.

Posted by Ryan at 12:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Who'da thunk it?

I never imagined that the hastily scrawled Waaaahhhmbulance post would be linked to by so many blogs and drive this much traffic. It wasn't even in the top 20 of my fisks, in my opinion. Any one of my Nick Coleman dissections trump that post easily.

Oh well, traffic's traffic.

The InterWeb is weird.

Posted by Ryan at 11:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Feeling Young Again

Yesterday, I think it was MSNBC.com where I read that Jack Abramoff was 36 years old. It was a misprint, but it gnawed at my mind for most of the day. I mean, seriously, there I was, thinking "I'm 30 years old, and I haven't dabbled in nearly enough corruption and fraud. I'm such a failure!"

But, today I learned that Abramoff is, in fact, 46 years old, which gives me about 16 years to get my shit together and really work at corrupting myself and others. I can do it. I know I can.

Posted by Ryan at 10:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 03, 2006

Holy Hell!

I just learned what it's like to get linked by Wonkette.

The site meter, she goes crazy!

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 04:25 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
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