January 31, 2007


The weather forecast for Rochester, Minn., for Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007?

High: 0

Low: -12

That's Fahrenheit, people.

Lots of winter left to endure.

Posted by Ryan at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 30, 2007

Say What Now?

Okay, I don't really care if Al "My Voice Is Freakishly Annoying" Franken makes a run for a Minnesota U.S. Senate seat or not. It's not high on my "give a shit" meter. And, honestly, I don't really care if he let fly with a non-funny joke about a dead gay man back in the 70s.

What I DO care about is this moron's excuse for Franken's ancient and unfunny joke.

Not a pleasant tale, and one that Franken should respond to very carefully. He was who he was, and it's hardly surprising that a former prep wrestler and comedy writer of that era would say such things.

Screeeeeeeeeeech! Excuse me?! Please, do go on. . .

Amateur wrestlers, because of the enormously homoerotic nature of their sport, tend, in this country, to be incredible homophobes.

*blank stare* *shakes head, looks around* Did anybody else just read that? Homoerotic nature of the sport of wrestling? Is this guy for real? Let's see if he'll be so kind as to dig himself further into this prejudicial hole of his.

If there is one thing they refuse to associate wrestling with, it's gay sex.

Oh, not me! I danced and sashayed my way out on the mat for every match I ever wrestled. I'd give my opponents the once over, snap twice, and say "Helloooooooo, nurse!" Aside from getting taunted by BASKETBALL players that wrestling was just two guys rolling around with each other, the concept of gay sex didn't even remotely factor into my wrestling experience. It's not that we "refused" to associate wrestling with gay sex; it's that equating gay sex with wrestling just didn't compute.

Now, if you can watch that and think "gay sex," there's a very high probability you may, in fact, be gay yourself. Note: yes, some of the music is sort of gay. And I'll even allow that some of the celebrations at the end were. . . questionable.

[Note: I should have made it clear that I was speaking to MY experience with wrestling which covered the Dan Gable era from start to finish.

Uh, so what? The Dan Gable era? DAN GABLE! Possibly the greatest wrestler of the modern era? That was wrestling's gay era? Hey, buddy, that was the era of Disco! That whole decade was gay. Compared to disco outfits, wrestling singlets were practically trenchcoats.

I've since had some folks tell me that their experience was different.

Really?! Their wrestling experience wasn't choked with gay innuendo? Do tell! You mean wrestling hasn't been a hotbed of homophobia for the vast majority of wrestlers past, present and future?

And I certainly have no clue what prep wrestling has been like since Gable,

No, you have no clue. . . PERIOD. You're a clueless, quivering puddle of monkey spunk.

but Franken's wrestling career was decidedly during the early Gable era.]

Man, when this guy makes an excuse for someone else, he sure sinks himself deep in the muck and mire of his own rampaging prejudices.

Posted by Ryan at 04:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 29, 2007

Bush Warns Iran Against Action in Iraq

President admonishes "It's not as easy as you might think."

Washington D.C. (Rhodes Media Services)--President Bush today warned Iranian officials against taking any action in Iraq, and urged Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad to "really think this one through."

"I have some experience with this," said Bush during a hastily organized press briefing. "I'm here to tell you, this whole Iraq thing is way more complicated than Iran may be prepared for. Iran, listen to me, please: it's not as easy as you might think."

Bush read from a list of items he didn't think Iran was prepared for in the event the neighboring country decided to take action in Iraq. For example, he doubted whether Amadinejad was really ready for a protracted engagement in a country experiencing daily violence, adding "because, honestly, that's damned tricky."

"Oh, and also, don't expect your approval ratings to stay on the top peg, either," noted Bush, almost as an afterthought. "I mean, I can handle it, myself; but you, Mahmoud, you kind of strike me as the meglomaniacal type who may be prone to mass killings of your own people if your approval dips around the 30 percent mark. Do you really want that? No, I didn't think so. Let us take care of Iraq; you have your hands full dithering with Syria and Lebanon. That's a pretty full plate."

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

Thunderjournaling as Rome Burns

Just a machine-%c2%bb-archives-%c2%bb-on-truth-and-%e2%80%9ctruthiness%e2%80%9d/">shout-out to Mitch here. Mitch, I'd love to be able to mix it up in your blog's comment section. Really, I would. The chance to make fun of Angryclown, PB (jbauer), Fulcrum and the boys/girls would be great. But, since your stupid comment engine no longer recognizes my password, I'm relagated to the position of observer only.

Oh, and Angryclown really needs a carrot rammed up his butt.

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January 26, 2007

The Greatest Game Ever Played

This one will hook you, I guarantee.


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January 25, 2007

Not so Newsy News

It has recently come to the attention of the staff here at Rhodes Media Services (RMS) that we've been most remiss lately when it comes to bringing you, the 10 valued readers of Rambling Rhodes, the news and events deemed unworthy by the bigger, more influential cogs in the media machine.

You see, the bigger media cogs, such as NBC, CBS, The Travel Channel and Bravo are more interested in news and events they think are of the utmost urgency. They tend to gravitate towards stories about something or other going on in Iraq, or how global warming is going to swallow the world sometime next week, or whether Britney Spears is pregnant with Lindsay Lohan's child. These are the types of news items big media cogs obsess over, and that's their right, I suppose. Still, as a journalist by education and profession, I intuitively understand the big media cogs miss a lot of other, equally important news stories that simply must be reported.

Take, for example, a Jan. 24 Reuters news item out of Amsterdam, where a genius of an individual put his mighty brain power to good use to create a beer for dogs.

After a long day hunting, there's nothing like wrapping your paw around a cold bottle of beer. So Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt.

As a point of clarification, "Weimaraner," loosely translated, means "Beer Dog." Okay, that may or may not be true. The point is, it SHOULD be true, because everyone would like to own a Beer Dog.

Berenden consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the nonalcoholic beer, branded as Kwispelbier. It was introduced to the market last week and advertised it as "a beer for your best friend." "Kwispel" is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.

In other news, the Dutch have a word for wagging a tail. For some reason, I find that intriguing. I’m trying to imagine a Dutch conversation wherein the word "kwispel" is invoked.

Dutch Person #1: Now there's a happy dog!

Dutch Person #2: How do you know it's a happy dog?

Dutch Person #1: Well, just look at it kwispel. It's kwispelling like crazy! That's not an angry kwispel; that's a darned happy kwispel!

But, this isn’t all about fun and kwispels. As with most entrepreneurial endeavors, there's money to be made:

The beer is fit for human consumption, Berenden said. But at euro1.65 ($2.14) a bottle, it's about four times more expensive than a Heineken."

We turn our attention now away from dog brew to potty news. Last week, I was thinking to myself about the disappointing lack of potty-related news crossing the wires. As if in answer to my silent thoughts, I came across the headline: "Woman Takes Potty Break, Falls in Lake," and I was immediately drawn in to learn more, even though the headline pretty much spelled it out for me.

According to a Jan. 23, Reuters report out of Sandusky, Ohio, a woman going to the bathroom outside lost her balance and fell into Lake Erie, said police, who had to pull her out of the frigid water. Officer Kevin Youskievicz and the woman's friend helped pull her out early Monday and wrapped a blanket around her until an ambulance arrived.

Now, this is the type of hard-hitting, investigative news reporting we need to see more of in today's 24/7 news cycle. News like this can tip an election or win a war. When you read a lead paragraph like that, you just KNOW the rest of the story will be an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Or, maybe not:

She was treated at a hospital and released. The woman's friend told police the woman needed to go to the bathroom and lost her balance near the water. The name of the 25-year-old woman was not released.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to think there's more to the story. More questions need to be asked. Why, for example, was the woman going to the bathroom outside in the middle of winter? Further, why did she feel compelled to go to the bathroom on the banks of Lake Erie? Why did she lose her balance?

Perhaps she fell due to an unstable kwispel?

Posted by Ryan at 12:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

At Some Point, You Just Gotta Say, WTF

Remember last year, when some CARTOONS got a bunch of Islamic undies in a fundamentalist bunch? Remember how it got to the point where media outlets wouldn't reprint CARTOONS that incited violence, primarily because of concerns they may incite MORE violence? In other words, they didn't want to insult anyone. . . but specifically Muslims of the fundamentalist variety.

Now, there's this: SHANGHAI -- Next month, China will ring in the Year of the Pig. Nestlé SA planned to celebrate with TV ads featuring a smiling cartoon pig. "Happy new pig year," the ads said.

This week, China Central Television, the national state-run TV network, banned Nestlé's ad -- and all images and spoken references to the animal in commercials, including those tied to the Lunar New Year, China's biggest holiday.

The intent: to avoid offending Muslims, who consider pigs unclean. "China is a multiethnic country," the network's ad department said in a notice sent to ad agencies late Tuesday. "To show respect to Islam, and upon guidance from higher levels of the government, CCTV will keep any 'pig' images off the TV screen."

Honestly, in five years, I wouldn't be surprised if we found ourselves required by some sort of international edict to read the Koran so as to better understand Islamic sensibilities, and there'd be long-winded Star-Tribune editorials espousing the wisdom and benefits of such a multi-cultural understanding initiative.

For my part, I'm going to eat a full slab of pork ribs tonight, while watching "Babe."

Posted by Ryan at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2007

Blogging for Uranus, Today


LearnedFoot notes: As it so happens, tomorrow, January 24, is the 21st anniversary of Voyager 2's closest pass of the planet Uranus. . . Therefore, I am declaring tomorrow to be Blog for Uranus day. I think it would be groovy for anyone out there with a blog or ThunderJournal to write a short meditation about the importance of Uranus and what it means to you.

I'm so excited about this, I'm going to post about it a day early.

I remember when I first heard about Uranus. I was only eight years old at the time, but I remember being completely fascinated by Uranus. There was just something about it. The idea that a gaseous entity could exist in such inky blackness was deeply profound, and I immediately needed to learn everything I could about Uranus.

Uranus, it turns out, is a desolate, uninhabitable place. From a safe distance and perpective, Uranus looks harmless enough, almost serene, but make no mistake, no human being could survive long on or even near Uranus. Uranus is also surprisingly large, far larger than you'd expect. Scientists have even discovered Uranus is large enough to sport its own rings, which probably isn't a mark of pride for Uranus.

Scientists have also noted Uranus has a peculiar orientation, perhaps the result of a past collision with something similar to Uranus itself. Because of this peculiar orientation, it was difficult early on to get an unobstructed view of Uranus. In fact, most scientists will be quick to tell you they weren't at all certain what to even expect once they probed Uranus. Not surprisingly, the atmosphere around Uranus was found to be primarily methane, a flammable gas not known to be particularly stable.

Many moons have been seen coming from Uranus. At last count, as many as ten moons had been detected, clearly showing Uranus isn't in the least bit modest. Perhaps as payback for flashing its many moons, one moon may, in fact, have been heavily fractured by a violent impact, which Uranus may have deserved, in retrospect.

As for the rest of the moons of Uranus, it's been surmised methane trapped on the surface may be a contributing factor to the overall darkened appearance of the moons and ring particles, reported to be "almost uniformly gray in color."

In short, it's unlikely Uranus has ever, or will ever, be capable of supporting life in any form, but it's still a harmless entity to observe. . . from a safe distance.

Posted by Ryan at 12:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 22, 2007


It's been awhile since I surfed around eBay. Like, I think the last time I surfed eBay was during the early months of 2001. eBay, surprisingly, has changed somewhat since then. You'd think, since eBay has changed so much, their method for maintaining contact information and passwords would similarly have changed. But, no, apparently eBay hasn't gotten around to that yet.

You see, I figured, since it's been over half a decade since I last surfed eBay, or logged on to eBay, or thought much about eBay, it was likely my old user ID and password had expired. At least that's what I hoped, because I'll be damned if I could even remotely recall my eBay username and password from over five years ago. I've forgotten more Internet site passwords since 1998 than you can possibly imagine.

So, assuming eBay had jettisoned my user information, I tried to create an entirely new eBay profile with user name and password. Unfortunately, there was enough of my old eBay identity left at eBay that I kept getting notified that I already have an eBay account. Of course, the bot behind my old eBay account offerred to send my username and password to my e-mail address, which would have been great, but I don't even remember what e-mail address I used when I set up that eBay account all those years ago, so it's a pretty useless exercise to have the bot send that ebay information to an e-mail address that probably doesn't even exist any more.

So, I haven't been able to get back on eBay. Granted, I didn't try all that hard, but still. I think my next eBay username and password, should I be able to set up a new account, should be something super simple to remember. I'm thinking username = ebay and password = eBay.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by Ryan at 03:23 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 19, 2007

I Had a dream

Woke up at about 3 a.m. in one of those cold, sweaty deliriums you usually equate with Vietnamese prison camps. I had one of those time-warp dreams where I was back in a college classroom, standing before all my fellow students, about to give a presentation. . . about what only God and Lucifer knew for sure.

It was odd. I recognized the classroom, so I knew which class I was in: some 400-level history class that consisted of mammoth writing assignments that never seemed to end, followed by presentations of said writing assignments. I only really remember one presentation I gave during that nightmare class. It was about some museum going up in D.C. that was going to show the Japanese side of the Hiroshima atom bomb dropping. There was controversy surrounding the museum at the time. There still may be. I got my passing grade in that class and never revisited the projects that caused me such unfair stress.

One thing that struck me about the Hiroshima musuem assignment was one of the accounts I read about the pilot and crew of the Enola Gay during and after the bomb dropping. According to this one account I read, after the shockwave hit the plane and the mushroom cloud ascended upwards, the head pilot reportedly tapped some tobacco into his favorite pipe and declared he believed the war would be over shortly.

For some reason, that has stuck with me over the years. I don't know why, exactly. There's something about the image of a B-29 bomber pilot (Tibbetts?), smoking a pipe during a bombing run that just struck me as so. . . sophisticated? First an unprecedented atom bomb dropping, and then you pose for a book jacket. With a pipe, you're ready for anything. I wonder if he read some Hawthorne and nipped at a nice cognac, with his favorite hunting dog, Duke, at his feet on the bear skin rug in front of the hastily installed fireplace, during his return to base.

An atom bomb drop, followed by a good pipe smoke. When I think of a manly man, it's hard to top that image.

Which is maybe why I had a dream about that class last night. Who knows?

Posted by Ryan at 09:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 18, 2007

Dane Cook Is A Terrible Comedian

But THIS GUY is on the comedy fast track.

Posted by Ryan at 04:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I was just wondering

How come, despite all my best efforts, I'm simply unable to get a "WHOOP, WHOOP!"?

It seems so unfair.

Posted by Ryan at 04:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wow. Just. . . wow.

Just when you thought Nick Coleman couldn't get any worse, he tops himself. More astounding is the fact the Strib publishes this tripe.

If you lose a pillow fight on Sun Country Airlines, do not ask the pilot to help. The pilot is responsible for life-or-death decisions in the cockpit, but only the flight attendants have power over pillows.

You can just see this is going to be one of those award-winning literary gems Coleman's so famous for.

This urgent dispatch comes from Reid and Cindy Johnson of Elko. Cindy, 49, has suffered from excruciating back pain for years, despite three surgeries, therapy and more. Desperate, last week the Johnsons visited a New York clinic that promises help. Cindy underwent painful treatments involving large needles before she and Reid headed home on Sun Country.

So, I'm thinking here: this woman has suffered excruciating back pain. For years. And now she JUST underwent New York treatment involving large needles. Okay. So, you'd think--and this is just me and my silly little mind working here--maybe, just MAYBE, poor little Cindy Johnson would also purchase some items to make flying a little less, oh, say, uncomfortable. You know, like a pillow?

Feathers started flying immediately upon boarding.

As the Johnsons made their way to their seats in Coach, Cindy grabbed a pillow from an open overhead compartment. It wasn't much of a pillow -- one of those magazine-sized things that have no heft -- but Cindy hoped to stuff it behind her on the three-hour flight home.

Oh, well, Cindy HOPED to stuff a nothing pillow behind her excrucia-fied back. After all that New York needle treatment, a magazine-sized thing with no heft was her answer to three-hour flight relief. Keeping in mind that most airports sell every manner of pillow, from those neck engulfing toilet seats, to massaging marshmallows. But, no, poor Cindy opted to put her faith in an airplane pillow.

Not so fast.

A flight attendant with a smile on her face grabbed the pillow from Cindy and put it back in the overhead compartment. Pillows, she said, were for First Class Passengers.

Nick would prefer a flight attendant with a scowl and brass knuckles for cock-punching, apparently. But, notice the sleight of hand going on here. Let's go back a bit:

As the Johnsons made their way to their seats in Coach, Cindy grabbed a pillow from an open overhead compartment.

Okay, Nick, here's one for you: from WHERE in the airplane did she grab that pillow? Oh, let me guess, Nick: did she happen to grab it as she walked through FIRST CLASS? Because, if she did (and I'm guessing she DID), then that's an important bit of information, dontcha' think?

Cindy explained about her back, but Smiley Face was unmoved. "Rules are rules," she said. Cindy repeated her plea.

She was on her knees, she was. Her back pain sending firey spikes down her embattled back, making her bow in a most undignified manner. Please, oh please, may I have this pillow!?

Smiley Face nodded toward the open cockpit, where the pilots were making preflight checks, and said Cindy could take her pillow case to the pilots, if she wanted to.

Smiley Face? Gosh, it's almost as if Nick was there, even though he wasn't. It's almost as if he's taking Cindy for her exact word, unquestioning. Why would Nick do that? Oh, we'll get to that. I'll just state, from my own experience, that a flight attendant instructing me to take a pillow case up with the pilots is, well, let's just say. . . BULLSHIT!

Sun Country claims that the Johnsons barged in on the pilots. The Johnsons are adamant that they were instructed to ask the pilot for a pillow, and say the whole experience was an exercise in the absurd -- so absurd that an incident report filed by the crew alleges that Cindy didn't have a limp until after she was refused a pillow.

Wow, Nick is really taking Cindy's side here. He sure is dismissive of anything coming from Sun Country, that's for sure. It's funny that Nick would be so pro-Cindy and anti-Sun Country. I wonder what kind of journalistic integrity law Coleman is breaking this time. . .

"Pillows are for the First Class people," said Bud Fisher, a Sun Country spokesman. "Only First Class passengers get pillows because of the expense that would result from offering pillows to all passengers."We have one of the best in-flight crews of any airline," he added. "They are known for being as hospitable as possible."

All of which backs up my belief--nay, CERTAINTY--that Cindy tried to pilfer her precious pillow on her way through First Class. Which, again, isn't that an important tidbit of information? I mean, consider this from the First Class passenger perspective: some bitch comes through and snatches a pillow from YOUR overhead compartment, in First Class. Hey, maybe while she was at it, Cindy could have ambled up to first class during the in-flight meal and try to eat off a First Class meal tray. Oh, but I'm sure her back wouldn't allow that.

True, I hope.

But I have known the Johnsons for 20-some years, going back to my days as TV critic at this newspaper, when Reid was the WCCO-TV news director. We didn't agree on everything, but I know him to be a devout Lutheran, and I believe that the Johnsons do not lie or limp on command. I have never heard Reid cuss, but I heard him splutter when I told him how the airline responded to the pillow story.

Holy. Christ. Nick Coleman is actually using his position as the nation's worst newspaper columnist to bitch and moan on behalf of a friend he's known for 20-some years. This is, well, amazing. So now we know why Sun Country's Smiley Face is the embodiment of all smarmy evil, and why Cindy is the shining light of truth. Why? Because Nick Coleman, oh Knower of Stuff, "believes that the Johnsons do not lie or limp on command." Oh, well then. . .

"I was with Cindy the whole time. She did not open the overhead. She grabbed one pillow, not more. She was instructed to talk to the pilot. There was no shouting. If anyone said we were causing a delay and to sit down, we would have. I cannot believe they are taking this tack. Sun Country? This is Dark Side of the Moon Country. I can't think of a word for this that is printable. All we wanted was a pillow."

She did not open the overhead. No, she simply snatched a pillow on her way through First Class. And what's with the "grabbed one pillow, no more," line. Are we missing something here? Also, notice the discrepancy between "I have never heard Reid cuss," and "I can't think of a word for this that is printable." Funny, that.

This shouldn't have become an example of loutish customer service.

No, just a loutish customer.

This one might have come out right.

When the Johnsons talked to the pilot, he took pity on Cindy and said sure, she could have a pillow.

That's when Smiley Face, the flight attendant, reasserted her authority.

Or, perhaps more appropriately, that's when Smiley Face pointed out that, if Cindy got her pillow (pillows?), a paying First Class passenger would be denied their's. But never mind that. Nick's going to the mat for a friend here, so there's no room for such considerations.

The captain was wearing the wings, but Smiley Face was wearing the pants.

Again, more appropriately, the captain hadn't thought of that. . .

Smiley Face had jurisdiction over pillows, but the pilot said he would call someone in management to see if a pillow could be procured.

Of course, if the other passengers not in First Class happened to see Queen Cindy with her pillow, they might, JUST MIGHT, ask for a pillow of their own, thus touching off pillow pandemonium.

"I didn't know there were corporate pillow people," says Reid. There are, and when they weighed in, the Pillow Protocols stayed firm.

Perhaps because of the exact probability stated above. Now, dear readers, we travel even deeper into the world of Nick just taking the word of a friend. Proceed only if you dare. Beyond here there be monsters.

Reid was in an aisle seat and could see up front, into First Class.

Smiley Face was handing out pillows to First Class people. One didn't want a pillow. So Smiley Face gave two to another First Class Person.

You know what? I'll even extend the benefit of the doubt here and pretend this transpired as related. If I were Smiley Face, I would have done the same damned thing. I would have even acted it out very theatrically, with big sweeping arm motions as I handed the second pillow to the "First Class Person." If I didn't think it would cost me my job, I would even walk back and do a little pillow dance in front of Queen Cindy.

In conclusion, I offer a travel tip to help us out in perilous times: If you are not seated in First Class, go suck an egg.

Or, better yet, if you're not in First Class, don't go grabbing pillows on your way through First Class, you grabby little grabberton.

And this concludes this installment of Nick Coleman writing a column on behalf of a friend.

This fisking brought to you via Bryan's wishes and the Rambling Rhodes "Make a Wish" foundation.

UPDATE: You know, it occurs to me, if people like Queen Cindy and her hubby are the kinds of people Coleman curses as his friends, it kind of goes a long way to explaining the crappishness of Coleman's "writing" itself. Cocktail parties with the Koleman Krowd must be a laugh riot of silence and self-loathing.

Posted by Ryan at 07:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

Intercourse and Sweets

Ryan says: I like sex and candy.

Ryan says: What was up with THAT song?

Ryan says: I mean, who DOESN'T like sex and candy?

Caroline says: A nun with a cavity

Ryan says: See, now, THAT'S funny!

Ryan says: Whoops. I had the incorrect lyric. I guess it's "I smell sex and candy here."

Caroline says: You mean it wasn't "I like sex and candy"?

Ryan says: I guess not.

Caroline says: No shit?

Ryan says: Another lyric from that song: "Who's that casting devious stares at my direction?"

Caroline says: At my direction.

Ryan says: Often incorrectly quoted as: "Who's that blastin' previous hares in my erection?"

Ryan says: Which is a far better lyric.

Caroline says: Wow. File that under "There's a bathroom on the right."

Posted by Ryan at 01:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2007

Suddenly Season

Within three days, we've gone from no snow on the ground and downright reasonable temperatures, to about seven inches of snow and -7 degrees. It's just plain cruel outside right now.

Posted by Ryan at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2007


First, Nick Coleman writes another big 'ole toilet clogger of a column: "House for sale, bullet hole included."

And then, I get an e-mail from TwinCities.com, with the Subject line: "A New Home Just Got More Affordable."


Posted by Ryan at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 12, 2007


Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!

Sunday night!

And, yes, Atia IS a tramp.

And, Vorenus IS a madman.

And, sure, Pullo is a thug, I guess.

Cleopatra is a fiend? Well, now I think they're just being harsh.

I can grant that Brutus is a traitor. History has not been kind to that man.

Servilia is a murderer. And I would add "bitch" as well.

Mark Antony is a coward. Well, maybe, but he was brave enough to do a full frontal nude scene in the first season so, you know, points for that.

Posted by Ryan at 03:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007


I wonder what it says about me that I just ate a cheeseburger and fries. . . AFTER I said aloud to no one but myself: "Man, this burger smells like ass!"

Perhaps it's best I not know.

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

Church on Thursday

Ryan says: I feel weird. I just assigned an article to "Jesus."

Caroline says: WWJD?

Ryan says: Jesus Grana.

Caroline says: His grammar is immaculate

Ryan says: I know it's probably pronouned "HEY-ZEUS," but still.

Ryan says: I'm going to be afraid to edit it.

Ryan says: I won't want to CROSS anything out.

Caroline says: Yep. Hell. And it's barely 9:30 a.m.

Ryan says: And before Jesus rose to Heaven, he said unto his followers, "Hey, before I go, I should really write an article about how IBM usage and Accounting Manager lowers the barriers to virtualization and allows clients to better account for IT as a contributor to business results- our ability to cover AIX advanced accounting collector etc-"

Caroline says: And it will be good.

Ryan says: Etc. . . AMEN!

Posted by Ryan at 09:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

The Great Prognosticator

Let's see. I'm going to take a stab at some weather prognostications for 2007. If I remember correctly, around the 1997/1998 timeframe, the two huge stories getting lots of play, besides the Clinton thing, were the stock market boom and El Nino. Do you remember El Nino? I remember El Nino. I remember El Nino because I only got one fuzzy channel at my college apartment at the time, and that channel was CBS, and I actually developed a pretty good impression of the way Dan Rather said El Nino.

Well, there's apparently a lot of other important things going on, all these ten years later, but make no mistake, El Nino is back in effect, although a more moderate one.

Also, in the summer of 1998, southeastern Minnesota got whalloped by a series of amazingly strong thunderstorms, and many experts attributed the unusual whalloping to the effects of El Nino.

Sooooooooooo. . .

I'm going to put on my forecasting hat and say the summer of 2007 will see some unusually strong thunderstorms around the area, followed by a fairly cold winter that will see little in the way of precipitation through December, followed by snow up the pooper in January and February 2008.

What about the rest of the winter for 2007? Not sure, but if we're spared snow for the entirety of the season, I can't say I'd get all that upset about it.

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January 09, 2007



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January 08, 2007

My Own Personal Cell

For many reasons that make sense only to me, I've resisted getting a cell phone ever since the infernal devices started becoming popular. Primarily, I'm not what you'd call a "phone person."

Talking on a phone, for me, is the equivalent of listening to an infant wail into my ear. I don't pay attention very well when talking on a phone, so drawn out stories narrated to me by the person on the other end are typically missed in their entirety. For me, phones are a means by which to attain a pizza delivery, and that's about it.

My resistance to joining the cell phone technology revolution irritated more than just a few people, the privacy-invading micro-managers at my job being top amongst them. "What do you mean, you don't have a home phone number? How are we supposed to contact you outside of work?"

EXACTLY! Being inaccessible outside of work was one of the most alluring aspects of not having a phone. It was empowering, in a way. After 5 p.m., it was like I hit the "off" switch on my work-related

Unfortunately, there were others who continually cajoled me about getting a cell phone, and these were people I actually cared about, like my girlfriend, and my parents, and my friends, and the good people at Pizza Hut.

So it was, when I received a cell phone over the Christmas holiday from my girlfriend, it was with a resigned acceptance of the inevitable march of time and technology.

Having experimented with my new cell phone now for a couple of weeks, I've come to the conclusion that it's basically a miniature computer, which means all the annoyance and non-intuitive interfaces of a computer has been mini-sized to fit in my pocket. Only, instead of using a mouse and standard keyboard, I'm required to use the phone's keypad to navigate to everything from ring tones to new voicemail tones to tones alerting me to new available tones. I can also
associate a picture with a given phone number, so in addition to seeing a person's name appear when they're calling me, I can also see their face. This is a feature I intend to use sometime shortly AFTER hell freezes over.

It's not that I'm anti-technology; far from it. I LOVE technology. If it weren't for technology and computers, I wouldn't have a job. Rather, my gripe with cell phones is that they feature entirely too many useless features. For example, there's an option to play Solitaire on my cell phone. Honestly, who would want to do such a thing? I mean, if you have the time to play Solitaire, surely you can
play with an actual deck of cards. Or, hey, here's an idea: if you have the time to play Solitaire on your phone, maybe you should CALL someone, a friend or family member, perhaps. Just call and say "Hi."

I'm not saying you have to catch them up on every little thing, but just a quick "hey, howya doin'" so they know you think about them from time to time. You know, rather than playing Solitaire on your cell phone. Just a suggestion.

Not that I'm in any position to offer up any such suggestions, what with my aforementioned disdain for phone conversations, but it just strikes me that cell phones seem to be more about providing a means by which to avoid people rather than engage with them. Even text messages strike me as a conversational life support system. Is it just me, or wouldn't you rather hear somebody laugh at your joke than have "LOL!" flash up on your phone? And, really, when somebody writes "ROTFLMAO," I have sincere doubts they're actually rolling on the floor laughing until their posterior tears asunder from the rest of their body. That's something I have to see, in person.

At any rate, I guess I'm just acclimating to the new reality of being one of the cell phone toting chat bots I used to deride and mock. Now I'm one of them, and it's a hard adjustment to make. I need something that adequately reflects my emotional state regarding this new cell phone world I find myself in.

Maybe if I change my ring tone. . .

Posted by Ryan at 04:24 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 05, 2007

Executing A Great Idea

I haven't had much to say about Saddam Hussein getting the ropey rope. I knew it would happen eventually, and I'll admit his hanging won't cause me any lost sleep. It's a crying shame he didn't dangle in 1991, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, my point here is that the timing could have been better. I mean, they were SO CLOSE to hanging him on New Years Eve! They missed it by a day! Oh, sure, much of the Islamic world operates on an entirely different calendar than much of the Western world, but STILL!

I mean, if you're going to go through the trouble of executing a tyrant THAT CLOSE to a massive worldwide celebration, you might as well go all out and sync it up with the New Years' countdown.

Think about it, it would be a media first. All the networks would broadcase split screens, with the left side showing the ball drop at Times Square, while the right screen shows the condemned despot waiting for the trap door to drop when the clock strikes midnight.

It would be Dick Clark's Rockin' News Years Execution! I can almost imagine the throngs of people crowding the streets, unsure of whether they should cheer wildly, or look away in disgust. Or, perhaps they'd cheer wildly in disgust. It would sound something like "Yayyyyyyuck!!" or "Wheeeeewwwwwwww!! or "WooHooBoooo!!" Some people would madly kiss strangers to celebrate the New Year, while others would console one-another about the sadness of man's inhumanity to man and the futility of it all. The whole gamut of human emotion would be on display. Now THAT'S a party!

This concludes the most tasteless, morally deprived post to this Thunderjournal in about five years.

Posted by Ryan at 02:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 04, 2007

Oh, what the hell

At the risk of making this ThunderJournal the "Bash-Nick-Coleman-All-The-Time" one-stop-shop of the Internet, I just can't help myself; mainly because Nick Coleman just can't help himself when it comes to penning pathetic, nonsensical twaddle.

The stage inside the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on Tuesday was adorned with phony Roman columns topped by palm fronds. What a place for a frat party.
The governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, coming off the narrowest victory in decades (he squeaked past Mike Hatch by less than a percentage point) was being sworn in for a second term, and the 1,000 seats in the plush theater, a few blocks from the Capitol, were plump full of happy boosters.

You wouldn't think it would be possible for someone to pack so much whining into so few sentences, but Nick never ceases to surprise. Now, if Mike Hatch had won, by the narrowest of margins, Nick would have been gushing about how the forces of the evil Pawlenty were driven back by the powers of Hatch's army of angelic righteousness. Okay, Nick wouldn't have been that evocative, but you get the idea.

The palm fronds -- Romans used them to symbolize victory -- may mean Pawlenty has begun to take global warming seriously. Or maybe it just means he has let all this vice presidential talk go to his head.

See, now, if Coleman were to celebrate a victory, he would have used nightshade leaves, or maybe poison ivy. How dare that upstart Pawlenty use leaves that symbolize victory to celebrate. . . er. . . his victory! Such gall!

Palm fronds and Roman pillars?

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Hey, Nick, dipshit, as long as you're disparaging Roman imagery and giving your readers a "Nick Coleman Knows Stuff" history lesson, maybe you'd also like to whip out a dime and note the Roman Fasces on the reverse side. Perhaps you'd like to complain about that? Or, how about complaining about the bald eagle being the national bird, because that's obviously a rip-off of the golden eagles Roman legions carried. Or, hey, how about Monticello, which is an architectural copy of the Pantheon, and so is the front of the Supreme Court building.

I guess you should look imperial when you win with a last-minute $700,000 mudslinging ad blitz financed by the titans of industry who passed bags of cash to a right-wing outfit that calls itself A Stronger America. Maybe we're lucky Gov. Squeaker didn't descend from the ceiling by hidden wires.

One of these days, Nick's going to have a libel suit handed to him, and he'll be nonplussed. In Nick's little mind, or what passes for a mind, Pawlenty's strong approval ratings had nothing to do with his winning. No, it was the nefarious last-minute doings of the "titans of industry" who were "passing bags of cash" to a blah, blah, blah.

With all the pomp, I was expecting Pawlenty to declare himself T-Paw the Mighty or to appoint a horse to the Senate (both halves of a horse). For a guy who won by a flimsy margin, made a show of eating humble pie and scaled back his victory orgy from a week last time to a single day, it was a bit over the top.

A victory orgy? One can only imagine what Coleman thinks qualifies as an orgy. If palm fronds and Roman pillars seem over the top to him, an orgy must be something along the lines of a buffet table featuring a cake shaped like a naked woman. If Coleman were to actually see an orgy, I imagine the man would faint dead away.

Il Duce might have added cannon, but we are living in imperial times, when the politicians have deified themselves and average citizens should feel lucky to share the planet with the great ones they serve.

Il Duce? Nick can get away with that shit? I'm almost inclined to belive he's been given his two weeks notice from the Strib's new owners, so he feels free to write whatever nonsensical bullshit that comes to mind.

Now watch, ladies and gentlemen, as Coleman does his usueal "jump the tracks into a whole other topic" stupidity we've all come to know and despise.

Gerald Ford had been dead eight days and was on his second or third funeral yesterday, but it still was necessary that government offices be closed (for the third day in a row). This presented a hardship for people such as Shanna Brinkley, who zeroed out her bus card to bring her 6-week-old baby, Nyasia, to the doctor and was hoping her mother would come pick her up because no bus cards for poor were available, out of respect to a dead president.

Okay. . . what? He was talking about Pawlenty, wasn't he? Now he's mad government offices were closed for three days in a row--let's see, Sunday, New Year's Day, and Ford's funeral. And Shanna Brinkley was inconvenienced! And. . . and. . . and. . . palm fronds, God-damnit. PALM FRONDS! Dead president. . . mutter. . . mutter.

And, if you can believe it, THIS GETS WORSE!

"People have things to do," she said with frustration, hugging her baby in a blanket, waiting for her ride across Wabasha Street from Palm Tuesday at the Fitz. "The government ought to do better. This is messed up."Ford shouldn't have pardoned Nixon," a former bus driver named William McMillan said. "If a poor person steals anything, he goes to jail. Nixon stole the White House, but he got pardoned."

Wait, what just happened here? Who said what? Who said "The government ought to do better?" Brinkley, or McMillan? Who edited this piece of shit? Was it edited? How the holy hell did we go from Pawlenty's victory celebration to Nixon stealing the White House? Oh, what the hell, as long as Nick's going off on unrelated tangents, he may as well continue to roll with it. In fact, HE DOES!

McMillan, 64, has had two heart attacks and lives on Social Security of $800 a month. Last fall, Pawlenty came to speak at his public housing high-rise in downtown St. Paul, but McMillan stayed upstairs, watching TV in his apartment.

Pawlenty caused two heart attacks! Or something!

"I voted for him the first time, but I didn't vote for him this time," McMillan said, nodding toward the gilded theater. "When it's time for election, you see all the politicians. But after the election? They don't come around and talk to the little people anymore."

I love how he "nodded toward the gilded theater." We all do that, don't we? Nod toward shit? I nod to work every day. And how about that wisdom of McMillan? Why, during elections, you SEE POLITICIANS! But afterward? They have the audacity to do their elected job, rather than jawing at the local high rise apartment. Those bastards!

They don't talk much about them after an election, either. Pawlenty's eight-page inaugural address, given from a stage where banjo music is often heard, was a mix of pious hokum and hollow humility.

Where banjo music is often heard? What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

He said/Me said moments:

T-Paw: He asked for a moment of silence for Ford and thanked our troops, "our heroes."

Me: How about that mess in Iraq? Might be time to rethink your dalliance with John McCain, who wants more troops in Baghdad.

Might be time to NOT listen to a columnist who can't string two coherent thoughts together.

T-Paw: He called for civility and said the voters want the parties to work together.

Me: What? No gratuitous bashing of Indian casinos? No threats to keep immigrant kids from paying resident tuition rates? No partisan bilge about watch the state crash and burn before a tax is raised? Who is this impostor?

Right. Pawlenty is all about Indian casino bashing. Uh huh. And, Nick? Be sure to look up "immigrants versus ILLEGAL immigrants" for once. I know it's a failing for those in your profession to not recognize the difference, but trust me, it's an important distinction.

T-Paw: "Grief and pain release love and empathy."

Me: Where are my love beads? Is this an inauguration or a Teach-In with the Bhagwans?

And Ford was buried. And three days of government offices being closed. And. . . and. . . I'm Nick Coleman, and I have no idea what I'm mad about any more, so I'm mad about everthing.

Palm fronds. I'm telling you, they had palm fronds. Watch out.

It's toga time.

You know, it's entirely too easy to tear Coleman's nonsense apart. It's so easy, in fact, it's almost becoming boring. The man is a parody of himself. That there are people who take him seriously is honestly both sad and frightening.

Posted by Ryan at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Yes, my ThunderJournaling has sucked the big wang of destiny. Sorry for that. The new year's workload is rather heavy, and I've been ill. The two probably are somehow inter-related.

Posted by Ryan at 09:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 02, 2007


I ate so much food over the Holidays, I haven't been close to even being peckish when it's come time for lunch over the past few days. I can't wait to get back to a more exercise-intensive regimen again. Thankfully, jiu-jitsu classes resume tomorrow, and in the meantime I have the treadmill to fall back on (figuratively speaking).

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 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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