December 31, 2007

Dave Barry is Still The Best

His YEARLY REVIEW column is routinely the most humorous read of the year, and 2007 is a scream.

Posted by Ryan at 12:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Angela Kennedy Responds. . . To Donna!

Well, Angela Kennedy, the poor waif imprisoned in a Gambian jail, has yet to respond to my own e-mail regarding her TRAGIC PLIGHT. Thankfully, she's apparently more responsive to a female query, and frequent commenter/reader Donna had a successful fishing expedition when she wrote the following:

Just for you Rhodes, I sent this off.......

I am in receipt of your letter and offer to help you get out of jail. However, the amount of money you are talking about is only about 8.00 US, so why would I bother to help a women get out of jail who has (by now) contracted all kinds of diseases, and is also a woman, which is useless to me as I am a woman, unless of course you could clean my house, and or cook my meals. How does that sound to you?

First off, hats off to Donna for even attempting to keep such communication going. Second off, congrats on her ability to write in broken English just like the original inquiry from Angela. Because Donna was able to write so believably (whereas my own e-mail was apparently too real, or male, or something, and didn't warrant a reply), Donna actually received the following response:

From: Angela Kennedy

Subject: My wishes and photos

My dear, i did not contac disease ok and i am not poor to clean for you ok? i am more rich than you but i will not ask you to clean for me because you are my financial manager.

Congrats, Donna, on becoming Angela's financial manager!

i am worried to hear your voice, i want your phone number, but i cannot communicate through phone for now because In this prison there is no access to phone, but one of the prison warders told me that if i want to be calling you that i must give her phone calling registration money and she will give it to other of her colleagues and they will know that i have paid them for phone calling and register me. she said that they use to do it with some of the prisoners who have the calling money to register, she said that it is from the registration money that they will be buying calling cards from outside for me each time i want to call you. but the problem is that i have no any cash at hand to register, so because i dont have the calling registration money we can be communicating only through email.

But. . . I thought Angela was more rich than Donna? Now I'm all confused.

I want you to help me come out from here and i want it to be done soon, and i dont want even a single person from your country or Eritrea to know that i am in this prison, so that they will not send food poison to me in this prison, please it is for my safety and peace of mind. i will like to let you know that what i want first from this life is peace of mind, since the death of my daddy i have not been peaceful within myself because i dont know who is who in my town Asmara, i mean that i dont know who is my family friends and family enemies because they also burnt my daddy's cars and set our house on fire and that made me not to have peace of mind and i will never return to Eritrea.

Burnt her daddy's cars? Was he a car salesman? No wonder he was whacked.

Coming to the wishes for myself, the best wishes for me is for you to invest my wealth perfectly, i mean you making a profitable investment of the money, and while you take care of the investment and management of my wealth, i will be schooling in one of the best universities in your country, also tell me your best wishes.

You will never find a more wretched hive of broken English.

My problem is that Citi bank instructed me to appoint a foreign partner who will claim and receive the money on my behalf according to the agreement that my daddy signed with them. so i will write a letter to Citi bank and tell them that you are my foreign partner and the bank will surely transfer the money into your bank account for me, and from my money in your account you will buy your ticket and come to Gambia to use little part of the money to release me and take me with you.

Angela's plan. Let her show it to you.

My mind is strong because I know that through your bank Citi bank will give me your bank address and how to locate your bank address after the transfer, so i am very safe about how to locate you through your bank after Citi bank transfer the money into your account for me. And when i come to your country you will take me to your bank where my money is and i will withdraw all the money and redeposit it in 4 current or savings accounts with 4 big banks in your country and i will leave 10% of the 14.5m in your account as your compensation for helping me. I have attache my photos to this letter.

Because, a picture is so worth a thousand words, after all.

If possible do also scan and send me your photos. Always inform me before taking any step and hence-forth always write me through this my email : because i mistakenly allowed the prison warder computer operator to see the password of my hotmail address. I am waiting for your reply. Miss Angela Kennedy with all my love.

You know what? If she can't keep her Hotmail password a secret, that doesn't bode well for any future financial dealings, particularly if conducted from prison. Angela must be blonde.


Okay, so she's not blonde, but for some reason she felt the need to PhotoShop a cowboy hat onto her lap. Also, in addition to computer access within her prison, she also has a photo scanner.


Ah yes, the seductive "I'm disinfecting this bottle of Gatorade" pose.


Here we have the "cheesecake" pose, which is usually a big hit with the boys, and perhaps some of the girls. Angela no doubt breaks out the bikini top any time she needs to entice the prison warders into letting her use the computer.


Finally, Angela discusses her traumatic prison ordeal over a Smirnoff Ice, and discloses how prison life can lead to unsightly acne on the left side of the mouth.

Posted by Ryan at 09:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 28, 2007

Not to toot my own horn or anything

But I just wanted to point out how very, very close I was when I wrote the following back in January of this year:

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.

The only thing I've been wrong about so far was the lack of snowfall in December, of which there has been PLENTY, thank you very much.

Posted by Ryan at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 27, 2007

Because The News Sucks This Morning

I just thought I'd inject a little awesome between Christmas and New Years. Not sure about the source of this picture; I just know it as a Fark cliche.


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December 26, 2007

Well, This Is A New Twist in SPAM

When it comes to work, I've been sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day now for about eight or more years, so I've had a front row seat to witness the evolution of SPAM e-mail. I've seen every form of SPAM you can imagine, and I like to think of myself as an expert on the Nigerian royalty beneficiary SPAM. Today, however, I think I may have received a new form of SPAM, which I would like to share with you, complete with my own interjected commentary.

My dear, I am miss Angela from Asmara, Eritrea, single and 21 years old.

Got that? female. Single. And 21 years old--in other words, physically developed but naive and open to sexual suggestion. This Spammer knows how to target an audience. So far, I'm all ears!

After accessing your details in the Internet site i copied out only your email address. Immediately after going through your information i made up my mind to contact you for long term relationship, because you are my choice of trust and i see nothing wrong with the choice that i have made in you.

One wonders what "details" about me Miss Angela may have accessed "in the Internet site," but it's nice to see she's so discriminating when it comes to selecting her long term relationships. If I were, perhaps, 10 years younger and suicidally lonely, I'd have made it this far into the Spam and would still be taking it seriously.

Now that i am in a state of absolute confusion I must let you know that my daddy was the Financial controller to the Common Wealth North African Region.

Oh, NOW that she's in a state of absolute confusion she has to let me know. Well, gee, thanks, Angela; it's nice to know you have to hit rock bottom before you'll drop me a line. I feel so special.

About my parents; My mummy died in labour when she was giving birth to a baby in the hospital in Asmara, and both my mummy and the baby died together, then i was only 11 years of age.

The good news is, at least, her mummy was giving birth to a baby, rather than some diabolical half-serpent, half-bird genetic abomination.

My daddy died in a car accident and the car driver that jammed my daddy's car ran away and my daddy's lawyer and my daddy's brother are among the suspects, and they are all against me because of my daddy's properties in Eritrea.

Eritrean properties being all the rage nowadays. . .

Why, just the other day, I was remarking to my father how much I wanted to purchase a vacation condo in Eritrea so I could look out over the Red Sea and think about Moses.

The following information is my purpose of choosing you. Before my daddy died he made me the beneficiary of the amount of 14.5 Million gbp£ in his account with Citi Bank in Dakar, Senegal.

Just so you know, I just calculated the gbp£ per dollar exchange rate and, even with the weak value of today's dollar, 14.5 Million gbp£ still came out to $7.86. Prepare yourself, now, for the longest run-on sentence in the history of Spam e-mail.

On my way travelling to Dakar, Senegal i arrived this Gambia on transit, on the same night i arrived Gambia i was attacked by 2 big boys in my guest house (hotel) room, they robbed me, collected my hand bag that contained all my money, as if that was not enough, they tried to rape me so i collected the nearest object in the room and heated one of them on the head and screamed to the hearing of the neighbouring compounds and people came out and descended on the criminals, the next morning the police came to the guest house and arrested me, since then i have been kept under awaiting trial here in this central prison Gambia because the criminal i heated paralysed as a result of the severe beating given to him by the neighbourhood.

Okay, first off, please note dear Angela was apparently most upset with the attack and robbery, but then, "as if that was not enough," they tried to rape her. The CADS! Not to worry, though, this 21-year-old hottie can deal out a beating when the attackers try to take just a bit too much. Added bonus: when the neighbourhood paralyzes a Gambian rapist, the 21-year-old hottie gets sent to prison. Honestly, there's so much wrong and hilarious about the preceding paragraph, I could spend nearly countless hours mocking it.

I am among the girls newly appointed to head the girls sector in this prison, hence i have the advantage to use the prison computer to communicate with you, and i will be very glad to also have a detailed information about you.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen: she's 21-years-old, she's rich (potentially), she's the newly appointed head of the girls' sector of a Gambian prison, and she has Internet access. Sweet mother of pearl, this couldn't be any hotter if she was a professional smut author.

From here i communicated with citi bank and they said that because of the written agreement that my daddy signed with them that i must be present in their bank to withdraw the money by myself OR that i should appoint a foreign partner who will receive the money on my behalf. the money is my only hope in life.

Uh. . . huh. So, there's a written agreement that she must be present to withdraw 14.5 Million gbp£ or it can be, you know, a complete stranger who has been appointed by a girl sequestered in Gambian lock-down. Interesting terms-of-service.

As soon as Citi Bank transfers the money into your bank account, you will use some of the money to get me a lawyer or lawyers to fight for my case and get me out of here, then the same week of my release you will fly down here in Gambia and i and you will depart to your home in your country together.

Man, she sure went and became all demanding all of a sudden. I also love the "your country" catch all. Apparently, "after accessing my details in the Internet site," she couldn't be bothered to learn my country is America, but no matter. I'll be rich! With a smokin' hot Eritrean prison wench!

If you cannot come to gambia you will send down enough money from my money in your account for my freedom and my journey to meet you in your country airport and you will be at your airport to welcome me . I want you to help me receive the amount and also be my finance and investment manager.

I have to be the luckiest man in the world. I mean, seriously, what are the odds? Here I was, all engaged to be married and everything, and then dear Angela went and e-mailed me, and now I have to embark on a life of adventure and intrigue to rescue dear Angela from her Gambian hell-hole and live out my life in opulent splendor, with Angela at my side as my willing and gifted sexual consort.

Reply me only through email: ONLY.
With all my Love
Miss Angela Kennedy

What say you all? Should we not e-mail Angela, over and over and over again, and give the poor girl hope?! I think it's our duty, frankly, as human beings, to mess with "her" until she goes insane.

Posted by Ryan at 10:35 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 21, 2007

One Thing About the Holiday Season. . .

MAN, the parking was sweet at work this morning!

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

December 20, 2007


It occurs to me I've been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) now for about 2.5 years and, in that time, I've learned a lot. But, one of the things I've learned more than anything else is I'm a very, VERY tense person. I never realized it prior to BJJ training. I've always been very flexible, so I just assumed I was relaxed. But, I'm not. I'm tense. Like, bridge cable tense.

Whereas other BJJ students learn early on to relax and basically roll on the mats like cats fighting, every muscle in my body is rigid as hell, so my movements are jerky and unsmooth, and I telegraph my intent about 20 seconds before I attempt a technique.

Thing is, I've noticed it's not limited to BJJ classes. I'm tense as hell even in the workplace. My shoulders are always way more rigid than necessary and it always seems like I'm about to spring from my chair at any given moment.

And I have to wonder: when did this start, because I wasn't always so tense and rigid. I wonder if it has to do with being in an office environment, or whether it's just something that develops over time as I took on more responsibility.

Point is, it's something I've decided to try and alleviate, if I can, through breathing exercises and just plain trying to relax more. I don't know how successful I'll be, but it can't hurt to try.

Posted by Ryan at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 19, 2007

Rules Govern Gift Cards

Ryan says: I successfully used the gift card to pay for an oil change last night, BTW.

Caroline says: You use it for boring stuff, BTW.

Ryan says: I didn't know you were supposed to use it on hookers and blow.

Caroline says: Right, because that's exactly what I expect you to use it on when I mean "not boring."

Ryan says: Well, you do agree "hookers and blow" = not boring, right?

Caroline says: Depends who you are. If you're a pimp, then it's probably boring. Same ol', same ol'.

Ryan says: So, maybe a pimp would consider an oil change pretty exciting.

Caroline says: Depends. Is "oil change" a euphemism?

Ryan says: It certainly could be, when you think about it.

Ryan says: Oil EXchange.

Caroline says: So it's all a matter of perspective.

Caroline says: Is what I'm sayin'.

Ryan says: I don't want to have to consider perspective every time I use that gift card.

Posted by Ryan at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2007

No Matter Who Wins The Presidency Next Year


Posted by Ryan at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Vegas Reached Into My Wallet and Made a Withdrawal

So, I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week on vacation. I'd been to Las Vegas before, so it wasn't as if I was unfamiliar with the energy and excitement of the place. I was also aware that gambling has traditionally played a significant role in the city's unfolding history and ongoing prosperity.

Until my most recent trip, however, I had been of the conviction the ongoing prosperity of Vegas would not consist of my hard-earned dollars. If I gambled at all I'd lose, at a max, maybe $20. Even that mild sum seemed like an unfortunate loss.

Well, for whatever reason, my most recent Vegas experience also coincided with what I can only call a monumental lack of financial control and judgement. I found myself sitting in front of slot machines, seemingly unaware of the money flowing from my bank account to the Vegas vaults.

The gambling fever hit its peak when I ventured on over to the Luxor. For those unfamiliar with Vegas, the Luxor is the Egyptian-themed resort and casino that also happens to be in the shape of a pyramid. There's some superstition surrounding pyramids and their shape, so I have no problem chalking up my own personal financial malfeasance to the wondrous powers of the pyramid. After all, it's better than blaming myself.

At any rate, while at the Luxor, I found myself requiring cash. Thankfully, in Vegas, the second most omnipresent machines (the #1 being slots) are ATMs. You're never 100 yards away from the nearest ATM. In fact, I think I saw an ATM move closer to me at one point, like a tiger croucing towards its prey.

And the thing about Vegas ATMs is--in addition to RIDICULOUS service charges of $3 or more--if you try to withdraw $100, you'll be given a $100 bill. Now, I don't normally deal in $100 bills. Such a denomination is a rarity in my wallet, so when the Vegas ATM churned out a Franklin, I immediately put it into a slot machine for safe keeping.

Slot machines are curious inventions. For example, when you put $100 into a slot machine, the slot machine converts the bill into "credits," which don't really seem that much like money. Oh, sure, I was briefly aware of the existence of a $100 bill that wafted from the ATM into the slot machine, but now I was looking at a bunch of credits. And, since I was at a "penny" slot machine, I was looking at A LOT credits.

"Penny" slot machines are a bit misleading, however. "Penny" indicates the minimum bet you can make, and you'll probably never ever in a million years win betting just a penny. No, to increase your odds, you need to bet on a multitude of pay lines, which can range from nine to 25 or more, depending on the machine. What's more, if you actually want to win anything of substance, you have to bet multiple "pennies" on all those pay lines. The point is, if you bet the maximum on a "penny" machine, each pull of the arm (or push of the "Max Bet" button) can mean a bet of $2 or more, which really drains your "credits" faster than you can believe.

Under the influence of the pyramid mind control of the Luxor, I found myself back at the exact same ATM less than half an hour after my previous withdrawal, and it wasn't until I was halfway through my second $100 bill that I looked at the slot machine screen and thought "What the heck am I DOING?!"

I hurried my way out of the Luxor, only to find myself a couple hours later doing the exact same thing at the Bellagio which, loosely translated, means "Thanks for the $100, Ryan."

After the Bellagio, I did manage to snap back to reality, and any losses after that were minimal by comparison, but for awhile there I think I genuinely lost my mind.

And I can't wait for next year.

Posted by Ryan at 01:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Once More Into The Breach

Since 2005, I've generally tried to steer clear of blog and forum commenting, unless I want to yank a chain or mock someone for my own amusement (or commenting where friends and family frequent). My reasons for stepping back from the commenting brink are many and varied, but primarily I was A) Sick of rehashing the same old arguments B) Commented out and C) I realized there was little, if any, benefit or payoff involved, and there was a lot of work involved in something that was, ultimately, basically pointless. More generally, after about 2004, the online commenting community was infused with a whole slew of Internet neophytes who were technologically too inept to start their own online presence and opted to inhabit the comment boxes of others, and the dialogue started to devolve into rediculous nonsense. One need only witness the antics of AngryClown and Peevish over at Shot in the Dark for examples of parasitic, obsessive-compulsive, nonsensical blog commenters.

At any rate, I do occasionally get sucked back into online debate, particularly when it surrounds topics that are currently near and dear to my heart. Take, for example, this Post-Bulletin blog debate over MMA/UFC fighting.

Compared with comment wars I've had in the past with certain bloggers who shall rename nameless, but rhyme with Smoshua, it's pretty tame stuff, but I'm struck by how thin-skinned and pathetic some people are. Honest to God, the world has gone from Internet Tough Guy to Internet Pansy in less than five years.

Posted by Ryan at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2007


Frequent commenter Donna pointed me to this. . . well. . . whatever the hell it is. It's funny, because it features a. . . well, you'll see.

Posted by Ryan at 11:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 13, 2007

Off to Vegas

I'll be in Las Vegas for the rest of the week. If you need me for anything, I'll be in Vegas, not caring.

Posted by Ryan at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2007

Just Like Old Times

This is a most awesome PhotoShop:


This one isn't bad, either:


In case you're wondering where these abominations originated, GO HERE.

UPDATE: Of course, commenter Jimmo, being the obsessive/compulsive--yet brilliantly hilarious--PhotoShop enthusiast he is, offers up this golden bit of comedy:


Posted by Ryan at 09:08 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 10, 2007

The Geode Twins

Ryan and Caroline.jpg

In case you were wondering what Caroline and I look like when we're writing our inane blather, this sums it up pretty neatly.

UPDATE: Of course, we had a discussion about the picture, which was taken for an upcoming company Christmas gathering, BTW.

Caroline says: I think a fun caption for our Geode Twins pic would be "The Internets: Two Thumbs Up!"

Ryan says: What were you eating that your tongue was so red?

Caroline says: Wha?

Ryan says: Your tongue looks as red as a blood vessel.

Caroline says: Maybe I had a cherry Lifesaver before the pic. I can't remember.

Ryan says: You had a SOMETHING on your tongue.

Caroline says: Or maybe my "did you know" fact was that I'm a vampire.

Ryan says: Not that I should talk. My gum was totally visible.

Ryan says: It was pretty much the best picture ever taken.

Caroline says: I kind of wish I was looking at the camera.

Caroline says: I thought we'd have a second chance! Second chance!

Ryan says: You were looking at me for a thumb cue.

Caroline says: Thumb cue.

Ryan says: That's a new cuss term.

Ryan says: Oh yeah? Well, THUMB CUE!

Caroline says: Go finger yourself

Ryan says: I won't go there.

Ryan says: Until after work.

Caroline says: Then it's fair game.

Caroline says: We're two wild and crazy geode twins!

Ryan says: Honestly, it's just a most awesome funny picture.

Caroline says: Natch.

Ryan says: Right down to the gum and lifesaver.

Caroline says: I can has lifesaver?

Ryan says: You can did have lifesaver.

Ryan says: I think the crossed arms thumbs up should be the new standard.

Caroline says: It does have a certain flair to it.

UPDATE 2.0: Caroline provides HER OWN VERSION

Posted by Ryan at 04:42 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Pun Times

Caroline says: Why can't we write headlines for "Does your cat need to go on 'Catkins?"

Caroline says: next to a picture of a fat cat

Ryan says: Felinetics.

Caroline says: Hairballemia

Ryan says: Catorexia.

Caroline says: Catstric Bypass

Caroline says: Bypaws, even better

Ryan says: Alposuction?

Caroline says: FAIL

Ryan says: Iams not a FAILure.

Posted by Ryan at 04:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Footprints in the Sand

There was a time when Bigfoot lore was limited to the Pacific Northwest, or the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, or any number of Asian rumors of a huge hairy beast strolling the forests or jungles. Such tales were generally dismissed offhand as the product of overactive imaginations or shoddy home movies showing men in gorilla suits.

However, it was always the purported footprints left by these supposed shaggy super-simians that have been more difficult to dismiss. Some have been explained away as forgeries, while other footprints have been eternally cast in plaster and continue to amaze, astound and confound to this day, defying all attempts at explanation. Yes, more than anything, perhaps, it’s the footprints that have kept the Bigfoot story alive and pulsating in the imaginations of people worldwide.

Now, of course, there’s a whole new kind of footprint emerging that’s reignited the debate about Bigfoot. Everyone’s talking about these new footprints, with the Media coming alive with stories about how important the new footprints are, complete with hand-wringing commentary about what should be done to address them.

These “carbon footprints” seem to be popping up everywhere lately. Most unnerving, perhaps, is just how many carbon footprints are reportedly appearing in cities and suburban communities. Apparently, Carbon Bigfoot has developed a taste for urban culture and convenience. Everywhere you go, people are talking about all the carbon footprints they’ve witnessed.

Okay, as far as I know, nobody has actually witnessed a carbon footprint; no plaster casts have been made and put on display in any public forums. Nevertheless, people from all across the globe are convinced they’ve seen carbon footprints, with a large portion of those people thinking they themselves may be responsible for making those footprints, which seems ridiculous, but there’s no accounting for human insanity.

Just like Regular Bigfoot, there’s no apparent hard evidence to prove or disprove the existence of these carbon footprints and, just like Regular Bigfoot, people either believe passionately in them or they view them as the product of an overactive imagination and a desire to perpetually see bogeymen that don’t actually exist.

Even within the community that believes in Carbon Bigfoot, there’s strong disagreement about the size of its footprints, or even about what actually creates them. Some believe the footprints are ridiculously huge and need to be reduced—in a Chinese foot binding sort of way—while others insist the footprints are perfectly normal and people should just leave Carbon Bigfoot alone, if it even exists.

Most of the lore surrounding Carbon Bigfoot—though sketchy and based on woefully incomplete data and unreliable first-hand accounts—generally agrees the great beast is probably color blind, so the best way to avoid detection is to “go green.” Companies worldwide, particularly retailers, are offering an array of “green” alternatives to help footprint-wary customers stay one step ahead of the reportedly ravenous primate.

Amidst all this ongoing debate, the quest for hard evidence of carbon footprints continues. An entire industry has sprung up dedicated to locating and assessing the size of these footprints nobody can see. Indeed, there are a considerable amount of “carbon credits” up for grabs to anybody who can definitively show what a carbon footprint looks like. This could be quite a daunting task, since Carbon Bigfoot has proven more elusive than Regular Bigfoot. And, since Regular Bigfoot remains, at best, a legend, you can about imagine how hard it’s going to be to prove the existence of Carbon Bigfoot.

Nevertheless, the idea of a Carbon Bigfoot has been unleashed upon the world; the carbon genie has popped forth from its carbon bottle (both of which I just made up to make an analogy, so don’t go thinking a carbon bottle or carbon genie actually exist). You either believe in Carbon Bigfoot and its omnipresent footprints, or you don’t.

Whatever you believe, I think we can all agree “Carbon Bigfoot” would be a great name for a professional wrestler.

Posted by Ryan at 12:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 07, 2007

Fridays Are Too Happy to Read Eeyore

Caroline says: Have you read the latest Coleman?

Ryan says: I started to, but it had absolutely no point, so I gave up.

Caroline says: His columns never have a point.

Ryan says: Yes, but this one was particularly pointless.

Caroline says: But I'm sure the families of the folks he mentions in the column are just so pleased to have it brought up again.

Ryan says: What it must be like to live in his skull; nothing but moaning, moping, the-world-is-broken depressive pabulum.

Caroline says: He's the worst.

Ryan says: That should be his tagline at the Strib.

Ryan says: Nick Coleman: He's The Worst.

Caroline says: Or, or! Interest Level: Zero

Ryan says: No, no. That should be the tag that wraps up each of his columns.

Caroline says: So many tags, so little interest.

Posted by Ryan at 12:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 06, 2007

Clogging Your toilet With Blow-Up Dolls

It’s time, once again, to delve into the world of news items you no doubt missed thanks to the demands of your high-stress lifestyle. Fortunately, you have me, a marginally humorous ThunderJournalist, who has the time and resources to research news and events that, in my opinion, you absolutely need to know about.

For example, if it weren’t for me and my diligence, you’d probably have gone your whole life without knowing a man escaped from a work release crew by clogging a toilet. That’s right, according to a Dec. 6 Associated Press (AP) news report out of Charlestown, Ind., “An inmate escaped from a work-release crew after he created a distraction with an overflowing toilet, authorities said. Wayne Mitchell, 24, was in the Clark County Jail for a probation-violation warrant, but had been working with a crew clearing roadside trash.”

I’m trying to imagine this scenario playing out in “Shawshank Redemption” sort of way, complete with Morgan Freeman narrating with his oil slick voice:

FREEMAN: I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on Wayne Mitchell. I confess I didn’t think much of him right away; seemed a stiff breeze could have blown him over. That was my first impression of the man. You never would have guessed he was plotting his escape from Clark County Jail the moment he set foot inside. This was a man who knew how to clog a toilet with a rock hammer, and he was going to use that knowledge to gain his freedom.

Back to the article: “When the crew stopped at the Clark County Fraternal Order of Police lodge to eat lunch, Mitchell went into a restroom and clogged a toilet, causing it to overflow, police said. He then came out saying he needed some towels from the jail's van to sop up the mess. ‘The toilet overflowed and the rest of the inmates were trying to clean it up,’ said Maj. Chuck Adams of the Clark County Sheriff's Department.”

Excuse me, but how bad does a toilet have to be clogged that you have an entire work-release detail consisting of several inmates working to clean it up? Was this a super toilet? How was this a multi-man clean-up job, exactly? I mean, come on.

Thankfully, even though Mitchell remains on the lam, there are plenty of other aspiring criminals just waiting to fill such vacancies. Take Jose Sandoval, 26, of DeForest, Wis., who was apprehended by law enforcement officials after breaking into an adult novelty store and making away with several blow-up dolls and “other” items.

According to the Dec. 4, AP report out of Madison, Wis., “DeForest smashed through the front door at Naughty Novelties in Burke last month and stole a talking love doll with a $270 price tag, along with other dolls and items.”

There’s lonely, and there’s really lonely, and there’s really, REALLY lonely, and finally there’s “talking love doll” lonely. Seriously, if you find yourself in bed at night, having a heart-to-heart discussion with a talking love doll, you really should consider because, man, you’ve hit rock bottom. Oh, and if you do score a date, you totally better not mention that doll. In fact, get rid of it all together.

You could try flushing it.

Posted by Ryan at 02:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2007

Who Is Stephen A. Smith, And Why Is He Such An Idiot?

It's been awhile since I've seen a good rant against bloggers/ThunderJournalists by someone in the hallowed realm of established, "respected," journalism. BUT HERE'S A DOOZY:

==On if he considers going back to newspapers, or whether it's a dying industry:

"I don't believe that. All the newspaper industry has to do is connect itself better with the Internet and guess what? People will read the newsaper on the Internet, not rely so much on the paper copy and get with the Internet age more so than it has. The foundation of the newspaper business... should never die. We shoud do all we can possible to make sure it lives in perpetuity because it’s extremely important with everything. It keeps radio and television on their ps and qs.

Okay, so far, I'm following him. I don't think he's EXACTLY right, necessarily, but he's at least being reasonable. Then there's this:

"And when you look at the Internet business, what’s dangerous about it is that people who are clearly unqualified get to disseminate their piece to the masses.

That's right, they're clearly unqualified to have and voice their opinions. There's a qualifying exam given by each state that you must pass to earn your opinion certification. It comes with a plaque.

I respect the journalism industry, and the fact of the matter is ...someone with no training should not be allowed to have any kind of format whatsoever to disseminate to the masses to the level which they can.

Respecting the journalism industry, while completely pissing on the First Amendment. That's a neat twist.

They are not trained. Not experts.

Experts in what, exactly? Some of the most informative and authoritative blogs on niche topics like "underwater small engine maintenance" run absolute rings around what passes for "expertise" in the journalism and newspaper world. Most newspaper reporters learn a little bit about a topic in a day or a week, maybe interview a few people who are actual experts, and then they write and file a story which is generally correct in a big picture sort of way, but woefully incomplete and sparse on the details. The main thing journalists are "experts" at is crafting an interesting written final product. If the reader wants to learn more, the Web awaits, chock full of actual experts.

More important are the level of ethics and integrity that comes along with the quote-unqoute profession hasn’t been firmly established and entrenched in the minds of those who’ve been given that license.

Oh, hang your ethics and integrity bullcrap already. Where's the "ethics" behind chasing behind a firetruck to get a story about a local blaze and hopefully a front page image? I've done it, and there's no ethics or integrity involved. It's about getting a good story and a good picture and, as a result, hopefully selling more newspapers. Many bloggers have just as much, if not more, ethics and integrity than a lot of journalists. Then there's me, who just enjoys the freedom to post a picture of my butt online.

"Therefore, there’s a total disregard, a level of wrecklessness that ends up being a domino effect.

Really? Like, where?

And the people who suffer are the common viewers out there and, more importantly, those in the industry who haven’t been fortunate to get a radio or television deal and only rely on the written word. And now they’ve been sabotaged.

Sabotaged! By bloggers! Common plebian scribes! Awash in literary cooties, they are! Mere pretenders to the journalism throne, hacking away at the knees of those more worthy! Man, this guy needs a good cock punching.

Not because of me. Or like me. But because of the industry or the world has allowed the average joe to resemble a professional without any credentials whatsoever."

Like, A MAJOR cock punching. The kind of cock punch where the testicles have to be jammed back down the throat with a plunger.

Posted by Ryan at 02:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It's Got A Good Beat, and You Can Shit Your Pants To It

Incidentally, is there such a thing as a GOOD case of diarrhea?

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December 04, 2007

Cookie Cutter

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The Calling

During my mass communications/journalism classes in college, there were a couple of recurring themes brought up by certain professors who either A) wanted to scare us away or B) saw journalism as a righteous calling.

From the A) crowd, we'd hear: "Don't expect to make money in journalism," which, to their credit, my first newspaper job paid $5.50 an hour, which was raised to a whopping $6 an hour when I was working as a full time reporter. That was followed by about a year working for just over $10 an hour. So, it's not as if there wasn't some truth to their warnings. There's a reason so many journalists tend to drift into public relations and other avenues that can actually put food on the table that isn't government cheese.

From the B) crowd, we were told that journalists aren't in it for the money. We were offered up the standard tripe of "speaking truth to power," which always left me imagining myself reading an encyclopedia to an electrical socket. Believe me, after you've sat through about your fifth city council meeting or your third school board meeting, the concept of speaking truth to power pretty much loses all meaning. You go from "speaking truth to power" to thinking long and hard about "how the hell am I going to write something interesting based off this boring-assed shit?"

Also from the B) crowd came the feel-good nonsense of "comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable." The first time I heard it uttered, I laughed to myself, but after about the fourth time, I found myself irritated enough to raise my hand and ask:

"What happens after you afflict the comfortable? Don't they become afflicted and need to be comforted? This seems like a needlessly endless cycle."

There were some guffaws from my fellow classmates, but the professor didn't seem to be in the least amused. Instead of answering my mostly-facetious question, he want off on some tangent about the priviledged wealthy class and how they need a check on their status, or some such blatherating. I wasn't paying very close attention, since the Internet had just become available in classrooms, and I was looking for pictures of Angie Everhart naked, which I found to be far more satisfying than speaking truth to power, afflicting the comfortable, or comforting the affflicted.

Besides, I went into journalism because I could write fairly decent and sucked at math, which is probably why 70 percent of journalists go down that path to begin with.

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

December 03, 2007

It's Tradition

Well, it's now officially December, which means it's time to link to. . .


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