May 31, 2008

Eggciting Times

Earlier this spring, Melissa installed window boxes below my office window and the bedroom window. About a week after planting flowers, she was surprised, while watering the flowers one day, to see a robin's nest under construction amidst the flowers in the window box below my office window. Much has happened since then. Many eggs have appeared and the robins take turns keeping them warm, while keeping a wary eye on the two humans ogling them from mere inches away behind a pane of glass. As you can see, the combination of colorful flowers and bright blue eggs make for a most excellent photo. Credit goes to Melissa for the picture. Credit goes to me. . . because it's my office.


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

May 29, 2008

Job Retrospective

Start Date: Nov. 5, 2001.

Original Job Title: News Editor, IBM eServer Magazine, iSeries edition. Final job title: News editor, IBM Systems Magazine, CompTIA newsletter managing editor.

Later added: IBM eServer Magazine, pSeries edition, mainframe edition, TotalStorage edition.

IBM Server name changes: iSeries - System i - i5 - Business System

pSeries - System p - p5 - Power Systems - Business System

Mainframe - zSeries - System z - z9 - z10 - Mainframe.

Total number of articles written: A LOT, including 40 - 50 articles and definitions written for CompTIA.

Managing Editor for two years and 17 magazine issues, from 2005 - 2007.

Trade Shows Attended:

April, 2002: COMMON in Nashville.

February, 2003: SHARE in Dallas

March, 2003: COMMON in Indianapolis

September, 2003: COMMON in Orlando

May, 2004: COMMON in San Antonio

March, 2005: COMMON in Chicago

August, 2005: SHARE in Boston

March, 2006: SHARE in Seattle

August, 2006: SHARE in Baltimore

September, 2006: System p show in Las Vegas

Overall, a good job. Here's hoping the next one is, too.

Posted by Ryan at 11:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Starting next week Monday, as I embark on a new fork in my writing career path, I think it's fair to say you can expect some sort of impact on my ThunderJournal.

Whether that means less posting, more attempts at anonymity, more guarded and less revealing content. . . well, I really don't know. I have no idea what to expect, to be perfectly honest.

At any rate, I fully intend to keep this ThunderJournal chugging along, for as long as the forces behind deign to keep hosting.

But, things will probably change somewhat around here. Just so you know.

Posted by Ryan at 08:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008



Posted by Ryan at 11:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Into the Wild" = Glorified Stupidity

Mel and I watched "Into The Wild" last night.

Holy crap did that movie stink like baby Zeus's diaper.

I guess it probably works on some level; like, say, a level wherein you needlessly punish your parents for two years by disappearing without a trace, and then attempting to live in Alaska armed with a woefully inadequate, plastic .22 calibre rifle, and trying to field dress a moose, by yourself, with no prior experience, and all sorts of other anecdotes you'd expect from a self-absorbed, delusional drama-queen who knows just enough about nature and "the wild" to get killed by it.

So, yeah, great movie, in the same kind of way "The Blair Witch Project" was a great movie.

Posted by Ryan at 08:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Hell. Go there.

Over the long weekend, this ThunderJournal was once again bombarded by comment spam.

Let it be known, the complete buttholes responsible for spam originating from "wow gold" (World of Warcraft Gold) and "handmade painting" can seriously go spin on a long one.

Hatred. White hot. Etc.

Posted by Ryan at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2008

Job Jitters

You know, the prospect of starting a new job is both exciting and terrifying.

It's exciting because one of my goals for the last five years or so has been to work in a writing/editing capacity at the Mayo Clinic. As you can imagine, such opportunities are few and far between, and everybody with a mass communications degree within a tri-state area obviously applies to them when they're posted, so the competition is fierce. All things considered, I think I'm going to be a very good fit as a "Web Content Producer," since the job description seemed like it was written specifically for me.

On the other hand, it's terrifying, because what if I'm wrong? What if I suck? What if all my years writing technology-based articles doesn't translate over into the medical world? For the most part, I'm on the positive side of the fence, and I think I'll be great. But, man, lingering doubts just suck, and they keep me from truly enjoying the prospects of an increased salary, great benefits, and just the general excitement inherent in starting a new adventure.

All I know is, June 2 is sure coming up fast.

Posted by Ryan at 12:26 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

It's About Nothing

Ryan says: So, here's the dumbest thing to appear in a newspaper I think I may have ever read:

Caroline says: But, it's not by Nick Coleman.

Ryan says: I know. That threw me.

Caroline says: What the--

Ryan says: I know, right?

Ryan says: You're just kind of left there, wondering "what the hell was that even about?"

Caroline says: Was it about something?

Caroline says: Heeeeeeee

Posted by Ryan at 09:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

When Animals Are the Enemy

There's a lot of talk these days about animal rights. It seems like every day, while I'm trying to eat my double sealburger and dolphin fries, a spam e-mail will appear on my computer screen from some animal rights group telling me cats are people, too.

The fact of the matter is, however, animals are, and always have been, waging war against us. Oh, sure, it SEEMS like an accident when you hit a deer with your car, but what you don't realize is those car-seeking deer are the animal world equivalent of suicide bombers. Deer vs. automobile incidents may seem random, but I assure you, they're part of a very clever, ongoing, coordinated attack. What's more, the deer are now brazenly targeting children? You want proof? Fine!

According to a May 21, Associated Press (AP) report out of Quakertown, Pa., "a disoriented deer smashed his way into a suburban hair salon, and a customer wrestled with the animal to keep it from ramming into his 11-year-old son or other youngsters."

Yeah, right, the deer was "disoriented." Uh, huh. Leave it to the AP to give terrorist deer--or, deerrorists--the benefit of the doubt. The facts of the matter, I think, are abundantly clear: this deerrorist knew full well what it was doing, and it was only foiled in its plot to trample and impale children by the actions of a heroic customer, Randy Goepfert.

"Three hairdressers and several parents and children were in the Holiday Hair salon at a strip mall in this Philadelphia suburb when the white-tail buck crashed through the glass door. Goepfert was paying for his son Tyler's haircut."

Obviously, the deer chose that exact moment to spring its dastardly attack, figuring Goepfert would be adequately distracted while paying, so the deer would have the precious moments it needed to administer a quality child trampling.

"The deer 'was charging right at my son, so I decked him,' Goepfert said. He grabbed the buck by the neck and slammed it to the floor, then climbed on top and began choking it, hoping to keep the animal at bay until authorities arrived."

Mr. President, give this man a medal!

This story has everything: an evil deerrorist, intent on maiming children, in a locale so genuinely American. . . and maybe a little French. . . as a salon; it has a deerrorist punching, slamming and choking red-blooded American standing in the way of the deerrorist and his nefarious plot; it has hairdressers; and it has children.

"Police and a state Game Commission officer later tranquilized the deer, but it had a broken jaw and cuts on its neck and had to be euthanized, officials said."

America - 1, deerrorists - 0!

"Glen Campbell, a wildlife conservation officer, said the deer was likely frightened and disoriented."

And here comes the bleeding heart, deerrorist appeasing apologists. They have an excuse or reason for every deerrorist plot, activity or attack. You can practically set your watch to it.

"'They have a very, very primeval flight response,' Campbell said. 'If they get scared, they don't think, they just try to get away.'"

Oh, the poor, poor, misunderstood deerrorist. He wasn't trying to maim and kill children; he was trying to get away! Really, Mr. Campbell? Really? Then why did it crash through the glass door? If it was trying to "get away," wouldn't you think it would have run AWAY from the building, rather than right at the front door?

Well, the deerrorists may have Glen Campbell fooled but I, for one, know better.

Posted by Ryan at 05:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Context is Everything

Reading Lileks today, I couldn't help but laugh at this:

They were okay, I guess, but you would prefer a Chip and Dale to learning about beavers.

Speak for yourself, pal.

Posted by Ryan at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Final Word

One thing that bothered me about the whole HUMORLESS DOUCHE episode from earlier this week was the nagging question as to HOW David Hanners managed to get access to my cell phone number.

Well, yesterday, I called my parents to find out how everything is going in their retired world, and my mother mentioned that some guy from the Pioneer-Press had called them asking for: my cell phone number, my work number and my land line number (which I don't have).

So. . . if I'm to imagine how this all played out in the mind of David Hanners, I'm led to believe he basically was calling every "Rhodes" in the state of Minnesota, asking if the "Rhodes" he was calling was, or knew of, me. All in a quest to track down the person who created a parody petition and made parody comments on a petition site that is so riddled full of credibility holes, it's the Swiss cheese of petition sites.

Therefore, I have to give mad props to David Hanners for his tenacity in tracking down phone numbers, which was very "journalistic" of him. On the other hand, his unrelenting stupidity when it comes to the realm of parody kind of offsets the mad props for his tenacity.

Because, my God man, parody and satire were covered pretty extensively in my Media Law class in college, so you'd think a Pulitzer Prize winner would be able to grasp the concept just a little bit better. A LOT bit better.

Posted by Ryan at 08:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Advertising Conundrum

Right now, my Google ads are telling me to:

"Meet Gay Men"


"Join Smith Barney"

I'm kinda torn, actually.

Posted by Ryan at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008

Little Known Hazard

One of the most common ongoing injuries I've come to expect training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an almost perpetual series of mat burns on my feet, ankles and knees. It's not that surprising, really, because the mats are basically plastic versions of the Japanese tatami mats I became accustomed to living in Tokyo. For a close-up of what a zebra mat looks like, GO HERE. If you run your bare feet across those mats enough times, you're almost guaranteed to get a burn.

Right now, I have several burns on both feet, and the only real way to continue training without having the burns break open and bleed all over the mats is to put band-aids over the burns and then secure the band aids by wrapping your foot in athletic tape.

Melissa had the presence of mind to sneak into the living room after I got back from class tonight, and snap this flattering picture of me removing my athletic tape and band-aids.


Makes me wince just looking at it.

Posted by Ryan at 09:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Humorless Douche

UPDATE: Alternative title to this post could be: "Why Newspapers Are Circling The Drain."

IMAGE UPDATE: I figured I'd pepper this post with the kind of appropriate imagery that no doubt inhabits the mind of David Hanners.


I recieved a phone call this morning.

From David Hanners, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist!

I shit you not.

Mr. Hanners, apparently, took affront to having his name associated with the parody I created last week in response to the petition calling for the firing of Katherine Kersten.

No, seriously, I shit you not. David Hanners called me this morning. About this. I find it hilarious and somewhat unbelievable, too. But, I assure you, he called me.

Notwithstanding the fact the parody petition was titled, in parody fashion after the original anti-Kersten petition, "Star-Tribune: For Irresponsible Numb-Nuttery, fire Nick Coleman," and notwithstanding the fact one of the "signers" was "Abe Lincoln"--who, I feel I should add, apparently got the joke and didn't call me this morning--David Hanners still felt compelled to give me a jingle this fine day to complain that his name was used as one of the commenters.

I know. I know. It's genuinely hard to believe. But it happened. Honest to freakin' God.

I tried to explain to Mr. Hanners that the petition and the "signatures" were an act of parody, of satire, an attempt to show how ridiculous the petition site was in general because ANYBODY could create a petition and then go and sign it as many times as they wanted under ANYBODY'S name, over and over and over again.

I tried to explain this to Mr. Hanners (who honestly called me this morning), but he was steadfast in resolve that I had wronged him for using his name in parody.

So, I called him a humorless douche.

Now, understand, I don't typically call somebody a humorless douche unless I've given up a conversation as lost because the person on the other end clearly doesn't "get it." I can assure you, however, after about ten minutes of speaking with Mr. Hanners, not only didn't he "get it," he was nowhere within the solar system of "getting it," so I called him a "humorless douche." He didn't know why I had to resort to name calling. I didn't have the patience to explain why I had to resort to name calling. But, believe me, it was warranted. Plus, it made my future wife snort with laughter while brushing her teeth.

But, I told Mr. Hanners I'd meet him halfway. I told him I'd take down his parody "comment" on my petition. My petition that had. . . 30 signatures. My parody petition and parody "signers" that was so clearly parody even Abe Lincoln is in his grave right now, saying "That parody was four score and seven degrees of awesome parody."


However, I'm not going to bow completely to the whims of the humorless douches of the world. I'm going to post the parody petition here, along with ALL the parody "signers," including my completely obvious "David Hanners" parody signature, because I want the online world to know, for as long as this ThunderJournal exists, that there are, indeed, completely humorless douches crawling across this planet. . . and some of them, unbelievably enough, have even won a Pulitzer.

As extra-special goodness, I see Mr. Hanners has added comment #31 to really round out the doucheness of it all. I deleted it, of course, on the petition site, but it shall remain here, for all eternity. Ladies and gentlemen, David Hanners, a person who clearly doesn't understand parody, humor, or the Internet in general.

ANOTHER UPDATE: There's a part of me that feels compelled to write 20 "David Hanners" comments in a row, but I'm too good for that.

Star-Tribune: For Irresponsible Numb-Nuttery, fire Nick Coleman

Target:Nick Coleman

Sponsored by: Ryan Rhodes, Rhodes Media Services

Nick Coleman, columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has made a habit of writing meandering, pointless, poorly penned, logically fallible, half-assedly Google-researched twaddle in Minnesota. But in his recent smear of Minnesota's sesquicentennial, Coleman went further and committed journalistic Numb-Nuttery. There is no place for him in a newspaper that claims to be a newspaper.

Coleman alleged that the 150th anniversary of Minnesota statehood has been an unmitigated flop. His evidence: the word of "a retired Scott County sheriff's deputy who serves as recruiting sergeant for a group of reenactors who portray Battery I of the First U.S. Artillery." Coleman failed to mention that his writing causes birds to fall from the sky due to the sheer wincing stench of his nonsensical "columns." More irresponsibly, Coleman used a tenuous and far-fetched connection to reality to suggest "Col. William Colvill, the hero of Gettysburg who was going to carry the flag into the Capitol when it opened in 1905 but died the night before and became the first person to lie in state in the rotunda," is somehow spinning in his grave. What proof did Coleman offer up in support of this corpse rotation claim? None!

# 31: 7:18 am PDT, May 19, David Hanners, Minnesota Delete
I would like to note that, as of this writing, signature #4 falsely appears under my name, and I DID NOT sign this petition. When I asked the person who started the petition about it, he told me that he signed my name as "parody" and "satire." There is nothing to indicate that. Signing someone else's name to a petition is a serious matter and is akin to identity theft. It is wrong. It is fraudulent. I have asked him to remove it, and I have also asked to remove it.

# 30: 7:39 pm PDT, May 16, Chad Quigley, Minnesota

# 29: 6:30 pm PDT, May 16, Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian Federation
I like the wizard of oz.

# 28: 3:53 pm PDT, May 16, Norm Colman, Minnesota
I cannot abide someone possessing the same surname as I, exhibiting the degree of douchebaggery in print as the foul Nicholas COLEMAN. May he rot in damnation for all eternity.

# 27: 3:20 pm PDT, May 16, Nancy LaRoche, Minnesota
Nick Coleman: he belongs on the Soros-funded MN Monitor, not the Star-Tribune.

# 26: 11:46 am PDT, May 16, Name Witheld, Minnesota
A troglodyte would be a better columnist, and would probably use a more flattering photo to accompany their drivel. Coleman has called himself a "journalist." He's as much a journalist as he is a conservative. His writing is atrocious and his content is irrelevant. As the Strib is having severe financial issues, one hopes that the next round of downsizing will allow Coleman to pursue a career in the food service or travel industries, which would obviously be a much better occcupational match for his charm and abilities.

# 25: 11:37 am PDT, May 16, Duke Powell, Minnesota

# 24: 11:29 am PDT, May 16, Kameel Ahmed, Minnesota
Free speech is a priviledge & needs to be excercised with responsibility. I am afraid that Mr. Coleman has chosen otherwise. His incendiary & inaccurate writings are full of false innuendos. They have caused much angst & pain to a whole community. They go against the very values this country was built upon. Mutual respect & responsible citizenship.

# 23: 10:45 am PDT, May 16, Jeff Urbanek, Minnesota
Coleman has a reckless regard for facts, and is bent on creating a mean-spirited, repressed, joyless world where all march in the same lockstep, those with different ideologies, faiths, politics, ambitions, or lifestyle choices are not allowed in his world view. He would have us all sing out of the same hymnal, do the same activities, parrot the same tired worn out lines. I would advocate for his ability to freely express himself, but he does so in a way that has a reckless disregard for the truth. Anything outside of that world view of his simply does not exist. Are we going to be a country that is inclusive and helps one another, or one that is constantly suspicious of one another and is critical of how everyone else does things? Funny on how he feels free to be a critic of pretty much everything but can not take that scrutiny himself.

# 22: 9:58 am PDT, May 16, Name not displayed, Minnesota
Coleman is the reason I cancelled my subscription

# 21: 9:57 am PDT, May 16, Darrel Pinkston, Minnesota
The worst columnist of a major daily in America.

# 20: 8:02 am PDT, May 16, Melissa Theisen, Minnesota

# 19: 7:59 am PDT, May 16, Greg Lang, Minnesota
Don't forget that when Nickboy got his first job at the Strib his stepmother worked there and his father had long been one of the most powerful democrats in the MN legisslature (including the time when the I35W bridge was approved and built). When the Strib hired Nickboy his brother was a St. Paul City Council member soon to be the current St. Paul mayor. When Nickboy "dumped the Pioneer Press the presspatch hired is soon to be wife Laura Billings as his replacement.

# 18: 7:40 am PDT, May 16, Name not displayed, United States Minor Outlying Islands

# 17: 6:38 am PDT, May 16, Bill Hedrick, Minnesota
In a time when the Strib is hard up for readers the best thing it can do is to keep the best and fire the rest, Coleman is not the best.

# 16: 6:06 am PDT, May 16, Name not displayed, Minnesota
Calling Nikolai Colmanov a numb-nuts is an insult to Numb-nuts everywhere...that being said, he's gotta go.

# 15: 5:45 am PDT, May 16, Shawn Randall, Minnesota
Coleman was a clueless drone with poor writing skills when he was at the Pioneer Press. What is it about the Star Trib hiring away folks from PiPress anyway.

# 14: 5:09 am PDT, May 16, Gary Lieske, Minnesota
He is bad as a colunist and worse on channel 9 news. Please remove him.

# 13: 2:01 am PDT, May 16, Thomas Pirovano, Switzerland

# 12: 8:52 pm PDT, May 15, Name not displayed, New York

# 11: 8:31 pm PDT, May 15, Adam Izer, Minnesota
Nick Coleman's lies make baby Jesus cry.

# 10: 8:09 pm PDT, May 15, Randy Kruckeberg, Minnesota
comrade coleman should be sent to a re-education camp!

# 7: 7:51 pm PDT, May 15, Samina Ali, Minnesota
I am disappointed to see that the Star Tribune can afford to keep someone as unprofessional as Mr. Nick Coleman on their staff. He has consistently used her paid position to promote a personal agenda, which has resulted in the spread of hatred and hysteria over various pet peeves. The Star Tribune should instead celebrate the diversity that makes up Minnesota.

# 6: 3:01 pm PDT, May 15, Abe Lincoln, Washington D.C.
As a former President of the United States who was assassinated by getting shot in the head, I can honestly and truthfully tell you, reading a Nick Coleman column is far more painful than having a lead ball crash through your cranium. While I stand behind the freedom of speech and of the press, in this case, should Nick Coleman be fired, it would be a victory for another valuable freedom: Freedom from Numb-Nuttery.

# 5: 2:58 pm PDT, May 15, C Whitehair, Minnesota
Nick Coleman has been an embarrassment to Minnesota for years. It is past time for him to be retired.

# 4: 2:45 pm PDT, May 15, David Hanners, Minnesota
As a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, I have to say, Nick Coleman writes like a toddler after sniffing a hardwood floor cleaning chemical. The man strings together sentences that make sense only to a select few people suffering from a combination of explosive diarrhea and paranoid schizophrenia. Coleman's not so much a journalist as he is a hemorrhoid that has inexplicably developed the ability to type.


# 3: 2:28 pm PDT, May 15, Mitch Berg, Minnesota
Please, please - expel this piece of journalistic snot!

# 2: 2:04 pm PDT, May 15, Eva Young, Minnesota
I liker Nick Colemans, but num-nuttery is an unforgivalbe affense. Raed my blog.

# 1: 1:52 pm PDT, May 15, Kevin Ecker, Minnesota
Coleman sucks

Posted by Ryan at 09:15 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 16, 2008

My Muse Strikes After A Long Night of Diaper Changing

Inspired by this, and a sleepless night of diaper changing:


I wrote this dialogue between myself and a reluctant woman:

I is Ryan
Ryan I is

That Ryan-I-is!
That Ryan-I-is!
I do not like that Ryan-I-is!

Do you like a wad of jizz?
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.
I do not like jizz, just mind your biz.

Would you like jizz warm or cold?

I would not like jizz warm or cold.
I would not like jizz; you've been told.

I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Would you like jizz in a cave?
Would you like jizz during a rave?

I do not like jizz in a cave.
I do not like jizz during a rave.
I do not like jizz warm or cold.
I do not like jizz; you've been told!
I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Would you eat jizz with Pop Rocks?
Would you eat jizz with dirty socks?

Not with Pop Rocks.
Not with dirty socks.
Not in a cave.
Not during a rave.
I would not eat jizz warm or cold.
I would not eat jizz; you've been told!
I would not eat a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Would you? Could you? During sex?
Eat jizz! Eat jizz! Like Tex Mex!

I would not, could not, during sex.

You may like jizz. You will see.
You may like jizz in an orgy!

I would not, could not in an orgy.
Not during sex! You let me be.

I do not like jizz with Pop Rocks.
I do not like jizz with dirty socks.
I do not like jizz in a cave.
I do not like jizz during a rave.
I do not like jizz warm or cold.
I do not like jizz; you've been told!
I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Explain! Explain!
Explain! Explain!
Could you, would you, please explain?

What's to explain?! Not in an orgy!
Not during sex! Ryan! Let me be!

I would not, could not, with Pop Rocks.
I could not, would not, with dirty socks.
I will not eat jizz in a cave.
I will not eat jizz during a rave.
I will not eat jizz warm or cold.
I will not eat shit; YOU'VE BEEN TOLD.
I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Say! In the john?
Here in the john!
Would you, could you, in the john?

I would not, could not, in the john.

Would you, could you, with John Wayne?

I would not, could not, with John Wayne.
Not in the john. I won't explain.

I would not, could not, with Pop Rocks.
I could not, would not, with dirty socks.
I will not eat jizz in a cave.
I will not eat jizz during a rave.
I will not eat jizz warm or cold.
I will not eat jizz; YOU'VE BEEN TOLD.
I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-am.

Not during sex; during an orgy.
I do not like jizz, Ryan, you see.
Not in a cave. Not with Pop Rocks.
Not during a rave. Not with dirty socks.
I will not eat jizz warm or cold.
I do not like jizz; YOU'VE BEEN TOLD!

You do not like a wad of jizz?

I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

Could you, would you, during Deep Throat?

I would not, could not, during Deep Throat!

Would you, could you, if it floats?

I could not, would not, if it floats.
I will not, will not, during Deep Throat.

I simply cannot. . . WON'T. . . explain.
I will not eat jizz with John Wayne.
Not during sex! Not in an orgy!
Not in the john! You let me be!
I do not like jizz with Pop Rocks.
I do not like jizz with dirty socks.
I do not like jizz in a cave.
I do not like jizz during a rave.
I do not like jizz warm or cold.
I do not like jizz; you've been told!
I do not like a wad of jizz.
I do not like jizz, Ryan-I-is.

You do not like jizz. So you say.
Try jizz! Try jizz! And you may.
Try jizz and you may, I say.

Ryan! If you will let me be,
I will try jizz. You will see.

*tries eating wad of jizz*

Say! I like a wad of jizz!
I do! I like jizz, Ryan-I-is!
And I would eat jizz during Deep Throat.
And I would eat jizz if it floats.
Please, please let me explain.
I'd eat jizz during sex. And with John Wayne.
And in the john. And in an orgy.
Jizz is so very good, you see!

So I will eat jizz with Pop Rocks
And I will eat jizz with dirty socks.
And I will eat jizz in a cave
And I will eat jizz during a rave.
And I will eat jizz, warm OR cold
Say! I will eat jizz! I'VE BEEN SOLD!
I do so like a wad of jizz!
Thank you! Thank you, Ryan-I-is!

Posted by Ryan at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I've said this before, but. . .

The Internet truly is full of stupid people.

When I first started my ThunderJournal back in 2002, the Internet was full of stupid people, sure, but they hadn't, mercifully, quite figured out how to manifest that stupidity en masse.

Alas, the Internet is, if nothing else, a stupidity enabler.

Allowing comments to be posted on YouTube videos, for example, is a prime example of Internet stupidity enabling.

And my post yesterday, wherein I created an online petition as a parody of the sheer, unrelenting stupidity of the "Fire Kersten" petition? That original anti-Kersten petition has nonetheless continued to stand out as one of the stupidest things to fester on the Web. Honestly, there are people signing that petition who think they're writing TO THE STAR-TRIBUNE. How mind-fuckingly stupid are these people?!!!

And that type of shit is ALL OVER the Internet.

Honestly, it should be obvious, to anyone with three firing brain neurons that the petition site is nothing more than an engine for generating online ads. The very fact I could sign a petition as "Abe Lincoln" should be proof positive that the site is nothing but a really stupid gimmick.

But no. Really stupid people take online fluff like that really fucking seriously. Like the Minnesota Monitor, which is itself infused with off-the-charts stupidity masquerading as "news," even deigned to take the petition site seriously because one of the "signers" won a Pulitzer 20 years ago. Never mind the fact the Pulitzer winner has since devolved into such stupidity that he doesn't even recognize a completely meaningless scam petition site when he sees it.

I mean, the Internet is still great and everything; it's a wonderfully useful tool, particularly for those of us in the writing realm.

But jeezum crow. . . the Internet is sure chock full of stupid.

Posted by Ryan at 09:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2008

Let's Put the Shoe on the Other Foot

Inspired BY THIS

I simply felt compelled TO CREATE THIS.

Maybe a Pulitzer Prize winner will sign it so it gets picked up by Minnesota Monitor . . .

Dream a little dream.

UPDATE: Fellow Everyday Internet Hero, Mitch Berg, takes up the slashy sword of non-binding Internet petitions WITH HIS OWN TARGET.

Posted by Ryan at 02:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008

Not to Steal Lileks' Bit or Anything, But. . .

With apologies to James Lileks, who is kind of the pre-eminent source for comic book snark. I was conducting a work-related Google image search (and YES, it really was work related), when I stumbled on the following comic book cover:


Leaving aside the fact I didn't realize "turning things to stone" was one of Supergirl's powers--apparently, Medusa doesn't have that market cornered, after all--I was first struck by the reaction of the guy. I mean, there he is, half granite, half-man. . . and he's ASKING QUESTIONS? If I were in his position, not only would I be mortified to be wearing a tie lifted from Fred's closet in the Mystery Machine, I'd like to think I'd also be saying something more befitting being turned to stone; something like, "Gah! Bitch, stop it! For the love of God, don't do this!"

For that matter, you'd think he would have started to clue in to the fact something wasn't right BEFORE he was half-a-statue. You know, maybe when Supergirl led him to a secluded spot populated by a dozen or so statues that look kinda out of place. . . and kinda like him.

And, by the way, Supergirl is apparently a bit of a tart, judging by her collection of exes. A hot dog down a hallway comes to mind. A Superhallway.

Posted by Ryan at 03:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Perv is Strong With This One

Ryan says: You know, as much as I totally hate to admit it, that damned Miley Cyrus song they play on KROC is pretty catchy.

Caroline says: I don't think I've ever heard it. I don't listen to KROC much at all.

Ryan says: I heard it on my way to BJJ class last night, and it was rolling through my head for the next three hours.

Caroline says: The song was or Miley was? Ba dum bum!

Ryan says: I may be a perv, but I'm not THAT much of a perv.

Caroline says: I think you are.

Ryan says: You've always been my biggest perv supporter.

Caroline says: It's like being an athletic supporter, only with less cup.

Ryan says: Pervporter?

Caroline says: Well, yeah. Portaperv is something COMPLETELY different.

Ryan says: "This is Ryan Rhodes, on scene live, pervporting these unfolding events."

Caroline says: There's' going to be a Fraggle Rock movie.

Ryan says: Does Red get naked?

Caroline says: Well, the plot line is the mystery surrounding the carpet matching the drapes.

Caroline says: So, yes.

Ryan says: Giggity.

Caroline says: If we had a radio show, we could offend people on a grander scale.

Ryan says: Did we offend someone?

Caroline says: No, but think of the possibilities.

Ryan says: Thanks for listening to "The Offensive Geode Twins."

Caroline says: TOGT

Ryan says: Bumper Sticker: "Take Time Out for TOGT!"

Caroline says: More like bummer sticker.

Posted by Ryan at 11:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008

Crippled Conversation

Caroline says: I love BWE (Best Week Ever -- ed) because of post titles like this one: Tony Romo Sings Like Jimmy From Southpark Imitating Bob Dylan

Ryan says: Who is Jimmy on South Park?

Ryan says: Did he mean "Timmy?"

Caroline says: No, Jimmy is the kid in the wheelchair and Timmy is the kid with crutches.

Ryan says: Timmy is the kid in the wheelchair.

Caroline says: then Jimmy is the one with crutches

Caroline says: Or something

Ryan says: Cripple Fight!

Caroline says: Sigh. What a great show.

Posted by Ryan at 01:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

Heroes, Part III


The third part of our series, wherein we honor everyday blogging and ThunderJournaling heroes who go out into the wilds of the Internet, usually daily, rarely on weekends, to clash literary swords with those who disagree with them, falls to me today. With appropriate nods to Grace Kelly who, through one of the most mind-numbingly retarded things ever scrawled unto the Web, was the genesis for this mocking three part series.

So far, LearnedFoot has been interviewed and recognized for excellence in the field of heroical heroics in the face of anti-heroic forces.

Next, LearnedFoot turned to me, interviewing me in the most e-mailing-est way possible, making sure to get everything just right, and I basked in the glory of being an Everyday Internet Hero, if only for a short time.

Today, it is my duty, and my deepest honor, to reach forth into the maelstrom that is the Internet and select a blogger whom I deem worthy of the title of "Everyday Hero." To that end, I honor Mitch Berg, proprietor of the blog "Shot in the Dark," a man who has had many "baseline hits" in his tenure doing written battle on the InterTubes. A grizzled veteran of many peevish wars, I was surprised that General Berg acquiesced to an interview with me. We had a delightful time, exchanging e-mails to ensure our interview would be transcribed just right.

I will now channel the living spirit of Grace Kelly, to ensure Mitch Berg, Everyday Internet Hero, is given the appropriate respect:

While posting my personal entries on the turd rating Web site,, I was doing quite well. In my entries, I made strong baseline shits, over time, making good pants. Then Mitch Berg would come along with an image that just shit a homeruns so far out of the throne, that the usual cast of fecal image posters would quietly leave the field. I really wanted to meet this person. I was lucky enough to get this interview. I am hoping this series on everyday heroes will be picked up and mocked by basically the entire world. This is my first interview. I met with Mitch Berg, by which I mean I e-mailed him, and had a delightful time, because e-mail delights me. This is Mitch's writing up answers to the interview which, again, was done by delightful e-mail, so we both know it is exactly correct.

Mitch Berg is a conservative blogger and radio personality living in St. Paul, Minnesota. He currently contributes missives to his Shot in the Dark ( blog (widely believed to be the best blog in existence today), as well as appearing as the ever-hilarious "Head of Alfredo Garcia" on the second best blog in existence, "The Koolaid Report" ( Berg has read one book (a magazine, actually, presumably about ancient pottery, called "Juggs.") and produced and written hand shadow plays for the wall. He’s also a pretty tall guy, and he has a solid reputation as the Twin Cities' best feminist.

1) How did you get started writing about politics?

I was in a job where I was being terribly henpecked at the time. I needed some way to exorcise my feelings of powerlessness and rage that wouldn't land me in jail. I discovered the "blog". With my "blog", I discovered I was able to break public policy to my will, to destroy my enemies and get what I really wanted out of life. It gave me meaning. People liked me.

That, and the babes.

2) Do you have a special mission?

To break public policy to my will, to destroy my enemies and get what I really wanted out of life. To find meaning. To force people to like me.

That, and the babes.

I once did an interview with a contemporary artist. I asked the artist: "why do you paint portraits of Elvis on velvet?". He looked pensive, furrowed his brow, took a sip from a latte, sighed deeply, scratched his cracker-crumb-covered Van Dyke, adjusted his black beret, reached into his pants and adjusted his underwear, sniffed apprehensively as if he were worried the adjustment would set loose waves of odor, sniffed again as if to confirm it, sniffed his finger, furtively rubbed it on the inside crease of his chinos, took another sip of his latte (chasing it with a sip of Vitamin Water, and then two more), shifted his weight on his chair, sighed derisively, rolled his eyes, and said "I paint Velvet Elvi as an ironic commentary; I highlight the absurd in life by spotlighting the gauche and repulsive; it is only through celebrating that which revolts us that we can apprehend true beauty".

I poured Diet Coke over his head.

That is my mission. Metaphorically speaking.

3) What do you consider your best piece of writing?

The one I wrote while under sniper fire in 1996.

4) Do you have a short version of your political philosophy?

"Drive your enemies before you, and hear the lamentation of his womyn".

5) Who are your heroes and why?

My heroes are the little people. I believe they are the future. Treat them well, and help them lead the way. Let them show you all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride! Let them show us how the way things should be! I decided long ago that heroes shouldn't walk in anyone's shadow.

6) Why do you write in to the Internet under your real name?

Because when I first started to write my "blog" on the intrawebs, I tried to make up a cutesy nickname. But I put it in the wrong blank on blogger. So every day I had to log in as "ConservativeCasanova", but have my stuff posted under my real name. It took me weeks to figure that out.

7) Do you write with the same style in all places?


When I'm in a happy place, I write happy-ily! And when I'm in a sad place, I let the the overwhelming clouds of gloom drag me into the murky depths, and I write glumly and foetidly.

8) How much feedback do you get? Is different from the "left" and "right" and “those not on the line” version of politics?

Feedback I get from the "right" is usually civil and literate. Much of my feedback from the "left" is actually images scanned from crayon scrawlings. I kid you not.

9) What does good government look like?

It looks like a good administrative assistant; there with help only when it's needed, out of the way otherwise.

10) I notice that you engage in conversation and debate with opposing viewpoints quite successfully. Does anyone actually seem to be persuaded? When and how do people change their minds?

I learned from my good friend Bill Prendergrast that the main goal in engaging and debating "opposing viewpoints" is to nag them into fatigued submission. The smart people are persuaded, and change their minds immediately.

11) Perhaps a bit similar to the "special mission" question posed in #2, I was watching a serious drama starring a young Steve Martin last week that talked about having a "special purpose." Do you feel you have a special purpose, and what would that be?

To drive my enemies before me, and hear the lamentation of his womyn.

12) The people who read your blog are often referred to as sycophants, or lilliputions, or sycophantic lilliputions or lilliput sycophants. Given that, what do you think about Miley Cyrus?

Ask me in three years. I mean, ask in reference to the "lillipution sycophant" thing; legally, I can't talk about that turn of phrase until June, 2011. It's a long story, and subject to a gag order. As to Miley Cyrus, I feel she is merely karmic penance for "Achy Breaky Heart".

13) If you were to name your favorite ethnic food, could you also say you like the musical stylings of Tiny Tim?

I'd rather listen to Tiny Tim than jam Loukanikos in my ears...

Posted by Ryan at 06:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 08, 2008

Heroes, Part II


As noted yesterday, Mitch Berg was so moved by this bit of off-the-charts stupidity, he felt compelled to attempt his own quest to honor Everyday Internet Heroes, and he justly hoisted LearnedFoot up as the Internet hero he most obviously is.

Today, I'm honored and humbled to be rewarded, in kind, by LearnedFoot himself. I only hope I can wear the crown of Internet hero as nobly as the honor requires.

Posted by Ryan at 01:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not To Keep Picking on the Post-Bulletin, but. . .

Caroline says: Soooooo, this wouldn't have been news if she wasn't claustrophobic?


Ryan says: I read that last night and thought the same thing.

Caroline says: News: go figure.

Ryan says: Imagine the following headline:

Ryan says: Person Fine With Tight Spaces Trapped in Elevator During Outage

Caroline says: When asked about her experience, the victim said "Yeah, I like my spaces TIGHT."

Ryan says: This could be an "Onion" article.

Caroline says: Totally.

Caroline says: Here's another great headline: "Cold spring kills Minnesota songbirds"

Caroline says: Cold spring is just about the best villian name ever.

Caroline says: or villain, whichev'

Ryan says: Cold Spring.

Ryan says: Sounds hopeful, but distant.

Caroline says: Just how I want my bottled water to be.

Ryan says: Ooh, we could start our own line of bottled water!

Ryan says: "Tantalus." Cold. Distant. Try a bottle today.

Caroline says: "Tap." Not your average tap water. Because it's in a bottle. See?

Ryan says: "Downspout." Because "Rain" was already taken, and this is the next best thing.

Caroline says: "Backwash." We just cut out the middleman for you. You're welcome.

Ryan says: "Semen." Admit it; you're considering buying a bottle.

Posted by Ryan at 09:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008

*giggity, giggity*

Caroline says: Best. Headline. Ever.

Caroline says:


Ryan says: Well, Mozart does have that effect on some women.

Caroline says: Didn't he have a VD or something?

Ryan says: A VD in Very Dashing.

Posted by Ryan at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Heroes, Part I

Inspired by, well, whatever the hell kind of nutball, self-loving nonsense THIS IS, Mitch Berg took the ball and "interviewed" fellow ThunderJournalist, LearnedFoot.

Look for Heroes, Part II to appear tomorrow.

Posted by Ryan at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Feeling the Pressure

Over the years, I've come to accept--though not necessarily embrace--the fact I can be a little high strung in certain situations. I can be a tad stressed. I find it hard to relax. I can be tense.

Now, such "certain situations" can vary, but typically they revolve around unfamiliar social interactions, or substantial deviances from what I would consider "a daily norm." In other words, mix things up a little bit, and I can become high strung.

Take yesterday, for example.

I'm currently being considered for a writing position at a certain large, famous institution renowned in the field of medicine. This particular institution takes its health and background checks very seriously when it comes to potential new hires. So it was I found myself yesterday trying to navigate the asphalt labyrinth of downtown Rochester, rubbing shoulders with countless, unknown people, in a quest to make an appointment to pee in a cup.

I've lived in Rochester now for close to a decade, so I'm fairly familiar with the downtown district. However, I usually explore downtown on my terms, on my schedule. Yesterday, however, I was frantically trying to locate a very specific place, on someone else's schedule, amidst a sea of people, both employees and patients.

So it was, when I finally arrived at the predetermined location for my health background check, I was, to put it mildly, a bit frazzled. I was out of my usual element, and thus just a tad stressed.

I was, to put it simply, not prepared to have my blood pressure taken right away, which was the very first thing that confronted me. It was your standard-issue blood pressure machine, but from my perspective it may as well have been a medieval rack or iron maiden. I looked at that thing and just knew no positive reading would be forthcoming. Nevertheless, I sat down, put my arm through the loop, and pressed the "Start" button.

Just for the sake of background information here: an ideal blood pressure reading is 120/80. If you can hit that, you're golden. I can actually hit that number, usually after meditating in a Buddhist monastary for a couple of weeks. Seriously though, if I can have about 10 minutes of relaxed breathing, I can come close to the mark.

As it was, in my most stressed out state, out of my element as I was, my initial blood pressure reading came out as 174/101. Not to put too fine a point on this, but a reading like that would usually indicate an impending coronary within the next 60 seconds. I tried steady, relaxed breathing for a few seconds, and pressed the "Start" button again. And again. Each time, the reading came down slightly, but it was still ridiculously high.

I finally wrote down my blood pressure and pulse and gave it to the nurse, explaining that I needed a few minutes to relax if I was going to give a more accurate reading. She looked at the reading number I wrote down, and she seemed to be looking at me as if expecting me to clutch my arm and collapse in convulsions.

After about 10 minutes in a waiting room, where I answered questions and concentrated on thoughts of puppies and kittens while breathing deep and steady, the nurse again took my blood pressure, which had dropped to 140/78; still a bit on the high end, but at least not immediately life-threatening.

And the moral of this story is: don't sneak up on me. OK?

Posted by Ryan at 05:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 05, 2008


Ryan says: I just ate veal parmesan.

Caroline says: Er, congrats?

Ryan says: Thank you. It was like eating a baby cow covered in cheese and marinara.

Caroline says: how is babby cow formed?

Posted by Ryan at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I haven't camel toed in awhile


Posted by Ryan at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Peeing Preferences

Ever since I can remember, my peeing stance has been one wherein I use my right thumb to hold down my pants/boxers, with my left hand directing my johnson. It seems to me to be the most pragmatic way to achieve the best stream without tainting the clothes with piddle.

Well, just now, not more than six minutes ago, I went to the bathroom, and there was a guy standing at one of the urinals. He was using his left hand to direct his johnson, or at least that's what it looked like from my perspective; but he had his right hand on his right hip, in a sort of Captain Morgan stance. This struck me as both incredibly careless and exceptionally arrogant. I mean, there he was, standing there, refusing to use his right hand to do anything even remotely useful. It seemed like such an unnecessary and boastful act.

This concludes my Monday morning observational gripe.

Posted by Ryan at 09:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

My Political Decree For May

No matter who the presidential nominees end up being, I will not, I WILL NOT, vote for Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Posted by Ryan at 01:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It's Funny Because. . . Well, It's Just Funny

Posted by Ryan at 12:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Strangers With Candy

Ryan says: C'mere.

Caroline says: Do you have candy?

Ryan says: Forget what I call it, just c'mere.

Caroline says: Is Never Gonna Give You Up the RickRoll'd song?

Ryan says: Yes it is. Y?

Caroline says: I just didn't know the name of it.

Caroline says: Honestly, the people who power walk in the halls deserve a swift punch to the asshole.

Ryan says: As do the people who brush their teeth in the bathrooms.

Caroline says: Ugh. I HATE that.

Ryan says: It's disconcerting to be taking a piss and having a stranger brush their teeth behind you.

Caroline says: Maybe your candy is too sweet.

Ryan says: Remember when a milkshake brought all the boys to the yard?

Caroline says: Fondly.

Ryan says: You fondled milkshakes?

Caroline says: I did it wrong.

Ryan says: Well, no wonder all the boys were in your yard.

Caroline says: Damn right. It was better than yours.

Ryan says: I was always lousy at milkshake fondling.

Ryan says: But, man, I could sure work the candy.

Caroline says: headline on "Tenant heard loud noises from incest cellar"

Caroline says: Incest cellar?

Caroline says: Inc-ellar?

Ryan says: I'm going to put a sign on your door that says "Incest Cellar."

Caroline says: "Please knock before entering"

Ryan says: We must incest you knock first.

Caroline says:

Ryan says: Buy them in bulk!

Caroline says: massage your nether-regions for up to 20 minutes (!!!) at a time!

Ryan says: Done and. . . done.

Caroline says: Ding! Massage is done!

Ryan says: More like "Splort! Massage is done!"

Caroline says: Splort? Really?

Ryan says: Well, what kind of onomatopoeia would you use?

Caroline says: I'm not as ... familiar with that sound as you are. I guess I'll have to take your word for it.

Ryan says: Wouldn't say I'm "familiar with it" necessarily. . .

Caroline says: LIES!

Posted by Ryan at 11:36 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 01, 2008

Empty Bag, Cat on the Loose

Well, I had intended to keep the lid on this for a bit longer, but apparently news travels fast when a third-party company is doing a background check on you.

I'm on the short list for a new job at a local, famous ginormous medical establishment. It's a writing position. I'm a writer. We were meant for each other.

Posted by Ryan at 09:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit my website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.