Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Art assignment: completed

Nolan Whyte is a co-contributor at Raw Charge, where we both write about Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. He also runs his own site where he likes to present Lightning coach Jon Cooper's post game press conference remarks as free-verse poetry.
Yesterday, he posted this as a Facebook status:
"Your assignment today is to paint a picture recreating the famous photo of artist Marcel Duchamp playing chess against a nude Eve Babitz, except with a young woman (clothed) playing chess against a giant bird (also clothed)."

That famous photo looks like this:

And here's my rendition, done on MS Paint:

Nailed it!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hey dink

This dink shows up at the Chicago White Sox game against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday and proceeds to take his seat right behind home plate. What makes him a dink is that he's wearing Chicago Blackhawks stuff. The Blackhawks are a hockey team. This was a baseball game. The Chicago Blackhawks were not playing there. Because they're a hockey team. There would be no goals, no icing, no face offs, no crosschecking. Not one of any of those things. Because it was a baseball game, a game that is inherently not hockey in that it is baseball.
Cripes, look at him.
What a dink.
Sorry. He might be a wonderful human being, reading to orphans and curing cancer when he isn't at a game, but the choice of entirely inappropriate attire makes him a dink. He wasn't the only one there wearing Blackhawks stuff. However, he was the only one with a seat behind home plate meaning he was on TV for every single pitch. This confirms and locks in his dink-ness. There is info out there about jersey etiquette but common sense should tell you that you don't wear hockey stuff to a baseball game. You don't get dressed, saying, "I'm going to a sports thing, I guess I can wear any sports stuff I want". No. That's silly and doesn't make any sense. You wear baseball stuff to baseball games, football stuff to football games and hockey stuff to hockey games. You want to wear your Blackhawks stuff? Go to a Blackhawks game or a place where they're showing it on TV (if it's out of town). Wear the right stuff to the right place.
Yes, I know the game was in Chicago.
Yes, I know the Blackhawks are in the playoffs and that the entire city of Chicago is out of its mind over the Blackhawks right now.
Yes, the same playoffs from which the Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated last week.
What? No, I'm not bitter!
Shut up.
And get the hell out of there, you dink.

Friday, April 25, 2014

I survived Quadragesima (not the Police album)

In my ongoing Chinese menu approach to spirituality ("Ooh, I like that! Gimme one of those. No, not that. Tried it, don't like it."), I participated in Lent this year. Lent (Latin: Quadragesima - English: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday (aka "You got a little schmutz on your forehead there... what? Well, excuse me for not realizing it was a holy day! See if I ever say say anything if you have a piece of broccoli stuck in your teeth!" Day) and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Day. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial. This event, along with its pious customs are observed by Christians in the Anglican, Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic traditions. Today, some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season. What it comes down to is doing without something you enjoy for 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, demonstrating sacrifice on your part. Lots of people give up chocolate or coffee, stuff like that. I gave up meat. Well, some meat. I ate fish, and not just on Fridays. I may have had some chicken once or twice too. Okay, I gave up beef and pork. I had none of those two things for 40 days. It was easier than I thought it would be, too. Doing without at home was a breeze and any restaurant I went to had plenty of alternatives. I passed up some mighty good lookin' spare ribs one night and that wasn't fun, but overall, it was a breeze.
It was actually more like 46 days because I found out that they don't count Sundays. Those extra days aren't freebies either. You have to adhere, even though the day doesn't count against your pledge of 40. This was a major disappointment when I thought I was almost done and then found out almost a whole extra week was tacked on. I felt like Belloq must have felt in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when he finds out that his copy of the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra only had instructions on ONE side, meaning he and his team of Nazi diggers were looking in the wrong place.
A relatively minor setback, however. I sailed through and now I'm just waiting for my Certificate of Completion from the Pope (complete with coupons for free fries!), which I assume is forthcoming because I have yet to learn that things like acts of sacrifice are their own reward.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Back to the grindstone

Well, we were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday night (Swept. In four lousy games. By Montreal. Ugh.) so I guess I'm back to blogging on the regular. Look for new material starting Friday (tomorrow).

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blog hiatus update (blame hockey edition)

The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched their slot in the NHL Playoffs and will open the first round at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. I already said I was going to take a break from this little ol' purple blog now adding the extra dimension of trying to stay on top of things with the extra busy business at work and with covering the team for Raw Charge would make that extremely challenging. I don't really care for challenges. So how about this: let's just say the blog is closed until the Lightning's season is over, whenever that happens to be. How about that? That way we'll all be able to keep track on an expected return. Plus, here's another reason to hate sports, if you're so inclined. I'll try to pop in now and then but no promises and you can't be mad at me because we already said the blog is closed. Fair is fair.
If you want to follow along, please do so at I'll be there often and we can say hi and flirt with each other and maybe get a little handsy over there (when nobody's watching, of course; family show, think about the kids). Also the fun and games with the Spike on the Mic Show should continue (every Monday night at 7pm). So it's not like I'm gone gone. But until we see each other again,

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sorry folks, blog's closed (again)

We'll be back soon. There's some internal and external maintenance that needs to be done. Soon as that's cleared up, we'll go from there. Cool?
In the meantime, if you're looking for something funny, go listen to the podcast posted Monday. Seriously, that shit is funny.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


"Naw bro, check it out. Like, I totally respect your tribe or whatever but this imbecilic, grinning, red-skinned, bug-eyed, feather-wearing caricature is, like, part of our proud heritage as baseball fans. And that's what you don't understand; it's about our heritage, something deeper than the surface symbolism of it all. If anything, it's, like, a tribute to you and your people, you know? So, like, are we cool, bro?"  

Monday, April 07, 2014

All about camping

It's podcast time again and on this edition (sponsored by the Baby Corn Growers Association of America), we cover a lot of manly ground. My guests Steve Ericson and P.W. Fenton and I go over the necessary logistics in planning a successful camping trip. You ladies and less-than-manly fellas might not appreciate it, but you should listen anyway because you might learn something and learning is good for you. So check it out.

Also, don't forget, you can subscribe via iTunes!

Thanks, Baby Corn Growers Association of America!
NOTE: Podcast is available on iTunes, Baby corn is (currently) not.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Endangered species?

My friend and former classmate Gayle thought of a fun way to celebrate her father's birthday: a card bombing.

"Hey...I know a lot of you know or remember my Dad. Well, he's turning 85 on April 6. We are having a family party in Madison, WI. But I would like to 'card bomb' him for his birthday! He was a pastor, city commissioner and major sports fan in Benton Harbor (the guy with the cow bell at all the BHHS basketball and football games). He is also the best Dad a person could have.. If you'd like to join in the fun, just send me a message and I'll give you his address."

Sounded like fun so I said I'd be happy to participate. Besides, what better cards to receive than the tacky postcards that come out of Florida? No problem!
Except there was a problem: apparently, tacky Florida postcards are no longer as available as they used to be. I would have sworn that most retail stores and more than a few restaurants have a spinning wire rack filled with 6" x 4.25" works of tacky "art", often with illustrations and/or jokes from the 1950s but that is not the case, at least anymore. I don't think my memory is faulty in this regard. I'm positive that was the case not that long ago but at some point, they disappeared. I went to two different drug store chains and neither one had them. Denny's doesn't have them. The gift shop at the arena where I work, a magnet for tourists, doesn't have them. I eventually found some at a WalMart. They occupied about 1/4 of a rack that had refigerator magnets and key chains. This is all that's left of Florida's tacky trinket industry, one single display rack at a major retailer? Was it that long ago that entire shops existed, stocked from floor to ceiling with tee-shirts, rubber alligators, sequin-bedazzled seashells and about a million postcards? Where did they go and what's responsible for their demise? I'm sure the ability to take high-quality photos with most cell phones is partially responsible. The fact that people don't mail things very much is probably a factor too. But is that it? Is it possible that we have evolved to the point where our tastes are so much more refined that cheap, shoddy novelties with virtually no real value have been rendered obsolete?
Yeah, that's probably it.