Monday, July 31, 2006

Until I actually buy the stupid digital camera...

...I will illustrate my entries with incredible, original artwork I create using my formidable MS Paint skyllz, as seen in the examples below. You're welcome!

And yes, you may feel free to use any or all of these images for your desktop wallpaper or screensavers. You're welcome again!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My my, where has the time gone?

Would you look at the date? My goodness, it's July 26th! That means July is practically over and it's almost August already. I just don't know where the time has gone. I swear, it seems like Christmas was just last week. And only two weeks ago that the Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
And it must have only been six months ago that we were up to our necks in all those negative presidential campaign ads. Is it possible that it was more than three and a half years ago since Kennedy was assassinated?
What about the Titanic sinking? I swear, I remember it like it was only a decade ago.
How long have women been allowed to vote now? More than 14.765 years?? Come on! I swear, it seems like only one, maybe one and three quarter centuries TOPS! since the Magna Carta was first issued.
Are you actually going to stand there and tell me that it's been more than 59 years since we found the first of the 825 to 870 scrolled religious documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, in those caves in and around the Wadi Qumran near the ruins of Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea?
Ok, yeah, I didn't think so.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I may have to finally break down and buy a digital camera...

This is a short list of things I have seen over the last couple of days but am unable to share with you because I don't own a digital camera, my last remaining foothold in my holdout against all manner of modern tools/toys:
  • A panhandler wearing a Tommy Hilfiger tee shirt
  • A sign on a 1957 Thunderbird that said "NOT FOR SALE". I mean, isn't that just asking for an unnecessary confrontation? 'Hey, I saw your sign. I wasn't thinking of buying a vintage T-Bird but now I kinda want one. Are you sure it isn't for sale?'
  • A church marquee that said "IF LOVING THE LORD IS WRONG I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT". Well, first that in itself is wrong. Second, that was a joke from Coming To America and while you may love the Lord, I'm guessing He's not crazy about you ripping off Arsenio Hall's material.
  • A family's car breaking down in the middle of an intersection and them getting out and pushing it out of the street into a shopping center's parking lot. Now that in itself isn't noteworthy. What is noteworthy is them not just pushing it into a parking spot to see what was wrong and waiting for assistance, but actually pushing it around the parking lot until they got to the store they wanted to shop at and going in and doing exactly that.

I love where I live!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Welcome To Rupert's! (cb:2006)

Howdy folks and welcome to Rupert's Real Pit Bar B Q. I'm Rupert, no relation, and I'll be takin' care of you folks tonight. Can I start y'all off with somethin' to drink? We got sweet tea in hot, medium or hot. And by sweet tea, I don't mean the powedered stuff that comes in a can you find at your local electrically lit and indoor plumbinged supermarket. Nope, this is the sweet tea we brew over a blazin' fire back in our unventilated kitchen that's about the size of your suburban, pantywaisted bathtub, mister! Comin' right up! Now, how's about an appetizer, a little somethin' to get that fire in your belly burnin'. Like to try our famous Cheese Bucket? This ain't like your limp-wristed fancy-pants fondue you find downtown. No siree! This here's exactly what it says it is: a big metal bucket filled up with cheese that we put in a furnace at 850 degrees for a half hour and bring straight out to your table, just a-boilin' and a-bubblin'. We give you a big tray full of chicken hot wings for to dip into it. You know the scary part? The whole thing weighs about 19 pounds and I ain't never seen somebody not finish it. After that, we move on to the real reason you came here, barbecued meat! Am I right? Beef, chicken, pork, fish, ham, porkchops, bacon and pork all slathered up in about a gallon of Rupert's, no relation, own special Louisianabama pepperfire sauce. And I ain't here to talk to y'all about no wimpy-ass metrosexual barbecue like y'all are used to eatin' in the city where the spirits of honest men are crushed in the pursuit of the almighty dollar and everyone dies alone. Hell no! I'm talkin' about a down home, honest-to-goodness, unique blend of 77 herbs and spices, all derivatives of different breeds of cayenne peppers and genuine grade C napalm left over from Vietnam. This here's some serious kinda hot that'll peel the skin from the inside of your mouth from just gettin' a whiff of the noxious fumes seepin' out the kitchen. Goddamn, son! Y'all are gonna want a side of our flame broiled cheddar-breaded jalapeno coleslaw to go with that.
All right, y'all take a minute to figure out what size ice helmets you'll be needin' and I'll be back in a jiffy with your sweet tea and Cheese Bucket.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday: The Streak is over!!

For the first time in three weeks, I was able to drive to work on a Friday without Jeeves (my 1991 Olds 98) having a major ($300 +) mechanical problem! There will be a celebration tonight!

A little about Jeeves: It's named Jeeves because that's what my friends named it. They said it was because the car has "personality". I think they mean it looks like Jeeves might have been quite the first-class luxury motor car, suitable for attending opening night at the opera back in 1991. Maybe. But in 2006, it's worth $1500, which I paid in cash at a buy-here-pay-here place in Plant City that proudly advertises "We cater to migrant workers!". The door to the gas cap can only be opened by going into the trunk and hitting a release button. There's no CD player, tape deck or AM/FM radio. The digital clock is forever stuck on 1:00. AM or PM? Well, it doesn't really matter, now does it? The passenger's side rearview mirror now resides in the passenger seat since the airplane glue/peanut butter spackle compound it was held on with failed. And as mentioned previously, I've spent over $600 on it in the last two weeks.
With all that, it might sound like I hate Jeeves. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, like the classic bumper sticker says, "Don't laugh. It's paid for". Jeeves is also not bad on gas, considering if Donald Trump commissioned a personal aircraft carrier, it would be about the same size. All four electric windows roll up and down, a necessity for any truly discerning drive-thru gourmand. And last but certainly not least, the air conditioning works, which as far as necessities in Florida go, ranks slightly above the ability to take in oxygen.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One MAJOR pet peeve

I hate it when people mangle the United States' national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Not as much out of patriotic devotion to my country and all it's symbols but more so out of the annoyance I feel when people just don't make the slightest extra effort to do something right. Now, I'm not talking about when performers feel it necessary to invent new interpretations of the anthem by adding unnecessary gospelesque American Idol flourishes in an attempt to make the song their own. That IS annoying but some people seem to enjoy it so whatever. But when they don't even bother to get the lyrics right, well, that's REALLY annoying. It's possible that because some of the phrasing is dated and esoteric that they don't understand what the song is actually about, but it is written in English, so it isn't that hard to figure out. Besides, I doubt these performers would lend their vocals to a love song they don't understand, so why should the anthem be any different?
But in the interest of trying to be helpful, let's dissect and translate the song and see if we can't further some understanding:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
"Hey, remember what we were looking at last night? You know, the flag? Did you happen to see it this morning?" Lots of people sing "AS the twilight...", not "AT the twilight...". Those people are stupid, because it blows everything out of context. If we're hailing something AT the twilight's last gleaming, that means we're acknowledging it as it's getting dark outside. If we're hailing something AS the twilight's last gleaming, that means we're not expecting there to be a morning. Suddenly, it's turned into a song about the end of the world as we know it.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Even though there was a major battle going on, with missles and mortars and artillery and shit, we could still see the brightly colored flag over the ramparts (whatever the hell those are). So even though they blew up almost everything else, they didn't get the flag, which is encouraging.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
So did you see the flag this morning? Obviously this is a rhetorical question because I just told you it's still there.

Some minor pet peeves

If the collective "YOU" would correct the following, I'd be much happier. So thanks.
  • Stop reading and writing contractions that end in "'ve" phonetically. It's "have", not "of". "I COULD HAVE been a contender" makes perfect sense. "I COULD OF been a contender" makes none.
  • Minor league baseball players, even those playing in non-MLB affiliated leagues, get paid to play baseball, which makes them professional baseball players. They do not need to reach the Major Leagues to be pros.
  • Like, for the love of God, stop, like, using the word "like" as, like, a verbal crutch.
  • Ground rules are special rules particular to each baseball park (or grounds), based on the unique dimensions and attributes of each particular park. However, in every park, a fair ball that bounces over the outfield fence and out of play is a double. That means it's not a ground rule, so it's not a Ground Rule Double. Unless a fair ball that clears the outfield fence on the fly is a Ground Rule Home Run. Every sportscaster in the world makes this mistake.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Modern Problems

I recently got my eyes checked and 'treated' myself to a pair of new glasses, black frames, fairly stylish, which is a little unusual for me. One of my friends whose opinion I value said I looked "artsy and intelligent", which is even more unusual for me, so I was very happy with them.
Now, I'm not sure how this works, whether or not I can be sued for libel for what I say in a blog so I'm going to craftily disguise the company's identity and tell you their name rhymes with SchmensCrafters. My other friend told me the other day that she could see one of the screws in the frames looked exceptionally long, plus it looked like it was in upside down. So I stopped in the store at Westshore Plaza tonight to have it adjusted, thinking I'd be in and out in 5 minutes. If they can make a whole set of glasses in an hour, how long can it take to put the correct size screw in right side up? Well, as the manager was examining the screw situation, she mentioned that the frames themselves seemed "loose". So she took them to the service department in the back and asked me to come back in an hour, because apparently everything takes an hour there. I come back and am informed that it's been determined that the frames themselves can't be salvaged and I need new ones (I can't help but wonder whether it took the whole 60 minutes to reach this conclusion). The problem is, they don't have that color of frame in the store and didn't know if they would be able to get a pair from another location because apparently they've been discontinued. So she put my lenses in another set of frames (same style, silver not black) and said I could use them for a few days while she tried to find the right replacement at another store, or just keep them if she couldn't do so. "After all", she said, "these are the same frames, just silver instead of black". To which I heard myself whine, "But I don't like the silver ones. I want the black ones that it took me an hour to figure out I wanted the last time I was here". She didn't seem to see it as a big deal and I know in the grand scheme of things that it isn't either. But I was still tempted to throw a tantrum worthy of a 3rd grader: "I hate these glasses because they suck and they're stupid and they're gay and they're ugly. I hate them I hate them I hate them. I'd rather not have eyes than wear these. I want my glasses, Nurse Ratched", which in retrospect, I probably should have. Because in the end I left the store wearing glasses that I don't like and could very well be stuck with, not to mention the hour and a half this whole ordeal took that I can't get back, a total slice of heaven I paid for two weeks ago. I know, it's certainly not the end of the world and I'm a spoiled American who should be thankful that he has nothing bigger to bitch about other than the color of his glasses because there are poor people in Whogivesaratsassistan who can't afford to be nearsighted with a slight astigmatism. Well, fine. Let them wear these stupid, ugly ass, gay, suck glasses.
This, coupled with my car needing two major repairs exactly one week apart forces me to ask: Is it really too much for things to just work the way they're supposed to once in a while? Apparently, yes.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blast Off!

While driving around the other day, I noticed that one of Tampa's venerable landmarks, the spaceship-styled VIP penthouse on top of the 2001 Odyssey strip club, is looking a little worse-for-wear these days. You probably can't tell from this photo but it looks like a stiff (heh heh) breeze could blow (mmmph, giggle) the thing right off the top of the building. And I started thinking how cool it would be to see that happen: the spaceship teeters uncertainly a couple of times before listing to one side, the hull rupturing under the strain, spilling drunken losers, drug addled skanks, neon shag carpeting, multicolored lights and mirrored disco balls onto the pavement below.
Tampa: Home of the universe's sexiest space pinata.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Wouldst thou like a cart, m'lady? Pardon me, I don't mean to intrude. But I noticed you were on your way inside yon Kash N Karry without the benefit of any type of suitable conveyance in which to transport your purchases. Worry not fair maiden, for I have such a cart here and believe me when I tell you that she will serve you well, just as she has me. This cart has been my trusted companion on a very long journey from produce to men's hygiene to dairy and back again (for I had forgotten to pick up romaine lettuce). Ah, I see you taking measure of this steed! Let me assure you, all four wheels turn freely and in the direction you steer her, the plastic on the push handle is intact and if you're wondering if the space below the main cargo area is suitable for carrying a 30 pound bag of non-scented cat litter, I reply with a hearty "Aye, 'tis so!" No doubt you've noted the filthy piece of mop string wrapped around the right front axle. Alas, your eye does not deceive you, m'lady. 'Tis an unfortunate blemish on this shiney steel beast, true, but rest assured, it will hinder thee not. Whether it is speed you require to dispatch other shoppers seeking to hoard those delicious four-for-five dollars Totino's Party Pizzas or the agility to navigate past a spreading puddle of regurgitated Raviolios and Lucky Charms in the beverage aisle, this is one cart that will not fail thee. So, you've chosen to take my heed and enlist this cart on your journey! You've chosen wisely, m'lady. Your trust will not be forsaken. I shall miss her but fortune dictates that we now take our seperate paths. This cart, now yours, will accompany you on your greatest grocery shopping adventure this week. As for myself...well, my DodgeCaravan awaits...and I have kids to pick up at soccer practice. Fare thee well!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Time out for sports! (Carl Crawford)

First of all, as someone who seeks nothing more than entertainment out of sports, I LOVE White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. There hasn't been a manager this colorful in baseball since the last time Billy Martin got fired and baseball has undoubtedly suffered because of it. However, I have an issue with Mr. Guillen and it has nothing to do with the PC mess he finds himself in over calling Jay Mariotti a "fag" (Ozzie should have known better: everyone knows that Jay Mariotti is a tool, not a fag).
No, where Ozzie Guillen comes off as a complete idiot is in leaving Carl Crawford off the American League All-Star team. I know, I know, Crawford plays for the Devil Rays and in the current sports universe represented by the unnecessarily snarky, unjustifiably smug and generally just mean-spirited mouthpieces like Jim Rome, Stephen A. (guess what the 'A' stands for) Smith and the rest of the talking suits at ESPN, teams like the Devil Rays exist for the sole purpose of something to poke fun at (as long as they're in last place, anyway. Once they're not, all is forgotten by these frontrunners. See "Tigers, Detroit" as exhibit A) and therefor, not entitled to representation at all star games. But Carl Crawford is hitting .325 with 12 homers, 45 RBI and he's leading the American League in stolen bases with 32! Which of the following outfielders are having better all around seasons: Jermaine Dye (.322, 21, 58 & 3) , Gary Matthews (.331, 8, 43 & 5), Alex Rios (.330, 15, 53 & 9) Grady Sizemore (.301, 15, 42 & 13) or Vernon Wells (.310, 20, 63 & 10)? Maybe Rios. Maybe. Yet each of those guys are on the squad while Crawford is not.
That's completely idiotic.

White Trash Kitties

In spite of my best efforts to set myself up in a nice home with a calm, soothing environment, I find myself living smack in the middle of a full-on Jerry Springer trailer park...thanks to my pet cats.
A little background: I have four cats, because I couldn't bring myself to seperate the mother from her three babies. Many experts who study societal trends will tell you that family units that remain intact are less susceptible to dysfunction. My cats prove that those experts are either liars or morons.
Having moved into 2402 (the new apartment) over a week ago, the cats are no longer hiding under beds or behind furniture. Their three loving Aunts bought toys for them, which has helped them become comfortable more quickly. And with no dogs around to deal with anymore, they have free reign over the whole place. This is apparently the jumping-off point for the family feudin' to begin, because I don't remember them acting like this at the old place.
  • Mom, for no apparent reason, likes to pin her ears back and go insane and beat the shit out of her son, who is bigger than she is but still takes his ass whoopin' without much of a fight.
  • One of her daughters is big and fat and spends all day on the couch in front of the tv (even when it's off).
  • Her other daughter is skinny (I imagine the two sisters, who are the same color and have the same markings, looking at each other and getting confused about their body images, one thinking she desperately needs more nourishment right now to stay alive and the other thinking she dare not eat more than the bare minimum for fear of exploding) and is still prone to running and hiding when something alarms her.
  • Jack, the aforementioned son, besides getting whaled on by his mother for no reason whatsoever, just wants to play with toys, rub his head on his catnip mouse (a gift from The Aunts) and then pass out in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Cripes, thank God none of them can get pregnant.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So much for getting rich

It's been a week and no reply from Joy Josee. I guess you can add 'Nigerian Con Artist' to the long list of careers I will never have. Because while I understand the basic, fundamental element of scams like this, which is "get suckers to give you money", what I don't understand is how that's accomplished if you don't respond back to them after they express interest in doing so.
Oh well.