Thursday, May 27, 2010

$teve Shrugged

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, softball game happened…and it was cold and wet…but it was a pretty good game though we lost in the closing moments 19-18. It wasn’t my fault though. Hell I barely played…but I was a pretty good cheerleader…and had a Coors Light tallboy during the last two innings. If that’s not great softball, I don’t know what is. Other than that, just excited for the weekend (a little snow flurry last night but should be clear for tomorrow) and got a call from Filly last night in New Orleans. She’s facing the loss of her job (but they’ve honestly had it in for her since I moved her down there last winter) but I think…it may be the best thing that could happen to her. She moved down to New Orleans because she wanted to meet people, see the city & make art. In the 18 months or so that she’s been down there, she hasn’t been able to do ANY of that. She works all night, sleeps all day & is miserable just about every waking moment because of drama from her job and not being able to express herself. So now, with unemployment looming, she’s able to reevaluate her life…and get it back on the track that she wants. What will she do? Well, she’s already expressed interest and made connections for everything from making & selling her art on Frenchman’s Street to driving carriages in the French Quarter to designing costumes for local productions to painting coconuts for the Zulu Nation. The best part about all of those…is that they not only help her to express her artistic side (which I know nothing about…but assume it’s pretty important) but the money isn’t too bad & you can make your own hours, no more working all through the night & sleeping during the day (FYI – She works the swing shift, she’s not a prostitute, just to clarify). So yeah, I think this may be a great thing for her. Sometimes we need that little kick in the backside to do what we were meant to do…and I think she’ll be happier for it & fall back in Love with the Crescent City. Good luck Filly!!!

You’re Gonna Need It – For those of you who don’t believe in newspaper or television or radio or any other form of communication, here’s a quick update on that pesky oil spill that’s been going on over a month in the Gulf of Mexico. In short, it’s still going. BP said Thursday its bid to cap the Gulf of Mexico oil leak with cement was on track as submarines toiled round the clock while fumes forced boats involved in the clean-up back to port. "The job has been proceeding according to plan," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said after the start of the maneuver dubbed a "top kill" (catchy name, sounds like a Steven Seagal movie) began amid huge pressure to finally staunch the five-week-old spill. US officials meanwhile said all 125 commercial fishing boats helping to clean up the oil off Louisiana's Breton Sound were recalled after four workers reported health problems. The crew members aboard three separate vessels working in the area "reported experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains", raising questions over the toxicity of chemical dispersants used by BP to break up the slick. After several previous failed attempts to cap the oil, BP boss Tony Hayward (aka Captain Killbuzz) has already downplayed hopes for success with the 'top kill,' cautioning the procedure has never been tried before at such depth and against such pressure. He warned it was expected to take two days to complete the difficult operation to inject heavy drilling fluids (Super Drain-O) into the oil flow and then seal it with cement. "We just need to take the next 24 hours and see what the results are," Suttles told reporters after being asked BP's level of optimism after the process was begun. The work being carried out by remote-controlled robotic submarines a mile below the surface aims to counterbalance the oil flow with the injected fluids, drowning the leak long enough to dump cement on top and permanently seal it. White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton told reporters on Air Force One that President Barack Obama was being updated on the progress. "I would say that his level of frustration is very high and that every moment that that hole is not plugged the president has a deep level of concern," he said. So to translate, the President’s pissed that this is getting clusterf**ked and being billed as his Katrina. The Deepwater Horizon rig, 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, exploded back on April 20th, killing 11 workers. Its fractured pipe has been spouting oil for 36 days, creating a massive slick washing up along the coast and threatening endangered birds, animals and plants. Oil has now soiled more than 100 miles of Louisiana coastline, state Governor Bobby Jindal said Wednesday, more than doubling the previous estimate. A tour of coastal areas left the president of the local Plaquemines parish aghast at the devastation -- and what he described as an incompetent response. "The same oil that's been out there two weeks ago is still out there. And nothing is being done," Billy Nungesser told CNN. BP has previously only managed to siphon up some oil via a tube inserted into the pipe last week and Hayward has put the chances of the "top kill" success at 60-70%. Officials are also readying back-up options but some, including the drilling of relief wells to divert the flow and allow the original well to be capped, could take several months. Obama is also expected to announce tough new offshore oil regulations today after receiving an Interior Department report into what has become one of the worst oil spills in US history. In a hint of what might be in the report, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told lawmakers that "there are significant enhancements that can be made with respect to the safety of outer continental shelf oil and gas development." The response by BP, Obama and the government all got bad grades from Americans in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed Monday and Tuesday said BP was doing a "poor" or "very poor" job. Sixty percent said the same about the federal government, while 53% slapped Obama with a poor rating on the crisis. Thanks to a webcam which BP has placed close to the leak, the whole procedure is being aired live on US television, with news channels streaming footage of the oil gushing from the broken well pipe…as I’m sure you’ve all seen. So basically a delicate and rare ecosystem like the swamps of Louisiana and the everglades of Florida may be covered in more oil than bad pasta…and then with the coming summer, possibly deep fried. I really hope this “top kill” thing works because…seriously. You would think they had a ready & immediate plan for something like this. Not “The funnel isn’t working, let’s try a cork. Damn! That’s not working either. Ugh… I guess we could… build another platform a few miles away and try to maintain some of the oil before it all gushes out into the ocean. That’d work, right? Do we still have any of that kitty litter stuff to help soak it up?” I’m also curious why I haven’t heard Kanye say that Obama doesn’t like black people…but then again, I haven’t heard a lot from him recently…and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t blame the President. Seriously, what else could he do? Send the military in to cork it up? I think he’s already funding the sandbars or whatever that I hear they’re putting up to keep the oil out. It’s just ridiculous all around…and it’s looking like I might not be taking that cruise from New Orleans to the Caribbean anytime soon. Although, who knows? Maybe in a few months the oil will turn to asphalt and I can just drive from the Big Easy to the Caymans.

Worst Beverages – Sorry, I was thinking Hurricanes…and New Orleans…and so my mind drifted to delicious beverages that I can pick up in the French Quarter (soon to be cheaper than purified water?) and so I’ll mention this story. What would you think is the most unhealthy drink in America? And yes I specified America because…well, water’s not always a top choice in a lot of other countries unless you want some new specimen of parasite living inside of you. Any guesses? My guess would be Tequila. Period. It always seems to make me feel unhealthy…and oftentimes a little dirty. However, a milkshake containing 2,010 calories (equivalent to eating 68 strips of sweet delicious bacon or 30 chocolate chip cookies) has topped a list of the 20 worst drinks in America compiled by Men's Health magazine. The Cold Stone PB&C milkshake, made with peanut butter, chocolate ice-cream and milk, contains 68 grams of saturated fat and 153 grams of sugar, according to nutritional details on the company's website. Huh…and that just happens to be my favorite milkshake. Weird. "In terms of saturated fat, drinking this Cold Stone catastrophe is like slurping up 68 strips of bacon," the magazine said. The second worst drink in America was listed as the Peanut Power Plus Grape from Smoothie King with a large cup packing 1,498 calories and the same amount of sugar as 20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups chocolate and peanut butter snacks. Wow, really? But it’s grape? McDonald's large Triple Thick Chocolate Shake came in third with 1,160 calories or the equivalent of 13 of the fast food chain's hot apple pies (So wait, a hot apple pie is less than 100 calories? Get the f**k out!!!). A spokesman from the Cold Stone Creamery pointed out that the company does also offer low-calorie, reduced-fat options for customers looking for "a lighter indulgence" such as its range of sinless smoothies with only 110 calories. So there you have. Even tequila is better for you than a milkshake…but not nearly as delicious.

CSI: North Pole – What? Has Santa been murdered? Is Mrs. Claus the prime suspect? Did the jolly man finally find out about her midget fetish & the online gang bang video entitled “Deck the Halls”? No, sorry. Nothing quite that exciting…or is it? Alaska State Troopers are puzzled by a gruesome discovery in the city of North Pole, Alaska - 26 headless chickens carefully arranged at a coop. Police say the fly-infested carcasses found Monday were arranged in a 12- to 15-foot-long line pattern that ended in a circle. There was no sign of the missing heads. Three chickens were left unharmed, and there was no damage to the coop. Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says officers "have no idea what the thought process was." They say there's a possibility that the killings were intended as a threat (“This is a message from Don Corleone!!!”). Those responsible could be charged with felony criminal mischief. The birds were unsuitable for eating, so investigators disposed of the chickens after photographing the scene. So just to clarify, Alaska State Troopers are puzzled…by finding decapitated chickens…in a chicken coop. Just…think about that for a second. Yeah yeah, I get the whole neatly arranged pattern and it’s not like it was intended at that exact moment…but still. Was there a letter? Then there was no threat. Now… I have a theory. And I shall express it in a slightly modified manner in tribute to one of the greatest films of the modern era “Predator 2” - “F**king Eskimo Voodoo Magic, mon!!!” Oh yes!!! 26 Chickens? That’s 13 twice. And a circular pattern? Sacrificed in a way that is purely an offering to some unknown entity? I don’t wanna be doing your job for you, Alaska State Troopers (cuz it’s too damn cold up there) but I’m thinking you should check it out. And certainly charge them with Chicken Abuse…because what’s the point of sacrificing chicken if you’re not going to deep fry it in eleven herbs and spices? Okay, maybe not that last part…but still, f**king Eskimo Voodoo Magic, mon. And I’m reminded of something else from my youth that my daddy once told me, “You don’t choke another man’s chicken.” He may have been drunk at the time…but the meaning’s still the same. Forget “CSI: North Pole”, I’m thinking of a new title for this TV drama – “Cold Justice” Rated M for Language & Violence.

Bank Robbing Update – Before my road trip, there was a rash of French bank robberies. Then Lilie went to visit…and they mysteriously stopped. Coincidence? Maybe. Then again, there was a lot of art theft during that time. Hmm… Maybe I’ll have to ask Lilie about the Matisse that she got me for my birthday. However, not every high profile robbery in Europe goes as smoothly as those. Would-be robbers in Germany had to flee empty handed after blowing up everything in a bank EXCEPT for where the money was, police said on Wednesday. Photos in German media showed a scene of devastation in the northeastern village of Malliss, with the bank reduced to a pile of rubble and its roof completely obliterated. Amid the wreckage, only the cash machine could be seen intact. "The explosion was so big, they had to run away without the money," said local police spokesman Niels Borgmann. "Something evidently didn't work the way the robbers wanted it to." Cars and buildings in a radius of up to 100 meters were damaged in the night time explosion, though no one was injured. Police are searching for the suspected robbers. Just a heads up, they’re probably not going to respond to “FREEZE!!!” because they’re probably still deaf from the concussion wave of the blast. You would think with their astute engineering skills and meticulous attention to detail that Germans would be perfect for controlled explosive bank robbing. I’m thinking they may find that it was a family affair where someone’s wife convinced them to include their brother-in-law, who ain’t quite right…but needed to help if not just to get out of the house. “Juergen, bring me the 5 grams of nitroglycerine.” “Ugh…Matthias? I thought you said 5 kilograms.” “WHAT??? How did you fit that much into the precision instrument for blowing this lock?” “I didn’t. I had to bring it here in a milk carton.” “Well why the f**k did you already start the timer?” “Oh… Well, the drive over was really boring so…” “Drop it & let’s get the f**k out of here!!!” And boom goes the dynamite…

Atlas Shrugged – Hey, a book that I’ve heard of…yet have little to no idea what it’s about. Okay, so from what I understand, it’s about all the creative minds of the world going on strike because the captains of industry are exploiting them…and then society falls. What? It’s more complicated than a summary that can’t even be compared to Cliff Notes? Well, that’s why they’re making a movie about it. The long-gestating film adaptation of Ayn Rand's 1957 literary classic "Atlas Shrugged" has suddenly raced forward and will head into production in just two weeks reports Deadline New York. Wow, a fortnight to prepare for a major motion picture? Is Michael Bay the director? Entrepreneur John Aglialoro scored the film rights to the work back in 1992 but attempts to adapt the 1100-page property (summarized into a brief run-on sentence by yours truly) have encountered numerous problems and false starts over the years. The likes of Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Faye Dunaway have also been attached at one point or another. As a result, a fed up Aglialoro is proceeding along his own agenda and is independently financing a June 11th production start in Los Angeles on the first in a quadrilogy of features based on the objectivism-spouting property. Sigh… Really? It’s going to be FOUR movies? Does it start with “Atlas Shrugged: A New Hope”? Brian O’Tool and Aglialoro co-wrote the script and Stephen Polk (who?) has been hired to make his directorial debut on the project which has been in secretive pre-production for months. The surprise here though is that no-one has yet been cast, and while Theron and Maggie Gyllenhaal are "being courted" to play the lead Dagny Taggart, the production will go forward with unknowns if needs be as financing is already in place. I get the feeling that the entrepreneur is extremely stressed out and just said “You know what? I’ll star in this b**ch if I have to. Let’s just make a movie already. I can’t wait for Angelina to stop adopting kids and those other girls to do their Indies. Hell, I’ll hire a Victoria’s Secret supermodel if I have to. Let’s get this party started.” Hey, he has the movie rights. He’s free to do it however he wants. Wanna star in a series of movies loosely based on “Atlas Shrugged”? Hit him up on his website. YOU could be Dagny.

Why Willie? Why? – Not since Billy Ray Cyrus chopped off his mullet has country music’s world been so rocked by careless clippers. Country music fans have come to expect a little eccentricity from legendary crooner & red-headed stranger Willie Nelson, but he pulled off a real shocker this time: He cut his hair. "Oh Noooooo!," wrote one fan who saw a picture of Nelson's new do on the website of Nashville television and radio personality Jimmy Carter (not the peanut farmer President). Nelson's waist-deep, reddish pigtails have long been one of the singer-songwriter's signature features. But spokeswoman Elaine Schock said Nelson, who's been hanging loose in Hawaii, got his hair cut in the past couple of weeks. Schock said the Texas-born performer didn't make a big fuss about the makeover and thought he might have grown tired of dealing with long locks. She said, "there's a lot of maintenance." And so…it is with a heavy heart, that we bid farewell to the radiant locks of one William Nelson. Ye shall be missed.

Anyway, enough of that stuff. In about 24 hours, I’m going to be in San Francisco starting a magnificent weekend surrounded by friends, hot Latin women & architectural majesty. It’s gonna be awesome. I seriously can’t wait (especially since it still appears to be snowing a bit). Hope that you all have a wonderful three-day Memorial Weekend!!! Play hard & play safe!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Acting Experience Required

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Rain last night…and it has turned to snow today. Not a whole lot though. And come rain, sleet, snow, hail or snake invasion I’m planning on going to Carnival this weekend. It’s gonna be epic. I’ll also get to show Bubbles all the sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Ocean Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, all that stuff. It should be fantastic weather, probably in the 70’s or 80’s too. Not sure how I’ll react to that. Anyway, in the meantime, there’s still work…and happy humpday to everybody out there. You’re most of the way to a three-day weekend. Keep your head up. As my mom says (actually she just told me it earlier today & I’m sure that she picked it up visiting the Red Light District in Amsterdam back when she was a teenager), “Every paradise has its price.” Think about it. To provide for yourself & your family, you have to work 40 hours a week or more. To live in California, you’ve gotta pay hella taxes. Even for Love, you have to put up with all the BS trying to find it. “The only thing that’s free is Jesus!” Yeah? Then why don’t they play football games at church on Sunday mornings? Like I said, think about it.

I was chatting with my brother yesterday…and I mentioned the “Jonah Hex” trailer (like I did yesterday here) and he had no idea what I was talking about. Really? I knew more about a comic than my brother did? Write this down. It must be documented. Well, I was explaining the story…and then it dawned on me, something I hadn’t even thought of before. “Dude, do you remember the Batman animated series from when we were kids?” “Yeah, I’ve got all of them on DVD.” “Well, I was watching the preview and he has this little flap of skin that connects his lips and I thought it was just like Two Face…but then, wasn’t there like an episode where there was a disfigured gunslinger just like that? I think it was a flashback by Rashe Algool or something.” (By the way, yes, I know that I’m a nerd) “Yeah, I don’t remember the guy’s name but I think it was like Rashe’s son or something back in the Old West. I’ll have to check it out.” Seriously three minutes after we hung up, he called back. “Well if it isn’t Jonah Hex. That’s the dude.” So yes, my nerddom has come full circle. Not only did I make the synapses between Batman & Jonah Hex…but now I have documented it on the web for all to see. And I would kinda like to see a cameo of Rashe Algool (Liam Neeson in “Batman Begins”) at the end of the Jonah Hex movie. Why? Why the hell not? As long as that movie has a horde of Confederate zombies instead of a giant robot spider & plenty of adult-friendly skin from the Fox, it should be better than “Wild Wild West” anyway. Here’s some news…

Chinese Orgy Update – You knew when you got me thinking about the Fox it was going to go this way. A Chinese college professor has been jailed for running a sex club, whose members were the first to be convicted of "group licentiousness" in 20 years, media reported on Friday. Ma Yaohai, a 53-year-old computer science professor, was jailed for three and a half years after pleading not guilty to holding orgies and said he would appeal against his sentence, the official China News Service said. "What we did, we did for our own happiness," Ma told media at a news conference in April at his home, where 14 of his 18 orgies, or "swinging games" as he called them, were held. "People chose to do it of their own free will and they knew they could stop at any time. We disturbed no one. Marriage is like water. You have to drink it. Swinging is like a cup of wine. You can drink it if you like. If you don't like it, don't drink it." My God, his argument makes sense to me. He's like a sexual Confucius. Eighteen people charged with taking part in the orgies were jailed for up to two and half years. "Ma received a more severe punishment because he did not admit the malicious and illegal nature of his conduct," the court in eastern Nanjing said. Ma started his online group in 2007. Participants included office workers, taxi drivers and sales clerks (surprisingly not college coeds given that he’s a professor). They were arrested after five were caught having a "party" in a hotel room last August (and somebody narc’d him out). Ma's case has sparked debate on whether group licentiousness should be scratched from the law books. "If no one is being harmed, people's privacy should be protected," one sociologist was quoted as saying. Others felt Ma's conduct was outrageous. "Law is based on respect for traditional customs and civilized ethics," said a columnist named Zhi Feng on "They confounded right and wrong and poisoned the social atmosphere. How dare you say they did no harm to others?" Oh I dare. In fact, I declare. Look, if people want to do group sex, more power to them. As long as they’re not putting love stains on my furniture or interrupting my sleep or okay with having a tall guy sitting in the corner observing, then do what you gotta do. Obviously I’m not a swinger myself…but I can understand the appeal. There’s a lot of women out there (or dudes) and you wanna try them all. That’s cool. Not my bag but I don’t think it should be illegal obviously. Silly Chinese. And I only mention this because when they become our overlords, swinging may be the first thing to go. Possibly even before the English language…and definitely before our system of measurements (f**k metric). So when we fight, we’ll be fighting for more than our Country, our People, we’ll be fighting for our Right to get our swerve on…and by God, I’m NOT going to let them take that Liberty away from me. That’s for my future wife to do (ba-da tish). Come on now, you know that was going to happen.

More Panda Update – More updates on the Kung Fu Panda sequel. Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Victor Garber and the Great JC with a VD, Jean Claude Van Damme have joined the cast of DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" according to an official press release. The quartet join returning talent Jack Black, Angelina Jolie (mmm…), Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross and James Hong in the film which is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend next year. The sequel will follow Po, the world's biggest kung fu fan, as he continues his journey as the chosen one who fulfills an ancient prophesy while mastering the art of kung fu. Oldman voices the character of Lord Shen (a peacock), the film's formidable new villain (HA!!! Told you he’s the villain!!!) while Yeoh brings to life the mystical character of The Soothsayer (a goat). Van Damme and Garber round out the cast as Master Croc and Master Thundering Rhino, respectively. Yes, Jean Claude Van Damme is playing a crocodile…while Gary Oldman is a peacock. Why? Because Gary can pull it off and STILL be the ultimate villain…with plumage. Anyway, just thought I’d spread awareness that Jean Claude Van Damme isn’t dead & is coming to a kid’s show near you.

30 Minutes of Less - Jesse Eisenberg and his "Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer will re-team for the action comedy "30 Minutes or Less" at MRC says The Hollywood Reporter. The story follows a junior high history teacher (Aziz Ansari) and a pizza-delivery man (Eisenberg) who are forced to rob a bank when one of them is strapped to a bomb vest. Danny McBride (“Tropic Thunder”) plays one of the men looking to score some cash and Nick Swardson (“Grandma’s Boy”) has been cast as his best friend. Michael Pena (“Shooter” & “Observe & Report”) is also onboard as a tattooed assassin. You know, the first time I read that last sentence, I could’ve swore it said Michael Cena, you know…the kid from “Superbad”, “Juno” & “Year One” who I’ve never seen in the same place as Jesse Eisenberg? Think about that for a second. Anyway. Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan penned the script. Jeremy Kramer, Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld are producing. Filming kicks off this Summer. This has some great potential. I mean… I believe I mentioned after watching “Zombieland” that it was quite possibly the greatest movie ever made…and now you through in some bank robbing? Anyway, we’ll see how it goes.

Tennis vs. Porn – Now, I’ve been saying for years that the only way to enjoy women’s tennis is at a purely primal level. Not the spirit of competition and amazing skills of slamming a little yellow ball around with a racquet, but rather just enjoying the sweaty athletic women grunt with every forehand smash in short skirts. It’s just how it is…and like my opinions of soccer, you’re probably not going to change them. It’s just too logical. Well, it’s finally happened. The best athletes in the sport are taking some of my suggestions, whether they’re aware of it or not. Before sticking to the strict all-white dress code at Wimbledon next month, Venus Williams (proudly straight outta Compton) is indulging in some risqué French cancan in Paris. The American's black lace corset resembling an offcast from the nearby Moulin Rouge cabaret has been the talk of the French Open, and the accompanying tight skin-colored knickers (what did you just call me?) have raised just as many dumbstruck glares. The second seed's 6-2 6-4 second-round win over Spain's Arantxa Parra Santonja was very much a secondary issue for many on Wednesday. "The design has nothing to do with the rear. It just so happens that I have a very well developed one," she chuckled during her post-match press conference. Agreed, baby’s got back. Don’t believe me? Ask a black dude. The opening Wednesday at Roland Garros is traditionally when Parisian schoolchildren are given priority for tickets, and they and their teachers almost got even more than they bargained for as the unconvincing red straps to Venus's dress threatened to reveal yet more of the American (BAM!!!). The world number two wore the outfit for the first time at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami earlier this year and she uses her daring court appearances to promote her own line of fashions. "It's really about the illusion. Like you can wear lace, but what's the point of wearing lace when there's just black under," she added. "The illusion of just having bare skin is definitely for me a lot more beautiful. So it's really not about anything else other than just that skin showing." Venus, who seems to prefer to talk fashion than tennis, believes her outfit is the symbol of her personality. "I try to represent what I think my personality is on the court. That's the first part of it. The second part is sometimes you just dream it up. Sometimes you can see a dress and say, 'Hey, I really like those slits, so let me put that in my tennis dress'." I really like your slits too. She did say slits, right? That’s what the straps were holding back? Or the lace was covering or whatever? Okay, I’m just confused…but that’s what happens when I think about female tennis players in lace. Mmm… especially Ana Ivanovic… Forget going for a number one ranking, she’s a 10 already. I wonder when she’s going to show off her clothing line (Ivana? As in, Ivana Duyu?). Anyway, just a thought… a lacy gently wafting dream of a thought…

Apocalypse Update? – My belief that the world will come to an end, not by famine, pestilence, nuclear war or anything like that…but by being devoured by serpents has been well documented. However now, there’s another twist to the story. We’ve all read and/or heard about the Greek tragedy that is…well, Greece the past few months. Their economic system is crashing down and they’ve received a ginormous bailout through the European Union to try to counteract the whole EU system collapsing. Well, sh*t just went from bad to biblical. Greek officials say that a horde of frogs has forced the closure of a key northern highway for two hours. Thessaloniki traffic police chief Giorgos Thanoglou says "millions" of the amphibians covered the tarmac Wednesday near the town of Langadas, some 12 miles east of Thessaloniki. "There was a carpet of frogs," he said. Authorities closed the highway after three car drivers skidded off the road trying to dodge the frogs. No human injuries were reported…but I’m sure there was plenty of French delicacy road kill left in the wake of a few impatient motorists. Thanoglou said the amphibians probably left a nearby lake to look for food…but he didn’t elaborate on what kind…so I will. Well, rather I’ll give you a scenario that didn’t come to be…but don’t be surprised if you see it tried again. One of man’s advantages over the animal kingdom is their ability to move quickly through technology. Sure, birds have their flight, cheetahs have their sprinting speed, sharks can swim like no other…but we’re the only ones that can do all of the above thanks to our technology. So the animals have a simple plan, take out our technology, take out humans. A basic plan…but one that has worked many times before. But first they have to test it before a large-scale operation…and where to start? How about a place so primitive that the epicenter of their sprawling metropolis is a broken-down marble structure without a roof (Acropolis) and you really can’t tell where the ancient ruins end and the new city begins thanks to Starbucks being everywhere? A place that’s on the border of reverting back to Bartering as their only means of currency & exchange? Yes, I’m talking about Greece, the birthplace of modern civilization…and apparently they were an early bloomer & haven’t grown up much since then. The plan, frogs stifle the highway system, bringing traffic to a standstill & disabling man’s ability to go zero to 60 MPH (or 100 KPH, damn metric system) in about seven seconds (I don’t know…three parsecs, wait that’s a unit of length, not time, I don’t care what Han Solo says). Anyway, man is stopped…and now trapped in his own technology…so that the silent slithery snakes can sneak into their vehicles and take them out. However, man doesn’t fall for it…and a few brave soldiers gun it through the frog barricade, slipping on their slimy corpses and send the snakes back to devise another plan. The human race is safe…for now. We needn’t fear frogs. I mean…they don’t even have teeth. What’re they gonna do? Lick us to death? (Drifts off into a daydream of being licked to death by green women ala Star Trek…) What? Oh hey! So yeah, way to go Greeks!!! Show those slimy suckers who’s boss.

Fox Update – Okay, it’s not really a Fox Update per se…but after an extensive 48-hour search, Michael Bay has found his new leading lady for the third Transformers movie (and yes, it only takes 48 hours to find a leading lady when you’re the director of “Pearl Harbor” & “The Island”). The offer is officially out to newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to play the female lead in the upcoming third "Transformers" reports Deadline. The Victoria's Secret model (yup) read for the role of Shia LaBeouf's love interest last Friday and was the front runner on a short-list of three “actresses” which included Sarah Wright (“The House Bunny”) and Brooklyn Decker (cover of most recent SI swimsuit issue & married to tennis player Andy Roddick). Now it appears the other two actresses have been informed Huntington-Whiteley has the part with only the unlikely failure of last-minute negotiations to potentially change that standing. Bay himself has worked over/on several Victoria’s Secret commercials which is probably where he first spotted her. Despite no relative acting experience, filming on her role kicks off in a fortnight…so she has two weeks to learn the intricacies of being an actress in a Michael Bay movie. “Be beautiful, spray-tan daily, plenty of sweat, heathing breasts, let me see that come-hither stare, perfect…aaaaand ACTION!” Okay, maybe I’m being a little too simplistic with Michael. Let’s face it, I enjoy a lot of his movies…and he has worked with actresses like Tea Leoni, Liv Tyler, Kate Beckinsale, Gabrielle Union, Scarlett Johannsen and…whoever that hot chick on “The Rock” was. Mmm… bubble wrap… What? Did I drift off again? That’s becoming a problem more and more. Anyway, just in case you were wondering who (or which one) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was (probably the white one based on the most Caucasian name ever), I’m glad to help. Here are some reference materials…

Anyway, that should do it for today. Two days until my weekend begins…and I can’t wait. I’m tired of being in the cold. I want to dip my toes in the ocean, dance the cha cha, cross a few bridges, ride a cable car, escalate Coit Tower, eat some seafood, bark at a seal, all the things that one should do while in San Francisco, which is German for “The Whale’s Phallus.” Or was that San Diego? I forget. Have a great day everybody!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Bullies Are BACK

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Happy Day!!! I’m excited for the weekend (though I still have quite the workweek ahead of me first), my mom & dad call me everyday to make sure I’m doing okay, the weather hasn’t been too horrible & it’s still gorgeous here, and while reminiscing about our epic two-day drive across four of the biggest states in the Union last winter, Filly said “U make Texas seem fun” which very well may be the nicest thing that anybody has ever said to me. Those of you who have driven across the entirety of the Lone Star State know exactly what I’m talking about. Other than that, a bunch of TV show that I didn’t watch a whole lot of had their series finales (24, Lost, Law & Order, etc) while Playboy went 3-D. You can guess which one interested me more. So yeah, not a whole lot else going on for me. For that, I apologize. I’ll be sure to get out there and do more. Maybe when the temp goes above 40, I’ll get out there and try the Frisbee Golf course a few blocks from my apartment. Why? Why the hell not? Maybe I’ll meet a few hippie chicks and get a Frisbee Foursome going by the back nine. Anyway, here’s the news…

Tallest American - Guinness World Records has recognized a Minnesota man as the tallest man in the United States. The Guinness World Record Association measured Rochester's Igor Vovkovinskiy (voh-kov-IN'-ski) at 7 feet, 8.33 inches tall during NBC's "The Dr. Oz Show" on Monday. He edged out Norfolk, Va., sheriff's deputy George Bell by a third of an inch. The 27-year-old Vovkovinskiy is originally from Ukraine but moved to Minnesota with his mother when he was 7 years old for treatment at the Mayo Clinic for a pituitary disease that spurred his rapid growth (did I mention he’s 7’8”?). Vovkovinskiy now attends the Minnesota School of Business and is pursuing a degree in paralegal studies. Guinness says the world's tallest man is Turkey's Sultan Kosen. He measures in at 8 feet, 1 inch tall. So that’s cool that Igor’s the tallest American…but the most gripping thing about that story…was that there’s a sheriff’s deputy in Norfolk who’s f**king HUGE!!! I’m glad they kinda warned me. I’m not sure how I would react if I get pulled over and am asked for my license & registration by a behemoth. (Andre the Giant voice) “License & registration please.” “Sure thing officer. You must have some kind of cold to sound like JESUS CHRIST!!! (As I scurry over into the passenger seat)” “Sir, please calm down. (sniff sniff) What’s that smell?” “What do you think it is? I mean… I’m tall but… holy crap, dude. Is your squad car a drop top?” “Hahaha, license & registration please.” “Here you go. Wow. So… do like your handcuffs even go around your wrists? Do you still have a standard issue pistol? I’m thinking it’d look like a toy gun in those banana hands. When there’s a riot, do they just send you in to say ‘Everybody MOVE!!!’? Can you just pick up the back of a car if they try to drive away? Who makes your uniform? I’ll bet the donut shop just cries whenever they see you walking up.” “Sir, please shut the f**k up.”

U3-X Personal Mobility Device – My mom sent me this one…and so I thought I’d share it with you. Yeah, we've seen a self-balancing unicycle before, right? No? Okay then, well the brand new U3-X from Honda takes it to another level. A creepy-sterile, awesomely futuristic Honda level, to be precise. What makes the U3-X particularly interesting is it has the regular large wheel of a unicycle, but that wheel is actually made up of several small wheels in a series, which can rotate independently, meaning that the device can go forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, all being controlled with a simple lean. Honda credits its ASIMO research for this multi-directional capability, though I don’t see it (ASIMO is the biped robot that I’m sure you’ve all seen on South Park) but far be it from me to discredit an excuse to keep up the good work on the ASIMO front. Right now the "experimental model" of the U3-X gets a single hour of battery and weighs under 22 pounds, with a seat and foot rests that fold into the device for extra portability. No word of course on when the thing might make it to market, but Honda plans to show it off at the Tokyo Motor Show. The link has video…but yeah, it’s a unicycle segway. Speaking of South Park, remember the episode where Mr. Garrison builds a fuel-efficient & inexpensive alternative to the airlines? Doesn’t this kind of bear a striking resemblance to it? Just a thought.

Mugshot of the Week - Police say a suspect in a Colorado home invasion had the evidence written all over his face. A tattoo on the upper lip of 20-year-old Anthony Brandon Gonzales led to his arrest last week in the home invasion of an Elvis impersonator in Pueblo County (yes, an Elvis impersonator…in Pueblo, Colorado). A witness told police that one of the invaders had "East Side" tattooed on his upper lip. Gonzales also has a "13" tattooed on his chin in the shape of a goatee. According to an affidavit, the tattoos were visible even though Gonzales was wearing a mask. Gonzales was already in jail on a separate drug charge. Police have now charged him with the April burglary, too. Sgt. Eric Bravo said his distinctive tattoo led to the charge, saying, "it's hard to miss him." Indeed it is…and that’s why he gets the prestigious Mugshot of the Week.

Water Fight - What started out as an innocent squirt gun fight between children turned into a potentially dangerous situation for a Woonsocket, Rhode Island neighborhood. Firefighters on Sunday responded to reports of a strong smell of ammonia in the basement of a Grove Street home. Investigators told WPRI-TV they found a smoking 7-gallon barrel of sodium hydroxide, prompting a hazardous materials team response and the evacuation of three homes. Sodium hydroxide, commonly used to clear drains, reacts strongly with water, creating an odor and heat. Investigators determined that water dripped into the barrel during a kids' water gun fight in the basement. The chemical was removed and no one was hurt. The homeowner thinks the chemical was in the basement when he bought the home…along with the Swedish-made penis enlarger pump found on an adjacent shelf. “That’s not my bag, baby.” It just goes to show, parents have to watch their kids…even when they’re locked down in the basement. “Dammit, you’re getting water all over the house. Why don’t you kids go down in the basement to play?” What’s the worst that could happen? Apparently, hazmat can be called to your house. God I want to play with a Super Soaker now.

Sinatra Update - Martin Scorsese tells The Hindu that the script is ready for his planned feature film about Frank Sinatra's life, and he's already got in mind whom he wants to tackle the two key roles. "I've had it in mind for a long time. Even the initial script is ready. I'm yet to spot the actor who can bring back Frank Sinatra alive on screen. My choice is Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiro as Dean Martin" says Scorsese. The names are surprising as several other high-profile names have been previously linked to the role, with Johnny Depp the studio's favorite while George Clooney is the choice of Sinatra's own daughter Nancy. Also, let’s face it, it’s a Scorsese flick, so it’s kind of assumed that Leonardo DiCaprio would play the role. Universal Pictures is producing the biopic which is expected to show the darker side of the singer along with the more musical side. This may just all be a ploy by Martin to get what he wants…but hey, you know me. I’m all for Pacino & DeNiro. I’m just not sure that they can pull off the younger version of Sinatra & Dino. If so, then not only should they get Academy Awards…but the makeup team should get them too. Depp? Clooney? DiCaprio? McLovin? I’m pretty interested in this project…and how it will be cast…but please keep in mind, we’re talking about the guy who cast Willem Dafoe as Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ” a few years back. (shiver)

Jesus Update – Okay, so it’s not really a Jesus update…but sorta. Sam Rockwell, Bette Midler, Kim Cattrall and British singer Pixie Lott have joined the cast of the 70's-set comedy "Sweet Baby Jesus" for Intandem Films says Deadline. Rockwell and Lott will play an expecting hippie couple who arrive in Bethlehem, Maryland to visit the woman's mother (Cattrall). There they reveal the pregnancy is not via the boyfriend and the townspeople are convinced they're about to witness the Second Coming (instead of a one-night stand at a Grateful Dead concert gone wrong). Midler plays the owner of a guesthouse that is putting up the couple (no room at the Inn?). Steve Blair pens the script and Peter Hewitt ("Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey") directs the $10 million project. Filming kicks off this August in Maryland and Ireland (spoiler alert: Jesus is Irish). Okay, this has some potential to be funny. Sam Rockwell’s always hilarious in his own way, hippies, biblical humor, and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey wasn’t too bogus. Coming to an indie film house or Netflix near you…

Fox Update – Have you seen the preview for “Jonah Hex” yet? No? Yeah, I caught it once and… I hate to say it… I hope it doesn’t suck. Look a lot better than the first movie that comes to mind...which sadly is "Wild Wild West." We shall see. Anyway, can’t get enough of thinking about Megan Fox in tight fitting corsets? Me neither. That’s why this rambunctious little rumor makes me a little giddy…and I don’t care if it’s founded in hearsay & conjecture that I may or may not have started in the blogosphere. Megan Fox is set to get the ultimate revenge on Transformers director Michael Bay. No, not by f**king his best friend…but by accepting a role in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! The actress, who apparently quit the action flick after Bay told her she looked unhealthily thin, is already busy plotting her comeback. “Megan is mulling over a number of big movie offers including another sci-fi franchise and a role in the next Pirates of the Caribbean,” reveals a source close to the actress. “She would play a mermaid who charms Captain Jack but she has a dark motive. Megan has always loved Johnny and is desperate to work with him (watch out Brian). She’s grateful to Transformers for making her name but she’s ready to move on to better and bigger things.” Okay, so even better than a corset is an evil succubus in a shell bikini top…and maybe a necklace around the waist. As you might expect, I like the idea. I’m also a little curious as to what the other sci-fi franchises might be. Star Trek? Serenity sequel? Starship Troopers reboot? BARBARELLA??? Anyway, first things first. Jonah Hex is out in a few weeks, then Passion Play at an indie house near you, then we’ll see where it goes from there. I also really like the idea of “Oh, I’m too skinny or whatever for your movie, Mr. Pearl Harbor? Well, it just so happens that Jerry Bruckheimer has an eye candy role in an action flick for me…with Johnny Depp instead of that Feldman, Shia LaBeouf. So long, b**ch!!! Suckiteasy…” Best of luck to you, Miss Fox. As I’ve often said, the best revenge is a life well lived. And besides, it'll be a great transition into "Fathom" later on...

Well, that’ll do it for today. Game 4 of Lakers / Suns is tonight…and frankly, I really don’t care who wins the NBA championship. I’d like to see the Suns do it…just because I have to root for the fellow $teves (Nash & Kerr) but we shall see. Oddly enough, I’m more excited about the Broad Street Bullies (Philadelphia Flyers) being back in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. The teams haven’t won the cup since 1975 & 1967 respectively. Some town’s going to have a huge parade party in a week or so. Make sure that your cars aren’t parked on the street…and have a great day everybody!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

My weekend was pretty relaxing. In keeping up with my lifelong “batting average” when it comes to dating, my Saturday evening rendezvous was cancelled due to a case of strep throat. Her loss. Hopefully we’ll get to meet up later. Sunday, I went to softball practice in the snow (trace amounts…but still cold as f**k for baseball) and after about an hour, I felt my cold coming back on…so I left. Now there’s supposed to be more snow on Wednesday when our first game is. Maybe God’s trying to tell me something like…don’t try to meet people or have fun. Okay, maybe not. It’s all good though…because on my way home from the grocery store (NyQuil run, just in case), I picked up a hitchhiker. Well, sort of. I knew the guy. His name is Pork Chop and he’s a coworker of mine formerly of New York but has been here for about 18 years. See…he’s in his late thirties, early forties…and is just now taking his first driving test this week. We talked about it a bit and I reassured him that it’s not going to be a big thing…but then in the back of my mind, I thought “Hmm…he did just ask me whether or not he needs to push down hard on the brakes to slow down. Maybe he needs a test track or something” but he was already a little late for work…and frankly I didn’t want him driving Gretchen for his first time…but we’ll see. I offered him my assistance in finding a car or any questions about driving…but yeah, I thought it was weird that he’s been in California for that long…and has never driven a car. It’s just odd to me. Anyway, that was my good deed for the day, driving somebody a half hour out of my way to drop him off at work on my day off. Good things are going to happen to me.

For example, what are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend? That sounds fun. I’m going to Carnivallllll!!! (That’s me rolling my L as I do so splendidly) What? Am I going to Rio? Wasn’t Carnival a few months ago? Yes, that Carnival was…but in San Francisco this weekend is Carnival, celebrating the Latin & Hispanic communities…and it’s going to be AWESOME!!! There’ll be parades (hopefully with a lot of tanned hotties in flamboyant outfits), lots of great food, fun…and I’m going to teach Bubbles how to Salsa & Cha Cha. She just got into San Fran over the weekend so I’m going to show her the town the only way I know how – As Fun As Possible!!! Anyway, more on that with pictures next week…but first, here’s the news…

Change for a Dollar? - What may be America's oldest silver dollar has become the world's most expensive coin, with its owner saying it changed hands in a private transaction between coin collectors for nearly $8 million. Steven L. Contursi, who has owned the mint-condition 1794 Liberty dollar for the past seven years, confirmed Thursday that he sold it to the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation of Sunnyvale for $7.85 million. The previous record price paid for a coin was $7.59 million for a U.S.-minted 1933 $20 gold piece, according to the American Numismatic Association. The U.S. began producing silver dollars in 1794, and this particular one remains in near-perfect condition 216 years later. That being the case, the price it fetched was not surprising (Really?), at least according to professional coin grader David Hall. "Even if it looks like it's been run over by a truck it would still be worth a hundred grand," he said. Part of the so-called flowing-hair silver dollars, the coin has a portrait of Lady Liberty with long, straight hair on the front and a noticeably skinny American eagle on the back. "That's the type of piece that is available maybe once in a lifetime," said Martin Logies, curator of the Cardinal Collection, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving rare coins and educating the public about them. He said the foundation plans to put the coin on display, just as Contursi did much of the time he owned it (in a laser web with machine gun turret cameras). Numismatic experts say it was among the first U.S. silver dollars ever made. "From the research I've done, it is unquestionably the earliest struck of all the pieces known to remain in existence," said Logies, author of "The Flowing Hair Silver Dollars of 1794." Of the approximately 1,750 such dollars produced that year, only about 150 are known to exist. The quality of the imprint on this one shows it was struck on a hand-cranked press from a special piece of polished, high-quality silver. That indicates it was intended for either a dignitary or the mint's own private collection, said Larry Shepherd, executive director of the American Numismatic Association. It likely remained in the mint's collection until the 1800s, Shepherd said, when it was probably traded to a private collector, something he said the mint sometimes did in those days. Contursi, who runs Irvine-based Rare Coin Wholesalers, acquired it for an undisclosed sum in 2003. He said he wasn't looking to sell it until Logies approached him. The Cardinal Collection curator had been one of a handful of experts Contursi had allowed to examine the coin after he bought it. He joked that Logies had had his eye on it ever since. "He just finally made me an offer I couldn't refuse," he laughed. Almost $8 million for a silver dollar made on a hand-press over two centuries ago? Wow! Amazing. The joke’s on the buyer though…because they won’t accept it at the local Laundromat or vending machines. However, do you have any idea how much laundry Mr. Contursi will be able to do…and still have money left over. Man, a sucker born every minute, right?

Justice? - A homeless man caused about $12,000 in damage when he stole and crashed a single-engine airplane at a Maryland airport — but he'll pay just $40 in restitution. Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer Jr. expressed surprise Thursday upon learning of the small amount. Dwyer asked: "Only $40?" Prosecutors explained that insurance had paid for all the damage except for a $40 deductible. Fifty-one-year-old Calvin C. Cox has served half of his nine-month sentence for the December theft. His lawyer has said Cox stole the plane because he was homeless and cold (Really? Was he flying south for the winter?). At sentencing in April, Dwyer authorized work release for Cox so he could earn money to pay restitution to the plane's owner, Mid Atlantic Soaring Associates Corp. Sigh… wow, I’m glad that I can steal an airplane, crash it & only have to pay the deductible. Don’t worry, I won’t be doing it…because I don’t wanna go to jail for nine-months…or nine hours even. Just a funny little story I thought I’d share.

George Washington: Founding Father, Patriot, Book Thief - A library book “borrowed” by the first U.S. president, George Washington, has been returned to a New York City's oldest library, 221 years late. Washington checked out the book from the New York Society Library at a time when the library shared a building with the federal government in lower Manhattan. The library said in a statement that its borrowing records, or charging ledger, showed Washington took out "The Law of Nations" by Emer de Vattel on October 5, 1789. The book was not returned, nor any overdue book fine paid -- with the overdue fee now calculated at about $300,000. The missing book came to light when the New York Society Library was restoring its 1789-1792 charging ledger, which features the borrowing history of Washington, John Adams, John Jay, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, George Clinton (had no idea P-Funk had been around THAT long), and others. The library conducted an inventory of books mentioned in the ledger and confirmed the book checked out by Washington was still missing. But the missing book was kept secret for years until it became public recently in an article in The New York Daily News, the library said in a statement. "A few days after learning of the situation, staff at Washington's home in Virginia, Mount Vernon, offered to replace Vattel's "Law of Nations" with another copy of the same edition," the library said in a statement. To mark the occasion the library hosted a ceremony on May 19 at which the errant volume was presented. Hmm, I wonder what other books George checked out during his stint as President. Was he just into reference? Adventures? Biographies? Dinosaurs? Maybe even romance novels? “George, what is this ‘Pirates of Lust’?” “Oh Thomas, it’s pronounced Loost, it’s a small archipelago of islands in the Caribbean…and there have been some events of grave national security in the Carolinas because of these scoundrels.” “Really? (Reading from the inside cover) Margaret Pennyworth had lived a humdrum life of luxury…until she met the dreaded pirate captain known only as Red Dog, whose brooding masculinity…” “Oh my, let me see that. Ha, such a silly book. Martha must’ve picked this up on accident.” “Sure George. Whatever.”

Panda Update – The greatest actor of the modern era, Gary Oldman, has joined the voice cast of DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" says Reuters. Jack Black returns as the voice of Po the panda who sets off in search of others like him (pandas? Good luck) and has a run-in with a group of bandits. Oldman voices a character named Peacock who helps Po, but there is more to him than what first appears (Spoiler alert: He’s a vampire and transforms into a jet). The 3D sequel is currently slated for release next summer. That’s really all I’ve got on this. By the way, would anybody really be surprised if Peacock ends up being a bad guy? I mean…he’s voiced by Gary Oldman. He & Frank Langella are pretty much type cast as evil guys…and no, I haven’t watched all the Harry Potter movies. Anyway, pandas, Gary Oldman, bandits a.k.a. ninjas, next summer, 3D, that’s about it.

Ninja Update - Ninjas are not known for having a soft side, but a group of warriors came to the rescue of a student in Sydney who was being viciously assaulted by muggers. Ninjas scared off three men who were attacking a 27-year-old German medical exchange student in an alleyway outside their warrior school, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Wednesday. One of the teachers saw the attack and instructed the students, who were decked out in their black garb, to go out and confront the muggers. "You should have seen their faces when they saw us in ninja gear coming toward them," the school's sensei, or master, Kaylan Soto, told the newspaper. Another ninja named Steve (no relation) said: "It was probably the worst place in Sydney where they could have taken him." No sh*t!!! I could imagine being in the alley, “Gimme your money!” then all of a sudden you hear a commotion (it is Australian ninjas after all, they play rugby) and see a few dozen decked-out ninjas, probably carrying katanas and/or hook swords, coming at you. At this point, there’s only two thoughts in your mind, “Are you faster than your two friends?” and “Can you run with crap in your pants?” Only one way to find out. You’re not even questioning why there are ninjas in Sydney (kinda like Tony Jaa being there in “The Protector”, just don’t think too hard about it). Awesome!!!

Everest Update – Ever feel like…maybe you’re not living life to the fullest? Ever sit in front of the TV and think that there could be so much more that you could be doing than watching idiots be idiots on the idiot box? No? Well, this story will probably do the trick. The youngest climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest hugged his tearful companions and told them he loved them. Then 13-year-old Jordan Romero took the satellite phone and called his mom. "He says, 'Mom, I'm calling you from the top of the world,'" a giddy Leigh Anne Drake told The Associated Press from California, where she had been watching her son's progress minute by minute on a GPS tracker online. "There were lots of tears and 'I love you! I love you!'" Drake said. "I just told him to get his butt back home." With Saturday's success on the world's highest mountain, at 29,035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level, Jordan is just one climb from his quest to reach the highest peaks on all seven continents. The teenager with a mop of long curly hair (who by the way, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa when he was 9 years old) says he was inspired by a painting in his school hallway of the seven continents' highest summits. "Every step I take is finally toward the biggest goal of my life, to stand on top of the world," Jordan said earlier on his blog. Before him, the youngest climber to scale Everest had been Temba Tsheri of Nepal, who reached the peak at age 16. Also Saturday, officials said a Nepalese Sherpa who lives in Salt Lake City (woo woo) broke his own world record by climbing Everest for the 20th time. Apa (who goes by one name like Pele, Elvis or Jesus) went up to collect garbage, a growing environmental problem on the mountain. Several climbers took advantage of Saturday's clear weather to reach the summit, Mountaineering Department official Tilak Pandey said. May is the most popular month for Everest climbs because of more favorable weather. Jordan, from the San Bernardino Mountains ski town of Big Bear, California, was climbing Everest with his father, his father's girlfriend and three Sherpa guides. Unlike neighboring Nepal, the other approach to Everest, China has no age limit for climbers. Jordan registered with Chinese officials in April, said Zhang Mingxing, secretary general of China Tibet Mountaineering Association. Jordan carried a number of good luck charms, including a pair of kangaroo testicles given to him by a friend who has cancer (yes, roo balls are good luck). "That's the one that probably meant the most," Bailey said. At the summit, Jordan left behind his lucky rabbit's foot and planted some seeds that a Buddhist monk at a local monastery had given him for luck on his journey, Bailey said. Then he took the satellite phone and called his mom. "He's such a good boy and he calls his mom every day," Drake said, laughing, just minutes later. Drake said her son, an eighth grader, took two months of homework with him to keep up in school. Jordan continues the recent trend of young global adventurers. Earlier this month, 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted. Thousands lined Sydney Harbor to cheer as she cruised past the finish line in her pink yacht. A Dutch court late last year blocked an even younger sailor, 14-year-old sailor Laura Dekker, from pursuing a similar round-the-world voyage, ordering her to prepare more and wait at least until this year before starting. And in January, 17-year-old Johnny Collinson of Utah became the youngest person to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents. Just one mountain remains in Jordan's own quest to climb those peaks, the Vinson Massif in Antarctica. Jordan's team leaves for Antarctica in December, Bailey said. "A piece of cake," his mother said. Well, how do you feel? There’s a gaggle of teenagers out there living your dream to climb Everest, sail around the world, get a pair of kangaroo testicles for your collection, visiting Antarctica before it melts away, all before they can vote…or their balls have dropped. Get out there & see the world while you still can. Why are they able to do it? Because they’re kids!!! They have their parents to take care of them…from Big Bear, while they climb with sherpas. You don’t have responsibilities, right? Get out there!!! Okay, maybe not quite that scale of an adventure…but hey, if you’ve got a few free hours here & there…and your choices are to either watch TV or go do something new, I would highly recommend doing something new.

Well, that’ll do it for me. I’ve got other things to do. Like ugh… climb a mountain… or something. Okay, so I’m going to work out indoors because it’s too damn cold outside. Whatever. Don’t judge me. Glad that I could share all of these Earth shattering events with you in my free time. Oh…and welcome back to America, Lilie!!! Hope you enjoyed the French Riviera. Have a great day everybody!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mostly Sunny & Snowing

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

It's actually completely sunny outside right now...yet snowing. It's quite funny. You see the snow hit the ground...and then immediately disappear, like not even a little water residue. I've been trying to take a decent picture of it but to no avail. Anyway, hella busy day at work today…but hey, that’s what happens when you spend half of your day in managerial training and then the other half catching up on a full day of work…plus learning new duties to help out the team. That’s what I like about the job though, it allows me to grow & learn new things and have new opportunities (except my paycheck stays the same…for now). Other than that, not a whole lot going on. My first softball game is on Wednesday. There’s a chance of yet more snow over the next week. I’ve been a little ill the past few days, basically just a runny nose…but I’m over it now. I think my mom’s on her way back from Alaska…but because she has no idea what a cell phone is for, there’s really no way to find out. K-Fish may be visiting this week…but same thing with the cell phones. I hope she’s not expecting a timely ride from the airport if she’s not going to tell me when it is. Sigh… women. Am I right? No? Okay, maybe not. So yeah, since there’s really not a lot of news concerning me…here’s some about the rest of the world…

Laser Reaper - Death need not be a grim affair, especially for the living, and at a new columbarium in Singapore, the deceased can depart, rock concert style (No, not drug overdose, stage dive malfunction, or being burned alive at a Great White concert...and RIP Dio). Unlike most traditional Buddhist funeral ceremonies that follow cremation, there is no incense and no monks offering prayers at the Nirvana Memorial Garden columbarium, where the urns holding the remains of the dead are stored. You read right. The Nirvana…Memorial Garden. That’s just coincidence though. Instead, curtains draw automatically to reveal the deceased's urn which is placed atop a pedestal, machine-generated smoke fills the prayer hall and a booming recorded voice, accompanied by chants, speaks words of comfort and talks about death. (I was hoping for “Are you READY TO ROOOOOCK???”) The columbarium boasts a $2 million sound and light system. Its resident Buddha statue pulsate gently with LED lights and, as a final touch, a ray of bright white light shines on the urn of the deceased symbolizing the ascent to heaven. "This is just 60 percent of what we can offer," said Jessie Ong, who works for Nirvana Memorial, the company that runs the columbarium. "We are still fine tuning the laser lights." Most columbariums are dark, eerie places, with floors littered with incense ash and urns piled high to the ceiling in tiny pigeonholes, each adorned with a picture of the deceased. But in Nirvana Memorial, luxury and space are aplenty. "This is not a place for people to come only once a year to visit their parents or relatives, we want to create an environment to encourage them to come as often as possible," Jeff Kong, director of Nirvana Memorial Singapore, told Reuters. The so-called "six star" columbarium is Singapore's first luxury final resting place and the brainchild of Malaysian-based NV Multi Corp which has other similar projects in Southeast Asia. Buddhism is the most followed religion in Singapore, with over 40% of the population declaring themselves believers, according to the latest census. Most of these practice a form of the religion that incorporates elements of Taoism and traditional Chinese faiths. The 11,200 square meter (120,600 sq ft) columbarium is fully air-conditioned and carpeted, with a skylit lobby and an indoor car park. After it is fully opened in 2011, the $22 million facility will host up to 50,000 niches for urns spread across 11 suites designed with feng shui elements in mind. Each of the suites also feature lounges furnished with sofas and rosewood furniture for families to rest when they visit. To access the niches, families are given electronic keycards. The company plans to open a restaurant in the columbarium as well as set up a system to send electronic reminders to families to pay their respects to their relatives on death anniversaries and birthdays (Grieve-mail?). The price of such luxury, however, does not come cheap. Compared to a state-run facility which costs close to $360 for a single niche, prices here start at $22,000 for a double niche in the Royal Suite and $93,000 for a cubicle that stores up to 32 urns in the Family Suite. There are also "economy" class niches that range from $2,200, and the facility accepts payment in installments. Madam Goh, a woman in her 60s who only gave her family name, bought a niche for herself at the facility and said the investment was worth it. "This place is clean, comfortable and much less eerie than the traditional columbariums," she said. Yes, because the last thing you want in a place where the charred remains of your ancestors are…is an eerie feeling. Wow, $22,000 for a niche. Oh…and a b**chin’ stage show complete with fog lights, lasers & a eulogy from the Buddhist equivalent of Alice Cooper. I assume that’s included too. I like the thought. You know, basically being a fancy hotel for ashes and all…complete with restaurant, lounge area…and probably a full-service spa since it is Singapore…but it’s just a little out of my price range. The Family Suite seems like it would be a great bargain though.

Panda Update – Speaking of things dying in Asia, China plans to build a center where giant pandas born in captivity will be trained to survive in the wild, state media reported Thursday. The $8.8 million (60 million yuan) center will be located in Sichuan province's Dujiangyan city, according to Zhang Zhihe, the head of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The facility is expected to house three to five giant pandas when it is completed within five years. The center will include 21.5 acres of an experimental zone, along with 2,800 acres of woodlands, Zhang said. Groundbreaking for the new center starts at the end of the month, Xinhua said. Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered species (because they apparently won’t have sex). Some 1,600 pandas live in the wild, while more than 300 pandas are raised in captivity in China. Zookeepers hope to slowly train pandas to reduce their dependency on humans. In the initial five to 10 years, they will still live in cages in the experimental zone. After that, pandas that adapt well will switch over to living in caves and be trained to forage for food, but they will still receive frequent checkups and participate in artificial breeding (bow chicka bow wow). From there, they will transition to living in a largely "natural" zone with little human contact, before being released into the nearby large natural reserve, Zhang said. The entire process would require a minimum of 15 years, he said. China had started a giant panda training project in 2003 to teach the animals to live in the wild, but that project suffered a big setback. Xiang Xiang, a male panda who had been trained for three years, was found dead in a remote part of the Wolong Nature Reserve in 2007, a year after he had been released into the wild. Why? He was never taught Wuxia, the martial arts!!! Seriously, do I have to do everything myself when it comes to saving pandas? I already gave the world Panda Porn five years ago. I taught them how to f**k, now I have to teach them to fight too. I’m guessing Judo would probably be the best technique given their short legs and…we’ll say “dense” figures. Get the opponent to the ground, then go for the jugular. No mercy. Apparently it’s up to me to turn these super-sized plush toys into rockin’, sockin’, f**kin’ animals that are going to last into the 22nd century. Well China, I need moving expenses, a steady paycheck, a place to live & a few lovely assistants. Send me an email when you’re ready to receive me.

Green Card 2 - Prosecutors say the marriage of a couple at Fairy Tale Weddings in North Dakota was a fairy tale fraud. Federal court documents released Wednesday say 23-year-old Jeffrey Goble agreed to marry 28-year-old Alma Numic for $15,000 so the Bosnian woman could obtain U.S. citizenship in 2008. Goble is now charged with marriage fraud (that’s seriously a charge?). He could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted (I guess so). A message left for his public defender wasn't returned. Numic has since moved to Bosnia (that b**ch!). Court documents say the pair met through Goble's co-worker but parted ways after the wedding. Fairy Tale Weddings didn't return messages. The Grand Forks wedding business’ website encourages couples to "Let your imagination create your wedding day." Okay, so…why am I mentioning this? Sheer surprise. I had no idea that there was such a thing as Marriage Fraud. Seriously. I know there’s the whole movie comedy thing like “Green Card” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” where there’s apparently some government body that checks to make sure you guys are really in love or whatever…but seriously, I’ve known many a marriage that could be considered fraud & there’s no jail sentence (unless you count spousal support…which I do). Look, a respect the sanctity of marriage. I really do. I may sound cynical about it…but hey, I’m single. Always have been. That being said, there was one time that I briefly considered doing something like this. It’s true. $teve almost got married to help out a friend who faced deportation when her student visa expired. Then again, it was an extremely cute Italian girl so…win-win, baby. Anyway, she chickened out (and I think her boyfriend wasn’t fond of the idea) so it never happened…and I think they’re in Ireland now. Now, if a cute 28-year-old Bosnian girl was facing deportation…and needed a superhero to step in and save the day…and grant her the American Dream, would I do it? Reno’s only 30 minutes away and there’s a variety of chapels for me to choose from. Of course for legal purposes as well as protecting the sanctity of marriage, I have to say that you should only marry for Love and you should have a strong, healthy relationship with your partner before getting married…but I’m also a huge fan of legal loopholes, speed dating & drive-thru weddings ministered by the King. Besides, my brother’s marriage was a f**king joke from the beginning…and there was no investigation into whether it was so that some heartless c**t could sap my brother & mother dry. I guess the main thing was that they agreed on the money exchange beforehand or something…as opposed to in a court of law at the divorce. Love the legal system. So if any of you Brazilian girls out there are looking for a free pass to dual citizenship… call me.

Milla Update - British actress Juno Temple (“Year One”) is in negotiations to play the royal highness in Paul W.S. Anderson's upcoming 3D version of "The Three Musketeers" for Summit Entertainment says The Hollywood Reporter. Yes, another 3 Musketeers reboot. There’s only been like a thousand of those. The actress joins Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson (“Beowulf”), Luke Evans, Matthew Macfayden, Christoph Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”), Mads Mikkelsen and last but certainly not least, my baby mama Milla Jovovich who also star in the film. Shooting kicks off in August. It could be a pretty good movie. The cast seems solid…and it’s the timeless tale of Alexander Dumas (IN F**KING 3D!!!). Best of luck to you Paul W.S. Anderson (who is…in actuality, Milla’s baby daddy).

Dangers of Viagra - Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz told a German newspaper on Friday he fell ill after taking too many Viagra tablets and could not see straight for days (and walked with a limp). Kaulitz, 20, told Bild newspaper that someone offered him a Viagra tablet during a concert tour of Asia. After first turning down the offer, Kaulitz said he decided to try one. He said a little later he took a second one and fell ill. "I first asked the seller 'Do I look like someone who needs help with that?'" said Kaulitz, whose brother Bill is the group's lead singer. "He said 'no' -- but that I should nevertheless try it out. I popped one in." Kaulitz, a member of the German rock band that has sold millions of albums around the world, said he took a few more tablets used to treat impotence when he got back to his hotel. "I popped a few more pills, probably too many. The next morning my head was pounding and everything in front of my eyes was blurry. It wasn't fun anymore. It was pretty bad." Kaulitz said it took two days for the effects to wear off. "Unfortunately there were situations where it just wasn't appropriate." Is this what rock has been reduced to? Guitarists OD’ing on impotency pills? Also, of all the pills to be handed out on an Asian rock tour – Viagra? Not some mystical sh*t from Bangladesh or some glowing orange pills out of the Golden Triangle…but a tiny blue diamond that some kid probably stole from his dad? However, there are other side effects to Viagra other than blurred vision, raging erections & public ridicule.

Viagra & Hearing Loss - Men who take Viagra could be at an increased risk for long-term hearing loss, a new study suggests. The results show that, among 11,525 men over age 40, those who took Viagra or other drugs that act in a similar manner, called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5i), were twice as likely to also report hearing loss as were men who had not used the drugs. The findings suggest that the current government warning regarding hearing loss and the use of PDE-5i medications, which include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, is warranted, said study researcher Gerald McGwin, a professor of epidemiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced labeling changes for PDE-5i medications so that the risk of hearing problems was more prominently displayed. This action was taken after several case studies that linked PDE-5i use and sudden hearing loss were reported. The current work is the first epidemiologic study to evaluate the relationship between PDE-5i drugs and long-term hearing loss. Epidemiology is the study of the distributions of diseases or health problems in populations along with the factors that might affect those problems. However, the study only shows an association, and not a direct cause-effect link, and more research is needed to back up the findings. The work also has several shortcomings, including the fact that those who took these drugs could have pre-existing conditions that might also contribute to hearing loss. Also, older individuals, whom the study is based on, are already at risk for hearing loss. "Though there are limitations to this study, it is prudent that patients using these medications be warned about the signs and symptoms of hearing impairment and be encouraged to seek immediate medical attention to potentially forestall permanent damage," McGwin said. The results are published in the May 18 issue of the journal Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The relationship was strongest for men reporting use of sildenafil (generic form of Viagra) over those who used tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra), a finding McGwin attributes in part to a small sample size for both of the latter drugs. McGwin said the findings indicated an elevated but not statistically significant increase in hearing loss for users of tadalafil and vardenafil. PDE-5i drugs were originally designed to treat pulmonary hypertension and are now used extensively in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). McGwin said it is important to consider whether there really could be a plausible biological mechanisms for how these drugs might cause hearing loss. "PDE-5i medications work in ED patients by their ability to increase blood flow to certain tissues in the body. It has been hypothesized that they may have a similar effect on similar tissues in the ear, where an increase of blood flow could potentially cause damage leading to hearing loss." The FDA originally decided to feature warnings about hearing loss on labels for PDE-5i drugs after 29 cases of the problem were reported between 1996 and 2007. The hearing loss was reported to occur within hours to days of taking the drugs. The FDA urges those who experience hearing problems while on the drugs to stop taking the medications and call their doctor. See, I knew about this years ago…because that’s exactly right. The increase in blood flow can cause damage to the fragile ear tissues. Also, another reason for the hearing loss could be that they’re just old dudes…who like rock music at high volumes…but my favorite explanation – The joyous screams of their boisterous lovers. Having never taken or studied Viagra, I can’t begin to make a scientific correlation…but I’m pretty sure that’s what happened to my hearing.

Fox Update – Speaking of hotties & screaming, in a surprisingly sudden axing, Megan Fox will not return to star in "Transformers 3," which began shooting this week in Los Angeles. The actress last year likened franchise director Michael Bay to Hitler and Napoleon, and said he was "a nightmare to work for." (Yeah, my boss would've fired my ass too) Still, it is unusual to eliminate an actor or actress so closely associated with the movie, not to mention a key character in the movie, just as it begins production. The move is also unusual since word around Hollywood talent agencies was that Bay and writer Ehren Kruger were planning on creating a female nemesis for Fox (mmm... catfight). Bay and company now plan to take the story "in another direction," according to insiders, and will cast a new love interest. The third installment of the popcorn blockbuster had been amassing a higher level of actors, with John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Patrick Dempsey being new additions. Fox returns to theaters next month in "Jonah Hex." Her non-involvement in "Transformers 3" was first reported by There were rumors of her being sacked, but Fox's publicist released a statement saying "Megan Fox will not be starring in 'Transformers 3'. It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best." Deadline added to the story saying the decision was ultimately up to director Michael Bay and that Ehren Kruger's script gives Shia's character "a new love interest [which] makes more sense for the story." Really? That's what you were worried about? Making a movie that made sense? Did you see the 2nd one? Seriously, they teleported all over the world. In fact, I remember one scene in particular where they were in the Air & Space Museum in Washington DC, walked through a hole in the wall, and were magically teleported to a field of abandoned aircraft that, I believe, is located in the Arizona desert. In the few hours since then however several potential replacement names have already emerged with actress Gemma Arterton ("Prince of Persia", "Clash of the Titans" & "Quantum of Solace") said to be the leading candidate according to The Wrap. Also in the running are Brooklyn Decker (Andy Roddick's girlfriend), Bar Rafaeli (DiCaprio's girlfriend) and Aussie supermodel Miranda Kerr (Orlando Bloom's partner) with the latter two having apparently already read for the role. Filming kicks off this month. Sigh... good. Now I don't have to give a sh*t about Transformers movies anymore. Seriously, I don't even think Dinobots could peak my interest now. After how horrible the sequel was...and now not even a few obviously constructed scenes to show off Megan Fox in jean undies, spray-on tans and/or running around with her mouth open and chesticles flailing? Yup, done. Best of luck, Michael Bay. I hope Megan wins an Academy Award now. Then again... I do fancy Gemma Arterton... Damn it, I'm so torn. Oh wait, no I'm not. The Fox always wins.

Anyway, that'll do it for today. I'm gonna go stand in the solar snow outside for a bit...then maybe cook up some delicious dinner. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend full of magnificent adventures. Keep me posted on them okay? Have a great weekend!!!

Where Should I Go Next?