Friday, July 29, 2005

If you were a kid in the sixties you remember this:

Jiffy Pop
Jiffy Pop
The Magic Treat
As much fun to make
As it is to eat.

Problem was, if you ever HAD Jiffy Pop, you know that it was actually MORE fun to make than it was to eat.

It was just popcorn.

I can remember, all the times I had Jiffy Pop, thinking, why can't there be something ELSE in there, just once? Like a dragon or something.

A three-headed hydra.

Jiffy Pop
Jiffy Pop
The Magic Treat
More fun to make

That might explain why Lovecraft didn't write ad copy...

Call me an old fart and an old fuddy duddy but being a kid these days is just not as fun as it was when we were kids.

I have NEVER had the opportunity to buy my kids even ONE toy that came with the inherent possibility of injuring them.

No Mattel Thingmakers. Remember those? There was Creepy Crawlers, Fright Factory, Army Men, or whatever they called it, and I thing there was one for girls to hurt themselves with.

Basically, Mattel Thingmakers were hot plates with lead molds and a material called PlastiGoop®, which was made from colored sludge kept in vats since WWII and foisted upon us as a toy. You put the goop in the lead mold, put the mold on the hotplate and when the goop had darkened and hardened to the consistency of a gummy worm (Not that we knew what gummy worms were yet) you took METAL tongs and removed the mold, waited for it to cool and then peeled out the bug/fangs/army guys/whatever.

Of course, we were kids. Nobody WAITED for it to cool. That's how you burned your hands on the mold. Made a man out of you. Even the girls.

Mattel even had a CANDY Thingmaker called INCREDIBLE EDIBLES. I HOPE the molds were steel...

Why can't MY kids have fun scary stuff like that?

And whatever happened to the vibrating football game that made every single player vibrate out of bounds within seconds?

You kids these days don't know what you're missin', consarn it!


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

While I still haven't been able to get to Nancy Freeman's for the free (in exchange for a massage) lessons on how to make bold and italic type stuff on this blog (How does Thursday 8/4 look, Nan?), I've noticed that on my new System 10 computer here at work, the Blogger thing DOES allow me to add pictures. Or at least there's a little icon that SAYS I can add pictures.

Let's try it:

I have no Idea until I publish if it works. That's scary.

What you should be seeing is a picture my dad gave me a few years ago before he sailed up the Strait of Alzheimer.

I THINK he took it. He always said he did; that Ike showed up in Japan during the cleanup time after the war (that's my dad's total contribution to WWII: he cleaned up Japan), and shook hands and stuff.

Supposedly, one of the two ladies in this pic (I think the one to Ike's left, your right) is Kay Sommersby, his personal secretary who Ike was reportedly plooking during his days away from Mamie.

If you CAN'T see this photo ask me to show it to you some time or e-mail it to you.


Last night I did something I don't do much anymore.

I had a hamburger.

A REAL BIG ONE with mushrooms and cheese and yummy.

The best burgers in the world can be found in bars. I wasn't in a bar last night but the burger was certainly bar-worthy.

Oddly enough, in my younger, more-burgers-per-year years, I discovered that the absolute BEST bar burgers seemed to be found in topless bars during weekday lunches. The scenery wasn't bad either, but I think most people thought I was a bit odd that I seemed to be enjoying the burger more than the bar itself.

But why not? Five, six bucks and I have a meal. A lap dance would cost you four, five times that much, and she might knock your burger over and get mustard on her g-string. Then she'd make you pay for the dry-cleaning.

Explain that one at the dry-cleaners. I think not.

Boobs I can see anytime. But next time I want a boobiebar burger I want to be left alone to enjoy its greasy, gastronomic goodness.


FYI, I brought my lunch today. Meat and cheese. No burgers. No boobs. But good anyway.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Well, I finished the latest Harry Potter book.

Wow. Was I surprised!

Turns out it's a training manual for Belgian military search and rescue systems.

I began to get suspicious when there wasn't a single mention of Harry Potter in the entire book.

Oh, wait a minute... I'll be damned...some jerk switched dust covers on me.

Crap. Now I gotta read it again...


Wednesday, July 20, 2005


What more can one say?


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

You know what?

Some websites are just funny from the URL on down:


I guess this goes beyond "petting" the dog; but before I go and actually peruse the site, let's play.

You hang your shingle: Tom's Pet Massage.

You put up the table, you set out the oil, or whatever, and you wait.

Eventually, a dog walks in.

"Hi. Can I help you?"

Dog: Woof.

"Oh, you'd like a massage?"

Dog: Woof.

"Okay, if I could just get some information: Name?"

Dog: Woof.


Dog: Woof.

"All right Mr. Woof, if you could just hop up on the table please...oh, I'm sorry, Up, boy, up!"

Dog: WOOF! (He jumps up on the table.)

"Good boy. Now, does it hurt here?"

Dog: Woof.


Dog: Woof.



"Ah, THERE!"

etc. etc. etc.


What if you got a degree doing bigger animals? How do you massage a horse? I mean, what if a MOOSE shows up? You gonna massage a moose? Not me.

Moossage Therapist. There's an idea!


Could you imagine a cat masseur? How scratched up that sumbitch would be? Seeing as how most cats I've ever known are like "okay, you may caress me for two minutes...now GET THE F*!$ OFFA ME!"


Hi! Is this Stumpy's Big Animal Massage?


You do tigers?

Why do you think I'm called Stumpy?


Enough of this. I'm playing Fiddler's Dream this Saturday with Steve Decker and Gavan Weiser, the latter of "One Foot in the Grave," the world's oldest punk band. Don't miss it.


Friday, July 15, 2005


Why stand in line? Here's all you need to know:

10: In his haste to get back to Hogwarts, Harry gets on the wrong train;
nearly spends the entire year on the "Polar Express"

9. Ron and Hermione have some explaining to do when both come down
with a case of "Volde-warts"

8. Uncle Vernon? Gay...

7. Malfoy traded to Red Sox for Curt Schilling, some cash and a minor leaguer to be named later

6. By unanimous vote of the faculty, Hermione named new "Professor of Oral Arts"

5. Harry's mentor makes a killing in the infomercial market with his magic "Dumble-Door"

4. Snape grins; face falls off

3. Weasley twins borrow Marauder's Map to check when McGonigal's in the shower

2. Harry arrested for burning down Flourish and Blott's Bookstore
when Rowling won't let him have an advance copy of his OWN DAMN BOOK

and the number one Biggest Surprise:

1, Bertie Bott's All-Flavor Quaaludes

See you in line...


Thursday, July 14, 2005

I'm Chuck Sigars's guest blogger today:

(check out the entry from yesterday's blogger, too...very good.)

I'm so proud of myself: I found a recording on line of Frank Zappa reading William Burroughs's "The Talking Asshole" from Naked Lunch. Now I can burn it and use it on my show without having to convert it from an LP, which I don't know how to do anyway.


Note to the NHL: Nobody cares. And they won't for years. Look at what happened to Major League Baseball after the '94 strike. It took years for people to come back.

Good thing Glendale Arena is such a good place to see a show; everybody's going there. McCartney, the Stones, even Witless Britney played there.


I heard the song "Lola" by the Kinks this morning for the first time in ages and had one of those moments that songwriters (both struggling and successful) have where you think to yourself, "I will NEVER write a song this good if I live to be 100."

But I will keep trying.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

(Events in order of importance):

1. A good friend of mine got booted in the recent Honeywell layoff; I wish him well.

2. Another good friend lost her cat of 18 years; may she find another one as adventurous and durable.

3. The computer I'm typing on is on the fritz. May I keep from smashing my head through a window.

It's taking 15 minutes to load; if you ask it to print something it takes an hour, easy; it won't access my mail anymore and saving anything takes 15-30 minutes.

It takes 15 minutes to CLOSE an application.

And my office manager is saying, "maybe it'll fix itself so we don't have to call a repair guy."

Or buy a new computer.

Or let me HAVE one of the Macs that's currently being used to occupy space in storage. Of course, that would require someone actually going DOWN to storage, which isn't gonna happen in a blue moon.


I get to see my Doctor on Friday to test my glucose level (it should be fine) and try to narrow down why I'm always itching after eating certain things. I have it narrowed down to either wheat or corn; wheat seems to be the main culprit but I had a handful of popcorn this morning and now I'm itching like a dog in a flea circus.


We went out for Buffalo wings that other night and found this place called Wing Stop, at 59th Ave and Thunderbird. TAAAAASTY. Coupla different flavors among the usuals, including garlic/parmesan wings and lemon pepper wings. We also tried the teriyaki (pretty good!) and the ATOMIC wings because we're insane. These wings were so hot even Adam, who flinches at nothing, nearly screamed in pain. And this is a kid who beat the "Wall of Flame" at Sports Peppers and had his picture on the wall there for months.


Tomorrow I am a guest blogger on the site of my old college pal Chuck Sigars (pronounced SY-gars). Check it out, will you? He's a columnist up in Washington and a very good writer himself. This month, he's "vacationing" by asking other bloggers to write a blog entry for him. So far they're all great. Here's the URL: http://blogs.salon.com/0002813/


Friday, July 08, 2005

Apparenlty I wasn't the only one who complained about MTV's and VH1's Live 8 coverage last week:


That said, I'm still taking umbrage with them because if they'd done that in the first place, they wouldn't have to eat crow NOW.


Speaking of umbrage, where does one take umbrage? Once you have it, of course. If you have umbrage against the late Avery Brundage, is it Umbrage Brundage or Brundage Umbrage?

Can you take umbrage under and umbrella? Umbrella Umbrage?

What if you don't like oatmeal? Is that porridge umbrage?

Have you ever wondered, "if Tom thinks of stuff like this when he's sober, what's he like drunk?"

I would never subject you to my drunken ravings. You might take umbrage.


We took our dog Dweezil into PetSmart this morning for a tune-up. Oil, filter, that kinda stuff. He always gets this odd look on his face when he have to leave him at the vet, like. "Is it okay for me to be following this guy? Do YOU know him? I sure don't!"

We all know of course that for what they charge apparently they're just buying him free treats all day and letting him shmooze with the babes. But whatever makes him happy.

If you ever buy a dog, BUY INSURANCE. Best investment ever. We've easily saved nearly a grand in two years and my dog is HEALTHY.


I am playing tonight at Mama Java's, 36th St. and Indian School Road in Beautiful downtown Phoenix! 8-10! Come with tip money!


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Cold and insensitive corner:

This morning, in a half-awake haze, the first thought I had about the bombings in London were:

1. Boy, the French must be REALLY pissed off about that Olympics thing; and

2. I wonder if Fox News Channel has blamed this on the Democrats yet. (They haven't, but I trust by the time I get home tonight they will have.)


Note to the lady in the Metrocenter arcade last night who bent over to adjust her baby in the stroller while wearing low-rider pants and no underwear: Nice ass. I'm sure the crowd of six-year-olds who were pointing and laughing at you agree.


My wife has become quite the Dance Dance Revolution Denizen at the local Castles and Coasters. For those of you who don't know, DDR is a game devised by video game companies who were tired of hearing that their games kept kids from exercising.

We have a copy at home and we all play it fairly regularly. But Jan and Adam go out and really DO it. Kids are always amazed to see a MOM playing it.


Pitcher Kenny Rogers's "apology" for punching out an old cameraman yesterday was about as believable as Clinton denying sex with Monica Lewinski. He didn't even SOUND apologetic.
If I'd been a reporter in the room I'd have yelled, "Hey, Sluggo, can you speak up?"


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Just saw Ringo Starr on the Tonight Show! And guess what? You'll never believe this -- they let him and the band play a WHOLE SONG! Maybe somebody should suggest that type of thing to MTV!


If you come see me play at Mama Java's this Friday (36th St. and Indian School), you will get to hear ME play songs all the way through, too! And no manner how much you scream and beg, NO ONE will break in in the middle of a song to tell you what you're listening to.

(Sorry but I guess yesterday's rant about MTV wasn't long enough.)


Our dog is acting funny. We think he may have been spooked by fireworks last night while we were out. He won't leave our bedroom except to eat and void.


Why can't the Diamondbacks get a winning streak going?


I got a note from a skinnydipping compatriot of mine who tells me that they're going to shut down the little power plant at Childs, across from the Verde Hot Springs. This will in effect destroy a small but interesting ecosystem near the plant consisting of calcified water and the watercress that has learned to survive in it, but otherwise the hot springs should be fine.

I"m not sure I have the legs or the balance to go to Verde anymore. Heck, I'd like to have the time to go to the TONOPAH hot springs. Just not right now. Maybe fall.


Y'ever be walking in the mall with your wife or significant other, and you go past a lingerie store, and both of you see something on a widow dummy and simultaneously you both say, "That would look great on ___________________" (mutual female friend), and then you realize that because it's underwear, you could never actually BUY this item for the friend it's perfect for? They'd get the wrong message when all you were thinking was, ____________ would sure look great in those.

Jan and I do that a lot. Of course, we also go into Victoria's Secret, stretch thongs over our heads and go "HELP MEEEE! HELP MEEEE!" when nobody's looking.

Hey, just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have to grow up. If it did, there would be no professional musicians!


Monday, July 04, 2005

I don't know if any of you bothered to try and watch MTV's/VH1's godawful commercial for itself, masquerading as coverage of the G8 concert, but I have come to the conclusion that if Jesus was to come back next week, and MTV got the exclusive rights to cover it, they'd break away for commercials and vapid commentary from their VJs as often as they could.

From the beginning of their so-called "live" coverage (which was ALL on tape except for the Pink Floyd portion -- more on that later), you really saw virtually no one perform an entire song -- UNLESS that group just HAPPENS to be a current favorite on MTV and even THAT wasn't a guarantee.

Who the F@#$()%#@)%K are the Black Eyed Peas? And more important, who Freakin' CARES? Buncha screamin' nachschleppers with no talent who got to perform for what seemed like ALL DAY.

This was supposed to be about groups around the world trying to get a mesage to the G8 leaders. MTV, being stupid, thinks that nobody in the US would give a darn about bands in places like South Africa or Russia, so we get "highlights" of those acts (read: 30 seconds of various groups before cutting to a commercial, or worse, the talentless VJ nitwits who can't even be bothered to PRONOUNCE the names of many of the bands correctly.

At least they waited 3.75 songs into the Pink Floyd show to cut away to their VJs, who informed the world that (SURPRISE) you're listening to PINK FLOYD, TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1983! WE KNOW THAT, YOU FREAKING CLODS! SHUT UP AND GET BACK TO THE MU...OH, DON'T GO TO A COMMERCIAL...YOU...YOU...

I don't even like Pink Floyd and I was mad. Good thing half the Beatles are dead. God knows how many times they'd cut away from THAT reunion.

That's another thing. You don't cut away from Paul McCartney. Ever.


They didn't even bother to show anything from the Canadian stage, unless they did it during the six hours in the middle when I gave up.

No Neil Young, No Gordon Lightfoot! No Barenaked Ladies! No point in watching!

Couldn't they have stopped trying to make money for ONE FREAKIN' DAY? A friend of mine speculated that the reason you didn't see any performance all the way through is because they want to put them on DVDs and make you pay for the privilege, and raise money for world hunger. Well sorry, but they said they didn't WANT money for this one. They wanted your name. I gave them my name and I barely got anything worth watching.


Roger Waters sure looked like he was having a good time, didn't he?


We saw a wonderful fireworks display this evening at the Glendale Peacock Park or whatever it's called. But there was hardly anybody there. Time was you had to pull up a piece of the field at nine a.m. to have it when the fireworks started at 9 p.m. But we showed up at 7:30 to an EMPTY Glendale Library parking lot and had no trouble finding a place to sit in the park.

Does EVERYBODY go to Tempe now?



Friday, July 01, 2005

So Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring. Just goes to show you nothing lasts anymore.

Don't ask me why, but when I was a kid, I was under the impression that if you were a member of the Supreme Court, you weren't allowed to talk to anybody.

I guess it's because I never saw justices interviewed; and who better to discuss law than one of the SUPREME RULE MAKERS? But no. They were above that.

I envisioned that these nine esteemed judges would convene in a room with all the cases before them and communicate telepathically over which cases they would hear and which would be tossed derisively into the street.

And then the Chief Justice would survey all that was chosen, raise his hands and laugh maniacally as a thunderbolt cracked in the judges chamber, and the other judges joined in the laughter, totally in awe of their awesome power.

Hey, I was nine.

However, I was living in Wisconsin when Wisconsinite William Rehnquist was named to the court around 1970. And he TALKED! I remember wondering if the change from walking talking everyday judge to one of the esteemed, non-talking lords of all men would be tough for him.

Of course, I grew up and got over that (kind of) but it really wasn't until NPR started covering Supreme Court hearings by reading from the transcripts of the day did I realize how the supreme court WORKED: that the judges can ARGUE with the lawyers. I just kinda always figured that they knew how they were gonna vote before the session got started, even. I could see Ruth Bader Ginsberg up there, knitting while the lawyers argued their case; Rehnquist reading the paper, another guy playing with a Gameboy, each of them occasionally grunting out a bored "mm-hmmm." But no! They ARGUE!

I wrote a video for Bank of America once that required Ms. O'Connor to say something in it. She was very gracious but it was obvious she really hated having dirty video equipment all over her house. And I couldn't help it. All the time we were taping I was sitting there thinking, "this is a Supreme Court Justice and she's TALKING! She's worried we're going to break something! Wow! Human Being straight ahead!"

Well, whoever they get to replace her, I hope he or she likes quiet time.


It's the fourth of July weekend. If you want to brush up on your history of the colonial era, you really can't go wrong with any book by David McCullough. He's a great writer. He makes you feel like you're there because A) He really does his reasearch; B) He treats real people with the kind of attention that fiction writers MUST pay to characters they're making up; and 3) McCullough is 300 years old. He was there.

Okay, maybe not the last one. But still.

Other stuff about presidents that you might want to look at:

Was James Buchanan a homosexual?


And, what other dead presidents think of Ronald Reagan:


Have a nice weekend.


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