Saturday, November 29, 2003

In case you're wondering:
a) Yes, I've seen the ad for Scotch Tape.
b) Oh yes, that is what a seasonal pimp hat looks like.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Thursday, November 27, 2003

10 pointsI knew about the first of the two incidents in this article on brighter baseballs, but I was surprised to know it was not the first occurance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

CNN tells us that not all squirrels are evil, or perhaps there's gradations in their evil.
Image in my head:
Red squirrel to gray squirrel: "You're not evil, you're demi-evil, the margarine of evil, the Diet Coke of evil."

Some days I wonder if I should simply turn point you to J-Walk for the day, given that today he manages to hit this possible bonus theme, this really dead-on commentary on "lovemarks", and this... update to our continuing coverage of the burgeoning carbonated gravy industry.

S'anyway... I'm chilling at the office because I don't have to drive anywhere. They let us out of work early today, so people could drive off, but I don't need to, and I don't need to cook anything in advance. While short weeks are necessarily odd around here, this morning it got odder. I had done part of our internal ISO audit last week, and as part of that we had to then review our lead auditor's work. Well, upon returning the review, I recieved a free gift for doing it. So I now have an umbrella, which is nice, as I didn't have one before, but doesn't get me past the whole weirdness of the exchange. I feel like I just accidentally signed up for a credit card or something.

In honor of tomorrow, I point you to this. I can attest to this being true, as not only is there a flock by my apartment, there's also a flock out at my parents' place. I think we're almost to the point that the ones out there are pets. They come to feeder regular as clockwork, and if he's very relaxed, the one with a bad leg, "Gimpy", will come down and eat by your side, provided by your side is a large bucket of corn. Gimpy will not be served tomorrow.
10 pointsDavid Dacko's obit also gives you a quick guide to 1960's and 70's in the Central African Republic.
Open question to you all, since you are scattered about the country. If any of you swing by a Borders/Barnes and Noble or other big box bookstore in the next couple days, can you check something for me? I'm curious about whether the markdown books (usually outside, or in the entryway) are distributed evenly nationally? I just want to know if I'm being truthful if I say, you'll find book X in the bargain bin at your local....

If you're at a Borders, check which "Handy X Answer Books", if any, are in the bargain rack. I think that's as good a trace element as I can ascertain.

I'm still trying to figure out what to ask you to look for if you're at a Barnes and Noble, but I'm suspecting that they'll have a more even distribution of things, given a lot of what I'm wondering about is stuff that they (re)publish.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

50 pointsMathematician Trading Cards (And for a bonus 30, name the company, year, and team whose baseball card design they're ripping off.)
I wonder if Karl Marx would phrase it today as: All web phenomena appear twice. The first time as surrealism, the second time as Lego.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Odd bit, I was looking at the ESPN bowl projections, and scheming to have all of the new names internalized for Trashmasters, and got blindsided by the appearance of the "PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl", which was a doubleheader for me as I had heard of neither company nor bowl. So I went digging and found it was officially listed as a new bowl, though based on this article, it's pretty obvious its replacing the Seattle Bowl. I'm just sort of amazed that I missed that transaction.
30 pointsHong Kong goes toward democracy, a little.

30 pointsGeorgia update, especially note the map. (I have to say that was an amazingly quick turnaround.)
I've been trying to figure out how to point out to folks when something I'm linking to is valuable on a quizbowl level, rather than just on a "hey this is goofily interesting to me." So assuming this works correctly....
10 pointsThis article about the life of the Parker Brothers, if internalized, is probably worth about 10 points a year to you.
I'm frightened to say that the biggest thing I found out about this weekend is: Be careful when you eat raw walrus. (1, 2, 3)

Carbonated Gravy Update:
(Good grief, I actually have to have a carbonated gravy update...what planet did I wake up on? Also, please note the final paragraph of this press release, apparently my point about their exceeding their customer's expectations caught someone out.)

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I don't know whether to feel sadness or amusement, but right now Les Moonves (he of the "[my network's show] will be off the hizzle" pronouncement has to be about ready to die inside. First his sweeps plan of "The Reagans" blows up in the network's face, then its replacement, a special on Michael Jackson blows up. And today, sorry, no overbudget skank-waif for you. Awesome November sweeps there, CBS!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

It keeps playing in my head. Two pieces of information, floating around in my head. First, we have the discovery of this, mentioned at TRASH regionals, and also sitting in the sidebar when I went looking for more info about Turkey and Gravy soda. The second bit came from something that happened at Sunday dinner (not involving turkey and gravy, this time it was pork roast.) My father, as he occasionally does, was lying in wait with a little bit of trivia he picked up from somewhere: "What country is the leading exporter of olive oil?"* I then proceeded to wow him by remembering something I heard from an episode of Follow that Food with Gordon Elliott (called "Follow that Olive") that I happened across one night while flipping channels.

So naturally, upon waking this morning, I was greeted by the notion of an episode of Follow that Food, called "Follow that Pimp", wherein we would learn such important things as:
1. How does one harvest pimps?
2. Are pimps graded after harvesting for quality?
3. How does one know if they are ripe?
4. Do they ripen after harvesting?
5. How does one juice a pimp?
6. Does it involve special equipment?
7. For example, one of those Juiceman things available for four easy payments of $19.99?
8. Do you need to clean the pimp before juicing (removing the hat, for example)?
9. When is pimp season?
10. Would the seasonal hat indicate this?**
11. Besides drinking, is pimp juice used in any finer culinary centers?
12. How about Chicago? Gordon loves going to Chicago, can we get this expensed as a business trip?

Sorry, folks, I just had to get that out of my head. Since this morning I've had Gordon Elliott (making that face) in my head saying things, in his oddly excited Australian baritone, like "We're here in Bay City, in one of the world's PREH-MEER PIMP GROWING REGIONS..." and "his family has been growing pimps in this valley since BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR..." and "all THIS...from ONE PIMP? That's amazing..."

While I'm sure the rest of you would prefer that if I have Gordon Elliott inside my skull, I keep him in there locked down, I really need the space.

* Spain, if you must know.
** That's just there to crack Craig up.

Update: I think the reason this is playing in my head so badly is my one utterly failed experiment with an electric juicer. Somehow, the classic velour pimp hat is getting cross linked with a kiwifruit in my head, and I'm recalling the time I figured the juicer would be able to handle the whole fruit, whether or not I peeled the fuzz off the kiwi. Let's just say you should, and it's your kitchen tip for the day.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Okay, First it was Snapple Pie, where they want to include the flavor of the crust in the beverage...(mmm....lardy!) Now Jones Soda is adding a special holiday flavor of.... Turkey and Gravy.
I think this will demonstrate for all of us exactly how psychotic the Atkins people are. Also, please note that this is actually set up as a test market. Those of you in Michigan, why do I fear this is going to be my bonus at some point? (I'll drink that for 30 points. Wait, no I wouldn't.)

Finally, I just have to quote some of the press release:
“With consumers becoming more and more health conscious, Jones Soda's Turkey & Gravy flavored beverage is a zero calorie and zero carbohydrate beverage that can be served warm or cold with a full flavor that will meet and will exceed our customer's expectation.”

Drinking gravy is now being considered the healthy alternative... I'm about to go Lewis Black here. How on earth can drinking gravy be considered the healthy alternative to anything...aside from not drinking gravy?

And frankly, I can't see how they can not exceed their customer's expectation. Folks, if you've reached the point in your life where you are EXPECTING to DRINK CARBONATED GRAVY, you've reached a level of preparedness that many Zen masters would envy.

Please be a joke, otherwise in 10 years when VH1 does their "I Love the [whatever this decade's called]"** the 2003 episode just got 15 seconds of blank stare footage. Especially when they lay this back to back with "Is Chicken of the Sea actually chicken?"
(via DaveBarry)

**In fact "I Love the Whatever That Decade's Called", should be the title.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

By now you've heard about the outbreak of hepatitis from the Chi-Chi's at the Beaver Valley Mall. If not, read up here. Having traveled around experiencing Mike's "degree of difficulty Mexican" runs. (Object: find the least likely location to eat Mexican food, previous winners Montreal, Wheeling, and somewhere between Mount Rushmore and Carhenge), I have to think this might put the Beaver Valley Mall on the list. (They claim they'll open it back up on Monday, I really should drive past the parking lot just to see if anyone's going to try this.)

The interesting thing is that they're actually suggesting the source of the contamination were green onions. This does explain why I got a grilled green onion in the green salad that accompanied my tacos at Baja Fresh. Booker T. and the MG's could not be reached for comment.

You know, you can't really do anything with something like this. It just is, and your only reaction can be: why didn't this happen earlier?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

While I would take this as automatically fraught (it's got the two key characteristics, bad things about to happen, but which bad thing?), I'm tempted not to mark it up, because I can't honestly put the statement: "Giving your celebrity baby to a gorilla" up there, and not have 20 people say "well, that was bloody obvious, Mr. Kidder. What next? Combining Cold Pizza with the NIFL?" Well, funny you should ask.

I'll note this because I accidentally caused this with my cousin, and I fully expect this to happen with me at some point.

As for this: I'm pretty sure "Billy Idol hair and possessed eyes that rotated constantly", should be on the monkeypox checklist.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I'm really not sure what to make of this company's plan to get people to put notable quotes on their walls. However, I think this idea brings more than its fair share of fraught to the table. After all, if something from that movie's going to be scrawled on your walls, it really should be "REDRUM".
(via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

Friday, November 07, 2003

Fools. Know now that fraught is not to be trifled with.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The thing that gets me about this article is the fact that we had a first cycle of news of this guy being caught where he was listed as "Gary Ridgway", now that he's confessed, why are we now authorized (some would say compelled) to add the "Serial Killer Naming Convention" and make him "Gary Leon Ridgway." Why does this happen? Would someone like to explain this to the class?
They're droppin' like flies. Extraordinarily sucky flies.
This article tells me that I should be much more hopeful about my LaPlaca ballot. And my hopes for getting Your Million Dollar Chance of a Knifetime on air. More importantly, you can actually sense the fear in the executives as you read.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

At the risk of sounding like Special Ed from Crank Yankers: "I got to vote for prothonotary! I got to vote for prothontary!"

The prothonotary is this odd post that is elected, but nobody knows what it does. I thought it was like "clerk of courts" but then we found there was an actual "Clerk of Courts". As near as I can tell, it's one of those Pennsylvania rituals somehow derived from Scotland (other examples of this include alcohol-fueled open rebellion against the state.)

The interesting bit is that I may have had the last shot to elect a prothonotary. As part of the Allegheny County Chief Executive election campaign, the Democrat, Dan Onorato, basically pledged to blow up most of the county offices. The weird thing about this election for me was watching this one, I couldn't actually tell you one policy difference between the two, aside from Onorato was telling us in ads that Jim Roddey was lying about his record. I'd really love to know where those ads were that Onorato was talking about, because they weren't airing anywhere near me. Not that I was expecting Roddey to win. He's always been percieved as a sort of shadowy figure in area politics, prior to his election, always there but never directly involved. (The fact that he looks exactly like what you'd imagine THE MAN who was perhaps not hassling you, but definitely involved in organizing a hassling campaign, didn't help.) The only reason he won the slot was because he was running against Cyril Wecht (known to most of you as talking head brought in whenever talk show X needed a coroner, or if you're not a single bullet theoretician). So, oh well, I don't think much will change, I would have liked having Roddey in negotiations to keep USAir here, but I don't think either candidate could save it.