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Friday, June 30, 2006

This will be a short one today, folks.



Chow for now!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I am such a pathetic creature of habit...

Ever since I was a kid, morning after morning, I have had toast with peanut butter and honey for breakfast. Occasionally, peanut butter and jam, but more often than not - honey. Day after freakin' day... I've seen more peanut butter than Skippy the squirrel.

I did go through a very short phase of yogurt and muffins, but within a week I was back in my toasty comfort zone. Boring, but comfortable. My wife's hopes for morning variety were dashed on the shoals of a loaf of bread.

It's not just breakfast that indicates my devotion to regular habits. Once I get hooked on a particular TV program, that show will then occupy my time, until the series ends its run. I still watch Growing Pains, although it is getting harder to find new episodes.

I read my newspapers the same way, each and every time. My habit there is to sort out all the different sections, then skim those that don't interest me, saving my favorites for the last. This is similar to what many motivational speakers will suggest you do - get through the worst part of a task, before you do what you enjoy most.

I don't think those speakers had reading the comic strips last in mind when they put forth their theory...

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reading about some recent movie grosses in the paper yesterday, I learned that Adam Sandler still has his Midas touch at the box office, and The Da Vinci Code maybe didn't really live up to all the pre-release media hype...

The Da Vinci Code has done a little over $200 million in domestic theatres to date, which seems huge to someone that still enjoys his Kraft Dinner a few times a week, but is probably disappointing to the studio, in light of all the buzz around the film.

This is the funny thing about modern moviemaking - a "big" movie a few decades ago would have made just a few million bucks, but now the dang things seem to have to gross several billion dollars on opening day, just to be considered half-decent.

And yet, we've seen a Deuce Bigalow II...go figure...

In fairness, that production had the golden assistance of the aforementioned Mr. Sandler, if I'm not mistaken. His new film Click has already grossed over $40 million dollars, so if the pace at the box office continues, he'll outdo that Da Vinci Code film in a week.

Must drive Ronnie Howard crazy - he puts together a movie based on a monster-seller novel, and Sandler just riffs for a couple of hours with a magic remote, and hits the goldmine...

Even in Hollywood, life can be so cruel...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Holy Sheeba, it is freakin' hot out there today!!

I went for a short walk, and now I feel like a yak that has been jungle jogging. I feel like I'm wearing a wetsuit, yet I can confirm that I am not...

This is good though. After a long, rainy spring, the sun and heat are just what the doctor ordered (seeing as how I can't afford a proper doctor, this guy's therapy does tend to border on questionable...but sunshine is probably better than a lot of meds out there today).

So what do animals do when it gets this hot out?? I know some can shed their winter fur, but what about so many others?? Would birds still be able to fly if half of their feathers hit the ground whenever the mercury jumps?? And how weird would a semi-naked robin look?? Or even a half-naked chicken, for that matter. Although, that last idea sure would make life easier at KFC...

How about those big furry bears?? They must fill small sweat ponds at this time of year! Poodles get trims, what about over-hairy bruins??

Bees have excess fur on their behinds, but they do have wings, so that may help keep them cool, I suppose.

Those Egyptian cats have it made, this time of year - the breed that are completely body bald. Not so much - Persians. But those cats get a trade-off with all the exposure on facial tissue boxes. They can probably afford air conditioning with those ongoing revenues...

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

We watched what I suppose is considered a "chick flick" last night, which I had taped on Movie Central a few weeks ago. I can't say for sure that it was a true chick flick, as it was more of a Hilary Duff vehicle. Does that make it a "tween screen"??

At any rate, the movie had a lot of commercials on TV when it was in the theatres, so we gave it a shot in the second run of its distribution life...

Not a bad little movie, if not entirely predictable. The funny thing about movies, especially for the mid-career stars like Duff, Mandy Moore, and others breaking away from early career success, is that they still have to play young teens, well after they have left that stage of their lives behind. We as viewers are supposed to forget that we've just read about, or viewed them on Entertainment Tonight, partying their faces off in some upscale Vegas casino. Or that they may be dating a 38-year old quarterback. Or that they own a restaurant chain, and are raising a family of giraffes.

Sure, it's not just the young stars that end up in bland movies with no plot. Jack Black is no spring chicken anymore, and he's still doing the same stuff.

That's the thing about movies. We go to see them to get away from everyday life, but no mater how good an actor or actress may be, their personal life often eclipses what they are trying to achieve onscreen. Bad as they may be though, they are usually still extremely successful for the young stars - far more so than this particular blog today, if I do say so myself...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I don't know if you have marmots wherever you are, but these oversized chipmunks are damn destruction to anything green and/or leafy. It my case, it happens to be a new strip of lawn, trying to grow from seed...

We live close to an area that seems to have a thriving population of these voracious vegetarians. And they do seem to favor fresh greens in their diet, most specifically my struggling new lawn.

As I watched a couple yesterday chewing my grass to the root, I thought about how popular those old raccoon-skin caps were, when I was a kid. Made famous by TV shows like Daniel Boone, and some other western legend whose name escapes me at this moment, thousands of kids everywhere sported those furry caps, with the raccoon tails hanging down over their shoulders... I could never figure out how the manufacturers were able to find so many raccoons that had died of natural causes, to use for those trendy chapeaus...

Marmots have tails. Nowhere near as distinct as a raccoon tail, but still something. And being as fat as they are, one size could literally fit any head. Looking at the bare patches in my lawn, I wouldn't be inclined to wait for any to die of natural causes...

Now, these are the postings that generally tend to make me worry about PETA repercussions, but as I watch these destructive wild animals at work, I have to believe that this would be one situation that should allow a little wiggle room, regarding a bit of herd-thinning. Doesn't an innocent patch of grass deserve a chance to live?? Does every animal need to proliferate, if it may serve a greater purpose as a fashion accessory?? May be that's why they're even there, in the first place?

By the way, it is a wee bit ironic that when you do a Spell-Check for marmot, the word that comes up as a replacement is "marinates"...

Just sayin...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Have I ever written about my odd but frequent occurence of sequential or recurring numbers?? I think I may already have... However, this is a daily task, and there's more than one Monday in a month, so here we go again!!

I hadn't seen my recurring numbers for a while, then all of a sudden this past couple of days - there they were. A quick glance at my kitchen clock, and the time was 11:11. Looking at my bedroom VCR, the numbers indicated 11:11. Lifting my arm, my $11,000 Rolex showed me a time of 11:11.

Just kidding.

I don't have a VCR in my bedroom...

The other day, I played what will probably be the last game of golf with what for months now has been a fairly regular foursome. By that statement, I mean that we all play together pretty often, not..well, you know what I didn't mean to say. Thank the gods for fibre anyway though...

For one reason or another, some of us are going off in different directions, so it ended up being a memorable round of golf. However, mine was even more memorable. I shot a score of 111. I kid you not. If I was going to kid you about ANYTHING, it would certainly be something more far-fetched than that. Maybe that I was George Clooney's step brother, but not a golf score of 111...

So, I kept the scorecard, and even again just last night (or early this morning, to be more accurate) I saw a time of 12:34 AM. What is up with those numbers?? It's not like I can go buy a lottery ticket with four number ones on it, can I?? Why am I tormented so??

Chow for now!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Does it ever strike you as maybe just a little bit odd that pickles spend so much time in liquid, yet still maintain a turtle-like exterior??? If I stay in a bathtub longer than twenty minutes, my fingers look like grooves in a dirt road, after two hours of pounding rain. Yet somehow, pickles have this bumpy, rough-and-tumble skin - right out of the jar!!

I don't get it...

Another thing that concerns me is pumpkin seeds. Sure,we all enjoy a handful of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds as a snack, but did you ever stop to think about what may have happened to the rest of the pumpkin?? I don't think they surgically remove the seeds, and wait for the pumpkin to mend before they go back in for another round... My theory, sad and sobering as it may be, is that thousands of pumpkins are dying every day, so that we can savor a treat other than those smaller and harder-shelled sunflower seeds. Would that image of pillaged pumpkins make you sleep a little less comfortably tonight??

Do you think an apple a day still keeps the doctor away?? And if you're giving all your apples to the doctor, what's left for the school teachers??

If a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, what is the correct assumption if you're holding a bush in your hands??

What would you do if I sang out of tune??

Are there still flying nuns out there somewhere??

If you climbed a mountain in search of a wise man, would these be the questions to run past him, for enlightenment?? And if the guy is so wise after all, why isn't he on a hammock somewhere in Waikiki??

My mind burns for answers...

Chow for now!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It dawns on me this morning as I post another one of these columns that it might be glaringly obvious to potential readers that I have a little too much time on my hands...

Case in point - last night I happened to catch the debut of "America's Got Talent". OK, I didn't so much as happen to catch it, I cleared my entire schedule to ensure I wouldn't miss a minute of it...

The point is, I'm glad I did, because throughout the talent carnage that was unfolding on the television screen for two hours, there was indeed the occasional performer or two that lived up to the show's title.

One in particular was a young black stand-up comic, going by the name of Sid The Kid. Now, I've written in prior postings that I regularly watch Last Comic Standing, and that this year so far for that show, the talent pool was a little bit like the Dead Sea. At low tide.

Well, Sid The Kid on this new talent search program last night knocked the socks off of anyone so far on Standing Comics Last. Some of her stuff was a bit inappropriate for any age group,but she apparently writes her own material!! She's eight years old!! If I was on that other show, I'd check to make sure I still had my day job at Denny's to fall back on...this kid Sid is going places!

So yes, maybe I do have a little bit too much time on my hands, and yes, maybe I do fill a little more up with TV than I should, but moments like this make it all worthwhile. I think...

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How has this come to transpire?? When did I become a regular defender of animal rights (so to speak...) in these postings?? Why oh why did I ever mention PETA?????

It probably all started with some innocent comment, some months back. I'd have to go through the archives to determine exactly where my writing vessel hit the shoals.

Regardless of the cause, I now find myself (in this blog) regularly defending my day-to-day actions against what might seem to some as cavalier to our animal brethren. I am in fact a friend to the furry! A pal to the pawwed!! A good chum to the wood chucks, chucking their wood as they do!!!

Holy crap, even I don't know what that last paragraph is supposed to mean...I need to start spending more time in the "real world". Like maybe watching some reality TV...

If nothing else, PETA gets a free plug every time I mention them, although they might not see it as such a positive association. If readers of this blog actually think that I'd carry a hockey stick while out hiking, just to pummel innocent critters, I could end up wearing that electronic leg bracelet again. My dog could end up leashing me!!! Egads...

It's probably all my own fault. I throw this stuff out daily for (alleged) comic purposes, but I can see where some people may be able to detect an entirely different pattern of sorts. Folks, I can say with all honesty that (some of) this stuff is completely fabricated, from an imagination that clearly needs more outside stimulation. It is never meant to be taken seriously, and somehow I feel extremely confident that most (two or three, anyway) readers would never mistake this tomfoolery for evidence that could be submitted to a panel of behavioral psychologists...

So, I hope this clears up any concerns or confusion. Personally, I feel more confused than ever. Oh well, it'll give me something to reflect on, as I give my goldfish their weekly bubble bath...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Well, there you have it, folks!! For anyone that stayed tuned long enough, the Carolina Hurricanes have won their first Stanley Cup. Crushing the dreams of Canadians everywhere (especially in Edmonton...you know - the city with the really big mall), but congratulations all the same...

For hockey fans, it was a terrific series. The Cinderella story of our own (Canadian) Edmonton Oilers, rallying from a two-game deficit to force a seventh and deciding game, was the stuff that dreams are made of. Unless you happened to be NBC, a broadcast network that found ratings for Cinderella stories on skates floundering below 3-hour documentaries on "Sunflowers: From Birth To Harvest", or live coverage of Nashville's 2006 National Rhinestone Decorators' Convention.

For any sad soul that actually cared to view the final game, they were treated with the same respect as fans of the past season of Last Comic Standing, who saw (actually, no they didn't) their final episode yanked as well. You had to go online to find out who won, in both cases.

In all fairness, if the polls indicate nobody is watching, why not throw on something entrancing, like reruns of 20/20 from 1987?? You can't get enough of little Tommy Cruise, jumping on sofas either...

Whatever the outcome, the season is over now, and we must wait until at least July before we hear about hockey again. What to do with this vast emptiness inside??

Hmm. It does look kind of warm outside. Maybe I should go out and take a stroll??

Do you think it would look odd if I brought along my hockey stick??

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

If you ever want to add some color to your fridge, just buy a few different varieties of apples...

If there's one fruit that brings variety to a crisper, it's gotta be the apple. Right now, at this very moment, I have a miniature Christmas in my fridge, as red and green apples share the same space. And that is hardly the full extent of the color palate for the friendly, edible members of the apple family.

My green buddies are Granny Smiths. Tart, yet tasty. The red pals are Delicious, both in name and the taste sensation when between your teeth. The red Delicious have brothers and sisters that are Golden, adding a yellow tone to a fridge shelf. Sure, you may say. Well, bananas are yellow, so what then, Mr. Yella Apple? Show me a red banana, and I'll show you a monkey that would be prudent to avoid that particular bunch...

I believe the Gala apples are just one of the varieties that sport a multi-colored skin, with tones of all of the above. I know there are more that have a sunburst finish, like many a Gibson electric guitar, but to be honest, I could only memorize a few names, as I walked past them in the supermarket... It's not like I consume every blasted variation there is. To me, none of them at all taste like chicken...

Come to think of it, every apple tastes relatively similar, be they green, red or golden. Are they dyed somewhere in a factory, before being shipped off to market?? Am I paying double the price of a Spartan, just because somebody somewhere added some bumps on the bottom, and called it Delicious?? Would I bring a Gala to a gala?? And just who is Granny Smith anyway??

Questions. Always questions...

Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!!

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it...

One of my favorite memories of my "dad time" was playing street hockey with him, in our back lane in Winnipeg. Any reader familiar with Winnipeg knows that there is snow on the ground there pretty much 10 months of the year, so we always had lots of time to play.

Actually, it really wasn't so much playing hockey, as it was me standing in front of a net, and Dad pelting me with slapshots. With a cold tennis ball instead of a puck, thank God...

Dad could almost rifle one of those through cement, and that was with a traditional slapshot. On several occasions, he would hold the hockey stick like a golf club, and really put some mustard on it. Even with me wearing a wire back-catcher's mask, he could bend the metal, or spin the mask around to the back of my head, if he hit me in that area.

That didn't matter. It was time together,which is what this day always brings back. With two bad hips, he can't snipe at me with tennis balls anymore (and I can't fit into my old ski pants either...wattaya gonna do), but I bet given half a chance, he'd still pack a punch with a hockey stick and a tennis ball...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Here I sit, yet again. Moderately bright and early on a Saturday morning. I could be watching cartoons, or any one of about 280 home transformation shows, but no - I have to blog.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining. This is a self-set deadline, after all. It was my own decision to have long run-on sentences, with lots of commas, each and every day - be they funny or not. Some days (like this morning, for example) it tilts more towards less than funny, more like forcing steel pellets out of my ears while wearing ear muffs...

I'll bet Willie Nelson doesn't go through creative "dead-days" like this. He probably rolls out of his bed in the morning, picking up his guitar on his way to the bathroom, and writes a couple of hit songs before his eyes are even fully open.

I'd bet the same thing holds true for Will Ferrell. While most of us mere mortals are choosing which cereal to dump into a chipped white bowl, he's on the phone with agents in another time zone, lining up his next big movie role. Wouldn't he be great in a comic remake of "An Officer & A Gentleman"?

Yeah, these guys have it all - fame, and a Midas touch when it comes to their projects. Me, I have to sit here in front of a computer screen every morning, trying desperately to think of something even close to witty to write about.

Oh well, it could be worse.

I could be the one reading this....

Ugh!!

Chow for now!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Day Three of rain, rain, rain. Is it still April???

I'm not griping, just making small talk. The rain is probably a good thing, helping to cool off that global warming thing. A cool globe is a happy globe,and a happy globe is the place for me!

I'd probably enjoy this weather more if I had a better jacket. The rain slicker I wear doesn't breathe, so even though it's not exactly boiling outside, if I'm even just going for a short little walk, I sweat like I'm running a marathon, wearing an overcoat.

Sorry. That's just the way it is. And yes, it is an unpleasant mental image.

I suppose in retrospect I should have spent more than $8.00 on the jacket, but it looked so shiny, I just couldn't resist. Deep down, I probably knew I'd live to regret my impulse buy, economical as it may have seemed at the time.

It had a cut to it that made me think for some dumb reason that Elvis may have worn a similar one, back in the day. It had a collar that stuck up, and the color was dark black, like a motorcycle jacket. A shiny, inexpensive motorcycle jacket...

As a matter of fact, the first time I tried it on, I immediately launched into an impression of The King, in front of the gas station mirror. If he had also ever had bifocals and a crappy mustache, it would have been bang-on!!

Well, I own it now, there's nothing I can do. Even if I cared to get to the mall to buy another one, I'd have to wear this one, in today's rain. What do you do with 2 jackets??

I'm not Donald Trump, for Pete's sake...

Chow for now!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Well, another season of Last Comic Standing, another season of scratching your head over the choices as to who moves on to compete...

This will be my third year watching this show, and it is one of the few exceptions I make to my general "rather be ingesting hemlock than watching reality TV" rule. Probably because of the lure of comedy in the title.

Last year my wife and I rode it out to what should have been the end, but then the network gave it the hook before the finale, forcing viewers to Google the answer - for who eventually took home the prize. I was surprised to see that they would bring it back this season. They may be having problems finding new repulsive living things to consume on Fear Factor...

This year they have also misplaced original host Jay Mohr, with that guy from Yes, Dear. If your only frame of reference for him is the sitcom series he stars in, you may already be questioning how far this year's edition will get before the plug is yanked.

However, I happened to catch Anthony Clark on a Just For Laughs episode, the broadcast version of the huge Montreal comedy festival, and I have to say, he was hilarious. There may yet be hope.

Of course, I have to admit to a bit of bias with the choices for the comics that moved on after this week's episode. The one that looked like the crowd and judge's favorite was a young lady with a lisp, and duct tape. How can you lose with that combination?? Plus she's a Canadian comic...which may be why she had my vote....

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

At the mercy of technology, once again...

I generally tend to try and get these blogs posted off first thing in the morning, for a couple of reasons.

The first one being so that my tens of readers can get their daily fix, and then get about their own matters of the day, like I do.

The second is so that the guilt of not getting them posted early in the day won't gnaw away at me while I watch The Price Is Right, The Young & The Restless, and a couple of hours of wacky shows I may happen across whilst channel-surfing...

Today, like a few other days before, I had no link to the outside world, aside from my doors and windows. My internet would not connect - no matter how many times I pressed that little button with the globe picture on my computer, and/or supplemented said repeated poking with liberal usage of words I've heard on Deadwood. Nothing...

Patience tested yet again, I politely called tech support, and screamed shrilly that I could not connect to my internet. I needed my internet, I pleaded.

After 20 minuted of playing around with settings on my end, and further testing of the signal from the tech end, I happened to notice that our cat had accidentally unplugged the line from the modem. The little fella was still playing with it, in fact.

I feigned a battery dying on my cordless phone, and hung up...

Once plugged in, the computer worked like magic, reuniting me with my blog page. And today's posting...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I have decided unilaterally today to give myself some sort of title. Something that would look impressive on a business card, yet might not actually require any sort of achievement of any kind, requiring closer scrutiny.

So, here are just a few of the options I’ve come up with so far, and I’ll leave it up to all of you out there to help me out on this. Be my accomplices, so to speak, based on your feedback.

The first idea was to add “Certified Stapler Technician”. I know it doesn’t have a grandiose ring to it, like “Physician & Surgeon”, but if you’ve ever had one of those buggers get jammed with a staple, would you call a doctor, or a certified stapler technician? Yeah, me too…

Idea Number Two would be to add a line on my business card indicating that I am a “Fromage Chef Master”, which gives me a bit of an exotic air, I think. No one would really need to know that my fromage skills relate mainly to Cheez Whiz and Kraft Dinner…

Idea Three involves a title I might call “Lifetime Director Of Ambience”. I have been a lifelong lover of music, and often create terrific mixed cassette tapes of groovy tunes, to play while...while doing housework. Yeah, that’s the ticket, housework. Hence, director of ambience. And I wouldn’t really be stretching the truth all that much with that faux title. Maybe I could get a gig doing up cassette tapes for Starbucks’ background music??

Idea Four (and thankfully - the last) involves a little more deception on my part, compared to the other three. It has long been a dream of mine to suggest that I am an on-air radio personality. Not actually being an on-air radio personality, just able to suggest it.

Now, with the advent of podcasting, I really can suggest on a business card that I am a “Morning Radio Host” Podcasting, if you may not be aware, is an online broadcasting venue currently all the rage, wherever raging occurs. So, all I need to do is plug my cassette Walkman into my computer, buy a microphone, and voila – “Morning Radio Host”!! Now, I wonder if The Spice Girls have got their new album out yet???

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

It struck me today (ouch!! Hey!!) that woodpeckers really ought to know the difference between wood and say…metal.

This past weekend, I was sitting on my reclining sofa enjoying a good recline, and a better cup of coffee.

Suddenly, my reclining was disturbed. I almost did one of those TV spit takes, where the actor sprays the beverage he is consuming, to howls of laughter from the studio audience (if I ever tried that here at home, it wouldn’t be howls of laughter that would come from my wife…).

The reason for that overreaction was a drumming sound, coming out of our furnace room, where I can confirm we keep no drums.

I thought maybe I had imagined it, which is something I find myself considering awfully frequently, truth be told. When it happened again, and much louder, I sprung (so to speak) from my recliner, and went in to investigate.

Looking at my furnace, which is conveniently located right there in the furnace room, I waited for the invisible beat-keeper to get rhythm once again. And then it did. Rat-a-tat-a-tat-tat. It seemed to be coming from a metal box, close to the ceiling.

Pulling out my old ladder, I got closer to this box, and thought for just a half a second about getting my tin snips, and cutting it open. At that close proximity, when the noise happened again, I could tell it was coming from above said box. I had to go upstairs, which was OK, because my coffee needed a refill anyway.

Entering my kitchen, the noise was even louder than it had been downstairs, but this time I could clearly tell it was coming from outside. I went out on our deck, and that’s when I discovered the source of the drum solos. A dumb-ass, half-blind woodpecker - rooting for bugs in an aluminum furnace stack. Only in my house…

And again, I find myself hoping that nobody on the board of directors of PETA is reading this, but I threw a lawn chair pillow at the idiot bird, which did make him decide to move along, but now left me with having to haul the ladder upstairs, to get my pillow off of the roof.

Ugh…

Chow for now!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Yippee!!

Although I have to admit that I’m not thrilled about The Sopranos taking their mid-season break, I am excited that the new season of Deadwood begins tonight. These are two of the few shows on the air that remain exceptional on every level, in a vast sea of other programs aimed at an IQ level of well less than 13…

I know, I know - both Deadwood and The Sopranos tend to use four letter words as space fillers, and both series maybe have a shade more violence that you would ever see on The Golden Girls, but the writing and acting compensate to my mind for those minor quibbles.

Unless you’re a Roman Catholic cardinal, then perhaps you’d prefer to watch Bingo Or No Bingo, hosted by Father Howard O’Dell…

(Wouldn’t it have been cool to see at least one episode of The Golden Girls where the gang was all terribly foul-mouthed and finally got so fed up with Betty White’s dopey character that they drove her out to the woods, and made her sleep with the fishes?? Or is it swim with the fishes?? Man, The Sopranos are only away a week, and I’ve lost my lingo already!! And why would you drive a person into the forest to play with the fishes, anyway?? Didn’t they live in Florida? By THE OCEAN???)

I may be a little more dulled to the violence aspect of those shows having grown up watching the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons. There was the inept Tony Soprano-like Wile E. Coyote, who never met a safe he didn’t like to drop on his own head. Week after week, he would fail in his efforts to whack the roadrunner… Maybe he needed to recruit a couple more coyotes to help with the schemes. There must have been a Bada Bing somewhere out there in that desert...

There were other mildly violent cartoons out there. If he ever got to cussing profusely, a goofy version of Deadwood’s Al Swearengen (and boy, is that character ever well-named!) might be Sylvester The Cat, who was relentless in his bloodthirsty pursuit of Tweety. Did anyone ever tell him to “say it, don’t spray it”?? Sufferin’ Succotash indeed….

Although, if you wanted a more accurate disposition from the cartoon character world for Swearengen, you'd probably have to go with Yosemite Sam, the king of Saturday morning bluster. For all his posturing, he always sounded a bit too much like Foghorn Leghorn for me to take him too seriously...

Finally, with his love of guns and stylish hats, Elmer Fudd would possibly fit well in either series with a few minor modifications for the era each are set in. I’m not so sure he could pull it off though, as I try to imagine taking him seriously if he swore with that voice of his.

Huhuhuhuhu….

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Has someone already developed eyeglasses for dogs???

I’m sitting here this morning trying to figure out some new and innovative "thing of wonder" that mankind may be lacking, and then thought maybe I should expand my potential market demographics.

Dogs are often our most common household companions as human beings, although if my wife had her way, it would be a baby chimpanzee in this particular household…

So my thoughts (temporarily stumped at finding something new and exciting for humans) are now swirling around the many needs of man’s best friend.

Do we ever really know if our dog has become near-sighted?? The fact that he barks at the birdbath instead of the mailman might be a clue, but it’s certainly not definitive.

If Rover doesn’t need glasses, I know for a fact that dogs can start to go deaf. How about a discreet canine hearing aid?? It could be something that works very effectively with paws, so as to allow the dog to turn it off it he or she wants to tune out their owner. Like if the owner is freaking out about the shredded pair of Docker slippers in the bedroom closet…

Having once had the unpleasant experience of briefly spotting a couple of dogs exhibiting a clear and fundamental knowledge of the birds and the bees, I can be somewhat assured that they likely don’t need another common human product, like little blue pills that some older folks may need to partake of. Often they don’t even need another dog, just a handy human leg can do just fine in a pinch.

This clearly requires much more thought, and another cup of Saturday morning coffee. I’ll walk with Sparky down to the local Starbucks, and we’ll try out his new hiking boots at the same time…

Chow for now!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

All right, it happened again - so I can safely assume that I haven't lost what's left of my mind.

David Lee Roth was on late-nite TV again, and I'll be damned if he wasn't indeed playing a country version of a Van Halen hit. The bonus this time was that he appeared on The Late Late Show, with TV's Craig Ferguson, who interviewed the cheeky wee monkey, in addition to the performance.

Now I have to say, while I much enjoyed the bluegrass version of "Jump", the image of the singer seemed to be be inconsistent with the performance. Mr. Lee Roth certainly doesn't look like a cowboy, and he's now a bit removed from his Spandex, wildman rocker days. He almost looks like a guy you'd rent a car from...not so much a guy that might be twirling a microphone stand around onstage.

So, how do you sell the whole image thing, when your singer looks like he might be an off-duty TGIF manager?? This is the same guy that sang about being a gigolo, after all...

Here's my thought. First off, keep the jeans, but at least add a country-cut jacket of some sort. We don't have to go so far as to add a cowboy hat, if he's going to play traditional country roots music. And to be honest, if he grew his hair long again, adding a hat would make him look too much like Alan Jackson, without the mustache.

Then, add one of those classic bolo ties. the ones that are really just a shoe lace with metal balls on the end, but held together with what looks like a mini-belt buckle. I used to have one with a 3-D steer head sticking out, very fashionable. This might help Mr. Lee Roth blend in whenever he's in Nashville, and would make his live appearances in support of this disc a wee bit more realistic...

That's my story!!

Chow for now!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Say, did anyone happen to catch David Lee Roth on late-nite TV the other night?? I’m pretty sure he was on The Tonight Show, performing a Van Halen song with a bluegrass band!!

Now, I know that it was pretty late, and that I had possibly drifted off into a dream state, but if this performance did indeed happen in real life, Mr. Lee Roth did an admittedly bang-up country version of “Jump”. And without a spandex jumpsuit, which seemed appropriate - considering the genre.

So where does this leave us?? Van Halen was one of the original party-hearty rock and roll bands of their day. If the former lead vocalist for the band is doing country music now, is this a trend that might grow ever further??

Will AC-DC release an album of classic swing songs, from the big band era?? That classic opening riff from “In The Mood” could sound a little bit groovier on an electric guitar…

Will Twisted Sister reunite, to cover folk songs by Jim Croce?? Could the next project by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant include the 70’s songbook of The Carpenters???

Personally, I’d pay good money to see Deep Purple do an album of Broadway show tunes…but that could just be me.

Chow for now!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

For the record, I am old enough to remember how typewriters worked, but young enough that I never used a quill and inkwell... As a matter of fact, my last two years of high school were spent in typing classes. Hey, I was one of only two guys in these daily sessions, and I blew up a transistor radio in my Electronics class, scarring me emotionally for most of that week. Typing class brought me peace during those trying times....

The point is, with either a manual or electric typewriter, you could see the keys lifting up to strike the paper, so you knew exactly how the process worked. If there was ever a problem, you generally needed to take a few simple steps, and you'd be back typing away in no time.

Sitting here today, with my laser printer in several pieces on the floor, I see no keys. As a matter of fact, I may have been a little hasty in my efforts to dismantle it.

Some cylinder filled with a black powder exploded like that old transistor radio when I shook it, and the powder is still settling about my office like spring pollen.

There was some sort of track with a moveable box on it, but once taken apart, showed no evidence of keys or font imprinting devices. How does this magical printer work?? Or more importantly, how DID it once work??

I should have been more suspicious, come to think of it, when I never ever did hear the sound of the keystrokes during printing.

So, perhaps I should have gotten back on that horse in my old Electronics class, and I could now figure out how this pile of plastic and cheap metals goes back together. However, that's water under the fridge, like they say. I have to bite the bullet, and find a box that can transport this debris field to some wizard versed in these amazing modern products...

Chow for now!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I don't want to give up too early, but my afternoon with the neighborhood furry marmots proved to be rather fruitless yesterday...

Positive that I was onto something groundbreaking, I tried to have a conversation with some of these chubby chipmunks, to try and prove my latest theory. And now I am a little embarrassed to admit here that I had even considered my possible relation to Dr. Dolittle...

I wonder what my neighbors may have been thinking yesterday, as I followed fleeing mammals around the yard, with a plate of chocolate chip cookies?? Maybe marmots prefer peanut butter??

Having no success with the super-sized yard rodents, I took a little stroll around the block, and attempted to initiate some dialogue with a robin, who looked at me just long enough to ensure I wasn't armed, then flew off to a quieter tree branch elsewhere.

A lady looking at me rather curiously from her living room window was probably visualizing me in a rather large clock, emerging every hour on a sliding platform from behind a set of double doors, to cuckoo the current time...

It was fast becoming clear that the gas was running out of my Dr. Dolittle theory. And for the record, when I say that I thought I was maybe related to Dr. Dolittle, I meant the real one, played way back when by Rex Harrison. Not the more recent and far-fetched Eddie Murphy versions...

On my walkabout yesterday, I noticed a yard with a rather large pit bull sleeping by a fancy doghouse. No leash. Today, I'm going to give this Dolittle bloodline theory one last shot, as I try to discuss something with man's best friend.

Stay tuned!!

Chow for now!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

You'd better sit down today, folks! I have come to a bizarre, yet entirely probable self-realization this morning.

For the life of me, I could not figure out why I had a) this ongoing fascination with PETA, and b) the additional compounding evidence of recurring critters in my life and home.

After much reflection, I have come to the eye-opening conclusion that I just might be descended from the bloodline of Dr. Dolittle!!

I know, I know. I thought it was crazy at first myself, but think about it. Our well-sealed home has recently had crickets, creepy-crawlies, and even a freakin' gecko, just in the last couple of months.

Outside of the home, I've recently spotted (and herein recounted sightings of) coyotes, an eagle ( or possibly a peroxide crow - the jury is still out on that one), hawks, a garter snake and many furry marmots.

The last piece of the puzzle came together last night, when I dreamt that I was riding a giant snail, while wearing a top hat and an oversized satin bow tie...

The only plausible explanation of all this is that I somehow may be a remote cousin of, or maybe even the great-great-grandson of Dr. Dolittle. I can hear my wife snickering over in the corner, but that may be more to do with "do little" than Dolittle...

The only way to test this theory is in the field, so to speak. After I post this blog today, I will go out onto my patio, and try to chat with one of the furry marmots that nibbles on grass growing on our hillside. I know they're dumber than a roof squirrel, but even if we can talk about the weather, this will go a long way towards answering some of these perplexing questions...

More on this, I'm sure!!

Chow for now!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I stand before you today a stunned man.

For any female readers, this will likely not be much of a stretch to fathom...

However, and more importantly, I am stunned by the karmic consistency of that old saying "what goes around, comes around". After weeks of horsing around about PETA and crickets in these here postings, today my fantasy world collided with the real world.

Walking into my office to blog yet again, coffee in hand, what should I see but a shiny black cricket on the floor, directly in front of my desk.

I may not have written about this topic in these blogs as yet, but I have certainly written a piece in my weekly columns about my distaste for bugs, and even larger displeasure with their removal.

Sorry PETA people, but bugs do not get the benefit of a judge and jury in my house. They will simply and immediately get expedited on to their final resting place, but in a far more compact form than before they had entered my domain...

Hey, it's not all me here!! My wife detests spiders, and I consider it my spousal duty to capture those hairy infiltrators, and give them one last water slide ride down our toilet plumbing system, as they are excommunicated away from her sight...

At any rate, this blasted cricket could not have cared less that I was standing mere feet away, as he sat there crickin' away (or whatever it is that Jiminy's little brothers do to amuse themselves). Even as I circled him to grab two or eight pieces of Kleenex, he remained motionless; probably trying to remember all the words to When You Wish Upon A Star...

(Great, first I foreshadow that I will be hammering in the final nail to my PETA membership aspirations, now I invoke a reference that will bring the Disney People back down on me again...)

For something that had been so still up to that point, it should have been amusing to see how fast he moved as I tried to scoop him up. But seeing a bug rocket along the floor and under your desk has never been a great smile maker in this household...

On my stomach, shining a pocket flashlight into the nether regions of my desk, there stood the little son-of-a-Bulgarian-moosehound - behind a little fortress of dust bunnies.

At this point, the only recourse left was the vacuum, and the extension arm that resolves issues like this, when spiders the size of a tomato are hanging from the ceiling, just out of my reach.

Far more alert than I would usually be on a Sunday morning, I was able to find one free electrical outlet in the basement, that allowed the cord to stretch into my office. Back on my stomach, I swept the vacuum appendage around, with the multiple objective of removing the dust bunnies, loose change & paperclips, and the offensive brother-to-a-grasshopper.

Shining the flashlight under the desk, all of the above had vanished.

For the record, and my tentative friends at PETA, I will be releasing the cricket back into the wild, after my blog is posted... I've been pausing every so often to blow a little air into the vacuum nozzle - he should be just fine...

Chow for now!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I may never come to understand why Soap-On-A-Rope never took a firm and permanent foothold in the marketplace, or for that matter, why it was such a ridiculed product...

Never mind that it's next to impossible to buy Soap-On-A-Rope anymore (especially the classic and distinctly aromatic Brut brand).

Never mind that for a guy, the sheer brilliance of a product that was hanging right at your fingertips in the shower may not ever again be invented in our lifetime.

And never mind that just before you started your shower, you could pretend you were a triumphant Olympic athlete, by draping the "gold medal" over your neck and shoulders, before getting busy with the Head And Shoulders... That soap had a multitude of purposes...

Which may have been why it became the butt of late-night TV talk show jokes, and a constant reference to the "buddy" shower system in national correctional institutions. Hmm. I realize that "butt" may not have been the best choice of words in that last sentence, and I apologize...

Let's just say instead that Soap-On-A-Rope was routinely maligned by stand-up comics everywhere.

When you see how products explode onto the marketplace now, imagine if that template had worked for soap, and how it could be easily applied to other more modern products:

* i-Pod-On-A-Rope - the ultimate in portable music convenience!
* Cell-Phone-On-A-Rope - no more phones left behind in some popular dance nightspot!
* Mittens-On-A-Rope - OK, I know these have existed for years already, but now you'd know what to call them...
* Keys-On-A-Rope - handy if you've been out all night at one of those popular dance nightspots!!

Just imagine the possibilities...

Chow for now!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cooking With Dan, Episode 13
Today: Salt & Vinegar Chips

Have you ever found yourself getting tired of the same old boring prefab Salt & Vinegar potato chips available in supermarkets everywhere?? I know that I do, and today I'd like to share an old family recipe, which will allow you to enjoy fresh, tasty potato chips - with just a few simple steps!!

(Eat your heart out, Rachel Ray...)

So, to prepare for the fabrication of this surprisingly simple treat, just make sure that you have the following items in your possession:

a) one bag of plain potato chips,
b) one medium container of vinegar,
c) salt (optional),
d) a plastic bag, preferably a zip-lock style,
e) a dishcloth or roll of Bounty paper towels - for any (unlikely, but entirely probable) accidents,
f) a clean, large glass bowl,
g) a can of Orange Crush soda, the perfect compliment to a bowl full of fresh Salt & Vinegar potato chips,
h) apron (optional, if one exercises caution during prep work).



OK, if you have all your ingredients and other items ready, let's begin:

Step One: Open the bag of plain potato chips, and pour about half (18 hearty pinches) into the zip-lock plastic bag. Reseal bag of potato chips with Scotch tape, or clothespin.

Step Two: Apply approx 2 teaspoons of vinegar to plain chips in zip-lock bag, or continue applying vinegar until all chips appear shiny. Your own preference should dictate the amount of vinegar, but I find personally that 12 tablespoons is slightly excessive... Should you determine it necessary, add a couple of shakes of salt.

Step Three: Seal plastic bag, and shake. Shake shake shake. Shake your booty.

Sorry, just shake the plastic bag.

Step Four: Set the bag aside, to allow the marinade to set. This might be a good time to play a short game of Solitaire.

Step Five: After about 7 - 12 minutes, pour the contents of the bag into the large glass bowl.

(Note: The time to allow between preparation and enjoyment will be determined by your own "taste". A shorter time means your chips will be more tender (soggy), a longer time will stiffen the product up)

Dispose of the used plastic bag. It may appear to be slightly gross.

Step Six: Crack open that icy cold can of Orange Crush, grab your bowl of fresh Salt & Vinegar potato chips, and enjoy another exciting episode of Deal Or No Deal.

Salut!! Bon appetit!

Chow for now!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Has anybody out there actually had a canary??

That's one of those wacky sayings that you hear repeatedly over the years, and can't ever seem to find a single person that it may have happened to...

"Oh-oh, Daniel!! Your mother's gonna have a CANARY!!!"

My mother has had a lot of things over the years, but a canary was never one of them. A canary out of thin air would have been tremendously cool. Sure, you see magicians pop a dove out of thin air all the time, but how often does one of your parents throw a white hankerchief into the air, only to have it transform into a canary?? Not once in our house, that's for sure...

And these canaries, do they really spend a lot of time in coal mines?? Aren't there forests or residential backyards that they might find a little bit more enjoyable?? Although I'm not so sure that old Police song would have become such a classic, with a common sense title like "Canary In A Tree"...

I was once in the famous Carlsbad Caverns whenI was a kid, and I know that's not really a coal mine, but I can assure you, there was not a single canary to be found down there. Bats by the billions, but canaries?? Nada...

So, my quest continues. I must determine if somebody, anywhere, has ever really HAD a canary. Aside from a mother canary, I mean...

Chow for now!!