Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cats Are Strange Creatures

Cats never cease to amaze me. This story from the BBC made me laugh because our cat, Harley has a curious habit of leaving for extended periods (escaping actually), only to show back up a couple of weeks later acting as if nothing has happened. We have never figured out where he goes when on one of his walk abouts. But, he never comes back dirty or emaciated so he must enjoy himself. Who knows, maybe he has another family someplace that wonders the same thing when he comes back to us. At any rate, cats are entertaining and that's why we put up with them.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Freaky Food Foto Friday!

Who knew pictures of food could be so creative and fun?
Happy Friday and bon appetit.


Today is a good day. Not only is it Friday, it's my beautiful partner, Angie's birthday. Birthdays are always fun for us as we are one week apart and get to celebrate both for an entire week. Our birthday weeks usually involve some type of vacation or special road trip to mark the events. This weekend will be spent on the Appalachian Trail with friends and the dogs, revelling in the beauty that is the Blue Ridge in Virginia. Spring should be in full costume now and, with all the recent rain, the shades of green should be quite a sight to behold.

It's hard to believe that we are entering our fourteenth year together. Each year is somehow more special than the last and for that we are truly blessed. Happy thirty-something Ang! It's your day and your world. We are glad to share it with you. Love and Peace,


Another Thing I Will Not be Doing in China

The countdown has begun and in a couple of weeks I'll be barnstorming the People's Republic. I've been joking to friends that I will be wearing a "Free Tibet" tee shirt upon my arrival; however, after seeing this story in the R-T-D, I'm definitely re-thinking that one. These dudes are serious about not freeing Tibet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

God, I’m a Sick, Sick Man

For those that read my warped crap on any regular basis, questions as to my sanity (or lack thereof) may have already been answered. Given the following e-mail exchange this morning between me, my beautiful partner, and another couple, all doubts or remaining questions may be definitively put to rest:

From Joe (pseudonym)
To: Phil, Angie, Natalie (pseudonym)
Subj: Indian for Lunch

Indian anyone?

From: Phil
To: all

Joe, I thought you were a vegetarian. You can’t be eating Indians for lunch! Sorry, I’m a little punchy from lack of sleep. What time?

From Joe:
To: all

Anytime after 11:30.
What did you do last night?

From Phil:
To: all

Chased Angie around the house in my shark outfit while she pelted me with water balloons.

From Joe:
To: all

If the balloons would have been filled with butterscotch pudding, you would have just described my fetish fantasy. Can I borrow the shark outfit?

From Phil:
To: all

Certainly, as soon as I get it back from the cleaners. Has a few mustard stains. Won’t bore you with that story.

From: Angie
To: all

You guys have fun, I can’t make it. Have tight deadlines and an exhaustive day ahead.

From Phil
To: all

Shame. Guess that also means you’ll be too tired to play on the trapeze tonight.

From: Natalie
To: all

Y’all are sick. I can’t do lunch either.

From: Phil
To: all

I’m still in (if no cannabalism involved).

From: Joe
To: all

Me too, I want to hear the mustard story. Meet you at noon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Freaky Foto Friday!!!!!

Have you ever wondered what our favorite Hollywood celebs would look like if they were just everyday working class shit kickers. You know the kind of good old plain folks that grace the local Food Lions and Wal Markets of America. Well thanks to our friends at planethiltron.com (whoeverthehellthatis), you have to wonder no more! Enjoy:

Pamela Anderson

Jennifer Anniston

David and Posh Beckham

Tommy Cruise

Johnny Freaking Depp!! (hillarious)

Cameron Diaz

Nicole Kidman

Jennifer Lopez and that skinny guy she's married to

And finally, the true Jessica Simpson

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time for a Potty Break

A little toilet humor for your enjoyment.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Well, Who Knew?

I received one of those "fun facts" type e-mails today informing me how I could tell the difference between organically grown and genetically engineered produce. I was immediately skeptical and hopped on snopes.com to see if this was another urban legend making the rounds. Well, turns out this one is true.

Fruits and vegetables have those annoying little stickers with PLU (price look-up) codes on them. Ordinary vegetables have a 4 digit PLU code. But, if the item is certified as organic or genetically modified, it will have a 5 digit PLU code. The organic produce will have a PLU code that begins with a 9 (i.e., 94825). If a produce item has been genetically enhanced, modified, or otherwise scientifically screwed with, the 5 digit PLU code will begin with an 8 (i.e., 84825).

This is useful information for anyone that cares about what they put in their bodies. For years, sneaky little GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been weaseling their way into our food supply. Initially, screwing around with mother nature via genetic tampering was seen as a way to grow bigger, better, disease and insect resistant, or somehow healthier stuff. As with most things too good to be true, we have now come to realize a myriad of potential and real risks associated with genetically altered plants and animals. The concerns range from threat to the environment to danger to one's' health. Today, scientific concern, if not plain old common sense, should be impetus enough for anyone to try and avoid GMOs whenever possible. Now, when I cruise that beautiful produce section at the local market, I can feel a bit more confident about my choices.

I think that's pretty freakin cool! Who knew? Uh oh, now I wonder what kind of grain is going into my beer, naturally occurring or genetically modified? Hmmmm..., something else to worry about now. Shit!

Peace, and healthy eating!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let’s Quit Being “Bitter” and Move On

The proverbial straw grasping and nit picking that’s going on as a result of some candid and pointed conversation between Mr. Obama and a group of voters in San Francisco would be hilarious if not so telling about the limitations of each candidate in this presidential race. No matter how the candidates try to spin this “bitter” thing, it all boils down to throwing shit into a hard wind. Each ends up with turd on their face.

In the case of Ms. Hillary’s spin, an equally large can of worms threatens to escape if the issue is pushed too far. Take for example this statement from the Clinton Machine:

"I saw in the media it's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves. They are working hard everyday for a better future, for themselves and their children."

I would wager that there are more than a few working class voters in Pennsylvania that are just as off put by this rah rah, pep rally spin. There are pissed-off people in the hills, dales and heart lands that hold no faith or hope that their voice will ever be heard by elected officials in this country. Do these folks want to be characterized as resilient and optimistic? No, they want to be heard. Seems to me the pot may be just as “out of touch” as the kettle here. Hillary, it might be time to just back away from this issue and move on to a bit more substantive rhetoric.

Johnny McCain might be better advised to back off as well. His camp’s spin, issued by spokesman Steve Schmidt may have some potential for deadly retort as well. He states that Mr. Obama’s observations show “an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking”. Further, “it is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans”.

Well, excuse me, Mr. Average Joe McCain, what would you know about average Americans anyway? What the hell has your party, or any party for that matter, done in the last umpteen years to help the economic condition of “average Americans” in this country? I’m sure there are many waiting anxiously for the itemized list. Every attempt by the McCain camp to align themselves with the working class of this country is apt to wind up as fodder for the opponents to make political hay. Again, John and company may be better served by simply backing away from the self righteous table.

When all is said and done, I believe that every candidate has, at one time or another, engaged in candid, analytic discussion of the demographic voter base they are faced with somehow reaching. When one engages in this type of discussion, generalizations are going to be tossed around in an attempt to make sense of the data. Such was surely the case when Barry fell into the briar patch in San Francisco. Let’s look at an expanded transcript of his remarks rather than the isolated text that’s been circulating the spin market.

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre ... they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy. That's ... there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today -- kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.

But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What is the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is so we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- to close tax loopholes, uh you know uh roll back the tax cuts for the top 1%, Obama's gonna give tax breaks to uh middle-class folks and we're gonna provide healthcare for every American.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you'll find is, is that people of every background -- there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you'll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I'd be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you're doing what you're doing.

I personally applaud Barry O.’s candor and attempt at analysis, but must concede his remarks should have been tempered with an acute awareness that everything he says will likely be used against him in a court of public opinion. What seems evident from the expanded text of his remarks however, is much less of a case of elitism on his part, and a greater case of determination to reach a demographic group that needs a bigger voice in government.

That being said, Obama, like his fellow talking heads, needs to back away from this issue and move on. Further attempts to explain context, indignantly retort, or make light of the situation will just keep this ball of shit in the air longer that it needs to be. Mr. Obama needs to keep his head down and continue to do what he needs to do. See the people, hear what they have to say, and spread his message to all that will listen. Just like that kid from Hope, he needs to keep it simple. Most folks want the promise of a little positive change and an opportunity to feel the slightest bit of inspiration from the one that would lead us down the path of darkness for the next four years. Leave the analytical discussion for the staff of true insiders behind closed doors.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Clinton Legacy aka Freaky Foto Friday

For all those that would refute the impact that Mr. Clinton had on Washington, this photo is proof positive that the Clinton legacy is secure for many years to come. We miss you Billy Boy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In Search of the Finest Ass in Beijing

Thanks to the gruesome gourmand, Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods show, my upcoming trip to Beijing, China should be full of adventurous, if not perilous, dining experiences. As luck would have it, Mr. Zimmern recently featured the city of Beijing in one of his shows. For those unfamiliar with this show, let me provide a succinct description. Andrew Zimmern travels the globe in search of the most unique and, in the eyes of most Westerners, utterly disgusting foods one could imagine putting in their pie holes. With great gusto, Zimmern noshes on everything from sheep testicles to cow utters, all the while oohing and ahhing over the magnificent flavor and preparation of these bizarre delicacies. Never once have I seen this dude gag. I’ve even seen him eat penis with a smile and a smack of the lips. Dude’s crazy.

Being the quintessential world thirsty travelers we are, Angie and I watched the Beijing episode of Bizarre Foods with great interest. I’ve vowed for months now that I’m going to sample a wide variety of bizarre foods while in Asia. After all, why not? When in Rome…as they say. I’m up for scorpion on a stick, fried beetles, tree larvae, and the like; however, Zimmern has upped the ante on me with his visits to some of Beijing’s more unique dining establishments. Who knew that donkey was a delicacy? Turn’s out there’s an upscale joint over there that serves the finest of fare, all featuring donkey meat. That’s right, the meat of the dreaded and lowly ass. Their ass is served cold, braised, boiled, stir fried, baked, broiled and fricasseed. They even feature dishes made with thinly sliced and fried donkey skin! As most Westerners would be, I was initially a little repulsed at the idea of eating donkey. After all, donkeys are close relatives to horses and we don’t eat horse here in the states. But, after watching Andrew plow through a variety of elegantly prepared dishes of donk, Angie and I are looking forward to finding this four star ass establishment. The meat looked quite lean and is reportedly quite healthful and full of omega-3 fatty acid (like yak) so what the hell. I do hope we can find the same restaurant where he ate because I’m definitely not going to Donkey King or McDonkey’s to get my first donkey fix in China. I do have some standards.

Before writing me off as a complete nut, I must say that I do have limits. Andrew featured one restaurant in Beijing that I will not be visiting. Recently opened, Beijing is now home to one of the finest restaurants of its kind in the world. In a luxurious setting, bizarre food aficionados can now enjoy a wide selection of animal penises from around the globe. One can enjoy dog penis, deer penis, donkey penis, and every other kind of mammal appendage, all served in a variety of succulent ways. They feature penis hot pot, penis fondue, raw penis, pickled penis and, for the indecisive, a penis platter. In other words, this is a penis emporium, the likes of which, no penis lover has ever seen before. Furthermore, if one is wealthy enough and places an order months in advance of their visit, that lucky diner can even feast on tiger penis for a mere $5,700 a plate. Who cares if tiger penis is only obtained through illegal market trade and is threatening to endanger this noble species of cat? They sure do have some tasty genitals. In all seriousness, I will be avoiding the penis at all costs. It’s just not my thing. Call me squeamish. It ain't happening.

I go to visit my physician tomorrow and plan to discuss my intentions with him in hopes he will provide me with an variety of antidotes should my adventurous palette prove too much for my delicate American digestive system. I would truly hate to spend my time in the Middle Kingdom holed up in some infirmary ruing the day I got my first piece of ass in China. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Peace, and happy dining.