Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, NFL!

Since Christmas is approaching (as are the NFL playoffs), I figured I'd be naughty and take a peak in Santa's bag to see what he has for each team!

NFC:
East
Cowboys - Worse clock management skills. If this team used its timeouts less judiciously, this doesn't happen, and Dallas is solidly in the driver's seat.
Eagles - Some wide guys for the wide 9.
Giants - A space heater and an air conditioner because that locker room is always hot or cold.
Redskins - The ability to play the Giants every week.

North
Bears - Bubble wrap and duct tape to put on Cutler before next season starts.
Lions - They already opened theirs early...They got a winning season!  Let me repeat because I'm doubting that sunk in: A WINNING SEASON...in Detroit!
Packers - The Packers have traded their gift for future considerations, i.e., another hall of fame qb to replace their current hall of fame qb when he hangs 'em up down the road.
Vikings - Continued Indy hot streak.  This team may have a shot at getting Andrew Luck and in a couple of years, trading Christian Ponder for a Matt Schaub or Kevin Kolblike haul.

South
Buccaneers - LeGarrette Blount to be cloned 23 times.  If you're wondering why I say 23 instead of 21, you're forgetting punter and kicker.
Falcons - A time warp back to last year...just before the playoffs, that is.
Panthers - A crystal ball to see all the great places Cam can take them if he somehow keeps it up.
Saints - A new domed stadium in Green Bay.  It's hard to count this team out because they can be so explosive, but I'd like their chances in the NFC Championship game (assuming they get there) if they didn't have to visit the Frozen Tundra).

West
49ers - Mike Singletery back as HC.  Wait...This is Christmas, not April Fools Day.
Cardinals - A defense that forces more returnable punts.
Rams - A shiny new offensive lineman.
Seahawks - Two words: More Beastmode.

AFC:
East
Bills - Fisher Price doctor set.  How is this team always so injured?  They asked for a lot more because they have needs everywhere, but Santa's bag just wasn't big or magical enough.
Dolphins - They were bad.  They're always bad.  They're ass-hats, and Santa knows it.  Lump o' Coal.
Jets - Elf shoes to spice things up.
Patriots - They were bad. They're always bad. They're douchecopters, and Santa knows it. Lump o' Coal.


North
Bengals - Enough bad consecutive seasons to get a new coach.  Every time Marvin's on the hot seat, he pulls off a playoff or near playoff year and buys himself three more years in which his teams invariably suck.
Browns - At this point, just give them "All the Little Chicks with the Crimson Lips."
Ravens - To never be favored in any game.  Why is it that they get their arses kicked by bad teams?
Steelers - A rulebook.  Let's cut out the cheap, illegal hits, guys (I'm looking at you, James).


South
Colts - Advances in the field of neck surgery that can create reverse aging.
Jaguars - A QB who can throw to his own guys
Texans - See Bears, but replace "Cutler" with "Whoever the Hell is lined up."
Titans - Santa already gave them a God Damned gift in 2000.  If those bastards want more, they're just being greedy.


West
Broncos - There is no Christmas gift for Denver. It's a birthday gift.
Chargers - That the next work stoppage bleeds into late October.  If the season started in November, this team could well go undefeated.
Chiefs - Championship belts.
Raiders - Dare I say, Jason Campbell?  I do dare say.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Got a Lot of Problems with You People...

...and now you're going to hear about them.  I'm kidding...Happy Festivus.



-FSG

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Public Fight

I was playing in the yard with my dog after work today, and my neighbors were screaming at each other in their yard.  I'm not talking Jerry Springer fighting either...I'm talking WWIII.  They were really getting after each other about something, yet in the franticity of their ranting, I was unable to determine what it was.  It was just as the argument was reaching fever pitch when an event happened that made my day:  I heard a door slam and then the guy start yelling, "It's cold out!  Let me back in!!!"  Judging by the fact that his pleas persisted for quite some time, I don't believe she let him back in.

Please, if you're going to get into a yelling match with someone, make sure someone's there to witness and document the general ludicracy of your situation and how you handle it..  That's all I ask.


-FSG

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fill 'Er Up!

Today, I experienced something that I hadn't done in recent memory.  It felt very weird to do it, but at the same time, it felt natural...much like riding a bike after a long hiatus.  It's not that I had forgotten my technique...The problem was far and away more psychological than physical. 

Today, I bought gas at $2.999.  That's right.  I paid under $3/gallon.  Well, that's not entirely true because with the quantity I purchased, the total was exactly three times the number of gallons, but that's immaterial.


-FSG

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Start Me Up

From my extensive hours spent watching football, both on television and in a variety of different stadia, I've noticed one very odd truism.  There are two songs that are almost always played during pregame warmups.  One makes sense: Start Me Up by the Stones.  You're warming up, so the lyrics make sense, and the song is upbeat and can cause a little adrenaline flow.

The other, however, makes no sense to me whatsoever: In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins.  I guess the lyrics are quasi-appropriate, but it falls measurably short on the other dimension.  Rather than revving me up, this song makes me yearn for naptime.

Has anyone else noticed this?  If you can possibly explain it to me, I'd be grateful beyond words.


-FSG

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"To Serve Man"

It's common knowledge that certain dog breeds have been bred to perform a wide variety of specific tasks.  There are dogs bred to herd, hunt, prevent infestation, and to sit in Paris Hilton's purse.  It pretty much runs the gamut of possibility.  As time goes on, many of these breeds are becoming better and better adapted to what they do.

I'd like to focus on the extreme of the hunting breeds though.  Generally, when you think of this task, you think of retrieving game, pointing out game, etc.  What doesn't usually come to mind is shooting their owners.

What's next?  Think about it...it's scary.

While somewhat unrelated, the with a post title like this one's, I would be remiss if I didn't embed this:




-FSG

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bonyak Jewelry

It's not often that I use this space to give a shout out to a company or product.  In fact, I think the only time that I can recall doing it off the top of my head was with the Shapoopie.  However, today, I feel the need to buck the trend.

If you're ever looking for a high quality jewelry made by great, hard working people, you need to look into Bonyak Jewelry.  Knowing the makers personally, I can tell you that you won't find people that puts more care into and takes more pride in creating each piece than them.


-FSG

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's a Contradiction!!!

I'm confused!  Antibiotics are supposedly good.  Yet, on yogurt containers, apparently, probiotics are good.  Something's got to give!  I think the only way that probiotics and antibiotics can be good is if biotics are either neutral or nonexistent.  Either way, this whole thing reeks of scam to me!


-FSG

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hot Toddy!

The other night, I was introduced to one of the more amazing (and possibly my new favourite) sick/cold weather drinks I've ever encountered.  I've had whiskey neat, on the rocks, mixed with Coke/root beer/ginger ale, and a few other ways, but Monday, I learned a lesson about the true depth of whiskey possibility.  Apparently, it can be mixed with spices, condiments, and fruit and then heated!  The drink I'm describing is of course the "Hot Toddy."

There are several different ways to make it, and I plan to experiment with different things.  However, the one I had is going to be tough to beat.  It had whiskey, hot water, cloves, sugar, and lemon.  That said, I'd bet that honey and cinnamon would be amazing substitutes.  If you have any suggestions as to what you think might be good and/or that you know is good from experience, I'd love to hear!


-FSG

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Thanksgiving Story

Often, history books falsify and sensationalize the story of the first Thanksgiving, so in the spirit of academic honesty, I would like to share with you the history not told.  Buckle your seatbelt, and throw your predispositions out the window, because you're in for a bumpy ride.

The story begins with a bunch of people wearing bonnets and hats with buckles boarding a boat, so they got that part right.  However, the full name of the ship was not the "Mayflower."  There was more to it.  The vessel that would take these fashion visionaries was known in its day as "May 'The Silver Dome' Flower."  Back in the day, each ship had an exercise room, and so that is often what was used to differentiate the boats.  It's a little known fact, but the May "The Silver Dome" Flower had a sister ship that went as "May 'Dallas Stadium' Flower."  However, this boat was filled with obnoxious people who refused to wear buckles on their hats, so they were sent away and wound up sailing South never to be heard from again.

Anyway, the one that has been come to be known as the Mayflower, i.e., May "The Silver Dome" Flower, finally reached land and began to settle in.  These people were such amazing farmers that they had a ridiculous overabundance of corn, potatoes, squash, etc., and when winter came, they knew it would all spoil, so they were in a tough spot.  It was at this point when Squanto entered into the story.  He came to the Pilgrims to try to understand their issues and help them.  As he approached, the settlers offered him a great deal of food if he could assist them in the use of theirs.  As is common knowledge, Squanto and his tribesmen and women had no issues growing their own food, so Squanto only accepted the offer so that when he helped the Pilgrims, they would not feel like such freeloading jerks.

Anyway, the two parties started a fire over which they would talk, and Squanto would share his wisdom.  He began, "My people have had this issue for many years after bountiful harvests."  The Pilgrims drew nearer, hanging on every word.  The Chief continued, "We have found a way to prevent spoilage that will occur due to global warming when winters are not cold.  We have invented a new type of garb that allows for increased consumption of our bounty.  We call them stretchy pants."  He then spent several hours explaining the concept and the production process of stretchy pants, and the Pilgrims bought in.  They made their own, and they realized a greatly expanded capability of gluttony.

Henceforth, because Squanto shared the idea of stretchy pants, Thanksgiving has been the great American holiday of coming together and eating ourselves stupid.

Happy and safe Thanksgiving to all,
FSG

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Latins and Outs

For some reason, at least seven times today, I have experienced people improperly using Latin abbreviations in an effort to sound more sophisticated.  Since this is a little petpeeve of mine, I decided to discuss the difference between "i.e." and "e.g." in today's post.

i.e.
This is the abbreviation for "id est" meaning "that is."  Thus, it is used when you are clarifying something or rephrasing what you've just said.

e.g.
This abbreviation stands for "exempli gratia" meaning "for example."  Intuitively, this abbreviation is used before examples of whatever you're discussing.

Examples:

I love watching AFC North football, i.e., smashmouth football in cold weather.
I love watching AFC North football, e.g., Steelers vs. Ravens.

Lawyers drive fancy cars, i.e., cars with all the bells and whistles.
Lawyers drive fancy cars, e.g., Mercedes Benz and BMW.


Please, for the sake of my sanity, use these properly in the future, and spread the word!  Please do not post comments purposely confusing the two for the sake of annoying me...


-FSG

Monday, November 21, 2011

Get Rich Quick Scheme!

The other day, I was driving down a small town road in a 25 mph zone, and I saw something that inspired a get rich quick idea.  It's so elegant and simple that I'm ashamed I didn't devise it sooner.  Surely, you've driven through intersections where firefighters held up boots asking for change to fund the station.  Well, I witnessed something similar, yet subtly different.  As I was driving, I saw two people holding up buckets asking for change.  However, the buckets had no indication of what the cause they were raising funds for was, and they were wearing reflective vests, so even if they were wearing shirts of an organization, nobody would have known.  However, most cars stopped, rolled down their windows, and poured change into the containers.

The fact that people blindly donated to the mystery cause is the focal point of my idea.  Why can't I just stand in an intersection asking people for money?  Some may call this panhandling, but they are oversimplifying things to a degree with which I am uncomfortable.  There are many differences, so before you label me as a hobo, consider the following:

1.  No hobo I've ever seen has parking cones.
2.  No hobo I've ever seen has reflective vests.
3.  I would not even mildly consider spitting on a windshield and washing it off with newspaper.
4.  I would require that my employees shower daily.

To be fair, I will note one similarity, namely that the money raised would go to the purchase of beer.
If you still don't believe that this scheme is little more than begging, at least have the decency to refer to my idea as "White Collar Panhandling."  I also hope that if you refuse to acknowledge the difference between what I'm proposing and begging, you at least recognize that you're jealous that I thought of it first.


-FSG

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Watered Down Logic

Courtesy of The Telegraph, I present to you this little nugget of news coming out of the EU.  For once, news coming from this region is unrelated to the debt crisis (although, given what happened, it wouldn't have been hard to predict that many EU members would be in such trouble financially).  A few days ago, the European Union banned the claim that water consumption is an effective way to prevent dehydration.  Per the article, the EU regulators claimed (after three years of research, mind you) that there was no evidence that water can effectively combat dehydration.  As a result, any bottled water manufacturer that makes this claim on its label can face up to two years in prison!

My theory behind this "finding" and law is the following (and I'm just trying to find their line of logic here):

1. There is dehydration in Europe.
2. Europe is under water (financially).
3. If Europe is under water, and there is still dehydration, then water does not prevent dehydration.
4. Water does not prevent dehydration.


-FSG

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dilbert!!!

Growing up, I was never a kid who loved the comics section of newspapers, but recently, I have begun to read Dilbert religiously.  It's witty, it's funny, his tie sticks up in a bizarre direction, and some days, it's downright dead-on accurate!  Today may or may not be one of those days:

Dilbert.com


-FSG

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hey, Guy

I think I might start calling people "Guy" in casual conversation in the near future.  I find inspiration in its deindividualizing nature.  It's cold, it's calculating, and it's delightfully arrogant.  Further, if used in the proper situations, it can be hilarious.  For example, consider George Oscar Bluth when he says, "Why don't you call it a 'GOB,' guy?" discussing a candied apple on the boardwalk.  There is no way the line would have been as good if GOB had called the apple merchant "fellow," "friend," or even "muchacho."  The dubbing would have been either too familiar or too combattive in nature for it to work.

Long story short, I hope you enjoyed reading this, guy.


-FSG

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Te-boned

It's Sunday, and since Tim Tebow hasn't played terribly well of late for the Denver Broncos, a lot of the talk has died down a bit, which makes this the perfect time for me to throw my two cents in regarding his situation.  My claim is that Tebow will never achieve much success in the NFL.  However, I don't believe that is the case because of his lack of talent or mechanics.  I feel it is true because of his fans.

It is clear from watching him that the kid is a winner, and he's got drive, athleticism, and heart.  Because of that, I think he can change his mechanics to become one hell of a quarterback.  However, due to his fans, he will likely never get a fair shake.  He has a following like no other player, and as such, whichever team he is on will be pressured to start him...His fans want to see him and are very vocal about it.  With all the talent he has though, he needs time to sit on the bench (or stand with a clipboard) and learn the pro game and mechanics.

The only way that will happen is if he goes to a team with an unquestioned starter (that isn't him) for a little while.  If he's on a team that isn't performing well or with marginal quarterbacks, he'll keep being thrust into games before he's ready, and that will hurt his chances of latching on with another team in a more favorable situation conducive for his development.

I wish Tebow all the success in the world, but at the same time, I would be lying if I didn't find a bit of humor in the irony of the proposition that his fans are the ones who are slowly sucking the life blood out of his NFL career.


-FSG

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nail in the Coffin

Well, there was a debate for the Republican Primary last night in Michigan, and it appears that one candidate has officially buried himself (not to imply that he wasn't already waning) in a mere 53 seconds.




I can only imagine how certain people reacted to this, but I think it may have gone something like this:

Al Gore: ::finishes chewing::  Did I hear EPA?
Herman Cain:  Man, this gaffe is going to harass him down the road.
Nancy Pelosi:  This kind of rhetoric leads to violence.
Mitt Romney:  Thank you, sir.
Michael Moore:  ::finishes chewing::  ::starts chewing again::
George W. Bush:  At least I attempted to pronounce what was on my mind.
Barack Obama:  He should have used a teleprompter.


-FSG

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Unpleasantness Defined

This morning, I was in that state where you're not quite asleep and not quite awake, and I was a tad cold.  I don't recall doing it, so I was probably skewed a bit more towards being asleep than conscious, but I must have pulled the sheets above my head.  I've had this happen a thousand times before, but this time was different.  I immediately woke up to a very distinct sensation.  I had unwittingly and inadvertently dutch ovened myself.  Now, I'm trying to determine a set of steps to prevent doing this in the future, since I don't want to flirt with death like this again.  Here's what I've come up with:

1.  Nose Plug to fix the intake system
2.  Beano to fix the output system
3.  Mummy Bag to preserve separation of nose and arse

If you have any ideas to help me out here, I'm all ears.


-FSG

Saturday, November 5, 2011

E&O Hell No!

On 10/29, I received my first bill for my auto insurance renewal.  Knowing that with insurance, I get thirty days to pay the bill, I put it aside to pay it later.  Today, in the mail, I received an unsettling letter from my auto and homeowners insurance agent informing me that my auto insurance was cancelled for non-payment of premium effective 11/2.  I immediately picked up the phone and dialed Mercury Insurance.

When I got to speak with a person, I let them know that I was never notified with enough time to pay the bill.  The "customer service" person told me that the bill had been sent in September.  I shot back that I never received it and mentioned that regardless, I wanted to pay the bill and have my insurance reinstated without a lapse.  She told me that she could reinstate, but it would be effective 11/5, and there would be a lapse in coverage.  She said to me in a somewhat condescending way, "In insurance, we can't reinstate without a lapse."  Since I'm keenly aware of the inner workings of insurance companies, I called her out on this lie, and I asked to speak to a manager since I'd never received the original bill.

The "manager" got on the phone (I use the quotes because I suspect this was not a manager at all based on her constant references of having to discuss with her supervisor), and I told her my side of the story.  She again reiterated that a bill was sent out, so they had done their part, and there was nothing she could do.  I replied by asking where the bill had been sent.  Apparently, it was mailed to my old address.  She saw that there were some notes in her file too stating that the mail had been returned as undeliverable.  Further, when it was returned, the company reached out to my agent to see what my real address is.  At that point (in mid October, mind you), my agent sent in a change request to amend my address.

Sidenote: This error by my agent is what caused all of this hassle.  Why they didn't make the change when I bought a house and thus a new homeowners policy through them in June (and explicitly reminded them to make the change) is beyond my level of comprehension.

Anyway, since there was now proof in Mercury's system about what happened, the "customer service manager" told me that the situation was different now, and she would be able to backdate the reinstatement.  However, there was a caveat.  Apparently, the proof was not quite enough, and she needed a note from the agent stating that the address should have been changed a while ago.  I thought that was reasonable, and I said, "Okay.  Let me pay the renewal now because I need coverage so I can run my errands, and then we can backdate when you hear from the agent on Monday."  She countered by saying that's not how it works and that if I paid now, there would be a lapse in coverage; the only I could reinstate without a lapse is if I went without coverage for the weekend.

Completely miffed and increasingly frustrated with this absurd process, I said, "You mean to tell me that I have to choose between having a lapse in coverage or being uninsured for two more days?"  She said, "That is correct."  In one of the more difficult feats of my life, I resisted that urge to call her a eunuch like I would normally do in this sort of situation.  Instead, I said, "Pardon me for saying so, but that is the most backwards and foolish thing I have ever heard, and it creates incredibly perverse incentives."  Then, I asked whether it was even legal to cancel me only two days after I received my first notification of the bill.  She said, "It has to be legal because that is our process."

To that, I held my tongue because what I really wanted to say was, "Charles Manson had a process too..."  Anyway, I wound up paying the bill and sending my agent a note to call me ASAP.  Starting Monday, I'm going to make sure they correct the lapse, and I will begin my search for a new agent.

For now, to quote Larry the Cable Guy, "I'm madder than Janet Reno's blind date."


-FSG

Friday, November 4, 2011

Missed Connection

Have you ever booked a flight with a layover only to have the first flight arrive at the connecting airport late causing you to miss the second one?  It's a veritable cornucopia of frustration, annoyance, and all things of that ilk.  However, at the end of the day, one ought to just step back, throw his or her hands up, and say, "That wasn't a flight I was supposed to be on."  Such is life.

-FSG

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Road to Nowhere

Today, I woke up, showered, took the dog out, made lunch, and then I started to drive to work.  The day started like any other, and the commute was proving to be quite ordinary.  Then, as I neared the highway exit, everything changed!  When I got to the top of the off-ramp, I took my spot as the fourth car in line to merge at the yield sign onto the road.  Looking ahead, I saw the first car in the queue start to go...Then I saw the brake lights come on, as he realized that there was a car coming.  The person behind him decided that there was enough time for him to go before the oncoming car arrived, so he hit the gas and slammed right into the rear of the driver in front of him who hadn't gone.

It was only a minor tap, and since nobody was hurt, I immediately thought of how this was just an inconvenience rather than anything major.  However, I underestimated the lack of awareness of the two parties involved with respect to the concept of "other people."  The two motorists began to walk around their cars to exchange insurance information while they were blocking off the entire off-ramp (and it is a busy one).  I had to physically get out of my car and tell them to move to the industrial driveway no more than 20 feet away.  They looked at me like I was crazy till several other people behind me started honking.  Then, they finally got into their cars and moved.  I'm just miffed that it took my commenting and a butt-load of honking for them to realize that they were not the only two people on this planet, let alone the road.


-FSG

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Move over, Mr. Bernanke

Ben,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but there's a new sheriff of stockdroppyville, and you haven't got anything on him.  George Papandreou has officially just shown you how to cause an epic evaporation of cash.  When you talk, the market drops because you really don't have much that you can do to spur it.  However, when Mr. Papandreou talks, he tells us things like that he plans to put the Greek EU bailout to referendum!  As of now, if this does in fact go to referendum, the bailout will not pass.  The reason the bailout would fail in a popular vote is that one stipulation for the payments is a set of restrictions of government spending.  Pardon me if I'm not surprised by a population that got itself into such a ridiculous mess by constantly spending what it doesn't have (Public Debt/GDP since 1999) deciding that it wants nothing more than to keep spending...Even if it will cause a default in the very near future.  We saw a huge growth in the world's stock markets after the bailout agreement was originally reached because the market was extremely oversold due to fears of the a Greek (although we'd be making a large mistake if we were to ignore Spanish, Portuguese, or Irish situations) debt default that would cause massive losses to banks holding the debt around the world.  However, by announcing the plan to hold a referendum, all of the uncertainty that drove losses in September has returned, and as a result, gobs of cash have disappeared.  In closing, I implore you, Mr. Bernanke, to please not engage in a game of one upsmanship.


-FSG

Monday, October 31, 2011

Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood

I had several posts that I thought would be interesting for today, but after seeing a commercial during Countdown before Monday Night Football, I had to call an audible.  It was an Applebees ad, and the company is once again going to serve our veterans and active military members on the house.  I, for one, absolutely love that Applebees is doing this, and I'll be choosing that chain over its competitors when I'm in the mood for that type of food in the future.

There will be a more interesting post tomorrow, but I wanted to bring this to everyone's attention because I find it intensely praiseworthy.


-FSG

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Great Birdfeeder in the Sky

The other day, I was talking with a coworker about a bird that had passed away near the entrance to work.  At first, we both felt badly, although we realized that there was nothing we could have done to help this swallow.  Shortly thereafter, my collegue turned the situation into an academic experiment.  He said, "When a person dies, he becomes an angel and get wings.  When a bird dies, does he lose his wings?"

In honor of the poor little bird, I'd like to share a clip of the most glorified his species has been in major cinema:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bag-el Mistake

Well, I learned a very important lesson today.  I'd like to share it to you as well as breaking down where I went so unambiguously and tragically wrong so you can learn from my mistake and avoid a treacherous repeat.  I pulled a bagel out of a bag to put some cream cheese on it for breakfast.  It just so happens that the flavour I grabbed was cinnamon raisin.  However, after I dressed the carby goodness with its spread and took a bite, I noticed something unexpected.  This particular baked delight tasted of cinnamon and raisins, but somewhat surprisingly, it also tasted like onion.  Apparently, if when you're selecting bagels, and you put them in the same bag, you can expect the extra pungent ones to adulterate the rest.  Luckily, this experience was not half as bad as when I made oatmeal in a container I'd just finished using to hold roasted jalapenos and beans (thus creating the unholiest oatmeal taste known to this world).

While on the subject of onion bagels though, I find it rather annoying that before it is toasted, the onions are sticky as all get-out.  It's only after you toast them that the little onion bits don't stick to your hands.  Call me crazy, but shouldn't bagel makers bake the onions into the dough instead of haphazardly sticking it to the top (and sometimes the bottom) of the bagel?  Would that not make a vastly superior breakfast experience?


-FSG

Friday, October 21, 2011

Reincarlination?

The other day, I got an email with the following jokes. I found a bunch of them pretty funny, so I figured I'd share. Is it just me, or does this list remind you a little bit of George Carlin?

 A man calls 911 and says “I think my wife is dead”. The operator says, “How do you know?” He says "The sex is about the same, but the ironing is piling up!

I was in bed with a blind girl last night and she said that I had the biggest one she had ever laid her hands on. I said "You're pulling my leg.”

Went for my routine check-up today and everything seemed to be going fine... until he stuck his index finger up my butt! Do you think it’s time to change dentists?

My wife has been missing a week now. The police said to prepare for the worst. So, I had to go down to Goodwill to get all of her clothes back.

You can say lots of bad things about pedophiles… but at least they drive slowly past schools.

The Red Cross just knocked on my door and asked if we could contribute towards the floods in Pakistan . I said we'd love to, but our garden hose only reaches to the driveway.
 
-FSG

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Comcast Jr?

Earlier in the year, I went without internet and cable for many months because of a fight I had with Comcast.  The crux of the issue was that my promotion ran out, so I was hit with an increase from $80/month to $145/month.  When I opened the envelope my eyes nearly bulged out of my head.  Frantically, I called Customer Service.  After somehow navigating my way through a voice activated maze that even Algernon would have struggled with, I got to a human (and I use the term loosely).  They "sympathized" and told me they could offer me $125/month, but that was the best they could do.  I told them I'd think about it but that it was likely more than I could afford and that I'd call them back in a few days.  A week or so later, I called and spoke with a manager.  Luckily, I'd left virtual breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel style, so I got through the maze with ease this time.  The manager did some "research" and told me they could get me down to $100.  My response to this offer was, "I'm going to have to cancel service.  It's not you...It's me."  The next minute, my cable and internet were gone.  I don't regret it though...The relationship had become abusive, and I deserve to be treated like a lady!

Fast forward to a few days ago, and the receipt of my first Verizon bill.  The number was quite a bit higher than the number that was sold to me over the phone, so I called in to state my case.  The phone maze was pretty much on par with Comcast.  The magical voice directed me this way and that.  At one point, it said, "Please enter the three digit number after your ten digit phone number at the top right of the first page of your bill."  I don't consider myself to be the smartest person alive, but I also don't think I'm a complete moron.  Anyway, my phone number doesn't appear anywhere on the bill, let alone in the top right section of page one.  There's actually a different phone number there.  SO, the female Wizard of Oz wannabe on the other end of the line told me that she would call me back at the phone number linked to my account in exactly one minute.

One minute passed, then a second and a third...Still nothing.  She must have had the wrong number on file and called some poor confused soul rather than me.  Anyway, I called back and finally got to a person.  I explained my predicament and the fact that I wasn't exactly pleased with the difference in pricing between what my bill says and what I bought.  Up to this point, I believed that I was dealing with Comcast's illigitimate son.  However, the person on the other end of the line working for Verizon was very helpful.  Long story short (and now the buildup is becoming uneventful), Verizon, after the original annoyance and difficulty, is vastly superior to Comcast.


-FSG

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teach Me How to Carlton

Today, I was thinking about favourite television shows from when I was growing up, and there was one particular spot of pure absurdity that stood out immediately. As you can probably surmise from the title of the post, the show is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  Who could forget Geoffrey or his one liners, the Uncle Phil fat jokes, or the greatest thing ever:




-FSG

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Indestructiblity!

Well, well, well.  Today, I took a very important measure to ensure my invincibility into the near future.  That's right...I got a flu shot.  Now, like C. Montgomery Burns, I am indestructible!  Just try to destruct me...but only after you've prepared yourself to accept abject failure (unless you infect me with strep throat, as it has been brought to my attention that it presents the only chink in my otherwise impenetrable armour).

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Puns!

Today, I received an email with a set of puns, and as usual, I was quite amused.  I'd like to share some of the highlights of the email with you now:

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2.  I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3.  No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

4.  Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

5.  I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

6.  The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

7.  A backward poet writes inverse.

8.  When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

9.  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root  canal?
His goal: transcend dental medication.

10.  There was the person who posted ten puns with the hope that at least one of the puns would make people laugh.  Apparently... No pun in ten did.


-FSG

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street

There have been two sets of widespread protests in the past few years, and both have different aims.  In this post, I don't necessarily care to differentiate the two, and having never experienced an Occupy Wall Street rally in person, I am not in a position to really comment on it.  However, I have seen the media and politician reaction, and that is what I would like to discuss.

Let's focus on my favourite ex-speaker.  Her reaction (the name of the video is hilarious by the way) and her other reaction to the protests that she disagrees with show that she seeks to vilify and demonize those who dissent.  Having been to several tea party rallies, I can say that I have heard nothing remotely violent stated...even from the people who were a little "out there."  The ralliers were generally just people concerned about the direction of the nation, and in my experience, they were some of the more courteous people I'd met.  I'm not saying everyone there fell in to that category; they certainly did not.  However, this crowd was as non-violent as I could have imagined.  Her reaction to the Occupy Wall Street protests is a little different.

She's not the only one, but I am going to use her as the example.  Politicians on both sides engage in this sort of tactic, and I find it sickening.  If thousands non-affiliated people have rally together across the country with something to say, politicians should be listening rather than seeking to support or delegitimize based on whether or not they agree with the demonstrators.  These demonstrations present a golden opportunity to have real discussions in Washington, yet our politicians certainly don't view it that way.  Either the protesters are heroes or pests, but they are never always just Americans.  In no way do I mean this paragraph to support either rally (although if you read the blog, you can probably guess which I closer align with).

Since life shouldn't all be serious, I present to you a cartoon:





-FSG

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cop Car Models

Today, on my commute I was driving past someone who had just been pulled over while heading in the opposite direction of both the other motorist and the officer.  Luckily for the detained driver, he was not being arrested.  In fact, unlike the last time I posted on a similar encounter, this post will focus on the police officer, and more specifically, his car.

Have you ever consciously realized that when you drive past a car with a specific set of headlights (regardless of whether it has a red and blue rack atop it), you get a little more cautious than usual?  I understand that cops use unmarked cars because people generally act more as they normally would on the road if they don't see a cop car near them.  However, the fact that departments only use a handful of car models (and more often than not, Ford Crown Vic) for their panda cars negates this to some degree.  I know that any time I see a Crown Vic or a Dodge Charger, I automatically assume it's a black and white (not a black and white in this sense though).

I can't say that I understand why departments don't buy a large assortment of different cars to accomplish their goals.  They could even manage to do that without breaking tradition and purchasing foreign cars (although I'd have no aversion to such a thing).  Am I the only one that feels this way, or do you feel that you can generally spot an unmarked cop car without breaking a sweat?


-FSG

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When I was Your Age

The other day, I was thinking about cartoons today versus cartoons from when I was growing up.  Like any grumpy old person, I will argue that cartoons from my day were far wittier and more amusing both then and now than the stuff kids are watching today.  I'll just leave you with two examples, and I think it would be hard to argue that anything could top these:






-FSG

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time and Space Continuum

I was walking my dog today, and as usual, he was pulling like a little fiend.  I'd argue that the sentence most descriptive of his leash walking skills is, "He's off like a bull with gas."  Anyway, that is inconsequential to the story, so I'm going to stay away from that tangential discussion.

I was walking in the eastward direction, and about a hundred feet ahead of me was a woman with a golden retriever.  She and her dog were stopped, as her dog was sniffing around.  She then saw me and yelled out with a vitriolic and accusatory tone while pointing to the ground, "Is this your dog's?!?"  Completely confused, I said, "What?"

She got even angrier as she elaborated and said, "Did you forget to clean up after your dog?"  At this point, I'm flabbergasted.  I've been BEHIND her the whole time walking in the SAME direction, and she has the manberries to accuse me of not cleaning up dog poop (supposedly from my dog) that happens to be in an area that I clearly hadn't been yet.  Either this individual thinks so highly of me that she thinks I can transcend time and space OR she thinks that I set up this elaborate poop trap well before she got there.  If I wasn't so taken back by the foolishness and aggressiveness of the accusation, I would have laid into her for being nasty in her retardation, but alas, it was not the case.


-FSG

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whack Off (the Road)

I was on the highway today, and from afar, I saw lights on the back of a department of transportation truck signaling that motorists were to get out of the left lane.  As I approached, I saw something that I think is about the WORST use of taxpayer money than I've ever seen.  That's saying a lot because I've seen  some pretty useless road construction where one guy is jack-hammering while ten others are "supervising."

However, till today, I had never seen a road construction site where every worker was doing something, which was a nice little surprise...That is until I was able to wrap my head around what they were doing.  They were using weed-whackers on the median!  Instead of cutting weeds, they were actually just kicking up rocks and flinging them at cars.  I'm not making this up either...I wish I'd been able to take a picture to prove it.  All I can say is that I'm SO glad my tax dollars are hard at work.


-FSG

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Today, driving to work, I saw an animal in the road.  It was alive and kickin' so don't worry; this is not a sad story.  It's instead a story of disguise.  This small mammal was like nothing I'd ever seen before, so I was confused.  *Note:it was early, and I'm not (at least I hope) retarded*  This particular beast was no bigger than a small loaf of bread (think the loaves from Outback).  It had no tail, which lead me to believe that it was probably a rabbit.  However, hopping was clearly not its in its repertoire of means of conveyance, so that theory was quickly dispelled.

It became apparent as I neared the furry ball of mystery that it was a squirrel.  Upon stumbling upon this realization, I realized that this squirrel was probably trying to fool the world into thinking he was a bobcat.  I can't say that I understand his logic though, as squirrels don't hunt bobcats in the same way that wolves kill livestock.

I've since pondered several hypotheses to explain the tail bobbage on this little fellow, but I'm having difficulty determining which is the case.  Let me know what you think:

1. He was hiking out West, got caught under a rock, and cut it off with a knife to survive.
2. Squirrel tails are like kids' teeth, and he was in the process of getting his adult tail.
3. His father was a bulldog.

Any other ideas?  I'm at a loss...


-FSG

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Doo" Process

I have a lot of thoughts on the Al Awlaki killing, but I don't think they can be summed up as eloquently or as succinctly as this:



"Does the administration not see at all how a president asserting that he has the right to kill an American citizen without due process and that he's not even going to explain why he thinks he has that right is troublesome to some people?"

I'm not making any comment about the guilt or innocence of the deceased in question; like you, I have seen no evidence.  Regardless, as an American citizen, the Constitution does guarantee him due process of the law whether we like it or not.  This killing represents our government believing that without presenting a case to the public (let alone a jury), it can kill US citizens.

I have to say that as it is right now, I agree with Ron Paul on this one.  The Presidential Oath of Office very clearly states that one of the two jobs of the presidency is to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," to the best of his or her ability.  Couple that with the Fifth Amendment...

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

...and you get a big problem.  When confronted, the White House Spokesman basically just said that he wouldn't get into the crux of the issue.  If you are going to violate the Constitution, you better damn well have an explanation (not that I will accept it other than on rare occasion).


-FSG

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fitting Stock Ticker Abbreviation

There are some stocks with abbrefiations that make sense based on their company name and others that do not.  Good examples of ones that are intuitive are BUD is Anheuser Busch and NFLX is Netflix.  An illustrative sample of ones that do not would be Altria (MO).  However, there is one stock that could not be abbreviated in a more fitting way.  I am of course talking about aluminum giant, Alcoa.  The ticker symbol for Alcoa is AA, and I don't believe the reason is because of the bookend letters on the company's name as much as it is a preemptive way to combat alcoholism that can result from the stock's performance.

Thinking about it, it's quite brilliant.  Now, whenever shareholders go to look at their portfolios, they will see returns in a deep crimson color, but then they'll see "AA" on their screen, and it will remind them not to drink at a very appropriate time for such a warning.

Lastly, I'd be lying if I said I didn't choose BUD deliberately above knowing what was to come in the post.


-FSG

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wrednesday

This morning, I took my dog into the yard to poop, pee, and play (for him to do those things, I should say).  However, being near a lake, there were mosquitoes outside.  Several bit me, which pissed me off, as I knew that I would soon be itchy.  It should be noted though that I don't lose to mosquitoes without a fight.  It's blood for blood so to speak.

Anyway, I saw one on my leg, so I clapped at it just as it started to fly away after having a little FSG Grade A positive breakfast.  Then, I opened my hands, and two truths were immediately revealed:

1. I caught the bastard.
2. The quantity of blood taken

I had to go wash my hands, as they were weren't exactly soaking in ivory liquid.

My first thought after washing my hands was, "This will probably be the only red thing I get on me today."  Oh, if I only knew what the future had in store for me.  At lunch, the person next to me was unveiling a delicious condiment (that just happens to be red), and it shot out all over my shirt!  I'm not an expert of lunch etiquette by any means, but I believe that condimentifying your eating compadre's clothing is slightly ahead of belching the alphabet (very worth watching) between salad and entree on the scale of "things that are uncouth."


-FSG

Monday, September 26, 2011

Biggest NFL Surprise

There are a lot of surprises in the NFL this year, and they all deserve consideration for the most unforeseen.  The Lions are 3-0 for the first time since the Roman empire collapsed (is that too morbid a joke?).  The Washington Redskins are 2-0, and they're proving to be all the Cowboys can handle right now in the Dallas home opener.  Conversely, there are some less exciting surprises like the 1-2 start of a pair of bird teams, Atlanta and "The Dream Team."

There are a handful of individual (as opposed to team) surprises as well.  I'd be skewered by one of my buddies if I didn't mention Torrey Smith in this category.  During the draft, I know for a fact that he dropped a profanity laced tirade about how it was a horrible waste of a pick (before eventually deferring to Ozzy Newsome's wisdom and taking a more "wait and see" approach).  Well, three touchdowns and a mile of receiving yards later in his first start, I think it's fair to say this is a surprise.  There is also the story of Cam Newton, who after his first two games (not so much in the third, but with that weather, it's hard to blame him) has McShay and Kiper seeing stars and reevaluating their professions.

That said, I think the biggest surprise to this point in the nascent season (and I can't claim complete objectivity here) has to be the 2011 Buffalo Bills.  This is a team that was ridiculed during the draft for not taking Gabbert by a lot of draft sites as well as ignoring the offensive line till round four.  By nearly all accounts, they were supposed to be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.  Somebody forgot to give this team the memo.  Lead by a 7th round pick from Harvard, Ryan Fitzpatrick (aka The Amish Rifle), an undrafted RB from Coe College, Fred Jackson, and a trio of WRs comprised of a 7th rounder and two undrafted free agents, Stevie Johnson, David Nelson, and Donald Jones, this team has proven to be a handful for opposing defenses.  Further, the much maligned offensive line has allowed exactly 1 sack and only a handful of QB hits through three games.  It is pretty easy to see some major holes (specifically with the defense), so it's not entirely clear whether the team can keep it up, but for now, I put them ahead of the Lions for the most surprising start because they beat a team nobody gave them a chance against...The New England Patriots.  For reference, the last time that Buffalo beat the Pats, Marcell Dareus was in eighth grade.  Below is the release of eight years of Buffalonian frustration as Lindell finished off the game:




-FSG

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eclectic Lunch

This afternoon, I was talking to my grandpa, and in the conversation, the topic of lunch arose.  I tend to ask about food because I'm quite the renowned fatty, and food is of great imprtance to me.  Anyway, I thought that some of my meals were slightly themeless.  However, today, I learned that my meals all jive perfectly in comparison to some others'.

In response to my inquisition, my grandpa said, "I had pastrami and Swiss cheese."

I mentioned that it sounded delicious, but it turned out that was only the beginning of the meal.

He proceeded:  "...and liverwurst, herring, sour cream, and a piece of chocolate."


I must say, I'm impressed.  There's no way I would have been able to keep that mix down, and I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed it less (if that's possible) coming back up (which it undoubtedly would have done) then going down.

What's the weirdest mix of food you've ever had?


-FSG

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BUSTED!

Driving home after work today, I saw something that one doesn't get to see every day.  It's the one thing that causes me to lose my ability to control the urge to yell out, "BUSTED!"  I'm of course talking about seeing someone getting arrested.

Today, I saw some police lights flashing behind a car.  I originally thought it was just a ticket being issued.  Then, I saw the driver being put into the back of the cop car with handcuffs on!  Now, I'm left wondering the natural thoughts:  What did he do?  I've narrowed it down to three things, but I'm not sure that any are correct.

1.  He is an organ thief.  I'm not talking about those thieves you hear stories about who leave people in ice baths with stitches.  I'm talking about people who abscond with church organs.

2.  He peed in a Dunkin' Donuts coffee pot.  That one's pretty self explanatory...and I'd imagine doing anything illegal at a Dunkin' Donuts would be begging for an easy arrest to be made.

3.  He molested Bigfoot.  I think this is the least likely because it is common knowledge that Bigfoot is celibate and strong enough to fight off anyone threatening to change that.  If you disagree with the last claim made there, I suggest watching some Jack Links commercials.


That's all I have, but I'd love to hear other theories if you've got any.


-FSG

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Road to Prosperity

Today, I was thinking about how to get the economy back on track and to grow consumer confidence and the stock market indecies (and consequently, 401k account values).  It's clearly a multidimensional issue, and there are a myriad of viewpoints about how to address this goal.

However, sitting on my couch, the solution hit me.  It is simple, elegant, and it would be more effective than anything we've seen in the past.  Further, the solution is cheap, and it involves just two things that are both easy to find.  One need only purchase a muzzle or a Hannibal Lecter mask and then find the Ben Bernanke.

The rationale is quite obvious.  Every time the man opens his mouth, money evaporates.  Perhaps he does this to offset all the money he prints, but this post isn't about motivational speculation.



The above chart is of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday, September 21, and it tracks the index from open at 9:30 to close at 4:00.  I will leave as an exercise to the reader to determine when the Ben Bernanke gave his address today.


-FSG

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Futbol

This will be short and sweet because I'm exhausted, but I'd like to offer a PSA to the New York Giants:

In America, we play FOOTBALL, not futbol.

What do you think?  Which sport above is this?


-FSG

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crazy Eights

After this weekend, I must say that I'm not enthused about getting old.  I was kicking back a beer with a small group of guys, and one was on the cusp of his 91st birthday.  The group had just finished a round of golf, and they were recounting a tale from the round they'd just played for me.  Apparently, the older man announced that he had to go to the bathroom by saying, "I have to do a #8."

Now, to be clear, I know exactly what a #1 is, and I'm well versed in the ways of #2 as well.  However, beyond that, the concepts are foggy.  I won't lie, I'm a little curious about what bodily functions I'll discover as I age with respect to #3 (although I suspect, it may be a "shart"), #4, #5, and possibly #6.  However, I'm terrified beyond belief about what the Hell my body will be doing to make a #7 or a #8.  What do you think?  What could a #8 entail, and how much will it hurt?


-FSG

Friday, September 16, 2011

Microwave Conspiracy

I'm not generally a conspiracy theorist, but I have uncovered something big.  It's incredibly diabolical, yet it's subtle enough that it has gone under the radar for decades.  When I detail it for you, you'll imediately recognize what I'm talking about, and you'll likely wonder why you hadn't noticed it despite it being right in front of your nose the whole time.

We often take it for granted that microwaves have different power capabilities; a better quality microwave is expected to be more powerful than a cheaper one.  Heuristically, it makes sense, and it is a compelling tale.  However, when one peels the layers of this rotten onion away, one will discover a truly treacherous situation.  The lack of power uniformity has nothing to do with quality.  You read that correctly.  Tell me your world is not rocked!

The real reason that some microwaves are more powerful than others is so us commoners (defined as not being in the microwave business) make incredible messes when we try to make oatmeal.

I hope I didn't ruin your views on humanity...I'm just trying to keep it real here on the blog.


-FSG

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daily Ponderings from a Thursday

Today, I'm proud to announce that I had more thoughts than usual (not that that's a huge accomplishment, as the bar I defined is lower than Filbert's self esteem).  Anyway, I figured I'd list them below in the order that they occurred:

1. Only a complete hippie d-bag would put their blinker on to cross two lanes of traffic to make a left turn into a Produce Junction at 7:05am?  Further, why does said hippie crapsack have to be in front of me, put their blinker on late, and do it when the lane to my right is moving quickly with no breaks in the traffic?  This set of thoughts lasted about 3 minutes while I sat behind the bastard waiting to go on my merry way.  Needless to say, my way was less merry because of this ordeal.

2.  It's almost pumpkin ale/USA Megyn season!  I'll explain the latter in a later post when I have my first one of the season.  It's an intense story ending with a delicious alcoholic drink.

3.  The problem with working in an office with a receptionist is that there's always one person in the office who knows when I'm pooping.  They see when you leave, and they know when you get back.  I have a hard time making eye contact after "downloading a memo" because I know that the receptionist knows what went down (pun intended).

4.  Petsmart is spying on me.  Three weeks ago, I bought a big bag of a specific kind of dog food.  Today (one day before that supply is exhausted, mind you), I get a coupon in an email from Petsmart offering $6 off on that same brand!  This made me quite happy.  I guess that means my privacy is worth no more than $6 to me.

5.  Rocko's Modern Life was a good show.

-FSG

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breaking All Illusions

Now that I've had a chance to give A Dramatic Turn of Events a listen through in its entirety, I must say that I'm impressed.  I love how Jordan is increasingly featured on the albums as they come out.  He was fantastic, James sounded better than usual, John and John were their normal amazing selves, and New Mike was on his game.  Yes, we are all on a first name basis...Although, that is not necessarily a two way street.
Anyway, as with most Dream Theater albums (Black Clouds and Silver Linings being the only exception), I was not terribly enthralled by the first listen.  I think it's because there is so much intracacy in the music that I can't comprehend it all on just one listen.  The album got off to a fantastic start with On the Backs of Angels.  After that, I wasn't too thrilled with the next two songs (although they've since grown on me a bit).  I don't think my dog enjoyed the start of Bridges in the Sky very much, as he kept tilting his head in complete bewilderment with the opening noises.  I'm not going to lie, I too was confused, but I put up a stoic front for him.

As the album progressed away from the second and third songs, I really enjoyed what I was hearing.  I was delighted to hear undertones of Images and Words, and I was pleasantly surprised with John Petrucci's lyrics.  I wasn't sure what to expect from either a sound or lyrical standpoint since this is the first album released by the band without their main influence, leader, and lyracist, Mike Portnoy.

Anyway, without further ado, I'd like to just let you listen to two songs from the album.  The first is a beautiful song that flows very well and is easy to listen to.  The second is probably my favourite on the album to this point.  It showcases all that DT is about, and it flows extremely well from one passage to the next.  Enjoy:

Beneath the Surface




Breaking all Illusions




-FSG

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Dramatic Turn of Events

On my run today, I ran past the sign board at my local fire department, and it said, "Always Rembember 9/11.  All gave some, and some gave all."  Those words, while simple, gave me goosebumps.  In lighter news, I also ran past a Taco Bell, and I wasn't even remotely tempted!  Woohoo!  I used to run past a Fuddruckers, and the smell would taunt my soul.

Anyway, in the most exciting news of the day, Dream Theater put out its eleventh studio album today.  I picked up a copy of A Dramatic Turn of Events on my way home from work, and I started to listen.  There were a few songs that didn't do it for me upon first listen, but others were amazing.  I'll have a writeup to review it in the next few days after I've had time to listen a few times.


-FSG

Monday, September 12, 2011

Republican Debate 9/12/11

I'm flipping back and forth between the CNN Tea Party Express (seems like an odd juxtaposition, no?) Republican Primary Debate, so I won't be able to give complete commentary, but below will be my take on each candidate from what I see.

Michele Bachmann - I was quite surprised that she had so much less face time than Romney and perry.  That said, I think her comments on the HPV vaccine directed at Perry might well have brought him right back to the pack.

Rick Perry - Dislikes Romney...Intensely.  I can't say that I support his ideas to this point, but he seems like he'll not shy away from difficult issues.  That said, he seems to put his feet in his mouth by oversensationalizing a bit for effect.  He would be better served by using arguments to support his beliefs, not grandiose statements that seem more to capture headlines.  If that is the way he legislates (and the HPV vaccine may be indicative of that), it is dangerous.  I don't understand how he says how he is so pro-small government and pro-Constitution yet talk about using executive orders (even going so far as to using one to repeal parts of Obamacare)...Even AFTER Ron Paul had just talked about the abuse of executive orders.  That said, I agree with his stated stance on illegal immigration, and I respect that he said it despite its unpopularity among the audience.  I don't understand why the Hell anyone wouldn't want to encourage people to be productive members of society (coughcoughRomneycoughcough).

Mitt Romney - Dislikes Perry...Intensely.  With the opening topic of Social Security, he seems more like an attack dog than he does someone who wants to tackle issues or take them head on.  Rather than offer an idea, he went right after Perry.  It wouldn't surprise me to see the same tactic on other topics as well.  Additionally, I feel he'll say anything for a vote.  To me, he's just as slimy as I remember in 2007.

Ron Paul - The peace candidate.  I do like that he differentiates between defense spending and military spending.  It seems like he is the candidate with the most concrete ideas.  However, he tends to come off as that crazy uncle who walks around in underwear and boots.  While from an idea standpoint, I find him one of the more compelling candidates, he just doesn't strike me as electable.  That said, I think he might be the most sincere, and I don't believe that he's saying anything to get a vote.  He's saying it because he truly believes it.  Not saying that I agree with all he says, but I respect that he just says it.

"She turned me into a" Newt Gingrich - He always comes off as being condescending and professorial.  When he's not that, he's busy making jokes and ripping on the President.  Based on what I'm hearing, he is the embodiment of the politics I can't stand.  I'd prefer to see him stand toe to toe with his fellow candidates and the President rather than to claim that between he and Barack Obama, he is the least bad choice.  That said, attacking the incumbent did prove to be a successful strategy in 2008...

Herman "Hurri" Cain - I'm hearing some good idea and some bad ideas from him here.  He seems like one of the more pro-business candidates up there, BUT I wish that I could hear more of his thoughts fleshed out to a greater degree.  Unfortunately, Perry and Romney seem to betting the lion's share of the spotlight.

Jon Huntsman - See Cain.  I would be quite happy seeing a side debate between these two candidates.

Rick Santorum - I really haven't heard much from him other than trying to drag down the current frontrunners.  I'd like him to focus more on ideas (much like Newty).  Another thing I notice is that he answers the question he wants to answer rather than the question asked.  Case in point: Immigration question.


One thing that I wish the candidates would do differently is use fewer statistics in their arguments.  Those of you who know me are probably shocked by this comment because I quite enjoy statistics.  However, politicians generally use statistics that are misleading or plainly false because a zinging sound bite sticks with people more than anything else, and since other candidates usually can't decipher where the heck the statistic came from and what the truth is in the moment, the perpetrators don't get called out till it's too late.


-FSG

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds

I can't believe it's been ten years already; it still feels as stunning, fresh, and painful as it was a decade ago.  The shock, the anger, the sorrow, the sadness, the disbelief, the inability to comprehend why, the fear...Those things have not faded with time.  In fact, as I write this, I've already had to wipe away some tears, unclench my fists after my hands involuntarily closed into a defensive yet aggressive configuration, and close my eyes and take deep breaths to try to corral my focus.

I was a junior in high school sitting in the second row of the fourth aisle from the classroom door in Mrs. Waite's second period British Literature class.  That morning, walking into school from the bus, it was a gorgeous day, excepting the fact that it was the day of the summer reading essay test.  As I sat in my chair scribbling my thoughts on the lined paper, Mrs. Waite left the room momentarily.  I barely noticed because I was so focused on my task.  Shortly thereafter, the door opened, and she came back in.  She told us that a plane had hit one of the towers and that we should keep working.  I tried to keep my focus, but I was utterly incapable.  Thoughts about what might have happened and why consumed me. 

During fifth period orchestra class, Mr. Schaberg had a television in the room tooned into CNN.  This was by far the most heartwrenching experience I've ever had.  I sat there watching in a state of emotional paralysis; I didn't know what I was feeling, and I wish I could do a better job of describing it, but words capable of conveying it simply do not exist.  Some classmates around me broke down crying as the footage rolled, unsure whether they would ever see their loved ones again.  It is by far the most helpless I've ever felt.  Seeing friends in such need where I could do nothing to help was awful.

As the day progressed, my feelings started to come together and evolve.  Watching first responders running to a near certain death to try to help their fellow countrymen filled me with an incredible pride and a completely new respect for all of them.  Their instinctive bravery inspires me to this day.  The same can be said for those aboard United 93.  They willingly sacrificed themselves to protect you and to protect me...all of us.

I wanted to leave this part out when I began to write, but I am unable to keep the anger and frustration at bay.  I find it barbaric to celebrate anyone's death, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have one of the best sleeps of my life on May 2, 2011.

I pray that I never have to experience anything like this ever again.

-FSG

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Opposites Attract?

We all know about how "flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing, as that's generally taught from an early age because of its counterintuitivity (if you'll pardon my fabricated word).

However, there is a pair of phrases that troubles me far beyond the ability of the aforementioned contradiction.  Look in any self respecting thesaurus, and you will find that the opposite of "up" is "down" and vice versa.  Why then, I ask you, can one describe something that is a little further away on a particular course as being both "up the road" and "down the road?"  That bothers me.  If one means that it's ahead of you, the other should mean that the destination is behind you!

Aren't you all so glad that my sparks of lunacy are now available for you to experience?

-FSG

Unlikely Alliance

It's official!  The blog is back!  I definitely have lots to say, but most of my notes aren't with me now, so I think I'll just dive back into things with a youtube link!  Be sure to pay extra attention at the 1:18 mark, as a third animal that I shall call a "cantalope" (for reasons you'll find patently obvioius) appears!  It is important to note however that "cantalope" is not to be confused with "cantaloupe," which is in fact not an animal at all.

Without further delay, I present to you the exploits of Spike and Visa:
http://youtu.be/czhpQe-56qg


-FSG

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Return

My internet and cable installation is scheduled for Friday, 9/9.  The natural consequent is somewhat unfortunate for humanity: DOPP Lure Effect posts will once again be appearing for the world to see on a nearly daily basis once again!  For the past several months, I've been percolating, and hear you me, I have a LOT of things to share, and now you're going to hear about them!

I've also decided to make a permanent feature out of NFL weekly previews due to the popularity of the playoff preview posts.

See you all soon,
FSG

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Once the Strike Ends...

I have not been on strike from writing on the blog.  However, a strike is preventing me from posting at this point.  However, I am pleased to announce that I have officially decided to rejoin the century by ordering cable and internet after being without for many months.  As soon as the Verizon strike is over, it will be installed, and my insane ramblings shall once again become a daily feature in your life should you choose to let them in.  For now though, I must wrap up since I'm being mauled by mosquitoes.
-FSG


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Viking Conquest

Recently, I moved from my old apartment to a new place.  I originally decided to make the move for a conglomeration of three reasons:
1. My apartment had electric heat and poor insulation, so I damn near had to sell my organs on the black market to be able to afford the winter electric bills (to keep the temperature between 55 and 60).
2. New neighbors moved in, and they are punk boners.  They would generally cram at least 10 douchebags into a studio apartment and then skateboard throughout the night outside my window while smoking.  In fact the cops were called on them for noise complaints a few times (not by me, but I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't amused by the fact that cops came).  In fact, once, the cops said to the rat bastards, "Keep it down because if you don't, we'll be back with a warrant, and from outside, we can smell things you don't want us finding."
3. My landlord tried to raise my rent by a ridiculous amount.  I know for a fact that there are other people in the complex with upgraded appartments that were paying about $100 less than what they wanted from me for my old crappy one with the non-sliding door and the cracked two-toned ceiling.  (Sidenote: I told the landlord that the door didn't slide open two years ago, and when I drove past the old apartment after I moved out, they were completely replacing the door.  Just in the nick of time!)

This story, however, is not about the reasons for leaving.  It is instead a tale about the new place.  A few days after I moved in, I found a little "Welcome Gift" from the old occupants.  I woke up one day with some little red marks on my ankles that itched like the dickens.  I suspected I knew what the culprits were, but I wasn't sure.  Then, I found one.  The old occupants gave me fleas!

Needless to say, I called the local pest control company; the flea army drew the first blood, so it was time for war.  Anyway, the consultant came out for a consultation and to give me a quote.  A few days later, I had an appointment for a technician to eradicate the non-fleeing force.  Both the technician and the consultant told me that after treatment, there was a thirty day guarantee of results, and the technician told me before he began treatment that I would need to vacuum every day for the next two weeks to combat the fleas.  Then, I told him where the fleas were, and he went to work.

I came back after the requisite amount of time had elapsed, and I vacuumed, as I was instructed.  After doing this for eight days, I received a bill showing a balance due (which was absurd because I had paid in full the day of the treatment).  Confused, I called the company to inquire.  The discussion went like this:

FSG: I received a bill, but I paid in full, so I'm having a tough time wrapping my head around a balance due.
Phonetard: We waived that, so you're okay.
FSG: Let me ask you one more thing.  How long after treatment should I start stopping seeing fleas?
Phonetard: About a week.
FSG: Hmm.  It's been eight days.
Phonetard: Let me check the file.
[pause]
Phonetard: You got the one time treatment, so there's no guarantee with that.
FSG: Say that to my good ear?  Both the technician and the consultant said that there would be.  I didn't pay for your company to come out, treat part of my house (the invoice showed that the technician didn't even go into the basement, where I told him I was experiencing a problem).  I paid for you to complete the job.
Phonetard: I'll talk with my manager and give you a call tomorrow.
FSG: Okay.

When I hung up, I was a mix of peeved and proud; I was peeved for obvious reasons, and I was proud that I was able to abstain from referring to Phonetard as a "eunuch."  How can a company come out, not do their job, then tell you that they were kidding about the guarantee of results?  Anyway, the next day, another company representative called back to discuss how we would move forward:

Nice phone person: I know you spoke to [Phonetard] yesterday, and it turns out you were right.  There is a guarantee.  We can get out to you on Tuesday (this would be 13 days after the original treatment) after the holiday weekend.
FSG: Part of the reason I'm still having this problem is that the technician didn't spray the whole house, so I think you can come out tomorrow.
Nice phone person: Let me check the schedule.
[checks schedule]
Nice phone person: You're right.  We can come out tomorrow!
FSG: Thank you.  I appreciate your help.

Anyway, Friday, the new technician came out, and I explained to him that I wanted him to spray all the rugs and carpets.  The way I see it, I am not calling the Viking people for company...I have enough of that with the fleas.  He said he would, and I thanked him before leaving.

Now, I'm left to hope that the problem is actually solved.  If it's not, I can almost guarantee another post.


-FSG

                   

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On the Backs of Angels

I must say that I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of September, the 13th specifically.  That's the day that one of my favourite bands (okay, that's an understatement) will unleash their newest album (eleventh studio recording), A Dramatic Turn of Events, on the world.  Naturally, with Mike Portnoy having left the band, I am extremely curious to see what the new sound will be.  The iconic drummer was, in my mind, the heart and soul of the band as well as its creative mastermind.

Today, my curiosity was somewhat appeased with the release of the first single from A Dramatic Turn of Events.  From the first listen, I absolutely love On the Backs of Angels.  It's got the glorious amalgamation of ballsiness and musicianship I have come to love with this band.  I can't wait to hear the rest of the album!

-FSG

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weiner, Weiner, Chicken Deiner!

I'm still low on internet (although that should be remedied in the near future), so I must be brief, but I couldn't resist schlepping across the parking lot to secure the use of an unsecured network for this story.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who finds it absurdly hilarious that the dude's name is "Weiner."


-FSG

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ankles =/= Modesty

I'm briefly back with a couple of posts before I go back to the land of the unconnected.  In today's post, I'd like to bring light to an article I read recently that I found quite amusing.  I thought that women were supposed to be completely modest and more than fully clothed.  Apparently, I'm wrong.

Now, I must speculate.  We have been told that it's seen by the Taliban and many extremists that it is a crime for women to show their ankles.  So, I'm left to wonder what this porn could be like.  I'd bet the stash is comprised of either women's feet (and slightly North of there (but no calves...let's not go crazy) OR naked women wearing socks.  I haven't figured out which yet though.

-FSG

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lacking the Internets

The past few days, I've had limited internet connectivity at best, so that is the reason for the lack of posts.  Worry not.  As soon as the problem is rectified, there will be a slew of posts.  It's kind of like holding in a poop in a way.  The more you hold it, the more it builds up, and then BAM.  It all comes out!  Pardon the analogy...It was just the most apt way to express the situation.


-FSG

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mighty "The Steve Irwin" Mullet

It's time for a double header of Mighty Mullet!  Enjoy.




-FSG

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Share the Sidewalk!

On my run today, I was reacquainted with a pet peeve of mine that I (thankfully) hadn't encountered in quite some time.  I am of course talking about flocks of blockheads who believe that the sidewalk exists for their existence and their existence only.  Below is a guide to dealing with this sort of irksome being.

Step 1:  Recognize them when you see them.  While walking down the street, you will see a set of at least two people that look like they desire nothing more in life than to play Red Rover with complete strangers.

Step 2:  This depends on whether you are walking in the same direction or the opposite one, as signals must be different to stimulate different senses in these inconsiderate bastard:
A.  You are behind them walking in the same direction at a quicker pace.  In this case, I find it's best to make loud noises (eg. a sneeze, a growl, or a fart *so long as it's a cheek flapper*).  If the perps still don't get the hint and move their asses, it is not only socially acceptable, but it is necessary for the rest of society to push your way between them...Bonus points if you can interrupt their conversation.
B.  You are in front of them walking in the opposite direction.  Here, you have the obligation to stimulate their visual senses as well.  Perhaps flailing your arms or staring the group down (bonus points if you're cross-eyed and can stare them all down at once).  Again, if they don't move, you have the civic duty to pass right through them like shit through a goose.

Step 3:  Wait around for your Nobel Prize.


I know we all encounter this sort of thing from time to time, so I hope the above guide helps you next time you find yourself in this irritating situation.

-FSG

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cuban Shakeup?

I just read this article, and the fact that there's a chance of a monumental change in the Cuban political field, I can't help but wonder whether or not it's right to call the potential for Cubans to cut off the Castros as "Castration."


-FSG

We Set the City on Fire with the Heart of the Child's Desire

Today's post is basically a plug for an amazing album.  Last Christmas, I was given a copy of  The Whirlwind by Transatlantic, and after several months, I am confident in saying that this is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard.  The songs on disk 1 represent a masterful blend of Kansas, Rush, Led Zeppelin, and of course Dream Theater (although not quite as heavy), and they flow together seamlessly.  Disk 2 is comprised of obscure cover songs, and it too is phenomenal.

Due to the musicianship and the rare combination of singability (without being annoyingly catchy), this album has vaulted up to the top spot in my road trip album list.  I'm frankly not surprised by this given that Mike Portnoy's genius is behind the band.

Below is a clip from one of the songs.  It kills me a little to give just a small taste from midway through the album, as with albums like this, I much prefer to listen from start to finish without a break.  However, the below should give you a little taste of the awesomeness that is this album.




And one from disk 2 (which need not be listened to in order in nearly the same sense as the first disk):




-FSG