Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Instead of peace, she told him to rest in blank.

Yes, I'm a little bit late, but one recent passing still can't pass unmentioned. If this blog had a spiritual adviser, and Kurt Vonnegut didn't want the job, Charles Nelson Reilly would be a good second choice. He said a lot of dirty things, on The Match Game, that probably should have been censored but weren't, and wore uniformly awesome glasses as well.

Because the Game Show Network is responsible for my familiarity with the man, I didn't realize until just now (thanks, Wikipedia) that he won a Tony Award in 1962, for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Which is much more of a career highlight, presumably, than the drunken makeout sessions he must have had with Brett Somers on a fairly regular basis.

Patience is a virtue

...and at least these clowns, who Faxed us today, waited until most schools were out:

SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc., today announced that it will host a preview of its 2007 Back-to-School assortment on Friday, June 1, 2007, with a presentation taking place at 12:30 Eastern time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

You may be a Geek if...

ADAPR - another day, another press release

ADAIPR - another day, another inane press release

According to PC Mag, if you find yourself using these IM acronyms in everyday conversation (who has those anymore?), you may need to cut back online:

ADAD - Another day, another dollar
DQMOT - Don’t quote me on this
BITD - Back in the day
SFETE - Smiling from ear to ear
GOL - Giggle out loud
IMNERHO - In my never even remotely humble opinion
BTDTGTTSAWIO - Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and wore it out
POS, MOS, PAW, PRW, PIR, P911, CD9 - Careful, parents are watching
WYGOTM - Will you go out with me?
MTFBWU - May the force be with you.

HWYCAG -- Hey, Who You Calling A Geek?

Getcher Cruci-fry, here!

Only an hour left. Buy now! Don't hesitate!

Dear Porkchop: What's all this?

Welcome readers.

As you can see, features editor Dena Rosenberry and I have been amusing ourselves with this blog for a couple of months now. We started it as a way to catch the miscellany that comes through the Gazette's newsroom.

I know what you're saying: "But the Gazette has 1,900 blogs. How can there be miscellany?" It does seem unlikely, but if you check out the bulleted list below, I think you'll understand.

So evidently, someone decided it was time to foist the thing upon an unsuspecting public, and now here you are. You have some catching up to do. Of course, there's no reason why you have to go read our backlog, but if you don't, here's the aforementioned list of things you'll miss:

  • Melt-in-your-mouth Messiah (March 29)
  • Delightfully desultory DVD distributor (April 3)
  • Flip-flop flasks for fermented feet (April 5)
  • Badass berms for brazen bicyclists (May 11)
  • Nudists needing nubile neighbors (May 14)
  • Reticent rock-stars recast in resin (May 16)
  • and scads of supplemental stuff so silly I shan't strive to specify
So get to reading, you. I have to rest my alliterator.

Great headline

In today's Rocky: Woman acquitted of illegal poop use

If you must know miore, go here: But does it matter?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mullet not included

At last, a product photo that's funnier than the Firedragon. The product in question is the Nosefrida, and I haven't been able to stop laughing long enough to figure out what the hell it is. Oh my goodness.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"a serial anti-Catholic bigot"

The Catholic League has once again Faxed to tell us what to think, which is always handy:


First off, I think it would be easier if Bill Maher were to chiggity-check himself. You know, before he wriggity-wrecks himself.

Later in the release, League President Bill Donohue makes a salient point, when he asks "whether Maher's gratuitous and highly offensive attack on Jesus Christ merits the same punishment afforded (Don) Imus for his racist remark." Of course, it raises the question of whether Imus' remark merited that punishment, but I digress.

Now that we're something like six weeks beyond Nappygate (that's what journalists do - we append "-gate" to things), I wonder if we're in a free-speech-free zone. It seems clear that Imus hasn't caused the same ripple effect as Janet and her skeevy nipple ring, but when the story first broke I certainly felt like knee-jerk hypersensitivity might ensue. I'm not sure it has, and I don't think press releases from the Catholic League are the greatest barometer, but now I'm curious. Here's a test flag:


Gay poop.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Amazing scientific breakthrough!

Yes, picking on Faxes and teh Internets is fun, but sometimes one can find humor in his own backyard. Or the supply cabinet behind his chair, as it were. Behold this description on our canister of One Step screen cleaners:

"OneStep wipes are premoistened with a special non-streaking cleaning and antistatic solution that works quickly and evaporates in seconds. The result is the most convenient one-step screen cleaning system available."

"Wow!," I thought. "Lab-bound scientists are working around the clock to get me the latest in screen-cleaning technology!"

Then I saw the sole ingredient: Isopropyl Alcohol.

Bevolutionary neologisms

I'm really, really excited, and I don't know why - which is to say, the press release doesn't tell me. It just figures that a nonstop string of made-up words will get me pumped.

SAN DIRGO, CALIFORNIA (sic) - Youngevity has just announced a strategic alliance with Texas-based, home of one of the fastest selling "healthier" energy drinks in the world, A.C.T.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Steve Wallach, General Manager of Youngevity, said he is very excited about coupling Youngevity's strengths in marketing, service and global distribution, with the explosive growth of the world's first 'FEEL GOOD' energy drink, A.C.T. "It is a great opportunity to be a part of the BEVOLUTION, which is A.C.T.!"

Incidentally, I just found this alternate definition for the word "neologism" from Webster:
"a usually compound word coined by a psychotic and meaningless to the hearer."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Macking Stormtroopers

I couldn't resist.
This is from the LA Weekly, in anticipation of a huge Star Wars 30th anniversary celebration that will include a marathon viewing of all six Star Wars films.

The photo was labeled Star Wars Geek. Ya think? I miss these guys.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Giggle and retch

Yeah, this is a spinoff from Dena's ASAP plug, but it's so delicious I couldn't imagine not posting it. Read and memorize the description, then note that people who bought this thing also bought the "Star Wars Cantina Band Action Figure Set." I wonder what those pretend tea parties are like.

Little Richard and Werid Al -- Incoming!!

Today's Incoming! at the asap site highlights "The best Wheel of Fortune episode ever -- a game that brought together James Brown, Little Richard, Weird Al Yankovic and Lee Greenwood. Silly veering on psychedelic."

A story about a man not named Jed

Here's the BBC's version of a news-of-the-weird-type story that's circulating.

Illinois baby obtains gun permit

Bubba Ludwig may only be 10 months old, but he has already successfully obtained a gun licence in the US state of Illinois.

Bubba's father, Howard Ludwig, applied on his behalf after his grandfather gave him a shotgun as an heirloom.

Mr Ludwig said he had not expected to succeed, but he filled in the online form, paid $5 and the licence was his.

If I may, I'd like to speak directly to this child's father for a moment.

Mr. Ludwig, I can't even fathom the reasons why you've done this. Named your child Bubba, I mean. "Bubba" is a nickname given to people by siblings and/or classmates in backwater communities (see Bill Clinton). It is a hillbilly affectation designed to ensure that the bearer will never be taken seriously by anyone.

A better idea would be to name your child something else - Christopher, maybe - and then, if someone starts calling him "Bubba," slap that person until he falls down, because he's trying to heap shame upon your family.

If you have more children - and something tells me you will - please keep this in mind.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dear Porkchop: How do I write a lede?

For the answer, we turn to Garance Burke of the Associated Press:

STRATHMORE, Calif. (AP) -- On Grandparents Day, Domitila Lemus accompanied her 8-year-old granddaughter to school. As the girls lined up behind Sunnyside Union Elementary, a foul mist drifted onto the playground from the adjacent orange groves, witnesses say. Lemus started coughing, and two children collapsed in spasms, vomiting on the blacktop.

All right, so maybe it's not a perfect example. After all, I hear you say, that lede is so badass that you don't really care what the rest of the story is about, and I rather agree.*

Still, you've got to admit it grabs your attention. In fact, I want to chant it over an instrumental break in a prog-rock song.

*Apparently it's about pesticide.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

Captain Attractions?

This new tourism mascot is touted as the "hero of fun loving boys and girls, the buster of boredom, the blaster of the summertime blues and an all around great guy."

If you see him, utter the secret phrase -- “I love having fun in my own backyard!” --and he will give you two free passes to a Pikes Peak Country Association Attraction.

See him or avoid him:
Saturday May 12
10:00 – 11:00 AM Garden of the Gods visitor center
11:30 – 12:30 PM Garden of the Gods Trading Post
1:30 – 2:30 PM Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Saturday May 19
12:00 - 2:00 PM Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
2:15- 3:30 PM Buckskin Joe’s Frontier Town & Railway

Territory Days, May 26-28
Springspree, June 16

Who's the best match-up for Captain Attractions? Catwoman? Joker?

I heart the Beeb

Just about every day, I stop in to the BBC Web site to see their "Day in Pictures" feature. It consists of 6-10 photos from around the world, and reminds me how lame I am for never having left the country (be patient, world, I'm coming eventually). Today's update gave us this adorableness.

Monday, May 14, 2007

right-wingers? liberal elite? just geeks?

Gaz writer Dave Philipps sends this along:
Many people have their theories about how the Gazette cranks out the news working hand in hand with either:
A. a vast right wing conspiracy.
B. the liberal media elite

So let me offer a rare insight into how the newsroom works. Exhibit A: the white board.

The white board sits in the middle of the newsroom, next to a long table where editors from various sections get together daily to talk over what is going into the paper and how it can best be presented. For a fairly accurate dramatisation of this, see the movie "The Paper."

Anyway, the whiteboard was probably purchased with the idea that editors could use it to help organize their thoughts. In fact, it is almost never used. It sits blank for months until someone comes by and scrawls something funny on it, like the question above. This question then sits there for weeks, often as snarky answers collect.

Why don't we ever erase the white board? Hey, we have a paper to put out.

Losing my naked lunch

Every once in a while, I learn that I have a button I wouldn't have guessed I had. For instance, today I learned that I'm a pro-clothing elitist. It all started with a story on AP's "weird news" feed:

Nudists Try to Attract Younger Following

The story contains an Atrocious Quote of the Year nominee, courtesy of one Sam Miller: "If a young person is enlightened enough to go to a (nudist) beach or resort, they'll find that they're outnumbered by people who are not like them."

Mind you, I'm vegan, and even I think the phrase "If a young person is enlightened enough" sounds pompous, self-important and generally crap. We're not talking about driving hybrid cars here, Sam. We're talking about dropping trou in public - at best, an OK alternative to the clothed lifestyle in climatically suitable parts of the world.

Also, if the young people in question are so "enlightened," then why are they so skeeved by old naked people? Either you've proven that enlightenment and nudism are unrelated, or you've proven that old naked people are universally skeevy. Or both.

I call naked shenanigans.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Rock, Paper, Scissors?

(Great artwork, "Lead On," by Graham Walker - available at the world RPS site.)

We played Scissors-Paper-Rock when we were kids, but there was no $50,000 championships... I guess we should have been playing Rock-Paper-Scissors.

No lie: This weekend, Vegas hosts the second annual USA Rock Paper Scissors Tournament. Winner takes $50,000.

Los Angeles TV producer Matti Leshem co-founded the USARPS League in 2005 and serves as its commissioner. (There's a world association, too.)

Strategies vary, apparently.

Take the Urbanus Defense, where you lose your first throw intentionally to psych out your opponent.
Or Gambit Play, where you stick to a sequence of specific throws regardless of your
opponent’s actions.

“Like a 'Caveman,' which is rock, rock, rock,” Leshem reveals.

Hey, Porkchop! How do you ride stunts?

Porkchop says a good way to learn to ride stunts at a mountain bike park or on a trail is to head to Red Rock Canyon Open Space on the Springs' west side.

There's a new freeride park opening there this weekend. You can practice on skinny beams, ramps, berms, teeter-totters and more.

Check out Gaz writer Dave Philipps' video or his story - with photos by Gaz shooter Kirk Speer.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fake Welshman the Real McCoy

From a fax today:

"Steve McCoy is known as the world's greatest Tom Jones impersonator."

I'm sure his mother never thought he'd amount to anything.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Of all the nerve.

Today we got a faxed press release, whose headline was:

Love Is In The Air

The writer is clearly familiar with that little-known, but very important, rule of headline writing: make the reader feel defensive. In this case, I couldn't for the life of me remember contradicting the statement. As I struggled to recall the incident, I got more and more anxious. "Why on earth would I say that love isn't in the air?" I thought. "What was I thinking? Was I thinking?" Finally I said out loud - thankfully with no one else around - "Your mom is in the air." It made me feel better.

The whole episode reminds me of the famous New York Times headline from 1974:


Anyway, this press release is largely unremarkable otherwise, to the point that I'm not even gonna tell you what it's for. You'll have to make do with this bit of questionable grammar from the lead paragraph:

"Part of this world's beauty is our individuality and diversity, and although we want to be our own person, we all have the need to feel connected to others."

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Is your husband gay?

I get these press releases all the time from "infidelity expert" Ruth Houston, author of "Is He Cheating on You? 829 Telltale Signs."

829. Not 828 or 830. 829 telltale signs.

The release says that list includes "practically every known sign of infidelity."

But wait! There's More!

If you go to Ruth's site,, you can learn:

"Why the wife of a gay husband is usually the last to know."
"A discreet, but accurate, 3-step method to find out if your husband is gay."
"What percentage of gay men in America are in heterosexual marriages."

Don't laugh. We got that press release about the tobacco lozenges and know Christopher is choosing them over ciggies.

Maybe going to Ruth's Web site will give some reader insight. Or maybe just a giggle.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

City sells seashells

Today's press release from the municipal government:

"City seeks civil servants for civil service commission"


This is no 'Dirty Dancing'

These moves are based on romance not lust. In an age of Casual Fridays and dressing for comfort instead of stature on airlines and in restaurants, some people get into the Cinderella thing of formal dances.

The Gazette's Melissa Cassutt and Jerilee Bennett visited the Broadmoor Waltz Club's last dance of its 70th year - and found 20somethings bustin' moves next to retirees.

HERE to see and hear the action. Read the full story here.