Tuesday, December 23, 2008


My pal Chris did a movie:

Last week, I finally got a chance to view the screener he gave me, and it's a fascinating meditation on the week that was.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Demand the Cantaloupe Song

Here's a friend from way back making a humourous plea for YouTube stardom. You should go to YouTube and give him a good rating.

You should also demand that he do a video of the Cantaloupe Song.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Castle Peanut

My 4 1/2 year-old has taken a great leap forward in her block stacking. I'm reminded of a Mayan stadium. Wait...a Quidditch Field. That's better -- no human sacrifice.

I've also included a more schematic shot of the full plan. If anyone happens to decipher an subliminal message from aliens or angels or Bigfoot, feel free to let me know.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Star Trek Winnipeg

Once upon a time, a Star Trek club in Winnipeg had a TV Show. Fun fact: the girl interviewed about her entry in Walter Koenig's book is the emcee this week.

Last I checked, Part 3 was unavailable, but here's the embed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"New Look" Matt

It's actually "Old Look" Matt, but I had to wait a few years for my age and abilities to match up to it. Plus, I used to wear a tie. That's right. A tie.

Friday, August 29, 2008

20 years from now, it will be, "I truly do believe America's Got Talent..."

Eight is Enough

I don't care what his technical classification is, but I believe that this line is proof that Obama is the first Gen-X presidential candidate. Too bad there are so few of us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The RNC Didn't Really Think This Through

Given the party's stance on gay rights, can you imagine the lousy service they're going get in Twin Cities restaurants next week?

Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, huh? Adam! Steve! Come over here and spit in this.

I'm kidding of course. I think we all know it wouldn't be Adam and Steve anyway. It would be Adam and Stephen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Courtesy of the Red, White and...Who?

Toby Keith is a pro-Obama Democrat.

The Statue of Liberty is shakin' her head in disbelief.

I now regret the force and venom with which I was slamming this guy to my mom only a few days ago. Shame on me.

On the other hand, that was an incredibly obnoxious song he did.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tweets Are All I've Got Lately

As you can see from the sidebar, I've joined Generation Twitter. I resisted joining up for a while, because it seemed to be too reductive, too illustrative of the constant winnowing down of our collective attention span. However, once I joined up and found just how easy it was, I realize I was 100% correct in that perspective, but that I didn't care. Why kick against the pricks? Let the scales fall where they may, to strap down that particular biblical allusion and flog it within an inch of its life.

It's a busy time chez Fugate. For one thing, there is a new chez Fugate. Selling the previous chez Fugate, finding and purchasing the new chez Fugate, packing up the stuff from the old chez Fugate, moving from the old chez Fugate to the new chez Fugate, and now unpacking and placing the stuff into the new chez Fugate has sapped my energy to generate more than 14o characters worth of content at any particular time. Hence Twitter.

Fortunately, the dust appears to be settling. We're down to about 10% of the boxes yet to be unpacked and I just rearranged my office. It's not done yet -- it's never going to be done, but, it's functional enough for me to be able to sit at my desk and bang out some drivel. As a matter of fact, I have some other drivel-for-hire that is wildly overdue even as I type this. To be perfectly honest, I'm just using this space to clean the pipes a little so I can get back to the paid drivel. I hope that doesn't make you feel as cheap and dirty as I do.

Here, go to my friend Michael Dane's blog and read something far more entertaining than this drivel. He's new to blogging, so you can get in on the ground floor. Watch for his Twitter account some time in 2010.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I Never Knew They Had Them Here

Professional fireworks in the distance. Amateur fireworks in the neighborhood. Fireflies in the yard. Guess which excites me most?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Enchanted Highway

Sometimes life drops little things in your lap that make it all worthwhile. Neatorama was the source of this one for me:

via videosift.com


I was doing a small tour of North Dakota last week. Apparently, there's an oil boom. Who knew? As best I could tell, this is the result of a combination of the high prices and improved drilling technology. All I know is I still paid $4 a gallon the whole way.

Since the routing was very gentle between the nights. I've had a chance to really explore this part of the country. One such exploration was The Enhanted Highway. The Enchanted Highway is an attempt by one man to save his dying hometown of Regent, ND through the tourism he hoped would be generated by erecting large metal art sculptures along the 30-mile road from the Interstate to his town.

This is Geese in Flight, which is visible from the Interstate. It's the largest metal art sculpture in the world. I admire the fact that the town was willing to put the "headliner" at the beginning. You can't see the House on the Rock from the road, right?

All along the 30 miles from the Interstate to the town, there are gigantic metal sculptures. I think my favorite was Grasshopper's Delight

I listened to a audio documentary about the project. The creator of The Enchanted Highway had (and still has) big dreams. He's talking about a theme park, a motel, a RV park, a dinner theatre and a cafe. At present, they've got So far, they have two gift shops in Regent, one of which has a panini grill (with wi-fi, no less), but the theme park remains limited to this playground next to Grasshopper's Delight:

Yes, that's a bouncy grasshopper. You can't quite tell from this picture, but it's already seen better days:

There's a lot more along the road. Alas, my phone/camera battery was running low, so I don't have much more in the way of pics. However, if you go to the The Enhanted Highway site, there's a wealth of them there. Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's All About an Invisible Man in the Sky, After All

Crossposted from Obama Can't Bowl

James Dobson (he's a Jerry Falwell for the 21st Century!) has accused Obama of "distorting" the Bible, apparently by suggesting that Jesus thought we should take care of the poor and stuff. I'm not sure where his objections lied. If you can better elucidate them in the comments section, I'd appreciate it, since the AP style typically dances around the actual content. Still, one quote jumped out at me, which was Dobson saying ""... He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

If I may paraphrase the late, great George Carlin Bullshit! That's our fuckin' job!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Something For Your Reply to that E-mail from Your Cousin

Crossposted from Obama Can't Bowl

The Obama campaign understands that while Lady Internet is a valuable friend to any candidate with a message and a pulse, she is also a horrible bitch goddess that has no compunction against spreading all manner of lies about you. So, they've launched a Web site devoted to debunking all those wacky Obama rumors you see and hear on the Internet and right-wing talk radio.

Now, when you get one of those grammar-optional e-mails about flag pins, madrasses or anti-white rhetoric (though nothing yet about nerd pencils), you can just refer the person who sent it to you to fightthesmears.com. Granted, you could also send them to Snopes, but the type of cognitively dissonant person (read: dumbass) that sends that stuff along probably resents the Hell out of that particular site by now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So Round, So Cool, So Fully-Packed

Crossposted from Obama Can't Bowl

Obama's fallen off the wagon in the last few months. What? He's an alcoholic? A coke head? A sex addict? Nope -- that's the last two guys who have held the office he seeks. Obama's particular addiction is tobacco. According to the Obama camp, however, he's back on the wagon and chewing away at the Nicorette, but he recently admitted that he has snuck a few cigarettes here and there while on the campaign trail.

I'm certainly in no position to judge in this case, having spent plenty of time as a closet smoker myself. There is a certain amount of benign deception involved. To sneak a cigarette, one must have a willingness to create elaborate justifications for one's behavior. You have to have the ability to appear to be doing one thing (taking out the trash, looking for firewood, heading out for a meeting to discuss the latest Zogby poll) when you really are doing another (furtively hot-boxing a heater and looking for a place to stash the butt*).

In other words, it's politics.

*Geez...it's still almost like I'm talking about Clinton, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Somebody Call Ted Kennedy to Arrange the Necessary Overrides!

Crossposted from Grumpy Old White Guy:

John McCain misspoke and hilarity ensued for a moment. He meant to say, "I will veto every bill with earmarks," and accidentally said "I will veto every beer."

I haven't laughed this hard since George W's famous gaffe in 2002: "We must do everything we can to help our brave transsexual prostitutes...I mean, allies in the War on Transsexual Prostitutes... er, Terror. TRANSSEXUAL PROSTITUTES!!! I mean... God Bless You and God Bless the United States of America."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I was having breakfast with my dad a few weeks back, and he told me this story:

My father grew up in Clinton, IA, and when he was four years old, he was riding the bus with his mother. At that time, 1942, it was common for people to keep chickens (I don't know if it was part of contributing to the war effort, or if it was simply a fact of mid-century life in a small city in Iowa, but I like the phrase "victory chickens," so I'm leaning toward the former). A heavy-set woman got on the bus with a crate of chicks she had just purchased, and as she was fumbling for her bus token, she dropped the crate.

Suddenly, there were chicks everywhere, scampering down the aisle and darting under the seats. As the poor woman was bent over, frantically trying to collect them all and put them back in the crate, she let off a tremendous fart.

The bus driver then turned and said, "that's right lady, if you can't find 'em, shoot 'em!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm in Indianapolis this week. I have no column due, and no other pressing deadlines at the moment. I have time on my hands.

Time to watch some Betty Boop cartoons:

My folks were just visiting last weekend, and they brought a couple of $1 DVDs (thank you, public domain). One of them had a slew of Betty Boops on it, all of them surreal as Hell, and and most of them offensive in some way, shape or form. The one above was not on the disc, but this one was:

Whoof. It's always so hard to watch this stuff. How do you think Satchmo felt when he saw the ooga-booga native's floating head turn into his and then back again? Or, was he just happy to have the gig?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

At about 9:30 tonight, my son told me he got a call from a friend who told him that he had lice and would I take a look at his head to see if he did? Oh, did he ever. The smaller ones were building condos at the nape of his neck, while the larger ones were over by his ear complaining about how the scalp was losing all its charm.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

So now I have a new Web hosting service (i.e., one for which I am paying, and am not receiving by virtue of some work I did at the turn of the century). This entry is really more of a test to be sure it's all working correctly.

Besides, very few people come to this site, it seems. It makes the unlimited bandwidth option seem pretty silly, but on the other hand, that is one less obstacle to podcasting. Plus, for another thirty bucks a year, I don't have to worry about it. It's worth it.

Monday, March 31, 2008

So now I have a Twitter account, which seems to be designed to fill in all those little nooks and crannies of potential productivity left between Myspace, Facebook, LiveJournal, etc. It's a way to de-frag your slacking! Come! Follow me into the abyss of microblogging!

Were I more adept at such things, I’d figure out how to put a Twitter feed directly to this blog, my LiveJournal, my Myspace, my Facebook page...Hell, I’d figure out how to get my CD on iTunes. I’d figure out a lot of things.

By the way, I just googled the word, "twitteratti," hoping against hope that I’d coined the term (naturally, I had not), but a small handful of results down came this gem of a first line:

@twitteratti Flickr is in the DP group now thanks to @mroth .

Welcome to the future. We may not be wearing jumpsuits, but our language is.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Two More things about Celebrity Rehab

1. When the bespectacled guy in the hat mentions that people stop him at the bank and ask him if Jeff is going to survive the show, Brigitte Nielsen says to Jeff Conaway, "if only you knew how much people out there love you..." No, Brigitte. It's not love. When people slow down by the car wreck, it's not because they love the people involved.

2. There's nothing better than watching this show when you're on your third cocktail.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I know I should minimize the "cute things my kids do" stories, if for no other reason than to appease the joyless husks who find such things annoying, but I can't resist this one.

My just-turned four year-old walked into the bathroom tonight as I was filling the tub for her bath. She pulled a toy cell phone out of her pocket, put it to her ear and started an imaginary conversation with her cousin. Below is her opening line (names changed, naturally).

Bama? Peanut.

[very brief pause]

Yeah -- still four...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Okay, so I just found out that the guy who played Sully in Commando, David Patrick Kelly, also played President Truman in Flags of Our Fathers.

He also was the villain in Dreamscape, not to mention Jerry Horne in Twin Peaks.

I suppose it's appropriate that he'd wind up in the role of the guy who gave the "go" order to incinerate two entire cities.

Too harsh? Yeah. You're right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Actual Reuters headline: Dolly Parton postpones tour, blames breasts.

The article quotes her as saying, "Hey, you try wagging these puppies around a while and see if you don't have back problems."

The best thing about this is that I saw the headline in a side menu while reading a story about the economy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

This fellow is former South Dakota state Rep. Ted Klaudt, who was just sentenced to 44 years for doing terrible things* to his foster daughters. The story is here.

Here's the scene as he's led in to prison with the other new cons:

[gates rumble open; the new cons file in]


[Klaudt enters]


*I phrased this euphemistically purely to avoid the wrong type of people coming to my blog from Google, not to minimize what this scumbag did.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

There have been some stories in the news lately about how the U.S economy is headed for recession.

Headed for recession? What the Hell are we in now?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

So, I'm watching Celebrity Rehab. Jeff Conaway melts down and we go to a promo for the latest edition of My Fair Brady. I'm wallowing in the very depths of Reality TV. Neenie walks into the the room, wrinkles her nose in disgust, and says, "wasn't it a writers' strike that gave us Survivor in the first place?"
So, I'm watching Celebrity Rehab. Jeff Conaway melts down and we go to a promo for the latest edition of My Fair Brady. I'm wallowing in the very depths of Reality TV. Neenie walks into the the room, wrinkles her nose in disgust, and says, "wasn't it a writers' strike that gave us Survivor in the first place?"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Whoof...last published December 16. Bad bad bad creative person.

A few weeks ago, as I was getting home from running some errand or another, I noticed there was a young man and a young woman at my front door talking to my wife. Judging from their age and the clipboard in the woman's hand, I assumed they were activists -- MPIRG, Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, Writers' Guild of America -- until I heard one of them ask Neenie "if there was anything she'd like them to pray with her about" before they left. Aha...young people spreading the Word. The clipboard tripped me up.

There's always a temptation in those situations to pretend to be a much more horrible person than you are. I could have pretended to be an abusive spouse, or a Satan worshipper, or a child molester, or a combination of all three, but why ruin their day? They'd just had a polite conversation with somebody -- not a nibble at their answer to Life's Tough Questions to be sure, but at least they didn't get a door slammed in their face or the old let's-pretend-we're-not-home ruse. They probably saw their conversation with my wife as a positive exchange. No need to harsh their buzz.

Also, having spent a good chunk of my adolescence in the United Pentecostal Church, I've gone "door-knocking" a few times myself. I try not to be mean to proselytizers, because I understand that they see me as a drowning man and themselves as the ones with the life preserver. Personally, I think I am in the same kiddie pool as anyone else, but I spent too much time as a child watching the cars pass by while thinking to myself, "all of those people are going to Hell," to begrudge them their feeling of obligation.

Anyway, once they had moved on to my neighbor's door (there was no answer, but I don't know whether she was home), I asked Neenie where they were from. She had no idea. Once I saw the literature, however, I knew exactly who they were: Jehovah's Witnesses.

Not that the literature said anything about being from the Jehovah's Witnesses -- it never does. The JW's have a real knack for hiding their light under a bushel. Hell, they don't even bring copies of Watchtower or Awake! any more, because people have come to realize that those "magazines" are from them. Still, you can always tell JW literature, the same way you can recognize Target ads or Ramones songs. There is a definite "house style" to the illustrations, for one thing; most of their stuff looks like the cover of a children's version of Call of the Wild from 1982. Plus, the articles have a weird way of sounding perfectly reasonable (How Do You Measure Success? Peace on Earth -- A Mere Dream? Do I Have an Eating Disorder?), until you realize that it's all about the Invisible Man in the Sky.

They "got in the door" (or at least got the door to stay open for longer than 30 seconds) by saying they were taking a survey. Neenie is always happy to help, so she said yes. If this was a real survey, they make Republican push-pollsters look like, well, real pollsters. When the questions shifted from "to what do you attribute the rise in child abuse?" to "do you sometimes feel as though there is no hope?" all the way to "do you believe we are living in the end times?," it became clear to my wife that these were not starry-eyed idealistic college students. That's not stars, honey. That's glaze.

I just don't understand this approach. What testimony are they hoping their new members will offer?

NEW JW: I'm just so happy! I really believe I've found peace in my life.

FRIEND: That's great! To what do you owe this improvement?

NEW JW: Bait-and-switch!