Monday, February 28, 2005

"Do-Not-Call"? Surely you don't mean us!

Got an unsolicited and unwanted begging phone call this evening, from The Dove Foundation (motto: "Supporting Ignorance and Bigotry for at least a couple of years!").

Hello. Could I speak to the lady of the house?
There is none.
[Three seconds of silence.] Then could I speak to the man of the house?
That would be me.
[At least five seconds of silence.] Oh. All right.

The guy on the other end of the phone sounded disappointed, as it was pretty clear even to him that he didn't have a live prospect this time. He launched into his spiel, "We're not trying to sell you anything" although we'll certainly be glad to take your money, and "Isn't it horrible how Hollywood doesn't make clean movies that you can show your children any more."

He went through a couple more leading questions, designed to have me agree that his organization would do a much better job of selecting movies for children to watch than parents could do. Not surprisingly, when I repeated failed to agree, he eventually went away.

After I filed a complaint with the FTC alleging violation of the Do-Not-Call list, I checked out their website. It was filled with the usual right-wing born-again claptrap, betraying their true agenda of making America safe for God's Chosen Elect, who must be white and stupid. They have "reviews" of movies available in theaters and on video, and I'm sure you'd be surprised that one of the movies they praise as safe for all is a gushing biography of George W. Bush, while Fahrenheit 9/11 is condemned. Bend It Like Beckham is also deemed to be unsafe for family watching, but National Treasure is a good choice. (At least they don't feel bad about disagreeing with actual film critics.)

It would seem that if the Dove Foundation's activities were a good idea at *all*, the Holy Spirit would provide all the funds that they need and then some. And since God hasn't yet seen fit to do so, perhaps they aren't doing the Lord's work, after all.

The only thing we have to fear is Kia itself.

There’s this really annoying TV commercial being shown for Kia. It’s part of their “Presidents’ Day” sale campaign. And while I’m mildly annoyed by the spate of “Presidents’ Day” commercials (the national holiday is Washington’s Birthday, not “Presidents’ Day”, and even if you can forgive a foreign car manufacturer for not knowing American holidays, their ad agency should know better), that’s not what bugs me. That honor belongs to the campaign’s catchphrase being used: “Ask not what you can do for Kia; Ask what Kia can do for you.” Incredibly offensive to those who recall the original.

I’m guessing that the slogan they use for their extended warranty program is “Kia: Good for a thousand days” and that their slogan for next year’s “Presidents’ Day” campaign will be “Kia: It’s a real shot in the head.”

Treats. Yum.

There are always treats around in the office, apparently on the theory that everything goes better with chocolate. An eminently reasonable theory, that. (Understand, of course, that the treats are brought in by the peons, and aren’t provided by BigLawFirm, because that would be treating us like, you know, people.)

Today, someone brought in what looked like a big Zip-lok bag of strawberries. Cool! Big, juicy strawberries in the middle of winter! A better treat than the bag of Hershey’s Kisses I usually bring in. Until you got closer, and saw that they looked like a big bag of big, juicy strawberries that had been individually frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed, and frozen and now halfway-thawed. Well, okay, they could still be tasty, but I’m not going to try one just yet. I waited a couple of hours for someone else to try them.

Someone eventually did, and he didn’t run away or shriek, so I wandered over to get one. From up close, they looked even stranger and less appetizing. Rather as though someone took the thrice-frozen and -thawed berries, sprayed them with a thin icing, and put red sparkles on them. I took one anyway. Very odd texture, to match. Some give with no rebound, when you squeeze on it, but not as much give as you’d expect from gently squeezing room-temperature thawed strawberries. Roughly comparable to squeezing a dried hairball that my cat had produced and hidden in an out-of-the-way corner. And that probably should have been a clue to me.

I bit into it. Yuck. Yuck. El yuck-o. These things turn out to be mock strawberries, made of coconut flakes, sugar, red food coloring, artificial strawberry flavoring, and red sugar sparkles. And maybe mashed potato flakes. Really disgusting. I believe that we were the ones being mocked, not strawberries. I think they’d be disgusting even to someone who doesn’t think that flaked coconut has the flavor and texture of tiny pieces of waxed paper, but I didn’t need to hear anyone else’s opinion to form my own. And I cannot imagine why anyone would ever make them, except to play a mean prank.

And you know? No one ever went back for a second mock strawberry.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gorilla my dreams.

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that if you can imagine something, someone already has a web page up about it. Case in point: Someone's collection of images of gorilla-themed comic book covers. Over 500 of 'em.

A good reason to take the stairs.

Disco appears not to be dead, after all. Alas.

A lost cause.

More than a hundred Trekkies picketed the gates of Paramount Studios to protest the cancellation of Enterprise.

Key quote: "None wore costumes, however, in a departure from many gatherings of Trekkies."

Well, if they can't be bothered to wear their Star Trek uniforms, how can they expect to be taken seriously?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

In the privacy of your own home.

There's a reason why I don't have a webcam attached to my computer.

(Speakers necessary for the full effect.)

Update: The guy in the video is from New Jersey, which probably explains everything. It certainly explains enough.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

NHL cancels season. Dozens yawn in protest.

So they've decided not to play professional hockey this year. What I want to know is: when did anyone realize that hockey games weren’t being played? If it hadn’t been for the stories about the lack of progress in the labor negotiations, I doubt I would have noticed prior to May or so (and even then, I wouldn’t have cared).

And I’m a little tired of the claim that this is the first time that a professional sports league has lost an entire season to a labor dispute. We don’t know whether that accurately describes this situation, because it presupposes that there will be subsequent seasons: if there aren’t any, then this is just another professional sports league that folded, and the sports record books are full of such leagues. (The WUSA, the XFL, and the NASL, to name but three.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Valentine's Day story with a Happy Ending.

The triumph of True Love over Adversity. Mary Kay LeTourneau and her ex-pupil set a wedding date.

And as of now, you can still get the Happy Couple one of the two Belgian Wafflers they've listed on their registry. 'Cause you can never have too many Belgian waffles.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hugs! Just in time for Valentine's Day!

I'm really not quite sure why I'm finding all these wonderful toys and plushies of late, but here's another: A Facehugger from the Alien series. Just the sort of thing you want to have poised at the top of a sack. Better still, the legs/fingers have enough of an armature in them to wrap around your head.

And if this isn't to your fancy, you can instead get a Chestburster, which you can pose coming out of your shirt.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

An Idea Nuova whose time has not yet come.

Just in time for the release of Episode III, the answer to the oft-asked question: What sort of movie tie-ins would have been available had Star Wars come out in 1967 instead of 1977?

A line of red and orange beaded curtains, lamps, and bean bag chairs, evidently.

It's what's for dinner.

How did you celebrate Burns Night this year? Probably not with the world's costliest haggis, I'd imagine. The haggis yielded 10 servings, at a price of 285 pounds each.

"It is made with finest Scotch beef, boiled, as tradition dictates, in a sheep's stomach and infused with one of the rarest whiskies in the world." Yum. And we'll blame the cost of the whisky for the high price of the haggis.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I love my job.

At least, so far as any employer reading this is concerned. And any references I've made to employers? They weren't to you. Really.

Article in today's Washington Post about bloggers who bad-mouth their jobs on their blogs, even when neither employer nor employee is identified.

Utah knows something you don't.

And that's why the Utah House of Representatives has passed a resolution exhorting the U.S. Senate to confirm the President's nominees to the Supreme Court. And you probably weren't aware that there were even any vacancies, were you?

My guess is that even in Utah, they can tell that Clarence Thomas is brain dead.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

One thighs fits all.

As much as I try to listen to books on disk (or music) at the office, I can’t always sit there with headphones on, often to my regret. However, if I’d had the CD running today, I’d have missed the discussion amongst some of the women regarding their “rules” for whom they’d be willing to go out with (height, age, hair length, whatnot). I missed the first half of the discussion, alas, but the part I heard included this gem:

The Thighs Rule: Never date a guy whose thighs are smaller than yours.