Bad ideas for a yacht company's model names:

Exxon Valdez
RMS Titanic
S.S. Minnow


Men set fire to car

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Three men trying to steal fuel from a New Zealand farm Monday ended up setting fire to their own car.

Police said the trio had siphoned diesel into a petrol-driven vehicle. When their car would not start, they examined the fuel pipe using a cigarette lighter.

One click, a boom and the car burst into flames.

Any three-year-old who has seen any amount of cartoon violence knows that this is not a good idea. They will also tell you that you probably shouldn't check the working condition of a firearm by peering down the barrel. And they will advise you not to look down should you ever run full-tilt off the edge of a cliff.

Senior Sergeant Ross Gilbert from the small North Island town of Waipukurau, about 140 miles northeast of Wellington told Reuters, "It wasn't a major whodunnit."

"They all had these crazy burn marks around their eyes. Their faces were blackened, and their hair was all blown straight back behind them."

"Fortunately for them, there is no criminal charge for stupidity."

Perhaps there should be. Just think of the possibilities.

After the clouds post, anaglyph referred me to a site featuring photographs of mammatus clouds, which are a strange type of cloud formation. I had never seen or heard of them before. Then, wonderingly, some showed up on Friday. Obviously, these aren't as spectacular as Mr. Olsen's, but I think they're still pretty cool. Feel free to sound off about how lame they are. I agree with you. They're a complete waste of the internet. But here they are anyway:

The Voodoo Knife Display

While I do not own of these, I hope to, and I am sure that they perform flawlessly. So I guess this is less of a review and more of a recommendation. But really, what is there to review? If the knives aren't flying out and depositing themselves in your face and/or appendages and/or eyes, it's a pretty good knife holder.

I found this at uncrate, which bills itself as an online magazine for men, but who can argue with the universal, gender-unbiased appeal of a giant self-destruct button or a chair designed for a sumo wrestler? Not I.

Two men arrested for dumping alligator into lake

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two men have been arrested for releasing a man-sized alligator into a Los Angeles lake, where the big reptile has eluded increasingly frustrated authorities for two weeks, police said on Wednesday.

Anthony Brewer, 36, was taken into custody on Tuesday night at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of San Pedro, where police said they found remnants of a make-shift alligator habitat, two snapping turtles and drugs.
Evidence seized there led officers to the nearby home of Todd Natow, 42, who was also arrested. A Los Angeles police spokesman said officers discovered three alligators, four piranhas, three desert tortoises, six tortoise eggs, one rattlesnake, a scorpion and marijuana.

No way. Drugs were involved? I can’t believe it.

The reptile was reported to authorities about two weeks ago and since then has dodged repeated attempts to capture it by park rangers and professional gator wranglers brought in from out of state.

I think that the big concern is not how best to punish these two men, but finding out how they bred an incredibly intelligent alligator super beast capable of outsmarting even professional “gator wranglers”, who have chosen to spend their lives chasing down and angering one of the few animals on the planet capable of eating human beings.


Also, this is pretty cool:

It’s a display created by 128 nozzles of water. For slightly more information, visit endgadget.

To Guy on a Motorcycle with Middle Finger,

I agree. I am a big jerk. I am sorry. I should have scheduled the torrential downpour for another evening. Perhaps one in which you would choose to drive your car instead of a two-wheeled vehicle completely exposed to all the elements. And it was inconsiderate of me to plan poorly when paving the city streets, resulting in remarkably poor water runoff. It was also rather rude of me to fill that puddle in the road with mud, oil, and road tar.

I should not have sped ahead of you to attempt avoiding you with the splash. You're right, that was stupid and the total opposite of consideration for others. I should have maintained by pace, driving parallel with you through the six-inch deep body of standing murky water.

I also think that you were trying to tell me to drive on the shoulder while you passed me, since you sped by about 4 and a half inches from my side mirror. Although I have no idea why, since your lane was completely empty, as was the lane next to it. I apologize for not understanding this message sooner. You might have more easily slowed rapidly to a near standstill had you been in your own lane, and not seven and a half inches from my front bumper.

I probably deserved the middle finger you held up for me. Let me tell you, it sure was scary and very intimidating that you would express such hostility towards me while wearing your cute Aunt Jemima-esque bandanna and your sensational leather chaps. If I had hit you, my car would have been slightly blemished, while you would have most certainly lost your life. Or at least the control of your lower body and bowels. Even more intimidating was the drooping skin hanging from what was once your bicep area. That skin, when combined with the gelatinous mass hanging around your midsection, could most certainly do some damage were we to engage in fisticuffs.

Sincerely sorry for trying to do the right thing for a dunderheaded simpleton who rides his motorcycle minutes after a torrential downpour that could sweep from the streets dead leaves and small children,

robert fuel

The majority of my recent posts have been news recaps and pictures. The reason for this is simple. I normally do most1 of my posting at work. This used to be fine, because I could spend a good deal of time on it2. Now that I have a job where my services are actually required3, I am forced to spend much less time blogging. I promise, I will remedy the situation and create some truly funny4 posts in the future. Pictures and news clippings won't go away because I like funny news and love photography. But all fifty5 of my readers come here for a reason, and it's probably not to read the news they can get at Yahoo or Google or see pictures that look like they were taken by a thirteen year old with macular degeneration and really bad acne. It's because they're very nice people6. And I will not push you readers away. I can't. You see, in a strange7 way... I love you8.

1 - all

2 - an entire work day

3 - sort of

4 - stunningly mediocre

5 - two

6 - sick and twisted individuals who enjoy the mental punishment they find so easily in my disjointed writings

7 – and completely non-weird

8 – crave your approval

Jim left for UT this morning. He'll move into his dorm tomorrow evening. Be safe, Jim. We'll miss you. Real bad. Like Bob Saget misses Family Matters and "the glory days".


New business cards are being printed for everyone at the office, and instead of the usual business-related titles (i.e. copywriter, account executive, account manager, etc.), we have been asked to provide something fun and original that speaks about our personality. I have a few ideas, but I'm thinking that the true revelation of my personality will come from others. Please submit your thoughts or vote for submitted titles via the comment field. In the meantime, some of my ideas:

Robert Fuel:

Can type.
Writes stuff.
Cubicle Management.
Money Launderer.
Slumber Management.
Pirate Representation.
Syntax Management.

Edit to add:
The writer of any slogan chosen for use will win... something... lunch. Or some iTunes. We'll work something out. But now it's a contest. Get your friends in on it.

New thoughts:
VP of Mediocrity
Slowest Guns in the West
Muffin Slayer
Syntax Engineer
Voted Most Likely to Wear Pants
Chess Club Vice President
Senior Wordologist

The only thing this guy retained from kindergarten:

Man Launches Ice Cream Stick Viking Ship

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A former Hollywood stunt man now living in the Netherlands launched his greatest project to date Tuesday: a 45-foot replica Viking ship made of millions of wooden ice cream sticks and more than a ton of glue.

During the construction process, hundreds of bottles of glue went missing on a daily basis. Mysteriously, grades at the nearby high school dropped dramatically.

Rob McDonald named the ship the "Mjollnir" after the hammer of the mythic Norse god of thunder, Thor. After the 13 ton boat was lifted into the water by crane, "Captain Rob," as he is known, stood calmly on the stern as a team of volunteers rowed the apparently sturdy vessel around the IJ River behind the city's central station.

One alternative naming consideration was “Zeitverschwendung,” which is German for “an enormous waste of time.”

The inside of the boat was reinforced with fiberglass and it can be propelled by its modern mast and sail, or oars, or a backup motor.

So, in other words, the boat is not really made of popsicle sticks. They’re more of an adornment. An accessory, if you will. Like earrings. Or bracelets. Or hair.


Yes, but very few can switch-hit.

Study: Most Wild Chimps Are Southpaws

WASHINGTON - When it comes to fishing tasty termites out of their mounds, wild chimpanzees don't have the right stuff. Most, in fact, are southpaws. A three-year study of 17 wild chimps in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, found that 12 of them used their left hands when using sticks to probe for termites

In other news, several obscure scientists committed group suicide today after realizing that their once-promising careers had amounted to watching apes dig for bugs eight hours a day for the last three years. A note found at the scene read, “I just wanted to help people. Now there's monkey poop on everything I own. Those suckers can throw like Nolan Ryan.”

see the original here

i have my own mailbox

Babies Caught Up in 'No-Fly' Confusion

WASHINGTON - Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the U.S. because their names are the same as or similar to those of possible terrorists on the government's "no-fly list."

It sounds like a joke, but it's not funny to parents who miss flights while scrambling to have babies' passports and other documents faxed.

It appears that some parents are being inconvenienced during their air travel. If you want my opinion, that's a small price to pay for a safer United States and the protection of its citizens. We cannot stand idly by and do nothing to stop the technology that allows terrorists to pose as innocent, unassuming infants. Imagine the havoc that would have swept the country had these "babies" been allowed to board airplanes with little to no adult supervision. The results could have been catastrophic.

Alliteration. It's cool.

Homeless People Protest Proposed Panhandling Ban

ATLANTA - Homeless people and dozens of their advocates spent the night at City Hall to show their opposition to a proposed panhandling ban backed by businesses in the city's downtown.

And also, because they needed a place to sleep. You know... because they're homeless.

On a side note, isn't panhandling a sweet word? It sounds way more fun than begging.

Aimee and I went last night with her parents and brother to a private party at a miniature golf course. Invitation only (her parents received one). Everything’s free. Everything.

Two words. Awe. Some.

If I was still eight, I most certainly would be dead. My brain would have exploded at the introduction of such an incomprehensible thought as free everything. (“I don’t know what happened… He was standing there, just looking around, his eyes real wide… Then he just started kind of shaking… And then his head exploded. It was disgusting. And yet, I couldn’t look away…”)

When I was a child (physically… I’m fairly certain that my childhood remains deeply entrenched in my mental state) and I went with my family to miniature golf courses, we were ushered quickly from the game room to the golf course. Arcade games are expensive, and arcade game fun comes at the cost of a goodly number of quarter dollars. Infrequently were we allowed to participate in the other non-golf activities at such establishments. Go-karts and bumper boats can be quite expensive for a family of five. Especially when you have to pay for three and half smoldering go-karts, eight acres of hokey landscaping, and toenail transplants. It’s a long story.

Last night’s event was a child’s dream come true.

After we collected nametags and wristbands, we turned the corner to find a buffet table heavily laden with tacos, soda, and pizza. Next to the buffet stood a woman handing out plastic cups of game tokens. That’s right. Cups full of tokens. The tokens were literally flowing. Outside, the only cost incurred at the go-karts, bumper boats, or bungee trampoline was the time spent in line. Well, that and the new pants you need to purchase after your pee yourself with excitement.

It was amazing. Even now, I find it hard to adequately describe the evening. Not even the oil-burning, white-smoke-belching go-kart sitting in line in front of me for five minutes could dampen my spirits (although, the effects of the smoke on my lungs have yet to be seen, and my stance may change… I’ve heard that emphysema can be kind of a downer).

If the Bean were old enough to have attended and appreciated the event, she would be forever changed. Never again in her life could so much fun be had at a miniature golf course or any similar establishment. I imagine that such an event is kind of like heroin, except that it’s much more expensive. And heroin ruins your life. And requires needles. Other than that, they’re the same.

Pictures tomorrow.

In the Yuma Cracker Barrel on the way to San Diego, I noticed the fine salad selection on the menu. This is a menu item I have grown to expect in such restaurants as Chili’s, Applebee’s, and/or T.G.I. Fridays. The purpose of these restaurants is to serve a wide variety of food for a wide variety of tastes so that a family can dine out and everyone can enjoy the food for which they are in the mood. So whose idea was it to put salads on the menu at Cracker Barrel, the nationwide down-home, mama’s-kitchen-style cookin’? From what I understand, the purpose of Cracker Barrel is to infuse the customers with the feeling that they’ve just stepped into the kitchen of a home in the deep South, and that they’re about to eat some of the finest vittles this side of the Mississippi. And who walks into the kitchen of Southern home expecting to hear the words, “For supper this evenin’, we’ve got some delectable Spinach salad garnished with Roma tomatoes, Vidalia onions, tender grilled chicken, and a tart and intriguing vinaigrette dressing”?

No one. That’s who.

So how did gourmet salads end up on the tables of Cracker Barrels across the nation? Board meeting:

President: Well, I think that just about wraps it up. We’ve got all kinds of traditionally home-cooked meals on this menu. Can anyone think of anything we’ve left out?
Corporate YesMen: (in unison) No, it looks good to us. Great work, boss.
Forward-Thinker: You know, maybe there are people who will end up in one of our restaurants who don’t want something heavy and high in carbohydrates.
(stunned silence)
President: Go on.
Forward Thinker: Well, I was just thinking that sometimes, people end up in a restaurant they don’t really want to go to just because all their family members do want to go there.
President: So, what do you suggest we do?
(And in this moment, as Forward Thinker's career hangs in the balance, an idea of earth-shattering proportions slaps him across the face.)
Forward Thinker: Salads. We do salads.
Chorus: Oooooh.
Guy in Corner: Interesting.
Woman with Glasses: Tell me more.
Forward Thinker: Well, salads. What more can I say? They’re so hot right now.
Chorus: Yeah.
Guy in Corner: Like that Jessica Simpson.
(awkward silence)
President: Salads it is. (To Forward Thinker) A big raise for you. And a company car.

So there you have it. All because salads are “hot right now.”

Ugh. Hot salad.

And you know the guards enjoyed it.

San Quentin has largest riot since 1982

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. - Forty-two inmates were injured Monday when a simmering dispute between two ethnic groups erupted into the largest riot at San Quentin State Prison in 23 years.

Prison officials said as many as 80 inmates in several different buildings were involved in the tumult, which lasted six minutes. It took about 50 officers armed with batons and pepper spray to quell the fight, said Sgt. Eric Messick, a warden's administrative assistant.

80 Inmates. 50 Officers. That’s almost 2 inmates for every 1 officer/baton team. That’s a lot of beatdown.

Parts of the same unit of medium-security prisoners have been on lockdown since Aug. 2, when several small fistfights broke out between the same groups involved in Monday's riot, Messick said.

"This is an escalation of hostilities between the two groups," he said.

Not to be confused with an escalator, which moves people up and down between floors, usually at shopping malls. [Not the quote of the day]

Todd Slosek, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said he was pleased prison staff could quell the conflict without using significant force.

Two words: fifty batons.

"We did spray a lot of pepper spray," he said.

“Like, a lot. I used seven cans by myself. Those punks were crying like little girls who didn’t get invited to the tea party. Ha ha… Good times.”

It’s gonna be worse than Y2K:

World to end with Daylight Savings Time change

NEW YORK - When daylight-saving time starts earlier than usual in the United States come 2007, your VCR or DVD recorder could start recording shows an hour late.

When given the news this morning, no one cared.

An energy bill President Bush is to sign Monday would start daylight time three weeks earlier and end it a week later as an energy-saving measure.

And that has technologists worried about software and gadgets that now compensate for daylight time based on a schedule unchanged since 1987.

"It is unfortunately going to add a little bit of complexity to consumers," said Reid Sullivan, vice president of the entertainment group at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. "In some cases, depending on the product, they may have to manually increase or decrease the time."

Companies are gearing up for the ensuing marketing boom that will no doubt sweep quickly across the nation. The public’s demand for button-pushing finger protectors could prove to be a boon for the country’s economy. The number of jobs that will be created in manufacturing are estimated at four to seven billion.


Don't think too much about it. You could vomit. I did. Twice.

Coach likes licking blood

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - The Oregon teachers' board reprimanded a high school football coach for licking the bleeding wounds of student athletes, school officials said on Friday.

Last summer, Reed gave students at Central Linn High School near Eugene, Oregon, 100 miles south of Portland, a pep talk about a coach who had licked and healed players' wounds so that they could rejoin the game. After the talk, he bent down and licked a cut on a track athlete's knee, the commission said.

In response to queries from the school board, Reed said, “What’s the big deal? There’s blood in steak. And in Scotland, they eat black pudding, which is just fried blood. And I heard that vegetables have blood, too. You’re no better than me. And besides, it’s delicious.”

Reed did not return calls seeking comment.

And in other news, the dude who had really bad gas on the train refused to look anyone in the eye.

Why Russia lost the Cold War:

Russian submarine immobilized by fishing net

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - A Russian mini-submarine carrying seven sailors snagged on a fishing net and was stuck 625 feet down on the Pacific floor Friday with only enough air for crewmen to survive one day, and the United States was rushing an unmanned vehicle there to help in rescue efforts.

They didn’t just lose the Cold War. They lost it bad. We’re sending a remote control sub to rescue theirs, which requires a crew of seven, which is practically an entire baseball team.

Two surface ships were sweeping the area with nets in the hope of wresting the trapped vessel from the sea floor, adding that the rescue effort would continue into the night, Dygalo said.

From the government that brought you a dog in space, nets to rescue people trapped by more nets!


Why France normally just surrenders in the face of adversity:

Air France jet crashed because French perform poorly under pressure

TORONTO - The Air France jet that crashed earlier this week appeared to have landed too far down the runway, which may have contributed to it skidding into a ravine before bursting into flames, investigators said Friday.

And in other news, new scientific research concludes that car crashes in highway medians may be caused by the fact that the car has left the roadway for which it was designed. However, conclusive evidence may be years away.

Jim and the team. They're back from Hong Kong. We picked them up at the airport last night.

So when I receive comments on a post I've made, I really enjoy them. Like, a lot. Probably way too much, actually. And unless the comment is a question about the post or blatant hate speech, I generally assume that the writer has left a comment because they like what they just read. So, if you like what you're reading, leave a comment. And know that when I read it, there's gonna be a little party in my head. With streamers, confetti, and even some dancing. And maybe some of those tiny sandwiches that make you feel like a giant when you're holding them.


Ideas for the 'border town surrounded by desert' tourism campaign that I will not be presenting at the next creative meeting:

El Paso. At least it's a dry heat.
So much culture, not even the residents enjoy it.
All the ugly stuff conveniently located right next to the freeway.
Cross the border into Mexico and maybe never come back!
It's just the beach! Except there's no water.
Millions who stop for gas can't be wrong!
Mexico's just next door, for all your prescription-drugs-without-a-prescription needs.
Hey! We've got a Chili's!

I started the new job this morning.

The day began with about five hundred and sixty seven pages of tax forms, insurance applications, handbook review, and employment consent. Then we had a fifteen minute creative meeting. And then an hour's worth of teleconferencing with the offices in Austin and Dallas.

Then I got the tour. I met about twenty people and remember zero of their names. I even forgot the name of the lady who hired me.

I'm sitting now at my desk, an old iMac G3 in front of me. The phone sits to my right. On my left, on the bulletin board, is a list of about eighty-seven projects I was assigned last week, including one million or more case studies. The number of projects on that bulletin board is higher than the number of projects I had during the last three months at my last job.

You might find humor in the fact that my body has decided to begin sweating profusely every time I meet someone new, just to make sure that their first impression is a bad one. I guess you can't fail to impress if anything's an improvement.

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