Temporary, portable toilets are bad. There’s just no way around it. Unfortunately, they’re necessary from time to time. For instance, the wedding I went to in Santa Fe last weekend took place on my uncle’s ranch. They didn’t want all the guests walking through the house to use the bathroom, inevitably leaving it dirty and disgusting, so they decided to rent a portable bathroom facility. I call it that because this was far more than your average construction site sani-can. This was a bathroom on wheels. And it still surpassed some bathrooms that people have in their homes. My dorm bathroom wouldn’t even hold a candle to this puppy.

It had a pretty substantial mirror, central air, electricity, hot running water,

flowers, soap, hand towels personalized with the bride and groom's names (in case you passed out and forgot where you were),

three textures of toilet paper (for the connoisseur), and a flushing toilet. And all of that on wheels.

Talk about swanky.

For more pictures from the trip to Santa Fe, visit flickr.


I am very happy today. The weather is perfect, there's a glass of sweet tea and a cookie on my desk and I found a picture of a weight-lifting, Chinese chimp. Oh, and one of our national clients chose one of my radio scripts from those submitted by writers from Austin, Dallas, El Paso and Virginia for production and placement in Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

That is one zany monkey. Am I right?

While I was working on the images from last weekend’s jaunt to Santa Fe, Aimee kept me company by watching the Amazing Race on CBS. [Aside: Aimee and I secretly long to be contestants on the show. We feel, of course, superior to everyone who’s been on and think that we could easily trounce anyone who stood in our way.]

The teams on this season of the Amazing Race are made up of families. A couple teams are comprised of the parents and their two young children, one is made up of four sisters, another consists of a dad and his three sons-in-law, and the list goes on.

There was one team in particular that caught my attention last night. A father, mother, and their 11 and 8-year-old sons came from Woodbridge, Virginia to compete. They compete in Tae Kwon Do tournaments. Together. The kids are funny, the mom is nice and the dad is loving and encouraging to them all. This family is awesome.

Unfortunately for CBS, they’re also African-American.

And their last name is Black.

They’re the black Black family.

Now, I am by no means racist. I honestly believe that skin color has absolutely nothing to do with the measure of a human being. But this was incredibly funny to me. I could not stop laughing every time the voiceover announced the status of the Black family. And every time the announcer addressed them, he started with, “Black family…” There are bloggers coming out and saying that this was a very racist move for CBS. I think that it’s unfortunate that people want to make CBS the bad guy for putting a black family on the show with a last name like Black, but I’d say that giving an incredible family the opportunity to win a million dollars is a pretty nice move whether that family is black, yellow, green or red.

It was pretty funny, though. I hope that next week they start referring to all the teams with generalizations. Like the angry Italian family. Or the Blond sisters. Or the we’re - all - competing - for - the - approval - of - our - father - in - law - and - we’ll - kill - each - other - to - get - it squad.

[Another aside: The Black Family double entendre was funny, but the funniest moment in the show came when one of the brothers on the three-adult-brothers-and-their-adult-sister team was trying to impress the team of blond sisters. He had earlier received a quartet of smiles from them after a word of encouragement. As his team passed theirs on another stage, he wished them luck and then later, farther down the road and out of earshot, yelled out, “It’s all about the bi’s and the tri’s for the ladies!”

Maybe you had to be there.]

I don’t do it on purpose. Really. I don’t.

When I go grocery shopping, I am in the habit of finding something to snack on while I trudge through the aisles of the store. It’s usually a bag of delicious peanut M&Ms or a bottle of juice or tea. Often, the bag or bottle or box makes its way into my pocket so that I can carry an armful of oranges or cereal or assorted deodorant products back to the cart. Herein lies the problem. I always tell myself to take the snack back out of my pocket and put it into the cart when I get there, but invariably, I forget. And this is the truth. I really do forget that it’s in there. It’s like I lose all the feeling in the nerve endings of my leg. I can have a huge glass bottle in my pocket and not even realize it. You could stab me in the leg with a broken Tabasco bottle and I’d just start thinking about how delicious my sandwiches would be with a tough of tarragon or how if peanuts are good enough for elephants, goshdarnit, they’re good enough for me. But anyway, the item never makes it into the cart. And if it’s not in the cart when I get to the checkout, it doesn’t make it on the conveyor belt. And if it doesn’t make it on to the conveyor belt, it isn’t rung up with everything else and I don’t pay for it. Then I gather up all the bags, walk out to the car, toss them in the trunk, turn the ignition, and remember that I’m a no-good, dirty, insufferable thief. And I drive away.

Before I left the office on Friday, I sent out nearly 300 emails to my coworkers. Instead of setting up an auto-reply that would respond to new messages, I set it up to respond to all the messages in my inbox.

Nearly every single person in the office should have received one. And the messages don’t really make too much sense. For the most part, they landed in inboxes as replies to emails that were several weeks old. A month or two, even. And I was expecting some backlash. I thought for sure that my inbox would be full of emails saying things like:

“Thanks… I guess.”
“I was fired three weeks ago. Thanks for rubbing it in!”
“I don’t care. Why don’t you just get your work done?”
“You’re an idiot. And you’re fired.”
“Having trouble with your computer/email/brain?”
“I’m confused. Why did you send me 89 of the same email?”
“I’m going to hunt you down and murder you.”
“Thx!!! [smiley emoticon]”

Guess what I received? That’s right. Nothing. Not a word. No emails, no voicemails, no jokes in the bathroom. I suppose I should be glad that my blunder isn’t the subject of an office joke, but I think it might be better than this. It’s either one of two things: 1) They can’t figure out what happened but would rather not talk to or see me, or 2) It’s exactly the kind of stupidity they’ve come to expect (this would be sad, as I would have hoped to postpone this attitude from forming for at least another six weeks).

time off

I’m in Santa Fe. My cousin is getting married tomorrow, and Aimee is at the bridesmaids’ luncheon. We’ll go to the rehearsal dinner tonight.

Since I had to take the day off from work today, there was a lot of stuff that needed to get finished yesterday. I was at the office until almost seven. And then I was back at the office at eight because I forgot to send the email containing the scripts I had worked so frantically on until almost seven.

Before I left work the first time, I decided to set up an auto-reply for my work email. So that when my coworkers emailed me for something, they would get a reply saying that I was out of town, but could be reached on my cell phone. After I had set up the filter, it asked me if I wanted to apply the rule to the open mailbox. I thought, “Of course. The open mailbox is my email. I want people who email me to get this auto-reply.” So I said yes. And thus auto-replied to all 297 messages in my mailbox. Perfect. Exactly what I had been hoping for. Everyone who had ever sent me an email received a reply saying that I’d be out of the office, but I would have a phone. My boss received 89 of those emails.

Canadian artist and designer Stuart Sproule, whose website is just a litte hard to navigate, has developed a line of clothing products called flee. Using high-tensile materials like Dyneema and kevlar, Sproule's designs make a city into a modern urban playground.

The flee collection includes four product types (which, as far as I can tell, are not available for purchase):
- escape: a collection of handbags made of knotted climbing rope, harnessing, and carabiners,
- swing: a courier bag that doubles as a swing,
- challenge: a jacket that doubles as a climbing harness,
- suspend: a pants-suspenders combination that can be used as a swing.

This is some pretty cool stuff. And that's not something you'll hear me say very often about things originating from the country that emulates everything American and still hates the U.S. with a passion that burns like the tires in a Mexican trash heap (that is, endlessly, scorchingly, and with a thick cloud of black smoke that meanders over the border and into the blue skies of America).

See below or comment field for an update.

Marshall Field’s Department Store Changing Name

CHICAGO - It has always been much more than a department store. It's the magical place where parents brought their children to see the windows at Christmastime, where those children grew and did the same with their kids — stopping, of course, to visit the one true Santa Claus.

They’re changing the name and they’re killing Santa? That’s just unkind.

It is Marshall Field's. Or simply "Field's" to everybody in Chicago.

So… People have already changed the name from the original one. Interesting.

On Tuesday, Federated Department Stores Inc., said it is planning to change to Macy's the name of all 62 Marshall Field's, including the one on State Street that dates back to 1892. And if it seems like just another merger or name change that happens all the time with very little fuss — even in Chicago, there wasn't much noise when the White Sox's Comiskey Park became U.S. Cellular Field — to those who grew up with Marshall Field's this is different.

Yeah, this isn’t the Baseball Palace of the World. It’s a department store. Like Dillard’s. Or Sears.

"It's so awful I can't even believe it," said Tracy Kepler, a 37-year-old attorney who can recall in vivid detail time spent at the store as a child, including the trip to see the windows every Christmas Eve day, followed by a meal in the Walnut Room.

So awful you can’t believe it? It's really that bad? Watch for breaking news headlines centering around this lady, several weapons, a bus full of kidnapped middle school children and a goat holing up in a department store lingerie section until the demands are met.

"Everybody is outraged," she said. "I e-mailed my girlfriend who lives in Colorado and she had a conference call with her parents who now live in Omaha and her sister who's in Shreveport (Louisiana), and they're all commiserating about it."

Everybody is outraged? Everybody? Do not hold your breath watching for news headlines centering around the entire nation staging violent riots outside their local malls until all this name-change craziness is straightened out and Corporate America comes to its senses.

Carol Kuhn of nearby Lake Zurich agreed. "Marshall Field's is Chicago," she said.

Actually, Marshall Field’s is a department store. Chicago is a city, home to nearly 3 million people, two professional baseball teams, one professional football team, and Harrison Ford.

Chicago's biggest cheerleader, Mayor Richard Daley, took a different view.

Please do your best to avoid imagining Richard M. Daley in a cheerleader outfit. Your brain might never forgive you.

"Things change. If you aren't willing to accept change, then you stay in the past and we're never going to stay in the past in this city," he said.

“Because we’re constantly moving forward and you can’t move forward and stay in the past while moving forward because that’s the opposite of moving forward and this city is constantly moving forward and embracing change and forgetting about the past except for the good parts because if you forget the past completely than you are totally unprepared for the future and moving forward into it.”


Um... So it looks like I underestimated the history of Marshall Field's with this post. It turns out that Marshall Field's is like, really old and the first department store in the history of shopping. Or possibly the world. And while I thought that the reporter for this story had tracked down the most adament Marshall Field's lover in all of greater Chicago for an interview, I was wrong. It turns out that many people feel exactly the same way, minus the busloads of kidnapped children and violent goats. So, if I have offended you with this post, please forgive me. I just didn't understand. I'm not from Chicago. I've never spent time in Chicago. I'm almost as far away from Chicago as you can get while still speaking English (without calling the part of a car that covers the engine a 'bonnet'). Also, I didn't realize how much Chicagoans hate New York. Or that Macy's is a pretty New York-ish type symbol, and therefore very much like the antichrist for people from the Windy City. Which is an awesome city. And better than any other city anywhere. Please don't hate me.

My good friend and college roommate Jeff was in town this weekend on his way back to Baghdad. He was on leave for his son’s birth, and we got to hang out and meet little Gentry before Jeff headed back east to rejoin Ben, another friend. I was encouraged to hear from Jeff that freedom is coming in Iraq, but it’s a slow process. One that he believes in. He said that the Iraqi interpreters who work with his unit thank them for their intervention, and are often asked to pass on similar messages to the soldiers from Iraqi citizens.

That’s all I’ll say on the matter. Here are some photos, courtesy of Jeff and the MP Brigade.

I agree, kid. They're doing a great job.

For pictures of Gentry, visit flickr.

In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, a brief history of the world’s most elusive buried treasure:

In 1795, young Donald Daniel McInnis discovered a circular depression on the south eastern end of Oak Island with an adjacent tree which had a tackle block on one of its overhanging branches. McInnis, with the help of friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, excavated the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were visible markings from a pick. As they dug down they discovered layers of logs at about every ten feet. They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet.

Layers of logs every ten feet. Trees don’t chop themselves up and plant their remains in the ground, do they?

About eight years later, another company examined what was to become known as the Money Pit. The Onslow Company sailed 300 nautical miles from central Nova Scotia near Truro to Oak Island with the goal of recovering what they believed to be secret treasure. They continued the excavation down to approximately 90 feet and found layers of logs or "marks" about every ten feet and layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre at 40, 50 and 60 feet.

More layers of logs. Those trees are crazy. Now they’re burning themselves before going underground, too. And don’t get me started on putty and coconut fibre. Those guys are known worldwide for their shenanigans.

According to one of the earliest written accounts, a newspaper article called "The Oak Island Diggings" from the Liverpool Transcript (Oct 1862) at 80 or 90 feet they recovered a large stone bearing an inscription of symbols. The pit subsequently flooded up to the 33 foot level. Bailing did not reduce the water level and the excavation was abandoned.

The symbols on the stone were roughly translated: Oak Island Sewer System. Do not break.

Investors formed The Truro Company in 1849, which re-excavated the shaft back down to the 86 foot level where it flooded again. They then drilled into the ground below the bottom of the shaft. According to the 19th century account, the drill or "pod auger" passed through a spruce platform at 98 feet, a 12 inch head space, 22 inches of what was described as "metal in pieces", 8 inches of oak, another 22 inches of metal, 4 inches of oak, another spruce layer, and finally into clay for 7 feet without striking anything else.

Now metal and spruce have joined the act. Oh wait, spruce is wood. Wood comes from trees. Nevermind.

One account states they recovered three small gold links of a chain from mud stuck to the drill. They attempted to prevent the pit from flooding by damming Smith's Cove, and later by excavating a shaft into what was believed to be a flood tunnel from the sea to block it and prevent the pit from filling with water.

The next excavation attempt was made in 1861 by a new company called the Oak Island Association and apparently led to the collapse of the bottom of the shaft into a suspected void or booby trap underneath. The first fatality during excavations occurred when the boiler of a pumping engine burst. The company gave up when they exhausted their funds in 1864.

A booby trap? Those trees are serious.

Numerous further excavations were made in 1866, 1893, 1909, 1931,1935, 1936, and 1959, none of which were successful. Franklin Roosevelt (later President of the United States) was part of the Old Gold Salvage group of 1909 and kept up with news and developments for most of his life. About six people have been killed in accidents during various excavations.

Accidents? Or vicious tree murders? You decide.

[For the complete history of Oak Island and the Money Pit, visit wikipedia.org.]


Organic concrete. Now you can mow the street!

Bendable concrete. Makes a great pair of pants!

Light-transmitting concrete. Like really dirty glass. But much more expensive!


Couple turns tables on thieves

BERLIN (Reuters) - Wielding tables and chairs, a defiant restaurant owner and his wife chased three armed robbers out of their west Berlin eatery, police said Wednesday.

Imagine what your childhood would have been like if you had these people as parents. Two words: pure terror. You would probably spend 10-12 hours a day quivering in fear. Just quivering and rocking back and forth on your heels with your arms wrapped around your knees. And whimpering. I almost forgot the whimpering.

The men, brandishing a pistol and a knife, broke into the Chinese restaurant shortly after it closed Tuesday night. The owner, 54, and his wife, 51, attacked the gang with furniture.

Now imagine having one of these guys for a father. He can’t rob a Chinese restaurant with a gun; how’s he going to punish his children without heavy artillery? You'd probably give him a rousing beating every night before you went to bed. And kick him in the face every morning to wake him up so he could make you pancakes.

"The owner and his wife reacted quickly," said a police spokesman. "They picked up tables and chairs and threw them at the suspects, and chased them out."

Honestly, this is just crazy. Armed thieves defeated by flying furniture. Furniture. I think my brain is about to eat itself just trying to imagine it.


Just bad:

Sheep star in new reality show

ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia has launched a new reality show on the Internet, starring sheep instead of people.

Because reality TV really is that bad.

Those voted out of the seven-member herd might be eaten, the Vecernji List daily reported Wednesday.

Yes, they might be eaten. Or they might be left to live for the series 2: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. I'm still working on the script, but basically the wolf eats the unsuspecting sheep.

The show can be followed 24 hours a day on website www.stado.org, where visitors can see how the sheep feed and interact with each other.

Great news for insomniacs. And freaks who love sheep.

Organizer Sinisa Labrovic told the daily, " We've called a vet for those sheep that were in poorer shape. I am not an insensitive bastard who abuses animals."

“No, I am an insensitive bastard who abuses humans with terrible television programming. And I love it. Almost as much as I love sheep.”

If you’re trying to find the best, most degrading, shame-inducing, dignity-stripping, humiliating, manhood-robbing insult for an adult male, look no further for your inspiration:

Sharp rays of sunlight punch through the blinds and stab the desk in front of Bill. It’s been a long morning, and his salesmen haven’t been moving their quota. It’s a tough market, and cars don’t sell themselves. The Ad Man he’s meeting with is already ten minutes late for their 11 o’clock, and Bill is not pleased.

Minutes later, the Ad Man arrives with his team of cronies. They begin with the usual rundown of upcoming layouts and placement. And then the bomb drops.

Ad Man: Listen, Bill, another one of our clients is Pickled Pepper Pizza, and they’re trying to think of some new promotions to bring in business.
Bill: So?
Ad Man: Well, we think that this is a great opportunity to team up with you at Home Ford and get some cross-promotion going.
Bill: Meaning?
Ad Man: We were thinking that maybe you could provide a car for them to give away in exchange for some free advertising in their materials.
Bill: No.
Ad Man: Let’s not be too hasty, Bill. This could really be a great opportunity for you guys and-
Bill: I said no.
Ad Man: Well, let’s talk about this some more. We collected some numbers on the effectiveness of cross-promotion and we think-
Bill: Listen. We sell cars. Not pizza. Pickled Pepper is not Home Ford and Home Ford is not Pickled Pepper Pizza and I don’t want Pickled Pepper to become Home Ford. I’ve said no. Let’s move on. If that’s all you have to talk about, then we’re done here.
Ad Man: Just a second, Bill. You don’t seem to understand the-
Bill: Listen, sweet lips: I don’t give f***ing cars away. You hear that, sugar? I don’t give cars away. End of discussion.

[Note: This story is based on actual events. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and those of the sugary-lipped persuasion.]

If you don’t want to get mad at me, stop reading right now.

After Katrina hit, I decided to skirt the issue. The things I would have said had been covered well by others. Why repeat what had already been said? Plenty of posts had been made referring people to the Red Cross. Many extended their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the disaster. But now I’m ready to talk about it. Well, there's that, and someone requested my commentary. And so I’m going to poke some fun at people and I’m going to let my frustration out. And some people will be upset with me. And some will leave angry comments. And some might disassociate themselves completely, never stopping by here again. And that’s fine. The following text is my opinion. I’m not trying to make it yours.

Hurricane Katrina struck three states when it hit land. Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were devastated by the effects of the disaster. Why is it that New Orleans is getting all the media attention? Lives were ruined in other places, too. The difference is that the people of New Orleans had chosen to take up residence in a soup bowl below sea level. Scientists have been saying for years that New Orleans could be destroyed in a serious hurricane. The dead aren’t buried in the ground because of the flood risk. There are giant levees keeping water out of the city. These are what many would call signs that the region is inhospitable for human population.

The region had two full days of warning. Slightly more than forty-eight hours. This may not be much time, but it’s enough for you to pack up and get away from the swirling vortex of destruction. Members of one wealthy neighborhood in New Orleans had so much time that they were able to find and hire security agents from Blackwater (the same company that’s sending men into Iraq to assist with security operations). And those agents had time to pack up their arsenal of weaponry and get to New Orleans before the storm hit. They even had time to run out and buy food and hundreds of gallons of water, propane and gasoline. If those living in the neighborhood had time to find security personnel to protect their homes, wait for the security to get their and hand over their keys, then there was time to evacuate.

If you didn’t have the money to drive or get a bus ticket, maybe that’s when you should have pulled out your guns to make something happen instead of waiting until after the storm. I’m not saying you should kill a family of six and take their minivan, just make the seven-year-old ride on the roof while the dad drives out of the state at gunpoint. You get out of the way of the hurricane and nobody gets hurt. It’s win-win.

And then there was the women who kept screaming at the TV crews, “We need help!” What you needed was to round up your neighbors and stop shooting the people who are coming to help you. It’s like the head of the Border Patrol said to his agents when they were talking about not carrying weapons anymore, “Stop shooting them and they will come.” I know that not everyone in the city became a cop killer after the hurricane, all those people waiting for help could have done a little more to help themselves. One swift kick to the back of the head, and that guy with the gun is going down. And then help rolls in. There were plenty of troops waiting to help, but they were a little put off by all the life-threatening shootings.

Many people are blaming the disaster on Bush, saying that he caused global warming and that he took money away from New Orleans and that he refused to protect the wetlands. Please get a grip.

Bush didn’t cause global warming. People did. We use and produce chemicals that are harmful to the environment. And even if Bush spent all day in the atmosphere spraying can after can of aerosol hairspray into the air, Katrina was not caused by global warming. The media got that idea from a scientist who was misunderstood. The only thing getting hotter is the sun. And there’s no way that’s our fault. [Unless you support this reintroduction of 80’s fashion. Then everything is your fault.] And besides, the Antarctic is actually getting colder. [And just for good measure: the NY Times refutes the global warming theory.]

Bush did not take money away from New Orleans for the war. Congress did. And yeah, maybe he dropped the ball on protecting the wetlands, but most experts think that they wouldn’t have made much of a difference in this case. And Bush had other things on his mind. Like making sure you didn’t get radiation poisoning from a terrorist’s dirty bomb or a rogue nuke from international psycho Kim Jong-il.

The bottom line? Bad things happen. I stubbed my toe on the bed this morning, but I'm not going to call up the Lumberjacks Society of America to complain about the aggressive quality of their wood products or construct and then burn a tiny bed effigy in the park with my friends. All this complaining and blame-placing is a waste of time and the energy desperately needed to get lives back to normal.

Several good points have been made over at Gateway Pundit.

This is most likely true.

'Merman' spotted in Caspian

Fishermen claim to have spotted an amphibious creature resembling a human in the Caspian sea.

When they say creature, they mean person. And when they say amphibious, they mean dead. And when they say human, they mean Bill, who they tied up with a chain and threw overboard last week.

"At the beginning we thought it was a big fish, but then we spotted hair on the head of the monster and his fins looked pretty strange, the front part of his body was equipped with arms."

“His feet were equipped with a diesel outboard motor, and his eyes were equipped with hull-piercing laser-vision.”

Eyewitness say the marine humanoid is about 5ft 6ins, of strong build with a protruding stomach, webbed hands and black-green hair.

So, while it looks like it’s pretty hard to find a good barber at the bottom of the Caspian Sea, there are a multitude of fine local eateries specializing in deep-fried foods. I recommend the beer-battered oil drum. Delicious.

Joe cut his hair today. Short. So if you voted for short, you can rest easy knowing that Joe followed your advice.
If you voted for long, know that Joe doesn't care what you think and he'll do whatever he pleases, thank you very much.

For a long time, my brother Joe has had short hair. A couple months ago, I convinced him to grow it out and sport a mild pompadour, a style popularized by James Dean and the young Marlon Brando. I think Joe would look really cool with a haircut that lies somewhere between the mountain of hair that was James Dean and the slicked flat stylings of the trim Brando. But Joe has lost the vision. His hair grows longer everyday, and with it the potential for some sweet rockabilly action. But he’s thinking of cutting it and going back to the spiky look. So take a look at the following pictures and use the comments field to vote on the hairstyle that looks best for Joe. We need to help the guy out. This could mean failure or success with the girl of his dreams, so get your vote on, even if you don’t know him. [If you’re a girl, your vote counts twice.]



For the first time in words history, readers have requested a post on a specific topic. As a writer, there are very few compliments more flattering than a request for a commissioned work. Now, I'm not being paid for this, but it's still pretty nice to be wanted. And so, without further ado, the words commentary on the new iPod nano:

Shortly after the iPod mini mysteriously disappeared from the Apple website early yesterday morning, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the newest addition to the iPod line: the ridiculously tiny and curiously named iPod nano.

Nano is short for nanotechnology, which is the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers. One nanometer is equivalent to one billionth of a meter. While the iPod nano is undeniably very small, relating it to a science that deals mostly with the manipulation of individual atoms is more than a little presumptuous. I mean, you can still see it1, after all.

The first thing many have noticed about the nano is the lack of capital letters in the name. Yes, the newest iPod is apparently too diminutive to even associate itself with such enormous, ungainly typeface characters. A capital N would probably add 3 or 10 square feet to the iPod’s dimensions, rendering it completely useless in nearly all circumstances. You could, however, still use it to beat a hamster to death2.

The tag line for the original iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket”. Thanks to the nano, you can now put 1,000 songs into the coin pocket of your jeans, or alternatively, in that space behind your ear3.

In a conversation with rapper Kanye West and Madonna after the announcement, Jobs admitted that Apple had originally hoped to have the nano’s click wheel installed on the back of the user’s left hand, with the color screen on the back of the right. Road blocks sprang up when very few test subjects could be found who did not object to bleaching their hands according to the iPod’s solid white color standard. Also, the nano’s 30-pin usb interface became somewhat of a minor safety and health hazard4.

[Incidentally, Madonna appeared at the event to coincide with the addition of her music to the iTunes music store. A single tear slid down her cheek when a sixteen-year-old in the back of the room yelled, “No one cares! Bring on Kanye!”]

Comments on photos of the release published on Flickr.com ranged from “yummy” to “tasty”. While the nano is surely thin enough to bite through and looks like it would be especially delicious when covered in peanut butter and chocolate syrup, do not be tempted to eat it. First, it would almost undoubtedly lead to indigestion and ulcers, some test subjects experienced solid-state-memory-related death5. Secondly, it would be quite an expensive snack. At 1.5 ounces, the 4GB nano is priced at $166 per ounce, higher than the price of gold during the fourth quarter of 2004.

When asked how the nano might affect the iPod’s competitors, who are all currently chasing the now defunct mini, Steve Jobs merely chuckled. He denies having thought, “Take that, haters! Who’s your daddy? Say my name, B, SAY MY NAME!”

1 - Until you drop it behind the couch. Then you can just kiss that sucker goodbye.
2 - The incident in question has been deemed self-defense by the 9th Circuit Court of the State of California.
3 - A valuable piece of real estate that normally stores only dust, hair trimmings and tiny gnomes.
4 - While adamantly denying responsibility, Apple hopes to have the test subjects’ lawsuits settled out of court before the year’s end.
5 - Effects were similar to those seen with a placebo.

For more information, visit apple.com.

For serious reviews, read Playlist or Walter Mossberg.

Style-conscious city flags down bald cabbies

BEIJING (Reuters) - In a bid to spruce up the city's image, authorities in China's Nanjing are banning taxi drivers who are bald, wear their hair too long, have moustaches or wear too much make-up, media said Tuesday.

Smart move. Moustaches just smudge the lip liner anyway.

The report did not mention penalties for drivers that break the rules, but did say that cabbies who refused to pick up passengers could be kept off the streets for up to 15 days.

Repeat offenders will be tarred and feathered.

In other news, New York will continue to do absolutely nothing about cab drivers with horrendous body odor and names with seven to fourteen consonants in a row.

Let me begin with this: I heart blogger. I really do. I just hate the blogger-trolling spambots that scour the internet for unassuming blogs on which to leave their annoying mark. So, comment verification is being turned on. I hate to do it, as I don’t like the idea of discouraging comments. But I hate the spam. I hate it like the Kansas City Royals hate winning baseball games. So please continue to comment (or start, if that’s the case), because your opinions are valued and appreciated as long as you’re not a spammer. Or at least as long as you’re not spamming me.

Now, in memory of the spammers soon to be vanquished by comment verification, the spam that words has received (with commentary, of course):

Bin Laden's image terrorizes abc
In 1998, Deraz twice agreed to allow the network to use his photographs on a one-time only basis for which he was paid $7,000 and $8,000 respectively, the lawsuit states.


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a make money site. It pretty much covers make money related stuff.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Covers “make money related stuff”? Just like CNN covers “happenings worlds stuff”.

Former Presidents Head Charity Drive
HOUSTON, Sept. 5 -- Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton announced a nationwide fundraising campaign Monday to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, saying they will bring what they learned from ...

Um, you kinda trailed off there… Were you saying something?

Hey I was just blogg surfing and I found you. Great blogg, keep it up. If you are interested in work from home go visit, it is the best stuff I have seen on the net

Thanks. You know, I also enjoy my blogg, but just the other day I was thinking about quitting. The strain has become almost overwhelming, and I’m not sure if I can take the pressure. But thanks to your words of encouragement, I’ll soldier on.

And “work from home” is the best stuff you have seen on the net? Seriously?

Laura Esguerra
Laura lost her battle with cancer on Saturday night. Her sister Celia blogs about her loss with love and a heavy heart at 5th and Spring .

It must be some really moving, really intriguing reading if you can’t even pull yourself away to finish telling me about it. Maybe I’ll check it out… Oh, wait. There’s no link or any sort of referral to the blog or news piece you’re speaking about. So why even tell me?

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a internet business site/blog. It pretty much covers internet business related stuff.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)

You know, you seem so nice. I would have ignored you if you hadn’t included the little smiley face at the end. That just warms my heart. Someone so friendly couldn't possibly have selfish motives, right? Can we be best friends forever?

This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this discount cat furniture site, it's pretty awesome too!

I don’t care how much you love your cat, there is nothing “awesome” about cat furniture. Unless it somehow makes the cat a dog. That would be awesome.

Your blog is thorough If you have a weight issue, I'm sure you'd be interested in appetite suppressant purchasing appetite suppressant

What? You think I’m fat? I need to get some of that appetite suppressant right away. Oh no! I can’t see through my big fat tears! What shall I do?

Very professional site! I have a loose weight site/blog. It covers loose weight related stuff.

Thanks. I would assume a blog on which I’ve referenced such topics as defecation, masochism, voodoo knife holders, exploding heads, urine, urinals and poop & blood consumption would be nothing if not professional.

Also: how much loose weight do you have lying around? And in what form? Barbells? Weight plates? Sacks of flour? Human heads? Please explain.


Happy birthday, Jacques.

For more pictures, visit flickr.

It’s kind of like old men using worms to catch fish. Except without opposable thumbs and funny hats.

Whale uses fish to catch birds

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - An enterprising young killer whale at Marineland has figured out how to use fish as bait to catch seagulls — and shared his strategy with his fellow whales.

Michael Noonan, a professor of animal behavior at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., made the discovery by accident while studying orca acoustics.

Noonan estimates that before this distraction from his work, he was six months away from orca 5.1 digital surround sound. The world may now never see the breakthrough technology.

First, the young whale spit regurgitated fish onto the surface of the water, then sank below the water and waited.

If a hungry gull landed on the water, the whale would surge up to the surface, sometimes catching a free meal of his own.

Where are the animal rights people on this? Whales eating birds eating fish? This is atrocious. Think of the children.

Noonan watched as the same whale set the same trap again and again.

Within a few months, the whale's younger half brother adopted the practice. Eventually the behavior spread and now five Marineland whales supplement their diet with fresh fowl, the scientist said.

Thus answering the age-old question: fish or chicken?

Noonan first shared his research earlier this month at the U.S. Animal Behavior Society Conference in Utah. Since then, he said, his phone hasn't stopped ringing.

“You know, because of all the ladies,” he continued, as he cleaned his glasses on his shirt, smearing a mustard stain across the lenses.

I should have seen it coming. I have long suspected you to be the most subservient of body parts, sitting out there all by yourself at the end of a row of bigger, stronger fingers. It’s only natural that you would feel inferior to the others. Seldom used and oft forgotten, your anger must have developed to the boiling point. Your random keystrokes on the Enter key should have tipped me off to your silent rebellion. But I didn’t listen, did I? And you got angry, didn’t you?

Ultimate Frisbee is a game during which the most common injuries involve twisted ankles, hyper extended knees and the dreaded Frisbee elbow. But seldom do normal, athletic, reasonably coordinated people break their fingers playing the game. And so you mounted your attack during that dive into the end zone. When you knew the Frisbee was out of reach, you snagged the blades of grass around you and bent sickeningly to the right. You would not even allow me the pleasure of an injury on a spectacular play, but rather, you chose your moment to make me appear the fool.

I can’t imagine your surprise when I stood and shook off the injury, rejoining the game in a flurry of sprints and arm-waving defense. I am sure that you had hoped to cripple me, to leave me writhing on the ground in pain. Nay I say to you. Nay will I bow to your twisted little mind.

But you did not stay silent for long, did you, Pinkie? You transformed the post-game handshakes from friendly gestures into mind-numbingly painful reminders of your treason. I admit that I was surprised and a little sickened at the sight of you facing outward from the rest of the fingers, snubbing them in your pride and arrogance.

I tried to pull you back into place, but you had grown fat (and not in the complimentary hip hop sense of the term). The grotesque swelling tightened the joint, preventing me from correcting your subservient stance.

How did it feel when I plunged you into ice? Not pleasant, I would imagine. I could feel you struggling, but your arrogance had quashed my mercy. I held you captive in the frigid water until the swelling had subsided. And then you were punished. I pulled you back into the knuckle where you belong. While I must admit that the pain was great, I knew you had been defeated. The visit to the doctor only confirmed my suspicions that you had failed in your attempts to tarnish my record of zero broken bones during a lifetime of assorted pain and injury.

robert fuel

p.s.- You’re dead to me.

words © 2006-2008
All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited without proper consent.