February 2006 Archives

pdx-cursion, part 2: stumptown roundup


(Read Part 2)

In honor of Michele's trip to Portland, I present a few observations collected from my trip to Stumptown last August. Unlike Michele, I am not pretending that I'll actually move there, but I respect her charade.


I took the MAX (short for "Metropolitan Area Xpress", because people in Portland apparently can't spell) light rail from the Portland airport all the way out to Hillsboro, where the wedding was being held. I was on the train for about 90 minutes, during which time I read a sizable xcerpt from a book I got at the airport Powell's Books and lent my cell phone to a handsome black man wearing xtremely muddy pants. I felt bad that Portland's inadequate local spelling education programs had condemned the man to a life of ditch-digging. Luckily, you only need to know numbers to operate my phone. The total cost of my MAX ride was an in-xpensive $1.70. The same journey on BART would have cost me $12 and a vial of my blood.

America's Fourth-Largest Port

For some reason, it surprised me to see all the container ships in the harbor. Then I remembered the name of the city I was in. If it wasn't already such a famous city on two coasts, "Portland" would make a great name for a low-ride amusement park. There'd be a ride all about loading ships, and another one about unloading ships. And then a dredging game, for the kids. Then I would threaten to sell the amusement park to the United Arab Emirates so Congress would buy me out at an inflated price.

During my three days in Oregon, I told at least five different people that Portland was the fourth-largest port in the USA, and not one of them doubted me. I totally made it up! I would not have gotten away with a bold claim like that in 2006. Port awareness has risen so much in the last six months, it is absolutely breathtaking.

Jesus Saves

There was a billboard outside Hillsboro that said "Jesus Saves From Hell". To me, that meant a billboard owner wasn't satisfied with plain old "Jesus Saves", and its implied message that what Jesus was saving you from was hell. Maybe they were getting a lot of snarky comments.

"Oh, did Jesus call Geico about his car insurance? Is that how He saves?"
"Sounds like this Jesus fellow is a hockey goalie or something."
"Wow, the Son of God knows CPR."
"Jesus Saves...but maybe Moses invests!"

Finally the billboard guy had enough. "Jesus Saves -- From Hell. What do you have to say now, smart guys?"

And it was cool for a while, until one guy drove by and yelled, "Hey, how does Jesus call Geico about his car insurance - from hell?" Then the billboard owner got frustrated and went down to America's fourth-largest port to cool down for a while by playing the dredging game.

another ode to a muni line

After I moved to San Francisco I wrote an ode to what was then my favorite MUNI line, the N-Judah. Since then, I've moved to the other side of Market Street, and as a result, me and N-Judah have grown apart. There's a new MUNI line in my life, and I'm so excited about it, I asked Crash Test Dummies to write a song about it.


By Crash Test Dummies

Once there was this guy who
Got himself a MUNI Pass to help with his commute
And when he moved to Ford Street
His pass was never used on the N Line
He said that it was 'cause
All the N stops were sooooo faaaaar


Once there was this girl who
Though she had to take L Taraval down to the zoo
But when she saw the route map
She saw the M went closer to Stonestown
She couldn't quite explain it
She'd always just shoppppped theeeeere


This girl and boy were glad
But another girl just took a cab

Then there was this girl whose
Boyfriend wanted her to come to a bar downtown after ten
And when she got to Church Street
They made her take a bus out on Market
She couldn't quite explain what
The hell they planned to reeeeepaaaair


Around 11:00 on Saturday night, I got a call from Louise. After I had said two words ("Hello" and "Louise"), my voice went out. I could speak a little bit, but not enough to be heard over a cell phone connection with someone outside a club. I croaked, "I'm sorry, I lost my voice" a few times, but to no avail.

Louise was patient and polite throughout the whole ordeal, though clearly frustrated by the communication gap. Once she said, "I'm sorry, I can't understand you. It sounds like you're almost saying something, Sean." I think she maybe managed to catch the phrase "text message", which only confused matters further. Eventually she said, "I wish I could understand what you're saying, but from the tone of your voice, it sounds like you're not planning to come out tonight."

I got a glass of water, and it didn't help at all. Also, while I nearly always pace while talking on the phone, I also pace while I am unable to talk and on the phone.

"Why didn't you just hang up, Sean?", you might ask. Because hanging up on someone is rude, that's why.

For the majority of the day today, I have been unable to speak above a whisper. This has made women think that I am deep, and made children think that I am retarded. Perversely, I still carried my phone around all day, having learned nothing from my chat with Louise.

In a way, I feel like I'm a more evolved human being, having moved past speech. In the future, all communication is going to happen through blogging. Emails will still be OK, but only because of their similarity to blogging. Verbal interaction will go the way of the passenger pigeon, the telegram, the ICQ chat, and Middle English. There's a reason they call it an internet "connection", after all. What a glorious bloggety day it will be when all of us are as free as I am now, silently sucking down cough drops and blogging, without that goddamn ball-and-chain of a functional larynx holding me back.

I think I resolved the Louise miscommunication with a series of "Cell Phone Mini-Blogs", or as you troglodytes like to call them, "text messages". The title of this post is taken from the confused CPMB she sent after our initial conversation, and I think it is meaningful on many different levels, all of which are blogging-related and glorious. I would explain the levels in greater detail, but right now I must preserve my stand-up comedy career by learning to whisper with a speech impediment.

photos from golden gate park

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Michele's photos of our afternoon picnic and physics experiments in Golden Gate Park. I was just well enough to make captions.


Page 1: Gang signs, blogs, carbs, and half-baked pumpkin bread.

Page 2: Foreshadowing, juggling, and Baby Rachel is not that bright.

Page 3: More lost babies, more Brain Ball tossing, more oranges landing in cups of wine.

Page 4: Juggling, enormous rubber band chains. and Gene throws an orange at a little girl's head (perhaps an optical illusion).

Page 5: Jason's heroic ass nearly dies protecting Michele and Kristen from snapped rubber bands. Truly the most heartwarming page in this photo album.

Page 6: The camera loves Gene, and it loves Jason's ass. Christine channels her inner MacGyver.

Page 7: Life is like a rubber band chain, jump rope chants are fun, and Garrick's balls are probably still smarting a little.

Page 8: Some successful and unsuccessful attempts at piggyback rides.

Page 9: Videos of juggling and jumping rope, Michele and Jason make friends/enemies, the captions lose steam.

Look at the photos, and it's like you were actually there, except without the hypothermia and the stinging welts on your legs/scrotum.

things i learned while i was sick

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1. If your cell phone is gone, and you need to find a pay phone to call in sick, you will pass three businesses that provide free wireless internet service before reaching a functional pay phone.

2. If you go to sleep wearing three sweatshirts, it is unlikely you'll wake up wearing more than one.

3. If you dream about your inability to fall asleep, that sleep is not going to be restful.

4. If you watch the Olympic women's free skate program, heavily fast-forwarded, while running a 101-degree fever, it's pretty much like taking mushrooms. From time to time, you might even hallucinate that Dick Button is speaking directly to you, criticizing your fitness and poor posture on the couch. Remember, vomiting is an automatic one-point deduction.

Within hours of arriving in Santa Barbara, Michele, Kristen and I met diminutive engineer named John. As we soon learned, John is The Worst Person In The World. In my life and work, I have encountered murderers, rapists, creationist hecklers at dinosaur lectures, child molesters, and this one douchebag stockbroker who I met at Kate O'Brien's after a holiday party, and it is with no hesitation that I deem this guy the worst ever. My younger sisters used to call Docta V "Bestie" back in high school, to indicate how they liked him more than any of my other friends. Engineer John would have been dubbed "Worstie" within seconds.

Snapshot 1: At dinner, I order steak, while Worstie orders Hawaiian pizza. He is very confident about his order, because he feels the pizza will allow him to drink more, by absorbing alcohol for him. "It's all about the carbs", he confides. Pointing at my mashed potatoes, he scoffs, "You aren't gonna get anything from that. This crust? Enriched. Wheat. Flour."

Snapshot 2: The pizza arrives, and Worstie can't stop talking about how greasy the pizza is, or how good my steak looks. "If there weren't ladies here, I'd take a stack of napkins to this damn pizza", Worstie says. The presence of "ladies" does not prevent him from launching into a long story about why he hates it when people call him while they're using the bathroom.

Snapshot 3: Worstie requests napkins from our server. When she brings them to the table, she makes a joke about how she hopes we aren't making a mess. Perhaps she assumed he wouldn't be using the napkins for grease-sopping with ladies present. For whatever reason, this makes Worstie upset. "Did you hear that? I'm gonna ask for coloring books. She thinks we're babies? I'm gonna ask if they have coloring books. And crayons."
I don't know what to say. "OK", I reply.
"Do you think this place has crayons? I bet they do. I'm gonna ask."
"I don't think they have crayons."
"I'm totally gonna ask. Man, I should have ordered steak."

Snapshot 4: Worstie continues to eyeball my steak. Finally I cut off a chunk and hand it to him, to shut him up. This only shifts his focus to how soft and fatty the steak is, and how he can barely eat it. Worstie then tries to offer slices of pizza to other people at our table. "This pizza is gross. Anyone want a slice? Come on, take a slice."

Snapshot 5: The restaurant doesn't have crayons. Worstie's "joke" falls flat, but he's still pretty proud of himself. "I told you I was gonna ask!" he triumphantly declares. He goes on to explain how he's only rude to wait staff while traveling. Back home in Orange County, he "basically almost always tips 20%."

Snapshot 6: On the way to the bar, Worstie explains his job, which Kristen has declared "boring". She asks him to make up something more interesting than his actual job, working for a defense contractor. Instead, he tells us why it's totally justified that Raytheon charges the government $10 per screw.

Snapshot 7: Kristen suggests imaginary jobs for Worstie, so he doesn't have to say "procurement of death machines and death machine components". He doesn't like the suggestion of "ear model", but the idea of working as a tailor at Nordstrom's gets him extremely offended. "I don't work at Nordstrom's!" Worstie shouts. "I shop at Nordstrom's." As evidence, he points to his ensemble.

Snapshot 8: A woman in the bar thinks Worstie is too young to drink (because he's about 5'4" and baby-faced). When she asks him to guess her age, he says, "34". This guess, or maybe just Worstie's personality, causes the woman to leave, taking her two friends with her.

Snapshot 9: An impromptu lecture about why women shouldn't ask you their age if they're just going to get offended segues into a monologue about how many full-size beds and futons are in Worstie's townhouse. Each room has a full-size bed and a full-size futon, though they are unoccupied most of the time. I think we are supposed to be impressed at their wealth of futons, and that Worstie's landlord comes down and does shots with him, even though he's in his 40's. Three times, Worstie tells us how much his rent is.

Why full-size beds? Worstie explains it's because he's not very tall. And, if a girl is too big to share a full-size bed with him, then she is too big to date. "Like how stewardesses used to have to get on a scale and make weight before they were allowed to fly," Kristen adds. "Exactly. Exactly! If she's too big, she's out," says Worstie, jerking his thumb like an umpire ejecting an argumentative player.

Snapshot 10: After kissing Worstie for roughly fifteen seconds, a girl has to run to the bathroom and throw up. Let this be a lesson, residents of Orange County: Kissing Worstie will make you vomit.

the new music from the john francis


There's new music from former-roommate and current-expatriate The John Francis. Though he's out of the country, the internet knows no borders, and there are no trade restrictions on musical gold. New downloadloadables are on the front page, along with recommendations for live music, burritos, and sunsets. I like Ballad of the extra-Marital Private Investigator, and not just because it was recorded in my old house. As I post this recommendation, I'm listening to it for the third time in a row, back-to-back-to-back like a Lakers dynasty. The guitarwork is excellent, The John Francis is in fine voice, and I was only mildly disappointed to realize I'd misheard "fallacious" as "fellatious", because "fellatious" is not a word.

To truly appreciate this work, you should picture TJF singing from a church pew, bearded and wearing a knit cap, with an unattended mug of milk boiling over as it sits directly above a gas burner in the kitchen.

I also enjoyed the covers of songs by local acts Last of the Blacksmiths and El Capitan. Check out TJF's take, and check out the original artists if you notice them playing around town.

In The Non-Francis area of local music news, math-metal-dub rockers and one-time Sean Keane stage-sharers We be the Echo are at the Hemlock Tavern this Saturday, at 9:30 in the PM. The show is only $6, and that includes all the peanuts you can eat. Hell, hide some peanuts in your bag, take them home, and then place them all around your apartment, within an arm's length of anywhere you might want to snack while listening to your free TJF downloads. I feel like if he weren't busy in England eating shepherd's pie and kabobs, that's how The John Francis himself would do things.

The more I think about the quail hunt incident, the more I realize that Vice President Dick Cheney is just an ordinary guy. Not so much an ordinary guy like me or you, the Zembla readers, but more like one of the clients at my unnamed legal defense firm. After all, isn't the phrase "oil company cronies" roughly analogous to "criminal associates"? I think it is. But the similarities between Dick Cheney and the average indigent, incarcerated client represented by our firm don't end there.

  • Cheney claims to have had "one beer" before his hunting accident. According to one attorney I spoke with, roughly 40% of our clients claim to have consumed just "one beer" before committing their offenses.
  • Both the vice president and the majority of our clients are surrounded by heavily armed guards at all times. However, Cheney's guards rarely if ever shoot at him or beat him with billy clubs.
  • In crisis situations, Cheney is removed to an underground bunker in an undisclosed location. Our clients are locked down in their cells during times of racial tension or riots. It is probably equally difficult to locate or communicate with either our clients or the vice president in these situations.
  • Their mail is opened and thoroughly searched by guards. Sometimes the letters even contain illicit white powder, though Cheney is more likely to get anthrax than cocaine.
  • Before the 2000 election, some opponents claimed it was illegal that Cheney changed his official residence, from Texas to Wyoming, after he was selected as the vice presidential nominee. We have many clients who ran into trouble because of their addresses - failing to inform probation officers of their moves, registering with local police departments too late, not having an address due to homelessness - and many of their opponents (local prosecutors) have claimed such actions were illegal. I wonder if it would work if more of our clients argued the issue of residency with the "vacation home" defense.
  • Cheney shot an old man in the face with a shotgun. Our clients...actually, the majority of our clients are in jail for drug-related offenses or property crimes. So I guess Cheney and our clients aren't that much alike.

I'm back on stage at the San Francisco Comedy Club at 50 Mason this Friday, headlining and showing them showcase audiences what's what. In the immortal words of Mark Morrison, "I'm back up in the game/ Running things to keep my swing/ Letting all the people know/ That I'm back to run the show".

Pump up the world, watch my flow, and see me make with the funny, along with a great lineup including Max Curry, Stroy Moyd, Erikka Innes, Nico Santos, and a special guest. Nico Santos in particular is worth the $10 admission by himself. Organizers have asked that I reiterate that audience members are allowed, nay, encouraged to bring in their own alcohol and any other comedy-enhancing materials they wish, as the long-awaited 50 Mason liquor license winds through its bureaucratic maze. This is not legal advice.

Doors open at 7:30, and the show begins at 8. I should go on around 9:15, 9:30. The last few Friday shows have sold out, so I encourage you to call 415-398-4129 or visit http://www.50masonlounge.com to make reservations. I think it will be an excellent show. I plan to keep entertaining America, avoid exploring the differences between men and women, and above all, come again, and show you that I'm real.


(Read Part 1: The Unforgiven; Part 2: Funky Cold Medina)

Note: Many of these thoughts about songs of my youth have been prompted by my newfound passion for karaoke. Karaoke forces one to confront the lyrics to these songs, lyrics that have mostly resided in one's subconscious for years. Sometimes one realizes that one has been mis-hearing and mis-singing certain lines for years. Sometimes one realizes one has never realized the insipidness of certain lines. Of course, most of the time, one simply rocks the fuck out.

Mr. Wendal


Back in my journalist days with the Valley View Middle School newspaper, The Prowler, we had an advice column named after the Arrested Development song "Mr. Wendal". (In case you doubt my hip-hop credentials here, one of our issues featured a Digable Planets shout-out in the form of our cover headline: "Youth Educators: Cool Like Dat".) The advice column used to be called "Mr. Sandman, Bring Me Advice", during my seventh grade year. It was reasonably clever and cute for middle school. For our winter issues, we changed it to "Mr. Snowman", mainly for the purposes of a cute graphic, presumably drawn by Long-Hai.

In eighth grade, our old advice columnist had graduated, so the new writer renamed the column, "Mr. Windal", dropping the "bring me advice" tagline. In doing so, the name of the column lost all meaning. Also, the name was spelled wrong. I think the column used actual letters, perhaps from students who thought they were asking advice of an old bum. However, if the counsel of a man with no money, no clothes, and no place was good enough for multiple-Grammy award-winning rapper Speech, surely it was good enough for Prowler readers.


Speech makes a bold claim in "Mr. Wendal" - that the plight of African-Americans can be traced to spending too much time and money on/in big colleges, and not enough time talking to the homeless. According to Wikipedia, "[Speech] attended Clark Atlanta University and the Art Institute of Atlanta". Perhaps he didn't consider it money well spent. After all, look at the quality of the poem he wrote after meeting Mr. Wendal for the first time:

Be strong
Serve God only
Know that if you do beautiful heaven awaits

You just can't learn that kind of wordplay in school. It's not clear whether Arrested Development chose the (terrible) album title 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of... before or after meeting Mr. Wendal, but they did pick the (even more terrible) album title Zingalamaduni afterward.


Arrested Development the band has been overwhelmed on Wikipedia by the TV show of the same name. They tried to sue the creators over the title of the show, but did not succeed, and the show made fun of them for trying. Ironically, the show might have been better off if forced to choose a less-clever title, as long as the replacement title had fewer syllables. Lead vocalist Speech has also been overwhelmed on Wikipedia by the act of communicating via vocal cords. He doesn't even get a disambiguation page. I was unable to determine whether Speech is considering suing the larynx.


Speech asks whether our society is civilized, but does so in a manner akin to a lovesick middle schooler trying to suss out his crush's romantic feelings. "Are we really civilized? [Check] Yes or no", Speech queries. A few lines earlier, he gives an example of Mr. Wendal's behavior that Speech considers to be truly "civilized": Eating food out of the trash.


Speech envies Mr. Wendal's status as a man apart from 1992's "quick to diss society". I feel that the rise in information technology has made 2006 an "instantaneous diss society", as evidenced in many flame wars on this very site. It might comfort Speech to learn that my critique of "Mr. Wendal" is roughly thirteen-and-a-half years late, proving that there are still some "slow to diss" segments of society.


Speech tells us that Mr. Wendal is "A man. A human, in flesh. but not by law." "Not by law" is where Speech loses me. I think Mr. Wendal is a human by law as well. Perhaps a legal expert could weigh in. Then again, I spent all my money on a big college and came out confused, so what do I know?

On the way down to Santa Barbara, we blew out a tire. This is the second time there's been a flat tire when I was riding in Michele's car. The first was back in high school, on a trip to Newark, CA, to see the (terrible) play "I Hate Hamlet". I began to wonder if blown tires were the inevitable result of taking a long car ride with Michele, given that in 1996, driving to Newark was relatively longer and more intense than traveling to Santa Barbara is now.

While I am quite inept with many machines and technical matters, I can indeed change a tire, if you forgive two or three false starts and non-fatal mistakes. Given the string of men in pickup trucks that drove by to offer help, my work might not have saved much time. It did save me some emasculation. The shredded tire delayed us, but in no way derailed us, except that Michele had to make her second trip to a tire store in three days.

We attempted to psych her up. "Tire stores in Santa Barbara are gorgeous", I lied. Kristen insisted that in Santa Barbara, tire stores blow up a steel-belted radial on the hour, every hour. Based on my previous experiences in Santa Barbara, I thought the tire store employees might fill the hubcap with vodka and Red Bull, and refuse to give Michele her car back until she'd downed the whole thing.

The actual store was not as exciting as we'd fantasized. No one did shots, nothing exploded, no kegerators were powered by Die Hard batteries. Trying to salvage something from the visit, I tried to steal some trade secrets, by surreptitiously copying down the "Four C's" of successful Sears Tires customer service. I only got as far as "Communication" before the counter guy utilized the little-down Fifth C: "Cover up the list of Four C's".

It would have been a total ripoff had we not noticed the dirtiest tire name ever: Kumho. If there was ever a tire company that understood the importance of using quality rubbers, a company with a real focus on wet traction, a company that knew that their product had to stand up to a steady, rigorous pounding, that company is Kumho Tires.

We got the Bridgestone "Dirty Slut" model instead. And then the counter guy drew a penis on his sleeping co-worker's face, because clearly, the Fourth C is "chiefing your co-workers". God bless this town.

two dolla subscription update

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(Original Two Dolla Wednesday subscription plan post)

I made a massive purchase at the Oakland Athletics ticket office today. 136 tickets. I could have bought them online and paid the service charge, but "Four Dolla Wednesday" just doesn't have the same ring. Would a two-dollar hot dog taste as delicious? What if the Safeway Club had a membership fee? The magic would be gone.

Before the purchase, I had hopes of getting free swag after the purchase. After all, I was buying over a hundred tickets. Surely that was worth a stuffed elephant, a Bobby Kielty wig, or even a tote bag. I even got instructions from our houseguest, a world-renowned getter of free stuff. She told me to be cheerful, and grant them the responsibility of making my day great. I boarded the BART train full of hope, brimming with confidence and ideas about how to make my ticket agent feel that showering me with gifts was in his self-interest.

Sadly, the barren ticket office held no swag. It barely held accommodations for the lone employee, who was sitting on a stool, shivering and watching cartoons on an old television set. He did give me extra pocket schedules, which is far from a tote bag with elephants on it.

There is good news and bad news about the purchase. The good news is that the season ticket price has been reduced to $12. The bad news is that the amount of games has also been reduced, down to a mere six contests. For those of you who had your hearts set on the May 31 game, I regret to inform you that the game is already sold out, because it is Little League Night. I think the joke is on the Little Leaguers, since they'll have to watch legal test case Doug Mientkiewicz and the Kansas City Royals, the worst team in baseball. Perhaps appropriately, the Royals have opted for an "Everybody Plays" approach to the upcoming season, where everyone on the roster is guaranteed to play at least two innings. There's still time for them to acquire the manager's son, Philadelphia third baseman David Bell.

Thanks to our 15 subscribers for supporting Two Dolla Wednesday. If you aren't a subscriber, there are a limited number of extra seats available, but they're going fast. With three games against the Mariners, Japanese readers of Zembla will be intrigued. If you act fact, and act confident while acting fast, you might even score a free pocket schedule.


A 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon sits parked across the key. My dad is seated at midcourt, eating a salami-and-cheese sandwich and doing a crossword puzzle. When the buzzer sounds, participants must convnce my dad to get up and move the car out of the way so they can shoot at the basket. The first two players to sink five shots - without the ball hitting the car - advance to the finals, where they'll have to help Dad push a broken-down 1976 Toyota Corolla out of the key before continuing.

Dunk Contest

Competitors begin by lowering the hoop to seven feet, using a broomstick or a sturdy rake to trigger the basket's release switch. Then, they must find a deflated mini-basketball in a cardboard box full of old sports equipment. Dunkers will be scored based on style and speed, with bonus points awarded if the cute girl from the other end of Stevenson Drive walks by and sees them dunk.

Making a Simple, Unguarded Left-Handed Lay-Up

Dribbling and shooting with only the left hand, players must make a single lay-up. As I repeatedly insisted to my fourth-grade basketball coach, this is far more difficult than it appears.

Skills Challenge

Challengers dribble through an obstacle course made up of orange soccer cones and overturned garbage cans. Then they must throw a series of bounce passes and chest passes at targets on the side of the house - without my mom coming out and yelling at them. Lowest time/least lecturing wins.

Letting the Kid Win

In an event pioneered by my dad, participants will attempt to build the confidence of an young, unskilled, hesitant teammate with a fragile ego by letting them win a game of one-on-one. The veteran must lose the game convincingly, so that his teammate does not suspect the ruse, fight back tears, and then run inside to organize his baseball cards and re-read The Fellowship of the Ring.

Last Saturday, I got to do some rare driving, shuttling people home from a party in my friend's pimped-out ride, a Subaru Outback. Before we left, the conversation among our multicultural bunch had revolved around certain things that only white people did, specifically, maintaining friendships with their exes. We drew no conclusions on the topic of post-relationship relationships, but it led to a discussion of "really white things".

For example: Driving a Subaru Outback.

The soundtrack to our drive home was provided by my friend's mix CD, focused heavily on music from the early 90's. Considering my giant posters celebrating Nine Inch Nails, U2, and Smashing Pumpkins, this mix CD was a lot like my bedroom's decorations until about 2003. Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Brain" had just ended when the Whitest Thing Ever happened. I heard the intro to the next song and asked, "Oooh, is this 'God Shuffled His Feet'"?

The Whitest Thing Ever was either:

a) Having an obscure Crash Test Dummies song playing in your Subaru Outback.
b) Picking out that obscure Crash Test Dummies song based on less than two seconds of percussion.

I report, you decide.

Brit Hume spoke to Dick Cheney today about his medical staff, shooting people in the face, and why the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is a better newspaper than the New York Times. If you don't want to browse the transcript, here are some relevant quotes, shamelessly edited and taken out of context:

Brit Hume's first tough questions

(Questions #30-32)
Hume: You know all the procedures and how to maintain the proper line and distance between you and other hunters, and all that. So how, in your judgment, did this happen? Who -- what caused this? What was the responsibility here?


Hume: And you -- and I take it, you missed the bird.

Cheney: I have no idea.

Are Whittington and Cheney friends or not?

Hume: Would you describe him as a close friend, friendly acquaintance, what --

Cheney: No, an acquaintance.
Cheney: I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend.
Cheney: My friend, Harry, has been shot and we've got to take care of him.
Cheney: What happened to my friend as a result of my actions...going from what is a very happy, pleasant day with great friends in a beautiful part of the country, doing something I love -- to, my gosh, I've shot my friend.

Harry Whittington, hottie

Cheney: He's a great man, he's in great shape.
Hume: What was he wearing?
Cheney: I could see the upper part of his body...the sun was directly behind him.
Cheney: You think about his eyes.
Cheney: He's been fantastic. He's a gentleman in every respect....I guess I'd describe him as a true Texas gentleman, a very successful attorney, successful businessman in Austin; a gentleman in every respect of the word. And he's been superb.

This was before the heart attack

Cheney: He literally was more concerned about me and the impact on me than he was on the fact that he'd been shot.

Detectives believe alcohol was involved

Hume: Was anybody drinking in this party?

Cheney: No. You don't hunt with people who drink. That's not a good
idea. We had --

Hume: So he wasn't, and you weren't?

Cheney: Correct. We'd taken a break at lunch...I had a beer at lunch.

So distraught, they cancelled the Sunday hunt

Hume: Will it affect your attitude toward this pastime you so love in the future?

Cheney: I can't say that. You know, we canceled the Sunday hunt. I said, look I'm not -- we were scheduled to go out again on Sunday and I said I'm not going to go on Sunday, I want to focus on Harry. I'll have to think about it.

What's the hold-up?

Cheney: I've got nothing but good things to say about Scott McClellan and Dan Bartlett. They've got a tough job to do and they do it well. They urged us to get the story out. The decision about how it got out, basically, was my responsibility.
Hume: Now, you're talking to me today -- this is, what, Wednesday?

Cheney: Wednesday.

In praise of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Cheney: She [Katharine Armstrong] wanted to go to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, which is the local newspaper, covers that area, to reporters she knew. And I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting...It strikes me that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is just as valid a news outlet as The New York Times is.

Maybe it's easier to get in touch with someone from The New York Times

Cheney: I can't remember what time Katharine actually talked to the reporter. She had trouble that morning actually finding a reporter.

Cheney casts doubt on Cheney's veracity

Cheney: Are they going to take my word for what happened?

The last word

Cheney: One of the problems we have as a government is our inability to keep secrets.

high five a muslim day

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We at Zembla have always prided ourselves on being your top source for all sorts of unique content: heart-warming stories about swim lessons, scholarly examinations of hip-hop lyrics, hard-hitting looks at gender relations among Smurfs, and now, banned Australian TV sketch comedy!

Through our connections at the Ronnie Johns Half Hour, the 9th -best comedy show in broadcast history, we have obtained a link to the "High Five a Muslim Day" sketch. Deeming it offensive, Network 10 chose to censor the sketch rather than air it during the regular broacast of The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. I'm not sure what Network 10 is exactly, but my sources say it's just like The WB, only with five times the crocodiles and twice the hunters, and Gilmore Sheilas isn't quite so talky all the time.

Though a wise man once told me that Australians were "like school on Sunday - no class", I really don't think the sketch is in bad taste. Perhaps I'm biased because of my love of the high-five, to the extent that I've often mused of making a documentary consisting solely of my traveling the world and delivering high fives in front of notable historic sites.

Since the Mufti of Australia has no sway over Zembla's virtual webspace, you can view the sketch here. Remember, just like The Best of Backyard Wrestling and the Menstruating Virgin Mary episode of South Park, this sketch has been banned from television! It may air in cleaner form on a later version of the show, and a more offensive version also might emerge on the interweb by the end of the month. It's always difficult to tell with Australia, as their censorship goes clockwise.

More on Ronnie Johns

Watch my own high-fiving here, though I'm clearly inferior to Jesus when it comes to the shlappy

(Read Part 1: The Unforgiven)

Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina" came out in 1989, on the Loc-ed After Dark album. It was co-written by Marvin "Young MC" Young, which I didn’t know until my always-intensive musical research. The song was also produced by the Dust Brothers, at the very beginning of their career, even before Paul's Boutique. As famous and acclaimed as Paul's Boutique is, Loc had by far the bigger hit with his album.

The song is backed by a reworked sample of the guitar riff from Foreigner's "Hot Blooded", famous for its role in the karaoke episode of "Beauty and the Geek" (thanks Christine!). Some might argue that the marriage of hot-blooded upstate New York hard rock and laid-back California rap music is the key feature of the song. However, though one could certainly contrast Lou Gramm's claims of having "a fever of one hundred and three" with Loc's repeated stressing of the funky medina's coldness, I am more intrigued with what the song says about the medina and sexual anxiety. Despite all the hype about funky cold medina-as-love-potion, how effective is it, really?

Loc is first introduced to the medina via an enthusiastic sales pitch from a brother in a club. The fly brother claims the medina is "better than any alcohol/ Or aphrodisiac" in terms of attracting chicks. Loc seems enthused, but careful listeners will note the song’s early allusion to Mick Jagger and "Satisfaction", a song that deals with the deceptive nature of advertising, particularly as it relates to sex. Indeed, a little medina in your glass will induce sexual desire, but with a twist. It's like wishing on a dead monkey's paw, with less horrific consequences.

First, Loc uses the medina on his pet dog, and unsurprisingly, the dog is overcome with desire and humps...Loc's leg. One might cite this as proof of the medina's powers, though one might also ask why Loc fed the dog precious medina in the first place. Perhaps Loc was testing the safety of the medina, like a medieval king feeding a sample of his dinner to a servant to check for poison. Maybe Loc doesn't care about his pet; if chocolate is toxic for dogs, you never know what funky cold medina might do. It's not clear why medina is necessary to make this dog hump someone's leg, or why leg-humping is a desirable result in the first place.

The dog references leave the song a bit dated, as Loc claims the funky cold medina has attracted all the dogs in the neighborhood, including beer spokesman Spuds Mackenzie and "Alex from Stroh's". Until I read these lyrics, I had forgotten the ad campaign with Alex, the dog that could retrieve and open beers. I'd also forgotten that Stroh's beer ever existed (the brand was purchased by Pabst ten years ago). Incidentally, since Alex, Spuds, and Loc's dog are all male, one must conclude that funky cold medina makes dogs gay as well as horny.

Speaking of medina-related gay sex, Tone Loc's second experiment comes at a bar with a woman named Sheena. Loc adds medina to Sheena's drink, which seems distressingly similar to using roofies. The night is headed toward stupefied romance when Loc discovers that Sheena is actually a transvestite. As Loc is quick to point out, and vehemently, he does not "fool around with no Oscar Meyer wiener". It's the Eighties, and he's down with the ladies.

To be completely fair to Sheena, I should note that Tone Loc was the one that drugged her, not vice versa. Subconsciously, maybe he was secretly craving the Oscar Meyer wiener. I wonder if inadvertantly picking up transvestites is actually a common mistake for musicians, and only Tone Loc and Ray Davies are brave enough to admit it.

In the final verse, Loc presents the scariest funky cold medina scenario of all. After appearing on Love Connection, Loc slips medina to a woman for the first time. Her reaction is different, as she begins discussing wedding plans, which to Loc is more horrifying than going all the way with Sheena. If one considers the song to be an ascending progression of sexual anxieties, it is clear that Loc's fear of getting engaged trumps his concerns about both bestiality and his own hidden homoerotic inclinations.

Ultimately, one can read "Funky Cold Medina" as a metaphor for fame. Chart-topping rap success will give the same false, intoxicating power as the magic potion that is medina. There is a dark flip side to it, and the results are not always what you anticipate. Even with ample funky cold medina in your pocket, or Loc-ed After Dark #1 on the Billboard charts, you're never far away from an ill-advised romp with a transvestite, or a role as a rapping monitor lizard in FernGully: The Last Rain Forest.

You know what I'm saying? That medina's a monster y'all

a history of vice presidential violence

Dick Cheney accidentally shot a 78-year-old man on Saturday, while hunting quail in Texas. The man, Harry Whittington, is in stable condition, after being sprayed in the face and neck with birdshot. However, while this was the first time a sitting vice president has shot someone with a shotgun, it is not the first time a sitting vice president has severely injured an associate. Below is a partial history of such incidents:

1794: During a heated argument about trade restrictions with France, John Adams throws a cup of tea in the face of the British ambassador, partially blinding him. The British continue to seize trade ships bound for France for the next decade.

1829: Daniel Webster is hospitalized after eating a stack of poisoned johnnycakes during a dinner with Vice President John C. Calhoun. Calhoun denies knowledge of the tainted cakes, and nullifies his personal chef the next day.

1869: Schuyler Colfax inadvertently drives a silver spike through the foot of a poor Irish laborer, at a promotional event for the Union Pacific Railroad. The Irishman is placated with double wages and a week’s supply of laudanum, while Colfax quietly purchases some below-market shares in the railroad’s holding company. An unidentified Chinaman fills in on the railroad crew.

1901: On a hunting trip to the Philippines, Teddy Roosevelt shoots chief civil administrator William Howard Taft in the leg, with a bow and arrow. Roosevelt reportedly mistook Taft for a Calamian Hog Deer.

1938: John Nance Garner discharges a blunderbuss next to Senator Burton K. Wheeler, temporarily deafening him, in an ill-advised demonstration about the perils of isolationism.

1979: Walter Mondale beats a personal aide to death with his bare hands during a highly-charged game of Monopoly.

Corrections for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, February 2006

1. The recorded message for the Department of Corrections inmate locator hotline says, "Thank you for calling the ID/Warrants unit. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line." It then repeats for 15-30 minutes*, until an operator picks up. The message should say, "Fuck you for calling the ID/Warrants unit. Your call is not important to us. You might as well hang up now."

2. Though the facility opened nearly eight months ago, the CDC's website does not yet acknowledge the existence of Kern Valley State Prison, in Delano, California. Though it holds approximately 5,000 inmates, the Department of Corrections makes little to no effort to make its mailing address readily available. I personally found it on the eight page of Google results, in a .pdf file containg job listings.

This makes it quite difficult for family members or attorneys to simply correspond by mail with prisoners unlucky enough to end up at KVSP. It is especially confusing because there is another prison in Delano with a similar name - North Kern State Prison. In case you were wondering, the two prisons will not forward misdirected mail to each other. They just return the correspondence to sender with a sticker that says, "Inmate not found", which is something that I have also seen prisons do when the inmate inmate in question was deceased.

The CDC's site should be corrected to list Kern Valley State Prison and its address (provided here as a public service):

Kern Valley State Prison
3000 West Cecil Ave.
Delano, CA 93215

*Not an exaggeration

anthropology at 4th and howard


My route from the subway to work takes me past Moscone Center, specifically the Moscone West building. From what I can tell, the Moscone West building hosts some kind of business convention or seminar every single week. I used to think it was predominantly tech conventions, because of the seemingly omnipresent banners for Oracle and Intel that adorned the building's facade. I also came to this conclusion by observing the attendees, who all looked like nerds.

Conventioneers were a fascinating study: wearing free promotional t-shirts and oversized name tags, scurrying across Fourth Street in frightened packs, gaping and pointing with equal awe at carousels, billboards, and homeless people. Obviously, SOMA is not the natural habitat of a nerd. My observation was more akin to looking at lions at the zoo, wandering around in some confused recreation of the savanna.

Upon looking at their home page, I realized that Moscone's conference schedule is not especially populated by tech companies. The nerdish behavior I saw was not unique to employees specializing in computer products. I'd be hard pressed to point out a significant difference in how Intel conference attendees behaved compared to, say, the American Pharmacist Association, though I am curious to see what the University of 7-11 conference is like. I was being unfair. Working for a tech company's office doesn't make you a dork. Working in any kind of office will do that.

This weekend, Moscone West hosts WonderCon 2006. From my intial field studies, I've observed that while Howard Street has seen a 10-20% increase in nerddom, and the lines for Dance Dance Revolution are out the door at the Metreon, the most significant trend is the 700% increase in corest-wearing young women in the area. This topic deserves extensive further study, I believe.

I enjoy my job at an unnamed non-profit law firm, but not as much as I enjoying dining out. To try and narrow the gap in enjoyment, here are some suggested changes to make working at my office (and yours!) more like eating at a delicious Chinese restaurant. Incidentally, there aren't any good Chinese places near my office, but there is a wide selection of non-profit organizations within walking distance.

  • Add "in bed!" to the end of intra-office e-mail messages and listings of felony charges and watch the comedy explode. "Please refrain from taking office supplies for personal use...in bed!" "Defendant is sentenced to three years modified probation....in bed!"

  • Not sure what to do with a confusing legal document? You can't go wrong deep-frying it and dipping it in sweet and sour sauce.

  • Doing clerical work at your desk is more fun and more convenient with your White-Out, paper clips, stapler, and multi-colored highlighters arranged on a large Lazy Susan.

  • Be aware that, no matter how long you've been on the phone answering questions from an incarcerated appellant, you're just going to get another collect call from San Quentin an hour later.

  • Before searching for missing files in an attorney's cluttered office, take a moment to enjoy an invigorating cup of tea. Make the temp pour it for you.

  • To prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or other repetitive stress injuries, slather your forearms with MSG before doing extended data entry projects.

  • Use chopsticks to open letters from sex offenders.

  • Begin each day by attacking complex legal arguments and/or a heaping plate of spring rolls.

  • If you process an attorney's opening brief before noon, you get a complimentary soda.

jerome bettis: miked up!

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ABC fitted Jerome Bettis with a body mike for Super Bowl XL. They played some clips during the game, but obviously censored quite a bit. Zembla is proud to present highlights of the Jerome Bettis "Miked Up" clips ABC wouldn't or couldn't play:

  • "I don't care about the Super Bowl MVP award. I just want a ring. Plus, the MVP gets an Escalade, and you know Jerome Bettis don't drive no American car."
  • "Ow. Ow. Ow. Damn, I crapped my pants a little bit on that tackle."
  • "Willie, I want you to hit that hole, and then just fall down. Lean forward and get the safe two yards. That's Steelers football, baby."
  • "Honestly, this is the first time I've been to Detroit in eight years. Terrible, depressing city."
  • (Singing) "You make a dead man come, yeah, you make a dead man come."
  • "Yo soy el autobus, cabron!"
  • "No, me and my girlfriend have an open relationship, baby. Both of us see other people. It's cool."
  • "Please don't hit me so hard, Mr. Tatupu. (whispered) Please. I'll just fall down. No one will know." (Pause) I'll give you money."
  • (Flatulence) I guess The Bus should have made a longer stop in the can during halftime, huh?
  • "Oh, that's nothing. Just got a little bit of a stiffy here, Antwaan. Nah, that always happens when Troy makes a tackle. It's cool."
  • "Willie, you need some oxygen? Want to borrow my inhaler? How about some Skittles? I got a bag right here in my helmet."
  • We gotta pull together here! This win means nothing if we don't cover the spread! Let's get a first down here - for the gamblers!
  • "Jerome Bettis, you've just won the Super Bowl? What are you going to do next?"
    "I'm going to...drive across the border to Windsor, to gamble, smoke Cuban cigars, and pick up a busload of whores!"

super bowl xl leftovers

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I was remiss in not mentioning the greatest entree in Super Bowl Party history. Mike and Jessica served up a turducken! A turducken, I tell you! A duck inside a chicken inside a turkey! Such decadence, such deliciousness! Not since Arachne has there been such brazen, ambitious creativity, to rival that of the gods - yet even Athena would surely smile on the turducken. No one awarded turducken legs to team players, so I suspect Max the dog will get an informal MVP award in his dish in the next few days.

Censoring the Stones

ABC decided to censor portions of the halftime show, including the song "Start Me Up". Because the average American hasn't heard that song over a thousand times already.

What amused me was the AP also decided that, since ABC was worried, they also needed to excise the offensive lyrics from their news account:

In "Start Me Up," the show's editors silenced one word close to the song’s end, a reference to a woman so sexy she could arouse a dead man. The lyrics for "Rough Justice" included a synonym for rooster that was removed.

By the way, the first phrase was, "You make a dead man come", which in my book implies more than simply arousing a corpse. Also, that synonym for rooster was "cock". In case you weren't sure.

Gambling Review

The "Most Niners" Theory went 8-3 in predicting playoff winners this year, and 8-3 against the spread as well. In the entire postseason, underdogs either won outright or failed to cover the spread. Favorites went 6-5. With all of my sarcastic Las Vegas updates, implying the game might be fixed by gamblers, the behavior of the teams didn't appear to influenced by the point spread at all. Except for Mike Holmgren on that last drive in the Super Bowl. I don't trust him.

In personal wagering, I lost a dollar on an admittedly stupid bet that Pittsburgh would score on their first possession, but won the dollar back by betting against the cement foot of Josh Brown on his first half field goal miss.

Shame, Punter Tom Rouen, Shame

I didn't make it clear enough before that I think that punting cost Seattle the game. Maybe it's not fair to pin it on Tom Rouen, so I'll say that the whole punting team failed. There was a punt where a Seahawk waited for the ball to bounce on the two, ready to down the ball, and then stepped into the end zone to catch it. There's never a reason to step into the end zone when covering a punt. Just an idiotic play. On that punt, and Darrell Jackson's inexplicable string of out-of-bounds receptions, Seattle consistently demonstrated an inability to recognize the field's boundary lines. That happened to us one year in the Mud Bowl, but we were using a folded up sweatshirt, two beer bottles, and a weirdly-shaped rock as our markers. The Seahawks and their well-defined, white-painted lines have no such excuse.

Football Outsiders determined that "the probability that four punts from those locations would all go for touchbacks is 1 in 515." Seahawk fans can find comfort in being done in by historically improbable incompetence.

Is Matt Hasselbeck Cool?

Madden said Hasselbeck and Roethlisberger were the two coolest Super Bowl QBs he'd ever seen. Given their respective performances, perhaps coolness is overrated. Hey Big Ben! Next time you're at the Super Bowl, don't worry about the popular kids are doing, or throw interceptions to try and fit in. The coolest thing you can be is yourself.

Hasselbeck is interesting, because two different teams of Fox broadcasters discussed Hasselbeck's excitability at length, yet Madden claims he's relaxed and cool. Maybe being in John Madden's presence has a calming effect on a player. You're sitting in a horse trailer, having some turducken with Madden, and he's midway through a sentence with nine different clauses. The tryptophan kicks in, and since you can't follow what he's saying even when you aren't in a non-drowsy state, you just nod sleepily at regular intervals.

Sweetest Play in Super Bowl History?

The Steelers scored on a touchdown pass from a wide receiver, off a reverse. The Randle El-Hines Ward connection has to be way up on the list all-time sweet Super Bowl plays, perhaps even #1. I can't think of a better-designed, sweeter play than that one, though I have a vague memory of Joe Morris throwing a pass to Ed McConkey in Super Bowl XXI. (To preserve editorial integrity, I will not research this fuzzy recollection until posting.) What made the play even sweeter, perhaps even awesome, or incredible, was how Pittsburgh set up the play with a real reverse to Ward in the second quarter, which also went for big yardage. Then, about three game minutes after the touchdown, they faked a reverse, and threw to Randle El for a first down. So frickin' sweet.

In my one year of organized flag football, in third grade, there was a game where I got hit in the mouth and had to come out. While I was on the sideline, the coach let me call a few plays, one of which was a double reverse-wide-receiver pass that went for a long touchdown. Since we were playing six-on-six, the pass went to our quarterback, but you can't expect Ben Roethlisberger to show the same athleticism as a nine-year-old Kurt Larson. If it's any consolation to Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks defense, the Hidden Valley Elementary third-graders were also taken by surprise by this play.

In the aftermath of Pittsburgh's victory, there's been a lot of talk about the poor officiating in Super Bowl XL. To get some perspective on the game, I asked baseball umpire Doug Eddings to look at the game tape and give his opinion on some of the more controversial calls.

Zembla: Thanks for helping out, Doug.

Doug Eddings: No problem. Say, were the Chicago White Sox involved in the Super Bowl this year?

Zembla: No, the White Sox are a baseball team. It's the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

Eddings: OK, got it. Do either of these teams play in the American League Central Division?

Zembla: Again, that's baseball. The Seahawks are in the NFC West, and the Steelers play in the AFC North.

Eddings: AFC North, that's close enough. Let's do this.

Zembla: Sounds good. Now, Doug, I'm going to show you a controversial play, and you just let me know what you think of the call on the field.

Eddings: Will do, buddy.

Zembla: Here's the first one. Darrell Jackson catches a pass at the 23 for a first down, but the Seahawks are called for holding.

Eddings: Looks like a pretty obvious penalty to me.

Zembla: Alright, let's move on. The next play is a little more critical. Darrell Jackson catches what looks like a touchdown pass, but he's called for offensive pass interference. Some people have complained that this was a "ticky-tack" call, and that the referee threw the flag late.

Eddings: You know, that didn't seem late to me. In fact, he seemed a little hasty. Take your time, let the players jog off the field into the dugout --

Zembla: They don't have dugouts.

Eddings: Whatever. The important thing isn't the speed of the call. It's that you eventually make a call, and stick to it, no matter how indefensible and illogical that call might be. Anyway, Jackson clearly changed the direction of the defensive back there. Great call.

Zembla: Alright. The next play is a punt return. Peter Warrick runs the kick back 33 yards, but it's called back due to a holding penalty.

Eddings: Warrick plays for the Seahawks?

Zembla: Yeah.

Eddings: OK, that's definitely a hold. Holding that one guy over there, totally.

Zembla: Fair enough, Doug. Now, in this disputed play, Ben Roethlisberger tries to run the ball in, but appears to be stopped at the goal line. The touchdown signal is a bit delayed --

Eddings: Doesn't matter. What's your hurry? He's been signalling like that all game. Great call.

Zembla: Well, the Seahawks challenge the call, and the replay official--

Eddings: No need! That replay crap is bullshit! He saw it fine the first time. Next call.

Zembla: This next play is - it's actually just a missed field goal by Josh Brown. I guess it's not really controversial.

Eddings: You sure that kick missed? Kinda looks like it went through the uprights to me.

Zembla: Doug, he obviously missed the kick. Look at it. It goes wide left. It's not even that close.

Eddings: (Shrugs) Agree to disagree.

Zembla: The next play is - OK, this is simply a terrible call. On an interception return, Matt Hasselbeck tackles Ike Taylor, but he gets called for blocking below the waist, even though he's making a tackle, not blocking.

Eddings: Boy, that is a close one. He looks like he's blocking well below the waist here.

Zembla: Come on, Doug! How could he be blocking there? Hasselbeck's making a tackle! He's on defense!

Eddings: Young man, they teach us in umpiring school never to be afraid to ask for help when you're unsure. So if you don't mind, I'd like to consult with my good pal, NFL official Pete Morelli. Come on in, Pete. (Pete Morelli enters)

Pete Morelli: Hey Doug. You're asking about the Hasselbeck block?

Eddings: Yes. To me, the question is, does Hasselbeck make a football move?

Zembla: That's not the question!

Morelli: Doug, I'm going to say that Hasselbeck definitely makes a football move going after that blocker. Good call. Tack on fifteen yards to the end of the return.

Eddings: I concur, Pete.

Zembla: Unbelievable. Fine, we'll move on. On this play, Hasselbeck scrambles, but appears to fumble at the end of the play. Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu recovers - but the play is challenged and reversed.

Morelli: Polamalu. Replay. Why does that sound familiar?

Eddings: Pete, that looked like a horse collar tackle by Hasselbeck. What do you think?

Morelli: Hmm. See, this is where I would have blown the play dead and made them replay the down, Doug.

Eddings: I concur. First down, Steelers!

Morelli: Exactly.

Zembla: That doesn't make any sense! Pete, what gives? In the game against Indianapolis, every call you made went against the Steelers. And now, you and Doug are displaying ridiculous favoritism toward Pittsburgh. Did the NFL pay you off? Is this because Jerome Bettis was playing in Detroit, his hometown?

Eddings: I'm fairly sure Bettis is from Chicago.

Zembla: He's from Detroit!

Eddings: (Shrugs) Agree to disagree.

Zembla: Seriously, Pete, what's going on?

Morelli: (Deep breath) It's Mr. Joey Porter. He knows where I live.

Zembla: But...the game's over. The Steelers won. You weren't even working the game!

Morelli: That doesn't matter to Mr. Porter. From what I hear, he's already trying to motivate himself for next season. If you're reading, Mr. Porter, you should know both Doug and I respect you a whole bunch.

Zembla: OK, this is pathetic. We'll look at one last play, and then this is over. Here, the play clock expires, but the officials still allow Ben Roethlisberger to call time out. Shouldn't this have been a delay of game penalty?

Morelli: No sir. I wouldn't be surprised if a defensive player on the Pittsburgh sideline, possibly a outside linebacker, saw the play clock winding down and alertly signalled for a timeout. Great call.

Eddings: Pete, I'm gonna have to say that's a passed ball. Take your base, Big Ben.

Zembla: I hate you both.

super bowl roundup


Homoerotic Announcing

We got a "deepest penetration of the game" at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter. Later in the game, John Madden said, "When you see Big Ben bend over, you know something happened on that play." There were repeated references to Big Ben "playing with the glove", which may or may not have something to do with bending over.

However, the most homoerotic moment of the Super Bowl was not due to the announcers. It came when Steeler trainers dealt with an injured player by removing his pants and taping up his groin. They shielded him with towels but...I have watched an embarrassing amount of football in my life, and I can't remember it ever being necessary for someone to take off their pants like that.

Madden and Al Michaels were equally confused:

Madden: Why do you even need to take a guy’s pants off to check? Do you even check a hamstring that way?
Michaels: Without a 20 second delay, I would not even want to hazard a guess.

Al Michaels, ladies and gentlemen! He'll be here all week!


After the first half, the consensus was that there were 0-3 exciting plays in the first half, at least two of which involved questionable officiating decisions, while there were 4-7 amusing commercials. The key factor for both exciting plays and effective ads seems to be violence. The dinosaur stomping the caveman and the guy throwing his cell phone off his friend's face got the biggest reactions, rivaled only by the play where Antwaan Randle El almost got his back broken on a tackle.

Opinion was split on other ads. Some thought the musical Burger King ad was "Dadaist and surreal", while others thought it was simply "not very good." My sarcastic "Awww" at seeing the baby Clydesdale pull the Budweiser wagon with help was accompanied by actual sentimental response, and a few sniffles. Bud and Bud Light really spent money this year, placing a commercial in nearly every break in the action. However, I have to criticize Bud Light for having two spots in a single quarter where people fell through roofs in Bud Light-related hijinks.


With the Super Bowl Sharpie ad following on the heels of an awful SNL sketch whose entire premise was, "Pirates say 'Arr'", I think pirates may have peaked. Then again, I thought that two-and-a-half years ago as well, and pirates are still going strong. Which is good for me, since I still do a pirate joke in my act, though I usually don't say "Arr!"

The Fusion

Gillette has a huge promotional campaign geared up for the launch of the Fusion, a new five-bladed razor. Docta V informs us that the third result of a Google search for "five bladed razor" is from The Onion. Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades predicted this new innovation two full years early. The Fusion ad doesn't make clear whether Gillette did indeed "put another aloe strip on that fucker, too".

Uncomfortable Sexual Pairings in Advertising

Madison Avenue forced viewers to imagine the couplings between Yosemite Sam and a mud flap silhouette, as well as a giant monster and a robot. To top things off, a Bud ad showed a dog who appeared extremely captivated by a shorn sheep.

Worst Halftime Interview of All Time

Bill Cowher stopped for a chat with Suzy Kolber on his way to the locker room. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, coming off a series where he inexplicably ran off nearly the entire clock only to miss a 54-yard field goal, completely brushed off his chat with Michelle Tafoya. She asked only one question, and he shouted something about "Got some bad information on the replay challenge" and hustled off the field. Tafoya looked hurt.

This Year's John Candy

People claimed Matthew Lillard was in the stands cheering for the Seahawks. Can anyone confirm or deny that Lillard was at the Super Bowl, or that he's even still alive?

Sean Is Psychic

After correctly predicting the Rolling Stones set list for the halftime show ("Start Me Up", some new song, "Satisfaction"), I also predicted that Seahawk Josh Brown would miss his 50-yard field goal. I also said the game was over once Pittsburgh went up 14-3, which was accurate, if not especially precise. Predicting that I would find a twenty-dollar bill in the parking lot after the game was not as successful.

Zinger of the Game

An ABC spot for Desperate Housewives featured, among others, Tony Hawk, professing their love for the show. Gene requested a Tivo rewind, so we could see the exact moment when Tony Hawk sold out. Mike responded with the Zinger of the Game: "Gene, the Tivo doesn't rewind to 1994."

What Happens When Joey Porter Threatens To Drink Your Blood Before The Game

If you're Seattle tight end Jerramy Stevens, you drop a lot of passes. Earlier this week, Joey Porter said, "I got my first taste of blood and now I'm thirsty for more", and called Stevens "a first-round bust". Now, I don't think he dropped those passes because he was intimidated by Porter. I think Jerramy Stevens just sucks.

After the game-ending incompletion, Porter showed he can't let go of a grudge. While his teammates began to celebrate and prepare Gatorade, Porter stood over Stevens and continued to yell at him. I should note that while Porter has been crazy and over-the-top in his pre-game trash talking, he has also been right about the weakness of Jerramy Stevens and the Colts' inability to come from behind against Pittsburgh.

Pretending It's Scoreless

In two consecutive playoff wins, Bill Cowher's halftime speech told his team to pretend like the game was just beginning, or scoreless. Jerome Bettis took it even further in the Super Bowl. A "Miked Up" audio clip from Bettis in a fourth-quarter huddle showed him urging the team to pretend, not just that it was a tie game, but that it was "no different from Week One". And, I guess it still worked, though I wonder if one of the more impressionable Steelers (like TE Heath Miller) looked around and thought, "Wow, Matthew Lillard came to the season opener? Awesome."

Gambling Scandal

Pittsburgh was a favorite in this game, with point spreads ranging from 3-4.5 points. This meant that, late in the game, with Seattle down eleven points, the drama was still very much alive in Las Vegas. If Seattle could score a touchdown, and convert the two-point play, they'd cover the spread, regardless of what happened on the subsequent onside kick attempt.

Seattle took over with just under two minutes remaining and no times out. In the immortal words of Bill Simmons, "Everyone who's ever played a football video game knows that, when you're down by two scores with less than a minute to play, you kick the field goal as fast as possible, then go for the onside and the Hail Mary." Everyone except Mike Holmgren. Once Seattle got to the 26 with 30 seconds to go, it was time to send in the kicker, so they'd at least have time to try the desperation pass at the end.

Holmgren coached as if he had money riding on the game. He kept running plays, trying for the cover-clinching touchdown. Sure, even if they'd taken it in on 4th-and-7, time would have expired, and Seattle still would have lost the game. But people who bet on the Seahawks - a group that may or may not have included Coach Mike Holmgren - those people would have won with the TD and three-point loss.

Record-breakers Goats

With a few minutes remaining in the first quarter, ABC announced that Seattle's Darrell Jackson had tied the record for "Most receptions in the first quarter of the Super Bowl". We gave a sarcastic cheer, and someone might have yelled, "Send that ball to Canton!" After Jackson's touchdown pass was called back (because he pushed off his defender), we lamented the missed opportunity - not the lost seven points, but the chance to have the record all to himself.

By the way, Jackson tied another record later in the game, for "Fewest receptions in the final three quarters of the Super Bowl", with zero. That's a record Darrell Jackson shares with many people, including me. Unofficially, he also set a record for most passes caught out of bounds.

Seattle punter Tom Rouen also set a record of his own. He had the highest punting average in Super Bowl history - 50.2 yards! Of course, since two-thirds of his punts went into the end zone for touchbacks, and Randle El returned the other two for a total of 32 yards, Rouen's net average was 31.5 yards. I'm pretty sure that's not a Super Bowl record.


Hines Ward certainly deserved the MVP award, but he had an unfair advantage in the voting. Fans were encouraged to vote for the game's MVP via text message (standard rates applied). If the decision was close, one could easily imagine fans getting frustrated at the keypad aerobics necessary to punch in "R-A-N-D-L-E-E-L", or "H-A-S-S-E-L-B-E-C-K", and decide that, while he might not have played the best game, "W-A-R-D" was much quicker to type.

Did Bill Cowher cry?

He clearly smiled, and as he was walking off the field, Cowher's eyes were clearly wet. Had the tough facade cracked? Had John Wayne finally shed a tear? The replay of the celebratory Gatorade splash suggested a different hypothesis. While being drenched by the refreshing sports beverage, Cowher was struck fairly hard on the back of the head by the cooler. Now, I'm not saying Cowher is incapable of tears and an emotional release - I'm just saying, his eyes might have been watering due to a mild concussion.

mud bowl recap


Mud Bowl Recap

Team "Rock Ice" triumphed over "The Blade", 24-18, in a game played without extra points on a narrow field at Heather Farms. Trees weren't a factor, as we used the strip of soccer field bounded by the penalty box, sidelines, and end line. Since were only playing 4-on-4, this proved less of a restriction as one might have imagined, except for our inability to kick off in bounds.

Why Rock Ice?: Sean's traditional breast cancer awareness bandanna was replaced this year by a purple bandanna from South America, promoting an alcoholic beverage called Rock Ice. (Bandanna courtesy Sean's little sisters) As you could imagine, it looked awesome, tough, and not at all dorky.

Why The Blade: Because they'll cut you, bitch.

Crucial play of the game: An incompletion that resulted in the game's most severe injury. On a desperation pass versus a blitz, Mike just missed a TD pass when he rolled his ankle. He stayed in and caught a critical "two completions" first down pass on the very next play, though I accidentally hit his ankle with both my arm and chin on the two-hand touch. While The Blade scored on that possession, the hobbling of Mike gave the slow Rock Ice team a chance to get back in the game with a few interceptions.

Other injuries: Jammed finger, a few pulled hamstrings, and what I feared might be a broken wrist, though I now believe it's just bruised and I was being a big wuss earlier.

Best coverage: Either Gabe on Paul, or Paul on Gabe. It seemed like on every other pass, balls were slapped away. And slapped hard.

Sweetest play: Paul completes a long bomb to Mike for a touchdown, burning cornerback Sean, and giving The Blade a 14-7 lead.

Best celebration: None. I doubt anyone reached the end zone with enough energy to spike the ball, let alone dance.

Best call: Jigar calls the Blitz/force INT play on defense, which indirectly caused Mike's hobbling when Rock Ice ran it the first time. This time, the pass was picked off and taken in for the win.

Worst Adam Vinatieri imitation: Sean, trying a surprise pooch punt on fourth down, and kicking it approximately twenty feet and out of bounds.

Best question: Why do we count "alligators"? We didn't get into the Alligators vs. Mississippis debate, thankfully, though I hear die-hard fans in Pittsburgh count "Roethlisbergers" when rushing the QB.

Best imitation of an ambulance: Christine, shuttling the swollen-ankled and the lazy back from the park.

Famous game this most resembled: Seahawks at Packers, January 2004 - "We want the ball and we're gonna score!"

belated mud bowl preview

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Super Bowl XL kicked off around 3:30 in Detroit. Before that, a more impressive event occurred in Walnut Creek, as Mud Bowl XI (or perhaps VIII, and possibly as much as XIII) went down at Heather Farms. The storied history of the Mud Bowl includes such memorable events as Scott Barnett's four-INT performance in 2001, Dustin catching a touchdown pass while smoking a cigarette in 2003, and the time a middle school kid begged to be let in the game, and then had his sweatshirt accidentally torn in half the first time he touched the ball. Good times.

Since my attempt to make scientific predictions of the championship games failed so miserably, I saw no reason to attempt the same for the Super Bowl. Instead, I'd like to present my comprehensive (and slightly belated) guide to this year's Mud Bowl. Remember, the game is only an exhibition, so please, no wagering.


Heather Farms has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, complete with a separate diving pool and a high dive. The park also has baseball diamonds, a duck pond, and a recreation center. For our purposes, the important thing is that they have a stretch of grass, ideally a muddy one. And that the stretch of grass is close enough that anyone injured (or embarrasingly out of shape) can make it back to the house without needing to commandeer a golf cart or improvise a stretcher.



Nicknames: "Wade", "Barney", "Michael Michael Motorcycle" (nickname retired after first grade)
Specialties: Intercepting passes, talking trash, grilling meat.
Super Bowl particpant he most resembles: Ben Roethlisberger, due to the beard. I'm resisting a Hasselbeck hairline joke here.


Nickname: "Jess", "The Ororo of Orinda"
Specialties: Tackling the hell out of Mike's brother Eric.
Super Bowl particpant she most resembles: Hines Ward, due to sure hands, tenacious blocking, and Korean heritage.


Nickname: "Paul Means Business"
Specialties: Speed, agility, golf, poker
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: Paul invariably scores multiple touchdowns in Mud Bowl games, yet his willowy frame and soft-spoken nature leave him underestimated. His style of play evokes Joe Jurevicius, and I would watch out for both men today.


Nickname: "Eugenio", "Bonecrusher"
Specialties: Power, pass rush, fasting
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: Gene sees himself as a linebacker, and many of us see him as a modern-day version of his father, Clark. Thus, Gene is Pittsburgh linebacker Clark Haggans.


Nickname: "Jigs", "Brown Lightning"
Specialities: Running the West Coast offense, play-calling, cinematography
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: Antwaan Randle El


Nickname: "The Martinez Marksman", "The Alhambra Assassin"
Specialties: Unknown, as I've never seen him play football. He's excellent on X-Box, particularly Grand Theft Auto.
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: This is kind of vague, but I'm going with Seattle safety Michael Boulware. As Gabe has moved from the East Coast to California in recent months, so has Michael Boulware moved from his college position of linebacker to playing safety in the NFL.


Nickname: "Docta V"
Specialties: Trick plays, quarterbacking, Linux
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: Pittsburgh fullback Dan Kreider, as both are questionable to actually play Sunday


Nickname: "Waffles", "The Argonaut"
Specialties: Foreign languages, reading, triathlons
Super Bowl participant she most resembles: Steelers triple-threat Antwaan Randle El.


Nickname: "Crazy Jogging White Girl"
Specialties: International relations, development, speed
Super Bowl participant she most resembles: Annika is also an enigma, as she's been in the Peace Corps, out of the sight of Mud Bowl scouts. My selection is based on Annika's near-obsession with the state of Ohio, and accordingly, I'm choosing Seattle defensive end and Ohio State alum Rodney Bailey.


Nickname: "Coach Sean", "Keaner", "Sean the Bon" (6 & Unders only)
Specialties: Puns, judicious hustle, knowledge of football trivia and terminology
Super Bowl participant he most resembles: Due to limited athletic ability and a streak of never having a punt blocked, Sean most resembles Pittsburgh punter Chris Gardocki.

Weather Conditions

I'm guessing we will have little trouble finding unoccupied grass, but trees may or may not serve as obstacles. It should be sunny.

Physical Conditions

Poor, across the board. There will be many times out taken. I wouldn't put it past any of the participants to throw an improvised challenge flag, made out of a red sock or shredded t-shirt, just to get an emergency stoppage of play. I think the odds of someone vomiting are about 2.5:1.


Points: 56
Injuries: 3 (1 severe)
Wagers: 2
Beers consumed on the field: 3
Interceptions: 5
Ruined pieces of clothing: 1

(Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

Papa Smurf: Brainy, first of all, I want to thank you for that smurfy letter.

Brainy: Oh, Papa Smurf!

Papa: Also, the poem was lovely. But I hope I haven't given you the wrong impression.

Brainy: P-p-papa Smurf?

Papa Smurf: When you and I made smurf, it was very special. But I thought I was very clear right from the start - we're smurf buddies, nothing more.

Brainy: Is it - is it my glasses?

Papa Smurf: Brainy, I can't be tied down to one smurf right now. You know that.

two dollar subscription plan


Many have prematurely announced that this year would mark the end of Two Dolla Wednesday baseball in Oakland. In an effort to cut costs and increase ticket demand, the Oakland Athletics closed the entire third deck of the Oakland-Alameda County Network Associates McAfee Coliseum. According to an offical team press release, "The effected (sic) seating areas - along with the upper level seating area in the football structure - will be covered with a tarpaulin to reflect the team's rich history and take advantage of marketing opportunities." In other words, some tarps with feature the A's logo, but most of them will be covered with ads.

However, rumors of Two Dolla Wednesday's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Wednesday baseball will still be available to the bargain-hunting baseball enthusiast for the low two-dollar price, but the seats will be (somehow) worse. Last year, all seats in the third deck were part of the promotion. This year, the sale price is limited to the Plaza Outfield and Plaza Reserved levels (Sections 200-203, 231-249 - see Seating Chart)

With public excitement for Two Dolla Wednesday still at record high levels, any economist worth his salt could tell you that a scarcity of discount seats is inevitable. That is why I am offering the Two Dolla Wednesday Season Ticket Package. For just $14, you can have tickets to all seven of the Two Dolla Wednesday night games. For $20, you get ten games, including three Wednesday afternoon contests. The Wednesday matchups against the Yankees and Red Sox are not discounted, and thus not a part of the package, but there has been talk of organizing a trip to see New York visit Oakland in April.

Now, some of you might not want to commit to seven games, particularly since this is the first week in February. But consider this: If you only attend five games, that's still less than three dollars per game. Doesn't the security of knowing you've got a seat every Wednesday you want outweigh the potential two-dollar loss on an unused ticket?

And it's not just the seat. Buying the Season Ticket Package gets you access to the one-dollar Coliseum hot dogs, sold only on Wednesdays. They'll sell you ten at a time at the concession stand. Ten hot dogs for a dollar, you might say. Why Sean, that's disgusting. Disgustingly cheap, I agree! You also get Dot Racing, the Cap Dance, the BART race, and The Wave, all at no additional charge. Based on historical evidence, Marco Scutaro is nearly guaranteed to deliver the game-winning hit in at least one of those games.

If you'd like to be a part of the discount excitement, leave me a comment or send an email. We've already received orders for six packages, so the plan will definitely move forward in the next week or so. Watch for a preview of the exciting discount matchups in this space this weekend, and a listing of the discount dates follows after the jump:

At the time of the release of the untitled, or "Black" album, no one would have dreamed that "The Unforgiven" would have been eclisped in popularity and fame by the other slow song, "Nothing Else Matters". In 1991, you'd have been scoffed at if you claimed that "Nothing Else Matters" was the more timeless work. Yet, in 2006, I would argue that "N.E.M." has far more prominent cultural status, and not just because society has forgotten the video and the weird old dude's Sisyphean labor of cutting out blocks of clay. No, the real reason is amateur guitar players, and their affinity for the opening instrumental part of "N.E.M." I know at least three people who can play virtually nothing else on acoustic guitar, aside from the beginning part of "Nothing Else Matters".

Some quick lyrical analysis reveals that this song is about being controlled, punished, disgraced and ultimately broken by other people. In the end, James Hetfield takes revenge on everyone that incorrectly labeled him in the past. Now, the dubbee has become the dubber! You labeled him? He'll label you, bitches!

My friend Garrick has pointed out one unique element to the composition: "You don't hear the word 'dub' in very many songs". I would add that, if you do hear "dub", it will usually be describing the echo-heavy drum-and-bass reggae sound of a remix. Modern music listeners might be confused by Hetfield's terminology here. To clarify, being dubbed "Unforgiven" can be considered analogous to getting served, though with much less breakdancing.

This is not Metallica's only lexical anachronism, however. They also use "thee", the objective case of the word "thou". Sticklers for consistency in usage might argue that the song's angry, shouted denoument would more properly read, "Thou labeled me/ I'll label thee/ So I dub thee unforgiven".

Karaoke note: Lyrics to "Unforgiven" include transcriptions of the song's unique Hetfieldian phrasing. Example: "That never to this day-ay/His will they'd take away-ay-ay".

Finally, I would like to examine the "surprise ending" at the end of the second verse. After detailing the struggles and despair of an "old man", we learn "That old man here is me". Careful listeners should not be surprised. The whole verse is the equivalent of a self-conscious James Hetfield embarrassedly talking to a therapist.

Hetfield: Well, I'm fine. But I have this friend - I'll dub him "the old man". Anyway, everyone's dedicating their lives to running all of his. And I try -- I mean, the old man tries -- to please them all, but they're just battling him constantly. And --

Therapist: James, can I ask you something? This friend of yours, the old man -- James, this old man here...is he you?

Hetfield: I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Maybe it would be more clear if you phrased it in Middle English.

Therapist: James, this old man here...is he thou?

Hetfield: Yes! (Breaks down sobbing)

My opinion should not be considered the definitive take on this song. After the jump, see what internet commenter "lyricstudent" had to say about "The Unforgiven", on Songmeanings.net:

Stuck On Lou is taking the Internet by storm! Here are some hypothetical slogans to help hype up that site.

"Get stuck on 'Stuck on Lou'"

"Only a Lou-natic would ignore this blog!"

"I am stuck on Stuck On Lou 'cause Stuck On Lou's stuck on me"

"Louise-y? Fo-sheezy!"

"Go Stuck yourself"

"You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo -- Lou-se yourself"

The Internet is abuzz today with responses to last night's State of the Union address. Some will compare it to Bush's previous State of the Union speeches, while others will take a more historical perspective, weighing it against big speeches made by other U.S. Presidents. I'm going to see how it measures up to the most recent State of the Union; that is, Lee Tamahori's xXx: State of the Union, the greatest action-adventure movie of all time about the State of the Union address.

xXx: State of the Union
STATE OF THE UNION bush.jpg cube.jpg
TITLE State of the Union 2006
Directors that have left since previous edition Michael Brown, FEMA Rob Cohen, xXx, The Fast and the Furious
Who have since moved on to... Public shame; a heckuva cushy job Stealth, a film about a robot plane that becomes sentient after getting struck by lightning
Controversial replacements since previous edition John Bolton, Ambassador to the United Nations Ice Cube, XXX
Controversial because? Doesn't believe the U.N. should exist Used to be a rapper
Returning characters Cheney, Hastert, Bin Laden, hypothetical/mythical WMDs Samuel L. Jackson; the guy who makes weapons and gadgets
Last-minute additions to the cast samuel_alito.jpg
Justice Samuel Alito
Early moments acknowledge the death of? Coretta Scott King Previous XXX Xander Cage
According to the President, is the union strong? Yes Yes
War-related quote from fallen hero "Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting." - Marine Staff Sgt. Dan Clay "Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal." - Tupac Shakur
"Did the President just quote Tupac?" No Yes
Implausible plot point that is crucial to the storyline Osama Bin Laden plans to "seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world." The Secretary of Defense, Willem Dafoe, plans to assassinate everyone else ahead of him in the chain of command, including the President, during the State of the Union address
Is America threatened by terrorists? Yes Yes
Really? Not exactly Yes, really
Our villain previously terrorized... Afghanistan Spider-Man
Repeated phrase "A hopeful society..." "If it's got wheels, we can jack it"
How much decision-making should be in the hands of the military? "As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels -- but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C." The assault on the secret NSA bunker and subsequent assassination scheme is carried out by a military splinter group, led by the aforementioned Secretary of Defense, a former general. Clearly, important decisions should be made by Samuel L. Jackson, or XXX himself
How important is research and development? "To keep America competitive, we must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity." "To deal with these guys, I'm gonna need some serious gear."
What steps can we take to further technological advances? "Double the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences, and make permanent the research and development tax credit." Have the geeky white guy make cool weapons and Xzibit will pimp out everybody's car
How does freedom defeat terror? "Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror." Ice Cube escapes prison by jumping off the prison roof onto a helicopter, and forty-five minutes later, he fights Willem Dafoe
Unrealistic goal Pass line-item veto, cut the deficit in half by 2009 Catch up to a bullet train by driving a souped-up car after it, on train tracks, so that Ice Cube can jump from the car to the train, rescue the President, and escape via helicopter
Budget Expenditures of $2.466 trillion, Deficit of $347 billion Expenditures of $87 million, Deficit of roughly $61 million
How do we make up for the budget shortfall? Um, make temporary tax cuts permanent? Um, DVD sales?
Interruptions by applause 67 0
Did Sean Keane watch it? No No
Why not? Unconvincing performance by lead performer, weak script Ditto
"God Bless America"? Yes Damn straight

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