Thursday, September 29, 2005

That's One Big Bunny...

The creator of the above sculpture has placed another interesting and fun sculpture on a mountainside in Italy. Read about it HERE.

Bunnies are fun...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I’ve Got a Secret

For those of you that do not have the pleasure of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have a well kept secret for you: the perfect time of year to be here is now. The weather is spectacular—85° in San Jose today, currently 75° at 8:00pm—I’ve yet to see a cloud in the brilliant blue skies over the last two days, there is no fog in The City, tourists have left for places far colder and stranger (well, stranger by our standards)… but the best part: a plethora of hot, half-naked men!

They are everywhere! With their summer tans and still sporting their muscles they’ve spent a summer perfecting, they move about—running or playing basketball… gloriously shirtless. Gloriously. Shirtless. Let the rest of the country worry about cooling down, we are in the middle of a terrific Indian Summer and I am enjoying it to the fullest.

On my way home I saw a number of guys running about shirtless and I almost crashed three times (they were well worth dealing with the worst insurance agent). I’m always amazed to see in real life guys with bodies I usually only see in porn. It’s just amazing… and so wonderful… and it’s all mine for the ogling—leering as some friends have noted. Either way, I’m going to enjoy the view completely.


This will go on for a few more weeks and then the leaves will quickly turn and drop. The weather will get chilly (face it: the weather never gets that bad here), and people will bundle up in long pants, light sweaters and the occasional jackets, denying me my precious view. Guys won’t run as much, they’ll workout indoors, or they’ll stop working out and I’ll have even less to look at (or more, depending on how you view that).

But for now, we are in the middle of this wonderful time of year and I’m enjoying the ogling (leering) to the fullest.

Just don’t tell anyone, because it’s a secret.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"Would you believe...?"

Don Adams has passed away at 82. Get Smart was one of my favorite shows while growing up. If you want to know why, click HERE. Thankfully, through reruns, Maxwell Smart will live on forever, because a voice like that should never be silenced.

I wish I could write something a little more elegant, but I’m not too good at obituaries. As Max would say, “Sorry about that, Chief.”

[Cone of Silence]
Turning Japanese...

Wednesday was my niece’s fifth birthday. She’s an adorable and precocious child—which is wonderful to be around… for a very limited time. I’m too immature to be around others who are just as immature as me—we fight over toys too much (it’s not me: they won’t share).

We arrived at my brother’s house and the L’il Tyke (LT) was so excited, she ran out and immediately bypassed anyone not physically holding a gift. She eventually said “hello” after being prompted. She’s five and adorable, so she’s forgiven… sort of.

She burned through the gifts in about 40 seconds: She’d rip open the package, pull out whatever was inside, shout “neat!” and then tear into the next package: “Neat!” and then she’d tear in to the next package. Guess what she said then? “Cool.” (Kids—they keep you guessing.)

She opened the stuffed dog that my sister and I bought her (along with a cute little dress), and immediately wanted to name it “Princess.”

“But, honey,” I said, “you name everything Princess…” (She does. Which makes it hard when she’s crying and wants “princess.” There are 637 items in her roomed named princess—including three pairs of sneakers and her dresser).

“Princess!” she commanded.

I picked up the dog, turned it over and smiled, “But he’s a boy! You can’t name himt princess.”

My mother, immediately started in, “She wants it to be a girl,” she said with her death stare (meaning: she wants it to be a girl, so goddamnit, it’s going to be a girl!”)

I pointed the dog’s crotch towards my mother and said, “What do you call that?”

“The label, Mr. Smarty, now don’t be obscene and put it down.”

Eventually, my LT decided to name the dog Karina… which everyone immediately blamed me for. Apparently, it’s a little too close to the tragedy in New Orleans… (what’s the emoticon for eye-rolling?) Karina is not Katrina, so back off! If she remembers the name in a month, no one else will remember the hurricane. Seriously, how many people have stopped naming their kids Andrew since Hurricane Andrew practically wiped the East Coast off the map in ’8? What about Hugo? Camille? All still very popular kid’s names… (or so I would assume… how would I know?)

Anyhow, the dog was named so, my sister-in-law announces we are going to a “Japanese restaurant” for dinner, because LT liked Japanese cuisine. She’s freakin’ five, what does she know about cuisine? And Japanese? She’s a sushi expert at freakin’ five?! At five my menu choices would be either hamburger or hot dog.

I should note that I have a slight aversion to fish and sushi in particular. By “slight” I mean that fish—the smell, the taste, the mere concept of—makes me ill. I have been known to eat tuna… if it’s smothered in tons of mayonnaise, a dab of mustard and a little pickle relish and anything else that will completely obliterate any notion that it was once eating, swimming, and pooping in some sort of body of water.

Now, I have also been known to go to a “Crab Feed” at a club with my father once a year. First, it is ONCE A YEAR. Two, they serve plenty of alcohol, tons of raviolis and a good Cesar salad with no anchovies in the dressing… and (I can’t state this enough) plenty of alcohol. Also, they have a strong tartar sauce that can completely take away any notion that the crab was once eating, scuttling, and pooping about the bottom of the ocean. (Seriously… scuttling, eating, AND pooping just don’t mix people!)

My sister-in-law assured me that the restaurant was not a sushi-bar, but a Japanese restaurant serving “all sorts of Japanese fair.” I’m not sure what “Japanese fair” is, but I hesitantly agreed, after all, it was my adorable niece’s fifth birthday.

“What’s the name of this place?” I asked innocently as we walked out the door.

“Zoom-o Sushi… I think. I’m not sure about the ‘Zoom-o’ part…”

Son of a…!

So, we load my parents into the car, which is an adventure in itself. First, because my sister has an SUV (mind you, it’s a Honda Passport, not a Ford Excursion or some other giant SUV) and my parent’s grunt and groan as they struggle to figure out how to get in the car. It’s a car, you’ve been doing this for your entire lives, why is this such an effort?

I jokingly offered to help them with their seatbelts… which turned out not to be a joke. They couldn’t pull the seatbelt far enough without it locking, so they had to pull as much belt as possible out. Then they spent the next five to seven minutes trying to figure out how to lock it in. They grunted and groaned… “Just go… I think they’re broken,” my father kept muttering, which was the perfect idea: two 70 year-olds, unsecured, in the back of a moving vehicle in rush-hour traffic—safe as kittens!

So, I had to turn around in the front seat, and in 4.5 seconds managed to get the “broken” seatbelts to work. And we’re on our way!

We arrived at “Somesortofplace-o Sushi” in probably the rattiest strip mall in the county—and, mind you, we’ve got a lot of ratty strip malls. However, it is just past the only Del Taco (home of the “Macho Nacho!”) in the valley, so I thought I might keep that as an option in case it all turned horribly, horribly wrong. As we walked in, I noticed a number of large posters—all with freakin’ raw fish (chopped, sliced, diced, beaten, crushed… everything except cooked. Things had suddenly turned horribly, horribly wrong (I’m not sure if they were ever right, but I thought I would sound like I was making an effort.. .which I clearly wasn’t).

We removed our shoes—which excited LT until the moment I removed my shoes… yeah, it was pretty bad. It didn’t help that I had a big hole in my sock, so the big toe on my left foot was exposed…

The seating was something that only a sadist would design and a masochist would enjoy sitting on. Picture a solid, rectangular-raised platform/bench , about three feet high, tucked into a corner with a table rising out of the center, leaving a space in the center where one could put their legs… if one climbed up on the platform and crawled around to the other side. Already this was fun!

We sat down and they handed us the menu and page after page of uncooked items were listed, each of them more repellant and less appetizing that the last. I began to wish I had charged my cell phone before I left, because I wanted to place my to-go order at Del Taco immediately.

My brother felt that singing “Turning Japanese” at the table would be a terrific idea, which instantly put my moral outrage into high gear. The day was getting better and better…

The adorable Japanese waitress started taking our order—my brother immediately ordered two bottles of saki, some Japanese beer, and some wine for the folks. Oh, alcohol can only improve things…

Every time our waitress came by and graciously took our orders, my brother was saying something either vaguely offensive or outright offensive to the Japanese people. At one point, he sensed my extreme embarrassment, so he masked his bigotry by making comments in a German accent (I shit you not). “Oof,” he attempted in his lame accent, “zee saki is here! Das is gud!” Our waitress thought my brother was either an equal opportunity offender, or a complete idiot (I hope she caught my oh-so-subtle ‘crazy circles’ I was making with my finger by my head).

Salvation came when I noticed on the back page of the menu, in fine print: “Teriyaki Chicken.” Hurray! Everyone was ordering some sort of sea creature, my sister-in-law ordered “Sashimi,” which she thought meant tuna. It didn’t. She was incredibly disappointed when some sort of fishy thing arrived that was not tuna.* I was glad she was not enjoying herself as well. Now if only I could find a way to get the rest of the table to hate their food, they’d all have an idea of what I was going through. (I do not like suffering alone.)

Soon, the orders of fried, battered and beaten fish arrived. I kept chanting “Macho Nachos… Macho Nachos” as the food practically swam up to the table and flopped onto the plates.

The food was very good (according to those fish-loving types) and my Teriyaki Chicken was really good as well. It’s amazing what a little heat and a lot of sauce can do to something. Maybe they should try that on the fish?

My father got Shrimp Tempura, which my mother kept “trying” and eventually finished off. I’m not sure what LT or The Nephew ate, because they were hardly at our table—they spent much of the evening jumping off the platform/benches and tumbling precariously close to the birthday cake.

My brother kept the steady flow of alcohol coming, so I’m not sure if he got less racist (or as he said, “Am I being lacist?”) or I was getting more drunk. Either way, I didn’t care anymore—those benches made my ass hurt and I kept thinking of the Macho Nachos just steps away.

And then it happened: LT got too jumpy too close to the cake and it landed perfectly upside down. Oh, the tears! The kitchen staff running over to see if someone cut off a finger because the scream was so loud! Hey, I was really looking forward to that cake… a few tears were in order. Oh, and LT cried a bit too, I’m not sure, I couldn’t see through my tears or hear through my sobs.

We then ate our smashed cake in near silence. My mother attempted to save the day with, “Oh, I think it tastes much better like this!” Great mom, even a five year-old didn’t buy that. Someone had to do something bold to get us back on track, “Sushi shooters!” I cried! (Oh, right… like I’d do that).

Since The Nephew is ten and I’m still operating at a ten year-old level, I flicked a bit of cake at him and he immediately laughed and flicked a bit back in retaliation. LT saw that this and wanted in on it, which meant everyone else wanted to get in on the cake flicking. Even my mother flicked a bit of cake around the table and we were all quickly laughing. All was well and everyone was happy again—including me in a Japanese restaurant.**

So what lessons have we learned?
1. Fish sucks
2. Karina is a pretty good name for a stuffed dog…
3. Any restaurant with the name “Sushi” in the name can’t be trusted.
4. Never take my brother to any ethnic restaurants***
5. Del Taco’s Macho Nacho is the greatest nacho ever
6. Food fights always save the day.

*Like it makes a difference: it’s fish…

**The waitress wasn’t happy at all. “You people no nice! You cra-a-a-z-zy! Why you do this? Wait… why I talk this way? I American! I born in Campbell! I no talkie this way! You lacist! You lacist!” [I offered her a $20 if I could write her that way and she said for an extra Hamilton I could even have her say “me love you long time”—God bless capitalism!]

***I fear for the folks at The Olive Garden (not for my brother, but in general… because it’s such a bad restaurant).

Friday, September 23, 2005

Reporting on Rita
Is it just me, or does it seem like every time a hurricane hits, CNN grabs Anderson Cooper and literally throws him outside in the wind and rain to report on it?! I’m not sure what he’s supposed to report, because there is not much to report on from outside other than it’s cold, wet and very, very, very windy. As I’m watching right now, Anderson has just told Aaron Brown for the fifth time in the last four minutes that 1) it is raining really hard, and 2) that it is very, very, very windy.

Chad Myers, the CNN meteorologist, just explained to Anderson that the wind near the eye will move from 50 mph (where it is now) to 90 mph. “However,” he noted, “it won’t move 50, 60, 70, etc. It will move from 50 to 90 almost immediately.” I wasn’t watching on my TV with TiVo, but I think if you slow-mo’d the footage you could see the moment when Anderson crapped in his pants.

Because the wind is so loud, Anderson wasn’t quite sure he heard Chad correctly. “Am I to understand that you said it will go from 50 – 90 in seconds?”


[Blank stare from Anderson... and possible crapping in his pants.]

For the love of Mike, Anderson! Get inside—you’re too cute to be out in weather like that. Can’t we get someone annoying like Al Roker or Willard Scott out there?

CNN also has Rob Marciano (who is quite adorable in his own right) and Dr. Sanjay Gupta standing outside as well. Poor Rob is reporting from what looks like a parking lot and reporting that “there is not a lot of debris flying about.” Um, Rob? Wherever there is debris, you don’t want to be there. I keep expecting to see a boat fly by…

And then there is Dr. Gupta (yet another good looking guy). However, while the rain is coming down hard behind him, he’s completely dry and the wind isn’t bothering him at all! Anderson and Rob are practically having their skin removed by the force of the rain and the good doctor really only needs a light sweater. It must be nice to be a doctor…

Now CNN has cut to Randy Kaye who is standing near a wrought iron fence… if the wind picks up any more, I have a feeling I know where she’s going to end up. She just mentioned that the palm trees that she is standing next to, have just recently been planted. Hello? Do you understand that roots take a long time establish themselves? Lady, you need to be standing somewhere else… like Oregon.

I decided to check out the idiots at FOX and they never disappoint. Shepard Smith is standing in a street and he’s taking a pounding. Sean Hannity is interviewing him and it’s clear that neither of them really knows what’s going on. I think they’ve read the briefs, but they don’t understand what is really happening. Shepard actually said, “With all these storms it makes you wonder just what is making this happen?” Then he paused for a second… Oops. Did he just insinuate Global Warming? “Uh… these are cyclical,” he said desperately trying to save his ass, “they had big storms like this in the 40’s and 50’s… but I’m not sure if they had two in a row.” He was immediately followed by a reporter stating that the Governor of Texas had asked for our prayers. Solid reporting by FOX!

Is there a better way to indicate tragic circumstances are afoot than with an elegant logo? Well, CNN has a simple, yet elegant Rita logo and I really like it. I guess the only better thing would be to paste it by Anderson Cooper standing in a hurricane.

[okay, I promised a funny one… I’m still thinking about it—I’m such a crappy writer. I just throw the words down and go, so I can’t start typing unless I have a basic idea and an ending, so I'm still thinking... check back tomorrow.]

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Scary Quote

“Naturally, the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
--Hermann Goering,
Speaking at the Nuremberg Trials after WW II

I think I just died a little inside…

(Cheer up: I’m working on something funny for tomorrow…)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Arrr! Don't forget to talk like a pirate today!

Friday, September 16, 2005

They Got Shoe!

Thank you so much to those who donated… the list is long and distinguished and a number of you have donated VERY generously to this great cause. I would like to thank (in no particular order),

Robert Joss
Wylea Kirkpatrick
Alexandra Lion
Stefan Nagel
Kenneth Shotts
Sarah Stone
Ann Templeton
Jule Torre
Christian Wheeler

In addition to the previous notations, you have helped me get to over $1500 in online donations! May thanks to your generosity.

For those of you who wish to donate, you still can by going to
Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking

Yahoo is celebrating Advertising Week, which, interestingly enough, I’ve never heard of—and you’d think these guys would know a thing or two about getting the word out.

To properly celebrate Advertising Week (September 26 – 30) they are conducting a poll on the greatest advertising icons and greatest advertising slogans. Some I haven’t seen or heard in years, others have worn so thin on my psyche that too never see them again in my life still wouldn’t be enough.

Click here to vote!

Monday, September 12, 2005

JDRF Update #1

I'd like to thank these generous donors for helping me get to my goal (but especially for helping the kiddies):

Sandy B.
Diane L.
Kathy L.
Jill P.

You were all very generous and I appreciate your support!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I’m a Quasi Hit!

Well, after several years, I’ve finally posted 1000 unique visitors to this website. Wow. Over 1000 people are more bored now than if I wasn’t writing at all…

Just a couple of stats to bore you with and I’ll let you get on your way, because I know you’re busy and can’t stay past your average of 260 seconds before zipping off to… well, that costs me to look up that information, so I’m just going to assume you leave my site and head immediately to the 700 Club or the NRC. After all, that is my target audience.

Only 16 of the 50 US states have visited my page… I’m definitely a Blue State kind of guy—however, Ohio, Florida and Texas did make a showing (a lot from Texas, actually…). I gotta work on the other, er, what is it? 23 states, or something like that? How many are there now? And do we really need that many? (Seriously, a North AND South Dakota? West Virginia is about as big as a zit I have on my ass right now… seriously, let’s tighten this up, people. And Rhode Island… why? I mean, really. Why?) Okay, so where was I…?

Ah, my precious… precious blog.

I’ve been visited by inhabitants of nine different countries (not counting the US). I’m not surprised by the UK or Germany… but Malaysia? Hungary (Lukas… is that you?) But I’m most surprised at Peru. Actually, not that they visited, but that they exist at all. Really, you’re the Rhode Island of South America… why isn’t someone on the UN working on this? Get a map and start working on this.

Referrals (How I LOVE Them)

The top five referrals from search engines are as follows:
1) Giada De Laurentiis brought in the most. Searches I’m particularly fond of are: “Giada Boobs” and “everyday italian host big boobs”
2) Tickle was the second biggest search on the web with such inquiries as “Finger tickle,” “tickle boys,” and my personal favorite: “tickle uncut dick.” Thanks for stopping in and I hope you enjoyed your Tickle… (you perverts)
And, finally, my personal favorite:
3) "vincent price's grave" Who the fuck ARE you people?

Lastly, I’d like to thank Google for their help when someone is searching for Slap and Tickle, they ask: Do you mean: slap and tackle? Thanks Google Geeks… thank you very, very, very much.

I would sincerely like to thank those few of you who do actually read my blog (and comment… God bless you for commenting—it validates me and my sad little life…). It is nice to know that someone, somewhere at sometime is reading what I wrote… even in Peru.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Walk This Way
Once again, I’m participating in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk-a-thon. Last year I raised just over $3000—and as much as I would like to hit that amount again, with the victims of Katrina being in such significant need, I’ve dropped my goal to $2500. I’m still not sure I’ll hit it, but I can I try.

The goal of the Walk to Cure Diabetes is to raise $86 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is most certainly not a cure. There are many challenges for those who are living with type 1 diabetes, but there are many severer complications, which are often fatal, caused by the disease.

However, a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach! JDRF funding has assisted in most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date, as well as funding the majority of type 1 diabetes research worldwide.

That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.

The good news, though, is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.

If you wish to make a donation, I would really be grateful. And anyone who donates online, will get a mention on my blog (I’m not sure if that will help or hurt getting donations…) If you give over $100, I’ll not only put you on the blog, I’ll write a little something about you. In fact, I’ll create a FABulous story about you and your generosity (both monetarily and ‘between the sheets’) that will surely get you noticed by members of the law enforcement community. (I know from experience, that after the shame, lawsuits, and media attention, you’ll laugh about it).

So, please, please give if you can. If you can’t… go do something nice for someone else and let’s spread a little love around.

Click here for my donation page (or the link on the sidebar).

My first online donation was made by Ms. Wylea Kirkpatrick, who is herself getting ready for a charity event: The Nike Marathon with Team in Training (benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) in October – she is not only participating but is a mentor to other participants as well. If you’re one of those people that has crap-loads of cash, why not spread that love to Wylea as well? Thank you Wylea for your generous support and your charitable efforts.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

So Long, Little Buddy
Bob Denver, the beloved Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island passed away at 70. Gilligan. 70. Who’d have thought?

Sure the show was inane, unrealistic, and silly, but all the best shows of the 60’s were: Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, and Beverly Hillbilly’s to name a few. But, it never failed to make me laugh. I don’t think Gilligan ever dropped a coconut--or some other heavy object--on the Skipper’s foot that I didn’t laugh.

When I was a kid and was sick, I’d crawl into my parent’s bed and watch TV and feel better. Game shows were in the morning, but in the afternoon, I Dream of Jeannie, Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island would come on. (If I was sick for a week with the flu, I would throw in “Dialing for Dollars” for a little variety.) It didn’t matter how sick I was, Gilligan always made me laugh.

It wasn’t until I got older and KBHK 44 would run its summer specials of old shows from the 50’s and 60’s (before TVLand) that I gained an appreciation for his Maynard G. Krebs and just how damn funny he and the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis were.

At least he left of with a legacy of very silly fun. So, a big thank you to Maynard and Gilligan for coming into my family room (and sick room) and making a little kid and a big kid forget the bad things of this world and letting me laugh really hard.

I think I’m gonna go get myself a big slice Banana Cream Pie and toast my favorite Castaway.

Thanks, Little Buddy! I’d tell you to hold onto those coconuts when you see the Skipper, but I have a feeling you won’t… and I'm smiling just thinking about it.