Sunday, November 26, 2006

Jokebook: Test of Loyalty

The CIA is looking for a new agent and think they've narrowed it down to three candidates - a blond man, a dark-haired man, and a red-headed man. They decide to perform one final test of their ruthlessness.

They go to the dark-haired candidate and hand him a gun, saying, "In that room is your wife. We want you to take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The dark-haired man sets the gun down on the table and says, "I can't do that."

The CIA immediately dismisses him and goes to the red-headed candidate, telling him the same thing. "In that room is your wife. Take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The red-headed man shakes his head and sets the gun down, saying, "I can't do that."

The CIA dismisses him and turns to the final candidate, the blonde man. They hand him a gun, saying, "In that room is your wife. We want you to take this gun, go in that room, and kill her."

The blond man takes the gun and walks into the room. Silence passes for a few seconds, then the room is filled with screaming and crashing noises. When the room is silent again, the blond man comes staggering out of the room.

The CIA asks, "What happened?"

The blond man gasps, "Well, the gun was filled with blanks, so I had to beat her to death with her chair."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lying Liars: Floyd Landis

They had Floyd Landis, the guy who is accused of cheating on the Tour-de-France, on Adam Carolla's radio show. Landis is all "I never cheated, I will defend myself" and then they asked, "would you take a lie detector test?" And he's like "Absolutely." And they're like "would you take one now?" And he laughs and asks "Do you have one right now on the radio?" And as a matter of fact, they do have a lie detector right in the next room. And in walks a lie-detector administrator into the studio. And suddenly, Floyd's like "Well, I need to talk to my lawyer." All that bravado, all that "bring it on" crap disappeared and he's hemming and hawing, going on about how his lawyer wants everything to be cleared through him, etc. And Adam's like "what's the problem? You're innocent, so this is gonna be great for you." And Floyd leaves, and even Adam describes him as fleeing the studio. What a joke that guy is. And now his excuse is to accuse the French of tampering with the test...apparently because they don't like the look of him, because there's no real reason why they would do such a thing.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

No Career For You: Michael Richards versus N-Words

I really, really, really liked Michael Richards, also known as "the guy who played Kramer on Seinfeld." I mean, really liked him. I was a fan of his before he made it big on Seinfeld, knew who he was when he played Stanley Spudowski on UHF. Always thought he was a comic genius, combining physical and verbal comedy with brilliant timing. But even I can't defend him now.

On Friday, Kramer was videotaped during a stand-up routine launching into a tirade against some black hecklers with the N-word. Multiple times. And not in a hip-hop sort of way, more like a redneck sort of way. I wanted to defend him, but I just can't. Watching the video is shocking and disturbing in a way that hurts deeply. I have to agree with several other people who call this a career-ending incident. It's not like he had much of a career to begin with. So ends the genius that was Michael Richards. We'll never see Seinfeld the same way again.

Latest Update From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

O.J. Simpson Is Guilty: If I Did It

I've always been a staunch defender of the innocence of O.J. Simpson. I thought there was enough doubt (the lack of a witness, the lack of a murder weapon, the obvious police bias, the lack of blood in O.J.'s house) to believe he had at least a chance at innocence. More than anything else, I felt that it wasn't our place to decide a man's guilty or innocence in the court of public opinion. And then came If I Did It. In case you haven't heard, O.J. Simpson has a new book coming out that is a "fictional" account of what might have happened if O.J. Simpson had killed Nicole and Ron Goldman. An innocent man wouldn't do this. An innocent O.J. Simpson would have written a book about what evidence he's uncovered in ten years that cleared him of the murders. And it wasn't a stupid idea that O.J. was forced into - he suggested it to his publisher! And the amount of detail in the book apparently is more than can be chalked up to imagination. Even his own publisher is openly calling it a confession. Thanks for clearing that up, O.J. Finally, the debate is over.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Flashback Friday: Out of This World

There once was a TV show about a little kid whose father was an alien. No, it wasn't Roswell. No, it wasn't Starman. No, it wasn't V. Nothing so sophisticated. We're talking about Out of This World. This show was sort of like a kid's version of I Dream of Jeannie. The main character Evie had the power to stop time. You know this was a kid's show because she didn't try to take over the world. I mean, she could freakin' stop time. And all she did was get revenge on bullies and win basketball games.

While we're on the topic, why is it that alien races always have superpowers? I mean, E.T., Starman, Roswell, all the aliens or alien-derived beings have powers. I always wondered if we're supposed to believe the aliens evolved their powers or were genetically-engineered to have those powers or what.

* Scott Baio was one of the directors for the series. Is there anything he can't do?
* The old song "Swinging on a Star" was the theme song for the show.
* Evie's other powers included being able to teleport by snapping her fingers and being able to tie her shoelaces perfectly.
* Evie also had the power to "gleep," which apparently meant she could make simple objects appear just by willing it. See what I mean about being too powerful?
* Evie's father was named Troy. Yeah, there's imagination for you.
* Evie's father never appeared in person on the show, but talked to her through a blue crystal cube in her bedside cabinet.
* Burt Reynolds was the voice of Evie's father
* In the series finale, Evie's mother accidentally switches places with Evie's father, leaving the mother transported to Antares while Evie's father is in her bedroom. Talk about a cliffhanger.
* Unlike most child actors, the actress who played Evie (Maureen Flannigan) is still working. She did a 22-episode stint on 7th Heaven. And she still looks hot.

IMDB is the old standard, and Wikipedia is on top of the show, of course, but doesn't have much to say on it. does some episode breakdowns that chronicle Evie's wacky adventures. BBC gives a much broader description of the show, as well as why it was created.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jokebook: Suicidal Bet

A blonde and a brunette are watching TV and the news comes on, showing a guy on a bridge about to jump.

The brunette says, "I'll bet you ten bucks he jumps."

The blonde says, "You're on."

Well, the guy on TV jumps off the bridge, so the blonde hands over the money.

The brunette sighs and says, "I can't take your money. I cheated you. The same story was on the five o'clock news."

The blonde says, "No, no. Take it. I saw the five o'clock news too. I just didn't think the guy was dumb enough to jump again."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blogger Beta Sucks

I converted my blogs to Blogger Beta, and I already regret it. Why didn't it tell me I wouldn't be able to post comments to non-Beta Blogger blogs before I did the conversion? I hate to think what other surprises lie in store.

The Wrath of Al: You're Pitiful

Weird Al's always been a pretty easy-going guy. Coolio threatened to beat him up, and Weird Al just apologized. But when Weird Al produced a much-needed satire of "You're Beautiful" called "You're Pitiful," he blew his top. The problem is that the artist James Blunt approved the satire, but his record company didn't. Weird Al did something he's never done before - he fought back, putting the track on his website Weird as a free download instead. It's a shame he didn't get approval, because it's a really funny song. Then again, we get the song for free, so in a way I'm glad Weird Al got burned. NPR did a story on the whole issue.

Note: Looks like Weird Al got burned again, because he's no longer hosting the song on his website. Then again, six or seven other people are. You can't fight the Internet, losers!

Trivia: In the video for "White and Nerdy," Weird Al can be seen defacing the Wikipedia article on the controversy with the words "You Suck."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun With Photos: Rachael Ray Vs The Joker

Separated at birth?

Sexy Women vs WNBA

A recent post on God Has Wheels about women's basketball inspired some thoughts. First of all, women's basketball...ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Second of all, when is the WNBA gonna wise up to the fact that if they had the women in bikinis, they wouldn't be able to sell tickets fast enough? I mean, some of those girls are pretty hot. The slow-motion replays would be more popular than the actual game. And before you start whining about sexism and "why can't they be judged on their own terms," let's face it - men are sad, pathetic creatures. I've already addressed that in an earlier post. To me, it's all about equal time. The women can watch the WNBA games for the athleticism and skills while men watch for the bouncing babes in bikinis. Everybody's happy. Heck, bikinis didn't hurt women's volleyball. Those are athletic, respected women who look hot.

It's not like there's no precedent. I watched the women's basketball competition in the Olympics and was amazed at the different outfits other countries' teams wore. The Australian team wore Lycra bodysuits. By comparison, our women looked like they were wearing potato sacks. The WNBA went overboard. There's no rule that says you can't be athletic and sexy at the same time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Poor Get Poorer: Auto Title Loans

There's a common misconception that poor people are poor because they're bad with money, that they can't save properly or don't invest or spend it all on drugs and alcohol. That may be true in some cases, but a lot of poor people are poor because once your credit rating gets too bad or your income drops below a certain level, you don't have as many options as rich people do, and are more vulnerable. Case in point, an auto title loan.

I happened to go with a friend to an auto title loan place and was stunned.To get an auto title loan, you give them your car's title as collateral. This place had a chart on the wall that showed the interest on various loans, and they ranged from 15 to 30 percent interest. That's not per year. That's per month. The interest on an auto title loan can increase by three hundred percent in a single year.

As outrageous as that is, it gets worse. The place I went to doesn't letyou pay back the loan in installments. It can only be paid back in full. In cash. Within thirty days. If you don't pay it back, you have only one other option - extend the loan for another thirty days by paying them a percentage, which can be as much as three hundred dollars. And that three hundred dollars doesn't count towards repayment of the loan in any way.

Let's look at this in the real world. I'm in danger of losing my apartment because I lost my job and don't have any money to pay the rent. No bank will lend me any money, because I ruined my credit rating defaulting on all my bills. All I have left is my car. So I bite the bullet and take out an auto title loan. Great, I've got a thousand dollars. But what are the odds that I'm gonna have a thousand dollars in cash a month from now? Almost nil. So the thirty days come up, they say "Pay us another three hundred dollars or we take your car." I need my car, so I pay them another three hundred, and sigh with relief. Until next month. When I owe three hundred and twenty. Within a few months, I'm trapped in a vicious cycle. The longer the loan is extended, the more I owe. The more I owe, the less capable I am of paying it back. Even if I do get a low-paying job that keeps the roof over my head, it's still not enough to get me the money I need. So I just keep paying and paying for months, watching the loan spiral out of control, until finally I just can't afford it anymore and they take my car away.

My friend was one of the lucky ones. She actually had the money to pay back her auto title loan. When my friend showed up to pay it,the clerk seemed surprised, as if she'd never seen anyone pay it back before. And I'm betting she hasn't. To get an auto title loan is probably the dumbest thinganyone can do, but there are really people out there who have no choice. The people who created it set out to target the most vulnerable of people,and set it up in a way that makes it almost impossible to pay it back.