Sep 28, 2007

"Here and Now," September Edition

Here's tonight's appearance on "Here and Now."

Basically, it's just "blah blah blah, look at my brown sweater, blah blah blah." And I'm actually wearing makeup for the first time. So hopefully I don't look like Liza Minelli after a Vicodin bender.

Watch Me on the Boob Tube

I'm on "Here and Now" again this week. I'll be talking about dirty money in politics. So watch.

Catholics Can't Catch a Break

By now, you've probably heard about the ad for San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair, which mocks the Last Supper by substituting sex toys in the place of bread and wine. Needless to say, Catholic groups are outraged, especially at Miller Brewing for sponsoring the event.

It's no secret that the extreme end of the political left wing doesn't particularly have a soft spot for Catholicism. But a friend of mine pointed out something almost as bizarre from the extreme right.

Some of the extreme evangelical Christian groups passionately dislike Catholics. They refer to the Pope as the "Minister of Satan." Often times, they create publications to hand out to make this point. In fact, one website urges parents... and I am not kidding... to drop some of the little cartoon books (called "tracts") into trick or treaters' bags on Halloween.
Here's an example of a "tract" called "Man in Black." It depicts a Catholic priest who is talked out of his religion by some shady, mustachioed bald guy. These selected cartoons refer to the Catholic religion as "the Great Whore," claim that "Vatican City controls the wealth of the world," and say that "Mary was Satan's masterpiece to control his religious slaves."

So have a peek at what could be ending up in your kids' candy bags this Halloween:

Man, and I thought getting Almond Joys in my bag was a bummer.

So, joined by their mutual dislike for Catholics, maybe the militant gay groups and these nutty Evangelicals can get together and join forces. But I would recommend they don't do it at the International Conference on Homo-Fascism.

Sep 27, 2007

Comment of the Year

So, you remember a couple of months ago, when I wrote a post about my night going to see Guns n' Roses tribute band Paradise City? Of course you do.

Anyway, just today, the following epic comment showed up on that post. Here it is, in its glorious entirety:

Of ocurse you need to get oyur facts straight before you speak dipshit. Firsto fall Paradise City is the best GNR tribute in the country,,period 200 plus shows a year internationally and they all sell out. Mr. brownstoneisnt good enough to even tunes PCs guitars. Secondly, GNR would ALWAYS open for Bon Jovi on nay planet any venue any place. GNR had ONE decent album tha was a complete rip off of Get your wings by Aerosmith. they have sold 15 million copies of their entire catalog. Bon jovis record sales are well over 100 MILLION. pc/DOA WAS BY FAR THE BEST BAND EVER TO GRACE THE STAGE IN MIDDLETON WISCONSIN. OF OCURSE THE CLUB WAS AT CAPACITY AND THEY DID A 45 MINUTE ENCORE. OF COURSE THE SINGER BLEW YOU OFF, YOUR A DIPSHIT AND THE GUYS AN ACTUAL ROCKSTAR. DO YOUR RESEARCH IDIOT!!!! WHY BE PISSED OFF AND WIRTE A BUNCH OF GARBAGE AND MAKE FUN ABOUT GUYS THAT MAKE WAY MORE MONEY THAN YOU. ARE U MAD BECAUSE YOUR GIRLFRIEND WAS BLOWING THE DRUMMER IN THE PARKING LOT

Dale Houston 09.27.07 - 11:34 am

Such passion! So, apparently I have now started a gang war between supporters of Paradise City and Mr. Brownstone. Also, this young man made it clear that PC is the best band ever to play in Middleton, Wisconsin, and if I only did my research, I would know that. Where exactly do I look that up? The Library of Congress?

Also, I am a little upset to find out what my girlfriend was doing in the parking lot. I imagine my wife will probably be a little more upset, though.

Oh, and remember - Mr. Brownstone at High Noon Saloon on the 27th. My costume is already in the works. Be there, sucka!

University of Wisconsin Tackles the Big Issues

The research arm of the UW-Madison finally answers the age-old question: Is there actually a "five second rule" when you drop food on the floor?

If a piece of toast fell on the floor, would you pick it up and eat it? You probably would if you believe in the 5-second rule, which suggests that your spilled breakfast stays germ-free as long as you snatch it up in five seconds.

But while the 5-second rule remains a popular rule of thumb, there is no hard science to support it, says Glenn Chambliss, a bacteriologist at UW-Madison. In fact, if you dropped food in places harboring nasties like E. Coli bacteria, any contamination would happen instantaneously, the scientist says.

Next up for the UW: Debunking the myth of "he who smelt it dealt it."

Sep 26, 2007

I Bet Ned Yost Feels Good About Himself Now

Contrary to the spirit of my last Brewer-related post, I've never been a "Fire Ned Yost" kind of guy. Recently, he's made some terrible decisions that defy reason. But it's not his fault his bullpen is so atrocious - although continuing to use Derrick Turnbow is his fault.

That being said, Yost's decision to intentionally hit Albert Pujols with one out in the 8th inning of a game where you're losing 3-2 might be the dumbest thing I have ever seen a manager do. After the Cubs had lost, you know your team can pull to within one game with a win. But you intentionally put a runner on and bring in Turnbow, who isn't exactly known for getting through innings without allowing baserunners. All so you can get back at Tony La Russa, who is obviously (Barry Bonds excepted) the biggest a-hole in baseball. So congratulations - you got back at the Cardinals, and you can bask in the glory while sitting at home during the playoffs.

Naturally, as I typed this paragraph, Turnbow went hit-walk-walk to give up a run. Then Shouse gave up three more. Boy, I must be a genius. Nobody could have guessed that it might be a bad idea to give up free outs in a crucial game just to prove your manhood.

So congratulations to Ned Yost on losing this crucial game, getting thrown out, and embarrassing himself in the process. I guess you can do that when you get a vote of confidence from your owner. If only someone could have predicted Yost would do something royally stupid to cost themselves a chance at the playoffs.

Oh wait... I did.

And as long as I'm still venting...

Tony La Russa now officially owns Ned Yost. He got in his head by creating an imaginary beanball war, knowing Yost would lose his cool at some point. If this were prison, Yost would be applying La Russa with daily sponge baths. Yost should just give La Russa his wife and the keys to his car while he's at it.

I picked up my computer and started typing this post the second they hit Pujols, knowing full well what was about to happen. I can't even explain how painful it is to me that I was absolutely right. Hey, it's only been 25 years since the last playoff appearance - what's one more, right? It was more important that we get even with the Cardinals.

I was going to complain about the stupidity in the way the Brewers gave up Cardinal runs 2 and 3 (serving up a 3-1 fastball to a power hitter with a light-hitter behind him and 2 outs), but Yost actually managed to eclipse that stupidity with the granddaddy of all managerial abominations. So it's not even worth mentioning.

I apologize for the semi-lucidity of this post, but it was written in a blind rage between periods of heavy swearing and almost blacking out.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wrigleyville23 for the link. Feel free to have a good laugh at our expense.

Sep 24, 2007

May the Peace (of Cheddar) Be With You

Every night, my kids get to watch a TV show before they go to bed. Recently, my son has been saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" every night when the show gets started. I thought "hey, maybe the kid is getting an early start in religion."

What I realized later is that he was actually responding to an advertisement that runs before every episode of the show. That would be an ad for Chuck E. Cheese's. He's saying "cheese's" over and over and over.

So it looks like it's going to take thousands of dollars' worth of a Catholic education for me to teach him the difference between this guy:

And this guy:

Your Source For Packers News

You may read the "newspaper" articles written by "reporters" to get your Packers news, but I choose to read the "Meat Packers Union" blog by F.Gordon Union. It is the funniest Packer blog I've seen - written by the Packers' oldest and least culturally literate fan. Enjoy.

Going Deep Undercover

From Pennsylvania, a great new law enforcement strategy - in the interest of justice (and strengthening the penal system):

Offended by a masseuse's offer to go beyond routine rubbing into something downright unprintable, the spa customer went to the state police and offered his services: He would take on the role of confidential informant and gather evidence of prostitution at North Whitehall's Shiatsu Spa.He ended up having sex four times in the name of justice.When that fact emerged this week during a Lehigh County Court hearing for one of two spa employees charged with prostitution in the 2006 case, it cast light on a surprisingly common and irony-rich investigative procedure: having civilians pay for sex during crackdowns on sex-for-pay.
Someone call J.B. Van Hollen - I'll take one for the team and head up this important investigation, one arrest at a time. Knowing me, it won't take long.

Wait... what?

Sep 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!

It was my son's second birthday today. Not too hard to tell which of his gifts were bought for him by his dad. (And if I ever figure out who it is, I'll be sure to thank him.)

Don't ask where he learned the cool "point at the camera" trick.

Sep 21, 2007

Family of the Year Award

Des Moines police investigate attack by onion
September 20, 2007

A Des Moines man went to jail Wednesday afternoon for allegedly throwing an onion at his wife.The police report begins: "(The victim) states her husband had been drinking and they got into an argument."James Izzolena, 54, of 3515 Sheridan Ave., was charged with domestic assault causing injury. Police said he became upset with his wife, Nicole Izzolena, 27, and tossed an onion at her, striking her in the back of the head. She told police it made her head hurt. James Izzolena admitted throwing the onion, police said, but he claimed he did not intend to hit her with it. He was being held without bond pending a court appearance today.

Girls and Cars

oaI headed over to my local auto parts store yesterday to pick up a tire gauge. I figured I might want to inflate my tires at least once a year, and it might be helpful to know how much air I was putting in them.

As I got out of my car, there was a store employee standing by a customer's car, looking at the engine. The customer happened to be a gorgeus girl wearing a tube top shirt. The male employee was pointing at something in her engine, and said "yeah, I can replace that for about eight bucks."

Now you know damn well auto stores don't even think about fixing anything for under a hundred bucks. Is there any question that if it was me standing there (tube top or not), I would be looking at a $250 repair? In fact, that might be a good part time job for hot girls - drive ugly man cars to the shop to get a better deal on repairs, then take a cut of the savings. (Actually, I've seen studies that show women get worse deals on auto repairs, since mechanics assume they know less about engines. Break out the charm, girls.)

But this also got me to thinking about girls and cars in general. Haven't you noticed that girls never drive really crappy cars? I'm not talking about cars that might not be the latest model. I'm talking about reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllly crappy cars. The ones with three wheels and more rust than paint.

My first car was a 1981 Chevette that my dad bought from the neighbors for $200. It had a bumper sticker that said "I Brake For Unicorns" and sheep fur seat covers. I then upgraded and bought a rusty $700 1983 Datsun from some guy in downtown Milwaukee. It had a muffler that used to drag and spark all over the highway - so I had to keep wire coat hangers in my trunk to wire it up when it broke loose. I used to drive it across country, and it had no interior dashboard lights - so I had to use a lighter to see how fast I was going at night. (Bumper sticker: "A Grouchy German is a Sour Kraut.")

And you never see girls with cars like these. Why is that? Is it because dads and husbands are more concerned about the safety of their girls? Are women just more willing to spend money on a more secure car? Do women demand a better ride because they're more likely to be hauling the kids around?

Regardless of the reason, it is clear that men are willing to put up with a lot more crappiness out of their car. Unless they're bald, of course.

Sep 20, 2007

Andrew Bird at UW Memorial Union

Tonight Andrew Bird plays the UW Memorial Union, and I, for one, am fired up. His "Armchair Apocrypha" CD is a lock for my Top 10 this year.

Parents may know him from his appearance as "Dr. Stringz" on "Jack's Big Music Show:"

And here's a performance of "Plasticities" from Letterman.

Sep 19, 2007

Here's Why the Brewers are Done

We all like the thrill of a pennant chase, but don't hold your breath. Here's why:

Tonight's game, top of the 7th, one out. Dave Bush has been cruising, and has a 2-1 lead. There's one out and Ned Yost elects to let Bush hit for himself, presumably because he's going to keep using him. Bush actually gets a hit, but the inning fizzles.

Bottom of the 7th starts, and the pitcher is... Scott Linebrink?

As you may know, I am certainly no fan of Linebrink's. But if you were going to bring him in, what in the hell was Bush doing batting for himself in the top of the inning? And why, after showing you were committed to him staying in the game by letting him bat, would you pull a pitcher that was cruising through inning after inning - especially with a suspect bullpen?

Naturally, Linebrink comes in, immediately gives up a hit, runs the count full, and gets the hitter to line out, doubling up Carlos Lee on first. Linebrink then gives up another hit, then walks a batter. After Yost has to yank Linebrink's ass out of the game, Brian Shouse gives up the game tying hit.

This is why all the Brewer fans can stop their worrying now. If the Brewers have a manager that can't even figure out the simplest of maneuvers - and continues to use Derrick Turnbow in any capacity other than carrying bags to and from the team bus, they won't sniff the playoffs. And it really is too bad. Thanks for the season, guys.

UPDATE: Some more questions...

How many times is Ryan Braun going to be pulled for a defensive replacement, only to have his position come up again?

Top of the 9th, you're down two runs, and have a full bench - and you let the .231 hitting Craig Counsell hit for himself? Sure, Weeks bailed him out - but why just give away an out to start the inning?

Matt Wise comes in in the 10th and gives up two hits. First and second, no out with Carlos Lee coming up. By not pulling him for Cordero at that point (who had warmed up), you're telling everyone that you're perfectly willing to concede defeat.

With Wise in, there were men on first and third with one out. A run can beat you. Why wouldn't you walk the .323 hitter (Pence), to set up the force at any base and make the worse hitter (Wigginton, .282) beat you?

Sep 18, 2007

Simply Delicious

As of a couple weeks ago, 80% of my diet now consists of Simply Asia pre-cooked noodle bowls. They're a huge step up from other noodles, although the name sounds more like an order made to an escort service than a food product.

In fact, since I started eating them, I wondered how actual Asian people would feel about Simply Asia noodle bowls. I mean, certainly there has to be more to Asia than microwave noodles, right?

Yesterday at work, I was in the office kitchen cooking up my Simply Asia bowl, and an Asian guy walked up behind me to microwave something. I admit, I kind of turned my body around so he couldn't see what I was eating. Because if he was in the kitchen eating "Cracker McHonkey's Microwaved Mozarella Sticks," I'd probably think it was strange. Hopefully, Governor Doyle's recent trip to China got this all smoothed out so I can eat my noodles in peace.

But if you can get over the cultural ramifications, I'd recommend them highly. Although they cost more than the 12 cent packs of Ramen noodles.

A Comedian That Deserves Notice

Before last week, I had barely heard of D.L. Hughley, and couldn't name a single thing he had been in. After reading this ballsy interview with The Onion, I decided I should seek out some more of his work. Of course, he has yet to prove that he's really funny - just that he's not afraid to speak his mind about the disgrace of race hustlers and the damage done by the victimhood industry.

Some clips, beginning with Hughley addressing protestors complaining about derogatory remarks he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team:

Q: So when you've called your protestors "clowns" and "buffoons"—

DLH: I think they are! I think they're clowns. In this country, 93 percent of black people are killed by other black people. One in three black people in this country can't read right now. There are more black men in jail than in college. AIDS is growing in the black community at an unprecedented rate. And you're worrying about what a comedian is saying? If you're an activist, do something about the shit that you claim is important! Me saying or not saying something is never going to change our station in the world. I've talked about any number of issues. I've been in front of presidents and I've been in front of plumbers, and I've been consistent. I believe what I believe, and I don't have to defend myself. She can say whatever she wants to say—that's her right, and I respect that right. But I will not now, never, or at any time defend myself or apologize for the way I see the world.

Later, he goes after Al Sharpton:

Q: Actually, they did get a response from Al Sharpton.

DLH: And what did Al say? You know what, I don't care what Al said. I honestly could care less what he thinks. I think these cats are just opportunists. I don't see where they've made the world any better, or actually taken a stand about anything that matters. I think in the quest to be relevant, they've put themselves in the bin of obscurity. Al Sharpton's been on my TV show, and he's sat in front of me, and I've said the exact same things.

Q: It's funny that you call Sharpton an "opportunist," because his letter says your joke was an "obvious attempt to create publicity" for yourself, and that it's sad that you would "stoop to behavior that is disrespectful to women as a means of self promotion."

DLH: Al Sharpton's actually gonna say "self-promotion"? Al Sharpton?! C'mon, man, let's be real. How many people really respect what Al Sharpton says, really? He doesn't show up unless there's a camera around. I'm one of the best in the country at what I do, and I don't need to pretend to be anything else. I'm not pretending to be a preacher while going all over the country getting involved in bullshit fights. I don't go to Duke University and accuse people of shit and then when I found out I'm wrong, not apologize. I don't pretend to be a leader and then do the most asinine shit. I don't pretend to ban the "n" word while watching people starve. The only difference between me and Al Sharpton is that I'm paid to make people laugh. And when his tally is said and done, if the fact that he got Don Imus off the air is his greatest accomplishment in civil rights? If Al Sharpton's mad at me, I think I've done something right. [Laughs.] That's the f***ing truth.

Read the whole thing - especially when he goes after the interviewer, who is clearly irritated at his answers. You may not agree with some of the things he has to say, but it's refreshing that he refuses to be intimidated by the usual suspects.

The Media Empire Expands

My good friend Brad Boycks made his radio debut on the Vicki McKenna show on last Friday's "week in review" program. He was on with guest host Brian Schimming, mostly discussing the 6th anniversary of 9/11 and the War in Iraq. He's clearly a bastard, since he sounds relaxed and does a great job - whereas I have yet to find a way not to embarrass myself on-air.

Listen here.

Sep 16, 2007

The Loneliness of a Citadel Cheerleader

My buddy Gooch (you may remember him from the Packer game last year) came up with a couple tickets for the Wisconsin/Citadel football game at Camp Randall this Saturday. Since he lives in South Carolina and has relatives that went to The Citadel, the tickets were in their section. In fact, they were front row - almost field level.

Sitting with the Citadel fans was actually fairly interesting. Seeing as how their school is a tiny, state-sponsored military school of 2,000 students, they were in awe of the spectacle of Camp Randall (and of the existence of cheese curds).

The most interesting aspect of the game, however, was the Citadel cheerleaders, who were about 15 feet in front of us.

You may recall the fact that The Citadel used to be for male cadets only, until that policy was challenged in 1994 by Shannon Faulkner. The federal government threatened to withhold funds from the school unless it complied with the order to go co-ed. In 1996, four more female cadets enrolled, with two eventually dropping out. The numbers have climbed slowly since then.

At the game, I asked some of The Citadel's fans when they went co-ed. "1996. Because of the f***ing federal government," one guy sneered. It became clear at that point that the new policy remains wildly unpopular, especially among alumni.

Before they went co-ed, I was told, The Citadel used to hire out cheerleaders from other local small colleges for their games. It was clear that now, their cheerleaders came from within the ranks of their cadets. These women were... and there's really no way to massage this... awfully plain-looking. Their cheerleading couldn't compel a dog to sniff itself.

Naturally, they were heckled by the crowd - only more so by the Citadel fans themselves, who resent their very presence at the college. After halftime, they took their sweat pants off - which compelled one fan behind me to start a "put them back on!" chant.

Things got even worse by comparison after the Badger cheerleaders put on a little show for our section. The Citadel fans were delighted with seeing "real" cheerleaders. But at that point, I put my foot down. I pointed out that the Wisconsin cheerleaders are bred genetically to be cheerleaders, while the Citadel cheerleaders are cadets - who at some point, will be fighting for our country. In a few years, the Badger cheerleaders will be pouring shots on the rocks in a bar, while the Citadel cheerleaders will be shooting at Iraquis in Anbar.

So sure, they may not be that great - but they're not supposed to be. They're supposed to be learning how to defend our country, not their football team's goal line. Asking those women to be cheerleaders would be like asking them to play offensive line - it just doesn't fit.

So here you have these poor young women who aren't welcome by their own fans, in a 90,000 seat stadium, where their team was undoubtedly a sacrificial lamb (they actually kept it uncomfortably close for most of the game). They deserve more praise than anyone out there on that field.


And on a related note, it really is hard to root against a military team. They obviously have no chance against teams like the Badgers, as they have strict height and weight requirements for service (somehow, The Air Force has been the exception). Those are the types of games you'd like to win by a point - running it up against a military academy seems to be a little unsettling. Even more so, you don't want to see a cadet get hurt badly, as it could affect his service.

At one point, a Badger landed a late hit on a Citadel Bulldog. I figured it was bad form to cheap shot the military - best to leave that up to

A Scintillating Sports Weekend

After being on my deathbed for two days (I completely slept through Friday), I needed a good sports weekend. Fortunately, Wisconsin fans got wins from the Badgers, Packers, and a couple from the Brewers (but special thanks to the pathetic St. Louis Cardinals, who have now become the Larry Craig of the National League).

There was, however, one sporting event that eclipsed all others in terms of human drama: it was my daughter's first-ever soccer game in her 3-and 4-year old league. In fact, it was better attended than any of the WNBA championship series games to date.

I was prepared for this, as I had been videotaping the opposing team for weeks, Belichick-style. My daughter had never played in any kind of organized sporting event, so I had no idea how she would react. She didn't start, and didn't really seem all that interested in watching the game before going in. Naturally, this being a West Madison kid soccer league, you have a lot of kids named things like "Jericho" and "Sapphire." Most of the kids in the game were unaware that the game was actually going on. Or who their birth parents are.

When finally called upon, my daughter was too shy to go in the game. The ref said I could run next to her if I wanted, so I did - although I know I ran the risk of looking like one of these total a-hole parents that directs their children from within a foot at all times. But finally, she forgot about me, and just ran around kicking the ball. She even scored a goal that was waved off because of some technicality about being too close to the goal or something. Since it's a city league, I think it is only fair that the Mayor's office hear about this injustice.

Sometime in the middle of the game, her two-year old brother practiced his own brand of hooliganism by running out on the field. He was standing still, which usually means one thing - he was filling his diapers. But when I thought about it, that's the same thing Derrick Turnbow does every time he runs out on the field, and he gets paid a lot of money. Maybe there's a future for my boy, after all.

Near the end of the game, one kid just wandered off the field, leaving my daughter's team a player short. She pulled a Scottie Pippen and refused to go back in the game, citing the deliciousness of her watermelon as the prime reason.

All in all, I couldn't be more proud of her. I showed her a YouTube video of Mia Hamm, and she said she wants to be as good as she is. I figure a few more weeks of intense training should do the trick - as long as she gives up the watermelon.

"Who's Making Paper Over There?"

There's an old Simpsons episode where Homer meets controversial director John Waters. Around the dinner table, Marge gently tries to tell Homer that Waters is gay. She says "um, Homey, I think he enjoys the company of men." Homer then enthusiastically whoops out "WHO DOESN'T?"

Men getting married worry about what it's going to be like to not be able to date different women for the rest of their lives. But honestly, the thing I've missed most is the time I got to spend with my guy friends. All the gross jokes and insults you throw around casually - trust me, those don't really work on your wife. Then again, if you never really dated multiple women before you got married, you don't really have anything to miss. For you, long gone are days like the one in college where you begged one of your ugly platonic girl friends to make out with you, just so you could see what it was like - and got turned down. (Don't worry, there's at least a three percent chance that never happened to me.)

Anyway, I was in the car for a long ride with some guy friends last week, and it all came back to me. Long car rides are the birthplace of some of the best guy conversations. Naturally, the silence was eventually broken by some giggling and the rolling down of the window. You can figure out what the need for fresh air means. This act led to the following exchange:

"Damn man, are we in Kaukauna?"

(Editor's note - Kaukauna, Wisconsin has a number of paper mills, which makes it smell like the inside of Gilbert Brown's colon after a hard boiled egg eating competition.)

Laughing: "Hey man, are you making paper in your ass?"

More laughing: "I hope they're making toilet paper in your colon, because you're going to need to wipe after that one."

And on and on it went. Pure comedy gold. That's what I miss.

And on a somewhat-related note:

Is there a more thankless job than working for the Kaukauna Chamber of Commerce? Exactly what is their motto to attract people to live there?

"Kaukauna: After a Year, You Don't Even Notice!"

"Kaukauna: You Smell Good By Comparison!"

"Kaukauna: You'll Be Drunk on the Way Back From the Packer Game, So Then Might Be a Good Time to Visit!"

Sep 13, 2007


Just got back into town, checked my e-mail, and found that the Journal Sentinel had denied my application to be a community columnist. Oh well, it was a long shot anyway. Good luck to whoever did get the gig (I think there are like 30 of them).

Sep 10, 2007

A Hot New Tax Proposal

(Pardon the language in this post - but it kind of makes a point.)

I went to the bar with a liberal friend of mine the other night, and he thinks he has found the answer to Wisconsin's budget woes. He suggested a new tax that he dubbed the "asshole tax."

The concept is pretty simple - anything you buy that makes you an asshole is taxed at 100% the purchase price. Want to buy a Hummer? You pay the tax. Interested in a watch over $1,000? Better be willing to pay twice what it's worth. You think the tobacco tax increase in the current budget is bad - wait until that tax is applied on top of the asshole tax on expensive cigars.

Of course, we can all remember attempts at "yacht taxes" in the past. Yachts are certainly something that would fit in the definition of this new tax. However, where implemented, these types of taxes hit the wrong people. Yacht makers go out of business, laying off hundreds of workers - since nobody wants to buy a yacht anymore. Tourism suffers in areas frequented by boats. Everything trickles down to the little guy, who has to look for a new job. Who becomes the "asshole" then?

Furthermore, as entertaining as the idea of taxing assholes is, the tax is awfully subjective. Lefties would apply it to BMWs. I would apply it to Priuses. Democrats would apply it to jewelry. I would apply it to the purchase of Al Franken books. And on it goes.

For example...

As many of you know, the Ironman Triathalon was held here in Madison over this past weekend. Last Friday, Capitol square was crawling with these people - here to push their smug "healthy lifestyles" on us. They're all "look at me, I can run, bike and swim 100 miles." Only thousands of people a day do that near the US/Mexico border, and they have bullets flying at them. Of course, in order to train for the Ironman, you can't have a real job, so taxpayers are one day going to be paying for their hip and knee replacements. I digress.

So anyway, four of these jerk-offs slip into Jamba Juice about a half second before I do. One of them had the name of each of the marathons he's finished tattoed on the back of his calf (on his shaved leg, of course). When they finally get to the front of the line, they order the only thing you would expect this traveling pack of douchewads to order - four shots of wheat grass juice.

Naturally, nobody is ever dumb enough to blow four bucks on a shot of wheat grass juice - so the whole store has to stop while they figure out how to make them (it involves cutting grass with a scissors, then running it through this juicer machine). And I'm sorry - if I'm doing a shot of anything, there better be a reasonable expectation that I'm not wearing pants within hours.

So these health dorks down their shots of wheat grass juice, and of course... wait for it... high five after they do them. If I wasn't worn out from waiting for my Orange Dream Machine, I would have karate chopped them all, Kung Fu-style.

The lesson from all of this is the following: If Wisconsin ever does implement an asshole tax, I will dedicate my life to making sure wheat grass shots are on the list. I don't care if it puts every poor wheat grass grower out of business. These health hippies must be stopped.

Do You Like Money?

Caution: Only read this post if you like money. And lots of it.

I think we can all agree that the best part of a root beer float occurs when the ice cream melts and mixes with the root beer. When they're separate, they are just ice cream and root beer. But when they mix, you get a magical tasting concoction that doesn't occur elsewhere in nature.

I'm telling you - if someone were able to figure out a way to bottle the ice cream/root beer mix and sell it, I'd buy it by the case. It would be a lot easier than having to find an ice cream stand on the run, then waiting for the chemical transformation to take place. It would be a license to print money.

Nerd on Nerd Violence

Two weeks ago, I appeared on WPT's Here and Now show to introduce the radical notion that if the government is giving your 15-year old daughter contraceptive services, maybe you should know. This past week, singing editorialist Peter Leidy offered the contrary viewpoint. (Yes, you heard that right - he wrote a song about birth control.)

You can watch him rip me here (it's at the 24 minute mark).

Airline Passengers Saved from Threat of Militant Slut

Osama bin Laden remains at large, but airlines have been vigilant in "cracking" down on the real threats to air travel.

By now, you may have heard of the sojurn of modern day civil rights activist Kyla Ebbert, who was asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight because of her revealing clothing. Ebbert immediately took her case to the highest court in the land, the Today Show, to seek justice.

(To see the video, click here.)

Study this video carefully - I have gone over it with all the detail of a "CSI" investigator. While the secrets of the Kennedy assassination can't be found in her teeny white skirt, there are some interesting details.

First of all, Matt Lauer makes her stand to show off her outfit. As she sits down, you can clearly see her white underwear under the skirt. Freeze the frame between the 1:33 and 1:34 mark - it's a little hazy (like the Zapruder film), but it's clearly there. If Oliver Stone doesn't make a movie about this, there is no justice.

So it boils down to this: In going on national TV to try to show people that her outfit isn't too revealing, this woman unknowlingly confirms that she is actually a slut. She cleared everything up, just in the wrong direction.

Furthermore, she claims that everyone on the plane was staring at her because she was lectured by the flight attendant. Interesting that she only became shy at that point, seeing as how she's perfectly fine with allowing passengers to get a little face time with her birth canal.

My favorite part is when Matt Lauer claims that "he doesn't see anything wrong from the waist up." Of course, anyone with sight can see that her only real problem starts at the neck area and works its way up.

Naturally, she'll probably sue, which means future Southwest customers will be picking up the legals bills to fight this hoochie. Makes you yearn for the old days when terrorists (and snakes) were all you had to worry about on your flight.


ESPN announcer Mike Golic, during the Arizona-San Francisco game tonight:

"Edgerrin James knows what to do when he finds a hole."

Actually, he should be talking about Broncos' running back Travis Henry.

News of the Day

So Carleen Wild is returning to the Madison airwaves as an anchor/reporter for the NBC affiliate, Channel 15. She worked previously for the CBS affiliate, channel 3.

Fun fact of the day: My wife actually lived on Carleen's floor in Slichter Hall their freshman year at UW-Madison. Details are hazy on how well they actually knew each other. It's entirely possible that Carleen stole some guy from her, which forced her to settle for me. Or not.

So there's that.

Sep 6, 2007

Get Your Wilco Ticket Heeeya...

A few months ago, I bought a ticket to the Wilco show at the Overture Center on Sept. 11th. But it turns out, I can't go. Anyone interested in buying it from me at face value can e-mail me here.

This might turn out to be the most rewarding use of my blog yet.

Sep 5, 2007

Linebrink Helps Nail Down Playoff Spot. For Cubs.

I know this blog has degenerated into me bitching about the Brewers, but it has been for good reason. This quote in today's paper from recently-acquired reliever Scott Linebrink set me off:

As so often happens for the Brewers, no matter what the score is in the early going, the final innings were adventuresome. Houston scored two unearned runs in the seventh off reliever Scott Linebrink, who heard his share of boos when Yost opted not to pull him with the bases and one down.

"There's not a lot of teams I've been on in a division race, where you're in control of the game and don't give up the lead and you still get booed," Linebrink said.

So for Linebrink (who my friend Jay has dubbed "LineDrive"), loading the bases with one out and giving up two runs is known as "being in control." Hey - he didn't give up the three-run lead, right?

Here's a memo to this jackass: fully one-quarter of the Brewers' losses this year have been because of the bullpen - which his acquisition was supposed to help. Instead, he's exacerbated their bullpen problems. In fact, I think there's some question as to whether Linebrink knows if he's playing for the right team - I heard he was found in the Astros' locker room tapping his foot. After blowing 15 games where they were ahead by more than three runs, you'd think he'd understand fan frustration.

Linebrink's 2006 salary is listed as $1,365,000. So I'll strike a deal with Mr. Sensitive: He can pay $100 so he and his kids can come to my work to boo me, and I'll take the $1.3 million. In fact, I'd be willing to go in to a game and walk the bases full for only $500,000. Think of the savings to the Brewers.

The fact that the Padres were so willing to part with this moron in the midst of their own playoff run says a lot. When teams in first place are unloading middle relief (which other teams are always trying to acquire around the trade deadline), an alarm should go off.

And if he's sensitive to booing, he should try being Derrick Turnbow for a day. I would boo Turnbow before he comes in the game, while he's in the game, when he leaves the game, when he leaves the stadium to walk out to his car, and while he's mowing his lawn at home. If I saw him ordering dinner on a date at a restaurant, I'd walk up and boo him. "You ordered the salmon? Boo! Boooooooo!"

Fatally Delicious

This is historically bad news for my household:

First, it hit the workers. From Milwaukee to Missouri and California, the fake butter flavor they mixed for use in microwave popcorn poisoned their lungs. Now, in the first case of its kind, a doctor has found a possible link between serious lung disease and consumers of microwave popcorn.

"I was as surprised as I could be," said Cecile Rose, the chief occupational and environmental medicine physician at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, one of the nation's most prestigious lung disease hospitals. Rose has seen many cases of factory workers' lungs destroyed by a chemical called diacetyl, responsible for giving microwave popcorn its buttery flavor, but never in a consumer of the popcorn. Until she started seeing a 53-year-old Colorado man whose favorite snack was microwave popcorn.

I probably down two or three bags of this stuff per week while watching sports. All this time I thought it was going to be the Brewers that finally killed me - instead, it's going to be what I've been eating while watching them. Now I'm going to have to eat more of my wife's all-natural hippie popcorn.