Saturday, February 27, 2010

You Have Two Cows

I ran across this yesterday ... it's been around forever but if you haven't seen it it's worth a read.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

BUREAUCRACY -- UNITED STATES: You have two cows. The government takes both, loses one while moving it to a farm in Puerto Rico and forgets to milk the other.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

COMMUNISM -- CHINESE: You don't have any cows. The government sets up a joint venture with McDonald's.

COMMUNISM -- SOVIET: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. Then the government sends you to prison.

DARWINISM: You have two cows. They develop opposable thumbs and milk you.

DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.

IDEALISM: You have two cows. You get married and your partner milks them.

LIBERALISM: You have two cows. You give away one cow and get the government to give you a new cow. Then you give them both away.

NAZISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and then shoots you.

PLATONISM: You have a reflection of two perfect cows. Their milk tastes like water. You look for two real cows to milk.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESSISM: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of nonspecified gender.

SIMPSONISM: Don't have a cow man!

SOCRATIC METHODISM: How many cows do I have? Why?
SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Were They Thinking?

By now ... everybody has heard about the story of the trainer from Sea World who was killed by (of all things) a KILLER whale. I love all the "reasons" that the experts have given for this tragic event ... the trainer's ponytail got caught in his teeth ... the whale was "horsing" around and bumped her against another whale ...  her ponytail bothered his nose .... well ... Hello? Maybe he was just a KILLER whale.

He's a 7000 pound whale at that! And he's been captive in a big swimming pool for 20 years. Let's put his size and history in perspective: If someone put you in a bathtub for 20 years and forced you to do tricks with thousands of people watching you ... maybe you'd become a KILLER human.

By the way ... in 2006, a trainer at the adventure park was hospitalized after a killer whale grabbed him and twice held him underwater during a show at Shamu Stadium. In 1999, Tillikum (the same whale that killed the trainer today) was blamed for the death of a 27-year-old man whose body was found floating on his back in a tank at SeaWorld. Tillikum and two other whales also were involved in the drowning of a trainer at a Victoria, British Columbia, marine park in 1991.

Sea World came up with the answer  ... the whale shows have been cancelled temporarily.

What were they thinking?

This "top story" totally overshadowed the two other important stories of the day:
Two Teachers Suspended After Performing a Lap Dance During a School Event

My favorite quote of the day:

"The guy gave the girl teacher a lap dance," a student told the Sun. "It was dirty. He put his face in her crotch. She laughed and looked like she was really enjoying it."

What were they thinking?

Then there was this story by CNN:

140-year-old Hot Dog Found Yesterday on Coney Island under Feltman’s restaurant

Thursday morning, CNN reported this story from a New York news station affiliate.The 141 year old hot dog was found by an archaeologist under Feltman's Restaurant and was encased in ice.

The video of the story from the local TV news station showed an original receipt from Feltman’s that was encased in the ice as well. The reporter went on to say that the hot dog was being put on exhibit and they were touting it as the first hot dog in existence. The exhibit was scheduled to open on Coney Island on Palm Sunday. The news story even went so far as to ask people if they would go out to Coney Island to see the hot dog exhibit and many people said they would.

As it turns out the WHOLE STORY was a publicity hoax to get people to go out to Coney Island. CNN removed the story and video from their website without explanation.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Play Ball

Got an email today from my buddy, Rod Challenger.

He set a date for our annual baseball ticket drawing for the 2010 Rays season. We share season tickets with about 5-8 couples (depending who is in from year to year). Debbie and I have two tickets for 20 games and have had them from the first season ... when they were known as the Devil Rays.

We've never made it to his house for the drawing ... ever.

Each year I send Rod a note apologizing for not making it to the drawing and each year he picks our tickets for us ... it's a tradition.

This year his response had a different twist: " I am so surprised (that you're not coming). Hey, by the way, we bought a motorhome and plan to tour the country ... will miss most of the season ..."
I was stunned.
Rod retired from broadcasting last year ... he was a newscaster for 78 years or so (maybe 79) and weathered a couple of heart attacks, lightning strikes (he was struck by lightning some years back during a newscast and carried the nickname "Lightning Rod"), and has sported a variety of hair colors that are created in his bathroom by his wife Kathy.  
He travels around the world in search of the perfect oceans to dive and take beautiful photographs of the marine life.
On his last trip ... he rented a motorhome. He had a ball ... apparently didn't kill anyone ... and NOW decided to buy one himself. 
I can't believe I'm saying this but ... I'm not sure I can go through a whole season without Rod next to me. He always brings a glove with him (as if he's going to really catch a ball), screams at Joe Maddon constantly and insults most of the people around us. 
But you gotta love him.
One game ... he got so excited trying to catch one of the wiffle balls that the cheerleaders threw in his direction that he knocked over two kids and a "large" woman with a beer. Took em all out!

He never did catch the ball.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Don't Care

Tonight, Debbie and I had the "discussion" that couples all over the world have had the last few weeks: Tiger Woods and his Fall From Grace.

Trust me ... the following is not a commentary on Tiger Woods, golf, sex or the art of text messaging multiple partners. It's really about the guy brain/ girl brain thing ... on steroids.

I'll admit I was probably in the minority among men and women this week. I didn't watch the apology and really haven't paid attention to what was said since. However ... when Woods picture popped up on the TV tonight, I made the critical mistake of saying to Debbie: "Isn't everyone over this already?"

Debbie answered, "Does that mean you condone what he's done?"

"What? No. I really don't care one way or the other."

"Of course you don't. He's ruined his family, has set a horrible example for the country ... and you don't care."

"Um ... yes ... that's right ... I don't care."

"So this country can be overrun by scumbags like him and it wouldn't bother you at all?"

"I thought we were talking about one guy who screwed up badly. I'm not taking a moral stand ... I just said I don't care."

"If someone dropped DEAD in this restaurant tonight ... would you care then?"

It was then that I knew Debbie had taken that dangerous turn into ... Theresnoanswerforthequestionbecauseitdoesntmakesense Land. We husbands know this terrain well. There's no way out.

I tried anyway: "Debbie, the people here at Outback (where we were dining) would probably share my great concern for the person who died and the family of that person. But I don't see ..."

"So ... you care about THAT and you don't even know the person ... but not about a celebrity who is a terrible role model for our children."

"Well ... since our children are all over 21 they can really make up their own minds ... but what I'm saying is that he is a great golfer and a crummy husband ... but I don't really want to hear about his sex life any more. I just wondered why people keep talking about it."

"Because people are INTERESTED that's why. Maybe it would be good if you were interested in something other than he is a great golfer."

"I only meant ..."

"Don't say anything else. You've got a piece of food in your teeth."

Damn ... She always seems to get in the last word.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy V Day

This is from my daughter Alissa on Valentine's Day:

Happy Valentine's Day to someone who raised me, loved me unconditionally and made me almost capable of having a functional relationship.

That's my kid!

(Love you honey ... xoxo)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Last night we played a home version of the Newlywed Game.

Bruce N. (or as he's called in Jersey: "Da Naz") and his wife Maria invited three couples to their condo for lasagna and gaming: Debbie and I ... my brother- in- law Tom "the Joker" and Debbie's twin Dennie ... and Aldo and Cecelia. It's really impossible to give Aldo a nickname ... he defies description in less than 150 words.

The first round of questions were for the guys ... so the girls headed to the bedroom. Bruce passed out our personalized official paper plates and pens. He read 4 questions which were supposed to be answered "quietly" ... a word that is not in Aldo's vocabulary.

1.  What is the thing that you do that annoys your wife the most?
(Aldo: "Oh man I got this f-ing answer. There is no f-ing way we won't win this game.")
2.  What is the thing your wife does right before she goes to sleep?
(Aldo: "Hey! There's another easy f-ing one. I am taking you two down!")
3.  What is your wife always in control of?
(Aldo: "Oh f-k ... everything, man. How am I supposed to answer this f-ing question. Okay ... okay ... I got it.")
4. When your wife drives the car with you in it ... what's the first thing you do?
(Aldo: "I get out of the f-ing car. That's what I do. What the f-k do you do?")

I'm sure there were other comments but not nearly as loud or as funny as Aldo's. Bruce occasionally reminded Aldo to "shut the f-k up and write his f-ing answers down". That's Jersey for, "Aldo, no talking please."

The girls returned, took their places next to us as Bruce read from each of our paper plates. Question number one was an easy one for Cecelia ... Drinking. "Badaboom!" Aldo had the first point. Dennie and Tom missed by a mile but Debbie hit a bullseye ... Picking his nose! "Yes!" We had a point. Aldo glared at me.

Question two:

Cecelia: "The first thing that I do .... um ... I take off my makeup and cream my skin."
Aldo: "NAW! That is not the first f-ing thing you do Cecelia. C'mon ..."
Bruce: "Okay ... Aldo said that you (reading) run and play ... "
Aldo: "I f-ing said READ AND PRAY."
Bruce: "Oh yeah. Your handwriting sucks Aldo .... Read and pray ... no points."
Aldo: "Sh-t Cecelia how could you not get that."

Dennie and Tom were again a mile off. I think Tom said "wash up" and Dennie said "talk on the phone". But Tom added ... that could be a full time job ...  anyway he went to sleep three hours before her so he wouldn't know. Interestingly enough, Debbie and I were right in sync. She said "wash my face and brush my teeth". "Bingo."

Aldo: "Wait a f-ing minute. He's ahead of me? No f-ing way. Cecelia ... you better get this next one."

Debbie and I missed the next two ... so did Tom ... and Aldo got one of them correct ... so we were tied. I was relieved. If I beat Aldo, there might have been two wise guys on my doorstep at midnight asking me if I like to swim with the fishes.

It was the girls' turn ... so we headed into the bedroom.

In the bedroom, there was a TV on ... playing the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. Aldo gave the play by play: " Now that's what I'm talkin about ... who the f-k cares about this sh-t. Here's some fag in a leotard hanging from the ceiling, dancin around .... awww ... look at that ... what the f-k is that? What f-ing country is that ... Alf-ingbania? They have one athlete ...."

Fortunately he had to go to the bathroom .... but returned a couple of minutes later with a bunch of fake flowers sticking out of his zipper. I won't even tell you the comments on that one.

Round two:

Everybody missed the first two questions: What does your husband do best (in the relationship)? and What does he like about you? The guys took the safe route and answered that we do nothing right and we love everything about the girls. NO POINTS for the game but big points at home.

The third question was ultimately thrown out because Bruce read Debbie's answer to Dennie's response ... something about soft skin ... but by then I was really zoning. There was another about shoes but after Dennie's 65 pair answer ...  I knew I'd never get that one right.

Then the final question which Aldo hit perfectly: What is your wife's bra size? He knew 34C! "Badaboom! We are gonna win this f-ing game suckas."

I had hoped Tom would be next.
Bruce: "Okay ... you two better both answer cause the girls are twins." I hit it high and Tom hit it low. I said C he said A and it was B ... neither of us had a clue.

Aldo was very happy ... he won a Kenny Rogers CD and Tom got plastic handcuffs for being last.

And us? What was our prize? I'll answer like Aldo would have... "We got no f-ing prize but ... we had a great f-ing night with great f-ing friends who share some great f-ing stories and a bottle of great f-ing wine. It was just f-ing great!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Did I tell You?

"Well, I just said to Kathy that I'd think about it. After all, why would we make plans that we might have to break if we don't know what we have and we haven't committed to do what we were going to do. Don't you agree?"

Do you know what this sentence fragment means? Are you curious .... even after re-reading this ... what the author's message is? Maybe you're asking yourself ....
1. Who is Kathy?
2. What are the plans?
3. What did the entire second sentence mean?
4. And .... what exactly am I agreeing to?

I ask those questions ... every day.

This is an example of a typical introductory paragraph to a conversation that is initiated by my wife, Debbie. She apparently thinks that she has prepared me with background information to help me give her an intelligent answer ... but nine times out of ten, her stories start and stop in the middle. I'm sure in her mind she has worked out the first part and the last part.

Every husband in America (and beyond) knows what comes next:

"Um ... Honey ... Can you say that again?"
And she replies: "See? You never listen."

Now ... if I was a smarter man (which I will admit is a REAL shortcoming) ... I would counter with ...  "Sorry, dear. I'll try harder. Would you repeat the question?"
Unfortunately I usually ask the four questions above and get the expanded response ... "YOU NEVER LISTEN ... THAT'S OUR PROBLEM ... EVERY BODY ELSE UNDERSTANDS WHAT I SAY ....  WHY IS IT THAT YOU NEVER DO?"

To complicate matters, Debbie has multiple friends with the same names ... like 3 Denises and 5 Kathys ... and she also has multiple siblings who begat multiple sons and daughters who begat multiple grandchildren (The last one was named Brenna ... I could never remember her name at all so I just call her "Blanket").

It's a cast of thousands. ALL of them have stories and I have no idea which family member's story I'm listening to.

For example ... I was sure "she" had prostate problems and "he" had hot flashes after I heard ...
"She went to the doctor about the prostate." Translation: "She" talked to the doctor about "his" prostate problem.
"He suffers from the hot flashes too." Translation: "He" feels the heat in bed when "she" has hot flashes. 

By the way ... I removed the names to protect the ... hell ... I admit ... I don't even remember those names. Okay ... I DIDN'T LISTEN!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dey Ain't the "Aints" No More

They used to be called the Aints. Even those of us who always loved them called them that in moments of weakness.

But it definitely isn't like that now ... and it wasn't that way in the very beginning.

New Orleans Saints History officially began on November 1-- All Saints Day-- in 1966. New Orleans was awarded the NFL's 16th franchise and by the end of the year, oilman John W. Mecom Jr became majority stock holder and named Atlanta Falcon offensive co-ordinator Tom Fears as head coach. Before then Fears had been on staff at Green Bay and Los Angeles.

The Saints actually had some big names signed to the roster. Names like Billy Kilmer and Doug Atkins. The Former LSU Tiger and Green Bay legend Jim Taylor would play his last season in New Orleans before being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Taylor's team mate Paul Hornung had actually been chosen in the expansion draft also, but a back injury led him to an early retirement. For the defense, players like defensive end Doug Atkins and linebacker Steve Stonebreaker came on. I remember Obert Logan from that first season. He was number "0". He played Safety, was only 5'10" and when he retired ... so did the number 0 from the NFL.

Tom Dempsey played for two seasons. He is widely known for his NFL record 63-yard field goal, kicked in the final two seconds to give the New Orleans Saints a 19–17 win over the Detroit Lions on November 8, 1970. It still stands today ... He also kicked with half of a foot.

When Archie Manning played quarterback for the Saints during the 1980s, he was sacked more than 300 times. This year, for the inaugural John Madden "Most Valuable Protectors Award" ... the CURRENT offensive line sent the senior Archie to pick up the award on their behalf.

Yes ... there were MANY lean years for the Saints and there were countless jokes and countless nay-sayers. But this year ... they are going to the Super Bowl. I think they'll win ... but even if they don't ... for all of my friends from my home town and for my Dad (who was number two in line for season tickets in the beginning) ...
...WE DAT!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's a Hoya?

What a game!!!

Last night in DC, the South Florida Bulls made history ... again. This time beating a ranked Big East team on the road. Not just any team ... but, The Georgetown Hoyas. My wife, a recent basketball fan since I joined the staff at USF, asked the question before we entered the arena ... "What's a Hoya?" (Actually ... in Debbie-speak it was "So what's a Hoooyahhh?")

It's a good question ... one that the Hoyas might be asking themselves today after we beat them 72 - 64.

I looked it up. Interestingly, "hoya" is Latin for "what" ... that's right ... it comes from a chant "Hoya Saxa" which literally means "What Rocks". So apparently the question remains unanswered in Georgetown.

To my lovely wife: "Sorry honey, I haven't found a hoooyah yet."

By the way, Stan Heath, USF coach (right) and John Thompson III, Georgetown (left) coach have something else in common ... they were separated at birth. Check out these pictures of them.

Yes friends ... USF has caught the fever ... so did I. Mine was unfortunately a real fever that I carried home from the game and have been filling up on drugs ever since. Last night ... the fever and the aches were numbed with excitement and a few Dewar's ... well maybe more than a few. Based on how I feel tonight, I must have angered my fever by ignoring it ... because it's certainly getting even.

Oh well ... it's a small price to pay for having a great night, seeing my beautiful daughter Alissa (who works in DC) with her friends and sharing great memories with all of you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Walk In My Shoes

Had a flashback walking across the campus today. No ... not an acid flashback ... this one was a true movie-type flashback. It was when Debbie and I drove young Josh Momberg to the University of Georgia his freshman year.
The car was loaded down with his treasures like ... video games, his favorite pillow, some disgusting cologne that he apparently thought would attract college girls (if they had really bad sinus trouble) and a few clothes.

The trip was memorable ... to say the least.

The first night we spent in Athens was at a Holiday Inn close to campus. We shared a room. A bed for us ... a cot for Josh. Some time after midnight, we heard a muffled scream coming from Josh's side of the room. I jumped up and turned on the light and saw Josh completely folded into his cot ... which had somehow snapped shut with only his feet sticking out.

He escaped unharmed ... just sweaty.

Debbie's turn at bad luck was on the next morning when she opened her (third or fourth) suitcase and noticed one of her toiletries missing. I can't remember which one ... but based on how distressed she was ... it could only mean it was one of her hair products.

She got over it.

My turn came soon after we moved Josh into his dorm. I headed out for coffee and bagels. I remember looking around the surrounding courtyard outside the dorm as I walked the crisscrossed sidewalks when all of a sudden ... I was standing in quicksand. Actually, it was wet cement. Now, most people would step into it with one foot and realize their mistake. Not me. BOTH feet. And I was sinking fast.

Suddenly I saw these two huge guys marching toward me. They looked just like William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Mr. O (remember "When Harry Met Sally"?) both in work overalls. They grabbed me by the arms and lifted me straight out without bending. The Fridge looked me up and down and chuckled and pointed to his cement truck..."Follow me."
"Wait ... I'm really sorry ... what can I do to make up for this?" I stammered.
Mr. O spoke up. "We got a hose, man."
I wasn't sure if they were gonna beat me with it or clean me off ... but I followed them anyway. They uncurled a huge firehose and stood me against the wall. The pressure sent me flush against it as they hosed the cement off my shoes and pants.

As I slogged away, I could hear them snorting and laughing out loud. I took a walk across campus to get coffee and bagles ... hoping I would dry off by the time I got back. I didn't. I walked back to the dorm and Debbie and Josh were standing on the porch waiting for me.

"Where in the world have you been?"
"Getting coffee."
"Why are you so wet?"
"Wet? Oh just a little accident. Not a big thing ..."

Over my shoulder I hear roaring laughter. I turn and see The Fridge and Mr. O with two other guys, Warren Sapp and The Hulk ... laughing it up too. The Fridge brings his pals closer.

"This is the guy! He stepped in with BOTH feet!"
I calmly said, "Funny. Really funny." Debbie and Josh tried to hide their faces.

Fridge handed me a sharp stick. "Hey man PLEASE sign the spot where you fell in .... I want to remember this spot forever."

I signed it "To The Fridge and his friends, Love Joel".

Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...