Billy Bob Teeth Mess Straightened Out

Looks like Billy-Bob teeth sales were actually hurt by a copycat novelty teeth maker, so the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decreed. Thank heavens that got straightened out. Perhaps it will stop there and not have to go to the United States Supreme Court.

In our Fun Facts corner, Billy-Bob Teeth, Inc., had sales of novelty teeth of five million dollars last year. Call the investment bankers! We need an sophomorically exuberant Novelty Item stock market bubble to re-energize the markets, and we need it stat.

Schumer Wants an International Treaty On Spam?

The Washingtion Post mentions in passing in a story about a spammer that Senator Charles Schumer of New York wants an international treaty for the non-proliferation of spam.

Protected by International Treaty? What’s next, an Axis of Spammers? Trade wars or military intervention to depose those who would forge headers?

For the love of pete, it’s just junk mail you can delete from your inbox and filter, fairly effectively, from your server. It’s annoying, but the pushes to make it illegal and criminal are a little much for my taste, but I rankle against legislation and regulation more than I rankle at being annoyed.

Another Home Schooler Triumphs!

A home schooled child has won the National Geographic Bee this year. And it’s not as though he’s been in training for the geographic bee: he’s also on his state science bowl team.

Regardless of these accomplishments, he probably doesn’t feel good about himself since his home schoolers, who love him and don’t just look at him as a little monster to suffer for a year, lack diversity and sensitivity training to provide programs to love himself and his fellow little monsters. Of course, his educators aren’t paying the administrative vigorish that cripples school district budgets, either.

So this homeschooling win must be a fluke.

Mean Machines, Part I

Maxim, a magazine whose print edition I occasionally read for its informative articles (particularly its investigative photo-essays of women of achievement in the film and print industry), this month featured a number of extremely high-performance cars in its column The Ride (link is to pictures and multimedia, some by subscription, which augments the print piece).

Expert advice provided by Lamborghini technical advisor on how to properly use the Lamborghini Murcielago, which sports a 6.2 L, 575 horsepower V-12 engine that can propel the vehicle from zero to sixty in 3.8 seconds (2.7 seconds Canadian):

“Try to keep the yellow side up.”

Words by which to live.

When Vezina Winners Attack!

So Dominik Hasek, a goalie who bailed out on the NHL after winning the Stanley Cup last year, goes home and gets a little rough in a roller hockey game, sending a player to the hospital. Big hoary deal. Sure, he tried to fight Patrick Roy, but that’s goalie-on-goalie action.

Jean Sebastian-Giguere, my new hero until such time as he signs with the Red Wings, went after a Calgary forward. He’s got, um, pucks as big as manhole covers, I kid you not.

I guess Giguere’s not a Vezina winner, yet, but I kid you not he’s got a Conn Smythe trophy coming.

(Hasek link from Fark. All other research from my own memory supplemented by Google.)

(P.S. Sorry, folks, but it was only a matter of time until a hockey post broke through. I am still capturing developers at the coffeepot to tell them how I think the St. Louis Blues are going to do next year and what I think the Collective Bargaining Agreement ending after next year will mean for the NHL, so it’s only natural something like it would leak out in the blog.)

I May Be A Tonto Gringo, But….

A couple of outraged students at UCSB are frothing about the use of the Gaucho as a symbol for the school’s mascot or some such nonsense. They’ve written to the school paper to foam on at length about how the school mox Mexican-Americans and their descendents. Oh, yeah, here’s the response to those who might think the collegiate children are being foolish:

Now some of you reading this might be immediately tempted to dismiss our commentary as some “PC” reaction to what you might perceive as a rather harmless appropriation of Mexican culture. [Emphasis mine]

Oh, spare me the pillaging of your heritage. As some tonto gringos know, gauchos roamed las pampas de Argentina, not Mexico. And gaucho is a romanticised profession, not a race or ethnic group.

See also Green Bay Packers, the Ottawa Senators, Seattle Mariners, the Washington Wizards (sorry, I had to stretch for the NBA) or, more appropriately, the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, the incited students have a great idea! Change the mascot!

We propose the changing of the mascot name from UCSB Gauchos to UCSB Gavachos, a slang term used by Mexicans and Chicanos to refer to white people.

That learned them Fighting Whities guys, wot?

(Original source: Fox News Tongue Tied.)

Another Luddite Heard From

Larry Blasko from AP has got a really nice piece in the Washington Post describing one of the best computer backup media ever: paper.

I have worked on computers too long, both physically (A+ certified, donchaknow?) and on the software side to trust anything to the vagaries of technology. I mean, some of the coolest short stories I ever wrote are safe enough, I think, on 5.25″ floppies that fit into a Commodore 1571 disk drive. But that’s no good if I cannot get to them.

Until I am struck blind, though, I can read and retype paper copies. In case you’re wondering how many copies I have of the most important document I have created in the last year (my novel manuscript John Donnelly’s Gold), the answer is ten, and many are stored off site.

Report from the Burbs

As the beautiful wife and I have begun landscaping our beautiful suburban home in Casinoport, Missouri (an inner ring suburb of St. Charles, Missouri), I needed to replace the repeatedly-run-over hose with something that continued to fit onto spigot. We replaced the old Sentry Hardware $1.99 Long Straw model hose with the $2.99 (inflation) Ace Hardware Long Straw model hose. But when it came to the nozzle, I insisted we purchase an heirloom-quality water flow control device. I warm pleasurably with the thought of my great-grandchildren spraying each other as they wash the aerocar using the nozzle I bought.

The Nozzle

The Nozzle

So of course we chose the Nelson Model 2280 Industrial Metal nozzle. This nozzle includes a long list of features, including:

  • Water pressure rated to 100 psi. Granted, my Long Straw hose cannot handle that, and my spigot would rather sprinkle the basement than spit out anything beyond 1 TPS (Trickle Per Second), but just in case we get a nuclear-powered water pump in the future, we will be ready.
  • Hot water rated to 160°F, which is what the Azalea prefers. Unfortunately, this model cannot handle water that’s actually boiling, but when we need to scald the petunias, we can continue to use the tea kettle.
  • Heavy-duty zinc construction. It’s not titanium or Kevlar, but when it oxidizes, it will double as a sun block.
  • THERMOGUARD insulated for hot or cold water comfort. You don’t want Anything less than THERMOGUARD, like THERMOBARKINGDOG.
  • Reinforced brass stem and nut. Although it sounds slightly dirty, it’s not, but merely sounding phallic is feature enough.
  • Crush-resistant glass-filled nylon handle. Because crushable glass-filled Rayon handles are for wussies.
  • Threaded tip for hose accessories. Definitely a plus, since the type of person who buys an industrial water nozzle will be easily influenced to buying additional accessories.
  • Lock-on water clip. I haven’t tried it yet, but I assume this means something like a tone like the fighter pilots hear for those exact moments when I have the rose bushes lined up for a primary “soak shot.”

All of this for just $11.99, which is much more than I paid for the hose, but worth it. For aside from the features denoted above, the nozzle has the word Industrial right on the handle. Each time I grip it, I will remember I am above the hoi polloi who use lesser water nozzles.

Of course, when we bought it on Saturday, the nozzle became an instant part of our family. Lawrence, as he prefers we call him, instantly bonded not only with me, but also Heather and the cats.

He’s moved right in and has adjusted to life outside of the hardware store and outside the blister card with eager anticipation for what each new day brings. Freed from the NASA-style sleeping arrangement hanging from a hook in Ace Hardware, Lawrence prefers a medium-firmness pillow and likes to sleep late on Sundays.

Although he sleeps late, Lawrence is not lazy. He’s ready to get to work dispensing water to the parched flora (and occasional fauna if one of those “cute baby rabbits” gets too close to any of our hundreds of dollars on nursery-bought flora). He understands the impact of the rain, which has left him on the bench this week, but he’s encouraged when we tell him that July and August are coming, and with them, the annual unprecedented drought.

In our conversations, Lawrence and I have developed a deep respect for one another. Although we don’t always agree on the finer details of some issues, such as how long to deploy a spray upon an individual perennial, we agree that water is an absolute necessity for flowers, and that when April showers are a distant memory, it’s only our teamwork that will preserve the order we have established with weedblock fabric and mulch. And that’s enough to make our relationship start, and undoubtedly it will grow over time.

Lawrence Sleeps In
Lawrence Sleeps In
Lawrence looks out the window wistfully, ready to begin
Lawrence waits for the sun to come out so he can get to work

Some people wondered how a cosmopolitan, artistic, urban soul like me would fit into the rustic, drive-to-the-strip-mall life in Casinoport.

I fit right in, thanks.

Programming Note

We at MfBJN vow to be the only media source, ever, to not play that stoopid Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow song “Picture.” I hear it on alternative stations. I hear it on country stations. I hear it as the bumper on AM news/talk stations.

This blog is your refuge. We will never play the song, but we deserve the right to mock it from time to time.

Thank you, that is almost all:

And yo, is Kid Rock balding, or what? Mullet + Hat = Balding!

Thank you, that is all.

Pssst….Wanna Know What I Said About Ted Nugent?

Hey, if you’re coming in from Google and want to see the complete Ted Nugent transcript from KRFX, sorry I don’t have it (but if you do find it, I would love to see it. I did talk about the “controversy” on Wedneday, May 7, and you can read the two posts here.

Google’s searches only bring you to the main page here, and not the actual post for which you were looking. But rest assured, the Doc-U-Matic 3000 is here to serve you! Don’t forget to drop me a line and say thanks.

Four Year Old Kindergartens Teach Legislative Math

In Wisconsin, a special study by the “Legislative Fiscal Group” has determined that cutting a program, that is, not spending state tax money on it, would really cost the state money! Shocker! The “Legislative Fiscal Group” urges the state to spendspendspend its way into savings. The story appears in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. By the way, do many journals really need guardians? What sort of dumb combined name is that?

The program costs $72 million dollars. By cutting this $72 million dollar program, the state will lose $8.4 million dollars in federal money that it receives to fund the operation. That’s the “cost” described in the hyperlink on the main JSOnline site and in the “Eliminating 4-year-old kindergarten will cost state, study says” subhead. That’s legislative math.

Legislative math uses proven Deadbeat Cousin Accounting. You know the accounting I am talking about. Cousin Ned, who has his get-rich-quick schemes and buys pseudo-muscle cars past the point of cost effective maintenance, who works a part-time job around his fiscally imprudent efforts, and who occasionally pops up to “borrow” money (the occasion he needs it). He could get a real job and start behaving like a grown up, but if he did, it would cost him that free money.

Our state and municipal governments might as well call themselves Cousin Ned. They buy a round of drinks and take people out to dinner when the economy’s going well or they win $80 on lottery scratch-off tickets, but when that $80 is gone, they still want to spend it, and that’s where you come in, dear cousin taxpayer.

Closing Time Revisited

The Shepherd Express discusses the possibility of eliminating last call at taverns and pubs, or at least allowing them to stay open a while after they’ve stopped serving liquor. Although this article examines regulations far off lands where even sober people talk funny, like England and Minnesota, I thought I would add my two shots.

It would be a good idea to eliminate last call and deregulate alcohol serving totally.

After all, two o’clock closing times merely throw a bunch of inebriated and partially-inebriated people into the streets at once. A number of people to bicker, to continue partying, and sometimes to drive home at the same time. The mandated closing time concentrates the goofiness into a single period of time arbitrarily assigned by the municipal or state government. Heaven knows the problems the neighborhoods in Milwaukee alone have suffered because of the throngs. Denny’s restaurants in Milwaukee close before the bars do to avoid the rush of post-tavern patrons, for crying out loud.

By eliminating the bars’ closing time, municipalities would spread out the impact of partying people and whatever infractions they might perform, hereby diminishing the overall disquiet created in neighborhoods, allowing bar patrons to trickle out until the next day. With the end-all, drink-all crowd evacuating at a single time, we’re assuming the cops can be everywhere at once to catch all of the drunk drivers who would kill short-order cooks getting off at one o’clock in the morning and all the gun-, knife-, and fist-bearing disagreeable people.

Of course, opponents might say that eliminating the bar closing time would make people likely to drink more, but that’s not necessarily the case of Miller High Life. People can drink as much as they want outside of taverns and clubs. It just means people would drink in places where restaurant keepers could profit from it.

Bringing Pop-Under Ads Into the Real World

I hate junk mail that looks like invoices for something I have ordered. Cripes, this very day I got three from the wonderful Domain Registry of America, warning me that unless I paid right now my domain names would expire!. In August. Send your check now! Of course, they’re not my domain registrar and they’ve never gotten dime one out of me. As a matter of fact, considering they have sent me this triplicate postal spam four times, I have cost them 12n, where n is the cost of your general presort postage.

It’s not just these desperate, fly-by-day two-bit-and-you-get-change operations doing it. Time Warner’s been onto the ploy before they wed “A Disk A Minute” AOL. Time and Sports Illustrated offers started looking like past due bills a long time ago. I no longer subscribe to any Time Warner magazines. I have a long memory.

I have no respect for a company that would hope to trick me out of my money. These guys send their “invoices” out the same way as GAINPRO PENIS ENLARGERS (excuse the keyword spamming) pinheads send e-mail. The number of people who are too busy, too unintelligent, or too inattentive and simply cut a check to Time Warner, Domain Registrars of America, or whatever, obviously rewards them enough to keep them doing it. But they won’t get my money, and in the case of legitimate and large corporations, I mean any of it.

So is legislation the answer? Hardly. But individuals should be careful with such “invoices,” and we in the blog-o-mockracy and in the consumer world should stand up and let the companies know we see what they’re doing, and we disapprove.

How To Find This Site

The list of referrers that brings you, gentle readers, to this site contains some interesting Google and other Web searches that rate the Doc-U-Matic 3000 Word Generator highly. To whit:

Thank you to all my confused search engine visitors, and to the people who are going to be arriving in the next couple of days to see what I have to say about GAINPRO VIAGRA PENIS LACI PETERSEN (spelled incorrectly to get those poor speller hitz) LASIK EYE SURGERY RIAA.

The answer is, nothing, but I get paid for clicks, not sticks. Well, actually, I don’t get paid, and all I get is to laugh at your search string. Thanks for playing, and don’t forget to try “BRIAN J. NOGGLE IS A CHEESEHEAD”

Six Flags As You’ll Never See It, Piker

Before Six Flags over Mid America, in Eureka, Missouri (a suburb, now, of St. Louis) opens, the firefighters and emergency workers have their day. It’s not like they get short lines to the roller coasters, though; Six Flags lets them use the Thunder River ride to practice rescuing people from flash floods and rapids. How cool is that?

Story, courtesy of the Suburban Journals (a wholly owned subsidiary of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch designed to make you think there’s real “competition” or that they contain “news”), here.