Monday, August 27, 2007
With the advent of the school year today, Facebook has slowed to a halt, at least on this library computer I'm on. Silly college/high school/hobo networking site.
Friday, August 24, 2007
This makes me feel very, very dirty, Milk Farmers of America.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
And, due to the Cubs' first place position right now and in honor of getting that by beating the San Francisco, I present the famous New York lament:
These are the saddest of possible words
Tinker to Evers to Chance
A trio of bear Cubs and fleeter than birds
Tinker to Evers to Chance
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble
Making a Giant hit into a double
Words that are weighty with nothing but trouble
Tinker to Evers to Chance.
This is NOT supposed to happen! Rangers 30, Orioles 3?!?! And before the fourth inning, the Orioles were winning! Crikies!
MLB.com says it's the most runs scored since 1897 in a Cubs versus Louisville game... one team doesn't even exist anymore! (By the way, that would be CUBS 36 to Louisville's 7... though I must note, they were not OFFICIALLY named the Cubs until 1907).
So, the point I'm driving at here is: wouldn't it be terrible to be a Orioles fan?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The video "Slaughter Your World" from a few days ago is from a sort-of World of Warcraft comic (it uses some elements of WoW, but the history of the world and names of cities are not the same). It's called LFG. Check it out, the undead warlock Richard (seen in the video) makes for some great stuff.
I always support comedy involving face-melting.
Monday, August 20, 2007
CuteOverload's got itself posting about the Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago! And it involves the most famous baby from a song besides Nancy Sinatra's murderous one.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I'm back from Florida! So is Andy (so inconspicuous that we come back the same time ALWAYS, AMIRIGHT?!?!)!
Due to outside obligations, I probably won't be doing much posting until next week! In the meantime, enjoy the below post! And a new video I've been getting sent to me a LOT:
Some of you remember my apartment's epic battle with Bob the Mouse, ending in his smooshing.
Rogers Park, like any neighborhood in the Midwest, is infested with fairly harmless creatures, hardly able to wrestle me for the last piece of pizza (besides, I would win using my poisoned pincers). Yet they still sneak up on me and can take my pizza then. We learned this last summer.
This summer, we were ready to take them on, and I feel the need to freely pass along our wisdom and hilariously stupid ideas to others. Hopefully you'll make the same mistakes and tell us (in detail).
Our greatest difficulty last summer was the mess of ants that advanced on both sides of the house. They were particularly rude. College students are not going to lie down and lose their Cap'n Crunch to some barely measurable thorax-wielding fiends, so war was the only option.
Get ready for the summer sequel to the summer blockbuster: the sugar ants returned, as critics predicted! They are voracious. For example, a while back, without warning, the ants came for the after-birthday party:
ME: Not my German Chocolate cake!
(I shoo them off)
ME: Not the Guinness cake!
I still ate them (the cakes), by the way.
In the scariest turn of events, flying ants began flitting about the living room. Why this occurred, I don't know, but flying is not something ants should do. They will have to die.
We found many weapons at our disposal: traps, gel, Raid, vinegar solution, human hair (provided by John's haircut), bare hands, etc. None have worked. Even cleaning doesn't work. We even suggested our neighbors upstairs give up, 'cause nothing does it. Just wait for the frost and the ants to be replaced by mice.
VERDICT? Submit to their will. It's the only way to spare your children.
These bugs have been much less of a problem. One might even note that these things kill our other pests, but then one might note that they are still, well, spiders.
They look creepy and sometimes bite. Luckily, they die the same ways as ants: it's just they never come in as large of numbers, so you can kill them fast enough.
VERDICT? Not much of a problem, and if you listen to wives' tales, you would know spiders get rid of a number of the other creatures on this list. But if you listen to other tales, you swallow eight spiders every year while sleeping. So whatever's your preference!
Losing your clothes in college is not an option. All those high school polo shirts, blouses, and t-shirts from the Latin Olympiad 2002 Semi-Nationals held in Reno, Nevada need to be protected. Moths are your enemy, make no mistake.
Some are very small. Some are very large. The smaller ones are more dangerous to your clothes. The larger ones are ickier (fuzzy, scaly, and luminescent... God, what were you smoking?). Therefore, don't distinguish: smoosh them all! Mothballs suck, and they suck to pay for, too!
VERDICT? JESUS, THE CASHMERE!!!
Things with Abnormal Abnormal Numbers of Legs
Everyone sees 'em, no one knows what to call 'em. They've got hundreds of legs, so most call them centipedes. They're striped, so my dad calls them "tigers." They suck your blood at night and can't stand garlic bread, so some call them vampires.
They are alarming creatures to notice. While a spider or ant is pretty small here in Chicago, a house centipede (I looked it up) can be very large. They also move very fast, alarmingly so,
I'm told that if these guys are our only centipedes, we're damn lucky. Centipedes in the Southwest desert grow over a foot long and can poison fairly large mammals. This fact does not make me not want to kill the "small" ones in my house, only making me wish to prevent them from growing bigger.
Mush them with whatever you don't care about and have lying around: an old newspaper, a worn tennis shoe, a broken shot glass, a Vista operating manual... There are no known ways of preventing their presence, but killing them should work. Also, I believe they like damp areas, so watch your towels.
VERDICT? Let the Southwesterners scoff. The centipede I squashed the other day was AT LEAST as big as the penny I threw at it.
Mice and Rats
These are probably the cutest of the infestations you can get, but remember how I mentioned most creatures being unable to wrestle me? Well, that doesn't apply to Chicago street rats. They're big, they're mean, and they have mob connections. Don't mess with them. If you have to, call police reporting your own murder before facing one of these.
Mice are less likely to be able to fight you and are more likely to be found in the house, like our friend Bob. All these rodents are more likely to be found in winter, escaping the cold, but I included them on this list anyway. Shoo them out, use "Tom and Jerry" traps, use humane traps, poison them... I just suggest getting them out. They like to poop.
VERDICT? Drunk mice are fun!
You know who to call.
Bees and Wasps
By far, the most alarming infestation you can find is a nest of some of these guys. If you need explanation, please rewatch My Girl, this time without crying.
We saw a wasp and/or bee (possibly an evil hybrid) going into a crack in our porch. We panicked.
VERDICT? Did you know I've used the word "smoosh" twice in this?
How can I get out of this without saying a thing or two about the true infestation of this summer in Chicago? Brood XIII began making a racket in late May. These creatures are supposed to be extraordinarily slow, stupid, and yet somehow at the peak of their evolution while only living one month after seventeen years of gestation. Nature boggles my mind.
I was disappointed. No cicadas were in Rogers Park. I had to travel out to Forest Park and Brookfield to see them (where they were out in the millions). That's a long trip though. RedEye, where is your integrity? Your depth of reporting?
VERDICT? These guys were the BIGGEST disappointment of an infestation, so don't bother. Also, sorry about the Ghostbusters joke.
Labels: Longer Stuff
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Hello, this is Frank from the Chi-Town Daily News. We produce an online
newspaper (http://www.chitowndailynews.org) that focuses on hyper-local
coverage of each of the distinct Chicago neighborhoods, and most of our
content comes from citizen-journalists who are invested and active in
their communities. We'd love for you to write or take photos for us,
and would be happy to support you in any way that we can. It would also
be great if we could syndicate any relevant material from your blog on
our site. Let me know if you think that we could work together.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Andy's school is amazing! Their tech department deserves a round of applause!
Me and Andy are gone for the week to Florida. Hopefully, there'll be less Indiana/British pollution there.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
BP (British Petroleum, for anyone who has been living under a rock called Amoco for the past few years) is unsurprisingly a petroleum giant based in Britain that began making waves on the American scene the past decade. I remember all those red-white-and-blue Amoco signs all switching to neon green and yellow. BP took up stations across the country and began happily charging import prices.
The most recent waves are ones that BP itself has literally been making in Lake Michigan. The ripples from these relatively small amounts of toxins are not taken lightly by me or the state of Illinois/Chicago. They are however taken plenty lightly by Indiana, that great wildlife park to the east of us. BP received a license to dump pollutants in the Great Lakes from Indiana, and when the EPA was called on to stop them by Illinois and especially Chicago politicians and residents, the EPA balked. BP can continue dumping.
Listen: when Chicago tells you you're dumping too much waste into Lake Michigan, it might be time to reexamine what you're doing. As for the EPA, this should be a standard.
Haven't we had enough trouble with the fishing industry around this lake? Like the carp need anything more toxic to bottom-feed off of. If they get much more, we might be dealing with a zombie fish apocalypse much sooner than expected.
Can even the staunchest capitalist want the Great Lakes polluted? Don't children, tasty fish, and water bottles swim in that? At least think about the consequences on those markets!
The EPA has sold us out to a privatised British company, and it bothers me. And Indiana has, too! Since when did you Southeasterners get cozy with the Redcoats? And the EPA again! When will you guys stop serving spotted owl stew in your cafeteria? Next election?!
As for BP, shame on you. Coming into America, you should be more courteous like the stereotypes we hold of that country! Why, when you're coming into a country full of assholes do you have to partake?! And I hear many of your employees aren't even British!
Dumping toxins into one of the biggest freshwater lakes in the world, just because Britain has to live without such a thing! And we were going to export them more water bottles, finest, most abundant in the world (before you started polluting their water).
BP, clean up your act or else. Otherwise, you will face the ultimate consequences from the American people: boycotting your
I propose a few other things to remedy this situation: (1) In the invasion of Indiana, we airlift all Chicago garbage, debris, and Illinois radioactive waste to their capital. That's Indianapolis, right? I always forget whether they have a city big enough to be a capital in that state. (2) Annex the Indiana Dunes to become the Chicago Dunes, cutting off Indiana from the Lake. And c'mon, they're really ours anyway. (3) Threaten the mothers of employees of the EPA. (4) If #3 doesn't work, hold another election for that whachamajingie office? President?
Labels: Longer Stuff
I am sorry to make light of this, but I do think it's the coolest tragedy ever. If someone dies of their injuries, I will rescind this.
(From Tribune Media Services.)
I know how long it took me to get to this, yes, but hey, better late than never. Right?
And all I need to say is, Barry:
And a few more symbols as well.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Also, I'm changing the title of this segment to the more general "Wikis" over "Wikipedia". Why? Why not?
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I noticed a jailed trainer who gave a number of MLB players steroids is still giving his thumb of support to Barry Bonds. Kinda sounds like someone you should keep quiet?
Also, Bonds hit No. 755.
Retire now (not quit... "quit" is a dirty word), Mr. Bonds. This is a serious plea. People won't hate you forever if you go now. They might just loathe you.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Schlapped at German Fest: Milwaukee German Fest 2007
By Andy Dost
I went to Milwaukee's ever-famous German Fest last weekend, so right now, I'm going to get this out of the way and make sure not to make any more of these along the way:
What did the Jew say to the gypsy?
"You can have the shower next."
I swear: no more or else.
Getting to Milwaukee is easy, and it's not a terribly difficult city to navigate. Parking a ways from the fairground with the intention of taking a free trolley, we got some nice glimpses of the library area and the arena where the Bucks play.
But that's where the niceties ended. Buses were frequent, but buses emblazoned with "GERMAN FEST" were not. We waited 15 minutes. And another 15. We walked to another alleged stop. We walked to the next. We walked back one.
Milwaukee, it would not be wise to cross this satirist.
Finally, a trolley came. Only it wasn't free as advertised. It was $1.50. I was getting CTA vibes, the nasty ones where I imagine myself derailing a train into all the guys in orange stopping my train for 20 minutes to fix the signals.
Needless to say, we told the driver to leave us to our Milwaukee misery. The next trolley followed it 15 minutes later. This guy was happy to put my dad on free, and he told us all the trolleys were free.
So, what is it, Milwaukee? $1.50 or free? Or do drivers make their own choices, kind of leaving them flexible in their swindling?
We finally walked the whole way (don't ask, I still don't know), which took us by plenty more buildings, including breweries and one that looked somewhat like half a sailboat (this was the art museum, unsurprisingly). The boat/art museum told us we were near the gates!
Getting in quick-like, we battled through a Rhinelanders/Oompah Band parade: the Dachshund Races awaited! Those were what everyone was waiting for, weren't they? The stadium for this was packed. It was difficult to see the racers over people's heads (even at my height), and it was made more difficult by the average height of a dachshund.
"If you are behind the finish line, please, for your safety, move to the left," said the announcer.
"For 'your safety'? What? From the dogs?" A burst of laughter came from the woman behind me and I knew I had an audience.
Wading through the stunted adorableness to a seat, my dad made note of one racer wearing a professional-looking harness. "There’s a ringer?!" I had this woman howling, really.
The first race, involving five dogs, ended with one crossing the finish line and the other not crossing the starting line. Later, the race officials learned having the dogs play "fetch" with a rubber ball was more effective than telling them to go.
Riding the Sky Rider/Alpine Ski-Lift/James Bond Simulator, my mom and I were caught in a delicious smelling smoke cloud. Below us were roasting chickens and suckling pigs! All whole! Snouts and all!
We immediately began our search after getting down. We didn't know where they were selling them, until my dad finally realized that the word Spanferkel was close by, which means something like "young pig."
Of course, you cannot get away from a German fest without beer, beer, beer:
MOM: (pointing to the Jagermeister tent on the map) "Well, there's beer here."
ME: "What? Jagermeister?"
MOM: "Yeah, says there's beer here on the map."
MOM: "Mom, that is NOT beer."
Perhaps my parents are a little foggy on their hard liquors since their college days. Everyone kills those brain cells before they graduate.
Though it did turn out that tent sold beer! Just not Jagermeister-brand beer thankfully.
The best part of festivals like this is they bring out the best ethnic joke T-shirts in the world ("I HEART MY WEINER" with dachshund silhouette accompaniment and several Hogan's Heroes tribute shirts). While one of my favorites happened to apply to me ("WARNING: Irish Temper, German Stubbornness"), the best I found was "Schlapped at Oktoberfest!" with a picture of a man dancing close to a Frauleine. Good topic, and I can happily say I did not see any showerhea--
(Insert 2001: A Space Odyssey/Battlestar Galactica/Short Circuit reference here)
"Most importantly, the machines now come with kill switches, in case there's any odd behavior. 'So now we can kill the unit if it goes crazy,' Zecca says."
(Submitted by Dubs.)
God help me, didn't I just quit?
(The rumors have been bubbling up for days. It was only a matter of time.)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Eric and the Dread Gazebo
A hilarious tale of Dungeons and Dragons...
© Copyright 1985, Richard Aronson. Used without permission, but without profit. Maybe they'll understand?
In the early seventies, Ed Whitchurch ran "his game", and one of the participants was Eric Sorenson.
Eric plays something like a computer. When he games he methodically considers each possibility before choosing his preferred option. If given time, he will invariably pick the optimal solution. It has been known to take weeks. He is otherwise, in all respects, a superior gamer.
Eric was playing a Neutral Paladin in Ed's game. He was on some lord's lands when the following exchange occurred:
ED You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.
ERIC A gazebo? What color is it?
ED (Pause) It's white, Eric.
ERIC How far away is it?
ED About 50 yards.
ERIC How big is it?
ED (Pause) It's about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top.
ERIC I use my sword to detect good on it.
ED It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo.
ERIC (Pause) I call out to it.
ED It won't answer. It's a gazebo.
ERIC (Pause) I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?
ED No, Eric, it's a gazebo!
ERIC I shoot it with my bow (roll to hit). What happened?
ED There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.
ERIC (Pause) Wasn't it wounded?
ED OF COURSE NOT, ERIC! IT'S A GAZEBO!
ERIC (Whimper) But that was a +3 arrow!
ED It's a gazebo, Eric, a GAZEBO! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don't know why anybody would even try. It's a @#$%!! gazebo!
ERIC (Long pause. He has no axe or fire spells) I run away.
ED (Thoroughly frustrated) It's too late. You've awakened the gazebo. It catches you and eats you.
ERIC (Reaching for his dice) Maybe I'll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.
At this point, the increasingly amused fellow party members restored a modicum of order by explaining what a gazebo is.
Thus ends the tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo. A little vocabulary is a dangerous thing.
(I know this is 10KBC, but bear with me. I felt like posting it. And the website I found it?)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I KNOW our politicians are entertaining, but they still haven't had as much practice (see "Magna Carta") as British politicians.
Watch this, and see how far you can get without pounding and breaking your keyboard, laughing.
(From the Flowers.)
Angel continues! But you know this is just me wasting time, NOT fixing the layout of the blog, right?
Check out the advice (and video) near the bottom: Tribune reporters on the small screen.
Seriously, though, Rowling tells us plenty **SPOILERS IF YOU CLICK THE LINK** about the characters' futures in an interview, but not in the book. Huh.