Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Plain ol' water

I just learned that Pepsi's Aquafina bottled water and Coca-Cola's Dasani are made from purified tap water. Perhaps I'd have already known this if I drank the stuff. But with a kitchen faucet and a water fountain at work, I haven't had the urge to part with hard-earned money for water. Besides, I grew up drinking water from an artesian well along a street in Montezuma, Ga., and from garden hoses, and it had no adverse affects on me -- although my son was born with six fingers on each hand. Just kidding ... it's seven.

Now, if I find out they've been getting Diet Dr Pepper out of some faucet somewhere and charging me hundreds of dollars a year for it, then I'm gonna be mad. I'm also gonna find out where they got that faucet and get me one. The heck with tap water. Although, showers might get a bit sticky.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Week in review 16

  • Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen is kicked out of the race because of doping allegations, allowing Alberto Contador of Spain to take the win. That is, until test results show that every man in France who wears Speedos is on some sort of steroid, meaning Chester Guillaume, who runs a pedicab service in Paris is declared the new Tour de France champion.
  • The U.S. Postal Service announces a new series of stamps honoring various superheroes from Marvel Comics. However, the plan goes awry when 12,000 envolopes bearing the stamp of Invisible Girl Sue Storm go missing.
  • Allegations arise that some NASA astronauts have been drinking heavily before embarking upon space missions. Furthermore, a report shows that the massive fuel tank jettisoned each time the shuttle goes into orbit is actually full of gin, not fuel.
  • A study shows using marijuana may increase the chance of becoming psychotic by up to 40 percent. The same study also shows using marijuana boosts the chances of buying an extra large bag of Doritos by 40 percent.
  • Researchers discover that if your friends and family are fat, you probably will be too. In a related development, Chris Johnson adopts the Olsen twins and announces Calista Flockhart is his new best friend.
  • When Oscar the cat curls up on a patient's bed and stays there, the staff knows it's time to call the family. It usually means the patient has less than four hours to live.
    The feline's accuracy has been observed in 25 cases at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I. Or, it means that a lot of folks in the home are severely allergic to cats.
  • Drew Carey is picked to replace Bob Barker as host of "The Price Is Right" after Carey promises to have himself neutered.
  • Lindsay Lohan's latest movie "I Know Who Killed Me" debuts in 9th place at the box office. I think everybody knows who's killing you, Lindsay.
  • NBA Commissioner David Stern says he believes that the referee linked to gambling is "an isolated case." Also, the fan linked to actually watching the NBA on television last year is considered to be "an isolated case."
  • Wall Street suffers its worst week in nearly four years when the middle class checks its wallets and realizes it has a grand total of $14. Coincidentally, all the wallets checked by the middle class were made in China.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just me and the Braves

I hit the gym about 11:30 or so tonight and didn't get home until 1:30 a.m. And thanks to extra innings and the fact that they're on the Left Coast, I get to watch my Atlanta Braves play the Giants. Right this second, the Braves are up 7-4 in the 13th, but they're trying to blow it. I'd boo Barry Bonds, but I don't want to wake the wife. Dang! It's 7-5 now and the bases are loaded.

This reminds me of those summer night of my childhood in the '80s when I'd come in tired after playing football or baseball or tromping through the woods and creeks all day and spend the late night and early morning watching the then-lowly Braves. They were in the National League West back then and played a lot more games in L.A., San Fran and San Diego than they do now. Though they Braves were baaaaad, I'd be glued to my 13-inch black-and-white TV. I felt like I was the only person east of the Mississippi watching them. Heck, I might have been. I was definitely the only guy east of the Mississippi watching them and "The Rat Patrol" afterward.

Whew! They just held on to win. Now, if I could just cure this insomnia. Or if TBS would just put "Rat Patrol" back on.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Week in Review 15

  • Millions upon millions of kids, teens and adults snatch up the seventh "Potter" book and read it at unpleasantly fast rates to make sure they read the ending before they hear it from someone else. As a result, absolutely no one enjoys the book.
  • Spoiler alert: At the end of the book, Harry dies. Or lives. I read it so fast that I didn't catch every little detail.
  • Las Vegas oddsmakers give a 1-in-2 chance that Harry dies in book 7.
  • A South Korean tourist has filed a formal complaint against a monkey he says stole his reading glasses during his visit to the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in northern India. The monkey has directed all question to his lawyer, who is claiming temporary insanity in that his far-sighted client was going bananas over the release of the final "Harry Potter" book.
  • President Bush orders changes in the way terror suspects are interrogated. From now on, suspects will be interrogated "Jeopardy" style. For example: Interrogator: In a cave on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Suspect: Where is bin Laden hiding?
  • Canadian researchers say they have "solved" the game of checkers, developing a program that can never lose. The program is quickly delivered to all the checkers hot spots: Bill's Barber Shop in Steelwheel, Pa., and Magnolia Old Folks Home in Turnipville, Miss.
  • Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards tries to regain his footing as a champion of the poor after it's revealed he gets $400 haircuts. Have you seen this guy's hair? I don't know if I want a guy who pays $400 for $5 haircuts handling our nation's budget.
  • On the science and medicine front, Barry Bonds hit career home runs 752 and 753 this week and Dane Michael Rasmussen leads the Tour de France.
  • Tammy Faye Messner, who helped fleece millions of PTL suckers out of their hard-earned money in the 1980s, dies at age 65. Revlon, Avon and Mary Kay Cosmetics all file for emergency bankruptcy protection.
  • Doctors remove five polyps from President Bush's colon, proving that not all of his enemies can find safe refuge in a cave.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It ain't no Southern thing

Make no mistake about it: I am from the sticks. I grew up in a mostly rural, very poor county of Georgia. We all got free lunches at my school. My hometown had -- and still has -- just one traffic light. I am a Southern boy, and I'll always be a Southern boy. And in my 37 years, all of which I've lived in Georgia (Oglethorpe, Valdosta, Americus and Columbus), I've never known a single person involved in dogfighting. I've never heard of anyone even seeing a dogfight, unless it was the dogs' idea.

So I'm getting a little sick of ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd and others insinuating or outright stating that dogfighting is a "Southern thing." I don't buy that. It's a sick thing. It's an idiot thing. And, allegedly, it's a Michael Vick thing.

It reminds me of the pre-Columbine days when every time there was a shooting at a school or business Down South, people on TV and radio were decrying "the Southern gun culture." Why didn't we hear the term "Northern gun culture" with all the shootings in Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, etc.?

I've met some pretty bad dudes here in the South. I've met some violent dudes, folks who wanted to beat up others for recreation. I've met folks who love to shoot guns and blow holes in animals, just for the sake of killing, not for sport. But even the baddest of the bad Southern dudes I've known loved their dogs ... sometimes more than the rest of their family. I've known people who've taken out paid obituaries in the newspaper for their dogs. And that's back home, where we don't think dogs belong in the house or should wear clothes ... and where, coincidentally I'm sure, the dogs act normal.

If anything, the real "Southern thing" may be the way folks Down South love their dogs.

I was a pretty big Mike Vick fan for his first few years in Atlanta and had high hopes for him. But after seeing his actions, his decision making and listening to him speak in interviews, I've got to conclude he's just stupid. And as comedian Ron White points out, "You can't fix stupid." You can't fix it Down South or Up North.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Expensive drinks

Why do soft drinks cost so much these days? Are Coke and Pepsi getting jealous of oil companies' vulgar profits?

During a recent excursion to a chain bar and grill, I paid $2.19 for a Diet Coke. I assume they use the same Diet Coke as Burger King and McDonald's, where I can get it cheaper. Or perhaps the chain bar and grills import their Diet Cokes from far-away lands such as France, Argentina or Atlanta. Can someone please explain the economics of cola?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Week in review 14

  • The Tour de Steroids got through its first week in France without anyone in America noticing. Also, the three people pictured here are not the Tour spectators they were alleged to be by cycling authorities. Turns out they were just trying to cross the road and wondering where the heck all those bicycles came from. On a sad note, the boy in the middle was stricken with steroid sickness after getting a whiff of the cyclists as they flew by.
  • In yet another blow for infallibility, Pope Benedict announces that there is only one true Christian church and one true path to salvation: the Catholic Church. While disturbing to some Christians, others are delighted to know they can now take Sundays off.
  • The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle its clergy abuse cases for at least $600 million. Apparently the path to salvation is paved with legal settlements.
  • The pope's comments are met with thousands of death threats and fears of riots and violence ... oops, wait, that was some other group he offended.
  • The White House spends the week trying to lower expectations for the Iraq progress report. President Bush also says his policy in Iraq (whatever that might be) needs more time ... based on the history of Islamic militants, perhaps a few centuries.
  • Satisfaction with the job Congress is doing has fallen to 24 percent, an 11-point drop since May and 9 points lower than President Bush's approval rating. Wow, and you thought lowering expectations for the Iraq report was difficult!
  • Deeper in the poll results, it's found that satisfaction with Satan's job performance is at 38 percent, topping both President Bush and the Congress.
  • A Fulton County erosion control inspector admitted on Monday that in exchange for $1,000 in cash and a $100 gift card to Red Lobster, he agreed to get rid of tickets he had issued to a contractor ... proving once again that Red Lobster's cheese biscuits are indeed laced with crack cocaine.
  • Cap'n Crunch, Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger were murdered this week, and authorities fear they may have a cereal killer on their hands.
  • A government study shows the teen birth rate has dropped to a record low. Once again, teenage boys lead the way as not a single one gave birth.
  • The NCAA punishes the University of Oklahoma for "failure to monitor" the employment of players and says the school must erase eight football victories from the 2005 season. Also, Oklahoma coaches will not be allowed to demand 110 percent effort from their players in 2007, only 92 percent.
  • Cindy Sheehan brings her anti-Bush, anti-war protests to Fort Benning, inflaming the sensitivities in a military town where most folks consider free speech some sort of socialist invention.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You know you're getting old when ...

While sitting in a restaurant the other day where folks can order beer if they so choose, I noticed the sign that informs folks they can't buy beer if they were born after July whatever, 1986.

July 1986. What? You know you're old when people who were BORN when you were in high school are now old enough to buy alcohol. Heck, I'm old enough to have fathered a child old enough to buy alcohol ... providing, of course, that the cute blonde sophomore who sat in front of me in Mrs. Jones' science class would have ever consented to going out with and, subsequently, falling in love with me. The fact that she wouldn't even talk to me put a hurdle in those plans.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A new amendment

I have a proposal for the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. It just came to me today as a thunderstorm began to roll in and envelop the newspaper here downtown:

Anyone who finds himself or herself in the midst of a thunderstorm or steady rain has the inalienable right to take a nap until it passes.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Week in Review 13

  • One-time "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken reportedly gets into an altercation with a female passenger on a flight to Tulsa Saturday. However, it turns out he was merely yelling at the mirror.
  • NASA has agreed to pay $19 million for a Russian-built toilet system for the international space station. The space agency is now negotiating with France for a $1 million fuzzy seat cover.
  • San Francisco science experiment Barry Bonds decides he won't compete in the All-Star Game's Home Run Derby. Because, really, why would the guy who's about to break the all-time home run record want to do something positive for the fans in San Francisco, the only fans who don't boo him ... though they should.
  • President Bush commutes the prison sentence of convicted scapegoat Scooter Libby. Democrats cry foul and Republicans cringe, but right-wing talking heads note that in 1995, President Clinton tore the tag off a mattress and wasn't punished.
  • Another report comes out that says Americans are amazingly fat. Many Americans see the report while eating Big Macs and french fries at McDonald's.
  • In a related story, American Joey Chestnut inhales 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes to win the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. It brings forth the greatest gush of American pride since man walked on the moon.
  • Kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston thanks Hamas for winning his freedom from al-Qaida-inspired militants after 16 weeks of solitary confinement in a dark room, an experience he said was "like being buried alive." Thank goodness for peace-loving, rational groups like Hamas.
  • Little Billy Joe Turnipseed of Bibb City is charged with possessing dangerous illegal-in-Georgia fireworks that he purchased in Phenix City. Told by cops to stop using the fireworks before someone got hurt, he gave cops the finger. Police still don't know whose finger it is.
  • Evidence that doctors are at the heart of a British terrorist plot has some doctors furious. They argue that any doctors killing people ought to do it the old-fashioned way ... with the help of HMOs and insurance companies.
  • America's so-called first "YouTube Election" appears headed in the wrong direction when front-runner Hillary Clinton is supplanted at the top by four fraternity brothers firing bottle rockets from their butts.
  • Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, who rails against the "cesspool" of pornography, is being criticized by social conservatives who argue that he should have tried to halt hardcore hotel movie offerings during his near-decade on the Marriott board. Meanwhile, social liberals also complain, saying those movies are way too expensive.
  • Security forces besieging a radical mosque in the Pakistani capital capture its top cleric -- Maulana Abdul "Uncle Milty" Aziz as he tries to sneak out in women's clothes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mark Twain

I'm in the middle of Ron Powers' highly acclaimed biography of Mark Twain, who I'm glad to see was a deeply flawed individual. (It gives me hope.) I mean, I knew the dude had issues, but he almost makes me look normal and conformist. Almost. Of course, he also started his writing career as a journalist.

It's amazing how many toes he stepped on, and how that has been forgotten by the general public. If he were doing, writing and saying the same things today, he'd be skewered by right-wing zealots as a godless, anti-American, leftist wacko (as opposed to America's greatest writer). Of course, if he were doing, writing and saying the same things today, he'd be 172 years old, so maybe they'd cut him some slack. But I sure would love to hear his comments on the U.S. government, man's various religions and the education system of today.

I suspect his comments would make me look nicer than Mother Teresa.