Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Feeble Attempt At Humour

By the way, I have a Love Removal Machine for sale. Hardly used. I used it to remove some love when I bought it (just to make sure it worked). But then I changed my mind vis à vis love-removing. I now prefer to keep my love lying around. $60 OBO.
I was going to call my band The Cult Of The Blue Oyster, but apparently there's already a band called The Cult, so that would be confusing.

Music: Bob Wills

Did Bob Wills have Tourette's Syndrome? I'm just asking, is all. The Father Of Western Swing was known for the little noises he made during the songs. "Awww!" "Ah-hah!"

In the liner notes of "Bob Wills: For The Last Time", Charlie R. Townsend (he won a Grammy for these liner notes, so pay attention) says it was not a gimmick, but a natural, uncontrollable sound of appreciation for the music from his bandmates.

Ray Benson (and he would know) says it's linked to the Mexican "grito". JazzHouston describes the "grito" as a "jubilant, soulful yell" in Mariachi music.

On the other hand, the Texas Almanac says he copied it from his father who once lost a contest to a hollerer.

Monday, May 30, 2005

TV: Infomercials

Local network affiliates should really be banned from showing infomercials. It's beneath them, and lowers the standing of the networks. It demeans television itself! I don't mind if the low-watt channels with the numbers above "13" and Andy Griffith re-runs show infomercials.

WFAA, ABC's affiliate in Dallas was showing one last night. It was set up to look like a talk show. The "guest" was Kevin Trudeau, a name well-known to the Federal Trade Commission. I think I've seen him before as the "host", but maybe those legal settlements mean he can't be the interviewer anymore. He was hawking a book about pain treatment. (He's been banned from appearing on infomercials, but this ban exempts infomercials for books. So, guess what, he's selling a book.)

Anyway, what was interesting was the lack of chemistry between Trudeau and the "interviewer". Trudeau kept asking rhetorical questions - and the interviewer jumped in to answer them. Trudeau was obviously annoyed by these interruptions. He needs to hire someone who will keep to the script.

A Google search for "Kevin Trudeau" turned up some web sites that attack his integrity, just so that they can sell you something shady themselves. That's a pretty swell accomplishment - becoming a watchword for "sleaze" that other sleazy people can use.

Music: Chris Spedding

The sheet music for one of my favourite songs as a lad, "Motor Bikin'" by Chris Spedding. Here are the people for whom he's done session work. Eno, Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Richard Harris, Harry Nilsson, Acker Bilk, Katie Melua, Pan's People and the Wombles, and production work for the Sex Pistols.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Music: Mash-ups

I'm rather partial to a good Mash-Up, so I'm currently listening to Spoilt Victorian Child's Mash-Up Radio Blog. Good start with Stevie Wonder's "Uptight" meshing with the Clash's "Rock The Casbah". Skipped Beatles vs Skee-Lo (just click the next track name or "ZAP!" to skip). Eminem with various TV theme tunes (some British) has novelty appeal. "Killing Moon" and "Voulez Vous", still thinking about that one. I don't know who's on "Hard Galang" but I like it.

Automobiles: Hospital Parking Fees

Visitors to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin must pay for parking. €2 per hour, with a maximum of €7.50 per 24 hours. I always complain about having to pay for parking at sporting events in the US, but this takes the biscuit! You have to pay at The Adelaide & Meath and Crumlin too. A Government audit that looked at the contract awarded by Beaumont to develop and manage the car park called it "a right royal cock-up".

Ireland: Parochialism

An article about Kristin Gore in the (Irish) Sunday Independent (registration required) is headlined, "The life and times of America's answer to our Cecelia Ahern". (Kristin is Al's novelist daughter. Cecilia is Irish Prime Minister Bertie's novelist daughter.)

That reminds me of the time our French teacher, Mrs. O'Hanlon, described the Champs Elysée as the "Grafton Street of Paris". (Don't get my wrong - I thought "Shapes" was great.)

And that, in turn, reminds me of when Jock hadn't studied for the vocabulary test and was asked the French for "Strawberry". Long pause, and then in a hopeful voice, "La Raspberreee?"

Saturday, May 28, 2005

TV: "Green Acres"

Farewell, then, Eddie Albert. (One of his films was called "A Dispatch From Reuters" so it's fitting to link to their report.) An avid environmentalist, Earth Day was designated as April 22nd, "partly in honor of his birthday". (Doesn't say what the other reasons were.)

And what a great show "Green Acres" was. It deserves a place in TV history just for the Ziffels' "child", Arnold. This guy claims that Matt Groening cited "Green Acres" as an influence on "The Simpsons". I believe it. (Hear the French version of the theme song.)

Quote: "I Was Looking For The Virgin"

Quote of the week from a Dallas Morning News story about the image of Jesus that has appeared in an apartment window in Fort Worth:
"The image is very clear. At first I didn't see it; I was looking for the virgin. And now that I look at it, it looks very good," said Norma Quiroz, who was driving by Thursday and stopped when she saw a crowd.


Big Ben stopped ticking for 90 minutes. Was the 10:30pm ITV news late? What sound did they use to introduce it? Did Sir Trevor McDonald, OBE, have to go "Dong!" himself?

Internet: Colr Pickr

Looking for a stock photo that uses a certain colour? Try Krazydad's Flickr Stock Repository Colr Pickr. The creator, Jim Bumgardner admits, "To those that question the utility of this little application, let me point out that it is a toy -- like all the stuff on my website. It's purpose is simply to provide wonder and delight. Nothing more, nothing less. Isn't that enough?" Yes, it certainly is.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Movies: "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Did you know that Truman Capote (real name: Truman Streckfus Persons) was the inspiration for the character Dill in "To Kill A Mockingbird"? (I didn't - thanks Amy!)

It's the quintessential Gregory Peck role, but Rock Hudson was the studio's first choice. Scout was played by 9-year-old Mary Badham (sister of John Badham, schlock director). Hey look! After 39 years, Mary Badham has another movie coming out!

Philip Alford, who played Jem, hasn't done any film work since 1972. He's a businessman in Birmingham, Alambama, and gave this testimonial to a local Graduate School. (IMDb incorrectly spells 'Philip' with two ells.)

Harper Lee made a rare public appearance last week. There is no truth to the rumour she's writing a sequel, "Revenge Of The Mockingbird".

Internet: Video

I'm a cynic, as you know, so I think it's staged but it's still pretty darn good. Woman fights off purse-snatcher video.

Politics: Presidential Election 2008

Eric's prediction for 2008 is Condoleezza Rice v. Hillary Clinton. (A photo of them together - who's the tall girl in between?) "Give me Condi minus the points," says Eric. But what does Sweden think? Sweden gives it to Condi, 22 to 21. (They also say "Angelina Jolie förnekar förhållande med Pitt", but they would, the randy gits.)

Someone has registered Rice2008.com. They're selling a bobble-head doll that doesn't look much like her. I love their unbiased poll. The question is, Should Condi run for President? The four options are:

  1. Yes! I was thinking the same thing!
  2. First I've heard of it, but, I love it!
  3. Yes + she should be made VP now!
  4. No way, she's too smart and articulate.
Where's the "She wasn't a very good NSA, isn't making much progress as Secretary of State, and would be a terrible NFL Commissioner" option?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

For those suffering from Pink Eye, a soundclip of Lenny saying, "Ahh.. My eye! I'm not supposed to get pudding in it!"

Music: Rock and/or Roll

Jeff Tweedy helps out Teenage Fanclub - via Chromewaves.

Music: Covers

Here's a cover that struck me as very unlikely when I heard about it: Prince doing "One Of Us" by Joan Osborne. (a) He rarely records covers. (b) It's an okay song but nothing special.

Advertising: Overstock.com Woman

A lot of Google searchers looking for Sabine Ehrenfeld lately. She's the Overstock.com woman. She has a movie coming out this year, "Cruel But Necessary", directed by Saul Rubinek (best known as Donny on "Frasier"?). Sabine's about the biggest name in this movie, apart from Sam McMurray (Chandler's obnoxious boss on "Friends").

Oh look, she had an unclaimed Federal Income Tax Refund in 1999. (Thanks, Congressman Brad Sherman!)

Lookalikes: Steve Nash

Zoë thinks Steve Nash looks like Heidi Fleiss. The Hollywood Madam, on a radio interview last year, said she's heard that before. This website thinks he looks like Jackie Earle Haley (who he?) - and that Dirk Nowitzki looks like Barry Pepper. The Mavs had a Nash lookalike contest in 2002 - a worthy winner.

Aeroplanes: Crying

A friend of mine made an admission yesterday. I won't give his name, because the "wolf pack" would tear him apart. Yes, the pack would.

He was trying to admit that he had bought an AC/DC record (nothing shameful in that, surely) but worked his way up to the "bombshell" by admitting that he cries easily on aeroplanes. He felt that he would be less likely to cry if he was listening to "Let There Be Rock". After admitting that he cried watching "Ice Age" ("Toy Story 2" I could understand, but "Ice Age"?), my friend claimed that everyone gets more emotional at altitude, due to the rarified air. That theory doesn't fly ("cabin pressurisation", says Jim) but here are some more theories:

  • Fear of flying = fear of death = raw, raging emotions.
  • Close proximity to others leads sensitive souls like S.P. to pick up their emotions like a baby monitor eavesdropping on the neighbors' cordless phone.
  • Separation from loved ones at Boardpoint + anticipation of loved ones at Offpoint.
  • Vibration of plane in flight stimulates the hippocampus and amygdala, releasing pent-up emotions.
  • Dhrink!
Yes, probably that last one.

Music: Covers

Did you know that Sarah Vaughan covered "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan? (Such sad lyrics!) Can you think of a more unlikely cover version? (And I don't include those "ironic" covers, like Travis covering Britney Spears or Ted Leo covering Kelly Clarkson.

"Alone Again (Naturally)" has also been covered by balding R&B crooner/joke Har Mar Superstar.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Education: Teacher-Rating

Jim pointed me to RateMyTeachers.com. They cover the US, Canada, Britain and Ireland. (Yesterday's top school was Jim's alma mater, Gorey Community School.) I was surprised to see how many of my teachers are still at St. Fintan's, 24 years later. Dick Fogarty is now the Principal. He deserves it for putting up with my shenanigans in English and History. Apparently, he had trouble pronouncing the word "tsunami" over the intercom.

Shell, know any of these teachers? One Hutchinsonian wrote: "i liked my teacher bacause he explainded everything."

Comedy: Bernard Manning

British comedian Bernard Manning is still alive. Here are some classy photos. Discussion of humour that mentions Manning. Good analysis of his act here, including gratuitous slur of Birmingham. An internet search for Bernard Manning jokes turns up the same four or five, none very good.

He paid tribute to Mother Teresa (and Hitler's economic policies) on British radio. There was controversy in 2003 over his planned appearance at a British National Party (neo-Nazi) event. Little known fact: he stripped at Richie's stag party.

Actors Who Look Related 2

Two more actors who could play relatives. Randy Quaid and (no, not Dennis) Terry O'Quinn from TV's "Lost" and cinema's "The Stepfather".

I thought I'd get more submissions for this category. Oh well, on to the next topic.

People who sound alike. I've got two pairs: Al Michaels and Howard Stern, and Bob Newhart and Jack Nicklaus.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Lyrics Quiz: Spoken Intros

Spoken Intro Quiz

  1. Is she really going out with him? Well, there she is. Let's ask her. Betty, is that Jimmy's ring you're wearing?
  2. I know when to go out, and when to stay in. Get things done.
  3. On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
  4. You're boned like a saint, with the consciousness of a snake.
  5. Some things take forever, but with building bricks of trust and love, mountains can be moved.
  6. When problems overwhelm us and sadness smothers us, where do we find the will and the courage to continue? Well, the answer may come in the caring voice of a friend, a chance encounter with a book, or from a personal faith. For Janet, help came from her faith but it also came from a squirrel.
  7. And love is not the easy thing. The only baggage that you can bring. Not the easy thing. The only baggage you can bring...
  8. You know, recently I was thinking, I was thinking about one thing and the other, and music crossed my mind. (Yeah?) Yeah. It occurred to me to switch on the radio. I wanted to hear some music.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Feeble Attempt At Humour

Whimsical Monday Whimsy

The next Harry Potter installment comes out on July 16th. It's called "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Half Biscuit". Harry gets married in this one, I hear from a reliable source - a 4-year-old with a drinking problem. He also says, "Harry buys a house in space, and then he fights a dinosaur, and then he does a pooh - what are you looking at? Come over here and say that, doody-head."

If I win the Lottery, I'm going to install a swimming pool - in my front yard, right on the street. I'm going to pay actors to loll about in the pool all day long. They will wave cheerfully at passing drivers.

News organisations are being very careful in light of recent events. The BBC has admitted that "It's A Knockout" audiences were not, in fact, going potty. Stuart Hall has been put on administrative leave while a committee investigates.

For those of you with children who are ready to learn to ride a bicycle: convince your offspring that they should start out on a unicycle, since one wheel is obviously easier than two.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Lookalikes: Pope Benedict XVI

Shell is reminded by my George Lucas/Jabba The Hutt item that The Ticket's Gordon Keith has Pope Benedict XVI and Emperor Palpatine as lookalikes.

Someone else thinks he looks like Coach from "cheers" - I don't see that one.

Politics: Presidential Election 2008

Prediction for 2008: Hillary v. Laura in the race to succeed "Commander Koo-Koo-Bananas". What an election that would be! Someone has already registered www.laurabush2008.com - minimum bid $200.

Music: Flute Solos

What is the best flute solo?

"Down Under" by Men At Work has a great one (and it's the one that inspired this topic). Solo by Greg Ham - part of The New Men At Work.

I also dig the "Monkey Man" flute on "No New Tale To Tell" by Love And Rockets. Solo by Mel Thorpe - teaching at a music centre in Melton Mowbray.

There's another crazy flute solo on "Notice The Ring" by Chris Isaak. Solo by Matt Eakle, I think.

Can't forget "California Dreaming" by The Mamas And The Papas. Solo by Bud Shank.

Elevating my brow, "Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun" by Debussy was the piece that first got me interested in Classical music.

A poster on a message board wrote: "John Cale once remarked that next to the 'Noise reduction' button on a stereo there should be a 'No flute' button." That's uncalled for.

Any other good flute solos? Please - no Jethro Tull (or "American Pie" references).

Music: Michael Penn

Download a new Michael Penn song from his forthcoming album "Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947", to be released in August 2005.

Music: Eurovision

Greece won the Eurovision Song Contest. You can listen to all the entries by clicking "Watch The Acts". The Ukrainian entry reminds me of "Teen Spirit" for some reason - did they steal the chord progression? The Israeli singer looks like a nice girl (but Israel still isn't in Europe!). Ireland didn't make it past the semi-final (deservedly) - Bertie must go. Sweden's entry is a horrible "Fame"-style song. ABBA must be rolling over in their graves. Best lyrics from Switzerland's Vanilla Ninja: "Cool vibes – why don’t you kill me?" Moldova's band was like a cross between the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Pogues, with a granny who comes on at the end to bang a drum.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Texas: Southlake

We give Jim a hard time for living in "tony" Southlake and now we have proof. The new Kincaid's Hamburgers location in Southlake leaves magazines lying around for its customers. And not just any old magazines. I spotted:

The original Fort Worth location offers more downscale magazines like AutoTrader, The National Enquirer, Guns & Ammo, and Newsweek.

(Zoë B. contributed to this report.)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Music: Rock and/or Roll

Stream the new White Stripes record "Get Behind Me Satan" at Scenestars.

Germans: They Love Miss Marple

I notice that I got a few hits lately from people searching for "miss marple theme" - one from Germany and one from Austria. This backs up my comment about Miss Marple's popularity in Germany. The Miss Marple DVD box set has an Amazon.de sales rank of 665. You can download a Miss Marple ringtone ("Ausgewältes Fun Item" in the top right). There is a "crime film book store" in Berlin called Miss Marple Krimibuchhandlung, with this quote from Raymond Chandler (Translated by Babelfish):
One shows me a man or a woman, whom detective stories cannot stand, then wants I you a fool to show, an intelligent perhaps - however nontheless a fool.

Detective stories can stand me, so I a fool am not. I like the new Miss Marples with Geraldine McEwan now showing on PBS. She has a nice twinkle. I found Joan Hickson to be too severe.

The Guardian did a hatchet job on Agatha Christie back in 1990.

Lookalikes: George Lucas

Anyone else notice the similarity between George Lucas and Jabba The Hutt? Posted by Hello

The Simpsons: Monkeys

Simian references in "The Simpsons", including the one Eric reminded me of, Homer's plan to dress up monkeys and have them re-enact the Civil War. "Couldn't hurt. Unless the monkeys start hurting people. Which they almost certainly would."

Movie Quote Quiz: One Word

One-Word Movie Quote Quiz

  1. "Rosebud!"
  2. "Inconceivable!" (Hint: said with a lisp)
  3. "...yar..." (Hint: not a pirate movie)
  4. "...cherce..." (pronunciation of 'choice')
  5. "...pixilated..."
  6. "...Fonzies..."
  7. "...Woolsworth!" (mispronunciation of 'Woolworths')
  8. "...twitterpated..."
  9. "...pikey..."
(The last two are from Jim.)

Animals: Monkeys

New species of monkey. You can never have enough monkeys.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Art: Painting Apes

Article about painting apes that mentions Congo, who created the painting on "Ape Or Artist?" on the Late Show tonight. Desmond Morris encouraged Congo's artistic endeavours as a zoologist. Three of Congo's paintings are to be auctioned in Britain next month - you can see two of them here.

Home: Water Heaters

Discussion of point-of-use water heaters aka tankless.

TV: "Ghost Whisperer"

Defamer reveals the rejected titles for Jennifer Love Hewitt's CBS show "Ghost Whisperer". Their suggestions are better than that awful, awful title.

Defamer also links to the Washington Post's account of how Paris Hilton's Sidekick was hacked back in February.

Words: Meme

God, how I hate the word "meme". Trendy word of the moment. Fancy term for "idea". Particularly loved by Bloggers (even if they don't know what it means). The word screams, "Me! Me!", as in "Look at me! I'm using the word of the moment!" I just hope this paradigm shifts and we can proactively achieve synergy in our attempts to change people's mindsets.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Word Origin Quiz: Answers

Answers to Word Origins Quiz.

Glamour - Scottish. The Scots were trying to say "Grammar" (but had too much haggis in their mouths) so it came out as "Glamour". ("Grammar", in the sense of learning, was tied to astrology and magic spells, which was connected to enchantment and casting a spell in a different way - usually with the eyes.) Note that "Glamour" is an exception to the usual American practice of changing "-our" to "-or". Even the magazine is Glamour.

Tycoon - Japanese. Although they borrowed it from the Chinese.

Kayak - Eskimo. Or Inuit, I should say. From their word "qajaq". They do have many words for snow.

Ombudsman - Swedish. From Old Norse umbodhsmadhr. The NPR Ombudsman has to put up with a lot of crap.

Bungalow - Hindi. Apparently, Bengalis built single-storey houses, and the Hindi word for one was bunglaa, meaning "of Bengal". Listen to the Bangladesh national anthem.

Pariah - Tamil. The Tamil word for drum is "parai", and a tribe of drummers called "paraiyan" were considered "untouchables". Just like drummers in our culture.

Nutritionist Of The Month

And now for our regular feature, Nutritionist Of The Month. This month, we're bending the rules and naming TWO nutritionists: Lisa Gladwell and Aleks Wierzchowski.

TV: "Cheaters"

Is there a sleazier TV show than "Cheaters"? I feel dirty after watching it. A viewer contacts the show with suspicions that their significant other is being unfaithful. Show puts the s.o. under surveillance, tapes them cheating. Viewer and host (Joey Greco) confront the cheater with video evidence. Arguments and shoving matches ensue. I love the air of moral superiority that Greco puts on, like he's Mike Wallace battling a business fraudster.

I didn't know that Greco is the second "Cheaters" host. I did see the episode where he was allegedly stabbed.

The show is based in the Dallas area, so we've got that going for us. Last week, the show helped a guy violate a protective order taken out by his ex-wife. The producer is quoted by the Star-Telegram as saying, "I don't feel bad about it, but I wish I had known." But he later admitted to knowing about the two pending assault charges against the ex-husband. Just to up the sleaze factor, the show taped the ex-wife with a FW police officer in a city vehicle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Apples v Oranges: Seven

What is the Best "Seven"?

Is it that beloved carbonated beverage 7 Up? Is it that beloved alcoholic beverage Seagram's Seven? Or is both together, the 7 & 7?

If you're a TV viewer, is it cult British sci-fi series "Blake's 7"? (With or without the apostrophe?) Or is it sci-fi pin-up 7 of 9?

Perhaps you prefer films. I disregard "The Magnificent 7" because of its boastfulness, but you may not mind that. What about "Return Of The Secaucus 7", generally regarded as the inspiration for "The Big Chill"?

And in music, you can choose from L7, Zero 7 and S Club 7 - now just "S Club" after one member
left to join a heavy metal band
. And don't forget the Dubliners' song "Seven Drunken Nights" (banned from Irish radio)

I'll let you, the reader, pick the winner. This is a victory for democracy on a par with the Iraqi elections. Don't let this chance go to waste! People died so you could vote in this poll.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Blogs: SMU Professor

As reported in the Dallas Morning News yesterday, the "Smoo" professor who kept a blog has been let go. Shell emailed me with her blog address.

Word Origin Quiz

Match the word to its language of origin.
1. GlamourA. Hindi
2. TycoonB. Scottish
3. KayakC. Swedish
4. OmbudsmanD. Tamil
5. BungalowE. Eskimo
6. PariahF. Japanese

Diddly iPod 2

We have two new members of Team Patanoia - Scott and Stephen. We're still waiting for Scott's maiden post but Steve has added a disparaging comment already to the "Diddly iPod" post. (He's going to be trouble, I can tell.) You can see the original Irish dancer picture here. Yes, they really do turn their feet like that.

And perhaps I should explain the joke: Irish traditional music is sometimes dismissed as "Diddly Aye" music, as when Dolores O'Riordan says, "I think it's such a cliché for Irish bands to do that Diddly-aye". And "Trendy teenagers aren't into Diddly-aye music."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

World: Tonga

Who colonised Tonga? Trick question - it was never colonised, but it is part of the British Commonwealth.

Here in Euless, TX, we have three Tongan churches within a mile of each other. One is the "First Tongan United Methodist Church", another is the "Tongan First United Methodist Church".

According to the Dallas Morning News, "Euless Trinity's trademark is a massive offensive line". It is alleged (by some guy at Louise's party) that the CiCi's all-you-can-eat pizza joint on Euless Main hates it when the Tongan football players descend on the buffet.

This Australian study says that Tongans prefer large body sizes, but that this preference is changing with time. There was a weight loss program/contest in Tonga from 1995-97, with the involvement of His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

Hoax: Rat Farts, Turkeys, Highways

Louise (Happy 4-oh!) wants to know if it's true that rats can't fart, so if you leave Dr. Pepper out, they'll drink it and then explode. For once, Snopes has let me down. This rat-lover's web site says rats can fart - they just can't burp or vomit.

Snopes does back up Jim on two myths he recently debunked - turkey doesn't make you drowsy and US highways don't have a straight, flat one mile stretch in every five miles to be used as an emergency airstrip. (To be honest, only Jim had ever heard that last myth put forward.)

Diddly iPod

"Diddly iPod" idea by Neil, visual suggested by Steve, executed poorly by me. Posted by Hello

Music: A Kid's Reviews

Shell was checking out the customer reviews of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" over at Amazon. There are a bunch from May headed "A Kid's Review". I would say these were done as a prank. In case they get removed, here's a sampling. (Warning: rated R.)
My friend Joey played this musci to me and said his entire entourage digged it very much Well I think he must be joken really coz I am not impressed.

I think every song is great and I don't believe this music would give a kid nightmares. Dad says that alot altho he is joking.

When I bought this CD I played it to Mandy and she digged it completely. So much as a matter of fact she gave me a bj for thanks. Later I realised she kicked on the fat instrumentations and hoarse vocalisations. Also the subjects of hate and anger and depprivation are always good for drama stories such as this CD. Five stars for sure and the love of Many

a fart is worth a 1000 silverlings more than the music from a sick mind (chinese proverb)

this one takes a while to get used to i really did not like this album untill i heard that if you play the movie Disney's alice in wonder land. Yes it does work. i recomend this album to any one but, to any one who has an open mind and is ready for an adventure of a life tome. i also recomend the rock operas Tommy by the who and Preservation(Acts 1 and 2) by the kinks.

There are none whatsoever good or even decent songs here. None, I tell you. What about Hey Hugh? about Hugh Padgham - it is just a sad and bad song alike the whole cd is sad and bad. Frank Zappa's version of Mothers was kind of fun, but this song Mother is just a silly joke really. The Trail is very very tiring and trite. Another good song is Completely numb, a cover version from the scissors sister song whose version I prefer.

The Who, Kinks and Hugh Padgham references give the game away.

Upon further "review", it appears that Amazon allows children under 13 to review a product without being registered. So anyone can submit "A Kid's Review". This appears to be an effort to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which they were accused of violating.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Lyrics Quiz: Mystery Theme

Lyrics Quiz with a theme...

  1. "Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? Can he walk at all, Or if he moves will he fall?"
  2. "A jumped-up pantry boy, who never knew his place. He said 'return the rings'. He knows so much about these things."
  3. "'Cause he gets up in the morning, And he goes to work at nine, And he comes back home at five-thirty, Gets the same train every time."
  4. "Better keep your head. Don't forget what your good book said."
  5. "She dreams in color, she dreams in red."
  6. "Belinda was mine, till the time that I found her, Holding Jim, and loving him."
  7. " Johnny's playroom is a bunker filled with sand."
  8. "With a noose around his neck, Cicadas trilling everywhere, He says to the people gathered round him, 'It ain't the water that's not right around here.' "
  9. "His western shirts and leather, always look so boss. Funky with his body, he's a king. Call him Mister Eagle, dig his chains."
  10. "Well I quit my job down at the car wash. I left my mama a goodbye note. By sundown I'd left Kingston, With my guitar under my coat."

Poem: Philip Glass

A Poem

Philip Glass
Can kiss my ass.
His arpeggiated chords are an utter bore,
And completely ruined "The Fog Of War".

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Simpsons: Curse

Eric lists three guest stars on The Simpsons who have since died:
  • Barry White
  • Phil Hartman
  • Linda McCartney

SNPP (Springfield Nuclear Power Plant) has a list of guest stars through 2000. I used to joke about a "Simpsons Curse" but looking at this list, I might be onto something. The ones I recognise as being dead (and some I confirmed at Dead Or Alive) are:
  • George Harrison
  • Chick Hearn
  • Steve Allen
  • Bob Hope
  • Johnny Carson
  • Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone
  • Werner Klemperer
  • Tito Puente
  • Lawrence Tierney
  • Paul Winfield
  • Rodney Dangerfield
  • Johnny Cash
  • Jack Lemmon
  • Jim Varney
  • Rod Steiger
  • Audrey Meadows

And then there's the whole New York episode...

Quote: "Hu-Ha"

"Personally, if something is meant for my 'hu-ha', I don't think I'm going to put it on my eyes," Hoffman added.

Slate: Movie Names & Amphetamines

Oh, Slate, you read my mind, you answer my questions before I ask them, you entertain and educate me...if only you were a woman.

I was going to blog about Will Ferrell's new film "Kicking & Screaming" having the same name as a 1995 film, but Slate beat me to it. (Wow! Look how many films Will has in the pipeline!) Have any of you ever seen the earlier film? One IMDb user gushes "BEST MOVIE EVER". Don't do that.

The 1995 version uses "And" in the title instead of an ampersand. (The "&" symbol comes from combining "e" and "t", from the Latin word for "and", "et". The name comes from the phrase "and, per se and", meaning "And, by itself, means 'and'".)

I was also going to mention a quote from another one of those English films, "The Runaway Bus" (74 minutes of Frankie Howerd contorting his face). (There's also a knockout blonde played by Belinda Lee.) A stewardess (Petula Clark) is asked to work another shift. "Give me a benzedrine and leave me to it," she replies.

So that got me wondering about the popularity of amphetamines and when they became illegal. Well, Slate has a piece on amphetamines used to treat ADHD, and very informative it is too. The writer tried Adderall for a week.

Inevitable Simpsons reference: when Bart is diagnosed with ADD, he is given a new drug called Focusyn. Now that's a clever drug name.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Music: Hi-Fi

This is brilliant! A laser turntable (scroll to bottom). The prices start at $14,999, so I'll wait for them to come down to a more reasonable price.

Actors Who Look Related

Jill's new topic: actors who could play convincing kinfolk (although Jill didn't use the word "kinfolk"). Her first submission: Julia Roberts and Monica Potter. They could be sisters!

For mother-daughter, how about Helen Hunt and Leelee Sobieski? (Helen is 19 years older.)

I innocently suggested that Ann-Margret could play Lindsay Lohan's grandmother when I was attacked for plagiarising People magazine (via ohnotheydidnt).

Robb proffers that the least convincing as relatives has to include Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. (I had forgotten that Emilio was married to Paula Abdul, and that Charlie once accidentally shot then-fiancee Kelly Preston.

P.S. Having been cut-and-pasting these IMDb links for a year now, I finally thought to wonder, who is "nm0000001"? Now I know. Hint: his last name begins with "A".

Poem: Shana Hiatt

A Poem

Shana Hiatt
Likes "Shipbuilding" by Robert Wyatt.
Maria Bello
Prefers the version by the song's writer, Elvis Costello.
Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer? - I got a measly 6/10. (Thanks, Woody.)

Seattle: Sub Pop

Here's another Sub Pop slogan: "Going out of business since 1988!" If anyone is thinking of moving to Seattle, go to 2514 Fourth Avenue for a job. Or stay here. It's up to you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Movie: "The Yellow Canary"

"The Yellow Canary" (part of that Margaret Rutherford festival on TMC) has a minor character quote, "I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not, it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life." The character attributes the quotation to Dr. Johnson but it was actually James M. Barrie.

"The Yellow Canary" was the film debut of Cyril Fletcher, supposedly playing himself. (I must have been in the kitchen when he appeared.) Cyril is better known today for his "Odd Odes" and fruity manner on "That's Life". He died in January of this year, aged 91.

Music: The Boss, The Brunettes

An Onion AV Club review of The Hold Steady quotes the line, "Tramps like us and we like tramps". Nice play on Springsteen's "Born To Run" line.

Bruce made a cameo appearance on Lou Reed's 1978 album "Street Hassle", mumbling a monologue that ends, "Tramps like us, we were born to play" or "born to pay", depending on which lyrics site you visit. (Sounds like "pay" to me.)

On the opposite end of musical homages, New Zealand's The Brunettes quote the Spice Girls on "Leonard Says". (You can listen to the whole album, then order it from Sub Pop ("Celebrating Several Years Of Record Making") for $10. They remind me of Belle & Sebastian for some reason.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Movies: Miss Marple

VCR/DVR alert - TCM is showing eight Margaret Rutherford films tomorrow morning, including the four Miss Marples. (There's one with Frankie Howerd and Petula Clark too.) I love that Miss Marple theme tune (composed by Ron Goodwin). You can download it at this page. Or try this vocal version, "The Miss Marple Beat" - as the web site says, "Groovy, groovy, jazzy, funky. Partymusik von Boogaloo bis Samba und Dancefloor. Kompromißlos tanzbar". (Note that both these web sites are German. Was Miss Marple a big deal in Germany?)

Song List: Stuttering

Shell proposed a new topic today: Stuttering Songs. His first suggestions were "My Generation" (the BBC banned it because of the stutter!) and "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" (making fun of a Bachman brother's stammer).

Shell discounts songs like "Ch-ch-ch-changes" because that's a lyrical effect rather than a speech impediment.

Here's a list of stuttering songs (some very old, indeed).

You can vote for the best stuttering song (they're not as picky as Shell).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Larry David supports John Bolton (in a satirical way).

Movie Quote Quiz: Questions

A Movie Quote Quiz, at Jim's request. The theme is Questions.

  1. "Is it safe?"
  2. "You know what happens to nosy fellows?"
  3. "Does he look like a bitch?"
  4. "Did you know that if you mix equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate you can make napalm?"
  5. "Was he funny lookin' apart from that?"
  6. "You know my name but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he's John Wayne? Rambo? Marshall Dillon?"
  7. "How's everything in the pimp business?"
  8. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve?"
  9. "Vould you like a roll in ze hay?"
  10. "Can a play show us the very truth and nature of love?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Photo: Mockingbird

Mockingbird. Photo taken with Canon A80 through kitchen window (and mesh screen). Posted by Hello

Ornithology: Mockingbirds

I have a new family living beside me, a family of Mockingbirds. State bird of Texas, Robb tells me. Four other states, too. This account by Audubon says:
"So well does the bird know that man is not his most dangerous enemy, that instead of retiring from him, they at length fix their abode in his vicinity, perhaps in the nearest tree to his window."

That's still the case. The nest is in the juniper outside my kitchen window (although I can't see it). One of the parents lands on my garage roof with a berry in its beak, swoops down to the window sill, checks to see if it's being followed, then hops into the shrub. A moment later, it flies up to my neighbour's roof and looks around again before flying off to find the next treat.

I was really enjoying this close-up look at nature until the young ones started talking. They emit an asthmatic chirp every five seconds or so. Oh well. They'll grow up soon enough, and then I'll miss the little beggars.

Words: Lyrics, Psalm

Word origins. "Lyrics" originally meant poems accompanied by a lyre.

"Psalm" comes from the Greek psalmos, to play (or pluck) the harp. My American Heritage College Dictionary has an appendix of "Indo-European Roots". "Pol-" means to touch or shake. Its derivatives include "feel", "palpable", "palpitate" and "psalm".

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Feeble Attempt At Humour

Some jokes for your delight and/or delectation.
An employee who goes fishing with his boss is angling for a promotion.

What do you call a prostitute with an adding machine? A Tally Ho.

The Invisible Man got the lead role in a cross-dressing production of "A Streetcar Named Desire". As he put on the costume and make-up, he visibly Blanched.

Religion: Shakers etc.

Enlightening discussion of Sects & Sex at bagels this morning. Shell told us about the Oneida Community of New York and their practice of "Complex Marriage". Somehow, they got into the cutlery business. (Isn't cutlery a much better word than flatware?)

Jill brought up the Shakers, doomed by their emphasis on Celibacy.

This Believer's Web article compares and contrasts the two groups. The Shakers used to drop in on the Oneida crew. Probably hoping to see a little "action".

And then there's Joseph Smith and the Latter-Day Saints...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Words: Logy

Can you believe there are people who have never heard of the word logy? Word Of The Day has more about its origins.

Music: Aaron Watson

Song for (American) Mothers Day:
"(If) you like Merle, Buck and Johnny,
Then we might just get along.
If you don't, then slap your Mama,
'Cos your Mama raised you wrong."

It's Aaron Watson, "The Right Place". (Hear a soundclip.)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Lyrics Quiz: Q & A

Q&A Lyrics Quiz. (I've removed the title from one of these excerpts.)

  1. "We thought that we had the answers. It was the questions we had wrong."
  2. "Is that the question? And if so...if so...who answers...who answers...?"
  3. "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line."
  4. "Every little thing does is an answer with a question mark. is an only child, he's waiting by the park."
  5. "The stranger in the door Is the same as before. So the question answers nowhere."
  6. "The question to everyone's answer Is usually asked from within. But the patterns of the rain and the truth they contain They have written my life on your skin."

Politics: British General Election

Turn over to C-SPAN2 for the BBC's coverage of the UK General Election. If you think US network news anchors are smug and condescending, you should see the Beeb's crew. There's a lot of needling between David Dimbleby and some ferret-faced chap I don't recognise. Peter Snow's "Swingometer", sadly, has been reduced to cheesey computer animation of the 3 party leaders walking down Downing Street.

Celebrities: Colin Farrell

Don't let Colin Farrell near your Nan. (Thanks to Eric for the warning.)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Congrats to Eric for solving the cryptic clues for this mini-crossword so quickly (in 20 minutes, according to Sitemeter.) I posted the answers in the comments.

Cryptic Crossword: 6x6

1 2 3 


1. Wager is backed up in royal rapaciousness. (6)

4. Royal Academician with enveloping phantasm. (6)

5. Proofreads around 100 decrees. (6)


1. Queen wept strangely before alloy. (6)

2. Assistant to band - that is, following path. (6)

3. Shrewd statue moves around. (6)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sports: Stadium Jeers

Stadium jeers:
Derek Jeter
Is a cheater.

Tracy McGrady
Throws like a lady.

Kristi Yamaguchi
Could be played by Stanley Tucci.

Martin Gramatica
Has never read the "Principia Mathematica".

Arnold Palmer
Will soon need an embalmer.

Yao Ming
Enjoys the interviewing style and sartorial elegance of Larry King.

P.S. Go to the last of these Houston Chronicle photos - Shell says the "woman" in the leopard-skin outfit is a complete Dallas stereotype - but that sure looks like a goatee.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Band List: Least Vocalists

The band with the least number of vocalists? That would be Milli Vanilli.

Advertising: Bad Ideas

Kroger has launched a dog food called "Old Yeller" - as in the movie where they have to shoot the dog at the end. In the words of Adam Sandler, who are the ad wizards who came up with this one? What next?

The Simpsons: Rory Calhoun

TMC is having a Rory Calhoun mini-festival tonight, under the title "Rory Stories". I'd never heard of him before the Simpsons "Two Dozen & One Greyhounds" episode and this priceless exchange:

   Burns: There you are...there you go, little fellow...and you. [one of the puppies stands on its hind legs] [gasps] Smithers, look: he's standing up. I've never seen anything so adorable! Do you know who it reminds me of?
Smithers: Benji?
   Burns: No.
Smithers: Lassie?
   Burns: No, no, no, a person. You know who I mean.
Smithers: Snoop Doggy Dogg? Bob Barker? David Brenner?
   Burns: No, no! The person who's always standing and walking.
Smithers: Rory Calhoun?
   Burns: That's it!

I'll tune in tonight to see if he really does stand and walk.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Internet: Guess-The-Google

Guess-the-Google game by Grant Robinson.

Music: Lou Reed

At LouReed.org, download an MP3 of George W. Bush singing a medley of "Imagine" and "Walk On The Wild Side". He's not a bad singer.

Apples v Oranges: 'D'

Which is the best 'D'? The nominees are:

  1. "House Of D" - it's got Téa Leoni but the reviews are tepid. Then again, FOX-TV Orlando says "D-lightful and D-licious", and StudioStooge.com says "Breathtakingly brilliant!".
  2. Schoolly D - rapper whose real name is Jesse B. Weaver. I'm not familiar with his work, but I chose him over Chuck D (real name Carlton Ridenhour), Mike D (real name Michael Diamond - any relation?) and Heavy D (real name Dwight Meyers) because he has the most original nickname. What does it even mean, Schoolly? I want to be called Collegey P.
  3. Hepatitis D - a liver disease caused by a virus. Consider this candidate like the really bad contestants at the start of "American Idol".
  4. Maitre D' - snooty head waiter and an opportunity for typecasting (Alphonse Martell 12 times).
  5. Sunny D - orange-like drink. "D" is short for Delight. Companies (like people) should not be allowed to give themselves nicknames. That goes for you, too, McDonalds.
  6. "Umberto D" - 1952 film by neo-realist master, Vittorio De Sica. I haven't seen it, but FOX-TV Orlando says it's "awesomely outrageous" and StudioStooge.com calls it "the D-finitive D-piction of the D-personalization of Modern Life".
  7. Answer D on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" - it's the funny answer in the early rounds, the class clown. Then it sobers up and becomes one of the more likely answers (along with its pal C) in the later rounds.

And the winner is: Vitamin D, of course. Vitamin D keeps Rickets (the disease with the ugliest name) at bay.