This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye Again

Hang on tight, people! This evening's post threatens to be even more self-indulgent than usual!

If John Denver were still alive, today would be his 65th birthday.

It fell upon Howard Stern to inform me of Mr. Denver's death. (No, I didn't get a personal phone call, silly!) I was a regular listener to Stern's show at that time, and during the show, Stern very casually commented "John Denver is dead" -- evidently not the first time he'd said it during that broadcast, but the first time I'd heard it -- with about as much emotion as someone would use announcing that they'd fed their dog before leaving for work that day.

Denver died in the crash of a small airplane on October 12, 1997. Details were pretty gruesome. Identification was next to impossible, and there are several parts of the man's body that are forever missing.

On my drive home -- which is when I would listen to Stern's radio program -- I couldn't help thinking back to the mid-1970s, when John Denver had not only been at the height of his popularity, but was the best-selling recording artist in the USA. His predominantly mellow music was a hybrid of styles. It was folk music... kinda. It was country & western... sorta. It was pop music as well. And it struck a chord -- pun intended -- with an America that was more laid back than its 1960s counterpart.

The Mitchell Trio, sans Mitchell, on The Mike Douglas Show, 1968

I'd first heard of John Denver when I was an eleven-year-old kid. One afternoon in July of 1968, I was watching a syndicated talk show called The Mike Douglas Show. Among that day's guests were three young gents performing as The Mitchell Trio.

In 1968, my knowledge of folk musicians was limited to Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, The Smothers Brothers, the trio of Peter, Paul, and Mary, and some guy named Dylan (before he went electric). So I neither knew nor cared that The Mitchell Trio was originally The Chad Mitchell Trio. They'd kept the "Mitchell" but dropped the "Chad" at about the time that Chad himself left the group in 1965.

Mitchell had been replaced by a guy who was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., but had changed his stage name to John Denver. Not sure why...

By their 1968 appearance on Mike Douglas' show, The Mitchell Trio no longer had any of its original members. On that very show, John Denver announced that the group had re-named itself after the three current members, David Boise, Michael Johnson, and Denver himself. The new name was "Denver, Boise, and Johnson." Mr. Douglas ended the segment with some encouraging statement like "I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of that name in the years to come."

Well... as it happened... not so much.

The trio of Denver, Boise, and Johnson did do some recording and touring, but nothing that ever caught my eye... or ear... worldly little cuss that I was.

But when Peter, Paul, and Mary had a 1969 hit with "Leaving on a Jet Plane," label-reading me glanced at the credits for their 1967 LP, "Album 1700," and saw that the song had been written by a certain John Denver. Hey, that's that young guy with the glasses! thought I.


I found this little 1969 gem on the 'net: John Denver "helping" Peter, Paul,
and Mary perform the song that he wrote! (And don'tcha just love the way
some absolute butt-head inserted an advertisement into the performance?)

I next saw Denver performing the Beatles' song "Let It Be" on the This Is Tom Jones! program in 1971. This was about the time when "Take Me Home, Country Roads" -- the first huge hit for Denver -- was released. (Both appeared on the same album, "Poems, Prayers, & Promises.")

John Denver was no longer "my" little secret.

Follow-up hits like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Sunshine on my Shoulders" insured that Denver was a huge success by the time my high school years neared their end. I attended a concert of his in Boston -- my first ever -- during my senior year. I bought his new albums as they came out, and purchased several of his earlier efforts as well. I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting and offbeat album cuts I encountered, such as "The Box," "Junk," "Wooden Indian," "Tools" (about a baby rabbit), "Blow Up Your TV," and "Readjustment Blues."

And only John Denver could have gotten away with songs like "Grandma's Feather Bed."

I was a big fan, perhaps because his songs spoke to me at an age when I hadn't yet surrendered my own idealism. It inspired the frame of mind which convinced me to drive my very first car -- an incredibly rusty, beat-up 1964 Plymouth Belvedere -- all the way to, and through, New Hampshire's White Mountains. And back again, although I'll never know how the old Plymouth made it.

(And this was when the "Old Man of the Mountains," also known as "The Great Stone Face," still protruded proudly from Cannon Mountain!)

Yep. I was a big fan. I suppose that it didn't hurt that I was easily able to mimic Denver's clear, high-pitched voice, an imitation which often impressed those either listening to me singing along with his records, or those who heard me singing his songs on my own. And this was years before I ever sang professionally.

Denver's "gee-golly-gosh" upbeat attitude and old-fashioned manners -- notice, if you will, how he calls Johnny Carson "sir" in the following clip from 1974 -- were easy enough to parody. (Actually, in his case, "Far out!" was Denver's catch-phrase.) However, much like someone similarly teased (namely, Fred "Mister Rogers" Rogers), Denver's easy-going, optimistic persona was authentic.



As the '70s gave way to the '80s, Denver altered his appearance somewhat, as well as the public "persona" I mentioned. He did away with his trademarked Dutch Boy hairstyle, and traded the "granny glasses" for contact lenses. His outward attitude was slightly less happy-go-lucky. Perhaps he wanted to project a more serious image, in accordance with his increasing involvement in various social and political causes. (Or, hell, perhaps it's just because he was getting older. So it goes.)

(In a small aside here, I have to admit that I was absolutely delighted when, in 1985, Denver sided with the likes of Frank Zappa and Twisted Sister's Dee Snider in opposing the aims of "Tipper" Gore and the censorship-happy Parents Music Resource Center. The PMRC was expecting Denver to be just as affronted by so-called "offensive" music lyrics as they were. Not so. Denver was adamantly against censorship of any kind, unlike some hypocrites who defend their own output while throwing others to the proverbial wolves. Class act, Mr. D.)

I was quite stunned upon hearing of his death. On my way home, in a very strange, paradoxical way of coping -- perhaps inspired by Howard Stern's irreverence toward most subjects, not just Denver's death -- I composed a morbid version of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (well... one verse and two choruses, anyway), an admittedly offensive song that would justifiably arouse the ire of any who profess to be a John Denver fan, and...

What?

What?

No! I'm not going to write those lyrics here. Not now, certainly.

So... I suppose this is as good a time as any to...

Thank you for your time.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And the Number One Thing I'm NOT Going to Do to Wrap Up 2008 Is...

...any kind of Top Ten List.

Happy New Year. (And it damned well had better be!)

See you on the other side.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Short Shorts

1. There's a new flea market that's either just opened, or is about to open, in the town next to mine.

It's called the "Do-Right Flea Market."

For a brief instant, I wondered where they'd gotten that name... until I realized that the town next to mine is the town of Dudley.

2. Comedian Albert Brooks once did a comedy routine where he called disc jockeys the second-worst type of human beings on the planet. He went on to say -- using a line I've "borrowed" many times since I heard this routine -- "This is not my opinion; this is a medical fact." He then quoted an imaginary article from the American Medical Association, which listed "incurable lepers" as the first-worst kind of human, followed by "disc jockey," which was followed in turn by "curable lepers." "In between the lepers!" said Mr. Brooks.

He didn't bother naming a fourth-worst type of human -- nor should he have, for it would have been irrelevant to his routine -- but I personally suspect that it's the type of person who naïvely does something to piss you off, and then becomes furious with you because you have the unmitigated gall to become angry with them for what they've done, to the point of telling them.

(And somewhere between, say, numbers five and seven on that list would be the person who insists that you're angry when you're not... and then keeps contradicting your initially polite, sedate replies of "No, I'm not angry," until you've repeated your denials so many times that you are royally pissed off. Just sayin'.)

3. I wanted to commemorate the fact that it's been a little over ten years since Bill Clinton's 1998 testimony to the grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky affair. Oops, better change the word "affair" to "situation," or something equally vague. As we all know, he "never had sexual relations with that woman."

This was Bill's shining moment, not as a president, but as a man caught cheating on his wife. In order to try to weasel out of admitting he'd been playing around, he said things like "It depends on how you define alone…" and of course, my personal favorite, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

(The fuller version of that would be, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.")

Yep. Completely true. (Like Bill Maher said -- and I'm paraphrasing, here -- "You mean, is she b***ing me right now... while I'm testifying?")

Debating the meaning of the word "is." Amazing.

Yeah, that word always confused the heck outta me, too.

This man was the absolute King of the Bullshitters! What better way to show that he was truly qualified for the highest office in the land.

4. And speaking of sex addiction -- *ahem* -- I recently read an article questioning the validity of its very existence. The article briefly mentioned two groups, Sex Addicts Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous, and...

At this point my mind drifted a bit, admittedly.

Assuming that these meetings are co-ed, wouldn't it figure that they'd be great places to meet members of the opposite sex for the purpose of canoodling? I mean, offering sex to someone who's addicted to the very thought of it would be...

*ahem*

Of course, it's not like I myself would ever actually stoop so low as to do something like that, y'understand...

As it stands, I personally believe that sex addiction is a real medical issue for some people (although I'm equally sure that there are a lot of people who claim to be sex addicts just to excuse their own actions whenever they're caught). Otherwise, how the hell else could you explain a guy who cheats on the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Christie Brinkley, or -- especially -- Halle (for-God's-sake) Berry?!?

Even a self-proclaimed male slut like myself can't understand that!

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Be Careful What You Ask For...

Justify FullThanks to Nan J., "the other Silver Fox," for this most distressing photo!


And... It gets worse, as you'll see! Her transgressions are all over the internet! (Sarah Palin's, not Nan's!) The damning evidence just keeps piling up, like... like... like snow in Alaska!

That's enough. I can't take any more!

Happy Holidays...

And thanks for your time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Does Sarah Palin Shoot Flying Reindeer?

[No, don't worry, this is not about Sarah Palin! But it is almost/kinda/sorta an accidental follow-up to my recent post about research on the internet.]

"You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Richard M. Nixon..."

Or however that goes...

Of course, I'm talking about "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

A Christmas Classic, right? Sure it is. And that's whether you're referring to the song, or the 1964 Rankin/Bass TV show, or... well... anything else concerning Rudolph.

But one thing about it always bothered me. (And when I say "always," I really mean "whenever I bothered to think about it." I don't mean it kept me up at night, 365 days a year.)

"But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?"

Well! I knew that the song pre-dated the TV show by about a zillion years -- okay, okay, more like fifteen -- but how could Rudolph be called "the most famous reindeer of all" in the very song that introduced him, I wondered?!?

That is, assuming that Rudolph was introduced in that song... and not before...

Which I didn't dare assume...

(Gotta love the internet... ! Google to the rescue!)

Huh. Guess what I learned? (And you may already know this, but I didn't, and it's my blog, so... ) He wasn't introduced in the song. He was created about ten years earlier, by a wage-slave who worked for Montgomery Ward. This guy, Robert L. May, was asked to come up with a Christmas story, and that's how Rudolph was "born."

I'm making a long story short, believe it or not. The whole story may be found here.

The best part of the story, in my not-so-humble opinion, is that seven years after creating Rudolph as what would now be called a "work for hire," the debt-ridden May -- whose wife had been dying from cancer at the time of Rudolph's creation, leaving him with tons of medical bills -- "approached Sewell Avery, President of Montgomery Ward and asked for the rights to publish the story commercially."

I know what you're probably thinking: "Yeah, right. Avery probably rattled off that era's equivalent of 'Sucks to be you!' and threw him out of his office!"

Nope! Avery signed the copyright to the character over to May!

Merry Christmas, indeed.

(And it's a damned good thing that May wasn't working in the comic book field, innit?)

So. I was wrong. First time that's ever happened.

Well, second, maybe...

Anyway, by the time Johhny Marks (May's brother-in-law, as it turned out) wrote the song and got Gene Autry to sing it, Montgomery Ward had already distributed about 6 million booklets. So Rudolph could very well lay claim to being "the most famous reindeer of all."

But something about that blasted song still bothers me:

"But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?"

It's still a dumb question, but for another reason, unrelated to the origin of the character.

It starts by assuming that you know Dasher, Dancer, and the other six, and then asks if you recall the most famous one?

Well, duh! Wouldn't you?!?

That's like saying, "Okay, you know about Franklin Pierce, Martin Van Buren, and Millard Fillmore... but do you recall George Washington?"

Who the hell wouldn't?

Sure, it's a silly little quibble with a time-honored song...

But...

I'll bet you're going to think of it every time you hear "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from now on, eh?

And if so? Then my job is done.

So there.

Thanks for your time... and Happy Krimble.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Fundamental Difference Between the USA and Canada (Subtly Updated)

USA:

Canada:
That's about it.

Thanks for your time. (Or, if you prefer, "Thanks for your time, eh?")

P.S. ~~ There's a "real" reason for this difference (from Wikipedia):

A Kit Kat bar is a confection which was first created by Rowntree Limited of York, England, and now produced worldwide by Nestlé, which acquired Rowntree in 1988, except in the USA where it is made under licence by Hershey's.

The Kit Kat has been manufactured by Nestlé for Canada, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Kit Kat bars available in the United States are manufactured under licence by The Hershey Company, a Nestlé competitor, due to a prior licensing agreement with Rowntree.

Gotta love the internet!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hang-Ups, the Sequel!

If you haven't already, please read my previous post, Hang-Ups. I'll still be here when you get back. I promise.

This (Sunday) afternoon, I called my mother and -- wouldn't you know it! -- accidentally disconnected the call. I called her back and explained what had happened, and told her that after our new call was through, I was going to smash that offensive telephone. She said "No, you're not," and I explained to her that, Yes, I was, and it was okay because I had other telephones which I could use. Wouldn't you know it, during this second call, I hung up accidentally a second time!

At that point, I did exactly what you'd expect someone whose blog is named "David'Z RantZ" to do... Namely, I whacked that $7.00 plastic and metal sonofabitch against the wall repeatedly until it broke into pieces.

"Anger management?"

I think not.

Sometimes it's good to let it out of your system, like the steam valve on a pressure cooker.

Frankly... I feel much better now.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hang-Ups

Hey, wanna piss off a whole buncha people?

Here's how you do it:

Design a telephone... but design it so that the "disconnect" button is right next to the earpiece... you know, the place people rest against their ear just so they can hear the other person talk?

Odds are, naturally, that during a conversation, the poor schmuck using the telephone will inadvertently disconnect the call with his (or her) ear!

This results in all kinds of hilarity. The person who accidentally disconnected the call will wonder whether he (or she) should call the other person, or if the other person will call him (or her) back. If the person who accidentally disconnected the call doesn't call, this means an unnecessary waiting period if the hung-up-on party doesn't call either. Or, if the person who accidentally disconnected the call does call, it means a busy signal if the hung-up-on party also calls!

As this is happening, of course, the hung-up-on party will also wonder whether he (or she) should call the inadvertent hanger-upper, or if the hanger-upper will call him (or her) back. If the hung-up-on party doesn't call, this means an unnecessary waiting period if the inadvertent hanger-upper doesn't call either. Or, if the hung-up-on party does call, it means a busy signal if the inadvertent hanger-upper also calls!

Of course, the hung-up-on party will also get to wonder if he (or she) disconnected the call himself (or herself), and if not, whether or not the hanger-upper hung up purposely, or by accident!

Isn't all of this pandemonium just great?

No? You don't think so?

Well, the guy (or gal) who designed my telephone must have thought it was a freakin' hoot!

Thanks for your time.... and don't call me, I'll call you.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Killer Wore... Pastry?

This is inexcusable!

Somebody murdered one of the Bond girls!

Yep, as the article states, Celine Cawley -- who appeared in A View to a Kill -- was killed in her own home a few days ago.

The murder was apparently committed -- and this is the part I don't quite understand -- by someone who was wearing... baklava?

I don't get it. How could you wear something like this:

I mean, is it just me, or does this simply not make sense? Let me just re-read the article, and...

Ah, that makes more sense. He was "wearing or carrying" the...

Oh.

Oh!

Silly me!

The killer was neither wearing nor carrying baklava, he was wearing or carrying a balaclava. Like these:

World o'difference there.

Sorry for doing such sloppy research.

(But at least it gave me an excuse to print that second photo, right?)

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Do You Revoke Someone's Internet Privileges?

As I implied here, I often visit lyrics sites on the 'net.

Looking for a particular song tonight, I found a lyrics website which even has a forum so people can ask each other for help identifying songs.

The following is transcribed unedited, except that I've deleted the lyrics he or she listed, and I'm not going to tell you what website it came from. My point is not to embarrass the person who asked about this song. Instead, my point is... Well, keep reading, and you'll find out what my point is!

"ok the begining of the song is like...[lists ten consecutive lyrics for song in question]......and thats all i can remeber its like a rock song and a guy is singing it kindof a weird lower voice i have it stuck in my head and i cant rebmeber how the rest of it goes who its by or what its called plz help me!"

Yes, someone please help her. (I'm assuming it's a "her," if the user name -- which I also won't tell you -- is any indication.) She needs help.

She needs help if she doesn't understand that an internet search featuring those ten consecutive lyrics, in quotes, would definitely have yielded her the answer far more quickly than posting a lengthy query on a website, and then figuratively sitting back to wait for a reply!

You can't even accuse her of laziness here. The route she chose took more time and effort than a 'net search would have.

Remember Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" routine? No? Well, since I'm in an editing mood, here's part of it:

Stupid people should have to wear signs that just say, "I'm stupid". That way you wouldn't rely on them, would you? You wouldn't ask them anything. It would be like, "Excuse me... oops, never mind, didn't see your sign."

It's like before my wife and I moved. Our house was full of boxes and there was a U-Haul truck in our driveway. My neighbor comes over and says "Hey, you moving?" I say, "Nope. We just pack our stuff up once or twice a week so see how many boxes it takes. Here's your sign."

A couple of months ago I went fishing with a buddy of mine, we pulled his boat into the dock, I lifted up this big 'ol stringer of bass and this idiot on the dock goes, "Hey, y'all catch all them fish?" I says, "Nope, talked 'em into giving up. Here's your sign."

I was watching one of those animal shows on the Discovery Channel. There was a guy inventing a shark bite suit. And there's only one way to test it. "All right Jimmy, you got that shark suit on, it looks good... They want you to jump into this pool of sharks, and you tell us if it hurts when they bite you." "Well, all right, but hold my sign. I don't wanna lose it."

I stayed late at work one night and a co-worker looked at me and said, "Are you still here?" I replied, "No, I left about 10 minutes ago. Here's your sign."

Let's start a new movement in a similar vein! We can all send emails saying "Your Internet Privileges Are Now Revoked. You're Too Stupid to Use the Web."

And for those of you who aren't stupid, but just happen to like wasting scads of time on the internet... Start a blog!

That's what I did.

Where's my sign?

Thanks for your time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

How About a "Size Ten" Right Up Your...


I didn't find out about this until early this morning, but by then, you'd probably already heard about how an Iraqi journalist threw both of his shoes at President Bush. (The full story can be found in the New York Times, among other places.)

Those who know me know that I'm hardly the man's biggest fan, but frankly, that's going way too far. If I'd thrown my shoes -- or anything else -- at the freakin' president, the secret service men would be using me as a piñata. And rightfully so. The man's the leader of a freakin' country. Pardon me for being such a traditionalist, but I feel that for that alone, he deserves some kind of respect.

(Oops! Every so often, a streak of old-fashioned conservatism pushes through my liberal leanings. Any wonder I insist on being called a "moderate?" You should hear me go off about some other conservative values of mine! But I digress.)

The following quote is from the article I've linked to:

[Prime Minister] Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.

Unspecified charges? Umm... How about "assault?"

And President Bush's response?

[President Bush] called the incident a sign of democracy, saying, “That’s what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves,” as the man’s screaming could be heard outside.

(I love that last part... )

The article goes on to say:

Hitting someone with a shoe is considered the supreme insult in Iraq. It means that the target is even lower than the shoe, which is always on the ground and dirty.

However, people are falling all over themselves to say that the journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, should be released in the name of "democracy and free speech."

Really. Oh, that's right. I forgot how tolerant and progressive they are over there in the Middle East. What a bunch of party animals!

In this country, it's illegal to even threaten the president. And if you or I were to throw something at him, as I "did" in my example above? Like I said, that's assault. Hell, if I were to throw something at you, that's assault.

Maybe Dubya's just trying to downplay it to avoid causing an international brouhaha? Whatever. I still think the guy should have to pay some sort of price.

On the other hand, they already "beat him until 'he was crying like a woman,' " as that Iraqui reporter said, right?

"Crying like a woman."

Yup.

Tolerant and progressive.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ By the way, dudes: Nice f**king security.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Birthday Cake (Update)

It's 12:01 A.M.

May I be the very first Blogger-blogger to post:

"Happy birthday to my favorite Canucklehead!"

Pass the infrastructure.

Thanks for your time, eh. Just sayin'.

P.S. ~~ I did want to give credit where credit was due, so... Put it this way: I didn't bake the David Tennant cake! The pictures above were borrowed -- with permission -- from the blog of The Caked Crusader. Feel free to check out the blog!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Winter Parking Ban (with thanks to... well... NO ONE, now)

[This post was inspired by someone else's blog. I originally gave her full credit for that fact, and provided a link to her original post. Since then, however, she has removed herself from my list of "followers," and removed the links to both of my blogs from her website... and all without telling me why, nor giving me a chance to defend myself. She didn't even answer the one email I sent, asking why. Therefore, although I bear her absolutely no ill will, I no longer think I owe her the courtesy of a mention here.]

Several years ago, I was living with my second -- and, to date, final -- ex-fiancée, in Southbridge, Massachusetts, a town I have not-so-lovingly referred to in the past as the "Crappy Day Job Town." There were no officially-designated parking spaces for anyone who lived in that immediate area. Very few of the apartment buildings on her street had their own driveways. You just found a spot on either side of the street.

After some point (November 1st, I believe), I began getting seemingly-random tickets saying I was violating the winter parking ban.

Being the good citizen that I thought I was, I called the town hall, and asked how to avoid this.

I was told that the rules went by the date. On the "odd-numbered" days (in other words, on the 1st, the 3rd, the 5th, etc.), park on the "odd-numbered" side of the street (in other words, on the side where the house numbers were 197, 199, 201, etc.). On the "even-numbered" days, park on the "even-numbered" side of the street.

I still received tickets saying I was violating the winter parking ban!

Being the good citizen that I thought I was, I called the town hall, and asked how to avoid this.

It was explained to me that because the date changed at midnight, my car had to be on one side of the street before midnight, but on the other side of the street immediately after midnight. So if I'd parked on the odd-numbered side of the street before, say, the 16th had changed to the 17th, I could still get a pre-midnight parking ticket!

But of course.

For the next few nights, I was very careful of where I parked before and after midnight. Most nights, I ended up moving my car at somewhere right around 11:58 P.M.

I still received tickets saying I was violating the winter parking ban!

Okay, just one ticket.

One ticket was all it took for me, being the royally pissed-off citizen that I had every right to be, to call the town hall, demanding to know what the hell was going on.

The guy I talked to actually said the following, or words very close to it (and even though I couldn't see him on the telephone, I assume he said it with a straight face):

"Well, we don't really expect people to bundle up and go out and move their cars at midnight, so we call 10 P.M. 'midnight,' and that's when we actually consider the date to change. So we ticket accordingly."

But of course. How silly of me not to have presumed that the Crappy Day Job Town would do some f**king thing exactly like that!!!

And people wonder why I never got used to that stupid town???

(Inhale.

Exhale.)


Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Can Do It, Too!

I often complain that people are always messing with the meaning -- or at least the preferred use -- of this word or that.

My issue, I usually stress, is not the fact that the words are being changed. English is, after all, a "living" language, and as such, is subject to change. Mutation, if you will. (Evolution, if you want to piss off the neocons.)

Nope, I just get ticked off because no one ever consults me.

So, what the hell, I figure, I'm going to take a word and give it a new meaning.

Here's the definition -- and a bit more -- for the word "palindrome," as taken from Wikipedia. If you want to read allllll about it, go here! But for now, let's settle for the following:

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction (the adjustment of punctuation and spaces between words is generally permitted).

And...
The most familiar palindromes, in English at least, are character-by-character: the written characters read the same backwards as forwards. Palindromes may consist of a single word (civic, level, racecar, rotator, Malayalam), or a phrase or sentence ("Was it a rat I saw?", "Wasilla: All I saw", "Mr. Owl ate my metal worm", "Sit on a potato pan, Otis", "Neil, a trap! Sid is part alien!", "Go hang a salami I'm a lasagna hog.", "Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas", "I roamed under it as a tired nude Maori"). Punctuation, case and spacing are usually ignored, although some (such as "Rats live on no evil star") include the spacing. Three famous English palindromes are "Able was I ere I saw Elba" (which is also palindromic with respect to spacing), "A man, a plan, a canal—Panama!”, and “Madam, in Eden I'm Adam”. The last example is still palindromic if "in Eden" is left out, as is often the case.
Well, forget all of that. From now on, here's
my
the definition of "palindrome":
A palindrome is a lengthy sentence or phrase which, once it has been written down and analyzed, makes very little sense, if any, no matter whether it is read forwards, backwards, or any other way. [see Sarah Palin]
And don't think it's a coincidence that the word "Wasilla" shows up in the above Wikipedia segment, either!
Thanks for your time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I've Just Seen a Face... (An Almost-Private Joke Post)

Today, I found an envelope tacked to my door. It contained a short note, and some photographs. I guess the note vaguely refers to the fact that, years before the internet, I was unofficially known as "the Man Who Can Find Things."

It said,

"Dear David,

I'm looking for an old... friend.

His name is Steve.

I haven't seen him since my college days.

Can you help?"


It was unsigned, but as I mentioned above, she enclosed half a dozen photos, as shown below. Two of them show her with an unnamed man. Perhaps this man is the elusive "Steve?" I have no idea. Nor do I know how to reach her if indeed I do learn anything.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mean, Nasty, Horrible, Miserable, Evil, Scathingly Vituperative... and Just Plain Vicious. I Love It!


From the late 1960s until the middle 1970s, a Canadian rock band called The Guess Who (fronted by the incomparable Burton Cummings, pictured above in lieu of the entire band 'cause I felt like it) had several Top 40 hits: "These Eyes," "American Woman," "No Sugar Tonight," "Clap for the Wolfman," "Undun" [sic], "Laughing," and many, many more.

But they also had a whole slew of material on their albums which equaled or surpassed their output on 45 RPM singles. One of those classic cuts is a tune that absolutely screams for "anger management" classes, a lengthy musical diatribe called "Long Gone," from their 1974 LP, "Flavours."

I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty, so to save time, I Googled the lyrics on the 'net with the intention of doin' the ol' copy-and-paste...

However...

I was absolutely flabbergasted to discover that virtually every single lyrics website on the freakin' internet has incorrectly transcribed the first line of the song! That's right! Every single site lists the line as "Who in the Hell are you to criticize?" although the lyrics are "Who the hell are you to try and criticize?" which is plain as day from simply listening to the song!

And I know that no one got it right, because I did a second Google search utilizing the terms "Guess Who," "Long Gone," "lyrics," and the correct phrase, "who the hell are you!" Nothing! Zip! Nada!

How could this possibly have happened, I wondered? Especially when the lyrics to all the songs on "Flavours" are printed on the freakin' album sleeve itself?

So I went to my shelves of 2,000 or so LPs, pulled out the album in question, and...

Oh.

The offensive -- and incorrect -- lyrics are actually printed on the album's inner sleeve. But they're wrong! Listen to the song! They're wrong!!! They must have composed the song, written the lyrics down, sent them to the printer (or whatever), and then changed them to something that flowed better musically, before -- or even while -- recording the tune!

If I ever meet Burton Cummings -- and I hope I do, so I can tell him how much his singing style influenced my own -- I'm going to ask him about that. I'm also going to ask him why he and Mr. Troiano wrote "Long Gone" in the first place, because it's a killer!

See for yourself. (And yes, I've corrected the mistake... on this RantZ page only. Another exclusive from the people at "David'Z RantZ," meaning... me.)

Who the hell are you to try and criticize?
Every day and every night you're just a drag
You've been long gone, long gone...

You are working from a point of depression
Isn't it amazing when you find you're slipping
You've been long gone, long gone...

I guess you've always been a power-hungry specimen
You were raised with rank in mind
I'd gladly give away everything I've ever owned
For the chance to stab you from behind
Cause I'm tired of what you're saying
It's not worth the paper it's printed on
It just doesn't cut it anymore.

Each time the sun greets the new dawning
I'll try to kick you while you're down
Welcome to the Kingdom of Hatred
You'll find out soon that I wear the crown.
I'm tired of what you been sayin'
It's not worth the time to discuss it
You just don't cut it anymore.

Who the hell are you to try and criticize?
You're still learning how to form an opinion
You've been long gone, long gone... *

Whew! I'd hate to be the person who inspired that little ditty! Isn't it great? Kinda peels the skin right off your back with a dull knife, dunnit?

(By the way, I absolutely love the line "I'm tired of what you're saying. It's not worth the paper it's printed on." Isn't that some kind of Goldwynism?)

Unfortunately, -- Damn! -- as my (bad) luck would have it, it figures that there wouldn't be a YouTube video for this gem, eh? (Oops. Sorry about that "eh." Told you they were a Canadian band.)

And as for the reason why "I wanted to transcribe the lyrics for this all-but-unknown beauty," I...

Umm...

Hmph!

I guess, to quote Sam Kinison, "I'm just in that kinda f**kin' mood, folks!"

Well (he asked defensively), whattya expect from a guy who writes a column called "David'Z RantZ," anyhoo?

Nope. No real point to all of this, in case you were wondering. So it goes.

Thanks for your time.


*Lyrics to "Long Gone" by Burton Cummings and Domenic Troiano, ©1974 Cummings-Troiano Associates

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Hold Your Calls, Folks! We Have a Winner!"

Yeah, I'm "phoning it in" again today, but this was too cool not to share.


Oops.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Queen" Elizabeth (or, "It's Kinda Like the Shrunken Head Thing")



Sunday, I was at my recently-revived stand at a local flea market , and one of the other dealers, an elderly woman, was commenting on some of the old -- 1950s-1970s -- magazines which I had for sale.

She first remarked on a Life magazine featuring a stunning close-up of Sophia Loren on its cover. Then her eyes were caught by an unusual cover photo of Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of another over-sized mag.

"How many husbands has she had?" she asked me, referring to Taylor.

"Seven or eight," I replied uncertainly, "depending on whether you count Richard Burton as one husband or two."

"That's right, she married him twice."

"And," I said, searching my memory, "I don't think she married anyone else in between her marriages to him."

"Her first husband was that millionaire," she said.

"Yeah, 'Nicky' Hilton. Then it was the actor Michael Wilding, then Mike Todd... " I was picking up speed. My aforementioned "uncertainty" was gone.

"He's the one who died," she interjected.

"Yup. In a plane crash." I continued. "Then there was Eddie Fisher, then Burton... "

She made a funny face when I mentioned Fisher. "Yeah, she started seeing [Burton] when she was still married to Fisher."

"Then she married him again, and then she married John Warner, the senator... "

"Oh, that's right!"

"Then she married that... What was he, a limo driver?"

"Wasn't he a Polish guy?"

That made the final name "click" for me. "Larry Fortensky!"

And the conversation continued...

* * * * *

Several years ago, comedian Will Durst was doing a routine wherein he referenced Flintstone Vitamins. He sang "Ten million strong... " and paused.

Predictably, the entire crowd sang "...and growing!" in answer.

"Isn't it amazing," said Durst, "the shit that gets trapped within the crevices of your mind?" (Speaking of the jingle for Flintstone Vitamins, there's an amusing discussion thread here, if you're interested.)

That's how I feel sometimes, being the so-called "god of Trivia." Knowing how they "shrink" a head... Knowing all the names -- in order, no less! -- of Liz Taylor's husbands...

And I wonder how much other "important stuff" won't fit in -- or has been "squeezed out" of -- my brain, by the trivial "shit that [got] trapped within the crevices of [my] mind?"

* * * * *

Anyway, here are some more shots of the ever-so-captivating Liz Taylor, because... well... because I can, I guess!


Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It Gets Me Every Time

I'm always surprised that, whenever I open a can of "Evaporated Milk"...

It's not empty.

Thanks for your time.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh, They Mean Well, But...

First (Imaginary) Scenario: I'm with a friend at McDonald's -- or Wendy's, or Burger King -- and the girl at the counter is... not really rude, just rather indifferent. My friend and I proceed to our table.

Friend: Well, there you go.

Myself: There I go... what?

Friend: There's your next blog.

Myself: How's that?

Friend: Your next blog, your next rant! There you go!

Myself: What are you talking about?

Friend: That waitress, the rude one. There's your next rant.

Myself: She wasn't really rude.

Friend: Well, there's your next rant.

* * * * *

Second (Imaginary) Scenario: A friend and I drive through an area I haven't passed through in over thirty years.

Myself: Wow... I haven't been around here in ages. Maybe even since I was a kid! [pointing] See that store? I must have gone there dozens of times when I was a kid. I'm surprised it's still open.

Friend: You should write a blog about it.

Myself: What?

Friend: You should write a blog about it.

Myself: Nahh... Nothing there to really write about. It's just a random memory.

Friend: You should write a blog about it.

* * * * *

Third (Imaginary) Scenario: I'm giving a friend a ride, helping her do a few errands.

Friend: They moved it again...

Myself: Moved what?

Friend: [Names favorite new TV program] They changed its night again. How's it supposed to build up an audience and keep from being canceled if they keep changing the night it's on?

Myself: [shrugs]

Friend: That should be your next rant.

Myself: [shrugs]

Friend: Are you listening to me?

Myself: Yes. I'm also trying to watch the road.

Friend: It should be your next rant.

Myself: [shrugs]

Friend: Well, don't you hate it when they do that?

Myself: When they do what?

Friend: See? You're not listening!

Myself: Yes, I was...

Friend: Don't you hate it when they keep changing the night a program's on, so it doesn't get a chance to build up an audience, and it gets canceled?

Myself: [almost shrugs again, but thinks better of it] Sometimes. It doesn't bother me that much.

Friend: It should be your next rant.

* * * * *

Okay, friends -- and by "friends," I mean just that, my real friends in my real life, moreso than other bloggers -- here's the new deal:

I'll write 'em. You read 'em. But you know how I feel about unasked-for advice, right? If it doesn't click for me, I'm not going to write it.

So if you really want to see all these ideas of yours on the 'net... Git yer own blog.

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Orson'Z RantZ: A Special Guest Post


I don't give a crap where he is. Somebody'd better feed me!

Oh. Yeah. Almost forgot.

Thanks fer... nuthin'!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another All-New "Short Shorts!"

1. There seems to be a debate as to whether using cell phones at a gasoline pump is dangerous. What little I've read on the subject says they probably aren't dangerous. I wish they'd find out for sure. And if they're not, then they can take it off the sign next to the pump which tells you about all the other evil things that you shouldn't do while filling your tank.

Until then, if I catch you using your cell phone at the pump, I will be the pain in the ass who tells you that you shouldn't be doing that.

That's all the warning you get.

2. No pictures this time. Oh, well, don't want you to get spoiled.

3. Boy, the economy sucks -- there's a newsflash for ya, huh? -- and people are falling behind in all sorts of payments. I know that because I've been getting lots of calls from collection agencies.

What's that? Oh, no, not for my debts! Nope. For other people's debts. In the past twenty-four hours alone, I've gotten two calls meant for my next-door neighbor.

How the hell did/do they get my number instead of his? Some computerized something-or-other that goes by the house address? Well, if so, they'd better tune it up, because they've only seen the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to how rude I can be when I get these calls!

4. Mitch Mitchell, 1947-2008, R.I.P. ~~ Drummer Mitch Mitchell, the last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, has died at the age of 61. Not much to add to that. Damned shame, 'though.

5. I'm not going to go into the whys and wherefores here and now -- if ever -- folks, but I'm about to disappear from the 'net -- not just this blog -- for a bit. Maybe a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, depending on whether I make bail several variables. A lot needs to be done, and my "Silver Fox" blog is pre-programmed & ready to go for the next couple of entries, so... There you have it.

Consider me MIA until further notice.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For Long-Time Comic Book Geeks Only

Leave it to "Robby Reed" of Dial B for Blog to find a photo of Steve
Ditko which is not the same damned photo everyone has seen before!


A quote from Roy Thomas:

I'll never forget the day I walked into one Marvel office not long after Ditko quit, and here's John Romita drawing Amazing Spider-Man and Larry [Lieber] drawing the Spider-Man Annual and Marie Severin drawing "Dr. Strange," and I joked, "This is the Steve Ditko Room; it takes three of you to do what Steve Ditko used to do."

You'll either "get" it, or you won't.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ Happy Belated Birthday, Steve Ditko! (November 2nd.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Since It's Been a While Since My Last "Short Shorts" Entry...

Here's a new one! An all-new one, I might add.

1. "They" are doing it again.

A few times in the past, I've mentioned that people are either changing the meanings of words outright, or at least, using them in slightly new ways. I don't mind that -- unless the change in question is, like, f**kin' stupid -- because I fully realize that English is a so-called "living language," and a language either evolves or eventually dies out... just like those dinosaurs which our ancestors were all riding six thousand years ago.

(By the way, usually when I write something like "a few times in the past," I include handy-dandy links to examples of my having done that. Not this time. Sorry. Too much to do today. I may go back and re-do it at a later time, but... Probably not.)

Two or three (or maybe even four) years ago, I noticed that more and more people were using the term "grow" in ways that were acceptable, but slightly different from the norm. It had always been standard usage to "grow" tomatoes or corn, for instance, but now people were saying things like "grow your business" or "grow your income," when previously, words like "expand," "increase," and the like would have been preferable.

So. The word "grow" wasn't being used incorrectly, just "slightly different from the norm." But now it is the norm, because enough people have been doing it, and for a sufficient amount of time.

(On a related note, I've actually received spam ads offering to help me "grow [my] penis." That certainly gave me a weird mental image. Somehow, the idea of cutting it off, and then planting it in the backyard in hopes of eventually adding to its length didn't seem worth it to me. But that's just me; I'm funny that way.)

Anyway, over the past few months, I'm hearing and reading that a lot of people are using the term "oversight" the way "we" used to use "overseeing." And if you look up the definition of "oversight," you'll see that "supervision: management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group" is indeed its secondary definition. (But notice that they did throw in the word "overseeing" so you'll know what's up!) And "an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice something" is still the first definition listed. My point is that I've only started hearing that second definition lately.

And they're still doing this crap without consulting me, which is the part about it that really bothers me. Bastards.

2. Please don't be offended by this next one, folks. I'm just making an observation, and not saying that the people who do this are stupid, or evil, or anything remotely negative. No, really! I repeat, I'm just making an observation.

When did people start posing for pictures like their heads are glued together?

You know what I mean. Look at any recent -- "recent" meaning since the 1990s -- pictures taken of yourself and somebody else, and I'll bet you're doing it.

I mean, if you look at family photos, and the like, from twenty, or fifty, or even more years ago, shots of two or more people had them barely touching. If one person even had his or her arm around someone else's waist or shoulders, it was the exception rather than -- here's that word again! -- the norm.

Maybe we as a society are just closer in a lot of different ways -- and not just the obviously physical closeness when you're posing next to each other -- and, more importantly, are less afraid to show it?

So, one last time: I'm not saying anything negative about the fact that most of "us" -- well, okay, not me personally -- are doing this whenever we pose. I'm just trying to make you feel self-conscious, and mildly uncomfortable, by calling your attention to it. Because that's what I do.

3. And, finally: Using the word "norm" thrice, as I did in #1 above, and once in #2, makes me think of "Norm" on Cheers. So I just had to share this cartoon with you, courtesy of -- and copyrighted to -- Peter David and James Fry:


Thanks for your time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Something(s) to Tide You Over Until After the Weekend

When the weekend comes, a lot of the other Blogger bloggers post things like YouTube videos, write something to the effect of "Have a Nice Weekend!" and disappear until (usually) Monday. I guess they do something selfish, like devote the weekend to their families, or something. Oh, well, to each his own.

However, this week I'm going to post something (not a YouTube video) which I thought was great -- and stolen from here -- and it'll have to last all of you until Monday... because I have a lot to do this weekend, myself! (And that includes finishing Monday's post for my other blog!)

So there.


That's all. Nothing fancy. But appropriate, nonetheless.

Of course, if you think that banner's a tad boring, the following shot of Sofia Vergara may be more to your liking:

It works for me, anyway.

Anyway... See you Monday (or even later)!* Have a nice...

Actually, have whatever kind of weekend you want to have. I won't tell you what to do.

Thanks for your time.

*Unless some celebrity dies before then, and I'm moved sufficiently enough to write a tribute to him or her.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton, 1942-2008, R.I.P.

Stop me if you've heard this...

When I was still in high school, I saw Westworld. It was a really cool movie with an even cooler concept. The movie told the story of a theme park divided into three sections: WesternWorld, RomanWorld, and MedievalWorld. Each section contained incredibly lifelike robots which could interact with the park's guests. As it turned out, however, the robots went beserk, and started killing the guests.

Twenty years later, when Jurassic Park was released (based on the 1990 novel of the same name), I said, "Wow, that sounds just like Westworld, only with dinosaurs."

As you may know, the screenplay for Westworld and the novel Jurassic Park were both written by Michael Crichton... who has died from cancer at the age of 66.

Rest in peace, Mr. Crichton.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Was Covered Either Way!

Either...

Or...

Just sayin'.

Thanks for your time.







"I'm Clark Kent, and I approved this message. (And that damned Sarah Palin stole my wink!)"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Fairly Brief and Totally NON-Political Post

From time to time over the last thirty years or so, I've set up at local flea markets to make extra cash or, failing that, simply to clean out my damned apartment once in a while. (Remember the government warehouse in the final scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark?" Well, my apartment often looks like that, except that most of the boxes are made of cardboard, and not wood.)

A little over two years ago was one of those times. In with all of my other varied saleable stock were five radically different shrunken heads. Umm... actually, I should say shrunken head replicas. These ranged from a cheap ($5.95) plastic one -- the kind that a lot of teenagers and/or hot-rodders used to hang from their cars' rear-view mirrors back in the 1950s & 1960s -- all the way up to an uncomfortably-real-looking beauty made of goatskin (price tag, $65.00). The goatskin heads -- I had another, smaller one for $35.00 -- were quite the attention-getters, drawing several extra potential customers to my stand. In fact, I almost regretted eventully selling them.

One day, a gentleman entered my area and stood there for a moment, studying the $65.00 goatskin head, and a realistic-looking latex head which was marked $20.00. He suddenly spoke aloud, more to himself than to me, I think.

"They never had real shrunken heads," he proclaimed confidently.

I try never to argue with a customer, but Mr. Know-It-All (me) typically couldn't keep his mouth shut, so out came "Umm, actually... they did."

"You can't shrink a human skull!" he scoffed. (Yup, he actually "scoffed." Would I lie to you?)

He was right about that part, I admitted. You can't shrink a human skull. I sure as hell can't, anyway.

However, I then proceeded to explain in rather macabre detail how the flesh was stripped from the decapitated head, and followed up by explaining the steps taken to shrink the skin and prepare the shrunken head for display.

It was about two minutes into my learned recitation that I realized that the gent was staring at me in a way that nearly screamed "And why the hell do you even know this crap, anyway?"

Drawbacks of being "The god of Trivia" -- small "G," keeps me humble -- I suppose.

Not sure what my exact point was in telling you that story, really. But I'll bet it took your mind off the doggone election for a minute or two, didn't it?

Hm. "Doggone?" Damn. Slipping into that darned Palinese again...

I was going to insert a perverted joke here about
"a little head," but I resisted the temptation.
Oh, crap...

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~
I told you so!

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