Monday, February 27, 2006

Title Bout

Challenger: You
Dominant Hand: Right
Jab: Weak/Kitten Like
Record: No Victories
Vitals: Age - 30's
Weight - Less than a sedan
Allergic to Ragweed
Notable Opponents: Acne, Calculus (both matches declared a draw)
Likes: Beavers, Lasers
Dislikes: Portuguese Cars

Champion: The World
Dominant Hand: Ambidextrous
Jab: Lethal
Record: Undefeated
Vitals: Age - 4.5 billion years
Weight: 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms
Molten Iron Core
Notable Opponents: Dinosaurs, Parachute Pants
Likes: Beavers, Lasers
Dislikes: Comets, Greenhouse Gas

Tale of the Tape: The challenger has not fared well in these matches up to now and has shown a propensity for getting tangled up in the ropes. He says he doesn't expect to win, but would like to at least land a couple punches. The champion has a history of hitting below the belt and finishing opponents quickly. Look for him to make short work of it yet again in order to be home in time for Friends reruns. Regardless of the outcome, look for a rematch again next Monday as this seemingly endless series of battles shows no sign of slowing down.

Friday, February 24, 2006

PSL Has Been Hit By Laziness

Paper Sack Lifetime is currently traveling and has come down with a serious case of laziness that is common to this region. Although attempts to vaccinate ahead of time we made, PSL was none the less infected. Doctors have urged aggressive treatment including caffeinated beverages and electrical shock, but thus far this has only resulted in an urgent need to use the bathroom and an increasingly deep fear of metal objects.

Having come down with laziness and seeing the people of this region who have also been afflicted with this serious disease, PSL would thinks it's time to call for action. While this particular case of laziness will hopefully lift within a week, it remains a chronic problem for millions worldwide. By banding together to attack the problem at its root (the daytime television and comfy couch industry) we could see a significant decline in laziness levels in our lifetime.

In any case, PSL hopes to return to form very soon and apologizes for an inconvenience you may have experience as a result of our sitting around and doing nothing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Daily Time Management Briefing

Look, I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this. Time has already been wasted on all the other aspects of this project, so I won't waste it here. You may not be aware of it, and judging by your performance, you're not, but our time is valuable. We once did a calculation, a lengthy and time consuming calculation if you must know, and we determined that every second is worth approximately one Starbucks Skinny Grande Vanilla Mocha Latte. So every second I spend talking to you is like dumping one of those on the ground. I respect this company, and coffee, and the Guatemalans, or whoever make the coffee, too much to do that.

So let me get right to the point by saying that time is of the essence here people. I can't stress that enough. These things don't build themselves. And yet every day I have to come down here and spend an hour, maybe two, explaining to you how valuable time is, and how we need to be making better use of it. Do you think I like giving these speeches? Do you think I like dumping coffee on the ground? But every day I come down here and give a longer speech about the utter importance of time and everyday you people get less done. The only conclusion I can draw is that I'm simply not getting through to you. So let's find our seats, someone turn on the projector, and let's get going. This is probably going to be a long one. Hey! Hey! You in the back. What are you doing? No working during the presentation. I'm here to teach you how to get more done. I can't do that if you're working.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Unpopular Party Games

Trivial Pursuit - Periodic Table Edition

Tattoo Pictionary

Carpet Cleaning Races

Pin The Flaming Tail On The Flammable Donkey

Dr. Phil's Funtime Therapy Session

Home Dentistry Olympics

When Did This Expire?

Put On Additional Clothes Poker


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bluebeard Answers Your Financial Questions

Dear Bluebeard,
What do you think a good ratio of equities to bonds would be given the current market?

Looks to Bluebeard like stocks are still walking the plank. But the yield curve has me worried about bonds as well. I'd diversify into the precious metals; gold, silver, maybe look at jewels as well. Call Bluebeard old fashioned, but I still like assets I can keep in a chest. Arrrrr.

Dear Bluebeard,
Is it time to sell my shares of Google?

Me thinks Google's near to havin' a mutiny on her hands. I've been on ships where you're suddenly so flush with treasure that everyone's got an idea how to spend it. "Bluebeard, let's get out own 'pirate island'." "Bluebeard, let's all get hooks made out of gold." "Let's build a space elevator, Bluebeard." In my experience, when you've got that kind of cash, the only source of sound advice is the parrot on your shoulder. I don't see a lot of parrots at Google. Sell the scurvy dog.

Dear Bluebeard,
I'm facing an audit. I don't think I did anything wrong, but should I get representation anyway?

Never face the IRS without at least a dozen good men. How do you think Bluebeard ended up with this hook?

Dear Bluebeard,
What's you opinion on the housing market? Is this a bubble?

It's a bubble as sure as Bluebeard's the saltiest dog in the seven seas, and I'd say she's about to pop. Bluebeard says sell your overvalued heap while you can and get into something more mobile, maybe one of those swanky Airstreams like Will Smith has. Load up ten or twenty trusted hands, a couple good wenches, and hit the road. For the next few years the only money in houses is going to be made the old fashioned way. Pillaging other people's. Arrr.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The True Story Of Valentine’s Day

Often men who are too lazy, cheap, and possibly drunk to get a Valentine's day present for their significant other will accuse it of being a '‘Hallmark'’ holiday, designed only to force individuals into spending millions on useless trinkets in order to prove their love. These men tend to be shifty and should not be trusted around valuables or sharp objects, but on this issue they are absolutely correct. Valentine'’s day is a Hallmark holiday.

But before Hallmark was a global corporation bent on enslaving us all, it was a man, a man named John Hallmark, who dreamed of a Utopian society where money was made of chocolate and people communicated via humorous or sentimental quips written on slips of paper which he called '‘cards'’.

In 1812 Hallmark secured a large tract of land in what'’s now Idaho and invited otherd to join him in this promised land. But after a fantastic beginning Hallmark'’s utopia ran into problems. A wave of tooth decay swept the settlement leading to the decimation of the local beaver population, as people sought replacement 'choppers'. As teeth became harder and harder to find their value skyrocketed, and villagers over-farmed the land in an effort to scrape together enough chocolate to buy the prized '‘beaver dentures'’. Panicked residents began speculating at a frenzied pace about the future of the settlement, and their constant communication led to the deforestation of the area as trees were turned into cards at a breakneck pace.

In 1815 Hallmark received a Ziggy card (originally developed by a settlement member) from one of his deputies which showed Ziggy's pockets inside out and Uncle Sam standing over him with a baseball bat. Hallmark quickly gathered that the government had denied his group'’s tax exempt status and meant to collect on the years of back chocolate taxes he now owed.

Ironically, the threat brought the settlers together, who under Hallmark'’s direction decided that they would not fight the government, but defeat it with the love and kindness that had been the cornerstone of Hallmark'’s original vision. As the government threatened them with legal and then military action, Hallmark'’s settlers prepared to face their enemies not with weapons, but with adorable stuffed bears made from excess beaver pelts, as well as nifty arrangements of local flowers, remaining stores of chocolate, and the best cards that locals could create (Garfield and Peanuts characters were created just for this conflict).

Sadly, on Fetheuary 14th, 1815 the settlement was invaded by government troops led by General Teddy St. Valentine. They quickly slaughtered the stuffed bear and flower wielding locals and the bears (which thereafter became knows as Teddy bears in honor of the man who had captured them), chocolates, and flower arrangements that were not destroyed in battle were then auctioned off to cover the town'’s tax debt.

The auction was so successful that the government decided to make it an annual fundraising event under the auspices of the Department of Defense, which began to open Hallmark’ stores around the country to auction off items on February 14th. The success of this ‘holiday’ led directly to the rise of what'’s now known as the military-industrial complex. Original Hallmark stores sold guns and ammunition along side the flowers and cards, but later the stores were spun off from the Defense Department and their offerings were pared back to those gifts we associate with the occasion today.

So indeed, those drunken, lazy boyfriends that make up a large part of society today are correct, this is a Hallmark holiday. But now that you know the truth you can see that it'’s about more than just chocolate, flowers, and military might.

It's also about beavers. All too often that gets overlooked.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Standard Celebrity Marriage Contract Rider

1. Till death do us part is understood by both parties to mean 'at least several weeks, give or take'.

2. Marriage will be dissolved should one party change their appearance substantially (also known as 'hitting the wall').

3. Marriages that result in some sort of fusion of the couple's first names (i.e. Benifer) will be dissolved as soon as the fused term fails to appear on the cover of any supermarket periodical (tabloid) for a period of nine days.

4. Marriage will be dissolved should either party turn out to be gay. However, if rumors of homosexuality persist without actual proof neither party is allowed to dissolve the marriage without A) finding a suitable replacement for themselves before dissolution or B) providing the other party with an offspring so as to attest to heterosexual tendencies.

5. Marriage will be dissolved should the distance between the two individuals 'lists' ever become more than a single letter grade (i.e. A list and C list). One party being unlisted is grounds for annulment.

6. Marriage will be dissolved should either party find themselves shooting a film with an attractive and available member of the opposite sex.

7. Should the parties decide to separate, they will do so only after making a sufficient number of vows through the media that they are absolutely not separating.

8. Any offspring produced by the married couple will be given obtuse, annoying, or blatantly misspelled names.

9. Divorce proceedings, when they arise, will be handled in a public manner, with disclosures made about the violent, drunken, and/or emotionally destructive actions of each party. Any sex tapes will be auctioned off with proceeds going towards legal fees.

10. Marriage will be dissolved should the bride reach the age of 30.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Little Known Presidential Tattoos - George Washington (1st In A Series)

George Washington - Not only was George Washington the first president of our country (and noted train engineer) he also invented the tattoo. Due to the abysmal state of science and medicine in colonial America, ink was widely believed to have magical and curative properties. In addition to its use in writing letters and very fancy looking grocery shopping lists, ink was also spread on crops (to induce growth), poured on cats (to induce levitation), and baked into pastries (to induce blueberry muffins). Also, at Washington's suggestion, it was poured on open wounds, which, when healed, retained the ink in the form of a tattoo (originally referred to as a 'cat levitation juice mark' but later shortened for convenience).

Most of Washington's tattoos, which resulted from the treatment of his numerous battle wounds, are well known thanks to the US Post Office stamp series 'Washington's Battle Derived Tattoos'. However, very few know of the tattoo on his abdomen, just to the left of his navel, which resulted from a row with a noted bayonet maker of the time named Chuck Jones.

Legend has it that Washington commissioned Jones to make him a very special bayonet to take into his final campaign in the Revolutionary War. Honored, Jones spent nearly a full year carefully honing and crafting a bayonet like no other. During this time Jones was rumored to have been drinking and inhaling vast quantities of ink (as was customary in the trade at the time) and the hallucinogenic effects may have had something to do with his ultimate design.

Finally the bayonet was complete and Jones presented it to Washington along with several blueberry muffins and an ink covered cat which was in no mood to levitate. However, far from being impressed by the intricate design and craftsmanship of the bayonet, Washington was appalled. Rather than going with the traditional 'pointy' design, Jones had sculpted the metal into a small blunt figurine which he imagined General Washington driving right through the heart of countless British officers. Washington exclaimed that the bayonet was useless and completely incapable of stabbing anyone, and as a result he refused to pay.

Upset by the criticism and perhaps eager to prove the stabbing power of his design, Jones attacked Washington, stabbing him once in the abdomen before being subdued and banished to what is now Daytona Beach, Florida where he subsisted exclusively on a diet of ink for the next century and a half before rejoining society and using his old bayonet designs in the booming field of cartoons.

His first sale was based on the very bayonet design he had shoved into President Washington, resulting in the first president's least talked about tattoo. Jones later decided to call the design 'Marvin the Martian' out of deference to the great leader (who as you're aware was known as Marvin to his friends). This design again became popular in the late 90's, though few who requested it were aware of its historical significance and all would later deeply regret having it permanently placed on their bodies.

Next time.... Bill Clinton

Monday, February 06, 2006

Five Keys To Successful Train Engineering/Piloting

Trains have a long and glorious history in this country (not like in some other countries where they've gotten involved with drugs and satanic music) as do the people who sit at their helm. George Washington was a train engineer at one point, as was Dick Van Dyke, and Ted Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber). So as you add your name to this illustrious list, there's a few things you should keep in mind to assure your career is as successful as theirs were.

1. Engineers are no longer engineers, but pilots. Back in Washington's day, engineer was more descriptive of what the man at the helm of these wondrous mechanical snakes was actually up to, what with the wood and coal and boilers and such. But much of that work (thankfully) is now done by computers that are capable of shoveling coal and boiling water on their own. Your job is mostly to stay out of the way and press some buttons to begin and end the journey. This makes you a pilot. Pilots of other craft, notably airplanes, have objected to this name change, as well as our affinity for referring to one another as 'flyboys'. Most of the more raucous of their number can usually be quelled with liquor and assurances that our trains in fact have wings but that we choose not to use them because it would be too easy.

2. No sudden turns. The steering wheel was initially added as a sort of joke to weed out the less capable members of the engineering ranks. However, after years of wrecking trains and their cargo in the name of ferreting out weaker pilots, the practice has mostly been discontinued. Regardless the shape of the controls you find yourself behind, just remember that 'straight is great'. A number of engineers in the past have looked at route maps and seen opportunities for 'shortcuts', and no doubt you will too. But rest assured that all those wheels become very uncooperative when separated from the track and your shortcut will become the long way around. As for your instinctual desire to jerk in one direction or another in response to things on the tracks ( livestock, couches, tied up damsels) you must resist. The train is built to run right over these things and the damage will be far more severe should you try to 'go around'. Unless you see loose change on the tracks. That stuff will wreck you every time and should be avoided at all costs.

3. NO Doritos/Cheetos. This should not be considered a comprehensive list, but one that is suggestive of a category of products you should avoid while piloting the train. It's certainly fine to drink and eat, in fact it's encouraged to help you resist the temptation to try to steer or maneuver the train in any way, but as a courtesy to fellow pilots, try to avoid snacks that leave this sort of fine orange powder on everything. Rumor has it this is what drove Mr. Kaczynski to leave the field.

4. No cabooses. As you're no doubt aware, we cut these sad sacks loose years ago but that doesn't mean you won't still find them wandering the tracks begging to hitch on for 'just a few more miles'. Some of these guys look like fun and may tell you they know all the hotspots in the next town, but you must resist their siren song. It's hard enough to get the rest of the flyboys to take us seriously as pilots and toting around little red wannabes isn't going to help. If you're looking for a good time when you're on break, better to seek council from one of your (airline) pilot brethren. They know all the best bars and strip joints.

5. If you forget something, forget it. Piloting/engineering history is littered with ugly tales of what happened when a man at the helm realized that he left his wallet back at the last stop and threw the train in reverse to go grab it. While trains do travel almost as well backwards as forwards (assuming you're faithful to the 'straight is great' dictum) you're not alone out there. Trains headed towards one another on the same piece of track require you to do all sorts of steering and maneuvering and other things that should typically be avoided. Much better to just get yourself a fanny pack and make a habit of checking for all your gear at the start of each piloting day.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bush To National Audience, "I Feel Duped"

Washington D.C.
by Kyle Killen

In a stunning move, possibly inspired by syndicated talk show host Oprah Winfrey's similar actions last week, George Bush appeared on national television today to apologize to fans and register his disgust and disappointment with the authors of The Case For War In Iraq, which he had previously championed.

A sometimes angry, sometimes tearful Bush asked Vice President Dick Cheney why he "felt the need to lie." Audience members often groaned and gasped at Cheney's halting, stuttered admissions that certain facts about Iraq had been "altered" but that the essence of the case for war was real.

"I don't think of it as fiction," Cheney said of the case, which had been offered to previous presidents but rejected. "I still think it's essentially, more or less, basically, an approximation of the facts that we knew at the time."

When subjected to an intense, almost line by line, questioning of the statements made in the material, Cheney appeared to struggle. On the issue of whether or not there were really ever any weapons of mass destruction Cheney said, "...that's... I honestly don't know... that's... I've struggled with the idea of that."

"No. The lie of it, Dick. That's a lie, not an idea," Bush said before a stunned audience.

Bush's appearance began with a montage of various interviews and appearances in which he'd previously offered his vigorous defense of The Case For War In Iraq, calling charges that many of the underlying facts were exaggerated or fabricated "much ado about nothing".

"I regret those interviews. And I regret those statements," Bush told his audience. "I left the impression that the truth doesn't matter, and for that I'm sorry."

Also called to the stage was Donald Rumsfeld, who's military had put The Case For War In Iraq into production. Bush asked if he'd looked into any of the materials more outrageous claims, such as supposed ties between Al Queda and Saddam Hussein before they started "blowing things up." Rumsfeld said that they'd done their best, but that fact checking is something that is time consuming and not really a military strong suit.

Bush then lectured Rumsfeld on his responsibilities: "I'm trusting you, the military, to tell me whether this is fiction or actionable intelligence."

Bush's support of The Case For War In Iraq has already earned the phenomenally successful material billions and billions of dollars, and while he said that he now sees that his judgment was 'clouded' regarding the facts in the material, he chose not to withdraw his Presidential Seal of Approval from the piece, meaning War In Iraq will still be available, albeit with a new note from the military explaining that most of the underlying case was 'enhanced' and that the names mentioned should be seen as 'characters' rather than real individuals.

"I feel duped," Bush told Cheney, "but more importantly, I feel you betrayed millions of Americans."