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Got 10 minutes to write this...


My youngest just asked when I was going to put up the "New Year's Bucket".

This is one of those times when you realize that your kids actually do remember things that you say, even if you wish they didn't. Because the "New Year's Bucket" comes from a story I told The Beast last year when I was putting him to bed after I had maybe just one too many adult beverages one night right after Christmas.

The story is that on New Year's Eve a man in a cape, named Captain New Year's, rides through the streets in an old Pontiac with a broken muffler. He looks for the houses of Moms and Dads who have been working really hard and need a rest. When he finds those people, he sneaks into the garage and empties the beer fridge. Then he prank calls the house and invites the Mom and Dad to a New Year's Eve party at one of their adult friend's house. When the Mom and Dad think about how much a sitter would cost and all the trouble it would take to get ready to go out, they decline...until dad checks the beer fridge...seeing that there's nothing in the house to drink, the parents call up their unsuspecting friends and invite themselves over for a party.

Captain New Year's only appears to parents of more than two kids, and only when the kids have spent the entire Christmas break fighting with their siblings. It also helps if one of the parents has a real pressing need to tie one on.

So every year, good Moms and Dads leave a bucket of ice in the garage so that Captain New Year's has something to keep the beer cold in the back seat of the old Pontiac. It's also nice to keep an empty bucket next to Mom and Dad's bed...as a decoration you know... on New Year's Eve.

Skippy remembered that story. It's kind of touching, in an "I'm going to end up in jail" kind of way.

5 years in...

I've been blogging here for 5 years. At first it was supposed to be an outlet for whatever creative juice I had left after college, work, kids and marriage were finished with me. That never really panned out. Then it morphed into a way to beat the email filter at work. Really just a way for me to say the things that I, as the email guy, knew would get flagged by the filter.

Then came global warming hysteria, the 2004 election, and the Prince's first Little League championship. That turned this into more of a collection of links and rants.

And that's where we are today. Less links than rants, and to be honest this year I've kinda run out of steam. It's been a long year and I've been traveling quite a bit. When I haven't been traveling I've been swamped and by the time I actually start typing I've completely forgotten what it was that I wanted to write anyway.

Sorry for the year's worth of lame posts.

On the other hand...I've been blogging for five years. In that five years I have had exactly seven comments left on my blog.

Seven. That's more than one per year, settle down people!

I only get between twenty and forty unique visitors here every week. Sad, but true. Half are Google searches for A summary of Kingsley Amis' "The Old Devils" with a review. So far that's my most popular post and will be forever now that I googled it again and left it open for about twenty minutes while I messed with getting the link right. Screw my analytics. Most of the rest are searches for something or another, but there's only really like five or so regular hits a week. Most, if not all are from people related to me.

By the way, that post is two years old. In the two years since I've had two-count 'em-two trackbacks.

I know I'm boring, and I know that I don't have a blogroll, but seriously...two?

Back in the day I was a pretty active on the web. I traded emails with a lot of the "big names" and was a regular commentator and even a contributor on a couple of well-read blogs. None of that has ever translated to traffic here.

I've scaled back my browsing too. My bookmarks list is really short now. If I look at an old backup, I've got hundreds of sites in my IE favorites, now I've got maybe six that have nothing to do with work. It's kind of depressing to see. I can automatically discount three of those old sites because the owners have died, but my interest in the rest either just petered out or the blogger went off the rails somewhere.

There are three sites that aren't Slashdot, Drudge or Fark that I still check every day and have since I started reading them. I still drop comments on two sites, but nothing like I used to, and I'll probably scale back even that.

This place might go away, or I might change my posting schedule to once a week. Maybe then I can actually work up a good post.

Or maybe I'll just put up a huge blogroll, throw trackbacks around like a punk and start a blogfight with someone who actually gets some traffic. Who knows?

Watch this space...both of you.

For Endothebicycleman...


A little something to help you out in your quest.

madmom and I will be expecting baaaaabies soon.

I suppose a lesser man would crack...

..but not me. I can take it.

My office is in the basement. On the other side of the wall, right next to the door is an old TV. That TV is hooked up to a PS2. There are four seven-year-old boys and a four-year-old boy playing Guitar Hero on that PS2.

They are singing along.

At the top of their little lungs.

PS: "Shoot at the Devil"? They must have that one wrong. Unless I was as wasted when I first heard it as Nikki Sixx was when he wrote it.

PPS: Hmmmm, maybe. Where the hell is my iPod?

PPPS: WASP? No way... Oh, OK, Not WASP. Thank God. All I need is for the Beast to want to wear a flaming codpiece to First Communion.

PPPPS: I mean, c'mon. That's Prom wear. He'd look ridiculous that dressed up.



My first blog post.

Am I smart or what? A prognosticator of the first order. You guys want to by some stock?

Merry Christmas


It's my birthday


Happy birthday to me.

3 degrees in Wisconsin


"That a problem?"
"No, it's not a problem."
"You sure? It sure does sound like it could be a problem."
"No. No, really. It's fine. Not a problem."
"Really. It's OK."
"Well, it's just that you sounded..."
"What? It's fine. OK?"
"I can do it."
"Look. Knock it off."
"OK, OK. Geeze, don't get upset."
"I'm not upset."
"Peeved then."
"Not peeved either. YET."
"That's peevishness. Right there. You're peeved."
"Shut up."
"I knew you were peeved."
"Quit it."
"I asked. You heard me ask. 'Is that a problem', I said."
"It's NOT a problem."
"Seems to be."
"It's not."
"Well it shouldn't be. It's your mother."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"What? Why bring that up?"
"I'm not."
"You are."
"It's not what I meant."
"What did you mean then? Seriously. What else could you mean?"
"Well, it's like it was such a big problem..."
"I told you it wasn't a problem."
"I thought you were being ironic."
"Not ironic, sarcastic."
"So you were being sarcastic?"
"No, but you weren't thinking irony. You were thinking sarcasm."
"How do you figure?"
"I know how you think. And you were wrong."
"Yes. I was not being ironic. The Anarchist Council Rules Committee is ironic. I was being sarcastic.."
"AHA! See..."
"WAIT! Will you? Please? I meant, you thought I was being sarcastic. I wasn't being sarcastic. It's actually NOT A PROBLEM!"
"Well stop being so nasty then."
"You mentioned my mother."
"How could I not? c'mon..."
"Well...you just didn't have to bring it up."
"Fine. I won't mention your mother."
"Good. It's not a topic I want to dwell on."
"Well, I can see that it bothers you."
"Then don't bring it up."
"Fine then. I won't. But you have to admit..."
"No. No I don't. OK. I don't have to admit anything. I am not peeved and this is not a problem. I am fine with it. OK?"
"OK, OK...I guess I just don't see how that can be real healthy."
"You gotta see my point..."
"I don't care about your point. I want you to drop it. Right now. Shut up. Drop it. Don't talk. Anymore. About anything."
"Wow. Touchy."
"Now I'm touchy. Yeah. What the hell do you expect?"
"You don't have to swear."
"Just because you're upset, doesn't mean you have to use rough language."
"Oh for God's sake."
"Gosh then..."
"People notice. You don't think they do, but they notice things like that."
"Using 'God' as a swear."
"Are you kidding me?"
"No, I'm serious. It's impolite."
"What are you, my mother?"
"Obviously not."
"Go there. Go ahead. I dare you."
"See, I knew you had issues."
"I have issues?"
"You think I have issues? What issues do I have? I don't have any issues at all? I've been trying to be nice to you and all you can do is to get upset and swear..."
"I was not swearing!"
"...and yell."
"I'm not yelling! Do you think this is yelling? This is not yelling."
"Well, you're being awful loud for not yelling."
"Fine. I won't say anything at all."
"Proves my point."
"Take the shovel. I'll get it out of the car."

So, will this one work?


Email, shmemail.  If this doesn't work I will write a post that roasts my host.

Well that didn't work...

For some reason posting by email isn't working for me. So I'm posting by good old fashioned Blogger interface. At 2am Central time. Because I can't sleep.

There's nothing on TV and I have nothing to say. I mean, I have less to say than usual.

I guess I could go out on a limb and say that I will bet my paycheck that the Governor of Illinois was ratted out by the Obama mob.

Seriously. That guy had been an embarrassment for Obie for months, and he was obviously way too much of a loudmouth. But hey, I blame the hair. Anyone who that idiot put in office would be a drain on the new adminiatration for the next four years, cut off the infected limb. Plus, the guy's so dirty that no one will believe anything bad he says about Jesus Obama. This is a win-win for the new guys.

I will bet 3 to 1 that Blagagovitzenstein gets maybe 90 days in minimum security federal prison, gets out and gets a radio show, writes a couple of books and shows up on either Keith Olberman's show or Nancy Grace's every three days. His wife will end up on HSN hawking all natural magnetic healing bracelets...oh wait...that's me, sorry. Wrong daydream.



not working?

Chicago workers' sit-in becomes rallying point


One of the factory's workers, Silvia Mazon, said in Spanish that she needs the money owed to her for an $1,800 monthly house payment.


That's a $300,000 dollar house. With 20% down and no PMI. In Cicero. She could have bought an apartment building for that. If you don't believe me, check for yourself on Realtor.com. Neighborhood might not be all that, but she could get a pretty nice place for herself just a couple blocks from the BNSF.

Of course, it might have helped if she had learned English before signing the mortgage papers.

Totally shitty deal by the company, but the extreme financial idiocy of the workers, makes it really hard for me to feel that bad for them.

I guess they don't realize that the banks are having this problem because people like Ms. Mazon took out huge mortgages that there was no possible way they could repay? Of course, the banks gave out the mortgages...all by themselves...

Hell. I'm buying a farm and a lot of guns...I'm going to need to protect my family against the Plasma TV riots of 2012.

I don't like jazz


Wait for it...

Back to Basics


Top Cheerleader High Kicks.

This whole thing with me will pan out eventually, until then, let's have some fun.

Blogged down


It's been a couple of days since Thanksgiving and I still have nothing to blog about.

Sounds like a setup, right? Like I ever had anything to blog about? But the truth is the truth, and that's that I'm just not that into me, you know? Maybe I'll call me some day and we'll go see a movie or something? Seriously, it's not me, it's me. And I know that sounds cliche and I'm not going to believe it and I might even be mad at me - but really, I'm just having a tough enough time keeping my head wrapped around me, it'd be a disservice to myself to try and keep this thing I've got going with me going. You know what I'm saying?

I know all relationships hit the skids around the holidays, and I've been around this block with myself before and I've always managed to work through it with me. But let's face it, it's just not fair to me to have my issues jack up another holiday when I could be having a carefree and happy time with myself without worrying about where I stand with me.

I think it's time that I learned to stand on my own two feet and not rely on me to do my living for me. And I don't mean that I'm some kind of loser, don't get me wrong...I just think that I may have been a drag on myself and I can probably do better... than me.

I knew this has been coming for a long time, didn't I? Yes, yes I did, there's no fooling me. No reason for me to be upset at all. I'm an adult and I can handle it. And hey, if it ends up being hard on me, well, there's no reason why I can't see myself every once in a while...I mean I still really like me. I've been through an awful lot with myself, and I did say I was going to that Christmas party...and I spent all that money on my gift...Not that I'm not worth it, I am, and I was going to give it to myself regardless. I know that this isn't about money...it's not. Really...it's not.

Look, I just need some time. In a week or so I'll forget I ever had this conversation. OK, a couple of days. All right, Wednesday. I'll see me Wednesday...but I'm not going to dinner at my mother's...