Categories
Funny and/or Strange

Amazon Is Weird…

…or funny. Drunk funny, maybe.  I looked at their site the other day, and something is amiss in their recommendations. The items at the bottom make sense–I’m interested in riding more rail trails, and it seems like an extra way for my wife and I to distract ourselves from our pending empty nest syndrome, so the first book makes sense.  I’m into science fiction,  I’m looking for a new computer, and I do like holiday music–and have other holiday music by those two bands, so that all works.  As for the Christmas Elf costumes, however…what the hell do I interpret from these?  I’ve never bought one, or shopped for one, and even if I did the odds of getting them in my size (XXXL in Orc sizes) are pretty slim.

I guess I’m left to infer that this is some subtle plot for me to buy the afore-mentioned  wife a sexy elf costume, and that she is in a real damn hurry to get one of these outfits…but which one?  I like the barber pole socks on outfits at the edge, but I also like the tall black boots, second from right.

Decisions, decisions…

Do you think this means she’s getting a me a Santa Suit?  Role play doesn’t appeal to me in  broad terms, but Santa and the Sexy Elf?  A guy could do worse

Screenshotb edit

 

Categories
Uncategorized

Found Winter Photo: Bikini Skiing, Oh Brave New World

The last time I posted a “found” winter photo I prefaced with the following:

“I figured that it was time to start posting some cool “found” winter pictures, the way I do for summer.  The thing is, it is not nearly as easy to find fun, photos of winter–it’s a more serious season, in many ways.  Google “winter” and you get a lot of landscapes and snowy foliage, as opposed to the surfing and bikini babes a ‘”summer” search turns up. “

ski-bikiniUpon further review, it seems that I was mistaken.  A fairly superficial browsing has turned up a plethora of interesting shots, including modern stuff and the vintage pictures I enjoy so much.  I’ve also discovered that bikini girls are not limited to the province of summer–was I the last person to know that “bikini skiing” is a thing?  I put my coat on to step outside to let the dog pee.

George Bush said that “they” hate America because they hate freedom.  I’m pretty sure it’s because they’re jealous of our bikini skiing.  (And yours, too, Canada–you clearly excel in the sport.

Categories
Uncategorized

HIPSTER GOD–Beards are Best

I’ve been enjoying the current prominence of hipsters–I say prominence in respect to the temptation to write “fad” or “trend” because, unlike a lot Hipster%20beard.jpegof trends, hipsters are not so broadly defined, and much like polygamists and Seattle Seahawks fans they’re always out there, we’re just not used to seeing them in full plumage.  I like hipsters because the most fashionable of them wear great hats and the absolute best vintage suits–but mostly I like them for the beards.  And, of course, I’m a HIPSTER GOD because I’ve been rocking the whole fuzzy beard thing since, oh, 1986.  I’m enjoying the company

photoGrizzlyAdams
Grizzly Adams had a beard. And a Grizzly.

I’m not bragging.  It’s been lonely.  For nearly three decades I’ve lived beneath the tyranny of the baby-faced, listening to peach-faced corporate functionaries drone on about “looking professional” and hearing the sad, fetishisticly fastidious pontificate the virtues of being “clean cut” as if that sort of shorn cleanliness has anything to do with manliness–or if it’s any measure of cleanliness at all.  It’s certainly not next to godliness.  God had a beard.  I’ve seen pictures.

228740-20111004-140514-640x360
The Guy On A Buffalo has a beard, too. Can’t ride a buffalo without one. It’s a rule.

And here’s the thing: simpering suburban worker bees fear the beard, clinging to the notion that “good grooming” is in some way actually “good,” quietly judging–and only the most tremblingly weak may judge, but we judge too.  When I look into the eyes of a clean shaven man I assume, until proven differently, that man is not capable of summoning the testosterone necessary to build a better beard.  It’s unfair, but I’ve been ask too many times “what are you hiding.”  (Answer: my snide sneer.)

brad-pitt-beardBlessedly and quite suddenly, beards are in.  Bigtime.  Famous actors like Brad Pitt are rocking beards, and professional athletes like Brett Kiesel as well.

Brett Keisel
Click to enlarge–this is a GREAT picture of a great guy.

 

Of course, bad-ass rugby guys have been pulling full-bore facial fur for a long time now and nothing says testosterone like a sweaty, mud-covered rugby player.

Jason-Eaton article-2056335-0E1AC8DF00000578-143_468x662Josh-Strauss

The list goes on and on.  Bearded men are superior.  Check out these guys, these bearded bad-ass Pakistani heroes saving the day:

p17_24563813When men shave, they do so in shameful obeisance of an inner force that sings, day and night, of their inadequacy.  Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman didn’t bother with razors.  Didn’t need to.

hagridHagrid had a beard.  So did GI Joe, Barbarossa, Leonidas, Robin Hood, The Allman Brothers, and all those Old Testament Dudes.  Even Jesus had a beard.  Jesus and Santa and Mr. Edwards on Little House on the Prairie.  Mr Edwards was the only redeeming quality of that steaming pile–him and Nellie Oleson, that bitch.

Paul-Bunyan-Babe-13or6ndYou want to know who had a beard, you really want me to say it? Paul Bunyan.  Paul Bunyan had an awesome beard–not to mention a blue ox.

You know who didn’t have a beard?

Peter Pan.  Think about that the next time you’re looking in the mirror. Peter Freaking Pan.peter

So, you know what, I’ll thrilled as apple pie that so many guys are sliding out from beneath the yoke of middle American homogeneity and daring to live like nature intended.  I’m happy to fit in, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of my uniqueness.  It’s not so bad, fitting in, when it’s society bending to match me, and I enjoy the company.  The brotherhood of beards–we don’t even need a secret handshake.  It’s like the turtleneck sweaters I love in the winter–when they come back around, style-wise, I’ll enjoy them while they last, store a few in the attic for the future, and look–for just a few, fleeting moments–like I actually give a shit what someone else (except my wife) thinks.

Of Interest:

http://sabotagetimes.com/life/an-open-letter-to-bearded-hipsters-stop-ruining-my-beard-fetish/

http://nypost.com/2014/02/25/hipster-wannabes-forking-over-thousands-for-facial-hair-transplants/

Categories
Uncategorized

The Weather-Tainment Industry

IMG_0060It’s snowing outside–actually, it’s not–but I could have written that a day ago, or on almost any day in the young year of 2014 as we slog our way through the coldest, snowiest winter in recent memory.  As of Wednesday, Feb 11, we have enjoyed just 2 days with temperatures above freezing, both of which were accompanied by nights in the low twenties, with much of out time spent below 10 F.  This isn’t particularly bitter weather, especially if you’re from–say–Minneapolis or Calgary or Murmansk, nor is it particularly extreme for us, except that it has been nearly constant ever since the spooky night of our Christmas Party–December 21, when temperatures climbed through the day and maxed out close to 68 at midnight before crashing hard and fast enough to score a (barely, but still…) coveted White Christmas.

IMG_0054The constancy is what gets us.  I live in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, in northern Appalachia, at the eastern edge of the American mid-west.  Geographically, we’re often grouped as part of the Middle Atlantic States–although it takes me a 6 hour drive to smell saltwater.  Our weather reflects the best and worst of all these divisions–hot, humid summers, rainy springs and autumns, fierce winters, occasional drought, blizzards blown down over the great lakes from Canada, and every ten years or so a N’or’ Easter storm that blows up from the south and can deliver snow by the foot.  It’s a crapshoot, but the one thing we’ve come to rely on are the respites–a few cold days, maybe a cold week, for example, is usually followed by a minor melt.

IMG_0056This year, it has just been nasty, and I have to admit that for the most part I have enjoyed it. In my selective–and possible masochistic–reckoning this is how all winters are supposed to be, and how they always were: seasons of relentless cold and giant piles of snow.

What I have not enjoyed is rampant commercialism of the weather reporting industry, both nationally and locally.  Teasing important weather-related news, branding weather as an entertainment feature, exaggerating situations to shock and awe patrons, and even running commercials featuring narrative and imagery from past storms to scare potential viewers into watching “news at eleven” newscasts has reached a shameful zenith, and I fear it will only become worse.

IMG_0039The Weather Teases have been around for a while, and they strike me as both the most dangerous and the most important.  It’s as simple as any news tease: an anchor or meteorologist pops up in a commercial and offers up some cryptic tease, often phrased as a question, of information that viewers ought to have earlier.  For example, “Will local roads turn dangerous as temperatures drop?  Find out at eleven!”  If someone has someplace to go, that’s important information being withheld, in the name of drawing viewers.  If the answer is “No, the roads will be fine,” the broadcaster is guilty of being sneaky and deceptive, but I don’t see a potentially dangerous result.  If, on the other hand, those h0015BE3Ddropping temperatures mean ice on the road after an evening of drizzling rain, people need that information–maybe to get where they’re going early, maybe to get kids home before things get worse.  Those TV Talking Heads shouldn’t be teasing between commercials during Wheel of Fortune–they should be telling us the facts, baby, “Look, compadres–it’s been raining, temps are dropping sharply and the winds are picking up.  It’s getting slippery and it’s going to be worse.”

The next one is more of a pet peeve than a cynical, possibly dangerous practice, and that’s the sudden fashion to report “wind chill factors” rather than actual temperatures.  Every boy who ever broke out of his plastic bubble knows it feels colder when the wind blows–but that TV meteorologist, who used to do traffic on a local FM station–ahem–will have a much easier time holding your attention if he skips telling you about the actual 20 degrees thermometers read in favor of a hyperbolic windchill of +3 degrees–wind chill factor. That sure makes us sit up straight in our seats, eh?  So cynical.

Next up, this is for you, Weather Channel.  If you haven’t noticed, The Weather Channel recently began a policy of naming winter storms, you know, like they name hurricanes, and then copywriting those names.  Though it hasn’t worked out very well (the idea has failed to resonate with audiences, i.e. nobody gives a damn), one can see why they would try this.  People love that hurricane thing–especially when particularly fierce storms turn out to have the same names as our ex lovers and in-laws–damned right Isabelle tore a path of death and destruction through the Dominican Republic; they should see what she did to my heart!  Folks also got a big charge a couple of years ago when a modest storm dumped a bunch of snow on Washington, DC and the media pinned the headline “SNOWMAGEDDON” over the whole thing, as if frozen zombie corpses were roamng the streets of the capitol while Jesus lifted all the pure, clean snowmen into heaven–a gross over-reaction by any accounting, but a perfect precedent for potentially profitable pandering to the public during future storms–and using the hurricane model (copywritten!) releases the dullards from actually having to cook up another catchy name…where do you go from there?  Snowzilla?  The Snow Ness Monster?  The Snow Death?  Snowsquatch?  It thrills me to no end that this marketing plan has been met with complete and total indifference by American consumers.  This year they came up with “The Polar Vortex” which doesn’t sound that monstrous, but certainly has the appropriate ring of a 1950’s science fiction thriller.

Of course I’m making a hopeless argument that few folks care enough to support–most people are sane enough, and restrained enough, to simply ignore this crap, like it’s background static, and get on with their lives.  Not me.  I have to complain about it–but I always believe the ticket to a good bitch-and-moan is a viable alternative to the status quo–and this one is easy: stop reporting weather and news in general as a marketing tactic–stop the “there’s a bad man in a neighborhood that any minute now is going to kick in a door and kill everyone inside–details at 11pm.”  That might have worked before the internet, but when I’m watching TV and the talking head comes on and says “a severe ice storm is bearing down on the region–find out where it will hit the worse at eleven” I’m not waiting until eleven-damned-o’clock to find out if I’m doomed.  I’m headed straight to the internet.  TV stations are going to learn or continue to lose viewers.  As for the storm names: guys, just stop it.  You’re embarrassing yourselves.

Inappropriate, extraneous, irrelavant, possibly sexist, definitely superfluous winter bonus: I did an image search looking for an illustration of a broadcaster with “details at eleven” and, oddly enough, the first picture through the filter was the one below.  Score.

g-travel-us-hawaii-oahu-honolulu-waikiki-girl-1983