Thursday, March 26, 2009

US disputes North Korea's "giant hot dog" launch

Washington (AP) - Top US intelligence officials disputed North Korea's claim it was going to launch a giant hot dog into space next month. The officials pointed out that the object on the launch pad in Pyongyang looked much more like a long-range nuclear missile than a giant hot dog.

"Who do they think they're fooling?" National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said at a press conference Thursday. "There's no way that thing is a giant hot dog. It's a freaking missile. It looks just like all the other missiles they have." 

Still, North Korea has held fast to the giant hot dog claim, even writing a press release in English, urging Americans not to worry about "the big hot dog on the missile launch pad, which is totally a hot dog, not a missile."

Americans are not the only ones with doubts though. Japanese officials are among the skeptics. And six-time Hot Dog Eating Champion and Japanese resident Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has been enlisted as an expert to investigate North Korea's claim. 

"I see no evidence of lucky hot dog," Kobayashi said through an interpreter and a mouthful of Nathan's hot dogs and water. 

Back in the States, Blair agrees. He believes the whole thing is a ruse by North Korea to throw off American, Japanese and other international leaders by pretending their missile was a giant hot dog. 

But Blair's not buying it. "Where's the bun? Where's the relish? Wait, do Koreans even eat relish? Someone find out. I don't want to start an international incident here."

Monday, March 23, 2009

the revolution

I don't know if you've noticed, but there are signs of a movement everywhere. The people are putting actions behind their convictions. 

A revolution is underway. 

A vacuum revolution. 

And who is giving a voice to this revolution? James Dyson. Have you seen this assclown? Surely you've seen the ads. This incredibly arrogant descendent of British jerks tells us all the inspiring story of how he singlehandedly changed the vacuuming industry overnight. According to his website, all of us see faults in everyday products, but only Dyson has the courage, infinite free time and funding to improve them. And his super-sucky designs have brought him fame and riches of over $6 billion. And he's going to spend millions in advertising to make sure you know it, regardless of coming off as an unrepentant, pretentious asshole. If you haven't used his vacuums, you've probably dried your hands in his airport hand dryer, for which he'll surely find a way to charge and demean you. He even has his own foundation and annual award, both of which he named after himself. 

Okay, we get it Dyson. You're the goddam modern-day Galileo. But I've got news for you, Dy-Vinci. (These renaissance jokes doing anything for you?) The world already has a Vizier of Vacuum Vanity. His name is David Oreck, owner and star of his own self-named vacuum company. And according to his website, he's a much bigger badass than your wildest dreams could ever aspire to hope for. Oreck drives mint-condition motorcycles to work, pilots his own biplanes, and refuses to even think about retiring, even though riding motorcycles and flying in open-air cockpits at 85 years old probably endangers dozens of lives. What a rebel! Oreck even joined the Army Air Corps (what the Air Force used to be called before jet engines were invented) at the age of 17. And that's not even legal! 

So what are you gonna do now, Dyson? Oreck just owned you in this vacuum magnate pissing contest I just made up. He's more experienced, rebellious, reckless and maverick-y than you'll ever be, Dyson. 

And he speaks American. Face it, Dyson. Oreck was saving your country's ass when your diapers were clogging your mommy's vacuum. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Katie's wedding

My cousin Katie got married last weekend in Amelia Island, Florida to Jeb, a really good guy. It was a very fun wedding, and I got to spend a lot of time with my nephew, the happiest baby on Earth. I might do a study on what makes babies smile, or why it's so utterly delightful for us adults to watch. (See the absurd number of hits on this video.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

names I've been called by bums

The city of San Francisco has a personality unlike any other. There's beauty in the landscape and surrounding water, and in the architecture. There's a unique balance of being a center of business, finance and the arts, while owning a pervasive attitude of tolerance throughout the city. 

And there are a shitload of bums here. Not the attack-you-in-Central-Park kind of bums or the OD'ed-on-meth-and-crank-and-passed-out-in-a-dumpster kind of bums (although drugs are a large part of many bums' daily lives). SF homeless, by and large, are a more pensive, intellectual breed. Sure, they will panhandle and ask for money. But they'll also cite the Wall Street Journal and Voltaire at you as you pass by. 

One bum even defended my wife's honor. She was walking on a main street, passing by an alley, when a bum in the alley began to pee on a building, not unusual behavior for a man without a home. But then another bum, let's call him Hero Bum, got in Peeing Bum's face and yelled, "You can't whip that out in front of a lady, man! Have some respect!" Hero Bum then apologized to my wife for the poor judgement the other man exhibited in "his neighborhood". And they say street chivalry is dead.

That said, we've also almost been peed on walking down the street too. 

The following is a list of things SF bums have yelled at me. Notice the tendency to avoid clich├ęs in favor of creative spontaneity.

"Mr. Rotisserie!"
"Fortune 500? More like zero!"
"You're the Palo Alto of never!"
"It was the worst of times and the worst of times!"
"Death to Actors!"
"I put a curse on your children!"
"Obama wants you... to give me your spare change."
"Hollywood Hallelujah!"
"You wish faggot!" (this was yelled at me as I glanced at a toothless woman peeing in the street)

And that was just on the way to work this morning! Rimshot.

Monday, March 9, 2009

music - Hold Time by M. Ward

M. Ward has been described as a reincarnated Woodie Guthrie and a pre-incarnated Klaxtor McQuellsburg (who I believe will be a great folk/rock singer in 2051). He's the coolest folk-rocker out there today, and he's chugging right along with his latest LP.

Truth is, I could write absolutely anything that comes to mind about M. Ward and his album "Hold Time". Because what I write won't matter once you hear his music. I could call him a poet with the soul of a pirate, or the illegitimate son of Yasmine Bleeth and the Maytag Man. You'd still fall in love with his warm guitar picks and soothing voice. M. Ward is the rare musician whose music is both easy to access and deeply satisfying. 

But perhaps more importantly, he likes to dress up as the Easter Bunny and snack on pterodactyl embryos. 

It's true. Read about it on his site.

music - Fate by Dr. Dog

Looking for a band that isn't afraid to be huge fans of some of the best rock bands in history? Well, Dr. Dog has the prescription for you! 

I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. It's been more than a week since I last posted and I'm a little rusty. So I'm using puns to grease the wheels (see?). 

Bear with me. This band is worth hearing about. Contrary to their terrible and terribly deceptive name, Dr. Dog is a very talented and soulful band. Not a terrier who has completed medical school (I smell a sitcom!). 

Dr. Dog plays what could be described as really thoughtful pop/classic rock. But I like to describe Dr. Dog's album "Fate" like this. For every song they record, the band burns a copy of the Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper" with their own song hidden in there somewhere. Then they play it at a party to see if anyone notices or mentions that one song seems out of place. If no one notices, they keep the song for their next album. 

Not that Dr. Dog is purely derivative, but they're clearly trying to play with the big boys at the pinnacle of rock and roll. So they deserve to be judged by that standard. And tracks like Army of Ancients get this band with the awful name awful, awful close.

Here's Dr. Dog's weird website.