Wednesday, June 10, 2009

breaking news: newt gingrich is an asshole

Not a citizen of the world, huh, Newt? Could that be because no one wants you in it?

It doesn't matter what political party you belong to, Newt. If Barack Obama stood up and said he's not a citizen of the world, I'd be among the millions lining up to toss a Target flip-flop at his head. Being a citizen of the world means being aware of the global consequences of your own as well as your country's actions.

Even as a kid, I thought it was wrong for people to assert that America is the greatest country on the planet. It's not because I don't love America; because believe me, I do. It's that I've just always agreed with Voltaire that it is lamentable that in order to become a patriot, one must become an enemy of the rest of mankind. Probably the only reason I ever even thought about it as a kid (and I did) is because I wasn't born here. And no, I also do not think that Sweden is the greatest country in the world. (Although certainly their healthcare system is much better than ours.) I don't think there is a greatest country in the world. However, I can think of a way we could make America the teensiest bit better.

Newt, I suggest you go live someplace where it's totally cool to pretend that the country you're in somehow exists outside of the realm of the rest of the planet. I'm sure you and Kim Jong-Il will be very happy together.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

if i hear "roadrunner" one more time, i'll drop a safe on you

So, I'm not crazy -- western Pennsylvania does have a recorded, established population of the eastern coyote. (Even in the Pittsburgh area.) Now, you tell me that doesn't look like a wolf. And in fact, they are genetically part wolf.

One distinguishing factor between dogs, wolves, and coyotes is that coyotes run with their tails down instead of up and out like a rudder. The animal I saw was holding its tail down, which struck me as an odd image, but I didn't know why. I'd actually never even heard of the eastern coyote until I saw that article in the paper. I'm not sure how I feel about the coyotes being hunted in the first place, but I find it rather disgusting that people are being paid to kill wild animals. If we could control our own population a little goddamn better, then maybe we wouldn't be having these problems.

In conclusion, I'm not nuts, even if I wasn't completely right. But I have to say I was pretty fucking close.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

i may need a bigger bucket: encounters with wildlife

Every once in a while here in western Pennsylvania, someone reports seeing a mountain lion lurking in a backyard. Usually, these people are treated as though they've just reported seeing Elvis sharing a Fresca with an alien. They send the "funny" reporter out to this person's wood-paneled living room and he or she produces a blurry picture of something that may or may not be an animal. And that's basically the end of it. Sometimes some biologist writes a letter to the editor insisting that what these people have been seeing is actually... insert even more bizarre explanation here. It's a housecat! It's a lost kite! They're all on acid!

Consequently, I have an embarrassing irrational fear that I'll be outside with Dusty some night and we'll both be eaten by a mountain lion. Of course, the most frequent yard visitors we have are deer and rabbits. Once, a possum scared the hell out of me at 3:00 a.m., in that I saw it. Being a rational person and an animal lover, I threw a bucket at it. We don't get possums around here anymore.

One of the explanations offered to people of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, after the Mothman sightings was that it was a sandhill crane. Now, I can't say that I really know what those people saw. I didn't see it. But I've seen many a crane, heron, eagle, and just about every other kind of bird imaginable. And there is no way in salty holy fuck that anyone mistook a crane for whatever Mothman was or is. Likewise, no one has ever seen a cat in his yard and thought it was a mountain lion.

As I've pointed out previously, western Pennsylvania has a lot of things it isn't really supposed to have. Turns out wolves might be one of them.

In November, I was thinking what you're probably thinking right now. "No, that was probably a German Shepherd." No, it probably wasn't. It was the wrong size and the wrong color, and it ran like a wild thing. The reason I was thinking that in November is my co-worker/friend April told me she'd seen something -- briefly -- that she could have sworn was a wolf, running across the road in front of her on her way home from work.

Monday night as I was driving home, a silver-gray thing ran across the road in front of me towards an embankment. It was roughly the size of a small refrigerator, and its tail was about as thick as my leg. But the way it ran was what made me realize that it wasn't a dog. It galloped like it was used to the feeling of soft ground under its feet. If you've ever seen a wild animal running, even on television, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven't, then it's possible that I hate you. At least rent "Wolf" with Jack Nicholson.

So now I'm even more sure than usual that I'm going to be mauled to death in my yard. I'd probably have a better chance fending off a wolf than a mountain lion. Depending, I guess, on the size of my bucket.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

but maybe that's just me: a winter tale from pittsburgh

We've had a bit of snow here in the 'burgh over the past few days. Right now in my yard, we probably have somewhere around 2 to 3 inches on the ground. And still, the only thing keeping the local news anchors from collapsing in a pile of their own snow-frenzy-induced froth is the upcoming Steelers-Ravens epic battle for the AFC title. Move over, Trojan war. If the Steelers had lost last weekend, right about now every vaguely ethnic field reporter would be standing in an abandoned bread aisle, waving a loaf of Home Pride Butter Top Wheat like a beacon to the Coast Guard.

But, as usual, I digress.

The roads, including the highways, were not in good shape on my way home tonight. It was clear that one of the major highways wasn't even on the minds of the plow operators. Then again, that meth isn't going to smoke itself.

I have a front-wheel drive car with snow tires, and even I was slipping a bit on some of the roads, but not on the highway. But I make it a personal rule of life (and continuing to have it) that when I can't tell where the road is, I don't take it past fourth gear. This makes me uncool. Or so it would seem the drivers of several tractor trailers and many an SUV were thinking as they blew past me at 75 miles per hour, shaking my car in the vast white expanse of time and space that had become my nightly commute. When I wasn't wondering which lane I was in, I was thinking, "If you crash, I'm not helping you."

As I got closer to home, I of course got caught behind some dipshit in a Subaru (a Subaru! for fuck's sake!) driving with her flashers on. At 15 miles per hour. I of course could not pass said dipshit, as the left lane was occupied by a steady stream of Decepticons breaking the sound barrier.

It wasn't so much the slow and terrified way this woman was making her way down 376 that bothered me. If it weren't snowing, I'd have been calling for her head, but the snow does make me a little more understanding. It does not, however, help me tolerate being blinded while attempting to operate a vehicle. In addition to there being snow, it's also extremely cold here right now. It's 12 degrees at the moment. Not exactly unbearable, but very cold, which leads to things like runny noses and dry skin and frozen windshield wiper blades. I don't mean when they freeze to the windshield. I mean you've scraped them, picked the ice out of them, and thoroughly thawed them before heading out on the highway. It doesn't matter -- they re-freeze. If you've never experienced this, don't. Because if you're an adult when it happens to you for the first time, you will go insane, slow down to 15 miles an hour, and put on your flashers. And because everyone else behind you also has streaks of ice forming on their windshields where the rubber is no longer contacting the glass, flashing yellow light exploding into our own cars will induce migraines, seizures, and in severe cases, shooting you in the back of the fucking head. So, next time, don't.

The most surprising thing was that this woman was driving a Subaru. Honestly, you need to represent a little bit better. We are a much more resourceful people than that.

And speaking of Subarus, this is one of the funniest things I may have ever read.

Friday, January 09, 2009

i nearly shat myself

hedgehog eating a carrot. i dare you not to love this.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

happy holidays. now get the fuck out of my state

I don't know what's more idiotic -- naming your kid Adolf Hitler, or pretending that you're not a bigot after you've done so.

If that house goes up in flames soon, I'd like to point out that Pittsburgh is way the hell on the other side of Pennsylvania. However, with gas prices so deliriously low, my alibi would be about as weak as his claim that he's not a piece of crusty scum oozing from a particularly badly infected asshair of humanity.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

it's the musical version of my thoughts exactly

I would have just linked to this, but the incessant chittering of retarded monkeys in the forums ruins the experience.

So, enjoy.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die