May 8, 2006

A Baker's Dozen...

[1] Okay, gang, fasten your seat belts and check your mirrors. I just got back from doing the ol' nine- states- in- three- days routine, twice in one week, and I feel like a marathoner passing the twenty-mile pole: Hopped up on endorphins. Bear with me, the strain will probably show...

[2] I'm sure you've heard by now that two San Francisco Chronicle reporters released a book titled Game of Shadows last month, detailing alleged steroid use by a number of high-profile athletes. The highest profile of all, of course, belongs to Barry Bonds-- left fielder for the San Francisco Area Retirement Home All-Stars. Among the book's many accusations is the claim that Bonds' steroid regimen included the use of a substance that was originally developed to improve the muscle tone of beef cattle. *sigh* Okay, I haven't heard anybody else say it, yet, so I guess I'm gonna have to: Injections of a beef cattle steroid... now that puts a whole new twist on the term "bum steer." (Come to think, it puts a new twist on "rimshot," too.)
Disclaimer: The joke presented herein is intended to illustrate the difference between something that is genuinely funny and something that is just, well, silly.

[3] With Scott McClellan on the DL for the rest of the season, it seems it will be Dick "Guns Don't Kill People, Bullets Do" Cheney who will set the all-time league record for using the phrase, "I never said that." Cheney is so talented that he usually manages to turn it into a double play: "No, I never said that."/ Um, with all due respect, Mr. Vice President, we have you on videotape saying precisely that./ "No, the tape is wrong-- I never said that."

[4] Ahh. Horse racing's Triple Crown: The Kentucky Derby; The Belmont Stakes; and, uh, that other one in between 'em. Congratulations to Barbaro, even though I picked Bluegrass Cat.

[5] So, this lady trucker rolled into the shipping/receiving yard of the steel processing plant one day, and walked into the shipping office. We couldn't help noticing the decal in the corner of her driver's side window: A brightly-colored rainbow. The shipping manager isn't shy: "Does that rainbow decal in your window mean what I think it means?"
"Yep," she said with a smile, "Means I get more pussy than you."
True story.

[6] Recommended reading: The May 6th issue of Rolling Stone (Volume #999). It probably isn't on newsstands anymore, but maybe you can find these two articles online: Matt Taibbi's vitriolic "farewell" to Tom DeLay, which I couldn't help but love, and historian Sean Wilentz's well-structured case that The Smirking Marionette is, without question, the Worst. President. Ever.

[7] I hereby issue an edict. There are a couple of phrases that need to be expunged from American English. Henceforth and forevermore, no one is ever again allowed to "not trade [whatever] for all of the tea in China." Not even if it's "the greatest thing since sliced bread." There. I have spoken. Transgressors will be hunted down and forcibly subjected to a bikini wax. Or a root canal. It depends on my mood.

[8] Yes, Listerine does kill more germs than kerosene. But it doesn't taste as good.

[9] Ever notice this? Most people pronounce it, "Clue Clucks Clan." It's actually, "COO Clucks Clan." It's one of the many little ironies in our dialect: If you say it properly, you sound like you have a mild speech impediment. In this case, of course, that little irony is entirely fitting.

[10] Eastbound, weekday evening, somewhere west of Princeton, Illinois. Behind me, the lowering sun had dipped down to that point where it cast a deep, golden glow across the land. So rich was the gold that it seemed to whisper hints of a fiery rose. I had the ballgame on the radio, turned a bit low. Saccharine was saying that the rain from earlier in the day had abated, prompting Mace to ask, "The rain has a what?" Their voices burbled on as I leisurely went my way over and around the deep creekbeds and vibrant rolling hills, patchworked with fallow fields and highlighted by rambling, peeled-white houses, rust-red barns and silvery grain silos. And everywhere I looked, every tree was in the full, brilliant bloom of spring: Violet, magenta, and apple-blossom white. It was a breathe deep moment, a don't think too hard moment, and for just a little while I was able to relax my too-tight shoulders as several hundred of my boss' horses carried me off into the midnight blue...

[11] Ahem, still with me? Okay, to those of you who are rolling your eyes: Please forgive my waxing. But I submit: Those of you who live east of the Mississippi should count yourselves lucky this time of year. I spend most of my time in the intermountain region, where the dominant colors could best be described as "Fecal... with a five o'clock shadow of scrub-brush."

[12] Morning currency reports in Canada are funny. Canada is a nation with an identity crisis. They have an habitual tendency to measure themselves relative to their overbearing neighbor to the south. The currency reports are always the same: "The dollar is down again today against the dollar."

[13] Bud "Smithers, Have Barry Bonds Kerriganned" Selig must go.

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