Sunday, December 26, 2010

Salad Days Vol:67: Dude, Where's my Jet Pack

''We are living in the future

Tell you how I know

I read it in the paper

15 years ago

W're all riding rocket ships

Talkin' with our mind

Wearing Turqoise jewelry

and standin' in soup lines...''

-John Prine

When I was a skinny lad, back in the 60's, roaming the mean streets of Mansfield Mass., me and my miscreant friends used to have a lot of fanciful notions of what the future might be like. It was, after all, the era of Kennedy, Johnson, Civil rights, Summers of Love and all that 60's jazz. Heady times, yes indeed. Of course, about that time, I was, after all, just a nipper, and I was focused on the more elemental things in life, namely TV. Shows like Star Trek and the Twilight Zone were popular and these shows gave us all sorts of misconceptions, as it turns out, about what things would be like in the future. In particular, there was this really cheesy show back then called "Space 1999. It was a show about how cool and futuristic the turn of the century was going to be. I got to thinking one day, and I calculated how old I was going to be in the year 2000. I was agast to discover I would be 37 whole years of age when the new millenium started. It seemed like such an incredibly old age. I could not imagine, at the time, being of such a disgustingly decrepit vintage. But, here I am, all these years later, not pushing 40 anymore but pullin it very very hard. I really would enjoy, right about now, waking up and having my back feel like it did when I was 37. It would be treat. And my kids would be a lot littler and cuter too. Anyway, it got me to thinking of all the incredible advances time has revealed to us, now that we live in the modern world known as the future. Some things I never would have imagined (cruise control for example), some I could easily live without("Glee" for example). To illustrate, for Christmas this last year, I received a Tom Tom GPS for my car. It is about the size of a deck of cards. It tells me how to navigate my car anywhere in the world without having to ask for directions. It has more computer technology in it than any of the Appolo Space missions to the moon and outer space in the 60's and 70's when I was a kid. It's cool alright, but it still can't get me through Boston at rushhour. Now that would be something. Another thing I have now that I live in the future is an MP3 player. Now when I was a young buck, back in the 80's, and I had to move from one appartment to another, the toughest part of the move was transporting my tunes with me. I had to pack all my LP's in my car, usually a 1974 Oldsmobile Cutlass, and tote my entire collection, which consisted of abnout 8 lobster crates full of albums that I may or may not have even listenned to. Plus I had to tote my big assed stereo, and my even bigger-assed speakers. Big meant better. Now with my MP3 player today, I can carry my entire collection of tunes in my jacket pocket, right next to my cell phone, both of which are about the size of a pack of basebal cards. Actually, that's the one thing we miscalculated about the "future" back then: the smallness of future technology. Back on Star Trek, computers were the sizes of cars, taking up whole rooms. Now, in actual practice, there are computers the size of walnuts, and cell phones the size of postage stamps, on which you can download and watch any movie you may want to watch any time anyplace. That same technolgy, however, cannot make the movie "Gigli" not suck. So, it's all relative, I guess.
The biggest dissapointment about the future, though, is that there are no "Jet Packs". Whe I was a kid,it was a common fantasy that, in the future, everyone would have their own personal jet pack. People would commute back and forth to work in their very own personal rocket powered vehicle...or at least a hovercraft. We really believd that. What a cruel dissapointment to discover that, now in 2011, I am still schlepping to work in a regular old internal combubstion engineered car. And for that matter, work itself, is a mjor bummer. It was supposed to be obsolete by the future. I thought Robots were supposed to do all the work for us.
Anyhow, I guess the future is not all bad. I do like not getting lost. I also like being able to call home from my car or from my favorite fly fishing stream. I enjoy being able to watch Ferris Beuller's Day Off on demand any time anywhere on a teeny tiny screen. I can pay for gas without even having to talk to the attendant. That's pretty cool. So, I guess all things considered, the future is about as cool as we thought it would be. But I'm still waiting for my damned Jet Pack. That'll be really cool.
Anyway, my Merlot is gone. Time for a refill. Whoever invented Merlot must have been a genius. Peace out.
Non illigitemi corrundum.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gruss von Krampas: Happy Hollandaise from SFL#178

If you're anything like the Bigfoot household, by now all the presents have been unwrapped, the egg nog has been drunk and al the relatives have gone home. You may be watching some NBA on television, or maybe watching a new video you received as a gift. Right about now, the Bigfoot family is laying around watching "Highlander Season II", which the Big Unit got for a present. My lovely bride is just awakening from a well deserved nap and doing some Sudoku on the couch. Between bouts of gorging myself on leftover Buffalo Chicken dip, I am currently enjoying an Oak Pond Brewery "Growler", one that I got from my old buddy Mudder, and writing in the old Blog. I don't have to work until Monday, and , fully stocked for the weekend, I am looking forward to a relaxing Boxing Day, in front of the Pat's game.

Now I have not always had such a cordial relationship with the "Holidays". I have always been kind of ambivelent, to say the least, about the Christmassy season. Why, just ask anyone that knows me well, and they might go so far as to say I am a veritable Grinch. I mean, yes, it is the Lord Baby Jeebus's birthday and all, and the season of giving. But, at times, I find the hub bub and hassle of the Holidays a bit stressful. And expensive. I'm not so much a Grinch, really, as a Krampas, Santa's dark side, just waiting to take all the bad little boys and girls to the woodshed, just because he's and old grump. Or like George Kastanza's dad on Seinfeld, celebrating "Festivus", I sometimes just feel like airing greivances for the Hell of it. "I got a lot of problems with you people. And now you're gonna hear about it".

However, as the holidays wind to a halt and we turn our attention to the brand new year, I have to admit a certain amount of grim satisfaction having survived another season. Hopefully, all of you are also enjoying your cekebrations, whatever they may be, and are looking forward to the new year. May the New Year pass with as little rancor or acrimony as possible. Happy Happy Joy Joy from all of us at Sufferin' Bastards Local #178.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrity Haiku #35: The Old Gunslinger

Now that the old River Boat gambler has probably played his last game, he has more time to pursue his muse.Including his passion for Haiku. Here is his first forey into the ancient Japanese verse form since his ass was knockeed out of the game last week.

It's aw-some, aw-some!

Those aren't my cell phone pictures.

This time it's for sure.

-Brett Favre

Friday, December 10, 2010

5 Signs of the Apocalypse: SBL#178 De-Obfuscates the top news stories of 2010

A Meat Suit-Now why did I not think of that?

Well, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, as my old high school chum Chas. Dickens used to say. The year 2010 has started its slow grind to an anti-climactic halt and, with a glass of Five Oaks Merlot on the table, the editorial staff of the SBL#178 prepare for you the top news stories of the past year. It's been a great year here at the SBL#178. If, by a good year you mean another incremental slip further into decreptitude. However, as they say, the news marches on. And time waits for no man. Now, I have never been accused of being politically astute. As a matter of fact, I always thought Hamas was made of Chickpeas and spread on flatbread. That being said, it doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad. So, non sequitors taken care of, here are the top five news stories of the past year. Enjoy. And remember, "non illegitmi corrundum".

The McRib is BACK!

One of the most mysterious questions to vex philosophers has re-emegred its ugly head again this year. No, not the riddle of the Sphinx, that's an easy one. No, it's not that "I before E, except after C" thing, though that can be tricky. It is...the riddle of the McRib. As one of my Facebook friends recently posited, "why, if the McRib is so damned good, does it only sporatically appear at McDonald's, and for a limited time only?". An excelleny query indeed. Is it because the deliciously decadent ball of fat in a bun is so damned good that the general burger buying public cannot handle the porky goodness?("You want the Rib?! You can't handle the Rib"!!) Is it rather that its fat and cholesterol content is so dangerously high that long term exposure could pose a health risk to the general public, thus a liabiltiy for the meaty mega franchise? Could it merely be a marketing ploy, restricting the supply, thus increasing the demand for the savory, sauce covered, sanguine slab of pig meat? The world may never know. Or at least I may never know. To be honest, I've never had a McRib. I have always wanted one, really, but have never gotten around to it. I probaly never will. I, likewise have always wanted a tattoo. And to write the great American Novel. But I haven't. And at this point, I will probaly never get to do those things. Or having a McRib. Especially if I don't hurry, because, as I said, it is only for a limited time.

We Have Met the Enemy, and it is Us

For years, the faithful followers of the beloved Boston Red Sox have opined and bitterly complained about how much the New York Yankees have spent to get their twenty-whatever championships. I have done it myself, and it is true. The Yankees have far outspent any other team in history. Their luxury tax alone is even more than the entire payroll of the Pittsburg Pirates. Plus, those poor bastards have to live in Pittsburg. It is patently obscene how much the Wankees spend to get the top players they always seem to get. Teams like the Red Sox, in order to keep up, must spend likewise to even hope for a championship. However, this year, the tables have been turned on the Yanks. The Red Sox have landed two of the top free agent prospects of the Hot Stove season. Adrian Gonzales, landed. Carl Crawford, landed. All top Red Sox stars-under contract. The Red Sox have out tricked the Yanks this year fo' sho'. They have spent approximaately 150 Kazillion dollars, but have essentially locked up the American League East, the Pennant, and the World Series...on paper. Yes, on paper, anyway. The funny thing is, the Red Sox still don't even have the highest payroll in the majors. That honor still belongs to thew Yankees. By a long shot. Still, I think the days of Red Sox fans' tired complaints of the Yanks buying their champpionships have been played out. Sox fans, we have bought ourselves a championship....on paper. How does it feel? Good, I'd say. Bill Buckner drinks the sweet wine of vindication.

Dude, where's my Job?

Dude, the guy has had such a bad year, even Ron Paul has got to feel for him. Our illustrious Pesident, Barack Obama, only a short time ago annointed as the chosen one, has been so far unable to resist hanging himself with the rope the previous administration had left him. Now the Republicans, not unlike the McRib, are back. Hopefully, only for a limited time. After bitch slapping the Democrats in the mid terms, they have a solid hold on the house and the Senate. America, prepare to be dazzled. You thought the Democrats were ineffective? Child's play. Now the Democrats can't get doodly squat done witout kissing the Republicans' asses all over Washington. President Obama's populrity ratings are in the toilet, and if that's not bad enough, even his own people are turning on him. Recently, in one of His pick up basketball games He is famous for, Obama was elbowed to the chops by Rey Decerega, from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Decerega, the speedy Latino point guard, known among Beltway insiders for his killer crossover dribble, was evidently trying to take it to the rack, knowing full well the leader of the free world has a weak defensive move to the left. The president tried to draw the charge and take a flop. This was a failed diplomatic move, not his first this year. Rey took the contact, threw up a left handed shot, got two points, plus the free throw. Mr. Obama got called for the foul and also got 13 stitches in his lip. All in all, not too much worse of a pasting than the Republicans gave him on the tax cut vote.

Favre Death Watch 2010

After nearly 20 years at the helm of his football ship, the erstwhile Packer, erstwhile Jet and current Viking Brett Favre is about to call it a career. That's right, the ol' Gunslinger. The ol' River Boat gambler. On again, off again, retired one day, unretired the next. Brett Favre, once the envy of every red-blooded football fan, the holder of about every quarterback record that Dan Marino does not have, has presumably played his last game. After 297 games uninterrupted, the old bastard is now relegated to doing Wrangler Jean commercials. By the way, in those commercials, when he throws that pass in the back yard pick up game, he totally lays out that wide reciever, just like he has been doing for years in Green Bay. In any case, his cell phone videos of his man-junk sent to Jen Sturger will be going viral soon enough. That's something. (BTW, I just Googled Jen Sturger-Holy Smokes!) Now, don't get me wrong. Even though the old goat has been more of a Diva than Liza Minelli at a Cher concert, I have always found him compelling TV. I also, by the way, find the Weather Channel compelling TV. Anyhow, now that the streak is over, and the old gunslinger has likely ridden in his last round up, I'll have to admit I'll miss him. But, there's always next year. Ya' never know with the Old Gunslinger.

Keith Richard Still Not Dead

Despite all logic, the iconic Rock pioneer, long time Rolling Stone and erstwhile Pirate of the Carribean Keith Richard is still not dead. Despite his best efforts, this Saturday Mr. Richard will turn 67 years of age. Doctors are at a loss to explain Keith's incredible persistence in refusing to die. Researchers at the famed Helsinke Institute in Weinergaten Germany have found that, if exposed to comparible amounts of Heroin, Rebel Yell bourbon, Marlboro smokes, and live Rolling Stones music, laboratory rats were dead after only 15 minutes. "How ol' Keith doesn't die remains a mystery to us", says Professor Ivan Zweiback, of the Institute. When reached for comment, outside his Barbados mansion, Mr. Richard was quoted as saying, "Mizen'raft'n mizzleflander, maaaan". Ain't it the truth?

Okay, now that I review my notes, these are probably not the TOP news stories of 2010. If I did my resaerch, I would probaly find more important stories, that , you know, effect people's lives and stuff. However, these have been getting a lot of play around the offices of the SBL#178.

Anyhow, enjoy the new year. How bad could it be?

Non illigitemi corrundum....