Posts from November 2002.

The Story of Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in December of 1620 had a hard life ahead of them. Their first winter was devastating, and by the following fall they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. Few expected to see 1622.

But then Governor William Bradford sent four men fowling after wild ducks, and the party stumbled across a remarkable discovery. Just over a mountain that none had yet crossed they found the Emerald Falls Casino, featuring the loosest slots in the greater Massachusetts region. Soon all the colonists were experiencing the thrill and excitement of high action table games, including Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, and even Caribbean Stud. The huge payouts enabled the Pilgrims to not only survive but flourish in subsequent years.

To thank the Native Americans who owned the casino, the Pilgrims invited the entire tribe to an all-you-could-eat buffet, complete with $1 shrimp cocktails. Afterwards everyone went to see Air Supply, live and in concert. And that’s the true story of Thanksgiving.

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Mission Accomplished

Old poster I found online vs. A.P. photo from today.

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The Bad Review Revue

  • [Friday After Next] “Dumb and Dumber ‘n The Hood.” Rick Groen, THE GLOBE AND MAIL
  • [I-Spy] “Has all the raging excitement of continental drift.” — Marc Savlov, AUSTIN CHRONICLE
  • [Femme Fatal] “De Palma spends an hour setting a fancy table and then serves Macaroni and Cheese.” Josh Larsen, SUN PUBLICATIONS
  • [Jackass] “A movie in the same sense that those hideous, velvet depictions of Elvis are paintings.” — Lou Lumenick, NEW YORK POST.
  • [Abandon] “Consider the title your best advice.” — Desson Howe, WASHINGTON POST.
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Gotcha

Phone conversation with The Queen.

Me: So, I’ll see you at four, then.

The Queen: [pause] Huh?

Me: I said I’ll see you at four o’clock.

TQ: [pause] Wha-? No.

Me: No? No, we’re not meeting at four o’clock like we discussed?

TQ: [pause] Um? Uh, oh, four, yeah. We’re meeting.

Me: Are you reading your email while you talk to me on the phone?

TQ: [pause] Huh? No, no.

Me Should I believe you?

TQ: [pause] Wha-? No. I mean yes!

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American Paperboy

Apparently UPN is doing some sort of a show where a bunch of people compete to become a Supermodel. It called “The Supermodel Show,” presumably because their target audience would get confused if it was called anything more subtle. This follows on the heels of Making The Band (where people competed to be in a rock group), American Idol (where people competed to become a pop star), and The Bachelor (where people competed to look like a moneygrubbing publicity whore on nationwide tv).

In the future this is how all job interviews will work. The Wal*Mart Teller Show. Making The Nike. You and 11 other teens will apply for a position at Hot Dog On A Stick and have to go through twelve weeks of televised elimination rounds. Ultimately the American viewing public will get to decide if you spend your days serving $7.00 cups of lemonade to mall rats.

Holy Smokes! The Flash intro to the Hot Dog On A Stick website is longer than The English Patient! (Although somewhat more engrossing.)

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Legonomics

Gold is dumb. What can you do with it? Gild stuff — lilies and Capitol buildings and whatever — or cram it into your cavities, that’s about it. So I’m glad the U.S. dropped the gold standard back in, um, back in whenever they dropped the gold standard. But I can’t seem to get fired up about the dollar either. Dollars are all the same boring color, they get wadded up and torn, and, frankly, I think Andrew Jackson was having a serious Bad Hair Day when he snapped his picture for the twenty. Plus the value of the dollar keeps going down. (Apparently it used to go up too, but that was back in the late 90’s when people still thought e-potbelliedpigs-online.com was a pretty good idea).

But I was listening to Marketplace the other day, and they said something interesting: no matter what the state of the economy, toy makers generally do pretty well — after all, kids don’t give a rat’s ass if Lucent missed their third quarter projections by 7/15 of a cent, all they know is they need a Fashion Polly Sparkle Style House and, by God, they need it NOW!

That’s what gave me Great Idea #57709: the US should make the four pronged square Lego the standard unit of US currency. The bigger Legos will be worth more, and the smaller Legos will be like coins, and those huge Lego plates will be, like, $1000 bills. We’ll also outlaw those stupid “Mindstorm” Legos because they are new-fangled and I don’t understand them.

This plan has so many good points that I can’t even begin to list them and yet now I will:

  • When Bush announces that we’re abruptly switching from the dollar to the Lego, your new wealth will depend on how many Legos you own at that moment. In other words, your affluence will become proportional to your nerdliness (which will pretty much make it a wash for Bill Gates, I guess).
  • People will have a much greater incentive to save. What can you do with a bunch of saved dollars, except hide them in the Minute Maid Premium Original Low-Pulp Orange Juice container you have in your fridge (not that I do this!!). With saved Legos, you can make castles and life-size blocky replicas of Halle Berry — hooray!
  • Money would suddenly become color-coded, thereby making the US exactly like Canada.
  • Legos are, like, impossible to counterfeit. Believe me, I’ve tried.
  • When you tip a pretty waitress you could make a cat or a rose or something cheesy like that. Conversely, when you pay your taxes you could build and send in a pair of $7,860 multi-colored buttocks.
I could go on and on, but I think it’s pretty clear that this scheme has no down side. In fact, I think this is my best idea yet, except for the Combination Bagpipes / Breathalyzer, but I’m not going to tell you about that one because it’s so great you’d steal it.

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Sam Loyd’s Trick Mules

Sam Loyd’s “Trick Donkeys” is one of the most elegant puzzles ever invented, and if you’ve never seen it before, I urge you to give it a shot. Click on the image to the left, print out the page, and cut the figure into three parts along the solid lines. Now, position the strip onto the other two pieces so that it looks like each jockey is riding a donkey. Folding is not allowed.

This puzzle was created by one of America’s greatest puzzlists, Sam Lloyd (1844 -1911). Loyd sold his puzzle to P. T. Barnum, who marketed it as “P. T. Barnum’s Trick Mules.” It was printed on a card to be cut into the three pieces. Millions of the cards were sold, and supposedly Loyd earned a fortune — $10.000 — in just a few weeks.

Don’t give up — the solution is really quite simple! If you must, you can see the answer here.

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Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Okay, I finally gave in and scoured my referrer logs for strange Google requests. Some of my favorites:

This old page gets a ton of hits from people trying to Lose Weight Fast! I’d feel guilty if I could stop laughing.

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Mm

Old Men … At The Hardware Store!:

Old Man At The Hardware Store: [receiving receipt] All right. Thank you so much.

Young Lady at Register: No problem.

OMATHS: But not too much!

YLAR: Mm.

OMATHS: Did you catch that? What I said?

YLAR: Mm.

OMATHS: First I said “Thank you so much.” But then I said “But not too much!”

YLAR: Mm.

OMATHS: Hah hah! Okay, well I’d better go before I get myself in trouble!

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Coming Soon To A Future Near You

From: anthony 5684-880-4b (tony5684-880-4b@candersystems.com)
Subject: Microsoft OS 47 Sucks!!
Newsgroups: cybernetics.os.47
Date: 2048-11-15 11:57:50 PST

Hey everyone. I'm pretty new to the cyborg scene, having only got my first implant in `45. At first I thought it was totally awesome, what with the flying around and the super strength, and I don't know how i got along without laser eyes!

But last week I installed MicroSoft Cybernetic OS 47 and what a msitake that was!! First, like all my memories got deleted somehow, and I hadn't made a backup for a few months so I have a 114 day gap in my memory now which totally sucks (people keep telling me about this great party I went to in July that I wish I remembered). Plus, some of my old skills aren't compatiable with this new version, so I can't play hyperball at all anymore.

Okay, so no big whoop, I expected some of this. But NOW I KEEP CRASHING!!!! I've been crashing two or three times a week, and a few times no one has been able to reset me for hours. I was in a meeting today at work and I totally froze up five minutes in and no one even noticed until after they were done adn everyone was leaving. My boss rebooted me but he was pretty pissed that I didn't remember anything that had been discussed after my lock-up.

Plus my immune system is shot -- I've been getting viruses left and right.

Has anyone else had these problems? What should i do? Microsoft has an upgrade but costs $74,500 -- not a whole lot, but not cheap either. Or i could go with the You-nix Cybernetic OS, that's another option. Any suggestions?

tony5684

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