Monday, December 29, 2008

The Gift of Nothing

Every year, lottery organizations try to convince us that the gifts of lottery tickets are the most personal and special presents we can give. If nothing else, they are at least fun stocking stuffers.
It's a lose-lose gift. The vast majority end up being simply gifts of little pieces of paper garbage (like we need more garbage around after the holidays).
On the slim, outside chance that the recipient ends up winning anything with your present, your are then filled with jealousy and resentment that you gave away a big wad of cash to somebody you didn't even care enough about to buy (or make) a personal gift for.

Even worse, your lottery ticket gift could turn out like this!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nascar Gifts and Christmas Pickle Juice

Dogs & Jeans often has posted articles about sports (much to the chagrin of many readers) so you know Trooper Thorn is a big sports fan. If it involves a ball, puck or someone moving quickly, I’m all over that like Madonna on a Latino hunk.

Yesterday I posted a list of things I’d like for Christmas, but just in case there are some self-directed folks out there who don’t take instruction well, please don’t think you are doing me any favours by purchasing any of these sports-inspired gifts.

(Although, in the right setting, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber ceiling fan would fit in pretty well)

Monday, December 22, 2008

All I Want For Christmas Is You

In true Trooper Thorn fashion, Dogs & Jeans has been thinking about everyone else this Christmas season. But I hear you ask: ‘What does our dear Trooper want for himself?”. Well if there are any bloggy readers looking for some last minute gifts, here’s my wish list:

  • Tickets to the BSC Championship game between Oklahoma and Florida.
  • After the government gets finished with a big bail out for the banks, oil companies and auto manufacturers, the telemarketers should receive a big sweaty wad of cash. I’m not getting enough phone calls at home during supper and I’m lonely.
  • The DVD box set of Forest Rangers .
  • A movie deal for one of my screen plays.
  • Three Jonas Brother + One Tragic Kiln Explosion = Peace On Earth.
  • Dennis Leary to star in a remake of The Dirty Dozen
  • Definitive proof that the WMD’s were moved from Iraq to Syria during the delay of UN Weapons Inspections.
  • “American Idol” and Fox’s “When Animals Attack” to merge into one show and put an end to reality television forever.
  • China to admit that, even though their athletes are the age they claim, and are not using any performance enhancing drugs, they are in fact aliens from the latest Indiana Jones movie Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Actually, while any of those would be nice, what I really want is more of You Readers; 200 visitors a day to be precise. I came close once when I was writing about the Olympics and had 198 one day. I know I slacked off a bit with the postings in October, but I’ve been good recently. So if you want to make an old writer happy, please read regularly and bring a couple of friends.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas Gift For You

Dogs & Jeans has a retinue of regular readers and posters upon which Christmas wishes will be bestowed. Since beginning blog posting as far back as the spring of 2008, this has rapidly become an annual tradition like Fourth of July fireworks or the arrest of Senators in Minneapolis Airport men’s rooms.

(This posting is for the sole enjoyment of blog readers. Dogs & Jeans makes no promise to fulfill wishes, either real or implied. As always, we discourage wagering).

Captain Dumbass: Please find some tickets to something at the 2010 Olympics other than the Curling Preliminaries between Lithuania and Azerbaijan.

Cocette: May you receive a CD storage system that will keep the disks with the cases and keep you from future offspring accusations.

Dzzblnd: A rolled up magazine for your husband to use in case of emergencies.

Free Man: I bestow a victory for Georgia in the Capitol One Bowl. Dear God, the Dawgs are better that 9 and 3 but they sure don’t play like it in the big games.

Hot Tub Lizzie: May you have an election recount. You have too many good ideas not to be contributing to the national debate.

Jaina: Have a kick ass name for your Etsy account (I don’t pretend to know what the hell that is but is sure seems to be important to a lot of folks).

Jennifer: Have some super slutty dolls under the tree.

Juggling Jenn: A private photographer who can capture you in all your glory when you do “clean yourself up” you’re a night on the town.

Karen: Happy New Carpets!

Lime: A red-hot poker up the ass of those people in the insurance industry who done you wrong.

Mama Dawg: May you befriend no more than one animal a month.

Midwest Mom: I give you some elf spray. An infestation like yours can really do some damage if you don’t get it under control.

Rhea: Every parent needs a Lego Removal machine.

Sassy Stephanie: A Texas sized snow shovel for the dusting of snow y’ll have.

Scargosun: May the economy turn around to the point you can have decent beer, some Grey Goose and never have to mix all the old booze together again.

Shannon: A book deal for your budding author (whether she wants one or not).

Swirl Girl: More Talmud, Less Kabala. “What’s Kabala?”, “About $1.95!”

Wep: 2 doggie Christmas stockings hung by the chimney with care, to be filled with pigs ears and kongs by Santa himself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are You Ready For Christmas?

If I get asked this one more time between now and December 25th, I ‘m going to beat the inquisitor with a Yule log. The only people who ask “So, are you ready for Christmas?” have their shopping/wrapping/baking/decorating/self-flagellation done and want to rub it in while basking in the glow of their own festive smugness.

I have been trying these responses out at the Dogs & Jeans office (alright, it’s the office at the investment bank I work for, but I can pretend all these people work for the betterment of all blogkind):

  • That is so like you Christians to keep pushing your religion on people!
  • I have just one more family to ritually murder and I think I’m done.
  • No, but are you ready for me Lover?
  • There is still some turkey left over from last year, so why go to the trouble?
  • I keep it simple: a donation on behalf of each of my family members to our favorite charity: The KKK.
  • I’ve been so busy working on the Obama Transition Team, I haven’t even started. Must be nice to not be invited to shape the future of our country and have all that spare time.
  • What? Are they having that stupid thing again this year? Geez!
  • I just give my parents back the gifts they gave last year, but they have Alzheimer’s, so it’s okay.
  • Pretty much ready. What time did you want us to come over?
  • I haven’t celebrated since my entire family was killed in the New Year’s Tsunami 2004, but thanks for the constant reminder, you passive aggressive bastard!

I doubt anyone will ask me again next year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If Paris Hilton Gets A Christmas Special, Can Armageddon Be Far Behind?

Every year, a slew of new Christmas TV specials leap from the pages of the TV Guide to muscle their way into our holiday viewing time. And every year, they are beaten back by The Giants: Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Frosty and Rudolph. The chances of a new Christmas show making it back for another year, much less becoming a stable of eggnog-induced-coma watching time are slim. For this reason, Hollywood producers throw so many at us in the hopes that some will be a hit, like hunting at a flock of geese with a shotgun.

This “mass” approach is a likely reason why there are so many but of such low quality. Look at this year’s crop for example:
  • It’s an Underage Semi–Nude Christmas Miley Cyrus!
  • The Little Drummer Boy Finally Gets Some Respect (starring the voice of Barak Obama).
  • Roger Clemens is Coming to Town (to Testify).
  • Sara Palin Presents: “The Nativity” starring Jamie Lynne Spears as The Virgin Mary and Hilary Clinton as Barney the Dinosaur.
  • How the Illinois Governor Stole a Senate Seat.
  • The Littlest Chinese Gymnast.
  • The Year Without a Christmas Tree or Britney Spears Wearing Any Underpants.
  • The John McCain Special: “My Friends, Merry Christmas!”

Monday, December 15, 2008

President Bush Receives Great Iraqi Honor

Once again, North American news media has misunderstood and misinterpreted the actions of someone from another culture. If the gentleman who threw his shoes at President Bush had stopped after he let fly with the first shoe, it indeed would have been an act intended to show disrespect. (BTW: Did the guy bring another pair to walk home in or had he not thought it through enough?) However in Iraq, throwing two shoes at someone is a sign of great respect. Only great leaders get two shoes thrown at them.

A Google search of international customs provides a fascinating list of several other surprising signs of respect from other cultures across the globe:

  • In Quebec, holding someone firmly around the neck with both hands and squeezing is the preferred greeting for respected political rivals.
  • Burying dead animals in a neighbor’s yard in Paraguay will bring you good luck for a year.
  • In Germany, pie-ing prominent business leaders means more than investing in the company’s stock.
  • Writing rude words on the face of a sleeping fellow train passenger in Italy tells the other riders you are a sensitive individual.
  • A Kenyan man who’s wife sleeps with many other men takes it as a sign of his own virility.
  • In England spraying water in the face of a celebrity is the equivalent of idol worship in Pre-Columbian Nicaragua.

Hopefully we will all be a little more understanding if President Obama get’s doused in goat’s blood in Guam and says “Thank You.”

Dec 16 Update: Yankees Sign Iraqi Shoe Pitching Journalist

Sunday, December 14, 2008

If We Make It Through December...

Dogs and Jeans supports both types of popular music: Country and Western.
1973 saw the release of the greatest Christmas album of all time: Merle Haggard’s “A Christmas Present”. You can keep your Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilara warbling yuletide compilations. No collection of songs before or since has captured the emotions surrounding a modest Christmas of folks living below the poverty line.

As David Sprague’s review on Amazon says:

Christmas wasn't always the easiest time of year when Merle Haggard was growing up in Oklahoma. Money was tight and the elements were harsh, but faith helped the family get through. That's exactly the sense the country legend puts across on this holiday collection. Hard times are chronicled on songs like "Daddy Won't Be Home for Christmas" and "If We Make it Through December," but joy is found when the smallest of pleasures ("Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card") saves the day.

My favorite was always “Bobby Want’s a Puppy Dog For Christmas”; a father’s plea to Santa to fulfill the wish of his lonely sun. I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it. Talk amongst yourselves…

Okay I’m back.

“A Christmas Present” also contains Merle grumbling through traditional classics like “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells”, but it’s his own tunes like “Santa Claus and Popcorn” that really make this record (how dated is that? A ‘record’) a timeless classic.

Do yourself a favour: download (legally) a copy of The Hag’s Christmas Present, pour yourself some bourbon and get ready to feel pretty darn lucky you aren’t an Okie from Muskogee in the early 70’s.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Detroit Thanks You For Your Support During the Holidays

For many years, I have been bothered by the inevitable Christmas commercials that show a husband giving a brand new, giant ribbon festooned automobile as a gift. You know the ads where mom comes out into the driveway in her house coat and there, in the grey December morning, is a shiny Lexus or Jeep in the softly falling snow.

I never thought this was possible. How did the guy manage to put the money together to buy a freaking car without his wife noticing the obvious deductions from the bank account? And who has the balls to risk this, "YOU DID WHAT!!!!! HOW DARE YOU BUY A CAR WITHOUT TALKING TO ME ABOUT IT!?!?!?!?!?!!", instead of this, "YOU ARE AMAZING! I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!"?

I wanted to find some of those commercials on YouTube to post here and make fun of them, but instead I found postings from guys who ACTUALLY BOUGHT THEIR WIVES CARS FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! (And not only lived, but were likely richly rewarded)

And there are plenty more. Who knew it was possible?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tis the Season for Female Reciprocity

Before anybody says “Trooper Thorn is just an old Scrooge,” let me begin by saying I like Christmas. After the World Series, College Bowl Tournament and Stanley Cup Playoffs, it is my favorite time of year. I love the time off work, the abundance of food both at home and at the office, the music and the TV specials. I also like an excuse to have a beverage or two on weeknights with friends (which is better than having a beverage or two on weeknights alone).

However, I think there are some areas of improvement for Christmas which would make the season much more enjoyable and reduce a lot of the pressure:

  1. Restrict gift giving to children under 13: Kids get excited about getting presents from Santa, and then only toys. If you insist on giving a present to an older child, just make it something practical like stationary supplies they can use for school. The only exception to this rule would be sporting goods they can use with Dad.

  2. Don’t give men gifts: I hate getting presents. If I never received one more Christmas or Birthday gift, I’d be happy. If I want something, I’ll go buy it. If you insist on buying men anything it should contain at least 5% alcohol or have been written by someone in the Baseball hall of Fame.

  3. Gift exchanges should only be between women: Face it, most men hate buying gifts for their girlfriends and spouses but not because we are unthinking, uncaring troglodytes. We despise doing it because women place such restrictive criteria on the gifts: nothing useful or practical, no uncomfortable underwear (because that is just for us), nothing last minute or bearing the name “Chia”. Most importantly if a man gives a gift that is not the correct size it is a catastrophe: too big and we accused of thinking the receiver is fat, too small and we are accused of rubbing salt in the wound.

If women just exchanged presents between girlfriends, sisters, mothers and daughters, men could simply open the bar early enjoy the spectacle.

Finally, if we can’t adopt any of the above regulations, can we at least celebrate Christmas once every four years like the Olympics?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Internet Dating Greeting Cards - Part 5

Between, Plentyoffish, lavalife, craigslist and other Internet dating sites out there, the nature of relationships between single (hopefully) men and women out there have changed. Your Trooper has been a casual observer of a number of people’s Virtual Relationships Or Online Meetings (VROOM’s) over the past couple of years and can say with no fear of error that it is completely different than dating in the Real World. I'm sure some of you single folks out there are nodding. Let me hear you say “Amen Brother!”


Hallmark has really missed the opportunity to capitalize on the trend towards Internet dating, as the circumstances people encounter require a whole new type of card. As a public service to all my Bloggy Friends out there, Dogs & Jeans is posting a multi-part posting of New Greeting Cards For Internet Daters.

See Part 1 here

See Part 2 here

See Part 3 here

See Part 4 here

Part 5: A card for your BFF when she is off to meet her handsome, wealthy, sexy, single Internet boyfriend for the first time!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Do Women Not Want for Christmas?

Dogs & Jeans is taking a one-day break from the series of Internet Dating Greeting Cards, so we can bring you this link as our ongoing commitment to public service. If you are married or have a girlfriend and wish to maintain the relationship, please read the through the list to ensure you do not make the mistake of giving one or more of the items as a gift this holiday season (no matter how cool they may sound, and some do).

Resist the temptation to purchase any of the following:

Ladies, do your fellah a favor and let him know how out of favor he'll be if any of these show up under the tree.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Internet Dating Greeting Cards - Part 4

See Part 1 here

See Part 2 here

See Part 3 here

Part 4: Signs your cool Internet girlfriend has gone PSYCHO!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Internet Dating Greeting Cards - Part 3

See Part 1 here
See Part 2 here

Part 3: A card for the woman who has everything, including a cheating man.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Internet Dating Greeting Cards - Part 2

See Part 1 here
Part 2: Goodbye My Russian Girlfriend

Friday, December 5, 2008

Internet Dating Greeting Cards

Part 1: Sympathy for a Stalking Victim:
Internet Stalker Greeting Card

Tomorrow Part 2: Goodbye my Russian Girlfriend

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can't People Just Leave Madonna and A-Rod Alone?

Reports are swirling this week that, just two weeks after her divorce from Guy Ritchie, Madonna and long-denied boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, are quietly shopping for a house together. Maybe "house" is the wrong word for a $60,000,000 mansion with 700 rooms, solid gold plumbing, stars embedded in the ceilings and magical furniture that sings and dances for your pleasure every night. But still, shouldn't they be able to shop for a home in peace, despite sending out press releases alerting the media to their every meeting with real estate agents?

The following list of activities is further evidence of Madge and A-Rod's efforts to keep their 'Private Life' private:
  • Daily agenda of activities are sky-written early in the morning ensuring the notation blows away by noon

  • "Sweet Nothings" to each other may be posted on their blogs, but access is restricted to only those people not living in Guam. If you are from Guam, mind your own freaking business.

  • When A-Rod frequents gentlemen's clubs, he shouts at each dancer, "I haven't seen Madonna naked to know if you share any resemblance!"

  • Only by playing Madonna's most recent album backwards will you hear her confess "I have stolen Alex Rodriguez's soul and I will stave off death by draining his life force slowly. "

  • A-Rod approached the Kansas City Royals for a trade so he could play in a smaller market, thereby spending more quality time out of the limelight with his "special lady/medical oddity". However, when he learned they could only afford to pay him in 50% off Jiffy Lube oil change coupons he reaffirmed his commitment to the Yankees.

  • The photo on the Times Square billboard of the two of them making out on top of the body of a homeless drifter was shot with Vaseline on the lens so it gives it a 'hazy, dreamy' quality. Obviously that is intended for 'personal' viewing only.

  • Travel by private jet is exactly that: PRIVATE. If they wanted everyone to watch, she's be sitting in his lap in "Coach" next to you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

What's in a Name?

Society in general, and public schools in specific, have been engaged in an insidious effort to rid themselves of all things which might negatively affect a child's self-esteem. First they adjusted and finagled the marking system so that there were no more letter grades or percentages. After all, how could anyone ever be the bottom of the class if no one can be the top? Competitive games were dropped from Phys Ed classes and replaced with running laps and yoga. Gripping fun!
Then failing a child was removed all together. Of course the lesson was that it didn't matter if you tried or not in life, since we are all equal in society regardless of intelligence, ability or determination.
Now it would appear schools are changing the names of the courses to remove any possibility of offending someone, just like Christmas tress become 'Holiday' trees. (BTW, has anyone ever heard of any religious group, other than Christians, who complained about a public venue having Christmas trees?) "English" has become "Language Arts" just in case non-English speakers were offended that people were studying grammar and literature in a language other than their own. "Sex Ed" became "Family Life" and now is "Active Health", but kids still giggle when the teacher says 'penis'.

Dogs & Jeans has obtained a copy of the local High School's curriculum for next year. You will be shocked to learn how far the re-branding trend has moved:
  • Mathematics is now broken into two streams: "Fun With Numbers and Shapes" and "Short Stories Where People Travel on Trains"
  • Art is now "What Would Jesus Draw?"
  • Biology and Social Studies have been combined into a super-course called "Love Our Planet and Everybody on It"
  • Physics is now "Magic with Things" while Chemistry has become "Magic with Stuff"
  • Drama is now "90210"

How are things at your local secondary school?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yur Muddah Wears Army Boots!

Swirl Girl is a great Bloggy Friend of Dogs & Jeans. So much so that earlier this week she saw fit to bestow another award on this humble pile of idiotic opinions. In her offering, she suggested that Trooper Thorn would not mind how 'girly' the award is and she was indeed correct.
Like many blog awards, there is a menu of instructions for passing on the award, however, I have decided to go in another direction.
Considering the uniquely feminine nature for the “fabulous” award, and in the spirit of the holiday season, I am going to pass this prize to five blogs of military wives whose husbands are currently serving overseas. As the saying goes, “It takes a strong woman to love a military man”, so it must an take an even stronger woman to share her feelings with the rest of the world.
So to say Thank You to all the Families of Service out there, I am giving the “Fabulous Blog Award" to the following blogs:
Left Behind – A Day in the Life of a Military Wife”

“Stay at Home Mom and Military Wife

Military Spouse Suzanne Davis

The Crow Family

Molly Pitcher of An Army Wife’s Life
Semper Fi Ladies!
To all the five recipients, please pass this award on to 5 of your favorite blogs.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Conversation Help

No Holiday for those of us north of the 49th parallel, so here's a link to some things you can only say around your family. (Warning: use of these quotes while on public transit may result in your being committed)

Also here's one to let you know you have eaten too much:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If Horton Hears a Who, Does Someone Pay the Lawyers?

The family of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) have blocked efforts by the city of Louisville to re-brand itself as ‘LouWhoVille” for the Christmas season. Lawyers filed an injunction against using any representations from the beloved children’s classic “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” as part of the city’s holiday festivities. According to court documents, without licensed royalty payments, Louisville’s “Whoville” homage represented a significant copyright infringement. “We never meant any harm,” said a spokesperson for the city, “we thought the Grinch was part of the public domain.”

This decision has now opened the door to the families of other “originators” to trademark ideas and representations which are currently believed to be in the public domain. In a rush to judgement, we may all soon be paying royalties for the daily use of the following cultural elements:

Venn Diagram
Every time anyone draws two or more intersecting circles, the family of mathematician John Venn will receive seven farthings. Expect the cost of math and social science textbooks to soar.

Pythagorean Theorem
Building costs are expected to increase significantly as engineers and architects will be required to pay 100 drachmas to the estate of Pythagoras for every calculation of angles and area. Courts have reserved judgement on whether the Hypotenuse Clan is entitled to a percentage of any earnings.

Cartesian Graphs
Complications arose in determining the extend to which the axes of modern-day charts and graphs constituted any dualistic representation as defined by philosopher and mathematician Rene Decartes. In an uncharacteristic act of legal simplification, the courts have determined that the use of the letters “X” and “Y” together is sufficient trademark violation.

As if the Franklin Mint didn't make enough cash all ready, access to the flow of all electricity across North America will now be controlled. Your local power company will remain intact but will pay $100/kilowatt hour for all consumption to the heirs of Benjamin Franklin. Better think twice before putting another strand of twinkle lights on the tree this year.

As of this writing, Coca Cola is building a case to finally claim complete ownership over all things “Santa”. Sorry Christmas, you’re just too damn expensive for us now.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why American Thanksgiving is Better Than Canadian Thanksgiving

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving too. Bet you didn’t know that. If you were aware of this fact, did you know it is not celebrated on the same day? Every year when this week in November rolls around I grow jealous and I’ll tell you why:

Time Off
Canadian Thanksgiving is always the second Monday in October, which results in a three day weekend. US Thanksgiving is the last Thursday in November, which usually results in a four day weekend; four and a half if folks leave early on Wednesday, five if you have balls and just blow off work entirely on Wednesday. In fact, since it is the biggest travel time of the year, most people can get away with going AWOL on Wednesday by shrugging and saying in an exasperated voice “You know… Thanksgiving…”

This on is a toss up. Canadian Thanksgiving features two CFL games while American Thanksgiving has three NFL games. However one of those NFL games is always the Detroit Lions, so it shouldn’t really count.

Time of Year
Canadian Thanksgiving is still very early in autumn. We have not yet had the worst of the crummy fall weather. A later holiday would give people more to look forward to while slogging out the October freezing rains and shortening days. Plus a late November holiday seems like a perfect interlude before a month of Christmas insanity.
Which leads me to:

Proximity to Christmas
Christmas in Canada is the Big Event. Expectations are you must spend time (and we are talking quality time) with every family member: his, hers, yours, mine & ours. American Thanksgiving is the perfect pressure release valve for Christmas. Two ‘family’ related events within a month can spread out the guilt and disappointment that you spent one holiday with Dad and his new wife instead of Mom, her cats and the sad neighbour who isn’t really her boyfriend but always seems to be hanging around.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the friends of Dogs & Jeans who will be eating instead of blogging this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Does Anything Work the Way it is Supposed To?

Mama Dawg has provided a reminder that the world rarely works as designed. Her high-tech popcorn system demonstrates that even those functions that should be simple for a machine ofter require human intervention. Dogs & Jeans has compiled the following list of devices and processes that only work when somebody gets involved:

  1. Microwave Popcorn: The One-Touch 'Popcorn' button, leaves at least 25% of the kernels unpopped. Pressing One-Touch a second time just burns everything. For best results I kneed the bag first to spread out the kernels locked within the think layer of buttery goodness. Then press the One-Touch button but only until the first kernel pops. Then you have to cancel the function and press 'Popcorn' for a second time.

  2. Internet Password Automatic Logons: Living 'on-line' seems simple enough: shopping, banking, blogging communicating with old friends on facebook. Simple until you realize that every site you access requires a user name and password. No problem.; your browser will automatically remember those for you. Until the day all your personal info is erased. Good luck trying to remember to use "PonTiac255" with "CuteGirl1981" when you try to access your The solution is to write down all your logons and passwords that you keep in a notebook right by your computer and to hell with security.
  3. DVD's: DVD's were first marketed as the permanent format for movies that would never wear out like VHS tapes. i suppose this is true if you live in a dust-free, sanitized, childfree, OCD world where disks always find there way back to their case. If you are normal, fingerprints, scuffs, boogers, cat hair and pizza sauce commonly cause Adam Sandler to pixilate and stop 20 minutes into "Happy Gilmore". Sure a DVD does not need to be rewound, but before you play them, a good wipe with well spit-on tissue is required (and the occasional rub on a clean T-shirt half way through).
  4. Butter Churns: Don't get me started on %$#*'ing butter churns. Mine is always on the fritz.

What technological marvels have you improved?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Detroit Lends a Hand. Disabled Homeless Person Wants it Back.

CEO's for The Big Three Automakers came to Washington today to ask Congress for a financial bailout. Apparently the recent economic crisis has hurt car sales so much, they need an immediate cash injection to stay afloat. As a demonstration of their commitment to fiscal restraint, the three men arrived in three separate private jets.

These guys are patriots! Through their actions, not only have they increased the demand on jet fuel further ensuring the jobs of American jet fuel workers, but they freed up three seats for regular folks on the airlines.

Fresh off yesterday's controversial posting, Dogs & Jeans offers, as a Public Service, this listing of other ways the auto executives will be cutting back while still stimulating the American economy:
  • Replacing china and cutlery after every meal will reduce water consumption from dishwashers.
  • 2011 cars to be powered by the globe's most renewable resource: pigeon eggs.
  • Winter mansions to be relocated closer to summer mansions to reduce vacation commutes. Spring and fall mansions to be moved to Europe where everything is in litres. That has to be less right?
  • To save on heating fuels, home furnaces to be retrofitted to burn fur coats.
  • The same technology that keeps Dick Cheney's heart beating will be used to increase car engine efficiency by 200%.
  • Federal regulations will require everyone to wear wool caps at all times so we can keep the thermostats lower.
5:00 PM Update: Dogs & Jeans just went over the 5000 visitor mark. Thanks everyone! A round of "Butter Me Up Scotty's" on the house.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Controversy

Today might be The Day folks. We are closing in on 5000 unique visitors to the Dogs & Jeans' Cornucopia of Balderdash. So to really drive Bloggy Interest I am presenting a topic so controversial, it will push The Financial Crisis, The Hunt for Bin Laden and the Second Anniversary of Tom & Katie off off the front pages. I'm talking about Pudding.

I love pudding. It is a very underrated desert food. So many flavours, smooth and creamy, not too sweat and always satisfying. Often cheesecake or pumpkin pie it too much after a meal but, despite Jello's claim of ownership, pudding it the only desert there truly is room for. Always.

My favorite is Butterscotch. This works well for me because most people prefer Chocolate, so there is usually plenty of Butterscotch left for me.

Rice Pudding is okay on occasion, but it is more the Joe Mantegna of the pudding world.

I will stay out of the whole 'Custard: Pudding or Not' debate for the sake of the children, except to say that Tapioca is not pudding.

Care to weigh in on your position on pudding?

Monday, November 17, 2008

5000 Blog Readers Can't Be Wrong

Some time this week (if I were a betting man, I'd put money on Tuesday), Dogs and Jeans will receive it's 5000th visitor. In the world of smart-aleck jackassery, that's pretty good. I hope everyone had a good laugh 9even if it was at my expense most of the time).

In what appears to be an early gift, The Queen In Residence has given me a blog award. I don't understand the title since it's in in Spanish, but just like Penelope Cruz, it's pretty to look at, so that's okay. And it's been a while since I have had my literary ego stroked in such a way so thank you Resident Queen.

Now I have the enviable task of selecting 8 people to receive this award. So as always here are the rules:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

So in no particular order here are my eight:

1. Mama Dawg of Two Dogs Running South. Her blog is the straight goods and never shies away from shining the flashlight on damp, mossy, dark parts of her life. She is the cybernetic wind inter my virtual wings.

2. Jaina at Looking Through the Lens. As though she was emulating another young woman trying to make it on her own, Jaina can "take a a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile." Plus she could use some more visitors. And I'm betting an apartment make-over by IKEA.
3. Only a Movie. Random. Lists. Fun.
4. Cocette from Suburban Musings. Just when you thought being grown up, married and with your own home would get dull, she snaps your head back like a jab from Leon Spinks.
5. A Free Man. An Auburn Tiger in Australia. Weird.
6. Hot Tub Lizzie. For crying out loud, the woman ran for President just so the Blogosphere would have representation. That sort of commitment needs some type of accolade.
7. Jennifer at that Goat Blogging Minnesota/Texas Whatsis. Most of the time I can't figure out if it's Jennifer or Sandi (or a goat named Raul) and they are in Texas or Minnesota, but I like it anyway.
8. Sassy Stephanie at Our Piece of Quiet. There's kids and cancer treatment and dogs and messes and vampires and all the rest of life goin' on y'all.
So pick up your awards, visit all these friends and pass it on.
Another installment of The Guy Movie Guide is on it's way.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nebraska - The Eat Your Vegetables State

Nebraska's Safe Haven law allowing parents to abandon children at local hospitals free from legal reprisals has resulted in an unexpected deluge of teens being "dropped off." Many parents have been unable to resist the urge to make their teen’s “someone else’s problem” when they have gotten an unauthorized piercing or stayed at their boyfriend Dylan’s after swearing they were at Shelly’s house.
Across America the expression “we’re sending you to military school” has been replaced by “ We’re driving to Omaha”. Until Nebraska legislators can amend the law to put in place an age restriction, they are launching a PR campaign designed to discourage people from leaving their teenagers all over the state.
Dogs & Jeans has uncovered several of the many rejected slogans:

  • Nebraska – The Birthplace of Arbour Day, not your damn kid!
  • Gravel roads, skateboards and a lack of helmet laws don’t mix.
  • Nebrersaka – Like Saskatchewan Only Duller
  • Johnny Carson was from Nebresaka and now he’s dead. Is that what you want for your child?
  • The “One out of Five” dentist who doesn’t recommend Dentyne for his patients who chew gum lives here.
  • Believe us, you don’t want to know what a CornHusker really is.
  • We’re the 38th most populous state in the union and it’s going to stay that way, dagnabbit!

Note: Episode 5 of the Guy Movie Guide to Business Success has now been posted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

After several days of heavy rains, the skies cleared. When my morning drive to work looks like this:

It does make a fellow appreciative of all he has:
  • My three kids are wonderful young people with the potential to change their worlds
  • My dogs love me for the person they think I am
  • I get to laugh at myself at least once an hour every day. Often someone else is laughing too.
  • I have lived in some terrific places, met interesting people and been fortunate to never go without.
  • Hockey, baseball and football overlap enough so there is always something on TV to waste my time.
  • The music I like is still considered "Classic Rock" and not yet relegated to "Easy Listening".
  • While I rarely understand my job, I work with some very smart people who explain it to me slowly using very small words.
  • I am still mobile enough to exercise sufficiently to have that second beer.
  • My Bloggy friends think I am interesting enough to comment regularly.

Enough sap. Back to the satire tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Razor’s Edge Between Fame and Infamy

Reports continue to swirl that Sarah Palin will consider a Republican bid for the presidency herself in 2012. Of course her difficulty will be remaining relevant over the next four years without becoming a media whore. She needs to be in the Public Eye, but in a positive way. This is a tough call, especially when every huckster with a hair-brained cause or backwater event will be lining up to get her on board. It is a very slippery slope between grabbing the spotlight with dignity and being an organ grinder’s monkey doing anything for attention.
Rudy Giuliani has managed to do it, as has Joey Buttafucco, but for vastly different reasons.
In the spirit of non-partisan support, Dogs & Jeans offers this the helpful list to Gov. Palin to ensure she makes the right choices when approached:
Good TV: Weekly addresses as Alaska Governor

Bad TV: Weekly meetings for recovering Baked Alaska addicts

Good TV: National Cadillac spokes person

Bad TV: Regional Mattress Outlet spokes model


Good TV: Throwing out first pitch at the World Series

Bad TV: Throwing up after too many pitchers on 25 cent Wasilla Wings Night.


Good TV: Center Square during special “Great Americans Week”

Bad TV: Lead story on Entertainment Tonight’s Hollywood Sex Scandals on Hollywood Squares


Good TV: Congratulating the 2009 Iditarod Champion

Bad TV: Congratulating Michael Vick for successful 2009 parole hearing


Good TV: Building homes with Katrina Relief

Bad TV: Endorsing former FEMA director Mike (Brownie) Brown for Government Manager of the Decade


Good TV: Cheering for the Washington Capitols during the NHL finals

Bad TV: Growing a playoff beard during NHL finals

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Unemployment Line Just Got 3 Places Longer

Someday, when I run The Company there are a whole bunch of people who I'm going to fire.

#1 The Kitchen Martyr: You know that person who you might see putting coffee cups in the sink, or taking them out of the little staff kitchen dishwasher who makes sure to tell everyone passing by, "this is the last time I'm doing this. Somebody else is going to have to do it from now on!"

So stop! Nobody asked you to do it. I empty the dishwasher, I rinse the coffee cups and so does everybody else from time to time, but we all don't make it a Cecil B. De Mile song-and-dance number. Sure the kitchen might get a little cluttered or you have to rinse off a fork if the machine hasn't gone through yet, but everyone is busy with WORK! You want sanitary? Go work in surgery. Prick!

#2 The Last Coffee Guy: Okay, before you call me a hypocrite, this is different than #1. Almost every workplace now has the idiot-proof staff coffee dispensing system where you dump the old filter and grounds, pop in a new filter, dump in a package of pre-measured coffee, press start and you are done. Less than 15 seconds, no bending over like emptying the dishwasher, and you don't even get your hands wet like rinsing cups in the sink.

So the next time you have the last cup in the pot (and you know it is because no more comes out moron), make a new batch. When I want coffee, I want coffee NOW God Dammit! I don't want to wait the four minutes it takes to brew a new pot. I'm going to a #$%&*'ing budget meeting and I'm going to fall asleep without the caffeine. Jerk!

#3: Smug Early Guy: I'll be honest: I don't jump out of bed eager to go to work. But I do frequently spend a significant amount of time working late when the phone has stopped ringing. So if I come in after 8 AM, I don't want the guy who has been there since 7 saying "Nice of you to join us", or "Working Bankers' Hours Trooper?". Douchbag!

Who would you fire (other than a-hole complainers like me)?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sweet Home Barak Obama

Frequent bloggy readers of Dogs & Jeans know I have often professed my love for the South. Southern folks are some of the warmest people on the planet as welcoming to a stranger as a cool rain is on a hot Tuscaloosa August afternoon. And if I lived south of the Mason Dixon line, I'd weigh 300 pounds since I'd never stop eating hush puppies, chicken fried steak, ribs, hoppin' john, deep fried okra, biscuits and gravy all washed down with jugs of sweet tea.

However, for many residents the South has been a place of segregation, suppretion, violence and haterd. While this has improved greatly in the last 40 years, there is still plenty of improvement to be made, and I'm not talking Blue vs Red. However, last night's victory by Barak Obama signals that, perhaps in my lifetime, all of America will be free of prejudice.

This article by Peggy Wallace Kennedy, the daughter of the late Alabama governor George Wallace sums up how change can happen one heart at a time better than I can. Please give it a read.

Back to the funny tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Disagree With the Tales of the Old Wives

With this extremely intersting, exciting and important election being held today, I am going to (uncharacteristically) stay out of the way. I'll leave the comments to Wolf Blitzer today and wish all my American friends a happy vote.

In the meantime, I'll return to a certain a level of jackassery and present my view on some issues that have been mulling around in my head through my recent "Days of Chaos" (the significanly less popular sequel to Tom Cruise's "Days of Thunder").

Issue 1: "Pizza is better the next morning cold". No it's not. It's still good, but not as good as piping hot right out of the box. Even the next piece is significantly less tasty even if you put the box right back in the oven. There is a quantum degradation of pizza quality the more times the box is opened. Try this experiment for yourself. Order a pizza tonight but don't eat any of it. Jus
hot pizza delivery girl
t leave it on the coffee table in front of the TV. Tomorrow night order a second identical pizza then try a slice of both. If the cold one tastes better, you're drunk.

Issue 2: If good things come to "Those Who Wait" and good things come "In Small Packages", do really good things come to "Those Who Wait In Small Packages"?

Issue 2B: What about the "Early Bird Getting the Worm"? Wouldn't an early bird who waited get a better worm? What kind of worm comes in a small package?

Issue 3: If I can kill two birds with one stone, how many could I kill with two stones? Do they have to be thrown at the same time or one after another? How many could I kill with three stones and a pile of sticks? What if I used a billiard ball in a tube sock instead?

Issue 4: Why do we still say "close but no cigar'? Is there anyone alive today that remembers receiving a cigar as a carnival prize? I suggest we change the expression to "close, but no crudly made, Indonesian stuffed toy of a non-descript cartoon character."

Issue 5: If you are only willing to give a penny to learn someone else's thought, you really don't care a hell of a lot. Just say "tell me what you're thinking and I'll try to stay awake, you cheap bastard."

That's all I've got.

Happy Voting America!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So These Two White Supremacists Walk into a Bar…

For anyone who happened to miss this yesterday, according to Reuters News Service, two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama.

The two suspects, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, met over the Internet about a month ago and are with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun dealer.

The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car.

They planned their first house robbery for last Wednesday but ended up leaving without breaking in. Instead they bought ski masks, food and rope to use in their robbery attempts. Prior to their arrest, they wrote racially motivated words and symbols on the exterior of Cowart's vehicle, including a swastika and the numbers "14" and "88" on the hood of the car.

I can’t help but wonder if the Aryan Nations have some sort of remedial terrorism program that got out of hand? Doesn’t a local KKK Board of Oversight conduct due diligence for any hate-crime plots to ensure sound project management and risk analysis or is it an in-bred free- for-all of weapons, liquor and ignorance? Did these two knuckleheads just get carried away because they were disoriented from moonshine or the fumes from a leaky exhaust on daddy’s Olds 88?

Wouldn’t you figure a car covered with crudely painted swastika’s would become a dead giveaway if the police were hunting for a racially motivated killing spree? At least the 9/11 hijackers made an attempt to blend in before “pulling the trigger.”

Most readers know I have a soft spot for John McCain (although not as soft as the heads of Cowart and Schlesselman), but after this insanity, I hope Obama wins just to stick it to the Neanderthal remnants of racism that still lurk in the dark folds of America’s colon.

F.U. Stupid White Guys!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Operator? Can you help me place this call?

As requested, here is the transcript for last week's overheard phone conversation between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin.

Palin: Y’ellow!
Biden: Hi Sarah It’s Joe.
Palin: Hey Joe. Whaddya know? (giggles)
Biden: Nuthin. Watcha doing?
Palin: No much. How about you?
Biden: Not much. How about you?
Palin: Not much. How about you?
Biden: Not much. How…
(This goes on for a while)
Biden: So, you want to do something?
Palin: Like what?
Biden: I dunno. What do you feel like doing?
Palin: I dunno. What about you?
Biden: I dunno. What about you?
(This too goes on for a while)
Biden: What if we meet for an Orange Julius at the mall?
Palin: Which mall?
Biden: How ‘bout Georgetown Park?
Palin: Hang on, I’ll see if I can get a ride.
(Biden hums “Genie In A Bottle” while he waits. We can hear muffled conversation from Palin’s receiver).
Palin: Can’t go. We’re too far away.
Biden: Where are you?
Palin: Iowa
Biden: Oh.. Cool.
Palin: Nuh-uh. How are things with Barak?
Biden: Okay I guess. We don’t seem to be connecting these days. He’s so distant, like he doesn’t need me at all.Palin: You are so lucky!
Biden: No way.
Palin: Way! John is so up and down. Needy one minute then it’s like he can’t get away fast enough the next.
Biden: Sounds rough
Palin: It is. And his friends keep telling him he should dump me and pick somebody else.
Biden: You could do so much better anyway. You know, I sometimes wish Barak and I could just end it and move on.
Palin: Don’t say that. You two are made for each other. Everyone says so.
Biden: Maybe you’re right. He says he’ll have more time to commit to us and our relationship after November.
Palin: There you go. He’s just focused on work right now.
Biden: Thanks Sarah I always feel better talking to you. Call you tomorrow?
Palin: You betcha. I think we’ll be in Ohio, or Pennsylvania or Quebec. One of them states.
Biden: Okay. Bye
Palin: Bye
Biden: Bye
Palin: Good bye
Biden: You hang up
Palin: No, you hang up first (giggles)
Biden: No you.
Palin: On three. Ready? One, two, three…
(muffled laughter)
Biden: You didn’t hang up!
Palin: Neither did you !
Biden: On three again. One…
Palin: Three! (She hangs up)
Biden: Hello? Hello/ Mmm…(He hangs up )

Thursday, October 23, 2008

At least Biden's Diet is Healthy

With less than 2 weeks to go before Election Day, the candidates are all very busy. Barak Obama is shoring up his lead and ensuring his vote turns out, John McCain is struggling to find any momentum to close the gap and Sarah Palin is repeating the phrase “I’m a Maverick!” to anyone who will listen.

But we haven’t heard from Joe Biden since the VP debate. It’s not because he is redundant to the Obama campaign, it’s just that Obama doesn’t need him anymore. Hell, with this kind of momentum, Barak could have chosen himself as running mate and done just as well.

So just how is the Senator from Delaware passing his days? Dogs & Jeans Crack Research Squad has been in “deep cover” and provided you readers with the Inside Story.
7:45 Biden wakes up
7:46 Spends 4 minutes reading affirmation notes from his mother to remind himself what a super, terrific, special person he is.
7:50 Showers and gets dressed in one of 200 identical navy blue suits.
8:10 Eats sensible breakfast of raisin toast, hardboiled egg, juice and coffee. Eats egg shells to reduce amount of garbage in landfill. Aide reminds him that egg shells are compostable but it’s too late.
9:00 Receives daily campaign itinerary. Asks again why all campaign events are held at the desk in his Capitol Hill office.
9:30 Arrives at office. Answers ‘fan mail’ written by campaign volunteers until lunch time.
12:00 Orders in turkey on whole wheat, carrot sticks and Pepsi. Listens to Classic Rock station and solves 2 Sudoku puzzles.
1:00 Walks The Mall shaking hands and asking for support for Obama/Biden. Secret Service screens all pedestrians in advance to ensure only ‘left-leaning’ walkers with no agenda get near the candidate. NRA members are drowned in the Reflecting Pool.
2:30 Plays with some terriers.
3:00 Back to answering ‘fan mail’.
3:30 Mid afternoon snack of chocolate milk and a banana
3:45 Calls Obama to say he’s bored. Leaves voice mail.
3:50 Calls McCain to say he’s bored. Leaves voice mail.
3:55 Calls Palin to say he’s bored. They chat for nearly an hour about “stuff” and “things”. Neither can say goodbye and hang up, even after counting to three and listening to hear if the other hangs up first.
4:50 Doodles
5:00 Off to the gym for Spinning and to “shred” has back and abs.
6:30 Dinner of fish, rice and steamed broccoli.
8:00 Watches American Idol so everyone else “Shut the Hell up!”
9:30 Checks voice mail to find out if Obama called back. He didn't. Sigh.
10:00 Bed time. 15 minutes of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” Then it’s Lights Out in advance of another busy day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You Might be From Western Pennsylvania if...

This week, a spokesperson for the Democratic party expressed concern that Obama may have difficulty receiving votes in Western Pennsylvania due to their history of racism. Later he tried to qualify his remarks by stating Western Pennsylvanians were not racists merely “rednecks”. McCain was unable to capitalize on the faux pas however when he labeled these folks as “patriots” who were merely set in their ways.
Dogs & Jeans Crack Image Consulting Team

It looks like the good people of Western Pennsylvania are in need of a make-over and the Dogs & Jeans Crack Image Consulting Team aim to help. Here we present so quick and easy sure fire ways to turn around the impression of Western Pennsylvania being a hot bed of intolerance:

            • Host a Super Gay Pride Parade so extravagant it would make San Francisco’s look like a Billy Graham Revival,

            • Cancel the annual “Bring a Jew to Work” day,

            • Celebrate the state’s diversity with an Olde Tyme Black Face Minstrel Show revival. No, wait. Does that send the wrong message?

            • End the local Taco Bells’ forced migration of Californian workers,

            • New local access cable show: “Hopi or Hindu: Know Your Indian”

            • Massive advertising campaign during the World Series reminding viewers how much Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins love “The W Pa!”

            Friday, October 17, 2008

            Don't Leave the Game Early Unless the Babysitter Charges Double After Midnight

            Yankee great Yogi Berra is often quoted when a team is facing certain defeat with some time time remaining. One of his more famous lines is: 'It ain't over till it's over." Well, sure but there has to be a limit to the possible, doesn't there? Sports cliches are like people who tell us there is nothing humans can do to alter climate change: we know they are probably true, but nobody really believes them.

            Last night the Boston Red Sox were down 5-0 to Tampa Bay (sorry Comet Girl) when I started driving home after a late meeting. I had thought I'd go to a local pub and watch the rest if it was close. Then the Ray notched 2 more in the top of the 7th. This one was over. Tampa still had not gone to their closer and the Red Sox bullpen was spent. I just kept driving.

            Then it happened. One run. Ortiz's 3 run homer. Now it's close. J.D. Drew brings it to within one. I stepped through the front door with the tying run on second. I can't believe my eyes when the Devil Ray lead vanishes.

            Imagine the chaos in the Tampa dugout. The panic. The FEAR. Everyone of them remember the Red Sox comeback against the Yankees.

            I haven't sat down since coming in the door. My jacket is still on. I think I'm still holding my briefcase. Could Yogi Berra be proven correct?

            Youkilis makes it aboard on an error and takes second. Now the Boston win seems inevitable. When Drew's line drive punches over the fielder's head and rolls to the wall, it is almost anti-climactic. Where 45 minutes before I firmly believed the Phillies would face the Rays in the World Series, I now am convinced the comeback was in the cards from the start of the game.

            Momentum is a funny thing.

            Here is a great review of the game by ESPN writer Bill Simmons

            Wednesday, October 15, 2008

            The Republican Prophesy is Coming True

            Has anyone seen the headlines on CNN today?
            • Nancy Reagan Falls, Fractures Hip
            • Cheney's Abnormal Heart Rhythm Returns

            This is like watching "The Omen". I'm just waiting to hear that John McCain has been run through with a javelin while giving a speech at a local high school stadium.

            For those of you following the adventures of Jack Collins, there is a new episode of The Guy Movie Guide to Business Success posted today.

            Tuesday, October 14, 2008

            The Roots of Voter Apathy Run Deep

            The lament of many free democratic societies is the remarkably low voter turn out. The US election participation has often threatened to drop below 60% and Canada is not immune to the same illness.
            In recognition of Canada’s General Federal election today, Dogs & Jeans presents the following excuses pollsters are given for why people won't be trudging through the mid October snowstorms to vote today:

            • I can't decide to vote for Flabby Guy, Scary Guy or Crazy Guy.
            • There are even fewer female candidates than on "The Bachelor".
            • I can't follow the baseball playoffs and election coverage too.
            • I'm boycotting Elections Canada until they let you vote multiple times like the Liberal Party does.
            • I haven't been able to cast a vote since the whole "Canadian Idol" debacle.
            • No time. Too busy working on my screenplay about three roommate fashion models and a wisecracking robot.
            • I didn't know [insert your province or territory here] was still part of Canada.
            • Aren't only federal prisoners allowed to vote now?
            • Not enough parties to choose from any more.
            • If I vote, then I'll have to register my guns.
            • Election? What election?