Thursday, January 29, 2009

Joe Torre Knows How to Burn a Yankee Bridge

Joe Torre's new tell-all (although it sounds like a "tell-some") book has inspired this new movie poster:

Joe's Just Not That Into You!

Coming this Opening Day to a ball park near you.

Update: On a personal note, I have my first physical in seven years tomorrow. I'll let you all know if I'm going to live or die after I've been uncomfortable probed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Guy Movie Guide

Nothing much today, but enjoy the latest installment of The Guy Movie Guide to Business Success.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let the Erectile Remedy and Credit Assistance Deluge Begin

After posting a few weeks ago about the rapid progress towards Word Verification Total Lockdown (which incidentally is the title of the newest Steven Segal movie in which he plays an aging, overweight IT guy who must thwart an international terrorist plot to make it impossible to buy box sets of old TV shows on, I have taken some flack myself for maintaining a word verification on this blog.
Steven Seagal IT Enforcer

Since Trooper Thorn is all about service to the people, as of today word verification is gone! So you don't need to email me giving me heck about it anymore (all in caps too!).

I'll keep you all informed about the size, frequency and content of all the inappropriate spam I expect to receive.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blagojevich and Paris Hilton to Promote Macro-biotics

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has boycotted his impeachment trial, opting instead to defend himself on TV talk shows as well as considering appointing Oprah to the Senate to defend him. While all this might appear as though the embattled Democrat has gone around the bend, these actions are far more sensible that the other ideas Blagojevich had that were rejected by his handlers:
  • Adopt 35 Rwandan orphans to surround him at all times.
  • Hire Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino to film his biography "The Gloriously Misunderstood Governor and his Magic Senate Appointments".
  • Become the caped crime fighter The Grafter.
  • Marry Kid Rock then divorce him after an affair with a Las Vegas magician, all the while continuing to see ex-husband Tommy Lee (no wait, that’s Pamela Anderson’s bad idea).
  • Go on John Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s shows and be the first guest to punch both hosts in the same night.
  • Challenge Joey Chestnut to a hot dog eating contest at Coney Island.
  • Consult with his party’s impeachment defence committee.
Hmm, maybe that last one is not such a bad idea.

Dec 7, 2011 Update: Blogojevich has been sentenced to 14 years. Looks like he'll have more time to consider options.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Like Things That Are Great! - Part 2

Many people ask me: "Trooper, how can you remain so gosh darn positive in these uncertain times?" After I thank them for their concern, and subtly add their name to the list of people to avoid, I refer them to to a posting from last June in praise of simple things I enjoy like my dogs, eating meat and James Taylor.

Since my interests seem to fascinate the other commuters on the bus, perhaps it's time to update the inventory. So here are some More Things I Think Are Great:
  • The Kiss-Cam at sporting events
  • Putting on a shirt right out of the dryer
  • A dog sneezing
  • Extra cheese melted deep within the pile of nacho chips
  • Kansas' rolling plains
  • Stephen Jay Gould essays
  • The first morning in spring when you can smell the moist earth
  • When my kids laugh so hard milk comes out of their nose
  • Rush
  • Winnipeg Blue Bomber Football (even if they lose)
  • National anthems

How about you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Would You Do With ‘Git Mo’?

Following on the heels of President Obama’s announcement of the shutdown of the Guantanamo detention facility, the Department of Homeland Security is soliciting Americans to help suggest what happens next for the military base. While the timeline for the release of detainees remains unclear, officials are preparing for the Cuban outpost’s next life. The Department has announced a nationwide contest, and no idea has been deemed to be too crazy.

“We are so excited to see the next incarnation of this precious American asset,” claims Homeland Security spokesperson Penny Upshaw. “Git Mo has it all: Sunshine, sand, crystal clear blue waters, razor wire, the lingering stench of human despair and more. The possibilities are endless; anything from a Celebrity Weight Loss Center to becoming the permanent Super Bowl site.”

Some early submissions have included:

  • Olympic Training Camp; Performance Enhancement Facility
  • Extreme Family Vacation Resort (for those with teens who re a flight risk)
  • Internment Camp for all Survivor/Big Brother contestants (to remove them from the gene pool)
  • Republican Party Headquarters
“So come on America!” said Upshaw, “Tell your government where to go.”
Winners receive an all expense paid one-week stay at whatever the hell Git Mo ends up being, however, they are responsible for finding a way home themselves.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

News of the Near Future: Obama Presidency a Failure

Jan 21, 2009. The excitement over the promise of Barak Obama’s tenure in the Whitehouse was quickly doused Wednesday as life on Earth continued with no discernable affects. After being on office for more than 24 hours, the luster of Obama’s promise of change has quickly become tarnished.

“Despite all our hopes for sudden salvation,” said James Drucker, Chairman of the newly formed Impeach Obama Coalition, “I woke up this morning to a weak economy, unrest in the Middle East and still no more hair that I went to bed with.”

Across the nation, a groundswell of malcontent is spreading as disappointed voters are bracing for a future that is no more rosy than it was on January 19. Examples of Obama’s lack of capacity to fix everything through the shear force of his charisma have been:

  • Unemployment continued

  • Fathers still expected to attend deliveries

  • Troops remaining in Iraq

  • Ongoing climate change

  • Unabated development of new Reality TV shows

  • Racial tension in major cities

  • Paris Hilton still relevant for some reason

  • No playoff system in college football

  • Endangered species still at risk

  • No end in site for poverty and homelessness

  • Deceased loved ones not among the living

  • The cure for cancer undiscovered

  • Global natural disasters unchecked

  • Christmas and Valentines Day remain on the calendar.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vegas Odds on Obama Saying "Fo' Shizzle" During Inauguration Now 10:1

Statements we are unlikely to hear during President Obama’s inaugural address:
  • "Ask not what your country can do for you, but don’t be afraid to expect a little something from your governor."
  • "Break it down for me DJ Jazzy Jeff!"
  • "I have a dream, and it involves Vanessa Williams and Karen Valentine eating pudding off my chest."
  • "Strategery."
  • "We have nothing to fear but fear itself, and the women on “The View” acquiring nuclear weapons."
  • "Where’s The Beef?" (followed by 2 minutes of stifled giggling from all the dignitaries on the dais).
  • "There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed by what’s right in America, and that includes MightyPutty®. Order now!"
  • "Allah be praised!"
  • "One man with courage is a majority. One man with Detroit Lions season tickets is a fool."
  • "Would the owner of a blue Corolla with Delaware plates DFR 341 please move it from the front of the Smithsonian? You are blocking the cafeteria loading zone. That’s a blue Corolla. Thank you."
  • "Speak softly and carry a big stick, but if you are sitting behind me at the movies and you talk all through the show, that big stick ain’t work jack when the Secret Service gets a hold of your ass."
  • "Good morning Angels."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who Wants to Survive a Hospital Visit?

(I’m not making this up)
A report in the recent New England Journal of Medicine has found that incidence rates of serious complications and deaths during and after major operations can be lowered by as much as one-third if doctors follow a simple surgical checklist.

The study also found that deaths following major surgery fell by a staggering 40 per cent after implementation of the checklist.

So professionals in the medical world, universally considered some of our top minds, have now determined that using a procedural checklist like pilots, fire crews, manufacturing facilities and even the kitchen staff at McDonalds might be a good thing. Why has it taken this long to suggest a little due diligence be employed? The shocking news is that a surgeon can just cut you open without much diligence other that washing their hands.

Here’s a sample set of question from the World Health Organization’s checklist used for the study (with some interpretation). It’s only one page by the way; that’s not a lot of rigor.

  • Has the Patient Confirmed:
    - identity
    - site
    - procedure
    - consent
    (Has anyone asked the guy who he is and why here’s here, or have they just grabbed somebody who fell asleep in the lobby and are about to perform bypass surgery)
  • Has the Surgeon, Anesthesia Professional and Nurse verbally confirmed:
    - identity,
    site and procedure
    (There’s a problem if the doctor is there for Mrs Jones’ hysterectomy and the others are there for Mr Smith’s gender reassignment)
  • Does the patient have a known allergy?
    (Is this guy going to swell up like a grape if we inject him with penicillin, or are we safe to eat a peanut butter sandwich over the incision?)
  • Has sterility been confirmed? Are there equipment issues or any concerns?
    (Are you kidding me? Has the joint been cleaned since the last procedure and is everything working? This better be on a checklist!)
  • Is essential imaging displayed?
    (Has somebody bothered to get the X-Rays and is it the right persons, or does somebody need to make a run to the Photo Hut?)
  • Confirm that instrument, sponge and needle counts are correct.
    (Have we got all the stuff we started with or was something left inside?)

I can’t wait to hear the resistance from hospitals to implementing this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Treasure 3 - The Blogger Word Verification Mystery

I’ve had it with Word Verification. At one point it was kind of cool entering the “secret code” like a special agent preparing to shut down the missile launch sequence. But the thrill is gone. The effort to hinder automated systems has now gotten to the point of it being nearly impossible for normal humans to pass this level of security.

It started off so simply only a few short years ago. Remember the basic “identify the number” question like a test for color blindness? This should have been enough to keep the spam out since, as we all know computers are color blind. This is why no robots host home makeover shows.

But that was not secure enough. Soon we were being asked to enter randomly generated words. This was simple and even a little fun, like being a Florida retirement community resident doing the Jumble. You can figure out this puzzle even with a broken hip.
(The clue is 'male rink'. Answer: He Ice)

Apparently the spammers were able to figure this out and the security had to become even more complex. More letters were added. You would think this would be enough since the possibilities increase by a factor of 26 with each additional letter in the code. It only takes a few for the odds of randomly entering the correct word verification to become even greater than Gabe Kaplan experiencing a Hollywood comeback.

The next move was to add numbers and capitalization to the code. This screwed everything up because too many number look like letters. Is it a zero or an ‘O’? A one or an ‘l’? In the last year or so, some sites have even taken to ‘bending’ the word so I can’t read it at all. I mean seriously, are those little images numbers, letters or a part of an alien pictogram warning us to stop watching Reality TV?

Usually I will enter the code three or more times until I either get lucky, locked out or bored with it. It’s not like I’m trying to get into the Kremlin, just play a little Yahoo euchre.

Why don’t they just ask “Are you a human?” with one box for ‘Yes’ and one for ‘No’? At least you’d eliminate 50% of the spam machines and you’d be free from email from Paris Hilton since she would be stumped and unable to answer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Need a Million Dollar Idea?

Over the Christmas break I had a conversation with several nameless supporters in which I asked them to come up with a "Million Dollar Business Idea". The only criteria were:
  • it couldn't take much money to get going
  • I didn't need to work any harder than I already do; and
  • the million dollars would be earned within the first 6 months.

Here are some of the more sensible ideas (and by sensible, I mean an idea that could at least be written down in some coherent manner):

  • Theme Park: Okay, somebody was not listening to the criteria. Plus we live in Canada where the period it would be open is only a few months. Hmm, maybe I wouldn't have to work at all part of the year...
  • Rock Band: Satisfies the criteria, and lacking any musical talent has not been a road block to success for many artists (You know who you are Bon Jovi) . But starting out on the road over 40 would be the definition of career failure.
  • Start eBay: Great idea. 5 years too late.
  • Build a car that runs on water: I like the 'green' angle but that sounds like too much work. Next!
  • Develop a video game: This is on the right track, but I'm afraid my idea of good game would be one where the character goes to the library and reads quietly to him or herself. Not enough blood and gore for the larger marketplace.
  • Print your own money: I should have indicated that the idea also had to be legal in the criteria. My mistake.
  • Become a movie star: See "Rock Band" above.

Needless to say, I am still reporting for duty at my current employer. Anyone want to use one if these ideas, go right ahead.

Friday, January 9, 2009

There Might Still Be Work For Olivia Newton John

Mama Mia, and to a lesser extent Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out”, have opened the Nostalgia Door for other groups from the 1970’s to develop musical stage productions and movies based on their music. Dogs & Jeans has always supported the arts (especially those musicians that remind Trooper of a time in his life before he lost all hope) so now offers the following suggestions for other productions based on music from groups who should be heard from again:

"Crime of the Century", based on music by Supertramp
A young man comes to America in search of the perfect breakfast sausage only to be caught up in the Watergate break-in while staying at the famous DC hotel. Showstopping number: Supreme Court Justices singing "Bloody Well Right!"

"Rumors" - based on music by Fleetwood Mac
Two couples swap partners unaware that they are all cheating on each other, then sing about their experiences while on heavy antibiotics for STDS. Showstopping number: battling couples sing "You Make Lovin' Fun" & "You Can Go Your Own Way" in tandem while self administering penicillin.

"Bye, Bye Baby" - based on music by the Bay City Rollers
Success comes early in life for a young woman and she spends the next 20 years trying to get back to the top, only to give up and open a used book shop with her cats. No showstopping number but the audience hates "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!" after it's been played 30 times.

"Runnin’ With the Devil" - based on music by Van Halen (pre Sammy Hagar)
A small community fights a large corporation to prevent it poisoning the water supply. After they win, the townsfolk realize the place had no substance and wasn’t worth fighting for. They abandon their homes and drive to Florida blaring the song "Panama".

"Bat Out of Hell" - based on music by Meat Loaf
Demon escapes hell. Demon revels in bacchanalian delights of Earth. Demon develops an eating disorder and diabetes. Demon becomes spokesperson for Jenny Craig. Demon returns to Hell in shame. Showstopping number: Demon and Kirstie Alley duet of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" while eating Krispy Kreme's.

"Can’t Buy A Thrill for Rickie's Lost Number" - based on music by Steely Dan
Everyone gets high and can’t remember what the movie was supposed to be about, but the tunes were sweet, Dude.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You Might Be A Polygamist...

Many law-abiding readers of Dogs & Jeans may be upset by the recent arrest of two church leaders for polygamy in the small community of Bountiful, BC and worried that they too might also be involved in a multiple-marriage but are unaware of it. To reduce the likelihood of Federal agents breaking down your door Dogs & Jeans offers a helpful checklist to determine if you are an unwitting polygamist.

You might be a polygamist if:
  • You say “Goodnight Honey” and half the respondent’s say “Goodnight” and the other half say “Don’t you ‘Honey’ me!”.
  • You have ever asked ‘Who’s wedding dress is this?”
  • Traffic stops in both directions when you pull the extended mini-van over to let a kid out to play at a friend’s house.
  • You named your kids after the Apostles, and then had to move on to Stooges, Dwarves and the original members of Lynard Skynard.
  • Telemarketers call asking “if any of the women of the house are home?”
  • You have more mothers-in-law than you have bellybuttons (we’ll wait while you count either one).
  • The local cemetery gives you a discount on bulk burial plots.
  • An entire day of laundry is devoted just for washing the towels marked “Hers”.
  • The only computer with enough memory to keep track of your family’s birthdays and anniversaries is owned by NASA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Does the Force Make Any Sense to You?

Over the holidays, I was able to watch the original Star Wars movie (the 4th in the series and now titled “A New Hope”) for the first time in many years. While it’s enjoyable and still stands up well 30 years later, there are some glaring problems with logic and continuity that are hard to overlook:
  • Princes Leia stores the plans for the Death Star in R2D2 and sends him on his way to find Obi Wan. They never explain how she managed to steal these plans, but you have to figure if she was clever enough to get through the Empire’s security (especially given the fact that her identity would have been hard to conceal), she should be clever enough to send an email attachment to the Rebel Alliance headquarters. The film is full of holographic subspace transmissions (all those grainy, disembodies torsos barking orders) so why doesn’t she just do that?
  • The Empire spends the bulk of the film casing down the R2D2 droid to get back their stolen Death Star plans. Is this really the best use of the Empire’s resources? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that once the plans were stolen, the Rebels would have made copies so capturing R2D2 is pretty much a waste of time? I know they pretty much control the galaxy, but at some point somebody has to justify the expenses for all the fuel and manpower. Just accept the plans are gone, so make some adjustments, like to that exposed ventilation shaft, so the Rebel’s intel is useless.
  • You never see any janitorial staff on the Death Star. Are they really so advanced that all cleaning is completely automated?
  • If Anakin built C3P0 as a child, why doesn’t Darth Vader recognize him when they meet up again? He even has significant interaction with R2D2 in the first films but also has no recollection of him in Episode 4. In fact Obi Wan doesn’t recognize either droid either.
  • The only roles women have in Star Wars is as wives, servants or prostitutes. In a society advanced enough for intergalactic travel, they can’t get a little progress for the Sisters?

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Resolution Generator

If many of you out there are like me (let’s call you the “Lucky Ones”), you have put off making New Year’s Resolutions, such as ‘I will stop procrastinating”, and are looking to put at least something together. That way, when the same old douchebags ask “So, have you made any New Year’s Resolutions?”, you have a response other than looking at the ground with embarrassment and kicking a clod of frozen slush with your worn out sneakers.

However, you may be saying: “But Trooper, how can I possibly come up with any decent resolutions at this late date?” Fear not Dear Reader. Dogs & Jeans continues to provide for you and offers the following Random Resolution Generator. It has been scientifically designed (meaning: I thought it up on the bus this morning and asked a couple of homeless guys what they thought) to give you at least three suitable resolutions, no matter how miserable, hopeless or just plain bat-shit crazy you are.
Happy New Year!!!

Parental Relations
In 2009 I resolve to:
  • have a sit down dinner with my parents at least once a week.
  • call my parents at least once a week.
  • stop wearing my mom’s clothes and finally let the funeral home take her remains.

Family Relations
In 2009 I resolve to:

  • get involved in an outdoor activity with my kids at least one night a week.
  • turn off the TV and just talk to my kids at least one night a week.
  • let the kids out of the basement at least one hour a week for some sunshine.

Spousal Relations
In 2009 I resolve to:

  • tell my spouse “I love you” at least once a day.
  • do something nice for my spouse without being asked at least once a week.
  • cut back sleeping with my neighbor’s spouse to only once a month.

Career Management
In 2009 I resolve to:

  • work late one day a week to demonstrate my commitment to the company.
  • finish at least one special project for my boss.
  • limit surfing for porn at the office to only three hours per day.

Health and Fitness
In 2009 I resolve to:

  • train for and complete at least one marathon or 10K race.
  • participate in a fitness class at least twice a week.
  • eat no more donuts than my body weight.

Money Management
In 2009 I resolve to:

  • save 10% of every pay cheque.
  • pay my credit cards off in full each month.
  • marry someone stinking rich no matter how repulsive (or what gender) they are.