Friday, July 31, 2009

Presidential Alcohol Promotes Racial Harmony

Yesterday, President Obama held a "summit" of sorts with Dr. Skip Gates and Sgt. Jim Crowley over beers and much common ground was found. VP Biden contacted Dogs & Jeans after to share some very surprising comments from the meeting :

First Round of Drinks:

  • "Didn't the fact that my drivers license had the house address on it clue you in at all?"

  • "For a black guy, it's weird how you can't say "yo mamma" with any believability."

  • "Why is the Secret Service guy tasting my beer?"

  • "Were you a prick before you became a cop, or did they teach you that?"

  • "Why does Harvard's Football team suck so much?"

Second Round of Drinks:

  • "Can we get some pretzels or something? I'm allergic to peanuts"

  • "Sarah Palin? I would totally hit that!"

  • "Health care reform is totally fucked."

  • "You know what we should do? We should form a band!"

  • "Congress is totally fucked."

  • "Can I see your gun?"

Third Round of Drinks:

  • "No way B! Why'd you get it tattooed on there?"

  • "You two guys have the coolest hair, the way it's all curly and shit."

  • "Hey, let's get out of here. Can the Secret Service get us into some clubs?"

  • "I love you Man!"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is the Taliban Decorum Guideline the New Emily Post?

A new Taliban military "code of conduct" obtained in northwestern Pakistan calls for restrictions on suicide attacks aimed at avoiding the killing of civilians, but U.S. and Afghan military officials dismissed the document as propaganda, calling it hypocritical.

See if you can identify the booklet’s actual suggestions for changing the target of attacks from the ones Dogs & Jeans made up:

  1. "Suicide attacks should be at high value and important targets because a brave son of Islam should not be used for low value and useless targets,"

  2. “Helping old ladies across the street should be done without the use of explosives. Unless they are Jewish”

  3. “Decadent American beauty pageants should only be blown up after the awarding of Miss Congeniality”

  4. "In suicide attacks, the killing of innocent people and damage to their property should be minimized."

  5. Mujahideen should refrain from disfiguring of people, such as the severing of ears, nose and lips.”

  6. “Suicide bombing should no longer be used to get kittens out of trees.”

  7. “Adam Sandler is the greatest actor in the world. We all love The Zohan

  8. "Mujahideen must be well behaved, and treat the people properly, in order to get closer to the hearts of civilian Muslims,"

  9. “While it remains a funny practical joke, the “flaming bag of dog poop on the doorstep” gag should be used only on Enemies of Islam if the bad has a detonation switch.”

  10. "It is strictly prohibited to exchange prisoners for money. Killing can only be decided by the Imam or his deputy.”

  11. “Use only high quality video tape and proper lighting when making a video of a captured infidel begging for his life. Grainy or blurry products make all Muslims look bad.”

(Real: 1, 4, 5, 8, 10. Phony: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nicole Richie and The Cast of "Lost" Are Safe, For Now

The 15-member U.S Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has issued guidelines for those people eliglie to receive vaccinations against the H1N1 (Swine) flu. Priority groups include pregnant women; health care and emergency services personnel; people under 24 years of age; household and caregiver contacts of children younger than six months; and healthy adults with certain medical conditions.

In a surprise move, the Committee has also issued it’s list of people ineligible to receive vaccinations. While not comprehensive, the following have been restricted:

  • The cast of “Heroes”

  • Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter

  • Anyone who uses the title “DJ” before their name

  • The Washington Nationals

  • Paris Hilton

  • Girls who “pout” or “make-out” in their Facebook profile pictures

  • Brett Favre’s agent

  • Executives of bail-out companies who received massive performance bonuses

  • Janice Dickinson

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Shocking" Bachelorette Finale Impacts Climate Change

News reports this morning describe last night's "Bachelorette" Finale as 'stunning' and 'shocking' that Jillian accepted the proposal of shy Ed of confident Kiptyn (although no one mentions the inclusion of someone named "Kiptyn" as being stunning in the first place). Perhaps I'm jaded from a lifetime of media exposure, but this doesn't strike me as a very surprising turn of events.

If the network really wanted to break new ground, here's a few directions the producers could have gone in:

  • The Bachelorette reveals she is actually a man.
  • Al Gore previews his new "documentary" claiming he was the rightful winner of Season 3.
  • Rejected suitors must compete on "Ultimate Fighter" to win their freedom.
  • Michael Vick has a 'walk-on" urging viewers to spay and neuter their animals.
  • Ed cannot marry until he spends four days being grilled by the Senate Judicial Review Committee.
  • After being turned down, Kiptyn is 'sedated' by Michael Jackson's doctor.
  • The Bachelorette wins a cross-country "Thelma and Louise" style stagette celebration hosted by Sarah Palin.
  • Lance Armstrong announces his desire to compete in next season's "Bachelorette".
  • The Bachelorette reveals she is actually a man, and the groom is more excited.

Monday, July 27, 2009

How to Prevent Your Date From Leaving Early

"Making Out" is as much about ambiance as it is desire. Even the most ardent of lovers can have their desire diminished by a poor environment. Unflattering lighting, uncomfortable furniture and weird smells all contribute to an unsatisfactory encounter, or even the cancellation of intimacy altogether.

Perhaps no factor is a bigger killer to "The Mood" than the choice of background music. Everyone has their favorite "Make Out" artist or genre, but even generally accepted masters of the form the Lionel Richie have a "Dancin' on the Ceiling" to dampen the heat established by "Three Times a Lady" or "Endless Love".

Dogs & Jeans Crack Relationship Advisor save complied a list of music to keep as far away from your play list as possible if you want to score a little action:

  • "Brand New Key (The Roller Skate Song)" - Melanie Safka, 1972

  • "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" - South Pacific, Rogers and Hammerstein, 1949

  • "Mexican Radio" - Wall of Voodoo, 1982

  • "Happy Birthday" - Various

  • "Who Let the Dogs Out?" - The Baha Men, 1998

  • "I've Never Been to Me" - Charlene Duncan, 1976

  • "Ode to Billy Joe" - Bobby Gentry, 1967

  • "Because I Got High" - Afroman, 2001

  • "I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Weiner" - Ad campaign, 1965

  • "Hava Nagila" - Various

  • "Turning Japanese" - The Vapors, 1980

  • "Ballad of the Green Berets" - Barry Sadler, 1966

  • "Cotton Eyed Joe" - Rednex, 1994

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sarah Palin Will Wash Cars For Your Support

An ABC/Washington Post poll has found the soon-to-be-former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin has an uphill climb ahead of her if she hopes to run for President. Dogs & Jeans' Crack Political Consulting Team has come up with several ways she can build her popularity ahead of 2012:

  • Seduce Tom Cruise into leaving Katie Holmes for her, then wait until Cruise leaves her for someone else. Ride the wave of sympathy Baby!

  • How about a Bake Sale? Everybody enjoys a good bake sale.

  • Have a guest appearance on "Entourage" as Turtle's Hot Mom.

  • Kick a last second field goal for the New England Patriots to win the SuperBowl. Then punch Tom Brady in the mouth, just to pander to Americans who hate the Patriots.

  • Find Bin Laden.

  • Develop an alternative fuel source. Name it "Palinine".

  • Gain custody of Michael Jackson's children and raise them in Alaska on weekly web show. C'mon, you must know people in CFS who can make this happen?

  • Propose a National Health Care solution... no, wait... that strategy makes you unpopular.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Feel-Good Is In The House (of Representatives)

Despite recent efforts to make Heath Care Reform more appealing, President Obama still must explain and clarify his bill to Republicans and Democrats alone. To aid in this effort of national importance, Dogs & Jeans has compiled this FAQ for Washington politicians.

Q: Will my doctor be abducted by the government insurance provider and replaced by a different medical practitioner?
A: At this time, there are no abductions planned. You can keep your current health care provider, however, you can choose to be seen by a wise-cracking animal in a lab coat.

Q: Will kisses make it better?
A: Yes.

Q: I heard that in the Canadian system, the old and sick are left out on the ice to die. Will that happen here?
A: Anyone who has had in-laws visit will think this is a good idea. However, such treatment will be limited only to Wisconsin. The rest of the states will have to put up their families.

Q: I'm overweight and I smoke. Will I still be covered?
A: Sigh... unfortunately yes. Any chance we could get you to walk around the block or something?

Q: I miss when doctors made house calls. Is that going to come back?
A: How old are you Senator? If you really want, Pauly Shore can come visit. I don't think he's busy.

Q: If I broke my leg in two places, what should I do?
A: Never go to those two places again. Ba-dum-cha! Thank you very much. I'll be here all week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Judge is Taking All Questions

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been through four gruelling days of interogation during her Senate Confirmation hearing. While many questions have addressed issues of jurisprudence, her understanding of precedence and potential baises she may bring tot he Supreme Court, some have been irrelevant, obscure or downright silly.

Dogs & Jeans' Crack Research Squad brings you a sample of some of the latter group of inquiry:

  • "If you could be any kind of tree, which tree would you be?"
  • "Can you understand what the hell is going on on 'Lost'?"
  • "Which 5 people from any time in history would you have at a dinner party?"
  • "Boxers or briefs?"
  • "Who would win in a fight between Donald Duck and Daffy Duck?"
  • "Do you do any impressions?"
  • "In your opinion, does Britney Spears actually want to be left alone?"
  • "If you could commit one crime and get away with, what would you do?"
  • "Do I look fat in these pants?"
  • "Did you find it unnecessary for the end of the last Indiana Jones movie to include aliens?"
  • "Could you recommend a good tax lawyer for me?"
  • "Will Tiger Woods win another major tournament?"
  • "How is a woman like you still single, and would you have coffee with me?

Monday, July 13, 2009

News Photos of The Day

All the little boys and girls of the Senate Judiciary Committee sit spellbound while Judge Sotomayor reads from JK Rowlings' latest book "Harry Potter and the Wicked Confirmation Hearing."
Sacha Baron Cohen prepares for his new role "Miguel" about an incompetent macho bull fighter who comes to America to embarrass people who are just trying to be polite.

Newly elected Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė regales onlookers with tales of her recent fishing trip to Estonia.

Singing sensation Il Divo visit the Three Tenors display at Madame Tussuad's Wax Museum

Lance Armstrong enjoys a laugh after pulling the old "Ceti Eel Larva in the Ear" trick on rival Alberto Contador.

While practicing for this week's British Open, Tiger Woods briefly wondered if it was all worth it. He decided it was.

While the the launch of space shuttle Endeavor is delayed, astronauts walk off a little 'water weight' in the Florida sun.

"Now after you finish cleaning the bathrooms, Jeff would like all his glass cat figurines dusted. Comprende?"

Keeping a close watch, Ivan made sure each dignitary took only one cheese puff. After all, they were for everyone.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy 53 Mr. Hanks.

Today is Tom Hank’s Birthday. In celebration of one of the most talented actors ever (and there are 2 Academy Awards to back up that claim), here are some of his cinematic achievements, in no particular order (and because I haven’t seen everything such as “Castaway” and “Cars” and "Philadelphia" is just too depressing):

Volunteers (1985): As Laurence Bourne III, the spoiled rich kid who joins the Peace Corps to avoid a gambling debt, Hanks makes us care about a character so unlikable, even the local drug lord seems more sympathetic. While his Peace Corps cohorts are busy providing medicine, clean water and fancy book-learnin’ to the villagers, Hank’s character sets up an eponymous night club. I always thought that was very cool.

Big (1988): You completely believed Hanks to be the 12 year old Josh inside the body of his adult counter part. He played it wish an innocence that was both funny and charming, from playing the giant piano with Robert Logia, to his “keep-away” fight with John Heard. When he turns back into the little boy, you can still see Hanks walking away.

Apollo 13 (1995): Perhaps one of the best movies ever made, Hanks’ portrayal of real-life astronaut Jim Lovell is as gripping as it is subtle. I know how the story by heart but I watch it every time I come across it on TV.

Saving Private Ryan (1998): Perhaps one of the best war movies ever made: realistic without being sentimental, violent without being gratuitous. Hanks plays the school teacher turned captain who has subsumed his personality in order to survive the brutality and mindlessness of war. As kids seem less engaged in November 11 ceremonies, I make mine watch this film – even more powerful than a reading of “Flanders Fields”.

You’ve Got Mail (1998): Ah, romantic comedy. Hanks is funny and sardonic as discount box shop owner Joe Fox as he courts meg Ryan’s character Kathleen Kelly. The romance is much more enjoyable than ‘Sleepless in Seattle” since the two characters actually spend some time on the screen together.

Toy Story (1995): Hanks comes through as the voice of Woody, completely filling out the 2-dimensional computer animation. Great for kids of all ages (no matter how trite that expression is).

A League of Their Own (1992): Washed up major leaguer Jimmy Dugan coaches a women’s league team during the war. Hanks manages to sober up enough to impart these snippets of wisdom:
“Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a penis with that little hat on?”
“Start using your head. That's the lump that's three feet above your ass.”
“There’s no crying in baseball”

Forrest Gump (1994): Gump is a simple man who maintains his sense of who he is through some of the most significant events of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. You keep wishing for him to become intelligent, but in the end, are happy he hasn’t changed one bit.

Splash (1984): “All my life I've been waiting for someone and when I find her, she's... she's a fish.” The film that broke it for Hanks and John Candy and set Ron Howard on the path to directing fame. However, it didn’t seem to do much for Darryl Hannah.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is There Still Pop For Anyone To Be The King Of?

Things overheard at the Michael Jackson Memorial Service:
  • “Latoya’s still alive, so I guess she and Michael actually were different people.”
  • “Who’d have thought Elizabeth Taylor would outlive him?”
  • “So a poor black child makes it big in show business and dies as a wealthy, isolated white woman. It just goes to show that in America anything is possible.”
  • “Why couldn’t it have been Michael Flatley instead? Why God, why?”
  • “Now there’s no one left to keep Diana Ross from looking weird.”
  • "If he was married to this Debbie person, who's married to Queen Latifah?"
  • “Has anyone else noticed Jackson’s kids are whiter than Ed Begley?”
  • “It’s strange we haven’t lost a single Osmand yet.”
  • “Were he and Lisa-Marie Presley actually married, or am I thinking of an episode of the Twilight Zone?”
  • “I heard both Bubbles the Chimp and the kid that played Webster were killed by McCauley Culkin in a jealous rage.”
  • “I can’t believe Michael Jordan is dead!”

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's So Hard for Celebrities to Find Good Help

On the heels of the surprising news that Michael Jackson’s doctor was not licensed to prescribe medicine, comes more shocking revelations that most of his staff were neither trained nor certified to perform their tasks:

Manuel Ortega, Jackson’s long time chauffeur, did not hold a drivers license for the State of California. While hie Guatemalan fishing license in valid, it is not sufficient to operate a motor vehicle anywhere in the United States.

His personal cook, Ivana Palanova, holds a degree in Art History in her native Ukraine, but has not passed so much as a Food Safe course from the Community Learning Annex. Ms. Palanova may be able to describe in great detail the illumination techniques of Rembrandt, but in unaware of the correct internal temperature of a chicken breast to prevent botulism.

Dave Johnson, Jackson’s accountant, holds no certification in accounting or business administration. In fact, investigators now claim Johnson is in fact Luigi de Pascaule, the former bookkeeper for the Gambino crime syndicate who is currently part of the FBI’s witness relocation program.

And the most explosive report yet is that Prudence Uffington-Smythe, the nanny for the two youngest of Jackson’s children holds no training in childcare management. Furthermore, Ms. Uffington-Smythe is not even a 24 year old British immigrant, but is in fact 31 year old Lawrence McNichol of Ohio, a fugitive convicted of 17 counts of indecent exposure in school yards. Authorities are currently investigation who performed the very effective sex change operation on McNichol.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th Again.

Happy Fourth of July to all the bloggy readers of Dogs & Jeans. I've been away travelling for a week and have not really had much opportunity to produce my normal volume of jackassery. So by way of a birthday tribute to my neighbors to the south, here is a reposting of a past celebration of the Great 50 States.

It’s bigger than Texas and slightly more hospitable than it’s latitudinal cousins: Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories. However, movies and TV shows set in Alaska are usually filmed in Washington or British Columbia. That’s like filming a movie set in Detroit in Mexico City instead. The travel schedule is brutal if you play sports for the University of Alaska.

There are so many retired Canadians in Phoenix, when the Toronto Blue Jays visit the D’Backs during inter-league play, it’s like a home game for the Jays. John McCain in a hero; read “Faith of My Fathers” and try to disagree with me.
2009 Update: Let the Coyotes return to Canada, Garry Betteman.

My FAVORITE state. Deep fried okra, hoppin’ john, surface raised catfish, barbeque, biscuits with every meal and sweet tea. I love sweet tea. Alabama is hot, but not too hot. Beaches, hiking, Rosa Parks, Auburn-Alabama football, Lynard Skynard. What’s not to love?

Best capital city name: Little Rock. But why is it not pronounced ar-KAN-sas?

Oh yeah, like you need more attention. Get over yourself.

North Carolina:
“In my mind I’m going to (North) Carolina…”Ahh, that’s better.

Billy Joel sings in “The Ballad of Billy the Kid” that Billy robbed his first bank in Telluride. However, it was really Butch Cassidy before he hooked up with the Sundance Kid and before he rode Catherine Ross around on the handlebars of his bicycle. You can look it up.

Nicknamed the “Constitution State”, Connecticut boasts the highest per capita income and median household income in the country. It has long been a state populated my overachievers. Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe were actually neighbors in Hartford. Imagine being the poor schmo who lived on the other side who hadn’t written a Great American Novel.
State Hero Nathan Hale reputedly declared before being hanged as a spy: “I only regret that I have but one life to give my country”. I hope I have something even half as awesome to say before I die. Unfortunately it will likely be “No, I don’t need to wear a helmet.”

North & South Dakota:
I have only been to the Dakota’s in the winter, but the scenery was spectacular in it’s bleakness. Mt. Rushmore is breathtaking; you don’t appreciate the full scope until you’ve seen it in person. It makes me wonder if it would be possible to undertake the project now. I can’t imagine that environmentalists and parks preservation groups would ever allow an entire mountainside to be carved up into statues, no matter how noble the honorees. Think of the endless partisan committee negotiation to endorse one president over another. Why not Adams, or Jackson or Polk or Grant? Best university team nickname: The Fighting Sioux.

Don’t have much to say. I haven’t been there; I don’t know anyone who has. It has a bunch of nicknames including “The Diamond State” and “The Blue Hen State”, but maybe the “Under The Radar State” might be more fitting. It’s not even the smallest state, so Delawareans, help me out. What’s awesome about Delaware? (maybe I’ll add it to “I Like Things That Are Great!”) June 7 Update: This just in... Delaware has no sales tax. Woo Hoo. I think some of Canada's exorbitant tax payments must be redirected to support Delaware’s social systems and infrastructure.

District of Columbia:
See above: California

In 1976, I visited Florida with my parents. At Busch Gardens I got a Bicentennial Revolutionary tricorner hat (too long ago for digital pictures to post but take my word for it, I was a handsome 10 year old). I wore it everyday. We returned home to Ontario and I wore it to school where I was promptly beaten up.
My dad and I drove down again my senior year of high school. In Cocoa Beach I bought a cool hat at the RonJon Surf Shop. That fall at college, someone stole it of my head at a freshman party and it disappeared into the crowd never to be seen again.
Florida and hats are not a good mix for me.

I don’t think I have ever been hotter than in Georgia, but I do love me some pecan logs at Stuckey’s. The state seems huge when you are thinking it’s not far to the Florida border. I think it’s the only state with an official anthem sung by a contemporary musician, but I’ve been wrong before.

Practically everyone I know but me has gone to Hawaii, the only state that was once a monarchy. I used to have plans of going to the university, but I never did anything to accomplish that, so nothing happened. Funny how that works. I have seen kite surfers on TV and have to say that looks like the MOST FUN a human can have.

The Gem State. That’s nice. State capital: Boise. Boise is a fun word to say. Famous for potatoes; everybody likes potatoes. It’s the setting for Napoleon Dynamite; everyone likes Napoleon Dynamite. The state motto is “Let it be forever’; it doesn’t get more positive than that. Hats off to Idaho.

The state capital is Springfield but producers deny it’s the same Springfield where the Simpson’s live (although there is at least one page of Simpson’s in the Springfield phonebook). One of my life dreams is to see Notre Dame beat Michigan in South Bend. Thank you Touchdown Jesus.
If you produce a sparkling wine in Champagne, are you allowed to call it champagne, or will the French get snooty about that too?

The Hoosier State? What’s a Hoosier? Come to think of it, what are Sooner’s, Hoya’s, Hokie’s and Tarheel’s?
Indiana is home to over 250 festivals a year including the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival September 6. So if you live in Indiana, or one of the neighboring states (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky or Illinois), don’t let the kids convince you there is nothing to do one weekend.

Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling and Dan Gable. ‘Nuff said.

If you ever have to drive all night across country, plan your trip to see the sun come up in Kansas. You will thank me.

I always think of The Bluegrass State as being the start of The South. Virginia, Tennessee and the Carolina’s would likely disagree. Kentucky is one of many states whose main city, or even the second largest city, is not the capital city unlike in Canada. ‘What is the capital of Florida?” is always a stumper in Trivial Pursuit. “Tallahassee? Are you kidding me?” A little Civil War fact; both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born in Kentucky. The original Odd Couple.

After the Hurricane, I don’t remember a single international effort made to assist flood victims (Canadian’s helped but that’s not the same thing). After every natural disaster across the globe, the US is there with aid, equipment, tools and money, even if a day before there were US flags burning in the street.
In 1973, Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair wrote an editorial in praise of America and critical of it’s detractors for just this situation. Read the transcript here and know you are appreciated.

Another state with an unexpected capital city: Augusta. Maine is both the easternmost and northernmost state (don’t squawk Alaska, I know how far north you are). Plus it abuts both Quebec and New Brunswick, so there is a pretty strong kinship there.

The University of Maryland mascot is the terrapin. Yes it’s unique, but a soft shelled turtle? Surely you can do better. Cal Ripkin Jr. is The Man.

When I’m rich, I too will vacation with my family in a compound. We will play football and Pictionary and eat popcorn and the beer will always be chilled to point of being nearly frozen. The wireless connection will be stable and lightening fast. If anyone displeases me, they will be forced from the compound, banished until they can win my favor through a series of physical trials.

As a kid, we’d always enter the US from Windsor at Detroit. Sometimes we’d stop and visit a great-aunt in Birmingham. She had the first TV remote I ever saw. It had only one button to change the stations in an ascending order, but I was hooked.
Michigan is possibly the greatest sports state in the Union. Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons, Lions (?), Wolverines, Spartans. New York and California may have more teams, but Michigan fans are more committed.

The Mississippi river flows right through Minneapolis and St. Paul. I had no idea until I first visited. They don’t mention the Mississippi once on the Mary Tyler Moore show. They might have on “Phyllis” but I didn’t like that show.

I thought it was cool to show off how I knew how to spell Mississippi when I was a kid. However, half the other kids already knew how to spell it and the other half didn’t care and would beat you up for showing off. Mississippi, I blame my low self-esteem on you.

Another M state. You know there are other letters in the alphabet, right? There is no state that begins with B or E. What’s that about? And the conundrums don’t end there. There is a Kansas City in Kansas, but THE Kansas City is in Missouri. St. Louis is the largest city, but Jefferson City is the state capital. You always think of the Mississippi River being the longest river in the US, but the Missouri River actually is and they meet in Missouri.
Missouri, you are like the girl at the office that I can’t figure out if she’s hot or not.

It’s the name of a state People. Please stop naming your children after it. That goes for Dakota too. "Virginia" is okay though.

Nebraska is the most fun name to say. Try it. Nebraska. Now say it with an accent. See? I told you it was fun.
Second best university team name: The Corn Huskers. The best alternative university team name: Big Red.

Everybody talks about how amazing the Hoover Dam is, but the river diversion effort before they started constructing the dam was an even bigger deal. Life is like that. Rarely does anyone appreciate the effort to lay the foundation to succeed. They only applaud the finished product. Las Vegas I can take or leave. The desert is beautiful.

New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York:
None of these states are new anymore. Isn’t it time we came up with some state names that were unique? That goes for you too New Zealand. And don’t think you are fooling anyone Nova Scotia; that’s just fancy talk for New Scotland.
While I’m at it, British Columbia hasn’t been British for a very long time. Columbia is just fine all on it’s own.
New York is a great state and city. Urban and rural, the heart of capitalism. The last year of Yankee Stadium though. Why can’t some things remain unchanged?

Slavery was abolished in 1787, before even New York or new Jersey. So way to go Ohio (so sang The Pretenders).

We went to Oklahoma for Christmas three years ago; why it’s not more of a yuletide destination I’ll never know. My son (then 12) asked to go to “a real American restaurant”, so we went to The Golden Corral. While it is not ‘top end’ cuisine, there we were lots of items he had never had before, and may not see again for a long time: chicken fried steak, collard greens, black eyed peas, corn pone, grits, okra, biscuits and gravy, southern fried chicken etc. I was certainly in heaven. He returned from his first trip to the buffet with his plate piled with rice and mashed potatoes. Sigh…
If you travel to Oklahoma, go see the Wichita Mountains, Geronimo’s grave at Fort Sill (even though there is debate as to whether he is actually there or not) and the Holy City (I kid you not)

Beavers and Ducks! And Nike. And Intel. And Crater Lake National Park. Oregon’s state capital is not Portland or Eugene, but Salem. Again with the odd state capital. I received the worst case of sunstroke at a rowing regatta there, but it was my fault for going out on the water without a hat.

Another great state with lots going for it, despite the weird Romanian ‘sylvania’ tag. I’ve been to Pittsburg but not Philadelphia. How that happened I can’t understand; it seems backwards. Tied with Texas for Best University City Name: Happy Valley where you’ll find Penn State.

Rhode Island:
It’s not an island. The province of Prince Edward Island is an island. But as the smallest state in the union, good things come in small packages. Come to think of it, Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in confederation. Rhode Island and Prince Edward Island should play each other in a ‘best of seven’ softball tournament every year. The winner can be declared King of the Little People.

South Carolina:
“In my mind I’m going to (South) Carolina…”Ahh, that’s better.

Tennessee is the Volunteer State. It’s good to know they are ready for anything.

I had a friend move down to Austin and he sent me a key chain tag that reads: Don’t Mess With Texas. He meant it as a joke, but I have it on my keys because it seems like good advice. Why would I mess with Texas? Would anyone?
Tied with Pennsylvania for Best University City Name: College Station where you’ll find Texas A&M

The native Americans were Ute’s. So named the state. Makes sense. There’s lots going on in Utah, but I can’t seem to get past the whole Mormon thing. My brother-in-law joined the Mormons for a girl he liked. Men do crazy things for women.

Apparently it is the leading producer of maple syrup in the US. I can’t help thinking Vermont is muscling in on one of the few things Canada dominates. Pretty towns and beautiful geography. I haven’t been there in a long time, but I think a trip may be in order. Maybe skiing this winter. Who’s up for that?

Virginia and West Virginia:
All the North and South States have it figured out, but not the Virginia’s. Unless there is an East Virginia, there should be no West Virginia. You two states need to coordinate this.
West Virginia is a terrific state: industrious, mountainous, progressive etc. Distinguish yourself from your eastern neighbor with your own name.

When my ex-wife was pregnant with our second child, we went to visit family in Washington. My aunt insisted on raising the foot rest on the reclining chair to help my wife relax. Despite her pleas that she was fine, my aunt persisted to struggle with the chair’s mechanism, ultimately sticking her hand underneath only to have the levers snap out and take of the tip of her right index finger. My aunt received a modest amount of compensation from the chair company, even though it was clearly her fault. We haven’t been back since.

America’s Dairy heartland. I love seeing the Cheese Heads and the Packers games. Green Bay is the only city in the US with an NFL team, but no other pro sports.

The least populous state in the Union and the only one with all straight borders. The Continental Divide runs right through the middle, so for all you people who believe all rivers flow south just because North is at the top of the map hanging on the wall, well, Wyoming is the division for North American drainage. And that’s pretty cool.