Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Escalators are death traps anyways

See this banged up piece of precision electronics?

Now that my Ipod’s flywheel no longer spins and its insides are filled with saliva and my camera is in 6000 little plastic pieces, this little radio is the most valuable piece of technology I own. To be exact, it’s a Sony SRF-M37V TV/Weather/FM/AM Walkman. It’s small and light weight. It gets great reception. And it’s worth a fortune on the black market

I use the FM function to listen to NPR.

I use the AM function to listen to Nats games.

I’ll use the weather band function to protect myself from rogue Hurricane Danny waves that wash through the Tidal Basin and sweep all softball players out to sea.

The TV function is a non-function since the digital television transition wiped those bits of the spectrum out of the sky and gave them to the NSA so they can weaponize them and read my dog’s thoughts. But it used to be great.

I lost this little radio a few weeks ago and while trying to find a replacement discovered they are no longer produced. No one listens to the radio via a walkman unless they are weirdo nomads. And since this little guy was one of the best made portable radios in the last two decades, it’s highly valued on the Ebays by those same weirdoes. Top dollar, I’m told.

The single negative of this wondrous device is that the clip designed to attach it to my utility belt is inadequate for my active lifestyle. Many an evening finds me chasing the radio over red Metro tiles as it goes in one direction and its lone AAA battery goes in another.

This was the situation I found myself in on Monday night after a brisk jaunt down the Foggy Bottom escalator. The clip again malfunctioned and while the headphones remained in my ears, the radio tumbled down the stairs. I barely saved the battery before it got sucked into the gears. Unfortunately, while bending over to collects the pieces the dangling mini plug end of the headphones got caught in the grate and began to grind its way under the escalator. I jerked my head back and the last 3 inches of broke off, rotated under the mechanism and met their demise. The still-in earbuds and wire swung uselessly against my chest.


Ah well. What’s the worst that could happen? I can’t even listen to the radio underground anyway.


My bad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why would a mockingbird even try to eat a piece of cheese?

Before Prince Charming swept her off her tiny, delicate feet, the Governess lived like a terrible hobgoblin under a haunted bridge in Central Arlington. Her roommates were vermin and the building’s square footage would shrink every day as the building gradually collapsed in on itself. The backyard was completely overgrown and sheltered the entire cast of the Secret of NIMH who attacked any passerby with glowing red eyes and terrifying hisses.

As a good faith gesture I bought some rat traps in the hopes of eradicating the collective scourge. I’m not talking about the humane ones rat traps for do-gooders. I bought the ones that’ll snap a finger clean off and cauterize the wound because they generate so much heat.

But it was wildly unsuccessful.

I caught zero rats. The rats in Arlington attend those Northern Virginia high schools that are regularly listed in the US News and World Report list of best in country. One with a GPA of 3.20 wouldn’t crack the top 100 of its class. And the ones that don’t get into college still go on to run successful garage door installation businesses and live in Great Falls.

The other animals are not as smart and chose their own execution over their bucolic, carefree lifestyles. I caught squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles and mockingbird, for some reason. After the bird, I gave up my campaign to rid the house of these pests and just elected to marry the G and buy her the castle where she still lives to this day. It was cheaper and easier on my conscience. I haven’t dabbled in pest control since.

Recently, I bought some new rats traps and the clerk asked me if I had some sort of infestation. Mindful of my past failures, I truthfully told him no. I bought them for possibly the best reason anyone has ever bought rat traps and I told him this directly.

“They’re for teaching someone a lesson.”

Look out world, I'm coming. Don’t stick your hands into dark places.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More weird mail

Has anyone else received a letter from someone claiming to be Katie Sackoff from Battlestar Galactica? I got this in the mail a few days ago...

Dear Mr Nabob,

It’s been too long.

By now you’ve probably heard the good news that I’ve been cast in some upcoming episodes of the hit FOX’s series 24. I’m excited to play Dana Walsh, a computer expert at CTU’s New York branch who’s got something sinister to hide. My character will also be romantically involved with the show’s other new cast member, Freddie Prinze Jr! You may remember Freddie from Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and She’s All That.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

I want to talk to you about the BSG series finale because something needs to be cleared up. There have been petabytes of theories written on the internet about my character. Some speculate that I was a Cylon. Some say I was a ghost or an angel. Or maybe the whole thing was the dream of one of the lesser characters after the initial Cylon attack on Caprica put them in a coma. Hot Dog, for instance, since there was no sign of him once they got to Earth.

Here’s what really happened. If you remember, I was talking to Apollo in the long African grass about our past relationship. Then there was a flashback about a pigeon or some bird trapped in my old apartment or some jazz. I said to him "Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Lee." And then he went on about wanting to climb mountains and explore and when he turned around I was gone.

So what happened? When the final set of DVDs come out, it will include the script from that final episode. But I wanted to give you, one of the shows biggest fans, a preview. It turns out that Starbuck was really tired of Lee. His whole whiny act had become old and I realized I was trapped with him on this new Earth because Anders flew all the spaceships into the sun. So when he turned around, I just laid down in the long grass. He couldn’t see me when he turned back because the grass was so tall. And then I snuck off to try my luck with some cavemen.

Unfortunately, that weak-assed pigeon metaphor put all these crazy theories into people’s heads. How could I be a ghost? Or an angel? Come on. Had there been any precedent for that on the show? Sure, there had been episodes of mass hallucinations and acute delirium but angels? The only real explanation was the Cylon one and even that was a stretch.

So there you have it. That’s what happened. Go on your blog and explain it to the world. I’ve moved on, so should everyone else.

Take care, Nabob, and thanks for watching.


PS - I’ve included a copy of The Last Sentinel so you can get your Sackhoff fix until the fall when I get my Jack-Bauer on.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.

one of my all-time favorites, Bull Durham, was on some terrible ALL DUDE CABLE WOOOT TESTOSTERONE channel last night. Regardless, I sat my ass on the basement floor and watched the whole thing. This bit of trivia (5th bullet) alone should explain the weird soft spot in my heart for Costner, even after years of suckitude.

Monday, August 10, 2009

so long as you endorse sound urbanist principles

By no means do I advocate the creation of human corpses. But like everybody else in this city, there are times that require the discrete disposal of them. That’s why I find this opinion by MY baffling.

The best place to hide a body that you secretly want found because latent feelings of guilt may subconsciously motivate you to leave telltale clues for the police to uncover is either a seldom used public park or an abandoned building. A multiple-use commercial/residential development is harmful to this end. The city needs to turn these spaces green or let them rot in peace.

Also, does anyone know where we can stage a casual pickup softball game? There aren’t enough Metro-accessible parks in the area, for some reason.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Knowing is 49.9% of the battle

Full disclosure: After plans fell apart, I saw the second Transformers movie by myself on a Tuesday night while my family slept is their beds with blankets and flat frog stuffed animals. It stunk out loud on ice in a hot tub.

Also, my wife is seeing
(500) Days of Summer by herself AS WE SPEAK! Or at least AS I WRITE THIS! It is our way seeing as we are scary loners.

The G’s been badgering me about my intentions on seeing the GI Joe movie. There are none. First, it’s got a Wayans in it. Second, Cobra Commander’s mask is Tampa Bay Buccaneers-throwback-jersey dumb.

But the real reason is this line muttered by Stormshadow toward Snake Eyes: "You took a vow of silence... Now you will die without a word." I don’t know if that verse appears in the film but I do know it appears in the novelization of the movie. And I am aware of this because I tracked the book down at a Borders and read almost the whole damnable thing. The chore came about after the G alerted me to this io9 article that indicated that not only has Snake-Eyes taken a vow of silence but he also sends a text message, for some reason.

Who cares asks 50.1% of the population Well it matters to the other half of this country because whatever floating wisp of teeth and cat dander that wrote this twaddle of a script erased the coolest thing about Snake Eyes in its entirety. Snake Eyes doesn’t speak because he chooses not to. Snake-Eyes can’t talk because he’s bad-ass.

A quick IM poll of knowledgeable individuals responded to the question “why doesn’t Snake Eyes speak?”

DG: he's mute
his face is disfigured or something

JL: A helicopter crash destroyed his voice box

TL: As far as I can recall something bad happened to his face, which either was so physically traumatic that he can't speak any more or so emotionally traumatic that he's just too sad to talk

CY: he hurt his throat somehow - I think in an explosion

JW: i prefer to think his voice sounded like Bobcat Goldthwaite, so he just went silent as to not spoil his image
me: thats probably right

It turns out no really knows why he doesn’t talk. Ret-cons have rendered even the Wiki entry incomprehensible. But he sure the hell didn’t opt to be mute for some lame ass vow of silence. Snake Eyes was doing something really awesome, probably saving a really hot girl or possibly a dog from a helicopter explosion. Vows of silence are unacceptable.

But this does raise another question. Actually several. If Snake Eyes has taken a vow of silence how is he then permitted to send a text message?

Again, the internet is incredibly unhelpful in this regard.
  • Can you text during a vow of silence? Maybe.
  • Can you blog during a vow of silence? Unfortunately, yes. And people have for some reason.
  • Can you tweet during a vow of silence? Unclear.
  • Can you sext during a vow of silence? Unclear.

I hoped this cleared some things up for ya.