[Insert Witty Title Here]

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:57 am on Thursday, December 6, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People

Winter is great. I love the snow and ice and the crisp, cold air. But it turns every driver on the road into a Corolla driver. And you know how I feel about them.

On another front, my second interview at The Pope’s Hat seems to have gone well. I am cautiously optimistic that the end of this extremely crappy stretch I’ve been in for the last four months is coming around. Fingers crossed.

Gunfight at the Tender Thigh Corral

Posted by: elraymundo at 7:37 am on Monday, April 30, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Politics, NFL, Stupid People, News of the Clever

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Green - The reader may proceed without danger of reading anything related to American Idol.

- - - - -

Missed the video of George Bush dancing onstage with Africans, banging bongos and making chimp face? Already seen the clip but need something to kickstart your morning? Click here.

Yvette S. once said, “I’ve heard Bush is a great guy, a guy people can relate to, someone they feel like they could hang out with down at the local bar. The problem is I think for President of the United States and Leader of the Free World that we should aim a little higher than ‘good drinking buddy’.”

- - - - -

The NFL draft was this weekend. Minnesota drafted seventh in the first round and picked Adrian Peterson, a running back out of Oklahoma. I think Vikings fans are going to like Mr. Peterson very very much. Watch this (especially the two back-to-back runs starting at 0:52 and then the last two runs in the clip - ZOINKS!) if you want to feel old and slow.

- - - - -

I ran fifteen miles on Sunday, watching the second day of the NFL draft to keep my mind occupied, then mowed the lawn afterwards. I could barely walk to push the mower, not because of muscle soreness or tiredness, but because I’d chafed the sensitive inner bits of my legs. I spent half of Sunday walking around like a bow-legged cowboy getting ready for a shootout at the Tender Thigh Corral. By the feel of things, today will be more of the same.

This would be way cooler if I had some chaps.

Total miles run to date: 203 miles
Longest distance run to date: 15 miles
Upcoming longest distance: 16 miles.
Upcoming miles this week: 32 miles

The Woman of the New Millennium

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:14 am on Wednesday, April 25, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: History, Books & Literature, Stupid People

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Green - The reader may proceed without danger of reading anything related to American Idol.

- - - - -

In the book American Prometheus, a biography of Robert Oppenheimer, there is a discussion between physicists about the potential of igniting the earth’s atmosphere - the entire atmosphere, like, all of it - when the first atomic bomb is detonated. The fear is that the explosion would cause nitrogen to combust and, since the earth’s atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen, cause all life on the planet to be snuffed out.

The scientists got together, ran their numbers, and determined that the risk of lighting the world on fire was minimal.

Imagine that conversation.

Oppenheimer: Did you run the numbers, Hans? We’ve got to be sure about this and we won’t get a second chance. We’ll destroy all life on the planet if we’re wrong.

Bethe: Understood.

Oppenheimer: No pressure or anything.

Bethe (finishing his equations): I think we’ll be ok.

Oppenheimer: Are you sure?

Bethe: I am sure.

Oppenheimer: It’s only every living thing.

Bethe: I am sure.

Oppenheimer: On the planet.

Bethe: Oppie!

Oppenheimer examines the calculations.

Oppenheimer (pointing at the chalkboard): You forgot to carry your two.

Bethe: %$^@!!&

Glad they got it right.

- - - - -

This is only for word geeks, but I thought this comment from Terry Eagleton’s book How to Read a Poem was funny:

‘Mercifully’ [we pay more attention to the content of speech and not the form of the language],because this insensitivity to the texture, and rhythm of our speech is essential to our practical lives.There is no point in shouting ‘Fire!’ in a cinema if the audience are simply going to linger over the delectable contrast between the violently stabbing F and the swooning long-drawn-out vowel. (Those among the audience disadvantaged by an old-style literary education might even detect in this verbal performance a mimetic image of the fire itself: the F representing its abrupt beginnings, and the swooning vowel the rush and roll of its inexorable spreading…)

- - - - -

Lest you think that I’ve gone all highbrow, I’ll leave you with this goodie: I think I may have found The Woman of the New Millennium.

I wonder if this is what Gloria Steinem was thinking when she fought so hard for equality of the sexes.

Drowning in the Nowhere Tub

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:09 am on Tuesday, April 24, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Green - The reader may proceed without danger of reading anything related to American Idol.

- - - - -

It was bound to happen. Someone farted in yoga class.

And it wasn’t me.

We do a lot of abdominal exercises in class, pushing the lower belly in, flexing the diaphragm out, and so forth. With all those core muscles squeezing and contracting and relaxing both The Debra and I suspected that it was only a matter of time before someone somewhere would inadvertently rip one off.

There would be the gentle voice of Kelly, the instructor:

“Now we’re going to move from Plank into Downward Facing Dog. Walk your toes back. This stretches the hamstrings. Ommmmmmm. And now lower back into Plank to stretch the lower belly…”

And then someone’s colonic trapdoor would come ajar - thhhbbbbbbt - and there would be a quick, tight trumpeting of release, with the trumpet’s note rising at the end.

That’s the way I suspected it would happen. But it didn’t happen that way at all. No, the offender was far more insidious. They waited until a quiet, peaceful moment - a moment of rest, when all defenses were down. And then they hit us with the most lethal weapon in the arsenal: the dreaded SBD - the Silent But Deadly.

Each yoga class concludes with a ten minute quiet time (no Kool-Aid or crackers, though). Kelly talks us down off our respective yogic ledges: “Now float into your heart. Feel the warmth there. Embrace that warmth. The heart is where you’ll find peace…”

I wasn’t in my heart, but I did find peace, floating peacefully in a black hole of nothingness, merrily watching crinkly lines of electric blue lightning dance about on the blackened stage of my mind’s eye. It seemed embryonic: floaty and weightless, like a very peaceful bar of soap in very peaceful warm water in a very peaceful Nowhere Tub.

I was 99 and 44/100ths percent peaceful.

And then my nose twitched and my floaty-self twitched. Something had charred my nose hairs.

“What’s that?” asked Floaty-Self.

“Not sure,” I said back to Floaty-Self.

“I don’t like it.”

“It smells like…a rotten egg?”

“Or out-of-date roast beef?” Floaty-Self was becoming less and less floaty as the scent flowed over us, intensifying.

“It reminds me of the catalytic converter on an old Buick on a hot, muggy, drippy summer’s day,” I said to Floaty-Self.

“But who would bring a catalytic converter into yoga class?”

“Or an old Buick?”

“Dear God,” said Floaty-Self, achieving an uncomfortable reality, slowly sinking into the suddenly choppy cold and smelly waters of the of the Nowhere Tub. “It’s a fart. Someone has farted in yoga class.”

“Oh, the humanity!”


Posted by: elraymundo at 12:05 am on Tuesday, April 17, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People

33 people, including the gunman, were shot and killed today at Virginia Tech. Nobody knows why the guy was wandering the campus shooting people he didn’t know - at least I’ve not heard or read any reason given. But thirty-two kids who woke up this morning and went to class are now dead. And no one knows why. And in a couple of days no one will care, either. We’ll have moved on to the next stimulus our ridiculous sensation-a-second culture throws at us.

The TV news, immoral pandering horror-mongering hype-sluts that they are, will hawk the story for market share, of course, and we’ll see high-def close-ups of devastated parents with microphones jammed in their faces, and students and survivors, too, all sorting through the rubble of their once-lives while some foppish jackass spews “the shocking truth of the tragic story and how you can protect yourself”. There will be an uproar about gun control and somebody in the office will ask, “are there any good pictures on the ‘net?” and we’ll all wonder, “what the hell is wrong with people?”

And the question will apply equally to the gunman, the newscasters and to the office workers surfing for gruesome photos of the gunshot victims.

But when it’s all said and done are any of us really shocked anymore? I mean those of us who weren’t there, of course, or who don’t know the grieving families or the victims themselves, or who aren’t children experiencing the idiocy of humanity for the first time. I ask because I’m certainly not shocked. I’m not even surprised anymore. Disgusted - yes. Sorrowful- yes. But shocked?

Mystery Fawn

Posted by: elraymundo at 7:37 am on Wednesday, March 28, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People, Jokes, Lotus Blossom, American Idol, Mystery Fawn

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Orange - There is a small amount of American Idol content present in this post. Proceed with caution.

- - - - -

La Raymunda called me at the Place of Toil and Labor just after our weekly project status meeting broke up at 10:00.

“Do you have any idea why…”

(and right here I’m already thinking, “Uh oh…what did I do?”)

“…there is a chipped ceramic deer in our front yard?”

(Whew. She didn’t see the hookers and the crack pipes I hid in the closet. Home free!)

We have a guest living among our daffodils - a ceramic deer named Mystery Fawn. (You can see a photo of Mystery Fawn here.) I opened the garage door yesterday to go to work and as I walked around the back of La Raymunda’s car I spotted a deer sitting in the flower bed. I stopped, looked again and, realizing Mystery Fawn was ceramic, stood a while longer trying to figure out where, exactly, Mystery Fawn came from.

There is a house down the street that has been for sale for nine months or so. They have weird red bricks piled up around their trees and flower beds and fake deer standing in the backyard. No one will buy the house, even though the asking price has come down about $75,000. Apparently weird red bricks and fake deer in the backyard are the kiss of death in real estate.

But I digress.

So the only thing I could think of was that some teenage kid stole Mystery Fawn and deposited him amongst our daffodils. Why us in all of suburbia? Well, why not? “Totally random,” I told La Raymunda. She, with her extensive experience with vandalism, believed that vandals actually thought things through before they ran around smashing mailboxes and pumpkins and riding their bikes across other peoples’ lawns.

La Raymunda guesses our next door neighbor, Chris, dropped Mystery Fawn off for an unannounced visit. We had sushi with Chris and Cindy a couple of nights ago and we talked about the fake deer in the backyard down the street - and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Chris digging out some old garden-fawn from out of his basement and plopping it down next to our driveway in the middle of the night. This is the same man who dressed as a vampire and then harnessed himself to the ceiling of his two-story foyer with bungee cords so he could swoop down on trick-or-treaters on Halloween. A ceramic deer prank is kid’s play for Chris.

I’m coming around on the Chris O’Neill’s Wild Kingdom story myself. Chris is a perfectionist and Mystery Fawn wasn’t just cast ashore on our lawn. It’s obvious that Mystery Fawn was arranged with care, so as not to trample any flowers, aligned nicely with the sidewalk in a narrowing pinch of the flower bed with soft, chipped little eyes gazing longingly toward the northwest.

- - - - -

On the marathon front, I ran ten miles on Saturday - my first day in double-digits. I learned a lot about nature’s best ambush hunters and the founding of Athens and the building of the Parthenon in the process. Did you know that mantids are nature’s best ambush hunters? They combine all four critical characteristics of an ambush hunter: skill, speed, strength and stealth. Mantids stalk the insect world as nature’s Number One ambush killing machine. True story!

My current running pace is five miles per hour, which I am trying to raise to six miles per hour this week. Also, I may have to push Marathon Day back a week or two since it looks like La Raymunda and I will be going to Mesa Verde for a week in May to celebrate our five-year anniversary.

Total mileage thus far: 86 miles.
Weight lost: 8.2 pounds (I think I’ve turned the corner on the I’m-not-losing-weight-because-I’m-gaining-muscle-and-muscle-weighs-more-than-fat theory. I’ve dropped a couple of pounds the last three days and that usually doesn’t happen except after the long Saturday runs when I lose thirty-five pounds in water weight and then gain it all back when I drink a Diet Coke. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.)

- - - - -

It’s time to torpedo the debacle that is Sanjina Malakar. I won’t even comment on the horror that was his mohawk.

Photo of Katharine McPhee on an album cover Photo of Sanjaya Malakar on an album cover

~Thanks to Missus Fayne for the Sanjina album cover!~

Encyclopedia Brown and The Case of the Shotgun Suicide

Posted by: elraymundo at 7:48 am on Tuesday, March 27, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People

Jeff Watson AI Threat Level: Green - The reader may proceed without danger of reading anything related to American Idol.

- - - - -

Desireé and Tiffany knew things weren’t going well when they saw me stalk out of the conference room at the Place of Toil and Labor. Apparently, I looked grumpy.

“Uh oh,” said Desireé.
“Is it bad?” asked Tiffany.
Other than to mimic holding the barrel of a shotgun in my mouth and pulling the trigger, I didn’t say anything.

I went to the restroom and when I got back I stopped by Tiffany’s cube.

“Do you have one of those friends who emails you really bad porno photos? The ones that are really disgusting and wrong? The ones that make you go, ‘OH … MY … GOD’”?

“You mean the ones where you close your eyes and move the mouse around without looking at the screen, hoping to hit the red X and close the window?”

“That’s exactly what I mean. Those kinds of pictures. A minute ago you asked me if it was bad. Yeah - it’s bad. It’s bad like one of those foul porno photos is bad. It’s bad like you don’t really understand what you’re looking at right away until you kinda tilt your head to one side and squint a little and then it all suddenly becomes shockingly, gruesomely clear what you’re looking at and then you’re really, really sorry that you ever looked and you just want to stab yourself in the eyes and die.

It’s bad like that.”

Encyclopedia Brown and The Case of the Missing Brain

Posted by: elraymundo at 11:11 pm on Tuesday, March 20, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People

I’m struggling with some application development at the Place of Toil and Labor.

Me: I tried to submit a test form but when I went to click the save button an error message popped up that said I had to fill in the “Urgency” and “Impact” fields. I looked all over the form but I couldn’t find the “Urgency” or “Impact” fields anywhere.
Developer: That’s because the fields are hidden.
Me: Hidden? But they’re required fields.
Developer: That’s correct.


Me: So they are required fields…
Developer: Correct.
Me: …and they are hidden from view.
Developer: Correct.


Me: Hang on a minute. You told me you successfully tested this application - end-to-end. Is that right?
Developer: Yes, it is.
Me: How did you save the form if two of the required fields are hidden?
Developer: I have administrative privileges so I unhid the fields and filled them in.

Why do I bother?

Somalia Got My Toaster Just the Other Day

Posted by: elraymundo at 8:32 am on Friday, March 16, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People, Friends, American Idol, Liquid Diet

Chatter around the Place of Toil and Labor’s imaginary water cooler shifted away from American Idol and to the movie The Wiz.

Michael: Maybe we could work Sanjaya Malakar into the Michael Jackson role and rekindle the old Diana Ross/Michael Jackson relationship thing.
Tiffany: That would be scary.
Michael: We could re-do The Wiz.
Tiffany: (laughs)
Michael: Hey, what role did Michael Jackson play in The Wiz?
Tiffany: He was the Strawman, I think.
Desireé (from behind her cube wall): Strawman!
Michael: I’ll check IMDB.

type type type

Michael: Yup, Strawman. Hey, I didn’t know Richard Pryor was in The Wiz!
Tom: He was the token black man.

…pregnant pause…

Michael: Um…dude, everyone in The Wiz was black!
Tiffany: Everyone!
Tom: I know, I know, I’m just making a joke and failing as usual.

Bernard (quietly and from far away): Not everyone in The Wiz was black.

Tiffany: Yes they were!
Michael: Wha-a-a-t?
Tiffany: Who in The Wiz wasn’t black?
Desireé: Yeah, who in The Wiz wasn’t black?

Bernard (prairie dogging out of his cube): Michael Jackson was in The Wiz.


I’ve insulted Jeff and doubtless will have to buy him copious amounts of pale ale to attain forgiveness:

Jeff: Sorry Michael, but you can’t get me to read about American Idol on your blog by either:

1. Mentioning me
2. Mentioning Galactus

Won’t happen.

Michael: What if I work in beer, The Clash and some DC characters?

Jeff: Nope, not even beer and punk rock can make me care about washed up R&B singers and the fake, scripted competition of maudlin amateur wannabes. And DC comics? C’mon, was that an insult?

* I blame Aquaman, the worst super hero in the DC Comics universe, for Jeff’s feeling insulted. No one respects a super hero in green tights with no powers other than the ability to get dolphins and porpoises to do the heavy lifting for him while he hangs out in the underwater lair of Stupidia smoking hookahs with the Queen of the Sea Monkeys.

Maybe I should have specified the Green Lantern. Maybe then it would have been all right.


P.S. “Somalia got my toaster just the other day” is a lyric from “Here We Go Again” by Stakka Bo - one of the oddball tunes I picked up while migrating across Europe many ages ago. It happened to be playing when I wrote this post.

Legal Disclaimer: Stakka Bo is in no way affiliated with, nor endorses, DC Comics (especially Aquaman).

Diana Ross Eats Babies (and small children, too!)

Posted by: elraymundo at 10:52 pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2007
From: Great Falls, Virginia
Filed under: Stupid People, American Idol

Lots of American Idol chatter around the imaginary water cooler at the Place of Toil and Labor today.

“How the hell is Sanjaya staying in this?” asked Desireé with some attitude. Desireé is not to be trifled with when she displays attitude. Especially in the morning. It’s the New Yorker in her.

But I digress.

“How the hell is Sanjaya staying in this?” asked Desireé with some attitude.
“Help desks,” I said.
“Help desks?”
“We ship a lot of our help desk calls overseas.”
“That’s what my husband said! He thinks all the Indians are voting for Sanjaya.”
“A nation of one billion armed with telephones is a mighty force. On another note, was it just me or was Diana Ross next to useless as a coach? And what’s with her hair?”
“She looks like she’s had some work done.”
“They’ve all had work done,” said Tiffany, scooting out of her cube in her chair.
“Diana Ross eats babies and small children,” I said.
“Diana Ross does not eat babies and small children,” said Tiffany.
“Ok, then her hair does.”
“Do you think she really eats them or does she just suck their life force out?” asked Desireé.
“I dunno,” I said. “She might be going after their life force. She did seem to need to be hugged a lot last night.”
“Yeah, she was hugging everybody.”
“Maybe she was running low on life force.”
“I bet she sucks their life force out, like Madonna did to Britney Spears.”
“When did Madonna do that?”
“When they kissed. It’s what everyone says.”
“You know, there might be something to that. Britney has been in a death spiral ever since she smooched Madonna.”
“She used to be hot and ruled the pop world. Now she’s fat and bald.”
At this point Shane rolled out of his cube and over toward us in his chair.
“I’m coming over because I can’t say this loudly,” he whispered sotto voce. “White trash is white trash is white trash.”
“That’s very literary, Shane. Echoes of Gertrude Stein.”
“She’s never been far from the trailer and now it’s really showing.”
“I dunno. From fifteen to eighteen she didn’t seem like white trash.”
“Because she had the right people handling her. Now that she’s gotten rid of those people…”
“Now she’s like,” said Desireé with sassy gum-popping sounds, “‘like you know hey y’all!’”
“The real tragedy is that Kevin Federline is going to win custody of the kid. For God’s sake, you’ve gotta be a real train wreck to lose a custody battle to Kevin Federline.”
“I heard he might win Father of the Year just for getting the kid out of such a bad situation.”
“Bah, whatever. Quite frankly this all pales beside the fact that Diana Ross eats babies.”


I hit the fifty total miles mark today in my marathon training. I’ve found that the first two miles or so really suck, but that after that it’s not so bad. I’m only running five miles an hour, which equates to a 5 hour and 15 minute marathon time, assuming I run 5mph the whole way and don’t stop to rest, drink, pee or puke my guts out.

Should I decide to go through with this and actually run the full distance, I’m thinking of running the marathon on the treadmill in the basement and calling it the First Annual TeamRaymond Basement Marathon. For entertainment I’ll watch Band of Brothers. There are ten discs in the series and 5:15 should get me deep into the set with enough explosions, mayhem and chaos to distract me from how retarded I am for running 26.2 miles when I could be at Baskin Robbins eating a banana split.

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