Archive for the ‘miscellaneous’ Category

Maybe it’s the traumatic Monday delirium. Perhaps I’m just this easily amused. All I know is that for some reason this cracked me up so much that when I saw it I didn’t think I was going to be able to stop laughing. So much for that patch of flower bed. The poor machine trampled it to smithereens.

What do you do?

Posted: April 21, 2010 in home, miscellaneous
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I got home about the usual time this afternoon and stopped sideways next to my parking space like I always do. I do this to let the assholes behind me speed past. I do this because I always back my truck in. It’s the only way we can get in and out of the doors. I have a big truck and a very tight parking space.

It is only because of this routine that I managed to see these little guys right between the lines of my parking space.

Every spring I see baby birds on the ground. I never know whether they are tossed out by the mother, pushed out by other siblings or whether they fall out or just decide kamikaze out of the nest on their own. In this case these three took the equivalent of a 40 story fall right on to the concrete below. I know that baby birds are built for it, they’re sort of designed like a tennis ball, but it still amazes me that they survive this.

I normally don’t meddle with nature. I’ve always thought that it is usually best not to get involved and let it run it’s course. But when it’s blocking my $20 per month parking space, I have no choice.

Gabby was immediately out of the truck and on all fours saying “Ohhh . . . Awww . . . !” and “Can we keep ’em?” She already knew the answer but she tried. And tried. I scooped them up and took them to the patio where we looked them over. They started perking up. Once their little eyes finally focused on us they started toddling around then started squawking and gaping their beaks. They were perfectly fine but hungry. We watched them for a while and took a few pictures. Then I took them one by one back up to their nest. So far they are still there.

I should be ashamed to admit this but I’m not. I should deny it but I won’t. I admit that anytime a Progressive Auto commercial appears on TV I’m glued to the screen.

It’s because of that weirdo girl in the commercials. She is pretty. I would even go as far as saying she’s downright hot. But that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s that kooky persona and those crazy eyes of hers. It’s funny. She is funny.

I typed the words “progressive insurance girl” into a search engine and got more results than I thought I would. I found out I’m not the only one curious about her. Below is an article that shows I’m not the only one going to the booby hatch.

The strange allure of the Progressive insurance girl . . .
What makes normal people fall so hard for the cute and perky pitchwoman known as ‘Flo’?

By Chris Garcia
Monday, October 20, 2008


She’s bubbly and beaming, high-volume, with a flip of dark hair and a face like a lollipop. She irks as she endears, bemuses as she bewitches. She’s a bundle of energetic contradictions, bursting here, retracting there. Her expressions blink and change like a neon sign. Her eyes are popping globes. And she just sold you a bunch of car insurance.

Flo is her name. She’s the spokeswoman for Progressive Auto Insurance, lighting up televisions in a series of commercials in which her perky cashier pitches the money-saving merits of Progressive to customers. She works in a sterile, all-white big-box store, and her florid makeup stands out like paint spilled in snow.

First she caught our eye; now she’s snatched our heart. Viewers are smitten. They’re crushin’. They want to know: Who’s that girl?

From a recent blog at, with the headline “The Cult of the Progressive Car Insurance Chick”:

“Am I the only one completely and totally enamored of the woman in the television ads for Progressive car insurance? You know, the ones starring that babelicious brunette named Flo with her ‘tricked-out name tag’ and her ’60s style eye makeup and her kissable red, red lips?”

No, sir, you are not. There’s more where that mash-note came from, out there in the blogosphere’s infinite confessional space: “She’s hot.” “She’s weird but, God, she’s fine!”

Others have naughtier ideas that they’re perfectly comfortable sharing with the world, even if we can’t do so here.

“It’s so weird,” says Stephanie Courtney, the actress who plays Flo.

We spoke to Courtney because we had to. We had to know if she was real or just a cartoon character. If she was at all like the effervescent Flo. If she really wore that much make-up and, hey, who does your hair?

Courtney, 38, has been playing Flo for about a year, and was recently signed to do 12 more Progressive ads. Which makes her the face and voice of Progressive, a peer of the Geico gecko (do they ever hang out, compare rates?) and the Verizon guy. She follows in a heady tradition of corporate mascots, from Palmolive’s Madge to Tony the Tiger.

It’s been quite a ride for Courtney, a senior member of famed Los Angeles improv troupe the Groundlings. (Courtney and the group performed in September during the Out of Bounds Improv Sketch Comedy Festival in Austin.)

It began with a simple audition for a commercial last fall. She showed up in a polo shirt and ponytail. She did some improvisation.

“They wanted someone with a lot of personality,” Courtney says by phone from her Los Angeles home.

They liked her and signed her.

Then, the look. That look.

They cut her hair, gave her bangs. They subjected her to two hours of hair and make-up.

“They tease my hair, spray it and stick the headband in it,” Courtney explains.

“And the makeup is like painting a portrait on my face,” she says, laughing. “It’s insane. It totally changes things on my face. It’s like having a mask on.”

One of Flo’s best-known lines is: “Wow! I say it louder.” (You had to be there.)

Courtney has popped up in the movies “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Blades of Glory,” and was one of four leads in the smart adult comedy “Melvin Goes to Dinner,” which won the audience award at South by Southwest in 2003. She also has a recurring role as a gossipy switchboard operator on the hit show “Mad Men.” And you can see her doing yoga in a new Glade commercial.

How much is Courtney like flamboyant Flo?

“It’s me at my silliest,” she says. “You start off with a script, but at the end they usually let me put a little zinger in there. We put a little mustard on it. That’s when it gets fun.

“Flo could be one of my improv characters, always on and sort of cracked in a weird way.”

But who is Flo? What is she? People wonder …

Like this blogger: “Is it her fabulous comic timing, her over-the-top facial expressions, her cute-as-a-button retro flip? Or is it the slight hint of a bad girl that lies just under the surface? The promise of a tattoo under that checkout girl uniform? The possibility of a motorcycle parked out back?”

Her character has been compared to a vintage Vargas pin-up girl, ’50s burlesque dancer Betty Page and, adds Courtney, a “fetish chick.”

“I don’t know what it is,” she says. “The way I play her, she’s pretty much the most asexual thing on TV right now. I think the Geico lizard puts out more sexual vibes than Flo does. But I do think the cavemen are totally crushable.”

Though Courtney is engaged to a sixth-grade teacher, Flo appears alluringly single. So pine away, in the same brunette-crush way you did with Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island” and Velma on “Scooby-Doo.”

Because things couldn’t get much stranger than they already are for Courtney. Top this: People are dressing up as Flo for Halloween.


Da-rooooool . . .

All parrots love music

Posted: March 22, 2009 in miscellaneous, music
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But this bird really gets it.

Beer bottles

Posted: March 19, 2009 in miscellaneous
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What can you do with a heavy drinking habit, lots of spare time and several hundred empty beer bottles? You could do what these guys did.

Below is a portion of an article I saw from a well known news source. My comments are in bold.

Painfully aware of the failings that led to more than 1,600 deaths during Katrina, this time officials moved beyond merely insisting tourists and residents leave south Louisiana. Ok. Good plan They threatened to put looters behind bars This just became a crime in Louisiana?, loaded thousands onto buses Should have done that last time and warned that anyone who remained behind would not be rescued. Fair enough

They were confident that they had done all they could.

“It’s amazing. It makes me feel really good that so many people are saying, ‘We as Americans, we as the world, have to get this right this time,'” New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said late Sunday. “We cannot afford to screw up again.”

What the hell is he talking about? America? The World?

Mr. Nagin, the rest of the world has it’s own problems. This isn’t a world issue and it’s really not the rest of America’s responsibiblity to protect your town. Try to keep in mind that you are the mayor. As much as we love Louisiana, it only seems logical that to “get this right this time” it would be you, Mr. Mayor of New Orleans, to do so. At least to the best of your ability. Another thing: Just who the hell is the “we” you speak of in reference to screwing up again?

Uncanny resemblance

Posted: January 5, 2008 in miscellaneous, Uncategorized


The infamous Kevin Poulsen sure looks a lot like Hermie from “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”.

Recurring topic

Posted: October 11, 2007 in community, miscellaneous

I have spoken about this several times before and I know some of you have seen it before. I’m sorry. It’s just something I have to get out of my system every time my patience level hits zero. I wish there was a universal font that was understood to mean “typing through gnashed teeth”. If there was such a thing I would be using it here. Right now.

The Lotto idiots, the scratch-off idiots and the 8-liner idiots all need their own dark, dank, depressing, smoky, windowless dungeons to spend their days blowing their money. Money which I seriously doubt they even work for. They need to get the hell out of the way of us dumb-asses who actually work for a living. I want them out of the convienience stores. I want them treated like third-class citizens. I want a rule . . . no, a law that says they have to take a position in the back of any line in a convenience store. I think they should only be allowed to approach the counter if the place is completely empty and if someone comes in for a quick purchase, they should step aside.

But, no. These people fancy themselves as important regular customers. They are the same type as broke-assed bar regulars who can hardly afford their next drink. The only difference between them and the lotto and 8-liner addicts is that the lotto and 8-liner addicts are usually in better shape to drive home after wasting their money.

I am so sick to death of balancing a bottle of water, a large coffee and a newspaper in my arms first thing in the morning while some dumbass in front of me who has nothing else to do is playing poor man’s casino at the register. And wouldn’t you know it, everytime I head to the counter with all that some fucktard always jumps in front front of me either from the Lotto thing or through the front door. And there I wait. And wait. And wait, while they play the lottery. I have a hard time feeling sorry for these poor, dumb people.


Posted: August 15, 2007 in miscellaneous

Last year I started driving a 2006 Toyota Tundra. It’s a company truck. It’s not mine but I’m allowed personal use of it as has been the case with all the other trucks in the last fourteen years. Sharon, Kathy . . . remember how we took it out a few nights after I got it? Recently, I got a recall notice from Toyota. They recalled all ’04-’06 models because of a problem with the lower, front suspension ball joint (whatever the hell that is). Bummer. That meant I had to take all of Tuesday off and sit in an air conditioned lounge, sipping free coffee and glancing up at pretty girls as I read the papers while the dealership fixed the problem on their own nickel. What a day.

When I got home that afternoon there was a notice from management rolled up and stuffed in my door knocker. It was a standard two page “Important-Please Read” form notice with the appropriate box checked which was

[X] We have recently been informed that a Fatal Incident Involving Burglary has occured in Fox Pointe Apts. You, your family, co-residents, occupants and visitors need to be as careful as possible for your own security and safety. For this reason, we recommend that you be especially cautious.

First of all, it wasn’t a burglary. It was an armed robbery that resulted in a homicide. Secondly, “duh”. I know the management company is covering their ass but what kind of irked me was that at the end of this two page tutorial written for idiots was an “Acknowledgment of Reciept of Security Guidelines for Residents”. This is the same thing hotels and motels use to covor their asses. They want it signed, initialed, dated and returned to the office. It’s not even perforated. If they want it that bad they will have to walk or take the golf cart over here to get it on a Saturday or Sunday that I happen to be here.

I hate to admit it but I really got into Hell’s Kitchen while it was on. In fact, I had planned on doing a parody of the show here on the blog. I wanted to post it Monday (the night of the season finale). I got behind (lazy) and didn’t meet my own deadline. It’s not going to happen at all now and I’ll tell you why after I show you the logo I made especially for it.


Last night I created my own hell’s kitchen. I was about to fry some fish for dinner. I had the oil heating up in my favorite cast iron skillet when I got distracted by a phone call from my room. Just as I got off the phone Gabby ran into my room and said
“Dad! The pan is smoking!”
I darted out just in time to see the skillet burst into flames. I rummaged through the fridge trying to find baking soda. There was none. I reached into a cabinet for the large salt container. We were out. I had no choice but to use the cup towel and two pot holders to grab the cast iron skillet and walk backwards with it toward the door. Actually, it was more than a walk. I had a huge, violent grease fire in my hands. Gabby opened the door and I threw it into the area where our plants are. When it hit the ground it looked just like what I read about the fire-bombing of Tokyo during WW II and that most certainly is not intended to be funny; Just a fact. The birds survived the smoke and I actually started over and managed to fry the fish, in a different pan of course.

The Hell’s Bathroom bit isn’t going to happen because the thumb and forefinger (one and two for you Laanba) are so burned that I can’t use them. I can type but I can’t bend them enough to grasp small objects. I will heal. I always do.

Since early last week I have heard at least four or five hand-wringing, nail-biting reports about a “homo bomb” our military was trying to develop. I heard two today. Apparentely, these latest reports are coming from the more enlightened, superior beings at Berkeley with whom I wouldn’t think it to be much of an issue. Much less, a problem.

This is so old. I heard about this almost two years ago. I even posted a short column from the AP about it on my old blog (same name – see blogroll). What you’re not hearing is that during that time they were supposedly experimenting with wasps, rats and severe halitosis. Read the details below in the post I made on my old blog back in 2005.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

If only this had come to fruition

I first heard about this on a radio show out of D.C. called “The Don & Mike Show”. True as it was, it sounded too funny to be real. When I heard it I was laughing (alone) in my truck at an intersection; Westheimer and loop 610 to be exact. Tonight, when I saw it in print, it seemed even funnier than before.

THE Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal. Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an “aphrodisiac” chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops [which] would cause a “distasteful but completely non-lethal” blow to morale, the proposal says.

Other ideas included chemical weapons that attract swarms of enraged wasps or angry rats to troop positions, making them uninhabitable. Another was to develop a chemical that caused “severe and lasting halitosis”, making it easy to identify guerrillas trying to blend in with civilians. There was also the idea of making troops’ skin unbearably sensitive to sunlight.

The proposals, from the US Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, date from 1994. The lab sought Pentagon funding for research into what it called “harassing, annoying and ‘bad guy’-identifying chemicals”. The plans have been posted online by the Sunshine Project, an organisation that exposes research into chemical and biological weapons.

Spokesman Edward Hammond says it was not known if the proposed $7.5 million, six-year research plan was ever pursued.
From issue 2482 of New Scientist magazine, 15 January 2005, page 4

posted by greg at 1/20/2005 11:20:00 PM 2 comments links to this post