Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Breakdown of abbreviations used in Michael Jackson's ad in tomorrow's real-estate section

Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Valley Ranch in California will be foreclosed and sold on March 19 unless the pop star pays a balance of nearly $25 million, property records showed on Tuesday. --Reuters

FSBO: 2,800-acre estate. Features EIK. LF. PZAPFWPPC. Owner's ON may be under SGLRC; you may keep it if found beneath cushions. MCTIWIF. EWLMBTT. Inexplicably, SMJL. Custom-made RJJR. EMS stored in HUHC. Shrine to ET. PTS.


FSBO = For sale by owner
EIK = Eat-in kitchen
LF = Llama farm
PZAPFWPPC = Private zoo and amusement park festooned with Peter Pan characters
ON = Original nose
SGLRC = Solid gold living room couch
MCTIWIF = Macauley Culkin trapped in walk-in freezer
EWLMBTT = Emmanuel "Webster" Lewis may be there, too
SMJL = So may Jerry Lewis.
RJJR = Refrigerated Jesus-juice rack
EMS = Elephant man skeleton
HUHC = Hardly used hyperbaric chamber
ET = Could be Extra-Terrestrial or Elizabeth Taylor; probably both
PTS = Priced to sell

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Something in the air

I will admit an unhealthy curiosity about my page-view statistics. I check them far more often than I have any concievable reason to.

And I know you'll be shocked by this, but The Velvet Blog is not terribly popular.

Put those two facts together, and you can imagine how surprised I was a moment ago to find that I already received 100 visitors today.

My hopes rose. Did some high-traffic blog link to me?

Nope. About 90% of today's visitors had done a Google search on some variation of the phrase yogurt that helps you poop.

It's really rather humbling.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Falling Slowly"

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová's song, from Once, is up for an Oscar on Sunday. It's been stuck in my head all week.

UPDATE: Yay--they won!

Weather report

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Google search, resulting in a visit to The Velvet Blog, that indicates we're in for a rough, weird election season

obama worships satin

If I were to worship any kind of fabric, it would probably be linen. If only it weren't so hard to keep wrinkle-free.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why I'm waiting to buy a high-def TV

According to reports, the price of widescreen, high-definition TVs is dropping by 15% per year. By my careful calculations, that means the TV that retails for $1,000 now will be $850 by the end of the year--that's $150 less. So, at that rate--get ready!--in seven years, retailers will actually pay you $50 to take one off their hands!

Really, you'd have to be crazy, or a mathematical dolt, to buy now.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Photos of the Day

Playing around with some old photos. These are scans from prints. The first one had kind of weird color and, well, I made it a little weirder. The second I turned into black and white and upped the contrast. From a trip to Mexico in 1997.

Has anyone seen my glasses?

Really, I had them a little while ago, and I can't find them ANYWHERE and ...

Oh, God. It's official. I've turned into my parents.

Pretty soon I'll have no idea how to program the VCR. And you damn kids better get off my lawn!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Looks like a case of SCS*

Decorating children's wards with paintings of clowns to create a nurturing atmosphere could backfire, research suggests.

A University of Sheffield study of more than 250 children, aged four to 16, found the images were widely disliked.

Even some of the oldest children found the images scary.

The researchers said the findings, reported in Nursing Standard magazine, highlighted the importance of consulting children in hospital design.

Researcher Dr Penny Curtis said: ... "We found that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable."

For the record, I have always been indifferent to clowns. Never loved them, never hated them. I kind of don't understand the common antipathy toward them. What's the big deal?

I mean, come on. Is this scary? Hm. Bad example. What about this? Well, yeah. I have to admit. That's kind of scary.

How's this? Or this? Or maybe this? Or that?

Hmm. Maybe clowns are scary.

*Scary Clown Syndrome

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Creature from the Id

As I've mentoned before, I often dream about celebrities. Decidedly D-list celebrities.

The other night ... well ... it was Ryan Seacrest. I worked for him and, in the dream, I talked him out of getting a tacky American Idol tattoo. No, that's not quite right--I talked him out of getting very tacky American Idol tattoo, and instead he got a merely tacky one.

And all I can say is: You've gone too far, subconscious. I don't know what point you are trying to make here. I really don't. But you have gone too far.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Random 10

Nick Drake, "Thoughts of Mary Jane": "Who can know/The reason for her smile?/What are her dreams/When they've journeyed for a mile?"

Midlake, "It Covers the Hillsides": "I'm not sure where this river goes/But we have no choice but to follow/There is smoke in the sky over those trees/Let us hope they are kind to you and me."

Mosquitos, "Sunshine Barato": "Já te conheço, rapaz/Ele chega de mansinho, mas sei que já não vai dar/Mais Sunshine Barato."

XTC, "The Smartest Monkeys": "We're the smartest monkeys/The smartest monkeys/The evidence is all around/Our brains are bigger/This we've found."

Nilsson, "Remember": "Long ago/Far away/Life was clear/Close your eyes..."

The La's, "I Can't Sleep": "I was going through a nightmare/I was layin' on the line/And there's a big black train coming/D'you think it would be a shame running?"

The Bird and the Bee, "Preparedness": "Are you prepared?/Are you prepared for me?"

Elvis Costello, "Indoor Fireworks": "They're not so spectacular/They don't burn up in the sky/But they can dazzle or delight/Or bring a tear/When the smoke gets in your eyes."

Death Cab for Cutie, "Your Heart Is an Empty Room": "The flames and smoke climbed out of every window/And disappeared with everything that you held dear/And you shed not a single tear for the things that you didn't need/'Cause you knew you were finally free."

The Flaming Lips: "Do You Realize?": "Do you realize/You have the most beautiful face?"

Have I mentioned I've become obsessed with Midlake?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Couldn't he just cut me a check?

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reports a calculation done by Alex Vogel, a Republican strategist, showing that Romney has spent $1.16 million per delegate at this point in the race. At that rate, it would cost Romney $1.33 billion to become the Republican presidential nominee. And remember, a lot of the Romney campaign's money is coming from Romney himself -- in the fourth quarter of 2007, the campaign announced over $27 million in total receipts; $18 million of that was Romney's personal money. --Salon

If I were a rich man ... well, I wouldn't run for president.

Why my dog, Freddie, deserves your vote


--In favor of Green issues.
--Merrick's Grammy's Chicken Pot Pie in every pot.
--Enforced play time (at least 30 minutes a day).
--Sleeping 15 hours a day will not be considered "lazy."
--Totally adorable.

Sadly, this will never come to pass. He's not eligible to run for president, as he was born in a foreign country (Colombia). This is a clear signal of the need for election reform.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I can't really fault the logic

I keep a box of dry milk in the cupboard for emergencies, and just noticed this helpful advice.

If you want whole milk flavor, use whole milk.

Thanks, Stop & Shop!