Friday Fives – Spring Fling

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it’s Spring, what’s your thing?

 

spring cleaning – got a big cleaning coming up?  Any cleaning you do (only) seasonally?

not for the interior.  Outside, though, yes.  The wonderfulness of Winter in Colorado on a ranch is not doing a damn thing to the property all Winter.  Now, it’s time to spread a LOT of manure, check the fencing, put a new mailbox in, stuff like that.  you know, I hated doing yard work on my teeny tiny tenth of an acre in town.  It seemed stupid to mow and water and fertilize 20 feet by 30 feet.  now that I have 5 acres, though, I LOVE working outside.  The key is having decent wireless headphones.

reminds me of a game.  I game I invented.  The Wii yard work!

baseball – juiced up overpaid meatheads?  Or, America’s past time?

ha!  I made a funny.  I wrote these questions, as my editor is likely in the drunk tank again in Commerce City.  I think we are supposed to call baseball ‘America’s Pastime’.  I typed the question as ‘past time’.  Total fruedian slip ‘Sirian slip‘.  I am sure baseball was a great pastime, and now that time has passed.  I am not against baseball… but nor am I for it.  Don’t care.  Baseball is like Paris, or the NFC.  I am aware it exists, but indifferent about it.  HA – another example of google subtext.  I went to google a picture of the NFL’s NFC conference, and typed in AFC.  Even my formidable and incredible hands could not take the order seriously to look up anything about the NFC.

Council of Nicea – a unifying summit of godly goodness?  Or the greatest cover up of all time?  Defend your answers, and show your work

I am not a fan.  Do you know what it is?  Allow me to very briefly explain.  For a few hundred years, there was a LOT of versions of Christianity going around.  It was admittedly confusing.  In 325 ad, a bunch of important people got together and said “listen, we need to simplify and unify the message of Christianity.  Doug, for example, has been going down to down explaining that Christ’s message was for you to show him your boobs.  We need 1 message, and 1 bible.  We aren’t leaving this room until that is done.”

I get that part, and it makes sense.  Thanks a lot, Doug.  But, mostly it censored everything the pushy guys didn’t like.  Mary, for example, was not a marginal player or lowly prostitute following the gang at a distance.  She was a very significant figure.  It is believed she was likely at least an equal of the men, and a full apostle.  She had her own book.  A lot of people did, and they cut all that out.  Only much much later did we find some of these original censored and ‘satanic’ bibles.  The Dead Sea Scrolls was one such find.

the other thing I didn’t like about this it that the council was held in 325.  this means LONG LONG LONG after Jesus, and all his people, were dead.  So, no one could pipe up and say “actually, Donald, Jesus was fine with Doug doing that whole boobie thing.  It was the rest of us who had to put the kibosh on it.”

I have said this before, and I shall explain again.  I do believe there was a Jesus.  I do believe he was a great and charismatic leader of men.  I do not believe he had any magical powers, though.  I also do not believe he was the son of god anymore than you or I am.   Well… obviously not you.  Look at how you are dressed!  I believe Jesus was sadly and cruelly executed, and that is story ends there… up on that cross.

Regardless of your beliefs, we do know the Council of Nicea was real, and had real consequences.  Please read more about it, from people smarter and less biased than I.  Here is the wiki page.

jesus – god’s resurrected son who walked out of that crypt, or charismatic leader and mortal who sadly did die that day on the cross?

Didn’t we just cover this?  who writes this dreck?

Tony Romo- was he great?  Could he have been?  Would you keep him, if you knew you could protect him?

I don’t think he got the chance to be great.  I think he might have been great, but was either too fragile, or had shit for an offensive line to protect him.  If you say his name 3 times in the mirror, he breaks a collarbone.  Sure, he blew a couple really really big plays… but who did that more than Peyton Manning?  Being great isn’t easy, and it comes with an epic share of monumental fuck ups along the way.

thing is, football is just murder on the body.  I bet he is getting offered the EXACT same amount of money (around ten million is an educated guess) to do tv as he was to play football.  In fact, Shannon Sharpe left football when he was playing amazing top notch football.  It was a huge surprise when he retired and went to CBS.  When a reporter (probably the great Rick Reilly… miss that guy)*** asked him why he walked away, he said “they offered me the same money, and no one is trying to kill me every Sunday anymore.”

you can’t argue with that logic.  I’ll tell you what we can, do.  Take this opportunity to look at the amazing Jessica Simpson.  At the time, she was brilliantly dubbed ‘Yoko Romo’.   and maybe since we are on this topic, take a moment out to remind us all how horribly creepy her father was.  The man said ‘she’s got double d’s.  You can’t keep those puppies down!’.   Can you imagine your dad saying that about you?

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ok, we started talking about Spring, and then a pretty thoughtful conversation about Jesus, and whether or not the council of Nicea was good old fashioned bullying.  How did we end up looking at hot and vapid pictures of Jessica Simpson?  My guess is you didn’t come here for Sunday School, did you?

*** Rick Reilly is not dead, he just retired about ten years ago.  Find one of his books of columns.  He was a sports guy, but with a brilliant wit.  Combine Dave Barry and Bill Simmons and you have Rick Reilly

Friday Fives – Better Call Vince

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What’s one popular TV show you just refuse to watch and why?

Game of Thrones.  Why?  So many reasons.  One is, I didn’t have HBO at the time.  Yes, I know its probably on Netflix or amazon.  But, by the time it made it there, you aholes were already overbearing about it.  Next reason- too goddamn confusing.  Which families and bloodlines or whatever.  Could not keep straight, everyone looked the same (except the midget, who is a brilliant actor).  We tried, the wife and I.  We were told ‘just watch at least 2 or 3, then it will make sense.”  Didn’t happen.  “just watch the first season, then it will make sense”.  NO, I am putting in 15 to 20 hours for a show to make sense.”  Then, in a last ditch, they remind me (even girls, mind you) “there is tons of nudity and senseless violence, you will LOVE it.”

Listen, its true.  I love nudity and violence on screen.  Maybe those are my favorite things in life.  But, there wasn’t enough to explain that confusing ass show, and force me to sit through it.

What’s one of your favorite movies that is overlooked and not praised enough?

There are two.  Both are genius, and both are truly terrible in so many ways.  Gotcha, and Summer School.  I have talked about them before, and I shall again.  See them.  That is a kind, but firm, order.

What movie would be vastly improved by replacing the protagonist with a killer robot?

What movie wouldn’t?  How about one of my other favorite and underrated movies – Como Agua para Chocolate.  If you weren’t so dead inside, you would know the movie, and be laughing your ass off at that absurd image.

What actor or actress will only be remembered for a single role they played?

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ermentrout.

  Absolutely one of my favorite characters ever.  Full disclosure, though, I am watching season 2 of ‘Better Call Saul’ right now.  The whole second season just dropped on Netflix this week.

What was the most cringeworthy acting performance in a movie/TV show?

There is a common myth movie snobs love to float around – that Keanue Reeves and Nick Cage can’t act.  Why?  Because it’s SO true it hurts.  So, what is the difference?  Keanu Reeves is a wonderful person, and Nick Cage is a narcissist douchebag.  Plus, Keanue picks better movies.  He’s still terrible in them, but mostly they are watchable.  Nick Cage then wins the question.

 

the new writer’s strike

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America,

I am all for the proletariat.  I am all for unions.  I am all for the working class, and especially the creative arts.

Until today.  I read the writers guild is about to go on strike again.  Why?  Well, why is kinda funny.  See, after the last strike basically devastated the industry… the industry learned to do without them.  THIS is why everything on TV is ‘reality based’, because production companies are terrified to depend on writers.  So… a few years ago, they literally learned to do without… because they had to.

So… after that serious ugliness… )and it was incredibly serious if you watched tv or movies.  All tv and movies simply stopped.  Literally, even all talk shows stopped.) production companies did as best as they could to not get stuck in this pickle again.  For a while, it worked.  Everything on tv was ‘reality’ based.  Remember when Food network did shows about cooking and people?  Remember ALL of that programming went away in favor of food based competition shows?  That was because of the writer’s strike.

Now, however, we are in this amazing period of ‘peak tv’.  Ushered in by the greatness of shows like ‘the Wire’, ‘the Sopranos’, and ‘Breaking Bad’… tv is better than ever.  TV used to be the poor little step child of movies, the ‘Silver Screen’.  Now, we can all see that most tv is far superior to most movies… no matter how hard Brent Bozell tries.

Now, the writers are going to strike again.  I FULLY get why.  Their wages keep going down, there is no job security, and their benefits are shit.  Power to the people, right?  However, going on strike only makes sure the industry will NEVER AGAIN need writers.  Keep taking beef away, for a really long time.  It doesn’t make us want beef more.  Maybe at first, but in time we simply learn to live without beef.  So, if beef is gone for 2 weeks… we are thrilled to have it back.  If beef is gone for 5 years… once it comes back, we say ‘no thanks.  We moved on.  Sorry you weren’t here for us.  Hey… want some chicken?”

The way to prove you are needed isn’t to leave.  If you do that, I assure you they will find a way to not need you.

atheism

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People ask me how, or why, I am an atheist.  A great question, which I don’t mind discussing at all.  However, some people say “you are just agnostic.”  That statement frustrates me.  It may be true, in a super philosophical sense… but it is also diminishing.  Even if I were, shut your pie hole.  I don’t tell you what to believe, and you shan’t tell me.

(ed note.  It appears you ARE telling people what to believe.  It’s the very nature of this post.  Geesh, you are a bully, man!)

So, I should start with some qualifiers.  I never had a bad experience at church, or with religion.  I grew up going to church, and it wasn’t that bad.  I grew up in a Catholic church… in AZ… and never even got diddled!  We know they sent most of the pedos from the East coast to NM and AZ.  In fact, when I was young… I kinda enjoyed mass.  Our church had a rock band, people were always super nice, and there was always free donuts.

Nothing bad or cryptic happened to me… not with god, or church. I don’t think I ever believed in god, ever, in my heart. Frankly, I suspect the same for you, and most others.  Like the pledge of allegiance, I just dutifully accepted it.  When I got to thinking about it, I could not see a value or reason of god.  I remember talking with my friend Brian, this is at 6 or 7 or 8 years old.  We were talking about who we love the most.  I remember thinking and saying “God, mom, and my dad”.  Then, I realized that my priorities needed adjustment.  It was mom, then dad, then god.  I mean, mom and dad did all the cooking and raising and working and loving.

Here comes an important point.  You might say “but it is through god they can do this.  god invented your mom, and god invented diapers.”  Sure, but god isn’t in there wiping poo.  God isn’t doing the heavy lifting there, and god didn’t get up every night at 3 am.

God?  God didn’t do shit.

I know, I know, you want to say that god had a hand in all of that.  Maybe, but god didn’t work 12 hour retails shifts on her feet like my mom did.  God didn’t take us camping in the summer, that was dad.  Do you see my logic here?  This is the empirical thinking of a 7 year old.  Well, it still holds up to 45 year old me today.

PT 2 – we are MORE moral.

this is a big one.  People who identify as religious believe that godless folks are less moral.  I can PROVE to you why that is wrong.  I am godless.  I do very good work in my community.  I volunteer for the dog shelter (DDFL.org), teaching in under privileged schools (JA.org), the Red Cross (RedCross.org) and my county’s emergency management team.  We won’t talk about how I spend my Sundays fixing shit in my community, while you spend your Sundays in church TALKING about fixing shit in your community.  No, sir.  My point is this, and it is really important you grasp this.  Literally, please email me or comment if you don’t understand.  Maybe I am mis-understanding it.  Truly, this is an open dialogue.  Send me almost anything on this topic and I will publish it below… especially if you try and make a well reasoned argument.  If you just post ‘you are stupid and going to hell’, I may not publish it.  Why, it makes your side look horrible, and that isn’t fair.

I do these good things not because I hope to get to heaven.  I do not do them because god is watching.  I do not do them because I may go to hell if I don’t.  I do them because I feel they are right.  the question to you is, what would you do if your god wasn’t watching?  Integrity is what you do when no one is looking.  Write that down somewhere.  It’s my mantra.

Friday Fives – my editor’s obvious concern for zombies

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Are zombies people too?

Well… they certainly were

Should there be an order banning zombies from any immigration? 

Yes, due to their recruiting practices.  Not unlike the gays and blacks, zombies propagate and multiply by the brain eating of the living.  But let’s not use labels.

Should healthcare reform cover undead chain saw wounds? 

Depends on the future earning potential of said ‘zombie’, which my client and I resent the use of.  Going forward, please refer to us a ‘previously living’.  ‘Zombie’ is an unfair pejorative, and frankly a tired stereotype.

Can pets become zombies too?  Are you looking to buy some?

Let’s just say I have proof the answer is yes

Which favorite celebrity would make the best zombie? 

Johnny ‘Rotten’ Lydon.  He is SO already there.  Take a look for yourselves.

ok.  You deserve more here. However, I have to go to bed because the news people told me tomorrow is going to be a blizzard, and I have a long ass drive to work.  Interesting side note, today is exactly 1 year from the last blizzard that was historic to Colorado.  It was the first time they put a chain law in place in the city

Friday Fives – don’t touch that dial!

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What stops being cute after the age of 13?

Birthday parties.  To quote the great Dave Barry – “there is a time and a place when you should stop expecting people to be excited about your birthday.  That is the day you turn 7”.  I say that, interestingly, roughly a week away from my birthday.  As you might imagine, I regard myself as the exception to all of this.  You can send gifts care of the website.

What is something you hilariously misinterpreted as a kid?

I assumed water was free.  Like, I understood we had to pay for electricity (due to my father cautiously over-managing the thermostat in the house… like all dads)…  but I had assumed water was just magically free.  Our right as a taxpayer.  Ironically, we now live on well water… so it is free!

If someone leaves an abandoned baby on your front porch what will you do?

Raise him/her liberal and compassionate and polite.  OR… call the authorities.  Probably should call the authorities… what with what happened last time and all.

What two types of people are there?

Ø  Politicians that pretend to be compassionate, but really don’t give a shit (Democrats) and

Ø  Politicians that at least have the stones to admit they don’t give a shit about anyone else (Republicans).

Me?  I am a liberal, for sure… but I distrust them all.  That being said, I think Obama was a dope ass President, and I am 100% confident history will recognize same.

What is a skill that almost everyone in our grandparents generation had, that almost none of us have today?

Basic self sufficiency – making clothes, baking, working on a car… shit like that.  I work for AAA Colorado, and I can tell you the amount of adult males that have no idea how to change a tire is terrifying.  Good for business, sure… but bad for society.

Not saying I AM super capable.  BUT, I am more so than my Dad was.  Also, I can change the oil, change a tire, can cook, and can play the guitar like a mother f’n riot!

Friday Fives – whether cheeses should be proper nouns edition

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What’s the best “secret sauce”? 

the highest man can achieve in the sauce realm is a good ranch dressing.  I am very very particular about ranch dressing.  I can tell a good ranch just by looking at it.  For one thing, anything that is ‘shelf stable’ (meaning it doesn’t have to be refrigerated) is crap.  Anything that comes in a packet is shit.  in fact, I can’t think of a single ranch dressing you can buy as the kind a like.  Wing places always have the best ranch, as does Village Inn.  It should be kinda runny, and not mayonnaisey at ALL.  It should not have any yellow hue of ANY kind.  It needs to be bright white, fairly runny, and sweet.

Of course, this has nothing at all to do with salad.  I don’t much like ranch on salad.  Too heavy.  A nice vinaigrette will always do the trick for me.  I am talking about using it to dip friend food into.  For the record, in high school, I coined the term ‘Ranch Generation®’***

  I think the use and abuse of everything related to ranch is specifically a Gen X thing.

The last meal you had is what you’re going to eat for the rest of your life, what is it?

Either… a spicy and creamy shrimp and pasta dish… or a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  I mean, that would be my choice.  You are asking what the last thing I ate was?  Mac and Cheese.  There is a LOT of amazing things you can do with mac and cheese.  This was just boxed stuff.

 What are some unforgivable sacrileges regular people do all the time when cooking?

Besides overcooking a steak… let’s talk about an eating one, instead.  Imagine you made something really good.  Like, a lightly seasoned filet mignon.  And you serve it to your wife.  And then she says the unthinkable… she says something that breaks your heart.  She shits down your throat with these words:

I am leaving you!.  No… these words I am about to share with you are worse!  I am banging your arch enemy!  No sir, I have words even worse than that?  I just got the call, and your father has died.  NO… these words are even worse than that.  She says ‘ketchup, please’

What is the most disturbing thing you’ve ever witnessed in a kitchen/restaurant?

In college, I worked delivering Chinese Food.  It was a dream job.  I got $5 an hour (this was 20 years ago), plus tips.  Plus all the Chinese food I wanted.  Plus… I didn’t even have a car.  I delivered food for a living… with no car.  They gave me their car to use… and a gas card!!!!  Anyhow, that was a great job.  Now, on to the story – the owner worked in the kitchen.  No one worked harder than the Chinese.  That family was there open to close, 7 days a week.  Sorry… the story.  Because he worked in the kitchen, doing the prep… he had eyes on all the food coming and going.

If you ordered a dish that had shrimp… and you did not eat all your shrimp… and you sent your dish back with those shrimp on it.   The owner, Mr Huang, would take those shrimp and recycle them.  This means when you order a shrimp entrée at that restaurant… you may be getting that guy’s shrimp.  Thing is… it didn’t bother me at all.   Most people seem to find it just horrible, though.  I worked in restaurants through my teens.  This means I can’t really be disgusted.  The food business is beyond disgusting.  Being a night person, as I still am, that meant I was always on clean up, as well.  Restaurant kitchens are a vile and dark and horrible place.

It’s why I went to college, truly.  I realized if I didn’t take a sharp turn now towards my future… I could be stuck in industrial kitchens at 3 in the morning cleaning.

What’s the your favorite kind of cheese?

That is an odd question.  Who cares?  Since you asked, I will tell you that I almost always prefer white cheeses over orange cheeses.  Provolone, Swiss, Mozzarella… etc.  Wait… should those have been capitalized?  Does cheese count as a proper noun?  I could google it, but really… who cares?

*** interesting side note about the ‘Ranch Generation’.  I am convinced this is a thing.  Turns out it is not.  I went to google ‘ranch generation’, hoping to find an article I could like to validate my point.  I hit up google, and the only reference I found to ‘ranch generation‘ was me and something I wrote 5 years ago