Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Good Trek / Bad Trek: #1 Intro

I think of all the skills I have, the one I’m best at is watching Star Trek. And if it’s not what I do best, it’s certainly what I've done the most in my life. I like Star Trek. I have since I was in sixth grade. That was when I saw my first episode. My teacher made a joke about how red shirts always die first. Nobody laughed except for one nerd, but I still didn’t like that I didn’t get the joke. So later that night I noticed that Star Trek: The Next Generation was on. I remember the episode. It was The Game. In it, Wesley Crusher shows back up. I didn’t know who he was so he was just some dude to me at the time. He was wearing a red uniform so I thought that this guy was surely gonna die. Picard and Riker were also wearing red uniforms so I figured if nothing else a shit load of people would die, so why not give it a watch. 

Spoiler alert: Nobody dies and it's not a great episode. Still, I took a couple things away from watching it. That night I learned that Star Trek fucking rules. Even though in retrospect The Game is a pretty shitty episode, it blew me away and all I wanted to do after that was watch more Star Trek. Given that nobody in a red shirt died I also learned that Mr. Jasinski was full of shit. I was already beginning to suspect that seeing as he also informed us one day that women were incapable of building muscle. When I asked him about female bodybuilders he told us that female bodybuilders don’t actually have more muscle than any other women, they just starve themselves to the point of looking like that. I would’ve called him on his horse shit, but I was twelve. So I didn’t. 

Regardless of how dumb Mr. J happened to be I loved Star Trek from that day on out. I used to watch them every night. I would set up my VCR and record them and rewatch them the next day. When the final episode of TNG was on, not only did I tape it, but I carried it with me for weeks just in case anyone hadn’t seen it and wanted to. Few did. 

I’ve been into other shit since, but the Trek was always there for me. I had the action figures, a transporter, a poster showing the schematics of Galaxy Class Starships, a shirt implying that I have graduated (or one day will graduate) from Starfleet Academy, and the novels. I read a lot of the shitty shitty novels. I also had a replica comm badge that got stolen by a lady at my junior high. My math teacher asked why I wasn’t wearing my “cool pin” anymore. I started crying and he went and got it back for me. 

I’m not trying to brag about any of this. I’m just saying when it comes to Trek, I’ve put my time in. That being said there is a big blind spot in my Trek knowledge. I’ve never sat through all of The Original Series. TNG, DS9, and VOY I’ve seen every episode of multiple times each. Once through was enough for Enterprise, but I’ve seen them all. But I’ve only seen a handful of TOS episodes. I saw Star Trek 6 in theaters with my uncle and it's probably my favorite Star Trek movie. I've seen the rest of the TOS movies, but only a handful of episodes. Mostly due to them being a drag to watch. For starters Kirk sucks. The character is fine I guess, but Shatner is jus the worst. I have trouble listening to anyone who thinks that he's even worthy of cleaning Picard's fish tank. I know it's a fifty-year-old show and the effects need to be looked at through that lens, but just because there's a reason behind it doesn't make it any less cringe-worthy. I see what they were going for and I appreciate everything that it's led to, but really it's just not fun to watch. There are good parts. Spock is great. But really, the episodes I've watched have not been very good. 

Whenever I watch a TOS episode I always end up thinking about a better episode of another series. So I usually turn it off and do that instead. So that’s what I’m going to do. Every week I’m going to watch an episode of TOS. When it sucks, which it probably will, I’ll write about a better one. I’ll keep this up until I run out of shitty episodes or when I get bored. If people read it, I guess I'll do other shitty episodes from other series. Season 1 of TNG has some real stinkers in it. Maybe a movie or two. Who knows! So that's Good Trek/Bad Trek. Tune in next Wednesday for the first one The Cage!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

7 Times Cathy Completely Shut Down The Patriarchy

1. The time she realized she wasn't fitting in with society's norms of traditional beauty and so she told society what she thought about that!

2. That time Cathy was tone shamed. Her supervisors described her as shrill despite the same language and tone being perfectly acceptable coming from her male counterparts.


3. You want Cathy to take off her headphones so you can clumsily hit on her? She's got but one thing to say to that...

4. When strangers on the street tell her to smile. 

5. When the waiter wanted to shame her for daring to not order a salad on a date. 

6. When Cathy hears sexist words like "mankind" or the word "pussy" used as an insult well then she's got a word for you Buster Brown.

7. Finally, when she learned that John Arbuckle made 22% more than her. 


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Church: Some Takeaways

I was in my ancestral home of Michigan last week for a little r&Ur. It was nice. Got to do some nice stuff. See some stars for instance. Got to see a couple of those. They’re pretty neat. I recommend checking some out if you ever find yourself where you’re not being constantly assaulting your senses. I also went to church. It was the first time in a long time, and I have to say still not a fan. 

1: Know what religion you are!!!

The church we were at was a Lutheran one. Fine. But halfway thorough the church service they had a thing where they did first communion. I know what you’re thinking. That’s a catholic thing. But for some reason they did it in the wrong church, and I have no idea why. I wanted to stand up and yell, "wrong church idiots", but since I was the guest I decided not to embarrass the church man. 

2: Let’s fucking cool it with the songs

We sang a bunch of songs. I don’t blame the pastor. I can see why you’d want to kill some time, but it's not like these folks were having fun with it. Part of the problem is song selection. There’s way too many. The song book we were working with had 720 different songs. That’s too high. On some level I guess variety might be a good thing, but most of these songs are garbage. The Beatles only have 275 songs. There is absolutely no reason for there to be more church songs than Beatles songs. Pair that down to the best of the best, a Blue and Red album of church songs. Let’s say you sing three different songs a week. 52 weeks a year. I’ll even add two. One service for Christmas and another for Christmas eve. That’s 54 services. Threes songs a session. So all you need is the best 162 songs. I don’t care how you do it, but take the rest of these horse shit songs and throw them the fuck away. Put them in a separate book and burn it. For old times sake. 

3: Don’t be so scary please. 

At one point the pastor took all the children aside in front and talked to them in front of everyone. He asked them what the point of a drivers license was. He let the kids guess for a minute then told them the answer he was looking for. He said it was for identification. He then made a little joke about how he used his to “do adult things.” Okay. Little inappropriate for the kiddies, but I appreciate the joke for the back of the room. I was wondering what this had to do with Jesus until he brought it together in the most horrific way imaginable. He said that Jesus needed identification too, but his wasn’t a drivers license it was his “gaping spear wounds in his side.” Yikes. He then ushered the kids out of there for a Sunday school class that was probably a lot of crying. 

4: Cupholders in the pews

This should be an obvious one. Why has this not happened yet? As a mug I had once said "you don't want to see me before I've had my coffee." That goes for you too G*d! Come on church, let's get on this. 

I don't know if church will take any of my ideas. I certainly don't plan on listening to them in being a globetrotting comedian. But here's hoping, for their own sake, that they take a serious look at a few of these. 

All in all, I give church a D+

Friday, March 25, 2016

Did Sean Hannity Stop Beating His Wife?

A clip of Sean Hannity interviewing Jorge Ramos popped up in my Facebook feed this week. I don’t know why, but I watched it. I have no particular love for Ramos. I don’t dislike him. Just not too familiar with his work. His name has popped up a few times this election cycle as a voice who’s been asking “do you all believe this shit?” in relation to the Trump phenomenon. I used to watch Hannity’s show when I had cable. I’m not a fan of his politics, but used to enjoy the spectacle.
How American is YOUR logo, you commies! Also amazed this doesn’t include a bald eagle or an exclamation point at the end. HANNITY!

If you’ve ever watched one of these shows like Hannity and wondered who they’re for I will tell you. One night I was watching and during a commercial break there were back to back commercials advertising competing catheter companies. I’m not making fun of folks who need catheters, just saying that appears to be the key demographic. So if you watch and don’t get it maybe you’re just at the age where you either don’t need a catheter or are happy with your current catheter supplier. 
He’s always squinting, because he’s trying to figure out whether or not you’re a terrorist. Hint: You are. 
I don’t really care if you’re into Hannity or not. It doesn’t matter. He’s goofy. It’s not just because he’s goofy. There are a bunch of pretty goofy liberals on TV yelling about shit and making asses of themselves too. I don’t like any news that has yelling. I don’t like yelling. I didn’t grow up in a yelling house, and I rarely yell now. It unsettles me and I don’t care for it. My heart will probably explode at one point due to bottling shit up, but I’ll do it quietly. 
I don’t when this started or why, but it seems most of cable news is almost entirely just people yelling at each other. Sometimes there’s a bunch of people yelling about how much they agree on stuff. That’s the weirdest. Anyhow the clip of Hannity and Ramos didn’t feature any agreeing, but luckily it featured a shit-ton of yelling. It also featured a bunch of logical fallacies. It was pretty nuts.  
Here are just the ones I remember hearing after one viewing of one ten minute video. It’s almost impressive:
Loaded Question: The whole video is this. He all but asks Ramos “why do you support rape and drugs?”
Black or white: This is all pundits now. You’re either with them or you’re pro raping a bald eagle while your grandma watches. 
Slippery Slope: If we don’t build a wall then we will immiadely be subject to terrorist attacks 24/7 for the rest of our lives, and I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH THAT DECISION YOU MONSTER!
Ad hominem: I don’t need lectures from you. You’re a liar, because you try to look at both sides, but disagree with me therefore you’re a terrorist sympathizer. 
Anecdotal: Hey, here are some individual reports of immigrants doing bad shit. Because everyone knows anecdote plus anecdote equals data!
Tu quoque: This is a biggie. I can’t be biased jackass, because YOU’RE A BIASED JACKASS!
Appeal to emotion: I’m amazed Hannity doesn’t wipe a tear from his eye to end every show. If you don’t agree with me then I hope you will enjoy living in constant fear in the hellscape you hath wrought. 
Those are just the ones I remember. I’m sure I missed a bunch of others. Let me know which ones I missed. However on the flip side, I guess if you discount conservatism just because Sean Hannity acts like a cunt that would make you guilty of the fallacy fallacy. So be careful out there. 
i don’t know what I’m trying to say with this. But felt like writing about it to flex my 75% of a small college pole-sci degree muscle I don’t get to often. I guess my point is you’re either for having your news browbeaten into you by a jerk or your against America.  
P.S. Quit yelling please. 
P.P.S. Go to to download that sick logic fallacy poster. You can also buy giant ones.

P.P.P.S. Here’s the links to the Ramos interview. It’s pretty gross.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hey Audi, Go Fuck Yourselves

I’m a bit of a sports buff, and as such I watched this thing I like to call the “Super Bowl” last month. It’s a pretty big football game. But in addition to the sports you also get advertisers showcasing their best. It’s like the 
Super Bowl of commercials in addition to being the Super Bowl of football games. It’s one super bowl all around. 
Of all the commercials I’d have to say that my least favorite was one for the new Audi R8. On a scale of 1-10 I would assign it whatever number goes along with criminal negligence. Because it is awful. Just fucking awful.
It seems kind of silly to complain about commercials. Because who gives a shit. It seems extra silly to complain about commercials for products that are not for me. It was for an Audi car. I am not who Audi is advertising to. Audi is a car company for folks for people that have a lot of money, but who need something more to help get them through the day. It’s cars made almost exclusively for dentists.
Here’s how the ad goes. It goes through a pretty fancy house. There’s a bunch of stuff about space. Astronauts, rockets, and the like. So we’re supposed to assume that the owner of the house is either a former astronaut or some kind of space nerd. 
Eventually we get to see, who we’re supposed to assume, is the owner of the house. A grumpy looking old codger. He’s got some food on a tray that remains untouched. He’s just now realizing that he was in space once and there’s no way in hell that he’s ever going to do anything even close to that cool again so he’s taking it out on whomever made him that tray of food. 
A young lady takes the food away. Either a live-in nurse or some kind of trophy wife. We don’t know. Then some lights show up outside. The angry old man has a visitor. 
It’s what we’re supposed to assume is his son. He asks the nurse if his father has been eating. He hasn’t. Then the son say’s “alright commander let’s go.” 
The son then shows his dad his bitchin’ new car. It’s an Audi (if it wasn’t that’d be a really odd way for Audi to spend all that money). The son gives the old man the keys and as he gets in there’s a countdown. Like a spaceship. He’s settling in and there’s footage from the old man going into space. They drive around as footage from the dad going to space is spliced throughout, and a David Bowie song plays. One of Bowie’s space themed songs. They’re really going for broke on the whole space thing. 
There’s two different title cards that then show. First one says that “shooting for the moon brings out the best in us.” Alright Audi, let’s not get too proud of yourselves. You built an expensive German car. Don’t shit yourselves with pride on that front. You’re not the first, won’t be the last. 
Second title card pops up and it says “the 205 mph new Audi R8.” Which is the most fucked up thing I’d ever seen a car company encourage people to do. It shows that while this old man is driving. The old man we were told earlier in the commercial needs someone to feed him because he’s too old and infirm. And now he’s racing around the countryside at speeds of OVER A FOOTBALL FIELD PER SECOND. Dude probably shouldn’t be driving at all let alone at speeds like that.
The old man’s facilities aside, you can’t encourage anyone to drive at speeds like that. Up to and especially folks needing live-in help. Companies get a lot of leeway when it comes to advertising. There’s always that shit in car commercials where they show someone driving like a fucking asshole and then  remind you that he’s a professional driver on a closed course, so it’s cool. But this is one of the few commercials, advertising anything, where the company uses the most illegal thing you can do with their product as a reason to buy it. That’s as fucked up as that gets. No other industry would ever be allowed to kinda get away with that shit.

Budweiser: You know why you’re being this. Drinking responsibly is for beer that tastes good, tonight let’s get tanked! Plus these bottles break away to make a handy weapon to stick in the back of that guy who’s been looking at your woman!
Sudafed: Now with a handy recipe for meth on the back so you make sure you don’t accidentally combine those ingredients and become really high and very wealthy ;)
Pretty sure if either one of those companies tired that there’d be congressional hearings. So Audi, as someone who finds himself on roads sometimes let me offer you a heartfelt and sincere go fuck yourselves!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Advanced Catstistics (Or Meowney Ball)

Been thinking a lot about cats lately. Cats and baseball. That’s not really unusual. Those two things plus Star Trek consume most my brain space in general. My wife and I have a cat. His name is Elliott. We used to have two, but unfortunately Gobbles passed away earlier in the year. Before we were cat owners though we were cat placeholders. We fostered cats for a couple years. If you love the idea of having cats, but don’t like the idea of the financial responsibility then fostering is a good way to go. The only problem is that eventually the cats get adopted, so then some piece of shit just walks into your apartment and takes your cat. I never became okay with that.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with baseball. Well over the course of our fostering career we fostered a bunch of cats, and something friends would always ask was always “which cat was the best?” That’s a tough question because the relative bestness of each cat is tough to define. There are a lot of intangibles. Not to mention one’s opinion can play into cat ratings and you don’t want emotion to cloud your cat rankings. It's unfortunate that for too long there hasn't been a clinical numbers based way to look at cats. That’s why I’m proud to roll out these advanced stats to help you judge the cats in your life. (I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure with some tweaking it could help you figure out which one of your kids you should love the most too.)
Here are the stats:
Nibble rating: NR This is how likely a cat will be to playfully nibble. Often overlooked this can be a real important part of any cat’s game. The rating is the amount of time the cat is likely to spend nibbling you. -.999 = Not only doesn’t playfully nibble, but bites in a very non-playful way to .999 = all nibbles all the time. 
Litter Dependent Shit Location: LDSL How likely the cat is to shit outside the litter box. Doesn’t matter what the other stats are, but too high a LDSL can really hamper a cat’s chances of sticking around. Higher the number the worse the cat is at that. Range is .000 = Never shits in the litter box to 1.000 = Always shits in the litter box.
Destruction Zone Rating: DZR DZR goes along with LDSL, but it’s a more all encompassing stat. This not just covers how likely a cat is to shit in the litter box, but how likely you are to come home and have a plant destroyed, stuff from the desk on the floor, food destroyed, or on some occasions finding that the freezer door had been left open for hours and now everything in there has melted. Range goes from 0 = nothing broken, and no time spent cleaning up after it to 150 = holy shit, have we been robbed?
Value Over Replacement Cat VORC: This is the overall amount of value given by the cat. the stat is given in number of extra days this cat is worth over your year. The range goes from -365 to 365. The culmination of  all the other stats. This is the cat’s ultimate rating. This is the stat that shows just how much value that cat has given you throughout the year. A score of -365 means, not only are no days better because of this cat’s presence in your life, but every day is worse because of it. 365 is meaning every day is better because of that cat. 
Gus. AKA Beau Tie AKA Beau AKA Baby Beausey
Beau was the first cat we ever fostered. Obviously he was a cute one there ain’t no denying that. But he passed through pretty quick. So we didn’t get to know him all that well. Impressive stats, but there’s no chance we’d be retiring his number any time soon.
NR .379
LDSL  .079
DZR  .132
VORC 175

Randall was by no means a rookie when he came through our system. More of an aging veteran. Not to say that he was done. He still had plenty of fuel left in the tank, and he used it to full become a member of the family. When he was adopted, it hurt. 
NR  .767
LDSL  .286
DZR  .672
VORC  289
Scotty AKA Feral Beast

Scotty was not a cat in any real sense. It was a trapped beast that was not happy about being locked up in our apartment. It was just waiting for a time to strike, waiting for my wife and me to fall asleep so he could slit our throats. We never gave him that oppurtunity. Unfortunately his game just wasn’t worth it and we had to send him back down. He was fixed and rereleased into the wild of Washington Heights.
NR  -.999
LDSL  -.727
DZR  .899
VORC  -200
Jerome AKA Romster AKA Rome Rome
Now I’m not saying Jerome was a  bad cat. Also I definitely wouldn't say that he was a good cat. He had some jerk tendencies. He would steal food off people’s plates he would destroy things. He had some off field issues with the nip. I’d be generous calling him a troubled talent. Kind of a clubhouse cancer. But good lord did he have some hustle. You can’t take that away from him. I won't let you.
NR  -.323
LDSL  .854
DZR  .425
VORC  173
Teddy AKA Skitters
Skitters was a  special project of mine. Probably brought up both too quickly and not quickly enough. She had a little bit of feral left in her. Probably a little bit too much. But I put in a lot of special. When I first started working with her she would bite the living shit out of me every time I would get even kind of close. Those bites got less and less frequent. Also when she would bite I could tell she wasn't really trying to hurt me anymore. When she stopped drawing blood I knew she was ready for a forever home. 
NR  -.500
LDSL  .123
DZR  .089
VORC  73
Julia AKA JuJu Beans AKA JuJu Da Beanz AKA Da Beanz

Seriously, how fucking cute is that cat? Julia was without a doubt one of the most natural talents we had come through. Small, tenacious, and trouble. We used a spray bottle to discipline her from time to time. One night after she was corrected for biting people we woke up and she had bitten about a thousand holes in the spray bottle rendering it worthless. Truly one of the greats. 

NR .789
LDSL .023
DZR .567
VORC 356
Elliott AKA Eliott 2 AKA Twozles
NR .123
LDSL .092
DZR .132
VORC 122
The older crafty lefty to JuJu Beanz’s fireball throwing rookie. He spent most of his time being climbed on and licked by Julia. Then Julia got adopted and he spent most of his time just sitting there being not nearly as cute as he was when he was getting constantly licked by the other one. Sorry. He was good, but made for a secondary role. 
From left to right: Diego, Me. 
From left to right: Diego, Me. 

Don’t let Diego’s lack of nicknames fool you into thinking he wasn’t one of the greats, because goddamnit was he ever. His on lap percentage was through the roof. One of the highest in the modern era. This alone should be enough to cement his place among the best there is. He had a lot of intangibles to go along with OLP too. The kind of cat who really played the game the right way.
NR .344
LDSL .009
DZR .079
VORC 344
Sebastian AKA lil buddy. AKA Ghost Cat

Sebastian started out having a lot of trouble adjusting to the bigs. He spent the first week howling endlessly at night. Waking my wife and me up at all hours. Though he always had a pretty good litter box rating the smell that accompanied it made it seem a lot worse than it ended up being on paper. He was grouchy, he bit, and his lap rating was abysmal. Then he spent some time back down in the minors. We didn’t mean to, but some gentlemen broke into our house and as they were absconding with our possessions they were doubly careless enough to leave the window open and he got out. Poor manners even for people who broke in to take our stuff. That time spent out of the spotlight really helped him work his shit out, because by the time he got back he was at the top of his game. Polite, less stinky, and more playful. Every aspect of him became better. Sometimes a little time spent in the minors is all you need to get your head right. So I broke down Sebastian's stats to before and after time outside.
Before going missing
NR -.237
LDSL .189
DZR .576
VORC 200
After coming back
NR .650
LDSL .034
DZR .078
VORC 365.25
Cody AKA Pink Nose AKA Da Pink AKA One half of The Legendary Purple Boys.
Cody was what you’d call a real character. Truly one of the greats even though he was not all that well behaved. He spent a lot of time opening the freezer door, eating things he wasn’t supposed to, knocking shit onto the floor and just generally being a menace. But there was something about him. Particularly when we got another kitten named Gizmo. The two were a force to be reckoned with.
NR .468
LDSL .090
DZR .899
VORC 302
Gizmos AKA Blue Eyes AKA Little Boy Blue AKA The other half of The Legendary Purple Boys.

The Legendary Purple Boys together
You very rarely talk about Lou Whitaker without hearing the name Alan Trammel. Same with The Legendary Purple Boys. One had blue eyes one had a pink nose. Together they were purple. The Purple Boys. The Legendary Purple Boys.
NR .333
LDSL  .501
DZR .347
VORC 294
So that’s it. Looks like if you’re just looking at VORC (the most all encompassing cat stat) then Sebastian was the clear winner, but that’s not to take away anything from anyone else on this list. Lots of good cats. Lots of heart.
Thanks for reading. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Water Water Everywhere, For The Love Of God Don't Have A Drink

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has had a pretty rough go of it the last while. All of it very deserved. He's fucked up beyond any kind of forgiveness, and should either quit or be dragged out of the governor's mansion in a new tar and feather coat. I know a lot of politics is subjective, but it's gotta be hard to be proud of the job you've done when children are literally being poisoned for years under your watch. So I have absolutely no sympathy for the self proclaimed nerd in Lansing. 
In Snyder’s defense, I’ll bet this is cheaper than clean water
Meanwhile while all the blame is being heaped on Snyder, General Motors has been seen putting it's hand it it's pockets and whistling nonchalantly as it walks out the back door. Yeah, Snyder had the idea to save money by giving people poisoned water, but he wasn't the one who spent the entirety of the last century dumping poison into the water. That honor goes to GM. Snyder neglected the situation because the people being affected because they were mostly poor and black, but he's not the one who spent seventy years building up a city, and the past thirty destroying it with malignant neglect.
To paraphrase Henry Ford “you can fuck over any city you want, so long as it’s black.”
Since about 1900 (give or take, I'm not looking up facts because this is a blog, and thems the rules) GM made a small timber town into a giant of auto manufacturing. They did this until about the 80s when the folks at top decided “fuck it, let’s get outta here.” Since then GM jobs have dropped about 90%. I'm not anti free trade necessairly.  People moved to Flint and lived in Flint because they had jobs. That's what pretty much the whole city economy was based on. GM moves out (or at least 90% of it did), and everything else goes down the tubes. Houses aren't worth as much becasue there aren't jobs there anymore. People can't just move away becasue they've invested in houses there and now they can't afford to leave them. So not only did GM, but when asked if they planned on cleaning up any of the environmental or socioeconomic mess they’d spent seventy years creating, local legend has it that the board of GM responded by laughing wildly while a pile of money burned as they literally peed on schoolchildren. 
There's a saying round Michigan when GM sneezes, America catches a cold. It was of course coined by a GM chairman. So I guess the update is when GM vomits poison into a water supply for a century the city that GM fucked over without a thought ingests poison. Not nearly as catchy, but what're you gonna do. So let’s destroy Rick Snyder, because fuck that guy, but let’s save some tar and feathers for folks at GM.