BONUS President’s Day Post

It has just come to my attention via a video clip from The Rachael Ray Show that Teddy teddyRoosevelt once had a live badger thrown at him. Teddy Roosevelt then adopted the badger, and it spent the next four years angrily rambling about in the oval office.


These days, we already have somebody angrily rambling about in the oval office, and he seems to be spending much of his time badgering people, particularly the media. And it got me to thinking…

…what would President Trump do if somebody threw a badger at him?

Sure, the easy answer is “Deport the badger.” But he wouldn’t be able to do that if it was an American badger, which really is a kind of badger, as opposed to the Syrian badger, which would be on the next plane out of here.

groundhog29n-1-web1I’d like to think President Trump would give the badger to Kellyanne Conway, who would immediately have it arrested for its part in the Groundhog Day Massacre, even though there’s no reason why a badger would have anything to do with a Groundhog Day massacre if, in fact, there had ever been a Groundhog Day massacre, which, of course, there wasn’t, not even in Sweden. Except that I imagine President Trump might have vaguely remembered Groundhog Day-related bloodshed which, upon further review, turned out to be that time New York City Mayor DiBlasio was taking part in a Groundhog Day ceremony and dropped the groundhog on its head, which is something that really happened, as evidenced by the photo above.

So I’m thinking President Trump would have mentioned that to Kellyanne when he gave her the badger, promising her it was a really great badger, maybe the best ever, and Kellyanne would have gotten things mixed up a little.

badgerAnyway, you just know that poor badger would end up stuffed and mounted, possibly, if the President had his way, next to Chuck Todd.

And thus ends my President’s Day tale.

See you soon.todd

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Entry 633: My Condolences on Your Lottery Win

There’s just no pleasing some people.

Take Melania Trump for instance. According to numerous sources, she is not enjoying her stint as first lady. “Miserable,” is the word I keep seeing.obama-secretservice1

Most women, I think, wouldn’t mind being FLOTUS, at least for longer than a month. You’re surrounded by handsome Secret Service guys with coils coming out of their ears; you get to dress up for state dinners; you can escort Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife on a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (and wonder what Mrs. Netanyahu means when she says, “So this is a whole museum for schwartzes?”); and you can probably get on Ellen during the 12 days of Christmas when she gives things away. I bet you can even see Hamilton whenever you want, if you don’t mind having the cast give a speech to you after the show.

trump2020On the other hand, I’m not sure Melania enjoys moments like the one pictured at left: being among “the people” in Florida, apparently launching your husband’s premature reelection campaign by reciting the Lord’s prayer, which may not have been a great choice considering it includes the phrase “rescue us from the evil one.”

You also hate the White House because it’s white and not gold, so you have to live at Trump Tower, which is such a dump. And you have media outlets saying you were a prostitute, thus derailing your intentions of illegally using your position to start a business, possibly involving importing Russian caviar at suspiciously advantageous prices.

All in all, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Mel is miserable as first lady. After all, look who she’s married to.

In any case, FLOTUS’s dissatisfaction is nothing compared to that of one Jane Park, who is suing Great Britain’s National Lottery for allowing her to play when she was only 17. Actually, it wasn’t the playing that got Jane upset, it was the winning.

Her life, she says, was ruined when she suddenly gained over a million pounds, a statement which, by itself, should be enough to make the Brits want to switch over to some other currency. I mean, you’re less likely to think I’m talking about Kirstie Alley if I say she suddenly gained 1.25 million dollars.

It’s okay, though, because Jane had no trouble whatsoever shedding those extra pounds. janeShe bought a purple Range Rover and two residential properties, and has also used her winnings for “plastic surgery, designer shoes and extravagant nights clubbing.” Judging from her selfie at right, I think we can be fairly certain about which area her plastic surgeon was focused on.

But Jane is about as merry as Melania. She says, “People look at me and think, ‘I wish I had her lifestyle, I wish I had her money.’ But they don’t realize the extent of my stress. I have material things but apart from that my life is empty. What is my purpose in life?”

I read about Jane in the New York Post, which will extensively cover any story that can conceivably include breasts. But it’s unclear what exactly Jane is suing for. If she’s suing for money, I think her lawyers should be cautious. If they win the suit, they could be next.

But, you know what? This humble blogger doesn’t just report the news. He solves people’s problems. So here’s what I propose: I think Jane Park (below left) and Melania Trump (below right) should trade places. Melania is already used to having money to shop with, so she could live like a princess in Great Britain, which probably wouldn’t even notice one more princess. Meanwhile, Jane could live in style without stressing about money, because the First Lady doesn’t actually need cash; she just motions for one of the guys with the ear coils to pick up melania-trump-candy-apple-red1jane2the tab.

And judging from Jane’s photo, I don’t think President Trump would mind the switch.

He might not even notice the switch.  After all, both women would be immigrants.

See you soon.

P.S. If you like this post, please share it.  Trying to build a following here!

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Entry 632:…and an Evil-Looking Alien with Sharp Teeth Bursts from His Chest

Let me begin this post by saying that I am totally sympathetic to the challenges faced byalien physically disadvantaged people. I believe that society should do as much as is feasible to help these folks go about their days, whether that means handicapped parking spaces, wheelchair ramps, or those annoying voices in elevators that announce what floor you’re on.

But as it is wont to do, sometimes society goes overboard.

I bring this up because recently I became aware of something called “described (or descriptive) video.” What closed captioning does for the hearing-impaired, descriptive video attempts to do for the seeing-impaired. It recognizes that, while blind people have always been able to listen to TV and movies, they’ve never known what was happening onscreen unless someone was there to tell them. So descriptive video provides somebody to tell them.

Specifically, a voice-over is added to the sound track to describe the action. For example, at the opening of the descriptive video version of The Lion King, a calming female voice tells us that….

“Hundreds of animals gather at the bottom of pride rock, a tall, kingflat ledge that towers over the rest of the savannah. Zasu, a small blue bird with a large beak, flaps to the ledge. He bows to Mufasa, a powerful, dignified lion with a thick red mane…”

It goes on and on like that. Meanwhile, of course, the actual soundtrack has to be somewhat muted to make the description audible, so you end up hearing Elton John singing “Circle of Life” in the background as if it’s over the sound system in a noisy restaurant. The problem is that the song is really the whole point of the scene. So, in an effort convey the action of what’s going on, it has forced the “viewer” to miss the idea of what’s going on.

And how would you even do something like this for an action film?  The other night, I was watching Jason Bourne, which is essentially one movie-length chase scene, and I imagined a descriptive video narrator saying “And the motorcycle…wait, now the assassin is…while on the roof…oh, nevermind.”

I was going to end this post by saying that we should, perhaps, surrender to the idea that video is a visual medium, possibly not appropriate for the visually-impaired. By the same token, “radio for the deaf” is pretty much a non-starter.*

googleBut then I came across something really interesting (at least to me). One of the links returned during my Google search for “descriptive video” was this: “Pornhub’s newest offering is audio porn for the blind”

Being a dedicated journalist, I obviously had to continue my research, so I went to Pornhub, which was not bookmarked on my computer. Pornhub has its porn grouped by genre, and there are apparently many more genres of porn than I had thought possible. I didn’t even know what some of the genres were. But that may be a subject for another day.**

Anyway, there it was, between “Czech” and “Double Penetration”: “Described video.” I phclicked on one of the less disgusting-sounding entries, the classic “Sexy Threesome in the Office.“ Here’s what I heard over a black screen with nothing but a logo for something called Brazzers:

“This is Pornhub’s descriptive audio of the video ‘Sexy Threesome in the Office’ by Brazzers. It stars Ava Adams and Riley Gena and it is seven minutes and 32 seconds long.”

Other than informing the visually-impaired horndog exactly how much time he has to do whatever he’s going to do, I would say this introduction does nothing but give him about 12 seconds less in which to do it.

Then the video (with this description) actually begins:sexy

“The video opens with a white man in a dark suit in an office setting staring excitedly at a laptop computer…Two white women enter: a short brunette with giant tits and a tall, thin blonde.” (After some totally unnecessary dialogue)…”The blonde rips her shirt open and starts stroking her own silhouette, and at the same time, the brunette begins to caress her…”

I stopped the video there, certain that the plot held no surprises, especially since there were only about six and a half minutes remaining. I had a few questions about all this:

  1. If I was blind, how would I know how large the blonde’s breasts were?
  2. If I was blind, how would I have known to click on this video in the first place? I mean, it was right next to “Da Underground: A Gay XXX Parody.” That might have been quite a shock.
  3. How is “Czech” a category of porn? Do they do things differently over there?
  4. Since one of Pornhub’s categories is “Interracial,” I guess black lives do matter. But if you’re blind and listening to porn, would it really be more (or less) of a turn-on if it was a black man in an office setting. Or a black woman with giant breasts?
  5. In the scheme of things, is it really necessary to inform the viewer what color the guy’s suit is? He’ll be out of it soon enough. And the audio didn’t say anything about what the women were wearing.

In conclusion, isn’t this why there’s phone sex?

See you soon.captioning-device_sq-0de53a759995caaeb7ec3dd03621f29e1b91f125-s300-c851

*Although that hasn’t stopped NPR from trying it.  Hopefully, though, deaf people won’t listen to this radio programming while driving.

**Then again, maybe not.

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Entry 631: You Can Bet Your Asteroid

Wait until you hear what NASA is planning to do!

You may remember NASA from the movie Hidden Figures, but you may not know that the agency is still around and, um, doing stuff. For instance, as I’ve previously reported, they’ve found, like, a ton of planets such as Kepler-22c and WASP- 9b. And they’ve taken 150828092535-mars-wwi-helmet-super-169lots of cool photographs that certain Web-based scientists will swear show proof of intelligent life on Mars in the form of World War I infantry helmets.

And last month, NASA announced a future mission to an asteroid known as 16 Psyche.

You’re probably wondering if 16 Psyche is one of those asteroids that astronomers are always telling us will come “dangerously close” to Earth, if, by “dangerously close,” we mean 745,000 miles.* If you’re wondering that, you may also be wondering if this future willismission will involve Bruce Willis.

No need to worry, folks. 16 Psyche is not headed toward our planet, so the end of the world is not nigh, at least not because of asteroids.

The reason NASA wants to journey to 16 Psyche, which is about the size of the state of Massachusetts, is because it is potentially much more valuable than the state of Massachusetts. You see, 16 Psyche is thought to be the core of a long-dead planet (possibly one that had an asteroid crash into it), and, according to NASA, may be “comprised mostly of metallic iron and nickel, similar to Earth’s core.”

This is in sharp contrast to many other asteroids, which are just masses of ice and don’t do anybody any good unless you have a really big scotch glass.

NASA thinks “the iron content alone of 16 Psyche could be worth more than $10,000 quadrillion.”

To put that in perspective, that’s a shitload of money. Our president doesn’t even have that much money. In fact, “quadrillionaire” isn’t even a word!

Or, to put it another way, according to AOL News, that amount of money could literally solve the world’s $60 trillion dollar debt. On the other hand, I think AOL might be underestimating things, just as it underestimates the interest I have in being able to pack a packsuitcase in 10 seconds. If my math is correct, that much money would not only wipe out the world’s debt, it would leave enough left over to give more than a million bucks to every man, Bed bath and beyond coupon 2015woman and child on Earth. And also some 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons.

A disclaimer, though: my math may not be correct because my head is not used to such large numbers.

In any case, I have a few comments about the finances here:

  1. How can the world have a $60 trillion dollar debt? Doesn’t the world as a whole have to be debt neutral?  I mean, for everybody who owes money, there has to be somebody else sending collection letters, right?  Otherwise, who do we owe that $60 trillion to, the First Planetary Bank of Mars?
  2. Surprisingly, the U.S. Department of the Treasury does not print any currency larger than the $100 bill. If NASA had $10,000 quadrillion in $100 bills and stacked them up, it would reach 6,786,616 miles into space, so someone could climb up there and get a closer look at that helmet thing on Mars.
  3. How much will it cost NASA to create a spacecraft to fly a seven year mission just to get to 16 Psyche and then get $10,000 quadrillion worth of iron back to Earth? I’m guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 quadrillion.
  4. Could the expense of the project be reduced if NASA launched its mission from the top of its stack of $100 bills? (I do realize that would be a kind of chicken-and-egg thing, but perhaps they could borrow the money from the First Planetary Bank of Mars using 16 Psyche as collateral.)

NASA is going to launch its 16 Psyche mission in October of 2023 and arrive at the psychelongshot0718b1asteroid in 2030. Being able to name a specific month over six years from now must have required a lot of precise calculations, which must have been difficult since those black women in Hidden Figures are retired.

But as long as we’re being exact, I’ll be looking forward to collecting exactly $1,328,108 in 13 years. You know, after we pay off that worldwide debt we owe to somebody.

See you soon.

*16 Psyche is also not the asteroid that some crazy people believe is going to crash into Earth this month, although, if it was, it would solve the problem of how to get all that iron back from space.

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Entry 630: Commander in Tweet

The very sad thing is we can almost believe these alternative tweets.






































































See you soon.

Disclaimer: This is a parody.  All tweets in this post are fake tweets.  Author is not responsible for the hurt feelings of anybody in the administration as the result of the sharing and dissemination of any of these FAKE tweets.

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Entry 629: Oh What a Horrible Morning!

For some years now, I’ve started my mornings with a good ol’ cup of Joe and the important news of the day, as delivered to my computer via Facebook.

I liked beginning my day with updates on various people’s statuses, and puppy videos, and emojisinspirational sayings, and invitations to take tests in order to determine which famous dead people I would most likely enjoy meeting at a dinner party and which emoji I most resemble.

But a few weeks ago, that all changed.

Now, before I can even swallow my first dose of caffeine, I have to learn (to use just one morning last week as an example):

  • That Republicans want to dump coal into streams.
  • That the nominee for Secretary of Education is against public schools.
  • That people who are up in arms about voter fraud are registered to vote in three states.
  • That one of the major issues concerning our President is the ratings of a reality TV steve_bannon_20101show.
  • That Steve Bannon, a racist who looks disconcertingly like Russell Crowe, might join the National Security Council.
  • That one of the only people attempting to bring even a hint of sanity to the halls of Congress used to be on Saturday Night Live.
  • That the bombing of a mosque in Canada by a Christian is a good reason to keep Muslims out of the U.S.
  • That more Americans were killed last year by lawnmowers than by jihadist terrorists.*813175_russell_crowe1
  • That a five year old boy was handcuffed at a U.S. border for being a “security threat.”
  • That I should check to see if my Facebook account had been hacked.
  • That the Queen of England can legally kill the President of the United States with a sword.
  • That somebody named Mary Velegol, who I’ve never heard of and yet is somehow a Facebook friend, wants me to “Stand with Trump” merely by pressing “like.”
  • That Ted Cruz, who once read Green Eggs and Ham for, like 24 hours, is accusing the trumpother party of being obstructionist.
  • That our President not only thinks Frederick Douglass is alive and well, but that he “has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”
  • And that avocado caulifower toast is a good, low-carb breakfast.

So now I’m already nauseous, and hoping that at least some of this stuff is fake news** so I can build up the courage to venture outside my house long enough to walk the dog.

But, wait–Facebook isn’t finished with me yet, because even as I chew my first bite of a Protein One bar (like I would ever eat avocado cauliflower toast), I’m bombarded by calls to action: people I should call, petitions I should sign, letters I should write, protests I should join.

Now I’m nauseous and exhausted from thinking up reasons why I’m not going to do any of those things. All I want to do now is crawl back into bed.

So, I hate to ask this, I really do, because I’m totally in favor of free speech and all that, but, please…can we reserve Facebook for puppy videos until 9 am?

Thank you and see you soon.

*And yet we still allow lawnmowers into the country.  **Turns out none of them were.

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Entry 628: Our Dog Can Spell

There are a few things you need to know about my wife Barbara and I before you read this post:

  1. We have a Shetland Sheepdog named Riley.
  2. Shelties are a very smart breed. They’re like Stephen Hawking, but much more agile.
  3. Barbara and I are not like Stephen Hawking.
  4. Our home has a long hallway.

Okay, now that you’re prepared, I will elaborate about the hallway. It begins at our kitchen, goes past our front door, passes three rooms on the left, a short hallway to the right and another room on the right before reaching a dead end. The floor is hard wood.snow

I’ll tell you why that’s important in a moment.

Now, Riley is our second sheltie and, like our first one, his favorite game is anything resembling “monkey-in-the-middle,” wherein two people throw a ball (or anything, really, including snow) back and forth and he tries to intercept it.

Almost as soon as he was trained enough not to be confined to one room, our daughter suggested that the best place in the house to play this game was the aforementioned long hallway, since that provided the most space for him to run and the most potential for him to get tired out, at least for a few minutes.

bambi-on-ice21So Barbara and I would sit at either end of the hall and throw a ball. Riley took to this enthusiastically, racing from one end of the hall to the other with abandon. The polished hard wood floor would often cause him to slide, Bambi-on-ice style, into the laps of the human participants, or the wall, or the feet of anyone who had the misfortune to emerge from one of the rooms along the hallway while we were playing.

We called this game Hall Ball.

We worried that Riley might injure himself with all his uncontrolled sliding, so we balldid what any couple would do: we purchased a carpet runner for the hallway. We probably would have laid in Astroturf if bright green went with our house, but it doesn’t, so we bought something like the red carpet at award shows, except not red, and with no movie stars.

Riley liked this addition very much. It let him skid efficiently to a stop by actually spreading his toes for traction, which shocked us, because we didn’t know dogs could use their toes that way or that they even had toes. The carpet also let Riley get enough footing so that he could leap into the air without tumbling onto his back.

All of this enabled Riley to intercept our throws more frequently, which was a problem, because once he got hold of the ball, he would run off into some other area of the house so that we’d have to chase him.  In other words, we would become the monkeys.

Riley enjoyed that part of the game a lot.

So we did what any couple would do: we took the gate that we had once used to keep Riley in one room, and placed it at the open end of the hallway when we played. Yes, that’s right: with the rug and the gate, we had created a Hall Ball court for our dog inside our home.

With my daughter, on the Hall Ball court

With my daughter, on the Hall Ball court

With the gate in place, and all the doors along the hallway closed, Riley had nowhere to go when he got the ball…except an equal distance between us, so that one of us had to get up or crawl to get the ball from him.

Perhaps one fact I should have added at the beginning of this post is that Barbara and are both way too old for that sort of thing. So we did what any couple would do: I sat at the dead end (so Riley couldn’t crash into the wall), and Barbara stood at the other end so she could easily walk to the middle and get the ball from Riley.

Meanwhile, Riley began having a Pavlovian response whenever he heard the term “Hall Ball,” or anything similar, even if it was “deck the halls” or just an “h” sound. He knew where I kept the balls for the game, and would stare at the box they were in and bark. Barbara and I needed a way to talk about Hall Ball without saying “Hall Ball,” because if I said something like “Should we play Hall Ball now?” we would have no choice but to play smileHall Ball now because Riley would be staring at the ball box and barking at it. Then he would stare at us, with that expectant “smile” that shelties are known for.

So we did what any couple would do: we began saying “H.B.” In response, Riley did what any sheltie would do: he quickly learned that “H.B.” meant “Hall Ball.”

Of course, we could start spelling the whole thing, but we just don’t see the point to it. He’d know what we were saying by the time we got to the second “L.” We could change the name of the game entirely and call it “Corridor Orb” or some such thing, but I’m sure Riley would figure that out before too long.

handLiterally, as I was writing this, with Riley laying on the bed behind me, Barbara appeared in the doorway of my office and, without saying a word, mimed the action of throwing a ball. Riley went flying off the bed, ready to play.

Short of inventing something like the enigma code with a key that changes every day and must be delivered by secret courier, I think we’re stuck with the way things are: a really smart dog, two really accommodating owners, and a Hall Ball court outside our bedroom door.

See you soon.

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