Friday, August 29, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of August 25, 2008

The DNC is over! The DNC is over! We can finally go about our regular business! Wait, what's that? The RNC is coming? And, instead of it being half-way across the country, it'll be right in our backyards? Great... just great. And then, it's only a matter of months before we can start seeing the campaigns get rolling for 2012. So let's move on to our awards, shall we?

Beyond the Palin Award
We finally know who the GOP VP candidate is going to be, and we have to say that we're fully in support. While we didn't think British citizens were eligible, we just loved what he did in "A Fish Called Wanda". What's that? It's not Michael Palin, but Sarah Palin? But, um... okay.

Rock You Like A Hurricane Award
So we stated above that the RNC is coming to our backyard. It's supposed to start Monday. What else is supposed to start Monday? According to early reports, the flooding of the Gulf Coast region, as Gustav may be making landfall then. The Republicans are considering postponing the start of the convention, marking one of the few times in history that they haven't wanted to relive the past. GDub has already prepared a "Levees Accomplished" banner.

It Burns, Burns, Burns Award
What would you do if you became the literal subject of the old "Liar, liar" rhyme? If you're like a driver in Maine, you'd just calmly pull over, take off your pants, and leave them on the side of the road. A witness claims that the victim of the inadvertent flames was a redhead, but may simply have been thinking "Firecrotch".

Next Time, Bring Nerf Award
We've probably never said this before, but we've definitely thought about it. If you really feel the need to try to rob someone, especially if said person is a drug dealer, bring a gun that isn't plastic. Not unless it's full of tasty hot sauce.

Try a Microwave Burrito Award
What would you do if your mother failed to have dinner ready for you on time? Well, for most people still living with their mothers, you might cry, or refuse to do your homework. For a 55-year-old man in Florida, he decided that he needed to threaten his mother, and then the President. After all, GDub's lasagnas always take too long to cook.

Duck! Award
Researchers have recently determined that the common house fly has actually modified its brain chemistry to the point that they instinctively avoid fly swatters. The researchers have also developed tips to help people combat the insects. Oddly enough, no research has been done into how scientists have modified their brain chemistry to the point where they instinctively study things that seem frivolous.

Pole Position Award
A woman in Pennsylvania has sued the county she lives in, because they won't let her open a dance studio for exercise purposes. Correction, a dance studio utilizing pole dancing and lap dancing for exercise purposes. She's faced some stiff opposition, but she's thrust the suit into their laps, hoping that she can drive a hard bargain. We're certain she could change their minds if she could get them to come inside.

And, on that note, we're going to wrap up our awards for this week. We've got to towel off for a bit in between the big conventions. Odds that the newly appointed GOP VP choice makes the candidate himself look even older, and more like Emperor Palpatine (or Larry Flynt)? We're setting the bar right around 4:1, and we don't know a thing about odds. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


These don't happen often, but, with yesterday being somewhat historic (and today probably being even more historic), we've decided to step outside of our normal field and actually talk seriously for a moment. Please indulge us.

Anyway, what we're specifically looking at is what Hillary Clinton has done at the DNC over the past couple of days. She not only spoke in a voice of unity, trying to bring her supporters over to the Barack Side, but she was the person to suggest that the roll call of states be suspended. It really couldn't have been anyone else making such a sweeping gesture, at least without causing even more bad blood.

But here's the question that we've been pondering for the past 24 hours or so. Was Hillary calling for the vote of acclamation the right thing to do? Not that we really necessarily believe that the DNC needed to continue the roll call of states. After all, it was fairly clearly on in the roll call that Obama was going to easily eclipse the number of delegates needed, as many of the voters had made their decisions to attempt to unify the party.

Still, the one thing that it seemed like Clinton supporters were really striving for was a voice. One of the largest complaints they had after the primary was that they felt they were being marginalized, and that their opinions weren't being validated. Could it actually be more detrimental for the Democratic Party for Hillary to have ended the roll of states? Is there a chance that Clinton supporters are going to feel as though they've been marginalized by their own candidate, and could damage Obama's chances of reaching the White House?

We can't be certain, one way or the other. On one hand, many Clinton supporters are aware that the candidate most likely to attempt policies that they will agree with is Barack Obama. Plenty are aware that John McCain has even admitted to wanting to repeal some things that the Democrats and Clinton have worked towards. And yet, after one of the longest, most drawn-out primaries in history, one that caused bitterness to flow from both sides, with neither candidate looking across the aisle, it's entirely possible that having the roll call cut short will actually lead to more disaffection, and more dissension within the ranks.

Hillary Clinton has spent two days speaking about party unity, and the need to join forces to ensure that the Democrats take the White House. For the party's sake, she has to hope that they've been listening.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bright Ideas

Today, we actually have three different stories, because they all seem to have a connecting thread to their narratives. That thread? We'll just call it "Bright Ideas". It's almost like science taking the reins, but this time, it's the common man.

Speaking of the common man, it's not unheard of for a truck driver to get robbed. It's also not unheard of for people to actually rob themselves, and try to pin the blame on someone else. What classifies this as a "Bright Idea" is that the truck driver couldn't begin to give anything approaching a description of the supposed burglar. Oh yeah, and there were no witnesses to back up his story of grand larceny on the highways of America.

You'd think after driving a truck all day, the driver would have been able to come up with some sort of a description. At least saying something like, "I think it was a 20-something guy who was a bit shorter than me" had to be better than answering the police with, "Um, I don't know what they looked like." Of course, even that second answer was better than answering, "I did it."

But he's not the only one having "Bright Ideas". A young adult decided that he wanted to have a pool party, and invited some of his not-quite-adult friends. Everything was going swimmingly until the real estate agent trying to sell the house decided to stop by for a random check-up. Which just shows why you shouldn't swim in the pool of a house up for sale.

But it's not all crime that leads to "Bright Ideas". Sometimes, it can be a mail mix-up. And such a thing has been happening in the sleepy Irish town of Ballinacor. Apparently, the small community has a few residents with the exact same name, causing a headache for the postal service, and the mail recipients. So, as a stroke of genius, the residents have petitioned to get house numbers added, so that they can receive their appropriate mail.

House numbers. Wow. What will the Irish think of next? Mixing whiskey with cider? That would just be crazy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taking the challenge

"It's only a movie."

"The scariest thing you've ever seen."

"Whatever you do, don't watch this alone."

These phrases, along with many others, have been used for decades to bring people out in throngs to see horror movies. And yet, even without the hyperbole, people would still go in droves. Why? Because there's just something about being scared that gives people a bit of a thrill. Sure, for a genre that has been alternated from political commentary to simply trying to gross the audience out, it can't ever claim huge blockbusters. And yet, for every Iron Man, there are three or four horror movies that can at least make their budget, if not above and beyond.

Still, given the amount of exaggeration that tends to follow promotion of any movie (pitching The House Bunny as the "funniest movie of the summer"? Did you not see Indiana Jones? Or does unintentional comedy not count?), it just seems like people would take the phrases with a grain of salt, and view them as intended. And most people do. However, a horror fan in Bangalore decided to test one a film, and rented an entire theater to watch it alone.

That's right. For the low low price of $1160, the man was able to rent out the entire theater and watch the movie without other theater-goers shrieking around him, tossing popcorn at the screen, or making out in the back rows. He also had a doctor on call, but was left disappointed that it only took "10 minutes to settle down".

Obviously, this man hasn't seen the vast majority of "horror" movies produced in America in recent years. Not only is $1160 more than they deserve to make in any weekend, but most of them seem to be pushing more towards discomfort and cheesy "boo jumps" instead of actual horror.

But hey, this could give Eli Roth a new idea for any upcoming projects he might have. If only we could determine why we never see him and Uwe Boll together.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A retirement of sorts

Road signs seem to exist for just about every incident under the sun, or at least for every incident that could theoretically take place anywhere near a road. While there are plenty of signs that get by with the usage of words (signs like "Stop" or "Do Not Enter"), there are many other signs that have more abstract concepts, and therefore need to rely on imagery. For example, there are signs that appear to be a magician holding out his hat, images of deer jumping over an invisible bush, and the always popular duck fleeing from a pack of rabbits.

Well, a group of pensioners in London have decided that they've had it with a sign used to denote that people in the area may not move quite as quickly as others. In fact, they're so upset by the sign that they want it changed.

Sure, we can imagine that there are plenty of very physically fit and able elderly citizens across the globe. And we agree that they might take some offense to the image of a person using a cane to walk. After all, it's a personal slam against them, given that obviously only people that have retired ever need to utilize a cane. As for us, we'd be more concerned by the image of a second person who has apparently grafted their arm onto the small of our back, but that's just us.

Still, these signs are meant to alert drivers of those with poor mobility. While the image being used may not be the most accurate (especially in a time when people are continuing to remain active and, um, alive, for longer periods of time), it is a strong image that conveys the needed information to someone seeing it while driving.

The only real question that we have at this point is whether or not these pensioners even really have something to complain about. After all, it's not showing them with broken hips. But if it helps, we do have an idea for a more truthful sign.

We just aren't quite sure how to draw people getting others off of their lawns.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of August 18, 2008

Welcome back once again. We can see the signs of summer's end here in Minnesota, with a State Fair, a Renaissance Festival, and the impending March of the Elephants. After that, we're looking ahead at the 6 months of the year that people call "winter", and we call "a minor inconvenience". Even with that slow-down, we've got awards to hand out.

The Economy is My Handicap Award
Recently, the president of South Korea suggested that Korean officials should also stop hitting the links. His reasoning? The economy is stagnant, and he's worried about public sentiment. Wow. Aside from Tiger Woods, the last guy to give up golf did so because he wanted to show unity with the troops. After all, Iraq is nothing but one big sand trap.

Topsy Turvy Award
Well, not only is summer coming to an end soon, but the world may be turning on it's head, as well. Apparently, FOXNews has rejected an anti-Obama ad that tries to tie the Democratic candidate with the political activist group the Weathermen. We're almost tempted to tune in to see if Alan Colmes has find a spine. In the meantime, the bosses at FOX probably realized that they can get enough rhetoric and vague accusations by letting Bill O'Reilly speak for five seconds.

You're Killing Me Award
We all know that bad jokes are painful. What we may not have known before is that bad jokes actually seem to invite hostility from listeners. This brings us no closer to understanding why Dane Cook doesn't need to walk around with his own Secret Service team at all times.

Troubled Lock Award
After smashing holes through walls, what could possibly foil a burglar who really wanted to rob from a clothing store? How about a safe? More specifically, how about a safe that wasn't locked? After hours of being unable to crack the lock on the safe, the thief attempted to set the store on fire before fleeing. This is why the Incredible Hulk was never given flame powers.

Give Me a "T"! Give Me an "A"! Give Me An "Augh"! Award
What would you do if your child was cut from a cheerleading squad? If you said, "Taser the coach", then you must be from Oklahoma, where two women are facing trial for doing just that. We heard that the new routine was shocking, but we're pretty sure that's not what they meant.

Adam and Bing! Award
According to a recently released study, people actually do have some sort of "Gaydar". Apparently, in the study, researchers showed people a series of photos, and more often than not, the participant would be able to correctly guess if the person was gay or not. The study is prepared to enter its second phase, which will explain the desire to "change" a person, because they simply haven't found the right man/woman.

And, well, with that knowledge firmly in hand, er, um, our minds, we're going to sign off for this week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A demon in the sack

You know, plenty of people like it when their sexual partners are a bit more aggressive, bordering almost on voracious. It tends to add a bit of spice to the relationship, and plenty of times a higher level of kink will come from partners with a bit more experience. They've experimented, found the things that they like, and keep returning to that (potentially disturbing) well because it's what works for them in bed.

Meanwhile, nobody wants to deal with someone who's become completely possessed by a concept, or, worse yet, a demon or devil. Sure, it could lead to some fun bedroom games, but we're fairly certain that after the first time you've sacrificed a goat to satisfy your partner, it starts getting old.

Well, according to an exorcist from Westminster, people need to be cautious about promiscuity (and no, he doesn't care if it's hetero- or homosexual... both are just as bad). Why? Not because it might lead to infidelity or poor treatment from others. Not even because it might lead to an appearance on television, with Maury Povich trying to help determine who the father is. He expresses his concerns because, well, promiscuity could "become a pathway not only for disease but also for evil spirits".

Yup. Lots of sex could lead to demonic possession.

Admittedly, this is something that could be a bit concerning, but how many of us have had a partner that, over time, we've determined was crazy? Could this be because the relationship wasn't a good one, or that one partner was doing things to belittle the other? Is it a self-defense tactic to hep guard against hurt feelings? Sure, it could be any of those things, or it could be that they got possessed by Ixn'ehar the Fanged, and, instead of drooling acid, they just started calling eighteen times an hour.

You know, if this guy gets his way, nobody is going to be going around having plenty of no-strings-attached sex. What on earth will we gossip about?

And, in that universe, does Paris Hilton cease to exist?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't do that

There are a number of things that common sense should tell a person not to do. We would expect that people wouldn't drink paint, no matter what California said about it. We would hope that you wouldn't wear a suit made out of bacon when visiting an attack dog school. And we certainly hope that nobody would try and laugh at anything Carrot Top's done in the past few years.

As for some other things that people shouldn't do, we only have to look into the news to find some glaring examples. First, there's the guy who decided to grow pot. Not a horrible idea, really, as plenty of people have made quite a bit of money out of such a scheme. But this guy grew it around his driveway. In his defense, he was doing it to save money, and he also knew that the police were coming "sooner or later". However, since he was aware that they'd eventually show up (after all, cops are not bound to continue ignoring the tires full of pot for long), we're a little surprised that he didn't at least move the plants into his garage.

A second example of poor decision making comes in the form of a man who decided that he wanted to harass some of the bikini-clad baristas at a coffee shop in Parkland, Washington. Why did this go badly, aside from his choice to wear women's underwear and expose himself? Well, let's just say that baristas tend to have access to scalding hot liquids. And one might throw one of those to get the guy to go away. Of course, for any guy willing to change into that many different styles and colors of women's underwear, boiling water might just get him a little, um, hot.

A final example of poor choices? How about lumping liberal bloggers (and we mean the ones who make FOXNews actually look balanced, albeit from the opposite perspective) with Dungeons and Dragons players? And then making the connection to mom's basements? After all, when you're one of the spokespeople for John McGranddaddyCain, that might be par for the course. But here's the thing. Not all D&D players support Obama. Not all of them live in their mother's basements (for example, our mom doesn't even have a basement, thankyouverymuch). And certainly not all of them are the type to disparage the recollections of someone who fought for their country and was tortured for it. Heck, while the stereotypical gamer wouldn't be able to complete a day of basic training, there are others who are just as fit, if not more so, than the average Marine. And, we're fairly certain, a fair number of gamers HAVE spent time in combat, and not just the type that require dice rolls.

Here's the deal. Sure, bloggers at DailyKOS got up in arms about the similarities in story between the Republican candidate and a former Russian POW. And sure, it's entirely likely that it's just a striking coincidence. But we seem to recall a little Swift-boating being done of another former war hero four years ago, and the solution offered was basically for Dems to toughen up and show a little class. We suggest the same to the GOP in this instance.

In the meantime, we wouldn't be surprised to see plenty of gamers start showing proud support for the campaign that hasn't bashed them (yet). And if we see Mountain Dew and Tostitos on the Obama campaign trail, we'll know that he got some sort of a message.

Either that, or he stumbled across a random encounter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good and bad judgement

We'll admit it. People aren't necessarily the wisest creatures when it comes to decision-making. Heck, we've been victim of stupid decisions ourselves. It happens to all of us. And yet there are times when one foolish mistake can overshadow another, wiser choice.

Take, for example, the story of a man driving around with sunglasses and condoms in his glove compartment. Not a bad idea. After all, he's protecting his eyes, and he's also working to try and keep his fidgety bits from getting anything nasty (or protecting the fidgety bits of others if he's already been unlucky. So we compliment his decision-making skills on this front.

That compliment gets taken away, however, when you realize that the only reason we know this man drove with these items is because he tried to give them to a police officer in lieu of his driver's license. And, if they hadn't already guessed that he might have been a little too drunk to drive, he tried to offer them a half-empty can of Fosters, saying that he'd only opened it a little bit ago.

By committing a simple string of foolish mistakes, the good thought into making sure that he didn't damage his retinas and that he would be able to have protected sex are made moot points. Although his most recent course of action could result in him not needing (or being able) to drive for awhile, which would allow him to save money in the long run. And, when he finally does turn 21, it should allow him to purchase something a bit better than Fosters.

Of course, it could always have been worse. He could have decided that he was going to stash $30,000 in a garbage can for him to gather later, and then offer a reward (of $1,000) when it went missing. So he's got that going for him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just tacky

The city of Appleton, WI is facing some harsh vandalism right now. Having obviously tackled problems such as drugs, violence, and people driving the wrong way on one-way streets, they city has shifted their focus to a vandal marking various things in the downtown area of the sleepy upper Midwestern community.

What that vandal is doing? Why, they're putting stickers on things. Those stickers read "art object", and include a price varying from 1 cent to $10,000.

Wow. Just wow. The audacity of the person (or maybe people) who are doing this. After all, don't they realize that stickers leave a nasty residue behind? One that makes the prospect of cleaning up after them more troubling?

The most interesting thing to us is the fact that these stickers are being placed on completely mundane objects, with varying prices. On one hand, yes, art is everywhere, and it's where you make it. On the other hand, was there some sort of system used to price things like fire hydrants or manhole covers? How about mailboxes or traffic signs?

And what would the city do if people actually bought these items? These are the types of questions that we can never get answers to.

Probably because the people with the answers are too busy washing sticker glue off of a light post.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of August 11, 2008

Here we sit, staring Friday in the face. And we can tell you, Friday is one cool customer. Unflinching, and not being the slightest bit inclined to answer any of our questions. So, since we're not getting answers, we're just going to jump into our awards.

Definition of Gifted Award
Want a sure-fire way to get some quick notoriety? Prove just how gifted you are by doing something fairly stupid. For example, a "gifted" student from India, in the middle of an experiment using liquid nitrogen, decided to take a quick swig. Because something that can't be touched with bare hands should obviously be drunk. The true "gift" for this student? Survival.

Ring Ring Ring Ring Award
We love our stupid criminal stories, and yet one that we found today achieves a special place in the cold, bitter recesses of our hearts. After all, it's not quite every day that you read about a burglar breaking in and taking his time with alarms blaring around him. It's even less frequent that they answer the phone call from the alarm company and identify themselves. We expect that the burglar merely thought that they were part of the new FOX series, "America's Most Candidly Punk'd".

Back of a Turtle Award
What is one fact that seems impossible to argue about? If you said that, "The Earth is round", you must not know any Flat Earthers. This society, which lost their leader in 2001, continues to believe that the Earth is more of a disc than a globe, and that circumnavigation is possible by going the long-way around the disc. The group shows no signs of accepting the possibility of a globe, which is crazy, because we all know that the Earth is really much closer in shape to the almighty kumquat, and that it spins on an axis shaped like a bowling pin.

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off to Jail We Go Award
What happens when costumed characters at Disney theme parks decide to protest new work contracts? Well, at least in California, they make a point of doing so in costume, so that people can see cartoon favorites restrained and arrested by the police. Cinemax is expecting to film a documentary starring the arrested Snow White and Tinkerbell.

Antichrist Superstar Award
Well thank goodness. We were starting to get worried there for awhile. With his meteoric rise and incredible global popularity, we entertained the notion. And we prepared to bow down and become subservient to the one that would destroy the world. But, thanks to the writers of the "Left Behind" books, we can now rest assured that he's not actually the Antichrist. Which is exactly what he wanted us all to believe...

Um.... Award
So there's apparently a couple of people in the United States that swear that they happen to have the remains of something elusive. That's right, folks, they've seen a comprehensive foreign policy plan. Or Bigfoot. One of the two.

Do As I Say Award
The recent conflict between Russia and Georgia has brought new levels of rhetoric out of many of the Western world's leaders. Namely, there has been anger from some leaders, included GDub, for Russia's occupation, and refusal to leave immediately as soon as the cease-fire was signed, saying that it's not 1968 anymore. Which is entirely true at the White House, where their calendars still read 1991.

Getting the Bird Award
Well, nobody should ever claim that the Norse don't hold on to tradition. In 1972, an Edinburgh penguin was named an honorary member of the King's Guard. Over the years, other titles were applied, and, when the original penguin died, a new one was given the name and titles. Now on the third leg, the penguin, named after the former King Olav, has taken another step on it's path, having been knighted. At least he was already dressed for the occasion.

And that wraps up our awards for today. We just had to kind of squeak out on that last one, because, well, it's actually a pretty cool story. Bizarre as all heck, but pretty cool. We'll catch you on the other side of the weekend. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ink me

Plenty of people walk around with assumed names. Sometimes, it's because they're a part of some mafia hit, and they want to keep a low profile. Sometimes, they just think that having a different name makes them a little cooler. And, every once in a while, it's a Hollywood type, signing into a place to stay. But trust us. There really aren't that many people named Reginald Rumgargler out there, and those that are probably can't afford to stay in the nice places.

Of course, another reason to give a false name would be when you're trying to evade capture by the police. Probably not a bad way to go about things, if you're the type of person to actually need to escape from the long arm of the law. But here's a tip, folks.

Don't give a false name if you have a tattoo with your real name.

Especially if that tattoo is on your head.

Seriously. That's like the old rules about getting the name of a lover tattooed on your arm. Unless you happen to be luckier than a leprechaun who sprouts clovers from their toes, things are going to go badly.

Besides, everyone knows that the names go across the back. In large gothic letters.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Teach what you know

So we don't have a long story for today, but that's alright, because we're all sorts of scattered. But enough about us. Let's dive right in to the good stuff.

What do you do when you confess to over 1,000 different burglaries? Well, if you're like most thieves, you start getting your mail and personal affects forwarded on to one of the local prisons, and you don't plan on seeing much of the light of day for years. Oh, and you get prepared to get friendly with your potential cell mates over the years.

So now, what do you do when you confess to over 1,000 different burglaries around LA, and the police have, thus far, found close to 200 victims? Well, why not try and get your sentence reduced? An LA burglar did just that by producing a "how to" video for the police, showing how he committed many of his crimes, and giving them a valuable training tool.

You know, this sort of thinking could catch on and spread like wildfire. Imagine some of the other uses. We could have arsonists making training materials for firefighters, addicts helping out the narcotics division, and gun makers working with homicide.

Of course, this isn't entirely new. After all prostitutes have been working hand in hand with politicians for years to make sure even gets screwed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check yourself

Now that were literally mere weeks away from knowing definitively who will be vying for the White House in November, it only seems logical that there's a bit of a shake-up going on. And no, we're not talking about the chance that Hillary is going to put herself back up for nomination. We kind of expected that, with the typical Clinton penchant for bowing out less-than-gracefully.

No, the shake-up that we're talking about is happening with the GDub Administration. After all, when you've held down one of the lowest approval ratings for any world leader in recent history, there's just very little that you can possibly do. Some presidents would want to improve how they look in history's view. GDub, on the other hand? He's decided that it's time to solidify himself as one of the worst "deciders" in history.

After failed policy after failed policy (and some successful policies that were presented poorly, at the wrong time, or with hand puppets), it only seems logical that the President, who's been trying to revamp protections for endangered animals, should find a way to get his resolutions without that pesky Congress and their system of "checks and balances". The result?

If you're an agency that might impact the environment and endangered species, just go and make that risk assessment for yourself. Don't worry about getting others to check your numbers for you.

Admittedly, this plan hasn't been enacted yet, but the simple audacity of trying to put this together is pretty astounding. There's a reason why there have been agencies set up to verify these things... it seems that there's fairly damning proof that losing more species on the planet is harmful to the coexistence of those left behind.

We can also picture just how this concept might work in practice. Imagine a logging company or a drill team (or a road construction unit) headed towards an area that might hold endangered species. Person one asks person two if he thinks that the impact is minimal enough. Person two responds that the impact to his paycheck if they don't do it is too drastic to miss. And, ta-da, there's a new oil rig/overpass/clear field where a forest used to be.

Of course, maybe this is simply GDub's plan for proving survival of the fittest. Because no "fit" animal would want to live where his cronies want to install a power plant.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Got any grapes?

Having some difficulty making ends meet, and yet still wanting to find a way to make it out to the pub for a pint or two? Two different methods popped up over the weekend.

In the first, just drive along the highway until someone's bag of money splits open. Of course, for this tactic to work, you need to rely on someone driving along with a bag of money, and then you need to hope it splits open in such a way as to scatter the money through the air. We can't be positive, but we have a hunch it looked something like a cartoon.

Thankfully, there is another way. And it requires nothing more than having access to livestock, vegetables, or other assorted foodstuffs.

Oh yeah, and you have to live in the United Kingdom.

But that's because a pub in Norfolk is turning food into drinks. Basically, they're encouraging customers to bring in their own ingredients for items that they think should be on the menu. In exchange, the customers are being given complimentary pints full of cool, frothy beer.

Of course, we wonder at the exchange rate. We'd guess that something that could feed a family of four might net a few decent pints, perhaps something in the Guinness family.

We'd try that ourselves, but we don't really have a garden, and we'd probably end up only carrying enough to get a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon or Milwaukee's Best.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of August 4, 2008

Welcome back. This has been a topsy-turvy week. After all, could any of us possibly have guessed that Paris Hilton would be able to speak eloquently, let alone on an energy policy that might actually work? We sure didn't. So before this week gets crazier, let's get the awards started.

Heckuva Deal Award
When police cars get decommissioned, they often find their way to an auction. Well, a man in Rhode Island found a surprise in the cruiser that he purchased. Upon cleaning it, he discovered a small bag full of cocaine. The man speculates that a suspect may have hid the drugs, to which the police were quick to agree, wipe their noses, and go about their business.

Worst Amusement Park Attraction Ever Award
No, we're not giving this to the spinning teacups at any of the Disney parks. We don't know why, but there's something appealing about them. It might be the fact that we avoid them, so we don't get any accidental spray. No, our choice for the worst attraction? "Waterboard Thrill Ride" at Coney Island. The attraction features one robot waterboarding another. In second place for worst attraction? It's a tie between the "Sienna Miller Log Ride" and "Lindsey and Britney Roulette".

Dude, The Boat Was Like, Right There Award
How can you tell you've had far too much to drink? Well, when you're stranded on a cliff ledge, that might be a good first sign. A good second sign? When the rescue teams determine that they'll have to come back after you've sobered up. To paraphrase the Simpsons, here's to alcohol; the cause of, and solution to, a group of teens stuck on a cliff face. Meanwhile, people in Wisconsin are scoffing and saying, "Amateurs".

When You're A Jet Award
So we all know where Brett Favre landed, right? Can we let it go no? Please?

Patience is a Virtue Award
There are many times where being a little more patient can help you achieve your hopes and dreams. One of those times is when you're a day away from your prison release. Unfortunately for a California man, he just couldn't take it any longer and escaped from prison, only to be caught and returned. The escape happened shortly after lunch, which the prisoner finished eating at approximately 6:45a.m.

What Do You Want on Your Tombstone? Award
A man on trial for pleaded guilty to murder after he was given exactly the type of deal he wanted. That deal? Fried chicken, pizza, calzones, and other breaks from prison food. The man was also married in a civil ceremony, which wasn't part of the deal. Of course, by accepting this, some people might think that he's cheapened the plea bargain, but they need to keep in mind how much all of that food would cost, especially with rising gas prices.

A Lot of Dough(nuts) Award
Most thieves that get their hands on credit cards ring up small purchases such as gallons of gas, or gift cards from multiple locations. One pair of thieves took the theory to one further step. Instead of getting the cards from different places, they used the stolen cards to rack up $100,000 in Dunkin' Donuts gift cards, which they redeemed for coffee and soft drinks. The police are shocked that anyone could even get that many gift cards, let alone for a doughnut shop.

Always Room for Jello Award
Quick, name the strangest thing to use in a robbery. All of you that chose a bundle of bananas while juggling a spiked mace come pretty close. For those that didn't think along those lines, imagine the success of someone using an empty box of Jello to try to get money from a video store. Silly burglar. Thanks to Netflix, video stores don't have money.

Well, that does it for this week's awards. Hopefully next week we'll be able to return to some level of normalcy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Take that, sweatshirts!

You know, it's about time that someone stepped in and worked to protect our children even more. After all, we've been working to remove hazards to their lives, such as lead paint and mercury as a medicine. So it's about time that finally another one of the many dangers pervading our children's lives is seeing it's time come to a close. And, of course, we mean that the companies that produce this particular hazard are starting get the fines they so justly deserve.

You may be wondering just what could be such a danger to our children that recently, nine different companies were fined. That hazard, which is worse than child labor laws, metal slides, and food allergies combined can only be known by one name.

The ever elusive drawstring.

That's right folks. It's time we put an end to this danger. Too many children have been harmed by drawstrings. After all, when literally dozens of children have died in the past two decades due to accidents involving drawstrings, it's time that we put a stop to it.

Wait. Dozens? In twenty years? Really? More people (and children) die from food allergies than from that. Are we going to start fining companies that produce nutritious snacks, too? Thank goodness that we have something called the Consumer Product Safety Commission to remind us that drawstrings, which have been fine but for the random freak accident, are a defective part of the fashion.

Look, if we don't allow children to have shirts with drawstrings, how are we going to prepare them to become the hoodie-wearing gangs of the future? And if they don't get drawstring pants, we're doing a vast disservice to our future generations of slobs.

Please. Think of the slobs.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sometimes crime is inconvenient

We're bouncing two stories your way today, just because they both have elements that, for one reason or another, just leapt out at us. And, when things leap, we try to catch them and chat a bit about what we've found.

Anyways, in the first story, we learn what not to do if our blinds and a door are left open. That, naturally, would be walking around naked. After all, you do that enough times, and even if you happen to be someone genetically gifted with a beautiful body, someone is bound to complain. Not that we'd want to infringe on someone's desire to be naked in their home, but they might want to at least find a way to keep a few more eyes from being drawn to them.

But don't think for a second that the man being nude was the most bizarre thing about the incident. When the police arrived to arrest him for indecency, they found him in his living room in the middle of a "lewd act with a claw hammer, plastic bag and motor oil."

Um... okay. Sure, the plastic bag and maybe the motor oil might have some sort of purpose, but the claw hammer? We're just thankful it wasn't a Phillips-head screwdriver, when we think about it.

And now, to keep ourselves from thinking about it any further, we're going to progress to the second story, which is really just an example of some bad luck. When stopping at a 7-11, a California man was unfortunately surprised by a gun-wielding carjacker. The two drive until ran out of gas, prompting the driver to flee the scene and call the police. The real problem, though?

The driver had just stolen the truck earlier in the night. So much for professional courtesy, huh?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Thou shalt not what again?

If you work in a church, it doesn't seem like the Ten Commandments would be all that hard to follow. After all, it is only ten major laws that you should know and keep yourself from violating if you want to prove to the Great Employer in the Sky that you deserve a promotion when your current assignment ends. This would go double if part of your chosen job is to tell others about these laws, to that they can also get a good pension.

Of course, we live in a world where we see police officers in trouble for breaking the laws that they have chosen to uphold, so it shouldn't come as a major shock that a man of the cloth would violate any of the ten laws set down on a couple of carved tablets, if you believe the stories. Somehow, though, it does. It might be because of the crimes committed.

Today's story is actually a good example of things getting a little too far out of hand, and adding more problems onto the pile. According to the jury's findings, a preacher had been embezzling money from a rancher, to the tune of over $1 million. Now, we're no Biblical scholars, but we're fairly certain that there's something about theft being listed in that group of ten rules. So it only makes sense that the preacher might have tried to conceal his illicit doings. While others might have tried to hide the money within an organization (possibly one that accepts free-will donations to maintain operation), he took a different course.

His course was to kill the old rancher. Again, not scholars, but we KNOW that those rules don't look kindly on killing.

Maybe he was suffering from a lapse in reason, or maybe he'd simply forgotten about the universal laws that he was supposed to follow. Maybe he was looking for a way to turn this situation into an anecdote for his sermons. Or maybe he felt that, having a more direct pipeline to the hereafter, he would get a pass.

Ultimately, this does present a lesson that we can all learn from. And that lesson? Don't believe that you're above the law, especially if you're supposed to be keeping them fresh in people's minds.

Sometimes simply being an example is the worst example you can be.

Monday, August 04, 2008

So, no foam then?

Many people stop at coffee shops in the morning on their way into work. A large number of that group also stop in the middle of the morning while on a break, and they may even include an afternoon stop or two. The coffee shop has become such a regular fixture in our culture that people sometimes seem to ignore the fact that the people behind the counter are employees and, not necessarily, the best friends of the customers.

Take the example of a woman in Washington state. She recently became angry at the baristas for not fulfilling her request, something which seemed fairly easy. Her anger became so overblown that, when she was confronted by the police, she proceeded to accuse the coffee-shop worker of doing things such as lying about her age and that she'd made any strange request in the first place. When asked why the barista would have lied, she claimed "They do that."

So what exactly was this request prior to 11a.m. that caused such a disturbance?

According to the barista, she was asked by the woman to blow into an interlock device. That's right, it's one of those devices that keep cars from being started by drunk drivers, and are mandated by the courts. The woman allegedly accused the barista of making her late for work by refusing to help get the car started.

Just keep that in mind kids. When you get your own job at a coffee-shop, always be prepared to have a customer ask if you can help them sober up. Stand by your convictions, and be ready to keep them from starting an interlocked car. After all, one of the things that people rely on after a night of too much drinking is black coffee.

Oh, and if someone asks you to do such before it's even noon, and it isn't a holiday that rhymes with "Faint Ratty's Pay", then you might want to be concerned. You know, unless you live in Beertopia.

After all, Beertopia doesn't have a mall.

Friday, August 01, 2008

(Mini) Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of July 28, 2008

Happy Friday! We've got a condensed version of our awards today, because, well, we're on a condensed amount of time. But hey, we didn't want to leave you hanging without a little something for the weekend, so let's roll!

No Comment Award
We have to give this to the McGranddaddy. Recently, at a campaign stop in Wisconsin, he was asked an "important question". No, not whether Wisconsin cheese is better than other cheeses. He was asked about Brett Favre, a question which he smartly avoided answering fully. Heck, we half expected him to say that he expects Favre to play 100 more years.

Drip Drip Drip Award
The Mars probe that NASA sent up awhile back has made a fantastic discovery. After breaking through some of the planet's permafrost, they've discovered actual Martian ice. Naturally, this comes as little shock to anyone who's been regularly enjoying their whiskey on the Martian rocks, or anyone who thought that people looked a little too comfortable in Total Recall. We expect that, before long, Evian will corner that market, as well.

A Suggestion Award
We all know how Wal-Mart feels about unions. Given that there's at least a perception that an Obama presidency would make it easier for unions to form, it shouldn't surprise anyone that Wal-Mart is not necessarily in favor. But when they warn employees from voting for him? It's a good thing that the Dems have all those people born in the 1800s to count on.

Proofing the Proofers Award
It seems like just last week that a former astronaut came out of the woodwork to say that NASA had been keeping the existence of aliens a secret. So, naturally, this week, his theory has detractors. Those detractors? UFO researchers, who say that there's no proof to his claims. Um, if there's no proof, then what exactly are they researching?

We Don't Need No Water Award
What do you do when your fish tank catches on fire? No, seriously, what do you possibly do? Our suggestion? Get some butter melting, and slice up a lemon. Mmmm... angelfish.

And that does if for this week. We'll be back next week, when the craziness calms down. Stay safe out there!