Monthly Archives: April 2010

reasons to avoid sears

So, your old pal i am whaleman up and moved over the weekend.  That’s right, me and the T got on up outta the casita and found a suitable dwelling in the PHX.  It was a long-ass day of moving on Saturday, as we don’t know anyone here and as such can’t sucker anybody into helping us move (even Grandma bailed on us!) and as you may be aware, yer old buddy i am whaleman is a fine collector of stuff (not a collector of fine stuff, of course), though even that’s getting better; less than four years after moving away from Pleasant Ave in a 24-foot truck (and needing more than one load to do it!), we’re down to a 14-footer.  I will now accept your plaudits.  Thank you, thank you.

Anyway, moving takes some time, and of course the new place doesn’t have the InterWebs and of course there are 54 networks within range but everybody password protects the damn things and as such there is no free internet for i am whaleman.  Such a ripoff.  So for now, I blog at work.  Seriously limiting, that.  It is a requirement of my position that I wear clothes, and am, as such, unlikely to blog in my preferred state.  You know: The Raw.  I hate society and all their “rules”.  Ruining my life.

As everybody knows, part of moving involves running all sorts of ridiculous errands that suck up tons of time that you could be spending making your new living place livable.  This is especially true if you’ve recently moved to a new state and have been living in a casita and are moving stuff from storage into smaller storage + studio apt and you don’t remember where you packed things because you started packing them a year ago and even if you can remember where things are they’re probably all the way in the back of the 5×10 storage unit and you’ve already been over there one time to pull things out to get to the stupid couch support bar that you stuck into the tub with the Poang chair pieces and fortunately one of the two of you is flexible enough to climb over things and reach through things to find the stupid couch support but you still can’t get your couch set up because of the four bolts that attach the legs to the couch, you have somehow managed to retain precisely one of them so you drive all the way to IKEA to get some more but of course that is the one bolt they don’t keep 10,000,000 of laying around so you eventually find a hardware store and get some bolts and they actually work and now you have a couch but then you have to cut your bedframe down because you bought a super-cheap IKEA bedframe which is actually two twin bedframes which, when attached, will not fit in the bed nook in your new studio apt so you come up with a solution that involves cutting the frame but of course you don’t have a saw so you go to Sears.  And then you see this:

The lesson here: never go to Sears, kids.  Unless you want to be a Tool.

That was all hypothetical, by the way.

Except for the Sears part.

a conglomeration

As I was driving to work this morning, NPR taught me several things.

  • First, I learned about football through this story about the NFL Draft (that link is to the written version; the audio version is about halfway down the page).  Now, before I say what I’m going to say, I just need to say first that, yeah, I know I’m a sports fan.  Yeah, I devote way too much time to watching sports and reading about sports and, of course, arguing about sports.  However, there is one sport I do not much care about, and that is football.  Sure, I enjoy a good football game as much as the next guy, assuming there’s nothing better to do and there are people to watch it with and there is beer and nachos and maybe some little wienies.  And I know things about football; if you’re a consumer of sports information, it’s impossible to avoid; plus, it’s important to be at least a bit knowledgeable if you plan to shout people down in arguments (not essential, of course, but fairly important).  Anyway, no matter how many things I know about football (or even the sports I care about like, say, baseball and basketball), it’s always good to have those people out there.  You know, the freaks.  The people who have traveled to New York City to sit in a room and listen to people yap about teams and players for hours upon hours at a time.  The people who have made that trip from places like Detroit (or wherever that one jerk was from) every year for 26 years.  Seriously, people?  They talk in the story about how cool it is to be there in the room while all this is going on, and the one thing I thought was “Yeah, that would be sort of cool to be in the middle of this huge clustersomething and arguing and what-have-you…for about 15 minutes.”  Beyond that?  No.  Seriously, football fans are losers.
  • I also learned about Cryptococcus gattii.  While that sounds like something awesome, it’s actually a super-nasty fungus that gives people brain and lung infections, and if undiagnosed/untreated, can cause systems of the body to just shut down.  The story about it is pretty interesting; apparently cases of it are on the rise in the Pacific Northwest.  It started on Vancouver Island and is spreading around a bit.  Scientists apparently do not know how it is spreading as much as it is as it cannot be transmitted from person to person.  I am smarter than scientists; I know how it is spreading to Oregon!  Oregon is full of filthy hippies.  One of these filthy hippies found out about this “brain-altering fungus” somehow (I know filthy hippies don’t read, so I don’t know how they acquire information, but that’s neither here nor there) and decided, “Dude, we should smoke it.”  So they did.  Stupid filthy hippies.
  • I also learned that Denzel Washington is going to be in “Fences” on Broadway.  Denzel Washington is 55 years old.  BDC.
  • LCD Soundsystem, one of my favorite music groups, has a new album coming out.  These guys do some sweet stuff.  Chef recommends.

just so you’re aware…

If you feel like you’d like to come to Arizona, for a little vacation or maybe a business trip or what-have-you, I feel like it’s the duty of yer old pal i am whaleman, as an extremely unofficial representative of the forty-somethingth state (ok, is it really necessary to modify the word “unofficial”?  Does it even make sense to do so?  Posnanski was talking about this a couple weeks back; the modifying of words that require no modifying [like, for example, saying that something was “extremely unique.”   It’s either unique or it isn’t, right?].  I don’t know.  I like to communicate just how unofficial my representation is; it is extremely so.  Also, I don’t know much about the history of the state of AZ; I have to take a class on the AZ constitution before I get my teaching license and so on–I’ll learn things like that then, I imagine.  As of now, I’m just some sort of Johnny-come-lately transient) to let  you know what’s going on down here in the desert in case you’re thinking about comin’ on down to visit me.

Anyway, there’s all kinds of good stuff going on.  Now, first of all, anybody who wants to can carry a concealed firearm in Arizona.  Isn’t that great?!  If you own a firearm, you can carry it without a permit, whether you’ve taken any kind of firearm safety course or not.  In fact, you don’t even have to prove to anybody you’re not some kind of trigger-happy nut!  You only have to have found a way to acquire a gun!  Radical, right?  Right!  Also, this makes conceal-carry classes completely unnecessary, so all of the people who were considering taking that class now do not have to.  That’s cool, though, because that money only goes to the state of AZ.

I mention this because, well, the state in totally flush.  The coffers are full, as the fella says.  And when I say full, I mean empty!  But don’t worry, they’re finding ways to cut possible revenue while at the same time cutting not only schools but public services such as police and fire departments as well!  But don’t worry; education is so highly valued here that for the upcoming tax increase vote, they had to tie education funding to funding for those same police and fire departments because the only way old people will vote for tax increases is if they’re scared that the police might not be around to protect them from Mexicans.

Oh, Mexicans, you say?  Well, don’t worry!  Because in Arizona, we’re working hard on that problem too!  The State Legislature just passed what they like to describe as a “tough” immigration bill.  What’s it about?  Well, the short answer is that it makes it a crime to live in Arizona without being a citizen or resident alien or et cetera.  Now, if you’re like yer old pal i am whaleman, you know that in the United States of America, it’s already a crime to live here without being a citizen or resident alien or et cetera.  But see, this bill makes it even tougher for those dirty immigrants who we all hate so much.  See, this bill makes it very clear that police in Arizona will be required to check the immigration status of any individual they have an inkling may be an illegal immigrant.  Fortunately, the legislature has provided a handy guide for police officers, which i am whaleman got a good look at the other day.  Here are the things officers are instructed to look for when determining possible violations of the new law:

  • Individual has brown skin.
  • Individual is driving a piece of shit car.
  • Individual speaks with some kind of accent, as though English is not his or her first language.
  • Individual has a mustache.
  • Individual is wearing a sombrero, serape, cowboy shirt, or other “Mexican clothing.”
  • Individual is black (not immigration-related, but chances are always better than even that you’ll find a criminal there, amirite?)
  • Individual just looks different.  You know how people who aren’t from here just look different, right?  Like there’s something not quite right about ’em?  Yeah, look for that.
  • Individual has a chihuahua in the car.
  • Individual is wearing a Che Guevara shirt (again, not immigration-related, but probably some jerkoff college kid who thinks he’s better than you.  Probably oughta taze his ass).

In a stunning coincidence, Arizona seems to have fewer tourist dollars every year.  I just don’t understand that; they’re doing everything right down here.  They’re making this state a haven for old, pistol-packin’ white folks who hate everything.  Doesn’t that just scream tourism?  Come on down, people!  Only a few more years left until all the schools are closed because there was only enough cash to keep the lawns and golf courses green!

youtubetuesday, gringos!

Do you ever wonder who controls the rights to certain music?  Like, for example, it’s fairly common knowledge that Michael Jackson, back in the day, bought the rights to the entire Beatles catalog.  Paul McCartney didn’t get to approve using the Beatles’ music for all sorts of ridiculous commercials and whatnot (which is probably a good thing; you know that backstabbing dirtbag would’ve sold every song in the catalog to the highest–no, make that the anyest–bidder as long as they credited him with being at least the primary writer, if not the only writer of the song…in fact, I’m sure he would’ve given discounts to any client who would submit a notarized statement saying they had never heard of John Lennon, and in truth could not be sure he had ever even existed.  I don’t much care for Paul McCartney).  Only Michael could approve that.  Now, I really do ask this question for a reason.  I ask, because have you heard the song “Armada Latina”?  I don’t know what kind of radio all y’all listen to; I heard this song entirely by accident.  But this song, this “Armada Latina,” which I believe translates roughly to “Latin Armada,” features a sample which I can’t say I expected would ever turn up in a song by Cypress Hill featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony.  Or as a sample in any song for that matter.  Give it a listen:

Yeah, that’s right.  That’s a little CSNY in there.  Crosby Stills Nash & Young’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is featured in a song by a group whose claim to fame is “Insane in the Brain.”  So I heard this the other day, and my first thought was, “What the f@*k?” and my second thought was, “Who are the ad wizards who came up with that one?”  Well, without doing a lot of digging, I have a guess as to who might have some say over what happens to CSNY’s music.  Did you watch the video?  Did you see this?

Correct me if I’m wrong, please, but that’s Steven Stills, is it not?  That’s right.  It’s Stills.  So does that mean that Stills is in control?  And can you imagine that video shoot?  So, B-Real and the other dude from Cypress Hill are chillin’ with Pitbull, and here comes…Steven Stills?  Did they sit around and enjoy some blunts together?  That’s what Latin guys do, right?  Enjoy some blunts?  What’s a blunt?  Anyway, um…here’s some more Cypress Hill just for fun:

And some Pitbull:

And, just to round things out, some Steven Stills:

Yep, that fits.

what the hell kind of blog is this, anyway?

According to yer old buddy i am whaleman’s Dashboard (you know, the page where I commit these brilliant and hilarious items to print [or whatever you call it when I send stuff out to the Toobs]), the top 5 searches that have directed people to i am whaleman are, in reverse order:

  • i am whaleman blog (Der.)
  • billy donovan to oregon (Must’ve had to dig pretty far down through the ol’ google to get to i am whaleman, since I mentioned Donovan in passing whilst talking about Oregonian RickRollers.)
  • ducks basketball (Again, don’t really know how that search got somebody to iaw.)
  • guinness ad you’ve only been here a week (I remember referencing that ad when discussing my new job.  That’s still kind of weird, but ok.)
  • cock-ha-hoop

Ok, really?  Cock-ha-hoop directed somebody to i am whaleman?  I can’t even remember when I used the words, but I know for a fact that I said cock-A-hoop.  But somebody out there searched a different spelling of that, and the google directed them to this page.

Dear The Internets,

You are so weird sometimes.

Love,

iamwhaleman

and now, three words: tactical. nuclear. penguin.

If I offered you the following multiple choice question, which would you choose?

Tactical Nuclear Penguin is:

  • A Swedish band.
  • A Scottish beer.
  • An Icelandic movie.
  • An iPhone video game.

If you said E. None of the above, you’d be wrong.  Because not only were there not any letters in front of the answers, None of the above wasn’t even one of the choices.  There were only four choices, and one of them is correct.  That’s how multiple choice quizzes work, dummy.

Anyway, the real answer is A Scottish beer.  That’s right, some Scots made a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin.  Oh, and this Tactical Nuclear Penguin?  THIRTY-TWO PERCENT ALCOHOL.  That’s right, that’s a 3 followed by a 2, but without the pesky decimal point in the middle.  Now that, Friends of i am whaleman, is a strong-ass beer.  If you’d like to know more about how some Scots came to brew a 32% beer, check out this video featuring penguins with Scottish accents:

If you are lazy and did not watch the video, get bent.  Now that you are bent, here is the summary: they wanted to make a super-strong beer.  They brewed some beer.  They aged it in barrels for 18 months.  They took it to an ice cream factory.  They froze the beer.  They poured out some water.  They froze it again.  They poured out some more water.  Repeat.  Boom.  32% alcohol beer.  And its name shall be called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, they said.

And then there were some Germans.  And these Germans thought they were better than the Tactical Nuclear Penguin and the BrewDog (that’s the name of the brewery, by the by).  So the Germans, who were called Schorschbrau (which I’m pretty certain is German for “Crotchbeer”), released a beer called Schroschbock (which I’m positive means “Crotchrash”).  Crotchrash is 40% alcohol.  So, let’s see.  BrewDog served…Crotchbeer served back…OH SNAP!  You know what that means!  IT IS SO ON!

At least, I assume that’s how it went at BrewDog…only with a sweet Scottish accent (and that makes this, by the way, back-to-back posts featuring sweet Brits.  Hmm).  Anyway, it was on.  And BrewDog made Sink the Bismarck!  Sink the Bismarck! is Forty-ONE percent alcohol.  I guess they decided to add just a little touch of effyou just to put it over the top.  Oh, you’d like to see some Scots speak German?  Ok:

Hitting a small child over the head with a peppered sausage, THAT is funny!  I concur.  These BrewDog guys seems pretty awesome, really.  Not only do they make totally ridiculous beer, goofy commercials, and know when it is so on, but they also enjoy one of i am whaleman’s favorite pastimes, stickin’ it to the man!  Reinwald sent me this article about this nuclear arms race of beermaking.  It comes from the pages of TIME magazine, which I thought folded years ago (zing!).  Anyway, the article features this excellent tale:

In December, BrewDog received a slap on the wrist from a British alcohol regulatory body, the Portman Group, which ordered that retailers pull the company’s 18.2% Tokyo beer brand off shelves because of its marketing tactics. A note on the Tokyo label says, “It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.” After the beer was pulled, BrewDog came out with a 1.1% ABV brew meant to tame the critics. Its name: Nanny State.

That reminds me of when Flying Dog put out a beer on whose labels was printed the slogan, “Good beer.  No shit.”  They were told they could not put such an epithet on their labels, and proceeded to print new labels with the slogan, “Good beer.  No censorship.”  Take that, The Man!  Anyway, brewing a whole other beer because you had a case of stickittodamaneosis?  That’s next level, right there.

TIME proceeds to go to the next level of bitching, suggesting that there is some kind of irresponsibility here on the part of BrewDog.  The guy says:

But you can’t deny that if the beer becomes more widely available in stores, or if other brewers mimic BrewDog’s strategy, it could become hazardous.

Actually, Captain Poopypants, I can and will deny that.  Yer old buddy i am whaleman has been known to grab a brew now and again, and iaw certainly enjoys the strong stuff (not to mention the dark stuff).  When I buy big-brewery (or medium-brewery or whatever) beers that come in multi-packs, no, I don’t generally check the alcohol content (unless, of course, I put down a six-pack and I’m all, dude, what the hell, man?  I’m not even buzzed.  What is this, some 3-2 shit?  Brah!).  But when I go for the higher-tier stuff?  Hell yes, checking the alcohol content is part of the process.  And I’d be willing to wager that the vast majority of people who visit specialty liquor and beer stores spend plenty of time looking at the alcohol content.  People, regardless of how much throwaway cash they have, when picking up a $60 bottle of beer, will think one thing before anything else:

“Why in the ever-lovin’ everything is this beer so damn expensive?”

And even if they’re stupid, they’ll take a peek at the label and see exactly why that beer is so damn expensive.  So that takes care of the rich dumbasses.  So if you ask me, there is no problem here.  Thanks for asking.  Anyway, I recommend checking out brewdog.com.  Those Scots are aaaaaaaaalright.

two words: nat. ty.

Why are the British so cool?

That’s awesome.  On the slideshow, they talk about recalling an “age of gentlemanly conduct on two wheels.”  Who doesn’t want to recall that?  The peeps looked like this:

So natty.  You can check out The Guardian’s writeup about it here, but since I know you won’t (you lazy so-and-sos!), here’s the best part of the article:

What at first looked like being the only ugly incident actually turned out to be one of the best and most memorable. A pedestrian, who may have been enjoying a drink or two in the sun, stood yelling “Gay!” at the peloton and pointing out riders as they passed. “Yes, yes, we are all very happy,” replied one of the quicker-witted riders, doffing his tweed cap and flashing a grin. Being laughed at in public by 400 people in fancy dress will quickly quieten any heckler.

I don’t know if it gets any better than that.  First of all, it’s hilarious to imagine some drunk British guy standing on the corner and repeatedly shouting Gay! at hundreds of people wearing tweed on bikes.  Secondly, the part about being laughed at in public quieting a heckler reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Nelson laughed at the tall guy in the Beetle and the tall guy asked, “Do you find my appearance comical when I am driving my automobile?” and eventually pantses Nelson and forces him to march down the middle of the street while everyone points and laughs.  I think that guy later became the pope.