Representative of everything that is wrong with the world.

Yesterday riding home from work, I couldn’t put air in my flat bike tire at the gas station because I didn’t have fifty cents.

They wanted fifty cents for air.

If it’s fifty cents for a car tire, my tire would have used about 5.

Is air a traded commodity on the NYSE now?

I need to get me some stock in water….or the newest trendy stock, dirt. I hear that’s selling through the roof. Dirt always sells, just ask anyone in the media.

A view into the handbasket.

So this weekend I get out for a bit of a trail ride at Wakefield for like the first time in at least a month. The weather is awesome, I’m havin’ a blast – I only regret I didn’t bring the dog – I thought there would be too many people out. Not the case at all, I’ve only seen 3 people.

30 minutes in – snap goes the rear derailleur hanger. For you non-bike geeks out there, this is the equivalent of dropping the transmission of your car in the middle of the road.

So, being that I have not brought any tools with me I sling my ride over my shoulder and begin what will be at least a half hour hike-a-bike home. I know what you’re saying, left your tools at home? I live right by the trails right? What could go wrong? I learned my lesson here. Hey kids, ALWAYS BRING YOUR TOOLS.

Anyway, on the way home I must have passed at least 15 people. All walks of life. 2 young guys riding mountain bikes. A dad and his kids, other folks. They pass me.

The guy CARRYING his bike. Would it not appear something is wrong? NO ONE asks if I need help, or offers tools. NO ONE.

After the first person passed me up, I laughed it off, and decided to make an experiment of it – I’d see just how long before someone asks. It’s not that it matters much, I was in a good mood and the walk home was minimal, I just wanted to shut up my cynical side. It didn’t work.

One guy finally asked if I was ok, but that wasn’t until I was about a stone’s throw from my house. And I had blisters on the tops of my toes from my soggy riding shoes. Not his fault – at least he asked.

Our society is going in a bad direction, people. This ‘look out for yourself and screw everyone else’ crap is only going to get us so far, and I’m not just saying that because my toes hurt.

Tales of cookies and procrastination.

Well here we are again with another of my stimulating reports. Where to start. Oh yeah, how about my dad is a slacker and has taken way too long to get new eye candy of yours truly up on this site. I try to explain to him that my public and my fans demand fresh content but my complaints fall on deaf ears. I swear, you’d think I was talking gibberish or something. Anyway, at least there are new pictures up, although now, my look is totally different since I fired my last stylist and hired a new one…check back for pics of my new makeover soon.

I am happy to report that I can now sit up unsupported all by myself. I can’t tell you how much of a relief this is since it means I don’t have to have all those ‘big people’ hanging around me all the time, man do they get old, always crowding my creative space and wrecking my vibe. I’ve also decided that I also kind of like this thin they call standing, although I haven’t soloed yet, I still need a spotter. The other thing that puzzles me is after you’re ‘standing’ what are you supposed to do then? Seems like a waste of time to me, but it’s still fun.

I have also decided that I do like the big brown fuzzy thing that runs around alot, now HE is cool. I make sure that I let everyone know that I think he is cool in the usual fashion, that being loud squeals and lots of laughing, but then they just pay attention to me. What, am I on Mars or something? Not me! HE’s the cool one! Go get HIM and bring him back-and let me get a handfull of that soft stuff he’s got all over him while you’re at it!

Speaking of soft stuff, I’ve been eating alot of it these days. I don’t know what these people are thinking by grinding perfectly good food into mush, My dad says that broccolli tastes just as bad even in paste form, but it all tastes the same to me-AND I JUST WANT MORE OF IT! Only problem is now I got this thing they keep calling a ‘tooth’ growing out of my mouth. Is this cancerous? Shouldn’t we have this thing looked at? I mean, IT’S GROWING OUT OF MY MOUTH for crying out loud! Can that be normal? Not to mention the fact that sometimes it just plain hurts so bad that I’d pretty much chew on anything to make it feel better, even WHOLE broccolli. Sometimes though, they give me these cool things, ‘cookies’, and those are great, until I try and eat too big a piece and I choke, but what do they expect, they didn’t give me anything to cut it with and I have a hard enough time aiming the thing at my mouth as it is!

Ah it’s alright though, as long as I can share my misery with mom and dad, that makes it all better. Sometimes they even put this stuff in my mouth that makes it all tingly, and then it feels like my whole chin just plain dropped off my face…now that is some good stuff. It works good on the ‘tooth’ but the only problem is, try keeping your saliva in your mouth with no chin…I’m soaking wet half the time and they can’t keep the bibs coming fast enough. I think I need a maid or a valet or something. Can’t I get a ‘personal assistant’ like those stars in Hollywood? I bet all the crazy talking animals I see on the big picture box in the living room have personal assistants. Say, that reminds me, how come OUR big brown fuzzy thing never talks?

If you would like to apply to be my personal assistant, email me your resume, some references and either a few cookies or a cup of applesauce.

Well, that’s about it for now. Take it easy-and remember, it’s not ‘babies’-we prefer the term ‘tiny drooling adults’. Hey, that would make a pretty cool band name.

High praise for the idiot box.

TV is evil. I don’t like TV. the reason I don’t like TV is that I watch too much of it. It sucks me in. How, I don’t know because it truly is the idiot box. I think I must be an idiot. The more TV I watch, the more I find to dislike about it. Just when I think there’s nothing else to despise, I find something else or the cable company adds a horrible new channel. Don’t agree with me? Ponder this:

Reality based TV shows-‘reality TV’

Oh my God I am so tired of this shit. Does anyone actually beleive that this is reality? I guess if you think so, then the Simpsons qualifies as reality TV as well. What a pile of crap. This stuff is just as scripted if not more so than all the other mindless drivel on TV. And who are these poor bastards that they get to participate? Temptation Island? What is this nonsense. Oooo. Sign me up. I want to go air my dirty laundry and have not only my reputation but my credibility as a human being destroyed on national TV in front of millions. I love how these are supposed to be ‘real people’ too. They look like escapees from the Ken and Barbie cloning project. This is how these people get on the show:

Hunky, good looking, vapid, shallow guy: “Honey, I got an idea about how we could raise money for my eyebrow extensions and your new breast implants!”

Hot, impossibly good looking, brain dead chick: (Twirling bleached blond hair on finger, smacking gum) “Huh?”

Hunky, good looking, vapid, shallow guy: “Baby, we can go prove our love to the world on Temptation Island. I know that we could win that prize ’cause I love you and you’re the only one for me!” (Admiring biceps and perfect white teeth in mirror.)

Hot, impossibly good looking, brain dead chick: “I don’t know, sweetie. There might be bugs on that Island and I don’t like bugs.”

Hunky, good looking, vapid, shallow guy: “Aw c’mon honey, it”s TV. There’s no bugs on TV. They have ’em all removed or somethin’.”

Hot, impossibly good looking, brain dead chick: (Staring at spot on ceiling) “Ok, baby. Only for you ’cause you’re my number one man.”

Hunky, good looking, vapid, shallow guy: “Sweet. You’re the best. Do you think I need bigger ‘pecks or a darker tan?”

Hot, impossibly good looking, brain dead chick: (trying to open ziploc bag of m & m’s with no success) “Huh?”

Seriously, all these people look like a “Drink Milk-It’s Healthy” commercial gone terribly wrong. They are TOO clean and good looking, if that’s possible. Even when they try to be ‘edgy’ and get tattooos, it’s like putting a Maryiln Manson sticker on your parents Toyota Corolla and driving around town…it just doesn’t jive.

Does anybody remember where all this reality shit started? I do. It was with that dumb show on MTV – the Real World. How strangely ironic. This is the show, where they took 7 people from the most opposite backgrounds and lifestyles possible, made them live in tight quarters, and further stirred the shit storm by inserting rumour and innuendo to create scandoulous outcomes. It’s a fact. After the show became popular both cast and crew admitted that directors and producers purposely made shit up or fabricated incidents in order to anger folks and create more interesting tv. How real is that? You’re even a bigger sucker if you think that they’re not pulling that shit on all these shows now. You think the big corporate TV machine is going to risk losing viewers? No. And what brings the viewers in? Scandal and pettiness. What if there is none? What if the people all (God forbid) actually get along? Well then make some shit up about the white guy talking shit about blacks. Or the straight guy bashing the gays. Or the pretty girl bashing the ugly one…well you get the picture. Stir the shitstorm. The amazing thing is for the most part, folks are buying it.

Book TV

The Book Channel. Insane. If I want to read a book (which I should be doing, anyway) I’ll go read it. What the hell is the point of books on TV? Or even the discussion of books? TV and Movies killed books, just like Video killed the Radio Star. Next thing you know they’ll have a TV channel to talk about not watching TV. They could call it the “Get a Life” network.

The Golf Channel

Do I have to say anything here? Shouldn’t you be OUT golfing, instead of watching TV? Can you take the TV out on the ‘range to practice your swing? Can you cart the TV out onto the fairway to help you with club selection. I will say one good thing for the Golf Channel, when I can’t sleep, it puts me right out.

TLC

What is this about. Shows like Junkyard Wars. Trauma. Medical Detectives. Home Again with Bob Villa. Well, watching these shows, I learned the following things that I’m sure I can use everyday:
1. How to make a battering ram out of found items.
2. How to stabilize a patient with a gunshot wound and insert a chest tube.
3. How to frame my boss for the murder of my significant other, and unlike the guy in show, how NOT to screw up royaly and and hence get away with it.
4. How to restore a 200 year old, $675,000 New England farmhouse that I will never be able to afford to it’s original 1800 splendor, which actually looks worse and is twice as expensive, than if I just built a new one from scratch.

All definitely handy things to know. I mean who needs engineers, doctors, trained professionals and craftsmen? If I just keep watching TLC, I can do all these things for myself. Heck, now there’s even the History channel through which I will soon be able to plan and implement the conquest of my very own civilization. Why do I need anyone else at all?

And on a related note, what could be more entertaining than watching a bunch of overgrown science blub nerds battle with robots they built over the weekend in their garage? I mean I know that this is advancing science and all, but do we have to watch it? And they all come up with names for their ‘bots like ‘eradicator’ and ‘elimintator’ and ‘killer’ and ‘brusier’ as if that makes up for the fact that these guys got the shit kicked out of them in hight school.

Classic Sports Networks

Yes. I have so much time on my hands and I am so intellectually devoid that I would like to spend my time watching sporting events to which I already know the outcome. That’s like selling lottery tickets that have already been scratched. Positively thrilling. Life on the edge.

CNN Headline News

All the news channels for that matter. I mean, I’m all for getting a little bit of news now and then to keep in touch, but could they possibly cram any more information into the screen area? The little talking head news person is a small square in the corner, dwarfed by all these other boxes and scrolling tickers rattling off endless amounts of information-much more than you could actually process at once. Inevitably, you catch something interesting just as it scrolls, and if you want the full scoop you need to sit through an entire cycle of the ‘news loop’ and wait for your one item again.

And is it me, or are they always giving the weather for everywhere in the world OTHER than where you are. And due to the speedy nature of things it’s an abbreviated version that is not really a prediction at all. There’ll be a picture of a sun and the word ‘mild’. That’s it. Well that’s pretty freaking general. I think they just described the weather on half the planet at the moment, only it’s not the half I’m in, cause it’s sure not ‘mild’ here. I’m freezing my ass off. Who’s definition of ‘mild’ are they using anyway? Is that the plastified, blonde LA bimbo’s version of ‘mild’ or the Alaskan, seal skin chewing, Inuit’s definition of ‘mild’ because I guarantee they’re not the same thing.

I’m thinking of a bunch of other things I could rant and rave about, but I gotta go. My show is on and if I miss it I get all cranky.

Manly duties.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised when the crew from the home improvement show showed up at my door.

They wanted a glimplse of my skills.

They wanted to see my tools.

I’m a man. I can build things. I can say things like “we’re gonna have to shim that” and “pass me that auger bit”.

Lyn and I-well mostly Lyn- had decided our bathroom was no longer suitable for our needs. In typical man fashion, I suggested that we turn it into a room to store our guns and booze, and recommended that we use the great outdoors for our toiletry needs, but this apparently was not what she had in mind. To me it was a no brainer, but anyway…

It was decided that we (read: I) would re-do the bathroom. Fixtures were selected, colours we carefully weighed and I made about 17 more trips to the hardware store than were really nessecary, but, being a man, (we don’t make lists, lists are for the grocery) I can’t be expected to remember everything, can I? Especially not with all this ‘man knowledge’ rolling around in my head.

Well, work commenced and actually went smoother than expected. Our two weekend timeline was breeched only slightly (The whole thing done in just under a month and a half! Amazing!), and I learned what I think can be considered one of the most important things that any do-it-yourselfer should know. Are you ready? Do you think you can handle it? Well here is my big secret and the key to all do-it-youself projects: Caulk can fix or hide almost anything. It’s true. Fill gaps, hide nicks, seal holes, correct bad miter joints-it does it all…and it’s paintable! Got a bad piece of bent chair rail going against a wall with a slight dish? Caulk that gap! Vanity not quite square to the base? Caulk that gap! Space between your ceramic tiles and the baseboards? Damn right! CAULK THAT GAP! Outstanding. Now remember, you heard it here…this is my discovery and I want credit. Consequently, Caulk’s close cousin, Liquid Nails, is almost as indispensible, especially since Caulk itself is a lousy adhesive. Who needs nails and screws? Just glop all kinds of liquid nails everywhere and you’re set. You can even reposition the workpiece, but only for a few minutes mind you, or you’ll really make a mess. (But you might be able to hide the mess with Caulk.)

As I say, in light of my new revelation, it was no surprise that somehow word got out (North, the damn dog probably talked. He’s a sucker for hostess cakes) and the crew from that ‘home-improvement-show-that-makes-it-look-easy-but-it’s-really-not’ showed up and said they were doing a show on viewer tips and they wanted to talk to me about my caulk work.

“It’s really nothing,” I said, downplaying my obvious joy at being featured as a major player in such a manly arena as the home improvement area. “All I really did was utilize the natural elasticity of the caulk and it’s forgiving nature to allow it be applied to a variety of challenging joinery situations.” I was trying my best to sound way smarter than I actually am. “By experimenting with various compositons, bead sizes and troweling techniques, I was able to achive nearly seamless transitions in all the varied instances where I used the Caulk as an multi-material joining agent. Take for example this compound miter joint here,” as I pointed to some chair railing joined at a right angle with what seemed to be a glob of play dough, “initially there was a 3/8″ gap here, but you’d never know it looking at it now!”

“Uh, um, that’s really interesting Mr. Fackenthall, but that’s not quite what we were looking for,” the golf-shirted host replied.

“Oh, ok, well, you can see over here is where I used some caulk to hold up this soap holder because I couldn’t find a stud in the wall to screw it to!” That ought to really wow ’em, I thought.

“Well, um, it seems there’s been a misunderstanding.” The host sputtered. “See, when we spoke to your wife on the phone we informed her that we were doing a show on ‘common home improvement screw ups and how to avoid them’ and that’s what were here for. See, what we really want to know is how in the hell you managed to get so much dog hair in all your caulk. I mean, it’s obvious you have a dog and that would allow for a few errant hairs, but looking at the sheer quantity of hair here, it would appear that you were throwing fistfulls of the stuff around the room as you were caulking. What we really want to know is how you managed to accomplish that-so that we can demonstrate exactly what NOT to do for the viewers at home.”

They didn’t stay long after that. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I told them their show sucked or the fact that I made fun of Mr. Host Guy’s pique golf shirt. Either way, they left without getting my secret. I made sure of that.

To be completely honest, I don’t know how all those dog hairs got in there, but in the process of trying to decide how to remedy the situation, I stumbled upon another realization. Paint. Paint can fix or hide almost anything as well! Yes. Paint became my new friend, I just painted right over my paintable caulk to hide all those dog hairs. And this time, to avoid problems, I had my wrestling match with the dog OUTSIDE the bathroom while the paint dried. Screw ups, my ass….those guys don’t know nothing.

For caulking tips…drop me an email.