Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Toy Litter Box

Tyco is releasing a toy litter box, for kids. It's similar in principal to the baby dolls they sell that mess their own diaper and have to be changed.

This one works like those self cleaning litter boxes, but the opposite, in that it slowly fills itself with fake cat feces over the course of weeks. The fake feces is a substance similar to play dough, and the fake cat litter is made of plastic shavings.

It is intended to give kids the opportunity to experience pet ownership without the actual hassle and expense of owning a real cat. It will debut for the upcoming holiday shopping season and will include a mangy looking stuffed cat. The MSRP will be $49.99. Simulated cat feces refill cartridges will cost $8.99 and last around a week.

Although the product hasn't even been released yet Tyco is expecting it to be so successful they're already starting design work on a system to deposit fake dog turds on a lawn. Prototypes include a robotic dog, like the opposite of a roomba, which will just kind of randomly leave its base station and drop product every 8 hours.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Uncle Larry's Heart Attack

One time my Uncle Larry drank so much beer that he was declared legally dead for 6 hours. We were having a BBQ and on a dare my dad hooked him up to the keg and he almost emptied it. The paramedics came and got him then he was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. Later, he woke up in the morgue. The doctors said they had never seen a case of alcohol poisoning that bad before.

Another time, Uncle Larry parked his car in our swimming pool.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Union Bolt Loosen-er

Today at work I was bolting some support structures together but I didn't follow the print quite right and had to take a couple stands apart. I started working on it when the super showed up and told me to drop what I was doing while he called in a union bolt loosen-er from the Local 404 hall. I had no idea those guys had their own union but they're pretty protective of their trade and don't like other unions horning in on their territory.

It was pretty kick-ass cause I got to go on break for 3 hours until he showed up to take the last four bolts out, and by then it was quitting time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Super Extreme mode in Call of Duty

If you beat the newest Call of Duty game on the hardest mode, it unlocks Super Extreme mode.  You've got to be really careful if you play Super Extreme mode, though, because if you die in the game you die in real life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The awful truth about MasterCard

MasterCard was originally only given to white people.  That's where the phrase "playing the race card" comes from.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Book Review: Running the Blues - The Real Life Story of Jake and Elwood Blues

Running the Blues - The Real Life Story of Jake and Elwood Blues will go press in December. It is a career defining masterpiece for the author, Ron Rickson. I happened to score a pre-release copy through an arrangement with Bantam Press. Front to back, Hanging the Blues is a surprise packed, almost encyclopedic account of the meteoric rise to stardom of Jake and Elwood Blues, the real life inspiration for the hit 1980 film "The Blues Brothers", and their subsequent fall from grace.

The book covers the entire life story of two brothers growing up in an orphanage in Chicago, their musical career, and even their run-ins with the law. The story is told mostly from interviews with band members, friends, and even co-workers of the Blues Brothers. The author does an excellent job retelling one of the most amazing stories in modern music, not by re-packaging and embellishing details, but by recording the memories of those who were along for the ride. The only weakness in this extremely detailed format is that some chapters are quite boring, almost trivial, as Rickson interviews the brother’s childhood friends and exhaustively details their arrest records.

The author more than makes up for it with tons of details and photos, and even a CD of their earliest musical works with some live recordings of their performances at bars and wedding banquets, along with a recording of police radio from the night of their infamous car chase in Chicago, IL, after a drug bust backstage at one of their performances.

It also dives into the shocking parallels between the lives of Jake Blues and his onscreen counterpart, John Belushi, as both died from drug overdoses at the height of their careers, and includes a poignant interview with Elwood Blues about the death of his brother.

Also detailed was the making of the legendary film and the subsequent lawsuit with Universal Pictures, who, to this day, claim the movie was entirely a work of fiction to avoid paying royalties to Elwood and the estate of Jake Blues.

One of the most interesting, and hilarious stories recounted in the book comes in an interview with Larry Critowski, Jake Blues’ campaign manager in his abortive run for mayor of Chicago against Jane Byrne. Larry regales the reader with stories from the election, such as when Jake showed up to a televised debate with Jane Byrne visibly intoxicated and at one point launched into a profanity-laden tirade about trash service in the city, claiming that his trash had not been picked up “since Mayor Daley died” During the debate, Jake invoked racial epitaphs against the Irish 8 times, and caused the National Irish-American Association to issue the following statement: “We, and presumably all Irish Americans, are shocked and appalled at the implication that Irish Americans are inclined to alcoholism , laziness, or criminal behavior. We demand that Jake Blues immediately apologize for his statements.”

At 783 pages, the length and amount of detail in the book may only be suitable for hard core fans of blues music, or hard line fans of the motion picture, however, the quality of the photos and audio CD are enough to justify the price tag of $39.95, and the overall quality of publication makes this a suitable coffee table book for the enjoyment of guests either at home or in a place of business.

I give this book a high rating of 3 ½ belts of scotch and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in film, music, or Chicago politics.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Various Lies - 25th Anniversary Black Tie Gala

The management and staff of Various Lies will be celebrating our 25th year in circulation on Friday, October 3rd, 2008, in the International Ballroom at the Chicago Hilton.  This event is open to the public, and tickets are now on sale at a price of $220 per person.  The dress code for the evening will be formal.  Seating is limited, so act quickly to secure your seat at the table.

Please join us to celebrate this auspicious occasion.  Varous Lies started out 25 years ago as a small newspaper, and has expanded into an online powerhouse, culminating in a Pulitzer Prize last year.  Today, Various Lies boasts a readership of nearly 250,000 unique page views per day, and is widely praised for upholding journalistic ethics and integrity in an age of sensationalism and bias.