September 2009


Okay, It’s Wendellsday – Big Whoop

I can’t tell you about all the things that did NOT work out for my Big Wendellsday (non-)Event, at least without crying into my keyboard, and with my luck, I’ll end up shorting out my last surviving computing gadget (THAT’S the kind of things that are not working out). But if the old song goes “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”, well, this is MY Birthday, and I’ll poop the party if I want to… okay, that doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, I found something cool that somebody else has done for September 30th, without even knowing it’s my birthday. And since it’s very an7mated, you’ll have to go to Tooned.In to see it. So go there.


The Road to the Road to Cleveland

Okay, the RSS feed for my EXCITING NEW BLOG ABOUT ALL THINGS CARTOONY is actually MORE non-functional than AT&T’s MMS service (a technological accomplishment), so let me spread the word from here: I’m reviewing last night’s FOX SitComToons here in a long blog post without pictures, but with a link to some TV reviewing I did for a MAJOR MEDIA WEBSITE five years ago (Remember the Sigfried & Roy cartoon? It still haunts MY dreams).


Ralph Nadir (and his Brother Darth)

One of the most linked-to articles from The Onion recently announced that “Western civilization will reach its lowest conceivable point at 3:32 p.m. Friday.” Now, considering how much Modern Culture and Cultural Crap has originated on the West Coast (with California dominating until Seattle got competitive with Microsoft, Starbucks and Grunge), I’m assuming that is 3:32 PACIFIC Time*, so I am publishing this post at 3:22, which should give my seven readers just enough time to see me say “So long, and thanks for all the fish (even the fake crabmeat and McDonalds Filet-O-Fish, both of which I will strongly argue did NOT significantly contribute to the decline of civilization, just the decline of fishing stocks in some areas)”. Anyway, I was so hoping that this inevitable ultimate bottoming-out would not have occurred until AFTER my Wendellsday Big Event on September 30th, because this means I will now have to do even more dumbing down of my soon-to-be-revealed Network of Internet Websites meaning even less of that grand project will be ready for Wendellsday. But hey, I put a Twitter button and a couple Amazon Recommended Items on the DotMe here, so I’ve gotten something done.

Anyway, since September 30th is also my 54th Birthday, according to sources close to my mother, I will be having a cake made for myself from one of these lovely designs, although I am saddened that’s “The Cake Is A Lie” t-shirt has just been discontinued.

*As for other reasons I knew the Nadir of Civilization wasn’t going to happen until 3:32 PM Pacific:
(1) The Bag of Crap had not yet been offered on’s Famous Woot-Off.
(2) The latest episode of the “Glenn Beck Show” had not yet aired (he has done so much for the cause of decline lately, and there’s no way he wasn’t going to push us farther downward today)
(3) AT&T needed all the time it could get today to enable MMS service on the iPhone, experience several ‘downtime events’ and still give its users enough time to send every one of the 37 billion YouTube videos to somebody who had already seen it.
(4) The review of “The Michael Jackson Tapes” had not yet been reported by the AssPress.

There had been one premature “Nadir Sighting” last week, documented here from Birdsboro, PA, but when the person leaving the note admitted that two of the misspellings were intentionally ironic, it was downgraded to 98.7% Nadir.

Be sure to follow me via RSS, Twitter, Friendfeed or harassing calls to my home phone number for more coverage of the End of the World As We Thought We Knew It and the beginning of “If This Is the Bottom, When Do We See Signs It’s Getting Better?”-Watch.


Not the “Not Me” from Family Circus

I just want to make 100% clear that this video clip is showing the dancing skills of some other Wendell, NOT ME. In fact, the original post on YouTube does not even identify him by name. I do not, as a rule, dance at concerts, and if you’ve ever seen me hobble my way from parking lot to concert hall and back again, you would never mistake that for dancing (although there were some moves I made one time when I realized I should have visited the Mens Room before departing the venue that resembled Ellen Degeneres in a full body cast).

Further research shows that there is a connection between the band at the concert, Rascal Flatts, and a Nashville songwriter named Wendell Mobley, but it is obvious that the dancer is not that Wendell either. This would not be the first time ever that “Wendell” was used as a generic name for “A Big Goofball” (for which I am partially responsible: in the late 1970s, my most public performances were as a wacky sidekick to a radio personality in Los Angeles, from which I traced several uses of “Wendell” as names for minor characters in sitcoms over the next couple years).

That goofball is not obviously a Wendell, he could just as easily be Wally, Ernest, Leroy, Dewey, Arnold, Buddy, Roscoe or Clyde. Yet, I thought society had consolidated all Generic Goofballs under the Extremely Generic Name “Bubba”. That fact probably just hadn’t yet gotten to that blogger (who doesn’t reveal his name on the blog, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Clyde).


Frigging the Pessimist

Anyone who has made it all the way down the front page is aware of my “Sex Life of Schopenhauer” anecdote, so I’m semi-tickled whenever somebody else makes reference to the Pessimistic Old Philosopher. And today, that somebody was Ryan North, perpetrator of “Dinosaur Comics”, in which, by recycling the exact same art every time, he still accomplishes genuine funniness with above-average frequency AND has made a clip-art Tyrannosaurus Rex into one of the more interesting characters in comics. AFSWell, T. Rex’s topic of the day was Schopenhauer, or, as he calls him “Arthur Friggin’ Schopenhauer” (he inserts a “Friggin'” to any name or topic he considers worthy of praise). The big green ‘saur explains Schop’s “worst of all possible worlds” proof in a way that is mildly humorous, then says “I believe it was after this proof that A.F.S. added “Friggin'” to his name!”

Of course, based on my flawed research of twenty-some years ago, we all now know that Arthur Friggin’ Schopenhauer earned that middle name by doing enough Friggin’ to contract a fatal case of syphilis, after which, most people called him “Arthur Frigged Schopenhauer”. But T. Rex can be excused for that inaccuracy, since he himself became extinct long before Arthur even started Friggin’. Thus proving that, on a scale of reasons to die, an Asteriod Catastrophe is WAY more awesome than a Venereal Disease. (In fact, you might call V.D. more “Ewwwsome”.)

(I probably should do this blog post in Dinosaur Comics format. Because it sounds more like what T. Rex would say than what I would say. Friggin’!)



I’m Over Here and Over Here

Had to post at Metafilter about some extraordinary webcomicking, which means I had to cross-post at Tooned.In, so I’m not going to repeat myself here.


Moron Music

Ah, that lovely jingle chorus that punctuated one of The Credibility Gap’s musical satires from the ’70s… of course, they insist that it was meant to be “More On Music”, but we know, we know…

It’s funny who you come in contact with via Twitter. A few weeks ago MeFite Paulo (aka Brownpau) Tweeted that he had come in contact with a Musak Van (with photographic evidence) muzakvan and I had to comment that it was “one company that used to be everywhere without having their logo everywhere”, which earned me a Twitter reply from an actual Muzak employee! (since lost in the faulty-longterm-memory of Twitter Search)

If I’d had more than 140 characters, I’d have told him about my favorite Muzak moment, in a store that was still using their ‘orchestral instrumental versions of pop hits’ service in the ’80s, when I recognized a song that was a pre-Pina Colada Song composition of Rupert Holmes, which, since I had been one of only 7 people who bought his first two albums, was obviously NOT a hit – but apparently somebody at Muzak was one of the other 6 people, and that made me feel good (maybe the only time Old-School Musak made me feel good).

I also recall way back in 1978, running an automated radio station (believing at the time it was the Future of Radio) and learning how it all worked and trying to make it work to sound less… well, automated. (That mix of Radio Programming and Computer Programming should have been my dream job except that the Management didn’t allow me to actually do anything creative) But I devised an idea for a scaled-down version of the interconnected tape decks and switching system that could provide a personalized background music system for individual retail stores. I wanted to name it “P.O.P. (for Point-Of-Purchase) Music” but I could never scale it down enough to be economically feasible, and by the time the technology improved enough, I had left the idea far behind. Still, whenever I hear radio-commercial-style announcements shoehorned between songs in a store’s background ambiance (instead of interrupting mid-song, which some retail systems still do), I tell myself “I thought of that… long before its time”.

Still, I am occasionally reminded of how imperfect the technology still is, as when, in one of my favorite local supermarkets, I heard both infamous Stevie Nicks duets from the ’70s played back to back (“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” w/Tom Petty and “Leather and Lace” w/Don Henley). Neither one has aged that well, but Henley got the worst of any comparison. Still… BACK TO BACK?!?

But my oddest background music incident of recent days occurred in a laundromat which was piping in a local radio station that plays “Classic Hits”. Maybe it’s my long estrangement with Broadcast Radio (my last three cars have lacked functioning radios and my only home unit is a clock radio tuned to the local affiliate of K-PIG which I rarely use to wake up), but I was mildly amused at how over 1/3 of the songs they played I had first heard on the “groundbreakingly adventurous” KROQ in the ’80s. Then, they played New Order’s “True Faith”, which is still one of my favorite songs of the decade (and not just because of the video featuring the Awesomely Silly Costumed Fighting, Braille and Disco Dance Troupe).

But the version the local radio station played was weird… it edited out part of the song’s refrain (which, in unedited form, goes like this):

I used to think that the day would never come
Id see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun…

The version I heard omitted the 4th and 5th lines (about “the childhood I lost” and the second “I used to think”), turning two rhyming couplets into one annoyingly non-rhyming one. WHY? If there was anything controversial in the lyric it would only be “my morning sun is the drug…” which was left in… and it wasn’t edited for time; the entire long instrumental bridge of the longer version was intact, just those two lines from all 3 times the refrain played. This is totally inexplicable to me. Yeah, I could contact the radio station directly, but I’d have to give up my 15 Year Chip with Ex-Radio-Guys Anonymous, and I’m getting close to earning my 20 Year Chip (yes, it was an addiction for me). Has anybody else ever heard “True Faith” butchered like that on the radio where you are? Moron music, indeed.


Call Me Captain Fluffy

I enjoy participating in certain comedy-oriented Twittermemes, like the #badpiratenames that popped up on TLaPDay to which I contributed…

Short John Pewter
Barnacle Butt
Clownfish Carl
Hightechartificialleg Pete
Captain Tennille
Captain Hadenough
Captain Jack Twitterbird
Jean LaFootsy
Rackham Frackham
Buckfiftyaneer Bill
Captain Crimsonfadedbythesunmoreliketerracotta
Edward Hookhands
Wrongway Silver
Barbarella (Barbarosa’s sister)
Captain Seriously
Bloody Messy
Kanye Westwind
Long Jay Leno
Dawg Blitzer
The Oakland Raider
Codfish Carl
Halibut Hal
Turbot Tom
Talapia Ted
Captain Blighted
Ensign Pulverize
Captain Crispy
The Red Splotch
Uncle Bucko
The Bermuda Triangulator
Caribbean Queeny
Captain Smeg
Catscratch Carl
The Swishbuckler
Anchorhead Arnold
Walt the Plank
Dana Scullery
Captain Papercut
Newt Gangplank
Averagesized John
Captain Stubing
Dinghy Dan
The Keelhaulizer

of course, there were other good suggestions:
(from @MrWordsWorth, who apparently started it) Longjohns Sliver, Captain Fluffy, Chewy, Kiki, Twinkletoes, Captain Happypants, Horatio Halitosis, Ol’ Slippy, Papa Smurf, Quincy, Lil Digger, Puddin’, Soily, Captain Friskies, Mr. Pibb, Rum Tum Tigger, The Amazing Ronnie, Chachi, Zoot, Brundlefly, Minty, Festus, Orly, Bitty-Sue, Dread Pirate Ampersand, Harvey Wallbanger, Dinty Moore
(from @niclone) Captain Jack Chickadee, Khaki Legs Greaves, Captain J.P. Morgan (sounds like a modern-day pirate to me), Bubbles, Tiny Dancer (and his first mate Levon)
(from @smrtmnky) Chartreusebeard
(from @adtothebone) Captain Schnook, Captain Wedgy, Seasick Cedric, Captain Narcolepsy, Mary J. Bligh, Plaque Bart, Captain Kiddie Pool, Jim from Human Resources, Snookylumps (with props to Berkeley Breathed),
(from @phxdogblogger) Slackjaw Kid, Tiny Graybeard
(from @ElectricPencils) Captain Cuddlebones, First Mate Fluffernutter, Seamen Swallow and Seamen Spitz (you had to go there, didn’t you?)
(from @tollehaus) Salt N’ Pepa Beard, Long Dong Silver (it’s been done before), Captain Rehab, Moby Dickless, Cap’n A-Hole, Colonel Lingus
(from @Elastigirl024) Captain Sissypants
(from @caff) Leslie The Rough, Bodacious Biff, Lavender Louis, Shameless Semus, Trixie the Pixie, Efrom the Elder, Fat Tony, Scrubbing Bubbles
(from @adamwohl) Rabbi Hichelman
(from @HalfAssKrissa) Forceps
(from @rasmo12) Long John Platinum Blonde
(from @NatashaMuse) Corporal Tunnel, Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, Captain Prosthetic Arm
(from @mikepmcs) McLovin
(from @stumblingmonk Myron the Plank Waxer
(and from @DAMNNEAREVERYBODY) Captain Hooker (or Captain T.J. Hooker)

There are other recent Twittermemes I didn’t post about at the time they came up that will provide juicy Blog content whenever I can’t think of something better to say. Unless you’re not into that kind of thing.


K-E-Y! Y? Because We Will Bury You

As seen at MetaFilter

Exactly 50 years ago today, Soviet Premier and Cold War Villain Nikita Khrushchev was denied a visit to Disneyland. He was in Southern California as part of a cross-country tour of the U.S.A.* (Can you imagine an enemy of the US doing that today?). The reasons for the denial? Security Logistics and Time Limitations (you have to devote a whole day for The Magic Kingdom). Instead, he visited a sound stage at 20th Century Fox (shooting “Can Can”) and a housing development in a San Fernando Valley suburb. The next day, he got a warmer, but semi-stunned, reception in San Luis Obispo, CA. Not the only place that welcomed him. Farmers in Coon Rapids, Iowa were happy to show off American agriculture in an event recently commemorated.

*Look Inside book at Amazon link for more content

(Lots more coverage in the L.A. Times’ Nostalgia Blog)

SLO: My adopted home. If they’d accept that fat, bald Commie, they’ll accept me.


Blog Like An Egyptian?

NONONONONO!!! TALK LIKE A PIRATE, YE SCURVY KNAVE!!! Because it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrr, and that’s one blasted event I wouldn’t-a miss fer all the gold in Flava Flav’s grillwork!
wendellpirate 540x220
(And it’s nice to be able to recycle the same art from last year so that seven more people can see it)

Of course, I’m not going to miss it just because I’m spending all my time (a) rebuilding the back end of seven blogs and (b) throwing up (not because of what I found in the back end of seven blogs; it’s just a case of NotSwineFlu making me involuntarily bulemic for the last few days). But since this year TLaPDay is falling on a Saturday, the rest of the world is experiencing what I have for the last few semi-disabled/work-at-home years… not being able to annoy all the people in your office with “YAARRRR” and “SHIVER ME JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE” and other Pirate-isms.

On the other hand, I think the cashiers at Home Depot are going to be getting quite a load of Pirate Lingo today. And they’ll be selling a lot of wooden planks, you know? I can hardly wait for next year when TLaPDay falls on a Sunday; could be a historic day for blasphemy.