Archive for March, 2012

If you do any amount of travel or if you notice license plates from other states, you’ll probably see any number of state slogans enticing to you come visit their little piece of heaven. We’ve been to some of these places and let’s get this out right now – some of these are the furthest from the glorious hereafter you could envision. You might want to die when you get there but that would be merciful.  However, we will not identify them, but they know who we’re talking about. Don’t you?

So here is what we’ve seen – and what we suggest they might consider. We offer this free of any charge in the probable misconception that since there was no money exchanged, there can be no liability for performance. In alphabetical order and not of importance such as electoral votes, blue state-red state, we’re color blind. If we offend, we’re sorry. Not really. Oh, and some of these states are a little schizoid, having multiple slogans. Guess it depends if they’re feeling a little frisky. Points are taken off for multiple slogans.

Current slogan – then, suggested New Slogan

Alabama – Stars Fell On; Heart of Dixie; Sweet Home Alabama –  We have a group named after us.

Alaska – North to the Future; The Great Land; The Last Frontier – We got rid of her once…

Arizona – Grand Canyon State –  And you thought Goldwater was nuts!

Arkansas – The Natural State –  At Least We’re Not Mississippi!

California – The Golden State –  Vote for Maria.

Colorado – Colorful – Land of boots and honey’s.

Connecticut – Constitution State – Home of Joe Lieberman. It’s not something we’re proud of,

Delaware – The First State (Small Wonder, Diamond State) – It’s On Your Way.

DC – Nation’s Capital – Hey, you voted for these jokers!

Florida – Sunshine State – It’s early bird special all the time.

Georgia – The Peach State; …On My Mind – Home of the Ray Charles Highway.

Hawaii- Aloha State – Book ’em, Dano!

Idaho – Scenic; Vacation Wonderland; World Famous Potatoes;  – Tuber Town

Indiana – Heritage State;  Amber Waves of Grain; Crossroads of America – Gene Hackman made a movie here…once.

Iowa – The Corn State  – If it weren’t for subsidies and ethanol, we’d be Delaware.

Kansas – The Wheat State; Midway USA –  Come see the Toto museum.

Kentucky – Bluegrass State; It’s That Friendly; Unbridled Spirit – Visit our fresh horse glue museum.

Louisiana- Sportsmen’s (man”s) Paradise; Bayou State; LoUiSiAna – We really do talk this way.

Maine – Vacationland –  Your Outlet Center State.

Maryland – Drive Carefully –  Really, Drive Carefully.

Massachusetts – The Spirit of America – Liberal? Yes we are, thank you.

Michigan – Great Lakes State; Water (and sometimes Winter) Wonderland – The Original Schizoid State.

Minnesota – 10,000 Lakes; Explore – Franken and Ventura 2016!

Mississippi – The Hospitality State – Don’t Confuse Us with Arkansas!

Missouri – the Show-Me State –  Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine.

Montana – Big Sky Country –  Visit Bombastic Montana

Nebraska – The Beef State; Cornhusker State –  Sooners? Sooner than what?

Nevada – The Silver State – Your credit is good with us.

New Hampshire – Live Free or Die –  Vermont, only conservatively so.

New Jersey – Garden State – Open 24 Hours.

New Mexico – Sunshine State; Land of Enchantment – Manhattan (Project) of the West.

New York – Empire State – I gotcha yer slogan right here!

N. Carolina – First in Flight – The Philip Morris State.

N. Dakota – Discover the Spirit – We were Dakota First!

Ohio – The Heart of It All; Birthplace of Aviation – Cleveland, Cincinnati – we got it all!

Oklahoma – is OK!; Native America – OK is Alright.

Oregon – Pacific Wonderland – Our State Flower is Rust.

Pennsylvania – Keystone State, You’ve Got a Friend in – What NJ would like to be.

Rhode Island – Discover; The Ocean State – Stop calling us an island, damn it!

S. Carolina – Iodine State; Smiling Faces; Beautiful Places – Just another pretty face.

S. Dakota – Great Faces; Great Places – No, You Weren’t! (See North Dakota.)

Tennessee – Volunteer State; Sounds Good to Me – Y’all want BBQ with that?

Texas – Lone Star State – Ranches, lots of ranches.

Utah – Ski Utah! – Mormons, Mitt, and Me!

Vermont – Green Mountains State – Liberal and precious to boot.

Virginia – Virginia is for Lovers – Land of Lobbyists.

Washington – Evergreen State – Almost Canada, but not as polite.

W. Virginia – Mountain State – The “Deliverance” state.

Wisconsin – America’s Dairyland – It’s like being in a Cracker Barrel everyday!

Wyoming – None – Home of the Dick Cheney Heart Transplant Museum.

Mustangs by Maybelline.

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Cars, Humor

OK, we know a lot of us like our cars a lot. Some even love them. There are probably innumerable studies on the phenomenon but it’s a car damn it! Get over it.

(Courtesy Autoshopper)

It starts out harmlessly enough. You get a new car and you name it. Oh, that’s harmless and cute you think. If you would believe this then you would be so wrong that immediate help should be found now, if not sooner. Because, you see, you’ve just taken your first step on the very slippery slope of auto-erotic personification disorder or AEPO.

Medical societies will not discuss this, but they realize is a genuine affliction. All too often the physicians themselves suffer from this and like any other junkie, refuse to admit they have a problem. “It’s just a car.” they tell their family, By then it’s too late. The truth of the matter is that this won’t get the attention it requires, much less a foundation or a telethon, until the insurance companies recognize it exists. Don’t expect that to happen. Have you seen the cars THEY drive? It’s an invisible epidemic and one that Detroit hopes goes on forever.

AEPO is characterized by similar and increasingly alarming modes of behavior. Naming the car is the first step. It then increases invisibly and insidiously. Keeping one’s car fastidiously clean is a definite symptom. Talking to it while driving and you may as well check yourself into the foam room at your neighborhood asylum.

There are other manifestations. Some people suffer from seasonal AEPO or S-AEPO. This is usually characterized by the attachment of bows or wreaths to the front of cars around the holidays. It seems to harmlessly abate after the first of the new year, but it is chronic and will return. Even for this, help is necessary. Don’t even overlook the innocuous air fresheners your loved ones use. This is a small but serious cry for help as well.

Added-on adornments such as chrome exhaust tips; decals; horns/antlers (again S-AEPO); roof flags displaying your team preference (grow up already!) are an outward indication of arrested development AEPO or AD-AEPO. So are fat racing stripes as typically seen on street level Mustangs. Possibly the worst manifestation of this, if not the most egregious in bad taste, is the pair of plastic eye-lashes attached to the offending cars headlights. Cute? Think again.

(Kugli) Really? Really?!

Maybelline does not do cars and neither should you! Leave it to the pros like Yugo or Edsel. As this is a somewhat newly diagnosed disorder, there are likely more but undiagnosed variations on this. Keep up your subscription to the New England Journal of Wack-Jobs for updates.

There are treatments for AEPO; they’re not cheap, can be tremendously upsetting to your status quo, and they involve some heavy-duty behavior modification. Often times, this treatment will lead to being socially outcast by those you believed were friends. Hah! You will be forced to, metaphorically and sometimes for real, rub elbows with those who at one time you thought were beneath you. Are you ready because if you’re not, don’t waste our time. We’re only trying to help you.

All treatment begins by admitting there is a problem. This is not a fuzzy-wuzzy, touchy-feely treatment; nor is it a “let’s work through this” 12 step program. This is the real thing – cold as hell turkey.  So, you’ve gotten in front of a mirror and confronted yourself. You can now openly admit you’re screwed up. You’re ready to take the first step.

The first step is harsh matched only in severity by the second step. The first step is to get rid of your car. That’s right – lose it! The sooner you relieve yourself of the offending entity, the sooner you start on the long rough road to recovery. You may slip back and rent or borrow a car for that imagined fix of “freedom”. It happens, don’t distress, Stay strong because the next step is the hardest.

The second step is public transportation. Inconvenient? Possibly but think of the alternatives. We admit there may be times one has to sit near an undesirable passenger, but mercy and grace should be shown. Why? This is the dirty little secret: everyone of them, without exception is recovering from AEPO – just like you!

Have you ever considered the similarity between elections and supermarkets? Especially in this current electoral cycle? There always seems to be a mess to cleanup.

Before supermarkets, we could go into a store and ask for, say, coffee, and get a pound of the wake-me-up-quick-before-I-die brew. Now you have French Roast, Sumatran, K-cups, Senseo, instant (puke!), French Press (sounds sort of like a very effete dry cleaner), drip, perc, Mr. Coffee (does Mrs. Coffee mind him waking up with all those other people?), and a whole host of others promising, but not really delivering, the best cup of coffee in the whole world. Sort of like candidates running for political office.

Which one looks like your candidate?

Through this wonderfully convoluted nomination and election process called democracy (democrazy?), we have had numerous candidates try to do their best imitations of souffles only to fail/fall, rise again, fall again, display some sort of electoral tumescence to partially rise only to disappoint once again. (“It’s OK, it’s not your fault, it happens to a lot of men.”)

We go up and down the aisles of this Costco-sized nomination process sampling, at the end-caps, the offerings put before us in the hopes we’ll like it, buy it, and take it home. So what if it’s 50 lbs. of chicken?, we’ll freeze it and eat it as we like. Damn, that does sound like a candidate. Once elected, they’re there for a while or at the very least until they expire by the “Buy By Date.”  If we’re brave, we’ll toss it out at that time. (Read this as the re-election process.) And after a while we will get tired of all the possible chicken permutations. Tetrazzini? Sure. Marsala? Absolutely! Hash? Maybe not so much. And that is the election process…hash (and not the happy kind).

Hash is defined as a coarse mix of ingredients. Given what’s going on politically, can you really argue otherwise? We are in a veritable Piggly Wiggly (no offense to Miss Daisy, of course) of candidates. In no particular order or preference, here are the ingredients that are currently going into our hash heap:

Romney – the Wonder bread of candidates: no discernible flavor or opinions, goes great with mayonnaise;

Santorum – Scrapple – a Pennsylvania favorite: a rehash of a hash whose ingredients are always suspect; sounds better than it tastes;

A type of scrapple.

Obama – a wry bread; tasty but always needing just a little more …something;

Paul – cod liver oil: probably good for you but tastes like… you know;

Gingrich – human yeast: it’ll get a rise out of things, but on it’s own tastes like…See Paul;

But, keep in mind other ingredients went into this to get us where we are today:

Pawlenty – Wonder Bread Lite;

Daniels – Mystery meat;

Perry – Jerky, the beefy kind;

Bachmann – Tomato aspic – looks good, kind of jiggles around but no substance, does not taste good either.  (See Santorum);

Huntsman – Corn starch – similar texture and color (to talcum powder), makes things thicker and that’s about it.

So there you have it: your very own supermarket of candidates. But you better hurry, because most of their buy-by dates are almost here.

Ooops! Too late!

Unlike the spam filter on our computers, some mail seems to keep getting through. Specifically those relentless mailings from AARP. There is no way the Post Office can be going broke based on just the number of these mailings. Consider what Lillian Vernon sends out! So, OK, we get it. We’re going to get old and die. Yeah, thanks for the constant reminders. But we ain’t there yet.

We are both still at that stage of life where we can, we think, be productive if not contentious contributors to society. Yes, we know this is how Rome’s downfall started but don’t lay that at our doorstep, we didn’t touch it! As long as these things don’t require heavy lifting or moving, we can do a fairly good imitation of 30-somethings. Well, maybe 40-somethings. And we do support “adults” (in the chronological sense) being involved in society, jury duty being excluded. Hey, you gotta draw the line somewhere.

While on lunch one day, still being productive (!), we noticed a Homeland Security person. Now after 9/11 and being “adults”, we are far more in touch with our mortality and security and what remains of it. It must be protected! Our concept of a Homeland Security agent is some over-muscled, steroid-induced rage-aholic just waiting to detain, question enthusiastically, and ultimately dispatch the “enemy.” That concept was totally and irretrievably smashed today.

Now this is what we’re talking about! (Courtesy MotiFakes)

This Homeland Security agent was an example of what we fear becoming: a post-Viagra/Cialis using, Depends-buying, golf shirt wearing, Clapper-user, shuffling old man. How do we know he was old? Aww, c.mon! How do we know he worked for the Homeland Security Agency?  Why his golf shirt had the Homeland Security logo on it! In the city, one can understand seeing pretty much anything on the streets and on clothing: music group logos, animals, fast-food slogans, snotty comments on one’s marital status, etc. But Homeland Security? Really? Is there a Homeland Security Tourist Shop where one can buy Homeland Security souvenirs? Are there signed photographs of John Ashcroft and George Bush? How about posters proclaiming any numbers of slogans supporting the effort as in World War II? “Loose tweets sink…” Needs work.

This man, this Homeland Security agent, while probably quite nice to his wife and grandchildren, was more likely wondering whether he could get to a Denny’s-like restaurant, where you point to the pictures of the food of your choice, in time for the early-bird special. And then to bed.

Yes, since 9/11, our fear level has not gone down. We’re more worried. Not that we’ll be attacked again, but that we’ll miss the early bird special.

Alcohol can make you do things you would never consider when sober or at least not under the influence of some mid-altering substance and that includes love.

However, and this is a very big however, is that when under the influence (UTI for this discussion, although in looking at it, that is the same acronym for urinary tract infection – an equally uncomfortable state of being) country music starts to make sense. All the heartbreak, the missing dogs,  stolen guns, and blown-up pickup trucks are real. The wife/girlfriend/lover/best friend/partner, whatever are all real as well.

This is what heartbreak looks like.

This is something with which we can all identify. C’mon – you know you agree. The music even sounds good and meaningful. Ehh, maybe there was too much to drink after all.

The truth, however distorted by alcohol (or love for that matter) is there. Through the substance induced haze, one can find real meaning in this music. We’re on the road to hell now! All that remains now is to start using chewing tobacco (“just a little pinch between the cheek and the gums” the ad says)… a thought that at this stage is not without some charms, but none that be explained without any amount of lucidity.

Heartbreak, deceit, perfidy, (Class, today is being brought to you by the word perfidy), all have meaning and truth at this time. If a child were to be born tonight, it undoubtedly would be named Garth or Shania.

What then when sober, is the attraction of country music? Twanging steel guitars (perfected when young on back porches and pickup truck beds ); nasally singers (not from the Bronx); and rampant testosterone, flowing from amplifiers pleading, begging for some sort of low-rent salvation, and finally the love of a good “NASCAR” woman are just a few of the many the elements of this “art-form.” And don’t forget, there is also a don’t-get-in-my-face attitude as well. Independence is important here.

Don’t get in my face, y’hear? (Courtesy Guanabee)

“In vino veritas.” In Drambuie veritas! In beer veritas, we say! Drink enough and the truth shall appear. And it will set you free. Or some such semblance thereof. But, is this behavior true? Only to the extent it removes whatever moral boundaries we set to prevent us from acting like total fools. Karaoke is an example of this. Do not drink and think you sound like Billy Joel. Oh, you’ll drive like him alright, but you will not sound like him. Ever. And Christie Brinkley will never, ever go out with you. Hell, the Dixie Chicks won’t go out with you either!

So, sober up and be grateful that you couldn’t order anything from Amazon while in this state. The last thing you need is the Greatest Hits of the Oak Ridge Boys. Because quite frankly, they won’t go out with you either!

They really won’t go out with you. (Courtesy The Boot)

In 1988, Oldsmobile, the late and properly unlamented automobile, introduced the tagline “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile” thus sealing their fate indelibly as your father’s Oldsmobile.

They could usually be found gathering (sort of like pack animals) at potluck dinners everywhere; Kiwanis meetings; VFW parades; bowling alleys; urology clinics; all the places where fathers could be found while hiding from Mom or the kids. Too late to that party came Olds’ realization. They were toast. Remember, if you can, they say the mind is the first thing to go. Then the driver’s license.

But Olds is gone. One might think that now without such an automobile still slowly oozing down the highways, such as the aforementioned Kiwanian parades, traffic would finally move more efficiently.

No, no, no, no, no! It has been replaced by, drumroll please…the Buick, usually of the LeSabre or Electra 225 persuasion. True that. Try this test. When in a slowly moving clump of traffic, find a way to get through and spot the culprit. Aha! It is a Buick. Probably driven by a disgruntled former Oldsmobile owner who misses their dear Rocket 88.

Pull up next to one at a traffic light and see what happens when it changes. You and like-minded traffic will proceed accordingly, but the Buick driver will still be wondering whether or not they took their Metamucil this morning. Certainly their driving will reflect that indeed they did not.

And in a reverse version of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, while all those imported cars are still holding their looks and value, the Buicks in somewhat of a testament to their peculiar longevity (in a psychic attic all their own) seem to be aging before our eyes yet they gamely soldier on.

So your father’s Oldsmobile is no longer. Fear not, it’s been replaced by your mother’s Buick. I can see it now, the new advertising campaign for Buick: “This is not your mother’s Buick.” And were it not for Buick’s amazing popularity in China, it too would probably follow the Oldsmobile into the great car crusher in the sky only to be returned to us in the form of some useless metal tschotke from… China.

Hello World!

Posted: March 6, 2012 in Blogs, Humor, Life

You have just witnessed the unnatural childbirth of a new blog. No Lamaze here, no birthing chair, no pant-pant-blow, no, not much of anything…yet.

Why, you are no doubt groaning and asking, another blog? To which we enthusiastically respond, “Uh, we don’t know.” That’s not true – we do.

United by a common hatred of our first names since childhood, (Hey, you try growing up with this name), the Bruces (yes, they are real, much to the chagrin of their significant others) fought, real and imagined slights against them, thus over-compensating for their small egos.

As such, as chronological adults, they are in a position to point out the absurdities they see in the world around them and explain it all for you. Lest some of you think this is about nothing, (some other guy tried that without much success), that could not be further from the truth. This is about the real world.

Hold on, we think you’re going to like this.