Thursday, December 20, 2007

Remind me not to go skiing in Japan...

Or if I do, not to take advantage of the "massage chair".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh to live a few miles to the north...

Can someone please tell me what Jim McDermott is smoking so I can avoid it at all costs? I mean, I'm as areligious as the next Gen-X Seattlite but "no" against a recognition of Christmas seems, well, offensive in it's apparent intent not to offend. Let's compare the three religious holiday-acknowledging resolutions (all pulled from the PI's article):

1. Ramadan: HR 635: "Acknowledges the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and conveys its respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this occasion." (Approved 376-0)

2. Diwali: HR 747: "Acknowledges the onset of Diwali and expresses its deepest respect to Indian Americans and the Indian Diaspora throughout the world on this significant occasion." (Approved 358-0)

3. Christmas: HR 847: "Acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith." (Approved 372-9)

Maybe the problem is that HR 847 didn't acknowledge the onset of Christmas. Or that it didn't express its deepest respect to Christians throughout the world on this occasion. Or maybe it's the "religious and historical importance" piece that's included in Christmas but missing from the other two. Unfortunately, since I don't know the congressman I don't know why he decided to vote "no" on this one (which, according to a staff member in his Seattle office quoted in the article, I would if I did). But it gives me one more reason to wish I hadn't been re-districted out of Insley Country.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What the hell?

So I'm a fan of the site Hot Chicks with Douchebags. Generally funny pictures, amusing commentary, good clean American fun.

So Sunday's photo was this, and I have to ask: what's the deal with the belt buckle? I mean, how can you even sit with that thing in your lap? I'm deeply disturbed by the buckle...deeply.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Yet more useless science

Finally someone has calculated how long Santa stays in town on Christmas Eve. Because we needed to know that it was 34 microseconds per stop and that the sleigh has to fly 3,604 miles per second.

Clearly Anders Larsson, listed as being "of the engineering consultancy Sweco", needs to listen to a little more Cheech & Chong. Then he'd know that Santa has magic dust and takes the freeway. Makes much more sense that way, don't you think?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WTF, Amazon?

So I ordered a couple things from (if you must know, a pair of headphones for me and some noise-cancelling earbuds for Mrs. Chicken) and select the "free supersaver shipping". Now, usually that means it sits on the shelf for a while, then gets dropped in the US Mail and gets here whenever it can.

This time they ship it DHL. I get the notice that it's shipping on Friday (November 16th), and that I can expect delivery on...November 28th. I can only assume that DHL is either now using pack mules to transport stuff or their drivers are limited to 8 hours a day at about 25 mph.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My new personal heros

Well, maybe "hero" is too strong a word. But you have to admit it's a good piece of innovation to get inmates to pay you rent for the honor of staying in your jail, even if the law frowns on it. And it takes a certain something to be able to chug Tabasco sauce straight from the bottle. So maybe "hero" is the right word after all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Finally, you too can look like Geordi La Forge

You'll have to do some case moding on your Vuzix iWear AV920, but that's a small price to pay.

Oh, and along the way you can experience a video image that's the equivalent of a 62" screen 9 feet away. You won't be able to see your beer, but that's also a small price to pay.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ah, if only...

You've seen 24 in the past (whether you see it this season is up to the strike...). You know how dependent the show is on tech: cell phones, satellite photography, internet hacking, text messaging, all that stuff.

So what would the show have been like if they'd done it in, say, 1994? Fortunately for us, the College Humor guys have answered that question with this, 24: The unaired 1994 pilot

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Note to self...

If I ever end up divorcing Mrs. Chicken, be sure not to kiss her afterward. Especially if she's had a bit to drink. Otherwise I'll end up like this guy. Well, except for the part where the police report "finding the man's lip on the bedroom floor, covered with cat hair." Dust bunnies, sure. But not cat hair.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Finally, a choir I can get behind

I'm not big on the vocal scene, I must admit. Never really enjoyed singing, although I've been told I have an OK voice (for someone who doesn't sing, I assume). Actually, let me amend that: I've never really enjoyed singing FOR people. In the car or shower is another story.
Anyhow, I've never been a big supporter of the choral arts, even when friends have been in choirs and invited me to come see them. But after seeing this article in today's PI about the "Complaints Choir" I think I may have found my outlet. As the founders of the Complaints Choir states:
"We say you should sing (complaints) out ... acknowledge things aren't as they should be. It's therapeutic."
It's kind of like the Festivus "airing of the grievances", only with more peole. And set to music.
Everyone in the Complaints Choir has to contribute a complaint, which could be the most difficult part. No, not finding something to complain about, but rather narrowing it down to the one complaint worth submitting...I think I'll go with "The new Comcast DVR software is worthless".

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Moving up my Xmas wish list

It's the Dough-Nu-Matic from our good friends at SkyMall (courtesy of Sci-Fi's Tech blog). Because it's really too big a hassle to go the 10 blocks to Krispy Kreme when I want a donut...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another product I didn't know I needed

Organic Batter Blaster ™ - Original Pancake and Waffle Batter

Not just any Organic Pancake and Waffle Batter...Organic Pancake and Waffle Batter in an aerosol can a la spray cheese. Which kind of goes against the whole "organic is better for the environment" thing, doesn't it?

Friday, October 26, 2007

At least he's still humble...

So they're making a new "Star Trek" prequel with the characters from the original series - Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, etc. Nimoy's in, but Shatner's out. But at least, according to this story from CNN, he's taking it well:
'I couldn't believe it. I'm not in the movie at all. Leonard, God bless his heart, is in, but not me,' Shatner, 76, told The Associated Press on Thursday. 'I thought, what a decision to make, since it obviously is a decision not to make use of the popularity I have to ensure the movie has good box office. It didn't seem to be a wise business decision.'

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something else to worry about

I don't live in "The City", so this might not be a problem, but still...Pythons in the toilet? I have a friend who is buying a house, so I've pointed this phenomenon out to her so she can make sure the inspector checks the pipes properly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'd better get on it...

Now that I've been linked to from the mighty John Moe's mighty Monkey Disaster blog I should get of my butt and start posting stuff again. Which will, almost undoubtedly, be a bunch of stupid news stories that I find and blather about on the air (Radio KYA Ocean Shores...apparently the "sweetest music ever made", but I wouldn't know since I almost never listen). But I'll start off my return to (hopefully) more active posting with something a bit more "real": A recommendation that you listen to my nephew Matt in his early attempts at being a DJ.

Matt, like his uncle, is a college DJ. Unlike his uncle, his weekly college radio show can be heard world-wide thanks to the wonder of the Internet (in MY day we had three listeners in a prison and we liked it!). The station is VIC Radio out of Ithaca College (probably the "IC" in VIC, not that I've asked), and you can find their stream here. Matt, being a freshman, gets a fine graveyard shift: midnight to 2 AM Tuesday mornings. Which works out great for his West Coast relatives, since he's on from 9 to 11 on Monday nights.

So tune in, give it a listen, and don't razz him too much about saying "um" every other word. After all, he's new at this and hasn't learned the secret of turning "um" in to "uh" or "so" or "ehhhhh....yeah...."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Find Your Candidate for the 2008 Election

Apparently, according to this site's candidate calculator, I'm a Bill Richardson man. Not knowing anything about him other than that he's from New Mexico, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. And I'm too lazy to do the research. Hopefully I'll remember that when Caucus / Primary time comes around so I don't go voting for Jackson Grimes of the United Fascist Union again...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Genius. Sheer genius.

This guy knows something I don't, 'cause I would never have thought to stick a rattlesnake in my mouth if I wanted to impress my ex-girlfriend. A whole double cheeseburger, sure, but never a rattler!

Man hides sex toys in the wurst way...

Apparently "Schwartenmagen" is German for "latex dildo with a natural look"

Monday, September 17, 2007

People with too much time on their hands, entry #327

The guy (or people) who built this City of toothpicks. Because it must have taken an inordinate amount of time to make this sucker:

"I really amazed my friends with my nudity knowledge growing up." - Jim McBride

Adding to the list of "web site ideas I should have had" is, a site that logs nude scenes in mainstream movies by actress (they only do female nude tracking because, in ol' Jim McBride's words, "this job is so fun I didn't want to make it work." Whatever you say, Jim!

Here's an article about him from our good friends at Yahoo News.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My new fave web site

Hot Chicks with Douchebags. What's there? Pretty much what you'd expect: pictures of hot chicks and douchebag guys. The commentary is pretty funny, but not nearly as funny as the pictures of people like The Gator here:

1 - 0

The Seahawks, that is...guaranteed tie for the top of the NFC West, since St. Louis lost today and either Arizona or San Fran will lose tomorrow. The team looked fairly good today, although the offense was a bit slow to get things going. But the defense hit hard, and they kept the hapless Bucks out of the end zone, so it all worked out fine in the end.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

First day of school

So yesterday was the first day of school for the mighty Seattle Public Schools, and after a nice healthy breakfast (Cinnamon Life and Captain Crunch, as you can see from the photos), the kids headed off.

That last shot is the classic Chicken family "heading off to school" shot. Which made me think...Logan is now in 5th grade, so this is the sixth time we've done this. How much have they changed? Which led to this little slide show right here:

Monday, August 27, 2007

To quote The Ogre...


Why? Because only a nerd would calculate a formula to explain why Jessica Alba has the perfect wiggle.


The invention...clearly not the people writing in the questions. But it's nice that someone has finally invented the self-adhesive sunroof so you can look like you've got a sun roof without actually allowing any sun in through the roof.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ah, the old seat belt 'Heimlich'

Please do as Sgt. Mozan asks and pull over next time you're trying to eat an eggamuffin on the way to work.

Seat belt 'Heimlich' saves choking man - Yahoo! News

Friday, August 10, 2007

A clear sign I'm now in mid life...

I read this story and instead of thinking "oh my god that's nuts" I thought "wow, that would be cool..."

So, is it mid-life crisis? Am I not willing to admit that I'm 40 and probably shouldn't be thinking about entering an 8-day mountain bike race that, according to the web site, covers "a distance of roughly 600 km (385 miles) and a vertical gain of 19,5000 m (65,000 ft.)"?

Well, looking at the pictures there are definitely a few riders older than me...I mentioned it to the wife and her first response was "Yuck!", followed by "that sounds expensive". Well,'s 600 Euros to enter, which at this second works out to about $825. That basically covers food and transportation of your stuff each day of the race. And maybe a floor to sleep on, but that doesn't sound too comfortable.

So you'd have to add airfare - figure, what, $1,000 for that, maybe? Then train transportation to the start and back to the airport, maybe another $200 - 500 depending on where you flew in. Then if you want to sleep in comfort and eat real food rather than the pasta and tomato sauce the race provides, throw in a couple more hundred a night during the ride, figure $2,000 total. Then you'd want a week in a villa somewhere in Italy, preferably a villa staffed with professional massage therapists, so add another $2,000 for that, plus an extra week's food and tourist stuff at, oh, $1,000. So that adds up to, um, around $7,500.

Yeah, that is kind of expensive...especially when the CNN guy who did the ride has a photo of his bike, a $2,000 Specialized Stumpjumper, that he refers to as "one of the least expensive bikes in the race". Hmm...maybe my $750 Marin won't cut it. So we'd better throw in another $2,500 for a new bike, taking it to a nice $10,000 vacation.

And that's not counting getting the wife and kids over there too, so yeah...too expensive.

A guy can dream, though. And while dreaming, he can look at photos of this year's race. Fine photos like these:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Angels. Blue ones.

Man I've been crappy about the posting! You'd think I could manage to find something to stick on the ol' Blog once a month, but apparently not. At least, nothing interesting and worth instead, here are some pictures.

I've lived in Seattle for what, 37 summers or so (three summers away during college...), but I've never actually gone to the hydro races. Nor have I gone down to see the Blue Angels air show. Both of these were big events in the 70s when I was growing up, but I was too young to drink and didn't have a boat. And my dad wasn't really a "go sit in a crowd of drunks with my kid" kind of guy.

Well, I figured that now that I'm 40 and have kids of my own I might as well submit them to the expected joys of standing on a bridge with a bunch of other people while really sweet jets fly overhead. So we packed the bikes on the car, headed down to I-90, rode through the tunnel, and found ourselves surrounded by a teeming mass of humanity. Not a steaming mass, because it was still kind of cloudy, but definitely teeming.

When we got there the Patriots aerobatics team was doing their thing in, um, whatever kind of plane it is that they fly. I'm not a plane geek, so I don't know, but they looked like this:

I like the headlights they have on the wings...very sexy.

So anyway, after the Patriots finished we moved out on to the actual bridge - closed to traffic, thanks for asking - and waited for the Angels to show up. First on the scene was their big prop plane, Fat Albert (I think...). This is the plane that hauls all their crap around. It's like their tour bus, only instead of riding in it the stunt pilots fly around in their sweet jets and let the roadies (Marines, in this case...) fly the slow bus. Poor marines. It's still a cool looking plane, and can climb pretty damn steeply as the second photo shows.

Well, after Albert had left the scene the main show started. Well, not immediately...the planes take a rather circuitous approach, heading north from Boeing Field past downtown, around the top of Lake Washington, then down over Bellevue and finally coming back west across the lake, where they hit the smoke. And you need the smoke, 'cause they're kind of small and you can't hear them until they're on top of you...

And after that the show was on. If you've never seen the Blue Angels, the show consists of four planes working together - the Diamond - and two "solo" planes who do individual stunts and stunts together. The impressive part of the Diamond act is that they're so dang close together pretty much all the time:

Whereas the solo pilots fly apart, but at much higher speed. And they do crazy stuff like play chicken and then miss each other by what looks like three feet but is probably a very safe 5 or 10...

Anyhoo, there are more links in the album in case you're interested!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Quote of the week

Well, of the early week, anyway..." Police did not know if the same wookie was involved in Sunday's attack. "

From the illustrious news source MyFoxLA comes this great headline: Chewbacca Allegedly Sexually Assaults Marilyn Monroe, Flees.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's pretty much my favorite animal.

The zebrula. Not as cool as the Liger, but still pretty cool looking.

Adding to the list...

The list of ways I don't want to die, that is. I would like to add these two to that list:

1. Die in dairy farm manure pit: "Exposure to methane gas led to the deaths of five people, but whether they suffocated from the fumes or drowned in 18 inches of liquefied cow manure may never be known, authorities said."

2. Shot in the face by a fireworks mortar: "A powerful firework exploded in the face of a woman trying to set it off, killing her as her fiance and 8-year-old son watched, police said...'She basically killed herself in front her children and her fiance,' Welch said."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Finally a reason to move to Winnipeg!

From the fine folks at Yahoo News comes this headline: Double pepperoni, mushrooms, extra cheese and ... porn?

To quote from the story:

Porno Pizza in Winnipeg has been doing brisk business since opening last week, titillating the hungry with racy pictures at the bottom of every pizza box.

"They range from softly-lit, lube-on-the-lens pictures like in Playboy, to raunchy, hardcore photos that would make Larry Flint blush," pizzeria owner Corey Wildeman told AFP. "The image is revealed as you eat the pizza."

I must say, though, what are you saying about the quality of your pizza if you have to give people porn as an incentive to finish the pie?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Headline of the day

From "Astronaut's attorney: She did NOT wear diapers"

Glad they set the record straight on THAT one...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Things I didn't know

From an article about the high rate of bodies being found in the Spokane River in the last year and a half (11 in 16 months): "Bodies normally resurface in seven to 10 days, Walker said. They typically float at the surface for 24 to 48 hours before sinking again."

I'll keep that in mind.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Fortunately I don't have any trips planned to amusement parks soon (although we've talked about going to Silverwood over in Idaho)...then again, I'm not a big fan of the free-fall ride anyway. But still...

Girl's feet severed on ride at Six Flags in Kentucky - "'The people on the ride just came and hit the ground,' she said. 'When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything.'"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

RIP, Cousin Gerry!

So when my mom calls me in the middle of the day it's usually one of two things: the computer is broken and she needs tech support, or she ran in to someone who knew me back in the day and wants to tell me about it. Or, a third option, I've called or e-mailed her asking if she can watch the kids. It's almost never to tell me that someone has died, and on the few occasions that it was it's usually one of her neighbors and the death has been relatively expected.

So I was completely taken aback when she called me today to tell me that my cousin Gerry had died.

Sure, Gerry was 75 he'd lived a good, full life. But the problem was he wasn't done living it. Unlike my dad (Gerry's 1st cousin, making me his 1st cousin once removed, if I'm doing it right...) Gerry wasn't battling a mind-eating disease. Unlike my sister's college roommate who recently passed Gerry hadn't fought MS for 25 years. In fact, he was in such good shape for a 75-year-old that he was out riding his bike when it happened.

Mom was thin on the details when she called, having only received a voice mail from another cousin (we're big on the cousins in my family...Dad had 5 or 6 uncles and each of them had at least 2 kids) saying something to the effect of "Gerry died this morning in a bicycle crash." When I hear the term "fatal bicycle crash" I, being a good Seattelite, assume that there was a large, motorized vehicle involved. Not in this case. According to the story in the Appleton paper he was riding down a hill through a park when he had to slam on the brakes and inertia took over. If you've ever done this you know what happens after you slam on the brakes: bike stops, person continues. The usual result is scraped hands, skinned knees, bruises galore. In Gerry's case the end result was a broken neck and, a while later at the emergency room, a departure from this mortal coil.

I'm not going to be able to do Gerry justice, because while I knew him like I know all my cousins, I didn't really KNOW him. I know he was a scholar - he taught French for something like 39 years. I know he was one of the most literate people I've met - my sister Barb, who went to Lawrence University where Gerry taught, was for years afraid that her Christmas cards would come back covered in red ink. I know he could spin a yarn, mesmerizing his audience with his soft, warm voice and attention to detail in a way I never could. And I know that I'll miss him, and that my main regret today is that, when we went to his 75th birthday party last summer, I didn't bring the camcorder. I thought about it, then consciously decided to leave it in the motel room because "there won't be anything to film." Sure, nothing other than Gerry reciting the family history, explaining who we were and why we were in Ward, Colorado on a sunny August day. And now that memory will live on in my mind, but no where else.

Sleep peacefully, Gerry, and if you see Dad wherever you've gone tell him "hi".

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Solstice Parade!

So one of the Chicken family's annual traditions is to pack in the car and head down to Freemont for the mighty Solstice Parade. We've been going since, oh, some time in the '90s, back in the days when the SPD were uptight and if anyone so much as took off their top it was off to the slammer.

Well, as the photo evidence shows, the cops have lightened up dramatically and the amount of painted skin has risen just as dramatically. And now that I have a decent camera I can finally do the parade justice.

As always, the naked bicyclists kicked things off. While last weekend featured "World Naked Bicycle Day," here in Seattle it was wicked wet and cold. Not that taking a practice run would have made these folks skip the parade, mind you, 'cause I'm pretty sure they like riding around showing their painted bits off to the masses. Here are pictures of a few of them...I like the elephant boys, 'cause if you're going to wear a codpiece you really want one that makes you look well hung. The ladybug lady was nice too, but she kind of lost it with the pipe cleaner antennae.

I like these boys too, especially the guy with the flower paint, 'cause he clearly wanted to just go nude but didn't want to buck the body-painting trend. Not sure if the guy in the middle picture is a cop or a sailor, or maybe just some guy who has a thing for uniforms. Oh, and as you can see we found Waldo. In fact, there were about 10 of them, and later in the day one of them came by and hugged someone standing behind us. Up close the paint didn't look as good, 'cause it was kind of starting to crack.

In other news, Lest you think everyone biking naked was in their 20s and early 30s and good looking, here's proof that older folks can get their body paint freak on.

And if Linda Carter had just painted on her costume, Wonder Woman would still be on TV. Well, ok, not on TV, but at least on DVD. And I love the woman in the suit...looks like she's off to work at Staples. The beauty in the paint job is in the details, so zoom in and check out the collar and cuff work.

Finally, after the bikers were gone the "real" parade showed up, led by this bead-throwing stilt-walking guy and the two topless chicks carrying the solstice banner. They were followed, as always, by the samba dancers and band and a guy wearing Nemo as a hat:

The next group had something to do with water, bottled and otherwise. I think they didn't like bottled water, based on the weird long-neck dudes covered with bottles and the guys in suits with all the money, but I could be wrong...

That was followed by about 300 fake Egyptians, led off by dancing maidens and ending with people carrying pieces of a pyramid. They didn't put it together for us...not sure if they ever did. I just want to know who made all their costumes, 'cause that's a lot of fake snakes.

Next up, apparently a message to reduce, reuse and recycle. Or ball up all those plastic containers and roll them down the street dung-beetle style.

These guys were just wandering around. Not sure who they are supposed to be, but they looked pretty cool.

Again with the recycling theme. Or maybe she just wanted people to yell "Nice Jugs!"

This dude's space air bike thing was really sweet...looks like the fan is pushing it, but I'm pretty sure it was front-wheel drive.

Nice hair. Really.

This group featured jack-in-the-box washing machines. Turn the cranks and out pops a kid covered in laundry!

And for those who don't like thrash metal, how about a hand-powered disco and giant boom box? (didn't get a picture of the boom box, unfortunately...)

If I'd been thinking I would have asked these guys where they got their sweet space suits. But I was too distracted by the bubble man.

The Ents made an appearance last year too, I believe, but this year they took it to the next level. Really cool costumes, and the giant tree dude was gorgeous. I really expected him to get up and walk away.

And last but not least, bringing up the rear, the kids' marimba band from, um, somewhere. Salmon Bay school, maybe? Don't know, and didn't get a program so I can't look it up.