Part of the Bay Area News Group

Archive for August, 2009

Michael Jackson’s still alive!

I knew he was faking it, just to get his brothers their own reality show.

Someone claims to have a videotape prooving Michael Jackson faked his own death. Of course, there’s no attribution, time stamp, or any other evidence. But I’m going to go ahead and believe it, because I’m bored and have nothing else to blog about today. So read and watch here, and then move on with your lives. I’ll let you know when Michael calls.

Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Breast sickness

My sister-in-law Sonia Mansfield – a former writer for the Examiner – is being treated for ductal carcinoma in situ, which is very hard to spell and sounds pretty ominous.

In fact, it’s an early form of breast cancer. They got it early and she expects to be fine. She wrote about it on her very entertaining blog, in the name of getting the word out and encouraging women to get checked. Which I can attest to, as I wouldn’t have discovered I had diabetes a few weeks ago if I didn’t take the very unusual step (for me) of getting a physical. Then I’d still be feeling crappy instead of getting medication, changing my bad habits (mostly), and letting it get worse.

Posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

How to make money from something stupid

A man in Everett, Washington, has designed jeans with eyes below the butt, so they wink at you when someone walks.

William A. Jones was watching some woman’s rear end when the idea came to him. For most of us, the last thing we’re thinking about are winking eyeballs when checking out a woman’s backside (which I would never do because I’m married and all). He then tested the idea on a pair of his daughter’s pants – which sort of enters the creepy zone, but we’ll give him a mulligan because it was done in the name of profit. This is America, after all. Then – Voila – Winkers were born. 

You’re right. Of course it’s stupid. Instead of winking, it looks like someone’s eyes rolling up into their head after they’ve been shot. But (pun sort of intended) this is how some fearless yabos with no shame make money. Remember, someone in the 70s thought it was a good idea to put rocks in boxes and sell them. Millions of dollars later, everyone had a Pet Rock. It’s that sort of stupidity that makes this country great.

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Poker at Chuck E. Cheese

I wrote my Sunday column about my wife hinting she wants more children. Which kind of makes me want to sleep on the couch for a year or two. Here’s the column.

Read it twice. I need the hits.

Speaking of children, I had a great dream last night that I took mine to Chuck E. Cheese. Which would be a nightmare … except for the fact that this particular Chuck E. Cheese had slot machines and video poker games. And, while I was ignoring the children, I was cleaning up. Of course, it was Chuck E. Cheese, so when I pulled four 8s at video poker, the payout was only $13 in quarters.

True story. Sort of.

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Jackson family reality show

Looks like I may get my wish to know all things Tito Jackson.

The Jackson boys may revive their collective career, thanks to Michael dying. A&E apparently had a deal with the Jacksons for a reality show, until Michael refused to be on it. Now with all the newfound interest in the family, apparently the network has decided to go forward. Which is good. We haven’t heard nearly enough about the Jacksons the past few months.

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Reggie Bush is dumb

Apparently New Orleans Saints’ running back Reggie Bush – also the ex and probably soon-to-be-again boyfriend of Kim Kardashian – is having a great camp for the Saints, which he attributes to not juking so much when he runs. Which basically means not dancing with defenders to make them miss, giving other defenders time to flatten him. I love his quote in which he compares his “juking” problem to being an alcoholic:

The best move an NFL running back can make often is no move at all. Three years and countless east-west meanderings into his NFL career, Saints running back Reggie Bush has arrived at this realization. “The first step to recognizing when you have a bad habit is just admitting it to yourself,” Bush said Wednesday after another impressive preseason performance, this one in a full-squad practice against the Houston Texans at their Reliant Park training complex. “It’s like an alcoholic when they go into an (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting or something,” he said. “That’s the first step, just recognizing it and getting better from there.” — New Orleans Times-Picayune …..Ben’s Take: If only the Saints could have scheduled Fresno State or Arkansas, Bush could have continued his juking ways.

Yes, good analogy, Reggie. Juking is a lot like alcoholism … you know, except for the shame, the throwing up, shakes, divorces, withdrawls, arrests, jailtime, court appearances, trips to rehab and major organ failure. Yep – it’s ALOT like that.

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Bowlers!

They tell me that bowling is back in. Or maybe it never went away. But I need help determining this -and I need to hear from Bay Area bowlers. Preferably younger people who bowl for fun – not necessarily the grizzled veterans of longtime leagues. Though that would be OK too. I do know Aug. 30-Sept. 5 is National Bowling Week, and there’s a serious effort to get as many people bowling Sept. 5 as possible to set a record for most bowled games in a day. Many alleys are even giving away free games. Get me at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Who the hell cares?!!!

I just received the following press release, offering the reaction of Randy Bachman (of the Guess Who and BTO) to Les Paul’s death. Well, one paragraph – then there’s three much bigger paragraphs about Randy Bachman’s career. Like he’s applying for a job or something:

TORONTO — “I am deeply touched by the passing of Les Paul who I first met in 1959. As a guitarist, composer, electronic innovator and inventor, he was beyond genius and there was none other like him. He was a true musical gift from God to the world and spent his life honoring that gift. I proudly play my Les Paul guitars every night on stage and never forget the moments we shared.”

Born in Canada, Randy Bachman has become a legendary figure in the rock and roll world through his talents as a guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer. He has earned over 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards around the world for performing and producing. His song writing has garnered him the coveted #1 spot on radio play lists in over 20 countries and he has amassed over 40 million records sold. His songs have been recorded by numerous other artists and placed in dozens of television, movie and commercial soundtracks. His music has provided a veritable soundtrack of the last thirty years of popular music.

He first scored Billboard radio chart success with his band The Guess Who in 1965 performing the song, Shakin’ All Over. They went on to virtually own the pop charts with an unprecedented run of 5 million-selling singles, all the product of the gold plated Randy Bachman-Burton Cummings song writing team. By 1970, The Guess Who had sold more records than the entire Canadian recording industry to that point, even outselling the Beatles that year. Their hits included These Eyes, Laughing, Undun, No Time, No Sugar Tonight and American Woman.

He formed Brave Belt – a country rock outfit in 1970 and experimented with a new musical style and lineup that eventually metamorphosized into Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Unbelievably, Randy’s success with Bachman-Turner Overdrive would eclipse his earlier triumphs and give him yet a third run at the pop music charts. Monstrous hits for the band included, Let it Ride, Roll on Down the Highway, Takin’ Care of Business and You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet which reached #1 in over 20 countries. Randy’s career has been built upon his unstoppable drive to work at creating music. He has released numerous solo albums throughout his career, and has simultaneously worked at producing for other artists. His production/writing work with Canadian rock band Trooper generated gold and platinum records in the 1970′s.

“His music has provided a veritable soundtrack of the last thirty years of popular music.” Are you SERIOUS? When did Randy Bachman vecome Randy Springsteen. I mean, everybody likes “American Woman” and all, – and I can be convinced I need to be “Takin’ care Of Business,” every now and again … but my God.
Yes, it’s “unbelievable” that Randy Bachman could’ve eclipsed his success in the friggin Guess Who. What’s unbelievable is that some PR person actually heard Les Paul died and said to themself “Hmmm … this could be just the opportunity we need to get Randy Bachman’s career back on track.”

You suck, Randy Bachman’s PR person.

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Vaya Con Dios, Les.

There’s a solid argument to be made that Les Paul is the most important figure in 20th Century Music.

 

Paul died Thursday at the ripe old age of 94. All he did was basically invent the electric guitar as we know it, as well as multitrack recording. Without the latter, there’s no Pet Sounds. There’s no Sgt. Pepper. There’s barely any great post 1950s records (Watch the following clip with a little patience – at least until Paul starts going off at 1:05).

Well, maybe. But not the same way you’re used to hearing them. It would be like taking away your giant, surround-sound HD flatscreen in the middle of the greatest action movie ever made, and replacing it with a 13-inch black and white TV relying on the attached rabbit-ears up top for decent reception.

Paul was also a fantasic guitarist and songwriter. With wife Mary Ford, he scored 36 gold records from 1949 to 1962, including No. 1s “Vaya Con Dios,” and “How High the Moon.”

If no one has erected a statue to Les Paul yet, today’s the day to start working.

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Kids are stupid

There’s always one guy in the bunch.

Some dumb kid named Russell Gortzig in Florida, where thousands of people buy baby pythons not realizing they’ll grow bigger than their house and need setting free, watched a video on YouTube where some idiot (in a banana suit – seriously) successfully lights himself on fire. So stupid Russell (I only call him that because he’s still alive … and stupid) and his pal siphon gas from a lawmower and ignite a lighter.

Am I missing something here?

I clearly remember being 13 years old and understanding that flames and gas are a bad idea. And If that wasn’t among the stupid things I did when I was 13 (trust me – the list is long), then a kid REALLY has to be stupid to do it.

Besides, I totally knew when I was 13 that the only guy who could play with fire and gas was Gene Simmons.

I love how the mom tries to blame YouTube instead of her own obviously faulty genetics. Maybe someone should’ve explained to Russell that fire and gas, when put together, go boom.

Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »