Friday, January 30, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 26, 2009

January is coming to a close, which means that spring is sneaking up on us. How do we know this? Easy! Sunday we'll get to find out just how close spring is! Sure, we could just look at a calendar and tick off the weeks, but why should we bother doing that when we've got a rodent that can help us out? Besides, they seem to be one of the few creatures that are recession-proof, and we've got to give some credit to that. Anyway, here are our awards for this week.

Lying While Standing Award
We all know that you aren't supposed to lie when you're on the stand during a trial. Well, you shouldn't lie in general, but this is much more specific. But what happens when the police are the ones lying? Oh, if only there was some sort of punishment that could be given out to people who lie while under oath...

Greased Palm Award
This may come as a shock to people, but not all strip clubs in Las Vegas are created equal. Sure, they have the same basic building blocks when it comes to their construction, but some get more of a, um, leg up, when it comes to business. That extra boost often comes from taxi cab drivers. Even more shocking, often the cabbies hype the places that offer them the biggest kickbacks. It's almost like there's an entire seedy underculture to the vibrant, family-oriented entertainment that Las Vegas is so well known for.

Stolen for Trade Award
What would you do if your car was stolen? Probably call the police, hoping that they'd find it. What would you do if your stolen car was returned? More specifically, if it was returned by the people who stole it in the first place? That's exactly what happened to a California woman, when the thief decided that he didn't want her Mustang in the first place, and then proceeded to steal a neighbors Toyota.. Insert your own joke about people not even wanting a free Ford.

Look at the Cups, Man Award
So maybe news has been a little slow ever since the new President was sworn into office. Or maybe journalists are trying to fill space in an attempt to prove their worth. Either way, we get a story about how cups from 7-11 commemorating the inauguration may be flipping us off. Just think, a few short weeks ago, we weren't wondering if there were cups giving us the middle finger. We were wondering if it was the Vice President.

PJs for the Homeless Award
No, it's not what you think. The city of Denver, in order to show support for the fight against homelessness, encouraged residents to wear pajamas all day, culminating in a pajama party to raise money. Well, you know what they say. If it works for Victoria's Secret...

Happy Birthday, Champ Award
This is a sweet story, and we just have to close out our awards with it. A Nevada kindergartner got the birthday surprise of his life when he opened an over-sized present, and found that the gift was his father, back from a tour of duty in Iraq. The first sign that it might have been his father? Giant air holes punched around the lid of the box, and a water bottle filled with Coors Light.

And that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll be away next week doing our civic duty, but we'll see you in a few. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Name recognition

Sometimes, being known is a good thing. It can open up doors for you, both figuratively and literally, as people may just be willing to bend over backwards to help out. It can lead to new and exciting career choices, or it can allow you to utilize your mind now for greater opportunities later.

Of course, having name recognition isn't always a good thing, and it can backfire. Sure, being an intern with the District Attorney, and an up-and-coming lawyer to boot, can help out when you're interacting with the police. Unfortunately, when you're drunk, ordering them to drive you home, and are the targets of some of your vitriol, maybe being known isn't such a good thing.

Forgetting key things like the Miranda Code, a young lawyer-to-be from Harvard may have watched his career get drained quicker than a bottle of tequila over the weekend, as he ordered police to drive him home while he was drunk, because he was an intern for the DA. Among some of the young man's other highlights? Insulting the police, pointing out why people don't like them, planning to lie and cheat to hurt them in court, and calling the DA an "expletive". We're not entirely sure how exactly a person could be a type of word in our language, but we're willing to go with it. It's not like a paper would sensor itself because young, impressionable minds might read it.

In fact, maybe they should have used the real words. After all, the star of the story is a fairly young, impressionable mind himself. And maybe, if he'd been able to see something along these lines earlier in his own development, he might have been able to avoid the pitfalls that he found himself in.

Of course, he also might never have gotten a ride that night.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A family reunion

People miss their families. We get that. We really do. We just think that there are times when people go a little too extreme when it comes to trying to reconnect with loved ones they haven't seen in awhile.

For example, it's a little over-the-top to get yourself arrested so that you can spend more time with your convict sibling.

And yet, that's exactly what a Michigan man did recently. After breaking into a gas station, the man dialed 911 on himself, and informed the police that he wanted to be arrested so that he and his brother could have a little more quality time.

Isn't that what visitations are for? Sure, it's not a super long time, and, depending on the crime, a lot of the visitation is done through a tinny telephone connection, but come on? Getting yourself arrested just because your brother's in jail? That's definitely a new level of familial commitment.

We just have to wonder if the two men will really be spending too much time together while in prison. On one hand, they are brothers, and could probably help watch each other's back. On the other hand, one of them did set out to get arrested so that they could have that special time together.

Although, if we've learned anything from sitcoms, we can rest assured that hijinks will happen. It's a rule with siblings behind bars.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some people's children

At one time or another, a large number of Americans have used false identification. Sometimes, they're doing it because they want to get into a club and they aren't 21 yet. Other times, it's because they're a celebrity and are trying to hide from the paparazzi. And then there's always the people who are just paranoid and don't like to be too exposed. But it's a relatively common occurrence, and therefore isn't generally newsworthy.

We say "generally". After all, it isn't all that common that the person with the false identification complains to the police after a club turned her away.

To make things worse, the 15-year-old girl was in a different nightclub when the officers went to arrest her, and, after giving a pile of false information, she tried to run, only to be foiled by a speed bump. Oh, and when the police talked to her grandmother, it turned out that she was a runaway.

Man, kids these days. Back when we were 15, we never would have considered going to the police to complain that our fake ID didn't work.

You know, unless we knew the cops really well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The wonder drug

Not long ago, we got to highlight an article about coffee, and how people that drank more of the wonderful stuff were more likely to "suffer" from hallucinations and paranormal experiences. Right, because anyone really suffers from those things (we kid, we kid). Anyways, it turns out that coffee has more to it than just granting the ability to see things.

It could also keep you from suffering from dementia.

While these two effects may not go hand-in-hand with each other, it does give some new hope to people who regularly take in the black gold of the coffee bean. Sure, with enough of it, you might start seeing ghosts wandering around your house, but you'll also be comforted to know that you're much less likely to develop Alzheimer's. You're also less likely to develop diabetes.

The study mainly focused on people that drank between 3 and 5 cups per day, noting that, while there were people in the study who drank more than that, the number was statistically irrelevant. Well, darn it, we take offense to that. Why exclude OUR people from such a study? Sure, your research shows that they may be even less likely, but you're cutting out an important part of your findings by eliminating that particular group.

Besides, it's good to know how many college students are prime candidates for dementia later in life. It would certainly explain some research subjects.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 19, 2009

What a week this has been. We've seen a new President being sworn in (something that only took a couple of tries, too... you'd think they would have had a dress rehearsal or something), we've watched an old President leave in a helicopter, and we've seen the former Vice President melt away into the shadows, once again content to haunt the dreams of children from the depths of their closets. There's even been news that didn't originate in Washington, DC, and that's what we're here for. So let's get these awards started, shall we?

The Sweet Smell of Theft Award
Sometimes, people just need the essentials. Sometimes, people need a lot of the essentials, possibly because they're planning an extended trip into the wilderness, with no stores nearby. And, well, sometimes people just grab a lot of the essentials because they're a little off-kilter. That's probably the case with the Buffalo man arrested for stealing 44 sticks of deodorant, and putting them down his pants. In his defense, he was just trying to use the deodorant to cover up the smell of Axe body spray.

Cowabunga Award
A sad story emerged out of the University of Cincinnati recently, as a man was robbed, with money taken directly from the wallet he left haphazardly lying around. Correction, it was his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle wallet. The wallet was left, but now the student has no idea of how to purchase a pizza.

Do Not Call Award
Maybe they're doing something wrong in Canada. It seems that the "Do Not Call" registry hasn't quite worked the way they intended. In fact, the lists are being bought by telemarketers and scam artists to give them a new list of targets. Canadian officials are aware of the problem, but are unsure of how to solve it. Obviously, NOT SELLING THE LISTS would be too obvious.

PopeTube Award
Finally, there's a place we can turn to when we need our inspiration, but are stuck at the computer. Sure, there may have been other semi-religious (or very religious) sites and pages out there, but now we can get the Word directly from the horse's mouth. That's right, folks, the Vatican has their own YouTube channel. It won't be long now before those pictures of naked nuns are actual nuns.

Drinking Driving Twofer Award
We've had stories like this before, but we just can't avoid them. After all, when one person gets busted for drunk driving, it's a normal event. When a second person gets busted, you can assume it's been a party. When they both get busted in the same car, well, there's a reason they got caught for drunk driving. In all fairness, the recent weather has made roads slippery, and therefore much harder for drunks to steer on.

Out of Work Award
What do you do when you're an elected official, and you lose your re-election bid? Well, most candidates fade away from the public spotlight. Some launch lengthy court battles to keep their positions. And still others file for unemployment, citing "lost election/fired" as the reason they deserve the compensation. So at least there's hope, right?

Fight Fight Fight Award
What could possibly go wrong with an open bar party and an Ultimate Fighting Championship on the pay-per-view? Would you believe that guests fought amongst themselves? People, people, people... this is exactly how Backyard Wrestling got started. Do we really need to go down that path again?

Well that wraps up our awards for yet another week. We'll be back next week, as we close out January, and prep ourselves for a little civil service. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Real thinkers

People make mistakes. It just goes with the territory of being human. While many mistakes that get made are harmless, and possibly amusing, some can cause quite a bit of discomfort. And then, of course, there are things that people do that may not seem like mistakes until after the fact. However, we can't simply write about mistakes that became apparent in the shining light of the past.

So instead, we have to find examples that really may not have displayed the best judgement.

Take, for example, an interview with an oil company executive. When asked about gas prices, he tried to joke that they were "too low". Right, because your company just isn't making quite as obscene of profits as it was when gas cost $4/gallon? Oh, that's right, you only charged that much because you needed to cover your own costs. None of that money went into your company's coffers. You know, except for that record-setting profit you got to make each month that prices went up. Listen, when the country is in a recession, and people are scraping and scratching for money, the last thing you should probably do is talk about something being too cheap, especially when you aren't the one who isn't sure if they'll be able to afford that box of macaroni and cheese later on.

Speaking of scratching for money, that's the subject of our second story today. We do we highlight this one? Well, because it's about a woman who may very well have won a lot of money off of a scratch-off lottery ticket. Because she didn't believe it herself, she gave the ticket to a friend and asked them to take it to a gas station to verify the winnings. Now, at this point, a few things leap out at us. First off, why have it taken to a gas station? It's not like they will happen to have that much money on-hand, in case someone does win multiple thousands off of a ticket. Secondly, why would she pass the ticket to a friend to verify? Sure, there are always people out there who would do exactly what was asked of them in this situation, but there are plenty of others who would seek some sort of commission for having to do the leg work. In this situation, the "friend" decided that their commission was 100%, and scampered away with the ticket.

Who knows, though? Maybe the friend is sitting on the ticket, waiting until gas prices rise to a more normal level.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our leader could beat up your leader

Here in America, yesterday was a day of pomp, circumstance, celebration, inebriation, and lots and lots of music. Oh, and we swore in a new leader, which may have had something to do with the aforementioned things. Or not. We can't be positive.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, New Zealanders got to witness something, too. No, they didn't elect a new leader and put him in office. What they did get to see was the person running their country shake the hands of around 120 rugby players.

Not impressed? Well, now realize that he did it with a broken arm, and went to the hospital afterwards.

That's right, America. We can be proud of having recently elected someone who has given the world hope again, someone who makes people think that maybe, just maybe, we'll have a President who listens to the people. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be proud knowing that their prime minister can fall, snap his arm, meet up with rugby players (possibly playing a scrum or two, the story doesn't say), and then wander off to the hospital because it wasn't "quite right". Can we say the same thing about our new President, or any past office holder? Sure, we had the President that understood the first part of the equation (the falling part), but what did he do with it? Did he play some football before heading off to get an x-ray? No, he instead chose to lead a long, semi-successful acting career, until his ill-fated late-night talk show.

What? Chevy Chase was President once, right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Drunk on the job

It wasn't long ago that certain people in South America were told that being drunk could no longer get them fired, Iowa City is looking in a different direction. While they aren't outright threatening firing, they are planning something else, and it affects establishments that sell alcohol.

They're considering random breath testing for wait staff and entertainment.

On one hand, this move actually makes sense. If wait staff, bartenders, and/or bouncers are able to drink during the course of their duties, it could certainly impair their judgement, and could lead to people sneaking fake IDs past, or possibly people drinking beyond the point where they should have been cut off. After all, those that are responsible for directly giving access to the bar, or handing off the liquor to customers, should be held accountable, and testing their sobriety during a shift makes sense.

But entertainers? This could usher in a strange time. We could start seeing stand-up comedians regularly drinking soda or water (which, again, makes some sense, with their reliance on speech). But musicians, as well? Given that part of a bar's payment to entertainment often lumps in at least a discount on purchases from the bar, this could lead to bars either being expected to pay more actual money to their entertainers, or to those entertainers being expected to get paid even less. While there are always people who make it big, for every one that does, there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) who are scraping by, and a free beer now and then can help make ends meet.

Although, if it keeps people from getting too drunk, then it's all for the best. After all, the world really only needs one Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty, or Ron White.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 12, 2009

Another week, and another round of awards. We've decided to avoid taking any shots at the outgoing President. After all, this is his last full week on the job, and he probably needs a pick-me-up wherever he can get it. But that's alright, because we've got plenty of other stories to share, so let's get rolling.

Pet of the Sea Award
Have you ever sat around thinking that fish get a raw deal? We're not talking about when they're used for sushi, we're talking about how people just seem to take them for granted. Well, we haven't either, but that's not going to stop PETA, who are looking to spin a new PR campaign for fish by starting to call them "Sea Kittens". Silly PETA. Cats are afraid of water.

Hail Mary Award
A Chilean fashion designer is drawing the ire of the Catholic church, thanks to a new show he's got planned that feature *gasp* attractive busty women dressed as the Virgin Mary. The breasts were described as "ample, near-naked". Which is just crazy, because everyone knows that Mary was an A cup. Now Salome, on the other hand...

No Pope, No Hope Award
Speaking of the Church, the Vatican has released some of the details about how they deal with the worst of sins. These are sins that can only be forgiven by the Pope, which means that things like murder and genocide aren't on the list. So what is? Defiling the Eucharist, abusing the confidentiality of the confessional, and assassinating the Pope. Yeah, that last one really becomes a pain to get absolution for, what with the victim being the guy who can actually help out.

Stopping the Buck Award
The state of Florida made a fairly big mistake a few years back, selling private information garnered from licensed drivers to marketing firms. Information included things like date of birth, social security numbers and medical condition. The settlement, which is in the $10M range, will of course see proceeds going to Florida drivers. To the tune of $1 per. Because nothing makes us feel better after our personal information is sold than a Taco Bell burrito.

Gassy Planet Award
Scientists observing from Earth have found that Mars is practically belching methane gas, which could indicate life. While scientists can't be certain that the cause is biological, it at least shows them at Mars itself is still going through changes. In the meantime, Jupiter has been seen sneaking around Mars' bathroom cabinet, depositing packets of Gas-X.

... is Feeling Stabby Award
How can you be pretty certain that you'll be arrested for premeditated homicide? Post your consideration of it on your Facebook page. Oh, social networking. Is there nothing you can't do (obviously, other than teaching people not to talk about or show pictures of crime on their personal pages)?

Ah, Regret Award
We've heard of plenty of people who do things that they later regret. We don't often hear about people who then attempt to sue over evidence of those events. That's just what a woman from Florida did, though, after pictures and video of her participation in wet t-shirt contests, a banana eating contests, and a "sexual positions" contest appeared. The judge, however, ruled against her, due to a lack of evidence, and the fact that it did not "create the impression of an actual sex act". So, we're guessing that she lost the last contest, then.

Well, that wraps up our awards for this week. We'll see you after the long weekend is over, when a new President is sworn in, and all of the cartoon animals appear from their long, dark, hibernation to sway along with music and dance. Or something like that. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

No, you drive

It's always a good plan, after a night of drinking, to make sure that you have a designated driver. It's probably a better plan to let that person actually do the driving, but there are people that just want to buck the trend, and keep a DD on hand just in case they get a little sleepy.

And then there's a couple of people in New York, who didn't quite get a hang of the concept. Sure, the driver pulled the car over, and changed spots with the passenger, because he was too drunk to drive. The only problem?

The passenger was drunk, too.

The two were noticed by the police while they were pulled over to the side of the road, trading places in the vehicle. Unfortunately for them, they didn't suddenly become Dan Aykroyd or Eddie Murphy, and by trading places, they didn't miraculously sober up, as was proven by the immediate tailgating of another vehicle. One can assume that a couple of older gentlemen may have had a bet placed on the outcome, but we can't be certain, because the two drivers were both charged with DWIs.

This is a prime example of how simply selecting a designated driver in your head doesn't do the job. In fact, both people may have assumed that the other would avoid drinking, so that they'd have a safe passage home, and yet both found themselves in no condition to be driving.

Of course, it's more likely that neither man was even thinking about remaining sober. In fact, there's a good chance that the cry of, "Let's see how many shots we can do" was echoed out at some point before the two left the bars.

Oh, if only they'd had a third person with them. Except, with their luck, it would have been a third drunk person.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

One coffee, Mr. Leprechaun

We almost feel obligated to write about this story. After all, look at our title, and you'll see that the news is about a subject near and dear to our hearts. Well, maybe near and dear to our stomachs, bladders, and brain chemistry, but those are all relatively close to the heart. Besides, it's not every day that we get to learn new and wonderful things that coffee can do for us, but today is one of those days.

So, coffee, we knew many of the benefits you provided, but we had no idea that you helped us communicate with the dead and have hallucinations. Good work indeed.

According to a study done in the UK (who seem to get all of the best studies), heavy coffee drinkers are more prone to seeing things and thinking they can communicate with ghosts than people who only have a little caffeine every day. Basically, anyone that had the caffeine equivalent of seven cups were about three times as likely to have some sort of extra-sensory experience.

What this tells us is that caffeine has benefits that we never understood. Sure, we were used to the idea that it helped give us a quick jolt to stay awake, and, in moderation, may even help us maintain our focus on the task at hand. We've even utilized it for its ability to, um, get things moving, if you catch our drift. But now we know that coffee can help us speak to grandma one more time, or at least maybe find out why our car keys keep getting moved off of the shelf we set them down on.

Now, if you don't mind, we're off to get another cup. That unicorn with the muffins on its horn won't be there all day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Opposable thumbs triumph

Take that, all of you creatures out there that don't have opposable thumbs. You can't grip things the same way that we humans can, and we're finally taking a stand. Sure, for centuries we've been able to do things that you can't, like hold onto bottles and give a definite sign showing our pleasure our displeasure (used to great effect in movie reviewing), but we've always had a bit of a monkey on our backs about the whole thing. So we've finally decided that enough is enough, and we've made our stand in a small Alabama town.

Oh yeah, animals. Take that. We've kicked one of your own out of the post office! In your face, which you could wipe off with a tissue if only your thumbs worked like ours.

Sure, it may seem like a token gesture to boot a cat out of the post office, but this is a significant in opposable vs. non-opposable history. Sure, there are some softies in the human contingent that are trying to step around the decrees set down by a right-thinking individual by getting the cat a PO box, but come on, people. It doesn't pay taxes. It shouldn't be allowed to traipse wherever it chooses, because, in some of those places, it might just decide to give itself a bath. And not with soap, because that requires a fully functional thumb.

Oh, this is a beautiful moment for humanity. Sure, plenty of people may think that it's a crazy (and empty) gesture made by someone who might need a little stress ball, but we think it's a great step forward.

Next on our list are those with prehensile tails. Seriously, what good is grabbing things with something that's behind you? Sheesh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thinking of the children

While we aren't parents ourselves, we can see how it would be hard for people raising children in today's world. From the economic turmoil to pointing out that the first-born was conceived at home due to gas prices being too high for Mommy and Daddy to get a nice hotel room for their anniversary all the way to the question of just how much television is too much, it's a rough world. So it's a good thing that there are parents out there who are helping to pave the road for everyone else.

Take, for example, a mother from Florida, who is upset about a belt worn by a doll she bought for her daughter. The mother believes that the belt, which reads "Enter", crosses the line, and is too sexually explicit for a Bratz doll.

Wait, what? There's something too explicit for a Bratz doll? Maybe we're wrong, but aren't these the dolls that are basically dressed like what Barbie would wear if she was trying to skank it up a bit for a night on the town? Aren't Bratz to the doll world what the Pussycat Dolls are to the music world; overly made-up tarts who are shameless knock-offs of more successful figures?

Well, thank goodness that there's a mother out there who just won't tolerate this kind of filth. Sure, she could decide to stop buying Bratz dolls entirely, given that the dolls stray towards "stripperish", but instead, she's offended about the word "Enter". And yes, we do feel that the word itself, especially in that location, does cross lines that should remain uncrossed, but we also don't think that's anywhere near to the worst thing about the Bratz line.

After all, we'd hate for our own future children to believe that you can pluralize things by adding a "z" to the end of a word.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of January 5, 2009

Welcome to our first awards for the year 2009. We definitely enjoyed the run through 2008, and we're looking ahead to this year, which will undoubtedly bring us more craziness in the form of elected officials, crazy criminals, and simply goofy events from around the world. In fact, it looks like today's awards have a little bit of all that, so we're just going to dive into the deep end.

Blagoje-peached Award
Well, that didn't take long. After it first surfaced that he just might be a little corrupt, it really did beg the question as to how long Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich would remain in office. The first volley has now been fired, as the Illinois House has voted to impeach the governor. If only there was an Illinois politician who the nation could look towards to help restore state and national image...

Red Ticker Tape Award
You know that there's something wrong with your country when you actually sponsor a contest where the winner is somehow who had to wade through the most ridiculous amount of red tape. Even worse when the contest is sponsored by the government. Meanwhile, the US Senate merely looks at the requirements the Mexican winner went through as a minor inconvenience, and they vow to deliberate for weeks on whether or not they can get even more ridiculous, before deciding to actually make an impact in the final week of the year.

Stripped Down Economics Award
We understand. Nobody likes paying taxes. But that's no reason to go around not claiming your tips as income. Especially when you get $80,000 in one year for taking your clothes off. On the plus side, that medical degree should totally be paid off by now.

Sex Sells Award
We know, we know, the title of this award seems like a bit of a "duh" moment, but you'd also think that people would see a sexually provocative ad for a lingerie and sex toy shop and register the same thing. You know, unless they're in Britain, where they think it's a little much. Because sex shops shouldn't advertise sex. That's what prime time television is for.

Britney the Chaste Award
This may come as a shock to some people, but Britney Spears has grown up. She's even singing dirty songs now. Admittedly, getting children to sing "If You Seek Amy" (read it to yourself) could be funny while sitting with just the family, it can be embarrassing when at church or a restaurant. You know, unless you plan on putting video of it on YouTube.

Seems Legit Award
Moving on from the sexually charged stories, we find a story of a woman who admitted to embezzling thousands from her employer. But that's okay, because she was totally going to pay it back when she got her millions from a Nigerian princess. In other news, people still haven't figured out that giving strangers money over the internet in return for promises of greater money won't really pay off.

Ol' Crazy Eyes Award
When plucking out your own eyeball isn't enough to get you off of death row, what do you do? If you're a Texas inmate, you wait four years, then pluck out your other eye and eat it. The man is now in psychiatric counseling, and is hoping to record a duet of "I Can See Clearly Now" with Stevie Wonder.

Well, that wraps up our awards for this first week of the year. We'll see you next week, as we inch ever closer to the final day of the Gdub Administration, and the first day of, depending on who you ask, complete destruction or the return of Eden. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

You might be Minnesotan if...

There are a lot of ways to indicate that you just might be a Minnesotan. Obviously, the first and foremost is that you live in the state that may have just elected a comedian to higher office. Another sign would be wearing shorts throughout December, only putting on pants in January because it's "a little nippy". And still another sign would, naturally, be having ice houses set up around lakes in the Twin Cities.

Ah, but don't go assuming that your ice house is just as secure as your regular house. In fact, if you decide to put fancy electronics like stereos and flat-screen TVs in there, you might just get robbed.

Yes, you read that correctly. No, not the robbing part, but that's true, too. What you read correctly was that people have been using expensive electronics inside of their ice houses. While we understand that ice fishing can be a slow way to pass the time, we can't really comprehend wanting to bring something large and valuable out onto the ice. Sure, the lakes are going to be frozen over until at least March, but this is also a state where people drive trucks out onto ice that's barely frozen solid, and other people lose their ice houses entirely because they forgot to get the thing OFF of the ice before the spring thaw.

In fact, just about the only thing we can really imagine bringing into an ice house (other than ice fishing equipment and ways to keep yourself warm) would be a case of Ice House. It won't make the beer taste any better, but enough of it, and you won't care how cold it is, or how it's been since a fish toyed with your line.

Although we would miss catching up on "Judge Judy" while we're out there.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Not in the book

We understand that these are tough economic times. We know that it's hard for people to make ends meet, and sometimes, it seems like the best option is to supplement your paychecks with a little discounted shopping. And, by discounted, we mean a 100% discount.

But here's a quick tip if that's a course of action you really feel you need to take. Leave your kids at home.

We know that family time, much like money, is something people just don't have enough of these days. And yet, that doesn't excuse the trip taken by the family mentioned in the article. Especially since it seems that only one parent was really involved in the shoplifting. The other parent could easily have stayed home, watching the little ones and an episode of Dora the Explorer. Of course, we highly doubt that these tips we've included are also part of the book "101 Ways to Be a Great Mom", which was part of the attempted shoplifting loot. In fact, we'd be surprised if there's a section of petty larceny at all in the book.

After all, some authors just don't know how to market to an expanded audience.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Snow White and the seven vertically challenged men

We really toyed with writing a story about how Canadians are being taught how to shovel snow. Yes, you read that correctly. One would think that Canadians would know all about snow, but apparently that's not the case. And yet, one story climbed over the top of the mound of fresh powder and snapped our attention. Quite possibly, this is because we remember a book written some years ago as a humorous update to many fairy tales of old.

It may be time to revive the printing of said book, as it seems that large numbers of parents are abandoning reading and telling fairy tales to their children. While some parents are citing that the stories could be scary for little ones, a large number are refusing to keep the stories alive for a different reason.

It's because they aren't politically correct.

Well, heck, we knew all along that the stories weren't PC. But that isn't going to stop us from relating them to our kids when we have them. Heck no. If anything, these stories almost need to be told because they help gain an understanding of the time they were written in. Especially for many of these tales, that have been used for centuries to help relay messages to children, and to help fuel imaginations. But, for some parents (probably raised on these very same fairy tales, mind you), the stories just shouldn't be, because of the potentially harmful terms used in the stories.

In many ways, this would be like going back to classic movies and removing scenes because of the fact that they also aren't PC. And what really is PC, these days? After all, don't the terms change every couple of years, because of a change in sensitivities around the words? Some phrases that weren't acceptable a mere ten years ago have been made acceptable once again. In fact, to stay on the cutting edge of what is and what isn't politically correct, you'd have to have some sort of lens into the future.

Besides, we're fairly certain that "Goldilocks and the Three Ursine Americans" just won't have the same ring.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hip hip brr

Oh, poor Alaska. Here you are, the 49th state, home of the former Vice Presidential candidate (who can, incidentally, see Russia from her house), and now you're getting ready to celebrate your 50th year of statehood. You're only 100 years behind Minnesota, but you do share something in common.

It's freaking cold.

Admittedly, Minnesota hasn't had to cancel fireworks yet because of the cold, but give the state time. After all, Alaska, you're not that much further north, really. And hey, you've got things to look forward to.

For example, you can look forward to the eventual thawing of the planet that will bring your temperatures back into a reasonable range. You can look forward to knowing that tabloids want pictures of your governor's grandchild. And you can look forward to those shiny fireworks. Possibly later on this week, even, according to organizers who are hoping that temperatures near 30 below zero won't be enough to snuff the fires used to light the wicks.

And yet we're supposed to believe that the vampires in 30 Days of Night didn't need at least a jacket. Right...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Year End Wrap Around

Yes, we know that the year officially ended after that magical second on Wednesday night. And yet, here we sit, not quite ready to let the end of the year go quite yet. This is due to a number of things, ranging from the fact that yesterday was a vacation day, today's a Friday, and we're just all around lazy when it comes to finding stories for today. But that's just fine by us, which is why we present to you today's list...

The Top 7 Days of the Week

7. Tuesday
There's really nothing glamorous about Tuesdays. Sure, they aren't Mondays, but at least Monday gets people riled up and passionate. Tuesday? People are just hoping that there's something on television.

6. Thursday
Thursday isn't much better than Tuesday in the grand scheme of things. It's not quite Friday, but it's closer than Wednesday is. In fact, the only thing that Thursday really has going for it is that it is sort of the beginning of the weekend, or at least it was in college. And when a day is best looked at as an excuse to get to the bars early, you know it's got problems.

5. Sunday
We feel bad bashing on a weekend day, specifically the day of rest, but there's just one major problem with Sunday. It's hard to really enjoy the day when you know that work is looming a mere 24 hours away.

4. Wednesday
Yes, we rate this higher than Sunday. After all, it has the nickname of "Hump Day". We all know that they aren't talking about camels...

3. Friday
This is the day when the weekend really gets rolling, and, even if you work a 9-5 M-F job, it's usually one of the more palatable. Besides, for night owls like us, Friday provides the first real opportunity to stay awake longer than you should without having anything important to do the next day.

2. Saturday
Saturday's kind of like Friday at the end of it, with things to do, reasons to stay up late, and an overall drive towards enjoying the hours without worrying about work the next day. As an extra bonus, Saturday allows people to sleep in, giving them the energy for that late night. And yet, it still comes in at number 2 on our list.

1. Payday
It doesn't matter what day of the week this falls on. Any day where you can walk away with more money in your pocket (or bank account) than you had at the start of the day is automatically the best day of the week. And just think, some criminals get to experience payday every day!

Cheers, one and all. We'll be back next week, returning to our regularly scheduled programming.