2011 Trails to Ale Results

Some race notes:

  • Christian and Andy drank frosty drafts at the Great Lost Bear the night before the race, so technically they ran the “Ales to Trails to Ale” race.
  • Andy was the only one of the three runners to spend time in first place, second place, and last place. Unfortunately, the only time he spent in first place was somewhere between the start of the race and the first half mile marker.
  • Everyone’s legs hurt a little less after witnessing the “had to be drunk girl” fail (and fall!) in her ill-conceived attempt to scale the 3 foot iron fence at the Sabego Biergarten. Commenter: “The drunk girl ran the ‘Trail to Ale to Epic 3ft Fence Scale Fail’ race.”*
  • Matt wore actual “trail shoes” because he thought it was an actual “trail run,” which apparently it is not… at all. It should really be called the “Sidewalk to Ale” run. Hopefully he has really bad blisters now.
  • There are no longer two fat cats at the Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland.
  • Portland has some of the friendliest 10K race porta-potty line mice anywhere.

[table id=7 /]

Complete Results.

*Added from anonymous comments.

Parenting by police cars and fire trucks

We're so proud of you!

Ultimately, you never know how your kid is going to turn out in the end, but it’s probably important to watch for signs of trouble and to at least try to put the young back on a better path when necessary.

Sometimes it’s easy and nature lobs you soft, underhanded meatball situations to get you to let down your guard. Perhaps you catch your child lifting the family dog’s tail in order to “ring its doorbell.” No problem. That’s a simple “dogs don’t have doorbells, silly child; they live in our houses and listen for our doorbells because they’re wolves on welfare” conversation. Perhaps your child decides she will eat only ginger snap cookies for a month. No problem. Give the dog* all the ginger snap cookies and eventually your child will get hungry enough to eat the gruel you’d rather she ingest.

Much better!

But other times it’s more difficult. What do you do when your offspring gravitates toward riding in the back of a police car? Do you risk offending the officers present by yanking her screaming and kicking from their squad car?

What is the etiquette for such an extraction? If a two-year-old girl and a thirty-nine-year-old man get into an unscheduled Shin Do Kumate in a squad car, who do you think gets pepper sprayed and tased? How do you explain to your daughter later that obviously she seemed like a greater threat to the officers and that you’re washing her eyes with milk because that’s what the kind paramedics said would make the stinging stop?

Fire trucks, on the other hand, are very comforting signs for parents. Even if your child tosses a would-be, miniature driver crying to the asphalt on her way up to the vehicle’s seat, or if she shoves dismissively an older boy over to ride bitch because he has no f’n clue where the fire is, it’s still a welcome relief to see her riding in the front of a fire truck, rather than the back of a police car.

*Sometimes letting the dog eat several hundred ginger snap cookies all at once can have unintended consequences. It’s better to space them out over time.

Operation Brisket!

Photos copyright of Darth Seder. All rights and wrongs reserved.

This hairstyle is on purpose?

It is very hard to find good parental staff these days… verrry hard! All I want to do in the morning is get my snack on and my Wonder Pets on, but every day I end up leaving the house looking like this.

Avian Violence at Chez Moore!

When will they turn on us!?

We seem to have a problem attracting the right winged visitors. I put up a bat house two years ago; hornets moved into it. I replaced the bat house with a bird feeder last year; birds are now killing (and eating!) each other (in addition to the seeds!) in our back yard!

At first we thought this was a freak occurrence. A pile of feathers suggested bird violence, but there was no corpse. On cue, a big black bird flew back into our yard carrying a sparrow in its beak! Ok… fine… Lord of the Flies meet Lord of the Birds, but later the same day, the black birds took down another sparrow and proceeded to eviscerate and dine upon the victim.

We either need to stop the murders or write a new verse to Abby’s favorite cartoon bird song:

I love to watch the birdies play!
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
The black ones kill the grey ones!
Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!
They like to eat seeds!
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
But they also eat each other!
Doon doon! Doon doon doon! Doon doon doon! Doon doon!

I think the crows are doing the actual killing, but the redwing blackbirds seem to be getting involved with the eating, so it’s kind of a general black bird issue at the moment. Hogan the ridgeback has been known to momentarily inconvenience squirrels on the feeder, as they will casually move from the feeder to the top of the fence when he gets within a couple feet of them, but he’s essentially useless against flying pests. He’s pathologically afraid of greenhead flies, so he’s never going to get the job done against crows. What we really need is a grotesquely-massive house cat or some kind of a midget panther, but these beasts seem to cause more difficulties than they solve.

I may try to domesticate some crows with peanuts (apparently that’s an option!), or I may just wait until it’s a dark and stormy night and move the damn bird feeder into a neighbor’s yard.

Survivor is Dead to Me…

“If she can win the game twice, there is a flaw in the game.” Russell Hantz.

Russell Gets the bad news
I won! Really!? Thanks, Losers! Yaaaay!

Yep… there’s a definite flaw in the game. Twice in a row now (and I’ve only watched the last two seasons!), the most pathetic player remaining has been voted the winner of Survivor by a crew of sour grapes losers. This is the fatal flaw of Survivor… this “let the losers decide the winner” finale.

Who came up with such a craptacular endgame? Donny? What a crock! Was it the same jackass who tried to make all little league baseball games end by rule in a tie, so that no feelings are hurt. But this is really even worse than PC invasions into recreational activities! This is like saying, “hey now! You’re a competent player! You’ve outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted, so now you’re shit out of luck! That’ll teach you… you… you achiever! The time for kicking ass and writing down the names of losers is over, so congratulations Natalie… and thata-grrrl, Sandra! Let’s hear it for the weak and the inept!”

Note: this should really be a longer post about what’s wrong with America these days, but I am a voter, not a thinker.

Another note: my wife says that I completely underestimate the “social game” within Survivor, that yang without yin does not a winner make. Blah blah blah. To me, that’s like saying a diving catch in the endzone should count more than a half yard run up the middle, or that Steve Nash should get two points for each free throw because he’s super-informed and outspoken on social issues that don’t affect him personally. I just threw up a little bit and can taste it at the back of my throat.

Unless they change the finale to be some kind of an actual competition (instead of a high school popularity contest) between the remaining contestants, it’s just a sham, man. It’s like a Miss America Pageant without even the talent segment; if Vegas won’t give you odds and let you bet on it, it’s just not a real sporting event… it’s crap dumped in an exotic location. Hey! It’s kind of what LOST is turning out to be after all these years.

Where else does this happen? Where else do the losers get to decide the winner by exercising their voting privileges? Do the Bruins (after their historic collapse against the Flyers) get to vote for the Stanley Cup Champion? “Hmmm… Philly kicked our ass, but we just don’t like the cut of their collective jib! Let’s vote for the Sharks!” Did the Yankees (after their historic collapse against the Red Sox) get to vote for the World Series Champion? “The Red Sox scored more runs, but damn it if La Russa doesn’t give a fantastic concession speech! Shine on you crazy Cardinals; you’re the ‘real’ champions in our collective mind!”

Ultimately… yes… and thank heavens… the real losers are those individuals watching Survivor on television or (even more damning… uh… I mean… empowering!) writing blog posts about how much Survivor sucks afterward. But I now understand that losing carries with it godlike power and responsibility, so I can’t wait to get together with other losers to start determining winners!

Now that I’m a Survivor loser, who should I make a winner today? Should it be a crappy sitcom? Should it be cable news? Maybe I’ll make European Handball on ESPN IX a winner tonight? Now that I’m onboard with the Survivor methodology, only my capacity for losing limits my opportunities for crowning winners in this new Survivor universe, and I plan on taking full advantage of it.

You beat me at golf? Great! Pay me… because I just voted my Rhodesian Ridgeback the winner and I’m his accountant. Your team beat my team in YMCA basketball? Nope. We have 8 players to your 7 and we just voted ourselves another win. You want us to pay this bar tab? I don’t know… you got the votes? You might owe us money.

One thing’s for certain: LOST ain’t winning a damn thing if I have anything to say about it.

Defenestrators Dominate!

Pat relives the 80's!

Buoyed by a final round requiring identification of sundry 80’s Hair Bands, the Defenestrators dropped in unexpectedly and took home first place cash from Tin Whistle Trivia.

What we knew: just about everything, frankly. Who told you not to squeeze the Charmin? We know. Who discovered penicillin? We know.  What NFL team won Superbowl I? We know. What NBA team has the most championships? We know… and you should really know too.

What we learned: Kansas is the freaking sunflower state. Coolidge is the only U.S. President born on the fourth of July. Some moron cohosted season one of American Idol with Ryan Seacrest; none of us caught his name. Bon Jovi can honestly be mistaken for Stryper in a fuzzy picture, and some dude in their band looks like a lady. Pat’s as useless as a wet cocktail napkin in a bar fight when the pressure’s on in the final round. Andy insists on spelling the band Pois(s)on with an extra s, because that’s the way it should be done.

What we relearned: bar trivia is much more lucrative than Sunday softball in the Industrial League. The Headers provide roughly the same level of competition when absent as they do when present.

Joanie Phone Home!

Artist's drawing of Joanie's ideal phone.

Pretty much everyone except Matt H now realizes that the Android operating system is the best platform for a mobile phone, but getting the right phone is just the beginning. Joanie, like much of the Generation V demographic, still needs a little help parenting her new Droid. In the hopes that it will be of use to others, here’s the transcript of our latest smart phone discussion.

Joanie: wow… the iPhone truly does suck but the Motorola Droid does so damn much! I hate overachievers! Simmer down, you crazy phone of doing stuff!

Andy: just keep deleting apps until all it does is sit like a brick on an end table.

Joanie: this thing has GPS? I’m not sure I want my phone knowing where I am all the time. What if I pick up another phone and the Droid asks me about it later? Sometimes I’m tempted to fondle the pink iPhones, but now my Droid could ask me in its little Droid voice, “why were you in the Apple Store? When did you stop loving me?”

Andy: you can turn the Droid off… or… you could turn it AND the iPhone on by holding both phones to either ear at once! Remember… Droid does, so “no” always means “yes” for the Droid. If you let an iPhone and a Droid mate, the iPhone gives birth to a little V baby handheld… kind of a Blackberry with an alien tail.

Joanie: the Droid’s font is soooo tiny! Tee Hee! It’s got a little teeny tiny font!

Remember... iPhones are for babies!

Andy: probably don’t want to embarrass your phone like that or it might start faking incoming calls on you. It’s not the size of the font that matters; it’s the quality of the connection!

Joanie: I live in New York. Could smartphones be too difficult for me?

Andy: it’s quite possible.

Joanie: hey! There’s an opening in Verizon University’s 12-step Fundamentals of Texting class! I’m signing up!

Andy: sweet! Let me know if you need a sponsor.

Joanie: Kenny and I want to buy one of those new-fangled 4-slot toasters. Want to come with us to Bradlees to pick one out?

Andy: ummm… Bradlees?

Joanie: yeah… the department store in Manhattan; it’s right down the block from Socrates’ Retreat!

Just a little Quiet before the Madness…

Wake me if something happens.
Wake me if something happens.

Some have suggested that I have left the Cancun post up for an inordinate amount of time simply because it represents such a convincing victory over Nancy and Christian. Never before have I competed in the pseudo marine biochemistry field, so it IS amazing for me to walk away with the gold medal in salinity musing.

That being said, I have not allowed the prior post to linger for any reason other than a pesky busyness that has descended upon me. This too shall pass, or I will have it removed like a malfunctioning appendix.

In case I find no time to write before the NCAA Basketball tournament begins, let me remind everyone that I won the pool last year and I intend to win it this year.

I will post my tournament picks as soon as it is too late for any of you to benefit from them!

Like Salt in the Cancun!

If you do not recall or were not privy to the quasi cerebral discussion in waist-deep Cancun water concerning waist-deep Cancun water, the following hypotheses emerged concerning presumed higher salinity levels as one approaches the equator:

But sand held by an 82 degree diaper?

Christian surmised, “warmer water allows for a higher concentration of salt due to solubility properties. Warmer water can simply hold higher concentrations of dissolved substances than colder water. I know this from cooking meth…”

Nancy interrupted, “there’s more salt in warmer water because people tend to go on vacation where the water is warmer. As everyone knows, people like to drink margaritas in warmer weather, and margaritas are traditionally served with a healthy coating of salt on the rim of the glass. Over time, the spilled margaritas of intoxicated vacationers have raised vacation area ocean salinity. Plus, people pee more in warm water and I’m pretty sure pee is salty.”

Emily protested, “Who cares? Are you really going to fight about this? It doesn’t matter and you’re just going to get upset over nothing. Have you stopped eating butter? Have you started eating butter? None of you change your behavior when faced with verifiable evidence gleaned from these conversations, so your arguments reduce tragically to petty competition rather than sustainable improvements of the human condition.”

Andy corrected, “there’s more salt in warmer water due to evaporation. Water evaporates relatively quickly from a warm location leaving behind heavier substances like salt, and then the salt-free water falls back to earth in a cooler area which tends to leave the area of evaporation with a higher concentration of salt. I don’t really know the answer, but that’s some fine bullshit if you’re going to put me on the spot. There are no empty calories in Mexican butter either.”

Note: quoted material above is paraphrased but thought to be essentially accurate by the author.

Historic Ocean Socratic Dialogues

It turns out that everyone involved in this inpromptu Mensa meeting was doomed to a certain level of failure, since a quick tour of the Web suggests convincingly that warmer water is NOT in and of itself necessarily saltier than colder water. See below for more fun facts on this! Left with the disagreeable yet necessary task of sorting out who was least wrong, I’m happy to report that I, Andy, presented by far the worthiest explanation, because I offered the only ocean salinity factors of measurable consequence mentioned in the Cancun conversation… evaporation and rainfall.

Some might insist that I am arguably CORRECT in my hyposthesis, but since I left out the effects of melting ice and rivers (but are these not also due to evaporation and rainfall?) and implicitly agreed that warm ocean water carries a higher rate of salinity due to its temperature alone, I’m putting myself in the “wrong but righter than these pretenders” category. I may change my mind as we get closer to the Olympics; national pride always encourages me to aggrandize past competitive accomplishments.

Christian was completely off-base and has probably set back several years the chemical competence of anyone overhearing our conversation. Nancy, in truth, may be correct, but she needs to write several carefully-worded research grants to raise the funds necessary to support her theory, and she furthermore needs to publish her empirical findings in a journal of sufficient prestige before I can possibly give her any sort of credit.

Notes, Works Cited, Evidence, Etc.

Yale University says, “density differences are a function of temperature and salinity. Warm water holds less (emphasis mine) salt than cold water so it is less dense and rises toward the surface while cold, salt laden water sinks… The amount of salt in the world’s oceans vary between 33 to 37 parts per thousand. The Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest, with the Pacific Ocean the next saltiest, and the Arctic and Antarctic the least salty. The most salty water is found in waters where there is a minimum of rainfall or river runoff, and high evaporation (emphasis mine). Water is the least salty where large quantities of freshwater are supplied by melting ice, rivers, or excessive rainfall (emphasis mine).” Source: http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1994/5/94.05.08.x.html

Palomar Community College concurs and adds, “the salinity of ocean water varies. It is affected by such factors as melting of ice, inflow of river water, evaporation (emphasis mine), rain (emphasis mine), snowfall, wind, wave motion, and ocean currents that cause horizontal and vertical mixing of the saltwater… The saltiest water (40 o/oo ) occurs in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, where rates of evaporation (emphasis mine) are very high. Of the major oceans, the North Atlantic is the saltiest; its salinity averages about 37.9 o/oo. Within the North Atlantic, the saltiest part is the Sargasso Sea, an area of about 2 million square miles, located about 2,000 miles west of the Canary Islands. The Sargasso Sea is set apart from the open ocean by floating brown seaweed “sargassum” from which the sea gets its name. The saltiness of this sea is due in part to the high water temperature (up to 83º F) causing a high rate of evaporation (emphasis mine) and in part to its remoteness from land; because it is so far from land, it receives no fresh-water inflow. Source: http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm

Lost Cancun Photos

As many of you know, some official Cancun pictures have made their way online, but a few pictures have been held back and I’ll be publishing them with commentary over the next few weeks.

Lost Cancun Photo #1: The Max & Billy Dust Up

Don't say that about Billy!
Don't say that about Billy! Don't say that about Billy! Take it back!

It’s common knowledge that the flight from Boston to Cancun was a bit bumpy after Mom played a practical joke on Dad by hiding his passport between the seat and the wall of the airplane. Boy was that hilarious! I laughed so hard that I spit kicked a 40 ounce bottle of water on to my Dad’s lap when I heard about it! He internalizes anger, so I screamed for him throughout the 5 hour flight! Sorry lady in seat 13C; you know who you are!

Many of you may NOT know that we also  faced a rather awkward and potentially dangerous in-flight situation when my cousin Max leaned over his seat and insisted to Mr. Idol that “Mony Mony” was shallow, derivative, and performed perhaps more pleasingly on Max’s six months to a year old plastic DJ entertainment center.

Lost Cancun Photo #2: Japanese Businessmen Rethinking Past-time

But it's my turn...
But Nancy, it's my turn...

Too much happened during Nancy’s gala birthday celebration for a mere camera to capture or for YouTube to adequately compress and squeeze through America’s aging and tired telecommunication network. News has already leaked concerning Nancy’s performance of a Rolling Stones song that shall not be named.*

As the picture documents, there were actually several Nancy Karaoke performances and, in her defense, she showed improved range and ability with each successive act.

Lost Cancun Photo #3: Jim and Nancy’s Secretive Side Trip

Jim and Nancy
Jim and Nancy's Sidetrip!

When we got up at 4:30AM on Wednesday, Jim and Nancy were nowhere to be found. All they left was a cryptic note reading, “see you and the crying babies at the dinner buffet.” Luckily, the parentparazzi graciously documented their side trip for us. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the only picture we can publish and still maintain our PG-13 blog rating.

That’s all for now! We’ll be getting some more shots up soon

*It shall not be named largely because no one in attendance could recognize (much less identify!) it.

STFD! Gets Forked!

You're not Mia Hamm!
You're not Mia Hamm!

Shut The Front Door! finished a depressing 3rd for the second straight time, while Get The Fork Out! took home $80 for its second consecutive 1st place finish.

When they needed a Ray Bourque, STFD! sent a Bobby Orr. When they needed a Wilt Chamberlain, they sent a Bill Russell. When they needed a Brad Pitt movie, they sent the wrong Brad Pitt movie. When they needed an Eminem, they sent a Dr. Dre. And perhaps most troubling, when they needed a topless soccer player, they sent a fully-clothed Mia Hamm.

The one bright spot for STFD! this week was the final round where Addison single-handedly dominated the Disney animated film category and enabled STFD! to eek by The Grandmothers Gone Wild.

And yes… there IS a team called The Grandmothers Gone Wild now. They may sip Metamucil instead of tequila, but that only results in them regularly dropping knowledge down on other teams like a Geritol-fortified hammer!

Many theories circulate as to why STFD! finds itself underperforming of late. Is playing constantly shorthanded taking a toll? Are they getting dumber? Are they trying to get invited to the White House by acting “stupidly?” Is their success positively correlated with that of the New England Patriots or negatively correlated with that of the NY Jets?

Asked for his insight, Mike from Get The Fork Out! offered, “I don’t know if it’s early onset of Alzheimers or late-stage siphilis, but whatever disease STFD! has, those guys are taking a whole cocktail of suck pills these days.”

STFD! versus GTFO!? There can be only one!

War-painted Header!
War-painted Header!

STFD! was incomplete and outplayed this week at Tin Whistle Trivia. We offer no excuses; we do offer an explanation.

Since the Silbergleit Summer Carnival pulled up its tent pegs and hoofed it out of town, we expected fewer/weaker competitors and we handicapped our varsity team accordingly. Our magnanimous, parity-seeking actions (we left both Abigail and Emily off the roster!) were horribly misplaced, as five fully-staffed rival teams ponied up and came to play harder than megashark and giant octopus combined.

We did not know who won the first ever Monday Night Football game, we did not know all of the monthly birthstones, we were not familiar with Jay-Z’s catalog of crap, we did not know Vince Vaughn’s sundry Hollywood aliases, and there were absolutely no questions concerning the wingspan of fowl.

Homework must be done!
Feel lucky, punk?

Andy also proved to be, in the words of one observer, “pretty damn useless” during crunch time, since the final round was a puzzle variety akin to the brain-wrenching rebus riddles to be found beneath the evil caps of Lucky Lager. This is an area where Andy has never performed above the .08 percentile, and he once again folded before the challenge like a house of cards assembled by a kindergarten class.

A few Tin Whistle Trivia final round puzzle examples:

  1. 18 H I A R O G
  2. 200 D F P G I M
  3. 8 S O A S S
Would-be utensil usurpers?
Would-be utensil usurpers?

But perhaps more troubling than our third-place finish was the emergence of a new trivia team named Get The Fork Out!, a team clearly parodying the legendary success of Shut The Front Door! with admirably postmodern, mock homage.

This new team (which finished in forkly fourth… heh heh!) will undoubtedly polarize trivia fans, since it makes sense to either Shut The Front Door! or to Get The Fork Out!, but to do both is unnecessarily redundant.

Next week we will field a complete, well-conditioned, motivated team. We will listen to additional crappy music, we will drink and solve several cases of the Lucky Lager, and we will arrive early to Shut The Front Door! before the fork folks even arrive. We’re curious to see if Get The Fork Out! turn into Lettuce The Fork In! when faced with a blocked entrance.

STFD!’s latest victory has many whispering the “D” word

Best in Show, Bro!
Best in Show, Bros!

They said it when Warren Remedy won her third best-in-show, they said it about the Carringtons when Alexis showed up in a Denver courthouse, they said it when the Patriots lifted their third Lombardi trophy, and now they’re saying it about a formidable group of triviateurs dominating Thursdays at The Tin Whistle. Is Shut The Front Door! now officially a dynasty?

Craig, The Tin Whistle owner, said, “they’re equal parts evil genius, comedic hubris, and New England moxie. It’s not just that they keep taunting and winning, but it’s the myriad of ways they backup their unsportsmanlike conduct with stellar performances. They’ve built early leads and coasted at times, sure, but they’ve also demonstrated an uncanny knack for pulling out late round victories when necessary. I don’t know if they’re a dynasty yet, but my receipts tell me that they eat and drink an average of 137% of their winnings, so I sure as hell hope they keep winning.”

Kenny, team captain for the rival Headers, expressed profound frustration at his team’s inability to overcome STFD!. “I’m profoundly frustrated! We just haven’t found the right mix of team members yet. I really thought that adding two Michigan alumni and a semi-pro golfer would put us over-the-top, but we came up short again. It’s profoundly frustrating! Worse yet, we won’t be able to compete again until Joanie’s (Joanie is Kenny’s wife and The Headers ‘chief wrong answer giver’ according to Kenny) school hits a significant holiday break in the calendar, so these smug bastards will no-doubt be feeling mighty proud of themselves for an extended period of time. I’d like to say something nice about STFD!. I know that’s the right thing to do, but honestly, I really just hope they all get the swine flu, food poisoning, and pink-eye at the same time.”

Big-mouthed dominance: it must be STFD!
Big-mouthed dominance STFD! style...

Michael, from Billie Jean, sounded decidedly less bitter and expressed no desire for STFD! to fall prey to a porcine pandemic. “People forget, but Billie Jean won two or three times early on. They lost to us a few times, congratulated us, and then they started routinely and matter-of-factly kicking our ass week-in and week-out. Ha! Who knew!? Now they have this aura of invincibility that gives them a real competitive edge over some of the teams. Even when you have them down a few points, it’s as if you’re just waiting for them to make a move. Are they a dynasty? Yeah… they are, but we’re still going to compete and try to take them down.”

STFD! meets Dynasty!
STFD!'s date with Dynasty!

John, STFD! alumnus, offers little hope to would-be usurpers. “It’s funny. When I left the team to open up my novelty shop, Provincetown Enfuego, in California, people started saying that STFD! would come back to the pack. Lol… not likely. I know they stumbled for one week, but those bastards bounced back and I wouldn’t be surprised if they run the table for the rest of the season. They’re focused like wound-up Santa Monica crack fiends at this point.” Pushed for insight into the team’s success, John added, “basically they’re glory whores and would rather place bets on trivial matters than better mankind in any way. They’ll ride this donkey downhill until its hooves crack and then jump on something else that amuses them.”

No one from the present STFD! team would comment on this story unless I bought them drinks (they didn’t look like they needed any more), but they did tell me to remind you to bring your prettiest 20 dollar bill down to see them. Think you have what it takes to shut up Shut The Front Door!? Trivia takes place Thursday nights at The Tin Whistle.

Reuters and the AP contributed to this story. Some quotes may have been paraphrased, corrected for spelling, or invented entirely.

Wolverine-powered Header win on tap?

The Headers are winning!
Headers are beating the infidels!

Since a Harvard-educated team member has proven insufficient to topple the juggernaut that was STFD! and is “The Trivia Team to be Named Later,” The Headers are now reaching out to Michigan alumni (just as the Sith reached out to young Anakin Skywalker) to aid their trivial cause.

Oh no! I hope there’s not a question about Michigan football’s record in 2008 (3W+9L = ouch by my math!), or whom they ripped off for their football helmet art work (thanks Coach Fritz!), or how much a cured wolverine pelt is worth in Saskatchewan (half a case of Molson and a carton of Benson & Hedges!).

No matter… at least one dead desert dictator’s spokesman has predicted a Header win this Thursday. Too bad he broke into song; we deduct A LOT of points for that.

Baghdad Bob’s Song of Silbergleit Victory

What hit me?
What hit me?

Who’s the family on the team
That loses to Andy!?
S-I-L B-E-R G-L-E-I-T!
Hey there! Hi there! Header there!
Your losing streak is a bad dream!
But this week brings a win by…

Silbergleit! Silbergleit! Silbergleit!

For once they’ll hold a stranger’s twenty
High! High! High! High!

Come along and sing Bob’s song
And belly to the bar!
S-I-L B-E-R G-L-E-I-T!

Jacksonian 20 Dollar “Damn You, Kenny!” Dirge

(Sung to the tune of any major musical but Oklahoma!)

First the national bank and now Kenny!
I'll miss you, Kenny!

I used to live in Kenny’s pocket,
But now ride a different hip!
No one told me it was down on the docket,
My move to Moore’s tight money clip!

I used to hang with kite-flying Bennies!
I used to live with Ulysses S. Grants,
I’ll never forgive that damn Kenny,
Now my bunkmates are small bill pissants!

This move, dear friends, got me thinking,
My life now will always be hard!
I’m lucky to see an Abe Lincoln,
As I’m crushed by a blue debit card!

At Kenny weep tears and shout curses,
Since Headers get trivia wrong!
Other 20’s should start penning verses,
Of their own sullen Silbergleit songs!

Beware tenants of Kenny’s wallet,
Thinking lint and life wonderful bores!
Keep a bag packed, as nothing can stall it,
When a lost bet moves you in with the Moores!

I used to live in Kenny’s pocket,
But now ride a different hip!
No one told me it was down on the docket,
My move to Moore’s tight money clip!

Blogwall of Shame #1

Wearing it well!
Might want to cut eye holes next time!

We may be misers when it comes to praise, but here at Moorezilla LLC we are quite generous when it comes to illuminating flaws, shortcomings, and other imperfections. At times, our righteous vitriol rises quicker than the water levels in Zion National Park during a thunderstorm, so we’ve adopted the bullet point emergency shame list to release the negative pressure when we feel deluged by a host of underperforming targets.

Shame on YOU:

  • The Headers, for coming in last place on trivia night 8/20/09. That wasn’t a poor showing; that was a non-showing. If you were strippers, you’d have gone home empty handed, so I guess that means you might be strippers, because you went home empty handed after showing everyone nothing, instead of showing some people everything, or something like that. In short, next time, keep your clothes on but try to show people something. Your lousy performance has, frankly, damaged my control of the English language, so try to get your act together before my blog suffers.
  • Mainstream media, for praising Ted Kennedy, a guy who should have been in the state penitentiary (see here, or here), not in the Senate.
  • Red Sox, for (a.) signing Billy Wagner (bad enough!) and then (b.) CONTINUING to praise Ted Kennedy during the White Sox game. Eunice good… Teddy bad. Schmucks!
  • Ron Paul. You know what you did.
  • Gourmet Gardens, for putting your sushi/sashimi columns right next to each other on the ordering sheet. It doesn’t matter if every other sushi restaurant does the same thing; I hold you to a higher standard.
  • Tropical Storm Danny, for planning on coming to New England on a Saturday.
  • Don Draper. You know what you did.
  • General Electric, for cutting your share dividends, moving sideways, getting caught lying to the SEC, and continuing your lackluster performance despite NBC being a mouthpiece for Obama health care programming. You should be up to at least $20 a share by now!
  • The Headers, again, for trying to break up STFD! after STFD! already kind of broke up. Some of us will be beating all of you… TONIGHT!
  • Whatever phantom leftover stinks in our fridge right now, for stinking in our fridge right now and not having the guts to show yourself on trash day.

STFD! opens the mailbag and closes a chapter…

With our fourth consecutive victory, it’s time for Shut The Front Door! to answer a little fanmail. We like getting fanmail, but it’s laborious to answer it, and if we answer it at all, it will only be through electronic media. When the Tin Whistle trivia people ask how much a stamp costs, we will have to guess. The last time we bought stamps they were 18 cents.

Audrey from Cambridge, MA asks, “what is best in life according to STFD!?”

I said it was chicken, fool!
I said it was chicken, fool!

Well, Audrey, our team philosophy is very similar to Conan’s. There’s really nothing we like better than “to crush our trivial enemies, to see them driven before us in shame, and to hear the lamentation of their women.” We also like our bar tab to be subsidized by inferior competitors. What’s the best tasting drink in the world? For us, Audrey, it’s a free one provided by some schlepp team snatching a loss from the jaws of victory when we use our Joker Double in the third round.

Glen from Worcester, MA asks, “if you guys are so smart, how come you don’t order appetizers when the appetizers are half-price, since they’re half-price on the same night as trivia?”

I could just say that it doesn’t matter, since we’re buying pizza and entrees with the money fleeced from other teams… actually… that’s exactly why it doesn’t matter. You go ahead and watch your wallet, Glen, but STFD! plans on spending money like drunken sailors until some other team steps up its game.

Reverend Cherrycoke offers, “pride cometh before the fall. You should be humble in victory as you will eventually taste defeat.”

Sounds like loser talk to us. Perhaps your unsolicited spiritual musings could be better spent comforting “not winning teams” like The Headers. We’ll dig up an address for them and send it along.

Three shall replace one!
Three shall replace one!

John from Methuen, MA asks, “now that John is leaving to start a trivia team fork in Los Angeles, California, who will replace John and will you change your team name?”

How can you adequately replace a team member who combines the incredibly destructive propensity to blurt out correct answers loud enough for other teams to hear with the incredibly positive propensity to come up with Dale Earnhardt’s car number? Wait… Addison reminds me that John got that freaking question wrong. But what about the greatest carrier of salmonella… err… Rachel reminds me that John got that wrong too. Emily also feels bitter that John vetoed her wish to go with “middle of the country” instead of LA for the locale of George Clooney’s failed baseball tryout. Still… John has supplied many, many correct answers (both to us and to other teams!), so we will have a very difficult time replacing him.

Short term, we will replace John with a revolving trio of Michael Jackson, Bubbles the Chimp, and Lucy the Bulldog (Lucy checks out as all English, no French, per John’s demand for AKC papers!).

We do not yet have a new team name, but I like Anti-inglorious Bastards.

Churn, baby, churn!

Classical Mound of Butter!
Classical Mound of Butter!

Part I of a IV part spirited defense of nature’s second greatest grease!

Writing a defense of butter is in some ways akin to sticking up for the 1927 New York Yankees, the 1986 Chicago Bears, or the Mossad; none of them really need any help taking care of themselves, but once in a while it’s necessary to set the record straight, to expose false rumors, and to restore sanity to the public discussion.

Although public opinion begrudgingly places butter above margarine and parkay these days, butter has not yet regained its rightful center spot in the nutritional pyramid, and I, for one, can no longer stomach such a glaring example of dietary discrimination.

Most butter alarmists begin with a campaign of “butter offers little nutritional benefit and stops your heart, so why would you eat it?” In part one we’ll deal with the “no benefits in butter” part of this vicious, groundless slander.

What’s good about butter? Here’s a START according to Donna Gates:

  1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
  2. Butter & Chocolate = goodness!
    Butter & Chocolate = goodness!

    Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.

  3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
  4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
  5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
  6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
  7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
  8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
  10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
  11. Protects against tooth decay.
  12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
  13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
  14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
  15. churningIs a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
  16. May promote fertility in women.
  17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in your body’s adipose tissue.
  18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
  19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
  20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.

In part II we’ll deal with the possible motivations behind “bad-talking butter” and expose the nutritional and pharmacological industries as little more than greedy, lobbying cabals concerned much more with the production of profits than the production of healthy consumers.

And don’t fret about bacon; we’ll be getting to pork bellies after we’re done with butter. Never tried butter wrapped in bacon? Soon you will!

Shut The Front Door! memorabilia beckons…

Who's the champion? STFD! is, biznitch!
Who's the champion? STFD! is, biznitch!

With three consecutive victories and counting, it’s time for Shut The Front Door! to shamelessly cash in on our marginal celebrity status. We still have plenty of baby onesies left in 0 to 9 month sizes, but avid collectors need to move fast to secure one of our VERY limited edition “Freddie Mercury Knows that STFD! are the Champions; do you?” action figures.

Fast Freddie can be yours for a mere $29.95 plus a piddly extra $6.95 for shipping and handling. Kit comes complete with a collectible, faux-mahogany stand that sings one of three catchy, braggart jingles when you press the Queen button. Checkerboard polyester blend leotard resists stains, laughs in the face of fading, and effectively frightens away timid or smallish pets before they can chew on Freddie’s mic stand!

But wait! There’s more! Best of all, Freddie’s chest hair is chi-chi-chi-CHIA-FIED and grows out (just add water, sunshine!) into a randomly-selected STFD! member likeness… wow WOW! Who will you get? Will it be Wrong Answer Rachel, Empty Bottle Emily, Scratch Ticket John, IMDB Addison, Crabigail Regina, Redd “Alzheimer” Andy, or maybe the elusive outcast Schultz (unofficially banished from STFD! after insisting that the Mississippi river is longer than the Missouri)?

Two AA batteries and chia seeds included. Significant assembly required.

Joanie Implicated!

It’s never a comfortable situation when family members face indictment, but recently surfaced psychoanalytical art evidence suggests Silbergleit foul play in the death of Emily’s undeniably ugly, yet once functional designer sunglasses.

In Exhibit #1 we see what appears to be an innocuous, demi-nouveau, pastoral/expressionist/dadaish, chair-in-the-wayish scene that Joanie is well-known for producing. The style is unmistakable (see Joanie’s Lime in Repose series numbers 1-29), but this particular painting, Solitary Break-fest, also betrays a clue to Joanie’s criminal intent if you concentrate on the area highlighted by the red arrow. Don’t be distracted by the chair, the Capn Crunch, or the pop tart; they and the rest of the breakfast are nothing but red herrings! The action, my friends, is on the water colored floor where you can clearly see the future crime scene!

Exhibit #1
Exhibit #1

In Exhibit #2, we see a close up of the floor section of the painting and upon careful inspection the evidence mounts like a bloody leather glove left behind a pool house. The injured and gasping spectacles are an obvious allusion to future nefarious plans, but note also the angry azure pebbles and the Daliesque warping of earth patterns culminating in ferocious flesh-toned stones; these “flesh” formations suggest that the eyewear will be bludgeoned physically, brutally, haphazardly, yet in a seemingly accidental manner.

The malevolent minerals foreshadow menacingly, “maybe you’ll be stepped on… or maybe you’ll be sat on… but in any case, you won’t see it coming. You might allow other people to gaze into the blinding sun, but you’ll never see your own death coming.”

Everything about this painting warns like the yellow and black stripes on a wasp’s abdomen, “DANGER! MY ASS IS A DEADLY WEAPON!”

Exhibit #2
Exhibit #2

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “nice try, buddy, but where are your culturally-established art critic/historian credentials? You may draw a mean stick figure, you may even be the master of the crayon and construction paper greeting card, but that doesn’t make you any Robert Hughes. Great artists do not necessarily make great art critics! For all we know, you could be completely off-base (if not patently postmodern) in your interpretation, and your ‘evidence’ looks largely contrived, tenuous, and circumstantial. Why should we believe YOU!?”

Is Joanie guilty, Mr. Eight Ball?
Is Joanie guilty, Mr. Eight Ball?

No problem, doubter! I understand that some of you put faith only in narrow-minded specialists, believing perhaps that Renaissance men of genius no longer walk the earth in this day and age. But you don’t have to take my amateur word for it. I’ve set up an unassailable test for confirmation. Earlier today, coffee mug in hand, I formally asked the unquestionable, omniscient oracle perched on my desk, “did Joanie intentionally destroy Emily’s sunglasses with her derriere?” The eight-ball’s second answer (his first answer was a disappointing and inconclusive “concentrate and ask again”) pretty much removes any question of Joanie’s guilt.