Oh, hey

So this still exists.


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Disney just bought a galaxy far, far away

Go to any geek blog and somebody will be dropping their 2-cents on this, and I am no exception: Disney just bought Lucasfilm, the studio that made such blockbuster films as the Star Wars Trilogy (THERE WAS ONLY ONE TRILOGY, SHUT UP) and the Indiana Jones Trilogy (LALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU), for $4.05 buhbuhbuh-BILLION.

In this publicity photo released by Disney, CEO Robert Iger, left, and George Lucas of Lucasfilm sign the deal Tuesday letting Disney acquire the
“Star Wars” studio for about $4 billion. (Photo: Rick Rowell, AP)

First, I want to know why that $.05 billion is in there.

“George, we’ll offer you $4 billion for Lucasfilm.”
“FINE, have an extra $50 million.”

Was that really necessary? He needed that extra 50 so he could buy another small 3rd-world country? Whatever.

The second thing I want to bring up is the outcry. Amongst the people who care, this is apparently a bad thing, and I’m completely flabbergasted as to why. Since Disney bought Marvel Comics, we’ve been treated to a series of really quite good movies from the studio (Captain America, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers for Pete‘s sake!), showing ME at least that they can handle this sort of thing pretty well.

But for the moment, let’s ignore what Disney has done (or at least, not screwed up) with Marvel over the last three years. Let’s ignore that they’re currently led by John Lasseter (who started out at LucasFilm I might add), a man whose dedication to good storytelling has brought us 11-out-of-13 amazing films (the Cars series is ridiculous and frightens me, so we won’t include that) in the last 18 years. We’re ignoring all that. Okay? Instead, let’s look at LucasFilm’s record during that same time.

LucasFilm (and by that I mean George Lucas) has bungled EVERY flippin’ thing they’ve done in the last 13 years. Everything. Yes, okay, according to some friends of mine, apparently the Clone Wars cartoon is pretty good, but you know what? George had nothing to do with that. After it became popular, he got involved and started messing with stuff (doing one thing in particular that was completely ridiculous, look at the 5th paragraph).

My point is, in my mind, Disney is coming in like one of the princes in their early movies, astride a white horse, swinging a sword (made of money) and rescuing the princess (which, in this case, is both Star Wars and Indiana Jones) from the monster that is George Lucas.

This is possibly unfair to George. What I’m saying is that I don’t care.

Finally, though, what most everyone seems to be missing is one incredibly, terribly, wonderfully important thing: Leia is now a Disney Princess.

This is wonderful. Tell me HOW this is anything but wonderful.
That’s right, you can’t.

People have the right to complain, absolutely, don’t get me wrong. You don’t like Disney, fine. I just think it’s pointless to bemoan the fate of Star Wars, when to me this is the first potentially good news to happen to the franchise since this guy showed up on screen.

And people are worried about what DISNEY will do to Star Wars?

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My First 5K -or- Further Proof That I Am Not Made of Glass

About nine weeks ago at the beginning of summer, this was brought to my attention: The Apache Troop Gauntlet, sponsored by The Matt Light Foundation (for those of you not from the Greenville area, Matt Light is a local muckity-muck who’s played for the New England Patriots for the last decade-and-change, meaning he’s got a couple Super Bowl rings… *Begin Sarcasm* but only, like three, so he’s not really THAT big a deal *End Sarcasm*) and our local National Guard company, and it was a 5 kilometer/3.1 mile slog through mud, muck, creeks, over obstacles and through tricksy traps in a sort of Tough Mudder Jr.

Me being the fool that I am, I professed to the world (read: “Facebook”) that I was totally going to do it. I had a whole 9 weeks to prepare: I can run 3.1 miles after training for 9 weeks, so why not?

I ran twice, and then forgot about it for a few weeks. (Woo! Stick-tuitiveness!)

My Previously Mentioned Girlfriend saw my Proclamation of Intent and made her desire to run it herself known to her family; her sister gifted her the $45 entrance fee, so now she’s doing it and I no longer have the ability to back out quietly. (*Begin Sarcasm* Thanks babe. *End Sarcasm*)

So, every time she comes over to my place from work, we go down to the track and run a mile or two, steadily increasing our pace or distance.

The best parts were:

1.) hilariously snide-but-good-natured comments from spectators as she totally smoked me, and 2.) slyly watching her limber up before and limber down after (I have no shame regarding this, as I am dating a total fox).

The worst parts were 1.) Running, and 2.) Also Running.

My complaints aside, I was actually in better shape than I had originally anticipated. *Begin Bragging* I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the last 7 months *End Bragging*, and it was driven home to me how different I look when my brother, who I haven’t seen since Christmas, looked at me like I was a different person when I saw him on Friday. Feels good, bro.

So, anyway, fast forward to Saturday morning, and we’re in the third heat at 9:40 a.m. The trail is like 15 minutes out of town, a lot farther than I was expecting but not unreasonable, and my mom is kind enough to drop me and the lady off, then pick us up afterwards in the pickup truck (since, y’know, we’ll apparently be covered in mud and stuff).

It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it’s not balls-meltingly hot, and, surprise surprise, a good friend of mine is in the same heat as us! What more can a guy ask for, huh?

After an introduction by our multiple-championship-winning host himself (doing a pretty good job as MC; the man knows how to rile up a crowd) and a pyrotechnic mishap that started a few of the heats off with more of a smoky fizzle than an actual bang, we’re off into the woods.

The first thing we come up against after a quarter-mile jog is three of these guys:

This is apparently known as a “Jersey Barrier”

We hop over them, then almost immediately get introduced to something we’re going to become intimately familiar with for the next 2.5 miles:

This happened more than once, lemme tell you

Mud. There was mud friggin’ evverwherr. After the first leap, your shoes end up about 5-pounds heavier due to water, but with every slogging step you’re picking up several ounces of silt that seems to lodge itself in the most irritating areas possible, adding another couple of pounds.

A surprisingly accurate representation

And yet, shoes full of mini-beaches, on we slog.

Next is something kinda like one of these guys:

Picture it at more of an angle, with no rock-climbing hand holds,
and periodic spaces between the slats

Easy peasy, except for my enormous feet which didn’t fit in between the slats, so I’m climbing this thing like one of those wall-scaling goats.

Apparently these spider-like goats have nothing to do with my previously stated fears regarding spider-goats, but this coincidence
is getting my fight-or-flight juices flowing, lemme tell you

Over the wall, then more climbing, then more mud, then a rope “bridge” (actually a rope suspended over the water with another rope about 6-feet above it and you’ve got to shimmy across; I failed the shimmy and got more soaked), then more mud, and more mud, and a rope ladder, and slogging, and mud.


Throughout this whole thing, we’re jogging up and down hills and around corners and slipping on ground that isn’t quite mud but doesn’t have all the purchase of actual not-muddy dirt. I was (surprisingly) better at the running and my lady was better at the obstacles (she’s a slippery one, that girl-o-mine) and we stopped to wait for each other, so our times weren’t what they could have been, but this event had always been more of a “let’s just finish it” than a timed event so we didn’t mind.

Finally, the last half-mile is almost a straight-up jog, capped by a balance beam made up of three telephone poles laid end to end in a zig-zag pattern, then the one obstacle that I was better at than my girl: muddy pits and slimy hills. It looked kinda like this:


The “—“s are level ground, “v”s are filled with water that washed most of the mud off and the “^”s are the dirt that they’d taken out of the “v”s. I don’t know if they started out completely frictionless, but by the time we got to them, the “^”s, they were so slimy and packed in that it was dern-near impossible to get any purchase on them, so people ended up perched completely still on the “^”s for fear that they’s slide back into the “v”s, and that was where I eeked out my victory: for some reason, I got in there after her and got out before her, and crossed the finish line (after leaping over the last obstacle, a line of fire!) a solid couple seconds ahead.


And she followed close behind…


… but I still claimed victory.

I look ridiculous, but the amount of fun I had was evident, I think

It was excellent. 10/10 Rating, Would Slog Through Again. And you may notice a complete lack of Sarcasm in that statement.

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Just stargazin’

Every year we do a summer reading club at the library, and this year’s theme is:

I didn’t do this art; you can tell because it, you know, exists.
*sad trombone*

It’s kind of a mishmash of dreams (the kind that happen when you’re asleep), dreams (the kind you have about your life), and astronomy (SCIENCE!), my favorite of those being the last one (because SCIENCE!).


We’ve had an impersonator come in and do dream interpretation, later during the summer we’ll be having a bunch of professionals (firefighters, police officers, doctors, farmers) come in to talk about their jobs, stuff like that, but my favorite, my baby, happened last night: an astronomer, a real, honest-to-goodness professional astronomer from a museum and everything, came down with binoculars and telescopes and set up in the library’s backyard and taught people about the stars.

One of my favorite parts was that she (it was a lady astronomer, and she was delightful) brought a Solar Telescope that only picks up on a certain type of ionized hydrogen atom (I think I said that right) and lets you look at the sun!

It looked like this, only redder

Once the sun went behind the trees, but hadn’t quite set, we had about an hour to kill before dark. Lady Astronomer had expected this, and had star charts and a cool lesson about the various stars we can see this time of year. THEN she pulls out a piece of paper that talks about when the International Space Station will be visible to the naked eye.

I’ve never seen the ISS in anything other than pictures. I’ve heard you can see it at dusk and night sometimes, but I’ve never actually thought that you can, y’know, really see it. I saw it last night.

For 5 minutes, a bright, glowing star-sized dot went from one horizon to the other, and I watched it the whole way. It was breathtaking.


All the while, we had a fire going in our handy-dandy firepit that I helped to dig last summer, and kids and parents and random adults who just love the stars were cooking hotdogs and smores and eating popcorn and playing and just having a great time while we waited for it to get dark enough to see some stars.

She pointed a telescope and a pair of binoculars at the moon in the meantime, and holy balls was that awesome. I’ve never seen the moon that clearly. There’s something about seeing this-


-that clearly in real life with your own eyes that’s completely amazing. I’d think that the whole “breathtaking” thing was just me being me had not other people been audibly gasping when they peeked through the telescope.

Finally, we started looking at stars and other planets, and that was cool, but the really, really cool part was when she busted out a green laser pointer that we could see in the night sky.

It really looked like that. Blew my mind.

Just a regular green laser pointer. They apparently do this. Awesome.

Finally, around 11, everyone leaves and Lady Astronomer packs up her telescopes and rides into the moonset (cause the sun was already down!) and I locked up the library and went home.

Tooting my own horn, this was all my idea and it went over so well I’ve been floating on a cloud all day. I’m just really proud. Thanks for reading.

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2012 got much better!

I’ve had a busy couple of months. Let me condense and synopsize:

Got my car back and it’s been running great (until Monday); landlord fixed my heating (yay!); I lost 25 pounds (I’m wearing a pants size and t-shirts that haven’t been out of my closet since High School); oh, AND I GOT A GIRLFRIEND.

Don’t mind me.

She’s a gorgeous, Amazonian (5’10″!) blonde who goes by the name of Emily, and she’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She’s also the reason I haven’t been updating. I realize that this sounds like I’m shifting blame and she’s probably taken aback by this statement, but if you’ll all stay calm and continue reading, I’ll explain.

I’ve been single for 25 years – that’s a quarter of a century, and for me, an entire lifetime. I’ve never had to look out for anyone except myself: anything I put on the Internet had the potential to embarrass a grand total of 1 person, maybe 2 (hi mom!). Thus, since I removed the embarrassment center in my brain right around the time that I learned I could shove two recorders in my nose and play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and make people laugh, there is very little that I wouldn’t expose to the world.

Hey there.

This is no longer the case. My little sister, always sensitive to the fact that I have the potential for great idiocy, pulled me aside and warned me “don’t put your entire relationship on the Internet.” Sage advice, grasshopper.

Emily and I have been hanging out a lot, especially this last week when she had Spring Break.

What? Yeah, I said Spring Break. Oh, didn’t I tell you? She’s in college. How old is she, you ask? Why, she’s 20.

Wait for it…

Floodgates open!

So we met at a church thing in December, right? That right there is awesome. It was this huge group at a museum, and we all kind of wandered around, doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, exploring at our leisure.

Towards the end of the day, the majority of the group wanted to go and see something that a minority of us had already seen. After they left, we the minority decided to go and check out the petting zoo across the lake. This group consisted of six people: two couples, myself, and this really friendly blonde girl. The couples paired off, and because human beings are pack hunters, the blonde and I paired off as well and began the trek around the pond.

Here’s a graphic:

That’s 4 years of art school, kids.

We started at the museum, and were attempting to get to the Petting Zoo on the opposite side of the pond that, for some reason, looks like a peanut in my mind. This may be a fabrication. The red line is the path that any sane person would think to install to get from Point A to Point B. This is what it was REALLY like:

What? We’re looping? Why are we looping?

Unnecessarily long and winding is what I’m getting at. Is that coming across? Anyway. It was a bit of a hike. Were it not, y’know, December, it would have been more enjoyable, but it was December, so it wasn’t more enjoyable. And along the way, I began to talk to this nice blonde girl. I bought and shared some petting zoo food and we fed some Zedonks and bantered about a white peacock. Good times.

When we were done, and since it was getting colder, we determined that a shorter route back around the pond would be preferable, so we headed in the other direction: it must be shorter, right?

LOL, nope.

Even longer. Neither of us had coats since we’d been inside all day. The sun was setting, and it was getting really friggin’ cold. So, I offered her my fedora. (Yeah, I was wearing a fedora.) Most of your body heat exits your head, right? It’s already been established on this blog that it takes a lot to make me cold, and in this situation my chivalry kicked in.

I’d like it to be known right now that I had no ulterior motives here: there was no intention of holding the potential for warmth hostage in order to get her number, or attempting to ingratiate myself when she’s in a frozen, mind-numbed state and her defenses are down. All I saw was a girl who was cold and I had the ability to do something about it.

What surprised me was when she accepted.

I’ve been in similar situations with women before: be it cold, or they’re carrying something heavy, whatever, I’ve been around and they’ve been uncomfortable and I can do something about it, and they’d rather be uncomfortable than accept my help. Does wonders for your self esteem, that.

Anyways. *End Pity Party*

So now I’m walking with a girl wearing my hat, and she kept on wearing it for the next two hours, long after we finally finished our expedition, and on through a multitude of conversation topics (including Doctor Who and The Real McKenzies, which really threw me when she actually knew who that was and it was a point of excitement, not annoyance on her part).

It surprised me to learn that she also already knew who I was: she was a friend of my sister’s! I, of course, didn’t remember her for the exact same reason: they were hanging out when I was in High School, and Emily would have been in, what, 6th grade? 7th? She’s probably tired of this comparison, but it works for me so I’ll use it til she tells me to stop, but she might as well have been a kitten. I think it would have been worse if I HAD remembered her, honestly.

But now, 5 years in age difference is much less worrisome. In fact, according to my father, it’s necessary: he took me aside and said that because I’m me (take that as you will), the sliding scale of matching male-to-female maturity levels would have had me dating someone illegally if I’d gotten a girlfriend much earlier.

Basically, my pops was telling me that I’m about as mature as someone 4/5ths my age should be. That mostly only stings because it’s true.

So we kept in touch. I took her out for Chinese before her Christmas break ended, then I went to her college to see her, then she came back to see me (and, y’know, the rest of her family, but this is my blog they aren’t important right now), and so on.

Finally, it’s Valentine’s Day. I go up to see her, we get food, see a live jazz band, eat a small bag made of chocolate and filled with berries and cake, it’s a good time. As I’m about to leave, I turn to her and say “I’ve been telling people that I’m coming up here to see my girlfriend, but I haven’t really asked you how you feel about that. What do you think?” She kind of smiles, then nods, then speaks something to the affirmative that I don’t quite remember because she didn’t laugh at me and that’s always a good sign and I was way too happy to actually listen.

So our “anniversary” is Valentine’s Day. If I were smarter, you’d almost think I planned that.

So as of yesterday, we’ve been together for exactly one month. Lots of texting, pages of Facebook messages, meeting her parents, her meeting mine, and one fantastic week of hanging out at my place eating the best cake in the world… I’ve determined that I’m quite fond of this girl. So, apparently, is the Internet:

This girl is easily the most popular decision I’ve ever made.

So, there you have it: I’ve been distracted, and anything that I think might be noteworthy I can easily imagine being incredibly boring to anyone else (“OMG we totally held hands!”). So, you’re welcome for not boring you.

The ladies at work find the entire thing fascinating, by the way. I’ve given up being made uncomfortable by the new game we play, “Stuff That’s Older Than Tony’s Girlfriend”.

Here’s one. Only by a week, though.

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2012: My first 36 hours

 Oh, look, a blog.

I don’t complain. It’s not a thing I enjoy doing or hearing other people do, which I think makes me rather an unsupportive listener. “Quit complaining, whiney-face” is an actual thing that I say in my head when someone I don’t know {and you know this person: the one who, while you’re having a conversation about Christmas trees informs you that they suffer from clinical depression and wish their grandmother was dead [THIS HAPPENED TO ME TODAY (parenthinception!)]} and complains about their life. My excuse here is that you clicked the link, or even went up to your browser bar and entered my name, hyphen and all, deliberately to read the misfortunes I’m about to lay on y’all; you’ve brought this on yourself, dear reader, and now you’re about to pay for it. Bwaha-frickin’-ha.

To be fair, part of why I’m thus far unimpressed by 2012 started several days before the year began, but it didn’t really blossom until it had actually started. I will begin my tale on Thursday, December 29.

Upon waking that morning, I noticed that my heater was producing a very annoying “buzzing” noise instead of actual heat. Could I warm myself with noise, I wouldn’t have minded, but I can’t, so I did. I had to be to work soon, so I dropped in on my landlord to tell him about our bumper-crop of buzzing.

He assured me that he’d take care of it as quickly as possible; I made my first mistake by telling him that it takes quite a bit to actually make me uncomfortably cold. I can only assume that this statement caused him to place “keep tenant warm during the winter” further down on his list of priorities than it might have otherwise been, say if I were a tiny-girly-man (read: “Normal Person”) instead of a grizzly bear in human form.

Cut forward to New Year’s Eve. Instead of at a party surrounded by beautiful women (all sisters, all slightly less in love with me than with their significant others) and good food, I was working. This is my own fault: damn my stomach for needing food, my head for needing a roof, and my bookshelf for needing a Bachelor’s Degree with my name on it(currently coated in a fine veneer of moss).

Fortunately, we were able to trade “hello’s” over Facebook’s handy-dandy video chat (my second job is as a night-clerk at a hotel, which fortunately requires very little more of me than my actual presence and an ability to fold linens, and allows me Internet access and plenty of time to catch up on my podcasts), and we took this wonderful picture.

Just look at that again. It’s beautiful.

The rest of the night was uneventful. I went home, slept for three hours, went to church, had a delightful lunch with my family, then went home to my rapidly more-and-more subarctic apartment where I bundled up, climbed under three blankets, and discovered that, for various reasons, sleep would be denied me for the next few hours before that night’s shift at the hotel.

Please… just a few hours?

But no. No sleep for me.

The roads were slippery on the way to work.

This should have clued me in.

Upon reaching work, I discovered police, EMTs, and firemen congregating in the hotel lobby; there had been three car accidents within ten minutes, and the people who weren’t near their homes were being put up for the night at our hotel.

This should have clued me in.

It snowed all night. In the morning, two separate guests told me that it was slippery out. I went out and spread salt around.

This, dear reader, should have clued me in.

On the trip home, I am sleep deprived, impatient, and driving faster than I should have been. I lost control.

Only white instead of brown.
(The brown was in my pants.)

(That was a poop joke.)

The first swerve was to the left.

“Oh,” I thought, “I better turn the other way and pump my brakes.”

The second swerve was to the right.

“Hmm,” I continued to ponder to myself, “this isn’t going as I planned. This must be what those dumb people who get in accidents must experience. Good thing I’m not them!”

The third and final swerve was to the left.

“Oh, I say,” I thought, “this is dangerous. I better to a 180-degree turn at a high speed and land in this ditch, backwards, on the wrong side of the road!”

I didn’t actually think that last bit, but that’s a pretty good rundown of how I ended up.

Physically, I was fine. I got out, checked all my moving parts, and discovered they worked. Claire (the car) started up, moved forward when I told her to, backwards when I told her to, and aside from some damage to the arm rest (where a 235-pound slab of man slammed into it a few moments before), she seemed fine.

I continued my journey home. I immediately noticed that she didn’t handle as well, veering decidedly to the right.

In my sleepy, adrenaline-fueled haze of “THANK YOU JESUS I’M ALIVE”, I ignored it and drove home. Once home, I examined it closer and discovered that the back-right tire was burst. Not in a “that’s not a problem” way, but in an “oh, that’s what the inside of a tire looks like” way.

Unable to process this, I determined to slumber ‘til noon (about 5 hours) and work on it then.

Noon came 5 minutes later. I got dressed to walk around the apartment (it’s cold in there, remember), then I got more dressed to walk around outside (it’s colder out there; not much, but still) and checked the thermostat before leaving the apartment.

There was no actual frost on my thermostat, but neither do I know what temperature my apartment was: the thermostat simply doesn’t measure below 50 degrees, its developers apparently deciding that no human would, or should, ever possibly be in a situation where the temperature inside a home would be anywhere between Absolute Zero and 49 degrees Fahrenheit.  


I called my landlord: there are limits to even my ability to shrug off icicles.

“Oh!” he says, surprised by my existence. “I called the heater guy and he didn’t call me back, and I completely forgot about it.”

That’s understandable.

Me and my new roommate.
Just a coupl’a guys off the street.

He promised to reattempt contact with the mythical “heater guy” and get back in touch with me. I, meanwhile, put on at third layer and prepared to go put on my spare tire.

No problem.

First, I empty out all the survival gear from my trunk. This amounts to a lot of survival gear. Blankets, first aid kit, water bottles, a tent, rope, an axe, various blunt instruments (for the odd pickup game of baseball, or in case I ever need 2.5 feet of pipe), that sort of thing. Under all of that is my spare. I get out the spare, the tire iron, and the jack, jack up the car, and proceed to loosen the bolts.


…but not really. No, some combination of the blistering cold and my own Herculean strength resulted in a broken bolt on my first try.

“Maybe it’s just that one,” I think, and try the next bolt.


So here’s me. I try to be a decent example of manlihoodedness. I don’t complain (except for on here, or if I do, it’s stealth-complaining that makes its way past my personal Whineometer, and I apologize to those subject to it; I promise, it is unintentional) and instead try to deal with the problems I am dealt. In this case, as a man who is cold, sleepy, hungry, at least three other types of Disney-dwarf, and who has just used my bare hands to sheer off the steel that holds my car together… I do the one thing that makes sense.


I explain everything: the cold, the crash, the bolts, the hazy stupor. And what does he do? He frikkin’ handles it. Using the logic that comes with making it through 50+ years of life, he cuts through my crap like a laser.

“Put the stuff away, I’ll be right over, you’ll drive the car to the shop, and then you’re coming Home.”

“*sniff* Okay, Dad.”

So that’s what we did. I went Home (notice the Capital H? My apartment doesn’t have a Capital H) and slept, then ate delicious homemade vegetable soup (thanks, Mom) and played a card game with my family, then watched an episode of Boston Legal, then went to glorious, glorious sleep in a room that wouldn’t freeze a glass of water if I accidently left it out.

I caught a ride to work today, where I’ve done my frikkin’ job and wrote this book.


How’s your year going?

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If I should fall before the dawn

The town where I am located is about to be hit with a bout of apparently apocalyptic weather. Therefore, I will take the most logical course of action to save my hometown: chaining myself to one of those spikes that you attach a dog’s leash to, and then shout at the storm until it goes away.


If, come morning, I have shuffled off this mortal coil, please follow these instructions:

1. a) Take my body and place it in the passenger seat of my 1994 Chevy Cavalier, along with rations, my laptop, one of those portable wi-fi plugs with amazing range, my entire book collection, and any offerings you feel I should have in the afterlife;
b) Get a volunteer to drive (this person should be someone loyal to me, and willing to give their life for the greater Awesomeness That Was Tony, finding the idea of living in a world without me a truly horrifying notion (an attractive young lady, preferably (parentheses INCEPTION!)));
c) As we drive into the sunset, fire a bazooka at us.

This accomplishes 3 things: since I don’t have a boat, and there aren’t any sufficiently sized bodies of water around, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to the Viking Funeral I absolutely deserve. Also, in case the Egyptians got it right, I will have plenty of food and entertainment, as well as someone to keep me company, for the rest of eternity; if they didn’t get it right, then none of you freeloaders benefit from my hard-earned stuff. Also: hey, explosions!

This is the best funeral ever!

2. Read this as the car smoulders:

To my family: I love you forever, and I did it all for you.

To my friends: I enjoyed your company while it lasted, and I hope I wasn’t too unbearable when I got… unbearable. Thanks for all the stuff I mooched off you.

To that special someone: I’ll love you forever, too,  (you know who you are; now, if you could just tell ME who you are, that would be splendid) and I really did it all for you, not my family, cause they suck (that’s what they get for not letting me build a time machine out of that broken washing machine when I was 8). Please don’t tell them.

To my enemies: for your sake, I hope I failed and the storm hit you with flying cows.

The cows did nothing wrong, but they’re the biggest animals hereabouts; were we in Africa, twould be elephants.

If I don’t die, and the world still exists tomorrow, your undying adulation would be appropriate.

That is all.

*Editor’s note: Tony is very sleepy right now, but stuck at work for another 1.5 hours. Please forgive him for this rambling. His parents don’t suck, but his enemies can be struck by cows if they so desire.*

*Edit: The Morning After* Okay, I didn’t die. In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to shout at the storm since I was at work while the danged thing was going on. So, basically this post was pointless. Also, going back and reading it, I kind of cringe.

Whatever. We’ll use this as my standing Last Will and Testament.

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And now I look like a beluga whale

It happens to every guy: you’ve spent months cultivating an entire face-full of beard, and something comes along that makes you feel you should get rid of it. A wedding, or warm weather, or even just the inexplicable notion that “I’m tired of this, I want something new.”

Statistics show* that 73% of men regret shaving their facial hair off within 5 minutes of doing it. I am a member of that 73%.

For some reason, I have given you
the “after” before the “before”.

I believe this to be a subconcious desire
for you to end on a happy note.
You can thank me later.

 The reason behind this change (which shall heretofore be referred to as “The Beluganing”) was twofold.

Firstly was that I have lost some weight in the last several months: the world of Nov. 2011 has 25 pounds less Tony in it than July 2011; I consider this to be an improvent to the world. ** I had hoped that some of that weight had come out of my face. This hope proved fruitless.

The second reason behind The Beluganing was that I am participating in Movember, which I talked about in my previous post. Basically, I’m growing a moustache during November and raising funds to battle prostate cancer (current money raised: $0.00 American; still working on that), and the rules are that you need to start the month out clean shaven and cultivate as the month progresses.

I’ve already come this far; I may as well see this thing through. And in the interest of science, as I removed the hair from my face, I tried out a few looks that I haven’t used before.

Exhibit A: the Control Group

 Aside from a little patchiness on the cheeks, I think this is a good look for me. So good, here’s another shot for you to enjoy:

 Look at that. That’s beautiful. I miss it.

Exhibit B: The Wolverinening

Landscaping of only the chin results in a mustache met by sideburns, a style that was very popular during the Civil war, and by certain very short comic-book mutants with knives what come froms their fistses. I ran out of clean knives, so I used what was available for this picture.

This is a look I intend to return to down the line. I like what this does for me.

A Note from The Management: the presence of the Soul Patch (that bit left under the lower lip) is completely optional, but I’ve developed a stronger-than-average emotional attachment to mine so I decided to keep it for as long as possible. The following exhibits and descriptions are strictly for the areas directly connected to the upper lip. As more face becomes visible, the presence of the Patch becomes more obvious. Please ignore in regards to descriptions. Thank you.

Exhibit C: The Horseshoe

This is an old standby for me. I come back to this one often. Popularized by Hulk Hogan and truckers the world over, the Horseshoe harkens back to days of ranch life when men could be men and do stuff like punch cows and fart with abandon without womenfolk getting all up in a tizzy.***

Exhibit D: The Chevron

Basically a shorter horseshoe. A hybrid of two styles, a mutt of a ‘stache, but with benefits unique to itself. Never tried this; another future option.

Exhibit E: The Standard

No frills, no frippery: this is your basic model moustache. If it were a car, there’d be no power windows, a radio with a tape deck (maybe), decent-but-not-stellar gas mileage, and air conditioning if you’re lucky… but it still gets you where you need to go, gets the job done. Me, I like to have air conditioning. I rarely use it, but it’s nice to know that it’s there.  I’ll probably never use this style for any length of time, unless I join the Navy or something.****

Exhibit F: The Chaplin

This style has been lost to time, and is unavailable (except as a joke) for anyone born after 1940. This is a tragedy, and this style can now only be seen for 5-minute segments in bathrooms around the world, before they are forever relegated to the garbage bin.

I did discover that stern looks come naturally to this style. You can’t really help it: you just look like you need to be scolding someone.

Exhibit G: The Prank’d

I was running out of hair to sculpt, so this was very much a last ditch option. Seen only during “The Morning After”, people wearing this style do not do so by choice. It is a punishment for getting too trashed. Smart men only wear it once, and smarter men not at all.

Exhibit H: The Soul Patch

This is a last resort, a final holdout before full scale Beluganing gets you with it’s meaty fingers. Once this is gone, I will be clean shaven. I did some math: the last time I was full-on, naked-faced honest-to-goodness clean shaven was exactly 850 days ago, on July 4, 2009, when I got my job at the newspaper.

She (for I view the Patch as a female entity, like my car, motorcycle, and desktop computer) has been good to me, and I hate to see her go… but it’s for the fight against cancer. She’ll understand.

Conclusion: A Terrible, Terrible Mistake

What the crap happened?! There are waaaay too many chins there, you could play a game of football on my upper lip, and my eyes look like they’ve been infected with Viral Conjuntivitis. This is awful.

BUT THE DEED HAS BEEN DONE. The lawn has been torn up, the house demolished, the Great Wall destroyed. The only thing left to do is rebuild… and rebuild I shall. Sticking to my guns, I shall spend the next month growing a Moustache for the Ages. Hopefully I don’t look quite so stupid in the meantime.

Thank you for viewing. If you would like to donate and help me and thousands of other men around the world beat the crap out of prostate cancer, check out my Movember page and toss a couple bucks, or even some change, in my direction:


*I have no statistics. Saying that there are, and that I have access to them, is a fabrication. Refunds will be offered on the way out.*****

**The ideal amount of Tony MacKenzie on any planet at any time resides somewhere in the realm between 180 and 225 pounds, depending on the percentage of muscle in the equation. The subtext of this is that there CAN be multiple Tony MacKenzies within the Universe, as long as they occupy different planets, or at least not the exact same space at the same time. The cloning will reach testing phase within a few months.

***Not a lot of people liked this arrangement, so it was changed as quickly as possible for the betterment of humanity, but sometimes it’s fun to remember.


*****You have paid me nothing, therefore you get no refunds you freeloaders.

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Movember -or- With Great Moustache…

What is Movember, you ask? Well, here’s an explanation from the organization’s website:

About The Campaign

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their “Mo’s”, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

So, there you have it. Doing something, and something that I feel I do well, for a cause. As I understand it, here’s how it works (also from the website):

On Movember 1st, guys register at Movember.com with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.

Sounds pretty easy. I don’t really hold to spelling “moustache” with an “o” in it, but for a good cause like this, I’ll let it slide. Heck, I’ll even get involved.

Pictured: Me on December 1
(artist’s interpretation)

I haven’t seen my cheeks for a while. I’m currently the owner of a delightful (at least, I think it is) beard, and it could be time for a change. Therefore, I posit this to all you people what reads this:

Gimme yo’ money, and over the course of the month of November (“Movember”, from here on out), I shall grow a moustache that you can be proud of. Here are some reasons why you should sponsor me this Movember:

1. You are a lady and cannot grow a proper moustache, but have always wanted one (Moustache Envy): you can be partly responsible for mine.

2. You are a man, and nature has not gifted (or cursed, depending on your thoughts on the subject) you with my ability to grow a magnificent soup-catcher: you can look at mine, and feel pride (or revulsion) knowing it was your doing.

3. You are a man (or a woman) that is entirely capable of growing a moustache, but can not due to reasons of professionalism (I don’t really want a food handler with a ferret from their nostrils) or matters of propriety (the world isn’t ready for you ladies; not yet, but someday): in this case, you can take joy in my unique position of not handling people’s food, nor having a vagina.

4. You think moustaches look silly, and want me to look silly; you are wrong, but I will take your money. It’s for cancer.

Did you know the prostate cancer ribbon was blue?
I didn’t.

Any of these reasons are entirely valid. All proceeds will go to charity. I shall document, with pictures, the entire journey. I’ll keep a running total of all the money raised on a new tab at the top of the page.


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I should probably get that looked at

Quick story today, folks:

Ever since I bought my bike (yes, this is another motorcycle story, sorry), the blinkers haven’t worked. I’ve been using my hands to signal where I’m going to be turning, and since I’m not dead, it’s worked out great so far.

Can’t argue with results

So imagine my surprise when, after three months of not giving me so much as a flicker, my blinker comes on as I start the thing this morning.

Hey who now?

It’s intermittent: it goes in and out, and the entire ride to work this morning was full of all kinds of blinker-action that I didn’t follow up on, but there was pretty much no one on the road but me so it’s okay.

I’d thought the problem might have been a blown bulb, something easily fixable, but this leads me to believe there’s something wrong with the switch or the wiring…

And I don’t think I’m wire-savvy enough to figure that out

In other news, I’m getting a haircut today. Woo!


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