Monday, June 29, 2009

More Random Thoughts.

A coupla' more eye-stinging squirts from the freshly-squeezed lemon of my mind, again, in lieu of a proper posting.

Feel free to comment, "What a lazy bastard!"

1. If I were on a primitive island with a tribe of people and a 50 foot tall killer gorilla, and someone suggested building a huge wall to keep him out, I probably would have said, “Yeah, but let’s make sure the door in that wall is much too small for him to fit through.” They could’ve use a guy like me on Skull island.

2. The formula for ice cubes: H20³.

3. I think Noah was a pretty brave guy to bring those two termites on board...

4. I had a friend who never came out and said he was gay, but he did talk about wearing shoe mirrors at the Scottish Highland Games.

5. I'll bet vampire parents tell their children, "Don't run with pencils!"

6. Hallowe’en costumes you don’t see very often: Sexy pigs. Or Santa.

7. I think a world without war, or weapons, or armies would be really great. Because we could invade it and they wouldn’t know what to do!

8. Fish are lucky. They can be incontinent all the time and no one ever knows...

9. How far down do you own your land?

10. No matter how many times you say it, saying “GOOD MOURNING!” isn’t considered funny at a funeral. Or so I have been told.


6/29/2009, Christopher P. Toler

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Before I launch into today’s diatribe, let me get this out of the way: I am out of touch. I know this. I do not watch the news. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t read the newspaper. I am “the perfect juror.” 

But my little bubble of narcissistic unreality, (life fully revolving around me without room for the outside world,) is occasionally trespassed upon by others with whom I must deal. And all too often, these individuals want to make small talk, (to soften the blank, soulless stare my face may occasionally assume, I guess.) It is this “small talk” where I get the lion’s share of my awareness of the world, (also, “SNL’s Weekend Update.”) 

Only recently, I became aware of the term, “recessionista,” (with apologies if this term is new to you, too; perhaps you are as out of touch as I am. Alright!) Now, I am aware that there is a recession on, but a style of fashion based upon it? No. New news here. 

For my fellow hermits, shut-ins, and antisocial misanthropes, a recessionista, (the term a portmanteau of “recession” and “fashionista,”) is a person, I am told, who aims for a sense of style on a budget that still proudly reflects the budget he or she is on. 

The crux of this trend, however, is it’s exclusivity. Apparently, there is a theory afoot, that it is the responsibility of the wealthy to spend MORE money in order to stimulate the economy. Ergo, they aren’t entitled to be recessionistas! 

Perhaps I am way too concrete in this, but it would appear that the term “wealthy” requires further definition in this instance. For example, if a person, through their “recessionista-ism” and thrifty wardrobe styles, saves enough of their money to be considered well-off, must that person then abandon their ways of frugality and shop for designer labels at Neiman-Marcus in the name of patriotism?

Beatniks: "Proto-Recessionistas?"

Granted, I am not an economist. Nor am I remotely stylish. But this concept seems to have a built in expiration date, (much like alternative music: if it is good, it becomes popular, if it is popular, it isn’t alternative, so true alternative music must therefore suck in order to stay alternative. But I digress...) As such, it is more than likely doomed to be something people mock and blog about in ten or fifteen years time, (such as Valley Girls, Glam Rock, parachute pants, etc.) 

If this is the case, than, once again, I am WAY ahead of the curve, blogging and mocking now. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #16

                                                    6/25/09, Christopher P. Toler

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pet Design Flaws

If only pets were more like vehicles. You’d still have your different makes to choose from; dog, cat, bird, etc, as well as the various models, but the styles would change every few years and, (hopefully,) the designers would take care of some of those pesky design flaws.

Dogs would have had the whole ass-sniffing thing taken care of. The ‘Parrot’ line of the Birds model would finally have shed that stigmatizing cracker dependence. Goldfish, well, the entire goldfish line is pretty sweet. I have no complaints there. But Cats...

But before I continue, I just need to say that I am not specist, (and if there were more than one cognizant species sharing the earth, this term would be the big buzz-phrase; “Oh, sure, it pulled the ‘Species’ card! Typical!”) but it appears to me, that there are just too many obvious design flaws with the entire house cat line.

I have been a cat owner for many years, and it blows my mind that the following things like this are overlooked when people choose a cat as a pet. The design flaws on this animal are so numerous that as a commercial product, this would be tagged a “lemon” by all but the most forgiving pet enthusiasts, (you know, the kind that take in three-legged, Pot-bellied pigs with colostomy bags, or Chihuahua owners.)

Some of the features that would be get mentioned in any Consumer Advocate review:


An optional “clawless” model is available, but only with some aftermarket alterations that can dramatically reduce your house cat model’s performance should it get outside and require the standard tree-climbing and/or fighting features. No factory plans to address this.


Easily the most disgusting feature available on the house cat, the Hairball feature has remained an unchanged standard on all models. Justifications from the factory rationalize it as necessary for the “Self-Cleaning” feature.


The Housecat line has decided to continue with its under-appreciated “Constant Fighting” feature, despite petitions to discontinue it. Complaints of repair costs, medications, and yowling-under-quarantines, aren’t enough to persuade designers, apparently, and this feature is carried over for future models.


In the automotive world, this little feature would have equaled instant recall!

Litter box sand all over the house, cat hair on your clothes, foot prints on the kitchen counters, chewed wires, winding around underfoot and that damned, whiney yowl noise are all particular traits to this model, and should be weighed against the desired features when considering the 2009 House Cat as your next pet.

Cats: The Ford Pinto of the pet world.

Technophobe's Illustrated #15

                                                                            6/20/2009, Christopher P. Toler

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"Pork Chopsh & Appleshaush"

Ah, poor Peter Brady. Convinced he had no personality, he decided to adopt that of Humphrey Bogart, and his “Pork Chopsh and Appleshaush” line became famous.

But Peter isn’t alone. We all, (and when I say ‘we,’ I mean mostly ‘me,’ and a few others out there,) adopt the mannerisms and idiosyncratic personality traits of others. Sure, children pick up accents and phrases from their folks, but I don’t mean just direct influences, I mean like hero emulation. Like Peter did with Bogie.

“Actions speak louder than words” the saying goes. Verbal communication is so limited that facial expressions and body language can change their meaning entirely when the two are combined. Or add some sarcasm, or levity. Or simply make the point all the more obvious.

Being such an impressive device in communication, I, of course, try to incorporate a lot of facial expressions throughout my day. Some I use more than others, and some are directly swiped from the following sources...

1. Don Knotts - The Sniff.

Ol’ Barn‘d do this sniff when boasting about his superiority in various topics. Don Knotts used this repeated as Barney Fife, Mr. Furley, or in his many movie roles. The sniff is a great way to brag, rub in a win, and be sarcastic without seeming too serious. 

2. Norman Fell - ‘Mr. Roper: Aside,’  (AKA, the ‘Camera Mug’)

The best thing that the show Three’s Company had to offer, (aside from its liberal dowsing of prime-time T&A, of course,) was Mr. Roper. His all-too-infrequent zingers at his muumuu-draped mate were best when accentuated by this look. It was a proud-of-himself, enjoying-his-own-joke-kind of look aimed directly at the camera.

3. Benny Hill’s “Wha...?” 

Benny Hill, among other things, was a master of facial expressions. Many of his skits were done in complete silent pantomime, serving to showcase this ability. His "WTF?" expression requires no explanation. 

4. Mr. Spock’s Eyebrow - Fascinating

Put simply, if you can do this, you should. 

5. Kryten - Cheekiness

Kryten, the service mechanoid from BBC's ‘Red Dwarf,’  was full of great expressions. Not bad for a rubber-faced android. Although the opportunity to employ this expression is infrequent, ‘Cheekiness’ is among my faves for it’s pure cheese value.

6. Moe - “Why You...”

There is no better way in the world to show someone that  a) they are mistaken, b) you knew better, and c) they are due for a slap, eye-poke or some kind of disappointed retribution.

This pretty much sums up my entire catalog of facial expressions, (I'm a kinda shallow guy.) If I can feel something, anything, then I can fairly accurately express it with one of these. 

And as Peter would say, “That’s Shwell.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cake n Beer

I was rummaging around in a box of old photos recently, and found an old favorite of mine. It was from a family gathering way back in 1970. And features some of my older relatives knocking back some Irish bread and Buds, just partying on.

Great picture.

And, possibly from the same party, a candid shot of your humble author...

(Not exactly sure what was in that bottle...)

I am reminded of a song by the (intentionally!) provocatively named punk band from Ireland, Spud Nigger, (whose soul purpose on Earth often seems like it is just to see who “gets it,”) and I wanted to include the song “Cake n Beer” here in the attic, but due to technical difficulties, (i.e. I couldn’t figure out how to!), this did not come to pass.

I was, however, able to include a link to the band’s video, “When I Grow Up I Want to Drink,” (which also seems pretty appropriate given the photos.) Funny stuff. Enjoy!

For more info on “Da Spuds,” as they are sometimes billed to appease the more brittle sensitivities, you can check out their MySpace page at


Monday, June 8, 2009

Just a few random thoughts...

I've been a bit pre-occupied lately and thusly I didn't have anything new to write today, so I thought I would just purge a few random nuggets of thought that were rattling around inside my noggin...

1. I think Chinese Alphabits would be more interesting than the English version. With each character being a full word, you could have entire sentences on your spoon.

Kind of like an edible Mad-Libs!

2. I want to make a “Snuggie” made out of “Sham-Wow!” material. It can hold up to 8 two-liter bottles of spilled soda!

3. I kind of wish someone would breed and train gorillas to be matadors. It would make bullfights more interesting. And gorillas in those silly outfit would be funny!

4. Sometimes I just stare at the sky and smile in case of a satellite photo.

5. A list of words I think are dirty but aren’t: “Putin,” (yeah, as in Vladimir,) “Flagellate,” (makes me smirk just writing it,) “Can’t,” (but only when said with a Thurston Howell-like, Harvard accent.) and “expunge,” THAT just sounds absolutely filthy.

6. If we could clone people, then genetically manipulate the DNA to make them the opposite sex... Et viola! Instant Soul mates! What a romantic fool I be!

7. Sometimes, I will swallow a gulp or two of mouthwash. I’ll get just the slightest buzz and my breath is awesome! Double win!

8. Cats love fish but hate water. I love nature’s sense of irony.

9. Every now and again, I like to think an extemely graphic, dirty thought to see if there are any mindreaders in the area. If I catch anyone blushing, I look right at them and say, "Gotcha!"!

10. One time in high school, I tried to pop marijuana seeds like popcorn. Imagine a snack food that gave you the munchies! I thought I was gonna be rich!


P.S. Another shout-out to

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Red Sox Pantry

Outside of the ballpark, it used to be sports-related food was that little pink panel of linoleum in your baseball cards. Then Wheaties put sports on you breakfast table, (which led to “Flutie Flakes,” incidentally!) and the line between sports and foods was forever blurred. 

 But the Red Sox! These boys can market! And with an eye on the summer barbeque cuisine, too! Available on the grocer’s shelves currently, (or at least not too long ago,) are some of the following condiments:

Red Sox Hot Sauce, Red Sox Barbecue Sauce, and The Sox Three-Spice Kit, (including “Steak & Rib Rub” “Sweet BBQ Rub “ and Cajun Seasoning.) Also in the Sox pantry are Papi’s Salsa, Dustin Pedroia’s Salsa, and Youks Hot Sauce.

(I thought I’d omit the Pedro’s Salsa and the Manny’s Salsa.)

Red Sox Wines!

Good news, New England vinophiles! Longball cellars unveiled its Red Sox charity wines a couple of years ago with products consisting of Wakefield’s CaberKnuckle Cabernet Sauvignon, Captain’s Cabernet, Sauvignyoouuk Blanc, and Vintage Papi. There is even a hard-to-find Schilling Schardonnay and a Manny Being Merlot, (although I hear that one may contain artificial flavoring!) 

For more on these go to!

These make awesome gifts, by the way. Not that I have given them, but I would REALLY enjoy getting one! So, if any of my family are reading this, I will be hosting a summer shindig and this would be a welcome sight! Captain’s Cab looks especially good.

Me? I am holding out for some nice Red Sox Beers. Wouldn’t a Lugo Lager sound good right now? Maybe a Pedroia Pilsner? A nice Papi Porter? Dice-K Pale Ale? 

Eventually someone will listen to me, (or figger it out on their own,) and every sports bar in Boston will be selling this stuff like it was Crack!

You read it here first, though.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Technophobe's Illustrated #14

6/1/2009, Christopher P. Toler

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