Monday, July 30, 2007


Hello, hello. Lovers of letters, lovers of life. Welcome to another round of acromania.

I'm finally working in a fully-staffed office, well, as fully staffed as it's going to get. We're still a person shy, but have been going on 2 years, and I'm convinced the boss will never hire anyone else to fill that spot. But after two weeks of working in a 2-person office, we now have all 3 back. It was a little easier today.

Speaking of vacations, which I can only speak of because I haven't had one, let's turn that into tonight's acro. How about, "I Saw It On Vacation."

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but also the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket goes in a for a spa treatment and new varnishing on his vacation. Every year. Then tomorrow at 10pm est I shall be naming the winners, who will get an extra week's vacation, and the non-winners, who shall come and work in my place while I take a week off.

So, the topic, "I Saw It On Vacation." The letters:


There you have it. Get out of vacation mode long enough to acro.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Thought you might like a sample of the scintillating conversation that sometimes takes place between Mr M and I online. From last night:

Mr M says:
Hey, do Huckie and P. have insurance with you?
Bet says:
Bet says:
i've tried, but they're very loyal to their company.
Bet says:
cartoon assurance
Bet says:
Mr M says:
Really! I had no idea there was such a thing.
Bet says:
oh, yeah. they're huge! they insure the flintstone mobile, and the flintstones' house, which of course is made of rock so nothing happens to it.
Bet says:
they insure the jetsons' space car, and bugs bunny's warren.
Mr M says:
Bet says:
they refused to insure wile e coyote's car though, because he had so many accidents. he had to go with toon mutual.
Mr M says:
Toon Mutual is the Allstate of cartoon insurers?
Bet says:
apparently. very, very high rates.
Bet says:
for characters like wile e, and mr magoo
Mr M says:
Yeah, but don't their cars spring back to shape like other cartoon cars?
Bet says:
well, yeah, with help from the cartoon insurers.
Mr M says:
Oh, I see.
Bet says:
do you KNOW how many times toon mutual has had to pop anvil dents out of wile e's car?
Mr M says:
Yeah, I bet.
Bet says:
you're not, but it's amazing.

We're a regular Algonquin Round Table. And no, I don't captilize when I chat. So there.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to another almost picture-laden edition of Picture Sunday. If "one" can be defined as almost picture-laden.

You know, it's the 21st century. I know that, and so do you, but sometimes things happen that bring the fact right in front of me to parade around.

I had an occurrence at work this week that, while maddening, eventually left me in fits of laughter.

I have to make a lot of phone calls to big corporations in the scope of my job duties, and that's what I was doing this week. Calling a big mortgage corporation. Now, I'm used to the horrible proposition that is a long recorded message of "press one, press two, press three" when I make these calls, and I hate that, but I deal with it, but this particular phone call was one of the greats.

By the way, I swear to you this is true.

I was calling on behalf of a client of ours. I dialed the number, and got the dreaded, "Welcome to ______, if you want this, press one" message. However, the recorded lady said to begin, I had to press in the loan number or the client's social security number. I didn't have the loan number. I had the social security number, but I wasn't about to press it into the phone, because I figure it's none of these people's damn business what this woman's social security number is. It's principle, man!

So I held on. I figured if I pressed nothing, I'd get a representative.

Instead, I got the same message. I held again.

Then I got, and as I said, I swear this is true, the same recorded lady telling me I had to press in the loan number or social security number to begin, and she was mad! Her voice was raised, and, if I may say so, rather pissy.

I said, aloud and to no one in particular, "Well. This lady sounds rather pissy." And I still held, knowing that sooner or later, I'd get a representative. And I did.

However, before I got one, I got a recording of the same lady as before, and she sounded as sad as if she'd lost her best friend. She was bereft. She said, "Since you didn't provide us with a loan number or social security number, we will direct you to a representative." I had broken that lady's heart.

And I was glad.

Later in the week, I received an email from Netflix. I receive lots of emails from Netflix, telling me I'm getting a movie, or they've received one I sent back.

You know, Netflix apparently has many shipping ports all over the country. When I send my movies back, I may be sending them to Maryland, or Pennsylvania, or even West Virginia. I'm supposing this is a good thing, since I'm saving mail time and therefore getting new movies quickly.

Now, as I said, I'm used to getting emails from Netflix about movies I'm about to receive. I never read these emails, because it's all in the subject line. "For Mon: Seven Chances." "For Thu: Pickpocket." "For Sat: Some Movie With Toshiro Mifune Looking Hot." You get the idea.

Late this week I received one that was a little different. The subject line of this email said, "For Thu: Oliver Twist from Pittsburgh, PA."

Now, I can't tell you the excitement with which this filled me. I didn't know there was such a film as "Oliver Twist from Pittsburgh, PA," and I didn't realize it was in my queue. I began wondering just what a group of street urchins could get up to in Pittsburgh.

It arrived Thursday, or Thu, to the Netflix people, and it was just plain old "Oliver Twist." Boy, am I disappointed.

Anyway, with all that sturm and drang of the 21st century, I figure we need a little pastoral entertainment. And that's where the recipe du jour comes in. It comes from the "Art Plate" file in cardland, say hello to it if you dare, "Landscape With Potted Meat."

Ahhhh, take a gander and let the hubbub of daily life pass you by. Here is a nice landscape with potted meat ground, with baked bean and garbanzo bean accoutrement, broccoli shrubs, celery trees, and butter sun. And making its second appearance in Picture Sunday, a Blue Crapius (and mashed potato) sky. My nod to Van Gogh is the purple cabbage sky highlights.

Grab a cracker and start munching.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I wonder if this is a new Netflix feature. I certainly didn't ever get The Man in the White Suit from Charleston, WV, or The Butcher Boy from Chicago, IL.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Still In The Well

First of all, I'd like to start tonight's blog with a bit of a correction. You see, sometimes I don't think I make myself very clear. I was called on this last week in a comment from Stennie, when I said I threw away several packages of empty nylons. The minute I pushed "publish" on that comment, I knew someone was going to burn me. Leave it to Stennie. Of course, I should have said I threw away several empty packages of nylons. I'd say the actual empty nylons were thrown away months ago.

Sunday night's Olympic Update included - well, not included, was - a little blurb about how I was recording an album of clarinet music for Mr M. From his kind comment, I have a feeling Duke got the idea I was actually recording an album of my playing for Mr M. In fact, I was recording an album of clarinet music that belongs to Mr M and was made in the 50s, recording it into mp3 format for the man. Believe me, I don't have the chops to record an album of my own playing for anyone, and would only do it for Mr M if he had done something to seriously piss me off.

OK. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on to something much more important.


Last week I posed the question to the world, is there always a Lassie? We never see Lassie when there's no TV show or movie in front of us. Leading me to believe that 1) there isn't always a Lassie or 2) Lassie is something of a recluse.

Well, imagine my shock and surprise when Sunday evening I turned on the TV, hit the "info" button on the remote control, and saw a program was showing on PBS called, and no, I'm not making this up, "Lassie's Pet Vet." I don't guess I have to tell you that I hit the "1" and the "2" buttons quicker than you could say, "Arf Arf," and saw just what it was all about. And it was all about little segments for pet owners and pet owner wannabes about how pets are the wonderful things that they are. Like we didn't know.

There was a story about a woman who bought a bulldog to ease the pain of losing her husband. And a "man on the street" interview with folks telling us where their pets sleep at night. A surprising number of people sleep with their pets in the bed, which was, although my dogs were allowed just about everywhere in whatever home I was living in at the time, one place I could never cotton to. I used to let Dino, my cousin's Cairn Terrier, sleep in my bed, but that's because he was an unstoppable force and wormed his way in there when I was falling off into dreamland. Then he would commence to rooting up next to me until he had the entire bed and I was hanging onto the mattress by my fingernails. It was endearing, somehow. I don't know how, really, but somehow.

But the big and exciting news about all this is that the program was hosted by some veterinarian, and - Lassie himself (or herself, whatever). There the two of them were, the vet on a chair and Lassie right there beside him, smiling and barking. And looking magnificent, if I may say. And as if the knowledge that there is indeed apparently always a Lassie wasn't enough, the Lassie/vet segments took place outside. In front of a big red barn! So Lassie does live on a farm, and don't tell me it was just a television show set, because I won't believe you. Lassie lives on a farm and I'll fight the first person who tells me otherwise.

I decided to do a little internet research about "Lassie's Pet Vet," and found that Lassie has his own (or her own, whatever) website, The Pet Vet show is featured on the site, as is a tidy history of the doggie, where Lassie is always referred to as "she." Mmm-hmmm. Lassie also seems to have his (or her, whatever) own brand of dog food, which is all natural and probably good for the coat, and I'm guessing contains well water, and the fingers and toes of various villains.

There's a section that announces Lassie appearances, so if that's not a ringing endorsement that there's always a Lassie, I don't know what is. He (she, whatever) was even in Las Vegas several months ago. There's also a link to the Lassie "Pup Club," where kids can download coloring book pages and desktop themes.

There's a media section where we can watch clips from the old TV series, and one even includes everybody's favorite child actress Pamelyn Ferdin. And, in the same clip, a very young-looking Larry Wilcox.

But then, there it is. On the side of the screen, an ad. For the new Lassie movie. And suddenly my hopes became dashed that all this fun and frivolity was just there because there's a Lassie project on the horizon, and so some collie has been brought of the mothball closet to don the Lassie moniker.

I was depressed. So I said, "Fuck it," (sorry, Lassie) and went from to And I liked a whole lot better.

This is because it has a better history of Lassie, and explains how Lassie is in fact always a boy dog, the first transvestite superstar in Hollywood history. It also mentions that we're now enjoying the ninth generation Lassie, a direct descendant of the original movie Lassie, and so I was just having a ball on, and can go jump in the lake. Or the well. Because tells me there's always a Lassie, and I'm not going anywhere else now that may tell me otherwise. also features a great picture of Lassie in front of his Mitsubishi Eclipse, and one of him outside on a blanket, as if he's enjoying a little picnic with Timmy and the family. The merchandising section even sells a 16 oz chocolate collie. And I think you'll agree with me when I say it doesn't get any better than that.

So here's to Lassie. Sure, Asta had personality out the wazoo and could do backflips, Rin Tin Tin could run like the wind, Toto was an adorable sweetheart, and Benji showed you didn't have to be purebred to be a star. But Lassie, man. Lassie, the dog that could save Timmy from the well, be a friend to all the kids in the neighborhood, fight off bad men, tend to baby chicks on the farm, and I've no doubt could change the oil in your car and do your taxes without fear of an audit.

Good thing he's always around (or she's, whatever).

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So, what's your favorite day of the week, and why?
- Honorable Mention goes to Mr M, and his, "Tuesday, reaching around my fistula-saturated ass." Lame, schmlame, Mr M, I'm happy when anyone acros.
- Runner-Up goes to DeepFatFriar, and his, "Tuesday - right after Monday, feels slightly amicable." Yep, after Monday, anything is possible.
- And this week's winner is LilyG, with her, "Thursday -- Really, almost, mostly Friday. Saturday's ahoy!" Now, how can you not reward an acro that uses the word "ahoy?" You can't not!
- Thanks to all who played - you've all done very well!


Monday, July 23, 2007


Hello, all my little acrofriends. It's Monday, so that must mean it's time for another round of acromania.

Yes, it's Monday. I generally am not a fan of Mondays, at least not until 10pm rolls around and it's time to record the hucklebug podcast with Stennie. We all have our favorite and not-so-favorite days. And that's where this week's acrochallenge takes over.

I'm going to draw a tile from the acrobasket. I'm going to draw till I get an M, T, W, F, or S. Then I'm going to draw some more tiles. Your job is to answer the question, "What's Your Favorite Day of the Week, and Why?" With the first tile, you'll tell us your favorite day. If I draw a W, and you hate Wednesday, well, you're just going to have to fake it. Then with the other letters, you'll tell us why you love that day. Easy, really.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but also the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket's favorite day is Monday, of course. It's the only day he doesn't have stuff piled on top of him. Then tomorrow night at 10:00 est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners and non-winners; a blatant lie, as I never name the non-winners, but you're all fine people and I love you a great deal.

So tonight's acrotopic? "What's Your Favorite Day of the Week, and Why?" The letters:

After seven draws....

T - R A M F S A

There you go. Now start acroing.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I'm currently recording, for Mr M, an album of clarinet contest pieces. One of them is a piece I've been working on for some time. It's a grade 5. 5! That's pretty hard! Makes me not feel so bad about not being able to play it.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Picture (?) Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to the rear side of another weekend, and the front side of another work week.

My weekend had a bang smack-dab in the middle of it. A summer gig by your very own Sauerkraut Band. Sauerkraut Band gigs not in the months of September or October are always a little weird for me. It's kind of like seeing Santa Claus in July.

But nonetheless, there were some people who had money enough to throw a private party and hire a band. And yes, I was wondering it too, if you have the money to hire a private band for your party, why choose us, but these people wanted us and so there we were.

You know, the SKB have been hired for the odd private gig here and there, and generally we're treated like the hired help. Which, you know, we are, but geez, I can remember the wedding party we played some years ago where they herded us into a different area for food, and then didn't have any for us! While the people at the party were feasting like the rich kings they were.

Not so at this gig. The people who hired us were an older couple, and they were so incredibly sweet I wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me. They had their sons in from all over the world, there was a couple there from Scotland, and lots of other people, there were dogs everywhere, and they treated us like old friends. Seems kind of unfair to get paid for a gig like that. It would be enough just being invited to the party.

The band itself could have played better after all that kindness, but the partygoers liked us and I guess that's what matters. I woke up this morning with a sore back, and I'm being perfectly honest when I say I don't know whether to attribute it to standing up for most of the gig or the tightness of my dirndl. Which was, in a word, tight.

Earlier this week, I got a special surprise. The missive came from Mr M on Wednesday. "Don't make plans tomorrow, because you're getting a surprise."

I thought I knew what this was. See, Mr M has been working for some time on a method wherein I can take a clarinet lesson online from his teacher and friend, David N. (Hey, piss off, David!) I thought Thursday was going to be the trial run of this, and I was to be around for a lesson first draft.

Thursday I found Mr M online and asked when my lesson was. I was told I wasn't getting one. And that my surprise would be arriving shortly. "Via email?" I asked. "Nope, at your house," he replied.

Now, it's hard to set the scene for this effectively, but I was sitting at my house, in my pajamas, in glasses, no makeup, and with wet hair from where I'd just given myself a conditioning treatment. My house was an absolute shambles. He assured me none of that mattered, and so I started looking out the door, waiting for the UPS truck to come, for surely he'd ordered something he was having delivered to my house. Probably another clarinet.

About a half-hour later, I got a knock at the door. It was - Kellie! With an ie!

Seems she had to fly into town to get her car and make that final drive to Denver. And she stopped by to see me and spend the night!

"Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I'm sorry!" Was about all I could say for the first half hour. "This is the living room, I'm sorry. This is the kitchen, it's a mess. This is the bedroom, I'm so sorry." You know, the surprise was wonderful, but it would have been nice to have a clean house. I also had, and I promise you this is true, no food in my house, and so Kellie even took me out to dinner. Then we came home, hung out, watched "My Name Is Earl" and "The World Series of Pop Culture" (where Kellie with an ie impressed me), and she had to turn in a little early to prepare for the long drive west the next day.

But it was great to see her one last time. The final final stop on her Farewell Tour. Hope you 15d and are back home safely now, Kel.

So those were my last few days, and now it's time for the recipe du jour.

This week's recipe comes from the mind, hands, and camera of our own Mr M. And so I'm taking it from the "Mr M's World" file at cardland, say hello to it if you dare, Strawberry Shortcake, Version 2.0.

I shall give you the directions as a direct quote from the man himself.

1. Go to Kroger to find some shortcake.
2. Don't come back with any because a big woman with a tattoo muscled in front of you and grabbed the last package.
3. Leave Kroger thinking about how you hate being bullied by women, and forget the other ingredients until you get home.
4. When you get home, remember what you've forgotten.
5. Return to Kroger, but get antagonized by all the Virginia Tech students who descended on the place, yakking on their cell phones and buying all the beer they can carry, and leave again, narrowly missing getting hit by a septuagenarian in a pickup having a loud argument with his wife…who also has a tattoo.
6. Try the carryout, but find that they don't have shortcake, just beef jerky and Skoal (wintergreen flavor).
7. Think about substitutions.
8. Come up with substitutions.
9. Substitute Arnolds Multi-grain bread for the shortcake.
10. Substitute large, pimento-stuffed green olives for the strawberries.
11. Substitute maple syrup for the strawberry syrup.
12. Substitute the rest of the Ready Whip that's been sitting in the back of your refrigerator for two years for real whipped cream.
13. Top with a prune.

Sounds good to me. I'd much rather see those nice fat olives floating in a martini, but I'm odd that way.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Just finished my first week of Hell Week at work. Boss on vacation. Beginning the second. San on vacation. I keep being one of a two-person office working situation! I need a vacation.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hey! Speaking of Colleges We Hate...

Q: What has 10,000 eyes and 32 teeth?

A: The first row at a West Virginia University football game.

Got one? Share!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Abraham, Martin, and John, and Lassie, Uga, and Smokey

OK. I lied. There is not a single Abraham, Martin, or John in this blog. There's a Bob, though.

Because I woke up one morning last week, turned on the TV, and the lead news story - the lead one - was "Bob Barker Takes On Lassie." Now, we all know that Bob Barker is a big fellow in the "Be Kind to Animals" world (and kudos to him), and so I really wanted to see that particular match. However, I was running late, and the shower called, and I answered.

I didn't get to see it, but I did go into later to read about the outcome. There wasn't an outcome, and the whole story was a bit of a fib. See, Bob is on opposing sides, over a state bill, with some actor from the old TV show. The article didn't even say which actor, but it said "Lassie's owner," so I'm assuming it was Tommy Rettig, Jon Provost, or June Lockhart.

And with that whole mess over, my mind drifted to other places. Mainly, the place where Bob Barker actually takes on Lassie. No, not some sort of man-dog boxing match, but just the idea of it. Because here's what I can't let go of.

Is there always a Lassie?

I mean, there was a Lassie when there was a TV show, and when any number of Lassie movies were out. But how about now? There are no Lassie projects on the horizon, not that I know of, anyway, so is there a Lassie? And where is he? (Lassie's always a boy, you know.)

I always imagine Lassie as living on a big farm, with lots of fields and white wooden fences. For some 60 years he's lived there, and when he gets the call from Hollywood he goes to his owner, barks a while, the owner says, "What? What, Lassie? Hollywood? They want to make a movie?" and then they're in the truck headed for the studio. If you happen to know how this actually works, please don't tell me. I like my version. Because it means there's always a Lassie.

As untrue as it may be. For it could be that there's a big farm (come on, Lassie has to live on a farm), and it's filled with hundreds of collie dogs that all look exactly alike. And when Hollywood calls a person actually answers the phone. And he says, "What? What? Hollywood? They want to make a movie?" and then he goes outside and looks over the collies, picks out the fittest looking one on that day, and they're in the truck headed for the studio. Which means there's not always a Lassie, just a bunch of collie dogs running around in a field.

Now, I happen to know that there's always an Uga. Uga is the slobbering, panting ball of love and happiness also known as my my favorite college mascot, the University of Georgia bulldog. I know there's always an Uga because I saw a television program about him once. At that point, and it was more than several years ago, they were on Uga IV, the fourth generation of the same white bulldog family that produces the Chosen Doggie. Uga lives like a king. Whether it's football season or not, he's got his own family, a nice suburban home, a fancy bed, his red t-shirt, and he walks around like he owns Georgia. He gets free medical care at the University of Georgia animal hospital, and let me tell you, it's better care than you or I get. According to wikipedia, they're now on Uga VI, but there's always been one. He's always there. If you want to drive down south and be snotted upon by Uga at any given time, get in your car and go.

Uga also has his own air conditioned dog house, since bulldogs apparently don't take heat well, and we all know how hot it gets in Athens, Georgia on a Saturday afternoon. And this little tidbit of information brings us to Smokey. No, not Smokey (or The SmokeDog), the pug owned by my friend, workmate, and mother figure San, but Smokey, the mascot of the University of Tennessee.

Smokey is a hound dog, which makes sense, and I'm not so fond of him as I am Uga, mainly because I hate the University of Tennesee. They sport a terribly sickly color of orange, their endzones are checkerboarded, and their fight song is "Rocky Top." I mean, what's to like? (Sorry, Dr SaraBeth, I know you just got your Ph.D there, and though I love you dearly, I mean, it's the University of Tennesee.) Anyway, I've nothing personal against Smokey, because he's of of the canine persuasion, and you just can't argue with doggie eyes and a wet nose.

However, I have a former workmate who attended a UT football game years ago, and came back to tell the story that it was so hot at the game, Smokey actually fainted. Apparently it was quite the happening, and much wringing of hands and oohing and ahhing took place before he was revived. And then came the collective sigh of 102,000 people.

Anyway, according to wikipedia again (where it mentions Smokey's little fainting spell), they're now on Smokey IX, so there's always a Smokey, even though on that dark day a while back there almost wasn't.

I hope this is the case with Lassie. Well, not the fainting, but that there's always a Lassie, and sometime, when you least expect it, you may see him on the toy aisle at the local Petsmart. Or in the drive-thru at the bank, cashing a risidual check and getting a milk bone from the teller.

Speaking of college mascots, I was at the Sugar Bowl a while back, and the Hokie Bird was almost killed by Bevo, the mascot from the University of Texas. Bevo the steer caught sight of the Hokie Bird, and began snorting and stomping and waving his horns around. He just about got free of his handlers. So even though the Hokie Bird's just foam rubber and feathers, he almost ceased to exist once. As did the person in his costume.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have acrowinners. So, what did I throw away when cleaning out The Beast?
- Honorable Mention goes to Michelle, with her, "Folded Apron, Rancid, Eggy, Nasty." Michelle's obviously seen my Sauerkraut Band apron. Unfortunately, it's the only one I have so I couldn't throw it out. But it's back there, in The Beast, waiting to be worn.
- Runner-Up goes to LilyG, with her, " Fluffy argyle red earmuffs, natty."
- And this week's winner goes to the DeepFatFriar, with his "Fat Albert's red ermine negligee." I don't think I could wear Annette's.
- Thanks to all who played! You've all done very well!


Monday, July 16, 2007


Hello, acroites, acroees, and acroers. I've missed you. It was pure laziness last week that kept me from my appointed rounds of acromania.

But we're back, the old acrobasket and I, and we have a challenge for you. As soon as I think it up.

I've been doing a lot of throwing away this weekend. I didn't plan it, that's for sure, but Sunday night I found myself in the spare bedroom (lovingly known as "The Beast"), and I began my semiannual clean. Yeah, about twice a year I realize just how out of control it's all gotten, and I start cleaning and throwing away. I'm still doing it. Every few spare minutes I have, I'm back there throwing stuff into the bin.

I'll let you play psychic tonight. "What all did I throw away from The Beast?" Remember, this is the room I keep everything I don't have any other place for. The possibilities are endless.

All the other rules are the same. Everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but also the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket. The acrobasket is in the dennette, so he's safe. However, he may have a new housemate soon, as I need a little basket for my hair accessories. Then tomorrow night at 10 pm est I shall be reading the entries and naming the winners, who will get a trip to the Poderosa to help me finish up the cleaning, and the non-winners, who will get a trip to the Poderosa to help me finish up the cleaning.

The topic? "What all did I throw away from The Beast?" The letters:


So there you go. Now, acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Speaking of being eat up with the laziness, there was no Picture Sunday or recipe yesterday. In case you didn't notice.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

More On The Lonely Life of the Golfer, or Members Only

When last I left you, my fine feathereds, I was having a little rant about commercials for prescription drugs, and how sad it must be to be a golfer these days. This is because all the prostate-fixers and weenie-unflacciders invite us to see their ads in Golf magazine and Golf Digest. I wondered aloud what that says about golfers, but since then I've actually been wondering what an issue of one of these golf magazines must look like. I mean, every other page must be an advertisement for some male prescription drug.

Anyway, I had no plans whatsoever for a sequel to Tuesday's blog. None. And this may not be one, but I had a strange occurrence at about 3:00 Wednesday morning. I woke up.

Now, this in and of itself isn't strange at all, I do that every night. But when it happened Wednesday, it was just so quiet in the house I reached over for the remote and flipped on the TV. It was tuned to CNN. Within about 7 minutes, there was a commercial break. And imagine my surprise when the first commercial in that break was for Levitra. Levitra! How I apologize to you, Levitra, for leaving you out of the erection pill family last blog. But wouldn't you just know it, by the time I could scramble up and grab my glasses to see what golf magazine contained their ad, it was over. And so I'll never know, unless I'm lucky enough to see it again before I end this blog.

So last night, sad soul that I am, I decided to do a little more internet research, and I went straight to Levitra's website. And boy, let me tell you, what a goldmine of information this place is. If I was a man, and therefore had that shaft of royalty known as a penis, and that penis just wasn't what it used to be, I'd go to that website, above all others, every day.

Because the Levitra people aren't like doctors. They're like your mom. All over that site it mentions high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It's those bad things that are causing the problem. Hell, there's even a link to a page called, "It's Not You." See, it's your mom! Patting your thigh, saying, "Dear, it's not you. Really, it's not." The websites for the other two drugs, Viagra and Cialis, are more like your football coach. Fist pumping and, "Let's get you in there and back in the game, sport!"

And I'm willing to make a confession right here and now, for what is a blog for but embarrassing confessions, I spent way too much time at the Levitra site. I kind of got addicted to it. It was just fascinating, for some reason.

It contained tidbits like this one, in the "Information for Partners" section. "Chances are your partner already realizes that something has changed in your sexual relationship." There's a bit of stating the obvious. But again, like your mom, the site goes on to state it's not your fault either, partner, you're just as cute and wonderful as you always were. Then there's a list of opening salvos - yes, actual word tracks, just like they try to get you to use at work - that you may feel comfortable with as a beginning to the "I'm going to go get some Levitra, so watch out" conversation. None of them start out with, "I have this friend...," but one does say, "You know, I've been thinking my [high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, insert one] may be causing a change in our sex life."

There's also a section on the site all about, and now, here's where things get a little rough, so I'm warning the squeamish now they may want to turn away, "erection quality." Apparently running the flag up the pole and having it salute isn't enough. There are three different items that make up whether your penis is quality stuff or something of an after-market part.

Of course there are separate sections about the "big three," the high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure that might be causing the problem. (Thanks, Mom.) There's also a "sexual health checklist" that one can fill out, print, and take to the doctor, just in case he's a little shy in bringing up the subject. Which is fine, and they're even tailored for the less erudite amongst you fellows who don't know the meaning of the word "penetrate." (I'm not kidding. You can go look if you like, but I'm warning you, it's addictive.)

And what would a site run by your mom be without something given to you for free. For there's a "Free Offers" section, where you can get three free tablets with your first prescription, and I'm betting this is a good thing because I have a feeling these drugs aren't for those on the lower end of the income scale. And you can sign up to have a free "fact kit" sent to you that looks like it has everything that's already covered on the website, but I'm left wondering, and I'm telling you, folks, I'm tempted to sign up to get my own free kit. I could always use Sherman's name, or Mr M's, or even Mike's. Like they'd ever know.

However. However!

The absolute brass ring on this website is the video. And yes, I'm embarrassed to admit this above everything else, but when you see a link to a video entitled, "How An Erection Works," and you don't have anything else on tap for the night, well. I mean, how can you not?

So let's get this right out of the way. It tells you exactly how an erection works, with, thank God, drawings. Because Mom wouldn't let them use real people. However, other than the rather science class-looking diagram at the beginning, a man's penis is represented by a red tube. With a curve in it. Sure, they call it a blood vessel, but we all know what's going on. The blood flowing through these vessels looks like cherry Life Savers, and when all is well, those Life Savers are just coursing through that vessel. And when all is not, well, it's about the saddest thing I've ever seen. One or two Life Savers limping out of the vessel, and believe me, it's not pretty. As is not the vessel itself, which, when unhealthy, is all bumpy and wrinkly, whereas the healthy vessel is nice and smooth.

The video also mentions the "big three," the reasons for your problem, and mentions side effects, the most horrific of which is the runny nose, imagine the trauma of a man all hopped up on Levitra towering over you with his nose running. In fact, this little video mentions just about everything about the male member and its problems except in which golf magazine their ad appears.

The most interesting thing, though, and possibly the most enlightening thing I've seen in years, occurs when there is an animated picture with the legend, "Erect Penis" superimposed on the screen. Now I know it's been a little while, but....

The picture we see of an erect penis looks like an eyeball. It's a circle, with a red inside and white outside. The only thing I could possibly imagine is that it's the cross-section of a penis, like they cut it in half. And that makes me wince, and I'm a girl, for cryin' out loud.

So maybe we should end here. Unless I'm missing something, and a penis really does look like a big round eyeball, in which case I need to do some more internet research, so we should end anyway.

Let's end.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Nothing, really. Tomorrow's Friday. Update your calendars!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

See Our Ad, or The Lonely Life of a Golfer

You know what, guys? It seems like forever since I actually blogged. A real blog, not a picture-laden number, or an acrochallenge (which I thoughtlessly deprived you of this week). I've missed it, but I haven't really had much to say. Not that that's mattered in the past.

And actually, it's not quite true. I mean, I haven't had much to say, but that's basically because I haven't had much to think. I'm on the George Jetson Rotating Treadmill of Life lately, and it seems like there hasn't been a moment to stop, take a deep breath, and ask myself, "Have I been thinking lately?" When that happens, I obviously haven't.

So my thinking has been of the type where I'm trying to keep my head above water at work, and trying to score a million points in Text Twist, and... and, well, that's about it. I haven't watched a movie in a long time, and I'm afraid the Netflix people are going to send an unsavory character to the Poderosa to break my knees, and my house was a pigsty until last night, when I finally saw fit to clean it. I'm in the best shape of my life, due to the exercise, but none of my clothes fit. And if I sit still for very long, I seem to fall asleep rather quickly.

I think I might be getting old.

However, in those few minutes between my ass hitting the chair and my eyes falling closed, I have seen a little television here and there. I saw lots of episodes of "Dirty Jobs," starring Stennie's future husband Mike Rowe, over the weekend, and due to the fact that lying in a bed doesn't have the same effect on me as sitting in a chair, I've seen my share of wee-hour-morning fare.

And so I guess that means it's time for a word from our sponsors.

I've done my fair share of ranting about commercials for prescription drugs. But since this phenomenon became, well, a phenomenon, there's been one thing I've never mentioned. I've noticed it, sure, almost from the beginning, but I've never really said anything about it.

It's a little something called "See Our Ad."

Because almost every one of these prescription drug products, and when I say almost every one I mean every single one ever made, has a blurb somewhere in the small print overlay that talks about side effects, dry mouth, dizziness, and four-hour erections, and then invites us to see their ad in some particular periodical.

And so I've been paying a little attention, and keeping a few notes.

Here's the list so far.


Lipitor, the "lower your cholesterol" pill that costs a million dollars a year. Or thereabouts. I know this because I used to take its cousin, Pravochol, which did the same thing. I lost a bunch of weight, and stopped taking it. And caring. I may be lighter, and my cholesterol may be 10000, but I don't care anymore. How's that for self-preservation?

Anyway, Lipitor is right on the ball, because they have as a spokesman no less a person than Dr Robert Jarvik himself, inventor of the artificial heart. And he's talking about how even though he invented this faux heart, this heartette, if you will, and it's a fine product indeed, he doesn't want to end up having to wear one in his own body. And so he takes Lipitor and follows a healthy diet, which is stupid, because it should be that if you take these drugs you can eat anything you want. Deep-fried Twinkies washed down with a shotglass of Crisco. Apparently, that's not the case.

And so while the small print is telling us about the side effects, the possible liver damage, the risks to women even thinking about getting pregnant (now, that's risky), and the abject poverty if your insurance doesn't pay for Lipitor, we see the blip. "See our ad in Health magazine." And that makes perfect sense. If you care about your health, and have the money to buy both Lipitor and Health magazine, then you're going to be fine. So eat up on the deep-fried Twinkie and park really close to the store. But you won't, will you? You health nut.


I know Yaz as a techno band from the 80s, but apparently this isn't them. This is YAZ, the birth control pill that not only keeps you from getting pregnant, but also relieves pre-menstrual stress and acne, which is good, because if you're not bitchy and pimple-ridden, you have a better chance of, well, you get my drift.

The commercial for YAZ shows a bunch of modern gals (only if they're that modern they probably would punch out the first person to call them such), sitting around a table at a cafe talking about "women's things." And so of course the smartest of these modern gals blurt out how they're on YAZ, and go on to extol its YAZish virtures. It's like your modern gal friends suddenly became OB-GYNs.

We learn from the girls, and the fine print, that YAZ can increase potassium to a dangerous level, and it doesn't protect against STDs, which, you know, how dumb does a person have to be to believe it would, and that it can cause weight gain, and so so much for the chipper personality and acne-free face. And then at the bottom of the screen, we get it. "See our ad in ELLE magazine." And that makes sense, too. Surely those modern gals getting horrid fashion tips and reading up on how to increase their orgasmic capacities would be interested in them a little YAZ. And ELLE probably has a few diet tips every month for the weight gain.


Speaking of birth control, let's move on to the NuvaRing, the little rubber ring that makes whoopee "whoopee" and not "oopsie." (That was so bad I can't believe I actually wrote it, and I apologize.) (Really, I apologize profusely.) (Really. Forgive me already, OK?)

If you go to NuvaRing's website, you can see their latest commercial, but what's more disconcerting is that you're forced to look at a video clip of a rather smug-looking woman - staring you in the face. Just standing there, shifting from side to side, staring you in the face as if to say, "Look at me, you loser. I need birth control!" I'm not kidding, it's uncomfortable. Go see for yourself.

This is the woman in the TV ad, and as she's telling you the wonders of her little blue rubber ring, we read the fine print below, if we have excellent eyesight, and find out that NuvaRing increases the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. And it may be as cute as a bug's ear, but please don't be so stupid as to think it'll prevent HIV. It's a ring! It's got a hole in it, for God's sake! And then it comes. So to speak. "See our ad in US Weekly."

A little farther from the beam, that one. But I guess the woman who's reading up on Mr Clooney and Mr Pitt and Mr Depp is looking for love in the real world, too. But if she's reading a lot about Mr Clooney, she's going to have to settle.


Ahhhh, Nasonex. And I don't say "ahhhh" because I'm breathing better, though that's what Nasonex is for, I'm saying it because it was only recently I blogged about their commercials and spokesinsect, the Nasonex Bee. The Nasonex bee with an annoying Spanish accent that makes him sound like Antonio Banderas. I even included a picture of a bee with Sr Banderas' face superimposed upon it.

Mr Bee flies around a lot of flowers and sneezing people in his commercial, and there in between the fine print telling us about Nasonex's side effects of headaches, viral infections and sore throats, it also says, "See our ad in Health magazine." So this is fine.

But this isn't even the reason I added Nasonex to the list. I added them because in doing a little internet research I discovered - THE NASONEX BEE REALLY IS ANTONIO BANDERAS. It's confusing, it's a little upsetting, and for some strange reason I feel like I need to apologize to Sr Banderas for accusing him of being the Nasonex Bee. Even though he is.

I need to go lie down.


Now, I make no pretenses whatsoever where Rozerem is concerned. I flat-out love their commercials. They're the ones featuring an insomniac, a beaver, Abe Lincoln, and what I thought was a spaceman, but it turns out he's a deep sea diver. They're his dreams, and they miss him. The beaver (who I also once thought was a groundhog but have been proved wrong again) is very surly, and Abe Lincoln apparently cheats at checkers. They're a goldmine of fun, these commercials.

But they're not without their fine print. There are side effects to Rozerem, including dizziness, fatigue, and the one I'm sure insomniacs everywhere in the world are salivating over, drowsiness. And after that stick and carrot comes the legend, "See our ad in Prevention magazine."

Prevention, huh? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Prevention was the magazine of, well, let's go check to be sure. Here it is, and I quote, without permission: "America's leading healthy lifestyle magazine is based on a simple and powerful promise: Make little changes, get big results. Prevention speaks to readers in a reassuring familiar voice about family health, food, nutrition, workouts, beauty, cooking, and more."

Not drugs. However, go to their website sometime. It's so filled with ads for medications, I'm sure its founder is spinning in the grave. I'm assuming here the founder is dead, owing to the healthy lifestyle and all.


Then, there's that other sleep aid, Lunesta. Same deal, only really boring commercials. Stressed out people trying to sleep, and some magical twirly butterfly flying around them, trying to make them sleep.

They also have the same fine print, with the added warning of not driving a vehicle or operating machinery while using their fine product, and they invite us to, "See our ad in US News & World Reports." Which begs the question. If you have a copy of US News & World Reports in front of you, why in the hell do you need Lunesta?


Detrol! My old friend Detrol, the anti-pee drug. Well, no, it's not my friend because I've taken it, or because I myself happen to be anti-pee or anything, it's just that I've blogged about Detrol more than once. They used to have the "gotta go right now" jingle, but they dropped it a while back. I haven't blogged about them since.

Their fine print says the Detrol patient can experience dry mouth and constipation while taking the drug, apparently everything dries up, and says, "See our ad in Cooking Light."

I don't know quite what to make of this one. Do people with overactive bladders enjoy cooking light more than the rest of us? Now, Cooking Quickly magazine, I could understand. Get that dinner done and hie thee to the bathroom. I guess cooking light enables one to move a little faster, which is apparently a good thing in the overactive bladder world.

And then, well, then there are those other drugs.

We all know how I hate those erection pills. God, do I hate those erection pills. I hate them because all over the world people are dying of cancer and Parkinson's Disease, and the scientific community came up with something to unflaccid a weenie. And what I hate more than the drugs themselves are their commercials. Although that's a little skewed, since if there were no weenie drugs, there'd be no commercials.

There are also the prostate drugs, which aren't so offensive in and of themselves, but their commercials are, simply because they seem to delight in telling us about the side effect of "decreased amounts of semen." I don't want to know about this. I don't care about glasses of semen as opposed to a droplet of the stuff. I don't want to turn on my TV, even alone in my home, and hear the word "semen." It makes me itch. Isn't it the job of the doctor you're supposed to consult to tell you your fireworks are going to be reduced to a damp sparkler and not the TV commercial? Of course it is!

Anyway, let's look at these drugs. Viagra and Cialis (which has the ungodly clinical name Tadalafil - ta-da! lafil) have scads of fine print, about heart health and drinking and drug interaction, and the tidbit every man is just dying to hear about, the legendary four-hour erection. Cialis' commercial features a couple relaxing outside in bathtubs, which is bizarre enough, but they're in separate bathtubs, which coupled with the thought of a four-hour erection somehow makes me squirm. Viagra's latest has a man wasting the entire town's water supply by sticking a water sprinkler on his soaped up vintage Corvette (can anyone say "penismobile?") while he goes upstairs to bounce around with the misssus.

Viagra? "See our ad in Golf Digest." Cialis? "See our ad in Golf magazine."

And Flomax, the prostate anti-semen prescription? "See our ad in Golf Digest." Hell, go to Cialis' website! (On second thoughts, don't.) They proudly serve up an ad proclaiming them an "official sponsor of the PGA Tour!"

Even Enzyte, which is not a prescription drug but a "natural male enhancer," and has perhaps the worst commercials this side of Hardee's, features that man I pray nightly will be hit by a falling piano, Bob. And in two - not one, two - of Bob's commercials, he's playing golf!

So what does that say about golfers?

I'm not sure. Apparently they're very lonely men who can't make it the whole 18 holes without trotting to the port-o-john.

Unless they take the above. In which case, not only will they be able to walk the whole 18 holes, but they can abandon their putters and still play. Providing the round of golf doesn't last more than four hours.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Acrowinners, we have no acrowinners! We had no acro! Sorry, guys, I just didn't have it in me last night. Even the acrobasket was a little cranky.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders. And did your personal weekends go as quickly as mine did? Never mind, it's late Sunday night, the work week starts again tomorrow, and it's time for a Picture Sunday.

I had an interesting happening this weekend. I decided at approximately 2:00 on Saturday morning that I was going to see the Hackensaw Boys. I knew they were playing a date in West Virgina this weekend, but until I started looking, I didn't realize just how close it was to my little Virginia home. When I realized it was only probably about 90 minutes away, I figured there was no reason to wrestle with the "should I or shouldn't I" question. Of course I should.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to convince Mr M to come along, but on Saturday morning (not at 2 am) I called up the folks, just on the off-chance they might want to join me for the trip. And after a think they called back and said sure. So off we went to the almost-town of Lansing, WV, to a place called Wild Water Expeditions, a whitewater rafting place, where at the end of the day, in a nice field, the Hackensaws would be working their particular magic.

There was food beforehand, and hellos to the boys, and a lovely picture of Salvage in someone's chinese sun hat.

Sherman took up residence on the blanket, with his fiddle, waiting for the show.

While I was lying on that blanket, the folks had chosen to take their chairs into the shade. Before the Boys took the stage, I thought maybe I'd better get up and visit the restroom, so I hopped up, grabbed my bag, and went to take it to Granny to hold for me, only to happen upon - my mom and dad sitting there in their chairs, and sitting on the ground beside them, Ferd. They were having a fine old time while I was there lying on the blanket.

And so after an interminably long wait and an interminably long opening band (who I won't say much about other than, there's not much worse in the world than a really, really bad bluegrass band), the Hackensaw Boys came out on the newly built stage to entertain us all.

They did all the favorites, the new, the old, the traditional, Ferd broke about a million fiddle strings, the audience danced like mad people, and I even coaxed Granny up for a little flatfoot during "Ruby Pearl."

It was a little odd at the end when the Boys do their "we're coming out into the audience to play" thing, because the audience was in a field. No lights. No matter, everyone crowded around, and they did about three songs out there, one an instrumental vamp while Ferd went back to the stage to change a fiddle string. (Poor Ferd.)

How about a hello to Salvage?

It was a lot of fun, I'm glad I made the decision to go, and I'll leave you with two bits of information. 1) Nice fellows that they are, they took my suggestion in the crowd to do "What Are You Gonna Do With The Baby," and 2) dancing on the side of a mountain isn't very easy. I had trouble keeping upright at some points. Then again, I'd had a few beers.

OK, let's talk blue dogs. As I'm sure you know, since I've told you, my friend and boarder Huckleberry Hound is an excellent cook. He asked me if he could contribute a dish to the recipe du jour, and of course I agreed. So from the "Huckie's Favorites" file at cardland, please say hello if you will to Bean Ka-bobs.

This is one of the cartoon character favorites around here. These ka-bobs are made from butter beans, kidney beans, green beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans, all marinated in Huckie's "Special Curry Sauce," then grilled to perfection. There's one there for everyone, even Che Guellama, and if you'll notice, Quick Draw McGraw's ka-bob is pinto beans only. Because, you know, he likes him some pinto beans.

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* There's not a holiday in this week, is there?
* You know how I'm always complaining about Picture Sunday? Well, I may not have to worry about it soon. After only 2 or so months of the new Blogger, I'm already at 12% of my picture capacity.
* Oh, crap, I almost forgot!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Picture Holiday!

I promised you a Picture Tuesday. You're getting a Picture Wednesday. So sue me.

Actually, that's even better! Because you see, here at the Pod, we have our July 4th parade at the stroke of midnight. Yes, we like to celebrate before anyone else. Because we're just like that.

All rightie, dear friends and blogees. I worked today, shopped afterwards, came home, put away groceries, spent two hours trimming my hedges, took a shower, made a dish for tomorrow's dinner at the folks', and I'm dog tired.

It's 2 am, and I'm ready to get this blog started.

Are the boys in place for the July 4th parade?

I see that they are. Hi, boys!

First off, from Fort Knox, KY, we have the All-Coinage Marching Band!

They spend their time marching, drilling, playing Heads or Tails, and hiding in the couch cushions. Led by the Quarter Dollar-Bill Banner Carriers.

Next, who do we see coming around the corner but the Mattel Hot Wheels All-Rolling Band!

Look how they take a turn. Amazing. Led by every little boy's dream, the John Deere Tractor, and followed in the rear by an ambulance. Just in case of any accidents. A picture doesn't do them justice, really. All those sirens and car horns really make for a special parade entry. This entry was sponsored by my nephew, who loved these cars 14 years ago.

Oh, you're in for a treat now, guys. Because up next is none other than the one, the only, the very Rawhide Chew Toy Drill and Precision Team!

Now that is some fine precision work. This entry was sponsored by Mr Peabody and Huckleberry Hound. Canines everywhere, be proud!

Next we have, sponsored by the Bible Club, the Noah's Ark Marchers!

Yes, here they come, two by two, ready to board the ark and repopulate the earth. Cheap animals they were, and the zebras and giraffes must be drinkers, because they keep falling over. Lead by storks and gorillas, and don't even ask me how those lionesses do the parade route while lying down.

And finally, from Milton Bradley High, hold onto your hats if you're wearing them, because here comes the Mighty Jenga Band!

They're brown, they're wood, they stack, and I'm telling you right now, if one of them falls, the whole band is in a big pile on the floor. A side note? Never, and I mean never ever, drink a cup of coffee and then try to assemble the Mighty Jenga Band.

And so there was our little July 4th parade.

I have to tell you the idea for this picture blog. See, I was so damn proud of my Zesta Saltine Marching Band recipe du jour a while back. No one seemed to notice it much, but I loved it. Because for some reason, I just like lining things up. I used to do it with money, and dominoes, Risk game pieces when I was a kid. Imagine the warming of my heart when I realized that, playing with Taytie, he did the same thing. One game of Jenga, and then it was an hour of playing "Marching Band" with the Jenga pieces.

So there.

And I promised you a recipe du jour too, didn't I? Well, I have one. Say hello to it now, from the "July 4th Treats" in cardland, it's the Patriotic Potato Treat.

Yep, there it is, standing tall like the barometer of fear that it is. It's a hulled-out red pepper, with some white potatoes inside, and a teeming dollop of blue mayonnaise in the middle. That would be mayonnaise mixed with Blue Crapius. And if you folks ever doubt how much I love you all, I actually had to touch that blue mayonnaise. Yeeeccccch.

I used the word "treat" twice in that, didn't I? Oh well. It's very late.

Happy 4th.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Slim turnout, but we have acrowinners. So, Uncle Sam says, "I Want YOU! To ______"
- Runner-Up goes to Michelle the dishy, and her, "Open rifle shop - Virginia's tame!" Oh, Michelle. We're not tame at all - we have more rifle shops than you could ever know. We make up for it by also having more churches.
- And this week's Winner is the DeepFatFriar, with possibly the most brilliant acro in history, "Okick Rgeorge Sbush Voutta Toffice." This may be my favorite acro of all time.
- Thanks to you for playing, you both did very well!


Monday, July 02, 2007


Hello, acroers! I'm late, I'm late, for my weekly podcasting date. So let's get right to it.

Yep, the Fourth of July. It's Wednesday. This week's acrotopic is a fill in the blank. Uncle Sam says "I Want YOU! To....."

To what? That's what you tell me.

All the other rules are the same, everyone gets three entries to come up with the best acronym they can that not only matches the topic above, but also the letters below, which are randomly drawn from the acrobasket.

Deadline is tomorrow at 10pm est.

So fill in the blank, "Uncle Sam Says, 'I Want YOU! To ______.'" The letters?


So go! Acro!

Betland's Olympic Update:
* I told you, I'm late!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Picture Sunday

Hello, end of weekenders, and welcome to a rather odd circumstance of Picture Sunday.

Now, remember back when I said I was tired of doing Picture Sunday, and was running out of pictures? Does anyone who remembers that realize that since my big declaration, I've put more pictures in my blog than any one human would ever want to see? I'm sure the slim days will come, but lately it seems every time I turn around I'm putting a buttload of pictures in here.

Anyway - I had a Picture Sunday idea I was going to use tonight, just as soon as I got my good camera back from Mr M. That was to be yesterday. However, Mr M came down with a more than wicked case of food poisoning this weekend and didn't make it down to the Poderosa as planned. That idea was scrapped.

However - I spent today in a fun and yet very sad way. Helping my dear friend Kellie with an ie pack up all her worldly possessions for her move west this week. We packed, and communed, and I can promise you her husband Kevin is not dead (for you hucklebug podcast listeners), because not only did I speak to him, and he spoke back, but he also gave me a very nice bottle of liquor for my work. Not only that, but Mr M and I got to go through the "to the YMCA Thrift Store" pile of discards and pick anything we wanted! I got a three-way vacuum (remember, I love me some vacuum cleaners), and a great wooden boat big enough for not only Sherman and Peabody, and an already seasick Huckleberry Hound, but for all the boys.

But soon enough it was time to say goodbye, again, Kellie with an ie and I have been doing the "Farewell Tour" thing and have said goodbye a few times, but this was indeed the last, unless she shows up on my doorstep tonight to say goodbye one last time.

Where all this is leading, though, is that even though I have my good camera back, there wasn't time to do the Picture Sunday I had planned (I just got home), and so stay tuned because there will be a special Holiday Edition Picture Tuesday. With a recipe included, I promise.

Oh, but my friends and blogees, that does not mean there is no Picture Sunday tonight. Far from it. For earlier in the week I got to do something I have been waiting ten years to do. Thursday night, my sister and I went to see Southern Culture on the Skids.

See, the sister and I both love this band, and have been pussyfooting around trying to find places to see them for, really, 10 years. We actually had a close call when we had tickets once, only to have the club they were playing at close "for repairs." It went toe-up about a month later.

So when we found out they were playing in Kingsport, TN, about two hours from here - for free! - we knew nothing would keep us from our appointed round. And nothing did, not the heat, the rain, and the fact that we both had to work the next day.

For the uninitiated, SCOTS are a three-piece band from North Carolina who play - hmmm, let's see. How about "twangy retro country hillbilly surf zombie rock and roll?" Yeah, that's pretty close. And see, for their fans worldwide, they're a great band and talented musicians. But if you live where I live? They sing your life. Songs about fried chicken and gasoline, banana puddin', flies, cheap motels, cars, corn liquor, big hair... you get the idea.

Here's Guitar God Rick before the show. The hat was exquisite.

And elusive drummer Dave. It's blurry. Because he's, well, elusive.

And finally, my new superheroine, Mary. Who wears the best wigs in the world, is beautiful, can sing like nobody's business, is a hell of a bass player, and checks her makeup in a compact between songs. I know I'm older than both of them, but if Ferd Hackensaw and Mary Huff had a love child, I swear I'd be it.

They were absolutely terrific, and I must say I'm very proud of the sister for going up to the stage and dancing the night away with me. I was prepared to go it alone, but she was true to her promise on the way down and left her husband sitting in the back while went we went up and danced. And we had a blast. I'm not kidding, I haven't felt that close to my sister in a long time.

Early on into the show, a little girl who was standing in front of us, about 11 years old, left the crowd, then suddenly appeared on the stage, dancing to the music and singing along. She knew the words to even the most obscure SCOTS songs. She was adorable. Then another little girl came up, and another. It was starting to get pretty interesting.

The girl who started it all's in the pink dress.

Before we knew it, the stage was filled with people, kids, adults, biker gang-lookin' guys wearing KFC hats on their heads. And then that magic moment arrived.

See, we'd read just earlier in the week that Southern Culture has been known to throw fried chicken out to the audience during their shows. We joked about it constantly, saying we wanted them to play this song or that one, but most of all, we just wanted a piece of fried chicken.

When the crowd had spilled onto the stage, the band started up their classic ode to fried chicken, "Eight Piece Box." And out came the chicken. They were throwing it to the crowd, legs, thighs, even nuggets, but for those close to the stage, they had a different plan. They held it out to us, and we had to take a bite and let the next in line have a bite. It was like the Ultimate Southern Communion. We got a breast, and damn, it was good. I hadn't had KFC in ages. Original recipe. And for those of you germ fanatics yelling, "Ewww, gross," my sister and I were the first to bite off our piece, so it was all OK.

Here's the crowded stage right before the chickenfest.

All too soon, though, it was over, and the sister and I headed over to the merchandise table to look at t-shirts. While we were there, we saw none other than Rick himself, and told him our 10-year plan to see them. He autographed my sister's t-shirt, "10 years and 2 hours later." He was very nice, and even waved for the camera. (Which, btw, I started to not even bring because it was my old digital with no features.)

I have a feeling he's the founding member of the Hillbilly Surf Club.

After that, we went on the prowl for Mary. And who wouldn't?? We talked to her a while, and she's just so lovely, I swear I want to be her if I ever grow up. She kissed us both on the cheek.

Yes, the B'burg Community Band hat made an appearance, as it was not only 90 degrees and 100% humidity, but raining as well. In fact, the clothes I was wearing? I'm not sure laundering will take care of them. I may just have to burn them.

Anway, it was a complete hoot, we had a ball, and everyone should keep an eye out for the night they come to your town.

Go hungry!

Happy week.

Betland's Olympic Update:
* Mr M's feeling better today, but not a lot.
* Even Kellie with an ie is not aware of this yet, but I spent a small amount of time in her belongings taking pictures of myself with her stuff on my head.