From the monthly archives:

January 2007

I’ve been listening to this tune all weekend after stumbling across it on a Best Of… Kinks compilation. It’s a real shame that a beardy kraut twat is talking over the ultra-eerie piano notes at the very beginning, but Dave Davies‘ Little Lord Fauntelroy coat is a delight to behold. This was recorded in the mid 60s on a West German TV show called BeatClub.

Unfortunately Dave had a stroke in an elevator at the BBC a couple of years ago, so his clowning days are all but over. I have a new appreciation for the Kinks, namely their work through the late 70s prior to the 80s hits like ‘Come Dancing’ which I remember from childhood. And not fondly. Dig into the back catalog if you ever get the chance – particularly ‘Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy‘ which went on to be an unlikely cover for Queens of the Stone Age in 1998.


Using Your Floodle.

by Dave on January 31, 2007


I discovered Floodle today while reading one of my favorite marketing blogs. At first look, it is a handy dandy resource for eBooks, Top 10 lists, etc. Pop-advice, if you will. Some sample features include 101 recipes for the deep fryer, Caring for your Pet Hamster, The Big Book of Puppy Names, Credit repair, and my personal favorite (if you know me you’ll get this,) Miracle Vinegar. But I’m not mentioning the site because it’s just a great collection of free information.

What isn’t readily apparent when you visit the site for the first time, is that the owner is only posting things that he finds for sale on eBay. But he is posting them for free! He is like the Robin Hood of eBay – pointing to and providing for free information that unscrupulous hacks are charging the uninitiated a lot of money for. I wouldn’t mind this so much if the sellers were also the people who had written the material. But they’re usually not – they are finding content readily available for free online and then posting it for sale on eBay. Do you follow?

That’s not to say Mr. Floodle is a saint. Many of these articles he himself has purchased from eBay. His payoff is advertising revenue – you’ll see that the site has ads. But I really admire his model and concept, and have added the site to my favorites, as I suggest you do as well. There is some great reference material here that many schmucks are paying through the nose for. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have 65 Tried & Trusted Amish Recipes to get through before lunch.

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Alas Poor Yorick. I Knew Him, Horatio Caine.

by Dave on January 30, 2007


The TV signal on my bedroom/office desktop is stuck on one channel. And this channel is A&E. Since I began working from home a month and a half ago, I have become an authority on CSI: Miami, college boxes, Forensic Files, Crossing Jordan and a host of other depressing modern cop shows in syndication. And about every 20 seconds there’s an advertisement for the Sopranos, whom the network has just purchased. I have seen it so many times, I may never be able to watch the Sopranos again. But I can watch this:

I work well with music or television on in the background. It’s comforting. Like when you leave the radio on for your dog if you’re going to be out all day. It can also lead you to discover CSI Miami and the many hilarious fan-made YouTube edits. It’s a time-tested formula: David Caruso puts on his glasses, utters a one-liner worthy of a school play, the opening scream from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” punctuates the gravity of said one-liner and then leads into the opening sequence. It’s almost like the Pythagorean Theorum in terms of reliability. I want to make up my own Horatio Caine one-liner for fun. Play along if you’d like.

Detective: “It looks like Angela’s killer was good at covering their tracks, Horatio“.
Horatio: “Maybe, but Angela here… isn’t good (glasses on) … at NOT being dead.”
Roger Daltrey: “Yeeeeeeoooooooooow!


Monday’s Quotelet: King Of Coffins.

by Dave on January 29, 2007


“OK – so that price doesn’t work for you either? What am I gonna have to do to to put you in this coffin today?”


Herculean is the second single off this just released album from Damon Albarn’s (Blur, Gorillaz) The Good The Bad and the Queen. He’s quite the prolific songwriter and has managed to convince Paul Simonon (The Clash) and Simon Tong (The Verve) to round out this alt-punk supergroup. And let’s not forget the producer, Danger Mouse, who himself has a little song you may have heard once or twice last year.

I was beyond skeptical when I first read a blurb about them, but I love this song – and the first single Kingdom of Doom – very, very much so. The hats are just the icing on the cake.


Fun With Cat Piss.

by Dave on January 23, 2007


The only reason I passed chemistry in high school is because Mr. Murray didn’t want to look at me for another year. That having been said, short of mixing up a glass of Tang, my lab skills and knowhow are extremely limited. But I made some magic happen last night.

Admittedly, I was a little remiss in my cat box cleaning duties this past week. I tore out Boss’ corner – swept, mopped and then disassembled his covered litter box. After dumping out the good stuff, there was a large clump of wet mud near the bottom I had to break apart with a scraper I keep handy for just this purpose. Just call me Mr. Boston construction. I got most of it out, but the stench of ammonia was unusually bad. Dave Pye the Science Guy decided it would be a good idea to dump a few capfulls of straight bleach into the mix.

I knew right away that there was something special taking place. The bottom of the box started to hiss and fizzle straight away. I think I may have giggled – until the vapors hit my nose. By the time I realized I needed to get the hell out of the area, I’d inhaled a good quantity of a vapor I can only describe as overpowering. I opened my replacement windows but the strong, medicinal smell hung in the area for about an hour. I can still feel a little burn in my lungs as I type.

Eventually the smoke cleared, and I was able to rinse everything and put it back together. Boss’ poops and peeps palace potential are squared away. I wonder what I created for that brief moment. Perhaps I may have inadvertently cured cancer, or immunized myself forever from the common cold. But I’m probably just a lazy retard who should take better care of his cat.


Taken from a “Celebrities When they were Kids” post I saw today.

A young Bobby D’s excuse as to why he took a whiffle ball bat to a classmate?
He tripped me up during the sack race, a little bit.”


GoonBlog: The Podcast – Episode #3.

by Dave on January 21, 2007


Recorded January 19th 2007 in the North End of Boston MA, the third podcast in the series features discussion about Sidney Crosby, the Washington Capitols, MySpace, our brand new hockey tshirts, a deluge of silly audio clips thrown in for funny measure, and our homie – little Philly Kessel.

This is some funny stuff, people. It’s a little on the long side, but we had a 2 month lull to cover. My audio editing abilities are creeping towards “a little better”, and you have to stay with us the full 23 minutes just to hear all the fart sounds and SlapShot quotes. If you’re on the market for a ridiculous hockey podcast, check us out.


Fly is my favorite song off the new album, World Container, and although there isn’t a video for it yet, I did find this concert clip recorded in Belgium back in May. There’s some pretty good Downie Dancing throughout, and I love the guitar solo – which sounds much better on the record and reminds me of the one note solo from Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl, which I maintain is the best guitar solo ever. Yes, I said one note. World Container is the best Hip album since Phantom Power, and they’re playing at Avalon here in Boston in February.


Kiva. Because You Can.

by Dave on January 17, 2007


I saw a TV ad for one of those Children’s Funds recently, probably while engrossed in an episode of Cheaters, and thought – wouldn’t it be nice to sponsor someone in a poor, far away foreign land and watch them grow and do well with my help? No really, that thought did actually cross my mind. Albeit excruciatingly briefly and in between fat women slapping skinny guys unconscious in dark parking lots.

A colleague of mind introduced me to this week, and I wanted to spread the love here on PITF. They make it SO ridiculously easy to find a small business-person, learn about their plight and then loan them money. If and when these folks get on their feet – I see tailors, shop owners, farmers, teachers on the site from a multitude of countries – they will actually pay you back. Even people who don’t subscribe to the whole notion of throwing money at hopeless international problems can find a home at Kiva.

I have set up a lender’s page for ThirstyPony and will be donating some of my new freelance earnings to several folks starting right this second. I have selected Daniel Muigai from Kenya (who wants to move his roadside electronics hocking business indoors) and Miroslav Finski from Bulgaria (who is trying to turn his 2 car taxi fleet into a 3 car taxi fleet). Daniel has a multitude of kids and Miroslav is my age. There are many more folks, and detailed information about them all, to choose from. You can also see what their donation goal is and how far they have left before they reach it. The minimum bid is only $25 – so do some good today.



by Dave on January 16, 2007

in Movies

I saw Apocalypto over the Christmas holidays and I have to tell you – it was absolutely terrific. Great characters, amazing editing and action, gory as all get-out. The flick made its money back at the box office but suffered I think at the hands of historical critics who bashed its authenticity. It’s gone a step further now with the ‘R’ card being pulled in certain circles.

Indigenous activists in Guatemala, once home to a large part of the former Mayan empire in southern Mexico and northern Central America, say “Apocalypto” is racist.

Mel Gibson is a lot of things. But he’s no rac… oh, sorry. Anyway, Gibson is one of those rare actors who is as talented behind the camera as he is in front. And when you look at his historical directorial track record (Braveheart, Passion of the Christ) you know that the level of research behind his films is excessive and anal. I would put it to my readers that Mel Gibson knows 10x more about Mayan history at this point than any indigenous Guatemalan activist. Living in a location does not make you an expert on it’s history. Ask anyone living in a trailer park on top of an old Native American burial ground. Here is SNL having some hilarious fun with the first trailer:

Gross generalizations by me not withstanding, my point is that I have heard far to many people tell me that ‘they heard’ Apocalypto isn’t realistic. Who the fuck cares? I wrote a paper on Mayan ceremonial centers in University I’d be glad to let you read if you want a history lesson. I got an ‘A’, by the way. Gibson’s film is about as racist as me using the word Christmas in the opening sentence.


Frigging Off Isn’t Rocket Science.

by Dave on January 16, 2007


I pride myself on my cool head. Maybe it’s just the medication. Regardless, it’s rare that something gets under my skin. I used to think that the phrase “It’s not rocket science” was kinda cool. Recently, and I am not sure why, it has blown up – particularly in my industry. Enough with the rocket science, being the main bulletpoint of this presentation.

I have talked about annoying business speak on the blog before. Maybe it is time to revisit the list for early 2007. Anything strike you recently as being a new addition to the list of words you will try not to catch yourself saying in the office? Here are a few more of my recent identified mindless go-tos:

Optimization: Great, buddy. What, where, why, when and how? I’d like to optimize the contents of my wallet so I don’t have to sit beside you and your farts in this damn cubicle anymore.

Collaborative Elements: Yes I agree. It’s good to talk about your job with other people who are also doing the same job for the same clients in the same place. The coffee machine and urinals involve considerable collaborative elements.

Podcast: 2006’s answer to ‘Blog’ in terms of a word nobody you work for has the slightest comprehension of. Do you sell HVAC equipment and cable ties on your website? Awesome – but you probably won’t find a podcast terribly relevant to your business. If you’re a farmer, and you routinely throw green beans into the back of a truck, that’s as close as podcasting as you’re going to need to get.

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Toronto Odyssey #1: Go Buck A Fuffalo.

by Dave on January 15, 2007

in Heartwarming

I simply don’t know where to start in describing the events of last week, and I’m not entirely sure I should. It was an adventure, nay – an odyssey. There were moments of fun sprinkled on top, but I don’t think I have ever been as happy to cross the threshold of my apartment after a trip. This will take a few entries, but I feel the need to decompress via writing about it.

I arrived in Buffalo on Friday the 5th and walked to the Enterprise Desk to pick up my rental car. I was second in line, but a mass of people quickly built up behind me as the woman in front argued that the price she was being charged was not what she’d been quoted. As her suitcase was held together with duct tape, I quickly assumed the woman was not a frequent flier. The counter person handled herself well and, much to the dismay of the disgruntled hippy, called me forward. “I have never in 7 years seen anyone quoted a price anywhere near that low, ma’am.” Moonbeam pulled out a prehistoric cell phone, claiming she’d call the Enterprise office she’d first talked to, which she promptly dropped and shattered on the floor. I briefly felt sorry for her until I realized I still had to drive 2 hours to Toronto in the pouring rain and that I’d sooner she just shut up and fuck off.

When I got down to the rental garage, after a credit card counter mishap of my own, I was pleasantly surprised to see a PT Cruiser brought around for me. I am not a huge ‘car guy,’ and initially thought the vehicle was pretty sweet. I pictured Frank Nitty firing a tommy gun from the window, or a bunch of surfboards sticking out the back. Little was I to know the level of ridicule I would receive over the next 10 days, as apparently ‘PT Losers’ and ‘those cars for gays’ aren’t that highly regarded amongst my Canadian friends and family. Still, I liked it.

I made it over the border, down the QEW, over the Gardiner Express way and up Spadina to Jason and Amy’s without incident. After a very wet greeting from Marj the border collie (pictures forthcoming) we picked up Richie and went out for pizza. After dinner, a long discussion over what a ‘gusset’ was, and an hour of YouTube back at Richie’s we all hit the hay. If the three of us had read this paragraph 10 years ago, we’d have scoffed. But it was good.

Saturday we got up and took Marj to the dog park where she befriended an ungroomed miniature poodle named Allie. Allie’s owner, a friendly 60-something man, chatted to us for awhile and I quickly realized more of the potential fun of dog ownership. He knew everyone who passed us who even said hello to his little dog by name. Although I love my Boss I think he may be getting a playmate/nemesis shortly after my move. I have no idea as to breed yet, and will have to give this careful consideration.

In the afternoon we went to Duff’s for wings and eventually ended up back at the house with J’s sisters, husband and kids who are all rapidly becoming favorite people of mine. Oh, and Ryan was there too. Then I scooted off to the Rose and Crown as I had… wait for it… a date. When I decided to move to T.O. I changed the zip code on my old Match profile and re-launched it – just to cushion the blow a little bit, as it was not an easy decision. Within a day I had gotten a wink from a lovely gal who I’d chatted with on and off up until my unplanned visit. On a spur, we decided to get a beer. I wouldn’t be mentioning it if it hadn’t gotten interesting.

She was a lot of fun, and we were having a grand old time when I started to get text messages from JV. “Hurry up with the broad and let’s get going.” came the first. I knew he wanted to go meet Richie at TuCats later on, and I told him I didn’t think the date would last long as she’d told me before hand she had to get up at 5am. I texted back that I’d call him when we were done, and to fuck off. The next message came in: “Look over to your left“.

I spun my head around quickly and just caught two shapes ducking behind a post opposite my table. The girl asked if my friends were here, and I sheepishly told her that I thought they were. She stood up, walked over behind the post and said “Well you might as well come over and join us now”. Nick and JV sat down at our booth like two little schoolboys who’d just bee caught peeking into the girls’ bathroom. My date gets full credit for that ballsy move, and I’ll be coming back for her like Chuck Norris when I move up there on the strength of that alone.

We were piling into the SUV a half hour later and headed over to the aforementioned bar where a gang of Welland kids were supposedly waiting for us. As I walked up to the front door, I heard a voice say “Oh my God, it’s you.” I turned to look at the doorman, and realized it was a great guy who had worked for me at the Bullring 10 years earlier. I think that might have been the moment when I really felt 100% good about this move. I have roots and affinities there, and I miss them. I may not stay in Canada past the dealings with my family, but I need to go stay. More to come.


Monday’s Quotelet: The Buns Of Navarone.

by Dave on January 8, 2007


Staff Sargent Wilson’s request for nude photos from his wife were all that kept him going during 17 consecutive voluntary tours of duty in Fallujah.


It’s For Your Own Good. Really.

by Dave on January 6, 2007


I’m not really sure how to deal with what I’m dealing with this weekend.Hopefully no one in my family will get angry with me for airing a bit of laundry. I promised my Mother I’d help her when the time came to put Grandma in a nursing home. And wouldn’t you know it , three days after me Ma returned to Florida from Toronto and I returned to Boston – Grandma is off the nursing home waiting list and we have to turn around and go straight back.

So I’m sitting near gate C34 at Logan waiting for JetBlue to scurry me off to Buffalo. I’ll then drive over the border to Toronto and we plan to basically ambush Grandma on Sunday night so she doesn’t have a lot of time to mull over what’s happening to her. She will never go quietly from her home until she is dead, and there will be bloodshed when she figures out that her time in her house of 30 years is up.

I don’t know if we have a strategy. I suppose my mother has contacted our social worker, and perhaps employees of the senior residence in question, and I won’t be expected to slap a straitjacket on the old girl. Are we “looking” at homes for future reference? Going to a bingo parlour (I have to learn to start using ‘u’s again), Attending a matinée of Cocoon? I don’t know what the gameplan is. There might not be one. I’ll be hanging out with JJV, Amy, Richie, Ryan Weaving and the rest of the gang Friday and Saturday before reporting for duty Sunday morning.

When she was lucid, I was very close with my Grandmother, and I take some degree of solace in knowing that 10 years ago, if she could have looked ahead through the reflection in a magic birdbath or something and seen what we’d become she’d have appreciated my family (Janet was absolutely terrific with Grandma at Christmas) trying to help maintain her safety and quality of life.

Unfortunately, the woman we’ll be dealing with Sunday is the most stubborn, vindictive, uncooperative creature you can imagine. It’s going to be something else.