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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Friday, April 20, 2018

Archive for January, 2010

Just as I Suspected, Someone Else is the Master of My Domain

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

While drinking beer in the garage, sometimes it’s fun to take your wife’s words out of context and add, “dot com” to the end of them.  For example, “This garage smells like an adolescent cliché dot com,” or “The waiter was really pushing the sausage last night dot com.”  Yes, it is juvenile.

Anyway … I could probably buy any one of these for her, you know for an anniversary present; but who am I buying it from?  Does own every combination of words or random letters and numbers that I can come up with?  Fortunately, I have an intern, who needs workplace hours.

According to Intern Ben, if you were to going to purchase prior to 1998, you would have had to do so through the United States Department of Defense.  Great.  Why was I not surprised?  They, apparently, contracted it out to the University of Southern California’s Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).  It’s a little Big Brother-esque, but after I let that information marinade for a bit, it’s pretty funny.  I like that somewhere the government has paperwork from its sale of

These days the United States Department of Commerce runs IANA through a non-profit called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  Not as ominous, I guess.   Is the Internet expensive to run?  Are there Best Buy Geek Squad astronauts working on a satellite?  Maybe they’re in an underwater lab.  Also, where do the funds from the sale of go?  If it’s going to build androids I’m gonna write a letter!  This is just how it started in the Terminator.

Well, it looks like I just found a new project for the intern to research.  Ben might just get the hours he needs to graduate after all.  He’s kind of desperate … dot com.


Help Wanted: Henchmen

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Let’s say I need a small army for my own gains … I don’t really have time to go out and win hearts and minds, I kind of need to conquer the world ASAP … what are my options?  Mercenaries?  C’mon those guys are independent thinkers, not to mention expensive.  I’m a villain on a budget who doesn’t want employee feedback.  I require blind loyalty at a deep discount.

Cobra Commander hires mercenaries, and things aren’t going so great for him.  They’re a bunch of outsiders with their own agendas.  Sure he’s got grunts too, but no one’s training these clowns.  They literally can’t shoot to save their lives and they’re taking orders from sixteen different costumed lieutenants. The blame has to fall on the Commander, himself.  From a business paradigm, he’s a bit of a wuss.  Now, nobody likes their boss to be confrontational, but he’s trying to take over the freakin’ world, here! I think his minions will understand the occasional whip crack of quality control.  Instead he just screams and stomps his feet.  No self-accountability.  You can’t pay people to lead for you.

Now Darth Vader … that guy’s got himself an army.  He’s not scared to break a few eggs for his intergalactic power omelet.  Granted, his Imperial Storm Troopers aren’t the brightest stars in the universe, but damn if they’re not devoted.  Lord Vader says,” Jump in the Sarlacc’s mouth,” the boys in white are lining up to do the Triple Lindy down that thing’s throat.   Vader’s issue isn’t about his leadership style, it’s the fact that he’s actually … and I hate to say it … middle management.  The freakin’ Emperor (or Darth Sideous, or whoever) has got himself a Jihad against the Jedi and all Vader wants to do is just finally finish the damn Death Star.

To his stockholders it probably looks like Ernst Blofeld has a nice global crime operation, but internally he can’t settle on a vision for his organization.  Does he want to blow up the world or control it?  He’s got solid employees, but their lack of direction invariably allows that pest, 007, to defeat them.  It’s one guy you’re up against, buddy … you’ve got ninjas and astronauts on the payroll, work it out.

For all their flaws, these three guys are running huge operations.  I can appreciate that.   But, I guess the lesson here is that you have to run your world domination efforts like a business – start small and make bold moves.  Get the right henchmen in the right positions.  Stay focused on your objectives, and destroy your enemies already. Nobody wants to end up like Boss Hogg, stuck in some Georgia backwater, constantly duped by two redneck, NASCAR washouts, with bows and arrows.  Sure he owns the cops … that’s’ great if you want to get out of parking tickets, but not so good for carving your initials into the moon with a humongous laser from the comfort of your secret lair.

Having the Crime of My Life

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

After a few beers in the garage I mentioned to Easy and Wes that my ideal job, aside from Human Cannonball, was Underworld Figure.  They were raised on TV, like me, so it made perfect sense to both of them.  Hollywood had educated us so thoroughly on every useful aspect of life that we became worldly beyond our years before hitting puberty.  Those lessons stay with you through life.

My latest career choice seemed ideal as we pooled our collective knowledge.  The criminal underworld is full of the fast-talkin’, the street-smart, the unshaven, and the misunderstood.  You spend your days hanging out in poorly lit pool halls and old-man bars.  The women are gorgeous and clever, the scores are easy, everybody drinks but nobody gets drunk.  You get a cool nickname like Knuckles, The Greek, or Forty-Four.  Everyone carries a gun, but only three-time losers or chumps who are in over their heads get shot; anybody with common sense hides behind tipped over card tables and open car doors.  The cops are all on the take and the only real heat comes from “those damn Feds” or an outside crew lookin’ to bring either drugs or sex trafficking (you know, the only “bad crimes,” exclusively the trade of psychos, the Yakuza, and the Russian Mob) into your territory. Your leather jacket is a perfect fit and goes with anything in your wardrobe – it has always got a pack of smokes and a roll of bills wrapped with a rubber band in the pocket.  A few bucks can always be spared for the local church or orphanage, and you understand when they don’t want to hear where the dough came from.  There’s a kid with potential down the street who you can take under you wing, but his mom’s a church going lady so she’s gonna’ take some convincing (not leg breaking convincing, buying flowers convincing).   At least one guy at your table is always sitting backwards in his chair and another is cutting an apple with a switchblade.

“That’s it.  Decision made, “ I said.  “I can be unshaven by tomorrow.  We can probably find a pool hall now.”

Easy wants a new nickname and Wes is just about to call his boss to quit, when … enter Action Man.   He grew up in England and therefore did not have the benefit of awesome television (the BBC has like three channels; one for Doctor Who, one for Faulty Towers and Monty Python, and the last one for soccer).  Action, for all his pop culture deficiencies, did grow up obsessed with the only British superhero worth discussing, James Bond.  We revealed to him the new plan.  He was immediately interested, but, true to form, suggested that if we went into the Super-Spy business instead we’d get to travel and regularly wear disguises.


“Damn it!  All right boys, the Brit makes a good point. Go get some martinis and your fanciest explosive cufflinks.  We’ve got a decision to make.”

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 25th, 2010

2010 Summer Suburban Games

Re: Open Event Submissions

From: Kristen Webster, Commissioner 2010 Summer Suburban Olympics

January 25, 2010

Due to the freakishly overwhelming response to our announcement regarding the first event posted for the 2010 Summer Suburban Olympics.  The Commissioning body has opened a forum inviting the public to submit possible events for the July 2010 games held in Long Island.

Each event must be a broadly accepted suburban activity accompanied by a brief justification for inclusion in the Suburban Olympics.  Please see article regarding the recently instated Pool-Hopping competition for reference.

All submissions must be received by midnight on February 2, 2010 for consideration.  Please e-mail event ideas to with your name, title and organization.

A Fanboy for All Seasons

Monday, January 25th, 2010

fan . boy
an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of movies, television, gaming, comic books, etc.
That fanboy enjoys cosplay  and, therefore, will probably never date an actual,  physical girl.

My wife likes movies. She laughs when she’s supposed to and cries when it’s called for. She understands plot and character development. She just likes movies. And until a few days ago, she was happily unaware that a sequel to Iron Man has been filmed and will be released on Friday, May 7, 2010 at 12am (11:59pm on the 6th at participating theaters). I have no idea how she functions in this world.

I mean … the 72-day production wrapped principal photography on July 19, 2009! There were questions over the replacement of Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as well as the creation of Mickey Rourke’s character “Whiplash,” as an amalgam of several existing comic characters. When confronted by the dissertation level of research that I have accumulated about the movie, she responded as she usually does, “I bet I’ll enjoy it more than you. Oh, and, how old were you when you first spoke to a girl? It was me, wasn’t it?”

She’s right of course. Not about the talking to girls thing, but about enjoying the movie … she’s spot on. Like most hobbies in which I partake, I have drained the marrow of enjoyment years ago by over-analysis, leaving me with the remnants of a hollow bone. Sure playing fetch with that bone passes the time, but it’s the same outcome every time. This, unfortunately, is the guiding principle of  fanboy culture; to destroy the illusion of entertainment through dissection and critique; and take as many non-fanboys as you can down with you. “You’re not really having fun … and here’s why.”

Just like that idiot who plays internet poker and thinks because he beat his frat brothers, Lumpy and Princess, at Texas Hold ‘Em over a six-pack of Bud Light Wheat, he can suddenly educate his entire office on their “tells;” or that statistics computer who sits next to you at the Sox game, bludgeoning you with trivial data while yearning to be a broadcaster … my fellow fanboys and I have freed ourselves from the comfort of our parents’ basements and local video stores and we’re off to tell everyone what we know, even if you don’t care.

Hollywood is now spending millions of dollars annually trying to either buy the love of or mollify the resonant, and mostly negative, voice of the fanboy, which, prior to the internet, was heard only in comic book shops and across the table at games of Dungeon and Dragons. But now we’re global.  We’re pissed. And we’re most likely going to spoil the whole movie for you.  I hope that’s not a problem?

First Event in the 2010 Summer Suburban Olymics Anounced!!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I am from the suburbs.  It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth.  Sure, if the Suburbs raised an army, we would outnumber both the Urban and Rural armies, but we’d undoubtedly get our asses kicked by their street-smart cunning and corn-fed biceps.  That said, I will not spend time here decrying the Suburbs.  Instead, I’d like to announce with great enthusiasm that the first event of the 2010 Summer Suburban Olympic Games has been decided.   It’s no surprise really; it is the official warm-weather sport of the Suburbs.  No, it’s not lacrosse.  Everybody always thinks it’s freakin’ lacrosse!  Actually, it’s Pool-Hopping.

Ever since the dawning of disposable cash when people started constructing concrete swimming holes behind their houses, legions of suburban teenagers have spent summers sneaking into the backyards of their neighbors to goof around in their swimming pools.

“Awesome,” you say.

“Awesome,” indeed.  A good pool-hopper can swim in several pools in one night.  A great pool-hopper will reconnoiter the scene so thoroughly that he can invite a date and stay in one place most of the night.  A bad pool-hopper will become separated from his belongings and fail to outrun the local police while trying to scramble over a six-foot stockade fence.  I was a bad pool-hopper.  Actually, that’s not right … at my best I was a sidekick pool-hopper.  However, I had the good fortune to be Short Round to the Indiana Jones of Pool-Hopping.  Of course those were back in the early days of the sport when you had to go on an expedition for water.   Now, Google Earth can find you every pool on the planet from your phone.  It’s come a long way.

In a statement released earlier today, the Summer Suburban Olympics Commissioner stated, “The Suburbs are proud of both the rich history and potential in this sport.  More events will be announced in the coming weeks.  We invite all suburbanites to join us this July 2nd for the Opening Ceremonies being held in the Suburban capital of Long Island.”

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The Daily Jim … now with more ads than NASCAR.

Some of All Fears

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Billy D. cleans up his hotel room before he checks out.   He doesn’t need to, it’s a really nice hotel; he’s stayed there several times before.  In fact, the housecleaning staff does a great job.  It’s always meticulous throughout his visit.  This is what bothers him.  He has come to fear the distant possibility that hotel staff could very easily collect scraps of guests’ DNA to plant at crime scenes.  He is convinced that one day he’ll go to prison a wrongfully accused man with a wild tale of innocence that runs contrary to all physical evidence.

Now wait a second … Billy D. isn’t usually a lunatic, in fact he’s one of the most successful and grounded guys I know.  This is just his “one thing,” it kind of makes him a bit more interesting.  After all, he’s not the only normal, fully functioning adult with strangely manufactured fears.  My buddy, Action Man is scared of children dressed as adults, in suits and ties or little brides maids’ gowns.  Kelly doesn’t sit with her legs extended out over a footstool or on the coffee table.  It’s not out of etiquette; she’s terrified that a chunk of the ceiling will fall directly on her knees, bending them backwards through the gap.  I have a special little piece of crazy in the back of my head that is reserved exclusively for clowns.  Now, I’ve never been personally affronted by a clown before, no clown has done me physical harm, but I know … I just know they’re not being genuine under that make-up and that one day a clown will be silently standing over my lifeless body.

Everybody has something of which they are convinced they should be petrified, no matter how flat-out crazy it seems to the world at large. Where does this stuff come from? Our parents not monitoring what we were watching on television as kids?  Some childhood trauma?

I was at a dinner party a while back, when my host, in an effort to illustrate that his three year-old had the ability to entirely block out all noise created by adults, stated to me that he hoped his son went to bed “before the bears came.”  The kid takes that one moment to be listening to his dad and therefore will most likely fear bears for the rest of his life.  Now sarcastic parenting is a great explanation for things like clowns and sitting properly, I guess, but it still doesn’t touch on the hotel DNA thing.

I’m no psychologist, heck the only reason I took Psych in college was because there were so many girls registered for it (there was something about my Id fighting my Ego, but I can remember who won), but my current theory is that the brain can handle only so much before it breaks.  We create these wacko scenarios that will never happen as a safety net of last resort.  That way if we’re in a plane crash or lose our jobs we can take comfort in the fact that things could be worse.  At least the well-dressed children haven’t finally raised that army; or the clowns haven’t yet mounted their attack, with their razor sharp teeth and oversized, talon-like feet.

No support group exists for Billy D.’s specific form of paranoia, so he still travels regularly, cleaning up his hotel room before he leaves.  He’s not uptight about it.  He knows it probably won’t happen, but if somebody is going to frame him like Richard Kimble, they’re going to figure out a way regardless of what he does.  That being said, he tips the housekeepers pretty well, you know, just in case.

Ideas Rejected by McSweeney’s: Number 1

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Confidential Outtakes Leaked from Superhero Therapy Sessions

– “I know wearing tights is part of the costume, but some days I wish I could make just my ass invisible.”

– “Well, fighting crime has been pretty slow lately … you know … because I can only breathe while underwater.”

– “I have my MFA in Art History.  Did you know that?  Of course not, because all anyone wants to talk about is the freakin’ heat

– “Seriously, it feels like I’m battling the SAME super-villains all the time!  Exactly what happens when I turn these guys over to
the authorities?  The whole system needs reform.”

– “But when I landed at the bank robbery, it turns out she had my exact same super power!  I was mortified.  So I just left … I’m
sorry … I need a minute.”

– “You know I can read your mind, right?  That’s pretty childish.”

Even the Losers … Get Roast Beef Sometimes?

Friday, January 15th, 2010

No one likes to lose.  And why would you? It’s horrendous!  I once lost a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to my doctor forcing me to drive she and her husband to the Harpoon Brewery’s Saint Patrick’s Day Drink-Up in Boston.  The silver lining was that she sprang for roast beef sandwiches at Kelly’s out in Revere during her late-night munchies attack.  They have sandwiches the size of four-year olds and the caramelized onions taste like sunshine.

But sometimes there is no roast beefy, silver lining.  Sometimes you just lose (You’ll be okay.  You can’t have roast beef every day anyway; you’ll be dead by forty).  And sometimes somebody else gets the roast beef on your dime.  During times like these I have learned to just be happy that someone is able to enjoy that savory nectar.  To illustrate my point, I will now share a story.

I was in my local independent video store in Providence, a place I frequent because it still carries VHS tapes of things that Hollywood studios haven’t even considered converting to digital yet, like weird kung-fu sea, monster movies and Hungarian sit-coms.  Anyway, I was picking up a copy of Runaway Train (three freakin’ Academy Award nominations and still hasn’t made it past VHS), a staple of my youth.  I couldn’t have been happier unless I was twins.  I approached the counter, which always has two fish bowls, one filled with condoms and the other with fireball candies (Providence is a college town, after all.) and a hand written sign reading “Exact Change is Always Appreciated.”  The skinny kid behind the counter is trying to hit on a girl who’s his age, but way out of his sphere of influence.  Her attention is split between him and typing on her text device from the future.  But, he’s working hard trying to impress her, so I want to get out of his way and get home to watch Runaway Train (“Take me with ya’, Manny.”).  He tells me it’ll be $4.37 and, no kidding, I actually had exact change.  He thanks me and I say something flip like “Well, anything I can do to help.”

The kid looks at the girl, who is preoccupied, then leans in, looks me straight in the eyes, and says in a low voice, “If you really want to help, you’ll lose to me in arm-wrestling.”

Now, I attended college on an arm wrestling scholarship, so part of my gigantic ego viewed this as an affront, however, to even ask, he must have needed a Hail Mary play pretty badly.  So I did it.  I lost an arm-wrestling match to a stranger the size of a fishing pole because he asked me to.  Based on the girl’s reaction, you’d had thought the kid just killed a Cyclops.  There was no “thank you,” that would have ruined the moment; I understand that.  So when I finally left the shop with Runaway Train and a couple of fireballs, conflicted about what had just occurred on the most basic level, I had a revelation.  In an instant my place in the universe became clear to me.  Maybe he got the girl, maybe he didn’t, but that’s not the point.  The point is now I had an excuse to drive to Kelly’s Roast Beef (That’s Kelly’s Roast Beef, 410 Revere Beach Boulevard, Revere, MA 02151).

Lessons in Bad Media Franchising and Merchandising

1) Saw 8: The Reality Television Gameshow 2)Live action movie of Hungry, Hungry Hippos 3)The Tonight Show, starring Chewbacca 4) Deadpool vs. Punisher: The Musical 5) The Human Centipede sleeping bag 6) C-Span Live Action Role Playing Group 7) The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre ride at Six Flags Over Texas 8) Your Parents Basement is Always […]

Where is Our Modern Barney Miller?

The single camera glory that was Barney Miller can probably never be reproduced.  There’s heavy debate in the office whether it should be or not. It was essentially a 22-minute, 3-act play with minimal characters and only one set (after Season One that also featured Barney’s dining room at home).  The thing is, the writing […]

Non-John Hughes High School Movies from the ’80s

Yep. Most of the high school biggies were our man, Hughes. But if you can name the 1980s high school movie quotes listed below, your might have been paying attention to something else in ’88 other than the MTV Beach House and that cute girl with freckles in your 11th grade Chemistry class. 5)”Last night, […]

Mark Your Calendar, Nerds!!!

This Weekend is legendary Indy 500.  Please don’t think geekdom is limited to cosplay and app programming.  Oh no, my friends. Two years ago our Mid-West correspondent, Billy D, and I watched those car dorks jump a humongous Hot Wheels truck  over a bunch of school busses and twice as many drunks while Florence Henderson […]

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Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…