Thursday, July 29, 2004

Help Me!

Alright, I've been thinking about something lately and I need to let it out. I'm dead serious.

Remember the video for Boyz II Men's "Motownphilly"? There were a number of guest appearances by other members of the so-called East Coast Family: Another Bad Creation, Bel Biv Devoe, and Sudden Impact.

But what or who the hell was Sudden Impact? I just remember them kind of posing then all pointing at the camera.

Here's a description: they are a bunch of dorky white guys. That's all I have.

While the Internet has turned out to be a fountain of useless facts, the history of this Sudden Impact group remains a mystery. I have no leads even after using my good friend Google.

Can you help? Any follow-ups will be posted here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Grimace Letter

Back in 2002, I sent McDonald's an email regarding an issue that had been troubling me for years. My inquiry was as follows:

When I was a child I remember Grimace being called the Evil Grimace,
and he used to steal milkshakes from unsuspecting children. At that time he had six arms.

Later on in life, and without any reasonable explanation, his arms were reduced to four and he was no longer "evil".

Today, he has two arms. What gives?

David A. Moreno

It took a few months, but I did get a reply:

Hello David:

Thank you for writing to McDonald's about Grimace.

Over the years the image of Grimace has changed because we want this character to represent McDonald's in a positive manner. Grimace personifies the child in everyone. He's a big, fuzzy, purple fellow, and is Ronald's right-hand man and closest friend.

Everyone in McDonaldland loves Grimace because of his innocent, loving nature. He's enthusiastic, eager and easily pleased. Grimace walks with a rolling gait, and can't be classified as any particular kind of animal.

Once again, David, thanks for thinking of Grimace. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

McDonald's Customer Satisfaction Department

Maybe it's just me, but that didn't really answer my question.

And I soon realized the errors of my ways: Grimace never had six arms. Maybe it was just imbedded in my mind because of an old commercial in which Mayor McCheese raised his hand and yelled, "I second that motion!" Grimace then raised his hands one at a time and replied, "and third it, and fourth it, and fifth it, and and and sixth it!"

Ah, Grimace...

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'm Famous?

My brother is an engineer at KNX 1070 in Los Angeles. He mentioned my blog to a co-worker, newscaster Kent Shocknek, who has his own blog on the CBS2 website.

Wouldn't you know it - from there, he posts a link to mine which can be seen here.

I'm eating Chinese for lunch to celebrate my new-found fame.

I opted for JalepeƱo Poppers and a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Jack In The Box for lunch. Just wasn't feeling too Chinese today.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

It Happened Again...

When's the last time you heard Julian Lennon's Valotte? Has it been a while?

My last time: today. That makes it three times in the last month.

It's not that I have horrible taste in music, no. Anyone who knows me will argue with you on that. While some of my collection may be questionable, that dreadful song remains absent from it.

I heard it today while shopping at Stater Bros. market, which I guess doesn't really surprise me when I think about it. C'mon, Stater Bros. was the last market on Earth that carried Big John's Beans n' Fixin's for God's sake! They no longer do, so I bought 6 cans of the stuff when it went clearance and still have 3 left. It's good stuff.

Each trip to the store I seem to get taunted by that damned Valotte song, and today was no exception. I was actually hopping mad when the song came on - literally. With each jump, I blurted out a word that formed the sentence: "'"

Okay, I admit that the song may have been cool back in the day. But then again, so were sleeveless concert shirts.

It drives me nuts.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

You Can Stick It

Ann and I went to the Orange County Fair on Friday night. It's become a tradition with us in our over 11 years of marriage to take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of everything the fair has to offer.

But mostly, we go to eat. With such a variety of tasty foods everywhere you look, why would you go to do anything else?

One of our favorite places to eat is a Chinese food vendor called Pon's, home of the "Egg Roll on a Stick."

Egg roll on a stick? Can they do that?

Bah, I don't care. The food's good, even though the stick doesn't really give any additional suport to the egg roll.

But how do you explain, or eat, this?

As we walked around the place, I began to notice even more places taking advantage of the stick gimmick:

This looked pretty good, but we had already eaten:

I can't really say anything about Hot Dog on a Stick since they practically invented the whole stick idea:

Including Cheese on a Stick:

But perhaps the most disturbing, and nonsensical of all the stick foods, was the Cream Puff on a Stick:

Okay, I understand marketing and a gimmick is a gimmick. But seriously - what the hell are these people thinking?

Stick foods aside, the atmosphere is great - especially at night. The flashing lights from the rides, the sounds of people screaming, the carnies, it's fantastic. It's easy to see why Rod Serling used a carnival-type setting for an episode of The Twilight Zone. It's freakishly cool.

Another fun part of the fair is viewing the photo exhibition. I've been taking pictures since I was in high school and have taken lots of classes. I know about composition, subject matter, techniques, etc. I've also worked at many photo labs over the years. The same goes for Ann except that she learned everything from me, including working in photo labs.

Suffice it to say, we know a little. That's why it's fun to criticize the photos that the average eye will deem as "acceptable". The flaws can be easily pointed out and we do just that, even while someone is admiring.

"Ooh, honey, look at this one," someone might say.

"Pfft. It's out of focus, poorly composed, and just boring," is what we might say in return. Ah, the fun of it all.

Note: photographic prowess is not displayed on these images as they have been resized and are nothing more than simple shots of signs. I took them with my trust Sony DSC-P32 3.1 megapixel digital camera.

I did take some artsy-fartsy stuff, though:

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Another part of the fair we like is the "Carnival of Products", or "Cavalcade of Crap" as we like to call it. Peddlers trying to sell you everything from hair extensions to "Powered by Deez Nuts" die-cut decals for your car (which I bought as a joke, I might add). We didn't buy anything in there, and the Deez Nuts sticker was purchased outside the crapfest.

We're going back in a few weeks to make up for what we missed last night. More fun--and food--to be had...

Speaking of food, I'm off to get a donut.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Fire, fire everywhere

I’m a native Californian. As such, I have grown accustomed to some things that tend to happen on a regular basis. Perhaps the most notable of these things, besides earthquakes (and even those seem to be random), are the wildfires that start to pop up around the summertime.
Like clockwork, one flares up and begins to spread. Then another one miles away starts and begins to work its way towards homes, ranches, and whatever else those silly humans have built up there.
How do I know this? It’s because every friggin’ news station in Southern California area takes it upon themselves to broadcast live images from the locations of these fires, putting their reporters in eminent danger. Just last year, Chuck Henry of NBC4 was literally crying like a little biatch when his news van was surrounded by wildfires. The camera was rolling as he was literally crying his eyes out thinking they were going to die. He and his cameraman were eventually rescued by firefighters but the whole situation just leaves me to wonder: why bother covering this? Here are some points to consider:
They Happen Every Year: Unlike an earthquake that can strike a moment's notice, wildfires happen every year. They are nothing new. Homeowners who live up in the mountains are warned every year well before fire season to trim back the brush so that the fires have a lesser chance of spreading. Whether they do or not, I don’t know, but something has to keep those damn fires burning.
Nothing to See Here…Move Along: Hours of live coverage from the air in helicopters that can either crash or get in the way of water tankers or firefighting helicopters. News reporters standing on hillsides pointing to some arbitrary location in the distance, their index finger commanding where the cameraman should be shooting. And for what? So the viewer at home can watch a fire burn…and burn…and burn. Wow. For my money, it doesn’t get any better than that! Seriously, there is no need for extensive coverage of these fires. They will burn – that’s what fires do. The people who live there have been evacuated; they aren’t watching the news. Would they want to? I mean, would you want to, knowing that there’s a chance your home will be reduced to a pile of ashes? Give me a high-speed chase anytime. At least there are more variables involved, increasing the chances of something different happening.
Not My Fault Those People Live Up There, or Build Your Next Home with Bricks, Morons: Of course, when the dust has settled, the cameras are back in position to get reaction from the homeowners. Reporters will ask the obvious questions: “How do you feel? Are you going to rebuild? Did you have homeowner’s insurance?” Okay, Army Archard, enough of the jibber-jabber.
We know how they feel – like crap.
Will they rebuild? My best advice is to build their next house out of bricks since chimneys are the only things that seem to survive the ravages of the flames. And honestly, if they do rebuild or stay in the mountains, they are idiots. It’s gonna happen again.
Oh yeah, and what homeowner in the mountains wouldn’t have homeowner’s insurance, especially fire insurance? Better do your homework next time.
What’s the Cause: When it all boils down, investigators seem to always come to the same conclusion – it was arson. Well, thanks for that. One day I hope that it’s caused by something more unlikely, like a clown crashing his car over the cliff and it exploding. Funny red noses and clown shoes everywhere.
Kudos to the Firefighers: While I may sound like as ass about this, my hat is off to those courageous men and women who risk their lives in taming these fires. I’ve always said that firefighting is one of the most underpaid occupations out there because you go to each call not knowing if you’ll ever see your family again. That takes more balls than any athlete who has ever played any game will ever have.

But as for the news coverage…sheesh. Tell me something worthwhile.