Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baseball Season

Me: Where are you going tonight?

Daughter: To an Astros game.

Me: Oh! Who's playing?

Daughter: Well, duh! The Astros! Honestly, Dad, you are such a joker.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Elmo Shoes

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for Cool Shoes.

Imagine my surprise and horror at discovering these!

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Sesame Street characters. My kids grew up with Big Bird and Maria (who had the hots for me, I know. Seriously.) and Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.

But, of all the Sesame Street characters to parade across the small screen, the veritable wasteland, the only one, the single character who got on my remaining nerve, the guy who I would cheerfully set on fire, run over with a steam roller, sell on the Fuzzy Character Slave Market is ... Elmo.

Elmo's face: hate it.

Elmo's personality: hate it.

Elmo's voice: hate it. hate it. hate it.

Elmo's fur: hate it.

Elmo, in general: hate it.

Now, "hate" is a strong word but in this instance it applies to Elmo. Elmo is insipidly stupid, uses bad grammar, has a cloyingly grating voice that drives me into a muppetcidal frenzy, stupid face, floppy arms and ugly fur. There should be a law, really, against such a ghastly thing being on TV.

No jury in the world would convict me if I wrapped Elmo in barbed wire and set him on a railroad track, or sank him into the Mariana Trench, or shot him into the Sun or chopped him up in a Veg-i-matic. I'm convinced of this.

OK, so here's my take on "Elmo Shoes."

Elmo Shoes should have Elmo on the sole and every step you take causes the Elmo Shoe to emit a sound like:


Oh, that hurts!

Don't step on me!


And if you jump and down Elmo should squeal like a pig.

Yeah, I'd buy those shoes.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Devil’s Hot Tub - Closed for Repairs

How embarrassing. We traveled all the way from the Devil’s Top Hat to the Devil’s Hot Tub only to find the hot tub was closed for repairs.

The Devil’s Hot Tub is actually a series of hot spring pools connected together, bubbling of sulfur and surrounded by distressed vegetation.

It was difficult to see what actually needed repair. More distressed plants? More sulfurous bubbles? Hotter springs?

Unfortunately, the springs were fenced off and festooned by warning signs about “unstable terrain” and “scalding water” which was interesting seeing as the attraction was a


I was hoping the Devil’s Hot Tub would have some demon babes in skimpy, dare I say it, devilish outfits excited and squealing at my arrival. (As opposed to depressed and screaming. Been there, done that.)

Tomorrow we’re heading south for the Devil’s Wet T-shirt Contest. I’ll bring my own spray bottle in case they run out of water.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Yosemite Road

Devil of a Time

Eons ago the area around Yosemite National Park formed by volcanic activity. (And, that’s all the science you’re going to get here, I promise!)

The ranger guide explained it all but I was mostly thinking about lunch. All I heard was blah, blah, blah, volcano, blah, blah, pumice, blah, blah, basalt, blah, blah, igneous, lava, hot, and blah. The lecture got considerably more interesting when Mr. Ranger talked about how the Indians thought that the Devil’s Postpile was a prison into which the Devil had been lured and the steam hissing from the ground was the Devil cursing and snarling.

The Devil Story was too good to be true because soon we were back to basalt columns, blah, hexagonal framastats, strike-slips and dip-sticks. My thoughts drifted off into fire, brimstone and the Devil in a steamy pit.

I wondered if the Devil had Wi-Fi down there. I’m staying in a nice condo, no fire, brimstone or steam and still I have to walk down the street like a cyber-zombie homeless person devouring brain-packets from unsecured transmitters. No Wi-Fi at all would be hell, indeed!

Following Mr. Ranger’s talk we were directed to a large Forest Service map of the area where we could learn where all the various volcanic attractions were located. Here’s a short list of the hot spots:

Devil’s Cauldron
Devil’s Playground
Devil’s Backbone
Devil’s Claws
Devil’s Hot Tub
Devil’s Horns
Devil’s Hoof
Devil’s Tail
Devil’s Flatscreen TV

What’s up with all this Devil stuff? Well, the answer is obvious to even the most casual observer. Devil sells! Devil is tourism! Devil is exciting!

Imagine nice alternatives and ask yourself if you would visit these places.

Bo Peep’s Punchbowl
Elmo’s Playground
Angelina Jolie’s Lower Back
Rosie’s French Fingernails
Paris Hilton’s Pool
Boston Pops Horns
Sensible Shoes
J Lo’s Trunk
Fox News Viewpoint

I might give J Lo’s Trunk a visit but I would definitely avoid Elmo’s Playground.

Obviously, tourists have a dark side and are drawn to dark attractions. Why spend your time with Elmo when you could have the Devil, cursing and steaming. Never saw Elmo curse or steam. Case closed.

So, after visiting all of the Devil’s Attractions we were ready for lunch. I’d been ready for lunch since shortly after breakfast, but now my time had come. And what better venue than El Diablo’s Mexican Cantina! Perfecto, he said diabolically.

I chose the El Diablo Plate of Fire and was not disappointed. Succulent bits of dead animal covered in cheese and sauce and about a ton of chilies. I forked it down chased by a gallon or so of iced water and my mouth was still on fire an hour later.

El Diablo’s was infinitely more satisfying than Elmo’s Oatmeal, I assure you.

Unfortunately, for the drive home, all of us cooped up in one car, my fellow passengers had to endure the Sulfurs of Beelzebub.

If El Diablo is anything to go by it’s no wonder the Indians confined the Devil to the Postpile.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Just a quickie.

I'm out here in California outside of Yosemite National Park following the wedding of my eldest daughter, Sarah, the rocket scientist, which went well.

More and pictures later.

Meanwhile, it's catch as catch can getting Internet access, and right now I'm sitting outside of a condo leeching off of a connection named "linksys." Oh, linksys! Who knew!