Sunday, June 30, 2013

It’s official. My clients are making me crazy.

I haven’t posted for a couple of days. I know, I know, sue me. I’ve had issues, okay? And in addition to issues, I’ve also been exceptionally preoccupied with all of the following activities.

SAM’S BIRTHDAY AT THE CHOCTAW CASINO. We drove up to Durant, Oklahoma, yesterday and celebrated Sam’s 54th with a trio of TERRIFIC NEW PENNY SLOTS and the lunch buffet that included all of my favorites: pea salad, sugar-free pie and SUGAR-FREE CHEESECAKE! Holy crap! For your possible interest the aforementioned terrific new penny slots are pictured below. We broke even yesterday, which is actually pretty cool for a big day of fun that also included lots of better-than-average food.
ANOTHER LOUSY PLANTAR FASCIITIS FLARE-UP. I had to rent an electric scooter yesterday at the casino because the pain in my right heel was excruciating and I didn’t want to scare people to death crying on my way to the buffet. I’m glad I did this because the overall experience was swell and I never realized how much fun it is to parallel park next to a slot machine.

CONSUMING LARGE QUANTITIES OF CHIA SEEDS. These adorable little things are changing my life! I enjoy a daily pudding made from two cups of Soy Slender soy milk and ¼ cup of chia seeds that poof up and turn into a tasty mucilage (read more). Please try them.
WRESTLING WITH MY WEB DESIGN BUSINESS. It’s official. My clients are making me crazy and I hate ALL of them right now. In an effort to simplify my business and retire by the end of the year, a couple of weeks ago I closed down my overpriced credit card processing account and asked my clients to pay for their website hosting quarterly by check from now on. I’m sad to report that practically nobody remembered to do this (the due date is tomorrow) even though I sent out three semi-friendly reminder emails. I want to whack all of them in the head collectively with my cane.

MY NEW LAMPS ARE HERE. You know, the ones I ordered a few days ago (see earlier post) from Sam hasn’t assembled them yet but I plan to start annoying him to death immediately after dinner.

We’re having some deliciously unseasonable weather here in the Dallas area! I’m talking COLD FRONT, people ... 15 degrees below average with temperatures mostly in the upper 80s! This is both awesome and thrilling as hell because we’re usually frying around here by the first of July. Ask anybody. Two years ago we had 70 straight days of 100+ temperatures that began before Memorial Day and killed 15% of the trees in north Texas. And all of those trees are still dead!
More local news! First, professional wrestler “Doink the Clown” died on Friday at a local hospital here in the Dallas area. Police officers said 55-year-old Matt Osborne was taken by ambulance after he was found unconscious inside his apartment in Plano. It’s entirely possible that he scared himself to death. 
Second, the Taco Bell on Broadway Avenue not far from Howdygram headquarters caught fire early Saturday morning. The restaurant was closed at the time and no burritos were injured in the blaze.
Thank you for reading this.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sausages, eBay deals and God bless Tammy Duckworth.

Let’s discuss thrilling developments for a minute, okay? I just placed a couple of spur-of-the-moment online orders that make me so damn excited I might explode!

First: HOT & SPICY SAUSAGES. A severe and uncontrollable craving sent me back to for a big ol’ shipment of jalapeƱo sausage from Kreuz Market for delivery on July 3. Kreuz’s sausage is the bomb, people! A full-color portrait appears below plus a shot of the famous sign that hangs above the register in the restaurant.
Second: DIABETES SUPPLIES. I mentioned a few days ago that I’d been browsing around on eBay trying to buy some cheapo FreeStyle Lite diabetes test strips. I entered an auction and eventually scored a box of 100 for $40 (a whole lot less than you’d pay for the same thing on Amazon) but eBay’s bidding crapola gets on my nerves so I pretty much gave up after that and watched TV. Tonight, however, I struck gold. I found an eBay seller unloading several boxes of 100 FreeStyle Lite test strips at an unheard-of “buy now” price — no stupid bidding! — at $19.99 each, so I bought three boxes. That’s THREE HUNDRED TEST STRIPS for $59.97. Holy crap!

Just so you know how amazingly cheap this really is, Amazon sells 100 FreeStyle Lite test strips for $58 ... and that’s 60% less than the Blue Cross co-payment at a pharmacy. (No sane person with Internet access would EVER buy these from a pharmacy.)

One more thing. In case you thought the Howdygram could finally go a whole day without some kind of progressive political commentary, I’ve got breaking news tonight from our Mazel Tov, Tammy Ripped This Jerk A New One department. Braulio Castillo, CEO of Strong Castle, Inc., has been defrauding the Veterans Administration for 27 years using a bogus “service-related disability” to qualify for special deals and government contracts and then gamed the system by weasling favors from a friend at the IRS. During Castillo’s grilling earlier today in a Congressional hearing, Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a decorated war hero who lost both legs and the use of one arm as a helicopter pilot in Iraq, ripped this jerk a new one. Castillo’s injury? He twisted his foot playing football in prep school back in 1984 and then paid a series of doctors to submit documents to the VA so he’d be eligible to label his company a “service-disabled, veteran-owned small business.”
To help him secure government contracts, Castillo wrote to the Veterans Administration: “These are crosses that I bear due to my service to our great country and I would do it again.” After Duckworth read Castillo’s letter out loud, she added, “I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country. Shame on you, Mr. Castillo. Shame on you!” The full video clip appears below for your possible interest. Please be prepared to stand up and cheer afterwards, okay?

And now I’m ready for a nice shower and additional food because I don’t think I ate enough for dinner. If you have any menu suggestions please send an email as soon as possible. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five important things for a Wednesday night.

Just a quick little post tonight before I poop out in the family room with Meet Me in St. Louis and a lot of food. Five things.

THING #1. The madhouse we were expecting here at Howdygram headquarters this morning never quite materialized because almost everything came off on schedule and without a hitch. The only exception? Replacing the cracked bay window in the master bedroom has been postponed because the replacement glass was cracked, too. Holy crap and stay tuned.

THING #2. Anybody see Paula Deen’s meltdown on the “Today” show this morning? In case you missed it, she treated America to 15 minutes of fake sobbing and clueless blame-shifting, at one point commenting to Matt Lauer, “I is who I is.” What was that ... her best non-racist Uncle Remus imitation?
THING #3. Of all people, the Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke up this afternoon in support of Paula Deen and believes “she can be redeemed.” Seriously, Jesse? How much money is she paying for your valuable endorsement?

THING #4. Mazel tov and yee-haw to Democratic Texas state senator Wendy Davis for her brave and successful filibuster last night to prevent passing the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the United States. Vagina-obsessed Republicans led by Governor Rick “Einstein” Perry had been attempting to end safe and legal abortion services in Texas by shutting down every abortion clinic in the state. Perry, the Howdygram’s only four-time Putz of the Week award recipient, has already announced another vote for July 1, this time vowing to keep the “angry and unruly mob” of protesting women in and around the state capitol from interfering with his “important government work.” I’ve got a news flash for Governor Hairdo. Eighty percent of Texans DON’T WANT your stinking abortion restrictions, and that unruly mob of protesting women are your CONSTITUENTS. You work for us, you idiot!
THING #5. I loved the Supreme Court’s decision this morning to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act so same-sex marriage can be recognized by the federal government. It’s about time and this makes me really happy.

Sam is on his way home from work so maybe I’d better mosey along and publish this post. (In case you’re interested, Sam’s birthday is Saturday. But don’t tell him I said anything, okay?)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tide Pods make me feel a lot like Jane Jetson.

As I write this post it’s already evident that Wednesday will be a certifiable madhouse here at Howdygram headquarters. So far our scheduled visitors include:
  • A truck from the American Kidney Fund between 8 and 6 to pick up two dozen sacks of highly valuable donations — i.e., quilts, sheets, comforters, clothes, stunning shoes, videotapes and picture frames that I forgot to dust — which are currently piled three-deep in the front foyer.
  • Our handyman at 10 to replace the cracked bay window in our master bedroom.
  • Landscapers at 10:30 to mow, trim and whack the front the back yards.
  • A notary from Wells Fargo at 11 so we can sign our refi paperwork.
  • Schwan’s at 11:30 to deliver our biweekly haul of tasty frozen whatnots, including Krunchie Potato Wedges, Pot Roast with Gravy, Hot & Spicy Chicken Boobies and Mozzarella Sticks, pictured below in an effort to make you really hungry.
Incidentally, if you’d like to try Schwan’s home delivery for yourself just pay a visit to their website and check out all the pretty food. Thank you.

This afternoon I’ve been busy on eBay bidding for FreeStyle Lite diabetes test strips. And you thought I never had any fun! I’ve figured out that eBay has the best prices if you’re willing to screw around with all that auction baloney. In a pinch I can always buy them on Amazon at $28 (or thereabouts) for a box of 50, but on eBay it’s usually possible to snag 100 for less than $40 if you’re really fast and exceptionally motivated.

As you might expect, I’m really fast AND exceptionally motivated. At the moment I’m high bidder at $33 for 100 test strips from a seller in Holland, Michigan ... and the auction ends in 14 minutes. Holy crap!

To stay busy between bids I’m also doing laundry, a routine household project that became a lot more entertaining after I started using adorable Tide Pods. Not only are they cute, squishy and fragrant, but they make me feel a lot like Jane Jetson, who’d be proud to know that even a senior citizen like moi can become a housewife-of-the-future. Plus there’s no liquid detergent dripping all over the shelf in the laundry room any more.
Nice of you to stop by. I have to fold a bunch of underwear now.

Nobody’s coming over, and I’m pondering an early lunch.

I can’t tell if I feel let down today or not. We were expecting a notary from Wells Fargo to come over at 10 so we could sign the papers for our refi and our handyman to replace the cracked window in our master bedroom. Instead, nobody’s coming over, Sam is on his way to Costco and I’m pondering an early lunch.

In case you care, the Wells Fargo notary dude says HUD is backed up with unexpected flood of refinancing crapola so our final papers will take a few more days, and our handyman says the glass he ordered for our window isn’t ready yet. Regardless, I am still pondering that early lunch. With any luck, maybe Sam will bring me a teeny assorted sushi tray from Costco. (I love their teeny assorted sushi trays.)

Yo, everybody. Are you as sick of this face as I am?
I hope the United States hounds this jerk to every corner of the earth until they drag him home to stand trial. I think what he’s done is appalling, and now he’s even getting help from that other fugitive slimeball, Julian Assange and the Wikileaks gang. I’ll bet Edward Snowden’s “fans” are generally the same kind of anti-privacy Einsteins who over-share every shred of their own lives (including the every meal they eat) — with pictures — on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For the record, I am of the opinion that governments have a right to secrets, intelligence and espionage and to expect their agents and employees to uphold the same beliefs ... OR ELSE.

I get freaked out about this all over again every time I see Snowden’s picture, which is almost constantly since apparently this is the only known photo of him on the planet. Snowden was probably born with that expression on his face.

And now for something completely different. You know that tiny little spice jar funnel I ordered yesterday from Amazon? It won’t be here until sometime in August because it’s being shipped from Hong Kong — obviously in a canoe — and then overland by UPS mule train from California. Holy crap and thank you for reading this.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lost and found. At last.

Breaking news from Howdygram headquarters: WE FOUND THEM! We finally found Sam’s BLACK STRETCHY PANTS that went missing in February 2011 (see original post)! They were stuffed on a hard-to-see shelf in our walk-in closet behind a row of dress shirts. Holy crap, people, this was like STRIKING GOLD. We’d been looking for these stupid things off and on for TWO AND A HALF YEARS. Glorioski!

You may recall that I’ve got a website client in Colorado who recently hired herself a marketing go-getter named Warren. This go-getter Warren person called me a couple of weeks ago (see earlier post) to introduce himself and promised he would call again — a three-way conference call with our mutual client — to brainstorm different ways to improve her website with a pile of social media horseshit and new coding technology. I tried to explain (nicely at first) that I really don’t want to do this. When he wouldn’t stop talking I finally just said, “Look, pal, I’m retiring. I have zero motivation to learn any of this additional crap you’re talking about.” He probably thought I was just being a comedian because he went ahead and set up that conference call for today at 3. Thankfully, Warren blew it. My phone didn’t ring until almost 4:15, at which time I was so irritated I decided to let his call go to voice mail and sat at my desk eating wintergreen TicTacs and ordering the following pair of gorgeous lamps on sale at
Afterwards I bought a teeny funnel from Amazon to facilitate refilling my spice jars with all kinds of spicy little whatnots. (I have 45 jars of spicy little whatnots.) (No kidding.)

Anybody see the season finale of “Mad Men” last night? This was an episode worth waiting for, people. Best one yet. I watched it at 2 a.m. after Sam was asleep but didn’t delete it from the DVR because I absolutely have to see this one again. Wow. Just wow.
At the moment I think my favorite characters are Sally Draper and Bob Benson, the smiling weasel. Would any of you care to start a conversation?
Time to mosey into the kitchen to feed the chickens and rustle up some pickles & biscuits. Thank y’all for reading this.

This is Texas. Y’all are welcome to bring unlimited beer and concealed assault weapons.

I apologize for ignoring the Howdygram all weekend. I was feeling crabby and stressed-out by a variety of world events, a situation that resulted in an inordinate amount of overnight sleep and afternoon naps. It is now just after midnight Sunday night. Sam has already gone to bed and I’m wide awake. Therefore I should probably sneak into the family room to watch last night’s episode (the season finale) of “Mad Men” with a bowl of green olives.

For all you fashion mavens out there I’m pleased to present the lastest in menswear from the European yahoos at London Fashion Week. The designer’s name appears below each outfit.
I’m especially impressed by Craig Green’s exploding gift wrap, J.W. Anderson’s chic snap-on colostomy bag and Nasir Mazhar’s pink terrycloth sock garters with coordinating earmuffs. (I’ve been wondering what to buy Sam for his birthday this month. Which outfit do you think he’d like best?)

The city of Dallas is at it again, still horsing around with plans for “The 50th” in November (see my earlier post). And true to form, nobody’s allowed to breathe the word “assassination” within 25 miles of the city limits. According to a handout from a promotional meeting over the weekend, the mayor is referring to this event as: “A serious, understated and respectful commemoration in tribute to our nation’s 35th president, ‘The 50th’ will honor Kennedy’s life and legacy of leadership.”

Come on, people. If you’re remembering John F. Kennedy’s life, why do it in Dallas? Or to put it another way, if you wanted to celebrate the life of Abraham Lincoln, would you throw a party at the Ford Theater?

Apparently Dallas’ city organizers will do background checks on everybody requesting tickets to the festivities (is there a better word than that?) and have decided that umbrellas, undesirables, extremists and foreign crackpots are banned. Since this is Texas, however, y’all are welcome to bring unlimited beer and concealed assault weapons. Free parking.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Note to Paula Deen: More butter isn’t going to fix this.

According to the lead news stories today on CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, TMZ and Gawker Media, the Howdygram’s least-favorite deep-fried celebrity chef has been fired by the Food Network for her involvement in a huge racist brouhaha of her own creation.
Network officials elected not to renew Deen’s contract, which expires at the end of June. The crapola apparently hit the fan minutes just after she released three consecutive stupid, desperate and insincere statements on YouTube apologizing for her behavior, racial slurs and foul language. She also bailed this morning for an interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show.

What the hell. One day you’re baking a six-layer lard cake with cream cheese bacon frosting, the next day you’re ruined. Karma sucks, doesn’t it?

In case you’re unfamiliar with Paula Deen I’ve got a couple of outrageous video clips to share with you. The first is an amazing “artistic” interpretation (slow-motion dialog!) of a segment she did on TV with Oprah. I believe Oprah and Gayle King were visiting Paula Deen’s home for a weekend. The dude who looks like Santa Claus is Paula’s husband. I suggest peeing before you watch this.

Next, a clear explanation of how and why Paula Deen wound up with type 2 diabetes: the Lasagna Sandwich. This is maybe the most obnoxious and frightening carb overload I’ve ever seen in my life. Holy crap.

One last Paula Deen thing before I move on to other issues, okay? It’s the recipe for her Savannah High Apple Pie (courtesy of the Food Network), pictured below for your possible interest. This monstrosity calls for seven cups of flour, two cups of Crisco, 24 apples, half a pound of butter, three cups of sugar and two cups of caramel pecan mucilage topping to give it that appealing, fresh-from-the-diaper glow. The only thing missing here is a gallon of ice cream and reservations at Johns Hopkins for a heart transplant. TWO FREAKIN’ CUPS OF CRISCO. Seriously?
As long as I’m on a roll here I’d also like to post this photo of Kim Kardashian, proving once again that life can be painful for vapid, no-talent reality stars. Here she is showing off her best maternity look in a skin-tight dress and hideous shoes that are clearly destroying her feet and ankles. Didn’t this silly twit ever consider wearing a comfortable pair of flats or maybe not going out once in a while?
Sam and I have lots of exciting plans this weekend! Activities will include: 1) lunch at Cafe Greek because I have an overwhelming need for their tasty baked fish with sesame seeds; 2) naps; 3) organizing all the household crapola and clothes we’re donating to the American Kidney Fund next week; 4) more naps; and 5) I can’t think of anything else. If any of these items sound appealing to you please feel free to join us. And thank you for reading this.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

All of us should support immigration reform.

I received email from the White House tonight — no kidding, people ... the White House writes to me! — asking if I’d share the following graphic with everybody I know. It’s part of a Congressional Budget Office report that outlines the economic advantages of immigration reform ... and I think all of us should actively support the Senate’s bill because the numbers look pretty amazing. (Should be entertaining to find out why the Republicans will hate it.)
Thank you for reading this.

Celebrating Paula Deen’s Southern-fried meltdown.

My front doorstep is piled high with fabulous crap right now following a couple of huge deliveries from Wal-Mart and Amazon. There’s actually a lot more than I can haul inside on my own — it’s not easy to shlep cartons when you walk with a cane! — so everything will just have to stay where it is until Sam gets home from work tonight. In the meantime I’m baking a a nice loaf of low-carb bread and planning my retirement.

I just realized the last half of the previous sentence gets me sexually excited.

Let’s talk retirement for a minute, okay? My number one most important step forward this week involved CANCELING MY OBNOXIOUS CREDIT CARD PROCESSING ACCOUNT, and effective yesterday Ovation Creative no longer accepts Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Everybody has to send me checks instead. I love it, and so far all of my clients think it’s a swell idea, too. Simplicity is a beautiful thing, and I’m one step closer to being a happy senior citizen on Social Security.

Don’t tell Sam, but I just signed us up to make a donation of household goods to the American Kidney Fund. They call here all the time to request crapola from Howdygram headquarters but I’ve always just said no because I wasn’t especially motivated to clean out my closets. This time, though, it sounded like a swell idea, so they’re sending a truck over here next Wednesday. This means we’ve got six days to pack up all the annoying whatnots we don’t want any more, such as blankets, towels, books, clothes, shoes, place mats, and a dozen moderately ugly throw pillows I bought when we first moved into our house. I seriously can’t wait to get rid of this stuff. Please let me know as soon as possible if you want to contribute any of your own personal crap. Thank you.

There’s breaking news today from our Guess Who’s Screwed department. It seems that celebrity chef and overpaid buttermonger Paula Deen is being sued by former employees who claim a long-standing policy of racism, violence, segregation and discrimination at her restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. If that’s not creepy enough, during Deen’s pre-trial deposition she testified that yes, of course she uses the “N-word,” because she’s a sixty-something Southern white woman and that’s how she was raised. She also remarked that she’s always wanted to hire little black waiters with white jackets and bow ties to pretend to be “slaves” at a beautiful “old-school Southern plantation wedding.” You know, happier times from before the Civil War ...
At the moment Paula Deen’s attorney and the Food Network are having a collective heart attack trying to find a way to paint this idiot’s brand with a non-Confederate brush, but she may be doomed. I, for one, could care less, because I’ve never been a fan and HER FOOD WILL KILL YOU.

As long as I’m touching on the subject of racism, I’d like to share the following photo of Johnny Depp in his latest incarnation as Tonto in Disney’s remake of The Lone Ranger. 
Apparently Depp is convinced he’s bringing something authentic and important to his Tonto characterization after Disney pulled strings to get him “adopted” by the Comanche Nation, although it should already be insulting enough to Native Americans that Depp parades around looking like Captain Jack Sparrow with a dead bird on his head. In my view, if Depp is really so interested in fighting racism against Native Americans he’d advocate for a real Native American to play the part and for Disney to produce a film about a real person, not a two-dimensional comic book character. Holy crap.

If you can’t smell my homemade bread there must be something wrong with you. I have to eat dinner now.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I sincerely apologize for using the word “fucked.”

There’s so much news tonight I almost don’t know where to start. I’m thinking a simple list might work best, so here goes.
  1. We have a huge crack in the bay window in our master bedroom. Sam is guessing it probably happened yesterday by accident — an airborne rock? — when the weekly landscaper dudes were here mowing and trimming our lawn. Holy crap.
  2. Wal-Mart reshipped my busted jars of green olives (see earlier post).
  3. We’re taking our Saturn to Pep Boys this week for a new battery, wheel alignment and tires. No matter what it costs, this is still way cheaper than buying another car.
  4. Our refi closing has been scheduled for June 25 at 10 a.m. here at Howdygram headquarters. Do you think anybody expects me to serve cookies?
  5. Tomorrow’s assorted deliveries from Wal-Mart and Amazon will include Tone body wash, 12 bags of Planters Fruit & Nut Trail Mix, McCormick flavor extracts, a case of wintergreen TicTacs, Loma Linda fake meat in a can, a three-plug swivel outlet, Heinz sugar-free ketchup and Crisco sticks. Is this exciting, or what?
  6. I had leftover Chinese food for dinner tonight and Chia Seed Pudding for dessert. I love my life.
Another day, another ulcer. Tonight I’d like to introduce the Howdygram’s first-ever Putz of the Week TWINS … another pair of far-right douchebag lawmakers obsessed with women’s reproductive rights, as if it’s any of their business! Say howdy to GOP congressmen Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Michael Burgess of Texas.
Let’s begin with Burgess, m’kay? He’s a proponent of the bogus “Pain-Capable Infant Protection Act,” which proposes to ban abortions after 20 weeks because he’s convinced that the clump of cells in your uterus can feel pain. He also believes the aforementioned clump can feel pleasure, because fetuses of the male persuasion — i.e., boys — are already masturbating as early as 15 weeks. In the womb. Seriously. I wish somebody would explain why can’t we impeach politicans for introducing horseshit legislation based on religion, fantasy or CRAP SCIENCE.

As for Bob Goodlatte, he stood up in Congress yesterday to support Burgess’ misogynist baloney with this statement: “It is time to welcome your children who can feel pain to the human family.”

Although the Howdygram’s official platform should be well-known to our regular readers by now, in case you’re new around here I think the late George Carlin said it best:

Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no Head Start, no school lunches, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.

George really nailed it, didn’t he? Incidentally, I sincerely apologize for using the word “fucked” even though I firmly believe it’s the most expressive (and appropriate) word in the English language.

Just in case you’re wondering if I’m ready to show off any more new fonts, here are my latest acquisitions for your possible interest. The one that’s second from the bottom is a dingbat font of really cool arrows. Because a girl can never have too many cool arrows.
Thank you for reading this. Now let’s get on with our lives, okay?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Republican party sucks. I apologize if this statement offends anybody.

Good morning. It’s the crack of dawn here in north Texas and stormy weather is approaching from the west. I might have to rush back to bed when the big hoo-hah starts because that’s the best spot in the house during a thunderstorm.

I’d like to extend my congratulations to the GOP. They’ve finally named a woman to spout their platform of misogynist horseshit! Marsha Blackburn, an aggressive Congresswoman from the Neanderthal state of Tennessee and the Howdygram’s latest Putz of the Week, has been appointed to spread the word about the House’s proposed 20-week abortion ban. Yes, girls, Republicans are still harping about abortion!
The ban idea began with Trent Franks, the moron representative from Arizona who recently announced that because rape-related pregnancies were “very rare,” a 20-week abortion ban should contain NO EXCEPTION WHATSOEVER for pregnancies conceived by rape.

Sensing potential disaster (remember Todd Akin?), the House GOP frantically inserted a last-minute rape and incest exception and replaced Franks with Blackburn as their official mouthpiece, figuring that breasts and lipstick would make a difference in the message. From this point on, Marsha Blackburn is in charge of kicking women’s rights back to the pre-suffrage era.

But wait … there’s more! For years Blackburn has been an outspoken opponent of issues that any woman with functioning brain cells should support. In 2009 she voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, and she just appeared on “Meet the Press” to make sure the men of America know that women don’t really want equal pay laws. She’s also in a bewildering group of women who hated (and refused to vote for) the Violence Against Women Act. When asked to explain her position, Blackburn said that it “protected too many groups.”

Ilse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Blackburn’s appointment an “insensitive and insulting compromise” and “window dressing” on “egregious” legislation, because 20 weeks into a pregnancy is when women usually find out about serious fetal abnormalities.

The Howdygram’s position? The Republican party SUCKS. I apologize if this statement offends anybody. (Actually, not really.)

I think I hear thunder so I’m going back to bed now. Thank you.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I’ve really missed Sam this week.

Good morning, people. It’s Sunday — Father’s Day! — and I thought I’d write a speedy yet  carefully-crafted post for the Howdygram before I go to bed. Okay, maybe not.

At last, Sam is coming home from California today. I can’t wait to see him! I’ve missed his face, his feet, all ten toes, the sound of his voice, his Clif Bar wrappers and his manicky sense of humor. (I also really need somebody to scratch my back.) In the meantime, Sam’s friend Leo emailed this photo last night … taken when they went hiking together in the Hollywood Hills on Saturday.
To amuse myself last night I watched another Esther Williams movie — This Time for Keeps (1949) with Jimmy Durante — and an atrocious Irwin Allen disaster film called When Time Ran Out (1980), the story of a volcano on a resort island, like The Towering Inferno with lava. Headliners included Paul Newman, William Holden and Jacqueline Bisset, who all looked embarrassed from the start and clearly only showed up for a paycheck. Jacqueline Bisset tried so damn hard to make sexy faces that she actually could have been passing gas.
Others in the typical 1980s “all-star cast” include Edward Albert (did he ever make a good movie?), Burgess Meredith, Ernest Borgnine (he gets hit with a flying ball of lava), Red Buttons and James Franciscus, who overacts to the point of INSANITY. Alex Karras is also on hand as “Tiny,” Paul Newman’s bodyguard. Tiny drowns when gigantic tidal wave hits the saloon where he and some pals are staging a cockfight. I wouldn’t joke about this. Everybody else miraculously drives away in a Jeep.
The special effects suck, the script sucks, the acting sucks, the volcano is painted on a backdrop with fake smoke and cheesy fireballs, and Jacqueline Bisset’s hairstyle changes halfway through the film with no explanation. For me, the high point is when the retired circus acrobat played by Burgess Meredith — who’s about four feet tall and 80 years old — piggybacks a couple of children across a lava flow on a tightrope. As a bonus, we get to see Pat Morita fall into a fire pit.

When Time Ran Out was Irwin Allen’s worst (and last) film ... which is exactly why I’m saving it for Sam so he can watch it when he gets home. He loves crap like this.

Wow, it’s 3 a.m. and I think I should go to bed now. Thank you for reading this.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Einsteins are everywhere, people.

Howdygram headquarters is being plagued with weird crap for a Saturday morning. According to FedEx tracking information, the package I was expecting today from has been returned to the shipper DAMAGED. And I know why even without calling FedEx ... it’s because the Einsteins in Wal-Mart’s warehouse couldn’t figure out how to protect my two gigantic glass jars of stuffed green olives!
Similar Einsteins at Amazon did the same thing last September (see post) with a shipment of gefilte fish, except the clowns at UPS decided to deliver the carton to me, anyway, in 95° heat … filled with shattered glass and saturated with rancid gefilte fish juice and spoiled fish. The smell was so disgusting I lost my appetite for two whole days, and it took six months before I had the nerve to reorder. I should have strangled the delivery driver.

But the weirdness continues! Somebody just rang the doorbell three times and drove away in a truck, and when I looked outside I found a huge plastic post office tote box at the front door stuffed with our week’s mail. Believe it or not, we set up a “vacation hold” while Sam’s been out of town because our mailbox is at the curb and I don’t get out of the house every day. Unfortunately, we had asked that all accumulated mail be delivered on MONDAY.
If I hadn’t been home today all of our important, highly confidential and personal crap — including three packages from Amazon — would have been sitting outside for TWO DAYS, uncovered and unprotected, and we’re expecting a bunch of thunderstorms this afternoon.

Einsteins are EVERYWHERE, people!

Thank you for reading this.

Today it’s a Rick Perry “double whammy.”

When you live in Texas it’s easy to find candidates for Putz of the Week because you never have to look beyond Rick “Einstein” Perry’s office in Austin. Even though the Howdygram blasted Governor Hairdo yesterday for his veto of equal pay legislation for women, we have an opportunity today to elevate him to full Putz of the Week status ... his fourth award in less than six months. Because today we have a double whammy.
First, this morning the aforementioned Governor Hairdo vetoed two bipartisan ethics bills that would — get ready for this — eliminate all state funding for the prosecutor’s unit that is investigating his prized cancer research fund. One of the hundreds of cases being investigated by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg includes the potential misuse of $56 million in grants by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), especially grants to companies who supported Perry’s reelection and (what a shock) somehow didn’t have to pass through the normal review process. And Perry personally appoints all of the well-compensated CPRIT board members.

According to Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, “Perry’s office is an ethical black hole. Ethics reform goes in. Nothing comes out.” McDonald’s group had filed a criminal complaint earlier Friday over the governor’s acknowledgment that he would veto funding if Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign. Lehmberg refused, and Perry cut the funding. Once again, he continues to eliminate every possible way the public can get to the bottom of his bullshit.

Second (you remembered there’s a second item coming, right?), Governor Hairdo signed another bill this morning that requires laid-off workers in Texas to submit to mandatory drug testing in order to receive unemployment benefits ... even though employers already hold insurance policies that provide this compensation. Perry said, “Texas is a state where personal responsibility is very important, and recipients of unemployment benefits have a responsibility to be prepared to work when an opportunity presents itself.”

Seriously? According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “The testing mandated by this bill should thus require probable cause that a crime has been committed. It does not. Being unemployed is not a crime.” (Unless you live in Texas.)

This kind of crap has been tried — without success — in other states. Out of 87,000 drug tests in Arizona, one applicant tested positive for drugs; in Florida, 51,000 drug tests yielded 21 positives. At a cost of $42 per test, Arizona and Florida spent $5.8 million to stop 22 people from collecting benefits. It’s pretty clear (to me, anyway) that Rick Perry is just setting up a nice windall for a hunting buddy who owns a drug-testing company.

On a personal note, I particularly take offense to Perry’s comment about “personal responsibility.” Hey Einstein, how about allowing women a little personal responsibility to decide whether or not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy?

Holy crap. I really HATE this guy.

In other news, we had some crazy-ass thunderstorms roll through here during the night. I remember hearing them around 4 a.m. (they have to be awfully loud to wake ME up) and we must have had a brief power failure because this morning all the digital clocks in the house were blinking and my computer was off. More storms are forecast this afternoon and tonight, which is fine with me. I always enjoy free entertainment.

Thank you for reading this.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rick Perry, the bogus job creator.

He’s done it again, people. Governor Rick “Einstein” Perry has vetoed HB 950, a bill designed to prevent wage discrimination against women that would have dragged Texas kicking and screaming into line with the federal Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that allows women to sue employers for wage discrimination. Why the veto? Because Perry says it could lead to “more regulations and hurt job creation.” And, you know, God forbid he should do anything for the women in his state, who are already breaking under the burden of unfair wages, forced pregnancies and childbirth, no public aid and reduced medical care options.
As for Governor Hairdo’s real record on job creation, he never bothers to tell you that jobs in Texas are primarily minimum wage. We have the highest percentage of underpaid hourly employees with no health care in the United States — more than half a million earning less than $7.25 per hour — ranking us right up there with good ol’ Mississippi. And Perry just signed a budget slashing $15 billion in programs over the next two years that cuts thousands of jobs in government services and education.

But wait … there’s more! This week Einstein refused to sign a bill making texting-while-driving a misdemeanor (he says he doesn’t want to “micromanage” anybody) but approved the “Merry Christmas” bill so public schools can’t get fined for hanging up construction paper Santas. Seriously, this idiot dude and his bullshit priorities really make me want to PUKE.

To cheer myself up I think I’ll take a nice hot shower, eat things and watch another Esther Williams movie. Thrill of a Romance and a large quantity of leftover Chinese food sound really PERFECT right now.

I’ve got a jam-packed agenda that includes making and eating a nice pot of Five-Minute Stupid Soup.

Ever wake up in the morning feeling like total crap? You know, with VERY LOW BLOOD SUGAR and A POUNDING HEADACHE and CHILLS and a GREAT BIG BRUISE ON THE SIDE OF YOUR HAND from accidentally slamming it into a pipe under the kitchen sink on Thursday night when you tried to grab your stupid bucket of Cascade pod whatnots? Well this all describes me about five hours ago, after which I ate some leftovers, took a couple of extra-strength Tylenol knockoffs from Wal-Mart and went straight back to bed. Truth be told, I’m still feeling crappy. For your possible interest a full-color portrait of the aforementioned Cascade pod whatnots appears below. (These things are actually really cool and they’re probably worth an occasional bruise.)
I’ve got a jam-packed agenda today, people, because there’s lots to do at Howdygram headquarters! My projects include: 1) emptying the dishwasher; 2) refilling the hand soap dispenser in the guest bathroom; 3) making a nice pot of Five-Minute Stupid Soup; 4) eating item three; and 5) watching several consecutive Esther Williams movies that have been recording since last night on TCM. These are Thrill of a Romance (1945) with Van Johnson, Neptune’s Daughter (1949) with Ricardo Montalban and Red Skelton (no kidding), Dangerous When Wet (1953) with Fernando Lamas and Jack Carson, Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) with Walter Pidgeon and Victor Mature and This Time for Keeps (1947) with Jimmy Durante. I love Esther Williams movies.

Just in case there may be two or three of you who’ve never seen Preston Sturges’ masterpiece The Palm Beach Story (1941), you’re in for a treat because it’s showing on TCM tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Central time. The Palm Beach Story is the mother of all screwball romantic comedies, played to perfection by Claudette Colbert in the most gorgeous clothes you’ve ever seen, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor (maybe the best performance of her career) and a supporting cast of scene-stealers that include the Ale and Quail Club, The Weenie King (my personal favorite) and Mary Astor’s boy-toy “Toto.”
My two favorite quotes from the film:

“Cold are the hands of time that creep along relentlessly, destroying slowly but without pity that which yesterday was young. Alone our memories resist this disintegration and grow more lovely with the passing years. Heh. That’s hard to say with false teeth.” The Weenie King

“That’s one of the tragedies of this life, that the men who are most in need of a beating up are always enormous.” John D. Hackensacker III

Hot damn. It’s lunch time.

I love shopping online in the middle of the night because I don’t have to wear a brassiere.

It’s 2:45 a.m. and I just ordered a bunch of terrific crap from I love shopping online in the middle of the night because I don’t have to wear a brassiere and there’s nobody else in line! This morning’s purchase included the following: 1) ReliOn chewable glucose tablets for whenever I get kablooey from low blood sugar; 2) two cheap gigantic jars of stuffed green olives; 3) two bottles of Tone Beautiful Blossoms body wash; 4) flavor extracts for my Chia Seed Pudding; and 5) Crisco sticks. (I have to use a smidgen of Crisco with my low-carb bread mix.) Incidentally, whenever you spend $45 or more on Wal-Mart’s website you get FREE SHIPPING. Free shipping is awesome.
I should go to bed now. My work here is done.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hey. Check out crotchety old Basil Rathbone.

Ah, Thursday. I’ve had an interesting day with no productive activities whatsoever other than: 1) eating things; 2) sleeping; 3) watching the first 30 minutes of a lousy movie; and 4) redesigning my Ovation Creative website, probably for the last time ever because I’m practically retired. Explanations follow for items one and three.

Item one explained. Dinner, in particular, was INCREDIBLE today. I had slabs of cold leftover meatloaf with Guy’s sugar-free barbecue sauce on low-carb toast and some homemade coleslaw with zero-calorie Walden Farms coleslaw dressing. This was so damn good I almost considered another helping but I didn’t want my stomach to explode, especially since I’m home alone and there’s nobody here but me to mop up afterwards. I love my homemade meatloaf with coleslaw even better than pickles & biscuits, and it’s my new favorite meal right after Schwan’s pot roast. (Schwan’s pot roast is amazing.)
Item three explained. Tonight’s lousy movie was The Magic Sword (1962) starring crotchety old Basil Rathbone as the evil sorcerer Lodac with a strange supporting cast that’s half comic and half horror, like the bastard child of “Bewitched” and “Dracula.”
The acting is hammy and the script really sucks, but there’s so much hilarious crap going on that I decided not to watch it all the way through until Sam gets home from California, because this is Sam’s favorite kind of dreck-fest and we’re both Basil Rathbone fans.

Speaking of Sam ... here he is, doing the famous “Sam wave” yesterday with his mom at the Getty Villa museum. If they look unreasonably happy it’s probably because they had waffles for breakfast at Norm’s coffee shop. They love Norm’s.
In case you’re interested, I’m making Five-Minute Stupid Soup and Beanit Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies tomorrow if you’d like to come for lunch. Let me know, okay?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blaine, Missouri, the Stool Capital of the United States.

It’s Wednesday, smack-dab in the middle of Sam’s trip to Los Angeles. He’s headed to the Getty Museum today with his mom and Aunt Adie; I’ll be here at Howdygram headquarters loading the freezer with food because our Schwan’s delivery doofus will be here with a large quantity of our favorite biweekly whatnots. Today’s delivery will include: Hot & Spicy Chicken Boobies, Krunchie Potato Wedges, Onion Rings, Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Patties and Ground Beef. All are pictured below with helpful notations for your possible interest.
In case you’re wondering how come I like Schwan’s so much, I’ve got two reasons. One, they send a really nice delivery doofus to your house every other week — no grocery stores! no standing in line with idiots! no shlepping! — and he’ll even pile everything into your freezer if you let him. (I don’t let him.) Two, they sell fine crapola in really nice packaging, such as ground beef that doesn’t get freezer burn and big resealable bags for just about everything else. On top of all that, Schwan’s always has lots of excellent specials and coupons! Today, for instance, they’re subtracting $18.15 from my total, which includes $3.25 for sale items, $4.90 in bonus points from my last order and a $10 savings certificate because I’m a swell person overall. (Not really. All you have to do is spend $75.) If you’ve never tried Schwan’s you can sign up for free and get $10 off your first order. Click here, okay?

Here’s some great news if you live in Texas and spend your dough on (like yours truly ... Amazon is opening TWO GIGANTIC DISTRIBUTION CENTERS in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex! This means lots of my orders will ship for next-day delivery, and as a bonus for the community Amazon is currently hiring more than 1,000 hourly warehouse employees at pretty decent salaries (all at least twice the minimum wage) with stock benefits. The map below indicates: A) Howdygram headquarters in Mesquite; B) Amazon’s new distribution center in Coppell; and C) their other new distribution center in Haslet, somewhere north of Fort Worth.
Although you probably don’t give a crap about any of this, I’m pretty damn excited that my Ziploc bags, chia seeds and Dial body wash will be arriving at the speed of light from now on. Holy crap!

I think I’ll put my feet up for a while, eat salami and watch Waiting for Guffman (1996) plus three recorded episodes of “People’s Court.” Incidentally, if you’ve never seen Waiting for Guffman you should treat yourself as soon as possible. It’s a Christopher Guest “mockumentary” and one of the funniest movies EVER. The plot involves an amateur theatrical group staging an historical pageant in Blaine, Missouri the Stool Capital of the United States. (Seriously.) It doesn’t get much better than this.

Thank you.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I wish I had some cookies.

How low can I go? This might be the night I find out. I injected 20 units of mealtime insulin at 6:45 p.m., stuffed myself on a low-carb dinner of special-recipe meatloaf and a big tub of Chia Seed Pudding, and by 9 p.m. my blood sugar had plummeted to 60, which is about HALF of where it’s supposed to be two hours after a meal. I’ve never had a post-mealtime low like that before, which is very scary for two major reasons; 1) those chia seeds I ate will continue to drop my blood sugar during the night — their number one “benefit” is lower blood sugar! — so I just ate a pile of Schwan’s frozen Krunchie Potato Wedges (see portrait below) to make sure my numbers don’t get too low; and 2) I’m all alone here because Sam is still horsing around in California with his relatives.
I wish I had some cookies. I love cookies.

In other news from Diabetesland ... I’m having assorted neuropathy issues tonight, as well. This time it’s low body temperature, heel pain and dizziness when I stand up too fast. To remedy these symptoms I’m just planning to go to bed and ignore them. Thank you.

For the immediate future, the only items on my agenda are meatloaf and chia seed pudding.

I certainly hope you’re having a pleasant Monday afternoon, because mine is getting suckier by the minute. I have a website client in Colorado who just hired a go-getter marketing dude named Warren (people still name their children Warren?) who called a little while ago to “brainstorm” with me and find out if I’m “open to new ideas.” New ideas? I don’t even like OLD ideas any more, Einstein. Im a senior citizen! I’M RETIRING! Apparently Warren wants me to coordinate my client’s website with social media, add Google Analytics, install new header coding, update to all-new cascading HTML style sheets and attempt a host of other insane and tedious horseshit that interests me as much as root canal. He doesn’t know it yet — I’m saving this bombshell for our next conversation — but there’s no way in hell I’m doing ANY of it. Not only don’t I give a crap about style sheets and header codes, I don’t even want to wear shoes or answer the phone.

For the immediate future the only items on my agenda are meatloaf and Chia Seed Pudding. In other words, dinner.

Show of hands. Anybody have a stroke when you saw Mr. Balls in my last post? Brace yourself, people. There’s more.
It’s pretty easy to figure out what George Zimmerman’s been up to since he murdered Trayvon Martin 14 months ago — cheeseburgers? pizza? — and his recently-expanded face helped Mr. Balls snag first-place in the Howdygram’s lookalike contest. For the record, there was no runner-up.

Nice of you to stop by. Tell your friends, okay?

Happy Brazilian testicles are the mascot from hell.

For the last half-hour I’ve been trying to figure out how to write an approprite opening line for the following news item from Brazil but haven’t come up with anything. Under the circumstances I guess I’ll just let the photo speak for itself ...
The invention of a Brazilian non-profit cancer organization, Mr. Balls shows up at various public events throughout the country to raise awareness about testicular cancer. The organization’s website says, “Both children and adults love taking pictures with the mascot, a friendly snowman in the shape of testicles.” A friendly snowman? I can’t figure out what I hate more about this disturbing character ... the kinky black hair or those two buck teeth. WTF. 

Out of curiosity, can you imagine Mr. Balls greeting children in a shopping center anywhere in the United States?

I’m feeling a little annoyed and crabby this morning. Our Einstein neighbor called at 8:30 to wake me up with a news flash: There’s WATER on the property line between our houses and some of it is RUNNING DOWN TO THE STREET! So I said, “Gee, Bill, I’ll bet that’s because OUR AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS were on!” At that point I didn’t feel much like going back to bed any more, so I baked myself a nice loaf of low-carb bread in the bread machine and decided to horse around with the Howdygram until it’s time for a nap. A nap is always on the agenda around here.

Thank you for reading this.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I’m surprised that I’m not barfing right now.

Due to a semi-scary lack of appetite for the last couple of days I’ve been forcing myself to eat peculiar little meals at meaningless intervals in an effort to keep my blood sugar at an even keel. During the past three hours I’ve consumed all of the following, listed here in no particular order whatsoever: 1) one dozen stuffed green olives; 2) a lot of Beanit Butter sprinkled with a lot of Splenda; 3) a teeny can of Chinese braised gluten; 4) two leftover low-carb biscuits nuked for 20 seconds so the butter will melt; 5) one Slim Jim; 6) Tylenol; and 7) three Kraft American singles. I don’t think I’m feeling very well, and looking at this picture definitely doesn’t help. I’m surprised that I’m not barfing right now. Seriously.
Sam’s Aunt Adie sent the following photo today from Burbank, California, where a crowd of happy relatives attended Anna’s ballet recital. Pictured below in the front row from left to right: Lisa, Anna, Belle (Sam’s mother) and David (Sam’s brother). Sam is crouching in the back because he’s at least a foot taller than everybody else on earth. Are these people adorable, or what?
To help battle the crushing boredom while Sam’s out of town all week I’ve decided to redesign my Ovation Creative website even though I’m 98% retired now and doubt that anybody really gives a crap about this. I’ll be working on a new logo and maybe a new color palette. I also plan to horse around with my Cuisinart Speed Stick immersion blender, read my new Ronald Colman biography and make a nice big meatloaf. I love my life.