Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity Signs and Pictures

Third Strike went to the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear!

Held in D.C. on October 30, 2010, the rally was pitched as "a rally for people who don't have time to go to rallies." Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert brought their typical humor & charm while all sorts of signs were filled with everything from coherent "I'm for Sanity" signs to non-sequitors like "Liberals Blew up the Death Star".

Here were ours:
The sticker was given to us by an activist group... it says "Birth Control Matters"

This sign got a few glances with me holding it. For the few skeptics who questioned the fact that I am pregnant, given that I am-- in fact-- a man, I had a few responses ready:

1. Did you see that episode of Oprah? There was a pregnant man!
2. To quote Jurrasic Park... "Life will find a way."
3. Arnold Schwarzeneger did it in Junior back in '94!

Amanda didn't want to hold the sign. She abides by the Wizarding Statute of Secrecy.

Recently I discovered that signs actually have two sides. As a result, there was some extra room for diversified messages!

We needed at least one "On Topic" sign. I mean... to be reasonable.

Sadly, there were not many fans of my favorite Third Strike sign:
Does ANYONE get this joke???
"Stew-Beef" is the nickname Tracy Morgan gave to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show several months ago. "Where's the Beef?" obviously was both a Wendy's commercial slogan and Presidential campaign motto. Combining the two seemed like a moment of inspired sign-writing. Unfortunately, the joke seemed lost on... pretty much everyone. What can I say... sometimes a joke just falls flat. I stand by it!

The rally itself was incredible. It started with a powerhouse performance by the Roots and John Legend.

They gave us free towels!
 Other musical guests included surprise songs by Yusef Islam (Cat Stevens) interrupted by Ozzy Osbourne and then the O'Jays. Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy all performed as well, even including a special green screen appearance by T.I. Jon Stewart made an attempt at singing with Stephen Colbert. It was in itself very funny.

The comedy was spectacular, true to the tone of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I recommend enjoying its full glory so that I might not have to fail doing it justice.

*Spoiler alert*: R2-D2 makes a cameo. Amazing. Oh, and also...

FEARZILLA!!! The Stephen Colbert Media Monster.

Lastly, I will take a page out of the rally book, and leave off this post with sincerity. Jon Stewart left his comedic rally with the powerful words that I will repeat here:

"So, what was this? I can't control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith. Or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

Unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two... broke. The country's 24-hour politico pundit panic conflict-inator did not cause our problems. But its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus and illuminating problems heretofore unseen, or it can use its magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous-flaming-ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.

There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and tea partiers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rich Sanchez is an insult -- not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put forth the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more.

The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything we actually get sicker... and perhaps eczema. Yet, that being said, I feel good. Strangely, calmly good, because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a funhouse mirror, and not the good kind that makes you slim in the waist and maybe taller -- but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass like a pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is -- on the brink of catastrophe -- torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day. The only place we don't is here or on cable TV. Americans don't live here or on cable TV. Where we live, our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done.

Most Americans don't live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do. Often something they do not want to do, but they do it. Impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make."

Stewart then plays a clip of cars merging before entering the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey

"Look, look on the screen. This is who we are."

"These cars -- that’s a school teacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high…there’s a mom with two kids who can’t think about anything else...another car, the lady’s in the NRA. She loves Oprah…An investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah…a Latino carpenter…a fundamentalist vacuum salesman…a Mormon Jay Z fan…But this is us. Everyone of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear -- often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile-long, 30-foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river…And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go. You go, then I’ll go -- oh my god, is that an NRA sticker on your car, is tha an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s OK. You go and then I’ll go…Sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute. But that individual is rare and he is scorned, and he is not hired as an analyst.

Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together and the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.

If you want to know why I’m here and what I want from you I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted. Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you."

transcript by Rolling Stone & edited by The Third Strike.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Cat Costumes: The Third Option

The Third Strike can be nothing if not fair. So for polling purposes (we strictly stick to the Gallup method) I figure cats in Halloween costume need equal air time.

For the feline fans, enjoy:

This cat has the high score in Frogger

Puss... in Boots!

I hope Lex Luthor doesn't put Kryptonite in my Kitty Litter...

There's a snake in my boot!

Wow. Moooeow?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Howl-oween 2: Attack of Chubbs

Just as Halloween movies are famous for having sequels (aren't we on Saw 7 now? And did Paranormal Activity really need a sequel?) a Halloween post on dogs in costume clearly needs a follow up as well.

Besides, I am trying to stack the deck here in the polling battle (see the side bar) of Cutest in Costume: Dogs vs. Cats vs. Babies.

Vote now! It's more important than the midterm elections.

Chubbs is my friend Alan's pet Pug. Pugs, for whatever reason, are the funniest dogs of all time-- especially when in costume. Alan believes it is their deadpan stare. I think it might be their bug-eyes and the possibility that they are actually aliens.


Hot DOG! Tastes better than baby!

Santa Chubbs

Uhhh... Chubbs, your head is on the other--- Oh, Nevermind...

Happy Howl-oween: BEST Dog Costumes!

Halloween is just around the corner, and babies aren't the only ones who are getting costume abuse. Pets also lack the means to resist absurdly cute outfits. Just look at what happened in New York City.

And dogs are just as extremely confused at what you are doing to them.

But look at these and tell me it's not worth bewildering the puppies:

Super Size Me, Collies

The Puppy Justice League. Superman is German?

The Cute is strong with this one.

Halloweiner. And one seriously short giraffe...

Caveman's Best Friend

Fluff the Magic Dragon

Everyone have a great Halloween Knight!

Poor Dog

Later, Gators

Lastly, there is one more canine-related costume-- a mortifying reversal of "dogs dressed up as people":

Cruella de Vil

She wanted to make a coat out of puppies.

Who kills puppies? Honestly? Jafar, Scar, and that Octopuss lady have nothing on that kind of evil.
She might just be the most evil villain of all time.

That's just plain scary.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Winter Philosophising

I love this line from Calvin & Hobbes. The best part about it is, that's exactly what happens to me when I try to wrap my head around mortality.

Taken from Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson

Worst Baby Costumes: Because Some Parents Want To Send Their Kids To Counseling

And now, the time of year everyone (especially Third Strike) has been looking forward to: Halloween! Aside from giving me lots of reasons to eat candy and cross-dress, I enjoy Halloween mostly as reason to get drunk and laugh at people. And today I will specifically be focusing my energy on laughing at babies. Mean?, you ask? Why, no.

I'm not sure why, but there seem to be many parents out there who - well, let's be frank here - hate their children. This can be proven through the showcasing of utterly ridiculous costumes that parents are putting their babies in for Halloween. Maybe I am just a tad bitter from being forced to wear a clown costume when I was six years old. If you see nothing wrong with this, then you should seek mental help immediately.

Below are some of the worst [although amusing] baby costumes I found through a quick Internet search this morning:

Awww if only I could really hang my child from my review mirror.

I always was suspicious about the makeup of hot dogs... hmmm.

This baby looks SO confused. Mommy?

Oh, the Travelocity Gnome!

I just... have nothing to add to this.

At least this costume accurately displays the smell of babies!
Note: Do not sit on your baby.

Okay, I get it. It's funny to dress up your baby for Halloween. They're wobbly and can't really say shit to stop you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Best of Craigslist 2

This was under "Free Stuff" in Craigslist. I was browsing to see what people wanted to get off their hands for the price of $0, and I have to say I was surprised to see a nuptial outfit.

Now, let me make one thing clear: if someone desperately wants to get married and can't afford a wedding dress, seeing one that fits on Craigslist for free is probably a magical and encouraging moment. No hate on poverty.

On the other hand, there's a big difference between receiving a dress for free-- from say, a parent or friend-- and seeking one from a stranger. On the Internet.

"Hey Hunny! I picked up a dress! Online! From Craigslist! Let's head over to the Church now. Did you get the invites out?"

The person who's posting this also is a little funny. Let's be real: this person decided that the trip to Goodwill wasn't worth the gas and time it would take to drop off. They're leaving the dress on their porch-- not even milking out a few spare dollars. Was it their ex-wife's? Mothers? Cross-dressing son's? What use did this thing have that gave it such little value, even a remote hint of nostalgia, to the previous owner? And is that person so selfless that they want to simply give it away free to increase their closet space?

This dress totally has bedbugs.

Monday Moustache: The Rent is Too Damn High Party

The eleventh post in a recurring segment on moustaches.

Today's moustache: 

Jimmy McMillan
aka, The Rent is 2 Damn High Party Candidate

How many kids say that they want to grow up to be Governor? Plenty. How many kids said they want to be  Governor with a 19th century moustache and a 21st century slogan? Just one.

Where to begin, where to begin...

A little online research says a lot about this guy. He first ran for office in 1993-- seeking the position of Governor of New York City! That might seem crazy until you realize that David Dinkins was Mayor-- doubling the NYC deficit by one billion dollars

What actually was crazy about his candidacy? Tying himself to a tree and dousing himself with gasoline. Someone has to ignite the voters!

He later climbed up the Brooklyn bridge and refused to come down until his message was televised. Unfortunately, he didn't quite get enough signatures and was dropped from the ballot.

In 1994, he started campaigning for Governor on foot, while staying in homeless shelters. McMillan is a Vietnam vet, and he lives on disability due to his exposure to Agent Orange.

Ironically, he pays no rent, and does odd jobs for his landlord in an arrangement in a rent-controlled area in New York. He pays the rent for his unemployed son-- $900 in New York City.

Enough about the man. He's an unusual guy, but what's new? We've seen some pretty interesting things this campaign season with Christine O'Donnell's witchcraft clarification (and identity theft) and a Stark County Treasurer from the WWE. Speaking of the WWE, Linda McMahon is running for Senate too!

But none of these people are nearly as interesting.

None of them have a moustache-- let alone one as mighty and powerful as his.

This man shows his character proudly on his face--- how easy do you think it is to live with such a 'stache in this day and age? Every day the temptation to shave must sit with him. His moustache shows tenacity, endurance, and style. You could do worse for a Governor than someone with those virtues.

Unfortunately, the moustache is obviously irresistible to New York ladies. This candidate is simply another Eliot Spitzer in the making. He should end up on CNN too!

There will be one advantage to voting for the Rent is Too Damn High Party ticket. If aliens ever come to our planet and want to speak to our leaders, a man like this will confuse the hell out of them. They'd have to think they were caught in a galactic time warp that opened below this man's nose.

The aliens would then decide to live on Earth too, but the rent is too damn high.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Atlantic City Adventures

For the past two weeks, new posts have been fewer and farther between than I prefer. This has been for a specific reason: I have been travelling to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for software training, and it would be hard to blog to my hearts content while in the middle of software exercises (yes...) or during the mental stupor that follows 8 straight hours of "click here".

First off, why Atlantic City? It's possible that my day job is doing its best to make me a compulsive gambler and alcoholic. I'm suspicious that they want drones like myself buried under gambling debts so that they become functional indentured servants with dying souls. And if I down a 40 the moment work releases me, I can't drive off into the sunset and escape.

It's more likely that the thought process for the trip went something like this:

"We have lots of consultants who need to learn a software we may or may not put into place."
"Where do they work?"
"Washington, D.C."
"What about the people training them?"
"They work in D.C."
"Great. But we need a room. And some computers."
"No kidding. We actually have rooms here. Lots of them. Whole offices, actually"
"And Computers?"
"Yeah, I think so. I know I've been checking my email on something."
"Hmmm. Ok. Well, "Atlantic City" comes first alphabetically on this computer registration form. So we're going to send them there.

Whatever the mysterious case may be, travelling occurred, and I'm actually grateful for the opportunity. But I have been longing for a good chance to blog.

For most of the week I was attempting to answer emails and update blog posts by telepathically messaging everyone. As I later informed some friends, New Jersey unfortunately magically caps brain power/superpowers. That's why Snooki uses the Bump-It--- to shield her wise mind from the Jersey stupifying rays. The Situation... No such luck.

What's up with the added shipping, Bump-It?

As a guy, I don't really have the hair for a bump, so I fell subject to New Jersey's mind beams. And I did what any mind-rattled zombie will do: I hit the casino.

First I went into a place called Resorts which you have probably never heard of. You know you're in a quality establishment when you have a $2 minimum bet at the blackjack table (but they charge you a quarter every hand to play). The dealer was an old woman who was apparently close to the end of her shift, because she gave me a death stare when I sat down to her table. She literally told me "You don't have to talk to me, just hand signal if you want to hit, stay, etc." Ouch.

I'm a believer in tipping your dealers, but after playing about 5 minutes, I left angry, depressed, and unwilling to tip Granny Goodness.

Then I made my way over to the Trump Taj Mahal. This casino is the realization of Donald Trumps' vision:

"You know what would really improve one of the most beautiful buildings in the world? Slot Machines!"

This place was actually pretty nice: relatively low minimum bets (as low as 5$ on the roulette table) without a complete sacrifice of quality. Plus, Donald Trumps' picture is EVERYWHERE, so there is always something amusing to laugh at.

By the way, let's be real for a moment: Donald Trump could afford a new hair stylist. So at some point, he made a conscious choice to keep that hairdo.

The first thing I see is a dealer who looks EXACTLY like Dwight Scrhute. The guy could have been Rainn Wilson's older brother.

Shuffle Up and Deal!
However, his table was (of course) full.

Because I like shiny colors and moving objects, I hit the roulette table. At first I had mediocre to bad luck and was slowly draining money and getting overlooked by cocktail waitresses.

Then... true to form, I found a dealer with a moustache. And this was no weak 'stache-- this was a handlebar you would put on your bike if you could.

This roulette dealer with the moustache helped me win back all of my losings, and I broke even for the night. Deciding that wasn't too shabby, I departed before my neglectful cocktail waitress brought me a drink I had been stalling for 20 minutes to get.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Moustache

The tenth post in a recurring segment on moustaches.

Today's moustache:

The Pringles Guy
Growing a moustache is like openning a can of Pringles: once you pop, you can't stop. "Pop", in this case, is the term the kids are using for growing a moustache.
"Hey Billy, have you started shaving yet? It looks like you're popping a weak 'stache."
"Hey Sally. I just robbed a gas station... I think I'm going to pop a moustache until the heat dies down."
As anyone who has been following these posts could tell you, moustaches come in all sorts of varieties-- flavors if you will. Just ask the Pringles guy, who lends his image to all sorts of tastes.
Common flavors include original, salt and vinegar, sour cream and onion, cheddar cheese, and barbecue.
More exciting & limited flavors have included prawn cocktail, curry, ketchup, zesty lime, chili, chili cheese dog, "pizzalicious", paprika, Texas BBQ sauce, cajun, cheesy fries, onion blossom, mozzarella cheese stick, screamin' dill pickle, and Mexican layered dip (No... really).
Pringles is looking forward to releasing its new Extreme Flavors, which will include Carbon Rod, Flounder, Paper Mache, Snow, Snowboard, Laptop Computer, Battleship, and Styrofoam.
These flavors may be too extreme for meek Pringles eaters. How will they be able to move product for such extreme flavors?
That's the power of the moustache: it's marketing gold.
The Pringles guy's moustache is also instructional. Everyone struggles with reaching those delicious last few chips that have hidden in the bottom of the Pringles tube. Growing a moustache is a great way to catch the straggling crumbs that fall towards you after tipping the tube towards your mouth. It's how whales have been catching krill for years.
So here is to the chips' mascot. Without the Pringles Guy, we might never know that chips could even come in a tube. Or that a moustache can also filter out salmonella.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Arnold Schwarzenegger Montages & Moments

There is something about Arnold Schwarzenegger that just tickles the funny bone. Since he is leaving the office of Governor and may be seeking acting work again, the Third Strike has decided to collect his on-screen resume.

As you can imagine, it fills well over one page.

Arnold Likes to Do It.

This is really.... cool.

Jingle All the Way to my heart.

Even back then, Arnold was breaking campaign promises.

Maybe... the best prank call ever.

Arnold gives his professional medical opinion.

And now... the Last Laugh!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Third Stike Goes To Comic Con.

Photo by Jehangir Irani.

Ladies and gentlemen, Third Strike is about to release a sleuth of "NERD" upon you all today. Perhaps this is because we are still coming down from the high from this weekend, as obtained from a big huge bong hit of NY COMIC CON.

I decided to shower Rob with the ultimate surprise: a trip (press pass included) to the annual nerd event of New York City. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: One day of forgoing massive amounts of comic book subject-matter.

Yes, we saw it all - aliens, storm troopers, Spiderman, people engaging in light saber fights - you know, typical NERD stuff.

But most importantly, Rob and I have met the man, the myth, the legend - Mr. Chewbacca himself!!! No, that is not Bigfoot! But any true nerd would recognize that furry face:

<---Rob can hardly contain his excitement. His nerd is bursting at the seams!

--->I'm definitely grabbing Chewbacca's hairy ass with my other hand. He liked it.

ANYWAY, enough about molesting mythical creatures. Here are some more photos from this weekend's adventures to Comic Con in New York City:

Stan "The Man" Lee. What comic expo would be complete without him?!
Side note: moments after this I used my press credentials to stand on stage with Stan Lee to get some video, suddenly becoming the envy of all nerds, including Rob.

Rob and Harley Quinn. He is SO happy.

Showing Spidey some love.

Fist pumping the Right Hand of Doom!!!

Why so serious?

Me, getting attacked by a facehugger... or just giant alien balls. Kind of terrifying.
Photo by Jehangir Irani.

Monday Moustache

The ninth post in a recurring segment on moustaches.

Today's mousatche-- Special Columbus Day Edition-- dedicated to the New York Comic Con:


It's likely that this moustache will be lost upon readers who aren't huge nerds. But then, those readers might have been lost at the beginning when the Third Strike began writing weekly posts dedicated to the glory of moustaches. That's the thing about moustaches-- they're hip, edgy, and dangerous. Just like Sinestro.

Where to begin?
Sinestro isn't in any big Hollywood movies... YET. Soon he will star in the Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. This is not to be confused with the Green Hornet film starring Seth Rogan. If you can confuse Ryan Reynolds with Seth Rogan, seek help.

One of these films looks like an awesome intergalactic superhero flick; the other has Seth Rogan as an action hero. Err... yeah.

Sinestro (Mark Strong... the bad guy from Kick-Ass AND Sherlock Holmes) will be the mentor of Green Lantern Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds). Given that Mark Strong will be playing him, he will probably be completely awesome The movie comes out Summer of 2011-- at which point all of this might start making sense.

Basically, Sinestro starts out as Denzel Washington from Training Day... in space. Like the guys from The Sheild or Dirty Harry, you can see where he is coming from, but his methods are anywhere from questionable to unnecessarily brutal. Eventually he pulls a Harvey Dent and becomes an all-out bad guy.... but a compelling and interesting one. And he becomes more powerful by scaring the crap out of the people.

So why is this post turning into a lecture in Intermediate Nerdiness 201?

Well, the Third Strike wrangled its way into the New York Comic Con this weekend, and got its Nerd on. Many posts will be following.

Amanda even got on stage with Stan Lee! She may have had a conversation about Rob that went something like this:

In comic books, there are not all that many moustaches. I racked my brain. But Sinestro didn't let the fact that he is not a human keep him from growing out an intimidating and memorable 'stache. And dammit, that kind of pioneering entitles the guy to the Columbus Day Monday Moustache.

It's a brand new world.