Monday, December 31, 2007

Maybe there's a reason mice fear cats

New research indicates that mice, if genetically altered, lose their fear of cats. Japanese scientists at the University of Tokyo say they have modified mice by removing certain nasal cells." Without the nasal cells, mice no longer smell the cat and no longer try run away--as mice are said to be naturally terrified of cats.

The scientists say that their research shows that mice are genetically designed to fear cats and that it's not learned by experience.

Of course, without the nasal cells the mice would be even more defenseless. They would approach the cat, which would then snatch them up. Cats that I've seen usually do one of the following with mice: kill then and eat them, play with them and then kill and eat them or play with them and then lose them.

Sounds to me like this gene is a survival instinct of mice. Extinction would certainly be a lot more rampant if animals suddenly had no more fear of their predators.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Speaking of John Tesh...

...a fellow Christian and friend of mine in broadcasting tells me that he has met John Tesh a few times and has even interviewed him once or twice on the air. Said to me that Mr. Tesh couldn't have been a nicer man.

I say this just so that anyone reading this blog realizes that my attempts at parodying "Intelligence For Your Life" are for humor purposes only. I can't remember if I mentioned this is my prior post, but Tesh's show is one that helps me get through the early morning hours as I work at a bagel shop (I'm not really a morning person).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Having fun with John Tesh

Let me preface this blog post by saying I love John Tesh's radio show and his "Intelligence For Your Life" tidbits. But as I listen, I can't help but think of how funny it would be to parody them. With that, occassionally I'll be posting "Stupidity For Your Death", as told by someone like Tohn Jesh or Sean Desh.

For starters:

Hi. Sean Desh here. Are you tired of seeing all that money earned from poker trips to Vegas getting eaten up in taxes? Here are some tips on how you can save that money in this edition of Stupidity For Your Death.

1. Hire a shady accountant, one whose silence can be bought with pricey gifts.

2. Store that money in a bank account in someplace like Switzerland or Luxembourg.

3. List yourself on tax returns as an "entertainment consultant".

4. Don't try to claim as a tax write-off visits to Vegas strip clubs. Nothing screams "IRS Audit" more than a blatantly-unauthorized claim on your tax returns.

Following these steps can help you make more trips to Vegas and retire much sooner--preferably to some non-extraditionary island in the Pacific Ocean.

Next time on Stupidity For Your Death: making lots of extra money by pretending to be a debt collector.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Leadership, according to Dad

My father's always been the modest type who prefers not to be the center of attention, so I figure this might embarrass him a bit. In a good way, though. Over the years I've known lots of classmates whose fathers/uncles/friends/relatives have worked for Dad. All have spoken glowingly about Dad and how much they loved working for him. I asked Dad what his view of leadership was and here's what he said.

1. Work alongside your men and don't be afraid get dirty and brave the elements with them.
2. Treat them as equals.
3. Be open to advice on how to solve a problem.
4. Be firm when needed.
5. When you have an employee who's struggling but really trying to get the job done, try to work with him.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I WAS Legend

If ever there was a movie to be made of the rise and fall of the career that was Tom Cruise's, here's what it could be called:

I WAS Legend.

Synopsis: young actor gets bit roles, gets his big break with Risky Business, becomes a big star with movies like Top Gun and Mission: Impossible before melting down about his "religion", psychiatry and jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey's couch. His career jumps the couch and before long he's no longer a hot ticket in Hollywood.

Perhaps coming soon to a theater near you...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Michael Jackson's devolving look

When I look at Michael Jackson's face, it reminds me of something very disturbing.

The cadaver of a burn victim that has had lots and lots of plastic surgery.

As you see from this recent pic of Jacko, he is continuing down the slope of going from a handsome black man to, well, it's hard to describe it, but he looks like someone whose face was horribly burned in an accident and has had countless surgeries to try to reconstruct it.

Those things on his face are called "surgical plasters", although I'm not sure what they're used for.

Coming out early next year, according to this article, will be Jacko's new "album"--a 25th-anniversary edition of his hit 1983 album Thriller. This one will be called Thriller 25.

Time to make the Bagels!

The past few weeks, as I work at Bab's Deli in Davison, Mich., this commercial says it all. Just substite "bagel" for "donut"...

One of the tricks I've learned to getting up bright and early is getting to sleep early. This has its disadvantages: one of my guilty pleasures is watching reruns of That 70s Show, but right now there is just simply no way to watch that show and get adequate sleep. And I've learned the hard way what happens when you have to get up nice and early and try to do so on a few hours of sleep.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

To the readers of my columns

After talking to my wife and praying about it, I will be taking what I hope to be a temporary hiatus from my two columns: Richard's Ramblings and My Two Shekels. Specifically, they will not be appearing--for the time being--in my hometown newspaper (Beeville [Texas] Bee-Picayune), or Redford, Mich.-based Olive Branch Press. I am not in a financial position right now where I can afford to continue writing columns for free. That being said, RR will still be appearing in places where I'm getting paid, such as the Tuscola County Advertiser and I apologize to any readers who enjoy the columns, but right now I simply am not able to write for free. Perhaps in the future once I am able to get a job that pays the bills.

This is indeed the nature of the beast when it comes to writing. I subscribe to lists where they will display those needing writers for various projects. For the most part, those needing writing wok done want it done for pennies on the dollar.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some of the names mentioned in the Mitchell Report

Many of the names I'd never heard of, some weren't surprising while some were. Here's a list of some of the names:

Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason and Jeremy Giambi, Benito Santiago, Wally Joyner (briefly), Jose Canseco (no surprise), Barry Bonds (ditto), Mark McGwire (ditto), Miguel Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro.

I didn't see Ivan Rodriguez in there, which surprised me a little. He was one name thought for sure to be on the report.

Miguel Tejada just got traded to my favorite team, the Houston Astros. In fact, the Astros traded five prospects to get him. I wonder if they can nullify the trade...

zzzz... Mitchell Report released...zzzz

Have been listening to the Mitchell Report online. Sheesh. Twenty minutes or so of rambling on and on about the people who helped with the report and legal issues. Took Senator Mitchell forever to start naming players. Why does everybody have to beat around the bush? Seems like the senator could've said in five minutes what he took half an hour to say.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Feeling better

Had the 24-hour bug yesterday but am now feeling better. Yech. I hate being sick.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Party last night

Last night my wife and I went to a party with people from work. It was nice to get out with Jennifer and have a "date"--something we haven't done since our 10th wedding anniversary back in June. It was really a great time for both of us.

The Jennifer Love Hewitt Syndrome

On the cover of this week's issue of People magazine is Jennifer Love Hewitt, whom I consider one of the prettiest actresses out there. But she's on it for reasons one might not expect. Photos were taken of the 28 year-old Ghost Whisperer star, who was relaxing at the beach with her fiance. The photos were posted, and mention was made of cellulite Hewitt had and implied that the actress needs to lose weight.

Give me a break.

Hewitt responded on her blog, referencing her dress size and wrote this: "...I've sat by in silence for a long time now about the way women's bodies are constantly scrutinized. To set the record straight, I'm not upset for me, but for all of the girls out there that are struggling with their body image.

"A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful.
What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.

"To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini -- put it on and stay strong."

When I was at college back in the early to mid nineties, a size 6 was considered an ideal size for a girl. Now, there are people out there that think a size 2 is heavy? And there's actually such a thing as a size ZERO?

I'm married to a beautiful, plus-sized woman and personally feel a woman looks more appealing when she has some meat on her bones rather than starving herself to death and looking like she's just been liberated from a concentration camp. You'd think that with all these models starving themselves to be un-sexy thin, and with talented singers like Karen Carpenter dying in 1983 from complications from anorexia, there would be far less emphasis on how skinny a woman looks. Perhaps I'm biased: when I was in the service, a beautiful female officer I knew constantly threw up, would go a few days eating just an apple and ended up being hospitalized with an eating disorder.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A humorous look at the life of Fred Thompson

Every once in a while I'll be featuring outtakes of things I submit for publication. Here's the lastest I submitted for a humor publication: a light-hearted look at the life of GOP Presidential Candidate Fred D. Thompson:

Fred Thompson Biography

By Richard Zowie

Whenever I think of the presidential candidacy of Republican Senator Fred Dalton Thompson, my mind is filled with very insignificant thoughts: how can a New York City District Attorney speak with a strong southern drawl? Furthermore, will Hail to the Chief be changed to sound like Law and Order theme?

Thompson’s acting career began when he was injured in a high school football game; he asked the trainers, “How’s the crowd taking it?” When told that the crowd was too busy heading to the concession stand to notice, Thompson showed his natural acting ability by promptly screaming in agony. The entire crowd then carried Thompson on their shoulders to the hospital, and an actor was born.

Thompson earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1967, learning the value of hard work and speaking with a southern accent. Southern Gentleman, good; Cold Washington Insider, bad.

FDT’s life was forever changed when he read Senator Barry Goldwater’s book The Conscience of a Conservative; he went on to start a Young Republican Club and earned a seat on a Republican Executive Committee. In 1968, Thompson met California Governor Ronald Reagan. Thompson admired Reagan’s leadership, dignity, sense of humor and how he always made time for the little people, such as 5’3” Mickey Rooney.

Thompson later became an assistant United States attorney in Nashville in 1969, where he was a tough prosecutor who put away scumbags and—oops—the occasional innocent victim. Thompson served eight years as a United States Senator.

Thompson has two sons by his first wife and a daughter and son by his second wife, whom he married in 2002.

In the meantime, Thompson has kept himself busy by doing radio commentaries, filming ads encouraging Michael Moore to defect to Cuba and calling up Law and Order alumni like Mariska Hargitay and Ice T and asking if they’ll endorse him.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Top 10 things Hugo Chavez says on a daily basis

I recently provided a sample of my comedic style to a potential freelance client. Thought I'd share it with you:
Top 10 things Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez says on a daily basis

10. "What?! You disagree with me? I sure hope you have your life insurance premiums paid up!"

9. "Let's see, what color of shirt should I wear today? Such a tough choice between red, red or red."

8. "Memo to self: the next time King Juan Carlos I tells me to shut up, I'll respond, 'Oh yeah? Your mama speaks Tex-Mex!'"

7. "Sorry, Fidel, but due to the economy, Venezuelan oil will now cost 10 Cohiba cigars a barrel instead of eight."

6. "Red shirt, but what shade of red? Burgundy , crimson, Marlboro, scarlet, auburn?"

5. "Let's review tonight's speech: Bush is evil, blah blah blah, capitalist pigs belong in hell, blah blah blah, it's an insult to snakes to call Dick Cheney a snake, blah blah blah, up with the workers and down with the bourgeois. Looks good."

4. "Sí, Señor Sean Penn, if you run out of cigarettes, you can blame it on President Bush."

3. "I'm bored. Let's torture an opposition leader."

2. "How about if we change the name of Venezuela to Chavez-land?"

1. "It's pronounced Oogo, NOT Hugo!"