The blogosphere just got a lot smaller

February 23, 2006

Not because a whole bunch of bloggers packed up and went home. Fortunately. But because Dr. Phil Armenik, the greatest Fundamentalist in history ever, has started a blog.

Now there just simply isn’t any need to read anyone else’s blogs. (Except for this one.)

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The Crusty Media Empire expands

February 21, 2006

Move over, Oprah and Martha. The Crusty Curmudgeon makes the successful transition to print:

[Crusty Weekly]

(H/T: Promptings. Do your own.)


Yep, that’s me

February 21, 2006

Plain, boring ol’ d6:

You are a good old-fashioned six-sided cube, otherwise known as a d6. Others know you to be plain, predictable, conservative, average, ordinary, and downright boring.

Darn right. I’m so plain and predictable I don’t even like calling the thing a “d6.” It’s a die.

You prefer to describe yourself as dependable, honest, practical and trustworthy.

I hope that’s just a friendly way of saying curmudgeonly, crusty, cynical and cantankerous.

People usually know what to expect from you, since you rarely hold any surprises. You hate to make decisions, and if forced to decide, you’ll always fall back on how it was done in the past. You always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, and your jokes, while funny, are never too offensive. It seems that you are well liked, but maybe that’s simply because there’s nothing to hate.

[Take the quiz at dicepool.com]

Yeah, they’ve got me dead to rights. I’m the Cosby Show of blogs.


F5 #2: That “old man” smell

February 18, 2006

I’m going to have to write a special instalment of this series just to complain about how much I hate deadlines.

It comes in a stubby white bottle with a funny little stopper.

It is as ubiquitous a Christmas gift for Dad as a tie.

It has a ship on the label.

It is nearly universally derided as something that reminds people of their grandfathers.

And I don’t care.

I wonder whether the Shulton company knew back in 1937, when they introduced Old Spice aftershave, that they had a classic on their hands. I mean a real classic, not an ersatz “classic” like Ralph Lauren’s Polo, universally proclaimed a “classic scent” by the sales dronettes at department store fragrance counters. Two years ago I had no clue what Polo smelled like, and to my nose it seems dated. The market has moved on to newer, cooler designer fragrances with less pine and more fruit. Meanwhile, at nearly 70 years old – more than twice the age of Polo – Old Spice remains the bestselling mass-market men’s fragrance. Furthermore, since the brand was acquired by Procter and Gamble in 1990, they have successfully marketed the Old Spice line of hygiene products to, of all people, teenagers. Not bad for something only your grandfather would wear.

Truth be told, Old Spice doesn’t remind me of my grandfather. He was a pipe smoker, so the smell I associate with him is Amphora tobacco. My dad has always had a bottle, but since there are all of 26 years between us, I don’t associate him with “old men” – and besides, I familiarized myself with the scent by opening up his bottle and taking a whiff, not because I consciously recollect him wearing it.

Unlike so many modern designer fragrances, which seem to have a more “unisex” orientation, Old Spice is a distinctly masculine smell. According to Basenotes, its top notes are some nice manly citrus and spices before it dries down to cinnamon, a few florals, vanilla, and musk (amongst others). The overall result is a fragrance that exudes goodness and warmth – especially good on a day like today when it’s 20 below zero outside.

I don’t want to put down modern perfumery. One of my favourite eau de toilettes is Calvin Klein’s Truth, which I have woefully little of, and can’t buy more any time soon. I also have a bottle of Crabtree and Evelyn’s Nomad, which complements my favourite shaving soap and, like Old Spice, starts out with a sharp citrus top note before drying down to something fresh and leafy. I wear something like that on weekdays, when I have to interact with people, so I want something subtle that doesn’t come on too strong. On Sundays I can’t really wear any scent at all, because I sing with the church choir and don’t want to inadvertently choke anyone up because of their allergies.

But on Saturdays, I get to wear what makes me feel good. That usually means “Old Spice day.” It’s just another symptom of my curmudgeonliness.


Where do I find these people?

February 15, 2006

Yep, I’m still a “weirdo magnet.” Here’s a comment that was just left on a very old post (name changed by me):

YOU MUST BE JOHN SMITH’S BROTHER. HE SAID ONE OF HIS FAMILY WAS A MINISTER. HE DID VERY BAD THINGS WHEN I KNEW HIM IN HOUSTON. I HAVE A THINKING DISORDER, THAT REQUIRES MEDICATION, WHICH HE WAS AWARE OF AT THE TIME. HE USES HIS FRIENDS FOR THEIR FLESH, AND TOSSES THEM ASIDE, NOT CARING ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS. I HOPE YOU HAVE MORE COMPASSION THAN HIS CHILDREN, BECAUSE I PROBABLY AM WASTING MY TIME WRITING THIS. THE ONLY REASON I CHOSE TO WRITE TO A CHRISTIAN MINISTER ABOUT JOHN IS THAT HIS NAME ON YAHOO, BRINGS UP PORNOGRAPHIC SITES FROM EUROPE (TYPE IN THE BROWSER: SMITH IS A TRAITOR). I QUESTION WHETHER YOU CAN SAVE ANY SOULS, HAVING THE SPIRIT OF THE DEVIL IN YOUR MISTS [sic]. GOD BLESS.

“Thinking disorder” indeed. Not only does this stream-of-consciousness rambling have zero to do with the post it was attached to, but I’m not a “Christian minister,” nor is there really anything I can do about alleged sexual predators in Texas. (Maybe George W. Bush can help.)

Where do these people come from?


They sure showed us

February 14, 2006

Azerbaijan’s weekly Yeni Habar has published cartoons of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary in response to the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in Danish and other European countries’ press.

The author of the cartoons quoted by Day.Az web agency said they were a response to the “insults to the Prophet Mohammed” and reminded of freedom of speech.

[Full Story]

All over the Western hemisphere, Azerbaijani embassies burn.

Wait, that didn’t happen.


Go Chuck!

February 14, 2006

I gotta hand it to Charles Colson. He actually says what I only dare to think in church:

When church music directors lead the congregation in singing some praise music, I often listen stoically with teeth clenched. But one Sunday morning, I cracked. We had been led through endless repetitions of a meaningless ditty called, “Draw Me Close to You.” The song has zero theological content and could be sung in a nightclub, for that matter. When I thought it was finally and mercifully over, the music leader beamed at us and said in a cheerful voice, “Let’s sing that again, shall we?” “No!” I shouted loudly. Heads all around me spun while my wife cringed. (emphasis added)

[Read Musical Mush]

I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a good praise chorus as much as the next guy. The ban some Christians seem to place on music younger than, say, 50 years, seems to me quite arbitrary. And in the last decade in particular, there has been an upsurge in truly God-centred hymnody (as I write this, the Newsboys’ “He Reigns” plays on iTunes, for example). Note, though, that I said a good praise chorus. There’s still a lot of dross, of which the execrable “Draw Me Close to You” is a prime example – one of the handful of songs I refuse to sing on general principle. And it’s not even the worst offender: in my opinion, this song takes the cake. Sorry, I’m just not into homoerotic Jesus fantasies.