Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Juiced!!


AP: Backwoods Idaho -- I'm calling this press conference to set the record straight about my past performance. I need to address rumors that I took performance-enhancing substances to enhance my blogging.

First, bear with me. I'm a little nervous, or a lot nervous. Let me start by thanking fellow bloggers, and my half-dozen fans for your support.

Unfortunately, it is true that I also took substances in the past to increase my blogging performance.

On one hand, it's a little difficult to admit mistakes, but on the other hand, it feels good to move forward.

I took these substances in 2008 from July to September. I was posting far more regularly than I do know, and humorous material was coming to me much quicker.

I screwed up big time!. Me and my cousin started taking substances that he got from the Dominican Republic. My cousin would supply me with things to keep my performance high.

When you're young and stupid, you're young and stupid.
I didn't know what effect the substances would have, or whether I was even taking them properly.

I would hope that we can move forward, and I would hope that you would judge me from this day forward.

This concludes the press conference, and no questions will be taken.



ESPN correspondent Tim Kurkjian:



You have just heard a stunning announcement that could forever hang over the career of this mediocre blogger.

Our crack investigative team has discovered more details into this shocking revelation. It has been found that for the period of time from July-Sep 2008, Matt's cousin was supplying him with Vero Mango candy, Chiclet's gum, and Tamarind soda pop.
These items can be very dangerous when taken together, and will certainly help blogging performance.

Let's take a look at the stats, and you'll see the correlation.

In the July-Sep time frame, Matt had posts that not only attracted more visitors, but garnered several more comments that he's had at other times in his career. For example, take a look at:

News you really need to peruse
Banana hammocks out in full force
Reason #17 why you shouldn't shop at the Wal-marts.

In addition, his posting percentages were astronomically higher. In this timeframe, he averaged almost 4 posts a week. He's lucky to put out 2 pieces of drivel a week in his current state. And have you read the stuff he has lately? He's starting to talk much more about his personal life, rather than put out a half decent humor piece. Who cares if he's growing a beard, or is working on finishing his basement.

Some may actually wonder if Matt should start taking these substances again, just so his material borders on the readable. In its current state, "That tears it...!" should probably be rescined by blogger. He's an embarrasment to this profession, and can't even crack the top 20 on Humor-blogs. Even LOL cats can make a top 20 list. What a shame.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Caption this: "I'm not a terrorist" edition.

Over the years, I have tried all sorts of facial hair. Soul patch, Poets beard, chops, mutton chops, lamb chops, chin strap etc. In fact, the only thing I've never tried is a full beard, or any sort of hair on my upper lip. I've always been morally against having any sort of mustache. It seemed so dirty.

So in my forced furlough from work, I decided to let my face go completely ape-man. It was a disgusting sight, and has since been shaved. For your enjoyment, I bring you to my first (and probably last) caption contest. It is the full beard in all its glory.
Flame away. The meaner the better. I overcame my physical short-comings year ago.

I'll get things started with a few suggestions of my own. Whomever I deem the winner of the contest can have their choice of 500 EC credits, tips on how to dominate at Call of Duty 4, or just good old fashioned blog-comment praise.





Hey, is that the ugly twin of J.D. from Scrubs?


(the wookie sound)


Why did you crop your fat gut out of the picture?


Is that a grown-out flat-top?


As you're now on a government watch list, every flight will be a "red-eye" from now on.


At least it hides your double chin. (or is it triple?)


You've got a face made for radio.


What the Hell is with your creepy right eye?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Heavy Petting

It appears that having fish as a pet is no longer interesting for my kids. You'd think that having fish called Tiger barbs, Gouramis, and Clown Loaches would be enough for a kid.
It's obviously not as we've been getting the full-court press from the kids to get a more interesting pet.

We've decided to take the "used car purchasing" policy with the kids. The more they ask for, the more we retreat in our compromises.

As a family outing, we decided to hit the local pet store for a little hands-on experience. Now, this is not your normal Petco or Petsmart. This is a local joint which carries everything from tarantulas to chinchillas. They even have an outdoor petting zoo with all sorts of interesting animals. The kids ran directly past all the "potential pet choices," and went straight to see the Ostriches, pot-bellied pigs, and the Yak.

As I stared at a Yak, and wondered if this was the only one in Idaho, I came to the conclusion that hundreds of years ago, the original name for this hairy cow was probably Yuck. (Mainly due to its smell and 11 pounds of crusted feces hanging off the butt-shag) Tibetan monks must have felt bad for the animal, and changed it. Or perhaps they thought that it would be guessed easier on Wheel of Fortune with an A instead of a U.

After corralling the kids back into the pet store, they headed straight for the puppies. I looked at all the dogs, and noticed that they only carried puppies. Why? Because they are all cute, including the Beagle/Collie/Carp mix on the bottom row. This is an ingenious sales technique. Let me give a real-world example.

You are at the club with some friends cruising for a hook-up. After a few of your favorite beverages, you're feeling mighty fine, and decide to hit the dance floor. "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails starts pumping through the speakers, and you go on the prowl. In a dark corner, an available female is giving you "lusty eyes." She passes your hottie test, and you both dance the night away, and continue the party at your apartment.

You wake up the next morning to find a complete stranger in your bed. What was a complete hottie at the club, now resembles Mindy Cohn, but with the complexion of Gregg Popovich.

Rather than toss her to the curb, you feel like you have something invested, so you call her back, and a relationship starts. It's not the best relationship, but it's better than nothing, and you like the companionship. She is a complete pig, and leaves hair on the bar of soap. You fight a lot, but enjoy the bowling league you both participate in. Over time, you grow fond of her, but a painful breakup inevitably occurs. Amazingly, you realize how much happier you are without her in your life, and vow never to meet a woman in the club again. **

How did this start? All on the sales room floor my friend.
Alcoholic beverages, dark dance floor, mood music, and strobe lights. (On a separate topic, it is my belief that strobe lights make everything you do look 73% better. Dancing, fighting, washing dishes, etc)

The same thing occurs in the pet store. Cute little puppies give you "lonely eyes" while some Sarah McLaughlin music pipes on the overhead. Your kids instantly pick out their favorite and you have no choice but to buy the dog for 200 bucks, and head home. 3 weeks later, your entire house smells like urine, you no longer own a complete set of slippers, and your budget for lint rollers increased 800%.
Oh, you may grow fond of the dog over time, and actually like its company. Some say that their dogs are like their children. True, that they both ruin all your possessions, pee and throw up at will, but dogs will never give you grandchildren. Remember this.

Unfortunately for the Boxer pups, and to the dismay of my children, I herded the family over to the "lower maintenance" pets. After deciding that they had no interest in a spider, hermit crab or more fish, we decided that a rodent would probably be the best starting point.

Unfortunately for me, this whole section smelled like Matthew McConaughey's armpits. I was amazed at how much stink a hamster or guinea pig could generate. After talking to the salesman, he assured me that a gerbil urinates far less than the other rodents, and smells less.

Did you know that a gerbil looks exactly like a mouse? In fact, I wonder if they really are mice, but they just renamed them so people wouldn't freak out at owning a mouse.
I'm not fooled. Just because they switched out Dick York with Dick Sargent on Bewitched doesn't mean that anybody was fooled.


Mouse or gerbil?? Who knows? Just keep Richard Gere away.

Alas, it appears that some sort of rodent will be living free in our home after escaping from its cage. I'm laying out the mouse gerbil-traps already.

**By the way, the exact same thing happened to the girl. She didn't realize that you looked like Andy Richter, only softer, and you also brush your teeth only once a day.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reader e-mail; the Jesus edition

I receive a few odd e-mails to the address that represents this web-site. (thefourthring@gmail.com) Most of them are from rich Nairobi princes, or from best friends explaining how to prolong pleasure for a lady.
I received a more interesting email from a reader who found my web site by googling "random pictures of dead people real dead people gross stuff."
This reader landed on this page describing my experiences with the nether-regions of this world. (as opposed to the nether-regions of my body)

I almost deleted the e-mail upon reading the search term used to find my page. Let's use at least one Boolean expression or quotes to limit the search results.

Upon further reading, the writer described that she also had the same sleep issues and ghostly experiences I have. She went on to say that by "finding Jesus," she was able to overcome these strange occurrences. In fact, the way she did it was to "throw out a tarp of love and willingness to submit and devour evil in her mind."

While I appreciate the help and encouragement, it got me thinking about a few things.

First, why haven't the Jesus freaks gotten on this whole spam e-mail thing? Where's the innovation? I receive hundreds of e-mails daily from scammers in Africa, penis enlargement firms, and cheap prescription benefits companies. You're telling me that there's no group out there trying to send out e-mails with the subject line "You're going to Hell"?
As I scanned through the spam folder, I would totally stop and check this e-mail out. You could have it be from Jesus, and have the subject line say "Damn you."

In fact, they should take it a step further. Who hasn't been in a laundromat, and seen the pamphlets inviting you to take Jesus in your life? All you need to do is sign your name at the back of the pamphlet. I've put my John Hancock on hundreds of these "just to be sure."

Why not have something similar in an e-mail. A big CLICK HERE TO ACCEPT JESUS link in the e-mail should do fine. Wouldn't this be the same thing?
Or even better, when you click the "accept Jesus" link, it can install some spy ware on your PC. Then every time you try to surf porn, a crash of lightning would run across your monitor warning you of your impending doom.
These are great ideas. I need to be hired in the creative department.

It's also curious to me when people invite you to "find Jesus" as this lady did. Is this the best terminology available? Aren't there others better suited for the job?


You'd think that there are other groups that are well-funded involved in finding Jesus. The CIA, AP, NASA, Don King, etc.
You could start a small children's show called Where in the world is Jesus, and get Rockapella to write a theme song.

And then what happens when they find him? Who wants to see an article on CNN.com stating "Jesus found in Phoenix eating a Whataburger." Don't you think that would be kind of a let-down? What would PETA think? I think most would like to think of the Holy One sitting on his throne in Heaven wielding unlimited power and knowledge, not super-sizing a curly fry.
What if I took this challenge personally to find Jesus and then I find him? Then the world throws my name in the conversation with David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite.
Perhaps people should use different terminology. Maybe I should be invited to believe in Jesus, or accept his divinity.
I have a suggestion for people that suggest to "find Jesus." Send me a link.

And lastly, what is a professed follower of Jesus doing searching the Internet for "random pictures of dead people real dead people gross stuff"? Hopefully she wants to raise them. (not as children, but actually bring them back)
And she obviously doesn't want to see fake dead people. She wants real dead people, and gross stuff. May I suggest the "faces of death" film series.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where the Hell is he?

The author is currently pulling a Jim Rome, and spending time in the basement.



No really...I'm really in the basement.
Due to a forced week-long furlough at work, I have a bunch of spare time on my hands. You'd think this would lead to increased blogging. Not true.
Our basement is unfinished, and I felt that building tree-houses in my youth qualified me to start working on the framing and electrical.
Every waking minute is spent thinking about mistakes I've made, and how to fix them.
First mistake: Not purchasing a nail gun.
What idiot frames without this? Me. 80% of frustration comes from this mistake. Unfortunately, this week-long furlough is unpaid, so I don't have the extra cash-flow. Hammer away.
Second mistake: Watching a lot of DIY network.
Did you know they can complete an kitchen renovation in roughly 28 minutes? It takes me 28 minutes to measure and place one stud. Studly indeed.
Third mistake: Blatant use of the foot-hammer.
Demolition of existing framing using a 12 inch pry bar, and no sledgehammer requires innovation only seen in the completely desperate.
Fourth mistake: Setting a time-line.
20 minutes into the project I was behind schedule. I am immersed in "behind schedule."
Look for me in the ER shortly. Or perhaps a psychiatrist.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A little over the top, or reason number 9 why you shouldn't shop at the Walmarts


There are times in our lives when we hear of experiences that are so surreal or other-worldly, that we wonder if they really occurred. Did Moses really see a burning bush? Did Mohammad really see God in a cave? Did Christian Bale really freak out on-set like that?

In the same tradition as these events I've just listed, something similar happened to me waiting in the check-out line at Walmart.

As a side-note, for someone that consistently rips on Walmart, and professes disgust with everything relating to the store, I sure go there a lot. Does this say more about the store, or myself? I'm sure I don't know either.

Our older boy was turning 4 years old, and we needed to get him a new bike, as he'd out-grown the previous one. We shopped around at all of the local stores for the cheapest bike. After visiting Fred Meyer, Shopko, and K-mart, we found that the average price of a 16" kids bike was $413. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but it was ridiculous.

So we hit the Walmart, and found a Huffy for 46 bucks. Now I realize I'm a poor parent for purchasing my son a Huffy, but I'm not going to spend $120 dollars on a bike that will most likely get backed over by our Suburban, or end up getting left out in every major snow-storm. If a store sold a bike that was just labeled "bike" and not painted, I would purchase it to save a few bucks.

As we waited in the cashiers line to pay for the bike, the gentleman standing in front of us decided to strike up a conversation with us. I don't understand this, as I try to look as unfriendly as possible. Perhaps alcohol was already flowing freely in his system.
As the guy looked like George Carlin in his 20's, with crack scabies and definitely un-showered, I quickly shielded my youngest from the spittle droppings every time he stumbled across the letter P.
He looked at my 1 year old son, and said "Looks like you got a new bike."
"Yeah, we usually start them out with riding before walking." I said.
Actually I didn't say that, but the un-feeling Republican half of my mind tried to make me.

Instead my wife and I feigned conversation with the guy until we realized he had to send his buddy back for Coors Light instead of Bud Light. (I tended bar for 5 years, and only the truest redneck could tell the difference)

We ended up switching to the next aisle as it appeared to be moving faster.

What transpired next was amazing.

A large overweight man resembling John Kruk with a goatee walked by George Carlin's aisle. Carlin hollered over to the guy, and Kruk looked back at him with aggression, wondering why some stranger would impede his journey to find the latest issue of "Tattoo" magazine.

Kruk -- What do you want?

Carlin -- Hey, were you in that movie--Over the Top?

Me -- (I braced for the fight to begin. I could only imagine the fists flying, tic tacs and certs scattering across the floor. It would be well worth the visit to Walmart.)

Kruk -- No I wasn't, but everybody asks me that. (beaming with pride)

Me -- (What?? Who else in the world would ask you that?)

Carlin -- Oh. I totally thought you were that guy in the movie.

Me -- (You mean Bull Hurley?)


Kruk -- Yeah, after the first 400 people asked me that, I decided to go get a t-shirt that said "Arm wrestling champion."


Do you realize the cumulative probability in this whole concerto playing out?

Odds that you stop a stranger in Walmart without hair-pulling breaking out: 153,000 to 1
Odds that 401 people have actually seen Over the Top, and remember the villain: 263,000 to 1
Odds that you ask a stranger if they are a very unattractive movie star: 8600 to 1
Odds that someone would take pride in resembling Bob "Bull" Hurley in 2009: 426,000 to 1
Odds that a Walmart patron would purchase an "Arm Wrestling champion" t-shirt: 2 to 1

The fact that all of these things took place in succession defies all belief.

Luckily I didn't see a "in case of rapture, vehicle is unmanned" bumper sticker on the way home, or I would have been down to visit Father Mulcahy for some last-minute penance.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The glass is half full....it's just a smaller glass

Top 10 positive things we should focus on in this poor economy.

1--Transformers 2 is considering dialing down the special effects from the first movie, and actually integrating a plot. No word on if they will merge Transformers 2, and Armageddon 2 into Transformageddon as they are basically the same movie.

2--Serial killers nationwide cannot afford to shop at Home Depot anymore. They will be forced to shop at Harbor Freight, where sub-standard, more affordable tools can be purchased. Have you tried sawing a Femur in half with a Chicago Electric Reciprocating saw? The motor will die out before the second leg, forcing the killer to use a hack-saw. I think this could dissuade many from killing again.

3--All those Banana Hammocks you have been saving since 1979 could become chic as you can just say that a new swimsuit is "too expensive."


4--Every time your kids ask for money, you'll be able to respond that "We don't have any extra money because of the economy." I figure you can use this excuse for the next 14 years or so until they catch on.

5--There is bound to be a bunch of free concerts given as a "gift" to those that can't afford it. Bank on seeing Bon Jovi or the B-52's free in the next year.


That guy in the lower right-hand corner waited on me at Ruby Tuesday last weekend

6--You'll make many new friends begging for cash at the Walmart intersection. It's a direct correlation--Unemployment goes up, Walmart stop-light begging does too.

7--You can finally start using the skills you've learned on Man vs. Wild.


8--Hollywood won't be able to afford to pay Kevin Costner what he thinks he is worth, thus leading to no more bland 3 hour movies. (We'll leave this to Keanu Reeves)

9--There may finally be a use for all the rampant dog reproduction in Houston Texas as a new food source is discovered. (Seriously, have you ever been to Houston? I swear that on any random street, there are 7 wild dogs running around, and 3 of them are pregnant. Listen to Bob Barker you bastards.)

10--Washington will finally realize that the country is in economic peril, and put partisan politics and wasteful spending aside in order to look out for the American people.
They will put real stimulus into the economy and the vote will not fall along party lines.
No unnecessary spending for things like $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts; $150 million for the Smithsonian; $400 million for global-warming research, and $650 million more for my Grandma to buy a digital TV box for her TV that hasn't seen electricity since 1994.

The future is looking brighter every day.

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