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Nothing to do with anything

I don't even know what to say about this one.

Submitted by Roanman on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 11:29


From Bloomberg Business Week and Eric Spitznagel who clearly has way too much time on his hands.

Click on the photo below in the event you to have too much time on your hands.

Gregg Miller remembers the first time he realized just what an uphill battle he was facing with his new business. He was sitting backstage at the Pat Bullard Show in New York, waiting to introduce the world to Neuticles. He got into a conversation with comedian Joan Rivers, another guest on the show, and tried to explain to her exactly what he’d invented. “They’re testicular implants for pets,” he said. Rivers just stared at him blankly and asked, “What do they do?” Miller went into as much detail as he could, telling her how Neuticles help pets and their owners deal with the trauma of neutering. She just smirked at him, he says, and then repeated her question. “But what do they do?”

It’s difficult to quantify exactly what Neuticles do. Unlike the things they’re replacing —the actual scrotums that are removed during castration surgery—Neuticles don’t technically have a biological purpose. They’re an emotional Band-Aid for a procedure that Miller says “adds insult to injury.” He came up with the idea after noticing that his dog, a bloodhound named Buck, went through a long grieving process after being neutered. “Dogs aren’t stupid,” he says. “They would know if their eye was gouged out, or their foot was cut off. Why wouldn’t they know if their testicles are now missing?”

It’s that word—testicles—that makes his business especially difficult. It’s right there in the Neuticles name; “Neut-” stands for neutering and “-icles” for testicles. When he first launched the company, he hired a team of telemarketers to call pet owners and tell them about Neuticles. But describing the product was almost impossible without bringing up testicles. And testicles, even dog testicles, are not something most people want to discuss with a stranger who calls during dinner. It’s a subject that invariably leads to grimacing or giggling. Even Miller, who’ll be 59 years old this week, can’t avoid the puns. “When Neuticles were introduced commercially in 1995,” he says, “people thought I was nuts.”

Seventeen years later, Neuticles—still based in Miller’s hometown of Oak Grove, Mo., a suburb of Kansas City—have become a huge commercial success. Miller estimates that 517,223 neutered pets, living in all 50 states and 49 countries, are proudly (and unsuspectingly) wearing Neuticles. And they now come in a variety of styles and, yes, sizes. The less expensive option (priced from $119 to $149 for a set) is made out of rigid polypropylene and is, Miller believes, “easily detected” by discerning dogs, while the more expensive version (the UltraPLUS, which can cost up to $600) is made from silicone and, according to Miller, is “very lifelike.”


Which reminds me of my all time favorite Far Side cartoon.

Click on the cartoon below for


Chernobyl or Chaplin? ...... Chaplin.

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 04/26/2012 - 18:34


My mood is being affected by the relentless, endless bad crap I've been reading lately.

The little wiffer suggests that maybe my mental health would improve were I to just spend a couple hours on the couch with her, watching Little House on the Prairie and Waltons reruns.

I dunno ....... maybe if she were naked.

So anyway, as you won't see below, on this day in history the Chernobyl nuclear tragedy began.

I've had this post hanging around for over a year as last year I forgot I had it until about July and it subsequently was never posted.

So anyway, this morning I pulled it out again and started reading through it having been notified that today was the day by my trusty little tickler program.

"Damn, this is some bleak stuff."

I deleted the whole thing.

Here's Charlie Chaplin from Gold Rush.

Infinitely better than Chernobyl, The Waltons, or Little House on the Prairie.



The Great Levon Helm

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 04/19/2012 - 17:00


Levon Helm passed away today at the age of 71.

I never got to see The Band despite having tried hard three different times.


I had a couple good friends, ten or so years older than I am who got to see them perform a bunch of times all over Ontario, first backing Ronnie Hawkins and then later on as Levon and the Hawks.

I was and am incredibly envious.

Still, I've watched Last Waltz or portions of it at least a couple hundred times as it sits comfortably somewhere at or near the top of my "current pile" of music cds, books and video's, right there next to my headphone amp just about 2 feet from where I always sit, here in my office.

As it has ever since I've had this office.

From Last Waltz and their last ever performance together, this is Garth Hudson on the organ, The Band's other great voice, Richard Manuel on the piano, Rick Danko on bass guitar and vocals, Robbie Robertson on guitar and Levon Helm on drums and lead vocals.

Levon and the Hawks.

A.K.A. The Band.

Up on Cripple Creek.



The Pogues

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 22:16


Up until the Pogues there has never been anything that even remotely resembles the Pogues, who offered up an electric mix of Punk crossed on Irish folk music.

Tonight, depending where you happen to be, you can hear any number of bands that sound a lot like the Pogues including most notably Black 47, The Dropkick Murpheys and hopefully the Pogues themselves whom I believe still soldier on. 

Here they are at the absolute top of their game in 1988, live in Japan.  

This is Shane MacGowan on Vocals, a seemingly bored Spider Stacey on backup vocals, Penny Whistle and cigarette, James Fearnley on the Accordian, Phil Chevron on Guitar, Andrew Rankin playing Drums, and Darryl Hunt on the Bass.  Jem Finer who you never really get to see is somewhere playing the Banjo and Terry Woods who you also never really see is on the Mandola (think big Mandolin), the headstock of which you do get to see.

The Pogues.

If I Should Fall from Grace With God ... which I'm sure will never happen.



And because Jem Finer has moved to the saxaphone and catches a little face time on this one and even more because there are times when it's only a little Irish Punk that truly satisfies.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah ... not Year, Year, Year as some would have you believe.



The fan at the front of the stage is there to keep Shane from falling on his face.


Dead Parrott

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 15:55


Chris H. had never heard of the "Slowly I Turned" bit which doesn't even seem possible to me, but then I suppose you have to be of a certain age to have had this one pounded into your cultural frame of reference.

He asked if we knew of any other "old comedy bits".

Well, I guess if your gonna post "Slowly I Turned", might as well bring in the Dead Parrott.



Look to the west tonight at dusk

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 02/26/2012 - 17:29


I should have gone through my email yesterday as I would have known to go check out the sky for a fairly rare conjunction of the three brightest lights in the evening sky, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon.

No matter, the show is back on tonight although configured somewhat differently.

Thanks to Judy M. for the heads up.

Look to the west tonight at dusk. 



The Aurora Borealis from The International Space Station

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 02/26/2012 - 12:21


We're back to practicing avoidance around here for a while as the stuff we've been grinding on is just too depressing to work at posting.

Besides, as we are in the midst of almost nightly arguments over just what exactly it is that's going on out there and just what exactly do it mean, we have no thinking worth posting right now anyway.

Besides again, I just took on a second project which is beating the crap out of my not nearly as spry as it used to be body, the result being that I've been coming home, pounding the Advil and sucking on a bottle of Merlo in front of the fire rather than sitting in my office and reading crap that makes me crabby.

I'm starting to think that this may well be a superior approach to life.

Anyway, Holly B. sent us just a raft of real good video from NASA and

The first two vids were shot from the International Space Station, the third from the ground.

Earth can be a beautiful place when the idiots aren't busy screwing things up. 





Slowly I Turned

Submitted by Roanman on Wed, 02/22/2012 - 18:28


Here are two performances of the famed Joey Faye or Harry Steppe (take your pick) Vaudville bit "Slowly I Turned".

The first by The Three Stooges was filmed in 1943 for their movie short Good Luck Mr. Yates and was subsequently cut from the film.

Columbia liked the bit well enough to save the footage and wrote Gents Without Cents around it.

Here are Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard.

Niagra Falls.



Next from their 1944 film, Lost in a Harem, here are Abbott and Costello along with Murray Leonard performing their version of the same bit.

Of the versions available, I took the entire scene including Lou Costello's 30 second exit as it includes one of my all time favorite Lou Costello moments.



Western Swing Ain't Dead

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 02/11/2012 - 17:06


Featuring John Michael Whitby on the keyboard,  Jim Murphey (I think) and Cindy Cashdollar on steel,  Jason Roberts also singing backup and some youngster I can't get figured on fiddles,  I believe that's David Miller playing the upright bass and I'm guessing David Sangor on the drums.

This is one of the 1,387 versions of a band that has enjoyed a 40 year run as one of America's favorite working bands, having won 9 or so Grammys and numerous other awards from Rolling Stone's Country and Western Band of the Year to the Acadamy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year, all the while featuring it's one enduring presence, the great Ray Benson on guitar and vocals.

It's Asleep at the Wheel.

Route 66



After 40 years on the road it seems like Ray might be losing it a little as they're starting to have to stamp his name on his stuff.



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