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Monday, September 28, 2009 :::

Ah, the stunnings sights of Tuscany!

Some people think that bicycling across a foreign land and over rough terrain can be considered a "vacation". I must be one of the most out of shape people on the planet, because I've been utterly exhausted touring museums and churches from the cushions of a luxury coach, but these bikers take their stuff seriously, and all from the uncomfortable, chafing torture of a bike seat. Take this man, for instance, who I saw outside the window of my cozy tour bus, and who has literally worn through the back side of his bike shorts:

Ain't nothing like letting your bare butt appreciate the beautiful scenery of Tuscany, and mooning a good majority of the population in the process.

But of course there are better things to see across Italy than some random cyclist's butt crack, such as:

I also paid some cute old lady a euro to get a peek at her backyard, and I'll have many picture of that to come. And no, it's not as dirty as I made it sound.

::: posted by dan at 9:22 AM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, September 23, 2009 :::

Low Clearance, Y'all

Venice is pretty awesome. I was half expecting a tourist trap with stinky canals, but it's nothing like that at all. It has tourists, yes, and tourist traps to be sure, but there are also great stuff and amazing sceneries around every corner. And riding boats along the canals is insane. Those drivers have no fear whatsoever, and apparently have no concern for high tide and low clearance at great speeds:

Getting here was not as fun, though. They cancelled my flight without ever telling me, tried to re-schedule it for an entire day later, and I ended up leaving half a day earlier.

I sat next to a 22-year old girl from Tennessee who had never been on a plane before. Her name was Sumer (with just one 'm'), and she was supposed to meet her husband who had been stationed in Venice with the Army. She constantly referred to me in the plural as "y'all" even though there is only one of me. "Is the plane supposed to make that noise, y'all?" She was a text-book nervous first-time flyer.

She also had a dog on her lap in a carrier bag. It whined and scratched to get out of the bag which was unfortunately/fortunately against the rules. I asked what the unseen dog was named, and I thought she replied "Aragorn," so I said "Oh, like Lord of the Rings?" and she said "No, like the dragon rider, y'all." Apparently she meant "Eragon."

This was all fine, until the in-flight movie began. As soon as I saw the name Matthew McConaughey appear in the credits, I thought "I'm out," and started to pack up my headphones, but she literally screamed "Oh my god I'm sooooo getting out my headphones, y'all. You totally have to watch this."

It was called The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and it was, by far, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Sumer didn't agree. Not only had she already seen it, but she loved it, and she loved it so much that she wanted me to love it too. So during the whole movie she would look over at me to see if I was laughing, loving, crying, barfing - whatever the hell you are supposed to do during a Matthew McConaughey movie. I had to fake it. It was hard to fake it for two hours. On a plane. Next to a whining dog. And a girl name Summer with a thick southern drawl, y'all.

When the movie was finally over, she looked at me expectingly, wanting me to gush. I smiled and nodded with exaggerated enthusiasm, faked a yawn and said, "Well, I better try to get some sleep."

"Will I be able to see the Colosseum from the plane, y'all?" she replied. I knew it was going to be a long night. And I was so afraid that Eragon was going to poop on my carry on that I never actually fell asleep.

But who cares. I'm in Italy now and nothing else matters. I'll have some better pictures for you soon.

::: posted by dan at 4:28 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


Saturday, September 19, 2009 :::


I'm celebrating my blog's birthiversary in Venice.

It's pretty, just like in the movies.

I'm pretty, just like in the movies.

We battled the crowd to see something that they kept telling me was called "The Bridge of Size" and when we finally reached it, I took a big long look and thought, "Well, that ain't so large. What's the big deal?"

The Tiny Bridge in Question

And so I asked "Why do they call it 'The Bridge of Size'?" and I was told it was because it was from that bridge that the captives and slaves got to see their last view of Venice before they were lead into the dungeons of the palace, and it was such a beautiful view." And I said "I still don't get why they call it that, so what if the view was beautiful, what has that got to do with the name?" and I was told, with great exasperation, "Because it was such a beautiful and sad sight that it would make them sigh!" And that's when it dawned on me, "Oh! The Bridge of Sighs." I'm pretty thick sometimes.

Of course, there are many views in Venice that will make you sigh, but the best view so far has been from the Rialto Bridge, which is truly a Bridge of Size:

But you have to see the big version.

::: posted by dan at 11:31 AM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, September 18, 2009 :::

Animated Friday (Burst Your Bubble Edition)!

They can't all be about people falling down. Sometime you gotta sneak some learnin' into your edutainment.

Slo-Mo Demo: BB through a Bubble

Slo-Mo Demo: Bullet Into a Wall

Slo-Mo Demo: Lightning Crashes

Who needs face plants and car accidents? Learnin' is fun!

::: posted by dan at 12:18 PM :: [ link ] :: (1) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, September 17, 2009 :::

Great Inventions

I was working at home with the TV on mute the other day when I glanced up from my laptop and saw this:

I immediately rewound the Tivo and turned up the volume. Apparently there is a local news program called Twin Cities Live that has all the production values of... well... a local news program, and they were featuring some would-be inventors who were pitching their ideas to some well-known entrepreneur. The cohosts began by saying they were excited to see the inventions, as they had not been informed of what would be presented. Raw anticipation was in the air. And then right out of the gate, a woman holds up that recognizably-shaped device and starts talking about hoo-haws.

Yeah, it's for a hoo-haw. Specifically, it's an "Intra-Vaginal Cooling Device." It's for hot hoo-haws. The cohosts seemed uncomfortable.

Apparently you stick it in the freezer. And then if your hoo-haw ever gets too hot, you can stick it somewhere else. This was enough to make one host ask "Do you really want that thing in your freezer? Right next to the corn?" which made me wonder what type of disturbing freezer mix-up scenario he was imagining. I don't even want to get into the possible details of that. Let's just say it was a wholly inappropriate comment that did nothing to ease the tension.

I don't know if hot hoo-haws is a big problem, and I'm not judging the concept or the reaction of the host (after all, it's not their fault - someone probably should have warned them that they would be face to face with a vagina popsicle that day), I'm just saying: watching daytime TV is like a social experiment gone horribly wrong, which is kinda awesome.

::: posted by dan at 1:31 PM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments Social Bookmark Button



Planetdan is 7 years old today, and that just happens to coincide with my 1,500th post. It's time to celebrate.


So that was anticlimactic.

::: posted by dan at 5:56 AM :: [ link ] :: (14) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, September 15, 2009 :::


Any good mental health professional will tell you that the healthy thing to do on birthdays and anniversaries is to stop and reflect, to take stock in yourself, and to get rid of any baggage so that you can make a clean start. So on this day, only one day before my blog's birthday and my 1,500th post, I'm cleaning out the files, scrubbing out the hard drive, and posting a ton of random crap that's been mucking up my system for far too long. It's a lot of stuff that I never had time to post, some more stuff that I didn't have the ambition to comment on, and some even more stuff that I just didn't feel made the cut.

It's PURGING time, and it feels so good.

TITLE: Parenting 101 - Make Toys Out of Everyday Objects!
From the ceaselessly shiver-inducing People of Walmart website.

TITLE: The Birth of Emoticons
Oh no, this one is copyrighted. Hope I don't get busted. Although we all know that Abraham Lincoln really invented the emoticon.

TITLE: Thread Head
I love installations like these. I want to build one of my own face for my office.

TITLE: Maybe Next Month, Champ
Also available in T-Shirt format.

TITLE: No Time For Love, Dr. Jones
If I were famous like Harrison Ford, I would constantly leak absurd images to the interwebs, each one more WTF than the next.

TITLE: Mother Was Right
I imagine this scenario every single time I ride an escalator, but I envision a lot more blood and severed limbs. And Crocs.

TITLE: Precision Poop Bomb
Never take a well-trained dog out of their comfort zone.

TITLE: Guess Who
Not sure why, but this might be my favoritest celebrity school picture ever.

TITLE: The Power of Penguins
The internets is edumacational. Too see it is to believe it!

No comment.

TITLE: She Said Yes, But I Said No!
Just picturing his face is more than enough to inspire a lifetime of abstinence. Yeesh.

TITLE: Traffic Jam
Some people like to talk about how smart their dogs are, because it can fetch a ball or obey a command or jump a fence, but sometimes it's the innocent stupidity of dogs that really makes them so awesome. I mean that in a good way.

TITLE: Twinsies
One of their parents has clearly got ALL of the dominant genes.

TITLE: Warning Sign
Titled as found.

It's nice to finally get all of that out of my system.

Posts Remaining
Until 1,500

Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 12:04 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


Monday, September 14, 2009 :::

Drinking Bacardi Like It's My Blog's Birthday

This is it. My blog's birthday week. Yo, shorty, it's your birthday.

Ain't nothing like an outdated musical reference to kick off a birthday week. Although I'm afraid I might be wearing the wrong color shirt in that animated GIF. Is 50 a blood or a crip? Did I just start a turf war?

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 12:26 AM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, September 13, 2009 :::

The Blubber Run

This weekend was the James Page Blubber Run, which for those of you who don't know is a 5k race that winds through downtown Minneapolis and encourages runners to stop and chug a beer at the halfway point. The event organizers also encourage participants to wear costumes, but in my opinion, running five kilometers is torture enough even without the chafing heat of a rubber mask or the added weight of foam padding. So I just wore matching socks and wristbands to show my pep.

Some people really get into it, though. Some of my favorites:

An easter peep, a gurney replete with doctors and a chubby man nurse, my happy coworker, and a bag of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.

Hugh and the Girls Next Door.

Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Which is ironic because I couldn't keep up with them. They beat me to the finish.

I think it's strange the E! channel had such a strong showing this year. I also tried desperately to get a picture of the man in the Rainbow Bright costume, but he proved to be elusive. You can see all of my Blubber Run pics here.

As for the race itself, it was hard and it was hot and it sucked. I'm all for getting dressed up and going out for a beer, but why do people always gotta throw a 5k into the middle of everything? I can barely even walk today. Which I suppose is not unusual after a day of drinking, but still.

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 10:40 PM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, September 11, 2009 :::

Animated Friday (Owned by Objects Edition)!

Just a few things I didn't realize could be so dangerous.


Mechanical Bulls


Your paranoia is warranted. Everything is out to get you.

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 12:19 PM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, September 10, 2009 :::

Mr. Thick

I visited my neighborhood Wallgreen's Pharmacy yesterday to buy a Neti Pot and to get a prescription filled. I waited in line for 15 minutes while the man in front of me argued with the pharmacist about whether or not he should use the Metamucil that was recommended to him because his "stool was already too hard." He must have used that phrase twenty times during the short wait, to the point where I started to assume that the man might have a related fetish, which made it difficult to stop my brain from picturing things it should never have to picture. So I was already a tad woozy when I left the store and began to pull out of my parking spot.

That's when I bumped into another parked car that was positioned all catawampus across the aisle. It was a very light tap, barely perceptible, not even enough to cause a minor scratch. So I contemplated just pretending like it didn't happen and driving off, but in my rear view mirror I could see the driver stepping out of his car to check the damage. He was not smiling. And he was one of the biggest/scariest-looking gangsters I've ever seen. I gulped down my vomit, waited a beat, and slowly stepped out of the car. That's when I noticed he had a personalized license plate. It said "MR THICK."

"Sorry about that," I offered, stuttering slightly, after making sure that there was indeed no damage to be found.

"Oh man this isn't even my car! This is my babymama's car, and she's inside the store," he replied. No joke - he actually used the word "babymama." I stood momentarily confused, thinking "Your babymama calls herself Mr. Thick?" when he cryptically continued, "She really likes her car, man. You better get the hell out of here before she sees you..."

So with a short nod of acknowledgement and a quick step, that's exactly what I did. And although part of me wanted to stick around to see what a woman who calls herself "Mr. Thick" might look like, the other part of me knew that was not a bright idea.

And for the record, I did not find the whole Neti Pot experience to be very pleasant. Not that I ever thought I would actually enjoy giving my face an enema. But at this point I'll try anything.

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 7:42 AM :: [ link ] :: (8) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, September 08, 2009 :::

Dr. Pratfall II: Revenge of the Fallen

Just in case you were wondering - and I'm sure you were - I buy my underwear at discount stores like Marshall's or TJ Maxx. I buy whatever is cheap and in boxer-brief format, which means my underwear drawer is a hodgepodge of strange brands, odd colors, and factory irregulars. This normally isn't an issue or a concern, but today I made a return visit to Dr. Pratfall (see below) for a followup.

He was much more focused today, and his eyes almost seemed to be looking in the same direction most of the time. But for some reason unknown to me, the nurse made me strip down to my underwear for the examination. As I waited for the doctor to come in, I just happened to look down and notice that the underwear I was wearing had no front-flap. No escape hatch. This was atypical for boxer briefs in general, but like I said, my underwear drawer has a few odd ducks. I reached behind me to doublecheck to make sure I could feel the care-instructions tag on the back of the elastic band, just to make sure I hadn't put them on backwards, but everything was in its right place, so I thought nothing of it.

After the examination, I stood up to put my clothes back on and just happened to turn around to see my backside in a mirror - and there it was. The front-flap on my back side, and the care-instructions tag. It seems that the irregularity in these particular factory cast-offs was that the tags were put on the front instead of the back, and in my haste to get dressed that morning I had given only a cursory glance to the positioning of my undergarment. "Tag goes in back" is what I have been trained to believe. But this is only the case with factory regulars, apparently.

I have no idea if the nurse or the doctor or anyone else noticed that I was wearing my underwear backwards, but considering how there was absolutely no need for me to be in my underwear in the first place and that I had just described his embarassing pratfall in vivid detail on my public blog just a week prior, I figured Karma was just being a big ol' bitch again.

And just in case you were curious: I have a sinus infection.

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::: posted by dan at 11:34 PM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, September 04, 2009 :::

Animated Friday (Horny Animals Edition)!

Anything goes in the animal kingdom. They are kinky in the sack. Any time, any place, anything. Human's tried to compete in the 70's but never even got close.

Animals will hump anything in sight.

Animals will hump everything in sight.

Animals will hump nothing in sight.

Aww yeah, animals are freaks!

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 8:25 AM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, September 02, 2009 :::

Literally Frozen Yogurt

Fruit is Not Dessert has become my mantra over the years, especially when having dinner at my mother's house, as she has been known to trot out a bowl of grapes and try to pawn them off as "something sweet to finish the meal." Grapes are not dessert. Strawberries are not dessert until you add whipping cream and/or shortcake. Cherries are not dessert unless they are baked in a pie. Peaches are not dessert unless they are part of a cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. But fruit by itself is not dessert. Dessert is my favorite course, so I like to consider myself an expert on the matter, and if I had to rate desserts from "Oh my god yes!" to "Oh hell no!" it would go something like this:

1. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
2. Non-Chocolate Cake with Frosting
3. Dessert Bars with Chocolate or Peanut Butter
4. Cookies with Chocolate
5. Cake without Frosting (Brownies, Angelfood, etc.)
6. Cookies without Chocolate
7. Ice Cream
8. Pudding
9. Frozen Yogurt/Sherbet
10. Fruit

After years of ungrateful bitching on my part, my mother seemed to have gotten the point, but last night she threw me for a loop. She announced that there was nothing chocolate for dessert. Nor was there cake. Nor was there anything else mouthwatering or sugary. All she had available was some Sherbet and some Frozen Yogurt. Seeing as how both of those options are at the bottom of my list, I was a little discouraged, but at least it wasn't a bowl of grapes. So I sighed with marked disappointment and requested the Frozen Yogurt. That's when my mother went to the freezer and pulled out a container of Yoplait.

She had literally frozen a cup of yogurt and was trying to pass it off as "Frozen Yogurt." That's not how it works, mother. That's not how it works at all. My initial disappointment instantly turned into utter dispair, and dinner in its entirety was ruined. Even my brother was aghast.

Literally frozen yogurt. Who did she think she was kidding? And served as dessert, no less. I don't think so. And now I have to ammend my favorite desserts list:

1. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
2. Non-Chocolate Cake with Frosting
3. Dessert Bars with Chocolate or Peanut Butter
4. Cookies with Chocolate
5. Cake without Frosting (Brownies, Angelfood, etc.)
6. Cookies without Chocolate
7. Ice Cream
8. Pudding
9. Frozen Yogurt/Sherbet
10. Fruit
11. Literally Frozen Yogurt

Literally frozen yogurt. Gah. My head is still spinning.

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 11:57 AM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, September 01, 2009 :::

Dr. Pratfall

My regular doctor has apparently gotten too popular, or sick of me, so I had to make an appointment with an all new general practitioner this week for some ear/nose/throat issues that I've been having. The new guy is a very nice older gentleman who initially made me feel very comfortable with his calm demeanor and soothing voice. Sure, he had a wonky eye and so he always seemed to be looking two directions at once, but I was clever enough to deduce that the "working" eye was probably the one that moved around a lot, and the other eye that never moved and stared off into space like a dead fish was probably not doing him any favors. So I just focused my attention on his active eye and that seemed to do the trick. The only reason I mention this is because I think it had something to do with why he walked directly into a wall at the end of my appointment.

When I say he walked directly into a wall, I don't mean he brushed against a wall, or grazed a door jam, or bumped into a corner. I mean he stood perpendicular to a wall literally five inches away from him, said "Okay, let me know if you don't feel better in a week," turned toward the wall, and took one giant step for mankind. I'm assuming his useless eye had probably deceived him, because he took the forceful step with brazen confidence, and the resulting thud was dramatic. He grunted a bit, presumably from pain, but I didn't know how to react, so I just said "oopsie..." while he tripped over a garbage can and stumbled into a nearby office. It was like watching a slapstick skit starring Peter Sellers or that racist guy who played Kramer. The only thing missing was a tin bucket on his head.

I stood for a second, debating whether or not I should go into the office to check on his well-being, but then I decided that if I were him at that particular moment, I'd want to be alone for a long while. I turned and walked out, wondering if the incident were caught on video camera somewhere, like it was with this guy.

So I'm trying not to let the incident affect my confidence in his diagnosis. Doctors aren't perfect. They can have blind eyes and walk directly into walls if they want. It doesn't necessarily mean that I have cancer. Right?

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Days Remaining Until
7th Blogiversary


::: posted by dan at 8:10 PM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments Social Bookmark Button


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