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Friday, November 27, 2009 :::

A Kickass Xmas 2009

Yay! Thanksgiving is over and we can now listen to Xmas Music guilt-free! And it's a good thing, because my annual xmas mix is pretty darned solid this year, even if the planetdan/polar bear hybrid image I made for the cover seems to be creeping people out instead of putting them in the yuletide mood:


01. Bring Out The Bells - Andy Williams
02. Christmas Song - Cocoon
03. Let It Snow - A Fine Frenzy
04. Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald
05. Someday At Christmas (Alternate Version) - Jack Johnson
06. Soul Cake - Sting
07. The Heartache Can Wait - Brandi Carlile
08. Do They Know It's Christmas - Pete Yorn
09. O Come All Ye Faithful - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
10. Little Drummer Boy - Family Force 5
11. Winter Wonderland - Goldfrapp
12. Ol' Saint Nicholas - Doris Day
13. Jingle Bells - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
14. Oh, Sweet Christmas - Oh, Sweet Music
15. Jeanette, Isabella - Tori Amos
16. Christmas In The Room - Sufjan Stevens
17. Here We Come A-Wassailing - Kate Rusby
18. Buon Natale - Nat King Cole
19. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus - Relient K
20. Christmas - Rogue Wave
21. Christmas in London - Krista Detor
22. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Laura Gibson
23. I Like a Sleighride - Peggy Lee
24. Spiritual Guidance - Titan
25. It's Almost Christmas - Chris Garneau
26. Maybe Next Year -Meiko

And if you send me a friendly email, I might be able to point you in the direction of some MP3s...

::: posted by dan at 10:40 AM :: [ link ] :: (9) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, November 24, 2009 :::

What not to buy dan for xmas.

The World's Largest Gummy Bear. Only $30.

Available at Vat19.

DO NOT WANT. Although you get free shipping if you spend over $99, which means you only need to buy four of them - one in each color and an extra backup blue one!

You can also get them on a stick, which seems very awkward and just a tad perverse.

::: posted by dan at 7:32 AM :: [ link ] :: (4) comments Social Bookmark Button


Friday, November 20, 2009 :::

Animated Friday (Awkward and Embarrassing Edition)!

I'm not the only one who falls, trips, stumbles or just generally embarrasses himself on a regular basis. Even adults and professionals can look stupid:

Soccer players do it.

Gymnasts do it.

Even people in the middle east do it.

But this one might be my favorite: Nice save, buddy.

::: posted by dan at 7:18 AM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, November 19, 2009 :::

The Case of the Missing Subway Sandwich

I've been very busy at work lately, and combine that with the upcoming holidays and the BBOP stinking up the back of my closet(see below), I've been fairly distracted. Which is probably why I lost my Subway sandwich for a good 45 minutes today.

I had used my lunch hour to pick up two ginormous armfuls of drycleaning and a low-fat Buffalo Chicken. I'm the kind of guy who needs to do everything in one trip, no matter how difficult. So with about fifty pounds of clothing in each arm and a fountain drink balanced in the middle, I trudged through my garage, avoided my dirty wet car, took off my shoes, walked up two flights of stairs, and got to my closet without spilling a drop.

After the relief of hanging up the heavy clothes I realized that the only thing missing was my Subway sammich.

My first distressing thought was that it had fallen onto the dirty garage floor, but upon inspection there was no sign of it. I looked inside the car and under the seats. I retraced my steps from the garage to the bedroom. I even checked the kitchen fridge (although how it would have gotten there would have been an even bigger mystery). No sammich.

I thought back to being at the Subway. I could remember walking out of the place with the fountain drink, but was I actually carrying the Subway bag, too? I had no recollection of it. So I drove back to Subway, scanning the gutters and sidewalks along the way just in case I had left it on the top of my car or it had somehow managed to fall out of the window. No sammich.

Back at Subway, I didn't want to run up to the counter and say "'Scuse me, sir, but have you seen a sandwich? I lost my sandwich. Can anyone help me find my sandwich?" so I discreetly checked the soda station and the potato chip bin. No sammich. I carefully peeked around the corner to the front counter to see if there was an unaccounted for bag patiently waiting for its owner's return. No sammich. I resisted the urge to purchase a replacement.

I walked the same path back to my car, looking carefully at my feet for any dropped items. No sammich.

Back at home I started to get angry. How does a sandwich just disappear? I rechecked all the places I had already rechecked. I found my receipt to make sure that I had indeed purchased a sandwich in the first place. Everything seemed to be in order. Still no sammich.

On an impulse I went back up to my bedroom closet and stared at the drycleaning. I had gone to the drycleaners BEFORE the Subway, so I couldn't have left the sandwich there. Exasperated, I absentmindedly punched one of my drycleaning bags to let out a little steam, and out from between the two big bags of laundered suits, shirts, and slacks fell my missing sack lunch. Relief enveloped me like a warm summer breeze.

Unfortunately, the sandwich turned out to be not worth the hassle. Never stray from ordering your usual at a place like Subway. You'll always be disappointed.

Upon retelling the story to C-Minus, she found the silver lining: at least I hadn't given up on the search and found the sandwich weeks later after it had turned to a smelly bag of liquid rot.

::: posted by dan at 12:34 PM :: [ link ] :: (3) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, November 18, 2009 :::

I Can Haz Ancient Internet Memes on Jeopardy for 200 Alex.

And two years later, Jeopardy finally caught up to the Internet today:

What was really strange was that Alex said the name of the category with a Russian accent, and the contestants followed suit. I never imagined that cat to have a Russian accent. I thought it would be more American Yokel. Maybe Cockney British. But never Russian.

::: posted by dan at 5:25 PM :: [ link ] :: (2) comments Social Bookmark Button


Monday, November 16, 2009 :::

My Dilemma

So I've gotten myself into a little dilemma RE: The Big Box of Porn (BBOP) I Found in My Garbage. It's just sitting in the back of my closet collecting dust and I've started to worry about the hopefully-unlikely event of my untimely death due to some unforeseen accident or terrorist attack. It's just begging to be discovered by some unsuspecting innocent relative as they battle through their grief to clean out my house, and how would I ever be able to explain myself from beyond the grave?

But seriously, none of my friends seem want the BBOP (or maybe they just don't want to admit that they want the BBOP). I've only received one reader request for the BBOP, but I started thinking about that option and the question arose: What if he's just some pimply 15-year-old kid pretending to be of legal age, and I go and ship the box off to him, and his mom intercepts this BBOP from dan in Minneapolis addressed to her adolescent son? Not good.

I can't put it up on Craigslist because I don't want some creepy porn perv coming to my house to collect the goods, and I certainly don't want to venture out of the house with the BBOP to make a delivery.

It seems that the only real option is to allow the BBOP to be destroyed or to be hauled away with the worthless refuse, which is unfortunate. But I don't want to put it back in my own garbage because god knows who might find it there or what the garbage man might think (besides "jackpot!"), and I don't want to shove it in someone else's garbage and force them into the same dilemma in which I find myself right now.

I could find some sort of public trash option, but that seems a little too out in the open, and I don't know anyone who lives in an apartment who might be able to anonymously dispose of the thing.

I could throw them away one-at-a-time I suppose, buried deep within the trash and surrounded by a dozen dirty Lean Cuisine containers. But that just seems like such an awful, shameful way to die. What did the BBOP ever do to deserve such a fate?

Seriously. What am I supposed to do with this BBOP? It's becoming a real burden. I see some sort of Aesop Fable hidden somewhere in this tale, something slightly askew of the "careful what you wish for..." school of thought.

::: posted by dan at 12:59 PM :: [ link ] :: (11) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, November 05, 2009 :::

The Trashman's Delight

I went to toss out some garbage the other day, and sitting right on top of a week's worth of trash was this big box of old-school pornography videos:

I immediately assumed that the old coot across the alley was using my trash bin to get rid of his pornography stash without tipping off his old lady. Or maybe someone else in the neighborhood was finally making the upgrade to DVD. Regardless, I had to make the decision: rescue the videos from my garbage or let the sanitation department dispose of them as someone clearly intended.

Having worked in a video store for almost five years in my youth, I know much more about old Triple-X videos than necessary, and I could tell that some of these videos in particular were classics, starring the likes of John Holmes and Ron Jeremy. It seemed like a shame to send them off to the landfill. But on the other hand, I'm not exactly a porn video type of guy, and rescuing them would mean: a) reaching into my garbage can, and b) touching somebody else's porn collection. Neither of which seemed very appealing or advisable to me.

And yet, I reached into the garbage can.

I have one friend in particular who I thought would be thrilled to adopt the big box of mystery pornography, but to my surprise he was not interested. "Who even owns a VCR anymore?" was his ungrateful reply. And he's right. So now I got a big box of pornography videos hidden in my closet like a guilty teenager or something, and I have no idea what to do with them. Plus I'm afraid to touch them.

Any ideas? Or, should I take a vote:

Vote A for: Throw them back in the trash where they belong, you freak.
Vote B for: Hold onto them until you can find a grateful recipient.
Vote C for: OMG can I have them please? Send them to:

P.S. I'll hate to see what this post does to my Google Ads.

P.P.S. Sky Pies. LOL.

::: posted by dan at 9:30 PM :: [ link ] :: (20) comments Social Bookmark Button


Wednesday, November 04, 2009 :::

Vote Lombard!

So I voted yesterday, of course. We got a new voting method in Minneapolis which lets you rank your top three preferences for each position in order of preference. Which is a good thing, because our choices for Mayor this year were too interesting to be able to pick just one:

Guess who my third choice was?


This isn't the first time I've posted a picture of our voting ballot. We always seem to have odd voting options in Minneapolis. Is it just the Midwest or what gives? Does everybody else have odd party titles like we do or should I really be proud to live where you can run on the "Is Awesome" ticket?

I'm also curious about what word was "censored" from Bob Carney Jr's party title. My assumption is "asshole," but in politics I guess you really never can know for sure.

P.S. The name Lombard reminds me way too much of Office Space, and one phrase from that film in particular. Can anyone guess of which phrase I speak?

::: posted by dan at 8:06 PM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, November 01, 2009 :::

Final Destination: Death by Homeownership

My house tried to kill me today.

I'm not a handyman. Nor am I a good homeowner. I don't know what I'm doing, I have no idea how to work tools or fix faucets, and I'm awkward and clumsy to boot. Somehow I manage to keep the place together and just short of ramshackle, but it's a constant battle. Especially when it comes to the Fall yardwork.

Today was gutter cleaning day.

I've neglected this task for the last couple years, and the normally-charming-looking vines on the back of my house had taken over. I knew it would be ugly up there, but I could no longer push off the chore. I grabbed some thick rubber gloves, a pair of dull scissors for trimming away the unwanted foilage, and an ancient aluminum extension ladder that I inherited from my dad years ago.

The ladder is ginormous, and it has an old rope attached to one end that loops around it. I've never been able to ascertain the function of the rope but I've always figured that it must be there for a purpose so I've never dared to remove it. Trying to maneuver the unwieldly monster ladder while simultaneously trying to avoid getting caught up in the mystery rope is a considerably arduous task. I probably look like an Abbott and Costello movie most of the time.

As I positioned the metal bohemoth against the back of my one-and-a-half-story home, the height suddenly looked incredibly imposing. The ladder was perilously perched twenty feet above the ground against a sagging gutter and directly next to a power line. I made sure I had my cell phone in my pocket (just in case I survived whatever disaster was in store for me), I took a deep breath, and I began my ascent.

Climbing the ladder with a garbage bag in one hand and a pair of rusty scissors in the other didn't improve my confidence. The rubber gloves on each hand were most effective at masking the small amount dexterity I might have had left. I started to imagine a morbid death scenario like the ones that play out in those Final Destination movies. I wasn't sure if my death would be by falling, impaling, electrocution, or - knowing those movies - some ghastly combination of the three.

So I took my time and worked deliberately, my hands soaked in putrid mold-water, pulling out years worth of dead vines, rotting leaves, and a substance that was technically not poop but looked and smelled like it was at least related in some way. Halfway through the task, the rotting substance was smeared all over my face, soaked into my clothes, and splattered all over the ground below. The garbage bag filled up quickly and became almost too heavy to bear. The over-extended extension ladder wobbled beneath my feet. The gutter creaked underneath the weight of it all. The sun disappeared behind a cloud.

I heard my neighbor's door open and I looked over just in time to see a black cat scurry out, stop dead in its tracks, and stare directly at me. I thought, "That's funny, I never knew they had a black cat." But it must have sensed the impending doom because it quickly turned around and scurried back inside before the door ever had a chance to close. I took it as a sign and carefully started to climb back down the ladder, one step at a time.

It was at the second to last step when my right foot slipped on a glop of wayward non-poop, my left foot got caught in the mystery rope, and I started to fall backwards toward the ground. I was close enough to the bottom to know I wouldn't get seriously hurt, so my main concern became to avoid landing directly on the garbage bag of barfy compost. I tried to toss the bag to the side but it was too heavy, and the attempt threw off the balance of the ladder, sending it sliding down the gutter toward the power lines. I landed with a thud on my back, with my left leg still caught up in the ladder. The bag of mold and rot landed with a splat, speckling my face with a million droplets of oily sludge.

Miraculously, the sliding ladder was stopped in its sliding tracks by a vine before it could act as a conduit for my electrocution. But the jarring motion had knocked loose the scissors that I had mistakenly left on the top rung, and so they came flipping down the ladder, bouncing and sliding from rung to rung.

I instinctively covered my face and head with my arms until the clang of the falling scissors stopped, but I felt nothing pierce my gut or impale my neck so I slowly lowered my arms and opened my eyes, one at a time. I looked down at my chest, torso, and legs, but the scissors must have landed somewhere else. I turned to my left to see if that evil cat had returned to gloat, and this is what I saw, not two feet from my head:

I guess my cell phone came in handy after all, because I was able to snatch this picture of my very own Final Destination style near death experience. The gutters were far from clean, but let me tell you: gutter cleaning day was o.v.e.r.

Having survived that ordeal, I can declare officially that I will never again attempt to clean a gutter. It's just one more homeowner task of which I am simply incapable. And it confirms what I already knew: it's time to sell this death trap and move on.

So... anybody looking to buy a nice and affordable three bedroom house in South Minneapolis? Jukebox not included.

::: posted by dan at 3:32 PM :: [ link ] :: (6) comments Social Bookmark Button


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