Sunday, February 24, 2008

One Thrilling Left Turn After Another

I started this post last week but just finished it now. Originally it was largely a Daytona 500 pre-race post. I didn't finish because I got into actually watching the race. Sort of made it so many of my initial thoughts were no longer relevant. Hard to preview something when it is already happening.

I was looking forward to the race, though. I even rearranged my weekend so I could watch it. I didn't watch all of it, though. About the first fourth and the end. The rest of the race I wasn't watching, having wandered away from my TV to do other stuff.

I rarely watch an entire race. Often I fall asleep, falling victim to the hypnotic effect of cars going around and around but getting nowhere fast. Other times the driver I follow is having trouble.

Last week I wandered off after Jeff Burton missed his pit and lost a lot of time making the stop. Ever since I started watching NASCAR (I picked up on a coworkers enthusiasm, I guess, and started following it) I seem to have a jinx-like effect on Burton. When I don't watch he does much better than when I do. I understand the differance between correlation and causality - I'm not naive - but the apparent effect is just kind of freaky.

Daytona this year lends support to a jinx that I know intellectually isn't real. I stopped watching after Burton's pit trouble. But I turned the TV back on to see if I could catch the end of the race. And I did. 2 or 3 laps to go. Burton was leading. Remember, I hadn't been watching. But now I was again, so ...

12 cars passed Burton in those last laps. Burton finished 13th. He was leading, but then I started watching again


Oh well. Yesterday (Saturday), I caught a race in the truck series. Kind of rare for those races to be on broadcast TV. I am not as familiar with the drivers on that circuit, so I don't pay much attention. With no one to support over any one else a lot of the interest just isn't there.

Although I do support one driver in the truck series. I'm not sure what she (yes, she) is even doing this year. I understand she was having difficulty pulling together sponsors, so maybe that didn't go well.

Her (I should actually use her name - Kelly Sutton) primary sponsor has been Teva Neuroscience. Teva manufactures Copaxone, the disease-modifying drug I inject daily. In fact the truck Kelly drove was emblazoned with the Copaxone name.

That connection isn't what grabbed me, though. Yeah, it's neat that she is a driver at one of NASCAR's highest levels and a woman, but that ain't it either.

To get at the real reason I find Sutton so intriguing we have to look at her past sponsorships. Teva didn't just sponsor her because they thought she was a decent driver. They probably thought she would also make a good spokeswoman. See, Kelly Sutton actually uses Copaxone.

"But Dave", you may be thinking, "isn't Copaxone prescribed to folks with MS?"


Monday, February 18, 2008

Molly Ringwald

Today we celebrate the birthday of an American icon.

No, not a president (although that too).

Molly Ringwald, silly.

Molly is best known for her work in the 'brat pack' movies of the mid-late 80s. The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink. Classics all.

Sure, they seem a little dated now. They are products of their times.

Just like me.

If I had remembered what day it was I would have worn a skinny tie. Skinny ties are cool.

So today is unofficially 80s flashback day. Let us celebrate her birthday with Molly, and not pay attention to counting the number.

Because that just makes me feel old.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mary Tyler Moore

This is a post I feel obligated to make. I have a silly little "no one will notice and won't care if they do" thing. It pretty much obligates me to talk about Mary Tyler Moore at this point.

The problem is I don't really have anything pressing to talk about involving MTM. Sure, I love the Mary Tyler Moore Show, but "I like it. It's funny" only gets one so far. I've never let potentially mundane topics stop me before, though. I'm not gonna start now.

I talked about my ability to draw unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated - lets face it, often actually unrelated - topics in the post "Tony Randall". They tell me this is a desirable employment skill. I've never seen that, but I'll play along if you say so.

And yeah, that's a clue.

At least I'm enjoying myself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Well, that sucked.

I had started writing about exactly how the flu sucked, but it probably is best for me to just let it go. I'm recovering quite well actually, considering how I felt a week ago. Returned to work Tuesday of this week. Just finished eating the closest thing I've had to a full meal since getting sick.

I've had worse. I'm starting from an already impaired level, though, so it takes awhile to crawl back to relative health ...

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Having the flu stinks.

It gets really interesting when you have health issues to begin with. Weak muscles? I kinda have that going on anyway. Poor balance? Just add to what I experience anyway, Mr. Flu.

So I came down with the flu 4 days or so ago. To paraphrase Popeye, I've slept all I can sleeps, I can't sleep no more.

Aah, that's a lie. I CAN sleep more. The flu sort of guarantees that.

Oh well, I am feeling better. Might actually eat a gen-u-wine meal tonight.

Getting better. But not happy about picking up the virus in the first place.

Stupid virus. Doesn't even have the decency to have a complete cell structure.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Not Fade Away

Charles Hardin Holley September 7 1936-February 3 1959

Punky Boobster

Punky Brewster was a mid/late 80s NBC sitcom. I don't remember watching it regularly, at least not on purpose. But it was difficult not to be aware of it. "Punky power" swept the nation.

Actually, no, not really. There really wasn't much to distinguish Punky Brewster from other little-remembered sitcoms of the era. But there were tie-in products. Lots and lots of products. And a cartoon. The show was popular with a difficult-to-reach but lucrative demographic: pre-teen girls.

Punky Brewster starred 8-year old Soleil Moon Frye as the titular (hey! play on words!) character. The show revolved around precocious and friendly Punky, abandoned by her parents, and Henry, an older gentleman who befriends (and later adopts) her. And of course Brandon the dog, Punky's best friend.

The show was not known for hard-hitting examination of the day's issues, It did occasionally address topics of interest to the target preteen demographic.

In one episode Punky experiences one rite of passage common to much of the show's audience: the first bra. In one of the few memorable scenes from the series, Punky looks down her shirt and declares (much to Henry's embarassment) "I'm getting boobs!"

Soleil Moon Frye did indeed. REALLY really got them. So much so that health issues resulted. So, at age 15 (years after she had become the answer to a trivia question) Frye had breast reduction surgery.

I was looking into this story because of the nickname "Punky Boobster". A band (out of Florida, I believe) used the nickname as a group name. I came across a demo from that band while digging through my music collection the other day. Although I knew the basic outline of the story behind the name, I wanted to do a little research to, uh, fill out what I knew.

What resulted was a major Wilco Tango Foxtrot moment. A number of people expressed disdain at Frye's surgery. Wha?

This was around the same time I was reading about the Packer Bikini Girls. A number of frankly mean-spirited commentators found it necessary to ... I can't come up with the words ... express disappointment at the PBGs for failing to 'measure up' to certain fantasy standards.

Again, wha?

I could respond with some overblown rambling about different folks finding different things attractive. What counts being what's on the inside. You know, all that claptrap.

I could, but I won't. I'm taking the low road. So, to everyone distressed by a young actress' efforts to live happier and healthier, or distressed by real-life bikini wearers:

I'd like to make you an invitation: turn off your computer and your widescreen TV. Throw on some sunglasses and take those first few steps out of your parents' basement.

See those folks that look vaguely like your emaciated solicone-injected airbrushed fantasy supermodels? Those are what us inhabitants of the "real world" call "real women". You should get to know one. They're plenty neato keen.