Cyber Monday Morning Coffee Club: 11/30/15

Giant mugIt’s Cyber Monday, Modern Philosophers, so be ever vigilant for the inevitable start of The Robot Apocalypse.

Aren’t Monday hard enough without having to worry that Robot High Command might give the order for The Machines to begin enslaving all of mankind?

But that’s really a post for later tonight after we’ve all fully awakened, had our coffee, and changed out of our sleeping togas.

I’m not one to participate in Cyber Monday, and I’m sure that bit of information doesn’t shock you.  Not only am I not about to give The Machines a leg up for their dastardly plans to enslave me, but I’m also a cash on the barrel, go into the store to look the shopkeeper in the eye, and then walk out with the product in my sweaty hands kind of Modern Philosopher.

Shopping isn’t exactly my favorite activity, but it is supposed to put a person in the Holiday Spirit.  Christmas is too far off for me to be possessed by any spirits at the point, so Cyber Monday needs to reboot and start up again much closer to December 25th.

Until it does that, it’s just a systems failure in my book.

I got back into the running groove this weekend by doing four mile runs on both Saturday and Sunday.  I’d been limiting my runs to somewhere between 3 and 3.5 miles over the past month, but I wanted to see if I still had that distance in me.

I’m happy to report that I made it home without EMT assistance both days!

Swiss flagOf course, the big news this morning is that The Sweet Irish Girl has arrived safely in Switzerland.  I woke up to a text informing me that she is now in the land of cheese, chocolate, banks, neutrality, and cool army knives.

Being in love with an International Woman of Mystery is exciting, but also nerve wracking.

Air travel makes me a bit anxious, and in the past month alone, The Sweet Irish Girl has been in Singapore, Ireland, The United States, and Switzerland.  That’s far too many airline peanuts for me, and every time she gets on a flight, I do a lot of praying and rubbing my tummy (to settle it, not for luck!) until I hear that she has arrived at her destination.

I’m sure Interpol will catch up with her eventually, but for now, she seems to be safe from their clutches in the land with the positive sign on its flag.

Back in America, things are starting the get bitterly cold in Maine.  It was 16 degrees when I awakened, and I fear that Snow Miser has once again marked The House on the Hill to be the epicenter of a New Ice Age.

Here’s hoping that I can survive another Maine Winter and Cyber Monday’s attempts to launch The Robot Apocalypse.

Help yourself to some coffee, Modern Philosophers, and keep in mind that there is only seventeen hours left to this horrible day!  Hope you survive Cyber Monday with your freedom and humanity intact!

Posted in Dating, Holidays, Humor, musings, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lucifer vs. Hollywood

Lucifer“You have connections in the television business, right?” The Devil demanded to know as he stormed into the living room.

“What’s that now?” I asked distractedly as I looked up from the Jets game.

They were actually winning for once, so that was confusing me and messing with my grip on reality.

“You work for a TV show, so you know powerful people in the biz, correct?” Lucifer asked as he stood there in an impeccably tailored suit that made him look like he had just stepped off a movie set.

“I’m a writer for a late night talk show,” I confirmed.  “That doesn’t exactly gain me entry into Hollywood’s inner circle.”

The Prince of Darkness paced between me and the television, and I couldn’t help but notice that he still had his pitchfork in hand.  He always put that thing in the corner as soon as he arrived at The House on the Hill, so I was uncomfortable that he still felt the need to keep it handy.

“You’re more than just a writer, though,” he assured me.  “You do the cue cards in a pinch and occasionally appear on camera.  Plus, I’ve been here when the host has called to discuss show business, and I know you are friends with him on Facebook.”

Nite Show DannyI chuckled.  “Yes, Danny and I are friends on multiple forms of social media.  If you’re looking to meet him, I’m sure I can arrange a meeting.  Now that I think of it, you would make a really cool guest.”

Satan stopped pacing and shot me an icy glare, which was ironic given that he is associated with Hell fire.

“If I was going to be on a late night talk show, I’d go on The Tonight Show,” The Devil snapped.  “Jimmy Fallon wouldn’t have that gig if it weren’t for me, so he owes me big time.”

I knew it!  As much as I love Jimmy Fallon, I had a sneaking suspicion there was some sort of supernatural explanation to his rise to the top of the late night talk show world.

“So then why are you asking about my connections in television?” I asked now more confused than ever.

“Have you seen the commercials for Fox’s new show ‘Lucifer’?  They’ve made a program about me without asking my permission, paying me for the rights to my life story, or giving me a producer credit,” Lucifer snapped as he snatched a Snapple out of the cooler and downed half the bottle in one gulp.

“I do recall seeing the commercial,” I had to admit.  “It’s got that guy from ‘Rush’ playing you I think.  It didn’t even cross my mind to ask you what you thought of the show.”

Devil“What I think is that I need to shut down production until the network and I reach an agreement,” The Prince of Darkness growled as his grip tightened on his pitchfork.  “Ask Danny to get me a meeting with the criminals who are behind the show.”

I just laughed.  Flat out guffawed at the request.

“I’m certain that Danny doesn’t have that kind of pull,” I informed him between all the laughter.  “The Nite Show isn’t exactly on Hollywood’s radar.”

“You really need to take more pride in the work you do,” Satan advised as he leaned his pitchfork against the couch and finished his Snapple.  “That’s a great show and you write wonderful jokes.  Have more confidence in the fact that Hollywood knows about it.”

I just shrugged.  The pitchfork was still right there, so I didn’t want to risk angering him.

“I would imagine that you have plenty of contacts in Hollywood,” I changed the topic to get the spotlight off me.  “Why not ask your buddy Jimmy Fallon for help?”

“Everyone I know in Hollywood has already pledged their eternal soul to me,” The Devil answered with a sigh.  “They owe me nothing now, and won’t even take my calls.  Of course, they will pay for this dearly when their lives get cancelled and I take over programming for all eternity.”

He let out an evil laugh that gave me chills.

Hollywood“Didn’t you tell me that Hell was the only place with more lawyers than Hollywood?  Gather them together and have them sue the show’s producers, while also filing an injunction to stop the pilot from airing until you work out a deal,” I suggested confidently because I’ve watched plenty of legal shows in my time.

“I like the way you think,” Lucifer admitted as he finally cracked a smile.  “It’s good to have something to keep the lawyers distracted.  Otherwise, they are constantly serving me with papers in an attempt to invalidate their contracts with me.  They are such pests.”

He then snapped his fingers at the television.

“What was that?” I asked as I reached for a Snapple.

“To reward you, I just made it so that the Jets will win this game,” The Prince of Darkness replied as he walked his pitchfork to its usual place in the corner.  “Enjoy the game.”

You know what, Modern Philosophers?  I actually did enjoy a Jets game for once.

Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Philosophy, Television, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

You Should Never Reject Thanksgiving Leftovers

T dinnerHappy Sunday, Modern Philosophers!

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers, I’m going to share some monologue jokes leftover from last night’s airing of The Nite Show With Danny Cashman.

This was the taping attended by The Sweet Irish Girl, so I consider this batch of Sunday Rejects to be the most romantic ever written.

Of course, that’s just plain foolishness as they are mostly about Election Day in Maine.

Special thanks to Jennifer and Michael Murphy who took the cool photos of me as Cue Card Boy that I am going to sprinkle throughout this post.

Put down the gravy, swallow that stuffing, and give a warm, Modern Philosopher welcome to this week’s batch of Sunday Rejects…

cue 1Election Day was earlier this month.  Donald Trump declared himself the winner and immediately built a wall around Trump Tower to keep out reality…

In Ellsworth, a proposed $4.9M bond proposal to save the library failed to pass.  When asked for a comment, dismayed bond supports simply replied: “Shhhhhh!”

In Lewiston, a runoff vote is being held on December 8 to decide the outcome of the race between incumbent Mayor Bob MacDonald and challenger Ben Chin.  My gut tells me it’s going to be Chin by a hair…

Cue 2Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte won re-election over challenger Peter Letourneau.  “Not the French guy” finished a distant third…

A ballot recount in the Maine Legislative Race in Sanford confirms that people in Sanford aren’t as good at counting as people in the rest of the state…

In Standish, Republican Lester Ordway was elected to the House of Representatives after beating a Democrat, a Green Party candidate, an Independent, and a Write In candidate.  And people say that Maine has no diversity…

Cue 3In other Election Day news, Mainers voted by an overwhelming margin to remain the Whitest State in the Union…

The Bangor Daily News has purchased the St. John Valley Times, marking the first time in over three months that anyone bought a copy of the St. John Valley Times…

The Republican and Democratic Presidential Candidates are still holding debates.  I don’t actually watch them, but I assume they are debating about which one of them is the most annoying…

Cue 4Thanksgiving is this week.  Mainers will gather to eat enormous meals followed by an overwhelming amount of desserts.  Or as Governor LePage calls it…Thursday…

Maine is so white, that everyone here refers to the huge shopping day after Thanksgiving as Friday…

Today is National Gingerbread Day and National Pumpkin Pie Day.  Or as the Maine Legislature likes to calls it, a good day to try to sneak a new law past a distracted Governor LePage…

The last movie in The Hunger Games franchise opened last night.  Shouldn’t those people be able to feed themselves now given the combined grosses of the first three films?

Nite Show Cue CardsWhat did you think of the Sunday Rejects, Modern Philosophers?  Bet you didn’t realize Election Day in Maine could be so humorous!  How did I look with those cue cards?

The Nite Show airs on Saturday nights in Maine.  If you can’t catch the telecast, you can always support the show by liking its Facebook page, checking out videos on its YouTube channel, or by following it on Twitter @TheNiteShowME.

I really do look forward to your comments on these jokes, so please don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts.  Thanks!

Posted in Entertainment, Humor, Politics, Television, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

President Obama Declares Today Stuffing Saturday

prez 1President Obama is clearly ready to wrap up things and move on to life after the Presidency, Modern Philosophers.

Nothing screams that more than today’s news conference, which he attended in sweatpants and a hideous Christmas sweater, and declared that the Saturday after Thanksgiving shall now be known as Stuffing Saturday.

“And you can feel free to drop the g on Stuffing, and just call it Stuffin’ Saturday,” The President told the press corps.  “It’s more fun to be casual with it.”

When reporters pressed him on why he felt the need to add Stuffing Saturday to American calendars, The Commander in Chief replied, “I want it to be my legacy.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are such a part of American culture now, and no one remembers who came up with those days.  I want to put it on record that President Barack Obama officially added Stuffing Saturday to American culture on November 28, 2015.”

Luckily, Modern Philosophers, he stopped short of stating that Stuffing Saturday was a day that would live in infamy.

But why Stuffing Saturday?  To what is that a reference?

Do I look like I'm joking about Stuffin' Saturday?

I’m not joking about Stuffin’ Saturday!

The Leader of the Free World chuckled at the question.

“Obviously, it alludes to the great American tradition of enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers  after the holiday.  What’s better than a big bowl of stuffing with a little gravy?  Toss that in the microwave for ninety seconds, and you’ve got a yummy Stuffing Saturday treat.  Or make a cold turkey sandwich and add some stuffing in there on top of the turkey and under the mayo.  That’s a personal favorite, and I’ve already had two of those today.  Hence the sweatpants!”

The President's secret addiction?

The President’s secret addiction?

In a society that’s already too obese, out of shape, and on the brink of dying out simply because fast food joints can’t open up fast enough to support the demand to feed the burger addicted masses, is it really a good idea to name a holiday after food?

“I thought someone would bring up that point, so I am prepared,” the President quipped with a smile.  “In the spirit of the Holiday Season, Stuffing Saturday is also about stuffing envelopes, mailboxes, and mailbags with Holiday cards and presents.  On this day, we encourage Americans to spread some Holiday joy by stuffing at least one card or present in the mail.  The Post Office could sure use the business!”

My bag is stuffed!

My bag is stuffed!

President Obama then led the press corps in a stirring, yet off key rendition of Jingle Bells.

So Stuffing Saturday is the bridge that connects Thanksgiving and Christmas?

“I understand that not every American celebrates a Winter Holiday, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus, so Stuffing Saturday is also meant to honor those proud citizens that engage in an activity that is not always viewed in a positive light.  It is my hope that this new holiday will bring honor and respect to those fellow Americans.

“I’m talking, of course, about taxidermists…”

Mother, why don't the other guys want to stuff owls with me? Mother, answer me!

Mother, why don’t the other guys want to stuff owls with me? Mother, answer me!

“Alright, there’s a bowl of gravy calling my name, and some Holiday cards that need to be written, so I’m gonna go,” President Obama casually informed reporters.  “I want you all to have a happy Stuffin’ Saturday, and next year, we’ll  get together here again to celebrate my last Stuffin’ Saturday as your President.  Thank you!”

And with that, the President sauntered off to enjoy the riches of the newest Holiday.

Happy Stuffing Saturday, Modern Philosophers.  May your day with stuffed with joy!

Posted in Holidays, Humor, Philosophy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My Girlfriend’s Obsession With The Late Late Toy Show

late lateOne of the grand and lovely things about having a Sweet Irish Girlfriend is learning about her customs and traditions.

For example, it is customary for her to say things in a very odd manner and then expect this dorky American guy to understand what she means.  This morning, it was an entire conversation about porridge that left me asking “What’s the craic?”.

It turns out she was just suggesting I eat some oatmeal after my run.

Moments ago, I received a text from Ireland strongly suggesting that I write a blog post about The Late Late Toy Show.

I have no idea what that is except for the fact that The Sweet Irish Girl was obsessing over it all day yesterday, sending me shots of her TV showing the program, and giving me a play by play via text about what was happening on a show I’d never heard of before yesterday.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a girlfriend, but I do remember that one of the rules is I’m supposed to do anything I can to make her happy.  As a result, this is my blog post about her (unhealthy) obsession with The Late Late Toy Show.

Late late 3What I’ve managed to gather via texts from the Emerald Isle and from having the interns research the interwebs, is that The Late Late Toy Show is an annual Christmas Special that airs on Irish TV right after Thanksgiving.

Not that they celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m writing this post in America, so I’m going to use American holidays in the article!

Arbor Day.  Flag Day.  Independence Day.

You see?  I was totally serious about that.

It appears to be a special edition of a late night talk show called, surprisingly enough, The Late Late Show.  This year’s show was hosted by someone named Ryan Tubridy, who may or may not be the man in the photos I’m using.

late late 2According to The Sweet Irish Girl, whose texts are devoid of punctuation because she’s just so darn excited telling me about the show, The Late Late Toy Show has aired for about 40 years and highlights all the big toys that the Irish lads and lasses want for Christmas.

There’s also entertainment.  The kiddos appear in costume to talk about the toys, and then there is singing and dancing.  My Sweetheart excitedly texted about a culchie farmer boy who rapped a little Eminem for the crowd.

The host wears a hideous Christmas jumper (that’s Irish for sweater) and from the clips I watched on YouTube, the audience comes in costume for reasons I don’t understand.  Must be a charming Irish thing.

Why are they wearing costumes to a Christmas special?

Why are they wearing costumes to a Christmas special?

One of the big highlights of the show is that the host will give prizes to the entire studio audience.  I did get a text yesterday excitedly informing me that everyone at this year’s Late Late Toy Show had been given a Millennium Falcon!

Man, that’s really going to clog up the airspace over Dublin for the trip home after the show.  Am I right, Modern Philosophers?  Did it come with a Wookie copilot, too?

I know someone who is very thankful they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland!

I know someone who is very thankful they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland!

Sometimes, a talking bird named Dustin the Turkey shows up to harass the host.  I’m telling you, Modern Philosophers, American TV has a long way to go before it catches up with what goes out on the air in Ireland!

The Sweet Irish Girl informed me that it’s nearly impossible to get a ticket to the show, and she has unsuccessfully tried five different times.

Late late 4Okay, Late Late Toy Show, how about you make sure my girlfriend gets a ticket for next year’s show in exchange for my blogging about your amazing Christmas Special?

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that The Late Late Toy Show is not only my favorite late night show on Irish TV, but it’s also my favorite late night show across the world after The Nite Show With Danny Cashman?

Since I’m a writer for The Nite Show, it’s got to be my favorite.

Do we have a deal?  Merry Christmas to you, my new friends on Irish TV.

Is there any chance I can get a Millennium Falcon, too???

Merry Christmas to The Sweet Irish Girl.  I hope this post makes you smile bigger than if Dustin the Turkey were to pop up on your TV in a Christmas jumper to tell you a joke!

Posted in Dating, Entertainment, Holidays, Humor, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Time To Stretch Those Long Runner’s Legs

running 3This is typically the time of year, Modern Philosophers, that I pack on the pounds and hibernate in a cave of self loathing.

I don’t like to run when it’s cold, and the holidays tempt me with so many delicious, fattening foods.

Despite my vicious running program, I’ve managed to put on some weight over the past couple of weeks.  I took time off from fitness while The Sweet Irish Girl was here, and I did a lot of eating during her visit.

Plus, I didn’t exactly slow down over the past week with it being Thanksgiving.

Let me be perfectly honest with you, Modern Philosophers: while Irish lasses are incredibly beautiful and have that sexy brogue that will make you weak in the knees, they also love potatoes, creams, carbs, and all sorts of naughty foods.

I don’t know how The Sweet Irish Girl stays so thin and lovely, but whatever Leprechaun Magic she uses did not transfer over to me.  She somehow lost weight during her visit, while I put on a few pounds.

I got back into my running routine this week, and next week, it’s back onto the diet.  Of course, I knew I had to shake it up a little on this morning’s run…

Give in to the Dark Side, and you shall lose weight!

Give in to the Dark Side, and you shall lose weight!

My biggest problem with maintaining a yearlong running program, aside from my hatred of running, is that I don’t like running in the cold and snow.

Sure, going to my gym would help with this issue, but since I don’t like driving in snow, I’m not going to get in my car to drive to the gym.  Also, running on a treadmill is a major pain in the arse.

I much prefer running outside, and since I’m serious about this running nonsense this year, I’ve taken measures to ensure I’m less likely to wimp out when Autumn turns colder and bleeds into Winter.

As you can see from the above photo, I’ve purchased a very warm running mask.  Sure, it deprives passersby of seeing my handsome face, but it also keep that same handsome face from freezing off.

I’m also wearing an insulated runner’s hoodie that fits nicely over my running toga.  I went out in 19 and 13 degree temps this week, and felt warm and toasty both days.

The Roman Numeral four, and what I needed to pump fluids into my body after this morning's run!

The Roman Numeral four, and what I needed to pump fluids into my body after this morning’s run!

In preparation for the colder weather, when I anticipate that I won’t want to spend as much time out on the road battling the elements, I’ve cut my longest runs from 4.5 miles down to between 3.25 and 3.5 miles.

This morning, though, I decided it was time to push myself again to get my body back on the righteous path to wellness and weight loss.

As a result, I ran four miles.  I have to admit, that I was a bit surprised that I was able to cover the distance without any trouble, despite the fact that it’s been a least a month since I’ve gone that far.

I was back to The House on the Hill in less than 42:00.

In Maine, October through March are the cold, annoying months.  I normally don’t exercise much during that period, but I realized today that I’ve already navigated through the first two of those months and maintained my regular running schedule.

So maybe I can keep up this five days a week pace if I wear my cold weather gear, keep my distance to a reasonable amount, and use some common sense.

Cold 2As I’ve been writing this, The Sweet Irish Girl has been texting me photos of adorable Irish babies.  I’m trying not to give too much Deep Thought to what that means, but I get the sense that someday, I’m going to have more than just myself to answer to for my health.

She’s already got me using shower gel and some weird frilly sponge thing in the shower.  My regular bathroom soap has been replaced by a lovelier smelling variety.

Times are changing, Modern Philosophers, and I have to look at the bigger picture.

In that picture, I’d like to be smaller and healthier.

So I will continue to run.  Next week, all the crappy food will be banished again.  I will get back to inspiration through perspiration.

I was damn proud of myself for running four miles today, but it feels even better to hear The Sweet Irish Girl gushing about how proud she is of me for pushing myself to go the extra distance.

Try to do something healthy today, Modern Philosophers, even if someone with an adorable brogue isn’t going to purr about how lovely you are for doing so…

Posted in Fitness, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Friday Night Think Tank: Embracing The Season

Doc BrownIt’s Black Friday night, Modern Philosophers.  Hopefully, you all made it home safely from your shopping excursions.

I went to work an hour early because I fell dreadfully behind while I was on vacation.  It doesn’t seem fair that taking a week off to relax should lead to being totally stressed out upon returning to work.

Shouldn’t the vacation elves have done all my work while I was away?

Even though I had a long, horrible day at work, I now feel relaxed and refreshed.  I called The Sweet Irish Girl and allowed the sound of her voice to calm me and remind me that life can be rather grand.

Then I had dinner and now I’m ready to head out to the Think Tank for our weekly Philosophical Exercise.

And because it is Black Friday, all Deep Thoughts are 70% off.  How could you possibly pass on a deal like that?

Grab your shopping bags and meet me out in the Think Tank…

This week’s topic: Now that Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday is here, many say it is the official start of the Christmas Season.  Do you feel like you have embraced the Holiday Spirit, or are you still digesting Thanksgiving Dinner?

Christmas tree 2There’s no way I’m ready for Christmas yet, Modern Philosophers.

I’m Old School when it comes to a clear separation of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I do not believe that the Holidays should simply bleed into each other.

I need time to digest Thanksgiving, go back to a regular routine for a while, and then slowly allow Christmas to creep up on me.

I want to watch a Christmas special here, listen to a Christmas Carol there, and allow the Christmas Contagion to infect my body quietly and gently.

I don’t like having Christmas thrust in my face, nor do I enjoy having people tell me I need to be in the Christmas Spirit.  I can’t just flip a switch and go full Happy Birthday, Jesus at the drop of a Santa Claus hat.

Bah Humbug!

Truth be told, Christmas has lost its luster for me over the past few years, to the point that I don’t even put up a tree anymore.  However, I still get into the spirit of things maybe two weeks to ten days before the big day, but it’s not the same feeling it used to be.

SantaWho know?  Maybe having someone special in my life again will change all that.  Regardless, I still don’t put on my Christmas Toga and deck the halls the second the clock chimes midnight on Black Friday.

Christmas has always been about the slow build up, and I like it to happen naturally.  Artificial Christmas Spirit simply doesn’t work for me.

So what about you, Modern Philosophers?  Are you filled with the Christmas Spirit yet?  Or are you still filled with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving Dinner?

I’ll be reading your replies, and checking them twice, so try really hard not to be naughty, but nice…

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Humor, musings, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments