Exhibit 14.13

Speaking of the dog, Mathias posted a photo here that I was convinced was Brett. So convinced, in fact, that I'd already typed out a comment that was something along the lines of "Who's a good dog? Yousa good dog, yes yous is, yes yous is." before it occurred to me that Brett's never had a penis and I've never had a white towel or a lower opinion of myself.


Exhibit 14.12

Someone just called me from a number I didn't recognize and since I was online reading about Canada anyway, I figured I'd go ahead and look it up before answering. Don't worry, I don't do this when you call. Unless I'm related to you in which case yes, I do do this when you call.

Anyway, the number apparently belong(s/ed) to a dance studio in Georgia. They didn't leave a message, so I can only assume they called for one of the following reasons:

1. They just heard about my performance at the 2000 Hays High School Junior Prom and want to see if I can teach their students how to pretend to drink out of an empty punch cup while looking like they're too into Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" to talk to anyone

2. They now own my student loans and are way more interested in getting me to pay them back than the last owner (which I think was a donut chain)

3. My phone number is one digit off from Baryshnikov's and they misdialed

4. My phone number is one digit off from Baryshnikov's and they dialed correctly. However, I accidentally switched phones with Baryshnikov when I stopped at the gas station to get this Salted Nut Roll I'm eating (this would, actually, explain the calls from JoAnne Akalaitis)

5. They were calling for the dog


Exhibit 14.11

Dusty writes about Atwood's The Blind Assassin here. This is a book I read and even think I enjoyed quite a bit, but when I was reading his much-spoiler-protected review, it occurred to me that I remember absolutely nothing about it.

Honestly, I'd forgotten there were actual assassins (even blind ones). For some reason I'd come to believe that was a metaphor for something (Love? Canadians? Hockey? The CN Tower? Labatt Blue? Neil Young? More Love?).

If you were to have asked me yesterday what The Blind Assassin was about I would have said, "There are sisters and it's like, in the 1800s or something. Then there's a fire and somebody's husband is burned. No, wait, that's Wuthering Heights. I was reading that at the same time. Okay, but there are sisters. Sisters and, um, money. Yeah, they're rich sisters. I think one is pretty and one is plain. I think the pretty one dies. Oh, and there are different parts. It's like Dune that way. Really? Well, I've never read Dune but that was my impression of its structure. Anyway, there's other stuff, too. Mostly about Canada. I enjoyed it quite a bit, I think."

So I need to do better. Also, from this point forward, I'm accepting all implied titular characters as being present in the book unless I hear differently. This will lead to many great conversations wherein you listen to me pontificate on just how damn lonely those hunters really were.

"And to think," I'll end with, "the heart they were hunting was inside each of them all along."

And then it will begin to rain and a passing child will say, "Look, Oprah's crying."

(While I don't know why I represent myself like this on the blog, I do know this is hilarious. I can't wait to answer the question, "So, what's your writing like?" with, "Well, you are of course familiar with the Southern Ontario Gothic tradition. I'm like that only much more Southern, much more Ontarian, way less Gothic, and a little bit more Country."

And then it will begin to rain and a passing child will say, "Look, Oprah's crying."



Exhibit 14.10

Updated Map of My Neighborhood

Since I last updated the map the city has added several more holes which close off both of my convenient routes to work unless I want to find myself enholed. And by work I, of course, mean going to the plasma center and dropping a few pints to buy a few pints.

It's okay if you didn't laugh. That's just our little plasma donating joke. It's not for everyone.

Oh, and I discovered which of my neighbors is using a garage to run a home mechanic business which really seems to be booming. I badly want to take my car there, but I feel like there might be a code I don't know. And my car is working okay. Still, it's nice to know they're around fixing cars and using a code.

Anyway, for the moment, my route to work looks like this:

And I don't even get to drive by the Nehru Memorial Museum anymore.


Exhibit 14.9

Thoughts on the Coco Crisp Trade

Before we begin, let me welcome Mr. Crisp to the Great Names of the Royals Hall of Fame. Coco, please take your seat between Vida Blue and Pete LaCock.

Anyway, the Royals made their second major move of the offseason, acquiring center fielder Coco Crisp from the Boston Red Sox for reliever Ramon Ramirez. As with their first move, this was all about Royals GM Dayton Moore spending a fungible commodity (relief pitchers) and getting back value in the form of position players who are harder to find and who, ideally, should be more predictable in their performance. Crisp, like Jacobs earlier, is a player who had outlived his usefulness to his former team but represents an easy upgrade for a team like the Royals who suddenly seem willing to pay above-market salaries as long as they send back below-market players in the trade.

And that's really what this comes down to from the Royals' perspective. Moore has proven to be almost preternaturally talented at assembling great bullpens out of retreads and so players like Ramirez and Nunez are less valuable to the Royals than they are to other clubs (sadly, the opposite might be true when it comes to position players as Moore has so far struggled to identify and utilize cheap talent). It's possible he's just been lucky, but I can say as a fan that I'm not one bit worried about the bullpen despite having lost two quality arms in the past month.

Those two arms brought back a 1B/DH who will likely see near full-time duty as part of a three-man rotation over two spots and a CF who will start and (probably stupidly) leadoff. Say what you will about the logic of trading young, cheap pitchers for expensive older who players who may or may not block homegrown prospects, these two trades represent significant upgrades to the everyday lineup and almost certainly make the Royals think they'll finish above .500 for only the second time since 1994.

As for Coco Crisp specifically, he's a good player who used to be better but is still in his prime (29) and might very well be better in Kansas City's roomy ballpark than he was in Boston's bandbox. His defense is good-to-great, his power is adequate for a CF, he's not an OBP guy but he's okay, and he has one true skill with his exceptional speed. His contract has two years left on it--$5.75 million this year, $8 million club option next year with 500k buyout--but I'd put the odds squarely against the Royals ever picking that option unless:

A) Crisp reverts back to his 2005 form
B) The Royals compete for the division this year
C) The Royals trade Jose Guillen

And I think all three of those things have to happen. So for one year of average to above-average production and great (if weak-armed) defense, the Royals gave up a reliever who probably had his career season last year. Ramirez was great, but he's due to fall back to Earth and the Royals were smart to sell high.

(Which is maybe the most overlooked part of both of the trades this offseason. Dayton Moore turned 1/2 a season of Benito Santiago into a guy who hit 30+ HR last season when he traded Nunez for Jacobs. Then he turned Tony Graffanino into Jorge de la Rosa into Ramon Ramirez into Coco Crisp. And that doesn't even count the productive seasons he got from Nunez and Ramirez in the interim. The Royals, if nothing else, have been trading up).

Crisp allows the Royals to shift DeJesus to left where his defense should go from adequate to outstanding, and, though they haven't mentioned it, it seems clear that they also think DeJesus will stay healthier if he's not throwing his body around in center every night. It also frees up someone for a trade though the Royals could also just release Ross Gload and Joey Gathright and I don't think you'd hear any complaining out of the fan base.

Like I said, this team has gotten substantially better in just a month and while some analysts are taking it to the Royals for aiming for the middle rather than aiming high, I think that one year of creating a winning culture while some young guys develop isn't the worst thing in the world (especially since nobody is being blocked with these moves who wouldn't be blocked otherwise). We've all seen what true replacement-level players look like in KC and it's not pretty. Crisp and Jacobs are both fun players in the sense they make big plays (good and bad) and they'll adequately serve as plugs in a leaky ship until 2010 at which point I doubt either is still on the team.

I say it's a good move that has a small amount of upside with no real downside other than salary. As the owner of the Royals is an evil ex-Wal-Mart executive, not only do I not mind spending the money, I wish there was some way we could spend more of it. Perhaps a golden statue to commemorate Mr. LaCock's one season in KC...

Better takes on the trade here, here, here, and here.


Exhibit 14.8

Lincoln is the healthiest city in America according to this report which was presumably done in order to prop up the struggling soft news sector. Basically, more people in Lincoln said their health was good (or better) than any other city in America, something that might say more about our wholesome, Midwestern sense of propriety than anything else.

You: How's your health?
Lincoln: Good!
You: How's your unquestioned loyalty to conservatives working?
Lincoln: Good!
You: Wie ist Ihr Deutscher?
Lincoln: Gut!
You: How would you describe those mafioso fellas?
Lincoln: Goodfellas!
You: What's that Keenan and Kel movie you love called?
Lincoln: Good Burger!
You: Pretend you're praising a dog.
Lincoln: Good boy!
You: This grows tiresome.
Lincoln: Goodnight!
You: Where can I drop off my unruly 17-year-old?
Lincoln: Anywhere!

Ah, I worked so hard for that one safe haven joke. Sigh.

Actually, the only reason I even mention the report is because it also contains the first definitive evidence that everyone in Huntington, West Virginia, is a whiny malcontent (a fact we've all suspected). Only 68% of their residents said their health was good to which 100% of Americans said, "Oh, let me play you a song on the world's tiniest violin, you dying wussies."

15% of Americans also said, "Love it or leave it." though they would have said this to anything.


Exhibit 14.7

So Zadie Smith wrote about the future of the novel in The New York Review of Books and one of the novels she sees as being along one of two diverging "paths" for the novel is Tom McCarthy's Remainder (which I wrote about here). The other novel is Joseph O'Neill's Netherland, a book I feel like I have read a million glowing reviews of without once feeling even the slightest inkling to actually pick up. Smith helpfully explains why I might be such a case by setting up Netherland as the evolution of "lyrical Realism" whereas Remainder (a book I ordered the moment I first heard of it) is its antithesis, a book Smith associates with the avant garde (though I don't think she ever gives this path a proper, oddly capitalized label). As a reader, like Smith seems to be, whose sympathies lie somewhere on the avant garde side of center (which really means I side with what's innovative above all), it's not shocking that O'Neill's book doesn't interest me while McCarthy's I found immediately gripping.

(Although I have to say I've been a little taken aback by just how big Remainder seems to be getting recently. Not that it's undeserving. Not at all, in fact. I just wouldn't have pegged it as a book to capture the imagination of so many writers who seem to universally see it as a Very Important Book. Smith's essay gives her reasons but I remain a little incredulous).

The entire essay is quite the read in exactly the exhaustive way you'd expect from The New York Review of Books (in other words, I no longer need to read O'Neill's book or possibly any book ever again), but it's worth it. I mostly agree with J. Robert Lennon's take here which is that the Smith's piece fundamental flaw is positioning the two books as opposites and absolutes. She does this in her opening and then spends most of the essay purposefully disproving (or accidentally ignoring) this premise.

At one point she writes:

When it comes to literary careers, it's true: the pitch is queered. The literary economy sets up its stall on the road that leads to Netherland, alongwhich one might wave to Jane Austen, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Yates, Saul Bellow. Rarely has it been less aware (or less interested) in seeing what's new on the route to Remainder, that skewed side road where we greet Georges Perec, Clarice Lispector, Maurice Blanchot, William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard. Friction, fear, and outright hatred spring up often between these two traditions—yet they have revealing points of connection. At their crossroads we find extraordinary writers claimed by both sides: Melville, Conrad, Kafka, Beckett, Joyce, Nabokov. For though manifestos feed on rupture, artworks themselves bear the trace of their own continuity.
How then these ideas of the novel are in competition in an artistic sense (as opposed to a commercial sense) is a little unclear though I suppose it hearkens back to Smith's opening which suggests that while in healthy times literature gets multiple paths but in the unhealthy present we get but the one blocked by the Balzac-like realism of Netherland. I don't know what to say about this other than I don't think it's true or even nearly true. If anything, it's only becoming less true as traditional publishers struggle and small presses, the Internet, and other alternative venues pick up the slack.

That said, it really is a remarkable essay and I don't mean to suggest that Smith doesn't do well by her own premise. It's an interesting autopsy of two very different books, but it does assume an either/or that I don't necessarily buy into no matter how well written the argument (or how much smarter the argument's author is than me).

Smith also sees the end of postmodernism in her most bomb-throwing of paragraphs:

Yet despite these theoretical assaults, the American metafiction that stood inopposition to Realism has been relegated to a safe corner of literary history,to be studied in postmodernity modules, and dismissed, by our most famous publiccritics, as a fascinating failure, intellectual brinkmanship that lacked heart. Barth, Barthelme, Pynchon, Gaddis, DeLillo, David Foster Wallace—all misguided ideologists, the novelist equivalents of the socialists in Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. In this version of our literary history, the last man standing is the Balzac-Flaubert model, on the evidence of its extraordinary persistence. But the critiques persist, too. Is it really the closest model we have to our condition? Or simply the bedtime story that comforts us most?
This, I think, is more true and a much more compelling argument. That said, I don't think what Smith calls postmodernism is dead or necessarily even close to it (especially since I, for one, have a hard time seeing how Remainder is any less postmodern than the average DeLillo book). I like Lennon's idea of acknowledging that what we call postmodernism is something simply inherent to narratives or our understanding of them and so a book like Remainder (or, say, The Raw Shark Texts) can be both referentially postmodern without being measured for its coffin.

Whatever the case, I think Smith's right to say quite a good deal of literature (if not the best literature) comes from somewhere in between her two poles and, healthy world or no, I don't see any reason why we have to choose.


Exhibit 14.6

All right, has everyone internalized how I feel about this football season or do we need more time? No? We're good? Excellent. This will save us a lot of catching up next time we see each other.

You: Hello, funny running into you here at this ill-defined place we're at.
Me: Let me tell you my thoughts about the football season.
You: No need, I read your blog.
Me: This will save us a lot of catching up.
You: Yes.
Me: Let me tell you my thoughts about politics.
You: No need, I read liberal blogs, too. I assume you'll pretty much say what they tell you to.
Me: [betrayed!]
You: This just isn't working. I think we should find separate places to do whatever we're doing right now.

Anyway, let's see if anything bizarre/horrible happened in North Platte, Nebraska, recently:

A judge who gave a child molester probation because he was short lost re-election.

The trial of a man who beat up his girlfriend because she made him mac and cheese has been delayed.

An elementary school principal falsely reported her car stolen for some reason.

Nope. Same as ever.


Exhibit 14.5

.5625way Through the Season Football Recap

Miami Dolphins (5-4, 3rd Place)
So it occurred to me a few weeks ago that I hadn't written anything about this football season, but since the Dolphins were doing so well, I didn't want to jinx them just to express thoughts like "They rox! OMG!" or "Woot! Is that how you do it? Oh, with zeroes. w00t. No, I don't like it that way." Well, they've only won more in the meantime and find themselves in the race for the playoffs so I think I'm probably safe to say, "Fist bumps, yeah! The Phins pown wooT 4 r34l! Killer fist bump!"

Now you know why I keep getting kicked out of the Old Chicago.

Anyway, Bill Parcells and his elementary-school-teacher-or-Gloop-Gleep-or-Russian-nested-doll-esque body type have completely revitalized the franchise as well as my not-at-all-real interest in l33t speak. In case you were unaware, this team went 1-15 last season. Each win they get adds a full 100% to how much better they are than last year. Yeah, things were looking grim but then...

MVP - Bill Parcells. There's a lot of competition for this spot (i.e. Tony Sparano, Joey Porter, and Chad Pennington) but none of those guys would be in Miami or a position to succeed without the change in attitude brought by Bill "Body Type of a Structurally Unsound Snowman " Parcells. It's weird how much I didn't care about this guy a year ago but now think he's one of the greatest football minds of all time. I don't think I've linked to it before, but right after the Dolphins hired Parcells, I happened to read this essay by Michael Lewis (Moneyball) and it really turned me around on him. If you have any interest in Parcells, football, coaching, or learning how to have a deeply unsatisfying personal life while achieving great success in your career, I highly recommend it.

LVP - Ernest Wilford. It's not a good sign when people are saying things like, "Maybe we should take our expensive free agent receiver and make him a tight end." If you didn't understand that, just imagine that you were hired to be a surgeon but after leaving a few dead patients on the table, they decided you'd be better off as the table.

The Ginn Family (7-3, 1st Place)
But it's a very tenuous 1st place. So tenuous that I'm 7th in points scored. In other words, I owe my position entirely to the vagaries of the schedule and am by no means the favorite to win the playoffs. Still, my goal at this point is the regular season title and with a full game lead with three to play, it's possible.

(Completely unrelated tangent: I was listening to The National on someone's iTunes and when the album finished the next song was "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty by Nature. I listened to the entire 4:30 song and half of Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans" before I figured out what had happened. These are the things I want to tell you about at the Old Chicago).

MVP - Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons. I saved my number one waiver wire position for a few weeks waiting for someone to drop a marquee player. It was definitely worth the wait.

LVP - Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers. But only because his body appears to be made of that white modeling clay you bake. Otherwise he's great.

Bill Parcells' Lonely Nautilus Machine (5-5, 6th Place)
This team has been as unlucky as The Ginn Family has been lucky, and it's starting to take its toll. Most of the time I spend thinking about this team I'm trying to decide if I made the right call to forgo the 's' after the apostrophe. Now, usually I'm a fan, but somehow it just looked wrong as as a title so I left it behind like Kirk Cameron.

Maybe that's where the wheels started to come off.

MVP - Oh, I don't know, every player on my team has been just inconsistent enough to help me lose. Let's say Frank Gore, RB, 49ers. He's good.

LVP - Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers. Or maybe I just hate the Steelers. Yeah, that's probably it.


Exhibit 14.4

To-Do List for Tuesday, October 11th

1. Recycle previously used idea for blog post
2. Learn how to strike through text using HTML

4. Mention to four disinterested people that today in Lincoln is totally like that Guns N' Roses song and then, after they say, "Yeah, it's November and it's raining," say, "Oh, I was thinking of 'Mr. Brownstone'"
5. Reverence up some veterans
6. Talk to dog like she's a baby
7. Look around empty apartment to see if anyone saw #6
8. Use my strengths to find and buy a Coke
9. Unnecessarily link to old blog posts
10. Finish Chapter Six
11. Regret Chapter Six
12. Think about Obama/pass out for a little while
13. Email potential trades I've made up to relevant GMs
14. Let go of concern that people can't read this
15. Wait it all out

I'm doing pretty good all things considered. If you have any leads for #3, please be in touch.


Exhibit 14.3

The Cupboard's first volume, Parables & Lies by Jesse Ball, was recently reviewed on NewPages.com here.

So, you know, order it already. But only if you want to.

Thank you.


Exhibit 14.2

In honor of the election, some political stock photography.

Congressman Wilson was having that dream again, the dream where the microphones were finally coming for him, the dream his psychiatrist said had phallic overtones, the dream he liked to tell the congressional pages about when he took them to get frappuccinos.

Who would have thought a person who ran on an authoritarian platform of creating a shadow army would be the first politician to actually live up to their promises. Still, Chancellor Paine does some good things, too.

"Sometimes, Bob, I don't even know why they have us protecting these balloons armed with comically oversized walkee talkees."

"It's not our place to question it, Roger. We volunteered to supervise the prom, and supervise the prom we will."

This photo could be used with any number of headlines, but I'm pretty sure all of them end in "Sex Scandal Exclusive!"

They laughed when Kwik Shop supervisor Ronald Vote announced his candidacy for mayor until he showed them the town ballot box on election day. What's the worst that could happen, they said.

Well, who doesn't want an army, they muttered anxiously, all too aware that Mayor Vote's taxpayer-funded army consisted of 5 or 10 assault rifles he carried with him everywhere.

When he claimed a 12-year-old girl as his Secretary of War, everyone agreed this was going to a weird place.

Things didn't get better.

Just creepier. Much, much creepier. Nobody liked Mayor Vote, but what could they do? All efforts to oust him from office ended in disaster when they urged the town to get out the Vote.


Exhibit 14.1

Election Post-Mortem

Imagine my surprise when I went to watch Fox's new hit drama Fringe and instead found myself looking at Shepard Smith. Hope for change: Fulfilled. Hope for answers about a series of mysterious events known only as "The Pattern": Dashed.

I'll have more to say about Obama later, but I wanted to go into some of the mechanics of this election a bit on the Republican side. My question at the moment: Did McCain ever have a chance? Certainly his surrogates had been playing up the 'nobody expected us to even be competitive in this environment' angle in the last week, but since they weren't competitive at all, it does beg the question. My guess: No. At least not with the flawless campaign Obama ran. In the end, McCain probably would have needed a major gaffe to derail the electorate's clear preference for a Dem, but I do think he could have taken steps to make such a gaffe more likely or at least put Obama on the defensive. Here's what I would have suggested to McCain:

Spend every waking moment during the extended Democratic primary shoring up your conservative base in the quietest way possible. Do whatever it takes to convince the Colorado Springs crowd that you're one of them even if you aren't going to be talking about their issues. Get a Jesus tattoo if you have to. Make it count because...you're never going to talk about their issues. Put on a turtleneck to cover up the Jesus tattoo and become the McCain of 2000 just as Obama is seizing the nomination. Immediately and publicly renounce Bush while announcing a radical reform agenda and make Obama respond, especially on issues like immigration and energy independence. Name Lieberman as your running mate a week or so before the Democratic Convention to make that the topic of conversation and give conservatives time to get over it before Minneapolis. Take the aggressive move of naming some people who would be in your cabinet and use those names to shore up the base (Palin as Secretary of Energy?). Continue to hammer the agenda and make it even more radical. Promise a fundamental rewriting of the tax code, stuff like that. Hope the Obama campaign takes the bait and attacks the agenda as impossible then wait until just before the debates to announce you'll only serve one term and will govern by doing the right thing rather than the electable thing. Frame this as part of the overall anti-Obama argument based on experience and ambition. Leave all other negative attacks alone. Leave the press alone. Hope for a gaffe.

To me that seems like a strategy that, while perhaps no more likely to win, at least allows McCain to lose not only with his legacy intact but with a clear impact on the future of his party. In any case, there was a way for McCain to be a "maverick" not with his V.P. pick and not as a hollow label, but as a man leading sweeping, bipartisan reform of government. That's an image that plays across demographics (which McCain's campaign was far too obsessed with) and could have created excitement to match Obama's if not in depth than at least in scope.

I really think that the Republicans could have learned a thing or two from Ron Paul in this election (as funny as it sounds) and tried to manufacture their own grassroots movement around reforming Washington, libertarian social policies, and populist economics. Finding a coherent narrative somewhere around the bi-partisan ticket, the one-term promise, and McCain's experience as a reformer, shouldn't have been too hard. But by taking the low road with the silly personal attacks, an irresponsible VP pick, endless fights with the press, and a "Joe the Plumber" economic plan, McCain not only doomed himself but also his party. Instead, the fundamental transformation that is going to have to take place in order for the Republican party to stay competitive in national elections gets put off another four years. This country isn't getting any whiter, boys, maybe it's time to start getting real on immigration. Or, you know, find a set of policies that in any way appeals to post-Vietnam generations. I think these issues go will beyond skin color, so if conservatives are hoping Bobby Jindal is going to be their Obama in 2012, I think they're in for disappointment but I've been wrong before.

In any case, we should all remember that John McCain loves his country deeply and while he ran a bad campaign, he is a good man that many on the left, including myself, admired as a politician until recently and will continue to admire as an American hero. He was on the wrong side of history last night but that doesn't do anything to diminish his sacrifice. Personally, I hope and expect that he will be a key player in righting this country now that he's free from capitulating to his, and his party's, worst instincts.

And the final nail in the Republican's coffin came this morning. Here's a very gracious Bush on Obama's victory.

Except for when he oddly veers into talking about protecting America, I thought this was a compelling, genuine speech from a man who doesn't seem to understand why people don't like him anymore but who, if nothing else, knows history when he sees it.

Exhibit 13.27

President Barack Obama.


Exhibit 13.26

Election Predictions

Electoral Vote Count: Obama 353-1851
Percentage of Popular Vote: Obama 53.2
Percentage of Winner over Loser: Obama +6.9%
Democratic Senate Seats: 58 (including Sanders and Lieberman)
Time of Concession Speech: 11:35 (Eastern Time)
Dolphins (-9) vs. Seahawks: Seahawks2
Olivo vs. Buck: Olivo (apparently)
Sign of This Blog's Decline: Brett Photo
Percentage of Emails I'm Responding To: 30%
HTML I've Learned in the Last 10 Minutes: Superscripting
Time I'm Leaving Work to Go Watch Results: 4:403

Feel free to post your own predictions in the comments.

1 Obama wins Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, but loses Indiana and Missouri.
2 Don't get me wrong, I think the Dolphins win that game, but should they really be giving nine points? Seems like they're begging you to take the Seahawks but, well, I still would.
3 Joke!
4 I'm staying until five, boss, honest.

4 Totally not a joke.

Exhibit 13.25

Tired Brett says, "Vote."


Exhibit 13.24

Savings Times I Prefer to Daylight Savings Time

Time Savings Savings Time - Every January 25th we get a 25-hour day with the understanding that the extra hour be used only to come up with creative time savings solutions like carrying a backpack to avoid unnecessary trips home or using a water pic for more efficient flossing. Every other day of the year is then 10 seconds shorter in order to make up this hour but this is okay because we're all saving so much time. (Note: not recognized in the slothful parts of Indiana).

Timex Savings Savings Time - Same concept only as part of our time savings plan we know we're going to need waterproof digital watches with stopwatch functionality in order to take showers exactly 4 minutes and 38 seconds long. So we get an extra hour to buy Timex watches at great discount. (Note: recognized in all of Indiana).

Daylight Savings Time - We all get a day to write letters to the movie studios begging them to re-release the 1996 Sylvester Stallone vehicle Daylight into theaters because we're all ready to give it another chance. The movie studios always release Demolition Man instead because everyone gets sucked into watching it even when they don't really want to. When Daylight savings time ends, we all go back to writing letters begging for a re-release of Cobra. You know Daylight Savings Time has ended or begun by using the mnemonic phrase, "Daylight covers the dirt path on which you walk, but you should still be careful not to step on any Cobras hiding in the grassy meadow."

Tuesday Spending Time - Once every three years every day is a Tuesday because we've been saving our Tuesdays wisely. Our Timexs don't recognize this so we take them off and bury them in the lawn in case they grow into clock trees. They never have, but only because we don't water them. We forget because we made a note to do it every Wednesday, but the next Wednesday is 364 Tuesdays away. We make plans to have lunch on Tuesday but since we don't know which Tuesday, I keep showing up at the restaurant and waiting. On Tuesday I have the bisque. On Tuesday I read a book. On Tuesday I write a letter to movie studios about re-releasing Cobra. On Tuesday I meet a person who was also waiting on someone and I suggested the bisque. On Tuesday I get sick of bisque. On Tuesday I stop showing up but you start showing up. On Tuesday you wait. On Tuesday you get sick of bisque.