Saturday, December 22, 2007

Let There Be Light!

December 22nd! For six months I wait for this blasted day, and finally it has arrived.

For every June 21st, I move into a depressed state, becoming increasingly despondent and all around grumpy. The death march is on and it lasts for half a year.

But alas, things are bright and shiny this fine day! For today is the Winter Solstice! No, it's not a holiday worthy of its own cards, but nonetheless it is a terrific milestone.

Up here in Minnesota, our sunlight is incredibly scarce these winter months. In fact, my estimations have the sun now rising at noon and setting by 12:45pm. In short, it's awful. You go to work in the dark, you drive home in the dark, and you sleep in the dark. Ok, that last one is alright, but the other two are depressing.

Today marks a fresh start. Today the sun rays last a little longer, and my depressions vanishes away one minute a day (or whatever the heck it is). Before long, we'll resemble a normal city with average amounts of sunlight. The victory parade is on!

Photo from

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Over

Sadly, it's over. The race that was over before it ever really began.

And this is why I stick to picking fantasy sports superstars rather than presidential candidates.

P.S. With the cancellation of the campaign, I will not be sending out Tornado Tom Tancredo T-shirts as previously promised. Please, try - I beg you try - to go about your lives today.

Photo from Clarkpresents.blogspot

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome Christmas card readers!

With the recent mailing out of the Wolf Christmas card, I expect a few new readers to Wolfden V. I managed to talk my way into a cheap plug in the last line of this year's letter, which should expose this humble blog to at least four new people. And to you, I say welcome.

Allow me to give you a little tour of the site. No doubt you are overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of information and good humor present. I wish to introduce you to the topics covered and the overall composition of Wolfden V that make it a leading blog for readers who know me, have free time, and click over once a week or so.

You'll notice a familiar trend with the posts in which I start with a picture that sets the tone for the rest of the piece. In this case, I selected a comical photo of a little girl sitting on the lap of Santa Claus. In the past, this photo has included ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, Chicago Cubs' pitcher Carlos Zambrano, and photos everyone wishes were splashed across the front page of of themselves.

The text of my pieces tend to vary. I enjoy writing about news stories such as the never ending Don Imus scandal, Regis Philbin's heart surgery recovery, Shia LaBeouf trashing a Chicago Walgreens, and Pope Benedict issuing the 10 Commandments of Driving.

Other times I relate personal stories such as inconsiderate neighbors, Minnesota booger pickers, my inability to change a tire, and interactions with local area businesses.

Long time readers know that my favorite topic to write about is my beloved game show The Price Is Right. I have taught readers tricks on how to win. I have also attempted a few blow-by-blow accounts such as when I did a live blogging of one of Bob Barker's last shows and a live blogging of Drew Carey's first ever Price Is Right programs.

What would a personalized blog be without political commentary? I have offered equal time to key candidates investigating an Independent Party dark horse, aviation adverse Democratic Presidential hopefuls, and the next President of The United States of America.

The most common topic, though, is the saga of the worst car ever constructed: my Saturn. I have outlined my car's crumminess on several occasions, namely here, here, here, and here.

Occasionally I touch on serious topics like Chris Benoit's murder-suicide and the I-35W bridge collapse.

On the right side of the blog, you'll find some of my particular favorite websites. They are a hodgepodge of friends' blogs, sports news, and satirical web sites. All of them are worth a click, but if I had to pick one, I'd pick the one I wrote a guest piece for. Cheap plug!

I used to post 5 days a week taking the weekend off, but as I have had my free time eaten up by my return to school, posts are now less frequent. I try to get 1 or 2 in a week, but I'm fairly inconsistent. This forum is one I use at my leisure for normally sarcastic commentary on whatever is on my mind. I hope that you'll stop by often and offer comments as you are moved.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

$aturn Update

Last week, I took my much maligned vehicle into the shop for what I completely expected to be another expensive oil change. Stunned, I was in and out in under 30 minutes, and a bill under $25.00. I did not report on this good fortune here at Wolfden V because I knew it was too good to be true. And yes, it was.

Just one week after said oil change, I was whipping around town when the dreaded and incredibly vague "service engine soon" light flickered on. Desperately hoping it would go away, I ignored it for 2 days but alas it still mocked me. Today, on one of those not at all helpful midweek days off I get for working retail, I returned the car to the shop.

My EGR valve was in need of replacement and a Wynn Fuel Induction Power Pack also was required to fix the problem. The Power Pack, in addition to making my car run better, also helps me to fight crime. So that's something.

Grand Total: $588.95.

Tacking this onto the $2o or so bucks of the oil change from last week, and we do have another plus $600 visit to the car shop. $aturn! $aturn! $aturn!

Photo from

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Things to collect: stamps, baseball cards, coins...and toothpick holders?

Walgreens, Walgreens, Walgreens. We attract such a diverse group of people, and spending a tremendous amount of time in the store during the holiday rush, I run into a great many of them. One individual stood out this past week, introducing me to an entirely new world of collectibles.

I was rushing around the store this past Saturday when a little old lady cornered me with coupon in hand. The scene was no different than what I interact with a hundred times a week. The woman wanted to know where these holiday toothpick holders were that were featured on page 18 for the unbelievable price of 39 cents. Unfortunately, the rest of Golden Valley had already jumped on this incredible deal, leaving us out and the woman out of luck.

The customer was incredibly disappointed. Seeing the disproportionate amount of weight people place on odd items, I cannot say that I was altogether surprised. But there was something about this woman that moved me to go a little extra for her. I offered to call a neighboring store to see if they still had any of these elusive toothpick holders. She perked up and eagerly jumped at my suggestion.

Having never used or even seen a toothpick holder used before, I was doing the mental gymnastics trying to wrap my head around this situation where a little old lady wanted a Santa Claus toothpick holder so badly she would be willing to travel for it, which given her current state, was going to be of some effort.

Perhaps sensing my confusion over the fuss for this item, she began explaining its value to her. She collected toothpick holders. I was amazed that there was even such an item, let alone people who collected them. I, in other words, said as much to the lady. She replied with a very serious tone that she was a member of the National Toothpick Collectors Society. I was befuddled.

Upon returning home, I looked up the National Toothpick Holder Collectors Society (NTHCS) and sure enough, there is a group of people that do in fact collect toothpick holders. Their website reveals that they have been in existence since 1973 boasting 700 members. They even have a national convention:

The 32nd Annual Convention will be held in Chattanooga, TN on August 15 - 19, 2007. Convention events include educational seminars, an all-toothpicks auction, local attractions, an ID Clinic, competitive displays prepared by members, and we will enjoy a dinner cruise aboard the Southern Belle.

I am curious as to what educational seminars entail, as a toothpick holder strikes me as a fairly straight forward device. An ID Clinic? If nothing else, I'm sure the dinner cruise was something.

Not just anyone can join the NHTCS, though. They have a dues system with admission to the elite club priced at $20 for an individual or $25 for a couple. The payment does entitle you to 10 issues of their newsletter, which probably contain pictures of my dear Walgreens' customer. Admission to the club does open up the locked portion of the website labeled NTCHS Members Only. Why do hackers waste their time with Microsoft? Someone get into this link and let us know what's going on behind closed doors with this secret society.

Photo from All Things Ukranian

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tom Tancredo for President!

I am late, but nonetheless here I am. I have jumped aboard the Tom Tancredo for President bandwagon! Seriously, I have.

So who is this fine fellow? How have I suddenly thrown my not-at-all meaningful endorsement his way? Read on.

My father who rarely sends e-mail forwards my way because he knows my general disdain for them, decided that there was one worth my time. WQAD, the Quad Cities' trusted news source, has thrown together a little election quiz in which the test taker answers a series of questions from your personal stance on Iraq, abortion, immigration, and taxes among others. You also weigh your opinion on the particular category as "not important" to "very important." Once done, the quiz matches you with the Presidential candidate that best matches your views.

I most closely matched Cookie Monster, world famous blue muppet. Echoing his stance on cookie consumption and googly eyes, it only made sense that I'd vote for this Sesame Street staple.

Ok, so it didn't point me in that direction. Rather, it said I most closely resemble the political stance of the venerable Tom Tancredo. Never heard of Tom? Neither had I. Here's the skinny on the next President of Your United States.

Excerpts from his "about me" section on his website:

Tom Tancredo is a lifelong conservative with nearly a decade of experience in the U.S. Congress.

Tom's resume matches approximately half of the US House of Representatives at this point.

The Washington Post calls him a “firebrand” on illegal immigration.

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or something that should involve additional extinguishers around the house.

David Yepsen, Dean of Iowa’s political correspondents, writes in the Daily Register that Tancredo is “onto something…

Damn right! My candidate is "onto something." And that's from the venerable David Yepsen. I once roomed with a guy named Yep, but not Yepsen. I wonder if he likes war movies and Ronald Regan?

The website lists opportunities to meet Tom Tancredo, something I would advise everyone to do. The next (and only) opportunity according to the calendar is November 30, 2007:

Tom will attend a house party at the home of Al and Susan Fulchino 178 Pine Hill Rd., Hollis, NH

So while other candidates are wasting time at these CNN YouTube debates, Tom Tancredo enjoyed Mrs. Susan Fulchino's beef brisket last Friday night at a quiet card party. Hey, I like euchre, no wonder this guy is the candidate for me.

Perhaps the most important link here was your opportunity to broadcast your support of this political tornado: Tom Tancredo (I'm trademarking "Tornado Tom Tancredo" and expect all proceeds to come my way). I've ordered 23 of the following t-shirts for all my family and friends this year as my Christmas present. Get them while they are hot.

Photos from MSNBC and