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Blizzard of 1978 equals Cloverfied

Thirty years later and my boots are still wet.

Nothing beats a good snowstorm. About three days in advance you hear that it’s coming, something that “could be the biggest storm since bla bla bla”. The excitement builds as the television radar picture slowly approaches your area (like a horde of zombies). The stores are packed with people intent on spending their time socked in eating bread and milk sandwiches as roving news reporters interview the craziest doomsday shoppers they can find.

In 1978, our only real-time data came from the TV and radio. We were more removed from the larger picture, more plugged in to our local communities. It was more of a “gather around the communal campfire” feeling back then, and the blizzard of ’78 was a monster every bit as much as Cloverfield, but without all the seasickness.

A big snow storm is fun because no one is spared, no one knows for certain when it’s going to end, and everyone secretly wonders what would happen if it didn’t. Cars buried, highways closed. How far back in time will we go?

I was 12 years old in 1978, and the blizzard was the deepest snow I’d ever seen. Elm Street was a sheet of ice for me to test my Lego 4wd truck on, and there were constant news reports reminding people not to walk on the frozen Ohio River.

WEWS TV5 News – Cleveland – January 25, 1978

Blizzard of 1978 – Documentary Part 1

Blizzard of 1978 – Documentary Part 2

Bigfoot Sighting on Mars Has George Lucas Connection

Bigfoot on mars
Search continues for Lochness Monster, Chupacabra.

Startling details of a NASA photograph bloggers recently uncovered seem to indicate the existence, and possible origin of, Bigfoot.

As is common in all government coverups, NASA officials have attempted to discredit the 2004 image taken by its own Spirit rover, saying that it is just a pebble less than two inches tall.

Rrrraaaar - Honk Honk

This is obviously official flack because it is generally agreed that a sasquatch, bigfoot, or yetti is approximately 7 feet tall. The pressing question now is, how did Bigfoot get on Mars? Or more importantly, is this perhaps evidence that a race of extraterrestrial apelike beings, possibly Wookies, roams our solar system, and that the creature we call Bigfoot may not actually be indigenous to earth? If this is indeed the case, then we can infer that Star Wars creator George Lucas has had special knowledge of this race for years.

Alternatively, one can’t help but wonder about the startling similarities between the Mars Bigfoot image and the first boss from Altered Beast. Even more startling is that LucasArts was at one time a third party publisher for Sega Dreamcast. Sega, you’ll recall, was the company that published Altered Beast.

As plots and theories twist and writhe like a pile of oiled-up snakes, it’s a good bet that Lucas will continue to lay low.

It’s also a good bet that Tom Cruise will comment publicly and embarrasingly about the Mars photo. Count on some unintelligible mumblings about Xenu and a wall of fire. As relevant and blurry as Bigfoot’s Mars vacation pictures.

“Okay Rach, this is your area…”

It’s January – Hold onto your soul

Bored bored boredWelcome to the land of darkness where all is cold and wet. Where the dried up remains of Autumn never blew away in windswept ecstasy but stayed behind to form a sad, soggy carpet. Where sounds are muted and often the music of the night is reduced to a single drip, drip, drip of one wetness migrating to some other wetness.

Welcome to January in Snug Harbor. Where it can become so dull and dreary that you almost welcome the rabble of coyotes that occasionally ranges down off the ridge to howl and squabble and remind you that the world is not completely tame, that civilization is a tenuous myth, a faerie story began around your ancestors’ campfire to calm the nerves, and that in some circles you are still considered food.

The sun seems lost, indifferent, it’s warmth just a memory that up until now was suitably drowned out by the modulation and cadence of Christmas. But now it comes back to haunt the silence and you’re forced to feel the hurt. No circuses. No distractions. Just cold stark grayness. So you wait. Wrap your arms around yourself, hold onto your soul, and wait for Spring.

Or … figure out ways to get better SEO results for you Amazon affiliate sites.


Why I didn’t buy a kitchen range from Circuit City in 1998

“This glass stovetop is made of the same material that we use on our rocket ships,” says the Circuit City salesman.

“Rocket ships?” I stare blankly back at him. He reminds me of Carl Showalter from Fargo, but with greasier hair and a vest with bulging pockets. For a second I stare at the pockets wondering what on earth he could be carrying around in them. Tape measure? Human fingers?

He replies, “Yeah, like the ones we use to go to other planets.”

I don’t know if he really believes this and is desperate that I believe it too, or if he is just really bad at doing a snow-job. In either case, I manage to say, “I’ll think about it,” and walk out of the store.

It was about that same time that Circuit City dropped appliances from their product line and went strictly with consumer electronics. This move probably improved their bottom line since I’m sure that it was expensive to warehouse all that rocket ship material.

What didn’t improve at the electronics giant ten years later is Carl’s anti-equivalent, the bored 19 year-old “customer service associate”. He’s not paid on commission, so he has zero motivation to do anything but the bare minimum while he texts his friends to boast about how clever he is surfing myspace profiles on the clock using Google as a proxie server. He couldn’t care less if you buy a monitor, a laptop, or a package of CDRs, and he won’t bother to tell you if we did actually use them to go to other planets.

At least Carl was trying. He had some character. He gave you the opportunity to shake your head, smile, and say, “I think I’ll keep looking, thanks.”

Meanwhile Circuit City’s earnings are in free-fall. Same store sales were down 12% for the month of December in 2007, to which Chief Executive Philip J. Schoonover recently responded, “Our sales performance, while disappointing, was in line with our expectations.”

Genius. The ship is sinking, but that’s okay because it’s what we were expecting. Carl would know what to do. He would clean up the stores that have gone feral – those that are dark and dirty and upon walking through the door gag you with the smell of TAG body spray instead of the distinct plastic-y aroma of new electronics.

Anyway, mixed feelings about Carl aside, later that day I went to HH Gregg to purchase my glass-top stove. It was delivered the next day without incident and it worked fine. But I’ll never forget the Circuit City sales guy who tried to sell me on a stove whose exotic, easy-to-clean surface properties were of a status unmatched by other terrestrial glass-top stoves.

Way to go, Carl.