Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our First Entry in Turkish.........

Izlanda, Macaristan ve Azerbaycan'daki dostalrimiz'a hos geldiniz demek istedim. Ayrica Turkiye'de Eskisehir, Malatya ve Trabzon'daki arkadaslarimiza merhabalar gonderiyoruz.

Simdi ben Inglizce yerine Turkce yazdigim icin, butun Inglizce konusanlar 'paranoid' olacaktir. Malisef, ben 'paranoid' sozun Tukcesini bilmiyorum. Bir dakika, Google'a soralim bari. Haa, 'paranoyak' paranoid'in Turkce'si.

Bizim aile'misin kedi'si biraz paranoyak oluyor. Komsular'in portakal-renki kedi'yi hic sevmiyor. Onlar Karagoz ve Hacivat gibi tartisiyorlar.

Turkiye'de su an saat 08:00 olduguna rahmen, hepinize gunaydim diliyorum.

Ok, here is the English translation (abridged version):

"Hello to our friends in Iceland, Hungary and Azerbaijan, three countries where Turkish is widely spoken (actually not so much in Iceland and Hungary). What is the word for paranoid in Turkish? Oh, I see it is 'paranoyak.' I think our family cat may suffer from 'paranoyak.'

Since it is now 8:00 a.m. in Turkey, I guess I better end by saying "Gunaydin," which is 'good morning' in Turkish."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Highlights from the 100 Things To Do List: Working Out, Get in Shape

Here are some highlights from a 100 Things To Do List, which I am still working (up to number 71 so far):

1. Work Out, Get Into Shape

2. Get Duracell batteries (or Energizers)

3. Return Books to the Rockford, Illinois,* public library

4. Watch movies from Netflix

5. Get a back massage (it really hurts)

6. Look into going to Iceland by 2015

7. Write a short story

8. Write a short play

9. Write anything

10. Call the local cable company here in Scranton, Penn.**

*-Not where I live

**-Not where I live either

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogging Free-Style: Let's Talk About Jurror B29

Here is how this works. We go with trending items in the news, such as 'Juror B29' and 'Royal Baby' and then add them in with other things we threw in the pot, such as Egypt, and we make a short blog entry out of it. We'll signal the catch phrases by putting a single parenthesis around them. 

Here it goes:

"Well, I should be watching Charlie Rose, I gather he is going to talk with guests about political instability in 'Egypt,' but the remote is stuck on CNN, so we'll have to hear about 'George Zimmerman,' 'Jurror B29,' 'the royal baby' (yawn!) and how state legislators in Oklahoma are deliberating to decide if jaywalkers in Tulsa deserve 'the death penalty.'

I wonder how is the weather in 'Winston-Salem, NC,' but the remote will not let me visit the Weather Channel either. Perhaps, I can find out that info via 'Google.' I can also find out when 'Ramadan' ends, so I can send Ramadan greeting cards from Target to all my Muslim friends. Wait. Target doesn't carry Ramadan cards. In fact, no one seems to.

Oh, now CNN is talking about 'Anthony Weiner' (yawn), and apparently 'Pope Francis' is set to visit Holland (the Netherlands)."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Random Ten List of Places to Go in Roanoke, Virginia:

Our good friend Jason, well we have many friends named Jason as well as a cousin named Jason (perhaps there are even people in Pakistan named Jason), but I am referring to Jason Turner who has an outstanding web site called 'Roanoke Doesn't Suck.'

It is designed to help local folks and tourists know what is going on in Roanoke. While his blog is more specific to Roanoke, I am going to stray over some city and county lines, and include things which are in relative proximity to Roanoke, such as the Statue of Liberty (ok, New York is an eleven-hour Greyhound bus drive).

But, we will include places in Blacksburg, Floyd and Salem.

Of course, this means we will have to inadvertently snub some places we like in Roanoke itself, including Kirk Avenue Music Hall, the Village Grill and Happy's Flea Market as well as Showtimers Theatre, which is now staging the musical-comedy "Once Upon a Mattress."

However, we think this list will help anyone looking for the proverbial thing to do rather than sit at Starbucks and read "Infinite Jest" (the late Daniel Foster Wallace's novel is some 1,100 pages long):

1) A Little Bit Hippy: An always unique place inside Towers Shopping Mall which offers cool tye-dye t-shirts and organic soap..........yes, they are the reason why we have '60 activist Wavy Gravy pictured.

2) The Bazaar:  This shop across from Towers offers records (we can't promise that you will find David Bowie's 'Let's Dance' there, but you just might), vintage clothing and live music.

3) The Taubman Art Museum

4) Mill Moutain Zoo

5) CUPs: This Grandin village coffee shop features a very large collection of bobble-head dolls. They also have Trivia Night on Tuesdays (yes, they are the reason for the image of coffee beans which we found via Turkish Wikipedia).

6) The Lyric Theatre (Blacksburg): A great place to see movies in Blacksburg; the critically-acclaimed film "Before Midnight" starts there on Friday.

7) Fork in the Alley: A great place to eat outdoors in the Crystal Springs neighborhood.

8) Third Street Coffeehouse: This little gem-of-a-palce is only open on Friday nights and we had a hard time finding it (use Mapquest or ask a friend), but there is some great local music there.

9) Star-Lite Drive-In (Christiansburg): Along with Hull's Drive-In in Lexington, this is the last remaining drive-in within driving distance from Roanoke.

10) The Salem Museum

There's more on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time," regarding Things To Do in Roanoke:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Strange Dreams Indeed: Michael Caine Shines My Shoes in Guatemala

Right now , the whole world, perhaps even barefoot children in the Seychelles, are paying attention to Princess Kate Middleton having a royal baby, but here were are discussing our weird dream.

Last week, one member of our staff, had a dream in which Michael Caine turned out to be a shoe-shiner in Antigua, Guatemala.

When I recognized him, he said: "Nobody has noticed me all week."

I replied: "You're one of my favorite actors."

Caine: "Which film of mine do you like most"

Me: "(Long Pause) Educating Rita, maybe."

Caine: "Oh, that was the movie that I got on an Oscar nomination for, but Robert Duvall won instead."

Me: "Yeah, wasn't he great in Tender Mercies"

Caine: "Get someone else to shine your shoes."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Image to Fill Space- Lauren Conrad for Tell a Woman She is Beatiful Day

Yes, we are pretty much just doing this to get a rise in blog hits, but today really is Tell a Woman She is Beautiful Day, or at least that is what they are saying on Twitter.

For those of you in Ghana or Uzbekistan who may not have seen "The Hills," a pseudo-reality show on MTV that one tv critic compared to the great films of Jean-Luc Godard (?!), this is Lauren Conrad. Her frenemy on the show was Heidi Montag, or at least, that is the best we recollect at the moment.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest Blogger Today: Zappa the Family Cat

Welcome to our blog-readers in China, Brazil and Malta. Today, our guest blogger is Zappa the Family Cat, who is named after the late iconic rock musician Frank Zappa.

Zappa has a tendency to swear a lot, so we have to work around that:

"**D **M*, you stupid bastard, why didn't get me some ****ing roast chicken from Harris Tetter. Why do care about no one except else. You are such a *****e*** and a ****ing narcissist. I hate your guts, and I hope you die of liver cancer."

Of course, the person Zappa is talking to is me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Word of the Day: Zeitgeist

Greetings to those of you blog readers in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey (you have to love our sense of humor) as well as any of you who might be checking us out domestically from Maine, Hawaii or Wyoming. Welcome to "The Daily Vampire"!

Anyway, we are aware that Jimmy Carter is trending on the Internet as is the controversial "Rolling Stone" cover, but we will stick with our basic plan, which is to secretly invade Albania (just kidding)!

For those of you who reside in Bolivia, Honduras or Mexico, we imagine the English language must have its challenges and that is certainly true with the word 'zeitgeist' which actually derives from German.

A zeitgeist as it is defined by Wikipedia means: "Intellectual fashion or prevailing school of thought which influences at the same juncture or 'spirit of times.'

We can use it in the following sentence: "I felt the zeitgeist in Ingmar Berman's film 'Persona,'" the classic Swedish film which is pictured above..........hmm.........yeah guess that doesn't help much, but we tried!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sports Desk: France Wins Under-20 World Cup in Turkey

Today is Bastille Day in France, and their national Under-20 soccer team, is bringing home a World Cup Championship.

On Saturday, France beat Uruguay, which had upset Spain in the quarterfinals, 0-0 (4-1) on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of play without a single goal from either side.

The final was played in Istanbul, Turkey, and other host cities included Bursa, Trabzon, Rize, Gaziantep, Antalya and Kayseri. Surprisingly, neither Ankara, the Turkish capital, nor Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey held games during the tournament.

Paul Pogba (pictured top) who plays for the Italian team Juventus was named the best player of the tournament, and his teammate goal-tender Alphonse Areola (pictured bottom) from the French team Paris Saint Germain, which won the French League this season, was named the outstanding player of the final.

Ghana beat Iraq 3-0 in the competition for third place, and Ebenezer Assifuah from Ghana received the Golden Boot in the tournament as he was the player who scored the most goals.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Presidential Quotes (8 of 8): John Quincy Adams

We finally wrap up our quotes from American presidents with an ironic quip from John Quincy Adams, the sixth American president. JQA was also the son of John Adams, America's second president.

Here it is:

"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy."

He might thus favor the controversial foreign policy stand of America not taking excessive military action in Syria.

With that, we want to congratulate France and Uruguay for reaching the FIFA Under-20 World Cup final is Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday, and Iraq and Ghana for their out-standing runs during the championship.

You can always learn more about JQA by reading "Mental Floss" magazine, or at least checking out their web site:

SIDEBAR: Our favorite tweet of the night is from Jake Fogelnest, a writer/comedian: "Please don't retweet my tweets. A lot of people that follow you are real dummies and I have to hear from them. Thank you."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Presidential Quotes, (7 of 8): Gerald Ford

Greetings to our blog readers in Austria, Finland and Uruguay, where Jose Mujica is president and apparently he is also the poorest president in the world (ok, we asked Google who the president of Uruguay was).

Since these quips from the first and last eight presidents seem to be as popular as late-night vacuum infomercials, we thought we'd arbitrarily throw in a few names to boost our hits: Kate Middleton, Paris Hilton and Edward Snowden*: We don't actually give a fig about any of these people.

Here is our quote from Gerald Ford, who always enjoyed a good round of golf, and helped comic actor Chevy Chase rise to stardom; his presidential library is located in Ann Arbor, Mich.:

"I would hope that understanding and reconciliation are not limited to the 19th hole alone."

*-This is, in fact, the first time we've mentioned Snowden's name on this blog, though we gather people like Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul admire him.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Presidential Quotes (6 of 8)_ James Monroe

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan. Since this is the Ramadan holiday for practicing Muslims, I wanted to say Ramadan Mubarak to those in the Arab world, and Ramadan Bayraminiz Kultu Olusn for those in Turkey.

Today, we quote James Monroe, America's fifth president and one of Virginia's most distinguished native sons. There is a high school which bears his name in Fredericksburg, Va.

Here is his quote:

"The best form of government is that which is mostly likely to prevent the great sum of evil."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Presidential Quotes, Cont'd: Ronald Reagan

Greetings to our blog readers in Singapore, Dubai and Istanbul.

We actually thought about posting an image of Mao Tse-Tung to go with this quote from Ronald Reagan, but we figured if George F. Will was reading this blog that he would not be amused, though Michael Moore might be?!

Here is our quote; to check out other quotes in this series go to our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" :

"I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Quote of the Day- Thomas Jefferson

Greetings to our blog readers in Jamaica, Japan and Jordan, as well domestic visitors from Iowa, Indiana and Illinois; today, we continue our series of quotes from the first eight and last eight American presidents (quotes are also on our sister blog "Politic, Culture and Other Wastes of Time: ).

Today, we feature our third president Thomas Jefferson, from our home state of Virginia. Amazingly enough, despite going to Charlottesville, Va., many times, I have yet to visit Monticello, his historic home located there.

Jefferson also founded the University of Virginia, where Ralph Sampson was a star basketball player in the early 1980s (he was the subject of a recent "Washington Post Magazine" cover story), and the school's college radio station is affectionally called WTJU-FM (

And, Jefferson is one of four presidents who are mascots for the Washington Nationals, along with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, which seems a bit ironic (he was infamously assassinated at Ford's Theatre), and Theodore Roosevelt, who seldom wins the mascot derby (

Yesterday, the Nationals won their home game over the San Diego Padres 8-5.

Here is TJ's quote: "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Presidential Quotes: Bill Clinton

Special Greetings to our blog-readers in Paraguay, Poland and Portugal and a last minute Happy Fourth of July to our readers in Philadelphia, Boston and Denver, where we gather that the Colorado Rapids are winning at home over the New York Red Bulls by a 2-0 margin in Major League Soccer play.

We will momentarily be quoting former President Bill Clinton, but before we do, we thought we'd use some taglines from the conservative newspaper "The Washington Times" to show irony (sorry to our readers in Boise, Idaho, but this is a center-left blog....well, when we go into politics).

Those terms are: National Security Agency, Mohammed Morsi, Congress, 4th of July and Egypt:

"It appears as though Egypt is in a bit of a row, as the Brits would say, as the military ousted Prime Minister Mohammed Morsi. We gather both far-left progressives and far-right Tea Partiers are outraged by the National Security Agency and Congress, but frankly when one mentions Washington, DC, to us personally, we think of Rusty the Runaway Red Panda who is now safely back home at the National Zoo. Happy 4th of July, everyone."

Here is Clinton's quote, it is regarding the White Zoo (Freudian slip, we meant...) White House, and an astonish number of presidents, including Harry Truman truly hated living there:

"I don't know whether it's the finest public housing in America or the crown jewel of the American penal system."

UPDATE: Colorado won its soccer game over New York by a score of 2-0 in Denver. (Clinton's presidential library/museum in Little Rock, Arkansas)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Presidential Quotes: George Washington

Today's quote of the day is the first in our series on the first eight American presidents, quotes from the last eight can be found on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire"

For those interested in seeing where your dollars go, we suggest you check out:

One time we got a 'Where's George' one dollar bill from a Starbucks in Hawaii, we have no idea where it ended up!

Here is a quote from George Washington:

"Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."

SIDEBAR: Andy Warhol made them famous, and we learned yesterday that a can of Campbell's tomato bisque soup has 130 calories; the company is based in Camden, New Jersey.

Presidential Quotes: Barack Obama

This week, we are posting quotes from the eight last presidents of the United States on this blogs as well as quips from the first eight presidents on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time"
Today, we start with President Barack Obama, who was visiting Tanzania this week:

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

SIDEBAR: Perhaps one can thank the respective French and Uzbeki soccer teams for preventing World War III, though we are a bit miffed that France beat Turkey 4-1 in the Under-20 World Game. To make things worse, France won on Turkish soil as the game was played in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, which is also known for its pistachio nuts.

Earlier in the day yesterday, in a game that was also played in Gaziantep, Uzbekistan beat Greece 3-1. Thus, there will be no Turkey-Greece match which could have started the third great international war (we are joking of course_ well, to an extent).

Today, American soccer player Maurice Edu, who has played pro soccer in Turkey and is of Ghanaian heritage tweeted that Ghana upset Portugal 3-2 in a U-20 game that was played today in Istanbul (we believe).

Of course, I am not going to suggest a boycott of Asterix and Lucky Luke (know as Red Kit in Turkey), the world's two most famous French comic book heroes. In fact, one can find these comic books at Chapel Hill Comics in Chapel Hill, NC.

And, for more on the U-20 cup, one check our friend Ahmet Bob Turgut's soccer blog at:

Monday, July 1, 2013

For Canada Day_ A Quote from William Shatner

Greetings to our blog readers in Kenya, Panama and Norway.

Today, our friends to the north are celebrating Canada Day. The American magazine "Mental Floss" has a list of "19 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented in Canada." We won't give the whole list away, but instant replay was #11. Additionally, there is a quiz which asks you "Are They Canadian?," these celebrities include everyone from Helen Hunt to Pamela Sue Anderson.

And, "The Montreal Gazette" has a "Know Canada" quiz, which seems about as challenging as a Bulgarian literature category would be on "Jeopardy," a show which is hosted by Canadian Alex Trebek.

But, our special quote for the day comes from Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, 82, who was born in Montreal:

"Babies have big heads and big eyes, and tiny little bodies with tiny little arms and legs. So did the aliens at Rosewell. I rest my case."

SIDEBAR: We are saddened to hear about the death of French acrobat Sarah Guyard-Guillot, 31, a mother of two, who was among the performers in Cirque de Soleil's "Ka" in Las Vegas. She fell some 50 feet to her death over the weekend during a production of the show. Cirque de Soleil is a Canadian troupe, and this was the company's first death in its 30 year history.