Archive for January, 2008


Ovid had three suits,
of blue and black and green.
They were as drab as
any suits you have ever seen.

He’d wear them in and wear them out.
No one seemed to mind
They thought he was a funeral director,
Just mournful all the time

One day he found some tennis balls,
all bright and fuzzy yellow.
He made himself a brand new suit.
Now he’s a happy fellow

He wears his suit all the day
from sun to shining sun
And when he’s not eating,
he’s just having fun!

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New Joke Day.

I’m still working on this one so bear with me.

Four guys walk into an bar: a mormon, a black guy, a feminist broad and a guy who lived in a cage for 5 years… 


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A new addition.

tele-1.jpg tele-2.jpg

I bought a Fender Telecaster over the weekend on eBay.  I’m so fired up to get it and the seller tells me it will be delivered to my work on Friday (tomorrow)!  Awesome.

For you git-heads, it’s not anything super collectable or rare, just a Fender Telecaster Custom ’62 reissue.  This is basically a replica of the double-bound pre-CBS Tele with a Bigsby.  The finish is a nice three-tone sunburst.  I like the rosewood fretboard and yellowed (faux aged) finish on the neck.  And dang if a double-bound Tele isn’t the best looking Tele of all time.  These Japanese-made Tele are really well made and have a nice vibe.  They are light but very solid and tight.

Why did I buy this guitar?  Well, it’s going to be a little customization project for me. 


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Lost. A Little Light Recap.

Lost returns tonight. Normally, I wouldn’t care as much but the dearth of television vying for my eyebobbles has forced me into a slump. Or at least muddied the waters of what I do and do not care about.

No. The real truth is more along the lines of…I was extremely bored throughout last season and then they gave a finale that screwed with my head. No doubt I was getting a little bored with your flashbacks. But giving me flash forwards? Oh, Lost, you silly impish prankster!

If you’re like me, you can’t remember what the heck happened last season. And that is where I can lend a helping hand.

Here are some highlights from the previous season finale:

  • The show opens with Jack on another plane, clearly in the future. (The Future, Ya’ll!). P.S. The future involves a narcotics addiction.
  • Naomi (the girl who dropped in on the Losties) is “helping” Jack arrange communications, and will notify her freighter their coordinates when they get to the radio tower.
  • Charlie’s getting his ass kicked by two fierce (very unfriendly) lady-friends in the underwater “Looking Glass Station” waiting to fulfill his destiny (of kicking it dead school or scoring the winged groupies of the afterlife)
  • The Losties are ambushing the Others (Juliet was supposed to be a secret agent for the Others and mark the tents of the pregnant gals but she joined the Losties side. And pulled the old double/triple crosseroo.
  • Sayid and Jin (and Bernard) are kidnapped during the ambush.
  • Locke was left for dead. (Oh gosh -Remember when Locke was with Ben, the leader of the Others. And we found out that Ben is only the de facto leader because he’s really taking orders from some other guy that only he can hear. Until Locke came along and he could hear him too. Then Ben realized Locke could give him a run for his money so he “killed” him).
  • Ben warns Jack that Naomi is a bad guy. Not who she says she is. This is confirmed by Penny Widmore. Once Charlie unblocks ‘whatever signals’ in the underwater station, Penny beeps in on the other line. Hurrah. She tells Charlie that she has no boat out to sea and knows no one named Naomi.
  • The Losties (with Ben as their captive) finally make it to the radio tower. De-clog the frequency. And Naomi is radioing her “boat” when she’s stabbed in the back by…John Locke. Ain’t nobody getting off that island while he’s around. (And we know they get off the island so – Draw whatever conclusions you wish).
  • Hurley used the old VW bug to vehicularly manslaughter the captors of Sayid, Jin and Bernard. The four of them, along with Sawyer and Juliet, are coolin’ out on the beach.
  • Losties make contact with whomever is on the boat/freighter and they’ve promised to be there in a jiff.
  • Last scene: FutureJack telling FutureKate that “we have to go back.”

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Oh. They most certainly did.

How many other bands debut to a full crowd (small bar but, probably 75 people) and have a crowd that begs for an encore even after the singer informs them that they don’t know anymore tunes???

“Well, Play ones you already played before!” the crowd demanded.

The Sheeps obliged.

Glory Story was great. Some Honey Pot ladies were rocking in the audience. And there was even The Lone Dancer.

How can you beat that shit?

The only way is to play again real soon.

Jeddler Update – Carousel Lounge calls this AM to let us know that they loved us and we can play again any time we like.  Maybe even a regular gig if we want it.  Who rules?  The Sheeps rule?  And Glory Story, of course.

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I just cannot do it! 1570berriesandcreme.jpg Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr. Pepper.

Cherry Vanilla made a bit of sense, hearkening back to soda fountain days. But I really don’t think soda jerks were pouring a lot of chocolate syrup into cokes. Maybe I’m wrong?

All the advertising makes it look disgusting. The soda can is split open to reveal a giant 6 layer cake of chocolate and cherry goo. Then, quick cut to a hugely robust cherry pie, then a can split in half with a cherry jubilee of grosstastic proportions. Then some sort of cherry swiss cake rolls, a chocolate fountain vomiting an avalanche of cherries. Wheeee! The carbonated soda bubbles are full of cherry iced doughnuts and more pie and cherry frosted cupcakes. Stop the Madness. I want to get off. I already feel sick.

The can has non-enticing cherries which seem to be suffering from some sort of awful Montezuma’s revenge of chocolate.

Although I will give props to this:

 (Play at your own risk. You have been warned).

Slickly produced. Tongue firmly in cheek.

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You know how, like, when you were little and you really desperately wanted a pony? And how it was like probably the only thing in the whole world that would make you really, really, really happy? And, maybe you didn’t even have to own it outright, but you would just feed it and groom it and ride it? Spend some QT together, whispering your pre-adolescent secrets into its nice sturdy and ever-astute ears. And then, twenty years later you realized that right next door to your house was a large stable and paddock with a huge sign that said, “Free ponies for particularly precocious girls who have already mastered the hoppy.”

You just can’t believe it was right under your nose all along.

It’s just the way the world works sometimes, no? I had that feeling upon discovering the trailer for a little movie called “Tuff Turf.” Everything about this movie looks like it was designed for me.

Some thoughts:

  • It’s Tuff. The title tells you straight up.
  • It stars James Spader and Robert Downey, jr (which every single movie made in 1985 should have – they would have killed it in The Color Purple)
  • Formerly preppy Spader is caught up with street gangs…
  • And those street gangs might enjoy a good “dance battle!” 
  • They’ve only got a third rate voice over artist for the trailer – not a good sign.
  • No one in my high school actually wore the head to toe skin tight outfits.
  • No one in my high school actually did gymnastic flip/kicks across the cafeteria ending in a  stage lift.
  • How Tuff can one really be on a ten speed. Not rad.
  • I think it is positioning itself as a ‘Grease’ meets ‘Footloose’ movie.
  • Guarentee: Someone is getting “iced” by movie’s end. (That’s a threat AND a promise).

I’m not sure how I missed it. I’m not sure how it didn’t at least make it on re-runs on basic cable. But I am sure that Mr. Netflix will let me borrow it and it may just make it onto the queue.

What is not to love about this trailer? Don’t lie to me. You starting humming along to the “Tuff Turf” groove by the end, right? Right? And, YES, Spader does “sing” a power ballad in the middle of the movie.

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I would say “Come see my band” but with most of ya’ll in North Carolina, that’s just not happening.  But you can enjoy the flyer anyway.  I always like checking out band flyers.  Our first gig is Wednesday.  I’m hoping Gator will take some snaps that we can post, she’s a good picture-takerer.

But anyway, my band The Sheeps is finally up and running and doing something other than rocking Wes’ RockLodge (the garage where we rehearse).  I’m playing drums in this one, and it’s a new kind of drumming for me.  A little slower.  Less Rock, more roll.  Maybe even less roll too.  It’s a kick-back vibe with Wes playing rhythm and singing in his signature warble, Brian on twangy tele or lapsteel, Michael on Rhodes piano, organ or vintage Roland Juno, and Zach on Jazz Bass.  Good guys all around.

We did some recording at The Brain Machine Studios on Sunday which went very well.  We tracked six songs and got everything down except backups on four of the songs.  We’ll finish that up next week and mix it down to be a nice six song demo.

Check out our myspace page to sample the songs and see what Wes comes up with content-wise. 

More on The Sheeps at it develops.

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Doodle much?

When I’m bored, I sure do. 

In school, I’d fill half a notebook. 

And I still do a bit at work during meetings where I’m trapped and the discussion does not pertain to me or what I’m working on.  I doodle, yes, but not like this.  Check out France Belleville’s site Wagonized.  The cars “My Favorite Ladies” are super fun.  So are the “Doodles” and “Pen + Moleskin”.  Check it out.

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Check out freerice.com. It’s a multiple choice vocab quiz and it’s challenging. Maybe you’ll learn a new word. For each question you answer correctly, 2o grains of rice are donated through the UN.

Cleverly, this idea came from a dad helping prep a kid for the SAT. He spent all this time building up a database of words and answers and now they’re available for us to play too! The ads build up revenue to pay for the rice. New words are added by professional lexicographers.

It’s fun (if you’re nerdy like me) and it doesn’t take a minute to speed through a dozen questions. You’re graded on a scale of 1-50 although, it’s next to impossible to get more than 48.

How well did you do?

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Biscuit vs. Taco

Growing up in Michigan, we had your typical mid-western breakfast options like eggs any which way, oatmeal, pancakes/waffles, etc.  All good, but nothing to write a blog entry about.

Then I moved to North Carolina and learned about biscuits.  Biscuits in Michigan were kind of dense and crumbly, and not all that tasty, functioning better as a substrate to which you would add a whole lot of sausage gravy.  But in NC, my eyes were opened the first time I ate at Big Ed’s.  Biscuits are warm, flaky, tasty treats.  They don’t crumble apart and they surely do not crumble apart in dry bits of yuck.  My guess is that like much of the cooking in the South, these delicious biscuits are made with real butter, lard or some other Paula Dean-y essential ingredients.  And God love it.

Then I discovered places like Biscuitville.  They make great biscuits and then fashion amazing breakfast sandwiches out of them.  I love bacon, egg and cheese, country ham, and even the chicken biscuits.  Really, any combo is pretty awesome.  Bojangles does a pretty dang good biscuit too.

When we moved to Austin, Texas, we left the world of biscuits behind.  This is TexMex country.  I was sad.  What would fill the void? 

Breakfast Tacos! 

Now, I’ve had breakfast burritos before, and they are good.  But the breakfast taco is smaller and packs more flavor firepower.  In Austin, Maria’s Taco Xpress is my favorite.  Lizagator loves the Migas (“crumbs” in Spanish, I’m told) and I usually get the bacon, egg and cheese.  The fresh salsa here is soooo good.  Maudies is good too.  Their Pete’s Tantalizing Tacos (eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions and cheese) are really tasty and the jalapeno residual burn lasts for quite a while.

So, do tacos replace biscuits?  Is one better than the other?  Nope.  They are both winners.  Since they seem to be exclusive to their geographic regions, I don’t think we need to proclaim a winner.  You can’t lose.

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And now she’s suing.

This is one of the best stories I’ve heard in a while.  A woman bought 8 acres in the middle of Lake Lynn and then turns around and sues the city of Raleigh to have it drained because the land is worth more to her dry!

How did I miss this? This Cary woman is identified as a Real Estate Investor (although this is her first purchase). The county was only selling it as a bit of paperwork to get it off the books. This woman claims the county is being “malicious” in keeping her land submerged.

Of course, the bad news is if the drough keeps up, she may get her way as an act of God (not the courts). Tut. Tut.

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Locopops, etc

I only heard about these after I moved. And I only hear great things. I know that this is not the season. But please, somebody, try them when the weather breaks for me. (PS Locopops are mexican ‘paletas’ or popsicles which are either water or milk based and made using fresh fruit).

Also check out Varmint Bites for a review of downtown Raleigh’s The Pit and a whole slew of other reviews of Triangle area eateries, including his Best of Hamburgers (where I believe a prerequisite is grinding the meat in-house. SPOILER ALERT: Raleigh Times Bar and Grill is a favorite). Kudos to the Varmint!

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I had missed the headline. 

2008, will you top that?

Can you top that?

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Well, yes, I guess you can tell what people are talking about in foreign films, even though you don’t know the language. Here is a good clip of Hitler’s refelction on the Cowboys loss to the Giants last week.


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When I was a kid (oh God, I’m seriously getting old when I say things like that), if you had a manual transmission, you most likely had a four-speed.  Four on the floor.  If you had an old pickup truck or a base-model Belvedere or something, you might have had a three-speed column shift.  Three on the tree. 

As an aside, my 1963 Chevy Impala SS had a four-speed from the factory which was a whole lot of fun.  Much better than the other option; a two-speed Powerglide automatic.  It made that 300 hp 327 cid V8 a whole bunch more fun.  I laid a lot of rubber in that car.  And went through three transmissions in five years (the price you pay for the patent black rubber signature).  Finally, the “Rock Crusher” Muncie was installed and it never let me down.

So, three- and four-speed manual gearboxes did the job pretty dang well for many years.  And the automatics eventually caught up with the manuals in terms of the numbers of gears.  Then we just needed one more.  I think the Germans brought the five-speed manual to the masses, but I’m not sure.  It must have been the Europeans or Brits with smaller engines.  My 300 hp Impala could get away with four gears, but a 130 hp Porsche could really use that extra gear.  And, since it actually handled pretty well and had great brakes too, this was a fun car to drive in other directions than a straight line. So running up and down the five gears was sheer joy.

I had a 1977 Porsche 911S with a five-speed transmission, and it was a great car.  They offered it with a goofy semi-automatic called a Sportmatic which could be called a Crapmatic and should be avoided at all costs.

So, what do you call a five-speed manual?  Five on the ______?  I’ve never heard a good one for that configuration.

If three and four are good, and five is better, then six must be great.  Motorcycles have six gears.  Race cars have six gears.  So, why not?  I don’t know who had the first six-speed manual but that extra gear improves acceleration and fuel economy.  Of course, you’ve got to do a bit more changing gears all the time, but with the higher-revving engines, you hardly notice a difference.  My 2000 Audi S4 had a six-speed manual and it was butter.  Mated with the biturbo six-cylinder engine and quattro awd, that car was awesome.

But, no catchy phrase.  Six on the ______?  My life was incomplete, indeed.

Now there are seven- AND eight-speed transmissions.  And no good ‘number-of-gear/position-of-shifter’ telling catch-prases either.  What’s up with that? 

Then there are CVTs (Continuously Variable Transmission) that don’t even have gears, offering an endless variety of ever-changing gear-less drive ratios.  With Audi’s CVT, when you stomp the throttle, the engine RPMs rise up until peak power is being delivered, and then it holds that RPM and continuously adjusts the transmission to accommodate the ever increasing speed.  It’s almost creepy – as you accelerate, the engine note remains the same.  And, there is little or no hope of a good line when you don’t even have gears. 

Infinite non-gear drive ratios on the ______?

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Weather Weasels

Well, its clearly winter here in Raleigh, you can tell by the weather weasels.  The weather weasels get on the evening news and say the magic words and the whole world goes into a frenzy.  Wintry mix, snow or ice are guaranteed to send everyone into the grocery store (I personally feel that periodically the weasels are bribed by the grocery stores, milk, bread and beer sellers).  Not only does everyone rush to the store, but the schools also prematurely delay opening, before even one flake falls. 

So, I end up at work, on a cold miserable day, no snow and nothing fun.  And the kids get to sleep in.  Why did I ever bother growing up? 

Darn those weather weasels.  I hope they get it right next time.  

In the meantime, at least I have bread and milk 🙂

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Well the cold and flu season is upon us and I have just the new trick to help you out. It might be tempting fate to say that I almost want a cold this year to try this remedy.

Someone, Anyone…get a cold and report back.!

Thick sweet dark syrup with ginger…maybe I’ll just try it anyway. 

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I know Jeddler has been in the position where you make the pitch, thinking the shoot will need 20+ people and 10-15 days and the customer says, “Congratulations, you’ve won! But I need it in 4 days and we can only afford 4 people. Have fun”

Anyhow, this is what these guys did with 4 people in 4 days.


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In the 80’s, the yuppie phenomenon personified greed run rampant.  And every self-respecting yuppster had to drive a BMW and wear a Rolex.  A bimmer and a roller.  And since that time, Rolex and BMW have suffered from what can be called the “asshole factor”.  But I think the asshole factor has more to do with the yuppie than the car / watch.

Rolex makes amazing watches.  Simple, elegant design.  Robust movements.  And a storied history of innovation.  Rolex doesn’t change with the fashions; they stay true to their roots.  I believe the only thing Rolex can really be dinged for is making too many watches.  They make a lot of watches because they are the benchmark around the world.  From the Submariner to the DateJust to the awesome Cosmograph “Daytona”, these are truly awesome watches.

BMW makes amazing cars.  Look at all of the automotive brands and tell me which one has remained as singular in their focus as BMW.  Performance, that is what BMW is about.  As a company, they wabbled a bit early on, but once they found their “thing”, they have stuck to it and developed it.  From the soon to be released 1 Series to the M6 to the 7 Series, even the X5, these are drivers cars.  I’ve seen many a person have their inner driver unleashed after owning a BMW.  They are fast, nimble, tight and solid. 

These two venerable brands are both uber-succesful and considered the standard in their classes, so I don’t think they are overly concerned. 

Maybe success is part of the problem?  Maybe it is the high price tag?  Maybe it’s the yuppies?

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Are Men and Women Alike?

This is absolutely the best explanation of the differences between male and female brains I have ever heard.

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It’s a great question.

And the answer depends partly on why you are buying a watch.  If all you need is to tell time, then go buy a nice Timex.  Casio makes inexpensive, reliable, accurate quartz watches.  This is a very functional and rational approach.  In the world of transportation, this person just needs to get from point A to point B, and they would take public transportation or the cheapest most fuel efficient car available.  A Casio F28W-1 is a Chevy Aveo.

But maybe you like a little style, a little panache.  Maybe you want some additional features.  With words such as “like” and “want”starting to enter into the equation, it’s pretty clear that we are starting to leave the functional and rational arguments behind.  We are now talking about what you want versus what you need.  The transportation reference still holds up here.  There are watch designs that make a statement about the owner.  There are features that are unique and only offered on select watches.  There is performance to be considered.  A Rolex DateJust might be a Mercedes-Benz S Class.  A Brietling Navitimer might be a BMW 3 Series.  A Tag Heuer Monaco might be a Ford Shelby GT 500 Mustang.

For the most part, that is all crap.  Some folks want a nice watch.  Why?  A couple of reasons, and there could be more…

·         They appreciate outstanding design, construction, workmanship, materials, etc.

·         They want something different that makes a unique statement about who they are and what they are all about.

·         They just have a ton of money and have found a new way of getting rid of some of it.

And even in the world of “expensive” watches, there is a huge price range.  Where does “expensive” start?  That’s subjective, but I think you are in that category when you are above $1,000.  What can you get in the $1,000 range?  These watches usually have quartz movements, but it is possible to get a mechanical, possibly automatic movement in the price range.  Oris makes some nice watches that are not too expensive.

Above $2,500, you get in to the real watch brands.  Omega and Tag Heuer are good examples.  High quality movements and cases.  Nice materials and finish.

There are a lot of what I call “fashion” watches which are typically nicely designed, trendy watches with a designer brand (that you’re likely to find in sportswear or leather goods like Coach, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Bahama).  I believe that a watch made by a watch company is going to be less prone to falling in and out of fashion as is a non-watch brand.  There are some brands that seem to skirt the line between what is and isn’t a watch brand.  To me, Cartier is a real watch brand, and Tiffany is not.  Cartier and Tiffany are both jewelers, but Cartier makes watches with a true history of innovation.  The Santos is one of the first men’s wrist watches, and in some ways, the first pilot’s watch.  The Pasha is one of the first dive watches.  I feel that Tiffany is basically making jewelry when they are making watches.

Omega and Tag are like gateway watches.  They often lead to more expensive and exotic pieces. 

Why do watches cost more than $2,500?  Because of the movements.  It matters whether the movment is made in-house, or built from a blank made by a third party like ETA.  An in-house movement speaks to a company that is committed to the mechanical watch market and has designed and engineered their own “engines” instead of buying one of the shelf.  It also has to do wtih complications.  Complicated functionality like a chronograph (stopwatch), second time zone or perpetual calendar increase the cost and value of a watch. 

And, of course, precious metals.  Good old fashoned bling.  A gold Rolex may not be your thing, but it cannot be disputed that there is a lot of gold in that case and bracelet, and gold is worth it’s weight in… 

Or becuase the watch brand can command a premium price, such as Patek Philippe who makes beautiful, precise watches that are very sought after and actually increase in value.

If you want to see some nice watches, check out Bell & Ross, IWC, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier.  But be warned, watches are a disease and it’s very easy to get infected.

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Tired of wasting hours and hours just trying to keep up with the primary news and opinions on TV and print media? Here’s a one stop web site you can visit and get the market opinion of who will score big (or not). Because these are independents, their opinion is broader than the typical talking head who is selected because he is biased, i.e. speaker for one party or the other.


Science made stupid! Who knew drinking and parties made one drunk and drunker? Check out this latest scientific study..


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New Year’s Day Meal

New Year’s Day was quiet here in Raleigh. Late in the afternoon I decided to finish off the beef that we enjoyed on Christmas Day. Luckily I had my trusty Henkle VS (Very Sharp) knives that I had been wanting to try out. Trimming the silver skin and fatty tissue from the leg-o-beef was easy as slicing up hot buttah. I used my potato brush with the finger grip to keep it from slipping to clean two large potaotes. I sliced them lengthwise with another large sharp knife and then into quarters. Tomato, onion, and cucumber slicing is easy when you have a VS knife.

A quick salad, pan baked potatoes, and of course you have to have red beans and rice on New Years Day. All an easy task when I have such great tools to make the slicy bits fly…

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It’ early in the month and a great time to come up with a theme for the year (I mean – look at the Audi wall for some possibilities).

Suggested Favs:

  • The Year of the Rat (Chinese)
  • Ratteriffic (A nice variation on a theme)
  • This year, the world got a little older
  • Party like it’s 2009!!!
  • Where’s my rocket car?
  • Election? We don’t need no stinkin’ election
  • But first, The Primaries
  • Buy more stuff from China – and give it to your enemies
  • 2008 – No Sleepin’ Late
  • Where’s My Jet Pack?
  • 2008 – Cause I’m Sleepin’ Late
  • Oh No – Not Again!!

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Drum Conundrum.

I have a sweet ‘70s Ludwig drum kit.  I bought it when I lived in North Carolina for about $300.  It had originally been black, but had since been stripped of the wrap and brush-painted in natural.  But the drums are nice and big (24” kick, 13” tom, 18 floor) and I thought they would be cool in a period-correct silver sparkle.


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I tried to spread the word over that poor soul who was arrested for checking on (asking if someone else’s BoA check was good) a fraudulent check he was given in a craigslist scam months ago.

But here’s a reason to hate them even if you don’t bank with them. If you’re in a pickle and use one of their ATMs, it costs you $5 to take out your $20.  – $3 ATM fee and $2 out of network fee but, they only have the decency to tell you about one of them. The other will just be a little surprise for you later on. Enjoy.

Avoid Bank of America.

(Interesting tidbit, banks make more on fees than on interest. How crazy is that)?

UPDATE: Tear up that Credit Card!

How does Bank of America reward its loyal customers? By jacking up their interest rates!! Yay.

This is not only for those who have fallen behind on their payments or whose credit scores have dropped but for any customer whatsoever.  BofA sent letters to its customers saying that they would more than double their interest rates to as much as 28% without giving an explanation for the raise in rates.

Business Week calls it, “a credit card you want to toss.” We couldn’t agree more.

I hope the next advertising tagline is: “Bank of America the scourge of the banking industry.” They can afford to be truthful. No one can do anything about such a behemoth.

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It involved a cigar, a drink, and reading a  little bit of a mystery sitting in the near 80 degree sun. Followed up with a Redskins game.

Sometimes you have to celebrate life.

Even if your team losses. (Or falls apart). 

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Did you know that today is National Trivia Day?

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2 1/2 minutes of Mithras

 Brief QI (you do know the British quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry, right?) segment that expounds on some of the supposed similarities of Mithras and Christianity.

Watch it because you’ve been wondering what in the hell happened to Rich Hall. (Note: There are no “Snigglets” in this clip. I didn’t want anyone to get their hopes up).

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