Free to be...you and MeTV

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new favorite TV channel. And I share it with a bunch of really old people.

There's a channel here in Chicago called MeTV - it stands for Memorable Entertainment Television. It plays classic TV and it. is. fantastic.

Take last night, for example. I had just finished rewatching MST3K: The Movie (it's amazing how a movie that you can pretty much recite from memory can still make you laugh so much) and just kept the TV on while I played some computer games. I happened to catch MeTV's Sunday Nite Black & White - featuring "The Phil Silvers Show" (the original Sgt. Bilko), "The Honeymooners" (Ralph really did threaten spousal abuse quite a bit), and a couple of episodes of the original "Twilight Zone," one featuring a young William Shatner. Boy, can that guy act. And boy, can that Rod Serling narrate.

I think Rod Serling and Morgan Freeman should have a cage-match narrate-off.

Today, I've already caught "Who's the Boss" (boy, that Mona is boy-crazy), "The Brady Bunch" (I never noticed how much my mom looked like Mrs. Brady. That's weird), and now I'm rocking some "Good Times" (poverty is hilarious!). And the piece de resistance - "Family Ties" and "Batman" are coming up.

Man, this station's got everything - "Get Smart," "Mary Tyler Moore," "Bob Newhart," westerns like "Gunsmoke," "Diff'rent Strokes," and so much more.

A bunch of nursing home residents and this kid are in TV heaven.

This post now holds the World Record for most parenthetical clauses per sentence in a Blogger post - 2006.


This was the week that was

So this week, I made the news. There was brief talk of taking the crack promotions team to Detroit for Super Bowl weekend, but it ended up not panning out. Just as well - I doubt a dude in tights would last long on the mean streets of D-town.

I also got cast to be on an Incubator team at The Playground, which I'm wicked excited about.

Also, Pam Beesley (from The Office) and I are now friends on MySpace. All in all, a pretty stellar week.


It's a living.

For those of you who might be curious as to what I've been up to the last couple days, perhaps this might explain some things. (Go to the irresistible video category and watch "Bad Job Man.")

edit: Now you have to do a search for "Bad Job Man" to find the video. Apparently, I no longer warrant "Irresistible Video" status. Forget you, NBC 5. I should be under "Most Popular." I'm an Internet sensation.

And yes, I wrote my own jokes.

Tim Ryder: dressing like an idiot and crackin' up newsrooms since 2006.

Oh boy

Random pic of the day:

Ha ha! What happened to that guy's head? Hilarious!


+2 cleats of fire protection

I saw the revue currently on the Second City etc stage tonight. I enjoyed it it quite a bit, especially this line, which was my favorite:

"Fantasy football is like Dungeons & Dragons for jocks. *nerd voice* Eee...Peyton Manning with with his +5 throwing arm will help me defeat the evil wide receiver sports information sports information sports information." (She literally repeated "sports information" that many times. Repetition=funny.)

Do you have to be a nerd to know how true that is? Because it is.

Recently in rehearsal, I did a scene based on the suggestion of "Dungeons & Dragons" and afterwards my coach looked at my partner and said, "It's pretty clear that you've never played D&D," then looked at me and said, "and it's pretty clear that you HAVE."

Raph and Emeric, this is all your fault. And I will never forgive you.

Thanks for all your kind words about Robot Comics (some of you). Believe me when I say that it was about a billion times more fun for me to make than it was for you to read. Maybe I'll make more in the future, if inspiration strikes. But don't expect production values to get any higher quality - that's half the funny. And you can keep your fancy Photoshop. I'm a Microsoft Paint man through and through.


Robot Comics #1

Rock 'em out the box, Luke

What if I started a webcomic using just still pictures of these guys?

Readers of a certain age and/or cultural awareness might recognize these characters as Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. (Cut to commercial with 80's kid yelling, "You knocked my block off!")

But these guys are actually the tops of two very special Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot pens. Apparently there's a company that makes these novelty pens with classic board games and toys on the tops. There is honestly a "Connect Four" pen you can buy. The board is very tiny.

Thanks go to Allyn's mom and dad, because they gave them to me as a going away present, and they've given me hours of entertainment. Often, after spending hours in my room by myself, I I go a little crazy and make the robots dance and punch each other and have HILARIOUS conversations! I figured I owe it to the world to let it share in the good times.

So look out, Penny Arcade! Here comes...um...Robot Comics! (I'll work on the name.)


A flash of brilliance

All of a sudden, I have a great idea for a movie. It's about two gay cowboys who have inexplicable telekinetic powers. Christopher Lee and Bette Davis star as the evil doers who plan to manipulate the cowboys into doing their evil biddings. I'll call it Escape to Brokeback Mountain.

P.S. I really did see Brokeback Mountain tonight. My review: it was SUPER gay.


Philosophy ends most arguments. Jerks.

Best quote from the play I saw last night at Steppenwolf (the seminal Chicago theatre company, not the band):

"Nostalgia is simply longing for a time you know you can survive."

Wrap your head around that, hentai-lovers. (A group I do not belong to.)

P.S. Did you know Gary Cole is a Steppenwolf ensemble member? I never would have placed the dude who played Bill Lumbergh (
Office Space) and Cotton McKnight (Dodgeball) in the same theatre company as John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, but I would have been wrong.


Can't stop the signal, nerd.

Let's just take a second to consider how far I've fallen to the dark side of geekdom. Last night, I finished rewatching the last couple episodes of Firefly that I obtained through BitTorrent. Then, I reread the three-issue comic book series that connected the TV series with the motion picture. (It's important to note that I had to remove the individual books from their protective bags in which I now keep them.) All this was leading up to the first viewing of my recently purchased DVD copy of Serenity. I watched the movie, the deleted scenes, the outtakes, all of the documentaries, and some of the director's commentary before calling it a night.

When the Chicago ComicCon comes back around, I figure I'll just swing by to make my fall to the dark side complete.


We're at threat level Checkerboard here, people!

The apocolypse is upon us, and the harbinger's name is Sudoku.

Mark my words, America: Sudoku is nothing more than an evil plot to lull the American people into submission. Sure, it started out harmless - nothing more than a simple number game, "a crossword with numbers," they called it. Published in newspapers on a daily basis, it quickly caught on and became a national sensation. Now there are strategy guides published, there is
Sudoku for Dummies, there are huge books of Sudoku puzzles that appeal to those people for whom one Sudoku puzzle a day SIMPLY ISN'T ENOUGH!

But this game is not harmless. No, here is how this Trojan Horse will destroy us. Sudoku, while not technically a Japanese invention (it was first published in a U.S. puzzle magazine in 1979), has been popular in that country since 1986, far longer than here. The Japanese have pushed for a resurgence of Sudoku in the U.S. for some time, knowing that our American fixation with completion would cause us to become obsessed with the game. They plan to continue feeding the fire of this new craze until all of America is playing it.

Then they will publish a Sudoku puzzle that is so incredibly difficult, it will cause the entire population of America to become catatonic. This puzzle will be published on a Friday and will be given a difficulty rating of four out of five. It will not seem impossible - nay, completion will seem to be no more than a few good guesses away - but victory will forever evade the grasp. They have the power to calculate such a puzzle. They have very good computers.

Then, at 1:00 Eastern Standard Time on that fateful Friday, while all of America toils away tirelessly but in vain at this puzzle, Japan will launch a sneak attack that will make Pearl Harbor seem like the time that guy stomped on your sand castle.

Don't believe me? Look at the name. Sudoku is the Japanese abbreviation of a longer phrase, "suji wa dokushin ni kagiru," meaning "the digits must remain single." More like, the country must remain single. Meaning, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE SUPERPOWER IN THE WORLD! US! JAPAN! ALL OTHERS MUST BE ELIMINATED!! This interpretation is obvious.

I have already lost three family members to this diabolical plot.

See through the lies, America. Stick to the Jumble.



Man, I have so much stuff to recap, I don't even know where to start. I've been on the road since Christmas, it seems like. But never fear, I have returned to Chicago, caught my breath, uploaded my photos, and am ready to go. (Thanks to my sweet new digital camera, I have visual reminders of things that I have to recap. Or at least a lot of random pictures that make me struggle to remember what I was going to say about them.)

Anyway, let's set the WayBack machine for Christmas Day and talk about some hilarious times with this little lady:

This inquistive youngster is Layla, my second cousin. Josh was spending Christmas Day with Allyn's family and just had a hunch that because he wouldn't be there, Layla would be hilarious. And you know what? He was right. That'll teach him to get married and split his time between families. The Ryder family is all hilarious, all the time and if you miss it, that's your loss. (Although I did hear there was Guitar Hero at the Fike Christmas, which probably evens things out.)

Layla really enjoyed having her picture taken at this particular Christmas. Here, she's posing with Lumpy, who you might recognize as the title character from
Pooh's Heffalump Movie. What you don't see is the centerpiece, which was beautiful and flowery. This inspired Layla to come up with this Art Linkletter-worthy catchphrase:

"Tim, eat a flower! Eat a flower, Tim! Do it!"

She said this many times throughout the night. For really no reason. She would also occasionally refer to things, including myself, as a "snarflack." We hypothesized that this was closely related to the "snarfblatt" of
Little Mermaid fame.

Layla has apparently been learning about dinosaurs in her daycare, but you wouldn't know it from asking her about it. These conversations usually went something like this:

Me: "Layla, what do you know about dinosaurs?"
Layla: "Um...can some dinosaurs fly?"
Me: "Well sure...some could. But I want YOU to tell me what you know about dinosaurs."
Layla: "Um...Tim, are all the dinosaurs dead?"

See? She knows nothing! Although...wait. Maybe she
does know a lot. In fact, I bet she knows so much about dinosaurs, she felt that she could quiz me about them. What a smarty-pants.

Here's where the evening really picked up. Kind of. Layla had received this new game called
Elefun, which consists of an elephant that has apparently inhaled dozens of butterflies and has become so nasally irritated that he must snort them out into the air, whereupon the players of said game attempt to catch the butterflies with nets. Whatever, it looked fun on the box.

Here's what it looks like when the fan at the base is turned on:

Man. Elefun? More like Elephallic. (By the way, that's Alan Boy in the picture. Not to be confused with Allyn Girl.)

Anyway, the fan was pretty not-powerful and the butterflies got stuck in the trunk a lot. So basically, Elefun was judged to be Ele-not-so-fun. Did you ever get it to work, Carrie? If not, I think you should sue those stupid fun-loving kids on the box for tricking us.


There are quite a few farm cats that hang out around the back porch out at the farm. Grandma feeds them, but they're pretty wild and don't care much for humans. Also, Carrie and I hypothesize that they're started to get pretty inbred. The pool for available mates has got to be pretty limited out there, so we think that we've got a lot of family lovin' going on.

These guys don't look all that weird. The good ones (like the HUGE orange cat that could have eaten your face) ran away before I could snap their picture.

But this one didn't, probably because it's too genetically messed up to have common sense or basic motor control. Look how puny and mangy it is! And its nose - all scabby and junk! Gross! Don't marry your cousin, kids. That's the moral of this story.


Being totally Elefunned out, we moved on to Barbie's kitchen. Barbie had a lot of fun making "milkshakes" in her sweet kitchen. (Layla didn't come right out and say it, but I think Barbie was putting a little nip of something in the mix. She was making a lot of milkshakes. Nothing to eat. Just milkshakes. Tell me that's not shady.)

I tried to play with Layla and Barbie, but Layla said I wasn't doing it right. Being in unfamiliar territory, I assumed this was because I didn't have a character of my own to play. So I reached into Layla's new copy of Candyland (Dora the Explorer version) and pulled out Diego, Dora's little friend. (Who I hear now has his own spinoff: Go Diego Go! Man, when kids latch on to something, the companies churn out as much as they can while they're still riding the wave.)

So Diego (who strangely was voiced by Strong Bad) came over to Barbie's kitchen. But not even that was enough. Layla demanded that Diego bring his friends, so I reached back into the box and pulled out Dora, Backpack, and Boots. Backpack was voiced by Mr. Bill Cosby in a special guest appearance. At this, Layla exclaimed, "Things are getting exciting around here!"

And things did indeed get exciting and stayed that way until Diego and friends were banished from the kitchen for demanding milkshakes. (Seriously, Barbie invited them over but then proceeded to make milkshake after milkshake right in front of them and never gave them one. How rude.) Layla then got mad at me for not playing right and didn't talk to me for a while. But we made up before I left and promised to play again real soon.

Kids, huh? They're great. Anyway, that was Christmas. Next week, much talk of weddings and revelry in the Land of Ports! Huzzah!


It seemed like forever

Well, can't say I didn't see this one coming. Three different vocalists in three albums doesn't bode well for a group, but they made the most of it. Good while it lasted though.

R.I.P Further Seems Forever (1999-2006)

"This winter is lasting forever, at least for tonight."
- Snowbirds and Townies


Internet people are funny

So I was going to continue my story about my trip to Portland but then I got really distracted by the hilarious quotes on bash.org. This is apparently a site where people submit quotes that are said while chatting. Most of them seem to be from IRC, which I have never experienced. But the quotes are super nerdy and hysterical. Here are a few examples.


ben174 : If they only realized 90% of the overtime they pay me is only cause i like staying here playing with Kazaa when the bandwidth picks up after hours.

chrislmb : If any of my employees did that they'd be fired instantly.
ben174 : Where u work?
chrislmb : I'm the CTO at LowerMyBills.com
*** Ben174 (BenWright@TeraPro33-41.LowerMyBills.com) Quit (Leaving)

Ouroboros: lets play Pong
ouroboros: Ok.
tag: | .
ouroboros: . |
tag: | .
ouroboros: . |
tag: | .
ouroboros: | .
ouroboros: Whoops

reverend: IRC is just multiplayer notepad.

frank: can you help me install GTA3?
knightmare: first, shut down all programs you aren't using
frank has quit IRC. (Quit)
knightmare: ...

<@Terror> "It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield."
<@cky> opposite over hypotenuse
<@cky> moron

Seriously, look at the top 100 quotes for the geekiest fun you've had in a long time.

More fun stories from Portland and Des Moines to come...


There and back again...again?

My flight from Chicago to Denver was completely full and seemed to consist entirely of hot girls and screaming babies. It was the best simultaneous temptation-slash-precautionary measure I've ever witnessed. The entire population of that plane seemed to be telling me, "Yeah, go ahead and look at the hot girls. That's fine. But go much further, and...well...you can hear the result. It's been screaming from the row behind you since takeoff."

On my flight from Denver to Portland, I sat next to a girl and her dog. I was already geared up for a unique flight as I was sitting in the front row of the plane - seat 1A, in fact. Never been in the very front before. Not that cool. No seats in front of you to put your stuff under and your ghetto tray tables come out from the armrest. But whatever. There was a hipster chick sitting next to me in a "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" shirt and I was totally going to engage her in conversation about what she was listening to on her Nano, but then the dog came along and I became much more interested in it.

It had on a harness and vest that said "In Training," so everyone assumed that it was a seeing eye dog. It was, in fact, a therapy dog. In training. Turns out the young lady who was sitting next to me (not the hipster. the dog owner.) was going to med school. But not just any med school. Naturopathic med school. And she was going to use Bailey the dog in her therapy - interacting with people who are rehabbing injuries and sick kids, that kind of thing. Bailey was a year-old yellow Lab, and a pretty big dog to be sitting at your feat on an airplane. In fact, he took up about half of my footspace, but I didn't mind. He was a sweet dog, and super calm the entire time.

To be continued, with wedding reports and pictures and the whole shebang...