Thursday, April 27, 2006

A picture is worth a thousand posts

When movie directors don't have any gripping narrative or sparkling dialogue to offer, they film either a sex scene, a fight or a car chase. When movie stars don't have anything to talk to David Letterman about, they bring along clips of their upcoming movie.

When Muley desperately wants to put up a post but doesn't have anything to say that would captivate the attention even of lonely shut-ins, he displays some of the weird photos he's collected during his trips through cyberspace.

I've heard of someone being uncomfortable in their own skin, but this is ridiculous:

You might be interested to know I've been trying to play matchmaker lately. Maybe Fiddler on the Roof inspired me. Anyway, this woman was my first challenge:

I was having trouble finding a guy who not only wanted to talk science fiction 24/7, but who also loved dressing up in embarrassing sci-fi costumes in public. I knew it was true pung-phar, however, when I matched the Jedi princess with Mr. Tron:

For my next match, I wanted an even bigger challenge. On a recent trip I met this young woman, who for some reason was having trouble making it through the metal detectors at DFW Airport:

Here was my first proposed match, which I was sure was going to get her stapled flesh glowing:

However, the lady complained that the gentleman did not have enough piercings to whet her appetite. It took some time, but I was finally, with the aid of a large magnet, able to find a perfect match for her:

Please don't feel sorry for the rejected human pincushion first shown. I was able to introduce him to a woman who carried around even more iron and steel than he did:

Want the secret to family togetherness? One word: Mullets.

Father's Day is coming up in June. Still looking for the perfect gift for Dad or hubby? Consider some fine music for the CD player:

I don't know what to say about this except that I thought it was funny:

Finally, being a bit of a smartypants myself, this would probably be the kind of work I would turn out before getting fired at a sign company:

Friday, April 21, 2006

Out, Damned Spammers

Apologies to William Shakespeare for stealing and modifying his line for my title.

Awhile back, I got rid of word verifcation on Muley's World because, frankly, I myself hate having to try to decipher those melting, elongated letters on other blogs just to be able to comment, so I figured I'd do you readers a favor and save you that trouble when you are kind enough to comment on one of my posts.

However, today I have re-enabled word verification. Like a pesky form of bacteria, the spammers have not only returned to Muley's World, but they have mutated and are getting smarter.

The first blog spammers I got a year ago were pretty crude with their pitches. They would have easily identifiable names, like "BaldNoMore," and would start right in with their come-on: "I like your site. If you're losing what little hair you have left like the middle-aged frump you undoubtedly are, visit 'BaldNoMore' and learn about our incredible hair growth cream, available in three flavors."

Now, however, I've gotten comments which seem to be from actual people. I begin reading them with delight -- ah, a new visitor and possible blog buddy! -- and at first, the authors seem to have actually read the post they're commenting on. But it's soon apparent that their words of praise are very non-specific, and after I read down three or four sentences, they hit me with the pitch -- much less in-your-face than the old ones -- to come visit their site so I can learn how to buy the car wax the Space Shuttle astronauts took into space or purchase the latest in designer cow udder mittens or whatever else they are selling.

These sneaky ads are seeping in more and more often, so I've finally decided to put the kibosh on them. I apologize that you faithful friends will once again have to squint and try to decode those kooky letters, but I hope we'll both enjoy life more not having to waste our time reading comments that are really ads.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Pondering Podding

Since I have so much spare time in my life, and you can only write so many thousands of words a day on your blog before you get itchy for another challenge, I'm declaring myself certifiably crazy by admitting that I'm in the very early stages of considering whether or not to start doing a weekly Muley's World podcast.

For those of you who don't know what a podcast is (like me just a few months ago), it's sort of like a mini radio show, or maybe an audio monologue, that is accessed through a blog or web site. Someone basically hooks up a microphone to their computer using the appropriate software, records their voice on an MP3 or other type of audio file, then makes that file available to anyone who wants to access it.

Podcasting is all the rage nowadays, but, trendy old sod that I am, that's not why I'm contemplating starting one. I have a radio and TV broadcasting background, and I miss talking "on air" -- that's a minor reason. The major reason, however, is that when I think of a possible blog topic I'd like to do, I realize that to do it properly, I'd need to tell a long story, one that would require a lot of typing and editing. I'm somewhat lazy in that regard, so blabbing into a microphone would be so much easier, and allow me a lot more freedom.

In fact, I'm even thinking of calling it "Too Tired To Type: The Muley's World Podcast." I wouldn't give up the blog, but this way I could gear each topic to whether it would fit best as a print or audio production.

What would I talk about? A little bit of everything. I could do my usual goofy essays, tell stories from my life, review movies, talk about other blogs I like. The only things I probably wouldn't talk about would be politics, current events and quantum physics.

I've requested through Interlibrary Loan some "how-to" books on podcasting, to see how hard it would be to set up and maintain a podcast. From what I can see on, I'd have to buy about $100 worth of software to get me going, but I've already got all the microphones and other gear.

So, what do you think? Would any of my seven or eight faithful readers be interested in a podcast? Frankly, I'm not a big enough narcissist to do it if no one would be listening. I can always start a stamp collection or something to try to burn up my hours and hours of free time.

To get an idea of how good you have to be to put on a podcast, I visited one of the podcast directories on the web,, to see what other casts are out there. Looking over the listings of the different journal-type entries, I found evidence for the theory that just about anyone can put together one of these things. There are podcasts about knitting, podcasts where people read their poetry and chapters from their novels in progress, and podcasts where what sounds like teenagers sniffing glue laugh loudly about not much at all. Some of the podcasts are interrupted by ringing phones, barking dogs, and in one, I thought I heard a sound like a malfunctioning sump pump chugging along as the host narrated a boring life story in a monotone. The sump pump was more interesting.

I quickly discovered that there are strange titles given to podcasts. I looked at (but didn't listen to) something called "The Baked Ziti Radio Hour." Someone took a nod from Seinfeld and came up with "The Podshow About Nothing" (enticing title, that). And in one podcast, the summary for the lone episode was "Women who want a shave leaving a message on an answering machine." Okay...

How do you keep up the quality with podcasts such as these? Maybe you should ask the guy whose podcast is called "Trucker Tom." The host, presumably a trucker,is a prolific son of a gun, I'll tell you that. He must record and file a new podcast every time he stops to gas up his rig. On the description page, he says that in Podcast #266, "I play an audio file I recorded of me opening up packages after getting home at 1:30 AM Saturday morning before heading to bed." I'm sure his listeners were bowled over by this, but before they could recover, Tom stopped in at a roadside diner and filed Podcast #267, in which "I play a clip of my GPS in action." Now, I'm sure you're wondering, what is he going to do for an encore? How in the world can he hope to top the sound of packages opening and a GPS beeping? The answer is in Podcast #268: "I talk about buying a new Gateway notebook computer from Best Buy in Lincoln, Nebraska." Can a reciting of the states and their capitals be next? Lash me to the mast, Starbuck.

Anyway, if these guys can do it, I figure Muley can do it. What do you think?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter

May your family have a happy and blessed Easter. Here's a few vintage postcards from Muley's collection.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Random Observations and Trivial Events


While Mrs. Muley and I were getting ready for work this morning the Tony Orlando and Dawn song “Knock Three Times” came on the radio. If you remember, this is the song where Tony is in love with the woman who lives below him in an apartment complex. He instructs her to knock three times on her ceiling if she wants him (probably causing plaster dust to rain down in her eyes), or to knock “twice on the pipe” if she thinks he's a creepy stalker type and wants him to lay off. (I’m assuming “the pipe” here refers to a radiator and not a bong, but then again, it was the 1970s).

Mrs. Muley and I got to talking about how Tony apparently has a real hangup with having women tell him how they feel about him face-to-face. Remember his biggest hit, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon (‘Round the Old Oak Tree)”? Here, he was too chicken to face the woman he’d left behind when he went to prison for an undisclosed crime, in case she didn’t want his convict carcass around anymore. So, Tony came up with the yellow ribbon gimmick to save him any disappointment in person, leaving him to cry quietly like a proverbial schoolgirl in front of a busload of strangers if he was rebuffed. Or maybe he'd get mad and knock off another liquor store. Whatever.

Anyway, I’m surprised that Tony Orlando and Dawn never released a song later in their short career with a title like “Skywrite If I Am Right for You,” where Tony would require his love interest to hire a cropduster to compose a message in the sky if the girl he liked wanted to spend time with him.

Don't let my heart be lost
Let's see that plane exhaust
And skywrite if I am right for you


I was searching awhile back for a good “goofy” horror movie to watch sometime (because that's the kind of guy I am), and I think I might have found it. It’s a little flick from 1972 called “Night of the Lepus.” The tagline makes it sound oh so scary: “They were born that tragic moment when science made its great mistake... now from behind the shroud of night they come, a scuttling, shambling horde of creatures destroying all in their path.” Of course, the audience eventually learns that this bloodthirsty, scuttling horde is actually a horde of RABBITS (called “lepus” in Latin).

The plot description says a farmer was having trouble with rabbits eating his crops, so he hires some wacko scientist to help him get rid of them. The scientist, of course, injects the cute little bunnies with hormones and genetically altered blood, which goes bad, and the rabbits mutate into creatures the size of wolves who snack on cows, horses and…humans. Oh, the horror.

This movie sounds fun because it appears that they spent no more than $12.95 making it, even though they had to pay for the acting talents of past-their-prime stars such as Janet Leigh (shower girl from “Psycho”) and DeForrest Kelley (Bones from “Star Trek”). I wonder if there’s a character in the movie named Jim, so Kelley’s character could say the familiar “He’s dead, Jim” line as he views a body covered with bloody tufts of fur and the gnawed ends of carrots.

The top reason I want to see this, however, is a scene I just have to experience for myself. Some authority type supposedly runs to a drive-in movie theatre, shouts, “Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way!,” and everyone automatically believes him and runs away screaming. Oh man, call Netflix and pass the popcorn.

Today's quote:

"You can't get spoiled if you do your own ironing."

--Meryl Streep

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Smattering of Quotes

Like someone who walks down the corner, expecting just to buy a bottle of milk at the grocery store, and ends up days later hundreds of miles from home, wandering around the desert, I have taken an unplanned vacation from blogging this past week or so. Nothing tragic, mind you, just one of my occasional lapses. For those of you kind enough to continue to stop in here, I want to share with you some of my favorites from the quotes I've collected over the past week. I promise a regular post soon (yeah, right, we're on pins and needles, Muley...)
"Human language is like a cracked kettledrum on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when what we long to do is make music that will move the stars to pity."

--Gustave Flaubert
in Madame Bovary

(This has to be the lament of every writer, no matter how famous)
"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."

--Twyla Tharp

(So true)
"A gentleman is simply a patient wolf."

--Lana Turner

(I guess this is a somewhat understandable sentiment from a woman who was married seven times)
"Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and, instead of bleeding, he sings."

--Ed Gardner

(In Elvis movies, he would sing, play guitar and ride a motorcycle as well)
"Very nice, though there are dull stretches."

--Antoine de Rivarol

(His classic, snarky review of another writer's two-line poem)
"English was good enough for Jesus Christ and it's good enough for the children of Texas."

--Miriam "Ma" Ferguson
Texas governor, 1925-27 and 1933-35

(Hey Dixie Chicks, I'm proud of our governors here in Texas, even the dumb ones)

And, today's favorite...

"If it hadn't been for books we would have been entirely at the mercy of sex."

--Anatole Broyard

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Get Out Your Hymnals

Make your own church sign here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Escapist Dating

If you turn on your radio these days for longer than 15 minutes at a stretch, or watch at least one TV commercial break -- any hour, any channel -- then you've no doubt heard the ads for a dating service that supposedly makes you answer a 2,675-question "personality" test before you dip your toe in the rippling pool of romance. This incredibly thorough test, we are told, is why this certain company's matchups are so well-made.

Well, I can't argue with the company's success, but a little birdie told me something the other day. That big, fancy questionnaire is just a marketing gimmick. I don't know this as fact, but from what I hear, the real survey that potential customers are asked to fill out is much shorter, and is supposedly based on the lyrics of a popular 1970s love song.

In a plain brown envelope left under my doormat, I was provided with a purloined copy of these alternate questions. And even though I'm already married and not in the market for a date, I'll answer the questions as if I were, just to give you an idea of how this thing works.


1. Do you like Pina Coladas? Haven't had one in 20 years, but I'd have to say...yes.

2. Do you like getting caught in the rain? First of all, please note that I have never dated waterfowl and don't intend to start now. Having said that, since "getting caught" implies being unprepared, I'd have to reply that it's all a question of logistics. Am I late for a meeting? Is it cold outside? Am I without a raincoat or umbrella? Is it during really bad weather, such as a lightning storm or hurricane? Am I buck naked? If the answer to any of those is "yes," then my answer is "no." Otherwise, sure, I'm game.

3. Are you not into yoga? Shouldn't that be, "Are you into yoga?" Awkward sentence structure. But, my answer is, yes and no. I think yoga's probably good for you, but the two or three yoga DVDs on my shelf remain unwatched.

4. Do you have half a brain? Whoa, the standards are high at this place. Half, as in 50 percent? I can answer without hesitation: I believe so.

5. Do you like making love at midnight? Time of day has never been a hindrance for me, unless I'm actually asleep at the time. the dunes of the cape? Well now, this changes things a bit. You mean, like in the sand in the pitch dark, out in public? Hmmm. Let me think about this. Sand in places sand shouldn't be. Pieces of broken shells poking my skin. Hungry crabs eyeing me like a dead fish. Globs of beach tar. Elderly couples out late at night with a flashlight and a metal detector, discovering us and then clutching at their wildly beeping pacemakers. I think my answer is...heck no. Now, leave the time and general location the same, but move us inside to a nice master suite overlooking the ocean, and you're on.

6. Are you not much into health food? Who taught these guys grammar? Again, I need more details. Are we talking wheat bread, yogurt and granola? Well, sure. Or are we talking dried sea slime, pine cones and otter cheese for breakfast? Then, no.

7. Are you into champagne? Apparently, the guys who wrote this really like to knock back the hooch. Maybe it helps them numb their gluteus maximi after all those crab bites. My answer is a conditional yes. If I'm at a New Year's Eve party, and free champagne is available, and doesn't come out of a can, I will sip a glass to help ring in the new. Otherwise, it's not my favorite beverage.

So, there it is, folks. If you're looking for one of those boring, traditional dates where you go eat dinner and see a movie, then this place probably isn't for you. But, if you're looking for half-witted members of the opposite sex who pig out on junk food and wander drunk around the beach naked until they spot a flabby but willing partner flailing around in a downpour, then give them a buzz.

Quotes of the Day:

Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke.

--Lynda Barry

I'm dating a woman now who, evidently, is unaware of it.

--Gary Shandling