I am typing this on one of my two favorite Christmas presents. I've been saving for one of these for over a year, and my wife's christmas gift was the difference between what I had and what I needed. So yeah, I'm a Mac now. As least as far as my portability goes. I'm still a PC in most other aspects of my life, like at work and when I have to sit down and pay bills. So far I'm digging it, other than some weirdness with the keyboard layout (Apple thinks DEL is Backspace) and some flakey wireless connectivity I'm still trying to iron out.

Anyway, I love it so far.

Of course the day after Christmas, we were driving around in Wilkes-Barre and the A/C compressor seized up, and the only place open on a late Saturday afternoon the day after Christmas was a Sears Auto Center, so I brought the car over. The guys there were great -- even though they couldn't fix it, we poked around for about an hour and determined exactly what the problem was. I tipped them $20, then snipped a wire that kept the clutch from engaging, and that let us get home.

Yesterday I spent most of the day sitting around waiting for the garage to call me. The definition of "extra money" is "what you have right before shit breaks." I really wish it could have happened last month instead, but if it had, I probably wouldn't have a new computer right now, so I guess it was in the cards.

Current estimate is approximately $800-900 bucks, and unfortunately it's not as easy as saying "It's winter, who needs air conditioning?" and simply forgetting about it until June, because apparently when the bearings in the compressor clutch go south and the car is making a noise like a 55 gallon drum full of marbles being pushed down a cobblestone road, it also tends to get extremely hot. Not only does this spell almost certain death for the fan belt, it also has the unfortunate side effect of making the heater smell like BO and burning hair, which is no good for anyone. At least the quick fix at the Sears store let us drive home without being forced to smell burnt armpit the entire way.

My second coolest present was a set of BuckyBalls. I received them from my good friends who always get me something either funny and useless or cool and useless every year. If you've never seen BuckyBalls, (which I never had until I received them), check out this video:

Awesome right? So I immediately opened the package and placed the perfect cube on my desk:

After about an hour, I was a master at this. I could do exactly none of the things in that video, and I couldn't even get it back into the little cube it came in. I was going to shoot a video similar to the one above to show off my prowess, but I didn't have time. Instead, I give you the "after" picture:

Once I got done picking the tools out of it, I promptly lost one ball somehow. I have no idea where it is, or what it's currently stuck to, but it seems to have simply disappeared into whatever alternate universe buckyballs come from. Since you can't make the cube without all 216, I decided to write to the company and ask about getting one ball replaced. Here's their reply:

From: Buckyballs [mailto:getbuckyballs@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:53 AM
To: johnny virgil
Subject: Re: You've probably been asked this a million times..


We're so happy to hear that you've had such a great time playing with our balls. What a bummer you're missing some... lost balls are no fun. We do have great news for you though, you can
click here to purchase a set of 10 replacement balls so you'll never have to worry about missing balls again. In the meantime, enjoy playing with the balls you do have.



So I officially love this company and you'll all be happy to know that my new balls are on order.

On a completely unrelated topic - it's apparently newsworthy that Rosie O'Donnell has a new "partner." Unfortunately, this has caused her to be in my face more than usual, which is not a pleasant state of affairs for me. But since I notice things, being forced to stare at her horrific visage every time I turn on the TV or open a news site has brought something to mind: Is it just me, or does her smile make her look like she's trying to gnaw a tough piece of gristle off an antelope haunch?

Gah. That's just scary, if you ask me. It could be from too much botox, I'm not sure. What I do know is that I can almost hear her low growl from here.

I hope everyone has a great new year, and had a fantastic NYE. Ours was pretty mild, other than the scalpings. We had dinner with friends, drank a bunch of sake, watched Inglorious Basterds, paused the movie mid-scalp at 11:55, popped a bottle of champagne, watched the ball drop, had a short toast and went back to the movie. Good times.


Pay Etenchen!

This post will be multi-faceted. (I originally mistyped that as mulit-faceted, but that's an entirely different thing.) As you guys know, I have been writing this blog for quite a while, and I've been writing in general since before the internet was even a gleam in Al Gore's eye. I dug around a little and found this incredible story my mother had tucked away from when I was 7 years old (click to make bigger):

If you look closely, you'll see I made a "mestake" with my paragraph spacing, but all in all, a riveting piece of fiction, wouldn't you agree? And it was fiction too, as you can probably tell by the teacher's added note.

I also found this finely wrought winter scene among the stories:

It's clear that at some point in my young life I stumbled on naked blue aliens making metallic snowmen somewhere close to my house, and subsequently repressed that memory.

Obviously, my writing is marginally better than my artwork, so with that in mind, here's a little piece of geek fiction I wrote a long time ago:

“No! This can’t be happening NOW!,” John said, his fingers flying over the keyboard. “I think the whole database is corrupted. Nick’s going to kill us.”

“What about the backups?” Terry asked. “I did a full backup of that server just last night - we should be able to restore from optical.”

“Do you know how long that will take? This stuff was supposed to be done by 4 at the latest,” John replied. “But if we have to do it, we need to.... Damn!”

“Now what?”

“I think we just lost our server connection. Let me try to log off and log back on....Nope. I can’t connect to it. If the SQL box went, we’re toast. Maybe it’s just the NIC in my machine.” John wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans, and hit the power button on the front of the computer.

“Uh, John, I don’t think so. Look around. We lost all the other workstations too,” Terry said, as the room full of computers began popping up dialog boxes.

“Let’s try killing the rest of them before Nick calls in,” John said, as he stood up. “I’ll start in this room - you go down to the vault and bounce the server. Check the RAID controller, and make sure it’s working. If the first drive dropped dead, see if the rest have cut over. It should’ve kicked in automatically, but maybe something’s screwed up. Remember last month when we lost that unix box during the brownout? You know how the power is around this place.”

“Yeah, it stinks,” Terry said, shaking his head. “I keep telling Nick we should have a line conditioner in here, but with all the cutbacks it’s always last on his list.”

“Well, this might change his mind. Load the last set of backup cartridges while you’re down there. That way we can mess with the restore from here.”

“Will do,” Terry replied, heading off in the direction of the vault. He paused at the door. “Maybe you’d better call him.”

“Yeah, I will. Unless you want to do it.”

“No way. Not me. Not tonight,” Terry said as he walked out the door.

John finished shutting all the workstations down, sat down at his desk and picked up the phone. He dialed a number, took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“Hello, Nick? Yeah, it’s me, John. We’ve got a potential problem down here - No, no, nothing too serious yet. We just wanted you to be aware that there was a problem...no, I don’t think it’ll screw up tonight -but we’ll keep you posted. Uh huh. Yeah, I know you can’t - that’s why we went to this system in the first place. No, I don’t think that’s necessary. I -- hello? Hello, Nick? Are you still there?” John put the phone back in its cradle, and rubbed the back of his neck. Great, he thought. The old man was coming down to the control room.

When Terry came back, John was still sitting with his head in his hands. He looked up hopefully.

Terry shook his head. “We’re in serious trouble. The whole thing is history. The main SQL box won’t even power up again. And the clustering was effed up, so even though the backup server is up and running, the data isn’t there. We’ve got a ton of restoring to do. Hey, what’s wrong with you?” Terry asked, seeing the look on John’s face.

“He’s coming down.”

“Now? Tonight? Jesus, he’s gonna be pissed.”

“Tell me about it. We’ll be lucky if we don’t end up on the assembly line in the factory. Hell, we’ll be lucky if he doesn’t fire us outright.” John sat up in his chair and rubbed his temples. “Well,” he said, “let’s load up a restore and see what we can do.”

A minute or two after the restore kicked off, Nick stormed into the control room, slamming the door behind him. “What the hell’s going on here? Don’t you realize how important that data is? I thought this system was supposed to be foolproof.”

“Nick, you gotta understand, it’s about as foolproof as we can make it,” John said. “We need new equipment. This stuff is old, and we’ve been pounding on it for quite a few years.”

“Old? We bought it less than 4 years ago!”

“Yeah, but in the computer industry, 4 years is like – “

“We don’t have the cash, and I’ve told you that before. We never had these problems with the old paper forms system. It was slow, but at least it couldn’t crash. Now what the hell am I going to do?” Nick asked, pacing the room. “ I was counting on that data.”

“We’re restoring it now,” Terry said, avoiding eye contact with his boss. “But we’re not sure how long it’ll take. These optical disks are slow, and there’s a pile of data. The transaction logs are brutal. The database seems like it gets bigger every year.”

“How long?”

“Looking at the percentages, maybe four to six hours if nothing goes wrong.”

“I can’t wait that long. I have to leave in less than two, and I need that data with me.”

John stood up and took a deep breath. It wasn’t often that he was forced to go against his boss’s wishes. “Fire me if you need to sir, but I have to tell you -- it’s just not going to happen. There’s no way we can get the data off these disks in time.”

Terry piped up. “If you let us buy that SAN solution like we --”

John shot Terry a warning glance that shut him up in mid-sentence, then continued. “I think we need to look at other possibilities. Maybe you could do without the raw data this one time. Bring the sat phone with you, keep in touch. Hell, maybe we could even tether the laptop to it. We might be able to send you hourly status reports, shoot the data over as we restore it. It won’t be as easy as having the whole thing with you, but at least it’s something. What do you think?”

Nick thought it over, and his expression softened a bit. “It has been a while, hasn’t it? What the heck, I’ll give it a shot. His expression hardened again, and he glanced back and forth between them. "But I’m warning you, if this thing isn’t fixed by the time I get back, you’ll both be out of a job. And I want a formal disaster recovery plan, and I want it on my desk first thing Monday morning. And schedule a quarterly DR test. Understood?”

Terry and John nodded humbly, and set about their repairs.

Nick walked over to the phone, and dialed the hangar. “Hello? Yeah, it’s Nick. Hook up the team and bring the sleigh around to the front of the computer building. Of course I want Rudolph in front! What are you, an idiot? Right. Yes, I know it’s short notice, but I need the extra time. We’re having some computer problems.”

He hung up the phone and turned to John and Terry. “Well,” he said, grabbing his satellite phone out of his desk drawer, “it looks like we do it the old-fashioned way this year.”

Merry Christmas, everyone. Hope you all have a great holiday season!


Mr. & Mrs. JV tree, 2009.
(featuring my mother's childhood train)


Vomiting pinwheel girl? E-mail me.

That right there is something I never thought I'd type.

I read through the stories again, and while there are many great entries, I'm going to have to say it's the mental image of the vomiting pinwheel girl rolling down the hill and the crazed dog following that actually made me laugh the most.

On the other hand, just the sheer brass balls of the dude who posted about the bus-stealing, riot gear-inducing Chinese drunk fest has wormed its way into my shriveled, black peach pit of a heart. If there hadn't been video proof, I think I would have thought the entire thing was made up. Master Waster, you also get style points for a well-written inner dialogue, although I think we've all had the same conversation with our inner voices on occasion. Usually, my inner voice is way drunker than yours, but still, good story. Also, props to Cory and his naked Cat in the Hat. My memories of Dr. Suess will never be the same.

So here's what I'm going to do -- the martini glasses go to the vomiting pinwheel, and the other entries I mentioned get a mystery prize of my choosing. So shoot me an e-mail with your name and address and I'll get them out in the next week or so. Congratulations, and I'm sorry. That apology is really for the consolation prize winners, because they'll probably end up with something weird and useless.

To everyone else, thanks for playing along. You guys are great!


Damn, people. You're lucky to be alive.

Those are some crazy-assed stories! Regardless of which comment I pick, I will need to see this chinese bus-stealing video. I just want to get that out there right up front.

I'll try to pick my favorite story by the end of this weekend. It's going to be a tough choice, no doubt about it. I may have to pull together a team of professional drinkers to see if I can get some sort of majority rule.

In other news, a buddy of mine dropped off a bunch of old wooden water skis a couple of weeks ago. He just purchased a little camp in the Adirondacks, and he wanted me to make him something out of them. So here's his Christmas present:

I'll be back shortly with the announcement of the winner, and maybe a Christmas story if I can think of one....


Hey, Liver! It's almost Christmas. Buckle up.

It's time for a little holiday cheer, I think. I am using up the last bit of my vacation starting right now and I don't have to go back to the office until Wednesday of next week and that's just fine by me. They are gutting the building and most of the construction is on my floor, so it's almost unbearable anyway. Not to mention that the place is so full of frickin' construction workers that you can't hear yourself think in the cafeteria since all those guys seem to be permanently set on 11. Just today, for instance, I heard a conversation about vagina from about 60 feet away, and that doesn't happen every day.


Anyway, to kick off this little vacation, I'm planning on having a nice martini tonight. I love martinis -- even the ones the purists don't consider martinis. I love traditional gin martinis, Americanized vodka martinis, dirty martinis of both types (blue cheese stuffed olives, please) appletinis (when I'm wearing my tight purple t-shirt) and even espresso chocolate martinis.

Basically, if you call it a martini, load up one of those ridiculously unstable glasses with some kind of kickass alcohol, chances are very good that I'll drink it and like it. Of course, the problem with martinis is that they get right on top of you. They will ride you face-first into the dirt before you know what happened, especially if you go light on the food and weigh 150lbs soaking wet like I do. I've found it's generally a good idea to have one or two and then quit for the evening and switch to something else. I can't even imagine a "three martini lunch" -- I would never make it back to my car, let alone my desk.

So in the spirit of responsible drinking, I think I'm going to have a little contest. The prize is a brand-new set of 4 of these guys:

That looks pretty damn festive, am I right? This prize was donated by CSN Stores, a company that sells all sorts of glassware and cookware, both bar-related and not. All I had to do was mention them in a post for some glasses, and I thought they'd make a neat giveaway. So there ya go. I'm a man-whore for you guys. Oh, and martinis. I'm also a man-whore for martinis.

But in all seriousness, I get offers like this all the time, and if the company looks sketchy or the product ridiculous, (assbrella, I'm talking to you) I'll pass. In this case, I spent about 30 minutes on their site looking for a good holiday giveaway, and they have a ton of bar-related stuff. If you are looking for a wine rack, or any other wine-related stuff, it's a great place if you happen to be in the market. We've actually owned this one for years, and it's perfect for a random kitchen corner where nothing else would fit.

So what do you have to do to win these? It's easy. In the comments, you have to tell me the stupidest/funniest thing you ever did while drunk. Or tell me why you quit drinking, since those two things seem to go hand in hand most of the time. The contest will end Friday at 5pm, and the post that makes me laugh the hardest will be deemed the winner. Extra points if you were shaken or stirred.

So go to it. You know you want to. Come on, confess to Johnny. Tell me about your walk of shame, or the time you were arrested wearing nothing but a tiara, I won't judge you. I may or may not have a picture of myself sliding down a steep set of stairs on my stomach, is all I'm saying. I was bruised for a week after that one.


Want some advice? Don't love the ocean too much. It doesn't love you back.

And with that line, Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus really got rolling.

The best part of the movie had to be the story. No wait, it was the special effects. Or maybe it was the acting...sorry, I don't know where in this steaming pile of awesomeness I should start the tour.

After some deliberation, I've decided that there is just no way I can review this movie. It's too horrible and yet unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny. I simply cannot do it justice.

I fully intended to give you an actual serious review. I did. I swear. I even sat through the entire thing and took notes. That's how dedicated I was to this idea. Instead, I present you with my notes. You can make your own judgement.

It starts with stock footage. The stock mountains. The stock glaciers. The stock under-sea life.

A fake ice slide occurs, to show us that fake ice slides are always occuring:

A nefarious government helicopter drops a low frequency active sonar device. LFAS. The helicopter pilot inexplicably yells "Holy crap!" and then flies straight into an ice wall and explodes.

A fake mini-sub is watching a pod of whales lose their shit because of this LFAS. In this sub are Debbie Gibson and some fat guy who has no business in a mini sub:

The whales are crashing into the ice walls, confused by the sonar.

Suddenly you see:

A drawing of Mega Shark and Giant Octopus! Behind a wavy piece of bathroom privacy glass!

Debbie makes her combo scared/disbelief face:

Someone shoots a bb-gun at the glass (what it looked like) or it got hit by a whale (what actually happened) and they're free:

....and they drift down to the ocean floor, somehow still alive and not frozen to death.

Cut to an oil rig, where there is a mystifying conversation about peeing on a co-worker and something about how Japanese custom frowns upon that. Then, this happens:

Now we're back in Cali, on the beach with the fat guy and Debbie. There's a beached whale with giant chunks taken out of it. I'd like to interject here that Debbie looks like a washed up stripper:

Also, there are some of these:

Then she steals a giant prehistoric shark toof out of the blubber:

Next we go back to Tokyo where a guy who looks like substitute Sulu is interrogating one of the oil platform guys.

Then we're flying somewhere on a fake jet:

Just so you know, this face:

is what happens just before this:

Then Debbie gets fired for trashing the sub and goes to see Sean Connery. Well, not really. It's just some old Sean-lite Irish guy who is an "ex-navy paleontologist guru," and they play with colored water in test tubes and computers with pretty graphics and then he tells her that what she has is a giant prehistoric shark toof.

So then SubSulu flies in to Cali and meets up with Sean-lite and Debbie and they put two and two together, and discover that he has a giant octopus to match their giant shark.

"The polar ice caps are melting because of our thoughtlessness." Debbie says, staring wistfully out to sea. "Maybe this is our comeuppance."

Then they climb into their car with the Obama Change bumper sticker and drive away.

And then we're in a battleship, with the crazy captain who looks like the love child of Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Cox from Scrubs:

He's tracking the Megashark, but then suddenly it's swimming right at them at 500 knots, and it's not leaving a wake:

That's some awesome special effects right there. As is this:

Of course, Coxhunter's orders from Washington are to destroy the Megashark, which he does. Just kidding. He only thinks he does, and then the shark eats the battleship and his acting career is over.

Then Subsulu, Debbie and Sean-lite get abducted by Government agent Lorenzo Lamas, who can't admit he is no longer Renegade and so still has a pony tail and a coating of grease:

They aren't really prisoners, he just needs their help - and taking people at gunpoint is obviously the best way to get help from people who actually want to help.

At this point, things got dicey, and I stopped taking screen shots and just started jotting down random thoughts as the movie unfolded. Favorite quotes, observations, questions. Oh yes, I have questions.

"They don't rest. They just kill."

Debbie Gibson, Super Scientist. She's making octopus and shark pheromones to lure them together to capture them, but her experiments fail, I think because mixing test tubes full of water tinted with food coloring really doesn't make pheromones.

I thought for sure Subsulu was gay. Then he and Debbie did it in the storage room. My gaydar must be off.

Yay! Good pheromones. You know how I can tell? Because it's no longer food coloring in water, it's the stuff out of a green glow-stik.

Oh, I see. They are trying to draw them in with "breadcrumb trail" of pheromone droppings.

"What, may I ask, is your trap exactly?" "Oh you can ask."

Oh, Lorenzo. It's been too long. Only Bill Shatner rivals you in the overacting department. Or maybe Coxhunter.

And then a fighter plane is slapped out of the air by a tentacle.

"We're going into their world now.. Their pond..."

Cartoon experimental mini-sub again.

Hey, it's a 500 knot shark. (faster than a jet, she says.)

To make the sub go faster, you just have to lean forward in your seat really hard and look serious. Who knew?

Oh shit. It just ate the golden gate bridge. As far as I can tell, its entire diet consists of planes, battleships and bridges. That can't be good for your digestion.

The octopus is still in Tokyo. "Our military has only succeeded in angering it. My god. What have we done?"

OK. The navy wants to nuke them and not capture them, but you knew that.

"I suggest we get some rest and reconvene. Nothing can be accomplished in this state of exhaustion." Yeah, let's take a break while all this shit continues to go down.

Oh no! Dream sequence! Kissing SubSulu! Seeing stuff that only we saw from our omniscient standpoint!

Debbie's breakthrough! Get them to kill each other! Just say no to nukes!

"They were frozen in battle." Wait, how fast did this ice age happen? It's not like Pompeii for fuck's sake.

"They are natural born enemies. They chose to stay and fight to the end. A hate stronger than their combined survival instinct is our only hope."

So what he's saying is, they basically hung around getting colder and colder, and their fight got slower and slower until it looked like a fight on Walker, Texas Ranger, and then they went into suspended animation somehow.

"Neither has followed a consistent pattern." "Yeah, but somehow it makes sense."

annnd...then he quotes Julius Caesar.

The people actually driving the sub? Perfectly still. The people in the back? Bouncing around like they're in a washing machine.

"I want that commander on report!" "That commander saved your ass!" "He should have done it in a more timely manner!"

Emergency turbos activated? Subs have emergency turbos? I'm seriously expecting someone to yell "the engines canna take any more, Captain!"

"We must remain optimistic," he says, looking like he has to shit really bad.

Nuclear subs are driven by one guy with a joystick. Who knew?

"Captain, I'm picking up a massive underwater disturbance. Two bogies. Hard to say what they're doing."

Oh, apparently, they're fighting. From what I am seeing on my TV, I would have sworn they were fucking. And why does it sound like a little kid splashing around in the sink?

"Who has the upper hand? It's impossible to tell. It's just a massive sound." Of a kid splashing around in a sink.

Ooooh, sharky just bit off a tentacle and got hisself inked. The tentacle is back again. Now it's gone. Now it's back.

Could have sworn the captain of the Japanese sub just said there was a massive disturbance in the vicinity of hairy slut. No wait. It has to be something else. OK, I rewound it three times. They are heading towards hairy slut. Case closed.

Everyone in the sub gets tossed to the floor, all the emergency lights go on, there's smoke, all sorts of beeping...and what does the captain yell? "Something hit us!"

Giant Octopus handled that sub like a loaf of french bread.

I just saw Debbie's "O" face.

It's the fight to the death!

"Looks like they finished what they started 18 million years ago."

Oh no, Subsulu is dead.

Debbie is sad.

No wait! Subsulu is alive.

Debbie is happy.

Epilogue: Beach blanket conversation with Debbie and Subsulu.

They're kissing again. Subsulu is so gay in real life. It's like watching George Takei after he came out.

Suddenly, Sean-lite is there. They are needed by the government to chase other newly thawed giant creatures in the north sea. As a team. How romantic.

Roll credits!

Awesome. Go watch it right now.

I'd watch it again, but I have to watch Frankenfish.


Random stuff.

OK, I saw this Virgin Mobile commercial last night and it freaked me out.

First off, I don't know about you, but if I were planning on having some sort of disgusting crotch-rot conversation with my mom, I probably wouldn't do it in public. Secondly, how does your mom know about your rot to begin with? Did she catch a whiff at brunch last Sunday and ask about it? I'm glad you're airing that thing out, and "the smell means it's healing," because the alternatives are too horrible to contemplate. If you let it get out of hand, it could result in.. oh, I don't know...maybe something like your mouth falling off your face and sitting there on a locker room bench like some kind of masochistic pocket pussy. Maybe something like that.

Jesus, that chomper is going to give me nightmares. Or sex dreams. I'll let you know which way it tips.

Has anyone seen the trailer for this new Disney DVD called "Snow Buddies?" How shitty does this movie look? Not just from a plot standpoint, but from a production standpoint, too. The CGI in the e-trade talking baby commercials is heads and shoulders above this horrible mess.

In every trailer I've seen, the dogs are basically just standing there with their lifeless, shark-like eyes fixed forward, like they are waiting for a doggie treat (since they probably are). Only their mouths are moving. Nothing else on the face moves -- no eyes, no eyebrows, no nothing. The whole effect looks like it's from 1987. Hell, knowing Disney, maybe it is. They probably outsourced the animation to India.

Speaking of lifeless and sharks, I saw this movie in my Netflix Instant queue, and the title alone made me laugh, so I'm going to watch it and write you guys a nice review:

How can I not? It has both Debbie Gibson AND Lorenzo Lamas. The only way this could be any more awesome is if the Shark and Octopus turn out to be David Hasslehoff and Gary Coleman.

Of course just finding a picture of that movie led me to some other "recommendations" like this one:

I absolutely love the look on the black dude's face. He's like, "OK, you guys set me up in a sweet beach house with a hot chick wearing a bikini. What's the catch?"

I'll let you know how these experiments in cinematic splendor turn out.

Other stupid shit I've noticed lately:

Apparently Americans are either too dumb or too lazy to figure out how a roll of tape works, and so now we have to have individual, pre-cut, dispenserized pop-up tape. There's even a video showing you all the things you can do with pop-up tape. Of course, it's all the same stuff you could do without pop-up tape, unless you only had one hand (or maybe had two but one of them was busy with the S&M virgin mobile thing.) Then pop-up tape is probably pretty cool.

Also, am I alone here in hating the Snuggie? Let me clue you in. Here's what the Snuggie is: A crappy polyester robe with no belt, that you wear backwards. That's it. Go to Target, buy a nice XXL fleece robe and wear that backwards. You'll be warmer, and you'll be the only one in your neighborhood with a plaid Snuggie, plus you won't look like a monk who escaped from Renfaire.

Even worse, now they have snuggies for dogs. And if you act now, you can get in on this BOGO deal:

Lastly, it's become obvious to me lately that Vietnam has many problems --foremost among them, their economy. They are suffering from accelerating inflation and a widening trade deficit and a general devaluing of thier currency, which I recently learned is called the Dong. So Vietnam, I have some advice for you. The first step in fixing your economic mess is obvious: Rename that shit. I'm just saying that nobody takes you seriously when you offer to pay for dinner and then whip out a pocketful of Dong.

Tell you what -- If our economy ever recovers, I'll even take you all out for some nice Vietnamese food. Or as you call it, "food." There's probably, what? 10 or 12 of you left over there? I think we probably owe it to each other to have some grub, play some tunes and get shitfaced. What do you think?