Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Food Network is about the only television channel I can watch that is mostly free of politics. The shows are entertaining and my kids watch them and get interested in eating things other than chicken nuggets and fries. However, like all other networks, the allure of reality television has taken hold and the mindless desires of television executives to recoil from new programming and to just repeat over and over and over and over what has been successful before is now the norm. This is why we take a good show like Chopped and end up with Chopped Canada, Chopped All Stars, Chopped Grill Masters. You get a brilliant show like Cutthroat Kitchen and some brainless drone from the 10th floor says “Let’s do Cutthroat Kitchen but do it in a summer camp and call it Camp Cutthroat Kitchen.”

Then there is the need to put the handful of likable chefs in every show you do. Does poor Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis ever get a chance to see their families? Is Guy Fieri doomed to wander the back roads of America for our amusement until the end of time? Something must be done.

Well luckily I have been working on it and have come up with some new Food Network shows. I give my ideas just a dash of tired and true, toss in a half cup of brilliance, and add a twist of the unexpected to cook up the next great shows. (You all saw what I just did there right?)

Idea 1: America’s Top Prison Chef (or Iron Bar Chef)

Prison cooks are some of the most inventive cooks on the planet. They have to make food with low grade materials for folks that have the most discriminating of pallets and the shortest of tempers. It is time to showcase these skills in the ultimate culinary competition.

Four prison chefs compete in three rounds. Each round a prisoner is eliminated and is then served cold justice for their failure. The winner gets a pardon from the Governor.

Idea 2: I’m Not Gonna Eat That!

Chefs will compete in three challenges. A Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They will get some of the finest ingredients from all over the world including fruits, vegetables and meats you have never heard of. These meals will then be prepared for the toughest panel of judges ever assembled. A group of five year old kids.

Will a chef be able to prepare barramundi, dragon fruit, or chard while under the watchful eyes of your typical five year old and  get them to not only eat a bite but to like it? I don’t know but I want to find out.

Idea 3: Dollar Store Chef

Can you prepare a delicious dinner for two for $25 bucks using only ingredients found in a Dollar Store? How would one of the Food Networks celebrity chefs fair? Well now we can find out as we take them to the Dollar Store and set them loose. Everything for the dinner must come from there. Meat, veggies, spices, and drinks all must come from there. It is the ultimate challenge.

Idea 4: Make Me A Sammich

OK, this one is going to be a little outside the box because it combines two reality show concepts that have never been paired before; The dating show and the food competition show.

We will take one eligible bachelor who is just looking for the woman of his dreams and twelve ladies who believe that the reason they have never found true love is not their shallowness but because they haven’t tried it in on national television. Each week they will cook a meal for him and he will make his choices based solely on the food. He doesn’t even get to see them until he chooses the last one and marries her live on the air.

Is the way to a man’s heart truly through his stomach? We will find out this fall.

Idea 5: Meat The Parents

Now before you think that the last idea was a bit sexist and degrading I am not a monster. In the finest tradition of television I have a spin off for the poor lady that comes in second on Make Me A Sammich. She gets to be the one who is wooed by 12 young men who must cook for her and her parents. Since she could not win the first contest she will need someone that knows his way around a kitchen and be able to prove to mom and dad that he can take care of their princess. Oh and the contestants will be able to sabotage each other along the way.

So there you have it. Five shows that will revolutionize not only the Food Network but television itself. You are welcome America. I egerly await a phone call from the executives on the 10th floor and I will take cash up front for the ideas and a small percentage on the back end.

So there has been a lot of ruckus in the news cycle (or lack there of depending on what side you are on) about the whole Plan Parenthood videos. I have kept my opinions on the subject to a minimum because everyone that knows me pretty much knows where I stand on the issue of abortion. For those of you just joining me I am against it with the exception of a very, very narrow set of circumstances. No, I do not want to share what they are but even in those circumstances I find the end result to be heartbreaking.

I have noticed that no matter what side you are on the issue you quickly lose the ability to understand why the other side is for/against it. I can understand that if you do not believe that life begins at conception or at the very least heartbeat that you just think of it as tissue or a benign tumor and have not problem surgically removing it. I also understand why you would think it silly for folks to clutch their pearls and get all huffy about the issue. It doesn’t make those folks stupid, dumb, ignorant or some sort of woman hating monsters trying to force their religion on you.

I can also understand those that believe that an abortion is essentially ripping a part a tiny human in the most horrific way possible is wrong and think that those who think this is a good thing are nothing but ghoulish monsters who cant wait to bathe in the blood of the innocent. It doesn’t make those folks horrid, godless, or heartless.

I am also perplexed about the calls to defund Planned Parenthood. I am even more perplexed that a private non-profit group that charges for its services and makes money off of selling products based on a result of their services and received millions in private donations is receiving any government our money.

No one has been able to justify to me why they should get tax payer dollars (feel free to try in the comments). I really do not understand why any private non-profit would or should receive any public money no matter what they do (again please feel free to try below). I do not understand how the government can pick and choose which one gets the money and which one doesn’t. You may say it is because of the donations they make to hookers politicians election funds, but there are plenty of private non-profits that do the same but do not get to suck at the teat of government largess.

However the damage is done and Planned Parenthood will continue to get cash to keep doing what half the country thinks is morally repugnant. That is the way it works. Once something receives government funds the chances of it stopping is about the same as me winning this week’s Powerball (which is zero because I don’t play Lotto). So all the cries to de-fund Planned Parenthood will be useless and a waste of energy.

Now, before you get all upset I do have a solution. That is what I do for a living after all. I live to provide solutions to problems and in this case I have come up with a solution worthy of King Solomon himself.

Instead of taking the money away from Planned Parenthood we just link their funding to a similar group. Planned Parethood is a private non-profit, that provides services to a community, charges for their services and makes money off a result of their services and receives millions in private donations. If they also receive taxpayer money then it is crony capitalism at its finest! So, we should just find a private non-profit that at least half the country finds morally repugnant and give them an equal amount of money.

That organization is the National Rifle Association. Think about it, giving an equal amount of federal money to both organizations would go a long way to calming things down. Is this the best solution? Nope. However I learned a long time ago you can not make everyone equally happy but you sure as heck can make everyone equally miserable. From what I understand the NRA currently does not receive taxpayer dollars (if they do it is nowhere near the amount Planned Parenthood does.) It is a simple and elegant solution. Those on the right hate Planned Parenthood and see it as their sacred mission to destroy this godless blight on our national soul and those on the left hate the NRA and see it as their sacred mission to destroy this godless (or whatever they believe in) stain our national soul. Both sides get to keep doing that but the reality of that never happening will be secure.

See everyone is happy, or not. I don’t really care. Abortion is wrong and you will never make me see it any different. You may think it is ok and nothing I will say will ever make you change that. I understand that and accept that. Just don’t ask me to pay for your thing and I won’t ask you to pay for mine. You believe in Planned Parenthood or the NRA then give your money to it and do not demand that I give mine. It doesn’t mean that I hate women or that you are heartless. It is just the way things work.

So fully embrace crony capitalism and support the Planned Parenthood-National Rifle Association Spending Bill. Call your congresshookerman and tell them to fund both organizations fully and equally. Bipartisan and all of that.

(For the record I also do not support the NRA. I have my reasons and no I am not going to share those either.)

Since my main theory is nobody pays attention to anything you say on the internet unless you can put it in a picture with witty comments I have come up with one to support the Moore-Simmons Act. For those who remember my proposal is that Congress give one of President Obama’s ideas a try and raise taxes on the rich. However he needs to prove that the strategy of raising taxes on the rich will not ultimately harm the economy, so I suggest that he start with the Entertainment Industry. Raise the rate of the millionairs and billionairs who make over $250,000 a year that work in movies, television and music as well as any group that profits from them, to 75%. That way if it doesn’t ruin the industry then it would be ok to roll it out to others and if it destroys the industry then we really haven’t lost anything.

So I named the Act for two of the greatest champions of the poor and downtrodden we have known, Michael Moore and Russell Simmons. It is hard to argue against raising taxes on the rich when you have two men that waste their wealth on gold toilets and stuffing his gullet say that they are willing to pay more, but only if the government forces them to. Feel free to borrow this ad and pass it around.

A Proposal to Congress

Posted: November 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is a copy of a letter that I am going to send to members of the Congress from the State of Florida. I am in the process of searching out their email addresses to do so (it is much harder than you think to get this information) as well as sending a copy to all the major news networks, prominent radio shows and blog sites. I just wanted to give you all a first look at it. It is time we all come together and support the President, but to do so in a small way that will prove beyond a doubt that one of his most controversial idea could work.

To: The Florida Congressional Delegation of 2012

Dear Senators and Representatives,

Now that our very contentious election is behind us and President Obama has won a second term in office I believe that it is time to put partisanship behind us and find ways to work with each other. This will mean having to do what most of you consider to be political suicide, but in order for our nation to remain a great one we will have to do it. You will have to compromise and give both sides some of what they want.

I have always been one that wants to offer solutions instead of contributing to the problem. To that end I believe that we need to embrace one of the President’s proposals and generate much needed revenue for our nation. It is time that we tax the Millionaires and Billionaires (those that make over $250,000 a year). However a vast number of Americans do not believe that this approach will work so we must ask a sub group of the Millionaires and Billionaires to step up and be a test so show this nation that it will work. This way we can test the idea that raising much needed revenue can be achieved through this method without harming our economic engines in the process.

I call this the Moore-Simmons Act (named after two great champions of the underprivileged and members of the M&B subgroup this act will target Michael Moore and Russell Simmons). This Act will raise the income tax rate on those in the entertainment industry who make over $250,000 a year to a modest 75%. This would apply to anyone who performs in movies, television, radio, plays, or concerts and associated functions that draw income from the industry (i.e. agents, producers, directors, etc). There is a vast pool of citizens who get in front of a camera that make vast amounts of money that they should be paying a higher rate. Anyone, from Oscar award winning actors to newscasters to reality TV stars, to musicians playing sold out concerts and the thousands more who benefit directly from their labors would be included. They can afford it.

Also in the Moore-Simmons Act we could tax any production that outsources its work overseas just to avoid Federal and State taxes. Did you know that many of our movies and television shows that depict their stories being set in American cities are actually shot in Canada, New Zealand or Australia to get around tax and union rules? That is a travesty that must be answered and this Act will do it. Also we can require that all productions of movies, television, radio and even news broadcast would be required to utilize union labor no matter where in the world it is produced. Those hard working men and women deserve work and employment and it is shoddy for the Big Corporations that produce them to move them out of the country to avoid giving them much needed work.

Now I know that some of you may claim that raising taxes this much would be unfair and end up destroying the Entertainment Industry. I do not think it would do so. Many in this industry have publically stated that they would love to have the government raise their taxes and have publicly supported our President in his attempts to do so.  I am sure that with their open and public platforms many would support this and produce tweets and You Tube videos in support. If it works and we can show the American people that you can raise taxes this much on Millionaires and Billionaires without destroying the Entertainment Industry then we can spread it to other sectors of the public as well. If it turns out to be a disaster and destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people it will be OK because out of all the economic engines in our country the Entertainment one produces the least for the amount of money they earn and also there are scores of young men and women in this country that would be willing to star in the next Hollywood film for far less money than Tom Hanks or Gwyneth Paltrow will accept, or cut a hit record for less money than Madonna or Jay-Z.

This may also help artist because if they have to pay a higher tax rate then they will have to make more money to pay it and live the life they are accustomed to (one that many of us in the 99% could never afford) they would actually start putting out movies, television shows and music that people would actually enjoy partaking in, instead of the steady stream of mediocrity that they produce now.

So, I urge each and every one of you to create and pass the Moore-Simmons Act for the good of our country. It is time that we work together and at least test to see if some of the President’s ideas will work for our country. I know that this may not be done before January but for those of you that are still in congress you can work on this now. For those that lost their elections and will be departing I thank you for your service and ask that you forward this to the incoming member that will be taking your place in a show of bipartisanship.

Please consider this. It will help heal our country and make us strong again. It will be a test of a greater idea and those immediately affected by it will surely not mind since they have more than they need and have stated their willingness to give.

Sincerely,

Derek Collins

Jacksonville, FL

Further contact information available upon request.

P.S. In addition to your esteemed selves I will be forwarding a copy of this letter to all the major news networks as well as several prominent radio host and blog sites to help build popular bipartisan support.

What I have been noticing is that nothing seems important anymore unless you put it out there in a meme. For those that don’t know what a meme is it is basically where you take a picture and attach a witty snippet to it and then others take the same picture and put their own spin on it.

In this political season I am starting to get the suspicion that folks have photos pre-staged and wait until a candidate says something to release them. What I have discovered is this does two things.

1. It reduces peoples knowledge of a particular subject to bumper sticker thickness.

2. It allows people to say some of the dumbest and cruelest things about other human beings but be ok because it is funny.

Well recently on Facebook I have been trying to post some serious stuff, but it doesn’t seem to generate much interest. I am by nature a funny guy and when I try to be serious it tends to not get noticed. Then I realized my problem is I would just post in text and nobody has time to read text and think about it so I came up with the idea to post my stuff in meme form. The best meme to use is anything with cute animals.

Here is one I posted about our country’s deficits:

 

See the cuteness of the kitten softens the blow of the crippling debt we are facing thanks to the current administration.

Here is one showing a recent look at what the victims of Hurricane Sandy are having to endure:

 

Again the juxtaposition of the horrors of human beings trying to survive by searching grocery store dumpsters is offset by the cuteness of puppies wondering why they would get in trouble for digging through the trash but humans will not.

Here is something I expect the Occupy crowd to pick up and run with. A little current event of the creator and destroyer of Star Wars, George Lucas and his recent good move to sell his company to the Walt Disney Corp.:

 

See the cute kitten is reacting to the blatant hypocrisy of Lucas.

So if you want to be heard and people to pay attention to what you say, just put it in a snappy meme. Include pictures of baby animals, cute kids making funny faces, and any other number of creative things you can find on the internets. Slap them together, up load them to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and then snark away!

Who knows you may be the next meme hit and one step away from moving on to more advanced viral YouTube videos.

Book Excerpts

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

A while back I started posting on Facebook a bunch of quotations from a book that did not exist. It was called The Untold Hazards of Living in a Fantasy World. Some folks thought it was a real book and then encouraged me to actually write the thing. Since writing a book is really hard I am working on a short story set in the world of the book called “Edwin and the Dragon of Bellamont”. As I am working on that I thought I would post all the the Facebook excerpts for your enjoyment.

Here they are:

“I stepped in unicorn poop!”

“If a fairy bites you, everyone thinks that is cute. Now if you squash said fairy like a bug for biting you, well suddenly you’re the monster.”

“As soon as I met him I realized that his sole usefulness to the group was to be fed to a bridge troll as payment if we ever encountered one on our journey.”

“One of the more difficult things to do in an enchanted forest was to find a tree to take a leak on that didn’t want to have a bloody conversation with you while doing so.”

“I asked the wizard, ‘Why do you always write your spell books in unpronounceable languages?’ He looked at me like I was a moron and said, ‘It is because most of you are too stupid to read from a book silently. Your kind always feels compelled to read out loud!”

“You would think that a princess would be jaw dropping beautiful. However the object of our quest that stood before me was somewhat…plain. However after spending a few weeks on the road with a dwarf, goblin, Minotaur and thousand year old wizard, you could forgive me for thinking she was the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on.”

“It was one thing to have to read someone’s tale of adventure. It was quite another thing to have to endure an actual adventure yourself.”

“Everything I had ever learned about wizards and their abilities was a lie. JK Rowling had a lot to answer for when I returned home.”

“What happened to Billy?”, she asked me. “He was eaten by a griffin on the road to Bellamont.” I replied. She looked at me in shock. So I tried to comfort her by telling her that stuff like that happened more often than one would think. I don’t think it helped.”

“Please take a much treasure as you want. You know, if we dragon’s had realized that hording all this stuff would make us a target for every thief and knight trying to make a name for themselves we would have just collected stamps instead.”

“No, it is the law that we provide one that is going on a quest with companions.” The king looked at the list he had been handed, “Oh dear! Are you sure that these are all that is available?” His aide nodded. “Well then,” he chuckled looking at me, “I am lucky that I have other daughters. Good luck to you.”

“As she began talking about us being married and ruling the kingdom together a panic rose up inside me. There had to be other kingdoms and other princesses that needed rescuing and here I was settling for the first one that came along.”

“As the enemy began their charge across the field I stood there with a shield on my arm and a sword in my hand. I felt my heart pound and each beat filled my chest with courage. I would meet the enemy and engage in a battle that would be sung about for generations after me. This is what it meant to be the hero. Fortunately my good sense kicked in and I dropped my sword and ran away, otherwise I doubt I would be here to tell you my tale.”

“Of course the castle would be far away with untold dangers between us and our goal. Silly me for thinking a land filled with imaginary creatures would have a sense of imagination.”

I thought about her question for a moment. “Why did I not like it there? It is like when you read a really good book that you love and someone makes it into a movie. They make changes, get things mixed up, leave the best stuff out and add things that were never there. Then you get all mad and have long arguments over the internet about it and then one day you realize you just can’t stand the thought of it anymore and throw the book away. That is what it was like. The reality of it ruined it for me.’”
“Even the elves?”, she asked.
“Especially the elves”

“The nutritional value of a maiden is the same as say, the village prostitute. However, when you are a 25 foot long beast of fiery, flying death you get to be picky about what you will and will not eat.”

More Random Rants

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ok I will admit I am being a bit lazy. I really need to sit down and compose something on just one subject, but then again these are fun too.

I will admit that Obama does have at least 3 years foreign policy experience. However does being bad at something really something to brag about?

If you made a movie about the Prophet Mohammed being a swell guy and rescuing puppies from a burning building they would still riot.

I went to church three times this week. Not a single sermon about killing folks that disagree with what we believe. Maybe it will be different this Sunday.

Newsflash for the State Department: Marines work best when you add ammo.

Excuse me General Amos, Commandant of my beloved Marine Corps. Have you stopped teaching our Marines about Beirut 1983? You should tell the State Department to go to hell the next time they tell your Marines to walk around our embassies unloaded. Shame on you!

I hate having to make the choice between getting a haircut and buying a new box of 5.56

Saw a photo from when I was back in high school. I actually said “Hey they are drinking a Pepsi Throwback.” I completely forgot that back then Pepsi Throwback was just called Pepsi.

For the record Pepsi Throwback is awesome. I can barely drink a regular Pepsi now.

If anyone thinks that all that happened in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, etc. is over some stupid movie are morons and should have all sharp objects taken from them so they don’t hurt themselves.

I got 100 bucks that says all the computers that were looted from the embassies are right now in the hands of Iranian Intelligence. Either that or they are gold farming World of Warcraft accounts.

I bet whomever is selling rocks to protesters over in the middle east are making a killing right now.

I bet it is going to be embarrassing when Muslims go to wherever it is they go to when they die and Mohammed tells them “Jews? No I said to hate shoes. Why else did I tell you to throw them at people you don’t like?”