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Category Archives: Action Blogging

Just Like Seein’ Bigfoot

You know how whenever anyone sees Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster or Ogopogo, they’re so freaked out that they can’t snap a decent picture of what’s obviously, definitely, not horseshit and is instead really right in front of them? So what you get is something that looks like a large, blurry man in a Bigfoot suit:

Bigfoot Classic

Or a snorkeler with a Monster-Shaped Sock Puppet:

Loch Ness Monster

Or I guess sometimes yes, they do get a decent picture of Ogopogo. Watch out, kids!

Ogopogo

Well that’s how I feel when I see a Women For Romney bumper sticker. Let me tell you something – they are OUT there. You just have to keep your eyes open. My friend Spang and I call each other when we see them – ohmygod, ohmygod, OHMYGOD! TOM! I SAW ONE!

Then we get cosmos. Other than that, we’re pretty manly.

But not the bumper sticker. I’ve never been able to get a clear picture of one, but here’s an artist’s rendition straight from my own personal Google Image files:

Women For Romney

See? It’s pink – that means chicks dig it. And some of the letters are all fancy, like a girl wrote it on her notebook, a girl who doesn’t just “like” Romney, but who “‘like’ likes” him. Sometimes they don’t even get bumper stickers, they just spray paint their whole Romney-ending name all over their car, as if they’ve already married him and his First Wife. Stephanie Meredith Romney! In a big heart, you know.

But anyway, today I saw this cryptozoological wonder cross my path:

Bigfoot2

Holy shit! Christians For Obama!

At first, I didn’t even comprehend it. Why would Christians ever vote for a guy who is not only a Muslim, but also a Satanist AND an Atheist? FROM KENYA?

I don’t know, but this guy not only did it, but he’s permanently bragging about it on his car! Who’s driving it, Mothman??

I’ll tell you, it was a spiritual experience, like looking the Abominable Snowman right in the eye across a card table, thinking, “He’s got the jack. He doesn’t have the jack. HE’S GOT THE JACK!”

Surely you can relate. Anyway, someone needs to fly me to Loch Ness or to Bigfoot Town (Canada? Seattle? I don’t know where Bigfoot lives) cause do you see how I calmly stopped texting while I was driving, and snapped a picture of the Sasquatchmobile? I’m like motherscratching Steve McQueen, baby.

Cool, now I have to go run this by some network execs, make some scratch. Don’t show anybody, blogosphere, because it’s not worth any money that way.

Bigfoot SuitNow, I know a lot of you are like, Tom, that could just be a Jesus Fish Eating A Darwin Fish bumper sticker wearing a Christians For Obama bumper sticker suit. Like when those knuckleheads said they had Bigfoot in a freezer and instantly, pre-Tom-On-Facebook, someone came to my desk to show me their Facebook page and asked me what I thought of it.

I said, “Well, shit, I’d say that’s either Bigfoot in a freezer, or it’s a Bigfoot Suit in a freezer. And since we already know there are Bigfoot suits, and since we don’t know if there’s Bigfoot, etc., etc. etc.”

Well – we’ll just have to let Science decide, and Science can tell History, and someone from Television can give me a check, is how I think this works. I’m going to get a new suit and a steak dinner, you guys stay here in case my studio check shows up.

 

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The Tommy C Workout

WorkoutThe first thing we need to do is put on our running shorts, that way there’s no question that we’re going to work out. I wear the stretchy kind, but they have a sort of outer, non-stretchy layer so you don’t look so silly and leggy, and I like to put my socks on from last night, since they’re going to be filthy pretty soon anyway.

But the last thing we want to do is go off all half-cocked, run straight out the door like a Nike commercial. As a general rule, if you are working out for an hour, it should take you about three.

Like we have to have coffee, and coffee makes you pee and dehydrates you so first we drink a quart of water, then three cups of coffee while we Facebook in our running shorts. What we’re doing here is limbering up – go ahead and wiggle your toes a little, that counts as stretching.

After about three cups of coffee, it’s starting to feel like time to get out the door. Here’s a Pro Tip – make sure you check very thoroughly as to whether or not you have to go Number Two. If you have to go Number Two while you are running, you’re either going to stop running, or you’re going to go Number Two. I guess the good news is, wherever you are, you’re very likely to run home at that point so if you’re just starting out..

No, that’s gross. Now let’s eat an egg. No bread, no toast, no taters – just an egg. You can go ahead and cook it, we’re not Rocky Balboa. Sometimes if it’s the middle of the day by the time I get around to it, I eat a couple handfuls of peanuts instead. Something about the protein, I don’t know, that’s what works. Maybe a banana. No whiskey, even if it’s after noon.

Cool, now we stretch a little bit, then it’s out the door. Just push that procrastinating voice off to the side, tell it, Screw You, Voice, We’re Going Running Right Now And –

Oh my God – look at this bunny!

Bunny on Walk

I think it’s some kind of cute little Mama Bunny! It’s got a little mouthful of grass, so it must be building a nest someplace! Look how close the cute little bunny is letting me get to it!

All right, I agree, let’s head back in and get some carrots and chop them up for the bunny, and we’d better name the bunny. How about Abraham? Sure, that sounds good. Here are some carrots, Abraham. Sorry about your Dude’s Name, if you’re really a mama.

And no, that’s not my Creeper Van there, good question. Now, let’s get in the car and drive to the park.

The whole way, we’ll grumble about running, because we hate to run. You know what the problem is? It’s all the women on Facebook freaking out about the way women are oversexualized and how unrealistic the body types are in ads, and then ten minutes later they post a picture of shirtless Johnny Depp or a hunky fireman or something, with the caption “YUM YUM.”

You know, little boys feel insecure about their body types just like little girls and forty year-old bloggers. Just sayin’.

Anywho, the trick is to grab two handfuls of your beer belly and remind yourself that you aren’t supposed to be able to do that. Don’t crash your car though, wait until you are at the park to remind yourself about your belly.

Cool, now we have to be very strategic about where we park the car, because I don’t like to run past the car at all once I’ve started. It doesn’t matter if I’ve gone three miles or three hundred feet, if I run past my car at any point, a voice in my head will say, “Hey, look, it’s the car! Let’s get back in that car, Tom. We can drive away and eat cake somewhere and apologize to our belly for trying to kill it.”

A lot of doctors will tell you to ignore voices in your head, especially if they are talking to you directly. Psshhhhh. Doctors.

So we run over a little bridge to another track, run around that one a few times, and never go back over the bridge until it’s really time to get in the car. At some point, we’ll encounter what’s known as The Wall.

The Wall is like a barricade in your mind which tells your body that you can’t run anymore. Most athletes will tell you that the key to distance running is to train yourself to Run Through The Wall.

Kool AidBut that’s dumb. Don’t run through The Wall. You’re not the Kool Aid Man. When you hit The Wall, you stop. That voice in your head is your brain, and it’s a lot smarter than your legs. It knows what it’s talking about.

Now, go home and do push ups for exactly one episode of John Stewart. Look in the mirror and suck your gut up into your chest cavity. Give yourself a thumbs up and a big smile.

Cool. Now just do that every other day, unless it rains or it’s too hot, too cold, you’re too busy, you don’t feel like it, or Greeno’s in town. You’ll be in Tommy C Shape in no time!

 

 

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Action Blogging, Volume 4

In which we return to Zanesville, but we didn’t call it Action Blogging last time and so for some reason, fewer people clicked it. No problem, Action Blogging it is.

I think we picked the Courthouse clean last time, so I’m not going to make you go in there with me. Fortunately, there’s not much to do the rest of the afternoon, so I thought we’d stomp around the streets of Zanesville and try to find out what’s up with all the gigantic vases sitting around on the streets of this town. Like this one:

Blue Vase

You could fit a skinny person in there if the top were open wider. I’ve never seen something like that sitting around on the street or in a doorway. Is it just to block the door? I don’t think so – look over here.

Rainbow Vase Approach

They’re lovely, don’t get me wrong. And they’re all over the place.

See, really what I was looking for in downtown Zanesville was a bar. I thought there would probably be several bars downtown because there were a lot of lawyers and accountants, and I thought they would be charming little hole-in-the-wall bars where they like it when you take their picture and blog about them.

So I drove a little grid around the Courthouse, couldn’t find a single bar, and that’s when I got creeped out by all the Brobdignagian vases. Me and the blogosphere, I figured, are going to get to the bottom of this.

So here we are, doing the legwork. Beatin’ the streets. Not looking for a bar anymore but open to the possibility should we happen to see one, no big deal. And the case just keeps getting more and more strange.

This one’s painted in great detail. Someone spent a lot of time on this one.

Painted Vase Painted Vase Close Up

I mean, good lord, I actually want that one.

And then up ahead here are a couple more:

Two Vases Approach

Two Vases CLose Up

Are they like alien bodysnatcher pods? Should we be freaked out, blogosphere? I’m getting a little freaked out. Look:

Vases In Line 3

Vases In Line

I think we found the hatchery. I don’t think we have enough evidence that they’re alien pods though, to do anything rash. So far, they’re just sitting around being big, weird vases. But they do seem like strange things to just have sitting around on the streets.

Look at this guy.

Law Office Initial

Not a guy, it’s a law office. Why does the law office have a table and chair set in the window? This has nothing to do with vases, it just startled me. I guess it’s just really Complete Legal Services, you get tea and little sandwiches. That’s nice.

Law Office Close Up

That’s not all that’s weird around here. There are also murals, not even a block away. Like for instance, there’s this elaborate Star Trek mural:

Star Trek Mural

Which, I mean, FINALLY. Something in Zanesville which I understand and which makes perfect sense. Would you like a closer look at it, just so you feel more safe and grounded by how normal and awesome and chicken soupy this thing is to us right now? Okay, blogosphere, no problem.

Star Trek Mural CLose Up Left

And then sure enough over here is a nice mural about the Marines – and it’s GOT A VASE IN IT!

vase mural

vase mural close up

Why the omnipresent vases? Is this really some kind of alien invasion? Obama, perhaps, trying to steal guns from the people of Zanesville? Did the lawyer buy a furniture store and just decide he liked the window display how it was? We’re going to have to really get our hands dirty, blogosphere, really flip over some rocks and shake some trees.

With blogging comes a civic duty similar to Spiderman’s or that of bounty hunters – it’s very complicated. We’re not allowed to waterboard people at random because of Obamacare, so we’re going to have to use all our wits and cunning to trace the vases back to whatever sinister..

Potter Capital Initial

Wait a tick. What does that sign say?

Pottery Capital Medium

Huh. I guess if you think of yourself as the Pottery Capital of the World, maybe you keep big vases on the streets. Examples of pottery. Sure.

Okay then. Carry on, Zanesville. I am sorry for the misunderstanding, and I’m sorry if I suggested that you were full of alien pods.

Well, blogosphere, I’m sure you’re probably thinking, damn, Tom, you couldn’t have googled that? Zanesville and big vases? Oh, don’t worry – I’m thinking it, too. Hey, let’s see what they do if we stand right in the middle of the street to get a better view.

Pottery Capitol Close Up

Nothing. A mom and her daughter crane their necks to look at the sign, and then the girl gets out her phone and takes a picture of me and then the sign. You’re not supposed to take pictures of people, little girl, that’s why I’m not taking one of you. Your mom should tell you that. Everybody’s going to think you’re weird.

Okay, now I’m just pissed at Zanesville, and it’s easier that way. I’ll see you in the morning, blogosphere.

 
 

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Lurking Around In Zanesville

All right, listen I’m sorry I hollered at you yesterday. Sometimes I get into the whiskey and it makes me a little froggy in my bloggy. Here’s an ice cream cone.

Look – we’re going to Zanesville!

Road To Zanesville

Yep, seven o’clock in the morning, and we’re on the open road, headed for the Muskingum County Courthouse, home of the dude who set his own personal collection of zoo animals free into the wilderness a few years back, then killed himself, and cops had to chase his zoo animals all over the county. Obviously, that’s not how they word it on the sign coming into Zanesville, but if I run into the guy who orders the signs, I’ll run it up the old flag pole.

Zanesville is best described as lumpy, like they built the town on a giant, horribly messed-up bed. It’s old, too, and looks sleepy. A lot of lawyers, oddly.

Do you think this sign is at all confusing?

Shoppers Only

I am pretty sure they can’t write me a ticket for failure to shop. This seems pretty unenforceable. So I think the sign is saying, don’t drive into Zanesville and park your car and then just expect to lurk around, doing nothing at all. Because that seems like an obviously cool, fun thing to do, and I’ll bet people are always trying that.

Well, fortunately, I’m a guy who likes to lurk. Let’s go on inside and lurk around the Courthouse. The way I see it, if you’re going to hang around someplace, Security should know about you. You got to keep them on their toes.

I always try to walk into a Courthouse like I’m there to put the SYSTEM ON TRIAL. Make some noise with my heels – click, click, click.

Holy Christmas! Look at this!

Cake Auction

That’s today! There’s a cake auction today!

That thing on the wall of the elevator is talking about real cake. We could go bid on a cake – that’s all I’m saying. Jeez.

All right, third floor, this is weird. We come out into a plain hub office that’s full of stacked boxes. People are working in an area ahead of us, but we’ll follow the arrow for the Engineer’s office and there’s this hallway. Very quiet, completely empty, and with an Exit Sign clearly marked ahead.

Hallway

A little blurry, I know. I am as you are aware, pretty easily freaked out. Because look – there are little white signs on every other door in the hallway. Guess what they say.

Not An Exit

Every door. Every door that isn’t an exit has one of these signs, clarifying that it is not, in fact, an exit.

So again, when people start putting up signs, there’s been a problem, like folks are always yanking random doors open around here. Hey, is this how I get outside? NO!

And these people have put signs up on everything. Look, here’s a fire extinguisher:

Fire Extinguisher

See? In case you didn’t know what it is. And that door next to it is not an exit, so don’t screw around with it.

Damn, fellas.

Fine – we’ll just go down to the map room at the end of the hall, but it turns out. We’re early. We need to kill twenty minutes, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than lurking. People think that lurking is just standing still but no, you can lurk in motion, you just do it slowly and dart your eyes around. Some people coming, voices from the workplace.

Let’s duck into the elevator and wait – there’s a door next to the elevator and it doesn’t say one way or the other whether or not it’s an exit. We’ll have to yank that open and:

Closet (2)

Some kind of utility closet. I swear I’m going to stand here for a few seconds thinking about how entertaining it would be to get in the closet and start shouting, pretending to have gotten trapped in it. They should put up a sign!

No, let’s get out of here, people don’t like it when you’re poking around government buildings for no reason. We’ll go lurk out front and maybe there’s a cart where you can get a hot dog with an egg on it or something. Aw dammit.

Basement

Where the hell are we? I’m not going back in the elevator, screw that but here are some stairs, a whole bunch of them. Two office ladies coming down, talking about someone named Mike. Sounds like Mike freaks them out a little bit. On up and here we are on a balcony overlooking the main atrium:

Atrium

A little blurry, but we can see there’s some stuff down there to look at. Let’s go on down, take a look, try and be calm when we’re snapping pictures from now on. It’s just a blog, Tom, relax. Do your breathing.

Hmm, here’s a table with some stuff on it in front of the Seal of Ohio, and is it religious stuff? Yes! It is, which is fine with me. It looks like the ACLU has already been by and made them take down their Buddy Jesus statue or whatever, and so instead there’s a table and it happens to have a religious book open on it. I don’t think that’s a Bible.

Religion

Oh, I see, it’s The Bible In One Year. Huh. Okay, and the desk calendar also has religious stuff scrawled all over it; I can tell it’s religious because of all the colons. Personally, I don’t care if you want to put religious stuff in courthouses, mostly because I’m lazy and indifferent. But I know the ACLU loves going around picking on small town courthouses in the middle of recessions. Aw well – sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

I guess the idea is, when the ACLU comes by they’re like, hmm, I don’t know who left that there, go ahead and take that away. And then they have a whole box of books and calendars in the back, that’s what they do at parties, scrawl on calendars.

Okay, getting creeped out, let’s head over here and check out this bell in this glass case.

Old Bell

That piece of paper hanging on it looks like it was typed decades ago, and it explains that the bell was the original town bell, and that it donged when someone died and when there was an emergency and when the Civil War started. The paper explains that the bell was brought here by boat from somewhere and then carted up through town and that it’s a very, very special old bell.

So they keep it in a glass box tucked away behind this shiny, new, prettier bell in a beam of light at the center of the Courthouse.

New Bell

It’s a replica of some other bell. Man, you guys sure love that old bell, don’t you?

All right, starting to get the old Eyeball from folks. Let’s get up to the map room, hand a guy a piece of paper that we are not allowed to FedEx, and then seriously, get back in the car and drive back to Columbus. We’ll just blog about that.

 

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Action Blogging, Volume Three

The problem is twofold. Fifty percent of the problem is that I’m busy, and fifty percent of the problem is that it’s a beautiful day on Earth. Hop in my pocket, because we’re going to blog in the car (which we are NOT supposed to do) and then we’re going to be done by the time I get to my desk. That’s it, that’s the blogging window. Steer for me, will you? I have to type.

I will tell you, I forgot how much of a pain in the ass this can be. Blogging when you don’t feel like blogging and instead want to curl up with your blanky and some hot chocolate and watch Family Feud. Don’t be alarmed, I’m just going to bang my face against the steering wheel until it stops whining.

Whoa, that was quick. Can you guess how much the driver of the car ahead of us loves Catholic Radio?

kindred spirit

Why is it in black and white? I don’t know, I did it accidentally while blurring out the license plate number, which took me long enough to figure out, so black and white is fine.

And the answer is four, that’s how much the driver of the car loves Catholic Radio. Four Units. Those suckers are straight, someone took a little time and applied those bumper stickers, one at a time until there were four of them on there. This boggles my mind, I’m getting worried about this person up here.

Let’s cut behind Kroger and get across Frantz and park and get inside.

You gotta bring all your crap inside with you, even in the middle of Dublin. They keep sending me emails about stuff getting stolen, people leaving things in clear view. GPS units, files with personal information, we can’t leave anything in here, nothing on the seats, it all goes inside and briefcases are for squares so this is going to be awkward.

Holy shit!

The Duck

This duck is hissing at me. Like, walking toward me, hissing like it thinks it’s a king cobra. Hey, screw you duck, get over here I’ll take your picture. I’m pretty sure I can take this duck if it comes down to it, but cooler heads prevail. Inside we go.

Into the elevator, and this time it’s empty but don’t start screwing around or disco dancing or whatever the kids do these days. In my building, during business hours there is a solid chance some maintenance guys are watching you on a monitor someplace. They tell me there’s an awful lot of male flexing going on in solo elevator rides, so just be aware. They say most dudes are really checking themselves out. Women on the other hand tend to use the time to check their teeth and look at phones and fix what appear to be wedgies.

Me, I just hang out and look for nose hairs, then forget about them when the doors open. Really, if you think about it, nose hairs are kind of everybody else’s problem. Other times I just stand there and try to look as cool as possible so the maintenance guys will be like, “That guy is rad, man.”

ElevatorSee? Hi dudes. The doors are big, blurry, metallic mirrors, so that’s why people are flexing and nose hair hunting and checking their teeth.

There are a lot of things you can do in here when there are people. I was born without a sense of smell (really, it’s called anosmia), so there’s not much more hilarious to me than flatulence in an elevator. I can make a pretty convincing Who Farted face, nobody can prove anything.

One time Fourth Degree Comic Black Belt Mike Rothe and I were in an elevator full of students on campus, and the power went out briefly, maybe six seconds. And when it came back on, Mike clutched at his throat and hollered “my jewels!”

But MIke spent several years in Tibet living among the monks, watching nothing but Looney Toons and old episodes of Police Squad! Legally, he isn’t allowed to crack jokes around people without training anymore, because he can actually kill you.

Most of us have to operate under simpler guidelines. Like farting, for instance. It’s funny, and anyone can do it at home.

Anyway, people really don’t like that. They also don’t like it if you pretend you’re Morpheus and tell them there are Agents coming and that they have to do exactly as you say or they’ll never get out of the building. I mean, man – they don’t like that at ALL. It turns out, there’s sort of a law against that. Live-n-learn, I reckon.

What I don’t like is when people talk on their phones in the elevator. Five people on there, you’re just spewing your conversation all over everybody like barf. (Man, this one’s gross, sorry about that). Anyway, what you do is you get out your own phone, begin having a much louder conversation, and then slowly sync it up to his so you’re answering his questions or asking followups to whatever he’s answering. If you can, fart. (Damn, sorry dudes, seriously, I don’t know what’s going on.)

Come here and look at this. That’s where we came in down there.

Down

Tom. Does Not. Like This.

Okay down this hallway here, past the front desk, tasty coffee, watch the television for a minute while they building a freaking media shrine to the dick who blew people up in Boston. Oh, they’re chasing one of the widows around, for crying out loud. I would like the reporters to put on big, brown bird suits and squawk like crows while they did that if it’s not too much trouble.

Sometimes there are cupcakes in here, but not today.

All right, blog’s over. Time to get to work. Let’s put up our feet and get on Facebook.

shoes2

 
 

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