Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rickey's Obligatory GTA IV Review (Because you needed us to tell you to buy the damn thing)

As a wee lad, Rickey’s access to videogames was severely limited (his parents flat out banned ‘em from the house). Whether or not this was a wise decision we’ll leave for you to decide, but suffice to say that Rickey isn’t one of those individuals who knows the Contra cheat code by heart or how to instantly warp to the final level in Super Mario Brothers 3. So when Rickey finally purchased his first gaming system (the ill fated and woefully underappreciated Atari Jaguar) brand new horizons of listlessness opened up in Rickey’s life. Flash forward to today: a golden age of video gaming. An age when mastering Guitar Hero is as challenging and fun as its real life counterpart. An age when Bill Murray is recording new lines for an upcoming Ghostbusters videogame written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis. An age when a game like Okami can blend art and technology by allowing the player to restore vitality to a diseased landscape by using their wii remote to virtually paint soft pink flowers blooms on a dying sapling’s young branches and cause lush green meadows to breathlessly sweep away a blighted countryside. Ultimately, it’s an age when plopping down $60 on a game provides far more bang for one’s buck than any other entertainment medium.

But it’s also an age where you can experience a chillingly realistic depiction of modern warfare in games such as Call of Duty 4 and yes, Rickey will admit that it’s a tad unnerving that an entire generation of young men has had its perception of war shaped in some measure by video games. Generally, we’re not big fans of the idea of modern technology allowing both soldiers and civilians to detach from the reality of taking another human life. So yes, for the record, Rickey's more than aware of the perils of mindless displays of desensitizing violence.

And that brings us to Grand Theft Auto, a game franchise and cultural phenomenon which you might have heard a thing or two about. Contrary to what certain public figures would have you believe, this game does no more to foster violent Rambo fantasies (if anything, it mocks them) than a quick flip through of the morning newspaper or a trip to the local cinema. This last time Rickey checked, oil had hit $120 a barrel, there was a housing crisis going on, and the price of wheat had increased by 200%. But zounds, a well crafted and brilliant game that’s intended solely for a mature demographic is being released? Commence panicking post-haste.

Set in Liberty City, a stunningly vivid depiction of New York City, Grand Theft Auto IV embodies and satirizes the conflicts that constitute NYC life: profane yet intelligent, violent yet compelling, brash yet visually rich, and obnoxious yet endearing. After an initial hour or so playing the game, Rickey noticed something rather curious: playing GTA IV causes one’s facial muscles to spontaneously pull back into a state of constant grinning. This is because this game isn’t as much of a formal game per se as it is a set of tools that allow you to do whatever you damn well please. Set within a completely open environment, the sky’s the limit. We'll be honest, Rickey found himself transfixed by merely walking around the streets of Liberty City walking with the herds of pederestrians and listening to them talk to each other.
Those who fancy a compelling storyline can play through the main plot, which involves Balkan War veteran Niko Bellic arriving in Brighton Beach with the American Dream firmly in mind he works his way through the criminal underbelly of NYC and encounters an endless string of politically incorrect lowlifes from all walks of life. But if you want to forsake the game’s narrative structure, Niko is free to explore the all the spot-on landmarks, drive around the boroughs listening to the fantastically rich radio station offerings, purchase new clothes, pick up fares in cabs, surf the internet, watch a tv show such as “Republican Space Rangers” or the 24 spoof, “Brown=Suspect,” purchase real estate, play billiards, darts, or even go bowling, then GTA IV has you covered. It’s a level of immersion and detail that you’ve never seen before in a game, and best of all, it’s a razor sharp satire of modern American culture as well as an unabashed love letter to it. And to cap it all off, you can roam around this universe with your friends online.

Rumor was that the game’s developer, Rockstar North, was going to include the suburbs extending as far north as the Catskill Mountains but scrapped the idea due to technical limitations, something which we sincerely hope becomes a reality in the upcoming expansion packs. Until then, we’ll have to make do with New Alderney, GTA’s fun little take on New Jersey. Yes, you can pick up prostitutes then proceed to beat them up and take back the money you just paid them, but if you’re getting your kicks from just doing that then there’s a good chance you fall into one of the many demographics that Rockstar Studios is lambasting in the first place. We know, with all this praise, you’re probably thinking “shill!” but rest assured, Rickey isn’t on the Rockstar payroll. And just to prove it, we feel compelled to state that the driving controls in the game are pretty tough to get the hang of, there are some nagging graphical issues (pop up, aliasing, and draw distance) and there are reports of the game occasionally freezing up for some folks. Also, we're pretty certain that Niko, fresh off the boat from some Eastern Bloc nation, wouldn't request that a cab driver flip to a radio station that's playing the new Yankee Daddy song. But these are relatively minor trade offs given the enormous scope of the game and how it uses atmospheric sights and sounds to create something that feels completely alive and vibrant. Rickey’s verdict: the GTA franchise is a juggernaut for a damn good reason. Obviously, due to all the violence and profanity, kids under the age of sixteen should probably sit this one out. Everyone else, do what you need to do in order to procure this game pronto.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun With Google

We love this column, primarily due to the fact that it it requires minimal effort and creativity on Rickey's part. Hello Monday morning write-in! Below are a few recent search strings that led people to RwR:

“ideas for a banner for leukemia” Rickey can guarantee that you will not find any helpful advice for that here. Good thing we’re #1 for that search in Google!

“rickey johnson president fat city cycles” You know what’s hilarious? When some poor lonely man tries to Google himself and finds Rickey’s site instead.

“Back yard joust” [slowly reaches for phone to dial 911]… Back yard jousting? We don’t want anyone getting hurt… nah, cancel that. On second thought, they’ll never go through with it.

“Tryptophan date rape” [hastily reaches for phone to dial 911]

“BROTHERS JOHNSONS FUNKADELIA BLOGSPOTS” All your blogspots are belong to the funkalicious Brothers Johnsons!

"topless robot" Would it be easier if we just put 911 on speed dial…?

“I don't give a shit about the barracudas” Hello, new banner slogan!

“mercury mets” The horror, the horror…

“Stock Market Tips” Looking for an investment advice, huh? Well, one word: Hollywood. People love to be soothed by mass entertainment when economic times get harsh.

“rickey rickey rickey” It’s like “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” but far superior!

“jarrod lorenzen” Will his star ever stop rising?

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Weekly Linkage!

*You know, call us nuts, but that looks an awful lot like one of the kids we featured in our Finger Jousting expose last year…

A little while back, we mentioned that Rickey had taken time out from his busy day to enter a little contest over at Mark Rayner’s website. Now, we’ll freely admit that Rickey’s submission isn’t nearly as awe inspiring as some of the other entries in that contest, but if the Clinton presidential campaign has taught us anything, it’s that the best way to react to insurmountable challenges is by fabricating entirely new realities and outright falsehoods. And that’s where you come into the picture. Here’s what you can do: proceed to the post by clicking here and vote for Rickey’s submission (it's the "E-Secretary" one) in the panel on the lower right side. Is this cheating? We don’t know for certain. You’ll have to check with Mark, but Rickey sees no reason why this practice wouldn’t jive with the maple syrup swilling flannel wearing constitutional monarchy free balling way of life they just seem to love living up there in Canada. So go vote—Rickey has his eyes on the prize. And now on to the links…

In our quest to fill your daily quota of ridicule and scorn for all things Disney related, we bring you a news story about a mother assaulting someone for cutting in line for a ride at Walt Disney World. What was that ride, you ask? Why the Mad Tea Party, of course. (Although it would’ve been equally funny had it been Aerosmith’s Rock n’ Roller Coaster ride).

Fresh off his latest cinematic masterpiece, “In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale,” Uwe Boll figured it would be a bright idea to contact gaming developer Blizzard to inquire about making a “World of Warcraft” movie. Their epic response: "We will not sell the movie rights, not to you...especially not to you.”

This week in our latest installment of “How Not to Run for Public Office,” we proudly present the tale of one Tony Zirkle, a fellow seeking the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 2nd District who thought it a bright idea to give a speech at a birthday party for Adolph Hitler. Quoth the Zirkle: “I'll speak before any group that invites me; I've spoken on an African-American radio station in Atlanta." Yeah, well uh, best of luck getting a call back from them Tony…

And if that didn’t remind you of why you’re seriously contemplating permanently relocating to France, take a look at Michelle Malkin’s venomous post analyzing which terrorists support which Democratic Candidate. Mmm, now that’s good bile. Cute stuff Michelle, but it’s nowhere near as funny or original as the “Ask A Jihadist” spoof column in last week’s New Yorker in which a fictional Ayman al-Zawahiri states: “Al Qaeda is only interested in American elections to the extent that we can plunge them into abject chaos. So this year, as in every other year, we are supporting Ralph Nader.” (Read the entire New Yorker column, it’s a riot).

The promo poster for Season 7 of “24” has been released. (In case you haven’t been with us since the early days, Rickey’s a bit of a “24” nut). The good news? Tony Almeida is back, soul patch and all. The bad news? Bill Buchanan looks eerily similar to Neil Patrick Harris. And who’s this John Billingsley guy who’s been cast in the show?

There's always room for Jell-O, right? Usually we’d say yes, but not when a tractor trailer flips over and spills it all over Interstate-95. (Bill Cosby seen fleeing scene).

If you’re like Dr. Katz, the chief mental health official of the U.S. Veterans Affairs, and you’re trying to draw attention away from the fact that there are 12,000 suicide attempts by veterans each year, it’s probably a bad idea to start your emails with the phrase “sssh!” But in Dr. Katz’s defense, it’s tough to get across to shell shocked Vets when you’re an animated squiggly character.

The park officials at Lowry Zoo thought a moat could contain a group of Patas Monkeys, and how very wrong they were. It’s like “The Great Escape,” but starring monkeys. Paddle, monkeys, paddle! Paddle for freedom!

The Seattle Mariners are doing something very nifty at their ballpark: allowing fans to order food, beverages, and access a live game feed, free of charge, through their Nintendo DS during games as Safeco Field. Now that’s an innovative use of widely-available technology, but it comes as little surprise given the fact that Nintendo owns the Mariners (and every goofball quote that comes out of Ichiro’s mouth). Asking for a similar service at Shea stadium will most likely earn you a slap upside the head and an abacus thrust into your hands.

And a quick check in with the Mets reveals that:

1) Everyone seems to have completely forgotten how to hit the goddamned ball.

2) We’re another two weeks away from Pedro Martinez being able to throw off the mound and only a mere month until we get reports of his latest “setback.” (Sorry, but we’ve done this dance for the past two years now and know all the steps by heart).

3) Thanks to a voodoo hex placed on it by the Figueroa family, Orlando Hernandez’s foot will remain in a boot for two more weeks.

4) After much deliberation, Willie Randolph has gone with his gut and decided to have Moises Alou and Angel Pagan roll a 12 sided die to see who gets the position in left field.

But on the bright side, Johan Santana (aka Baseball Jesus) continued to earn his paychecks last night, and thereby saved you folks from having to read an angry “Weekly Mets Update” column featuring a picture of a pilot ejecting from a fighter jet just it slams into the ground. (We’re saving that one for later!)

Punching out,

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rickey's Guide To Gym Membership

As we’ve mentioned before, Rickey has been on a fitness kick recently, and has gleaned many choice tidbits of information from his time spent toiling on various devices of physical punishment. And while we recognize that there’s a dearth of easily accessible “how to” guides on fitness out there, we can guarantee that none of them were written by a guy who responded to the inability to change a flat tire on their car by consuming a large amount of Lucid absinthe and proceeding to spend the evening completely disabling his network router setup (Rickey was only trying to open his NAT settings goddamnit). Call us nuts, but we figure that experiences like that qualify us to write a fair and balanced set of guidelines on the masturbatory realm of self-improvement. Behold Reubensesque readers,

Rickey’s Guide to Gym Membership

Don’t forget to bring a towel. Trust us, forty minutes of cardio will have you perspiring like Nixon during the 1960 Presidential Debate. (As we speak, Rickey’s writing a book arguing that the Vietnam War could’ve been avoided, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis might never have occurred, and people would still have faith in American government if only Richard Nixon had brought a towel).

Remember to glower whenever possible. Nothing says that you’re taking this workout thing seriously quite like menacingly staring at people as they walk past you. We’re told that the ladies especially like this!

Find an inanimate object to focus on in the men’s locker room. You know how NYC subway riders have perfected the art of staring at ads in the attempt to avoid making eye contact during their commute? Yeah, you’re going to need to master this technique before you even step foot inside the men’s locker room. Without discussing the details (Rickey has seen interminably horrific things that he cares not to talk about) we can tell you that men have no shame, and a shockingly massive amount of man-bush roams free in the men’s locker room.

Make yourself heard. Rickey has noticed that a lot of folks tend to grunt a lot to emphasize the fact that they’re really working their muscles. So we’ve decided to take that practice one step further by emitting a long primal scream whenever starting or completing a set.

Those mirrors they’ve got setup all over the gym? Yeah, those are for you to admire yourself (and others) with. Get used to the idea that you’re paying $70 a month for the privilege of vainly ogling yourself in the mirror.

Avoid sports drinks at all costs. Oh wow, Gatorade has rolled out a new low calorie sports drink! Hey, you know what else has few calories? Water, that’s what.

Look for things to gripe about. Let’s say that your gym has televisions equipped on all the elliptical machines, treadmills, stair masters, etc. Now let’s say that your gym has decided to carry the YES network on these televisions, but not SNY. Is this cause for complaint? You freaking betcha. Will your inability to watch Aaron Heilman give up four runs in the seventh inning earn you a refund of some sort? Doubtful, but it’s worth a shot nonetheless.

Be courteous. If another fitness enthusiast rudely demands to use the abs machine when you’re resting between sets, by all means, allow the busy fellow to do so. But not before kindly informing him that it’s totally cool, because he needs to use the machine more than you do anyway.

If the exercise looks incredibly embarrassing, it’s probably good for you. Rickey has been told many times that in order to ACTIVATE HIS CORE, it is necessary of him to do squats and lunges. But have you seen what some of these people look like while lunging their way across the gym or squatting in the corner? Yeah, there’s a damned good reason Rickey flatly refuses to do these exercises.

Conversely, that nifty looking fitness machine that looks like it was designed by H.R. Geiger probably won’t do wonders to build your muscles. Does this stop Rickey from clambering into it and doing three sets on it daily? No it does not.

After your workout, avoid the urge to consume your net weight in cheese. This is actually a whole of a lot harder than you’d think, but the bottom line is that if you can eat roughly the same amount of food as you were before, you’re on the right track. And whatever you do, don’t plop down on the couch after an arduous workout in your sweaty gym clothes. Your significant other will not be pleased by this.

Finally, remember why you’re going to the gym in the first place: to get really, really high. For those two hours after a grueling workout, Rickey is a happy camper riding high on a crest of endorphins. For those two hours, life is good.

(And then reality sets in when Rickey remembers he’s still without a working internet connection and a decent lugnut wrench).

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rickey's Summer Movie Preview

If the attentive individual were to take the time to cast a quick glance out the window, they would notice the fact that the warm months are rapidly approaching. And we put it to you thusly: are you going to spend your summer outside in a hammock blissfully reading a book? No, you most definitely are not. You’re going to drive to a hideous mall somewhere, spend thirty minutes circling the lot looking for a parking spot, then sit your ass down in a freezing movie theater to get your ear drums blown out and your soul trampled on out by the lowest common denominator of mass entertainment. And lucky you, Rickey’s here to help you with that selection. So here are Rickey’s opinions on some of the big releases coming soon to a theater near you.

IRON MAN. Rickey was initially excited for it, but upon second consideration, our enthusiasm has dwindled. First off, thanks to an overzealous ad campaign, Rickey’s already seen 95% of the movie in the commercials. That’s kind of an issue. Moreover, even if Rickey hadn’t seen the trailers, we’re pretty sure we could guess how this movie unfolds:

1) Movie starts with average guy
2) Average guy gains powers
3) Guy has wacky exploits adjusting to new powers
4) Guy defeats bad guy, saves girl
5) Room is left open for a sequel, roll credits

And in a way, this is actually worse than being merely a bad movie: it’s formulaic. If you’re a fan of the property, sure, plop down the $10 and watch Robert Downey Junior put on his “I’m Robert Downey Jr. and you’re not” face. Buy the Robert Downey Jr. IRON MAN action figure while you’re at it (comes complete with vodka bottle and kung fu grip drinking action arm!) Look, GTA IV also happens to come out that week, so if the movie studios think that Rickey will be leaving the apartment for the weekend of May 2nd for anything short of a full blown spitting cobra infestation, they are sadly mistaken.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Rickey’s not sure how the big green meanie has managed to amass such a huge following, because he’s remarkably shallow and uninteresting, even by superhero standards. As best as we can figure, it’s a modern day Jekyll & Hyde tale infused with Gamma Rays, and that’s pretty much it. Are we missing something here? Say what you want about the Ang Lee take on the franchise a few years back, at least it tried to elevate the subject material. This? Not so much. It looks loyal to the character and that’s a very bad thing. Definitely a skip in Rickey’s book.

THE DARK KNIGHT. Because all these comic book movies hadn’t quite sated your need for adolescent revenge fantasies, behold the granddaddy of all the brooding action heroes: Batman. Just to reassure you that no, Rickey isn’t totally biased against comic book movie adaptations, we are strongly recommending this flick. The movie could be two and a half hours of CGI versions of Caesar Romero, Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson doing the Batoosie in drag and we’d still line up to see it. It’s Batman people: the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, get with the freaking program here already.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. Despite Rickey’s initial reservations, this is another solid property we feel fairly comfortable in endorsing sight unseen. Rickey eagerly awaits the return of the movie franchise that was responsible for the PG-13 rating classification being created by the MPAA.

THE LOVE GURU. Will someone kindly inform Mike Meyers that his career is officially over? The guy doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo, and really, we hate to see him go through all the trouble of seeing him doing his very best Austin Powers impression for a movie that’s going to take in $25 million domestic.

THE X-FILES 2: I WANT TO BELIEVE. Once you get past the fact that it has quite possibly the worst title in movie history, this one definitely has boatloads of potential. “I Want to Believe”? Seriously, after seven seasons which character doesn’t believe that crazy paranormal stuff is out there? Scully? Mulder? Skinner? The custodial crew at the FBI building? Everyone’s seen their fair share of UFOs, ghosties, werewolves, cults, etc., and by now, we’re all pretty much on board with the fact that yes, unexplainable things are out there in the X-Files universe. All that having been said, this looks terrific and yes, much like the strongest episodes in the show’s history, this movie doesn’t revolve around the UFO mythology.

SPEED RACER: Hey kids, do you like epilepsy? Well then you’ll love this nonsense. Tell you what, rather than seeing this film adaptation of the wacky Japanese cartoon series, Rickey will just drive around at 120mph with his eyelids pried open and neon lights glued to his retinas. That ought to approximate the movie experience nicely wethinks.

SPACE CHIMPS: Ah Christ, just freaking shoot Rickey already. When aliens come to conquer the Earth, they will put humanity on trial. Exhibit A will be “Space Chimps.” Mankind will argue “but wait, what about ‘Children of Paradise’? We made that too!” And the aliens will ask us which movie took in more money at the box office and then proceed to eradicate the planet.

SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE. As a child, Rickey plead with his parents to take him to see the 1986 animated Transformers film, and they cringed, refused, then finally gave in after much wailing. Rickey will undoubtedly undergo a similar experience when Ms. Henderson asks to be taken to see the new Sex & the City flick. And Rickey will have no choice but to concede, but only under the condition that he is allowed to pick the next movie, which brings us to…

CHOKE: Based on the Chuck Palahniuk book (one of Rickey’s favorite writers) this flick is about a sex-addicted colonial theme park employee who purposefully chokes himself with food at restaurants in order to gain the friendship of random strangers. Oh yeah, and he may or may not be Jesus Christ. If done properly, this could be one helluva dark, twisted, and funny movie. It will disgust 95% of the audience and Rickey most likely will love it.

WALL-E. Fuck it, we’re whole heartedly recommending this. That little robot looks cute.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This Week in Geek!

[A periodically updated column in which Rickey lets his inner geek shine by gleaming the internet for only the choicest stories pertaining to the realms of science, technology, and general nerdery].

Good news physics buffs and fans of giant science machinery, the world’s largest particle supercollider, goes online this summer. (“Supercollider? Rickey barely knows her!”) And while Rickey loves spacey new scientific advancements as much as the next commoner, we tend to get a bit nervous when we hear rumors that there’s a chance that this thing could create a black hole which would devour the Earth in mere nanoseconds. We kind of like this whole existence thing, you know? How ironic would it be if we discovered that all the black holes in the universe are the result of technologically advanced civilizations who attempted the same experiment? And even if the possibility of this contraption creating an interstellar void which would consume the entire planet is ridiculously remote, bear in mind that there’s always the chance that it might wake up Cthulhu. Then we’re all really screwed.

And because you weren’t quite scared enough of scientists accidentally killing us all, marvel at a story of PhDs at Caltech creating a form of “programmable” bacteria that will do our bidding! It has a wide range of potential applications which include medical uses, hazmat spill cleanups, and of course, destroying all humanity. You’d better believe that a Michael Crichton novel based on this is inbound and that the inexplicably popular Shia LaBeouf will star in the film version.

Whenever someone gets around to building it, the world’ tallest building will be two miles high. And it will contain rivers. Those looking for a way to make the designers of the Burj Dubai look like impotent little punks finally have their answer. Assuming the construction of something like this doesn’t sap the planet of whatever remaining resources it still has, this does look fairly nifty.

And in the somewhat less inspiring category of “mindblowingly inept science,” the makers of a popular Alzheimer’s drug have opted to rename their product in the hopes that the public will forget that the FDA ruled that it completely failed to treat Alzheimer’s Disease in the first place.

Courtesy of Japanese innovative minds, the same people who brought you Hello Kitty and tentacle porn, behold: new barcodes! There’s a barcode revolution coming soon to a UPS store near you. Are you on the right side?

According to Symantec, the number of viruses, worms, and Trojans circulating the internet has hit the 1 million mark. Awww… Rickey’s OSX based Mac feels strangely left out.

Courtesy of an uber-geeky website bearing the disconcerting appellation “Topless Robot,” here’s a link to an open letter of protest to the creators of the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll just run the quote and let this one speak for itself: “Recently, a trove of legal proceedings and assorted arcana was unearthed regarding demi-human protests to the upcoming 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons release. This list of demands was signed by 8th level half-orc fighter Angrus Torn-Eye and 9th level gnome Illusionist Gnor Fnortner, representing a group calling itself "Gruumsh, Glittergold, and Sons". It was found sealed in a bone scroll case and capped with a glyph of insanity. We publish it in hope that D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast will hear their requests.” And woo boy, that’s only the introductory paragraph—it gets better. So much better.

Huzzah, the Shell Corporation has created an eco-friendly car! And it gets 2,843 mpg! But wait, there’s more: the car has no A/C, heater, stereo, cup holder, power brakes, padded seats, CD player, power steering, power windows and only seats one! Seriously now folks, who wouldn’t want to ride around in one of these? Tremble, OPEC, tremble! Another bold step forward brought to you by the Shell Corporation!

And just in case you believed that mankind’s reckless pollution of the environment was limited to the earth, behold: a picture detailing all the space junk in orbit around the planet!

Finally, to wrap things up (and in keeping with the gleefully apocalyptic tone we seem hung up on today) Rickey presents the coolest thing he’s seen all week: “The Door to Hell” in Uzbekistan. It’s a semi underground gas fire that’s been burning nonstop for 35 years. The story goes that once upon a time, a group of Uzbek geologists were drilling and they suddenly found an underground cavern filled with gas. Possessing testicles the size of planetary spheres, they ignited it so that no poisonous gas could come out of the hole, and since then, it’s been burning for 35 years without any pause and will most likely burn for decades and decades more. Even cooler? A similar fire burns in Pennsylvania, fed by coal veins. The CO2 fumes have turned an entire mining community into a spooky ghost town (although certain residents refused to evacuate and still live there) and there’s enough coal to keep the fires going for 250 years, and yes, it’s what inspired those “Silent Hill” videogames. Hello, summer vacation spot!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

This Week In Irrelevant Sporting News...

In case you missed it, a Red Sox construction worker had the rather inspired idea of burying a David Ortiz jersey underneath the new Yankee stadium. And being your typical Red Sox fan possessing no idea how jinxes actually work, he buried it under the visitor’s clubhouse rather than the Yankee clubhouse. Smart! By the way, if any of you RwR readers hear news reports about someone claiming to have buried other Sox jerseys underneath various load-bearing pillars of the new Yankee Stadium, well, Rickey don't know nothing about it. Not a thing. No sir, Rickey was out of town when those calls were made. Rickey has alibis.

Anyhow, in a completely surprising move, the normally cool tempered & rational Hank Steinbrenner hastily ordered the shirt excavated at taxpayer expense, complete with live media coverage, in a manner eerily reminiscent of the unearthing of Saddam Hussein from his foxhole. (No word yet on the buried whereabouts of the Yankees’ dignity). So while the nation collectively exhales at the removal of this insidious article of clothing from the hallowed ground of the new Yankee Stadium, Rickey has jotted down a few ideas of his own to help put a permanent hex on the new Yankee Stadium and it’s occupants.

1) Release the Rally Monkey deep within the confines of Yankee stadium. Everyone knows that the Angels are great at giving the Yanks problems, so why not see what their team mascot can do to jinx ‘em? The Yanks must absolutely fear that little simian by now. And best of all, he’s a monkey, so he’ll have no problem evading Yankee security by swinging from electrical cords and hiding inside pipes and whatnot while subsisting on a diet of ballpark franks and beer. You don’t think the Rally Monkey running amok in the bowels of Yankee stadium might mess with the Yankees’ heads just a bit?

2) You know how a few of the more feisty nations in the Middle East have long traditions of public beheadings at soccer stadiums? We’re thinking that something along those lines could be arranged with Yogi Berra before a Yanks game. Would that be too violent? It’s a whole lot better than having to watch “Yogi and a Movie” presenting “Hoosiers” for the eight millionth time on YES, isn’t it? Eh, ok then, since not everyone is on board with the “behead Yogi Berra in public” thing…

3) Roasted Aflac duck night at the stadium it is. (Rickey has to get to Yogi somehow—we suspect that the duck’s the key to the whole operation).

4) Get Alex Rodriguez liquored up on peach schnapps (his favorite!) and introduce him to a large, overly muscular woman. We’re thinking of WWF’s Chyna, but Lynn Conkwright would also do in a pinch--the bottom line is that the dude likes his females suspiciously endowed. The theory here is that much like Samson, A-Rod’s vigor and overall baseball playing abilities would quickly be drained by this Amazonian succubus. Or, conversely, it could make him bat .585 for the rest of the season. There’s really no way of knowing until someone tries this out.

5) Play John Ashcroft’s stirring rendition of “Let The Eagle Soar” during the seventh inning stretch at the new Yankee stadium. Unlike their customary 45 minute rendition of “God Bless America,” this ditty weighs in a mere 2:36, thereby eliminating the longstanding Yankee tradition of icing the opposing teams’ bullpen pitcher. Best of all, Yankee fans get to keep their deluded notions of patriotism, so everything’s still hunky-dory!

6) Petition to have Joe Girardi replaced with Don Mattingly. We know, it’s kind of like the logic behind Rush Limbaugh telling his listeners for vote for Hillary Clinton, but bear with us, because this one might actually work. This is because as far as curses go, “Donnie Baseball” has essentially been the freaking Chupacabra for the Yanks. Take a look at the facts in this Village Voice story:

- Mattingly was drafted to the Yanks in 1979. That year, they finished 4th in their division (a year after winning the World Series).
- From 1980 to 1995, Mattingly remains in the organization and the Yanks don't win the world series.
- Mattingly retires at the end of the 1995 season after a loss in the first round to the Mariners. One year later (1996) the Yankees win the Series.
- In 1997 Mattingly raises the World Series Flag. The Yanks are promptly knocked out in the division series in 1998.
- 2000 – Mattingly has no association with the Yankees. They go on to become W.S. Champions.
- 2001 Mattingly serves as hitting instructor in Spring Training. The Dynasty pretty much ends.
- With Mattingly as Hitting Coach/Bench Coach from 2003-2007, the Yanks get knocked out every year.

Now that, friends, is a legitimate jinx. Don Mattingly for Yanks manager immediately! The coaching decision by Girardi to pitch to Manny Ramirez this past weekend was completely unforgivable!

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Feats of the Wit!

Every once and a while, Rickey comes across an online contest that tickles his fancy and kindles his inner competitive fire. We feel that the one we’re about to delve into absolutely qualifies as such. Because nothing makes for good comedy quite like yesterday’s dashed visions of tomorrow, Author Mark Rayner over The Squib (your one stop shop for all things monkey-related) is running a contest revolving around vintage ads of fictional futures. The premise behind the competition is that you must comb the internet for vintage ads and then insert a product in them from a fictional future. Kind of nifty, no? Behold, the rules!

1) Create your masterpiece
2) Post it to your blog (Wondering why you had to read about this today? Well this is why)
3) Link to Mark's post
4) Wait for the aplomb and/or ridicule of your peers. (There will be much of the latter we’re assuming)

What could drive such a vain and self centered fellow as Rickey to spend a whopping 7 minutes on this exercise? Well you see, the grand prize consists of a prominent walk on role in Mark’s upcoming novel, and that prompted Rickey, ever in search of literary immortality, to cast his mismatched hat in the ring. Please note that while Rickey was one of the miscreants formally tagged to participate in the contest, it is open to anyone with a keen sense of humor and a basic working knowledge of graphics editing software. Or you could just scribble "I am the Omega Man!" in crayon on a postcard of Belleville, NJ and submit it to Mark and see what happens. And so, without further delay, below is Rickey’s submission:
A disclaimer: Rickey doesn’t have Photoshop, so this stunning composition had to be crafted on the graphical powerhouse that is Microsoft Paint. Another disclaimer: the submission is more marginally clever than funny, but hey, let’s see one of you bastards do better. A hearty handshake goes to the first person to correctly identify which trippy 60’s science fiction novel the slogan is derived from. Two hearty handshakes go to the person who can identify the nickname of those who are enthusiasts of the author of the story.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Consoling The Inconsolable

Despite last night's Mets victory thanks to a hellacious number of Phillies errors and the mystical powers of Mike Pelfrey's pacifier mouth guard, Rickey has noticed an inordinate amount of squawking reverberating from the Mets fanbase as of late. From whence does this fickle dissatisfaction hail? Rickey's assuming that the recent whining sprouts from the fact that many Mets fans out there might be relatively new to the idea of rooting for this storied baseball franchise. So we'd like to take a moment to address you casual newcomers directly:

Hi! Everyone here? Great, allow Rickey to proceed. So you've decided to become a Mets fan, congratulations! Rooting for the Metropolitans comes with a unique set of challenges and rewards that greatly distinguishes it from rooting for... let's say the Yankees. Twenty six World Series wins have earned their fans the right to expect great things from them each and every season (no matter how insufferably prickish they might be about it). Your Mets? Not so much. So while you may be deeply unsatisfied that Johan Santana has yet to snatch an airplane out of the sky and hurl it at Turner Field, just take a deep breath and relax for a second, ok? Because when you put things in perspective, Mets fans have no right or historical basis to expect a bombastic 7-0 start to the season.

You see, newbies, following the Mets is essentially the sporting equivalent of reading a "Choose Your Own Adventure!" novel. Turn to page 67 to read about Jose Reyes being named NL player of the month. Turn to page 110 to read about Reyes doing his very best impression of Rey Ordonez at the plate. The Mets, while often thrilling, will continue to find new and unique ways to screw the pooch (no matter how much of a big market team they have become in recent years) and it’s up to you to turn the page and find the silver lining in each day’s newspaper headlines. This will undoubtedly prove difficult as Rickey can tell you firsthand that the Mets are not a team that is known for making things easy. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll be lucky to be watching a sunny day game at Shea when John Maine pitches a brilliant no hitter, David Wright hits for the cycle, or Willie Randolph, against all odds, masters the complexities of the double switch.

Baseball seasons are long for a very good reason: this sport is something you are meant to enjoy gradually, much like a fine scotch or a stimulating evening of crocheting novelty teapot cozies. Try to judge the Mets on a day by day basis and you might come up against severe disappointment. Besides, have you ever actually tried to sit down and intently watch an entire 4 hour baseball game on tv? It’s not easy, is it? This is why Rickey usually has the game on the television while he’s doing other things—it makes for terrific background accompaniment. This attitude is what enables Rickey to weather the inevitable peaks and troughs of each season. Not happy with this less intense concept of being a Mets fan that Rickey’s preaching? That's fine: you’ll find all emergency exits properly marked and easily accessible. The Red Sox and Yanks bandwagons haven’t quite achieved critical mass just yet…

And with that, Rickey’s out. Tomorrow, Rickey’s taking the old man to a ball game at Shea, where the two of them will do their damndest to remember everything Rickey just typed as they behold Nelson Figueroa emerging from baseball exile to pitch his first MLB game in four years.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rickey Recommends

This is where Rickey posts recommendations of noteworthy consumables, practices, and pastimes that have been deemed invaluable for the reader’s betterment. All products and pieces of advice listed herein have been Rickey tested and approved. Again, this is in no way shape or form a complete rip off of McSweeney’s (fa-la-la-la-la, lawyers, Rickey can’t hear you). Enjoy our latest installment of


Keeping meat in the freezer. Rather handy if we may say so ourselves. Rickey makes a habit of stocking his freezer with an assortment of meats and poultry at all times, just in case those Dust Bowl days return.

The musical stylings of Bruce Springsteen covering Pete Seeger on “We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions.” Rickey’s not a huge fan of The Boss, but this is one helluva great tribute album. Sorry we’re about two years late in recommending it, but Rickey’s a fairly busy guy, you know? For all you folks out there who are unfamiliar with the living legend that is Pete Seeger, pop this CD in your stereo, then batten down the hatches and prepare for rapture. Things are not as you expected. This stuff is pure revelation.

Victor Brand Yellow Jacket Traps. Those segmented-bodied pests pack a punch. Rickey learned this hard lesson firsthand when two weeks ago, one hid in a pair of his sweatpants and proceeded to sting him on the buttocks, forcing Rickey to panic and hastily disrobe in front of an open window, thereby causing much confusion and alarm in the Henderson household. (Generally, it’s a tad unnerving when your significant other shrieks and suddenly strips naked with no prior explanation or warning). Anyhow, this product traps Yellow Jackets with an alluring blend of carbohydrates and protein. Mmmm… attractive.

Lavazza Brand Coffee. Vacuum packed, sweet, rich & balls out spectacular. If Bacchus had gotten into drinking coffee rather than wine, Lavazza would undoubtedly have flowed freely from his succulent nipples. It’s just that good.

This American Life. At the gentle nudging of a buddy, Rickey gave this radio program a shot and we’re pleased to report that the results were overwhelmingly positive. You wouldn’t think that listening to their podcasts would make for the best auditory accompaniment for a workout, but guess what? They do. This American Life is terrific, riveting stuff and you won’t hear anything like it elsewhere.

Lime flavored Tostitos. Rickey, as a rule, loves all things lime-related: key lime pie, limes in Coronas, limeaide, lime Rickys, etc., but these chips take the cake. Lime flavored Tostitos have earned themselves a spot in the annals of Rickey’s favorite snack foods of all time, right next to dill pickle flavored potato chips. 2008 is the year of the Lime Tostito in the Henderson household.

The Scottish Enlightenment. A big shout out to those Scots who usually get subordinated to their French counterparts. Who cares if Rickey agrees with them or not? We'd put Hume and Smith against Diderot, D'Alembert, and Condorcet any day of the week. Oh yeah, and an added bonus: none of them lost their heads. Don’t act like you don’t know what Rickey’s talking about, Mr. Pierre "reparation d'un long oubli" Bayle…

Many Hours of Daylight. You know, the upcoming longer spring and summer days make Rickey think that maybe having a home in each hemisphere might be a champion idea.

Seeing “Shine a Light” in IMAX. Rickey’s not sure why so many folks snidely suggest that the Rolling Stones should retire, but hopefully this Scorcese film should cure them of that gross misconception. Besides, why should anyone stop doing what they love? For those not in the know, the movie focuses on the Rolling Stones emerging from their lairs to show all those overexposed emo garage bands how Rock & Roll should be done by recording at The Beacon in glorious IMAX. What more could you possibly want?

Jet Blue Airlines. Long gone is the golden age when air travel was considered a luxury and necessitated one dressing up for a flight in a top hat and monocle. So hats off to Jet Blue for dispensing with first class altogether and giving each passenger ample leg room and a tv to watch Oprah on. Air travel stinks, but Jet Blue goes a long way to suggest that hey, we’re all in this together. Not booked with Jet Blue for your next flight? That’s a bummer dude. Consider flagellating yourself like an Opus Dei member in the airplane bathroom at 30,000 feet.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rickey Can Put This On His Resume, Yes?

*If a nauseatingly copious amount of self pimpage isn’t quite your bag, then we recommend not reading past this sentence.

Everyone still here? Good, we knew that flimsy disclaimer wouldn’t deter you. Ok then, here we go. Many moons ago, Rickey completed a brief questionnaire and sent it to one of Ms. Henderson’s favorite sites, the popular USA Today culture blog, Pop Candy. Rickey did this on a whim, and with little expectation that his submission would actually be selected by the folks over there, because, well, they’re kind of a big deal. But RwR was in its infancy, struggling for a foothold on the steep slopes of the blogosphere, and Rickey was striving for fame & glory at the time, no matter how unrealistic and unattainable they might’ve been. No word yet from the Cat Fancy blog or the Lemur Aficionado blog concerning whether or not Rickey’s submissions to those sites shall be published.

Fast-forward to yesterday. Somehow, for reasons that we’re at a total loss to explain, the fates have conspired to shine brightly upon Rickey and that is what has led us to this watershed moment in the history of RwR. Exposure. (And, contrary to popular expectations, not of the indecent variety!) Because Rickey just can’t get enough of himself and urges you to govern yourselves accordingly, the entire Pop Candy post entirely devoted to Rickey can be found hither for your viewing pleasure. Indeed, Rickey’s vast media empire is rapidly expanding in both girth and notoriety—much like those animated representations of the conquest of the map of Europe by Germany during the Roaring Thirties (minus the troubling genocidal overtones, of course).

First off, let’s take a moment to discuss the picture. Rickey prefers to remain semi anonymous, so he submitted a picture with his back facing the camera. It’s a great little photographic composition we like to call “Harrumph!” or possibly “Skinny White Guy on Vacation.” But any hope of anonymity is suddenly dashed by the fact that the folks at Pop Candy went ahead and printed Rickey’s real name. Fan-fucking-tastic. But on the bright side, any one of Rickey’s ex-girlfriends can now Google Rickey’s real name, be directed to the USA Today post, read it, and be immediately reminded of the fact that they dated an insane jackass for a couple of months. So we’ve got that going for us.

Moving onto the actual items discussed in the article… They’re your run of the mill standard snarky tidbits and factoids from Rickey’s life, but what stands out in that profile is Rickey’s belligerent admission that he enjoys “Armageddon.” Now we‘ve made veiled references to this issue in the past, but this time there’s no escaping it. Rickey digs “Armageddon.” (He even owned the double disc Criterion Edition of it until a traitorous wench absconded with it). Here’s the thing: Rickey enjoys both high art and low art and tries to incorporate that here on this blog by blending the scatological with the sublime. So yes, while “Remains of the Day” may be one of Rickey’s favorite reads, he counteracts that with his affection for more base fare such as “Armageddon.” See how that works?

And oy vey, the responses… Rickey was initially overwhelmed at the sheer volume of jibber jabber generated by his profile. But then the messages in the talkback quickly devolved into an ADD addled discussion of what exactly the “base system” is, ruminations on Aerosmith’s moving opus “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” and talk of some random dude’s first gay date. So yes 1,409 comments are nice and whatnot, but we prefer our six stalwart talkbackers over the hordes of USA Today ones due to our readers’ uncanny ability to stay on topic. (Sheepish messages of “aw shucks, Rickey” are to be left in the comments section below).

So there you have it: one small step for Rickey, and one giant leap for his ego. This concludes Phase One of our ongoing five year plan here at RwR, which breaks down thusly:

Phase 1) Get blog mentioned in widely read pop culture website
Phase 2) ________
Phase 3) Profit!

Arguably, there’s room for improvement in our five year plan. Perhaps Phase Two consists of talking about having delusions of being successful & popular and hoping they become a self fulfilling prophecy…

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen, Your Mensch Of The Week

Every now and then, someone from Rickey’s walks of life does something so inspiring and flat out nifty that we feel downright compelled to include them in our periodically published “Mensch of the Week” column. Today is one such day and your aforementioned mensch is a coworker of Rickey’s named Fletcher. What did this fellow do to earn such a highly prestigious (read: inconsequential) honor? Well, friend, we’ll tell you: he will be singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium with his barbershop quartet sometime this season. Let’s repeat that: a buddy of Rickey’s named Fletch (best name ever) is in a barbershop quartet (best form of music group ever) and will be singing the National Anthem at a Mets (best baseball team ever) home game in 2008. The guy auditioned at Shea last week and the officials there most likely thought something along the lines of “screw all these American Idol wannabes, we’re going with the goddamned barbershop quartet!” and wisely chose his barbershop quartet over an insipid Kelly Clarkson clone, thereby completely defying conventional expectations. A YouTube video of their audition at Shea can be found hither (the audio is a little garbled, but you get a good idea of how much they rocked). Well done Fletch, well done indeed. Rickey salutes you and assures you that your complimentary ten pounds of assorted smoked fish are in the mail, courtesy of RwR.

And in other news... HOLY FUCKING SHIT! We don't have the time to weigh in on the ramifications of this at the moment, but rest assured, a full blown press release on the matter is forthcoming.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Of Hamstrings & Marmosets

And after allowing four hits (two of which were home runs) Pedro Martinez left his first 2008 game with a hamstring injury Tuesday night. Evidently he heard a “pop” when delivering a pitch and is now expected to be on the DL for four to six weeks. Granted, Pedro wasn't much of a contributing factor last year either but this certainly can’t be very good at all, can it now? So, in a desperate search for a modicum of levity, Rickey has combed the internet in search of a few tidbits that will hopefully brighten his gloomy disposition and that of you dreary Mets fans. It’s a fun little column we like to call:

…But on the Bright Side!

A Federal Judge has ruled that beer makers are entitled to market their products to college students. Many thanks to the good folks at ATK for making this dream a reality!

A group of third-graders have been arrested in plot to kill their teacher. (Police seen confiscating silver hammer).

Rest easy Denver, for no longer shall hordes of marmosets run rampant in your city streets.

Today, Michelle Obama and Teresa Heinz Kerry are scheduled to appear together at campaign event in Pittsburgh, thereby creating a vortex of loose-cannon quotes that Fox News will undoubtedly feast upon for weeks.

New Jersey has decided to take a bold new initiative to help foster child literacy... by giving students audiobooks. Yeah, big shocker there…

Five years after inadvertently and permanently ruining Steve Bartman's life, Moises Alou admits what everybody already knew: "I wouldn't have caught it, anyway." So at least you Cubs fans finally have some closure on the matter, right?

Have no fear grammar Nazis; those goofy wankers at Scotland Yard have decided to create their own language police. So take heed, you snaggle toothed pudding gobbling UK citizens, for no longer shall your linguistic inequities go unnoticed.

And because we were all waiting with baited breath for him to break his silence on the issue, 50 Cent weighs in on the Democratic race to the White House.

According to a recent NY Times story, overweight kids have fewer cavities. Apparently this is just one of the many benefits that inhaling one's food has over the primitive and rather dated method of chewing it.

And finally, on the bright side (and this one actually is) Rickey suspects that it's a damn good omen when he's at an NYC bar in the midst of a snake draft with a few buddies to divvy up New York Mets season tickets when all of a sudden David Wright happens to hit a monster 430 foot home run deep into the Miami night. Even better? The Mets-friendly bar has a policy of handing out free beers whenever Wright hits a home run. So thanks very much for the free beer sugarpants--you can now consider Rickey officially out of his funk (albeit somewhat hungover).

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Marvel as Rickey Tells You How To Blog!

The blogosphere is an entire world unto itself, with its own set of unspoken rules and regulations. A while back, Rickey weighed in on the matter with his own set of guidelines for blogging. But recently, exciting new developments have come to light, and several addendums to the list have therefore become necessary. And because Rickey likes to think of himself as sort of a cool uncle for all you aspiring bloggers out there (kind of like Tom Hanks on “Family Ties,” sans the drinking problem) Rickey has decided to post a few additions to the list. Newcomers, break these rules at your own risk. Behold, dear reader, Rickey’s brand spanking new:


1) Don’t blog about not blogging. If you’re not going to post today, don’t make a lengthy announcement about it, for it will bewilder, alienate, and ultimately drive away your audience. And believe us friend, when it comes to blogging, the last thing you want is confusion amongst the ranks. This is the mistake that Rickey made recently and in retrospect, it was a pretty goddamned dumb thing to do. If there’s a better way of single handedly sabotaging one’s blog, we have yet to see it. If you suspect that you won’t be blogging for sometime, mum’s the word, because having your audience wonder “Where is he? Where did he go? Is he living with raccoons in the wilderness?” is far more preferable to them not stopping by out of habit.

2) Blog your own time, child. It’s one thing to create a semi-fictional character, but don’t stray too far into the realm of the imaginary and create your own zany universe. Here at RwR, we dwell in the here and now, and strongly believe that the occasional post on today’s most topical items is necessary and unavoidable. You’ll find that this serves to ground your readers as well as reassure them that this blogging venture hasn’t rendered you completely batshit crazy and divorced from reality.

3) The lolcat is dead. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the loldog. A vast improvement over its feline predecessor, a picture of a loldog boosts your blog’s humor content by roughly 16%, and best of all, does it without being as unnervingly gay as the lolcat is. Go with the loldog, it’s a win-win situation people.

4) Pimp Yo Self. No, we’re not talking about popping up like some feral gopher on random people’s blogs and posting links to yours—no one cares for that sort of thing and it is the blogging equivalent of whipping out your junk on a first date in a crowded restaurant. No, when we say pimping, we’re talking about branding and catchy slogans. This is not Rollicking With Rickey, this is not Rolling With Rickey, nor is this Rampaging With Rickey. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Riding With Rickey and we’ve gone to great lengths to keep it that way and constantly remind you of that quintessential fact. We’ve even got our own little abbreviation, RwR, to go with it, a bevy of banners to pick from, as well as some fun randomly generating slogans at the top. Is this a little too heady for a site that’s web traffic is 93% accidental? Perhaps, but our over inflated ego is what keeps us toasty warm at night, and we’re all about sharing the warmth with our strange bedfellows here at Riding With Rickey.

5) Don’t be afraid to respond to your commenters. Nothing says “I care, you bastards” quite like climbing down from your ivory tower and getting down into the trenches with your readership to debate the merits of crossing the streams. A little healthy camaraderie goes a long way people. Over time, you’ll earn your audience's trust, and that trust will one day prove invaluable when you go off the deep end and start ranting about how "Carnal Lobster" is an anagram for Carlos Beltran's name.

6) Use Google to your advantage. Google’s unbridled dominance means that bloggers score high in Google searches, primarily because they relentlessly link to each other like trained chimps. This might seem incestuous, and it is. But honestly now, who are you to stand against the ebb and flow of the tide of internet trends when dreams of blogging grandeur are dancing about in your mind? Rest assured, over time you will develop a desperate, unshakable thirst for these links. Other than the incessant linking, another fantastically unscrupulous means of boosting Google hits is to anticipate possible future headlines (i.e., “Mets Win 2008 World Series,” “Undead Corpse of Ronald Reagan Wins GOP Primary,” “Entire Middle East on Fire,” etc.) and post them on your website.

7) Choose Your Friends Wisely. That christofascist jackass whose rantings remind you of Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory"? Yeah, you’d better believe that he’s going to follow you back home to your blog. And from there, he’ll visit any blog that you have listed in your blogroll. And then everyone will wonder “who let the fuckwit in?” and blame you. So please, for everyone’s sake, Rickey recommends that you choose your blogging buddies wisely. (If you’re a regular here, have no fear, for you have chosen wisely and are already vouched safe for).

8) Do away with the word verification. Its 7pm on a weekday night and Rickey’s tired. You think Rickey’s keen on squinting at his laptop and correctly retyping “ulijwjwtubhdf” in a small box in order for his pithy and insightful thoughts to be heard? Think again cupcake.

9) Post things your readership actually can use. Generally, folks enjoy a good “how to” post. Amidst his wanton internet ramblings, Rickey sometimes likes to take a time out to recommend things that actually have practical real world applications. So Rickey occasionally posts recipes with the intention of buying his readership another two years before they have to learn how to cook for themselves. But you can tailor your own “how to” posts to whatever it is that you folks are proficient in. Be it model ship building, gardening, or home brewing, we don’t care what you choose. You’re the hero of this story, not us.

10) Blog Inebriated. Many great writers have found inspiration at the bottom of the bottle and in that regard, blogging is no different from legitimate penmanship. That lengthy post you were planning on writing about Governor David Patterson tossing out the opening pitch at Shea Stadium may have seemed insipid and tasteless to a sober mind, but two glasses of Jack Daniels later and your blogging delusions will deepen and presto!, you’re off and rolling, writing a piece of satire worthy of Jonathan Swift.

11) Don’t Pull Punches. Rickey hasn’t made it to where he is in the blogosphere (as per Sitemeter, 47K accidental site hits and counting) by giving a damn about the fragile sensibilities of others. Who’s to say that a post concerning your recent bowel movement in the third floor bathroom at work isn’t a transcendent missive on the human condition? Look, you may be the next Philip Larkin, but if you’re letting your own damned timidity get in the way of legitimately creative material, then you’re doing a huge disservice to yourself and your readership. So make with the poop jokes already people, time’s a wastin’.

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