Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Holiday Sentiment

As you are relaxing and reminiscing with friends and family over the holidays and getting hammered in the spirit of the season - possibly with a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale - why not pause to reflect on those who have passed on who had an impact in shaping our lives and our world.

Specifically, Rick James.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Black Shabbos

The all-Jewish Black Sabbath tribute band.

Covering such classics as:

Iron Mensch
Meshuggah Train
War Tref

Electric Bar Mitzvah

Album available in stores now:


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Moon Hoax

Jason does not believe in the moon landing. I have to be honest; this seemed a little shocking to me at first. People who claim we have never been to the moon have always seemed - to me, at least - one short, delusional step away from people who think that the Earth is flat and that Nixon was framed.

However, Jason claims to have seen a documentary on Fox that persuaded him that the whole thing was a hoax. As strange as this standpoint may seem to some people, I for one can appreciate it. I personally disbelieve everything I see on Fox, so it's not too far of a stretch for me to imagine that there are people out there who conversely believe everything they see on Fox.

And, I have to admit, after doing some research on the Web I have turned up some thought-provoking photos that have brought me to doubt the government's claim that Man has traveled to the Moon.

Consider the following pieces of official NASA photography and the suspicious features that can be found therein:

Subject #1: Evidence of Life

On the supposedly lifeless surface of the moon, signs of life can be found if you look hard enough.


Subject #2: Non-NASA Personnel

On a voyage that was purportedly only made by three highly-trained NASA astronauts, brief glimpses of other individuals can be seen. This supports theories that the whole thing was staged on a Hollywood sound stage.


Subject #3: Non-NASA Equipment

On an intra-orbital mission where all the equipment had to be flown millions of miles, there is evidence of certain pieces of equipment that could not possibly have been transported aboard the Apollo spacecraft.


Subject #4: Physically Impossible Perspective

Scenes of the moon landing are some of the most closely scrutinized pieces of photography in the history of mankind. Experts in the field have found inconsistencies in some of the shots released by NASA. In the following frame, a keen observer can calculate that the size of the Earth is incongruous with what it actually would be from a vantage point on the moon.


I hope these photos have opened your eyes just a little, as they have mine, and taught you to more closely examine claims that the establishment expects you to accept as fact.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Proper Application of the Horns

Lately I have noted, with great alarm, the indiscriminate frequency with which people throw the horns in public. Traditionally the horns were only appropriate at heavy metal and - to a lesser extent - punk concerts. Today you can see people flashing the horns at hip hop shows, pansy rock bands and (shudder) country music.

In an effort to bring some dignity back to this greatly misunderstood gesture, here follows a guide to the usage of the horns in everyday situations.













Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Great Conversation Starter

In order to complete this project you will need:

1) A Dirty Car
You do not necessarily need to own the car in question, you just need to have physical access to it. In fact, many of you may ultimately prefer to use a car that you do not own.

2) A Finger

This should probably belong to you.

Write the following on a surface of the dirty car:


The car pictured above belongs to my friend Jon. After I took the liberty of decorating it we encountered a delightful variety of reactions:

A bunch of kids walked by with their parents. The kids read the words out loud as they passed by and said "I don't get it." Their parents, on the other hand, almost fell over laughing.

We walked out of a grocery store to find two large bikers dressed all in studded leather and their old lady (also dressed in studded leather) laughing over the car.

Biker (pointing and laughing): "That's frickin' hilarious, man."

Jon (scrambling for his keys): "Umm. Yes. Thank you."

The next day at work Jon even found a response written underneath:

"She is with me."

Sadly, the car received a long overdue washing before this brilliant rejoinder could be immortalized on film.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Loss of a Legend

The Fifth Column is deeply saddened to have to report the passing of a great freedom fighter and champion of progress: Mario's beloved Chinese fighting fish, Bebe Boi (also known as "The Red One").

Bebe was only a year old but his career - improbably - spanned decades. Like many Chinese fighting fish he was drawn to idealistic causes early in life, fighting alongside the French resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe:


Even so, he was never one to hold a grudge. Many years later he played a pivotal role in the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of East and West Germany:


His proudest accomplishment, however, was his return to his ancestral China where he participated in the democratic protests of Tiananmen Square:


Bebe was quietly honored today in a private ceremony, as per his instructions:


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Truth About Alcohol

I came across this pamphlet at ampm last night. It has some very important things to say that I think everyone should hear.


Like many of mankind’s greatest inventions, alcohol was discovered accidentally. In the case of alcohol, it was stumbled upon by two lab workers too awkward to express their true feelings for one another.


Today, alcohol is still primarily used to facilitate the hooking-up process. However, when used irresponsibly for this purpose, alcohol may result in children or - in extreme cases - even marriage.


There Are Three Distinct Stages of Intoxication


1) Chatty
- You become smarter
- You become funnier


2) Touchy
- You lose your inhibitions
- Articles of clothing mysteriously vanish


3) Catatonic
- You pass the hell out
- Coma or death may occur

The Risks

In fact, as strange as it may sound, there are actually risks involved with alcohol use, including:

Making Poor Life Decisions

For example, dreadlocks on a white guy.


Saying Things You Don’t Really Mean


Encountering Laser Ghost Cars from the Future


Alcohol Abuse Inevitably Leads to Hangovers


This is no cause for concern, however. Simply remain in bed until the hangover symptoms subside.


Millions of Adults are Actually Nondrinkers

These people are either:


1) Lonely



2) Losers

We hope that these facts have increased your understanding of our old friend alcohol. If you enjoyed this pamphlet, please look into our other educational materials, including:

Aspirin: The Silent Killer


brought to you by The Ministry of Counter Propaganda

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Disturbing the Peace

Today at work a memo went around about playing music:

Subject: Music within cubicles

Please do not play music through your speakers within the cubicles. If you would like to listen to music, please be respectful of your neighbors and use headphones. Others may not have the same musical tastes as you or may not be able to concentrate with the music on. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Well, in our department we all listen to music a lot. Loud. So I felt compelled to respond with this snapshot of Mario:

From: Brent Don
Subject: RE: Music within cubicles

Over. Our. Dead. Bodies.


Mario, not to be outdone, contributed this photo of me:

From: Mario Villavicencio
Subject: RE: Music within cubicles



Monday, May 09, 2005

Fish Sitting: Day Ten

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Fri, 06 May 2005
Subject: Here we go

Hey, check it out, man - Richard got a new tattoo:


Fish Sitting: Day Nine

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005
Subject: Penultimate

Someone must have overfed the fish this week, because their water looked horrible - we had to clean it out again.

DON'T WORRY, we put them somewhere safe this time. Sheesh, we're not idiots.


In a totally unrelated photo, here's Mara and me enjoying some mysterious beverages we found sitting on the counter shortly afterwards.


Fish Sitting: Day Eight

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Wed, 04 May 2005
Subject: Just chillin'


Fish Sitting: Day Seven

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Tue, 03 May 2005
Subject: Update

Okay. Don't worry about the fish. We got them back. But I don't really want to talk about it. All I've got to say is, if you don't absolutely, positively have to go swimming in raw sewage ... don't.

They seem okay, although the blue guy's been acting a little weird today ...

FYI: The head donated for this photo used to belong to this guy Derek in our office.

Fish Sitting: Day Six

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Mon, 02 May 2005
Subject: Erm ...

Umm. Hey, man.

Uh ... I don't really know how to tell you this, but we were cleaning out the Bettas' water and ... there was a bit of a mishap:


Saturday, April 30, 2005

Fish Sitting: Day Five

From: Brent Don
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005
To: Mario Villavicencio
Subject: Feliz cumpleaƱos, Thomas

'Sup, dude? It's too bad you're out this week - you missed out on Tom's birthday.


Cathy fixed up a bunch of dips and salsas and we got tacos from Milpas. They made the sauce HOT today.


I swear they're putting something new in the tacos. I don't know what it is, but they were mighty tasty.


Fish Sitting: Day Four

From: Brent Don
Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005
To: Mario Villavicencio
Subject: How's the weather up there?

Man, has it been as miserable in Carlsbad as it is down here? It took me 15 minutes to travel two blocks in traffic this morning.

It did clear up briefly for a while. It was so nice we decided to take the boys for a walk.


Fish Sitting: Day Three

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005
Subject: Round three

It was brought to my attention that Chinese fighting fish are actually fresh water fish and, as such, they were probably unhappy and/or dying in the salt water tank. So we brought them back upstairs.

Dane didn't seem to think they were real fighting fish at all, because we've never seen them fight. He started tapping on the glass and calling them "pansies," trying to provoke them, until finally the red one couldn't take it anymore and ... well, Dane's all right. The doctors say he should be back in tomorrow.

Kung Fu

Fish Sitting: Day Two

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005
Subject: Day two

You were warned that there would be consequences in the event of non payment.

You may find some consolation in knowing that at least the fish are in a better place now:

FYI, this "better place" is the aquarium in our lobby.

Fish Sitting: Day One

My friend Mario from work is working out of our Carlsbad office for two weeks and has left his Chinese fighting fish behind for us to take care of. Since we figure he probably misses them, we've been sending him pictures every day to make him feel a little less home sick.

From: Brent Don
To: Mario Villavicencio
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005
Subject: Hey, man, how's it going?

What's up, Mario? How's the Carlsbad office so far? We all miss you here. Richard's been moping around all morning.

So, hey, if you ever want to see the Bettas alive again, send us $100 in unmarked bills via office courier. If we don't receive the money by the end of the day, I'm going down to the kitchen and hitting the "fish" preset on the microwave:


Hope everything's going good up there. Say "hi" to Melinda and Jenny for me.