Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 5 Worst Dressed Cartoon Animals

Why do cartoon animals wear clothes?  And for the ones wearing clothes, why don't they wear pants?  And what's with all the collars and pork pie hats?  Were all these toons modeled after Lester Young and his cadre?  Anyway, here's our take of the top 5 worst dressed cartoon animals.

5: Donald Duck - Blue sailor vest with yellow trim, blue sailor hat, red bow tie, no pants. Donald, we all love you and your daft, daffy ways (oops, that's the other guy), but for godsake, put on some pants!

4: Yogi Bear - Green tie, white collar, green pork pie hat, no pants or shirt. "Hey Booboo, check out my junk!" Yogi isn't dressed smarter than the average bear. He inexplicably wears a collar, but no shirt, and he wears a tie, as though that classes him up a bit.

3: Porky Pig - Unbuttoned blue vest, red bow tie, no shirt or pants. You stuttering sonofabitch, though you refuse to put on trousers, at least you keep that tail from creeping between your legs.

2: Wally Gator - Collar and french cuff sleeves, pink pork pie hat, nothing else. Nobody knows who you are. Maybe that's because we already have a collar-wearing, pork-pie-hat-donning toon (see above). And nobody likes a copy cat.

1: Tony the Tiger - Red bandanna. The only thing worse than wearing only a bandanna, is wearing only a bandanna with your name on it! And I never noticed this before, but is your nose blue, Tony? You are either close to death, or you're wearing heavy makeup.

That's far from all folks! But that's all the room we have here. Let us know the toons we forgot by adding them to the comments below. And don't forget to show us some love on Facebook, and share us with your friends.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Top 5 Board Games of All Time

First things first, we are not going to include ancient classics. No chess, checkers, etc. You need to be trademarked to be in this list. Second, this is board games, so sorry Boggle and Yachtzee, you're out. Finally, we already covered the best board games for kids, so those won't be on this list. Sorry! That's Life! (Get it?) Everything else is fair game. (Game! Wokka wokka!)

5: Pictionary (1985) - Guess the picture someone else is drawing from one of multiple categories. Race to the finish line. It's like charades, but on paper and with a goal. Okay, just trust me--it's a lot more fun than it sounds. Plus, it has staying power--this game has been popular since it debuted. That's just under 30 years, which doesn't seem that long--but consider that hundreds (maybe thousands) of board games have come and gone since then.

4: Risk (1957) - World domination!  Risk let's you control armies, inch your way into other nations' lands, build up troop strength, and strategically align yourself with others to conquer the globe (or at least a Mercator projection of it).  It's one of the best multi-player games ever created, and it is easily the best "war" game (sorry Stratego and Battleship--but it isn't even close).

3: Scrabble (1938) - You need to have a good vocabulary and be clever to do well at this game.   It's not always about playing the best words in your hand; you need to consider smaller words played in more strategically beneficial places.  Consider where double and triple letter and word scores are, consider how many tiles remain in the bag, and take into account the board you are leaving behind for the other players.  Yeah, I stink at this, but Sooz kicks a little ass.

2: Trivial Pursuit (1982) - Many trivia games flood the market, but none hold a candle to Trivial Pursuit.  Sure, Scene It has gained in popularity while Trivial Pursuit's heyday was in the 80's, but with so many editions, a strong history, and notoriety for having the most challenging questions, Trivial Pursuit is king of the meaningless knowledge category of games.  It's the Jeopardy of parlor games (without that annoying Trebek).

1: Monopoly (1904) - The perfect blend of skill, strategy, and luck, this Depression-inspired game has it all.   It is easy enough for families to play, but competitive enough for adults.  Anyone who tells you it's all luck of the roll has never really played.  Knowing the number of houses remaining, understanding the relative values of the properties in relation to where layers tokens are, and coordinating multi-player deals that appear mutually beneficial but provide you a slight statistical advantage is what separates the millionaires from the bums.

I can't imagine there's a problem with this list--(unless you are a kid--see the link above to kids' games).  But if you have one, let me hear it in the comments below.  And as always, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or share us with friends!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Top 5 Songs That Make Me Miss Home

We all know that music evokes emotion--that's why we love it, and have from time immemorial. Some songs create a general sense of bliss, or sadness, or remorse. Others generate more specifically targeted reactions. Here are the five songs which, for me, make me think of home when I'm away.

5: Rocket Man (Elton John) - "I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife.  It's lonely out in space on such a timeless flight..."  Every time I'm on a plane alone, this song comes to me.  Sailing a thousand feet above the earth and looking out a window into the black, the snores of your neighbor and the droning of the engines the only sound--this is such a lonely place.

4: The Only Living Boy in New York (Simon and Garfunkel) - "Hey, let your honesty shine, shine, shine down, doh-do-do-doh-do-do-doh-do-do-doh, like it shines on me... The only living boy in New York." This is such a sad and lonely song, until it gets to the line quoted above--it gives me hope that things will pick up, even if I'm alone. It's the idea of the light at the end of the tunnel. That light, for me, is home.

3: Hey There Delilah (Plain White Tees) - This one gets two quotes: (1) "Hey there Delilah don't you worry about the distance, I'm right here if you get lonely give this song another listen. Close your eyes; listen to my voice, it's my disguise. I'm by your side." (2) "A thousand miles seems pretty far, but they've got planes and trains and cars, I'd walk to you if I had no other way." Both strike me as saying what's important is who you love, and getting past not being together is difficult but possible. But man, it makes me miss home.

2: Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Theme from Cheers) (Gary Portnoy) - "Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot." I know the idea is that you are taking a break from your family by heading to the bar where everyone knows your name. But for me, it's working late and just wanting to head home and see the wife and kids.

1: Homeward Bound (Simon and Garfunkel) - "...and each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories; and every stranger's face I see reminds me that I long to be homeward bound ... Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me." So obviously on point. It encompasses the idea of unwanted-but-necessary travel and just wanting to be heading home to the people you love.

Here's to being home.

What songs make you miss home the most?  I'd love to hear them--please share in the comments below.  And if you haven't already, check us out on Facebook and like us there too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top 5 Kids' Board Games

We'll be going over the best board games at some point, but before we do, we'll have a disclaimer that we are not including kids' games. For those who expect to be outraged by this future announcement, we are preemptively providing you with this: a list of the top 5 board games for kids. (Just because it's interesting, I'm including the years the games were first made.)

5: Chutes & Ladders (1892, 1943) - The chutes replaced the snakes from the British version when the game migrated to the states. The Brit version was based on a 16th Century game Indian game. The wiki entry for this game points out that players are never asked to make any decisions, and the winner is predetermined by the shuffle of the cards. This makes it a great game for kids, but excruciatingly mind-numbing for adult.

4: Trouble (1965) - The Pop-o-Matic Bubble alone would put Trouble on the list, has to garner strong consideration for the number one spot. Land on someone else's peg to send them packing, and race around the board until you get all your pegs home. It's a very simple concept, but popping those dice makes it more fun than it really should be.

3: Candy Land (1945) - What makes Candy Land awesome is the variety of places on the board--you remember Gum Drop Mountain, of course, and the Candy Cane Forest. Game play is simple, and provided you only have to play once, you won't go nuts as a parent. Unfortunately, your kids won't want to play just once.

2: Sorry! (1929) - Sorry is a fun game with a bit of strategy thrown in with how to play certain cards (for example, always use a 4 to move backwards so as to almost be home, and always split a 7 to bring someone home.). Unlike others on this list, Sorry! can actually be enjoyed by families, not simply "enjoyed by families" (meaning enjoyed by kids and hated by grown-ups).

1: Life (1860) - This game is nothing like life. It is way too upbeat. That said, it's number 1 for one reason--it's 150+ years old! Granted, the first version was more like checkers, but this is the game that revolutionized board games in the United States. It was also the first game created by Mr. Milton Bradley of Milton Bradley.

Board games? More like bored games! [chuckles to himself...]  But seriously, you must look back on at least one of these games with some sense of fond nostalgia.  Or maybe not--share below if there's a game we're missing, and as always, check us out on Facebook or share this with your friends!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Top 5 Comments Overheard at a Brazilian Steakhouse

Ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse?  They give you a coin or block that's half red and half green--folks walk around with skewered meat, checking in with tables which have blocks green side up, skipping those which don't.  As long as you are green side up, you get as much skewered meat as you want.  It's an all-you-can-eat meatfest!  A group of friends and I visited a recently opened one in Stamford, CT.  The food was good, the company was great, and the unintentionally ridiculous comments were flowing!  Here are the 5 funniest along with some commentary.

5: One of us: "I've still got, like, one small hole that doesn't have meat in it."  The hole was in one of our stomachs.  You were thinking somewhere else perhaps?

4: Waiter: "I come first for the ladies."  They don't appreciate that.

3: One of us: "After you turn it over, the meat's gonna come hard and heavy."  Thankfully, the word "it" is in there.

2: One of us: "Nothing like a rusty sword to get yourself circumcised."  The only thing on the list that is not a double entendre.  Guess we were getting giddy.

1: Waiter: "Just pull on it; that's how you get it off."  The waiter said this shortly after saying: "if you pull on it, it falls off"; which is also funny, if not painful.

Throughout the evening, jokes about the smoked sausage and discussion of smoking the sausage were plentiful.  Hopefully you enjoyed our discussion of fine meats and circumcision.  Never thought I'd write a sentence like that...  As always, check us out on Facebook and share us with a friend, and you can always leave your comments below.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 5 Facts I Learned This Week

Sooz is here today to educate you.

You learn something new every day, right?  Well here's the top five random things I learned this week.  Because knowledge is power, and I wanted to share the wealth.  And mix the metaphors.

Also available in brunette.
5: Music and Travel - The red head from the B52s owns a motel. More importantly, the toiletries this hotel provides were pilfered from hotels around the world by Ms. Pierson whilst on tour.
Half a loaf is better than none...unless you have to cook it yourself.
4: Home Economics - Making ciabatta bread from scratch is not worth the time, energy, or mess. Shell out the $7 to buy a loaf at the store.

Cajun-style blackened everything for everyone!
3: Appliances - My oven is capable of turning itself on despite the fact that all of the knobs and buttons are switched to off. Fun stuff, GE Monogram!

The right key is the key!
2: Automotive - The key to a Toyota Corolla will not work in a Honda CRV. Who knew?

'Nuff said.
1: The Government - Did you know that government can, on occasion, make questionable choices? Now I am not into politics, but I'm kind of into political incorrectness. Even so, I would suggest choosing a different model for their "improper color" passport photo example.

Did you learn anything interesting this week?  Do tell in the comments below!  And don't forget to like our Facebook page when you get a chance!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Top 5: Weirdest Vehicles in Grand Central After Dark

If you find yourself in Grand Central Station, New York City after hours, you'll notice a lot of small vehicles driving around--very weird.  Anyhow, there are at least 9--here are my 5 favorite:

5: Here's an orange trash truck.  Sorry for the craptastic quality of the pictures--I took them on my phone while trying not to be too obvious.  I'm clearly not a spy.

4: Ah, the all-important police cruiser.  This is the nicest vehicle on the grounds.  It's a souped up and modified golf cart, and compared to some of these other things, it's pretty bad-ass.

3: I couldn't figure out the point of this yellow trike--the only info I had to work with is what you see here--it's yellow, has three wheels, and is carting a drunk sleeping person around.

2: Here's a sweeper truck--it's like a zamboni, but for floors.

1: And here's my favorite--a little truck that drives around until a high light bulb needs changing, at which point it stops and the top expands.  Pretty neat actually.

And remember, there are at least 4 additional distinct vehicles driving around GCT at night.  How weird is this place!  Anyhow, as always, let us know your thoughts below, and check us out on Facebook (and toss us a "like" if you like us)!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Top 5 Casino Table Games

Casinos are magical places where time stands still and fortunes are made (by casinos) and squandered (by everyone else). If you find yourself in Vegas, Atlantic City, or any other hub of gambling activity, seek out any of these table games. And stay away from the slots.

5: Casino War - There's something unwholesome about playing a favorite kids' game in a casino. Usually the cheapest table game, Casino War invokes images of Clark Griswold going to the shady casino in Vegas Vacation--you sit at the Casino War table looking for the "guess which hand" guy.

4: Three Card Poker - This game gives you the illusion of playing poker and having control over what happens to your bet. In that sense, it's fun. It also happens to be the most profitable table game ever for casinos.

3: Roulette - Always bet on black, except when the result is red. But don't always bet on red, that'd be crazy.

2: Blackjack - The game every 19 year old who sneaks into a casino plays--it's easy and straightforward. Always double down on 11, never buy insurance, split aces. It's a fast and efficient way to lose your money.

I'm here to confuse you.
1: Craps - There is always a crowd of people around a craps table cheering and making noise--it's the most social and fun game, but can also be the most confusing--at times, it seems like money is being tossed on the table from all directions, and people are yelling things like "nickel yo" and "ten hard eight." Just bet the pass line, play odds and back up your bet when the point is 6 or 8, and... Yeah, okay, I guess it is a little confusing. Whatever--it's a great game and can give you the best odds in the casino.

So go check out the nearest casino, find a seat at a table, get a gin and tonic, and prepare to make a donation to the casino owners. And while you're waiting to go, check out the Kooz Top 5 on Facebook and leave us a comment or just say hello below!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top 5 Most Annoying Game Show Things

Game shows can be fun, but they can also be pretty damn annoying at times.  Here we celebrate the 5 worst things about game shows.

Because the Whammy mowing away the money makes a lot of sense.
5: Whammies - They used to be so cool! (Granted, I was in single digits when I thought so, but still...) Now they are just bad CGI farces of this iconic figure. Thanks a lot, computers.

"When I kiss you, your mustache will tickle."
4: Dumb Fathers on Family Feud - There comes a point on the show where the family members all get to weigh-in as to what their guess is and one family member gets to make the pick for the steal. "We asked 100 people to name something that you grill in the summer." Hot dog and hamburger are already up there, but there are three answers remaining. They go down the line with suggestions: chicken, steak, corn on the cob, kebobs. The 8 year old, who is inexplicably involved in the game, says ice cream cones. The father agrees. XXX. Thanks for making dads look dumber than we already do, dude.

Then he answered, "C - Home Alone" and lost a million dollars.
3: Novelty Shows - Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was pretty cool for a while, but it ushered in a succession of crappier and crappier shows like the one where you guess what peoples jobs are, and the one where you fall off a ledge if you don't do something (I have no idea what), and the one with Howie Mandel (before Americas Got Talent, or whatever nonsense he's selling now). Enough. Getting a celebrity host is not a sufficient mask for a bad show idea.

"Does Monte Hall have to punch a bitch?
Monte Hall doesn't want to have to punch a bitch."
2: Any Game Show on Daytime TV - Daytime game shows are just depressing. Seriously, watch them. People chose to spend their day in the audience for the chance to embarrass themselves on television to win as much as $500! It makes me sad. The only thing that makes daytime tv bearable is the DVR so you can avoid daytime tv.

No words.  Should have sent a poet.
1: Alex Trebek - Jeopardy is a great show, but could Trebek be any more annoying. He pronounces every foreign word with a smug accent, as though we'll believe he speaks Mandarin and Swahili. He has constant foot-in-mouth syndrome when interviewing contestants after the first commercial break. Finally, he vainly takes a long time to tell contestants the correct answer, often inserting an anecdote about why he knows the answer, causing contestants to be unable to finish the board! I want my 61 questions, Alex. I don't want 56 because you decided to berate a player for not knowing the former capital of Tanzania by pointing out that it's obviously whatever. Invariably, the questions left on the board which I'll never see are in the Nerd Blogging category, whereas the questions I had to sit through were 16th Century Russian Operatic Performers and Mythical Animals, By Gene Sequence, where "we give you the made-up DNA sequence, you give us the name of the pretend animal"--wtf!

What annoys you about game shows (and don't be shy--we know there's stuff out there that annoys you). Share with us in the comments, and check out our Facebook page (while you're there, press the Like button).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Top 5 Things You Should Probably Stop Singing to Your Kids

Sooz here taking a closer look at those lyrics you sing-talk to your children to get them to sleep.  What are you thinking?  Stop singing these songs immediately!

All fun and games until you can't get up in the morning.  Or ever again.
5: It's Raining, It's Pouring - "...He bumped his head and went to bed and couldn't get up in the morning..."  I'm pretty sure the old man couldn't get up because he probably died from complications of an untreated concussion. What are we teaching children? If it's drizzling out there's really no need to visit the doctor about your head trauma; your hair may get frizzy and you don't want that.

4: Rockabye Baby - "...When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and down will come baby..." The poor baby falls out of a tree! How can a kid peacefully drift off to sleep thinking about this? There is a great Simpsons short about this, although I can't find a clip of it so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Well all of my friends were planning on jumping off a bridge so I was planning on going with them...
3: London Bridge - "...Take a key and lock her up, lock her up, lock her up...London Bridge is falling down..."  So we're locking women up now? That's nice. Oh, in a building that you know will soon be falling down? Lovely. That's okay. As long as you sing with a British accent the lyrics don't really matter.

Yolks on you.
2: Humpty Dumpty - "...Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a big fall..."  If you fall off of a wall and break into pieces, there's a reason you can't be put back together. You're dead. Stop playing like anyone can put you back together.

Just wait til you meet all my undead friends!
1: The Itsy Bitsy Spider - "...Down came the rain and washed the spider out, up came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again."  Okay, here we sort of have the opposite of 2 through 5 as this is the only one in which someone clearly escapes death. Probably the spider smoked a bunch of bath salts before making his climb. But what really comes across to me in this song is how that itsy bitsy spider doesn't die. And if that tiny little guy can't die, then probably no spiders can be killed. No matter what you do, these zombie spiders WILL. NOT. DIE. Sleep tight, little one!

Please stop the nightmares and take these songs out of your repertoire.  And share this with your friends so they can also stop terrorizing their children.  As always, you can stop by our Facebook page, and feel free to click the Like button!  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Top 5 Bad Parenting Tips from the Train

Stood in the bar car on the way home from work--overheard some of the bad parenting anecdotes from a mom and two dads whose kids ranged from 7 to 13.  Here are the worst 5 things that came out in the conversation.  My thoughts in italics.

5: "I know my seven year old smokes weed, but the important thing is that I know."  Yeah, that's the important thing.  That's the point.

4: "The sex conversation was, 'Don't come home pregnant.'"  The best part is this was said by the guy who said he only had two sons.  Huh?

3: One parent to another: "What do you think, they get older and smarter?"  Nope; not if you're the parent.

2: I told my [11 year old] kid: "Alcohol gets you fucked up; there's no need to do anything else."  So your 11 year old shouldn't do drugs, he should drink instead?

1: "I'd rather you didn't drive drunk, but do what you've gotta do and don't get caught.  Crash in the front yard."  Well, sure, brilliant advice.  Then parent 2 says, "It's a metaphor for life.  A metaphor."  To which, about the world "metaphor," I think this

I've heard some bad parents before, but these folks were delusional--they were terrible parents and they thought they were killing it!  Ever heard any terrible but oblivious parents?  Share your crazy stories in the comments, and don't forget to like our Facebook page!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top 5 U.S. Jobs That Will Kill You

Okay kids, your folks told you that you can grow up to be anything.  But feel free to avoid these jobs.  Your mom will appreciate it, as these have the highest fatality rates for jobs in the U.S.

5: Farmer/Rancher (31-41 deaths per 100,000) - Shockingly, not one death was children-of-the-corn related.

4: Miner (39 deaths per 100,000) - It used to be much, much worse.  In fact, I have a relative who was killed in a coal mining accident a few generations back.  In 1907, 3,242 mining deaths occurred!  These figures don't include all the deaths from health problems caused by years of mining.

3: Logger (56-92 deaths per 100,000) - It's a hard job, and it's the only practical way to get you the wood you want--so if you like having tables, chairs, a house, etc., you should appreciate these folks.

2: Pilot (57-71 deaths per 100,000) - Yet flying is still safer than driving.

1: Fisherman (116-200 deaths per 100,000) - I can only assume they do something different than I do when I cast a line over the side of a rowboat and spend a few hours waiting for anything to open while intermittently napping.

Technically, "astronaut" is rightfully the most dangerous job--in history, approximately 500 men and women have been inducted as astronauts, 21 have died.  Sadly, that's a whopping 4,200 per 100,000!  Then again, we've had 44 Presidents, and 4 have been killed in office (almost 10,000 per 100,000)!  But since being an astronaut or President is so rare, they weren't included.

Luckily, "blogger" ranks very low on the list!  Share your thoughts in the comments below, and check us out on Facebook if you have a moment!