Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shocking News about Black Highlighters

Here's a ground-breaking story from that illustrious news source, The Onion:

CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years

Also unclear is why black highlighters were chosen in the first place. Some blame it on the closed, elite culture of the CIA itself. A former CIA officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said highlighting documents with black pens was a common and universal practice.

"It seemed counterintuitive, but the higher-ups didn't know what they were doing," the ex-officer said. "I was once ordered to feed documents into a copying machine in order to make backups of some very important top-secret records, but it turned out to be some sort of device that cut the paper to shreds."

That explains a lot. I suspect the FBI has made similar mistakes. I once ordered a copy of my FBI file, and received a folder full of pages with sentences blacked out. I have scanned a copy of the cover page. Perhaps you can figure out the complete content of the document. I am stumped.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Red Elvises

Since Hitman J has imbedded a video on his blog, I must now imbed a video on my blog. However, there's something funky with the formatting. It's not my fault. It's someone else's fault (perhaps Ulric's). This song is by the Red Elvises, and it's from the film Six String Samurai.

Addendum: Embedded videos are really annoying. I just can't support that kind of nonsense anymore. Just go to the Red Elvises website, and you'll find a number of videos by this surf-band from Russia. You'll note a reference to the song in Mr. Pudding's comments. I maintain that the song is about a romantic wind instrument, a la flute or oboe. Mr. Pudding seems to think that it's about something risque.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bradopoly: The Special Edition

For those of you who wanted actual names on your place-squares of Bradopoly, here you go. You probably will have to print out the gameboard in order to read all the names. There had better be no quibbling about hierarchy in regard to the streets named after the various bloggers, or there will be no chocolate pudding for anyone! (I'm practicing my authoritarian-uncle tone for when my niece Charlotte comes to intern for Bradley Enterprises. I have a feeling that she is going to need lots and lots of bossing around in order to keep her in line. Gorilla children are notoriously rambunctious.)

Here are the rules.

Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan?

Regarding yesterday's post, Nonny writes, "That doesn't look like Obi Wan. It looks like Qui Gon Gin. I need a better picture please."

Nonny, here is your better picture:

What do you think? Maybe it's Taylor from "Planet of the Apes." No, probably not. The action figure is rather overdressed for Taylor.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

More News Updates

Ulric brought up some Star Wars figures for the Landlady's six year old cousins. The Landlord's Daughter immediately seized them for her own play. She took Darth Vader and said, "This is the Daddy." Luke was the Mommy, and Obi-Wan was, well, Obi-Wan.

By the way, Ulric is apartment hunting. He wants a place of his own, because as he points out, "It's hard to date when you're living in your older sister's basement." I get to decide whether I will move out with Ulric or stay with the Landlord and Landlady. Here's the dilemma: in Ulric's apartment, I would have easy access to all-night parties and general carousing. However, my young niece, Charlotte, is coming from Scotland to intern for Bradley Enterprises, and I have agreed to host her in my home. What to do, what to do?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday Silliness

While I was adopting Hrothgar the virtual hedgehog, I thought of Lady Hearteater. It's the sort of thing she would do, only I think she'd adopt all the animals available.

adopt your own virtual pet!

For some reason, when I think of Godzilla attacking web pages, Hitman J comes to mind.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


(Click the picture to enlarge the gameboard for printing quality.)

Are you tired of the board games you have played year in and year out? Now, you can play a new version of an old game: Bradopoly! If you have an existing Monopoly set, you may use the items found therein. (If you need more money, you can print out Ameribucks here and Britquid here.) I have left properties and currencies blank so that you may fill in what you desire according to your particular economy. Feel free to inflate your economy.

You may follow the usual rules for Monopoly except for when it differs from Bradopoly. Some examples:

1) Whenever you land on Utility panel ("Brad will fix..." or "Brad will clean...") panels, it means a gorilla will stomp all over your property and sweep your houses and hotels off the board. Hard luck! That's Bradopoly for you.

2) When you land on "Save the Gorillas!" you must donate 5% of your existing funds to the Gorilla Fund. The Gorilla Fund is located under the fruit square.

3) When you land on the "Free Fruit" square, you get the money that's there.

4) You may attempt to rob the bank at any time, but you must not get caught! If you get caught, you go directly to jail and have to donate all of your stolen goods to the Gorilla Fund. If you land on the "Rob the Bank!" panel, everyone has to hide his or her eyes while you rob the bank.

5) If you land on the Banana Tax panel, you must give 25% of your earnings to the Gorilla Fund.

6) Make two cards--one for "Chance" and one for "Community Chest"-- that have Brad Insurance. If you land on a Utility panel, you may use your Brad Insurance card to negate the damage. However, you must surrender that card to the original deck.

If you have any further questions, let me know. I will add addendums to the game as I see fit.

Monday, November 21, 2005

News Items

Here are two news items for you to read while I work on my "Bradopoly" post:

Baby Gorilla (Thanks for the link, Stewy!)

Big Brother

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Great Gorilla Run

Nobody ever tells me anything. For the past two years, there has been a Great Gorilla Run in London, England, to raise funds for gorillas in the wild. Neither my cousin Nigel (who lives in Brixton) nor my clipping service notified me of this matter. (Memo to Self: Fire the clipping service.)

I had to find out about the Gorilla Run from Adam Ant of all people. While I appreciate Mr. Ant's intentions to be helpful, it's actually good that his record company refused to release "Save the Gorilla", sung to the tune of "Stand and Deliver." (Memo to Mr. Ant: The next time you want to release a song about gorillas, why don't you write to me personally? Please. I can help. Among other many other things, I am a noted songwriter.)

Other links to the Great Gorilla Run:

Baked Apes!

Rach's Great Gorilla Run

Just when I thought my adopted country had dropped the ball, I found this link to a Gorilla Run in Colorado: Denver Gorilla Run

Now, Washington State needs a Gorilla Run of its own. I would run in the race myself, except that I have bad knees ruined from lifting weights. Still, I could organize it. Better yet, I could get Ulric to organize it while I sit in my chair, smoke my cigar, and boss him around.

Addendum: My Landlady just pointed out that the Great Gorilla Run is not a race, therefore I can walk it. I will have the benefit of not having to put on a gorilla suit, but of course, I will need to wear a costume.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pudding For Friday

Dear Friday,

Would you believe it, Ms. Juanita Mannerly-Appe recovered from her chest-cold in record time. It's funny, because I could have sworn she still had a bit of congestion (it was very hard to understand her over the phone), but she was insistent on completing the seminars on gorilla etiquette. "You've done enough," she said. I detected a note of grumpiness in her voice, but perhaps Ms. Mannerly-Appe was starting to get worried that I'd take over her newspaper column when I returned. No such chance! I'm running Bradley Enterprises, taking art classes at Cornish, trying to get another rock and roll band together and I'm running this blog. Then, there's cooking the Thanksgiving dinner... but enough of that. You need cheering up, and I, Brad the Gorilla, am here to do it. First off, you need a little chocolate therapy. I have prepared for you my signature quick-and-easy chocolate pudding layered with banana slices:

I know Hitman J likes recipes, so here goes:

4 tablespoons cocoa powder (more if you want!)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups milk (lowfat okay)
1/4 cup of maple syrup (sugar is fine too, but Grade B maple syrup has more nutrients, and you might as well have some fortifying pudding)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 banana

Mix cocoa powder and cornstarch together. Get a double-boiler ready (if you don't have one, simply put a pot on the stove with a couple of inches of water in it, and put another pot over top of it so that it rests on the rim. Try to get the pots to be around the same size so that you don't lose your pudding to boiling water). Combine all ingredients except vanilla, and stir constantly over medium heat. The mixture will seem to be simply chocolate milk until it begins to boil, and then it will get thick. The longer you keep it over the heat, the thicker the pudding will be. I like my pudding to be pretty intense, and if you do too, you might want to double the recipe.

Take the pudding mixture off of the heat, and stir in vanilla. While the pudding begins to cool, slice up a banana and place a layer in the bottom of each bowl (technically, this makes four servings, but I prefer 3 servings! Or two. Ho ho.) Pour pudding over the banana slices. Garnish each pudding bowl with more bananas. Eat the leftover banana bits.

Of course, if that doesn't work, I can always get out my puppets.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Road Signs

As I travel around the state covering Ms. Mannerly-Appe's gorilla etiquette seminars, I have been taking photos of interesting signs. Here are a few I've seen so far:

In some towns, folks keep their pumpkin lanterns lit all November long. This was my favorite one:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Etiquette Seminar

Dear Nonny,

I am writing from the road. I am filling in for Ms. Juanitta Mannerly-Appe who was teaching some in-state seminars on gorilla behavior, or rather, how one should behave when in the presence of a gorilla. While in Snoqualmie, Ms. Mannerly-Appe caught a chest-cold that prohibited her from completing the rest of her tour. I found Ms. Mannerly-Appe's agenda to be incomplete, so I added a few points of my own. To wit:

Traditional Gorilla Etiquette

Obviously, these points only cover the manners you display to the gorillas at the zoo. When gorillas are out in the world, there is a whole host of other things to remember. I shall name just a few:

1) When you first meet a gorilla, it is polite to offer a present of some kind. Future meetings do not warrant a present, but some sort of small gift in the form of delicious food is appropriate. That small gift does not have to be anywhere near the extravangence of the first gift.

2) When a gorilla tosses a mixed-salad with his or her feet, then offers it to a human, it is unseemly to turn it down. The human must eat every bite, or the gorilla's feelings will be hurt.

3) If you buy a brand-new car, it is courteous to offer the first test-drive to a gorilla, and not to make any comments on the state of the car when it is returned to you.

Of course you knew all this, but many of the humans in Washington State are not as informed. That is about to change! I shall post updates as I am able while on the road, but do not expect the normal calibre of insight and genius you usually find within this blog. I shall return home before Thanksgiving, as I have agreed to cook the Thanksgiving meal for the entire family plus extended relatives. I am getting paid, of course.

Your friend,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Brad and Jen

Good morning, everyone. I am your new mayor of Seattle.

Just kidding. Mr. Nickels is going to serve a second term. I'm not too choked up about it, though. At his acceptance speech, the mayor said a number of good things about my campaign, and vowed that he would spearhead an Initiative to repeal the Banana Tax. The big shake-up around here is the approval of the Statewide smoking ban in public places. That doesn't affect us cigar smokers, since there usually are separate rooms for cigar smoking. (I still don't like the smell of smoke in my fur, which is why I stick to my Havana Banana cigars. They are hard to get, so please remember Your Friend Brad when you visit Cuba.)

In other news, it seems that my friendship with Jen Aniston has made the gossip columns. If the print is too tiny to read, click on the article, and it will enlarge:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Reminder to Vote for Brad!

My Landlady quoted me in her LiveJournal. I'm wondering how this quote will go over with the Seattle voters tomorrow. Remember, I'm running for mayor. If elected mayor, I will bury Downtown so that the Alaska Way viaduct is at street-level, the existing roads will become bus tunnels, and the much-loathed Banana Tax will finally be repealed. Furthermore, everyone who decides to pulverize his or her car will get a free pony for the daily commutes across the 520 bridge. Where will we get all the money for the ponies, you may ask? From Tim Eyman, of course.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ode to a Piece of Fruit

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago:

Ode to a Piece of Fruit

I love you,
Speckled banana.
You are whole
Unto yourself.
Neither the siamangs of Sumatra
Nor the nectar bats of Brazil
Have ever truly unpeeled the skin
Of your mysteries.

Picked too soon,
You are bitter and green
Plucked too late,
You turn to mush.
But heated by the flame of the flambé stick
And the embrace of whiskey,
You reveal a truth we should have always known:
Your longing for custard cream is only surpassed
by your passion for chocolate.

O golden-brown banana,
No one can say that I desired only
plump ripe plums,
Small, mysterious kumquats,
Or impudent lychee nuts.
You are first, last and always in-between
Each course I serve upon the table
Of my earthly home.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

HNT: Better Late than Never

I'm really stumped as to the appeal of Half-Nekkid Thursday. Oh well, I guess I'll play this once. Hmmm, let's look at some of the guidelines...

"While animals can be included in a "Half-Nekkid Thursday" picture, they are not the focus, therefore cannot be the subject. If an animal is all that keeps your picture "Half-Nekkid" rather than "Full-Nekkid", that's OK."

Okay, so I'm an animal. If you're reading this, you're probably an animal too. I used to have a friend that was a cardboard box, but as far as I know, there are no plants or minerals with whom I converse on a regular basis.

Use some originality with your shots. Facial shots should be limited.

I have an original face. I shall disregard that guideline. Obviously, it does not pertain to me.

"As we get into this, you may find that you want to post more than one picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". I would discourage this practice unless absolutely necessary."

This guideline also does not apply to me. I'm finding this game strangely compelling. Bah! I blame Friday's Web.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005