Why can’t you set your monkey free?

I blame http://monkeyneeds.com/ for getting George Michaels’ “Monkey” stuck in my brain today.

If you don’t remember “Monkey” feel free to stroll down memory lane and check out the lyrics http://www.lyricsdepot.com/george-michael/monkey.html and watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsPdmYb4T4k from the former Wham! frontman.

They just don’t make music like they used to, do they?

Personally, Peter Gabriel’s “Shock the Monkey” (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/peter+gabriel/shock+the+monkey_20107488.html and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oaSZxd9jOY) is still my favorite monkey-themed song. It’s just as confusing as Michaels’ “Monkey” but with more of an edge.

But back to what started this whole mess, http://monkeyneeds.com/ which is apparently the place to go if your monkey needs clothes, diapers or treats.

I don’t know why this ad popped up on the side of my Gmail account because I haven’t written to anyone about monkeys in weeks, but I naturally couldn’t resist clicking on the link just to see what insane corner of the Internet I would be transported to.

It turns out that Monkey Needs was sitting in that insane corner waiting for me.

Fortunately, Monkey Needs is more than a place to buy clothes, it’s also the place to go to buy a monkey (http://monkeyneeds.com/contact.html). For just $2,200 to $3,500 and you can have a marmoset or tamarin to call your own.

What would be the point of owning a monkey if you didn’t dress it up for the holidays? Festive Christmas and Halloween outfits for your pet primate are available at http://monkeyneeds.com/new_page_1.htm.

Primate owners have to shop somewhere and Monkey Needs is there to fill the void.

And there’s nothing crazy about owning a monkey, right? Perfectly normal people keep monkeys as pets http://www.mjsite.com/images/mjbubbles.jpg.

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One of the dumbest things I’ve even seen

Yes, "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen.  But that's not what this post is about.

This post is about "The Snuggie," an idiotic fleece blanket with sleeves advertised during a commercial break while I was watching "Naked Gun" on Sleuth on Sunday night.

For just $19.95 you can look like an insane cult member while staying all warm and toasty!

Actually, you and your friend can look like insane cult members while staying all warm and toasty because, like so many too-good-to-be-true, made-for-TV offers, the Snuggie is a 2-for-1 deal.

You'll even come away from your misguided purchase at https://www.getsnuggie.com/flare/next with a handy, worthless book light thrown in for free.

Conveniently, the Snuggie is available in burgundy, royal blue and sage green so you can look your best as you mix Kool-Aid and wait to hop on board the Hale-Bopp comet.

According to the Snuggie commercial and Web site, "blankets are OK but they can slip and slide, plus your hands are trapped inside. The Snuggie keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands."

Just like most of you, I've lost count of all the times I've been wrapped in a blanket and had to scream for someone to come help me get my hands out of the darned thing.  It's a miracle no one has been killed by those dastardly blankets.

I don't know who invented the Snuggie, but they're a brilliant life saver and hopefully there will be a Nobel prize in their future.  It's taken far too long for someone to finally make a stand against the deathtrap known as the common blanket.

I knew it was a bad idea to watch the 49ers game

I should have known better.

The 49ers were 2-0 this season when I passed on watching them play on Sunday afternoon.  I finally returned to plopping in front of the TV to watch a 49ers game this weekend and they promptly dropped to 0-2 when I take the time to tune in.

I honestly can't remember the last time I saw them win a game.

Sunday's game featured two costly interceptions and one fumble by the 49ers as they stumbled to a 31-17 loss to the Saints in New Orleans.  The fact that quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan got sacked six times didn't help matters.

Overall, those numbers are about as ugly as the box score posted by the 49ers in the only other game I tuned in to this year, the 23-13 season-opening loss to the Cardinals.  San Francisco fumbled five times in that game and O'Sullivan was sacked four times and was picked off once.

The Patriots, Eagles and Giants are lined up to face the 49ers in the next three weeks.  With a schedule like that and my bad luck, the best thing for me to do on Sunday is anything other than watch the 49ers.

* YES, I'M STILL WATCHING "FRINGE":  It took a while but I finally got around to watching this week's episode of "Fringe" and to my delight, the cow is gone!

And I was equally happy to see that the show has scaled back on the campy, over-the-top mad scientist bits with Dr. Bishop.

That's not to say that the mad scientist element of the show is gone, but the Dr. Frankenstein routine has at least been watered down and blended into the flow of the program a lot better than in the earlier episodes.

Hopefully "Fringe" will start diving into the shady link between Massive Dynamic and "The Pattern" in the next few weeks.

Less cow, more conspiracy.  That's all I want out of "Fringe" through the rest of the season.

* SAVED BY MY REMOTE CONTROL: My Sunday as a sports fan was salvaged by channel surfing between the Brewers-Cubs game and the Mets-Marlins game while the 49ers were losing to the Saints.

Watching Ryan Braun and C.C. Sabathia carry the Brewers into the playoffs while the Mets choked for the second season in a row was a lot more entertaining than watching J.T. O'Sullivan throw the ball to the Saints in between getting sacked all afternoon.

* STILL A LITTLE MORE BASEBALL LEFT TO PLAY: It should be fun to see how the AL Central race plays out in the next couple of days.

If the White Sox lose their makeup game against the Tigers on Monday, the Twins win the Central.  But if the White Sox win it'll force a one-game playoff on Tuesday.

If we're lucky, the White Sox will beat the Tigers and we'll be treated to a do-or-die game with the Twins.

Hopefully the Twins and White Sox can at least come close to matching the drama and entertainment value of last season's one-game showdown between the Rockies and Padres with the wild card on the line.

Forget Oktoberfest, embrace Septemberfest

As usual, a 2.0 megapixel cell phone camera doesn't do justice to a magical Oktoberfest gathering held in September in Clayton, Ca..

At this point, I think I might be inspired to celebrate Halloween in September too. 

For that matter, Thanksgiving can just as well be celebrated in October as it can in November and Christmas can be celebrated in November for all I care.

Halloween candy and Hallmark Christmas ornaments have been in Longs Drugs for at least a month.  There's no reason we can't follow Clayton's lead and get the party started early, right?

The photos I grabbed with my cell phone camera tonight come nowhere close to capturing the spirit of total public drunkeness in suburbia as men in Lederhosen drive the crowd wild with a German take on Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode and the chicken dance song (my personal favorite).

In throwing caution, and my overall health, to the wind I managed to consume four monster beers and a big basket of fried zucchini, mushrooms and cheese in an hour.

If I don't post to this blog in the next week or two, it won't be because I'm pulling a McCain and suspending my campaign.  It'll be because I'm in the hospital recovering from an overdose of beer and fried foods.

* SWEET, SWEET FREEDOM: Aside from a White Sox-Tigers makeup game, today marks the end of the MLB season and my annual release from fantasy baseball.

Sports Illustrated had a fun column on the Women Against Fantasy Sports Web site (http://womenagainstfantasysports.com/) recently and I'm surprised my wife isn't a founding member.

The first time baseball season came up while we were dating I said "Good bye" to her.  She thought I was joking, but my die-hard devotion to the A's and fanatical effort directed toward fantasy baseball really does consume far too much of my time from spring through the end of the regular season.

For the most part, after today I'll be free of fantasy baseball.

My "best" team in fantasy flopped and my "worst" team is playing for a league championship.

I have one more team that is on the fence between finishing in the money or finishing in the middle of the pack.  We'll see how that one plays out.

* I ALREADY MISS PAUL NEWMAN: My schedule today has been too unpredictable for me to squeeze in a "Slap Shot," "Cool Hand Luke," and "The Hustler" marathon but I already miss the old guy.

Newman's passing has been the saddest thing I've read about in a while.

* DON'T BLAME ME IF THE 49ERS LOSE TODAY: After a sloppy Week 1 loss to the Cardinals I tuned out on Mike Nolan's 49ers because it seemed like every time I watched they lost by a wide margin.

Watching and rooting for them obviously didn't pay off, so I filled my Sundays with more entertaining events.

Sure enough, as soon as I tune out the Niners string together a couple of encouraging wins so now I'm on board again to give them a chance.

If the 49ers are getting whipped by the Saints at halftime I'm going to change the channel to see if that will get them back on a winning track.

My wheels are turning

I finally realized this week that I am Goofy.

Anyone who has known me for a long time realized that years ago.  And anyone who's a new reader at this site realized that as soon as this page popped up on their Web browser.

But I'm not talking about realizing that I'm the fun, happy Goofy. I'm talking about having a moment of clarity a few days ago and realizing that I'm the Mr. Road Rage, "Motor Mania" Goofy (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4909605369365183150&ei=FAzcSK1ImNSoA6qD4ZkL&q=road+rage+disney+youtube&vt=lf).

I've seen this cartoon a million times at traffic school but it only hit me the other morning while I was furiously whipping my way through commute hour traffic that I've morphed into "Motor Mania" Goofy … at least when it's really early in the morning and I haven't had a drop of coffee yet.

And while I haven't really been to traffic school a million times, I have been to traffic school a lot.

I've been to traffic school enough times to be intimately familiar with "Motor Mania" and this scene from Steve Martin's "The Man with Two Brains": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0MXU3J6Qbs.

If all my trips to traffic school have taught me anything it's that online traffic school beats in-person traffic school — hands down.

I've learned the hard way that wasting all of one day at traffic school on the weekend is better than wasting two nights at traffic school during the week.

And I have also learned the hard way that comedy traffic schools are never funny and pizza traffic schools always serve terrible pizza.

The one thing I haven't learned, obviously, is to stop driving like an insane speed demon.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

It's not quite what I hoped for (Jill Sobule kissing fellow "I Kissed a Girl"singer Katy Perry) but it's nothing to complain about either: Perry kissing a female friend at a party in London.

According to Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1061516/Is-Katy-Perry-kissing-girls-Singer-flirty-time-female-friend.html) Perry does have a boyfriend but I tip my hat to her for following through on this whole "I Kissed a Girl" thing.

* GOTTA LOVE THE BLOGOSPHERE:  Aside from providing an all-too-easy opportunity to run a picture of Katy Perry kissing a girl, blogging on this site is an awesome way to reach out and touch total strangers without worrying about being hit with a Taser or a restraining order.

* OK, THAT'S NICE BUT WHERE'S THE REST OF THE $10 MILLION?:  Brewers relief pitcher Eric Gagne picked up the tab for 5,000 tickets to Thursday's game and gave them away to fans (http://blogs.jsonline.com/brewers/archive/2008/09/25/gagne-offers-free-tickets-to-fans.aspx).

It's actually a really cool move by the former Cy Young winner but I don't know if it makes up for what a monumental, overpaid flop the man has been this season.

Gagne landed a $10 million contract to be Milwaukee's closer but he fell flat on his face and lost the job to journeyman Solomon Torres.

I'll throw Gagne a bone and admit that he's put up decent numbers since the All-Star break, but overall he has a 5.56 ERA with seven blown saves which could cost the Brew Crew a playoff spot. 

Milwaukee is tied with the Mets for the wild card heading into the day.

Of course, Gagne is the same guy who put up a 6.75 ERA with three blown saves for the Red Sox last season so what was Brewers GM Doug Melvin thinking when he handed him $10 million?

According to the Brewers' Web site, the most expensive ticket at Miller Park goes for $60 a pop and 5,000 of those babies doesn't even add up to the veteran minimum major-league salary.

If the Brewers spend October at home Gagne should keep on buying tickets to make up for his putrid performance.

Do 5,000 Brewers fans feel like going to a Packers game? How about a couple of Bucks games?  Just call up Gagne, it's the least he can do.

I think my head is going to explode

And I think my side is going to split from laughing.

Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin had her comment about having foreign policy experience because she can see Russian from her home state of Alaska come up and bite her in her beauty-queen butt today in an interview with CBS' Katie Couric.

If you haven't seen the video (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4478156n) feel free to read a wire story about it (http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008/09/25/palin-defends-foreign-policy-experience/).

It ain't pretty.  Palin fumbles around like a confused little girl being grilled by her teacher in front of the class in grade school.  The fact that she's getting grilled by a cream puff like Couric is painful to watch … but oddly hilarious too.

To be fair, let's not pretend that Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden is a smooth talker.  The man did enthusiastically urge a man sitting in a a wheelchair to get up so everyone could see him at a rally (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0925edit2sep25,0,2874359.story).

But I'm starting to catch on to why the McCain campaign braintrust doesn't offer Palin up for interviews or questions from the press very often. She seems a lot like that hot chick in high school who loks like the perfect woman from afar until you get up close she starts talking.

Palin should just admit that she's doesn't have any real foreign policy experience. Nothing to be ashamed of.  It happens.

I'll admit it, I don't have any foreign policy experience either.  See how easy it is to come clean and admit it? 

For my money, Palin should have looked Couric right in the eye and said, "Look Katie, I won't B.S. you like I B.S.ed that smug bastard Charlie Gibson on ABC.  I don't have one freakin' shred of foreign policy experience. But I've survived beauty pageants, freezing winters in Alaksa and I've killed a moose with my bare hands.  Do you really think a crazy foreigner like Vladdy Putin or Osama bin Laden would want a piece of that action if McCain croaked and I took over running the U.S. of A? Yeah, that's right, I didn't think so"

* I THINK WE HAVE A WINNER:  Arizona's Mark Reynolds swung and missed strike three for the 201st time this season to set a new MLB record.

I don't think my man Jack Cust is going to be able to overtake Reynolds and former record holder Ryan Howard by the end of the season.

With 192 Ks and just three games to go, Cust will probably be lucky to crack 200 strikeouts this season.

I'm actually intrigued by the idea of Oakland trading for Reynolds in the offseason.  Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were the Bash Brothers in the late-'80s and there's no reason Cust and Reynolds couldn't join forces to be the Whiff Brothers next year.

On a certain level, a trade makes sense.

Oakland needs a right-handed power hitter who can play third base since Eric Chavez seems to be playing on borrowed time.  Huston Street clearly looks like offseason trade bait after falling behind Brad Ziegler and Joey Devine on the depth chart in the second half of the season.

Arizona could use a closer since Jon Rauch hasn't pitched well this year and Brandon Lyon will be a free agent.  The D'backs could deal Reynolds to Oakland, move Chad Tracy back to third base and plug in Street as their closer.

Crazier things have happened and these teams managed to strike a deal last offseason.  No reason they can't swap players one more time.