Farewell, Friends

Dear Friends, Followers and Fellow Faithful F Enthusiasts,

It’s been said that ‘all good things must come to an end.’ We are here today to confirm that indeed, all middling, obscure novelty blogs must also come to an end.

After much reflection – which included a lengthy emotion-packed montage featuring fortresses, frogs, fish, fungi, Freebird and all the good times we’ve shared – TMF leadership from all seven continents have decided to call it a day, effective immediately.

Before we ride off into the blogospherical sunset and close up the F shop for good, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

I’d like to first thank all those who have supported this madcap endeavor. Whether you’ve been an avid TMF reader and supporter, a contributor, occasional passer-by, curious onlooker, spiteful commenter, or a Romanian spambot bent on selling me good price luxury purses, I thank you all for your participation.

Seriously though, it’s been a blast, and I thank you for being a part of the TMF experiment. I feel that we as a community have made great strides toward ‘redeeming the inherent goodness of F,’ which was our stated purpose from the beginning. (Though let’s be honest this whole thing has really just been an excuse to have some laughs and practice writing).

I hope that by highlighting just a few of the fantastic things of the world that start with F, we have worked to restore our beloved letter’s honor, and made strides to reverse its unfortunate stigma. Only time will tell if the world will begin to treat F with the dignity it deserves; or at least with a similar measure of respect afforded to lesser letters like L, or G.

I’d like to leave you with a few Fs that I believe encapsulate TMFs legacy fairly well.

Failure – TMF ultimately failed on many fronts. We failed to initiate any earth-shaking rivalries with other letter-based blogs, we never managed to get any sort of substantive F-centric legislation passed, and we certainly never came anywhere near becoming a viable commodity that could be sold to some rich nerds and hasten my retirement. But you know what? That’s totally ok, for the reasons listed below.

Fun – Getting the opportunity to have a creative outlet like this, which allowed me to connect with friends old and new – and receive feedback from people from around the world – was a tremendous amount of fun. I hope you had fun too!

Funny – TMF is of course known for hard-hitting news and very staid reporting on serious topics, but I hope you were able to find some laughs along the way.

Fellowship – What is life without fellowship? Fellowship is the sweetness of life. From the get-go, our goal was to facilitate fellowship through the discussion of silly minutiae. I hope we achieved a measure of that, or at least spurred some thought about the big questions of life (What happens after we die? Is Family Matters or Full House the better F show? Fanta or Faygo? Etc.).

As for me, it’s time to explore new frontiers and try something new. I encourage you to get out there and make some bold moves! Figure out what you want to do and go for it!

Go forth and prosper.

 

FAREWELL, FRIENDS!

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Fake Recipes: Flavorless Failure Fuel Trail Mix

The latest in our continuing series of hard-hitting un-recipes. Bone Appleteat amigos.

Are you looking for a snack that’s short on taste but long on chewing? Are you averse to bold flavors? Do you hunger for hearty nourishment, but feel unworthy to partake in zest? Do you yearn for food that is commensurate with your life’s overall bland mediocrity and lack of ambition? Boy have we got a recipe for you.

FLAVORLESS FAILURE FUEL TRAIL MIX

- Unsalted peanuts

- Those curvy Chex Mix breadstix

- Lettuce Nuggets (just smash some iceberg in your hand and ball it up)

- Raw cabbage strips

- Your daughter’s discarded PBJ wheat bread crusts

- Whatever it is they use to construct McDonald’s 0.99 chicken sandwiches

- Dehydrated egg whites

- Plain rice cakes

- Unseasoned beans

- Cauliflower shavings

- Yellow Starburst

 

 

 

 

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Favelas

I’ve never been to Brazil, though it holds massive appeal to me. There’s a lot to like: rainforest, soccer (they call it futebol), the culture, various meats served on swords. Even the notorious ‘rough’ parts of Brazil seem kind of alluring. Let me explain.

MMMMMMMeat on swords

MMMMMMM sword meat…

I’m always interested to see how ‘the other side’ operates and navigates day-to-day life in any country. Not in an idiot poverty-gawking American sense (Look, Ma! That feller’s peein in the street!). My interest in the world’s ‘wrong sides of the tracks’ isn’t academic, journalistic, do-gooder based, thrill-seeking or scientific. I think it’s mostly just inquisitiveness. It’s also practical.

For one thing, I find that meeting people who look and live different than you do is the spice of life. Also, fancy places are pretty similar the world over. Shopping malls in Chengdu, Cape Town, Calcutta and Columbus are largely indistinguishable. Wealth seems to breed insipidness, as well as the propensity toward being a pompous jerk.

Poor places in general are usually just more interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware that there is nothing fun, quaint, exciting or entertaining about poverty. There’s nothing nice about high infant mortality rates and not having access to life’s basic essentials. What I’m trying to say is that whatever country you’re in, it’s usually the poorer areas where you’ll find the most interesting people, the warmest hospitality, the most innovation, the most unique experiences, and the best food.

Getting a sense of how the poor, the forgotten, the feared and reviled, the outcasts and outliers live is always an enlightening experience. How do they survive? What’s their life like? This seems like a good starting point for trying to figure out a country, and understanding the people who make up a country. Continue reading

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Filed under F Commentary, Faith, Film, F Entertainment, Foreign Lands

Final Four Face Off!

Here’s a quick breakdown of how we here at TMF view this year’s Final Four matchups. We’re of course talking about which school’s animal mascot would emerge victorious in a real-life tussle if they were to meet in the wilderness or wherever. For the sake of making the matchups more competitive and in the interest of keeping PETA off our backs, let’s just assume these bouts are non-lethal skirmishes where the victor just needs to force a submission or chase his opponent away.

As for the actual Final Four, I have no idea who will win the games. The last time I paid close attention to college basketball I was still collecting pogs. So while I can’t really speak to the basketball aspect of the Final Four, I have spent plenty of time thinking about who would win in various animal skirmish scenarios. So that should lend a certain gravitas to these very important predictions.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

At first glance, this may look like a pretty easy win for the wildcat. A wildcat is much bigger than a badger and certainly would seem to have just about every physical advantage. It is no doubt a finely tuned killing machine that would have no problem dispatching most NCAA mascots (including my beloved Sebastian the Ibis, who would no doubt be quickly savaged by even a juvenile wildcat). Continue reading

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Fourteen Fresh Foreign Tourism Slogans

Iceland – “Very similar to level 6 on Super Mario 3.”

Bolivia – “Come for the salt flats, stay for the iguana meat salteñas!”

China – “What’s a few more people?”

Croatia – “Do not be intimidated by the crazy spellings.”

England – “Come see yer ol’ mum an’ colonial master guvna.”

Zambia – “So much copper!

Faroe Islands – “We’re Torshavn a ball!”

Papua New Guinea – “We’ll let you name a mountain.”

Indonesia – “Hurry, before the Komodo dragons turn on us.”

Romania – “The bloody lore of Transylvania has been greatly exaggerated.”

Malawi – “Anyone besides Madonna please.”

San Marino – “The leading travel destination for those who were initially just trying to google ‘Dan Marino.’

Greenland – “In life, there are precious few opportunities to see a narwhal!”

Germany – “Bygones?”

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Filed under F Lists, Foreign Lands

Foreva? Foreva-eva?

Today we’re talking about the concept of eternity. You know, that never-ending expanse of time that, according to many major religions, awaits us all once we shuffle off our mortal coils. Our bodies die but our immortal souls linger on forever and ever yada yada yada.

Before we get going, I want to note that for this particular piece I’d just like to consider what a positive eternal setup might look like. While it’s hard to refute that all of us deserve some sort of punishment after we die (or at least be made to perform some sort of embarrassing musical number in front of all the assembled nations, tribes and judgmental peers), I’d rather not spend time speculating on what a negative eternity might consist of. I can’t even imagine a never-ending DMV trip or traffic jam, much less with flames.

Moving forward with the ‘positive afterlife scenario’ paradigm, what will we do with all that time after we die? Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Hindus and most other religions all have different ideas of how the hereafter works. Zoroastrianism contends that the righteous will forever reign with Ahura Mazda.  (sounds so peaceful and automotive!)

We have the official orthodox party lines from all these religions about what eternity will consist of and how we’ll spend our time. Most of which seem to predict various forms of idyll, worship, pleasure and ongoing paradise. Sounds pretty cool.

But how about some specifics? I have so many questions about this arrangement.

I suppose no one alive really knows exactly how it all works. What eternity looks like and consists of is one of those mysteries of the universe we’ll just have to wait on, so in the meantime let’s do what we do best here: offer up some wild speculation, outside-the-box thoughts, unsubstantiated hypotheses, and hopeful guess-ery.

Involvement with Human Affairs

If we learned anything from Angels in the Outfield (other than the fact that Tony Danza had clearly never thrown a baseball in his life previous to filming this movie), it’s that the dead have the power to exert influence over the outcomes of sporting events. I imagine this sort of thing will occupy much of our time (such as Auburn’s Chris Davis being carried on sweet angels’ wings all the way to the end zone in last year’s supernatural Iron Bowl).

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Chris Davis, flying to sport glory on the wings of blessed angels?

Perhaps we will also be involved with the living in other ways, like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Maybe the recently deceased are immediately given ‘helper’ or ‘guardian angel’ tasks? If this is the case, it will be interesting to see whether or not we are assigned to monitor a geographic area, specific individuals, or if we’re just supposed to be on the lookout for certain problems (i.e. bridge jumpers, weaving motorcyclists, rollerbladers with no brakes, drunk people trying to feed animals.) Continue reading

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Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Commentary, Faith

Frogs

We’re here today to shine a good light on yet another F subject that is often overlooked, disparaged, undervalued, and sometimes even stepped on* by accident. Yes: frogs are for the most part what one might consider gross. No doubt their wild, unpredictable hopping can be unsettling. And yes, some are so butt ugly they may make you want to vomit. They have the dubious distinction of being on the short list of animals that have been used as Plagues.

But you know what? Frogs are also pretty awesome. A vastly underrated species if you ask me.

Let’s celebrate our amphibian friends by pointing out some of their more flattering features.

FANCY FROGS

Holy cow have you seen some of these poison dart frogs? These crazy-colorful beauties that mostly live in Central and South America got their name from the heyday of when people were using the frogs’ poison in their blowdarts** to settle various scores.

Have a look at some of these punams! But don’t touch, lest you end up looking like Martin Short in whatever terrible 80s movie that was with Danny Glover when he gets stung by all those bees.

Cobalt Dart Frog

Cobalt Dart Frog

Green & Black Poison Dart Frog, highly dangerous due to its striking resemblance to a delicious Andes Mint.

The Green & Black Poison Dart Frog, highly dangerous due to its striking resemblance to a delicious Andes Mint.

Continue reading

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Filed under Flora + Fauna