Joe Lavin

April 26, 2005

More Reviews of Blogs by People I Know
Who Don't Know I Know About Their Blogs


Going Whole Blog on the Ponies
1 star our of 4

If you would like to learn how to lose large sums of money in a short time, then this is the place for you. Otherwise, you might want to avoid this blog detailing the sad existence of my poor Uncle Carl. Here, you will learn all about his cunning strategies to make money at the casinos and all the various animal tracks he frequents. His strategy of never holding down a job and always hitting the family up for money at the most inappropriate moments is unfortunately not covered here.

As far as the family is concerned, about the only silver lining in all this is that the time he spends blogging is time not spent at the horse track. Then again, it certainly does not seem wise of him to say such insulting things about the mobsters he sometimes sees at the races. While it is unlikely that Harry the Hammer would stay current on the world of blogging, I for one would not take the liberty to say such things about his wife.

It is partly because of this that I was a little worried when Uncle Carl's blog suddenly disappeared last month. It turns out that this was only a hiatus; his gambling debts were such that he was forced to forego the payment of his Internet bill for a brief time. One lucky month at the slots later, and his blog is back online, at least until that day when someone drops by to repossess his computer.

Nevertheless, you have to hand it to Uncle Carl. He does have his moments of ingenuity, rare though they may be. For example, instead of an Amazon tip jar, his site features an Amazon Pony Jar. Whatever you donate, Uncle Carl will gladly wager at the horse track. Should he win with your money, he even promises to send you back all of your winnings. Then again, that is the same tired lie he tried on me back when I turned nine and stupidly gave him all my birthday money.

The Trash Man Cometh
3 1/2 stars out of 4

No longer must residents of Plymouth Junction rifle through the trash of their neighbors to find out what is really happening in town. Now, thanks to Al our friendly neighborhood garbage man, all the information is gathered online in this exciting new blog. Al is like a fine filter, picking out only the best and seediest of the town's trash. How else would I know that Jim Taylor's wife is having an affair with a man fifteen years younger, that Max White is having difficulties with the IRS, and that the Mayor likes to dress up in woman's clothing and take pictures of himself, pictures that he foolishly discards in the garbage to avoid detection by his wife?

Of course, I for one would never stoop to such depths as to actually root through other people's garbage, but I am sure that many in this squalid town would. For them, this site must be a Godsend. Unlike others, I myself try to operate with a certain degree of decorum and only check The Trash Man Cometh on the rare occasion.

However, I must say that I am now a great deal more careful about what I do and do not throw out. I prefer to shred all my personal documents twice, once vertically and then again horizontally. Shredding documents a second time is unwieldy at times yet worth it in a world where you can never be too safe.

Nevertheless, I regret to report that some inaccuracies about my character have found their way into print. I would like to point out that those discarded videos with the risqué titles were not actually from me. They were from my neighbor Stan, which should be obvious just from looking at him. His attempt to place them in my trash is yet another attempt in his ongoing plot to discredit me, a campaign so petty in its nature that I have tried my best not to acknowledge it. I will, however, have the last laugh, as I plan to go to the video store and buy some adult videos of my own just to place in his trash. I say, that should certainly show him.

Driving the AutoBlog
1 1/2 stars out of 4

Now that my car mechanic Sid has started blogging, it is official. Everyone has a blog. Unfortunately, I am unable to judge much of the technical material here. I myself know very little about cars, having long ago decided to devote myself to more intellectual pursuits. However, I can judge the questionable spelling (For someone who can figure out what to do with a carburetor, is using a spell checker too much to ask?), the appalling site design, and the low-grade pornography that pervades the site. I dare say that the Internet offers many better places for pornography and many better places for automotive tips; Sid seems content to position himself at the very mediocre edge of both spectra.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have had my run-ins with Sid in the past, not the least of which was last fall when he took a full two weeks and $600 to solve what I am sure was a minor problem. As he informed me of the bill, some heavy words indeed were exchanged. I let Sid know exactly what a disreputable scoundrel he was, and he took it upon himself to make some very unprofessional comments about my bow tie. Until I finally acquiesced -- what choice did I have! -- it appeared that Sid might have been ready to resort to fisticuffs. If I were not convinced that all other mechanics were equally fraudulent, I would have patronized another long ago. Regrettably, Sid's shop is the only in town that will service my Datsun.

Upon hearing of his blog, I initially had high hopes. Could this be a chance to learn all the tricks of the trade? Could I possibly discover the various schemes he would use to rip me off in the future and henceforth be well prepared when I was forced to bring my Datsun into his sordid shop. Alas, I had no such luck. Sid is apparently like a magician who would rather die than reveal his secrets. I am left with nothing to do but hope that that little grinding noise my Datsun makes upon turning corners is in no way serious. In the end, I will give this very uninspiring site an equally uninspiring 1 1/2 stars.

©2005 Joe Lavin

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From The Boston Phoenix
Through a blog darkly
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Giving Up Blogs For Lent
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