Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I just got a pamphlet with my property tax bill from the county trying to explain how property taxes can go up when property values are way down. I tried to understand what it said until I realized I was reading a steaming pile of bullshit. The title of the pamphlet is "UNDERSTANDING PROPOSAL A IN A DECLINING MARKET"

See if you can understand this garbage:

How can my Taxable Value go up when my SEV goes down?

Remember that the definition of Taxable Value is the lesser of SEV or last year's Taxable Value (adjusted for physical changes) times the CPI. (4.4% for 2009). Since the beginning of Proposal A in 1994, overall increase in Taxable Value capped at the CPI. The longer a property has been owned and capped, the greater the gap between SEV and Taxable Value. Even with a decrease in SEV for 2009, if there is still a gap between SEV and Taxable Value and the 2009 SEV is greater than the Taxable Value in the previous year, the taxable Value will increase to the limit of the CPI cap.

(Bold as printed on the pamphlet)

Oh, it's all so clear to me now. Even though my home value is in the toilet, you're going to tax me like it's a mansion.

Thanks A$$holes!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


snow, snow, snow, how long will it snow? where's the global warming?

Monday, February 16, 2009


My daughters are embarrassed by my new career choice. Oh, it is kind of late for me to make a major career change, but this is a great opportunity for me to make big money. Sure, I'm 42, my back isn't what it used to be, but I, Dan Manning, intend to join the boy-band The Jonas Brothers.

In order to make sure the band knows I'm sincere, I wear my Jonas Brothers tee-shirt everywhere. You don't know how hard these are to find in XL. I'm not sure why this embarrasses my daughters.

"Dad, that's totally gay," they tell me.

People tell me it won't work out. They say I'm a dreamer. They say I'll stand out, but I don't think so. That one kid is kind of tall. And if I grow my hair out, I'll probably fit in, despite weighing 210 pounds and being six foot tall. I tell you it can work.

They say just because my last name doesn’t happen to be "Jonas", I can't join.

I've sent in about a hundred audition audio and video tapes, mp3s and video files to the recording company, and despite their cease and desist order I intend to continue sending them in until they see reason. (N'Sync's lawyers tried that same crap on me back in the nineties, and it didn't work then either. The lead singers are all just threatened of me. Suck it Timberlake! Same goes for you Simon Le Bon!)

Oh sure, a music background would help. A singing voice would help. A time machine would help. I have none of these things, but I’m not going to let a little thing called reality come between me and my unattainable dreams.

My daughters hate it when I wear my Jonas Brothers wig. What's wrong with a full grown man walking around with adorable curly locks? Nothing, that's what.

"Daaad! Gawd!" my youngest one will say.

So what if I have the Jonas Brothers cranked on the minivan stereo when I pick them up after school?

What's the big deal?

I can't understand the boss

So I'm at the bookstore having coffee and sitting in a comfortable chair by the fireplace reading "The Stuff of Thought" by Pinker. Everything would have been perfect, except they have Willie Nelson on the speakers, playing at a reasonable volume. Nice jazz stuff, he's in a duet with some female vocalist. Not complaining about the music choice.

Problem is, if I'm trying to read and there is music with lyrics playing, sometimes it distracts me from reading, and the words in the song and the words on the page get all mixed up. I focused on the words on the page and managed to continue reading. The next CD was classical, which was fine, because there were no lyrics.

The NEXT CD was "the boss", Bruce Springsteen. No problem there either. He is completely unintelligible. Can't understand a thing he says. When he sings it sounds like they're strangling a chimp.

Friday, February 13, 2009



Dan Manning

We are losing jobs at an alarming rate. In a report dated January 16, 2009, there have already been over 87,000 jobs lost this year. My plan would drastically reduce joblessness, ease traffic congestion, raise home prices and ease the financial burden of grocery bills.

I'm talking of course, about cannibalism.

Now before you reject this idea, hear me out. My plan is simple. Every American must pledge to eat at least one other American.

This won't be as difficult as it sounds. Think about your neighbors for a minute. Is there at least one neighbor you wouldn't miss? Isn't there at least one you could live without? Is there someone you might actually be glad to see gone? That neighbor could be the source of meat for at least ten meals, twenty if processed carefully by a professional butcher.

Job creation:

If that person is employed, consuming that person (in a humane and dignified manner) opens up a job for someone else. If that person is unemployed, then eating that person would mean there is one less person receiving unemployment benefits, easing the entitlement burden on everyone else.

Traffic congestion:

Eating your neighbor immediately reduces that person's carbon footprint to zero. Consuming your next door neighbor, means one less person driving around in a car, and that means less carbon monoxide(co) which reduces the body's ability to carry oxygen . So you can breath easier with every American consumed. According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI) 2007 Urban Mobility Report , Americans waste 4.2 billion hours per year and burn 9.2 billion gallons of fuel per year just sitting in traffic. That's a drain of $78 billion on our nation's economy. If we all vowed to eat just one American this year, we could cut those numbers in half.

The idea may still seem strange, perhaps even repugnant to some readers, so let me make it more appetizing. Let's say someone cuts you off in traffic. Instead of flipping them the bird, or getting frustrated, follow that person to their house. Eat them. You've done your duty to your country, you've lowered unemployment and greenhouse gas emissions, you've saved on your grocery bill, and you've got back at that son-of-a-bitch for cutting you off in traffic and driving like an idiot. Where's the downside to that?

But what about the children?

Children are small. They put up less of a fight, so feel free to eat two. They are going to grow up and breed anyway. Consuming children will result in smaller class sizes in our public schools. To reduce cases of childhood obesity, eat the largest, most annoying children first. In an added benefit, fat kids are delicious.

The Homeless:

Many of you are probably thinking, "We should eat the homeless first." That is a natural response to the idea, but it is misguided. The homeless have very small carbon footprints, and they are a central part of the Cannibalism Plan. Because the homeless have fewer advantages, they need extra help. So I propose feeding the homeless with the prepared bodies of mortgage bankers and Wall Street brokers, the guys who got us into this mess in the first place. Given the opportunity, the homeless could use this new initiative to eat even more of the people who got us into this mess, such as congressmen, lobbyists, and corporate executives. Another reason to not eat homeless people: meat from free-range humans is notoriously stringy and dry.

Celebrities/TV to Promote the Plan:

Cooking shows could lead the way by teaching Americans innovative ways to prepare and cook other Americans. Studio audience members could be chosen (by other audience members) to be prepared by celebrity chefs on television to get the ball rolling.

Celebrities should be encouraged to lead by example. Members of The Today Show, for example, could encourage other Americans to eat other Americans by eating Al Roker, but only after reversing his gastric bypass surgery he had in March of 2002. They might spend weeks fattening him up to pre-2002 levels. Once a week they could weigh him on a scale and chart his progress and when he returned to his fighting weight of 320 pounds, they could ritualistically sacrifice him (for the betterment of the country) and eat him, after having him prepared by special guest, the adorable Rachael Ray.

Sports Events to Promote the Plan:

Sports teams who lose can be consumed by crowds after the sporting event ends. The Detroit Lions would be consumed on general principle. The losers of the Superbowl could be made into a giant plate of nachos. Unfortunately, due to steroid use, baseball players are not safe for consumption. Their tax rates should be increased dramatically to compensate for this unfair advantage.

The Housing Market:

One drawback to this plan would be even more empty houses on the market, which would lower housing prices even further. That could be alleviated by bulldozing those homes (once the occupants have been eaten) and selling the plot of land to the people in the next occupied house, thus adding to green space overall, reducing the number of houses on the market, and providing a buffer zone between neighbors, who will now be terrified that their neighbors are going to come over and eat them.

The homes occupied by the non-eaten will now have huge plots of land to use for gardens, solar panels, and parks (or to erect razor-wire fences to keep out the neighbors, who are trying to eat them).

The Downside:

There is a downside to this plan. You may be eaten. If you are chosen to be eaten, please don't put up a fight. You are doing your country a big favor by going down without a fuss. We've got you outnumbered anyway, and you know you'd eat us if it was the other way around. Sorry.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

honky tonk badonkadonk

So I'm taking Deb's van to gas it up, and what comes on the Radio? Trace Adkins' "Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk." I kid you not. Why does this exist? Why, if this exists, does the very fabric of the universe not slice open revealing the howling void beyond and suck this pathetic planet and all of the pathetic primates known as "humanity" with it? "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk?" Really? That is so fractally wrong, I don't even know where to begin.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Trace Adkins. He is a performer, and he's giving the people what they want. The problem is: people want this crap.

He gets paid MONEY to write (or at least sing) the following, and I quote:
It's so hard not to stare
At that honky tonk badonkadonk
Keepin' perfect rhythm
Make ya wanna swing along
Got it goin' on
Like Donkey Kong
Got it goin' on "Like Donkey Kong"? Really? Oh my Sweet Baby Jesus Christ, how does this exist? I mean, how come they don't write songs like they used to? As in:
I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that butt was stuffed
See? Now that's poetry. What was Sir Mix-A-Lot trying to tell us here? He was talking about Truth. He is talking about his respect for women. He is declaring his love of big butts.

I think Trace Adkins can learn a few things from Sir Mix-A-Lot. Where is the poetry? Where is the creativity? What is this world coming to?

If this is what passes as "country" music, I'm sure Merle Haggard is rolling in his grave. What's that? Merle Haggard isn't dead yet? Well then I'm sure Merle Haggard, if he hears this abomination, this "New Country", he will strangle himself just so he can be buried and thus twirl around in his grave like a lathe set on high.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Canceling My WoW Account At 3 Something in The Morning

I woke up at three this morning thinking about one thing. Not the economic catastro-fnck in which we're all about to wallow. Not the book I'm supposed to be writing. No. I woke up thinking about how I was going to kill Baron Rivendare in Stratholme. When you wake up at three in the morning, and the first thing you think about is a role-playing game, even one as awesome as World of Warcraft, it's time to disable the account. (For awhile)

At the age of forty-two(1) I should be doing something besides slaying imaginary monsters, shouldn't I? Writing! Writing! I tell myself. The only overhead involved in writing is time, paper, and thought. Those come pretty cheap, even these days, yet I can't bring myself to commit to writing anything "kick-ass". I can't commit to jack-squat. It is this intrinsic laziness on my part, this absolute procrastination, this ridonkulous nerdic half-assedness that keeps you, dear reader, denied the pure genius that I, Dan Manning, might excrete from my brain-wrinkles if only motivated to do so.

That is the reason that I, Dan Manning, have cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription. The world needs greatness right now. This week, Barack Obama hit his head on the side of an airplane while waving to the press. I've cancelled the President's Weekly Radio Address from my iTunes, and I never actually listened to any. It's been what? three weeks since he took office? Turns out he is not the Messiah; he's just another guy in a suit.

The world needs a hero, and I, being the narcissist that I am, have come to the conclusion that out of the six-billion people(2) on this earth , I am the hero that this great nation, nay, the undeserving world itself, needs.

How many of us heroes have been distracted by Bread and Circuses? How many of us have given up reading only to watch another episode of "Mythbusters"? (Or "Destroyed in Seconds", "Southpark", or "Spongebob Squarepants") How many of us geniuses, thinkers, philosophers and scientists have watched one too many episodes of (INSERT FAVORITE TELIVISION SHOW HERE). Those half-hours can't be retrieved. That time is truly wasted. Our journey between cradle to grave is finite. Time does not wait for the dreamer, the idle, or the American Idol voter. Time does not give the Beanie-Babies collector a second chance. Those focused on hate, triviality, NASCAR, "This American Life" or Facebook have chosen to invest that time, that precious, unique, non-refundable block of time without reflecting on what they have lost: time.

What am I trying to say here? Oh yes. My World of Warcraft subscription. It drops off at 4:09 PM Thursday. Mark that down folks, that is the day the world gains a new Shakespeare. That is the moment a genius will embark on a story so heartbreaking, so inspired and true, so infused with the very universal essence of life itself, that all wars, hatred, prejudice, racism, strife and awkward silence will be lifted from this weary world.

Or I'll watch more television. Not sure which.
(1)42 being the answer to the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything according to Deep Thought. It only took the supercomputer, created by the hyperintelligent pan-dimentional beings, 1.5 million years to figure out

(2)many of them more educated; many of them more motivated, determined, and focused; some of them better looking; many with a lower BMI; many who rely less on Wikipedia and spell check; many with lower voices, less wrinkles, better haircuts; many more modest, talented, and loving; many more deserving; more caring and empathetic

Sunday, February 08, 2009

movie review: Coraline

Coraline 2009 * * * * Completely entertaining. Drops you into a whole 'nuther world. Great characters and plot. ~ February 08, 2009

all my reviews are here: http://www.danmanning.com/38.php

Thursday, February 05, 2009

made-up sexual positions

These sexual positions don't exist (at least I don't think they do) but they should:

1. The Subprime Slider
2. The Moral Hazard
3. The Reverse Berlin Mandate
4. Kyoto Protocol
5. The Butros Gali Swap
6. The One-Handed Sushi Hold
7. The Executive Washroom
8. The Malkovich Hum
9. Sustained Phillis Diller Pose
10. The Gliding Diphthong
11. Engine Braking

About Me

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com