The Toolman

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen), Jill (Patricia Richardson), Al (Richard Karn), Heidi (Debbe Dunning), Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), Randy (NU applicant JTT), Mark (Taran Noah Smith) and, of course, Wilson (Earl Hindman). Sure, the “Home Improvement” actors typecast themselves into oblivion (video here), but we remember and appreciate the laughter they gave us somewhere in the mid-’90s. What we probably have never realized, however, is the show’s effect on the toolmen of America and the world. “What?” you say. “I never realized that!” Indeed. Toolman Antonio Guerra of Monterrey, Mexico, writes:

Though I’ve seen mostly dubbed in Spanish episodes, it’s the best show on home and work safety. While funny, you can get a message of safety just by watching Tim as an accident-prone individual. I still watch re-runs of this, and have used this as an introduction to safety lectures at my work site. The whole cast is balanced and really look the way they are in the show.

In the show’s passing, men in this line of work have lost their hero, their foothold in pop culture. Now they are toolmen, not Toolmen. Everyday moments in the sun have become fraught with pain and frustration, no more evidenced then when a team of electricians worked at my office yesterday.

One electrician stood in the hallway, drawing up plans. Walking by, an office worker remarked upon the many tools in this man’s toolbox. He replied with a hearty laugh:

Toolman: Yeah, just like Tim the Toolman on TV!”

Office worker: [polite smile]

Toolman: [polite follow-up chuckling, as his puffed-up chest receded]

Glory days, they’ll pass you by. Come on, Wilson, what advice do you have now??

Marah gone MTV?

Congratulations, Marah, you got what you wanted. You said you’d get out of the Philly/Jersey shore circuit and get to play across the pond. You said you’d ditch the banjoes and all the instruments that made you interesting, that made you the “Last Rock and Roll Band.” (The title was self-proclaimed, but listeners agreed with you.)

Now, the latest news about you is that you have done exactly what you said you’d do. I’ve listened to a couple snippets of the new album, which made their way onto the Web today. You’ve smoothed out your voices, you’ve turned up those guitars and you sure did use that mixing board. You’ve made a record that’s going to sell and sell and sell. I’ll buy one the day it comes out, for the little bit of you that’s left in it.

Update two months later: A more fair take.

“Who it is!”

Has anyone else been watching the Cosby Show marathon on Nick-at-Nite this week? Good, good television. I’m managing to catch some episodes between work on papers and projects, and it’s all been worth it. In addition to seeing good TV, it’s nice to realize that we weren’t always so ironic. Irony only gets you so far in the pursuit of comedy. At some point, you just have to be funny. (“Friends” fans, I love you despite your idiocy.)

Letters

Tom notes in my guestbook that I should have a mechanism to let people comment on my posts. I don’t think Blogger has this feature available yet. Until then, send me mail.

My coat:

My winter coat is big and green. It has other qualities, but Enron probably has a good dental plan too. The problem about the jacket is that it makes me look like a Christmas tree. Skinny trunk surrounded by a whole bunch of green. After making the mistake of admitting my self-consciousness, Lindsay now shows how much she cares by singing “O Christmas Tree” when I wear the jacket.

I think that’s why I always comment on people’s red shoes. If I was wearing those shoes, then I’d only be a white hat away from having my halls decked.

Musical notes:

“O Christmas Tree” is one of those songs that people know the first verse of and then mumble the rest, usually because everyone seems to be saying something different. Apparently they are.

Spurred by a SNL rerun: Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” with hard rock vocals, electric guitar and no bass line — better song? I think it would be. (See what she’s up to these days.)

Rules of the Weblog:

1) It shall be called a Weblog even though “Blog” is a syllable shorter. Blog is too dreary a word to be used under any circumstances.

2) The Weblog shall be capitalized, following an unnecessary but logical extension of Associated Press style.

3) The Weblog shall conform to AP style. (Case in point: AP on second reference.)

4) The Weblog shall conform to accepted rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling, except when I am in hurry. (Then we will just have to make do.)

5) The Weblog shall be interesting, useful or updated regularly. (Once again, sneaky boolean logic covers all the bases.)

6) The Weblog shall never again mention “boolean logic.”

The rules of the Weblog are subject to change.