Friday, June 27, 2014

Unbelieva-Fever


How can anyone not love The World Cup's Fuelco The Armadillo?

Look: I'm just a humble observer.

A simple fan.


And, honestly, a rather recent one to The World Cup at that.

I'm not the consummate sports reporting professional Clark is when he's not pulling double duty as an Unbelievable. And I didn't grow up across the pond as fellow comrade Jeff whose "appreciation of football" - while inherent because of nationality - harbors the disenchantment of realism as noted in Wednesday's entry. (Not everything on television is as glamorous as one would think, I'm sure Jeff would say.)

Right now, I'm digging The World Cup. Yeah ... the rules are still a bit strange as to advancement into the upper tiers of competition. (Really? The United States advanced even though they lost on Thursday ... ?!? Apparently the old adage "You can't win for losing" doesn't hold water in The World Cup.)

But toss in the fact The Unbelievables are actively active in the tournament and you have to admit there's a whole new level of excitement! Unbelivievia is alive and well and headed for the knockout stages of competition! Thrilling! Chilling! Who'duh thunk it ... ?!?

Of course, it's impossible to predict the outcome of our efforts. I mean, in reality, we just put the team together and have had precious little time to "gel" into a well-oiled machine. But credit where credit is due: We're well advanced in our Group U and kicking balls!

Next up, as Jeff stated, is Brunei. They "supposedly" have some secret strategy to oust us from position but that remains to be seen. I'll have a special report next Wednesday after next week's match to update you on our status.

(Meanwhile, I can tell you Elton John masks are all the rage and selling like hotcakes courtesy of our fans finding out little pieces of our history as a football contender. International fandom is wild and wacky!)


And speaking of updates ... 

Suarez Update: Truth be told, I'm glad we got the chance to expose the devious football field shenanigans of Luis Suarez. I don't care who you are: There isn't any excuse for such behavior (or "behaviour" as Jeff might put it). Since last post, word has come down the daft athlete has been struck quite the disciplinary blow - a 9 game squelch as well as a 4 month ban from any football field. While that might seem harsh, The Unbelievables don't feel it's harsh enough. After all, the rogue has been punished for two other Hannibal Lecterisms: 7 and 10 game bans for like-minded toothy incidents. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) waffled originally when this latest travesty raised its ugly head and many wondered if it was going to do anything about it at all. (FIFA stumbles often when it comes to doling out punishment. And it does like its stars out on display, especially on the international front of The World Cup, where - unfortunately - Suarez is certainly one of those stars.)

Luckily, The Unbelievables were on the job at the time. Now ... what was done and how we did it can't be revealed. Ever. Because, well, no one - NO ONE - is allowed to fiddle with the governing body of such an organization as FIFA. The reasons are obvious. Strict impartiality must be in order so that the equal rules of play are maintained for everyone. But The Unbelievables have their ways of "getting things done" in order to see justice is meted out. Let's just say FIFA didn't want to bring down the hammer as hard as it did on Suarez (which, in our opinion, wasn't harsh enough). That's all I'm allowed to say.

Except of course: World (Cup)? You're welcome.
 

Oh ... all right. I will pass along one little tidbit from our Suarez investigation ...

It shouldn't come as any surprise this is Suarez' "hero" he looks up to and gleans inspiration from before each match:


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Soccer Shenanigans

Clark is correct - I don't particularly care for soccer, perhaps in part because I was made to play it at school in all weathers, or at least all the types of weather that seem to occur during soccer season, which is to say Autumn, Winter and Spring. Yep, you guessed it. Muddy, wet, cold, miserable outside, and you want me to run around a field and kick a ball if it comes my way? Well, mister P.E. teacher man, it's all very well for you, sloping off to the staff room every 45 minutes for a nice warm mug of cocoa and a sly ciggy, telling us lads to 'get stuck in'. See how you like it when I set the fire alarm off while you're mid-sip.

So as you can see I am not a keen footie fan. So when the boys decided we were going to play in the World Cup in order to protect the world from a band of jewel thieves, I was doubtful as to how we were going to achieve this. But I must admit, I was impressed with the boys' can-do attitude and never-say-die spirit.

We are currently entering the knockout stages of the tournament and even though we struggled against Equatorial Guinea and the mighty Tonga, we won through (despite some dodgy calls by the ref) and are looking forward to our next match where we face the fearsome Sultanate of Brunei. In the meantime, the world is experiencing a distinct lack of diamond heists, and only we know why. Michael will explain it all in fearless and pantsless detail (as he always does) on Friday.

Meanwhile, I embarked on a side project which I can now tell you about.

I discovered a gruesome project being undertaken by a secret klatch of scientists specialising in various fields such as cloning, genetic modification and similar disciplines, with an evil purpose - to rid the world's football teams of their star strikers. It all started many years ago when this group developed a technique known as Scientific Modification Using Digital Genetic Enhancements - or S.M.U.D.G.E. for short.

They started by taking some tissue samples from both Erik Estrada and Adam Sandler (how they got them, I have yet to ascertain) and combined these with DNA from a llama and a piranha fish.
What they ended up with was then secretly placed in a small village in Uruguay, where it grew up to be a naturally talented soccer player, with an added extra talent. 

It went something like this...



+


+


+


=


Yes, Luis Suarez, the result of that fiendish experiment years ago, put here to bite as many opposing players as possible. Now, with last night's incident still fresh in our minds, FIFA is considering legal action against this hideous FrankenStriker. And it's all thanks to The Unbelievables.

You are welcome, world.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Unbelievabol

We hope everyone is enjoying the World Cup tournament currently taking place. It's very exciting, isn't it? We know you're feeling safe while it's going on. We know, because we're making it that way.

Before play began, we picked up on a plot hatched by a crafty ring of international jewel thieves that would rely on the excitement generated by the tourney to help them carry out their nefarious plans. Basically, their plan was to rob jewelery stores and museums in the world's most densely populated countries on the days when their teams played games. Every time a team wins a game, the populace of that country erupts in wild celebrations, during which most everyone is distracted. The more populous the country, the bigger the celebration, the bigger the distraction, the easier it is to rob a place stupid. Simple.
Our response was equally simple: plant ourselves on the team from the smallest country possible and win all the games against the bigger countries. Fewer wins means less celebrations and more diligent security.
One of the problems we ran into was finding the right sized country. This was proving problematic until Michael found a site on the internet that allows you to register your very own micronation. With a $15 "processing fee" (charged to Jeff's credit card) and several pages of "I Agree", we were the proud owners and residents of "Unbelievia" (rejected names: Unbelievaburg, Unbelievavania, Michigan II). First order of business was to set us up with our own World Cup team. Done!
Our team: the three of us and two guys who inadvertantly clicked the wrong link while searching for Elton John fan sites. It's going to be tough with only five guys but we love a challenge.

We encountered other problems (Jeff, in spite of being from England, doesn't particularly care for soccer. Michael doesn't particularly care for sports played while clothed) but the mission continues. The boys will tell you all about it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I Love Me Some Whipped Potatoes

So, guys? You're not keen on whipped potatoes, I get it! If only the fellas would let me demonstrate the fabulousness and the versatility of the whipped potato, I could transform their ill-educated palates and tired tastebuds! Whipped potatoes are just the beginning, my friends. Once you give in to the tantalising morsels I am about to show you, you will open yourselves up to a whole new world of flavor and piquancy. Prepare to be dazzled.

Gone are the days when whipped potatoes were just bland little side dishes like this...



Why, if you'd let me loose in the kitchen, chaps, you could be eating tantalizing delights such as this...

Apple bacon cheddar whipped potatoes!

Garlic whipped potatoes with gorgonzola piccante!

Chicken 'n' dumplins with whipped potatoes and green beans!

Sour cream and garlic whipped potatoes! (Recipe follows)
 INGREDIENTS:
5 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese at room
temperature
1/2 cup warm milk, or more as needed
1 tablespoon sour cream
salt and ground black pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese into the potatoes with an electric mixer until butter is nearly melted. Add milk and sour cream; beat until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper.


Simple but effective. Whipped potatoes with bacon.


Whipped potatoes accompanied by steak wrapped in Cabernet-soaked Morel mushrooms... drool...

Pan-seared salmon with wasabi whipped potatoes!

Sour cream and chive whipped potatoes with... whatever that is...

Whipped-potato-encrusted meatloaf!

And even - wait for it - whipped potato quesadillas!
Now come on, fellas - even dullards such as yourselves cannot fail to have their interest piqued by such high quality cuisine. Oh, and in case you thought I was forgetting something, how about some delicious dessert?

That's right - turkey cupcake with roasted garlic whipped potato frosting! It's like I've died and gone to heaven, it really is.
So... whaddya say!?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Annoyables

Michael is right, it does get worse sometimes. MUCH worse. I'll skip the degrees and get right to the bottom of the situation.
As noted here several times previously, Michael spends a lot, A LOT, of time naked. Generally, Jeff and I abide. It's not usually a big deal and we all have our own little quirks. But when Michael is naked and trying intentionally to get on our nerves, well, that's when enough is e-damn-nough...

"Michael, get your finger out of my face."
"What finger? Ha ha!"
"That finger, the one right there."
"Oh, this finger? The one that is close to touching your face?"
"Yes. Knock it off!"
"Why? I'm not touching you. It shouldn't be a bother."
"I mean it..."
"I am not touching you. I am not touching you. I am not touching you. I am not touching you."
"That's just it, though. You actually are."
"Huh? No, I'm n... Oops. Sorry about that."

Happens all the time. Usually when it's over, we all just go outside and contemplate the great mysteries in the sky. Or whatever it takes to not think about... that.

Monday, June 16, 2014

(Not So) Unbelievable



We're guys.
(Yes ... suave, tailored, fashionable, trendy guys ... but still, deep down, we're guys ...) 

And being guys entails a lot. Lots. Tons. 

There's a whole bevy of things we think and do and get in trouble for that "reasonable" people (i.e. women) wouldn't even begin to consider. *snort*

But, as stated: We're guys.

We're bred to mess with things. Annoy. Tinker. Challenge. Boast. Mess with. Do better.

That being said, if there's anyone out there who thinks three guys in a base of operations get along 24/7, then they've never been with a group of guys for any length of time. Put us in a group and there's going to be conflict of one sort or another. It's inherent.

So no ..., Jeff, Clark and I don't always get along.


And that's okay. Really ... it is. Our different likes and dislikes are what fosters our competitive natures. Our differences highlight our various strengths. They're what cause us to virtually slap each other on the back in congratulation when something goes exceedingly well. That and an unexpected wedgie every once in a while is what camaraderie is all about.

But, oh ... the times we're at each other's throats (metaphorically speaking, of course) ...


Those times? Not necessarily our finest moments:
"All right ... who ate the last of my cherries!?? Especially when you guys don't even like cherries ... ?!??"


Is there any doubt this is Jeff's favorite scene
in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind?

Jeff: "Is it Tuesday? I'm dying for some whipped potatoes. I can't even remember the last time we had whipped potatoes ..."

Clark and I in unison: "Yesterday! Which was Tuesday!"

"Michael! The Unbelieva-Babes are not a ladder!"

Jeff: "Who unplugged the steam to my computer? Do you have any idea how long it takes for me to get this thing fired up ... ?!?"

Yet another of Clark's hundreds of home made robots ...



Clark: "Hey, guys! Wanna see the new robot I made last night?!?"

Jeff and I in unison: "NO ... !!!"

Clark: "Michael ... that's the fifth time you've played 'Hot Rod Lincoln' this morning. Can you please find something else to listen to ... ?!?"

Jeff: "Michael? We appreciate you cooking dinner, but ... Clark and I would appreciate it more if you'd put some pants on when you do so ... all right?"

"Clark! I stepped on your pet Stegosaurus last night when I got up to go to the bathroom. How many times have I told you to put away your dinosaur collection when you're done with it ... ?!?"



Clark: "Michael? Do us a favor: Put some pants on when you answer the doorbell from now on ... please ..."
Jeff: "Guys! Whipped potatoes tonight ... okay?"

Clark and I in unison: "NO ... !!!"

"Michael? While Clark and I encourage your nude volleyball proclivities with enthusiasm and vigor uniquely your own, we think doing so in the main lobby is not the proper place to do so. And especially when there are customers present ..."

Clark: "I'm gonna go wash the 'Vette guys. Back in a few ..."

"Again? Didn't you wash it earlier this morning?"

Jeff: "Anyone up for a whipped potato sammich for lunch?"

Clark and I in unison: "NO ... !!!"

Believe me ... it gets worse ...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fail mail

Hoo boy, do we ever get letters. Sadly, many of them are total wastes of time that don't even merit answers. Like these:

Dear Unbelievables,
You have an Unbelievabase, Unbelievamobiles and Unbelievababes. Why don't you have an Unbelieveachoo-choo? What do you have against choo-choos? Are you not aware that the choo-choo is the reason that America was settled from coast to coast and became the greatest industrialized nation on earth? Are you too good to ride the rails and fight crime? Buy a choo-choo for Pete's sake!

Sincerely,
Pete Gordon
Choo-Choo Liquidators



Dear Unbelievables,
If you're so great, how come I don't see you on my World Cup bracket?
PS: Stay away from my girlfriend while I'm in Brasil.

Sincerely,
Cristiano Ronaldo



Dear Unbelievables,
I'm here to present a mystery to you that will test you like none other has. You see my car keys... Oops, there they are. Never mind.

Sincerely,
Stanley Limpwhistle



Dear Unbelievables,
I want to follow you guys around and document your adventures, basically serving as an unofficial official biographer. I would provide this service free of charge if you just let me sniff your fingers from time to time. What do you say?

Sincerely,
Cecil Pepperschmidt



Sigh.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Junk Mail


Oh ... we get letters all right ...

There are days when we really wonder about some of the folks out there who look up to us or admire what we do. Here ... take a gander at what we mean ...

Dear Unbelievables:

How come we never hear any adventures about those Laura or Marissa chicks that pop up now and again? 

Don't get me wrong: It's not that I'm not hip to you guys and you mixing it up with the bad eggs out there and all. And I don't have any "gay-o-phobic" problems in the least. But, you know, with all your "Hello, Ladies!" talk and you going on about the Unbelieva-Babes, you'd think they'd have a greater stake in the day-to-day activities. 

What gives? I mean ... I'd like to meet'em someday, you know. Maybe more, too. A proposal could be in order ... or something.

Jim Shanty

Jim:

They pop up here and there as various exploits and situations warrant. But, honestly, they don't like being put in the spotlight much. They prefer to keep things "behind the scenes" in a manner of speaking. 

That ... and Laura is spoken for. And Marissa? She'd squash you like a bug ... but in a good way.

Freak.

Hey, Unbelievables:

Speaking of Unbelieva-Babes, why haven't we heard anything about Elastigirl and Violet? I can't remember the last time you guys said anything about them.

I'm curious ...

George

P.S. I was wondering: Would you mind passing my name and number over to Elastigirl and putting in  good word for me? She really should be the only "Unbelieva-Babe" in your arsenal of hottie-toddies, if you catch my meaning. And I can totally see myself cozying up to her and her "elastabilities" ... if you catch my drift ...

George? I think you mean The Incredibles from the wildly popular Disney animated feature by the same name. We've never said anything about Elastigirl or Violet in our posts ... until now.

Freak.

Look:

I'm on to your game. You guys are just cheap imitations of who you say you are.

Know how I know? Because Al Capone hasn't been around since like the 30s ... I think.

So fess up, already.

Joe Fielding

Ummm ... Joe? We're pretty sure you're talking about Eliot Ness's men The Untouchables ... not The Unbeievables. We've never had anything to do with Al Capone.

Dear Untouchables:

I need a ride Monday through Friday for work. You can pick me up at my house around 7:30 each morning. It's just a short 15 minute ride to my work and on the way to your digs in Stiletto Flats so it won't be a problem for you.

I'm off around 5 every night and it's usually straight home from work. No funny business. 

Well ... every once in a while the missus wants me to stop at the store for a few things on the way home, but I shouldn't be there more than 10 minutes at a pop. And even then that won't happen much. Maybe once a week ... twice, tops.

What do you say? Pick me up beginning next week? I'll spring for half the gas if you want. And I could have coffee for you in the morning 3 out of the 5 days, too.

Cory (Coriander) McGill

When we get stuff like this, it's just a matter of putting a word in to our buddy* Kip, The Mail Boy and getting him to monitor things a little more diligently. We know the kid is sometimes overworked ... but it's what he's paid for ...

* Understand when I say "our buddy" I mean that reflective of Jeff and myself. Clark? Well ... he has a few issues with Kip.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mail Call

Every once in a while we like to open up the fan-mail bag here on the UnbelievaBlog and answer a question or two from our legions of admirers. So here goes with one from Gerhardt Schnäbel from Blue Mound, IL:

"Hey there Unbelievables,

I've been reading your blog for a long time now and I'm a huge fan, but one thing kinda bugs me. I can't work out what year it's supposed to be or how old you are. You seem to solve crimes wearing clothes from different eras, one minute you're dressed in '70s kitsch, then stuff from the '50s and '60s, all your gadgets seem vintage, then there's some '80s references thrown in, and next thing you are solving crimes in the present day. What gives? I mean, are you guys time travellers or timelords or what?

Your friend, Gerhardt"

Wow, great question, Gerhardt. You know, I'd really love to tell you the whole story but it would take ages and I really don't have the time, if you know what I'm saying. So to make up for it, here's a cool picture of the Unbelievajalopy's new paint job! 

Cool, no?
More mailbag questions on Wednesday!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Confident Calm Personified




Even when our sweaters get pilled (and believe me: I do enjoy wearing the fashionable sweater ... usually without trousers) The Unbelievables stay cool.

Our efforts to get people confident enough to sleep peacefully at night? No matter the blood, sweat and tears we put in, we remain confident the job will get done.

The evil that abounds in the night (and the day and the afternoon and around tea time)? We're on board in our very confidence, knowing full well our joined efforts will win out in the end.


Even when something important may be missing,
I have no fear and my confidence is not shaken.

As Clark previously mentioned: The world isn't as hunky dory as everyone would like to believe.

Bees, bears and beer snobs (stupid beer snobs) do exist. And, at any time, those delightful unicorn and rainbow-bright carefree feelings can change at the drop of a hat. But that doesn't mean you need spend the day in a Debbie Downer frame of mind.

Now ... I'm not at all on board with my compatriot's "flier campaign" aimed at reassuring everyone "everything's gonna be all right." Why? Because anyone can toss an image and a snappy saying on a piece of paper, add some primary colors to make it stand out, enlarge it to overwhelming billboard-size and put it in plain sight of the viewing masses. But that's not going to convince everyone every little thing will fall into place.

Failed Unbelievable-wannabe Chuck Norris isn't gonna do it. Hopeful positivity put on display isn't going to calm genuine fears. Not even the spiffy "Stop It!" Bob Newhart video is going to do the trick 100% of the time:




(Granted: That video should allay fears and phobias ... but it's not a fool-proof methodology.)

And while the latest and greatest "Keep Calm" campaign that's been making the rounds of late is all the rage on bus stop kiosks, posters and T-shirts, I'm doubtful Jeff's good intentions will cool peoples' jets.

You know what's going to do it that my fellow Unbelievables have missed? An image that boasts assuredness. An image that exudes well being and confidence. Something so amazingly brilliant you can't help but be surrounded by a bubble of calm, causing all your fears to melt to nothingness. 

And I have just the image that will accomplish the task. Even my Unbelieva-Buddies will immediately pick up on its obviousness.

And so will you, Unbelievable friends, fans and followers.

No caption required:




Yep. The Unbelievables are on the job. No need to worry.

You're welcome.


And spread the word.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Keep Calm and Let Us Do The Butt-Kicking Stuff



Here's an example of one of our fliers that are aimed at reassuring the general public (i.e. YOU) and attempting to create a warm fuzzy atmosphere in these United States and beyond. We want people to remain calm and not be afraid of too much, for reasons that Clark so eloquently laid out on Monday. So I took it upon myself to create some images that can be used as fliers, posters or billboards around the world. In the one above, we use an image of the not-very-scary-but-tries-to-be failed Unbelievable Chuck Norris, who learned everything he knows from us and then tried to make a quick buck out of it. It's an ironic image - he thinks he's badass but he really isn't.

People around the globe have phobias and fears of everything from the Russians to spiders to gay people to egg foo young, and all manner of things in between, so it's our hope that by distributing these fliers with positive messages of calmness and reassurance on them, the world will become a happier, calmer, less scary place. Calmer happier people = less stupid stuff to worry about = easier cases to solve for us crime fighting types. If people are assured that we'll deal with the really heavy stuff, then everything else is just so much bellybutton lint.

Here's a few more I'm working on, so look out for these in your neighbourhood soon.





Monday, June 2, 2014

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And lots of other stuff but mostly fear.

You know what really pills our sweaters? We (Jeff, Michael and I) got into this business of international do-goodery to meet women and improve people's quality of life and meet women. By fending off bad guys, we wanted people to sleep peacefully at night, secure in the knowledge that the forces of good were out there, ever vigilant and prepared to defend them. However, in spite of our best efforts, some people are more afraid than ever. Fear breeds distrust, distrust breeds anxiety and anxiety keeps us from getting our 40 winks at night. This is terribly disappointing as it renders our efforts completely ineffectual.
Well, maybe not completely ineffectual.

Now, we're not saying the world is hunky dory and that there aren't legitimate things out there to worry about. Bees, bears and beer snobs all still exist and pose a significant threat to our well-being and state of not being annoyed. But this idea of having pre-formed, negative, fear-based opinions of people and ideas with which we're not familiar or comfortable? That's counter-productive and unnecessary, folks. Granted, there are bad people out there and there's merit to being cautious sometimes. However, for the most part, we're all the same in that we just want some activity that keeps us busy and for which we're fairly compensated, something to eat and a place where we and our loved ones can feel warm and dry. That's basically it. These irrational fears prevent us from working together for the sake of the common good.
In order to get this message out, we have dispatched Dave, one of our best and brightest interns from our training academy in Jenga Falls, Montana, to implement and oversee a grass-roots, portable sign-based awareness campaign.
Say hi to Dave, everybody.
This sign is America-centric (we're starting in America because this is where we're headquartered and this, let's face it, is where we need the most work) but it's a global initiative. I'll let the guys tell you about some of our efforts in this campaign.