Rave for Dave – Special Delivery!

Hey gang! It’s Mailman* here, of Lancaster County & Boutros Boutros-Ghali BoFN fame. But enough about me and my too-brief funny names blogging career – we’re here to #RaveforDave!

U of C

Rex the amputee Dino and Kananaskis Hall. True academic inspiration.

I met Dave almost exactly a dozen years ago at the University of Calgary, home of the (not-so-inspiring-on-account-of-being-extinct) Dinos. Dave, Arto, and I all lived on the same floor in Kananaskis Hall (a funny name in itself) as first year undergrads. My first encounter with Dave somehow turned into a feisty debate about the 2000 election, during which it became clear he was one of the smartest, most interesting people I would have the opportunity to spend time with that year, and for many years to come. I always thought he had a big brain, and with the discovery of his gigantic brain tumo(u)r, it turns out I was even more correct than I thought!

Before I get too far down memory lane, here’s my humble solicitation to take a minute to try to bring Dave back to the level of us mere humans** by helping him to a) continue to rid himself of said brain tumo(u)r, so he can b) continue his med school studies and fulfill his dreams of helping and healing others. You can do this by donating to his GoFundMe campaign, which will help cover medical expenses while he continues to undergo treatment in the coming months and years. Go ahead – I’ll give you a few minutes – I promise I’ll still be here when you get back. 

Go fund him!


[play favorite hold / waiting room / grocery store music here]

Okay, thanks for the contribution! Now onto the fun stuff – highlights from that first strange year of quasi-adulthood and a few of my other favorite Dave memories:

  • Despite my empathy toward folks with funny names, I think I can pinpoint my true moment of awakening to the broader world of funny names to a single conversation in the Dining Center. Dave and Arto were leading a robust discussion on great possible band names, and enlightened us all to the joy of knowing that Jonathan Cheechoo (!) hailed from Moose Factory, Ontario (!!) – a double whammy only thought possible in my wildest dreams.
  • One time when I was on a road trip from Tennessee to Alberta, Dave invited me to tag along to Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where he was a delegate for Barack Obama’s first presidential run. It was an incredibly cool opportunity and is part of what inspired me to get more directly involved in politics and ultimately move to DC – I can’t imagine I’d have the life I have today if it weren’t for Dave’s invitation that fateful August.
  • Naturally, Dave has impeccable taste in music. After he moved back to San Diego, we kept up via email and phone and many a discussion was spent talking about music recommendations (usually Dave’s) and lightly mocking each other’ Last.fm Scrobbles (usually mine).
  • At some point during a nice -40oC evening, the fire alarm in our dorm building malfunctioned and forced our evacuation not once, not twice, but THRICE between midnight and 3am. After the first time we all went back to bed; after the second time, a handful of us started a game of Scrabble; and after the third, we gave up and decided to spend what was left of the night elsewhere. Dave was the only one with a vehicle but as the Californian, didn’t realize that plugging in your car in the winter is a thing in Alberta and other frozen hellscapes. Miraculously, he got the van started eventually and we made our way to warmer pastures (the local Denny’s) to continue our game, but I think it’s one of the only times I’ve ever known something Dave didn’t, and I will cherish that feeling forever.
  • Terrible movies were kind of my thing, but I knew that I had officially met my match with Dave. Whether in recognition of, or perhaps a challenge to, my self-proclaimed love for the cinematic scrap pile, he introduced me to the magic of “Buffalo 66”, “Eraserhead”, and most notably – “Manos, the Hands of Fate”. So to anyone I’ve since forced to watch those gems – you have Dave to blame thank. And to Dave’s brain tumor – whatever it is you’re not doing, go don’t do it somewhere else!
  • Every year from 2007 to 2011ish, Dave, Rob, Arto, and others would put together a list of the 100 Coolest People in the World. I joined in on the fun for the ’09 and ’10 renditions and loved being exposed to a new collection of the smart, the interesting, the odd, and the inspiring. By all of these measures, my hypothetical lists for 2017 and onward would have to include the following:

#1: Dave Carlson – witty intellectual, future neurologist, future former brain tumo(u)r host, lifelong inspiration

You’ve got this, Dave!

– Mailman

 *Since my last post in…cough2013cough, I’ve married someone with a decidedly normal last name and it is a WHOLE NEW WORLD.

**This is never actually going to be possible because Dave is the best and who am I trying to fool?

Posted in humor, humour, Rave For Dave | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Grand Finale: One and Only Poll, Dave’s Greatest Sports Names

“Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth.”–Herman Melville

Call me Doofus.   Some years ago–never mind how long precisely–having little or no life, and nothing in particular to interest me in reality, I thought I would log on for a while and see the blogging part of the world.

Practically the first thing I ran into in the blogosphere was The Blog of Funny Names, and its intrepid creator, Dave Carlson.  It seems we immediately had something in common, spanning our generations.   We both have an innate love for funny names, particularly in sports, and especially in baseball.  I commented on one of his posts, that I first delved into funny names when a friend and I compiled a list of what we called the 50 Wackiest Names in Baseball.  We went through an entire baseball encyclopedia, thousands of names. It’s true, or my name isn’t Clyde Klutz.  OK, it isn’t, but his was deemed the #1  wackiest major league baseball name of all time.

That wacky baseball names list, built away back in the dark ages of 1963, would make me a new friend some five decades later.  Dave and I hit if off instantly.  My wife and I further had the great honor of meeting and housing Dave for a night or two when he came to New Haven to interview at Yale Medical School.  That he ultimately wound up at UCSD was their gain and Yale’s lost.  Because as a medical student, curator of funny names, and–most importantly–human being, Dave simply rocks.

So in honor of our esteemed founder and fearless leader, I conclude our Rave for Dave with a poll to determine his funniest sports names of all time.   Appropriately, this is done in the style of my most viewed posts of all time (thanks for the guesting opportunity, Dave!):  The Annual Poll, Funniest Names in the NFL Draft (now at #5 and counting).

Here are the candidates:

The Butmeister

Dick Butkus–A very appropriate first candidate, he was one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history.   Dave profiled him on May 14, 2012,  which just happens to be the week I started blogging at millenniumconjectures.com.   And let us not forget, the winner of this year’s Funniest Names in the NFL draft poll,  Jake Buttowes his legacy to Butkus.  Oh, the pronunciation of Butkus sounds and awful lot like “butt kiss,”  so, case closed.  What I think his name sounds like, if he wasn’t an athlete:  a hit man for the mafia.

Detlef Schrempf–The 6′ 9″ former NBA star was honored by Dave on August 5, 2013.  Mostly known during his career as a reliable option off the bench, he was twice awarded with the league’s 6th Man Award.  He has distinguished himself in retirement through his charitable foundation.  But boy, his name could use a few more vowels.  What I think his name sounds like:  the prime minister of Croatia.

looking pickled

Pickles DilhoeferOne of the greatest nicknames in a sport known for great nicknames, Dilhoefer was a major league baseball catcher, if briefly, in parts of seasons from 1917-1921.   But his best claim to fame came in August of 2013, when Dave told his story here on  The Blog of Funny Names.  Sadly, the great Pickles died young, succumbing to Typhoid Fever early in 1922.  I guess he wasn’t pickled enough.  What I think his name sounds like:  Myer Lansky’s girlfriend.

Corn Griffin–Dave is an ardent boxing fan, so we have to have at least one boxer on this list.  Dave covered this pugilist on September 7, 2015.  The thing is,  his place in funny name lore may lie less with his own name, then with his incredible string of wins against funny named opponents.  Dave listed them thusly: Grumpy Gordy, Ox Marquette, Pep Causey, Kenneth Osteen, Gunboat Farley, Bobcat Morris, Layon McDuff, Grumpy Gordy (again), Shootie Copeland, and Autyro Staines.  So when you vote for Corn, you are effectively voting for this entire list.  What I think his name sounds like: a sax-playing sideman for Miles Davis.

Cappie Pondexter–In a league with some very funny names–the WNBA–Cappie has the distinction of being the first lady basketball to grace BOFN pages.  That happened when Dave wrote about her in July of 2012.   This also fulfills our title IX requirements for today.  What I think her name sounds like: a Loony Tunes character from the early 1930’s.


Sicnarf Loopstok–Last but certainly not least, comes my favorite funny-named athlete of all time.  Loopstok, a minor league baseball character, came to the fore when he won minor league baseball’s Moniker Madness contest in August of 2014.  This is the only one Dave did not write about.  I did.  But Dave and I teamed up to put Loopstok over the top, to claim his victory.  (Don’t tell anyone, but we stuffed the ballot box, as Dave and I jointly described in Funny Names In The News #51).  Our combined efforts helped “Sickie” top the likes of Forrest Snow, Storm Throne,  Jose Jose, and Storm Speer.  Unfortunately, he is still toiling  as a catcher in the low minors, but his name lives on in funny name history.   What I think his name looks like: an explosion in an Alpha-Bits factory.

That’s it folks. Cast your ballots.  And don’t forget to donate to Dave’s Go Fund Me campaign.  We need him back, healthy, and solvent as soon as possible.  Voting ends….hmm…maybe never, but certainly not before Dave says it does.

Posted in funny names in baseball, funny names in sports, Greatest hits, Rave For Dave | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Here’s to King Dave, who taught me about more than funny names

Back when I was wet behind the ears, I dreamed about being a writer for BoFN.

Then Dave Carlson opened his big, fuzzy heart and let me into the big leagues.

Well, something like that.

I was writing along at markbialczak.com when my fellow bloggers Liz and Kerbey told me about this spot they both were posting at. The Blog of Funny Names, they nudged me to check out.  It ran almost daily stories frequently written by some seriously funny folks.

IMG_7561The ringleader was a guy by the name of Dave Carlson. He got in touch with me, and I must have passed muster. Maybe it was my name. In any case, he gave me a montly slot on his blog, and in November, 2014, off I went with a piece on golfer Fred Funk.

It went live on the blog. I held my breath.

Dave Carlson commented in a thread with Kerbey.

“Wait, Fred was a boxer?!?!?! I’m not sure if you know how much this excites me, but it really does!!!!”

I was in.

I learned that Dave was so into arcane sports facts.

Over the course of the next few years, we traded odd views and remarks about that and this, Hollywood folks and other peculiarities I came up with for his blog.

For some reason, I started to call him King Dave. His world. I only wrote in it, you know.

So now I bow to this worldly ruler as he wages such an important and courageous fight.

You rule to me, King Dave. Thanks for reigning with just the right touch.

If you haven’t yet, take a look at great piece NBC San Diego did about King Dave’s journey against brain cancer.

Dave’s friends have put up a Go Fund Me page.

Posted in Funny names in blogging, Rave For Dave, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Why I Love Dave More than the Gilmore Girls Revival on Netflix

With today’s post, we welcome back someone who needs no introduction – the delightful Amb from Toronto, Ontario, Canada – to The Blog of Funny Names. Sadly, her login to the BoFN has expired . . .

Hi all! Thanks so much for having me. I’ve been away from blogging for a few years, so it’s an honour to be asked back and contribute a #ravefordave. And that’s not just my Canadian spelling manners speaking!

If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a moment and get reacquainted. There are a couple of things you should know before we get this party started.

The first thing is that, while all of the people here love Dave, there’s only one person here who loves him in a swoon-inducing, breath-stealing, high school crush-reliving sort of way.

I promised him I would keep this PG-13, but suffice to say that I once convinced Dave to drive over an hour out of his way just to buy me dinner, he once hid a trail of messages for me across the internet, and we have nauseatingly adorable nicknames for each other. I have been batting my eyelashes across the blogsphere at this boy for ages, and I’d still like to be his girlfriend when I grow up.

The second thing is that I talk fast, drink coffee faster, and am, more often than not, charmingly ridiculous at life. In other words, Lorelai Gilmore is my spirit animal.

So when I tell you that I love Dave more than I love the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix – you know – that’s a lot. Let’s compare the two, shall we?

Coming back to Star’s Hollow with Lorelai felt like coming home. Dave makes people feel like that when they reconnect with him, too. Other folks have already spoken eloquently about the genuine warmth and affection he exudes, even if he’s been out of touch for a while.

I will, as usual, put this into TV-speak and say that talking to Dave makes my heart feel as light and twinkly as the gazebo in the Star’s Hollow town square. It doesn’t matter if we go a few days or a few weeks between visits – the sparkle is always there.

(This is also the part of my post where I polish up my funny-named Canadian indie musician bona fides, and dedicate “Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk to Dave).

Even when she’s keeping up with the trends, Lorelai sticks with what works. The woman knew how to rock a toque … and she brought it back to Netflix in 2016. Dave, too, enjoys wearing classic pieces that withstand the fickle winds of fashion. (*cough* red hoodie *cough*) And looks mighty fine doing it too, if I may say so myself.

Lorelai’s challenges only made her stronger. Ok, look. This is a safe space. We can all admit that the scene where Lorelai finally broke down and shared a favourite memory of her late father Richard Gilmore turned us into blubbering, snot-nosed disasters. The point isn’t how Netflix could so mercilessly wring tears from us after we had barely gotten over Rory and Logan’s farewell. The point is how Lorelai used the pain of her loss to build a stronger, deeper, and more meaningful relationship with her remaining parent, her mother Emily.

Y’all can see where this is going, right? My beloved Dave is already thinking ahead to how this experience is going to help him build stronger, deeper, and more meaningful relationships with his patients.

Seriously, who does that?! This guy, that’s who. I swoon.

He’s going to become a wiser, more compassionate doctor, who will have a remarkable impact on every life he touches.

Well. Now that *I’ve* become a blubbering, snot-nosed disaster, I’m going to sign off. Please consider contributing to Dave’s GoFundMe campaign, if you haven’t already. (And maybe watch “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” on Netflix. I mean, if you want).

Love you, kitten. You’ve got this. xoxo




Posted in Rave For Dave | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Rav3 4 Dav3 Day 7

Words on Dave

by Ogdydd Naesh

Dave is sometimes known as King,
And has a fondness for boxing.
He also has been known to spar
With WordPress and rock guitar.

For funny names Dave has a passion,
Which puts his own name out of fashion;
Dave’s name is nice enough, but plain,
As Dave himself likes to explain.

They say Dave’s clever like Tom Edison,
And it’s a fact he studies medicine.
Is there anything Dave can’t do?
Our research team can’t prove it’s true.

One’s called Angie and one’s named Clifford;
They’ve gone out armed with pencil and clipboard.
So far, they report one fact:
Dave loves people, and they love him back.

We’ve never met a soul so brave
To say, “Sorry, I can’t do that, Dave.”
Confronted with Dave’s charms galore,
Even HAL would lift that pod bay door.

Hal and Dave

“Anything you say, Dave. No problemo!”

Dave’s also known for his good deeds,
Helping all in all their needs.
He’s gone for missions on a scooter,
To serve mankind as MCAT tutor.

Sometimes after bouts of FNitN
Dave’s gone out to save some kittens,
He takes them mewling from a branch,
To the refuge of Amb’s kitten ranch.

We should mention Dave’s oblivious
To making females flibbertigibbeous,
And causing them to turn their heads,
Which swell and smoke and turn bright red.

Latest victims of disaster:
Three winsome NBC newscasters.
Responding to these ladies’ swoons,
Medics rushed to their newsroom.

They say one’s stable, one still critical,
And one more still flibbertigibbical.
We plan to get some flowers and visitem.
Please note that one’s named Megan Tevrizian.

Megan Tevrizian

Finely named reporter among latest to succomb to Daveswoon.

Yes, Dave has many gifts, so various.
Did we mention he’s hilarious?
At BoFN for the longest while
He’s posted with great comic style.

And now we come to the real test:
Which BoFN post by Dave is best?
Different readers have their favorite
From all the many posts that Dave writ.

For posts in which Dave best cavorts,
Some say FNitN, and some sports.
To venture judgment I’m quite leery,
But I say the one on Funny Names Theory.

Now we’ll hear hairsplitters fidget,
“That’s not a post, it’s just a widget.”
And if that’s true my crime is heenius,
But that one really shows Dave’s genius.

Inspiration, depth, and range,
A perfect mix of weird and strange,
That post as any fool hazzter see’s
A blazing comic masterpiece.

You wouldn’t doubt me, or think that droll,
If Mark Sackler made a poll.
“View Results” would surely indicate it,
And get my choice for best post vindicated.

That Dave, we could go on on himmit’s
Just that BoFN has word limits.
But before you stroll away,
There’s one more thing we have to say.

Dave helps all, but who helps Dave?
If you’ve got some riches saved,
Don’t spend it all this coming Sundy:
Go and visit Dave’s GoFundMe.

Posted in Rave For Dave | Tagged , | 16 Comments