Monday, January 27th, 2014

I’m still feeling full after eating out every night but one last week and then getting a belly full of beer at the anniversary party they threw at Central Waters Brewing on Saturday, so I wasn’t going to eat breakfast.

Then I thought, You know, if you don’t eat breakfast, you’ll make it to about ten o’clock and then your stomach’s gonna start growling.

And then I thought, Okay, I’ll have a bowl of oatmeal. That’ll hold me over. Inner Me was satisfied with that idea, so he was hugely disappointed when I couldn’t find the oatmeal. Couldn’t find it anywhere. A whole box of oatmeal. Just bought it on, like, Friday and today it was nowhere to be found!

Keep looking, Inner Me said. There aren’t a lot of places it could be in a tiny kitchen like this.

Well, okay, I said. Got any suggestions?

Check in the cupboard over the clothes dryer where she keeps the table cloths.

Don’t be stupid. Why would she have put it there?

Okay, don’t listen to me. Go hungry. See if I care.

So I checked and, what do you know, that’s where she put it. I’ll have to check that cupboard more often to see what else she’s hiding in there.

Inner Me | 5:50 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Sunday, January 26th, 2014

photo booth film stripRemember photo booths? For a buck and a half’s worth of quarters, you could get a snot-covered film strip of photos of all the people you went out drinking with. For me, they were a lot of fun because every strip was a collection of four completely random shots taken at the most awkward moments, no matter how carefully you tried to time them. If you got even one shot that made anybody in the photo look normal, it was just dumb luck.

Also part of the fun was getting as many people into the booth as were willing to crawl on top of one another, then trying to get everyone’s face in one shot. I think the most I’ve ever seen in a single shot was five, maybe six people. Recognizable people. I’ve seen plenty of shots with five faces that were complete enough to recognize, with a nose or an eyeball peeking through a gap, leaving the rest of us to wonder, Hmmm, who was with us that night?

My brother and I used to duck into these things wherever we found them. A lot of the time we went out of our way to find them, like whenever we happened by a forgotten Kresge’s store. You could always find a photo booth somewhere in a Kresge’s or Ben Franklin, almost as if they were required by state law to maintain one somewhere on the premises. The booth was usually somewhere just inside the front door; I always imagined that was for people who had to run out to get a passport or ID photo, but in some stores that apparently didn’t give a rip it was squirreled away in the back where you’d never think of looking for it, like behind the men’s underwear or in the pet supplies.

I’ve used modern photo booths have lots of so-called improvements to them, but the only change I approve of is that the photos don’t come out of the slot covered in what seemed to be dog slobber. Just about every other so-called improvement is a real let-down, as far as I can see.

For a start, I had to stand up in the modern photo booths I used. There was no stool, and furthermore there was no back and no sides to the booth, just a curtain in back. Wrong, WRONG, WRONG! For a proper photo booth experience, it’s got to be a booth with a stool, made with the intention of snapping a photo of a single person. Otherwise, where’s the fun of trying to cram four or five people into it?

The modern booths I’ve used also had a computer screen that let me preview the shot. Again, this completely eliminates an essential element of the photo booth experience: Random, chaotic composition in your photos. A proper photo booth should have a tiny red light that blinks to let you know that it’s about to take a picture, then waits so long to actually snap the shot that you end up with a puzzled look on your face in nearly every photo.

Finally, I liked that the photos had that weird print quality, slightly out of focus and somewhere between black-and-white and sepia toned, although now that Instagram’s so popular, I imagine this has been corrected.

say cheese! | 9:47 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

potted rosemaryAnybody know what the trick to keeping a rosemary plant alive is? If you do, you’d better tell us because we’ve killed every single rosemary plant we’ve ever brought into this house and it’s just going to keep on happening unless something or someone breaks the cycle.

That’s right, every single one. I admit, some have died through sheer neglect. At least one of them never got watered at all that I’m aware of, but most have been watered at least once in their short lives. The one that’s currently on our dining room table, the one that served as our Christmas tree last year, has been watered every day. Didn’t matter. Within a week of arrival it was already dropping needles all over the table and getting a brown in spots, and within two weeks one whole side of it had faded badly. It’s now a zombie rosemary bush, half of it dead, half of it alive. The alive part looks pretty good, but the dead part looks awful.

I read that rosemary doesn’t like wet soil so I was watering it only sparingly but at least once a day. Since that obviously turned out to be bullshit advice, I’ve been watering it morning and night for the last two weeks. I also started “misting” it twice a day, but again that was on advice I read on the internet and that didn’t work last time so I don’t know why I’m trying it again. Desperation, I suppose.

Anyway, if you have any ideas I’d be glad to try just about anything short of cutting my finger and feeding it my own blood.

rosemary time | 5:59 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Brittney: “Do you know Barb Karpowla?”

Me: “Who? I don’t think I’ve met her.”

Brittney [funny look]: “Barb, your wife. Do you carpool?”

Me: “Oh. Yeah. Uh, I thought you were asking about somebody named Barb Karpowla.”

Brittney [laughing]: “I thought you were making fun of me!”

Barb Karpowla | 8:31 pm CDT
Category: coworkers, daily drivel, office work, random idiocy, work
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Monday, January 20th, 2014

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but you have to keep your head upright while you’re chewing or food. If you duck your head, or bend over to take the dishes out of the wash machine, bits of food will come out your nose. Or is that just me?

crumbs | 3:54 pm CDT
Category: random idiocy
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Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The coffee that comes with the complimentary breakfast at hotels always tastes like boiled cardboard, even when it’s not served in a paper cup. It must have taken years of devoted study to learn how to do that.

cardboard | 6:42 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Monday, January 6th, 2014

How bout this cold weather, hey? Car start all right this morning then? Whoo, I might need a jump! Kay, I got to go, keep warm!

obligatory cold weather reference | 8:42 pm CDT
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Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Yeah, so … it’s gonna get a little cold.

wind chills

Not sure if that’s tonight, or tomorrow, or when hell freezes over. “Future” is a little vague, don’t you think?

chills | 10:00 pm CDT
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Friday, December 27th, 2013

Tom Bowman reports for NPR that the Marine Corps will delay enforcing the 3-pullup requirement for female recruits, prompting crotchety old coot and misogynistic retired army colonel Robert Maginnis to say the delay shows that women just can’t meet the same standards.

“Young women, in spite of all the training and all the best intentions, are not going to be the equal of young men in terms of upper body strength,” Maginnis says. “You’ve got to have a lot of upper body strength to lift the stuff. Been there, done that.”

Maginnis, author of the not-at-all-wildly-sensationalist book Deadly Consequences: How Cowards are Pushing Women into Combat, has apparently never laid eyes on a real woman and probably needs to get out more.

upper body | 8:37 am CDT
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So that you might feel, I don’t know, unclean for the rest of the day, here is a 24-inch long disembodied tongue licking a snail:

Florida Horse Conch

Or, it could be a Florida Horse Conch. You decide.

tongue | 7:45 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Yet more proof that you can’t believe everything you see:

image of faces“The flashed face distortion effect is an optical illusion involving the fast-paced presentation of eye-aligned faces. Faces appear grotesquely transformed whilst one focuses on the cross midway between them. As with many scientific discoveries, the phenomenon was first observed serendipitously … The phenomenon … also represents an example of scientific phenomenology which outstrips (in this case) neurological theory. According to Susanna Martinez-Conde, president of the Neural Correlate Society … ‘We may have theories, but the experiments have not been done, because it’s too early. This is really at the cutting edge.'” – from Wikipedia

funhouse | 6:58 pm CDT
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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Recipe for cats: When folding clothes fresh from the dryer, stack them on the table. Within the hour, cats will begin to appear.

spontaneously generated boo | 9:30 pm CDT
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Thursday, December 5th, 2013

This is the blog my oldest son would’ve written if there had only been such a thing as blogs back around 1989 or so:

Nanotyrannus was only about a third of the size of the biggest tyrannosaurs, which you might think would preclude it from this list [of the 5 most awful Tyrannosaurs]. The problem with that line of thinking is that a third of huge is still pretty freaking big. Hell, a seventeen foot long Nanotyrannus could probably hide in your garage. Are you going to go to your garage, be ambushed by a Nanotyrannus, and be like, “Oh, this is fine. This tyrannosaur is only seventeen feet long.”

From Dinosaurs!WTF?

dinosaurs!wtf? | 8:24 pm CDT
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Finally, somebody else said it too:

Santa is a douchebag

When I was a kid, I used to watch the old Rankin-Bass version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer same as everybody else without thinking much about it. Then as a grown-up I started showing it to my kids and when we got to the scene where Santa tells Rudolph’s dad how ashamed he ought to be for having such a freak for a son, it dawned on me what a huge asshole they made Santa out to be. I didn’t want my kids watching a show that made Santa look like an asshole. When I explained my objection to My Darling B she saw the light, too, and our kids never saw that cartoon again.

Whenever I tell this story, B likes to add that I ruined one of her favorite childhood cartoons. Shucks, it’s all in a day’s work, ma’am.

rudolph | 5:14 am CDT
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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

worst scooter driver everI would love to know the back story that lead up to the video of a person on a scooter running into two cars, another scooter and a bus before finally plunging into a well or a caisson or a pit of despair. There’s got to be one hell of a good story here. Was he drunk? Was he fleeing the authorities? Was he fleeing an enraged spouse? Or was this what his normal everyday commute looked like, except for the part where he plunged out of sight down a deep hole? There’s a terrific story waiting to be told here, I just know it.

backstory | 8:01 pm CDT
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Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Fling!I just can’t stop watching this and snorting every time it flings the trash all over the sidewalk. I’ll probably still be here when you wake up tomorrow morning, giggling hysterically.

And, just to put the needed dark spin on it: This is a vision of the robot apocalypse. We won’t be killed off by maleavolent weaponized drones connected through a self-aware artificial intelligence like SkyNet. We’ll be accidently hurled across the street into a brick wall by robots that were supposed to be doing something as innocuously simple as emptying a trash bin.

FLING! | 7:48 pm CDT
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Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Is it just me, or does the Inada DreamWave massaging chair look like the kind of soul-sucking weaponized Lay-Z-Boy used by the villain of a sci-fi movie to make Our Hero scream like an infant?

massage chair

man-eating chair | 9:01 am CDT
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Thursday, November 28th, 2013

suesslikeI started to type “Why does 68 degrees feel cold in the winter and warm in the summer?” I got only as far as “why does” when the spirit of Dr. Suess furnished me with this page out of Green Eggs and Ham, if Green Eggs and Ham had included a page where Sam-I-Am wanders the aisles of Walgreen’s in search of feminine hygiene products and a do-it-yourself Clairol hair care dye kit.

I continued my search after snapping a screen shot. I found all sorts of explanations. All of them made some kind of sense, and all of them contradicted each other, so I still don’t know why 68 degrees feels colder in the winter than it does in the summer, but I did find out why the house was actually colder today: The thermostat is programmed to let the house cool down to 64 degrees after seven o’clock on weekday mornings, because we’re on our way to work by then. It didn’t know we weren’t at work because today is a holiday.

interrogative | 8:09 am CDT
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Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

I’ve been on the road for a couple days in the service of the Great State of Wisconsin, which means that I haven’t had a decent cup of coffee until just this morning. The hotels we stay in on these trips are all the kind that serve a complimentary breakfast of dried cereal or make-your-own waffles, and the coffee they set out for us comes out of a great big stainless steel urn. I was very hopeful the first time I saw that. Although coffee that’s been stewing all morning in a great big urn does not always taste the best, it’s usually strong enough to strip the paint off the sides of a battleship. Alas, chain hotels have apparently figured out how to water down urn coffee so it wouldn’t wake up a light sleeper if you poured the whole thing on his head.

I’m a light sleeper, but I’d like a strong cup of coffee in the morning, preferably two. That’s just not happening, not at the hotel and not anywhere near the hotel. The off-ramp territory where chain hotels are built seems to be the last places on earth where Starbucks fears to tread. I don’t like the coffee Starbucks makes; it all tastes burned to me, but at least it’s strong. I’d trudge a quarter-mile on foot and gratefully slug back a cup of their French Roast if I could just get my hands on one, but no joy.

There’s usually a McDonald’s nearby, but I won’t set food in a McDonald’s again until after the apocalypse.

Which reminds me: Whatever happens, even if the zombie hoards are overrunning the city, do not resort to drinking the stuff that comes out of those toy coffee makers in hotel rooms. Not only is that stuff not coffee, it’s not drinkable. It may even be injurious to human health, but I’m not saying anyone should be forced to drink it just so we can find out.

javaless | 9:40 am CDT
Category: coffee, food & drink, random idiocy, travel, work, yet another rant
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Friday, November 15th, 2013

Litton RX hard suitThere’s been a lot of publicity lately for a book I just finished reading, “Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo,” and all of it has been along the lines of “From Bras to Space Suits,” or some such nonsense.

It’s a much more fascinating book than all the hype makes it out to be, not least because it brings to light the “hard suits” that were designed to compete with the “soft suit” that was eventually selected by NASA. If there had been just a skosh more room inside the spacecraft, we might have seen Neil Armstrong step out of the lunar lander in a suit that looked like something straight out of The Forever War, or Starship Troopers, Gundam or whatever battle armor-story is most relevant to your generation.

Not that the A7L pressure suit, the one that the moon walkers ended up wearing, wasn’t totally badass in its own right. It had a way of making every one of the astronauts who wore it look like a helmeted gorilla whose superpower was being able to fly spaceships. Now that I think of it, wouldn’t that be pretty awesome?

But the hard suits had it all over the soft suits as far as looks go. The AX-3 was probably the best-looking of all of them, but if I were going to film a cinematic version of Starship Troopers, I’m afraid I might not be able to resist the retro look of the Litton RX-2 hard suit. It was designed to be practical, not photogenic, and yet it managed to be both.

At the Smithsonian:
Ames Research AX-2, 1966/67
AiResearch EX-1A
Litton RX-2A
Litton RX-3, 1966
Litton RX-4, 1967
Litton B-1A

Bugs, Mr. Rico! | 12:39 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Thursday, November 14th, 2013

According to today’s puzzling meme, I’m supposed to feel secure in the national sense because of deer hunters:

A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion:

There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin .. Allow me to restate that number: 600,000! Over the last several months, Wisconsin ‘s hunters became the eighth largest army in the world.(That’s more men under arms than in Iran . More than France and Germany combined. ) These men, deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin, to hunt with firearms, And NO ONE WAS KILLED.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan ‘s 700,000 hunters, ALL OF WHOM HAVE RETURNED HOME SAFELY.

Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the Hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.

And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states.
It’s millions more.

The point

America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower!

Hunting… it’s not just a way to fill the freezer. It’s a matter of national security.

That’s why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed.

Food for thought, when next we consider gun control, whether you agree with it or not.

Overall it’s true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters Don’t possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remains… What army of 2 million would want to face 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million armed citizens???

For the sake of our freedom, don’t ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.

I’m supposed to feel safe and secure because hunters who shoot at deer and geese a couple times a year will protect the US from invasion by armies of men and women who have been trained to shoot back with missiles, bombs and bullets from armored vehicles, helicopter gunships and supersonic jet planes. Hmmm.

puzzling memes | 5:40 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

meme01Maybe I’m missing the point of this meme, but to me, your argument is invalid when you start with the premise that North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran are better than the US because they shoot people who cross their borders.

puzzling memes | 6:35 am CDT
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Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Sarah Palin? She just stomps around and makes noise. She’s a political Godzilla.
– My Darling B

political Godzilla | 4:59 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, My Darling B, O'Folks, random idiocy
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Sunday, September 15th, 2013

I’m pretty sure this is the weirdest thing you’ll see all day. Let me know if I’m wrong.

“Provide two (2) forms of identification …” That parenthetical aside has always bugged me. Always. I’ve had a long, weird admiration for legalese since I learned how to write, but the addition of that parenthetical numeral has never made sense to me. If there are people who didn’t understand the sentence with only the number written out, but the light bulb suddenly came on when their eye passed over the numeral, I haven’t met them yet.

Sunday morning brain vomit | 8:31 am CDT
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Saturday, September 14th, 2013

The song stuck in my head this morning is the saccharin-sweet teen ballad Loving You by Debbie Gibson Minnie Riperton. It’s been playing on a loop for hours. I want to die.

Next-day edit: I eventually got this song out of my head without killing myself, but it came back the next day. Not only that, I had the nagging feeling that I couldn’t blame this song on Debbie Gibson. That bugged me so much I had to ask the Google who sang it. Turns out to be the hit song that crowned the career of Minnie Riperton, a 28-year-old singer who had lapsed into semi-retirement when she was discovered by a recording studio that signed her on to record this and other songs for the record Perfect Angel. So the song that made her a star is the one that makes me want to hang myself. Kinda makes me feel like a grinch.

Wait, it gets better. Three years after she hit it big with that song, she was dead of cancer. And as if that wasn’t enough to make me feel guilty about hating this crappy, crappy song, it’s based on a lullaby she made up to sing her daughter to sleep. There. My total shittiness is now complete.

Kill Me Now | 12:16 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, music, random idiocy
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Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Baby, The Rain Must Fall, the song in which Glenn Yarbrough uses weather as a metaphor to tell his gal why he wants to boink other women, has been playing on a loop in my head ALL FREAKIN’ DAY!

Memory is a cruel thing. In thirty years I probably won’t be able to remember my own damn name, but I’ll bet the nursing home orderlies will all think Baby, The Rain Must Fall is my favorite song, coz why else would I sing the chorus over and over all day long?

this is your brain on drugs | 3:30 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, entertainment, music, play, random idiocy
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five dollar billAt the grocery store the other day, I walked in just as a guy was backing a shopping cart out of the rack and passing it to his daughter, who appeared to be about five years old. “There you go,” he told her, “get all the germs off.” The little girl obliged by taking a wet wipe from the dispenser at the front door and giving the handle of the cart a few swipes before she lost her hold on it, allowing the wet wipe to fall to the floor. She quickly picked it up and resumed wiping. So, not as germ-free as dad had hoped.

A little later I spotted the same little girl sitting in the fold-out chair of the shopping cart while her dad ordered from the meat counter. The little girl was chewing on the corner of a five-dollar bill. I can only guess that her germ-hating dad had been looking for something that would distract her long enough for him to talk with the butcher, so he gave her a bill that only several thousand other people stuffed in their sweaty hip pockets, slapped on top of sloppy restaurant tables or bars and otherwise fondled with their unwashed hands. The irony was piling up fast.

fiver | 7:28 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy | Tags: ,
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Saturday, August 31st, 2013

How to make a baby…

…the rest of the series at My Modern Met.

how-to | 4:13 am CDT
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Thursday, August 29th, 2013

thoughtful chin strokeWith a thoughtful chin stroke, I proclaim the following:

All public toilet stalls shall from this day forward be installed with big, red fire bells that shall clang and clang and clang until the users thereof shall flush their dookie, because yuck.

War with Syria. What could go wrong? I mean, seriously, what could possibly go wrong? We send in the carrier group, we release the robot drones, then we rent video of the missile strikes on pay-per-view. What red-blooded American wouldn’t pay to watch that? Socialist ones, that’s who. I say, stop dilly-dallying around and let’s get this party started. I can’t wait to see my children in uniform, parachuting into yet another country that looks like a cat box to save the world for democracy.

State representative Paul Tittl is the most brilliant man alive. Tittl wants to raise the speed limit on Wisconsin’s highways from 65 mph to 70 mph so people can get home faster to spend more time with their families. That would definitely work for someone who was commuting from Milwaukee to Superior, giving them almost a whole 45 minutes to play with the kiddies, while commuters between Milwaukee and Madison will get an unbelievable 9 minutes more. Thanks for pointing that out, representative Tittl! I didn’t pay attention during math class, either!

If I had an articulated glove of stainless steel armor, all I would do is think deep thoughts like these all day, every day. Please send your donations to: Oh God Dave Please Metalically Stroke Your Chin, c/o Harvey the Wonder Hamster, PO Box 07734, Monona WI 53716

thoughtful chin stroke | 7:40 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Maybe I’m missing something …

[Texas] state agencies described resistance from some fertilizer companies in trying to inspect their facilities. The Fire Marshal’s Office has identified 153 facilities in the state that are believed to store ammonium nitrate. Since Texas doesn’t have a state fire code, the fire marshal lacks the authority to conduct inspections if the company resists.

Texas has a fire marshal, but it has no fire code? Pardon me for asking, Texas, but isn’t that like tits on a bull?

code red | 6:12 am CDT
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Monday, August 26th, 2013

hothothotWell, the temp is already 75 degrees at five o’clock in the morning, so the heat, how hot it is, and sweating like a pig is all anybody will be talking about today …

hothothot | 5:30 am CDT
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Friday, August 23rd, 2013

While listening to a recording of “Jumpin’ At The Woodside” by Count Basie, I asked My Darling B, “Does this song make you think of a man with a paper bag on his head?”

She looked at me like a puzzled puppy.

“Gene, Gene, dancing machine!” I said, thinking that this would explain things. It did not.

Well, then:

woodchoppers | 9:12 pm CDT
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Thursday, July 25th, 2013

lonely cell phonesThese are two of the loneliest cell phones in the world.

Before last night, these cells went everywhere with their owners, but that was before the smart phones came along. Now, they sit untouched on an end table, gathering dust while their owners download apps, tweet and play Angry Birds.

Poor little cell phones.

lonely | 7:56 pm CDT
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Saturday, July 20th, 2013

WASHINGTON D.C. (UPI) – Both houses of Congress worked through an all-night emergency session that began yesterday afternoon to pass sweeping legislation to bar Christians from holding public office, serving in the armed forces, carrying firearms or operating any kind of motor vehicle or aircraft.

The legislation began as a bill introduced only yesterday afternoon in the House by Speaker Eugene Sheisenbach (R-Mich) after considering an e-mail he received only that morning.

“It was a message from a close personal friend,” Sheisenbach said. “I usually don’t open e-mail with a subject of ‘FWD:RE:FWD:SUBJ:FWD: IMPORTANT!!!!!’ but he’s not the kind of guy to send junk mail so I checked it out.”

The e-mail was a link to a video depicting three people discussing the Christian phenomenon known as “the rapture” as they rode in a car. In the video, two of the car’s occupants, both Christians, abruptly disappear, leaving the third in the back seat, evidently a non-Christian, gaping in astonishment.

“When I considered the metaphor of a driverless car as a leaderless America, the implications were staggering,” Sheisenbach said. “Imagine the chaos our country would be plunged into if our president and a majority of congress were to vanish without warning!”

“And that’s only the beginning,” Sheisenbach went on. “How many of our soldiers and sailors might suddenly be called to heaven? What about our police officers? Fire fighters? This is a threat to the safety and security of our country, and we’ve been ignoring it for generations! Global terrorism pales to insignificance in comparison!”

After making his born-again chauffeur pull over and driving his own limousine into town, Sheisenbach began immediately conferring with his colleagues and found that, among those who did not profess to be Christian, few had given the matter more than passing consideration.

“The Christians in the House,” Sheisenbach said, “informed the rest of us that when they are called away, the world would be plunged into such chaos that crashing planes and burning buildings would be the least of our worries.”

“Well, of course it’ll be chaos!” Sheisenbach surmised. “With the police force gutted, the military incapacitated, planes falling out of the sky and cities burning out of control – who wouldn’t call that chaos?”

“It quickly became apparent to all of us that only an entirely secular government would provide for a safe, secure America after the rapture,” Sheisenbach concluded.

“I had to admit he had a good point,” admitted Rep. Rusty P. “Stephen” Wackenhut, the Speaker of the House and a born-again Christian. “Not only that but, thinking it through, it was more than a little irresponsible of me to hold a position of such importance in the House when I couldn’t say I’d be in for work tomorrow. Heck, I could’ve vanished before legislation was enacted without so much as a ‘Gotta go!'”

The sweeping legislation, unanimously approved by all members of the House and again shortly afterward by the Senate, not only barred Christians from any office or job from which their disappearance would endanger others, it went further to forbid anyone but atheists from assuming those positions. “What if we open it up to Muslims or Rastafarians or Scientologists, and then it turns out they’re going to go ‘poof!’ too?” asked Sheisenbach, only a bit rhetorically. “And there were those guys who got swept up by a comet a couple years ago.”

“We weren’t even going to take a chance on agnostics, or anybody else who might go all wishy-washy,” Sheisenbach said. “Who would want anybody but an earth-bound atheist doing their colonoscopy? Just imagine being face-down on the examination table with that sticking out of you and nobody around to remove it. Gives me the willies.”

Yeah, it’s a repost, but it’s one of my favorites. Sue me.

poof | 7:19 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Monday, July 15th, 2013

A fender washer is a circle of steel about the size of a half-dollar with a smallish hole in the middle. I had one in my collection. I needed four, so I pocketed the one as I got ready to jump into the O-mobile to head down the road so I could save big money at the hardware store.

But first, a bit of fun.

“Do you have any of these?” I asked My Darling B, showing her the washer. She frowned at it for a long minute. It almost looked as though she were thinking, Now, darn it, I know I had a bunch of those. Where did I put them?

That’s not what she was thinking, though. What she was thinking was what she said about a minute later: “Um. No? I don’t have any … metal donuts?”

fender | 9:12 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, My Darling B, O'Folks, random idiocy
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Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Who hasn’t needed this guy to save the day at least once in their lives?

Mighty Mouse | 9:05 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Sunday, July 7th, 2013

If you read nothing else today, you should devote fifteen minutes to Eyeball of Providence unless, providentially, you have an appointment tomorrow with a doctor who will slice your eyeballs open and you’re feeling at all anxious about it.

… if you have to have cataract surgery and have not seen “Un Chien Andalou,” the classic short film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, which famously features the slicing of an eyeball, you might skip it until after the procedure. You might also not like to know that in modern times the idea for intraocular lens implant surgery got going in 1949, when one Sir Harold Ridley observed that Plexiglas fragments from exploded Spitfire canopies had not led to infection or rejection in the injured eyes of Royal Air Force pilots. You might also wish you weren’t reading this. Too late.

One of my instructors in college taught a film class where he showed them “Un Chien Andalou” and said that, even after he told them exactly how the special effect was done, they didn’t want to see it again. I still regret not signing up for that class.

The idea that trained medical specialists can slice open your eyes, then put them back together so they work properly, has fascinated me since my father went to the doctor with cataracts and came back with artificial lenses that had a creepy sparkle when the light hit them just right. I didn’t know until today they were made of Plexiglas. Fascinating!

“Eyeball of Providence,” Daniel Menaker, The New York Times

Plexi | 8:38 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Sunday, June 30th, 2013

With about fifteen minutes between chores this morning, I started folding clothes from a basket that’s been sitting on the floor in our bedroom all week, a common-enough sight in our house. We can wash clothes like the pros, we’re just not so good at folding them or putting them away. Sometimes we go a whole week picking shirts and underpants to wear out of a basket of unfolded clothes. Yeah, we live like a couple of frat kids.

I was only going to fold up the t-shirts so they wouldn’t wrinkle. I like folding t-shirts. I can grab one by the hem, give it a twirl in the air to flatten it out, catch it by the hem and fold it into quarters in no time. I’d folded up nearly a dozen t-shirts when I noticed a distinctly musky aroma coming from the one that was twirling in the air before my face. Catching it, I pressed it against my schnozz and took a deep whiff. Gahhh!

I picked up the basket, leaned in close and took another whiff. Double-gahhh! Those were not clean clothes.

So much for trying to be productive.

what’s that smell? | 11:16 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

In every movie I’ve ever seen about the war in Viet Nam, there’s always one scene where it’s raining like it’s never going to stop raining. That’s how it’s raining here today. If a visitor from another planet landed in my backyard today, he would nickname this planet Rain.

Monstrous Red Rain | 7:00 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Friday, June 21st, 2013

Oh My God We're All Gonna Die, Aren't We?Not biking to work today. Woke up to thunder and was greeted by spotty rain drizzling down when I opened the front door to let the chipmunks tease the cats. And there was also a monstrous red blob coming in from the west on the satellite map when I checked the National Weather Service. I don’t mind getting rained on coming home from work, but I try to avoid getting rained on when I’m going to work. That would really torque my crank.

Monstrous red blob means probably rain all weekend. So it’s going to be a stay-inside weekend, then. Oh well. I got some more brewing equipment in the mail yesterday so it was already likely I was going to spend a big part of the weekend in the basement making a mess anyway.

monstrous red blob | 6:08 am CDT
Category: commuting, daily drivel, random idiocy, work
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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

He was wearing jeans that were pulled all the way up to his waist and properly belted so there was no chance they were going to sag, ever. And over the jeans he wore triple-XL plaid boxer shorts.

Oh yes. It can always get worse.

under effen wear | 6:35 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Biking to work today, I slowed down at the spot where the bike trail crossed Blount because a Budweiser beer truck was coming up the road. He was moving pretty slow but I’m pretty slow sometimes too and I didn’t want to get smooshed like a bug, so I stopped.

I had to wait a lot longer than I thought I would for him to get to the crossing. Just as he got there, he hit the brakes and waved me a cross.

What I should have done then was shook my head and waved him across. Either that, or moon him. But I was in a hurry, so I went.

I’ll have to file that away in my “Just one more reason not to like Budweiser” scrapbook, I guess.

No, after you | 6:28 pm CDT
Category: commuting, daily drivel, random idiocy, work
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Monday, June 17th, 2013

The cats came so close to realizing their nefarious plan.

For weeks, they’ve been waking me up a little earlier each day by standing at the foot of our bed mewling, or jumping on my head, and I’ve been obliging them by getting up and feeding them, thinking that with a little food in their bellies they’d leave me alone and I could go get a little more sleep.

Only I don’t get more sleep. If I wake up after four or five o’clock in the morning, I’m up for the rest of the day. Well, until, say, eight o’clock that night, anyway. So this has been a game of diminishing returns, and this morning it diminished even further: Damn cats woke me up at four o’clock.

I didn’t get up because I knew it was pointless. I could have fed them, but I wouldn’t have been able to get back to sleep, so I laid there for maybe twenty minutes before I got out of bed to make some coffee and gobble down a bowl of oatmeal. And ignore the cats. They tried everything they could think of to get my attention, even that thing where they wind around my legs and sit down right in front of me while I’m walking across the dining room, but I managed not only to ignore them but also to avoid concussion after tripping over one of them and falling on my face.

They’re more than a little puzzled by this, wandering around in a bit of a daze. He didn’t feed us. That never happened before. And occasionally they get tangled up with each other, resulting in a swatting match that’s oddly satisfying to watch. But they still haven’t been fed, and won’t be until I’m ready to leave for work. And that’s the way it’s going to be from now on.

cat plan | 5:33 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, Boo, daily drivel, O'Folks, random idiocy
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Sunday, June 9th, 2013

This is Oolong the rabbit, who was apparently an internet meme about ten years ago.

Ten years ago I hadn’t even heard of internet memes.

I have so much catching up to do that I’d never be able to catch up if I could afford to make it my full-time job. I’m pretty sure this means I’m at the age when all I can do is putter.

Oolong | 10:51 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

The automatic doors at the co-op don’t open for me. Maybe I’m some kind of technological-age vampire.

I don’t mean to say they won’t open for me. I can make the door open if I back up a few steps, then walk toward the door again, or wave my hands in the air over my head, or do something else that makes me look almost as dorky. The vampire hypothesis is not proven, is what I’m saying.

Even though I can eventually make the door open for me, when I first approach it, it doesn’t seem to know I’m there at all. The first time it happened I wasn’t all that weirded out by it, but now that it’s happened almost every time I’m feeling more than a little weird.

It’s not so bad when I’m on my own, but when My Darling B is with me, I feel like I’m being picked on. On the plus side, the doors open as soon as she steps up.

am I a vampire? | 8:59 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Bonkers was – it’s another post about my cat, folks. Spare yourselves. Turn the channel now.

(Does anybody still say “turn the channel” anymore? I haven’t been paying attention. It used to make sense when there was a dial on the front of the television that you had to grab and twist, but even though I still say it, it’s been at least thirty years since I’ve turned an actual dial to another channel. I feel as though I’m already one of those fogeys that kids snicker at.)

Bonkers was making lots of licky-slurpy noises this morning, and he was camped out right next to my head. Right. Next. To. My. Head.

He stopped for about thirty seconds after I gave him a quick poke with my elbow, but then started licking again. Noisily. And he smelled like cat spit.

I poked him again. Again, thirty seconds of quiet before SLURPY-SLURPY-SLURPY.




This went on for far too long before I finally gave up, rolled to the edge of the bed and shut off my alarm clock, resigned to getting up early because I sure wasn’t going to get anything like satisfying, restful sleep while Mister Puddles washed himself.

And, of course, he jumped down off the bed and left the room as I was getting up.

I’m going to boil and eat that cat one day.

slurpy | 6:28 am CDT
Category: Bonkers, daily drivel, O'Folks, random idiocy
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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Trash day. Gotta remember to put out the recycling, too. Am I the only one who thinks that the garbage truck and the recycling truck both end up in the same place? I said that once to one of my coworkers, who was horrified at the thought. She apparently never doubted that the guys who picked up the recycling actually recycled it. I’ve always wondered, but I’ve never been concerned enough to follow the recycling truck to its destination. If I followed a recycling truck back to its home, how weird would that be? Would that be considered stalking?

trash day | 6:02 am CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy
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Monday, May 13th, 2013

laundryday3It’s Day 3 of Goddamn Laundry Hamper Week and, as you can see, the damned thing is nowhere near empty even though I’ve washed three extra-large loads and a regular load of clothes that I pulled from it last weekend, so I’m definitely not crazy and these pictures prove the goddamn laundry hamper can refill itself when nobody’s looking. Prove it without question! So, yeah. I’m sticking to my story.

goddamn laundry hamper 3 | 6:10 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, random idiocy | Tags:
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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

image of goddamn laundry hamperIt’s the second day of my attempt to catch our goddamn laundry hamper refilling itself. Here’s what it looked like this morning after yanking three extra-large loads of dirty clothes from it (third load was all the towels). It’s not heaping full, as it was yesterday, but it’s still suspiciously plump. I’m about to yank more from it, the reds this time, I think, but I don’t think I’ll be able to pull another load this afternoon because there’s a mountain of washed, unfolded clothes that’s almost blocking the way to the wash machine, so I’ll have to put a dent in that before I can wash much more. This is when the goddamn laundry hamper usually replenishes itself. I’m gonna catch it this time, though!

laundry day 2 | 11:13 am CDT
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Saturday, May 11th, 2013

One big-ass load of whites. Possibly the biggest ever. The wash machine is making noises like an old guy straining on the toilet.

Hey, I warned you I was going to do this. You thought I was kidding?

biggest damn load of whites ever | 12:44 pm CDT
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