Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Is Why I'm a Keyboard-Using Luddite

This was written specifically about gaming console interfaces, but I have the exact same opinion about swipy-swipy touchscreens and voice "whadjasay?" recognition software.
"I continue to argue that all these motion controls and Star Trek "Tea, Earl Gray, Hot" mechanisms still require more effort with less reliability than moving a fingertip half a centimeter to press a button."

- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas...



...some people know how to make it fun.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Interesting Thought

From Scott H. Young:
Instead of making definite decisions about a career path, I believe you should get curious. Get curious about the way the world works. Notice your own interests and find small ways you can exercise passion in something. Even if you can’t find a way to make money off of it yet.

The bridge from passion to money-maker can’t be made hastily. Interests often get discarded because they cannot be immediately relayed into a source of income. And therefore aren’t as important as work that does.

Blogging is a great example. I know many bloggers who want to go pro. They want to take the interest they have and turn it into a passionate source of income. But blogging isn’t easy. Even the most rapid successes I’ve seen, took over a year before the author could claim blogging as more than a hobby. And those were due to writing talent, luck and an incredible amount of work.

Patience is a necessary ingredient in evolving a passion. But even more, you need to be open to other possibilities.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Get That Stupid iPad Away From Me!

Via my blogless brother Roy:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #3,444,656)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Worst Star Trek Character Ever

So I'm working my way through "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (it's been a few years, I wanted to see how it holds up), and I can't help noticing how useless Counselor Troi is.

"What do you think, Counselor?"

"Well, Captain, I sense that the alien with the hesitant speech patterns who keeps glancing uncomfortably around the room is holding something back, but I haven't the slightest idea what."

Biiiig help, that one.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Some People Know How to Make Christmas Extra Special

A Christmas card from my favorite niece & nephew:

Front:



Inside:



To which I'll add:

5) Get all 3 cats whacked out on catnip

6) Release

7) Are you not entertained?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Hate Your Phone - UPDATED

First a headline:

"Constantly taking photographs STOPS our brains remembering what happened"

Second, a song:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #670,112)

Third... why am I bothering? You're probably reading this on your stupid phone while your best friend is sitting 4 feet away from you.

Looking at his phone.

UPDATE:

(Pic via Anonymiss)



In America, the kid on the right would take a selfie while holding the bird and post it on Facebook, captioned "im holdn a burd!! LOL!!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wisconsin Winter Version of "The Dog Ate My Homework" - UPDATED

The snowblower ate my phone book:



Before Sunday's snowfall, somebody delivered a phonebook to my door.

But instead of putting it on my doorstep, it was dropped off on the sidewalk that goes from my doorstep to my driveway.

It got covered with snow, and I didn't notice the lump in the snow.

Until my snowblower started making very unpleasant noises.

Yeah. That thing's wedged in TIGHT. The auger will not turn.

I'm taking it to a professional.

I caught a newspaper in a similar fashion a few years back. Took two hours with a blowtorch.

This time, I'm paying a guy.

UPDATE: The greatest thing in life is to know a guy who's retired who does small engine repair just to keep busy and earn a little extra scratch to cushion his pension.

I've got one of those. And you'll probably recognize the type when I tell you that after he removed the phone book, he also replaced the worn-out shoe on the right side, straightened the bent auger, and changed the oil.

I'll note that he does not have a heated garage. He explained "I work out front in the sunshine during the day, it's not too bad. If I get cold, I just go inside."

Heh. Sounds JUST like my dad.

Anyway, I'll add that he undercharges to a grotesque degree for his services (which in this case also included pickup and deliver of the afflicted machine).

Yeah, I slipped him an extra 10.

Hey, I work hard for my money, and I refuse to be... whatever the opposite of cheated is.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Quick Point

Some headlines from CNS:
$4.5M Fed Study: 'Effects of Climate Change on Indoor Air

Dept. of Education Spent $20.3 Million on 10 Equity Centers To Fight the ‘Isms’

Gov't Pays $1,123,463 to Develop Strawberry Harvest-Aiding Robots

Feds Spend $1.7 Million To Attract ‘Potential’ Foreign Investment to Ohio

$742K to Test Breast Milk Composition Globally Using Samples of Infant Feces

If any of these projects were actually worth doing, they wouldn't need government funding, because there would be a way to make a profit by doing them.

Please stop spending my tax dollars on anything that doesn't involve criminal justice or killing belligerent foreigners.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Best Christmas Movie

Gotta be "Die Hard", right?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Can't Stand to Look at This Picture



It's.

So.

WRONG!!!

29 more pictures here to put that maddening itch-to-fix in your fingers.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

If I Cooked More, This Might Be Worth It

I have the WORST time cooking pasta. It always ends up sticking to the pan unless I stand over a hot stove, stirring constantly, getting my right hand all steam-burnt & lobstery.

Via Dude!!!I Want That..., a possible solution - Stirio:


[YouTube direct link]

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shockingly, I'm Not on This List


Hot, Sexy And Bearded Celebrity Men

Also, I don't agree that just because a guy stops shaving for a couple of days, it means that they have a beard.

Bum-stubble is NOT a beard.

Yes, I'm an elitist.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Is Why I Always Wear a Seatbelt (Even Before It Was Required by Law)


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,776,042)

From the video's description:

"The safety equipment worked as designed, and he escaped with relatively minor injuries."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Star Trek: Phase II

Bless these nerds for keeping the dream alive.

They're making new episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series.

It's basically smaller-budget, better effects, and similar-quality acting.

Worth a gander.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Because You Were Dying of Curiosity

Yes, my geranium is making the adjustment to the indoor life. I put it in front of only decent southern-exposure window I have.

It's in a spare room, where it's probably only about 60 degrees. I keep the door shut.

I water it once a week, and afterwards rotate it so that both sides get some sunlight and the leaves don't grow all lopsided.

There's a long, cold winter ahead, but I think this plant will make it through, even brightening my day with little splashes of color from time to time.

It's incorrigibly optimistic like that.



By the way, does my geranium need a name? If so, any suggestions?

I'm kinda thinking Blossom:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #135,285)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Works Better if You Know Up Front It's Narrated by Buzz Aldrin


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #76,474)

Don't know how you're doing right now, but if you've spent all day staring at the ground, here's a couple minutes of gazing at the stars.

Watch it.

Guarantee you'll feel better after.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

On Death Star Economics

(via Violins & Starships)

The whole article is an amusing - if ultimately pointless - exercise in trying to apply real-world economics to the fantasy world that oozed out of George Lucas's pointy head, but I think the final analysis is the most accurate to the Lucasverse:
This also dovetails with the idea of the Empire’s economy not being all that sophisticated – being heavily based on mercantilism and guilds, very protectionist, and not really making the most of its very advanced technology or huge diversity of member planets.

However, it begs the question: can a very advanced technology develop out of an economy based on mercantilism and guilds?

I'm inclined to say no, simply because those sorts of systems are too stifling of the innovation and competition that make advanced technology possible. If you're spending most of your resources guarding your market and locking in your labor forces, you'll lose out in the long run to organizational systems that are more nimble in both gathering and distributing resources.

That is, all things being equal, Wal-Mart beats the East India Company.

But really, the whole thing boils down to how low the barriers to entry for start-up concerns is. If the Empire is light-handed regarding taxes, licensing, and filing fees, you'll likely find more Coruscants in the galaxy and fewer backwards rat-holes like Tattooine.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How to Tell If Someone Is an Idiot

From the LA Times:
The U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization announced last week that the rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere accelerated to a record high in 2012. Carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, was responsible for 80% of the jump, pushing concentrations to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years.

So... 800,000 years ago, the atmosphere had exactly as much CO2 as it does now.

And it's all the fault of human industrial activity.

You know... like the human industrial activity we had 800,000 years ago.

Idiots.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hmmm... I Think I Want a Second Roomba Now



At first, I thought, "what a cute picture, but you couldn't do it in real life, because they'd stab the walls."

Then I realized - this could totally work.

Each Roomba comes with 2 "virtual wall" devices - which shoot out an infrared beam that the Roomba will not cross.

Take 4 of these, and you can make a square.

Make a square in the middle of a room, away from the walls (and furniture), and you've got Killbot Thunderdome.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

Veterans Day 2013

To those who served: Thank you.

To those currently serving: Thank you.

To the civilians circa 1985-1991: You’re welcome.

My suggestions for the best way to thank the troops?

1) Enjoy life in a free country. A gift ain’t a gift unless it’s enjoyed. Do something fun.

2) Be the kind of American who’s worth fighting for.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Workout Routine

Anonymiss asked me to blog about my workout routine.

My niece, Sarah, sent me an instructional video that pretty much covers it:


[YouTube direct link]

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nobody Wants to Watch That Movie

Dateline Sweden:
Movie theaters in equality-minded Sweden are introducing a new rating to highlight gender bias, or rather the absence of it.

To get an "A" rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

They also point out that "The entire 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, all 'Star Wars' movies, 'The Social Network,' 'Pulp Fiction' and all but one of the 'Harry Potter' movies fail this test."

Of course they do. That's why they're good movies that made a fortune at the box office.

Let's be realistic. If women didn't talk about men, what WOULD they talk about? And - better question - who would want to watch THAT? Women talking about men is the whole reason people watch movies.

Well, and explosions, but that's mostly a guy thing.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Iron Man 3 Review

Could someone please hold the camera still for a couple seconds so I can see what's going on in the action scenes?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a couple motion sickness pills & lay down for a little while.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baby, It's... Not That Cold Outside



It's November in Wisconsin, it's in the 50's, and I haven't had to shovel yet (I have memories of Halloween snows).

I'm grateful for the little things.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Totally Worth 1000 Words

Went out second-hand shopping yesterday, and for $5 picked up a Sharper Image Digital Photo Album Keychain - mostly because all I had for my spare truck keys for the last 7 or 8 years was a stupid day-glo yellow wrist coil clip keychain, which I've always hated.

Of course, that just left me with the connundrum of what pictures to put on it.

Turns out you can search Gmail by attachment, so I just picked a dozen or so of the pictures that have been sent to me as attachments recently.

You'd be surprised how many of those I get in my line of work, i.e. blogging guru to the stars.

Anyway, now I've got a bunch of pictures to show off everywhere I go, so be careful asking me what's new in my life. I may bore you to death with them.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Never Give Up, Never Surrender


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #595,996)

Keep trying. There's always a way to get what you want. You just have to find it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

More Good Times...



"Together" by Bill Mack

Try to watch a movie, end up fast asleep & happy.

That happened a LOT.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

e e cummings wasn't spanked enough as a child

Why would you express a sentiment this beautiful without the proper use of capitalization or spacing?:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Still a nice poem, despite the formatting defect, though.

UPDATE (per Anonymiss's suggestion):

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good Times...

Via Quent Cordair Fine Art (NSFW, some artistic nudity)


Michael Wilkinson's "Touchstone"

I remember the last time a woman looked at me like that...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tesh Is Entertaining, But...

The guy's kind of a carnival barker. He's a little slippery, a little sensationalistic.

Oh, sure, he tosses out facts & statistics, but his conclusions have an unwarranted, National Enquirer-esque feel to them

Like this one on "cheaters". Here's the pivot point where he jumps to conclusions:
So, the real question is: Why do people keep falling for cheaters? After all, alleged cheaters like Ashton Kutcher, Jesse James, and John Edwards seem to have no trouble attracting new girlfriends - even after being "outed" in public.

Kirshenbaum says it boils down to the fact that cheaters are masters of flattery.

She says cheaters use flattery to convince you that you're someone special, and that they'll be different with you.

I've said a lot of nice things to a lot of people over the years on this blog. Obviously I'm some sort of serial cheater. I mean, I couldn't possibly be giving sincere compliments to deserving people because I'm kind, right?

*eye roll*

Nothing personal against Tesh. His job is to keep ears glued to the radio. He's good at it. But the way he does it kinda reminds me of this:



Take anything this man says with a HUGE grain of salt. Odds are, he's not really talking about you, he's just phrasing it so it sounds that way.

Upside, Downside

Love my job. Pay's good, and the commute's even better, i.e. walking around the corner from my bedroom to my office.

The only bad part - no weekdays off. Ever. Not even holidays.

Which kinda stinks sometimes.

I can definitely think of somewhere I'd rather be than home by myself on Thanksgiving day this year.

Ah well, that's show biz, I guess.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Best Weekend in a Long, Long Time

I've got a lot of nieces & nephews (7 brothers & sisters will do that to a fella), but I do have a favorite - that's my sister's boy Michael. Since I was the youngest of the family, it ended up that he's only about 10 years younger than me.

We're very much alike, him and I. And we're very close, despite the fact that he lives about 300 miles away. He's one of a very small handful of people I feel comfortable talking to about ANYTHING.

As luck would have it, he married Sarah, who also numbers among that very small handful.

They also have a son, Derrick, who is a little too young (12) for me to talk to about a lot of stuff, but he's practically a clone of his father, and I'm very proud of the way he's turned out so far.

Anyway, I didn't get to visit them last year, because I was too busy getting divorced.

This weekend, I made the drive up.

I can't begin to describe how awesome it feels to spend a couple days surrounded by people who love me unconditionally.

So while I was there, I had the chance to talk to them a LOT. Mostly about my divorce. I filled them in on the details of which they were unaware, and I also reassured them that while I was sad that my marriage ended, I did not consider it tragic, and I was happy and healthy, and eager to move on with my life.

And... I also got to tell them something I hadn't shared with anyone else because - on the face of it - it kinda sounds more than a little insane.

It's a sort of offbeat idea that occurred to me about 3 months after my divorce. It's a plan I've been kicking around in my head (and working on in the real world) for about 7 months now.

So, after telling them that I was probably crazy for thinking this, I told them my plan in one sentence, followed by "that's the short version. I can either tell you the long version and try to explain why I'm NOT insane, or you can just say 'Huh. Uncle Harvey's insane now. That's nice. Wanna go watch something on Netflix?' I'm good either way."

The dear, sweet people chose the former.

So I spent a couple hours explaining in detail what I'd been doing for the last 7 months, and how I thought this plan could work. They asked me a bunch of questions, did their best to wrap their heads around it, and offered their best advice.

Their opinions can be fairly summed up by a couple quotes:

Michael: "Harvey, I've known you for a LONG time... you don't do insane things. If you think this could work, I say go for it".

Sarah: "Yup. The worst thing that could happen is that you'll find something out about yourself."

So, with their love and support in hand, I will venture forward with this insane plan of mine.

As to what it is... well... maybe I'll blog about it after I can figure out a way to explain it in one sentence without sounding like an utter loon.

Wish me luck.

(Special note to my baking coach - the 3 dozen Cowboy Cookies I brought up for them were a big hit, and were half gone before I left. Thanks for helping me get the recipe dialed in)

If You Need This, You Also Need a 12-Step Program for Your Smores Addiction

[Via Dude!!! I Want That..., available from Amazon]

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Garbage and Despair

I like where I live.

I don't like the trash pickup service.

I've lived in places where the attitude was basically "if you can get it to the curb, we'll haul it away."

Not so here, where the attitude is "if your refuse fits our guidelines and we just happen to be in the mood, it may or may not be here after we roll on."

Ever try to throw away a trash can?

Yeah... THAT'S not happening.

Got branches? Haul 'em down to the approved city branch disposal area yourself. Hope you don't get your truck stuck in the mud in the process.

So I'm stuck with this blue plastic space-consuming monstrosity and dead tree parts.

Anyway, I'm out of town this weekend, so I'll just put the dead tree parts inside the blue plastic space-consuming monstrosity. If anyone's feeling thefty, please stop by & steal them both.

Oh, and there's a ladder out back by the patio door.

Please use that to climb on the roof and steal my DishNetwork dish. It's been disconnected for years. They didn't take it down because they wanted to make it easy to come crawling back to them. And now it's fallen over and is hanging by one bolt.

*grumble*

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Renewal

Looks like the fall weather finally caught up with my geraniums, they're all curled up and sad now:



The house seems a little less lively without them.

I miss their bright, cheery colors.

But it's a change of season, and that's not a bad thing, just different. Each season has its own rewards.

Still, I think ahead to when conditions will return to support these beautiful flowers, and I can't help looking forward to the day when they can brighten my house again.

Focus Forward

Feeling a little philosophical today. Found this buried in my bookmarks and it seemed like good advice:
Reality is neutral, it is nothing but a blank void. It's our focus that creates the path ahead.

Remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indy has to solve the final riddle to get to the Holy Grail? He's standing at the edge of a cliff, no clear solution in sight, and he sucks in a deep breath and takes a full step out. What happens? Instead of falling into nothingness, he steps onto a bridge - one that only appeared if the step was taken.

I want to take this metaphor further. Imagine being on the edge of the cliff, you step out, and wherever you step, is the direction you go. That's what our focus is. In the blank void it literally creates the step in front of us. Up, down, left, right, diagonal, moment by moment.

You focus on the positive, that's the next step. You focus on the negative, that's the next step. Step by step by step, we create the paths of our lives.

If you think about it, that's pretty much the only control we have - what we focus on.

But first, choose a goal.

Decide where you want to end up.

Memorize it. Etch it into your heart.

Eat it, sleep it, breathe it, live it.

And don't forget to ask for help along the way from those you trust.

After that, the path almost makes itself.

Where do you want to go?

For Those Tottery Days

Some days I just feel like I've got 10,000 things to do and only two hands to do them with.

Wish my computer had one of these:



Ideally, pressing this button would call in 4,999 other pairs of hands.

Or at least 1 other pair that knew what they were doing.

Some days MY hands don't even know what they're doing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Note to Every Single Cable & Network News Website Everywhere

Stop it with the "autoplay" setting on your videos.

Seriously. Just stop it.

I live alone and hearing voices out of nowhere kinda freaks me out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How to Open a Bag of Chips

Brilliantly simple, yet so clever and functional. An elegant solution to the "reaching into a bag of chips without getting flavor-dust all over your hands" problem that I'd never even realized was solvable:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #967,045)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Yeah, It's Spam, But I Love the Sentiment

Something got caught in my spam filter.

The English is a bit mangled, and the person leaving it wasn't sincere, but I nevertheless find the passage charming, because I've known people who've made me feel this way:
You could certainly see your skills in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

Thank you, passionate writers, you've made this sector very happy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Dumb Because Kids Have Amazing Recuperative Powers

From Postal News:

Linn's Stamp News reports that the US Postal Service will destroy the entire press run of a stamp series aimed at getting children to be more active. According to Linn's reporter Bill McAllister, three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet.

Since when does gymnastics require safety equipment?

Also, when did a cannonball dive become dangerous?

Meanwhile, back in May of this year:

Monday, October 7, 2013

This Looks Strangely Plausible

Via There, I Fixed It



Dryer sheet stuffed in the air vent. I might actually give this a shot.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Choose Your Weapon



Yes, I confess, I have done this.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Don't Get It

I'm seeing a lot of mockery & outrage because Joe Biden showed the cover of a top secret document to a bunch of reporters.

Um... that's why top secret documents HAVE covers.

Don't get me wrong, I still think Joe Biden is a blithering idiot, but in this case, he didn't do any harm, so I'm not going to bust his chops over it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Me? I Don't Mind Paying the Man

Shoe Comics, 9-26-13:



You're not paying him to turn the screw, you're paying him for knowing which screw to turn.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Guess It's Kitten Week at Bad Example

Fireman rescues kitten (grab some Puffs before hitting play):


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #2,544,954)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

One Man's Trash

So, a couple years ago, I adopted this little kitten from a family who didn't want her and had her living out in the barn.



I thought she was just a defective Siamese, what with the white nose & the white paws instead of having the dark points typical of the breed.

Turns out she's actually a very good example of a rather scarce breed called a Snowshoe:


[Discovery.com direct link]

Coco is only a couple years old, but she knows her name and comes when called. Smart cat.

Gets along well with the other cats, too.

So everything they say in the video is true. She's cute, charming, gregarious, and intelligent.

Sometimes you just never know when a kitten that someone else doesn't want will turn out to be an incredible treasure.

Today's life lesson

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Not Weird

via Winning at Everything



I used to work as a bank teller, and occasionally pulled the drive-up shift. We had little jars of dog treats at our work stations.

Trust me, the scene above is not the slightest bit unusual.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

War Zone


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,772,948)

In my house, it's a Snowshoe vs. catnip mice, but the battle goes similarly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sometimes It's Just Nice to Watch Someone Who's Good at What He Does

It's not a spoiler to say that he doesn't hit a single puck.

You'll be on the edge of your seat anyway, because you won't believe he'll be able to do it without messing up. He can't possibly watch his stick and both skates and all those pucks at the same time.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #2,007,648)

Oh, and the final shot is fake. The rest of it's real.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Gonna Need a Bigger Board

Much like Homer Simpson, I've long found cars' factory-installed "cup" holders to be feeble and inadequate.
(Homer makes demands to the car engineers about what needs to go in the new car.)

Homer: All right, you eggheads! I want a place in this car to put my drink!

Engineer: Sir, the-the car has a beverage holder.

Homer: Hello! Hello, Einstein! I said a place to put MY drink. You know those Super Slakers they sell at the Kwik-E-Mart? (Makes a large circle with his hands.) The cup is THIS big!

Engineer: (Talks as he writes on a clipboard.) Extremely large beverage holder.

My cup looks more like this:



I'm considering doing a custom job along these lines to keep it from tipping over whenever I take corners on 2 wheels, as I am often wont to do:



There'd need to be some modifications, of course, but I think the principle's sound.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Sure It Sounded Like a Good Idea to the Boys in R & D

Smores-flavored candy corn:



Let's just say it makes a better theory than a product.

There's hints of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate, but the overwhelming flavor is candy corn.

I'll call this one a swing and a miss.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Geraniums? More Like Insaniums!

Someone's having themselves a little technicolor end-of-summer celebration:



Not bad for a plant that had pooped its party a month ago.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Think My Uterus Just Went "Ping!"


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #621,557)

It's stuff like this that makes me wish I had a daughter.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1000 OR SO WORDS ON 9/11

(reposted from 9/11/04)

Higher, please.

(click to enlarge)




This picture is an original work of art by Bryan Larsen, which I found pre-9/11/01 at the Quent Cordair Art Gallery site. It fascinated me enough to bookmark it then, and I've viewed it many times since. Both professional quality and poster prints of this image are available via the Quent Cordair site.

The following text appears at the first link:
The following letter was written by Quent Cordair on Friday, September, 14, 2001, to our mailing list:

Dear friends, family and associates,

As a former U.S. Marine, I once carried a rifle in our defense. I've two younger brothers in the military who now stand ready to cover that end of things. The firemen, doctors, rescue personnel, blood donors, the brave New Yorkers and others on the scene are giving what they have to give to the effort. Philosophers are fighting with the pen. The artists' tools are uniquely valuable as well.

As a gallery owner, I offer what I have -- a single image to inspire, to counter the endless images of the destruction which we've all endured over the past days. This image stands in lucid contrast, in defiance of those who would destroy. It is a re-affirmation of who we are, of what we've created, of what we've built, of what we will rebuild and build higher yet, with unthwarted and unconquered determination. Those who would destroy us have not touched our essence.

My thanks to the artist, Bryan Larsen, who during the months in which others were plotting to destroy the World Trade Center, was busy creating, featuring the towers in an artwork which identifies and celebrates in theme all the towers stood for. The creation of this painting while others were targeting the painting's subject for destruction was no coincidence; there is no irony in the timing. Each side identified the WTC as a vital symbol of America in these times; one side sought to destroy that value, the other to celebrate it and build on it. In retrospect, the artwork stands in memorial. The World Trade Center was not fully appreciated, by many, until it was gone.

May this image serve as inspiration as we recover and look to the future. Please feel welcome to share it with all, to remind ourselves, and the world, of who we are, undaunted and unbeaten. God bless America, those who built it, those who will build again, and higher.

Quent Cordair
Again, I say...

Higher, please.

Monday, September 9, 2013

You Have to Learn English Before You Can Butcher It Properly

I readily admit to mangling the English language for both recreation and profit.

The thing is, I do it on purpose, and I can choose not to just as easily as choosing to do so.

Seems the next generation may lack that option:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #264,087)

I don't know whether to mock, gloat, or weep.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I Think I Have to Get Married Now

A mailing list bought by a company that sells feminine hygiene products sent this to my non-existent wife at my home address:



Apparently I have to get married by the time this offer expires on 11/4 or else.

I hate corporate shotgun weddings...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Color!

Early in the summer, I got a geranium for my front stoop, because it was colorful and my house is gray.

About a month ago, a big rainstorm came through and wiped out every single blossom. The plant was still healthy, with nice green leaves, but not a single petal remained.

It's coming back now:

Someday Soon, Your Doctor's Office Will Be Like This, Thanks to Obamacare

Anonymiss of Nuking Politics has her all-too-true DMV horror story posted.

I just got my drivers license renewed Tuesday, so I also spent some quality time at the DMV recently.

I was just as puzzled by her at their bizarre letter-number-combination take-a-number system as she was. My number was C182. I was there long enough to memorize it.

Sitting next to me in the waiting area was a stupid blond girl with a huge tattoo on her thigh who spent the whole time fiddling with the phone. Someday I expect she will text while driving, lose her license, then skateboard drunk. (You'll need to visit the above link to get that reference)

On the bright side, I managed to squint hard enough to avoid getting a "must wear glasses" restriction on my license this time. I was kinda worried about that.

Just to be safe, though, everyone in Wisconsin should stay off the sidewalks when they see me driving by for a couple years.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Depends on What You Mean by Voluntary

I get the Snopes newsletter, and this week they were looking into the question of whether the Obamacare law authorizes federal home inspections.
Grassfire's Liberty News team is reporting on a little-known aspect of ObamaCare — FORCED HOME INSPECTIONS.

Simply put, provisions of ObamaCare allow federal agents to activate forced home inspections. The inspections are being sold as a simple act to ensure eligibility, but upon digging deeper we find the agents will have broad authority in using the new tool to clamp down on privacy and violate American rights.

Homeschool your kids? Smoke a cigar from time to time? Have a member who was at one time active duty military? ObamaCare enables agents to force a home inspection upon you.

And no state will be off limits to the ObamaCare inspections.

They said "no".
However, nothing in the PPACA authorizes federal or state agents to "target" and conduct forced inspections at such households. The PPACA requires that MIECHV grant recipients give priority to such households (because that's where the return on money spent is highest), but as stated in the press release quoted above, the MIECHV grant program brings "nurses, social workers, or other health care professionals to meet with at-risk families that agree to meet with them in their homes. Likewise, the relevant section (p. 251) of the PPACA specifically states that MIECHV grant recipients must provide "assurances that the entity will establish procedures to ensure that the participation of each eligible family in the program is voluntary." [all emphasis in original]

Ok, so it's "voluntary".

But that's not how it will be used.

How it will play out is that if you get on the wrong side of some irritable bureaucrat, they'll threaten you with legal action unless you "volunteer" to let these agents snoop around your house.

A nice, legal, little shakedown racket.

Lock up your valuables, kiddies. Underpaid civil servants have sticky fingers.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If Internet Browsers Were Women

[via Technabob]



Me? I have a thing for a certain redhead in a blue dress...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Failing Chicken Anatomy 101

So I bought a whole chicken last week because it was on sale for cheap.

I've never actually bought a whole chicken before, but my dad did it a lot when I was a kid. Cheaper than buying pre-cut.

So I watched the cutting process lots of times. Although that was 30-40 years ago.

Turns out I didn't remember it as well as I thought.

Let's just say that, in terms of surgical precision, it made the wood-chipper scene in "Fargo" look like McCoy reconnecting Spock's brain.

Came out pretty tasty, though. Shake n' Bake hides a lot of crimes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Extreeeeeeme Cooking!



What do they mean "if"?

I know someone who takes her orange zest that seriously.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lost a Friend Today

About 13 years ago, I took in one of the strays that used to hang around outside my house. A tiny little long-haired black kitten. I don't have a picture, but she looked a lot like this:



Kind of a runt. About 3 pounds when I got her. She never weighed more than 6 in her adult life.

Spent her whole life being skittish. You could never walk up to her. The only way to catch her was to trap her in a corner & grab her as she scooted by.

But once you got her & started petting her, she'd stay put for hours. Very strange.

Anyway, she developed a respiratory illness last week, and despite antibiotics, passed away this evening.

I will miss her.

UPDATE:

Turns out I *did* have a picture of Fuzzy. For size comparison, there's a standard household electrical outlet on the left side of the picture.


Like I said - tiny cat.

Late to the Party Is Still a Party

All my roses bloomed in the spring and died off a long time ago.

Except for one branch which just bloomed.



Apparently it refuses to let go of summer without a fight

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This Is Why I Don't Own a Smartphone


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #13,214,936)

Either it's because I want to experience my life firsthand instead of living it vicariously through a 4-inch diagonal screen, or it's because I secretly long to be a Hispanic woman.

Not really sure which.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Not Following Through


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,150)

His mistake? Turning back when she said "wait", instead of just going.

The lesson? Never let anyone talk you out of doing what you KNOW is the best course of action.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This Is What Public Schools Have Come To

Michelle Obama's latest "healthy kids" pitch: "Walking School Buses".

That's where a group of kids walk to school together, accompanied by an adult.

Here's a picture promoting the notion:



Well, I guess it's working, because there are no fat kids in this picture. Yeah... THESE are the kids that really need the exercise.

In the pouring rain.

While lugging backpacks.

Hope they don't catch cold, get soaking wet, or end up nailed by a bolt of lightning.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How Can You Honor a Man Who Had No Honor?

"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin."

- Barack Obama

The best way to honor Trayvon Martin? Don't assault innocent citizens carrying guns.

Monday, May 27, 2013

5 Minute Corn on the Cob

This video is 43 seconds too long, so just start at that point.

[YouTube direct link]

TEXT VERSION.

Put unshucked corn on the cob in the microwave for 5 minutes.

Cut off the end where the leaves attach.

Grab the other end and squeeze the ear of corn out.

Eat.

Yum!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Still in the Testing Phase

My cats seem to prefer being petted backwards (tail to head).

Is this normal, or are my cats just really weird?

Help me do some research on this.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Forget "Click It or Ticket" - THIS Is Why You Should Wear a Seat Belt

Not a scratch, not a bump, not a bruise. Just walking away from the scene making casual conversation:


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #101,937)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cue Defiance

Got this email from ThinkGeek.com:
In case you're not aware, we have decided to publicly announce our participation in a recall for Buckyballs and Buckycubes along with several other retailers. We chose to participate because of the recent actions and findings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which found that ingestion of Buckyballs and Buckycubes can result in serious internal injuries that can lead to death if left untreated. Unfortunately, at this time, the number of incidents causing injuries continues to rise.

We are emailing you today because you've purchased Buckyballs and Buckycubes from us in the past, so we'd like to offer you ThinkGeek credit towards a future purchase.
First, let me offer a rude gesture or two to the busybodies at the CPSC.

Sorry fellas, Buckyballs are a ton of fun, I'm an adult who's smart enough not to eat them, and you can have my Buckyballs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Surprising

I find that, after buying a sewing machine, I have a lot less time for blogging.

Funny how adding one little thing to your life can cause so many changes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Man Rules

(Via Freedom Is Just Another Word)
_______________

PLEASE NOTE. THESE ARE ALL NUMBERED #1 ON PURPOSE!

1. MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS.

1. LEARN TO WORK THE TOILET SEAT. YOU'RE A BIG GIRL. IF IT'S UP, PUT IT DOWN. WE NEED IT UP, YOU NEED IT DOWN. YOU DON'T HEAR US COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU LEAVING IT DOWN.

1. CRYING IS BLACKMAIL.

1. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. LET US BE CLEAR ON THIS ONE:

SUBTLE HINTS DO NOT WORK!
STRONG HINTS DO NOT WORK!
OBVIOUS HINTS DO NOT WORK!
JUST SAY IT!

1. YES AND NO ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWERS TO ALMOST EVERY QUESTION.

1. COME TO US WITH A PROBLEM ONLY IF YOU WANT HELP SOLVING IT. THAT'S WHAT WE DO. SYMPATHY IS WHAT YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ARE FOR.

1. ANYTHING WE SAID 6 MONTHS AGO IS INADMISSIBLE IN AN ARGUMENT. IN FACT, ALL COMMENTS BECOME NULL AND VOID AFTER 7 DAYS.

1. IF YOU THINK YOU'RE FAT, YOU PROBABLY ARE. DON'T ASK US.

1. IF SOMETHING WE SAID CAN BE INTERPRETED TWO WAYS AND ONE OF THE WAYS MAKES YOU SAD OR ANGRY, WE MEANT THE OTHER ONE.

1. YOU CAN EITHER ASK US TO DO SOMETHING OR TELL US HOW YOU WANT IT DONE. NOT BOTH. IF YOU ALREADY KNOW BEST HOW TO DO IT, JUST DO IT YOURSELF.

1. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PLEASE SAY WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO SAY DURING COMMERCIALS.

1. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DID NOT NEED DIRECTIONS AND NEITHER DO WE…

1. ALL MEN SEE IN ONLY 16 COLORS, LIKE WINDOWS DEFAULT SETTINGS. PEACH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS A FRUIT, NOT A COLOR. PUMPKIN IS ALSO A FRUIT. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAUVE IS.

1. IF WE ASK WHAT IS WRONG AND YOU SAY 'NOTHING,' WE WILL ACT LIKE NOTHING'S WRONG. WE KNOW YOU ARE LYING, BUT IT IS JUST NOT WORTH THE HASSLE.

1. IF YOU ASK A QUESTION YOU DON'T WANT AN ANSWER TO, EXPECT AN ANSWER YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR..

1. WHEN WE HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING YOU WEAR IS FINE... REALLY.

1. DON'T ASK US WHAT WE'RE THINKING ABOUT UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO DISCUSS SUCH TOPICS AS FOOTBALL OR MOTOR SPORTS.

1. YOU HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES.

1. YOU HAVE TOO MANY SHOES.

1. I AM IN SHAPE. ROUND IS A SHAPE!

1. THANK YOU FOR READING THIS. YES, I KNOW, I HAVE TO SLEEP ON THE COUCH TONIGHT.. BUT DID YOU KNOW MEN REALLY DON'T MIND THAT? IT'S LIKE CAMPING...
_______________

Two addendums

1. I am in shape, and that shape is not round.

1. A good woman would be so grateful that I was being honest with her that she wouldn't want me to sleep on the couch. Probably wouldn't even want me sleeping...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exactly

From IMAO:
I'd say I love writing, but it's truer to say I love sharing the things I think up and writing is the price I'm willing to pay to do that.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seize the Luck

From According to Hoyt:
So - supposing you want to get somewhere - if planning doesn't work, how do you get where you want to go?

Why… by accident. Or not. It's more like Zen archery. You don't aim, but you know where the target is, and you stay lose, and you intend to reach it. And then, instead of planning how to get there, you stay alert for possible opportunities to get where you want to go. See an opportunity to work at something you always wanted to? Give it a chance. See something that needs doing and doesn't pay? Try it. Who knows? It might start to pay suddenly. Stay open to chaos and make use of it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Science!

So, Anonymiss told me how to keep my kitchen sponge from getting all icky & stinky by rinsing all the soap out of it, squeezing it dry, and putting it in the microwave for 1 minute to sterilize it.

It's a great idea, but the thing that bugged me about it is that if you rinse out all the soap from the sponge and squeeze it dry, you waste the soap that was still in the sponge.

As an experiment, I didn't squeeze out the sponge at all, and put in right in the microwave.

Turns out that when you boil soapy water in a sponge, it creates a bunch of suds.

On the bright side, wiping the suds up means I just cleaned my microwave with hot, soapy water. That's a GOOD thing, right?

Anyway, the sponge was steaming hot, so I'm pretty sure it's sterile now.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Knock It Off, Idiots

Via Fox
A national atheist organization is demanding that an Oregon city remove its Vietnam War memorial because it includes a cross.

Just to be clear - not THIS atheist.

Guys, it's not the Inquisition, it's just a symbolic way to honor the fallen

Maybe if you showed some courtesy toward other people's religion, you might get a little more shown to your lack of one.

Buncha thin-skinned morons.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Blunt

I'd say this is me in 20 years, but this is pretty much me right now:


[YouTube direct link]

Also, get off my lawn.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inside My Head, This Is How I Feel About the Coming of Spring

I hate winter in Wisconsin with a raw, throbbing passion that only this video can express.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #277,557)

It should hit 50 degrees next week. I revel in the ecstasy of the relative warmth.

Monday, March 25, 2013

An Honest Question

From Spootville:
If I remember rightly, one of my first blog posts was to point out that we could balance the federal budget by eliminating all welfare and giving each of the poorest Americans a check for $40,000 each year. That would be cheaper than what we are doing now, and yet we have more poor people.
First, I'm taking this completely out of context, and Spoot is ONLY making the point of cost.

But... when I see words saying we should give the poor $40,000 a year, my visceral reaction is "WHY?"

I've had jobs that paid $40,000 a year. In exchange for that, I've had to drive through blizzards, work at least 8 hours a day, plus give up plenty of random nights & weekends because my employer "needed" me.

And yet it would be an *improvement* to our current system to give "poor" people $40,000 a year to do... what? Promise not to kill us in our sleep?

Forget the poor. This isn't charity. This isn't even welfare. This is extortion and grand larceny. My sympathy bucket is empty and dry.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go quell the urge to start strangling HHS employees.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why It's Perfectly Ok to Meet Fellow Bloggers

From According to Hoyt:
Yesterday, in the comments, conversation strayed to whether or not we'd interact well as a group in meat-space, followed by the strong doubts that we wouldn't.

I'm not sure about this, because now that we've met, in the mind-space of the internet, we can probably carry that over into real life and enjoy ourselves immensely.

The thing about the internet is that we get to meet as onto angels, mind to mind and thought to thought, as if the incidentals of life counted for nothing.

Speaking from numerous personal experiences, I can say that if you read a particular blogger for a while, and you really like the personality they project with their written words, you will discover - if you meet them in the off-line world - that they are EXACTLY who you thought they were. And as much as you like them online, you will like them at least that much in person.

I think this is because people don't blog to be fake. They get enough of having to bend politely and put on masks in their everyday lives. The purpose of blogging is to give yourself permission to say what you think without having to first run your words through the filter of "is it ok for me to say this?". The purpose is to say what you believe, deep down, and feel the satisfaction of seeing in print an honest reflection of yourself. It's an exhilarating, liberating experience. One which comes all too infrequently in the ordinary course of a day.

I've never read a blog regularly, met the blogger in person, and then thought "wow, what a complete jerk".

Well, that's not entirely true, I suppose, but only because oftentimes their being a complete jerk is what I *like* about a blogger. (As Chris Muir of Day by Day once phrased it to me "Tact is a stranger to you. I like that.")

So, yeah. Meet up without fear.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

DuckFace: It Ruins EVERYTHING



Ladies, NEVER get your picture taken like this. It's just ugly.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Urges

I can't look at this picture of a guy standing on top of the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building)



without hearing this song in my head (chorus starts at the 45 second mark):


[YouTube direct link]

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

They Did Not Die in Vain

An accident killed 7 Marines in Nevada. No official word on what exactly happened, but it sounds to me like munitions were mishandled and they went off.
"We send our prayers and condolences to the families of Marines involved in this tragic incident. We remain focused on ensuring that they are supported through this difficult time," said the force's commander, Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Fox. "We mourn their loss, and it is with heavy hearts we remember their courage and sacrifice."

What will happen next is that there will be a detailed investigation and whatever mistakes were made that caused the explosion will be written up in an incident report and used to improve training so that no other Marines make the same mistake out of ignorance or carelessness.

The deaths of these Marines will save the lives of countless other Marines in the future, and in doing so, these dead Marines will have fulfilled their mission - to save American lives, even at the cost of their own.

The beauty of the American military is that it seeks the truth in order to learn from its mistakes, even if those mistakes are embarrassing to people in positions of power. This is the root of honor and integrity.

God bless them all.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm a Bad Friend


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #1,026,125)

There are people I'd be willing to do this for.

Wouldn't do them any good, though, because I'd never make it past the doorman since I'd have my Glock in my shoulder holster.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Really Hard to Shop for Kitchen Towels

I have some nice blue & white kitchen towels. Love the way they look. Love the way they perform (they absorb water - I've owned towels that only do that as an afterthought). Problem is, they're getting old & stained & frayed.

Found exactly what I was looking for at Amazon.

But *before* I found them I must've looked in half a dozen department stores. And I discovered something. Blue is no longer a kitchen color. If you go shopping for ANYTHING for your kitchen - pots, pans, dishes, placemats, towels, whatever - it only comes in the most grotesque shades of green, yellow, and orange. Very much like the kitchen colors of the 70's, except off by a few shades, which somehow makes it even more stomach-churning to look at.

I blame the Food Network and the slew of preening, money-grubbing "celebrity" chefs they've spawned like so much under-sink mildew.

I hate it, but I also get it. It's how the industry works:


[This Stuff? The Devil Wears Prada]

Monday, March 11, 2013

I Know Why

From IMAO:
"I remember having a happy childhood, though it's hard to imagine how since there was no internet."

I know why MY childhood was happy:

I lived 1 block from the railroad tracks.

2 blocks from the grocery store.

3 blocks from the river.

4 blocks from the movie theater.

5 blocks from the public library.

Everything that made life fun, interesting, or comfortable was within easy walking distance, even in winter.

What's not to be happy about?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Desperately Need Sewing Advice

I've been sewing by hand since I was 6 (I even made a teddy bear once), but never learned how to use a sewing machine.

Thinking about getting one, since I'm contemplating a project that requires about 12 linear feet of hemming. My hands are cramping just thinking about it.

What do I need to know about sewing machines before plunking down a pile of money? A glance through Amazon suggests that anything under $150 is a waste of money.

Ladies, please get your sewing-smart girlfriends over here to chime in on this one, too.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Record for Worst Show Ever

History Channel's "Vikings".

I heard the hype - "It's 'Game of Thrones' with horned helmets" - and I was looking forward to this.

2 minutes in, I'm done.

A battlefield... with 4 living people left on it. So... something really exciting happened here, and we missed it all.

OO! But a fight!... um... they're still fighting... still fighting... (in Game of Thrones or 300, warriors kill quickly because they know how to fight. Clashing swords is for Errol Flynn movies).

OO! The hero's sword broke.

His friend on the battlefield yells his name from twenty feet away and tosses him another weapon which he catches deftly. Amazingly, Ragnar doesn't get killed while he's busy focusing on catching the weapon instead of focusing on his opponent.

Ragnar wins! (FINALLY!)

Friend of Ragnar sees an enemy running away, grabs a random spear, hurls it, and perfectly impales a moving target 30 yards away like some sort of Dark Ages Brett Favre.

Then a gratuitous shot of a crow picking at a dead guy.

Then some allegorical Death figure wanders the battlefield, grabs a body, and ascends to heaven. I think Ragnar whispered "Odin", but he didn't enunciate, so I'm just guessing based on my knowledge of Norse mythology. Which I don't think includes Odin as collector of battlefield dead anywhere in it.

So, after 2 minutes, we've had two words of dialogue, only know one of the two character's names, don't know why they're there, what they were fighting about, or why I'm supposed to care about these two guys.

Sorry, History Channel - stick to making substandard, factually-suspect documentaries. You stink at scripted drama.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Pay Cuts For Government Employees

Don't ask if you deserve the pay-cut caused by the budget squeeze.

Ask if you deserved to be paid as much as you were getting in the first place.

Unless you run the risk of being "killed in the line of duty", I'm gonna guess not.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mr. T Was Better Than Martin Luther King



As a role model, I think Mr. T did a better job.

Martin Luther King Jr. did speeches, marches & civil disobedience. He was a professional complainer.

Mr. T actually held a job before he landed the role of B.A. Baracus on "The A-Team". And B.A. was the perfect role model for any boy or man. He was very physically fit and a mechanical genius. Any time the team needed some huge contraption improvised in a hurry, B.A. put it together.

B.A. didn't smoke, didn't drink (except milk), didn't swear, didn't start fights (just finished them when necessary) and had a huge soft spot for kids in tough situations.

And B.A. wasn't the team's "black guy". The shows' plots never revolved around his skin color, just the content of his character (which was considerable and admirable).

So, yeah, if I had a son, I'd rather have him grow up to be like Mr. T.

Seriously, take two minutes to read his Wikipedia bio. He's just a flat-out decent human being.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Lesson


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #3,008)

This is a very sad video.

Not because of Raymond. He's freaking awesome.

It's sad because of all the young, healthy people who are standing around watching him instead of joining in.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who live life, and those who record it on their iPhones while it passes them by.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Time Machine


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #2,671)

Dedicated to old men (and the old at heart) who work on things for no other reason than that they enjoy it tremendously.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Atlas Shrugged Part II

Bungled.

They captured a few of the moments nicely, but the thing is, there's a lot of good dialogue that got snipped due to time constraints. Meanwhile, the director still had lots of time to have the cameras linger over the expensive sets & costumes & 2nd rate CGI.

For the third part, I hope they take a cue from "The Fountainhead" movie, and just make the characters TALK FASTER!

Fredric March spit out his lines like a machine gun. So did everyone else, for that matter (except the laconic Gary Cooper, of course).

Really, guys, if you're working with idea-dense source material, the way to relay it to the audience is with idea-dense dialogue.

Meh... they won't listen to me, and the third movie will be as half-hearted as the other two. But I'll watch it for the sake of closure.

My only hope is that, before I die, someone will get so furious at how poorly this novel was adapted that they'll do a better job at a remake just out of spite.

The Kid Should Be Happy

Dateline: Texas
A history teacher was trying to teach lasso techniques used during cattle drives. He asked for student volunteers, and had them run... then tried to rope them.

[...]

The 13-year-old volunteer ended up with bruises.



Pssst... buddy...

Chicks dig scars. You're a made man now.

Or you would've been if you hadn't whined about it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Changed My Mind

I've always thought Boba Fett was ridiculously over-popular as a Star Wars character, considering the stunted and pointless role he played in the movies.

Basically he was an intergalatic UPS guy with better pants.

However, after seeing this:



I am now Boba Fett's #1 fan.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Focus - Illustrated


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #5,607,660)

How many coaches would've just jumped out of the way?

How many coaches would've just caught the ball and held it?

And how many players would take a pass from their coach and immediately sink a 3-pointer?

Very few.

Yeah, something went wrong, but everyone just kept on playing their best.

THAT... is focus.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bacon Fudge?

I have this idea for bacon fudge.

Take a normal fudge recipe, and substitute bacon grease for the butter.

Anyone ever try this?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

There's No Way to Intro This Without Spoilers



Just stick with it and trust me that there's upliftment to be found, so it's worth the 8.5 minutes you spend until the end credits roll.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bacon Anytime

I hate frying bacon because grease spatters make a mess out of my stove, and I'm too lazy to clean it.

Easy solution: microwave bacon.

Put 2 slices on a paper towel.

Put a paper towel over it.

Cook for 90 seconds.

Enjoy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Strangely, This Works for Me


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #324,354)

Ordinarily I'm not a fan of deathmetal. I prefer musicality over machine-gun drumming, chainsaw guitars, and constipated-bear vocals.

I actually like it in this video, because the mindless simplicity of the music & vocals is perfectly suited to the dim but enthusiastic grip dogs have on how the world works.

In short, if a dog could write a song, this is the song a dog would write.

And then I'd be like "Cool! My dog can write songs!" and I'd exploit his talent to make a million dollars for myself.

But I'd buy him all the socks he wanted.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Separated at Birth?

So I watched "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", just because I'd heard of it and it was on.

I don't know whether to describe it as "a 2 hour and 15 minute Twilight Zone episode" or "if Quentin Tarantino had to keep a movie PG".

Joan Crawford's eyebrows... GAH!

As for Bette Davis... I can't believe she let herself look that ugly on film. Not sure if she was better or worse looking than Helen Thomas.



The chubby British guy looked familiar. Turns out I recognized him from the old Batman TV series, where he played King Tut.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

There's Got to Be a Way to Do This

Say... does anyone know how to unwrap a slice of cheese one-handed?

Or am I the only person who's ever tried this particular monkey-trick?

Google & YouTube are both strangely silent on the topic.

UPDATE: I need to clarify - I meant without using the kitchen counter or any other hard, horizontal surface. Slice of cheese in the air the whole time.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why Settle for One When You Can Have Both?

Last night I got a sudden craving and decided that I really wanted pancakes for breakfast this morning.

So I went on the internet, grabbed the first recipe I saw, and made the batter (figuring to save myself a little time & trouble in the morning).

Worked out well, pancakes for breakfast, and I was happy, except...

The recipe I used called for 1 egg.

I normally eat my eggs in pairs, so now I've got this one odd egg in the crate. Sure it's a First World Problem, but it's still annoying.

Then it hit me:

Pancake French Toast

So I took the oddball egg, made French Toast batter out of it, made a pancake, and dipped the pancake in the batter instead of bread.

That worked out pretty well. I recommend giving it a try.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Kind of Jerk

Watched "Employees' Entrance" recently.

IMDB describes it as follows:
Kurt Anderson is the tyrannical manager of a New York department store in financial straits. He thinks nothing of firing an employee of more than 20 years or of toying with the affections of every woman he meets. One such victim is Madeline, a beautiful young woman in need of a job. Anderson hires her as a salesgirl, but not before the two spend the night together. Madeline is ashamed, especially after she falls for Martin West, a rising young star at the store. Her biggest fear is that Martin finds out the truth about her "career move."

I disagree with that description.

I *liked* Kurt. He was made manager to make the store profitable. He fires suppliers because they don't make deliveries as promised. He fires the "20 year employee" because he doesn't do anything to help the store become more profitable. He also bends over backwards to promote, praise, and support an employee who shows initiative.

Basically he's Howard Roark without the charm. And when he's mean to people (which is frequently), it's because HE'S good at running a store, THEY'RE not, and THEY are presuming to tell HIM how to do his job.

As for Madeline, well, she's a woman of loose ethics who cheated on her husband. Hardly the deceived innocent that IMDB makes her out to be.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I'm Too Lazy to Make Cookies

So I bought some cookie dough that was already in pre-made circles. All I had to do was spread them out on a cookie sheet.

Too much work.

I dumped 'em all into an 8x8 glass baking dish without separating them. Somewhere around 25-30 minutes later at 350 degrees, I had cookie bars.

They're all gone now, so don't bother asking me to share.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Doesn't Matter. Had Fun


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #76,539)

Whatever you do, do it with joy and reckless abandon.

By the way, he can also do it blindfolded. And with the same enthusiasm.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Message to My Younger Self (Or Not)

Sarah Hoyt has an interesting post about what (if anything) you would tell your younger self if you could go back in time.

Well, despite some recent "setbacks", I'm not sure I'd want to change anything. I'm in a pretty good position right now, all things considered. I've been able to work from home for the last 3 years, and the ability to pull a paycheck while dressed in sweats with a purring cat on your lap is nothing to be trifled with.

Not sure I'd want to risk losing that.

But still, the one risk I think I'd take is to tell me to read "The Lively Art of Writing". Probably about when I was 10.

See, I'd done a lot of reading (probably had about a thousand checkouts on my library card by that point), and I knew what good writing LOOKED like, but I never thought I could do it myself.

Because I didn't know HOW to write well, I did horribly in English & Creative Writing classes all through school. What I didn't know was that writing was as much science as art, and that one book could explain it all (or at least explain enough).

I was introduced to this book when I was 17. Had I read it earlier, I think my life could've been even better than it is today.

So... anything you'd do for yourself as a kid?

Friday, January 11, 2013

It Ain't the Violence, It's Who You're Laying the Violence on

In recent gun control arguments, I hear a lot of rumblings about how we should "ban violent video games".

Dumb.

I've been playing violent video games for about 20 years. I've shot of lot of demons, Nazis, drug gangs, criminals, and space aliens.

That's a GOOD thing, because all these pixelated marauders were EVIL. They were trying to take over the planet (or at least the city), and they killed a lot of innocent people along the way. They deserved to die.

Now, I also tried playing a game called "Postal", which involved shooting innocent people on the streets for no reason. Strictly speaking, it was exactly the same as the other games - click, bang, dead - but without the feeling that I was fighting on the side of justice, I got no satisfaction.

Most violent video games that I'm aware of have you killing bad guys. Now, I've never played anything from the Grand Theft Auto series, but I've heard that game rewards you for killing innocents. I wouldn't ban it, but I'd suggest parents keep it away from impressionable children.

My point? Violence is good when it makes bad people die. If your video game does that, play it a lot. That's an attitude that should be promoted.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Worth Looking At

Lately I've found that I have a lot more empty space on my DVR, and since I'm seen pretty much every episode of Family Guy, Futurama, and the Simpsons at least twice, I find myself in need of some filler for those interstitial times when I'm doing low-focus tasks & want some background noise.

I'm finding a lot of good stuff on Turner Classic Movies lately, although more by luck than by design.

Like the fun, if pointless, 1947 proto-rom-com "It Had to Be You".

I'll say two things about it:

Ginger Rogers sounds a LOT like Judy Garland.

Ginger Rogers, at age 36, is INCREDIBLY easy on the eyes. And I don't even have a preference for blondes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Sure This Makes Me Unpatriotic

Just watched "7 Days in May", wherein Burt Lancaster plays a general plotting to overthrow the President because said President signed a complete nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia (obviously this was set during the Cold War).

Yeah, I was rooting for the General the whole time.

On a side note, the movie opens with a protest march outside the White House. Couldn't help noticing how clean-cut and well-dressed the protesters were.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Paradox of Fire

When you're trying to start a fire from embers, you blow on them until they burst into flame.

When you want to extinguish a candle, you blow on it until it goes out.

How does that work, exactly?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Help! I Don't Have a Scarf!


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #128,087)

I really want to try this, but I don't have a scarf handy.

If anyone else tries it, let me know if it works. Or if these guys just have some kind of lazy freak-cat.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What Is Paul Newman's Problem?

Just watched "Hud" because I'd heard of it for years & it had Oscars & an all-star cast.

I guess "bored" would be the best description of my reaction.

And I noticed that Paul Newman played the same annoying, arrogant, shallow, unlikeable pondscum he played in Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, Slap Shot, and Judge Roy Bean.

Did he ever play anyone likeable?

As an aside, I did find it amusing to hear Newman in "Hud" use the phrase "salad dressing" in a sneering, derisive tone. The irony was not lost on me.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I Would Never Wear One of These

It's a little camera that you wear around your neck that automatically takes pictures all day long.

No, thank you. That's what my brain is for.

I say spend less time documenting your life and more time enjoying it.

That's also why I'll never own a smart phone. I work in The Matrix all day, and when I'm not obligated to stay there, I need to plug back into the real world for a while and enjoy what my senses have to offer.

AFK is OK. Really.

PS. YAY! Packers!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yay! I'm a Statistic!

Divorce final. I'm now officially one of the 50% of failed marriages.

Well, that was fun.

Moving on...