Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mister who?

Here's an actual conversation I had with a 22-year old.

ST: Hey, did you hear that they’re making an A-Team movie?
PY: A-Team?
ST: You know, that old TV show with Mr. T in it.
PY: Mr. T?
ST: What? You don’t know who Mr. T is? He’s got a Mohawk, he wears gold chains, he’s like the most famous person in the whole world.
PY: Oh, you mean that guy on commercials?
ST: [Silence]

During the lengthy silence, I realized that without World of Warcraft, Mr. T would be gone.

Mr. T is one of those pillars of my childhood. Mr. T is like Pac-Man. Mr. T. is like Star Wars. Mr. T. is like Madonna. Everyone has always heard of them, and everyone always will.

I think I remember a conversation from my Idaho childhood, but it could just be one of those allegorical stories that's still meaningful, and whatever the case, it's still embellished.

Kid 1: Mr. T is freaking awesome.
Kid 2: But Mr. T. is black. [Note that this story is from the 1980's version of Idaho, so this was intended as a huge insult to Kid 1]
Kid 1: Mr. T isn't black, Mr. T. is Mr. T.
Kid 2: [Silence]
ST (silently thought): Mr. T. is freaking awesome!!!1!!

Mr. T. is Mr. T. He's also black, but that doesn't really matter outside of twentieth century Idaho. And, Mr. T is also a nice guy.

And, this man, who I thought was an immortal, he's almost gone.

Photo from Atratus on istockphoto.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

84 cents of tip

I drove through McDonald's a few days ago at 11pm.

The total was $5.16. I gave the cashier six bucks, and said, "Keep the change." He went back over to the cash register, rang it up, and yelled at me.

Are you sure? This is eighty four cents!

"Yes, I'm sure, thank you."

This isn't the first time I've done that, but usually I only "tip" people at McDonalds six or seven cents. I'm gradually tipping more and more at McDonald's.

Same thing with convenience store cashiers. As soon as I figured out that the excess of the Take-A-Penny, Give-A-Penny jar gets taken as cashier tips, I've always put all of my non-quarter change into the penny jar.

I started this a few years ago after I ate dinner at a fancy restaurant.  The bill was about a hundred bucks, and I tipped about twenty bucks. It was just a regular tip for the fancy restaurant. The server never said, "Thanks for the tip," it was just business as usual.

So I thought about McDonald's, and started wondering, "What would happen if I tipped someone at McDonald's twenty bucks?"

Photo from Carol Heesen Photography on istockphoto. If you want me to pay you five bucks for your photo, post me a link to photos I could use.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beer and aspartame

I once knew a girl who drank her soda with half of it filled with Coke and half of it filled with Diet Coke. I revelled in her audacity, because that mix is the substance 99% of people will find something wrong with. She's my hero because of her concoction.

But this isn't really her story, besides the anti-aspartame folks probably dislike her mixture as much as the anti-sugar folks. This story is the story of aspartame. For those of you who don't know, aspartame is the same as NutraSweet, which is in Diet Coke.

I used to joke and say that aspartame made me bald. It was a joke because I'd never tried it before I went bald. I've always bald-facedly laughed in the faces of anti-aspartame folks. Actually, it's more that I've always thought that aspartame can't be as deadly as people say it is. I try to not laugh at people.

Then I read one of Alobar's posts where he says that aspartame is a poison. It all makes sense now, because now I know how to deal with aspartame.

If you ingest most poisons that aren't immediately lethal, the cure is to drink a lot of water. So, I've decided that from now on, I'll drink at least as much non-aspartame drinks as I drink aspartame drinks.  My days of drinking Diet Coke all day long are over, as are my days of slowly poisoning myself.

Which leads me to another problem that needs a solution. If all you drink is beer, then you'll get dehydrated and get a headache.  You need to drink about as much non-alcoholic beverage as you do beer to avoid dehydration.

Putting both of those together, I'm changing my drinking regimen to only beer and Diet Coke.  Drinking the beer will flush out the poison aspartame and drinking the Diet Coke will hydrate me from the alcohol.

It's nearly perfect.

Photo bought from joxxxjo on istockphoto. If you'd like five bucks for your photo, instead of a middleman taking all the dough, post a link to your purchasable photo on this blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A perfect ass

I watched "The Spirit" again a few days ago, and there's a scene in it where Eva Mendez makes a photocopy of her perfect ass.  A few minutes later Eva's backside appears again, unclad.

But, this story is not about Eva Mendez. This is a story from back when I was a youngster, back when I was first starting to notice girls. Or women, in this case.

I noticed this rather large woman. She was wearing jeans. This is one of the first times I remember thinking, "she has a nice butt."  But I didn't have the words for that back then, so about her derrière, I probably just thought, "hmm," and gaped. And, she was wearing very tight jeans.

It was one of those times when a guy just stares at a girl, and only stares at one body part.

Did I mention this woman was pretty voluminous?

Then she turned around, facing me.  Not yet looking up at her face, I was still staring at her nether regions. Something seemed strange though, strange beyond my lack of experience staring at women's crotches or the fact I was ogling her.

Then I gradually looked up her body, to finally face her, and all I saw was hair, the back of her hair. Yep, on what I was thinking was her front side of her body was the back of her head.  Which means...

So, I thought they were fleshy buttocks, but it was just frontal overweightness, defined and accentuated by some overly tight jeans.


Photo from purchased LukeSeall on istockphoto. Send me your link to your purchasable photos, and I'll pay you five bucks instead of buying future ones from istockphoto.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tu puede vivir sobre el océano

El océano es un buen lugar feliz donde la gente puede descansar de todas las fatigas y preocupaciones. Usted puede ser feliz o por encima del océano.
Hay un lugar llamado el Instituto de Seasteading, y esta organización ayuda a las personas a vivir en el agua, para vivir en el océano. Vivir en el océano comenzará en pocos años. Comience a disfrutar hoy listo. Empieza a prepararte para la vida acuática. Todo boliviano piensa en el océano.

Si usted vive en el océano, puedes lograr cualquier cosa que desee. Habrá un montón de peces. Habrá un montón de agua. Usted puede lograr cualquier cosa que desee.

Usted está pensando probablemente que la gente no puede vivir en la parte superior del océano. Esto es cierto hoy en día, pero en el futuro será verdad que la gente puede vivir en la parte superior del océano. Habrá grandes islas flotantes que se construirá por el Instituto de Seasteading.

Para lograr todo lo que quieras, debe seleccionar una cosa. A continuación, puede lograrlo. Tenga mucho cuidado en la selección de una cosa. Hágase esta pregunta: ¿Qué es lo más importante para usted? Luego pregúntese si viven en el océano puede ayudarle a lograr su meta.

¿Por qué digo esto? Digo esto porque creo que el Instituto de Seasteading es magnífico!

Considere la posibilidad de escribir un artículo o un blog acerca de cómo la vida del océano puede mejorar su vida. Considere la posibilidad de escribir un poema sobre la Instituto de Seasteading.

Aquí está mi poema:

Esta vida es para mí
La vida en los océanos azules
Me encanta el agua y el mar
Y el horizonte brilla el ajuste de los soles.
Para el océano tengo lascivia.
Mientras me siento en Bolivia.

El Instituto de Seasteading probablemente le ayudará a encontrar tus sueños. Sea cual sea su visión para el futuro es, será mejor en el mar.

If you can't read what's written above, then you must not have Google Chrome installed yet.  Chrome will automatically translate pages from another language into your language.

What? You ventured out into the "World" Wide Web" without a translator?

Did Captain Kirk ever boldly go where no man has gone before and ever visit a planet that didn't already speak English?  Only once, and then he kicked the Gorn captain's ass, with a 30,000 carat diamond that he fired from a makeshift cannon.

Did Captain Picard even venture out into the universe without a Universal Translator?  No, never, he always had his Universal Translator.  And he spoke to dozens of aliens that didn't speak English.

So should you either stick to the English Wide Web, which never really existed, or please install Chrome, so you can read my inspiring message that I wrote above in Spanish.

Or, just click here, and you can view this whole page in English.

Adiós amigo.

Imagen comprado a yulkapopkova en istockphoto. Si quieres utilizar tu foto y le enviaremos 5 dólares en Paypal, y luego publicar el enlace a las fotos que puede utilizar a continuación. Además, yo sólo creo que el instituto Seasteading es fresco y por lo que estoy blogueando acerca de ella, eso es todo esto, no es una promoción de cualquier tipo o una solicitud oficial de la donación.

The last Aveeno in the world

There's a tale in my family that my late grandfather invented the best toilet plunger ever made.  Like it had such amazing suction power you'd usually have to replace your plumbing after using it.  But, this plunger cost like $5 to make, so Granddaddy had to sell it for $20, and the hardware stores at the time didn't want to buy it from Granddaddy for $20 to resell it to people for $50.

Instead, the hardware stores bought super cheap plungers for two bits, and resold the plungers to people for a few bucks.  They didn't work, but few things did back in the day.  He ended up selling the plungers to used car companies for $100 each, to take the dents out of cars, and they sold like hotcakes, they were that amazing.

I think everyone's heard a story like my plunger lore, about a product so amazing and better than anything else, that it doesn't exist anymore. It only exists in the past.

That's the way Aveeno Shave Gel is.  I'm bald, so I shave more difficult surface area than probably everyone else.  And, ladies, don't tell me how hard your legs are, because I shaved my legs once, and besides having tons of surface area and taking a long, long time, legs really aren't that hard to shave.

Basically, I'm an expert on shaving.  And to maintain my adept status, I've tried every shaving cream ever made.  And Aveeno Shave Gel is so much better than anything else.  Like seriously twenty times better. It's impossible to get razor burn if you use this shaving gel, even if you use a super cheap razor.

This product did have problems.  It kind of exploded and it rusted so bad your shower looked somebody beat it with an old metal pipe.  But, if you pointed it away from your face, and didn't ever sit it down, it was awesome.

Unfortunately, it's all gone now.  I stocked up the last time I found some months ago, and now I'm down to my last one, pictured above.

I've looked everywhere, Walmart, Amazon, Kmart,, Target, even Walgreens, but they're all gone.  I was hoping they were recalled because of the explosions, but I found a post that says one person found a bunch of them on clearance, and I'm pretty sure they don't clearance explosives.

Tomorrow, I'm going to shave.  And I'm going to use the last bit of the last Aveeno in the world.

And then starting tomorrow, I'm going to join the rest of the old codgers who claim that yesteryear is far superior to today.

Picture credit goes to me. If you'd like me to pay you five bucks for your picture, and credit you here in a future blog, post a link as a comment to the pictures I could choose from for a future blog.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pork and Beans with Ketchup

"There's enough beans for four men," George said.
Lennie watched him from over the fire. He said patiently, "I like 'em with ketchup."
"Well, we ain't got any," George exploded. "Whatever we ain't got, that's what you want. God a'mighty."

Of Mice and Men is my favorite book of all time. I've read it about ten times, and I've visited a lot of the places in that book.  One of the lines from that book that's burned into my head is when Lennie says, "I like beans with ketchup."  I don't know why I've never thought of doing this before, because I love ketchup. Maybe it's because I don't really cook.

But last night I forgot to eat until it was too late. I called the pizza place and it was already closed. I thought about driving to McDonald's but I was too lazy. I looked in my fridge and it was empty. In a last-ditch effort before I starved to death, I looked through the cupboard and saw them, the beans.  I looked in my fridge again, saw the ketchup, and viola!

So, I recreated the scene from Of Mice and Men as faithfully as I could remember.  I put way too much ketchup on those beans, though.  The beans were pretty flavorful even without ketchup.

Recipe from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, makes one plate.

1 can of Great Value brand Pork and Beans with Tomato Sauce
40 ounces of Heinz Ketchup

As an optional step, put the can by a fire for about thirty minutes. Using a stick, remove can from proximity of fire.  If fire is unavailable, either skip this step or use alternate heating method.

Open can with a knife. If plate is available, pour contents onto plate. Liberally squeeze ketchup onto side of beans. Take care to not mix the ketchup with the beans at this point, as ketchup can be overpowering to the natural flavoring of the beans, and everyone likes their beans overwhelmed in a different method.

If spoon is available, eat beans with spoon. If no spoon is available, wait until  no one is watching before you start eating.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The dangerousness of piñatas, and how to survive them

About a year ago, I was at a kid's birthday party where they had a pinata.  Kids love pinatas, maybe more than anything in the world.

There are two problems with pinatas. One, there's nowhere to hang them. Two, they're almost indestructible.

The birthday party seemed pretty benign. We ate cake, opened presents, and then it was time for the pinata. We looked for a while, and couldn't find a good place to hang the pinata, so I offered to hold it.  Then we looked around for a makeshift bat, and found some piece of metal somewhere.  I thought I was safe, and the kids seemed kind of responsible.

But then it quickly degenerated into absolute chaos, and after each kid had had a turn, this small little dude that I'm not sure could even talk, walked straight up to me, and whacked me in the thumb with this metal rod.

Ouch, my thumb still hurts.

Also, kids are unorganizable.  They all want to hit the pinata all at the same time.  As I was reeling in pain, trying to pretend I wasn't in pain, more kids came up and whacked the pinata dangerously close to my aching thumb.  Eventually I dropped it, and they hit the grounded pinata until the cement-encrusted orb finally cracked enough to eek the candy out.

I've seen a couple pinata demolitions since then, and they're probably one of the most dangerous events that normal people can go to.

Here are some ideas on surviving a pinata without hospitalizing anyone:
  1. Don't even think about holding the pinata with your hands.  Hang it somewhere and get away.
  2. Get a real baseball bat, these things are seriously made out of concrete.
  3. Tape off an area, on the ground as the "pinata swinging area."
  4. Only one person in the taped off area at a time
  5. You can't get the bat until you get in the taped off area
  6. If you leave the taped off area, you have to drop the bat
  7. Everybody stands in line and patiently waits their turn.
  8. Have everyone swing only once the first, the pinata might be unlike any I've ever seen, and not actually resemble concrete and break. You don't want crying kids saying, "I didn't get a turn."
  9. Birthday kid gets to swing first
  10. You can't pick up any candy in the taped off area until the pinata is fully demolished
To really enforce these rules, you'd have to have some kind of threat of revocation of privileges, such as that if you break a rule, you can't swing again, but then that's totally against the spirit of kids' birthday parties, so I'm not actually sure how you'd enforce these rules, I just know they're good rules. But, then, you're probably better at this than I am, because I don't have kids, and you probably do have them.

Also, you might want to get two pinatas, and try to break one with a bat the day before the party. Seriously, they're rock hard.

Image from ctermit purchased from istockphoto. Want me to buy your photo for my next blog instead of ctermits's?  Post a link to your purchasable portfolio on this blog. I pay five bucks a picture that I use.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meatetarian or Plantetarian but not Vegetarian

"A guy I once knew, who worked in a slaughterhouse, used to say that if he kills a cow, it feeds a lot of people. And the cow dies as instantly as possible.  If he eats a handful of sprouts, each sprout is alive and is slowly crushed to death in his jaws."

The quote's from the Food Choices blog by my favorite psychic in New Orleans, Alobar Greywalker.

For a long time, I've had a problem with vegetarianism, too.  Not as eloquently delineated a problem as Alobar's, but eating one type of living thing but not eating another type never sat right with me.

What's the difference between plants and animals? I can't really tell, because they're both alive. Whatever we have that most people call souls, I'm pretty sure that both plants and animals have those things.

A lot of plants don't have as neatly defined of a soul as most animals do. With most animals, if you cut off their heads, they die. You can cut off a lot of a lot of a plant and it won't die. Most animals, at least the animals we see most of the time, the animals depicted on the Noah's ark pictures, fit neatly into cartoonish monogamous male-female relationships.  Most plants don't really fit into a happy family mold. One of the largest organisms in the world is this hill of trees here in Utah, and even though most plants have male and female parts, when's the last time you saw two parent plants with a bunch of little baby plants walking down the street?  Maybe that's why it's easier to eat plants, because they're heathens.

I think I heard once that plants like being eaten. Maybe that's just similar to when bullies beat up kids in grade school and tell them that they like being beaten up.  Maybe plants don't really like being eaten. I'm sure animals don't either, but this is mostly about plants.

I have a lot of friends who are vegetarians, or wanna-be vegetarians, or wanna-be vegans.  Whenever I talk to them, I always wonder what I should call my own philosophy.  Vegetarian is an unfortunate word, because it seems that you'd be a vegetarian if you worshiped vegetation, and if you worshiped vegetables and plants, you wouldn't mercilessly crush dozens of live sprouts to death with your hard pointy teeth. It seems that meatetarian would be a better term for one who worships meat so much that he or she doesn't eat it.

So my similar philosophy, if I were to espouse one, would be to eat only meat. I think I like plants just a tad more than I like animals, so if I were to avoid ingesting some kind of organism, it would probably be avoiding plants.  I'd eat only meat and avoid plants.  Not in an Atkins-y kind of way, because I'd eat everything besides plants, I'd eat as many non-plant carbs as I could find, if those kind of carbs even exist..

So, I'd be a real meatetarian or maybe I'd call myself a plantetarian, to be technically accurate.

Image from mocker_bat purchased from istockphoto. Want me to buy your photo for my next blog instead of mocker_bat's?  Post a link to your purchasable portfolio on this blog. I pay five bucks a picture that I use.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm mad that LOCUTE isn't really a word

I knew a guy once who loved the game, but called it Scramble® instead. He wasn't very good at it, and I beat him repeatedly, but he loved the game he called Scramble.

I've been playing Lexulous lately, and it's totally fascinating me, because I'm finally playing enough of this type of game to develop some serious skills. Either that, or because Lexulous has the F* word and all variations in it, so I could finally recreate that scene from Foul Play in real life. You can add about fifty points per game to your game in either Scrabble or Lexulous if you memorize two words, QI and ZA. Qi is an alternate spelling of Chi, probably only used in China, and I have no idea what Za means. The significant thing is QI and ZA are the only two-letter words with Q and Z in them, and those are the highest value letters. And one piece of basic beginning word puzzling advice is to memorize all of the two-letter words, and to start memorizing the three-letter words..

You can add another 50 points to your game if you remember that you can make a two-letter word with 
X and any vowel. Those words are AX, EX, XI, OX, and XU.

There's a problem though. Qi, Za, and Xu don't appear in regular dictionaries. I'm sure they're in super-unabridged dictionaries, and they're in the Official Scrabble Dictionary. But, they're not in normal people dictionaries.

I realized this was a problem, because I used to hate the Scrabble dictionary. I'm not sure why, it might be because someone pulled on me what I'm about to try on my friends. 

I realized it was a problem, because I decided that I need to buy a copy of the Scrabble dictionary, because I wanted to beat my friends by 50+50 more points than I already beat them. Because if someone challenges me on Za in a regular dictionary, I will lose.

But, nobody will play Scrabble against me in real life anyway, so I haven't figured out why I feel this compulsion to buy a Scrabble dictionary.

I recently watched the movie Word Wars, a movie mostly about unemployed people who are trying to be professional Scrabble players.

But the problem is that the winner of Scrabble tournaments only make ten thousand bucks and there are only about two tournaments per year, so a pro Scrabble player only make twenty thousand bucks per year and so there could only theoretically be one of them, one pro Scrabble player in the world. While watching the movie, I could only think about two things. 1) I could be a word freak, I could be a serious Scrabble competitor, and 2) I could pay for and host one of these Scrabble tournaments in Utah, and make about fifty Scrabble freaks super happy.

So if I go further down that path of thinking, I'll probably need an Official Scrabble Dictionary.

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