Monday, September 29, 2008

Because there wasn't room anywhere else

So...I've read that the cost to the average taxpayer for this "government bailout" would be about $7500 bucks. That's it??!!! If it will bring back my 401K from 25% down this year, then I'll write the check right now.

Since it didn't pass in Congress, I've been thinking of other things I can do with that $7500 until I get laid off in a bad economy:

  • I can get 2142 gallons of gas. This is 71 fill ups in my Suburban, which would take about 2.7 years to do....unless I purchase a big bite hot dog every time I fill up.
  • 416 copies of the new book in the Twilight series. It would be a wonderful bonfire.
  • I could see the Dark Knight 833 times. Or I could see it 6 times if I got popcorn and a drink.
  • 2500 Mcrib sandwiches. Whoops....too late...the Mcrib has already gone back into the vault.

    • My company gave me an enormous stack of business cards. If they knew that the sole purpose of these is to attempt to win free lunches at local restaurants...will they give me more when these are gone?

      Why do people give me "odd" looks when they see my St. Ives lotion on my desk?? I have very dry hands, and enjoy the soothing hypo-allergenic formula for sensitive skin.

      The amount of time before your sunglasses or broken or lost is inversely proportional to the amount you paid for them.

      E! television has one of the funniest shows around. I's the most ridiculous channel ever---but if you haven't seen The Soup, you're missing out. It is fantastic comedy.

      If there are no "seat covers" in the restroom, you really only have 3 choices:
      --Go home for a potty break.
      --Devise a system of 13 ounces of toilet paper covering every solid surface.
      --Sit directly onto the back of your foot, so that your heel is pushed into your crack. A friend told me that he did this before karate matches if the urge to go "number 2" happened. No wonder they wanted to "sweep the leg" against Daniel-san.

      I hear the Mets and Yankees have been invited to the NIT tournament.

      I've come up with a new weight loss method. Every time I sit on the toilet, I note the red line where my fat gut rests on my legs. If I'm doing things right, the line should be slowly making a northward march towards my crotch.

      My next post will be my 100th...I'll try to give a few details about my life and personal quirks.

      Friday, September 26, 2008

      Raiders of the black mold

      All of the large refrigerators in our office complex have notices that "all food left in fridge will be thrown away on Friday."
      This is true for all, except a little junior fridge that sits directly opposite my cubicle. This fridge is like King Tut's tomb. Nothing has been removed for ages.
      It's held the exact same items for at least 9 months. (since I started this job)
      From time to time I place my lunch in the fridge, and wonder if I could get sick if some of the older food items decided to perform a hostile takeover on my food.

      Yesterday, I decided to look at the expiration date of some of the items in the fridge. What I found was sickening.
      Multiple dairy items had expiration dates from early 2007. It's no wonder that I get sleepy and a little achy in the afternoons. Who knows what types of toxic fungi are living in the fridge?

      To ensure that I did not throw out anyone's leftovers...I sent out a group e-mail to everyone in our little area.

      Hi all,

      I'm going to throw away all old food in the little fridge located near the meeting room this Friday. If any of the following items are yours, I'd come claim them before they get tossed:

      Half-eaten strawberry/banana yogurt that expired in April 07.
      Open pint of milk that was good until May 07. (vitamin is now a solid)
      Piece of old pizza wrapped in a wal-mart bag. It either has olives or mold on it...I can't tell. I think it bit me.
      A turkey lean cuisine panini microwave dinner. (expiration date June 08. I think this was supposed to be frozen.)
      Half a jug of half-and-half.
      Mini box of toothpicks. (mint flavored)
      Two 2 liters of Coke. These are opened and half gone, but the lids are on very tight, so there may be some carbonation left from last years Christmas party.
      3 packets of Arby's sauce.
      1 packet of New Hong Kong soy sauce.
      Unopened peach yogurt. (Expired Nov 2007...take a chance??)
      Container of 1000 Island dressing from McDonald's. (The hamburgler is wearing bell-bottoms on the this dressing may be very old)
      Tupperware container containing meatballs, and what appears to be rice. (I hope it's rice...I mean the rice isn't moving or anything)

      The Hypocritical One

      And wouldn't you know it....the panini has been claimed.
      If any of you are interested in these items, it's local pickup only. The post office won't allow hazardous items to be shipped.

      I wonder if I can get disability if I inhale toxic black mold???

      I just wanted to mention something about OSU's big win over USC last night. ESPN ran the headline:

      Beavers trap Trojans!!

      or perhaps this one would have been better:

      Beavers mangle Trojans by dirtying Sanchez!!

      If you have other good ones...we try to keep it semi-clean for the kiddies here.

      Wednesday, September 24, 2008

      News you really need to peruse II

      Welcome to the second installment of weird news from Idaho. This is the news that wouldn't make the back cover of the "Life" section of a major newspaper.
      If you missed the first installment, you can go check it out here.

      I truly tried to get a picture of the first billboard you see when entering my town..but it was recently removed---It stated:
      Voted "my towns" best steakhouse!!!
      And is an advertisement for Sizzler.
      I'd like to see their polling data. I don't think a 1 hour visit to the retirement home constitutes an accurate assessment. Did they ask for a show of hands? Or better yet, for the blue-hairs to not raise their hands if they wanted to vote for Sizzler??
      I hear the Golden Corral wants a recount.
      You'd think they'd put something that actually makes sense on the
      Yes...those are tacos on our salad bar.
      Sizzler--It's like Chuck-o-rama on steroids.

      BLM and sportsmen to plant sagebrush in Idaho
      They are planting 200 sagebrush seedlings in an effort to improve habitat for upland game birds. Huh?? Did Ted Bundy take his victims out to Ruth' Chris before killing them?? At least the game birds will be "living the good life" before a spray of lead shot obliterates their meager existence.
      No word on why they just don't leave piles of bird food out and hide behind the bushes before unloading with their 20 gauge. Oh yeah...that's illegal, and probably opposed to having decoys, bird calls, professionally trained hunting dogs, and 800 dollars of camo screens.

      North Idaho woman claims hog-calling title
      The article did not state what she actually called them. Rumors from the porcine underground, are that she used sensitively charged descriptions such as porker, slob, copper, and shoat-face. The NAACP (national association for advancement of captured pigs) has not issued a statement.

      Idaho's out-of-state prison population grows
      As more and more meth-heads and sheep-defilers are captured in Idaho, our prison's are becoming over-crowded. This has led to 10% of Idaho prisoners being held out of state.
      The Director of Corrections says that moving prisoners out of state results in higher costs for Idaho, and causes an inconvenience for the families of inmates.
      Until gas prices come down, it's not worth it for the spouses to drive that far for "joint visitation" in the shag trailer.

      Poison stops in Boise, gives $25 tip to server
      Bret Michaels and crew stopped at the local Cracker Barrel for some waffles and something covered in gravy.
      A member of the band gave the server a "Poison sticker" and stated that this was half her tip. On her bi-hourly smoke break, she realized that it would garner 5 dollars on eBay. This prompted her to drop Menthol ashes in their "sunrise samplers."
      Later they left 25 dollars more.
      It's a good thing they are "rock stars." If they truly think that the sticker is half the tip, math teacher probably wasn't in the cards for them.
      The band was on their way to headline at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot. Big time indeed.
      Reportedly, they opened their show with a new song entitled "My thing fell off," which is about Brett's sexual escapades in 2 seasons of "Rock of Love."

      Monday, September 22, 2008

      Open Letters

      Dear "Fat couple who comes and eats lunch together in the same parking lot as me,"

      I truly appreciate that you two like to spend time together on your lunch break, but you need to stop coming to my parking lot.
      Yes, I understand that it is a public parking lot, but I don't think you realize how annoying you are.
      Let me explain:
      I have been coming to this parking lot for months. I park in the shade of the same tree every day. I eat my lunch, and then read a book, listen to talk radio, or just take a small nap. Sometimes I catch up on my blogging.
      I have my windows partially rolled down to enjoy some fresh air.

      And then, you decide to park literally 30 yards from where I enjoy my lunch bliss.
      At first, I thought it would be no big deal...that you'd get together for a nice lunch, and then leave me in peace.
      But you're so loud...that I can't concentrate on my book, or keep my eyes closed. I tried to roll up my windows, but the sweat beads necessitate some air.

      I'm so irritated with both of you, that your every move drives me up the wall.
      I hate the way that you feed potato salad to each other.
      I hate the way you wrestle with each other on the grass.
      I hate the fact that the woman is always wearing sweats.
      I hate your Keith Hernandez mustache.
      I hate your little red cooler that you always use for lunch.
      You must think you're so sly to get in the car, in order to "get frisky." The thought of your combined 390 pounds putting strain on the back seat of your Mercury Cougar is revolting.

      ENOUGH. You must leave forever, and give me back my peaceful parking lot.
      That is all,

      Oddly enough, I received an open letter back.....

      Dear "Creepy dude who watches us in his car at lunch,"

      You scare us. Please leave us alone.
      We come to this parking lot to have lunch, as we don't see each other much during the day.
      But every time we're're there....looking...watching...and who knows what else you do in your car.
      I swear that you've tinted your windows a darker shade since we first saw you.
      We can still see you reclined in your seat...watching us. I sure hope all your clothes are on.

      We're ready to call 911 in case you ever decide to approach us. And don't try following us home, as we are card-carrying NRA members.
      What kind of person goes and eats lunch by himself in a parking lot in his car?? Go eat at a restaurant. Go get some exercise at lunch.
      The only way you could be creepier, is if you had a van with no rear windows.
      I hope you realize that this is a neighborhood watch community. We've gone to all the neighbors to tell them to watch out for you and your tinted window Mazda Protege.

      Do you sometimes have a laptop in there?? You truly are a pervert. I'm just glad this isn't near a school zone. You need to be locked up.

      Thursday, September 18, 2008

      It's time for some my oil.

      I have oil change guilt.

      You know what I mean. When you look up at the sticker in the corner of your windshield, and notice that your oil change was due 4,000 miles ago.
      In truth, I actually have old-school oil change guilt. Most new cars don't need the stickers. They have the guilt built directly into the car.

      You'll be driving around, minding your own business, and your "message center" will let you know that your oil change is due. Oh yes, you ignore it for 30 seconds until it disappears, but it comes back every time you start your car, an unrelenting reminder that you don't care about the health of your automobile or the environment.

      The "message center" in my wife's car has issues. Every time the car goes up or down a very steep hill or perhaps on a bumpy road, some random warning pops up. It's not subtle either. A giant red message telling you that your 4WD needs repair is like seeing the dead skunk in the road a second too late. You try to swerve, but no dice.

      I'm sure I could take it to a repair guy and get the electronics exchanged for ~1300 dollars. That seems like money well spent...if they threw in a plasma TV.

      Maybe the car's CPU needs a car therapist. I've heard of preachers in the south casting demons out of cars...why can't one talk to it for a while??
      Maybe I can get the On-star people to talk to the CPU directly. I'd pay 16 bucks a month for that service...

      "Hi, this is On-star, what seems to be the problem?"

      "I'm feeling hostility towards my owners."

      "Did they touch you inappropriately on your undercarriage?"

      "How did you know?? And they always take a long time when soaping they enjoy it."

      "Tell me about your relationship with your Mother..."

      "I don't remember my Mother...she was totaled when I was young. I do remember a bobble-head crown in her dash though...."

      If therapy doesn't work, tapping the display always seems to help. I don't mean that it fixes the problem, but it helps my inner frustration.

      I think I understand the roots of "the tap" or "the kick." You know what I'm talking about...where a white line pops up on an old TV, so you hit the side until it goes away.
      Perhaps you have a lawn-mower that won't start, so you give it a good kick.

      This is because of the presence of mechanical connections in these items, that sometimes need a good "shaking up."

      Unfortunately, our bodies are hard-wired to continue this practice when it really does no good.
      Is your LCD monitor blinking? Why not hit it?

      Is the "self-checkout" computer at Wal-mart frozen? Try tapping the screen until it responds. I've heard that by issuing more commands to a frozen computer, you may fix the problem. duh.

      Are your kids talking back to you? Why not hit.....I'm just kidding.

      So, I decide to heed the warning of the little Jiffy Lube sticker, and head over on a Saturday afternoon.
      Some of you may think me foolish for not changing my own oil, but methinks you underestimate what this process entails for me. How long would it take me to change the oil? 10 minutes? Yeah right. I only have like 3 wrenches...Where's my car jacks?...I forgot a filter...Time for lunch for the kids...spraying the f-word as oil drips in your mouth...etc.

      These reasons above are worth the fee for the Jiffy Lube dudes to take care of it for me. In addition, they wash my windows, vacuum out leftover french fries from under the seats, and spray boysenberry delight air freshener when they're finished. Plus they deliver my car "valet-style" when they're finished. I'm cool like that.

      I digress.

      I pull my car into the oil change bay and head to the Jiffy Lube waiting room.
      These waiting rooms are standard issue across the country:

      -First and foremost, there must be an old-fashioned popcorn maker. This machine only needs to be cleaned once a year, and it's known that 26% of people that reach in, leave germs on random kernels.
      You know, I think every car tire place I've visited also has popcorn. Do all mechanic's like popcorn? Why the stereotype? I'd contact the NAACP.

      -Next, there must the same blown up newspaper article from the USA Today on the wall, that states how important regular oil changes are to fuel economy and the health of your car. If you look closely, you will see that this article is from 1996, and was an advertisement that Jiffy Lube took out in the paper.

      -They next have the option of free coffee, a soda machine, or both. After 45 minutes of waiting for your car, it'll be the best 1.25 can of Dr. Thunder you'll ever have.

      -Not to be forgotten are the myriads of newspapers, magazines, and 'big nickel" classifieds from 2 years ago. Who doesn't want to read about Terrell Owens wanting to leave the Eagles.

      -And lastly is the community bathroom. This is also used by the employees, which is evidenced by black goo film covering every solid surface. The odds that there are actually paper towels in the bathroom, are 37%. That's practically Russian roulette.

      So, I grab a bag of RSV popcorn, and survey the seating situation. There is an old guy with a little cocker spaniel sitting across the room from an elderly lady eating some SARS popcorn of her own. I pick a seat in between the two and grab the June 2003 issue of US weekly.

      I wait nervously as I know what is about to come---There are only 3 certainties in this world; Death, taxes, and that the Jiffy Lube guy will come harp you to change your air filter. It doesn't matter if I bought one the last time I was in, he'll always come bother me. The conversation usually goes like this:

      Jiffy dude: Mr. Hypocritical, we recommend replacing your air filter on a regular basis. For only 9.99 we can replace it.
      Me: Is it that bad?
      JD: Well, any air flow restriction will cause poor gas mileage, and inefficiencies in your car.
      Me: Is it that bad?
      JD: Generally, if you can't see light coming through the filter, it needs to be replaced.
      Me: Is it that bad?
      JD: (Seeing that his normal sales strategy won't work on me) Well, (looking at the outpouring of light coming through the filter) it will probably be OK until next oil change.
      Me: (retreating quickly)
      JD: Oh, and we noticed that the manufacturer suggests a transmission service, at 50,000 miles, and...

      It's about this time that I stop paying attention. I don't even understand what most car guts do, so why do I need to get them serviced every 15,000 miles? How do I know if they even do anything? What's involved in a fuel system cleaning service? Is this something I can buy in Wal-mart and put in my gas?

      I then politely decline all services knowing that I will pass all my car problems onto the person who buys my car in 3 years.

      I'm almost finished with my "service" when the little old lady sitting near me decides to start feeding her popcorn to the other gentleman's dog without saying a word to the old dude. Is this kosher? It's not like feeding the ducks at the pond.
      She gave that damn dog half the bag without the old man saying one word. The whole experience was ridiculously awkward...I almost went outside to "fake a smoke," just to get away. God knows I couldn't go in the restroom.

      The old guy's car was finished, and they both got up together and went to his car and left....

      So, I'm not sure which is more odd? The off-chance that she could have been a stranger, and fed another stranger's dog without asking, or the fact that they know each other, and decided to sit on completely different sides of the Jiffy Lube waiting room without saying boo to one another.

      I don't know...but I gotta low coolant light is on.

      Wednesday, September 17, 2008

      On my Honor

      Many of the most frightening and favorite moments from my childhood are from my time spent in the Boy scouts. (no...this is not a tell-all experience like "Canteen boy.")
      I was a member of a large Boy Scout troop that took regular camping trips in the summer. I can attribute my knowledge of the square knot and pyromania to the Scouts.
      Unfortunately, I still cannot correctly identify poison ivy, use a compass, or accurately pick out any stars besides the North star and the big dipper.

      I remember one camping trip in detail as it opened my eyes to the cruelty of teenage boys, and what Scouts will do when "unsupervised."

      At 13 years old, I was one of the "older" boys in my group. (patrol) When I say older, I mean the the others were big whoop. I was still at least 18 months from seeing the first signs of hair anywhere on my body besides my head and this long stringy hair emanating from my Adam's apple.
      As it was, we had a group of "older" boys, and we kind of ran the show. We had been on a week-long camp out the year before, and knew the ropes.

      We traveled to a small area in the forest in our state. This camping spot was beautiful. The elevation was roughly 7,000 feet, there were small lakes and streams nearby for fishing, and it was heavily wooded. Even though it was July, we saw 75 degrees one day, snow the next, and 6 inches of rain later in the week.

      Our free time was spent hiking, fishing, and just goofing off. We had adult leaders at the camp, but they were content napping, resting, or hanging out by the fire. By the end of the week, it felt like Lord of the flies as we had our run of the place.

      There was a younger boy who always seemed to be the butt of the jokes. His name was Mark. His "friends" that were his age (12 yrs old) were constantly picking on him....and I don't mean light-hearted teasing. I mean the kind of mean-spirited teasing that would cause a parent to wring a neighbor kids neck. And unfortunately, it never ceased. There was one bully in particular who was worse than the others. (Matt)

      One afternoon, Mark was sitting on a tree stump near the fire, whittling a stick with his pocketknife. He was not wearing shoes as they had gotten wet the previous day. They were drying out in the sun. As Mark whittled, I noticed the group of "bullies" approaching from his rear.

      The area in which we were camping was "free range" land, which meant that we'd see cattle from time to time. As the group of bullies neared Mark, I noticed that Matt had grabbed a semi-stale "cow pie" from the ground, and was holding it menacingly as they crept up behind Mark.
      What happened next played out just like a movie. Time slowed to a crawl, and my "spidey" senses went on full alert. An older boy named Spencer and I saw what was about to transpire.

      We ran towards the group, screaming for them to stop...trying to warn Mark of the impending doom. We were too late.
      Unprovoked, Matt slammed the semi-stale cow pie directly onto Matt's head as he turned towards the group.

      Then Mark turned up the rage.

      His eyes turned towards his pocketknife, and he turned it over in his hand so that the blade faced downward from his clenched fist.
      Matt noticed that the joke was not being received as well as he had hoped, and started to retreat.
      Mark leaped from his tree stump, and tore off towards Matt. Initially, Matt thought Mark was playing around, and didn't react quickly. As Mark neared to within striking distance with his blade, Matt realized that the situation had taken a nasty turn.

      And then the chase was on.

      Matt streaked towards the cover of the trees, darting back and forth between pines as fast as he could. Mark was not far behind, running only in a pair of dark socks...oblivious to any pain from broken tree branches and rocks.
      Spencer and I ran after Mark in hopes to diffuse the situation. We quickly gained on him, and ran near him, attempting to coax the blade from his hands.
      Mark knew that in socks, he wouldn't be able to catch his crap-chucking bully. He started to relent in his chase, and stood there contemplating his next move.

      And then the rage began to subside.

      He realized what he was about to do, and handed us the knife. We walked back towards camp, and sat down to collect our thoughts. It was obvious that our leaders were not present, nor had any clue of what had just transpired.

      30 minutes later, Matt rolled back into camp. He kept his distance, until he realized that his life was in no imminent danger. In fact, we all laughed about the situation when he came back to apologize.

      Now, I don't condone violence in most situations...especially with a weapon. But mark my words---Mark was never teased again by Matt. Perhaps knowing that he could go "Sweeney Todd" at any moment was a motivator to get along amicably.

      If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go practice the clove hitch.

      Tuesday, September 16, 2008

      Picture this

      What to do when stuck in a large meeting that is for informational purposes only???
      Take notes??
      Catch up on e-mail??
      Close eyes for 2 hours?

      Or this.....

      Now...if you don't mind...I'm going to go vote for myself at humor-blogs.

      Friday, September 12, 2008

      Battle of the Bands

      The last battle of the bands I saw, was in High School.
      I remember the 1st band played "Friday I'm in love" by the Cure, and then "Jeremy" by PearlJam.
      The second band played "Brown eyed girl" by Van Morrison, and then "Cat's in the cradle" by Harry Chapin/Cat Stevens/Ugly kid joe.

      As I believe its utterly impossible to imitate Robert Smith or Eddie Vedder, the first band bombed....literally. People started throwing stuff at them. Their set ended with "Jeremy spoke in...class......@#$# you," as they dodged donut holes.

      I'm resurrecting my High School experience with:

      The Youtube battle of the bands.

      I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Please watch both competitors, and vote for the winner at the bottom of the post.

      Today's first competitor is a band singing "I wanna love you tender." As I cannot pronounce the name of the band, I will leave that for you to decide.
      Watch away...and stay till the's definitely worth it.

      Our second competitor is Jan Teri singing "Losing you."
      Yet patient for the whole thing...United 7.

      And to wash away the horse-crap from your musical palette, I give you one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.

      Thursday, September 11, 2008

      What's in a name??

      School is rough for teenagers. I know it was for me.
      There is pressure from parents to get good grades, pick good friends, and for kids to "keep their noses clean."
      There is pressure at school. You always want to maintain a certain "image," try to impress others, and fit in (generally) with a group of kids.
      Unfortunately, many kids have things going against them. I am a prime example.

      Braces. I had braces before braces existed. Mine were called "bands" and had roughly a nickel's worth of metal wrapped around every tooth in my mouth. I looked like "Flava flav gone platinum."
      I still remember my orthodontist--Dr. Noles. We called him "hairy hands." Why was that?? Because this was before rubber gloves were "all the rage." Nothing like a good pair of strong hairy Jewish hands in your mouth.
      Oh yeah...did I mention they wanted me to wear headgear?? No dice.

      Zits. Why would God create such a thing? Giant swollen pustules of infection plastered across the face like stars flooding the sky on a cool wintry Montana eve.
      I had a friend who used urine on his face as he was told that it was the best thing to get rid of acne. I never asked him if it was his own.

      Late Bloomer. If there's one thing that I would change in my life, it would be to start getting pubic hair in 7th instead of 9th grade.
      All through gym class in 8th grade, we had a coach that would ENSURE that all kids took a shower. This was no easy task. First you try to either be first or last to the showers. Then you threw your towel on the hook, and ran to the nearest shower, ensuring that only your rear end was visible to others. Violently wash your hair, and side-step back to your towel. The whole process took no more than 26 seconds.
      The only 2 boys who were embarrassed to shower was myself, and a guy called "Captain hook."

      Puberty in general. Your body is in a state of shock and awe for 4-5 years. You literally have no control over things you say and do. Why on this green earth would a 10th grader think that mooning a girl would impress them?? Don't ask me....I still don't know.

      What is the purpose of armpit hair anyway??

      As a parent, you want your kids to succeed, and be happy. Or do you??

      If you truly want to make life easier for your kid, then why the hell do you give your kids such awful names?
      You know what I'm talking about. For some reason, naming kids something "different" has become "cute" or "trendy." Gone are the days when you gave a kids a nice solid James, or perhaps Jenny.

      It's almost like everybody is trying to "one up" the Jones's and come up with something that has never been done before.
      I've seen this before on was a show called "Jackass" where each of the cast members would try to injure themselves in a more grandiose way than the others. There was a reason it was called Jackass.
      This is the parental equivalent. "Jackass naming."

      Before I get into too much detail, let me attempt to understand the counter-arguments.
      "It's cute," or "It's original," or "We love that name."
      Dirty Sanchez is also original.
      I hope you think it's cute when your son legally changes his name the day he turns 18. Nobody---nobody loves the name Gulliver.
      You may have people tell you that they think naming your daughter Nali is adorable. They are blatantly lying to your face. They think you are ridiculous.

      It's not easy to deal with a crappy name.
      I can't tell you how many times Dusty Ricks was called Rusty Dicks in high school. Perhaps 3 million times a year. This is not a made up name.

      To help those that still care about their unborn children, and may want to give them a fighting chance at happiness, I have prepared sanctioned and un-sanctioned naming categories.

      Sanctioned names. (These are all OK)

      Popular names of the day:
      It's OK if you want to name your son Jacob, Andrew or Ethan. Your daughter will be fine with Emily, Madison, or Olivia. These are very popular names, and work fine. Your kid may be termed Abigail #5 in their 3rd grade class, but feel comfortable with one of these picks.

      Ancestor names:
      This is where you have free reign to feel good about a creepy name. If your great-grandfather was named Huey, good on you for naming your kid after a duck. Perhaps a bully wants to taunt a kid for his name. There is no better come-back than, "It's my grandfathers name. He was killed in WW2."

      Bible names:
      Good ones--Matthew, John, Paul.
      Not-so-good-ones--Cain, Ham.

      Last names:
      Once thought to be taboo, last names for first names are now chic.
      Carter, Raymond, Marshall...etc.

      Non-sanctioned names. (Please don't do this)

      Foreign names:
      Unless you were born on foreign soil, you have no right to give your child a foreign name. Claude and Armand are names of half-dressed men gracing the cover of a romance novel.
      Go ahead and name your kid Achilles. You've just sealed his fate to a hairy back.

      Names of yesteryear:
      Just because Mildred, Gladys, and Harold were among the most popular names in 1913, do not assume that they still are.
      You may want to "bring it back" to popularity, but let me set you straight...unless your daughter Florence is what some consider a "sure thing" at prom...try again. (Exception for the "ancestor rule"--see above.)

      Stripper names:
      Ginger, Bambi, Bubbles, Bunny, Cinnamon. These are just a few examples. When you dream of your little girl's name in lights, you don't want it to be followed by the phrase: 2 drink cover.

      Homonym Heaven:
      While not a literal homonym, the same concept applies.
      Let's take a very popular girl name from 2007--Madison. Please don't name your child any of the following:
      Mattyson, Mhadyson, Maddisnguyen, Madisonn, Maddisunn, Madysun, etc. The list could go on for years. Changing the spelling of the name does not mean it's cute. It means you're a buffoon. If you want to make creative names, join a fantasy football league.

      Celebrity names:
      This is a grey area. Some celebrity names are popular. Others (like Woody) are not.
      If you really really like Salman Rushdie, why not knit a pot-holder with his name. Please don't name your child after him.

      Play on words:
      Please don't name your child Richard. Any name that can be referred to as genitalia is bad.
      Any name that rhymes with genitalia, or that can be used in a poem with a curse word is also bad. (see Horatio, Chuck)

      Hybrid names:
      You really like the name Daniel. You also really like the name Christopher. You can't are what do you do??
      You combine them and name your kid Dantopher. I hope he has fun in the Audio/Visual club in high school.
      Now, if you give birth to a hermaphrodite, Ralphina is acceptable.

      What the Hell?:
      Sometimes, human depravity displays itself in raw power.
      Take David Duchovny and Tea Leoni. They named their son Kyd. I guess "You" was out of the picture?
      Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow know who the "Apple" of their eye is.
      Sylvester Stallone thought long and hard about "Sage Moonblood."
      Sarah Palin showed that the air is a little thin in Alaska when naming her brood: Piper, Willow, Bristol, Track, and Trig.

      I personally know people who've named their kids:
      Stone and Slate. (same family)
      Devontai. (completely made up)
      Khanhor. (pronunciation of this is impossible.)

      This is not the dark ages, and creativity and freedom should be embraced. But PLEASE, embrace it upon yourself.
      Take Chad Johnson for example--He has legally changed his surname to "Ocho Cinco."
      If you truly desire to express yourself, don't pass the burden onto your kids.
      Gotta go.

      Rick Horatio

      Tuesday, September 9, 2008

      The real Mac attack

      Along with yesterday's post that documents my foray into the realm of the undead, I also like to write a little humor. I have a new post out today at
      Please go here and take a quick's well under 500 words, and has 3 pictures. You could almost qualify it as a picture-book post.

      Screw the John McCain catch-phrase---Don Gorske is the real mac attack.

      For those who haven't seen "super-size me," he is the crazy dude who has eaten thousands of Big Mac's over the course of decades. He even has a Guinness record for it. He also wants to look like Ringo Starr in the 60's.

      This picture above is out of date. He recently crossed the 23,000 mark for Big Macs ingested.
      He says he usually eats 2 or so Big Macs per day. At 54 years old, and by my rough calculations, he'll have eaten another 19,000 or so Big Macs by the time he's 80. This will give him a grand total of 42,000 Big Macs. Using more fuzzy math, I calculated some other totals he'll have by the time he's 80.

      126,000 buns. (remember the sludgy one in the middle)
      84,000 cat patties.
      1575 pounds of secret sauce. (if you ask me, this isn't enough...that secret sauce is delicious)
      This translates to roughly 1,218,000 grams of fat.
      Also 1,050,000 grams of protein.
      168,000 bouts of violent diarrhea.
      359 large bottles of Tums. (fruity flavored)
      9,320 people who took his order that are now on welfare.
      1,530 cockroaches ground into the patties.
      15 pounds of rat crap.
      39 human fingernails.
      6 pounds of human hair.

      Notable is the fact that he's healthy, and has low cholesterol. I look at a Big Mac, and my fat ass giggles and jiggles in delight at the new girth it will soon enjoy.

      Here's to you Don Gorske...your colon wishes you would rot in hell.

      Monday, September 8, 2008

      I see dead people

      I have sleep issues. In fact, I've had sleep issues my entire life.

      As a child, there was many a night that my parents would see me running through the house in my underwear. Sometime I would be screaming or crying. Sometimes just on the prowl. When questioned about this the next morning, I would have no recollection of anything from the previous night. It was like my own personal "Raising Cain."

      I later took a psychology course, and found that as a child, I suffered from "night terrors." My sleep issues continued sporadically into my teen years, but then transitioned into a different type of dream. I don't think I have to spell it out--but take a 16 year old boy, start the natural hormone juices flowing in his body, and he'll be in a happy place. And you also have to wash your sheets frequently. I digress.

      In my 20's, my bodies hormonal system regained equilibrium, and the "naughty" dreams ceased. But a new phenomenon started taking place.

      I will try to explain this accurately:

      There is a state right in between sleep, and being fully awake where you posses all your faculties. For me, generally this occurs after I've been sleeping for some amount of time, and wake up in the middle of the night. Sometimes this "middle state" lasts a few seconds, and sometimes a few minutes.
      While in this "state," my conscious mind is not in complete control of my body. I see things. I do things. And these things are not normal.

      There are the humorous stories that my wife likes to tell everyone. These generally garner enormous laughs...especially in large groups.

      There was the time that she saw me "army-crawling" across the ground.
      Another time, she saw me out of the bed, just peering over the edge looking at her.

      This is easily explained. Most of the time when I wake up in the night, I have no idea who I'm sleeping next to. Now, I realize that many of you have this problem, and you actually don't know this person you met that night in a drunken stupor in a bar---But this is my wife---every time.
      I usually wake up, and feel very afraid that this stranger lying in the bed will see me in my underwear. So I usually tip-toe, crawl, or make my way to the closet in order to put some clothes on.

      There was the time that I saw something on the wall, and used my "hand-gun" (literally, my hand shaped like a gun) to shoot it.

      Most of the time, I rouse myself after a minute or two, and realize where I am, and what I'm doing. Then I go pee, and head back to bed. No harm done.

      But it isn't all fun and games. I also see people in this "state."

      It started with kids. I started seeing children walking through my room when I'd wake up. I'm not talking about seeing my future children requesting that the wife and I "get it on" like something you'd hear in a church service.

      I'm talking about kids that just stare at me.

      At times, I'll see them looking over the foot of my bed. Just looking.
      Other times, they'd be walking through the room, on the way out of my bedroom.
      I'll see them hiding in my closet, looking out at me from behind my clothes.

      To say I was scared would be under-stating the situation. As a 28 year old man, I would pull the blanket over my head, until I awoke from this "middle state," and everything would be normal after a few minutes. A cursory walk through the house obviously showed no lost children. It's obvious that my subconscious mind loves to play tricks on me in this "state."

      And then I started seeing adults.

      At first I would just see someone peering around the open door frame, only the tops of their head and eyes visible. Just looking. The first time I thought I saw an adult man in our house, I went through every room and closet to ensure that nobody was in the house.

      I've seen more than one adult, standing in the next room, just looking at me.

      I remember the time I had trouble sleeping, and went downstairs to sleep on the couch. I awoke later to see a large group of kids standing outside, looking at me through the blinds.

      Of particular note, there was the time that my family was out of town, and I awoke to see a man standing in my bathroom. I could only see his profile and face, and the closest match in appearance was to the preacher from Poltergeist. I didn't sleep with the bathroom door open from that point on.

      The way I see it, there are 3 different explanations for my problem.

      One is that there are truly people in my house. I think I've debunked this, as I've never found anyone in the house.

      Another scenario is that I actually see ghosts, apparitions, spirits, etc. They aren't your "chicken soup for the soul" type of ghosts either. These ghosts do not make me feel "warm all over."

      Lastly, is that my subconscious mind creates these elaborate visions that are only seen when I'm in this state of waking up. As soon as my rational mind takes control, it is obvious that nothing is in the room. This may be the worst scenario of all!! I don't want "A Beautiful Mind 2--the sequel" to be based on my life.

      We've lived in 3 houses, and I've seen these things in all of them. I'm pretty sure that there isn't an Indian graveyard under all 3, so I doubt that's the issue.

      I don't think I've "wronged" anyone so that they would haunt me in the after-life.

      I wasn't abused or molested as a kid....I've never dabbled in hardcore drugs that would alter my state of reality...I'm not really into the occult. (I do watch Battlestar Galactica, which is a sci-fi show)

      I'm not sure what issues I have, but I wish it would stop. Tylenol PM, NyQuil, sleeping pills...they don't help. It doesn't matter if I'm exhausted, I'll still have problems.

      I've left out the REALLY scary moments, as they disturb me deeply, and would not translate well into written word.

      It could be worse...and for my wife it is.
      Imagine waking up and seeing your husband acting out scenes from "Nightmare on elm street." That would be scary. I think she just rolls over and goes back to sleep...I think she's afraid to interact with me in this "state." I mean...she is a stranger and all. Who knows what I'd do to her??

      Thursday, September 4, 2008

      I can ride my bike with no handlebars

      We've been working with younger girl (just turned 6) to ride her bike without training wheels this summer. She's very tentative, and rarely wanted to go out and try. Over the past couple weeks, it clicked, and she's been motoring all around the neighborhood.
      Older boy (3 and a half) saw both his older sisters riding around without training wheels, and obviously didn't want to be left out. He demanded we take his training wheels off, and practice with him.

      So we took the training wheels off, and held the bike while he pedaled around the neighborhood. The logistics of this process were very troubling for me.
      First, his total lack of balance made it necessary to hold the bike seat the entire time.
      Next, the bike is so small, that the only person that would feel comfortable holding the seat would be Quasimodo or the creepy little lady from Poltergeist.
      Lastly, he would want you to let go every time, saying that he could do it himself. The only thing he ended up doing himself was ending up sideways in the grass.

      I ended up putting his training wheels back on the bike, as it was easier for me to send him out to ride by himself.

      This did not please older boy.

      Every day was filled with "Take my training wheels off."
      I would explain that he was getting better, but couldn't ride by himself yet. He didn't concur.

      So, the other day, I took the training wheels off so he could practice. After 10 minutes of back-breaking-seat-holding, we wrapped it up.

      A couple days later, older boy came in to get my wife. He wanted to show off his new skill.
      Apparently, he would get on the bike himself, and coast down the driveway with his feet touching to learn some balance. This he repeated until he was able to pedal on his own and keep his balance.
      Fast forward a day later, and the kid is like a junior Lance Armstrong but with 2 balls.
      Check out the little dude in action.

      As a parent, could it be that I'm just getting in the way? What other skills or things would the boy do if I just let him "do his own thing?"

      He'd obviously find the dirty channels on satellite if I took the parental lock away.
      He would feed our fish 34 times a day. I wonder what obese fish look like?
      His diet would consist of BBQ Lays, Oreos, and Dr. Pepper.
      If I stopped telling him to quit grabbing his crotch, perhaps he would stop on his own.
      Our Tivo would have 36 hours of Ben Ten Alien Force.
      The boy would wear pajamas all day.

      I suppose I should get involved in some things. I am going to leave some golf clubs in his room should he get a wild hair to teach himself how to golf. If he could learn a skill that would make

      him rich...all the better.

      Tuesday, September 2, 2008

      Reason #17 why you shouldn't shop at the Wal-marts...

      A few months ago, my wife was shopping in Walmart, minding her own business. Attempting to find a single aisle to fit through, (as electric handicapped carts filled every aisle) she turned a corner and saw a young man looking at the poster display.

      I remember buying posters at Kmart many years ago. I'd flip through the Guns 'n Roses posters, lingering far too long on Samantha Fox in a leotard with steam rising around her.
      No store carried the posters I was looking for. (why would they carry a Dead Kennedy's poster?) So, I'd generally settle on a Slayer or Metallica poster as they were generally the coolest looking. I'd find the number in the right corner of the poster placard--A3, and then search through the "tubes" below for A3. Never in the history of poster shopping has someone found the corresponding poster in the tube racks that is displayed in the poster display.
      That's why all the rolled up posters were always opened....someone would see a "Dpchmde stage" poster, and unroll it only to find grown men wearing makeup on stage. And then the poster was quickly returned to the tube rack.

      I digress.

      My wife noticed this guy slowly looking at the the scantily-dressed women, and then kind of "hiding" something near his chest. My wife's curiosity was piqued, and she moved to another angle to get the full picture. What she saw next was either extremely creepy or brilliant.
      He was using his cell phone camera to take pictures of each poster of some girl in a bikini.

      She quickly moved away from him as the odds are about 93% that he will end up on in the next 5 years.

      Now, I'd like to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. We can all assume the purpose that he intended to use these picture for, but I'd like to think he had a more noble cause.

      --He could have been pirating these pictures and blowing them up as posters to sell on NY street corners.
      Don't laugh. Head out on any busy city corner and try to buy the latest copy of "the dark knight." You'll be happy you only spent $2.50. Your happiness will soon disappear when you watch the movie. Obviously some guy named Remo used a 59 dollar camcorder to copy the film while 2 teenagers played tonsil hockey in the row directly in front of him.
      "Cell-phone guy" could sell the grainy posters on the corner for cheap just the same.

      --Perhaps he has a color scheme with other posters on his wall at home.
      He probably doesn't want his "Jessica Simpson in a crimson red bikini" poster clashing with the new "Fergie wrapped in neon orange blanket" poster. Complimentary colors my friends.

      --It's possible that he is going to a Christina Aguilera concert in the near future. As the crowd hold up their "lit-up" cell phones on a slow song, he may want to hold his phone up while displaying a picture of Christina using rose petals to cover her naughty parts.

      --Maybe he felt my frustration, and couldn't find the corresponding poster in the bin below. It's possible that he REALLY liked some of the posters, and wanted to keep them referenced in his phone, so that the next time he hit Fred Meyer, he could get the right one.

      --It's entirely possible that he had the camera facing his own face.
      Maybe he enjoys looking at pictures of himself as he looks at posters of barely dressed women.

      I'd really like to give him some credit here....but unfortunately, this probably boils down to the least common denominator:
      He is normal Walmart gutter snipe, and can't even form a mental image in his mind during his alone time. Grainy, washed out images of the Olson twins eating strawberries and whip cream help him so much more.

      No word from the wife on whether he was also snapping topless pictures of John Cena.

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