My local news generally leads with stories like "Ribbon cutting for new McDonald's." Yeah...really interesting. But the silver lining in living in a town so small, is that I rarely see news stories about murder, rape, or live car chases from the view of a helicopter. (The local "life-flight" chopper appears to be the same one used on the set of Magnum PI.)
Now the flip-side of this, is that you get all the "weird" news stories that wouldn't make head-lines in a bigger city.
Take this for example: "Man wearing girls underwear arrested"
The title is a little mis-leading....reading between the lines, it appears he was there for some length of time having his own fashion show. Perhaps an homage to "Silence of the Lambs."
Oh yeah...big surprise that he was carrying meth. His mug shot wouldn't give that away. And the "horsheshoe" mustache look is a good one...it worked well for Ben Stiller in "Dodgeball." You are one sick puppy if you go to the effort of entering a stranger's (maybe) house, and only try on the daughter's underwear.
How about this one: "Police break up cockfighting ring"
I haven't even heard of a "steel leg gaffe." I think the reporter made the phrase up. Cockfighting seems so "Tijuana." By the way, I knew a guy who used to go over the border in Texas, and pay a midget 5 bucks to hit him as hard as he wanted. The midget just waited on the street collecting 5 bucks for every smacker....although this was many years ago, and with the drop in the dollar, he now charges 13.60.
You'd think in Idaho, we'd have Ford F150 "chicken." You know the drill--where 2 guys sporting "Toby Keith" and Calvin pissing on Dodge stickers--in their 1987 trucks play chicken...it'd be way more exciting than Footloose.
This one takes the cake: "Dog returned after being lost in the wilderness"
Are you kidding me? This is news-worthy? I'm not sure which is a bigger waste of space--my blog, or this story. (please don't answer this---I really do know the real answer)
This reminds me of every stupid movie or TV show where the hero goes back for the dog---I literally almost turned off both "Daylight" and "Dante's peak" for this very reason.
I think this one will make many of you want to take a summer break in Idaho in the very near future: "Mushroom hunting permits offered"
Yeah...you read this right. Idaho potatoes----and mushrooms. They're designing a new license plate as we speak.
And finally, we turn to the national news for the story that just won't go away.
"Favre and Packers look really stupid"
I mean, who cares if he wants to come back? Did he lie? Did he get confused with all the lights at his "retirement" press conference? Who knows? But if I were a Packer fan or someone who makes decisions, I would take him back in a heart-beat. You think Aaron Rodgers will do any better? Have you watched Alex Smith or Matt Leinart recently? Aaron Rodgers is Smith 2.0.
Try asking any of the following teams how easy it was to replace a legend:
But no---the Packer brass want to "plan for the future" with Rodgers and put Favre on the 2nd team, or trade him for a 2st rounder. Hey Vikings---pony up the 1st rounder, and then go smack them cheese-heads in the mouth on the way to the playoffs. Hooah!!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
My local news generally leads with stories like "Ribbon cutting for new McDonald's." Yeah...really interesting. But the silver lining in living in a town so small, is that I rarely see news stories about murder, rape, or live car chases from the view of a helicopter. (The local "life-flight" chopper appears to be the same one used on the set of Magnum PI.)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I don’t go to any doctor very often…I generally feel that they just want to give medication and move on to the next patient. A few years ago, I had a couple moles (one on my back, and the other on my leg) that seemed to be a little “large” for normal skin freckles. I was a lifeguard for a few years as a teenager and soaked up the sun every day---so I’m generally pretty careful about skin problems.
I called a few Dermatologists on my “preferred provider list” covered under my insurance. Most were full for the next 6 months…but I finally found one that had an opening fairly quickly. (I should have known this as a sign of things to come)
I showed up to the appointment on a break from work. I have had a mole cut off in the past, so I know it’s a fairly quick, painless process. The first alarm should have been the lack of a computer in the facility. Everything was done on paper. My attention was diverted from this by the 1970’s feel of this office. VERY old copies of “Field and Stream” littered the table next to faded pamphlets of how to overcome acne with a girl on the cover that looked to be straight from an episode of “Silver Spoons.” The walls were faded yellow and had what appeared to be mold seeping in from every ceiling panel.
I wasn’t going to leave…I hated the whole process of the doctor, and didn't want to start all over, so I decided to stick it out. As there was only 1 or 2 rooms for patients, I had to wait for a little while. While waiting, I noticed a lady who was no younger than Mark Twain exit a room in tears…another bad sign?? Who knows?
My time had come, and I entered the room. The dermatologist looked exactly like Dick Bavetta with glasses. It was eerie, and I wondered in what century he had studied medicine.
His first instruction was to strip down to my underwear. I had kind of prepared myself for this. I couldn’t wear shorts as I was on a break for work, and I knew that I couldn’t pull my pant leg up high enough to cut the mole off. He left the room, and I stripped down to my skivvies, and awaited his return.
He entered without cutting tools or syringes to remove the moles. Instead, he said he wanted to “inspect for any other problem moles.” I was kind of apprehensive, but didn't know what to do as I don’t react well in awkward situations. I was confused...like asking a girl to dance and getting rejected---what do I do now?? How do I get out of this situation...do I just walk away?? I stood my ground and waited for the unholy terror that was about to begin. He proceeded to rip his fingers through my hair looking at my scalp. I felt like a chimpanzee getting groomed by another monkey.
He then had me stand up as he stood back to get a better view. He had me “twirl” a little bit so he could see my back. He had me lift my arms to get a view of my pits. He poked and prodded with his plastic glove-hands at any bump or freckle. I was feeling very anxious and was glad that he was almost finished with his “inspection.”
But finished he was not--the un-thinkable happened. He asked me to remove my underwear. I froze…I didn’t know what to do or think. Everything in my body said to run out of the room…but my “rational self” said that he was only looking out for my health and had the best intentions. Plus I'd need my wallet for my co-pay.
Not since gym class in high school have I felt more embarrassed standing naked in front of another person. (I was a late bloomer…and remember the day in 9th grade when I proudly strutted into the showers with my meager attempt at pubic hair) And then things got 100 times worse. He went to the corner and grabbed a spot-light. He turned the thing on, and I felt like a murderer being shaken down by Vincent D’Onofrio.
And then the inevitable happened…I started sweating. Sweat pouring out of my armpits, from my brow, my chest and back. Every pore of my body began to react violently to this "fight or flight" situation. Sweat in droves, drips, and puddles. It couldn't have been a pretty picture...standing naked under a spot-light…dripping wet with persperation.
But the worst was yet to come. He wanted to look for any possible moles or skin problems everywhere……EVERYWHERE…..I was like a dog under inspection at "best in show."
I think you get the gist of this part of the “examination”--needless to say, going "spread eagle" under a spot-light is not becoming…so we’ll skip this horribly embarrassing part, and move to the end.....note---there was no “touching.”
His “inspection” finally finished, at which time I was able to put my skivvies back on. He wanted me to lay on my side with my back to him while he cut my moles off. I lost 8 pounds of sweat laying on that table in my underwear while he cut off my moles. He left the room so I could clothe. I got up from the table, and noticed that sweat had puddled on the table like Texas in a rain-storm. I grabbed a small towel and wiped it up. Later I wondered...why would I be embarrased about that?? I had just been through one of the most traumatic experiences of my life...and I was embarrased of a few sweat puddles?
I know…he was just doing his job…and probably doing it well. But mark my words—I’ll hack off a huge chunk of skin myself to remove a mole before I ever go back to a dermatologist.
Note—this is not meant to poke fun at anyone that has ever had an experience where they have been assaulted sexually, or to make light of molestation in general.
This account is 100% true….no truth was “stretched” for humor purposes.
Monday, July 28, 2008
While on a trip in S. California, we rented an economy car. (Nissan Versa) Every time we pulled up to the hotel or another venue, the valet dudes didn’t even stand up “just in case” we wanted valet service. I didn’t know whether to be offended or pleased that I didn’t have to turn them down. I did not realize the Versa was such a “scummy” car down there.
It’s a mystery of nature that you can eat taco bell food and it tastes so good---and then you have abdominal cramps for the rest of the day. Do you think my body is trying to tell me something? If so, I’m generally not listening as my stomach increases roughly 2 inches in diameter per month.
What item found in a Dairy Queen blizzard would make you throw it away??
A curly hair?
Real conversation I had with hotel desk clerk in Irvine:
Clerk: Hi welcome to the --- ----…checking in?
Clerk: So what brings you here?
Me: On vacation…10 year anniversary.
Clerk: Great. Are you with Ruston?
Clerk: Ruston High school reunion?
Clerk: They’re having their 15 year reunion here.
Me: No…anniversary...not reunion.
Me: no biggie.
Clerk: Congratulations…I’m only at 4 years.
Me: Oh…that’s great!
Clerk: Well, actually we’re not married, but been together for 4 years. Plus I’m only 18, so….
Last 5 messages I got in my Gmail spam folder:
“Russian serial killer on the loose”
“Add 4 inches overnight”
“First woman to be signed in the NFL”
“Gay men in your zip code”
It’s like they know me better than I know myself.
Was that my 3 year old son running buck naked through our yard yesterday?? Yes it was. The neighbors must love us.
Real conversation heard in line at the “Indiana Jones” theme show at Disneyland. Guy behind us (referred to as “jerk”) and guy behind him in line (referred to as “helper”).
Jerk’s daughter: Is this Indiana Jones?
Jerk: Yes honey.
Helper: Did she want the Indiana Jones ride? If so, this is not the ride, but the theme show.
Jerk: Yeah…I think we know that.
Helper: Ok….just trying to help.
Jerk: Do I look like I need your help?
Helper: I was…just….thought…ummm.
Jerk: Yeah buddy…you “thought”…that’s your problem!!
Me: Kicked Jerk in the balls.
Ok…that last line was not true…but I really wanted to. I wish I believed in Voodoo.
There's nothing more disgusting than the commercial for the "Ped-egg." It's basically a cheese grater that you use on your feet. The "foot shavings" are collected like an old fashioned paper punch. There is a short clip where some lady dumps the shavings out into the garbage...it looks like she grated up some guy who has psoriasis. Pass the Parmesan cheese please.
The odds of opening any random blog on blogspot and hearing a John Mayer song is roughly 64%.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
(A group of movie writers, directors and producers sit around listening to a pitch for a new movie)::
Writer: I think we have an un-tapped market with this movie!!
Producer: Which market is that?
W: Movies based on a video game!!
P: I can think of 20 bad movies based on video games.
W: Name one!!
P: Super Mario Bros.
W: No way...that was awesome...did you know that Mario's last name is Mario in that movie? Mario Mario!!
W: I love goombas.
P: What about Doom, Silent Hill, or Wing commander??
W: I love Dwayne Johnson.
W: What if we spray blood around like in "300?"
W: And at least 3 gratuitous nudity scenes??
P: I'm listening...
W: And then we'll basically copy the Bourne Supremacy sound-track, have the star give "angry eyes" throughout the movie, and the guns will never run out of ammo?
P: When do we start filming??!!
I should have checked out Rotten Tomatoes before I randomly grabbed this movie. I liked the "Resident Evil" series and thought this might have had some promise. Unfortunately, the only promise I received is from my wife that she'll kill me if we watch a movie that bad in the near future.
I'll give a recap for those who don't need to waste their time:
Bald guy is a hitman.
Bald guy seemingly doesn't like women.
Insert beautiful hooker here.
Bald guys chooses angry eyes instead.
Bald guy kills at least 3 Russian presidents
Bald guys tries to imitate Christian Bale as Batman with "angry voice."
Bald guy gives angry eyes.
Bald guy again turns down attractive hooker.
Bald guys kills a bunch of other bald guys.
Nobody is noticing all these bald guys??
More angry eyes.
CIA makes a cameo.
Movie can't end fast enough.
Gotta go...Deadwood is on.
Friday, July 25, 2008
On my recent vacation, my wife and I decided to enjoy the relaxing sounds of the surf, and the warm sand between our toes.
Instead, we got pregnant women in bikini’s, overweight hairy men (besides me) catching a few rays, and under-age girls trying to entice every male within sight by wearing bathing suits no larger than dinner napkins. It was loads of fun.
We visited a beach in the Laguna area…it was beautiful with a large surf, and people swimming, skimming, and surfing. It was picturesque.
We took a little walk down the beach to check out some waves crashing into some large rocks at the point. We traversed the rocks onto another large sandy beach cove. There was volleyball, skimming, and a little body-surfing. In addition, it appeared we had rolled onto a “muscle beach.” There were many guys who were absolutely ripped. I mentioned to my wife, that if it cost less than 5 grand, I’d have my body surgically altered to look like them.
The volleyball players were great.
Everyone was tan.
Everybody was helping each other in and out of the water.
People helped each other by applying sun-screen liberally on each other.
The banana hammocks were out in full force.
These were all men.
BOOM….how did I not notice this before--it was like finding out that Bruce Willis was really a Ghost at the end of the “Sixth Sense.”
I suddenly realized that the 3 scantily-clad guys taking pictures of each other posing on the rocks just moments before were probably not doing so for Facebook accounts.
We had stumbled onto a gay beach. Perhaps not a “designated” gay beach, but obviously a meeting-place for the Y-chromosome inclined. Being from a small conservative western town, the only exposure I have to gay people is the black female cop from "The Wire," Terry (on rollerskates) from "Reno 911," and George Michael. (perhaps he is just "multi-sexual") So this gathering of Mario Lopez look-a-likes was like seeing a live armadillo for the first time--a new experience.
I mean...it's legal there...so it shouldn't have struck me as odd.
I’d like to point out that there’s a distinction between “porn-star” gays and “regular” gays. Basically, “regular” gays look just like you and me—and sometimes worse. “Porn-star” gays are probably why the same sex took a second look. The guys at this sausage-fest were definitely “porn-star” gays.
My wife and I decided to head back to our first beach where we could have a clear view of the 8-month pregnant lady in the bikini, and the foreigner in tight purple shorts trying to outrun each on-coming wave onto the shore while singing Edelweiss.
Going to the beach makes me feel a little more "normal."
Note—The author is not trying to discriminate in any way whom one chooses to live, shower, or share razors with. In fact, the author speaks “tongue-in-cheek” most of the time. He does prefer “tongue-in-cheek” with women though.
Note2—The author lived a very sheltered life. In elementary school when someone referred to gay men, he thought it was funny to poke both pointy fingers into each other, and say “I don’t get it.” When the author finally did get it, he didn’t make finger jokes anymore. They suddenly seemed un-funny.
Note3—If the author was “a gay,” he would be a “regular” gay….for multiple reasons.
As an added bonus, you get a rare picture of me looking at the group of rocks where the 3 men were taking seductive pictures of one another. Note my flapping man boobs in the wind.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Everybody hates bad drivers…even though most of you are bad drivers yourself. Alas, this is not another bad post about bad drivers---it's a bad post explaining about the root of bad driving---Walking!!
You’ve heard that you can’t chew gum and walk at the same time?? Well, this is true because most people can barely walk and form random cognitive thoughts at the same time.
My recent excursion to a few amusement parks and high foot traffic events has opened my eyes to a ridiculous display of idiocy. I need to rant below on the various douche-icities that I encountered.
Walking side-by-side (also known as the “walk of the Rockettes.”):
If you’re in a confined walking space with not much room, there is no reason for your whole family to walk side by side to re-enact the beginning of Laverne and Shirley. Even if you’re attempting to create the “great wall of fatty tissue,” it’s not polite.
Couple this with the fact that 8 of you equal a metric ton, and we’re talking some serious space-taking. The NY Giants couldn't break through that line. You need to break up the party into groups of 2 or 3 in front of each other…even then, odds are you’ll still take up a majority of the space as your butt is 4 ax-handles wide. (note—perhaps you’re avoiding being the recipient of ghastly body odor that each of you is putting off, and don’t want to be caught “down-wind” from each other.)
Leashing up your kids (also known as “walking the dog.”):
I understand when you are in a highly concentrated group of people, that you may feel the need to “leash” up your kid so they won’t get lost. (or you just don’t want to watch them while stuffing your face with 2 churros so that you’ll finish them before your spouse returns from the rest-room and asks for a bite)
I admire your dedication as a parent. I also admire the lack of brain cells you used in the logistics of this plan. Granted---if you’re in a large city park, or on a trail with a steep drop-off, the leash works great. But insert 3500 people into a small area, and you have just caused your kid to be trampled as the leash gets tangled up in 56 people’s legs. Newton's 3rd law tells me that if I walk into your poorly placed leash, either your hand will be ripped off, or your kid will be sucking pavement. You choose.
Ok…you were one of the tough dudes in high school….it was cool to walk through the halls and give everybody walking by, a “stiff-arm” with your “Suicidal Tendencies” Levi jacket. Well, guess what?? Everything’s changed since then except your education level. I make more money than you, have a hot wife, and all my hair. Grow up, and give others some space.
The indecisive walker (also known as the “Irish Jig.”):
If you’re approaching me, you’ll notice I have picked a line to walk---my eyes are focused on it, my shoulders lean towards it, and I’m heading that way. And then you suddenly decide to head straight for me---jumping back and forth like you’re trying to juke a 280 pound linebacker. Then I get confused, and deviate course…soon, we’re both jumping back and forth trying to dodge each other while we remain on a collision course….and then my arm touches your sweaty body as our shoulders collide--It’s not pleasurable for either party.
Pick a line…and go with it. If we both happen to pick the same line, and collide in a sweaty heap of fatty tissue, I’ll be much happier that we were both assertive. (note—do not try to intentionally run into a hot girl using this tactic—there are easier ways to cop a cheap feel)
These are the people who have decided that there are more important things to look at than where they’re going. Next time you walk into me, you’re getting my strawberry-lemonade ice I’m carrying, right in your guts.
If you’re walking at roughly 20% of the average pace, you should move over to the right-hand side of the walkway. I took 45% more steps than I needed to over the past week trying to get around your party of “steady wins the race” types.
If you encounter an emergency while walking, please pull over to the right and take care of it. There is literally nothing short of dropping large sums of money or a contact lens that should freeze you in your tracks. I don’t know how many people I “rear-ended” when they decided to stop dead in their tracks. Simulating “riding the pony” with a 53 year old hairy Greek (man) while he picks up his Disney map next to “Pirates of the Carribean” is not my idea of a vacation.
These mercenaries are generally foreigners…they can dart at any angle, head to the left, or just turn around in mid-walk. Perhaps they're checking which seats they’re in while trampling a 4 year old in an Angels hat. Proceed with caution—you’ll find abundant hair in both sexes, and a lack of deodorant. Neon colors and extraordinarily short shorts are the tell-tale signs of this menace.
I have an entire post on this phenomenon in the next month or two. I can’t even begin to explain the unintentional comedy with this group. (not the real handi-capped riders---just the “pretenders.”)
So….when you are on the freeway and wondering what these people are thinking---just remember; they don’t even know how to walk correctly---but that is no reason why our government shouldn't hand them a driver’s license.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Before I get started--I am back from vacation....this blog is live, and just as mildly funny as it was before.
I would like to offer some helpful suggestions in an area which I consider myself to be a semi-professional--Restaurant server.
For all those who are considering acting, music, theatre, or just don't care to get a college degree, odds are that these tips may help you in your lifetime.
I worked at a few restaurants for multiple years, and in all capacities. In an industry full of employee turnover, it seemed I was a "lifer."
To all you server-hopefuls...I want to you understand the mind of patron visiting a restaurant. These are people who think nothing of spending 10 bucks on the "Sex and the city" movie. These same people have no problem forking over hundreds of dollars a month for cable, cell-phone, internet, xbox 360, etc. But the very instant these same individuals walk into a restaurant, and order an 11 dollar steak, they change completely. It's like they personally work for consumer reports. They are looking and waiting for something to complain about while they're there....EVERY TIME--like this 11 bucks entitles them to demean others and expect super-human service. You think not? If you could listen in to every table throughout the night, you'll hear at least one of the following: Where's our food? I need a new drink. Where's our check? Do you think they take food stamps?
So--you are already starting at a disadvantage. Your every step is being monitored...and nothing less than perfect service is required. Well...guess what?? You're not going to be perfect. This article deals with the proper course of action you should take in many different circumstances.
First--Make friends with the hostesses. This may help you score the business party instead of the family with 6 kids under the age of 8. Also--don't become too friendly, as most hostesses are jail-bait.
Second--Make friends with the cooks. Things that may help you bond with these peculiar individuals:
A ride home if you can fit their bike in your trunk
New variations of swear words
You will need their help someday, and this will ensure speedy assistance.
Third--Make friends with the bartenders. Your drink orders will fall to the end of the list every time if you piss them off.
And finally---and this will be very longish---don't let the customers screw with you!!
Get a feel for what type of tippers they may be before acting on any whim.
Did they pray before they ate? You're screwed.
Are they sharing meals? You're screwed.
Do they want to order off the kids menu as an adult? You're screwed.
Are they using 2 for 1 coupons they printed off the internet? You're screwed.
Getting a feel for the "terrain" will enable you to give compensatory service.
Drink refills:: If a customer has already finished their soda before any item of food has arrived at the table, you DO NOT give them a refill until they get food. This sets the wrong precedent.
If you have a "soda-sucker," you need to nip it in the bud. So, the next time you arrive at the table, bring 2 or 3 drinks for that person and say "Wow...I can barely keep up with you...we may be running out of syrup soon." The embarrassment alone will slow them down.
If a customer "rattles" their cup of ice, or "snaps" their fingers at you, exit the room immediately, and wait at least 5 minutes before visiting their table. Go visit another table without making eye contact to further aggravate the situation.
Food complainers:: You know the type---My steak is pink....my vegetables are cold...etc. As always, give service with a smile. Gladly take their plate back to the kitchen to fix the problem. I highly suggest letting the cooks deal with the situation, but if you decide to take matters into your own hands, I give the following precaution:: IF you decide to "eff" with someones food, it is a line you can't cross, and the potential guilt will follow you for years. If you can't perform the direct act, perhaps you know a "cronie" who can do it for you.
Make sure....very very sure that this person deserves whatever heinous act you decide to perform on their food. And don't get me wrong--there are those that deserve it--but MAKE SURE. Also, please don't make the "act" visible. If you decide to "hawk a loogie" in their salad (pure speculation), don't do it on top where it is visible. Mix it in with the raspberry vinaigrette. The satisfaction will be much greater if you hold onto the secret yourself.
Tipping:: You will get poor tips every night regardless of how you serve the table. Some think that a 15% tip is for "other-worldly" service. Others can barely give 10%.
Just remember the following guidelines:
It is usually not worth it to follow a customer to the parking lot and say "You need this more than I do" and return the tip. You will get fired (I have fired individuals for doing so) and it's a story that's only funny when drinking with friends.
Now--If you have somebody that is stupid enough (it has happened many times) to write a personal check and give a crappy tip, you now hold the Ace of Spades. "I've heard" that you can sign just about anybody up for hundreds of magazine subscriptions with only their address. I'm sure you can find some "doozies." (as this may be against federal law, I suggest consulting an attorney, and do not condone this practice at all most of the time)
There is also the art of the "double tip." I personally didn't follow this strategy, but know plenty who have. When you have a dinner party where the gratuity is automatically included, you can conveniently "not mention" this gratuity when dropping the bill at the table. Many won't even look, but just give you their credit card. When you return the card and they sign a tip---you just doubled your money. (This is another very grey area...tread lightly)
Know how to return change: If the bill is 48 bucks, and they give you 60 and ask for change...DO NOT give 2 5's and 2 1's back. You'll get a 6 dollar tip. Take a 10 dollar bill, crinkle it, tear it, pour ketchup on it, and return it with the 2 1's. You are 86% sure to receive that 10 dollar bill for a tip.
What they don't know, won't kill them:: If a piece of chicken falls to the ground, pick it up, rinse it with water, and return to the cooks (remember--they're your friends now as you gave them a light) where they'll re-heat it on the grill.
Also, if something slips off the plate onto the tray, pick it up as fast as you can---even if it's with your bare hands, and set it back on. You don't have time to find a fork and "cleanly place it on." This happens dozens of times in every restaurant every day.
Other misc. tips::
Don't "sit up" in the chair or booth with the customers unless you're an extremely attractive female. Nobody wants to smell your "Speed Stick" deodorant while perusing the menu.
Lie every time. If you forgot their drink, tell them that the "syrup is being changed." You forget bread?? "It's still warming up." Their food taking extremely long?? "We're making sure that steak is well-done."
If a table is staying WELL past closing time, and won't leave--put up all the chairs around them, clean all the tables nearby, and then just sit near them with your shirt un-tucked looking tired. Might they leave a buck or two less on the tip?? Possibly. But a buck or two isn't worth staying an extra hour.
Don't try to sell the table dessert. Your tip won't increase much for a 6 dollar dessert, and your table will be full for at least 15 more minutes.
And lastly---waiting tables did not come with a 401K plan---so don't plan on doing it into your 60's. If you'll excuse me, I need to send my steak back.
Friday, July 18, 2008
This blog is un-manned, but not on a mission to find ancient rain on Mars. Regularly scheduled blogging will return early next week. No word on if it will be remotely funny. If you are monitoring this to steal stuff from my house, please take the TV. I'd really like to get an HD anyway.
I have an agenda while on my trip to California...but had a dream involving a few other things that I might see while down there. Here is my family slide show.
Man I sure was happy when I found the star for Hannah Montana in the Hollywood walk of fame. I was slightly interested to find that her hands were much larger than mine. What?? Well, I don't believe the myth that your hands are in proportion to....well, on to the next slide.
I love getting my picture taken on rides. I did notice a lot of foreigners. This group of Norwegians weren't too happy when I stood up without my shirt on the ride. They were ready to buy many copies if I hadn't screwed it up. I wished I would have trimmed my armpits.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This blog is un-manned...watch for falling debris and cat-calls from the workers.
Who's says you can't have content when you're out of town.
I'm not sure why, or how, but the good people over at scrivel.com have asked me to be a guest blogger from time to time. Check out the link and read under my pen name of Matt D.
Obviously they aren't great readers, as they would have noticed right off that my posts aren't terribly funny. (although my wife likes them...and that's all that really matters)
I'm wondering if they needed an intern.
Perhaps they liked the Neil Diamond clips. I agree that Neil alone would get me onto almost any site.
What I can't figure out is how they found my site. I've done some research, and I think I've pin-pointed it.
If you do a reverse Google search by hit count, and under "advanced search options" you type the words "mildly funny," I am number 8.
If this wasn't it, the only other explanation is that my Mom called them personally and threatened their first-born unless somebody gave me an affirmation that I can at least make 2nd graders laugh. (insert poop jokes now)
Either way, all this means is more mindless pond-scum emanating from my brain onto the pages of the internet. AT&T says that the entire internet will be full by 2010...and I'm certainly doing my part.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This blog is un-manned...watch for falling debris. Men at work. (unless you live in Atlanta...and then I'm not sure what they'll call it)
Your regularly scheduled programming will return early next week.
In the meantime, you get one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs of all time. And as an added bonus, you also get a Johnny Cash cover of the song. 2 for 1....
The Cash cover is not live audio...but it is awesome. The Man in Black rocks.
Monday, July 14, 2008
After gorging myself the other night with a stadium bratwurst, Doritos, and Sodey pop, I felt a little "sluggish." I also was sealing some concrete in my basement. Couple the "contact high" from the sealer, and the patented "pop" of grease when you bite into a bratwurst, and I was feeling a little queasy.
I understand I wasn't eating salmon and legumes, or a Veggie Delite from Subway...but 80% from fat? It's like they trimmed off all the fat from bacon to make the brats. But isn't bacon like pure fat?? Exactly.
The calorie website also told me that to burn off these calories, I would need to do the following: (I did feel the burn, although Tums quickly fixed that)
66 minutes of walking. (this will take me 16 days at my present rate of walking to the restroom and back from my cubicle)
27 minutes of jogging. (I generally jog from the car to the house when it rains, so at this rate, it will take me 3 years)
20 minutes of swimming. (The coast guard has declared my chest a "reflective hazard" that is dangerous to oceanic crafts when placed in the sun...so unless I hit the tanning booth, this will take me upwards of 10 years to complete)
36 minutes of cycling. (Cycling?? Huh?? Is this the same thing as "spinning?" I wonder if I were to win a free year at Golds Gym if I would consider it a blessing or a curse.)
Oddly enough, they didn't say you could stick your finger down your throat and "burn" the calories in 30 seconds.
So, at best, this brat will take 16 days to burn off...at worst, 35 years. We'll compromise and say 15 years...so that bubbly stick of pig fat will take 15 years to burn at my current rate. This is the reason that every time I look in the mirror, I see this:
I only wish I had a belt as cool as this. They call him "wind in his bellybutton hair."
My wife disagrees in my self-assessment, but then I suppose that's one of the reasons why I married her.
One good thing--I will be out of town this next week for my 10 year anniversary. I have done the calculations, and after walking to get an apple churro in disneyland, running away from hoodlums at magic mountain, eating 2 hot dogs at anaheim stadium, and taking 2 tylenol PM's for the showing of Wicked the musical, I will have worked off the 1 bratwurst I just ate. Take that Jared from Subway.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Dear “group of guys that all worked for the technical recruiting office that used to come into my restaurant weekly when I was a bartender there,"
It’s true, I short-poured alcohol in your drinks most of the time.
Why would I do this? You rightly paid for those drinks? True…and you got a drink…just not exactly how you wanted it.
I was going to school for engineering, and working 30-35 hours a week at the restaurant. I made exactly $2.13 an hour + tips. This last word is key…I didn’t make any money without your gracious financial assistance. (note to all you “tip-haters” out there…I didn’t make this “social rule” up…I just benefited from it. I don’t want any “why don’t you just include the tip in the price” comments---because then I'd make it 30%)
Generally you filled up most of my bar eating appetizers and ordering a drink that you all thought you “created.” (Morgan’s and coke with a half-shot of house rum—genius…amazing…call Guinness)
You were a fairly fun bunch of fellows…we’d talk sports and jobs and other stuff. I was prompt and gave excellent service. I realize that you’d prefer to have one of the female bartenders, but some nights, I’m the lot you drew.
“Payin time” would come….I know, $175 bucks is a lot of money for booze and bloomin’ onions. I didn't twist your arms to get 4 drinks each.
At first, I thought the 7 dollar tip was a joke. You must have forgotten the other $20. But on the 2nd and 3rd time??? Come to find out that it didn't matter if you had a female bartender…they said you’d still give the same.
Each time you walked through the door, my cheery disposition would fade. Over time we talked less…and you had to look at my flat butt instead of the female bar-help. And then I decided to do it---short-pour. Why?? I don’t know…call it petty…call it revenge.
Why didn’t you catch on??
You don’t work in a state known for its cryptic liquor laws (Utah) and not learn a few tricks.
Watch and learn:
Step 1: Take rocks glass and fill with ice so that glass is OVERFLOWING.
Step 2: Take coke “gun” and Morgan’s and pour in simultaneously. Short pour Morgan’s.
Step 3: Take house rum and pour the slightest amount DIRECTLY into little red stirring straw.
Step 4: Serve.
Step 5: Watch as you do not use stirring straw, but directly take a sip from the drink which has a small amount of liquor in the straw.
Step 6: Take complements on how “strong” I made your drinks.
Step 7: Watch as drink is gone within 2 minutes. (due to exorbitant amount of ice)
You see, by adding insane amounts of ice, I limited the amount of coke/rum mixture, thus giving the impression that the drink was more powerful than it actually was. Did you think that you were getting 1 and ½ ounces of liquor? Did you get 1 and ½ ounces of liquor? No way.
And yet I kept collecting my 7 dollar tips.
And felt a little better about doing so.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
One quick note---A "notice" was just posted on my companies internal web site----entitled:
To purchase this satanic yard art, go here. In my visit to this site, I found many other "odd" items that I believe would dissuade any rational human being from stepping foot into my yard. These can be seen below. (including a tree face of Jack Nicholson, a Baldwin brother traipsing through the yard, and a friendly a-sexual alien)
And for those that want to keep members of the ACLU away, you can get the 10 commandments. which have Hebrew on one side, and English on the other. Neil Diamond would be proud. You can set this next to your Christmas exhibit to keep everyone off-balance.
Unfortunately, none of these things will help against the neighborhood dogs looking for a public toilet. I had to go to a different web site to find a solution for this problem.
We all abide by the Brady Bill on this site.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
My wife and I rarely get away from the kids. It's not that we want to get away from them, but sometimes you need time alone. So we have been talking up our 10 year anniversary this summer for quite a while. We are leaving the kids with Grandparents, and taking a week for ourselves. We agreed that no expense should be spared as these opportunities don't come up often.
Fast forward to a few months ago. We were discussing where we should go....Hawaii?? Too expensive. Orlando?? Too expensive. A cruise?? Too expensive. Just staying the week with the kids at the grandparents house?? Now we're on to something here.
Well, we decided on Southern California. The beach....nice restaurants....traffic. Beautiful.
I took it upon myself to become our official travel agent for the trip. I was in charge of getting everything ready from the plane tickets to the daily activities. In hindsight, this was probably not a good thing. You see, I wanted a dream vacation...on a misers budget.
Let's go over the itinerary, and see if I still get credit for planning a fun trip even with the "extenuating circumstances."
Airplane tickets--I joined every fare alert/fare consolidator/fare compare web-site out there....to travel an hour and half west to California. I pored over gallons of data and price history charts in order to find the best deal. Literally thousands of dollars of work hours have been lost in this search. I even have us flying into an alternate airport (Long Beach) because it was 60 dollars cheaper per flight than LAX. We are flying on the illustrious "Jet Blue" airlines for our journey.
Event tickets--We discussed some things that we would do...and I went on the hunt for tickets to these events. Craigslist, eBay, Stub hub, and my bookie were all searched for the best deal. Results are as follows:
Disney tickets:: Check--purchased "California resident" tickets off eBay.
Magic mountain:: Purchased off their web-site....but they are running a 2 for 1 special right now.
Angels vs. Red Sox:: I was fairly upset as Angels vs. Devil Rays would have been 11 bucks a ticket. The Red Sox are in high demand, and the prices are much higher, and the game is sold out. I scored half decent seats off eBay. I mentioned our 10 year anniversary to the seller, and he threw in a book he wrote about baseball as a gift. I'm such a lurp. (On a side note, I will probably mention our "10 year anniversary" to every retail establishment in Orange County. I'm sure that we'll score free crap somewhere)
"Wicked" theater tickets:: This was a big ticket item as the "upper crust" of society can fork out quite a bit of cash to go see the Wizard of Oz 2.0. I watched some tickets on eBay, and when he dropped the price, I bought them lickety split. Oh yes...they are in the upper Mezzanine of the Pantages theater. Who needs "orchestra" seats. We'll just bring a telescope.
Rental car--Yet again, dozens of web-sites were travelled and searched looking for the best deal. I was fairly happy to receive a 5% discount with my Costco card.
Lastly I will discuss our hotel stay. You would think that an average husband--wanting to impress his wife--would go all out in this department. Flowers upon arrival, hot tub with champagne, rose petals on the bed. I, on the other hand---turned to Priceline. Nothing says "I love you" than bidding on an unknown hotel in an unknown location. Luckily we scored the Hyatt in Garden Grove which appears to be fairly nice. I sure hope so as they charge 15 dollars to park your car in their lot.
After all this...our bases are covered, and we'll have a great time. But I wonder if it is going too far if we go out to dinner, and I pull out my "entertainment coupon book" to get a free dessert with the purchase of 2 adult entrees. Well---it's either that, or Wendy's with the Edward's.
Nobody is cheaper than these guys. Tipping is completely optional there.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Just a quick note---My 3 year old son thinks his ding-a-ling is a toy. For some reason, he's always fiddling with it...like he needs to pee or something.
I often inquire of him why he does it as it reminds me of my brother playing soccer when he was younger---stand around holding your junk while you watch others playing the game. He is still mocked to this day.
The other day, I asked if he needed to go pee....he said "no." I asked why he was grabbing his "privates"---he said--"It's fun."
At least he doesn't lie about it---unlike millions of other men I know.
My wife asked him the same thing the other day...and he said "I'm just honkin em."
And no...I'm not posting a picture of him on here. He's too cute and a picture of him in the bath doesn't need to circulate some kiddie porn site.
I saw more twigs and berries here.
My kids want a dog. Well...that's not entirely correct. I've always told them they can't have a dog--so they say that they want a puppy--because it's different than a dog.
I need to figure out how to nip this in the bud. My oldest is the ring-leader. They say if you take down the leader, the troops will go down without a fight. So I'm focusing on her.
We've tried to give the "normal" excuses why we shouldn't own a dog:
They aren't old enough to take care of it.
We're out of town too much.
We don't have a fence yet.
While those are all true reasons why I don't want a dog, there is a deeper underlying feeling--I HATE THEM!!
I owned a dog when I was in my teen years. He was an Australian shepherd, and I loved him. I thought he was a great dog. This is not the truth. He was not a great dog.
He barfed everywhere.
He chewed up everything in the house.
He still randomly peed and pooped in the house.
He went into neighbors yards, and left "phantom nuggets" for them to find the next time they mowed their lawn.
He barked at very inconvenient hours.
He shed all over.
He'd get sprayed by a skunk, and then needed to be cleaned.
In fact, we had a neighbor who called me over one day, and had me pick up all the dog crap in his lawn. No problem. He then yelled at me and said we had to get rid of the dog. Fairly scary as a young boy.
Our dog was intentionally disobedient, especially when it came to running away. The instant the outside door was opened, he was gone. You could call and whistle, but he obviously had better things to do. Could/Should we have sent him to "obedience training?" Why I suppose so. Nothing like dropping multiple hundreds of dollars on that. (thousands?)
Well, after multiple trips to the "pound" to get our dog from the dog catcher....and multiple tickets and fines, we sent him to a farmer a few hours away. It was traumatic for me and another reason why I don't want a dog. No dogs live more than 10-15 years, and then you have the decision of a 1400 dollar vet bill, or to put it down. This is an easy decision for me, but have fun telling your kids that you put the dog down because you didn't want to fix the broken hip.
I've had friends who consider their dogs to be their "children." In fact, they went as far as to say that children were harder to care for. This also came from people who never had kids of their own, so they had no reference.
This is like me saying that I'd much prefer my Mazda over a Lexxus because it's dependable, and a myriad of other reasons that are ludicrous. A Lexxus is just better, but I've never owned one...so I hang to my silly pride that my Mazda is better.
Let's recap---A dog will:
Love you and respond to you.
Let you play with it.
(note--purchase this, and you can get the same things as above, and may also learn something)
And it will also:
Pee on your shoes.
Chew on your toothbrush.
Get hair all over the couch.
Wake you up to pee at 3:30 AM.
Irritate every neighbor within barking distance.
---In fact, I'd like to address this. I hear your dog. It barks all the time. Can't you hear your dog?? Why don't you let it in so everyone in the neighborhood can get some peace and quiet? You may think it's not that bad....that it's the day-time, and it's not hurting anybody. You know why you don't think it's not too bad?? Because you're at work, and nobody's home---which is why your damn dog is outside barking all day while Bill down the street who works nights is as close to animal cruelty as a human being can get.---
Bite the neighbor kids.
Ruin your home.
----Yes a dog will ruin your home. Any sane individual with 5 senses can tell the difference between a "dog owner's home" and one that does not have a dog. No Dyson can clean up all that hair. Have fun patching drywall where your dog scratches to go out. I didn't make the largest investment in my life only to have it ruined by a hairy animal. (besides me)---
Those yellow spots in my grass aren't spilled gasoline---they are from your stupid dog.
And lastly....one of the top 10 worst things on this planet is when you step in dog poo. No amount of stick cleaning, and grass wiping will get that stinky smell off your shoes.
So, if I keep getting the push from my daughter for a dog...I may have to tell her the truth. That I hate dogs.
These people like puppies. You should go there for more rational thought.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Kicking off a new segment here. Random Neil Diamond clip of the day. Although this one isn't too random...as this song is a good fit for the 4th of July.
This is the culminating scene of a classic movie. Neil "struts his stuff" and validates his life decisions in front of his uber-religious Jewish father who is won over with this great tune.
For those of you who haven't seen the Jazz Singer (not the Al Jolson version) you should pick it up. You will be an even bigger fan of Neil Diamond (who's not??) and will get 5 times the chest hair shots than a single episode of Magnum PI.
You'll see an acting legend (Laurence Olivier) with a pop legend...and get a little "Love on the Rocks" while you're at it.
I don't like this type of music---I was raised in the heyday of Nirvana and Metallica. But Neil Diamond is the king. (FYI--just below him on the list of "greats" is Johnny Cash---whom I love--although I hate country music)
Lastly--you'll get the chills while watching this clip, but I'm not sure if it's from the song, or the blue-sequined shirt. Let's give a little love to my Jewish brother.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I grew up not really enjoying fireworks on the 4th of July. I vaguely recall doing hand-held sparklers...but anything more than that was just not done in our family. My mom abhorred the idea of spending money on fireworks. HATED it.
Growing up, most of the fireworks I had, were bought myself.
I remember that my mom would always say that watching fireworks was like burning money. We teased here about this for many years....and then one year she proved it. She took a 5 dollar bill and lit it on fire. I suppose she was trying to teach us a lesson. The only lesson I learned was that a 5 dollar bill burned much quicker than 5 dollars worth of fireworks.
So, as a parent....I buy fireworks. I don't buy hundreds of dollars worth--But I do know that my kids and I enjoy them. We have a good 4th, and look forward to it every year.
If you're a parent, and don't want to buy fireworks---I don't care. You probably have your reasons--You may have no money. You may be concerned about fire safety and harming others. You may have a deep seeded fear of a bottle rocket exploding in your hand. (done it) You may even be concerned about the carbon footprint of a spinning flower.
But if you just think they are a rip-off (which they are---but what isn't a rip-off these days)....and are with-holding this small amount of joy from your kids--well--they only have 1 childhood. 50 bucks every year for a fun family outing...not too bad. At worst, take them to a local FREE fireworks show. We did this most years, and gave me something to look forward to every year.
Let me give you this warning. I was raised to think fireworks were bad. So what did I do the instant I had money and was away from parents?? Went and bought as many fireworks as I could afford. I would then tape as many different kinds together in hopes that I could make the largest explosion ever. Fires were started---and luckily put out. I was wounded plenty---and made up excuses every time. Your children's lives may depend on doing fireworks with them. Or you can copy 5 dollar bills on your PC, and burn the printouts to teach a lesson. (trust me--using real money doesn't work)
If you've read here over the past 2 months, you've noticed that I live in a small town in Idaho. It's not terrible. In fact, it may be growing on me.
Let's set up the hypothetical--you live in a trailer park, and want to "stand out" from your neighbors. Mowing or watering your lawn would work. Perhaps trimming down to less than 4 cars would help also. Getting rid of sections of your fence that include a wood pallet would also work. Or, you could be like this guy:
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Growing up, I always enjoyed throwing things at cars. This has passed, but as I think back to things I threw...and at such a young age...I wonder what was wrong with me.
I was probably no older than 8 when my cousin and I would go buy those snaps fireworks. You know what I'm talking about--the little paper things with some sort of mini-explosive inside--that would snap when you threw them on the ground, at friends, or bit them. My cousin lived on a semi-major highway with a lot of tree cover. This led to us throwing large hand-fuls of "snaps" at cars that drove by.
I don't know if it was the thrill of the "hit"...or the thrill of the car stopping and subsequent "chase." But this led to a life of throwing all sorts of things at cars/houses/people/dogs. Eggs were always popular. I'm sure that the employees of Smith's food king weren't very suspicious when a group of teenage boys would come up to the register at 12:30 AM with 8 dozen eggs. Snowballs were good, but had the chance of breaking a window...so we generally stayed away. Water balloons were usually the weapon of choice. The satisfying "thud" when a direct hit was made with a water balloon cannot be explained in words.
Now this wasn't just random violence. This was bordering on scientific and calculated. Each "excursion" was meticulously planned.
You had to take into account the speed and direction of the car. A car going faster and down a hill would take much longer to stop, and thus give more time to "get away."
The type of the car was very important. Generally a mini-van or suburban meant "open season" as the driver was usually a Mom, and there probably wouldn't be a "chase." (although you've never seen pure unadulterated anger as I have from a Mom whose mini-van was pelted with 6 eggs---she looked for us for about 2 hours) If a large truck was coming--this meant that a weapon was probably mounted in the rear window, and we were stupid---but not that stupid. We would probably stand down.
How good was your escape route? The only way you could get caught was if you didn't have your escape route and hiding spot planned in advance. A good soldier always prepares.
How good is your cover? Throwing from good cover gives you a head up from the very beginning. If the driver doesn't know where the onslaught is coming from, it will be impossible for them to catch you.
Dark clothes? Success rate? Quality water balloons? This link shows basically what we used. What 15 year old boy wouldn't see "grenade water balloon" and not think to pelt cars with them?
As we got older, we got sloppy, and much less careful. We started to throw things at oncoming traffic while we were driving in our car. Basically we had a "spotter" to ensure that the oncoming car was not a cop. We then had the "throwers" in the back of a small Toyota truck. 3 or 4 would suffice. The "driver" was always Bob. It was his truck.
My "history of violence" culminated one night in what I think was the perfect storm.
It was late one weekend night, and we decided to go "water ballooning" again. We jumped in Bob's truck, and headed out. I was the spotter. We had particularly good throwers in the back. One was headed to college the next year as a baseball pitcher. He had a great arm.
We headed out, and right off the bat we hit the jackpot. It was a mass transit bus. Now all the rules are thrown out the window for a bus. Nobody will chase you...they have a schedule to keep...perfect.
I banged on the rear window to prepare the troops for the coming massacre. We were moving at a clip of about 45 mph. The oncoming bus was at a similar speed. As our paths crossed, I looked back at Jason (pitcher) and with his lower lip curled in a fit of rage, throw the balloon with all his might. In the next instant, an explosion of glass filled the air. Yes--the water balloon had broken one of the main front bus windows. (not the driver's side) In a bold move I'd like to call "unbelievable fear", our driver took the next turn at 45 mph obviously attempting an old fashinoed "getaway." As the truck leaned to the side on 2 wheels, I felt my life flash before my eyes. After a second, all the rubber was back on the ground, and we had pulled over to ditch the "evidence" in case the police were called. We took a VERY LONG way home, and gathered our thoughts. We took another car to the "scene of the crime" and found glass all over the road...but no bus. I guess they really like to keep their schedule.
None of us were proud for what we did. In fact, I don't know if we ever went out to throw things again after that. In the current days of cell phones and police technology, I think we may have gone to jail.
So...the next time I hear the familiar "thud" on the side of my car...Hell yes I'm stopping. Probably skidding to a stop. I'll give the little hoodlums chase, but probably won't catch one. I'll just aim to scare them...because life will have come full circle. And I know exactly how they feel.
Authors note:: Names and details have been changed as I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is for this act. In fact, if questioned directly, this post will be declared "historical fiction" with no more truth than the Davinci code.
The cops are looking for these guys too...