Just Add Wrath

Here are a few ways to earn instant death at my hand (in no particular order):

Use the phrase "sure can't" or "sure don't." For example:
"Could you lend me a dollar?"
"I sure can't!"
As soon as you hear the word "sure" you think the person is agreeing, and it takes a minute to realize you were just denied.

Using the word "dog" in any context aside from a literal reference to the animal, especially in social contexts such as "What's up, dog?" And don't even get me started on "dawg" or "dogg."

Call me "big guy."

Commission my father to create a sword, refuse to pay him, and murder him in front of me.

Parker Brothers, You Are Diabolical


So I was just eating some Hershey's kissables...







... when I had a sudden urge to play the board game Sorry.




Is the similarity in shape between the candy and the game pieces coincidence, or something far more sinister?

Spam Spam Spam Baked Beans and Spam

You know those emails that keep coming around that are supposedly written by some guy in Africa needing “help” to get a huge amount of money from some dead person’s bank account, in return for which you get a portion of that money? Well, you’ve got to give them credit for creativity. And apparently it has worked well enough for them to keep doing it.

Anyway, this morning I got a new one. It’s probably from the same people, but it’s way different. You can’t even tell what the scam is from the email itself. But it’s pretty interesting. I’ll paste it below.

STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL

Description:
We wish to confirm you with full corporate responsibility that we are end
seller ready, willing and able to transact and sell the commodities, with
the following specifications, terms and conditions.
Sales and purchases will be based on the following procedures
.
The Product is Used Train Rail Scraps with the Specification of R50 & R 65
as conformed to the ISRI Codes.
Manufactured in Russia & Ukrain
The Origin is South Africa .
Quantity: 360, 000 MT (Three hundred and sixty Thousand Metric Tons)
Contract Period: Twelve Months.
Price: USD$125 per Metric Ton FOB.
Payment Terms:Bank guarantee or standby letter of credit.
Inspections: By Buyer and at the port of loading by SGS for clear and
clean of the quantity of the goods loaded on board vessel.
Chemical Composition: International Standards as follows:
R50 - 51.67 kg/m GOST 7173-75
C : 0.67 -- 0.8%
Mn : 0.75 -- 1.05%
Si : 0.13 -- 0.28%
P : max. 0.035%
S : max. 0.045%
Ar : max. 0.15%
R65 - 64.72 kg/m GOST 8165-75
C: 0.6 -- 0.082%
n: 0.75 -- 1.05%
Si: 0.13 - 0.28%
P: max. 0.035%
S: max. 0.045%
Ar: max. 0.15

Please confirm if you are willing to close down the contract as to enable
us schedule and arrange for your urgent trip to South Africa for
inspections of the materials and signing of the contract with us and the
representatives of the ministry

Finally, be informed that upon your acceptance to this offer, we will be
providing you with all the related documents for your perusals before
coming down to South Africa for the signing of the contract with us.
Please revert your mails to……………………….
MR Norbert M.
Norbert123456@hotmail.com
00 27 834 281 633

I had to appreciate it for just being different.

Better Grab a Box of Tissue

You know those stupid sentimental forwards that always get sent around by middle-aged women? Well, with Amy's help, I discovered that I have the ability to write those. So here's one I whipped up pretty quickly.

Bobby lay in the hospital bed, hugging his teddy bear tightly. He tried to be a big boy and not cry, but occasionally a tear leaked out. The doctor came into the room.

“Bobby, I have good news for you! We found a donor!”

“So I’m going to be okay?”

“Yes, Bobby. We’ll perform the surgery first thing in the morning. You just try to get some sleep and keep up your strength.”

As the doctor left, Bobby’s dad returned from the bathroom.

“Daddy, did you hear the doctor? I’m going to be okay!”

“I heard him, son. Let’s say a prayer to thank God for his help, and then you need to go to sleep.”

Bobby said a prayer. “God, thank you for helping the doctors find me a new liver. Please help me to be okay, and bless daddy and mommy too. Amen.”

When Bobby looked up from his prayer, he saw a tear escape his dad’s eye. They hadn’t seen his mom since she left them over a year ago. But Bobby still prayed for her every night.

As Bobby’s dad held his hand, the boy dropped off to sleep.

In the morning, the doctors came to collect Bobby for the surgery. His dad kissed him gently on the forehead before he was wheeled away.

As his dad waited outside the operating room, he thought about all the times he lost patience with Bobby since his mother left them. He promised himself that he’d never yell at his son again if the surgery was successful.

Several hours later, Bobby was wheeled out, still unconscious. As they took him down the hall to the recovery room, the doctor came over to his dad.

“The surgery was a great success. And it came just in time. A couple more days and there wouldn’t have been anything we could do. It was truly a miracle.”

“Doctor, where did you find the donor?”

“There was a terrible accident just outside of the hospital parking lot. There was a woman apparently coming to the hospital who was killed on impact. But she has been able to save a life even as she lost hers.”

As Bobby’s dad sat at his bedside waiting for him to wake up, he looked at the chart the doctor had left behind. His face paled as he saw the name of the donor.

Bobby could never thank the stranger who had unknowingly saved his life. As he grew tall and strong, he would think often of his mother, hoping she would come through the front door some day. And he never knew it, but his mother was always with him, in the liver that was donated after she was killed on her way to visit him at the hospital.

Wasn't that just awful? Now, the question is how I can use this power to get rich.

The Funniest Thing I've Heard in Weeks

"She's basically a uterus with a head," referring to someone who always seems to be pregnant.
Yeah, yeah, it's insensitive, rude, and childish. That's why I'm glad I didn't say it. But it made me (and my wife) laugh out loud for quite a while.

Just Spotted

On my way back from lunch I say a middle-aged guy in a convertible, talking on a cell phone, with a really long box sticking up and out of the car. He was also wearing a beret, which somehow made the whole thing really funny to me.

Tough as Nails

I’ve heard that one effective torture method involves jamming bamboo shoots under people’s fingernails. It’s probably true; I don’t have the stomach to research it. But I can say that now I know it would be effective.

I was helping some neighbors move on Saturday morning. I reached down to pick something up from the bottom of the moving truck when an enormous splinter jammed under my fingernail. When I went home, the only way I could get it out was to stick a needle under the nail to the side of the splinter to work it out. It was… an interesting sensation.

Time to Grow a Beard and Move up to the Idaho Panhandle

I guess it's time for another post harping on scientists. Once again I must say the I love science and those who every day work hard to make our lives better. But there's a little too much optimism sometimes about certain developments. Maybe it's mostly the fault of the media; in fact, that seems much more likely.
Anyway, on the Popular Science website I ran across an article from 2001 that contained the statement, "[hydrogen] fuel cell cars won't be out until at least 2004." I just had to stop and laugh, since we've now all but abandoned the idea of hydrogen fuel cells.
I'm sure things like that happen because as time goes on we find better options which keep such predictions from coming true. But at the same time it's tempting to become some sort of crazy conspiracy theorist going on about "the man" perpetuating the energy crisis.

Pop Quiz

When I was a kid, I drank a lot of soda, or pop, or whatever you call it. I would take a huge cup and fill it up, and drink it while I watched cartoons or whatever. This led to some painful dental consequences.

Now I find that I don’t drink very much at all. This morning it occurred to me that I don’t have very many large glasses or cups at home, and that may be one reason for it. If you have a bigger glass, you’re more likely to fill it up, and more likely to drink it all.

So I guess what I’m wondering is, if I use smaller plates to eat off of, will I eat smaller portions?

Retrospective Myopia

I’ve never understood the saying “hindsight is 20/20.” There’s no way to know how something would have worked out if you had done it differently. The best you could hope for is increased odds of success. For example, you might have gotten food poisoning from the fish you ate at the restaurant, but even if you had ordered the steak instead all that does is reduce the odds of you getting sick, since it’s less likely that there were multiple contaminated food items. You may have choked on a piece of the steak and died instead.

On what I’d like to claim is an unrelated note, can any of you help me figure out how to avoid the situation of doing what my wife tells me to do but still getting in trouble for it?

How Meta Can I Get?

To me, blogs seem almost like a new kind of life form. They are like different members of a species, going through similar stages of development, interacting occasionally with one another, and even reproducing in a way.

Think about all the blogs you have read. They start with a post that says something to the effect of, “Here I am, world. I’m starting a blog.” Then there’s the inevitable post(s) about pet peeves and bad drivers. The sad thing is that some blogs die right there, with half a dozen posts, suffering from Sudden Blog Death Syndrome.

Those that survive often develop further into a daily account of life, including pictures of special people and events, or whatever someone felt like pointing a camera at (“Look! It’s a brown dog!”). These are interspersed with book and movie reviews, and observations about the world at large. And the truly special ones get all metaphysical and blog about blogging...

A Vincent Price Moment

Things have been a little bit hectic lately, so my blogging has suffered, which has caused waves of unhappiness to radiate from my regular readers. Those waves have spread throughout the world, causing death and destruction. So, in a fit of guilt, here I am.

When I was a teenager, I would occasionally go for a drive late at night. Of course, that was back in the days when you could make minimum wage and still afford gas for your car. Anyway, one night I drove way out to the west side of the Salt Lake valley, by the Kennecott copper mine. I approached a T-junction and had to turn left or right. I hesitated for a moment, then decided to turn left. As I entered the intersection, I saw a car on my left also entering the intersection, going pretty fast. I hadn’t been able to see it because of the level of the road. So I think they had the impression that I cut them off deliberately. I sped away, embarrassed, only to see them make a U-turn and start following me (we were the only two cars in sight). So I fled in terror, speeding away and eventually ending up in Herriman. At about that time, they finally gave up and turned back around. To this day I wonder what would have happened to me if they had caught me. Probably nothing worse than a stern talking to, but still.

Yerg

Opening a Can of Foot-in-Mouth

On Saturday I changed the oil in my car. It was the first time I had ever done it by myself. I’m not especially mechanically inclined, but I’m also not utterly hopeless, and I enjoy learning to do things like that. It gives me a strange sense of satisfaction.

I imagine that this feeling of satisfaction would also come to a woman who did the same thing, but we tend to think of it as more of a male thing. So, if fixing things is the stereotypically male way to accomplish something, what would cause the same feeling of accomplishment for a woman?

(Please note that I’m not looking to get into an argument. I freely admit that every woman on the planet can do everything better than I can; what I’m talking about here is stereotypes.)

The Deadliest Place on Earth

Have you ever started a rumor just for fun? I have a new one we should spread around. You may or may not know this, but the Disney Corporation is pretty harsh when it comes to copyright infringement. So let’s spread the rumor that they kill copyright violators and bury them under the teacup ride.

Ready? Go!

Jinx!

I just had one of those weird coincidences happen to me. I was editing a document while listening to music, and just as I was fixing the word “skyscraper,” the singer said the same word. It was a little creepy but cool.

I Think You Exist; Therefore, You Do

Who is the fictional character you would most like to meet? Would it be a superhero like Superman? A fairy tale character like Humpty-Dumpty? A cartoon character like Bugs Bunny? Or would it be a live-action character played by an actor, like Balky from Perfect Strangers?

I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m going to give it some serious thought and post a comment later.

Manifest Decency

Have you ever done something nice for someone that they never knew? I don’t mean the big things like secret Santa gifts. I mean the little things like when you’re sitting behind someone who has a piece of lint on their back, and you pluck it off without their knowing. I wish I could see all those little things that other people have done for me. I bet we’d all be surprised at how decent we are to each other.

Saving the World Again

My friend Todd just had a great idea for an alternative fuel for cars. If we make cars that run on fat, it would solve the energy crisis and help out the nation's obese at the same time. Brilliant!

Today's Thought Exercise

Would you rather live in a place where the summer is too hot but the winter is nice, or would you rather live in a place where the summer is nice but the winter is too cold?

The Possibilities Are... Limited

When I was a kid, I thought there were only a few things you could really be when you grew up. There were the old classics like doctor, scientist, and astronaut, and not much else. I did want to be a cartoonist for a while, until I realized that I drew as well as a blind chimp. Even when I went to college I didn’t really know how many different majors there were. I never really thought about it until someone said their major was “resort management” or something like that. I had no idea such a thing existed.

I kind of wish I could go back with a list of thousands of jobs and see if I might have chosen to do things at all differently. I have a lot of different interests that could have led to any number of outcomes. This is not to say I don’t enjoy being a grammar snob (my current line of work), but sometimes it’s fun to think about what might have come about.

Today's Disturbing Thought

Imagine for a moment that becoming a drug dealer was like getting a normal job. What would the drug test be? Would you have to be able to hold a bag and determine its value? Would you have to know the difference between “the real stuff” and sugar? Would the training period involve driving slowly through neighborhoods offering “candy” to people? Do they get holidays? There’s just so much about the world that I don’t know.

This Just In

My coworker Eric just wondered aloud if you could use chocolate milk to make cheese. What do you think?

Blush

Have you ever been a witness to something really embarrassing happening to someone else? Those are great times to remember. Just this morning I was recalling one such instance. A coworker was celebrating her 30th birthday (the age has been changed to protect the innocent), and someone sent her a singing telegram. This turned out to be a guy who insulted her for 10 minutes (even though she had at least 3 inches on him), handed her flowers, and proceeded to disrobe until he was just wearing a caveman outfit. At that point he sang “Happy Birthday” or something to her (I was too horrified by the whole thing to really remember), and finally left.

What wonderful embarrassing things have you been able to witness?

Head in the Clouds

I was sitting in a meeting recently, and I had a direct view of the window. Outside there was one single cloud in the otherwise clear sky. Every couple of minutes I was looking out at the cloud, and I began to realize that every time I looked at it, the cloud had a drastically different shape. I knew clouds changed shape, but this one would almost completely disappear, and then reform itself within a couple of minutes. It was strangely interesting.

My Crystal Ball

Snippets of conversations taking place 20 years from now:


“Hey, remember ice?”

“One soylent cola, please.”

“Take that, zombie scum!”

“Carrots are people too! Vegetable suffrage!”

“Welcome to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve!”


Do you have any to add?

Wishes

Habby birthday, John. Every year on May 2 I am cheered by the though of dirty silverware being dropped on you.

This Magic Moment

Parenthood is full of special moments that come only once. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep journals, photos, and video so you can have a record of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Personally, the moment I’m looking forward to most is that day when my son first says those magical words, “I hate you!” I’ve been asking around to try to determine when that’s likely to happen, and it looks like it could be anywhere from age 7 to 13. So it will be quite a surprise whenever it happens.