Temper, Temper

It always seems to me that people get mad over the stupidest things, and then I go and get mad over something that other people would find bizarre. So it seems that anger, like laughter, is relative.

What are the really idiosyncratic things you get angry about? For some reason I get mad if I get a spot on my tie or dress shirt, but I wouldn’t really care about a scratch on the car.

Tag

You know those questionnaire things that used to be sent around by email but are now typically posted on blogs? They ask your favorite breakfast cereal is, what you are currently reading, and other similarly detailed questions.

Well, I was wondering what those would look like if species on different planets were viewing each other's blogs. Here are some samples of what I think it would be like.

How many eyes are you using to read this?

How many planets orbit your star?

How many senses do you have?

Do you prefer type I or type II supernovae?

Is your physiology carbon-based, silicon-based, or another element?

How many planets has your species colonized?

Did you like the way the Harry Potter series ended?

Please?

All of you who have blogs out there (using Blogger, anyway), I'm issuing a plea. Please, please, please follow these directions to eliminate a tragic annoyance.
First, go to your Dashboard and select the Settings tab.





Then select the Comments menu.





Then select No in the item referring to word verification.





And life will be a lot easier for those of us who want to comment on your blog. The word verification is a big, fat waste of time unless you get a dozen spambot comments every day. I mean, let's face it. Most of us have something like two regular readers, and all this feature does is make me think "Hmm, what a great post. I'd like to leave a nice comment, except that I hate the word verification! No comment for you!"

Good Gravy!

I have a hunch that we all consider ourselves pretty normal in most ways. But I also have a feeling that we all eat at least one thing that others would find totally bizarre. Here are a couple culinary confessions of my own:

Cheese and jam sandwiches (it has to be cheddar and grape jelly, though)

Lockhart Surprise—cubed, fried spam (yes, I said spam) in a creamy soup (there was a specific kind we could get in Korea that you can’t find here, but cream of chicken is pretty close) served over rice

Fess up. What weird things do you eat?

Cookin' up Trouble

I like to think of myself as a decent cook (among other self-appointed titles), but I do make the occasional blunder in the kitchen. The other day I put some tomato soup on the stove and got to work making some grilled cheese sandwiches. Well, I was out of counter space, so I put the lid for the margarine container on the stove. After a moment I noticed that it was quickly melting. I had turned the wrong burner on, and the tomato soup was sitting there doing nothing. So I quickly tried to take the remains of the lid off of the stove, turned off the burner, and turned on the correct one. As I was trying to remove the molten plastic from the one burner, the tomato soup started scalding, because in my haste I had turned it on too high. It was truly something you’d see in an exceptionally boring television show (i.e., a show with no sex or violence).

Summer Rerun

Do you ever have rerun dreams? I used to have the same dreams pretty often as a kid. Maybe I didn’t have enough experiences for my brain to come up with that many creative things.

Anyway, last night I had a partial re-run of a dream, and then in my dream I was telling other people about the re-run dream I had just had. It was truly strange, but kind of fun.

Dixoooooooonnnnn!

It's not unusual to get mail for someone who used to live in your place. But there is a Justin Dixon who is apparently out there giving our address as a current address, even though it's been 7 or 8 years since he's lived there. We try returning the mail, writing "He doesn't live here, stupid! Stop sending us his crap!" on the envelopes, but the insurance companies and bill collectors seem to think it's just a ruse and keep mailing his things to us. Needless to say, if I ever meet this joker I'll have to do something awful to him while I'm still temporarily insane.

Mouse Update

We caught a mouse back in the print room the other day, so that might be our little chocoholic friend. But for a while I'm leaving the mousetrap baited with a little bit of Three Musketeers in my drawer just in case the culprit is still running around.


Leftovers

Sometimes it's easier to make dinner in large quantities. And if it's a meal I particularly like, it's great to be able to have it for lunch the next day. Two days sharing a common meal is about the extent of my desire, though. Once I have the same meal more than twice within a week or two, I'm done. Most of the time it's not a problem, but occasionally it seems like the leftovers keep multiplying within the tupperware.
So here's an ethical question: Is it worse to throw away food you know you wouldn't eat as leftovers, or is it worse to store it until it goes bad and throw it away?

Things I Know That I Probably Shouldn’t (or Wish I Didn’t)

The word “gusset”

Who Strawberry Shortcake is

The colonel’s secret blend of 12 herbs and spices (I can’t tell you or he’ll kill me from beyond the grave)

Why bad things happen to good people

What it feels like to get a root canal

The lyrics to “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”

What common household product contains methylchloroisothiazolinone


What do you know?

Classy Reunion

Well, I went to my high school reunion on Friday night, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. My favorite part was when people tried to quickly glance at my name tag to see who I was. So to those of you who encouraged me to go, thank you, and to those of you in my graduating class who have visited the blog but not left even one snarky comment (I now know there are at least two of you), shame on you. I suggest you free yourself from such a burden by identifying yourself below.

At any rate, it was a lot of fun, and it’s always nice to have a night out. Now, if I can hold on to my hair for five more years, I’ll be sure to report on our 15-year reunion as well.

Mouse in the House

I’ve been having a couple of pest problems lately. At home we have those extra tiny ants invading our pantry. Oddly, they mostly seem interested in the peanut butter. But I’ve been squishing them like mad, and they seem to be realizing that it would be better to get their meals somewhere else (probably just another spot in the pantry I haven’t discovered yet).

The other problem is that there’s a mouse running around at work. It has been visiting my desk at night, enjoying whatever chocolate it can find. I’m amazed that it can climb up from underneath to the middle drawer, chew away on Hershey’s miniatures, and get away again. I keep a couple Advil in my desk that are so far untouched, so apparently it’s not Ralph. I am somewhat at a loss as to how to get rid of it. We have poison and traps, but I don't like all the blood that would be involved (and I’m not a huge fan of killing things unnecessarily). I cleaned out the drawer, so it doesn’t really have a reason to return, but obviously it shouldn’t be allowed to roam around the building. I want to get one of those humane traps that just catch it, allowing you to release it, but I don’t want to have to pay for it myself.

So what do I do: kill it, ignore it, or try for catch-and-release?

On Your Marks

I am a big fan of the Olympics, and (yawn) I have been staying up late to watch them. Here are a few random thoughts which I will not attempt to link together in any coherent fashion:

Gymnastics is really cool to watch, but there are a few problems. First, in some countries (read:China) they take these kids from their homes at the age of 3 to train, and they see their families maybe once a year. No medal is worth that. Also, the scores are all based on deductions, so gymnasts probably have some crazy inferiority complexes. If they gave points for doing cool things instead of starting off perfect and deducting, it might ease a little of the pressure. Also, I'm insanely jealous of the guys who can compete on the rings, which is the hardest athletic demonstration I can imagine.

There are far too many swimming events. Just drop the athletes into the ocean and give a medal to the last one still afloat. Now that’s good television.

Bronze medals seem lame. The medals should be platinum, gold, and silver. Then you could at least be a little proud if you came in third.

Maybe they could cut down on the drug scandals by having a drug-free Olympics and a hopped-up Olympics. It would be interesting to see the differences in performance.

And finally, we need the Olympics more often than every four years. Too many athletes pass their peak after one Olympics and before the next. These people train all their lives for a chance to earn a chunk of random metal with a little gold mixed in, so the least we could do is give them a few more chances.

If I have any more ridiculous thoughts as the games progress, I’ll do my best to keep them to myself, but I’m not making any promises.

The Race Against Time

There have been a few news articles recently about how running slows the aging process. The articles cite a study of runners conducted over a period of more than 20 years and talks about blah blah a healthier heart, yadda yadda lower death rate, and so on. They’ve reached the right conclusion, but for the wrong reason.

Remember our old friend Einstein? Ever heard of a little thing called the Theory of Relativity? That theory states that time slows at greater speed. So, logically, the more time you spend running, the slower time will pass for you, and therefore the slower you will age. End of story.

(Okay, so this is totally bogus. You have to be approaching the speed of light for this to work, and the earth, solar system, and galaxy are hurtling through the cosmos at great speed anyway. Not to mention the fact that we all spend much more time in cars than running, traveling at a much faster speed. But that still won’t stop someone in Hollywood from making an idiotic movie utilizing this idea.)

Goooooooool!

I’m really not much of a goal-oriented person. I usually think there are too many unknown factors in life to be able to plan things far in advance. But there are a number of things I would really like to do before I die. Here are a few of them:

See the Northern Lights

Own a house

Have an office at work

Go deep-sea fishing

Have a novel published

What about you?

New Neighbors

Yesterday as I went to some morning meetings, I was greeted by an unusual sight:












Sorry for the lousy quality of the picture, but my phone was all I had. And the strange thing was that the deer (they're supposed to be deer, in case you can't tell) didn't really care too much that I was there. Apparently I was not the only one to have sighted these guys recently, either. They've been spotted in the woods behind someone's house, and someone else caught a glimpse of them running down the road in front of their house.

Welcome to the neighborhood, deer. Just make sure to pay your HOA fee on time.

Two Recent Assaults on My Senses

A white limo with cattle horns attached to the front—I thought those only existed on TV.


A rotten potato in the middle of the bag (And when I say rotten, I mean rotten. The sight and smell of this thing will haunt my nightmares for years to come. I should have taken a picture to share with all of you.)

By the way, thanks to all of you for humoring me yesterday and making me feel important by expressing birthday wishes. I had the best birthday in recent memory.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

My good friend (and excellent graphic designer) Nathan made me these as a birthday present (my birthday being today, please ensure that all comments contain some sort of outrageous compliment for me). Anyway, they're so cool that I thought I'd post them.

First, the seal of approval:


















And then, of course, the seal of disapproval:

















You don't want that one, believe me. Someday these will become universally accepted standards of quality.

Ice Cream! I'm All out of Ice Cream!

There are a number of nostalgic experiences from childhood that have been disappearing. Trick-or-treating, for example, is fast dying out as concern for children’s safety increases. But one thing that is not going away as quickly as I would expect is the ice cream truck. I mean, here is what amounts to a stranger handing out treats to your kids. Pre-packaged or not, that ice cream could have anything in it. So I don’t think I’ll let my kids buy anything from the ice cream man, or even make eye contact with him, because they’re like stray dogs—if you give them any attention, they’ll keep coming back. And the “music” is really annoying, although I am amused by the guy whose truck plays Christmas songs.

Not only that, but I don’t understand how anybody can still make money selling ice cream. These guys drive around in trucks and vans that get abysmal gas mileage. I bet if they compared their monthly expenditures on gas with their profits, they’d see that they are basically subsidizing the oil companies, which certainly don’t need the extra help.

Wow. I just realized that I can take the fun out of anything. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tackle the horrors of the school playground or something.

Note to Self*

I have been thinking a lot lately about certain examples of popular media (okay, one in particular, but I’m not going to tell what it is, because many, many people out there are rabid avid fans of this particular “work” and I have no desire to be lynched), and I have come to a conclusion. Even if you present it in the most beautiful, mouth-watering way possible, with dainty vegetables on the side and a delicious-but-low-fat sauce, dog doo is still dog doo.

*Please note that this post is meant to help me feel better by venting, albeit in a cryptic way. So don’t worry that it makes little if any sense to anyone reading it—it was written solely for therapeutic purposes. This post has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Yard Sale This Weekend

I have an issue I wanted to present to our city council, but then I realized it’s bigger than just my little corner of the valley. So I thought about taking it before the county, but of course it’s bigger than that. The state legislature? Nope, not good enough. How about Congress? Possibly, but it may not be a problem unique to the United States, and it might be better to warn the rest of the world before this spreads across the world. So now I’m trying to figure out how to approach the United Nations about the problem of yard sale signage.

Now, I don’t have any issue with people holding yard sales. It’s a good way to get rid of junk and maybe make a little money, and it’s fun to see what people are willing to put a price tag on. My problem is with the hundreds of signs posted around the neighborhood every weekend. Most of the time you don’t know where the sales are, because there’s an arrow on the sign instead of an address. Then they always say “this weekend” or something, with no specific dates. But the main problem is that people post all these signs advertising their yard sale but never take them down.

My proposed solution is this: all yard sale signs must include the address and starting time of the sale. Twenty-four hours after the yard sale begins, if there are any signs still posted, people are legally entitled to go to the home where the yard sale is hosted and take anything they want.

Problem solved.

Time Crawls

They say time slows down during a catastrophe. I don’t remember any personal experiences in which that happened, but I did witness someone else’s misfortune the other day which seemed to happen in slow motion.

I was on a one-way street when someone decided to cut across several lanes of traffic in order to make a left turn. My wife and I just watched in shock as he angled across the road and was hit by a taxi. Both cars were going pretty slow, so I’m sure nobody was hurt (otherwise I wouldn’t have posted about it).

Anyway, it was just strange. I was staring at the car, knowing something terrible was going to happen. I couldn’t have been looking for more than a second or two, but it seemed like it was a lot longer that I wasn’t watching where I was going, which could have been bad.

Does anybody out there have similar examples? (I mean the time slowing down thing, not the “not watching the road” thing. I don’t want to feel more frightened on the road.)