Resolution

“I resolve to write more letters this year. What about you Jared?”

“What are you doing?"

"It's my new years resolution, for the party. You need to fill yours out so we can get going."

"Okay. let me think. I resolve to grow a third eye!”

“What!?”

“A third eye... right in the center of my forehead! That’s my new years resolution this year.”

“...”

“Don't look at me like that Samantha.”

“Jared, don’t be stupid.”

“I can’t help it.”

“Try. First off you don’t need a third eye. Even if you did, you shouldn’t have it in the center of your forehead. It would serve you better in the back of you head. If you’re going to make idiotic resolutions they should be slightly sensible. Now, what is your real resolution.”

“I resolve to eat fewer peanut butter and pickle sandwiches!”

“That sounds simple enough.”

“I don’t want it to be easy. Okay...I resolve to be the first person in space...”

“Too late.”

“..dancing the polka.”

“Having a little trouble with your resolution this year?”

“To put it bluntly. Yes.”

"Sometimes its hard to identify parts of our lives that need improvement."

"Maybe that’s just it Samantha, maybe there’s nothing wrong with me. Maybe I can’t think of a resolution this year because I’m flawless. I don’t have anything left to change! I’ve done it! I’ve attained perfection!”

“Get off the table and write down your new years resolution! We're going to be late. It’s easy. Ahem, ‘I Jared, resolve to spend less time standing on the coffee table acting like an idiot.’ Now get down here and fill this out so we can go.”

“No really! Listen. Maybe I’ve done it. Maybe I’m perfect.”

“How do you figure?”

“Well, I have a great job and I’m still in my twenties! That means I’m obviously very smart.”

“Or just plain lucky. I don't want to burst your bubble but you are the worst person at math I’ve ever met.”

“Maybe that’s normal for perfect people.”

"Jared..."

“Stay with me now. I’m in decent shape and hardly ever get sick”

“I admit you are mostly healthy but Jared, you do get sick.”

“I get stomachaches sometimes but that’s different. I mean like colds and flus and cancer and stuff. I mean, maybe I'm immune to viruses and things!”

“Jared. Are you telling me you don’t think you ever get colds? Why do all men think they never get sick? Is it some universal delusion of your sex?"

“I have natural charisma.."

"Hello! ALL MEN GET SICK! Plus you are also the biggest babies about it! It's always, ‘My head hurts!’ ‘My throat is sore!’ ‘I can't stop vomiting!’"

"...I have good looks..."

"On the other hand, men will drive a nail through their finger and just wrap it in duct tape! I don’t get it.”

“... and of course charm.”

“Additionally you’re also a good listener.”

“I heard you. Listen, I’m having an epiphany here."

"Jared..."

"Stand back and bask in my glow."

“Jared..."

"Turn your eyes and gaze on perfection!”

"Jared!"

"Yes?"

"I’m sorry to break it to you but you're not perfect. You have poor eyesight, you're slightly bowlegged and you’re too short to be perfect.”

“What! What do you mean I'm too short?”

“It’s nothing bad. It’s just when I think of the perfect man I picture him as least as tall as me. Thats all.”

“Wow. That's nice. I had no idea you thought of me as short. I'm five eight. That's pretty average I'd say. I mean you're five foot ten. Maybe you’re just too tall!”

“Its not important, I’m just saying, you are not perfect.”

“Fine. The giantess has spoken.”

“Whatever. Hey midget, do you have a new years resolution yet?”

“I resolve to grow taller this year!”

“Good. Write it down! Let’s get going.”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 13


It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption. This week I've picked two pictures for you to choose from. There is just something about that bottom situation that always makes me smile!

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.

Hippie Arts and Crafts

Okay very funny everyone! Turn off the MRI! I'm wearing my metal insoles!



Stuff I've found this week:

Point and click adventure Haluz I just started but this is a lot of fun. like a flash version of Myst. Lemme know how far you get, I'm only on the third scene.

Boston Love. My sister has succumbed to the power of the blog. She has been a blog reader for months, but now is full on blogger. Additionally she has a very cute Boston Terrier who loves getting into trouble.

Secret Ingredient

My nose is captivated by the smell. Grabbed and dragged into the inviting mists of aroma that surrounds and comforts me. My eyes are enveloped by the menu items, each complete with catchy name and detailed photo. There is a certain quality to the food that I cannot put my finger on. I see by a flashing neon sign that this is none other than that august fast food restaurant, “Bucket O’ Grease!”

As a rule I’m not a fast food eater. It’s not to say that I feel that the cuisine is beneath my overly sensitive and developed pallet. It’s just that a majority of these establishments are hamburger joints. For the most part I’m not a hamburger person. I mean I like them well enough, I suppose, but I wouldn’t normally pick them. As such my fast food choices are a little more limited. Smallish greasy chicken pieces, or smallish greasy tacos.

For some reason lately I have been drawn to fast food. I have not given myself over to the urges but I must say it is getting harder and harder to resist!

“Come to the dark side Peter.”

“YES, NO! wait...”

“We have a pail of seasoned curly fries! And a 67 ounce soda option! ”

“AHHH!!!!”

The thing is recently I have been trying to watch what I eat. The trouble with watching what you eat is that you also spend a lot of time watching what you cannot eat. I find that while I’m eating my healthy and nourishing dinner, things that wouldn’t normally even appeal to me, like burgers, sound better than they ever have in the past. While I normally would be quite turned off by the idea that a guacamole jalapeño bacon burger even existed, I find it dancing in my head as I consume my chicken salad with light dressing.

I believe that the real draw is the wanting and not the having. I cannot recall ever being happy after consuming my weight in extra crispy chicken, that is once I regain consciousness. For some reason though it is hard to remember that when my car unexpectedly veers to the left and I find myself puzzling over which sides to choose. My only conclusion is that there must be some secret ingredient, beside the treasured 1000 island dressing.

Why else would I be willing to risk my pocketbook and another three day bellyache, for the least satisfying meal in America? It might be for convenience, ease, or possibly price. More than likely it's for the double-double burger with onions, well done animal style fries and a cold, thick, chocolate ice-cream shake!

Whatever the secret is I hope that I can continue to resist, though I’m not sure for how much longer. All their full sized ads, mail-in coupons and super size options are calling to me. As far as fast food is concerned the only real clarity comes with the aftermath. When the grease soaked bag lies in the trash, the jumbo gulp is gone and all you have left is a body of discomfort, and a knowledge that you have once again succumbed to the secret ingredient.

Bridge Street

"I said take Washburn Ave."

"I don't want to take Washburn, I want to take Bridge."

"Steve, you can't get to Madison from Bridge."

"Molly, I've been going Bridge to Madison for ten years, will you please stop trying to tell me how to drive."

"You should have taken Washburn."

"How is it you can't find your way to the grocery store unless you're a passenger in my car!?"

"You're just like your father. Steve, before I married you - LOOK OUT!"

-WHAM-

"Steve, what happened?!"

"We hit something. I think it was a dog. Get out Molly, lets see if it's hurt."

"Oh. Its not moving. Steve...is it dead?"

"Should we poke it with a stick?"

"Don't you think it's gone through enough! What is wrong with you! Get down there and see if it's still breathing!"

"Fine. ...He’s not breathing."

“Does that mean he’s dead?”

“I not a doctor Molly! I sell children's raincoats for a living! I don’t have a clue. Look, he’s not breathing and he’s not moving I think it’s safe to say he’s dead.”

"You should have taken Washburn."

"[sigh] Should we try and find it's owners?"

"Look at him Steve. He's clearly a stray, no collar, straggly, worn and tired. You should have taken Washburn!"

"Stop saying that! You don't think they have strays on Washburn! Look it was an accident okay! I'm sorry, I wasn't aiming for him Molly! I already feel horrible, you aren’t helping anything! Help me move him to the side."

"Steve,"

"Yes?"

"We have to eat him."

"WHAT?!"

"We have to eat him Steve. We have to eat this dog."

"Molly, what in the world are talking about. Look just get in the car, I'll be there in a second."

"I'm serious. Look at this dog Steve. It looks horrible, like it was never loved. Liked no one cared for him, and before he got a chance to ever find happiness we come and hit him. We stole all his chances. We don’t even know his name! We need to eat him.”

“I feel bad about hitting this dog but I don’t see how eating him is going to make up for it Molly.”

“It will be a way to show him how we appreciate him. That we cared, that he meant something to us.”

“Like the worst memory of my life, followed by the worst meal?”

“I’m serious Steve.”

“So I am I! You are obviously traumatized by this and I understand. Please just try and relax Molly. I’ll deal with this. ”

“No Steve, I’m perfectly rational, and serious. I just couldn’t stand knowing that you and your stupid driving sucked the life out of this animal and the we just threw him to the shoulder and went on with our lives. He deserves to be loved and right now the only way we can do that is to eat him. Steve we have to do this!”

“This is ridiculous. People don’t eat dogs Molly! What if he’s diseased? What is someone finds out?! How would you explain this to your mother? Molly what if he tastes horrible.”

“I doesn't matter it’s our duty Steve.”

“Molly-”

“-Steve if you don’t do this I’ll never forgive you.”

“Fine. Molly. Fine. I’ll load him up into the trunk and we’ll take him home and eat him. I feel like some crazed redneck out on a hunting expedition. I just need a plaid shirt, five less teeth and a hat with those ear flaps!”

“Thank you Steve, we’re doing the right thing!”

~~~

"Molly"

"Yes?"

“This is the worst Christmas dinner I’ve ever had.”

“You should have taken Washburn!”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 12


It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.



Suzies toy was missing. All those on the naughty list were checked, twice!


Fun Christmas Flash Games:

Turkey Shoot Bag some Christmas dinner!

Santa Ski Jump A Classic!

Rudolph's Rooftop Challenge 964.7 is my best... very odd game...

Fear of Fruitcake

It’s that time of year again. Time for holly, ho-ho-ho and happy times with family and friends. Christmas is also the time for that thoroughly maligned little dessert. The most unwanted, uncared for and misunderstood baked orphan. The ever feared fruitcake.

Johnny Carson once said “The worst gift is fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other." This is funny on many levels. One is that many people feel that fruitcake will never go bad, and so it could be passed around for an eternity. The second is that most people would never think of actually trying the bar of confection if anyone did send it to them, so no one would know if it had gone bad. Some else once said "There is nothing dangerous about fruitcakes as long as people send them along without eating them."

I sometimes feel that I’m the last person on earth who actually likes this heavy little Christmas treat. I know a lot of people who claim to be fruitcake haters but haven’t ever tried one. There is something trendy and appealing about saying you dislike it. Sort of a way to fit in with everyone. Yeah, I wear designer jeans and hate fruitcake, I'm cool. In it’s own way fruitcake has a thick wall of prejudice built up by naysayers. This isn’t surprising as it tends to be the ugly duckling of Christmas. It weighs a ton, looks like a hodge podge of leftover refrigerator items and is about as dense as crazy Uncle Fred. What is a cake to do against all this injustice?

Luckily it’s tough enough to take it. Despite the fact that its name is now synonymous with insane, and people fear that loaf like package under the tree, it may surprise you to hear that fruitcake sales continue to rise every year. I’m not sure if these are maybe closet fruit-cakers, protesting disgust and then running home to their dirty secret. Possibly people are buying them for gag gifts, or even more likely, maybe they are being used as pothole fillers in the federal highway system. Who can guess?

My folks would make fruitcake every year when I was growing up. Starting near the end of November the house would be filled with the smells of candied fruit and rum. It was a long process that literally took weeks to get the fruit to the point of being ready to add to the batter. I have great memories of think slices of fruitcake, toasted in the oven with a pat of melted butter on top. There were no upturned noses for the fruitcake in my family. I was blown away when I reached adulthood and found the animosity this cake endured.

Of course there is nothing saying you have to like fruitcake. I’m just saying, why not give it one more try? In the end if you still don’t like it here’s a nice way to get rid of it.

Ode to a Frozen Car


You just have one purpose
You just have one task
To get me to work
And to get me there fast

I spring from the house
At a quarter to eight
Fifteen minutes to work
I cannot be late

You sit there and smile
You’re all covered in ice
I can’t see through the windshield
Now isn’t this nice?

I work my key in the lock
And I open my car
like a small icy tomb
I’m not going far

I start up the engine
Pry my hand from the key
Feels like everything frozen
And sticking to me

I engage the wipers
They stress and they strain
“We can’t break through this ice,
What is wrong with your brain?”

The garden hose frozen
No bucket, less sun
I need to get going
Something has to be done

So I take out my charge card
And I scrape a small square
Now driving five miles an hour
...I’ll never get there.

-Peter Brown 2006

Intersection

Waiting at the intersection can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in life. You might find that statement a little odd but I assure you it’s true. That is, if you know what your doing.

People watching is a very engaging pastime. Some places are better than others. Weddings are good, amusement parks are great and supermarkets are superb. You need to find that place where they feel that they are in a protected bubble. Somewhere that there is both a level of privacy for them and a clear view for you. I submit that the car driving through the busy intersection is just such a spot.

When you are alone in your car you are at liberty to do some of the most outrageous things. I find that while I’m at the stoplight I get to see a dozen vignettes pass by at high speeds. Like the collection of various blooper reels all pieced together for my enjoyment.

Leading the show is the juggler. To watch the expressions on this mans face as he simultaneously, turns on his left turn blinker, shift into first, works the steering wheel and tries to finish that last bite of cheese burrito is worth a full priced admission to the movies. His performance only lasts for a second of course but it is followed up with a fellow who believes he has totally privacy until he looks over and sees me giving him a huge grin. This wouldn't be so bad if he hadn’t had his finger so far up his left nostril that I could see his hair moving. Luckily he’ll never see me again and if he does he will not remember me. As for me, I will have his face etched in my memory till the day I die.

Just when I though it couldn’t get any better the next car in the parade is one of my favorites. The singer. It looks very funny to see someone belting out a very energetic song complete with clapping and head wagging while you can only guess what it sounds like. This particular performance is even more fun for me, because it is one that I frequently engage in. When I see the singer drive by I laugh both for how odd it looks, and knowing that additionally how much entertainment my silence singing has given to others.

That car was followed by a commercial break. It was a huge shipping truck with a very dull but obviously dedicated driver. Since I had nowhere to go I waited for the regular programing to return. I was not disappointed.

There is something amusing about two passengers faces when they don’t think the other person can see them. The man was driving with a very disgusted look on his face, as his female passenger used her left hand as an outrigger and with her right she applied a very think layer of mascara to her eyes. Make-up while driving. This activity is one of the most daring you will see as a motorist watcher! To put your entire days appearance in the hands of a whole road of bad drivers is as daring as it gets!

Then the light turned green and ended the show. I was a little disappointed but really had no choice but to continue on my way. Of course I knew that there was also a good chance I would hit the upcoming light just right and get stopped again for an encore performance at the next intersection.

Service

“Alright Bob, let's stop. Um..What are you doing?”

“Playing tennis with you.”

“This is not tennis, Bob. I don’t know what you think we have been doing for the past fifteen minutes, but we haven't been playing tennis.”

“Frank, what are you talking about!? I love tennis. I've been playing for years. Look don’t I have the tennis shorts on?”

“Yes. Yes you’re wearing very nice tennis shorts. You also have a nice shirt, and very expensive tennis shoes. Additionally you’re wearing a headband.”

“Sweatband, Frank. It's called a sweatband.”

“Right. Do you know what’s odd about that?”

“What?”

“You’re not sweating! Do you know why you’re not sweating? I’ll tell you Bob. Because you haven’t moved one step! I’m sitting here serving tennis balls to you and if they aren't right next to you don't even try and return them. I not even sure you’ve hit one of my serves to you!”

“We’ll...That’s tennis for you!”

“What?!”

“You’re just not as good as me Frank. It’s no reason to get sore.”

"Not as good as you?! Why do you think we both have these huge sides of the court?"

"So it's harder for you to hit the ball to me! Clearly you're not doing a very good job of that as I'm winning this match."

“Winning this match?! What do you think the score is Bob?”

“Forty, love”

“WHAT! I haven’t scored! Are you insane!? I’ve been acing serves and you don’t think I've scored? Bob you have to return the ball to me in order to make points! Not that you could with the way you’re holding the racket!”

“What do you mean? Haven’t you ever seen a traditional grip?”

“Look I don’t even care. You want to hold it over your face like that, it’s your choice. You just look like an idiot. I mean you look like we're in a fencing match. Why did you ever tell me you had played before? Why can’t you just be honest with me Bob, you haven’t got a clue what you’re doing.”

“Frank, it’s not my fault you’re not up on the latest tennis trends. Now can we please get back to the game? I’ve almost got you beat!”

“Latest trends!? Got me beat!? BOB! You don’t know the first thing about tennis! ... Bob”

“Yes?”

“Do you see all the courts to our left?”

“Yes.”

“Do you notice anything strange?”

“They aren’t playing.”

“Right. What are they doing Bob?”

“They all appear to be slack jawed and staring at me.”

“Why do you suppose that is?”

“Hero worship?”

“Bob this is my tennis club. Do you have any idea how much money I spend every month to come out here and play?”

“No”

“Plenty. Now I will be embarrassed to even get an orange juice at the snack bar. Do you know why?”

“Because you lost to an amateur?”

“BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL SCARED OF YOU BOB! You’re turning me into a tennis club freak. I will be laughed right out of this club and will have to start going to a different club. It will take me months to live down the humiliation you have caused me in the last fifteen minutes!"

"Wow, not a very friendly bunch are they?"

"No. Bob, will you please, just for my own sanity admit you have never held a tennis racket, let alone played a round, before today?”

“Okay, Frank I'm sorry. I’ve never played tennis before...”

“Thank you. Thank you for being man enough to admit that.”

“...but you should see me at racquetball!”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 11


It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.


Here's the one to get it started:

The year Rudolph lead the famed reindeer strike!


Stuff I found this week:

Sling Shot Santa 250 is as much as I've managed.

Cell Start Start your car with your cell phone.

Pretty Challenging Christmas Quiz I cheated...

Calvin & Hobbes

This is a post about snowmen...or little boys...or tigers. I'm really not sure. I love Calvin and Hobbes and here are some of the famous Calvin snowmen for your blogging enjoyment!













Waiting To Cool

As I sit here typing this up, I’m engaging in rite that most people would not find unusual. I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the moment. I’m waiting for that moment when my joy can be fulfilled and whatever it is that is too hot for me, becomes cool enough to consume.

The cooling ritual is a process that hot food eaters have had to endure for generations. It is a specific rite of passage that many go through every morning and some more than once a day. It requires patience to sit there and listen to your insides call out to whatever it is that is overheated.

“I really want to, but I cannot consume you yet.”

“But I’m here! And I’m piping hot and ready for you.”

“I will not be tricked again! No, I will wait.”

A hot cup of coffee yearns to be gulped by some innocent schmuck who believes in comment decency and has no understanding of what one hundred and ninety degree liquid feels like going down. As everyone knows who has taken that larger than necessary initial sip, it burns like the dickens! Burning hot liquid, even a normal sip has done it’s duty. It's burned your tongue. By doing that it has succeeded in turning your four dollar mocha into a cup of motor oil in a trendy paper cup with an inspirational saying on the side.

Additionally all throughout the day it now speaks to you.

At the office you should have waited.
In line at the video store, you should have waited.
Smelling you lunch, you should have waited.

"Leave me alone! I get it okay?!"

A constant reminder that holds on for hours, of a mistake that will render the rest of your day into the same raw feeling that your tongue now endures.

Waiting is not exclusive to liquids. Order anything with cheese at an eatery and you will find yourself counting ceiling tiles or forking at your kale as you wait for the bubbling to cease. You might fill your time watching your friends polish off their salads or chips, as you haven't even started on your meal. This is a test of patience like no other. In the end it is worth all the patience you can muster. For time stands still when hot cheese touches tender flesh. All the blowing, weeping and ice water in the world will not make the slightest impact.

For those who do not order the overly hot meal, don't feel left out. The hot plate is a device used to bring everyone into the waiting experience. In a way the hot plate is even worse than burning food. The thing is that the plate so hot that even once the food has cooled to eating temperature, the plate is still too hot to touch. So what choice do you have? Wait for the plate to cool enough to touch and have a cold meal, or try and eat your food without burning your appendages? A friend with a hot plate. This is the only real dinner theater.

In the end though it seems that the cooling ritual is one we cannot forgo. While it might be fun to sip your coffee or consume your cheese enchilada that is perfectly seasoned, without hesitation, you might be surprised how much less you anticipate it. Anticipation can be the best seasoning of all. So just sit back, relax and wait for it to cool.

Insta-Pet

“What are you doing Ben?! Put those down!!”

“What? Why do you care if I have some of your rock candy?”

“That's not rock candy Ben! Those are Insta-Pet crystals.”

“Insta-Pet? Justin, what in the world are you talking about?”

“Have you been living in a cave or something?”

“I think that was uncalled for…”

“ You know, ‘Get some Insta-Pet and grow your new best friend’.”

“Okay, I recognize the tag line. I honestly thought it was a gag.”

“It’s no gag Ben! It's the real deal! I mean first there was the pet rock, it didn’t do anything but it looked pretty. You could use it to weigh down your papers, or hold open the door. Then you had the Chia Pet."

"Right! Chi-Chi-Chi, Chia."

"Uh...Yeah. Anyway, Now we have Insta-Pet! Drop these crystals in water and in a few hours you can grow a pet.”

“Is it alive?”

“A fully breathing, living pet!”

“That’s astounding. And it’s all grown from these crystals? I’ve never heard of anything like it. How does it work?”

“What do I care? I'm not a geneticists! All I know is I pay one hundred bucks and get to grow a pet. How cool is that!?”

“What type of pet?”

“That’s part of the novelty. You won’t know till it’s done.”

“What are the possibilities?”

“Anywhere from a hamster to pigmy goat.”

“A goat? You’re telling me you don’t know if you’ll get a rat or a great dane? You’re just going to drop those crystals in water and sort of hope for the best? Justin…”

“What?”

“You live in a apartment…”

“Yes.”

“…on the fourteenth floor…”

“Right.”

“…in the middle of the city.”

“True.”

“What will you do if this turns out to be a can chewing, table climbing, door butting, carpet eating, neighbor waking billy goat?”

“A pigmy goat.”

“Like it matters.”

“Well anyway, the chances of that are pretty low. The guy at the store told me something like ninety percent are dogs or cats. Oh and get this, all the animals are purebred.”

“You mean pure grown. Are you sure this isn’t a gag? You know like sea monkeys?”

“Ben,-”

“-No listen! You remember the whole 'Grow your own Sea Monkey's' tripe? They just marketed them to the naïve. You think you can really grow an animal from blue crystals? I mean it still looks like candy to me. I almost ate some!”

“I'm so glad I stopped you!"

"Me too!"

"Could you imagine? My new best friend…WITH NO FRONT LEGS!! That would have been horrible.”

“Your new best friend! Is that all you care about? I could have been growing a billy goat’s head in my stomach! Horns and all!”

“A pigmy goat.”

“Who Cares! Doesn’t THAT concern you at all?”

“Yes of course, Ben, but it didn’t happen. Okay? I mean it’s just lucky I caught you before you did.”

“I’m at least glad of that.”

“I don’t have another hundred dollars to buy a second new best friend.”

“Justin.”

“Yes?”

“This is crazy. Are you really going to try and grow your own pet?”

“Ben. I already started…”

fizzle...

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 10


It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.


Here's the one to get it started:

Okay fellas I'm sorry! Listen what do you say three Big Mac for $1, and we forget the whole thing? Fellas?


Two Funny Japanese McDonald's Ads...

Ad # 1

Ad # 2

This ended up in my search somehow...So I added it...
Oddness

Ode to a Christmas Shopper



Well now, put on your grimace
Head out to the store
Your shoppings not done
They all must have more

With elbows a flying
And a snarl on your face
You just stole from that couple
The last parking place

You ram with your cart
You push and you shove
To get all the presents
They will think the most of

You bark at the shoppers
And belittle the clerk
You grabbed both the last toys
You are really a jerk

Think back to a time
When shopping was fun
Before you decided
You hate everyone

Why are you out here?
So bitter and cross
Christmas’s meaning is simple
Our gain for His loss

You hurt only yourself
With a gift bought in venom
Give your children some joy
Not that jacket in denim

So remember it's Christmas
Remember the reason
It’s not to be bitter
But Christ’s love in this season

-Peter Brown 2006

Lowering My Ears

As I’m driving down the road, I see in front of me the shiny tail fins from a restored Chevy Belair. I hear what sounds like The Everly Brothers belting out “Bird Dog". I imagine this is blaring from some modern CD player in the car. As I pull up along side this classic ride, I see an older gentleman. A throwback to a bygone era, he is quite cleary attempting to regain his past through excessive spending and nostalgic crusing. He is obviously in his early to mid 60’s with a leather bomber jacket, white tee and 50's greaser hairdo. He smiles at me and gives me a nod of recognition, and that’s when I realize it. We both have the same hair style.

I desperately need a haircut. It’s getting out of control. I’ve gone nearly three months between clips and I’m having trouble keeping this pile together for a entire day. This last realization, that with a white t-shirt, leather jacket, and cuffed Levis I could easily look the same as a 1950’s greaser, has got me down. It’s not that I don’t admire this persons style, it’s just that I don’t want to be known as greaser with a pompadour and ducktail in 2006. Beside I don’t really know many Paul Anka or Pat Boone songs.

I’m always happy once I’ve gotten a haircut, but I dislike the experience itself. It’s hard to willing subject myself to something I'm not looking forward to, with the addition of paying sixteen dollars plus tip. Invariably there is always the uncomfortable small talk.

“Hello, so you want a haircut?” She asks.

“Umm...yes, that is the hope.” I say. “Do you have a package that offers a non-chat option?”

“Only with Pam,” she smiles, “but she will ignore your requests and leave your head looking like a wild mountain goat. And she expects a fat tip for it too!”

“Fine I’ll take the chat.”

They always ask me what I do. I explain that I sit at a desk all day type emails, check files, and move very infrequently. It’s not very exciting and certainly doesn’t fill up much of the cutting time. Sometimes I want to lie just to make things interesting.

Well... I work for the CIA. Today we cracked down on a rouge group of scientist who were very close to inventing a perpetual motion machine. I would then explain how the oil companies have been suppressing other neat stuff like cold fusion and magnetic hover cars for decades. I could end it all by saying that the President called and left me three voice mails but I hadn’t gotten around to listening to them yet. This conversation would probably be better than what normally happens.

“You have a lot of gel in your hair”

“I know. ”

“It’s hard to cut with all this gel.”

“I know. I’m sorry. I use more gel because it’s getting long, which is why I’m here.”

“What brand do you use?”

“It comes in a white container with colored squares on it. I buy it at Target because it’s cheap.”

“Have you tried-”

“Please just cut my hair. I don’t want any of your sudo superior products that make me smell like a chemical factory and cost a fortune. Thanks for asking though.”

“So... What do you do?”

Selective Order

Are you a chronic pencil sharpener? Do crooked pictures call to you? Do you know where every item on your desk should be? Do you still leave your wet towel on the floor? Then you might be just like me and be one of the millions who suffer from a new affliction I’ve discovered. I call it Selective Order.

The person who suffers from Selective Order believes their life to be orderly. They have no idea that it isn't. They will devote countless hours on one project that they feel needs to be done while putting off less important tasks, like getting ready for work, or packing diaper bags. The person who suffers from Selective Order will spend an hour and a half investigating an odd sound in the kitchen while a pile of dirty dishes sit in the sink. Additionally they will be surprised when no one is impressed when the sound has not only been identified, but stopped.

I spent this last weekend knee deep in cables, wires and rack hardware. I had to rewire one of the dozen server rooms I’m responsible for. This process took me over sixteen hours. Cables and zip ties were flying. I have to confess I love every minute of it. There are points when I’m tired, frustrated just plain beat but in the end I get to take a step back and enjoy something that I have saved from disorder. This morning when I came in I found that I had neglected to turn back on about half the equipment that I rewired yesterday. The users could care less if the cables are new and shiny.

It is very similar at home. There are certain things which must adhere to my order. My office desk has to be arranged just so. Pens on the left, mouse and CD spindle on the right, papers in order and stacked neatly in the corner. All my software ordered by box size. Non-box media in color coded jewel cases according to type of software, but my shoes can be kicked off anywhere I choose.

In the restroom, my hygiene products are all lined up. They are arranged by the order they are applied. I always wash out the sink when I’m done, and then leave by stepping over my dirty sweats that I’ve left lying on the ground. Additionally I’ll take time to remove price stickers off of household items, but go seven days without a shave.

I will work for an entire afternoon re-organizing the garage and my work bench but not even think about mowing the lawn that is so overgrown, neighborhood pets have gone missing in it. It’s been three months since my last haircut but I’ll always find time to fix the mini blinds if there’s a strip that’s out of place. I can’t say I understand it, it’s just the way I’m made.

So if you know someone who suffers from this same affliction just try and understand. They honestly believe that they live their life in an orderly fashion. So if you do have to tell them please, break it to them gently.

Corners

“I hear what you’re saying but I’m having trouble with one part of it.”

“Which part?”

“All of it.”

“I told you Ryan, I can see around corners”

“When did this happen?”

“Well I’ve been trying for weeks and this morning I had a breakthrough.”

“Trying? You say that for weeks you have been attempting to see around corners? Was this a breakthrough or a breakdown?”

“It’s normal for people who are gifted not to be understood in their own time.”

“Remember in high school when you thought you could move things with your mind?”

“You should be relieved to know I only plan to use this new power for good.”

“You sat there for hours trying to move that leaf...”

“I’ve been trying to decide if I need a suit or something? I mean I could just go around like I always do, I’ve never been a fan of polyester.”

“...and when the wind finally picked it up and moved it about a foot, you thought you had telekinetic powers! You ran in and made a fool of yourself to Mr Ramsey. For the next month I was the best friend of Carl the ‘mind moron’. Please don’t do this again.”

“That was different. It wasn’t real. Ryan, this is the real thing. I really can see around corners. I can prove it to you.”

“Fine. Okay, so um...over there...what’s around that corner.”

“Nothing.”

“That’s astounding!! Is this the extent of your new abilities?”

“Wait. Here comes someone... she’s wearing purple....RIGHT THERE! There she is! See I told you I could do it!”

“Ok. I see her but Carl, I don’t see any purple on her...”

“Right there, see?! She’s wearing a purple scarf!”

“Carl. This is ridiculous. You didn’t see that from around the corner. You just got lucky. You heard her footsteps, guessed it was a woman and picked a random color. I mean really this isn’t something you can do. It doesn’t even makes sense. I mean do you have the ability to see through concrete or wood or something?

“No I can just see around corners. I don’t know how, I just can. I admit it’s a little fuzzy, like looking through a fogged up window, but every time I try it gets a little clearer. OH! Here comes someone...He’s tall and brunette, he’s wearing a suit with a yellow tie and a gold watch chain.”

“Wow."

"SEE?"

"There he is...”

“Just like I described him!”

“How in the world did you do that?"

"I told you, it's a gift."

"I mean you couldn't have guess about that! Do see a mirror I don't see?"

"No."

"Are you bugged? Is Johnny feeding you information?"

"No."

"Am I on Candid Camera?!”

"No. Ryan this isn't a joke. It's real!"

"I don't believe it. I mean how in the world are you doing it!?"

“I DON’T KNOW! I just can. I have a power that lets me see around corners.”

“Carl. I can hardly believe this. I mean you CAN see around corners!"

"I know."

"How did you say you found this out?”

“I was just thinking that I had super powers and just started trying stuff, and then today it happened Ryan. I mean, it just happened.”

“Wow. Carl, do you think I might have any super powers...”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 9


It is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.



Here's the one to get it started:

Bob's last day on the job!


Stuff I've found this week:

Mentos & Coke

Way cool license plate cover Finally! You can tell them how you feel.

Suffer from a fear of heights? Don't add this to your vacation list

Fun geography test. Yes, I did rather well. I can claim only a slight mistake on Vermont and New Hampshire...

A blogging must have... Comment tracking. co.mments I found this and it is very cool!

Waiting For Microsoft

“Yes can I help you?”

“Please! My server is down and I’m trying to get my Exchange connector service-”

“What is your name?”

“Peter...”

“How much time do you have to wait?”

This is never a good sign. I knew it was going to be bad when I called but I had put it off long enough. I had read through my manuals, and scoured the internet newsgroups. I had done everything I knew to do. I had no choice. I had to call Microsoft.

Calling into the largest corporation in the world and asking them for help, has all the makings for a very bad dream, or maybe the good start of a joke. I had run out of options and so I took the plunge. I have logged countless hours on the phone with Microsoft over the years, and it was mostly because some boss of mine insisted. Generally I come away with more questions than solutions, and about $245 less in my pocket.

Calling and expecting instant service is like walking into Wal-Mart and expecting it to be empty. This just isn’t going to happen. So I wait. Some waits are hours, others are days. I called on Nov 21st, and by Nov 27th I still hadn’t heard any word back. So I wait. In waiting I had to justify not working to my boss.

"I can’t leave." I said, "I have to wait or I might miss my call and then I’d rotate back down and have to wait all over again."

There is something about coming into work each morning and realizing your entire productivity for the day is dependent on your faith in a multi billion dollar corporation to call you back and help you. I got impatient. I did one of the dumbest things you could do. I called them back.

“What is your name?”

“Peter Brown.”

“What is your case ID?”

“Look I need some help. It’s been near a week since I paid for this case and I still haven’t heard from a tech. I’ve just been waiting.”

“Sir. You can wait or I could transfer you to our support team in India.”

“No. Please don’t do that! Please. I need the connection department. My users have been down for a week. Do you know how many people I have relying on this server?”

“Sir you are a light mist is the raging sea of software commerce. We will call you when your number comes up. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“No....”

“Have a nice day and thank you for choosing Microsoft.”

This is the way it goes when trying to leverage support from a company so large that nearly everyone in the world has at least one copy of a software package that they sell. I ended up getting called yesterday and after about three hours the issue was resolved. All in all I’m happy not because my issue is solved and my boss is happy but because today I will not have to be waiting for Microsoft.

For Security's Sake

Rarely have I come up against an enemy so crafty. I find that there is little for me to do but fret. I have tried all conventional means on this foe. Reason is lost on the uncaring, and shouting to the deaf is without merit. In all honesty the only thing it understands is force. Sheer unadulterated violence is the only way to get your point across to the ever present ever stubborn plastic wrapper.

There are few pleasures in life as fun as unwrapping something. It feels good to know that you're the first person who gets to touch whatever it is that has been sealed. Like a mini birthday party every time you decided to make a ham sandwich or open a roll of paper towels. For the most part this is easy enough and the plastic falls to the floor and you get whatever it is your hoping for. “Just what I always wanted, breath mints!” Some manufactures haven’t quite reach the subtle equilibrium between safety and convenience.

The media wrapping companies are born of fire, and want only for your discomfort and animosity. I must say they are successful. There are few objects on earth that can boil up in me the rage that a minuscule piece of plastic wrapping can. I pour out all my hate bitterness and judgment onto it’s thin cellophane surface to no avail. The DVD only laughs. “You bought me friend, but you can’t play me till you get my teeny tiny wrapper off. Are you even trying?”

Once you decide to go for broke and rip it off with your teeth, the wrapper has already won. It knows at this point you have lost your cool. You have gone from a cheerful happy person with new movie to watch, to caged animal foaming and frothing at the mouth. As you stand there in the presence of your friends and family with slobbery DVD case in one hand, plastic wrapper hanging from your mouth. You smile casually while huffing and puffing with a desperate air of trying to regain your composure.

You go for your prize, the new DVD with deleted scenes, director commentary, blooper reel and introspective on set back story, only to find another obstacle. Three super sticky plastic ‘security seal’ labels covering the edges. The White House doesn’t even have this much security! You almost expect an armed trooper to parachute in and challenge you to hand to hand combat for the privilege of watching the movie that you’re not even sure exists within this labyrinth of traps!

Once you are finally able to watch your movie your memory begins to fade. This is a failsafe mechanism for your brain. Like a safety valve on a propane container. It wasn’t that bad, you think. It’s not the end of the world, and really they do need to keep the media safe. I mean you wouldn’t want them to be easily stolen. Hey maybe tomorrow you could go out and buy that new album you’ve been thinking about.

Represents

“So you see how the larger mass represents love and see that smaller bit..”
“The rusted wheelbarrow that’s been welded on?”
“Yes, that represents our journey though life...”

Well it’s official. I’m a lumbering Neanderthal when it comes to my eye for modern sculpture. I wouldn’t be able to decipher the meaning in a bronze crumpled paper cup, or the hulking rusted edifice that stands like a beacon of knowledge at our local junior college. I just don’t understand.

Art used to be a representation of life. When “David” was chiseled out of marble, Michelangelo wanted to represent a man. He went through the painstaking process of making stone look just like a human. When I look at a picture of it, I’m blown away. I can’t even imagine taking chisel to marble and getting anything that looked like a stick figure, let alone a human that you almost expect to take a breath, and shake off all that gray paint.

Modern sculptors don’t need to represent life, that what pictures are for. But that doesn’t stop our fellows. They yearn to make you wonder. They want to make you understand what their soul is saying. All I see is what looks like the wreckage from some huge construction accident.

Believe me it’s not that I don’t want to understand. I do. I yearn for the knowledge of what this person was trying to say. I appreciate their toil. I mean I understand that it isn’t easy work welding several dozen pieces of farming equipment together and placing it on a concrete base. That takes time, dedication and a certain eccentric vision. In the end you want that vision to speak for you. Tell the world what you are, and how you think. To me all it says is, “Tornado?” Besides a tornado I can’t imagine ever seeing a scythe handle and tractor headlight looking like that. It almost hurts my head to think that someone made such a mess. If I were a farmer I might start weeping.

Sometimes it’s not so much that it is speaking to me, but that I look at the sculpture and think, “I could do that. I wonder how much that cost?” There is large rendering of a concrete wall on the grass near my local mall. It has a rugged rough look to it. There is a six inch wide vertical cut in it. They call it art.

All it says to me is, “I’m a large concrete wall with a cut in me, call a repair man!” As I was walking up to it I almost expect the title to read “Break In The Wall” maybe I can make that mean something. The trouble is when I get up close it says, “Tom’s Path To Valor”, or “Midnight Sailing.” Neither of which say, “Concrete Wall” to me.

I suppose it all comes down to taste. If your particular bent is for the modern look, than you're in luck. There seems to be more of it popping up all the time. If however you're like me, an artistic Neanderthal, then you might want to grab your leopard skin and club and travel back to Florence, Italy. It seems there is little place for us left in this world of modern thinking.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Early Edition


Due to the fact that Thanksgiving is tomorrow I've decided to post our Thursday game early. I will let it ride over the holiday. I imagine hits will be low and this will give more folks a chance to play.

Last weeks captions were the best ever!! I was rolling on everyones creativity. I have a few good pictures cached for these games and hope you like todays choice. So for the record, it is Caption Thursday.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.



Here's the one to get it started:

All the way to China?!
Yep. All the way...



Digging holes can be fun...



Beware The Shoveller



November 24th is Sinkie Day!! Don't Forget!

Wooden Cigar Store Indian



Mr. Wooden Cigar Store Indian,
Why are you there in front of the store?
All rigid and poised standing next to the door,
Do customers notice you’re there anymore?

Mr. Wooden Cigar Store Indian,
Why is you face all sullen and taught?
No fan of tobacco? I’d guess you were not,
But there’s nowhere to go, career choices are shot.

Mr. Wooden Cigar Store Indian,
So you stand erect, all steady yet calm,
With a mess of cigars shoved into your palm,
You can’t smoke them or take them to your wigwam.

Mr. Wooden Cigar Store Indian,
Do you mind that the kids make light of your dress?
‘Didn't know loincloths were in!’ they confess
What you wear are essentials and they’re not to impress.

Mr. Wooden Cigar Store Indian,
You will stand near the shop as you always have done
Selling your goods, holding fast to your gun
It’s your duty and you’re the tobacco chieftain.

-Peter Brown 2006

Mildly Psychotic

You see them all the time. They pass for the average person on the street. You think they are just like you in the movies, driving in the parking lot, ordering at the restaurant. These people are not the same as you and I. These people are afflicted with a disease. They are the mildly psychotic.

You might not be familiar with this diagnosis, so allow me to explain. The mildly psychotic are not bad people. They don’t mean you any harm or in fact mean to inflict harm on themselves. It’s just for whatever reason they have decided that they will put their good senses on the back burner for a time and go completely insane. Here are a few examples.

Parking lot psychotic. The parking lot psychotic should be well know to all of us. There is something that happens to the human brain when we are adrift in that sea of filled parking stalls. I have often found myself muttering or hollering to the car in front of me. This is semi normal parking lot behavior and somewhat expected. The mildly psychotic person will take it a step further.

If an open spot is seen twelve rows back the mildly psychotic person will stick their head out the windows and holler “THAT’S MINE!!” throw themselves into reverse and weave through the cars to get to that spot. This behavior does two things. Makes enemies with the other drivers, and initiates a domino effect of mildly psychotic behavior in others.

The mildly psychotic person can also be seen in the supermarket, buying up all the four for dollar containers of yogurt so the other customers cannot have any. The mildly psychotic person has trouble understanding that yogurt goes bad, and they cannot possibly eat the equivalent of eight gallons of yogurt, in half pint containers, in under a week. The mildly psychotic cares only for deals and not the harsh realities of a shelf life.

The mildly psychotic person tends to show up frequently at sporting events. There is something about the enthusiasm of rooting for your team that bubbles this behavior to the surface. Here they are easily spotted. Shirtless and painted with team colors holding large foam fingers, jumping and screaming. For the most part they are accepted in this venue.

In fact in someways we all have been the mildly psychotic person at some point in our lives. That person in the restaurant who changes their order four times before deciding on their first choice. The person who wears headphones and sings loudly on the street corner. The mildly psychotic person will realize hours or days later what has happened and then agonize over it. This is different than the severely psychotic person who wouldn’t even care if they did recall.

So remember when you see them on the street picking up all the dirty pennies, or the department store dancing to the contemporary music channel, they aren’t responsible for their actions. They have been possessed by some strange force that will grip us all at some point in our lives. For the moment they are mildly psychotic.

Last Will & Testament

“I thought I’d find you on the balcony. What’s that you’ve got?”

“My will.”

“Your what?”

“It’s my last will and testament. I’ve just come back from my lawyer’s office. I’ve had it all typed up, notarized and formalized. I’m all set to die.”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh…. I thought you knew. I’m dying Bill.”

“John. You are not dying. The doctor said he had to run some tests and there was a very slim chance that there was anything wrong with you.”

“Bill, I don’t want you to be sad when I’m gone. I’m leaving you my stereo system…”

“What you really need to do is stop reading that book of fatal diseases. You turn white as a ghost every time you open it. You’re always thinking you have some terminal affliction. I told you everyone’s hands shake after three cups of espresso, it doesn’t mean you’ve got tremors. It means you need to lay off the caffeine!”

“…and my extensive record collection.”

“Additionally I you should cancel your subscriptions to those medical journals. That stuff will turn anyone into a hypochondriac. I think you secretly like believing you’ve got every new sickness they discover in Botswana.”

“I’m also leaving you my dog.”

“John please, just stop for a minute. Listen, I don’t want Butler. I have three cats and I live in a two bedroom apartment. The last thing I need is a great dane. Could you imagine?”

“That’s why I also willed you my house.”

“What!?”

“I want you to have my house at Drewsdale. I’ve also left you all the original artwork and furnishing.”

“What about Sally?”

“She left me this morning. Said she couldn’t be with a man who had the Bubonic Plague.”

“You told her you had the plague? The Black Death?”

“I do have all the symptoms.”

“But why did you leave me your house? What about your family.”

“Bill, you’ve always been there for me, a true friend through thick and thin. I mean you’re always willing to drive me to the emergency room, perform Heimlich maneuvers, check me for a pulse and cross reference symptoms from the medical files. Besides, no one from my family will return my calls and a person as sick as I am doesn’t have time to address letters and lick stamps.”

“I…Well, I honestly don’t know what to say. I mean we're friends John and that’s what friends are for right? Wow, Drewsdale manor. It’s one of the nicest places I’ve even seen.”

“You deserve it Bill and I will have little use for it when I’m dead.”

“My apartment is rather cramped you know. I mean it’s just hard for me to afford much more, finishing up with my degree and all. I don’t have the money for much more.”

“Bill, I want you to know— is that the phone? That must be the doctor, I’ll be right back.”

“Drewsdale isn’t a home it’s a mansion. I can hardly believe this is happening, it’s almost unreal. I mean Drewsdale!”

“Bill!! That was Doc Gibson. The test came back.”

“So…how much time have you got left?”

“I’m fine! Can you believe it! I’m going to live!”

“Oh…”

“Turns out I don’t have anything wrong with me, beside an overactive imagination. Just like you said! Isn’t that great.”

“That’s…great…I’m so glad.”

“What’s wrong Bill?”

“Oh, me? Nothing. I’m fine. Say John, did you say the will was all finalized?”

“Yes, why?”

~~~

“Doc Gibson? This is Bill, um…Bill Gavin. Yes well, it’s about John…John Appleton. I’m not sure how to put this. Well it’s just he was rather excited when you called and came running out onto the balcony to tell me when he sort of lost his footing…”

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption 7


Everyones Captions from catapult week were great! I believe I have another good picture for captions. So this week it is once again Caption Thursday! I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption.

As always we need to adhere to good taste. Please keep it clean.



Here's the one to get it started:

Okay everyone, remember where we parked.


Keeping with the theme...


I wish my car did this...



Uh, wow...

Waking up

They say that waking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of waking up I wish that I were sleeping in again
(apologies to Neil Sedaka)


“Are you awake?”
“Uhm?”
“Are you awake? It’s 6:30 the girls are up I have to get going.”
“Oh yeah....Of course I’m...”
“I turning on all the lights”

I have a hard time waking up in the mornings. There is something about the time readout on the alarm clock that seems so unreal when my eyelids part after drifting back to sleep. “Got to be to work by 8:00, the clock reads 7:14.” I really should be freaking out by this point but some mornings I just can’t make my body get excited. “Okay...I’ll skip the shave, and sleep till 7:19. If I tie my shoes while driving I might be able to sleep till 7:23”

There are just so many factors working against you each morning. First line of defense for keeping you in bed, is the bed itself. We own a very comfortable bed. It’s a double pillow top. If there is anything I own that has the ability to get me fired, it’s my bed! This combined with my new bizarre dreams are two sure fire ways of keeping me beneath the covers. I have know what happens to the talking donut at the supermarket. I mean did he get eaten by the monkey in the suit or not?

They say you need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. On the weekdays those reason are really hard to come by. I can smell the coffee brewing and it’s nice. But the motivation isn’t enough to remove the sleeping glue from my eyes. It’s hard to not just surrender when your body is willing to glue your eyes shut every night to keep you happy. What is a person to do against such an enemy?!

I was talking about this with a co-worker. We were discussing ways to wake up. Everyone has a method. I heard tell that eating an apple is a better way to wake you up then drinking coffee. I doubt it. Even if it is true I don’t think I could fit an apple in my favorite coffee mug. My co- workers method was a bit more drastic.

Craig told me when he has to get up early, he drinks three glasses of water before going to bed at night. I imagine this works every time. Unless your not fast enough, in which case might I suggest a rubber mattress pad. The only downside I see are lots of dreams about the ocean, waterfalls, and bursting water balloons. A small price to pay for getting out of bed on time.

When it comes down to it I believe it is a matter of will. If you have the will you can get up on time. If you are more like me you will neglect your duties or hygiene for another minute or two of sleep. Either way you have to admit that waking up is hard to do.

Flamingo Fever

There are two basic types of people in this world, people who like plastic pink flamingos on their lawn and people who do not.

Don’t get me wrong I like to see a front yard with a little extra spice on it once in a while. I’m not saying we all have to have the same 20’ x 18.5’ front lawn planted with Bermuda grass and 2.3 inches deep. I’m not for regulation of peoples style. All I’m saying is that it takes a certain type of person to buy a plastic pink flamingo and plant it in their lawn.

When it all comes down to it the single pink flamingo is not doing anyone any harm. If you like it, you should have it. Maybe it brightens up your morning, makes you think about shrimp, or makes you yearn for another vacation to Argentina. It's the folks who get really excited about the little plastic sculpture that I don’t understand.

One time, while en route to our vacation destination, we spotted a sight that I will never forget. It was a house. It was a nice house with a fabulous view from across this gully in a heavily forested area. That was not the reason that we stopped though. We pulled off the side of the road with slacked jaws because all over the house, lawn, trees, shrubs and any open space were pink flamingo stand ups. I believe we counted over a hundred of the little rascals. In addition to all the pink flamingos were a dozen or so red ones, and a single blue flamingo just to add a dash of class.

This person had every right to collect flamingos and litter their lawn with them. I’m not condemning this behavior I’m just asking a simple question. Why? Is it really necessary to have a freaking flock of fabricated flamingos on your front lawn? I have often wondered if this flamingo fever had stopped at the front. I cannot imagine someone who would do this to their lawn having the self restraint to stop at the door. Maybe some pink flamingo table legs? Possibly pink flamingo lamp shades, chairs, oven mitts or Tupperware set. Who can guess.

When it comes to pink flamingos I have to side on the ‘people who do not’ camp. It’s not to say I don’t smile each time I see one, but it’s not that I’m basking in the joy of the creation. It’s more that I’m trying to picture the person who had the nerve to drive to store, pick one out of the garden section and wait in line. Anyone who has that much self confidence is my hero, and the thought of them brings a smile to my face.

Lazy?

“You might be the laziest person I know.”

This was a comment from my wife yesterday in regards to my reasons for not wanting to use the door in the garage. The deal was the car garage door was open and I didn’t want to open the human access door. I envisioned opening the door with a two-year-old child in my arms, locking it and then closing it behind me. I hit the car garage door button and took my daughters life in my hands running under the closing door. I saved at least fifteen seconds and a number of wasted motions. As far as I’m concerned my wife paid me a complement.

There is a story I’m reminded of by the Brothers Grimm. Basically the three sons had to say how lazy they were and the winner got to be king. Now while I have no belief that my lazy tendencies will lead me to govern a nation, I do think they tend to be a service to me. A wise person once stated that necessity is the mother of invention. I believe this statement to be true, but I don’t think it is only necessity that spurs invention. You could say that laziness produced some pretty good stuff too. I would put it more eloquently but we lazy folks don't really care quite as much as others.

I can recall plenty of times in my life where I have put off work to further my pursuit of something more idle. When I was younger one of my duties was to water the garden. My father showed me how, you stand here and sweep the water back and forth for fifteen minutes, then you move here and start all over again. This process was repeated over a quarter acre garden. All in all the process took about forty-five minutes.

If it hadn’t have been for laziness I would have been lost. I put off watering the garden for an hour while I constructed an irrigation plan for the melon patch. It was an elaborate series of ditches starting from a single spot on the top of the mound. I ended up only saving about fifteen minutes but I learned a valuable lesson. If you want a few minutes of time to yourself your going to have to work for it. Make no mistake; working hard on something you do like to put off something you don’t like is being lazy.

I have found that I will spend a countless amount of time trying to find a better way to do a thing if it keeps me from actually doing the thing. Yard work tends to be near the top of that list every time. There is something about racking mowing or weeding that brings out the “Are you sure we should be sweating during this?” attitude in me.

The lazy person will always be looking for a better way, even if they have to take a lot of rest and naps along the way. I suppose we didn’t need the escalator, microwave or electric mixer but I’m glad they’re here. And I imagine we have a lot of lazy people to thank for them.

The Council

“Oh, is it already time?”

“Yes. It’s time and I don’t want you to make a big deal out of this Semra!”

“I’m not making a big deal of it Tay-Lar!! I just didn’t know you were ready that’s all!! I wasn’t aware it was time to destroy all the peoples of Earth.”

“Semra, I know how you feel, like losing a pet, but humans aren’t really conscience of life the way we are.”

“Believe me I’m aware of that! The council has already made its decision and I totally agree with it. It’s just hard, I mean we lived on Earth as humans for nine of their rotations!”

“You know I never felt the same as you. It wasn’t our home it was a mission. It was a simple assignment to Earth to see if the dirty animals were serious about heading to our home world. I mean could you imagine the filthy things on our planet, Mars as they call it? Frankly I’m thrilled to be the one pushing the button and frying them all.”

“I said I understand. Satellites and childish rovers are easy enough to fool with our technology but a landing party is entirely different. We can’t pretend to all be rocks forever… I was just wondering, couldn’t we just tell them they aren’t welcome.”

“Grab a net and catch a clue Semra! You know humans better than that! They’ve been sending out transmissions to the universe for decades ‘Hello we’re here, we love you please be our friends!’ ‘We promise to understand you.’ ‘We come in peace’ Yuck!”

“How can they know that we hate compassion, kindness and understanding? They can’t realize how the simple fact of their continued existence makes our stomachs turn.”

“Are you siding with those grubby toads? Could you imagine them on Mars? ‘Do you mind?’ ‘Will this interfere?’ or how about ‘Please.’ Nine years with those simpering dogs is enough for anyone to be begging to push this button.”

“Tay-Lar they weren’t all bad. What about what about the lawyers? How about the tax collectors, DMV clerks or that fellow who used to call weekly about our mortgage rates. What about the cable technician? Now there was a person who knew how to show total disregard for ones existence!”

“Yes well...there were some bright spots, I can admit that, but mostly it was the tedium of constant pleasantness. I mean it’s not just the smiles, door holding or common understanding. It’s the constant stream of; ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Can I help you?’ ‘Let me know if you need anything.’ Or my least favorite, ‘The customer is always right!’ How much can a body stand!”

“You know they weren’t always like this, they used to be a lot like us. I was reading up on Roman culture, they’re the ones who first called our world Mars.”

“And?”

“Well, it seems that Mars was their god of war. Sort of ironic when you think about it”

“I guess the Romans knew a bit more about the reality of the solar system then their worthless descendants. Bet you’d never see a Roman apologizing for his exsistance. If someone didn’t like him, he’d have just done what any rational person would and thrash them!”

“Do you think if they knew what was going to happen they would change?”

“Who cares! The second I push this button it won’t matter anyway! Besides you know the councils motto: ‘We are not here to educate, we are here to identify and if needed, annihilate!’”

“Oh well, better get on with it Tay-Lar. Hopefully a more compatible form of life will develop on Earth.”

“If one does I hope they have the sense to stay on their own stinking planet!”

Tool Collecting

Being a male it is essential that I have a toolbox. It is also a requirement that the box is well stocked with any item that a body needs. My toolbox has three drawers and a flip open top. It was a present from my sister. Before that my tools lay in disarray in odd drawers and on tables. This is not the sort of collection you can brag about. I suppose if you want to you draw the analogy; you could almost see tool collecting as a sort of religious obsession.

In addition to the toolbox it is necessary to build an altar to this beacon of manhood. This altar is called a workbench. A workbench is a testament to your building prowess and can also be a source of bragging rights. Buying a bench is fine but it’s bragging rights are different. It say’s I have more money than you and can therefore buy more tools to put on my altar. The tool gods are fine with a purchased altar, but appreciate the toil and frustration that comes with building your own. Tool gods like to see you unhappy; they’re so like that.

I made my workbench from scrap wood that I found in my garage. I smile every time I drive into my garage. It is the only thing that has ever been constructed from the tools in my tool chest. After I build it, I put everything neatly in it’s place and walked away. That was two years ago. Its sole purpose now is to hold up my toolbox and look pretty. I can say without hesitation

“I built that bench, and those are my tools…Yes, in the shiny red box. With all my power tools and electrical cords wrapped up neatly and stacked below.”

My carpentry skills are pretty weak and that’s putting it nicely. Just because I don’t have a use for my tools, doesn’t mean I don’t want more. I have a hard time not purchasing a new addition to my toolbox every time I’m at the hardware store. If something is not added to the toolbox regularly the tool gods will get angry and your nails could rust, or your screwdrivers might get carried away by your spouse, even though she is well aware that her tools are inside, and your tools should never be used for replacing batteries in a child toy!

The tool gods likes power tools the most. Things like reciprocating saws, hammer drills and chop saws. If these items are not within your means then shiny things like socket sets or framing hammers will fill the bill. Of course you can always substitute either of these for gadgets. Gadgets get you extra points with the tool gods and require less frequent sacrifices. Good examples are laser levels, stud finders, digital tire gauges, or 10 in 1 screwdrivers.

The tool gods are jealous of your time and will know if you neglect them. Spouses do not always understand this and you might have to come up with excuses to collect your tools. Believe me in the end it is worth it. You don’t want to your sacrifices to come up short one day and have judgment come in the form of a major house catastrophe. Handy men are expensive, and although you have the tools, you haven’t got a clue how to use them!

Someday In May


Before the moon had gone away
Sometime in the month of May
In my bed I did still lay
I knew from there I’d have to stray
And I could hear my body say
Get up, wake up and start the day

Preferred to stay beneath the sheet
But soon I was upon my feet
And then morning I did greet
Though my belly yearned to eat
Breakfast would be long to meet
For first a task I must complete

And to the shower I did go
In that place where waters flow
To disinfect that smell I know
Bitter grounds for contempt to grow
In folks who let their feelings show
I turned the dial and set it so

I entered in the misty air
Where climate is near perfect there
The water wrapped me as I’m bear
I sang a song and wet my hair
And in that otherworldly stare
I smiled and felt the showers care

But before the task grew old
What happened there must be told
My loyalties that shower sold
It’s waters turned to freezing cold
And of my senses it took hold
Sucking from me all that’s bold

Emerging with a frigid face
Shivering in that lonely place
Reaching for my towel post haste
I wrapped me at a frantic pace
I tried from me the cold to chase
And thus I’ll state my resolved case

When from the shower I did come
My body icy, cold and numb
A simple episode to some
Changed me as a man struck dumb
To misery I did succumb
And this new life of tedium

Nearly eight years have gone astray
My worse fears I can’t outweigh
As for the shower I say nay
I will not venture in the fray
Every since that fated day
Sometime in the month of May

-Peter Brown 2006

Experimentation

“Wait. Stop.”

“What now?”

“Do you really think this is such a great idea?”

“Please do we have to go through this again? I assure you everything will be fine. This is going to be great.”

“I know but I’m the one with the rocket strapped to my back.”

“Last night you said you wanted to do it. You were all jazzed in the car coming out here and you even rushed through getting all setup and ready. But now when I come near you to light the fuse you stop me. What’s wrong with you?”

“I apologize. It’s just that there is a certain weight of reality that comes with seeing a lit match in your hand.”

“I understand, you’re nervous. That fine. Lets talk about it.”

“Thank you. So tell me again what will happen”

“Right, so I’ll light the match and set you off.”

“I don’t like the sound of that.”

“Right, so I’ll light the match and start the fuse on the gigantic rocket strapped to your back. That rocket will propel-”

“Where did get this idea again?”

“I told you, from a comic book. That rocket will propel you forward on the roller-skates at a rate of 70 MPH –“

“And where did you get the skates again?”

“From my sister’s closet…I must say I was rather surprised that they fit on your feet.”

“I have abnormally small feet what can I say. It’s a gift. This is great, not only am I going to die, but also I now have to go to my grave knowing I have girl-sized feet. I’m a crazy person strapped to a rocket wearing hot pink “You Go Girl!” roller-skates with abnormally small feet!”

“That rocket will propel you forward on the roller-skates at a rate of 70 MPH towards the cliff-“

“I have to say, honestly, that cliff isn’t doing very much to help calm my nerves either. Why did you decide I needed to propel myself off a cliff?”

“That’s the way they did it in the comic. Besides you’ll parachute down once the rocket wears out.”

“Right. Now it occurs to me I’ve never seen a rocket wear out before. Mostly they explode at the end. Are you sure this isn’t the exploding kind?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Who’s the munitions expert?”

”I thought munitions meant weapons? Am I a human bomb or something?! Will the military shoot me out of the sky if they me? I’m sure they don’t see a lot of a crazy people with abnormally small feet, strapped to a rocket wearing hot pink “You Go Girl!” roller-skates, floating down into a valley with a WWII parachute they snatched from their grandfathers attic! I imagine if they did see me they’d shoot first and ask questions later!”

“Will you just relax?! Look, all you have to do is stay up on the skates till you reach the cliff and then pull the ripcord for the parachute when the rocket is no longer propelling you forward. Got it?”

“That’s another thing. Let’s talk about the parachute. Are you sure you packed it right?”

“Yes. I’m positive. Everything is perfect! I know what I’m doing! I have everything set. Will you please get a grip on yourself so we can get on with this?!”

“Why aren’t you the one doing this again?”

“First, I’m the rocket expert and secondly I didn’t fit in the roller-skates, remember?”

“Right.”

“Come on. Are you ready yet? I got the camera all setup and there is a crowd all gathered down in the valley for your landing. Shoot, I mean, we sold tickets! Everything will be just fine! It will be great! Nothing will go wrong! I promise! Can I please light the fuse!?”

“Sigh…Okay, you’re right. I’m ready. Light me…”