Some Like It Hot

Some like it hot! I’m one of them. If given the choice between hot or not, I’d choose hot every time. There is just something about a spicy fire in my mouth that I find soothing. Who can account for ones tastes other than to say. “I don’t know why but I like it.”

Pictured right is the fourth bottle of buffalo sauce to leave my house in the last two months. I find that is good on lots of things. Some items are fairly obvious, for example if you put it on chicken it will taste like buffalo chicken. I have also found that it is wonderful substitute for mayonnaise, or to add kick to boring take out. I will additionally use it on vegetables, on bread, or as a dipping sauce for fries. It also makes for very lovely cologne. When nothing but that hint if spice will do!

Other than salsa, I would say it’s hard to get something too hot for me to enjoy. There is something about hot salsa that just screams wrong to me. It's like watching Christmas movies in July. I like Christmas movies but they have no business being viewed in the summer. It’s like that with me and hot salsa, I can do it, but don't prefer to. I don't want mindless heat all the time. I would rather get food I enjoy, with a kick. I don’t understand people that eat peppers just to say,

“I eat peppers.”

“Wow! A rare variety of the mindless pepper eater! Honey, get the camera!"

Who cares? I could eat grass if I wanted to but what does that prove? That I can subject my self to misery for no good reason? I don't like grass, so I'll leave it for the cows.

I can only think of one time where I was seriously over-heated. I took Patricia to an Indian food place. It was a sort of take out shop, and I hadn't been in a number of years. It was her first real experience of Indian food. We walk in and after a while I say.

“We want two orders of the lamb curry please.”

Our host asks, with a rather thick accent, “Mild, medium or spicy?”

After a second I ask, “How spicy is spicy?”

At this point he gets a huge grin on his face and belts out “Spicy! Spicy!” claps twice and rings the cooks order-up bell.

I look at my wife with a lost expression and say “how bad could it be?”
Tears were streaming down our faces just driving home with it. It was the hottest food I’ve even had in my whole life, and that is saying something. We ending up washing all the lamb off under the tab water, and it was still unpalatable. I don’t think we went back there for about three years or so.

Not that I let that stop me from seeking heat elsewhere. As I see it, some like it hot and there is nothing that will quench that desire.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Scavenger Hunt!

Last weeks game was a blast and we will play it again. For those who didn't get a chance, I would check out the narrative. It was quite amusing! Thanks to all who played!

For this week I had a new idea, and we'll see if it turns out.

An Internet Scavenger Hunt!

The premise is simple. I name an item and you find it online. You add a comment with the link to your find and a new item to locate. This can be as simple as the 86nd word on a certain page, a picture or video, or the breeding season for the Australian Horn Toad.

Rules:

1. Keep it clean, and no linking to questionable sites.
2. You must already know where the answer/link/picture your sending people out to find is at, before you dispatch.

So I'll get it started as usual. Below are two pictures. Be the first to find one and comment with the URL. Then you can name your own challenge for the game.

Happy Hunting!


Cash Out

I hate cash. I suppose that sounds a bit unusual but I assure you it’s the truth. I’m absolutely against the whole cash thing. I not advocating that we all start wearing matching sliver suits, start munching on soylent green or scanning our foreheads, but I wouldn’t be hurt not having to handle any more cash.

First off is the undisputed fact that cash is money. I think we can all agree on that point. So why would I ever be against money? I'm not. I'm all for money. In fact I've been an avid money collector for a while. It just seems that for some unknown reason my collection is very popular with other money collectors. People that own banks, deliver water, stock food, make electricity and so forth. People in those positions can be very influential. Because of these people my collection hasn’t grown much. I’m not against money, I’m against cash.

Cash is a pain. In order to buy something with cash you have to have enough of it on your person. If you don’t have enough cash you cannot purchase said item. The solution? Stuff your life savings in your trousers! This means that if you lose this cash your out of money. Additionally when people see you have large rolls of cash in your trousers they will attack you with reckless abandon for the dough your carting around.

Cash is highly dirty. I suppose this stands to reason, since everyone who sees it wants to touch it, that it would be quite dirty. Most people I know who see a twenty lying idle in the road, aren’t going to pass it by. Therefore cash has more germs than most public restrooms, but you’ll hold it in you hand, put it in your pocket, or lay it on the table at a nice restaurant.

Change is cumbersome. Invariably when you pay with cash you will get back change. This pile of cheap metal is placed in your pockets. You don’t have enough of it to buy anything with, so it accumulates as the day goes by. When you reach into your pocket for you keys you sow cents all over the pavement. The only upside is being able to walk away. For some reason people don’t consider it littering to throw money on the ground.

Cash is convenient you say? I disagree. I have seen a person spend a lifetime counting out bills and change for their purchase, when I could complete the same transaction in seconds with my plastic. I have one thin piece of clean plastic in my wallet. With that I can purchase anything I need. There is no unruly metal by product to deal with, just a receipt. If for some reason I lose it, I make one phone call and cancel it. Why put your self through all the hassles of cash when there is something better?

I just don’t see any persuasive reason to stay with the paper dinosaurs, or his metal Neanderthal friends. The paper and metal ways of our grandfathers are on their way out. Plastic is comming in. And although your not required to wear a silver suit you might want to try one on. The future is comming and there is little we can do about it. As for me, I say "bring on the plastic!"

What Espresso Tool Are You?

There is a new quiz on Legal Addictive Stimulants.
I've had so much fun with last two quizzes I've decided to do a third. The quiz is a bit different, you will find little middle ground. This test is all about extremes. So enjoy and be sure to let us know:

What Espresso Tool Are You??


Letters to the Void

Dear Starbucks Coffee Company;

I just wanted to mention how much my wife and I enjoy your coffee beverages. My wife and I have been long time patrons of your shops. We are more than happy to contribute our small part to the hulking tower of coffee commerce, that is Starbucks Coffee. The last time we decided to partake of the repast at your local drive thru store, I was surprised to say the least.

I just wanted to say thank you for allowing my wife and I the twenty minutes to sit in the drive thru line, and discuss things. Things like how our heads were pounding from the lack of caffeine, how we were nearly out of gasoline and that the car might idle itself dead. We also got to clear the air on some other ‘issues’ we had been discussing earlier. Additionally it gave my two young daughters, time to scream their lovely heads off about needing bottles, wet diapers, or whatever notions popped into their darling little heads.

Once we reached the order screen, I carefully recited my order to your employee, who seemed rather lonely. In fact she was lonely enough that she decided that she needed to chat about my order, and asked me to repeat it several times. I enjoyed this immensely and felt the practice did me well. I feel that I am now more qualified for repetitive assembly line work, or other mundane and mindless work, like working in food service for instance.

Once we reached the front I was overjoyed to learn of your new quality assurance methods. I was asked to sample my beverage “just to see if it tasted okay” while three employees watched. It is good to know that everyone was concerned for me. I burned my tongue, and then assured them that I wouldn’t be able to tell what it tasted like now, and thanked them for their ingenious solution to the problem.

My wife ordered an iced caramel macchiato, but your helpful employees, were thoughtful enough to serve her a hot drink instead, seeing at it was only seventy-five degrees or so outside. I’m afraid my wife was set on an iced drink, and had to request they changed it back. Still not satisfied with all the help they had already given us, they decided to give her an iced vanilla latte, just to expand her obviously limited pallet. We didn’t notice the change until we were on the road.

Please keep up the good work. I feel good to know that my ten dollars and thirty-seven cents went to into the coffers of such a caring, concerned, and considerate company.

Sincerely,


Peter P. Brown
Santa Rosa Ca.

A Tank Full

I know the best place for gas! It’s really nice stuff. It smells just like the gasoline from other stations , it runs just like the gasoline from other stations, they even have a mini mart and an air and water area, just like the other stations. They only difference is they sell their gasoline for twice as much!

I honestly don’t know anyone who buys the high octane gas. It’s possible I don’t know anyone with a car nice enough to need it. What I do know is that when I passed the gasoline station and saw that I could get a tank of gas for $2.55 a gallon, I cut off a little old man, mowed down a biker, and used the other customer’s car for a stopper.

Gasoline in my state is the highest in the nation. It seems us California’s will vote for anything if you put it on a ballot. We voted in higher refining requirements a few years ago and now we all grumble at having to fork out forty bucks for a fill up. As such I will drive across town to save ten cents a gallon. I know it doesn't make sense, but I don’t want to give my money to the places that over charge for their "technologically enhanced" gas.

“Your car will feel better!”

“But I won’t!”

“Your car will last you longer.”

“Only because it will sitting in my driveway on empty, due to the fact that I cannot afford to put your gas in its tank!”

What do I care how much Techron I have in my gasoline? I have never seen an increase in my mileage whether I have a tank full of Techron, V-Power, or a “Tiger in my Tank!” Just tell your marketing department to stop trying to convince me that a cartoon car knows what’s best for me! I want the cheap stuff Bub!

One thing I have noticed is that the price of gasoline directly affects the speed of pumping it out. Whenever I’ve found myself at a premium station the pump is just like.

“Hey don’t look at the meter! We’ll just be cramming in our gas and you’ll owe us seventy-two fifty in under fifteen seconds! Have a nice day sucker!”

Where as with a cheap pump it’s like having a conversation with a turtle.

“Hey… Look… at… all… the… money… your… saving. One… gallon, one… and… a… half…”

This means that there will always be longer lines at the cheaper stations.

I always feel like a vulture at the gas station, trying to figure out the best way to slide my car up to the pump. People do the strangest things to get gas ahead of other drivers. For instance, taking spots even if they know their tank is on the wrong side. Have you ever see the guy trying to pull the pump over the car? Generally this is a bad idea. Then of course you have the gasper! Even though we’ve all seen these prices for the last two years, this fellow thinks we all care how much he paid.

"What!" Mister loud mouth bellows, "FORTY SEVEN FIFTY!"

We know, we know. We’re all in this together friend.

Sessions

"Please lie down on the couch. Now tell me, in your own words, what’s on your mind?"

"Well its like this Doc, I mean, it all seemed like a really good idea at the time. I wonder how many people before me have had that same thought?"

"Regret is a very normal emotion. You’re not alone. I understand."

"Thanks Doc."

"Please continue."

"I mean, didn’t I do my part? Didn’t I hold up my end of the bargain? I said, ‘I’ll rid your town of an infestation of vermin.’ Nasty plague carrying, cheese eating, cat killing, dog fighting vermin. They were nesting in their hats and ruining their chats, and all other types of horrible things. Didn’t I play my pipe and lead them all to their death in the lake? Do you think that type of pipe playing is easy? Do you think I should give discounts? Do you think just anyone could have done that?"

"It’s okay, just let it out...”

"So how did this happen to me...the ‘Pied Piper!’ I mean I went back and asked for the payment. The payment we had all agreed to. It wasn't my fault. They're the ones who said they would only give me a tiny fraction of what we agreed to. Wouldn't you be mad?"

"We all want to be appreciated’

"Yeah... exactly! I wanted them to be like ‘WOW!!’ Thanks, here’s twice what we offered. That was amazing."

"I’m sure it was."

"It was!! I mean dang! I was impressed, and I see me do this stuff all day long!"

"...please, Mr. Piper, continue..."

"So anyway, I got mad. Yeah, who wouldn’t?"

"It's hard not to get our feelings hurt sometimes..."

"I figured, I’d get them all back, you know? So I grabbed my pipe, and then started playing this really wicked tune."

"What was it called?"

"What was it called? Umm...I don’t know... 'I’M STEALING YOUR CHILDREN, YOU LOUSY, CHEAP, LYING STUPID TOWNSPEOPLE!'"

"Okay...relax... Don’t get angry."

"I'm sorry; it just really upset me...okay, so I march off with the kids and into my mountain. I mean it was sweet! I froze the adults and just swiped all the little brats off with me. Right under their proud little noses!"

"That seems a bit reactionary... Maybe you should have just talked it out or something..."

"THERE WAS NO TALKING WITH THOSE THEIVES!"

"I understand...okay. Please try to relax...so now what is it that is bothering you?"

"What’s bothering me? What's bothering me? I don't know...lemme think...oh yeah! I HAVE 130 KIDS IN MY HOME! It’s absolutely insane! What I’m I suppose to do with 130 screaming, crying, hungry, poking, fighting, brats in my mountain? I had to wait 2 hours to use my own bathroom yesterday. Unbelievable! Can you even imagine 130 children in your house all the time? I’m in a mountain! It’s not like I have a backyard or anything. I’m going crazy!"

"Why don’t you just play your pipe?"

"Like I hadn’t thought of that! Sheesh Doc, It’s not like I can just play my pipe twenty four seven. Even I have to rest. But when I'm not playing I can't even think! I just want to curl up someplace and cry."

"Of course...I understand. Tell me, what are you going to do?"

"I don’t know...I really don’t. I was thinking I could take them back, but then all their smug little faces pop into my head. I just couldn't bear the shame. You know like 'just kidding...I don't mind being robbed by...' Great horn toads! Look at the time! I can't believe how late it is. I'm going to owe a fortune in sitter fees...Do you have any idea what the going rate is for 130 kids?!
...(sigh)
...me and my stupid pipe..."

The Drive Thru

In light of not being able to faithfully get an embarrassing post out every Saturday, I’ve decided to stop trying. I from this point on, I’ll just begin to add them to the week as I feel moved. So if I happen to post on Saturday it might not always be an embarrassing post anymore.

Story Circa 2005

This is a fairly recent encounter. I find that nothing can cause embarrassing posts for me the way commerce can. For some reason a disproportionally large amount of these episodes happen during a purchase.

I was driving thru to get some lunch between calls. I’m not positive what the order was, but it was most likely a salad and a diet coke. This is my standard lunch drive thru fare. When I get up to the front I exchange pleasantries with the clerk. I then pay him, he says thank you and I drive on. This all seemed to go pretty smooth you say.

Wait I say…

As I round the corner I realize… I didn’t get my lunch. I paid, and drove away without my lunch. Groan. The place is packed in like crazy. I didn’t know what to do. I parked in the lot and walked inside. After waiting through a five minute line I get to the front.

“What can I get you?”

“Ummm… I just came thru the drive thru”

“Okay”

“I ordered and paid, but didn’t get my food”

“What?”

“I drove off without my food…I have a receipt”

The counter clerk eyed me with distrust, but checked with the drive thru clerk. The drive thru clerk came over toting my bag.

“First time I’ve ever seen that one buddy!”

“...yea….thanks…”

The clerk, and other patrons got a good laugh and I got my lunch, which for some reason had a bitter aftertaste.

Lazy Thursday Blues: You Decide

Alright, I had a new idea for a game. It has the potential to be quite fun I think. We’ll see how it goes.

You Decide!


The premise is simple enough. A series narration similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. I'll start off with a brief narration, and a list of choices. Someone responds with a couple of sentences about the path they want, and a couple of choices of their own. We will play till we stop.

This is only limited to your own imagination...don’t worry about length of your path or originality or anything, just comment. The more comments the further the story, however odd, thrilling, funny or ridiculous it becomes. You choose the path to fame, misfortune or the inane.

Here we go:

“It's your first day on the job, but you are not sure what you should be doing. You were hired after a two-minute interview that involved holding your breath, and hopping on one foot. They offered you a position. It seemed odd but since you were broke, you decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. After the interview you were lead into this room on the 22nd floor and asked to sharpen a crate of pencils. As you were halfway through with the sharpening, a rush of water started to pour into the room. The water was filling up to your ankles.

The door is locked. And no one is answering your calls for help."

A) You can climb into the ventilation shaft.

B) You can escape out onto the window ledge.

C) You can finish sharpening the pencils.

Hair Today...

Due to my recent dental work, I have been wary to shave my upper lip. I was going to do it yesterday but since I didn’t want to break down and start blubbering in the restroom I refrained yet again. Because I didn’t want resemble Adolph Hitler, I fashioned myself a goatee. This isn’t abnormal, I’m prone to use the tactic whenever I have a bad sunburn or I’m feeling excessively lazy and don’t want to shave my whole face.

During this interlude someone will undoubtedly mention it. I always feel bad telling people that have just complemented my choice of facial attire, that I have no intention of keeping it. I just have neither the patience nor desire to upkeep facial hair. I normally model the “I lost my razor” look. It’s a socially acceptable look for lumberjacks and the unkempt. I go about 5 days between cleanups, but try to shave by Sunday morning. With a beard I have to shave every stinking day to keep it looking good. It’s either that or go for broke and try my hand at the caveman persona. I’m not willing to go that far yet.

Not that it wont come in to style in time. I have to say that male facial hair seems to be the one masculine vanity that is always changing. When I was in high school it was cool to have sideburns. A look I tried, and only ditched when I started courting my wife. Soon after this, the goatee became king, where it has sat on its throne as the reigning lord of the masculine beard for a number of years. The goatee is phasing out somewhat by newer looks. Some I get and some I do not.
  • “The Soul Patch” - The goal is to grow a thick scrap of hair below your lip, in an area the size of your thumbnail. It can’t stop the cold, but it can be used to catch meal droppings in case you get a hankerin’ for grain or two of rice late at night.


  • “The Jaw Line” – This is a thin line of hair from ear to ear maintained with a delicate touch and steady hand. This shave was done first my accident and wasn’t discovered till late that night. But the damage had already been done and it caught on somehow.


  • “The Chin Strap” – I first saw this at a baseball game. This is just the lower half of a goatee. For those who like to rub the hair of their chinny chin chin, but hate to have their noses tickled.
I’m not sure what the next big look will be, but anyone’s guess is as good as mine. I’m personally betting that the asymmetrical look will be up and coming. You know, a quarter sized patch of hair on the left cheek, and half a mustache on the right, with maybe a sideburn for balance. Only time will tell.

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy Me Matey's! Today is September 19th which is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." As you can see Kludge Spot is flying the Jolly Roger! So get your Pirate name, and start spreading some fun, "You Scurvy Sea Dog's!"

Pirate Name Generators
Talk like a PirateTell Bad Pirate Jokes
    1. How much does it cost a pirate to pierce his ears?
    A buck-an-ear!

    2. What is a pirate's favorite dessert?
    Chips A-Hoy!

    3. What is a pirate's favorite class
    The ARRRithmitic!

    4. How did the pirate know he found land?
    He was shore of it!

    5. How do pirates know when they are about to be attacked?
    They watch Sea-span!

    6. What is the one thing a pirate is afraid of?
    ARRRmageddon!

    7. What do you call a pirate that skips class?
    Captain Hooky!

    8. What's a pirate's favorite salad dressing?
    Oil and vinegARRRR.

    9.Why did the pirate go on vacation?
    He needed some AARRRGGH and AARRRGGH


Watch Dumb Pirate Movies


Which Espresso Drink Are You?

There is a new quiz on Legal Addictive Stimulants. I had so much fun making the last one I thought I'd crank out another. If you all like it I might make Mondays, caffeine quizzes on Legal Addictive Stimulants.

Scientific Superstition

I was tapping the lid of my soda can when someone asked me “Does that really do anything?”

“No,” I replied, “I don’t think it really does. I just can’t open a lid of soda without tapping on it first.”

It was at this moment that I realized that I believed in scientific superstition.

It’s not a traditional type of superstition. When I think traditional superstition I think of someone who would throw a handful of excess salt over their shoulder. This is done to retain whatever “good luck” they might have, and ward off any “bad luck” that might come their way. Of course those of us less fortunate, without this little tidbit of information, might be foolish enough to throw that salt in the trash, sink or someplace equally unthinkable.

When I tap on the lid of the soda can I’m willing it to not be carbonated. I believe that by tapping four or five times, all excess bubbles will disappear. I don’t think it will happen by magic, but have this bizarre faith in science as my magic. I believe that by tapping science will make the carbonation vanish. I don’t believe in good luck or back luck, unless you count being covered in soda pop. This brings us to the superstition. All said and done I have no real faith that tapping on the lid is doing anything at all, besides making a slightly pleasant sound. Even with this knowledge, I can no more open a soda without tapping than I can cross the street without looking. That is all out superstition.

This reminds me of a previous post about Coke, in which I told you about people putting their fingers in the soda to reduce the amount it fizzes up. This is yet another example of scientific superstition. They could stay dry, but they are blinded by their finger poking ways. They don't see that the fizz would receed on its own, and canot see the ridiculousness of the whole idea. I suppose as long as I’m a ‘tapper’ I have little room to criticize other soda fizz reducer notions.

I was trying to think of other scientific superstitions and one came to me while driving. Have you ever been at a stop light when someone starts to flash their lights? This is scientific superstition at its best. The reasoning in this; some traffic lights have sensors that pickup emergency vehicle lights. So if a fire truck, ambulance, or police cruiser come barreling down the road, the light will change in the favor of that direction. These people armed with that scrap of knowledge begin flashing their headlights like a Morse Code signal. If for some unknown bit of coincidence the light does change, this emboldens their theory and gives credence to their absurd habit.

Anyway for those of us who hold to some unreasonable scientific superstition, I can offer little help. I know that I have no plans of cutting out my soda tapping ways regardless of how absurd of an activity. So for the scientific superstitious among us, throw away your rabbits foot, because we're armed with science.

Rare Birds of the Painted Asphalt

Welcome to the guidebook of Rare Birds of the Painted Asphalt. For all watchers of rare birds of the asphalt this guide will try and outline the distinctive look and attitudes to the serious hobbyist. You will be able to correctly spot and identify these rare foul that appear mostly, at that mundane of locations, the parking lot.

The Spot-Craving Vulture - This particular specimen is easy to identify, it can be found loitering near other birds’ nests waiting for them to vacate. This bird is scared of long treks and requires a conveniently positioned nest, even if it inconveniences other animals. Other less perfect nesting spots can be open, but the spot craving vulture is blind to anything but its prize. Normally seen with a rather long row of birds behind it, it watches instinctively for bright white glowing.

The Skittish Circling Whirlybird - Similar to the Spot-Craving Vulture, the skittish circling whirlybird is very particular about its choice of nest. That is where the similarity ends; this creature is agile, impulsive, and elusive. They are normally only seen as a blur. They tend to weave in and out and can spot an open nesting spot from miles away. It is not uncommon for the whirlybird to zip in front of an unsuspecting nester and take an open spot that appeals to them. They believe it is their right, and pretend the opponent is not there, or sometimes they chose to believe the other invited them.

The Proud Painted Spot Eater- This bird is a real photo hog. If you are lucky enough to see one, snapping its picture will be simple. Additionally the spot eater believes that due to its beautiful coloring and what it considers superior shape, it will buffer itself with extra protection. The spot eater is known for building its nest in an area that could easily accommodate two birds. As a result other species are forced to nest in less inviting areas. The proud painted spot eater cares little about this and in fact considers the other birds less worthy of a nesting spot then himself.

The Hulking Compact Nest Builder –This enormous bird is twice the size of the other afore mentioned rare birds of the painted asphalt, but it is unaware of this fact. For some unknown reason this bird will build it’s nest in the smallest tightest spot possible. Moving itself in and out of the nest over and over to get a snug fit. This process can take eternity to perfect. Once in, it has little room to move. This will not stop the creature from spreading its wings, even if that means encroaching on other nests. Be aware that this bird will pay little attention to you, so observation, and possibly a picture or two should be a snap.

This is but a brief primer of the known Rare Birds of the Painted Asphalt. As always watchers, keep your eyes and ears open, and enjoy the viewing in this most humble of natures preserves.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption Reprise


Thought we'd try this game again. I have a new game idea, but it's not quite fleshed out. So 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 one to get the ball rolling:
"We pay for the full 'Beauty of the Artic Tour', and the wildlife's all asleep!"
"Herb, dear, I wonder if thats such a good idea!"




Jello has been on my mind recently...


Jello Wrestling...


Jello Art...



Still here? Well there's always a new update at
Legal Addictive Stimulants.

This Old House

“They’re just not making old houses anymore.”

This was once something a customer said to me. She intended it as deep and slightly witty observation. I smiled and said, “I agree.” At the prices my company charged, I always agreed, even if they said, “Mt. Everest was named after my father.”

We lived in an older house for three years in the beginning of our marriage. It was a blessing at the time and a major step up from our one bedroom apartment. As for the people that say old houses have so much more to offer than new houses, I would agree. The house was built in the 1940’s we think. It had more dirt, more creaks, more cracks, more spiders, and more trouble then any house I have lived in since. Additionally due to the lack of insulation we also paid a lot more for heating and cooling. Of course it wasn’t all positive mind you, the house also had some drawbacks. For instance this house had no sheetrock. Ever tried to hang thirty-five pounds of curtains on a plaster wall?

I know that there are lots of people who would rather live in an old house than a new house. I could understand the idea, if I had a houseful of servants, or at least a live in contractor. I’m not sure if I’m being na├»ve but I believe most people would be a bit desperate to maintain an old house without Bob Vila to help out. I’m not a handy person, as far as carpentry, plumbing or electrical. As I once overheard from a co-worker, “There was a hole in the wall and I was like, ‘Honey get the toothpaste!’” This was a bit of handy work I could identify with.

I like the idea of a new house, the idea that no one else has lived there, died there, or buried evidence there. The walls all scream, "I'm yours to do with as you please!" Instead of, "If you don't like avocado green then grab a brush buddy." It’s too bad that the majority of new houses in my area are built right on top of each other. Backyards and side yards are as scarce as hens in a fox hole.

Now you have your fancy central vacuums, home network enabled wiring, ceramic tile, trash compactors, lawn sprinklers, laundry shoots, and a kitchen island, but can’t go outside without standing on your neighbor’s lawn.

I'm not sure what the perfect abode is for everyone, but for me and mine, it’s a newer house over an older house. With double pane windows to block out the sounds, and thick blinds to keep your zero lot lined neighbors at bay.

Great Chinese Food

"I know the best Chinese place!"

I love Chinese cuisine, along with many other Asian cuisines. The thing about China is, like America, it's a large country yielding many different flavors from distinctive regions. Additionally some dishes like chow mien and sweet and sour pork, are American dishes, similar to the way the burrito arrived on American plates. I'm more of a spicy person myself, but anyway, "I know the best Chinese place!"

Practically everyone I know has said this about a different restaurant in town. I guess there is something highly subjective about Chinese food. I know I go to the best place in town but someone is all always trying to push off their mediocre moo goo gay gunk on me. I just look at them and say, "You should go to my place...only I can't recall the name."

I know it has the word China in it, but is it royal, great or garden? I know they serve good tea, have the best noodles in town, and are right next door to the diet center. (On a side note I'm pretty sure this is a standard diet center ploy; I always see them next to a donut shop, or pizzeria or something. I guess if you get too skinny you wouldn't need to come back.) Anyway the “China Place” is a good place and if I could tell you its name you might like it too.

I think all Chinese food restaurants are a just a random combination of two words from a pool of about twenty. I think if you’re going to open a Chinese eatery you need to just pick two names at random from a hat.

My boss and I exchange lots of restaurant talk, and I was trying to tell him the name of the place I go. After much frustration I broke down and explained that I couldn't recall the name and also unloaded my theory on restaurant names. He agreed with me, in fact he even took it a step further. He went home and wrote down a few choice words on scraps of paper, words like:
    China
    Dragon
    New
    Mandarin
    Golden
    Palace
    Express
    Room
    Lucky
    Royal
    Jade
    Wok
    Great
    Garden
    Lotus
    Hunan
He put them in a hat and drew two at random. In ten draws nine made names of places he had eaten before. A very odd thing and certainly worth thinking about. Whatever the name Chinese food is a wonderful experience... Oh and try something new. Maybe even from the spicy column.

I was going to try and see if I could write a web program to generate some names for me, but it looks like someone beat me to it. Chinese Resturant Name Generator.

What Flavor Mt. Dew Are You?


There is a new quiz on Legal Addictive Stimulants. It probably will not give you deep insight into your soul, but might make for a fun few minutes or so.

Scale of the Problem

I'm fighting a losing battle with a clever enemy. He's crafty, nasty and has a sharp tongue. I speak with the enemy nearly everyday. He pretends to have a civil attitude, until I'm at his mercy.

"What can I do for you tubby?"

I'm a not friend with my bathroom scale. I honestly believe it has a mind of it's own. In order to get it to respond, all your suppose to do is tap it's top surface.

"What!?" It wails.

"I want to know my weight" I tap my foot repeatedly on the surface. "Wake up you stupid piece of metal!" My efforts appear to be in vain.

"I'm tired," it yawns "come back tomorrow."

"I need to get going...please!" I beg, as I continue tapping "I paid good money for you!"

"Don't touch me!"

I continue to tap my foot into the top of the scale and it begins to churn. After a number of seconds the 0.0 appears.

"Finally," I step up

"Fine," it sneers, "I suppose there will be no peace till you get the bad news."

"What do I weigh?" The scale spits back 'ERR' on the readout.

This is doing wonders for my self-esteem. I'm just out of the shower soaking wet and arguing with a forty-dollar bathroom scale. In the store it was labeled with such delightful stickers.
  • Accurate to one tenth of a pound

  • Lifetime guarantee

  • Digital readout

  • Gracious

When it does read out a number, I never know if it's right. I usually get a different number every time I get up to the plate. I try and weigh myself three times and take an average. The "ERR" was a new one, but I thought I'd give it another go.

"Ahhh!!!" it groans "Get off me! I wasn't made for this sort of strain."

"I'm nowhere near the limit."

"You mean the lie they printed on my side?"

"I've heard that one before," I get off, "Thanks again for your help. You always have a way of getting my day started off right."

In some ways it's a love hate relationship. I mean who wants to really know what they weigh every day, with accuracy to the tenth of a pound? At least with this scale I can be happy if it's a good number, and not feel too bad if it's not. I'll just raise my eyebrows and believe it is acting up again.

"Same time tomorrow?" I say.

"If I must."

Phone Trouble


Story Circa 2001

I was working for a competitive local exchange carrier. I was working at Advanced TelCom Group. I was taking provisioning phone calls in ultra new Network Operations Center, or NOC. We had new phones, new chairs, and new responsibilities.

For the most part ATG catered to professionals. Nine to five operations that varied from day traders to printing houses, any business around that needed phone or internet access. We had one customer of, how should I say, questionable professionalism. He maintained a dirty website, and we were required, as employees, to help him when he had questions. I probably don't have to tell you how I felt about this.

One day Carl calls in and complains about something not working. I put him on hold. "Pervert King Carl on the line" I shouted. It had become a pet name for a client who was not only quite disliked among the other employees but also technically clueless to boot. Nothing like being foul and stupid, with your only redeeming quality that you paid your bill on time.

I start going off about how dumb he was, how I hated it when he called and how it always turns out to be his problem. I'm unable to see a problem so I bring in some help from our resident Unix Admin. Once Paul arrives I restart my "Carl’s so stupid" rant! After we all decide we don't have a clue what he's done to mess things up, I pick up the phone.

"Hello" I sweetly say, "Carl?"

"You know," He begins, "I wasn't on hold.."

"What" I started to shake slightly.

"I was on speakerphone." He says "I heard everything you said."

"Oh that!... Uhmm...I knew that," I lied, "...that's just shop talk Carl..."

[click]

Ahhhhhh!!!

I spent the next half of day recounting the story to co-workers and bosses. I truly felt like one of the biggest idiots that ever was. Had it been anyone but Carl I can't imagine what would have become of me. I imagine I would have been looking for other work. I'm only thankful that the only time something like this has happened to me was to a client who held such little respect no one seemed too put out over it. Carl folded up shop shortly after this, and I was one of the many people who was rejoicing.




FYI The logo at the top was a model I coded in POV-Ray. I later ended up making it into an animated file that blew itself to cosmic dust. I was a little surprised to see the file is still on a customer facing website, so I thought I'd share it.

Dizzy Spells

I’ve been feeling rather dizzy recently. I suppose a number of things could be causing it. I suppose it could be the fact that the crape myrtles are in bloom. This could be affecting my allergies and consequently blocking up my sinuses and throwing off my equilibrium. What an idea, it seems so sensible and hence obviously ridiculous.

I have mentioned to a number of people that I have been having these dizzy spells. It seems I’m not alone; there are a number of other people I know who have also been having them. Not all of them have allergies, so after careful consideration I’ve come up with, what I believe to be, the only possible solution. Mind reading.

It seems that some benevolent aliens, cataloging our system have been using some weird extra-terrestrial mind reading device on the population. Apparently the united Uphat central command had decided that they needed to know what was happening on our humble planet, XUI833 as they call it, since they were unable to ascertain this from simple observation. In fact the sole agenda item at the last meeting simply stated, “What in the world could these beings be thinking?” From deep in space, they have turned the dreaded mind beam on us. Thus the recent unsteadiness, only it is not going according to plan.

The Uphats are now more confused than ever. It seems the average person is more concerned with American Idol, Nicholas Cage, iPods, flat panel screens, cheap romance, David Blaine, and digital watches than anything else. Given the current events of the world, our vast history, and fabulous literature collection they believe that something must be wrong with the beam. The Uphats have decided then that their only recourse is to turn the beam to maximum.

So please for the sake of all our brains please do you best, for at least the next few weeks, to try some deep thoughts. I’m getting sick of these darn dizzy spells. I have no clue when crape myrtle season is over.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Caption

Okay, thought I'd try something new this Thursday. It's not an original idea, but I think it's a fun one. I'll provide a picture and you provide the caption. So get those creative juices flowing!

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



Here's one to get the ball rolling:
"Samantha's fast hair growth system!"

Neverending Day

The day that never ends. I have to admit I’m not sure what I would do with a day that stretched on for eternity. Would I be responsible for my actions? I mean if I got a call that said “You’re in trouble see me tomorrow in my office.” Would I care? I bet not. I’m not angling to do anything criminal. I’m just not looking forward to tomorrow.

Tomorrow just as I predicted the dentist will be able to put the last bite in his bracelet. I have an appointment to have all four of my wisdom teeth taken out, and in addition they will be chiseling at my jaw for a hunk of bone to graft on my new central incisor. I can’t imagine why I’m not looking forward to this.

As I’ve said in the past I’m not afraid of pain. This is a true statement, I’m afraid of ladybugs, and tree frogs. I feel both proud of this and ashamed at the same time. How many people do you know who have had a compound fracture and just been upset because they had to cut their favorite shirt off? Contrariwise how many people do you know who almost ran their car into a telephone pole when they noticed a ladybug on their shoulder. It sounds absurd even as I type it.

Tomorrow is my day in the chair. I’m more nervous thinking about what will happened and how much it will cost than anything. The dentists had me watch a twenty minute video laying out all the possible worst case scenarios that could happen. I sat in a room with a model of the mouth, a flat screen vision of the future, and a disclaimer to sign. He didn’t even have the nerve to explain it himself.

"We got this gruesome info to impart," He grins, "but since you’re paying through the nose, please watch it in here. You'll be alone, save your fears, of course."

I’ll sum it up
  • Something bad could happen and you could lose feeling in your face.

  • Something bad could happen and you could lose your sense of taste.

  • Something bad could happen and you could lose your life.

So tonight is my last meal. The last meal that I might be able to get in my mouth, taste, or enjoy ever. Tomorrow at eight O’clock I head into the office to get doped up and demolished. I imagine I’ll either have some good stories for Friday, or an invitation to my memorial service. Either way it should be interesting.

Fret not, tomorrows post will be up before I leave.

Ode To A Meeting


Come to the meeting
Where nothing is done
Come to the meeting
Where ideas are shun

Come to the meeting
When your coffee’s all gone
Come to the meeting
Your just a seat filling pawn

Come to the meeting
Put your workload on hold
Come to the meeting
Where your body grows cold

Come to the meeting
Well talk troubles and strife
Come to the meeting
We’ll not solve it, not on your life

Come to the meeting
Because your life’s not complete
So come to the meeting
Just relax, and kick up your feet.

-Peter Brown 2006

Sales Pitch

Okay take a deep breath. Okay we’re going to be successful tonight! I’m feeling confident! I’m a selling machine! I’m a selling machine! No one can stop the Kirby Locomotive!

[knock knock]

"Hello?" The woman of the house opens the door to me with a man looking uncomfortable in the background.

"Kirby Man!" I smile as big as I can. Some of my cookie falls out my mouth, "This is the first thing I’ve eaten all day!" As crumbs cascade down my shirt.

"Okay..." She responds

"So I’m here tonight..."

"At 7:30 in the evening,"

"…to help you out." I smile. I gotta win back some points. Okay, breathe. Okay, get in the groove. Nothing can stop my pitch. I’m an uninterruptible selling machine! "We’ll clean your carpet tonight for free. As long as somewhere down the line you might tell a friend about us. We’ve been in business for a long time. We are tops in this business. This is just sort of our way of giving back to the community, you know."

"No thank you. We're having company coming," She says, beginning to swing the door closed.

"How about I just clean that spot where your boyfriend is standing. It'll be dry before you know it." Saved!

"Husband..." Door is once again in motion.

"I never assume! Never assume! Not after all these years." Come on, put on the big smile! Darn you cookie crumbs! "Do you own a vacuum?"

"Yes," She smiles…Why is she smiling…"We’ve got an Oreck"

"Oh!" Little lady thinks she’s got me! Thinks she’s got one up on the Kirby Locomotive! "That man should be behind bars! What a scam!" Got her attention, now for the follow through "Have you seen the engine on those things? Go back and rip it apart and see for yourself. About the size of your two fingers! There’s a reason they’re so light!" Got the man laughing… now I'll BRING HOME THE BACON!

"So" I’m back at cruising speed "How ‘bout we just clean that one spot! If you’ve got company coming over you’ll want that clean" I casually stuff the last of the cookie in my face and look concerned.

"No thanks" Hardball retorts

"Your husband wants it!" Saved!

"No he doesn’t." She smirks, "I’m sure he wants it less than me." A smile and nod from the human clam…

"Have you ever shampooed your carpets?" Saved!

"Why yes, actually I have," door in motion yet again.

"Well!" What now? "Didn’t do a very good job then did you?" Saved!

Door slams shut as I hear the woman remark "A little helpful advice, if you want to sell someone something, don’t insult them."

The cool September breezes nipped at my face, as I beat down the pavement to the next house. That’s not bad advice, I should try and remember that.

As the door shut all I could do was laugh.

"Patricia" I got out between tears, "that was the craziest thing I ever saw! I would have lended a hand but you were doing fine."

"Annoying little man! Could you believe him?"

Mr Ed Is Not A Zebra

Mr Ed is not a Zebra. This might seem like a very obvious statement. Trust me I wouldn't tell you if it weren't important. This is something I think you need to know!

I only mention it because if for some reason something led you to believe that this was otherwise you might do something stupid.

You might, for instance tell everyone you know that Mr Ed was a zebra. You might even convince a couple of your friends that Mr Ed was a zebra. Just because you've convinced someone of this dosen't make it so.

You might also tell people that they are stupid for not believing that Mr. Ed is a zebra! I would not advise this, only because in the end your going to have to eat a lot of crow. Crow seems to last for a long time. I can only say that some crows take years to consume, and you might be finding feathers in your mouth for decades.

Because as I said...

Mr Ed is NOT a Zebra!

Legal Addictive Stimulants

There is a yet another new blog!

The focus of this blog is caffeine


Legal Addictive Stimulants

Radio Drama

“Hello I’m having some trouble with my boyfriend. He’s sort of messy and”

“It’s not his problem, it’s your problem.”

"Well the reason I called was I wanted to know if I should talk to him about it, or…”

”You should leave the dirty bum”

“humm…”

“That’s my advice. Leave the bum and find a man who respects you enough to wipe his feet.”

“But, I really wanted to ask...”

[click]

“Next caller?”

I sometimes listen to a political talk radio station. I like to get current on events, know what’s happening in the world, and hear the opinions of people that I agree with. There are a number of very strong political talkers on my station, but something odd happens at noon. They turn the mike over to this radio advice person.

Advice is fine. You should seek the advice of people you trust, and people who know you. Taking advice from a nation wide radio personality who has only heard two minutes or less of you life is a very scary thing.

Our radio doctor, we’ll call her ‘Linda’, could care less about you. Linda is out to make money and the only way she knows how is to rip people apart at the emotional seams. Anyone who listens to the show is well aware of the format. Caller calls and begins to tell all. Our good Dr. stops them, tells them how stupid they are, why they don’t deserve love. At this point the caller will either do one of two things. Hem and ha to which they will receive a lighting fast ticket to “why did you call me, here’s what dial tone sounds like!”. Two they will say that they agree with the Dr. and they are no better than the mold that grows on pond scum! At this point the Dr. rubs in the point, hangs up and the dance starts over with a new victim.

I can understand listening to show. If you have some need to listen to your fellow man get chewed up and spit out, this is the show for you. Or maybe you listen just to make yourself feel better. “I’d never leave my dirty underclothes on the coffee table! Dr Linda is gonna make mince meat out of him!"

But who are these callers? People so willing to call and ask questions. These people must listen to the show or they wouldn't know the number, so why would they subject themselves to that? I just cannot imagine calling in to be abused on a national broadcast.

“Your ugly, no one wants to be your friend”

“Dr Linda! I just wanted to know if my dogs are a strain on the relationship”

“Your face is a strain on the relationship. Your dogs are the excuse shes using!”

[sobbing…]
[click]

“Heading home to my mansion. Be back tomorrow for more answers to your questions”