Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Further Random Thoughts...

A third batch of droppings rolling around on the floor of my mind, for your perusal, again, (in true "lazy bastard"-fashion,) in lieu of a proper posting.

1. In first grade, I thought Hallowe’en was such an important holiday! I remember even the crossing guard on the way to school wore a costume as early as September. It wasn’t until about mid to late November that I realized that he wasn’t wearing a pumpkin costume, he was just a fat bastard in an orange vest.

2. As a child, I used to put a chair on my bed, sit on it and wave to my toys, pretending I was in a parade. Does that say something about me?

3. Isn’t a remote control is essentially a voodoo doll for your television?

4. If werewolves can only be killed by silver bullets, we should make an army of them. Whoever we were going to war with would just look at how much it would cost to win, and give up!

Of course, then we’d have this huge werewolf problem to deal with...

5. I’ll bet the ancient Phoenician language was real easy to sound out...

6. While out to eat one night, we saw a party of priests. I couldn’t help wondering if they bless their own food and drinks. Cuz you just know, if I were a priest, every thing I ever drank would be blessed right up to baptism standards. Man, I’d be bulletproof.

7. I started my own “bucket list.” Item number one: To find and utilize the world’s most perfect ”Slinky Escalator.”

8. What happens if a poisonous spider bites his tongue?

9. I think that a flatware spectrum describing all eating utensils would probably have chopsticks at one end and the spork on the other. “Spork” is a funny word.

10. Seafood restaurants always decorate with mounted fish on the walls. How come chicken places don’t do that?


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Uke Confession

Indulge me for a moment, whilst I purge my transgressions...

Not long back, I woke up one Saturday morning, (okay, I came to early one Saturday afternoon,) and went to check my email. 

I was greeted with a “Congratulations! You won this auction.” Of course, my curiosity was piqued, as I had no, (or at least, very few,) recollections from the previous night due to my extensive, (and intensive,) research into the perfect Mai Tai recipe!

Well apparently, I had gone online the night before, and not only bid on, but won, and paid for, a $65.00 ukulele just because it was shaped like a telecaster.

Ah Crap! I knew I was in deep doo-doo, so I decided to keep this from the missus. She does not believe in, nor understand the depths of U.A.S., (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome, for the acronymically limited,) and has voiced her disapproval with the amount of stringed-instrument purchases I have made in the past: ukuleles, mandolins, Irish Bouzoukis, banjos, even a fiddle or two, all littering about the house accomplishing little more than reminding us both of my limitations as a musician, (or, more positively, my excessive success as ten-thumbed, noise-polluter!)

On the very day it had arrived, Cheryl, (the missus,) discovered the UPS slip, (by actually digging through my back pocket, no less! Fortunately, I wasn’t concealing anything more incriminating... That time!) She pulled it from my pocket and glared at me, “What’s this?”

Stymied, I stammered, “I can explain! I was drunk!” 

(Okay, pause here for a reality check! If you are ever in a position where you think “I was drunk!” can successfully follow the sentence, “I can explain,” you should know now, you have already lost your argument.)

Her first words were, “It isn’t another stringed instrument, is it?” At this point, I saw the futility of my predicament and had given up on trying to get out of the hole I had dug myself into, and I went with an excited, “You wanna see it?”

Okay, I was chastised for my impulse purchasing habits, and was reprimanded for my EWI, (Ebaying While Intoxicated,) and scolded for my attempts to hide my new acquisition from my wife, but, c’mon, it’s pretty cool looking isn’t it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pie Day, Redux!

In Europe, they would write July 22nd as 22/7, and, (since I hadn’t thought if this back on March 14th,)  I thought I would use this date as an opportunity to discuss Pi, or rather Pie. 

Or more accurately, Pies.

Everyone loves pie. Oh, they will say they don’t and make an effort to not eat pie all that often, but when we drop the societal obligations and our pre-occupation with eating hyper-healthy and eschewing fatty, sugary, carb-y, foods that just simply rock, we must honestly admit that we all love pie.

Its okay! They are worthy of our love! 

Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue,  Blueberry, Pizza! I mean, C’mon, Pizza-damned-pie! Some folks dig that Mince-Meat thingy, others crave the pumpkin. I’ve always been a sucker for the Key Lime Pie myself!

But if the simple act of putting things into pies, (or “Pie-ing,” if I may coin a phrase,) makes everything so much better, how come more things aren’t pied?

I may begin a new hobby. Pieing. Not baking, far more specific. I will include all of my favorite food items and create a line of pies so delicious that I will swell to the size of a dump truck just on taste-testing. 

(Artist's rendering of me from the future... If I wore a top hat and cape, that is.)

My entrĂ©es line, (to make you forget that a “Chicken Pot Pie” ever sat in your mom’s oven!), may include my special Lamb Vindaloo Pie, a specialty that teems with flavors and spices of India, and perhaps a spicy Taco Pie that would make your Shepherd’s Pie look rather bland by comparison.

Beer Pie! Oh, yes! I said it! There will be a golden amber Beer Pie, a dark, (probably Guinness-based,) Porter Pie, maybe even a nice blueberry beer pie. This is a market waiting to pop! (Waiting, that is, until the ‘eating-healthy’ obsession in this country is finally succeeded by simply eating in moderation! Whoops! Soapbox alert! I’ll step down...)

To continue. The booze beverage-based baked goods, (THAT’S fun to say!) need not stop at beer! Let’s consider some exotics like Margarita Pie. Or a nice Kahlua Sombrero Pudding Pie! Talk about your 'fun-to-say,' hows-about a delicious Mai Tai Pai! Explosive little bundles of flavor to compliment your meal, and provide a decent little buzz, too. (This Mai Tai Pai idea has been haunting me since I first thought it up! I imagine it with chunks of pineapple and maraschino cherries suspended in a rum and amaretto-laced pineapple filling, maybe a hint of coconut in the topping... MMMmmmm!)

Not exactly like this...

Pieing. That's it! Pieing! This could well be the destiny of dessert pastries. Making this is yet another gratuitous peek into the future.

Oh, By the way, I have already begun this endeavor and my Bailey’s Irish Cream Pudding Pie is an absolute smash at parties. Feel free to write me for the recipe!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SDH Spectacles

Yet another life-improving invention idea, from straight outta my head, of all places...

SDH Glasses...

While watching a movie one day, (as I am wont to frequently do,) I couldn't help considering the subtitles, (AKA Closed Caption, and the newer acronym, "SDH," Subtitled for the Deaf and Hard-of Hearing) and how they could be applied to everyday life.

It occurred to me that subtitles could be used to improve real life, not just the often-superior movies, for those who could benefit from them. Technologies currently exist that could be incorporated together to make functional, non-obtrusive, captioning devices for the Hearing Impaired. 

A pair of eyeglasses could be fit with a small directional microphone. Very focused to cut down on interference, and small enough to be concealed. Technologically speaking, this is really no big deal. An old idea that has been really perfected. (Directional Microphone.) 

This, however, could lead directly to a "speech-to-text" processor; a simple, currently available piece of technology, (my sister owned something like this in college for her computer so simply dictate her papers. Kinda neat.) (Speech to Text.)

Lastly, the text generated by this could be presented on a heads-up display directly on the lenses of the glasses. Heads-up display technology is common these days, but apparently HUD-on-eyeglasses has already developed as well for the use of pilots, firefighters, rich computer nerds, etc. (HUD Glasses.)

Put them all together, and the result, a hearing-impaired individual need only be looking at the speaker, (common courtesy, anyways,) or source of sound, (movie theatre screen, play, radio, etc.,) to have his or her eyeglasses convert it to a subtitle readable on the inside of the glasses. Pretty snazzy, eh?

The result: Deaf and hearing-impaired people could experience life with the same degree of quality as when they experience movies at home. 

And let's face it, movies at home is really pretty damned good.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"The Legend Of Boggy Creek:" The Music Video

I have a bit of a fascination with the 1972 "documentary" film, The Legend of Boggy Creek. The music in it, however, is so...


Well, it defies description. The movie itself is a horror film of sorts about a Bigfoot-like creature in the Arkansas swamplands. The film takes a sharp and sudden left turn into total surreal life when this sad, love song about the monster comes up, though.

I isolated the song and added subtitles, (somewhat,) for the following video to encapsulate the mood...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just because we're stupid, I guess.

Recently seen on a bottle of aspirin: front, “ASPIRIN”, 2½ inches in length with letters ½ inch high. On the back, “Active ingredient; Aspirin, 325 mg/per tablet,” and, honest to God, “Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin.”

Is this level of redundancy the only way to combat the litigious nature of ambulance-chasing freeloaders who leech off society through legal precedence? One would like to think that a judge would simply say, “You took something marked aspirin when you knew you were allergic to aspirin? You are an idiot. Case closed.”

Or are there people this stupid? If a bottle of aspirin says "Aspirin" and "active ingredient: Aspirin,"  is there a person who is allergic who would STILL take it if it weren't for further instructions saying not to?

I also purchased a watermelon recently with this sticker on it: ”SEEDLESS WATERMELON: May contain an occasional seed.” 

Got me to thinking about the level of redundancy that warning labels have reached in order to a) cover their own asses legally or b) to avoid mistakes from incredibly inventive stupid people. I started to look around for further evidence of these warning labels, but stopped. 

“Wait a moment!” I reminded myself, “I’m a lazy bastard! Someone else MUST’VE already done the work!” And, of course, I was right. Here are a few of the examples, (and there are a shitload!) from the ‘Things People Said’ section of

"Do not put in mouth." -- On a box of bottle rockets.

"Remove occupants from the stroller before folding it."

"Not for human consumption." -- On a package of dice.

"Do not light in face. Do not expose to flame." -- On a lighter.

"Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." -- On a sign at a railroad station.

"For indoor or outdoor use only." -- On a string of Christmas lights.

"Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice." -- On a box of rat poison.

"Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.

"May irritate eyes." -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray.

"Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." -- In the information booklet.

And my favorite...

"For external use only!" -- On a curling iron.

Oh, I wish I knew some of  people who made these types of labels necessary. Not well, but, you know, for a laugh.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Se7en Stranded Deadly Sins...

I have always been fascinated by the Seven Deadly Sins. They are so concrete, yet abstract; truly subjective absolutes. Strangely, though, the Seven Righteous Virtues, the “Glass-half-full” flip side list, never caught on in pop culture with quite the same emphasis. I would like to blame the film, “SE7EN,” (starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey. Great flick!), but I believe the movie to be more of a result of the list’s appeal.

I recently was considering Gilligan’s Island, (a favorite television show and another point of fascination for me,) and realized that each of the castaways was possessed of a different defining one of these aforementioned sins.

Some were quite blatant, such as Ginger, (lust,) or Mr. Howell, (greed,) while others, less so. My list:

Gilligan: Gluttony. Gilligan has shown time and again that the boy can eat. Nothing seems to motivate him more, and he is often bribed by the women-folk with banana cream pies, or coconut cream pies, etc.

Skipper: Wrath. The only castaway who routinely strikes another. He loses patience with Gilligan in almost every episode and lashes out physically. Sure, it is only a hat-smack, but severity does not define intent!

Mr. Howell: Greed. As I mentioned, this is so obvious and central to the character’s personality, that it almost overshadows his other qualities.

Mrs. Howell: Sloth. The thought of “perspiration” brings about a near panic to Thurston’s trophy bride, and her anecdotes about the servants secure Lovey’s standing as the personification of this sin.

Ginger: Lust. Ginger’s patented whore-maneuvers of man-manipulation are so dominant to her persona that she even has her own theme music with which to work her sultry seductive wiles on the love-starved male population of the island. She's SO hot.

The Professor: Pride. The only castaway with his own hut, the professor always seems to be looking down on the others as ignorant inconveniences. He holds six advanced degrees, speaks many languages, and has written a number of books, and seems to insist on being acknowledged by his title, “The Professor,” instead of by his name, Roy.

Mary Ann: Envy. Oh sure, Mary Ann is a bundle of virtues but her envy of Ginger’s lifestyle is impossible to ignore! To the point of her actually becoming Ginger after a knock on the noggin during a performance of Hamlet.

The Island of the Damned! (with your humble narrator!)

Finally, one could look at these individuals, see them for their sins and speculate that they are, in actuality, the living damned! That island, devoid of boats, lights, motorcars or even a single luxury, (that so many others seem to be able to come and go from so frequently,) is their HELL! And the show is a subliminal anecdotal allegory denouncing the practitioners of these lifestyle choices.

No, I don't actually believe a word of this basket of tripe that I have just written. Don't be silly. But, what if, by some strange twist, I am wrong and this really was the point of the show. (Kinda makes "Lost" look like Sesame Street, huh?)

Cue the haunting refrain: “Here for a long, long time.”

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