I’m From Wisconsin: Should I Eat It?

September 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Posted in Humor | Leave a comment
Wisconsin Decision Chart

Wisconsin Decision Chart

This wouldn’t be quite so funny if it wasn’t so true.  The only thing missing from my mental image of prototypical Wisconsinisms is chain smoking and satin warmup jackets. *link credit*

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Staving Off The Shears

September 20, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Dear Diary | 1 Comment

Miracles and lucky charms made the girl of my dreams the girl in my arms.  Push will come to pull tonight  and I’ll have my hands full tonight and everything will be real all right because she’s coming over tonight.  I’m gonna shave off my beard and I’ll try not to act too weird.  Then I’m gonna kiss her tenderly, so don’t ask her if she’s free. She won’t be, she’ll be with me because she’s coming over tonight.  Everyone makes fun of me – they do it right in front of me.  They don’t think someone shy like me can get a girl like that to like a guy like me.  But now she’s standing at my door.  She’s who I’ve been waiting for, so don’t feel sorry for me anymore she’s coming over tonight.  We won’t tell a soul tonight cause our mouths will be full tonight and talking with your mouth full isn’t polite.

~ She’s Coming (Over Tonight) by Mr T Experience from Revenge Is Sweet & So Are You

So The Great Beard Experiment of 2008 has officially reached the stage where I get the daily urge to shave the crazy thing off because I think it looks ridiculous.  I think it just looks odd to walk around with a bald top and a hairy bottom (giggle inducing phrasing intentional.)  That and my genetic heritage means I have sparse coverage and it turns a shade of red with sun exposure.  And unlike a bad haircut that you can hide as it grows out, your stuck parading a bad beard through the world with no aesthetic salve.  But just about the time I am temped to take a razor to it, some random person will surprise me with a long deep stare followed with a “I kinda like it” while pantomiming a beard stroking.  And with that it continues for another day…

The Beard So Far...

The Beard So Far...

Update: By the way, this guy is my hero.  And I’m jealous…

Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics

September 16, 2008 at 8:16 am | Posted in Humor | 3 Comments

A few frightening facts about bread:

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations
4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours
of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called “dough.” It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average North American eats more bread than that in one month!
6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and osteoporosis.
7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.
8. Bread is often a “gateway” food item, leading the user to “harder” items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 450 degrees! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
12. Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors
2. A nationwide “Just Say No To Toast” campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of “Bread-free” zones around schools.

From Chris Erret via a newsgroup on the internets.

Politics Schmolitics

September 15, 2008 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Minutia | Leave a comment

Polite convention dictates there are a few things that you don’t discuss with strangers – politics and religion leading the list.  Since I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut, I’ll try to keep this brief.

I was raised, and in many ways still am, a religious conservative.  And since the mid 80s, that has meant that there has been a considerable social pressure to vote Republican (thank you Ralph Reed.)  But in my few years on earth, I am growing more and more convinced that you can’t legislate morality, no matter how hard the moral majority may try.  It doesn’t really matter how strong your conviction – if people want to do something you are diametrically opposed to, no amount of shame or threat will stop them.  It’s called free will – even the staunchest protestant or evangelical has to have some passing familiarity with the concept.  If God gives us the ability to ignore Himself if we choose, how silly do we have to be to think that we can impose human will on others.  As such, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (for me at least) to vote on morality.  It has been a waste for the better part of 100 years now.

Which leaves me asking, what is the point of government?  I would proffer that it is for the good of the people as a whole.  That’s right – not the good of the majority, not for the minority, and certainly not for the good of the top 1/10 of one percent.  Call it socialism if you want, but I think it is the social expectation for those with means to care for those without.  I might even go so far as to point out some dude named Jesus had a bit of a thing about caring for the poor as well, but I digress…

So perhaps appealing to your ideals isn’t your cup of tea.  You say ideology shouldn’t be a part of the discourse?  Fair enough, how about taxes?  In that case who you support probably boils down to how much money you make.  Guess what people – I’m poor.  And chances are (statistically speaking) so are you.  Don’t take my word for it, check out this little table.  How about leadership?  Would you rather the guy that missed 45% of the decisions he was asked to weigh in on?  Or would you prefer the guy that missed 64% of his?  Perhaps you’re more issues oriented?

Me – I’m brushing up on my French and Spanish so I can move to one of those crazy “communist” countries when I retire.  Woot for socialized medicine!

How Long?

September 13, 2008 at 10:36 am | Posted in Dear Diary | Leave a comment

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smile and grin at the change all round, pick up my guitar and play just like yesterday.  Then I’ll get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.  The change, it had to come – we knew it all along.  We were liberated from the fold, that’s all.  And the world looks just the same and history ain’t changed ’cause the banners, they were all flown in the last war.

~ Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who from Who’s Next

So I was driving home from dinner the other night and passed this huge American flag.  And by huge I mean about 30 feet tall – we love ridiculously big stuff here in Texas.  For the life of me I could figure out why it was flying at half mast until my dinner companion pointed out that it was September 11th.  And now I can’t help but wonder how much longer it will be before such a dark day is lost in the shuffle of our daily lives, faded by the inexorable march of time, and drowned in the incessant dirge of this “war on terror.”  I’m not trying to be flippant – nobody I knew or was close with died that day, but I can’t say the same for the ensuing skimishes that have followed.  And it makes me ill to think that all this time, effort, money, and human capital is almost assuredly going to be boiled down and perverted into some gradious patriotic event – hopefully sans some kitchy Hallmark commemoration.

It almost seems that we will have entirely missed that a good portion of the rest of the world thinks poorly of us because of some misguided nationalistic narcissism.  When have we forgotten that successful foreign relations, dare I say life itself, is predicated on getting along with the other parties rather than imposing our will?  In short, 9/11 makes me sad for all the wrong reasons…

What A Relief

September 13, 2008 at 10:07 am | Posted in In The News | Leave a comment
Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike

My buddy Perry’s getting married today in San Antonio, which means I’ve spent all week worried about driving straight into the path of Hurricane Ike.  And it’s a bit nerve racking to drive against the flow of an evacuation traffic jam.  But thankfully, Ike’s taken a sharper turn to the east than anyone expected and it looks like the Austin and San Antonio areas are going to dodge a bullet and at worst get some stiff wind gusts and a lot of rain.  Thanks to all the friends who dropped a line wishing safe keeping and a lack of drowning.  Now, on with the hitching!

Facebook Profile Link

September 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Posted in How-To | Leave a comment

Ever wanted to send a link of your Facebook profile to someone but were unable to find a URL that worked?  Me too!  Luckily a little searching led me to a handy little article from Dave Taylor.  All you have to do is use the following link http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=XXXX where XXXX is your profile number.  For example mine is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=610170366.  Pretty cool, huh?  Now you can spam the dickens out of your friends and enemies with you profile link.  Enjoy!

Wait, what?

September 9, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Posted in In The News | Leave a comment

In spite of the fact that the US presses on with the Roosevelt Corollary on steroids known as  “The War On Terror” even though it means burning through mountains of cash on a daily basis, I still had some faith in fiscal responsibility.  That is until I saw this little tidbit on the news (video here.) Now I’m not saying it’s inherently a bad idea to federalize (dare I say communize) a previously private enterprise.  But I do find it odd that while we supposedly can’t find any money to address a painfully broken and rapidly regressing health insurance system, we do find a way to pledge upwards of $25 billion a year for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac.  Sometimes I wish I was rich and had even richer friends in Washington looking out for me…

To everything, there is a season

September 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Dear Diary | Leave a comment

Life’s been pretty odd recently.  I waited as long as possible to blab about what follows, but I need to get it out, work through it, and move forward.  Mom moved back into the house in Georgetown a few months ago.  And while nothing in that statement is odd in and of itself, it’s what was not said that is telling.  To wit: Dad did not.  He’s still living and working in Sevierville, Tennessee.  What exactly that means both now and in the future, I don’t really know.  I think it’s been long enough now that they have both told the people they would like to tell – as such, I don’t think I am shocking too many people.  But I am going to leave the details up to them, the family & friends, and the paid professionals.  I am pretty sure I’ll ramble on some more eventually; perhaps in person, perhaps in print…

I have moved into Austin proper to give mom run of the house and to be closer to work.  I must say it is quite nice to be 5 minutes from work, especially considering the new job entails being at least semi-responsible for any number of things that can go haywire without notice at any time of the day (or more importantly in the middle of the night.)  I learned a very important lesson this move.  Always get a look at your apartment (and not just the model) before signing the lease.  Sadly, that is now the voice of experience since my presence at the front door that first day was greeting by bugs, ants, water damage in the bathroom, a sagging ceiling in the living room, warped cabinetry, and a horrendously putrid 80s wallpaper.  But at least they threw in an alarm system.  It’s probably not as bad as it sounds, but it’s far from the idyllic domicile that is the demo unit we were shown initially.  So I have spent the last couple weeks Spic & Span-ing ever surface I could reach and dousing everything that moves with Raid and boric acid.  And the horrible wakeup call of feeling something crawling on me (whether or not it was a figment of my imagination) was almost worth my perverse glee of seeing the look of horror on the faces of the front office staff when I handing over my two type-written page apartment condtion form.  Almost.  Needless to say, this experience certainly has rekindled the desire to buy a place of my own.  At least there I will be able to gut it to the studs and start over if need be.

Dans le commencement…

September 9, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Dear Diary | Leave a comment

So those of you that have been here before are probably noticing something right about now.  That’s right, this is the first post.  No, you’re not losing your mind.  No, it’s not a technical glitch.  No, you’re not seeing things.  No, it wasn’t done in error.  I just decided after much reflection that it was time to make a fresh start – a new beginning as it were.  The old site was actually a port of an old paper diary that I kept that was then moved to an online format.  Trivia alert: it was originally hosted on GeoCities – man, I’m old and the internet sure has changed a lot since then.  Not to mention the fact that the old site documented some pretty rough times in my life.  Which is to say I kept thinking it was about time to move on in a couple ways.  And what better way to do so than cleaning out my blog.  All of it.  So if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon my old musings on The Way Back Machine at archive.org or via some deeply buried Google cache, then enjoy the treasure trove.  But I would like to think that the future is going to be better than the past.  Don’t worry though, there’s still going to be plenty of my personal charm, wit, & character.  Well, there’ll be plenty of me anyway.  So let’s enjoy the ride!

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