If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Or Maybe Some Apricot Scrub

Not long ago, someone related a story to me about how they were blocked from leaving work by someone checking their BlackBerry. I empathized. (Who wants to be at work longer than necessary?) A similar thing happened to me this morning, so now I also sympathize. (I'm probably using "empathize" and "sympathize" wrong but the good news is nobody, not even Webster, seem to understand the difference.)

To get into work from where I park I have to walk through a push-door, walk up a flight of stairs, walk through a pull-door, walk 10 feet, walk through an electronically controlled turnstile, walk 2 feet, walk through a turn-lever-push-door, walk 12 feet, walk through a pull door and then either walk 20 feet, through a push-door, up a flight of stairs, 8 more feet and through a turn-lever-pull-door OR I can delay this last part until I'm closer to my cubicle. Are you still with me?

Given the distances between all these doors, a trap is created. If someone who walks slower than you ends up in front of you, you can't get around them. However, the real trap is if they are just behind you. Now politeness requires that you hold every door open for them. You just can't get away from them (except occasionally on the stairs if they're pretty slow).

You think I'm the only one that feels trapped? Take the example of the guy who practically gallops up or down the stairs, then stands there, holding the door, while you slowly make your way. Then you feel bad for making this guy wait for you! It's insane!

But back to this morning. I'm just coming through the turnstile and I'm stuck behind this guy checking his e-mail on his BlackBerry. It is frickin' freezing and we are one door away from warmth. I'm partially stuck in the turnstile because there's really no room to go elsewhere. Normally, it would take me one second to get inside from here. It takes us about ten. I'm then blocked from getting to the next door for another ten seconds.

"Hey Blackhead! Move it!" (Since crack addicts are crackheads, I assume BlackBerry addicts are Blackheads.) I really wish I would have said that. This guy really put the dic in addict. If he stops farting around he can be at his desk in less than a minute answering his moronic e-mails. (Yes, I know they were moronic because I know the guy is in Marketing.) Anyway, he headed towards the nearby stairs so I headed the other way.

What I need is a company-sized Biore' strip to remove all these Blackheads.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Well, Isn't That Special?

In the name of The Blogger, The Pun and the Lonely Post.

Forgive me readers for I have sinned. It has months since my last degustation [post].

Tonight I mixed flour and water and tried to summon seitan to my house. I was wildly unsuccessful.

I also tried to wash the flour/water mixture out of my arm hair before it dried. Again, I was wildly unsuccessful.

Deep Voice: And what have you learned, my son?

To use bread flour and maybe some extra gluten?

Deep Voice: Anything else?

To shave my arms before summoning seitan?

Deep Voice: And???

For chrissake, what else is there?

Deep Voice: (sigh) Go with Blog, my son.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Be Lentil With Me

I ran across a new word today: flexitarianism. You might think that a flexitarian is someone who enjoys body building. Or you might think it's the kind of person who'd be fun in bed. (Really fun.) Or you might think it's a group of interconnected, repositionable, glass jars that you grow plants in (but you'd be confusing it with a flexiterrarium).

No. A flexitarian is someone who follows a vegetarian diet but sometimes eats meat. I probably eat too much meat to qualify. I'm more of a contortitarian (con-TORSH-i-ter-ee-en) which are the most flexible of flexitarians.

I suppose that some vegetarians dislike flexitarians calling themselves vegetarians. Flexitarians are like the Jews for Jesus of the vegetarian world. They are laughed at and looked down upon. They are the lowest of their order. But they make great potato pancakes.

Truth is I'm a ovolactopescapolloflexiblogatarian. That means I'm a vegetarian who eats eggs, dairy, fish, poultry, occasionally meat when I feel like it or when I need something to blog about.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Inexplicable, But Not Inconceivable

I was at Best Buy tonight (but I can't explain why). When I left and got back into my car, a woman came up to my window and knocked. (I should note it was about 20F or -6C for my international readers.)

I already had the car started. I was waiting for someone else (but I can't explain who) to get in their car because I was supposed to follow them (but I can't explain where). I rolled down the window.

Woman (in heavily accented, halting English): Hello...my name is Nikiko...
Me: Oh, hi. (The person I'm supposed to follow is now in their car.)
Woman: I am missionary from Japan...I would like (I see the reverse lights on the other car go on.)
Me: I'm sorry. I need to follow that person (but I can't explain why)
Woman: Oh. OK. Thank you.

It looked like she was going to try to sell me some beads. In the dark of night. In 20 degree weather. In the parking lot at Best Buy. Why would someone do that?

I can't explain that either.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

But They Don't Checkout

One of the best things to come along in the last few years is the self-checkout line. They solve so many problems...if only they'd stop changing the interface. But more on that later.

Today they solved a problem I would have had years ago. In my basket was a gallon of milk, two jars of peanut butter and a baker's dozen bagels. Can I get on the "10 items or less" line? What if I had a dozen cans of tuna, would that make a difference? Well, those problem days are gone with the advent of the self checkout.

Last time I used one, I'd swear that bagels were listed under produce (or maybe it was some produce/other thing). I pressed "produce" and it asks for the PLU which is that number they stick on most produce these days. There used to be a look-up sheet on top of the screen (which had the number for bagels) but that's gone. There's no button for "bagels" or "bakery" or even "no PLU code". I press "cancel".

"Do you want to cancel your order?"

What? Of course not. WTF? But before I have a chance to look over the choices, the Self Checkout Overlord swoops in. She's probably thinking how stupid all these people are that can't even use a simple computer!

She hits a few buttons to get back to the main screen, then the "no bar code" button (I missed that before). Up pops a screen with several icons. They are in alphabetical order: "Bagels" (aha!), "Bakery", a few others, "Rolls", maybe nine or ten total but I didn't get a good look at them all. Things were happening too fast. Certainly though I handle things from here.

No, no, you're too stupid, thinks the overlord.
Overlord: How many have you got?
Me: A baker's dozen.
Overlord: How many is that?
Me (somewhat stunned): Uhm, 13.
Overlord: Oh. (beat) Well, if you buy 12 you get 1 free, so we'll just put in 12.

Then she presses "Rolls", hits 1-2 on the keypad and heads back to the Eagle's Nest to watch out for the next idiot.

I'm still in shock. I notice on the screen it shows "Rolls, 12 @ $0.42". Although I know bagels are $0.49 each, I'm certainly not going to do anything that would have me interact with Self Checkout Overlord again. And not just because the mistake was in my favor. Had it been the reverse, I would have paid it and felt lucky to get out alive.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Editing For Dummies

Editor: There's a problem with your story.
Writer: What's the problem?
E: You only have three "highlight" bullets, our policy is four per story.
W: Well, I already had to stretch for those three. Can't we go with that?
E: No. Rules from the top. You need a fourth bullet.
W: How about the bullet that killed the doctor? Does that count?
E: Don't be a wise-ass. Now get me that fourth bullet!
W: Sagga-fragga-brigga...

Try to guess which one it was.

  • Slaying not premeditated, suspect says while defending self at trial
  • Doctor killed while preparing snack inside New York home
  • Suspect says he was only trying to wound doctor
  • Defendant imprisoned on state murder conviction
And just in case they change the story, here's a screen shot.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Calgon, Take Me Away

The first time I saw the Dodge Ram commercial with the Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots, I liked it.

The second time I saw it (five minutes later) I still thought it was pretty good.

The eighty-seventh time I saw it (19 minutes later) I was wishing they'd the HeadOn commercial instead.

Tirer Mon Doigt

Here's an idea for your next vacation: hang around with a bunch of rude, arrogant, inconsiderate asses. That needs work. Let's "marketize" it. Maybe add an exclamation point.

Hang around with a bunch of rude, arrogant, inconsiderate asses!
That's still no good. It's got to seem like being around rude, arrogant, inconsiderate asses is a good thing.
Come act like an ass and you'll fit right in!
That's essentially the new campaign to lure people to Paris. Or skip the article, and learn PRSL (Parisian Rude Sign Language). C'est magnifique.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Ribcracker Suite

One of the things I found fascinating about my dad's recent surgery is the chasm of perceived competency between the various people at the hospital. For example, the surgeon is supposedly "one of the foremost minimally invasive cardiac surgeons". I'm not even sure exactly what that means but it sounds like he was nominated for a Medical Academy Award but lost to the Meryl Streep of surgeons. Anyway, it's not that meaningful since my dad needed regular open-heart surgery (the "crack those ribs, stop that heart" kind) because one of the arteries that needed bypassing would have been inaccessible using the the other method.

I also like that, as long as they had his ribs akimbo, they'd fix his atrial fibrillation too (using the Maze procedure). But best of all, since they needed a leg vein for part of the bypass, they actually let my dad pick one to use. "Got any veins you don't like?" It's kind of like picking your lobster out of a tank. No happy ending was offered.

Back to my original point, the surgeon seemed quite competent. The day ICU nurse also seemed to know what she was doing. Compare that to the last morning in a regular room. Four different nurses/assistants came in in a span of 45 minutes. Two checked his vitals within minutes of each other. One brought a prescription with the wrong name on it. One came in, smiled, and left. I think she was in the wrong room. She had a thermometer behind her ear.

Some asshole got her pencil.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Home Is Where The Heart Patient Is

A couple days ago, driving home from the hospital, I put the cruise control on in my mom's car. I put my legs in a more relaxed position. Then, suddenly, whirrrrrrr, hummmmmm, I am slowly being crushed against the steering wheel. Apparently my giant ostrich legs have discovered a decidedly poor placement for those "seat memory" buttons. Number 1 is set for my mom. Number 2 is set for my dad. Number 3, which I assume I hit, is set for a leprechaun.

The good news is that this is South Florida where people rarely drive in one lane at a time so I didn't attract much attention.

My dad is doing so well, they sent him home today; a day ahead of schedule. They gave him a few prescriptions. My dad looked at them and said, "These are for William. My name is not William." "Oh, let me check on that," replied the nurse.

One of the prescriptions was for Darvocet. My dad has taken nothing but acetaminophen since his first day when they gave him Percocet. That was a bad trip for him. When my sister had her surgery (long ago) and they gave her that, she wanted to jump out the window. But as long as you're not allergic, they don't much care.

Now, for the hardest part: taking it easy, getting up slowly, remembering to hold that pillow against his chest when he coughs (to prevent his ribcage from exploding), that kind of stuff.