Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sandra Bullock, Cruz'n for love, and the gubmint

So Sandra Bullock said something along the lines of, "Expecting an actor to NOT be a narcissist is kind of like expecting a bird NOT to poop when it's flying. It's kind of what they do." I agree completely, and she has perfectly stated why it’s a good idea to avoid any sort of relationship with an actor: Much like a bird flying high above, they will crap on you. It's kind of what they do.

Moving on to the truly insane: Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan stated one of their core problems with The ACA was its mandate that employers provide birth control as a part of their employee health care plans, because it could violate the religious beliefs of certain employers. But why stop there? Shouldn't Viagra and other ED drugs also violate the religious beliefs of these same employers? Surely, if some gray haired dude cannot get a boner, it is because it was ordained by The Lord, and a medically induced stiffie would be an abomination in His Eyes. In fact, I think this very issue was mentioned in Corinthians (so sayeth The Lord "He shall not spring heavenward from his nether regions like a fresh stalk of grain with the aid of unnatural substances created by soothsayers and other necromancers. Amen."). Anyways, they're strangely silent on this issue. Typical of the radical set, afraid to make the "hard" decisions. (Zing! See what I did there????)

When people say, "I love my country, but I hate my government", I like to ask them, "What do mean by that? Your country IS your government. Otherwise, you're just talking about a large chunk of dirt bordered on its east and west sides by an ocean." In the future I'm going to suggest to them, "Don't you mean I love this continent? Or perhaps this particular combination of tectonic plates? Because clearly, you HATE this country, based on your views about the government. Simple deductive reasoning indicates you must rather be a fan of our particular brand of clays and top soils." They invariably will answer, "Well, I loved this country when it was it USED to be!" Then the logical query would be ,"Used to be...when? When slavery was legal? When the average life expectancy was approximately 47 yrs (as recently as 1900)? When the average household income was $740 a year (in 1913...which adjusted for inflation was $15,000 in 2006, when the average household income for the USA in 2006 was over $49, things weren't so hot in 1913)? When the majority of people lived in homes with dirt floors and without electricity?  The Reagan revolution when the national debt went from $900 billion to $3 trillion (over a threefold increase)? The Dubya years when middle class incomes stagnated and declined?  When is the great USED TO BE in your statement?"

I doubt they will have much of an answer...because the "USED TO BE" only exists in their head, and in fiction...which of course is the same thing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Phase Changes of Microwavable Items

A microwave is an interesting thing, and, of course, a handy way to quick heat a tasty morsel for a nearly instantaneous meal.  The following is a quick guide to your standard microwave on "hi temp" setting and its minute by minute effect on your reheated food:

-one minute: food is still a frozen block of ice, reminiscent of something chipped out of Siberian tundra.
-two minutes: food still frozen, but now in a slushy state...akin to a snow cone served up during a Fresno afternoon in July, or, and perhaps more accurately, similar to the interior chamber of Mitch McConnell's reptilian heart.
-three minutes:'s now (almost) defrosted.
-four minutes: you could eat this, but it's 30 degrees lower than the ambient room temperature, and somewhat gag inducing.
-five minutes: coolish. Food is now warmed to a tepid 64.27 degrees Fahrenheit.  You COULD eat this...but only if you're truly desperate.
-five minutes and one second: holy christ, is that a plate of magma in there?  Did my burrito just achieve nuclear fusion and turn itself into a self sustaining plasma reaction?  This thing is hotter than Satan's butthole and putting it into my mouth (the burrito, not Satan's butthole.  BTW, Satan's butthole is a theoretical temperature often used in physics circles to describe high heat values along the Planck scale) would not only induce a third degree burn from the surface of my tongue all the way down to my lower colon, but would, in all probability, cause me to self combust in a puff of pure oxidized carbon.  The remnants of the burrito would then fall to the ground, it's radiating heat still not exhausted, and burrow its way to the earth's core in a China Syndrome type scenario.

Unfortunately, there is no five minutes and one half second time setting on microwaves, and the preceding examples are all that a modern microwave is capable of achieving in food preparation.  So, my advice to you, is just choke down that gag inducing 64.27 degree burrito, and save yourself from the ruinous experience of the last thing your mind comprehends as you explode in a cloud of carbonized particles is a hole opening up in the earth's crust, and the contents of the earth's molten core exploding across the continent in a sea of molten nickel, iron, rare earth elements, and left over beans, cheese, rice and carne asada.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

iPhones, stone age philosophers, and Cloverfield

You know how people like to quote scripture as a means of addressing a problem or offering advice? While there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, I generally have one thought that immediately jumps to the forefront of my cranium when this happens: "That's great, and thank you for that. Now, have you got any other ideas or thoughts to share...or at least ones that were created sometime after the invention of the light bulb?"*

*Sometimes it's hard to reconcile sage words from an individual who lived in a stone hut and carved their ideas on clay tablets when all I want is a point of view on whether or not a new iPhone is worth it, or if the new Godzilla movie is, or isn't, a Cloverfield rip-off**.

**Of course Cloverfield is a rip off of a multitude of films (primarily Japanese monster

disaster movies and found footage style films a la Blair Witch) but it was brilliantly done, had a unique

feel, and was highly entertaining. Right up there with Alien in my monster movies top ten (John

Carpenter's The Thing is another). However, I must say I WOULD be impressed if a millenniums old

cave dweller had something to say about the iPhone: "Yea verily, I say unto you, the 5S is the way,

and the light (specifically the light in the form of extended battery life sayeth The Lord. Amen)".

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Superheroes and punctuation

You know how people say, "Look! It's Batman!", or, "Look! It's Superman!", or, "Look! It's Iron Man!", right? Well, if I could be a superhero and pick my own name, it would be Ellipses Man. That way, people could say, "Look! It's ...!" I think that would be cool.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'll bet Viagra makes life hard

You know that erectile dysfunction commercial (I think it's Viagra) they're always playing, the one with the blues guitar in the background, and guys with salt and pepper hair and a three day growth of beard? It always shows a guy working on a car, or loading horses into a trailer, or starting a campfire, and then the voice over says, "This is the age for getting things done." So, what are they implying? That it is easier to "get things done" with an erection? I'm not following how having a boner is going to make getting those horses into the trailer any easier, much less changing your oil or keeping warm (well, I guess you COULD wrap your hands around it). Trust me. I'm a guy. There's precious few things an erection makes EASIER (save one). It generally makes everything much harder (pun intended). Just ask any 16yr old male in an algebra class...

Bears, Lilliputians, and American clothing sizes

I went looking for a sweatshirt the other day. Apparently, Americans come in two sizes: XXXXXL "I can't stop stuffing food into my mouth oh god please somebody help me why haven't my friends staged an intervention", and XXXS "Apparently people have been having lots of wanton unprotected sex with Lilliputians for the last several generations and I didn't even know it". If you're neither of these sizes, you're essentially screwed (and not in a good way). You may want to consider saving yourself a whole lot of time, and go right into the woods and kill yourself a bear and wear its pelt for the winter. Not only will it fit better, you'll find it a less frustrating experience as well. Plus, you get to eat its still beating heart and consume its soul, thus becoming one with the bear. So...bonus.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pet Peeves

So, on occasion, I have out of the blue, unprompted, tangential conversations (usually via text) with a certain individual about pet peeves. We like to share, as it's nice to know you're not the only soul who finds life's minutia an occasional exasperating pain in the ass.  Tonight, I experienced two that I thought I'd share with the world wide web.  And what are these pet peeves you may be (probably not) asking yourselves? Smoke alarms and Redbox video rental kiosks.  Let me explain...

Smoke alarms are nothing but a governmental, big brother, nanny state, pointless feel good law mandated requirement for American homes.  They are an utter nuisance and a colossal headache inducing torture device.  They should all be ripped out of our homes, and in a flurry of brilliant irony, set aflame and allowed to smolder and we dance naked Druid style in the shadows cast by their flickering combustion (I'm imagining this happening somewhere near the Salisbury Plain, at night, during the summer solstice.  It just seems ..right).  "But John!  Smoke alarms save lives!  How can you say that???"  Smoke alarms save lives?  Really?  Do they?  You know, in my four decades (plus) of life, I've met a lot of people.   Easily in the thousands.  And in all the information sharing,  the exchanging of stories, and basic knowledge swap you (the proverbial "you" by the way, not necessarily "you" the current reader, although unless you're a hermit who lives in a seaside cave ((OK, any cave)), "you" too ((reader "you" that try and follow along)) are probably familiar with this sort of encounter) normally engage in typical human interaction, you learn a few things.  One of the things you learn is most human beings have a multitude of common experiences.   Love and loss, winning and losing, yin and yang, the alpha and the omega, the peanut butter and the jelly, the mangled tape cassette in your in-dash car stereo (like I said, I'm 40+), repeatedly stopping your car and throwing up on the sidewalk of a major metropolitan coastal city as you try and make the hours long drive back home only to be trapped in a traffic jam on a suspension bridge wondering if life could suck any worse (What?  Just me?), etc., etc., etc.  Human beings are ultimately not all that different in most respects, and we can relate to a great many shared experiences. Want to know what is one experience not one single person I have ever met  EVER, has experienced?  Having their lives saved by a smoke alarm. NOT ONE.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  Want to know what IS the common smoke alarm experience most human beings experience?  The low battery  ear piercing chirp they emit when the battery needs to be replaced. This, for reasons that are not clear, always seems to happen at three in the morning on a Tuesday before an especially stressful meeting is scheduled for work at 8am, sharp.  The really awesome thing about this is, you can go all caveman and rip the goddamn thing right out of the ceiling, eat the now depleted battery, and back repeatedly over the smoke alarm with your car, and it will not stop chirping.  It's as if it's powered by the will of Satan, and his evil wishes WILL NOT BE DENIED.  Now, I know what you're thinking: "Hey, just replace the battery".  Right.  Generally what happens in this scenario is this: you go to the "junk drawer" (every American house has one.  It's usually filled with mismatched screws, a book of matches with one match left, a flathead screwdriver, rubber bands, expired coupons, a Chinese take out menu, a random Tic-Tac or two, .13 cents in change, and an eleven year old stick of spearmint gum.  It also has batteries in it) and look for a battery.  You'll have a plethora of AA, AAA, a couple of "C" cells, and a miniature watch battery to a watch you no longer own.  But, no, I repeat, NO, 9v.  So, you think to yourself, "Hey, you know what?  I JUST replaced that 9v battery in the (fill in electronic device of choice here), and it's practically new. I'll just swap that into the smoke alarm until I can get a new one." Ha ha ha!  You poor, delusional, pathetic fool!  That battery is no longer fresh!  It's .006573 percent depleted!  A smoke alarm would not accept that filthy, used, whorish battery!  It has another device's stink all over it!!!!  Your smoke alarm MUST have a VIRGIN battery for it to cease its migraine inducing, Voldemort (hey, he's a dark lord too) induced shriek.  Oh, and god forbid the battery in question is not the smoke alarm manufacturer's suggested battery.  You might as well expect it to run on hopes and dreams.  Anyways, now you're at a crossroads. You either have to throw on those dirty clothes on the floor next to your bed and schlep your ass down to the 24hr market at 3am to buy a new battery, or, check into a hotel for the evening.  Thing is, this is a toss-up, as the price of a two pack (the powers that be have determined we're not allowed to buy just one) of 9v batteries at a 24hr. supermarket rival the price of a one night stay at The Four Seasons.  So, you'll have some deciding to do. 

Anywhoo, my point is this: a smoke alarm is nothing more than the lobbyists of the battery producers of America convincing our legislators (via a steady stream of cash, liquor, Rolexes and know...the good, solid, logic induced reasoning lobbyists are known to provide) that the American home doesn't have a high enough demand for an outdated source of temporary power, and gosh darn it, we just can't have that (unless of course, you're not interested in hookers and Rolexes).  

Moving on...another thing that annoys the hell out of me...

Redbox video kiosks.  

"What? You mean you have a problem with a service that only charges $1 for a video rental?  Are you kidding me?  What the hell is wrong with you???"  No.  I am not kidding, and the only thing wrong with me is my clarity of understanding.  They are the ultimate bait and switch. They CLAIM to only cost $1, but I've never had a Redbox video rental that cost me less than $37.50.  Why?  Because who in the hell watches a movie, and then immediately (less than 24hrs is immediate in my book) races back to the kiosk to return it?  NOBODY.  That's who.  Generally, these movies are rented on a Saturday night when the family is going to hang out, share a pizza, and watch the latest Iron Man movie (Iron Man seems a good example.  Another would be Argo, or, if dad gets his way, anything with Jason Statham).  So, what happens?  You eat the pizza, you watch the flick, and you go to bed.  Then Sunday rolls around.  This is YOUR day to rest.  You work tomorrow, so who in the hell wants to leave the house?  Leaving the house means you have to shower, miss football games, brush your teeth, and maybe even talk to somebody beyond your door.  Ain't gonna happen, baby.  It's Sunday.  We're going to watch football, drink coffee, and maybe eventually shower...maybe.  But I'll tell you this, we sure as hell ARE NOT going to make a special trip that consumes three dollars worth of gas just to return a $1 movie.  Eff that noise.  I'm on the sofa, and Argo (sorry lost on the decision via majority rules) is just going to have to sit on the coffee table.  No worries.  I'll just return in Monday.  No big deal.  Well, it IS a big deal because it's Monday, you're late, and you'll go flying out the door with no time to go to the Redbox kiosk.  Welllll.....Tuesday then.  Nope.  Not Tuesday either, as your car has to be smogged (the registration is already overdue), and you'll completely forget.  Wednesday?  Nope.  It's your child's birthday, and you'll have your already crowded mind solely focused on remembering to get a birthday card.  Thursday?  Maybe Thursday.  By Thursday, you'll actually remember to put the DVD in your car, but then it will slip into the crack between the seat and center console and you'll forget about it...and it will become your silent and forgotten travel companion for the next week and a half.  Then, one day, as you can't find your wallet and are frantically searching for it in your car, you'll run across the DVD, say, "Holy overdue is this thing????" and then, and only then, actually return a cost of the afore mentioned $37.50.  And the thing is, Redbox KNOWS this, and are (literally) BANKING ON IT.  And they will Hoover our bank accounts over and over again, so much so that you'd be financially better off if you simply produced the actual movie yourself, and were given a free copy of it at the cast party.  

So what's, ultimately, my point?  Nothing really...other than the obvious conclusion that we're nothing but self winding automatons that exist to consume and fork over our hard earned capital to our corporate overlords.  And you know what?  It's time for the revolution!  I'm as mad as hell, and I don't have to take this anymore!  It's time we stood up and...wait. Is that the latest Star Trek movie at Redbox?  And it's only a buck? Sounds great!  I'll order the pizza...    

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bikini Etiquette

OK. I'm just going to say this just once: women in bikinis wearing high heels look ridiculous. Not ridiculous "hot", but ridiculous "retarded". I'm looking at you celebrities posting selfies all over the internet. Just stop it. A bikini has two foot gear options: barefoot, or sandal/flipflop. A third choice is acceptable, but only in unique situations: the tennis shoe (if you're having to hike over a few rocks, etc., to get to your destination, or, are wearing a pair of cutoffs over the bottoms as you walk along the boardwalk or something...or if you're in the mountains). There is no fourth option. EVER. Just sayin'.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dairy and Narcolepsy

After a rather hearty breakfast, I think my pores my be leaking pure, grade A, creamery butter. This, by the way, is not a bad thing. I'm attempting to nullify its narcotic sleep inducing effects with coffee stronger, and blacker, than Darth Vader's dress socks.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Here come the holidays...

The holidays are inherently depressing because nothing you experience in reality will ever measure up to the spice scented, baking cookies, steaming hot chocolate, cheery fire, warmth of kith and kin fantasy being offered up by Hollywood (or to the yearning of our own pathetically ever hopeful hearts). To take this scenario a step further, factor in always seeming to break up with somebody right at the beginning of the holidays and you get to be the token single person at all your married friends holiday parties. This leads to a witches brew of holiday “meh” syndrome. I’m also a person from a very small, somewhat anti-social (and mildly dysfunctional) family, and I tend to be able to feel oddly isolated, uncomfortable and alone in a crowded room full of people (although you’d never know it, as I fake being at ease really well). A scenario like this makes me want to run for the door when I’m forced to make chit-chat with essential strangers about “How come I haven’t remarried after ten years” (answer: I may be a masochist, but I’m not stupid) or “Aren’t you seeing anybody? What ever happened to so and so?” (confession: nobody has ever said “so and so”. Confession #2: I am often tempted to answer this question with the most sincere face I can muster and say: “She died of anal cancer. It was gruesome. Just horrible. She died in complete agony. Just…just…awful. I’ve only, well, just today actually, stopped crying over her and have only recently gotten off of my meds, but talking about her now….it seems…I don’t know…I just….will you excuse me?” and then start uncontrollably sobbing and make a huge scene. Who knows? It’s holiday party time right around the corner…I’ll keep that one in reserve in case I’m truly bored). Point is, the holidays tend to leave me with a big ol’ empty hole in my gut…a total lack of fulfillment. I suspect I’m not alone in this regard (obviously). The upside to having nothing but married friends is they usually throw the above mentioned parties, so I get to have a few weekends of free food and drink. But the hustle and bustle of the family/social lives of others around the holidays makes one (well…me anyways) reflect on their deceased parents (my father passed away twelve years ago, and every Thanksgiving/Christmas I think about how he continually ruined the holidays with his alcoholism…when I’d rather not think about him at all), their own failed relationships, or the seeming pointless consumerism of it all. It seems to me the holidays are a giant bait and switch, except with lots of food, booze and forced smiles. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…um….ennui….”

I too have rednecks in my family tree...

A while back somebody wrote a story about their having attended a semi-professional wrestling match, and their realization of all the white trash glory it represented, and their inescapable conclusion that they were genetically composed of some white trash genes themselves.  This got me reflecting on a childhood experience of mine that allowed me to realize I wasn't so different:

There was an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia that used as its main plot device a semi-pro wrestling match that took place at a low rent rec (veterans?) center. Naturally, watching the show poke fun at the DBO* (*”ditch bank okies”, i.e. rednecks, white trash, etc. I’ve often wondered ((ok, not often…rarely)) if that term is widely used or just a Fresno thing?) crowd in the audience and at the poorly disguised fakery of the amateurish, semi-pro wrestlers, I assumed there was a fair amount of hyperbole and exaggeration on display in the name of getting a few laughs. However, after reading a particular story on the subject, the episode now looks like a documentary. Wow…I can almost smell the stale beer, dirty feet, and the abandonment of dreams (I know…the last one was redundant. Everybody knows the abandonment of ones dreams smells like dirty feet and stale beer…apologies for being pedantic). It was a glimpse into a world I did not suspect actually existed.
Also, being of white trash stock myself, I think I can match the semi-pro wrestling experience with something equally resplendent that I attended with my father when I was 7 or 8 years old: a demolition derby at a county fair. A county fair quality (in the late 70′s no less) demolition derby makes a modern day monster truck show look like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Sitting in the seats was like being lost in a testosterone fog produced by mustachioed, inebriated dock workers (this was San Diego) who were all wearing the same trucker hat (back when the trucker hat was merely called a “hat” because thats what hats looked like back then, before they became cool and ironic 30 years later) and Coors t-shirt. Smoke (in hindsight, probably mostly of the cigarette variety...this was the 70's after all), auto exhaust, the sound of crunching metal, the whoops and hollers of drunk men and yes, the related smell of stale, cheap, spilled beer…was all pretty heady stuff for an 8 year old. And only just now, upon reflection, do I realize that there is a good chance I was one of those unsupervised feral children described in the story I had previously read, and this has allowed me to turn back the pages of time and essentially view my young self through the eyes of an independent 3rd party observer. Consider my mind blown…and somewhat mortified.

I hate to fly...but sometimes you just got to give yourself over to the universe

The following is a thought I shared with somebody, so I thought I'd post it here as well:

I think, on some level, we all fear flying to some degree. It’s just unnatural. My problems with flying are somewhat tied to my analytical brain…oh, and entropy. The thing is, if you pause for one second to consider the thousands of mechanical and electrical processes that have to work perfectly, and in harmony , to keep an aircraft aloft, and then consider the inescapable 2nd law of thermodynamics, nobody would ever fly again. Things break. They fall apart (right Yeats?). Decay. Crack. Warp, bend, and shatter. Entropy dictates things naturally progress from orderly, structured, harmonious states to disordered and deconstructed states (this is, of course, until they reach a point of equilibrium, which is pretty harmonious if you think about it…but equilibrium means your plane crashed…probably thousands of years ago). Anyways, every time I fly, I just look at it as me giving up and turning myself over to the universe, and essentially gambling that the metal, composites and plastics holding me aloft are, at least on this day, relatively fresh on their entropic journey of falling apart. I’ve never felt the need to gamble (with money), I don’t see the appeal. I figure flying, and gambling with my life, is thrill enough for me.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Life is worth living...

...because my Fresno State Bulldogs won an overtime thriller 52-51.  As I watched the game from the stadium stands, and alternated between bouts of agony and ecstasy, I had to ask myself: Why do I, a grown man, get so emotionally involved in a sporting match?  It's ridiculous.  I'm not a participant, I don't gamble on the games, and I don't know a single soul on the field.  Yes, I'm an alum of the university, and they represent the city I live in...but still.  What is it about sport that puts men on an emotional roller coaster more completely than a coked out, bi-polar girlfriend/spouse ever could?  And it's not just me.  Every where I looked there were grown men of all ages with looks of anguish, happiness, concern, etc.  You'd think they were watching their child being born.  While I'm aware of all the psychological explanations (sports are a 'safe' place for men to experience emotion without looking effeminate, etc and blah blah blah), it's more than that.  We obsess on statistics, injuries, uniform changes, pre game/match analysis, post game/match analysis, and on and on.  We don't pay nearly as much attention to our financial investments as we do to league standings.  And why?  What's in our DNA that makes it so?  Truth is, I don't know...but I suspect it's the same gene responsible for the love of audio/video equipment, beer, sports cars, and steak.    

(Liverpool has yet to lose as well...match with Man U Saturday morning will be first indicator of what we can expect for the season.  Good friend is a Red Devil supporter...I will never hear the end of it if The Reds lose...)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Update to the update...

Well, ulcer still here...along with probable bile reflux.  So, I now have an appointment for my second endoscopy in a year.  W00t.  Also, I've lost 15 lbs...without trying.  It's amazing what a little vomiting and abdominal pain does for your desire to kills it.  Like "stand your ground in Florida" kills it.  Truth is, I'm a little skinnier than I'd like to be at the moment, and am looking forward to getting this healed and then immediately go on a tacos and cheeseburgers health regimen to put a few pounds back on.

In other news, I think I'm going to paint and reroof my house.  As you can see, my sense of adventure knows no bounds.  Also, my oldest started college, and my youngest is now a high school junior.  If there's a greater indicator you're getting older, I'm not aware of it.  The cliche "they grow up so fast" now makes sense to me, and it is more real than its usual trite usage suggests. (sniff sniff...tears)

Upside?  College football starts in a week, and I have season tickets to my beloved Fresno State Bulldogs.  Another reason why fall is my favorite time of year.  Also, Liverpool started off the 2013-2014 EPL season with a win, and last I heard, Luis Suarez didn't cannibalize anybody in the off season, so perhaps Liverpool can make a run for the top-4, and a Champions League berth (I hear you snickering out there...).  No 'Dogs down and You'll Never Walk Alone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


So, it wasn't a food allergy.  Turns out, I have an ulcer...which I ignored for almost a month (you would think nightly pain would get me to the doctor...but nope.  That would take a brain cell or two...which I'm apparently lacking).  What did it take to finally get me to the doctor?  Vomiting up bile the color of mint ice cream.  Needless to say, that did the trick.  Anyways, let me tell you...are ulcers painful?  Uh, yeah.  Unbelievably so.  The good news is I can eat want I want again, the bad news is...I can't eat what I want for at least a month.  My tasty diet consists primarily of peanut butter (creamy) and jelly sandwiches, bananas, grapes, 1% milk, apples, blueberries, eggs, rice, plain noodles and oatmeal.  When I'm feeling exotic, I work in a little chicken.  No caffeine, no chocolate, no spices, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, coffee (I haven't had coffee in days and yes, I'm experiencing withdrawals), citrus, fatty foods (cheese, butter, cream, whole know, shit I love) or carbonated beverages.  I didn't originally believe this, and cheated a bit.  Well, after 12 hours of agonizing abdominal pain, I saw the light. Anyways, the ulcer safe diet pretty much means any foods that lack actual flavor are the safe foods to eat.  Right now, even something like KETCHUP sounds like exotic, forbidden fruit.  Those of you who may know me, know how much I like spicy food (especially Mexican), so you can appreciate the dietary hell I'm living in right now.  However, I suppose I can take solace in the fact that it won't last forever.

 OK.  Time for (yet another) banana.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Las Vegas and potential milk allergies

So, I haven't been much of a blogger lately.  Part of it has been an ongoing health issue which has run me down for the last year, seriously fucked with my personal and professional life, jacked up my once solid fitness regimen, and looks like I may have to go out of town for a specialist if I want to get it addressed (Samter's Triad...look it up.  It's a fun little auto immune allergy thing...and Scripps in San Diego has a special protocol to deal with it.  After having asthma, loss of smell, occasional intestinal angioedema ((more painful than I can begin to describe)) and hives off and on for over a year, I think I'm ready to give it a shot).  Another reason is I'm not all that angry or pissed.  It's amazing what fuel rage is for ranting on a site like this, but I've been too run down to really feel the burn...and truth be told, there's not a whole lot of drama right now anyways.  Well, until now...

First of all, I love dairy.  Milk, ice cream, cheese, BUTTER....seriously.  The shit to me is the heroin of the food groups.  To me, it's more addictive than BACON...and that's saying something.   You can take one of my eyes, but don't fuck with my dairy.  Well, check this out.  All of the sudden, for no good goddamn reason, for the last three weeks, every evening, and after most meals, I would get debilitating stomach pain and abdominal distension.  I mean wind up at doctors and get prescription pain killers type pain.  As a result of my last years allergic nonsense, apparently there's a good chance you'll develop other autoimmune allergies.  Naturally, because I love dairy so much, it appears I have developed a milk protein allergy.  While this hasn't been officially diagnosed yet, today I avoided all dairy after doing a research of symptoms last night (first tried a gluten elimination...didn't work), and today I had the first day in weeks where I wasn't rolling around on the carpet in agony at 3:30 in the morning with my gut blown up three times its normal size.  Great.  Take away one of the few things I truly live for.  On top of all that, apparently I'm going to have to turn into one of those alternative foods Nazi's that are a real pain in the ass.  I'm already researching almond/coconut milk dairy substitutes, non-dairy vegan protein powders (since I can no longer enjoy my chocolate milk or chocolate whey protein post workout beverage.  And that's another thing.  Last year my fitness regimen was seriously derailed by this allergy bullshit, and every few months when I start to feel better and get back on a regular exercise/running schedule....BOOM!  Sinus infection!  Boom! Rampant hives outbreak!  And now...BOOM! A possible milk protein allergy!  I haven't exercised in three weeks and I feel like I'm atrophying head to's like God/Mother Earth/Buddah/Shiva/HAL/fucking whoever, doesn't want me fit anymore, because it feels like I'm constantly being conspired against every time I get back into a routine), breads that aren't made with milk products, etc.  Guess what?  EVERYTHING HAS FUCKING MILK PRODUCTS IN IT!  Seriously.  If it's processed, it's in there in one form or another.  So now, I have to start shopping for particular products at those high end yuppie health food grocery chains where you spend $9 on a loaf of dairy-soy-gluten-GMO free organic bread made by a woman named Chastity and her husband Freedom.  Yea.  Apparently, I'm going to have to turn into THAT PERSON.  God help us all, and please forgive me for what I'm about to become.

OK.  Rant over.  Side note, I took my daughters to Las Vegas (their me parent of the year) during the week of the 4th of July.  Saw a few shows, ate at some nice restaurants, overheard a large man who looked like Cedric the Entertainer trying to buy cocaine over the phone ("Yo man, we need some motherfuckin' CO-CAINE up in this motherfucker...") and I managed to get through it despite my previously mentioned uncontrolled allergy/GI issues (had a few stressful nights though...was thinking I was going to end up at the Las Vegas ER one night, which would have sucked ballz...although I'm sure it would have made for a helluva story later).  Like I said, made for some long nights, but it was nice taking the girls out of town.  We had a good time, and I got to take them on their first (short) flight (kind of their warm up as my sister is taking them to England in two weeks.  Yes...they're spoiled).  Here's a few pics:
Ahhh...the subtle ambience of The Strip.

Awesome show, and some would say I appear to be a paler long lost cousin of the Blue Men.

Another impressive show, and the theater was jaw dropping amazing.

You know, The Strip just isn't blingy enough...perhaps fireworks is what it needs.  Done.

Seriously, go see this's a blast.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parking Lot Etiquette, Assholes, and Hair Gel

So, a few weeks ago I had my head up my ass.  It happens to the best of us.  Know what separates us from the animals?  Our ability to ADMIT the occasions when we have our head up our ass.  Those that CANNOT admit this, therefore, are complete assholes (ok, "asshole" is not an animal per se, or not even a "per se" actually, but this is the most appropriate word for the situation, and I refuse to go back and re-write my introductory statement.  Moving on...).  Those that cannot forgive those of us who can admit when we had our head up our ass are even bigger assholes (think blue whale sphincter...rhino anus*...Godzilla's dark star**...etc), at least, in my opinion, that is.  So, with these declarations in place, here's my short, cautionary story about assholes and proper parking lot etiquette:

I was driving in my local supermarket/strip mall parking lot at a breakneck speed of about 7 MPH.  As I approached an intersection within the parking lot, I was simultaneously fucking with my stereo, dialing a phone number, and reaching in my back seat for my wallet.  In other words, admittedly, not being real attentive.  A gentleman, and by gentleman, I mean hair gelled*** prick in a BMW, had already entered the intersection, and therefore had the right of way.  Me, due to having my head up my ass, did not see him and rolled into the intersection.  I looked up, and due to my whopping speed of 7 MPH, was able to stop my car about 15 FT. from his car.  It wouldn't even warrant calling it a close call. Calling it a close call would be like calling sex with your ex a good idea****.  In other words, it's not (it wasn't? Whatever).  So, because I adhere to proper parking lot etiquette, even though this wasn't a close call, or anything remotely perilous, I did the mea culpa with the hand and facial (heh heh...I said "facial") gestures that intimated "Sorry.  I had my head up my ass...and yes, I find this embarrassing.  Please proceed good sir."  Now, the proper response to my top notch display of etiquette would be a smile and a friendly nod that says, "Hey, no worries...we all have our moments of head up assedness...and thank you for recognizing yours like a true mensch."  And then we would both proceed on our way, thinking human beings aren't really all that bad a bunch after all.  But no.  This is not the case.  Human beings, of course, do suck.  Mightily.  So, Mr. Dippitty Doo here has to pile it on.  It's not enough that I've acknowledged my breach of safety procedures.  Oh no.  Porcupine head here has to give the wild "WTF???" shoulder shrugs and "Pull your head out your ass!" hand gestures to, you know, really hammer the point home.  But, do you want to know what really happens here?  There's no further lesson learned on my part.  NONE.  AT ALL.  His tough love is getting him NOWHERE in my lessons learned department.  Know what lesson he IS in danger of learning?  This one: that what his wild gesticulations DO inspire in me is not additional shame, but rather I pretty much shift into a red mist of rage, and have to use every neuron within my body to stop my brain from causing my foot to mash on the gas pedal, and launching my front bumper into a smoking tire beeline right into his drivers side door in the hope that not only can I see his eyeballs explode out of his skull in a geyser of blood and gray matter, and maybe, if I can find the free time in my schedule, also attend his funeral to hear the lamentations of his loved ones*****.  Because at this moment, that sounds like a really great time to me.  Naturally, this doesn't happen as the neurons win out in restraining me, and Mr. 10w30 hair job continues, obliviously, on his way in a self righteous cloud, not knowing I just let him live out the rest of his overly crunchy headed days in hair gelled, douchey peace.******

Anyways, point being, when somebody admits to their mistake, be gracious enough to accept it...for the love of god.

*Rhino Anus: if this isn't an ancient Chinese aphrodisiac  it should be.
**Godzilla's dark star: wasn't that the 2nd track off of Radiohead's 3rd album?
***Hair gelled prick: hair gel is the blue pinstripe business suit of the prick world.
****Sex with your ex: bad idea.  Unless they're good in bed.  And hot.  And kinda dirty. And you crave a little drama.  Then go for it.  Jesus Christ...figure it out for yourself...what am I?  Miss Manners???  For fuck's sake grow a pair and make a bad decision once in a while.
*****Vehicular manslaughter: this is of course used as hyperbole.  Juicy, delicious, amazing hyperbole.
******Live out the rest of his days in douchey peace: unless of course I change my mind, follow him home, and call in a precision drone strike.  Apparently you can get a drone strike ordered anywhere nowadays.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exercise and Meteorology

Interesting factoid about my neighborhood: you can jog around it for 40 minutes in essentially a giant circle, and be in a headwind* the entire fucking time. 

*I've ruled out a constant cyclone hovering over housing development, or my blazing speed giving the illusion of a headwind...and am now open to new theories.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Huge Pills: A Yetis's dick or King King's Fang? (and "the clap")

Got some antibiotics for a sinus/upper-respiratory infection I had...and they are these HUGE horse pills.  I mean...HUGE (Like a Yeti's dick?  King Kong's fang?  I get the idea*).  Anyways, two a day X2 a day.  Seems excessive.  Makes me wonder if the pharmacy accidentally switched my prescription with somebody who has the clap...not that, you know, I'd know what those kind of pills looked like or anything...just sayin'.

*I have no factual basis for the size of either.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KFC, beards, baby corn and facial hair

Was discussing pet peeves with somebody, and I realized I have another: beards. Thought I'd repost a short rant on the subject.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 1441 hours Pacific Time...the date and time beards officially jumped the shark.* This was made apparent as I just saw a KFC commercial with bespectacled, 30-something "hipsters" all sporting beards as they wolfed down their chicken. By the time corporate America gets on board, it's never a good sign for the "cutting edge" crowd. RIP ironic facial hair.

*Yes, yes...I know. The term "jumped the shark" jumped the shark on Friday, October 28, 2009. I just haven't found a suitable replacement.

Also, it turns out that "baby corn" is just corn. Who the fuck knew?**

** Obviously, not me. I figured it was just this weird little vegetable that looked like a "baby corn." Kind of like how Michele Bachman LOOKS like a human being, but isn't.***

***She's actually a replicant constructed from polycarbonate, the blood of the innocent, and Republican sexual fantasies.

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Read the Label", i.e., "Caveat Emptor Motherfucka!"

Just discovered the salsa I ate had a "best by date" of Sept. 2012.  That probably explains the stomach ache.  I wonder what the "will kill you" date is?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Target, Flying, and Stella Skull Candy

OK, I've bitched about my experiences at Starbucks (I'm going to start calling it "The Bux", because it makes it easier to cram it into one run-on word.  For example: "gettacupatthebux".  I'm all about brevity, and just don't have the time for actual proper English, busy guy that I am) and grocery stores, so naturally, the next, almost organic, progression from these two retailers would be (drumroll, please): Target.  Quick exposition to set up the rant:

I was going on a short one hour flight last weekend, and I wanted to buy some cheap headphones pre-flight.  Why cheap headphones?  Because if they get lost during your journey (which is a 50/50 probability), you won't get all bent out of shape because you left them stuffed in the airline seat-back next to the barf bag and the Alaska Airlines courtesy magazine (why are your headphones stuffed in the barf bag/magazine seat-back?  Because you got up to take a leak.  Duh.  And why are you getting up and taking a leak on a measly one hour flight?  Because you were pounding Stella* prior to the flight.  Double duh).  Anyways, I really don't like to fly (my brain gets mildly preoccupied with the all the moving parts that have to work perfectly in unison in order to keep you aloft...and if you ever spent any time pondering the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, you'd be preoccupied too...), so listening to music is a nice diversion.  I suppose having a crazy three way with the flight attendants would be another diversion as well, but I feel listening to my iPod is a) more appropriate b) easier to attain c) probably doesn't violate any FAA laws, and d) doesn't require the use of latex, various gels, and an awkward post event shame-walk back to your seat.  Additionally, you're less likely to have to look anyone in the eye and have an uncomfortable moment of false intimacy, talk dirty, cuddle, or wonder two weeks later if that rash that suddenly appeared means anything (then again, I have no idea how involved you are with your iPod/ maybe you do experience those things, you perv).  So, off to Target I go, and I see a basic pair of Skull Candy earbuds on sale for less than $10.  Perfect.  I make my purchase and go catch my flight.

OK, so now were back to the flight, post Stella shenanigans and trip to the urinal 30 minutes into the flight (sans flight attendants and the kinky stuff), and I wander back to my seat.  I look out the window and stare at the turbo-prop to my right and immediately start wondering about lift vs. downforce vs. drag, gravity, structural integrity, pressure variances, and, yes, as mentioned above, entropy.  Hey man, to quote Yeats: things fall apart. OK, it's definitely earbuds and iPod (well, iPhone) time!  I pop in the earbuds, crank up the tunes, and......only one of the earbuds (bud?) works.  Looks like the old 2nd Law is working its magic quicker than I would have thought.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to enjoy music with only 1/2 of the stereo sound working?  Exactly.  You cant.  Upside was, I killed another 20 minutes of the flight trying to figure out how to get them to work properly (maybe if I blew in the earpiece to dislodge an unseen particle of plastic, or fiddled with the wires, maybe try and peel of an unseen piece of protective film on the miniature speaker....fuck.  Nope.  Broken as Mickey Rourke's face ((was going to say "mental state", but truth be told, I have no idea how sane Mickey Rourke actually is, or isn't.  But his face, I think we can all agree, is a train wreck.  Btw, he was fucking awesome in Angel Heart.  Just sayin'...)).  In hindsight, I now realize watching me obsessively fuck with the earbuds must have gave the other passengers the idea I snorted a whole bottle of Ritalin in the bathroom, but oh well).  Anyways, I gave up in defeat, and perused the Alaskan Airlines in flight magazine.  The magazine had little nuggets of info like: Alaskan Airlines has flights to Alaska.  Holy shit.  Who knew????  And: the National Parks of the USA are picturesque.  Well, fuck me...somebody better get a photographer over to Yosemite and Yellowstone, stat.  Might be a good idea to photograph them in order to let folks know they may be a nice place to visit.  Amazing nobody thought of that.  Thank you Alaskan Airlines.

Now, where was I?  Oh yeah.  Ear buds no workee.  So, I get back to good old Fresno (Fres-no?  Fres-hell-yes!  Sorry...dumb but irresistible) and eventually head over to Target and get in the "returns" line.  There's three lines.  Two with four people in line, and one with two.  Being the mathematical genius I am, I get in the line with two people ('cuz two be less than four and shit).  All three lines move at equal speed with the first people in line, but then we get to the second in line.  The lines to my left and right continue to move at a nice clip.  But, naturally, mine grinds to a halt, because, as usual, I pick the line that was the opening act for some pretty good street theater.  This evenings show was titled (I'm guessing) "White Trash Camera: A Source of Debate".  I have no fucking clue what the issue in front of me was, but the evenings performers included a goateed family of six (both men and women goateed...with the women possibly having more tattoos than the men...and all in loose fitting tank tops) trying to return a camera, coupled with what appeared to be the entire Target staff clustered around that one register.  The conversation seemed to be going something like this:

-Family matriarch: We just want to return this camera we bought here.  Nobody told us to keep the receipt!
-Target staff: Ma'am...the lack of a receipt is only part of the problem.  The bigger issue is this camera doesn't appear to have been purchased here.  In fact, I'm not even sure it's even a camera. It appears to be made of clay,wood, bits of string and a Pabst beer can...and the brand name "Nykon", which looks to have been scratched on the side with a switchblade, isn't spelled with a "y".

Anyways, by the time I got to the front of a different line, my exchange took about 15 seconds.  That's right...I'm the wet dream "cash register line guy in front of you".  If you're in line behind me, I can guarantee you'll be out of there tout de suite...and I usually smell pretty good too, which is a bonus.  Some folks?  Not so much (see the Duggar family above).

I got my return, and there was great rejoicing throughout the shire (confession: I dont have hairy feet).  I would add more to this story, but I just got back from the gym, it's late, and a hot shower and bed sounds better than...well, something normally fantastic.  I have analogy fatigue.  Sorry.

*Stella as in Stella Artois the beer.  So, when I said I was pounding Stella, I meant I was sucking down a beer, as opposed to having some wildly enthusiastic sex with Stanley Kowalski's wife in the airport (who's that?  Why Stella of course.  Read a damn book** once in a while for god's sake).  

** Yes, I know it was actually a play.  Quite being an argumentative pain in the ass.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Give me meth, or give me cupcakes!


1:30 am on a Friday night (well, Saturday morning), you are awoken to the sounds of electric mixers, metal bowls banging around, rapid speech and maniacal laughter.  So, is it A) methamphetamine addicts have broken into your kitchen and are making a late night batch of crank, or B) teenagers have decided 1:30 am is the perfect time to make red velvet cupcakes?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Scotch Snobs


Those who know me even casually, know that I like whiskey (or "whisky").  It's good stuff.  My favorite is bourbon, but I also enjoy Irish whiskey and Scotch whisky as well.  People who don't like whiskey will say it's nasty, rough, and burns like a mouthful of gasoline.  Well, poor quality whiskey can, in fact, taste like that.  But the good stuff, the stuff I enjoy, will have (in various combinations) honey, vanilla, maple, oak, dried fruit, smoke, sherry and floral qualities to it.  It's seriously good.  However, this brings me to the Scotch snob crowd...

A Scotch snob will tell you if it tastes good, it's shit.  Only the overly peated, medicinal smoke bombs that would make a wild boar gag are the Scotches worth your time.  Only these vile whiskies are "complex" (complex is whiskey snob code for foul tasting) enough for a Scotch snob's time.  Here's a typical Scotch snob whiskey review of something they would find top notch:

Nose: smells like baby vomit...but worse.  Think of a baby eating an entire box of adhesive tape along with a couple of Band Aids, and then puked it up on your collar.  Once you get through the vomity introduction, it's followed by hints of summer road tar, and Satan farted in your car with the windows rolled up.  Some boiled cabbage comes through and some smoke.  But not wood smoke, more like if an emergency road flare had an orgy with gunpowder, burning foam sofa cushions, and overheated disc brakes...and then had a bastard love child with all of these qualities.  Some sweet vanilla comes through, but then this is immediately shat upon by wave after wave of iodine, rotting oleander, and Vicks VapoRub.  The VapoRub is followed by the smell of a glue factory.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give the nose an A+.  (Warning: after one whiff of this my olfactory senses quit working for a week...but totally worth it)

Palate: now here's where it gets interesting.  More smoke.  Like an electrical fire and burnt insulation.  Some more rotten egg and if Godzilla sodomized a volcano and then immediately wiped his dick into my glass.  A little charcoal and bitter adhesive...reminiscent of being locked in a bank vault with a bandaged hooker on a summers day, and snorting lines of powdered residue taken from your barbecue grill off of the small of her back as she is positioned on all fours and lighting a crack pipe with a blow torch.  Wood glue. Model airplane glue. Super lead solder...followed by more glue. This is followed by .0003 seconds of vanilla, oak, and wild honey, and this is mercifully strangled with a strippers bra and replaced by ancient mariners rope and disinfectant.  Some vegetal quality...spoiled sauerkraut...maybe some broccoli and asparagus.  Sweet dung...and finally isopropyl rubbing alcohol.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give it an A. 

Finish: long.  Slow.  Like slowly rotting desert roadkill left in the sun in springtime.  Instantly induces tinnitus and a short term bout of nonspecific urethritis.  Hot and a garbage landfill fire on the back of my tongue.  More charcoal and smoke...burning used tires and a dirty oven on the self clean cycle.  Momentary blindness in my left eye followed by overtones of ipecac.  Pine tar.  Cough syrup.  Dirty diapers and curry.  More curry.  Some kimchi...followed by more kimchi...Thai curry...and the baby vomit makes another appearance.  A little maple, which is immediately gunned down by a cigarette smoking, one eyed Hungarian with athletes foot, who then buries it in a swamp.  This is followed by clouds iodine, wound cleanser, the atmosphere of Venus, dirty crotch, and bug repellant.  
It's complex and amazing.  I give it an A.  
To sum up, this is mind blowing Scotch.  Highly recommended.   

If you look up a review by a whisky snob on something like Laphroaig, you'll see what I mean.

Now, here's the same review by a Scotch snob on something I'd enjoy (i.e. a Speyside, Highlands, or a high end blend*):

Nose: vanilla. Dried fruit. Wild honey. Some smoke...hints of bacon frying in the pan on a winters day. Oak.  Sherry. Compote.  Christmas spices.  Baked banana bread.  Creme brulee.  Wild flowers.  The warm skin of a beautiful woman as she lays next to you.  
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C. (Side note: my inoperable brain tumor suddenly disappeared as I drank this....but this doesn't replace this whisky's need for more complexity)  

Palate: mana of the gods.  More vanilla, oak, mild flavorful smoke, heather, wild honey, and sherry.  Feels like a super model was massaging the back of my tongue.  Fresh baked bread, a spreading warmth like a holiday fireplace filled with flavorful oak, and some bourbon sweetness infused from the toasted cask.  Flavored lip gloss from the girl you first kissed at 14 and havent forgotten 30 years later, and hints of a Michelin starred restaurant.  Imported Swiss chocolate.  Baked Alaska surrounded by bread pudding, and finished with New York style cheesecake and wet dreams.
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C.

Finish: I'm not sure.  It started off with the lilting sounds of angels singing and the smoothness of a gently flowing mountain stream.  Some delightful smokey warmth, and spontaneous orgasm.  Warm holiday spices and more of that vanilla and wild honey.  I then passed out from sheer bliss and cannot remember the rest of the experience.  
It's ok, but rather dull and uninspired.  Could use more complexity.  I give it a C.  

The whole experience with this dram is alright if you're looking for a Scotch that's drinkable, has good flavor, is smooth and brings you pleasure...but I cannot recommend it.  Look for something a bit more complex...and has hint's of Satan's flatulence.  In fact, there's an Islay single malt called "Satan's Wind" that has this very quality, and I highly recommend it...especially since it's a bargain at $250 a bottle.    

Anyways, what I'm alluding to here is that there are some delicious whiskies out there, and if the stuff you tried based on the review of some so-called expert tasted like probably did.  Ask your non-self aggrandizing friends who enjoy whiskey (and who also don't endlessly drone on about it...a good sign they're NOT Scotch snobs) for a recommendation.  Remember, it's important they're not uppity douchebags...otherwise they'll steer you to the "Satan's Wind" brand.  You might be surprised at what you find...and you may actually like it.      

* How to tell if you're one of the dreaded douche bags I just described above, i.e., a single malt Scotch snob:

1) You looked at the picture of the whiskey with ice in it and immediately thought: Ice???? ICE???  Ice lowers the temp and doesn't allow the full presentation, flavor and nose of the whiskey.  Only a charlatan, a bumpkin, or AN AMERICAN adds ice!!!!  You're missing out on the cabbage and baby vomit!!!!  

(Well, screw you.  I like my drinks ice cold and the ice melts and adds a little water to the whiskey, rounding its flavors, enhancing the wood and vanilla, and takes off rough edges...but that's just me.  Only the Scotch snob tries to tell another how to enjoy their drink)

2) You saw the word "blend" and scoffed, because the only Scotch worth drinking is single malt Scotch.  

(Actually, there are some amazing blends out there, some as good or better than overpriced single malts, and I've got a bottle of Chivas 18yr old to prove it.  In fact, the single malt craze is the result of a rather successful marketing strategy from years back, as it used to be thought most single malts were too rough for most palates.  Back in the day, most Scotches WERE BLENDS.  There is no shame in enjoying something easy to find like Johnny Walker black label.  It tastes good...and isn't that the point?  In fact, Compass Box is a highly regarded, craft style Scotch producer who embraces blends and makes nothing but blends...and is quickly reshaping the attitude towards blends with their highly rated offerings) 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


How to tell you're a grown ass man: all of your thermal travel mugs are in the dishwasher, and rather than go without coffee, you take one of your daughter's thermal mugs to work instead.  After all, going to work without coffee is NOT AN OPTION, and the thought of a work day filled with snarky, coworker barbs is NOTHING compared to a work day without coffee (i.e. my preferred caffeine* delivery system).

*Caffeine: an amazing legal stimulant that allows people to get to work/school on time, keeps the digestive tract humming along, is a major headache antagonist, allows one to find the upside to their very existence, encourages conversations with coworkers/classmates/peers you would normally find intolerable, gently prevents sleep without all those nasty murderous rages and demonic hallucinations associated with other stimulants, and is the major cog that drives the Earth's economic engine.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Unintended Humor

So, this picture is being circulated by your usual bunch of mouth breathing, Fox News echo chamber "this is where every thought in my head originates from" listening, right wing ideologues who are trying to make, I'm guessing, a rather crude and (if you knew the truth about Ronald "Bel Air" Reagan and George "prep school Yale Harvard business school" Bush) uproariously misguided and ill informed point that is, as usual with most Repugnicon thoughts, not based on anything resembling reality (apologies for the run-on sentence btw...).  Anyways, here's the pic:

Needless to say, when I saw this, I had very different ideas go through my head:

Reagan (talking to Frank Sinatra who is just out of frame and smoking a cigarette): ""Holy's been a while. Man, I forgot just how fucking messy it was cutting up and burying a dead hooker."

Bush (silently to himself): "I cannot believe Cheney is making me do all his landscaping."
Cheney (yelling from a distance): "Quit your lollygagging you Harvard pussy and finish removing that dead willow tree!!!"
Bush (yelling back petulantly): "Only dead willow around here is between your legs old man!!!"
Cheney (snarling): "What did you say???"
Bush: "Nothing sir!!!"

Obama (silently to himself the whole time): "Jesus, this is degrading.
(with each swing of the pick ax)
And what's with the two fuckers standing around watching me work? Your arms broken? Grab a shovel and dig motherfucker!"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Potato

Have you ever wondered about the magic of the potato?  Yeah, me either.  Until tonight...and only after an ice cold lager and a large Manhattan.  No wonder the Irish (my people...well, Scots-Irish...close enough) love it so.  For instance, if you have a potato (or, in my case, a huge assed bag of them from Costco), and left overs, you have a meal.  You can pair them with ANYTHING, or, like in my case, throw all your leftovers into a pan with some diced potato and make a hash...which is good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  If you're lazy like me, it's good for all three as you can make a ginormous portion, and then eat it all day long (in the case of tonight, I've also magically paired it with bourbon AND beer.  Happy Valentines Day!).  It's like the chameleon super food.

Other uses for the potato besides caloric consumption (admittedly, not all inclusive):


-a weapon

-a crafty device for painting/designing

-a means of broken light bulb removal

-a rudimentary source of electrical power

-a facial (heh...heh...the word "facial" makes me chuckle EVERY time I hear it/see it typed.  Yeah, I'm juvenile.  So?  Sue me).

...and on and on.

I'm sure there's also a plethora of perverse, other "non-nutritional acts" act's you could commit with one, but I cannot say I'm completely familiar with what that might be, but, hey, let your imagination run wild (bourbon...specifically "Makers Mark" helps, btw).

Alrighty, perhaps not the most informative post ever written, but, sometimes you get the strangest compulsion to share things.  Mission accomplished.

Now, back to my Kentucky fire water...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kai the hitchhiker and other odds and ends...

So, in case you were not aware, I live in Fresno, CA.  I have lived all over the state, and within two years, I expect to be moving again (as soon as the youngest is out of school...the reasons will be stated down below), but for now, here I reside.  I say this because the most amazing story ever told happened to occur right here in my home town.  It involves an ax wielding hitchhiker named Kai, a homicidal, racist, would be murderer with delusions of being the Son of God, a melee between a giant of a man and two women, and a motor vehicle used as an attempted murder weapon.  Here, explaining it all much better than I ever could, is Stephen Colbert:

(Also, the link in case video doesn't play:

All I can say here is simply this: I am now tempted to pick up hitchhikers as I drive around the Valley, for who knows what adventures they may bring with their vagabond ways?  Of course, I'm going to skip the part about imagining I'm Jesus, as I don't have the time to grow a beard, and let's be honest, nobody likes a martyr.

So, what else is going on with me you certainly have NOT wondered?  Allergies.  I know what you're thinking..."a little runny nose, a sneeze...I thought you said you couldn't stomach martyrs?  Quit your whining."  Well, yes, if that's all it was, I would agree.  But, for me, it is something quite different.  It is allergies on steroids, HGH, deer antler spray, and whatever the fuck Lance Armstrong injected into his (one ball only) nut-sack all those years.  And what sort of symptoms could these sort of allergies bring on?  Well...bouts of hives that last for weeks...and intestinal pain and vomiting that lasts for hours on end.  "What?  Intestinal pain and vomiting?  Surely that cannot be right..."  Well, it CAN happen, does happen, and I had no idea either.  There's a thing called an intestinal angioedema that can occur (it's rare...lucky me) that is inflammation of the intestinal tract as a result of an allergic reaction.  Basically, the hives and inflammation that can occur externally, can also occur internally to your intestines.  It results in EXCRUCIATING pain and, if I do say so myself, rather spectacular, world class, non-stop vomiting.  This happened to me four different times over the last eight months before it was properly diagnosed.  Several trips to the ER, an upper GI procedure, an ultrasound, etc. etc.  Finally, a diagnosis.  It's essentially an auto-immune disorder, but it can be dealt with and somewhat controlled.  The secret is to take what would appear to be a toxic level of antihistamines.  My last attack I drank half a bottle of liquid Benadryl and poof....stomach pain subsided (unfortunately, the hives are rather more stubborn).  Anyways, apparently, genetically, I'm allergic to just about everything, and my hyper-vigilant immune system has a tendency to go haywire.  Upside is that people with this condition tend to have very low rates of certain cancers because the out of control immune response also attacks precancerous cells, so there is a mild upside (silver linings and all that).  And, other than the unfortunate side effects of this disorder, I rarely get sick.  So now to go with my asthma inhalers, acid reflux pills, weekly allergy shots, steroid nasal sprays, and nasal irrigation regimin, I'm now taking a combination of daily antihistamine pills.  I have so many meds, I feel like the old man with the Monday through Friday pill box who spends all his free time socializing at the pharmacy (I'm there so often the pharmacists all know me personally now).  This condition is also the reason I'll be moving in the future (as I mentioned above), as the Valley is the absolute WORST place you can live if you have allergies of any sort.  I had that skin prick test done...the one where they stick your back with dozens of needles filled with allergens...and the result was I'm allergic to every substance found in the Central Valley.  Actual conversation I had with my allergist: Me-"So, doc, what am I allergic to?"  Doctor-"Everything".  Another actual quote from my doctor: "Holy produce A LOT of histamine."  What was disconcerting about this is that it was uttered by an ALLERGIST, who deals on a daily basis with people with allergies...and he was STILL IMPRESSED.  Anyways, he jokingly said "Have you considered moving?" and  I'm thinking something coastal and further north of my current location would be beneficial for my general well being (not to mention culturally, aesthetically, and politically more in line with my general world view as well). 

So, it's been months since I've felt "normal", but I'm finally getting back to somewhat feeling like my old self (whatever that means), and am now able to get back to the gym (I was in seriously good shape until all this derailed now begins the arduous task of reclaiming that level of fitness).  The upside to all of this misery is I think it's good for my music as my last composition (see previous post), turned out really well and is one of, it not my absolute, favorites (and now you know why I called it "Histamine"'s the substance my body produces waaaaaaay too much of and the root of my issues.  See?  Every song has a story).




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