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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Joys at o-dark thirty...

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This morning as the sun rose, a million birds outside my window burst into beautiful song. As I laid there, serenaded by these melodious tunes, I thought about how this early-morning experience of Spring could be even more special - the city could allow shotguns as snooze alarms.

Perhaps "burst into song" isn't the most accurate phrase. It's not like there was a sudden joyous chorus of song, followed several small muffled explosions, a shower of feathers, then blessed silence.

It was more like an army of birds silently gathered at my open window, then repeatedly yelled a harmonious "SURPRISE!" until I got up.

To get even, I stood by open windows and cooked eggs ....

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Take your umbella, Love is in the air

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Well, once again, love is in the air. Is your car's washer reservoir full? Are your wiper blades fresh? Nothing worse than a windshield smeared in plant love.

As for people, some will begin venturing into that scary world of pollinating, I mean, romance.

Not to worry. You have many ways to win someone's love: be kind and courteous, give special gifts, serenade with romantic music, remember their name.

The best way to win someone's heart? Be the lucky recipient on the hospital's transplant list.

Unlike the dating lottery, this heart will be with you for a lifetime, silently beating its support for you through good times and bad, perhaps with occasional twinges for your exceptionally bad behavior. (OK, maybe bouts of chest-clutching agony for you over-indulgent slobs.) Still, though they won't admit it, 4 out of 5 divorce attorneys say this is the less painful option.

Also less pane-full is having your car windows down.

So, good luck this Spring. May your heart beat strong and may your windshield be smear-free.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Great Winter Disaster of 2014

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The east half of North Carolina is not built for winter. Over the past two days, snow and ice joined forces to bury us.

So this morning, I awoke to a disaster: Comcast is buy Time/Warner. It started with Comcast calling to get TWC's basic package, but ended being up-sold to the "exclusive whole company package" for $44 billion and one month free of HBO or Showtime.

The sale would have happened sooner, but the companies have been on-hold with each other since 2011. Anyway, the deal will be finalized on Wednesday between 8am and 6pm, assuming the CEOs aren't late at other appointments.

I'm not too worried about my Internet service with this merger. TWC gives me a consistent 28.8 kbps on my modem. How bad can it get with Comcast? Tin cans and string?

Nah, Comcast would have to invest in infrastructure. Just like I'm about to invest in my infrastructure: a cup of coffee and a long stare at the 5 inches of ice and snow in my driveway.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thank you

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I know I haven't released a lot of posts these past few months. My time has been spent saving the company to save my job.

That bout of cancer was a bit of a time-sink too.

Anyway, I do want to thank everyone for their birthday wishes. Your thoughts mean a lot to me.

Today was supposed to be a national holiday, but my plans for world domination were thwarted by one nap too many. Perhaps next year.

Actually, another birthday isn't that bad. In a way, I'm like Pinocchio who, had he not become a real boy, would say that he's not scare of growing old. Its just that aging petrifies him.

This year is one of those special years. When someone asks me how old I am, I raise my hand, open and close my fist twice, and say, "I'm this many." (Meaning 55)

The gesture's not quite as cute as when I was five. That doe-eyed cuteness met up with a half-century of "good clean" living (heavy emphasis on the quote marks) and turned into dough-eyed old-guy-ness.

Of course, aging has little to do with cuteness. Aging is about getting better - like wine and cheese. But not like bananas. Nobody wants to hug an old, overripe banana.

So this year, I've got to be the wine without being whiny. I've got to be the zesty cheese without smelling like limburger. And I've got to do what I can to avoid growing mushy brown spots.

So, thank you again for being my friends and family and readers. And for your support. And for your patience.

By the way, I apologize if I've miss your birthdays. To me, you are ageless and every day should be a birthday celebration - complete with donkeys and bouncy things. Sort of like a day at work, except YOU get to ride the donkey and get bounced by things of your choosing.


[p.s.s: I'll tried to release some earlier posts in the next few weeks. please bear with me]

Thursday, December 05, 2013

My bad thoughts for the day

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In a flashy TV ad, Victoria Secret announced their "bras are now half off" sale. I love a bargain but 50% off? What a deal! One breast exposed without the ritual of dinner-and-a-movie. Am I missing something ... aside from the other covered breast.

Naturally, I went to see Victoria Secret's generous offer. Man, was I embarrassed as the attractive clerk told me that the ad referred only to the price.

That's what I get for going to the Victoria Secret half-cocked. Of course, anything more would have gotten me banned from the store. Or arrested.

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The Pope was once a bouncer? As he exorcise unruly patrons, did he say, "The power of Christ compels you ... out the door. Turn the other cheek and I'll smite thee on that one too."

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Is it possible to find a prosthetic arm in a second-hand shop, or just ironic? What if you get it cheaper with a five-finger discount?

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The hills are alive with the sound of snarking

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Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty ImagesApparently, most people didn't like NBC's live version of the "The Sound of Music". Perhaps NBC should've had Julie Andrews reprise her role from the original 1965 movie.

Or maybe not. Even though a spry 78-year-old Ms. Andrews is still as talented as ever, how would the public react if she sang, "the hills are alive with the sound of mucilin"?


Friday, November 29, 2013

I am thankful for tools

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Thanksgiving dinner? Nailed it! Mashed potatoes, mashed cranberry sauce, mashed turkey, mashed dinnerware. It's amazing what a great cooking tool a hammer can be ...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beating Healthcare.gov at its own game

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So George Kalogeropoulos, Ning Liang and Michael Wasser heard the wailing and the gnashing of teeth as good citizens tried to access the Governorment's Health Care site. Within a few days, they put together the web page that we should have had: no accounts to set up, no passwords to memorize, no multiple screens of denied access.

You simply enter your zip code and compare plans to your heart's content (and I hope your heart is a healthy one). As of this moment, their site covers 34 states with more states on the way.

Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/

What are the chances these guys get the presidential Medal of Freedom?

http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/about



Wednesday, October 02, 2013

my thought for today

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I'm not saying my friend's marriage is in trouble, but the only time he pokes his wife now is on Facebook.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

knee-to-the-groin observation # 1306

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Have you noticed how Fate pokes a fortunate few in their bank account? Then it laughs and pokes the rest of us in our eye.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

This is incredible!

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I know you're not going to believe this, but here is Raquel Welsh in 1 million B.C.:


Obviously, the camera wasn't around in 1 million B.C., which makes this stone carving all the more amazing. Just look at the fine details of shadow and color.

And not only is Raquel's name in English, but the carver even knew the year (sadly, months had not been invented yet).






So let's jump ahead in time to a few weeks ago.

Who says the cavemen diet doesn't work, eh?












Oh wait. Sorry.

My obnoxious fact-checker has informed me that:
1) Ms. Welsh was in "One million B.C." ... the movie, not the year.
2) That movie was made almost a half-century ago in 1966.
2) Raquel is not 1,002,014 years old, but only a scant 73.

Hopefully, you're not too disappointed with this post.

:D

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Miley: Past, Present, and Future

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Last decade, we were inundated with the diabetes-inducing sweetest of Miley Cyrus:

This decade, diabetes moved into stomach-churning:

What does our future hold?  Hopefully, blindness ...

.... my apologies to Jim Carey ....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chinese Car Crash tests? Not so good...

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How did a car made in China rate in a crash test? How about ZERO!
Here's the video (since blogger is inept at linking video):
http://youtu.be/aTxbbvCf3zY

Ahhh, Chinese-made cars. They come in 2 stick versions: manual and chop. Crash one and an hour later, you're hunger for another.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Luck of the bounce

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Last July, a tornado touched down a mile to the west of me, bounced over my house, and landed again one mile to the east. This incident answered my question, "When is my lottery number going to be picked?" Maybe Fate has a better idea of when and what I should win.

Not that I would turn down today's $400 million payout.

Still, now that I've blogged about it, perhaps Fate owes me. Just a little.

When receiving becomes giving ... and not the good kind

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In my younger days, my friends and I played all over the neighborhood. Carefree frolicking, giddy with childish laughter, we ran through people's yards, usually ending in that most neighborly of greetings by the grumpy old guy, "Hey you kids! Get off of my lawn!"

You would think we would be more respectful as 30-year-olds. But we were so young and silly then.

I've changed since those wonderful, happy-go-lucky days. A couple of decades have swiftly passed, taking their toll on my age. And on my patience.

Now, I'm that grumpy old guy, living in a technological different world. I find myself yelling almost the same words at flippant youth, "Hey you kids, get off of my LAN!"

How to deal with regret .. sort of

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Nothing good comes from when I think back about the times I've wasted. Only depressing regret.

On the plus side, I try not to regret the time spent thinking about those regretful times. Otherwise, that would be more time wasted. Regretfully.

Musical entrapment

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My first musical instrument captured my heart, my mind, my spirit. Little did I know this would be a lifetime of wonderful musical enslavement.

Call me an idiot. I should have known I was going to be trapped. What else would you expect from learning to play something called a snare drum.

Friday, August 02, 2013

I Know What You Will Do

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Terrafugia demo'd their flying car at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. After this great air show, Wisconsin should add an "N" at the end of their state abbreviation for the WIN.

So welcome to the 21st century. Finally. Soon you can drive to the store to pick up presents, and then fly to your family in the next state - for a mere $280,000.

Of course, how you use your flying car will match how you use your cellphone.

If you call, you'll fly from NY to CA. If you text, you'll drive.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How To Succeed in the Dentist Chair

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I went to the dentist this morning and faced my biggest fear ... nose hair. Mine.

That's right. In a recent survey, 9 out of 10 people said dental pain is nothing when compared to pain of social embarrassment. The tenth person simply twitted, "OMG! I just wet myself at the dentist and I feel fine." (This survey must be true; I read it on the Internet. After I wrote it.)

So why should I fear nasal follicles, especially mine? It started a couple of years ago when my body crossed that half-century mark. Seemingly overnight, random nose hairs - once slow-growing and stealthy-black - began mutating into a rapid-sprouting shade of white known as "mistakable thin slivers of snot".

I groomed them several times a week. But even with an industrial-strength weed-whacker, my trim job didn't cut it. If I were bald, a week without trimming would give me a handle-bar comb-over guaranteed to gross out the best of you.

I wasn't worried about reclining in the dentist's chair. My embarrassing worry was of a wayward hair or five waving frantically at the dental technician while I tried to breath and she tried to clean my teeth. All I could imagine was her thinking, "Why can't this unsophisticated idiot clean his nose?"

So I decided on a brilliant tactic of diversion. Just before the appointment, I ate two boxes of Oreo cookies.

With the creamy white filling scrapped off.

My plan worked very well. By the time I clogged the suction tube for the 3rd time, they had the vacuum pressure turned high enough to pull my belly button inward.

More importantly, the dental hygienist didn't say a thing about my nose hairs. Not only did she not look towards my nose, she hardly looked at me at all.

Although it was a bit awkward when she tried to floss my chin.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Let me predict the royal birth

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Judging from the news, billions of people are obsessing on one life-changing event, an event that doesn't even involve them: When is the birth of a certain baby?

It's not like we are talking about the start of the second coming, or the arrival of an expected savior (or destroyer) of our species. No, an awful lot of people (at least in the news and entertainment media) are rather excited about the continuing lineage famous for living rent free these past centuries.

The world wasn't this excited about your birth. Or about mine. (Although "royal" was often used to describe me, always with the word "pain".)

But let me try to help. Being the skilled mathematician that I am, I would like to offer my prediction. I base my almost-always accurate forecast on real data, this time provided by United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Over the next 12 months, our human race will grow by 143,328,412.6 babies. This means the Middleton/Williams offspring will be born … whenever it's ready along with millions of other squalling infants.

Why are billions of folks obsessing over the birth of one unrelated child? Couldn't they just act like the soon-to-be royal baby and get a life?