Saturday, May 31, 2008

Don't Treadmill On Me

As my body closes in on the half-century mark, it seems to be losing its svelte form. I know part of the problem is that I should become more physically active. In fact, I am fortunate that my TV and refrigerator are so far apart from each other, otherwise I wouldn't get any exercise at all.

A friend suggested I get a treadmill. But that makes as much sense as getting a stairmaster -- several minutes of walking and you're still right where you started. If I'm going to spend half an hour of continuous leg movement, I better arrive at some place very important. Like a bakery or a micro brewery.

It's not that I have anything against treadmills. I just think that people are using them in boring ways. Ideally, you need a minimum of four treadmills in order to use them to their full potential as shown here:

I believe that learning this dance could be a very helpful skill to know, especially if you get attacked by a mugger in an alley full of treadmills. You'll definitely never thwart a mugger's attack in an alley full of stairmasters.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Can Some Things Be Too Thin?

Eons ago (in terms of how fast technology advances. Actually it was this past January.), Sony brought forth upon the gadget-starved world an OLEP (organic light emitting display) television that was as thick as three credit cards. Coincidentally, three credit cards are exactly what you need to max out to purchase this rather expensive piece of electronics whenever it is made available to the public.

This week Sony outdid themselves as they revealed their next generation of yet to be released OLEP televisions. This one is thinner than one credit card or one ABS unit (Ally McBeal sideways). While I applaud these advances in home entertainment displays, this TV is just a paper cut waiting to happen when someone goes to clean their brand-new set. This may explain why Sony is recommending to potential customers that they add a well-stocked medical kit to their home theater furniture.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Want To See A Picture of My Pride and Joy?

Today's phrase is "Snapfish coupons". Aside from saying that I'm having a whale of a time as I write about this on porpoise, I've got nothing. Why anyone would need a coupon to buy a snap fish is beyond me. What is a snap fish? What does it look like? How do you cook it? I tried looking it up online but only found a site full of cutesy kids and surly cats. Worst yet was that this site wanted to charge to make copies of these peoples' prides and joys. I guess if someone is going to guilt you into looking at pictures of their ugly, booger-eating kids, they should pay a price for your pain and suffering. That's why I enjoy saying, "Do you want to see a picture of my pride and joy?" And then I show them this:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is The Task Simple? No, Only I Am.

Why does simple task always turn into the most time-consuming, wallet-draining, profanity-inducing event in our already crisis laden lives? I thought, and maybe that was my first mistake, that I would fix my kitchen faucet's year old tiny leak. I had put off the repair for several months because I knew that winter would eventually arrive. If it brought any sub zero temperatures, I would already have a dripping faucet in place to keep the pipes from freezing. (It's not procrastination. Just good planning!) And now it's almost summer. I've been assured (by the news media and a few scientists whose grant money is dependent upon proving human-caused global warming) that future winters have been replaced by a lengthy autumn.

So I thought I would start out this Memorial Day weekend with a little home repair work. Besides, how complicated can kitchen faucets be -- a pipe, a metal ball with a few holes, and a couple of washers. I questioned my simpleton confidence only after I realized the faucet had been assembled during World War II and had not been taken apart since. My plumbing tools now expanded to include WD-40 and a sledgehammer. The real fun began when I reached under the sink to turn off the water supply. Where shutoff valves should have been, I found welded pipe. Eventually I found the shutoff valve or rather, its location --- outside, housed in a cement ring. The handle to the valve was conveniently protected from easy access by at least a foot of dirt that had accumulated from years of muddy rain washing into the ring. It's never a good thing when plumbing involves the use of a shovel.

Sometimes the easiest way to fix something is rename the situation. Thanks to my previous repair attempt, the drips are now an ever increasing flow of water. So this Memorial Day weekend, it can be said that I "built" my very own kitchen fountain. All I need to do now is buy flood insurance.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Making Our Own Words

Vox is a Latin word for voice. Lips are what we use to shape that voice into something intelligent. At least that's what we hope for as we review those sounds going in and out of our head. Yet you couldn't refer to that process as lipovox reviews. It turns out that Lipovox is a pill that's supposed to help you not put more food past your lips then you really need to. It has nothing to do with your voice assuming you don't talk when you have a mouth full of food. For such people, you need lipolocks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

No Riots To Report In January

I wrote this post in January but have kept it private as I agonized over making it public. The last thing I want to do is upset someone who was born without a sense of humor. Usually they're the ones who make up for their defect by introducing you to their lawyer or their gun collection. So last week, I showed my private work to friends whom this post might affect. They laughed and encouraged me to publish it. Ok then. There shouldn't be any law suits or gun play. Besides, enough time has passed since January that the humorless won't get this.

Anyway, near my home is a florist run by an elderly couple. Nice people but sometimes you have to wonder if they should just retire and grow plants instead of dealing with the public every day. In mid January of this year, they advertised the most unusual of arrangements -- a bouquet of fluffy cotton, colorfully adorned with tiny yellow, red and violet flowers. I don't think that they realize the timing of this floral offering because nothing says "Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day" better than a bouquet of cotton when given in the South. The scary part was they also had watermelon scented candles in the shape of a cross for sale. Surprisingly, no one associated their merchandise with January's governmentally mandated MLK holiday. No riots took place. Just an incident by some confused people who were against picketing but didn't know how to show it.

So all is well. It was simply my warped humor that put two innocent events together. I understand that the candles sold very well during Easter...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Where Did My Future Goodies Go?

In 1976, our English teacher had us celebrated of the bicentennial year. Her idea of a festive activity was making us write a paper to put in a time capsule. I have a feeling that time capsule was actually the trash can next to her desk. Still, we had a lot of fun predicting what would take place in 25 years.

Many of us thought we would all have jet packs and eat meals that were nothing more than pills. Some of my pot smoking friends express their hopes in the legalization of marijuana. Personally I thought that would be a bad combination. The last thing that I would want to see is one of my stoned friends jetting through the air while downing a super-size bottle of food pills. (Although "jetting" is probably the wrong term. "Hovering while being awed by pushes from the wind" would be more accurate.)

So here we are in the 21st century and, I have to wonder, what happened? The only jet pack around is on the back of one lucky employee of Disney's Epcot Center. The government hasn't figured out how to make money by legalizing pot. And the only pills remotely related to food are fancy-named diet pills, which may help if you get the munchies by less-than-legal means.

The future looked bright. We tried to wear shades. But we're not where we thought we would be. That's ok. For the most part, I think we've got it made.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

How Not Make It To Your Next Birthday

I'm sure everyone enjoys a good practical joke every now and then (for some reason, according to a recent study, most everyone prefers playing them as opposed to being on the receiving end. Where is your sense of humor, people?). So in this time of stress and bad news, let me offer you a few pranks or, as I like to call them, things-to-do-so-that-you-don't-make-it-to-your-next-birthday.

Most women say that they love a guy with a sense of humor. So let's show them what a funny guy you really are when you boil a pair of their best high heels in hot water and then drying them in the oven. Guaranteed to shrink their shoes by almost one size.

For your automotive-loving friends, sneak over to their house in the dead of night and put Ford grills on their Chevy trucks. I would suggest putting a Chevy Grill on a Ford truck but the purpose of any practical joke is not to improve the situation or be practical.

The next time your friends invite you over to a party, bring gifts. Toilet paper dusted with itching powder is always a favorite especially if you've added Ex-Lax to the chocolate dip. Fill an empty toothpaste tube with Orajel (or any numbing gel) and leave it on their bathroom sink. This will leave them speechless.

I have many, many more but I'm sure these are more than enough to help you reach hermit status.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I'm Sorry

Of all the appliances in my home, I probably should appreciate my water heater more. In fact, I should know better. A few years ago, the warmth disappeared from our close, watery relationship when the heating elements died. Eighteen months went by before I had the heart and, more importantly, the funds to buy a new water heater. During that time apart, I heated buckets of water and took baths camper style in my tub. Adapt and adopt, don't you know! Finally the day arrived when I installed a new water heating tank. My first shower was as close to heaven as you can get while remaining alive. Since then, I have drifted to the thankless state of taking my hot water for granted. If my liquid warmth disappears again, my most deepest appreciation will return along with one of those tankless water heaters. After all, it's a tankless job but something has to do it...