Thursday, August 30, 2007

My balcony is not filling the measure of its creation


I was reading in Alma, chapters 40 and 41 this morning. These chapters are all about the resurrection and how good will be restored to that which is good, evil to that which is evil. Light to that which seeketh light, and darkness to that which seeketh darkness. I am pretty sure my balcony will be condemned to outer darkness come judgment day.

I have a tender basil plant. She struggles so valiantly against the tide of darkness. Her wilting, yellowed leaves strive upward toward that light which is the source of all life. And yet, she is losing the battle. My balcony is intent upon keeping her in the shadows. He cruelly allows her a few moments of light in the morning, but only if she is precariously perched on the very corner of the railing. In this position, she is very likely to tumble to the ground, 20 feet below, with the passing of any gentle gust. She has already taken one such fall, and her health has never fully recovered. I am convinced this is all part of my balcony's devious plan to rid our house of fresh basil. Sweet Basil's relative was killed a few months ago with this same deadly combination of darkness and drops.

If what Alma preaches is true, my balcony will surely have darkness restored unto it at the great and terrible day of judgment. A darkness so pervading that there shall be great wailing and gnashing of rails. I for one, do not feel pity for my balcony. Mercy cannot rob justice. I only hope that they have fresh basil in heaven. Otherwise would it really be?

9 Helens agree.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Scribbler


I found a new toy. It can turn anyone into an artist. I drew this face with it and also our new header (it may not be up long, depending on Alice's approval). [Update: It wasn't up long. Alice said the red swirls looked like blood. So I turned the swirls green and added flowers. She is a much happier Alice. She also likes the juxtaposition of the slightly abrasive title and the gentler graphic. My wife is so smart.] It is called the Scribbler and you can try it out here. Some of you true arteests out there will certainly create more stunning works. But it's fun for all ages!

The creator, Ze Frank, has some other fun interactive toys on his site, but this is my favorite out of the ones I've tried.

Anyway, I have to go. My nanoparticles are done incubating and I have to go and wash them. Time to get out my nanosoap and nanowashcloth. See you all later.

P.S. UCSD Rocks!

7 Helens agree.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Online polls are not a joke.


I am typing this with a gun in one hand and a sword in the other. Why? Because I am very angry. This is my angry face. For all you jokers out there, online polls are not a joke. You cannot simply vote willy nilly just for laughs. I am, of course, referring to the online poll on this very page, featured slightly down and to the right (depending on what side of the computer monitor you are facing). If you will look closely, you will notice that several votes have been cast for 'No, I never vote in online polls'. Think about it, folks! You just did vote in an online poll!!!

This is not a game. Peoples lives and livelihoods are at stake here. How do you think the President of the United States gets elected? That's right. Online polls. And how are TV shows for Thursday night's Must See TV chosen? Again, online polls. And what about guilty/not guilty judgments for moving pedestrian violations? You guessed it. Online polls.

Basically, our entire economic, social, political, and speed dating infrastructures rely on the integrity of online polls. If people start voting untruthfully, then it's a short trip to Anarchy Town. And trust me, you do not want to take a vacation in Anarchy Town. The food is terrible.

Would you sell your integrity for a smile or a laugh? A smile that you will never see and a laugh that you will never hear, because this is the interwebs, not real life? Don't do it. If you do have a change of heart and desire to repent, you can always change your vote. Repentance is why they included that option.

Please, people. Do not play games with Lady Democracy. She is a fickle and jealous lover and she will leave us for The China if we do not treat her right.

*If you had someone else cast your vote for you, thus maintaining your non-voting status, I apologize. You should not have had to read this. But I have a feeling that this post is not ill advised.

8 Helens agree.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Love My Husband


Since it's Sunday, I think it would be appropriate to share a good family oriented story. This story stars my husband, whom I don't deserve, in the sense that he is way too good for me.

As our faithful bloggers know, my iPod nano was stolen by an OCD thief in the night two weeks ago. It has been a miserable two weeks as I experienced an emotional roller coaster of anger, sadness, frustration, despair, loneliness, pity....I'll save you all from hearing my ranting. I'll wait to share with Papel, he is a good listener.

Since the day it was discovered missing, Corbin has been faithfully searching Craigslist for my iPod. This week he thought he had found it. He had emailed several people one day asking for more details on the iPods they had listed for sale. One of these people responded to Corbin. Their name is foreign so I will spell it like it sounds: "A Home Molester." The email correspondence with this gentleman (so we will call him) was odd. Corbin would ask a couple of questions in his email and the gentleman would only respond to one and only partly. This correspondence continued several times with the same sort of incomplete response. At last Corbin thought he figured out why he was not getting complete answers. It was me!

Corbin thought I had placed a fake ad on Craigslist for an iPod to ensnare him. In Corbin's defense, this wouldn't be the first time I faked an online personality. When we were dating, I created a fake person on an online LDS dating service and stalked Corbin's fake person. The impersonation was soon seen through and we had a good time pretending to trick each other. So Corbin thought he had figured me out. So he wrote an email to this gentleman that said, "Ha ha ha. You're so funny and smart. I had a feeling it was you. I love you." Well, it wasn't me and the gentleman "A Home Molester" really exists and received my love note.

Somehow, this come on didn't deter "A Home Molester" from selling the iPod to Corbin. The gentleman sold him a 4GB Nano for $80. So Corbin is giving up finding my iPod and we've settled on this used one. I didn't realize how much I missed my one electronic device that had included me in the iPod revolution.

My dear husband spent countless hours searching for an iPod for me and even made a pass at another guy to get me one. This is true love.

5 Helens agree.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Musical Chairs is Not Just for Children Anymore

On Friday my company, ProFlowers, kicked off it's employee appreciation week with a BBQ and musical chairs. Yes, musical chairs is not just a party game for 5 year olds, it's also for working professionals and executives. It is an amazing show watching IT nerds, customer service chatty Cathy's, and number crunching analysts battle it out for the title of musical chair champ and $100. This year I found myself being summoned by our CEO to join in the girl's competition. I didn't want to play since girls are mean but as the music started to play, I found myself actually competing and pushing other women out of the way to ensure I captured a seat. I didn't win but I was able to walk away with fairly sore sit bones.

This is just a small example of why I probably have the best job of anyone who reads this. My job does require real effort, but I don't like jobs that you just sit around. One of my least favorite summer positions involved me watching tv in the conference room literally all day because I had no work to do. Some may say, "Awesome! Where did you work and how do I get hired?" I'm not telling because you slackers that want this job definitely need a back breaking job to put you straight. I don't want you ending up on the street dealing crack.

The San Diego magazine rated ProFlowers as one of the best in the city to work for. Below is a list of reasons why I think it was rated so well in no particular order:

*Free lunch every Tuesday from a different restaurant - Corbin is very envious of this perk. Often I get free lunch on other days of the week as well, especially during holidays when we work 12-14 hour days.
*Laid back working environment - you can wear flip flops and shorts or a suit if you want.
*Open door policy with everyone - no matter what your rank in the company, everyone works together
*Innovative mindset - everyone I work with are serious geniuses, which makes me wonder why they hired me. They are open to any suggestion you have for improvement.
*Holiday thank yous - following Mother's day, the company reserved an entire theater to see Pirates of the Caribbean. Everyone in the company plus whomever you wanted got to go. We also got popcorn and drinks.
*Bonuses! What more can I say?
*Parties - we have a summer and a holiday party. Lots of prizes are given out like electronics, money, and vacations. At our summer party I won $250.
*Employee appreciation activities - We have a week's worth of activities. This year we are seeing a movie at lunch (last year we watched a few episodes of the office), playing musical chairs during a BBQ, going to the Del Mar race tracks, going go kart racing, and attending a Padre's game (which we can bring family).

*Free flowers. I love this perk a lot. Just this week I learned how to arrange short stem flower bouquets and brought home two bouquets. I've included a picture of the flowers I arranged to enhance the jealousy factor I hope to instill in each of you.

Post some of the good/fun things about your job. I'd particularly enjoy hearing about the frustrations you have, that while not funny in the moment, are entertaining after the fact.

9 Helens agree.

Let the bodies hit the floor



Yesterday, I went to the Bodies exhibit. Strangely enough, it came to the mall just around the corner from our apartment. For those of you not familiar with Bodies, they preserve real human bodies using a polymer preservation process which replaces all water and degradable substances with silicon.

They have displays with whole and partial organs as well as near complete bodies partially dissected to reveal key features. Eerily, they remove most of the skin but still leave humanizing patches like eyebrows, lips, and belly buttons. The butt crack was also usually left on. Don't ask me why. But with these humanizing features, it was easy to picture these people alive and doing normal things (with skin on, of course).

As I studied these infinitely detailed organisms, my own muscles almost involuntarily flexed and twitched. They were dynamically posed, often simulating a sports move, and the muscles and tendons stretched tight between the bones. It was not hard to imagine what my own muscles looked like straining beneath my skin. Everyone else began to seem transparent, too. I could envision the fetus curled up inside the pregnant lady to my left. I could see the heart rhythmically pumping in the boy to my right.

They have one process where they inject a polymer into the circulatory system and then dissolve the rest of the tissues, leaving only the arteries, veins and capillaries. Life size and recognizable as a human body. The fingertips had a surprising number of capillaries. So many that I could still see the faint fingerprints even though there was no skin left.

I really gained a new appreciation for the miraculous engineering that makes up our bodies. A billion trillion tiny little machines, all working together to keep us alive. It made me realize that even when I'm being extremely lazy (which happens more often than it should), at the cellular level I am really quite busy.

The whole experience was breathtaking. Thank you, Alice, for a wonderful birthday present.

P.S. All the bodies are unclaimed Chinese cadavers. Or at least that's what the chinese government is telling us.

3 Helens agree.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fixed gear fixation, or Why I want a fixed gear bike


It all started with a parking pass. UCSD offers 10 free days of parking every quarter if you register your bicycle with them. Regular parking passes cost several brazillian dollars. And Alice takes the car most days so I don't really need a regular parking pass. But there is a UCSD parking lot next to our local beach which would be nice to be able to park in on the weekends. Ten days a quarter of free parking works out to one day a week or free parking at the beach. And all I have to do is register any old bike on campus.

So that's how it started. I was soon browsing craig's list for a free bike. Then I thought a usable bike might come in handy for when Alice has to take off early. Or when I need to tow Alice into town on her rollerblades for tae kwon do lessons. So I considered paying a few dollars for a reliable cycle.

And I immediately knew what I wanted. I had seen them sporadically for the past few years. They look like no other bike in this day of full-suspension, gadget laden, mega-componented 200 lb monsters. A full 98.2% of those tanks have never even ridden through a puddle, let alone been in a situation necessitating a full suspension. Don't get me wrong, there are sweet mountain bikes out there that look like a Mad Max vehicle. I guess I just don't like that every Grandma in the neighborhood has a $69 Wal-mart full suspension special that weighs more than a '65 Caddy and looks like trash. The ride I wanted was stripped clean. Down to the bare backbone of the cycle. Just the soul of it.

One single, solitary cog on the back. One on the crank. Single speed. No dérailleur, no shifter cables, some are even devoid of brake cables and levers. These bikes originally began as track bikes. Since a track doesn't have variable terrain, no need for changing gears. And since light makes might, everything else was stripped off the bike, including brakes. Most of the street fixed gears at least have a front brake for emergencies, but the hard-core fixers simply rely on their legs and back pedaling for braking. This is not the same as the coaster brakes on your old bmx or beach cruiser. The pedals and the drive wheel are inseparably connected. If the back wheel is moving, so are your legs. This makes for a better work out, too.

Mostly, I am enamored with the ultra-clean lines of the fixed gear cycles. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by for less than $200. That is still pretty inexpensive considering a mediocre road bike starts at $700. But for a cheap ______ like me who won't even spend $25 on a rash guard so his nipples don't bleed when he goes surfing, it is a bit steep.

I think I will have to settle for that purple huffy with the basket I saw for free on craig's list today. Then again, that beaut was probably snatched up moments after it was listed. I guess I'll just have to dream.

3 Helens agree.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cat Vomit and Brawny Paper Towels


Not all of my posts are about cats but I live a fairly simple, routine life. There isn't much that differs from my normal routine. I get up, exercise, shower, eat breakfast, read scriptures, work, come home, eat dinner, watch a show, sleep. Then I do it all over again the next day. I'm not a cat fanatic, at least not yet. It's just that the cat is the only variable in my life.

Today the cat vomited. That was different.

While cleaning up the vomit with a Brawny paper towel, a flashback of an 80's commercial ran through my mind. I'm not sure if there's a jingle for Brawny towels, but I know that the commercial said something like, "These towels are the strongest and won't shred when used; buy them." I always want to buy Brawny paper towels but they're expensive. They have to be at least twice as much as generic. Plus generic towels have cute pictures on them and I like that.

So how did I come by these name brand paper towels? My dear mother in law sent me one roll to help pad my birthday present. Besides the actual gift, which was beautiful and I love very much, I was excited to receive a roll of name brand paper towels.

So back to cleaning up cat vomit. As I scrubbed cat vomit juices out of the carpet, I realized my Brawny paper towel was not shredding like the generic ones do when I try to clean vomit out of the carpet. I've doubted my whole life if Brawny was better and stronger. I've learned today that Brawny is better! Perhaps Henri's prize will be a role of Brawny paper towels.

I'm curious what our blogger friends thoughts are on buying name brand vs. generic named products. What name brand products are must haves and it doesn't matter how much it costs?

16 Helens agree.

How to write a wildly successful blog post


This is a brief how-to guide to writing a wildly successful blog post which will bring you fame and riches beyond your humblest dreams. This advice can be relied upon to be 100% accurate and true except for the parts that aren't. Any legal actions against the author in regards to advice given in this guide will be dealt with in the harshest manner imaginable. That is assuming you cannot imagine something harsher than a giant double scorpion, riding bareback on a mega-gorilla wearing diamond plated dentures, showing up at your house at the most inconvenient time, which will most likely be while you simultaneously have company over and Lavern and Shirley reruns playing on the picture box.

Tip #0.5: Always include a picture. Even if it just a random picture you stole off of google's image search. Most people won't even bother to read your post, so a picture is absolutely necessary for them to have something to look at while they are not reading.

Tip #1: Make the post useful. Teach people how to do something they've always wanted to do. How to spell phrontistery, for example. By the way, it's spelled P-H-R-O-N-T-I-S-T-E-R-Y.

Tip #2: Look up large, obscure words in the dictionary and somehow shoehorn them into your post. This will make you look smarter than you actually are. If the words also happen to be unwritable click language words, readers are likely to think you are a Norse, or possibly Finnish, god.

Tip #3: Incorporate one of the five major themes of literary conflict into your post. These are, in no particular order:
1. Man vs. Man
2. Man vs. Nature
3. Man vs. Society
4. Man vs. Himself
5. Man vs. the Undead (also includes cyborgs, self-aware robots, and demoniacally animated cheese)

Tip #4: Include at least one list in your post. The masses like their information in bite-sized form. Lists are also an excellent way to jump randomly from one topic to the next without having to use good writing skills to make a coherent post. Here is a list of sub-tips on including lists in blog posts:
Sub-tip #1: Never, ever include a list when you really should include a table. Some of the most commonly mis-listed table items include: names of semi-famous pirates and their lovers, things you can do with European soft foods, parties you always wished you were invited to and the reasons you would have had a terrible time if you had gone, ketchups.
Sub-tip #2: Keep your lists short and sub-lists shorter. No one wants to read a rambling list of random nonsense. Sub-lists should never exceed three items. Two is the optimal number. Unless it is an actual list of subs (either sandwich or maritime variety), in which case the reader will be confused regardless of the number of items in the sub-list. Regular lists should not exceed five items. If you must, additional items can be pasted in at the beginning of the list as fractional items. Readers will never know the difference due to modern sentence machine editing technology.

Tip #5: Take out attack ads against other blogs, slandering their character. But never the author's character. That's just tasteless. *Technically, this tip is a follow-up action to be taken after you have already finished writing your post. As such, it should be ignored.

There you have it. A 100% comprehensively complete, step-by-step, do-it-yourself instruction manual/guide incorporating full explanatory notes and references on how to author your very own wildly successful blog post.

Now you can sit back, relax, and watch the reputation-currency of the interwebs (comments) come flooding in. You may want to check your post compulsively every five minutes just to see if anyone has posted a comment. If no comments have been posted, the server must be down.

5 Helens agree.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What does a cat have that no other animal has?


Answer that riddle and you get a prize.

Speaking of cats, I think I'm going to train our cat to live without food. I'm pretty certain it will work, unless he stubbornly refuses and dies before I finish the experiment. He seriously eats better than we eat. His food comes with fifty different kinds of gravy. I think I've only tasted three kinds of gravy in my whole life. That's just not right. If, as Alice would say, most food is only a vehicle for the gravy, why is it that you can buy 35 flavors of corn chips while the gravies are sequestered to a one foot section of grocery shelving. The government should do something about that.

So, neglecting that bit about the gravy, I guess this will be an animal post.

Michael Vick has been in the news a lot recently. His dog fighting buddies turned on him like a pit bull on a chihuahua. Vick should have known that a dog is man's best friend. He could have instead used his dogs to set up a 250 lb. black guy fighting ring and probably never been caught. Or if he had been caught, I'm sure his dogs wouldn't have ratted him out like his 'friends' did. Dogs are much more loyal...and they can't really speak english.

Personally, I'm not wholly opposed to the whole dog fighting thing. He is a Hokie alum after all. Plus, after every fight, there is one less pit bull out there looking for babies to snack on.

This post has gone to the dogs. I quit.

2 Helens agree.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Someday, my house will never be finished.











I was looking back through some of our old photos and happened upon those taken at the Hearst Castle. We visited the Hearst Castle on our second day in California. We were driving down from Sacramento where we picked up our Sentra (which Alice is in love with, by the way, because of the cookie-cutter, indestinct styling cues of Nissan's bottom of the line fare). I thought I'd just share a few of the better photos. Those of you who are professional or semi-professional photographers, please keep your comments to yourself.

Hearst Castle is unique in that it was never finished. He had so many brazilians of dollars that he just kept adding on. Buying new artwork and sculptures. He even had a real roman temple dismantled and reassembled around his swimming pool. Someday, my house will never be finished.

4 Helens agree.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thieves BEWARE


I'm on a personal mission to catch thieves. I hate thieves. Why is it that there is a small subset of our population who thinks it's ok to take what's not theirs? While I feel all sorts of thieving is abominable, taking from a private citizen (versus a store) is hitting below the belt.

Like many causes that unfortunately stem from personal experience, my new found mission comes from a personal thieving experience. On Sunday night someone with OCD broke into our car while it was parked in our carport. This mentally ill person took everything out of its plug or container and laid it all neatly onto the front seat. While we were in Virginia someone broke into our car and messed it all up but couldn't find anything good. Now that we USED to own something good, this thief did find something. Luckily no damage was done to our car.

Today I participated in an MRI research study at UCSD. One of our friends is a neurologist that works there and I got paid not enough money to buy a new iPod. While my brain was being scanned for traces of genius (which I'm confident will be found), I kept thinking of what I would do if this inhuman thief ever returned to the scene of the crime and I caught him.

I pictured him sitting in our car, neatly organizing everything before he decided what he wanted to take. Meanwhile, I have just approached the car and .... Scenario one: I daringly opening the door and pull his hair and poke his eyes out while my free hand calls Corbin to come down and inflict more damage to this lost soul. Scenario two: I stand in front of the car locking the door with my remote while he tries to unlock it from within to run away, while I again call Corbin to come to my rescue.

Somehow I feel more empowered when I plan how I will prevent anyone else from defiling my poor little car. I don't have much of a sense of humor about this right now, but perhaps our loyal blogger friends will propose ways they dream of defeating those mentally ill, social rejects, that like to take what is not theirs.

5 Helens agree.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lost in Costco


Pack the kids into the miniature van and get ready to strap on your nacho feedbags. Alice and I splurged on a Costco membership. Coolest place ever. It's like joining a secret society with benefits including things like 'Buy one gallon of mayonnaise, get four free'!

The building is so big, we went through four different weather systems on our way to the deli. They have to set up relief stations every few miles to hand out sustenance and drink to prevent starvation and dehydration. Just like they do for illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert. Which is ironic, because I'm pretty sure I crossed at least one state border myself while looking for toilet paper.

They have such a wide selection, we even found DC's own crack smoking mayor for sale. He was mixed in with raspberries and blueberries in the frozen fruit section. (Look it up. He's a real berry.)

We bought about 200 pounds of canned and dried food for our food storage. So when California is cut adrift from the mainland, hopefully we'll be able to survive. As long as Costco comes along with us, we should be able to feed the entire state for at least a year.

Although it is extremely likely to happen, I am not afraid of getting lost in Costco. What better place could there be to be stranded? I'll simply slip into a pair of maternity pants, find a comfortable sofa in the furniture aisle, and settle into a 50 gallon drum of chocolate covered peanut butter balls while I wait for the rescuers or the apocalypse, whichever comes first. Isn't America great?

P.S. Snape...Snape...Severus Snape. (Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head, Brad) Check it out here.

6 Helens agree.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I wish I was (corbin says "were") a cat


So first, I think I will satisfy Henri's request of dumbing this blog down, as indicated in this blog's title.

I have been the proud owner or ownee of a cat (same thing as seeing the glass half empty or half full) for three years. I've come to the conclusion that if it were possible to surgically become a cat, I would do it. I wonder what that procedure would be called...any ideas?

I'm about to reveal a spoiler too, so stop reading now if you don't want to know this little secret of mine.

Here I go.....

I think I'm ready....

I'm scared....

I hope I still have friends after this ....

I'm a rigid sissy girl. If I were a cat I would not be this.

Papel has once again taught me through his actions, as only actions can speak louder than words and cats do not speak words, that cats are superior creatures and have no weaknesses like being a rigid sissy.

Case in point. Papel enjoys prowling along the balcony railing. He keeps an eye out for any intruders to our peaceful home, which apparently includes the ground two stories below, the bushes, the neighbor's balcony, and the entire pool area. One evening while on watch, Papel caught site of an intruder. Now, what would a rigid sissy do? Run into the house and pull the covers over her head because she's so stiff she can't even crawl under the bed. But a fearless cat would defend his domain even risking his own life. Yes, Papel gallantly leapt from the second floor balcony landing straight into the bushes below.

He took no thought of his well being but rushed after the intruder who was making himself comfortable by the side of the pool. Papel is such the knight in shining armor that he took no thought of how he has no claws to fight off this intruding cat and defend his loved ones. He jumped onto the cat and began "scratching" at him and attempting to deafen his adversary by screeching loudly. In no time, the other cat was bolting from the pool side with his tail between his legs.

What a hero. I want to be a hero. And I bet many of you would too, especially after watching "Heroes" on NBC. And through Papel's actions, I have learned that if I want to be a hero, I must be a cat. So unless you are on "Heroes" or are a cat you can't be. Sorry that this is such a downer of a blog.

8 Helens agree.

The Uber-Deathly Hallows, or Oh, Henri!


At the behest of Henri, the only faithful contributor/commenter to my blog, this post shall attempt to review the last book in the Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows. To avoid spoilers, stop reading this now.

Everyone dies. I told you there would be spoilers. If you didn't stop when I told you to, it's your own dang fault.

OK, so maybe not everyone dies, but a right lot of them do end up as the main course at a worm feast before this jeremiad is over. In Henri's opinion, this book doesn't live up to the others. I agree with her, quite literally, as more people are brutally butchered in this children's tale than all of the Saw movies put together. I had to read something a little more light hearted like Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump or The Wizard and the Hopping Pot just to stop the nightmares.

Was Rowling just pulling at our heart strings, or was there a real purpose to killing half the characters, including Harry's poor little owl? She did say she wanted to make sure no other authors could come after her and exploit the Harry Potter franchise by writing follow up books. In that sense, knocking off Hedwig seems like a pretty good idea. Harry can't very well fight off future dementors and evil wizard lords if he can't even receive the post. How's he to know the return address of his would-be attackers? I'm sorry I ever doubted your genius, J. (yes, I am on a first initial basis with Ms. Rowling).

This is supposed to be a children's book. With all the senseless killing and, as Henri put it, 'the profanity and more complex writing style' full of 'unpronounceable words', I think J. has made it apparent she is ready to move on to headier genres. My money is on a sci-fi western romance with a genteel cowboy roaming the open 'space' (SPACE: What is it and why is it important?) fighting intergalactic outlaws and looking for interstellar love. I'd book Fabio for the cover now before his schedule is filled with imitation dairy spread endorsements and Red Hat Club appearances.

I think Henri said it best. "The best things in life are things you don't need." And what could we need less than a sci-fi western romance written by a billionaire children's author featuring Fabio in a cowboy hat and little else on the cover? (Don't bother asking what he's wearing inside the covers.)

P.S. I actually enjoyed the book. It's simply much easier to write a critical review. I tried writing a glowing review but "It was really quite good" was all I managed to come up with.

2 Helens agree.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pipe's up, hose down



My friend Aaron Vollmer from Virginia Tech dropped by for a visit. We went out for real mexican food at El Cotixan. Aaron, a former SD resident, recommended the place as having excellent carnitas. The tacos were far superior to any flavorless imitation one might find in any random east coast state, say Virginia for instance. Tender, perfectly seasoned meat, creamy guacamole, pico de gallo, and salsa verde wrapped in two soft corn tortillas. My only complaint was that my tacos did not come with cheese on them. Dinner without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye. But I managed to choke them down.



We finished the evening off with dessert at BJ's pizza place, home of the famous Pizzookie. For the uninitiated, the pizzookie is a hot, deep dish chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean ice cream on top.

The alarm rang out this morning at 6:30 am. With sleep still in our eyes, he and I went surfing. Alice of course did not come. She is a very safety conscious person and she vowed not to get in the water until she first learned how to surf. So as to avoid any accidents. It was either that or it was too early and the water too cold. I can't remember.



While we were there we saw a partner surf team (two people on one board) doing lifting stunts while riding the waves. Envision a figure skating lift on a surf board. Not for me. Chafing is bad enough as it is.

Enough babble.

P.S. Those really observant will notice the pictures are of an evening surf session. I'll add the pictures from this morning as soon as Aaron sends them to me.

3 Helens agree.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Does the fish take the hook, or does the hook take the fish?


Last night, Alice and I went to look at a Porsche 914 I found for sale on craig's list. It was blue with upgraded 911 suspension and brakes, five spoke Fuchs racing wheels, racing spec engine increased from 1.7L to 2.2L, Weber carbs, short throw shifter, and a racing stripe that the owner assured me added at least 5hp. Price? Only three and a half large.

Alice said it was too loud...

...and too bumpy...

...and too fast.

She inadvertently discovered the three main reasons, in no particular order, for owning any sports car worth its asphalt. Alas, she was not convinced by my modest pleas. Nor by my unabashed begging accompanied by genuine tears.

Alice was clearly not taking this bait with the Stuttgart badge, while I swallowed hook, line, and sinker. And so some lucky bachelor will daily be experiencing the joy of ringing ears, a sore bum, and hefty speeding fines. How I do envy.

If past experience serves me correctly, we are probably not the best owners of things requiring more than superficial maintenance. You may recall the '61 Vespa still sitting idle, or rather, not idling at all. Or the '48 Plymouth we barely managed to sell on eBay before it turned to a fine red powder before our very eyes. You probably don't know about the incident with the goldfish because we ashamedly kept that story to ourselves. But you get the idea.

The man is supposed to maintain any and all machinery or mechanical apparatus appertaining to his family or household. But as the man of my house, I am fairly busy with much more important things. Like perusing craig's list for great bargains.

2 Helens agree.

Better 'Fresh Hell' than reheated hell from the night before



The world is being drowned in a deluge of blogs. The majority of the mundanely mediocre blogs sink to their watery graves a few days or weeks after their similarly watery births, never to be read again, save perhaps by the author (and even that is sometimes obviously not the case).

I am not deluded into believing my blog will not join the others at the bottom of the deluge. But for a few brief shining moments, my blog will be the newest blog, glittering with freshness like a new car just out of the showroom or a really freshly born baby. 'What fresh hell is this?' you ask. The freshest hell, that's what hell this is.

Unfortunately, those brief moments have most likely already passed as I had to go take a wee-wee in the midst of writing these very words. It was certainly nice while it lasted. I guess I could always drink another glass of water. Having the newest blog was nice, too.

Welcome to my blog.

1 Helen agrees.