June 2006 Archives

Tomato Funeral

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There's this thing I like to do in public places where myself and another person will have a bizarre or unrealistic conversation, unbeknownst to the others around us that we're making up the details of the fake story as we go along. The idea is to weird-out the bystanders and make them puzzle the nature of the implausible conversation. I think of it as a community service of sorts. You know, it gives our victims something to talk about in the lunchroom other than the weather or what happened on American Idol the previous night.

As an extension of this, Sofia and I will sometimes pretend to be meeting for the first time, and aggressively flirt or pursue one-another for a date. This is of course very unnatural behavior for me, and I screw it up frequently. The ruse is given away when I'm unable to come up with a fake name immediately, because of course I can't tell her my real name (kind of like when I meet women for real). For some reason, the name I always pick is a Hispanic name. I'm not trying to say Hispanic men are more likely to pressure women for their company, but I'm not going to rule that out either.

I'm sure fake conversations of this kind are far from uncommon, considering the insane things I hear people talking about when I'm eavesdropping in the elevator or in the bathroom. Sure enough, I found a comment on some weirdo's blog to support the idea that other people engage in this abusive pasttime.

My friends and I have, in the past, enjoyed playing a game we affectionately call "tomato funeral". Often when we find ourselves in close but temporary proximity to a stranger or group of strangers (like being in an elevator) one of us will start the game by turning to the other and asking:

"So then what happened?"

At this point it's the goal of the other person to come up with the most nonsensical but still plausible conclusion to a conversation that will presumably leave the strangers wondering for the rest of the day what possible situation could have led up to that phrase. The game is named after one of the earliest successes:

"Oh, well, she went to the funeral, but, well, you know, I doubt she'll ever eat tomatoes again"

Points are awarded for creativity and quickness of response.

Anything to add a little surrealism to someone else's life.

Good times, good times.

Mavs Will Prevail

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Damnit! Such a close (and stressful) game. I hate to be the guy crapping about bad officiating, but we got screwed on the fouls at the end. In both directions.

Okay, let's just see how Miami stands up when they come back to our house. The next two games belong to the Mavs.

In other news, this is my 100th entry on this blog. Since you're reading this, thanks for sending your web browser my way. I would say that you're the reason I'm writing this, but to be honest, I'm really just doing it for the money.

Lucid Dreams

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I don't often remember my dreams, but when I do, the dream usually involves Natalie Portman and a 200 gallon tub of Cool Whip. Besides that one, my dreams are just the typical recurring ones, such as :

  • Sleeping through a college final exam.
  • Falling from a tall building and waking just before I hit the ground.
  • Eating 47 Rodeo hotdogs in 10 minutes to win the Guinness World Record.

Last night was different. Last night I had a strange dream about my friend who had a drug deal gone bad. It was one of those dreams that was so realistic, so lucid, that I thought it had really happened even 5 minutes after I woke up.

Let me try to set the scene for you. We were present age (in our late twenties), but in Norman. This isn't at all unlikely, we go to Norman all the time. And let's face it, Norman must be the drug capital of central Oklahoma. It was summertime, everyone was off school, and nobody seemed to have jobs.

I was sitting at home (or at someone's home) on the couch, hand down the front of my pants, watching reruns of Saved by the Bell. My friend came charging in the house and he's furious. My first thought was that he found out I was the one that drank his last beer, but not the case. He started telling me the story of how he was going to buy some weed and the dealer just took his money told him to hit the road. He wasn't the kind of guy to just back down, but the guns pointed at him caused him to think differently.

Well my friend wasn't going to stand for these circumstances. He formulated a plan to make the deal right. Somehow he knew where the dealer lived, so he was going to go to that apartment, break in, and take the drugs when they weren't there.

The time had come, and I decided I would go along, because otherwise the dream would probably have been quite dull (pretend you're seeing a FamilyGuy-style interlude with me typing away at the keyboard while my friend is out risking life and limb).

We got to the apartment, and with my James Bond -esque lockpicking set we were in in a matter of seconds. I kind of wish it had been one of those high tech digital locks like the ones you see on doors to secret hideouts in the movies. You know, the ones that do whatever would be most beneficial to the protagonist whenever he shoots them with a gun. Want the door to lock behind you ? Shoot the control panel. Want the door to open ? Shoot the control panel !

Anyway, we got in, he got the smoke, and we were ready to make our escape. Then unexpectedly, my friend planted a bomb in the apartment and ran off, down the stairs, with me therefore running straight behind. I think he might have had on one of those goofy T-shirts that says "I'm a bomb technician. If you see me running, try to keep up."

He made a flying leap into the apartment pool just a couple hundred feet away, while I still stood there, poolside, and just turned around to see the apartment building explode.

I couldn't believe he took it to that level. What if there were innocent people in the building ? What if small children, dogs, or some crack whores were injured in the blast ?

There was no time to fret about it, we had to get out of there before the cops arrived. By my estimate, we had less than 25 minutes until the cops could be coaxed into putting down the Krispy Kremes and be on the scene.

Next I remember, we were sitting outside a Quizno's, leisurely drinking a couple glasses of iced tea, and watching the firetrucks scream past. It was reminiscent of that Pulp Fiction scene were Jules and Vincent were discussing their career paths in the diner, except nobody had a really cool wallet.

I think the remorse of the situation finally caused me to awaken. Either that, or I really had to pee.

By the way, my friend featured in this story wasn't one of those faceless generic dream people. It was really one of my friends. And if you ask, I'll probably just say it was you.

Will science ever stop finding benefits to drinking beer ? If there's any fairness in the world, the answer is "no." With any luck we'll eventually learn that beer is the perfect beverage, much like how they say fish is so good for you, it's like humans were designed to eat Nemo (to my nutritionist friend: feel free to correct me on this and use lots of funny words like Omega-3 fatty acids).

Yesterday I read in the AP that beer contains an ingredient that helps prevent prostate cancer (don't be too disappointed ladies, it may prevent other cancers too, so drink up). The hops has a compound called xanthohumol (bonus points if you can pronounce that while drunk) that inhibits a type of protein production that results in cancer. Or something like that, I dunno, this isn't a medical journal.

Well that all sounds well and good, until they get to the part where you would have to drink about 17 beers a day to get the needed amount of xanthohumol for it to have a realized effect. Although I'm up to the challenge, the doctors that were cited in the article warned against such endeavors, saying that "drinking 17 beers a day can lead to alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver." Way to rain on my parade, you so-called scientists. In fact, now I'm going to have to see their credentials.

Coffee Lover
A Coffee Lover

All is not lost, however. I was going to let that article go until I saw another news story today solves the problem associated with drinking 17 beers a day. Researchers have found that drinking coffee daily seemed to protect alcohol drinkers from liver disease. In fact, every cup of coffee reduced the incidence of cirrhosis by 22 percent. With all the coffee I drink, my liver must be a cancer-fighting machine by now.

You might point out that the doctor recommended against heavy drinking because of a risk of cirrhosis and alcoholism, and I've been conveniently ignoring that second ailment. While it's true that alcoholism is a serious condition, I think that prostate cancer is much more serious, and I feel obligated to take whatever measures I can to avoid the big C.

No Solicitations

Okay, I'm serious. Neither me nor any of my readers are interested in your gay porn. Whoever you are, you can stop posting 10 comment spams a day inviting us to see "Mike gay 18 years young." We're don't want to see it, no matter how young and cute you claim he is.

I know this won't do any good. I'm getting all these comments from an automated army of "pwned" computers, because they all come from different IP addresses. So they're not actually reading this, and I have nothing to ban from commenting.

A part of me thinks I'm being set up. Someone I know signed me up for all this crap. Well, if I find out who did it, your mailman is soon going to have a very sour opinion of you. Unless he happens to swing that way, in which case he might be asking you what you're doing tomorrow night.

On another note, I'm off to my company's 60th anniversary party. I've only been working there for a 10th of that time, less if you factor in the acquisition. I could be cynical and say that at least it's better than work, but I think it's actually going to be fun. Segway races, golf, poker, and with any luck, a bit of booze. And as a bonus I'm pretty confident I'll be nowhere near any gay porn.

Cody vs. the Fox

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The fox
The Cody

DIY Mosquito Trap

mosquito trapThis could be worth doing. You can make your own mosquito trap with nothing more significant than a two-liter bottle, some brown sugar, and a gram of yeast. Even if it doesn't work so well, it's cheap and looks like a good excuse to drink a bottle of Mountain Dew.

Here's the gist of it: Cut the top off the bottle, put in some water and mix a solution of brown sugar, and add a pinch of yeast. Invert the bottle top you cut off and stick it in the bottle to create a funnel.

Presumably, the mosquitos will fly into the bottle because they're attracted to the carbon dioxide given off by the fermentation going on in there. The nasty little buggers will get trapped in the bottle and probably suffocate. Neat.

70000 Cans of Beer on the Wall

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This dude is not invited to our next party. I like beer as much as the next guy, but I try to balance my drinking with work, sleep, and trips to the grocery store to buy more beer (and ketchup). To produce this many empties, you'd have to make beer drinking your hobby, your job, and your religion.

If you ever wondered what 70000 cans of beer in one house looked like, look no further.

That's a lot of beer!

The Utah man responsible for all this was an ideal tenant in his townhouse for eight years, until his minor drinking problem was exposed by a Realtor. This Realtor, who obviously has never been to New Jersey, described the townhouse as the "sickest thing he's ever seen."

In case you wanted to know, the Coors Light fanatic has since stopped drinking and resumed his former job. I guess all it took was national recognition of his achievement. The article didn't mention what line of business he was into, but I'm guessing it wasn't waste management.

The MPAA Reckons You A Sucker

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Why buy a DVD for $15 when you can spend $20 and get the movie in a lower-quality format without the extra features ? Disney is asking this question as they introduce a deal with CinemaNow, where they'll provide movies that can be downloaded over the Internet and only viewed on a PC.

I'm not exactly sure what they're thinking here. Disney can't expect to sell more than a handful of films online with this pricing strategy. They're reducing their costs by eliminating the duplication, packaging, and distribution costs, and then increasing the sale price over what you would normally pay for the full DVD.

The cynic in me is going to suggest this is because they want to avoid the online movie business altogether. Just as they opposed the VCR because of their reduced control over distribution, they now oppose the Internet for the same reasons. When this fails, Disney and the MPAA will be able to point at the American public and say, "See! People don't want movies online. We gave them the opportunity to legitimately purchase films online, and they still just pirate them."

Nevermind that the VCR, and more recently, the DVD, has been the mainstay of movie studio revenues for the last 20 years. Even still, I can see Jack Valenti likening P2P networks to a serial killer any day now.

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."
-Jack Valenti to a Congressional panel in 1982

I couldn't have said it better myself ! Oh wait, yes I could, but I would have said it more along the lines of, "I say to you that the VCR is going to be hugely profitable for us, but we're too short-sighted and stuck in our ways to realize it." Much better.

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