Separated at Death

Is it just me, or does Alan Colmes bear a striking resemblance to the Crypt Keeper?

Damn, that's spooky.

*after I posted this, I did a google search on "Colmes" and "cryptkeeper" -- Apparently, this comparison is old news. It's kind of odd that I never noticed it before. I'll leave it up anyway since it took 5 minutes of my time to crop and paste the pictures.


A short one for Special Dark

I've been told by Special Dark -- my Jamaican-American friend -- that my posts are too long to read. He said he looks at my blog and if it's more than a screen long, he just closes his browser. Keep in mind that this is the guy who, when I asked him how he ended up buying a new turbo-charged car that gets 20 miles to a gallon when he really wanted something that was fuel efficient, replied, "I fall ass-backwards into shit. That's how I roll." So needless to say, I don't take it personally.

That quote is pure poetry, and if you knew SD, you would have to agree that it sums him up so perfectly and completely that it is impossible to add anything at all to that statement to make it better or more accurate.

Since Friday's post took a lot out of me, I'm gonna coast down easy street this evening. So with that in mind, I present you with:

More Unbelievable Google Searches That Inexplicably Led People To My Blog

monistat soothing cream as a primer - I'm pretty sure this wouldn't work. Also, what the hell were you thinking of using for paint? Preparation H? And I don't want to know anything at all about your choice in brushes.

kotex flooring - It's soft, it's absorbent, and it's a fantastic insulator. What more could you ask for in a flooring material? As an added bonus, it already has adhesive on one side, so application is quick and easy!

how do you tell how fast he was going by skidmark? - A difficult question. It's much easier to tell with tightie-whities since they don't bunch up as much, but as a general rule, for every quarter-inch of width, add 20mph, and for every half-inch of length add 10mph to the posted limit. This equation will give you the approximate speed he was going when he lost control of the car and shat himself.

quizes to see if your dum - Um, yeah. You probably don't really need a quiz. Save yourself some time and just believe what people are telling you.


Searching for salvation. Or salivation. Whichever.

It's time for another installment of: Fantastic Google Searches That Somehow Pointed People To My Site Since roughly 95% of the people surfing the web at any given time are surfing for porn, it stands to reason that a few will stumble on my site using porn-related search terms. We will skip over those because frankly, they're not that original, and also because there are some sick little monkeys out there. I will make one exception, and that will be the first one on my list, just to get it out of the way. 1. Clean Men, Sweaty Balls. I had to include this one. It made me laugh because it's got tagline written all over it. A tagline for what, I have no idea, but you have to admit it's a classic. Maybe a low-budget gay porn film. "Lance Bonesteel in: Clean Men, Sweaty Balls." Or if you want to go the television route, I was thinking maybe an ad for Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Or if you reversed it, Titleist. 2. how to make a car hover in mid air. Seriously, does this person really think the internet is their ticket to super powers? Are they hoping that Magneto has a website with how-to articles? (He doesn't. I checked.) 3. lawn ornaments made from logs. Yeah, because those are the best kind. There is a trailer down the road from me that has a gigantic dog tied out in front 24x7. You should see some of the "lawn ornaments made from logs" on that front lawn. 4. Electrical Teeth brash. Yes, yes they are. Very brash, what with all the sparking and arcing when you smile. But it's the new, hip thing in the gangsta rap circles. As a middle-sized white boy, I'm not qualified to judge. 5. food stuck in esophogus. Call me crazy, but maybe 911 would be a better choice here. "Oh my god! I'm choking! I can't breathe! What should I do? I know, I'll look up that Hiney-lick thing on the inter----" 6. johnny deep smoking weed. I've never deep-smoked weed in my life. 7. little brother hung by wedgie. Ow. I've never actually experienced this, nor do I wish to. But then again, I was the oldest, so you'd have to ask my little brother what it feels like. 8. castrated romulans. Two words I never would have thought to put together. Ever. And I've been watching Star Trek since I was about 5 years old. I'll bet it went through Captain Kirk's mind a few times.  9. What women think. Good luck, my naive friend. If only it were that easy. You will never, ever find this information on the net. In fact, you will never, ever find it no matter where you look, because they have guarded this information down through the ages, and will continue to do so until the end of time. 10. would ground meat or a steak spoil more quickly? explain using the collision model. Welcome, Pointdexter, to my humble website. Try this: Rapid Detection of Meat Spoilage by Measuring Volatile Organic Compounds by Using Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69 (2003) D. Mayr, R. Margesin, E. Klingsbichel, E. Hartungen, D. Jenewein, F. Schinner, and T. D. Märk Now take your ground beef and get out. Leave the steak.


One toe over the line, sweet jesus.

It seems that every web page I go to, I see this disgusting ad:

It's actually an animated flash advertisement, and the second thing you see is this:

It's not bad enough that the leprosy-ridden toe has a nail that looks like a burnt potato chip -- then they flip the festering thing open like the lid of some barnacle-encrusted treasure chest, just to better illustrate where the fungus lives. The only thing that's missing is the stink lines.

Frankly, I'm surprised they don't have a little animated fungi party going on under there, just to show you how much fun they're all having at your expense. Trust me, there is no way I wanted to "Learn More." I already knew more than I cared to.

Maybe I should have clicked it, because truth be told, I don't really know much about rotten toe. I do, however, know this: If I took my shoe off one day, and any of my toes looked like they might fall off inside my sock, you can bet your ass I would be at the doctor's office within the hour. I would not be surfing the internet looking for a magic lotion potion to rub on my foot. Hell, if my toe looked like that, I wouldn't even want to touch my own foot, let alone rub on it for any length of time.

I think that's my main problem with this ad. Not only is it disgusting, it's unrealistic.

There is no way that some poor bastard would be out there just cruising the web and then stumble on this ad and think to himself, "Hey, that looks just like MY rotten toe! I think I will click that little button that says "Learn More" because even though I didn't give a shit about my rotten toe five minutes ago, suddenly I feel that it would be good to perhaps learn a little bit more about exactly what might be causing it to rot off my foot."

Just add this one to the pile of advertisements we could all live without. At least it was animated, and not a real toe, because it would be really, really wrong to actually show that to people.


...and gave her mother fifty wax

On my way to work Friday, I noticed this ominous warning on the big sign outside of the local firehouse:


Holy shit, I had no idea. I was worried about this all day because my house is full of those things, and I certainly wasn't there attending to them.

I wanted to stop in and ask more questions, but I didn't have time because I was running late. Specifically, I was wondering if it was just a certain type of candle that was dangerous, or all of them.

Now I'm sitting here alone with my back against the wall at 2:30 in the morning, kicking myself because I don't have any answers, and I think my candles are pretty pissed.

Most of the ones I have around the house are small, votive-type candles. Unless they lodge themselves in my esophogus in the middle of the night while I am asleep, I'm pretty sure I can kick their scented little asses if they get out of hand.

That being said, there are a few tapers skulking around. They don't have much meat on their wick, but they worry me because they're sharp and streamlined, and look like they can move pretty fast. Plus, I'd never see those dark green ones coming. They are the ninjas of the candle world.

There's a big ugly red one in the living room that looks like a 4-inch high pile of raw ground beef patties. I have no idea why the hell my wife bought it. It's truly the ugliest candle I've ever seen. So far it hasn't done much, but I'm keeping a close eye on it anyway.

This bastard is the one I'm really worried about:

It looks all friendly and normal until you turn out the light. I got suspicious, so I pulled out the night-vision scope to see what it was up to:

Why the hell does my wife even buy these things?

Jesus, I think it just moved.

I'm definitely sleeping with the bedroom door locked tonight.



Hello? 911?

For your enjoyment, I present a typical phone conversation with my buddy Yort.

Me (answering phone): "Johnny Virgil."
Yort: "Yeah, is this 911?"
Me: "No. No, it's not."
Yort: "411?"
Me: "No."
Yort: "711?"
Me: "OK, yes. This is actually 711."
Yort: "So...you're like half-way between Information and Emergency Services?"
Me: "Right. I can only give you information about where to get help."
Yort: "Or help me find information."
Me: "Exactly."
Yort: "So...where do I get help?"
Me: "Yeah, I gotta go."


It's like that all the time. And we're both sober for god's sake.


What a shitty demo

I actually left the office for my 15 minute lunch today -- not to eat, but just to run to the electronics store and buy a few capacitors to fix a TV. I got back, went to the cafeteria and grabbed a quick sandwich, then headed up to my desk, because I had a teleconference to attend. After I ate, I dialed in to watch a product demo from a vendor.

As I'm sitting there, I realize that something stinks pretty bad.

That's not so unusual though, because lots of people eat at their desks, and they bring in all kinds of rank-smelling food. Normally, they microwave their bucket of rotten fishheads or whatever downstairs in the cafeteria, then they bring it back upstairs and sit at their desks and suck it down, all the while allowing the stench to permeate throughout the entire floor.

I've smelled some pretty bad stuff before, but this really smells terrible. The bad thing is that the smell seems to be coming from my just-finished lunch. The food is bad, but generally not that bad. It's only a chicken wrap with hot-sauce for chrissake. How bad could it be? I sniff around a bit, but don't find anything. Then, as I'm looking around under my cube, I catch a whiff.

My amazing powers of smellocation zero in on the culprit.

It's my pants.

My pants smell like shit. And by "like shit" I mean "like actual, honest-to-god feces."

They didn't smell like that this morning when I put them on. I'm pretty sure of that, although I have been on my own for almost 24 hours now, and anything is possible. Spontaneous laundry funkification is, while perhaps not likely, definitely within the realm of possibility.

I investigate further, and realize that the reason my pants smell like shit is because my chair smells like shit -- and my pants have been sitting on my chair. For an instant, my awesome deductive prowess leads me temporarily astray, and I think: "Someone has been sitting and/or shitting in my chair."

I immediately discount this theory as ludicrous, but there is that evidence bomb of the shit-stained chair to contend with. After all, it wasn't there when I left. Maybe somebody hates me. Paula? Maybe. She hates me, but she wouldn't poopify my cube, I don't think. That's pretty rough, even for her.

In the movies, they always say if you want to figure out the motive for a crime, just follow the money trail. In this case, since there was no movie, I was left following the only trail I had, and that trail was much less fun, and much more brownish.

How had shit gotten on my chair? How indeed, Watson. I follow the trail. It leads me directly to the yellowish-brown, oatmeal-cookie-shaped turd that is pancaked to the bottom of my left shoe.

This revelation leads to another.

It seems I have a bad habit of tucking one leg under the other when I sit in a chair. The mystery was solved, as such:

Elementary, my dear Watson.

God, I hate dogs. Why can't they crap in a box like a civilized animal?

So I excuse myself from the meeting, with a quick "brb" to a co-worker via IM, and head for the bathroom. I am walking through the hall very carefully, so as to not drop a small pancake loaf in the middle of the aisle.

I take off my boot, and while balancing on one foot, I hold a paper towel over the sharp edge of the garbage can, and scrape the shit into the can. I then wet a paper towel, and go to work on the little "vibram" logo on the bottom of my sole, which has a nice ring of yellow brown around it.

I'm running the shoe under the faucet, trying to dislodge the last remnants, when someone walks in.

He has a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in his hand.

He looks at me. He looks at my shoe.

I look at him. I look at his toothbrush.

I scrape a little more crap into the sink and wash it down the drain.

"Dog shit," I inform him.

He turns around and walks out.

That's ok. I never got that whole "brushing your teeth at work" thing anyway. Nothing like a little dog shit on a shoe to really drive my point home. I could have really used that toothbrush though.

The next twenty minutes of my life revolved around cleaning carpets, jeans and chairs, and then rubbing a Mennen Speed Stick that I found in an abandoned cube all over every available surface.

Now everything within ten feet of my cube smells like a man-whore.

Or, to be more precise, a man-whore dipped in dog shit.


Wait...If you give them food, doesn't that make them poop?

My wife is out of town for a few days. I hate to say it, but I don't think she trusts me to take care of our three cats properly.

She left me a very detailed instruction sheet as to my relative cat-related duties for the next 72 hours.

It says:

Scoop litter
Change water

And then it just lists a phone number for the vet.

These cats are so screwed.


Decisions, Decisions

I'm driving home from work, and I'm coming up on a traffic light that just turned red, and there are two cars in front of me stopped at the light, one in each lane. We've all been there, so you know what's coming.

You have less than two seconds to decide something that can make or break the rest of your day: Which one of the drivers currently sitting at the light is the bigger asshole. Your brain will apply a well-known but rarely mentioned law of traffic signal dynamics that states that the degree of assholishness present in a person's body is directly proportional to the speed at which said person will accelerate from the traffic light when the light turns green. This is immutable.

Your brain sorts through dozens of variables in the space of seconds. Sight, sound, and --to a lesser extent-- smell, will all combine in a split-second of intuition that will either result in a glorious victory shout, or a spewing forth of obscenities.

Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes the relative assholishness doesn't enter into to it, and it becomes strictly a vehicle comparison. Suppose you get a corvette and a minivan. Bam! Corvette, no contest, even if it turns out there's a blind old lady driving. A garbage truck and a Celica? Celica, hands down. Motorcycle and a Caddy? Take the bike, it's a no-brainer.

Sometimes, it's a little tougher. That's what happened to me today.

First, the vehicles. The one on the left: A newish looking 4x4 pickup truck with huge tires, running boards, a rack of lights, and a back window with an american flag. A bumper sticker tells me that if I don't like logging, I can try wiping my ass with plastic.

The one on the right: A rice-boy Honda Civic with 48" rims, an aluminum rear fin the size of an aircraft carrier, and what appears to be a silver coffee can fastened to the tailpipe. This car is bright red, and seems to be thumping up and down to some sort of dance beat. There is also a big, white, HONDA sticker covering the top half of the rear window, just so everyone knows what kind of car it is, because identifying those Hondas can be tricky business.

I instantly realize this one could go either way.

Jim Bob is going to try to smoke Slim Shady, and Slim is going to try to get the drop on Jim Bob. Someone in a minivan is coming up behind me, so I have to take the shot.

I get behind Slim.

I'm feeling pretty good about my decision, because there's some slight "edging-up" going on. He's obviously gonna go for it. I can hear the Zzzzzzzz-ZZZZZZZ of his awesome 4 cylinder, 1.6 liter lawnmower engine whining above the thumping bass. Jim Bob is oblivious -- either he's ignoring Slim, or he's playing it cool because he already knows that the second the light turns green he's going to jag sharply to the right and just bounce the Civic off his giant right-front tire.

From the edge of the traffic signal, I see the light facing the other lanes at the intersection turn yellow, and I get ready. Up ahead about 100 yards, the two lanes merge into one, so I'm hoping Slim gets a big enough lead that I can squeeze in behind him, safely in front of Jim Bob and the slow cow in the minivan.

The light turns green, and.....

...Slim "the douchebag" Shady blows his shift, and I almost drive my car directly into his back seat.

It becomes clear to me that I somehow managed to get behind the only backwards-baseball-cap-wearing-teenaged-asshole who doesn't yet know how to pop a clutch.


I slam on my brakes and the old lady in the minivan on my left, who wisely chose to weld her front bumper to Jim Bob's rear one, passes me like I was standing still, which, of course, I was.

So I guessed wrong. The cold equations failed me. While I am pretty sure the relative assholishness variable was well-played, I neglected to factor in the Poser theorem, which states that there is an inverse relationship between how fast a Honda Civic looks, and how fast it actually is. I think there is an additional corollary that says something about increasing or decreasing the ratio depending upon whether the backwards baseball cap is adjustable or fitted, but I always sucked at math.

I guess it just proves that even if you bolt 500lbs of extra shit in and around your Civic, it doesn't mean it's any faster than it was before, and it doesn't mean that you know how to drive.

I hate it when I guess wrong. Especially in this case, because Jim Bob snagged a win by default. There's no glory in that. None at all.

Speaking of traffic lights, how did we ever convince people behind the wheel of two ton machines to stop, slow down, and go just because a little light tells them to do so?

I think there should be some common-sense applied. Here's a fer-instance. I think that left on red before 6am should be a law. Why? Because every day I come to work at 6am, and every day the traffic light at the intersection leading into our office park is red. This light is always red.

It is 6am, in a deserted office park. It stays red for hours at a time, until it senses a car sitting at it, then it will wait an additional 2-3 minutes, and turn green until it no longer senses cars. Then back to red.

About 4 out of 5 days, I come to this red light, and I look both ways. If I don't see any headlights, I turn left and drive to the parking garage.

I am not retarded. I am not blind. I know what oncoming traffic looks like. I am not a sheep.

I refuse to sit there for ten minutes, by myself, with no other cars in sight, waiting for a stupid little light to decide when I can and can't go. So I take the turn, and get on with my day.

But on that fifth day, it never fails. I turn the corner, and there's some idiot just sitting there at the light. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting. These people are morons, and I want to get out of my car, walk up to their driver's side door, and kick it repeatedly while screaming "Do you SEE any cars coming? DO YOU? DO YOU? TAKE THE TURN FOR GOD'S SAKE!"

But I don't because most of the time they park in the same garage that I do, and when they get out of their cars, it turns out that I know them. I don't like them, and I'll never respect them, but I know them.

Left on red before 6am. Think about it. Every vote counts.


You want fangers with that?

I had the dubious pleasure of eating at the Burger King in the airport today, because there was really nothing else there that didn't require actually sitting down to eat, and all I really wanted was something small to the take the edge off until I got home.

Since the bagel place had a really long line, I figured I'd just get a salad from the King. You know, something light -- definitely nothing that would require a visit to the miniature suckhole at 30,000 feet. I've been in the airplane bathroom before when that little "fasten your seatbelt" icon starts blinking and the plane starts bouncing you around, and it ain't no fun. All sort of thoughts go through your head - not the least of which is the distinct possibility that you might get hit in the ass by something that just left your ass. Not to mention that "tidy bowl blue" is not a great color for genitals of any type.

I confess that I didn't look at the menu too closely, since I eat at the Burger King about once a year. I just saw a couple pictures that involved lettuce, and thought "yeah, that's what I want."

Who knew they had 37 different varieties of salad? Flame-broiled this and that, chicken, shrimp, garden, Caesar with chicken -- you name it.

So I walk up to the counter and the girl says, "Take your order, please?"

"Yes. I'd like a salad," I reply.

She says, "Garden or Seizure?"

"Um, did you just say SEIZURE?"

She says, "Yeah. We have two kinds of salads. You can get a seizure, or a garden. And you can get fangers with either one."


"Yeah. You know. Chicken Fangers."

"Yes, I would like the seizure with chicken fangers please. And a bottled water."

"That'll be $6.75. You have a nice day."

The day wasn't so great, but once I regained consciousness and picked myself up off the floor, I gotta tell ya, the fangers were excellent.


Making a Difference

Am I the only one who thinks that Christiane Amanpour should NOT be "Making a Difference?" What the hell is that about? You are a journalist -- you don't get to make a difference. You get to report the news. So you know what, CNN? Just REPORT THE FUCKING NEWS, OK?

I just want the story. I don't want to know anything about what part you played in it, or what your opinion on it is. "Making A Difference." Worst. Tagline. Ever.


I've been up since about 4am, because I had to make a quick trip out of town this morning. Luckily, I had a short flight. I'm glad it was short because I am pretty sure the guy sitting next to me on the plane had a fish hook caught in his throat. For a solid 2 hours, he kept making that hauwking sound that you normally associate with the act of chucking up a big loogie, but - and here's the mystery - that's as far as he went.

I can only pray that he was coming up dry, because the alternative is not something I wish to contemplate.

The other wonderful thing about this flight was the 60-year old steward who somehow managed to be extremely chipper and upbeat at 5:30am. I wanted to kill him. He was clearly at the very pinnacle of a 2-case Red Bull bender.

I would bet my paycheck that he worked for Southwest recently, because he was cracking extremely corny jokes to an audience of stone-faced killers (i.e., us). I think Continental is trying some last ditch, desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy by copying Southwest's methods. I'm here to say that it's not working. At all.

He didn't understand that the reason nobody laughed is because (a) he wasn't very funny, (b) Hello? It was 5:30am, and (c) everyone on board was trying to figure out a way to shove his cheerful, shiny little head out one of those little round windows without depressurizing the cabin.
Here's an example:

"As long as we're moving on the ground, you'll want to keep your seatbelts fastened. While the guys up front are excellent pilots, I'm not sure how good they are at driving."

"If you do leave something on the plane that is extremely valuable, don't worry. I'll turn it in for you here in Rochester. You can pick it up at Rico's Pawn shop, on the corner of West Avenue and Madison."

You almost expected him to say, "Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm here all week, folks. Don't forget to tip your waitresses."

He made my bone marrow hurt.

Perhaps it would have been mildy amusing if I had been wide awake and in a good mood, but when you're working on 4 hours sleep, no coffee and no breakfast it gets old really, really fast. Also keep in mind that I gave you his BEST material. He was like a wrinkled, old version of Brian, the perky waiter at Chotchkie's.

Once I was on the ground, I did a quick speed-walk past fishhook guy and his wife, and tried to catch the train to the office. That was pretty uneventful, although I did see something that made me laugh.

After I watched the tail lights of the train I needed to be on disappear into the distance, I sat down to wait for the next one. There was a lot of carving and writing on the bench. For lack of something better and more constructive to do, I started reading it. I saw a heart that said:

12/04 to Present

That will haunt me. What the hell was she thinking when she wrote this? Was she planning to come back to the bench every 3 months and provide us with quarterly updates on the status of her relationship with Steve? Was I going to come back in February and see something like:

xx/xx xx Xxxxxxxx
no longer screwing

Or maybe she was thinking of putting it on her resume and just wanted give it a test run.

I have no idea. People are strange.

I will, however, check the bench the next time I'm in town and let you know.


Elevator etiquette and other tidbits

So I got on the elevator the other day, and this guy says "Hey, what's up?"

I say "Not much."

He says, "Where ya goin?"

I say, "Five, please."

He makes no move to hit the elevator button, which is clearly on his side, and is also clearly his responsibility, since he chose to stand directly in front of it.

He then says, "This place is killing me. I'm working like 60 hours this week."

I say, "Wow, man. That's rough. Hey, can you hit five?"

He looks at me, annoyed, and hits the button for floor 5.

He then says, "While you're there, could you pick me up a six-pack of Sam Adams? Yeah, the Porter."

That's when I realize he has a little wireless headset in the ear facing the wall, and he's carrying on a conversation with someone else.


While I was typing up this elevator story, it reminded me of another one that happened a while back. My buddy Yort had just given me a copy of the new (at the time) Liz Phair CD.

If you know me at all, you know I'm pretty heavily into music, and I will get a song stuck in my head for days. I will go around humming and singing said song under my breath without even realizing it. In fact, one of Yort's favorite pastimes is to call me up and riff on a song that I hate, whereupon it will be instantly carved, using a large chisel and wooden mallet, into the soft tissue of my cerebral cortex. I will be looping it pretty much constantly until I go to sleep that night and my brain resets itself. I also go nowhere without my iPod, and strive to have a pair of ear buds jammed in my ears as often as humanly possible. I am pretty sure I have ear mushrooms from never allowing air to circulate in there.

So anyway, on this CD, there's an incredibly catchy song called H.W.C. For those of you who know the song, you can probably see where this is going.

Now picture this: It's six o'clock in the morning, and I am just arriving at work, and I have my iPod plugged into my head, and it's playing this CD, and in fact, this particular song. I get on the elevator, and the maintenance guy, who is also there early, follows me in. We are somewhere around floor 3 and half, and I notice he is looking at me very strangely.

I didn't figure it out at first, but when I got off the elevator, I realized that I had been whispering the chorus under my breath. That dude still runs the other way when he sees me.

Good times.


It's official. One of my cats is a crack whore. Maggie, the small female who gets picked on unmercifully by the other 2 cats, has been on valium for about a month now to try to mellow her out and make her not so skittish. The other night, we inadvertently forgot to give her the nightly dose, and she meowed, non-stop, All Night Long.

We had no idea what the hell her problem was. It was like she was in heat, except that she's spayed, so we couldn't figure it out. We called the vet, and it turns out they get addicted to it, and then get all bent if they don't get their fix. I'm pretty sure that if it had gone on much longer, she would have broken out of the house. I would have found her cruising the neighborhood turning tricks in order to score some tabs.

Come to think of it, we did name her after an old, used-up hooker in a song by Rod Stewart, so it's not completely out of the question.


It's almost an ass holder.

...but not quite.

Nothing funny happened to me today, so I figured I'd post some pics I took Sunday.

If you've ever wondered what I do for fun while I'm waiting for my Enzyte to arrive in the mail, wonder no more. I turn firewood into things you sit on. Here's one I have almost finished:

The back bow and spindles are split out of an oak log, the seat is pine and the legs are turned from maple that I dig out of the wood pile. Here's a few more pics:

Finished spindles. These are carved by hand, and they suck the life out of you. Nine more to go. Ugh.

Here's one in progress, along side of the tools you use to make them:

This is a bending form for the back. You steam the straight piece of oak for a half hour, then wrap it around this form. You have 30 seconds to take it out of the steamer and wrap it around the form before it hardens again.

Here's one all done:

OK. Class is over. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.


The Battle of Midway

So here's a question. Can you guess what this is?

If you guessed the Japanese flag, you'd be wrong. Well, technically you'd be right, but it was on my TV about twenty minutes ago and it really had nothing at all to do with islands populated by lots of tiny Asians.

Let me give you a little bit more of a hint:

Nope, it's not a ball or a balloon or any other object you'd associate with a round red object in your hand. You cannot throw it, nor can you put it away in your closet with the baseball bats and rollerblades.

Give up?

That, my female friends, is your period, brought to you by Kamikaze Kotex.

And now, please allow me to introduce your spokeswoman for this journey: Faceless Hot Girl.

Here she is, proudly and sexily holding up her period for all the world to see.

I learned from observing this floating period that they can vary in size from baseball to basketball. You must carry it around for 5-7 days every single month, and it will, from here on in, hover roughly 3 inches above your hand at all times.

Because this is a new commercial, expect to be subjected to faceless hot girl roughly 3 times every hour.

I would like to commend them for actually using a red dot, which is much more realistic than the blue liquid we are most familiar with from the lounge-chair-shaped maxi-pad demos.

I also learned something else. The commercial informed me that there are many good things about being a woman, and one of them is "not having a hairy back." Call me crazy, but where I come from, that's pretty much a good thing no matter what sex you are. Otherwise, your shirt never actually touches your skin.

After about the third or fourth time I saw this commercial, I found myself strangely drawn to faceless hot girl.

I am intrigued by her low-cut jeans, perfect body and her total inability to nag -- what with the whole facelessness thing and all. I think she may well be the perfect female. If I were single, she would be totally dateable.

I would make one teeny, tiny improvement however:

Yeah. That's the ticket.


Quiz time

I had a conversation with a co-worker today who put forth the hypothesis that every wife thinks her husband is an idiot. I countered by saying that every husband thinks his wife is a hormonally unbalanced crazy woman. There was more to it, but that was the basic argument.

I said I was pretty sure it was just a result of differences in the way women and men looked at different situations.

I am hoping that this simple, three-question quiz might give my co-worker some insight into the inner workings of a man's mind. I will write the quiz from the man's point of view, and then I will tell the women the reasons their answers are wrong.

Question One: You notice that you are out of underwear that doesn't smell like sweaty balls. Your wife isn't immediately handy, so you can't yell "HEY, DO I HAVE ANY CLEAN UNDERWEAR ANYWHERE THAT YOU KNOW OF?" This being the case, you wander down to the laundry room to see what you can see. After rooting around in the laundry basket for a bit, you extract about 5 pair of your underwear -- two good, two iffy and one that by all rights should have been thrown out weeks ago. You open the top of the washing machine, and there are already wet clothes in there. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) take whatever is in the washer out, evaluate whether or not it should be put in the dryer or hung to dry, look in the dryer to see if there are clothes already in there, and if there are, take them out and fold them, then put the wet clothes that can go into the dryer in, and turn it on. Then put your load of underwear in the washing machine.

b) take whatever is in the washing machine out, look in the dryer to see if there are clothes already in there, and regardless of the answer to that question, toss the unidentified soggy mass of material that you just pulled out of the washing machine in with the already dry clothes and turn the dryer on high.* Then toss your underwear in the washing machine.

c) toss the underwear in the washing machine on top of whatever the wet clothes happen to be, and give them all another go-round.

Women think the answer should be (a), but unless your husband is gay, you can plan on either (b) or (c) being the choice he will make.

If your husband is smart, he will choose (c) because that is the choice that involves the least work, and also has the least possibility of inadvertently shrinking, discoloring or otherwise effing up an article of your clothing that you value at roughly the same level as your need for oxygen. Keep in mind that (b) is not the best choice, but has a higher probability of being used if the stuff in the dryer looks indestructible -- All towels, for instance.

Question Two: Your wife is out shopping, and you come in from doing yard work to make a quick sandwich. You use 1 plate, 1 knife and one glass. Because you are a good husband, when you are finished, you open the dishwasher to put them in, and you see that the dishes are clean. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) Empty the dishwasher, rinse your plate, glass and knife, and put them in the dishwasher.

b) Leave the dirty plate, glass and knife in the sink.

c) Wash the plate and knife with a paper towel, rinse the glass and put them all away, since it's less work than emptying the dishwasher.

d) Stick them in with the clean dishes and wash the whole batch over again.

e) Stick them in with the clean dishes and don't wash them, and then when your wife finds them later, tell her that you're sorry and you didn't notice they were clean.

Again, the women will say the correct answer is (a).

This is wrong.

The most likely answer is (d), because again, this is the fastest choice, and has the least amount of work involved for the amount of ass-pain caused. Chances are, the wife won't notice that there are a few extras in there, and you're home free. This is assuming, of course, that the dishwasher isn't still running when she gets home. If that happens, just say that you thought they were dirty, so you washed them all again. This will work.

As an aside, never choose (b). Most guys plan to only temporarily choose (b) -- fully intending to later make another choice when they have more time, but this never happens. You will forget, and that shit will stay in the sink until the end of time, or until your wife sees it, whereupon it will result in an immediate psycho-hormonal response, causing her to become either an instant bitch or an emotional wreck. You know it and I know it, so never choose (b). That one will get your ass handed to you over and over, and it's just not worth the pain.

An inexperienced guy might think that (c) might be the best choice, except that about 1 time out of 5 your wife will notice the wet dishes you put away and then ask you in a sweet, concerned voice "Did you eat anything for lunch today, honey?" Be warned. She doesn't really want to know if you ate anything, she really just wants to know why the hell you didn't empty the dishwasher, since you obviously saw that the dishes were clean, yet chose to ignore them. So that choice is not optimal.

Keep in mind that choice (e) will work once or twice, but any more than that and she will start to believe that you might actually be an idiot.

Question Three: You go to the kitchen garbage can to throw out a banana peel. The garbage can is full. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) Pull the full garbage bag out of the can, place the banana peel gently on the top, tie the bag up, place a new garbage bag into the can, then bring the full bag outside for the weekly pick up.

b) Using your hands, push down on the garbage with all your might until it has achieved the approximate density of a white dwarf star, or has, at the very least, begun to form actual diamonds out of the coffee grounds packed in the bottom. If this does not get you at least two inches below the rim, use your foot. Toss the banana peel on top.

c) Bring your banana peel to the bathroom, since you were heading there anyway, and throw it into the teeny, tiny, ornamental garbage can next to the toilet, which is strictly reserved for Q-tips, used cotton balls, kleenex, tampon wrappers and pieces of dental floss. Cover the banana peel with crumpled kleenex. The next day, when your wife asks about the fruit flies in the bathroom, play dumb.

Women will universally choose (a). Men will universally choose (b), unless (b) has been chosen at least once before with the same bag of garbage. Then there is no real alternative except (c).

(Men, there is only one reason to choose (a) of your own free will -- that reason is sex. If you are horny, make sure that your wife sees you complete each task of choice (a). If at all possible, make it look like you are enjoying yourself. I know that sounds incredibly difficult -- and it is -- but if you can manage that, you will almost always get some later that night. Trust me on this.)

So that's my quiz. Do what you will with the answers. I have drawn my own conclusion and it is this:

It turns out that men are idiots, and women are insane.


Final Note: In all honesty, I didn't play fair on question two. That one was a trick question, and all the answers are wrong.

A real guy will know that the best answer for question two would be to simply inhale a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while leaning over the sink and then take a drink of water out of the faucet to wash it all down. No muss, no fuss.

If you use your fingers, there's not even a dirty knife to worry about. And remember, if you do use a knife, sometimes it's quicker and easier to simply throw it in the trash rather than wash it.

Just make sure you bury it good though, so the wife doesn't see it. And watch out for it when you pack that garbage down later on in the week. That kind of shit can come back to haunt you.

*(unless, of course, the dryer contains clean underwear. If that is the case, just toss the wet clothes back in the washing machine, take the clean undies and go.)