Doug and Doug

genuine- free from hypocrisy or dishonesty; sincere

There’s nothing special about Dougs. Dougs are almost the same as any Tom, Bob or Brian. You’ve got all types of Dougs, but it seems that all Dougs are one notch down from everyone else. The best looking Doug could never be as good looking as the best looking Tom. (Check out the Google photo search for Doug. Good grief! Is that Doug Henning on a rainbow?) The smartest Doug would never be as smart as the smartest Brian. But damnit, we’ve got a sense of humor. Dougs are funny. Dougs have personality. Dougs get the last girl at the party, but at least we are not jerking off at the end of the night like the Pauls and the Teds.

I was just flipping through some collections of Flickr photos. I searched for photos of Dougs. Again, mostly not especially good looking guys doing not especially interesting stuff.

But then I found a photo of a Doug that worked for the BBC. Doug had recently died. His friend, nanavut, memorialized him by saying the following:



“Doug Graham, a gentle soul sitting at the rear of this photo; a friend and colleague of mine and many others at the BBC died November 22nd, aged 26.
I remember him for his enthusiasm and positive outlook on life, no matter all the difficulties he himself suffered through. He knew how to see the bright side of everything.
Quick to make friends, genuine in his relationships, kind, and always full of positive energy - Doug taught me alot.
I hope you will remember him along with me.”

And I was sad for their loss. And his loss. And the passing of such a young person.

And then I realized that no one would ever describe me as being genuine. No one would remember me for my positive outlook on life and that I might know which side was the bright one.

And then I did a re-realization. I’m an awful bastard. A heartless ass. A real jerk.

And you know what? Thank God for that.

Thank God there’s someone to cross the line and joke about the awful thing you are thinking, but won’t say. Thank God there’s someone who can point out the bridesmaids that will be getting too drunk or that the first two pews are filled with four divorced couples. That funerals are the best places to laugh. And thank God there’s someone who can thank God knowing full well that he has no faith in His/Her existence. There is humor in everyday life and I want to exploit it to make myself feel better to forget my failings and endless doubt.

Which is good for you, my friend. Otherwise I’d be doing something good and positive instead of writing this.

So from the son of a bitch Doug to the genuine Doug Graham: You were surrounded by people that laughed with you, respected you and loved you. It wasn’t a long enough battle, but in the end you won. Thank you for sharing with me the opportunity to reflect upon my life.

Now, did they bury you in the wheel chair or did you get wheels put on the outside of the coffin?

Mystery Spot

Greg and I went to the Columbus Zoo on Christmas Eve day. It was the least crowded I had ever seen the Zoo. Both for people and animals. There were no crowds and only about 40% of the animals were out and visible. It was still fun to get Greg out and give Miss Sally time to wrap presents.

While we were at the zoo, we stopped in at Bob and Evelyn's Roadhouse in the Australia area. Bob and Evelyn's Roadhouse is the entry to the nocturnal animal building. Inside, there is a huge relief map of Australia on the wall that I built with my own two hands.




At the time, we were designing and constructing a large number of painted signs. Patrick, with Dragonfly Design, was using sign board for most of these signs. Signboard is a 4’x8’ sheet of treated plywood with a paper coating on one side. It’s a great surface for painting and can be made weatherproof. I decided it would be great for the Australia map.

I hung two 4’x 8’ sheets of the signboard on a wall and projected an image of Australia on them. I traced. It’s tough to trace a line from a ladder and most of the eastern coast was free handed when my body eclipsed the overhead projector. I took the sheets off the wall and jigsawed the Australia from the scrap.

I attached the two sheets to each other and got out a 1 gallon can of Bondo. Earlier I had asked Ray if I could use Bondo to make a relief map.  Ray said, "Oh yeah.  Bondo will stick to anything." For those of you who are not familiar with Bondo, it is normally used with car repair to fill in dents. It’s got a lot of other uses because it will stick to about anything. The plan was to lay down a coat of Bondo over the whole map to create texture and then apply more Bondo later to create the mountains.

Bondo will stick to about anything... except signboard. When I went in the next day to add mountains to the map, I noticed that the Bondo was flaking off in some spots. And then as I touched it, it peeled off in a lot more spots.  The paper side of signboard is too glossy and smooth to allow Bondo to stick. I told Ray this and Ray said, “Oh, you didn’t tell me you were applying it to signboard. It won’t stick to that.”

I chipped off all the Bondo (which actually did stick to some of the areas) and sanded the paper surface off the plywood. Re-applied Bondo. Let dry overnight. Go to Automotive store and buy more Bondo. Added mountains. More drying. Added bigger mountains. Sanded off the sharp points (points sharp enough to slice my hand several times.) Dragonfly Design painted the whole map and added borders, text and landmarks. We threw on some postcards and little plastic animals and hung the monstrosity in the nocturnal building. It is a thing of beauty.

What I have not mentioned was Allen’s idea to hide magnets in the map. During the Bondo phase, I drilled out three holes, filled them with rare earth magnets and covered them in Bondo. Dragonfly added the text “Mystery Spot” with an arrow.




As you can see, the magnets are strong enough to hold up my car keys.

For the time that creating the map took and all the sweat and blood and tears, I still love the Mystery Spot the most. It is a beautiful map, but because there is a simple, little secret that only a few people know about and even fewer will find on their own is such a wonderful treat.

**** *******
Author's note:

As a bonus, here is a photo of the DON'T ASK - NO WONKAS sign from a previous blog.

Spelling list

I have attached below a list of spelling atrocities that we've received from our guys in the field.

On the left is their spelling. On the right is the correct spelling. (At least what we thought they meant to say.) We started the list off with “fule” and squeezed the rest in.



I am not pointing the finger at anyone or assigning any kind of guilt. I, too, am a horrible speller. I am fortunate enough to be at a computer where I have beeping and red underlines to warn me when I am not using i before e. My guys in the field fill out their paper work in the dark after ten hours of work. They don't have time to get out the dictionary and check for the correct spelling of the word "pay."

As a matter of fact, you'll notice a few of the words have asterisk next to them. These are words I have misspelled as well. Especially mileage.

You will also notice that “definitely” has a double asterisk next to it. That is because as I added it to the list and incorrectly spelled it in the translation column. My co-workers noticed this and started a separate list of things I have spelled wrong while mocking others.

The words “rite” or “write” or “right” were used interchangeably and incorrectly so often that they were retired from the list after the first week.

The roll to clean-up ratio

It seems pretty late in the season for toilet papering, but that has not stopped the roaming gangs of teenagers in my neighborhood from raining down their hormone infused, single ply streams of terror.



The neighbor behind me got it two weeks ago and another down the street got it this weekend. It was probably a revenge papering. I’d imagine a teen could wake up one morning with a single sheet of TP in their bed from the neighborhood teen Don as a message to cut it out. Of course, the teenage guys would all ready have hundreds of crusty, crumpled sheets of tissue paper in their beds and wouldn’t notice.

I have three siblings, so our house got nailed a couple of times while we were in high school. I wasn’t exactly popular so the blame usually went to my sisters or older brother. I still had to help clean up. Our house would probably have been hit more often, but we lived way out in the middle of nowhere. Good for clandestine raids. Bad for the time and effort it took to get there.

But I know for sure that on one occasion our house got TP’d by a few of my admirers.

I woke up that Saturday morning without a hangover. I remember this because I wasn’t smart enough or possibly dumb enough to start drinking until late in my senior year. Dad directed me to look outside. The trees by the road had a nice coating of paper. They had not taken the time to work inwards towards the house. There wasn’t any additional material like shaving cream or malicious plastic forks in the lawn. Looked like a drive by TP'ing. Stick to the road, unload for a few minutes and drive off. Not a 100 roll job, but decent work. You could tell there were girls involved because they wrapped one of the tree trunks. Only girls would spend the time wrapping a tree trunk. A trunk wrap takes a longer time to apply, but it has a visual appeal. To the homeowner, or homeowner’s son, it only takes ten seconds to clean up. Not worth the roll to clean-up ratio that TP connoisseurs expect.

I grabbed some garbage bags and headed outside. About 45 minutes later I was done. All I needed was a rake and a stick to get most of it down. There was a smattering of paper still stuck in the higher branches, but you can never get it all.

Inside dad asked me a particularly loaded question, “What did you do to those girls to make them want to TP the house?”

Knowing this was a trap, I answered back with a question, “What girls?”

“The four girls that were here last night.”

Did he watch them from the window? How’d he know it was four girls? Did he invite them in for late night coffee?

The answer, without going through too many quotation marks, was that he counted them when the Sheriff brought them to the door.

A few of my female admirers schemed to TP my house. They had just gotten started when a Sheriff drove by. They all scattered, but in the middle of nowhere, it’s hard to scatter far without having to jump a fence or fall in a drainage ditch. The sheriff gathered them together and brought them to the front door. I was asleep, but dad wasn’t. He answered the door and the Sheriff explained that he caught the girls white handed. He wondered if dad wanted him to stay and help supervise the girls cleaning up their mess.

“No. Doug probably deserves it. He can clean it up in the morning.”

The girls were allowed to leave with repeated promises of reform.

At school the next Monday, the girls laughed and laughed and laughed. They said that when my dad lofted the “deserves it” line, they all chimed in with stories about me TP'ing them and that I did deserve it.

When Greg turns 16, he and I are going to load up the 2012 Honda Goya with 1000 rolls of TP and travel the country tracking down those four girls. We’ll show them what for.

Brenda
Kate
Lisa
Susan

No tree wrapping for us.

British Christmas Card

A few years ago, Sally's good friend Dana was dating a British guy. We piled on the standard British jokes. She took it all in stride. That Christmas (before she dumped the bloke) she sent us this card (I cut and pasted the inside on to the bottom of the outside.)



As a bonus, here is Dana and me at a Holloween party a few months before the Christmas card. We were putting Rolos on our teeth and talking in British accents.



As a Super Bonus, here is Miss Sally wearing the Superman costume that I wore this year (with Super Extra Bonus Top and Bottom Comparison) That is also John as The Hulk.

My effect on people

I am not that bad of a person. Sometimes I come off that way. Many who only know me from social situations would never guess that I am a caring husband and responsible father when I am at home and not out drinking. I think my greatest attribute is my ability to find the perfect moment to quickly say something which to others is witty, but to the receiver of said wit, is grating and offensive.

Here's an example with photographic evidence:

The following photo was taken at Carl and Toni's wedding. You've got (L to R) Miss Sally, Beth, Dana and Leslie. It was taken by Dana's husband, Rod.


Off camera to the left of Rod, is me. Back a little. (You'll be able to figure out the trajectory in just a moment.)

I cannot remember exactly what I said, but it was to Dana and Rod took this second photo right after I said it.

You can see from the photo that three of the four people in the photo found what I said to be amusing.



I sometimes think to myself, is being egotistical, self absorbed and selfish such a bad thing? I can answer only as one with those qualities can: of course it isn't such a bad thing... for me.

I end with the timeless words of Dana's grandfather Mike, "I love me. Who do you love?"

Apron and Bra


Remember the good old days when an apron and a bra were the same thing?

Money Gram Directions

Hello Scammer!

I have your IP address as well as the location of the computer you are using.

The authorities have been notified.

Have a good day!

HolyJuan

Mistake

I think I made a mistake by giving my co-workers my blog site address. I had to share the video our boss made. It was easier to give them this address than search through the 12,328 hits for Santa and Letter on YouTube.

Now they will know when I've been out (last night,) what I was doing (drinking, darts and Skully's) and that I will be late into the office due to something besides the malaria I've contracted 16 times this year.

What that does give me is the opportunity to communicate to the office without having to use that pesky e-mail technology.

Hey Team,

Please let Lori know that I will be in by 10:00am. The malaria medicine is kicking in. Where are we going for lunch today?

Thanks,

Doug

www.therealsantaletter.com

Do you have a friend that owns their own business or is an entrepreneur? Or do you have the friend who comes up with crazy ideas and says that they are going to make a lot of money as they try to combine a cork screw with a garage door opener?

Somehow, I have both. And they are the same person.

My boss is a partner in our company. He can talk the pants off a Mennonite and sell them to a quadriplegic. Because his accent is a combination between Dominican, Cuban and Puerto Rico Suave, he is able to charm both men and women alike. He knows thousands of people in the industry and they can’t forget him.

My boss also gets some really insane ideas which, in his mind, cannot fail. Like opening a Halloween haunted house. Sure, a haunted house can make some heavy change. But come on. Just because someone else is making money at something does not mean that you can jump right in and do the same. Most haunted houses start off as haunted apartments and work their way up.

He recently had another brainstorm. And this time he went through with it.

www.therealsantaletter.com

You go to the website, input your kid’s name and city, and pay them $6. (That is very cheap, claims my boss.) Later (hopefully before Christmas) a letter arrives with Santa’s signature suggesting he’ll be stopping by your house in ANYTOWN, USA to drop off gifts.

It is cheaper than the other Santa letters out there, so he’s got a point. He knows a mass mailer that is taking care of the website, printing and postage. All he has to do is sit back and wait for that Santa dough to start rolling in.

Or he could make a video for YouTube.

I’m not sure if this is an advertisement or the beginnings of a snuff film.



That is Shorty you hear laughing in the background.

Merry Chri$tmas!

Ohio State v. Florida

I don’t know much about sports. I do like to watch. I like to drink and get excited when Ohio State does well. I wear a Detroit Tigers hat, but couldn’t tell you anyone on their team in the past 10 years (except I remember Alan Trammel from Nintendo RBI Baseball.) Basically, I end up at a sporting event to drink or eat wings. The rest is just the heel on the loaf of bread.

But all of a sudden, I have an opinion. Everyone else does too, but mine is right.

The BCS is flawed. It is flawed because there is human input into it. If it were all stats and wins and losses, it would be too mechanical. If it were all human input, it would probably go down to the teams with the most revenue potential. The BCS tries to be a little of both and seems to be about 75% right, 1/3rd of the time. But, we don’t have a playoff system and the BCS is the stepuncle that we have to go to the zoo with.

What’s my opinion? It’s great that the BCS is flawed.

Today, coaches and sporticos will use their human judgment and vote for Florida. Michigan will cry and pout and point fingers and use the word “shoulda” a hundred times, but they would do the same thing if they were in Ohio State’s 12-0 shoes. No one, except everyone in Michigan, wants to see a replay. No one wants to see a team that came in second in the Big Ten go to the championship. And no one wants to see a possible Michigan win create a one to one tie. Fortunately, the system is flawed and because of that flaw, we will get an unflawed decision.

Florida (from what other people tell me I should believe) had a pretty tough schedule. They won their division. They have better uniforms than Michigan. I can’t see why they shouldn’t play Ohio State.

My prediction: lots of bitching and moaning from the team up north. And an Ohio State win vs Florida in the 2006 National Championship: 38 – 20.

Suck it, BCS. Suck it, Michigan.

Big Race Today!

I QUIT! - 9/29/06

I would consider myself to be a consistent, entry level practical joker. If you want to be a Journeyman Practical Joker, you have to study for years and the jokes you pull off take months of planning. I like phony phone calls and the doctoring e-mails variety. I’m lazy. But, I’m consistent.

So when something does go down, I get blamed. That screws with the other entry level guy who’s trying to work up the practical joke ladder and I’m getting all the blame/credit. “I didn’t do it.” It’s easy to lie when you aren’t.

So yesterday, something happened. I know it wasn’t me that did it because the joke was on me. It all started when I went to the fax machine and checked to see if anything had come in for me.

Author’s Sidebar *** (Our New Fax Machine is Our Old Fax Machine)
Our current fax machine is our old copier/print/fax machine. When the bosses decided to upgrade, they huddled in their offices and picked a slick new color copier/scanner/printer. I felt a little left out because I am, by default, the company’s IT guy. But no one likes the IT guy in a meeting. The new copier was brought in and installed. Tech guy was showing us how to operate the new machine when someone asked how to send a fax on the new machine. He looked at the machine and looked at us and said, “This model does not have fax capability.” My bosses were crazed. They called the salesman in, “How come this has no fax!” He eeked, “I never said it did?” My bosses were enraged. “How come you didn’t tell us to ask if there was a fax capability!!?” The default IT guy had to laugh. In the end, we got to keep the old copier/printer/fax machine (though we got the credit for turning it in) and it sits right next to our new scanner/copier/printer.

The fax machine had several faxes and confirmations sitting in the tray. I sorted through them, found the one I was waiting for and headed back to my seat when I noticed something very odd. On the cover page of my fax, someone had written, “I QUIT! - 9/29/06”

At first, I thought someone at Skan Electric in Ft. Bragg, NC had got fed up with their job and chose to share it with me. As I looked closer, I saw that it wasn’t printed in the dull black that our fax machine spits out, but rather black pen. This had to have been done in our office and, by looking at the time the fax came in, in the last twenty minutes.

I immediately accused Angie because she sits right next to the fax machine and would have been in arms reach of the output tray. I also suspected her because she is usually the victim of my jokes and has been known to get me back. She denied it. But then again, she was smirking when she denied it.

Next on my list was Shorty. But he’s not that clever so I immediately crossed him off the list.

That was everyone on my list, so I was out of suspects. I went back to the fax and tried to analyze the information:

I QUIT- Quit what? Who is I? Why would they want to quit? Why all capitals?

9/29/06 – Why is that date important?

I took the next ten minutes using white out and a pen to make the faxed invoice look presentable so that accounting wouldn’t ask any questions. As I mangled the fax even further, I’d stop and accost or accuse someone else in the office. Everyone seemed pretty sincere and I don’t think anyone is clever enough to stump me on such a simple prank.

Angie keeps track of the scheduling in the office and I asked her to check what was going on that date and why it might be significant. She looked that the calendar and said, “Oh, that’s the day you had the horrible program…..”

And she said it as I thought it.

“YOU DID IT!” I did it.

On September 29th 2006 I had thirteen emergency jobs across the states. I had to get 10 guys to 13 different locations within 24 hours. I found the qualified guys, negotiated payments and got them on the road/plane/boats (one guy had to take a ferry.) At 4:00pm on Friday, the client called. I was very pleased to share with him that we had all the jobs taken care of. That was when he told me there were 10 more locations that needed fixed in the next 24 hours. As I plotted them on a map, they landed in areas where my guys who were now on planes could have driven. Basically, if he had given me the additional 10 locations four hours earlier, I could have handled them with the guys I had. Now that my installers were all ready on the road, I’d have to find new guys. At 4:30 on a Friday. Fuck! I was ranting and pouting around the office. I stopped over at the fax machine, pulled out a sheet of paper, wrote “I QUIT – 9/29/06” and shoved it in the middle of the stack of paper waiting to get printed on.

Two months later, that sheet of paper worked its way to the top of the stack and tricked the trickster.

Only a few people have witnessed me in the Doug fetal position. That’s where I sit on my knees and lean my head forward until it touches the floor. Usually I shove the palms of my hands into my eye sockets and fold into myself. Kind of what an ostrich would do if there were no hole to stick their head in.

I had to laugh. I got me good.

Gifts for Guys

Every Christmas, my family does a gift exchange. Each guy buys one gift and it randomly goes to one of the other adult, male relatives. I spend weeks (minutes) deciding what gift I can buy that would work for a wide age range, from my father (aged 68) down to my brother-in-law (aged 35.)

Since I was looking anyways, I thought I would share some gifts that any guy could use. As a matter of fact, every man should own the following:

Gerber Rescue Knife


This is a completely useless tool that will get you laid. The chances of you driving along and seeing a car flipped over in a drainage ditch is pretty slim. But… telling a chick in a bar that you are capable of rescuing her in case of emergency is enough to get you in her bra. (The seat belt cutter also works well on bra straps.)

Black and Decker Auto Wrench


Let me be very upfront; I do not think this wrench will work very well. No hand tool that requires batteries is worth squat. But it’s the thought that counts. You are buying this gift to make someone’s life easier and that’s what they are advertising. Especially good for your Uncle who lost his thumb in that regrettable strip club accident.

Anvil


Every man should have an anvil. This is our credo.

6 "D" cell battery Maglite Flashlight


I love MagLite’s flashlights. I love beating people with clubs. Why not combine the two? If you find yourself confronted by ninjas and you’ve left your Bo Staff at home, this flashlight will protect you. If you have failed (again) at fullfilling your girlfriend's every desire, she can borrow the batteries out of this for her vibrator. Or she can just borrow the whole flashlight.

PoweriZers


I need these gay things very badly. I figure if I can get other guys to make them cool to wear, I can bounce along and not look the fool. Who doesn’t want to bound along at 20mph, do flips and slam dunk?

Window Washer Scaffolding


Every man deserves scaffolding. It so useful! Looking into windows at women getting dressed. Pulling off heists. And if you are seeking attention, you can cut a cable and dangle for hours waiting to be rescued while the local news helicopter hovers above you. Hello book deal!

Mayonnaise Packets


Mayo makes everything taste good. And when it’s portable, it’s even better. Mayo in packets has at least six uses that I will make up right here:
1. Consumption
2. Removing gum from hair
3. Lubricant
4. Paparazzi lens smearer to block that shot of you leaving a bar with Tara Reid
5. Legal tender (in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast)
6. A very small pillow

And don’t get me started on Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip is for people who breast fed until they were five.

Refrigerator Magnet Bottle Opener


Oh sweet Jesus. This is the perfect gift for all guys. You, of course, must give them beer as well so that they can test out the opener immediately.

Sauerkraut Stuffing

This is the tastiest recipe for stuffing that I have ever tasted. Grandma Susie gave me the recipe and the honor of making it this year. Give it a try if you have a slow cooker and an open mind (tongue.)

Stuff for the Stuffing:
1 bag of cornbread stuffing
1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
1-1/3 cups water (not one, 1/3rd cup, 1 1/3 cups or actually 4/3 cups water)
1 stick o butter
1 can of sauerkraut (32oz can for Germans or Chris Loy, 14 oz can for everyone else)
2 eggs

Equipment:
Big enough pan (see below)
Spoon
Slow cooker

Stuff to do to the Stuffing:
Add broth, butter and water to a pan that will end up being large enough to hold everything. A good rule of thumb is to guess and then dump everything into a larger pan when it overflows.

Bring to a boil while chopping up the sauerkraut into smaller bits. Not too small though. Just small enough so that people won't know its sauerkraut.

Add stuffing and mix so that everything is MOIST. (MOIST is such a great word. I’m adding it my list of good words. And when you say it, you have to say it loudly.)

Beat eggs. Mix in the sauerkraut and eggs.

Gently dump all into a slow cooker. Cook on high for one hour, then cook on medium for at least two hours.

Hopefully, with the rest of the smells in your kitchen, the sauerkraut won’t be overwhelming. I’m promising you, this is delicious. Keep it in mind for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Tracy really hates me

I didn’t think it was possible that I could create such venom in someone. Sure, I’m an asshole, but assholes are nuisances that hit on your girlfriend or don’t pay you back for lunch. Usually we don’t cause steaming, putrid hate.

Tracy hates me. With vitriol on top.

I saw her at Freckled Jen’s this weekend during the Ohio State game. It had been about four months since I pissed her off last so I thought she might be receptive to a hello. Not so much. Her eyes didn’t meet mine the entire night and she would say things under her breath that I’m sure were not pleasant. It almost seemed like she would stand close to me just to ignore me.

I’m torn between the “I don’t really care” and the “screw her.”

If it was the “I don’t really care,” I wouldn’t be writing this right now. So if I’m being honest, it’s got to be the screw her. Perhaps there is a middle ground. How about “I gave a shit, but now I couldn’t give two shits?”

Oh well. It gives her something to get excited about. Better me that someone else. Maybe she really likes me and can’t do anything about it, so she feels the need to push me away! Oh, that’s good. Hold on…

**** *******

Tracy really loves me

I know someone who has a secret crush on me. And I have a crush on her. It’s Freckled Jen’s friend, Tracy. She and I have been involved in a cat and mouse game for several months, but it has become increasingly hard for us to hide our emotions.

As a cover, we fight in front of everyone. We don’t make eye contact. She says horrible things about me. We avoid each other.

But when we are alone…

Recently, Tracy has had to take it up a notch. At the OSU v Michigan game this weekend, I pretended that I wanted to say hello and be amicable. She acted like she wanted to slit my throat. IT WORKED!

Maybe someday we will be together. Until then, I will be an asshole and protect that secret. I'm sure Tracy will do the same.

Ohio State v. Michigan

Doug's prediction:

Ohio State – 27
Michigan -17

And, yes, that is a negative sign in front of the Michigan score.

Libertarian Freedom Fighter

At Ohio University, we did a live broadcast called “Fridays Live.” It was a live show that combined real time interviews with pre-packaged movie reviews, Man-On-The-Street bits and some video segments we thought were funny at the time.

Thanks to YouTube, we can all relive those special moments and see what Doug looked like 50 pounds ago.

A warm How-Do to Tony and Craig in the pillow bunker.



Tony is an author and I think Craig is running for re-election in 2008.

I said, it’s a Honda.

I have never purchased a new car in my life. Adopting someone else’s misery always seemed like a better deal than bringing home a brand new, expensive, depreciating baby.

Today we brought home our newly adopted child. A 2004 Honda Odyssey. It’s roomy and actually has some git up and go. I drive it like a teenager who drives his parents', well, minivan. I admit that I like driving it. I also admit that I like Helen Reddy music.

But to purchase this van we had to get rid of Doug’s Car. We swaddled it up and left it at the dealership doorstep. They said they would find a home for my baby.

Suckers. They just spent the worst $500 of their lives!

My poor little ‘95 Honda Civic. It held up so well over the past eight years. The 10,000 miles between oil changes. The watered down anti-freeze. The watered down break fluid. I abused that poor car. Acton reminded me of when he and I left a club one frigid winter night and as we sat freezing in the car, I revved the engine to the red line to heat it up. He said I was killing the engine. I said, it’s a Honda.

I slept in the back seat when I had had two too many. I slept in the trunk when I had many too many.

Right there at the end the clutch began to give up on life. The clutch was so bad, the sales guy at the dealership asked me to drive it around to the service garage because it kept stalling on him. As I shut it off, I realized that there was probably 1/100th of a tank of gas left. I timed it perfectly.

Some 16 year old kid is going to get a terrific Christmas present this year. As a matter of fact, I can almost squeeze the first bit of the 12 days of Christmas out of it:

Five fuses blown
Four balding tires
Three quarts low of oil
Two taillights out
And a spare tire with a big fat hole

Three years ago, I got a flat. I threw on the spare and drove off. An hour later, I went through a pothole and my spare went flat. I was only a mile from home so I drove on the spare. For the next three years, that spare was flat in the trunk of my car. As my tires began to bald and show the furry metallic signs of steel belt, I started to think I might need to get my spare fixed. Instead, I traded my car in.

Welcome to the family, 2004 Honda Odyssey. Godspeed 1995 Honda Civic. Join your brother, 1988 Honda Civic, in that great big Möbius Strip race track in the sky.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

We bought a mini-van.



I just pulled my pants up a little higher and ate a bowl of Fiber One for breakfast.

Ohio State vs Michigan

It’s Ohio State vs Michigan week.

And oddly enough, for the 3rd year in a row, I have a business trip to Guam that leaves at 2:00pm on the Saturday of the OSU v Michigan game. The business trip returns sometime Sunday morning, depending on flights and customs.

Sadly, the trinkets and post cards at the Guam Duty Free Shop are overpriced and I never seem to bring any home.

I do have a series of photos of me there last year. Miss Sally always asks to see the photographs.

Here I am on Mucholohi Beach:


Here I am participating in a native dance ritual:


Here I am at a local street fair:


Looks like it's going to be another boring trip again this year. I'll try and bring back a shell or something. Unless I forget again.

Go Buckeyes!

Brtny txt msg



What the break up text message may have looked like from Britney Spears to K-Fed.

Kingy's Pizza Pub

The dudes got together last night at Kingy’s Pizza Pub. I know it is very lame to have a name for your group of friends, but it’s less generic than “the guys” and we all know who we are including when we say dudes. (And I’m not capitalizing dudes because Dudes would be completely faggy.) We would have chosen a cooler name but “Booze Hounds” was taken and the number in “Fab 5” isn’t large enough to encompass the group.

Kingy’s Pizza is in Canal Winchester, right off of 33. It’s almost dead center between Columbus and Lancaster so it’s a convenient place for everyone to meet. Except for Tony who lives up in Delaware, OH. And Doob who’s in Chicago. And for Kit because he’s Kit and can't seem to find his front door.

During our high school years, many of us thought Kingy’s was a gay hangout. Not due to any fault of Kingy’s. There was a rest stop in close proximity that was labeled by the locals as Lollipop Park. Gay people or freaks would go there to hook up. There were a number of complaints and sadly, Lollipop Park was shut down, requiring people that had to pee and gays alike to keep their legs crossed until they got to Columbus. Kingy’s got a bad rap and we idiotically avoided the place.

Right after high school Greg worked at a vending machine company and he would collect money and fix vending machines and video games. One of the places on his route was Kingy’s. One day, someone mentioned Kingy’s. Greg perked up. “They’ve got great food there.” We were all stunned. You eat at Kingy’s? He explained that it was on his route and that if he timed it right, he could get there around noon and stay for lunch.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! You are gay! You go to Kingy’s and you actually eat there! Fag!

Greg tried to argue that is was NOT a gay hangout and the food was really good. We did not listen and continued to make fun of him for the next five years.

The intersection that Kingy’s was built near went under construction a few years back. It was determined that Kingy’s would need to be torn down for the new overpass to be built. The owners decided to re-build on the opposite side of Rte 33 off of Diley road. Handsome Joe lived around the corner from there and came back with a scouting report:

Hotties. Smoking hotties everywhere. I had to go check it out.

After dredging up all the old Greg is gay jokes, we decided that the dudes would meet at Kingy’s. Handsome Joe was right. All the waitresses were smoking hot. (I’m not going to go into the details of what standards are used in Central Ohio to judge hotness. For rural Ohio, these girls were 9s and 10s when graded on a curve.) I believe that Canal Winchester has a policy of giving the smoking hot, high school graduate girls a diploma, a slap on the ass and a Kingy’s t-shirt so they can start working that night. Needless to say, we were all awestruck and a few hours later, drunk and awestruck.

Now that Fat Cat’s Pizza sucks, Kingy’s pizza is at the top of my list. Just don’t get it to go. Eat it there. Slowly.

Apologies to Greg for all the gay comments. Apologies to the owners of Kingy’s that we incorrectly made fun of your restaurant all those years. And apologies to our hot waitress last night who had to serve a group of loud guys who stayed until closing and still call themselves dudes.

Landing Strip update

1. Here is a photo of the Landing Strip sign taken via camera phone.

2. The angle shows the sign as one leaves the parking lot.
3. Much has changed in the past four years.
4. Some things have not changed in the past four years.

In a holding pattern outside of the landing strip

You want to know how I feel right now? Imagine having the Holy Grail (the golden kind with jewels, not the cheap wooden one from Raiders 3) within a hands reach. You reach out to grab it and you knock it over and it rolls out of reach. Gone.

Then!

It rolls back around again within a fingertips reach… you stretch out…and you miss it again. Gone.

Last Thursday, I was five minutes away from The Landing Strip in Romulus, MI. It was 11:30pm and I was sick. I had the chills. And I had to get up to Clarkston, MI to meet with my guys. They had mutinied and I to get them back on board. There wasn’t any time to go. The next day I had to get back to Ohio. Just out of my reach…

Tonight, I am driving up again. I’ll be driving within five miles of the most beautiful place on earth…

It’s 7:30pm now. I’m weary. I’m tired. I’ve got to meet the client at 7:30am. If I leave when I think I can, I’ll be out the door here at 9:00pm and be at teh hotel at 1:00am... but that also means I could be at the Landing Strip at 12:30am. I’d need 4 – 5 of the $10 drinks to loosen up.

And hey! By some act of whichever god you choose to imagine in, John just called. His quote was a little something like this… “Five years ago it would have been a no brainer, you would have gone. Now, we are older. I give you a 50/50 chance of going. If you do, take a photo on your camera phone and send it to me.”

It’s 7:38pm now. Maybe I can get out of here in the next 15 minutes.

The Landing Strip Wednesday night special is buy one Holy Grail of Coors, get the second half off. (There’s a better joke in there somewhere. Any suggestions?)

Finally.... pumpkin carving

We finally carved pumpkins tonight. We bought six of them, thinking that we would carve and carve and carve. Not so much.

At least we got two of them. Greg drew the face of the pumpkin on the left. One big eye. One small eye. A small nose and a big smile.



The pumpkin on the right was tall and solid. The pumpkin wall was about 2 1/2 inches thick! I used a drill to dot matrix out the eyes, nose and mouth. Greg helped too. The photo came out better with no flash. Sometimes it's easier to see things in the dark.

Drug Bust Evidence

One box filled with various papers.
One manila envelope.
One 36 inch latex dong with MagicThrust attachment.

Surlyman

You might have asked yourself, "What would Superman look like if he just gave up on life?"

A little like this. (The Superman on the right.)



I do not think I will ever live this costume down. I'm also waiting to see the photos that were taken of me after I passed out in Shorty's spare bedroom.

Brer Rabbit and the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby

I recently read that some politicians have gotten into some trouble for using the term “tar-baby.” Apologies were issued and Al Sharpton went back into his condo, foretelling six more weeks of winter.

If you are not familiar with Uncle Remus or the name “tar-baby,” then you’n go off and stick your head in a bucket full o water. For everyone else, I’m sure you are aware of the possible racial implications from using the term. And I think those implications are a bunch of horse hooey. I think tar-baby is a beautiful way to explain how people can get all uppity and put themselves in a bit of a quagmire.

For those of you who are offended or feel like you should be offended, I’ve changed the story so that we can get back to making analogies about the War on Terror without offending anyone who doesn’t know whether or not to be offended or not. Let's let Whitey take it on the chin.

Brer Rabbit and the Marshmallow Fluff Baby

Retold and unkindly edited by Doug from a story retold by Joel Chandler Harris



One day Brer Fox thought of how Brer Rabbit had been cutting up his capers and bouncing around until he'd come to believe that he was the boss of the whole gang. Brer Fox thought of a way to lay some bait for that uppity Brer Rabbit.

He went to work and got some Marshmallow Fluff and mixed it with some corn syrup. He fixed up a contraption that he called a Marshmallow Fluff-Baby. When he finished making her, he put a straw hat on her head and sat the little thing in the middle of the road. Brer Fox, he lay off in the bushes to see what would happen.

Well, he didn't have to wait long either, 'cause by and by Brer Rabbit came pacing down the road--lippity-clippity, clippity-lippity--just as sassy as a jaybird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit came prancing along until he saw the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby and then he sat back on his hind legs like he was astonished. The Marshmallow Fluff-Baby just sat there, she did, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Good morning!" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Nice weather we're having this morning," says he.

Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a word, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"How are you feeling this morning?" says Brer Rabbit, says he.

Brer Fox, he winked his eye real slow and lay low and the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a thing.

"What is the matter with you then? Are you deaf?" says Brer Rabbit, says he. "Cause if you are, I can holler louder," says he.

The Marshmallow Fluff-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"You're stuck-up, that's what's wrong with you. You think you're too good to talk to me," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "And I'm going to cure you, that's what I'm going to do," says he.

Brer Fox started to chuckle in his stomach, he did, but Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't say a word.

"I'm going to teach you how to talk to respectable folks if it's my last act," says Brer Rabbit, says he. "If you don't take off that hat and say howdy, I'm going to bust you wide open," says he.

Marshmallow Fluff-Baby stayed still and Brer Fox, he lay low.

Brer Rabbit kept on asking her why she wouldn't talk and the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby kept on saying nothing until Brer Rabbit finally drew back his fist, he did, and blip--he hit the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby on the jaw. But his fist stuck and he couldn't pull it loose. The fluff held him. But Marshmallow Fluff-Baby, she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"If you don't let me loose, I'm going to hit you again," says Brer Rabbit, says he, and with that he drew back his other fist and blap--he hit the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby with the other hand and that one stuck fast too.

Marshmallow Fluff-Baby she stayed still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Turn me loose, before I kick the natural stuffing out of you," says Brer Rabbit, says he, but the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby just sat there.

She just held on and then Brer Rabbit jumped her with both his feet. Brer Fox, he lay low. Then Brer Rabbit yelled out that if that Marshmallow Fluff-Baby didn't turn him loose, he was going to butt her crank-sided. Then he butted her and his head got stuck.

Brer Fox walked out from behind the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit, looking as innocent as a mockingbird.

"Howdy, Brer Rabbit," says Brer Fox, says he. "You look sort of stuck up this morning," says he. And he rolled on the ground and laughed and laughed until he couldn't laugh anymore.

By and by he said, "Well, I expect I got you this time, Brer Rabbit," says he. "Maybe I don't, but I expect I do. You've been around here sassing after me a mighty long time, but now it's the end.

And then you're always getting into something that's none of your business," says Brer Fox, says he. "Who asked you to come and strike up a conversation with this Marshmallow Fluff-Baby? And who stuck you up the way you are? Nobody in the round world. You just jammed yourself into that Marshmallow Fluff-Baby without waiting for an invitation," says Brer Fox, says he. "There you are and there you'll stay until I fix up a brushpile and fire it up, "cause I'm going to barbecue you today, for sure," says Brer Fox, says he.

Then Brer Rabbit started talking mighty humble.

"I don't care what you do with me, Brer Fox, says he, "Just so you don't fling me in that briar patch. Roast me, Brer Fox, says he, "But don't fling me in that briar patch."

Brer Fox says, "OK," and cooked the Brer Rabbit over a fire and et the Marshmallow Fluff-Baby for desert.

The End

**** *******

I always thought that Rabbit was a little too cocky.

Top Ten List of Crappy Internet Top Ten Lists

There seem to be a million of top ten lists on the internet. I was able to crawl through and find these ten offenders of good taste. Whether it be formatting, topic or choice of what is considered the best, these lists are on the bottom of the list. Or the top of the list if it is a bad list. I tried to put these in a top ten order, but there was a nine way tie for first place.

Click the links to see the actual lists, if you must.

Top 10 Oprah Winfrey Quotes
There are some that believe that everything Oprah says should go on a top ten list. I think Oprah’s top ten quotes should be her simple phrases: “Two scoops.” “You’re fired.” “More.” “Just slap a big O on it and mark the price up 650%” “Does this not make me look fat.” “I own that.” “Bring my shoe horns.” “Didn’t I fire you?” “Get off my couch.” “There isn’t anything that can’t fit into a gift basket.”

The Top 10 weirdest case mods
Nothing cries erectile dysfunction louder than case mods. I could imagine that if my dick did not work anymore that I would turn my rig into a volcano with actual lava created by the heat dispersed from processor. The keyboard would be formed of actual pahoehoe. That would be cool. If my dick didn’t work.

Ken's Top Ten Lists
Ken likes cars AND Top Ten Lists. Of all the lists that I hated, this one I hated the least. Even though Ken is a mechanic from Canada, the guy seems to grow on you. My beef with his lists are that no one gives two craps about what their mechanic thinks. Or with the mechanic sense of humor. “Not as many of us around these days that remember the days before front wheel disc brakes became standard on all cars. Most of us were killed in accidents.”

Plus bumper stickers should never be discussed or brought together in a group as a top ten list. People with 80 bumper stickers are a lot less creepy than the people with just one. One bumper sticker person only believes in one thing. That’s creepy.

Top 10 fall foliage destinations
The leaves are so beautiful! It’s like God decided to change his mind about the tree colors three quarters way through the year!

Tree leaves are like a relationship headed toward marriage. The leaves actually have a purpose until the big day when they burst with color in a marriage of botany and beauty. Then they die, fall off the tree and clog gutters.

Top 10 reasons to install Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)
Christ. This list looks like it was created by either Amway or The Church of Scientology. My favorite is “Take action against crashes caused by browser add-ons.” It’s almost as if they had two really good reasons and then hired a perky, museum tour guide to create the rest.

Top 10 Cats
This list stinks because it is a list about cats. It also stinks because it is not a list. When I see top ten, I want a commitment as to which is the best. If this were a list about top ten dogs, you’d see 1 through 10. This list should be about the top ten ways to make it look like the cat ran away from home.

The Top Ten Presidents
I’m not opposed to presidents or ranking them. I am opposed to the formatting of this list. The author was too lazy to write out the first names of most of the Presidents. Somehow, he didn’t want us to be confused with some of the other Presidents named Roosevelt and Truman, so he gave their first names. Some of the others earned first initials. Otherwise this list sucks because J. Carter isn’t on it. He was the only president to have sexual thoughts. That’s my kind of President.

Top Ten Games Over the Past 10 Years
Video games are way too subjective. You cannot build a top ten list of just games and not piss everyone off. I also have to assume that this list was created in 2001. My internet calendar is broken.

10 Best Science Fiction Novels of All Time
Another example of a list gone horribly wrong. Amazon has a tool called Listmania, where users can create a list of their favorite stuff. This Top Ten list has 24 listings of 28 books. And a good percentage (99%) of these are absolute dreck. I’ll give this guy Ender’s Game. Otherwise, get back into your Mormon time machine and wait for the future.

Top Eleven Movie Sequels
At least this top ten list tried to be as creative as the 249 other top ten lists with eleven on their list. Ghostbusters 2 is actually on the list. The only redeeming quality is the mention of Batman Returns and Aliens. Evil Dead 2 is a great flick, but really a remake. The Empire Strikes back is part two of a trilogy. Terminator 2 isn’t even on the list. This guy is a complete turd. I’m surprised he didn’t have Matrix: Reloaded on his crap 11 list.

OK. Superman 2 was pretty good. When compared to 3.

Top Ten List of Crappy Internet Top Ten Lists
Obvious.

Boots



I started roofing back in the Summer of 1989. A roofer needs boots. I bought a pair and tried to scuff them up the day before I started so that it would look like I wasn’t a punk kid. I was a punk kid and the roofers called me out on my boots the first day. They had to do it quick because by the second day, they were tar stained and looked like boots.

One day, I screwed roofing washers on to the back of both boots and pretended they were spurs. I sauntered into the group of guys circled up eating lunch with my boots jingling and said something John Wayneish. Old Goat said, “Hey Tinkerbell. Nice fairy boots.” That nickname stuck for three years.

My boots went with me to college and I played backyard volleyball in them because I thought it was cool.

My boots went to Alaska where I wore them in a tent for five weeks and then on the retort line.

My boots went with me to Europe. Though Acton and I never went anywhere that wasn’t paved, I brought them just in case.

They went with me to Shreveport, Boston, Omaha, Denver, Syracuse, Ft. Lauderdale and back to Columbus. They were a conversation piece in my apartment when people would ask what they hell they were.

My boots didn’t get thrown out when Miss Sally moved in, but she did make me leave them in the garage. They traveled from the apartment to our first house and made the cut going to our second home.

The soles were worn almost flat with only suggestions of tread. The laces had been replaced three times. When I slid them on, they felt like a second skin. And I mean a creepy feeling of a second skin. I was usually grossed out for the first five to ten minutes.

Today, I threw away my boots. I probably threw away 400 baby spiders as well. They deserved a better burial or funeral pyre, but I hate to think about the toxic cloud they would have produced.

I took some photos of them before I tossed them in the trash.

Thank you boots. I will miss you.

L8


I found the naming of this gate very amusing. Especially when our flight actually left on time.

Downtown Brown

I am still of the belief that the internet is fake. That most the “people” you deal with on a daily basis via the net are bots and a few lines of programming smeared over toast. I’d have to guess that there are probably only 79 real people on the internet. Six of those people are responsible for 6,456,332 MySpace pages each.

In this fake world, I found myself making a bet with Carpanza. Carpanza’s some guy out of Minneapolis that likes to drink and seems like he’s got his shit together. We are in a Fantasy Football league and we "talk" crap, via the internet, about how crappy the other guy’s crappy players are. We also found ourselves talking smack about Ohio State and the Iowa Hawkeyes. While this talk of the smack was commencing, I made a bet with him that Ohio State would beat the Hawkeyes. He disagreed and agreed to the bet. The wager was for the winner’s choice of a six pack of beer from beeronthewall.com.

Ohio State won.

I chose a six pack of Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown. This was one of Miss Sally favorite beers back when our relationship was young. She had drank it in California and we couldn’t find a distributor in Ohio. It seems the only way to get it is by winning a bet.

So here’s where it got interesting for me. Would Carpanza, an imaginary internet character, actually buy a six pack of beer and have it shipped to some stranger in Ohio who was also probably imaginary?

Today we received a very well packaged, 6-pack of Downtown Brown. The bottles were lovingly swaddled in cardboard and they even folded up the decorative, 6-pack carrier and included it in the box. It was beautiful.


As I type, they are chilling in the refrigerator, waiting for me to savor a Buckeye win, the warm memories of young love and my new belief that perhaps there is a shred of humanity out there in the electronic aether.

The enclosed card read, “I hope this beer arrives skunky, and gives you explosive diarrhea.”

Thanks Carpanza.

Moms

With Miss Sally returning to work, we needed some help taking care of Baby Ann during the day. We were only going to need help for about three weeks until a spot opened up in the infant room at Miss Sally's preschool. Because Baby Ann decided to come out four weeks early, we now need seven weeks of help from my mother and Sally's mom.

I cannot tell you how grateful we are. I cannot tell you how much I forgot to realize that they would be spending the entire work week here. We are ending day two and my mom showed up a little bit ago to take the Wednesday/Thursday shift.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Don't ask, no Wonkas!

I did some work at the Columbus Zoo a few years ago. One of the components was a nocturnal building in the Australia area that the exhibits division at the zoo wanted turned into a themed bar/restaurant/travel office/educational center/insect diorama/casino. Another case of if simplicity is good, then a bunch of simple concepts thrown together should be GREAT!

One unique aspect was the signage in the building. They wanted themed/aged humorous signs. As it turns out, humorous themed signs are my specialty.

My favorite:


When we had the signs made, I had a second made for myself. I took it with me when I left the Studio. It’s hanging up at work. A small window that looks out at a more creative time.

The Willie Wonka and the Chocolate aficionados will notice that there is a slight issue with the sign. Any guesses?

If you get a chance to check out the Nocturnal Building (Or Bob and Evelyn's Roadhouse as it lovingly called)look for the huge relief map of Australia on the wall. That is constructed out of blood, sweat, tears and four, one gallon cans of Bondo. Look for the area on the map marked "Mystery Spot" and put your car keys near it.

Rejection is good

My friend Meshell is a very talented and creative illustrator. We got together at B-Hampton’s for a drink a few months ago and she had her portfolio on hand from an earlier meeting. Meshell and I had discussed children’s books in the past and I thought she and I should team up to create something. But like most my ideas, they are simply words with no substance behind them. That night though, Meshell showed me one of her illustrations called “The Power of Soup.”


I immediately thought of an idea for a story and went home and wrote it.

I then submitted it to a publishing company.

And then I waited.

I knew that my story wouldn’t get published. It was my first submission. It was pretty rough. I found out later that my main character’s name was not only a Teletubbie, but also a slang word for kinky sex. (Lala. I choose it because it was Miss Sally’s nickname for her sister. Luckily I had never seen the Teletubbies and only found out what Lala meant when I saw it on a 17 year-old’s T-shirt.)

What I was really looking for was acknowledgement that someone opened my letter and glanced at my five pages of dreck and responded with a form letter suggesting I burn my keyboard and take up roofing again.

And I waited some more.

Most submissions take about 10 – 15 weeks to get processed. As of yesterday, it had been almost 30 weeks and I kept telling myself that I had forgotten about it.

Yesterday, I got a letter from Tricycle Press, the children’s book division of Ten Speed Press. A form letter. A rejection letter.


And I feel acknowledged.

I then went back to re-read my story and oh boy… it could use a bit of editing. I’ll change Lala’s name (though she will always be Lala to me) and beef up a bit of the story. Perhaps I will change the part where Lala receives second degree burns from hugging a pot of steaming, hot soup.

Thanks!

This message is to the girl who was at Skully's last night, dancing around in your bra. You danced for a bit, but were so drunk, you fell flat on your face and had to be carried off.

Thanks. That was hot.

Plaid pants

I have a friend that is South Korean. Towards the beginning of our relationship, I felt we were almost friends enough for me to ask a really awkward question. I asked, “How do you tell the difference between Korean, Japanese and Chinese people?”

He thought only for a moment and said:

Koreans are pretty good dressers and they are clean.
Japanese dress very well and are very clean.
Chinese people are kind of dirty and they wear clothes that don’t match.

It's comforting to know that there are people as shallow as me all over the globe.

A few days ago, I saw a man wearing green plaid pants and a striped sweater and brown shoes with a black belt. He looked Caucasian, but I guess he was Chinese.

I’m not getting a flu shot

I’m not. I never have been immunized and I have never had the flu.

Now, I’m not one of the idiots that think that the flu shot has a chance of giving you the flu. It can’t. It’s impossible. (Unless the dude giving you the shot has the flu and sneezes in your mouth.) (Wow. That was really gross.) The shot has dead flu virus in it and you just can’t get it from that source.

There is a nasal mist vaccine that has mostly dead flu virus in it that has an infinitesimally small chance of giving you the flu. Of course, if you go by Princess Bride logic, mostly dead is slightly alive. But the chances are still slim. As slim as three men versus sixty. Get the mist and you also might want to purchase a wheel barrow and a Holocaust Cloak.

I’m also not worried because I am not old. I am not young. I don’t have asthma. I don’t have diabetes. I’m not pregnant (yet.)

But then I realized that I am what they classify as a “caregiver.” I’ve got one kid that falls in the young category and one that is in the six months and younger category. If I get the flu from that old, asthma ridden, pregnant diabetic woman at work, I could bring it home to the kids. And that would suck.

So, I’ll get the stinking flu shot. Or the mist.

And if I get the flu this year, I am going to be really pissed. And I will probably blame the vaccine. Or the guy that sneezed in my mouth.

I’m not scarred

Like many of you, I went through the fourth grade. That was when I had my traumatic childhood experience. Everyone has the traumatic childhood experience. If you don’t remember yours, it’s because it was REALLY traumatic and you should seek counseling. Mine wasn’t that traumatic, but it’s really my only one, so I have to pin the brown and black ribbon on it.

Ms. Rice was a fourth grade teacher at Tallmadge Elementary School. She was not my homeroom teacher, so I only saw her for one period a day. I think it was for science. Now I remember it was science, because she gave me a C for my report on the planets that was copied directly out of the encyclopedia. I hate to think that my parents paid thousands of dollars for a set of books that only got me a C.

One day in science class, Ms. Rice asked everyone to be quiet. Everyone got quite. Which made it a lot easier for Ms. Rice to hear me ask the kid next to me for their scissors. She had just about enough. Ms. Rice told me to come to the front of the room. She instructed the other students, “Get out a piece of paper and write something you hate about Doug.”

They did.

“Now stand up and form a line in front of Doug and read what you wrote.”

Doug stinks.
Doug is ugly.
Doug is stupid.
Doug talks in class. (You got me there.)
Doug is smelly.
Doug…

I don’t remember a lot of what they wrote. I definitely remember the Doug stinks. At first I tried to laugh it off. And then I cried. Come on, I was in the 4th grade.

The last person read their paper. I was sent back to my seat and we finished what ever we were doing. Everyone was told to throw their papers away. I went home and didn’t say a word.

Andy Friesner was a friend of mine at the time and he felt bad about it. Bad enough that he took several notes out of the trash and took them home to his parents. His parents called mine. Mine questioned me and then called the school. There was a too do.

I would have to call my mom to remind me of what happened after that. I’m sure she’d love to talk about it and get all fired up again. I seem to recall that the next day all the kids wrote nice things about me and I was to take the nice pieces of paper home and show them to my parents. Jamie Barnes (upon a proofread, I’m realizing that this might be a good point to preface that Jamie is a girl) asked me to be her square dance partner in Gym class. That might have all been worth it.


I’m not scarred. Thinking about it makes me sad. But mainly because I’m now remembering these people from my past. I haven’t talked to Andy in years. He is a great guy. And that my long lost love Jamie Barnes hasn’t thought about me in years.

Ms. Rice? My understanding is that she is now an educational administrator somewhere. I searched the internet for “Ms. Rice is a stinking filthy whore” but did not get any search results. I’m not scarred.

Saints vs Atlanta

I'm not a cartoonist, but I pretend to be one on teh intraweb. I thought of this one my drive into work this morning. (Click to enlarge.)



I started to redraw it, but I like the spontaneity of this one. (And I was too lazy.)

I'm thinking though that if I did re-draw it, I'd combine the 2nd and 3rd frame and then in the new forth frame have everyone come running back into the dome looking for shelter and blaming the Bush administration.

(Man, the #12 guy looks like a terrorist.) What kind of f'd up helmet is that?

God made fish. The devil made the deep fryer.

God made fish. The devil made the deep fryer. Let’s go eat in Purgatory!

There is a restaurant in Columbus called Old Bag o’ Nails. They have really, really great fish and chips. The slaw stinks. The tartar sauce is usually warm. But the fish and chips are perfect. The almost better part is that they give you a huge portion. Some have described the portions as big as a baby’s arm or like a big fish, but bigger!

I have never heard anyone say that the fish portion was as large as a #1 foam finger.

Please compare and contrast the following:





The first photo is that of an Ohio State University #1 foam finger.

The second is a camera phone photo of some fish and chips I ordered last week.

I rest my case. The Old Bag o’ Nail fish and chips portion is as big as a #1 foam finger.