The Most Awesome Ice Scraper Ever

I live in a house with a garage in Ohio. I think I am cool because I do not have to scrape my windows on the average winter morning. But someday I will become that homeowner who fills his garage with worthless crap and squeezes his car out onto the driveway.

When that day comes, I will be prepared to face the frost filled mornings because I own the Ultimate Ice Scraper.

About 15 years ago, I purchased a state of the art ice scraper. It was a new twist on an old technology. A strip of brass was inserted into a plastic handle. Because brass is softer than glass, it cannot scratch it. The creators of this miracle device even guaranteed that it would not scratch glass or they would pay for your windshield.

This ice scraper worked like the dickens. It would plow through the toughest ice and scrape right to the glass. Never a scratch! I loved my ice scraper.

Some idiots tried to break up ice on their windshields by pounding the windshield with the edge of the brass. Needless to say, windshields cracked. The manufacturer shrugged. People sued. And they stopped making the ice scraper.

Suckers! I still had mine. It still worked like a champ and except for an unusually thin handle, mine would last forever.

So, forever expired one cold day after work. As I was scraping thick ice off my windshield, the handle snapped and the brass end went flying into the snow. I madly dug through the snow and found the end of the scraper. There was a little bit of handle left, but not enough to hold on to for that quality scraping leverage.

As my tears froze to the windshield, a co-worker gave me her spare Hoppy brand plastic shitty ice scraper and told me to keep it. Thanks.

I spent 15 minutes scraping my tears off the windshield and I think it was actually my hot, cursing breath that finally melted the ice. The Hoppy brand plastic shitty ice scraper wasn’t set correctly in its handle and I couldn’t tear into the ice.

In the car I examined my brass scraper. There was no way I’d be able to glue it. It was done for. I also looked at the Hoppy brand ice scraper. Its two part construction was laughable. The plastic scraper wasn’t setting right in the handle and I was able to pop it right out.

And in a rare moment of genius.. I slipped the brass blade into the Hoppy handle.

It fit! It held! By some impossible chance they nested together as if they were meant to be! I suddenly realized that the original brass handle was flawed. It wasn’wasn't long enough and it wasn’t thick enough. My creation was The Ultimate Scraper. I was so happy you might have thought that I just pulled it out of a stone and become king. I jumped out of the car and scraped the windows again. Great leverage. Curved handle to fit in my hand. The power of brass slicing through the ice. The perfect ice scraper.

The garage isn’t full of crap yet so I haven’t had the chance to use my scraper. But maybe I’ll leave it out next week, just to let the kid stretch his legs.

You can still purchase the original brass scraper. But it's not going to be the same.

Thank you, previous home owners

Thank you, previous home owners. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend my weekend (and I am taking tomorrow off work) attempting to paint the living room. Twenty hours of work later and I just put on my first coat of paint. You did some amazing things when you painted the living room that wonderful Soylent Green color.

For future reference, here are some prep and painting tips:

1. Remove wallpaper before painting

2. If you do remove the wallpaper, remove it all and do not leave the paper backing stuck to the wall and paint over it.

3. When you do remove the wallpaper, take it all the way down to the paint and then STOP. Do not scrape any further. If you see a dark empty space, you have removed too much.

4. It was a good idea to fill in the holes with spackle. It’s also a good idea to sand those areas down. Especially those built up a quarter inch from the surface.

5. If you are a good painter, you can cut in the edges without tape. If you are an OK painter, you tape every single edge. If you are you, use tape, paint over tape, and leave the painted tape on wall.

6. When finished with a brush, some wash it out. Most just throw them away. A very rare few might throw it in the return air vent. You are a rare few.

In the middle of my home improvement, Kit stopped over and brought McDonalds. We sat, hunched over in the kitchen at a temporarily relocated coffee table and swapped John B stories. Later, he helped to sand down the walls and clean up.

Thanks Kit.



Take Back the Night

My friends know me for the sexist pig that I am or rather can be. I am OK with that. Somewhere in the dark, ichor filled cavern that is my soul, I think that I am actually a much nicer guy than that. It’s just so hard to see through the profanity and lust.

For example, being the nice guy that I am, I went to the Take Back the Night march at Ohio University with my friend Chris and his then girlfriend (now wife) Karen. At the time, the march was for women only and Chris did not want to be left standing behind by himself. So I went along. I didn’t think anything of it.

No less than three times during the night, I was accused by people I knew that I was there to pick up chicks. I explained that I was there for Chris’ sake and to support the march. You usually don’t hear much laughing at Take Back the Night, but I did after that explanation.

At the direction of a very loud woman, the women gathered and started the march while the men were left behind. Someone dressed in a lot of black gathered us all up and we formed a discussion circle. The moderator opened up the discussion with the topic of how we could comfort our friends after the march. It opened my eyes to the release of emotion that some of the women would be feeling after the march and I started to understand the whole of the march and why it was so important to some.

And then someone else crushed that empowerment by suggesting that all feminine and masculine forms of words should be banned and that only gender neutral words be allowed in all languages. Oh Christ. The moderator was only able to rope in that thread in the conversation by stepping in the middle of the circle and raising his voice.

In an extremely odd moment, a guy took advantage of the following silence to thank everyone for coming out. He noted that he saw a lot of friends in the circle. He said he was nervous. He paused and nodded. He said felt a lot of positive energy flowing through the men and that was great. And he said that he just wanted to say that he was bi-sexual.

Silence again. He sat there and nodded. More silence. Finally a very effeminate guy in the back of the circle yelled, “Good for you!”

Chris kept elbowing me to see if I was taking it all in or maybe to see if I was going to laugh. The self outing was followed up by a discussion about gayness and bisexualism and his statement that, “I’m not 50% straight and 50% gay… I’m 100% bi-sexual.” Thank the lord that the march returned and the women came over to pick up their friends, sheepish boyfriend, sheepish boyfriend’s friend and now bi-sexual friend.

As we walked uptown, small groups of women huddled together. Comforting each other. Tearing up pieces of paper with the names of the men that hurt them.

I’ll always remember the silence after the dude came out of the closet. You could hear the marching women chanting in the distance.

Goodnight Cannibal

I read books with my kid every night. As he looks for books to read, he usually asks, “What book do you want to read?” Whichever one I pick, he says that he doesn’t want to read that one and continues to search in his collection of 1,543 books for the one which is stuck between the bookcase and the wall. Looking for two books to read each night takes longer than actually reading them. Especially if I read the first page and then accidentally skip to the last. Hey, it works with Atlas Shrugged.

One book I like and one that you might remember fondly from your childhood is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown with pictures by Clement Hurd. Basically it is a story about a rabbit stalling so that he doesn’t have to go to sleep.

The little rabbit in the story says goodnight to all the things in his room as he slowly doses off.

But there is one thing to which he does not say goodnight.

It’s a black and white painting of a rabbit fishing. It’s hanging behind the old woman whispering hush.

It’s cute. The rabbit even has waders on. That’s really cute. And the rabbit has a carrot on the end of his line as bait.

A carrot?

Yes. A carrot. Because if you take a close look, you will see that the fisherrabbit is fishing for BUNNIES!


What the hell is up with that? That’s cannibalism! Or Rabbitbalism. He’s going to catch him, swoop him up with the net, shove him in his wicker fish (bunny) creel, take him home and eat him. Hopefully he’ll at least cook the cute little bastard.

I could understand it if perhaps the bunny was the runt of the litter and the momma rabbit had to eat it… that is natural. This is cruel and I just don’t get what the hell Clement Hurd was trying to illustrate.

Which is why I’ve taken to pointing it out to my son and telling him that he has two choices in life: either he can be the fisherrabbit or he can be the rabbit in the stream. After he stops crying, I hug him and comfort him with promises of carrots for breakfast.

Draw to the right

This is the last Meshell - Shorty - Doug napkin drawing post. I swear. Really!

This was one of the first sketches we did which was to draw the person on your right. I thought it would be interesting to see everyone's perspective from the left side. That's why I drew mine like this:

Of course, I was wrong. Meshell drew Shorty as he looks at others. Other chicks that is.

And Shorty just drew my face. The joke being that my head is too big to fit on a single piece of paper.

Asshole. His head is exactly the same as mine. Too big.

Feel free to e-mail me sketches of yourself. I'll post you along with a 17 word description of who I think you are.

Buckeyes e-mail from Carpanza

> >From: Carpanza
> >To: Holy Juan
> >Subject: Buckeyes
> >Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 11:02:28 -0600

> >What the hell happened?

> From:
> To: Carpanza
> Subject: RE: Buckeyes
> Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2007 21:09:46 -0500

From : Carpanza
Sent : Tuesday, January 9, 2007 11:47 PM
To : Frank Stein
Subject : RE: Buckeyes

Have you tried rebooting?
I figured you were in a drunken stupor trying desperately to make the memories go away. There'll be a lot of crying yourself to sleep and sitting alone bawling in the john at work. You just can't drink enough to make the Buckeye's loss any less painful. You turn to hard drugs. Every time you see a sweater vest you can't stop thinking about what that bad man did to you. You think about changing your name to Kane and walking the earth, like in Kung Fu. You quit caring anymore. Just when you think it couldn't get any worse, you see a Gator... you fall to pieces and it's more painful than ever.

Don't go down that path man! Choose life! Just let this comfort you.... at least you're not a Gopher's fan.

Decisions, decisions

I drew the first sketch. Meshell fleshed it out.

I'm not sure what the sketch was supposed to represent. If this was some kind of Sophie's Choice, I'd have to take out the mouse. And then the cat.
There’s absolutely nothing to say when you are so soundly beaten.

Napkin canvases

Last night, Meshell, Shorty and I got together at B Hamptons to get a drink. During one of Shorty’s five trips outside to talk on the phone (i.e. smoke), Meshell and I started doodling on napkins. When Short got back, he joined in.

Most of what we drew is, well, disgusting if not a crime against good taste.

We ended up playing a game where everyone wrote down a noun and a verb ending with “ing” on their napkin. The napkin was passed to the right and the person would have to draw what was written on the napkin. I think I can show you those without embarassing anyone. (I'm not really sure how Meshell and I both chose to use the word "house" as our noun. Drinking ESP.)

House Stealing - by Short

House Killing - by Meshell

Tit Fucking - by Doug

By the end of the night, we had a huge stack of napkins filled with ink and sin. I shoved them all in my jacket pocket with promises of scanning them all when I got home. On my way to work this morning, I wondered for about five minutes why my jacket wasn't fitting right.

HolyJuan’s 2007 Predictions

I hate people who make vague predictions. You’ll see them popping up over the next couple of days. “A major weather event will strike the East Coast causing death and destruction.” Or bland, technological predictions, “Vista will be as buggy as Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP. People will still be using XP in 2010 rather then upgrading.”

The theory (mine at least) is to make very specific and outrageous predictions that will happen within a small time frame. Leave a little bit of wriggle room so that if things don’t come out exactly as predicted, you can still point to the parts of your guess that were dead on.

Though I don’t condone the use of it, you might want to throw in a dead ringer prediction that anyone could have guessed. I suggest adding a sprinkling of details that make your dead ringer stand out.

It’s also a good idea to predict things that are not going to happen.

HolyJuan’s 2007 Predictions

1. Harrison Ford will die on location in Java while filming the, now final, Indiana Jones film. The accident will be off set, but he will be in costume.

2. A rogue wave kills over 200 after it strikes a cruise liner this summer. This incident is made more painful when it is revealed the Captain called passengers on the deck to witness the wave as it traveled towards the ship.

3. Bird Flu will not have an effect on the world’s population… this year.

4. Scarlett Johansson will overdose on heroine. It will not kill her, but she will disappear from the public eye for the rest of the year.

5. Britney Spears will get back together with K-Fed over the children.

6. Britney Spears will dump K-Fed twenty days later when he reveals that he has gotten some other tramp knocked up.

7. Congress will introduce a bill requiring that all pornography on the internet will need to be re-located under new .sex website address. The only positive thing that will come out of this failed resolution is a better definition of pornography.

8. A World of Warcraft serial killer will emerge, not online, but in real life. As a Paladin, he will kill off 13 Hoard players. Many victims will not be found for days as they rarely come out of their rooms anyways.

$. The number nine will be struck from the world’s vocabulary and replaced with the dollar sign.

10. I will publish my first book, “The Tales of Allen Knob.” The 10 people that read it will suggest the other 6,525,170,254 people in the world stay as far away as possible from it.