Two Teeth

I have many teeth and at one time I had many cavities, but they are now drilled out and filled with silver stuff (older) and kinda white stuff (newer.) You would think that someone in my position would avoid the dentist unless it was completely necessary. But you know me and on two occasions I have been to the dentist (Well, once. The one guy wasn’t a dentist) when I didn’t have to be there and still had my teeth worked on. We’ll break this up into two parts called “Drilling for Dollars” and “Binaural Audio.”

Drilling for Dollars
Years and years ago I got a call from a friend. We’ll call him Mr. T. And now you have a big, black guy with gold chains stuck in your head. Think the polar opposite… skinny, white, red-head dude that’s pushing six feet tall. Mr. T was taking his dental exam so that he could become a full-fledged dentist. I think there are three parts to the test and he had passed two of them. He needed to pass the third test which was drilling and filling a cavity. Seeing as that I am always willing to help a friend and that I usually have a spare cavity, I agreed. I felt I could be my friend’s gateway into a profitable dental career. Mr. T took me in to have a bunch of x-rays taken so that he could send them in to the board and have me OK’d as a patient. Sadly, the cavity I had was not perfect and Mr.T had to work the x-ray machine like a professional photographer. At the end of the day my face was glowing and he had the perfect shot. It was almost like a reverse internet profile photo where ugly people take odd angles to get the best photo. He was taking multiple angles to make the cavity look as bad as possible.

A few weeks later, Mr. T and I drove up to Cleveland for the test. We went up on Friday for the test on Saturday. We were able to sleep in because people would be taking the first 2/3rds of the test and the cavity filling was the last part.

But we showed up and the testing area was nearly empty. Upon questioning the staff that was there, they said that Mr. T needed to be there three hours ago for the start of the test. There was a good bit of nail biting and in the end, they said we could still jump in and take the test.

I was stuck in the chair. Numbed. And drilled. Mr. T was sweating bullets. Because everyone had finished the test and moved on, the people that oversaw the test and were normally were spread out across the room had nothing better to do than stand a few feet away and wait for this asshole that showed up three hours late to finish his test.

Mr. T was asked to leave and three dudes looked over the new hole in my face. Mr. T was then called back in and given the opportunity to fill my hole with silvery goodness. He did. The three old men came back and checked out the filling. Mr. T asked me to listen in on what they said. I couldn't make heads or tails of what they were discussing.

We left the test and Mr. T was sure he failed.

But he didn’t! My cavity was the finish line to his schooling or perhaps the starting gate to his dentist license. Mr. T probably thinks of my every time he fills a cavity, drives his Porsche or towels off with a sheet of twenty dollar bills.

Binaural Audio
In 1999, Stu started working in our division and my eyes were opened to what reckless creativity can spawn. Stu is like no other person I have ever met and you would be lucky just to know someone who knows a guy like Stu.

Stu was very interested in an exhibit we had previously built that used binaural audio or 3D sound. The basis of the technology is that audio is recorded with two microphones spaced a head’s width apart. When that recorded audio is played through separate headphone sides, the audio can feel like it is happening to you. If you have a set of headphones, I recommend listening to this painfully long youtube video.

Stu and I discussed what would be the best 3D audio. We came up with some really great ideas. We took the microphones out and recorded all sorts of crap including creepy guy sneaking up on you in an alley, creepy guy breathing in your ear and dude shooting arrows at your head. We then discussed an evil sort of voice that would sound like it was coming from behind the listener. The voice would tell the person to look up and when they did they would see little glowing eyes in the dark recesses of the ceiling. We were 3D audio geniuses.

The best idea to delight and terrify our guests was the idea to record audio of someone getting dental work done. We asked around and no one had a dental appointment coming up (or they just flat out lied because they wanted nothing to do with us.) So finally I volunteered. I called up Mr. T who was now DDS T. I told him about the recording and that I’d need some type of work done. He at least agreed to see us.

We ran over to his dentist office the next day. I got in the chair and Stu put the microphones on either side of my head. DDS T looked around in my mouth and, for once, didn’t see any work that needed done. He had me chew on some mimeograph paper and found a high spot on one of my teeth. He asked if I wanted it ground down. Yes, yes I do want my teeth ground down.

As DDS T worked, Stu had him move the drill around and make noise in both of the microphones. He drilled and smoothed and slapped me on the ass and told me to keep flossing, knowing that I hadn’t touched the waxed stuff in ages.

So, you ask me, “Doug, where can I hear this wonderful audio?” And I say to you, “You can’t.”

Why? Because we got really busy, that’s why. All that audio needed edited down and we had other shit to do. In the end, time ran out and we used the pre-packaged audio that we had purchased in the first palace. Years later, I asked Stu where the custom audio was. He didn’t know. He’d quit and moved on. I poked around, but never found the tapes.

Last week I went into my dentist’s office. There was a filling in my mouth that wasn’t holding up and it needed drilled out and re-filled. Once I realized it, I told my dentist that it was the one that the once Mr. T had earned his license on. My dentist laughed as he drilled it out and then refilled it with whitish stuff.

Broken Radio?

Here's a photo from John and Beckah. As they were driving, they saw this dude in the car next to them.

It's hard to tell, but the dude is wearing a harmonica rack and is playing away on his harmonica.

I assumed his radio was broken, but now I think he might have just been playing along.

You Are Starting to Piss Me Off Home Depot

I hate the visceral feeling of regret you get when something starts going downhill and you can either ride the out of control wagon to the bitter end or jump out and climb back up the hill looking for a smoother ride.

I stayed on the wagon. I'm still heading downhill.

Miss Sally and I want an new sliding glass door. We went to our stand-by, Lowes, but they had a poor display and not much help with doors. We went to Home Depot and they had a much better layout and a desk with a very helpful dude. We picked what door we wanted and scheduled to have our existing door measured.

The customer service up to this point was great. We got a call that they installers would be out to measure and we got a call when they were done. In the second call, we were given a bit of bad news. Our existing opening was one inch too large for the door we picked. The woman said that instead of the $650 we picked out that there was an $1150 door in stock that would fit our opening. When I started to balk about the difference in price, she said something to the effect of, "Well, we've got a $350 door. You want that one?" I said I would have to come in and make a decision.

A few days later had me at Home Depot again and the door person was at lunch. The substitute person looked up my account and said that he could not help me and asked if I wanted to wait. I did not and left.

I got another call from Home Depot asking me if I had made a decision about my door. I said that we still liked out first door and wondered what a custom door one inch larger would cost. She looked it up and said $1300. Once I finish shitting my pants, I told her that was out and that I'd need to discuss the door with my wife.

During work this week, I mentioned the door to Erik and he said, "Why can't they just shim the door in 1/2" on each side? Those doors never fit perfectly in the openings." I told Erik he was very smart and planned to go in on Saturday.

Today I decided to be sneaky and headed over to another Home Depot. Just like the first store, the sales person was very helpful. I asked about my model of door and if it could be shimmed in on either side. He said yes, no problem. When he tried to pull my account up, he came up blank. It turns out that the installers are local to each store and they other Home Depot could not fulfill my order. I said thanks to the sales person and armed with this shimming knowledge I went back to the original Home Depot.

At the store, sales person pulls up my order. I ask about shimming. He leave for ten minutes and comes back to say that he can't help me on a Saturday and that I will need to come back Monday when the installers are available.

Fucking fine.

I left.

Here is my beef: When Home Depot called me originally to tell me about my measurement, they should have just said that they would have to shim it in. Instead she tried to get me to buy something $500 more expensive. I also can't see why they do not have someone around on the weekends who might have a clue about installations.

Now you might be asking, "Why haven't you jumped off the wagon?"

Because of $30. The measurement cost $30 and it is taken off of the final cost if you do go through with the installation. Now all of you that know me know where my dollar limit is and can manipulate me as such.

I'll let you know how things go AFTER Monday when they have someone in that can help.

Double Coffee

We make our own coffee at work. We are not allowed to have coffee makers because many of us are too stupid to pull the 1/4 full pot off the warmer and smoke detectors end up going off at 2:00am. So instead, we use a single cup maker machine or we use the Lady Johnson* (single filter) w/ hot water method.

Lady Johnson with cup underneath.

We use this to heat the water. Love it.

Today I decided that I wanted a good stiff cup of coffee. Usually, I would double the amount of coffee that I put in the filter, but I thought I would try something different. Today I went for double coffee.

Here were my tools:

Coffee. Large cup from Video conference. Two filters. Two Lady Johnsons*.

Because regular coffee making has been banned, we have a shit ton of regular filters leftover from days of yore. You can cram a regular sized filter in a Lady Johnson, but it does not fit very well.

So I fold it in quarters and it fits perfectly.
Fold once...

Fold twice.

This fit is very nice.

I folded up two filters, filled them with coffee and then stacked them.

As you can see, this does not look very stable. Luckily, I had the coffee can and some post-its from the local CBS affiliate to add support.

And then I added the hot water and voilĂ  !

The final product was delicious. It seemed stronger than just doubling the grounds. I might have to try this again!

*We call this device the "Lady Johnson" because years ago there used to be a product with the same name. It was a funnel that was shaped to fit a woman's pee-pee area place and could be used during camping so the woman would not need to squat to pee. I cannot find the Lady Johnson anywhere on the internet, but you can sometime find it under the name "Camper's Friend."

Free Tars

This photo was attached to a Craigslist posting that is sadly not available anymore.

Now I can't stop saying, "Tars" in a Southern Ohio accent.

Thanks to @jeffisbiking from Twitter!

Erik Eats: Whistle Candy - The Sound and the Tasty

This week, Erik delves into both music and deliciousness. This edition of Erik Eats presents the holiness that is CORIS Whistle Candy.

It looks like a bunch of Life Savers with a box, but we have been fooled before, so we'll take this step by step.

Erik asks, how do I open it?

Use the easy open corner tab!

Erik uses to easy open corner tab and reveals the white roundness inside.

There is a box inside and so Erik opens it to reveal...

A Ring! A real plastic fake ring!

Erik is overcome with emotion and decides in the spur of the moment to propose to Josh.

While Josh was also overtaken by emotion, he had to turn Erik down as Josh is married to the stage and the stage is already screwing Josh and she does not take kindly to cheaters.

Erik found poor Kim and pretended like she was actually his first pick.

She shot him down and Erik was sad.

But then Erik realized there was only one other person out there in the big empty that was good enough for Erik.

He said YES!

After they consummated the moment, we got back to the candy.

The candy is a bit lighter in weight and fatter in size than life savers. There must be something going on inside.

We got out the blade and started choppin'.

They are hollow! Maybe this is what the whistle part of whistle candy is all about.

Before consuming this hollow treat, Erik tries to get it to whistle.

What this doesn't show is that five minutes later I tried one of the candies and whistled loudly enough to have the marketing folks crawl out of their Luxury Suite Cubicles and ask us what the fuck we were doing.

And then it was time for the tasting. Erik eats...


It's good!

Next week: boiled goat num num nums.


Years ago, Taco Bell ran a series of commercials in which two guys would say "Zesty!" back and forth to each other in various, different inflections. There were only two people on Earth (besides the two actors this ad employed) that enjoyed these commercials.

Those two people were Dave and me.

With the advent of YouTube, we thought that someday we'd be able to watch these videos at our leisure. But since we are the only two people who liked the commercials, no one has bothered to post them.

And so we wait.

But until then, whenever someone in a conversation says the word "zesty," I immediately step all over the rest of their sentence, jump in and say "ZESTY!!"

Dave sent me this photo because he, too, waits.

If you have seen the video on-line, please let us know.

Hidden Word

Can you find the hidden word in this color blind test pattern?

(scroll down for answer)
The hidden word is GULLIBLE.

Top Ten Most Stupid Conflicts

While the United States Invasion of Iraq was pretty stupid, it is not in the Top Ten of Most Stupid Conflicts. They are:

10. The Salisbury Steak War of 1949
9. Fredrickson and Lewis Picket Fence Property Line Dispute of 2003
8. Kramer v Kramer 1979
7. Ohio University Panty Raid, Martzolf House, September 24th – October 8th 1990
6. The Franchise War 2015 – 2030 (Taco Bell victorious)
5. The British Invasion 1964 to 1966
4. Coke v Pepsi 1903 – ongoing
3. The Four Day Invasion of Bob’s Bar
2. War on Drugs 1971 – 2009
1. Boxers v Briefs (Death toll: 16,345,398)