Friday, July 31, 2009

Like a True Nature's Child,

We were born, born to be wild.
-Steppenwolf, 1968

Marco keep your eyelids up and see what you can see.
-Dr. Seuss, 1937

As I wrote recently, I went on vacation for a week to northern Wisconsin. I will always encourage people to drive across country rather than fly (and not just because I’m not a big fan of flying), because we live in such a huge, such a diverse country, filled with deserts, mountains, rolling plains, river valleys, shoreline, rain forests, and cities. Very few countries offer the geographical diversity that the United States offers. And, the people within the US are just as diverse. When you drive for a thousand miles, you get a first-hand glimpse of the heights and depths of that diversity.

And, more importantly, you will always have a story to tell. And the most interesting people on the planet are those with a story to tell. Hmm, I kind of implied that I am among the most interesting people on the planet, which kind of makes me out to be an arrogant ass. What I’m saying is, YOU can be among the most interesting people on the planet. Hell, you know what I mean.

A large portion of our drive is through Illinois….where we spend the most hours, by far, as we enter through the southernmost portion, and leave through the northernmost point. We bypass Chicago, which is the only interesting city in the state, and instead go through places like Metropolis, whose claim to fame is having a statue of Superman in front of the county courthouse, and Rockford, whose claim to fame is being the home of one of history’s greatest rock bands, Cheap Trick (and after that, its interest factor drops dramatically). So, it’s not surprising when the highlights of the trip occur on the interstate itself. One of which was the guy we saw with the Vespa scooter tied to the roof of his Nissan Sentra, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. The second was the group of bikers we saw.

With mostly flat roads, you can see for some distance in Illinois, so we saw this group of bikers overtaking us pretty early. They looked pretty tough from a distance, so we kept in the right lane and let them pass. My wife was driving. In a few minutes, the 4 bikers on Harleys came alongside. One of the bikers had a woman sitting in the “bitch seat.” 3 of the bikers, plus the “bitch,” had no helmets. A 4th biker, one of the solo riders, had one (Illinois does not have a Helmet Law). They looked especially tough….lots of road dust, scraggly beards, and one of them had a shaved head with a tattoo on his head. On. His. Head. Did we stereotype? Sure, I suppose, but considering you see more guys with skull tattoos in prison then you do in, say, an orthodontist or investment banker’s office, you can understand why. We gave them a wide birth, allowing them to pass easily. Once the quartet passed us, they smoothly moved into the right lane and kept up with their pace, and pulled ahead of us, their Michigan license plates clearly visible.

Naturally, my 10 year old, Thing 1, would not stop commenting about the tattoo on the side of the head, as I completely expected. But in a few seconds would be the vehicle that would capture MY attention. Shortly after the bikes passed us, we were overtaken by a small SUV pulling a trailer. The trailer appeared to be a motorcycle hauler, as there were frames on the trailer to which you could hold two motorcycles and tie them down into place. The hauler passed us and then pulled in front of us, it’s Michigan plate visible. At this point, I realized the hauler must be with the motorcycles. I had to snicker….these badass-looking bikers, who easily could’ve passed for Hells Angels, Pagans, or Del Fuegos, and they need a hauler to move their bikes and catch a ride in case the poor widdle babies get tired. I wouldn’t say this to their face, in case they actually WERE Pagans, but I sure as hell was thinking it.

The hauler and the motorcycles pulled further on ahead, and then we were passed by a Honda mini-van, which pulled in front of us once it cleared us. It too had Michigan plates, which I took to be a coincidence. It was then that I realized the rear window was dirty, and there was something written in the dirt. I strained my eyes, until I could make it out:


So in summary…we have 4 bikers (and 1 bitch) that looked like they were going to the rally at Sturgis to kick some ass. One SUV with a motorcycle hauler, to carry them when they got tired, and a (dirty) mini-van, warning people to be careful (as though it was a “Wide Load” vehicle), driven by an apparently illiterate person. From Michigan.

This is indeed a great and colorful country. With bad spellers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The most practical use for a hijab

I was in the nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter that's down the road from my office, and I saw two Muslim women, in full-length burqas (I guess that's's not like they have summer length burqas that only go to the knees, and flash a little leg), with the hijab head scarf, but without the face-covering niqab veil. The hijab was rather tight, as normal. What stood out though was the fact that she had a Blackberry Curve wedged INSIDE her hijab, so that it was pressed tightly to her ear, enabling her to have a hands-free conversation.

I briefly considered taking a photo of it with my Blackberry (also a Curve, which is why I knew). However, that's kind of ballsy and brazen, even for me. You'll just have to take my word for it that it looked like the clumsiest Bluetooth headset ever. But, in the day of tiny cell phones, it sure does make it easy to hold, since you can't press it between your shoulder and ear like a regular phone.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wisconsin's Victoria's Secret

Retail shopping in Wisconsin is an interesting experience. The harsh reality of Wisconsin is that the weather sucks. A lot. They get their first snowfall in October, and their last in April. They then have 2 months whose weather can best be described somewhere in between "planting season" and "brisk."

Around Fourth of July weekend, people get brave enough to venture into outdoor swimming areas (until then, most swimming is indoors....because of the climate, some genius in marketing figured out that if you build an indoor waterpark in a state that sees freezing weather 8-9 out of 12 months a year, people will flock to it like prison inmates to Soap-on-a-Rope). But, until those magical 3 months of summer (I will say this, no state in the country is more beautiful and has more going for it than Wisconsin in the summer), the weather always has the potential for astronomical amounts of suckage.

Therefore, the concept of One Stop Shopping is heavily embraced. Wal-Marts and Targets were welcomed with open arms throughout the state, and Wal-Mart Supercenters and Super Targets even more so. To be able to buy groceries, beer, hardware, rent videos, get film developed, buy electronics, and seeds for the garden in the Spring, all under one roof, and then being able to go straight to the car and go home, without having to go to 5 different stores in weather so cold your boogers are freezing inside your nose? Entire towns gave the big middle finger to their small businesses just for the opportunity to stay warm.

Even home improvement stores have gotten into that market. Where you used to go only for tools, lumber, and other home improvement-related goods, stores like Menards now sell limited amounts of groceries and books.

But the store that merges convenience in a matter more entertaining than all the others is Fleet Farm. Fleet Farm can almost be described as "Home Depot / Lowes / Menards.....for Farmers." There, you can buy stuff to build an animal pen, as well as windows and doors for barns (or, the home). But, it takes the convenience of home improvement shopping and merges it with the sporting goods shopping of Wal-Mart or Target, and offers a lot of recreational goods. I have been in grocery stores smaller than the section of the store that sells fishing poles and equipment at the Fleet Farm in Antigo. Across the aisle, they have water recreational gear.....inner tubes, water skis, etc. Elsewhere in the store is an entire section for all your hunting needs. Rifles, bows, arrows, ammo, knives, etc. In Fleet Farm, you can buy deer piss that will A, mask your natural smell, and B, make a buck think he's smelling a doe in heat, thus making it easier for a buck to walk right by you, allowing you to eat venison all winter while smoking a cigar in your easy chair underneath a mounted deer head.

And last but not least....they have a complete line of clothing. High-wasted jeans for those fashionable women who still think it's 1991. Practical clothing for men, women, girls and boys. Hip-waders, hunting jackets, clothing covered in camoflauge and trimmed in blaze orange. The camo is so that you can hide from deer, the blaze orange is so that other hunters see you.

But, what is amazing about Fleet Farm is that there is nothing.....NOTHING....that they won't trim with camoflauge and/or blaze orange. Which is why, when given the opportunity to go there (my daughters were going fishing with their uncle for the first time, and needed fishing poles), I jumped at the opportunity. Because, I knew I would see the following:

Yes, those are blaze orange panties, with some kind of animal motif. The kind of motif that folk artists will often paint on saw blades, but rarely on lingerie. And I also saw this:

Camo panties, for the hunter (huntress?) who likes to be completely in "kill" mode. Or, realizes that serial killers live in the woods, and just like in the movies, at some point she'll have to be running in fear while only in her underwear. Of course, the hot pink trim seems defeat that purpose, but I will never pretend to understand the mind of a hunter. But I will say this....tomorrow, Saturday, you can bet somewhere in Wisconsin, there is a young woman packing a bag for a honeymoon, and in her bag is at least one pair of underwear that you see here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Breakroom Fridge Day 4

Here’s an update. You can see the right side of the pizza curling up more than it was the day before, as it dehydrates and shrinks in upon itself.

Another update….the office manager and the operations manager have every intention of leaving it there. They know who the pizza belongs to, and are waiting to see if the guy gets a clue and gets rid of it.

And the onions were indeed a condiment of sorts for burgers they grilled a while ago for lunch, left there by the same guy who apparently is too big of a pussy to finish his last slice of frozen pizza.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mystery Food in the Office Fridge

I might make an entire series out of this. I noticed this next to the pizza, that I described below. I had no idea what it is,other than it's been there since I got back from vacation (last Monday). There are really no words to describe this, other then “oniony” and “pepperish."

Breakroom Fridge Experiment

This slice of “pizza” (I use the quotes because it came from a frozen box, and I’m not sure if everything on it is edible…and I don’t think this is any closer to pizza than Budweiser is to beer) entered the breakroom fridge yesterday after lunch, when one of the guys here in the office couldn’t polish off his lunch.

I am willing to bet it will still be there on Friday. I am even considering asking the office manager to not touch it, just to see if it moves on its own (or by the hands of the person to whom it belongs).

This is Day 1. I will post new photos each day.

July 20, 1969

Author's note: I actually wrote this yesterday, but didn't have a chance to post it here. And, I found that the lunar landing took place on July 21 in Australia, so maybe I'll make this in honor of Aussies that worked on our space program at those remote satellite stations....but, it's July 22 in Aus right now, so never mind.

40 years ago today, two men from the United States walked on the moon, a feat never before accomplished in all of human history, and only replicated 5 times since.

I will not debate this fact.

My father is the smartest man I have ever met, or will meet. If you met him, you would be able to say the same thing as well. I’m not saying this to give you an inferiority complex, I’m saying this because he was a brilliant man. When he was a teenager, he built his own planetarium. When other kids were learning sports, he was playing around with metallic sodium, dropping it into puddles of water to see the minor explosion. And when he looked into the sky at night, he knew what he wanted to study his entire life.

In the 1950’s, the US was locked in a military race with the USSR. Each country divided up the best German rocket scientists they could find after the war, and they both went to work trying to put men in space. To win this, the US created the National Defense Education Act, which essentially paid college tuition for anyone who wanted to go to school for science, math, or engineering and use these skills to either blow up the planet, or watch it from 200 miles up in space. My dad was one of them, and in 1960, he packed up his belongings and went from Chicago to California to study Astronomy at Pomona College, one of the few colleges in the US where one could major in this degree program. By 1970, he had a PhD in Astrophysics from UCLA. So yeah, he was pretty friggin smart.

And sadly, there aren’t many like my dad anymore. Long ago, this country lost interest in pursuing the sciences, and in some cases, retarded our scientific growth. Once we landed on the moon, we felt we hit a peak, and had to try something more challenging. Whereas a sports team, upon winning one championship, does what it can to win that championship every year, our country seemingly decided, “Nahh, we’re good, we just wanted to beat the Soviets here,” and we packed it in. We went from a space program that used a missile capable of carrying 250,000 pounds of payload, to a space shuttle that could carry only 50,000. And thus we lost our edge. The space program had so much potential, and so much of it wasted. But still, my dad loved it. He loved the innovations we got from it, and the new discoveries, especially when he saw the first images from the Hubble Telescope. I didn’t see him cry when his mother and father died, but I saw him cry when the Challenger exploded in replay after replay.

We, as a country, need to set our clocks back 40 years. We need to remember that money spent in the pursuit of exploration, science and peace is worth way more than money spent helping those who don’t want help, or money spent in learning new ways to kill. We need to remember that our worth as a society is not in how many lawyers we have, or how good our professional sports teams are, but how educated our population is, and how hard we work to pull our citizens from the depths of ignorance. And we need to do this intelligently. I remember asking my dad about Bush’s plan to use the Moon as a jumping point to Mars, and he laughed it off as a joke, explaining to me how stupid it is to cart all that infrastructure to the Moon (the facilities, the fuel, etc), when the Moon only saves you a few days travel time to Mars (on a 6 month trip). We don’t need to dream big….we just need to keep dreaming, and keep pushing, and keep innovating. And we need scientists willing to do this. Scientists like my dad. I sometimes hear people question whether or not we walked on the moon, and to those people, I can say with assurance that it was people like my dad who put those men on the moon, and if they were as smart as my dad, then it damn well did happen. We were at one time a nation of people who dreamt of nothing but putting people in space, and the benefits from those dreams are immeasurable. We need to go back to having those dreams again. We may not have been a better country then, but people back then were sure working a lot harder to make it a better country. People like my dad, who taught two generations of college students the same love for the stars that he had.

And one day, maybe his love of science will rub off on someone else with that same dream, which is to never stop learning, and never stop pushing for the stars, so that we can one day set foot on the Moon, and continue our unfinished business.

40 years ago today, two men from the United States walked on the moon. I will not debate this.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Food Chain

The entire week I spent in Wisconsin was marked by a regular occurrence, one to which you could almost set a clock. Each night, shortly after midnight, I would hear howling in the distance. And that howling would get closer and closer each night. It was the howling of a pack of coyotes. We heard them every night, calling each other, sending signals to one another in their hunt for prey.

One night, we heard a different sound. The cows at the dairy farm across the road started bellowing. The cows are often in the field each night, eating and sleeping. This was one of those nights. When in the field, they are usually quiet, but this night, we heard them making loud noises. I knew immediately that they sensed something wrong. Within 2 minutes, I heard the howling. This was different than any other night though. The hairs on my arm and the back of my neck stood up. This was different because we knew where the coyotes were, and where their expected dinner was.

However, cows are quite good at natural defense. They form a circle, with the calves in the middle to protect them, and their heads face out, ready to meet the instigator. For about 20 minutes, we heard nothing but the cows bellowing, and the coyotes shrieking. We knew from the sound there was a siege in place, the coyotes trying to get a sizeable dinner.

The noises ended as abruptly as they started. We knew a pack of coyotes could not have taken all of the cattle, but if they got a hold of a calf, they would have torn it apart. We heard the occasional cow bellow, undoubtedly standing watch, but eventually it fell completely silent.

The next morning, we contacted the farmer across the street, and suggested she check her stock. She took the 4-wheeler out into the pasture and returned a little while later, reporting that all of her cows were fine. As vicious as coyotes can be, I was extremely impressed that the cows could fend them off.

In addition to coyotes, Wisconsin is home to a lot of other wildlife. A lot of deadly wildlife, like wolverines and badgers. The mascot of the state of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin is the badger, another animal native to Wisconsin. In the same family as wolverines, badgers are extremely protective of their young. And like wolverines, they have short tempers and long claws, and are genetically suited to disemboweling a human. Apparently, they are often found hunting WITH the coyotes. They have a mutual alliance with the coyotes, travelling behind and eating the carrion, or hunting alongside.

The Department of Natural Resources is apparently trying to reintroduce wolverines back into the state. Wolverines once extended their habitat throughout the upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan) but now are extremely rare. Wolverines are the mascot of the University of Michigan. They are also nasty animals with foul tempers. The largest of the weasel family, they also have very strong scent glands, so they basically stink (much like the University of Michigan). Wolverines can take down animals several times their size with their ferocity, so putting them back into the habitat there is a wonderful idea, considering I take my kids there each year. So, the badgers aren’t dangerous enough, we have to put wolverines into the mix.

And then there’s the latest wild animal found in Wisconsin. As if the wolverines and badgers weren’t deadly enough, cougars have been sighted in Wisconsin. The DNR swears up and down there aren’t any, but there have been numerous sightings of what is the largest cat in North America.

In short, Wisconsin is rapidly becoming one of the deadliest spots in North America. Thank God there aren’t any snakes up there too!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Text Conversation 7/17/2009

I received the following text from my younger brother, E, who lives in Manhattan and can get away with such foolishness in his 30's):

E: Wish me luck, I'm about to participate in a beer pong tournament for charity.
Me: (After first getting over the fact that there are beer pong tournaments for anything other than celebrating the end of a week at college and/or turning a "4" into an "8"): As the mothers of Sparta would say, come back with your shield, or on it.

I heard nothing from him for a while, so I followed up:

Me: So how are you doing? What's the beer? Pabst?
E: This girl never played before and absolutely ran the table. We lost in like six throws. It was absurd. Beer was Blue Moon.
Me: Just like the bitch that plays the NCAA pool for the first time, never seen a basketball game in her life, and wins the pool?
E: Yeah. It was ridiculous.

Well, he at least had a semi-decent beer, normally Beer Pong is played using the cheapest beer possible. So then I discussed strategy.

Me: Did you try heckling? Bringing up her daddy issues?
E: The game was over before I could bring up why she still sleeps with teddy bears.
Me: You need to work faster. Always start with "So do you know your real father?" Or, "Which dead grandmother do you most resemble."

You can bet his next beer pong tournament will be very different. Although, I have to wonder why a 32 year old man is still playing beer pong. Is charity the ultimate goal? Or does calling it a charity legitimize the fact they're still playing a college game?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Rise and Fall of the MILF

I don't think I'll ever forget the first "MILF" that ever got my attention. This was way before the term MILF was ever used. This was way before "Hot Mom" was used. In fact, there was no word for it. I think the only way to describe such a woman was going to your friend and saying, "Dude, your mom's hot." Followed by the obligatory "Shut up Ted." (Before Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure came out, it was simply "Shut up Steve.") Or, we would say "So and So's mom is hot," followed by the dirty things we would do to So and So's mom, which of course would never, ever happen (until just a few years ago, when half the mom's in America apparently lost their mind and started sleeping with teenagers).

I will call this first MILF "Mrs. C." Mostly because I can't remember her first name, just her last name (no it wasn't Cunningham, it was a Spanish last name). Mrs. C was, in a nutshell, a hot, tanned woman, not very tall, round face, round cheeks, gorgeous smile, and long dark hair. She had definite Latin looks, but probably more Italian than Hispanic, unlike her husband. She was the first adult woman I remember paying attention to whenever she would bend over, hoping to get a look down her shirt (sure, this may be shocking to some, but guess what, teenage boys typically enjoy looking down the shirts of women).

She was the mom of one of my younger brother's friends, and in the mid 80's she was probably in her late 30's. I sometimes played soccer against her oldest son, so she would be there in a beach chair on the sidelines talking to other (less hot) moms and smiling beautifully. When watching my brother's baseball games, she was there on the bleachers, cheering on her younger son. When I was 13 and umpiring my brother's age level, I probably umpired every one of her son's games (and her husband was the coach), and I remember her sitting there on the bleachers. At times, I recall angling for a possible view up her skirt. Perverted, sure, but typical for the age.

By the time I was approaching high school graduation, she was divorced. Apparently, her husband, while married to an absolute goddess of a woman, had a hard time keeping his hands off of other women (plus, he was an incredible dick). Being a friend of the family, she would come over and visit occasionally, and we would get to hear (second hand from my parents) how worthless her husband was, and how wronged she was. I remember one such occasion when she was over talking about how she had a girl's night out, and was incredibly drunk. She was wearing short, loose-fitting nylon running shorts and a tank-top. She lay down on our sofa and described how she had to hold onto the floor to keep the room from spinning, and I remember seeing her white underwear with red hearts all over them, and being very excited at getting such a glance.

When I graduated high school in 1990, I moved southwest to Arkansas to attend university, and haven't seen her since. I have nothing but a flood of memories over this woman, about 20 years my senior, and how arousing she was. And I had no idea why, no clue that she contained a wealth of experience that I could only hope to enjoy.

Recently, I came across a woman who grew up not too far from Mrs. C, and played on a Select soccer team coached by Mr. C and on which their daughter played with this woman. We got to enjoy the "small world" moment, and afterward I emailed my brother with the story. I commented to my brother that Mrs. C was probably the first MILF that ever entered our lives. My brother emailed me back and said, "Yeah, Pete's mom was pretty hot. I saw her at Pete's wedding several years ago. She no longer has that MILF look to her. It's a shame."

And thus all of my childhood dreams and fantasies were destroyed with one email.

Recreating the Assault on Foy

Independence Day was spent on a family farm in the middle of northern Wisconsin. A cousin and a friend of his shelled out about $900 in fireworks, and put on a fireworks show over the corn field. But that was not the most interesting part of that evening. The fun part was once the fireworks were over. The group split into two teams. I was teamed up with my wife’s uncle and one cousin and a couple other guys. The rest spread out across the barnyard, most of them hiding behind the large red barn, and 1 behind the grain bin. And everyone had several handfuls of Roman Candles.

Like in Foy, at the tail end of the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans were occupying the village, with snipers in the buildings, behind them for cover, etc. My team had to go across open ground to hit them behind their cover. I tried to direct traffic by sending one guy around the right side of the barn, another guy around a drainage ditch where he’d have a good field of fire, and me and the uncle up the middle, using the grain bin as cover. I made 3 mistakes:

* The uncle was drunk.
* The two guys running the flank maneuvers were teenaged idiots.
* I wasn’t entirely sure who was on my team.

The last became evident when I was leaning against the grain bin, lighting a Roman candle. A guy in a white t-shirt was walking up behind me. All of a sudden, I realized I was being shot in the ass. I quickly ran around behind the grain bin. This basically gave the entire side a complete line of fire on me. And I was basically cornered, like in a firing squad. Unfortunately, there was no Captain Spears to come in and hold the line and reorganize us. At this point, it was every man for himself.

And then it hit me. Literally. A Roman candle shot in the arm. While checking myself out, I was shot at by more Roman candles, but these were different. It took me a few seconds to register the fact that these were exploding when they got near me. Jesus….someone bought the upgraded EXPLODING Roman candles, and was firing them at people! Saying to myself, “fuck this noise,” I ran back to a position of safety…that being where all the kids are. That was one constant, nobody would fire near the kids. I kind of pulled a Saddam Hussein on that one.

Within minutes, everyone was out of Roman candles. Everyone, that is, except my 10 year old daughter. I was walking around picking up the discharged candles, when I see my wife handing her one and lighting it, and pointing at me. And with a gleam in her eye visible through her protective eyeware, Thing 1 charged at me with verve and vigor, firing SURPRISINGLY accurate shots right near my head. I managed to get cover behind the barn, at which point she ran out of ammo.

Fireworks are fun. Fireworks with audience participation are funner.

Monday, July 13, 2009

An Argument for Traveling by Car Instead of Air

Marco, keep your eyelids up and see what you can see.
Dr. Seuss

The United States is a large country.....3.7 million square miles (9.6 million square kilometers). Much of the population is centered along the Eastern seaboard, the West coast, around the southern Great Lakes, the Gulf Coast, and in a strip across the mid-South. Otherwise, aside from a few pockets of large isolated metropolitan areas around the country (Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, etc), there is a lot more open land than there are people occupying it.

We have deserts, rain forests, wide open plains, majestic mountains, and rivers that hold the balance of life inside their riverbanks and stretch for thousands of miles. Beaches of white fluffy sand, hard-packed sand, black sand, and shorelines with rocky, deadly coasts with no beach at all. We are a country with areas that never see snow, and areas that never see an absence of snow.

But, what makes the United States such an awesome country to drive across (and I use that in a biblical sense) are not the range of landscapes, but the people that make up the United States. This is a country that is beautiful from both the ground, and from 35,000 feet in the air. But, I assure you, at 35,000 feet you will never see a sight like this.

This photo was taken by me at a rest area on Interstate 74 in central Illinois, partway between Champaign and Bloomington. What made this site truly unusual was the group of shirtless guys standing around the car. They looked like extras from "American Chopper." They would've looked right at home standing next to a bunch of Harley Davidsons. Instead, they're standing next to a Japanese commuter sedan with a moped tied to the back.

Knowing he would immediately appreciate the humor, I emailed this to my brother, E. Within minutes, I received the response, "Is that a Vespa tied to the back of a Nissan Sentra?" I knew any elaboration could do no justice, so I simply replied, "Yes it is. Don't fall asleep while driving through Illinois, you never know what you'll miss."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Choose Your Own Adventure

I am back from a week of vacation in Wisconsin. Like most vacations, I have much to talk about. I'm not really sure where to start, so I'll let you, the reader decide from the following stories:

* Recreating the Assault on Foy from "Band of Brothers"....using Roman candles.
* The pitfalls of relying on Google Maps.
* Culvers...the fast food restaurant you wish your city had (and the girls who serve you the food).
* Talking soccer with Herman's Hermits (the band).
* Visiting Asheville NC for exactly 2 hours.
* Quoting the movie "Airplane!" via text-messaging...from an airplane.
* The Food Chain, Part 1: Coyotes and Cows
* The Food Chain, Part 2: OMFG this place has wolverines, badgers and cougars?

So, if you care to, let me know where you'd like me to start. I have the attention span of a kitten, so I have no problem starting in the middle.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If I Could Taste Heaven...

...It would taste (and look) like this.

This, my friends, is a Bacon Butterburger Deluxe, with a side order of fried cheese curds. A medium Pepsi accompanied the meal, but I felt it would take away some of the class of what you see here (and that's coming from someone who loves Pepsi and hates Coke).

This meal may have taken weeks off of my life. But, as smokers would say, only the ones at the end, when you're sick and decrepit anyway.

I've been on vacation for 5 days, and I've had this same meal twice.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jesus Saves

No, I'm not talking about the starting goalie for Cruz Azul, Jesus Corona.

I'm referring to Effingham Illinois' one and only noteworthy landmark: The world's tallest cross.

Specifically designed for the world's tallest Lord and Savior.

Yes, it has a visitor's center. And Trucker Parking.

A theological question to pose....would Jesus Christ enjoy this memorial in His honor? Or would he think it's as tacky as South of the Border, Panama City Beach, and Gatlinburg TN?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Commuter of the Day 7/1/2009: This time, it’s personal

This is more of a weekly recap, as there are a couple of drivers that pissed me off to the point of wanting to get out of my car and wail on them.

As I mentioned, I took Thing 2 to go see "Up" on Monday. While coming up on an intersection, trying to get to the theater before the good seats were taken (which proved pointless, as there were only 2 other people in the theater), this guy pulls out of a gas station parking lot in front of me. We had the green light. He SLOWED DOWN approaching the green light. And then, to my unimaginable horror, the light turned yellow. Instead of hitting his gas pedal and flying through the intersection, this dipshit stopped. HE FUCKING STOPPED!!! There were no cars, he was just being a damn Mary. Look, this is no time to be a good "citizen." This is afternoon rush hour, people have places to go! And this was his license plate.

Speech? You want a speech? Fine, I'll give you a speech. Fuck you asshole. Drop dead. Peace out.

And then yesterday, on the way home from work, I was driving through downtown Kennesaw GA, which is a 2 lane road and a 25mph speed limit. The guy right behind me, the asshole on the cell phone, was riding my bumper like you wouldn't believe, pissed that I was going the speed limit (cops patrol that road constantly, so speeding is kind of, there are lots of pedestrians, so speeding is stupid anyway). I heard an ambulance from somewhere. It took about 20 seconds to realize it was behind me, coming towards me. So I do the (legally required) right thing....I pulled to the right.

So what does Asshole behind me do? HE PASSED ME!!! He didn't pull over also, he just whipped right around me, and THEN he pulled to the right. This is like being at the checkout lane at the grocery store, stopping to look at the gum/candy rack, and someone just walking around you putting their groceries on the conveyor belt. The ambulance passed us, and Asshole pulled right back out, in front of me, and went on his merry way, still talking on the cell phone.

Would I have been justified in ramming him?