Saturday, January 24, 2009

blog party

it has recently come to my attention (and by recent i mean 2 minutes ago) that this week marks the year anniversary of my entrance into the blogosphere (lame). in celebration of this achievement (anniversaries call for celebrations) i offer a compilation of facts, thoughts, stories, general rambling, and so on and so forth.

+ it's saturday morning. heidi is at work. i have literally nothing to do today. T minus 5 hours until heidi comes home, at which point i will annoy her just like my dog calvin annoys me when i get home from work. she will most likely walk into the house with a desire to relax or something, but i will be nipping at her heals and holding a tennis ball in my mouth while constantly jumping on her lap with an eye toward being scratched under my neck. she will most likely kick me and tell me to go away and i won't be able to blame her for this.

+ a dirty, sweaty, fat, old man asked me if i wanted to receive oral stimulation from him the other day. i texted almost everyone i know this story, but i have to publish it in writing so that i don't forget that this happened to me (i have the worst memory ever). he was very polite and cordial both in his request, and his response to my shocked denial of his offer. did i mention that all of this happened while i was sitting in the parking lot of william harrison's tomb! william henry freaking harrison! the ninth president of this great nation. the first commander-in-chief to die in office. "old tippaconoe" as he was known following his military leadership to defeat those pesky indians, must have been turning over in his grave as these events transpired. thank you to my many friends and my wife who, through the modern technologies of text messaging, gave me encouragement and comfort in my time of crisis. allow me to repeat, once more, that i said "no" to this man's advances.

it's a sick world that we live in. people are depraved. i thought about going introspective and existential here, but we are celebrating my blogiversary, so i will keep the party going...

+ beyonce is a pretty girl, but her music is terrible.

+ nickelback is far too popular and i don't understand why.

+ i have picked almost every nfl playoff game incorrectly since the first round (where my record was at least .500) so why not keep the trend going and cast my vote for the pittsburgh steelers as super bowl champions.

i would love nothing more than to be wrong about this. i love kurt warner and the arizona cardinals, but when it comes to sports, nothing i ever want to happen actually does. i am consistently let down and disappointed by the outcomes of all sporting events. i had a good run with the san francisco 49ers in the '80s, but since then things have been pretty abysmal for my rooting interests. why do i keep coming back to sports? sports is a whore. you love her and strive for her to return that love for you, but it will never happen.

+ my father-in-law once compared his vehicle (a saab) to a prostitute. he said something along the lines of, "all i ever do is put money into that car and it gives me nothing back." makes sense to me.

+ heidi learned how to make a delicious pad thai. i'm telling you, it's really good. she's the best.

+ my neighbor has a yellow lab puppy that is pissing me off. this thing is absolutely adorable and is the most well-behaved dog i have ever seen. my dog is jumping all over the place and acting a fool and this dog is perfectly obedient. i take offense at this because somehow i think that my neighbor is better than me in some way. i feel sorry for my future children.

+ kevin just texted me a message that began with, "in this economy..." i love how much traction this statement gets.

+ in this economy, people need to say things like, "in this economy" to communicate the reason and purpose behind what is actually being said.

+ that didn't make any sense.

+ heidi and i are both reading a fascinating book titled, "bobos in paradise: the new upper class and how they got there," by david brooks. check it out. i think we bought it for $.49 online. here's a quote that is dealing with the conflict between reality and ideals of the bobos (bohemian-bourgeois):

"but the biggest tension, to put it in the grandest terms, is between worldly success and inner virtue. how do you move ahead in life without letting ambition wither your soul? how do you accumulate the resources you need to do the things you want without becoming a slave to material things? how do you build a comfortable and stable life for your family without getting bogged down in stultifying routine? how do you live at the top of society without becoming an insufferable snob?"

if you are intrigued by the society we live in and the way we got here... the paradox of postmodern living, this book is for you.

+ i have not heard a single person claim that "the curious case of benjamin button" is a great, or even very good movie. how is it up for 13 oscars? awards are silly and seem to lack any sense. i've never seen titanic, but i can imagine that it is terrible simply based upon the number of awards it won. that and the fact that it is dumb.

+ bill simmons wrote a heart-wrenching piece on the passing of his dog. i wish dogs didn't have to die. i had three dogs die while growing up and i cried for two of them (the third happened while i was away at college and i didn't like that dog as much anyway).

+ getting sick is dumb. heidi is getting sick right now and is miserable. i have not gotten sick this year and i accredit that to the fact that i have eaten an orange every day this year.

+ my friend pete fosco said something that made me laugh last weekend, "bananas are great. if i could, i would eat one everyday." as if one could not eat a banana every day - they cost like a quarter and are readily-available year-round. i guess you had to be there, but i LOL'd for sure.

+ wayne grudem, in "systematic theology," has an interesting statement concerning how we argue for the validity of our beliefs:

"everyone either implicitly or explicitly uses some kind of circular argument when defending his or her ultimate authority for belief."

that sounds about right. he says this while defending the authority of scripture and i think it's worth contemplating for a moment. go ahead and get a little introspective here. think about why you think what you think and why you live according to these presuppositions.

+ the inclusion of two quotes from books in this post is to prove, in fact, that i am reading as per my new years resolutions stated a few weeks ago in this blog.

i just wanted to make sure everyone got that.

+ lately i have been obsessed with drinking water out of mason jars. i have no idea why this is so endearing to me, but i feel like the consumption of water experience is improved 10-fold when drank (drunk, dranken, drunken, drinked - i never know how to say drink in the past tense) from a mason jar. i can only imagine how good some fresh-squeezed lemonade would taste from a mason jar while sitting in a rocking chair on a porch in the dead of summer while smoking a pipe and playing a banjo.

+ my aim has always been to produce one blog a week in this space. looking back over the year i see that i have created 43 entries for the audience to savor and enjoy. 83% ain't bad. i'll try to do better this next year.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


AP - January 14, 2009

a debate has been raging across the country forcing men and women to come to terms with their most haunting fears and to choose a side in a fierce battle that has left a wake of strained friendships and shattered hearts. experts warn that if you're not careful, you may find yourself at the heart of this great war. if a giant wall could separate east and west germany for decades, there's no telling what a candy bar could do...

that's right, a candy bar. at the sweet center of this flamboyant feud stands the age-old debate concerning how one defines a candy bar. wikipedia defines a candy bar as: "A chocolate bar is a confection in bar form comprising some or all of the following components: cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, milk. The relative presence or absence of these components form the subclasses of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. In addition to these main ingredients, it may contain emulsifiers such as soy lecithin and flavors such as vanilla. There are many varieties of chocolate; milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, and many more. A candy bar (called a chocolate bar in British English, Australian English and Canadian English, where the word candy refers specifically to sugar candy) is a form of confectionery usually packaged in a bar or log form, often coated with chocolate, and sized as a snack for one person. But within that term, a wide variety of products exist, ranging from solid chocolate bars to multiple layerings or mixtures of ingredients such as nuts, fruit, caramel or fondant."

most important to note in the above definition is the word "usually" that an informed and educated reader will clearly understand to mean that while the candy bar has it's root in the bar form, that elapsed time has allowed for a more tolerant definition of candy bar.

in a recent survey, 3 out of 4 americans agreed that twix is indeed a candy bar. what does a statistic like this prove? overwhelmingly apparent is the willingness of good, hard-working, rational-thinking, red-blooded americans to embrace a fair, balanced, and legitimate definition of the candy bar. also apparent in this scientific study's findings is the surprising portion (25%) of population that remains oblivious, short-sighted and ignorant of embracing a progressive and inclusive definition of candy bars in all shapes and sizes.

overheard at a local sporting event in cincinnati, OH, a collaboration of seemingly successful and well-spoken young men feverishly exchanged jabs and quips concerning what defines the oh-so-succulent candy bar. one member of the handsome group, kevin warwick, a copy editor who insisted this reporter mention that he lives in chicago, IL, not cincinnati, OH, was quoted as saying, "twix is not a candy bar because there are two of them in the package." this same man, who appeared to be a little frazzled, is on record for rejecting the inclusion of kit kat, almond joy/mounds, and resee's peanut butter cups into the canon of candy bar-dom. other members of the group asserted that m&m's have no place in the realm of candy bars, because if accepted, the door would be open too wide for other "candies" to be defined as a candy bar (skittles, runts, nerds, etc.).

michael "shorty" short, a local postman and pizza delivery driver, told local reporters, "that's just ridiculous. skittles are not a candy bar."

kenny roa, a male nurse who is on record for supporting a wider candy bar definition but rejects including raisinettes in the candy bar classification, pontificated, "what if raisenettes came in a bar form? would they be a candy bar then? raisins aren't candy!"

so what is one to do with all of this information? can a solution be found? one might hope to find a middle-ground upon which all candy-lovers can stand, but it seems unlikely and nearly impossible. a debate of this magnitude, with these implications is unlikely to find resolution in this lifetime.

justin bragg, a social worker, said confidently, "in this economy, people are desperate to find a piece of peace and comfort in a long overdue definition of candy bars that can be embraced by all people - young and old, man and woman, american and... foreigner. this indiscretion - the rift that divides sons and fathers, and daughters and mothers, has gone on far too long. how can a society function with such an egregious and divisive chasm between it's members? sooner or later, the crack in the facade will lead to an irreversible collapse of human civilization as we know it. and i, for one, can't stand to to see that happen."

mr. bragg is in favor of an expanded and inclusive definition of a candy bar. one only has to walk into a local convenient store to observe the placement of candy bars on the shelf. "when i want to grab a candy bar to munch on after filling up the gas tank," bragg states, "i go to one shelf and pick from any number of packaged sweet delights. i can grab a snickers, junior mints, 3 musketeers or peanut m&ms and be sure that i am in fact grabbing a candy bar. if we are going to segregate candy based on insignificant and inconsistent differences, then we have a large problem on our hands - a lack of unity and cohesion."

if one were interested, wikipedia has posted a fair list of candy bars. feel free to peruse the list and take note of the wide variety and freedom given to classify a given sweet as a "candy bar." one also may participate in this quiz, which is part of the "Science Museum of Minnesota's Thinking Fountain." that's just science, folks, and you can't argue with that. if you would like to purchase a candy bar, feel free to order from this site (note the wide variety of inclusion).

in conclusion, if the reader has learned anything from this article, may it be simply that candy bars were meant to be enjoyed - plain and simple. don't let the joy-robbing candy bar barons come and destroy your fun and delight. feel free to grab that candy bar, open the package, and bite into the glorious collaboration of high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, processed sugars and food dye... enjoy.

* dan rather contributed to this report.
** ed werder attempted to contribute to this report, but had nothing to offer since the dallas cowboys were not involved.
*** chris mortensen reported this report after somebody else broke the story.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


it's a new year. i'm making resolutions:

1) eat more beef. i read a statistic that the average american eats 64 lbs of beef a year. this number is reduced from 87 lbs per year just a couple decades ago. i find this tragic. i admit that i eat far less beef that i used to, but for some reason i feel it my duty to fulfill my responsibility to God and country to eat my fill of dead cow. i have a couple of vegetarian friends, so it would seem that i'm going to have to step it up even more to make up for their failures. beef... it's what for dinner... and lunch... and breakfast...

2) read more. and i'm talking books here. i spend too much time on the internet. i need to close the computer, turn off the tv and crack open a book. i read. i read more than most, but i don't read as much as i used to and i can feel myself getting dumber and dumber by the day. i'm going to tackle a big, old book this year. something like gulliver's travels or some crap like that.

3) take more pictures. kevin's last blog post made me consider the fact that i don't have nearly enough photos of the events of my life. if you know me at all, you know that i have absolutely no memory. you'd think that someone in my predicament would take a lot of pictures to capture and retain the moments that will fade into oblivion. but i don't. so this year i'm taking loads of pics - kind of like "memento" with pictures instead of tattoos.

4) eat a subway $5 foot long.
the commercial jingle gets stuck in my head at least twice a week, and when you think about it, 5 bucks for a foot of food is a good deal. subway's pretty good. i like the control of pointing and telling the sandwich artist what to include and exclude from my creation. i like the act of combining my artistic side with my eat-lots-of-food side.

5) be more generous. this one is serious. i used to be much more generous with my time and money. i've been talking with heidi about how we can be more responsible with our money with an aim toward giving away more of what we have. i lament over what i perceive to be an attitude of selfishness that has increased in my life. i get stressed about money. in this economy it's hard to pay the bills and have a good time. i'm hesitant to put myself out here like this (readers who encounter me on a regular basis can call me out if i'm doing this or not), but oh well. money isn't a good idol. it's not a good thing to get wrapped up in. i have no use for keeping my money to myself and not dispensing it freely.

what does generosity look like? it could be anything, really. maybe it's buying a beer for a friend and not expecting one to be bought for me in return. i know for a fact it includes giving more and regularly to my church because i believe in what is going on there and i trust that God has given me cash to use for good in this world. generosity includes giving the buck in my pocket and the change in my car to anyone who asks. it also means helping someone move on a weekend, or offering to help my neighbor bring her groceries into the house.

6) start a facebook. i'm not sure about this one. i think i mentioned in a previous post that i'm not on myspace much anymore. heidi has a facebook. heidi's mom has a facebook. my sister is on there, and so is bill simmons and jack-o. why have i stayed away? i have no idea what facebook is like. it frightens me but i am considering taking the plunge.

7) drive across the country. this one only counts if heidi and i actually move to california as we have discussed. if this does in fact take place, then i will be happy to report that 2009 was the year that i drove across the country (minus a couple of states to the east of me).

8) forgive brett favre. if he can announce his retirement for real this year, and i can forgive and forget him for wasting hours of my life over the past several years, then i can anticipate 2010 as a "no brett favre" year... how glorious it would be.