9/25/2007

OK, one more round...

I'm dreaming up another chautauqua. It's either going to be about the importance of faith, or an ode to the doughnut. I'm not sure. In the meantime, here are some more bullet-ins.

  • “Pedestrian” seems an ostentatious word for one who walks down a roadway. That’s like calling drivers auto-commissioners. Why don’t we call pedestrians walkers?
  • No matter what you choose, your dessert will not satisfy you until in comprises 400 – 500 calories. Measure for yourself. Take, for example, Oreo cookies. At 50 calories a shot, Oreos won’t satisfy you until you’ve eaten 8, perhaps as many as 10. Bingo, you're at 400 calories. Likewise with ice cream. Approximate the portion you eat. Multiply that by the calories per portion. I’ll bet you’re at 400 - 500, at least. Cake, brownies, chocolate? It doesn’t matter. Your body knows what it wants: 400 – 500 calories of junk food.
  • All human motivation descends from a handful of directives: Eat (the more calories, the better), have sex (the fitter for reproduction, the better), seek favorable environment (the more comfortable and accommodating, the better), avoid boredom, gain love and acceptance from peers, evoke envy in peers, maintain health, laugh, safeguard the family and tribe.
  • Designers and engineers never give enough thought to making things easy to remove and replace. I think it’s arrogance. They never suspect the stuff they build may one day need repair.
  • I wish people would root for American military forces overseas as exuberantly as their favorite sports teams. T.O. gets more latitude than a Guantanamo prison guard. Something’s wrong with that.
  • I miss the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and an eraser reciprocating across a page. In a few years, when computers saturate classrooms, these crude writing instruments will go extinct.
  • I wish farts were brightly colored instead of clear. Then inconsiderate people would think twice before cuddling one out in the elevator or while in line at the bank.
  • Aircraft don’t just fly wherever they please. They fly on a network of “skyways.” How do pilots know when they’re on the skyway? There aren’t any lines or medians or street signs. And when they fly to England, do they have to jump to the other side of the skyway? Do the skyways have names like roadways? I wonder if there’s a Martin Luther King Boulevard in the sky somewhere, perhaps over Compton airspace.
  • Some people lay poison around their property to kill invading insects. I’m more of a sportsman. I enjoy hunting insects with a nail gun. A cockroach will take 2 or three shots before he goes down, unless you score a headshot. Flying insects are a real challenge. I took a few potshots at a moth and disabled my garage door opener.
  • When I study the works of Leonardo da Vinci, I don’t just feel stupid, I feel sub-human. How can one person be that brilliant? I hope God evened the score by giving him a tiny dick. Dago bastard.
  • I’d like to play a joke on skydivers in which their ripcord was actually a party favor. They pull the cord and confetti explodes from a blast cap. For the reserve shoot, I’d like the cord to pull their pants down. If the joke is to be any good, you can’t let the little bastard die with his dignity.

9/18/2007

A few bullets never hurt anybody

I can't quit cold turkey, guys! Here we go...

  • I have a pair of Blueblocker sunglasses that enhance my 3-D vision. In fact, they give me 4-D vision. I can see ghosts and spirits and whatnot. On a clear day I can see a point to actors’ ramblings at the Oscars.
  • I saw a guy on a motorcycle intentionally blow a red light and chance a left-hand turn against oncoming traffic. I thought to myself, Why stop there? Why not run around a field during a thunderstorm while holding a flagpole? Use your brain, Evil Knievel.
  • I like the word “undesirables” to describe vagrants, lowlifes, bums and hippies/street folk. I like “undesirables” because it’s at once the most delicate way and the most condescending way to describe an aforementioned individual. I’m not saying he’s a bad person; he’s merely an undesirable. Arrest him and billy club him within an inch of his pathetic life.
  • I don’t like it when the title of a song doesn’t appear as a lyric within the song. For example, if you name a song XYZ, I’d better hear the lyric “XYZ” somewhere in the song, preferably in the chorus. Don’t go getting artsy on me and naming your song something other than what you sing. Who the hell is Baba O’Riley, anyway?
  • When I put away my iPod, I pull it out of my ears and place the device in a drawer or my console. Later, when I return for my iPod, the headphone cord is tangled in about 27 loops, knots, coils and rattails. It looks like Rainman spent half a day tying the most complex series of knots his geometrically gifted brain could conceive. How does this happen every time? You’d think once or twice my iPod would just stay exactly as I fucking left it, what with it being an inanimate object and all. Moments like these are when I fear the universe is plotting against me.
  • Here’s some free advice: don’t eat anything salty for about a week after consuming a bowl of Capt’n Crunch cereal. Instead, eat aloe vera gel and candle wax. It’s not the tastiest fare, but it’ll coat the roof of your mouth while it regenerates.
  • The best thing about being bilingual is, you have twice as many names to call your spouse when you’re fighting with him/her. Say, how do you say cunt in Zimbabwe?
  • They have waffles at the Waffle House. They have donuts at the Donut Hut. But strangely, you don’t find many parents at Planned Parenthood.
  • New from the makers of HeadOn: JockOn, apply directly to the scrotum... JockOn, apply directly to the scrotum... JockOn, apply directly to the beanbag. Available at Walgreens and other fine stores.
  • I think it would be cool if gangs went retro. Instead of Bloods and Crips, how about Negroes and Spaniards?
  • When did "t" replace "ed" for past tense verbs? Burnt? Learnt? Whoever started this can go get fuckt.

9/13/2007

Checking in

This is why I love bloggers. A few posts back, I asked my readers whether they knew of a quick, easy way to link new blogs to one's blog roll. Lately I've been discovering fascinating blogs. But I'm too lazy, and sometimes too intoxicated, to enter their blogs into my template. What a pain in the (_!_) that is, anyway.

A couple readers gave me some suggestions. The great blogger Tornwordo of Sticky Crows suggested Bloglines.com. I won't hold that against him. I kid. Thanks a million, TW. But I couldn't get Bloglines to work for me. I entered the code in my template. Then, when I updated, I'd get a message that read, "Username Incorrect." Trust me, people, my username was correct. I verified it several times. It was Bloglines' fault! I spent about an hour fantasizing about how I'd torture the coder at Bloglines before I snapped out of it and pursued a second option. Loving Annie recommended Blogrolling.com.

Annie, you changed my life. What an amazing service! Once you paste the code in your template and drag a link into your bookmark dock, you'll be linking up like Senator Craig in a bathhouse. I'm not kidding folks. This is the best blogging tool I've found. As you can see to your right, I'm rebuilding my blogroll. In time it'll feature all my new, dynamic blogger friends, and of course, the old fossils, too.

No chautauqua today. I'm still kicking around topics. I might do one on the hedonistic treadmill. That sounds fun. In the meantime, how about a check-in?

Yesterday I opened my drapes and what I saw shocked me: a large insect crawling on the glass door. Yikes! Once my brain caught up to my pounding heart, I recognized the insect as a harmless praying mantis. A few seconds later, I noticed a second praying mantis on the glass, too. They crawled toward each other and begin to "hook-up," if I may borrow a phrase from Generation-Y. I thought it was sweet until I remembered that the male praying mantis will soon lose his head, literally. I hope she was worth it.

Later in the day I lounged on my patio reading "Blink," by Malcolm Gladwell. Great book. Suddenly a kamikaze insect dive-bombed me. It was a huge, nasty conglomerate of insect matter buzzing its way toward my head. He veered course. He plopped down on a neighboring chair. Lo and behold, it was two insects locked in coitus. Evidently they thought the praying mantises had a good idea. As they mated, they occasionally leapt into the air and flew to and fro. Perhaps this was an attempt at the One-Meter-High Club. All I know is, September is the month to be an insect. Maybe it's all that Axe Body Spray in the air.

I made southwestern beef stew in my crockpot yesterday. I've perfected the recipe. It's almost as good as my crockpot chicken mole. Both dishes reheat well, so I make them in quantity and enjoy them throughout the week. Crockpots are the bomb. Crockpots are to cooking as blogrolling.com is to blogging. Stay tuned for updates on my crockpotting adventures.

I'm still visiting my gym daily. I've crunched some numbers. I've realized I'm exercising simply to negate the calories from desserts and adult beverages. I have dessert after every meal. Today's lunch dessert was powdered donut holes. Tonight's dinner dessert will likely be cinnamon twists. Anyway, it's totally worth it!

That's about it. Later, heroes.

9/07/2007

The Omnipresence of Economics

Today’s Chautauqua investigates the omnipresence of economics in our lives.

I struggle with the fear that most things in life are a zero-sum game, and that my efforts, however much, produce the same bottom-line sum of happiness. Let us view three categories of life through the prism of economic analysis.

Employment

With regard to employment, the amount of bullshit is commensurate with compensation. Everybody wants to do something prestigious for work. Most prestigious jobs require credentials, training, experience and education (all pains in the ass). When you total all the aforementioned bullshit, it offsets the couple extra zeros in your paycheck. Also consider professional-level jobs often extend beyond the 9-5 workday, cause great stress, demand hard work, commitment and creativity, and put one shoulder-to-shoulder with consummate assholes. Furthermore, there’s the constant worry of losing your job. Losing a great job is a major source of stress. Nobody worries about losing a crappy job. Do you think a porn shop janitor loses sleep at night, grappling with the possibility of losing his job? The world needs plenty of jizz-moppers, he smugly reminds himself as he slips into a slumber. One discovers that most jobs from janitor to CEO have a coupled pair of assets and liabilities that make it equal in value to other jobs. Take your pick: they all suck.

Every once in a while a great line of work presents itself. It doesn’t last long. Why? Because 100 million malcontents are rifling through want-ads, attending career workshops, reading “What Color Is Your Parachute, You Homo?” and soliciting the advice of friends with seemingly cool jobs – looking, searching, hoping to find a job that doesn’t suck as badly as what they’re doing now. So with time, thousands of people flood the alluring line of work. Employers take notice. They suddenly see themselves as the blonde with big tits; everybody wants to buy them a drink, so to speak. So, they demand more and pay less. They ratchet up the responsibilities, screen out less-qualified applicants, pay less money, scale back the benefits, and expect the impossible from employees. In short, they up the bullshit factor. Poof, there goes another sweet job. This is why so many veterans at the workplace look back fondly on the good ole days of their profession. They regale the newbies with tales of 2-hour lunches, yearly bonuses, casual dress, in-office cocktails and other nostalgic bygones.


Material Possessions

Take, for example, the latest electronic gadgets. They do miraculous things. Just as miraculous, however, is their capacity to aggravate the piss out of the owner. I speak of mp3 players, digital cameras, “smart” cell phones, computers, navigation systems and high-end audio/visual gadgetry. In the end, each of these items tends to negate the pleasures it brings with the aggravation it wreaks. How often have we purchased one of these gadgets and assured ourselves it was going to change our lives forever? It was going to revolutionize they way we organize days, entertain our families, or access pornography. Often, it fails to deliver as promised. Other times it does what it's supposed to do, but brings with it a whole new group of problems. Either way, it turns out to be just another sophisticated piece of silicon-based crap.


Romance

Significant others: the hotter they are, the bigger the pain in the ass. Why is this? Because they own mirrors. Hot people know they’re hot. They know they’re in demand. They know they have many “resumes on the desk,” so to speak, and that therefore, they can treat their current “employee” like crap. Unlike the business world, there are no wrongful termination suits in the world of love. So the hot mate can fire your ass and have a replacement (working for less dough and bennies) fetching his or her coffee by lunchtime.

Admit it. Every one of us has a pretty good idea how attractive s/he is. We know our “Kelly Blue Book” value. Much like the KBB, we take into consideration our mileage (age, partying habits and sun exposure), upgrades (boob jobs, hair plugs, tummy tucks) and features (raised cheekbones, veneered teeth, sports package genitalia). When we rummage the planet for a mate, we subconsciously seek out an even trade. We don’t want to be taken, nor do we want to add much cash to the deal. Our perfect match is somebody with about the same bottom-line value. Sure, we might take the Corvette for a test drive – just for fun. But we know the payments and upkeep are way too high. Better buy the sensibly priced sedan.


Conclusion

What does all this mean? Economics is omnipresent. It extends far beyond interest rates, bank accounts and spending habits. It drives every facet of our lives. And ultimately, we’re combing the universe for a favorable economic anomaly -- whether it’s a job, a product, a service, or a mate -- that offers more pleasure than pain. We’re searching for something that the universe and the sheer force of probability haven't converged on and brought into equilibrium, so that at this moment, it’s a bargain. These anomalies are rare. But they exist. Maybe it’s a girl with an OK face and a killer body who still believes she’s unattractive. Maybe it’s an old fashioned employer who still runs payroll by the “honor system” instead of a time clock. It might be a pornographic channel that your cable company has accidentally left unscrambled. Free soft porn! Or, maybe it’s an appliance or automobile that operates well for a long, long time because the manufacturer hasn’t decided to cheapen it up, cut production costs and increase “marginal utility.”

Go forth and unearth those economic anomalies, minions of Economics.

Adam Smith: you’re a cunt.

9/05/2007

Bullet-ins

Yeah, I know I was abandoning bullet marks to make room for my chautauquas. But my latest chautauqua, The Omnipresence of Economics, is taking a while. Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts on my mind as I write:

  • Today’s youth has lost all reverence for courtship and romance. Today it’s socially acceptable – no faux pas whatever – to make the following offer to a girl you barely know: “Hey, wanna see my cock on my webcam? You can get naked and masturbate for me.” I hate to sound old fashioned, but I believe the reason society is in the crapper is because men just don’t have to work for it anymore.
  • Couples counselors warn us that jealousy is relationship cancer. It’s not a sign of love. It’s counterproductive and it has no place in a healthy relationship. I disagree. I believe the essence of a healthy relationship is equal portions of jealous rage brewing in either person.
  • My wife insists I use our charcoal grill instead of the gas grill because she loves that rich, smoky flavor. So I do that for her. In fact, for a special treat, I've soaked my dong in Liquid Smoke, just for her. Rawhide, biotch!