Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cough Drop-lets

As I hastily downed my breakfast this morning -- yogurt with granola if you must know -- I paused for a much needed jolt of caffeine. I had raised the cup to my lips and was allowing the beverage wind its way down my throat and eventually into my bloodstream...when some of it decided to take a detour into my windpipe, presumably to see what was happening in my lungs. The resulting coughing fit probably wouldn't have been a problem had I possessed the foresight to lower the cup before launching into it.

The resulting blowback splattered coffee all over my office, including on my computer monitor, my keyboard, the papers on my desk and most disturbingly, on my freshly laundered shirt and tie.

As I grabbed baby wipes from my assistant's desk and began scrubbing my shirt and tie before heading off to a meeting looking like I'd showered with my clothes on, I reflected on three things:
1. I really should keep a backup shirt and a selection of ties in an empty drawer in my office.

2. For the remainder of the day I would carry the aroma of baby wipes and freshly brewed coffee, thereby making me irresistibly appealing to any exhausted women who happen to have infants at home.

3. The next time I need a caffeine fix, I need to make sure to specify that I want coffee as opposed to coughee.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week in Pictures: Shades of Grey Edition

Random Thoughts:

What was I thinking when I joined an autumn softball league - particularly one that plays weeknight doubleheaders that begin at 9 p.m.? By the second game, the bats are so cold that it hurts to hit. Even worse, by the time the games are over, it's too cold and too late to drink.

$700 billion is an awful lot of money. I hope our great-grandchildren can afford it.

For many reasons, I'm not at my best today so I apologize in advance for a less-than-stellar WiP.

But let's move on to it regardless:

What looked to be an epic battle between Jedi and Empire forces turned into a huge disappointment when neither side could adequately manage their new long-range light sabers.


Ocean Spray is sponsoring a Chinese dance troupe's world tour on the express condition that they stage all of their performances in cranberry bogs.


The late Freddy Mercury, former lead singer of Queen, was successfully reanimated via a stunning new medical procedure involving synthetic blood and Lego blocks.


Moses thrilled spectators this weekend by holding back a wall of water for an astounding 72 hours.


New 3-D sonograms allow parents-to-be to more effectively bond with their unborn children.


In sports, Jakkrit Punthong of Thailand missed out on a chance to win the long-jump when a jealous rival tripped him just prior to takeoff.


Meanwhile, New York Met fans have begun jumping from the bleachers as they watch their team's second annual September end-of-season collapse.


Advertisement: Ladies - Wondering what to get the man in your life for the holidays this year?


Speaking of effective advertising, I saw these on eBay and ordered a set. Imagine my surprise when all I received was a pair of beer steins.

HA HA HA HA...ha. Erm...sorry.


Production began this week on the Goth version of the Wizard of Oz.


HDTV is already in danger of becoming obsolete with the development of new TVs that come with built-in actors.


A local couple divorced last week after the husband went outside to paint the house and discovered that his wife had effectively bankrupted them by buying shoes and hiding them from him.



Britney Spears took home three awards at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, continuing her comeback...


From her failed marriage to Kevin Federline.


Kim Kardashian was forced to withdraw from Dancing with the Stars when her partner completely tore his groin muscles while trying to spread his legs wide enough to fit around her ass.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Power-Aid

I decided this weekend to become serious about reducing my carbon footprint in an effort to leave the world a slightly better place than when I entered it.

Of course, I could accomplish the same goal by being nice to people and donating my spare time to volunteer work and things of that nature but frankly, that seems like those things would require a lot of effort.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but no such handy analogy exists for calculaing the size of one's carbon footprint. Fortunately, I stumbled across a site called, obviously enough, Carbonfootprint.com, where after answering a set of simple questions, I received my answer.



Uh, oh. Well, you know what they say about guys with big carbon footprints, right?

Right?

What do you mean they pollute a lot? I thought it meant something totally different.

Anyway, according to the site, I can buy credits for things like the Clean Energy Fund for just £150.37 ($277 US), Reforestation in Kenya from £178.50 ($329 US), or UK Tree Planting from £257.25 ($474 US). .

But I'm not made of pounds and, well, actually I suppose that I am - and far too many of them these days...but the bigger issue is that I'd then have to offset the paper used to write the check and make the pen or, if I did it electronically, the energy used to power the computers used to process the transaction. Then I'd have to go back to the calculator to figure all of that out thus using more energy and, well, you can see where all of this is going.

Clearly I needed a better solution - which I found by using the EPA's Power Profiler which
revealed to me that the average air emissions rates in my home region of the power grid to the are at or above the national average while those of my office region are below the national averages. Which got me to thinking. I already get free breakfast and lunch at work, so why shouldn't I get my electricity there, too?

When I leave work this evening, I'm going to plug a few extension cords into various empty outlets in my office building and then I'll run those cords to my house and use them for all of my electrical needs, thus capturing the benefits of cleaner power while eliminating my electric bill, and reducing the size of my carbon footprint. Everyone wins (except my employer).

Frankly, I don't know what Al Gore has everyone complaining about. This carbon neutral thing is actually pretty easy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Vibrations

As a general rule I try not to get wrapped up in ego, but after reading Trixie's post recently I can't help but wonder about women and their toys.

Let's say you're a typical man (assuming there is such a thing). You're likely reasonably confident in your bedroom skills (deservedly so or not) and wouldn't necessarily mind the occasional prop inserted thrown into the mix. But when does it cross the line between enhancing the experience and becoming the experience?

I mean, even the most self-confident man couldn't help but to question his skills when foreplay starts to consist you bringing him into the bedroom, turning on adult movie, firing up the laptop and navigating to a porn site, emptying out your Santa Claus-sized bag of gadgets and strapping equipment to every part of your body, and asking me him to help plug everything into the set of eight daisy-chained power strips conveniently placed next to the bed before finally tossing in q casual "Oh, by the way, would you mind connecting this set of booster cables to the car battery in the corner and trotting off to the kitchen to make me a snack while I get started?"

Of course, most men will do anything that holds the promise of sex as a reward, so off he goes into the kitchen. Before he knows it the lights in the house go dim and she's screaming like she's being water-boarded while forced at gunpoint to watch "The Love Guru." By the time he makes it back to the room she's snoring peacefully with a contented smile on her face as smoke pours from the overtaxed wall outlet. Meanwhile, he's left with an uneaten sandwich to nibble on as he crawls around the room in search of the pieces of his now shattered ego.

Erm...I'm just speaking hypothetically, of course.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't Stress Enough

Finding myself with a few extra minutes to spare during my trip home on Friday evening I decided to amuse myself by taking a free stress test. For those of who haven't seen this before, these stress tests are offered by Scientologists who are so committed to the cause that they're willing to do things like...well..sit in a filthy subway station and give people stress tests.

The test is simple, really. It consists of gripping two metal cans while the "auditor" asks you a series of questions while carefully watching the dials on the front of the machine for any indications of rising stress levels. The whole thing looks like something out of a 1950's B movie.

As you would expect, there were more than a few "spikes" during the questioning - which lead the auditor into a deeper discussion about what could possibly be causing me stress. He asked about my home life, my job, my relationships. In return, I half-listened while idly wondering if it could be due to:

The steaminess of the subway station which had allowed the evolution of a strain of human sized bacteria that was at that very moment mutating its way over towards me.

The insane homeless man that I'd seen exposing himself as he told passersby that his genitalia was the only true road to salvation and who had been leaning over my shoulder for the entire test, repeatedly whispering in my ear "Those Scientologists are crazy, man. Let go of the cans before they steal your mind, too."

The sudden realization that my feet are resting in a heretofore unnoticed puddle of urine, possibly placing me at risk of electrocution.

And as he suavely moved into his sales pitch for a copy of "Dianetics", which he claimed would change my life, for the small "suggested donation" of $8, I realized that it was none of those things. Instead, it was the near paralyzing fear that this could be the first step in a lifetime of handing over my life savings in return for training that, if completely successful, would turn me into a taller but dramatically less well coiffed version of Tom Cruise.

And, let's be honest here. Nobody wants that - even if it does come with the power to command $20 million per film along with the right to lobotomize, marry, and impregnate the Hollywood starlet of your choice.

Still, it would better than becoming the next John Travolta or Kirstie Allie - both of whom have apparently only reaching the level that allows them to eat non-believers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 and Whatnot

9/11 has rolled around again and NYC is a sad place to be. In some ways it seems like just yesterday. In others it seems like a lifetime ago. It's been seven years and I still find myself unable to read stories or watch anything having to do with the events of that day - choosing denial over re-living the past.

We do what we do, I suppose. We just do what we do.

Anyway, on a happier note, I’m back from vacation and finally have a few moments to blog. Let me begin by thanking Grant for keeping the place neat and orderly in my absence. That being said, you’d think he would have done a little much needed maintenance while he was blog-sitting. I wasn't looking for much - perhaps a new blog template and maybe editing and re-writing of every one of my blog posts to make them insightful, witty, and/or entertaining.

Oh well.

My trip to SoCal to see SSC and the boys was amazing. Among the too-numerous-to-list highlights were taking RR to his first day of school; attending his first soccer match; family outings to Disneyland, Wild Rivers, Chuck E. Cheese, and SeaWorld; eating at nearly every all-you-can eat restaurant in the area; daily Scrabble challenges; and SSC going all out for my birthday including a delicious breakfast, a massage, allowing me to watch football, and arranging a quiet dinner with just the two of us.

I was really proud of RR when he held his own on the roller coaster-type rides and during his soccer match despite having only attended one practice due to some communication issues. I also discovered that it’s impossible for me to sit down and simply observe as he plays. Instead I'm compelled to pace the sideline as I try to keep from yelling instructions to him.

As for four-year-old Choo Choo, well, he hasn't changed a bit. After going down the slide at Splash Mountain with him clinging to me the entire way, I looked over to make sure that he was okay, fully expecting to see a terrified look on his face. Instead, he looked up at me, smiled and said “That was awesome!” Then, a few days later he asked me to take him to the 'cuzzi (as he calls it) at Wild Rivers. As I chatted with Sean while SSC and Sean’s wife Shelly were off doing whatever it is that women do while they’re hanging out together, I saw Choo speaking with a man on the other side of the Jacuzzi. Concerned, I called him over and asked him what he was talking about - to which he replied

“I asked him ‘Does Queen beat Jack?’”

I was at a loss for words. I mean, how can you criticize a four-year-old for trying to learn poker?

And what can I say about SSC? Well, I could fill a book and not even begin to tell you how wonderful she is.

Finally, I've noticed that the word “whatnot” seems to be growing in popularity. After a lifetime of rarely hearing that word, I must hear it 50 times a week. I have no problem with that, but if we’re going to resurrect words, I’d prefer that we start using 1940's slang words like "ossified" or "jalopy". In fact, I think I’ll write one of my upcoming posts using nothing but 1940's slang, (which should make it more unreadable than usual).

Okay, that’s all for now. Get back to work.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back...from the Future

Yes, I'm away on vacation but through the magic of technology, I have several blog entries that I wrote and - via the Time Machine (TMTM) that I invented and trademarked - posted in the future.

Now before you get too impressed, you should know that my brilliance at having created the aforementioned TMTM is more than offset by a few things:

(1) I destroyed the TMTM plans so no evildoers could get their hands on it.

(2) In order to conceal the TMTM, I designed it to look like a dumpster. Now I forgot where I parked it. Like a modern day Quantum Leap, I keep jumping into dumpsters hoping that the next jump will lead me to my time machine. So far I've only succeeded in angering homeless people and rats.

(3) I can't rebuilt it because...well....see item 1 so I won't be able to amass wealth beyond my wildest dreams.

(3) I forgot to grab copies of the daily papers, which would have enabled me to amass wealth beyond my more modest dreams through (a) betting on sporting events and (b) becoming a network news pundit.

That being said, it was interesting and somewhat disappointing to learn that life a week from today (And by that I mean today my time, which refers to August 25, 2008, the date this was written.) is almost exactly as it is today. There are no flying cars. People are still wandering around with iPhones and iPods. Fashions are almost exactly the same.

Really the only major difference between now (my time) and now (your time) was the astounding revelation that...well....I suppose I don't have to tell you what it was. By now it's been all over the news for days, but let's be honest. Who didn't see that one coming?