Thursday, June 22, 2006

101. Raise Up the Nipper

Well, it’s about time for an update on my l’il Kid-neyramblings. The boy is already a tiger as in T-I-G-E-R. He’s already shown to be a little temperamental and I’m going to have to spank the little bugger as soon as he’s out because A) I want him to stay humble and B) nobody kicks my wife Limpy in the stomach and gets away with it.

The heir is due in early September so we have been gathering hand-me-down everything and painting. Inset is a picture of the little guy’s room. Don’t you think the colors are perfect for raising up the nipper? Note: Home Depot makes good paint.

I got the color scheme because my wife Limpy collects giraffes—they remind her of me—and we were trying to pick paint colors that would look good with giraffes. Where do giraffes ever look good? Answer: they don’t. They only just barely get by on looks—and only in Africa on the savannah. But, ‘the savannah’ color scheme turned out to be the best environ for the decorations, so we painted it that way—browns, greens and golds on the bottom and blue on the top. It also represents the boy in a blue shirt.

We liked it. In a side story, the giraffe has an ugly step-cousin named Bert whom we met while we were visiting the San Diego Wild Animal Park in March. Poor guy didn’t get much of a chance with the cows. I mean look at him; he’s a bonafide genetic wreck. He didn’t get the graceful neck, but he got the face. Ouch. Bert is a sad creature; no wonder they keep him in the country away from the main zoo…

Monday, June 19, 2006

100. Stupid and the Bee

(I was preparing something special for my 100th post, but it’s not ready so you get this drivel instead):

While I was eavesdropping the other day, I heard some folkses talking about the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”—a movie I have not seen. They were discussing how insanely some parents in the movie acted leading up to and during a spelling bee competition. (For a good review about the movie, see here, here, and here.)

One of the eavesdrop-ees (let’s call him Mr. Head-in-the-Sand or MR. HITS) was making the argument that the movie was a complete farce because very few people get hyped enough about the spelling bee, because they are not deranged enough to care. The other party (let’s name her Ms. Very-Well-Reasoned-and Right Thinking Person or Ms. VWRARTP) was telling Mr. HITS that people really do get a little crazy when their children have a chance at competition and winning.

When we had a spelling bee in 6th grade, I was privileged enough to sit in the audience with all the other regular kids while the smarties went to work on a-spellin’ them tuff words. One of the judges mispronounced larynx for a child—“LAR-nix,” the judge said. After the mispronunciation, the child was very confused and started stammering, so the parent of the child (who we’ll call King Kibitz or KK for reasons to be stated later), in an obvious effort to help the child cheat, screamed from the back, “It’s pronounced LA-RINKS!” The child felt pangs of embarrassment and spelled the word wrong anyway.

Way to go, KK.

You might want to remember the judges were all teachers and our town was very small. ‘I seen it’ and ‘I done it’ were popular phrases back then, and no one had a firm grasp on the language anyway. (OR, being true to my roots, that last phrase should go more like this: “…and folks ‘verily’ knew stuff about English anyways.”)

Anyways…KK (whose initials were not chosen by chance) stuck around even though his daughter was shamefully dismissed after his parental solar flare. KK was on hand to correct the judges every chance he got:

“JOO-ler-ee,” the judge intoned. (jewelry)

“It’s JOO-wel-ree!” KK screamed.

[…and later…]

“KAI-bits,” the judge said (kibitz)

“KIB-bits,” KK shrieked, “It’s KIB-bits—like what I’m doing right now.”

The whole audience was mortified and there was an uncomfortable vibe reverberating through the kids section. I think the parent ended up leaving before the ‘bee’ was over and none too soon.

Back to the eavesdropping. I wanted to tell Mr. HITS he was wrong, but I risked being the ‘all too knowing’ stranger people look at askance after they butt their way in where they don’t belong. So I get to tell you all—right here, right now. Other arenas where you can see KK in action: Pinewood Derbies, daltongirl’s daughter Lola’s dance festival and science fairs.

From the stupidramblings dictionary:
King Kibitz: n. 2006 stupidramblings.
Any one of a number of control freaks who lives vicariously through his children. Usually arrives alone in a compensate-for-my-shortcomings sports car and leaves early/angry. Caution: do not feed KK, beware of intense and violent outbursts, emotional abuse and road rage. Will drink before noon. Loves to play company softball—name on jersey is ‘Heavy Hitter.’ Always a vocal minority.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

99. This Post Is Worth Five Thousand (5000) words.

These photos are funny. Observe them; click to enlarge.

Dr. Seuss' elevator buttons


Redundancy school of redundancy?


Must be twenty one (21) to purchase:


This guy's got a serious case of the "Jazz Hands:"


"Yerds! Getcher fresh yerds here! Fresh yerds; still hot from the yerder! Don't forget to buy some yerds...!"


I'm tossed up as to which is my favorite. I really like the "Jazz Hands" slippery when wet guy, because I can't imagine why anyone would have thought it a good idea to put fingers on the 'fall-y guy.' Maybe he's just FABULOUS! BUT...I also like the 'yerd sale' sign for obvious reasons.

Interesting note: Sometimes my sales job takes me visiting schools. The day I took the 'yerd sale' photo just happened to be one of the days I was visiting schools in Los Angeles. When I arrived at the school, there were ten or twelve (10 'r 12) cop cars in the parking lot and all the students were demonstrating out front. Everything was peaceful, but it was still a walkout. When I watched the news that night I found out is was one of the first student walkouts when immigration reform was starting to heat up. I didn't start hearing about the walkouts in Utah for about two (2) more weeks.

Friday, June 16, 2006

98. Stupid’s Adventures in Hi Def

When our contracted $24.95-per-month Dish Network bill reached $46.95 per month, my wife Limpy and I decided to quit. We are also expecting our first child, so we are cutting all the unnecessary expenses from our budget. Why satellite TV is considered “unnecessary” I’ll never know.

Nevertheless, we ditched the whole pay-for-TV gig in lieu of a less costly version called TV-channels-come-to-your-house-for-free via-cosmic-rays-from-space scenario. Not only do they still broadcast television channels over the air, they broadcast in HD. "You mean I can watch football, PBS and other educational channels in high quality HDTV?" "Yes, in HD."

So I started investigating how one (meaning ME) would go about getting HD programming for free in my home. It’s fairly inexpensive:

First I used the interweb to determine what would be best to buy to get started. www.antennaweb.org has many useful informations relating to optimal antenna size and directionality to help one (me) figure the whole scenario out. Based on their recommendation, I bought a huge one hundred ten inch (110”) RCA antenna—which also doubles as a clothesline—from Home Depot.

I tried to install the antenna in the attic so I could have it indoors, but it was too big to fit in the attic AND aim at the cosmic ray generator translation tower; which brings me to the next purchase:

Since I had to mount the sucker on the roof, I bought a heavy-duty, roof-mount tripod made specifically for antennas. The tripod is of the highest quality—meaning it is made of lead pipes and brackets—and is very sturdy. It’s so sturdy I tied myself to it just in case I slipped down the roof. In hindsight, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. The antenna picks up a crystal-clear signal, but my HD TV set isn’t HD ready. Some of the older HDTV models like mine didn’t come with a tuner that would accept HD channels, so the purchase of a set top box receiver became necessary.

Circuit City is of the selling of set top boxes persuasion, so I bought one. The model I got is Pro Brand (seriously, that’s the brand name, I think they got discouraged when the brand name Sam’s Choice was taken) HD3150Plus. It took some creativity to wire it all correctly since my TV and Panasonic DVD/DVR hate accessories. Three hundred twenty one (321) hours later, VOILA! (not VIOLA) I have HDTV. Not only do I get a very good picture, but I get four (4) networks, three (3) PBS channels, the WB, UPN, i/PAX, some Spanish channels and some religious channels, I GET THEM IN HIGH QUALITY HD. (OK—I lied. Only the networks and PBS come in HD, but the other channels look great.)

One hundred ten inch (110”) RCA antenna: $77
Roof mount kit: $58
Pro Brand HD3150Plus HDTV receiver: $229
Watching “Passions” in HD: priceless

In total, it won’t take too long for the payoff, since we won’t be paying for satellite TV ever again—well—until I decide I need ESPN again…

"Passions" photo from http://www.nbc.com/Passions/

Thursday, June 15, 2006

97. Stuffed 'N' Stuff

Since daltongirl didn’t bother to go to Giordano’s like I told her to, Ima hafta explain why Giordano’s is soooooooo good:

It all happened when my flight out of Atlanta was delayed because the plane hadn’t arrived. ‘Where was the plane coming from,’ you ask? Chicago, O’Hare. ‘Huh’ you say, ‘Chicago O’Hare usually runs a punctual schedule.’ That’s where you’d be wrong.

I was forced to listen to all the whining people complain that they were going to be late, and try to force their way onto other flights, but the airline reps weren’t having any. The reps just typed a lot into their computers and continued to ignore everyone.

Because my flight was late leaving Atlanta (I blame the complainers), I missed my connection in Chicago. The airline was kind enough to reschedule me on a 6:30 am flight the next morning and send me a voicemail detailing the changes. I didn’t get the voicemail though, because I was on a PLANE. And 6:30 am? Don’t even get me started on why that’s not even cool.

Anyway I stood in line to speak to the airline rep for 15 of the longest minutes of my life while I listened to a nasal-voiced lumberjack woman from Alaska complain and complain about how bad everything was. Her husband wasn’t too pleased when I turned around and asked her if she would please stop complaining. I wasn’t rude—well not any ruder than one needs to be when confronting a total stranger—I didn’t want to start trouble so I asked nicely in a soft voice; I just figured that we were all in line because our day was already going pretty bad already and we didn’t need to listen to Mrs. Save-the-Caribou.

That’s when my voicemail came through, so I listened to it. I wasn’t too pleased at the time, but I was already in line, so I erased the message and waited to talk to the attendant. The airline rep—who wasn’t very friendly at all—and I came to a sort of understanding during our conversation that 6:30 am was unacceptable and I was rescheduled for later in the morning.

Then I reserved a hotel

When I got to my luxury suite, I called the front desk to ask them where I should eat. Giordano’s was the answer. Patsy’s Pizzeria in Manhattan on 74th and Giordano’s tie for the best pizzas I have ever eaten. Giordano’s was two inches thick and was stuffed to the…well…top crust with Chicago’s culinary goodness. Patsy’s was just as good, but it was in the New York style complete with the thin, floppy crust.

The pictures tell the Giordano’s story; sorry no Patsy’s pictures (Patsy’s will have to wait for her own story before I will post those…) Click on the pictures for enlarged versions. And if you want a Giordano's pizza of your very own, they can FedEx one to you. Just check the website here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

96. Oman—That is Saxy

I stopped using Blog Patrol a while back because I had stopped concerning myself with how many hits I am getting (that, and the updated code they gave me to paste into my blog template was made my blog take six (6) minutes to upload). Unfortunately, I realized the data I really wanted but didn’t have access to anymore was where my hits were coming from. I really enjoy learning what is bringing outsiders to my blog.

I know what brings my regular reader(s): self esteem. When you all read my posts, I know you get a satisfaction that comes from knowing you are better than—someone—anyone. It’s always pleasant to look down on your inferiors, i’nnit?

Anyway, In the past seven (7) days, I have gotten hits from six (6) foreign countries, some of which are of the modern variety. Oman is one of those countries.

I may be wrong here, but in my experience Oman is a fairly conservative society. Oman’s societal norm is very, very…well…not accepting of anything. Imagine my surprise when I got a hit from someone in Oman who Google-searched the term “good saxy bosom.”

I can’t even begin to explain why the phrase “good saxy bosom” is hilarious standing alone and in the context Mr. Oman used it in, it is even more funnier. Poor guy (or girl) was probably doing an illicit search for seedy material trying to find something useful before the thought police came to give him (or her) a quick medieval beating.

Fortunately, misspelling ‘sexy’ probably saved him (or her) from the censors, but unfortunately didn’t help the individual find what they were looking for. (S)he found stupidramblings. Try it yourself; searching “good saxy bosom” yields a number one link to stupidramblings for some reason.

I wonder if the term ‘cannibalady’ will ever deliver someone to my e-doorstep.

Now excuse me while I search for HDTV components on the interweb.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

95. Found a Peanut...

Did I ever tell you about the time I stole something?

Shoplifting is a better word for it, but my career in trafficking ill-gained goods happens to be a great story. I was three (3) years old. I may have been four (4) but I think it happened when I was three (3); it's hard to remember.

Ramblimom was at the grocery store shopping, with me in tow, and was busy gathering the goods that would feed the family for the next week. I was short enough not to be able to see what was on the tables, but tall enough to reach up and reach over the lip on the table and feel the great mound of yummy salted peanuts they were selling.

So I took one.

I jammed it in the pocket of my tan, elastic-waisted, corduroy Tuffskins to save for later. I contemplated all the things I could do with my peanut when I arrived home as we snaked our way through the store gathering. (Ramblimom was a great gatherer, a hunter--not so much.)

When we got home, I went to my bedroom to consume the booty from my dishonorable escapades. Peanuts are very hard to open I found out. So what did I do? I went to ask ramblimom if she would open the peanut so I could enjoy its salty goodness.

"Where did you get that?!?" she shrieked.

"At the store" I answered.

"[I don't remember what she said here, but she was MAD.]"

Ramblimom announced we were going back to the store so I could pay for my peanut. She handed me my small jar of spending money (a percentage of my meager allowance) and we marched straight to the store so I could pay for the peanut.

When we arrived empty-handed at the checkout counter, ramblimom told the store owner (who may have been just a checker) I wanted to pay for the peanut I had stolen:

"My stupid son, stupidramblings, wants to pay for the peanut he stole when we were here earlier."

"Oh, it's alri--"

[What cut him off could only have been a dirty look from ramblimom.]

[Sternly] "One peanut costs one penny."

[Another dirty look from ramblimom.]

"...and a dime."

I fished the money from my money jar and handed it to the man. To tell the truth, however, I was more traumatized about giving up the penny than the dime. Dimes are smaller. I handed him the money, making my ill-gotten gain a hard lesson in monetary honesty. I was so ashamed.

When he took the money, he gave me a dirty look and said, "Now never, never steal again."

And I haven't.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

94. One Hundred and One (101) Ways to Make Hot Dogs Taste Good

Last night I needed a quick meal, but I didn’t have any instant dinners or anything else instant. Then I remembered we had hot dogs in the freezer because we were going to feed them to some cherubic children that come around sometimes.

I boiled the tubesteaks on medium for 7-9 minutes and put them on the hot dog bun. Problems: no relish, too lazy to cut up some onions, no sauerkraut, squished package of Wal-Mart’s house brand of hot dog buns. Sadness. All I had were some sauces and a few odds and ends to throw together to make the dogs taste good.

Eating hot dogs as a fine art may sound repulsive, but if done correctly, the hot dog can taste like culinary gold. The key to enjoying the hot dog is to cover its flavor with other strong ingredients. Tasting the meat often leads to dissatisfaction.

I thought I should use my best intellect to put 3 sets of quality ingredients together and make my dawgs taste as good as possible. Then I should write a series of blog entries documenting my successes. Here are the latest recipes from stupid’s great American hot dog cookbook. The following recipes are to be used with a standard hot dog either barbecued, boiled or cooked otherwise, and a bun:

1. The dog itself. If you want the best hot dog, use Hebrew National brand franks. They cost a bit, but they taste better and you can almost identify actual meat bits in them.
2. Diced Mediterranean olives + parmesan cheese + oil and vinegar = Old World dog.
3. BBQ sauce (from Reggi’s in Jackson, TN is the best) = BBQ dog.
4. Fresh pesto, Italian parsley and oregano leaves + Sun dried tomato = Sicilian dog.
5. Yellow mustard + ketchup (formerly catsup before dumb people refused to spell it right and they had to change it.) + diced onions + relish + sauerkraut + (optional) jalapenos = Ball Park dog (Hebrew National dogs imperative).
6. Sauerkraut + Thousand Island dressing + pastrami = Reuben dog.
7. Pepperoni slices + olives + onions + green peppers + Italian seasoning in tomato sauce = Pizza dog.
8. Nacho cheese + Chili = Coronary dog.
9. Baby spinach + red onion slices + Italian dressing = Lite dog
10. Margarine and Franks Red Hot Louisiana hot sauce melted together in equal proportions poured over the dog = Buffalo dog
11. Buffalo dog (see # ten (10)) + cayenne pepper melted into the sauce = Hot Buffalo dog.
12. Chipotle peppers + chili powder + mayonnaise = Southwest dog.
13. Fish (raw if you can get it prepared safely) + wasabi + soy sauce = Sushi dog.
14. Alfredo sauce sautéed with garlic + roma tomatoes + baby spinach + mushrooms = Vegetable Alfredo dog.
15. Dog split down the middle under mashed potatoes + Melted Cheddar cheese on top (no bun for this one) = Easy Supper dog.

The hot dog need not be garbage food. Enjoy with potato salad, watermelon and other picnic-type foods for maximum enjoyment. Don’t forget an icy Coke.

Well, that should take you through June 22; I’ll post more recipes from time to time when I don’t have much else to post.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

93. Six, Seis, Six—(The Last One is French)

I heard on the radio news this morning today might be a day for the terrorists to strike because of the symbolism of the date. You know—06-06-06, the devil’s number, the day that movie comes out.

Plausibility? 0%. Creativity? 5%. Delusion? 100%.

The number 666 is a decidedly Christian symbol. It comes from a reference in the very last pages of the last book in the Christian good book, The Bible (Revelation 13:18 to be exact.) I’m guessing terrorists don’t read very much, else why all the barbarism? If they did start reading The Bible, I’m guessing they would end up setting the thing down somewhere near all that Ten (10) Commandments mumbo-jumbo. Unless they decided to actually heed the Ten (10) Commandments as well as finish the book. But then they wouldn’t be terrorists anymore.

Anyone who thinks the terrorists are waiting for a specific day of import to launch an attack is stupid, naïve, or intellectually dishonest. No, I kinda think the terrorists will do what they do whenever it is they can get their grubby hands some dynamite—not when the supposed devil’s day arrives.

Anyhoo, who are these morons who are always looking for opportunities for the terrorists to attack? If you fear they will attack on a certain day, and the media reports that, don’t you think that just gives the terrorists ideas? I imagine these doomsday fatalists are the same people who are curled up in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs on the cold cement floor of their bomb shelters and waiting for the gub’mint to tell them when they can start living their lives again. (Did I say again?)

I gots a message for anyone who is anticipating the next terrorist attack and being careful not to visit any populated places (except Jack Bauer and all his peeps):

Get a grip people.

I believe the military is doing the best it can to help thwart (great word) the efforts of would be terrorists. Some terrorists will likely reverse-thwart (greater word) the military and actually carry out a plan or two. I will not be one to live my life any differently on account o’ the terrorists might attack using numerological symbology. They don’t want to send any message—they just want to blow stuff up.

So go back to your home—or rather—stockpile of food and munitions and quit worrying about what the terrorists are going to do. OR, do something about it like join the military or law enforcement or even the UN. Don’t idly complain and/or cower in fear of something happening to you.

If you are afraid because today is today, something has already happened to you. I’m guessing the only terror today will be in “Omen.” And if anything does happen, it won’t be because of the date.

Photo courtesy here.