Friday, May 23, 2008

44 Hotdogs

Ever had a snippet of something stuck in your brain that just wouldn't go away? I've had one for the past week or so.

I was standing out on the porch, minding my own business, and this idea came flying up outta nowhere and stung me in the brain like a pesky skeeter:

44 hotdogs all in a row....

44 hotdogs???? What kind of a goofball kernel of an idea is that? Where did *that* come from? I don't want to be thinking about hotdogs, I want to be pondering on black holes and red dwarfs and cosmic catastrophes and suchlike. You know, intellectual high falutin' stuff.

Nope, I got hotdogs instead.

Well, the danged ol' hotdog idea has given me an itch I just can't seem to scratch.

I worked on it a while trying to make it congeal into something, but it just wasn't happening. I've been doodling little caricatures on scraps of paper hoping it would finally bloom into fruition. Nope, still not happening.

Since I can't make it into a whole, I've got to poop out the part I've got and let it be just a part, dangit. I *hate* when that happens. But I can't seem to get rid of this critter any other way and I've got to move on.

Here's the image of my hotdog farmer wearing a straw hat (yes, that's what the fuzzy yellow thing is at the top), scratching his head in puzzlement. Imagine 44 of them all in a row doing a little bouncy, bendy hotdog dance in time to the music.

And here's the verse that's been swarming around with it. I think this should be sung to some long ago childhood nursery rhyme or the college frat beer chugging tune, or some bizarre combination of both.

Forty-four hotdogs all in a row,
Scratchin' their heads cuz nuthin would grow.
White buns toasting in the noonday sun,
Forty-four hotdogs not having fun.

Pertaters planted with the butterbeans,
Cabbage, okry and turnip greens.
They finally decided "What's the use?"
And watered their crops with hot dog juice.

And I have the overwhelming urge to end it with the frat song finale:
Sung by the whorehouse - quartet.
Have ya got a hard-on? Not yet.
Are ya gonna get one? You bet!

I must be:
a) sleep deprived;
b) huffing too much fingernail polish remover;
c) watching too many old Sesame Street cartoons; or
d) all of the above.

Brought to you by the letter "H" and the number 4.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Were They Thinking? - TV Commercials

I've been in Major Couch Potato mode lately. I've earned three more stripes for my uniform and seen waaaay too many commercials. Sometimes I wonder, "What were they thinking???"

1) AcipHex

AcipHex is a pill for the relief of heartburn and acid reflux. The brand name probably is a moosh of words that stand for something like Acid PH Extermination or something like that. Named so doctors can easily remember what it should be prescribed for. That's all well and good I suppose. The name looks all medical-like written on the prescription pad. Unfortunately, when pronounced, it sounds like "Ass Effects."

"Hey Bill, having problems with heartburn again? You should get some Ass Effects."

I half expected Bill to turn around and look at his butt. Didn't someone in product development say the name out loud a time or two? Didn't anyone speak up in those meetings and say, "Maybe we should rethink this...."

Perhaps if you take this drug you will end up with a J-Lo butt. Hummm...lemme run that past the marketing department.

2) It may not be under control....

There are two commercials with a problem here: one for an asthma inhaler; another for Crohn's Disease. The same writers were hired for both commercials.

Both state, "If you are taking medication for your problem and are still having symptoms, your problem may not be under control."

Duh. YA THINK???

3) Pam cooking spray

The commercial says your food won't stick to anything if you use Pam. Some really cool special effects show the food seemingly floating on air. Pulling the kabobs off the invisible skewer makes sense. Pam makes the skewer so non-stick you won't even know it's there. Fair enough.

The part I find rather stupid is the little bit of spaghetti floating around in lots of water in a huge, invisible pot. Now I'm not the bestest cook in the world and I've scorched, burnt, and stuck my share of dinners. But never, ever have I had a problem with water sticking to my cookware. What were they thinking???

4) The Andromeda Strain - A&E

A&E has remade the old sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain and it premiers on Memorial Day. All well and good. What's not so good is they have decided to run the commercial for it at EVERY commercial break throughout the day on A&E. If I watch A&E I will be subjected to this commercial sixty bazillion times between now and then.

If I had any inclination to watch it when the first commercial aired, I now most assuredly do not because I am sooooo tired of it and hacked at A&E for airing it so often. I probably won't watch A&E until after Memorial Day just to avoid this stupid commercial. I'll bet I'm not the only one.

A&E are you reading this? Wanna rethink this promotion???

OK, enough about commercials. I wanna talk about the original Andromeda Strain movie. There are two things I remember about it.

1) The body sterilizer machine

Before the scientists can enter the underground lab, they have to git nekkid in a sterilizing chamber and put on this cool sparkly helmet thingy. A big flash burns off all their body hair and dead skin cells.

How cool! I SO need me one of those! No more shaving legs and pits and other body bits. No more crusty elbows! My feetsies would look fantastic in those cute little strappy summer sandals now. Every morning I could step into SteriMax 9000 and Poof! I'd be good to go. No more razor burns; no more Ped Eggs.

I wonder if the sparkly helmet is included or would I have to buy that separately? Maybe it's free with separate shipping and handling.

2) Drinking sterno

One line of the movie is, "The only survivors are a crying baby and an old man who drinks sterno." That drinking sterno bit kinda flummoxed me and I've never figured it out. It's one of those INUs that's been orbiting my Giant Spitwad for the past 38 years.

I always thought sterno was that purple jelly stuff that burns in a little can under the pans on a buffet table. How does one drink purple jelly???

Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dark Matter

Another astrophysics post, sorry. I've got this stuck in my head and need to poop it out of my brain. If you aren't the Adonis of Astrophysics Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Auld Hat, you might want to move on to the next blog. Anybody else, fair warning, your brain might explode.

So I'm watching this TV show on Dark Matter. Not the Dark Matter from The Golden Compass movie; Dark Matter that astrophysicists drool over.

It is supposedly some stringy snotlike stuff that glues all the bits of the universe together. That don't know what it is exactly because it can't be seen or felt, but they know it is out there holding things together because it bends light. It's not everywhere in the universe, just in strings from galaxy to galaxy.

There was an animation showing all these beautiful ginormous stringy structures a katrillion light years wide with all kinds of arms and branches. (Note my use of the scientific terms "ginormous" and "katrillion." Aren't you so proud?)

The question of the millennium is "What is Dark Matter?"

Well, dit di dee <--Carlos Mencia voice

I'm just a little ol' hick from Arkansaw, but the answer seems obvious to me...dark matter is time.

Time bends light.

All the bits of our universe are held together with the stringy snot of time. If we could somehow break out of the snot string, we would be able to do the old Star Trek warp drive jump thingy. We could breach the membrane of the branch of dark matter holding our galaxy and break into the void of non-time, then break back into the dark matter on some other branch of the snot string.

Perhaps black holes are the gateways in and out of the dark matter.

The question then becomes, "What is non-time?"

Has your brain exploded yet?

I have not yet calculated the formula for non-time but I'll get right to work on that...after I figure out how to make Fettuccine Alfredo sauce. We budding astrophysicists have to eat ya know.

There might also be pie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Those Worrisome Comets

I am fascinated by the astrophysics programs on The History Channel. But after watching them ad nauseam a couple of things aren't making sense to me. Comets for one.

Garden variety comets seem to be made primarily of dust and ice. As the comet streaks along, the dust and ice are blown off into space creating the comet's tail. It occurred to me that after a while the comet would wear away or melt away into nothingness. That's logical, isn't it? An ice cube eventually melts away into nothingness. If a comet is made of ice, shouldn't it do the same?

Maybe I wasn't fully comprehending the size and magnitude of comets. Maybe they are extra huge, some size beyond my human bean comprehension. So I Googled and Wikied. I picked Halley's Comet to work on because even the cool kids have heard of it.

From Wikipedia:

"Halley's nucleus is relatively small (barely 15 kilometers long, 8 kilometers wide and 8 kilometers thick.) As it approaches the inner Solar System, the Sun warms it, causing its surface to sublimate (change directly from a solid to a gas), and jets of volatile material to burst from its black surface. The gases ejected from the nucleus are 80% water vapor, 17% carbon monoxide and 3% carbon dioxide with traces of hydrocarbons. When Halley's comet is closest to the Sun, temperatures can rise to about 77 °C. Near the Sun, several tons of gas and dust are emitted each second in the jets."
OK then. Let's apply a little arithmetic to this thought process. All this math is approximate since astrophysicist types seem to qualify all statements with "approximately."

Halley's Comet is approximately 960 cubic kilometers (15 x 8 x 8) or 960,000,000,000 cubic meters. That's approximately twice the size of Manhattan. That's one big ice cube people. And Wiki says it is relatively small. Pft. Compared to what????

A metric ton of water is equal to one cubic meter of water, or approximately the size of the ordinary cookstove. That's not the big honkin' 8-burner Vikings by the way, just the regular ol' 4-burner Magic Chefs.

There are 864,000 seconds in a day.

I'm arbitrarily deciding that "several" as in "several tons per second" is equal to 3.

Halley's Comet would be spewing out 2,592,000 cubic meters (864,000 sec. x 3 metric tons/cubic meters) of shtuff per day. Visualize it pooping out 2.6 million cookstoves per day into outer space.

That's a lot of shtuff.

If I've done all my math correctly, Halley's Comet should melt itself away in 370,370 days, or 1,015 years....if it spews shtuff continuously.

If it only spews when "near the sun", then that's a whole new batch of calculations. If "near the sun" is the time period during which the comet is visible on Earth (4 months or 120 days), then that baby should last another 231,450 years, (370,370/120 = 3086 orbits x every 75 years = 231,450) or until the year...oh hell, I won't be around then.

All that leads to new questions. Was Halley's Comet larger back in 240 BC when first spotted? Or does it accumulate new ice and dust bits as it orbits out to the far reaches of our solar system?

These are the things I ponder in the wee small hours of midnight.

Dang, where is Neil deGrasse Tyson when ya need him?????

Neil, call me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Flashback - The Ladybug Picnic

This tune has been swimming around in my brain for a couple of days now so I had to go find it on Youtube. It's amazing what one remembers from childhood. Sesame Street had some very, very talented people.

A delight for both the young and the young-at-heart:

The Ladybug Picnic

Brought to you by the letter T and the number 12!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Giant Spitwad Theory

I'm a questioner. I have a need to know about everything I encounter in my daily life. I endlessly ask "Why? What? Where? When?" like a curious 5-year-old. Why is it that way? Why did they do that? What's that made of? Where did it go? When will that happen? I have an insatiable curiousity.

Actually I have a giant spitwad in my head.

That's what I call it, the giant spitwad. It's an accumulation of all the tidbits of information learned over my lifetime. It's The Big Picture I'm always trying to complete to make sense of the world. I call it a spitwad because most of the information is probably useless. I don't know that I'll ever need it again once I understand it, but it fits a hole in the puzzle and the puzzle must be completed.

As I find a new bit of information I mentally chew on it a while. If it logically fits on my giant spitwad I stick it in the appropriate place. If it doesn't, the little Iota of Non-Understanding (INU) is launched into orbit around the giant spitwad. Later, if I discover a new bit of information that will connect, I retrive the orbiting INU. Those get stuck together then stuck onto the spitwad.

I have a lot of junk orbiting out there: that question I missed on the ACT test; bits I've read and don't understand; actions of people that don't make sense. I have faith that some day I will have understanding and these bits will be stuck in place to complete The Big Picture.

Sometimes it takes years for an INU to find a place on the spitwad.

When I was a little kid, maybe 5th or 6th grade, I read the novel "Valley of the Dolls." No reading material was off-limits to me as a kid, by the way. There was a passage or two where a guy was doing something to a girl. I didn't understand the words used, but from the context I got the gist that it was a sexual encounter of some kind. The girl didn't want to do something the regular way, she wanted the guy to "go down on her". This going down business was apparently more pleasurable than the regular way. I didn't understand at the time what "going down" meant, so that little INU went into orbit. Somewhere around the age of 19 or 20 I had a Eureka! moment where I was able to retrieve the 'going down' INU and stick it to my giant spitwad. A notable day in the life, that was.

Some INUs float about aimlessly - Pez dispensers for instance. Most people look at a Pez and think "Pez. Candy. Want/don't want that." But not me. I think, "What is that made of? Who designed that? How does it work? Why was it invented? Who decides what heads get produced? How long do they stay in production? What's in the candy? Why did they decide 10 candies per dispenser; why not 15? What's the profit margin per item? How many are produced yearly?" Yep, I could stare at a Pez dispenser for an hour and entertain my brain. One day there will be a TV show on Pez dispensers and all my Pez INUs will find a home on the giant spitwad. That or I could look it up on the internet.

Other data I have stuck to my spitwad I know for sure I will never use. Cockfighting. I know a great deal about cockfighting because I asked. I got an hour-long tutorial from a guy who was passionate about cock-fighting. He loved his birds more than his wife and children and took better care of the birds. He brought me cock-fighting magazines the next day because I didn't grasp the concept of the metal spurs. The mags had ads for all different kinds. He took the time to explain when and why each type of spur was used. I'll never raise fighting chickens, I'll never fight chickens, I'll never attend a chicken fighting event. But I know about it now. The data is stuck forever on the spitwad.

Sometimes I ask about things I don't have an interest in simply because I am very interested in the person to whom I have asked the question. People will talk endlessly about their passions and in doing so reveal a lot about themselves. Cockfighting, beekeeping, steeplecross...things I wouldn't do, but someone does, and I'm very interested as to why. I collect the information about those topics for the spitwad, but more importantly I collect a person's motivation for doing them. People are endlessly fascinating. Why they do the things they do will entertain my brain for my entire lifetime. That stuff goes on the spitwad too.

One day I will understand how the world works and why it works the way it does. One day there will be no more orbiting INUs. On that day I can die happy. Until then I will be asking questions, collecting data, and building my spitwad of useful and useless information. It's my obsession and my passion.

Now you know.

Another blob for your spitwad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

That's Stupid! - Helmet and Seatbelt Laws

Every now and then someone has to stand up and say, "That's Stupid." I'm feeling the need.

Helmet and seat belt laws are stupid. I'm not saying helmets and seat belts are stupid, just the laws requiring their use. I don't have much support for a law designed to protect people from themselves.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years, you know seat belts are a good thing. If you choose not to wear them that should be your option. If you don't wear a seat belt and are thrown through the windshield and killed, that's just the normal course of evolution; only the smartest live to reproduce. We could use a few more young organ donors anyways. Thanks for the new heart and liver there Einstein.

This same philosophy applies to:
-Motorcycle helmets
-Child car seats
-Child safety helmets

What! No child safety laws? Millions of children will be maimed or killed! (gnashing of teeth)

Yep, you read me right. If your momma is too stupid to strap you into a child car seat, you probably have inherited her stupid gene. Please don't procreate if you live to get the chance.

I don't think personal safety laws should be mandated by the government. That only preserves the gene pool of the stupid who will multiply en masse. We don't need any more stupid people on this planet.

The gene pool could use a little more chlorine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Paris Hilton's Panties

If you got here by googling "Paris Hilton's panties" expecting to find naughty pics, you're in the wrong place. Move along people, move along. Nothing to see here.

With a post title like that I'll get a bazillion hits.

RANDOM THOUGHT TUESDAY - Paris Hilton's Panties

Friday night I was watching some fluff show on E! with Robin the champagne wishes and caviar dreams dude. The show was "The World's 20 Wealthiest Heiresses" or something like that.

Just before a commercial break there was a quick blurb called "Hints for Heiresses Handbook." The tip was "Don't Marry a Poor Person."

As an example they showed three blonde sisters whom I had never heard of (the Miller sisters, I looked it up.) They were set to inherit $3 billion each. They all married filthy rich guys: a Getty oil heir, a clothing designer heir, and the crown prince of Greece. If you're filthy rich, marry someone else who is filthy rich and become filthier richer.

I would like to become filthier richer by the way.

As I plodded off to pee during the commercial, I reflected on the Don't Marry a Poor Person hint. Shit. Messed that one up. Not that I was a billionaire heiress or anything, but still.

Anyway, I had been tickled pink all that day because I was wearing a fresh new pair of panties. Knowing my hiney is sashaying around in new undies gives me a little pep in my step. When I went to pee, I noticed a molecule of humanness had besmirched my new panties. Sigh. Tiny speck, but there it was.

At that very moment the thought crossed my mind: If I were Paris Hilton, I would probably take these off and throw them away. I wouldn't even bother washing them.

Trashing oncely worn underwear is a luxury of the rich and famous. Paris Hilton probably has a boxcar load of panties and thongs lingerie companies have given her to wear...if she even bothers to wear underwear.

When Paris pulls a pair out of the drawer, she never has to worry if there are holes in them or if the elastic is blown out. She puts on a fresh new pair of undies every day, maybe every four hours, maybe every time she pees. Bitch.

Maybe that's why Paris leads a charmed life. Spotless underwear.

Just a thought.

Monday, May 5, 2008

End of the Innocence

At times it is worthwhile to reflect on why you do the things you do, to distill actions and responses down to the essence. When I do I always discover something new about myself, something that lay hidden just under the surface, something unknown and unspoken for years.

That sounds like a big build-up to something very deep but all I was considering was why I chose the photo I did for my blogger profile. Initially I picked it for simple reasons. One, it was cute. I love the pigtail look. Two, I love the red shirt. I look good in red.

But there was something about that particular time in my life that resonated with me now. I wasn't just a little kid anymore, but I wasn't yet jaded. It was the height of child-like innocence, a state of being to which I now aspire. Life was good then, times were carefree, the world was my oyster full of new and interesting things to learn. I couldn't wait to wake up in the morning to start anew, and couldn't bear to go to sleep at night and leave it all behind.

But then there was the day that my world tipped slightly on its axis. The day I realized life was not all black and white. That things were not always as they seemed. That grown-ups would lie and mislead you. I remember it clearly.

Second grade; a hot spring day near the end of the school year. We were studying time. The teacher said a quarter of an hour was 15 minutes. I knew a quarter was worth 25 cents, so a quarter of an hour would be 25 minutes. She told me no, a quarter of an hour was worth 15 minutes. I knew she was lying. And she was telling me this lie with a straight face. And she had that "Oh you poor little thing" sympathetic look on her face. She was trying to pull a fast one on me and I recognized it.

It was that day that I no longer took people at their word. I became highly suspicious and questioned everything. I believed no one about nuthin'.

My faith in people was gone, replaced by mistrust. It was the End of the Innocence.

I was six.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Daily Beans

Gratuitous triplets pics:

Isn't my little Collard Greens precious??? Not that I'm biased or anything.

Love the bibs. Momma Bean has a wicked sense of humor. I like that about her....wicked cool is she.

The girls are all currently sporting absent-minded professor hairdos. Nana says it's normal for babies to lose their hair like little old menfolk. She assures me it will grow back in...maybe in a different color. That will be interesting.

I was pleased to get this picture and find that Momma Bean is raising 'em right in tie dye and not pink lacy stuff. I can live with the pink since it's tie dye.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wasp -1 Speck - 0

I got stung by an angry red waspy creature yesterday. He was lurking in the grass and I stepped on him with my bare foot. I suppose he had a right to be angry with me stepping on him and all. He zotted me on the side of my big toe. I thought I had stepped on a grass sticker at first, but then a searing, white-hot pain shot up through my nervous system like nobody's business. I looked down just in time to see him regain his composure and fly off, the little bastid.

I screamed like a girl of course, me being a girl. I went screaming into the kitchen and applied a poultice of Adolph's Meat Tenderizer to the wound. Yes, I live in the South; we still apply poultices to things. Adolph's tenderizes meat by breaking down the proteins in the meat and it acts on the venom in the same way. Or that's the theory at least. All I know is that it works like a charm. We keep a bottle in the first aid kit as well as the kitchen.

By the time I made it into the kitchen the poison was already streaking across my instep headed towards my ankle. The pain was clouding my vision and I was doing a little mouth breathing. I've been stung before but don't remember them hurting this badly. This little guy really packed a wallop. Maybe all the other stings were paper wasps or yellowjackets. Red critters supposedly hurt more when they sting.

Twelve hours later all the swelling had disappeared, there was no pain, and I couldn't even tell where I was stung. Life is good. Adolph's is good. Wasps not so much.