Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Never-Ending Horror of 2008

It's the last day of 2008 and the horror of 2008 continues. Today (or maybe it was yesterday, or, perhaps it hasn't happened until tomorrow? I HATE the concept of International datelines...) in the city of Kassel, Germany, a truck spilled nearly 80 crates of freshly brewed beer at an intersection because the driver didn't secure his load properly.

Nearly 800 liters of beer (freshly brewed, wonderful, 'German' beer) flew into the intersection whereupon the bottles promptly exploded on the ground and in the -4 degree Celsius (that's close to 28 degrees Metric, I think) air, the contents quickly turned into a frozen 'beer lake' (intermingled with broken glass).

It took an hour to clear the intersection of the debris. This process was delayed when the emergency response squad needed to treat the road crewfor 'cut and bleeding' tongues as they worked feverishly to separate the freezing beer from the glass shards which accompanied the amber beverage on the macadam.

While workers busily evaporated the remaining beer from the street, the only sounds heard from the crews were a series of 'loud belches' and the occasional shouts of 'Ich schnitt meine Zunge!' This, I believe means, "Hey, move over, this is my freezing puddle of beer, you go get your own!" (No, it actually means, "I cut my tongue", or, "A cu ma thung!", if your tongue is 'shredded'.)

The driver of the truck faces a fine for not securing his load properly and was unavailable for comment. Fine? Fine? This guy ought to be sent directly to jail. Wasting beer - who does he think he is, a Kennedy?

For more, click here -> Beer Lake

2008... The year that would NOT end.

Oh, the horror...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Moo Year!

Seven months of blogging on this site and what do I have to show for it? Besides the obvious answer (Carpal Tunnel), I have put an awful lot of 'Moos' behind me. Some good Moos, some 'not quite so good Moos', and even some, dare I say it? Yes, some bad Moos.

The funny thing is that I enjoyed writing them all. They're kind of like your 'kids' with regard to the following:

  • You conceive of them
  • You raise them
  • You set them free
  • You HOPE they turn out okay
  • You wait for them to support you (4 out of 5 ain't bad)
So there now you know the secret behind the words: Writing a BLOG post is almost exactly like having a child (excepting of course that you can't write the blog post off your federal income taxes as a dependent. Well, not LEGALLY. I know, I've tried. Unsuccessfully...)

As 2008 will 'Not go gentle into that good night', I wanted to take a moment to look back at the year in 'blogs' (or, 'blobs' as I misspelled it the first time draft). Once again taking advantage of this week's 'Not looking back ever again' exception, here are my favorite blog posts from 2008 (the titles are 'clickable' if you missed any (or all) of them and wanted to re-visit the posts (a.k.a.: my 'kids')):

Work Speech 5/20/08: Because words 'do' matter in business...

Our Edukation Systim: Because lerning do matter in real life

E-Mail of the Dead: Because it's NEVER to late to reach out and touch someone

Leave Your Balls, Sharks, Monkeys, and Blow-Up ‘Units’ At Home: Because giant inflatable 'units' are a terrible thing to waste

Vestal Senior High Graduation - The Entire District Responds: Because you can't spell 'arrogance' without the 'Arr!' (A well-know pirate noise)

I Have a Cow (The Game): Because you have to drive somewhere...

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night... : Because it's just so darn SCARY!

Hey There, You With the Fish on Your Feet... UPDATED WITH VIDEO!: Because. Just because...

Dr Pepper's Lonely Moo Cow Blog: Because you can never whine enough about the 'Recommended Blogs' being taken off the home page of the site

Put That Dog Down... Or You DIE!: Because I am concerned about YOUR health. Could you please pass the mustard?

In Bed...: Because you HAVE to sleep (and eat Chinese food (hopefully, not at the same time)

Harry Potter Was NOT Seen at Berkeley Yesterday: Because I really enjoyed the books

The Mahna Mahna Song (Performed by The Muppets, Barack, Hillary, et al): Because it's my son's favorite (and I didn't write in it much. Thanks, big guy...)

A Clean : Is A Happy : Because a clean colon is a happy colon - just accept it, okay?

It's the End of the World -- But Can You Dance to It?: Because if the world DID end, I didn't want it to be a surprise to anyone

Help Stamp Out Duck Pornography: Because ducks and pornography DO mix (once the 'Feds' get involved)

Pssst, Buddy, Are Your Paws Hot Too?: Because, well, I thought it was funny (apparently no one else did...)

Hate Speech: Because 'Hate' never dies

We Now Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Crisis...: Because you can never have enough 'crises'
Greater Binghamton! (Marketing 101) - Deja Moo' Edition: Because nothing happens without a 'sale'

The Bunny and The Bear (A Fable): Because simple stories convey the clearest message

I Saw What You Did (And... Thank You): Because good things can happen when you least expect them

Whoa, I do enjoy reading my own stuff - that went way longer than I thought it would. I just hope you enjoy reading it too...

For you folks who have been around for awhile, thanks the time that we've spent together this past year. If you have friends (I don't) or family (I do) who may enjoy putting their minds 'on hold' for a short period of time, go ahead and forward this post to everyone you know, and they'll forward it to everyone they know, and they'll... Well, you get the general idea. And soon, MANY more people will be reading these posts - for FREE. Remember, you get what you pay for! (Oops, that was probably a bad analogy...)

My best wishes to you and yours as we stumble boldly into 2009. We'll have a new President, new Congress, newly Federally subsidized Financial Markets, and newly Federally backed Detroit. Given the prior laundry list of Federal incursion into our daily lives I'm pretty sure that things are bound to get 'curiouser and curiouser'.

If nothing else, you can be sure that life itself will continue to be funny. You'll just need to 'squint' a bit more next year to see the comedy in it. If you forget to squint, somedays I'll do it for you.

Thanks for hanging out with me, and before I forget...

Bossie Says:
"Happy Moo Year!"

Boldly going where no 'Photo-Shopped Cow' has gone before...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 -- When the World Gets Weird, The 'Weird' Go World Class

Shhhhhh, do you hear it? That sound in the background, do you hear it? It's the subtle, distant, and yet pervasive sound of the year '2008' NOT wanting to be over and locked away in the history books. 2008 is the year that does not want to end and leaves a legacy that will take years to fully comprehend its impact.

I'll leave it for the gloom merchants to highlight the "Top ____ (Insert number here) News Stories of 2008" (these stories are almost always, inevitably, 'Bad News' for someone). They'll be everywhere over the next few weeks in print, online, and on television. You can read and view THEM there, you won't find them in today's post.

As for me, I'm happy to leave 2008 in the rear-view of the Chrysler. 2008 was the year that was, I'm looking forward to the year that will be. But as anxiously look ahead to the future, I do feel a small obligation to give a nod back to 2008 and a few of the weird items which surfaced in 2008. Mostly, no one got hurt (although there are several 'self-inflicted' wounds following) and you may have heard of some of these Moos Stories. If not, well here goes:

And if thy hand offendeth thee, cut it off. And cook it: An Idaho man who believes he bears the biblical "mark of the beast" cuts off his hand with a circular saw and microwaves it before calling 911. Read more -> Saw

"A very souped-up Sony PlayStation 3": Scientists at the Los Alamos federal laboratory announce they have built the world's fastest computer. All this for ONLY $100Million! Operators are standing by, NOW! Order in time for NEXT Christmas! Read more -> The $100 Million RoadRunner

"Achmed, Achmed? Hello, are you there?": Phone-company wiretaps have been canceled because of the FBI's repeated failure to pay phone bills on time, a Justice Department report says. Read more -> FBI Call Home

"Owie, owie, owie!": Two fourth-grade boys in Chesterton, Ind., try to prove that a scene in the movie "A Christmas Story" in which a boy's tongue sticks to a frozen flagpole couldn't happen in real life. They wind up with tongues stuck to a frozen flagpole. Read more -> I TOLD You It Could Happen!

Really Mad (P/O'd) Money: Days before investment bank Bear Stearns loses 90 percent of its market value, CNBC host Jim Cramer tells viewers, "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out." See clip -> Oops!

Better Late Than Never: 220 years after the Constitution is adopted, the Supreme Court rules for the first time that individuals do, indeed, have the right to bear arms. Read more-> Happiness is a Warm Gun

I've Got It, I've Got It, I've... Ahhhhhhh!: A photographer covering a high school track and field meet in Provo, Utah, is wounded in the leg by a thrown javelin. The throw -- 170 feet, 6 inches -- wins the competitor a state championship. Read more-> Ouch!

Bailout? Bailout? We Don't Need No Stinking Bailout: For leading their mortgage company into trouble so deep that Bank of America bought it out, Countrywide Financial Corp.'s president and CEO will receive a combined $19 million. Read more -> Countrywide is On Their Side

Second prize in our sales contest is, 'steak knives'. Third prize is, 'you're drowned': A former sales associate for a motivational coaching business in Utah has sued the company, claiming he was waterboarded as a "motivational technique". Read more -> I'll Bet You Feel 'Pumped Now' Don't Cha'?

The 'Really Bad Timing' National Champion for 2008: As Bear Stearns worked with the Federal Reserve and investment bank J.P. Morgan Chase to arrive at a deal to keep from going under, its chairman, Jimmy Cayne, was competing in a card tournament. Read more -> Playing While the Bear Burned

So there you have it, a few of my favorite Weird News posts from 2008. There may be more, but I need to get back to the family (I'm typing this on Sunday). They're looking kind of 'funny' at me since I've been at this for a while.

Here's wishing everyone a 'Kindler and Gentler' 2009.

Happy Moo Year!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Okay, so we've been through Asia (While In Asia) together, we've been through bad advertising ('B-ad'vertising (When Classified Ads Go Bad)), we've been through bad signage (Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sine), and today we're turning our bloodshot, jaundiced 'cow eyes' towards 'The Law'.

The following is sourced from actual police department 'incident' reports around the country. All of the following appeared in local newspapers (apparently without benefit of rational editorial thought).

Join me as I stare into the hard-nosed world of law enforcement. Don't blink. Don't be afraid. We'll be okay.
Hold my hand, check your weapon, and adjust your Kevlar shorts... We're going in.

Three questions on this:
First, was there actually a 'second' person in the room (or, just the person's reflection)?
Second, if you hit an intruder while they are 'in the mirror', does it 'hurt' the intruder?

Third, if you 'break a mirror' in self-defense are you exempt from the seven-years-bad-luck rule?
(In an un-related incident, a young girl was found dead yesterday on the floor of a shabby suburb apartment with an ax head embedded in her forehead. She was identified by the talking rabbit whom she accompanied as being from, "Through the looking glass". No further comments were available as the rabbit was pulled back through the shattered mirror by a odd little man in a large hat who kept shouting, "We're late, we're late!")

The mother of the burrito was unavailable for comment. All efforts to revive the burrito were unsuccessful. After a protracted period of mouth to mouth resucitation, the burrito (baby) disappeared, and the investigating officer was last seen reaching into his police cruiser for a bottle of Pepcid Complete...

Officers also discovered that the owner of "Help", the 'World's Stupidest Pet Owner', has named his dog, 'Fire'.

To make matters worse, he likes to take the dog to the movies on Friday nights and often let it loose in the auditorium after the theater lights dimmed.

"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! Here boy!"

The dog tragically passed away when a neighbor heard the owner singing, "Come On Baby Light My Fire" while we was working in the yard. The neighbor did as requested.
"Fire", the dog, was six.

Okay, I know Arnold's NOT a great actor, but to call him 'cardboard'... That's a cheap shot.
As for me, I want to know what's up with that kitten's "rectum" on Shaw Drive at 3:18p.m. THAT does sound interesting...

Okay... Was the condom 'wrapped', or 'un-wrapped'? I say no more.
Also worrisome is the opening line which states, "A 21-year-old man reported a battery on East Green Street Friday night." Apparently, the battery, kept going, and going, and going...

Well at least he wasn't in a diaper and tennis shoes during RUSH HOUR on a week-day! That WOULD be inappropriate... Naked, drunken, traffic-directing Karate Masters should only exhibit their unique skills on the weekend.

And if I learned martial arts from a skilled, diaper-clad Karate MASTER while sitting in my car? Bonus!

A single word was found on the associated detailed police report. It was, "Aaaaaaflac!"
It was later reported that the duck was holding out for the new Obama health care plan to be instituted nationally prior to seeking medical care because the duck did not have adequate insurance coverage.

The next question WOULD have been, "Oh, sorry officer, was that a bad question? Might you know where can I find a REALLY GOOD attorney? Apparently I'm going to need one very soon."

Once again the criminal gene pool grows a little more 'shallow'. This guy won't be dating for a while... Well, not dating in the traditional sense.

The Edgewood man also reported that he became suspicious of his wife's absence when the dishes in the sink, "Got really, really piled up high. And they smelled bad too..."

His wife, found with another man in Orlando quipped, "I told him he'd miss me when I'm goin... But I did think he'd miss me SOONER."

The Internet is a lonely, dangerous place.
Although every now and then, you do get to meet new 'friends'...

"Fled undected from the area?"
Disguised as what? A Volkswagen Beetle?

Apparently the 'snow' ball was the only 'ball' present in the building at the time of the attack. (Think about it...)

The Swanson Chicken Pot Pie was being chased by a Hungry Man TV Dinner over a vicious 'Turf dispute' in the inner city...

I've had a Swanson Chicken Pot Pie in the past, and I do remember having the 'runs' after EATING it, but I've never seen one run on its own...

All right people, that's it for now. Nothing more to see here...
Moo-ve along, moo-ve along.
Remember, let's be careful out there...
If not, see you in the police reports!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm a Loser

A few months ago I figured I'd take a stab at winning a MAJOR AWARD from a contest put on by the folks at 'Writers Digest'. The writing prompt was to come up with a short story about someone winning 'something' that ended up as a major embarassment for them. Well, I entered, but like the title above says, I lost. Because I'm a LOSER. A big fat LOSER.

And now you'll probably hate it too. But I don't care... I've already been rejected by PROFESSIONALS.

I case you're interested, I'm attaching my LOSING story below.

Go ahead, laugh, or cry, I don't care either way. Because I'm a LOSER! (sniffle, sniffle...). Don't say anything, I'll be okay... No really, I mean it... Whaaaaaaaa!

The premise was simple enough – visit New York, see a Broadway play and cash in on a couple of free tickets for a new “Live” game show. The show, “Good Impression” was touted as the “Next Big Thing!” by the brochure that arrived in Liz’s mailbox with the complimentary promotional tickets.

Liz suspected trouble when she arrived at the studio and the skinny kid with the bad complexion scanned her ticket, looked up at her, and frowned.

“Problem?” Liz asked.

“Ah, no, but do you see those red chairs up close to the stage? You sit there.” The kid then pointed to the left of the main stage to a group of chairs sectioned off from the rest of the seats in the auditorium.

“You mean I’ll be up there. All the way in the front!? Wow, I really lucked out with that, huh?” Liz smiled at the boy and they walked over and looked down at the seat – one of the seats with the word, “Contestants Only” stenciled across the back.

“Hey, wait a minute, I’m here to watch the show, not to BE the show!” Liz protested. “No one said anything about being a contestant.”

“Well, contestants are picked randomly based on the bar code of their ticket. Your ticket says that you are a contestant. But don’t worry, there are ten seats in your section and we only get about two people picked per show. So that means you have something like a 5% chance of getting picked for anything.” The boy gave her a weak smile and turned to walk back to the main entrance.

“No, actually it’s a 20% chance that I’ll be one of the people picked if they pull two people out of a group of ten.” Liz crossed her arms and glared back at the boy walking away from her.

He stopped, turned around and said, “Lady, chances are that you won’t get picked, but being as sharp as you are with that whole ‘fraction thing’, you’ll do just fine if you’re picked.” The kid then turned away again and walked quickly back to his station.

Twenty minutes later the theatre was packed to capacity. The crew busily testing video feeds, lights, and running sound checks in preparation for the show. Liz soon found herself surrounded by other contestants who were speaking to each other in hushed voices.

The lights of the auditorium dimmed as the announcer announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce the your host of Good Impression -- Mister Rich Little!”

The man next to Liz said, “Rich Little? Good Lord, he’s got to be about eighty-years old. I didn’t think he was still alive.”

“Well if he’s not, it’ll be a really short show.” Liz laughed.

Rich took center stage and waved to the crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a great show for you tonight! This is the show where contestants can make big money by guessing who I am portraying based on my extensive range of vocal characterizations and physical mimicry.”

The APPLAUSE sign lit and from above a spotlight lit the contestants’ box. The audience howled in anticipation of the beginning of the show.

“How about you little lady -- are you ready to play?” Rich asked the still-laughing Liz.

“Uh, me?” Liz asked.

“Yes, you. Come on folks, let’s give this lady a big hand and get her up here!” Rich pointed at Liz with his microphone and beckoned her to join him on the stage. Liz left the safety of her seat and extended a shaky hand to the host of the show.

“So how are you doing today?” Rich asked the anxious woman.

Regis Philbin!” responded Liz.

“I’m sorry?” asked a perplexed Rich Little.

“You were doing Regis Philbin, weren't you...?”

“No, we’re not playing the game yet – I only wanted to know how you’re doing.” said the smiling host.

“Oh, because just then, you sounded like the old Regis – the Regis that people used to watch when he was with Kathy Lee. Not like the new Regis with that no-talent Kelly Ripa.” Liz said this as she gave a small nod to accentuate the fact that this was common knowledge to anyone who had watched the NEW Regis Philbin show.

Rich’s jaw dropped as he shook his head and put his right hand to his chin.

“Richard Nixon – I love it when you do Nixon!” Liz was absolutely beaming now.

“Ah, um, okay, we might as well bring out our celebrity guest tonight – Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kelly Ripa!”, Little shrugged as he turned to the opening curtain to shake hands with a 'slightly unhappy' Kelly Ripa.

Liz did her best impression of a banana – and split.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Humor Never Dies

I friend of mine once said that, "Evil Never Dies". This applied mostly to his Mother-In-Law, whom, it seemed would live forever. Ultimately she did pass away a few years ago. Somewhere Satan is singing... "Look away. Look away. Look away, Dixie Land..." (Yes, there's a story here, but it's not mine to tell.)

However, I would like to believe that in the After-Life that humor 'springs eternal'. Whether intentional (you'll know them when you see them), or due to some unfortunate 'family naming convention', the following folks left a legacy behind that will outlive all of us (yes, even ME). Long after I am dust, the following will live on in silent testament to those laid underneath.

W.C. Fields wrote in Vanity Fair (1925) that he thought his tombstone should read as follows:

"Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia."

W.C. never got this wording on his tombstone, but perhaps these folks did get what they asked for, or deserved...:

College students come from miles around to worship at the altar of "Weed"...

I'll bet it's a spooky place after dark with all those glowing orbs in the darkness surrounding the plot...

Oh man! I knew that 'Rock' was dead. But come on, not FUNK too!

I have lived too long!

Goodbye cold, cruel, 'Rap World'.

Please tell me that this is an abbreviation for 'Rapewoniwitz' and they were just being cost-effective. Otherwise, I feel really bad for anyone they ever dated...

Daughter: "Mom, this is Tom Rape. He'll be taking me out tonight in his van..."

Mother: "I don't think so young lady..."

Man, did someone take their 'Cocky-pill' right before they died, or what?!

I've heard of life-after-death. I never knew that 'cocky-after-death' existed until now.

I just hope they lived long enough to be classified as: "DumOldFarts".

Ahhhhhhh! The inevitability of it all! I knew it, I knew it!

Finally, a realist.

Must be a Republican.

I don't know about you, but if this were me, I would have died YEARS earlier...

I'll bet that 'Constant' was really skinny...

I hope the tombstone symbol means that he went 'Straight Up to Heaven'.

Hey wait a minute, that's the WRONG finger!

No wonder he died young... Somebody probably killed Lloyd C. Linton.

Figures the end of his name would spell, "C.Linton"... Another Democrat.

They would have saved a LOT of money on 'marble' if they just waited for the laptop to come out... This tombstone is rated: "PC", as in, "Politically Correct"

Hope these folks weren't "Mac" users, otherwise you could hear the audible 'thrum' as they spin in their graves for all eternity...

It looks like Micah went on that class trip to Washington, DC afer all...

Rest in peace dude. You were too young to leave. But thanks for leaving us laughing.

I wonder if this was written prior to Meatloaf's "All revved up and no place to go!"?

When given the chance to believe in something; this guy chose to believe in nothing.

(Yeah, he was a Democrat)

"Here lies 'Titman'. High school was really, really BAD for him..."

"AssMan, cousin of TitMan!"

Really unfortunate parentage for both of these families...

The last word in tombstones...

"Born a Loser, lived a Loser, died a Loser."

And, oh, look, it says that Charlie, "Died by accident on a railroad track"...

Whoa, is THAT ironic, or WHAT?!

(An 'unlucky' Loser)

Oh, I get it. This is where that prank line came from... You know, when you call the restaurant and ask if you could speak to 'Seymour Butts'? "Paging Seymour Butts, has anyone seen Seymour Butts?"

Sorry, he's dead. Call back later.

But you can call your local deli and ask the following crowd-pleaser:
Q: "Hey buddy, do you have pig's feet?"
A: "Yes, I do."
Q: "Whoa! Where do you buy your shoes?"

Fun Holiday Craps! (Oops, I Meant 'Crafts')

Welcome to December!

Are you:
  • Looking for a 'one of a kind' craft project this Holiday Season?

  • Looking to do a little fundraising for a worthwhile organization?

  • Looking to work 'with your hands'?

Well, look no further! I have the ultimate 'crafty' experience for you! You'll need to drive a bit since it's in Illinois, but I can guarantee that these memories will last a lifetime. As an added bonus, it will be at least several weeks BEFORE you'll be able to get the smell off your hands!

A zoo in Bloomington, Illinois has begun to sell Christmas ornaments crafted by highly inventive, ingenious, and imaginative artisans. The ornaments are 'made' onsite and sculpted with care by these dedicated zoo folks. AND, completed ornaments sell for the ridiculously low price of $5.00! Can you imagine!?

For less than the cost of a pack of cigarettes in New York State, you too can own an ornament which represents the best that man, and reindeer, have to offer. Yes, in Bloomington, Illinois at the Miller Park Zoo, you can purchase Christmas Tree ornaments crafted from bits of twisted metal, and, ah, reindeer 'pooh'.

Yes, 'Ornamental Pooh'. Suitable for hanging!

I hope the Federal Government doesn't get down-wind of this money-maker! They'll want to use the proceeds from THEIR pooh sales to buy down that $820,000,000 'TARP' bail-out program. You know if THEY get involved, the price of 'Reindeer Pooh Art' (RPA) is going to go up. And like anything the government sinks its teeth in to, the cost associated with 'RPA' is going WAY up. (However, having written, and now re-read the prior statement, the idea of the Fed actually 'sinking its teeth into 'reindeer pooh' is an image which gives me HUGE joy this Holiday Season...)

Rudolph, the Pooh-Nosed Reindeer

Like MOST other things you'll find here, I'm not making any of this up. You can find complete, detailed reporting by clicking the following link: Reindeer Pooh

Could these guys really be selling 'poop' to raise money for the zoo? According to Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley, "Yes!" She has even named these products. The are "Magical Reindeer Gem Ornaments," AND each comes with a label of authenticity. (Yes, they authenticate that your Christmas 'ornament' contains 'feces'.)

Speaking only for myself, I'd like to know that stuff I buy does not contain 'poop'. I'll pay MORE if my ornaments do not include 'poop'. (I guess you can call me 'Old-fashioned'. Although... Do you know if there were any reindeer in the stable when Baby Jesus was born?)

My favorite line from the article: "Some folks are surprised at the size of the "gems," which are only about as big as marbles. "Reindeer are so big," zoo maintenance worker Sheldon Williams said. But the droppings are "just a big pile of small."

Yeah, that last quote pretty much sums up the entire post today... "just a big pile of small..."


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Natural Beef

Men should not shop at grocery stores. This isn’t because they're forbidden by some obscure governmental legislation, but because the casual male shopper finds the local grocery a frightening and confusing place. Trust me on this; guys are not equipped with ‘grocery’ genes. Allow me to convey the following real life example: Tonight as I wandered aimlessly through the grocery store I noticed something that rocked me on my heels. Perhaps hundreds, maybe even thousands of other shoppers (feel free to insert the word ‘women’ here) had passed it prior to my arrival without so much as a second glance.

As I entered the Meat department with my typical ‘I need to buy something, perhaps it can be meat, but what kind of meat?’ look on my face, I noticed something disturbing. In the open refrigerated meat case with other pre-sliced cold cuts I read the following: Pre-Sliced Roast Beef “ONLY $7.89 A POUND”. Okay, on the whole that wasn’t too disturbing (but I’m pretty sure a pound of gasoline still costs less than this). The thing that caught my eye was a circa-1970’s fluorescent orange sunburst sticker pasted on the front of the package featuring the words “NATURAL BEEF” in bold print. I know I’m not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but, help me here, what would you make of this? Since when does a store label food, beef no less, as “Natural”? Did the cow only eat organically grown Cow Chow? Did the cow actually spend some time outside, actively participating in NATURE?

I want to know what makes this pre-sliced roast beef in the clear plastic caskets able to be labeled as, “Natural Beef”? What other labels could they be keeping behind the butcher’s counter? Do they have a supply of stickers describing the following ‘Beef’ types?

  • Un-Natural Beef = Beef from a cow that ate nothing but the stuff men eat when their moms, wives, or girlfriends aren't around
  • Primordial Beef = Really old beef. "It's not just aged -- it's petrified!"
  • Super Natural Beef = Beef from a cow that had an uncanny ability to predict the future, but was tragically inept at avoiding its own demise
  • Free Range Beef = Beef from a cow that 'got around'
  • Chipped Beef = Beef I remember from numerous Boy Scout camping trips that consisted of white pasty goo with beef sporting an un-natural brick-red color. Also known as 'S.O.S.', but I'll say no more on this...
  • Tipped Beef = Bruised beef from a cow located too close to a college almost anywhere in the U.S. (If you have to ask you didn't go to a real college...)
So the next time your mom, wife, or girlfriend asks you to go to the store, or you have a momentary lapse of reason and volunteer to run to the store for a few things; be prepared. Be calm and don’t let grocery store employees see the fear that inevitably steals into the part of the brain that controls the ‘fight or flight’ response.

Repeat the following to yourself, ‘It is only a grocery store -- it’s only a grocery store. I made it through showers after high school gym class; I can make it through this.’ Next time you have to shop -- take command! Upon entering the store, walk boldly up the butcher in the Meat Department and ask him to direct you to the ‘Natural Beef’ section. If nothing else, you’ll appear to know what you’re doing – unless, of course your store only features regular ‘Beef’. At this point my friend, you are on your own.

Avert your eyes, turn away and leave the store quickly. And for goodness sake, don’t look at the Head Cheese in the deli counter – it has nothing to do with cheese; but everything to do with head. And, you might want to find the 'Beer' aisle just so the trip isn't a complete waste...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sandy Max

If you weren't at this weekend's Boscov's Holiday Parade, you missed the Vestal Senior High Marching band's rendition of 'You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch'. You also missed 'Sandy Woo's' premiere as 'Max', the Grinch's un-happy dog.

This is the first year that the Vestal Golden Bears' marching band had a float, a sled, a Grinch, AND a 'Max' (played with much enthusiasm by the afforementioned Sandy Woo, the little rescue dog who wakes me up way too early every morning).

I do have video of this exceptional performance, but haven't tried to upload to YouTube as yet. (Mostly because I haven't ever attempted this.)

In the meantime though, Sandy as 'Max' can be found at the top of this post wearing red antlers (they look a lot like 'horns' from the front), red collar complete with 'jingle bells', and some sort of pink 'serpent' shooting out of her head. The photo was taken just as she decided to 'Woo' (she doesn't actually 'bark') at me.
Welcome to the opening of the first ever Moos of the Day's 'Bossie's Christmas Wonderland'...

Ho, ho, ho!

I Saw What You Did

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the McDonald's on Vestal Parkway and saw something that I hadn't seen in a while. During the middle of the lunch rush, I walked past a man and woman sitting across from each other on the bench. This by itself isn't anything special, people sit across from each other every day.

The difference is the thing that happened next. The man and woman inclined their heads, reached across the table to touch each other's hand, and said a quiet prayer. In the middle of McDonalds.

I sat at my table and watched this simple act with a sense of awe at their public display of 'Grace'. These folks sat in the middle of the restaurant giving thanks for their meal, which, as far as I could tell, consisted of a couple of those 'wrapped in 47% post-consumer waste' combo meals. Perhaps the prayer was not for meal, but rather for the relationship between the two of them.

The prayer completed, they ate their meals quietly, with just a few quiet words passing between them.

I wanted to take a moment today to thank these folks for the simple act which reminded me that the important things are not the things you have, the cars you drive, the size of your house, or the money you have left in your retirement account. The important things are most often found right there in front of you. Sometimes in a noisy, crowded fast-food restaurant.
As you prepare for Thanksgiving, take a moment to recognize the things which you are most thankful for. It won't be the turkey, the stuffing, or the parades. Most likely it's right there in front of you too.

To the nameless couple at the McDonalds: Thank you.

To the folks who stop by the blog from time to time: Thank you.

To my family: All my love, and all of my thanks...

Finally, to our little rescue dog who woke me up before six o'clock again this morning: Well, three out of four ain't bad.

Drive safely folks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Want Flies With That?

I’m a father of three happy, healthy, and ‘relatively’ normal boys. I’ve learned a lot along the path to becoming a ‘real’ parent. Someone once described a ‘real’ parent as having more than two kids – having three, I've been a 'real' parent for years now.

My sons have made comments over the years that I wanted to share with you. Like most embarrassing events the following quotes made in public, almost all of which were said very loudly in restaurants. These establishments were usually full of people, who unfortunately for them; were eating. I’ve never found a parenting book that prepares you for, or provides you with the appropriate response to the following – but read on and you’ll be prepared; maybe…

“I just went Number Two and it was this long!” My youngest held his hands approximately 18 inches apart and had a huge smile on his face. We were unable to verify his claim due to a lack of tape measure and the efficiency of the plumbing system at the facility. However, most of the other people in the restaurant appeared to take his word for it since no one argued with him over their meals.

“He just had a booger, now he doesn’t! And he’s ‘itching’ the inside of his mouth again…” Professional magician? No, professional nose miner.

“No! Dads have a 'peenie' like we do – Moms don’t.” I’m not really sure what brought this up at the Outback Steakhouse, but we left shortly thereafter. Loud comments like this in public places make every car in your rear view window look surprisingly like a Child Welfare surveillance vehicle. How would a four-year old know this? It must be that progressive education system I keep hearing about.

My 2 year-old was in his car seat in the back of the car while I was driving one afternoon and he made a noise that I couldn’t identify. He stretched his hand up to me between the gap in the front seats; his face was twisted in a grimace. I asked him what was up and I passed my open hand back to comfort him. He put his hand in mine and said “Nasty!”. He then dragged his index finger back across my open palm. When he was done, I found a booger the size of a Chevrolet Chevette on my palm. He was right, it was nasty.

“You want flies with that?” Apparently fruit flies are attracted to the corn syrup that accumulates on soda fountain nozzles at fast-food places during warm summer months. We discovered this at a fine dining establishment a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, we didn’t know this until the fruit fly was discovered by my nine-year old at the BOTTOM of his Sprite (that he just drank – yes, all the way to the bottom). We did, however, discover that McDonald’s employees respond quickly to the sound of vomiting in the dining area. The above “You want flies with that?” quote was uttered by my middle son just prior to our test of restaurant’s EVRT (Emergency Vomit Removal Team – pronounced, ‘Eeeeevvrrrrttt!’). In case you’re wondering, they’re pretty good.

In the event that you need to spend time with your children in public there are basic rules that must be followed (write these down):

  1. If you dine in a fine restaurant (you should NEVER, EVER do this), select seats as far away from other diners as possible – most of the finest restaurants offer curbside, or drive-through dining. Utilize these options whenever possible.
  2. Huddle your family around you so you do not lose, or inadvertently add to, your family’s headcount. If you find you have one more person than you came with, return immediately to wherever you were and tell the child (preferably the one that doesn’t look like you) to, “Stay here and wait for someone that looks vaguely familiar to walk by and follow them…”
  3. Have your children order from the ‘kids menu’ at ANY restaurant you visit until they’ve grown more facial hair than Jeff Bridges as featured in that Iron Man movie. Sure, the folks who own the place won’t be happy with you, but the people at the counter will usually just smile because they do the same thing at the competitor’s place down the street
  4. Avoid restaurants that offer table-service. I’ve heard ‘rumors’ that ‘servers’ expect something called ‘tips’ in exchange for delivering the food to your table. Instead, choose a restaurant that allows your entire family into the kitchen and lets you bring your food to the table yourself. It’s much ‘funnier’, ‘cheaper’ and greatly narrows down your dining options. Also, it's better than tossing someone not related to you 12 - 15% of the value of your meal for about 3 minute’s work. If you have to utilize table-service remember to have your kids spill at least one drink each to justify the tip (don’t worry, the kids will do this for you anyway).

Oh, and one last thought… The next time you hit the self-serve drink dispenser, make sure you give it a quick tap in advance of filling YOUR cup to discharge any gnatty little ‘hangers-on’ that may be waiting there just for you.

Bon appetite’!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Would Have Offered Her a Twenty

Some people say that kids today are 'out of control'. They "don't respect their elders" and they've never learned "basic social skills".

I must respectfully disagree. I believe that the bottom-line issue that's wrong with kids today is that they do not understand the value of a dollar.

I offer the following as a recent example:

Dateline: November 12, 2008, Fort Pierce, Florida
On November 12th an eleven year old boy argued with his mother over taking 'his medication'. (For the sake of argument, let's just assume that he was hesitant to take Tylenol for back strain (after helping his father work in the garden). Then assume that he sprouted wings, flew over the garden and spit seeds from his mouth into the freshly plowed rows from an altitude of 3,200 feet. Either scenario is as likely as the other.)

Okay, so Mom tries to get Junior to take his medication, Junior is 'resistant' and leaves his Mom to go to a neighbor's house. The neighbor's tree is a little 'too thick' so Junior begins to hit the tree with a 'saw' (I, personally, would have used an axe, but this is 'Junior's story' isn't it?). Mom does not understand WHY the tree needs to be 'struck' with the edge of a saw and asks for Junior to put the saw down, and return home (lest we forget the thing that started it all...) to take his medication. Junior considers his options. He looks at the tree, looks at the saw, looks up at his Mom and then hits her across the side of her head with the edge of the saw blade.

Here's where it gets weird(er)... Junior, seeing that his mother is bleeding from the laceration on the side of her head, does what any of us would do in his position; he pleads for forgiveness; and then he offers his Mom $5.00 to NOT tell anyone. (For $5 YOU TOO can have your stupidity posted by a news service on the Internet -- that's a great value!)

Oh sure, there are some cynics among us who would say that "This child needs professional psychiatric help" (um, remember the 'medication' above? I'm pretty sure Mom has already travelled this particular route). And they'll say, that "He just needs understanding from his mother..."

No way! What Junior needs is a few semesters of Economics 101! EVERYONE who is anyone in the world of Economics KNOWS that a facial laceration caused by a saw is AT MINIMUM, a $20 bribe. If Junior had swung and MISSED -- this could have been a $5 offense. However, with actual 'facial contact', you've pretty much committed yourself to the full $20 bribe 'schedule'.
For future reference (assuming you haven't taken Econ 101 yourself) please keep the following handy in case you need to take a swipe at someone (with a saw, or other prescribed object):

  • And just in case you were wondering about other rates (you WERE weren't you?):
  • HEAD STRIKE WITH A 'CARP' OR OTHER LARGE FISH $ 0 (Because you're not telling ANYONE that you were hit about the head with a 'fish'. It is much better to tell them that you 'fell down the stairs into a large aquarium and YOU struck the fish with YOUR head' rather than to admitting that YOU were struck by the fish...)

The more time I spend on the Internet, the more wonderful MY family becomes. I'll just need to keep the kids away from the yard tools this year... Just in case.

Now if I could just get them to 'fly' and seed the garden... Hmm...
Here's the article if you'd like to read it (although I really wouldn't recommend it as it will only make you sad...)

Boy allegedly hits mom with saw, offers her $5
Nov 14, 9:06 PM (ET)
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) – Authorities say an 11-year-old boy hit his mother in the head with a saw and then offered her $5 not to call police. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office reported that the boy and his 41-year-old mother got into an argument Wednesday when she was trying to get him to take his medication.

The boy left and went to another home, where he began hitting a tree with a saw. When the mother finally caught up with the boy, authorities say he hit her in the head with the saw, causing a minor laceration. A sheriff’s report said that’s when the boy began pleading with his mother not to call police and offered her a $5 bill.

The boy is facing an aggravated battery charge.