Friday, March 20, 2009
Finally, a news story that I can 'wrap my teeth' around.
This 'Extensive Study' (14 people) concluded that if you spend time 'thinking', you will eat approximately 29% MORE calories than folks who are just sitting around doing nothing (referred to in the article, as 'Couch Potatoes' (another scientific term)).
However, in Sixth Grade Science class I vividly remember that one group was called the 'CONTROL' group and the other group was called the 'KAOS' group. Why can't 'real' scientists can't get this scientific terminology correct?.
Could this explain the significant weight losses seen in both Houses of Congress over the past two years? To TEST this particular hypothesis we'll need to get at least half of the members of Congress to DO something and the other half to do NOTHING at all. Nah, it would never work. Well, in actuality, it will work about 50% of the time since they pretty much do nothing on a regular basis.
Digression Alert Ends...
Bottom-line is that if you THINK, your brain requires (eats) glucose. Your brain (being made entirely of green cheese) cannot manufacture glucose itself. Your brain (which gets hungrier when working on a task) requires a constant supply of the glucose and has to get it from somewhere. Your body manufactures the glu-stuff from the breakdown of carbohydrates and sends glucose to the brain via the bloodstream.
Carbs, as anyone who has ever owned a newspaper, magazine, or TV can tell you, are bad bits of 'stuff' which a man called, Dr. Atkins, tried to eliminate from America's vocabulary and dinner table (Dr. Atkins was gunned down by a lone 'Carb' in a darkened alley several years ago).
I've got to end the post now because the more I think about what to write next, the hungrier I get. Speaking for myself, I plan on not thinking too much about anything for the rest of my life. I may not accomplish anything in my life, may not have any money in the bank, and may not solve 'Global Warming', but... I'll look GOOD in my casket.
For a complete SCIENTIFIC overview of this study (as written for the general public), please click the following link: Science - Real Tasty Science.
If you'd like to save yourself a little reading, here is an actual quote from the article: "And of course, eating more can make you fat." Yeah, it's written for the general public (the scientists assume we all have the IQ of a Northern Pintail Pornographic Duck) so it's dumbed-down quite a bit. I guess they don't want us to 'get fat' after reading it.
I'm thinking I'm done now. I'm thinking I'm hungry. I'm thinking there's too much thinking going on...
BLANK STARE IN GENERAL DIRECTION OF PC MONITOR
HIT 'PUBLISH' BUTTON
CONTINUE BLANK STARE
SHUTTING DOWN COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS IN: 3, 2, 1...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It's later. Quite possibly, later than you think.
Vin Diesel Facts:
- If you rearrange the letters in Vin Diesel it reveals his credo: "I End Lives."
- When Vin Diesel goes to donate blood, he declines the syringe, and instead requests a hand gun and a bucket.
- In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Vin Diesel could use to kill you, including the room itself.
- Crop circles are Vin's way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to just lie down.
- There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Vin Diesel allows to live.
- When Vin Diesel jumps into a body of water, he doesn't get wet. The water gets Vin instead.
- Vin Diesel is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
- Vin Diesel has two speeds: walk and kill.
- Vin Diesel is not lactose intolerant, he just refuses to put up with lactose's crap.
- You are what you eat. That is why Vin Diesel's diet consists entirely of bricks, steel, and the tears of small children.
- Vin Diesel once beat Super Mario Bros 3 without even touching his Nintendo controller. He just yelled at his TV in between bites of his "Filet of Child" sandwich, and the game beat itself out of fear.
- Vin Diesel has always been able to find Waldo, except for one time. He found himself stumped on the last page of Where's Waldo Now?, not being able to find the Waldo without a shoe. He threw the book down and screamed, "This is TRASH!" They're all wearing shoes." He then proceeded to eat the book and exclaim, "IF I CAN'T FIND WALDO, THEN NO ONE CAN!" The book he ate belonged to a child that he had borrowed it from. The child began to cry and Vin ate him for good measure. The incident has since been refered to as Christmas.
- Vin Diesel coined the phrase, "I could eat a Horse" after he ate every last unicorn in existence.
- In fine print at on the last page of the Guiness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Vin Diesel, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone has ever come to matching him.
- Vin Diesel can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.
- Vin Diesel can divide by zero.
- Vin Diesel is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
- Vin Diesel played Russian Roulete with a fully loaded gun and won.
- Vin Diesel was the hunter who shot Bambi's Mother. He then wore her carcass like it was a coat while he made his rounds at the local children's hospital.
- The eternal conundrum "what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object" was finally solved when Vin Diesel punched himself in the face.
- When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Vin Diesel.
- If you were to lock Vin Diesel in a room with a guitar, a year later you would have the greatest album ever, it would sweep the Grammy's. When asked why he doesn't do this Vin replied "Because Grammy's are for queers." Then he ate a knife to show the seriousness of his response.
- On his birthday, Vin Diesel randomly selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.
Vin Diesel invented black. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
- It takes 14 puppeteers to make Vin Diesel smile, but only 2 to make him destroy an orphanage.
- If you pause Lion King at a certain point, Vin Diesel can clearly be seen beating on Simba
- Vin Diesel once hit a man so hard, it killed all of his extended family and most of his friends
- While playing Chutes and Ladders, Vin Diesel treats the chutes as ladders, because he’s not some wimp who can’t climb up a plastic slide
- There is a rumor that when Vin Diesel was 8 he wanted to be a fireman. This is false, Vin Diesel was never 8.
- Vin Diesel was born with the right to party, whereas most of us are forced to fight for it
- Vin Diesel is forced to carry a baseball bat every time he goes to the bathroom, just in case he poops out a wild cat and has to beat it to death
- Contrary to popular belief, Vin Diesel inspired the TV series “MacGyver” when he managed to construct a cell phone out of only the blood of his enemies’ children, his pure hatred for the weak, and a cell phone.
- Vin Diesel once fell in a pool of lava. He nearly drowned
- Vin Diesel once killed two stones with one bird
- Vin Diesel has no concept of time, and if you go to his house you won’t find a single clock. When you ask to leave because it’s getting late he stares at you blankly until you sit back down.
- Vin Diesel has two kittens . . . every night for dinner
- Vin has the heart of a small child. He keeps it in his toaster
- A Vin Diesel action figure has slept with more women than most men
- Every night, Vin Diesel does 700 push ups and punches himself in the face until he passes out
Just so you know, I had to re-read and edit the above list about three times. I'm not complaining, because I laughed each time I went through the list (isn't it GREAT to be a grown-up?). I just wanted to make sure that I did a 'language' and 'decency' scrub so I wouldn't get knocked off the site.
Given some of the things I found on the second and third time through, well, I'm thinking it was time well-spent. If I missed anything, please let me know. And remember...
"If you can see Vin Diesel, Vin Diesel can see you. If you can't see Vin Diesel, you may be mere seconds away from death..."
Monday, March 16, 2009
Why? Well, because AIG's Executives are looking to make as much money as they can prior to their insurance 'ship' going down.
Can you blame a starving dog for eating out of a garbage can? No, you can't. Trash-eating is simply 'instinct' kicking in. Starving dogs and AIG Executives differ only in one regard: I WOULD let a starving dog into my home. (Please feel free to exchange the phrase 'AIG Executives' with the phrase 'Member of Congress' at your leisure. Both, as you will see, are inter-changeable throughout the remainder of this post.)
Bad Joke ALERT... (In 3, 2, 1)
Q.: What's the difference between a dog lying across a road and an AIG Executive (Member of Congress) lying across the road?
A.: Skid marks on the pavement leading up to the dog.
So Congress, who put NO conditions on the money (OUR Money) provided to AIG is now... "Outraged".
"Well isn't THAT special?"
The men and women who told us that we'd better get the original TARP bail-out going NOW 'before it's too late' are wondering why someone would take a blank check from the government and spend it any way they darn well please. For the answer, to THIS particular question, all our Congressional leadership has to do is look into the mirror.
The Omnibus bill signed into law by President Obama last week had over 9,000 'earmarks' in it (think of these 'earmarks' as 'mini-TARPs' for the legislative districts benefitting from them). There is no oversight here either, it's "Doing whatever you darn well please with whatever money you can get your hands on." So WHY is Congress upset with AIG? (Perhaps, because Congressional earmarks weren't large enough, compared to the funding going un-restricted to AIG by the folks in the 'Temple of Pure Thought' (Congress)?)
I'm not upset with AIG -- THEY, at least, are a known quantity. They RAN the company into the ground prior to Federal Funding being allocated to them via the TARP. Why would anyone think that the people capable of this fiduciary malpractice would be able to manage the company better just because they received a bunch ($170 Billion) of money from us, the US Taxpayers? It's a variation of the old, "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for the rest of his life." Problem is, AIG never LEARNED how to fish. (Although, something smells 'fishy' in all of this...)
Congress, the folks we voted into office to look out for our best interests, now feigns shock (and awe) that AIG spends the money (which they never earned) 'un-wisely'. The problem is that the source of the 'un-wise' spending falls squarely on the shoulders of Congress. These same folks are now asking us to allow them to run (or continue to run) national healthcare, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and presumably, our US financial institutions.
If given the choice, I wouldn't let these folks run a coin-operated laundromat.
For additional information on the AIG situation, just click the following link:
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I was against the TARP plan since all of this foolishness began. If you missed it then, you can read it now. This post was during the BUSH Administration so if you think this is an Obama-bash piece, it's not. It's an expression of concern over the level of sanity in our prior, and current Congress.
That post, surprisingly enough, can be found here and is called: The Bunny & The Bear
It was written back on October 1st, 2008. Many things have changed since then.
Unfortunately, many of the things 'changing' have not been changing for the better...
Sunday, March 8, 2009
For purposes of our conversation here, let’s hypothetically call her, Kelly.
Assume that your youngest son went to visit his friend, James, who lives ’just down the road a ways’. Then, assume that your son rode his bike to James’ house and you decide that it’s such a beautiful day that you would walk to James’ house with your trusty dog, Kelly, by your side. You ALSO know that you are leaving in two days for a week-long vacation in Maine with your family and your wife’s brother and sister-in-law.
To sum up what we know so far:
· Dog named Kelly
· Youngest boy at James’ house
· Beautiful summer day
· Walking dog to get boy
· Going on vacation with family in two days
Shoot, what could go wrong? Sounds like the perfect day, doesn’t it? Yes, it does sound like the perfect day (up to this point). But wait, there’s more…
So you walk to James’ house with Kelly (the Golden Retriever) to ‘retrieve’ your boy. Kelly doesn’t need a leash because she’s four years-old and NEVER leaves your side while you walk (actually, I think she’s terrified of getting left behind – anywhere). Please keep in mind that Kelly is ‘walking freely’ by your side. This part of the story is critical to the remainder of this post.
“Hi Tim!” I say as I find my son playing in the yard at his friend’s house.
“Hi Dad!”, Tim says as he looks up from the bike he’s sitting on.
“Kelly!” Tim gushes as he sees his favorite adult living in our home (yes, you read that correctly – he LOVES that dog and she’s almost 30 in ‘dog years’).
“Okay dude, we need to get moving so we can finish packing for our trip. And don’t forget, Kelly has to go to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm (a.k.a.: The Kennel) for the week. She’ll need to get a bath and get lots of love before we take her tomorrow…”
“Can’t Kelly come with us to Maine, Dad?” my son asks with an expectant look on his face.
“Sorry man we can’t do it. We’re staying in a hotel over-looking a bay or something in Maine and there’s no way we can sneak Fuzzy through the front door of the lobby. No outside entrances to the rooms.” I explained.
“Okay Dad.”, My son said as he turned on his bike to begin the ride up the hill back to our house.
“Come on Fuzz, what do you say we take a jog back to the house and race Tim on his bike?” I ask my 70-pound ‘walking fur factory’. The dog looks up at me, smiles, (Golden Retrievers DO this) and gets a look of far-off glee in her eyes.
After an unexpected surge of apprehension, I begin my lumbering semi-run up the hill back towards our house.
By way of back-ground, I am NOT a small man. In my prime I was 6’ 1” tall. (After age-related ‘normal shrinkage’ (a.k.a.: “the collapse of most disks in my spine”) I would estimate that I am just over 4’ 11” tall)).
As for weight, I am a lithe, 228 pounds (including stress-related FAT gained during several of my wife’s pregnancies – it’s hard to be a guy…).
This being said, we now re-join our story already in progress.
Kelly, true to form runs, panting, just next to my left leg as we run ‘with traffic’ up to the cross-street near my home. We turn onto the street in lock-step with each other at exactly the same speed, neither of us surging ahead, nor lagging behind the other. I decide that it would be a good time to ‘taunt’ the dog. (This, it turns out, is NOT a good idea.)
“Come on you great big lumbering pooh-maker, move those old legs and see if you can beat me back to the house.” I said this with a fair amount of smugness in my voice (and quickly ran out of breath because I don’t run MUCH in my day to day life). I continued the taunting questioning her designation as a ‘Sporting Breed’ dog and picked up my pace to begin the final sprint for home.
As I sped up, she quickened her pace to pull even with me. Not to be outdone, I began to pump my arms furiously and accelerate my mass to its maximum velocity (approximately equivalent to that of a possum crossing a busy highway at night (a.k.a.: SLOW)).
We were now fewer than 200 feet from the house. My arms furiously pumped like pistons fueled by an overwhelming desire to ‘Beat the dog to the house to prove a point’. Years later, I still wonder what that ‘point’ was, but yet I still can’t put my finger on it. Maybe I was just trying to prove that at 46 years of age that I could still out-run my middle-aged dog. Sort of like the “Old Guy vs. Old Dog Olympics”…
We’re now 100 feet away from the house. Victory will be mine as I pump my arms and Kelly trails me by a foot, just behind me, on my left. She sensed her impending failure and once again quickened her pace. Within striking distance we both realized what was at risk. The winner of this race would have bragging rights as 'Top Dog for the Day'. I wanted the title. Unfortunately for me, she wanted it MORE.
It happens FAST. She catches me, begins to pull ahead, looks at the driveway twenty-feet away to my right and then accelerates ‘into my path’. Yes, she veers into my path (where I, unfortunately, happen to be ‘lumbering and pumping’ at the time).
In less time than it takes to shout, “Kelly NO!” I attempt to ‘hurdle’ the dog who is now UNDER me as I continue to pump (and stumble) furiously forward. She bolts across the neighbor’s yard as I come down hard on my left foot, believe that I might just survive but when my right foot comes down and I realize that my upper-body is passing my legs.
Yes, there is no longer a question; I’m going down, and I’m going down hard. I’m going to land on my face, quite possibly my face is going into the curb. All 228 pounds of me is nothing more than ‘mass in motion’ at this point.
The pavement, which is now the only certain thing which will stop this forward momentum is going to hurt – a lot.
I found I have a deep-rooted aversion to stopping 228 pounds of my body with my face. Never having thought about it before, I intuitively knew that skidding my body (on my face) to a stop on the street, or crashing my forehead onto the curb will be a really ‘bad thing’. I twist in mid-air to land on my right side. It is all I can do. It is almost enough. I miss the curb by inches but the gravel on the side of the road puts holes in most of my exposed skin on the right side of my body. Apparently my shoulder takes most of the initial hit, following by a solid rap of my head (and glasses) into the street.
I do not remember if I remain conscious throughout the entire event or not. Mostly all I know is that everything hurts. My vision is blurry and there’s blood (lots of blood) coming from my shoulder, arm, palm, and knee. Luckily for me the stones embedded in my shoulder, arm, wrist, and knee from the fall is ‘stopping up’ much of the flow of blood.
As I pull my body up to and over the curb I shout to my kids, who have gathered by the end of the driveway, “Go get your Mom! Tell her I lost! And she should bring towels, lots of towels.”
I realize that the reason my vision is fuzzy is because my glasses are gone. Nonetheless my right eye hurts (a lot). Considering everything that’s happened in the past minute, it’s kind of hard to decide WHAT hurts the most.
When I land on the street the side of my head bounces onto the pavement. The only thing between my head and the asphalt – yeah, my eye glass frames. My youngest comes out to tell me that my wife (the nurse) is coming out and he finds my glasses and hands them to me. I put out my left arm (the only one currently working) and laugh. The left side of the frame is okay, but the right side corner piece is bent to about a 160-degree angle.
My right eye hurts because when I fell, the corner of the frame is pushed into the skin directly above my eye socket. Another half-inch lower and my family will be calling me ‘Popeye’ for the rest of my days.
My wife, the nurse, FREAKS when she sees me. “What happened to you?”
“The dog. The dog cheats. Don’t ever race her.”, It was all I could stand to say.
You know the rest of the story: We spend the next three hours removing the gravel, sand, and dirt from my open ‘wounds’ and trying to figure out exactly how much damage I’ve done to myself.
Unfortunately, I know now. I messed up a perfectly good vacation to Maine (we went, but I didn’t enjoy it at ALL since every movement caused me pain), I bent a perfectly good pair of glasses to a point where they needed to be replaced, and (bonus!) I damaged the rotator cuff of my right shoulder.
Almost three years later I can still use it to predict a change in weather. All because I wanted to teach the dog a lesson. Well, I taught her all right! Now she KNOWS she’s smarter than I am.
As for me, I will never race a dog ever again. Yes, even I can be taught…
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I fear I have gotten ahead of myself in relaying the story. What I need to do is take you back about six months earlier when there was just the ‘Rabbit’. My wife and I had been trying to ‘become great with child’ for about a year – with no success. The doctor told us that everything seemed to be working okay (wink – wink), but it may be a ‘timing’ issue. Apparently everything was getting to the delivery dock okay, but as it turned out, it was either before the truck arrived, or after the truck had just departed to the baby-making factory. Our delivery “absolutely, positively” had to be there overnight, but we kept missing the pick-up.
My wife had come across an ad in a woman’s magazine that highlighted a product designed to cure all of our baby-making ills. The “Rabbit” was a handheld device that tracked my wife’s temperature and (gasp) predicted her ovulation cycles. Personally speaking, I liked the ‘roll the dice’ concept of conception. Once you apply scientific method the process of making a baby – it seems too much like work. I’ll admit that our original methods were not successful, but practice makes perfect, and well, you know...
This being said, we sent our $90 payment to the folks who made the ‘Rabbit’, and waited anxiously for our ‘special delivery’ to arrive. About two weeks later, we were the proud owners of a digital ovulation prediction device – it lasted, appropriately enough, for nine months. Before “Good Morning’s” were tossed across the old Sealy Posturepedic, my wife would jam the ‘Rabbit’s’ thermometer into her mouth to determine if this was, or was not “THE DAY”. To make the device “Idiot Proof” (in case the husband was somehow involved in the fertilization process) the Rabbit featured a LCD display that graphically depicted the ideal day for ‘CONCEPTION’. (Professional Marketing Recommendation: If this thing also had a built-in TV remote, they would have sold A TON more of them.)
A buddy of mine went to a County Fair and fed a stray dog. The dog liked being fed. Liked being fed so much that she followed them home (my buddy and his wife had walked to the Fair). They liked the dog. The dog liked them. The dog liked many other dogs, apparently, many other times. The dog did not need a ‘Rabbit’. The dog, it turns out, was well on the way to being ‘great with pups’. Slugger, the name given to the stray turns out had quite a bit of ‘exposure’ to other dogs in the neighborhood. When she finally gave birth to eleven pups (aren’t you glad we normally get one baby at a time?). The puppies were an assortment of German Shepherd, Wire-Hair Terrier, Poodle, Husky, Beagle and Black Lab-like pups. With a single litter Slugger could have populated an entire puppy store. ‘Jenny’ was one of these pups.
Jenny was the runt and looked mostly like a Black Labrador Retriever. We decided that we would bring her into our home and make her the newest member of the family (especially since we were having no success at adding to our own ‘head-count’.) We brought her home and made her the center of our world. Unfortunately that was not good enough. This dog had an agenda. The dog (even at eight months of age) wanted to be the undisputed center of attention. I know this because of the events of one fateful Thursday afternoon.
Three months after adopting Jenny I came home from work one day to find my wife in tears and the dog gated in the kitchen.
“What happened?” I asked.
“The dog.” She answered.
“What happened to the dog?” I asked.
“The dog ate the ‘Rabbit’.” She sobbed.
“Huh?” I stammered, not grasping the immensity of what was to follow.
“The dog ate the ‘Rabbit’. It’s over there. It doesn’t work anymore. She chewed the
thermometer off and broke it. The dog ate it because, because, because she doesn’t want me to ever have a baby. She wants to be an, an, only child…..” My wife was sobbing even more loudly now.
“You’re kidding me -- right?” I asked, hoping that she was actually kidding.
“No, the dog ate the ‘Rabbit’ because she doesn’t want me to have a baby – so she ate it and now we’ll never have children because it cost $90 and you’re too cheap to buy another one.” It was at this point that she glared at me.
“Oh.” I said.
“You probably got the dog to get rid of the ‘Rabbit’ for you so we’d never have children.” She continued. “I don’t think you ever wanted to have a baby.”
“That’s not true, I love babies, and they’re so cute when they belong to other people, are in television commercials, when they’re sleeping……”
“You TRAINED the dog to eat the ‘Rabbit’ – didn’t you?” She said.
I did the only thing I could do at this point – I took the dog for a walk. No matter what I said at this point, I was going to lose.
Conversations over the next couple of days were a little tense, but I don’t think my wife actually believed that I taught the dog to destroy her ‘Rabbit’. It was the emotional let down of thinking that we wouldn’t EVER have a baby because our ‘Rabbit’ died. Now, three kids later, I just laugh. Not able to have children? We had children when we were trying, thinking about trying, and not even trying at all. Here, therefore is our amended equation for baby-making:
I have some advice to anyone burning up hours of life worrying about whether you’ll ever have children or not – relax. If it’s meant to be – it’ll happen. Feel free to enjoy all of your life, not just selected parts of it. There’s enough stress in life to go around, don’t compound it by making romance into ‘work’.
But just in case there are otherwise happily-married couples out there looking to take all the romance out of their lives and do what we did, I recommend the following:
Look in the back of a women’s magazine (they're all pretty much the same) and I’ll bet that there are newer and even cooler versions of our old ‘Rabbit’ out there. So ladies and gents, bust out the credit card, pick up that phone and have that little device shipped via Next Day Air! You could be just a month away from the beginning of your first Trimester! And you thought your life was already stressful enough?
And guys, after a few months of feeling like you’re getting a little too much pressure to perform ‘your duties’, and if you happen to have a puppy at home, I have two words for you: ‘Peanut Butter’
I’m not saying I did, and I’m not saying I didn’t. You too must find your own path (preferably with your wife, and a good dog by your side).