Saturday, June 30, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 6/30/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason it never makes me look good. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier. So here are the “Things I Learned This Week” for the week of 6/22/07-6/30/07.

! I learned that when making homemade non-alcoholic Mint Juleps, only one teaspoon of Peppermint Extract should be used. Trust me, when you use two, you may as well liquefy an Altoid Mint and drink it. It was good for clogged sinuses though!

! I learned that I should never have taught Lucy and Ethel to dance to MC Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This.’ While it was cute at first, I am really ready for them to stop saying ‘break it down’ every chance they get.

! I learned that pretending a starfish is stuck to my face while at the interactive tide pools at Sea World is only funny to Lucy and Ethel. The hosts at the tide pools are obviously lacking a sense of humor.

! I learned that before I make fun of a city near our company’s headquarters, I should first learn what city the representative from headquarters lives in. Yes, they happened to be the same city and the last part of lunch was very quiet. I also learned when asked why my clients are doing so well, I should not answer with a joke about how they are bribing me with lots of cash.

! I learned that when in an important quarterly staff meeting with upper management, I should not answer a question about a recent conference call by saying ‘I really can’t remember, I was sleeping through it.’ I think my boss got me out of that one.

! I learned that telling Female Coworker that ‘she’s just one of the guys’ isn’t quite the compliment I intended it to be.

And lastly,

! I learned that leaving the office early because it is my one-year blogiversary is not recognized by our company as an accepted excuse for working a half-day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

That Was The Greatest Staff Meeting, EVER!!!

I may have alluded to this throughout the week, but I had my big upper management staff meeting today where we had to essentially justify our existence. My fellow bloggers gave me a lot of great ideas to use to get through the meeting and now that it’s over, I have to say IT WAS THE BEST STAFF MEETING EVER!! Let’s put it this way, my boss gave me several looks throughout the meeting that essentially said ‘you’ll be blogging about this, won’t you.’ Rest assured I gave him the ‘you bet your behind’ look back several times.

The meeting started off innocently enough. My fellow prankster coworker and I had been debating all week whether to speak like pirates or gangstas through the meeting. In fact, we spent the majority of yesterday practicing both methods. A bet was even placed that I would slip the phrase ‘walk the plank’ into my presentation.

Having worked with this particular upper manager before, I kind of knew what to expect, but all of my coworkers did not. The tone of the meeting was set early when Female Coworker was asked what client keeps her up at night worrying. I answered the question for her and Upper Manager stopped me and asked Female Coworker ‘what’s the deal, are you sleeping with Michael?’ I began choking on my coffee and everyone else’s mouth hit the floor. Then we all laughed. It kind of opened the floodgates of inappropriateness. Seriously, have you ever heard an Upper Manager make accusations of a coworker’s sleep partners? I wonder how our HR department would feel about that. Actually, after the many meetings I have had with them, I know the answer…

Then came the moment when Upper Manager said, ‘OK Female Coworker, since you’re sleeping with Michael, who keeps him up at night worrying?’ Female coworker answered the wrong client. Upper Manager then made a comment about how I had been lying to Female Coworker in bed. I tried to regain control of the situation and explained that I had lied to Female Coworker so she would let me get some sleep last night…AND I GOT AWAY WITH IT!!!. My friends, I had tested the waters of office rudeness and let me tell you, they were very, very warm. For the rest of the meeting, Female Coworker was asked what each male coworker said about their clients while in bed with her. It was almost surreal and I really did think I was being tested. I’d like to think I lived up to the expectations that had been set.

When In The Office Two Days A Week Guy began his presentation by stating he was not much for metrics and numbers, we all listened as he read off his stats for a few minutes. I then asked him sarcastically when he was going to get to the metrics. Upper Manager did not laugh. Then New Guy began his presentation by handing Upper Manager highlighted spreadsheets detailing his performance. Immediately and collectively, everyone rolled their eyes. I was almost driven to tears by this display of eye-rolling teamwork and camaraderie. It was totally a Dwight Schrute thing to do and New Guy will now forever be called Schrute by those of us who will remember his actions from this day forward. Since rude and crude was now acceptable, I offered him my lip balm as he wrapped up his presentation. New Guy may not have appreciated it, but everyone else sure did.

Then came to moment we were all waiting for. It was Mr. Socially Oblivious’ turn to justify his job. And boy did he. He took a cell phone call while Upper Manager was asking him a question, cussed like a Catholic boy whose parents are out of town and kept biting his fingernails. We all smiled knowing that we could not have scripted it any better. And please keep in mind this is the same guy that when he saw his secretary at the donut shop this morning, told her it looked like she was getting fat. When our other secretary told him last week that she was pregnant, he responded with ‘again?’ I could go on, but I don’t want to bias you. When he referred to one of his lady clients as being ‘Very Female,’ we all lost it. Do I really need to tell you that for the remainder of the day, everything we described was described as being ‘Very Female?’ Even lunch. My quesadilla was ‘Very Female,’ as was my boss’ salad and the waitress who served them to us. Seriously, all Mr. Socially Oblivious skipped doing was simulating the size of the woman’s chest with his arms. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever given someone a more appropriate nickname than Mr. Socially Oblivious.

Well, that was our staff meeting in a nutshell. It featured all the things that make entertainment captivating. It had sex, adult content, bravery, betrayal, tension and a cast working towards a common goal. Unfortunately, I did lose the bet about working the phrase ‘walk the plank’ into the meeting. I did however explain what ‘gangstas’ and pirates have in common…they both like booty. AND I GOT AWAY WITH IT!!!!! Maybe this place isn’t so bad after all…

Did I just say that out loud? What is happening to me…?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Has Anyone Seen The Last Year Of My Life??

Well, here it is. Today is my one-year blogiversary. I checked into copyrighting that phrase, but the guy at the counter said all he could do was accept my utility payment, he knew nothing about copyrights. You never know where a great idea will come to you, unfortunately the right person isn’t always around, I guess. Now that I actually have to deliver on my one-year extravaganza, I’m afraid I over hyped the occasion just a little. I have a tendency to do that. As a result, Lucy and Ethel are often left asking me ‘is that it Daddy’ while I hold a camera saying things like ‘see, see, I told you this would be the coolest thing ever!’ I promised myself I’d stop doing that. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Sorry.

As the days approaching my extravaganza counted down, I was dismayed at the total lack of B-list celebrities I invited that actually accepted. I was going to go all out for this one. Roseanne Barr, Miss America, David Hassellhoff, the curator of Elvis’ Graceland, Oprah’s friend Gayle, a representative of OPEC, one of the camera guys from American Idol, the first person other than a family member who visited my blog, many of the people in the news I made fun of, I mean wrote about in my posts, my high school English teacher who said I’d never amount to anything, my high school math teacher who said I’d never amount to anything, 5-7 ex-girlfriends who said I’d never amount to anything and Desmond Tutu (just because it’s so fun to say and he never said I wouldn’t amount to anything, but then again, he doesn’t know me yet). But, that’s not all. I also invited Lorne Michaels, Donny Most from Happy Days, the VPs of Programming for both The Travel Channel and The Food Network, my heroes Bob Newhart, Fred Willard and Batman himself, Adam West. I thought about inviting a few Playboy bunnies, but I’d just giggle when they got near me. However, above all else, the biggest surprise would have been at the end of the night when the financial consultant I hired was going to come out on stage and prove that I had indeed amounted to something. $5.27, to be exact. Then we’d serve pie and the Rockettes would do my almost-patented Happy Dance.

Unfortunately, I discovered around midnight last night that I had misplaced the invitations. Although, all those people I just mentioned will apparently each be getting an index card from a speech I am preparing to give during a staff meeting on Friday. By the way, if any of my invitees are reading this, can you please return those? If you overnight them, I’ll still have them in time for my presentation at work…

So, just like all my past milestone posts, I’m left with a big empty banquet hall that I rented for the occasion and lots of fun ideas and party favors left unused. Is anyone in the market for 8,000 kazoos with the words ‘Bitchin’ Blogiversary’ on them? I think I should officially mark ‘Party Planner’ off my future career list.

I think I’ll dim the lights, undo my tie and croon Sinatra’s ‘In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning.’ I’ve always wanted to do that. Or, I could grab a couple of brooms and practice plate spinning on them at the banquet hall’s expense. Or, I could turn on the strobe light and dance all night to “Disco Inferno.’ Or, I could vacate the hall altogether since I think I hear a security guard coming. Now I wish I hadn’t paid extra for the nighttime fireworks extravaganza. That was one slick salesman…

Before I leave though, I wanted to sincerely thank everyone who takes the time to visit this blog. Aw shucks, it means a lot to me! Well, at least the ones who leave a comment. As for the ones who don’t leave comments, well, no comment. A year ago today I sat down to do something I had been wanting to do since my heart surgery in 2005 but never did (I mean write, not just sit down in front of the computer. I already did too much of that). I picked out by blog’s template, wrote a few lines and was on my way. It took just a few days before I was hooked.

I actually started my blog with the comment feature off. It was one of my real world friends who suggested I should allow comments. Looking back, I guess she was my enabler. I did that and my life hasn’t been the same since. I have met so many great people over the last year (some who have been with me from almost day one and some who have only recently come to know me). I feel like I have all of these new friends that I get to share a little part of life with everyday and wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s really a pretty cool phenomenon. I just wish I knew what else had happened in the world over the last year. It seems like if it didn’t happen on someone’s blog or in my comments section, it didn’t really happen. No, I’m not addicted, not me. It could never happen to me…

OK, enough of all that emotion and stuff. Now, where did I put the helium tank? I feel like singing ‘I Like Big Butts’ as Alvin and the Chipmunks…

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Don’t Care What’s In ‘Em, I Just Care That They Taste Good!

The stars are starting to align and life is good. My one-year blogiversary is finally tomorrow and the competitive food eating circuit may about be back to normal, but more about that in a minute. To think, one year ago right now, I sat at my computer blissfully unaware of the horrible blogging addiction that would begin the following day. Ahhh, simpler times, simpler times…

It’s almost the 4th of July where we will take to the streets, BBQs and illegal fireworks stands to celebrate out nation’s birthday. It’ll also be the day when Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest is held. When ESPN airs the food contest and the guy that once called the Indy 500 for ABC is the announcer, you know the contest must be big! Unless the announcer did something really wrong and has been exiled to the dung heap of sports announcing – food contests. Watching the competitors cram hot dogs and buns into their mouths at a furious pace is part of the holiday celebration for me. As is me getting violently ill while making my annual promise that I will never eat hog dogs again.

The 2005 contest was a particular favorite of mine. It was just a few days after my surgery and I sat cooped up in my hospital room with my two older but wiser roommates on one of my favorite holidays of the year. As we watched the hot dogs being devoured, we commented how disgusting it all really was and I stated that if the hospital tried to serve us hot dogs in honor of the 4th, I would revolt by pulling out my IV and my equally battered roommates declared their support, even though I think one of them was asleep while doing so.

Move two hours forward when my caring friends showed up from 100 miles away with a box of homemade grilled hot dogs. It was a very touching gesture with very bad timing. My roommates snickered and politely declined to take one as I very slowly tried to eat my hot dog without gagging while I worked on getting the horrific display of hot dog contests out of my mind. Japanese contestant Takeru Kobayashi won his second straight contest that year and won it again last year. He successfully came to American soil and beat us at what we are best at – gluttony. The big-bellied American challengers could only shake their heads in shame.

Well, that’s all going to change this year. Kobayashi came out yesterday and said that he’s been injured. He is suffering from an arthritic jaw (I bet that’s fun to try and watch him speak when the arthritis in his jaw flares up) and while he is seeking treatment, has said he may not be able to compete. This is only a few weeks after perennial American challenger Joey Chestnut shattered Kobayashi’s hot dog eating record in one of Coney Island’s qualifying events. While Kobayashi is shorter and small framed, Chestnut is everything you would expect to find in a food-eating contestant. He’s big and well, large. This is the type of guy that should win a contest where the only requirement is to eat as much as possible before time expires. I’d personally try to compete so I could capture the championship for America, but I’ve become pretty anti-vomit over the years…

Maybe I’m just cynical, but I think Kobayashi is using his arthritic jaw to grease the way for his loss. When we Americans finally take back the 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest title next week, he’ll be able to say he was too injured and therefore could not properly compete. It’s not the honorable thing to try to do, but it is good strategy. After all, I should know. I do the same thing every morning when I get to work. I tell everyone I didn’t sleep well or I don’t feel well and then watch their expectations of me drop. Well played Mr. Kobayashi, well played indeed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Watch Out For Mother Nature…She’s A Real Mutha.

I’m in the middle of preparing for my blog’s one-year blogiversary spectacular on Thursday, so I may be more brief than usual the next two days. Don’t act so relieved! Perhaps, just perhaps I will finally create my elusive Perfect Post for Thursday. Of course, the pressure to do something big Thursday is crushing my skull, so thinking hasn’t been real easy. Maybe I should just take the day off…

While at SeaWorld yesterday, I noticed the sign I posted today, well, posted in front of these pink birds. I immediately saw the humor in it and after twenty minutes of explaining it in detail to those around me; they agreed that it was indeed blogworthy. Although I did have to explain ‘blogworthy’ to the elderly German couple next to me, but they eventually agreed. It might have helped that I bought them an ice cream and a churro to snack on.

Seriously folks, how cruel can Mother Nature be? The Lesser Flamingo? What a slap in the face. Sure, these birds aren’t smart enough to know that we are putting them down, but what a horrible name. I guess the name comes from the pale pinkish color of their feathers as opposed to the bright, full color plumage of ‘normal’ flamingos. If there is a Lesser Flamingo, does that mean the ‘normal’ flamingo needs to be called the Official Flamingo or Flamingo Personified or the Poster Flamingo? No wonder the Lesser Flamingos were squawking every time someone walked up.

I personally thought the ‘Lessers’ looked nice. In fact, they bore such a resemblance to the pink cotton candy that Lucy and Ethel were eating; I thought it would be cute to pose them in front of the ‘Lessers’ while holding their bag of cotton candy. Unfortunately, after the picture was taken, it looked like they were tiny twin hunters proudly holding up the Lesser Flamingo they just bagged. Accordingly, I decided not to post that pic today for fear of mistaken retaliation by either animal rights groups or the federal animal protection folks. Plus I didn’t want to have to give up my annual pass just yet…

Granted I am very tired after pushing two twin Barbara Walters (they ask soooo many questions) around in a stroller all day yesterday, but I can only think of one other instance right now of Momma Nature being so cruel. The donkey. Does the little guy really deserve the nickname of A$$? What did the donkey ever do? Just work his little bushy tail off, that’s all! Maybe the donkey should be renamed the ‘work horse’ or the ‘Farmer’s Bitc-.’ OK, scratch that, I got a little carried away. That last name isn’t so flattering.

Mother Nature has made many cruel jokes in her time. The giraffe, elephant, walrus, and duck-billed platypus come to mind, as does my face, but I’m choosing not to dwell on that right now. Why was it so necessary to pit the Flamingo against the Lesser Flamingo? All this did was ensure that the Lesser Flamingo would be an aggressive fighter and the Flamingo would take things for granted. In the end, the Lesser Flamingo may just prevail. YOU GO, UNDERDOG, OR UNDERBIRD!!! Gheesh, underbird sounds kind of demeaning too. I had better just stop here.

Now why do I hear the strains of Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’ playing in the background?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Take My Kids, Please.

Until the last few months, I never realized there were so many wonderful holidays out there just waiting to be noticed and celebrated. For you today, I present the latest holiday that Hallmark Forgot. Today is ‘Please Take My Children To Work Day.’ I want to make sure you understood today’s holiday correctly. It’s not ‘May I Take My Kids To Work Day,’ it’s more like a plea to take my children to your place of business.

Upon doing a little more research, which I really, really hate doing; the holiday is actually designed to be a day off for stay at home moms. That would have been one of my first guesses. My other guess is that it was a day created out of spite and revenge. There are several people I can think of that I would like to send Lucy and Ethel to work with just to get even with them. Granted, half of them are in my office, so I can’t do that because it would be just like ‘Take Your Kids To Work Day,’ which is just another way of getting out of paying for high-priced daycare.

If I was ever successful in sending my kids to work with someone, that person would be fired for the lowest ever productivity. It’s also a safe bet that they rank low on the list of people I like. Taking my girls anywhere is equivalent to torture in many war torn countries. Let’s just assume for a second that they were taken to someone’s office for the day. The unlucky person (we’ll call that person Employee X for short) would figure out pretty early on that they bit off way more than they can chew. It would start on the car ride into the office. First, the twins would point out that driving anywhere is sing along time and that Employee X had not selected the correct music, was driving too slow and that the way they are traveling is most certainly not the way to Daddy’s office. They may also say something about a dish that has been missing for two weeks and that it was actually broken by their father and not lost, but hopefully Employee X would choose to ignore it. And that folks is all before they even get to work.

I could detail what the rest of the day would be like, but I think you get the idea. Just imagine being asked why about everything you do and then being told you’re wrong when you answer them. It may be selfish, but I don’t think I would want to take anyone else’s kids to work with me either. It would ruin the flow of my day. Yes, I’m the type of person who avoids the new guy at work because I don’t want to have to answer questions and be taken from my daily routine. I know I’m going to have to pay dearly for that one day when the Work Gods decide they have had enough. I’m sure it will involve our building’s maintenance people being gone, a backed up toilet and my boss giving me a plunger. Don’t get me wrong, I still say hello and everything and once the new guy is trained, I’m his best friend. It’s explaining why I do something the way I do it when I can’t stand doing it that bothers me. Yeah, I’ve got a plunger headed my way. I just know it.

Maybe there needs to be a ‘Do My Job For Me Day.’ It would be a great way for high school or college students to get some extra credit. They go to my office for the day and essentially do my job. I just wonder if I should have to be there for that. The upside is that students would be exposed to the working environment and the downside is that, well; students would be exposed to the working environment. OK, maybe that’s not such a good idea.

How about this one…‘Take Michael To Work With You Day.’ Yes, that’ll do. I’ll get to accompany you to your office and just sit with you all day. I might be good for getting coffee or making a few copies without jamming the machine and I promise not to ask many questions. I’ll try to be charming, I’ll make jokes, I’ll give dirty looks to your enemies and be buddy, buddy with your favorite coworkers. When you cuss about a project you are working on, I’ll cuss right along with you. I can help you with your office pranks and answer the phone while you slip away for a little while. I’ve also got a ton of funny cubicle references I can give you to impress your coworkers and I’d be more than happy to help you give your coworkers slightly insulting but descriptive nicknames. Oh, the fun we would have. I’ll even pay for lunch. I’ll be expensing it so you might get a call from my corporate accounting people, but I know you’ll cover for me.

So, now we just have to find an appropriate day to celebrate ‘Take Michael To Work With You Day.’ I don’t know what your schedule looks like, but I can be free almost any Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and days after I was up late or when a major project is due. And the day before a holiday. Oh, and the day after a holiday. Actually, days when new CDs are released are bad for me too as are nice weather days. You know what, never mind. You can just take my kids to work…please…

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Repost Sunday: In Search Of The Perfect Post

Since I am too lazy to create something new on Sundays, I repost past posts (that was fun to say). It occurred to me yesterday that Thursday will mark my one year anniversary, or blogaversary. Almost a year later, I find myself still trying to create the 'Perfect Post' so what better Repost than this one...

For whatever reason, I rarely strive to undertake something to the best of my ability. I realize I should but it helps me manage people’s expectations. The lower I keep them, the less will hopefully be asked of me. I have made the mistake in the past of setting very high expectations, which only proves to be a pain to live up to. However, when it comes to this blogging stuff, I find myself striving for perfection at least three days a week.

Daily I read posts that are excellent and inspire me to create the ultimate post - one that should be marked as a classic in the dictionary or encyclopedia. Well, ok, I’d settle for an entry in I came across a few of them again while surfing blogs this morning and it really got me thinking about what would make the perfect post, the post that when I realized it could not be topped would send me into blogging retirement, and maybe a book deal. Though I’d settle for getting a pamphlet published.

Of course by describing it to you, it kind of takes away the need to actually write the perfect post since I’ll essentially be doing that here, but maybe that’s just my way of talking about doing the work instead of actually doing it. While the perfect post means different things to different writers, for me it would have to be witty, laugh out loud funny and at the same time make the reader think long after reading it, though not in a college philosophy class type of way. The penultimate post also needs to force readers to contemplate such deep thoughts as their own mortality, their particular brand of spirituality, how we coexist as a global people and why the Dave Clark 5 could be the most underappreciated band of the entire British Invasion. OK, you got me. I ran out of ideas when I wrote that last item. Perfection is hard.

As difficult as it will be to accomplish, my ‘classic’ post should also leave people in awe of my brilliant intelligence, or my ‘brilligence,’ if you will. Oh yeah, getting people to cry would be cool too. So would having people quote it for years after or see it put into an email and forwarded dozens of times. And having it stolen for use as an advertising slogan. And having the post spark an entire new movement, but that’s it. OK, and it could lead to my own TV comedy development deal. Really though, if I had to choose just one effect of composing the perfect post, I’d just settle for the crying part. Or the quoting part. Although the TV thing would be pretty neat.

Now for the actual nitty gritty elements of my perfect post. I realize that by getting into these items that I am providing you with the elements and blue print to compose the perfect post, thereby making it possible for my perfect post to be stolen. However, I am trusting, or na├»ve or maybe just not that smart, so I don’t mind providing these secret ingredients for the perfect post. After all, the perfection lies in how the elements are presented, which by the way I will also provide for a nominal fee.

All right, now here is what the perfect post should contain. Oh, you know what; I’ve already exceeded my 500 words for the day. Now I won’t be able to share what is needed for the perfect post. I guess I spent too much time talking about it. Hopefully I didn’t get anyone too excited. Sorry about that. Well, as long as I’m around to see the sunrise and my computer boots up, there’s always tomorrow. Hey, that’s pretty good. I need to remember that.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

25 Equals A Quarter, Right??

In honor of her 25th birthday on June 24th, SilverNeurotic has asked those willing to participate in creating posts about our experiences or memories of the last 25 years. Since she is a great blogger and I’m always looking for easy post ideas (that’s a joke, I would have done this anyway), I was more than happy to participate. However, since I have trouble conforming, I am going to write about my coworker Mr. Socially Oblivious Guy’s most vivid memories of the last 25 minutes. I’m kidding Silver. Happy Birthday. Now let’s board the memory train and see where it dumps us off.

I’m pretty bad at math so I can’t really tell you how old I was 25 years ago, but I can tell you that I’m pretty sure I’m 33 now. I’ll let you confirm the math, but I believe that means that 25 years ago for me was about 1956. That was the year that Elvis made it big. I have no first hand experiences of Elvis, but I’ve seen a lot of footage and listened to (and like) a lot of his music. I also have become a big fan of his fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. I think eating them is clogging my arteries, but they are very tasty and since I pay so much for healthcare anyway, I might as well get my money’s worth. I also hope to shoot out my TV screen with a gun one day when there is something on that I don’t like. Yes, Elvis was cool. That’s a nice memory, isn’t it Silver?

I also remember that 1956 saw the release of the very first compact disc. It was a recording of Abraham Lincoln’s Jettysburger address. Although I’ve never heard it, I believe it was his dedication speech for the opening of the first Illinois franchise of the Jetty’s Burger Shack. On that special day, Lincoln told onlookers that The Jetty Jumbo Burger was only a dime and Jetty Soda was a nickel. In fact, Lincoln enjoyed the meal so much, he was heard to have said ‘let’s get this stuff catered at Ford’s Theater and let’s go there tonight. A play without a Jetty burger is like a gun shot to the head from the rear by a Southern Rebel sympathizer,’ or something like that.

Guess what also happened on this day, 25 years ago in 1943, Silver. There was a ton of celebrity birthdays. Here’s just a few of them. 25 years ago on June 24th, Paris Hilton, Regis Philbin, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the doctor from House, Homer Simpson, Donny Most (the actor who played Ralph on Happy Days) and the deceased Bob Hope were born. Yes, 25 years ago today was quite, quite special.

In politics, Thomas Jefferson was in the middle of his 14th term as President. 1938 was also the year that food preparation changed forever. The microwave was debuted on this day 25 years ago in 1938. The microwave promised to cook food ‘somewhat faster than your conventional oven, but with many more harmful rays and side effects.’ The new kitchen gadget flew off the shelves. Then, microwave builders realized they could be bolted down during food reheating and they no longer flew off the shelves, but they did sell a lot. It’s rather surprising that so many microwave units were sold when you consider that one unit cost $13.4 million dollars.

Speaking of a lot of money, Microsoft released its first version of Windows 25 years ago today in 1927. Named Computer Ready Application Program or CRAP for short, it caused a buying frenzy for the world’s 13 computer users. Microsoft Windows CRAP featured many user-friendly applications that had never been available on a computer before. There was a version of Pong, a calculator and a little blinking cursor that you could not do anything with. Microsoft Windows CRAP could not be used or interfaced with anything, but people really enjoyed looking at it. Another fantastic memory, don’t you think?

Although the information was a little sketchy, it appears that the birthday cake was also invented 25 years ago. How appropriate that we celebrate Silver’s birthday on the same day that we celebrate the cake she’ll be presented with on her birthday. I hope you get everything you want for your B-day Silver, especially that Apple Ipod, which, yes, was invented on this day in 1956, some 25 years ago.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. Or Yesterday?

Well, I got behind in checking my daily list of (what some believe to be) holidays. It was brought to my attention that today is a special holiday and that I missed one heck of a holiday yesterday. I really am embarrassed. And I don’t mean embarrassed in the ‘really, I didn’t even notice I have two different colored socks on today’ type of way. Not that I do have on two different colored socks…at least not today. Besides, my difficulty in telling dark blue from black has been previously documented.

I am still kicking myself, and have been since last night, that I didn’t know until the end of yesterday that yesterday was…RECESS AT WORK DAY!!!!! It was the holiday I was put on this earth to observe (well, that and my birthday I guess) and I missed it. So, with a tear in my eye, sniff sniff, I will attempt to describe in vivid detail how I would have celebrated Recess at Work Day, the greatest holiday ever despite all the other holidays that I have already bestowed that same title upon. I can tell you first off that it would have involved a bell or a whistle, whichever was cheaper at the 99-cent store. Oh wait a minute; they both would have been 99 cents. Great, I could have purchased both! I would have shown up at work like I always do (no, I’m not talking about the late part) and would not have said a word to anyone about the big day. Then, at about 10:20 after my first three cups of coffee and tea, I would blow the whistles and ring the bell, while singing into the emergency/disaster megaphone that it was time to head outside.

As my coworkers sit around grumbling and mumbling about what is going on, I’d walk from office to office explaining that it was Recess at Work Day and I was commencing recess. 45 minutes later, when I’ve coerced everyone out into the parking lot, I would have lined everyone up against the wall and advised them that we were picking teams for Office Duty Dodgeball. How do you play Office Duty Dodgeball, you ask. Well, it’s a lot like regulation Dodgeball (I think, I’ve never read the regulations) with the exception that when you are hit by the ball, you have to complete the office tasks of the person who hit you with the ball. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’ll make New Guy and myself the team captains. Obviously, I would pick Female Coworker as my first pick. There is no way in the world I want her having an opportunity to throw a ball at me. I think she’s one of those athletes that play well angry. After the game, I’d pass out juice boxes, little plastic trophies and commemorative certificates. Then, we’d take a head count and file back into the office…until it was time for second recess…and a game of ‘Duck, Duck Do My Expense Report’…

Recess at Work Day will not be forgotten by me anytime soon, I assure you. Perhaps I’ll try to celebrate it next Friday when upper management comes to visit us. But enough about yesterday, let’s focus on today and something we still have the opportunity to celebrate. Today is both ‘Stupid Guy Thing Day’ and ‘Take Your Dog To Work Day.’ Now, it seems to me that bringing your dog to work would be a stupid guy thing to do, unless you are a woman. If that’s the case, please don’t be offended. Sadly, I can’t find any reference to this supposed stupid guy holiday on the interweb (but I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it). Oh well, I guess we can’t celebrate. Sorry everyone…there must not be a Stupid Guy Thing Day.

Seriously, guys may do stupid things, ‘but do we really have to have a holiday to emphasize it?’ I have been waiting to use that quote from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for 347 posts now. My blogging career is finally complete. In fact, I feel so complete; I don’t even need to finish this blog post…

…but I will because I’ve already wasted 30 minutes of my time putting it together. What types of stupid things do guys do? Well, please feel free to reference my last 346 posts. That should about sum it up. What are a guy’s famous last words? ‘Hey, watch this.’ That was almost the last thing I ever uttered when attempting to light 7 fireworks at the same time one 4th of July. Fortunately it worked, so we successfully beat our record with 9 the following year. Sure it was a close call, but we all felt so patriotic afterwards.

I don’t speak for all men, but most of the stupid guy things I do originate from my mouth. Sure, putting my body through some type of physical stunt is stupid, but so is having a conversation with a female while not paying attention. I have done this many, many times. I predict that with a few more tries, I might catch on. I have also heard more than my fair share of females call my obsession with NASCAR Racing as it being ‘a stupid guy thing.’ IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE CALLED A RECREATIONAL HOBBY PEOPLE! Just like watching sports on TV or trying to weed whack as closely as possible around the brand new flowers that were planted in the backyard without shredding them. I’m still working on perfecting that. Another stupid guy thing? Blaming the dog or the twins for the ruined flowers. Poor Mabel, that dog is the best friend a stupid guy could have and I mercilessly put the blame on her. Maybe I should have taken her to work with me today to make up for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the boss is gone today and I am going to try to see if I can jump over my cubical wall by leaping off my desk. I’ll call it Office High Jumping. Hey everybody, watch this…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Do It Again

For some reason, I had the urge today to name this post after the title of one of my favorite songs. I have no idea where that idea came from, but it’s by the Beach Boys and I heard it yesterday while walking (and by walking I mean clutching my chest, gasping and struggling through every step – man, I love exercise!!). ‘Do It Again’ is a great song about a So Cal summer and it got me thinking that today is officially the beginning of summer. Woo Hoo. I love me some summer. Sorry, I was trying to be cool and hip there, but fear I didn’t pull it off. Seriously, I love Summer. I’m just sorry she doesn’t love me back. Again, sorry. My train of thought keeps derailing.

I have always enjoyed summer. From swimming or playing softball, to staying out until the sun went down or just not having to be in school, it was always such a fun time. Even today, just the scent of cocoa sun tan lotion takes me back. There were trips to beach, sun burns, too much chlorine in the eyes and my favorite summery side effect – not being able to breath because of all the smog in my lungs after taking in deep breaths before swimming all day. I swear there were some summer nights my friends and I were like the walking dead. We couldn’t see, our eyes were blood shot and burned, our skin was more charred than a cheap plate of ribs and we breathed worse than an asthmatic. I just wish I knew why we couldn’t get dates back then. Gosh, I miss it!

Of course things are much different today. As a working adult, (well I show up to work, the working part is still under HR investigation), summer is awfully different than it used to be. Now, summer just means I get to sit in the office and have the AC on (when it’s working) instead of the heater (when that is working). There are no windows in our department, but if we’re lucky, we see the sun shine through the doorway when someone opens it. Sadly, it doesn’t even excite us anymore. Oh, and it’s hotter when we leave the office and the sun is still up when I head home. Other than that, there is really no way of being able to tell that summer is upon us.

I thought I would attempt to change that yesterday. Knowing that today would be the Summer Solstice (Latin for ‘Hope you lost that weight buddy, summer’s here,’ I’m sure), I approached my boss about the proper way to honor this important day. Other countries apparently have big bashes to welcome summer, so why shouldn’t we? Now my boss is the type of guy who likes to be presented with a plan, so I took detailed time (in between looking for a new ringtone and figuring out how to take two lunches) to put my ideas in a neatly crafted PowerPoint presentation…on napkins, from the place we went for lunch #1.

I told my boss that we should all get to wear Hawaiian shirts and fake floral leis. I even offered to buy fake (or would it be imitation – imitation sounds fancier) bamboo to place throughout the office. My presentation even included a slide, I mean napkin, dedicated to appropriate Summer Solstice music. I choose Jimmy Buffett and The Beach Boys. Realizing how important eating is to the office, I also included the fee for roasting a whole pig in the parking lot. I made up the estimate for the fee because I have no idea where to find someone in our city who does whole hog and the 411 information phone line kept hanging up on me when I asked for the number for pigs on a spit. Wait a minute, I may have asked for the phone number for spit on a pig. Well heck that explains that.

I had already bought a limbo pole, little umbrellas for our drinks and arranged for the local home improvement store to haul in 15 tons of sand. At first the person that helped me with the order thought it might be a bit much, but I told her it can get windy here in the afternoons. She mumbled something about how she really didn’t care and kept using the phrase ‘we’re on commission.’ Oh well, at 10AM tomorrow they are delivering me my sand. Lastly, I made a bunch of volleyballs with faces on them like in ‘Castaway’ and copied down all the words to Elvis’ movie song ‘Do The Clam.’ This was going to be one gnarly beach bash, dude. Again, I probably just over did it with my ‘cool’ phrasing…sorry.

Confident in the presentation I had just made to my boss, I bowed, waited for him and my coworkers to applaud (which those ingrates never did) and took my seat. I could tell that my boss was extremely impressed with my efforts by the way he kept starting to say something and then stopped himself as if he needed to regain composure. Finally, he said ‘hell no, it’s our busiest time of year and Michael already used most of our petty cash budget last week for the ice cream he walked two miles for in 100 degree weather that all melted before he got back.’ He also added that he wished I would put that type of effort into my everyday responsibilities, but I’m pretty sure…kinda sure…all right, assuming, he was kidding. We were all asked to get back to work, so being the professional I am, I sat back down in my office and sang ‘Summertime Blues’ as loudly as I could. Yep, you guessed it, another 11am meeting at HR again. I volunteered to bring the donuts this time.

So, Happy Start of Summer to you, if you get to celebrate that sort of thing…

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Working 9 To 5. If I Have To.

Maybe it’s the dawning of summer or it could just be the way my boss looked at me when I left the office (45 minutes early) this evening, but I have found myself thinking about other career paths on occasion lately. I should say that on occasion means when I am awake, or just breathing, really. It’s not that I hate my job, but the walls of my cubicle do feel like they are closing in on me tighter than the trash compactor scene in Star Wars. As a result, I’ve been watching people around me more closely to hopefully get alternative career choices. Well not alternative as in bio-fuel maker or exotic animal manure composting…not that I have anything against anyone currently doing that. In fact, do you have flyers and handouts I can take with me?

While out walking this morning, I passed a pool guy getting his truck ready for a day of cleaning other people’s pools. I don’t know if it was the exhaust of the two 18-wheelers that passed me at that moment or what, but I started daydreaming about going to work as a pool boy, guy, whatever. No, it wasn’t in the adult pool boy meets sexy pool owner bow-chicka-bow-bow way, although…well, never mind. It was more like how envious I was that he was going to spend the rest of the day doing two of my favorite things, while getting paid for it. Yes, could you imagine a more laid back day than driving from pool to pool and inhaling chlorine fumes all day? Sure, it would be a pay cut for me, but I’d be outside and near the water and the medical and insurance must be good if you drive, handle chemical agents and work near water all day, right? And if one of my customers (unless it’s clients) had a nice outdoor BBQ island, well that would just be the cocoa butter icing on the cake!

Aside from a few chemicals and those cheesy straps to hang my sunglasses around my neck, I’ve got all the equipment to begin tomorrow. I’ve got the truck, I’ve got the shorts and I bet my parents would even let me move back in with them. Folks, I’m thinking pool boy cleaner dude might be the next rung on my career ladder. Unless I find something better…

…Like professional charity pledge sponsored walker. I know it’s a long title, but CEO is such a short title and you have to wear professional business attire all the time instead of athletic clothes and walking shoes. Besides, the income potential is only limited by my ability to get people to pledge money for each mile I walk. Yes, it sounds like something Creed would do on The Office, but I’m proud to say I’ve always had a little entrepreneurial spirit in me. It’s so simple really, perhaps even simpler than showing up to the office each day and essentially getting paid to blog. What, did I say that? I know nothing about such sneaky office antics. Surely you all know me well enough to understand that I work my rear off on real serious stuff from the time I get to the office until the time they kick me out. You do believe me, right? SERIOUSLY, BELIEVE ME NOW!!! Ok, thanks.

So here’s my plan. I get dressed up (that means jeans that aren’t faded and a polo shirt that makes my neck itch) and go house to house with a pamphlet about a charity or cause so I can ask for $1.00 per each mile that I walk. If I can do it without killing myself, I’ll cover fifty miles and make fifty dollars per person that sponsored me. Wait, wait, wait. Let’s make that twenty-five miles. Twenty-five dollars per person isn’t bad, I’ll just sign up more people to sponsor me. OK, you know what, let’s just make it ten miles and I’ll hit up friends and relatives too.

Except for the mind numbing guilt I will feel because of my Catholic upbringing and the whole ‘it might be considered illegal’ part, it’s a brilliant strategy. I can do a different charity every day and after the tax deducts, I should be sitting pretty, in a house, on a hill, with a view, ooh, and a pool. The best part is, I’ll still have all the chemicals and equipment to clean the pool myself.

So, have I told you about the plight of the Spotted Yellow Tipped Duck? Well, I’m doing this walk you see…

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Seven Things

Heart Of Darkness tagged me with this list of seven things. Since I got tagged twice this week (I feel so special), I decided I would do the first one today. Wow, this one was hard. I smell smoke and I think it’s coming from my head. One may be the loneliest number you will ever do, but seven is easily the hardest. It’s even harder than the number two (with my apologies to Three Dog Night)…

Seven things you plan to do before you die:
one) Make funeral arrangements – Mark my words, I WILL be buried in cargo shorts and my Smokey and the Bandit t-shirt!
two) Visit Graceland
three) Compete in a BBQ competition
four) Be right…just once
five) Attend a World Series game
six) Move to New England
seven) Retire…I hope.

Seven things you can do:
one) Tick out loud
two) Close both nostrils at the same time without passing out.
three) Quote endlessly from Saturday Night Live
four) Annoy my coworkers
five) Cook a mean Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
six) Make some people laugh
seven) Apparently count to seven

Seven things you can't do:
one) Tell the difference between black dress pants and dark blue dress pants. Fortunately, female coworker let’s me know after I show up to work.
two) Sit at work for more than 8 minutes without needing to get up and go talk to someone. Would that be ADD or boredom?
three) Go more than 60 minutes without checking my email
four) Eat green vegetables without having the gagging reflex
five) Have an MRI – imagine the metal in me and the magnets of the MRI…
six) Be serious
seven) Iron pants!!

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex:
one) Sense of humor
two) Smile
three) Sense of humor
four) Eyes
five) Sense of humor
six) Kindness and thoughtfulness…are those the same thing?
seven) Likes lobster…so what….go ahead, call me superficial!!

Seven things you say most:
one) It made me giggle like a 12 year old schoolgirl
two) Woo Ho
three) Holy Moley
four) Really, I was supposed to be to work at 8:30? I thought you said 9.
five) The twins did it
six) Does that come with French fries?
seven) What would Elvis do in this situation?

Seven celebrity crushes:
one) Julie Bowen
two) Sara Evans
three) Tina Fey
four) Jenna Fischer
five) Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland
six) Giada DeLaurentis from the Food Network
seven) Mary Tyler Moore (from her Dick Van Dkye show days)

Seven songs that I can't get out of my head:
one) Ain’t That A Kick In The Head
two) Midnight Train to Georgia (Woo Woo)
three) Chattahoochee
four) Can’t Touch This – please in the name of all this is Holy, don’t ask me why
five) Redneck Yacht Club
six) Pennies From Heaven – Louis Prima’s version
seven) He Stopped Loving Her Today – best country song ever written

Seven things you do in the middle of the night, although you shouldn't:
one) Toss and turn
two) Stare at the alarm clock
three) Tap my finger to my heart valve’s ticks
four) Cuss at my alarm clock
five) Develop my next day’s post in my head
six) Sing to myself
seven) Set my alarm clock back an extra hour

Seven things I'd bring to a deserted island:
one) Music, I think Jimmy Buffett would be appropriate
two) A fine selection of beef, cheese and other meat products
three) The entire collection of Dave Barry’s writing
four) Satellite TV
five) Cell phone, so I could delight in gleefully tossing it into the ocean
six) A Hammock
seven) Gilligan’s Island DVDs – not for entertainment, for survival tips.

Seven shows on TV you follow:
one) The Office
two) 30 Rock
three) The Simpsons
four) Inside NASCAR
five) Deadliest Catch
six) According to Jim
seven) Studio 60, even though it’s about to be cancelled.

Seven reason why the world is better off you don't carry a gun:
one) Bad Aim
two) I get cranky when I’m thirsty
three) I get cranky when I’m hot
four) I get cranky when I’m hungry
five) I get easily annoyed at work
six) I’d probably accidentally shoot myself
seven) I’d eventually drop it in a crowd at the most inopportune time

Seven things I can't do without:
one) Music
two) Meat
three) Laughter
four) Melted Cheese
five) Shorts
six) Internet/Email
seven) Oxygen, seriously. None of us can, right?

Seven things that make life worth living (a little longer):
one) Good friends/family
two) My twins
three) The beach
four) The end of the work day
five) Beautiful weather
six) Lobster drenched in butter
seven) The hope that one day a photographer will catch Oprah falling off a sidewalk or something

Seven things I used to do when I was young/er but no longer do:
one) Sleep well
two) Want to get a job
three) Get nosebleeds
four) Eat my vegetables. Of course then it was by force. Hey, that rhymed…
five) Bite my nails
six) Ride a bike
seven) Looked forward to growing up

Seven things that make it hard for people to like me:
one) My never being serious
two) My rugged good looks and great grin…I’m kidding. See, I told you I could never be serious!
three) I can be very sarcastic
four) My obsession with eating lobster
five) I’m eternally optimistic
six) I have to be heard
seven) I like to pick the restaurant

Seven stages you've gone through in your life:
one) Wide-eyed kid
two) Self-doubting teenager
three) Excited student
four) Getting out into the ‘real’ world
five) Living with responsibility
six) Becoming a father
seven) Everything surrounding my surgery – Are any of these actually stages?? Let’s hope so or I’m still at stage one.

Seven people you want to take this quiz:
Hopefully everyone that reads it, but don't blame me if you run out of answers...

Monday, June 18, 2007

This Is Getting Old

There must be something special in Japan’s drinking water. A 111-year-old man in Japan officially became the World’s Oldest Man recently. Wow, I bet that’s something to brag about at the local bar, which I’m sure only serves him water or tea. The country also has the World’s Oldest Woman, who is 114. See, women do live longer. Now we have official proof to answer that age-old argument. I say let’s put the two of them together. If they bicker anything like my grandparents (who are in their mid-80s), they could sell tickets to the ensuing spectacle. It seems the older they get the more contempt they have for each other and the less they hold back. I should feel bad, but I think it’s cute. Seriously, do people really need to blame each other for a room being too cold or too hot or how much a pound of beef was at the super market or even in what city my mother was born? It makes Archie and Edith from ‘All in the Family’ look like newlywed lovebirds by comparison. If they ever were nice to each other, we would fear that they were suffering from terrible illness.

The best part of the AFP news story was when the World’s Oldest Man (we’ll call him Relic) cracked a joke about having lived too long. He might have said he was joking, but I wonder if it was one of those nervous jokes that people make when they really need help. He attributes his longevity to eating mostly vegetables and very few greasy meals.

Well, that does it for me. If that is what it takes to have a long life, punch my ‘timecard of life’ at age 40 or so. I try to avoid vegetables at all costs, like bribing people with $10s and $20s to eat mine. It’s made me poorer, but it doesn’t leave the ‘vegetably’ taste in my mouth. I could not imagine trying to limit my meals of greasy, gooey goodness. After all, the reason I exercise is to be able to continue eating those things. We all need French Fries, we all need onion rings and pizza is often a nice treat (and by ‘all’ of course, I mean me). Also, my addiction to melted cheese has been well documented here. I feel sorry for Relic. Can you imagine the guy passing on a nice meal while saying something like, ‘no thanks, I’m trying to make it to 115’ while everyone else at the table rolls their eyes. I wonder if living with someone that old is like constantly waiting for the other shoe (or him) to drop.

I don’t believe in taxing our healthcare system, but didn’t they invent bypasses and angioplasty for a reason? Look at it this way, if your sewage or water pipes are clogged, you call a plumber for their services. I choose to take the same approach with my medical provider. If they have a way to unclog my arteries, why not take advantage of it. I’ve already had an angiogram and while it was uncomfortable and I didn’t appreciate how hard the nurse had to push on the artery in my thigh (I sure feel sorry for her husband) to stop the bleeding afterwards, I could handle it again. I’ve already had heart surgery so I could take another bypass if it allows me to continue eating my favorite foods. Part of enjoying life is enjoying fine food and friends. Well, that and days off. In my opinion, you can only dress up a zucchini or green bean so many ways (such as Clark Gable or Marilyn Monroe…OK, that was horrible. I can hear the groans). However, you can do so much more with cheese and a deep fryer.

Just think of everything that Relic and Lady Relic have witnessed in their 111 and 114 years. I have to admit that it must be neat to see how much the world has changed, and even progressed in that amount of time. Wasn’t it only 50 years ago that people had to watch TV in black and white? Let’s look at some of the things they have seen. Relic and Lady Relic have had a front seat for not one, but two World Wars. They have gotten to see the miracle of the microwave, microwaveable popcorn, cars that have temperature gauges, 3-D movies, Saturday Night Live, The Bee Gees, David Hassellhoff and even riding lawnmowers. Can you imagine what it must have been like while they were growing up to actually have to cook their own meals? There were no McDonalds. Or how about a television with only 4-8 channels. They must get dizzy today having over 300 channels to surf, unless it’s just their blood pressures acting up again. Obviously, they have also been witness to bad things like global warming, fuel shortages and the birth of Paris Hilton, but I’m glossing over those things because I like to stay positive. Unless I’m at work. There’s nothing positive there, except when the clock strikes five. That reminds me, does anyone else find that the ONLY time they drive slowly is when they are driving into the office, or is it just me? I also have noticed that I play really depressing music while doing so…

Well, congratulations on officially becoming the World’s Oldest Man Mr. Relic. All I can say is better you than me. Although just think of how many bingo games he’s gotten to play. I bet he’s the all-time leader in consecutive rounds played. Sorry, there was just no way I could write 1,000 words about old people and NOT mention bingo, or mobile home parks. Oh wait; I didn’t mention mobile home parks? Well just think of the advancements Relic has seen in mobile home technology. Why, they don’t even call them ‘trailers’ anymore…and they have garages now.

There, that about covers it. I should stop while I’m ahead. I fear this material is getting old. All of a sudden, I’m in the mood for a well ‘aged’ steak…

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Repost: Predictions For The New Year

Since I repost every Sunday and we're almost half way through 2007, I thought I would repost my 2007 predictions that I made back in January. For some strange reason, I don't think any of them have come true yet. How could I have been so off of the mark?


For the last few weeks, I have been reading people’s takes on the passing of 2006. I say it’s now time to focus on the future and look to what we have in store for 2007. Besides, it’s a lot easier to make stuff up that might happen than to have to research and report on what really occurred in 2006. So, on to my predictions for 2007.

Personal Predictions
I predict that I will come home from a rough day at work one day to see all of my friends and family waiting for me in the living room. I will open the front door and realize that I’ve walked into an intervention. At that point, all of the people I care about will begin to detail how I need to stop blogging because of all the time it takes me away from doing other things and that my writing has become an embarrassment to my family. I will obey them for a few days and then return to blogging. I also predict that my twins Lucy and Ethel will continue to act 50 and ask me about some of life’s most philosophical questions like why is the sun yellow. When I give them the best answer I can they will still tell me that I am wrong. However, I won’t get mad because they are so darn cute.

Entertainment Predictions
I predict that there will be more of the same poor excuses for entertainment in 2007 as there always have been, with a few notable exceptions. Since the game show revival has about run its course, I predict that network executives will bring the Gene Rayburn show Match Game back to TV. It will be called ‘Match Game 07’ and will be hosted by either Tom Bergeron or Richard Hamilton. Panelists will include Charles Nelson Reilly (I think he’s still alive), Fred Willard, Adam West, Oliver North, Tammy Faye, Englebert Humperdink, William Shatner and Morgan Fairchild. It will truly be an awesome collection of this nation’s finest talent. To add the extreme element that has pervaded today’s game shows, one important change will be implemented. When a panelist gives a wrong answer, the contestant can shoot them. Sadly, it will be cancelled in the middle of its second week.

Inspired by the success of The Beatles Cirque du Soleil show, Elvis Presley Enterprises will launch an all Elvis version. Unfortunately, it will feature music and interpretations of his great classic 60s movies like “Girl Happy,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “The Trouble With Girls” and of course, “Kissin’ Cousins.” There will also be an accompanying CD of his movies’ most popular tunes like “Return To Sender” and “The Ft. Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce” that were remixed and blended for the show. The show will be called ‘Elvis: How To Waste The Prime Of Your Career Du Soleil.” Sadly, it too will be cancelled in the middle of its second week.

Lastly, I am predicting that Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan will record a duet titled “Come Here Baby, I’m Drunk.” Despite its embarrassing lyrics, it will remain on the charts for weeks, buoyed by its suggestive and racy video that features a cameo by Wayne Newton.

Cultural Predictions
PEZ will finally release its “Kings Of The Late Night Talk Show” candy dispenser series AND it will include Chevy Chase and Pat Sajaak. I am also predicting that the big word of 2006, ‘truthiness,’ will be replaced in 2007 by ‘erroneous.’ It will catch on quickly and be used in the following ways:
“Dude, this pizza tastes erroneous.”
“She looks so hot in that t-shirt, she’s just erroneous.”
“Hey man, who erroneated my homework?”

Top News Predictions
2007 will be the hottest year on record (actually, this one is true). Contributing factors will be global warming and the ramping up of the 2008 presidential election. I am also predicting that another 34 individuals will announce their candidacy for president. Some of the notables will be Bob Dole, Al Franken, Chris Matthews, Pink, Rosie O’Donnell, Donald Trump (just to tick off Rosie), Ben Stein, and the guy who provides the voice of Stewie from FOX’s “The Family Guy.” Another huge story in 2007 will be the selection of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. It will be ‘Everyone Who Wasn’t Named When We Selected You As Our 2006 Person of the Year.’

Congressional lawmakers will contribute to a big 2007 news event. This time it will have nothing to do with sex or money but will still involve complete ineptitude. Under pressure from the lobbyists of large retail chains like Target, a bill will be drafted to make the Christmas holiday begin July 5th and end on Memorial Day weekend. The bill will actually be passed and made into law when both houses of congress hastily approve it (and a bill making Alfred E. Newman the face of the new one dollar bill) before leaving for their recess.

So there you have it, my predictions for 2007. It should be a heck of a year. Although, if any of these come true (or don’t come true, for that matter) please don’t blame me. I’d rather keep repeating 2004!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Things I Learned This Week: 6/16/07

Because I want to spare you from experiencing some of the things I endured over the last few days, I post “Things I Learned This Week” each Saturday. It’s educational, sometimes insightful and for some reason it never makes me look good. I hope that knowing about at least one item on this list will make your upcoming week much easier. So here are the “Things I Learned This Week” for the week of 6/10/07-6/16/07.

! I learned that when Lucy accidentally hit me in the crotch, I should not have said ‘ouch, you hit my man area.’ ‘Man area’ has now become Lucy and Ethel’s most frequently used phrase, followed of course my ‘lady area.’ Oops.

! I learned that my boss didn’t appreciate me telling the new guy that I do things differently than my boss does when new guy asked me for help. I also learned that I should have told new guy that not everything I’ll be telling him is meant for my boss to hear.

! I learned that just because it’s summer and 100 degrees out, cruising around listening to 40-year-old Beach Boys songs doesn’t make me cool. Now maybe if I was my parents’ age…nah, still wouldn’t be cool.

! I learned that using the phrase ‘wow, did you see how he was macking on her’ hasn’t been popular for several years. No one told me this exactly, I just figured it out when I said it and everyone in the office stopped what they were doing and asked me to repeat myself.

! I learned that Mountain Dews and ice cream are not appropriate nighttime snacks for Lucy and Ethel. How did I learn this you ask? It crossed my mind when they were still up singing to themselves at 1AM.

! I learned that my office doesn’t recognize Flag Day as an official day off. In my book, if it’s important enough to put on a calendar, it is supposed to be a day off. I even called human resources about this, but they didn’t agree with me. Although I get the feeling they put something negative about me in my employee file after I accused them of being heartless dictators.

And lastly,

! I learned that Mr. Lay Low and I should not have tried to convince Female Coworker that she and her fellow jury just helped to send an innocent man to jail when she told us about the case she just finished being a juror on. Apparently, we convinced her too well and she spent the rest of the day feeling very guilty. You’d think by now she knows better than to believe us.

**Also, Happy Birthday to my little brother today**

Friday, June 15, 2007

Who Wrote That?

Sorry folks, I'm cheating again and reposting. I hope you enjoy this one because I had fun putting it together. When I finally realize that someone in atrial fibrillation should not go walking in 100 degree weather, I'll be able to do an original post...

At work today, I had to turn my radio down. That’s nothing unusual as I am frequently asked by a coworker to turn it down. This time, however, I turned it down on my own as I was overcome with embarrassment at the music coming out of the oldies radio station I was listening to. I know that working up ‘worst song ever’ lists is nothing new, but it got me thinking about some of my least favorite oldies tunes. So, without further delay, here are the oldies I hate. Keep in mind this is my list so if you take exception to any of the songs I’ve listed (although I doubt you will), I apologize, if I have to, I guess…whatever. They are:

Puff the Magic Dragon (Peter, Paul and Mary) - I used to confuse this dragon with Elliot, who was Pete’s Dragon. Then I remembered the easy way to tell them apart: Elliot wasn’t stoned!

Hang On Sloopy (The McCoys) – This was actually a number one hit – in our country! Wikipedia says it’s the official rock song of Ohio (All I can find for California is “I Love You California,” go figure). If you’re nickname is Sloopy, then you deserve to live on the very bad part of town with everybody trying to bring you down.

Down in the Boondocks (Billy Joe Royal) – The chorus is catchy, but not catchy enough. It’s just a fancy way of saying the sticks and didn’t John Denver take care of that with “Thank God I’m A Country Boy?”

Incense and Peppermint (The Strawberry Alarm Clock) – Have you ever seen a strawberry alarm clock? I mean when awake and sober? That should have been our first hint. Tell me again why this song isn’t a Christmas tune…

Alone Again Naturally (Gilbert O’Sullivan) – Ahh, the anthem of suicidal manic-depressives the world over. WARNING: If you are not in a good place mentally, skip this ditty. Actual lyrics: ‘I promise myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower and climbing to the top will throw myself off…’ I’m guessing that if you consider jumping off a tall structure a treat (like maybe the rest of us consider ice cream to be a treat), you will naturally find yourself alone, again. I’m not sure who wrote this song but chances are after it was released they were put on an extended psychiatric watch.

I Started a Joke (The Bee Gees) – I remember starting a joke a few years back. It revolved around the lyrics to ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and the death of one of the Gibb twins. Oh but I didn’t see that the joke was on me.

Quinn the Eskimo (Manfred Mann) – Really all I can say is that I don’t think the world was (or ever will be) ready for a Pop Eskimo ballad. This one is better buried out back behind the igloo to rest in peace. That reminds me, I’m craving some Baked Alaska…

In the Summertime (Mungo Jerry) – Mungo, seriously? This may have been the debut of that making sounds in your fists Beat Box thing. No matter what, it’s possibly the worst summertime song ever, unless you consider that Itsy Bitsy Bikini song a summertime tune. On the other hand, it does feature a nice motor boat engine revving in the background and way too few pop tunes have that element.

If I Had a Hammer (Triny Lopez) – Yes, it’s quite catchy, so catchy that I find myself singing it at times. Is the updated version “If I Had a Semi-Automatic?” I’d shoot it in the morning…Did I mention how catchy it is? Really, I’m singing it now. It sounds like this one should be in my ‘like’ category, but I do turn it down when it gets radio airplay. I mean when there are others around me.

Space Oddity (David Bowie) – Hey, ground control and Major Tom, I still haven’t figured this one out! To quote David Spade, I liked this one better when it was called…Rocket Man. You can only assume that Bing Crosby had never heard this before he sang Drummer Boy with Bowie.

Of all of these ‘songs’ though, without a shadow of a doubt, the one that fills me with the most vile hatred is…

In the Year 2525 (Zager and Evans) - Folks, this too was a number one hit! I don’t even know where to begin. As a child, this song scared the Playdough out of me. Well, that year isn’t too far off now and it looks like man will still be alive and woman can indeed survive.

There are a couple of songs that I used to make fun of, but fortunately I matured just enough to fully appreciate them for the classic gems that they are. Those songs are:

Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight) – I dare you to listen to that song and not pretend to pull the horn during the chorus’ “woo hoos.” I guess you would call that playing the air train whistle.

You’re So Vain (Carly Simon) – Perhaps one of the best songs ever recorded. To this day, I cannot watch someone sneak a peak in the mirror as they pass by one without singing the chorus to them. Mick Jagger sings backup and the longtime rumor is that it’s about either him or Warren Beatty. Which is it Carly? Some of us need to know!

Brandy (The Looking Glass) – As a young stupid kid, I could never understand why they were singing about a glass of Brandy and referring to it as a girl, much less a fine one. Then I got older and realized I had been mistaken. After The Looking Glasses’ description, what a good wife she would be!

I am sure there will be more songs that occur to me or that you may point out. Because of their supreme status, I left out Octopuses Garden by The Beatles, several songs by The Doors and “Love Child” by The Supremes (how many other rock and roll songs can you think of that feature the phrase “tenement slum?”). Perhaps I’ll update this list again some day. Does anyone remember Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-A-Ling?” Boy did we think we were being naughty in school while singing that one!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It Sure Sucks To Be Pluto

Remember the big hubbub (can I still be cool if I use that word) about the demolition, I mean demotion of Pluto last year? I wrote about it, as did many others. The poor celestial body was stripped of its planet status and reclassified as a smaller object. Well, it turns out that another nearby moon was found by the Hubble Telescope to be bigger than Pluto. So now not only does Pluto have to suffer the indignity of losing its planet hood, but it’s not even the biggest of the new ‘dwarf planets.’ If they keep finding more of these moons out there, we’ll be referring to them as Pluto and the Seven Dwarves. Admit it; you knew that was coming… I think Disney is already working on snapping up the licensing and trying to get a Happy Meal deal finalized with McDonalds. You can collect all eight of them!

Gee, I hope it’s PC for me to say dwarf planet. Was I supposed to call it a ‘Little Planet?’ I know ‘Elf Planet’ is out as I’m sure ‘Gnome Planet’ and ‘Midget Planet’ are. Is calling Pluto an ‘Almost Planet’ acceptable? How about ‘The Little Planet That Was But Is Too Small To Be Anymore?’ Too wordy? OK, then I guess ‘Wannabe Planet’ isn’t appropriate either. We could call it the ‘Accidental Planet.’ Since Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto (yes, I’m that smart - - and thank you Wikipedia, by the way), perhaps Pluto should now be called ‘Tombaugh’s Folly.’ That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

If we are so concerned with reclassifying planets, shouldn’t we pay some attention to both Jupiter and Saturn? Each of them is very unique. Let’s take Jupiter for instance. It is the biggest planet in our solar system and should be reclassified to represent that fact. When compared to Earth, Mars or Venus, Jupiter is just plain huge. If you ask me, Jupiter is an ‘Obese Planet.’ Is ‘obese’ ok to use? I know it’s hard when everyone turns on the television or telescope or observatory and sees the beautiful Earth. Then they all feel that every planet should be compared to earth’s alluring curves. Let’s be serious though, Earth is a model that not everyone can live up to. Many planets need to be comfortable with their own size and craters and stop viewing Earth as the standard instead of the exception. Perhaps we should stop making such a big deal out of Earth so that the other planets don’t get a complex.

That brings me to Saturn. I don’t want to state the obvious, but Saturn is by far the richest of the planets. Can you think of another planet that sports its own jewelry? I mean seriously, how many rings does one planet really need? The worst part about it all is that Saturn is so cocky about its appearance. Rumor has it that when all the planets get together around the Sun that they sing ‘You’re So Vain’ about Saturn after it leaves. Yes, it’s cruel, but until Saturn learns to be a little more humble about its wealth, the jealousy and spite are just going to continue.

Saturn should really learn a few lessons from Mars. Ahh, Mars. It’s the planet that is thought of so highly that we used to fear it. I mean we think we jut found evidence of a shoreline on Mars, we keep sending rovers there and hope to visit it one day. If a planet were ever going to get a big head, or hemisphere, Mars would be it. But nooooooo (said in my best Steve Martin impersonation), Mars has remained ever humble. Next to Earth, Mars has more bragging rights than anyone, but it doesn’t get all flashy or complain about its classification. Then again, neither does Neptune, but really, who cares about Neptune? It just sits out there and has nothing special to offer. Who ever thought of naming a planet after the sea? Neptune is so disappointing. In fact, we should just reclassify Neptune as an underachiever. It’s not like it gave us a superhero or anything like Krypton did…

The planet we should really be concerned about is not Pluto, it’s Uranus (no, not yours. Get it? Ha, Ha. I said Uranus). If ever a planet had reason to be self-conscious, it’s Uranus. The poor planet has been, well, the butt of more jokes (here we go again if you read Tuesday’s post) than any other celestial body. I pity Uranus. It’s small, unattractive and always gets dumped on. So go ahead and cry for Pluto’s disappearance as a planet if you want, but it’s really Uranus that I worry about being wiped away.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

When Good Meets Bad

I was really hoping someone with an odd last name would do something dumb last night or this morning. Unfortunately, they didn’t and now I’m left trying to write something entertaining or that I feel measures up to the fun I had with yesterday’s post. I’m pretty sure I would have had a good post for you today, but the center of my world’s gravity was yanked several hundred feet in the wrong direction earlier today.

No, don’t worry. It wasn’t a death in the family or a new scratch on my BBQ. Although to be honest, both of those things would have been easier to deal with. My favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced today that he was joining the same team that Jeff Gordon is on. Now I know I just heard the sound of everyone reading this clicking to another blog, but I’ll continue anyway.

See, here’s the deal (and some of you may have already picked up on this before), I HATE JEFF GORDON. He is my nemesis, my archrival and my sworn enemy until death. Now does he know this? I think he might, I mean I’ve yelled some very mean things to him while at the race track before. I think he may have been able to hear the insults I have hurled towards him from only 48 rows and several hundred feet away. I know that the family in the 47th row whose wife says I ‘offended her and her young daughter with my profanity laced horrible tirade’ heard me. At least that’s what her really big and mean husband told me. Yeah, I think Mr. Gordon knows he’s my sworn enemy.

So now, I am faced with the dilemma of rooting for my favorite driver even though he is a teammate of the man who I dislike among all others. Well, almost all others. There have been some pretty bad men down through the ages…but none of them drove the #24 car. In fact, I dislike Gordon so much that I have always made it a rule to also strongly dislike anyone who happens to become his teammate. Unfortunately, that now includes Dale Jr. Trust me, I am not alone in this sentiment. Every time Jeff Gordon beats Dale Earnhardt, Junior’s fans throw beer cans and other things from the stands at Gordon’s car. While I would never do such a thing, I wonder how that’s going to work now that they are teammates.

I feel like I have walked through a black hole and emerged in a world that is a photographic negative of itself or where all the pieces don’t fit. In this new world, the giraffe has no neck, people are paying money to put OJ Simpson back in jail and Paris Hilton works as a maid in her family’s hotel chain. Since my mom is a teacher, I should probably also add something like ‘in the new world, sports stars are paid minimum wage and teachers are millionaire celebrities.’ There mom, are ya happy? Can I go back to being a sports fan again?

This new world will take some getting used to for me. It’s like we didn’t fight the Germans in World War II and Rachael Ray only has three shows on the Food Network. I feel like I’m already getting lost. I haven’t checked yet, but something tells me that in the new world, there will now only be a Law and Order on TV every OTHER hour. I just turned on the radio and was startled to hear that Jeremiah was NOT a bullfrog (or a good friend of mine) and one is no longer the loneliest number. It seems that in this new world where everything impossible has become strangely possible, I don’t kill plants anymore. It’s the weirdest thing. All of the plants and flowers around the house are suddenly growing and thriving. I also seem to be in charge of Lucy and Ethel again instead of them being in charge of me. Boy, I’m getting really dizzy with all of this.

Despite what I have seen so far, I want my old world back where it was good vs. bad instead of good joins bad so good can win races and championships. I know something is definitely wrong because I didn’t feel well enough to go to work today and I actually found myself missing the padded walls of my cubicle.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Slow Pitch Right Down The Middle

When you get your inspiration from making fun of odd news stories, it doesn’t get any easier than this: A woman with the last name of Butts was accused of stealing toilet paper from an Iowa Courthouse. Ok, it could have been just a little better; her last name could have been something like Wipey. Yeah, I would pay someone with the last name of Wipey to steal toilet paper. Hey, what about Hiney? Hiney would be good too.

What I can’t figure out is why someone with such a ‘touchy’ or ‘sensitive’ last name as Butts would ever try to steal toilet paper, let alone steal it from a hall of justice, how cheeky. Sorry. Couldn’t she think of better booty to loot? Now she’ll be the butt of many jokes, although she probably already is. I can think of a few of my own to well, crack. Of course, I would never make them directly to someone with the last name of Butts because I wouldn’t want to look like an ass. I guess in hindsight, I already do.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the stealing thing. It has to be on par with stealing a candy bar from a police station vending machine. I wanted to say stealing donuts from a donut shop, but that’s too obvious so I decided to glaze right over it and just sprinkle it in there. I don’t like to leave holes in my stories. Maybe the Butts family could open a cigarette shop or sell a certain prosthesis? But…which body part? How about chins? My favorite is the cleft chin, like the one I possess. Some folks refer to that as a butt-chin, although that should probably be a different tale.

I guess I really have no other point to make. I’ve already come up with every angle of this story that I could. Unfortunately, I can be anal that way. So, I’ll wrap it up now. This could be my shortest post ever but it will allow me to cook dinner tonight. For some reason, I thinking of either rump roast or, yes you guessed it, pork butt, which isn’t what you’d think it is. I think it comes from the shoulder. Although in some animals, the definition of shoulder can be very broad…You know what, I’ll stop while I’m ahead. Or am I behind?

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Fun With Fibrillation

I got to see my cardiologist today about my fibrillocity. I was excited because it meant a little time off of work, she’s kinda cute (I swear I never noticed before but my wife keeps pointing it out) and I figured I was going to be presented with my award for joining the Atrial Fibrillation Club because it’s the 10th time I’ve had it. My visit didn’t quite go as I had planned.

As always, the beginning of all the fun starts in the waiting room. I learn so much about the senior culture by waiting to see my heart doctor. The couple I sat next to this morning was in their mid-70s and they were particularly grumpy and not too fond of each other. I was digging the free entertainment until the wife started saying bad things about another older gentleman’s cargo shorts. Then the husband starting chiming in about his disapproval of all the pockets on said shorts. It took every fiber of my being not to say something to them two of them. Not only was I wearing cargos, but I personally think they are one of the three modern miracles of our industrious people, alongside the deep fryer and cheese grater. I waited them out until they started bickering about how cold it was. I wanted to ask everyone if they were up for a game of bingo, but a voice in the back of my mind that I had never heard before today kept telling me it was a bad idea. Besides, today’s security guard liked a little brawnier than the guy on duty last time I was there.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I beat my cardiologist into the office this morning. If there is anything I can tell you about waiting in an examination room, it’s that you should never, no matter how bored you are, look at all of the heart related reading material in the magazine rack. After reading about topics ranging from implantable devices to living with heart failure, I was too scared to breath, or sneeze, or move for that matter. When my doctor knocked on the door to enter, I think I jumped 5 feet. We exchanged pleasantries and then instead of asking about the pounding in my chest, rapid acceleration of my heartbeat, the weakness in my legs or the fact that I start to pass out every time I get up or bend over, I asked her if it was medically possible for the Grinch’s heart to grow three sizes that day. The answer: that was just a cartoon, an enlarged heart is never good and I’m awfully backed up with patients this morning. I tried a different tact when she asked about my atrial fibrillation. I made mention that I scheduled the appointment in the hopes of getting my Ten Timer trophy. She turned from me and entered something into the computer. I swore for a minute that I could hear a cricket chirp. Maybe I should not have laughed so hard at my own joke.

Obviously I had missed my mark twice so I just came right out and asked what hearts are currently going for on the black market. She countered with ‘there’s a more serious medication we can put you on, but I have to renew my certification for it.’ That is never a statement you want to hear your doctor say, especially when it is followed up by, ‘it has a side effect that can kill you.’ Wow, you never hear that on all those commercials for medications these days. ‘Side effects, while rare, can include diarrhea, vomiting, lightheadedness, blurred vision and instant and excruciating death.’ It just makes you want to rush out to the pharmacy, doesn’t it?

After my appointment was over, I was asked to take an EKG. I took my shirt off and the technician looked at the scar running down my chest and said, ‘oh, have you had open heart surgery?’ Maybe it was because I’ve lived with that scar and have had to answer that question for all of my life, but before I realized it, I said ‘nope, I was attacked and mauled right down the middle of my chest by a bear that had an amazing sense of symmetry.’ Now worried that I had offended him, even though I was joking, I asked if he could tell by the EKG strip how bad the earthquake was. Finally, I got a laugh.

I then had to go back to my doctor’s nurse for them to review the EKG. Do you think it’s a bad thing when my nurse shakes her head as she is giving me the grape sucker I asked for as I was leaving? The red ones taste too much like medicine…

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Repost Sunday: Yeah Bees Can Sniff Bombs, But Can They Pollinate Them?

I rerun some of my older posts on Sundays as a way to highlight stories that you may have missed. Just think of it as 'thought recycling' and a day off, or that I am incredibly, incredibly lazy.

Reuters is reporting that scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico announced that they have successfully trained bees to sniff out and extend their proboscis (the tube they use to eat) when they detect explosives. The story says that once trained, the bees could be transported in hand-held detectors and used for bomb detection. Apparently, wasps were also trained but scientists decided to go with the bees. It doesn’t say why but we all know that bees work harder than wasps. I’ve heard of busy bees but never busy wasps.

With all this effort being put forward, I sure hope that bees have lengthy life spans. It would be a travesty to train a bee for this important and special job and then have it die shortly after being commissioned, drafted, conscripted or whatever they choose to call it. Of course the other concerns have to be getting stung and losing the bees when they fly away. That probably explains the hand-held detectors they’ll use to carry them. After all, if Shamu can attack its Sea World trainer, I’m sure that bees will be tempted to sting the military personnel assigned to them. Also, what does the military do if any of these bees go AWOL? Hopefully the TCPB (training cost per bee) isn’t too expensive.

I wonder if there will be special sensitivity training for handlers who work with bomb sniffing dogs or the military trained dolphins we’re always hearing about. After all, the bomb sniffing bee handlers have got to be pretty low on the bomb sniffing totem poll. When groups of dog handlers walk by the bee handlers, who are holding their special bees in their special boxes, I bet they snicker. Some will probably even make mock buzzing sounds to affirm their obvious higher K-9 handling status. Isn’t the social world we live in cruel? What recourse will the bee handlers have to spare their dignity? Certainly yelling something like, “fine then, no honey for you” will not help their cause. Yep, I think sensitivity training should be a prerequisite for anyone who works with a bomb-sniffing creature that is larger than an insect.

It will sure be intimidating going to the airport with all of the airport security walking around holding their bomb sniffing black and yellow pollinators in shoebox size ‘containment units.’ Speaking of pollen, I bet bomb makers around the world are busy planting colorful and sweet scented flowers to use to mask the smell of their explosives. With what I imagine is the very short attention span of bees and their limited intelligence, you’ve got to believe that anything bright and sweet smelling will throw them off.

Of course, there is a big, sweet upside to using bees as opposed to dogs for sniffing out bombs.
I’m not talking about the obvious things like animal size and cost. Just think of it in terms of production. Bees produce honey and dogs produce, well you know what. You probably scooped some up after your dog today and I doubt it smelled like honey. How far the plans go to develop the use of bees as everyday bomb detectors remains to be seen. One thing is certain though, after 18 months of bee training, the scientists in New Mexico will have plenty of honey to get them through the winter, and our tax dollars paid for it…