Saturday, November 3, 2007

Biennial Update

Greetings, o hard-to-alienate readers. It is I again. I apologize for the infrequency of my updates, but I have been very close to busy since my last entry. The prospect of possibly being occupied with important, pressing or essential matters kept me from writing anything for the last few weeks. Not that I was actually busy, mind you, but there were some times that I thought I might be, so I kept myself in readiness by resting my fingers.

So then, what has happened since October 16th's Trick or Treat posting? A few things. Just a few things. One event of note was the rise and fall of the Cleveland Indians in the postseason. The mighty Tribe made mincemeat of the Yankees, employing everything in their arsenal: timely hitting, unhittable pitching, wily management, clutch defense, gnats. We threw everything we had at the Gotham Millionaires and vanquished them in five or six games ( I forget which it was; details are not my specialty). All of Northeast Ohio was abuzz after that. Fans were ecstatic, eagerly anticipating the series with the Boston Red Sox, a team with the same win/loss record as the Indians. People were buying Indians' merchandise by the Hummerload, painting their faces and bedecking their homes and offices with banners and Chief Wahoo's smiling face. In fact, fans here were looking beyond the Boston series to the World Series against the Amazing Rockies. Not that we expected the Red Sox to roll over and die, but we were on a hot streak. Then our streak became red hot when we went up three games to one against the Sox. We were as good as World Series bound. Nothing could stop us now. We only needed to win one more game and we would finally be in a position to win it all. The Cleveland Indians were going to go to the World Series and beat the Rockies and reign supreme over all!

Then something else happened. I forget.

Let's see, onto other recent events. How about Halloween. Americans love Halloween. In fact, recent studies have found that four out of five adult Americans get at least forty percent of their yearly caloric intake from Halloween candy. I made that up. Anyway, Halloween was great this year. Here in Ohio the weather was splendid. The little trick-or-treaters were in hog heaven, navigating through a veritable ocean of candy. Kids around here can eat so much candy after Halloween that they often can become large enough to be seen from outer space. (I actually met a woman once who was so big around that she had her own moon.) I myself got into the Halloween Spirit this year by not only polishing off two bags of Halloween candy, but also by carving a Jack-of-the- Lantern. It took me about four evenings and the near-amputation of one finger, but it was fun (I'm talking about my eating the candy).

Unfortunately I was unable to participate in the holiday festivities as I instead went to a Cleveland Cavaliers "basketball game" that night. The Cavs, Eastern Conference Champs, were unspeakably awful that night. I have actually seen a team of headless lemurs play better ball than they did that night. And it was their much-anticipated opening night, too; the big night they hoisted their championship banner into the rafters and celebrated the feats of the previous season. Blech! And to make matters worse, the Cavaliers were wearing orange uniforms in honor of Halloween. They should have been dressed in turkey suits. Not that I regret going that night. Where else could I get a cup of domestic beer for $6.75? Plus, I felt quite invigorated from the exercise of walking up and down the stairway to my seat in the stratosphere. But I do have one question: was there some kind of glitch in the design software that resulted in the seats at the Quicken Loans Arena being too small for anybody wider than 11 inches? It wasn't too bad for me. I was able to enjoy the game without moving laterally or eventually being able to feel my arms, but I am not a large person. I am neither tall nor am I gifted with girth. How, I ask, does anybody who shops at a full-figured or big and tall store fit into one of those three-quarter size arena seats? I don't believe that the seats were meant to be used as anything but scenery, like the upper floors at Main Street in Disneyland, which are made small to create the illusion that the buildings are larger than they actually are. Are the seats any larger as you get closer to the lower levels and the TV cameras? Can an adult male sit comfortably in the third row? I don't know, I've never been closer to the action than row 13 upper, upper tier, where one has to use a ski lift to get to one's seat.

But anyway, I'm ready for more Cleveland sports misery, as tomorrow I'm going to the Browns' game.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trick or Treat

The trick-or-treaters this year are going to love the Kit Kats I have for them. This I know because I have sampled from the large bag. I think they will especially love the Halloween Kit Kats with the orange coating. Some may prefer the white chocolate Kit Kats. It's hard to know what the kiddies will go for. I think that further sampling on my part may settle the question once and for all. I hope the bag holds out long enough for me to form a proper opinion on the matter. I never did decide which of the two types of Nerds was best, the strawberry or the grape. I ran out before I could reach a conclusion. Too bad, because I bet the little ones would have loved them.

Ode to the Shirtless

Hail to thee, o shirtless man
My neighbor to the north.
You deign not to don cloth above your waist;
Your skin is shirt enough for you.

Hail to thee, o half-clad neighbor.
It is not yours to listen repeatedly to Meatloaf encumbered by fabric.
Yours is not the torso upon which to hang shirt.
To mow the lawn with bare back is bliss.

Hail to thee, o sun-tanned man-about-the-house.
Leisure time is time not to waste on shirtfulness,
But is for wind and sun to caress your tattoos,
Rundgren tape blaring from your boom-box.

Hail to thee, o leather-skinned fellow.
Friends gather, shirtless friends, to laugh, to drink,
To work, to play, to make merry, to smoke Winstons.
Would that all men knew the joy of doffing the shirt.

Hail to thee, o shirtless salt of the earth.
You alone know the sad inadequacy of the polo and the button-down.
Neither sweatshirt nor golf shirt, turtleneck nor mock turtleneck, tank top
nor tee, bowling shirt nor fleece shall clothe you.
You care not for tabbed collars or french cuffs, for short sleeves
or breast pockets, for shirt tails or "I'm with stupid."
Touch you not cotton, wool, polyester, rayon, silk, poplin, linen.
Go not where ignorant shopkeepers require proper raiment.
But stand tall, proud and shirtless as the mighty oak.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Where Has the Time Gone?

It seems like only yesterday that I posted the Transformers item. It turns out that that was over two months ago. I'm not sure what kept me away from this beloved blog for so long, but I think it is probably a result of my LAD, or Labor Aversion Disorder. I have been afflicted with LAD my entire life, but I didn't know it until my psychiatrist diagnosed it. Now I finally understand why I find work such a difficulty and avoid it so assiduously. My lawyer is currently looking into the possibility of suing the company I work for under the Americans with Disabilities Act. How dare they expect me to put in a full day's work in my condition.

But all that is my concern. I won't bore you with any further details. I will, however, bore you with other things, as my LAD is not bothering me so acutely today. In no particular order then, here are some thoughts that I have saved up in the last few months.

Paranormal Lights
Here in Lakewood there is a mystery so mysterious as to mysteriously out-mystery other more well-known mysteries. I am speaking of the Cove/Lake Lights, a phenomenon heretofore unexplained and even unexplored. Nobody has ever put forth a plausible explanation for this enigma, this puzzle, this oddity, anomaly, riddle, unfathomableness and other such thesaurus-based words. The mystery, for those outside of my head, is this: that there is an intersection in Lakewood, Ohio that has what seems to be a magical stoplight. This stoplight appears in all respects to be normal but for the fact that nobody has ever successfully driven past it without having to stop for the red light. No matter from what direction a car approaches this intersection, it will have to stop for a red light. Am I saying that it is constantly red and that nobody passes through this intersection? No. For, when one is stopped, he plainly can see the traffic on the cross street proceeding through a green light. And eventually, the red light will itself change into a green and the stopped car will be able to go. But the mystery is that nobody ever comes to the intersection and is able to drive through without having to stop. No matter how much or how little traffic there is on either Cove or Lake Avenues; no matter how fast or slow you approach the light; no matter what you are driving; no matter your station in life; no matter how virtuous or malignant your character; no matter how urgent or inconsequential your trip, you will be stopped by the Cove/Lake Light. I plan on forwarding this to the Hometown Tales podcast.

Flies Are Us
Last week a plague of flies was unleashed on my house. Houseflies were converging in droves in my kitchen and basement windows, which wasn't unendurable. But when the little sons of guns started landing on my TV screen, action needed to be taken. I would kill/vacuum up/shoo outside a half dozen of the little pests and no sooner breathe a sigh of relief than another group would suddenly appear to take their place. I am not sure what set off this entomological abberation. My initial reaction was to check my property for Hebrew slaves to release in case I was being punished for not letting the Chosen People go. But I couldn't find anybody. That was a relief, because I didn't relish the idea of weathering this plague and then having to face the plague of boils. I hate boils. My next hypothesis was that the flies were living in my house because something died somewhere, and they spontaneously generated in the corpse. I think, though, that if something died in my house, I would be aware of it. I know for sure that nobody got wacked in my basement since I've been here. And I don't recall seeing any dead dogs, mountain goats or carrier pigeons on the premises. I'm sure I would have noticed such. However, if the dead body were hidden from sight, I probably would not be able to find it because my sense of smell is not quite as acute as it once was. So there may have been a horrific stench of death somewhere in my house without my knowing about it. Well, anyway, the flies seem to have gotten tired of my house and are mostly gone. It's a good thing, too, because I was getting tired of brushing them off my sandwiches and stuff.

Medical Marvel
I was thinking the other day that I have no business being alive today. It's not that I've committed any capital crimes or engaged in any dangerous sports. No, I ought not be breathing because I really don't eat anything much that qualifies as food. My dietary habits are less than desirable. In fact, some might say that they are less than execrable. Now, I don't always eat poorly. I often eat very well and do so with impeccable table manners, too. But too often I am careless about what and even when I eat, and really ought to make some changes for the better. Here is an example of what some might call 'improper habits in eating:'
Tuesday breakfast -- cinnamon bun and coffee (the frosting, by the way, dripped all over my lap); lunch -- two chicken wings; dinner -- two packages of Raman noodles (artificial beef flavor).
Wednesday breakfast -- two cups of coffee and six cherry tomatoes; lunch -- two one-dollar Burger King Spicy Chick'n Crisp sandwiches (by the way, the sandwiches didn't look like the picture on the website); dinner -- we'll see, but I'm thinking along the lines of the ice cream food group.
As you can see by this data, I have rather unconventional eating habits, but I am willing to change next year.

There, Are you satisfied Laura and Monica?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Long Awaited Post

It's been a long time since I posted anything here, and I'm sorry to my readers for making you both wait. But the fact is that I've been twice as busy as usual. Last week I had to do two loads of laundry and run the dishwasher (plus unload it). Also, I went out to eat a few days ago, and took a trip to the grocery store twice since last you heard from me. So, clearly, some things of lesser importance have to be put on the back burner when life starts throwing fastballs one after the other.

Now to the meat of this post. It just so happens that I have recently become interested in astrology. Each day millions of people across the world check their horoscopes before they start the day, little realizing just how much time and effort the astrologer must put into each day's entry. A great deal of preparation and research goes into the creation of a reliable horoscope. I know this myself, because recently I have learned astrology. I have done the work. I have generously deigned to share with you the fruit of my efforts in the form of the horoscope, which I intend to make a regular feature of the Fishbrick blog. Here then is my inaugural trip to the stars:

Antiquarius: Don't be afraid to humiliate somebody today. Steer clear of deadly poison. Travel is what you need, so why not get on a bus and go to Duluth. Somebody you love is going to spill a strawberry milkshake on your overpriced shoes.

Leon: Don't let your spindly arms make you feel inferior. Buy a weapon. Today is the day to ask for that raise, and for the boss to say no. There is a change in the offing. Hide.

Crapicorn: You are a lot smarter than you look. But then, you'd have to be. It's time to put down that pencil and pick up the pen. Ask that special someone to marry you. Try to keep your spouse from finding out. Too much work makes Jack a dull boy. Stay away from Jack.

Virgil: Don't let anyone tell you what to do, run screaming from the room with your hands over your ears. If your job is getting you down, today is the day to frown. Money is coming your way, perhaps in the form of an out-of-control armored car.

Sanitarius: Love is a many splendored thing. Except for you, in which case, love is a unisplendored thing. Take a chance today, gamble your life savings on Happy Horsemeat in the third race. Avoid travel today. In fact, do not leave the chair you are sitting in now.

Lebron: Today is your lucky day, if by lucky you mean apt to be accidentally poked in the eye by a stevedore. Keep focused on the task at hand until you get distracted. Treat yourself to a strawberry milkshake.

Canker: You tend to try too hard. Just give up already. Turn off the computer and go curl up into the fetal position in a darkened room. Check back here in a few weeks.

Arnies: Now is the time to take up a hobby that doesn't involve intelligence. Refrain from exposure to sharp objects. Don't attempt to hold a conversation with somebody smarter than yourself.

Taurtar: You can be your own worst enemy, but only if you try hard. You will come into a a lot of money very soon. Oops, sorry, I got my signals mixed. It isn't money, but monkeys. Stock up on monkey chow.

Pixies: Stay away from woodpeckers unless you are wearing a hat. It's time to assert yourself and make known that 'big idea' you've been keeping to yourself. We can all use the laugh. Also, move your house two feet to the left.

Scorpius: You are very creative, but you utterly lack talent or ability of any kind. If you must do something 'artistic' try humming while you clean the toilet. Expect a visit today from somebody dressed as a turtle.

Gemima: Nothing can stop you today, not because of your own strength, but because the world is indifferent to you. Something great is going to happen today at work. Be sure to applaud the lucky recipient.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mutant Vegetation

I came home from a three day trip this weekend and couldn't find my house. I drove up and down the street looking, but could not spot it. Finally I got smart and decided to look for my neighbors' houses, which would at least narrow down the search area to a more manageable size. Well, I found the two houses that normally stand on either side of my home. But in between the two houses there was nothing but a field of extremely tall grass. So I put two and two together and walked into and through the grass until I smacked my nose into what felt distinctly like my house. Sure enough, it was my house. It turns out that the problem was that my lawn grew so fast this weekend that my poor little house became obscured. How interesting that seemingly normal vegetation can grow so quickly. I was only gone for three days. I realize that it rained while I was away, but as far as I know, it rained water, not Miracle-Gro. I think that if Jack of giant-killing fame wants to find a place to launch another beanstalk, he couldn't do any better than to plant his beans in my front yard. The stalks would probably hit the moon. I'm going to have a hell of a time mowing this mess. The only way I can think to make any headway is to turn the mower on and lower it down from my attic window, being careful not to nick any treetops. The problem is that once I finish cutting the lawn, it will be ready for mowing again. It's sort of like the painters on the Golden Gate Bridge. They just paint and paint and by the time they finish, they start again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Twizzler Fairy

On Sunday afternoon, wiping the sleep from my eyes, I opened the back door and, lo! there on my back porch was a three-pound plastic tub of individually-wrapped strawberry Twizzlers. You don't see that every day, believe me, at least not in these parts. Well, I did a little research and found out that, in all likelihood, the candy was left there by the Twizzler Fairy. There was an extensive article about her at Wikipedia. Apparently she flits about the towns and villages looking for people with sad faces and overgrown lawns. Usually the people she gives her Twizzlers to also tend to have an inordinate enjoyment of sweets, are likely to be seen wearing unkempt clothing, they have unclean kitchens, strange musical tastes, flat feet, slight hearing loss in one ear, dull social lives, and leaky pipes in the basement. I don't see how it is then, that she happened to stop at my house. After all, my hearing is just fine.
I like the Twizzler Fairy and hope she comes back again, because my Twizzlers are nearly gone. According to Wikipedia, she can be enticed into coming back again by stocking the refrigerator with Corona and Hershey Kisses.

Unrelated Links:
Wacky Packages
Snakes on a Plane
Sick Goldfish
Darwin Awards
Weird Converter

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just Say No to Drugstores

It has come to my notice that the big drugstore boom of the 1990s has again reared its ugly head here in Lakewood town. Maybe you recall that during the late '90s the large drugstore chains decided that every single corner lot in every single town in America needed one of their large drugpusheries. So we now have the Rite Aids and the Walgreens and the CVSs and the various other chain drugstores taking up all the prime real estate in the United States.

I suppose they are entitled to put their stores wherever the market will bear, but the problem is that in doing so they got rid of much of the character of the neighborhoods they moved into. For example, one of the best restaurants on the west side was Georgio's on Detroit Avenue near West 117th Street. That place had some seriously competent chefs. I mean these guys and/or gals were so good that I even ate their escargot. The atmosphere was very Mediterranean, with murals on the walls, cheerful zither music in the background (that might be a false memory), an extensive wine list, zealous, friendly waiters and waitresses (with clean fingernails), plenty of light coming in through the windows. Imagine the white-hot rage that welled up inside me when I heard that the whole block that included Georgio's was going to be torn down and replaced by a Walgreen's. Meanwhile, a block away, and across the street from an existing drugstore, they closed Slamjam's, which was a decent grill and bar, and was before that the venerable Blue Fox restaurant. In it's place they put a CVS drugstore, for those who are so desperate for Vioxx or Plavixxx or Vicks Vaporub that they just couldn't make it all the way to Walgreen's.

That was the kind of thing that went on all over the place during the 90s. I think that in Lakewood alone, there were seven of these overpriced drug emporia built. And I frankly don't know how any of them stayed in business. The CVS nearest me was established directly across the street from the long standing Discount Drug Mart, and in the ten or so years since it has been there, I think I have seen a total of four customers inside.

After the new drugstores had been around for awhile, some of them began to close up due to oversaturation of the market. My joy at the demise of some of these behemoths was tempered by the fact that the damage had already been done to the character of the neighborhoods into which they had lodged themselves. But I could at least take solace from the fact that the drugstore boom was over at last.

Or so I thought. This past year another Walgreens started construction about two blocks from the new CVS and the Drug Mart. They chose a corner that housed a paint store, and a scuba diving supply store and a much-loved tavern and tore it all down for their great big cookie cutter drugstore. I don't think it will hurt CVS' business though, because if they can survive on four customers, they can certainly survive on two.

But the problem is that between the two drugstores there is over an eighth of a mile of nonpharmacized territory. There are four unutilized corners that cry out for a big ugly drugstore. I wonder if maybe the city can demolish the houses in between the drugstores and build some kind of monorail system connecting them. In fact, why not have this monorail connect all of Lakewood's drugstores, and indeed, all the big drugstores in the county? That way, one can always be moving toward the blessed relief provided by overpriced Chapstick lip balm and overpriced Odor Eaters, and overpriced pretzel rods and overpriced greeting cards, and especially, overprescribed medication.

I'm going to write a letter to the mayor of Lakewood and suggest this to him. I'll need a pen though. CVS, here I come.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Trucker Talk

As I was motivatin' down the road the other day, I started thinking of the truckers dutifully carrying America's stuff all over the fruited plains, mountains, deserts, forests and other topographical features of this great land, fruited or not. Without the big rigs rolling down our highways and byways and other kinds of ways, we would be in a sad state. Practically everything we eat, drink, wear, sit in, walk on, throw away, steal, waste money on or give away comes to our neck of the woods on a truck. Those 18 wheelers transport basic necessities like building materials, furniture, industrial parts, oil, rock, and all sorts of stuff like that there. But, some trucks are carrying things we don't normally think of, items of a more ignoble or unglamorous status. Recently, this point was driven home to me as I sat at a truck stop eating something resembling a sandwich, listening to the conversation of some of the truckers around me. Here is that conversation, as nearly as I can remember it:

Trucker 1: Hey, Poindexter, pass me the ketchup, will ya?
Me: Hey, pal, you wanna rephrase that remark?
Trucker 1: <grabbing my nose with his large, remarkably apelike hand> Oh, yeah, sorry. Hey, Poindexter, pass me the catsup, will ya?
Me: <wiping the mustard off my throbbing nose> That's better, sir.
Trucker 2: Hey there, what you haulin' buddy?
Me: Why, I've just got a few cartons of Preparation H for a friend of mine and...
Trucker 2: I'm not talking to you, Pencil Neck. I'm talking to the man next to you.
Trucker 1: Oh, I got a load of rubber vomit I'm takin' down to Indianapolis.
Trucker 2: Rubber vomit, eh? Did ya hear that, Pencil Neck?
Me: Sir, you're spitting on my liverwurst...
Trucker 2: That's great. I've done that vomit run to Indy a few times myself. And just last week I took a load of whoopy cushions down there. That's a fun city, Indy.
Trucker 1: Yeah, it is. What you carryin' today?
Trucker 2: Nothin' now. I just delivered my load to Pittsburgh.
Trucker 1: What was it?
Trucker 2: I had a double trailer I took from Seattle Washington. One trailer had itching powder, and the other one was filled with those fake ice cubes with the plastic fly inside.
Trucker 1: Those are great. I nearly choked to death on one a those once. Are you going back for more?
Trucker 2: No, I'm supposed to pick up a load of sporks going to Texas somewhere.
Trucker 1: <slapping my back with his remarkably large, hairier than average hand> Hey, Poindexter, you got a spork there yourself!
Me: <ignoring the searing pain in my upper back> Well, I'm afraid this liverwurst sandwich is a bit runny, and..
Trucker 1: That's great. Hey, there, buddy, I was in Texas last week. Took a load of Cheez Whiz to Austin.
Trucker 2: They do love Cheez Whiz down there, boy. Let's see, last time I went to Austin I had a trailer fulla tooth blackener. It was around Halloween time.
Me: I see you put some on yourself there, sir. Oops, my mistake...
Trucker 2: I remember last Halloween I took a few days off. Then I had to haul a load up to Nome, Alaska, and when I got half way up there, this godawful blizzard struck. It was terrible drivin', let me tell you. I couldn't see barely past my headlights. I almost drove off the road at least a half dozen times. Man, the wind was roaring, snow was everywhere. But I had to get the load up there, them folks was waitin' and I couldn't let 'em down.
Trucker 1: Geez, that's awful, bud. What'd you have in the trailer?
Trucker 2: Pixy Stix. I was a couple hours late, but I got them their Pixy Stix, and man, I really felt like I done somethin' worthwhile, ya know? What the hell is that drippin' all over my boots?
Me: Sorry, sir. It's the liverwurst.

That's about all I remember of the conversation, but it was a real revelation. I now look at our nation's truck drivers with a whole new set of eyes, although, since the swelling has gone down, the left eye is still a little blurry.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Bridge of Peace

Constructed in 1929 over a span of just six months (roughly the time it takes for the Ohio Department of Transportation to widen one of the on-ramps between I-77 and I-480), the Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the world at 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River. It was built specifically for tourists and not as a means of transportation, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state of Colorado (why the Arkansas River is in Colorado I'll never know.) From what I have heard, the view is positively breathtaking.
One day I would like to take a trip to Colorado to walk out onto the Royal Gorge Bridge. Despite my dislike for high places, I would go to the very center of the great span. Once there, I would look around to make sure I was alone. Then, reaching into my rucksack, I would pull out my Epson printer, raise it over my head, and hurl it down into the mighty gorge with all my might. Only then would I achieve peace.

Unrelated Links:
The Sheep Market
Mount Everest
Sidewalk Art
Stupid Travelers

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Salad Night

Last night I got home late without having eaten dinner, so I searched for something that could pass for dinner food. What I came up with was a bag of salad that I bought the day before. Salad. Why not? From what I hear, salad is good for you. It contains green things and vegetables and it isn't fattening. I dumped the whole thing into a salad bowl, added some croutons and balsamic vinagrette dressing and looked forward to a healthy meal. It was quite a lot of salad, enough for three salad eaters, but I figured that I could handle it and feel better for doing so. So I took the salad into the living room, turned on the tube and proceeded to get healthy. It took a while to finish, but it wasn't bad, and I felt that I had done something good for my nutrient-starved body.

Unfortunately, on the same coffee table with my bowl of green goodness was most of a bag of Twizzlers which I had opened the day before and forgotten to return to the pantry. So, having had such a light, healthful dinner, I figured I would treat myself to a few Twizzlers as a dessert of sorts. Well, one twiz led to another, and soon, and with some effort on my part, the whole bag was gone.

Now the question is, does the consumption of 30 Twizzlers somehow cancel out the healthful effects of the large salad? Or does the salad neutralize the effects of the Twizzlers?

Monday, April 30, 2007


The drive home today to my Lakewood hovel took much longer than a drive home should take. Ironically, the part which took the longest was the shortest leg of the trip, that is, the part from the nearest highway exit to my house. I wasn't paying close attention to the clock, but it seems to me that the final leg of my drive took about four hours and 13 minutes. I would like to thank the City of Lakewood Department of Excessive Traffic Lights (DETL) for doing their part to prevent accidents in the home by keeping people away from their homes as much as possible. The clever deployment of traffic lights by the DETL probably saved me from choking to death on a bathmat or inadvertantly diving out of my attic window. Thanks, Lakewood DETL, for keeping me safe and snug in my car, lurching along in one-block increments, cursing under my breath at the pedestrians who are moving along faster than I am. Thank you for keeping me away from the danger zone that is my house. I particularly want to thank you, DETL for the new traffic light on Warren just south of Madison Avenue. Now, instead of having to go all the way to the corner of Madison to get that eagerly awaited red light, I can now stop at the new light 50 yards before Madison. That's right, now I have twice as much opportunity to stop and smell the roses at that intersection. With that newfound impediment to my homeward progress, I can now spend less time in mortal danger at home, where I could burn my hand in the microwave oven or get hit in the eye by a doorknob, and more time listening to radio commercials in my car ("whoah Office Depot whoah, we're here to lend you a hand...") Anyhow, good job Lakewood DETL for keeping me safe.

Some unrelated links below:


Friday, April 20, 2007

The Sandwich Flip

I realize that it has been a while since I posted anything on this blog. I apologize for not waiting any longer. Many things have happened to me since last week, including the following incident. It was a rather traumatic experience, and one that is potentially interesting to my long suffering readers. Here is what happened: I was hungry after a long day of work, so I decided to make myself a ham sandwich. I did so and then stuck it into the toaster oven to warm it up a bit. The fact that I left it in too long and burned one side of it was a foreshadowing of the ordeal to come. So I scraped the carbon deposits off the bread and put the sandwich on a paper plate(not considering its lightweightedness to be a hazard) and I cut the sandwich in half. On this plate I also placed some potato chips and some raw baby carrots (I always try to include at least one serving of vegetables a week). Then, unknowingly putting myself in greater peril, I plopped down onto the couch and turned on the television machine.

I then blissfully proceeded to eat the first half of my ham sandwich. It wasn't bad. A little cheese would have helped, but when I'm hungry, I am willing to live without mere trivialities such as good flavor, pleasant consistency, nutritional value, freshness, safety, etc. So, there I was, sitting on the left-hand side of the sofa, the feather-light paper plate balanced on my left hand, my eyes on the television, one half of my sandwich gone. And then disaster struck. As I was lowering my right arm after sticking a carrot into my mouth I misjudged the location of my plate, possibly because I my eyes were riveted on the boob tube, and my right hand came down with vigor upon the right hand side of the plate. The plate flipped over like a Chinese gymnast and scattered my chips, my carrots and my ham sandwich all over my lap, my couch, and my floor. I immediately sprung into action by emitting what my neighbors have since described as an anguished wail. I then sat in stunned silence for what seemed like a full jiffy, and I suddenly started to laugh. I don't know if I laughed because I was suffering a slight case of shock (don't people in shock often laugh like idiots?), or because, fool that I am, I did not recognize the catastrophe immediately for what it was, but saw only its humorous aspects.

As the shock wore off and I surveyed my food covered trousers and couch and floor and thought about the cleaning up I now had to do, it occurred to me that the main course, my half sandwich, had fallen not onto my relatively clean couch or lap, but had instead fallen to the floor, right next to my feet. My mind then started racing through history -- the history of feet, the history of feet that have trodden the very spot where now sat my helpless half sandwich. And I began to think of my shoes and socks and the soles of my feet, and the shoes and socks and soles of the feet of visitors who have walked with light or heavy step upon that newly besandwiched plot of flooring. And I also called to mind the tiny cat feet which have wandered about my living room in the recent past. And I tried to imagine what remnants of exotic bacteria and sock fuzz and common Ohio dirt and toe fromage and kitty hair might still remain there.

I had a decision to make. Should I clean up the mess and throw away the unfortunate sandwich? Or should I buck up, grab the sandwich, brush off the germs, fuzz and dead insects, and eat the thing? One problem was that the Five-Second Rule had long since ceased to apply to this situation as I had wasted too much time in wailing, laughing and pondering after the accident (the Five-Second Rule states that one may eat something dropped on the floor if it is picked up within five seconds). Another problem was that my hunger was hardly alleviated by the mere morsel I had eaten so far, and the hour was too late for me to consider the arduous preparation of another "meal". I realized that hunger must override fastidiousness. So I decided I would test the limits of this fantastic immune system God has given me. I decided the risk of consuming the microscopic multiculture that might have stuck to the surface of my ham sandwich (and the two potato chips that also landed on the floor) did not outweigh the importance of immediate gratification. I decided that out of sight is out of mind. And I crammed the thing into my mouth.

It tasted fine, and I felt and still feel all right. Although there was a kind of a "fuzzy" sensation in my mouth for a few hours.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trivia Time!

I apologize to my readers for the dearth of new material on this blog. I especially want to apologize to my most avid readers (speaking of which -- a big shout out to the good folks at the Piscataway Asylum for the Criminally Deranged.) The fact is that I've been fairly busy these last few days: Saturday I cleaned my bathroom, Sunday was sock drawer inventory day, Monday I had to get an extension on my city taxes. It's a veritable merry-go-round here at Casa del Neil or, as the locals call it, the House Where That Strange Guy in the Kneesocks Lives. I have always thought of this blog as a casual blog, the kind of blog that doesn't require the public to check constantly for updates. Another name for this type of blog is the lazy man's blog.

Anyweigh, I have decided to make it worth your while to read my latest post (in stark contrast to my usual posts.) As many of you don't know, I am somewhat of a trivia buff. I collect trivia, I remember trivia, I even create trivia. Now I would like to share some trivia with you, my esteemed reader (speaking of which, a big shout out to the American Society of Illiterates). So, sit back, relax, grab a bucket of fried chicken, and read on.

- The Dalai Lama wears a wig when he is working his factory job on weekends.
- Disgraced baseball player Pete Rose played most of his carreer with a prosthetic leg.
- The alphabet was originally used by the the ancient Greeks to insult the Etruscans.
- The number 4 was invented over two hundred years before the rest of the numbers.
- French war hero and president Charles De Gaulle never woke up before noon.
- Archimedes was not actually Greek, he was Puerto Rican.
- The onion is the only food that explodes in outer space.
- Orangutans cannot tell the difference between ice cream and frozen yogurt, but they do recognize frozen custard.
- In Turkey people live in houses shaped like drumsticks.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, wore mittens to hide his webbed fingers.
- Of all the American presidents, Millard Fillmore had both the largest and the smallest feet.
- If you linked together all the paper clips in the world they would reach from the Earth to the planet Jupiter (though there would be some significant gaps).
- Henry Ford used to drink gasoline to amuse people at parties.
- Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world, he is also a world class gardener, having once grown a radish the size of his head.
- Arachnids have no sense of humor.
- On a bet, promoter P.T. Barnum raised an army and conquered large areas of Central Asia.
- The Declaration of Independence was written by accident.

That's all for now. I don't want to give away all my trivial nuggets at one time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

With Chicken Comes Wisdom

Yesterday I was in the mood for fried chicken. It's a mood that doesn't come over me as often as it used to. That may be because of the disappointing quality of most commercially available fried chicken. In fact, it is a matter of public record (it might even be on Wikipedia) that I believe KFC causes diarrhea. ( I wonder if KFC deliberately creates that effect in order to get people to come back to their restaurants? If so, then I would suggest they try a different marketing strategy.) Anyhow, I was encouraged by a coworker to try a fried chicken franchise I had not tried before. He said it was the best of them all. I won't name this particular restaurant chain, but I will say that it is named after a comic strip character with large forearms.

So, up to the drive-through window I drove, with my watering mouth, empty stomach, and high expectations. I ordered the number 3, which includes three pieces of chicken and one side dish and biscuit. I parked my car and proceeded to dig in. It's not really a great idea to eat a fried chicken dinner in one's car, for a number of reasons, including the fact that the yellow oleo substitute which is meant to be slathered on the biscuit could inadvertantly squirt out of its package and soil the dashboard, but I was listening to the radio. (I just had to get the latest, up-to-the-minute information about the Don Imus Affair. I only wish the radio updates were every 30 seconds instead of every 30 minutes.)

Well, right off the bat I noticed that the chicken pieces were quite small. That seems to be the norm at all chicken take-out joints anymore. I think they all get their chickens from the same midget chicken ranch in Arkansas. (I still remember the old days when drumsticks were longer than two and half inches long, don't you? Or is it just another of my false memories? If this shrinking chicken trend continues, I bet that some day we will be able to fit a thousand drumsticks in a space where today only twenty will fit. Think of all the storage space that will be saved.) Another thing I noticed is that the crunchy coating has a strange yellowish tint to it. I have nothing against yellow. Why, nobody admires bananas more than I do. But it just looked a little odd to me. But I figured, big deal, it's all going to be in the dark in a few seconds anyway. So I dug in.

About midway through my first bite, as I chewed the greasy morsel, I realized two things: one, this brand of fried chicken tastes exactly like the chicken served at the competing chicken restaurants, and two, I think this chicken is going to be hard to finish, due to its nausea-inducing quality. But I pressed on, finishing the first, second and third pieces, the mashed potatoes swimming in spicy gravy (which wasn't too bad, actually) and the imitation biscuit, minus the yellow oleo substitute (and a nice clean dashboard I have now, too). I washed it all down with the two inches of Dr. Pepper in a cup full of ice and I drove off-- full, but not really satisfied. And full I stayed for hours. Those midget chicken parts are surprisingly dense. Or am I the one who is dense? I'll let you judge for yourself. But keep in mind that my occasional expeditons into the world of fried chicken are learning experiences, like my occasional trips to White Castle. With each trip to these places, I grow in wisdom, even as my lifespan shortens just a bit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Rake Method

Do you know what works pretty well at removing impacted snow from under a car that is stuck in your driveway? Try one of those metal rakes (the kind that rises up and smashes you in the face when you carelessly step on it). It does a really good job at loosening and grabbing the compressed snow. Is this rake method something I learned this past winter during the nasty February snowstorm we had? No. Did I read about it on No. Am I recalling the ramblings of old Jebediah Donner telling me in my childhood of his hardscrabble life on the Great Plains in the winter of 1910? No.

I learned the rake method on Easter Sunday in Lakewood, Ohio. I learned about it after struggling in vain for 40 minutes to free my poor car using my snowshovel and my dirt shovel and my desperate, freezing fingers. I learned the rake method as a result of having gone through this stupid, freak, Lake Erie-fueled, four day snow machine. The same snow machine that caused the Cleveland Indians to flee the city for the more temperate climes of Milwaukee in order to play their next three home games, their first three having been snowed out. Why do I bring this up now? I don't know. But I swear by Al Gore's jowls that the only global warming I believe in is the kind that happens when you make a bonfire out of his collected speeches.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Heat Wave is Over!

Here in Northeast Ohio it was 80 degrees the other day. It was hot. I tell you, I was sweating. I felt the cruel sun baking me as I foolishly jogged down my street, my untanned Irish legs causing problems for those drivers not wearing sunglasses. The windows in my house were opened to give me relief from the oppressive April heat. It was so hot that day that I had to put an ice cube in my Dr. Pepper. Such is not the weather one expects in Ohio in early April. However, that's all behind us now, for Mother Nature has seen fit to provide us with some much-needed relief in the form of subfreezing temperatures, gusting winds and snowfall. Thank goodness! I thought I'd never see a gray sky or a snow plow again. I just wasn't ready to face another day without icy roads, a drafty house or a sidewalk to shovel. And as an added bonus, all those unsightly tulip plants in my yard have been dealt a devastating blow to their solar plexus (plexi?) by this frosty front, and will probably find it hard to make a comeback. Meanwhile, I sit inside, my legs covered up to avoid any incidental contact with any errant UV ray that may break through the two mile thick cloud cover.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Opening Day

As I sit here listening to the neighbor's dogs, amazed at their endurance, amazed at the neighbor's cluelessness and inconsiderateness, my thoughts turn to the new baseball season. Today is opening day, and a beautiful day it is. As I write this, the Cleveland Indians are giving a proper thrashing to the Chicago White Sox. That is a nice start to the season. For the Indians it is an atypical start. I believe that in my lifetime, the Indians have only won two opening day games. (I could be wrong, I may be overestimating, actually.) So this is a nice change of pace. I must keep in mind that the game is not over yet, and that even with an 11-3 lead in the 5th inning nothing is sure, particularly with the Cleveland bullpen being as unreliable as it is.

I interrupt my own train of thought to mention just how glad I am that my neighbor only has two energetic young dogs. I mean, as loud as the two dogs are, as irritating and exasperating as it is for me to be able to hear them clearly through my double-paned windows, it could be worse. He could have 40 dogs instead. He could have enough barking canines to awaken people on the dark side of the moon, but he only has two. As it is, these two dogs' voices carry only as far as the lower part of the earth's exosphere. I bet the jumbo jet 35000 feet above Cleveland has to roll up its windows when the two dogs are outside. Well, the barking has stopped. I bet that it has something to do with complaints from some helicopter pilot who was worried that he couldn't hear his own chopper blades above the din of the yelping dogs.

Anyhow, I have high hopes for the Indians this year, despite the fact that every single year of my life they have not won a world series. I may even go to a game or two this baseball season, though I will have to save up some money to afford food and drinks. I think I ought to have enough saved up by June (I'll have to check with my financial advisor).

Friday, March 30, 2007

The New Look

The groundswell of enthusiastic support for this blog's new look has been nothing short of bewildering. I would like to thank all those who sent threatening emails and those who took the time to threaten me in person. The attention has been gratifying. I especially want to thank the rock throwers and the guy who backed his car into my front porch steps. It does my heart good to know that so many of my loyal followers have such strong opinions about my humble little blog. Keep on reading, and I'll just keep on writing silly drivel.

All About Podcasting

I did another Jawbone Radio podcast the other night. I am invited on there occasionally by Len when his medication runs out. This time was a bit different because Nora was absent. She is claiming to be pregnant and therefore not feeling well enough to participate. But she sure seemed well enough to lie on the couch. Well, that doesn't matter; that's between her and her conscience.

But the purpose of this post is not to point fingers at malingerers, nor even to accuse anyone of acting sick. No, I wanted to mention that the podcast experience was fun and easy. It was as simple as sitting in a room and chatting with somebody, although I wouldn't know what that is like, as I've never done it. Lenny was a very affable host, engaging, witty, vulgar (I never realized just how many really bad words he has to edit out per podcast). He has all sorts of state-of-the-art sound equipment and computers and flat-screen monitors and sneeze guards for the microphones and a refrigerator for soft drinks and stylish office furniture and lighting fixtures and just a nice all around set up for his podcast and other work. It's similar to what I have here in my office; except that my computer's high-pitched whirring noise is very grating after a few seconds, and the plastic stack chairs are a bit less than stylish, and the 40 watt bulb in the ceiling is arguably inadequate, and the odor in the air here can be a little off-putting to anybody whose nose is not stuffed up. But I think we're on the same wavelength, Len and I. We're all about being ergonomically sound, the better to facilitate quality product. I know that I certainly couldn't blog with such frequency if I had to do it from an uncomfortable chair using a slow computer or if I kept having to stop what I was doing to kill carpenter ants.

So, what is the point of this communique? I think it's just to fill time while I wait for the fishsticks.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Snazzy Artwork, Inept Blogger

Thanks to Len from Jawbone Radio fame for the fishbrick illustration. It's just what I've always wanted. However, I can't figure out how to make it the new header for my blog and get rid of the original. I can't even figure out how to make it bigger than it is.

I must confess that I am not very well versed in blogging. Mostly I am getting away with it because it has been made fairly idiot-proof by Google. Everything pretty much gets arranged nicely and all I need is a rudimentary ability to follow simple directions and hit the execute button. Why, Google is actually writing my posts. All I have to do is give them a subject and suggest a few nouns or adjectives I would like included. You can imagine how surprised I was when Google came up with the whole party sock entry, including the bit about the exploding threads. Computers are really amazing, aren't they.

The irony is that Google's supercomputer is responsible largely for this post as well. Even the part about thanking Lenny.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fishstick Update

You may recall the other day that I had some Van de Kamp's fishsticks that were less than perfect. I had overcooked them in my toaster oven, and the resultant product was a poor substitute for real food. Well, one week later, I have revisited the fishsticks, this time cooking them to golden-brown flakey perfection. The sticks today were done just right. And, as it turns out, when their true flavor is thus revealed, the fishsticks are actually quite dreadful. Their flavor is almost exactly the same flavor as the box they come in, but at least the box they come in has some nutritional value. I'm not saying that you should not eat Van de Kamp's fishsticks. Just don't expect too much out of them.

Mom's Out of Bourbon

A friend of mine uttered that line tonight in attempting to tell a quick story about what she had done today. But I had to interrupt her immediately and call her attention to the perfection of that statement. The rest of her story went untold. Mom's out of bourbon was the best sentence of the evening, maybe even of the week. One cannot just rush past that sentence as though it were a run of the mill statement of fact. It's a gem. It demands attention. You can't ignore it. It is a rich vein of humor, waiting for the right smart-aleck to come along and extract the gold.

Just put yourself in a situation where a friend of yours started a story with "Mom's out of bourbon". What would you do? Would you let it slide and patiently listen to the humdrum story to which it's attached? Or would you slam your foot on the brakes and grab the wheel, obnoxously steering the conversation into the deeply rutted path of cheap laughs with such lines as "how many times have I heard myself utter that phrase?" or "Mom's out of it lunchtime again?" or any of a hundred other such sophomoric bon mots? I know what I did.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sweet Danger

Am I growing weak in my middle age? Is my constantly subjecting my body to the depredations of junk food and alcohol, physical inertia and lack of sleep causing my strength to leave me? It could be that. How else can you explain that it takes me a half hour now to open a bag of M&M's? Sometimes, after a prolonged wrestling match with a bag, I get so desperate, that I force myself to get up off the couch and retrieve a pair of scissors from the kitchen. It almost isn't worth the effort.

Of course, the problem isn't really with my shriveled heart muscle and noodle arms. No, the problem is in the design of the M&M bag. It's designers have a bit of a puritan streak in them. It seems they can't stand the idea of somebody somewhere enjoying delicious plain or peanut chocolate candies, so they try to prevent all but the most dauntless candy lovers from getting at the candies inside the bag. So, too often, an eager chocolate enthusiast, driven to a frenzy by his frustration, will grab a bag with both hands, pulling in opposite directions, holding his breath, his fingers aching, face turning red, sweat beading on his forehead, his vision reduced to a narrow tunnel, until suddenly, with a violent rip, the bag explodes, shooting candy at high velocity in all directions. Windows are broken, pets are maimed, bystanders lie unconscious or cower under the coffee table digging candies out of their ears. It's tragic. It's tragic and so unnecessary. Why must M&M Mars make their bags so hard to open? Why?

And why, after I feel slightly nauseous from consuming most of a bag of M&M's do I feel that I must have one more? That's a question for another time.

Friday, March 16, 2007

All the World is a Fishstick

As I wait for my Van de Kamp's "fishsticks" to "cook" I will post a little something. It's been a while since my Party Sock posting, but I've been busy, busy, busy. My life is a never-ending whirlwind of activity, although, in truth, it will end eventually.

The play that I haven't mentioned being a part of premiered tonight in North Royalton. The atmosphere was electric as the audience waited for the show to start. Actually, I think the electricity may have had more to do with their anticipation of the intermission refreshments. The audience laughed all throughout the show. If only it had been a comedy. They laughed in particular at my fly being open, but I am happy to have made any kind of impression on them at all.

I'm joking, of course. The show was indeed a comedy. The crowd really enjoyed it, in fact they even broke into cheers whenever I left the stage. My only problem with them as a group is that they hogged all the refreshments, leaving the actors with little to eat but hardtack and headcheese. I have no idea what headcheese is, but it bounces when you drop it on a tiled floor.

We don't seem to be getting anywhere here. Let me start over. I was in a play this evening in North Royalton (in Ohio, less than a day's mule ride from my house.) The crowd was small, but enthusiastic, which may have been due to the fact that it was a group of dwarves who just came out of a motivational seminar. Okay, disregard part of the previous sentence. I think that the smell of the "fish" sticks wafting up to my computer room is having a deleterious effect on my concentration. Anyway, the cast of players did a fine job in their respective roles, and afterwards we all played a quick game of headcheese basketball.

Van de Kamp's fishsticks, if left unattended in an oven, will shrivel and dry up much more quickly than most bloggers expect. This blogger found the resultant sticks to be unworthy of another Gold Medal Taste Award from the American Tasting Institute (they won the award in 2001). I have to wonder how many entrants there were in the competition for a medal at the American Tasting Institute that year if the winner was fishsticks. Did they compete against a wide array of foods, including such items as key lime pie, mom's fried chicken, chocolate cake, etc? I don't see Van de Kamp fishsticks winning a medal over any of those foods. I bet there weren't many entrants that year, and that the fishsticks won over such foods as turnips, potted meat and sea cucumber.

And what kind of a place is this American Tasting Institute? Can anybody get a job there? Do the tasters only taste the food and spit it out, like wine tasters do? Or does the institute employ people who are willing to eat vast quantities of food in the quest to find the best of the best? Would they consider employing competitive eaters in order to increase productivity? Those fishsticks made my stomach hurt a bit. It'll pass in time for the next batch. Good night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Party Socks

I went to a St. Patrick's Day party over the weekend (since St Patty's Day falls on a Saturday this year, the party was on the previous Saturday). I got dressed in a bit of a rush (unnecessarily as it turns out) and so I grabbed a pair of gray socks that are among my very best. Old Reliables, I call them. They've got the nice black border at the top, the fluting on the sides. A more handsome set of stockings one could not hope for. Over these I donned my dressy black shoes and off I went, just in time to wait for R, who, God bless her, came out 15 minutes later. Off to the party we went.

Once there, I saw a mess of sundry shoes at the front door, and saw R removing hers, so I put two and two together and proceeded to ask her what to do. She suggested that I remove my shoes, and I did so. We went into the party area and enjoyed festive party food, refreshing drink and delightful, shoeless company. It was all going fairly well until about two hours into the party, when I looked down at the floor and noticed a familiar looking toe staring up at me. It was my own toe, exposed by a forgotten hole in my sock.

Great. So now I spent the rest of the party hiding the offending digit with my other foot, scanning the assemblage for other holes in other socks, hoping that seeing one, I might not feel so out of place. Unfortunately (from my viewpoint), the room was full of the finest specimens of hosiery America has to offer. These people had covered their feet with gorgeous, pristine, mint-condition socks, the like of which one wouldn't expect to find outside of Beautiful Sock magazine. Even the children running through the crab dip had perfect socks on their little feet.

It was all a bit disconcerting. Nobody said anything nasty about my threadbare footwear, not even R. Of course, she would never say anything unkind about me. But the fact is that I may not be able to show my face or feet to those people for awhile. I think it is quite possible that right now, somebody who was at that party is posting to his or her blog about "Old Rag Sock". I just hope this doesn't reflect badly on R. She shouldn't suffer guilt by association. Her only fault was in not checking my socks before the party. How could she have known?

The sad thing is that the gray socks, as shockingly inappropriate as they were for party exposure, are typical of my sock supply. It's sad, and it's strange, too. Strange because there is no good reason that my socks should all have holes in them, but, by and large, they do. Why, even now, as I look down at the black socks I'm wearing, I see a hole large enough to admit a basket of grapefruit. In fact, these socks developed a hole the very first time I wore them. Who knows why. It isn't as though I have razor-sharp toenails. I don't wear socks that are six sizes too small. I don't grab the top of the sock and pull up with all my might. All I do is carefully put them on my feet. My only guess as to why these stupid things develop holes is that they are sewn with Mission Impossible threads in the toes. That is, the threads are designed in such a way that a small explosive charge in the fibers causes the threads to self-destruct 15 seconds after I put them on. But why would anybody design socks to partially self destruct? Who would do such a thing?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Early Morning Haiku

Phone rings. One AM
It's Mitch. A wrong number. Oops
Mitch now sleeps. I can't

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I Can't Wait for Summer

I can't wait for summer because then I will be able to open my windows and let in the fresh air. My opened windows will also allow me to to hear the birds singing and the gentle rain falling on warm summer evenings. But the greatest treat in store for me when I open my windows in the summer is that I will at last be able to hear every last shriek and wail of the world's loudest children who live in the house behind mine. From sun-up to sun-down they go into their back yard and holler at the top of their young, healthy lungs. I don't know exactly how many of these adorable children there are, because they are shielded from my sight by their garage. But, judging from the noise they make, I would have to guess that there are at least 450 of them. It's such a comfort to know that their mother is inside the house ignoring their caterwauling and bawling, yelling and and laughing. I suspect she is inside there watching close-captioned soap operas, because she must be deaf.

The Loud Family is not the only high-decibel emanation from the rear of my house. Because now, right next door to them and abutting my property line is a property containing two young, large, obnoxious dogs. They love to bark and bark. I'm sure that their vicious barks and snarls are not indicative of any malice on their part. They are just being doggies. They enjoy exploring the world around them by bouncing soundwaves off of it. They take particular pleasure in bouncing their shrill soundwaves off me, as I get out of my car and go into my house. What a joy to be barked at in my own driveway. Another joy is to have one of the Loud Family children standing on his side of the fence and teasing the dogs into a frenzy. Meanwhile, the dogs' owner is apparently enjoying close-captioned television inside his house. Good for him. What is not to like about a person who buys pets in order to ignore them.

Aah, summer.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My First Excercise of the Year

I just came back from my first real excercise session of the season. My friend and I drove to a local high school to do a series of 440s around the track with a rest period in between each. Let me just say that my legs were turning rubbery, my heart was thumping like it wanted to escape my chest, my lungs were burning with each breath, the sweat was pouring off my forehead in waves. It was almost unendurable. Then, when the ride to the track was over, it got even harder.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Time Change

Here in the USA we will be changing the clocks on Saturday night/Sunday morning, thereby making the transition to Daylight Savings Time. By edict of the Federal Government, we must all set our alarms for, or stay up until 2AM and at that point move the time backwards 23 hours or forward one hour on every timepiece in the house/apartment/condo/office/barn/garage. After making the prescribed changes to the aforementioned timepieces, we must call the United States Bureau of Time and report that the transition to Daylight Savings Time was successful. To fail to do so could result in prosecution by the Feds.

How do you do it in your country?

One Post, One Mistake

So far, I've posted one link on the blog and it doesn't work. I wanted it to work, believe me. I wasn't trying to aggravate anybody. I followed directions and did it right, but the link still doesn't work. It's not my fault. It's the stupid internet. When you come back to this blog next year, I will have worked out the problem. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of maple syrup.

Welcome to Fishbrick

Thank you for taking time out of your busy web surfing to stop and read the inaugural entry of the Fishbrick blog. Why did we call it Fishbrick? Simply because every other possible combination of letters and numbers was taken (ironically, even Fishbrick23), so we had no choice but Fishbrick.

What can you, the web-browsing citizen of the world (except China, where Fishbrick has been removed from public view) expect to find on this blog? Well, we haven't yet decided what to place here. We weren't intending to create a blog at all. It simply came to be through a combination of carelessness, incompetence, lack of imagination and bladder control problems (it's an interesting, oddly fascinating story, but I refuse to elaborate). The powers that be decided that we ought to keep it and maintain it, and they chose your humble servant to be its primary author. I drew the short straw, as it were.

So, to start with, maybe I will post a link for your surfing pleasure. Here, click this and see where it gets you.