Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Wen (Reading a headline): "Broken leg may have killed Tutankhamun."
Suz (Laughs): Really?
Wen: I was absolutely fascinated with King Tut as a child. It started with a jigsaw puzzle of his gold coffin.
Suz: I find that whole era fascinating. Did you see the King Tut exhibit?
Wen: No, but I owned the Steve Martin record.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Run, don't walk to your nearest eclectic vendor of beverages: The 2006 Jones Soda Holiday Pack is out! (Um, okay, it has been for a couple of weeks. Sue me.) Flavors this year include Turkey and Gravy, Pea, Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, and, appropriately enough, Antacid. There's a Dessert Pack too, in case you haven't sufficiently upset your stomach. And hey, if you really want to submit something icky, there's even a "suggest a flavor" link at the website.

Although you may rest assured that I will not be partaking of these "original" beverages, don't dismiss them out of hand. In addition to the excellent gift potential for "special" people in your life, a portion of the proceeds do go to Toys for Tots. If you're really in to this kind of crap, you can order your own personalized 12-pack for a mere $35 dollars (plus S&H, of course).

Or, better yet, save on shipping and donate $35 worth of toys to needy kids this year.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lesson Number Two

What's that? You missed the message in Lesson Number One? Muscle cars RULE. And sometimes 'necks prevail. Since ya'll aren't too sharp at determining the main theme of a story, I'll tell ya the point of Lesson Number Two: DVR is both a blessing and a curse.

My mother, bless her heart, loves her toys. (Don't EVEN go there, she's 71 and I don't wanna think about it. STFU, Kmae!) The toys of which I speak are electronics. She's always been a gadget junky. From early model personal computers and CB radios to color copiers and atomic clocks, MotherWhit has always been quick to purchase the latest technological innovation. (Although, for some reason DSL has only recently replaced dial-up. Wtf? Ah well, better late than never!)

My point? MotherWhit is the Queen of DVR.

Like all DVR users, my mother records shows she would like to see when she cannot be home. Like many DVR users, she will also record one show while watching another. I wonder, though, how many DVR users routinely back up a program every single time the viewer misses something of interest? After 9/11, if Mother happened to miss the singing of the national anthem at the start of a baseball game, she'd back up the DVR and watch it. If she, or more likely my daddy, didn't hear a clever quip or key line in whatever show, MotherWhit would back it up and replay it.

I witnessed this while home this past week during the Late Show with David Letterman. Mother wasn't paying much attention to the music act, as +44 is not exactly her preferred genre. When Dave started talking about the drummer (who totally rocked), however, MotherWhit obviously had to back it up so she could watch his one-handed (by choice, not physical disability) performance. All in all, pretty cool.

On the downside of DVR employment, though, is my mother recorded and saved one of Rachel Ray's talk show episodes that involved creating a pot from a roll of tickets.

Why is that a downside to DVR, you ask? Because that roll of tickets required a LOT of manipulation in order to resemble a pot, and I was the designated manipulator. Thanks, RR. Damned DVR.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lesson Number One

I have two brothers, one of whom is a certified redneck. I can offer his accent, gun collection, beer belly, wardrobe of camouflage and coveralls, and multiple vehicles in various stages of being re-outfitted in the "yard" as evidence. (No Syd, there are no chickens... that I know of... but there's a pot-bellied pig--a one-time house pet--that now lives in fetid squalor in the back yard and has to weigh almost as much as a cow). I couldn't tell you how many dogs and cats are roaming around their place. Oh - he also used to live in a trailer but actually made good on the poor white trash dream of living in a trailer just long enough to make enough money to build his own home. He's damned handy, that 'neck brother of mine.

Anyway, "Red" very recently purchased a local auto repair shop in his little hick town. He continues to work fulltime at the chemical refinery he's worked at for the last fifteen years or so; he hired my other brother and also kept the former mechanic on to do the actual repair work. All of this is actually pretty cool in my family. Red has a new business; other brother has a job he loves; and nephew is picking up some new skills in his free time. Red's wife has been an active participant in marketing the new business. I learned this today upon my first visit to the shop, where I was given key rings, pens, and magnets advertising the new venture.

As I was surveying Red's new domain, my eyes landed on a photo of his wife posing with an unknown man in racing paraphernalia in what was clearly some sort of racing venue. I gestured at the picture and asked who it was. "Your sister-in-law," Red replied dryly. Then he went on to educate me: the unknown racer in the picture is drag racing star Tony Schumacher. Apparently Mr. Schumacher is the shit on the "NHRA circuit" and the pic of my SIL standing arm-in-arm with him is something akin to hugging Reba McEntire or Hank Williams, Jr. at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Red was about as animated as I've ever seen him (sober) while talking about the drag racing. His evident pride in the photo, however, quickly diminished when the topic turned to the marketing efforts. It seems my SIL ordered the wrong calendars: Classic cars instead of Muscle cars.

I might not know much about NASCAR or NHRA, but in this instance my brother and I were in accord. Muscle cars are more appealing.

Southern Accent, Here I Come

I'm off to Texas to visit the famdamily for a few short days. Ya'll have fun now, y'hear?


Monday, November 13, 2006

Gift Idea?

I gotta ask "why"... but I DID laugh. Hell, I guess that's reason enough.

Thank God Dudley doesn't behave so... he'd hurt his back.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Out of the Closet

Today was a day of much needed organization. Each year around this time I take on the task of converting the closets and drawers to winter apparel. I decided this weekend was the time, as we had our first "freeze" and I'm ready to trust that I won't see 70 on the thermometer again until April. In the previous few weeks, we've experienced what is fairly typical early fall weather for this area: some days hovering in the 40-degree range, others climbing to near 80. One natural consequence of such capricious weather is the need for greater shoe diversity. Boots mingled with sandals in an alarming display of disarray.

Really, the knowledge that one of my place-for-everything-and- everything-in-its-place compadres (and her shoe-flinging partner) will be visiting next weekend wasn't an influencing factor at all. Heh.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Public Service Advisory

Liberation from nasty public facilities (and poorly maintained private ones, Deborah) has arrived! Fear the empty toilet paper holder no more!
That's right. Your own personal roll of TP, sized for convenience. You can buy it at REI, or order it here. I assume it's squeezably soft... and since it's your personal roll, Mr. Whipple can shut the hell up.

I learned of the existence of this product from Suzanne's mother, but had to Google for some time to find the actual name (memory like a steel trap, I have). For your own search engine awareness, "travel size toilet paper" yielded the product of interest. "Personal toilet paper" and "portable toilet paper" most decidedly did not.

Instead, I found this personal toilet, useful "during all crucial moments as in the cars, private planes, dirty toilets, or camping". Um, think I'll pass. Even in conjunction with this classy privacy shelter (that "pops up in seconds, not minutes,") no.

There was also the bumper dumper. Definitely not, despite the amusing and descriptive name... or the feasibility anywhere "a sanitation situation may occur".

And, although I may wish for a larger bladder on occasion, I never considered the benefits of a spare one. That's not just any spare bladder, either: "Special granular polymer inside each pouch soaks up contents and converts it instantly into a scent-neutralizing gel".

I'm not particularly inclined to avail myself of these other conveniences, but ya'll feel free to do so if hiking or emergency preparedness is your thing.

And go ahead, squeeze the Charmin. It's yours.