Friday, August 29, 2008

I'll recover, but it may be a while...

Dear Frank’s Red Hot,

I have used, bought and traveled with your product (Frank’s Red Hot) to many parts of the world. If where I was didn’t sell it, I brought it with me.

I have more than 20 years of history with you. I’ve introduced your product to roommates, my wife, friends and total strangers.

So when I saw Frank’s Red Hot Original Beef Jerky on the shelf yesterday, I quickly bought a bag. I have a love affair with beef jerky also…the slim jim. I even had a slim jim in my hand at the checkout, but when I saw your product, I quickly put it back.

I bought a Pepsi from the vending machine. It was all I could do to not rip open the bag while walking to the car.

As I chewed on the first piece of what was about to begin a wonderful era in my life I realized something…IT DIDN’T TASTE LIKE FRANK’S RED HOT. It didn’t taste like there was any Frank’s Red Hot on it at all. It just tasted like beef jerky. Now that’s not a bad thing, but compared to what I thought it would be…it was like my first beer.

(don’t worry, I’ve gotten over the disappointment of the first beer)

I did give the benefit of the doubt and ate another piece, and then another and even another and then more until the bag was gone. Not one piece of the 3.25 oz package tasted of Frank’s Red Hot. It was so disappointing.

I trusted you guys and you let me down.

And don't send me my money back...just make my dreams of Franks Red Hot Flavored Beef Jerky come true.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

It doesn’t hold you hostage or point a gun to your head

It’s the Real Country Music lyric of the day (complete with commentary):
Hank, why do you drink? Why do you smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?

I heard this song today and it caused me to consider my own reasons for "drinking." Well, I don’t have any. I drink beverages, like everyone else, and some of them happen to have alcohol in them.

I don’t drink to stop the voices in my head, I don’t drink to start the voices in my head.

I like a beer (or two) at the end of a day…but not every day. I like wine with a meal, but not every meal. I like a shot of tequila before a good Mexican meal…

Buffalo Wings need beer.

There are people who have wrecked their lives (and the lives of those around them) with the misuse of alcohol. Usually though, they say alcohol wrecked their lives.

Alcohol just sits there. If you say you MUST put a glass (with alcohol in it) to your lips and drink...the New England Journal of Medicine would like to study your involuntary muscle spasms for their next issue.

And since it alone can’t wreck your life, not drinking it can’t save your life. We may disagree on how salvation (and what it means to you) works, but I think we agree it’s not gained by NOT doing something.

If you are a jerk while drinking, odds are you’ll be a bigger one even if you quit. And you might be less fun.

So don’t blame alcohol. Take a good look in the mirror and blame the cigarette companies instead.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're having hot dogs, broccoli and chips for dinner...

It’s a special day for someone I know. She loves to go to dance class. She giggles like a little girl. She loves to pick out her clothes every day. She loves dresses. She thinks school is fun.

She runs with reckless abandon. She uses a lot of band-aids.

She loves lemonade and grilled cheese sandwiches. Fruit and yogurt too.

She loves to kick a ball and play with her dolls. She builds stuff with Legos. She loves to look at books and do puzzles. She paints, draws and creates things everyday.

She says, “Grr…It’s cold.”

She loves the color pink. Clothes, hair ribbons, toothbrush and toothpaste. She's having a pink cake with pink icing. There may be strawberry milk involved.

She likes to do somersaults and watch Veggie Tales. She gets excited and talks so loud that sometimes she wakes up her little brother.

She loves her shiny shoes that she wears to church.

And today is her birthday. Happy Birthday Pumpkin!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here's looking at you, brah...

My wife doesn’t understand me.

I’m not whining.

I watched the end of two movies last night. I caught the last hour of Casablanca and the last 10 minutes or so of Point Break. These are two of my favorite movies. This is the part my wife doesn’t understand. There are other things, (I’m pretty sure) but this was last night’s reason.

The plot, etc, of Casablanca needs no explaining. Point Break might need explaining.

But first the Real Country Music lyric of the day:
Well I'll pass the bar on the way
To my dingy hotel room-
I spent all my money
Been drinkin' since a half past noon-
I'll wake there in the mornin'
Or maybe in the county jail-
Times are hard getting harder
I'm born to lose and destined to fail-

Point Break is a movie about a guy who is a maverick, does his own thing (breaking the law on the way…) and in the end is walking away on his own terms in the rain (without the girl) having given his all (risking imprisonment and death) to a cause that he believed in. His chances of survival are slim (he’ll be a fugitive at best), but it’s not certain as to what happened next.

Or was that Casablanca?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Please? Pretty please?

I know I’ve mentioned this, but I played poker with some friends for about a year and a half.

We were a dedicated bunch. We had the same six or seven show up every week for about 80 straight weeks. Some of us claimed to be married.

They are great guys. They were good sports. When someone else would have a good hand that beat them, most of them would say, “cheers” or “good one.”

Well, not me.

I hate to lose. I wanted to kick each and every one of them in the ankle when I lost. When I had a good hand and didn’t win, it was all I could do not to throw a beer bottle at them, much less say “good hand.”

But I loved every minute of it. And I really miss it. If they’d all just fly over here and visit, I’d be willing to lose (a little).

Which brings us to our Real Country Music lyric of the day:
(although it’s becoming more like the Real Country Music lyric of the week. It’s just that most of the songs don’t sound out of the ordinary to me anymore…I may need professional help)

And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole.
No-one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried.
Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading, I denied.
That leaves only me to blame 'cos Mama tried.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A white man's plagarism of Isaac Hayes

At this point we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to Mr. Shaft

If you were wondering the name of the African-American Private Investigator who is very popular with women…it’s Mr. Shaft.
(That’s correct.)

If you were wondering the name of the gentleman that would be willing to take a risk to help another person from his community….it’s Mr. Shaft.
(Does this excite you?)

And do you know the name of the civil servant who is not afraid to face danger?
Again, it’s Mr. Shaft.
(That’s correct.)

We’d like it to be known that Mr. Shaft is a very intense…
(Please be quiet)
Excuse me, I’m merely referring to Mr. Shaft.
(Oh, sorry we interrupted you)

Mr. Shaft has a lot going on in his life and he is difficult to understand for almost everyone, except for his significant other.
(Mr. John Shaft, Esquire)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Theological discussion...

What do you believe? Cayenne Lemonade offers a hand...

____ If you believe that before the foundation of the world that it was predestined that you would be reading this blog, you are Presbyterian.
____ If you believe that this blog is whatever you want it to be, you are a Unitarian.
____ If you are reading this blog with your three wives, you are Mormon.
____ If you believe that the typographical errors in this blog can fix themselves, you are a Christian Scientist.
____ If you aren’t sure if this blog exists, you are an agnostic.
____ If you are reading this blog from Tom Cruise’s house, you are a Scientologist. At least you’d better say you are.
____ If you feel the urge to tell a impartial third party that you feel guilty for reading this blog, you are Catholic.
____ If you think you should ask your preacher whether it is okay to be reading this blog, you are a Baptist.
____ If you are reading this blog through the window of an internet café while your horse and carriage is at a stop sign, you are Amish. Otherwise, you are NOT Amish.
____ If you believe that this blog is in all things and all things are in this blog, you are a Pantheist.
____ If you believe when 144,000 people have read this blog the world will end, you are a Jehovah’s Witness.
____ If you think this blog was created and then abandoned, you are a Deist.
____ And finally, if you don’t believe this blog was intelligently designed and was a complete accident, you are an atheist.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A song for you to hum today...

The Chicago Police Department has issued a warrant for the arrest of Leroy Brown of the South Side of Chicago. Chicago Police consider Mr. Brown the most dangerous man in the entirety of the city.

Mr. Brown was allegedly involved in an altercation a week ago Friday in a South Side Bar. Mr. Brown and an unknown man were seen rolling on the floor after Mr. Brown allegedly made romantic advances toward the unknown man’s girlfriend, reportedly a nice-looking girl named Doris.

It is known that Mr. Brown emerged from the fight bruised and bloody. The other man’s condition was not known.

Mr. Brown has been under suspicion by the Chicago Police stemming from allegations of illegal gambling (dice games) and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit (a .32 caliber pistol). Also, Mr. Brown is alleged to have a razor in his shoe.

A description of Mr. Brown lists him as 6 feet 4 and is gives two known aliases: “Treetop Lover” and “Sir."

Mr. Brown is known to like to wear fancy clothes to flaunt his many diamond rings.

The Department of Motor Vehicles lists Mr. Brown the owner of both a Custom-built Lincoln Continental and a Cadillac El Dorado.

If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Mr. Brown, please contact your local police.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Also, ask us about our line of microwaves and refrigerators...

If you’ve always wanted a daily yoga workout but are ashamed of the shabby condition of your yoga mat or you don’t have the time to go to the gym to see your guru…fret no more.

Yoga on the Go, a complete cardio-physio workout is here. With Yoga on the Go, you don’t need to wonder if your Guru is gay or a communist, because your instructor is YOU!

YOU are your own Zen-Master. YOU decide how long your workouts are. YOU push yourself to complete balance and self-awareness and YOU save yourself the cost trying to decide on a gender-appropriate yoga outfit and having to make sure it is washed and ironed before your sessions. You won’t even need to shower or do your hair.

The road to self-actualization begins in the morning when you put on your socks. Don’t sit down! While standing, slowly raise your right foot and put your sock on. Then, breathe slowly and lower your foot. Do the same with the opposite foot. Try to feel your hips aligning with your back as your foot goes in your sock.

When you take the garbage to the dumpster (if you don’t have a dumpster, don’t worry, one will be shipped to you as part of your Yoga on the Go package) carry the bags at arms length. Make sure you feel your spine stretch as you stand on your toes and extend your arms to the sky while releasing the hefty bag toward the top of the dumpster. If possible, try not to breathe at all.

As I’m sure you can see, this program is so simple it can be executed using your daily routine.

A few examples: While cooking, stand on one foot. Close the microwave with your elbow. Clear your mind and stand absolutely still while staring into the refrigerator.

While brushing your teeth, move your body laterally instead of the toothbrush. Instead of using the remote for your TV, get up to change the channel or adjust the volume. (If you don’t have a television, don’t worry, one will be shipped to you as part of your Yoga on the Go package)

The program is absolutely free, however equipment costs ($2156 including shipping and handling) will be charged to your credit card. Your dumpster and television will arrive within two weeks of your order.

Remember, YOU can be your Guru.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I’ve often wondered what it tasted like…

Liberal arts colleges in the United States pride themselves on diversity.

The liberal arts college I went to was no different. We had Japanese Culture Week, among others. We had a taco bar in the cafeteria. The student union had light beer.

But, when it came to campus housing, they tried not to take it too far. There were numerous Greek houses (making up 68% of the students) and a few other houses. There was a dorm for high academics, there was a dorm for basketball players, etc.

There were a few leftovers. People who, after everyone was stereotyped and put into their places, didn’t have any category to fit into.

My first year there I lived in the “dorm for those who didn’t fit it to any other category.” Across the hall from us was the son of a preacher man and a crazy kid who only lasted about three weeks…but during the three weeks he was there he managed to paint a mural that covered the entire west wall of his room.

Also in my “cube” was a religious studies major who was an atheist, a guy from Pakistan who had a picture of the Ayatolla Khomeni on his wall, and a very unusual guy who once drank the water-like substance from the fire extinguisher.

As my flashbacks continue, I’ll have more on this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm picking the Kenyan with the Blackberry...

With the Olympics going on, I can’t help thinking about the last day and the marathon and what a waste of time it is.

The event is named for the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. He died when he got there, probably because he didn’t drink any gatorade.

But even with death as a possibility, they keep running this ridiculous distance. It’s like they got together and said, “What’s the farthest you’ve ever heard of someone running? Let’s do that.”

Note: my extensive research (looking stuff up on google for about 15 minutes) has uncovered the possibility that the story of the origin of the marathon is in doubt…

But even if you go with the story, the original challenge was to get the message delivered over that particular distance.

This is why I think it should be eliminated. The 26 miles 385 yards can now be covered in about 25 minutes with a car, or better yet almost instantly with an email or a phone call. I’m sure our boy Phieidippides would have skipped the run and just faxed it if he had the chance.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And where the cops sit to catch you speeding...

The Welcome Wagon delivered their pack of goodies today.

First of all, the pack of coupons (no fruit basket?) came from somewhere in Connecticut…how did they know I’d just come to town here in Tennessee?

It used to be a lot of great stuff…but now…not so much…the items included:
A gift certificate for a book collection of the classics (Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Mein Kampf). So my gift to welcome me to the community is something that will keep me from going out to meet people? Do they want me to stay home and read?

A Home Security Company coupon. What kind of place have I moved to? Why not a coupon for bars for the windows?

ProActiv, a acne treatment program. Make your own joke.

Which brings us to the Real Country Music lyric of the day:
Hey I'm a country man...a city boy can't do the things I can...I can grow my own groceries and salt cure a ham...I can hotwire your tractor and plow up your land...Why don't you come and join me in my new deerstand...Hey baby I'm a country man

Anyway, the Welcome Wagon, once a pillar of society as a way to welcome a person to town without having to actually meet them and have a conversation, seems pretty useless.

But I have a way for them to gain their rightful place in society again. They need to be the source of useful information.

Such as:
1. The location of the liquor store
2. The name of an honest mechanic and/or contractor, if there is one
3. A dossier of the secret lives of your neighbors, so you don’t have to waste time wondering.
4. and whether the local Pizza Hut is a legitimate restaurant or a cesspool of bad food and service.

And instead of mailing it to me, can't someone at least come to the house, ring my doorbell and run away?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It seemed like a good idea last week...

The people are coming.

The people are coming tomorrow.

The people are coming tomorrow to work.

The people are coming tomorrow to work on the house.

The people are coming tomorrow to work on the house at 6.

The people are coming tomorrow to work on the house at 6 am.

So I’ve got to go to bed.

But not without the Real Country Music lyric of the day:

I don't remember loving you
I heard you mention children
Did you say there's one or two?
You say I quit my job
And then I drank myself insane
You say that I ran down the highway
Screaming out your name
Well, that's not the sort of thing that I would do

No, I don't remember loving you

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The second only child...

I’ve never mentioned it before, but I have a brother.

He was born just before I turned 14.

I was sitting at the dining room table one fall afternoon when my parents informed me that they had decided the experiment of 1967 was to be repeated in the 80’s. Not sure if it was because it finally appeared it was a worthwhile thing, or that they decided that even a bad idea needed to be given two chances.

Anyway, by the time he was getting interesting, I was gone, off on my own. Now that I’m back (although I’m not sure if I’ve gotten interesting), he’s gone, off on his own.

Note: I went six years of college to get an undergrad degree from a liberal arts college. He spent his six years (maybe seven) of higher education getting an undergrad degree, a masters degree and a doctorate in biology, mostly for doing awful things to rodents in hopes of finding out something important. He explained it to me once, but it didn’t take. He sent me a copy of the thesis he wrote…the only words in the title that I understood were Siberian and Hampster.

After getting his doctorate, he moved to Atlanta and is doing equally horrible things to other rodents as part of an obesity study, which has to make for interesting converstation he has with total strangers at the local Ben and Jerry's.

His greatest fear (supposedly) was that he would have to take over the radio station one day. My greatest fear (since 10th grade) was that I’d have to take Biology again.

So far, it’s working out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some kid had the Highlights magazine...

While in the dentist’s office this morning , I read an issue of Conde Nast Traveler that detailed the best ski resorts in the United States.

They talk about the best slopes, the best powder, the best hotels and the best in après-ski, which is a French term for a place to thaw out your toes.

I read through it, but I didn’t see any of the slopes that Dave and I have been skiing for years (about 13 of the last 18).

Our first year, we got ready to ski by drinking Vodka and cider the night before the four-hour drive. The hilly, winding road to the ski resort (in North Carolina) the next day made us wish we hadn’t. There was snow…but not much of it.

For a few years we went to a ski resort in West Virginia. We went on a budget.

We didn’t stay at the resort, we stayed at a Super 8 hotel about 15 miles away. Our après-ski was a cooler full of beer and peppermint schnapps. We drank the beer in the hotel room and the schnapps on the ski lift. I’m sure we ate, but I don’t remember what.

Note: The worst thing about not staying where you ski is the ski boots…getting there and having to put them on outside in the cold (so you can leave your shoes in the car and save on a locker fee) can be pretty tough. Something about expanding feet and shrinking boots.

The snow was okay, but unfortunately, it was mostly in the woods. The slopes themselves (the skiing part of the mountain) were a lot of ice with grass mixed in. The occasional snow/slush patch encountered on the route made the skiing tougher, as one ski caught in the snow/slush and the other ski…well…didn’t.

We slowly graduated over the years to better resorts and lodging closer to the slopes. But our climb to the Conde Nast Top 20 (we were only 345 or so away) was interrupted by my move to paradise. My ski equipment has been sitting in Dave’s house in Maryland for three years.

But, we’ve got big plans this year…I got a new cooler.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The end of a tough week...

We went to Music on the Square tonight in our little town. It’s live music each Friday night. About 150-250 people attend, sit on lawn chairs or blankets in a large grassy area and listen to, what has been, pretty good music.

Grace tonight watched the kids that always play in the area between the stage and the crowd (about 100 feet or so). She asked if she could go play with the boys and girls. We said ok, although I was a little worried about it.

She walked about five steps and came back. She asked if she could go. I said she could. She repeated this step about 25 times. I really didn’t know if she’d go or not. Finally, she went about 40 feet away…hesitated and came back. She asked if she could go. I told her she could.

She went back to the 40 foot perimeter and came back about six or seven times. But then another girl came over and invited her to play.

She went and ran around with the kids for about 45 minutes. I watched her every step, she went out of view a couple of times, but never more than 10 seconds or so.

She was apprehensive about going, scared to leap into the unknown. I felt the same way, she’s not yet four years old. But she did fine. One of the girls came and got her when she came back to us for a drink of water.

It could be said our little girl is growing up and accepting new challenges. But they weren’t any bigger than the challenge of watching her go and not stopping her.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And how about the end of the world?

The internet is useless.

It isn’t good for the things you really need. Sure, you can read endless drivel and the insane thoughts of wackos from all perspectives around the globe to pass the time, but you can’t find out the important stuff.

Such as:
1. How much should an electrician cost?
2. Should I paint my house or hire someone?
3. Who stole my baseball glove when I was 13?
4. Why is it so cold in here?
5. What should I have for lunch today?

Which does bring us to something the internet is good for…the Real Country Music lyric of the day:
There wasn’t a line (like the women usually have)
There wasn’t even a lock.
The floor was dirty, the mirror had grime.
I wasn’t picky though, I didn’t have time.

I didn’t hang around (I did wash my hands)
I read a phone number or two...
But I hit my hip on the sink and it smarted.
A fool and his beer aren’t painlessly parted.

Anyway, the internet can’t tell you what is going to happen in the future, and what it says about the past you can’t really trust.

I’d boycott it, but then I wouldn’t be able to tell you why.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


The defining product of the last couple of months of my life has been the cardboard box.

Boxes to move, boxes new stuff comes in as we decorate our home. Boxes to unpack. Boxes from to open. I bought a cordless drill yesterday. It had three boxes, the outer box, the inner box for the charger, and another box for the power supply.

(It doesn’t help that when you buy something they tell you to keep the box in case you need to return it. So I have a bunch of boxes just waiting, indefinitely it seems…it’s a never-ending insurance policy that you can't throw away.)

There’s a bunch of boxes in my office, the box the printer came in, a box for the new computer, and a box for the new production studio that we ordered. Boxes for file folders, a box for a modem, and a box for a phone that we haven’t plugged in yet.

At home there are just-opened big boxes in the attic/second floor of the house (HVAC being installed) and boxes that have stuff stored in them from the previous owner of our house. There’s one box up there with just boxes in them.

I have the box the Wii came in. I have the little boxes and the big box. I have the box that the DVD/CD (or whatever it is) that has the software.

The satellite receiver boxes are in the closet, next to 15 dozen golf balls (in boxes of course). We have boxes for cereal, detergent, zip lock bags and aluminum foil.

Google has over 2 million sites that you can get by typing “Cardboard Box” into the search. And now they have one more. This is the last thing I wanted.

I’m surrounded.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A glimmer of hope at the end of a hyphen-laden-rant...

It’s a sorry world.

You can’t buy gas without paying before you pump. The dirt bags that drive off without paying have ruined it for the rest of us. Back in the good old days, I got gas, then grabbed a drink and a snack and continued on my way. Now, since I would have to pay twice to accomplish this, I just pump and hit the road.

(maybe it’s a weight loss program…but the sales of Pepsi and Beef Jerky must be taking a hit)

And every time I go (only when I must) to the national-giant-run-everyone-else-out-of-business-monopoly-store (WalMart), they check my receipt when I leave. They greet me when I come in, but act like I’m Willie Sutton when I leave. Instead of “Hi, Welcome to WalMart!” I’d rather they tell me, “We’re keeping an eye on you, make sure you don’t steal anything, you punk.”

(I’d at least feel like they were being honest with me.)

However, the apostasy is not complete. Here in our small town, there is one gas station (that I know of) that lets you pump gas then pay. Also, at the local not-yet-run-out-of-business-by-the-evil-overlord-Grocery-store, they couldn’t be nicer, they bag the groceries for you and they have Moon Pies three for a $1.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Finally, a candidate who will tell us the truth...

August 4, 2008 (posted August 3, the candidate is playing golf today)

My fellow Americans,

I’ve decided to run for public office.

My reason for doing this: It is tough out here and the government isn’t helping much …so I’m going to switch sides and try to make some money that way.

Also, to be clear - I’m not doing it under the guise of “public service.” If I wanted to serve the public, I’d get a job at Denny’s.

Before I give you my political platform, the Real Country Music lyric of the day:

(This may be the last one of these unless the musical rotation at the station changes soon. I’m running out of songs.)

Anyway, my stance on the issues--

Big Government: I’m against big government. Big government means more programs and more people to run these programs. I don’t feel like sharing.

Taxation: I’m for high taxes from as many people as possible. Why wouldn’t I want as much cash as I could get? Isn’t that capitalism defined?

Immigration: I’m pro immigration. The more taxpayers, the better (see above). I’m pro life for the same reason.

Animal Rights: When they start paying taxes, we’ll get them some rights.

Higher wages for teachers: Forget it. If they want more money, tell them to run for office.

Crime: I’m against crime (who isn't?), but not really in favor of incarceration of criminals. This is a waste of money, diverting public funds that could be going toward elected officials.

Lobbyists/Special Interests Groups: As far as I’m concerned they don’t have enough influence or power. I’d be willing to listen though, if someone wanted to change my mind. Large unmarked bills please.

Gun Control, Oil Exploration, Election Reform and Health Care: Sounds complicated. I’ll get back to you.

I look forward to getting your vote.

Friday, August 1, 2008

We'll get 5 cents each time we say it...

Two-thirds of the people that work here on a daily basis are out of town, leaving only one of us left to keep the lights on.

Being that it is me, I’m going to make a few changes.

The office hours are going to change from 9:00-4:30 to 7:30-12:00 and then 1:00-1:30 or so. Nothing ever happens in the afternoon here anyway.

The couch will be moved to an area of the station that can’t be seen immediately when someone comes in the front door.

Instead of tea and water in the fridge, we’ll have beer, chicken wings and snacks. Happy Hour will start at 1:30.

When someone calls the station, instead of answering with “Real Country!” we are going to say, “Thank you for calling Real Country, for everything else there’s Mastercard.”

I’d write more about the changes I’m making, but I need to go check on the guys installing the Jacuzzi.