Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shopping in Absurdia: Hardware and Halloween Edition

I took my cameraphone shopping again, so you might want to log off right now.

OK, don't say I didn't warn you. This time we're going to visit Ace Hardware and Spirit Halloween. First up: My new favorite toy that I can't afford: a life-size animatronic Jason!
Animatronic Jason at Spirit Halloween
I think he'd look great on our front porch, menacing door-to-door salesmen with his bloody machete. Then, when Halloween is over, we could decorate him for other holidays. Just imagine: Jason with a Santa hat, Jason with red silk boxers and a heart-shaped box of candy, Jason with a leprechaun hat, Jason with bunny ears, Jason with an Uncle Sam top hat... how awesome would that be? If we wanted to be really warped, we could dress him in an evening gown and have transvestite Jason! I'd be seriously tempted to do all that, but I'm not sure his electrical innards would stand up to a Portland winter. I suppose I could move back to California. I hear there are some great deals on real estate down there.

As if transvestite Jason weren't ridiculous enough, we're going to cruise by Ace Hardware now to take a look at a product they're featuring by the checkstand:
Finally a cure for Monkey Butt! Down with Monkey Butt

Yes, someone is actually marketing a product called Anti Monkey Butt Powder. I didn't realize there was a medical condition called Monkey Butt. I wonder what the ICD-10 code is for that? And will my health insurance cover the treatments?

Monkey butts and deer anuses... I can't wait to see what kinds of hits I get on this blog now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nerd day afternoon

As I've mentioned before, I've learned to embrace my nerdiness. Saturday afternoon, though, I was forced to confront the fact that not only am I a nerd, but I'm raising a nerdling. For some reason, my son and I started arguing about whether or not it's possible to divide by zero. I did my best to explain why n/0 doesn't equal 0 (how do you explain infinity to a 10-year-old, anyway?) After about ten minutes, my son gave up and went back in the living room to...

wait for it...

watch Star Trek.

Yes. Really.

I, on the other hand, was doing something much cooler--playing games on Facebook.

At least we haven't started hosting D & D tournaments. Maybe there's hope.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Movie quotes: Men in Black

So I took a break from the deer anuses to watch Men in Black for the umpteenth time. No matter how many times I watch this movie, I laugh my butt off. There are so many great lines! Here are a few of my favorites:

"Put up your hands and all your flippers" -- K

"We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here" -- Zed

"We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor that we're aware of" -- K

"Elvis is not dead; he just went home" -- K

And from the sequel--not as good as the first one but still pretty funny:

"You are the man who would be king of the train locker" -- J

And my favorite:

"I'm about to attack one of the most feared aliens in the universe with four worms and a mailman" -- J

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deer anus update

Yep, here we go with the deer anuses again! A couple posts ago I mentioned a product called "Butt Out," a handy tool designed to remove a deer anus in just a few seconds. At the time I contemplated who might stumble across my post by Googling "deer anus," so this evening I mustered up the courage to Google "deer anus" myself to see how my post ranked in the results. Check this out!

My claim to fame
(click to see a larger version on Flickr)

My humble post is the third result! I'm just bursting with pride. Who would have guessed that deer anuses would be my ticket to internet success?

When I wrote that post, I also wondered what kind of ads Google Adwords would display alongside it. Here's the answer:
AdWords and deer anuses

The hunting-related ads make perfect sense, but what's up with the laser eye surgery ad on the right? Are there a lot of nearsighted hunters out there? That's a scary thought! If you're nearsighted enough to pay someone to laser your cornea, you probably don't need to be using firearms or crossbows. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bring on the psychosis...

Every now and then, a line will strike me for some reason. This week I've encountered 2:

From a comment on a Salon article about Sarah Palin:

"I have an uncomfortable relationship with reality right now."

I think I've had an uncomfortable relationship with reality for most of my life. That sentence really needs to be on a t-shirt.

Then there was J's line from an email earlier this week, referring to "a healthy dose of psychotic." I guess that's what I need when my relationship with reality becomes too uncomfortable. Pass the psychosis, please...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Shopping in Absurdia: Outdoors Edition

So I ventured into Wal-Mart today (save the lectures--I'm not a big fan either, but it was our most convenient option today). Every time we get near Wally World, Hubby marches off to the sporting goods department to check the price on ammo. It's really pointless, because Wal-Mart never staffs the sporting goods department, so there's no one to unlock the ammo cabinet. We stand around for about 10 minutes while several employees take turns paging for help in sporting goods, then we give up and leave. But I digress...

So I'm wandering around the sporting goods department, killing time until Hubby decides it's time to leave, when I spot this product on the shelf:
One word: eeeeewwwwww....
No, this picture has not been photoshopped or altered in any way. This is a real product. Now I've never been hunting (the need for products like this has a lot to do with why I've never been hunting... cleaning fish was obnoxious enough), so maybe I just don't get it, but is removing a deer anus really that big of a problem? (OK, I don't even want to know what kind of person is going to stumble across this post by searching for "deer anus" in Google... Hey! Maybe it'll be the first result, and my hit count will skyrocket! And I really can't wait to see what kinds of ads Google Adwords puts up next to this post. But once again I digress). Now, where was I? Oh, yeah... deer anuses. I would love to know who developed this product and what inspired him (oh, c'mon... you know it had to be a guy). And how did he explain the project to his wife?

Budding Edison: Hey, honey! I have this great idea for a new product! It'll look kinda like a corkscrew, and it will let me pop out a deer's anus in just a few seconds. Isn't that cool?
Mrs. Edison: Put down the deer rifle. You need psychiatric help.

After our intrepid but lazy hunter has washed the deer entrails off his hands and is back in camp, relaxing around the fire, he can put this next product to use:
Now that's roughing it!
Funny, but when I picture hunters gathered around the campfire, I imagine them drinking beer or passing around a flask of Jack Daniels. I do not imagine them whipping up some 'ritas with a rechargable, portable blender. Is this a campsite or a dorm room? But then if these were real men, they wouldn't need a special gadget to remove a deer anus, would they?

Hmm... I wonder if I can work the phrase "deer anus" into this post one more time. Nah... that would just be gratuitous.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

They could be talking about ours!

Seen near my son's school last night:

Sign near my son's school

That could refer to some pedestrians I've encountered recently too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Myers-Briggs alphabet soup

So I went to a gathering with co-workers last night, and the subject of Myers-Briggs came up. Then, I logged into Meebo today, and the Meebo blog post of the day related to Myers-Briggs. I usually make an ugly face when someone mentions personality testing in general and M-B in particular, but since I got the M-B double whammy, I decided it was time to take the test again. I'm cynical about this test, because every time I take it, I get a slightly different result. Most versions of the test ask you to choose between opposites ("Would you rather go to a party or read a book?"), when I want to provide a nuanced answer ("It depends on my mood, what I've done all day, how tired I am, how good the book is, what kind of music will be played at the party, and how many hot guys will be there."). It's just like an English major to answer a yes/no question with an essay.

Anyway, the Meebo blog post included links to two different unofficial Myers-Briggs questionnaires: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp and http://www.kisa.ca/personality. I took both, and sure enough, I got different results. On the first one, which offered only yes/no options, I scored an ENFJ. On the other, which offered an "in between" option, I scored an ENFP. Based on the temperament descriptions, I think the ENFJ is more accurate. In each case, the strength of the preferences wasn't especially strong. That fits with what I already know about myself, that I seek the middle ground and am adaptable in most situations--or, as my critics would say, I'm wishy-washy and a flake. But I like my version better.

I wonder how I'll score the next time I take one of these silly things.

Are you sure about that?

Today in the cafeteria, I saw a guy with a t-shirt reading, "It's my lucky day!" He was bent over, picking up his spilled onion rings off the floor.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Catching up: California trip, etc.

OK, dear readers, you've had a couple weeks vacation from my ramblings, but now the party is over. Hope ya missed me--I'm baaaaacccckkk! Seriously, I've been working, traveling, working, resting, and working, all while trying to enjoy the last days of what passes for summer in these parts (Rainy and 60?? In August??? *Sigh*). I did write a post while I was on vacation, but I've misplaced the paper I wrote it on (again... *sigh*). So, this post will summarize what I've been up to, with some pictures for space filler visual interest.

When last we left our faithful blogger, it was mid-August, and I was busy planning my trip home to California. The trip was very low-key and relaxing. I carpooled down with E, who was visiting people near Sacramento. We were worried about how to amuse ourselves during a 10-hour drive, but that turned out not to be a problem. We managed to yak nonstop! Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that.

Here are a couple scenes from the road. First, this cute little bat was snoozing under the eaves of the women's restroom at the rest area just over the CA border:
Rest area bat
I thought he was adorable. E disagreed, but then she doesn't like bats.

Next, Mt. Shasta, which was surprisingly bereft of snow:
Mt. Shasta from the car window

Once I got to Tracy, I hung out with a couple of my closest friends from the good ol' days, Diana and Kristy. We didn't do anything major, just talked, shopped, wandered around, and talked (I tell ya, it's a miracle I didn't blow out my vocal chords on this trip!). Diana and I roamed through the UOP campus, reminiscing about our years there. I walked around parts of Tracy, thinking about old times and marveling at how many years have passed. Inside I still feel 16, but they grey hair and wrinkles tell a different story. In case you've always dreamed of wandering around Tracy with me, listening to me reminisce about the Good Old Days (tm), here's a brief sample of what that would be like:

Lincoln Park, where I spent lots of time playing, walking my dog, and generally hanging out:
Lincoln Park
I remember when that gazebo was built, probably sometime in the late 70s. The building to the right of it is the public library, where I had my first ever library job, as a volunteer when I was about 12.

Tracy High football stadium:
Tracy High stadium
I have lots of happy memories of that place, but I haven't been in it since Homecoming 1984. Was that really almost 24 years ago? Damn.

I guess I was on quite the nostalgia trip this time, because I even went to the Tracy cemetery to visit my grandparents' graves. I hadn't been there since not long after my grandpa died in 1976. I discovered that my aunt and uncle are buried right next to them. I never knew that.
Grandma and grandpa:
My grandparents' grave

Aunt Verna and Uncle Louie:
Grave of my aunt and uncle

Then I was off to my favorite part of the Delta, Trapper Slough.


Why it's bad to dump water hyacinths in waterways:

Kristy and I drove through Locke on our way to Sacramento:

Sunset in the Delta:
Sunset from a Delta Bridge

The historic village of Locke:
Looking down the main street in Locke

So there ya go. Other people visit cool, exciting places on vacation. I go back to Tracy.

Next time I'll post some pictures from the Oregon State Fair and Poison concert. For now, though, it's time to sign off. G'night!