Thursday, January 31, 2008

Grumble Grumble Wheeze

Kids today... Need to learn to hem.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another rousing breakfasty tale

I was boiling water for to make the oatmeals, and something on the burner's drip tray caught on fire (my sweetie does love boil-overs - dinner just isn't dinner without a boil-over).

The fire burned for a good minute, throwing up a fair bit of smoke. I prepared the hand towel for the inevitable smoke-alarm-alert-wavy-wave-waft.

Along with the smoke, tiny motes of burning boil-over rose up, like little flying creatures, lively little critters of energetic curiosity springing forth out of dinner debris in a flurry of spontaneous generation.

They burned out quickly, settling all over the kitchen as little specks of creamy ash, smearing everywhere like dirty little comets. They're so cute, I left them where they fell - I couldn't bring myself to scrub 'em off.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ho-Hum Humdrum

To paraphrase The Great One...

"Once you start down the straight and narrow path, forever will it dominate your destiny - consume you it will..."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Real Life Conversation #33

100 Calorie Packs, huh?

Yep! I figured it was high time I brought in some snacks.

So they're like Twinkies or whatever?

Except they only have 100 calories per pack!

Yeah, but they're still full of stuff I can't pronounce...

Really? Maybe it's time to expand your vocabulary.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The answer is 2

I was cutting an apple on the cutting board this morning, and the knife broke - the blade snapped free of the handle. I promptly set the broken knife aside and grabbed another knife.

The second knife cut the apple like... well, like a knife cuts an apple.

But I had to wonder, as I was crunching and munching the appley goodness, why I assumed the problem was the knife, not the apple. Why didn't I check the apple? How many knives would I need to ruin before I'd check the apple?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to create mouseover text for a link

SquirrleyMojo recently asked how to create a link with text that pops up when you're mousing over it. Luckily, this is easy, or I wouldn't be able to do it.

Let's say you want to put a link in one of your blog posts.

1) Find your URL and copy it
2) Highlight the text within the post you want to make into a link
3) Click the Link button
4) Paste in the URL and click OK

(Your link is done, you've done that part before - now the new stuff)

5) Click the 'Edit Html' link at the top right of the compose field
6) Find your link within the HTML - it will look like this:
7) You add in a little string of text that reads:
.....title="it's easy!" or whatever you want. Long sentences will be cut off, btw.

(I usually put this right after the 'a' and before the 'href' - be sure to space it out so no words run together - like so:

8) Publish the post! You're all done.

Probably too many steps for an average blogger - someday there'll be button for 'add mouseover text' but for now, there's this method.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Peas and Carrots, gate 12B. Aaeerrr zoooom

I'm Just a Big Baby is one of the best diet books of all time - and I've read a few. The authors really lay it out in a way that can't be ignored - we're very adept at justifying way too much bad behavior.

It's interesting that we start out life with the best of care, most carefully calculated diet, most balanced nutrition - only to throw it all out the window and start eating random crap.

There are so many things for expecting mothers to avoid, substances that supposedly can't pass through the placenta but just-say-no just in case.

There are dozens of things you're not allowed to give a baby - everything from medications to gluten - and yet we funnel innumerable dangerous chemicals into our bodies every day - so what if such things are known to cause birth defects or interfere with fetal cell division. Hey, that doesn't apply to me, I'm an adult - ignoring the fact that millions of new cells are produced in our bodies every day.

This new book is great, and you should check it out!
(except that I just made it up. sorry.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Squalor Detracts from the Now

Are you tired of looking down your nose through the electronic-liquid-crystal-tinted windows of your Bentley and being forcibly reminded of the world's morass of entropic bedraggledom?

It's impossible to drive through any neighborhood without being accosted by the morass of roadside filth - shards of glass, empty fast food bags, would-be window washers, tiny pebbles, degenerates desperately squirming through the gutter towards their leering pushermen, grit, empty 40's of malt liquor, mouldering underpants, blue collar peasants staring with their vapid stares down the street, slouching indifferently towards the eventual arrival of urine-soaked, ever-tardy public transportation as broken thrift store toys litter the streets.

It's difficult to focus on the upcoming merger with this sort of distraction, no matter how crisp the gentle thrice-filtered HEPA air conditioning and the exquisiteness of the in-car live violin trio. Squalor detracts from the now.

One option would be to buy out these middle-class slums and turn them into an exclusive country club. This is very costly, and involves attending endless city council meetings to get sufficient re-zoning permits. Also, rubbing elbows with The Great Unwashed, which gets into the uncomfortable likelihood of exposure to something called 'elbow grease'.

At long last, there's a better option! Have your personal assistant make a convenient call to EtchCo's Commute Beautification Hotline, and our team of Commuscapers(tm) will do the rest.

Gone will be the shards of glass, empty fast food bags, empty 40's of malt liquor, and the rest of the...unpleasantness. Our fleet of industrial vacuum trucks will make a Commute Inspection and Cleanup Sweep(tm) mere minutes before your commute begins. All degenerates too weak to walk will be loaded into vans and transported in comfort to the nearest shelter. All public transport loiterers will be ferried to their destination at no charge, clearing the route for you, our priority commuters.

Tired of long waits at crowded intersections? You're far too important to sit at the same stoplight through two cycles of the same light as traffic edges along - our fleet of Traffic Flow Modification(tm) vehicles will arrive at key intersections fifteen minutes before yourself, to guarantee the right sort .reach the green lights they need in a timely fashion.

You've made the right choices in life - born well, made the right connections, married well, and are chauffeured in the utmost style and comfort - why should you expect any less of your commute? Call EtchCo's Commute Beautification Hotline today!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Untold (Sunday) Story

1...Build ark
2...Gather 2 of each animal
3...Collect dung
4...Get permit for dung
5...Collect more dung
6...Make fertilizer from dung
7...Rent U-Cart from Abel
8...Blow up dam
9...Mysterious flood kills neighbors
10. .Take over prime real estate
11. .Write memoirs, leave out 'dung' part

Saturday, January 19, 2008

a thingy to ponder

why have a gate, if you don't have a fence?

Friday, January 18, 2008

more data is needed

I have a 41 mile commute to work - luckily this is 99% freeway travel, or I would have to start killing people.

The Highway Patrol is very diligent along this stretch of road - I have seen - and I shit you not, eight HP cars along my route. They just pull over driver after driver (this is the middle of nowhere, and the speed limit is 70mph, so of course everyone goes 85).

(I limit myself to 76, for the record. I've yet to get pulled over.)

I recently wrestled the digital voice recorder from Cindy and have taking it with me on my commute. Mostly I come up with blog post concepts, no Great American Novel epiphanies yet.

With so much Highway Patrol activity, I thought I would keep track of which cars were pulled over, and see if there was any truth in the old wives' tale that red cars get pulled over more often. Since I started keeping track, I've only seen two vehicles pulled over - they were both white. The weird thing is, as soon as I started keeping track, the HP has been almost nonexistent. Maybe they're guarding a different stretch of road, letting us drop our guard?

I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thank you, Eddie Izzard

I got a big laugh out of
"Did you F*** my wife?" and "I AM your wife!" this weekend.

I gave credit where it was due, never fear.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A bit of inner dialogue

Me: Irish coffee... I know that has alcohol in it, but what kind?

Offended Scottish Voice Inside My Head:

Me: Why wasn't that an offended Irish voice?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

If Yoda owned a Dry Cleaners

Starch,.or no starch...There is no 'light'.
Over the past couple of months, I've been taking my work clothes to a dry cleaners near my work - it's really the first time I've used a dry cleaners regularly - every other visit was for 1 outfit, for a special occasion.

One of my shirts are made of a rather thick material, and when starched it turned into cardboard. My coworkers gleefully took the opportunity to tease me about my cottony body armor - - ha ha, indeed, ha ha - - all in good fun.

I decided to stop going to the cleaners (mostly because it involves just one more errand to run every week, and who needs that) and last night I tossed my work shirts in the washer for the first time in weeks. I hung them to air dry.

This morning, I pulled on my aka-body-armor shirt, and it was much softer, more like - I don't know - an actually comfortable garment - and it still had the creases in the sleeves, its collar still arched like an irked feline. When I got home from the grocery store, I threw it back into the 'dirty' pile for a rewashing. Will one more wash be enough to expunge its chemical fortitude? Tune in next week!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Old timers and their humor

Where are the graves for Noah and Shem, Japheth and Ham? And Noah's wife Naamah? Where can we visit the tombs of the survivors of The Great Flood?

Heh! You don't bury survivors, kid.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

Less than fresh

Don't you hate it when you're just freshly showered, are the cleanest you'll be all day, and then you are overcome with the need to make an emergency poopy?

So much for that squeaky-clean feeling...

Friday, January 11, 2008

This Could Be Bad - Updated

I was unloading the dishwasher this morning - and I tend to do this very quickly and categorically - so for a 10 second period, I had five steak knives in my hand, ready to reload the knife rack. (yes yes, I shouldn't put my good knives in the dishwasher, I know).

The thought struck me that if I were to accidentally teleport elsewhere during that moment, that moment of holding a handful of knives, it could be bad.

The lobby of a high-priced knife store might be bad - they could mistake me for a knife thief.

A nursery ward of a hospital would be bad - if the nurses are doing their job, I should get tackled and tased promptly.

A bank.

In the middle of a football huddle, mid-game.

An NRA meeting.

Do you suffer from Accidental Teleportation Syndrome more than two or three times a week? Talk to your doctor about AcciTele, the FDA approved supplement designed to keep your butt in the chair. Side effects are generally mild, and may result in dry mouth, tenderness of the breast, and caramel flavored flatulence. Some cases of Spontaneous Teleportation During Orgasm have been reported - always fornicate partially clothed. Tell your Doctor if you think he's sexy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One for the mantelpiece

My Sister-In-Law works at a photo studio called Sadie's - they specialize in children's photography, but they also do something called a "Belly Shot" - - which is when a pregnant woman and her adoring baby daddy come in together to get a photo or 10 of the squirmy critter while it's still trapped inside.

Here's an example I found online:
How cute! So sweet.
That tattoo is gonna get all kinds of blurry, I can tell you that.

Now, Sadie's also does seasonal and holiday shots, and I have to wonder what the possibilities are for Halloween Themed Belly Shots...

There are so many possibilities with Photoshop... I'm completely unskilled, so this is the best I could come up with in 10 minutes. A really skilled person could do wonders - a face or a hand could appear to be pressing its way out of the womb, or maybe a little flesh-window with little feet sticking out (as you would sneak your toes out from under the blanket when they get too warm).

The possibilities are fiendish and endless!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wednesday's Con - For Entertainment Only!

Please Note! All EtchCo 'Wednesday's Con' posts are for entertainment purposes only. EtchCo would never condone, recommend, suggest, or construe any illegal, questionable, illicit, or immoral activity. It's all in fun, y'all.

Have you ever heard a commercial like this one?

"Are you getting monthly payments from a Structured Settlement? Call us at Bobson, Johnson, Larryson and Butterscotchfordson we can hook you up with real cash, not that laughable stipend the insurance company is feeding you like little droplets from a hamster water bottle."

Structured Settlements - let's see what Wikipedia has to say...
And what does a random law site have to say...?


So why don't I devise a deal with my pal... mmm... Unseeable Reptile LLC. Yes, excellent. Let's forge some documents. Good, good. Sign here - no, not your real name!

Great! Now Unseeable Reptile LLC owes me... er... ummm... 3 million dollars, (yes, that's the ticket) but they're paying it out in $3000 a month portions. I tell Bobson, Johnson, Larryson and Butterscotchfordson I want 2 million now so I can buy a tiny, drafty, decrepit cottage in Los Angeles. Bobson, Johnson, Larryson and Butterscotchfordson contact Unseeable Reptile LLC to pursue the action of getting themselves a sizable commission.

After a mountain of paperwork, Unseeable Reptile LLC is paying Bobson, Johnson, Larryson and Butterscotchfordson $3000 a month, and Unseeable Reptile LLC and I are spitting the $2 million. A few weeks later, Unseeable Reptile LLC goes out of business.

Aw shucks, Bobson, Johnson, Larryson and Butterscotchfordson!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

100% RDA of essential Althaea extract

Is it possible that kid's breakfast cereal is actually getting less healthy than it was in the 70's?

I remember when the commercials would wrap from the cartoon critter scampering lustfully after the children and their sweet and crunchy cargo to a shot of the cereal in a best-case scenario still-life shot.

The voiceover would say "Part of this complete breakfast!" - the table would be laden with eggs, bacon, pancakes, bagels, nine pounds of fruit, a mountain of brussels sprouts, and a cheerful half gallon of hummus.

A few years later, the voiceover had changed to "Part of this nutritious breakfast!"

Yesterday, I heard the latest version: "Part of this breakfast!"

What's next? "Could be considered food."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Help, Internet!

I've been using iGoogle for the past few months to keep track of blogs, because all too often, people don't update, and I'd end up going to each blog, just to find out if there was a new post or not.

Unfortunately, when I started using iGoogle, I started reading the blogs from the iGoogle page, instead of navigating to the blog itself. I'd think of a comment to leave, but promise myself I'd post it later (which I never did).

So I want to find something better - something that will show me a list of who's updated, without showing me any actual contents. I know lots of you guys use RSS and other tools, so let me know what you think would work in this situation.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chat Noir

Chat Noir (French for "Black Cat") is a sublime little Flash game.
The game is simplicity itself - no instructions are needed, no keyboard legend, no strategy guide. It's dots and a cat, what could be cleaner (from a game design standpoint)?

Even as I play, a big shiteating grin on my face, crushing on the programmers, wishing I could give them a big sloppy kiss and a friendly pat on the ass, I'm tickled by the simplicity.

At the same moment, I think of 10 variations that would make it more difficult and challenging, new levels, new directions, more layers. But then I remember its beautiful clarity, and I repent.

Play it, and try not to feel too guilty for winning.

Friday, January 04, 2008

EtchCo's Effing Delicious Free Fall Muffins!

I have a couple absolute truths for you:

1) Everyone loves muffins.

2) Everyone knows the best part of a muffin is the top - which means the bottoms either need to be heavily topped with something yummy (apple butter?), or discarded.

Well my friends, suffer this injustice no longer with
EtchCo's Effing Delicious Free Fall Muffins!

You see, muffins are the shape they are for two reasons:

1) The shape of the pan

2) Gravity

We scoffingly discard both pan and gravity for
EtchCo's Effing Delicious Free Fall Muffins!

First, we need a tall building...
First, we need some math.

-Buildings average 10 feet per storey

-A falling object descends at about 150 feet per second

-For a 600 feet free fall, we'd get 4 seconds out of a 60 storey building.

While my Executive Assistant goes in search of a 60 storey building in Central Florida (DON'T tell me it can't be done, Janine - buy a 600 foot antenna tower if you have to), we'll cover the rest of the components...

We'll need a sealed shaft at least a couple feet in diameter. Next we'll need an oven capsule in which to bake our EtchCo's Effing Delicious Free Fall Muffins!

Wait no - the capsule would limit production speed, and we'd have to raise it after each batch-bake-drop. Let's forget the capsule and just heat the entire shaft to 400 degrees. With this setup, we'll simply inject measured doses of muffin batter from the top of the shaft, and by the time they reach the bottom, they'll be fully cooked, exquisitely spherical, and have no yucky, dry, compressed muffin bottoms.

We might need some sort of air puffer at the bottom of the shaft to slow the decent at the last possible instant - maybe a laser sensor coupled with a timed delay for the air compressor.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hope did not float.... her quilted 9-layer bustle pulled her down

Popular songs memorializing profiteering disasters (such as the numerous 9-11 anthems) easily come across as just another example of contemporary opportunism.

But it seems that bad taste isn't just a new thing - there's a new boxed set on shelves demonstrating Grandma and Grandpa had to put up with the same sort of headlines-as-song BS.

People Take Warning! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs 1913-1938
The boxed set has 70 gruesome classics - get a load of these song titles:

Burning of the Cleveland School
The Crash of the Akron
Ohio Prison Fire
Wreck of Number 52
Fate of Chris Lively and Wife
The Fatal Wreck of the Bus
The Wreck of the Westbound Airliner
Wreck on the Mountain Road
Memphis Flu
The Unfortunate Brakeman
Explosion in the Fairmount Mine

I can't help but notice how many of these seem to be Ohio-related... Seems like my birth state was a dangerous place to be, back in the day.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Taglines - Then and Now

-In the right mood, I would kill for a blueberry muffin.

-Cute is a drug and daddy needs a dime bag

-The speed limit is your friend. Your friend who never calls unless he needs something. Asshole.

-Fun Fun Happy Good News Time of Much Joy and Celebration, Skipping, Dancing, and Puppies for All

-Time to grow up

-Bwa ha ha ha! I'm back, bitches!

-I'll give you three plastic for one adamantium...

-NaNoWriMo Contestant Slays Family, Gets 1000 Words Out Of It

-And then she bit my toe

-Like a lone chocolate on white china

-Caffeine is SO a vitamin!

-A curry in every pot!

-It's funny cause it's wrong

-New! Now 50% More Better!

-"You are some kind of genius." Blandwagon

-New! Blandwagon Approved!*

-real and full of juice

-a strict routine of chicken and waffles

-subterfuge and persuasive chicanery

-oblique snubs and poisonous courtesy

-Wanting of tact and wasting of space

-high on the nog

-I never promised you a rose garden

-for reals

-closed due to sinkhole

-bathrooms - vending - nighttime security

-egg rolls are back!

-bad! no tickle for you!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 - Potentially the Best Year Ever

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions are fine and all, but Make Sure you keep one evil habit, a wicked vice that will see you through the hard times of irksome humanity.

Sure, the world may going somewhere fast, and in a handbasket no less, but at least you have (insert vice) to keep you warm and sane.