Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old age peek is not for the meek

Can somebody explain to me what nature’s plan was for these crazy hairs that grow out of my ears, nose, and eyebrows? Now I don’t remember these stiff wiry clown hairs when I was a kid and you’d think back then, I should have still had enough ‘hot and fresh’ brain cells to remember? So why now does my DNA decide to pull forward to my drive-up window, and sneak in an extra large order for these freakish follicles?

Now I am not too vain. As I get older I have willingly looked past a few extra crow’s feet in addition to the scrawny pair I stand on. I accept a little extra face flapping when I belly up to the jet blast of airplane, or skydive without the liberal application of duct tape reinforcement along the jowls. But these hairs – why me? Who deserves to start growing screwy side burns and a brow-line briar patch as soon as the top turns a tad frosty?

Now what gets me is that these weird hairs are not content to just grow in a normal, organized, linear fashion, like the rest of my tight-napped crown. No these hyper things grow like they are jazzed up on a bad mix of Red Bull and Turkish Espresso. They bend and fold back upon themselves until I’ve got a fresh crop of paper clips sprouting from my ears.

Oh well I had better get used to nature’s syndicated sit-com called old age because I think my hair troubles are just the beginning of this tired old-man circus. I’m going to try my best to resist, but my knees creak, my vision’s weak, and my hairy widow’s peaked! Don’t worry, the news isn’t all bleak – at least for now, I don’t seem to INVOLUNTARILY leak!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The agent behind the Orange

As I was wiping my greasy fingers of a thin layer of agent orange dust or something just as toxic, I started to wonder what is it that I love about Cheese Doodles so much. I mean after all, they are just some puffed up caloric corn meal extrusion in the shape of a small zeppelin aren’t they? Well to us maybe, but to the spirit of a big cheese ball named Morrie Yohai (1920-2010), 'Doodling’ was literally THE invention of his life.

Not that Morrie thought so mind you. He was busy with other important stuff like deciding on what toys to stuff into Cracker Jack boxes. Yohai never completely appreciated how popular his tubular crunchy snack would become when he created and named it in the late 50’s. However, I think the snack king secretly must have embraced his 70’s ‘inner hippie’ with that nifty neon-orange powder coating that should show up perfectly under a black light.

Now while I love these snacks, I usually prefer to get my natural ‘Snooki’ self-tan from a bottle, instead of some artificial cheesy sack of finger food. My t-shirts never look quite as white after I bust into a bag of these better than cheddar snacks, especially when I’m squeezing ‘em dry for a glass of orange juice.

Yes, poor Morrie never realized the pure, unbridled joy that his corny creation would bring to the future of family snacking. Clearly, there are few foods in life which are more fun sticking out of random orifices than cheesy corn cylinders. Shove ‘em under my lip and I’m a vampire; Stick them in my ears and I am Franken-freak. And let’s not forget the nose – that’s the Holy Grail of places to plug-in cheesy, crumb-covered snacks. Yes, next to mini-marshmallows, everyone ‘NOSE’ that there is no better ammunition than a depot of wet ‘doodles’ when declaring a ‘full-blown’ snack attack – as long as they’re only ORANGE!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The REAL 'Vloggers' of Orange County

I don’t have pay television but when I am travelling or at friend’s homes who do have cable and satellite, I enjoy bouncing around the channels to see what’s on that’s different. On one of those occasions a few years ago, I noted a show called the ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ and found it intriguing like a dead bug. Low and behold the dead bug is alive and well and now apparently in reruns on my broadcast channels this television season.

No don’t worry, I have not got sucked up in the artificial lifestyle vortex of the Southern California ‘Glam and Fab’. I now have too much fun foraging for my next buffet in the ‘Slab and Flab’ bar-b-que tornado called the Midwest. Anyway I already did my time in Orange County for nearly 20 years. As different as the place was, you’ll be happy to know the ‘REAL’ people that live there are not anything like ‘weird-sters’ portrayed on the TV show – they’re like me … WEIRDER!

I’m kidding of course, but I have to say that because I have many friends and family who happily reside and are still ‘California dreaming’, despite their regular cold sweats and feverish nightmares. The place has changed from the glory days of orange groves, endless blue skies, and future promises but that’s another story. But this whole TV show thing got me thinking, they probably need to make a television series about the challenging and exciting lives of ‘Real’ bloggers too, right?

I mean Blog-Geeks talk about literally anything and everything. Our soap opera lives unfold day after day with thrilling adventures and artfully colored words, pictorials, and better yet, even without soap! You would think that Bloggers represent and relay the ‘REAL’ things that most humans encounter at some point, if not daily, in their lives, so where’s their freakish 15 minutes of Hollywood fame? If misfits like me want to stare at a SINGLE ‘dead bug’, once you break into the fertile blogosphere, it’ll be like viewing a WHOLE TRAY of dead bugs from one of those screened ‘bluish’ restaurant lights. Wow, on second thought, this idea is TOO BLUE for regular cable … I think we had better go “PAY PER VLOG”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hares and other wild tails

Everybody loves fluffy bunnies with their long silky ears, cute little hops, and their expressionless, soul-less eyes. I have only owned one rabbit in my life and IT (I don’t even remember if it was a boy, girl, or a rabbit at all) was probably the most dissatisfying ‘24 carrot’ thing we have ever owned.

I have always seen rabbits at County Fairs and in pet shops where they are typically passive, un-agitated, and the only disagreeable trait is when they hunker down a bit when giving them a too-aggressive pat behind the ears. Our rabbit was captured in the wild and apparently spawned from the loins of Lucifer himself. The rabbit was a pushy bully who would scratch, kick, and literally knock anyone or anything around that got in his way. Needless to say the other wild rabbits in this dude’s ‘borough’ were as thrilled as we were to get rid of the beast. Best of all we got four nifty ’LUCKY’ keychains and $2.50 a pound out of the deal.

I blame my wife 'T' for the rabbit, cat, birds, and most any other wild animals that we have encountered. So our kid could pet a bunny, I have seen my wife literally keep other rabbits on the move so long that they finally give up running. Once on a hike about 30 miles South of the Arctic Circle, 'T' nearly led us to step on a MOOSE resting in the tall grass. I can honestly say my pants were never the same after that TOO close encounter. We had a similar experience with a beefy and angry sea lion when we happened to run the bow of a small dinghy into the buoy that the big bull was sleeping on.

Yes the wife has developed the unique ability at seek out and trap innocent creatures of nature. Clearly she can wrangle most anything from its natural habitat and wear it down into submission. I’m pretty sure that is the way I was snagged so many years ago ... before they had laws against illegal bear trapping.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roomba Rhumba

The last few days I have been engaged in a genuine dance of love. I know what you’re thinking, even If it sounds romantic, it must have something to do with robots right? Well I guess I am so thin-skinned that you can see right into my small and dehydrated grayish CPU because you are right.

Yes I have been doing the Roomba Rhumba, which since this is one of those self-propelled robotic vacuums, it must mean my techno ‘jig’ is the direct opposite of ‘dirty dancing’. Though not perfect by any means (here is a formal review), I am genuinely impressed with these fun and flat little dust suckers. They are only about 4 inches tall and the width of a normal beater-bar (as opposed to a biker bar) vac head, so they can go anywhere – EVEN completely under couches, tables, and recliners.

While these devices are literally like having a housekeeper with an extra set of hands around, at best this little ‘micro-maid’ is still a bit mentally challenged. So if you cannot stand the random roaming of a bump n’ grind ‘robo-mop’ running into chair legs, reversing course slightly, and then doing it again – DON’T get one of these bots. But particularly if you have hardwood or tile floors, they are pretty amazing at doing a very respectable job at sucking up crumbs and devouring dust bunnies.

The rechargeable battery runs for about an hour on plush carpet and nearly twice that long on hard floors. Unless you have a mansion, the beast can clean 2 to 3 rooms on a single charge and get this, be programmed to clean floors then recharge itself when needed. It came with a remote control too but, other than to chase your pets, I think if you are going to ‘guide’ a vacuum, why not grab the REAL upright plug-in and help the Roomba suck-it-up faster? Maybe I should invent an all-purpose robot that cleans literally ANYTHING in and around the toilets. Now that is what the world REALLY needs … I’m thinking of calling it the “CAN-DOO BOT”

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fermentation is in Bad Taste

My house really stinks lately. Ordinarily I would tell you that it is not my fault, but this time I have to take most of the blame. No I did not run through the yard after a deer migration, or bloat up on a double bean burrito. Actually the problem around here lately is purely a matter of first-degree felonious fermentation.

Recently with the garage sale acquisition of a rather large variety of beer making buckets, pots, and bottling paraphernalia, my wife and I whipped up not only a batch of brew but some sarsaparilla too. The problem of course is that each recipe fills the house with its own distinctive scent. While the sarsaparilla smells sweet and ‘rooty’, right out of the vat, the ale permeates the air with the odor of ‘damp earth’ and malt balls without the chocolaty goodness of candy varietal.

Though I am not a fan of beer in the least, I’ll line up for a chilly sarsaparilla over a ball of ice cream anytime. The ‘rilla’ likes a warmer final resting place so the bottles are banished to the upstairs bathroom to ferment. The beer likes it cooler so its potent grainy fragrance gets bounced to the basement bathroom. Sadly, I am quickly running out of bathrooms to stink up on my own.

If you don’t find that a ‘gas’ then how about the fact that today I also discovered a DEAD mouse on yet another level of the house. I don’t mean to get ‘CARRION-ED ’ AWAY, but what in the heck is going on in this stink-hole? Between my blog, a rotting Mickey, and the literally BILLIONS of yeast molecules ‘out-gassing’ around here, I feel like I’m living inside a BLIMP instead of a public dump. Oh well, fermentation I’m told, should temper bitterness. I sure hope so, because after smelling and stewing in my own juices this week, I am starting to get a REALLY bad taste in my mouth!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quality Time Walk

Today I went for a long walk with my wife. It was very enjoyable to take in some ‘quality time’ together and the weather was absolutely perfect. In fact it was so perfect that a lot of OTHER people were out walking, biking, and enjoying the sunshine too. I am all for people getting healthy and their tax-free ‘natural’ tan-time, but selfishly I wish they would do it somewhere else CLOSER to the sun, or further away from my ‘center of the universe’.

I know you are thinking that I am either extraordinarily romantic or more appropriately - an unbelievably self-absorbed curmudgeon. Yes I know that I ‘Rag’ on people unfairly and often my opinions are ‘All Wet’. But in my defense, I DO accept that everyone has the right to enjoy the same good fortune as I, as long as they don’t TAX me figuratively or literally.

If everyone would just keep moving, I would be fine, but usually I am waiting for strollers, avoiding dog-walkers, leaning away from rollerbladers, or ducking Frisbees. My wife is often amused by my obvious distaste of the invasion of my personal space as well as my line of sight so she tortures me. She pointed behind me and said ”I think those people are ALMOST NAKED!”, then waited for my shocked reaction.

I half-heartedly started to turn to see the ‘imaginary display’ but then thought ‘ Forget it’ – it’s not worth the rotational effort required by my neck and spine. You see these days at best, especially in the Midwest, the odds are only about 1 in 10 that my eyes will avoid spontaneous BLEEDING if I actually look at UGLY ‘nekkid’ folks.

I mean usually these people will look LIKE ME and there is no way I’m unleashing this ‘dirty bomb’ Stigmata on innocent bystanders, much less go out of my way to stare them down! So after my wife had her laugh at my expense, I did try and relax a bit more and take in the beautiful scenery. Then a sweaty 300 pound speedo-clad bicyclist whizzed by us with inches to spare yelling “LEFT” and I jumped RIGHT with startled despair. Sympathetically with a sigh, my wife calmly handed me a Wet wipe, two Band-Aids and a white cane ... as far as our Quality Time goes - I guess love really IS BLIND!