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No Comment!

I don’t get much feedback about this site.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I suppose the nature of this blog doesn’t really lend itself to meaningful and intelligent dialog. Since I am frequently ranting about fairly large groups of people and the retarded things they do I guess I cannot expect you to respond when there’s a fair chance that I am actually talking about you (yeah, you!).

Just for fun, however, a while back I enabled moderated commenting on the site in case someone wanted to provide a lucid counter-argument to any of the points that I had made. In the months that followed, I received a few legitimate comments but they were buried under a mountain of spam. The comments are all moderated, and I don’t approve many of them, but I have kept several of the ones that struck me as particularly funny. Here is a sample of just a few of my favorite comments about the Bacon-Wrapped Blog entry:

“Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!”
-Terry Brooks

Aww, thanks Terry. Coming from an award-winning author of books and screenplays, I am flattered. It’s great to see that we share a keen interest in baconology. If you need a hand with the next Shannara book, let me know. We can do lunch.

“There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.”
-viagra

For a little blue pill, you really seem to appreciate smoked meats. Thanks Viagra! Just for you, I think I’ll add a “Features” section, and make some good points in it.

“Why hello associated forum people! I well-grounded wanted to introduce myself here as this looks like a dialect right interesting forum! I myself am engrossing in things like writeing and computer revamping so if anyoune needs facilitate reveal me differentiate! I also Suffer from Sciatica so if you aslo fool this infection let me skilled in so we can share some stretches!”
-undulkylype

I am honored to have my humble blog graced with the presence of the translator for Zero Wing. I am truly not worthy! Thanks! Oh and I don’t currently “needs facilitate” anything, but when I do you will be the first one I contact to “reveal [you] differentiate”. Promise.

No, as you can plainly see, I don’t get many legitimate comments, and it’s really kinda depressing. Reading through a small sample of the comments I have received that I think might not actually be spam, I am starting to form a frightening mental image of my main audience. I am picturing a couple of toothless hicks in a trailer park getting drunk by doing shots of rubbing alcohol every time I say the word “asshat” in an entry (toss another one back boys! that one counts!).

I do sometimes get some face-to-face feedback , but this tends to boil down to “Why don’t you use your powers for good?”, “Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?” and, occasionally, “Why aren’t you wearing pants?”. To these, I can only respond “Because good is boring”, “Not really” and “Because they chafe”.

I mean, seriously, what the hell else can I do? What other avenues could possibly give me such creative enjoyment without the involvement of mood-altering drugs? In case it isn’t obvious, I like to write, but until I had this blog I really didn’t write anything larger than a Post-It Note. At least not for enjoyment.

But, just to play this out, let’s explore some possibilities…

I am a fairly sensitive and creative guy. I can empathize with people and find a way to convey those emotions with flowery words. I could write heartfelt greeting cards that truly capture the mood of the sender.

You know? I think that one might actually sell.

I am fairly intelligent. I am well versed in wide range of scientific principles, and can recognize their benefits… and dangers. I could write warning labels for potentially hazardous products.

You’ll never know till you taste them!

I am wise beyond my years. Others frequently seek me out for my advice. I could write fortunes for fortune cookies.

Distribute those at all-you-can-eat places, and it’s a good bet the message will be appropriate.

Any of those might be passable alternatives, at least for a short while, but they don’t exactly lend themselves to the long-form writing that I have become accustomed to and yet, despite that fact, they all sound an awful lot like “work” to me. And, it’s not as if any of them would offer me a better connection with my potential audience anyway, especially the Silica Gel one. So… I think I’ll stick with blogging for the time being.

Thanks to the feedback I have gotten, I now know that my blog is a “dialect right interesting forum”, which can’t be a bad thing… can it? And, if nothing else, it’s still serving me well in its role as “free therapy”, and God knows I need as much of that as I can possibly get.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

World of War-crack

I haven’t blogged in around two months, which I am truly sorry for. I wish I at least had a good excuse for it. I’d really love to say that I haven’t had the time because I was:

  1. Opening a soup kitchen
  2. Spending some quality time with my “little brother”
  3. Or even… Working on the cure for stupidity

But, unfortunately, none of these are the case. No, I don’t have a really good excuse for neglecting my blog. For, you see, the real reason I have done almost nothing of value in my life lately is that I have started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) again, and when WoW beckons me, I am unable to resist its urgent call.

For those of you that have never heard of WoW, I have two reactions:

Pity: The level of ignorance to the world around you that you need to demonstrate to be completely unaware of a videogame played by 9 million people worldwide is… quite frankly… staggering. I pity you and pray that you have had the good sense not to procreate.

Jealousy: You lead a healthy, albeit ignorant life while I am bound to this game like a thrall to a powerful vampire lord… I am jealous of your free and uncomplicated life… but I still hope that you choose not to breed.

Let me see if I can briefly summarize the WoW experience for the uninitiated. Like all games of this type, you start a character and pick the basic traits: Race, Class, Appearance, etc.. Then you head out into the world to seek adventure which usually equates to doing quests that follow the same general pattern:

<insert character name here>!!! I need your help! My <mother, father, lover, goldfish> is dying, and can only be saved by a <potion, salve, cheeseburger> of great healing power! I have all the ingredients, except the <bat spleen, boar colon, 1/2 cup sugar>… please go kill <10, 100, 100000> creatures until you find the necessary ingredient!

Rewards: 1 silver and a [Bat Spleen Cheeseburger of Greater Healing]

You repeat quests like this until you go up a level, you get more powerful, and then you do it all again (with bigger bats and boars). It has a certain mind-numbing comfort to it.

Now, before you hardcore WoW players out there spill your highly-caffeinated beverages all over your cheetos-crumb-encrusted gaming keyboards in collective apoplexy, yes… I know it’s more complicated than that. But I am not writing a guide on how to play the game, just a blog entry to make fun of it, so sit down before you accidentally do something that resembles exercise.

Where was I? Mind-numbing… right…

I like the soothing banality of it all. I spend the whole day thinking about stuff… important stuff… stuff that has an impact on the company I work for and the lives of the consumers around the country. There’s a certain refreshing stupidity to spending four hours with nine other people fighting our way through a dungeon that is crawling with hate-filled flesh-eating demons just so I can get a new pair of pants (they are very nice pants).

And, in case that scenario doesn’t sound quite bad enough, I have spent hours — HOURS I said!! — doing nothing but… fishing.

*Craig clicks the “cast” button, and the bobbin sails through the air to land with a satisfying splash in the small pond*
*After a brief wait, the bobbin dips in the water, and Craig clicks on it to retrieve the fish*
[You have caught 1 fish]
[Your fishing skill has gone up by 1 point]
*Craig smiles*
[Your ability to find a mate has gone down by 1 point]
*Craig’s smile fades*

This game is pure evil; anyone that tells you otherwise probably works for the company that sells it. Everything in it is designed to enthrall impressionable young kids… and dirty old men like me. For example, I fired up the character creator with the intention of creating the best looking, and worst looking female character that I could. Here are my results:

How are simple folk like me expected to resist?

So, for now at least, I play WoW every night. And this eats into the time I used to use for blogging (and chores, and spending time with the family, and eating, and personal hygiene, and sleeping… etc.). In fact. the only reason I am blogging right now is because the servers are down for maintenance.

But, I promise that I will devote more time to the important things in my life. I vow to break the hold that this game has on me, and to return to the life I used to have! I will not let this game– Ooh! Servers are back up! Gotta go. Bye.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Car Troubles

Much the same as it is with sports… I am utterly lost when it comes to understanding cars.

Unlike sports though, I find this particular knowledge gap to be a bit odd since I consider myself to be fairly skilled when it comes to most things mechanical.  I mean, I am not exactly MacGyver but I can usually take things apart, clean them and put them back together without breaking them (much).

But with cars… this is very, very different.

For the most part, I feel just as retarded around car enthusiasts as I do around rabid sports fans, but in some ways it’s even worse; I certainly cannot regurgitate each players name, position, performance statistics, police record, favorite recreational drug, etc., but given a little time watching a game I can get the gist of how it works.

With car enthusiasts though… I really haven’t the foggiest clue what the hell they are talking about.  I have been a happy user of a car of some variety since I was 17 years old, and yet if I hadn’t stumbled across the handle that opens the hood and actually seen the engine for myself you could probably convince me that my car was powered by Scottish gnomes that work (or don’t) for booze…

*Craig steps on the gas pedal…*

Angus: If ya think ay’m gunna push yer feckin’ cairt up anither brae ye’kin kiss mah wee little bahookie!

*The car sputters*

Craig: C’mon you stupid hunk of shit… move it!

*Craig steps on the gas harder…*

Angus: Ach! Ya’ daft basturd! Git it throo yer thick noggin’!  Isna gunna happen!

*Check engine light goes on*

I wish this were as far-fetched as it seems.

Perhaps some background will help convince you.

My current car is in the ninth year of it’s miserable tortured existence with me.  I consider it “tortured” because although it only has 36,000 miles on it, it looks and sounds like it was the loser of several demolition derbys.  I attribute this to the fact that in those nine years I have only rewarded the car with “maintenance” when it has vigorously and loudly complained for long periods of time.

For example, I remember several years ago when it started to make a kind of banging noise; the kind of noise you associate with a stereotypical gas-guzzling jalopy of a car.  Using my intimate knowledge of the workings of an internal combustion engine, I instantly recognized this noise as “bad”.

MyCar

I deduced that the longer I waited, the worse the damage would be, and thus I knew that I hadn’t a minute to waste.  So, I brought the car into the repair shop after only 2 months, and subjected myself to a very uncomfortable conversation with the mechanic.  They always assume that since I have a penis, I must know how a car works.  This is basically how that exchange sounds to me:

Me: My car is broken. It’s making a banging noise. Please fix it.

Mechanic: When was the last time you rotated the flanges on the carburetor?

Me: I, um…

Mechanic: Are the pistons synchronized with the distributor?

Me: I don’t…

Mechanic: C’mon man!  Speak up!  Have you calibrated the gear ratio of the alternator?!

*I start to cry*

This is why I avoid mechanics.

To make matters worse, when I came to pick up my car, the mechanic informed me that there was no oil in the car — not a single drop — and that he had “fixed” my car by simply adding some.  He delivered the news with an expression on his face that I can only describe as a mixture of disgust and horror; the kind of look a good person would give a parent that they just caught beating a crippled child.  In his mind, this kind of negligence was completely unforgivable… a black mark on my manhood record.

I’m sure that immediately after I walked out, he reported the event to the manhood authorities.  Combined with my hatred of sports and distaste for beer, my record probably categorizes me as female; if I am ever apprehended I will probably have to turn in my testicles.

But, despite all this, I still have not made any real effort at all to learn more about how cars work.  Any knowledge about cars that I have gained over the years has been purely accidental.  That is… up until recently when I tried to add oil to my car.

A few weeks ago my car began to make that same banging noise again, and even I put two-and-two together to figure out that it probably needed some oil.  So I drove over to my local auto-parts store to buy some, figuring… how hard could it be?

I entered the store and eventually found the aisle with the oil.  And that was when I encountered problem #1: There are about 7 trillion different types of motor oil.  Silly me, I thought this was going to be the easy part!  Apparently walking into an auto-parts store and asking for “oil” is like walking into a coffee shop and asking for “coffee”.  Anyhow, after asking for some help, which took a while because they couldn’t believe that a man was born without such knowledge, I bought some “5W30”, and a small funnel.

I left the store feeling pretty good; I had the tools I needed to make my car shut it’s whiny pie-hole.  I walked confidently up to my car, opened the hood, and… that’s where problem #2 came up: Where the hell does the oil go?

I really wish I was kidding here.  I spent no less than 10 minutes looking for a place to pour this oil, and could not for the life of me find it.  I was probably about 30-seconds away from simply pouring it over the engine and calling it a day, but instead I resorted to sitting in my car and doing a Google search on my phone.  I even watched a small video on “How to change your oil” on YouTube.

Using my new-found knowledge, I located the wily little cap (which had a picture of an oil-can in it, by the way) and I poured in the oil that my car so desperately needed.  It took a few miles, but eventually the banging noise stopped, which made be feel like I had actually accomplished something in spite of all my stumbling stupidity.

And so, In the end, it all worked out; I got the right oil, and somehow got it into the right place in the engine.  My car stopped it’s percussive complaining, and I don’t have to go to the mechanic again.  And lastly, I learned a little something about cars, and thus get to keep my testicles a little while longer.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Year One

Today is a very important day in my life. 

It is the one year anniversary of Coffeygrind.com. 

One year ago today I wrote my first blog entry and embarked on a journey of self-discovery.  A journey that has given me a feeling of purpose, filled me with a greater sense of where I fit in the “big picture”, and helped me get to the pure distilled essence of who I truly am.  But mostly, it has left me wondering why most people that I meet don’t immediately bludgeon me to death with the nearest conveniently located blunt object.

For you see… just about half of the entries that I have written involve me venting about how incredibly idiotic most people are.  Please don’t mistake me; this is not an apology… I still think these people are dumber than asphalt.  It’s merely an observation. 

I suspect that I am only protected from retribution by the fact that these people can’t remember to put their shoes on after their pants, which makes it pretty unlikely that they possess the mental facilities to find my blog nevertheless read it.

My point is that these entries are not exactly complimentary to anyone, myself included. When I think back on them, I realize that I can be a very angry man when I am behind a keyboard.  If I were to send these articles to a psychologist to use as documentation of my mental state, I would not be surprised if they prescribed some sort of sedative or, perhaps, a subtle yet effective poison… and then subsequently decided to commit seppuku with a letter opener.

As an exercise, born purely from the rather promiscuous parents of “boredom” and “work avoidance”, I decided to re-read all 30 of the entries that I have written over the last year.  My goal was to identify and summarize any themes that might be hidden within their passages.  Here is what I discovered:

    1. I am a nerd
    2. I love bacon, Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox.
    3. I hate sports, “natural” foods and morons.

Earth-shattering, I know.  This is information that was hard-earned over the last year; each bit taking me many long hours of contemplative meditation to wrest from my subconscious mind.  Information that represents the fruits of many weeks of quiet introspection.  Information that I am confident would take someone who just met me as long as 10 minutes to discover.

Perhaps what is more interesting than the published entries are the entries that I have fully written but have not published.  It wasn’t until just now that I realized that they all have a common theme.  They are all about topics that may actually piss off somewhat intelligent people.  The fear that I might actually anger someone that has the capacity to fight back has clearly kept me from posting them.  Fascinating.

So here I am one year, and 30 blog entries later (31 if you include this one). 

What will the next year hold for me?

Not sure.

I think I’m running out of things to hate. 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

The Tragic Quadrant

Like many other people, I have allergies and, as a result, this time of year I am almost constantly clearing my throat.  It’s not a percussive hacking cough, just a mild, quiet *ahem*.  But despite what I think, it’s apparently the most annoying sound ever produced because the people around me react to it in ways ranging from the “look of death” to outward hostility.  Some of these irate people actually tell me to “keep it down” as if I have some sort of choice in the matter.  I mean, sure, I like being constantly congested and needing to clear my throat all the time.  Who doesn’t?

Naturally, this happens to me most often during my commute.  And, also naturally, most of the angry victims of my throat-clearing assault are people that are trying to sleep.  They’ll just be nodding off, and then… *ahem*.  Their eyes snap open, and they glare at me intensely.  It’s as if they are trying to silence me purely with the palpable negative power of their seethingly malevolent will.  I can almost feel the concentrated rays of hatred molecules bombarding my head.  They stare at me in this way until… at last… their eyelids begin to droop again, and then… *ahem*.

It can go on like this for an hour, or more.

Sucks to be them.

In my humble opinion, one major problem here is that a flawed assumption is being made by these individuals.  They are assuming that it is their God-given RIGHT to sleep on the train, and that any activity that precludes that should be punishable by any means necessary.

I would like to counter that assumption with the following simple rebuttal: “Go fuck yourself”.

This is perhaps why I am not a lawyer.

But, believe it or not, it’s not my congestion that is the topic of this entry.  No… it’s my reaction, or lack thereof, to these confrontations that I want to discuss.

For, you see, I have finally come to realize something that I am certain you all already know:  I am a giant pussy.  I say this because I don’t react to these situations at all like a man should.  I either completely ignore them or, in an unprecedented display of pussiness, actually say “I’ll see what I can do”.

In either case, despite my wholehearted belief that these people are complete dickheads, I have to stop myself from trying to “keep it down”.  For some ridiculous reason I actually feel compelled to make these mewling fuckwits happy.  In my head, however, I almost immediately concoct an entire fantasy exchange that makes me feel a bit more… manly:

Me: *ahem*

Commuter: Can you keep it down?

Me: Sorry.  It’s an allergy.  I get very congested when I am around cats, dogs or assholes.

Commuter: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: See any cats or dogs around here?

Commuter: Are you calling me an asshole?

Me: Me?  No… but apparently my doctor is.

Haha… yeah, that would be great.  Right up to the part where they grind my face into the luggage rack.  But, sadly, those internal dialogs never become reality.  I just sit there and take it.  I hold in my witty retorts and avoid eye contact.  My only defense is to clear my throat more loudly and more often while I blog about it.

In analyzing this, I have realized that there are two dimensions at work here: “Level of wit”, and “Desire for confrontation”.  At the right levels, the effect can be pretty compelling.  At the wrong levels, the effect can be devastating.  The mixture of these two dimensions at varying concentrations can significantly affect your social acceptance as demonstrated by the following chart:

TragicQuadrant

As you can clearly see, I am firmly entrenched in the “Introverted Geeks” quadrant (Go figure).  And after some deep introspection, I have concluded that it is highly unlikely that I will ever stray into any of the other quadrants.

I don’t think it’s overweening of me to suggest that I am somewhat witty.  And, short of a massive cranial injury, I don’t see my wit-level decreasing anytime soon, even if it never appreciably increases.  Also… although I am becoming a much grumpier person as I age, I am fairly confident that I will never be truly combative without the assistance of copious quantities of alcohol (which I don’t typically consume); I really just don’t have it in me to openly oppose someone that I disagree with… at least not face-to-face…

Still… as time goes on, I am discovering more creative outlets for this ire (such as this blog).  For instance… although I am not the kind of parent that will go into my child’s school in-person to complain to their teacher about something, I will write a long, detailed note that will most-likely anger them much more than any direct confrontation ever would…

Ms. Harmony,

  I wanted to bring something to your attention about the last test that Sean took. There was a question on the test that bothered him because it had incorrectly identified prehistoric sea creatures as dinosaurs, which he pointed out to you in class.  When he did so, however, he was told, by you, that he was incorrect.  His respect for your authority prevented him from arguing the issue further, but he was clearly troubled enough by the exchange to bring it to my attention. 

  I have attached several articles on the subject matter, including the standard Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word “dinosaur” all of which clearly support his observation.  I recommend reviewing this material as thoroughly as possible if you ever hope to avoid being embarrassed by 8-year-old children in the future.  I also recommend that you give my son the benefit of the doubt when he questions something like this since it is clear that he has forgotten more about dinosaurs than you will ever know.  Bitch.

Sincerely,

Craig Coffey 

The actual note may have been a tad less aggressive, but the intent was the same.  To ensure that she knew that in a battle of wits with an 8-year-old child, she had actually lost.  And, with any luck, to make her question the value of her miserable life to the point that she considers early retirement… from her career, or just from life in general. (In case it isn’t clear here, I hate this bitch.)

So… to get back to my point here… To put it gently, I am not a physically impressive person, nor do I realistically believe I will ever be.  And so my brain, such as it is, is the only thing that gives me the upper-hand in any situation.  Thus, I think it is very likely that I will forever be an introverted geek, happily hiding behind sarcastic emails and snarky blog entries in lieu of open hostility.

It’s not exactly the makings of a bold and honorable life, but it beats the heck out of getting my ass kicked every time I open my mouth.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Spanish… ish

This is a shout-out to all my Dominican friends out there.

You know who you are.

In the years that I have come to know you I have gained nothing but the deepest respect for you.  Your dedication to your work, your family and your friends is amazing.  And the pride you have for your culture is inspiring.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let me make fun of you.

It all started with a Potluck dinner party at my house.

I had invited a bunch of people that I work with, including my Dominican friends, and I had asked them to bring dishes that represented their nationality.  In the weeks leading up to the event, there were numerous energetic discussions about what to bring, some of which were conducted, at least partly, in Spanish.

While they were bickering back and forth, I would just sit on the sidelines and listen in mute uni-lingual confusion.  I made some cursory attempts to translate a bit of what they were saying into English, but ran into two major problems:

  1. They talk way too fast. I am convinced that a Spanish-speaking person can actually convey an entire days-worth of information in about 60 seconds.  I think the reason they roll their R’s is so that they can slow their tongue down to keep it from breaking the sound barrier and creating a sonic boom that tears their lips off.  That’s just a theory.
  2. I don’t know any Spanish other than “Por favor”, “Gracias”, “Uno”, “Hola” and “Agua”.  So I would really only know what they were saying if one of them said “Hello, one water please. Thank you.”

Anyway… these conversations inspired me to do some research into the particular dialect of the Spanish language spoken in the Dominican Republic.  For this I, naturally, consulted the All-Knowing Google Oracle which provided me with several helpful sites on “Dominicanese”.

Each of these sites had an alphabetical list of words, and their English translations.  I started at “A” on each site, and began reading my way through them, looking for anything that might be blog-worthy.

Almost immediately, I found something interesting (to me, at least).  I found two references to “Bacan” (or “Bacano”) which was defined as “one cool dude”.  Any language that has a word that looks like the word “Bacon” but means that you are cool, is an awesome language in my book.

I was only in the B’s and already things were looking up… but, then I found the word “Bomba”.

Someone will have to explain this one to me, because, according to this site, it means “Gas Station”.  But, according to the same site, if you add exclamation points (i.e. ¡Bomba!), then it becomes “Wow!”.  This can make for some interesting sentences…”¡Bomba! Están jugando ‘La Bamba’ en la bomba!” (Wow!  They’re playing ‘La bamba’ at the gas station!)

I probably got distracted by something shiny at that point, because I didn’t make it past the B’s.  And, all I really gained was:

    1. My new business card title: “Mucho Grande Bacano Extraordinario!”
    2. A fun new exclamation: “Gas station! That’s a large spleen!” 

So, in the end I was still able to understand very little of what they were saying.  Although, every once in a while, I was able to determine, via context, that a certain word or phrase was referring to a particular Dominican dish, and I have to admit… they didn’t sound very tasty.  The Spanish names for these recipes sounded, to me, like either a sexually transmitted disease, or some of the less glamorous body parts on mammals, neither of which I was looking forward to eating…

Friend1: My Mofongo flared up again.

Friend2: On your Tostones?

Of course, in the end I had nothing to fear.  What they brought was much more appetizing than it sounded and by the end of the party I had a belly-full of awesome food.

In closing, I would like to cover one last thing…  If “Mano” means hand, and “Mano a mano” means “Hand to hand”, and “Mono” means monkey, then “Mano a mono” means “Hand to monkey”?

I have no real point here… I just find that funny.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

How to be a big loser

Yeah, I know.

I am a lardass, and I really don’t have the right to criticize diets.

But I am going to do it anyway.

Honestly, I have no problem with the concept of a diet.  Given the general obesity of this nation’s population, myself included, I think losing weight is a great idea; one that I am sure I will find positively fascinating when my doctor ultimately tells me that I need to either:

      A) Lose weight

or  B) Die

No, it’s not diets, in general, that I have a problem with.  It’s “fad” diets that are the target of my deep and relentless loathing.  I mean, some stick-thin celebrity eats nothing but pork-rinds for a few weeks, and suddenly everyone thinks that is the only way to get thinner?  What kind of mindless drones are you people!?  I guess, now that I really think about it, I don’t actually have a problem with the diets themselves, but more with the morons that choose to follow them.  I am fairly predictable that way.  Go figure.

As I am sure you are aware, there are tons of pointless diets out there that I can hose down with my stream of blog-bile, but one of the most popular ones, and my personal favorite, is the Atkins diet.  So, let’s start there, shall we?

Now, before you Atkins zealots out there get all bent out of shape, I am sure that there is some nugget of scientific evidence to support the theories that Dr. Atkins based his diet on.  But I am equally certain that most of the people on this diet are not following it as Dr. Atkins designed… not even Dr. Atkins, considering that he died at the portly weight of 258lbs.  Oh, and he had heart problems.  But aside from those small facts, I am sure his diet is the bees knees.

Naturally, Dr. Atkins’ wife claims that his obesity and heart problems were not due to his diet, and his doctors said that his “bloating” was due to “a condition” he had.  Yeah, ok, he was big-boned.  Right.

Anyhow.  I am too lazy to research what the diet is really about, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is what the average person thinks it’s about.  I am sure that if I spent a few minutes reading the marketing drivel on the Atkins site that I would gain a much better understanding of the tenets of the diet than most of the people that are actually on it.  After talking to a few people, however, I was able to determine that the diet boils down to these basic rules:

Rule #1: Don’t eat anything with carbohydrates.

  Rule #2: Put down that roll, fat-ass!

See?  Simple as can be!  Just don’t eat those EVIL carbohydrates, and the pounds will fall right off!

Want to enjoy a hearty bowl of warm lard?  Go for it!  Got the hankering for an order of deep-fried, bacon-wrapped whale blubber?  Knock yourself out!

No lie!  I have actually witnessed someone on the Atkins diet get a foot-long philly cheesesteak for lunch, and eat the entire thing using the roll as if it were a plate.  They claimed that this was ok because it had no carbs… fascinating.  This thing was so thoroughly drenched with cheese and grease that, even though I was only watching them eat it, after they were done I needed to perform an emergency angioplasty on myself using a drinking straw (Don’t worry, I made sure it was sterilized first by licking it and wiping it vigorously on my shirt).

Now, without actually looking, I am going to guess that these people have missed something important.  I will postulate that, most likely, Dr. Atkins didn’t say that, as long as you don’t eat any carbs, you can eat as much as you damn-well please of everything else.  Call it a hunch.

I am afraid you are going to have to face the facts people.  If losing weight was easy, then none of us would be fat.  You aren’t going to find a miracle cure for your “condition”.  No pill, cream, or device is going to help you “shed the pounds, and keep them off!”.  If you want to be thinner, you have to eat less food, and get off your fat ass.  Option B, of course, is to simply accept it and be “jolly” like me.

BeforeAfter

Now, since these fad diets seem so popular, I had this idea.  Maybe I should write my own diet book!  If someone can make money off “The Grapefruit Diet”, wherein you basically… eat grapefruit… Then why not me?

My working title is:

    “Eat less, walk more and shut the fuck up!”

I may have to tweak  that a smidge when the publishers get a hold of it.  But the title isn’t the real problem.  The problem, I realized, is that the book would not really have any actual content to speak of.  I mean… what else is there to say?  The title pretty-much covers it.

Not to mention the fact that, as the author, I am only qualified to serve as a model for the “Before” pictures.  Not exactly New York Times Bestseller material.

I know!  I could put recipes in it!  How’s this sound?

Exclusive Book Excerpt:

You don’t need to change your whole diet, you just need to adjust it a bit.  Have a favorite meal?  Just modify the recipe slightly to make it more healthy.  Let’s use Chicken Cutlet Parmesan as an example…

Instead of breaded and fried chicken cutlets, try lightly seasoning the chicken breasts and steaming them instead.  Substitute the whole milk mozzarella with some part-skim.  Finally, try a low sodium tomato sauce instead of your usual Ragu.  Otherwise, combine the ingredients in exactly the same way!  Trust me, when you taste the result, you will likely lose your appetite or, perhaps, even your previous meal.  You should quickly see a noticeable reduction in your waistline.

I am sure this would be an immediate hit.

Well, as long as nobody ever found out that the author looks like Grimace.

That could just be our little secret.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Powers Corrupt

Have you ever had the “If I was a Superhero” conversation with your friends?

That’s the one where you all decide what powers you would have if you were ever unceremoniously dumped into a vat of toxic yogurt, or bitten by a radioactive weevil, and then you spend several hours arguing over who could kick who’s ass.  These arguments can get quite heated, especially if there is a comic-book nerd in the group.

Super

Everyone has their own opinions about which powers are the best ones.  Some people choose to be almost impervious to damage (like Wolverine), others choose to have almost infinite strength (like the Hulk), I always choose the ability to stop time (like Einstein).  I figure that, given infinite time, I can defeat anything.

For instance, in a fight with the other two, I would just taunt the Hulk until he was in a frothing “Hulk Smash!” rage, wait until he wound up for the full-on overhead two-handed pile-driver, and then stop time and put Wolverine in my place.  Naturally, I would then “pants” them both, before walking a safe distance away and starting time again.

Wolverine: Hey bub.  Why don’t you-  what the!?

*The Hulk’s fists crash down with impossible force, instantly liquifying Wolverine*

Hulk: Hulk mom NOT “so fat she need own zip code”!

*Hulk smashes his fists down again, just to be sure and then stops… breathing heavily*

Hulk: Hulk feel better now… but… why wang feel cold?

If you haven’t had this conversation with your friends yet (the one about being a super-hero, not the one about Hulk’s wang), you should try it.  The powers they choose can tell you alot about them, and the resulting arguments over who’s superhero is best can be positively scintillating, especially if everyone has been thoroughly basted in liberal quantities of alcohol first.

Anyhow, I mention this exercise because when my mind is idle, I frequently think about how I would wildly abuse my powers to change this pathetic world to better suit my needs.  I mean, what good is having super-human powers if you can’t use them for your own personal gain, right?

For example…

When I am driving, and I see some douchebag racing along, weaving in and out of traffic, and my blood-pressure starts to rise at a rapid rate, it makes me feel like choke-slapping them with a tire-iron.  But, instead, I simply close my eyes and imagine what my super alter-ego would do…

In this situation, I would stop time, calmly exit my vehicle, walk over to the, now stationary, speeding asshat-mobile and cheerfully carve a six inch gash into all four tires with a box-cutter.  When time was restarted, his (or her) car would careen off the road in a fantastic fiery wreck.

Ahhhh… sweet justice.

Then, of course, I would open my eyes only to realize that, for the last 30 seconds, I have been driving 70 on a crowded highway with my eyes closed and I would swerve all over the road in a desperate effort to regain control.

But that is not the point!

The point is that there are many situations that could benefit from a super-powered kick in the ass.  For instance, I frequently daydream about all the good I could do at work:

Cecil: Welcome to the seemingly-never-ending meeting that accomplishes nothing but to consume your valuable time.  I am glad you were all able to make it, even though you clearly had no choice.  Let’s start with… wait… we don’t have an agenda.  Silly me… we never do! *Cecil laughs*

*There is a brief, disorienting flash of light and a rustle of papers*

Cecil: What the-… Where’d everyone go?  What is that smell… *sniff*… bacon?  And where the hell are my pants!?

No need to thank me, citizens!  I am just doing my job!

Yeah… if I had super-powers, I would strive to make the world a better place for nerds everywhere!  I would fight the oppressive hordes of idiots that plague this planet!  I would strike at the source of the problem: Reality Television!  And I would show no mercy!

I have the plan.

I have the yogurt (all of which is toxic, in my opinion).

Now all I need is a cool costume and a catchy name.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Workin’ Hardly

I’ve been doing some soul-searching lately (I’m running a bit low on souls).

You see, I’m always trying to figure out what makes me “tick”, and I am constantly amazed at how difficult a task that is.  You’d think that I would know why I think and act the way that I do.  But, I seriously think that I have an easier time figuring out other people than I do myself.

Me: So… How was your day?

Myself: Stop trying to psychoanalyze me!

Me: Bitch!

Myself: Your mama’s a bitch!

I: Would you both shut the hell up!?

Me & Myself (meekly): Sorry.

I’m a douchebag.

I truly sympathize with you folks.

But, despite my uncooperative nature, I have somehow been able to discern at least one very important aspect of my being.  At my core… deep in my nougaty center… I am a lazy sot.  I would rather spend my days sitting on the couch, harvesting Cheetos crumbs off my belly/snack-table, imbibing copious quantities of root beer and playing computer games instead of… ya’ know… working.

No, really, it’s true!

And yet, surrounding that core, like a creamy caramel coating, is my “work ethic”.  Always at constant war with it’s lethargic sibling.  Using every weapon in its vast arsenal to motivate me.  Forcing me to do my job, even when my job sucks… alot.

In summary, my “lazy sot” side compels me to do as little work as possible, whereas my “work ethic” side demands that I do it… no matter what.  I’ll get the job done… I’ll just do it without expending too much energy in the process.  The result can sometimes be viewed as “efficient”, but I can assure you that this is not by design.

For example, one of the byproducts of this distinct mental condition is that I have elevated procrastination to an art-form.  I wait until the last possible minute to do work on any project that is assigned to me.  This active procrastination has produced two surprising results that I have observed thus far:

    1. I have become quite good at “scrambling” to complete projects in a short timeframe, which has given me a fair reputation as someone that “gets things done”.
    2. Many projects have been de-railed before I got to work on them, and thus procrastination has frequently saved me from wasting time.

ProjectTimeline

In fact, I would argue that procrastination is extremely appropriate in many cases.

Sure, I could work on parts of a project over time, as my schedule permits, instead of waiting until the “do or die” point.  But in some cases, doing things in numerous low-energy bursts over a long period of time isn’t as efficient; kinda like emptying a swimming pool with a dixie cup.

I think I’ll just stick with my way.

And, as luck would have it, I manage a group of people who are… largely no different.  Don’t get me wrong, I have the most talented group of engineers in the entire company, and I would not trade a single one of them! (unless it was for Angelina Jolie)

Just sit in a single one of our staff meetings, and you will never question how we are able get things done… you will, instead, question how we are able focus long enough to make it all the way into work without the aid of a guide armed with a cattle-prod. (Oh, or Megan Fox.  I’d trade two of them for her)

The Magazine Engineering Group gathers for their weekly staff meeting…

 

(the names have been changed for their protection)

Me: Ok, let’s get started.  Paco, how’s the DAM upgrade going?  Paco…?  Paco!?

Paco looks up from his BlackBerry, annoyed at being disturbed

Paco (grumpily): What!?  It’s fine!  It’ll be done on-time!

Me: It was due last week.  Ok, whatever, nevermind.  Pedro, what’s the status of the Research System project?

Pedro: What color would you say this shirt is?

Me: I don’t know, it looks like… wait… what?

The rest of the group studiously ignores me as they deliberate about this crucial topic and ultimately decide that it is, in fact, “Periwinkle”

Me (patiently): Research System…?

Pedro: What? Oh, yeah… it’s done.

Me: Ok, great.  Shane… how you doing with the database server migration?

Shane (waking up suddenly): WHAT?!  I wasn’t anywhere near that server!  That’s not my SCSI cable!  You can’t prove anything!

The meetings typically go on like this until we get kicked out of the conference room.

Naturally, I am exaggerating here… really… I am…

But back to the topic…

So, I ask myself, what have I learned from this deep introspection?  I have learned that I would hate to be my Psychiatrist.  I have learned that I have a severe allergy to planning (sorry Aggie).  And I have learned that I actually like what I do at work (yeah, surprised me too).

I’d dive even deeper into my psyche, but my boss reads my blog, and I think I’ve damaged my career enough for one night.

Besides, those Cheetos crumbs aren’t going to harvest themselves!

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Bacon-Wrapped Blog

It’s no secret that I have a certain fondness for bacon; everyone that knows me is aware of it.   But I don’t think most of them realize just how fond of it I am.  I love bacon in a way that a man should not love a preserved meat.

I sometimes find myself day-dreaming about it.  Right in the middle of the day I will occasionally drift off, fantasizing wistfully about a particular slab of heaven that I recently purchased.  Thinking longingly about how later, when I get home, I will be able to transform it from the unassuming mass of smoked meat and fat into a fantastic orgy of crispy deliciousness.  Whipping myself into a heightened frenzy until, finally, I can contain my enthusiasm no longer and I scream out:

“Oh bacon you flirty, lusty whore!  Why do you tease me so?  When I get home I am going to make sweet sweet love to you!”

This is usually followed shortly thereafter by a very awkward silence and some pretty uncomfortable questions from the other people in the meeting.

But how can I help it? I find it irresistible. When I die, I am pretty sure it is going to be because a chunk of bacon-fat broke free from the wall of a pulmonary vein and struck my heart at high velocity causing my chest to explode with a sickening fleshy “Thwump!”.

My tombstone will likely read:

Tombstone

It is because of this deep love that, over the years, I have received many emails from my friends and family notifying me of some new bacon-related product, or a new way in which to cook it. Many of these products and recipes are simple and creative, but some of them are foul, unnatural, evil ways to use bacon.  For example:

Bacon-stuffed cinnamon buns

Canned bacon

Bacon-cheddar rollup

That last one, with the woven mat of bacon strips drenched in cheddar cheese…?  It haunts me.

One of the few problems with bacon is that, in my opinion, it has “bad press”.  It seems like every time you hear anything about it, it’s some story related to “health risks”.  Bacon needs a marketing campaign!  Many other food products have adopted slogans to help spread the good word of their tastiness:

“Milk, it does a body good”

“Behold the power of cheese”

“Beef… it’s what’s for dinner”

“Pork… the other white meat”

(Chicken, apparently, doesn’t need a slogan, since everything tastes like it.)

So, I got to thinking… why not have a slogan for Bacon?  And so, the slogan I am proposing is:

“Bacon… makes everything better!”

Think about it!  It’s true!  What food is not made better with bacon?  One of the people involved in my market research suggested one possibility: bacon.  But then I countered that adding bacon to bacon means MORE bacon, and that is better, and they agreed that this was indeed true.

So, my brothers-in-bacon, go and spread the good word.  Bacon is the king of meats!  Don’t let the nay-sayers scare you away from it!  Stand up, shake your fist in the air and loudly proclaim “Bacon makes everything better!  Viva la Bacon!”

And, then sit down and catch your breath.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Uncategorized