Jul 31, 2008

"Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie...."

Hotness and I were talking one day and I mentioned that when I die I would donate my body to science (or the porn industry... whichever wants me most), and whatever was left should be cremated rather than buried.

She had told me about when her dad passed away and how she and her brother had to go about picking out a 'container' to have him cremated in. They opted for a wooden box, but that for the very budget-minded greiver they offered a plain, old cardbord box.
Looking back, she said it was actually quite funny in a 'black humor' kind of way.

I told her that if they offered a cardboard box, then she could save even more money by burying me in a comicbook longbox. Afterall, why not be put to rest in something I love and people remember me most for?

It made sense to me.


And then I found out about these.... Creative Coffins



Made out of environmentally-friendly products (at least 60% post-consumer recycled paper), they come in an assortment of designs to fit your "style" or you can have one custom-made to your particular tastes.

So maybe you want to have a picture of all the superhero babes crying over your deceased body.
Or maybe you want your coffin to look like the locker you had in high school.
Or perhaps you just want a big, freaking Cannibus leaf to show your love for the ganja.
Now you can!

So I guess this'll be a much better choice than having to cobble together a bunch of longboxes together for me to fit into.









Thanks to the Presurfer yet again!

Jul 30, 2008

Gas Scam

A few weeks back, Hotness and I were running separate errands and had taken our respective vehicles to go do them and then ended up meeting later in the afternoon.

She needed to fill up her gas tank so I went to the gas station with her and waited. (Actually I bought some candy & beef jerky while I waited... but that's not important).

On the sidewalk, in front of the station, in full view of everybody at the pumps was a guy sitting and holding a sign that said "Need gas. Ran out".
I thought about helping him, as I wasn't actually there to get any for myself, but then I started to think "You know, it's expensive for everybody. Maybe he did run out of gas but what if he's just trying to get a sucker like me to pay for him to drive around?"

I ended up not getting any and as I've driven by that station since then (several times, in fact) I've never noticed him or anybody else again.

So maybe he did need help and I failed to be a nice guy and help a fellow human with with a couple gallons of gas. (I'm a big jerk!)

Or maybe... just maybe.... he was like this guy:
Officer foils Cadillac driver's free gas plan

Van Halen in NOT Cheesy!

Say what you will about THE BEST ROCK BAND IN THE UNIVERSE, but they are certianly not cheesy!

However this label might lead you to believe otherwise:

This story comes for the Van Halen News Desk.
Apparently one of the staff bought a container of cheese cubes at a local market and noticed that the label had some of the lyrics from "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" printed on it.

I say it's just further proof of their undeniable awesomeness!

Jul 29, 2008

Birth Statistics

According to a news blurb on AOL.com:
"If You Were Born During Winter or Spring...You may be at a higher risk for schizophrenia and mania/bipolar disorder, according to several epidemiologic studies, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)....."

Hey, I was born during Winter. So really? Schizophrenia?
Heck, I could've told myself that! (We likes the Precious, we do!)

Good to know I was already at risk for mental health problems BEFORE I was even born.



This wonderful bit of health news is brought to you today by:
Shock therapy
the drug Lithium
and heavy drinking to silence the voices

Jul 28, 2008

Music Madness Monday

I'm going to start an (infrequent) series here on the blog.
Starting today and for the forseeable future, on Mondays (when I feel like it) I'm going to try and dredge up a rock video for your listening pleasure to help start off the week.

I enjoy Elwood's Toy Stories on Thursdays and his Friday funnies, and the comic reviews on Geeked and the ISB. Not to mention The Friday Night Fights.
Me? I got nothing so far.
So I thought I might claim Monday as my day for an weekly continuing post.

Since this is the first one, I thought I'd start with the first letter of the alphabet.






Mind you, I'm not going to claim these are the best videos ever. In fact, if I can find particularly awful ones I'll post 'em just for fun.

Let me know what you think.
I realize this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I thought it was a fun way to start the week. (and it gives me something to search for between posts)

Who Plans These Things?

I'm not against Starbucks.
I don't actively seek out their coffee 'cause I like to support the 'little guys', but as a corporation they are pretty good to their employees and pretty sound in their business practices.

So when they announced that they were going to close a few stores, I didn't think anything of it.
Afterall, they are practically EVERYWHERE and with the economy getting the way it is, closing a few stores would only increase the traffic to the remaining open stores.

So I read today that people in Capital Hill are petitioning to keep their neighborhood Starbucks open.
That's all well and good. I don't begrudge them, but WHO thought closing that location was a good idea in the first place?

In my hometown we have TWO Starbucks for a town of just over 8000 people (not including the various little independents scattered about).
In Woodinville we have 4 Starbuck locations.... 3 of them within a block of each other.
NONE of these are on the 'scheduled to be closed list', and yet the one in Capital Hill is?

Is this just a way for the company to get free market research by the public?

Closing the Capital Hill location won't affect me one bit.
Heck! Closing one of the locations closer to me won't affect me either.
But who at company was thinking "Hmmm... let's close the one location in a popular neighbohood but leave the multiple locations within a few yards of each other open in other areas?"

I just don't get it.

Oh Yeah!

This picture was too funny NOT to post, so here you go.....

Jul 27, 2008

Fratello Metallo

No, not the "Brother of Robotic Superman Villians".


This is the Heavy Metal Monk and his band.

Jul 26, 2008

Staining The Deck....

.... is a tedious pain in the ass.



But it sure looks a whole lot better once it's done.


This was our project for today.

--------------

In other news;

My tiny lasagna from the other day?

It turned out terrific!

--------------

And in still other news;

If you can't shoot your own lawn mower in your own yard, then what's this world coming to?
Today's role-model for drunk, lawn-mower-shootin' crazy people.

Jul 24, 2008

Optimus Maximus

I wish I had the kind of money to blow on something like this but I really don't don't need it.

It might be cool for people who do a lot of graphic programming or video editing, since you could assign a different picture to each key.
I can see how handy it would be for something like that.
Or if you were a serious hardcore online gamer, you could assign visual clues to each of your commands. That would be VERY cool.

But I just use the web to surf for naughty pictures and blog about crap like this, so I can't see spending that kind of money for a tool I can't utilize to it's full potential.

It sure is freaking cool, though!



I Wanna Be An Atomic Punk

It's no news to anybody that I love me the Guitar Hero.
I may only have a PS2 (for now) but that doesn't keep me from rocking out like the rest of you cats with your fancy PS3's and XBox 360's.

I haven't picked up the latest one yet, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith but I probably will shortly.

After reading this though, I can wait a little longer.
Really??? You're not kidding with me and toying with my emotions, are you?
A Guitar Hero: Van Halen?!?! F#*K YEAH!!!
One of my favorite video games coupled together with THE BEST DAMN ROCK BAND IN HISTORY? (That's a fact Jack!)
I think my head just exploded from the sheer awesomeness of that divine bit of news.

The Wall Street Journal did an article on it, so it's seems to be a legitimate rumor for now.

What could possibly keep this from happening and making my whole life worth living?
Well....
1) Do they pick songs from all eras of the band or only the David Lee Roth tracks?
2) Did they include animated copies of all the band members or just Eddie? If they include them all, does that mean we'll get Michael Anthony on bass or Eddie's son Wolfgang? Will Sammy make an appearance?
3) What if the band boots DLR out again right when the game goes into production? Will it still be a "go" or will it be scuttled?

In all seriousness, I'm not holding my breath for this one to appear.
It would be incredible for a fan like myself to have this happen but the dynamics of the band are such that it's not a probability.

I'm more likely to see Piano Hero: Elton John before this ever happens.
(But I'll be happy to be proven wrong, okay Activision?)

Jul 23, 2008

Her Luck Ran Out

A woman in Indiana accidently ran a sword through her foot during a "good luck" ritual.

The ceremony was to give thanks for a recent run of good luck, but apparently that luck had just run out when they decided to celebrate.



.... and I'm not making that up.
Other sources here, here, and here.

I Thought It Would've Been Funny

I guess some people don't like a good joke.

Anybody remember those ads from the '80's where two cars would pull alongside each other and one person in one car would ask another person in the other car if "they had any Grey Poupon"?

Well, somebody else thought this was still kind of funny and tried to do it recently in Utah.... except they got a gun pulled on them for asking the question.

I guess I won't be trying to use that old schtick on anybody any time soon. Yeesh!



Brought to you by way of AdFreak

Jul 22, 2008

Tiny Lasagna

Lasagna is one of those recipes that everybody seems to have 'the best' recipe for.

Maybe that's just me, but it's like I'm always hearing the words "Oh! You should try my mom's lasagna", or "my wife makes the best lasagna", or "you haven't lived until you've tried my lasagna"... yadda yadda yadda.

That's cool. I love it.
And I can say with all honesty that I haven't met a recipe I didn't like (barring the frozen grocery store varieties).
But I'm not going to WOW you with a spectacular version of 'my lasagna'.
It's pretty basic, all things considered. I mean really. How can you mess it up if you know your way around the kitchen?

What brought this whole topic up was that I made some tonight to cook for tomorrow's dinner.
(Yeah, planning ahead. Go figure.)
It's got to be the smallest pan of lasagna I've ever seen!
Here it is with a U.S. dollar bill for size comparison:

(I don't how Uncle Sam looks upon people who post pictures of U.S. currency online, so don't mind the blacked-out serial number.)

Despite it's diminutive size, it weighs about 5 or 6 pounds!

Like I said, it's pretty basic.
A little tomato pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan covered with lasagna sheets.
Then some ricotta cheese.
A few more sheets.
Some browned hamburger and mild Italian sausage with sliced black olives and more sauce.
Repeat steps until you reach the top of pan, then cover with sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese.

I'll let you know how it turned out after tomorrow night.

------------------------

For an interesting way to cook lasagna, you could try using your dishwasher.

Midget Boxing

How about some midget boxing, hmmm?


The little(er) guy is a scrappy mo-fo!
I also like that the ref can just lift the fighter out of the way instead of having to direct him where to go.

Jul 21, 2008

Dark Knight, Grilled Tomatoes, and Yard Work

So not a whole heck of a lot has been happening lately... that is, until this weekend.


On Friday night I went and got advance tickets for "The Dark Knight" and my buddy Dug & I went bright and early (like 10:00 a.m.) to see it on Saturday morning.
A lot has been said about this movie and how great it is, so I won't go into that.
If you haven't seen it yet... you should. 'nuff said.
At 2-1/2 hours long though, you'd better bring a "bladder buddy" so you don't miss anything.

The rest of Saturday was kind of uneventful although Hotness started washing the house to make it look all nice and bright.

On Sunday, we got up and went to Home Depot to get some things needed to finish a couple of projects we were doing.
I was rebuilding a planter box in front of the porch and Hotness finished washing the siding on the house.
I had gotten some retaining wall bricks to make the planter, but seriously underestimated how many I needed. We picked up just 14 (yeah, that ought to do it) and brought them home only to figure out I needed to get 30 more!

Back to Home Depot in my car to pick them up. (If you know me, you know what kind of car I have so you can imagine how 'fun' it was to try and fit 30 of these things into my car!)
Made it home and then discovered I didn't have enough dirt for the planter. *sigh*
I'll get it tonight on my way home.
I moved on to a different project and washed the outside windows. It's amazing how good everything looks when you can see!

Getting close to dinner time now, so I lit up the BBQ and grilled some tomatoes and also some zucchini (which I basted with some lemon herb marinade).
The tomato idea came from this recipe but I embellished a bit and instead of just salt and pepper, I used Mrs. Dash and a little Cajun spice seasoning. I also dropped a little bit of feta cheese in the cut side of them. Yum-yum!
Add to this some garlic bread (toasted on the grill, no less) and it was a filling and low-fat meal!
Here's what the tomatoes looked like after they cooked:


I also picked up a toaster oven this weekend.
Taking a cue from Qtilla, I'm trying to use less energy at the house and thought that a smaller (toaster) oven would make more sense to use for just the two of us, rather than heating up a big, ol' regular-sized oven every time.
I'm still trying to get used to it, so I can't say whether I like it a lot or if it's more of a pain in the butt than I need. I'll keep you posted.
(It's got a rotisserie feature, so I'm looking forward to trying that out soon)

Bought some stuff online, but that's going to be the subject of another post.

Hope everybody had a good time this weekend and was able to enjoy this nice weather we're having.

Jul 16, 2008

Linkdump

I don't think I've done a linkdump in awhile, so for your reading pleasure here is what I found interesting today while surfing the interweb:

Scare the holy living crap out of people when they visit your house with your very own zombie.

Check out this awesome night sky in Australia.

Hot enough for you lately?
Cool off with a USB-powered air conditioned shirt.

Speaking of staying cool, make a snowflake and pretend it's winter again.
(Only 23 weeks until Christmas!)

Going to China for the Olympics? Don't plan on eating any dog at local restaurants.

And lastly, catfish invade Florida suburb.

Jul 15, 2008

Missoula pt. 2 - Everything Else

The rest of our time in Missoula was a blur of activity punctuated with moments of nothing.

Without getting all wordy on ya, I'll just point out some highlights.

Having survived the trip out there without having my tires blow-out, we went to Les Schwab and got my wheels aligned and a couple of new tires... for $200 LESS than I was quoted in Washington before I left.
It paid to make the trip there instead of waiting to have it done before we left.

Hotness's brother was in town for a couple of reasons.
1) He was there to attend their mother's 'living wake'.
2) He had to have some surgery done, and came back to Missoula to have it taken care of.
While he was there, we went out for sushi:


and ice cream:


and lunch with their mom and friends:


Hotness and I had crepes again at Liquid Planet.

Yummy!

We also hung out at her mom's and acted like idiots:



Me more so than the others I guess.

We got an endorsement for Obama from Hotness's mom. (She's a big supporter)


------------------------------------------

One night, Hotness and I went to a bar (actually it was kind of a 'dive') to get a drink.
It was a particularly weird afternoon so we thought we'd cap the day off by adding alcohol to the mix.

I was able to sample something I've been wanting to try for quite some time.... ABSINTHE.

(Also known as the Green Fairy.)

It was definitely something you want to try before plunking down big wads of cash to buy a bottle.
I liked it, but Hontess did not.

To me it was sort of reminescent of Jagermeister (but not as 'syrupy' or sweet) and it sort of burned as it went down like tequila.
In fact, Ouzo is probably a better example of what it was like, except the anise flavor was amped up to 11 so it kind of stuck with you the rest of the evening.

Unfortunately I did not experience any hallucinogenic dreams, but I was feeling mighty good after three shots!
------------------------------------------------
Last year we were surrounded by wildfires that settled into the Missoula Valley and left a smoky haze the whole time we were there.
Not so this time. It had been a nice wet spring, so things were very green when we got there and the skies were clear and blue.
That is... until some kids were playing with fireworks and set the side ot Mt. Sentinel on fire.

Hotness and I were leaving the house we stayed at late one afternoon when I noticed smoke billowing up to the sky.

We took a detour and followed it until we saw where the fire was.

In about 2 hours almost 300 acres were burned.


The firefighters were streched thin due to the other fires in California that are being battled, but they managed to get it under control by the next evening without anybody getting hurt and no property damage involved.


-----------------------------------------------
Our last full day in Missoula was finished off with a 'living wake' for Hotness's mom.

She's battling ovarian cancer and has decided to opt out of chemo to fight it off.
She wanted to see all her friends and loved ones before she dies (which to be honest may not really be all that soon so this could be the first of many 'annual living wakes'... but I digress).

All went well.
There were about 100 people that showed up and she got to talk with almost all of them.

Some people sang songs while others played music in honor of her.
I met a few new people as Hotness and her brother introduced me to them.

The 'wake' lasted for a few hours, but finally we had to call it a day and head home.

Hotness and I retired to a motel outside of town for the evening, as there was a marathon the next morning and several local roads would be closed, making our exit from town kind of problematic.


We said our goodbyes and then left early the next morning and got back home in the late afternoon.


We had an enjoyable time, but it's good to be back home again.

Jul 14, 2008

Missoula pt.1 - Headin' Out

We got up early on Saturday morning after the 4th of July, got coffee, and headed out east to the Old West (Uh.. what?)


The car was packed the night before, so it didn't take long to get going.

The trip was pretty uneventful thankfully.
I had tried to take my car in to get the tires rotated before we left, only to find out that I had an alignment problem and they wouldn't do it.
In fact, the guy at Les Schwab said, "I wouldn't drive all that way out there until I got this fixed. You should get it fixed and then get a couple of new tires before you go."
I told him I wasn't about to postpone my vacation until they could make an appointment for me to get my car in to them and that I would just have to take my chances and deal with it out in Montana. So I swapped the two front tires and hoped they wouldn't blow out on me during the 500 miles we had to drive.

With gas prices being what they are, I thought it would be easier on our wallets to bring lunch with us so we only had to stop for gas when we needed it and not food.
That worked out pretty well as we only needed to stop for gas just once right as we got into Spokane.
We ate lunch at a rest stop near Sprague Lake and were surrounded by seagulls who weren't about to take any crap from us if we didn't give them any food.

They sat around and squawked and kept inching closer while we ate. I got up a couple of times to shoo them away, only to have them move right back as I sat down again.
After we ate, we figured we'd better get out of there before they decided to mob us. So we threw away our trash (which the gulls were keeping a very watchful eye on) and got back on the road.


Hotness slept the majority of the trip, which was fine.
I hadn't told her about the issue with the tires and I figured it was better to have her asleep than to stress about it and keep bugging me.

We got to St. Regis and then took a different road into St. Ignatius where we were going to stop first for a couple of days.
This other highway paralleled I-90 but with a lot more twists and turns, so it was a nice change of pace from what we usually drive through into Missoula.

We got into St. Ignatius and were driving to their place when we got stuck behind a tractor towing a trailer after it. The road was too narrow to go around so I dropped back a bit and just followed until we got to the house where our friends lived.
By this time Hotness had to go to the restroom and slow-poking along behind tractor boy was not helping.
We got to an intersection where we needed to turn right.
Awesome! This guy is going straight so I'll lose him and we can get there.
Oops, no. He turned right also.
Well, I'll go around him now since the road is a bit wider.
Yeah THAT worked out until he started to turn left in front of me!
I guess he didn't see me behind him because he didn't use a signal. I didn't think he was going to turn since I didn't see any signal. So it was a bit of an awkward moment.
Luckily my car is small and nimble, so when he jerked to a stop I zipped around and kept going.
... all while a wagon full of Amish folk were watching. Way to go city-slicker.


We got to our friends place and called it good. We made it in one piece.
The tires were still intact and we didn't get run over by farm equipment.

It was about 7:00 p.m. local time, so we sat around for a bit catching up and they built a fire in the fire pit so we could make hotdogs for dinner.
We were treated to a wonderful sunset:


The next day we got up and had breakfast, then went out to see their herd of cattle and run a few errands.


After that we got some ice cream from Dairy Queen and went back to their house where everybody but me took a nap.
I opted to wander around their 40-acres and take some pictures.



A little later, a couple of their grandkids showed up and we ate dinner outside again before calling it a day.

On Monday morning Hotness and I got up and got our stuff back into the car so we could finish driving to Missoula that day.
We had breakfast, said our goodbyes and took off.


Along the way, we passed the trees that got burned in last year's fire that we were there for.

This year hadn't been as dry as last year, so the fire danger was much lower.


We pulled into Missoula and got settled at another friend's house where we were staying for a few days before heading over to see Hotness's mom (or Hotness 1.0).

Also her brother was in town (this will be explained later) so we made plans to meet up with him for lunch that day.

And pretty much that was it for the first three days.
Alot more happened afterwards, but I'll put them into another post soon.

Jul 13, 2008

... And Now We Have Returned

Ugh! Got back from Montana around 3:30 p.m.
Pulled into the driveway, unlocked the door and began unloading the car before I let it "slide" until tomorrow.

Our trip was great.
We had a good time, although it was a bit of a mixed bag of emotions going back this year.

Hotness was raised in Missoula, so that's where her family lived (more on this in a moment).
Every year she'd go back to visit her mom, dad and brother and catch up with friends.
After I came into the picture, I tagged along for the ride and met everyone and just enjoyed myself while I was there.

In recent years, however, there has been less family to visit when we go back there.
Her dad passed away about 3 years ago. Her brother moved to Hawaii. And the last couple of years her mom has been fighting off ovarian cancer (so we'll be losing her in the future).

Her mom (hereafter referred to as Hotness 1.0) has decided to forgo chemo to treat her cancer.
It took quite a toll on her the last time she did it and she figures she's lived a pretty good life and will go when it's her time instead of fighting.
This year, while we were back, she planned to have a "living wake", so that she could enjoy the company of all the people who have known her throughout the years and still get to see them before she's gone.
I'll get to that later, but my point was that as a vacation it was punctuated with this morbid sense of impending death. Not quite a relaxing vacation.

Overall though, we did manage to have a good time. We caught up with friends and just had a nice time in Missoula.

I took lots of pictures. Too many to post, so I'll just be showing the highlights.
But for now, I wanted to get online and let you know we both made it back and were still alive.

Jul 7, 2008

Made It In One Piece

Got a quick chance to get online and let you know we made it okay.
Not that it's much of an endurance run to get here, but with being a Holiday weekend I thought it might be a challenge with traffic.
Lots of State Patrol (in all three states) so I kept it within the speed limit and we got to St. Ignatius in about 10 hours.

We stayed there with friends on their 40 acre spread and just kicked back for a couple of days to visit and unwind before driving the remaining 40 miles into Missoula.

I'm taking lots and lots of pictures, but I'm currently on a dial-up (welcome back to the dark ages) so nothing to show you until I get back home.

So I hope all is well back home and that your 4th of July was enjoyable.

Talk to you all again soon.

BTW: Oracle Batgirl, I didn't know that Alanis Morissette had a new album out but I noticed you had some new songs from her on your blog. I picked up the new CD and it made for great road music!

Be safe.
Be well.
Behave until I get back.

Jul 5, 2008

Outta Here

Hotness and I are on vacation to visit her family in Montana, so no posts for a while until we get back.

Lots of pictures to enjoy when we return so stay good until then.

Jul 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Today kicks off a long weekend of drinking, cooking on the BBQ and explosives brought to you by the fine patriots who delcared our Independence from British rule back in 1776 and and by the men & women who continue to serve in our armed forces.

I hope you have a safe holiday and if you go out to a fireworks show, good luck getting a parking spot and a great view.

Try not to burn the house down or blow any fingers off today and have a great time.



Yeah, I posted this picture last year but I like it (and that's ME in it) so I think I'm entitled.

Jul 3, 2008

Nature... Coming To You (sort of ) Live

This was the scene out in our front yard just a few moments ago.... video

It sort of makes up for all the crap I deal with between the raccoons and the grey squirrels.

Almost.

I Blame Elwood

Never one to be too proud to not embarrass myself, I thought I'd follow in Elwood's footsteps and post pictures of Hotness and myself from the 80's.

We didn't know each other at that time, so I unfortunately do not have any prom pictures of us together.
But looking at the pictures now, it's probably a good thing we DIDN'T know each other back then!


Hotness and her prom date circa '86/'87



Gettin' jiggy with a slinky around her neck


Graduation pic '88


Me & my best friend in high school circa '87/'88

I've been rocking a 'stache since I was 14. It just hadn't grown out to it's full 'porn-quality' proportions until I got into my late 20's.
I even sported a mullet breifly, and not just any mullet... but a full on flat-top above and a PERMED mullet in the back!
Sorry ladies, I didn't get any pictures of the sexiness from back then.

Ah... the '80's.
Neon colors. Reaganomics. New Wave. New Coke. Moonlighting. Parachute pants.
The greatest decade of our lives? I say to thee.... yes.