Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vicky’s hidden talent…

I feel it’s my job to post at least one complaint about my wife online each year, so people don’t think she’s too perfect… or… just perfect…

Vicky has this gift of being able to turn on every light source (and sometimes more) in a room before leaving it. She is completely oblivious to the idea that electricity costs money. In her world, it’s not only free but an affront to the power company if you don’t use it.

So, I end up following her around, switching off light after light after light. She’ll go downstairs; I’ll turn off the lights (and sometimes more) upstairs. She’ll go upstairs; I’ll turn off the lights (and sometimes more) downstairs.

This is how it works in our house.

Thank God for this flaw – however incredibly large and annoying it may be – in Vicky’s character. Without this, she may appear perfect in my eyes.

… there is that chance…

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another step towards vegetarian

I like to read "news" stories on Yahoo. I know that these stories aren't really news and are mostly just entertaining, but I read them all the same.

Today, a story about how our food is making us (Americans) fat caught my attention. Now, in case you don't know, I've been working hard on improving my eating habits. I still have my bad days, but they are fewer in number. I am eating more whole foods (you know, then non-processed kind) and I feel great when I do. It makes such a difference.

Back to my story, so I read this article about how our food is making us fat, and came across this in the article

Most fast-food hamburger patties begin their voyage to your buns in the hands of a company called Beef Products. The company specializes in taking slaughterhouse trimmings—heads and hooves and the like—that are traditionally used only in pet food and cooking oil, and turning them into patties. The challenge is getting this byproduct meat clean enough for human consumption, as both E. coli and salmonella like to concentrate themselves in the fatty deposits.

The company has developed a process for killing beef-based pathogens by forcing the ground meat through pipes and exposing it to ammonia gas—the same chemical you might use to clean your bathroom. Not only has the USDA approved the process, but it's also allowed those who sell the beef to keep it hidden from their customers. At Beef Products’ behest, ammonia gas has been deemed a “processing agent” that need not be identified on nutrition labels. Never mind that if ammonia gets on your skin, it can cause severe burning, and if it gets in your eyes, it can blind you. Add to the gross-out factor the fact that after moving through this lengthy industrial process, a single beef patty can consist of cobbled-together pieces from different cows from all over the world—a practice that only increases the odds of contamination.

Now, I already can hear Ken talking to back to my know that I've been telling you this for years now!

Don't get me wrong, I love a good steak. I've been a meat eater my entire life and except for the past few years, with never a second thought. Now, my desire for a burger has just plummeted to negative 100. Really now, eating meat by-products that have been treated with ammonia just turns my stomach.

On criminals, pot holes, and global warming…

On Christmas Day, Vicky and I stayed at home. Vicky put a beautiful pork roast in her slow cooker and settled back with me to enjoy a few movies. As dinner neared, the “slow” part of slow cooking lost its allure and Vicky suggested we go out and pick up some bread, for dipping and for sauce once the roast was done.

We drove down to one of our local stores and, as we pulled into the parking lot, we witnessed a guy drive his truck into a parked car. Then, he backed up and smashed his truck into the car again.

Vicky parked safely away and we decided she’d go pick up the bread while I watched the car. (I didn’t want someone running into our car.) As she left, I watched the guy get out of his truck and look at what he’d done. Then, he drove his truck to a nearby spot, got out, and inspected his damage. Several spectators walked away and I wished I could have been that close because they had probably seen his license plate number. (My angle wasn’t right.) I thought about how I might get the number. I got out of the car and walked around a bit – when I saw Vicky.

She hadn’t gone into the store. She’d stopped at the entrance, where she had a great view of the number, and had called the police. She was giving them all the details! I was going to go to her when I saw the driver get in his truck and drive – I thought he was driving towards Vicky but he took off for the street and drove away.

I gotta hand it to Vicky for her bravery – but I wish she’d have a little more self-preservation, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, Vicky and I agreed to wait for the police. They arrived nearly right away and we both told them what we saw. In minutes, they received word that police caught the guy getting home and we were asked if we could identify him. Vicky and I didn’t hesitate. We rode in the back of separate vehicles (my first time for that) and identified the guy from within the car.

We got back and continued to give our statements. As we did this, we learned that the car that was struck belonged to the sister of one of the store’s supervisors. She was using her sister’s car. This hit awfully close to home because Vicky’s car had died the day before and we were using her sister-in-law’s car. The supervisor had no idea why her car had been struck. Vicky and I were glad we could at least show her that there were people in the world who cared, especially after all the other witnesses had just taken off. It turned out that the driver of the truck was out on parole and no one had any idea why he was hitting the supervisor’s car but it clearly did not look good for him.

Hitting a car is one thing. Hitting is twice and then driving off – another.

Vicky and I talked a lot about cynicism that night and how awful it is that so few actually care about others. This reminded me of the pot holes. The streets in our city have become riddled with potholes of late. This is mostly because voters have so short-sightedly voted for tax cuts and the politicians who support tax cuts that even simple road repair can no longer be done, leaving us with third-world streets.

It made me wonder how we’ll ever get people to care about their future, to take care of things like global warming, when they’re too selfish to pay money to have their roads fixed. The results of global warming and climate change will kill a great deal of us – and if it doesn’t get you, it’ll get your children and theirs and theirs – but if you won’t even help someone being violated on the street, if you won’t even call the cops when some thug is smashing their car into the one somebody borrowed from their sister, if you can’t be bothered to pay for simple things like decent roads or schools… what hope is there?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Someone should have asked…

Let me preface this by saying I am fully in support of equal rights for all. I think all of my brothers and sisters should enjoy equal rights be they straight or gay or transgendered or anything in between. That said, here’s the exception that proves the rule.

What the hell were they thinking with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Listen to this hypothetical: World War Three breaks out – or any other war, we have so many – and everyone is drafted to go get killed in war. Prior to today’s signing of DADT out of the books, anyone could have said, “Oh, sorry. I’d rather not get killed. I’m gay.” No homosexual or bisexual or transgendered individual ever had to fight or die in a war. Ever.

That shit won’t fly any more.

The one loophole homosexuals (et al) had in their favor they threw away. They actually protested to have it taken away!

Could have been marriage. Could have been insurance rights. Could have been any number of a thousand other things, but the one thing – the thing that kept them alive and gave them the out no straight man (or woman) has ever had – that’s what they asked to have taken away.

I love my brothers and sisters out there, no matter their color or faith or proclivity.

… I’m just saying… that was a really stupid choice, guys.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The best Christmas story… until…

Vicky and I were at a Christmas brunch the other day, held by one of her employers. (All comments to the effect that I’m a lazy bastard for not working when my wife works two jobs – duly noted.)

The folks running the brunch were having everyone stand up and tell a story about themselves, one at a time, which was a great way of getting to know one another. When my turn came, I told the story about how Vicky and I chose out wedding date.

I said, “Vicky and I were on the phone one night, just talking around the subject of marriage. Not talking about it, just circling round and round. She said, I wouldn’t want to get married in the summer. Too hot. I said, I wouldn’t want to get married in the winter. Too cold. We agreed sometime in between would be nice, such as September or October. But I wouldn’t want to get married in October because my birthday’s in October. Vicky said we couldn’t get married at the beginning of September because that would conflict with labor day. It would have to be sometime in between, say the third week or so. Sure, Vicky agreed. Like the weekend of the 25th, for instance. Then, we both stopped talking and there was a long pause. I asked, Did we just set a date?”

It’s a great story. People love it and it really shows how much Vicky and I wanted to be together.

Just one problem, though.

Vicky stood up and said, “Ken tells that story really well… except our wedding date is on the 24th, not the 25th.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where there’s smoke, our alarms won’t catch it…

Vicky was cooking several weeks ago… okay, maybe it was a month. Anyway, not to call my wife a bad cook but she kept setting off our smoke alarms. (She's really not a bad cook! Please don't stop cooking, Vic!)

Rathan than stand there with a magazine, waving the – let’s call it “smoke” – away so the alarm would stop, I just took them down out of the reach of the smoke.

I haven’t put them up since.

I’m sure that it probably would have been wise to put them back up. They could probably, I don’t know, warn me in case of a fire or something… but I get so busy…

Today, they started chirping their “Hey fucko, I’m outta battery power” chirp. I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for the chirp but I’m very busy… or something. Anyway, I popped the battery out of one to shut it up but I couldn’t get the second one open.

It’s still down there, chirping.

And I’ve realized I’m the laziest man ever to walk the face of the earth. Thankfully, I still have the energy to blog about it…

Monday, December 13, 2010


Last night, Vicky and I went to Jeff’s housewarming party for his new apartment… apartmentwarming, I guess?... Anyway, it was nice. Jeff had decorated the place beautifully and the company was nice and he liked the gift we bought for him.

Jeff had a bunch of desserts and finger-foody stuff laid out. On the way home, Vicky realized we’d eaten plenty of… well, crap… but we hadn’t eaten any real food. She said she felt like she needed to put something real in her stomach and, so, we decided to stop by Denny’s.

There should be a number you can call when you decide to go to Denny’s… to talk you out of it.

We were seated and looked at menus. Both of us decided to get the “Super Bird” sandwich. I realized they call it the “Super Bird” sandwich because “Fried Turkey” sandwich sounds gross. Turns out, it is gross. It’s a fried turkey sandwich. What the hell did I expect???

Friday, December 10, 2010

For those of you keeping track…

The big story out of Washington this week has been President Obama’s caving to the Repugs, the rich and powerful, the special interests, call them what you will, to extend Shrub’s tax bonanza on the riches 2% of America. I had previous stated that I would stand by Obama as long as he conducted himself in the upright manner with which he had conducted his campaign of 2008. Now, there have been plenty of opportunities to say he veered but never has he gone so straight off the map than now.

It doesn’t take any courage to stand up for the rich. It takes no strength of character to defend people who can make you rich and do you favors. Turning your back on the helpless is not that hard. It was Obama’s mandate to defend the helpless and to stand up against the powerful. By granting the richest 2% more money they don’t need, Obama has lost my support.

Worse still, however, have been the craven mutterings from his administration, suggesting that if we don’t back up a windfall of money for the rich we’ll all suffer a worse recession than the one we already have. Somehow, the suggest, that if we don’t keep doing favors for the wealthiest and most powerful we will be smitten by their ire.

Oh really? Well, fuck off.

We deserve a man with character and back-bone in Washington. Someone who is not afraid to fight for the good of all Americans and not just the powerful few. I’m sorry, Mr. President, but you have lost my respect. I might be alone on this, but somehow I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Here Comes The Apocalypse… All Over Again!...

Turns out the Rapture has now been scheduled for May 21, 2011, so it looks like we only have so much time to mock these idiots…

1) See you on May 22!
2) I knew my first wedding anniversary foretold some horrible event but I just thought it was my first wedding!
3) Good thing it’s on a weekend so we can celebrate!
4) Is there still time to buy a dress?

Now, for those of you who don’t understand sarcasm, the point is this: For as long as mankind has been around to foretell it’s future, there have been men (and women) who’ll fall for such nonsense. Religious texts should never be read as fact because, as shown here, it can be misinterpreted so stupidly. Bullshit, as it turns out, is easy to misinterpret.

If you buy into religion, you’re buying one of the world’s most profitable lies. Wise up and Rise up.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Funny how the Repugnicans are insisting the Wikileak guy get caught... They're so up in arms about the truth getting out...

But they were just fine letting Osama bin Laden get away...

Friday, December 03, 2010

I can hear Alacrity...

For those of you who don’t know Alacrity, he’s my cat. I got him a lifetime ago – well, very nearly a lifetime for cats, at least – in 1995! He was once a cute, little white puffball. Now, he’s an old man with an attitude.

Every morning, he sits downstairs and meows and meows. He’s the feline equivalent of the old man who sits on his porch and yells at kids, “Get off my lawn!” And I’m the human equivalent of the old man who yells at his cat to shut up… because I yell at my cat to shut up. Doesn’t work, though. He keeps on howling.

We’ve ruled out any health issues. He eats and runs and scampers about most of the rest of the day… but once the wee small hours of the morning hit: Meow! Meow! Meow! (How cool would a dyslexic cat be? “Mewo! Mewo! Mewo!”)

I can’t get too mad at Alacrity. I know he’s old and just a pain in the ass. He’s outlived Bandoo and Othello – yeah, our house was a fun place during their passing… But I sure wish I knew what he was saying.

Vicky thinks he wakes up in the middle of the night, after all the people and the other animals have gone upstairs and to bed, and his meowing is his way of asking, “Where is everybody? Where’d everybody go?” It’s the feline equivalent of a “senior moment”…

Yeah. That fits.