Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Positive Sign

Dear City Department of Public Works,

Every day I drive past your big plus sign before the town's main intersection. While I appreciate it's positive message, I continue to wonder what is being added? If this is your method of counting cars on a busy road, I think you need to move to plan B. And no, plan B does not involve a government official pressing the sign each time a car passes. But perhaps you aren't counting cars at all. Maybe you are attempting to count bicycles, bad drivers, or roadkill. Either way, I guarantee that it's not working. Besides, if a bad driver produces roadkill is that plus 1 or plus 2?

While you ponder this challenge, one whose solution might involve (gasp) technology, please consider another recommendation. Can you please add an equals sign on the other side of the intersection? I would really like to know what you are adding and how much I am contributing. Talk about a positive message. Thank you for your consideration.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beantown Jedi

Coworker #1: "On which side of the lab should we enter?"

Coworker #2: "By the loading dock."

Coworker #1: "By the dock?"

Coworker #2: "Yes, come to the dock side."

Me: "You sound like Darth Vader with a Boston accent."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Dear Faithful Readers,

It's been a busy year, but I hope to write more in 2010. Please know that even if I'm not writing, it doesn't mean that I'm not finding humor in everyday life. I hope to share more in the next few months. In the meantime, I want 2010 to be a year in which you share with me some of your humorous observations.

In 2010, I have a few goals with respect to my writing:
a) Blog more. And read more. I'm inspired by other bloggers and writers.
b) Submit an article to the Boston Globe. I have the story.... I just have to write it.
c) *Start* my novel. Well, if you count the first paragraph then I have already started. And it may not be a novel. We'll see how long it is by the time I'm finished. It might turn out to be a one paragraph story with no end. Let's avoid this together: please help me with my research and let me know if you know anyone that has been a sports team mascot or worn a full body costume for promotional purposes. Extra points if you bring me the Gecko from the Geico commercials.

I am also going to a conference in January. It's a scientific conference, so I expect there to be a lot of good material. A convergence of very serious robotics scientists wearing summer attire in the desert in January is excellent fodder for a humor blog.

I must go now. There's quite a lot of activity in my town these days. Mall traffic and a rise in eggnog consumption have appeared. Business-sponsored fat men with rosy cheeks and red suits with reduced working hours have also been spotted for the first time since last year. And those are just the corporate executives. Coincidentally, everyone is filled with glee.

I was feeling the usual obligation to buy a gift for anyone who ever smiled at me which includes all of you (except family members who instead get another full year of my love and complaints, the gifts that keep on giving). Unfortunately, the pet insurance and subsequent funeral expenses for my pet rock (RIP Pebbles) have created financial hardship. Thanks for understanding.

Happy New Year and Merry Debt-mas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm a "The-Fridge-Is-Half-Empty" Guy

At one time or another, we have all found ourselves in the fridge searching for a TBE snack. TBE, as in "to be eaten". A deep dive into the refridgerator is never without hope that something with chocolate lives within. This typically involves moving cold items around like in the same manner one would when solving one of those puzzles with one piece missing. Which brings me to my question. Is it normal to fantasize about the size of the chocolate cake that would fit perfectly into the space known as the missing puzzle piece?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Think Forwarding: A Phone Service Feature Still in Development

Last night, I called Verizon to dispute a bill. After navigating the system with a combination of mad button pressing and yelling over the automated customer service rep (just to be heard, of all things), I was informed that the offices were closed. After questioning Mrs. Roboto about Verizon's own use of call forwarding after hours, I hung up the phone.

If Verizon's features include Caller ID and great customer service, then why don't they call me back even if I don't leave a message?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pig Flu at the Cube Farm

Some companies are issuing memos and instructional videos on proper sneezing and coughing etiquette.

I am feeling inspired to make a video too. I will call it "The manners your parents forgot to teach you". The sequel, aimed at teaching etiquette to the sick employee's healthy counterparts, will be called "Why holiday potluck lunches are your ticket to swine flu hell".

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Irony of Seeing Jesus

It was reported this morning that a woman in Methuen, MA saw an image of Jesus on her iron. Seeing the image reassured her that "life is going to be good". Since this story was probably leaked by a local named Jesus DeJesus, I'm going to play Devil's advocate (literally) and ask the pressing questions. I would start our one-on-one interview like this:

"Hello. Where were you when you saw the image of Jesus on your iron? By chance, were you over there next to that enormous pile of freshly printed iron-on Jesus T-shirts?"

My next post will be about the morning I saw Jesus in my espresso. But, I was thirsty so I drank Him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm part Mexican.

A few thoughts....

I'm part Mexican. At least for the 24 hours after I eat a burrito.

I recently asked myself, "should I go to a conference in Palm Springs CA in January?". That's like asking if a frog's ass is watertight.

I've been busy planning my new business. I'm going to open a sub-optimal bakery. I will acknowledge that I am not a professional and that the quality is good but not great. That way, when you need to take a baked good to a holiday party, dinner party, or work you can easily claim it was yours. Because I will guarantee imperfection. Or your money back.

Annoying cell phone kiosk salesperson: Excuse me, can I ask you a question?
Me: You just did. Bye.

And some notable moments from a recent trip to the surgical OR:

Nurse: What brings you here?

Me (pointing to head): Assist with a cyst? Nurse (without smiling): Never heard that one before...

The surgeon later said, "You should have an open mind." With that, he made thus true and removed two cysts from my scalp. I am now more well-rounded.

The surgeon asked me how I was doing halfway through the procedure. I told him that I would be napping if it wasn't for all the sharp objects in the room. He said "Me too".

The surgeon warned me about potential scarring and then asked me if I grew my hair out. I explained that it was usually shoulder length but that I had it cut short for the procedure.

Me: What was that? Surgeon: Your cyst popped out and rolled down your head and neck.

Surgeon: It's about the size of a chick pea. Me: As in hummus? Surgeon: Definitely not.

Surgeon: You're back?!?!? Me: Yes. I was halfway home when the anesthetic wore off. The feeling of blood running onto my ear was a hint that the incisions weren't completely sealed. There's bloody tissues all over my car. Surgeon: Oh, how's your car? Me: Let's talk about the head first, please.

Me: Do you validate parking? Receptionist: Did you see a doctor here? Me (pointing at bandage wrapped head): Nope. Just came for the cafeteria food. Wrapped my head like this to fit in. And park for free.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dum it Down

Dum Dum Lollipops are the best in their class primarily because competitors are only left feeling frustrated when they attempt to call this market leader silly names. We took a survey.

"Every time we tried namecalling with those Dum Dums, they always won up front with their name," said one competitor.

"After awhile, we stopped competing with Dum Dums and went after Smarties. There was more room to knock 'em down," replied another competitor.

"You are what you eat, so we ate Dum Dums and Smarties at the same time. Quite frankly, we were confused" said Anonymous.

"We named one of our products Stupid Stupids, but we weren't nearly as successful as those Dum Dums," emailed another company.

"We have a lot of respect for the Dum Dum family. But, we plan to take them down with Idiot Pops," said another company.

"We were going to sue them for trademark infringement, but we were just too melancholy" said a Glum Glum representative.

"Honorable honorable," was the brief reply from the president of "The National Association for Protection of Stutterers Stutterers" (NAPSS) when asked about the Dum Dum name.

"We collaborated with them on a product called Dum Gum, Dum Gum, but the market response was disappointing" said the marketing manager for Gum Gum, Inc. "Fortunately, NAPSS bought all of our inventory."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

She Called Me a Peeping Tyler

At my house, "leaf peeping" is another way of saying "opening the blinds in the family room". However if someone named "Leaf" ever moved next door, the phrase would require a lot of explanation.

Get Granite Counters Through Our Elliptical Machine Trade-In Program

Dear Omnee Granite Inc.,

Please accept my application for your active 55+ community. I apologize if this is too forward-thinking for a family business currently in the countertop business, but I assure you that your path is obviously clear. Let me explain.

About 5 years ago, I went to your location which was a fitness equipment store and bought an elliptical machine and weight machine. At the time, it was called Omnee Fitness and I was very active and ready to transfer my workout routine from a plush gym to my cold basement. It mostly worked out well, especially since there wasn't anyone else to see me working out in my ski jacket and boots. Pushing those small keypad buttons with my fat winter glove fingers also made for an interesting workout.

I recently drove by your site and noticed that you have changed your name to Omnee Granite. (I will note that I am not using your actual company name, because I don't want some muscle-bound granite installer to get upset about this blog entry.) I have not yet been inside your faux kitchen showroom, but I would assume that your inventory has also changed with your name.

Your transition from a health and wellness business to a kitchen remodeling operation is in line with how we grow as people. In the same way that years ago you and I were both thinking "exercise", we are now both thinking "food" instead. Hence, our simultaneous shift from ellipticals to cooking surfaces. Both are related to a different type of remodeling, no?

Therefore, it only seems appropriate that together we explore the retirement living business. I have enclosed my deposit check made out to "Omnee Active 55+ Living". I am reserving my place early, because I know that you will be hugely successful. Especially with your fully equipped fitness rooms and beautiful granite kitchens.

Regards, Tyler

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Correction: The World Does Revolve Around Her

Yesterday my pink-obsessed 2-1/2 year old daughter ran around the house with a bottle of amoxicillin yelling enthusiastically, "It's pink like me! It's PINK like ME!!!!"

Her name starts with the letter 'S'. This morning she ran around the house with a large wood-carved 'S' yelling, "S starts with me! S starts with ME!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lazy Gardening: A Transferrable Trend

Dear Neighbor,

Is everything ok? I haven't seen you in awhile and I noticed that a couple planters in your yard have been toppled over. They've been there quite awhile, yet the flowers appear to be well-maintained. I also noticed that a small wheelbarrel full of flowers has been left abandoned near your lamppost. I wouldn't have been concerned, except that it appears that something happened in your life that caused you to only push it so far. You should know that it's missing a wheel and has been painted purple in your absence. It's also quite small which leads me to wonder if something is wrong with your legs that first prevented you from addressing the planters and subsequently made it too difficult to finish the yardwork. Meanwhile, the wheelbarrel's cargo of marigolds also appear to be thriving.

While you are on you are on the mend, I hope that you will have time to consider my apology. Given the state of your yard, this seems like an opportune time to make a confession. At last year's Superbowl party, I accidentally toppled a bowl of chili behind your couch. On my way to find paper towels, I was distracted by a huge bowl of wings. I never did make it back to the chili. Sorry. If you haven't discovered it by now I suspect that like the flowers in your toppled planters, the chili is thriving. You should also have your nose looked at. But while we commiserate about our similar plights, I should also admit that I left a big plate of chicken wing bones on one of your end tables. I hope that you found these soon after the party. If not (or your recent limitations have prevented you from placing them in the garbage), shall I come over and paint them purple?


Thursday, October 15, 2009


A delivery truck was tailgating me on the way into work the other morning. I wasn't driving slowly, yet the truck was right on me. As I peered in my rear view mirror, I swear the driver of the truck was in my back seat. Although my first reaction was to strap him into the carseat, hand him a half eaten PB&J sandwich, and warn him not to kick the back of my chair, I realized that this was just an illusion. The backseat driver that is, not the bag of half-eaten sandwich.

As I do with most tailgaters, I wanted him to eat fender. So, I applied the brakes and slowed down to 75 mph. In most great action stories such as this one, my brakes would promptly fail and we would both go barreling down the highway until one of us jumped off a ramp over the police roadblock and land in a shallow reservoir while the other did victory donuts in a concrete drainage canal . However in this true story, I got off at my exit ("Exit 365. Urban Sprawl / Cubeville") with the rest of the 'muters and stopped at the light. Luke Duke however went whizzing by me towards his own misery.

As the truck passed me, I noticed the large Johnsonville sign on it's side along with a picture of the company's popular sausages. A moment later, I noticed that the back of the truck was displaying the company's current marketing slogan, "Tailgateville". I realize that this is referring to the age old tradition of parking one's car at a sporting event or concert and unloading enough beer, food, and propane tanks to earn the respect of complete strangers.

However, I am also acutely aware that the term "tailgate" also refers to the age old tradition of driving really close to the car in front of you because it might help them get to their destination 30 seconds earlier. If they are really good tailgaters, you can read the print on their "Successful completion of the Offensive Drivers course" certificate proudly hanging on the gun rack.

I always wanted the phrase "of sausage fame" to follow my name, but for now we'll give it to Johnsonville. Their fame has come with their success, which must be the result of very effective marketing campaigns.

I imagined a 30 minute training video in which Mr. Johnsonville IV explains to a classroom full of astute drivers that they play an important role in communicating the "Tailgate" theme. That they must make sure that, as the faithful front line of the company's public image, they get "Tailgate" on America's brains. Other drivers should want to go to "Tailgateville" and eat sausage. How better to transmit this message than to run them off the road into a drainage ditch? In that moment, they might be thinking "BrokenCollarbonesville" or "HopeICanDial911WithMyTonguesville", but subconsciously they will be thinking "Tailgateville". Make sure you don't kick up too much dust, because we want to make sure that the target can see our marketing slogan as you speed away.

As with every training video, the students are reminded that "Sausage is not a style of life. Sausage is a lifestyle." Apparently, so is eating fender.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Putting Your Money Where Your Loveseat Is

"Someone spilled coffee on one of your loveseats," I informed the saleswoman.

Sensing the possible misinterpretation of my seemingly inappropriate comment, I clarified "In the showroom over there. One of the couches has a toppled coffee cup on it. The brown stuff made a big mess."

Saleswoman (smiling): "Oh, no worries. That's fake. It's there for demonstration purposes. It helps make the point that coffee spills and such are no big deal with our fabulous fabrics, spill-proof additive, and protection plan. It's plastic. Completely fake."

"Right. The real coffee spill is on the same couch as the fake one. There's two," I replied.

"WHAT?!?!? Did someone really spill coffee on the couch? Where? Oh my god? Is it a big mess? I'm going to have to remove it from the show room. Show me!" she reacted.

"Just kidding. Test over," I said as I waved on my way out the door.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

3 1/2 Car Garage

I have been busy selling my house and looking for a new one. One particular house advertised a 3 1/2 car garage. I'm disappointed that we didn't see the house before it was sold because I *really* wanted to see the 1/2 car.

Thanks for hanging in there. I do plan to pick up my writing again. I might have to pack my good intentions for my pending move, but as soon as I find my clothes, something to cook with, and the kids amongst the boxes, I plan to start writing more frequently. In the meantime, tell me a story, introduce yourself, or help me increase my Followererership by telling your friends that I do did be writing good. Just not recently.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Looking for Mr. Buffet. Mr. Breakfast Buffet.

"Can I help you?" asked the hotel employee at check-in.

"Yes. I would like to purchase a person," I replied.

"A person?" she asked.

"Yes. Just one. Do you have anymore?"

"I don't understand."

"That's a separate issue."

"I'm sorry, but-"

I interrupted. "Your sign. It says $59 per person. I only have $100 with me. I can only afford one unless you will give me the second one at a discount. The sign also says that they each come with their own breakfast."

"Excuse me, but I'm going to get my manager."

"If his name is Wade, he's in the pool."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hair of the Tyler AND Foot-in-the-Mouth Disorder

My hair was getting long (~1/8th inch in length) along my head's equator, so I went to the barber during lunch. Actually I went to a SuperCuts, where even with a head like mine you can feel special. Don't think for a second that I didn't ask when they would open their AverageCuts store for those of us on which the Super is normally wasted. While in the chair, the hair stylist (again, any variation of the word 'style' is wasted on me) pointed out that I have a cowlick. I told her that for all of these years I have blamed genetics, when in fact it may have been a grazing cow that cleared the top of my head. This also explains the origins of the popular bovine phrase "Hair of the Tyler" moo'ed on farms across America and commonly used the morning after a cowlick binge.

When the pediatrician told me that my daughter had foot-and-mouth disease, I told him that he didn't know the half of it and started to explain how inappropriate she can be in public places. When he reminded me that she is only two years old, I realized that there is a difference between foot-and-mouth disease and foot-in-the-mouth disorder. I apparently have the latter.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's a Genetic Reason I Haven't Sold You a Tyler-o-Pedic

My writing has recently taken a more technical angle. I'm writing grant proposals to conduct an important genetic study. This is a study whose results will provide conclusive data to support a well-known hypothesis never tested as of today.

I have been collecting my very preliminary data, most of which was jotted down on the back of a Dora the Explorer singing birthday card after a few hours of beer pong. I would have collected more data, but Dora's singing drove me to drown the card in the toilet. My data collection is therefore somewhat incomplete.

My genetic study will confirm that members of families that own and run furniture stores inherit one of two genes from their successful parents. The majority of their offspring will inherit a gene that prevents the family member from recognizing the embarrassment of their own relatives. The remainder, a very small percentage, inherit a gene that compels them to star in every single one of their own commercials despite their pitiful performance and the feedback of their marketing department, employees, and anyone else unrelated to them.

The combination of these genes clearly results in a successful business. But, I suspect that it's their business acumen and strategic development that has allowed them the opportunity to get in front of a camera and not a care for a moment about little things like humility or the reputation of their teenage kids.

A few mutations of these genes have also been documented in the literature. One particular mutation causes furniture store owners to lose control of their bowels every time the director yells "Action!" Another mutation results in the frequent outbursts of laughter at the simple mention of a "love seat" followed by hours of pointing at the film crew's bums and yelling "I'll sell you a better one!"

Once my grant proposals are accepted, my research will enter the next phase. This involves collecting genetic material from my subjects. I plan to show up to the commercial filmings, which must happen twice a day given the frequency of new ads, and collect biological samples. This should be easy to collect, given the stain-proofing substances on all of their furniture. I'll simply wait until they break and swipe a hair off the love seat. And in this case, I do mean the furniture.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sending Mixed Signals About Hitting

In my house, we reward a toddler's "no hitting" behavior with a big high five. As in, "Good job not hitting your sister back. Now, slap hit my hand as hard as you possibly can before I hug you."

Dispensable Feedback

I am getting settled in the new job and plan to start writing more often. Is that ok with you?

I appreciate feedback. While in the men's room at work today, the motion-activated paper towel dispenser activated in a moment when I was far from it (please don't ask me where). It was proactive in giving it's feedback. Unfortunately, I don't know what it's intentions were. Perhaps it wanted to be there for me when I most needed it. Or rather was it a cute motorized way of saying "hurry up"?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rt. 90 East / Greenland

Driving along Rt 495 west of Boston, there are signs for Rt. 90 (aka the Mass Pike). They indicate that Rt.90 WEST will take me to Albany NY. I know that thse signs for the Mass Pike are also displayed in Boston, as far away from Albany as you can get in the state of Massacusetts. This is very helpful, because if I were ever to go to another state a couple hundred miles away, I definitely wouldn't plan ahead so as to know in which direction to go. Instead, I would rely completely on the signs alone.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Minutes from World's Most Boring Meeting

40.5 drop ceiling tiles of three different shades
1 mystery stain
4 standard fluorescent lights, 1 with a broken cover
2 sprinklers, which I prayed and prayed would go off 10 minutes into the meeting

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Is that a baby monitor in your pocket?

Is that a wireless baby monitor in your pocket or do your pants always cry like a toddler when they don't want to sleep?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Creative Playthings

In case anyone finds my phone and looks through the contacts: "Creative Playthings" is a SWINGSET MANUFACTURER. Please get your heads out of the gutter. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Dear faithful readers,

Thanks so much for your patience while I put writing on hold for a few weeks as I get oriented at the new job. In the meantime, I hope you will dedicate the time that you typically spend reading my words to a new activity. This should be easy given that both only take a minute, perhaps two, of your otherwise valuable time.

If you ever thought that my writing was humorous, then you clearly haven't met or read my friend Matt who writes the Modern Day Critic at But wait! Before you go read his blog later, keep reading mine for another moment. Stay focused people!

Matt has entered a contest to name the new Stride Gum. Please help a friend and fellow blogger out by voting for his entry, Mintfinity. Please go to and vote Mintfinity. If you do, he and I will love you for Mintfinity.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fingertips, Class of 2009

My new work computer is an IBM Thinkpad laptop. This model has the option of using your fingerprint to enable it's biometric security. Personally, I'm disappointed they aren't yet using the retina scan for laptop security. I'm looking forward to the day when I can laugh at everyone (and myself) leaning over to line eyeballs up within centimeters of a screen-mounted vision system. While peering into my monitor in public places, I would comment on all the amazing things I could see inside.

When I log on to my fancy pants computer, I occasionally get prompted to "Log in to enroll your fingertips." Never in my life did I expect my fingertips to be so important. They need to be enrolled. They're all grown up, my fingertips. Today, I couldn't help but imagine a day in the future when my fingertips would don caps and gowns at biometric security graduation. I'm so proud, I'm getting all choked up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have You Bathed Your Chief Executive Lately?

Last week, I started a new job. I still work in the life sciences industry and work at a laboratory. As in most fields, there is local jargon and terminology. In most laboratories, chemicals and biological reagents are abbreviated. It's not uncommon to see bottles labeled with a variety of acronyms such as H20 (water), EtOH (ethanol), or WTF (unknown).

In getting to my team and the laboratory processes by way of a laboratory tour, I took note of materials, machines, and mice (there were none, but it's always good to keep tabs on 'em). I smiled when I saw a bottle labeled "CFO Wash". Of course, I realize that this is a specific reagent to the technology used in that part of the lab. However, I couldn't help but imagine that this liquid was available just in case the company's head of all things financial showed up looking a bit dusty (one gets that way from rolling around in money. Or so I hear). Naturally, my next thought was...self-applied or team-building exercise?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spread Blogs, Not Swine Flu

You clicked it! You must send the link to this blog ( to 10 friends within 24 hours or you will undoubtedly get swine flu. As this chain letter has not yet been optimized, there is a 10% failure rate for recipients in which only partial symptoms will be experienced. Therefore, 9% of my those who fail to share this blog will get the "normal" flu while 1% of them will turn into pigs. Sorry.

Okay, so I've been a little absent and clearly my fear of decreased readership is on my mind. Please stick around. I've simply been busy as I change jobs. Tomorrow is my first official day onsite. I spent the last two days in orientation getting oriented. I must now start sleeptation getting sleeped.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tyler the Dad Has a Posse.

Tyler the Dad Has a Posse.
(I enjoyed the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art today.) Granted my posse consists of two toddlers and their mommy, but it's a posse nonetheless).

When I got home, I noticed an article online. The link is here, but just in case it dissolves I have pasted it here also with credits to the Boston Globe:

"BERLIN—German police said an elderly man was so annoyed at hearing the same serenade over and over that he called authorities to report his neighbors -- only to discover the culprit was a musical greeting card on his own windowsill. Police said Tuesday the 82-year-old from Goslar in central Germany told officers he was sick of the music, which would come at irregular intervals and at all hours.

Upon further investigation, police found the musical greeting card on his windowsill, where occasional breezes opened the card just enough to play an irritating tune.

Police said the retiree was happy to find out his neighbors weren't trying to annoy him."

That's hysterical! But, apparently I owe my neighbor next door an apology. I guess they haven't been singing Feliz Cumpleanos in their best Dora the Explorer voice all Winter after all. And Mrs. O'Shamrock stopped talking to me the day I suggested that her singing was worse than a 25-cent Mexican Music Box. I said Adios and forgot about it until I saw this article.

The story prompted me to find that card in my living room and throw it out immediately. But, I won't stop my visits to the local Hallmark store to see one particular Thinking Of You card. We have an understanding. She always opens up to me (no really, she does) and sings such sweet words to me. Repeatedly and confidently. Until they close the store at night and ask me to leave.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

If You Lived Here, You Would Be Reading About Toilet Seats and Olive Oil By Now

I have the week off between jobs. I was going to work on my book a little, but have been too restless. Perhaps tomorrow if the weather keeps me from going outdoors as planned. In the meantime, I've been running errands and making note of humorous observations along the way. Here are several:

My to-do list took me to Lowe's. My wife had a break in her schedule, so I picked her up on the way. Once we got there she said that she was glad that she came along so that I didn't go "overboard". Apparently, this has happened before. On my list of five items was a toilet seat. We really need to replace the seat in our 1/2 bath on the first floor of our house. Since we bought the house two years ago, sitting on that thing has given visitors a good scare when they begin to slide. Obviously they haven't actually fallen off, because there would have been a post or two about it by now.

At Lowe's, the toilet seat display is very interesting. The seats are hanging vertically from the standard metal shelving that they have throughout the store. I imagine that they are hanging like this, because they want to prevent folks from trying them out for comfort. Once we selected a seat based on visual inspection alone, we discovered that the new seats were behind the hanging displays. They were hung pretty high and a bit awkward to move. Therefore, one would have overheard in Aisle 12: Can you please lift the toilet seat while I pull one of those suckers out?

While driving to a meeting this afternoon, I noticed a run down beer and liquor store with no cars in the parking lot. The large sign out front said:

Ask About Our Olive Oil

ATM Inside

I'm not an expert on marketing, but I have a feeling that they need to change their sign if they want to sell more, I dunno, beer and liquor? It's not the olive oil or the ATM that's bringing people in. Who's running inside and asking for recommendations on olive oil? Something that goes well with fish and my in-laws. Oh and I'm going to buy a lot, so do you happen to have an ATM?

A popular chain of coffee shops now offers "Artisan Sandwiches". If sandwich making is an art, then I'm Picasso. Joking aside, please point me in the direction of the next Sandwich Artisan Open Studios.

I was in a clothing store today looking at dress socks. I wondered, how often to guys actually buy the combo of three socks of different shades? I can understand how this works for kids - stripes, polka dots, and dancing bunnies. But, how often does someone look at the package and think, Wow, those match my khaki, taupe, and dancing bunny pants perfectly! I would bet that 2/3 of the dress sock trio end up in the back of the drawer indefinitely.

Today, I also saw a sign in front of an apartment complex that read "If you lived here, you'd be home by now." I thought this sign was funny and creative when used in front of the condominiums along Storrow Drive in downtown Boston to taunt the drivers sitting in traffic. But, in the suburbs the sign doesn't make any sense. You could hang that sign anywhere and it would be true. It led me to think about how this sign could be more interesting under different circumstances:

If you lived here, you'd be dead by now. (Cemetery)
If you lived here, you'd have ten wives by now. (Polygamist Commune)
If you lived here, you'd be running a successful drug trafficking business by now. (Vacant Warehouse)
If you lived here, you'd be taking this sign down by now. (Anywhere)

Please leave a comment and tell me what else you would be doing by now if you lived here...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why Is Toilet Paper Embossed Anyways?

While at a popular coffee shop, I used the men's room. I noticed an unwrapped roll of toilet paper with the manufacturer's name, Envision, on it. That's very appropriate for a company who wants you to be forward-thinking when using their product or especially when planning to use their product (or not). In other words, try to "envision" a scenario where you didn't have any toilet paper.

As a side note, I Googled the product and the company and found advertisements for their "embossed" toilet paper. Subsequently, and not by accident, I found an online dictionary entry for "embossed" that read: "to mold or carve in relief". We've now moved from appropriate to inappropriate.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wearing Many Hats. Literally.

Although it was quite ambitious and a challenge to sustain, I miss the days of posting my humorous observations every day. Please do not misunderstand the more recent pauses between postings. It is not that there isn't any humor to share, but rather I've been laughing too hard to type. Okay, so that is only partially true. I've also been very busy. For now, I'll share a few things on my mind.

First of all, I'm still enjoying my Kreativ Blogger Award. However, with it comes the great responsibility of tagging two more bloggers worthy of the Award. I've been too busy to articulate my nominations, but plan to do so soon. It also wasn't helpful that I briefly lost the award. It's actually a virtual award, but I carry it everywhere. The morning after I received it, I was excited to take it to work. I carried it to my car along with my laptop and lunch. However, I must have left it on my car's roof and drove off without realizing it. Needless to say, my award fell off the roof and shattered into a million (virtual) pieces. Boy, was I embarrassed. So, I've been looking all week for a new one. As part of my strategy, I even posted "in search of" ads online in hopes of finding a suitable replacement. One particular ad, which offered massages in exchange for a new or "like new" Kreativ Blogger Award, got me in a bit of trouble with the police. In the end, I decided to make my own with the same virtual materials used to make the first one. Back on track, I'm planning to write more about my nominations soon.

This past week was my last week at my most recent job. It included a lot of dining out for lunch and dinner with friends and coworkers. One such outing was to a barbecue restaurant that also specialized in "chicken and waffles". Surprisingly, this is not the humorous part of the story. But, it's at least worth mentioning that I never thought that I would enjoy a waffle topped with fried chicken, 5 herb butter, maple syrup, and honey mustard sauce would be so good. One Inner Humorist reader made me proud with a great joke, including the words "waffle" and "chicken", when referring to another coworker's indecision about joining us for lunch.

The humorous part of the chicken and waffles experience was what happened when we ordered. As far as I could tell, there were three people working; the cashier, the cook, and The Expediter. The cashier did all the cooking and the cook did all the cashiering. Just kidding. Their roles and responsibilities were clear. The Expediter also had an important role. Actually, he had two. He stood near the chef behind a stainless steel table and faced the seating area. As the chef completed meals, he placed them on the table. When an order was complete, he yelled loudly "Order UP!" He then promptly walked around the table and picked up the order and bring it to the awaiting customer. Since I was with a party of nine, I had the opportunity to watch him do this repeatedly. Was he really announcing "Order UP!" to himself? Brilliant. When you are shorthanded and wearing many hats, why not make it clear to everyone around? In fact, if I were him I would probably swap hats as I rounded the table corner. I might someday have the opportunity. When I open my coffeeshop, I might "hire" a full staff of characters all of which I will act out independently. Unfortunately this business plan is instantly flawed, because as soon as the manager asked one of the slacker employees to clean the bathroom, I would quit.

On a separate topic, why does the spellcheck on Blogger highlight "bloggers" as a misspelling, but not "blogger"? They should have more confidence. Of course there's more than one. Or perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Is there a plural for "blogger" that I am unaware of? Like Bloog, Bleeg, or Bloggerie?

Finally, if you are reading please say hi. Leave a comment or "Follow" me. I promise not to "Lead" you anywhere that doesn't have chocolate.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Lickety Split

In my house, there is a lot of singing and dancing. Despite good advice by friends and my insurance agent, I too participate in the ongoing musical that is life in my home. I've been typecast as father, but have been known to play other roles such as Tickle Dog and Woogie from Something About Mary. And given my overall positive and humorous outlook on life, there is always something to sing about.

My wife and I try, sometimes unintentionally, to turn a word or phrase into song. I've lost count of how many times I have belted out instructions for the bedtime routine in my best tenor voice. My attempted soprano is bad enough to actually expedite bedtime routines and end otherwise perfect afternoons. If the kids knew the phrase "That's an hour of playtime I'll never get back," they certainly would have used it a million times by now. I also learned quickly that singing "Do you want a timeout? (I know you do!)" to the melody of Bob the Builder isn't nearly as effective as I hoped. However when we sing "Let's Go Lickety Split!", a phrase used to imply the need for great haste, the kids laugh and laugh as they pick up their pace.

My wife and I also catch ourselves singing our conversation to each other, even when the kids are in another room. We sing our conversation.

"How was your day?" I might sing.
"Please stop singing!" she might sing back.
"Do you want a timeout? (I know you do!)" I would conclude.

It's also very normal for us to take a normal phrase and make a silly song by truncating the words and making our own version of a remix. For example, "Zippity Do Da" might easily become "Zip it, Zip it! Do it! Do it! Zip Zip Zip it! Do it and Zip it!" This play with words is almost always safe with the kids, however recently my wife suddenly transformed a g-rated activity into a x-rated one when she tried to apply the word shortening and "It" appending game on the otherwise harmless phrase "Lickety Split". Go ahead, try it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kreativ Juices Are Flowing My Way

One of the great things about blogging is that a blogger develops a network. Blogging is a wonderful form of social media where we can write and read about things that interest us and meet complete strangers, most of whom are comfortable laughing at each other from a distance.  The network grows when bloggers need to escape the literary mosh pit in their heads and explore other blogs (i.e. verify that there are other energetic peeps with lots to say about lots of things). 

Most of my blogger friends will never get money from me unless chocolate or massages are involved. However, tonight I owe 10 cents to a blogger friend of a blogger friend for the use of the term 'Blogousy', giving name to what I struggle with every day. 

I also owe my new friend at Disposable Aardvarks Inc some cold cash for putting me on the scoreboard. I've been awarded a Kreativ Blogger award! Thanks Krista! More about the award in a moment, but first a little more about the nominating committee. Her keyword search for "non-vegetarians that think they're funny but aren't" led her to my blog and she decided to stay anyways. Coincidentally, I found her blog while trying to dispose of my aardvark. In all seriousness, her blog is very interesting and I've learned a lot from her. I can now make great vegetarian restaurant recommendations to my wife who is one annual turkey dinner away from being a vegetarian. I also learned from her blog that a Bento Box is not a certain Ford model that's had one too many accidents, but rather something much more powerful. Go check it out. I'll be waiting.

Ok, so back to my award! I did not know much about the Kreativ Blogger Award until I won. And I wonder if this ever happens to other prestigious award winners. Somehow, I just can't picture a rising Hollywood star on the phone, saying "Oscar who?" But given how excited I am about this award, I'm sure that only the most humble yet deserving recipients are caught off guard. 

I was curious about the origins of the award, so I did a quick Google search. Whilst typing it in, I learned that the award's name was worthy of Google's autofill feature instantly informing me of 192,000 results (what a precisely round number!) It turns out that 'Blogging' was actually a term used in prehistoric times to describe the act of writing on cave walls about other caves in the region. These blogs were typically very boring, for they were always about darkness, cave wall writing tools (which also looked like weapons), and missing bloggers. One particular blogger named Kreativ, a rather chipper Neanderthal who whistled through nose while he blogged, decided to stray from convention and start blogging about his relationship with a Cro-Magnon lady friend with whom he shared a cave. This particular topic had a lot of "followers" and his fellow bloggers, out of undeniable blogousy, gave him an award for being so, well, Kreativ

The Kreativ Blogger award disappeared for many thousands of years until life outside of caves got interesting again, at which time it was resurrected by a very creative woman in Norway

As the recipient of this noble award, the honor is bestowed upon me to select two more recipients of the Kreativ Blogger. To ensure that my pride and honor are passed completely to the new recipients, I am expected to be immediately humbled again by posting 7 facts about myself.  

Therefore, since I may never receive this award again, I'm going to savor every moment. I'm going to go to sleep with my Kreativ Blogger award on my nightstand. I may peek at it throughout the night and curl up on the couch with it tomorrow morning.  Hence, I will pass this great award to new recipients within the next day or so. I will also sort through fact and fiction, and post 7 things about myself soon. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lions Game

Through squinting eyes, I scan the sea of baseball caps and burnt scalps before me. The ocean of sweaty fans ripples and shimmers with each out, hit, and bleacher fight. Today, the mid-July temperature and relative humidity are tied in their race towards 100. Shiny beach balls reflect the sun's searing rays as they bounce aimlessly through the stadium, occasionally getting lost amongst brightly covered sunbrellas and half-naked fans covered in body paint inspired by team spirit and alcohol. One group of five shirtless men, one painted letter displayed proudly on each middle-aged belly, have misspelled the home team's fierce name as L-O-I-N-S. Later this evening, their "hear us roar" attitudes will wear off as they part ways and ride the bus home as 'L' or wave down a taxi as 'I'.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toll Plaza

When aiming my car, whilst speeding or inching along, towards a brightly-painted narrow passageway to pay a highway toll, I somehow miss the "plaza" part of the experience. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Very Important Announcement

Public relations professionals for politicians, professional athletes, and celebrities have given me a great idea. 

Therefore, this post is an announcement.  I would like to announce that tomorrow, I will announce an announcement about an upcoming announcement. This announcement or one of the subsequent announced announcements will generate more discussion than the final announcement. Hence, I may never actually need to make said final announcement.  The news about these high profile announcements will already have been leaked to the media and speculation will result in the creation of a very interesting new story. Please make it good and designed to elevate my world popularity in a very positive way. I look forward to it. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Major Minor

The phrase "minor heart attack" has been in the news a lot recently. I would like to propose that this three-word phrase be banned from the English and News Anchor languages. Instead, I would like to propose a better phrase that truly represents what one experiences, which can never be described as "minor".  I have given great thought towards a more appropriate way to articulate the meaning behind this phrase. Therefore, I would like to propose that we use, very simply, the phrase "heart attack". If you don't accept this proposal, I will give you a minor finger-in-your-eye. Then, let me know what you think.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

DUI On A Bar Stool

I recently got a speeding ticket. I earned it the moment I blew past a cop doing 75mph in a 55mph stretch of the Mass Pike. I'm going to court to fight it, because I have a great driving record and hope to charm the judge into reducing my penalty to a warning. I hope to keep it off of my record and prevent it from negatively effecting my insurance rates.  

I will probably add that my new car has more zip than my old one and I didn't realize my actual speed. Again, I deserved the ticket but hope that my good record will warrant at least one warning before further penalties.  I might also add that I had just driven into the Boston area from west of the city where the speed limit on the highway is 80mph. They won't check. Will they?

But, part of me is tempted to explain that I should get a reprieve in light of my innocence relative to other offenders in the news.  I could explain that my other vehicle is a homemade scooter consisting of lawnmower parts and a bar stool and that I often drive it from my garage right up to the bar (literally) and back home after a good bender. What if my bar stool and I were to go bar-hopping (although hop it wouldn't), a feat that would be impossible without some stool-scooter recklessness ? And the judge should definitely punish me if I were to cause a traffic accident while driving under the influence on my bar stool. If I were to total my vehicle, my embarrassing insurance claim would be enough punishment. Right. Because driving a bar stool around town wasn't.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Collection Revisited

These guys are in the news again today, so I thought I would post one from the vault for my newer readers to enjoy:

Will Speeding Drivers Have Their Subway Passes Confiscated?

I heard on the news this morning that Boston subway riders who evade paying the fare will be punished by having their driver's licenses suspended. How in the world will they get around now?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Hoolie

Today would have been Hoolie the Cat's 16th Birthday. 

Hoolie was an indoor cat. She escaped on a few occasions but never got far. After realizing that she had slipped out the back door so-to-speak, I would discover her rolling around in the nearest patch of grass.  Although I was always happy that she didn't run away, I had to question her motivation for the great escape. To munch on a few blades of grass only to puke them up later? Instead, I decided that the four walls of my apartment were driving her catty and a little sunlight on her matted fur was a tempting opportunity.

Even if she decided to run for it, pedestrians would slow her down as they stopped to pet the "cute little dog". Besides, it wouldn't be long before her belly got stuck as she tried to hop a curb. 

In honor of Hoolie, who passed away a few years ago I'm posting a link to a couple humorous posts about her.

Hard Drives: Who Knew Computers Also Had Bad Commutes?

I received an email at work today simply asking "What time today should I stop by with your new memory?"

I was tempted to write back to the nice fellow in IT to explain that I couldn't remember what this was for. 


Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, Officer? Honestly, I didn't realize. You see, my rear view mirrors are all broken. Besides, I couldn't see anything around the ECNALUBMA van that was tailgating me so aggressively.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Before Kids, I Shook My Booty And All That

My social life is so lame now that the only time I shake my booty is when I check to see if the bag is empty.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Access Denied

After driving to work each morning, I start my work day with a very simple ritual. 

I coordinate my already-painful commute so that I arrive at the parking garage just after someone determined to find a spot on the lower levels.  After 10 minutes of stop and go (in the parking garage!), I arrive on the sixth or seventh level.  

I walk to Starbucks for my first Venti coffee of the day, paying for it with a "thank you" that receives a nod in reply that silently says "we'll see you later for your refill complimentary with your registered and loaded Starbucks card, you pathetic addict". 

Sipping my liquid gold, I usually walk a block to work and use my key card to gain access to the back door. Soon thereafter, I'm plugging in my laptop in my office on the third floor thinking about the free refill in my future.

However one day recently, my key card didn't work on the back door. I knew that the proximity sensor was working, because moments before I had watched someone 30 feet in front of me open the door and let it slam before I could get there to catch it.  I would have beat the slowly closing door had I not been fumbling my coffee, card, lunch, and computer bag. Once my card failed to grant access, I was contemplating a short walk around the building to reception when someone I recognized from the seventh floor came along to open the door. After the prerequisite "Do you work here? Ha Ha Ha" and more fake laughter all around, I followed him into the building. 

I took the stairs so as to avoid more stupid small talk on the elevator with my acquaintance. When I got to the third floor, I remembered that my access required my key card again. It was still in my hand, so I quickly flashed it in front of the sensor hoping that my earlier access problems were a fluke. No luck. I stood there for a few minutes in the stairwell, peering through the door window waiting for someone to walk by and let me in. Nobody appeared and after a couple of minutes of waiting, I decided to address my key card problem sooner than later. 

I walked down stairs to the lobby and approached the security desk with my card still in hand.  

"There's something wrong with my key card," I explained as I extended the card to him. "I bet someone new is sitting at my desk too."

The security guard feigned laughed as he reached for the card and said "Perhaps I'll have to escort you from the building later."

I reciprocated with more laughter. This time it was nervous laughter as I tried to determine how serious he was.

He looked at the card before looking up at me with a smile.

"This card isn't working because your balance is too low" he said as he handed back my Starbucks card.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Love For Dove

Dove's Milk Chocolate Promises are a weakness of mine. Their Promise brand is perpetuated by the quotes and fortunes written in cursive on the inside of the wrapper. These appropriately named candies are full of promises simply by the nature of being, wrapper or not. They promise to expand my waistline. Two handfuls of them promise to replace a nutritious meal. A bag, with mouth wide open, promises to call for me late at night while I'm trying to sleep. I swear I hear them.

I'm much stronger now than I once was. I've learned to resist the urges that are typical of a Dove chocolate addiction. I've reduced my weekly intake from 2 bags to less than 1/4. I still keep two bags in the kitchen cabinet and a top secret emergency bag in my drawer at work, however I often forget that they are there.

Tonight, I was driving home and getting quite hungry as I sat in traffic. The apple didn't cut it and the pretzels were long gone. I suddenly remembered that I had a bag of Dove Promises in my bag. They are ultimately destined to replace the empty bag in my desk drawer at work, but I forgot to transfer the bounty this afternoon. I quickly unzipped the outer pocket of my computer bag, tore open the Dove chocolate bag, and grabbed one of those suckers. I was in a trance, mesmerized by the blue metallic wrapper and the promise of chocolate heaven that lay within. Yet, I was still able to appreciate the healthy choice to take only one. I was proud of my recent progress in fighting the addiction. To eat one and stop there has been a great milestone in the quest to conquer my inner chocoholic. 

While savoring my chocolate surprise, I read the inside of the wrapper and was pleased with it's message. It simply stated:

Create Your Own Peace.

With that, I ate seven more.

Apparently, It's For My Own Safety

I received an "Urgent Voluntary Consumer Recall". This consumer is game, but I definitely won't fit in the small envelope that they provided.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Does Forever Have An Expiration Date?

My new car came with a complimentary subscription to XM radio. I have been listening to my satellite radio on the Infinity stereo system. However, the subscription only lasts 3 months. So much for infinity.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Adam - I'm Sorry About Your Cell Phone Minutes

The phone that I currently own is primarily used for personal calls and business calls and frequent gravity checks performed by my children. It's also proved to be a good distraction method with my children. They enjoy playing with my phone so much, that it's good collateral during negotiations that have reached a standstill.  

They frequently call people by accident and send the same pic to unsuspecting recipients. Fortunately, it's just a low resolution picture of the inside of my car taken by the same kids spamming my friends and coworkers. My friend Adam is at the top of my contacts list and must be completely desensitized to calls from my phone. (Adam - if you are reading this, you could pick up every now and then in case it really is me). They also create new contacts such as "ZAAAAAQ9I" and "5555H". As long as the corresponding phone numbers never start with 911, I think we're safe.

I was determined to use the To Do List feature.  This was my own way of convincing myself that I didn't need a Blackberry or IPhone. Who needs one of those, when I have a TO DO LIST? My phone is pretty old school.  Blue tooth? Nah. If anything, it's got Broken Tooth. So naturally, the first thing on the To Do List was to "Buy a Blackberry or IPhone". At least I was organized about it.

I've had this phone for a year now and my use of the To Do List has tapered off.  In fact, I stopped looking at it several months ago. One day recently, I realized that I hadn't checked my list in awhile. I flipped open my phone and navigated to my list. I was horrified to find that I had one unfinished task labeled high priority (in addition to buying a much cooler phone)! How could this have happened? I know that I'm somewhat scatter brained, but I rarely let such important things slip. The task even has an exclamation point next to it, which clearly indicates the level of excitement one must exhibit when performing such a high priority task. Either that or my phone is being passive aggressive in it's efforts to alert me to this task.  

Now, I would write more but I have a very important task to complete.  But first, I must figure out what "NMMNMNMMMO" is and get it done ASAP.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Enrolling In Daycare

I love my children so much that I've decided to enroll in their daycare so as to be with them every minute of the day.  Granted, I could simply keep them home from daycare and still have the quality time without the cost.  However, going to daycare would be so much more fun.  The benefits of this approach include new friends, new toys, and frequent educational activities. The alphabet never gets old and my readers know how much I love words.

My proposal will include a request for equal participation in snacks, naps, and outdoor play. I share well and I'm potty trained. I'll also need a desk with high-speed internet access and good cell phone reception so that I could maintain a work-from-daycare kinda job so as to pay my way through childcare. I would also blog about my experiences there.

I wonder if my kids would eventually ask me to leave.  They might tire of my constant need for their hugs and positive feedback. I might even be shunned by the entire daycare population. What if I was actually banished from the kids' table? This proposal needs work. In the meantime, I'll hang with my adult peers with whom I'll continue to work on language development, sharing with others, and overall good behavior. 

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Dear Tyler,

Please accept this note written with genuine sincerity.  I always knew that we were meant to be friends, however your recent displays of affection have overwhelmed me with gratitude.  

I will never forget that when we first met, you saw my heart.  However, your interest in me has only increased since I broke an arm and occasionally look like the letter J or a deformed P. When I come to you as a tear drop, you are kind enough not to draw attention to it when others are around. And you seemed extremely happy to see me when I came to you after they dumped chocolate all over me and tossed me in a bag with a bunch of rejects. I'll never forget your uncontrollable expressions of joy.

I'm damaged goods. I'm sometimes called a "second".  I've even been labeled "hurt", which truly reflects how I'm feeling these days.  Even when things seem to be going well, I'm almost always removed from my peer group and deemed worthless.  Yet, you continue to devour my imperfections.  You light up when I'm in the room and you savor every moment we have together.  Thanks again. You're such a sweet-tooth.

Yours Truly,
"Hurt" Chocolate Covered Pretzels
p.s. I won't tell anyone about our late night rendezvous in the kitchen. ;)

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Vote To Eliminate The Penny (and Partial Penny)

After putting gas in my car, I realized that I didn't have enough cash to pay for it.  Thankfully, another person in line gave me the $.009 that I needed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It Hurts To Tumble Dry

My gloves were getting pretty dirty.  After a "wash in cold water" as instructed by it's label, I then decided to "lay flat to dry".  Feeling silly with the laundry room floor under me and wet gloves on my hands, I stared at the ceiling thanking my lucky stars that I bought such a "cool iron" recently.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just Don't Call Him "Shrimp"

Inmate #1:  What are you in for?

Inmate #2:  Stealing shrimp...

Inmate #1:  Haaahahahahaaaaaaa. Really? Can I call you Bubba Gump? 
HEY GUYS, this guy's in for stealing shr-

Inmate #2:  -and first-degree murder.
Inmate #1:  Oh.

Idea provided by: 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Fear of Popsicles

The past couple weeks have been very busy in my household. I wish I could tell you that we were doing something amazing like going to work or eating a full meal, but instead my family and I have been fighting a stomach bug. Please don't be concerned; I won't be sharing these details with you.

Instead I will tell you that on top of this year's flu, I was the grand prize winner of a bonus medical issue. I have developed an allergy to the cold weather. My mind and body have given up their fight against shoveling snow.  College in upstate New York and post-graduate life in Boston have finally taken their toll.  The winters aren't that bad, but apparently I belong somewhere warmer.

My skin, as messenger for the brain, has sent me a clear message: We're done. Instead of leaving me a nice little post-it note on the fridge, Skin chose another medium.  Hives.

When these itchy red bumps appeared all over my body early last week, I took 10 minutes online to become a dermatologist. With my honorary Google degree, I quickly self-diagnosed myself as having "cold hives".  

Cold hives are actually a very serious condition that are often the symptom of a more serious disease or develop on their own without known causes.  Therefore, I am not here to make humor out of a very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing skin condition.  I have no intentions to offend anyone or receive hate mail.  In fact, if this were true I would need to stop writing this and instead write myself a really mean nasty email because I'm wicked uncomfortable.  In fact, I have also decided that the cold hives are the beginning of the end so how DARE I WRITE THIS BLOG POST?!?!?!?! Ok, so I digress.

The hives are induced by cold temperatures.  Walking outside in cold weather has resulted in a major breakout. My morning meeting at work was a new experience. Bare feet on my cold kitchen floor became very uncomfortable as I got ready for work. Washing dishes with luke warm water. Hives. Looking for dinner in the freezer. Just not worth it. And I got hives.  

However I share this story because in keeping with the theme of this blog, humor still presented itself to me when I was experiencing the most frustration and discomfort. While chatting with my wife one cold night about the day's events, I started to tease my wife about something unrelated. To get a laugh from her when one didn't come forth fast enough, I moved as if to tickle her.

Faster than you could say Woogie she yelled, "Don't do that or I'll open the front door!" This stopped my dead in my tracks and the teasing stopped immediately. 

As part of my self-diagnosis, I did what my online medical training prepared me for. I performed an ice cube test, which involves self-torture to prove a point already well made.  I'm looking forward to a doctor's visit later this week so that I can actually make the point to a fellow medical professional.  I probably should have taken a picture of the first test results, but I wasn't really thinking clearly while itching the hell out of an ice-cube size welt on my arm.

I have been able to manage the hives.  This requires wearing a hat and gloves outdoors more often, socks on the kitchen floor, and an extra layer at all times.  But, I'm occasionally caught off guard.  For example, this morning droplets of cold water must have rolled down each arm while shaving, resulting in matching streaks-of-fiery-itch. Later in the morning, I grabbed a carton of cold milk from the fridge. What was I thinking?!?

Until I learn more about these cold hives and their cause, please be nice to me and send me warm thoughts.  But if you really want to get my attention, attack me with a popsicle.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Slow-Talker Fast-Typer

In the checkout line at Toys R Us today, we were greeted by a pimple-faced teenager.  He spoke very slowly and I thought it would take forever to get through the Hello's and HowAreYou's. He also took his time asking if we wanted to open a credit card to get 10% off.  

But, after carefully articulating the question "Would you mind giving me your phone number?", this slow-talker typed with lightening speed.  When he took the credit card number, he typed it with one hand faster than a world champion speed typer.  It was amazing and I theorized that he has needed to develop the ability to perform other non-speaking tasks faster than the average person simply to make up for lost time.  He might actually be a robot, which is a theory that piques my interest but might ultimately result in a decrease in this blog's followers. 

I can't help but wonder where else he compensates for slow-talking. Does he eat fast, write fast, or wash dishes fast?  If Flash's only speedy skill is typing, then he needs a new career.  Perhaps he'll write this blog if I were to dictate, because I have a lot to say.  But the rules would be clear.  I would explain, "I talk. You type. Go."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Being Sick Isn't Funny At All

Which is why I haven't written much this week. I'm on the mend, so hope to be back soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Study Shows That Cheerios Are Eaten By People With Hair

My box of Frosted Cheerios has a coupon for a haircut.  Well, it's about time. For years, I've been saying that cereal companies and hair salons should get together and do some co-marketing.  Ok, so I'm being somewhat facetious.  

Actually, I find it quite humorous.  What in the world do these two have in common? Perhaps the Chief Cheerio Officer married the Chief Executive Hairstylist at their respective companies and decided to mix business with pleasure?  

I hope that these particular hair salons are serving up Cheerios. That would only be fair. I would love a bowl of cereal while I wait.  I just wouldn't want any cut hairs flying into my bowl. This concept might need further development. 
Well, this marketing campaign certainly isn't working on this follicle-challenged Cheerio-eater. However, I suddenly have this urge to get the little hair that I have Frosted.

Monday, March 16, 2009

When A Sign Resigns

At work, there's a floor-to-ceiling whiteboard in the conference room.  The whiteboard is the wall and the wall is the whiteboard. For anyone who ever wanted to write on the wall (without getting a timeout by their parents), here is their chance. 

Attached to the wall itself, high up and near to the ceiling, there is a sign stating:

"This wall will be cleaned every Monday morning at 9am."

As long as that sign is still posted on the wall itself, the facilities employee responsible for cleaning that wall will never have a perfect performance review. Will they?  I guess there's always room for improvement.  Now, will someone get that guy a ladder?

This gave me a great idea.  For fun, make a sign that simply reads in large bold letters on bright paper: "Remove This Sign" or "Don't Remove This Sign". Removal of either sign will be done with some uncertainty. Make hundreds and post them all over your workplace and watch...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm Building An Addition Onto My House

to store the Family Size box of Honeycomb cereal I just bought.  It's being delivered between 10 and 2 next Wednesday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Bark With Great Enthusiasm

I bark with great enthusiasm and I have a ferocious meow. My cow moo is of extremely high quality and done with great commitment. And my snake Ssssssss'es would make even my childhood speech therapist proud. That's because I'm a Dad.  

A Dad's 200% effort towards any parent-child activity can result in behavior outrageous enough to rival similar behavior demonstrated (as witnessed by third parties) during his own college drinking days.  In my case, I'm sure that there were some late night and early morning barks, meows, and hisses, but they were most likely without as much clarity and conviction.  I can at least verify that I once participated in a moo'ing contest so embarrassing that even the winners were left feeling defeated.

If Daddy Spectator were a real magazine, I would probably get 96 points and a tip that "my dog barks are best paired with tickle fingers".  This type of confidence can only be demonstrated by one type of individual.

I am Tickle Dog.  Like many parents, I have found the secret to making my children squeal with laughter at the simple uttering of a word. Or in my case, a dog bark. Tickle Dog crawls on his aging hands and knees, barking like he's never barked before.  When he finds a little kid, Tickle Dog initiates a tickling, barking, and kissing frenzy.  But, Tickle Dog is easy to escape from.  He doesn't want his victims to kick him in the jaw again. Tickle Dog has a short learning curve. Besides, he has another little kid to find once he's done with the last one.

Recently, there have been requests for Tickle Dog and I happily oblige.  In mid-tickle, I often get a request for Tickle Cat at which time I lash out on my victims with a flurry of mad meows, tickles, and kisses.  This activity is good until Tickle Dog or Tickle Cat, tired and sore, falls down on the ground and does his best Sleeping Dog or Sleeping Cat imitation.  

A few days ago, I was Tickle Dog followed by Tickle Cat.  I then received requests, spaced apart by a few minutes, for Tickle Cow and Tickle Snake.  After enough hissing to make my numb tongue (which is not a typo but rather how it would have sounded if I tried to say it at the time), my son yelled "now do Tickle Parent!"

Tickle Parent?  I was stumped.  Here I was, a Tickle Parent in the flesh and a darn good one, but I stopped dead in my slither.  I thought to myself, "How do I-... But, I'm already a-...What does a-...". Isn't a Tickle Dog, by definition, a Tickle Parent? I guess it's not if there really is a dog out there that tickles little kids.  What would their Tickle Parent look like? I digress.

For a moment, I considered how well tickles and kisses would combine with firm parental statements such as "You will have a timeout if you don't take your pancakes off of the wall" or "We share the 'Yay'".  However, I decided that these conflicting messages could potentially cause lifelong issues.  A strong psychological association between discipline, pancakes, tickling, and kissing could result in some really awkward circumstances later in life.

So, after a long pause, I debuted as Tickle Parent.  I did what comes as naturally to a parent as a meow comes to a cat and a moo to a cow.

I stood up and, with great enthusiasm, yelled "I Love You! I Love You!" and attacked with tickles and kisses. It was the proud role of Tickle Parent that kept me from collapsing into a Sleeping Parent position.  Instead, after a very long stretch of playing Tickle Parent, I was able to invoke Sleeping Kids.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Medicine For Kids Living a Double Life

Like every medicine, Children's Benadryl Allergy medicine has it's warnings clearly labeled on the box.  I read it carefully this evening as I considered waking my daughter (age 2) to give it to her to treat alleged hives.  Two warnings seem to contradict themselves, and they are as follows:
  • Marked drowsiness may occur.
  • Excitability may occur.
I'm pretty certain that the above statements contradict themselves.  So which is it?  Is it an excited drowsy experience or a drowsy excited one?  Regardless, it's clearly going to be marked.

I will also add that the Children's Benadryl warnings suggests that "when using this product":
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • Be careful when driving a vehicle or operating machinery.
In case you are wondering, I decided not to wake my daughter to give her the medicine.  She had just arrived home from a long day at the monster truck rally where she was competing in the Under-6 category (booster seats and modified brake and gas pedals are standard), but lost because of her alcohol consumption.  People thought that she was on Children's Benadryl because of her marked drowsy excitability, when in fact she was simply a drunk toddler.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Busy Removing Dried Goods From the Fridge

While my better half is out of town, I'll be quite busy.  I will write when I can, so please keep checking in.  Oh...and now's a great time to de-lurk and say hi.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Calling For Intestinal Fortitude

I'm up late tonight, because I'm preparing a presentation.  I'm part of a "task force", which is a high-powered force of taskers.  If I work with you, please don't get me wrong; I love being on the task force.  However after a couple of hours working with Powerpoint, I'm feeling a bit punchy and have decided that "task force" is a strange phrase that makes me laugh heartily. Not really, but I wanted to use the word heartily today and I was running out of time.  

The 'task' in 'task force' refers to the act of actually being part of the task force itself.  It's a bit circular, in my opinion.  Therefore, the 'force' can only describe what someone did to me to get me involved.

Okay, so I do realize that 'force' is a name given to the team to enable them to do great things with tasks.  It's often given in place of other resources, such as additional equipment, staffing, or coffee.  Instead, we are expected to join our colleagues and continue to remind ourselves that we are a FORCE!  A force with a TASK!  

In fact, a synonym for 'task' is 'calling' and a synonym for the relevant meaning of 'force' is 'intestinal fortitude'.  Therefore, I will for now on refer to a task force as a "Calling for Intestinal Fortitude".  In other words, we'll order lunch for every meeting.

On a separate note I wanted to mention that when my wife is traveling soon, I plan to remove half of the refrigerator's contents until about an hour before her return.  Why? Because there's beer back there. I just know it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Please, Keep Your Feet Off Of The Foot Rest

Whenever we have company, I'm reminded that we have an unusual rule in our house.  It is best introduced with the statement often heard in our living room: "Keep your feet off of the ottoman!" I typically use that specific phrase to lighten the mood around what is a very serious toddler crime.

A couple years ago, we purchased a long red ottoman.  It was brought to our home as an alternative to a coffee table.  It's cushion top and corners are soft and we would never have to worry about trips to the emergency room with a toddler who did a face-plant on a wooden or glass tabletop. To keep it clean, we vacuum it. 

This particular ottoman opens to reveal a top-secret storage compartment, which is currently empty. I occasionally look in there to see what the kids have stored, but it seems that they don't go in there much. I lost my patience once and asked the kids if they had seen it. I'm not positive, but I think my son told me it was in there. I was afraid to look.

The table is not designed for parental dining and is too cushy even for the occasional coffee cup. However, the kids have come to learn that it is a table for sippy cups, kids plates and bowls, and toys.  They also know that if the kids plates and bowls tip over, we will vacuum it later. They have also learned that they are not to put their feet on the table. This includes standing on the table, laying on the table, dancing on the table, or jumping onto the table.  

It's only when we have company that we remember that our table was designed for feet.  Other kids (and some parents) can't help but put their feet on the foot rest.  And that's completely understandable.  Which is why, I realize how confused our kids must be about some of our rules.  Just to illustrate their disappointment with the conflicting messages, they decided to open it today and climb into the top-secret storage compartment. As a result, our new house rule is "Do not store your sibling in the ottoman."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Took the Cake and Liked It

I just discovered Edy's "Take the Cake" ice cream. It seems perfect for the lazy party-goer.  Why bother with cake and ice cream when they can be one and the same?  And why even pretend that you want an ice cream cake when all you really want is cake ice cream? 

I love "Take the Cake".  In fact, if all of my food could be successfully processed into a delicious ice cream flavor, my life goal to eat ice cream at every meal would become a reality.  But it will have to remain a dream, because I suspect that an enjoyable steak and cheese ice cream will remain in R&D for many more years.  Although Jones Soda, the makers of Turkey & Gravy soda and Green Bean Casserole soda, would say that nothing is impossible. 

In trying to find a picture of "Take the Cake" ice cream, all I could find was Edy's nutritional information.  I was relieved to see that tapioca maltodextrin is in there but it's the Red #3, Yellow #5, Blue #1, and Red #40 that really say quality.  Well, at least they say party.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blinking Has Ruined My Career As An Eye Model

I am often complimented on my bright blue eyes and long eyelashes. In light of the constant pressure they endure, albeit intra-ocular, I think that they could handle the tough criticism which is standard in the modeling industry. However I always thought that my biggest issue would be blinking. To the eye model, isn't that the equivalent of a runway model covering themselves in a flesh-colored blanket every 5 seconds only to suddenly reappear covered in tears? Wouldn't it be equally damaging to a hand model's career if they tucked their hands in their armpits throughout a shoot? However, it unfortunately wouldn't be tears covering this poor model's hands.  

Okay, so my metaphor examples are starting to fall apart, but the issue is still the same. I'm clearly not cut out for eye modeling. Blinking has ruined my eye modeling career before I even started.

My Acting Debut as "The Asteroid"

I love the Jimmy Dean commercials in which a cheery guy, dressed up in a yellow sun costume, takes himself very seriously when talking to his family and friends, The Moon and The Rainbow, about eating a good breakfast.  As he figures it, who can complain about not having time for breakfast when he himself has to illuminate the entire eastern seaboard before, well um....before he himself (ahem) rises.  All racy comments about this aside, his argument seems a bit flawed given that he's always illuminating someplace, no?  

In addition to this, I can't help but wonder what the sunny guy dresses up as at Halloween.  The only thing I can guess is that he, The Moon, and The Rainbow have a really awkward moment at the office when they quickly trade outfits in the office supply closet.  Despite the uncomfortableness of this get together, I suspect it would always go smoothly.  That is, unless The Rain shows up unexpectedly as it sometimes does.

I have considered auditioning for the role of 'Asteroid' on Jimmy Dean's commercials. I don't have any acting skills, but I hope that the casting director would appreciate my creativity.  As part of my efforts to truly embrace the role, I would miss the audition completely by hurtling past the studio "Like a Rock" in a Chevy truck at high speeds.  I might even get a dozen or so of my unemployed non-actor friends to rent Chevy trucks and help me simulate an asteroid field in the same way but en masse.

And if I didn't get the Jimmy Dean gig, I would audition for a role in the new Prudential logo.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gourmet Pub Is An Oxymoron

Thanks to a coworker for giving me the idea of a bar that has special Hoppy Hour specials during which it serves up pints of IPA with Kangaroo Burgers. Or Grasshopper cocktails with deep-fried Rabbit. 

*Ok so it's a bad pun but it made me laugh and this is my blog, peeps!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

McNugget Meltdown

I'm glad I turned on the news this evening while driving home, because otherwise I would have missed the breaking news story about the woman who called 911 when McDonald's ran out of chicken nuggets.  

Why is this woman in trouble?  It truly is a crime for McDonald's to have a nugget shortage. What happened to the benefits normally gained from "economies of scale" and "global logistics" when they can't get some over-processed chicken chunks to the customers when the customers most desperately need them?  They should have at least rolled something up in flour, deep-fried it with their famous fries, and served 'em up hot!  Anything they could find, as long as it fell into the very broad 'nugget' category.  But no. Instead they humiliated this woman by denying her right to chicken nuggets on demand. And then they called the cops on her.  Oh wait. I guess she called the cops on herself, didn't she?

I think that the woman did the right thing and the cops are over-reacting to her use of 911. Besides, she probably would have called even if the nuggets were in stock. Have you ever really looked closely at one of those things?

This story reminded me of something that happened to me once.  It's a bit tangential, but in my brain it's still on the same plane of absurdity.  I once worked next to a large supermarket that also had a very popular deli contained within.  Besides having a lot of prepared meals (including chicken nuggets), they were also staffed to make sandwiches to order.  

On one particular day, I ordered a sandwich from the menu.  When asked what condiments I wanted, I said mustard.  The store employee promptly informed me that they were all out of mustard.

From where I was standing, I could (and did) lean backwards far enough to see the supermarket aisles over which signs clearly stated their contents.  Aisle 4 read "Condiments".   I reminded the deli dude that he was in a supermarket, you know, where they sell food.  He told me that they weren't allowed to simply get mustard from Aisle 4. It's not that easy, he said. Huh?

Okay, so I realize that he probably did not have the authority, means, or self-confidence to simply pluck supplies off the shelf.  Even in an emergency like this.  But, I probably could have figured out how to make it happen faster than he could. I was pretty annoyed and made it clear that my sandwich was incomplete thanks to corporate protocol.  

Now I realize that I should have called 911.