I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I'm moving to a new schedule at work, where I leave the office around 2 PM. I've already seen one immediate benefit: I get a lot more done. Today, I saw a different benefit: door-to-door magazine salesmen think I'm unemployed. That is worth a hoot and a holler on its own.
Around 3 PM today, I heard a knock on the front door. I opened up the door to find a friendly man with a catalog. I could tell where this was headed; I'm really bad about telling people no when it comes to stuff like that, so I was mentally prepared to sign up for a subscription to Ferret Fancy magazine. The guy starts into his sales ramble, then he stops and asks, "What line of work are you in? Construction? Times are tough in that line of work, I understand if you can't buy anything." Booyeah! Not only do I save money, but the guy leaves actually feeling some sympathy for me, the tightwad.
This is amazing for a few reasons. First and foremost, construction? I hardly know how to work a glue gun. The largest thing I've ever built was a birdhouse at Cub Scout Camp, and no bird in its right mind would ever get into the stupid thing. They used to poop on it on purpose, I believe. Second, I truly believe that had I said anything to confirm that guy's suspicions, I could've got some free magazines out of the deal. I'll have to remember that for next time.
One more thing here. Have you been looking for a slow, kinda stupid chess program to play against on your computer? Look no further, I have uploaded one called RubeChess. I like to pick out a decent-sized project when learning a new programming language, and RubeChess served as my introduction to Ruby. That is one awesome language.
Wahoo, Thanksgiving! Mine was a success. I ate a lot, saw the family, helped to deep fry a turkey, attended an NHL game, saw No Country for Old Men, and spent a great deal of time on I 35. It was five straight days of success.
Oh, and speaking of No Country for Old Men, a few nights before I went to see the movie, I actually played trivia in a bar against one of the stars of the film, Mr. Barry Corbin. That dude is one stone cold mother when it comes to trivia. If he could bring the same level of intensity to the movie set that he did to his little trivia box, then after a few years, we'd stop referring to Academy Awards as Oscars and start calling them Corbies. I'm telling you, the man is an information-retrieval machine. (He is also quite good in No Country for Old Men.)
Now that Thanksgiving is past, it's time to get serious about Christmas. Since I don't have much money this year, it means I need to begin scouring the wooded areas and trash cans of Austin for gift ideas. Yes, I may be giving you a dead raccoon for Christmas, but it's coming straight from the heart.
I almost got myself killed on a golf course on Saturday.
Austin has lots of cheap municipal courses, and that's usually where I play. I stick to them for two reasons: they're cheap and I'm terrible.
One of the downsides to the cheap munis is that they can be in some strange locations, such as in the middle of an urban area. And to top it off, sometimes they put the holes in strange places, like right alongside a very busy street in the middle of an urban area. Perhaps you see where this is headed.
On Saturday, my legal representative, Dean Zyvarb, and I were golfing at Hancock, one of these cheap municipal courses. One of the holes there runs parallel with Red River, which is a major, major street around downtown Austin. We're not talking some little two-laner residential street, either. This street runs right through the UT campus and is always packed with traffic.
Like I was saying, this one hole is parallel to Red River. Not only is it parallel, but it's really close to the street. In fact, the hole is so close to the street that if you slice your first shot by 30 or 40 yards, your ball will be rifled into the middle of this major road near downtown. I've seen a few people do this before (including myself), but I've never seen anybody actually hit a car or a person, thankfully. Of course, if one plays there enough, that's bound to change.
Dean went first on that hole, and he hit it pretty well. Next, it was my turn. I must say here that I was slightly nervous. Not only is this hole right by Red River, but it's also next to a major intersection, so you have lots of people gawking. Even in the most low-pressure scenario, me at the driving range, I'm pretty awful, so any additional scrutiny means things get dangerous. Hitting a pedestrian and knocking out their eyeballs is a definite possibility.
I step up to the tee and I hit my drive pretty well, but it is not straight. It's definitely got some mustard on it and it's curving right. In fact, It's curving directly towards Red River, which is conveniently stacked up with traffic.
Roughly one second later, my ball whanged thunderously off of the roof of a silver Xterra.
"What am I supposed to do?" I said.
"Run," advised my lawyer, as he took off down a hill.
I didn't really feel good about running though, since I did hit a dude's car, and hard, with my ball. I decided to just stay in there in case the guy wanted some insurance info. I figured the worst case scenarios went A) Run over by Xterra; B) Forced to pay for body work on Xterra; C) Attacked by Xterra driver. (I wasn't that afraid of being attacked since I did have a big bag of clubs with me.)
Sure enough, the Xterra wheeled around over towards me. As it approached, the passenger in the car rolled the window down. I was ready for a civil conversation; after all, it was my fault and I felt bad about it. At the same time, it wasn't like I did it on purpose. If I could target the roof of an SUV from 200 yards away, I'd use that talent for good, not for zinging balls out into traffic.
As the Xterra passed by, it did not stop or even slow down. Instead, the passenger leaned out, gave me the finger, and unleashed a torrent of obscenity at me. I didn't really follow exactly what she said, but it was something along the lines of, "Thanks for hitting my car," along with a few f bombs. And since they clearly didn't want anything from me, my response was, "Anytime."
I've got a great service for lazy people. These people could pay a certain fee and then, whenever they wanted, they could swap their car out for a different one. If you had this service and it came time for an oil change, and you weren't really in the mood to spend an hour with the crappy magazines at the Jiffy Lube, you'd just swap for a new car. Problem solved.
Imagine the possibilities. Need to rotate your tires? I don't think so; you need to swap your car. Your car is dirty? Not quite; some other chump's car is dirty, while your new car is as clean as a whistle.
Also, to really capitalize on the laziness aspect, it'd be best if I didn't have to take my car anywhere to swap it. I should just be able to stand in my driveway and shout "Give me a new car!" in order to make the switch.
This offering has a lot to do with the fact that my car is dirty, and also needs an oil change and tire rotation.
Over Thanksgiving, I am going to go crazy and move this here site to a new server. I just... I can't take it anymore. I think the support people at my hosting company are so tired of dealing with me, they're signing me up for every viagra mailing list in the world. They're trying to spam me out, and they're doing a very effective job.
Does it matter to anyone else if I move to a new server? Not really. My email will still be just as broken, and I'll accidentally delete just as many parts of the site. However, on the positive side, it also means Papa will have an extra $8 a month in his pocket! Wooo Lordy, that's a lot of hard candy.
If anybody tells me we're a week and a half away from Thanksgiving, I'm going to bust that person in the chops. It's not going to be a light busting, either; I'm going to knock their chops off and mangle the chops-area so thoroughly that chops-attachment surgery will fail.
I think I'm so worked up over Thanksgiving because 1) we haven't really had any pants weather here in Austin and 2) Halloween sucked.
To address my first point, I think that every day since February, it's been possible to wear shorts. And by possible to wear shorts, I mean socially acceptable for regular people to wear shorts around town, not just stoners who only leave the house to hit the post office.
With regards to point 2... I can't really justify that. But did anyone get spooked? Did anyone see any great costumes? Since I didn't hear about any of this, I think not.
Could we just keep Thanksgiving in a holding pattern until both conditions are met? We could just have week after week of trick-or-treat and balmy weather, until finally, sometime in late February, it gets chilly AND we stop half-assing our costumes.
That actually goes back to an idea I've long held: holidays would be a lot more interesting if they were held arbitrarily. Instead of having Christmas once a year, we could skip a few years, then have it two weeks in a row in June. I think we should only get a day or two of notice before the holiday, also. If you think the holiday shopping season is intense now, just wait until all of Dillards have been wiped out by last week's Christmas.
These are my ideas, and I leave it to Congress to implement them as I see fit.
Finally, let's all direct some good thoughts to Danza, who's loaded up on pain meds and sassing the nurses at a Dallas-area hospital. Get well quickly, amigo.
Somebody here is taking a hefty, hefty paycut and he's very excited about it. Hint: it may or may not be me.
My goal, like every other American, is to be paid obscenely for doing absolutely no work. Having a job doesn't really fit into that, since employers expect you to work in exchange for your salary. Being on welfare doesn't really fit into that either, since the government doesn't pay that well. The ideal scenario would really combine the best of the two: I'd sit on my ass like a welfare queen while people throw big bags of money at me and pay for my dental care.
The best way to accomplish that, I figure, is to start my own company and become a titan of some industry. What industry? I'm not sure yet; I'm leaning towards feather boas or something new that I'm calling porn 'n beans.
Anyway, with my partner Pattylicious Lioi, we're starting on just that task. We've got a couple of ideas and we're putting them out there for the world before we give up on life entirely and start wearing velcro shoes.
In order to spend more time on our little endeavor, my current employer agreed to let me work 30 hours a week. I do lose a good chunk of my salary, but I keep my benefits and I can always go back should it become clear that no one is ready to pay for a feather boa/porn 'n beans combo pack. Ka-ching, dude.
I start on this new schedule on November 19th. I am actually really excited. We're doing, of course, software stuff, and I think we're talking about something pretty interesting. Start saving now because it won't come cheap.
I don't want to alarm everybody here, but Super Mario Bros 3 just came out for the Wii. You know, the one where you turn Mario into the flying raccoon? It's also famous as the game unveiled in the climax of a certain Fred Savage tour de force, The Wizard. It's pretty much the only video game that features both flying Italian racoon-men and Fred Savage's mark of approval, so I encourage everyone to spend $5 and get it for the Wii virtual console.
I already did, and let me tell you something: it's hard. Nintendo games were meant to be played on a 10" tv, not a monstrosity like I own; Mario really excels in cramped corners. On my tv, I'm sliding all over the screen into certain death. The game itself is still awesome however, and Laura remembers the location of all of the secret levels. You may all enjoy your Guitar Hero III; we're getting our Mario on.
I think that, in general, Nintendo games were very difficult. I've got a whole lot of these games for the Wii and none of them are as easy as I remembered. For example, when I was a spry youth and the moon was full, I could get to Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Yes, I did beat him a few times.
I got that game again about 3 months ago and not only do I not get to Mike Tyson, but the large Turkish gentleman consistently pounds my face in. I believe his name is Bald Bull, but it might as well be Game Over, Bitch because I'll never get past him for as long as I live. I try not to let this bother me, since Bald Bull is approximately 140 times larger than Little Mac. Hey Nintendo, exactly what weight class are these two competing in?
Back to hitting bricks with my head, collecting gold coins, and shooting fireballs at turtles.
I feel like there's a question that you people want to ask me. The question: how do I manage to eat so many vegetables?
Before we get started, let me state for the record that, yes, I do eat a lot of vegetables. Well, I eat a fair amount; I'm not one of those health nuts who take radish juice enemas. This is a big change from a few years ago, when I only ate vegetables when I ran out of other things to deep fry in my apartment. There are three parts to my "Eat Vegetables, Die Less" plan.
1. Buy vegetables each week.
2. Eat them.
3. Repeat until immortal.
The hard part is clearly number 2. This is for good reason, as vegetables suck. (If vegetables didn't suck, we'd get plenty of them in our beet-flavored ice cream.) Anyway, my method for consistently eating these abominations is to eat the same thing for lunch every day. That may not appeal to people who actually like to make decisions. For me, eating the same thing for lunch is a weight off of my mind; it takes me 15 minutes every day to decide on what pants to wear, so I need to stay as far away from complex eating options as possible.
What is this fabled lunch that I never stray from? It's a turkey sandwich and a spinach salad. It takes five minutes to prepare, it costs about $1 a day, and because I've had it so many times, I can tell instantly when it's poisoned. Also, it does taste pretty good.
The results, as I mentioned, should be immortality.
I heard something very strange from my dentist this week. Midway through a filling, she said, "If we see the pulpy dragon, I'm out of here." She's a very straight-laced lady, so I knew it wasn't an acid flashback. I figured it was probably some sort of dental code she wanted me to crack. I tried to say, "Pulpy dragon?" She had two hands and a drill in my mouth though, so it came out, "WUUUUUUUHHWUUUUUHHHHH WUUUUUHWAAAAAAAAAHHHHH?"
Then she explained that the pulpy dragon referred to the nerve in my tooth, and that if she hit it, I would definitely know. She kind of cackled when she said, too. I imagined her hitting the nerve, me wetting myself, and then swallowing the drill accidentally, forcing myself to undergo another procedure entirely. I did not want her to mess with the pulpy dragon.
It was a really awkward spot for a filling so it took her about 45 minutes to finish. All of this time, I kept thinking about the nerve thing. It's one thing to know that I could experience intense pain at any moment; it's another thing entirely to know that my mouth is full of pulpy dragons. That's just... really weird imagery. It is, without question, the strangest adjective + noun pairing I've ever heard. Try to picture this mythical beast. Once you do, think of that in each of your teeth. Each of your pulpy, pulpy, dragonous teeth.
She never did hit the nerve, but ever since she used the term, I've almost been afraid to chew anything. I feel like I need to puree my food in advance, to protect my vulernable, pulpy parts. I am this close to getting dentures just so I never have to think of this ever again.
I don't know if guys are aware of this, but apparently the Colts are playing the Patriots this weekend. I know; it came as a shock to me, too. Is anyone actually rooting for the Patriots in this? At some point, don't the people of Boston have to take a look at their guys and say, "Yeah, they're kind of a bunch of asses"? The rest of America's already done it, dudes. If there was ever a duo who need their precious pulpy dragons messed up, it's Belichik and Brady.