Random Stuff Popping Around In My Head, Part Whatever It Is, Part II

  • Want some help controlling grocery costs? Here's a free tip, for free: Go to your fridge. Pull out the milk. Don't pour it down the drain. Put it back in the fridge. See? Now you have more milk than if you had done otherwise. You're welcome.
  • I'm tired of computers. What else should I go do? All suggestions involving pancakes are welcome.
  • This post might be a bit shorter than you'd like 'cause the server room's kinda hot today.
  • The new Tron movie isn't as bad as everyone says it is. I will defend this position to the death*!
    • *I reserve the right to pancake waffle on said position, once I see the movie.
  • I'm running low on writing ideas, so feel free to assign me something.
    • Unless you're relieved that I'm running out of ideas.
      • In which case, you're welcome.
  • What's the strangest name you can think of for a baby? I need a boy name and a girl name. I'm going to start pranking people who ask if we've picked out a name yet, and I need your help.


Updates, Odd and Ends, Part III

  • Worst Movie Ever competition? You guys nailed it. Thanks!
    • Also, thanks to my mom, who's a teacher, for getting all her students to vote.
  • So this is the post every blogger fears where all the words just won't come together. I mean, I have the words...they just won't play nicely and don't make sense:
    • Superfluous
    • Anxiety
    • Fluffy pants
    • Surround sound
    • Ear hair
    • Onomatopoeia
    • Velcro
  • See what you can do with those and post it in the comments. I give up.
  • All right, talk amongst yourselves for a bit while I think of new things to post in an effort to not be lame.
  • I love you.


Worst Movie Ever Competition Update

They said it couldn't be done.

And they were probably right.

But it's closer than anyone thought it would be!

If you love me and/or are human, please click here to vote for my movie, The Stupids, in The Worst Movie Ever competition over at Tyler Tarver's site. My opponent, the evil Clay Morgan, has accused me of tomfoolery.

Let's prove him right.

For all the children.


You Never Know What a Preggo's Gonna Do

My wife is pretty predictable, and predictably pretty.

If she has the day off work, she's running errands or cleaning house or doing yard work. She's diligent that way. Once, a few years ago at our first house, I came home to find my house had been painted. I almost apologized for intruding in someone else's house and left.

But things are changing a bit now that she's pregnant.

My buddies have all warned me about the hormones and morning sickness. Only one ever told me about the Activity Roller Coaster.

One time he came home to find his 8-months-pregnant wife in the tree in their front yard, 30 feet up, trimming the top branches. No ladder, no help. Just a preggo and her Insanity To-Do List.

Now my wife's getting the bug.

Some days she'll sit on the couch, feeling ill. Other days, I'll come home and find her rearranging the bedrooms.

This is the Activity Roller Coaster. She's only 5 months along, so I'm afraid it's only going to get worse.

I imagine I'll come home one day to a three-ring circus and a petting zoo.

The crazy thing is she never asks for help with any of it. So maybe we should build a theme park.

I like roller coasters.

What crazy things have preggos you know done?


Good Friday

What happened today happened for you.

Remember that.

My Review of Jon Acuff's Quitter

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Jon Acuff's new book, Quitter. Jon probably meant to send it to someone else. He's likely better at writing than addressing packages.

Quitter is about how our generation is afraid to chase our dreams. We settle for dead-end jobs and shattered hopes. We stick with the safe and familiar and watch our lives slip away before our eyes out of fear.

But what if you could chase your dream responsibly? What if you didn't have to quit your day job and leave your family destitute? What if you could have fun doing what you love and still pay your bills?

Jon details his own journey from a job-hopping serial quitter to landing his dream job. He walks through the ups and downs, the opportunities and challenges.

There's great advice on time management and priorities. For instance, you can't steal time from your wife and kids, but you can steal it from the TV. This hits home with me, because I never want to chase my writing dreams at the expense of my marriage.

Jon gives insight into making the most of your current situation, using it to hone your skills as you start down the path that will lead to your dream job.

This isn't a one-size-fits-all miracle cure. This isn't a 'follow your heart and all your dreams will come true' fluff-fest. This is about hard work and taking calculated risks.

Even if you're not dreaming of leaving your day job for your dream job, you'll like this book if you like Jon's writing. If you're already a fan of Jon's humor and style, then you'll really like Quitter as it's pure, vintage Acuff. If you're not, then stop reading my blog and go read something funny!

I highly, highly recommend Quitter.


Is Your Computer Plotting Its Revenge?

You use it, you abuse it.

You demand more of it than you should and dream of replacing it.

Watch out, Buddy! Your computer isn't going to take it anymore.

Your vacation pics? Gone.

Your iTunes library? Jacked.

Your calendar? Full. Of meetings and dental appointments.

Your bank account? Overdrawn. See below.

Your Amazon wish list? Shipped this afternoon. To someone else.

Just remember, it's all fun games until your computer has enough and takes over your life.

What are you afraid your computer's gonna do to you?


10 Things Your Computer Wishes You Would Do

1.  NOT click here.

2.  Give yourself a swirly.

3.  Reboot yourself.

4.  Include him in those family photos.

5.  Upgrade him to a robot. World domination is easier with more moving parts.

6.  Buy him a lottery ticket.

7.  Stop touching his monitor. After all, he doesn't touch your glasses.

8.  Remember to upgrade his RAM.

9.  Clean out his keyboard every now and then. You brush your teeth, right?

10. Quit cursing at it. Would you talk to your mom that way?

What else does your computer wish you would do?


Extra Post, For Free (If You Pay the Price)

Ok, I'm getting my clock cleaned over at Tyler Tarver's site for the Worst Movie Ever competition.

It turns out I care more about this than a healthy human should, but my clock is already shiny and doesn't need more cleaning.

So head over to Tyler's site and vote for my movie, The Stupids.

I promise I'll never ask you for anything ever again, until next time.


Passing the Test

I don't miss college. Or taking tests for professional certifications. Or anything related to school at all.

I come from a family of teachers. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings and my mom - all have taught and served the children. And I believe that the children are our future.

Unlike Tyler Tarver, I would make a horrible teacher. I have no patience, and even less knowledge.

So I thought it would be fun to give a test here on the blog to my many fine reader, singular. No cheating, Mom.

1.  When I plug a brand new KVM switch in and the video works, but not the keyboard and mouse, I:

a.  control the screen w/ my mind.
b.  find an old joystick to see if that'll work.
c.  ask a geek.
d.  cry.

2.  The square toot of 81 is 9, but Martha is 4 years younger than her oldest child on her paternal mother's side and the train hasn't left yet. What is the lowest common denominator?

a.  False.
b.  Not false.
c.  Calculator!

3.  If all was Quiet on the Western Front, why did Johnny need a gun? Please explain.


a. Wrong.

Would you make a good teacher?


10 Things You Wish Your Computer Would Do

1.  Teleport you places.

2.  Make you breakfast.

3.  Handle sales calls for you.

4.  Wirelessly connect to your TV...painlessly...without additional hardware.

5.  Upgrade itself.

6.  Make iTunes work whether it wants to or not.

7.  Do what you want it to do, not what you tell it to do.

8.  Talk to you. Not in robotic voice, but in a sexy futuristic voice.

9.  Manage your investments. Nobody knows what the market is going to do...except the machines.

10. Interrupt you during Netflix movies for important reasons, not Windows Updates. "Excuse me, but there's an armed New York Yankee breaking down the back door."

What else do you wish your computer would do?


Filtering the OOPS!

Sometimes I forget to filter what I'm thinking before it shoots out my mouth or off my fingers.

One of the bosses emailed me the other day with a simple question.

The Boss: Why does my laptop stop in the middle of my typing and then catch up 10 or 20 characters later?

I couldn't help myself. I only started hearing the warning sirens when I had clicked 'Send'.

Here was my reply:

Me: Because I'm downloading all your financial and personal information in the background.  Hold still, it'll go faster and be over quicker.  Thanks.

Some bosses have a better sense of humor then others...

What 'OOPS!' moments have you had with your boss?

Updates, Odd and Ends, Part II

I used 'II' instead of '2' since it feels more official, and trust me, this post is all kinds of official.

I'm traveling for work this week and next. That means my roommate and I can work on exceeding our personal goals of amount of pizza consumed in a two-week period. We had Chicago style last night, and we're going for thin crust fancy stuff tonight.

We were going to go to a World War I museum tomorrow to do our part as responsible Americans to learn about our history and stimulate the economy. Guess we can't do that now because the politicians are shutting down the government. Did you notice how if a shutdown occurs, the honorable folks in the military who put their lives on the line every day in our defense won't get paid, but the politicians who yap endlessly and do nothing productive will continue to get paid as though they're worth something? I wish we could just shut them down and leave the working folks alone. Vote 'em all out next time - both parties. Forget term limits; I'm now for a 'no incumbents' rule.

One time, at band camp, I never went to band camp.

Peace and pancakes.

What would you do to make the politicians fix their mess before a shutdown occurs at midnight?


Updates, Odd and Ends

This post may sound a bit different than what you're used to.

You see, I'm out of town right now. I'm in Kansas, once again. So imagine my normal tone, but with a slight drawl and a bit of barbecue sauce.

Also, I'll be posting later in the day than usual because I don't have Internet access until after work, instead of before. So imagine it's just a time zone difference and we'll all be cool like cucumbers.

We went to a Bass Pro shop after work today. It's like the outdoorsman's Mecca. Reminiscent of Cabela's, but with its own fishing pond and restaurant. It was like a Mountain Man Mall, which I just made up and feel quite proud of myself for doing so.

I'm in a fight for my life. Tyler Tarver is hosting a tournament to decide The Worst Movie Ever, and I've made it to the Elite 8. My movie is The Stupids. I'm tied with the movie Knowing, for some unknown reason. Clearly The Stupids is a much worse movie*. Please go to Tyler's site and vote for The Stupids. This week, we were asked to write a defense of our opponents, so please don't be confused by what I wrote. You want to vote for The Stupids. I'm going to use this sentence as another excuse to use the phrase "vote for The Stupids".

In conclusion, I think children are the future and we should really work to preserve the baby wails.

* The Stupids is one of my top five favorite movies of all time. But that doesn't mean it's not an awful movie!


The Most Important Childrearing Tip a Dad Should Ever Know

Today's treat is a guest post from Scott Moore, who blogs at The Moore You Know. Scott has written here before, and, if I have any say in the matter, will write here again. If you haven't been down the delightful rabbit hole that is Scott's brain, you should follow him on Twitter, read his blog and stalk him in person.

When Ricky told me that he and his wife were expecting, I couldn’t have been more excited for him. He is getting a progeny to mold, groom, and instruct in the ways of the Lord. But mostly because he is a blogger and kids provide never ending material. When you’re falling under the spell of blogging’s version of the Swamps of Sadness, they are like little luckdragons who show up and save the day*.  

For example, we had an incident when my daughter Ada was about 16mo that involved me rolling around the floor in sheer agony and her peeing diaperless in the living room. I try to be the eternal optimist in all situations. For example I think Charlie Sheen is going to get everything worked out and we will get a hilarious 9th season of Two and a Half Men** but the only good thing about our situation was Ada peed on the hearth rather than the carpet. Plus, I guess I learned the most important tip a dad should ever know that I am sharing it with you today.

The back story:

The evening started out seemingly normal. My wife was gone for the night and it was just Ada and me. We had already eaten dinner, finished the bath, and were getting a little playtime in before bed. When it was time to take Ada upstairs, I was going give her a nice fresh diaper but for some reason at that age she’d rather sit around in the product of her excretory system rather than her diaper be changed. So naturally, she put up a fight.

I eventually got her to lie down, took the old diaper off, and went to grab a new one. The problem was it was sitting about two feet out of reach behind me. I stretched to grab it and with my head turned, Ada saw her chance to make a getaway. Whether it was intentional or not, I’ll never know but in her haste to run for it she dropkicked me right in the bathing suit area. Instant pain shot through me rendering me helpless. I haven’t taken a shot like that since the time I was 6yrs old and forgot the breaks on my new bike were on the handlebars rather than pedaling in reverse. I hit a storage shed going full speed.

After the wave of nausea went away, I was able to muster up enough energy to roll over to see what she was doing. She was standing on the fireplace with a guile grin on her face, naked as the day she born, and showing no remorse for the events that had just taken place. I knew I had to get a diaper on her as quickly as possible but I couldn’t pick myself up. I remember lying there and thinking, “Well, if anything does happen at least it won’t happen on the carpet.” Then, as if my thoughts had somehow telepathically triggered it, I saw the stream, the floodgates had opened. Ada didn’t even acknowledge it. She stood there motionless, feet shoulder width apart, staring at me rolling around on the floor. Probably laughing on the inside.

As the puddle grew larger and larger, I knew I had to act quickly. I was able to stagger over and pick her up before she started skipping rocks in the pond she had just created. This time she let me put the diaper on her with no issues. I think she may have felt bad for what she had done. I picked her up, snapped her onsie, and limped my way upstairs to put her to bed.

The tip:

I came back downstairs and fell onto the couch to let the pain subside and to gather my thoughts. I learned a life lesson the hard way that night so now you don’t have to. I put together a checklist that, if followed religiously, should keep from appearing on America’s Funniest Home Videos:

1. Always have a spare diaper on you – Tuck one in your back pocket, sport one as a necklace, or if you are hardcore like me, wear a shoulder holster. A holster with a diaper in it instead of a gun isn’t as threatening, but neither is talking in falsetto.  
2. Plan for a change of clothes – If there is a change of clothes involved, lay them out on the floor just like your mom used to do for you in kindergarten right beside the spot the diaper change will be taking place. Just make sure you never have to reach for anything during a diaper change again.
3. Practice the teachings of Ross GellerUnagi is a state of total awareness. Only by achieving true Unagi can you be prepared for any danger that may befall you.

I caution you dads, heed my advice and heed it well. Unless you wear a jock strap 24/7, which probably isn’t a bad idea either. The simple steps listed above will save you from insufferable pain and allow you to maintain your ability to reproduce more children which really only generates more likelihood of getting leg dropped in the crotch. Such is the tradeoffs of fatherhood. But it’s worth it.

*If you got The Never Ending Story reference we should be friends.***
**Note: I’m a sarcastic optimist.
***Ricky, you should totally name your baby, Falkor.