Monday, November 29, 2004

Rats on the Barbie

It was a beautiful spring day and I went out to clean the gas grill so I could cook a few burgers and corn-on-the-cob. Following along was my faithful dog Peabo, a medium-sized mutt of indeterminate breed, though we suspected there was some kind of terrier or schnauzer in him. In fact, we used to have him trimmed in the schnauzer fashion, except in the places where he didn’t grow enough fur.

With my scraper, wire brush and Peabo by my side, I approached the grill. Lifting the lid, I was shocked to see a rat (yes, a real live one) perched on top of the grill - seemingly undisturbed by my interruption. Immediately, I closed the lid and began formulating a plan to rid the world of one more disgusting rat. Since I didn’t want to walk away and let the rat escape, I would have to make do with the only tools available: a scraper, a wire brush, and a gas grill.

Because I'm a guy and because I had fire at my disposal, I quickly discarded the scraper and brush in favor of frying that rat's ass! With the lid closed (folks, don’t try this at home!), I cranked up the gas and hit the ignition. WHOOSH! Flames leapt out of every ventilation hole and I knew I had that rat right where I wanted him – fried to a crisp! But that’s not what happened. Mr. Rat and two more of his pals found a way out (through the same ventilation holes), hit the ground and scattered.

I never even had a chance at those rats, they were moving so fast. But mild-mannered Peabo (who had never harmed a living thing in his life except for one very unfortunate frog) was suddenly transformed into the rats’ worst nightmare. Shortly after hitting the ground, one rat found himself being scooped up in the dog’s mouth, shaken and beaten to a pulp on the patio! By the time I got the rat away from Peabo, the other two had escaped, never to return.

Careful to avoid any contact with his mouth, I praised Peabo, rewarded him with a treat - and took the family out to eat!

Sadly, Peabo left us a year ago - just after Christmas. He piddled and pooped in our yard (and in our house on rare occasions) for 17 years! Peabo, wherever you are now, the rats are terrified!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Oh My God, The In-Laws Are Comin'

I just found out last night that almost all of my wife's family will be visiting for Thanksgiving. It's a really good thing I get along with them!

The bad thing is now I have to paint another friggin' room which we already painted 2 years ago, but my wife never really liked. Consequently, between griping, taping, painting, griping, job searching, griping and studying, I won't have much time for blogging.

Maybe after Thanksgiving I'll dish on the In-Laws (and sleep under the back porch? I don't think so!). Or maybe I'll tell the story of Peabo, the amazing rat dog!

Stay safe everyone - think to yourself 'WWSD' (what would Steve do?). Then do whatever the hell you want, 'cause I don't really care :).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Can I Punch You Now? Good!

Does anyone else wanna beat the crap out of that Verizon guy? You know, the one who shows up in the middle of your shower with a phone to his ear, saying “Can you hear me now?” The ads were funny at first, but now they’re just plain annoying. Kinda makes me miss Joe Isuzu.

Maybe I’m the only one, but to me this “Mr. Verizon” ranks right up there with the Energizer Bunny (I’ve got an M-80 with your name on it, bunnyman!). But moving beyond the annoyance factor, I’m even more disturbed by the underlying message: “No matter where you go, we will find you!”

I love technology. In fact, I was making a nice living in the field until I voluntarily left the BEST JOB I EVER HAD SO I CAN SITONMYASSALLDAYANDWRITETHISSTUPIDBLOG! Sorry - I lost control there for a sec.

Anyway, the promise of cellular technology companies is that you can be in touch no matter where you are. This sounds fantastic, but look at the other side. Imagine you’ve just gotten within camera range of an elusive moose. You move very carefully downwind, avoid snapping twigs, even alter your breathing to keep from spooking your quarry. Then all of a sudden this goofus steps out from behind a tree. “Can you hear me now?” I guarantee Verizon would be looking for a new spokesman, to appear in other remote places like Soho.

People, we don’t need a cell phone to hike in the mountains, go white-water rafting or get saddle-sore at the dude ranch. But someday the wireless companies will make it all possible! The only advantage to this is the ability to immediately call for help if you get in trouble. But that takes some of the excitement away, doesn’t it? If you know you can make a phone call and have a helicopter pick you up, doesn’t that kind-of ruin it? Even worse, your boss will know where to find you – and believe me, he will!

Here’s my advice: Find a remote location that absolutely no pager or phone signal can reach. Tape a brochure to your monitor and tell everyone at work you’re going there on vacation. Then enjoy your trip to Disney World, free of interruption! It’s safe, your kids will love it, and you won’t need a helicopter!

Oh yeah - and leave your cell phone at home.

Monday, November 01, 2004

To Vote or Not To Vote

I wanted to be funny today, but I couldn't figure out how to apply my warped humor to the subject matter. So if you want a laugh, re-read the Sunday comics or something...

I remember how proud I felt at the age of 18, when I made my first trip
to the voting booth. I couldn't even tell you who was on the ballot. I
was just exercising my right as a new voter to have some say in how the
government was run.

Back then, it seemed that Americans were united - not in support of a
particular candidate, but in their belief that voting was an important,
personal act. In school we learned about the democratic process and
the awesome freedom we had to choose our leaders and shape our own

Nowadays, political parties treat your vote as a means to an end
rather than the personal choice it's meant to be. In some cases, they
resort to pressure and intimidation to get people to vote their way.
Why? I'll give you 2 reasons: 1) They don't trust you to listen and
make an intelligent, informed decision and 2) They're more interested
in winning than in earning your respect and trust. This win-at-all-
costs mentality is hurting America - in business, in youth athletics and
especially politics.

It's no wonder that some Americans would choose to stay home on
election day. If they go to the polls, will they be pressured to vote a
certain way? Will they be ridiculed if they don't make the 'correct'
choice? How do they know their vote will be properly counted? It's much
easier and safer to avoid the hassle!

So, why vote? I'll tell you why: Your vote is the most powerful thing
in your possession! Every adult American has the same number of votes -
one. This doesn't seem like much, but can you think of another thing
that all Americans have in equal proportion? And if your vote doesn't
mean anything, why are the politicians and special interests spending
millions of dollars to win it?

I encourage all of you to vote on Tuesday. But first, think about
what's important to you. Listen to the candidates and vote for the ones
that best represent your values and beliefs. It's a simple concept.

Don't be a means to an end - be an American.