Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Saw the Sign

One day we were driving by a restaurant, and the sign said this:

Come & See!!!
Just for clarification, the sign reads:

               NEW EXTENDED
                     HO RS
               COME & SEE

I'm not exactly sure what they were trying to say with this sign. There are a number of messages they may have been attempting to convey. Let's examine a few of them:

1. They have a new, extended horse that they want you to see, they're just missing an "e."
2. They have new and extended whores that they want you to see, they just don't know how to spell "whore." (I'm not even going to ask what an extended whore is. I don't really want to know.)
3. They have new, extended hours that they want you to see, they're just missing a "u."
4. They have new, extended choirs they want you to see, they're just missing a "c" and an "i."
5. They have new, extended hors d'oeuvres they want you to see, they just had no idea how to spell "hors d'oeuvres." (I'll be honest, I had to look it up, and even then I'm not completely confident.) (Wikipedia has let me down before.) (If it was spelled like it sounds, it would be "or-derves," but heaven forbid the French make anything that easy.)
6. They have new, extended shorts they want you to see, they're just missing an "s" and a "t."

That's several different possibilities, and I really don't know which one is correct. I think it's probably #3 (hours), but I don't know for sure. What I do know for sure is that the management of the restaurant doesn't seem to care if the sign is correct or not. Why do I say that? Because the sign has looked exactly like this for over a month!

Yes, for more than a month they've been inviting passing drivers to come and see their "new extended ho rs." I'm sure that the manager of this restaurant drives by the sign at least twice a day. So do the assistant managers, the cooks, the cashiers, the maintenance crew, and the person who put the message on the sign in the first place. And yet none of those people have cared enough to send someone out to fix the sign! Do they want the sign to look like this? Do they think more people will eat at their restaurant because of the misspelled sign? Personally, I'm thinking that if they don't care about getting the sign right after over a month, maybe they don't pay attention to the other little details, like if the food is cooked properly, or if the dishes actually get washed, or if there is horse meat in the beef. (Maybe they're advertising that their meatloaf features "new extended horse" meat?)

I don't really know what it is they're trying to say. I just know I'm probably not stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or ever runch. Runch? Yes, runch. This is what the other side of the sign looks like:


On second thought, I'm a bit curious. Maybe I'll go there for Runch after all. Who knows, they might have hors d'oeuvres made of horse served by whores. It could be entertaining.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Car Wash/Star Wars

If the rebellion had been depending on me to fly my x-wing down that space trench and make the shot to destroy the Death Star, they would have been out of luck.

I have a hard enough time pulling in to a car wash correctly.

Use the force, Luke!
It looks simple enough: just drive forward and put the front driver-side wheel into the little tire-holder. Easy! They even have little yellow markers to help guide you on your way, plus some angled metal to help push the tire into the correct spot if you are off by a few inches.

Follow the yellow brick road.
You'd have to be a completely incompetent driver to not be able to get that front tire where it's supposed to go, right?

Not so fast, my friend! It might not be as easy as it looks. Why? Because as soon as you enter the car wash, your windshield gets sprayed with water, greatly decreasing your ability to see anything in front of you. Plus, as you approach the target you can no longer see it because your own vehicle blocks the view. When driving, you can't actually see where your front tire is, so all those yellow dots quickly become useless. (And it's not like you can stick your head out of the window to look, unless you want your face to get rinsed and/or soaked.)

To see or not to see? (That is the question.)

In fact, flying down that space trench to destroy the Death Star might be easier, because you'd have R2-D2 in the back to help guide you. At the car wash there is no R2 unit, just some kids in the back seat yelling, fighting, and/or screaming.

Sure, having Darth Vader and a squadron of tie-fighters trying to shoot you down would be a distraction, but so is that guy in line behind you, honking his horn because you're moving too slow.

So, yes, I'm afraid that if the rebel forces were relying on my piloting skills to bring down the Death Star, they would have been in trouble. There would still be a giant, moon-sized thing flying through that far, far away galaxy, blowing up planets and rebel bases with ease.

And my x-wing would probably need a good washing.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Daddy Shops for Girl Shirts

I don't know very much about fashion for girls. (My wife would probably say I don't know much about fashion for adult guys, either.) (She really wants me to get rid of all my skinny ties from the 80s.)

As little as I know about what's fashionable for myself, I know even less about what my nine year-old girl should wear. My requirements for clothing for my daughter are:
     1. It needs to cover her bottom.
     2. It needs to cover her belly.
     3. No rude or snarky sayings on it.*

 *[If a shirt has something on it that we wouldn't want her to say out loud, or declares a bad attitude or attitude of entitlement, we don't want it on her shirt. This includes shirts with messages such as "I'm the Birthday Girl," or "I Got My Drama From My Mama," or "#SelfieGoals," or anything that proclaims her a "diva."]

Other than that, I know nothing. Plaid, stripes, polka dots, sequins, velour, cotton, tie-dye, it's all a jumble to me. So, when we went shopping for school clothes for the kids, my wife took my daughter with her and I ventured off with our seven year-old boy. (A couple of Spider-Man shirts and he was good.)

Finding clothes for the girl is a little more complicated. After wandering through dozens of designs and styles, we came across several racks of shirts that featured flip sequins. What are "flip sequins," you ask? Sequins are a series of small, shiny disks sewn onto clothing for decoration. A flip sequin has a different color on each side, so that when the sequins are brushed in one direction they form one image, but when brushed in the other direction they form a different image.

Here's an example:

Flip sequins! (I'm sure this is a fad that will have as much staying power as scratch-and-sniff shirts and/or mood rings.)
On the shirt on the left, when the sequins are pushed in one direction, the heart is pink and has the message, "Stay True." When the sequins are pushed in the other direction, the heart is gold and displays the message, "Grl Pwr." (By the way, I'm fine with the message of "Grl Pwr," although I would prefer it actually be spelled correctly.)

I know just enough about fashion to believe that the fact that they had several racks of these flip sequin shirts means one of two things:
     1. This style of shirt is new, hot, trendy, and very much in demand.
     2. This style of shirt is no longer trendy, and they have so many racks of them because they are trying to get rid of them.

The donut on this shirt can either have striped frosting, or frosting with sprinkles, depending on which direction the sequins are flipped.

My guess (and it's just a guess) is that the shirts are still trendy. Why? Because I think if they were trying to just get rid of them, the price would be a bit lower. (Of course, this opinion is coming from an old guy who thinks that anything over $10 for a kid's shirt is overpriced.)

Did we get one of these shirts for our daughter? No, but it had nothing to do with trendiness or price. It had to do with the fact that I don't want people walking up to my daughter and putting their hand on her chest in order to flip the sequins. Thanks, but no thanks.

We did end up getting my daughter a few shirts and outfits, and I think she'll look very nice in them, without anyone needlessly touching her. But, I do think it's a good thing my wife was there, because if not I probably would just have gotten my daughter a couple of Spider-Man shirts, too. (Everyone looks good in Spider-Man shirts.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer vs. Back to School

Summer vacation: enjoy it while you can! For those who don't have to be at work, it can be a wonderful, fun-filled adventure. But, seemingly without warning it'll be time to go back to school, and it will all come to a screeching halt.

On a random summer day you can sleep in until 10:30 (or later) if you want. Once school starts, the alarm goes off before 7:00 AM.

On a random summer day you can take your time and make a big, nice, fancy breakfast. (Or brunch.) (Or lunch, depending on how long you sleep in.) Once school starts, you'll be lucky if you have enough time to scarf down a bowl of Lucky Charms before you have to get out the door.

On a random summer day there are no giant yellow taxis cruising through your neighborhood.
On a random summer day you can do just about anything you want. You can go camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, or any other fun activity you can think to do. Once school starts you can still do anything you want...except for between the hours of 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM when all your time is precisely scheduled. Or after 9:00 PM, when you need to be in bed.

On a random summer day you can stay up as late as you want; there is no bedtime. Once school starts, if you stay up past 9:00 PM you're going to have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning.

On a random summer day there won't be any homework, but there might be a parade, or a carnival, or fireworks. Once school starts, there WILL be homework.

On a random summer day you can wear whatever you want: shorts, sweatpants, tank tops, swimsuits, flip flops, or thongs. (Okay, well maybe not thongs.) Once school starts you have to be presentable, so you usually wear new clothes. They look nice, but they might not be comfortable because they aren't broken in yet.

On a random summer day, the sun rises before you get out of bed, and it doesn't go down until late in the evening. Once school starts, the sun hides behind the mountains earlier and earlier every night.

On a random summer day you can enjoy yourself and think that summer will never end. Once school starts you can start looking forward to NEXT summer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

How Do You Like Your Spam?

I never knew I wanted Chorizo Spam until I saw it in the store.

Yes, I said, "Chorizo Spam." Actually, to be completely accurate it is "Spam with Chorizo seasoning." Doesn't that sound delicious? Haven't you always thought, "Do you know what would make Spam (America's third least favorite meat-like food substance*) even better? If it had a hint of Spanish sausage!"

*[Spam finishes just in front of liverwurst and pimento loaf.]

Mmmm...it's Glorious SPAM!!!

Do people still buy Spam? We used to have Spam when I was a kid. Mom used to slice it up, fry it on the griddle, and slap it on some bread for a sandwich. It was similar to bologna, except thicker and more rectangular-ish. (To be fair I should point out that there was one dish Mom made with Spam that I really liked, but it was more due to the eggs, pickles, and melted cheese than the Spam.)

For the most part, people find Spam undesirable. That's why we named our junk mail after it. Both kinds of Spam are unrelenting, ever-present, and uninvited. Spam is always there, even though we really don't want it.

But now, Spam comes in flavors! I'm somewhat intrigued. I'm almost interested enough to buy some and chop it up into a taco, like the picture on the front of the Chorizo Spam can. Almost, but not quite.

Maybe I'll try Teriyaki Spam instead. Yes, I said "Teriyaki Spam." Because that's a thing, too. I could slice up a big chunk of Teriyaki Spam, slap it on top of a bed of rice, serve it with some seaweed, and have some faux* sushi. Because nothing screams sushi quite like Spam.

*[Faux means fake or pretend. I'm not sure why anyone would make pretend sushi out of Spam.]

Is it sushi? Is it SPAM? Is it both?

The Teriyaki and Chorizo were the only two new flavors of Spam that I saw in the store, but I wonder if they are working on any others. And if so, what could they be? Here are a few possibilities:
     Chipotle Spam
     Chipolte Spam (for those who have trouble spelling or pronouncing "Chipotle.")
     Pumpkin Spice Spam
     Asiago Spam
     Southern Barbecue Spam
     Spam with Kale
     Fresh Alaskan King Crab Spam
     Italian Spice Spam
     Hot Spam! (with Ghost Peppers)
     Cinnamon Spam
     Salmon Spam
     Hawaiian Spam (with Pineapple Tidbits!)
     Red Velvet Spam
     And, coming soon to your favorite fast food franchise: McSpam!

I have a feeling these two flavors are just the beginning.

In the end, I didn't buy any Spam, and I doubt any of these "exciting" new flavors are enticing enough to get me interested. There's a reason why we named our junk-mail after Spam: it's ever-present, but no one seems to pay much attention to it.

But, in a way, it's comforting to know that Spam is always there. If, for some strange reason, I ever get a hankering for a meat-like substance that is rectangular with rounded edges, I just might reach for a can.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Profanity Is BLEEPING Stupid

It's one of the basic rules of parenting: If you say bad words, your kids will hear you.

I know this rule. I also know that profanity is absolutely worthless. It does no good whatsoever! And yet there I was, cursing at my computer. And there my daughter was, listening to every nasty word.

Why was I swearing at the computer? Facebook did a poor job of cropping a picture I posted. I had a perfectly good photo of a blueberry muffin, which was centered nicely in the frame:
For some reason, Facebook decided the edge of the plate and the tablecloth were more important than the muffin:

I tried a couple of tricks I've used in the past to fix the Facebook cropping problem, but they didn't work. So, I turned to a profanity laced tirade. That didn't work, either. And when I turned around, there my daughter was, secretly listening.

(It's amazing how stealthy the kids can be when you don't want them to be. Usually I can hear her stomping, singing, whistling, or whining. But, no, this time she decides to use her heretofore unknown ninja skills!)

My immediate reaction was, "How much of that did she hear?" I quickly disregarded that line of thought because she didn't have to have heard much for it to have been too much. I was busted.

I then went straight into apology mode. "I'm sorry I said those things. I shouldn't have said those words. It was a stupid thing for me to do. I was behaving like a brat." (We've been talking to her about bratty behavior since watching the movie Despicable Me 3 and its villain, Balthazar Bratt. After doing something wrong she said, "At least I'm not as bratty as Balthazar Bratt." We explained to her that comparing herself to a movie villain probably wasn't her best defense.)

She sat quietly for a couple of minutes, then asked, "Dad, why do you say those words to the computer? It's not like the computer is going to hear you and react." Or course, she was right. Profanity is bleeping stupid! It serves no purpose whatsoever.

Not an exact representation, but pretty close. (The hair is especially accurate.)

The weird thing is that I don't swear at all...when I'm around other people. I don't want to be that guy who swears. But, if I'm all alone, the words sometimes ooze out of me. All those years of driving truck and working with cows spews from my mouth. (I should note that not all truck drivers swear. And I would like to think that there are some people who work with cows who don't swear. I've just never met any of them.)

So, how do I keep myself from swearing? I guess I could just use simple self control. (And while I'm at it I could run five miles a day and eat kale or some other vegetable that is good for me at every meal.) (It's probably not going to happen.)

Maybe my best bet is to pretend one of my kids is listening to everything I say. If I act as if one of my kids is within earshot at all times, I'll be less likely to use profanity. It's not like it's much of a stretch, because if I ever do say something I shouldn't, my kids will hear it. (They've got some mad ninja skills.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

There Are No Raisins In My Blueberry Muffin

When I was a kid I didn't like raisins.

Really, what kid does like raisins? To most kids, raisins are just a disappointing impersonator of chocolate chips. You have a cookie, see a dark spot in it, and think, "Yay! Chocolate chips!" And then you take a bite and, "Oh, crap, that's just a raisin!" So, no, most kids don't really like raisins.

(Having said that, I don't know how true it is, because my kids happen to love raisins. They'll eat raisins by the handful if given the chance. I'm not sure if this is because their mother has trained them to eat healthy, or if my kids are just really weird. It's probably a little of both.)

Anyway, as a kid I developed such a hatred of raisins that I didn't want to be around them. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. I would shun them with the shunniest of shunnings.

So, one day my Mom gave me a muffin, and it was chock full of dark spots, and those dark spots were not chocolate chips. "Drat! Raisins! They must be shunned!" (That's not really how I talked as a kid.) (At least, not as far as I can remember.) So, what did I do? I picked those "raisins" out of my muffin and smooshed them into the rug in the middle of the living room floor. [I'm told by spellcheck that "smooshed" isn't a word. But, those "raisins" weren't "smushed" into the rug, and they weren't "smooched," either. They were smooshed. And the beauty of the English language is that if "smooshed" wasn't a word, it can be if it gets used often enough. Just like "interwebs" or "hipster."]

Well, it turns out those "raisins" weren't raisins after all. They were blueberries. It was the first time I had ever had a blueberry muffin, and I picked all of the blueberries out and smooshed them into the rug. Was it good thing to do? No. Was it a smart thing to do? No. Did I get in serious trouble? Yes. Do my brother and sister still tease me about smooshing blueberries into the rug? Yes. If I had it to do over again, would I? Maybe. (I really didn't like raisins!)

The only place this muffin is getting smooshed is in my face!

Since then, I've matured a bit. (Though it may be hard to tell sometimes.) I'm actually okay with raisins now. I don't really seek them out, but I will eat them on occasion, and I won't pick them out of things. (Although they do still get me very angry when they deceive me into thinking they are chocolate chips.)

And as far as blueberries go, I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love them in muffins, pancakes, and waffles. However, I don't like eating them plain. A blueberry inside of some kind of bready food is delicious, but I don't want a blueberry by itself.

But, even though I don't like plain blueberries, I've learned my lesson: I won't smoosh it into the rug.