Friday, November 30, 2007

This Is a Little Creepy

So I was sitting at work with an hour left in the day and I started searching the Internet for people I know. After a while of that, I started searching for me, which I do sort of regularly. Well, this time a lot of my articles I'd written for the university paper came up as being on scholarly research sites, or sports chat sites, or just "this guy thinks this" blogs. It was sort of weird. I'd always thought I was writing for the local audience, and maybe more people would read it on the Internet, but only by going to the paper's website. It turns out you could read one of my articles at, which is big enough of a thing that I'd heard of it before today.

I'd like to think this is my ticket out of this dump, but I know it's not.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blog Success!

Wow, it turned out my "Iron Chef America" posting could be my most widely-read EVER! It already has four comments! Now, I'm still short of a typical Cristin Lassen level of comment inciting, but this is a big deal for me. I've discovered the secret to successful blogging: write about crap TV shows. However, I don't really watch TV much at all, so that kind of puts a damper on that. I did see the world's ugliest picture of Marie Osmond online the other day, and that made me grateful I have seen only part of one episode of "Dancing With the Stars."

Remember "Circus of the Stars"? I thought that show sucked even when I was a kid, but I remember my mother watching it pretty regularly. Then just when I was getting old enough to appreciate the slutty circus costumes the ladies were wearing, the show was gone. I had a sad childhood.

Here's something I did watch last night: "Hot Rod." Why? Because it was either that or study Calculus. My take on the movie is this: I liked it. It was a lot like if Adam Sandler had made "Napoleon Dynamite." I think I would watch this movie frequently enough to make it worth buying it should I find it on sale somewhere for $9.99 (or, like some DVDs at Target last weekend, $3.99). And seeing how we rent from our grocery store for $1.50 instead of paying those "outrageous" Blockbuster prices, that's really saying something.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I've Done Wrong in My Life

Add to the list: I won’t be a grandparent by the time I’m 35. This woman however, is. I am so sick of celebrities rubbing my face in their success!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Today's Secret Ingredient Is...

Holy hell, the world is coming to an end. I speak specifically today of the craptacular television show "Iron Chef America," which I saw for the first time this weekend. Yes, every time I start to think, "I wonder what we';re missing by not having cable," we go to my parents' house and see exactly what we're missing, then thank our lucky stars we're so poor. If I ever find myself contemplating signing up for cable I'll know I've got too much money on my hands.

What is wrong with "Iron Chef America"? It would be easier to tell you what isn't wrong with it: it hasn't led to any mass suicides (of which I'm aware).

Honestly, my problems begin and end with "The Chairman." Seriously? They all call him "The Chairman" with a straight face? Or are we watching Take 83 every time? Anyway, there's this guy called "The Chairman" who comes out in a martial arts outfit and does a cartwheel into a suit, or something like that. Then he announces the "secret ingredient" with smoke machines, yelling, and karate chops. Again, no one laughs. How, I'm sure I don't know. Maybe they've all received extensive training from Steve Carell.

I saw two episodes this weekend. In the first "The Chairman" introduced the secret ingredient as "THANKSGIVING!" and in the second it was "CRANBERRY!" Yes, he yelled out "cranberry" with his hands flailing. Then all episode long they called it "Battle of Cranberry."

I've looked for it on YouTube, but no one else seems to have the car-wreck can't-look-away-it's-so-bad reaction to it that I have. I told Persephone, "If we had cable I would Tevo the hell out of that show and make a YouTube clip like the one of Horatio Caine and his sunglasses," which is a family favorite in our house.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Movie Script - Part 1


Cast of Characters:

  • Lt. Cmdr. Bill "Hack" Hackathorne
  • Spc. Monica Beal
  • Sgt. Tyrone Wiggins
  • Terrorist Leader
  • Various Terrorists
  • Probably some villagers or something like that

Setting: a dystopian America of the year 2067

Open with several shots of deserted Midwestern towns. Typed in the lower corner of the screen is "AMERICA: 2067."


Terrorist attacks against the United States continued throughout the early 21st century. Americans became more deeply divided over how to respond. As the Second Civil War spread throughout the land, the wide-open freedom of the Midwest became a haven for lawless bands. Most citizens fled to cities. America's enemies made alliances with these domestic gangs, controlling large swathes of countryside and with it, the national food supply.

[Show a shot of rag-tag band of smugglers trying to drive a truckload of corn down a dark country road.]


Patriots and profiteers alike tried to break the food cartel, with often bloody results.

[Show a shot of vigilantes stopping truck with gunfire, show corn spilling on ground with sinister music and dramatic lighting.]


Both American governments, the American Republic and the Democratic Republic of America, have undertaken covert operations to break the agrarian gangs, losing many soldiers along the way.

[Show a military funeral.]


Domestic unrest builds as food becomes more scarce. Governments are getting desperate. Time is running out.

[Show Hack and Wiggins crawling up to the edge of a fortified compound at night.]


How many you got?


I count ten.




There are two inside that control room. Watch their shadows on the wall through the window. They're playing cards. A slow-moving game.


Man. I only counted eight. We can't take ten guys. We've only got six.


Well, none of them are going to go away, and we're not going to get any more of us. We've got surprise on our side.


We had surprise on our side last time, too. And we lost three men.


But that was against twenty-five. We'll get them this time.


We've got to.

[Like I've always said, drunken monkeys can write commercially-successful Hollywood films. I might write more later, depending on how bored I am.]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Worst. Movies. Ever.

So I was reading on Wikipedia about the movie "The Singles Ward," and it turns out the girl from that movie, the one who is kind of cute but also kind of looks twenty years older than she robably really is, was in a movie called "Trolls 2," which Wikipedia says is one of IMDB's worst movies of all time. So I went to see what the worst movies of all time are, since I'm at work and incredibly bored. So here they are, according to IMDB. (I can't get my stupid computer to automatically number in reverse order, so I'm going to number these 1 to 100, but really they are 100 to 1, so the last movie listed will be IMDB's worst movie of all time.)

  1. Hercules in New York
  2. Seed
  3. Material Girls
  4. 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up
  5. Jaws: The Revenge
  6. Demon
  7. Slumber Party Massacre II
  8. The Beast of Yucca Flats
  9. The Hellcats
  10. Feel the Noise
  11. House Party 3
  12. Legion of the Dead
  13. Bratz
  14. Little Witches
  15. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow
  16. Shark: Rosso nell'oceano
  17. Night of the Ghouls
  18. Monstrosity
  19. Laserblast
  20. Shanghai Surprise
  21. American Ninja 4: The Annihilation
  22. Lady Killers
  23. Anus Magillicutty [yes, that's really its name]
  24. Track of the Moon Beast
  25. Bolero
  26. Hobgoblins
  27. The Astro-Zombies
  28. Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf
  29. Marci-X
  30. Toter hing im Netz, Ein
  31. Galaxina
  32. Araf
  33. Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
  34. Daniel - Der Zauberer
  35. I Accuse My Parents
  36. Epic Movie
  37. Uchu Kaisoku-sen
  38. Howling III
  39. The Bat People
  40. American Soldiers
  41. The Honeymooners
  42. The Last Sign
  43. Five the Hard Way
  44. Gigli
  45. It's Pat
  46. Dis - en historie om kjaerlighet
  47. Nine Lives
  48. The Comebacks
  49. Bloodlust
  50. The Smokers
  51. Siren
  52. You Got Served
  53. Carry on, Columbus
  54. Angels' Brigade
  55. Kazaam
  56. Phat Girlz
  57. Ed
  58. Alone in the Dark
  59. Jail Bait
  60. Yugio
  61. Baby Geniuses
  62. Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
  63. Meatballs 4
  64. Creepshow III
  65. Simon Sez
  66. In the Mix
  67. Leonard Part 6
  68. Troll 2
  69. Son of the Mask
  70. Cool as Ice
  71. 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain
  72. Ghosts Can't Do It
  73. Love in Paris
  74. Chairman of the Board
  75. House of the Dead
  76. Glitter
  77. American Ninja V
  78. Santa With Muscles
  79. Car 54, Where Are You?
  80. Bottoms Up
  81. Snowboard Academy
  82. Hababam sinifi 3.5
  83. Seven Mummies
  84. Santa Claus
  85. Going Overboard
  86. Buyu
  87. Manos: The Hands of Fate
  88. Keloglan kara prens-e karsi
  89. From Justin to Kelly
  90. SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  91. The Hillz
  92. Anne B. Real
  93. Pledge This!
  94. Surf School
  95. Crossover
  96. Dunyayi kurtaran adam-in oglu
  97. The Tony Blair Witch Project
  98. Die Hard Dracula
  99. Daddy Day Camp
  100. Who's Your Caddy?

So the good news is, I don't think I've ever seen one of these. I might have seen "Jaws: The Revenge," but I don't think so. I'm surprised that there's a "Police Academy" movie I haven't seen, but evidently there is. Now for the sobering news: I've come close to seeing a lot of these. I've heard they were bad but I still thought, "Meh, they can't be that bad." The movies I've almost seen from this list include "Slumber Party Massacre II," "Lady Killers," "Battlefield Earth," "The Honeymooners," "It's Pat" (actually I did see about five minutes of this once when I was out of town on business, but mercifully something else was on), "Kazaam," "Meatballs 4," and "Leonard Part 6."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Movie Reviews

I've seen three movies sort of recently, so I'll review all of them, since work is boring.

  • "Ocean's Thirteen"
  • Bristol Stool Chart Rating: 3

    This movie was just as entertaining for me as the other two, but it had the same problems as the other two: unexplained plot holes that are supposed to make you think the movie is clever when really it just wouldn't stand up to scrutiny if they told you everything, and a combination of George Clooney and Brad Pitt. What's wrong with George Clooney? Well, to hear him tell it, nothing at all. And that's a little irritating. It doesn't make a person "brave" to make an Anti-McCarthy film fifty years after McCarthyism, and even ten years after Jim Carrey ("The Majestic") and Reese Witherspoon ("Pleasantville"). In modern America it's the people who say that McCarthy was right who face public scrutiny. And Brad Pitt, aside from always being annoying as a kind of male Natalie Portman (can't act, just looks nice), threw America's Sweetheart under the bus so he could shack up with Crazy McBaby-Nabber and her jumbo sausage lips.

  • "Strangers On a Train"
  • Bristol Stool Chart Rating: 2

    I liked this movie, I think. There were some issues, however.

    1. Guy's wife is uglier than sin! Asking me to believe that she can get two dates to the fair is to stretch credibility beyond belief.
    2. Barbara was hilarious, and the fact that she wasn't in more scenes is unforgivable.
    3. The first time Bruno says to Guy, "Hey, let's talk about your divorce," Guy should have switched cars, and then there would have been no problem.
    4. Guy wore a blazer and shorts in one scene, and in another he put on a heavy wool sweater before playing tennis. Did people ever really do that?
    5. Bruno has no real motivation other than, "Well, he's crazy."
    6. The Senator sure is okay with having a homewrecker of a daughter.
    7. I found myself thinking, "I wonder what color that piece of clothing was? Was it red? Or blue? Or just a shade of gray like it looks to me?"
    8. As a geographer, it bothered me that they never really explained where the town was other than "between New York and Washington."

    However, here's what I liked about it. I liked that the Senator's daughter immediately suspected Guy when his wife turned up dead. Most movie girls are too stupid to put crap together like that. I liked that Guy didn't win his tennis match in straight sets. I liked that the end involved a carousel, the most under-utilized piece of fairground equipment in thriller movies. And I liked seeing the inside of Pennsylvania Station, even if it was a little sad.

  • "Spiderman 3"
  • Bristol Stool Chart Rating: 3

    This movie was pretty good by "comic-book-themed movie standards" (which is to say, it didn't totally suck like most of these movies do), but it wasn't as good as "Spiderman 2." I'm glad they got rid of most of the corny mid-fight dialog that usually clings like daggetts to comic book movies' sphincters. I felt bad when Peter was being a schlemiel to Ursula because I like Ursula. And it was long. I mean, not "Meet Joe Black" long, but long. (Speaking of "Meet Joe Black," I went to see it at the movies with a girl. It was boring, so I said I had to go to the bathroom with the intention of sneaking into another film for a while, but the only other one on my side of the theater was "Ever After," so I actually watched about fifteen minutes of that before going back to my own theater and falling asleep. I thought Claire Forlani (who totally shouldn't have dumped Lt. Dan on "CSIPD Blue") was pretty enough that I wouldn't mind sitting through "Meet Joe Black." I was wrong. I don't even know what it's about. He ends up being dead, doesn't he?)

On the Bandwagon, With Reservations

From the beginning of this football season, I have had two problems with the Kansas Jayhawks: 1. their early-season hype was completely unwarranted (see here), and 2. The University of Kansas cares more about athletics than about academics (see here and here).

I stand by those assessments. However, KU has played its conference schedule against much stronger teams than comprised their non-conference schedule, and the football team has taken steps to make future non-conference schedules more demanding. When the Jayhawks beat Florida International and then fans all over Lawrence were screaming for a national ranking, I was telling them to shut up. Now the Jayhawks are one of two undefeated teams remaining in the FBS division with victories over quality teams, and I don't feel that I've been proven wrong. Mind you, my entire argument was "the team has not shown itself to be good," and at that time I was correct. The team has now shown itself to be good, but that doesn't disprove my earlier point. Should KU win out against highly-ranked teams such as Missouri and Oklahoma, they will show themselves to be much better than a victory over Florida International ever could.

As to my second point, nothing has changed. The only difference is that football games are on Saturdays, so they don't affect school as much. I've had my wife drop me off and pick me up at the library on game days without a problem. However, every time there is a home basketball game, there is no place to park to go to the library that night. Last week I had to meet with two classmates at the library, but every parking lot on campus was blocked off because the basketball team was playing Washburn. I asked one of the parking lot attendants where I should park to go to the library and he said in his best Missouri drawl, "Uh, I don' even know where the libery is." I thought, "You don't know where the library is, or you don't know what the library is?"

So I don't think I am betraying myself if I root for KU this weekend, am I? I mean, what else am I supposed to do, root for slavers?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Even Better Than Feel-Good Friday

I thought sleeping for one hour Thursday night was great until I slept for sixteen hours Friday night. That was even better.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Feel-Good Friday Continues...

And another thing we should all cheer: let's hear it for one hour of sleep! I was up yesterday from seven to six-twenty, then back up at seven-twenty. Right now it's noon and I feel GREAT! Seriously. I was going to blow off work, but there's no reason, so here I am. Maybe my years of prayers have paid off and now I don't need to sleep anymore. That would be AWESOME!!!!!111!!eleventy!!!! Do you know how productive I'd be! It would be like polyphasic sleep, but better!

Employment History

Let's hear it for my former employer, Western Wats, who made today in this article about Mitt Romney being a dastardly Mormon.

Two things: everyone at Western Wats is as Mormon as they come, and I wonder if Romney's campaign would do this type of over-the-top questioning to make the issue become taboo and keep others from doing a more-subtle form of it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bonds for President

So Barry Bonds was indicted today on perjury and obstruction of justice, which can only mean one thing: he's gearing up to run for president. Because felonies like that don't qualify as "high crimes and misdemeanors."

End of the Year Extravaganza!

The mark of a lazy writer is a "top ten" list, followed closely by a "best of" list. So I give you a "best of" list that is sure to make the "top ten" list of "best of" lists.

BEST OF 2007

  • Best Movie Seen in a Movie Theater: "The Simpsons Movie"
  • Because it was the only movie I saw in a theater all year. But aside from that, I still thought it was pretty good. I consider myself a pretty big fan of "The Simpsons," although I haven't seen a new episode in over three years, thanks to my giving up Sunday television. But I don't really think I'm missing much, since the last episodes I saw had lost their objectivity and consistently mocked only one viewpoint. Remember the episode where Apu is found out to be an illegal immigrant and Marge says, "His only crime is breaking federal law"? Or the episode where the mall excavation turns up and angel skeleton and it's not just religionists who are mocked, but Lisa's militant skepticism, too? That type of even-handedness has been jettisoned in favor of whole episodes opposing the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. Anyway, the movie turned out to be better than I thought it would be. I look forward to the DVD.

  • Best Movie Seen Anywhere: "Breach"
  • I might have seen a better one this year; I'm not really sure. "Spiderman 3" was pretty good, but long and not as good as "Spiderman 2." Anyway, I remember "Breach" being good, so it makes the list. We were surprised at how little action was in the movie, but that is more like real life. Spies don't typically blow up the Kremlin or steal a supersonic plane from the Soviets while having Nam flashbacks. They make photocopies and send them through the mail. Ooooh, espionage! You make my pants fit funny!

  • Best Album Heard: "Sam's Town" by The Killers
  • Okay, I know this album is from last year, but it's the most-recent album I own. However, I have reason to believe I am getting the new albums from The Hives and from The Killers for Christmas this year. Also, I have not yet heard any of the new stuff from The Rentals.

  • Best Book Read:
  • I can't remember right now.

  • Best County Visited: Pike County, Indiana.
  • Because we missed it last year. While driving back from my grandmother's funeral in Pittsburgh, I let my brother drive and I slept in the passenger seat. He missed the exit before I could wake up, so we didn't get Pike County. This year on the way back from Richmond, Virginia, we made sure we got it.

  • Best Restaurant:
  • All right, here's the thing about "best of" lists: you have to have a lot of opinions about meaningless crap. I don't care which restaurant is best. It depends on what type of food I like and how rich I feel. So maybe this list was a bad idea. But it took a lot of work time, which is always a good thing.

Moustache-Free Since 2007

Yes, the moustache is gone. And it took my wife an hour to notice last night, so how much could she really have hated it?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can't Stop the Hilarity

From an article about student protests at University of New Mexico over the cost of birth control:

Restoring the funds will reduce the squeeze on cash-strapped students, added Ambrosia Ortiz.

"So they don't have to make a choice between their birth control and their cell phone bill or their birth control and their gym membership and their birth control," Ortiz said. "These are choices women that women shouldn't have to make."

"Birth control should be very affordable."

I can’t make this crap up. I especially like how the last decision is a three-parter:

  1. birth control
  2. gym membership
  3. birth control

I feel like Deb trying to pick the perfect wig for Napoleon: “There’re just so many options!”

Maybe if these chicks would let their gym memberships lapse the fatties wouldn’t need so much birth control. Hey oh!

My Favorite Crack-Pot Ex-Congresswoman

You know, I can honestly say that every time Cynthia McKinney's name has come up at home, I've said to Persephone, "That is one classy lady." But what made me laugh today was when I read in a news article that McKinney, who has moved to California, has a group of whack-jobs trying to get her to run for president on the Green Party ticket. Because the Green Party has gravitas to burn, evidently. If I were in charge of the group, I would call it "Run, Cynthia!" meaning I am commanding a woman named Cynthia to run. This group, however, is called "Run! Cynthia!" like what people yell when Godzilla is spotted downtown. "Run! Godzilla!" Knowing Cynthia McKinney, however, (did I mention how classy she is?), I don't know that the name is an accident.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Today a co-worker said to me: "Why do they keep sending you out of town? I mean, no offense, but you caused problems when they sent you to New Mexico, you caused problems when they sent you to Columbia, you caused problems when they were supposed to send you to San Diego. I mean, I guess that's cool for you because you get to travel, but they should just stop sending you places."

Two weeks ago he said: "What do you do here? How do you pass your performance reviews? Have you been here long enough to have a performance review? How did you pass it? What do you do?"

Monday, November 12, 2007

School Has Jumped the Shark

I'm so bored with my life right now. But everything else seems like it would be just as boring.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Speaking of Poop...

Grey Is the New Black

Remember the movie "Josie and the Pussycats," which is one of my wife's secret all-time favorite movies, how there is a group of girls who spend the whole movie saying, "[color] is the new [color]!"? One time in class we were renumbering problems on a homework assignment and I the girl next to me asked for clarification, so I said, "Two is the new three," and she said, "Oh, you speak my language!" Which was funny because we are friends. If we weren't friends, I would probably tell this story in a mocking fashion.

Anyway, The Beach Club at Jimmy John's is the new Italian Night Club, at least in my opinion. Although, just like how the Italian Night Club can be sabotaged by an overzealous application of hot peppers, the Beach Club can be overpowered by alfalfa spouts if used too liberally. But while the hot peppers are extra on the Italian Night Club, the sprouts are gratis (or, as they say in Spain, "gratis").

And I'll tell you something else: there is a difference between the bulk candy Swedish Fish I buy at The Palace (the local card and gift shop down the block from my work) and the Swedish Fish I buy in a box at Wal-Mart or Hy-Vee. I almost don't want to buy candy at The Palace anymore, but I have to because work is so incredibly boring so often.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Family Holidays

We mark the anniversary of when my wife and kids flew into Kansas to live here with me. I drove all our stuff here on September 2, but they didn't arrive until September 14, which is now our family holiday.

Well, we're about to get another family holiday as soon as Articulate Joe craps in the toilet. We keep talking it up, adding more exciting things to try to entice him to not run for a corner (or a closet). As of today, his holiday will include a parade, musical instruments, supper of his choice (current front-runner: Little Caesar's), games, and traffic cones made of construction paper than can be worn as hats or placed on the ground.

What he doesn't know is that I envision a continual holiday, with each year being more embarrassing for him as we commemorate the anniversary of his pooping on the potty. We can have some of Rachel's "gorilla poop" cookies folded up in little paper diapers. We can give him rolls of toilet paper for presents. Eventually he will appreciate how much fun it is, I think.

Dr. Nick Riviera Quote

"The most rewarding part was when he gave me my money."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Life Isn't Interesting Enough for a Blog

I’ve got no business writing a blog. Nothing exciting happens. Not even anything interesting. For instance:

I woke up this morning at five, then lay in bed for until 5:10, then dressed in the dark and went downstairs to do my math homework. I did the first half, then took a break to eat some breakfast (Cinnamon Life), then finished my math homework. Then it was seven, and I had a half-hour until I had to leave for school. So I went upstairs and got back in bed, hoping my wife would wake up and I could tell her that it was 24 degrees and she would drive me to school, but she was virtually passed out, so I got out of bed and went back downstairs, then got on my bike and rode to school. I went to my first class (Calculus II: Son of Calculus) and there was a rolled up projection screen laying across the seat I usually use, so I had to sit on the other side of the room. I took pretty good notes (because I could understand the crap today), then class ended and I asked the instructor how to do a particular problem. The answer was very simple, which made me look like a fool. (One time I went to her during office hours with a different very easy question. I think she thinks I’m retarded.) Then, on my way to my next class, I stopped by the records office and dropped Economics 700, which makes me a quitter, but a quitter with a higher GPA. Then I went to Economics 640 and did the Crypto-Quip and half the crossword puzzle before class began. The lecture was on stuff I learned last year in 582, so I didn’t have to pay that much attention. Then my next class, Economics 630, is in the same classroom, so I just stayed in my seat and finished the crossword and then did the Sudoku before class started. I helped heckle the teacher some (when he made a simple math mistake on the board I said, “That’s 20 points off”) and then when class ended, instead of staying in my seat (again) for 700, I got my stuff and left. It was a sort of Walk of Shame as I passed all my former classmates waiting in the hallway. I went to the library, checked out a laptop, and wrote the editorial board story for Friday (Ward Churchill “teaching” again at Colorado is no big deal), then rode my bike to work, where I’ve been trying to become motivated for a long time now.

Future plans: sit at work until five, then ride my bike down to the community building and watch my daughter’s final dance class, then put the bike on the back of the car and go home with my family, eat supper, read Thomas the Tank Engine and Farmer Boy, put our kids to bed, take a shower, file some papers I have sitting on my desk, run some genealogy names through IGI, and, let’s face it, maybe [REDACTED ON INSISTENCE OF MY WIFE].

Such excitement! I can’t understand why I don’t have ten blogs, each more kick-ass than the one before!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


A guy comes out of his house and notices a neighbor kid laughing at him. The guy continues on his way and the kid keeps laughing at him. The guy goes over to the kid and says, "What's so funny?" The kid says, "Well, last night I was looking out my window and I saw you and your wife having sex." The guy says, "The joke's on you, kid; I wasn't even home last night!"

I love that joke.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rate My Professor

I have two classes right now with the same professor. One of them is an undergraduate course and the other is a graduate course. In both classes he is just as incompetent, but the graduate students maintain a little more decorum. The undergrads, however, have been revolting for a few weeks now. One kid, Alex, yells at the professor. A lot. When the professor writes something wrong on the board (which he often does), some of the students say, "If I would have done that on my homework you would have taken off twenty points."

Anyway, I went in to see the guy today to drop out of the grad class and take it again next year, since I have to be here that long, anyway. He told me he might not teach the course next year because a different professor is the usual instructor. So when I got to work I looked up both of them on It turns out the only professor in the entire department who is rated lower than my current instructor is the other guy who usually teaches the class.

But the real point here is that, no matter what the problem is, quitting is always the answer.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I love Wikipedia. Today I looked up "earwax" (it turns out Asians have different earwax than whites and blacks), and using only the links to related articles at the bottom of each page, I ended up reading about Principality of Hutt River, a ranch in Western Australia whose owner declared its independence in 1970 and has basically, it seems, gotten the Australian government to agree that, in principle, he's right. He issues his own money and stamps and Australian courts have ruled they are valid, and it seems like he doesn't pay taxes, either.

Things Every Man Should Teach His Son

When watching baseball, if you have to pee, hold it. If the half-inning is short, you can go while the teams switch places, and if the half-inning is long, you can go while they bring in the new pitcher. But if you're watching football, you don't want to hold it because eventually you won't be able to hold it any longer and when you go between plays you will have saved up so much urine that it will take you longer than 30 seconds, so you'll miss the next play. In that case, the best thing to do is to go during the huddle as soon as you realize you have a need.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I Look Like a Million Dollars (or: What My Wife Really Thinks of Justin)

I have a moustache today. My wife hates it when I grow a moustache, but I think it looks great. Here are my reasons:

1. It's so expressive. As I tried explaining to my wife a few years ago (in defense if another moustache effort), it's like a third eyebrow.

2. It's my way of giving back to the community. Everyone who sees it smiles, so it's like a tiny present I've given him to brighten his day. My wife said, "They smile because they are laughing at you." I said, "What do I care?" She actually said, "You've got a wife and kids to think about."

3. It makes me funnier. Everything I say is hilarious when I say it with a moustache on my face.

But my wife, who responds to the name Kill-Joy, said, "No one but Justin would think it looks good, because no one else would know you are joking." So there you have it: my wife thinks Justin has a thing for dudes with moustaches. I don't really see how you can draw any other conclusion from what she said. It's like night following day (or is it day following night, which also happens a lot?). But any way you look at it, my moustache is fabulous.