Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big Losers!

There are two parts to this post--the part where I realize something that I need to do for my body and my family and then the really funny part that came out of the mouth of my daughter. They both sort of relate to NBC's extreme weight loss reality show called, The Biggest Loser. I'll start with the serious part and then make then I'll "make some funny," as the clown-dad in the new Walmart commercial stated.

On Tuesday night I had a few late phone calls to make at work and managed to get home after 7:00--which is even late for me with my hour long commute. My lovely bride was not going to be able to make dinner so I used it as an excuse to get some fast food that I really didn't need. I've never had a weight issue in my 40 years of life, but lately it's been starting to sneak up on me. After changing clothes I decided to step on the scale in our bathroom--BOOM! I've managed to pack on about 30+ pounds in the past year or so. I didn't do anything about it, but it weighed (hey, a PUN!!) heavily (another one!) on my mind as I headed downstairs for the couch and the TV.

For reasons unknown to me, we (i.e. the wife and my 12-year-old daughter) decided to watch The Biggest Loser. Guilt came over me as I was sitting on my butt watching this show about health and weight loss and I needed to do something about my own body. About twenty minutes into it I left the room and ate an entire box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake, I didn't. Just wanted to make sure you were still reading. I headed upstairs to change change clothes again and got on the treadmill for nearly 40 minutes. It's a start and it's something I need to do every day in addition to changing some eating habits.

Now, here's the funny part. Before I got up from the couch there was a Subway commercial with one of the ladies from the show who was talking about her own weight loss and exercise journey. At one point she was in a mall moving along with a crowd of people and my daughter laughed as she said, "Hey, isn't she riding in an escalator?" I couldn't stop giggling and feeling proud that my daughter inherited my sense of humor.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Casual Friday

My office is REALLY casual all the time. We can wear shorts and flip-flops if we want, as long as we get our work done no one really cares. If you're meeting with customers, then we assume that you're smart enough to dress appropriately.

This takes it to a whole new level:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Choose Carefully

This probably belongs on FAILblog, but it was sent to me by a friend and co-worker while he was traveling for work in the Chicago area.

There are two choices for bottled water at this particular vending machine. You can pick the 20 ounce bottle of Aquafina water for $1.45 or you can choose the 20 ounce bottle of Aquafina for $2.25. Choose carefully! According to my friend, the $1.45 water was sold out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Clowns and Unicorns - The Walmart commercial

I posted this on my facebook page this morning, but I thought I'd share it on my blog as well. Walmart's ads are all over the place. Once in a while they hit the funny bone (e.g. if you've ever seen their spots for the Madden 2010 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video games), but this has to be one of the best (well, funniest) commercials EVER:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Your Degree is Burried Next to the Mushroom

Here's another ad I stumbled on...

Apparently, there are all kinds of degrees just waiting for us under the surface. You just walk over to the giant mushroom and start digging through the weird turd-like object. Or, maybe you smoke the mushroom. I'm not sure. At any rate, you quickly fall down into the Associate's degree cavern which easily dumps you into Certificates (whatever that is) and then Doctoral.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

End Up With This?

The other day I got the following pop-up ad online...

I'm still trying to figure it out. It's actually a bit creepy. You start out with a cheap camera and you end up with a picture of some lady and a couple of freaky guys "photo-bombing" her. Let me know if you have any theories.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Go Ahead and Spit it Out

Recently I figured out something that revolutionized the communication in my marriage. Now, I don't normally like to brag about my own marriage or the ideas that I come up with it to make it even better, but I'm going to do it now--deal with it.

I think it's fair to say that most wives and women in general LIKE to communicate. In fact, they like it SO much that they purposefully schedule times to do just that. Guys, can you remember the last time that you called one of your buddies and said, "You and I need to talk," or "We need to get together so we can talk about this and that." It just doesn't happen all that much. When my wife wants to talk to me about something she has always felt the need to let me know that it was her intention to do so. In other words, things would be going along just fine and then she'd let loose with the dreaded, "Honey, sometime we need to talk about such and such," or "When we go to dinner tonight I want to talk about this and that." In many cases there would be a list of items that were going to be on the discussion agenda.

For some reason, this has always driven me nuts. I'd spend all of that time in between the talk wondering what it was that we were going to get into when things commenced. In fact, I'd often want what I called a "heads up" so that I wouldn't be caught off guard. Sometimes she'd even introduce the beginning of conversations with, "I'd like to talk to you about such and such," and then start at it. I don't like to be told what we're going to talk about. I'd rather just let it happen. That's how I roll and I suspect there are a lot of other guys out there who are wired the same way. So, we came up with a new rule. When she wants to talk about something and there's time to talk about it, all she has to do is start talking about it. Not only does the conversation not need an introduction, it actually deters me me from wanting to talk about it because in my mind I'm thinking about everything that may or may not transpire. If there's no time to talk at the moment, she can catch me later on. It's not like she and I are strangers who seldom see each other.

Believe it or not, this has been a huge blessing for me. And a blessing for me when it comes to communication in the marriage turns out to be a blessing for her as well. Sometimes she'll start to introduce a subject of conversation and will catch herself--or I'll put the kibash on it. No introductions are needed. Just spit it out. I'm here for her now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Love 'Merica

We live in a great country filled with people who still seem to understand what it means to rise above their humble status when it comes to dealing with injustice, tragedy and natural disasters. It's times like these when I feel good about humanity and the future of our country. Go figure, we do our best when we're under distress.

But then there was this guy at the airport the other day that shook me up quite a bit. We were all waiting at the baggage carousel for our luggage. He was probably in town for a trade show, as was I, and I overhead this conversation (paraphrased, but I'm pretty sure it's accurate) with one of his work buddies:

THIS GUY: ...I got an estimate from another collision shop for the damage done to truck for the insurance company. You can barely see the mark on the bumper but it's going to cost a lot to fix. Of course, I'm going to use the biggest estimate I get.

WORK BUDDY: Blah, blah, blah. Blah. (laughs)*

THIS GUY: The truck isn't worth that much today. I'd sell it if I could get some decent money out of it. If the government ever does another "Cash for Clunkers" I'll get a new truck.

WORK BUDDY: Blah! Oh, and on another note, blah, blah food.

THIS GUY: What? No way. We need to get some REAL FOOD while we're down here. There's a Hooters just up the street from the motel...hey, there's my golf clubs!

*I don't remember much about what he said as I was too annoyed with the other guy)
If you didn't pick up on what I was so annoyed with, I'll spell it out for you. Americans complain about how government is too big and how big companies and their protective political action committees and associations stick it to the everyday man. While there is certainly truth in that statement, WE need to understand that our actions have an impact on the big picture. When we take advantage of insurance companies (whether it's auto insurance or health insurance) it affects everyone else. When we take advantage of government programs (even silly ones like "Cash for Clunkers") it affects us all.

Just my two cents. I'll go back to being silly now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lady Gaga Fans Stunned

Apparently Lady Gaga couldn't make it to her scheduled concert appearance in West Lafayette, Indiana, leaving her fans "distressed" and "stunned" according to today's Indianapolis Star. Looking at the picture from the paper, I think they're spot on. The lady standing on the left is obviously "distressed" over the incident and the gentleman sitting on the right with the big blue purse is "stunned" that he spent all of that time getting his hair and make-up to look perfect for the event. Hopefully he will be able to make it to the rescheduled event and will find the strength to carry on with his course work at nearby Purdue University.

If you haven't experienced some of Lady Gaga's music, you might give it a listen sometime just to educate yourself on what's popular today. I'm not going to provide a link as you don't need it. Our family got a thorough listen to the song "Love Games" at a local grocery store that was played at full volume. Imagine trying to distract your kids in the diverse produce aisle of the international foods grocery store when they want to know what is meant by the line, "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick." So much for subtlety.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Cover Reviews #2 -It's Your Time

First off, thanks to those of you who commented on my blog. I really do enjoy writing and creating, so it's good to know that there's a small handful of folks out there who read it (besides my wife--and I'm not even sure that she's been reading lately).

Now it's time for the next installment of Book Cover Reviews. These are highly educated book reviews written by me and based solely on the covers of books. This time up is Joel Teethsteen...I mean Osteen and his New York Times bestseller, It's Your, sorry....It's Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God's Favor. You can find the book on here. (But seriously...PLEASE DON'T BUY THIS BOOK. Go see Avatar instead--for the tenth time.)

Joel Osteen is the Sr. Pastor at America's largest and fastest growing church with over 38,000 members. I hear their after-church pitch-ins are incredible. His messages are seen by millions of people all over the world via television (Jay Leno will be taking over the broadcasts in March).

Obviously, Joel is larger than life as can be seen by his large tusks and large, hair-product enhanced, thick mane. In fact, he's so large in this book that he's three-in-one: The front facing right, the front facing left and the side to accentuate the O-lett (i.e. Osteen Mullet). I can almost hear the conversation that went on between Joel, his team of publicists and the publisher at Free Press...

Osteen Publicist #1: We need to figure out a way to get even more of Joel on the cover of his current book.

Free Press Publisher: We could take a new picture, but Mr. Osteen doesn't really look much different.

Osteen Publicist #2: Mr. Osteen has found so much favor with God that he no longer ages.

Free Press Publisher: (laughing) That's great.

Osteen Publicists #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 (9-32 are working behind the scenes): (dead silence)

Free Press Publisher: You're not we'll take a new picture of Mr. Osteen's teeth...I mean face...and put it on the mullet...I mean, cover.

Osteen Publicist #3: We'd like to put three pictures of Mr. Osteen on the cover.
Now, if you want "God's Favor" then you will purchase this book--reading it is optional. If you actually read it (or just say that you did) you will learn how to "Activate Your Faith." This is similar to the process required to activate your credit card when you receive it in the mail. You make a phone call to Joel Osteen's worldwide headquarters and give them your pin number, social security number, bank account information with routing number, list of investments with account numbers, name of your firstborn child, etc. Once your faith is "activated" you're able to "achieve your dreams" (as long as your check clears) and "Increase in Joel's favor."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Cover Reviews #1 - Food Rules: An Eater's Manual

There's an old adage that goes, "You can't judge a book by it's cover." BULLPUCKY! You can judge a book by a cover and I will. If covers were meaningless then you'd think the book industry would save a boatload of money and utilize generic names...and generic titles, for that matter. Why not just assign numbers to books and post the number on a plain white cover using the Ariel font with a brief explanation of the contents. It might look something like this:

This will be the first installment of what I will call "Book Cover Reviews" where I...JUDGE BOOKS SOLELY BY THE COVERS. I have no plans to read these books as I'm way too busy writing blogs and watching TV (or reading other books). Let's get things started with this little gem: It's Michael Pollan's bestseller, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.

Here's what the book has to say about itself according to

A pocket compendium of food wisdom-from the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan, our nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues, offers this indispensible guide for anyone concerned about health and food. Simple, sensible, and easy to use, Food Rules is a set of memorable rules for eating wisely, many drawn from a variety of ethnic or cultural traditions. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat-buffet, this handy, pocket-size resource is the perfect guide for anyone who would like to become more mindful of the food we eat.
Americans are obsessed with eating and the guilt that goes along with it. We probably waste more money on food and guilt-based exercise than any other country in the world. Imagine what we could do if we all ate sensibly and used our leftover money to help out those in need of agricultural resources and food. This book has one simple rule about food:

1. Eat peas. Moreover, eat giant translucent peas, pea pod and all.

That's all you need to know. Giant translucent pea pods are hard to come by. In fact, they are so rare that you'll be lucky to eat--which means you'll keep the weight off due to the constant foraging and the rare occasion that you find one. These pea pods are humongulous and it's safe to assume that one giant pea will be enough for one person to eat off for days. Moreover, the actual pod is also edible and should satiate the needs of a pea pod clan for an additional time period.

I didn't know Michael Pollan before I reviewed his book without reading it, but I know him now (sort of) and I trust him. This pea pod idea is pure genius. The only other issue to deal with is the penguin on the bottom left corner of the cover. I assume that these penguins also hunt for giant pea pods--or, perhaps they are abundant in Antarctica. Once global warming sets in the world will be rich in giant translucent pea poddy goodness (that sounds funny).

One last note: I'd like to thank The Elephant's Child who unknowingly gave me this stupid idea.

Blog Spammers Are in Full Force

I've noticed that I get TONS of blog spam lately. If I didn't have to approve all of the comments left on my blog I'd have some really interesting links for all of you to see thanks to all of the spammers that start out their comments with statements like, "Your blog is very helpful..." and then go on to post fifty links to electronics or off-limits sites.

So, I think I'm going to take that extra annoying step of adding the spam verification thingy for commenting on my blog (i.e. the one I never update). I'm sure I've complained about these in the past but now I have finally seen the light.

If anyone still reads this blog I'd love to hear from you again. I'm thinking about getting back into it. Facebook is fun, but it doesn't really give me a chance to get things off my chest.

Happy New Year to all of you (i.e. both of you that read this).