Friday, January 30, 2009

Microwave potato chips

No, I'm not turning this into a recipe blog, don't worry. I'll leave that to the professionals. Besides, zombie road signs are more my speed, anyway. That being said, I did just make some really tasty potato chips in the microwave I'd like to tell you about.

See, I had leftover mandolin-sliced potatoes from dinner last night. And I'm not one to throw food away. It was either super-thin hash browns for breakfast or chips for the weekend. Since I hadn't tried chips, I decided to give it a go.

They couldn't have been easier to make. All I did was coat the slices in vegetable oil, dab some oil on a plate, arrange the slices in a single layer, and microwave them for about 7 minutes.

Very tasty stuff!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zombie attack sign

This is pretty great. Nazi zombies are the worst kind of zombies, and any signs out there to warn drivers of them are okay in my book.

Question: What is the online Jeopardy quiz?

Answer: Something I did last night, and it didn't go as horribly as I expected.

To begin, if you didn't realize, Jeopardy hosts an online quiz every once in a while. Random folks take it, and the results are used to decide who gets to formally audition for the program. Quite a process, if you ask me.

The Professor took the quiz on Tuesday night and, according to her, failed miserably. So, as a goof, I decided to sign up for the Central time zone test (they break up the quiz so that each time zone has their own test on separate nights, though they let anyone sign up, regardless of time zone). It was nothing more than a whim. I assumed I would do poorly, especially considering The Professor's recollection of her test, but I'd give it my best.

The Jeopardy site urged all quiz takers to log on at least twenty minutes before the 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) start time. Being a good little bee, I signed in at about 8:40 p.m. and got to be psyched out by the pensive stare of a photo of Alex Trebek while I waited for the countdown to reach zero. I spent the time talking to him as if I was Sean Connery, trying to break him down a bit, though I don't think I was very successful. When there was thirty seconds left on the timer, the familiar theme music to Jeopardy began playing. When it ended, the barrage of questions began.

50 questions were asked. Each allowed 15 seconds to type in an answer before automatically passing to the next question. I will admit, I passed on at least five or six questions. But I was actually able to answer quite a few. It didn't hurt that some of the answers were related to softball topics like Lindsey Lohan , Firefox, and Slumdog Millionaire. I'm guessing I got at least 25 correct, which is still failing, but I honestly didn't think I'd get more than 10.

Unfortunately, when the test ended, I didn't get a score. Quiz takers don't even get to look back on what they've answered. 

This just means I'll have to wait by the phone for the next year, hoping that Trebek phones me for an audition.

I won't be holding my breath.  

Update: I've noticed quite a few folks finding this post while doing Google searches for "online Jeopardy quiz answers." Tsk, tsk! First of all, I'm 100% sure they don't offer the same test every night. Second of all, what's the fun in cheating?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Attack of the killer turkeys

NBC 30 ran a really funny piece on the news yesterday about a group of angry turkeys that have been terrifying postal workers in Rockport, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, they didn't post the video online. They did, however, run a text version of the story. I'm sure the attacks have been scary for the postal workers, but for the rest of us, it's pure entertainment:

Service has been suspended since January 15 for a group of homes in Rockport, Mass. because a gang of turkeys, lead by two male "ring leaders", have chased, and tried to peck the mailman off his route for the past five months.

"Some of the neighbors said their dogs have been attacked, but mostly it's just been our postal truck," said Rockport Post Office Delivery Manager Tim Russell. "They chase the truck down the street---two males in particular. It's just unbelievable."
You can read more about the war over here at the NBC 30 website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New England beacon has ceased to shine, leaving many lost at sea

The passing of John Updike feel especially sad, and I can't quite pinpoint the reason. The truth is, I cannot claim to have read many of his books. But his mere existence, as not only a highly lauded author, but a popular one to boot, was always around me as a child growing up in New England. He felt like one of the locals, even if he had been born in Pennsylvania.

I recall the first time I read A&P. I was roughly the same age as Sammy, the story's teenage protagonist. And, like Sammy, I was working a useless summer job, watching the cool kids frolic in and out as I begrudgingly scooped ice cream and poured sodas. The piece struck me. I felt Sammy; his frustrations; his confusions. It always amazed me that a man had written it, and not another fifteen-year-old boy. I had hoped to someday ask Updike how he was able to pull off such a feat. Alas, it was not meant to be.

So, farewell Mr. Updike. May your words continue to inspire many, but especially young teenagers toiling away the summer, for generations to come.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Christmas trees, they're finally gone

Sometime earlier today, I'm pleased to announce that our Christmas tree was finally collected by West Hartford public works. It sat out in the cold for about 20 days. I can only assume it took some effort to get it out of the snow pile that formed over the wilted branches.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

'80s cartoons on demand!

I noticed that Comcast On Demand is offering some great cartoons for all you '80s babies out there. Right now you can watch The Smurfs, Thundercats, and The Real Ghostbusters for free. Total nostalgia trip! There's even a Ghostbusters episode available written by J. Michael Straczynski, comic writer, creator of cult series Babylon 5, and writer of the film Changeling. 


The Prayer Cross: Huh?

I just caught this infomercial advertisement on, of all things, Spike TV (I was flipping through the stations, I swear! I was NOT watching a Steven Seagal movie). It is for a necklace called the Prayer Cross. The ad claims that, when you hold the magic Prayer Cross up to the light, the entire "Our Father" somehow becomes "miraculously" visible to the wearer. How is this possible? Does anyone out there have one of these? I'm just curious. Is it just a tiny View-Master?

Or is it really a miracle!

I don't know how much I can trust this ad. At one point, it claims the necklace to be one-of-a-kind, which is obviously a lie, unless they're spending all this money to sell one $19.95 (correction: $39.98 + shipping) article.

Anyway, here's the ad, via YouTube:   

Friday, January 23, 2009

Guaranteed blog hit

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a little product that has suddenly become very popular. A hint: it has the following words in its name: slap and chop. Since the post went live, I have had a massive amount of search engine queries leading folks to the blog, so much so that the post has become the number one piece of the entire site, being directly accessed at a rate of over 2:1 compared to the second most popular page. Now, I don't know why the Smap Chlop (that's my secret code for the item. Don't want to give away too much publicity.) is in our nation's collective mind quite as much as it is, but it makes me want to spin this entire blog into an "as seen on TV" affair.

The lesson here? If you're down on your web hits, just turn to Vince and his amazing culinary inventions. We are all really fascinated with flashy television pitchmen.

Now, I wonder how I can fit Billy Mays into more articles . . .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh, how my belly got jellied

West Hartford has been frozen and quiet of late, so today I reminisced about my journey to one of the tastiest places on the planet, the Jelly Belly jelly bean factory in Fairfield, California. I visited it while out west, and it was a pretty sweet experience. Get it? Sweet! You know? Sweet? Oh, never mind . . .

To begin, I should state that I was not alone on this confectioner's conquest. I was accompanied by my cousin and her 6-month-old daughter. It was the child's first visit to the old JB, but her mom had been many a-time. Our trio was also surrounded by an entire class of what I could only guess were third graders. They were small. They were loud. And they were itching for a sweet fix.

But to be fair, so was I.

The Jelly Belly factory is in the middle of a long stretch of industrial buildings in Fairfield. You know you're at the right place when you see the subtle vehicles parked in the lot:
Oh, and then there's this guy next to the autos:

Of course, I'm referring to the inflatable jelly bean, not me (in my fancy Jelly Belly paper hat) or the baby. We aren't usually standing next to the jelly bean bus. Well, she is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I've only made the one visit.

The smell of sugar hits you from the moment you step into the building. It gets even more intense as you make your way onto the catwalks high above the factory floor. Our guide, let's call her Bedelia, was pleasant enough, but was the type of person I can only describe as civil and tired. Something told me she could have done the tour in her sleep. She was also wearing a fanny pack, which was a bit of an odd choice.

Here I am at the beginning of the tour, pointing at a flight of stairs. I'm so excited because I had a hunch that the Oompa-Loompas were kept at the top:

Unfortunately, they were not there. In fact, I did not see any Oompa-Loompas working the floor. Mostly just average folks in hair nets. I learned that it takes up to a week to make a single jelly bean, which seemed crazy until they showed us the massive amount of steps that go into making the sweets. I also learned that a special jelly bean holder was created for Air Force One because Reagan was such a jelly bean enthusiast. There were a ton of facts thrown at the third graders and I by Bedelia. I have to be honest, though, at about the halfway point, I kind of zoned out. My stomach took over and all I wanted was for the lady to stop talking and just hand out the free bags of candy.

Thankfully, she finally did. She even gave one to the baby, which seemed wholly inappropriate to me, unless, of course, she had recently seen Benjamin Button and is now convinced that every baby is really an old person, just tiny.

The tour, like all smartly planned amusements, dropped us in the Jelly Belly store, where I took my time hounding the workers at the sample bar. Hmmm . . . how about a caramel apple. Hmmmm . . . how about a chocolate devotion. Hmmmm . . . you get the point. Giant bags of bean rejects, known in the biz as Belly Flops, were available. There were so many colors! I was like a grown man in a candy store! However, one thing that brought me back to Earth was the "must-only-be-bought-by-nine-year-old-boys" Bean Boozled line, in which my precious jelly beans were molded into flavors like Vomit, Skunk Spray, and Dirt. Who would want to eat vomit in bean form (besides the aforementioned 9-year-old boys)? And who was the poor sucker that had to be the taste tech on such a project? This vomit is just not vomity enough. Add more artificial bile!  

I ended up with a box of Coldstone Creamery beans and a bag of Soda Pop Shoppe. Oh, and I kept the nifty paper hat. In fact, I haven't taken it off since my visit. So, if you're around town and see a man with a paper hat on, hopped up on jelly beans, stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Part time employment . . . the saga continues

I am officially no longer unemployed. I am now partially employed. For about 10 hours a week, I'm working for the man. And it feels both great and horrible.

Taking a part time position after a dry stretch is a strange sensation. The idea of having something to fill hours is wonderful, even if it is only a few hours here and there. No matter how busy I keep myself in West Hartford, there are always moments that waste away. But the unsettling feeling comes from realizing how little part time employment pays. It makes me feel a tad pathetic, having come from a decently paying full time job back in Boston. It is certainly a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' conundrum: I feel kind of pathetic if I have NOTHING to do and I also feel kind of pathetic if I'm working part time for a low wage. And regardless of how much I tell myself that such employment is only temporary and could change sooner than later, it is still a bit odd.

Oh, President Obama, let's get the economy jump started! I know you've only had one day at your new job, but a little help would be appreciated (of course, I'm just kidding . . . sort of).  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A great day

Bye bye! Don't worry about writing! We won't miss you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fun with SkyMall

SkyMall, for those unaware, is a magazine that you find in every seat-back pocket of every airplane everywhere in the country, nestled between the vomit bag and the safety card (more or less). The pages within contain an eclectic mix of gadgets and doodads, from furniture to electronics. The point of the magazine is to make the flyer shop while suspended five miles off the ground with nothing to keep them interested except for the E! True Hollywood Story of Heidi Klum (I suppose the cabin pressure may make some of the items more appealing).

Anyway, on cross-country flights, I've tried to turn SkyMall into a kind of scavenger hunt activity book. Here, let me give you a few examples:

1. Find the most pathetic animal photo SkyMall contains many, many animal products, from doggy stairs to clandestine cat boxes. And in each ad we get to see a small, furry creature. But what happens when you are asked to find the saddest, most pathetic animal photo in the 148 page catalog? Oh yes, SkyMall scavenger hunt!

Here are my picks for the two most pathetic animal photos from the "early spring 2009" catalog:


I think the first photo speaks for itself. The second, though, just really bothers me. The dog looks too perfect, like it knows if it isn't spot on something really horrible is going to happen when it gets home from the photo shoot. 

2. Find the product that most resembles something from Star Trek (but which isn't located on the Star Trek merchandise page) SkyMall actually does contain a full page of Star Trek replica items, but the real hunt is for an actual item that could have appeared on any number of Star Trek related programs. My pick? This head massager, which claims Italian design and Japanese engineering. It also encourages the owner to wear it at the office.

Actually, the front of that kind of has a Robocop-meets-Tron thing going, doesn't it?

3. Construct a fake back-story for a depicted "personalized" family If there's one thing SkyMall offers, it's personalized products. And, more often than not, they choose one or two generic last names to plaster on these item, since we as humans typically cannot fathom what a name on a plaque may look like without visual confirmation. Here's what I'm talking about:

The trick is to choose one of these last names and then find every time it appears. Once you find your pictures, you're ready to start telling an elaborate back-story: Dr. Taylor was a complex man. He had a difficult time separating his religion from his job, which lead to many nights drunk in his basement. No amount of head massaging made him feel comfortable in his skin. Medical school didn't teach him how to maneuver through these sort of conflicts. And so on . . .

I suppose that's enough for now. Happy flying, everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photographic proof of hobo Christmas trees!

Friday, I wrote about West Hartford's growing population of homeless Christmas trees littering the sidewalks and roads. Well, it appears the trees have given up the idea that public works will come for them and have taken to rule number one of the old hobo code ("Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you.").

Here are a couple snapshots I was able to get early this morning as a whole group was leaving town:


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Things learned while out west . . .

1. The second most popular Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor is Buttered Popcorn (which I find unappealing). Number 1? Very Cherry.

2. There are such things as U-Turn lights and grapples.

3. West Sacramento just opened a new high school that contains water slides.

4. Despite having a reputation as being laid back, north California has meter maids that will give you a ticket if your tire touches the line in your parking space. This seems to especially apply on Sunday, a day most would not expect to see meter maids at all.

5. We need a Nugget Market to move to Connecticut. Stat! Same with Fry's.

6. We need Fat Tire beer to be available in New England (This is a lament I always have when I get a chance to have a bottle when west of the Mississippi. You Carolina folks are lucky.).

7. A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited can fit into a parking space labeled "Compact Only."

8. Police cruisers DO hide behind billboards, Dukes of Hazzard style, waiting for speeders.

9. In-N-Out Burger has a secret menu (though it isn't very secret).

10. Standing in the middle of a vineyard, with vines stretching as far as you can see in every direction, makes you realize how small you really are. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rockabye Baby

While out west, I spent quite a bit of time getting to know a six-month-old baby named Zoe. She likes Elmo. And Horton (of "Hears a Who" fame). And bizarre Little Einstein DVDs of puppets on fishing line. But one thing that she has that I totally fell in love with was her Beatles CD from Rockabye Baby Records. 

What's a Rockabye Baby Record? Well, it's an album full of lullaby renditions of popular rock and roll songs. I know, it sounds odd, but it's pretty cool. And soothing. There's a huge roster of featured artists, from The Rolling Stones to Nirvana to The Pixies and The Ramones (Gabba Gabba Goo Goo!). What's great is listening to a really heavy song, like Nine Inch Nails "Hurt," as it is rendered into a harmless lullaby.

Here's a YouTube video of "Come As You Are" that I found:

You can find out more info and hear a bunch of audio clips at the Rockabye Baby website.

What's all this then?

The streets of West Hartford are littered with homeless Christmas trees. Such an upsetting sight. According to public works, the town tree recycling program supposedly began on January 5th. If this is true, it hasn't gotten very far, as nearly everywhere you turn there's another tree sitting on the curb, panhandling for ornaments or selling itself for a new light bulb. Some have been sitting for so long that they've sealed themselves to the ground. The saddest sight of all? That would be watching a dry Christmas tree try to tap dance for candy canes. Needles so dry they fall off with every move.

C'mon public works! Get these unfortunate souls off the streets. Grind them up into wood chips.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Back from the west. It was unseasonably warm, t-shirt and jean weather. Sadly, it is unseasonably cold back here (one passenger on my flight kept saying "16 degrees? My freezer is, like, 16 degrees! We freeze food at 16 degrees!"). The Professor brought my heavy coat to the airport, which was much appreciated.

Lots to talk about over the next few days. For now, however, I'll leave you with the story of how I made the people next to me uncomfortable on my flight from D.C. to Hartford. I was reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers (which I recommend to all of you) while waiting to board and just happened to find myself at the chapter titled "The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes" when it came time to take our seats. Of course, I had absolutely no idea that there actually had been a plane crash in the Hudson River earlier in the day (as of this writing, all passengers are reportedly safe). I was up at 5:30 in California and had been in transit.

I found my seat and waited for my fellow row neighbors to arrive. When they did, I had my book opened to the chapter title page, completely unaware of the unsettling words that called out in large italicized font. They both noticed and gave me a look as they sat. They seemed a bit unsettled. It took me a few moments to realize why they appeared this way, though I didn't bother to tell them about the book or the chapter. They just kept to themselves, and I read.

Anyway, there's plenty to go over in the next few days. But now I need to crash a bit, no pun intended.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Heading west of West Hartford

I'm packing it in, folks. Heading out west for a week. Getting out right before the next storm dumps on old Connecticut. My shoveling self is sad, but the other 99% of me is glad to be escaping to a little sun and warmth.

Seeing as I won't be doing any live posting for a bit, I figure this would be a good chance to try my hand at a little fortune telling. Here it goes:

Saturday, January 10th: Baltimore beats Tennessee, 24-17. Neil Patrick Harris isn't as funny as you'd hoped on SNL. You blame the writers.

Sunday, January 11th: Philadelphia beats the NY Giants, 28-24. Mickey Rourke wins best actor at the Golden Globes and has a funny haircut and disheveled look as he accepts the award. Javier Bardem's fly is down when he presents an award. Jack Nicholson laughs at this. Bardem is embarrassed.

Monday, January 12th: The Dow closes up 71.25 points. Doesn't matter.

Tuesday, January 13th: A small martian named Gazoo travels back in time from his home planet of Zatox to the time of early man, where he befriends a pair of cavemen named Fred and Barney. This friendship is preserved as hieroglyphics that won't be discovered until the early 1960s.

Wednesday, January 14th: Expect rain. Or not.

Thursday, January 15th: The world learns that Donkey Kong is real.

Let's see how accurate I am. I have a pretty good feeling about most of these.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Winter rose garden

I went running today, which wasn't the greatest idea. The sidewalks were mostly ice and the streets weren't much better. But I kept one foot in front of the other and eventually made my way into Elizabeth Park, thinking that, even if the roads there were slippery, there wouldn't be a soul crawling around.

For those reading from out of town (or state), let me explain that, among other things, Elizabeth Park houses a really beautiful rose garden. Here's a picture of it from the park's website:

As I made my way down the middle of the entrance road, I decided to pay the garden a visit. I hadn't been by since early fall, and I wondered what it would look like without any flowers. Here's a close replica of what I saw, again from the park's website. Sadly, this photo doesn't do the garden justice:

The bare arches were wrapped tight. The gazebo was a husk of a structure, its bare bones exposed to viewers. The scene was really breathtaking, like some kind of winter art installation. The place was all but barren. No footprints broke through the white cover on the ground. It was its own little world.

Local runners and walkers should give it a look. Out-of-towners, you'll just have to take my word for it.   

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


My soul feels a little bit lighter today, for I have finally caved to the pressure of my peers and joined Facebook. I resisted as long as I could, but I'm no rock. I can be swayed.

I will admit that I've used the site vicariously through the Professor, taking quizzes on useless topics like 80s music and obscure Disney characters. But today, in a moment of weakness, I accepted an invitation that had been sitting in my inbox for about a month. 

I must really be bored.

Now I get to look at pictures of people that I know! And I get to cautiously avoid the friend invitations from people I haven't seen since high school (if we haven't talked in 12 years, then I don't think we're going to start now)! I can become a fan of bacon or Bruce Springsteen or anything else under the sun!

I'm already exhausted. I need a nap.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ron Asheton, RIP

Ron Asheton, guitarist/bassist for The Stooges, was found dead in his home this morning. He was 60 years old. He apparently died of a heart attack, though nothing official has been released.

Here's Asheton in action (he's on the right for almost the entire clip) with Iggy Pop and the reunited Stooges from a performance in Montreal this past summer:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I heart I-84 and I-84 hearts me

I've been getting pretty hot and heavy with I-84 lately. Maybe it's my gentle eyes, the sweet nothings I whisper to the cracked asphalt as I roam its nooks and crannies with my car. Maybe it's the holidays and multiple trips to Boston to finish a film project. Either way, the highway and I have become pretty familiar. Not "familiar" familiar. That won't happen until 84 gets on one knee and produces a ring (I'm no hussy, after all). But familiar enough that I've begun paying attention to the billboards that line the long stretches between West Hartford and Massachusetts.

And all I can say is that Connecticut has a weird sensibility with street advertising. 

The initial billboards that greet drivers heading south from Massachusetts are for establishments that promise nude women. It's as if Connecticut is saying, "Hey Northern New England, you bunch of sheltered wimps, welcome to the dirty south, where we let our freak flags fly!" This would be true, of course, if Connecticut wasn't one of the most milquetoast places on Earth. In fact, I believe that all freak flags have been banned in West Hartford, with the ruling that such flags clash too much with the painted fiberglass CowParade sculptures.

The first advertisement is for some sort of adult novelty franchise named V.I.P. For the life of me, I cannot imagine this stands for Very Important Person. I don't see many high profile folks heading over to such a place for their nudie magazine needs (though, if you add a bouncer and velvet rope, you never know . . .). Maybe V.I.P. stands for Venereal Infection Possibilities or Vibrant Images, People! Who knows, maybe I'm totally interpreting the come-hither stare of the billboard vixen incorrectly and V.I.P. is something else altogether. Vagrant Inoculation Place? Van Improvement Palace? Village Idiot Plasterers?

The second billboard is for a place called Electric Blue. Now gents, before you assume Electric Blue is some sort of new shaving gel, let me inform you it is really just a strip club. How do I know this? Well, there's the promise of exotic dancers in flashy font (What is so "exotic" about exotic dancers anymore? Aren't most popular dance moves essentially stripper moves without a pole? You know, the "running man," the "pogo," the "Superman."). Then there's the dark outline of a sassy lady which, to me, promises either naked women or some kind of intricate paper cutting silhouette art being done on premises. This being Connecticut, I wouldn't be shocked to see the latter.

Yes, Connecticut seems to like flaunting its obsession with pornography through 30-foot advertising. But there are other treasures to learn through billboards on I-84, the most fantastic being the Nutmeg state's vast pride when it comes to breakfast and lunch deals. Now, I don't know if you've heard of these little gems, but there are apparently places called Friendly's and McDonalds that are really out of sight when it comes to value. And Connecticut is cool enough to not hide these secrets! They want all of you to know about them! How great is that?

Oh, I-84, the wonders that you bring. Without you and your billboards, I would have never had that Super Slam breakfast plate. With your genius, I now know where to get a rug, who to call to get out of a drunk driving conviction, and that, apparently "size matters." You truly are a Voyage In Pleasure.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Number 200, and E.T. can't phone home

Amazingly, this is my 200th post. I'm not sure how I have written so many since mid-August, but somehow I find myself sitting here seeing 199 published posts on my Blogger dashboard. I guess I've had a lot to say.

I was in Blue Back Square today, doing my thing (you know, beat-boxing, juggling, making awkward balloon animals for old people, shoveling for fun, grifting), when I realized I had forgotten to grab the Whole Foods shopping list the Professor had written. One may think I did this on purpose, to avoid Whole Foods and the crazies that always seem to lurk within (fancy West Hartfordites, nutty health food junkies, snooty old people who I refused to make balloon animals for, the cool kids), but I truly intended on stopping in. Honest.

Since I don't have a cell phone, I decided to find a pay phone to give her a call. That's when I realized pay phones don't exist in Blue Back Square. Yes, apparently when new structures are now made, old technologies don't get included. I walked all over and couldn't find one. No little blue signed vestibules along the street. Nothing bolted to the side of the market. I could have sworn that I had seen one somewhere, but today they had shriveled up and vanished.

For a moment, I admit that I pined for a cell phone. The looming Verizon sign across from the market suddenly did not seem quite as evil. But I resisted. Like any grown man, I did not accept defeat, nor did I ask for assistance.

Actually, I did accept defeat. It was too cold to continue looking for a phone and my free two hours in the garage (thanks, Noah Webster Library) was about up. I tossed my remaining balloon in the trunk, along with my shovel, and drove home.

Hell of a story, ain't it?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The poll

The CNN website always has a daily poll. Usually, it has something to do with the economy or mundane things like shopping. Today's, however, is rather odd:

Jeez, CNN, what a Debbie Downer you are! Thankfully, as of this writing, over 85% of clickers have felt hopeful about 2009. If you want to sway the vote either way, visit