Ahh office kitchen how you amuse me.

Today you have happily supplied another round of excitement, todays adventure - Mould.

A tray of 6 cucumbers, sits upon the counter. They are dark green and the tray looks to be the vegetable crisper shelf from the fridge. A soft fuzz covers all the ends of the cucumbers, and darker spots cover the centres, there is about three clearly definable colours of mould.

The tray has since been abandoned after being taken out of the fridge, and the office is abuzz with whom originally purchased and then left these cucumbers to their sorry fate. But, as always, no one seems willing to tip the tray into the bin, wash and wipe the tray and replace it back into the fridge.

In the interests of science I choose also to be the person not to do it.. I'm intrigued to see how long it will stay there, and if so, what other types of mould will take to the rotting vegetable.

I wish i had a camera with me to start a visual diary of these things that I get to daylog... hmmmmmm....

Commercials. Advertisements. Sales pitches. Call them whatever you want, but no matter how much we hate them the marketroids continue to produce them in an attempt to brand the name of a product into our collective consciousness. What amazes me is that one would think the marketroids would want us to have a favorable image of their product in our minds. If that is the case, then why are so many commercials so damn annoying?

Take, for example, the following commercials. I will make a conscious effort not to buy from the following firms simply because I hate their commercial. If I ever have the opportunity I will have the following commercials wiped from my brain, Total Recall-style.

  • Chili's Human Beatbox - This guy is either rapping the praises of babyback ribs or he's having a seizure. This commercial is a series of shots of a full-body spaz attack intercut with shots of beef. The message I get from the ad: "Come to Chili's and be a freak!"
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Is "Nahtazu!" - The Walt Disney World safari park commercial features Mr. African Stereotype Man shouting "Nahtazu!" over and over and over and over again to convey the message that the Animal Kingdom safari park is "not a zoo". After seeing this commercial I understand why Elvis used to shoot at televisions.
  • That Mexican Food Product That Uses The Macarena As Their Jingle - I'd tell you the name of the product, but I'm coming close to erasing this commercial from my mind and I don't remember the actual brand name. Whatever it is, it's some kind of Mexican-food-in-a-box product that uses the Macarena as their jingle, but with altered lyrics to hype their grande product. "Hey, 1996 called. It wants its song back."
  • Robert Townsend for Burger King - This commercial made my list because of the tail-end of the ad when Robert is talking about how the large size of the Whopper and how little children could be crushed by it. He starts yelling "Mama heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!" over and over in a voice that could surely raise the dead (who would promptly tell him to shut up).

Commercials such as these are the reason the Mute button was invented. What I need is a device that monitors commercials and when a commercial I deem horrible comes on, it automatically flips the channel for thirty seconds. Someone get to work on that, OK? And don't advertise it or else I might hate your commercial, too.

i am sensitive and scathing. accepting, yet brooding. you may see me, but you cannot touch. i will tell you and still you will not know. i lie in a field of sun while i feel the drowning peace of your rain. i know you have gone, but you cannot take this away. i may seem to exist in duality and consternation. it is all my own, though, i am not divided. keep this in mind as you analyze your contradictions.

6am. He jumps into bed with us, radiating sunshine and smiles even in the dark, and he shouts "good morning, daddy!" I tell him, "happy birthday, sweetie," and hug him tight. He's picked eggs, grits, and an English muffin as his "super birthday breakfast," and the five of us chow down and get ready for a super day.

Today he's six, and he'll go to kindergarten class, eat cupcakes to some birthday tunes, and then shuttle over to the upper grades for reading and math. His teachers love him, and except for a little hyper energy, they're glad to have him, even in the upper grades. He's almost frightening in his command of numbers; but the class loves him, and breaks out in applause when he does problems like 36^2 in his head. He memorizes track lengths on CDs and can tell you at any arbitrary point during the track how many minutes and seconds are left.

It wasn't always this way.

Neurologists don't know shit. At age two, our little guy had stopped talking, as if he had forgotten the few words he knew. No more "dada". A speech therapist we knew suggested that we have his hearing tested. A-OK. Everything checked out. A few months later, the playgroup people suggested that maybe we get him, uh, more checked out. His behaviors were not good. He was screaming, screaming, screaming. No games. No imitation. No pointing. No social interaction whatsoever. Exhibiting behaviour that seemed ... well ... almost autistic.

"Definitely autism," said the neurologist. "What can we do?" we asked. "You'll likely have to arrange for his long-term care -- it's highly likely that he'll have fairly limited mental ability," he said.

"What's the prognosis?" we wanted to know. "You want me to guess?" he wearily asked. We shelled out our co-payment and left.

I'm still not sure where we went right. In some sense, my mother did us a favor when she went into grieving. We were terribly offended: "it's not as if he's dead, mom. He's still the baby we love, mom. People love dogs, mom." I guess, between the neurologist and my mother, we got pissed. Very pissed. The phrase I remember my spouse saying was, "he's going to be all he can be." That set the tone.

That first year, we read books (including the wonderful "Behavioral Intervention in Young Children With Autism"); we were tempted by various claims of secretin, vitamin supplements, and diets; and we reached out to every single smackin' early childhood intervention program we could. I would like to say that "we" were relentless, but in fact, it was really my spouse who was relentless, reaching out every which way to find information and answers -- whereas I was merely driven. We enrolled him in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. We swallowed our misgivings about kooky-sounding stuff like "sensory integration," and gamely brushed his arms and used a weighted blanket.

We tried to minimize self-recrimination, but it occasionally reared its ugly head, a la Steve Martin in Parenthood: "She smoked pot!" We thought constantly about things like thimerosal and possible mercury poisoning. Or, might there have been some unknown environmental factor in our home?

What about his accident at 11 months, when we reluctantly yet stupidly strapped him into a friend's jury-rigged high chair, only to see him, slow-mo and agonizing, kick off the table, and slam his head on the kitchen floor, from way, way, way too high. Could that have anything to do with it? Yet, that night, we thought we lost him. He lay still on the floor; not even a cry, and he wasn't breathing when we got to him. So on some level, especially in our search, we were simply grateful to have him, rather than not to have him.

But still, above all, we tried to find "handles" that we could use to lure him back into our world. Anything that made him respond, we'd push, we'd explore. His first word a year after his diagnosis, was "car."

We sometimes think, "well, maybe the diagnosis was wrong," but then we look at documentation that we created four years ago, and we know that there was something profoundly up -- and that something has changed. Besides, he's still a weird little kid -- he's just, well, on our planet rather than stuck inside his own skull. But neither my spouse nor I can say what exactly pushed him back. Was it his first-year occupational therapist, who had an incredible and electric connection with him? Was it the "Little Walden" program we enrolled him in, with two "peers" per autistic child? Was it the "Behavioral Intervention" book's program?

Honestly, I'm 'way too pragmatic to dwell on any of those thoughts. I'm just glad it's his birthday; I'm glad he's six years old; I'm glad he's alive; and I'm glad that his weird little brain lives in our world.

It's a hell of a great day today.

I just returned from my yearly snow skiing adventure. The adventure isn't in the skiing, but in the fact that I go with over eighty teenagers. This is the fourth year my wife and I have gone on this combination of discipline, frost bite, bad food, and sleep deprivation. If it weren't for the fact that it is one of the most fun trips imaginable, I probably wouldn't go anymore.

Every year, there are a few things that make the weekend worth the time and effort and three immediately spring to mind for this year.

  • First, while gathering up our equipment and such on Sunday night, we found that mixed in among all of the coats and such, was an unknown jacket. We figured it was one of the kid's coat and took it back to our lodging.

    Upon further examination, we discovered it belonged to someone else. It was black and had credit cards, etc. as well as a picture ID. Initial searching found $28, but no number to call. We looked a while longer and found not only an emergency number, but an additional $900.

    We finally got the owner's name and met the owner's wife on our drive back yesterday. She couldn't believe that we would take the time to return it to her.

  • I began my quest to have the term Sweet Ginger Salmon! enter into the English vocabulary as a popular term of surprise. I am not sure if it will stretch much beyond Central South Carolina, but I am going to try.
  • Finally, probably the highlight of the weekend was when one of my students who had been asked to give a testimony of what her faith had done in her life, used a lesson I had once taught her to explain something. The concept of the our old nature vs. our new nature in Christ is not one of the easiest things in the world to get across to a high school student, but she nailed it.

    As I listened, I realized that there is no greater compliment to a teacher than when you see one of your students master that which you have been teaching them. I could not have been prouder.

This is an old speech I wrote. It is supposed to be witty, and cool, but mostly stupid.

1. As I was preparing for this speech I was wondering what I would write about. So I thought why don’t I talk about something I know very well. Guys. I will attempt in this speech to give a greater understanding of guys. What makes a guy a guy. And what is the difference between a man and a guy. Yes, you can be a guy and be a man. But you can’t always be a man and be a guy.

2. Definition of the difference between a man and a “guy”
- Man can be the definition of the gender of a guy. You can be a guy who is a man, but you can't always be guy who's a man.
- Man refers to machoism, doing things to prove you manliness such as invading a country.
- A Guy refers to pure fun-loving immaturity.
- Example: Being a man and standing up for our rights is what gave us the idea for the Revolutionary War. Being a guy is what gave us the idea to dress up as Indians and have some fun throwing tea into the Boston Harbor.

3. Men have pride and guys have no shame.
- Throughout history we have seen that one of the outstanding character traits of men is their pride. It’s not necessarily bad pride. It’s pride like when you just invented something really cool or like you just won a war.
- Guys have no shame. Who do you think was the first streaker? Probably wasn’t a girl. Guys have been attributed to inventing extremely stupid stunts and sports. Stuff like bungee jumping, bridge jumping, cliff jumping, and the show "Jackass", in which all the members are not only guys , but retards as well.

3. Dirt, speed and a collision.
- One thing the whole male spectrum shares in common, at least most of it anyway, is the recipe for good entertainment. Which consists of dirt, speed and some kind of collision. Just look at football. Probably the most male dominated and watched sport in America. The players get dirty and we love it when that running back gets speed and runs down the field for a touchdown. And it’s even more fun to watch that running back get knocked down to the ground by a huge, hairy defensive lineman.
- Now even if your not too into sports, even if you are a geek like me. There is robot wars which is where you build a robot equipped with razors, lasers, grenade launchers, hammer, and various other weapons to DESTROY your opponent! Now that’s a guy’s game.

4. I hope you now have a better understanding of the differences between a guy and a man. Now go out there and be a guy or I'll hit you.

I Know I Take Him For Granted

Recently, a good friend's father passed away. I knew him fairly well, and knew that he was a great guy. Although his death was unexpected and so very upsetting, he is not my focus of this writeup.

This horrible event opened my eyes to how much I take my own father for granted. I think nothing of it that he wakes up every morning and is still in great physical condition and decent physical shape. I know that in the past, and even recently I haven't shown him how much I'm greatful for everything he has done for me, and everything that he continues to do. He is a great guy who means so much to me. He's been there for me every step of the way. There for the up's, and the down's.

I'm sad to say that it took such a terrible thing to open my eyes about what my own father has done, is doing, and will do for me. But I'm sure that I am not alone in how I feel. I'm sure there are others out there who realize that they take their parents for granted. I just want to say thanks to my dad. Thank you so very much for being such a good mentor, role-model, freind, and father to me. So THANKS DAD!!!

Heh, cool. I won a Photoshop contest over at Fark. Museum of Procrastination

Also check out entries by Jtnyc27(56 votes) then DrToast(8 votes) who's a good sport! (TotalFark means paying subscribers who get a head start in the contests.)


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