Archive for October, 2010

Friday Evening Mental Chex Mix (snack size)

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 by tom
  • Happy Friday!
  • There are times where I need to e-mail a photo to myself, because I haven’t figured out how to save things from the NASA Images app to my picture gallery.
  • I’ll e-mail the picture to myself from one app to my e-mail.
  • My e-mail, in an odd display of self-loathing, tends to reject e-mails from itself as spam.
  • Oddly, e-mails from “skoolgirl_cumshot” make it through. Odd.
  • And no, I’m not a subscriber of “skoolgirl_cumshot”
  • Anymore
  • Just kidding
  • I’d like to file a complaint on behalf of two fine food substances who’ve gotten bad raps in popular nomenclature:
  • What did the lemon ever do to anyone to associate it with a poor car?
  • Lemons are a noble fruit (like Prince Charles (har!)). 
  • Seriously, without lemons, we wouldn’t have lemonade.  There are few beverages more refreshing on a hot summer day than lemonade.  Lemon oil helps keep our fine furniture fine, and degreases the world’s pots & pans.  Pledge? LEMON FRESH! Not Apple Fresh or Pear Fresh. It’s Lemon Fresh.  You don’t see grape meringue pies or strawberry-pepper chicken.  The lemon has been slandered by modern parlance, and I feel bad for it.  It’s time to pass legislation that makes a Lemon Law a positive thing.
  • Spam is a different story.  There’s nothing wrong with Spam.  It’s a lovely combination of pork shoulder and ham (and sodium omigodwhatthehell and vaguely creepy jelly stuff).  Spam is  well-beloved in the South, where it’s fried and made into sandwiches. 
  • In Hawaii, Spammania gets to a whole new level.  At McDonald’s and Burger King’s Hawaiian locations, you can buy Spam.  From Spamburgers for lunch to Spam, eggs, and rice breakfast platters. 
  • In my dealings with Spam, both as a Southerner and as a visitor to Hawaii, at no point did the can mention erection difficulties or improved mortgage rates.  “Asian He-She Pron?” Nope. 
  • Spam is a perfectly fine, consistant American foodstuff, and I’m sorry it’s been so abused in the press.
  • However, Spam in Lemon sauce would be gross.
  • I feel yucky, so I’m signing off.  Have a great weekend.

Update From Painville

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 by tom


If you’ve read my blogs over time, you know that I used to have a problem with corn.

Specifically, corn that was mixed with other grains, then fermented.  (It was these grain byproducts that caused the issue. ;))

One of the lovely side effects from my grain years was something called “peripheral neuropathy.” In short, I couldn’t feel my feet.  This meant that I had to make sure my feet weren’t infected or cut off, but otherwise i’d be fine.  There was no pain.

Untill Tuesday night. Then, holy shit what pain.  It was like people were burning my feet with acid or lava, attacking them with a cheese grater, or poking them with wires.  The lovely part was that there was nothing physically wrong with my feet: no blisters or cuts or burns. I could touch my feet all day long, and I couldn’t even feel anything.

But those jolts and stabs and burns felt real.

I took various OTC and prescription pain meds, and they all failed. (Granted, “V for Vendetta” was very interesting with my blood chemistry, but my feet still hurt).

All told, I probably got 45 minutes of sleep Wednesday night. I left work very early, came home, and basically growled and whined all night.

Thursday was payday. I cashed my check, and headed to the doctor.  I knew what was wrong: peripheral neuropathy.  I knew she’d prescribe gabapentin, one of the few drugs used to treat PN.

She did a test on my feet. She had a probe that was dull on one end and sharp on the other. She asked to tell her which I felt. I felt nothing, except for shooting pain that wasn’t really there.

She wrote me a scrip for gabapentin. As soon as I got it filled, I bought a Diet Mountain Dew and swallowed one.

Within two hours, I was 1000% better.

The doc told me she could write me a precription for “Dilaudid or Oxycontin or Morphine” and it wouldn’t touch the pain.  I told her i’d be willing to try out those three…you know, just in the name of science. 😉

What I really said was that I understood.  A friend had given me a powerful pain reliever, and it did nothing.

24 hours ago, I was in extreme pain for what seemed kind of ridiculous: phantom pain in my nerve-dead feet.  The meds have started to work. It’s not “all clear” yet, but it’s better.  I’ll be able to sleep tonight, and tomorrow I should be able to return to work.

I look at the past 48 hours as a sort of reality check.  A few years ago, I went to that same office, in the same treatment room, and I complained about another frightful, strange pain. That one almost killed me.  This one…I’m counting my blessings, in the form of little numb piggies.

Happy Friday.

Pints of Simcox Ale All ‘Round

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 by tom

My final semester at FSU, I took a course called “Twentieth Century Literature.”  My major was Literature, and this class met my most critical needs: it was a night class.

In other words, the only vital requirement I had was schedule-based.  I had my final semester of German, two film classes to wrap up my minor, and a writing seminar, just for giggles, so I just needed one more class at night.

A bonus was that Professor Crook was teaching.  I’d taken Chaucer with Dr Crook, and he was one of the best instructors I had. (Dr Crook was a great teacher; Chaucer wasn’t)

Of the dozen or so novels we read, two immediately joined my “All-Time Favorites” list.

The first novel we read that term was Graham Greene’s “The End of the Affair.”  At the time, the novel’s broody protagonist appealed to me, and I felt a certain kinship.  Not that I identified with him 100%, but I fancied myself a brilliant, arrogant writer.  I felt like I belonged to the Arrogant Nit society.  Great novel, one I still love.

The other novel I grew to love was John Mortimer’s “Paradise Postponed.”

Dr Crook was a great teacher–I want to reiterate that.  If somebody had handed me either of these books, I’m sure I would have enjoyed them.  However, Dr Crook had this infectious enthusiasm for certain works, and I wanted to like this book just so I would be as giddy as he was, and not let him down.

Turns out I needn’t have worried.

“Paradise Postponed” was hysterical.  The characters were lovingly described, and I always felt like I was part of that little English village.

Over the years, I’ve re-bought and re-read “Paradise Postponed” numerous times.  I just finished reading it yet again.

One joy of this novel is that it spans a generation or two in these characters’ lives.  We see Fred Simcox (the sorta protagonist) as a small boy, as a boarding school student, as a directionless college grad, and as a country doctor.  When I first opened the book, I was 12 weeks from my college graduation.  That was two decades ago. Like Fred, I’ve passed various life milestones.

One of the joys in reading “Paradise Postponed” is the pacing.  In some books, the action is overwhelming.

Granted, if Jack Ryan strolled casually through his stories, we’d all have been smited ten times over.

I love that the story remains as it did when I first read it.  Those who die still die; those who are born do so.  What has changed is my perspective.  John Mortimer’s gift is creating a world so fully realized that we can feel a part of it.  Twenty-two years ago, the Simcox familly and their neighbors were just as they are today. 

Over that same period, I’ve had a rich variety of experiences, some good, some bad, some all mixed up.  For example, Saturday is Shortstop and Princess’ birthday (yay!). Last night, my peripheral neuropathy kicked in something fierce–my feet burn and hurt and itch so badly that I might go completely nuts before I can get S&P their birthday presents (boo!).

I’ll go to the doctor, and I’m sure he’ll work towards a treatment.  God willing, Shortstop and Princess will have innumerable more birthdays.  Maybe to celebrate one of those forthcoming birthdays, we can go to The Badger on a Saturday night, and hear Dr. Fred Simcox and the Riverside Stompers play “Slow Boat to China.”  Heck, I’ll even spring for a birthday balloon animal (some traditions are too precious to abandon).


Monday Night Innoculation Update

Posted in Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 by tom


Over my life’s course, I’ve made some relatively major decisions based on odd portents. 

Okay, that sounded way weirder than I meant.  I’m not saying that I decided to take a certain job because the Oracle of Delphi said I should. (Although the Oracle of Delfonics told me “La-La Means I Love You” (rimshot))

An example.  Many moons ago, I was the Production Director and Afternoon jock at The Point, 102.5.  I enjoyed my job and my coworkers, and I was reasonably happy.  Then the GM of U-92 called and offered me a job. The money was better, and I’d have more creativity. Hmm.

I was torn.  What made me decide to take the offer was my best friend, John Miller.  Did John tell me to take the job? Nope. John has a brother named Tim, whom I’ve always liked a lot.  Tim is a total genius, and one of the nicest people on earth.

The portents: in the hallway next to my potential desk was the same poster hanging behind John’s couch, and U-92’s evening jock was named Tim Miller.

Sign me up!

I probably would have taken the job anyway, but these portentious coincidences sealed it. 

The reason I even mention this is that last Thursday, I stopped at the 7-Eleven to buy caffeine before work.  I used my swipeycard, and clicked that yes, thank you, I would just adore receiving $10 cash back.  Jo-Jo the 7-Elesbian gave me a lovely, crisp Hamilton, bumped fists with me, and wished me a pleasant day. (Jo-Jo and I are buds)

I drove to work, walked inside, and there was a sign next to the large conference room: “Flu Shots $10. Cash Only.”  It seemed perfect. I had this lovely $10 bill, and it just happened that our company was sponsoring flu shots for $10.

If Jo-Jo had given me two fives, I wouldn’t have felt so compelled.  Just to be sure, I called my mom, who said, “You work in a large office just teeming with pestilence and virus, with disease running down the walls, like the fruit punch machine at the Woolworth’s lunch counter; Lord only knows what epidemiological nightmares lurk amongst your mouth-breather coworkers under the best circumstances, so yeah, a flu shot would be a good idea.” (In actuality, she just said, “Yep. I would.” (She’s a nurse, not a melodramaticist))

So I went into the room, filled out the little form, accepted my informative FAQ sheet, handed over Jo-Jo’s ten-spot, rolled up my left sleeve, and got punctured.

No pain at all.

Last year, my friend-girl Carrie got a flu shot, and she ended up with a nasty cellulitis infection. I wasn’t worried about that, despite having almost been smited by a cellulitisish infection.  If the typical immune system runs on 110 volts, Carrie’s would run on a non-alkaline penlight battery. (Perhaps ironically, Carrie was in my studio when the U-92 GM called to offer me the job) 

Yesterday, I awoke with the worst hangover I’ve had in a decade, even though I hadn’t drunk any alcohol.  I felt fevery and achey. Aw, bollocks.

My fever was low-grade, and my aches were minor. No big deal. The helpful FAQ sheet said this could happen, and that it’s no big deal.  I’ve fought it back with NyQuil, and I’m feeling much better.  All I could think, though, was that if I HAD gotten cellulitis or spattergroit or some other malady, it would all be my best friend’s older brother’s damn fault.

And Alexander Hamilton’s. I’m almost glad Aaron Burr popped a musketball in his Federalist buttocks.  Have a happy, flu-free day.

If Only I Ran the World

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21, 2010 by tom

If you watch TV, you’d think that Americans were walking around with fungus-riddled toenails that look like saltines.  Veritable scads of money have been devoted to those seeking to eradicate our brittle, crusty toenails. 

And thank God for it, too! Without this huge public service push, millions of Americans would not know to be embarrassed by their toenails.

Toenails is just a vile word.  There’s nothing fun about the word “toenails.”

Puppet? GREAT! Few words are more fun than “puppet.”  Puppet, puppet, puppet. 😀

Ah, but toenails. 

And “fungus.” Nothing good about that word either.  Put them together, and it’s trochee-icky: TOE-nail-FUNG-gus. Blech.

In addition to dropping hundreds of dollars on systemic meds to fix your offensive toenails, there is now high-tech relief.


Lasers? Mankind has been walking around with non-clear toenails since we first walked the earth, 6000 years ago (grin).  However, do we really need to waste lasers on TOE-nail-FUNG-gus? I’m reasonably certain T-n-F-g doesn’t spread to, say, your face, which will crumble and embarrass you horribly.  I’m reasonably certain T-n-F-g stops at the T-n. 

Sorry.  At the “toenail.”

I submit the following alternate proposal.

This is a laser being shot into the center of our galaxy:

Darned impressive.  What’s the purpose? I’m really not sure.  Something about checking the atmosphere for blurring effects.  Does it matter? Look at it.  We blasted a laser into the center of the Milky Way, probably because some astronomy genius was in a bar with his fellow astronomy geniuses, and Star Wars was on the bar tv, and he downed a shot of Jaegermeister before bellowing, “DUDES!!!! LET’S BLAST A LASER FROM THE V(ery)L(arge)A(rray telescope in Chile)! We can just shoot it into the middle of the galaxy!”

“But why, Bob?”

“Who the frakk cares?? We’ll just say it was to `measure atmospheric distortion,’ or some bullshit like that.  We have PhD’s–they’ll fund it!”

Odds are that at least one toenail at that table was fungal. 

This is six pairs of Hanes Men’s Socks, available at Target for about $10. 

What’s the point?

Simple.  If you have offensive toenail fungus, wear socks.  Let’s save the lasers for important stuff, like letting drunk genius/nerds blast them into the galactic center to amuse non-drunk astronomy nerds writing inane blog posts on a lovely autumn evening.  And as far as pharmaceuticals? Instead of Lamisil, let’s spend our pharmacy bucks on fun stuff, like Oxycontin.  Who knows what Bob and his drunken merrymen will blast next with a laser?

Happy Thursday.

Sunday Night Mental Chex Mix

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 by tom

* I hate when I really like a band’s debut single, then hate the follow ups.  Invariably, the follow ups are the only ones I ever hear.

* I don’t want to name names, so I’ll just say that one such band rhymes with “Fruity and the Ho’ Swish.”

* “Hold My Hand”? Brilliant! Anthemic! Subsequent hit singles? Loose stool water.

* Thank you Stephen Fry for “loose stool water.”

* I mean for the term, not for the actual substance.

* Eww

* I follow Stephen Fry on Twitter.  He’s a brilliant and funny actor, but he leads a very interesting life.  When the Pope visited the UK last month, Mr Fry was among a group of Britons who signed a letter stating that the Government should treat the Pontiff’s visit as a religious visit, not an official State Visit. (Ie, the Pope is Head of the Vatican State)

* Some columnist or another decried Mr Fry, et al, for foisting some sort of Atheist Hate Campaign.

* I don’t know whether Mr Fry is an Atheist.  I’m not. It’s not my concern what he believes or whom he mounts.

* I do know that several times a day, Stephen Fry tweets links to charitable organizations, urging his 1.2 million followers to help out if they’re able, or at least to learn more.

* I think God would follow @stephenfry, and that God would approve of Mr Fry’s philanthopic efforts.

* I also think God would *snerk* over “loose stool water.”

* Probably the phrase and the phenomenon.

* I guess I can’t imagine God would rather we be dogmatic and devout and burn down churches with whom we disagree than non-believers who help people.

* Just saying.

* I went in to work this evening, just for 3 hours of OT. It was actually easy and fun, and I spent one of the hours in a creative meeting.

* April, one of my coworkers, is the one who Typhoid Mary’d the Snotstock ’10 virus around the office.

* She feels like crap tonight, like it’s coming back for round two.

* Bollocks.

* Another coworker told me she had a big bowl of chocolate at her desk.  I asked her if she had any shrimp at her desk.

* What? I’ve been craving shrimp!

* I think shrimp get screwed, honestly. If I ran the world, I’d have a big bowl of bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp on my desk, and anyone who wanted one could help themselves.

* So I started feeling sickly as well, and I took some pre-emptive NyQuil. There IS a place serving shrimp till 0400, but I’m not leaving my house.

* The NyQuil has kicked in nycely (sic), and I’m going to watch V for Vendetta, a film about how the anarchist works for good, while the überreligious Chancellor is evil.

* V for Vendetta stars?

* Correct! Stephen Fry.

* For a bonus point: I hope round 2 of Snotstock ’10 doesn’t involve??

* You guessed it.  Have a great week, and I’ll take a pic of any shrimp I devour.

* Ob’yatiya  

Monday RAWR!.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2010 by tom


One of the main reasons why the planet trembled fearfully in the late 80’s was the invasion of Aedes albopictus! Yes! The Asian Tiger Mosquito!

Well, that or the final stages of the cold war.

But believe me, in the nerd-redolent lab-smelling halls of entomologists, it was red alert.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito breeds near humans almost exclusively.  It’s a vector for more diseases than Amy Winehouse, and launched a 2006 epidemic of Chikungunya fever that infected 266,000 people on one French Island alone.

I remember one entomologist breathlessly telling me: “It can carry all four strains of Dengue Fever, BUT WHAT’S WORST OF ALL,” he wheezed, “it can transmit it transovarially!”

Holy shit! I was 20, and my mission that summer was to mount this girl Liz, who worked with me there, and now I had to worry about transovarially…

Wait, “huh?” I replied. The bug guy explained that if mama had dengue, then all of her babies would.

Oh no!

I dealt with the news by taking Liz to happy hour and making out for a few hours, taking care not to transmit anything anywhere near her ovaries.

The reason I even mention this, is that the albopictus has not brought about the Apocalypse. Not even close.  Earnest, underpaid, overeducated people like my former boss have kept this hellbug under control.

(I was once scolded for deriding a Culex quinquefasiatus: “Mock if you will, tom, but what do you think destroyed the Roman Empire, smart guy?”)

The reason this came bubbling up to the surface of my Crazy is this girl at work.  She’s 7 months pregnant.  She has a bunch of tattoos–not tasteful, elegant, artistic things either–and all I could think was that if I were allowed to change creation in one pranky way, it would be that tattoos and body piercings would be transmitted transovarially.  Lord only knows what most daycare centers would look like, especially after a few generations of “tramp stamps.”  Toddlers would resemble NASCAR racers.

Sorry about this rant.  I think it’s the malaria.

Anyway, I hope you have a happy, Aedes albopictus-free Monday.

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