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SCIENCE, KIDS (permalink) 06.29.2005
do you got a snooze button on you?
not long ago i did some research into best practices for sleep. one point all the researchers agreed upon was that alarm clocks are the devil's work. your body knows when it's sufficiently rested and will wake you naturally. i've been doing this for over a year now and will say there is a great amount of truth to that finding.

but to clarify, by waking naturally i mean (1) after having gotten the requisite amount of sleep my body wakes, without any kind of assistance or (2) getting pushed in the shoulder and being told by a hands-on-hip four year old, "father, i said you need to change my pull-up, so get up!"

TRAVEL (permalink) 06.28.2005
the high road
sorry i've been away so long. i've been camping. i'm sure some of you are wondering what it takes for a man-purse carrying fellow such as myself to survive in the wild. well, first i need my man-purse and second i need a support staff of about twenty.

it was a great outing. one of the best we've had. the only bump under the tent came when a bed came available in the one air-conditioned RV in our party. the bed was secretly offered to marty. after learning of the opportunity, i said she should take it. she acted disinterested, albeit unconvincingly. i insisted.

on the surface, it appears to be a stand-up gesture on my part. under the surface it is the choice of a man who knows his wife well enough to know that if a raccoon drops ass within 50 yards of the tent, the girl is going to wake up. so for good measure throw in (a) two twisty, kicky, sweaty kids, (b) a 100 degree day, (c) one husband who is trying to go four days without showering (for reasons not well-defined) and (d) four people in a three-man dome tent and what you have is a proverbial no-brainer. for obvious reasons, i sent her off and for even more obvious reasons, she went off.

when it came time to for her to retire to the camper she paused on the way out of the tent and asked for the pillow i was using. this common house pillow was without doubt the only luxury item in the tent the kids and i were sharing. i uncertainly raised my head and started handing it to her when i asked what i was supposed to use. she tossed me a cloth object that i could have fit into the front pocket of my daisy dukes and told me to use that.

what the hell is this?

it's your pillow.

this is not a pillow.

it's a camping pillow.

what, for a ken doll?

well, did you pack a pillow?

well, did you pack an air-conditioned camper?

fine, keep the pillow. (throws it at me)

yes. how very generous of you. i think i will.

and this was how pissy she was before not getting a full night's sleep. i imagine my choices are looking much more sage at this point.

QUOTES, HOW-TO (permalink) 06.22.2005
a shiny new laptop would be inconspicuously sexy
Considerable evidence suggest that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods - such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job - then the evidence paints a very different picture. The less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel and other restorative activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer - and happier - lives.
excerpt from How not to buy happiness by Robert H. Frank as published in the MIT Press.

HOW-TO (permalink) 06.21.2005
the man does make a point
i recently met a guy who claimed to have the perfect wallet solution. when i asked what it was he got very excited, like no one ever asked him to share before me. he leaned forward in his chair and reached behind him, fumbling with his back pocket. after a moment he brought his hand forward holding it in front of me. in his open palm was a mess of credit cards, money, scraps of paper and god knows what else jutting in all directions. there wasn't as much as a paper clip or rubber band holding the collection together.

so, where's the wallet?

that's it.

but that's not a wallet. that's a pile of shit.

yes. i know. it's brilliant isn't it?

what's so brilliant about it?

it's brilliant because you'd be a lunatic to set this down anywhere, stuff would go everywhere. you will never loose this wallet.

KIDS (permalink) 06.17.2005
why doesn't the leash law apply?
we found a rabbit in front of our house about five minutes after a cat found it. it was in quite rough shape. after kicking at the cat, i moved the rabbit to our backyard and told bella we should leave it alone so it could die in peace. ten minutes later i looked out the window to find bella reading to the rabbit. an hour later, marty and bella buried the rabbit, in a shady spot picked by bella.

i have a cousin who in his teenage years used to kill cats. he killed a lot of them and he killed them in all kinds of ways. with his car. with his guns. with his slingshots. and, almost without doubt, with his bare hands. i used to think this was terrible. i'm now thinking about hiring him.

FRIENDS, SOCIETY (permalink) 06.15.2005
i have no friends and rarely call my family
it is my personal goal to be the last information technology guy in america who doesn't own a cell phone. as it stands, it's between me and 18 other folks.

i still haven't even seen titantic. i cannot be beaten. this is a fact.

WEB, PHOTO (permalink) 06.10.2005
and now that i think about it, the girl did have a prominent adam's apple
a detail i forgot to include in this month's gallery essay is that the day after getting the software, marty mocked me because i had stayed up all night working on my computer and was exhausted the next day. i told her to be nice to me and my new software because Apple's Tiger saved her marriage. she, like the gas-station clerk, indifferently shrugged her shoulders before turning away.

perhaps it's just that everyone but me knows that my seductress was really a prostitute trying to salvage a slow night.

HYGIENE (permalink) 06.08.2005
troy, i am your father

for most who look at this picture, what stands between them and hair like this is a catastrophic and/or life-changing event. for me the only thing between me and this is my barber.

FOOD, TRAVEL (permalink) 06.07.2005
i wish my business cards had a ominous-looking, winged man on them
i work with a guy who is going to seattle for the weekend. i told him eating at this place is a must. he asked where it was. this is me letting him know.

QUOTES, BOOKS, FAITH (permalink) 06.01.2005
i just can't get enough of this stuff. never ever.
During pretrial hearings, Ron's behavior in the courtroom served to underscore his lawyers' contention that he was mentally incompetent. He appeared with a cloth sign attached to the seat of his prison jumpsuit that read, EXIT ONLY; his attorneys explained that he wore the sign to ward off the Mormon angel Moroni, who Ron believed was an evil homosexual spirit trying to invade his body through his anus. He believed that this same sodomizing spirit had already taken possession of Judge Hansen's body, which is why Ron made a point of shouting profanities at the judge and addressing him with such epithets as "Punky Brewster" and "f*cking punk."
excerpt from Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

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