Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Still Here

In the last few days, I've been locked out of Internet access at home, work, and the library. I have news of my cousin's drug/gun bust, update about my niece, and Devilgirl's birthday party but this office is closing in ten minutes.

Earlier today, after Devilboy threw his Hot Wheels in the back of the car, I had to twist around on my car's seat and broke something so it doesn't sit level anymore (and before anyone asks: broke something in the car, not myself). Afterwards, I realized it must have looked like this only with a fat, ugly guy doing the twisting (which is all I hope that woman was doing).

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Test Results

It's official: Devilboy is not allergic to peanuts (or apples). He has a very mild allergy to tomatoes (looks like peanut butter pizza from now on) but nothing else showed up.

The car's still in limbo. I'm hoping for some news by the end of next week.
Suicidal Fish

Remember that episode of Sesame Street where Ernie yells "Here, fishy, fishy, fishy!" to have fish jump into his boat? No? Well, trust me it aired.

Here's a real-life version.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Head in a Jar

Would I switch places with one of Futurama's heads in a jar? Today I would.

Fairly bad class tonight (when no one likes to read, poetry drags). One of the students left without her coat and four text books. Hello E-bay.

No news on Devilboy's test results. As of five o'clock p.m., they were officially late.

The Clermont Computer suddenly stopped letting me post comments on other blogs (and the comments I had! Oh, the comments I had!)

The biggest: my wife called and said, "There's been a car accident" (translated: "I pulled out in front of a car and totaled the Gallant.") She's okay but this is her fifth accident in ten years of driving--no, I'm not cool, she got her license late. No chance now of quitting the shit job.

I'm supposed to keep office hours for five more minutes but I think it's safe to pull out.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Unborn Don't Count in Carpool Lane

Judge rules that pregnant women can't use carpool lane by themselves.

Analysts predict the ruling to be overturned by new Supreme Court justice. (Seriously, redefining "person" will have big ripples--maybe Microsoft will no longer be considered one. No, I guess not.)
Best Homework Ever

I'd have a 4.0 GPA in this school. In fact, I'd spend hours working on extra credit.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Functionally Illiterate

After the last couple of "stupid" posts, I came up with another observation.

I was in the Kroger break room with a guy who worked in general groceries. After the standard "I don't see how you can stand it in Deli," he told me about some of the worst workers in his department. One of them was impossible to work with because he was illiterate.


"He doesn't even know numbers."

That has to be some sort of mental disorder. How could you drive without being able to recognize the speed limit signs? (Maybe it's just an act or the guy I was talking to was exaggerating.)

But in my ENG 103 class, I ask students to list their favorite stories and this time over half said, "None. I don't read."

Okay, some might not have wanted to admit they love Jonathan Livingston Seagull but a good bulk of them really seem to be telling the truth. When I ask about movies, most don't watch anything but Adam Sandler and American Pie.

I constantly wonder--what the hell do you do all day? Doesn't nothing but beer and video games get old after a while? Not all of these students are kids--some are older than I am. Most of them are nice people but I can't help wondering.

I don't read as much as I'd like to but I can't imagine never picking up a book.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Stupid Up Close--Half of a quarter?

Several months ago, certain employees at the deli demonstrated such poor math skills that one of the older workers put up a sign:


I majored in English but I had a hard time believing anyone really needed that. I would have thought that someone who didn't know how to convert "one half" to decimal form wouldn't need to ask more than once but apparently I vastly overestimated the intelligence of the general public.

My optimism was shattered two days ago. About a week earlier, one of the workers had asked me, "What's an eighth?"

Thinking she just couldn't convert it from a fraction, I said, "Half of a fourth--one two five."

She stared blankly so I said, "Zero point one two or zero point one three." (The register doesn't go to thousandths.)

Another worker took her arm, showed her a scale, and then said to me, "You have to explain it dumber to some people."

The same worker asked me what an eighth was again this Sunday.

I tried to slowly say, "It will ring up as point one two or point one three."

She stared at me and said, "So it's more than a pound?"

It suddenly occurred to me what the problem was--she wasn't having trouble converting from a fraction, she didn't know what an eighth was.

The same worker who helped her before explained it to her in simpler terms.

The rest of the day she was proud with herself that she'd been so smart as to root for the Steelers.
Stupid from a Distance

If you're not familiar with the movie, Grizzly Man, read a review here.

Back in 1990, I worked a summer at the Cincinnati Zoo, selling memberships. The place was still in a dither after a former employee won a lawsuit against the zoo. It seemed that she decided to handfeed a grape to a male polar bear which promptly ripped off and ate her arm.

But it's not just bears. People who take Narnia a little too literally.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Scared to Death

How many of you read about the axe trick and immediately thought of at least three people to try it on?
Dirty Ads

Clever in a perverted sort of way.
Best and Worst CGI Movies

Some nerd's opinion.

I agree about Shark's Tale (although my wife bought the DVD and soundtrack). Dinosaur was an incredible disappointment--the first ten minutes before they start talking was fantastic but the dialogue between an iguanadon and a bunch of lemurs didn't work for me.

I've watched all of one Veggie Tale and wasn't impressed. My daughter did check out one of their CDs from the library and some of them were pretty decent. I've seen Antz and Polar Express at the library and decided against either.

All of Pixar's efforts--Toy Story & II, Bug's Life, Finding Nemo, Monster's Inc., and The Incredibles--were good to excellent. I felt a little let down by the second Shrek but the first was great. Ice Age was funny but the background animation looked cheap.

Incredibly cheap CGI movies made directly for toy products like Barbie and Hot Wheels are about as bad as you'd expect. The Hot Wheels movie doesn't even try to make sense, just shows cars zipping around on tracks.

The weirdest CGI movie I've seen is The Magic of Mozart. It basically shows letters of the alphabet with classical music. I'm not sure how educational it is but it puts Devilboy to sleep pretty quick.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Xmas Presents

In the spirit of spending in excess, here's the list of Christmas presents for the Devil Spawn. We were supposed to only get seven presents for each of them but we kept winding up with extra for one of them and after trying to even it out, we bought a whole toy store.

Devil Step-daughter

Five-in-One Game Table - Converts to mini-pool, ping pong, and three other games. Currently unopened in the back of her closet

Clash of the Titans DVD

Latest Series of Unfortunate Events book, the Penultimate Peril - Great children's series.

Latest Artemis Fowl book - I hate this series but, then again, I'm old and fat.

Toy Octopus - Great for making Barbie into Chthulu. Actually used for mock Pokemon battles with sister.

King Kong DVD

"How to Draw" book

Toy turtle - More Pokemon fights.

Devil Bat DVD - Yeah, they can't all be Kong.

Five Brainteaser games

Glow in the Dark Dragon jigsaw puzzle


Little Women - Token classic novel.

Plug and Play Atari Pacman game

Bengals sweatshirt

Harry Potter poster

Acoustic Guitar - Surprisingly, no problems yet.


Simpson's Operation - Like the original but with Homer instead of the guy with the Moe haircut.

Lombre Pokemon figurine - See octopus and turtle.

Plastic battle axe and shield - Within 15 minutes, Devilboy broke the axe.

Plastic bug toy - More fights.

Pokemon DVD

Teen Titan trade paperback

Spidergirl trade paperback

Another Teen Titan trade paperback

Scooby doo book

Another Pokemon DVD

Rockem Sockem Robots - Currently on top of the kitchen cabinet after Devilboy went medieval on the red robot.

Yu-Gi-Oh Battle Blimp - When playing Pokemon isn't stupid enough.

Scooby Doo in "Where's My Mummy" DVD - Better than average Scooby mystery mainly due to--


the mummy turning out to be Velma.

Atomic Betty: Betty, Set, Go DVD - Better than Scooby cartoon show.

Anti-Alien Zap Gun - Fires easy to lose plastic disks.

My Pretty Pony Pegasus

Plush Unicorn

Plastic lump of coal with plastic Pokemon figurine inside

Dora the Explorer book

Play exercise equipment

Pixter computer learning-game

Pixter Teen Titans game

Pixter Scooby Doo game

Dora the Explorer costume jewelry

Chef outfit - Announced that she hated it, making her mother very angry.


Set of coal cars - Toy cars inside of plastic lumps of coal

Hot Wheel race track

Jaws monster truck

King Kong talking book

Giant "We Will Rock You" car

Model motorcycle

Toy tool kit

Remote control car

Toy bulldozer

Toy jets - Already broke seven out of twelve within 24 hours.

Another model motorcycle

Book about tractors

Remote control jet

Remote control silver convertible - Broke control, now just really expensive rolling toy.

Toy chainsaw - Yes, I'm tempting fate.

Toy helicopter with parachuter

Set of racing cars

Ray gun with six sound effects

Model Air Force jet, Army tank, and Navy patrol boat

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Library List

Here's a big nothing for you--what's checked out on my library card. It was up to nearly 50 items just days ago but now is down to nine.

Kids' Books
Picking apples & pumpkins. Hutchings, Amy
Scooby-Doo! and the cactus creature. Gelsey, James.
Scooby-doo! and the phantom cowboy McCann, Jesse Leon.

Kids' CDs
The lord of the rings, the fellowship of the ring [sound recording] : original motion picture soundtrack Shore, Howard.
Piglet's big movie [sound recording]

My Books
Armageddon now : the end of the world A to Z Willis, Jim
Greasy grimy gopher guts : the subversive folklore of childhood Sherman, Josepha. Dragons, unicorns, and other magical beasts; a dictionary of fabulous creatures with old tales and verses about them Palmer, Robin
A Chinese bestiary : strange creatures from the guideways through mountains and seas = [Shan hai jing]
At Last--A New Post

Never meant to get so far behind. It just kept on building up.

A couple of moments from the last few weeks:

Dec. 23: A guy who lives in the building behind mine was walking home from Kroger and hit by a car on Five Mile Road. The crash broke his arm, his wrist, and both legs.

Dec. 24: An idiot kills a third-cousin once-removed. My mom thought that I met him all of once but his aunt and uncle live a few houses down from my parents, obviously making it about the worst Christmas imaginable for them.

Jan. 1: Devil boy is sick and keeps me up until 7:00 a.m. He is scheduled for a battery of tests at Children's Hospital tomorrow.

Assorted fights and misery.

I'm glad the holidays are over.