Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yet Another Fond Childhood Memory

It was summer, and as usual, I have no idea how old I was (some things are a blur like that, and this post should explain why).

It was a wonderful summer day in Indiana, and I was playing baseball with the neighborhood boys.  Yes, amazingly enough I was a tomboy and actually taught most of the neighborhood boys how to play football.

Anyhoo, I was pitching because I was the only one that could reliably get the ball over the plate, and didn't throw like a girl.

When this happened:
 Yep, a line drive straight to the face.  I recall looking at the sun, then wondering if I would be blind in my remaining good eye for looking straight at the sun, then realizing that half of my face was most likely gone from getting hit by the baseball, and wondering why there were stars when the sun was out.

I managed to crawl next door to my house (clutching a bush on the way to keep myself from floating off the earth), and into the house, where I promptly told my mom what happened.  She told me to put some ice on my eye. 

When my dad got home, he looked at my lovely shiner and pronounced that I needed to go back out the next day and play ball, otherwise I would be afraid to play ball again.  Something about falling off a horse, blah blah, where's dinner.

Next day, bright and shiny, the neighborhood baseball game started up, and there I was, black eye nearly closed from swelling, ball mitt, playing outfield.  Hey, I'm not stupid, no way was I going to pitch again.

Around the 3rd pitch, one kid hit a fly ball straight up in the air.  I got it, I got it, I got it... damn that sun is bright, I lost it, hands down and:

Oh yeah, that hurt.  I recall being crumpled in a ball.  I recall being under the bush again, I vaguely recall crawling up our back stairs, I recall my mom screaming at the nosy neighbor down the street to get off the stupid party line because nobody wanted to hear how she was sleeping around on her husband while he was at work because we already all knew she was sleeping around on her husband while he was at work and he didn't care because he was sleeping with his secretary, so get off the line so she could call the doctor for me before I died.  Died?  Lovely.

The doctor told my mom that I needed to stay awake or else I would likely lapse into a coma and die or become a zucchini or other vegetable that you can make into bread, and that she should watch me for vomiting, bleeding from the ears, nose, and eyes, or my brain oozing out somewhere.  Ok, I totally have no idea what the doctor told her, other than when she told me: "the doctor says he should look at you".

She loaded me up in the blue van with black spots (another story) that smelled like gas fumes (urp) and hauled me to the doctor's office.  Our doctor (Doc Bowser) use to have a cool old timey office on main street that had wooden floors and where I got my polio vaccine and chiclet gum, but they moved to one of those new fangly modern offices that smelled like plastic carpeting (urp).

The receptionist told us that we had to wait. So I did this:

Which amazingly opened a room for us immediately.  I was diagnosed with 2 concussions in 2 days... a Goshen record that probably still stands.  Nothing they could do except tell my mom to "keep an eye on me", which meant that I was forced to go with my mom to the Green Stamp redemption place the next day and lay in the van in abject nauseous misery while she stood in line to get something with the 14,000 books of stamps she had collected. 

Good times!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fond Childhood Memory: Spelling Bee Apparel

Somehow I made it into the grade school spelling bee competition. 

On the night of the big competition, my mom dressed me up in a stupid dress, matching tights, and told me to go put on my shoes.

I did what I was told, and came back down in my favorite, hand me down from one of my cousins, two sizes too big, black high top Chuck Taylor sneakers.

My mom looked at me disapprovingly.  "Go change into your dress shoes!"

My dad looked at me and said "If that's what she wants to wear, then let her wear them."

I loved my dad.

So, off we went to the grade school for the big spelling bee.

There I was up on the stage with all of the other contestants.  I made it to like the fourth round before being tossed out for some stupid long word (I have no idea which one) and frankly I was happy to be off the hot stage, standing up there while millions of parents looked at me (ok, maybe 40).

My dad thought I did very well.  My mom said that she would have enjoyed it a bit more if I hadn't done this every time I spelled a word right:



Mom was always so critical.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How Not to Plan a Meeting

A while back, shortly before lunch, I get an e-mail forwarded to me.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been included in an e-mail that seems to have been bantered back and forth by several people for several days, yet the person forwarding you the e-mail only provides you with the last two parts of the e-mail, which is like coming into a movie half-way and then being quizzed on the first half.

The e-mail simply said: “We need to meet”.  It was forwarded to me, and 5 other people, only one of whom I actually knew.

There was nothing in that simple incomplete sentence “We need to meet” that told me why we needed to meet, or when we needed to meet, or where we needed to meet.  There was nothing in the two other parts of the forwarded e-mail that suggested any of these things, except that one of the people that hadn’t been on the forwarding list couldn’t make this meeting (whenever, wherever, for whatever reason).

I respond by simply saying “Why are we meeting, when are we meeting, and where are we meeting?”

Three simple questions that should have been included in the original forwarded e-mail.  Frankly I think its incredibly rude for someone to just demand that “we” meet without including specifics.

The response came back: Is there a room available to meet?

While I’m sure this question wasn’t directed at me since I had admitted complete ignorance regarding this meeting, the fact that no additional information had been provided was causing my brain to bubble somewhat. 

Someone responded back that there were no rooms available at his office, but perhaps there was one available at the office where I worked. 

Um, excuse me, I’m pretty sure that I asked for some clarification on this whole meeting thing, so I couldn’t very well even venture to guess as to the availability of a room.  Realizing the whole futility of this exercise of stupidity, I went to lunch.  Upon my return someone responded that a room was available over lunch the next day.  Oh, great, so I have a day and a time at least... except I’m not giving up my lunch hour to sit in a meeting that I really had no idea the subject of said meeting.

I responded promptly with the contractor’s all purpose excuse:  “Unless I am told the purpose of this meeting, I will be unable to attend as I do not know if it falls within the scope of my contract”.    This is actually a very valid reason not to venture into just any ol’ meeting, as my contract specifically states what I can and can’t do, and wandering into a meeting that has nothing to do with what I’m suppose to be working on is grounds for death in the contractor world.  Ok, not death, but losing your contract and perhaps your firm losing the entire contract due to impropriety is pretty much the same as death.

Amazingly enough, there were no further responses, explanations or additional e-mails regarding this meeting for the rest of the day.  I fully expected to in the next morning and find more chatter about the meeting, and how it was now scheduled at the most inconvenient time, place, and venue and that I would be required to attend. 

If that’s the case, I’m calling in with a flesh eating bacteria issue.

Fond Childhood Memories

This morning, for some reason, I was thinking about a childhood memory that I had.

I have no idea how old I was, but my family (mom, dad, sister, grandma, grandpa) and I piled into a car and drove up to Sault St. Marie, 424 miles north. I don’t know why.

It was dad driving, Grandpa in passenger seat, sister squished between them. Mom and grandma in back seat, me squished between them with my feet into my chin because of the lump.

Grandma immediately doused herself with the foul smelling perfume that my sister and I would give her every birthday and christmas. It was an easy gift, she lived in Michigan (we lived in Indiana) so we didn’t have to smell it, but now she decided to grace our presence with it, since we had given it to her. I totally think that she thought it was foul too, and was sick of getting it as a gift, therefore her evil plan was to make us smell this crap for over 400 miles so we’d get her something decent next holiday.

About 150 miles into the trip, Grandma started to freak out about her pills. She didn’t know if she packed her pills, she had to have her pills, she would literally die before our eyes if she didn’t have her pills. This meant pulling over somewhere to check the bags in the trunk to make sure she had her pills. She did.

To save time and money, we were trying the latest fad: “car-b-cue”, something my dad had heard of. Pretty much you take a hunk of beef and some veggies, wrap it in reynolds wrap and nestle it in the engine of the car. By the time you get to your destination... cooked roast and veggies, sauteed with a lovely hint of burnt oil and exhaust. It was actually tasty, but I’m not sure the tastiness was from starving to death as we drove and smelled the fumes of gas, oil, and roast, or what.

We opted to eat halfway through the trip (otherwise it would have been charcoal) so we stopped at a nicely wooded rest area somewhere, sought out the bathrooms, then dug into the food.

A note about the bathrooms: they were the true old timey outhouses that consisted of a wasp infested wooden shelter, with a wooden bench with holes in it, with large holes dug into the ground. Not the vile and disgusting plastic port-o-potties of today that are sporadically cleaned out and sanitized. These things were NEVER cleaned out, they were just moved over new holes when it got too foul.

As I ventured over to an outhouse, my grandma screeched at me (loud enough for everyone within 5 miles to hear) that I shouldn’t sit on the toilet seat because I’ll get pregnant.

I’m pretty sure that grandma didn’t have all of the facts on the morbidity of free range sperm. First of all, how on earth would sperm get on the seat in the first place? Did men randomly jerk off in outhouses for the purpose of impregnating unsuspecting travelers? Was this just the excuse used back in her day when innocent young ladies got pregnant, did they claim that it was from toilet seats? When I called back “No you can’t”, she countered with: “You can also get worms”. Everything in my grandma’s life caused either worms or pregnancy.

After our meal, where nobody (amazingly enough) died, we made it up to St. Ignace and stayed in tiny little cabins (whose bathrooms caused pregnancy or worms). We stayed there for a day or two, but for the life of me I don’t remember anything other than the trip to Mackinaw Island.

In order to get to Mackinaw Island you had to take a ferry. Its a pretty big ferry, its not like we were rowing a small boat over there ourselves, they could really pack in a lot of people. Grandma refused to go. She was convinced that the ferry would sink and we would all perish. She started crying and caterwauling and keening and yelling about how we all were sure to die if we took the ferry to Mackinaw Island. Grandpa dragged her from the dock as she screamed her final farewells and “when you are all dead you’ll say I told you so”

We went over, got some souvenirs, I pushed my sister so she’d step in horse poop, and overall it was a nice visit.

Being adventurous, and so close to the Canadian border, we took a day trip to Canada, where when asked by the Canadian Border Patrol if we had anything to declare, and did we have any drugs in the car, Grandma piped up and said she had plenty of drugs in the car, at which point we all stood by the side of the road while mounties strip searched the car only to find prescription drugs, and not a trunk full of hash... totally ruining their day.

We drove through the locks, under the locks, around the locks, all over the locks, and discovered that locks were stupid and nothing to look at, then opted to stay in Canada overnight... except Canada was full, no hotels anywhere. Each time we stopped, no rooms, stopped, no rooms, finally at the last hotel when we were told there were no rooms, Grandpa yelled “FINE, LETS GO BACK TO A REAL COUNTRY”, and we drove back into the U.S. We gagged Grandma and held her down when we were asked if we had any drugs in the car, found a hotel right across the border and ate the worlds most delicious hamburgers I’ve ever eaten.

I don’t remember the drive home. I was probably in a psychotic state at that point.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Parties Mean Cake!

So, last week hubby asked if I wanted to go to a retirement party. Its at that point that I stopped listening and have no idea where, for who, or really what the party is all about, because the moment he got to “party” my brain took over and began to think of all of the usual wonderful foods served at parties, to include cake. I said yes, mainly because of the whole cake concept.

So yesterday I looked at my calendar and realized that the party was today... free cake day, oh yeah, I’m so totally there, and was thankful that the calendar invite included the address and time of the place, otherwise I’d have no idea where to go for my free cake. I vaguely recall hearing that the “dress code” for the party (where I would get free cake) was business professional. This threw a slight monkey wrench into things, as my company has a dress code of “business professional”, but I typically “forget” to follow it and usually wear whatever I feel like throwing on (aka: clean clothes in closet, versus balled up fur covered clothes in hamper) and a lot of times I don’t even match, so I had to really think back and figure out what would actually be “business professional” appropriate and match. I dug out a dress I bought at Costco, found some leggings and matching dressy shoes, and prepared myself for free cake.

It was after showering that I looked in the mirror and discovered this:


Its Godzitta, right there on my face, plain as day, and very angry. This meant the liberal application of basecoat makeup that’s also a moisturizer, which will invariable cause Godzitta to breed like feeding a Gremlin after midnight... but I would get free cake, so it was worth the risk. Note how I’m blaming the basecoat makeup and not the fact that I would be gorging myself on free cake that would be the cause of more Godzitta.

To prepare for the free cake, I decided not to eat all day. This would ensure that I would consume maximum cakeability when it was served. This also meant that by the time I left at 12:30, I was ravenously starving to death. Barely able to steer the car. To make matters worse, I was driving behind one of those Giant grocery store Pea Pod delivery trucks that had pictures of lasagna and other foodables on the back. I drooled a little on the cute dress and my stomach growled so loud I had to turn up the radio. The sign on the back of the truck announced that the driver did not carry cash, but he did carry cashews... hahaha, um, at this point the driver’s life would be threatened for said cashews, and the frozen foods he carried, screw the cash. Please note that the Dragon Dictation program correctly transcribed it when I said that I was F*cking starving... to include adding the little *, because apparently Dragon Dictation is politically correct.

I sorta, kinda knew the way to the Hotel where the party (with free cake) would be, as my company had a party there once and they served sushi. Remembering that made me drool some more. I had the GPS on just to make sure it was the same place, but right off the bat, the GPS snarky bitch wanted me to go one way, I wanted to go another way, an argument ensued, and from starvation induced psychosis, I nearly threw the GPS out the window when snarky woman voice insisted I keep turning right when I wanted to go straight. This is the same snarky woman that pompously announces that there’s “traffic ahead” after I’ve been sitting in a traffic jam for 15 minutes.

I had left early because I a.) needed gas, and b.) wanted to stop off at Starbucks for a latte to help coat my stomach and cake does go well with latte, but hubby texted me to say that he was already there. SONOFA... so I drive to the hotel (which is the one I thought it was). Parked and met hubby near the back entrance. We greeted each other with growling stomachs. He hadn’t eaten either. Unfortunately he had scouted out the area, and pronounced that while the conference on something or other in the suite next to the retirement party was having a sumptuous buffet... there was no food in sight for the retirement party.

SERIOUSLY? What about cake?

No cake to be seen.

SERIOUSLY??? gurgle

We go inside the room where the retirement shindig is suppose to be, and I’m horribly dismayed to find that its a NAVY retirement ceremony! OHMYGAH!!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love all things military, having served in the Air Force, I respect and honor all members of the military, past, present, and future, but if there’s one thing I know, its that any ceremony that involves the military means a lot of speeches, and presentations, and honoring traditions and doing things that take for FREAKIN EVER, which means that if there was even cake at the end (and at this point there was no evidence of any cakeability) it would be hours of sitting through a ceremony before we even got any.

We spotted some ice water and glasses and headed for that, filled up a few times to take the edge off our stomachs, which were now trying to eat other organs to keep from dying. I did grab some free hotel pens, and also gazed longingly at the little tiny bottle of ketchup that was sitting next to the water. Ketchup is a vegetable, after all, but for the life of us, we couldn’t figure out why it was sitting there, nor did we want to chug it down for fear that it was some sort of important prop in the Navy Retirement tradition.

We found some seats when the ceremony was about to begin and look with dismay at the extensive and LONG ceremony schedule of events. Hubby leaned over and asked if I had any gum. I didn’t. But I did have some Zyrtec, and well, Zyrtec sorta looks like tic tacs, so I figured... why not and popped a few in my mouth. While Zyrtec may sorta look like tic tacs, they certainly don’t taste like tic tacs and I’m pretty sure you aren’t suppose to suck on a few of them, but I was desperate.

At one point the speaker was listing the possible reasons why everyone was attending the ceremony; some attending because they were family, some attending because they wanted to honor the retiring Navy guy, some attending because... and my inner monologue said “... we wanted free cake”, but from the looks I got from hubby and a few people sitting around me, sucking on zyrtec disconnected my inner monologue and I must have said it aloud... probably LOUDLY aloud. To my credit, I managed to be a lot quieter when I told hubby that I was very interested in watching the “Passing of the Flag” ceremony, as that must be not only very interesting, but potentially very painful.

Being former Air Force, I should know my ranks, but the Navy ranks always threw me off because they wear their stuff on their sleeve with little golden lines and splurgly blobs and stuff. About the only thing I knew was that if a Navy guy was wearing a white hat, you saluted. Of course, hubby, being former Marine, gets on my case about calling it a “hat” its really a “cover”, and he calls it a “head” and not a bathroom. This “head” thing always cracked me up, and at one point when he was stationed at a Marine Corps base in North Carolina I had the opportunity to go to the “Ladies Head”, and the sign on the door actually said “Ladies Head” and I further embarrassed him by shrieking with laughter and calling out to him from across the room “HOLY CRAP you actually do call it that” In my head, this is what I always thought when I had to use the “Ladies Head”.

Ok, back to the ceremony thing. It was very nice, and I got weepy a bit with the whole patriotic thing and all, but that could also be because I was now toxic on sucking Zyrtec, so something like this MAY have happened, but I’m not saying.




Then it was all over... we ran for the door, stood in line to shake the retired guy’s hand, then raced to Ruby Tuesday to gorge on all you can eat salad bar and appetizers.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Useful Tools

Typically my best blog ideas happen at the most stupid times: while driving, while in the shower, sleeping. Its really hard to type while driving (in the state of Maryland its illegal to text while driving, but the law says nothing about typing out a blog post or e-mailing, so that’s all I do), or in the shower, so I needed something to help me remember my brilliant rants. Being somewhat “scattered” by the time I get any place to write down these ideas (and if I pulled over to write them, I’d never get anywhere), I’d forget them or be off on a whole other tangent and forget the original brilliant rant.

Enter the iPhone, which introduced a “voice memo” feature. Just click and button and talk. The only problem with that is that I hate the sound of my own voice. I sound like a special needs 13 year old boy (in my humble opinion), instead of a special needs 47 year old woman (who acts like a special needs 13 year old boy) I’m pretty sure I can say “special needs” without pissing off a group of people, as “retard”, “tard”, and “short bus” are on the list of words that piss people off. Please note that I’m only using those words as an example and you shouldn’t jump down my throat for using them, but then again, whatever you bunch of tards that would actually jump down my throat... there, no I just gave you reason.

As an example of my voice, and probably the way I look, I harken back to my post high school graduation, where I’m standing in a Kroger at the meat department with my mom who happened to bump into someone she knew. My mom, ever so proud, announced to the woman that her daughter just graduated from high school and had joined the Air Force. The woman turned to me and said “Oh, so what is your son going to do when he graduates?”

Ok, so back then I was all of 90 pounds, not very curvy, had short hair and took after my dad, but still, come on, seriously? I wanted to respond like this:



But instead, simply responded: “I want to wear pretty dresses and date your son”.

Back to the voice memo thing... yeah, so I’m not doing that. Instead, the wonderful people who develop iPhone apps came out with a totally cool thing called Dragon Dictation. This thing is so freaking cool because you can hit a button, babble on, it converts your speech to text and then copy into an e-mail or SMS or anywhere. Its PERFECT! Well, sorta if you don’t talk like a special needs 13 year old boy.

My first attempt at babbling something at it created this:

“Blog post on a ninth-inning making a list would you like eggs or bacon and people responding the former or latter half of the difference between friend and add text me your pagan changing you get to keep whatever phone you have ever landed in the Maxima government take.”

Um... wow!

What that translates to is: I wanted to do a blog post on annoying people that, when asked if they’d like eggs or bacon, respond with “the former” or “the latter”. Seriously WTF is up with that? Instead of just saying “eggs” or “bacon” they actually have to process a whole new set of brain cells to come up with “former” or “latter” and I seriously can’t comprehend what is former or latter. Is former the eggs or bacon? Is latter the eggs or bacon? WHY CAN’T THEY JUST F’ING SAY BACON????

The same thing applies to when someone wants to know how much you make, versus how much you actually get in your check, that whole “gross” or “net” crap. Why can’t they just say “what’s your take home pay?” I seriously don’t consider what I “make” as what I actually “make” because I never see that money, I just see what I get after the Government slips its hand in my pocket and takes out most of my paycheck, so to go around bragging that I make (for instance) $70K is a bit pretentious when I certainly don’t come ANYWHERE near depositing that amount in my bank. I tend to remember that “net” is what I actually get in the bank by thinking of myself holding a net, and the government throwing change at me (didja catch that snarky “change” reference... hehehe) and I get to keep whatever lands in the net... which isn’t a whole hell of a lot.

So then my friend HR Human and I were chatting on Facebook and I was explaining the whole Dragon Dictation thing and how it worked and I had a brilliant idea... what if this Dragon Dictation thing was actually a way for people to finally communicate with animals! I’ve seen spoofs where there’s things that claim to translate what your dog or cat is really trying to tell you, but what if this thing actually did that! That would be so cool! So, the next time Loki, the Mutatoe Siberian Husky, started yapping at me about something, I hit the button and pointed it at me, and this is what it wrote out:

F. FFFFFFFFFFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Hmmm. I’m still trying to decipher it, but it sounds somewhat important.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mothers Against Mothers Against

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has sent a letter to Mothers Against Illegal Aliens telling them to stop using the “Mothers Against” words because people may think the illegal alien hating moms are the same moms that hate drunk drivers. Um, I think I can tell the difference. Here is the list that I found of “Mothers Against” organizations:

Mothers against peeing standing up
Mothers against circumcision
Mothers against jesus
Mothers against videogame addiction and violence
Mothers against methamphetamine
Mothers against noise
Mothers against Arpaio
Mothers against Maddox
Mothers against star wars galaxies
mothers against the draft (probably hasn’t been busy there since we don’t have one)
mothers against misuse and abuse
mothers against munchausen by proxy allegations
mothers against sexual abuse
mothers against guns
mothers against school hazing
mothers against teen violence
mothers against dog chaining
mothers against gang wars
mothers against noise
mothers against brie and chardonney
Mother against murder and aggression
mothers against burning tires
mothers against blogging
mothers against brain injury
mothers against genetic engineering
mothers against fathers in arrears

The list goes on... guess MADD is all for those other things, apparently not so much against illegal aliens.

Ok all you mothers, don’t be against anything, because that’s copyrighted!

Friday, April 16, 2010

How do these things happen?

A while ago hubby and I went to a school charity Bull and Oyster Roast at a local volunteer fire department hall.

I had heard of these mysterious “Bull and Oyster Roast” things mostly in conjunction with fund-raising, but had never attended one mainly because:

1.) I don’t like oysters. Raw oysters are nasty, phlegm-like and frankly if I wanted that sensation, I just have to wait until I catch my next cold and experience it for free. Not only that, but I hear there are some nasty illnesses you can get from eating those things, so I’ll pass.

2.) Unless they are roasting a whole bull on a spit, I’m guessing the “bull” part is beef, and frankly you can get that anywhere, so even if its for a good cause, why spend $35 to go to a dreary volunteer fire department hall and eat beef (except to ogle firemen... ok, so its worth $35)?

As I expected, we arrived and knew nobody, well, hubby knew one guy from work, the one that sold him the tickets, the rest were strangers all grouped at tables by who knew who. We sat at a table alone for the most part, and there were NO firemen to be seen. The “bull and oyster roast” was actually coleslaw (tasty), cooked shreds of ham, turkey, and beef (there’s the bull part), but no oysters. Hey! How can you call it a bull and oyster roast if there are no oysters. Sure, the cookies were good, but I felt cheated because I didn’t get a chance to rant about the nasty consistency of raw oysters and their inherent diseases to complete strangers.

The entertainment consisted of someone spinning a wheel, people putting money on numbers and if the wheel hit that number, they won money. Um... wait a minute, isn’t that gambling and illegal in the state of Maryland?

They also had a raffle, and were selling tickets to a 50/50 thing where they spun a wheel and if the number on your ticket matched... hey, isn’t that gambling. I felt as though any moment we’d be raided by a government agency and arrested.

The entertainment that night was a DJ. Ok, these people make a living (usually a side-living) by playing music for people who can’t (and usually don’t) dance, but this one took it to the very extreme by being... proactive and chipper. Disgustingly chipper, and chatty. He did lame magic tricks with members of the audience (yawn), then they “played a game” where team members had to put on wacky clothes and run back wearing the wacky clothes, take said wacky clothes off and another person dashed across the dance floor and put on the wacky clothes. I thought the funniest thing about this “contest” was that the losing team actually seemed very upset by the fact that the other team “cheated”. Are you kidding me? They’re arguing over a wacky game?

Placated by a funny plastic hat given to all participants (oh brother) the “real” music began... the Electric Slide.

This is where the whole “how do these things happen” topic starts. How does this crap start, spread, and get danced all over the world? Everything from the chicken dance, to the YMCA song, these things have to start somewhere by some idiot, but how do they spread all over, and why? Apparently the “Electric Slide” according to Wikipedia was started by someone in 1976, but actually found its “craze” in 1989. The person that “created” it, actually sues those that post people doing it wrong on video upload sites. Are ya kidding me?

For some reason I was never a participant of such line dancing, having been scarred for life during the whole “disco” craze, and being forced to suffer through “disco dancing” in high school PE class (I’m guessing that was the beginning of the end for high school PE and the very cause of the obesity problem in school children, but call me crazy).

So, last night I sat in awe as people sat out of other dance tunes, but like zombies with no minds, the moment that song started, lurched to the dance floor and did the steps. It was all women too, which bolsters the following theory:

1.) women like to dance, so they drag their husbands and boyfriends to dance places where their male significant others refuse to dance.
2.) women can only pee in groups
3.) out of necessity and the need to dance, the pee groups came out of the bathroom one time, heard a catchy little tune and created a dance (since the “creator” of the electric slide is sue happy, I expect my lawsuit summons in the mail at any moment for saying that women who have peed created this “fad”)
4.) Once the pee group got snippy with each other over something stupid, each member of the pee group started a new pee group, passing on the wacky dance to them, and from there it spread like wildfire because women tend to argue about stupid things and dump their friends for the smallest infraction (before any women sue me, I’m a woman, shut up, I know what I’m talking about)

So, we can thank women with small bladders and the need to dance in groups without their men for suffering through this crap at functions big and small. Now, I’d really like to know who put old Glen Miller dance tunes to a funky beat and strangle them, the same goes for those Macarena morons.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Insight to Why I'm a Bit Nuts

So, the news was goofing on politicians saying “The Way Forward” over and over and over. Well, duh, that’s just contractor speak and has been used to death on documents for years now, and as a technical writer... well, I speak the lingo.

I’m actually somewhat relieved by the fact that its taken over for the nauseous and nonsensical “Paradigm Shift” of days gone by, perhaps it’ll even take over for “thinking outside the box”, but I doubt that. Thinking outside the box is how you plan the “way forward”. Then there are those who are rebels and use “Way Ahead”, which may be a little short-sighted and only used to get through the next week, whereas the “way forward” suggests a longer term plan, but certainly not a “solution” to a problem. Its more of a machete approach to get through a boggle, then you have to plan the plan for the over-arching solution.

Some other gems expected to make it into the mainstream (remember, you heard it here first) will be adding “centric” to everything. From Net-centric, to war-centric, peace-centric, grocery store-centric, you name it, and “centric” will be added to it.

Another good one is adding “ability” to the end of everything. Sustainability, Re-usability, coffeeability, planability, way forwardability, thinking outside of the boxability, paradigm shiftability. Its all just another way to say the same vague thing, but make it seem much MORE.
So, the depth and breadthability of the latest paradigm shift in the war strategy is to plan the plan for the way forward in the peace-centric future.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tea Party Mention (from 2006)

This specific rant was posted waaaaay back in 2006 in regard to a “tea party” movement that was starting up to protest government stupidity, and raising electricity rates. I’m pointing this out for all of the people screaming “where was your outrage years ago you racist, red neck, scum sucking, terrorist” Um, we were complaining all along, nobody listened... oh wait, actually none of the media picked it up... therefore, if citizens scream in the woods and the media isn’t there to cover it... it doesn’t make a sound:


Illinios Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn urged citizens to send tea bags with their electric bills to protest the raise on electricity rates in their state.

The post office says that while its not illegal to mail tea bags, it could possibly gum up with postal service equipment and slow their jobs down (that’s a joke within a joke), and also cause some security concerns. In light of that announcement, the Lt. Gov then said it would be ok to just send a picture of a tea bag in with the electrical bills.

Flash back to December 16, 1773. Three groups of fifty Boston residents known as the “Sons of Liberty” board the ships; Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver with the intention of throwing all of the tea into the Boston harbor to protest the tea act. A harbor master explains to the groups that throwing all of the tea into the harbor would be very messy, and affect the other boats in the harbor, which would need to be cleaned. Not only that, but it would adversely affect the growth of the spongy sea urchin, a recently endangered species and protected by the King’s law. The group aggrees and goes home, and instead write a letter to the editor complaining about taxation without representation, being forced to buy untaxed tea from the British East India Company, and generally being cranky. If that were the case, I’d be drinking tea instead of Starbucks and sitting here bitching about being taxed by the Royal Colonies, and saying things like “Ye Olde”.

There is such a thing as peaceful protest, and despite the concerns of the postal system, there has to be a way for citizens to protest something they don’t like in a peacefuly, yet inconvenient way to get the point across. Using “National Security” concerns has become the trademark of all excuses to stop citizens from peaceful discord. We can’t congregate anymore, we can’t mail tea bags, we can’t do a lot of things anymore because they throw the whole “oooh, National Security” concerns flag and we simper back to our holes and continue to stew over being ineffective and castrated. Thank you government can we have another.

This year in Maryland the de-regulation of power companies went into effect. In 1999 the Maryland General Assembly thought it would be a good idea to de-regulate power companies so that independent power companies could come in and do business and give the almighty conglomerate Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) some competition.

Let’s see, BGE came in, paid for the entire infrastructure of power lines, owns all of the power companies that generate and route electricity... and the Maryland General Assembly thought that Bob’s Power Company would come in, do the same and give BGE a run for their money. The problem with that is that Bob would have to buy his power from BGE, so why would anyone buy Bob’s power, when Bob would have to pass the power cost on to us, and bump up the bill to cover his administrative fees. Hmmm, no thanks, I’ll just stay with BGE. Ok, another alternative would be that a company outside of Maryland could provide us with power. Except it would be the same situation, unless the outside of Maryland company strung extension cords to your house. Once again... stupid scenario. The only thing de-regulation did was increase our power bills by 72%, which is very convenient. There is talk of un-de-regulating power, which doesn’t help matters any.

This election year, plenty of fingers were pointing to those that made those decisions in 1999 that landed us in a 72% power increase (on top of gas being over $3.00 a gallon), and I have every confidence that the Maryland voters will go to those polls in November, forget who did what and vote those idiots back into power. “Hey, here’s a name I recognize... I’ll vote for them” Yes, you remember that name because they thought it would be neat to provide competition for a business that can’t be regulated. Next year I expect they’ll de-regulate air.

Diversity Makes Me Hate You

A five foot, 1 inch man was convicted of abusing a child, but will face no prison time because he's too short.

A female teacher who was convicted of having sex with a child will face no prison time because she's too pretty.

Lesson learned: If you are short or pretty go do what you want, you are impervious to consequences. If you are short AND pretty they may even give you a coupon for free stuff.

"Supporters of short people say it's about time someone recognizes the unique challenges they face." Um... is this to say there are non-supporters of short people? There are anti-short people factions springing up all over the country? This is a case of the anti-short people group forcing a poor short person into jail for molesting a child? That jails are unfair to short people? We need to build short people jails? I guess we'll need to build pretty people jails too eventually, and then we'll need to build jails for people who don't see well in the dark, and jails for people who fear concrete, and jails for people that require ambient lighting, and jails for left-handed people?

We make the claim that we've come a long way in merging color and nationality lines, being equals no matter what, and yet we continue to put people in different categories: too short, too rich, too pretty. We give special treatment and special consideration for groups of people and call it diversity. This "diversity" only further sections off people, and actually calls attention to their differences when we all should be equal, play on the same board, and treat each other fairly.

If you break the law you should go to jail, no matter what the excuse is.. You should go to jail even if you are a one-eyed, albino, transgendered, short person, or a average height white person. It shouldn't matter. We are all people. Nobody is more special than someone else, nobody is more valuable than someone else, nobody deserves more protections than someone else. We are all equals, but until everyone starts thinking that way, there will always be discrimination, special treatment, special consideration, and hatred for those who get the special treatment.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too Much Information

While some might find this entry a bit too “TMI” I feel strongly that women really need to be honest about the crap that goes on with their bodies. Seriously, I mean for the longest time I thought I was some kind of freak because I had one single hair growing out of control on my chin. I went through life for the longest time thinking that I was carnival freak show potential, only to find out later from some kind woman friend of mine that chin hairs do happen, as do chest hairs, nipple hairs, you name it hairs in strange places.

In the spirit of disclosure, and to ease the minds of other women, I’d like to discuss feminine itch.

Ok, I’m not really going to go into great detail about the actual feminine itch, more like what you do to get rid of it. Like most products that tailor their names to the malady such as: Tylenol, Motrin, Pepcid... hmm, wait a minute, you would think that these products would be called something like “head hurts be gone” or “stop the head throbbin” or “no more burning chest after you eat”, because why else would a product for feminine itch be called VAGISIL. Even hemorrhoid medication is subtly named “Preparation H”. Sure, it now has a reputation and is KNOWN, but its certainly not flying off the shelf as “open sores up your ass”.

Ok, so lets just say that you were newly born and working a cash register at your local drug store. Even with no knowledge of the world, you would still probably guess that something called Vagisil had something to do with a VAGINA. Why would you guess this? Well probably because the brightly colored box also explains in big letters that its for UNCOMFORTABLE VAGINAL ITCHING.

Now that its all spelled out for everyone to see (from at least 100 feet away), there’s the whole, taking it off the shelf, semi-concealing it without looking as though you are going to shoplift it, stand in line with it, and pay for it. If you are lucky (like me) you’ll get a nice, young, handsome looking man at the register. There’s no amount of “so... how’s the weather?” banter that will stop him from seeing what you are purchasing... processing what you are purchasing... wondering just what it is that causes you to buy something like this, and will certainly remember you for the rest of your shopping life and no matter what you buy that little bell in his head will ring: vaginal itch.

Even though its one little cardboard box containing a tube, when asked if you want a bag for it, you almost scream YES, for you certainly would not go wandering out of the drug store with it held in your hand, perhaps waving it over your head for everyone to see, proudly proclaiming your soon to be domination over the vaginal itch. No, you WANT a bag, and frankly what with the diaphanous white bags used in most stores, you almost want to insist on double bagging your purchase, but refrain.

As you leave, you are convinced that everyone in line with you, the cashier, and soon all of the workers of the drug store will be dutifully informed of your purchase (and most likely soaking anything you just touched in antibacterial stuff). You are also quite sure that every one you walk past can see through the bag, even though you’ve gone to great lengths to wrap it around the cardboard box and hold your hand in such a way as to conceal the wording as best as you can without looking like an eagle swooping off with a freshly killed mouse in its talons.

Now, let me mention the “odor blocking formula”. It has a very distinct perfume about it. Its so distinct that if you’ve ever used it, or smelled it, if you smell it again, then you know that whoever reeks of it is using it. This defeats the entire purpose of having any sort of “odor blocking formula” in my opinion. If you are trying to mask a foul discharge that is common during “vaginal itch”, then that’s fine, but don’t mask it with something that identifies it as the treatment to that issue. You will either smell like a person with a problem, or you will smell like a person that is treating that problem, either way, EVERYONE knows! How about using something like “coffee”, or “chocolate” to mask the smell. Make it an every day odor that can’t be identified. Something that doesn’t scream out VAGINAL ITCH CREAM IN USE HERE!

In closing, I have to applaud the makers of Vagisil from trying to provide young girls with information about this most unpleasant experience. I know that as a young girl, I wasn’t too keen on approaching my mother and asking her any questions in that regard. Kids growing up now are so lucky that they can google just about anything and find out instead of worrying. I do wonder though... did the chick posing on their Web site as “Sabrina” know that her photo shoot gig was to be the poster girl for hip vaginal itch information?

How to Wash a Bra

Ok, you’ve got to be kidding me, but someone actually did a WikiHow on how to wash a bra, complete with pictures.

I had to check it out, after all it was a link on my google home page and I was bored. Perhaps all these years I’ve been washing my bras wrong, so I figured that I needed to find out the “right” way. I mean there must be more to it than taking bra off, tossing bra into washing machine, taking wet clean bra out of washing machine and throw into dryer. Untangle bra from other items, toss now clean bra into drawer.

Sure enough, the writer of this “how to” suggests all sorts of preparation before the bra even goes into the washer, and even a special bag to put the bra into! Wow, the pictures are very informational and educational too. What cracked me up was the whole inference that if you didn’t have a lingerie bag to put your bras into, then you were forbidden or somewhat insane to actually wash them with other items just by themselves, all free and wild. How many people wasted an entire washer load on just one or two bras for a lack of lingerie bag? Of course they suggest that a pillow case will do in a pinch.

I’ve only had ONE unfortunate bra incident where my favorite green bra became trapped in my mother’s crappy dryer which happened to be falling apart. Lucky for her, the bra died a horrible death so that she could dry her clothes without having a green bra flopping around stuck in the door for the rest of the dryer’s life.

Of course, this doesn’t compare at all to the common sense approach of “How to Dry Pantyhose in a hurry” instructions. This set of instructions assumes that everyone in the world is in possession of a salad spinner.

Not that spinning your pantyhose in the salad spinner is insane enough, the instructions continue by saying: “Hang over towel rack and dry with a hair dryer - warm to cool heat. This should take no more than 5 minutes. Clean your teeth and do your hair at the same time.” Call me silly, but one hand on the hair dryer, the other hand brushing your teeth leaves you with not enough hands to do your hair. I frankly don’t know how nasty a set of pantyhose can get where you couldn’t put them on dirty in a pinch... unless you crapped in them, or course.

I would assume that the Wiki people would at least try to weed out those that had no common sense from posting “how to” guides, but apparently not. Well, I have to go run out and get a damn salad spinner in case I ever need to quickly dry my pantyhose and while I’m there, I’ll get me some lingerie bags to wash my thousands of bras.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blog Rants you've probably never seen

I have a secret blog (which you'll never find, so don't even bother looking) where I posted some pretty good tales of woe. Since I never post there any more (too difficult keeping track of different usernames, passwords, and whatever) I thought I'd start porting over some of the good material over here. Besides, sometimes I would mention something here that I had posted over there and nobody knows what the hell I'm talking about, and neither do I.

So, based on a facebook rant from one of my friends, here is my take about OTC meds you can make crack from:

Its allergy season, and my allergies are a’ raging. So I go to the local CVS down the road and look for some Zyrtec-D. I have Zyrtec, but I’m so stuffed up I can’t even breathe so I need something to unstuff me.

I recently blogged about the fact that Zyrtec is now much easier to purchase since it went Over The Counter (OTC) meaning I don’t need a prescription for it. Of course, this ease now requires me to pay three times what I use to pay for it. I searched the pharmacy aisle for it and found a little note that said that I have to get the Zyrtec-D at the front counter. Hmm. That’s odd.

What I failed to take into consideration is that the Zyrtec-D contains a nifty little ingredient called pseudoephedrine, which is one of the ingredients used to make Meth. In order to keep people from buying it by the case and dumping it into their bathtubs (along with other vile and disgusting things) and making Meth, most states require that anything containing pseudoephedrine be kept under lock and key and doled out by employees of the pharmacy.

Ok, this seems a bit silly, because if this drug is that potent that it can be used to make an addictive and dangerous drug, shouldn’t be doled out by prescription only? Wouldn’t that solve a lot of the problems with illegal drugs?

Oh, but that wouldn’t make getting it “easy” for those of us with REAL allergies that need the medication. Silly me, I would never consider asking my doctor for a prescription for something that I needed in order to breathe, that would be complicated and difficult. Once again, the bad people do something, and to keep bad people from doing bad, they make new rules and laws that hinder and rip away the rights of law abiding good people. Go figure.

So, I wait in line and when its my turn, I ask the 16 year old girl wearing multiple piercings, tattoos, and hair dyed with green streaks for a pack of Zyrtec-D. Its good to know that such a dangerous drug is being guarded by professionals. She asks for my driver’s license. Um, ok, sure, I’m assuming she’s just checking to make sure that I’m old enough to purchase it, because all meth makers are underage or don’t have driver’s licenses. Oh no, she actually SCANS the barcode on the back of my license. I’m stunned. First of all, what information is on that barcode of my license? Why is she scanning it? Where does that information go? What agency? How secure is their computer system? What happens if someone misuses that information? Why on earth do they even NEED that information?

I’m then required to electronically sign a statement saying that I’ll be personally swallowing this medication myself, I won’t sell it, and I won’t dump it into a bathtub with other chemicals and sell the residue to Meth addicts for profit.

I left there feeling somewhat soiled and guilty, all because I woke up this morning and couldn’t breathe without making a funny noise through my nose.

As I drove home I couldn’t help but kick myself for not grabbing back my license, insisting they purge all information from their computers and take their Zyrtec-d and shove it... well, you get the idea. Now I’m wondering what sort of database I’m on, will I be immediately pulled over by the police and arrested for driving under the influence of Zyrtec-d? Will someone contact my employer to let them know that I’m taking Zyrtec-d? If I try to buy more Zrytec-D before this dose runs out, will SWAT teams break into my house and inspect my bathtub?

Curious, I went home and looked up pseudoephedrine and Maryland on Google, and why, sure enough, a law was passed that requires any store selling anything with pseudoephedrine to safeguard it behind the counter, dole it out one at a time, obtain certain information from the purchaser and have them sign a statement that they will only use it for legal means. Of course there was nothing on there about what recourse I would have as a consumer if CVS sells my information, misuses my information, loses my information, or uses my information for means other than just recording that I have allergies and needed a decongestant.

Its bad enough that store cards are marketed as “ways to get stuff on sale without the use of coupons” actually track everything that you buy and send you coupons for “things you may want on your next purchase”. Dear Ms. Smith: we noticed that on your last shopping trip you purchased some sanitary napkins. Our database has determined that your next menstrual cycle is approaching, so please enjoy these coupons for some New Stay Tight maxi pads, which we feel will fit your body shape better than the last brand that you purchased, and for your particular flow.

I had a sick dog and needed some bland food, so I purchased some baby food for her. A week later I started getting coupons from the store for diapers and more baby food. The I received an announcement flyer stating that I was automatically enrolled in their baby program. I don’t have a baby, I told them, take me off your baby program. They told me they couldn’t. Everything was autogenerated from their massive brainiac computer and stuff was sent out whether you wanted it or not, whether it applied to you or not. I pointed out that Mr. Al Gore would have brain matter spewing out over the fact that companies were killing trees to print out coupons for things that people didn’t want or need, then spewing toxic fuel fumes by having those coupons delivered to my house. They didn’t care. I still get the stuff, and I toss it in with the regular garbage, not the recyclables because if they don’t care, why should I.

You are being tracked, every minute, every second of the day. From navigation systems, to credit cards, to mobile phones, to decongestants, they are watching you... and you’ve done nothing wrong, but they sure do make you feel like you have.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Spambots & Just Plain Spampeople

I love it when I bash something, and the spambots and salespeople start leaving comments to defend their crap.

Apparently my rant on Xylitol in Dilly Bars brought out such a person by the moniker: Musashi. He (I'm assuming from his profile) made this comment:

"Xylitol is harmful (not always deadly) to dogs because they digest things differently. In the same sense a dog can scavenge off an animal on the side of the freeway, but if a human were to consume that very same 'meal' then it wouldn't turn out so well either. Dogs go into hypoglycemic shock if they consume too much Xylitol as their livers aren't made to process sugar alcohols. Xylitol has been consumed in Europe since the 1940's and continues to grow in its popularity predominantly due to its dental benefits. More info is available at (deleted because it leads to a stupid site that wants you to buy Xylitol toothpaste)."

Musashi follows someone by the name of Dr. Ellie, who does nothing but shill a Xylitol-based tooth whitener. He also follows a blog that proclaims the "facts" of Xylitol, which (oddly enough) is posted by none other than... Dr. Ellie. I suspect that Musashi is either Dr. Ellie, or spouse of Dr. Ellie, or horrible stalker of Dr. Ellie, either way, I don't care.

Xylitol kills dogs, that's a fact dude. Don't care how, don't care why, dog eats Xylitol, dog dead, that's all I need to know.

He also cites that its been used in Europe since the 40's and has dental benefits... ok, you lost me there, seriously, had to laugh at that statement because, well, not to be all pompous and anything, but its a fun stereotypical joke to make fun of the teeth of European people since the age of time.

I mean, come on, seriously? So if I want teeth like this ---->
I need to get me some of that Xylitol teeth whitener stuff, right? Screw the dogs, just get me some white teeth like the Europeans, eh?

Go find another blog to stalk Musashi, or at the very least, stop snorting the Xylitol.

By the way, my roadkill deer was most tasty last night, you should try some.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

What the Dilly?

So, I was all set to rant about the Dairy Queen Dilly Bar the other day, and it turned into a whole public service announcement and made me even madder about it than I intended (for the public service announcement part, where I talk about how a Dairy Queen Dilly bar and possibly other types of ice creams may kill your dog, just go here).

So, back to the rant for humans.

We go to Dairy Queen because a bunch of people on facebook are all about dilly bars, and sundaes and all things ice creamy, so I wanted a freakin Dilly Bar. The guy behind the counter had so many tattoos and piercings that I thought perhaps that was the dress code at Dairy Queen now went and scavenged my Dilly Bar from the big freezer while "dude" got my husband a chocolate dipped cone (and how do they not lose big globs of sani serve ice cream in that vat of chocolate?). Dude was actually a woman, who turned out to be the manager, and her name wasn't Dude, but tattoo guy behind the counter kept calling her "dude" as in "dude, can I have a dilly bar? I'll pay for it and all." We were apparently invisible customers because this back and forth went on while I was trying to pay for the Dilly Bar and dipped cone without being told what the price was because tattoo guy was too busy pestering "dude" to give me a total.

I had to stop and wonder why kids growing up now have the vocabulary of 5 year olds and call their managers "dude", but then I remembered that they watch tv where "trusted newscasters" call people "teabaggers" and laugh, and the Vice President says things like "BFD" on live tv and then sells t-shirts to get themselves re-elected. Yep, puzzle solved.

So, we got out of there with our treats and ate them outside since it was a nice day and its hard riding a motorcycle while eating a dilly bar and dipped cone.

My dilly bar was hermetically sealed in plastic and plastered with all sorts of nutritional information and warnings. I yearned for the good ol days when the dilly bar was created and hand dipped daily by the workers, had a little swirly thing on one side, came in a little paper sleeve, and didn't taste as though it had been frozen as long as some mastodons.

That's when I read the "warning" that said "eating a substantial amount of these treats may have a laxative affect from the sugar alcohols". Hey! Don't know what these "sugar alcohols" are, but in my hand I had the perfect weight loss product! You could eat a zillion of these things and poop them right out without any consequence. Then I thought again and realized that our government is so into "helping" us not get morbidly obese, that they've edicted that "fat free" treats be forced upon the masses, and the consequences of these treats would be constant trips to the crapper. All they really needed to do was the keep the original recipe and put the following warning: Warning: eating a lot of these will make you a fat tub of lard and you'll die a horrible death". I'm pretty sure that eating them with the "sugar alcohols" will do the same thing, except you'll be a fat poop covered tub of lard dying a horrible and embarrassing death. Way to think you worthless government!

So, in case you are wondering and didn't go to the other blog, when I got home I looked up the "sugar alcohols" and discovered that its just fake sugar with less calories, and one of the most common of the fake sugars happens to be Xylitol, which happens to be deadly to dogs. So much for sharing your cone or dilly bar with your best four footed friend. What other "helpful" crap are food producers shoving in our foods to save us from our own gluttony that may kill our pets without us even knowing about it. The government wants everyone to post the most basic of ingredients on everything, but we can just gloss over that whole "sugar alcohols" thing because hey, why do you need to know something like that will kill your dog.

Frankly I gotta wonder... if Xylitol will kill your dog... what's it doing to you? I mean other than make you crap your pants when you least expect it. Gotta love the "health" food craze.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

We've Come Full Circle

Yesterday I was in a bookstore (the irony of that will be exposed in a bit) and saw a stand of mechanical pencils that gloated "NEW! Biodegradable Pencils!!".

Where to begin?

Before the "green" movement was even a glimmer in the eye of bighead ALGORE, I was so futuristic by using a "biodegradable" pencil. It was made out of wood, you sharpened it, and used it down to a nub before getting a new one. Hey, you coveted your pencil, its not like they grew on trees (pausing while you laugh at that lame joke). Oh sure, pencils are made out of precious trees, trees that actually survive on the horrible man-made CO2 that we people spew into the air, and turn it into that pesky oxygen. Wood pencils are practically the ONLY thing left that we manufacture in the United States, and are made from California Incense Cedar wood that grow on farms and are harvested on a sustained-yield basis (they grow more than they harvest). Most wood pencils are manufactured in Tennessee, but what with the whole, cheaper to get them overseas thing, our pencil manufacturing capability is quickly being stolen by those wonderful, cool, shiny, pretty mechanical pencils that are produced overseas (where they don't have business crushing stupid regulations so they poison the ozone willy nilly).

Mechanical pencils were marketed as the new coming in saving the world! Instead of cutting down innocent trees and leaving huge bar spots on the earth, you could buy a plastic pencil and use it over and over, replacing the lead when you ran out, and therefore, not only would you be saving the forests, but its cheaper in the long run... sorta.

With this kind of thinking, the most ecological peoples would cherish and keep their plastic pencil and hand it down from generation to generation. There would never be a need to buy another pencil (just replacement lead) and therefore after enough pencils had been manufactured to give each and every person a mechanical pencil (well, not give... sell) then there would never be a need to produce yet another pencil ever again.

That didn't work out so well apparently. Go into any office supply store and there are so many choices, styles, looks, and types of mechanical pencils, you would think that in this age of technology and computers, that the need for a pencil was so great that they couldn't make mechanical pencils fast enough. That's because people buy them, lose them, use the lead and rather than buy replacement lead, they buy a new pencil (defeating the whole refillable concept), and frankly leave them laying all over the place because they are so damn cheap you can just buy another carton of 40 for a few bucks.

This lead to the mountainous pile of discarded mechanical pencils. People would travel from miles around to take pictures of their loved ones in front of the gigantic pile of discarded and non-biodegradable mechanical pencils. Ok, they didn't, but now they are making us think that, what with the new and improved and eco-friendly biodegradable pencils. We've relieved the guilt of green people everywhere by creating pencils that will literally fall apart in your hands and make the world safe again. No more clogging the earth with plastic mechanical pencils because if you drop one on the ground, it will literally, before your eyes, melt into the earth and become one with the universe. Now you can buy as many of these things as you want, guilt free and you can actually brag to your friends that you are doing your part to SAVE THE WORLD...

Except for that pesky part about how much crap is thrown into the air and water from the manufacturing of these mechanical pencils, and how much crud and junk is spewed into the air and oceans when these pencils are shoved into a container and shipped across the ocean to the U.S., and how much gas and crap is spewed into the air when the container of pencils is shipped to a big warehouse, then broken into smaller lots, driven in gas guzzling trucks to smaller warehouses, then broken into even smaller lots and driven in more gas guzzling trucks to our neighborhood Staples or Office Depot. Yep, they sure are earth friendly! Buy them by the carton-full because we'll just make more!

So back to the irony part, the part where I'm standing in a bookstore and looking at the stand of biodegradable mechanical pencils... standing in a store that is filled with shelves upon shelves of books... made of paper... books that proudly proclaim (in only some instances) that they are made with a WHOPPING 10% post consumer waste. That means that only 90% of trees had to die to make the book, and yet I'm suppose to cheer the creation of biodegradable mechanical pencils?

Seriously?