Friday, April 29, 2011

.... So, You've Had A Bad Day...

On the bright side, you aren't a fish with lips... I bet he gets no end of crap at school...

Frizzy hair... at least you have enough hair...

Truely, there are people out there who have things much worse than us, and yet they are happy.  So next time you get cut off while on the highway of life, smile and wave.... with all fingers.

Random News of the Day

Weddings?  I love weddings!  Drinks All Around!
Prince William and Kate Middleton were wed this morning, and there were reports that viewership of the royal wedding exceeded two billion people.  Not entirely sure what was so exciting that peopel would give up sleep to see it.  I would have prefered to see what the traffic was like to avoid the traffice jam.  Personally, I blame Disney.

PSN - Free, So You Get What You Pay For

There was a time when I was really, seriously pondering buying a Playstation 3.  With the Blu-ray player and awesome games, what's not to like?  Add to it the ability to play for free on the Playstation Network and you have a real tempting product.

Apparently, it's not just the cosumer that is interested in the Playstation and it's network.  Sony has divulged a major attack wherein all customer data (name, address, credit card number, etc) was accessed.  As much as I feel sorry for faultless users, there is one particular person to whom I wish to say.... na na na na naaaaaa na!!!!

Michal Scott Leaves - Now What Do I Watch?

There is little of value on TV anymore anyway, but now that Michael Scott has left Dunder Mifflin I wonder what will happen to The Office.  My guess is that we have seen the last of Scranton, PA.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Superman... No longer American?

No lighthearted humor here folks.  Superman is renouncing his US citizenship in the latest comic, which is number 900 in the series.  Superman stands for American values for ideals that others espouse, but the writers of Superman comics have chosen to separate him from those ideals.

I know this sounds crazy, but losing Superman should be a wake up call for all Americans.  Perhaps we should return to what made and makes America great?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting Old

Ok, so a very funny thing happened this morning.  I was in the shower and an idea came to me of a great topic to write about today.  It was so tremendous and unforgetable that I thought the mere idea of writing it down was beneath me, because in no way would I ever misplace this idea in my steel trap of a mind.

If you know where this story is heading, you are likely young and have the propensity to mock your elders due to their forgetfulness.  On the other side of it, if you knew where this was going but have since forgotten, you will probably remember it at a time when all value of knowing has past.

Anyway, later that morning I was driving into work and the thought came to me how neat it was going to be to write about the amazing topic I had thought up earlier.  What joy it brought to me!  So I went to the steel trap where I had left the super neat idea only to find that not only was the idea not there, but I had misplaced the steel trap. 

This leads me to today's topic: getting old.  I thought it might be nice to have a few sure fire signs that you are getting old, knowing that you will likely forget these by the time you experience them...

1 - If you refer to years past as the "good ole days", or "my day", and then follow it by how crappy today is, you are well on your way.

2 - Early onset of "oldness" causes one to walk down the hallway for something (which you forgot) and come back with something else just so you didn't waste the trip.

Late onset of "oldness" causes a search party to be sent out when you do not return.  The search party finds you in the den at the opposite side of the house taking a nap.

3 - An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but a prune today keeps me regular...

4 - You have chosen the perfect year for clothing style and have decided to stick with it on all future purchases despite the fact that the beat goes on without you.

5 - You peruse a newspaper and try cut out the coupon for the buy one get one free arthritis ointment, but can't so you lick the page and rip it.

6 - You start to lose your hearing.... I SAID, YOU START TO LOSE YOUR HEARING...
7 - You use the term "what's his face" not to mock, but because you really don't remember his name.

8 - You stop yelling at people for going too slow.  You are now the reason people yell.

9 - Getting out of bed gets the adreneline pumping.

10 - You get your "sweets" by stealing the Sweet n' Low from the diner

Well, those are just a few of the signs of "oldness".  Good luck!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Speaking But Not Really Saying Anything

.... otherwise known as political speaches...

Self Healing Polymers

Being the cool guy that I am you would hardly expect a post I have written to be titled "Self Healing Polymers", right?  I mean, who in their right mind besides the uber dorky even uses the word 'polymers'?  I have before used the word poly (usually spelled Polly... bunch of crazy scientists spelled it wrong) and 'mer' but only when appended to the word 'maid', but that is hardly the same thing.

Anyway, there is a story on the site that goes into the ability of specialized polymers to heal themselves when under UV light.  The plastic like material in essence heats up and the polymer becomes almost fluid and fills in scratches an imperfections in the material.  We here at the Wise Guy And Beyond Blog can think of many uses for such things, none the least of which is every cell phone I have ever had.

Now if they could apply the same characteristics to car paint....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Missing My Mind - Help

Today has run kind of like a low budget, bad script, bad acting, and overall lamentable suspense movie.

First, it was the case of the missing sock, which regrettably went unsolved as I am currently wearing one blue and one black sock...

Next came the fiasco of the misplaced keys.  You know how it happens, right?  You tell yourself over and over that you will never forget where the keys are because they are in a place that so obvious that they might as well be playing the accordion at an opera, they are so obvious.  Only later to find out that apparently the accordion sounds pretty nice in Mozart's piano concerto...

The following is where the story bogs down and they try to introduce humor to speed it up.  This is where I drop my cookie from lunch and can't see it until I turn my chair around and step on it.

Immediately following the cookie squishing the big storm hits.  Hail, lightning, and a tree that a guy is trying to hold up before it lands on three cars.  I then watch the three owners of said cars run out and quickly move their cars as the tree crashes to the ground.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun.......

Anyway, then the story slows down again...... really sllllloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....

Then I write this blog... hey, we caught up to real time... neato.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy News

Happy News Story #1

Did anyone see the Lakers lose to the Hornets?  I can say that the guys in yellow from the place with no lakes losing in the playoffs is a grand thing.  It's so grand that I thought of a haiku...

The Lakers lose big
making the world seem more sweet
Like thwarting evil

Go Hornets!!

Happy News Story #2

Charlie Sheen tried to win custody of his kids from his ex-wife on the grounds that she is a drug addicted sociopath.  Right... isn't that like Kate Goselin saying Carol Brady couldn't be a good mom because she had too many kids?

If I were the judge I would have both of them stripped of their parenting rights.  That said, at least Charlie Sheen didn't win full custody.  No child would ever survive that.

Happy News Story #3

Scooby Doo and Shaggie save the day and the bad guy would have gotten away with it to if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Happy News Story #4

Ok, so this isn't really news, but I just realized I have been sitting in the same place for about two hours straight and my butt feels funny.  Funny = happy... right?

Pluto is Gassy

I learned something new today.  Pluto has an atmosphere.  Now I can honestly say that I never cared one iota about what made up Pluto's atmostphere, but apparently there are some who did.  For the record, the newest gas found on Pluto is carbon monoxide.  This gas along with methane are the only proven gases on Pluto, but Nitrogen is thought be be the dominant gas.  Below is an artist conception of what Pluto looks like.

CREDIT: ESO/L. Cal├žada
Now I am not saying I'd like to build a summer home there, but could you imagine the awesome view from that peak there on the right?  Pitch a tent, roast some dogs, tell space stories... what's not to like?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Listen... No Really...

Being a parent is a lot of fun, at least that is how I like to look at it.  If it didn't view it that way, I would probably never make it.  For example, have you ever noticed that kids have a remarkable ability to concentrate... on the television?  I know what you are thinking, "where have you been the past 30 years?" 

Yes, I know that pondering the obvious is not a character trait worthy of my resume, but in all seriousness , have you watched children who are watching TV?  A hole to another universe with scary monsters could open up in front of them and yet they will still be glued to Mickey Mouse.  It is truly impressive.

Here's an experiment to try.  Go out and stand in front of any random child watching TV and see how long it takes them to realize they are not still watching TV.  I did that to my son once and it was ten whole seconds before he realized I was standing there.  He simply found the shortest distance to a viewing 'window' (at a very awkward angle I might add) and just sat there. 

One comparison I have found is people and their smart phones.  People will fall into water features in the mall rather than look up from their phones.

The art of parenting is finding a way to redirect the awesome power of childhood concentration.  You are probably expecting me to come out with some major new ideas on how to get your children to pay attention to their homework and dinner like they do to the television.  Well, the first thing that comes to mind is to.... uh.... well... sorry, could you move a little to the right?  Thanks...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Does This Post Make My Blog Look Fat?

OK, here is your ethical and moral question of the day?  Is honesty always the best policy?  My first impulse is to say, yes, it is.  The world today is filled with those who lie as a matter of course.  Lying is what destroys families and friendships.

The question becomes then, is honesty always the best policy, or are there some times when you ought keep your mouth shut?  For example, what about questions where you are expecting and wanting the askee to lie to you?

        "Do these pants make my butt look big?"

Do you want the real answer to that question?  No of course not.  You fully expect people to lie, and do it without hesitation. 

           "Do these pants make my butt look big?"


           "Do I look silly with my patchy Abe Lincoln beard?"

                  No.  You look very Presidential.

It is possible that honesty is the best policy as long as you are answering a question to which a truthful answer is wanted.

What it really comes down to is this, are there any differences between questions like "how do I get to the market", versus "do I look cool with my black dress socks and my Birkenstock sandals?" 

Down the street and on the right, and no you absolutely do not look cool in black dress socks and Birkenstock sandals....

The New VW Beetle - 2012

I can honestly say my days of hitting someone and saying "slug bug" have been seriously diminished by the fact that the VW Beetle isn't exactly selling well.  Well, get your arms in shape my friends, because the Beetle is back and might create a whole new industry of upper arm protection.  My entrepreneur synapses are firing... perhaps a new line of his and her shoulder pads... we'll call them bug pads...

The Humble Mosquito - Misunderstood?

The persistent itching in my left leg just above my shin has got me thinking... which pattern of scratching is best suited for maximum itch relief?  I have tried concentric circles, hexagons and any other number of polygons.  I have even tried itching in triangles, but the relief is only short lived.

Now that I am in one of those periods of less itching, I have been pondering the age old question.  Does the mosquito have any purpose other than to plague and torment man?

After some research, I have come to the conclusion that evolutionarily, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.... they don't.  I base this only on how I feel right now... itchy.

Some so called "experts" have said they are integral to the life cycle of bats and some fish.  Well neato... but that still doesn't explain why they make my leg itch, and that is the paramount.  So to gross you out a little, I give you the mosquito in all its glory and itch producing spit....

You're welcome, by the way....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Overheard - Don't Say It If It's Stupid

In the office where I work, the bathroom is where people choose to say the dumbest things.  For example:

"It must suck to have a vacuum on on your head"

Turns out, it's not just my company bathroom where this happens.  So I bring you -

OVERHEARD - Don't Say It If It's Stupid

NYC woman on cell phone -

I know, but I was at a funeral all day...Yeah, it was sad, but I really didn't know him at all...This saddest thing was seeing his daughters upset. They're the same ages as--Wow! This shirt is only $19!! You can't even buy a freaking Frappuccino for $19! I'm getting it in blue.

Air Traffic Control Tower -

“Approach, how far from the airport are we in minutes?”
“N923, the faster you go, the quicker you’ll get here.”

Jewelry Store -

"Could I use these coupons to buy something and not pay for it?"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Personal Responsibility

I must confess to being a bit of a news junky.  I wake up and every morning, grab my iPhone, and read the latest news.  Spending little time looking up anything in particular, I just read whatever happens to be out there.  Recently, there have been many stories that fall under the same topic of personal responsibility.  It is this subject to which I want to speak today as it has been weighing on my mind for some time.

It is human nature to try to get out of our mistakes with as few consequences as possible.  Remember the time you hit your younger/older sibling?  You knew that were going to spend the next 20 minutes in timeout, so the first response you gave upon being asked "what happened?" was to say "I don't know", or "nothing happened".  The older you get, the more involved the story becomes, but it still has at its base the desire to get out of whatever punishment is affixed to your actions.

My parents used to always say, after I finally confessed, that I would have been in much less trouble if I would have just come clean in the first place.  I always hated hearing that, but it's true.  Coming clean doesn't mean being free from consequences, but it does mean that you have the character to admit when you are wrong.

The world today doesn't put much stock in standing up and being responsible.  When you think about the role models that people look up to today, you will see what I mean.  From pathetic fathers who abandon their children to addicted mothers who push their families to ruin, we see the results of the downward spiral that comes from societies moral decay.

What would the world be like if could turn back the clock and return to a time when our very word was our bond?  This was a time when trust was bestowed on our fellow man simply because they promised us they would do something.  In society today, trust and honor are not nearly as important as pride and prestige.  Could you imagine walking into a Walmart and asking them to give you a flat screen TV and the only thing they had in return was your word that you would pay them later?

I think a lot of these problems exists because we aren't allowed to fail and we are made to feel bad for winning.  Taking away the consequences for losing and removing the pleasure of succeeding will destroy the need or desire to be responsible.  Why take responsibility for my failure if there are no consequences?

We no longer allow our children to lose anymore because it will affect their "frail" psyche.  The problem with this approach, among many others, is that the right lessons from failure are never learned.  All that is learned is that I deserve a trophy regardless what I do.  Think of Thomas Edison.  What would have happened if, after failing to invent the light bulb, he received accolades as if he had succeeded?  Where would that have left us?  Likely, in the dark.

To use a more contemporary example, I use one of my least favorite basketball players.  After a tough playoff loss to the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals where he failed miserably, Kobe Bryant had many reasons to give up.  He launched airball after airball in those games and was ridiculed in the press.  Instead of wallowing in self doubt and failure, he focused on the criticism and improved himself.  He took responsibility for his failure and much as I hate to admit it he has turned into one of the NBA's greatest players.  Imagine where he would have been if, while playing the Jazz, John Stockton and Karl Malone felt sorry for him and let him have a couple of freebies?

Isn't that the problem now, though?  We spend so much time sheltering people of all ages from failure that they learn nothing but how to get out of the consequences and responsiblity for their actions.  I focused on children earlier and their desire to avoid punishment for their actions, but adults are sometimes worse than five-year-olds.  Think about the last time you had a ticket for speeding, or not using your blinker?  You knew you broke the law, but what was the first thing to go through your mind?

Making changes to our own responses to failure is second only to teaching our children about why we fail.  It's a hard lesson to learn sometimes, and there will be pain.  The point is to take responsibility for your actions and then learn from them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Most Boringest... er... boringerestly day...

April 11, 1954 - The Day That Will Live in Mediocrity

Apparently April 11, 1954 was the day that nothing happened.  After going through a stunning list of 300 million events, a British researcher concludes there were startlingly few notable events that occurred on April 11th.  Using my own experience to further hammer down that point, I cannot remember anything about that day.  It's almost as if that day didn't exist in my past...

I am sure April 11, 1954 seems boring when you look at the minor things that happened that day, but they didn't take into account the day I am having today... 2011 is definitely giving 1954 a run for its money.  Seeing that I didn't exist in 1954, that's definitely saying something.

India is on the board

Welcome to the most international blog I have ever made!!!

Monday Morning - 10:18am

Well, so far Monday is living up to my expectations.  Wallet at home, mismatched socks, dead iPhone, and worst of all... zipper was down all morning up until just a moment ago.  (Don't tell me that nobody saw it.  It's hard to miss when part of your light blue shirt is coming out.)

I received an email today showing that for most people, Monday is just as fun for them as it is for me.  Here is an an excerpt:

Hi, I am trying to get my email to work.  Could you please respond to me if you don't receive this?

So I didn't respond to her... isn't that what she wanted?


A shout out to the one page view from Malaysia!  What country will be next?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Read the Instructions

From time to time I build/fix things.  Not anything grand, inspiring, or life changing.  I certainly haven't been building the next wonder of the world or even the next wonder of the zip code.  Normally I am tasked with putting the toys together that my children receive as gifts, or fixing some miscelaneous broken thing around the house.

For example, this past Christmas, Santa Claus saw fit to give my kids a kitchen.  Not a real kitchen, mind you, just a plastic one.  I am sure he thought it would be easy to put together and would provide a bonding experience for my kids.  I will speak nothing of the bonding experience except to say that the only bonding that occured was due to the sticky saliva of my kids on the play food.

Anyway, the point is that everytime I at least gave lip service to the instructions.  Certainly I don't need to know how to put a bolt and a washer together, but there were some more complex things that I didn't quite follow.

All of this is to say the following... don't call Technical Support unless you have read the instructions five ways.  If it says "Click Here if you Forgot Your Password", click on it.  Don't wait for Tech Support to tell you to try that.

Check all the plugs to make sure you have power to whatever you are trying to turn on.

If there are six steps to completing a registration, don't skip the important ones.

That is all I have to say about that...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Future Proof Your Life

There is a new catch phrase in the technology world that is being used to the point of annoyance.  Future Proof.  It is currently the focal point of a large technology company that will remain nameless, other than to say it rhymes with Messed My.

By taking part in their program, one can future proof their purchases to make sure they always have the latest and greatest.  This company can do this because they grant you a credit towards your next purchase by virtue of you turning over your old device(s).  Great deal, right?  We take no position on Messed My's plan at all, excepting two words... rip... off.

This got me thinking about what other items might be "future proofed".  After several attempts, I have developed a list of things that can and cannot be future proofed.  Starting with the cannot...

Cannot be Future Proofed -

Pudding - How awesome would it be to have pudding that was made to be far superior to any future pudding?  Unfortunately, there will always be a better pudding.

Shoes - Truly this one was perplexing to me until I realized that nobody but Tom Cruise still wears platform shoes.

Underwear - Have you ever not washed your underwear because you thought that they were too cool to get dirty?  <Ahem>... me neither.

Science - It's 20 below in the middle of July in Death Valley as the Ice Age drags on for another century.  Beside the frozen pond we see the reflection of the sun and moon revolving peacefully around the Earth.

Luggage (particularly women's luggage) - Try as hard as I might, I have yet to find luggage that can automatically grow larger when a woman changes her mind on what to bring.

Can be Future Proofed -

Elementary School Songs - Joy to the World... if the next line you sang was "the school burned down", you proved my point.

Cheese - according to the French, the older and stinkier the cheese, the more it costs.... I mean, the better it tastes...

Unidentified Smells in Your Car - short of getting a new car, you will always smell the dirty diaper you forgot was there, because after 140 degrees and 4 hours of cooking, nothing is going to get that out....

Anyway, these are just a few of the things I could think of.  Any others?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Parable of the Hold Music

There once was a man who happened upon a traveling salesman.  Interested in what the salesperson had to offer, the man stopped to examine his wares, but after waiting for some time, the proprietor did not speak to him, or even look at him.  All he did was hum a tune which sounded vaguley familiar, but irritatingly boring.

A little put off by this, the man cleared his throat loudly to attempt to announce his presence, but the salesperson simply went about his business, all the while humming the same 2 lines of music.

Now feeling a little put off, he stood on his tip toes to get right in the face and yelled "HELLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

Unphased, the proprietor stood, looking out in the distance right past his one and only customer.

The moral of the story?  Answer the stupid phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Idealy Speaking...

There would be no Mondays, because not only are they not very fun, they are in many ways unnecessary.  Excepting the need to start the week at some point (dubious), why do we have a single day where everything breaks and or falls apart?  I would imagine with six other days in the week it would be possible to spread the carnage out a little.  It's like there is some cosmic insignificance to Mondays, which allows all the muck from other days to gravitate there, much like a child to the nasty piece of gum under the table at McDonald's.  Perhaps the entire space-time continuum is more of space-time traffic jam to start the week?  We are sure NASA/Google are working on this.

Also, if we are going to speak of things that are not necessary, how about the Dewey Decimal System, or as I like to call it, the "Librarian Welfare Program" (don't send me hate mail), or the "Make Me Not Want To Read Because I Can't Find the Book I Want To Read, Which Leads to the Debasement of Society and the Dumbing Down of our Children and Culture" (MMNWTRBICFTBIWTRWLTTDOSATDDOOCAC for short.... scratch that, definitely too long to put on a t-shirt).

Ah, and another unnecessary thing I just thought up... urinals that go all the way to the ground.  Why not just a wall?  There's one of those outside, and it didn't cost you anything extra to put it there.

What else can you think of that is unnecessary?  And don't say "this blog" because "A", that's just mean, and "B", I already know that...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Jimmer

Just a quick shout out to The Jimmer.  AP College Basketball Player of the Year.  Not to bad for a white guy.


I was in a bit of a quandary this morning.  It turns out that when you research the origins of April Fools Day, you have this feeling that maybe people are being less than honest.  This of course makes even the most believable stories have a curtain of doubt placed over them.

For example, April Fools definitely did not originate with a guy named Horatio in the mid 1300's who, while trying to get out of going to church on Sunday spend the day convincing his wife that it was really Monday, April 1st.

It also wasn't Louie's cousin Sal or Jimmy the pizza guy.... etc...

So after much travail and tribulation, I give you the real story of Thanksgivi... I mean April Fools.

The history of April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day is uncertain, but the current thinking is that it began around 1582 in France with the reform of the calendar under Charles IX. The Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved from March 25 - April 1 (new year's week) to January 1.

Communication traveled slowly in those days and some people were only informed of the change several years later. Still others, who were more rebellious refused to acknowledge the change and continued to celebrate on the last day of the former celebration, April 1.

These people were labeled "fools" by the general populace, were subject to ridicule and sent on "fool errands," sent invitations to nonexistent parties and had other practical jokes played upon them. The butts of these pranks became known as a "poisson d'avril" or "April fish" because a young naive fish is easily caught. In addition, one common practice was to hook a paper fish on the back of someone as a joke.

This harassment evolved over time and a custom of prank-playing continue on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread elsewhere like to Britain and Scotland in the 18th century and was introduced to the American colonies by the English and the French. Because of this spread to other countries, April Fool's Day has taken on an international flavor with each country celebrating the holiday in its own way.

In Scotland, for instance, April Fool's Day is devoted to spoofs involving the buttocks and as such is called Taily Day. The butts of these jokes are known as April 'Gowk', another name for cuckoo bird. The origins of the "Kick Me" sign can be traced back to the Scottish observance.

In England, jokes are played only in the morning. Fools are called 'gobs' or 'gobby' and the victim of a joke is called a 'noodle.' It was considered back luck to play a practical joke on someone after noon.

And on and on and on it goes.  So there you have it, the true story of April Fools Day... at least I think it is.... sounds believable, doesn't it?  I mean, we have historical characters and an international cast...

Quit laughing....

Thanks to