Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Welcome to Backward Land

I was recently driving to work when a massive truck deliberately blocked my path while I was entering the freeway.  I had to slow to a near stop to prevent being squished.  This got me to thinking, (after I yelled at the guy from the safety of my car, of course), is this guys head firmly planted up his butt?  Which actually makes sense because only by sitting on your head could you have made a move so brilliant.

It seems now days, unlike the carefree days of my childhood in the 80's, the world is a kind of backward mess.  For example, while growing up, it was common practice to go outside whenever you could so as to play sports, go swimming, or otherwise engage in childhood frivolity.  You couldn't go three steps without encountering said frivolity.

Now, though, you drive through neighborhoods of houses that are seemingly vacant.  Not a single child outside playing.  In fact, if by chance you did see a child outside playing, you'd wonder what kind of crappy parents would let their children play outside.

It turns out that in Backward Land, we go inside to enjoy our frivolity.  Not active frivolity, mind you, but the simulated kind in front of the television.  I used to hate being inside.  Inside actually used to be a punishment.  Now it's a treat.

Another part of Backward Land is the way we treat one another.  How many times do you see someone on the street and you wave to them just because they are there?  To better illustrate how backward we are now, what is the first thing that comes into your mind when you see someone dare wave TO YOU?

"What on earth is that weirdo waving at?  Probably a pervert, or someone trying to case the neighborhood."

Now, I am not saying that we need to revisit the 50's or Leave it to Beaver, heaven knows I would miss my iPhone...

But maybe we can turn a few of those things to face the right way again?  Perhaps we ought to strive to be a little more kind, and a little more selfless.

Backward Land needs to turn around.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

US Airways - No Saggy Pants Just Crossdressing

I am sure some of you have heard about the University of New Mexico football player who was kicked of a US Airways flight because of saggy pants.  You haven't?  Well, there was a University of New Mexico football player who was kicked off a US Airways flight for saggy pants.

Now I, being the hip guy that I am, understand style and self expression.  Sometimes you just gotta sag your pants.  For me, that time is when I am taking them off at night to go to sleep, but for the UNM player it was on a flight from California.  I shall make no judgement on the player and his saggy pants other than to say if it breaks the rules, pull your pants up.

The thing is, rules are rules and due to the fact that he refused to pull his pants up, he was arrested.  I wasn't there, so there could be more to it, but it seems as though this is a slight overreaction.  Especially when coupled with the following story:

A man who wished to not be identified climbs aboard US Airways dressed in women's undergarments.  His does it because it makes his business travel more enjoyable.... and by so doing makes everyone else feel less joy.

Now for the crazy part.  This guy can crossdress in ladies underwear and the UNM guy can't sag his pants.  If the rule is that you cannot dress in such a way that your pants hang around your knees, then shouldn't a half naked 65 year old also be against the rules?

I mean, COME ON!!!!

Question of the Day - Why Do We Breathe Air?

Why do we breathe air? Why could we not breathe chocolate or something else more enjoyable?

This is a question that has been debated for a long time. I mean, when walking down the street in any large city in the world, the first thing that pops in your mind as you cough is "why can't I breathe chocolate or something else more enjoyable?"

The task to answer this question is daunting to say the least, but here is my attempt:

1. Evolution - It's simple really when you consider evolution and natural selection. All we need is for a large group or population to die off trying to breath chocolate.  Once you wait for about 10 million years --- ZAMO!!!--- Combo air/chocolate breathers are born... that works... right?

2. One thing that might also be the reason we cannot breathe chocolate is due the fact that it is an aphrodisiac. Could you imagine a bunch of love crazed people running around the planet all the time? In the words of Brillat-Savarin,Jean Anthelme:

La truffe n'est point un aphrodisiaque positif; mais elle peut, en certaines occasions, rendre les femmes plus tendres et les hommes plus aimables.

Translated roughly -

The nose is not an aphrodisiac positive but may, on occasions, make women more tender and men more amiable.

Makes perfect sense to me.....

3.  The only real way we have to do this is to make the air chocolate flavored.  Unfortunately there is only one brown thing air can smell like easily and it isn't chocolate....

Heat Is On

I never realized what pressure was until I talked to someone in charge of making sure the 'hamburger' gets to McDonald's on time.  For me, I would hardly consider McDonald's meat beef.  More like beef product, or meat alternative with beef flavor.

Anyway, imagine a very busy McDonald's without "meat".  I asked the manager how much "meat" they go through in a day and it was astounding.  One thousand pounds of "meat" on a slow day and up to ten thousand pounds when it's busy. 

That's a crap load of meat... Which, when you think about it, works on so many levels. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


I have been pondering recently, which animals/insects/bugs give me the willies.  Why?  Well, it's due to a story I read about an unfortunate family in Idaho.

The family bought their dream house at a steal of a price.  They moved it and at once started to have problems.  The first clue to the issue was that while working around the yard, they ran into several non venomous snakes.  This is not out of the ordinary for Idaho, so they didn't think anything of it.  That was until they started running into them INSIDE the house.

At one point, the father was rounding up dozens every day.  They could hear them slithering through the walls at night.  As luck would have it, the house was built upon the winter spawning grounds for these snakes.  Thousands of them were residing under, in, and around the house.

Now, I am not one to be affraid of a snake.  Thousands, though, definitely makes the hair on my neck stand on end.

Now, I want to compare that with my experience with a very, very large spider in the Philippines.  This spider was larger than my hand and was carrying hundreds of babies on its back.  Oh, did I mention it was in my house?

Yeah, well, I can honestly say that since the spider thing I witnessed first hand, it definitely trumps the Idaho Snake House.

Which are worse for you?  Snakes or Spiders?  See the poll on the full blog.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gee Whiz - It's Science Friday!!!! FECAL BURGER EDITION

It's been a while since I have read a really good science story, let alone one that I thought I could share that would leave you amazed, more intelligent, and at the same time grossed out.  Well, the search is over....

Dateline, Japan.  Japanese scientists have been working feverishly on improving hamburgers.  They tried cooking it slowly over an open flame, and they have also tried cooking it very quickly to scare all of the bacteria out of it.  For some reason, however, all of their attempts have tasted like crap.

Now for you and me, crappy tasting hamburgers would be cause to take up another hobby like knitting or at least find a different thing to test your science on.  These scientists actually took a different tack.  "If we can make hamburgers that taste like crap... can we make crap that tastes like hamburgers?"

They extracted the protien from human feces and made it into hamburgers.  They put a little steak sauce to flavor it, but it tastes just like a hamburger.... well, that's what they say, and I am completely willing to take their word for it!

The benefits are of course that there will be less crap in the sewer, and potential obesity control.  Fecal burgers are sure to be a hit diet.

The Unscratchable Itch

Have you ever had an itch right in the middle of your back just out of reach of your fingers?  It doesn't matter how much you scratch near the itch from above or below it never really quite fixes it.  Only direct contact can solve the problem, but asking your neighbor or some passer by in the hall to scratch the itch is taboo.

This is where the wall, and more particularly the corner of the wall, comes in handy.  So you pretend to be going to the bathroom, all the way scoping out potential back scratching areas.  Two things make the spot desirable.

1 - Sharp Corners -  Rounding corners might be safer, but they are horible at itch relief... which is why you build things in your house anyway...

2 - Out of public view - You are not an adorable grizzly bear, nor are you a cute puppy.  As such, nobody should have to watch you.

Ok, so now you have your spot and nobody is looking.  How do you scratch that itch?  Some like circles, and others like side to side.  The best actually is a figure eight as it gives you the best chance of hitting every potential itchy spot.

....... now, isn't that better?  Now if only itching your behind were that easy...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Support Our Advertisers

Just wanted to take a second to thank you for pushing the Wise Guy and Beyond blog over one thousandth page view this month.  It's great to have so many people read and take part in this blog.


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It truly is a talent to be able to explain yourself no matter the audience.  For those who can speak to anyone and be understood, the world is their Big Mac (I hate oysters).  Then there are those who couldn't tailor their message any more than monkeys could tailor theirs.

For example, I just tried to explain pocket lint to a five year old...

"Uh, when you wash your pants, they get... uh... a little bit of the fabric... er... pants ends up in the pocket."

Perfect, right?  Well, you know you did it wrong if the first question after explaining something is...


Yes, indeed, I should have just left it as "crap that the washer puts in your pocket". 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Have you ever wanted to hand someone the dictionary in order to prove the "word" they just used existed?

I felt that way earlier today while talking to a friend.  He kept using the world irregularness to describe the way an app was working on his phone.  I tried really hard to overlook it because heaven knows I make up words all the time while trying to censor myself, but after the third time of him using the word, I had to call him on it.

Why do you keep saying that word?  I do not think it means what you think it means...

History.... What Happened?

Recently a study was released that startled me.  Just 45 percent of 12th graders scored at or above "basic" on the history test. About 10 percent of seniors scored "proficient," and 1 percent are considered to have an "advanced" knowledge of U.S. history.

For our international readers, this might be a cause to laugh, but don't get to hasty.  It is a good bet that your country scores much lower on U.S. History than we do...........

There are so many reasons to know your history.  None the least of which is not repeating it.  For example, you know that chair with the impossibly pointy wheel mechanism?  The one that you know for sure will impale you if you even look at it sideways?  Yeah, that one.  How many times did you have to stub your toe on that before you avoided it?

There is so much more at stake than stubbed toes here though.  World wars have been fought and people have lost their lives due to our lack of understanding of history.  In the United States, we have fought a Civil War and there are a surprising amount of people who do not know why.

In the spirit of understanding and teaching, I present to you a very small quiz on U.S. History in the hopes that it will scare you into learning.

1 - How many original British colonies were there?

2 - What is the Declaration of Independence and when was it signed?

3 - Who wrote the Declaration? (I will slap you if you say John Hancock)

4 - From which country did the United States declare their independence?
  • In what year?
5 - What is the Constitution of the United States?

6 - What year was the Constitution of the United States ratified?

7 - What are the Bill of Rights?
  • Name two of them

7 - Who was the first President of the United States?
  • The Second?
8 - What war(s) were fought between the American Revolution and Civil War?

9 - What is Abraham Lincoln known for?

10 - What is the Emancipation Proclamation?
  • Who gave it?
  • What did it do?
11 - Are the above questions in order chronologically?

12 - What is the Civil War and why was it fought? (several answers to this one)

13 - What two Ammendments to the Consitution came after the Civil War?

14 - Name two Presidents that came after Lincoln and before Theodore Roosevelt.

15 - What war was fought wherein Teddy Roosevelt took part?

16 - Which President required a larger bathtub to accomidate his large size?

Anyway, those are only a few questions that cover from the late 1700's until the early 20th century.  Score yourself and see if you can count yourself as one of the few who have a "basic" understanding of U.S. History.

Scary huh?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

About Lebron

It's not that I hate the guy.  I mean, how can you hate someone you don't know?  No, it's really about a dislike born of not really caring much for the guy.... how's that?

Seeing Lebron fail in the finals was almost as awesome as seeing the guy that was picked last hit a home run to win the game....

Too much?

The Havta Gotta Wanna's

To begin today's post, I want to ask you a question.  What motivates you?  Is there a reason you do what you do?

There are three main motivators in life and all others are merely part of those.  These motivators are  Hafta, Gotta, and Wanna.  Side note - The Hafta Gotta Wanna's would be a great name for a band...


The best way to describe this is to think of how a little child responds to being told to clean their room.


"Ah.... Do I havta?"


A person whose motivation is the "havta" is more concerned with consequence than end result.  Sure your room will be clean, but you are more concerned about what will happen to you if you don't clean it than you are about the benefits of a clean room.  There are a lot of people that are motivated by the "havta" mentality, and for some, it helps them get from point A to point B albeit in a less than happy way.

Think of the "havta" as trying to walk across the street by digging under it.  You still get there, but to use the young peoples vernacular, it "sucks".

This brings me to....


To describe the "gotta" (which is where most people are found), think about how you respond to work.  Do you go to work out of fear of being punished or do you go to work for the benefits (i.e. paycheck, health coverage, etc)?  The gotta people do things for the reward, or what's in it for them. 

Where the "havta" fails when you can no longer escalate the punishment, the "gotta" takes over.  I know I was much more likely to eat my spinach if I new it was to be followed by cake.

Call it bribery, or call it incentive, it doesn't matter.  When people know something good will happen, they are more likely to act.


What happens when the chocolate chips you were using as a bribe... er... incentive for you child to use the toilet while potty training, run out?  You and they will likely revert back to the "havta" and punishment will likely result.

The thing is, there is a better way.  If you can get yourself to buy into something so much that you "wanna" do it just because you love doing it, the battle for creating healthy and lasting habits is won.  I keep going back to children on this because it is readily evident in them.  We have gotten our children to buy into the fact that they need Sunday naps, in fact they actually "wanna" take the nap for no other reason than they love Sunday naps.

The "wanna" is defined by people who do things out of love rather than what's in it for them, or potential punishment affixed to inaction.  To further illustrate, think about a time when you participated in a service project and really enjoyed yourself.  What was your motivation?  It was likely because you wanted to help and loved those you were helping.

It really is remarkable how much better life can and will be when you forget yourself and be a "wanna".

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saftey PSA

Just wanted to take a second today and post something that is on my mind that is a little more serious.  In the spring rivers across the Northern Hemisphere run high high and fast.  Recently there have been way too many cases of children getting swept away in their depths and quite a few deaths.  This is a very sad and horrible thing for anyone to have to go through, and I don't want to in anyway pass blame on anyone because Heaven knows they have been through enough.

That being said, please keep your children away from the rivers and streams.  The water is way too fast and the danger is all too real.  Keep both eyes on your children because even if you are far enough away that you cannot see the water, your children can find it.  This is a tragedy that needs not happen.

Please be vigilant and don't assume that your children or children you see will stay away from the water.

Thank you and please pray for those families who have lost loved ones.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boogers, Bogies, and Post Nasal Drip

Have you ever come in contact with or in close proximity to someones nasal discharge?  Disgusting, right?  I have been to nice restaurants where the underside of the table is coated with the gooey mess.  It truely is one of life's mysteries why someone would eshew use of a Kleenex for a table bottom.

Today, though, I have one that is more disgusting than that.  I was walking into the bathroom and looked to the right at the janitors closet and saw what appeared to be Ghostbusters ectoplasm dangling from the handle about 4 inches.  Obviously there were no tables nearby and certainly no tissue in the JANITORS CLOSET....

I mean, come on...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Public Stupidity

There are, generally speaking, two types of people in the world.  Smart people who occasionally do dumb things and people who wouldn't know a smart thing if it were dangling like a carrot right in front of them.

It seems that in the world of these two types of people, politicians are not a part of the former group.  Case in point, Representative Weiner of New York.  First, let me say that with a last name like Weiner, surprise should be one of the last emotions you feel when reading about him.

Sending inappropriate pics via Twitter, text, Facebook, or smoke signals qualifies you as a bonehead.  Lying about it makes you a moron, but apologizing for it but not accepting any consequences...

Here's to you, Mr. Weiner.  Clearly a better name for you does not exist.