Monday, December 22, 2008

latter-day pirates

Apparently, pirates did not die with the British empire. Like the British, they've retreated to a small geographic area, but unlike the British, they chose one of the most inhospitable places you could imagine: the horn of Africa.

These pirates are much advanced over their loot-toting, parrot-loving, eye-patched progenitors. Instead of scimitars, they carry AK-47s. Instead of cannon, anti-tank weaponry. Though obviously a subjective opinion, these latter-day pirates are much less romantic than the originals. It's hard to generate a diligent fan base without rolling up the good ol' jolly roger every once in awhile.

For some reason unbeknown to me, though pirates have advanced, anti-pirate weaponry has taken a serious step backwards. One only need read about a recent pirate attack to confirm said statement.

There are many oddities about the encounter (including the pirates requesting shoes at the end of the battle--I mean, seriously, Captain Blackbeard probably turned twice in davey jones' locker), but the one thing that stood out to me was the weaponry used. To quote from the article:

"'We had a lot of beer bottles and we made a lot of cocktail [petrol] bombs,' said Capt Peng. 'We were well prepared. We threw them at them.

'After the first attack they retreated but somehow they got very good weapons - anti-tank weapons - which they fired at us, and succeeded in coming up to our living quarters.'"

So, let me get this straight. Pirates are using anti-tank weapons, and to counter said threat, the crew is throwing molotov cocktails? Are you kidding me? Is this some sort of bad joke? IT'S AN ANTI-TANK WEAPON. YOU DO NOT THROW LITTLE BITTY BOTTLES FILLED WITH PETROL IN RETALIATION AND PLAN ON WINNING.

Granted, I must be wrong, because the crew ended up winning the battle. But I'm still a little stunned. The only logical conclusions are thus:

1. Original pirates were way cool
2. New pirates are sissies
3. Molotov cocktails are acceptable counters to anti-tank weaponry
4. Most pirates are in it for the shoes

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the law of donkeys

The other day I was casually watching a youtube clip of a donkey dangling from its harness, and was halfway into an email sending it to my brother before I realized something:

I was that older relative who sent around lame jokes to all hapless friends, family, or minor acquaintances who have the bad luck of having a known email address.


"How did this happen?" I pondered the question for a few minutes. It didn't take me long to figure it out. I am currently supremely un-busy.

Busy people don't laugh at donkeys. And they certainly don't go around sending said donkeys to their neighbors. But un-busy people do. And they do it a lot. And they do it overestimating the reaction it will get from said neighbors.

I believe the function looks like this:



And this shall be known as the law of donkeys.

So take my advice: the next time you're about to send a clip of a suspended donkey, please take a moment to ponder how busy you are the moment. If you're really busy, chances are you're in the clear. If you've been picking your toenails and blogging about larva you found in your crackers to keep yourself busy, you may want to rethink that whole spamming thing.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

counter-cyclical products

Counter-cyclical products are those products which do better in economic downturns. People, in theory, turn to these products when they're poor, and shy away from purchasing luxury items with their now-scarce money.

Some examples of counter-cyclical products include macaroni and cheese, used Honda civics, straw mattresses, Barry Manilow cds, and diamonds.

Seriously, I'm pretty sure about diamonds. "How sure?" you ask? Well, this sure (my arms are stretched out). I know this because every other commercial on radio or television right now is for a jeweler.

Has this always been the case? Never before have I heard jewelry so hawked. Prior to the economic downturn, I had only heard of two purveyors of diamonds: de Beers, and The Shane Company (on the corner of State Street and 7200 South). Now all I see or hear would indicate there is a booming market in jewelry, contrary to that whole financial meltdown that ran away with half of my net worth.

Of course, this could be due to the fact that I've watched more television in the past week than I have all year long, as I'm relaxing after the work and election stress. But it is a little odd, to say the least. You'd think they'd branch out into a product that is counter-cyclical by this point. Something like cubic zirconia.

bachelorhood

Bachelorhood is another way of saying living dirty.

Some people have misconceived notions of bachelorhood. They envision penthouse apartments filled with adoring womenfolk, immaculate dinners of porterhouse steak and fine...uh...grape juice, or nonstop football and pizza.

The only piece of that puzzle which is correct is the nonstop football. Pizza sometimes, yes, peanut butter always, yes. Peanut butter + pizza = crazy delicious*.

As part of my bachelorhoodiness, the other day I bo
ught some bleaueueaeue cheese and decided to sit in my chateaueueaeue eating cheese and crackers. Fortunately, I had purchased a large amount of crackers on a previous Costco run (Costco will bless your bachelorhoodiness in ways you can't even comprehend), and so I decided to work on those crackers.

I sat, nonchalant, eating my crackers and cheese and reading the Economist, feeling ever-so-brilliant, when one of the crackers caught my eye. I had been stuffing them in my mouth in a very bachelor sort of way, but for some reason I looked at what I was about to eat, and saw a cobweb trailing down. Cobwebs are very much a part of bachelorhood, but typically in other scenarios, like on your ceiling, or over the license plate of your car
(I have no idea how that got there), but not usually in FOOD YOU'RE EATING.

On closer inspection, I notice something drop from the end of the cracker. Yes, that would be some form of larva.

You'll notice the cracker on the top, the cheese at the bottom, some leftover Trader Joe's Pasta Medley in the middle, and Mr. Larva on the left.

Yes, that is disgusting beyond belief, and I spent the next few minutes trying to hold down my food.

So, to recap, bachelorhood is all about discovering these sorts of uncomfortable creatures and experiences.

* I'm totally, totally kidding. Peanut butter pizza sounds utterly disgusting. Almost as bad as
bleaueueaeue cheese larva.