Tagged: health

The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013, Pt 2

Well, we made it back. Sigh. I have to take a few deep breaths. Seriously. A week on the beach is hard work. Another deep breath. I’m going to convince you that it’s hard work, and then you’ll see why I’m taking so many deep breaths. Breathe. And then maybe you’ll also see why I am so happy to be home, while at the same time looking forward to going again next year. Deep breath. It’s very hard work. And I didn’t even take my laptop this year!

Historically, I have traveled with only the bare necessities when it comes to technology and electronics. For instance, my laptop backpack would have in it only the things I needed for the week: computer, netbook, tablet, SD card case with several spare SD cards, an SD card reader (or two), two of every kind of cable I might possibly need, spare styli, a couple of blank CDs, a USB light, screen wipes, my 3G hotspot and every possible dongle, cable and connection I might ever need or want to plug into my computer while I’m there. Seriously, what happens if I take a bunch of pictures on my D-SLR and didn’t bring a card reader to transfer them to the computer, and I lose the camera? Well, simply put, I lose the pictures.

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Do we need a better mouse trap?

What is the best mouse trap? You hear all the time in company meetings and motivational speeches alike, “let’s build a better mouse trap.” It has actually turned into a cliche. But why? Are mouse traps really that bad that someone needs to be thinking about building a better one? Or is it just the perfect item to make a joke about because it really needs no improvement?

I can’t tell. See, I think the absolutely perfect mouse trap would completely disintegrate the mouse. Turn it into energy, or a puff of perfume-laced smoke. Every mouse trap I’ve ever used – though all of them worked effectively – was imperfect in that you still had to deal with the body of the mouse when the deed was done. And that’s the part I think we all dread the most. I mean, who wants to have to touch a nasty, dirty, flea-infested, possible-rabies-carrying carcass? Not I. So let’s take a look at some of the mouse traps available on the market, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

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Bad Design Diary: Tiny Bathroom

My wife and I are in San Antonio for a conference. We’re staying in a relatively nice hotel room. This room is actually a pretty nice suite. It has a living room area with couches and ottoman, a bar area with a special sink and a mini-fridge, and then the bedroom area which includes the vanity, the bathroom and the closet. It’s a pretty nice arrangement. Nothing wrong so far.

Until we enter the bathroom…

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Bad Design Diary: Shower Faucet

I’m beginning a new series about bad design. Being a designer, I’m constantly thinking about it, and thus also always spotting bad design. One of the assignments my instructor assigned at the design conference in New York a few months ago, was to spot and record five things wrong with our hotel rooms. That was easy. I’m always looking out for areas that could use improvement.

But I won’t simply be complaining about bad design. I’ll also be offering up a solution. These will certainly be my own ideas, and not necessarily the best resolutions, but definitely better than the complaint I encountered. These will be short posts – not my usual 700-words-or-better columns I post. They will also have their own category for easy sorting and grouping. So come along with me as we look at some bad design.

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The Panama Chronicles: Part 2

Part Two: Back in the Jungle

This was my second trip to Panama but it was so markedly different from the first in every aspect that I’m beginning to replace negative feelings and emotions about it with positive ones. Where my first trip was dark and unkind, frightening and unforgiving, this one was healing and rewarding. This was my opportunity to change some of my thoughts and feelings on a second-world country and turn an exotic vacation into a therapeutic session and personal growth. Being granted the opportunity to see the jungle again from a cable car, and the safety of a boat, I’ve been able to calm the sense of dread and anxiety that seems to boil up in my gut when I think of the darkness that dwells in that little strip between the Americas.

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How I Conquered Heartburn

I know a lot of people who are permanently on some kind of acid reflux medication. What is it about today’s people – or today’s diet – that is so much worse for us than back in say, the 70s? Were people riddled with perpetual daily heartburn back then the way they are today? I would guess they were, but no one has ever confirmed this. My real question, obviously, is what did they do before Omeprazole?

Well I’ve been on it for at least twelve years. I think closer to fifteen. I know they took Propulsid off the shelves back in April of 2000. And I was on that. Apparently it caused heart attacks and all other kinds of bad schlit. But I know I was on permanent daily medication already at the point when I started taking this deadly medication. And I don’t remember how long I’d been on it. So at least twelve, possibly as much as fifteen years of my life, I’ve dealt with GERD. And I’m son-of-a-bitching tired of it.

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Life Comes At You Fast (And So Do Cars)

It’s weird – I never thought it would happen to me. I am so defensive and cautious and alert, and even what one might call ‘super-ambulatory’. But none of that matters. I even saw it coming. He was turning left, but looking right as he pulled onto Lemmon heading Northwest. I noticed he was turning wide, into the center lane, obviously swerving wide to avoid me. But then at the last second, he changed course and started aiming for the inside lane, right where I was.

People have these theories that if ever a car bears down on them, they’ll jump in the air, do a fancy football juke, or a double-back-flip over the car. Well I just thought I’d be able to dash out of the way real fast. Well, as it turns out, time isn’t very elastic, and it just marches forward, second for second. And by the time I realized he wasn’t seeing me, I was out of options. So I turned and faced the truck. A Tahoe, it was. A white one with a black driver. And faster than lightning, he hit me.

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SpaceBrew Review: Dooms Day Book

I have so many things to say about this book. I’ve never really read anything like it. I do love time-travel tales. It follows that I love anachronistic situations, people getting stuck in a different time, and – well, just a bunch of bad schlit happening. This book has all that. I also rather enjoy tales set in medieval times, or the Middle Ages, as it were. I’m not, however, big on fantasy. You show me a dragon or a wizard, and I’ll show you how to set down a book so fast you risk injury to the wrist. Alas, this novel had nothing of the sort. This book was more like a National Geographic presentation about the Middle Ages.

I hesitate to say anything about what happens in the book for fear of the spoiler. It seems to be that every other review on the book sort of just expects you to know it though. The thing that perplexes me is that if Connie Willis had expected you to know the preliminary twist, why did she write so deeply into the book trying to add suspense and mystery over it? Why did she not just advertise it on the dust jacket? Well, I don’t know. But assuming you aren’t only going to read one review – my review – of the book, I’m going to have to go with the notion that you probably already know what the book was about, and that huge plot device that seems so carefully hidden by Connie yet so destructively advertised by every other reviewer I’ve seen. Further, if I don’t talk about it, then I really can’t tell you why I thought so highly of this story.

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SpaceBrew Review: Love and Other Drugs

Now here’s a movie that needs a nod. I rented this movie based solely on the title and the rating it had on Netflix, thinking it was a chick-flick, and my red-haired wife and I could enjoy it together over caramel popcorn and bourbon. Now see that, ladies? I am a man who is not opposed to renting something I think my red-haired wife will enjoy, and watching it with her. I’m quite a catch, if you think about it.

Anyway, this is a fairly original storyline, not too overdone, and pretty well written. A young woman (Anne Hathaway) is diagnosed with Parkinson’s and runs into a young man who has just gotten into the pharmaceutical sales business. Think Steel Magnolias or Philadelphia. But see, it’s not really a chick-flick. It’s more of an emotional drama that should appeal to anyone with a heart than just to women. Well, it should also appeal to any red-blooded man who wants to see Anne Hathaway naked.

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25 Years Later: Chernobyl

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the tragic disaster that ruined Chernobyl and affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I’ve read the story many times over the years, fascinated by the insane breakdown of events that put them in that predicament, and it gets more interesting every time I read it. But it also depresses me greatly.

The greatest weakness in the system was humanity. We caused the catastrophe. Humans are a stupid, self-serving, arrogant bunch. And that arrogance changed Chernobyl and the surrounding towns – basically making them unlivable for the next thousand years. That’s when it will be safe to move back. But there will still be radiation for up to seventy thousand more years.

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Bacon Talk: Breasts

Good morning, friends. Welcome to Bacon Talk: our award-winning weekly segment, where we get together and discuss whatever’s on our minds, over a hot pot of coffee and a greasy plate of bacon. Really, can you think of anything more perfect? I think – excuse me. Uh, Haycomet, please make a note to remind me to get with Butch and Bruno after our talk. I want to go ahead and have a balcony built outside the 23rd floor conference room windows. I’d like to have bacon outside next week.

Sigh. Okay. Sorry about that, readers. Anyway, here on Bacon Talk we’ve been covering some really ground-breaking topics that are both newsworthy and relevant to your lives in a way you and I can’t really begin to express. Yes, friends, we do listen to our readers. And we do talk about the very things that make you happy. Because making you happy makes us happy. And when SpaceBrew is – okay, I’ll shut up.

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You Ruined My Friday

Just so you have a frame of reference, you need to know I am lying in bed right now writing this on my SpaceBook. It is Friday night, 18:05 and I’m lying in bed on my laptop. You’re probably out painting the town, tearing it up, getting some trim, drinking some Cold Ones, and I’m lying here in bed. On my computer. On a Friday night. Have I emphasized that enough yet? Well allow me to pour a little salt in the wound. Even though it’s just after 1800 hours – six for you non-military types – my evening is already set in stone. There won’t be a break. I’ll be doing the same thing in two hours, and in six hours. My night is ruined.

Last night my red-haired wife and I were sitting out on the back patio just enjoying the cool summer breeze and a couple of Ones that were – at least to the best of my recollection – pretty Cold. When all of a sudden, from out of the corner of the backyard, I spotted something terrible and sinister. And before I could gather my senses and react appropriately (which would be to grab my Browning from the deep-conceal holster in the small of my back and put two in dead center mass), it was on me. I’ve never been attacked and overcome with such rapid efficiency or tactical precision in my life. My defenses were useless.

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The The Bacon Paradox

Have you ever heard of the Bacon Paradox? Actually, I think the The is capitalized, so it would technically read, The Bacon Paradox. And since the The is capitalized and part of the title, it would be appropriate in its proper noun sense to refer to it as the The Bacon Paradox. In which case, you should then go ahead and capitalize the first the, e.g. The The Bacon Paradox. You obviously then add another the, it becomes capitalized, and so on, ad nauseum.

Yeah. Sort of like the TTR report, in which the acronym formally stands for “The TTR Report”. Figure that one out.

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Bacon Talk: Toilets

A great thing about having a huge group of writers on staff is that Space always has hundreds of articles to choose from daily. I’m just so darn talented, so that’s why he picks at least one of my pieces every week. Okay, seriously though, I almost didn’t get that all typed before I started laughing. Space and I are the two main writers and sometimes we get “blocked” or just plain busy and need to come up with anything at all to fill a day. We don’t want our faithful readers sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth, saying, “I need my SpaceBrew, I need my SpaceBrew, I need my SpaceBrew…” So today Space and I have collaborated to write this amazing article- one worthy of a Pulitzer! It’s about toilets. Why not? We can only post so many stories about bacon, any more and Space said he is going to rename the site SpaceBacon. So here we go…
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Do these genes make me look fat?

I hear people all the time saying obesity is a disease. They talk like it’s something people get infected with, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Like cancer. Oh no, you got the fat? So sorry to hear that. Did the doctor say how long you have? I’ve also heard people say it’s genetic and there’s nothing they can do about it. My dad was fat so I have to accept that I’m fat too, and there’s not much point in trying to change it. What?

I’ve known people who go through phases where they gain a bunch of weight, then get busy, bust their ass, and lose it. Is that genetic too? See I think our problem here in America is the fact that we want to be lazy. Whether or not we’re lazy seems to be irrelevant. We want to be lazy. We don’t want to do anything about it. We’d rather sit around eating twinkies, getting fatter and bitching about how we’re fat. I say be fat and happy, or lose weight. No excuses for being fat and pissed off about it.

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Bra Cups and Batteries

Here’s a list of stuff that’s been occupying at least a small portion of my small mind over the last few days. I want to break them down and share them with you. Tell me what you think.

Have you noticed that both bras and batteries have a lettering system that kind of defies logic? Why is A the smallest bra size, but in batteries there is no A? There’s an AA and an AAA, but no A, and no B. And the AAA is smaller than the AA. In bras, there is a B, C and D. But instead of jumping up to E, it goes to Double D. Hell yeah. All you women wearing Double D out there reprazent! Let’s see ’em! Just kidding. But not really. Even though I kind of am, I kind of ain’t too. Know what I mean? I mean, like, if you want to sh– okay, okay, sorry. I went off on a tangent.

But why is there a Double D? Why not just make the Double D be the new E? And they should have AA as well. For the smaller chested women, you know. And maybe even a AAA. And why the hell are there no B batteries? I love the B size. I think it’s my favorite. So it would probably be my favorite battery too. All you women out there with Bs on your chest, lemme hear you say “YEAH!” Hell yeah. Send your pics here. Okay, okay, I’ll calm down. I don’t really even like boobs that much. Seriously. I’ve just been kidding with y’all.

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Industry Standards

Why is it that when I walk into a barber shop, which is like twice a year at best, someone always turns to me and says, “May I help you, sir?” Yeah, I’m here to get my tires rotated and pick up a meatball sub for the girlfriend. What the hell do you think I’m here for? Yesterday (which was actually October 9 – I know, we schedule these columns way in advance) I walked into the local SpaceTown Barber Shop, which has been there for over thirty years. And this little Asian guy turns and says that very thing to me. “Can I help you?” So I looked about real quickly, and responded, “Uh, yeah. I need a haircut. You sell those here?” I don’t think he got it.

When I walk up to the fresh seafood bar at the local Snostrebla, I expect the worker there to ask me what she can help me with. There’s a variety. I could get the fresh jumbo shrimp, the frozen popcorn shrimp, the Alaskan King Crab legs, the lobster meat, the imitation krab meat (yes, it’s spelled with a K :rolleyes: ), the fresh Atlantic salmon, or whatever else they sell. Of course she needs to ask me what she can help me with. A barber shop sells one service. A haircut. Does anyone really go to the barber shop to buy their haircare products? I mean, obviously they try to upsell you while you’re there, and sometimes people buy the tea tree oil shit, but no one actually just goes there just to buy the products, right? Well this old town barber shop doesn’t even sell them. They, therefore, sell one thing. Haircuts.

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Multi-Use Material

So I was lying there last night, thinking about some awesome things we have, and I came up with what I think might be the most brilliant idea any man has ever had. This column, though, unfortunately needs to be divided into two sections. One is partly a rant, and the other is the brilliant idea. Which one would you like to read first?

Okay, so here’s the genius: you know that memory foam shit that they always tout was developed for NASA? Yeah, they make mattresses out of it. Well I have come up with an alternative use for it, that I think you’ll agree is probably the smartest thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life in the world. You ready for this shit? Okay. Here’s my idea.

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A Real Local Celebrity

I was listening to the radio in the kitchen Saturday morning (because we have one of those kick ass radios that mounts under your cabinets and plays your iPod and stuff…) when the most interesting thing happened. I got annoyed. Yeah I know, it’s not seldom that happens. Anyway, this guy called in and was making a joke about one of the disk jockeys, so one of the hosts goes, “Tell him who you are!” to the guy on the phone. So of course our ears perk up and we get all excited, because there’s someone who is obviously very important on the phone.

It was the corny dog eating champ.

So this guy ate twelve corn dogs in like ten minutes and is obviously very proud of himself. And the hosts were asking him questions about eating corny dogs and whatnot. He’s answering them like he’s an authority on something. Get over yourself! You ate a dozen corny dogs at the state fair! I bet there are three people on my street who could beat that record, but you just happened to show up to the fair. And enter the contest. Fag.

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Cleanliness is Next to Manliness

You know that guy at work (he’s usually Chinese) who you always catch brushing his teeth in the restroom? And you always almost crack a smile, thinking, “Heh. This idiot is bru–” then you stop short, realizing it’s actually probably a pretty damn good idea. So you keep your mouth shut. Well I have become that guy. Not Chinese. I bought a hygiene kit for work.

Well, they don’t actually sell hygiene kits – at least not that I’m aware of. I had to build my own. So I bought a school box for fifty-nine cents and loaded it full of goodies. You may be wondering why my box is pink. Well, apparently, girls don’t need school supplies as much as boys. Because the Retnec Repus Tram Law shelves are loaded with thousands of these pink pencil boxes. They don’t have any other colors. Not that I care what color my hygiene box is. I can decorate it with markers and stickers at a later date.

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I’m not a vegetable thief.

I went to the doctor last week because of a sinus cold. While I was there I asked him if he- –wait no, it was a she. A hot doctor lady who looks kind of like a librarian, but you can tell she’s hot. Like that one in Road House. Anyway, I asked her if she could look at my plumbing, because I had a couple of tiny red spots on it. So I dropped my drawers and she quickly rolled back in her chair and said something about my having her peas. Whose peas?

Here are some sample peas.Now my girlfriend was standing in the room with me. Well, she was sitting in the girlfriend chair over there. I looked back at her with a frown. My girlfriend doesn’t have any ‘peas’ that I know of. So the doctor couldn’t have been talking about hers. I asked her what she meant. She replied, “I think you might have her peas. Let’s take some blood and we’ll test you out.” She left the room quickly, hair blowing behind her like she was riding a white stallion into a milky orange sunset.

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Sub-Par Food Service

One of their chicken sandwiches.A buddy and I went to eat at a sub shop over here, because he couldn’t shut up about it. “Oh my God dude you have to try these subs. They’re the best freaking subs ever created.” I was like hell yeah, if they’re the best ever, I sure would hate to miss out on that shit. Give me one of them bitches now! So we went to Jimmy John’s. It’s not a major chain, but who really cares about that? As long as their subs are good, they can be in the running, right? And every time I drive by there, it’s always packed like a can of tuna.

Well here’s my review on the place: I give it one star. Out of five. Why? Well, the bread was good. It was soft and fresh, and very luscious. But the rest of it was like I was eating at home. Nothing special at all. And get this bull ass shit. They don’t have swiss cheese. They have one kind of cheese. One. No pepper jack. No monterey. No cheddar. No provolone. Just American. Or whatever the damn it was they had. One kind. And they only had like two kinds of meat. Okay, I’m done talking about this place. Let’s talk about a good sub shop.

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Finally, I’ve something positive to say.

I’m always on here ranting about shitty customer service and how people suck so badly. So I figured you’d probably like to hear about a good experience I had as a customer. Wednesday afternoon, present tense.

I just got back from the barber. Actually it’s a salon. I was on my way driving to the Sport Clips when I passed by a shopping center that had a little salon in it. So I said, “What the hey.” I knew it probably wouldn’t be as busy as Sports Clip during lunch hour, and you really can’t mess my hair up. Even if you do, no one will ever know, because of the way I wear it. So the point being that I really have no preference when it comes to where I get my hair did, because I deliberately mess it up anyway, as a rule. That’s how I roll.

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The Wasteful Years of Sleep

I was thinking earlier about how I needed to rotate my mattress. Because there are forming in it two large crevasses where my wife and I lie at night. They say you’re supposed to rotate them 90 degrees every once in a while. I guess so you end up making a pound-sign shape on the bed, rather than the symbol of equality. What’s that all about? A conspiracy?

Anyway, that led me to thinking about how much time we spend on the mattress, and why we should purchase a really good one when we do make that purchase. They say you spend a third of your life sleeping. Well, I retorted in my thoughts, I don’t need to spend a third of my salary on a freakin’ mattress! Ha! I showed them, eh? But then I slowed. And I considered. A third of my life. A third. Wow. So what it boils down to is I’ve spent eleven years sleeping, total. A ninety-year-old has spent thirty years of his life sawing logs.

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Ye Ole Hot Dog Roll-Up

Yeah that was a good holiday. Though I spent entirely too much time in the sun. And uh, forgot to put on sunscreen. I’m redder than an angry Indian in a bloodbath. That’s all right, fun was had by all.

Shockingly, we didn’t get any pictures of the event because my camera battery charger is screwed up and doesn’t roast them long enough. I just ordered another on eBay though, so we’ll be set soon. Meanwhile, I guess I can tell you what happened. And theoretically, I could say anything I wanted and you’d have to believe me because I didn’t get pictures – so – wait. I have that backwards don’t I?

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Space Saving 101

I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of governmentally invoked population control methodology. You know, like AIDS and stuff. You know that shit didn’t just happen. It had to be introduced. DNA structures don’t suddenly alter themselves to a detrimental deficit. Not even in African Green Monkeys. If that were the case, then I would expect all you idiots who believe we evolved from lower forms to seriously revise your theoretical foundations.

So anyway, I was thinking about these methods they use among other things, like conspiracy theories and the way people just disappear when they know too much. Shit like that. And I came up with an idea. Why don’t we shrink our problems away?

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