Fun and Game Hens

In honor the iNDefatigable mjenks' much funnier post on poultry cooking fiascos, I have a confession to make.

Back when we were roommates, T-Bone decided (notice how it's always his ideas that lead to trouble?) it would be nice for us to cook for our girlfriends. The
menu was Cornish game hens stuffed with wild rice. All the shopping and prep work went fine, this time, the oven was set to pre-heat. All was right with the world and we just had to wait for the girls to call and say were on their way (both were notoriously late) before starting the game hens.

When the calls arrived and out dates were in transit, we opened the oven to put in the 4 birds … ICE COLD!!! Son of a biscuit eater this isn't good. It wasn't the pilot, there was no gas going to the over. Range top? Yes. Oven? SHIIIIIIIIT! Out door grill? Don't have one!

In a panic, we shoved 2 birds at a time into my small, underpowered microwave, and blasted the hell out of them for 20 minutes a set. All the while, the BIG STALL was going on. One of us was out charming the girls, plying them with wine, keeping them out of the kitchen.

Then, oh Lord, we declared the chickens, "done enough", crossed out fingers, and said a quick prayer to
Hestia, (but it should have been Tykhe) and served the, let me repeat this, the "done enough" chickens.

No one died. No one got sick. No one got lucky.

The women were gracious. They did not mock us. But, I'm pretty sure that they actually didn't consume any of the "done enough" chickens" either.

And that was our only double date.
[UPDATE - 2008-12-01 - Facts in dispute - T-Bone's ex disputes the fact that she is "always late." To be fair, she's right. My ex was ALWAYS late. Near the end, I started lying to her about what time things were scheduled in a futile attempt to be there only a half an hour late. For movies and dinner reservations, it matters, okay!?!?]


SCOPE-TECH Presents: S.P.A.M.I.S.H.

It'll drive ya BUGGY!
For when you're hungry enough to eat a horse.
How can you say, "Nay"?
It'll trip your TRIGGER!
S.P.A.M.I.S.H. Select - in the SILVER can
Who said, "There's no sense EATING a dead horse"?
We bet it won't sit around FURLONG, and your family will beg for a DAILY DOUBLE helping.
S.P.A.M.I.S.H.: Specially Processed Amish Meat - Its Spammed Horse
Horse meat. It's not just for dog food anymore.
CHEVAL the French will eat.

* This product has no relationship to that
Hormel product made of Squirrels, Possums, and Mice.
** Makers of S.P.A.M.I.S.H. apologize for all Amish folks reading this blog.


The Sabbatical

All right, you've fooled around long enough. I've mentioned it. I've danced around the edges. I've stuck a toe in it, so let's just get it over with.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

The first 14 years of my career were spent doing multi-currency financial reporting and budgeting systems for
Arthur Andersen. It was fun. I loved my job. I liked the people I worked with. I was challenged. Then some folks in Dallas don’t practice proper document retention policies* and the government scapegoats 88,000 people for the Enron thing. While the accountants and consultants landed on their feet, we back office people weren't so lucky.

But, I got to stay on for a while with full pay, sorting backup tapes until the end of September, 2002.

And 'the Sabbatical' began. I did get 14 weeks of severance and insurance lasting into the new year. Plus unemployment benefits. Plus I had a condo down payment saved up. Money wasn't really an issue. (No wife / kids / pets either. I do have A (1) plant, but it's not too demanding.)

I traveled to Arizona to visit T-Bone and Mrs. IVy.
I saw the Grand Canyon.
I went for a run most every day.
I applied to the same 15 jobs every day.
I won a
radio contest.
I had, then lost a girlfriend (actually a rarity for me).
I started the website that was the precursor to this blog. And wrote
this, and this, and this, and this on it. (What did you think the tag 'Archive' meant?)
I turned running into training for a marathon when I realized that 7 mile runs were now "short runs". (I have since quite running. Knee issues.)
I applied to the same 15 jobs every day.
I had 1 interview in May, with
I got one snail-mail rejection letter and was so happy to know that not all my applications were just sent down into a black hole that I actually cried tears of happiness over a

As the summer of 2003 wound down, I was seriously starting to think about getting that "stop the bleeding" job in retail. That's when I got a call from my old manager, '
Magill' called and asked if I would be up for a temp job at a new company she was at. I had to apply and everything, and it was supposed to last only 6 months, but she needed someone she could trust to work this second shift position. I knew nothing about the application I would be working on, or the tools I would be using, but I applied and accepted the job.

On October 12, 2003, I ran the
Chicago Marathon in 4:21:48. So dead on 10 minutes miles, and it felt great.

On October 13, 2003, the Sabbatical ended as I started my new job, and the next phase in my life. (*part of my job is the enforcement of proper document retention policies. Oh the irony.)

I have since changed jobs, but still report to Magill. I still keep in touch with a lot of the Andersen folks. I have / do work with some. Bought a condo from one. Have a Pictionary** party planned with another in December. We're a bit like war buddies. We get it. We understand.

I learned a lot about myself that year. I know what retirement is like. I learned that while history repeats itself, the
History Channel repeats itself like every 3 hours.

"Some of it's magic. Some of it's tragic. But I had a good life all the way." Love the quote. HATE the

**Once in college, they had a Pictionary contest in the dining hall. I had to draw the clue 'pussy footing around'. After T-Bone shouting "cat foot" "kick the cat" I was force to "go blue." Didn't work, but was amusing when the phrase was read aloud.



I know I mentioned my love for this episode of WKRP in Cincinnati back here, but I love it so much, I had to feature it rather than just make it a throw away side joke, like that Jell-O with the shredded carrots. (Seriously, what's up with THAT?) This brought me to tears in my youth, and when I watched it the other day, it was just as good. Maybe like Thanksgiving leftovers, it was even a little bit better than when it was new.

So, if the parades are over and the football games haven't start, and seriously, like you're going to watch the Lions, hop over to Hulu for the Full Episode. You won't regret it.

WKRP in Cincinnati: Thanksgiving Turkey Bomb!

And here's another little ditty for you.

Now, off to watch the Lions. What, it's that or talk to my family.


Christmas Music

* Warning all links with a '*' will play music. If you don't want sound where you are, don't do the "clicky" thing.

You know, I like Christmas. I get jazzed for it. I'm a 40+ bachelor, and there are 80 people on my Christmas card list. And I take it seriously. Each box of cards has a number. A person is assigned a number. The Excel spreadsheet is then sorted to make sure members of close families don't get the same card, if possible. That also assists in the filling out process, so you can do one type of card at a time, and not have to flip between boxes. (Of course I sort the envelopes by zip code before taking them to the post office. I'm not some kind of heathen.)

And you folks thought Candy had OCD looking for this.

Each of the 80 will get a card.

With a hand written note.

Envelope? All filled out by hand.

Not even return address labels.

But I can't bring myself to do one of those 'Christmas newsletters' things. Even a parody one.

And I love Christmas music. Not enough to "Turn On The Light*" yet, mind you. But enough to wait for that one new song to catch me for the season.

Last year, it was Kevin Maney's "Reindeer Song*".

A few year's back, it was The Christmas Jug Band's "Santa Lost A Ho*" (Sorry, could only find a clip.)

And now, here's something that takes one of my all-time favorites, craps on it, bitch slaps it, and then swabs it under the toilet rim of a Thai whorehouse.

If you EVER want to enjoy "Carol of the Bells" again, do not watch this:

And a SPECIAL one for Zibbs.

[FYI - Yes, I know Candy wrote same thing here. But this was already in the can and scheduled, and I'm not about to throw it away.]


Gonna Buy Me A Condo

I know I have mentioned briefly here and there, but this June, I became a new condo owner. I rented for 7,300 days between when I moved into my first apartment, and my condo closing.

The long story, told short. Or not.

I'd been saving up a down payment for a while. Old school, 20%. And in the spring of 2002, I was seriously planning it. Talked to my real estate agent
Kathie, and was really serious. But my company was sorta in the whole "Enron thing" so I decided to sit pat, and see what was going to happen. Good thing I did, because by that fall, I was partaking in my 53 week forced 'sabbatical' others would call 'unemployment'. That's a story for another time. Needless to say, the down payment took a bit of a hit while I was living off it that year. But thank the gods that I had it, eh?

Then, with my 20th anniversary of living on my own approaching, I had to do something. I'd been in my current place since the summer of '99, and while it was a nice, modern,
one bedroom apt. in a really nice section of Lincoln Park that is kinda Old Town-ish, it was time. I had a full 20% down, and with the other stuff reminding me that I'm not a kid anymore, it was just time to do something nice for myself.

And, as my real estate agent Kathie (same one) told me, I was in a great position. I was a first time buyer (no contingency) with 20% to put down and great credit. (Kathie facts: Both she and her husband are former co-workers of mine, both of whom I've known for like, 10 – 15 years; She was EXTREMELY pregnant at the time of the search (was due 1 week after my closing date); and she's afraid of birds.) We went out looking a few times, and I saw some nice stuff, but never had that "you'll know" moment people talk about. I though it was a load of carp. "When you see it, you'll know." Yeah right.

I saw it. And I knew.

Totally pissed me off.

But it was the last place we'd seen on a day when we saw maybe 20 units across 12 properties. So we went out one more time, and then I narrowed it down to the final three. I took another friend with me to serve as the objective critical eye on the 'Night of the Second Showings'. And she told me that I'd be a complete IDIOT not to buy my place. (But probably didn't sugar coat it that much.) And I knew it, too. Of course it's at the very top of my price range, but it's new construction 2 BR, 2 BA with den, garage parking, blah, blah, blah.

You got a little glimpse in the chili posting, but why don't I just show you.

Yeah. Sick and I love it. The only upgrade in the place? The ceiling fan in the "dining room." There was a hanging light there, but since I knew that I was going to be putting my computer there, and I knew that I'm 6'5", that light had to go.

Oh, and the door mat you can't read is THIS one.


That Time Of The Year

Time to bring in the brass monkeys.

I consider myself fairly cold tolerant. I haven't put the liner in the leather jacket I use as a winter coat. Ever. I'm the guy you see in the grocery store in January wearing a sweatshirt, shorts, and Crocs.

But there comes a time when you cannot deny that 'tis the season to roll up the garden hose (don't have one), empty the bird baths (nope, none of those, either), and bring the brass monkeys (oh yeah), lest you have to spend all winter welding their bollocks back on. (And if you look real close, one still does have the old "twig and berries" attached.)

A few brass monkey thoughts:

- The origin that you think you know about the phrase is actually wrong.
- Yup, that monkey is holding this photo.
- No, that is not the limit of my monkey collection. But like Candy and her skulls, I am discerning on what is allowed in.
- Yes, I know they all aren't brass.
- Yes, in the early 90's I was in Mons, Belgium, and was photographed, "buffing the monkey." (Note, I am using the correct, left hand.)

But enough monkey business for one day.

Okay, maybe one more.

[EJC - 7:22 - Post updated so top picture would show in this frak'n narrow space.]


Naval Gazing

I realize that outside of my first posting, I haven't done a "medium resolution" posting about my life. It's all been details that don't really give a big picture, or humorous bits, that provide a little insight into my mind, but no details on the life. So, time to amend that a little. Some of this will be detailed in later posts. Some may never really be mentioned again. But for certain stories to make sense there needs to be context.

With Thanksgiving fast upon those of us in the States (Canadians, being sneaky bastards, celebrate it in October), I've been doing some "navel gazing" at this last year. You know how some years blend together and nothing much seems to change, but then there are those watershed years. The game changers where you know RIGHT THEN that your going to be telling stories about that year until you die?

I've had two this decade: The sabbatical year of Oct 2002 - Oct 2003, and 2008.

The highlights so far:

JANUARY - After not going to the doctor for 15 years, I got the news that I'm not a kid anymore. High blood pressure. High cholesterol. High blood sugar. No real surprises, and they all are responding to meds, but hurt none the less.

JANUARY - Based on the earlier news, I bought my 46" Samsung LCD TV, Blu-Ray player, and Harmony One remote. Love the remote. Was it worth $250? HELL YEAH! Had a little Super Bowl party to show it all off. 3 people - a guy a worked with, a gal I worked with, and her husband.

APRIL - After 20 years of renting, I started condo hunting.

MAY - I left my job of 4.5 years and went to a competitor. Still reporting to the same manager who I did at the old place. And at the place before that, too. Yeah, 3 different companies over like, 15 years? Same manager. It's so who you know. And remember the co-worker's husband from the Super Bowl party? She (the manager) reports to him.

JUNE - Gonna buy me a condo... After renting for 7,300 days to be exact, I closed on my condo. Love it. Awesome place. Awesome real estate agent. This is the thing I talk about most in real life.

AUGUST - Met Gwen, drinking Gwen-tini's at a backyard party. Got sucked into the Gwen-everse.

OCTOBER - I got so sick that I actually had to stay home from work a day. That never happens. But I did put in about 10 hours from home that day, so everything was right in the world.

NOVEMBER - Scope-Tech is launched and Scope comes out of semi-retirement.

And for all those things, I am thankful. Maybe not the food poisoning from the bad shrimp, but the rest of it. Even the med stuff. It got the ball rolling.
Now let's see what '09 has in store.

FYI - That's the USS Texas. I figured it was either a shot of that or my bellybutton, and nobody wants to see that.


Go Elf Yourself

I love Christmas. So much so, that in the days before Photoshop and all those other fancy tools, I took Paint, and the first digital photo ever taken of me that I'm aware of (the company I worked at had an on-line directory), and Elf'd myself. (Which is WAY different from being told to " 'F' yourself".)

According to my 'friends', the return of 'Eric The Elf' as my computer wall paper at work is one of the most dread events of the holiday season. As I understand it, it outplaces 'Fruitcake' and 'Explosive Diarrhea' on the official list.

This was YEARS before OfficeMax let you do it HERE.

But that's where things got ugly. Gwen. Dr. Zibbs. I am SO sorry for this. (Well, not really.)

Since the embed code they gave me kept totally crashing the editor, you have to click HERE.

Trust me. It's worth it. Would I lie to you? And if this doesn't make you laugh, then you have no ELVIS in you. ('ELVES' / 'ELVIS' Coincidence? I think not.)

[Video Removed - Got it to play at a friend's house, and that wasn't the intended one. Rat bastards at Jib-Jab!]


The Smite Button

Because sometimes, "Delete" just isn't stong enough...

Go ahead, think of that SPECIAL someone, and SMITE them!

(Wait for it, it's a little slow.)

Feels good, doesn't it?

SMITE 'em again!

(And seriously, Picasa sux for not letting me load an animated GIF. What's up with that? Had to set up a Flickr account just for this one gag.)



This new black and white pill from SCOPE-TECH's Department of EVIL CHEMISTRY will balance your yin/yang and checkbook, bring your planets into syzygy, rearrange your shakras, unblock your chi, and leave your aura as shinny as the coat of an egg-suckin' dog.

Side effects are generally inversely proportional to the benefits provided. Patients who successfully completed the regiment reported increased instances of dry mouth, sensitivity to light, itching, twitching, spot bleeding, night sweats, night terrors, leprosy, scurvy, full body monkey hair, the mange, third eye, the condition known as "sausage fingers", projectile vomiting, that thing the kid in Mask had, and stigmata.

There was one report of demonic possession, but our scientists are pretty sure that it was a pre-existing condition. The patient was, after all, a tele-marketer.

Six Degrees of Bacon

Beside vegetarians (and I even have questions about some of them), who doesn't love bacon? Good God fearing AMERICAN BACON, not that ham stuff Happy Joe's puts on their sauerkraut and Canadian bacon pizza.

Many, many years ago when we were roommates, T-Bone decided we should actually cook dinner one night. That's easy for him, he has chef's blood. Granted, he wears it in a creepy Billy-Bob/Angelina vial around his neck to ward off the ghost of Alton Brown. (When you try to explain that Alton isn't dead, T-Bone just mutters, "That's what he wants you to think.")

Anyway, he decided we'd make
fettuccine carbonara. I was given a knife and a pound slab of Oscar Mayer bacon and told "cut the bacon into 1/4 inch strips." So I move to the back of the 'U' shaped kitchen and start chopping while he does other prep work.

Chop. Chop. Chop. A couple minutes pass.

T-Bone: "Are you done yet?"

Scope: "No."

Chop. Chop. Chop. A couple more minutes pass.

T-Bone: "Are you done, YET?"

Scope: "No!"

Chop. Chop. Chop. A couple minutes pass.

T-Bone (turning around): "What is taking you …"

He doesn't get to finish the sentence. No, I didn't stab him, thanks for asking, but he was gobsmacked. I would like to think in awe, but disbelief more accurate. There I was, carefully pulling each strip of bacon off the slab, and cutting them into 1/4 strips. That's 47 cuts PER STIP! He relieved me of the knife using some advanced military commando training (or he said "Give me THAT!" I forget which, now.) WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! across the slab the sped, and he was done.


We both stared at each other, unblinking. He will admit that I was doing "EXACTLY" what I was told to do. And I will admit to a certain amount of
Asperger Syndrome (not to be confused with "ass-burger syndrome") like attention to detail.

In other Bacon / bacon related news:

- The Oracle of Bacon (Kevin) has a new
web address.

- 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon may

- Monday nights @
Chinaski's in Bucktown: All you can eat bacon!

Canadian Bacon is the worst movie I have ever tried to watch. But it's another work of fiction by Micheal Moore, so go figure.

- Sir Francis Bacon - still dead.

- And if a bullet to the heart isn't fast enough: CHICKEN FRIED BACON!


C(r)appy Monday

You know how it goes.

You're running late.

The shower won't warm up.

You can't find your keys.

You're running later.

It's cold, and the train is running slow.

It's Monday.

It's going to snow tonight.

It's going to be a bad day.

Then you open your first pop of the day, and…

And then it gets worse.

A whole heck of a lot worse.

And you think, "Why did I get out of bed again?"


The Check's In The Mail

As I was paying the bills tonight, I flipped among thoughts like "Why aren't I using electronic bill-pay?", "Are these stamps still good?", "Is there anything to eat in this joint that isn't CHILI?" and "Why do I have two cable bills?" Guess who's getting a $150 refund from Comcast? I don't know either. They're in to me for $360! Cha-CHING! I really should pay a little more attention to the bills. Which would happen even less frequently if I were on electronic bill-pay. And there, as "they" say, is the rub.

Name: Dollar, Bill

Aliases: Buck Singleton, "Gorgeous" George Washington, Count D' Monet.

Mr. Dollar is wanted for questioning for his part in the "Money Gang" and the warrant for their arrest pertaining to the charge of criminal neglect and abandonment. Mr. Dollar and his companions, "Honest" Abe Lincoln and Andrew Jackson, are to be considered armed and dangerous but, oddly enough, legally tender. If apprehended, keep these fugitives under lock and key in a safe location. They are professional escape artists.
(Apologies to my Canadian Cousins & Poobomber - In the States, we ignore our dollar coins (≈ "loonie"), and are generally peeved when we get them in change from a stamp machine. There's no such thing as a "two dollar" coin (≈ "toonie"). Finding a two dollar bill "in the wild" is harder than finding freakin' Sasquatch on the Kokanee label.)


Trouser Chili

Work is done (for now), time to play!

A pot of GOLD

I've been planning this vat of chili since our first cold snap, and I figured that since I was up this morning (see previous post) anyway, time to get at it. And as you can see, when I say a "vat of chili" I'm not messing around. This is my first batch of chili in the new condo, and I must say, the new stove did a mush better job than the circa 1980 stove that was in my old apartment.

Since Candy asked "Big Sandwich" for the recipe, I've included it at the bottom. But it's jazz. The recipe I took to the store got doubled and improvised a little, and yeah. And if you don't like a chunky, tomato-ie chili, this isn't for you.

I'm no "foodie" so I don't have "secret recipes." But some notes:
- While I've made it with the faux meat, once, I was grumpy from getting up early, so the gods demanded an animal sacrifice. Turned out to be three: a pig, a cow, and a turkey.
- Spicy Hot V8 is a great base.
- I steam the meat with a cup of water vs. frying. I like how the texture comes out (and chili is all about the texture) and I pretend that the water takes extra fat with it when you drain.
- Don't screw up like I did today. Sliced stewed tomatoes are not the same as chopped stewed tomatoes. I like it chunky, but DAMN SAM!
- An apple corer is a fabulous tool for starting the course chop on your onions.
- I usually do 3 bell peppers, red, green, and yellow add half of each in while cooking and leave the other halves for garnish, but it's just me, so not going "fancy."

Your supplies.

1 lb Tennessee Pride Hot Breakfast Sausage
1 lb Ground turkey
2 lb Ground beef (92% lean)
2 medium white onions / course chopped
2 46 oz bottles of Spicy Hot V8
2 packets of McCormick's Chili seasoning
2 40 oz cans of Brooks Hot Chili Beans
1 29 oz can of Contadina Tomato Puree
1 29 oz can of Contadina Crushed Tomatoes
2 14 oz cans of Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes (CHOPPED!)
2 14 oz cans of Contadina Tomato Sauce
2 16 oz bottles of Pace Chunky Salsa (hot/medium)
2 Bell Peppers (Red/Green) diced.

Steam the meat in batches, drain, and add the onions. Cook 'til onions are clarified.

Allow me to clarify

Open a whole lot of cans, jars, bottles, and packets and mix into a 16 quart stock pot.

Add meat/onions.

Simmer for a few hours stirring deep every 10 minutes to keep stuff from adhering to the bottom of the pot.

Fire good. Fire make food warm.

Feeds an army. Seriously. Make sure you have room in the freezer, or are expecting the Mongol Horde to pop by for the game.
Now to clean the stove top...


I.T. Sux

Out in the real world I work in I.T. for a big multinational. Not exciting, I know, and I won't be talking about it much (I like my job, and USUALLY don't miss my 53 week "sabbatical", so I'd like to keep it) but today, I need to vent.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I have to start work @ 6:00 am. M-F I don't even wake up until 6:30 am, but tomorrow I have to be up, logged in and ready to start a big conversion that should last until 9:00 or 10:00.

"That's not so bad. You have the rest of the day, right? What's the big deal?"

Well, then tomorrow (Saturday) at 8:00 pm I have to be logged in and ready to start the last of you big conversion that should last until 11:00 or midnight.

It seems people like their systems up during the normal workday.

And "No."

No O.T.

No comp-time.

So next time one of my brethren in I.T. asks you to reboot your computer, REBOOT YOUR COMPUTER!

Read Them The Riot Act

"Read them the Riot Act." You've been threatened with it before. But what is it? Did the threatener do it right? We at SCOPE-TECH, knowing the Executive Secretary of the American Dialectic Society, have undertaken the effort to discover the origins of this phrase. We only provide information. How you use or abuse this information is your responsibility.

History: The Riot Act was a law passed by the British Parliament in 1714 and took effect in 1715 (which is why it is commonly know as "The Riot Act of 1715"). This was a period of civil unrest in Britain as the new Hanoverian king, George I, tried to quell Catholic Jacobite riots, and the threatened invasion by supporters of the deposed Stuarts. The law required that if 12 or more people were gathered for an unlawful purpose, the local magistrate was required to read the following to the crowd:

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons being assembled immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George for preventing tumultuous and riotous assemblies. God save the King.

If after one hour, the crowd had not dispersed, they were subject to arrest and harsh penalties. Here is the full text of the
Riot Act. Imagine reading this to an angry mob, and then giving them an entire hour to disperse.

Today: Oddly, the Riot Act remained in effect longer than one might think. It was either repealed in 1973, or superseded by the Public Order Act of 1986. And, the Riot Act is actually STILL in effect in Canada. However, being British law, it's been pretty toothless in the United States for over 225 years.

Summary: Though the threat of the Riot Act only holds the force of law for my Canadian cousins, it is often applied to groups of less than a dozen, and the hour time frame is regularly ignored, the implication of having it read to you is that you've ticked off the authorities, and you'd better knock it off, straighten up, and fly right.

So, while not legally required to obey the Riot Act, it may be in one's best interests to comply. And if you decide to read someone the Riot Act, you may as well make them comply with the
Stamp Act of 1765.


On The Seedy Side of Life

Gwen's Cowboy Mouth posting has gotten me thinking about music, too. While I've never been hip or trendy, there was that one magic year…

Back in early 2003, my local radio station
WXRT held their annual "Listener Appreciation Party." My friend and former co-worker, C-Monkey (that's her actual nickname, not one made up for this blog) invited me to go with her. The Grand Prize at the party was a 100 disk CD changer, and "every new release for the entire year."

I gave her the changer, and I got a periodic box of CDs from the radio station. Some was good. A lot was carp. And for a period of time, I owned 3 "Dark Side of the Moon" CDs (I have since given one away). And "every new release" really meant whatever promo CDs that they happened to toss in the random box that they would eventually mail me. ("Dark Side of The Moon" wasn't the only dupe.)

What would become my favorite CD arrived in one of those shipments. "Ex-Girlfriends" by the
Low Millions. The song that was getting big airplay at the time was Eleanor, and since I had just broken up with my own Elinore, so I loved the irony. While most CD's from that time got listened to one, ripped, filed, and forgotten, "Ex-Girlfriends" didn't. Even though my physical copy of the CD has effectively been stolen by a 2 time ex-coworker (Trabbie), I still find the songs playing in the iPod and pumping out of the computer.

So my question to you is, "What CD is it for you that has stayed in heavy rotation?" Preferably, a "one CD wonder" but let me know regardless. I need some gnu music.

My favorite song on the CD is Statue:

And here's the video for Eleanor:

The all the tracks can be found here to play in your browser. Not sure what's up with Mockingbird being acoustic, however. (And the videos aren't all correct.)

And for those of you interested, here's a un-official, but funny as HELL, video (considering that Trabbie is a big Firefly fan) for 100 Blouses.


Stick This In Your Blow Hole

November 12 – National "Stick This In Your Blow Hole" Day.

I was going to write about today being the 75th anniversary on the first know photos taken of
Nessie. Oh, I was going to write of her pining for the fjords* and for her long lost love, Champ. Oh, the story that would have been.

Then I discovered
happened on November 12, 1970:

Two thoughts crossed my mind:
1) Sweet dancing Jesus!

2) "Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

The three, three thoughts that crossed my mind included…
3) "
Sorry that your mom blew up, Ricky."

Among the thought that crossed my mind were things like…
4) That WKRP in Cincinnati
Turkeys Away episode. (Full Episode on Hulu)
5) Nessie, if you plan to shed this mortal coil, stay the FRAK away from Oregon.

It turns out,
Davy Barry wrote this up, almost 20 years ago.

And now, for you, Zibbs:

- Dude shot his load and a big wad of sperm crashed down and destroyed that car.

- Blew-kakke - A load of sperm exploding in your face.

- The engineer did that on porpoise.

* No footnote available at this time.


I Got Gas

An email rant from my friend, T-Bone, ran through my mind over the weekend when I was filling up with gas for $2.17 a gallon.

Gasoline was priced at $1.85 today at our company store by the office. It's $1.89 at a competitive station down the street. Hear anything about a global conspiracy to bring prices down?

Despite the fact that he works for BIG OIL, the T-Bone is correct. All summer, the morning news (the only TV news I watch) kept a daily update about all-time record highs, and how people were skateboarding into work because they couldn't afford to fill the 30 gallon gas tanks of their SUVs with $4.25 gas. Now gas prices have recently dropped because, just like the tech bubble, the housing bubble, and the tulip bubble before it, the oil bubble was fueled by a mixture of true market forces, and speculators driving up the price. Where are the stories? Since it's not doom and gloom, the media is off seeking their next method of scaring the heck out of you.

Now, if you want to talk about someone gouging you, let's look at the Chicago taxi drivers who are threatening to strike if they are forced to roll back the $1.00 fuel surcharge they got in April, now that gas prices have fallen below $3.00. (Well at most places. I did see a Mobile on Lincoln with gas at $3.29 last night, but the the Shell up the street 1/2 a block was at $2.69.)

As with any game of chicken, someone blinks, or there is a big train wreck. Wall Street isn't so good at the whole "blinking" thing, so we had a train wreck, an artifical bubble burst, and prices are normalizing. End of story. For now.

Not to say that prices won't eventually head back up, and that we don't need to start coming up with different methods of energy production, collection, distribution, and management. But do you really think BIG OIL is solely to blame? Or should we jump on the blame Wall Street bandwagon? Or should we look in a mirror and around at our fellow travelers on this big blue marble?

Carp, that was preachy! And not even a tangent link on '
big blue marble'? I so disappoint myself.


Big Sandwich

Many years ago, a chap who shall henceforth be known as "T-Bone" turned me on to one of his great family traditions: 'Big Sandwich'. Not 'THE Big Sandwich', just 'Big Sandwich'.

You start with a big round loaf of King's Hawaiian Bread, cut off the muffin top, and then lay down a bed of lettuce. On this, goes your yellow cheese. Usually sharp cheddar. Then, a layer of bologna, a layer of Budding corned beef, a layer of turkey, and a layer of hard salami. Add a layer of white cheese. I prefer Swiss. Then a layer of sliced tomatoes. Skim the muffin top with mayo and Guldon's mustard, and plop it on, and slice into quarters. And if you aren't able to unhinge your jaw like a snake, you'll need to crush to eat.

And a Big Sandwich is born.

I've been thinking about Big Sandwich recently. Probably its connections to football season. But it's way more than a lone bachelor should have, and once you apply the mayo and mustard to the bread, the clock starts ticking. I could only make a half, but that would only be 'slightly oversized sandwich'.

There, I've laid out the basic rules, but Big Sandwich is like jazz. It's okay to improvise and riff, as long as the players jam well together.

Like chili.

Yesterday's wafting snowflakes made me think about cooking up a big honkin' pot. And I do have this cool new stove I need to put thru its paces...

Sounds like someone is buying groceries tonight.


Disney Declares Water Copyright Infringment

Tomorrowland Conference Center, Disney World Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL - Following up on its recent Supreme Court victory in the case of Eldred vs. Ashcroft, where the Supremes found the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act constitutionally extended copyright protection, Disney today announced that the molecular structure H2O (commonly referred to as "water") violated its copyright on Mickey Mouse.

Disney Corp. trotted out their attorney, a gnome-esque creature with a head far too large for its body. "As you can clearly see in these two pictures (reproduced below)," the Disney spokesman said, "the H2O molecule is a flagrant in violation of our copyright." When it was pointed out that God created the water molecule billions of years ago and it should be considered "public" domain, the 8th Dwarf, "Attorney", replied, "Then if He were so omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, why didn't He think to copyright it?"

"But we want to be fair," it said with such rapidity that one would think the words were literally trying to escape from its mouth. "We are only going to charge $1.00 for every man, woman, and child per year in the United States. With the current US population at 305,614,250, that will more than cover the losses we are sustaining with the current economic downturn. "And," it said, rubbing it's hands together and laughing maniacally, "with a worldwide population at approximately 6,858,532,879, we are eager to pursue our case in other jurisdictions."

"We decided to charge simply based upon headcount, to simplify the accounting. We were going to charge, BY THE MOLE, ($.01 per 1000 moles = 4.75 gallons) but opted against it!" Obviously pleased with itself for it's triple play pun with the chemical/ ABC TV show/ burrowing mammal definition of "mole", it heaved a hearty "Hi-Ho" it went back to work. We were left a number to call for follow up questions, but repeated effort to reach Mr. Avogadro at 6.02252*10**23 went unanswered.

This all started when the Disney Corporation pushed the Clinton administration hard to extend the copyright protection on the early Steamboat Willey movie and thwart
free speech. The result of this was the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act that President Clinton signed into law on Oct. 27, 1998. Oddly, this is about 21 1/2 months after Mr. Salvatore Bono started his own 70 year copyright clock ticking on a ski slope in Lake Tahoe.

As the news conference wrapped up, the ABC news crew got to leave thru the exit marked "Cast Members Only" while the rest of the reporters, despite having to pay $50 each to enter, still were forced to exit thru a gift shop.

SCOPE-TECH's own Director Of EVIL Chemistry disqualified herself from this discussion due to a conflict of interest.


The Third Times A Charm?

Welcome to my 3rd attempt at this.

Let me explain. 20 some years ago, back before this series of interconnected tubes know as the "internets" I had a public forum for expressing my thoughts. It was call 'The Daily Other', and at the time, it claimed to be the only small college daily newspaper in the United States. And 'Scope' was born. But, graduation has a way of ending your contributions to the school's newspaper.

Then, about 6 years ago, as I started an unplanned sabbatical, I set up a web page and began posting to it regularly. But I eventual became gainfully employed, and have to upload full web pages just to comment on today's activities sucked the rocks that BIG rocks come from, so that withered and died. But it had a 'Scope-Tech' section for some of my more "creative" writing.

This summer, I met a blogger named Gwen from 'Everything I Like Causes Cancer'. Great gal. Anyway, I started reading her regularly. Then I started to comment. And then I started reading other blogs in the Gweniverse. And then I got the itch to start expressing myself on my own (as opposed to reading her 'irregularly'). So here I am, back for a third time.

Let's see if it's a charm.