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i digress

i can't resist a good tangent (which might explain why i liked geometry) here are a few (right below the mustache):

umm…

wtf… (well, today’s friday…)

and it couldn’t have come sooner (as in, impossible, because the other days of the week must always come before it)

but i, for one am glad it’s here (as if i had a choice in the matter…)

cinco de mayo went superbly. the finance loved the fajitas (i enjoyed tacos) and the guacamole (three avocados does not make enough to justify all the work, imho).

and yes, both of the Dos Equis beers were delicious (i realize it is redundant to include the word ‘beers’, but i don’t know how to pluralize ‘Dos Equis’ and have already wasted too much time thinking about it) (and so have you, fwiw).

yesterday was also supremely beautiful here in the south d. 68 and sunny with relatively little wind (only 5-15 mph…that’s about as calm as it gets).

so i coaxed myself on to the road machine and pedaled my way over 26ish miles of beautiful (if not incredibly uphill) country.

here’s what the ride looked like. (one day i’ll figure out how to put them map on the blog).

it was (mostly) fun and felt good to get out and enjoy the day.

the best part was that the drivers were (mostly) well-behaved and i did not fear for my life (mostly).

tried these for the first time. (i approve. they hit the spot and come in a conveniently re-sealable bag just in case you’re not hungry enough to mow them all down. of course, given their ability to fall out of said bag, i’m not yet brave enough to attempt a rolling meal of them).

and now to my point (yes kids, today i have one).

my android (tracking) application (which generated the map) says i burned a bunch of calories (like more than a dozen beer’s worth). 

and despite having a couple of beers, i wake up thinking i’m going to be half the man i was yesterday (or at least lose some poundage).

Nope.

UP to 238.8 today (5/6).

maybe i should be drinking more beer? (seems like as reasonable an explanation as any).

happy friday everyone (or at least one ;D)

update…

(and i really do mean up…)

so since i’ve bloggerated about my benevolent intentions for my midsection, i’ve been monitoring the ensuing roller coaster with the anticipation of christmas morning (and, to be honest, i’m over it already)

so to recap day one’s (5/3) results: 239.1    

and then day two (5/4): 236.0

BAZINGA!

i felt great all day (and even threw a jab at the inspiration for this weight-loss-a-thon about a typo that had him losing more than 60 pounds).

i met @lil_bruddah out for lunch and behaved myself (with a boneless chicken wrap and chips and salsa…what?! i could have had too many hot wings and several beers…).

supper wasn’t the healthiest meal: chicken buffalo mac with a strawberry walnut salad (but i was trying…)

then i found the oreos (cue ominous music: disaster struck as i destroyed my diet, dunking it in milk and savoring every last morsel)

and not a workout was to be had (on 5/3 there was a 17 mile bike ride, 5/4 nada)

turns out that’s the important part and today (5/5) i’m back up to 238.6 (like i said, roller coaster)

and to top it all off: it’s cinco de mayo (don’t tell the finance, but since fajitas are like her numero uno, (and even tho i don’t agree with green peppers on a number of levels) it’s fajita thursday :D)

and that requires at least two Dos Equis beers (you know, cuz dos means two…)

maybe i’ll earn them today with a noon-time hockey extravaganza (but it may be too nice outside to ignore my bicycle…)

decisions are hard.

the new deal…

not necessarily in the FDR sense of the idea, although maybe it is revolutionary (nor is there any great depression i’m looking to get out of, but thanks for the concern).

i have what doctors call a little bit of a weight problem (and yes, it may have something to do with eating bear claws two at a time).

and i’ve dealt with it in various ways over the years:

i stopped working out altogether (during which time i weighed in at an unprecedented 293 pounds, which translated into newspeak (think 1984) is doubleplusungood).

i played intramural sports between meals comprised mainly of beer and pizza (and stopped punctuating meals with softserve, bringing the weight down to 265)

i decided to make a change, quit eating only fried foods and started running (well, at first it was more of a slow trot, where you could barely make out the sound of my feet trampling the pavement due to the excessive amount of wheezing, but i made it down to about 255)

then i added chasing a soccer ball (not to be confused with the actual sport of soccer, which a) i had never played and 2) requires a team and/or friends to kick the ball to) to the end of my runs, and i got all the way down to 240)

and eating home cooked meals, with lots of vegetables (never really a part of my diet before, but i learned to tolerate them and pushed myself down to 220)

then i got a desk job, ran less, ate worse and boom: back to 240 (my body does seem to have some plateau levels that it’s happy with and it weirds me out too…)

where was i going with this? oh yeah, back to the internet (as created by al gore).

this guy i know (more chris farley, just roll with it)…

well, i don’t really know in the literal sense of the word, but i have heard of him (as he is ridiculously famous and gets retweeted by none other than LA himself) and read some of the words he has supposedly written (here: www.fatcyclist.com)

he goes by fatty (which reminds me that the term ‘fat’ is clearly a relative concept)

lately, he’s frustrated with tipping the scales at 170 which i haven’t weighed since i was 12 (bringing to mind a tragic childhood memory: frequently being described as ‘husky’ as though the word fat was some vulgar word unsafe for the ears of children)

(it also reminds me of the school nurse whispering my weight to me so as not to embarrass me in front of the other fifth graders, to which i responded by turning around, raising my sausage-fingered fists into the air and proclaiming: 155! as though i had just won the world heavyweight title)

proud? maybe. delusional? i was in fifth grade for crying out loud.

so he’s doing something crazy about it (he bought a bike and wouldn’t let himself put it together until he lost the weight) and given himself a deadline (june 3) or he has to give it away to someone (who has donated to livestrong through his page).

my first thought was: who doesn’t want more bikes?! (although i’m sure the finance would say i have too many already) but then i read that his bike is waaaay too small.

my second thought: lose weight too. if he’s going to lose 12 pounds (from his 170) that’s only…(impossibly long delay)…about 7% of his body weight…(impossibly long delay)…which is about 17 pounds for me.

(theoretically, calculators should make math faster, but if you add in the time it takes to find said calculator in this case, i might have fared better and more quickly with doing the math by hand).

so there you have it kids, lose 17 pounds in a month (since i weigh 239 (as of this morning) that will carve me down to a svelte 222 (and statistically makes me 1/3 evil, which i’m not sure how i feel about yet).

i know the finance would appreciate the effort (since she has to take me to a beach after the official joining of souls).

can i do it? yep (see above)

will i do it? check back and find out (and feel free cheer on my success and ridicule my failures) (but be gentle, i’m sensitive)

(and, no, i’m not giving away any of my bikes if i don’t make it in time)

more about radio…

(and no, i’m not talking about the heart-tugging epic starring cuba gooding, jr.)

i’m not even going to bore you with the blither about returning…i have a day job and this blather doesn’t keep the lights on.

(speaking of goodings, where is omar? i mean, wild and crazy kids was the shizz)

so today’s commute occurs in my midwestern opulence mobile (read: pickup) and i’m rocking out to the killer soundsystem (read: one working speaker).

(now before you go all feeling sorry for me, you should know that today’s post is more about sarcasm than it is about digression…besides, my ‘setup’ allows me to work on my harmonies while i’m drumming out the beat on the steering wheel (if this were twitter, here is where i would insert a hashtag: #carband))

as i’m feeling sorry for the condition of my ride, i recognize a song, a wonderful and melodious tune that reminds me of somewhere less mobile. my desk. why? because i’m flat-out, head-over-heels addicted to pandora (or @pandora_radio…for those of you who speak twitter).

(and yes, thank you, i know that you already know that, but i feel like saying it again)

(sorry that was so snippy, i’m better now)

and it plays relentlessly at my desk while i work diligently, delicately balancing the insanity that is my day job (much like yours, i’m sure) with the sanity of none other than the likes of florence and the machine, bon iver, band of horses (those should get you started) and sometimes when i’m really feelin it girl talk, kid cudi, ratatat.

so today, i recognize florence and the machine on my sojourn through the metropolis and it puts me in a good mood. until it ends…

then the dj says ‘brand new music from florence and the machine…’ (and of course, then plays some no doubt followed by rap and then green day).

florence has been on my radar thanks to pandora for some time now. as have a number of other fine musicians that local radio is “discovering”. i guess i get it (it’s not like it’s their job or anything…) its hard to know what will be cool until after the snowball is rolling.

(then local radio keeps piling on until everyone hates it, presumably so that some new snowball can come rolling into town?)

well, gang, i have a proposal: let’s just call it what it is. we live in the midwest where nothing is ever really cool until after its cool. (so i guess it’s cold then? #understatement)

so it’s not today hottest music (#nodoubt, #greenday) it is at the very most: today’s most popular music according to someone else who told us so, but we got the word kinda late, so target is already sold out of their album and your ‘cool’ friend is going to tell you he’s had the album, for like, a year.

sure, it’s not as catchy, but at least it’s honest. and that is what we should be teaching our children.

that and to listen to pandora.

really?

as we approach one of my favorite days ever (super commercial sunday), i’d like to take a moment to review one particular commercial that left me wondering.

the state farm insurance company has come up with an entertaining line of commercials involving their catchy slogan: “like a good neighbor, state farm is there.” 

so catchy, you just sang it in your head. 

one of these commercials is, well, frankly, quite troubling.

(as a disclaimer, and before i link you off to this particular tidbit of cinematic wonder, i like bob barker—he is, after all, the hugh hefner of daytime tv. and i think happy gilmore was some of his finest work. and i’m not passing judgment on the quality of the insurance coverage, but am passing judgment on, at a minimum, the budget of the marketing department. and maybe even on the quality of the marketing. you can decide for yourself whether this commercial makes any comment on the insurance company as a whole.)

here is the commercial.

as you can see, a peaceful neighborhood was disturbed by a freak construction accident where a cement cylinder was precipitously dropped onto the roof of a volkswagen.

(that, or el nino is growing up a little faster than we estimated because of al gore’s global warming project, and throwing his toys about.)

then some kid wastes one of his magic wishes on a stuffed panda that really isn’t all that giant.

then bob barker shows up.

orange.

(is he friends with gene wilder? i mean willy wonka? bob’s a green wig away from being a dead ringer for a geriatric oompa loompa.)

he’s got his magical microphone, which as we all know, gives him the power to give away cars.

at this point a shiny new (old) suzuki sidekick appears, destroying a perfectly lovely bird bath.

(hope state farm’s got the homeowner’s policy too…)

now, one of two things happened:

1) the marketing crew blew the entire budget on the orange bob barker.

(this is entirely possible. bob needs the money—drew carey stole his job, the spay-neuter contract has expired, and he’s been forced to pose as an oompa loompa in order to make a living.)

or 2) the marketing people meant to send you a message: your volkswagen isn’t worth what you think it is. if you get in an accident, we’ll get you in a replacement vehicle that is older than you are.

(this is less likely. i mean, after all, it is hard to believe that state farm has a warehouse filled with outdated imports. there just can’t be that many sidekicks left around in such good shape.)

maybe i’m missing the point, there is after all, a safari-clad barker-esque model in the front seat of the sidekick. maybe it’s worth the trade off if you get a free model…

or maybe the panda kid knew what he was doing after all.

Have you ever…

read a headline and thought to yourself. “oh, great, i can just tell you what’s coming next.”

i have. it happened today.

i read this article: Get Set for Invisible War Machines.

(for two reasons: 1) i am not cool; and 2) trivial headlines which have no direct relation to my everyday life appeal to me).

(fyi, for the less dorky individuals in the group, james bond had an invisible car. but that was in the movies…apparently now its fo reelz).

the fake headline which comes next reads like this:

Invisible Tank Exercise Ends in Demolition Derby: wounded pride, wounded soldiers and $400 Million up in smoke and mirrors.

Invisible tanks are great…so long as we can find them. i mean, hopefully, the people who came up with such a great idea have also thought of a way to make sure that the invisible tanks can see each other…

(parking alarms would be good too. imagine trying to remember where you parked your invisible car at the mall…let alone your invisible tank in the desert)

if you read the rest of the article, they’re going to develop the same system (using paint) for subs. you know, so you can’t turn it off.

this calls to mind an entire fake article:

Sunk: latest military ‘invisible’ subs collide 30 seconds into exercises.

to quote the admiral whose regret over his involvement in the project was visible, “we have absolutely no idea where they are. i mean, if they’re like any of the other subs we’ve crashed, they’re at the bottom. but we can’t really know for sure since they’re invisible to radar and its too dark down there to see anything. in hindsight, this may well be one of the dumbest things we’ve done in awhile.” 

when asked if the subs were still visible to the human eye, the admiral responded, “oh yeah. they certainly are if your eye can withstand the pressures a mile and a half down on the ocean floor. in hindsight, performing the exercises in deep open water was not the brightest idea.”

the military’s joy over the newest addition to its navy lasted only briefly. once both vessels had departed, neither was visible to the other leading to a clamorous, if not hillarious, series of radio chatter that reminded this journalist of the infamous ‘who’s on first?’ routine. it took only seconds for the two vessels to find each other in an impact that left both vessels inoperably crippled and sinking fast.

all forty sailors aboard the two vessels escaped without harm. ”at least we know the safety and escape systems were working,” said the admiral who wished to remain unnamed.

the military expended nearly $700 million dollars in the development of the new sub. $200,000 went toward the safety systems. “i guess we got our money’s worth there, but the rest of it was a total waste.”

too long…

absent and no one’s heart is the fonder, i’m sure.

but, i have returned like the prodigal son that i am to deliver good news of great joy.

(sorry, today there will be no joy, only spare change).

apparently, one must never underestimate the insight of the radio. i have posted about the wonders of radio. (and sometimes i really do wonder). this morning’s commute was no exception.

today’s conundrum involves everyone’s favorite spare change quantity/rap artist: 50 cent. 

(sure, most of us normally put an ‘s’ on the end of it. i mean, one cent is singular, so fifty must be plural, right? but 50 is only one man, so he is 50 cent, no ‘s’. who knew 50 cent was such a grammarian?)

clearly, 50 knows what he wants. he is a man of means and meaning (at least when it comes to his name). no doubt, he is living the life most dream of, at least those who dream of being a big time rap artist.

(as opposed to those who dream of being a big time wrap artist, handling the hoards of mall goers at christmas time, deftly wrapping the bundles of gifts that will be returned in a short few days).

but, sometimes, it is apparent that 50 is more of an enigma than he’s given credit for. take, for example, the lyrics to his song masterpiece, in da club:

'i'm into havin' sex, i ain't into making love.'

once again, there’s a man who knows what he wants: nothing tender, no sweet caress, right? 

and then he blows us all away with the next line:

'so c'mon give me a hug…'

the literal manifestation of the sweet caress. 50, you are the true man of mystery.

(at least domestically. austin powers has already claimed the international man of mystery).

i don’t know whether to be angry or mystified.

perhaps i have given 50 too much credit. perhaps the meaning buried within the grammatical context of his name is purely coincidental or the subject of some irrational fear of the letter ‘s’.

regardless, the historians will no doubt debate the deeper meaning buried within in da club for centuries. bravo 50, bravo.

traditionally speaking…

i come from a fairly sizeable family and i’m close with my immediate family. even after several years of college (without becoming a doctor, well, a medical doctor), i moved back to the same town (we don’t have any cities in South D, despite what sioux falls wants you to believe) that my parents live in.

my little brother just graduated in may and did the same thing. its great, we see each other often, watch the local pro hockey team (sure, it’s not the nhl, but they are still getting paid to play hockey), and my brother and i even play on the same hockey team (remind me to tell you about that later).

we don’t really have any family on my dad’s side within 350 miles and my mom’s side does xmas with their inlaws. so, for the past 15 years or so, it’s been just the four of us for xmas. our first xmas together, just the four of us, accidentally beginning a tradition that we’ve stuck with ever since: tacos.

that fateful xmas eve, we chose to have tacos for dinner. why? i have no idea. my guess is that my parents were more or less ‘wingin it’. then we decided to open gifts because, well, because we did, i guess. then we played cards or a board game while the folks consumed non-eggnog type beverages.

eventually my brother and i came to embrace these beverages and the enhanced gaming experience. we never really had a ton of board games growing up and short of a few rousing rounds of yahtzee, i can’t tell you a single board game we owned. 

except my personal favorite, the original 1982 Trivial Pursuit

(as you can already guess, my family got sick of me beating them all. one year, though, we teamed up and in what can only be described as a christmas miracle, my father and brother beat my mother and i.)

(my secret to dominance: memorization. i cannot explain it, but when i was just a wee lad (okay, i was never small, so back when i was shorter than my mother, i couldn’t help but memorize everything. i loved school—so many tidbits of information to store away, so many things to know.

then, while i’d like to tell you there was a time i realized how dorky that is, i never really grew out of it. but i’m pretty sure my brain got full. like that old computer with the hard drive you filled full of napster finds, i had no more room. 

now that there’s actually stuff worth knowing, i have no room to retain it. seriously, i forget my stories halfway through (and the financé would tell you that’s because i need to stick to the sprint version rather than the marathon…). anyway, i forgot where i was going, but i can’t remember stuff anymore and i’m pretty sure there’s a finite amount of stuff you can remember so don’t waste it on trivial pursuit.)

still love that game. but my family got tired of it and we’ve since upgraded and added a few other titles. then i got a wii.

remember when you were a kid and you’d stay up all night (or like till 11 since you passed out standing up at that point) playing with your new toy. that was my dad with the wii. i had one game: wii sports and as far as he was concerned, bowling was all he needed. and he needed it like a smoker needs a cigarette: it was fun and kind of new and cool at first, then it quickly turned on him and became an absolute addiction.

(which is kind of ironic since at the time, he was a smoker. i’m pretty sure he smoked fewer cigarettes because of it since he didn’t want to go outside for a smoke break. but i’ll let you decide for yourself the irony of a smoker being addicted to virtual bowling instead of real bowling where the ashtrays are newer than any bowling ball or pair of shoes in the place…)

so that was it, my family’s tradition for christmas eve: go to church (our annual appearance), eat tacos, open gifts, play games and imbibe, and politely ask my father to give the wii a chance to rest until morning (i now understand why my parents were so annoyed when we got our first nintendo and my brother and i would wake them up while fighting over the controller at 6 am).

and while it was fun to create one and see it grow, we’re building a new one. this year marks a new tradition: bringing the financé’s family and mine together for what will no doubt be a raucously merry event at our house. (and thanks to what can only be termed a temper tantrum, there will be tacos).

so, to you and yours, whoever you’re with or without, regardless of what you eat or drink, be merry. there is no tradition greater than simply being part of one. feliz navidad.

the best thing i’ve heard all day

i’m drivin down the road in my ‘64…

(well, not exactly, it wasn’t even my car. i’ve got the financé's rig, which is conspicuously low on petrol…)

in the morning, i like to listen to a little radio program by a couple of guys named bob and tom. no doubt you’ve heard of them since they’re loud enough that that can be heard all around the country.

they are also often quite funny due to their proximity to the guests on their radio program who are typically comedians. in fact, i’m quite sure that bob and tom get paid to laugh. 

(no laugh tracks here folks, them chuckles be genuine)

today is no exception as bob and tom (or bomb, as i like to refer to them) are getting credit for someone else’s sense of humor. which brings me to the real reason for writing today: the best thing i’ve heard all day.

"it takes nine months to make a baby; it takes 18 years to make a good scotch."

the conversation began about a dad who ‘missed out’ on the birthing process and instead was drinking scotch at a resort in hawaii. it ended with him noting that he didn’t have a baby. she had a baby. he had a scotch.

sounds fun. can’t wait. looks like i’ve got a lot to learn about scotch. it’s apparently an important decision with a lot of pressure. good thing i’ve got lots of time to figure it out…

driving down memory lane…

listening to the radio and getting angry like the hulk. i mean, it gets to the point where i’m speaking in monosyllabic grunts and clinched-fist hand gestures.

(doesn’t it seem odd that there are so many syllables in a word used to describe words with one syllable?)

what’s my deal? local radio. i’ve complained about this many many times to the financé. granted, we live in a state most people can’t find, tucked neatly in the middle of the country. it takes millennia for the ‘dope beats’ to find their way inward from the coast.

(although there seems to be some sort of wholesome express-we’ve been listening to taylor swift for a while now, but we’re just now listening to that kanye fellow she collaborated with at the music awards show awhile back…)

worry not, my faithful, we do have access to the interweb (obviously) and that means we have found pandora. we are once again connected to the flow of that sweet ear candy that is billy ray cyrus’ greatest hits.

(on a related note, congrats to miley on moving up to ‘troubled teen’ celebrity status by participating in the bong-hit-video ritual. it did wonders for michael phelps…remember? no…exactly, this too shall pass.)

(ps what’s salvia?)

and so far my vehicle of midwestern opulence (pickup) does not stream pandora. so when i get sick of the cds…i try the radio. only to get stuck listening to songs i heard in junior high.

i’m 30.

and maybe it’d be fine if it was an all nineties hit parade radio. who doesn’t still get excitedly angry when machinehead comes on? but how do you go from jay-z and alicia keys lovely ditty about new york (yeah, we’re just getting to that one now…) followed up by some tpain and daughtry (at least we’re in the same decade as the rest of you for now…) 

to end up listening to no doubt.not gwen steffani (who i believe is largely responsible for my subconscious hatred of bananas), but no doubt. like mid-90’s tragic kingdom no doubt.

so much for the “today’s hottest music” theme. 

sometimes, they change it up. with green day. don’t get me wrong ‘dookie’ was the first album i got when cds first became cool. (but didn’t we get enough ‘good riddance’ when it was everyone’s class song?)

now, i’m a fan of music that was once popular, as long as it is good. i still bring out the sublime album every once in awhile and it’s still good stuff.

but when something from 15+ years ago shows up as “today’s hottest music” it has to be two things: of and/or relating to today and of and/or relating to the hotness. mid-nineties pop is not that. in fact, new rule:

if it was on NOW 10 or earlier, it no longer qualifies as being a part of “today’s hottest music.”

(gratuitous man nipple, piercing, tattoo and sleeping cat photo: you’re welcome. ps NSFW unless you’re your own boss.)

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