Monday, June 30, 2008

Random thoughts

Hey, all. Sorry it's been a while since I posted... I have no excuse. I did give away some of my life force (blood) today. Does that count for anything? (Intersting note: well, first, I meant to type "interesting" but apparently "intersting" is a word: I'd give you the definition, but the Merriam Webster dictionary isn't working, and says it's not a word - not sure why it's in Google's - or maybe Firefox's - spell checker; anyway, back to the "interesting" part about the blood donation: the finger prick. [Anyone who has issues with blood, you might want to skip ahead to the next paragraph.] Now, given the choice, I'd prefer a human prick than the spring-loaded one, but they don't give me that choice anymore. And I have 'em prick my right hand since I sometimes use my left to fret my guitar and I figure I don't want the wound springing open while I'm doing that or, more likely, the pain from the prick-point while doing that. Anyway, the nurse had to prick my finger twice - apparently the first time wasn't deep enough to get enough blood out for the iron test. She tried and tried, but it just wouldn't bleed. I guess that's why they like it when I donate platelets... I think I must have a bunch. Anyway, it was a weird, two-finger-prick day today.)

Anyway, I was wondering if there are any non-carbonated drinks that feature caramel coloring as an ingredient. I'd like to see if, indeed, my addiction to dark, carbonated beverages has to do with the caramel coloring.

On another beverage note, and I may have already mentioned this in a post but I was thinking about it on the way home (and I tend to forget things), do you ever wonder if your 20 oz. plastic bottle is going to become a deadly weapon in the event of an accident in your airbag equipped car? I mean, if you hit something while you're drinking, and the airbag deploys, isn't it going to shove that bottle through your teeth, through your throat, and out the back of your skull? Not a very pleasant experience, I would imagine. So to be safe, I always turn towards the interior of the vehicle, away from the doors. After all, I also have side airbags in my van, so I figure, if I'm turned to the outside, I'll manage to be in an accident where the side airbag deploys first, knocking my drink back front & center before the front airbag deploys, shoving the bottle through (and out) the back of my throat. Thus, if you see me drinking a (dark, carbonated) beverage in a vehicle with airbags, you'll see me turned towards the inside of the vehicle.

On another vehicular note, take a look at this wikiHow: How to Avoid Annoying Other Drivers. Of course, most bad drivers either don't realize they're bad drivers or don't care (my opinion). In fact, that's probably one of the primary problems in the world today (well, you know, besides that whole "fallen world" thing): inconsideracy (a word I've made up). Or discourtesy, if you prefer. Regardless (irregardless, if you're my friend Dean), it's probably a root of most interpersonal struggles (again, my opinion).

Ok, figured I'd have to make a long post to make up for the lack of posts over the last week and a half. If you're still here, thanks for reading to the end! You get the "I read to the end" prize, which is my sincere appreciation. I know, not worth anything... sorry about that. If you're still here, drop a comment and let me know something you'd like me to write about next. I'll try to take all the ideas and make a single, cohesive post combining all the ideas into ... well, something. Hopefully something entertaining. (Yes, this is the "I'm too lazy to think of ideas for my next blog post" post. Take advantage of it while you can.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Buffalo burger!

I haven't had a buffalo burger since I was out in the midwest, like South Dakota or Wyoming or something, back in the late 80s (road trip with my parents; we eventually made it to Yellowstone before heading back). But now you can get it yourself at Ruby Tuesday (see picture of the menu item on the left: "Bison Bacon Cheeseburger")! Your own retarded-animal burger! Cool, eh?

Ok, I didn't have it. I had the Typhoon Shrimp (I love that appetizer - have it every time! try it next time if you haven't already), followed by the Bayou Sirloin (steak w/ grilled shrimp in a sauce of some kind, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and toast). I also like their mini-turkey burgers (but I order them without tomatoes).

Ok, enough food talk for one post. I have other things to talk about, I'm sure, but I also have to get some things done before I head off to bed, so I guess I'll get to work on that (seeing as it's already almost midnight).

And the stump's still in the ground (that's not one of the things I'm going to work on tonight).

Monday, June 16, 2008


Have you ever heard the expression, "I feel like I've been run over by a bus!" or "I feel like I was hit by a truck" (usually referring to feeling "under the weather" - i.e., sick, or in this case, really sick). Where does that come from? I mean, how many people uttering that phrase really know what it feels like to have been run over by a bus or hit by a truck? I think your analogies should be something you understand. Now, don't get me wrong, if you have been run over by a bus, feel free to utter that phrase, but then again, are you certain that the person to whom you're uttering it knows what it feels like to be run over by a bus? Even if you know how it feels, does it mean anything to the hearer?

Now that that's over, anyone want a (free) puppy?

Saturday, June 14, 2008


So, are you familiar with the show Numb3rs? It's a crime-type show, where a local math professor helps solve crimes by using his mathematical abilities to work out details of how, who, etc. (Why there are so many crimes in his area that happen to have mathematical contexts I'm not sure.) Anyway, it can be entertaining, but I thought, why not go the next step? I propose:


Note that there aren't any obviously fancy things like the "3" replacing the "e" in "Numb3rs" (note: it actually is all capitalized in the title, so the "3" looks like a backwards "E" : "NUMB3RS"). However, on closer inspection, you'll see that the word "Letters" is actually made up of all letters - pretty cool, eh?

Anyway, here's the premise: the local police are inept, and it takes the mad skillz (as my friend Dean would put it) of the local grammarian to help solve the crimes. This slightly schizophrenic, paranoid psychotic English professor uses his skills (sorry, Dean, skillz) to help figure out whodunit (weird: "whodunit" is in the Firefox dictionary! it's not underlined as a misspelled word! however, I think I probably misused it here - it's probably supposed to be a noun describing a type of mystery novel or something, not a contraction). The guy uses handwriting analysis and compares grammatical mistakes and writing styles of the perpetrators' letters with samples from the local elementary and high schools and universities. He can identify the killer (assuming the crime involves killing) usually with an accuracy of 50-60% (about 92.7% if the killer signs his name to the letters and/or victims; he is, after all, paranoid, and always thinks someone's out to get him by making him pick the wrong person).

So, does that sound like the next big hit crime-drama? Maybe I'll work on a game show idea of some type next...

PS: the Label Cloud is back - found out I had a label with a quotation mark in it (""" - wait, that looks a bit wierd - how exactly do you denote a quotation mark? A quote within a quote changes the number of marks - double, single, double, single, etc. - but how do you denote a double quotation mark? I'm confused!). Thanks again to Phydeaux3 for the label cloud. Go get one for your own blog!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grow things...

If you're interested in raising live food for your fish, here's a link to raising mosquito larvae. What a brilliant idea: let's give people, who are notorious for laziness (ok, maybe that's just me), directions on how to deliberately raise mosquito larvae! If you don't follow up, you've just unleashed a horde of nasty, blood-sucking critters into your yard and neighborhood. (I found a place in my yard where we were accidentally raising mosquito larvae - an old slide off our playset was capturing rainwater under the deck - I dumped the water and disposed of the slide.)

Don't grow trees - at least, not if they're going to die and become stumps that plague you for weeks, months... yep, the stump's still there. Of course, I've not worked on it in about a week.

In case you missed it, Pluto is now called a "Plutoid" - that's the term for "transneptunian dwarf planets similar to Pluto" according to the International Astronomical Union. Of course, to me, Pluto will always be my favorite planet - I don't care if they want to call it something else. Ok, maybe I'll call it a "plutoid" as well - but it's still "Planet Number 9" in my book. Er, in my blog, I guess.

Also, did you see the article about the guy who shot himself in the head with a nail gun, and the doctors removed the nail from his skull and brain with a claw hammer? Reminds me a bit of the pointed part of this blog post... and that post reminds me about global warming. Remember my discussion about being addicted to caramel coloring (in dark sodas)? That makes about as much sense as the "concept" of anthropogenic (human induced) global warming. If you never took a look at my article on Not-tional Geographic, go ahead now...

Later, all. (Oh, ps: I recently activated a Twitter account... you can find me under the user profile "Kingdad" - similar to my Geocaching account name.)

Monday, June 9, 2008


I have come to the conclusion that I'm addicted to caramel coloring.

I drink too many sodas (pops, cokes, soft drinks, whatever you call them in the part of the country - or world - where you are). I think I'm addicted. But to what? Well, the first thought, of course, would be caffeine, but it doesn't matter if it's a caffeinated or a caffeine-free drink. Second guess might be the sugar, but I've transitioned to primarily diet drinks (I will occasionally drink a non-diet drink; my poison of choice these days is usually Splenda - sucralose - and Publix diet colas - I'm drinking one of the caffeine-free variety intermittently as I write this, and they just put them into twelve-pack form, and you can get 3 twelve packs for $7, so it's a pretty good deal; of course, Coke Zero is probably my current absolute favorite soda, but it's aspartame-sweetened, and RC Cola for non-diet drinks). Carbonation, you might guess? Possibly, but it's dark colas that I like; I will drink the occasional Sprite or Ginger Ale or Mountain Dew (which is my favorite cold remedy), but it's the dark sodas that I seem to have me addicted. I generally prefer Coke products (and now Publix products), but Pepsi will do, and I'm a fan of Dr. Pepper products as well. Even the grape sodas and root beers are good.

So, what is it about the dark sodas? What do they all have in common that the others don't? Caramel coloring! That must be the thing to which I'm addicted, the caramel coloring that infuses each and every dark-colored soda on the market. In fact, looking at the ingredients, caramel color shows up second on the list (i.e., it's the second highest percentage ingredient in the beverage). You can see it in the picture over to the right (if you can't make it out, click to enlarge the picture; if you still can't, take my word for it). Only carbonated water is in more abundance in the drink (and we've already established that it's not carbonated water that causes my addiction, since if it were, light- and clear-colored sodas would satisfy; wait, is "clear-colored" an oxymoron?). Anyway, based on my analysis of the ingredients and what it takes to satisfy, I have come to the conclusion (presented in the first sentence of this post): I'm addicted to caramel coloring. That's the one ingredient that dark-colored sodas have in common (among all varieties, including diet and caffeine-free colas) that is not in common with clear- and light-colored sodas.

And I have no intentions of breaking this addiction anytime soon... :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Unfunny informational post.

As a follow-on to my last, here are a few links I happened on that I thought I'd share with you:
Ok, let's make this unfunny post funny. (Maybe.) I saw an insect coming at me with a yellow rectangular thing, so I screamed, "Shoo, fly, don't butter me!"

(Ok, sorry, it's still not funny. Sorry about that. Maybe next time.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

CO2 Tax? Please, no!

Hey, all. Just found out about something: they're considering taxing CO2 emissions through legislation in congress. And they're doing it soon: the bill is expected to be on the floor for debate in early June (yep, this month!). Here's the text of the bill, which will allocate over 3/4 of a trillion dollars for various things (see Title V, Subtitles D through H). Hey, this is America... we're built on supply & demand, a capitalistic commerce system. I think we should let the consumers and producers drive the economy of power supply, don't you? Why not sign the GrassFire petition, then? Do it soon, though... it's up for debate very, very soon. (Note: this is not one of those "e-mail petitions" that's worthless... this one is one of the "tracked online" things where you have to submit your name, address, etc., and it's collected and coalesced into a single petition; the e-mail forwarded petitions are meaningless, but this kind has at least a little sway.)

By the way, over on Not-tional Geographic I posted an article (click "an article" for the actual article, the "Not-tional Geographic" link goes to the main site) that illustrates how easy it is to manipulate data into a desired result. You can't simply take some correlative data and infer a causal relationship - for instance, I tend to eat more ice cream sandwiches in the evening than at any other part of the day. I also tend to watch TV more in the evening than in any other part of the day. This does not mean that watching TV causes me to eat ice cream sandwiches - they just happen to be happening at the same time. On another note, it tends to be dark outside when I'm eating more ice cream sandwiches - does my ice cream sandwich intake have anything to do with the lack of sunlight? No! They happen to occur at the same time, but there is no causal relationship between any of these three data points. Similarly, man's (very slight) effect on the amount of CO2 gas in the atmosphere (which, actually, hasn't necessarily been proven, either - while it may be likely that the industrial revolution caused a slight increase in global CO2 levels, there is no direct proof that the increased CO2 levels can be attributed to human activities) that happens to coincide with seemingly increased global average temperature (which is occurring at a time of high sunspot activity and at the end of an ice age; what, you mean the temperatures could be going up as part of a normal earthly cycle? duh!) does not indicate a causal relationship - they just happen to be occurring simultaneously. (Past records of global CO2 level vs. temperature show that, in the earth's history, CO2 levels have been much higher than they are currently, while temperatures have cycled without having excessively high temperatures that threatened life on this planet; in fact, if anything, we should be more concerned about cooling temperatures affecting life, as life during a major ice age becomes relatively impossible.) Also, CO2 isn't the major greenhouse gas in our atmosphere... water vapor is.

I haven't provided lots of links in this post - feel free to search my past posts for this information and supporting links and research. Or - here's a novel idea - take to Google and go find out for yourself! :) Anyway, I hope we don't have to pay inordinate amounts of tax in order to change our entire power economy... please consider signing the petition. Soon. Oh, and sorry, Carter (and any other out-of-country readers - wait, I guess I should qualify that - out-of-the-United-States readers), but I imagine only United States addresses are valid for this one...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dental inquiry

So, I went to the dentist today. Have you ever noticed how a dentist (or dental technician - why are they called technicians when they clean your teeth? shouldn't they be called "dental janitors" or something? Ok, I know they're called "dental hygienists" too) will wrap his/her hands in sterile gloves, grab a sterile utensil (at my dentist the tools are unwrapped from a sealed package just before use), and then grab the overhead lamp handle which is simply "out there" (i.e., not sterilized) before sticking his/her hands in your mouth? Does anyone else see the absurdity in this sequence?

This afternoon I was looking up some information on a movie and found some user reviews; among the views was a guy who called himself:


Did you catch that? "Allen Teh Awesome" - not "the" awesome but "teh" awesome. Awesome, eh?

PS: the stump's still in the ground...