So I stood there at the door shaking...
I almost didn't go in...
But maybe it was finally time to ask for some help...
We'll see.

Car accident

So... Laurie and Brit were in a minor accident today.  I'm told it was minor, anyway... haven't seen the damage yet... they're fine, but I suspect that the remainder of the Christmas shopping has just transformed into lovely hand-written notes...

Is it or isn't it?!?

Okay... this commercial has always, always bugged me.  Not from a need-to-shave point of view, but rather strictly based on the visuals, as it went against what I'd been taught by the fine stand-up comedians of the land.  I finally found the clip, so let's the videos speak for themselves.

Video A: 
Maryellen Hooper - Shower Shaver
Funny JokesFunny VideosDaniel Tosh Stand-Up

Video B:

Now, because I had seen video 'A' long, long ago, I can't help but think of 'B' as just wrong!... but I also can't stop laughing whenever I see it, so there is that...


Most unexpected thought of my day:

"Hmmm... they probably won't let me return these sandals now that they are soaked in blood..."

Yeah... it's just been that sort of day.

Stirring Custard

Where the hell have you been?

I know, right?  My life has been an endless series of work, sleep and family obligations.  Things whooshing by superfast with no ending in sight.  Last week at work, I had a special project going on and... it was an unmitigated disaster.  No one's fault... just a series of happenstance and missteps that led to a wasted effort and dollars down the drain. 


I've been so busy, I'd given up on reading LJ and blogs which means I didn't even notice until TODAY that there was a Penguicon meeting YESTERDAY!  (Ed. Note: Hey guys... how about a mass emailing to the staff list or some such?).  

In any case, I figure I have two choices... continue running around like a gerbil in a wheel or do what I'm doing now... which is making ice cream.

You see, we always look at ice cream makers in the store, but there's always a reason not to buy one.  No space on the counter, too expensive, who has the time... yada yada yada.  But then I had to go over to New Egg to look for a drive (5400rpm drive now replaced with much speedier drive, thank you), and they had the regular $49.99 Cuisinart maker for $39, and I had a coupon code for $10 off kitchen appliances with free shipping, so I figured why not?  $29.99, and if I hate it, I'm not out much.

...and I know what your thinking... Dave, isn't all ice cream better when made with liquid nitrogen?  

This is undoubtedly true, but I generally don't have a dewar of LNO2 sitting around in the kitchen when the mood for ice cream strikes.  I could, of course, snag some from work, but they really frown on that sort of behavior, and I don't blame them.

And I know that I'm trying to lose weight, but don't think of it as an excuse to gluttonously devour an endless series of creamy, rich frozen desserts, but rather a chance to control the amount of actual foodstuffs that go in to the confection when I feel the need for a frozen treat.  If I'm going to consume a few extra calories, at least I know it's from food rather than Dow, right?

Plus... it's kind of fun.

In any case, this is the first batch, so I started with a simple vanilla custard recipe, and as it's churning I'll stream in some scrumdelyicious blueberry preserves.

Should be good...

...and then I'm going to relax...

...and by relax I mean check my work email and work on creating a comic buffer...

For me? You shouldn't have...

The mail carrier was kind to me this weekend. My wife tossed me a big padded envelope and said it was from some webcomic person. Sure enough, I took a glance at the label, and it was from Samantha over at Life's a Witch. She had run her first contest a few weeks back, and it appears that I am a winner.

"Hon, what is that?"


"What is that?"

"It's a major award?"

"A what?"

"A major award, I won it."

"Yeah, but what is it?"

"I don't know... let's find out!"

Not just bubblewrap here.  This is handwrapped!

Inside the package, everything was hand tied... no thoughtless bubble wrap here!

"But what is it?!?"

"Hold on..."

Wow! *Two* books and a notepad!

"See it's a major award!"


I had thought the prize was one or the other of the books, but to my glee it contained the Life's a Witch mini-comic, The Sugarninjas Sweet Anthology, a little notepad and a business card. The mini comic is signed, has a hand sketch and includes some of my favorite LaW bits. The Sugarninjas anthology is... large... textbook large... full of many different comics ranging from manga-style to photocomic. The connecting thread, of course, is that all the artists are female... and quite a few of them are unknown to me. I've got some reading to do!

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to say "thank you" to Samantha for the superspecialawesome prize. It is appreciated.

Now, for those of you who haven't ever read Life's a Witch, pop on over there and go archive spelunking... it's well worth your time!


Dramamine, Take Me Away

Holy shit! 

So when I was a young lad in Purdue, I used to get motion sickness a lot.  I blame the Marble Madness.  I don't know what the deal was with that game, but after five minutes of playing, I would end up flat on my back with the room spin, spin, spinning.  Eventually, I stopped playing.  Even after quitting, though I seemed prone to the spinning death for several months afterwords, so I've always kept dramamine, or it's generic equivalent, in the house.

So, I've been sick the last few days.  Not the motion variety, of course.  Standard variety flu/cold stuff.  Stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache, cough, aches, pains so you can't rest sort of stuff.  It's on the retreat though, so today I decided to venture out at make a trip to the bank and scam some lunch.  Brit's on vacation, so I brought her with me.

It started out well enough.  I was simply driving down the road and then I heard a loud "Pop"...

...and then the world turned upside down for a few seconds...

...and then the world righted itself for a few seconds, but everything seemed quite vertically compressed and was swaying side to side...

...wish I wasn't on a bridge at the time...

I focused, loosened my grip on the wheel and took a deep breath as I looked for a shoulder to pull over on.  No such shoulder presented itself, so I continued with the deep breaths and focused on keeping a straight line.  I then started flexing the fingers of my right and hands and reciting the alphabet (chalk it up to those 911 commercials, but I thought for a few moments, that I might be stroking out).  Brit thought I was being awful weird, but I was holding a fine, straight line, so she didn't notice anything amiss.

By the time I got to a place to pull over, the world had stopped it's incessant swaying and I was feeling a bit normal except for a pressure behind my right eye, and I could, for the first time in several days, use my right nostril.

Holy Mucosal Discharge, Batman, explosive decompression of my stuffed up sinus cavity almost took me off the road!  Drag. 

By the time I got home, I was still having a bit of the turn-your-head-too-fast-and-weeeeeee's, so I popped some of that ever-present dramamine.  Here's hoping.

I've always imagined that this is what drunk feels like...

...and while Marble Madness is the only game that has ever set off my motion sickness, I do think I'll leave that copy of Mirror's Edge in the cabinet this evening...


Claussen, you disappoint me.  As I was packing my lunch bag (leftover 2-bone rib spare rib segment, blueberry yogurt and a clementine which will make three "meals" throughout the work day), I though:

"Hey, you know what would just make this feed sack?  A pickle to go with those ribs!"

So, I grabbed a jar of Claussen Kosher Garlic Whole Dill pickles and bagged on up.  Curious about the calorie cost, I took a gander at the nutritional label and saw that it was 5 calories for 1 serving.  Great.  But having become used to the lies of the food industry, I read on to see what, exactly, made up "one serving".

One serving is approximately one-third of a pickle...

Now don't misunderstand, I'm not talking about those giant pickles you pull out of salt-crusted barrels in the deli.  I'm talking about a standard 1"x3" grocery store pickle.  In what world is 1/3 of a pickle a reasonable expectation or one serving?!?  Do they expect that the average user is going to cut the pickle up into spears?  Would they not, then, have just bought dill spears?  Or maybe pickle slices?  Once again, they would have just bought pickle slices (they are, after all, cheaper than whole dills)!!!

I get it of course, by listing an entire 3" pickle as a single serving, they could have very easily listed the content as 15 calories and no one would bat an eye.  However, depending how they rounded things out on the label, they may have wanted to avoid listing the 3-4 carbs in a single pickle which would make the Atkins folk look the other way.  And 330mg sodium for a single serving isn't bad, but if that suddlenly blooms to 990mg, people will start to take notice (though anyone eating a pickle should not be surprised that a brined pickle contains salt).  I get it, really, but I'm still calling shennanigans on this. 

1/3 of a pickle... I think I'll enjoy that with half of a grape...