Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello Goldilocks

I think it's incredibly awesome that they've found a planet near our solar system (relatively) that could possibly support life.  Because it's in the ideal zone for it, they've labeled it the "Goldilocks Planet."  You know, it's not too cold, not too hot, it's "just right."

In case you've missed this incredible discovery, here is the link to BBC's latest info on it. 

What I am weirded out by is the image that goes along with this story.

It's an artist's rendering.  Kind of like someone drawing Jesus.  You know there is no way a homeless Jew looked like that but it's the only association you can make.  Now and forever people who will never again follow this story...unless all the Area 51 folks get their wet dream...will think this is what's actually out there.  (No, I don't really think YOU would be that tardish, but OTHERS, would.)

The local news even had a guy talking about it using this as the graphics to support his drivel.  Then of course, they also use the lead in the whole day of "They've Discovered A Planet Just Like Earth."  Then again, it was during Fringe that the commercials for it were airing...they may have been intentionally targeting the audience.

Anyhoo, what do you think?  Potential proof of life beyond our planet scary or exciting?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homemade is Best - Ikea Cookbook

Ikea has a new cookbook for baking.  The photos that were taken for it are awesome.  Carl Kleiner photographed the ingredients and products.  Evelina Bratell arranged these unique patterns that are works of art on their own. 

Admittedly, Ikea has always had a stylish flare.
These just really struck me as genius in their simplicity.  I wish I'd come up with it.

It is titled “Hembakat är Bäst” (Homemade is Best).

What do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Name Dropping

What does this string of logos, people and products say to you?

Does it say massive European dance hit?

If it doesn't you're logical, but incorrect.

These are the things Tinie Tempah raps about in this Swedish House Mafia single called Miami to Ibiza.

While I admit I like the song, I hadn't actually listened to the lyrics until the other day.  Here they are.

Thanks to Metro Lyrics

She says she likes my watch, but she wants Steves AP
And she stay up all hours watching QVC
She said she loves my songs, she bought my mp3
And so I put her number in my Bold BB
I got a black BM, She got a white TT
She wanna see whats hiding in my CK briefs
I tell her wear suspenders and some PVC
And then Ill film it all up on my JVC

Scene One. Everybody get in your positions.
Pay attention, and listen.
Were tryna get this all in one take, so lets try and make that happen.
Take one...ACTION!

Repeat all x3

She pose for FHM, She like my Black LV
We spinnin LPR, up on my APC
I'm in my PRPS and my Nike SBs
Ravin with SHM, London to NYC
I got my Visa and My Visa
A diva and her dealer
Bitch I'm up on the guest list with the Swedish House Mafia
You can find me on a table full of vodka and tequila
Surrounded by some bunnies, and it ain't even easter
I wake up in the morning with a mild case of amnesia
With a girl that like a girl like Lindsey Lohan, Queen Latifah
A few niggaz are pullin, Yeah guetta must be fever
And thats standard procedure from Miami 2 Ibiza

No kidding, there are still a few on that list that I have no clue...who is LPR?  What is Steve's AP and a Black BM?  The rest I think I did OK at deciphering. 

Flo Rida has his Pirellis, Jay-Z has his Cristal, Lil Kim's Peeps have their Bentleys, Hummers and a Benz and 50 Cent's Shorty has her Gucci, Fendi, Prada, BCBG, Burberry and Dolce & Gabana.  And the only lists get bigger.  Why do rappers drop product names so much?  Aside from flaunting their money, do you think they get kick backs or something?

I'd think a good ad exec could come up with a beat and string together all of his high dollar clients into one long advertisement.  Sell it to the next rising star or schmooze a big balla to make it their next huge single.   Do you think it's already happened?  Would you be surprised if it one of your favorite songs was a product of Pepsico and Nike's quest for world domination?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Interpreting Signs

My beautiful daughter woke up screaming last night.  Highly abnormal.  My wife went in to rescue her and she was wailing.  She brought her into the bathroom and she kept crying out for Daddy.  I went in to sit with her to try to figure out what happened.  

She was sitting on the potty and I was sitting on the stool next to the sink.  Big ole tears are still damp on her cheeks.  She signs "eat" and "sorry" to try to say what was wrong.  I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time.  I turned my head and snickered.  This helped her loosen up a little bit. 

Now admittedly, these things take some interpretation.  "Eat" is pretty clear.  But "sorry" is what she does when she's hurt.  The DVD's for Baby Signing Time she learned a bout six months ago covered "hurt."  But when she learned "Please," "Thank you," and "Sorry," hurt disappeared.  It taught her that when you hurt someone you say "sorry."  Given the large amount of things that when signed by a baby look like hurt, I'm not really sad that she's found a better way to communicate.  Seriously, "ball" and "more" while she does them more correctly now looked identical to "hurt" at the beginning.  (That said, most of her signs take interpretation.  Horse and Hat looked the same.  Frog and Bird too.  Oh, Cat and Outside also.  Then there is water and her made up sign for pacifier as well.)

When she had a bad case of diaper rash a couple months ago, every time I'd wipe her butt she'd wince and sign "sorry."  I'm pretty positive she thinks "sorry" and "hurt" mean the same thing.  Not that she's telling me to say I'm sorry.  She tells us all the time when she's hurt by signing it.  In fact she has even told on me before using it.  I yelled at her one day and accidentally smacked her ankle on the side of the crib as I put her down.  It wasn't a daddy of the year moment.  When my wife came in to take over at that point, she looked up and signed "sorry" and pointed at me and said Daddy.  Holy crap, my child just told on me.  I was embarrassed and proud at the same time.

Back to the "eat" "sorry" conversation.  I had been asking her if she had a bad dream.  She wasn't understanding me completely but said uh-huh.  My wife rocked her a little bit and put her back to bed.  She did wake up later the same way and for the first time in nine months laid down in bed with us for an hour or two. 

Nightmares I guess.  I'm not sure what spawned it either.  Here are my interpretations.

One:  She had a dream where she ate something hot or was eating and something hurt her.  Simple and probably wrong.

Two:  (We'd been to the petting zoo at the Hairy Man Festival yesterdayShe got to feed goats, rabbits, chickens, pigs, donkeys and cows.)  She could have dreamed she was attacked by the animals while she was feeding them.

Three:  (Over dinner my wife and I discussed why people don't eat lions, sharks and other larger predators with the same commonality as cows, chicken, salmon etc.  Basically we aren't going to domesticate something that would just as soon eat us as we would eat it.)  I think she may have taken our dinner conversation to heart and had a nightmare about lions and tigers or what ever eating her.

My vote is for number three.  That little sponge mind may not be capable of fully communicating back, but she understands a hell of a lot more than we give her credit for.  If it's true, I feel horrible, I gave my child nightmares.  Then there's my favorite book to read her...I know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  I guess either way, I gave them to her. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Katy Does Elmo

Insecure Women of America:  Get over yourselves.

The Katy Perry's scene on Sesame Street was put on Youtube before it actually aired.  Like every star who appears on Big Bird Lane, she was teaching the kids a lesson that ties back to their own fame.  She was singing a modified version of Hot n Cold about playing to cover opposites with Elmo.  Maya Angeloo, Norah Jones, Barbara Bush, Anne Hathaway, Wanda Sykes, Tina Fey, Heidi Klum, Michelle Obama, Annette Benning, the Dixie Chicks and many other ladies have paved the way for Ms. Perry.  So what's with the recent scandal?

Boobs.  Plain and simple, Katy is hot and since it was leaked before it was released, housewives and dikes feminists insecure women with giant egos (I know, it's illogical to have both problems, but give it some thought and you'll probably agree with me) many others decided to wage a war.  Why? Boobs.  They weren't hidden.  They were in a top that showed cleavage. 

Katy is young and perky with some less than subtle music videos.  Parents who watch Sesame Street with their children (or at minimum use it as a baby sitter) are typically comprised of a man who would probably do Katy and a woman who thinks that if only she hadn't popped that kid out she'd have Katy's body.  Neither of which are necessarily true, but the thought that the former is true makes the latter's affect much more intense.

So all dogging mothers aside, had this clip just aired as planned, I don't think there would be a fraction of the buzz.  Alas, it hit the interwebs.  With a dozen 24 hour news stations and a million news websites, someone was bound to sensationalize it.  By day break, Jim Henson's legacy never knew what hit them.

Could they have chosen a different outfit?  Absolutely.  Should they have chosen another shirt?  Probably.  Would there still be an uproar had they done so and it hit Youtube?  Absolutely.  Once again, think about it.  They would have been attacking her provocative lyrics and music videos deeming her an unfit hero for children.  I still blame the DP and Producer for Sesame Street more than Katy herself.  The camera guy sure could have said something. 

Did any one see Neil Patrick Harris in a Fairy Costume?

How bout Howie Mandel demonstrating Ticklish?

Hello?  Cheech Freaking Marin on Sesame Street?  WTF?

Who else had their clip pulled?  Chris Brown right after he beat the crap out of Rhianna.

Why would they allow the clip to be released?  Are ratings dropping?  Why wouldn't they have just put her in another set of dress up clothes?

Whatever.  Here's the video.  Tell me what you think.  If you think it would affect your children, your cup size better be a C or better.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Hairy Man Festival

Looked on my events calendar for Austin today.  Turns out tomorrow is The Hairy Man Festival in Round Rock.  Located just north of Austin, Round Rock is a quickly sprawling suburb thanks mostly to Dell's headquarters presence.

Austin's motto is "Keep Austin Weird."  Don't believe me?  Try us out for a day.  They call it coordinated individualism.  (I know, insert oxymoron joke here) The intention of the motto is toward keeping us a small town with a focus on local small businesses instead of embracing giant chains. Most people know it's also poking fun at some of our city's quirkier sides.  No joke, we've had a homeless transvestite run for mayor on more than one occasion.  All of this said, Round Rock is Austin's Northern uptight conservative neighbor.  Or better yet, we're like a giant Elton John and their Alex P Keaton perched on his shoulders.

So running across this festival gave me pause.  Apparently we're rubbing off.  According to the Hairy Man Festival website, it's been going on for 16 years!

The Legend of the Hairy Man
By Gwen King, Local Historian 

   Children whisper tales of a strange hermit, the Hairy Man, who haunts the winding road along the Brushy Creek. Many legends persist about the Hairy Man. Some believe he was an infant accidentally left behind by settlers heading west in the 1800s. Raised by wild animals in the fern bluffs, the Hairy Man viewed the creek as his own. He resented the intrusion of strangers into his territory and would jump out of the trees to frighten people away. Or, hanging from the leafy canopy above the road, he would drag his feet across the top of passing carriages. On one occasion, the Hairy Man attacked a horse-drawn wagon, spooking the horses. The old hermit was supposedly run over by the wagon and killed, and now his spirit lingers along the creek and road. 

   On a silent, moonlit night, perhaps you will see his eerie silhouette on the bluffs along Brushy Creek. The faint, other-worldly moan that echoes through the night. Is it the sound of the wind as it pushes through the treetops or the lonely cry of a coyote or perhaps....something more sinister?

Music, Art & Food, Helping local charities...oh yeah, a hairiest man contest too!  Welcome to the party Round Rock.  I'm thinking it'll be fun, plus it'll get the kids out of the house tomorrow.  I wonder how many gay bears club members participate in the contest?

I don't think Gigglesugar would much care for this contest.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rain, when will you learn "Don't Wear Out Your Welcome?"

We got back from Florida and I cut my front lawn the following day.  I didn't bother with the back because I am lazy and attract mosquitoes like bums to a freshly opened pack of cigarettes.

It rained the next few days.  I was going to mow both front and back that weekend but got caught up with life and more laziness.  Damn that stuff just hangs around doesn't it?

It rained a few more days.  If you're a big city type or apartment rat, you might not understand where I'm going with this.  Rain makes the lawn difficult to mow.  The wet grass sticks in the mower meaning you have to unclog it regularly and the ground sinks beneath your feet.  Neither of those activities involving a power machine and a blade fall into the safety zone of life.  So Lazy Dorn just says, nope, not gonna happen.  A fresh cut lawn isn't worth a twisted ankle or severed digit.

The rain continues to fall.  I'm sure mother nature is happy.  I mean, seriously, she's being nourished.  I'm not polluting her air with my gas powered engine.  I'm also not slicing off her lovely blades of grass which help her eat and breath more. 

Well screw you Mother Nature.  My neighbors already know I'm lazy, do they have to have the evidence in the form of 3 foot tall shoots of grass amid my relatively short cut lawn?  Why must you show off how fast you can grow in a week Mr. Weed?  Just take a chill pill.  Everything is still green.  That means you've been gingerly cared for this summer amid 100+ degree weather.

Yes, I'm blogging and whining about the weather.  I have a head ache and a very long day still ahead.  Tonight we have a nighttime meeting with my store operators.  I won't be going home until after 10pm.  On the bright side, the Amazonian weeds (and no, that's not the newest strand imported from Amsterdam) will be shrouded in darkness and therefore unable to taunt me when I go home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gonna Brag a Bit

Be forewarned, the following is probably only interesting to me and my wife, but I'm laying it out for everyone!  Oh yeah, and there is going to be bodily fluid talk too.

OK, there's your heads up, so don't get pissy later on when your trying scrub your brain of what I'm about to divulge.

We started potty training our daughter a month ago.  She's 22 months old now and I am supremely happy to announce that she's down to two or fewer accidents a week!  WEEK, not day or hour....PER WEEK!

Disclaimer: We still have her in diapers at night and nap times.  Not really fair to her since she's still in a crib and would have no choice but to wake sleeping giants through the monitor (which works, but still) or pee in her bed.  Then she'd still have to wake us because she wouldn't just lay back down in it.

So we've been talking about when to pull the trigger since our son was born in July.  We cloth diaper.  We started double stuffing the diapers because as she's gotten older, there's more to deal with.  She tells us almost immediately when she's wet and has done so since she was little.  Disposables mask it from them, cloth, well it might as well be one of us in a pair of jeans having an accident.  Eww.

Well, the double stuff had an adverse affect on her, namely at night when she doesn't tell us she's wet.  Basically, the extra padding kept the natural breathing from happening and caused a major diaper rash.  Three weeks went by and we weren't able to cure it.  We finally ran across a website that said, it's probably an extreme heat and wetness combo.  "Let her air dry" was the main point of the article.  Couple other things like not powdering open sores (whoops, nearly two years in and I didn't know that about diaper rash).  They recommended allowing her to run around in panties after wet diapers to help with airflow. 

We talked it over and just let her go commando for a few days whenever possible as well as following some other helpful tips.  We started to see results!  Hooray!  Oh and the kiddo absolutely loved the new found (mommy & daddy approved) freedom.  

She could tell us when she was wet or poopy.  She would sign potty when she did so.  So the communication and understanding were there, why not?  We picked up a potty and a bunch of panties.  It wasn't one of those sit on the floor, pee in a bucket so mom and dad have to bed pan it potties.  We put a stool she can climb on in front of our toilet and put this little insert designed for babies on it.  You probably know what I'm talking about even though that was a horrible description.  Looks like a hemorrhoid donut with handles (note: I've never used one, but thanks to sit-coms going for the low brow humor, I'm well educated).

She wouldn't go.  For two days, nothing but puddles on the floor and turds in the panties.  I'd take semi warm water and pour it down between her legs while "in position" hoping to have a natural reaction occur.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  2 minutes later, puddle on the floor and my daughter looking terrified as though she was a puppy who'd just done the same thing.

My wife started researching best practices.  Most said to wait until the child was closer to three.  Screw off you lazy effers.  If she can tell you what's up, she can learn to control it.  Ha, aren't I cocky?

She found a few posts about a successful "one day potty training."  It's not really one day.  It's more like one really intense training day.  Basically, you start off how we did.  Panties and accidents.  Then you spend an entire day making runs to the potty.  First with her favorite doll (Curious George) in a pair of panties.  Kid drinks, doll drinks.  Then, every 5-10 minutes, you make a mad dash to the bathroom.  "Potty Run, Hurry, Hurry."  Some suggest squirting water in the back of the toilet with a bulb syringe when the doll is on the pot.  My wife didn't want to over complicate it.  She and my daughter were troopers.  They did this ever 10 minute thing ALL DAY.  Every other trip, you put the child on the toilet. 

It didn't always work, but eventually there were more successes than accidents throughout the day.  The idea is to have the kid trained to run to the bathroom and know that the panties have to come off and get on the pot as fast as is safely possible.  

The last half the day, George wasn't involved.  It was drink a lot (gotta make her need to go, otherwise it's a bunch of work with zero result...that's disheartening to the child) and run to the potty. 

We debated how to reward her aside from praise...which lets face it, works at first but has a limited affect in the long term.  We chose Gummy Bears and M&Ms to alternate between.  She cannot say bears, but she go "grrr" for them.  M&Ms are UMs.  Scold me for associating reward with food, whatever.  I fought it wife was the one who had to do it the whole day though, and she was OK with it.

Conversely, how do you punish them for accidents?  You have to do something to create a negative connotation, but you don't want to get truly upset.  So she has to clean up the mess.  Of course we help to ensure a proper job is done.  But, while she partly enjoys the clean up part like most toddlers would, she seems genuinely disappointed in herself too. 
The rest of the week was far tamer with the potty runs, but you still have to keep up a 20 minute rotation, especially after drinking anything.  There were lots of accidents.  There were also lots of successful in the potty ventures.  She absolutely loved the new attention.  She refused to wear diapers and would pitch a fit at night when we'd wrestle them on her.  

The next week we were flying to Florida.  What should we do?  I don't want to digress at this point.  We bought some Pullups (well, actually Target's knock off version).  And continued exactly as before.  Pull down the faux-diapers like they were panties.  The plane ride was much safer this way.  (She also got a new Elmo goes Potty coloring book for the ride!)  We did panties when we could, but pullups if we were going to be out and  about.

Almost a month in, and yes she'll still say she has to go to get out of something she doesn't want to do (been at the dinner table too long) or if she just wants a gummy bear.  But, most of the time, it's real.  Most of the time it's extremely successful.  I'm so proud of her.  Oh and my wife loves not having to clean poopy diapers anymore.  No joke, only one in a month and that was a middle of the night one.

The bonus, two under two in diapers is almost over.  I only bought a few more cloth diapers when the little man was born.  We had some smaller ones we for infants too.  So this has saved me money too which is a great thing. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How Far Would You Go?

I cuss a lot in the following entry.  If you are easily offended, you probably shouldn't proceed.  Why you might ask?  Because I'm a little ticked off at the American Public right now.

I read this article on about a father boarding a bus to verbally attack his daughter's bullies.  The side note is that the little girl/victim suffers from cerebral palsy.  The arguing point is how he used vulgar, abusive language and threatened the bullies.

I here applaud the man.

My first stance is against this generation of completely horrifically apathetic little shits we've all raised.  No one cares how their words and actions affect another human.  They all just want to be affirmed and loved by their peers.  If that means throwing their friend under the bus or stabbing a pen into their buddy's jugular, so be it.

Fuck all you parents who taught your kids that it is better to join in than stand up.  By not punishing your child for hitting their sibling or classmate or whoever they decided to torture that day, you have created a person who should be euthanized before they hit adulthood.

The point of my stance isn't to tell you why you sucked as a parent for not actually introducing respect and discipline into your child's life.  It's to say that some one should at some point tell your little hellions off.  Putting someone in their place, regardless of age or fault, is more powerful than any A, B, C, D, or F can deliver.  Your child deserves to hear what real people think, not the pussified version of life you chose to present them with.

My second stance is against the "experts" stating that the father caused more harm to the situation by making the child feel like they couldn't defend themselves.  If you think a child feels worse because some one stood up for them, you've obviously never been a victim or even slightly bullied.  Hell you've probably never even had someone cut in front of you in line.  You are so detached from reality it is laughable.  Knowing someone cares for you enough to strike back at your attacker is incredibly powerful.  Witnessing someone defend your honor elevates you to a position that is untouchable.

The father most definitely should teach his child how to stand up for herself, but I only see positive for the little girl.  Fuck with her, you're gonna die.  Nothing carries more weight.  I wish I had a father like him when I was being threatened and beat up in high school.

I'm not saying you should agree with me.  But if you do, re-evaluate your memories of childhood.  Were you the bully?  Or were you the victim?  Did you ever just sit idly and watch your friend take the abuse?  Did you ever get to be the hero?  What are your thoughts on this father's behavior?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wine, Uncorked with Ted Allen

I caught the last half of an episode of Uncorked on PBS last night.  Apparently it is a 6 part series hosted by Ted Allen (formerly part of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Fab Five, now a Food Network whore).  It is supposed to be wine made simple.  While I did enjoy the show, the pretentiousness surrounding wine is laughable; my wife and I sat and made fun of much of it along the way.

As an aside, we spent our honeymoon in Sonoma and San Francisco, that does not make me an expert on wine, but it does imply I do really love the stuff!

This one in particular was on Napa Valley. So they try to claim it is wine made simple.  But the couple whose conversation we came in the middle of was beyond pompous.  It was a film critic and a wine connoisseur...not necessarily a sommelier.  She was teaching him to taste wine properly.  They used straight up $2 words.  I understood less than half of what they babbled on about except that in a he was an ass in front of Martin Scorsese by incessantly talking about wine and gargling it.  BUT, they peppered their "performance" with a waiter/wine expert from a restaurant.  He insisted that wine be spoken about in food terms because that's what it is.  Rich, Sweet, Robust, Thick, Light, Acidic, Buttery, etc as opposed to Intelligent, Austere, Lively, or Sassy.  I'm not saying they don't make writing reviews about a wine more creative and fun, but when describing them to your party/friends you just sound like an ass. 

The episode wasn't worthless, like I said earlier, I actually liked it.  But watching that last section reminded me of the two different groups I ran with when I first started drinking wine.  I had an evil, psycho ex-girlfriend who introduced me to wine.  Her tastes, honestly are still my tastes.  Nothing sweet, definitely not Lambrusco, Muscato or White Zin.  Dry whites and any variety of red are my favorites.  She and my wife have that in common...I swear I'll deny this was penned by me if you read this dear.  Common wine tastes are surprisingly important in a relationship...but maybe that's just my inner alcoholic talking.  My bartender coworkers were very normal in our approach with wine, we all loved it, but no one was such a wine snob that we wouldn't drink that giant Yellow Tail bottle of chard in an evening...just be able to handle some playful mocking for it.  The opposite were my non-restaurant friends.  Those who would try to describe a cheap ass bottle of wine in terms Robert Sinskey wouldn't make me endure. 

I'd like to see the episode on France with Billy Merritt.  I know nothing about French wine other than it's a bunch of names I can barely pronounce...some I'll never attempt in public for fear of sounding like one of those "I"ll have a Mur Lot"(yup sounds just like Sookie)  customers I used to wait on back in the day.  Frankly, humor is key to this show and from what I could tell of the clip I saw on, it looks great.  Plus, a fat man talking about food and wine frankly just has SOOO much more credibility to me.  No offense Mr Allen, but your salary put you out of my "peer review" realm four television series ago!

So did I insult your tastes with my Lambrusco, Muscat, Blush comments?  Are you the type that can't find basic words to describe the $100 bottle of Pinot, so Inteligent and Multi-Faceted is only scratching the surface?  What are your favorites?  Have you watched the other Uncorked episodes?  What am I missing, or should I just leave it alone?