Saturday, September 24, 2011

Everytime you retweet a joke from Wonderella, an angel gets its wings. (RE: What You Said)

RE: What You Said is my across-my-blog response to comments from the week before.

What a week it was! Eating Twinkies, taking on Senators... that was prett
y much it. Here we go with the best of the comments from the past week:

Stephen Hayes, writer/illustrator, thought perhaps I might not make it quite all the way to a jillion dollars with my plan to let you smash the things I make:

Yours is an interesting idea, but it might be hard to convert it into a jillion bucks. I remember another great idea, a seventeen hour film by Andy Warhol that, if memory serves, was called "The Fly." In the film, the fly lands on the forehead of a nude woman lying on her back. We watch for hours as the fly inches over her body, which becomes a gigantic landscape through the fly's perspective. The problem with this and many POP Art ideas is that the idea is more interesting than the result. But keep the ideas coming. I have faith that your jillion dollar idea is right around the corner. By the way, I walked out of the theater showing the Warhol film after only two hours.

Stephen despite the fact that you admittedly walked out of a movie featuring a
naked woman and therefore lose 1/2 your credibility hit points, I think you'
re onto something there: What if you and I collaborate on an art project where we sit in a museum and tell people our POP art ideas for money? We'll make a jillion dollars!

Also: Stephen, you really don't own a cell phone? I hope you at least keep a sharp stick near the mouth of the cave to stick in that T. Rex's mouth when it comes around. And
say hi to Will and Holly for me.

Rogue Mutt, meanwhile, ought to be in charge of designing video games, as he gets it

To be a successful video game the object should be to kill everyone in line and then destroy all the paintings.

I tried doing that, but I lost my place in line, and then had to go to Milwaukee for a court hearing and ended the game for the day.

I also drew comments on the culmination of what might be the greatest thing I've ever done in my life*

*Twinkie category only

That's gross. I'm glad you didn't get sick. I like how in the video you described it as having the consistency of a vanilla wafer. Dropping it all those times though was unnecessary. We already knew it was as hard as a brick.
I had to drop it, though, Michael, so that nobody would think I'd switched out the Twinkie; there are people out there who I'm sure would love to manufacture a scandal and bring me down from the heady pinnacle of fame I've achieved as someone who gets upwards of three comments a week sometimes just by blogging pictures of his sons playing with lockers. I know I've got a target on my back. That's why I always sit facing the door.

Except now, I realized; my desk at home has my back to the door. I've been in peril all these years!

Reporter Anna, on the other hand, not only didn't appear to take offense at my calling shenanigans on a Taco Bell robbery story this week (I wasn't blaming WKOW, Anna, but the lying victim), she also supported my decision to give my taste buds, and perhaps my entire consciousness, for SCIENCE:

that was pretty great. glad you didn't die. another victory in the name of science!

I agree, Anna. In the annals of science, it is, so far as I can tell:

1. The guy who invented fire. (Prometheus, I believe.)
2. Marie Curie, who is the only woman scientist ever.
3. Isaac Newton, for inventing the catflap.
4. Me.
5. A bunch of other people including my 11th grade science teacher Mr Hassemer, who taught us, in chemistry class, that the greatest invention mankind ever came up with was the "blood groove" in an arrowhead.

Finally for this week,

Rogue Mutt, blogger/author, commented on my post So You Were Once Third In Line For The Presidency? Here's $4.5 million detailing how former House speakers get $900,000 (or more?) per year to run an office that does nothing by saying

The problem is there's no way to stop them since we're expecting them to police themselves. The same reason there aren't term limits or campaign finance reform.

I disagree, though: there is a way to stop them. We police them, only people get all up in arms over Netflix changing the name for one service it provides while not caring that $1,000,000 per year to a former speaker is about an equivalent tax to what Netflix did when they raised their rates. According to the last Census, there are 112,000,000 households in the U.S. Denny Hastert cost each household $1.

Netflix's rate increase was $4 for my service. A service I choose voluntarily. This week, I used Netflix to watch a past episode of Better Off Ted and my boys watched Follow That Bird and Yo Gabba Gabba. I got something for the $4 I chose to voluntarily continue paying.

I got nothing out of the $1 I paid Dennis Hastert to drive his SUV to look at a painting of himself. And I couldn't opt out of that one.

I'm not talking about policing politicians by voting, either; you only get to vote every so often. But in the last two weeks, I've called Senators and Congressmen and tweeted to their followers and talked to my coworkers and mentioned on my blogs issues ranging from the Autism Funding bill to gay marriage. (I have. It was subtle, but it was there.)

Part of why I hate people -- you'll want this answer, Michael Offutt - -is because so little attention is paid to important stuff. I spent time the past two weeks repeatedly tweeting links to stories which show four Senators apparently trying to allow scientific research grants to be more easily directed to their campaign contributors. And you know what got retweeted the most of all the things I said?

A couple of jokes about the Facebook update.

And the point of my story wasn't just autism research -- it was (as Rogue got) equally about Why are Senators allowed to stop a bill that is wanted and needed just to benefit the Koch Brothers, and why don't people care?

I get it: Things are funny, you pass them on. But it takes a second to retweet an important message, too, and precious few people do that, making me wonder how many clicked the links to even read the story itself. (And, no, I don't read every link in Twitter, either.)

The point is, people have to pay attention to the real stuff. It's okay to be upset about Ewoks blinking, I suppose -- but not until after you've gotten upset that House Republicans are playing games with disaster relief funding and tying up the government again, and that they did it quickly in hopes of messing up our economy more... and then taking a vacation.

I have a rule regarding what I think of as frivolous spending: if I spend money on something dumb or unnecessary, like the time we took our cat to the hospital, I give an equal amount to a charity or someone needy.

I think the same thing should apply to tweets, blog posts, and life: Every time you retweet a joke from Wonderella, retweet a link to a story you consider important, too.

And, thanks to all those people who DID retweet my stuff about the important things; I hope you've downloaded your Smilin' Mr F Badge:

Also, by all means, retweet Wonderella's jokes. She's hilarious.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's like a scene from Scooby Doo (A Photo Essay)

I had to borrow my phone back from Mr Bunches to post this.

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


These days, I almost never get to use my phone.  No, this isn’t one of those “I don’t use my phone as a phone” jokes.  What do you think I am, Milton Berle/Rachel In The OC? I don’t go for the obvious.

No, this is a true story of a guy who bought a smart phone and wants to use it for a phone, camera, email, web-surfer, game-playing machine, but who also has a pair of 5-year-olds who ALSO want to use that phone for a phone, camera, email, web-surfer, game-playing machine. Turns out that Mr F likes to use my phone to watch his “Little Einstein” videos on the web, probably because it’s hand-held, while Mr Bunches is a real “Plants vs. Zombies” fan and recently learned how to take pictures, and they both like to call Mommy on the phone and see the picture of her while they talk to her…

…which leaves me with no phone, and with a pair of 5-year-olds playing with a superexpensive phone, and which then leaves me with this question: Why am I not having a phone, and why am I paying for a superexpensive phone, anyway?

Not long ago, I mentioned Straight Talk,

the no-contract, no surprise-bill, no credit check cell phone provider that gets great phones (from people like Nokia and LG) and great plans (like nationwide talk/text/data for only $45 a month, or $499 a year) and free 411 calls and no activation or termination fees, and for the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t switch BEFORE this.

With Straight Talk, I can cut my phone bill in half – getting a new smart phone for as little as $10 (or, a reconditioned phone for the boys) and still get Android on Straight Talk, and still pay only $45 a month (which is WAY WAY less than what I’m paying now), and if I get TWO I’ll still be paying less than my current bill, and the boys will have their own phone.

Heck, even if I have to get THREE, so that we all have one, I’m STILL saving money – money I can use to get more apps on those phones and to do more stuff with the boys when we’re not all playing games and texting and surfing videos and talking to Sweetie (who will probably get sick of all those phone calls but she’s nice, so she won’t say anything.)

It’s everything I need – and probably Everything you need. Just watch:

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And watch this person, who, like me, went in Hook, line and sinker

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Makes you want to Call a friend and tell them about this deal, doesn't it?

So if you see a guy and two little boys sitting out in public, shout hello to me and Mr F and Mr Bunches. Or, better yet, text us. That way, we’ll get the message.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"For I have danced the streets of Heaven/ And touched the Face Of God." (TWINKIE WATCH! THE GRAND FINALE!)

And this was all that was left after that:

And later on I ate the rest of that, because it was really not half-bad, and because I am a SCIENTIST.


Or however the numbering is supposed to go. My countdown to the left there was a little off (I blame the Mayans) but today is definitely The Day I Eat The Twinkie. When I leave work today, I will be carrying the Twinkie in a specially-prepared briefcase (my usual briefcase with the Twinkie in it) to my house, where, with Sweetie's help, I will obtain actual videotape of me eating the Twinkie.

Sweetie has promised to help me, and I'm holding her to it because if she doesn't, I won't set my alarm and she'll miss her yoga class tomorrow morning.

This, of course, is not without its risks, as I've explained before, and those risks got riskier because I can't find my question on Yahoo! Answers. And here I was counting on the good people who read Yahoo! (who is that, exactly?) to help me decide just how much risk I'm at, because outside of that, all I've got to go on is Michael Offutt's probably-definitely-accurate scientific assessment:

It could have deadly flesh-eating bacteria on it that don't eat the twinkie because the twinkie is not made from flesh. But as soon as you eat it, your lips will dissolve, followed by your tongue. Twinkie is not worth it. Think of your children.

Michael is an author and also always right about things judging by the fact that he says I have cute kids, so I do not lightly ignore his opinions the way I lightly ignore my cardiologist's opinions.

But Yahoo! let me down, and the Internet as a whole is far too concerned with whether Netflix is behind George Lucas making Darth Vader have sex with an Ewok, so I was left with only one possible solution:

Ask a "real" doctor.

And by "real" doctor, I mean "a doctor who is probably not real at all."

So I looked up three doctors who I recalled as probably having existed, and they are:

Dr. Oz, who, as I understand it, became a doctor upon returning home in that balloon, and

Dr. Phil, who is my mother-in-law's favorite doctor when she's not watching FOX News, which is the reason I only talk about cooking with my mother-in-law, and

"Dr. and The Medics," who you will likely recognize as the band that did the mid-80s update to the great song "Spirit In The Sky."

Doctor and the Medics might be the most qualified of all, having also covered "Waterloo" on a Scandinavian TV show in a video I have difficulty stopping watching:

Those are my chosen medical experts, and I will be contacting them-- the first two via Twitter and the latter via the contact us tab on their website -- shortly after I post this to ask them whether any harm could come of my eating the Twinkie -- and, with that, I can definitely say that I'm doing this under medical supervision and my insurance should probably cover any side effects that might occur, except for superpowers which, *fingers crossed* I'm still hoping might be something that comes of this.