Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I poop on your "new price"!

I poop on your "New Price"!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Glimpse Into My Weekend

After a Saturday morning's-worth of reading, I decided I needed some lunch. But where to go? I didn't want Subway, I knew that. In fact, I spent an inordinate amount of time not wanting Subway because I couldn't think of a better option. After entertaining the idea that I might hop into the Beastlet [for those of you who don't know, the Beastlet is the name of my trusty jeep - tt] and drive to Whole Foods in Glendale when I have about twenty restaurants within shambling distance from my house, a brainwave hit me. I was feeling sandwichy, but I wanted something fresh and hearty, not processed and mealy. I grabbed my sweatshirt and walked out the door. The sun was shining and a steady cool wind blew in my face as I made my way down Riverside Drive to a place that was guaranteed to have what I was looking for. Namely this:

This is the sandwich they give you at Honeybaked Ham

A meat on meat sandwich from Honeybaked Ham - that's the ticket. I took a place by the window to watch the passersby. As I slowly devoured my layer-ed feast, I began to notice something. There were plenty of pedestrians out and about, but the only variety who seemed to be coming into the restaurant were of the male variety. Not just the male variety, but the (sweat/tee)shirted male variety. Males conspicuously devoid of female companionship. I turned around in my seat to look behind me into the dining area. I then quickly turned back around because I needed to grab my cameraphone, but then I turned around once again to snap a picture.

Lonely Man's Lunch

All guys. All with their heads hanging down or with their hands in their pockets. Normally, I would have found this immensely depressing. However, considering the fact that I, too, was unshaven and wearing a smelly sweatshirt, I had to laugh. Where do you go when you find yourself in Toluca Lake and hungry, and you are bereft of your lady-friend? Why, Honeybaked Ham, of course! Nourishing the body and soul for over 40 years.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thornbeam strikes again! Mwaa ha ha ha ha!!! This time, the boys examine an unusual roadside attraction.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

For all you Halloweenies out there . . .

There's a site that allows you to carve a pumpkin right on your very own computer screen - no messy pumpkin guts scooping or burnt pumpkin seeds because you forgot about them when "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" came on TV required! Yes, it's one more thing to distract me from real life. Some would say, why play bowling on your Wii when you can bowl at an actual bowling alley? and I would say,

"I don't own a Wii."

You can visit the site here. If any of you feel like you have a masterpiece, print screen and post it in the comments.

Here's my contribution to the Art-O-Lantern fracas.


I call him "Cool Guy McPumpkin." See how happy he is to eat . . . I mean meet you?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Your Humble Narrator Got a Boo Boo.

Really, I'm somewhat incredulous about the whole thing. Nonplussed? Perplexed? Perhaps. It all began on Tuesday. I was jazzed about our first D-League softball game. See, the Legion of Doom graduated from our tenure in the E-League to the more-competitive, less forgiving D-League. Honestly, I can't imagine what the A-League must be like.
Anyway, I was rarin' to go. I'd prepped and stretched and warmed up, I visited the batting cages and swatted a few balls to the moon - well, not exactly - I swatted a few balls REALLY HARD into the net at the back of the cage. Felt good. Felt strong. Felt comfortable. Felt relaxed.

I wanted to win in our debut.

Our opponents, the Lockouts, were recently demoted from the C-League so they came ready to prove that there must have been some sort of gross scheduling error and they still deserved to be in the C-League. Interesting thing about the lockouts, they have a sponsor. He happens to be a locksmith. What he gets out of it for his investment, I have no idea.

Anyway, as the we warmed up for the game, we played a little infield. I stopped some balls from getting past me, made good throws . . . why, I could play any position! I'll do well tonight.

Or so I thought.

In the last few minutes of warm-ups, the outfielders gathered to catch a few fly balls hit by Eric. I was feeling good, so I wasn't trying too hard for very many. However, there was one that was hit to me that I couldn't deny. I made an attempt at it somewhat belatedly and came up just shy of the catch.

And I mean, just shy. The ball missed my glove by a millimeter and smacked into my toe. Yes, my big toe. I lunged forward in an effort to make the catch so my foot was way out in front of me. The ball, arching toward the ground as balls do, hit me in the toe and went flying off to who knows where.

I howled and hopped, but I was convinced that I would be ok after the initial pain subsided. No go. It continued to hurt and swell. Couldn't play in the field, but I batted anyway. I'd hobble to first and then get a pinch runner. The toe continued to ache. Probably a bad idea. I took my shoe off to take a look at the damage. The nail was black and the toe was red. Hmm. Guess I'll lose the nail. No big deal. Should feel fine in a couple days.

Last night, the ol' toe blew up like an overstuffed sausage and hurt at about a 6 on the pain o' meter you see hanging on the wall at the doctor's office. Odd. I decided at that point to go to the doctor if there was no improvement today.

I woke up and the toe felt pretty good. Ok. Should be fine then. But as the day wore on, it felt worse and worse. Finally, I took my shoe off to take a look at it. My bosses asked to see it and said, "You need to go to the doctor right now." Ok ok ok. I'm going.

Got to Urgent Care. They were able to see me almost right away. Doc took one look at my toe and said,
"Well, that definitely needs to be drained."
My face dropped. "Really?" I said. "Isn't the blood dry by now?" "Not likely," he replied as he walked back into the room carrying what appeared to be a travel canister for a toothbrush.

"You gonna drill?" I asked, trying to sound as manly and disinterested as I could.
"With this?" he said as he removed the cap. "Naw, this burns red hot, see?" He flicked a switch on the side of the case and a small element at the tip lit with a sudden, angry glow.
"Oh, great," I choked. "Does it hurt?" I felt like I was five years old.
"Only if I hit anything other than the toe," he replied lightly.
"Jiminy Christmas," I breathed.
He laughed and said, "Why don't you just lay back? This'll be over in a second."
"You're sure it doesn't hurt?"
"You'll be fine."
"Ok."
"Try to relax now."
My leg was as rigid as possum in a meat locker. I did my best to relax, but my body rebelled. Just. Get. It. Over. With. And . . .
He daubed my toe with some gauze. "All done."
"What?"
"All done."
"But I didn't feel anything!"
"I must have done a good job then."
"I guess so."

We discussed my toe. It should have been feeling better with the pressure off, but I still couldn't bend it without pain. It needed X-Rays. As the blood drained from my nail, he left the room to fetch the X-Ray tech. I heard him telling some nurses about my "Jiminy Christmas" exclamation and laughing. "How cute!" someone said.

I felt like I was five AND a wuss. Thanks doc. Guess it's my own fault, but still, that's harsh.

The X-Ray tech came in shortly after and pointed me into the room with the machinery et al.

"In here?" I asked.
"Yes yes, please go in," he said.
"Alri-ight."
This is why I was skeptical.

I got my foot x-rayed in, what appears to be, the file cabinet. And no, that blue item isn't a fashionable silk cravat; it is, in fact, a lead-filled thyroid shield. He couldn't get my toe to lay down on the film so I sat up and hunched next to the machine to get my foot flat for the image. Always a pleasant feeling, covering up your sensitive bits with lead and leaning toward a machine that buzzes and clicks and spews invisible death rays. A real treat.

After that, we discovered that the bone is broken. The tip is chipped. No fractures, no severing, no surgery required. Just a clean chip which my body will eventually absorb. In the meantime, I have a sore toe, I'm on antibiotics and I won't be running or playing any softball any time soon.

Does this mean more time for blogging? I know that I hope so.


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Now playing: Wax Tailor - Am I Free
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Disturbing Trends

I've noticed a disturbing trend in the blog-o-sphere. Perhaps it's that Halloween is drawing nigh. Perhaps it's because the weather is changing and it's making people act squirrelly. Whatever the case may be, the bloggers are showing us "See Food."

Link This is Steve from thesneeze.com demonstrating to his faithful readers that he did indeed eat the tree brain! We were, of course, thrilled to hear that he would be eating the tree brain. After all, there have been rumors circulating about that it's edible. Experts writing in, mysterious strangers sneaking tastes from the brain and then the brain "happens" to disappear the next day - intrigue! The entire brain timeline is here. Well, he ate it, and to prove it, he posted the intimate, semi-gruesome pics of his stubbly, masticating maw. I have to admit, I was a bit put out by the photo above, but whatevs! It's all part of the schtick, right? Surely, I won't be subjected to this on a daily basis.

But then today, as I perused another favorite site, I stumbled upon this . . .
Roger Barr, the webmaster of i-mockery.com, presents his bestubbled pie hole to the world, candy tattoos emblazoned on his tastebuds. (The entire Halloween candy review can be found here.) Again gruesome.

What in the name of Google is going on here?! Unshaven Gen Y blog ninjas are snapping photos of their befooded tongues and posting them on the internet, that's what, and I'll be consarned if I let them start an internet trend without me.


Here I am demonstrating what happens after you enjoy a starlight mint for ten minutes. Aren't you thrilled at the close-up, intimate portrait of a twenty-something and his culinary adventures? Yeah, I thought so.


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Now playing: Carly Simon - You're So Vain
via FoxyTunes


Sunday, October 07, 2007


Mixed Messages

I really don't know what to make of this. The "Kids Funtown NAPA AutoCare Center" in Montrose, CA. Really, who thought this signage combo was a good idea?

The mind could stretch to the possibility of a NAPA AutoCare Center WITH a Kids Funtown attached - gotta keep the kids occupied whilst getting the struts restrutted, and there's only so many times Junior can leaf through "4x4 Aficionado" before he becomes mutinously bored. Send him to the NAPA Funtown Kids AutoCare Center Happytime Park and Bagel Bakery! There he can put together 70 of the pieces that still exist from the 500 piece jigsaw puzzle or move around the multicolored beads on the much-sneezed-upon activity center that rests in the middle of the room on the foam-rubber KidMats. Now that's a Funtown. In all honesty, though, I never understood those activity centers. I remember being very young and asking myself, "Now what am I supposed to do with this thing exactly? I don't want to follow the prescribed path for these beads." Ok, so I didn't use the word "prescribed" in my 2-year-old internal monologue, so sue me. Nevertheless, I had no interest in moving wooden shapes on a thick, crayola-colored wire - back and forth, back and forth - with no freedom of movement, and no payoff. Inevitably, I would be shifted from my tenuous attention to the activity c. by some largish, 3-yr-old devotee who was thrilled as a tick at the Westminster Dog Show to be sliding beads on a wire. No thanks.
One of those things resides in the waiting room of my "favorite" Pep Boys mechanic; I usually end up casting sidelong glances at it while I sit in the waiting room. I still don't get it. Why is it such a ubiquitous item in the most miserable of places? - doctor's offices, mechanics, & pathetic, paperback-strewn public libraries.


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Now playing: David Bowie - Starman
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13, 2007

And now for the coup de grace . . . the one video that has haunted me for over two decades before the universality of the internet granted me the ability to seek it out and destroy the power of its memory. Behold the awesome fright of . . .



The Bloodhound Gang and the Case of the Cackling Ghost! Oh my stars, this one stuck with me like no other television experience in the history of television experiences. Supposedly, I was deathly afraid of an "Open Pit BBQ" commercial in which a large man faces the screen and utters a deep, serious "Open. Pit." to the audience, but I was too young to maintain that memory. However, being the young nerd that I was (am?), I was (am?) a fan of the PBS kids' science series "3-2-1 Contact." People familiar with this show are also familiar with The Bloodhound Gang (not to be confused with the hard rock band of the same name), a group of kids who solve benign mysteries with the combined might of deductive reasoning and SCIENCE!
In this particular episode, the details of which were blocked from my mind until I revisited it, an elderly woman is the victim of the scare tactics of her ne'er-do-well nephew as he attempts to steal the supposedly-cursed Darjeeling Necklace that is in her possession. What are the scare tactics he used? On the surface, they are simply the recordings of cartoonish, maniacal laughter played through her radio and light shining upon moths in the woods (You say, "What's that now?" Just go with me on this). But in reality, it's a horror that tapped into some primeval fear center in many kids' brains. Note the comments associated with this video on youtube. The Cackling Ghost has a sobering effect on everyone, even the most idiotic of our society - the YouTube Commentor.

Here's part three for your enjoyment, in case you can't leave this unresolved.



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Now playing: DJ Vadim - Who Me - DJ Vadim, Demolition Man
via FoxyTunes

Friday, August 31, 2007

10-23-00

Alright . . . rain, big city, people, the Tokyo Hotel on State and Ohio. Tourists and stock brokers, umbrella-wielding data-entry thirty-somethings looking smug as they saunter down the street, dry in the rain, alternateens walking briskly in their Ragstock, Belmont best, city-dwelling trail devils apparently oblivious to their sopping wet Kelty packs, d.i.n.k.s with Old Navy bags, limos and leather jackets, couriers internally screaming "BANZAI" as they steam the streets with their blazing wheels.

There is a frozen drink beside me which gives me a headache when I drink it. It cost me $3.75. How often do we consider it a pleasure to pay for pain? The Gap just walked by, all tight sweater and nylon, urban-styled, navy attache case/bag/thingy, hair shaved and spiked like an ad campaign on legs.

The rain has stopped. Smiles are appearing - a large, black woman and a small Asian man are laughing together. They're behind me, ordering some form of caffeine. Who are the unique? The homeless. All dignity has been stripped and abused and drugged and frozen and cooked out of them . . . human beings whose outer shell is paradoxically both fragile and calloused. Hopeless and hardened. Fences made of communion wafers - how many people care?

I keep drinking my $3.75 Tiazzi.

How long has that fragile girl been in a wheelchair? She handles it well. I need paint. Guess I'd better get going before it starts to rain again.
Installment Three of Tyler's Tot Terrors:

When I first saw this movie, I teetered on the precipice of abject terror, barely daring to breathe lest each breath become a scream. I give you . . .



The Secret of Nimh. I know. It's rated G. I saw it during the Fall Party at Bethany Fellowship in Bloomington, MN. This was the same Fall Party in which I got my neck zipped into my Wrangler jean jacket by my Auntie Carrie. I think I was four.
The culmination of the evening, after all of the kids were nearing maximum sugar saturation, was the movie in the community dining room. They set up a screen and a projector in the corner of the room. I was so excited to watch a cartoon that would last longer than a Bugs Bunny short - I imagined how much fun it would be - but then the movie began. Eerie, creepy . . . a gnarled hand, claws clutching a quill, moves slowly toward an inkwell - an inkwell that produces sparkling gold ink! A breathy, ethereal voice narrates as, not beautiful gold ink, but mysterious ink drifts from the well. Ink is black or blue. Not swirling and golden. And it CERTAINLY doesn't make the page you are writing on flash like fire! What kind of movie is this?!
The mysterious clawed hand then produces a strange medallion with a red gem in the middle. How odd.
That's when the title comes up. "The Secret of Nimh."

In this movie, there are many vicious and frightening characters, and all of them seem bent on some sort of mad destruction of something. Even the good guys are scary. Especially that Owl. If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean. Downright diabolical. I have sense memory of clenching my jaw shut in a grimace and averting my eyes to find something . . . anything! . . in the dark on which to devote my attention. Good luck when the only light source is the very thing that I'm trying NOT to look at.

Not too long after I was traumatized by that movie, I discovered my own little secret. In my mom's jewelry box, I found a gold medallion with a red gem in the middle. To my young eyes, that was the very same necklace as the one in the movie. I used to sneak into my parent's bedroom and pull the necklace out to look at it. It would give me a terrific thrill, and I would place it back into its spot, my heart fluttering wildly. As I grew older and the memory of the movie faded, I stopped looking at the necklace. It no longer made sense. The second I realized that it wasn't from the movie, it became uninteresting, even a little bit embarrassing, to think that the jewelry box held any secrets at all. It was just jewelry, not magic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Part 2 of the Films/Videos that scared the snot out of me as a kid.

It's tough to decide which one to share next. Having found so many of my childhood nightmare videos online, I just want to post them all. Patience . . . patience . . . So here's the next installment:



Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster. I remember hiding behind the black vinyl rolling chair in my dad's den while my siblings watched this during some sort of Saturday matinee. Occasionally, I'd need to dart into the living room to escape, but I'd keep coming back. I wanted to be cool like my brother and sister, but I was acting about as uncool as could be . . . and for good reason. Conflicting emotions!
Listen to the sound that the smog monster makes - a psychedelic wheeze with some sound engineer in Kyoto manhandling the phase knob. Absolutely frightening. And look at that! All it has to do is fly over the people and they drop down, polluted and dead. No warning. No fighting back. Very scary to a three year old.
Even the way that thing moves; its lurching, slouchy gliding was not ok with me. Nothing should move like that.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm on a mission. An exorcising mission. I'm searching online for all of the videos that used to scare me as a little boy. Someone's bound to have posted a few of them, at least. Here's a good start:


The part that would get me in this cartoon was when the skeletons' skulls remain stationary while their bodies do a weird, gravity-defying, synchronized sweeping motion on the ground. This freaked. me. out. It just seemed wrong. Not only are dancing skeletons scary, but the fact that they are not bound by the same laws of physics that we are gave them a femur up on us young fleshy types.

When I first saw this, I was at the Decathlon Athletic Club during a brunch of some sort. There was a kiddie room/holding pen with a TV. This was on it. I remember bolting from the room when those skeletons started waving around. I would have none of that.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here's an interesting online calculator. It determines how much you would need to consume of your favorite caffeinated beverage for it to kill you.

Apparently, I am 1/50th of the way to kicking the bucket. Why, it would only take 98.31 more cups - mere gallons - to cause my demise!
Of course, it only takes a few pints of sea water to drown, but that's not the point. I don't willingly ingest sea water on a daily basis. I guess if I ate 12 whole turkeys, that'd probably kill me too. So you there, with your seventieth cup of espresso - you've got one foot in the grave already. Put it down!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I know that this is a couple days after the fact, but I wanted to share this with y'all. Our nation recently celebrated National Night Out. I'll let the website explain what it is. The purpose of the day is tertiary to my reason for this blog.

On the left, you may behold the Night Out Knight! After all, what would a national community building/edumacational program be without a mascot, eh? The following, then, is my ode to the Night Out Knight.










"Knight Out"

Lights out!
When the Night Out Knight's out.
Why pout?
Tout the Night Out lout
When you're out
At night.

He's the Night's Knight.
A nice Knight.
Give a shout out loud
For the Night Out Lout
Whose clout's about right
For a Knight out now.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bridges

Today's one of those days where I can't get a particular event out of my head, and I don't think I'm alone in this. Even though I'm halfway across the country, I feel a certain resonance with yesterday's bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Maybe it's because I still have many friends there and I was concerned about their safety.
Maybe it's because it's where I grew up; a great tragedy like this usually strikes a blow at happy memories of innocent days, driving home the fact that we live in a world that is constantly changing (read: decaying and in need of repair) - a vessel that is unable to hold the soup of our nostalgia due to the incessantly developing cracks.
Maybe it's because I've been driving across legendary bridges today - The Bay Bridge (which has recently suffered a collapse of its own), The Golden Gate - and one cannot help but think of plunging down into the water . . . not in a nervous, "it could happen to me" sort of way, but to look out at the water and for a moment understand how truly terrifying it must have felt to have the world simply drop out from underneath the tires of the 50 or so cars that fell along with the I-35W bridge.
I'm not sure I would have enough time to comprehend what had happened. That's probably a good thing - there's no time to be upset. One survivor said that one second he was driving along as usual and seconds later he was staring at the ground forty feet below through his windshield. His one thought was, "I'm going to die" but would you know why? Would you have time to think, "Well, I guess the bridge collapsed. What are the chances?"

There's an excellent vlog of the aftermath here. It does well at capturing the atmosphere surrounding the event - incredulity, morbid curiosity, and relief. Keep your eyes peeled for the little boy who glances off of the bridge at the Mississippi below. You know exactly what he's thinking, what we're all thinking.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007



Heidi's never been this close to such a high concentration of nerds in her entire life . . . and it shows.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guess where I've been?



That's right. I've been at one of the world's only Kwik-E-Marts. Now, I'm not a die-hard fan of the Simpsons, though there are few things that have made me laugh harder than the 4th Annual Halloween Special of theirs. I saw it in college with a group of my dorm mates. We howled.

But that's not the point. You will never see a 7-Eleven store with a line that goes out the door and around the corner unless you visit one of the few Kwik-E-Marts in existence. They give you things to look at, though, while you're standing in line for what is, apparently, an IN-convenience store. Like-a so . . .



Wow! Real graffitti! You NEVER see THAT in Los Angeles!

After a whirlwind tour inside, I decided to get a "movie" donut and a Blue Vanilla Squishee (at the promptings of Roger Barr at i-mockery.com). The donut was quite good, and yes, I shared it with Heidi.



Buy why do you look so furious, Tyler? I'll tell you why. Because all of that sugar ramped my heartbeat up to that of a shrew . . . felt like I was vibrating. Sadly, I had to dump the rest of my delicious squishee into the garbage disposal lest I rattle the enamel off of my teeth.
Still, it was a fun visit. The 7-Eleven guys were hamming it up - saying "Thank you! Come again." to everyone as they left. People were in good spirits, taking photos. Who knew 7-Eleven could bring such joy to the world? I thought that was McDonald'ses job.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I had a lot of fun with this today. It's too bad I can't save my mix - clicking instruments on and off - to share with you all, but it should entertain you for about five minutes.

Chick chick boom chick-achicka boom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Imagine how echo-ey it is in here. For scale, dig those doorways on the bottom right and bottom left of the photo.

Now imagine letting loose with a giant sneeze right in the middle of the room. I already thought sneezes were enjoyable, but I've never experienced one in as massive an echo chamber as this. I think my sneeze lasted about 23 seconds by the time it disappeared into the nether realms of the building where only ghosties and stray echos are kept.
This is Union Station in Kansas City and boy is it huge. I mean HUGE! Imagine if airport terminals looked like this. Why, it would almost make waiting for your overdue flight a joy. I dare say that it would . . . if you could sneeze every once in a while.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shelf-Stable Milk: A Follow-Up

This morning, I decided to have some cold cereal. Dumped a pile of wheat pockets (Safeway's brand of Wheat Chex) into a bowl and then opened the fridge for some milk. What th'!?! No milk? Fine, I'll have some of Heidi's soy milk then. Hmmm. Lot's of boxes resembling soy milk (broth, soup), but none of them would go well with Wheat Pockets and honey. To the pantry! She must have an extra one stashed on a shelf (stably). Nope nope and nope. Does this mean that I have no milk for my cereal? Yes indeedy.

Sure wish I had that milk from yesterday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Had a humorous moment at The Knitting Factory tonight. Eric's brother Ryan had a gig at 8:15p, and the band before them seemed . . . well . . . inexperienced; as if the freshman class Chess Club decided to form a band, learned a few chords and emoted furtively on a stage. They were about to start a song - the drummer just started clicking his drum sticks together in a manner suggesting Grandma's muffled metronome and was on his third click of four - when some jams-wearing music lover up at the front of the stage popped open a beer. The sound drowned out the last click from the drummer so the song began without the band member standing nearest the beer can, the bass player. It took him a few bewildered bars to catch up. Eric and I howled in the back of the room; the timing couldn't have been better or worse (depending on who you ask).
NEW FRONTIERS IN DIETARY EXPLORATION!!

It's lunchtime here at wordinedgewise, and Heidi's just made me a delicious meal of curried chicken with cranberries and almonds, whole wheat naan bread, and spinach. So I thought, "What better to wash down that tasty treat than Shelf Stable Milk?"

Mmm mmm! Nothing like Ultra High Temperature (UHT) processed milk in a juice box to really bring out the subtle nuances of the curry. Supposedly, no preservatives have been added to make this milk shelf stable, and the nutritional information seems to validate this claim. The best-if-used-by date is Feb. 2008. That's a ways away - that seems impossible knowing what I know of milk going bad and all (and I know a LOT, let me tell ya). But why do I have this in the first place, you ask? Well, the answer may not be as simple as you think, assuming you think that I bought it at the grocery store. Because I didn't. I got it from the United States government by way of their military. But why are you getting food handouts from the military, you ask? It's because of a claim I made to a certain Lieutenant at Ft. Irwin; I said that In-N-Out Burger, besides having delicious fries, has the best milk in the world. Yes, you heard me: The Best Milk. He found this claim to be outrageous and demanded to be taken to In-N-Out in order to try their world-class milk. Plus, since he'd never been there, he took the opportunity to get a Double-double animal style and some fries. And he got a milk. After sampling the milk, he looked non-plussed.

"Eh eh?! What do you think?" I asked eagerly.
"Meh," he said. "Tastes like milk."
"oh nononono, but they keep it on ice so it's as cold as can be. It doesn't taste different to you?"
"Not really," he replied. "You know what milk I like?" (you can see where this is going)
"What," I said, disappointed.
"Have you ever heard of shelf-stable milk?"
"Huh?"

Between mouthfuls of french fries, he went on to explain to me that the military provides a variety of new and interesting preserved items for the dogfaces to field test. He asked me if I wanted a few MREs when we parted ways the next day and I said sure. For good measure, he tossed in a carton of milk.

"Give it a try and tell me what you think," he said. This was a month ago.

So now I'm trying it. The verdict?
It tastes like individually wrapped Kraft Singles in liquid form. Very processed cheesy. Milk should not taste processed cheesy. It should taste like the milk from In-N-Out. Well, let's see what they suggest I do with their cheesy milk besides drink it. On the side of the carton, the Gossner family suggests that one can use this milk for:

Breakfast
Hiking
Camping
School Lunch
Travel
Food Storage

My vote goes to the last option. I hope it gets stored indefinitely.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Accident Prone

Here's a rundown of a few of my clumsier moments from this last week:

1. The Grand Slam that Wasn't

At softball on Tuesday, I had a monster hit that sailed deep into center field with two outs and the bases loaded. The outfielders were still running after it as I rounded second, but this is the moment when I, normally sure-footed, chose to stagger. I nearly ended up on my face in the dirt, but I managed to keep my feet with some large, ungainly, thudding steps. This didn't help my top speed though, and I ended up having to stop at third; if I'd kept my feet, I could have made it home. That moment played over and over again in my head that night - I have no recollection of catching my toe on second base or anything. It's like my internal gyroscope chose that particular instance to reset, because I have no explanation for my loss of balance.

2. The Burning Calf

I broiled some Chili Lime Chicken burgers on Thursday. They're some of my favorite things from Trader Joe's. I eat 'em with Ortega chilis, fresh tomato, avocado, and spinach all on a sweet, whole wheat bun. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Well, I just finished broiling my second two (Heidi and Rachel came home from a shoot and ate the first two, the dirty thieves) and I was breaking down the little box that the burgers come in to toss it into our recycling bin when I nearly fell down. What the . . .?!! But that's when I felt it. My leg was touching the oven, and I didn't even know it until my spinal cord decided to launch me across the kitchen to escape the burning on my calf. I stared, puzzled, at the oven because I had NO idea that it got that hot on the outside. "Maybe my leg's just sensitive," I thought, and I reached over to touch the side of the oven. "OUCH!!" I burnt my fingers, too.

3. A Race for Tempura

Last night, I decided to bake some tempura vegetables for dinner. I preheated the oven - the nasty, cruel oven - placed my tempura inside, then went to the living room to check my email until they finished cooking. At the appointed time, I jumped up and zipped toward the kitchen; my habit is to do a series of juke moves that gets me through my small, Z-shaped hallway in the quickest way possible. However, Heidi and I just bought a new armoire so the contents of the old armoire are strewn about in piles all over the place. Our TV is sitting on its rolly pedestal in the tail of the Z; it's big enough to take up most of the hallway and this threw off my juke. I slid past, and rather than having to bounce off of my left foot, I had more of a straight shot to the kitchen than usual. HOWEVER, I completely forgot about the sharp edged speaker stands that were sitting to the side in the hallway and I barreled right into them. I crashed into a painful heap cursing my stupidity for putting them there. When I staggered to my feet, I discovered that I was bleeding in many places. My right hip had a small gash in it, but my right forearm came out the worst - I have about five inches of missing skin near my wrist and several cuts from landing on the edge of the speaker stand and bouncing a couple of times. I bit it HARD!
Despite all of this, I didn't forget about my tempura. Lifting my bleeding arm above my head, I dashed into the kitchen, grabbed my food from the oven - the despicable oven - tossed it on a trivet, then bolted into the shower. Yowch! Serious stinging action. Moments later, I found my first aid kit in the closet and dressed my injuries. The tape's gonna hurt like the dickens when I remove it today to redress.

4. Lapping Milk

And now for the straw that broke this clumsy, bumbling camel's back. I usually breakfast at my computer since there a few blog sites I like to visit first thing in the morning - sort of the modern equivalent of reading the paper at the breakfast table. This morning's breakfast option was cold cereal - the Safeway version of wheat chex. As I lifted the bowl to drink the leftover milk, my spoon slipped and I made a spastic move to keep it from falling out of the bowl. This produced an effect in the milk not unlike a wave pool; the milk sloshed backwards, gathering itself for the rush forward. I watched it all in slow motion, helpless to keep it inside the bowl; the wave came forward, crested and broke over the lip of the bowl, splashing down onto my crotch with a wet slap. "Aww MAN! What's my deal?!" I yelled.

And then I wrote this (after I mopped up the milk, of course). Seriously, it's as if I'm making up for lost time with the amount of pratfalls I've condensed into one week.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The only thing that could make the tube slide at Hyland Park worse

http://www.digital-karma.org/files/images/CheeseSlide.img_assist_custom.jpg



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Mmm. Coffee. My first cup of the work week, and it's in my hand right now. Well, not right this red hot second. In between sentences, I'm sipping on it. Literalist! See, I've had this massive head cold all week long and the last thing I want during a bout with the lurgie is coffee. Not that I don't crave it on a visceral level while I'm sick - the massive, burning headaches don't help matters - but the last thing I need is for my nose to be running and my body to be exhausted while I'm struggling to suppress the desire to jump up and bolt out the door. So I drink tea, many cups back to back. Chain sipping. I've got one of those boxes of Irish Breakfast from Trader Joe's that has something like 100 bags in it - I put a serious dent in it this week. Why is tea ok during a cold? Everyone says it's supposed to be stronger than coffee; I even leave the tea bag in the water long after it's fully brewed which makes the water somewhat bitter like coffee . . . kinda like a tipsy frat boy's impersonation of Arnold Schwartzenegger. It gets laughs and all if everyone's sufficiently sauced themselves, but no one laughs when Arnie's actually in the room. Yeah, just like that. ':-/ I don't seem to have any limit to the amount of tea I can drink. After a cup and a half of coffee, though, I'm done until the afternoon. Being a reheater, I brew one large pot in the morning and then nuke it whenever the afternoon doldrums ooze in.

This morning, my alarm went off at 6:50 and I still had a sore throat. I thought, "When is this going to end?" Sometimes these things can hang on and on and on for a week or more, so I decided to get a couple more hours worth of the snoozin under my belt to see if I couldn't kick the last few straggling germs outta my system. I awoke at around 9, got some water . . . and felt pretty good actually! Then came the lactic acid test - cold cereal and milk. Verdict? No excess phlegmage due to dairy ingestion. That's a hopeful sign. Ok ok ok, let's try coffee! Quick quick. I picked up the can of beans and had a brief surge of panic - almost empty! How could I have let myself get to this point! Oh yes, the cold. How quickly one forgets. But who cares! Grind, brew a few measly cups instead of the usual 8, and drink. Ah. Mmmhmm. Fabulous.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I want one of these. Yesterday. He changes his dance every few bars. Kinda like having your own private Muppet.




I guarantee you, if I had this guy, I'd play "Mah Na Mah Na" on a weekly basis.


Manamana (aka Phenomenon) (Full Version).mp3

Monday, April 30, 2007

Check this comic out.


If you'd like, you can see it better at

http://xkcd.com/c255.html

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been my life experience. Preconceived ideas of bigness met and exceeded? Yes (The Grand Canyon, the Sequoias, etc.). Memories of forests and hills and slides retaining their epic proportions for my adult eyes? Negatory. Well, maybe the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, MN. That's a huge playground.


This is a photo of one corner of the park. They didn't have those crayola colored cupolas when I used to play there, but take note of the massive steel slide. That's a tamed-down version of the slide that was installed in the original playground. That thing was a beast! Kids would fire out the end of the slide like bullets from a long-barrel rifle, usually with the same amount of accuracy and spin, too; woe to the child who got up too slowly from unconciousness because there would usually be another kid, oftentimes thirty pounds heavier than you, who was hurtling down the tube like a meteor mere seconds after your ride. Not only did the slide feel like it was a mile high, but during the summer, it would get as hot as an exhaust pipe. I'd hop in there with my shorts on and my sweaty little hair-free legs would adhere to the surface like raw bacon. And then you'd feel like you were trapped - trapped! inside a sizzling hot death tube where one false move would send you careening to your doom, but to slow down meant a roasting, oven-like demise.
Most of the time, the park system would keep the entrance to the slide chained shut. They must have wondered how on earth they could have been convinced that a 50 yard, mirror-polished, steel tube slide was a good idea. Kids would crawl along the top and sides of the slide like ants after the colony's hill collapses - searching . . . searching. Hoping there was a chink in the armor that we could squeeze through.

Last time I visited that park (I think I was in college), they had removed it entirely and installed the less steep version you see in the picture. The beast has been declawed and domesticated. Oh to ride the original again!


Friday, April 13, 2007

Yet another video for your perusal. Fun with perspective!



Friday, March 30, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Saturn's got some strange weather.

A bizarre six-sided feature encircling the north pole of Saturn is pictured by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in this image released by NASA March 27, 2007. This image is one of the first clear images ever taken of the north polar region as seen from a unique polar perspective and was originally discovered and last observed by a spacecraft during NASA's Voyager flybys of the early 1980's. The new views of the polar hexagon taken in late 2006 prove that this is an unusually long-lived feature on Saturn. This image is the first to capture the entire feature and was taken October 29, 2006.  REUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Handout.  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO SALES.



How strange is this? 

There's a hexagonal storm swirling around on Saturn.  I don't even know how this is possible, and the article I read didn't have any physics to explain it.



Of course, then there's this on the other side:







As the article says, this is "freak, one-eyed monster storm" that's raging on the opposite pole from the hexagonal storm.



Truly, this is a bizarre planet.











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Friday, March 23, 2007

My wife is a good person. She lets me talk her into doing things like this:

I thought it'd be a funny picture to have her straddling the miniature tracks like a giantess. You can tell by the tilt of her head that she's nonplussed. Here's the photo:
See? Funny, right? Imagine being a train and you saw her standing there and . . . aww, never mind.


Once again, I am given scintillating, soul-stirring advice by my choice of underarm deodorant. If that ain't inspirational, I don't know what is. It's especially gratifying to wipe that slogan in my pits. I mean, if that hadn't been carved into the stick, I might've forgotten to "lead the way" today - and that's unacceptable.
In all seriousness, having slogans on my deodorant has the reverse effect than what I expect was intended. Products that are pushy like this make me mulish; I'd just as soon do the opposite than know that I was following the advice of my smell-good. In this case, I wound up becoming opinionless and wishy-washy for the day. Hopefully, I'll never get one that says "Make Money" or "Take a Deep Breath."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Yes. I may be a bit behind the times, but I do so enjoy Twitter.





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This site is fabulous. It's a flickr photostream with shots of someone's little boy playing his Gameboy at various historical sites in Europe and around the Mediterranean.

Game Boy at Stonehenge

I remember doing something similar when I was his age (or at least his size . . . como se dice "late bloomer" en espanol?), except it was a novel, not a video game device. As my family traveled around Europe the summer following my 7th grade year, I found myself engrossed in "Team Yankee" by Harold Coyle.

Team Yankee: A Novel of World War III

From the Amazon page for the book:
Harold Coyle's Team Yankee: A Novel of World
War III (Presidio Press, 1987) was published a year after Red Storm
Rising's triumphant debut in hardcover, and although it is thematically
similar (Soviet forces invade West Germany after a series of crises
escalate into an all out conventional war), Coyle's approach is very
different from Clancy's. Instead of creating his own possible scenario
for a NATO vs. Warsaw Pact confrontation, he asked for, and received,
permission from British author (and retired General) Sir John Hackett
to set Team Yankee within the scenario created in Hackett's two
"speculative fiction" books The Third World War: August 1985 and The Third World War: The Untold Story.
Team Yankee takes place within a two-week period in an August in
the late 1980s. Since late July, a series of crises precipitated by the
Iran-Iraq war has morphed into a clash between U.S. and Soviet naval
forces in the Persian Gulf region. By August 1, word comes that NATO is
mobilizing and ordering their armed forces, including Bannon and Team
Yankee, to their wartime positions. Soon, the Soviets and their Warsaw
Pact "allies" cross the Inner German Border in force. Team Yankee and
the rest of NATO's forces in West Germany must then fight the invaders
and stop them before the Red Army reaches the Rhine River. After that,
assuming the Soviet attack bogs down, the mission will change from
merely defending territory to taking offensive operations and pushing
the invaders back. The question Coyle poses is, can American soldiers,
using their weapons and tactics against superior numbers of Soviet and
Warsaw Pact soldiers, defeat Russian weapons and tactics?

Readers familiar with Hackett's macrocosmic World War III will know
the big picture, but first-time readers will be turning the pages to
see who wins, who loses, who dies...and who survives in this
outstanding first novel by a true master of the military fiction genre.


The only flaw, and this is not Coyle's fault, is that reality -- in
the shape of the fall of communism and the end of the Cold War -- has
made the novel's setting extremely outdated. Some of the then-modern
weapons, such as the M1 main battle tank, have been since updated to
M1-A2 standard, older weapons have been retired, and obviously there's
no more Warsaw Pact.

All in all, it's an entertaining read.


I felt justified in reading it, though, since the setting for the book happened to be Germany. As we sped down the Autobahn, I'd occasionally glance out the window to take a look at the land. This made the book all the more immediate to me (so that's what the Black Forest looks like! Whuddya know?), and I finished it in record time. The book, in turn, spawned a phenomenon in my entertainment for the next couple of years. The diagrams in "Team Yankee" were very appealing to my young mind with their grids and topographical lines and symbols representing armored units; I decided to create a game with my pal Kyle Dahlen that utilized those same markings.

The game required:
  • Grid-lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Lots of erasers
  • A ruler
  • Honesty
Essentially, it was "playing war" as young boys do with the whole "I shot you first. Nuh-uh! I shot YOU first", except it was on paper, which is what young nerds do. There would be agreements made ahead of time regarding the range of artillery (six grid spaces), the speed of vehicles (2 grid spaces for humvees per turn, 1 for trucks and tanks, etc.), the damage caused by said vehicles (a humvee, unless it was equipped with anti-armor missles, was unable to take out a tank), and the inability for your units to "see" around hills even though you, as the player, could see the massive armored unit lurking on the other side of a large hill plain as day. Discovering hidden enemy elements required scouts and helicopters which couldn't be intentionally sent to the other side of the hill; the movement had to have the appearance of routine and unintentionality, and we would call each other on moves that looked too suspicious.

All of these unspoken rules made the game a tad on the subjective side and not unlike Calvinball in some respects . . .

The image “http://www.progressiveboink.com/Miscellaneous/calvinball.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

. . . which is why we quit playing the game around the time one outgrows playing "war." We turned our attention, instead, to other, more age-appropriate pastimes.

http://www.icewebring.com/ICE_Products/M1/images/MERP8000-MERP.jpg

What?! You thought we'd play something that wasn't on paper? Hardly.





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Monday, March 12, 2007

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago that affected me a bit more than I expected so I might as well write about it. See if I can't get it out of my system.

I dreamt that I had an opportunity to visit Angel Falls.

Now who wouldn't want to visit the tallest falls in the world? Especially if you're of the same mindset as me; I want to see the biggest, baddest, edgemost, best places and things and Angel Falls fits into that category. So, with that in mind, you might possibly understand my excitement at the prospect.
My dream fast-forwarded to my arrival at the falls. I hopped out of my vehicle and raced toward the walkway that would lead me to the great wonder. As the walkway led around the corner of a cliff, I realized that I wasn't actually looking at a natural cliff-face. Rather, it looked more like a dam. In fact it was! It was a big ol' cement wall . . . with a thin, pathetic rivulet dribbling down its face. "Odd," I thought and then I saw a sign in front of me. The sign looked like any of a number of National Park informational signs and it read "Angel Falls." Disappointment descended upon me like the world's largest sponge after it had filled itself with the world's largest falls but I tried to make the most of it.

"It's so bee-yoo-tiful," I said to my companions, and I clasped my hands together and held them to my chest.
"Isn't it though?" they replied. "Truly a wonder."
"Oh yes," I said through my teeth. "It truly is."

They cast some sideways glances at me because they knew I was being insincere. I'd had my fill of "Angel Falls."

"Let's see what else is around," I prodded.
"But we came all this way," they complained. "Don't you want to spend some time with the falls?"
"I've spent plenty of time. It's manmade!" I shrieked. "I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS MANMADE!!" I ran back to the parking lot, sobbing.

I woke up in a sweat; this is not your typical nightmare what with its lack of werewolves and public nudity, so I felt a bit confused at how rattled I was. Since then, I've given it a lot of thought and I'm pretty sure that I know its meaning, but if any of you want to give it a go, feel free. I don't remember my dreams much anymore.

Oh, and by the way, the other night I woke Heidi up by talking in my sleep. I said, "That's why they call it the weasel dance!" followed by deep, jolly belly laughs. Heidi then proceeded to wake me up because she was laughing so hard.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

As a kid, I used to watch nature documentaries like empty-nesters watch soaps. Cheetahs chasing down gazelles in super-slo-mo, old men wrestling anacondas in the Amazon, bighorn sheep butting heads, great white sharks devouring huge chunks o' meat - their eyes rolling back into their cartilaginous noggins with bestial ecstasy: All of this served to instill a need to see the animals at their most active. Zoos were disappointing - the animals just sat around or slept most of the day - so I spent much of my time in the woods, hoping to catch a glimpse of nature going about the business of survival. I did get to see many things in the forests of Minnesota, but we don't have any of the romantic animals other than wolves and no one ever sees those unless they live way up North. You know, the lions and killer whales and spitting cobras and gorillas - all those unique and exceptionally dangerous animals with a flair for the dramatic.

Well, my dreams came true this last week. Luckily, I had a camera with me. When you see this, if you were a true fan of nature docs, you'll know exactly what was going through my mind as I recorded the event. Why, I've even included the appropriate music (to add to the effect). I give you . . .

"The Elephant Seals of Piedras Blancas"!



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I received a link to this from my brother; it's for the BBC2 show "Top Gear," and this has got to be their most ambitious project to date. I don't know who gives them the money to do this stuff, but it makes for great TV so go make some popcorn and enjoy.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Visted Gus's BBQ last Friday with some pals:

Great exterior signage!

But it's not exactly the manliest of BBQ joints when you first walk in.


Gus's BBQ lives on Fair Oaks Ave. in South Pasadena, CA. If you're ever interested in visiting a place that isn't a scene in the Los Angeles area, go to Gus's. Between the pink neon, the porcelain pigs heads that adorn the wall above the kitchen, and the horse-racing-themed etchings on the mirrors behind the bar, one can slip in and out unnoticed and unjudged for one's lack of coolness. Pink neon tends to level the playing field, giving everyone who steps into the restaurant a wash of "unconcerned with fashion."
Gus's seems to be a bbq joint/diner/bar/pool hall that exists outside of any particular time period unless that time period is called "Reno" or "Truck Stop on I-80."

. . . which is why their logo seems so out of place.
(actual napkin swiped from bar)


What a fantastic typeface! You can practically hear the bbq-ready animals bleat as they're hooked by that massive, shepherd's crook of a "G." But why such an amazing, antique typeface when the rest of the place seems so . . . well . . . tacky?

According to their website, Gus's was originally established in 1946 by three Greek brothers. However, many of their ads say "Since 1929." So which one is it, fellas?


I'm inclined to believe the 1929 claim (considering the typeface), and after a bit of googling around, the jury's still out.

So, all this talk about a bbq joint and no mention of the bbq food? There's a reason for that.

"The Food is Horrible"

and yet it fits perfectly with the decor. So if you're ever catching a midnight showing of "Superman 2" or "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Rialto, be sure to stop by Gus's for a quick dip into the Stardust culture. At least it's cheap.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I spent a good twenty minutes guffawing at webpage called ROFLCATS! and lemme tell ya, Heidi was debating whether I'd completely lost it when I showed her some examples.

Whereupon she immediately became a fan. Many of the captions on the photos look like the same type of stuff one might find on Cute Overload minus the commentary. I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. Give me furry fuzzballs in peculiar situations and I'm good to go for a while.

A-like so.
Re: My post on the 8th of January "The Wind"

I now know why the Whole Foods folks ask you if you want your stuff "For here or to go." Because they have an eating area, if you ask for it "for here" you will be charged tax. If you get it "to go," there's no tax. I knew that worked with coffee shops but grocery stores introduce a whole new paradigm; the phenomenon didn't register with me while I was at the . . . um . . . register.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I love this! Fantastic stop-motion mayhem and good music, too. Props, kudos, and thumbs up to this pair of creative numbskulls. Let it load all the way and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If I ever participated in the rat race, today was that day.

I had to do a deadline run to downtown LA from my office in beautiful "Historic Philippino Town." My boss waited until the last minute to send me out with a DHL package. First of all, DHL is the toothless, lazy-eyed, red-headed stepchild of FedEx and is therefore impossible to deal with. Their website is unacceptably slow and when this is coupled with an unacceptably slow connection at an ancient studio, the results are as you would expect - unacceptable. After much hair-pulling and tooth-grinding (I stopped short of "rending of garments" since I still have to maintain an iota of decency in the office), I got the airbill to print . . . with forty minutes to spare before the drop closed.

"Forty minutes," you say, "Why that seems like plenty of time to complete your errand." Sure it is, if you're trying to do anything other than worm your way into downtown LA at 5pm.
Hopped in the Jeep . . . great. Just great. My fuel gauge was on "E." Oh well, no time to stop. Better hope I've got enough to get there. My directions were simple enough.
  1. L on Beverly
  2. R on Rampart
  3. L on 3rd
  4. 3rd becomes 4th
  5. L on Grand
Moves one through four worked as planned, but once I got to the left on Grand, what I didn't know was that Grand is a split-level street. Which level, oh mighty google maps?!

But the paper lay in silent mockery of me. Very well, I'll have to figure it out. I didn't make the left on lower Grand, mostly because I missed it, so I jammed around the city block and onto Upper Grand. Great! I should be able to find 323 S. Grand from here. There's 350, there's 333, and there's . . . wait, 221!?! Where'd 3-2-3 go? At this point, the time was 5:10pm. Ok, look for parking; absolutely no parking from 7am to 10pm Monday and Tuesday. Super. No ramps either. They must be on lower Grand. So 'round a city block I went, past the Walt Disney Concert Hall, past some large courthouses, and into lower Grand.
(It was at this point that I started taking pictures because I realized it was starting to get silly)


Find parking. Monthly . . . monthly . . . loading dock . . . aha! $3.50 every 12 minutes?! Highway robbery!


Or, low way robbery as the case might be, but I had no choice. I went in, parked my car, and hopped into the elevator. This was in 333 S. Grand. When I arrived in the lobby, several security guards attempted to tell me where 323 S. Grand was located, but none of them were able to do so. None of them knew where the DHL drop was either. Being clueless and helpless, they had no recourse but to grant me access to the exterior of the building (does that seem backwards?) so I could look for 323. I ran North. 221. South? 350. Ok, across the street then . . . and on the phone with DHL. Luckily, I know their 800 number by heart and called it. After pressing zero a dozen times, I finally got a live person on the phone.
"Hi there, where's your dropbox at this location?" I asked (I'm paraphrasing).
"It's in the lower LDL mailroom, plaza level." she replied (again paraphrasing - she had difficulty separating the difference between my account address and the address I was currently at).
"What does LDL stand for?" I queried, the time being 5:24.
"I don't know," she said. "That's all the information I have."
"Ok, thanks," I said as I made my way toward some elevators.
"You're welcome, and thank you for calling DHL."
"Yes, and thanks for your effort," I snarked as my RAZR clicked shut. Obviously, the only help I was going to get from my phone was photo documentation.
I got on the elevators and headed back down to what I hoped was Lower grand; instead, it was just a parking garage. Ok, so maybe I should run around the parking garage like an idiot. Good idea. That's what I did, following exit signs as I went. Eventually, it put me out on lower Grand. And what should I see before me but a DHL van! Sweet!! I ran over to him.
"I'm so glad to see you. You have no idea."
He looked at me warily.
"Is there a drop box with a 5:30 pick up around here somewhere?"
"Yup."
"Can you tell me where it is?"
"In there."

"Ok, thanks!" I blurted cheerily as I ran into the loading dock. I was greeted by yet another security guard.
"Where can I find the DHL box?"
"Ummm," he hummed, "ask the elevator operator - in there."
"Ok, thanks!" I said as I hopped over the loading barrier and into the hallway.

Not a soul to be seen anywhere. I hit the elevator button. No change in the digital floor number posted next to the door. I mashed it again. Nothing. I waited a few seconds more and then blasted back out to the street - straight for the DHL guy in his van.

"Can you take this?!"
He put his hands up. "No way, man. If I do, I'll get in trouble."
"Really?" I asked, incredulous. "Where'd you say that drop box is again?"
"In there."
"Yeah, but where 'in there'? No one seems to know."
"P level."
"P level?"
"Yeah, P level, plaza level." He was getting irritated with me.
"Great. Thanks!" I sprinted back into the loading dock and leapt into the hallway. The elevator was higher up in the building. I started looking for stairs. According to the emergency evacuation diagram, there were some stairs around behind the elevators. So through the door I went, and then down a flight

to a second stairwell. In I went and up several flights to the P level.
"Please be unlocked," I prayed as I tested the handle. It came open.
But now where was I??!
Oh great. This is really helpful. It looks like a sanitarium which, in a way, was appropriate considering my state of sanity at that point. Time to use the "run around and hope" trick I used in the parking garage.

Not this way.
After a few more random lefts and rights, I spied the grail.

And with no time to spare. Luckily, the pick-up hadn't happened yet so I dropped the package.

"Now how the sam hill do I get out of here?" When I finally made my way back to the loading dock, the Uber-helpful DHL guy was pulling in. Apparantly, this was his pick-up. Thanks, fella.
Once I found my Jeep again (that's a story in and of itself) I only had one other problem to contend with.

And in rush hour, no less. man!



Monday, January 08, 2007

The Wind, pt. 2

From my previous post, you knew that it was going to be very windy in Los Angeles, but did you know that it was windy enough for us to travel through time?! No? What if I have proof of said time-travel? Would you believe me then? No? Well, it's just as I suspected, but know, oh ye
skeptic, that on Saturday we traveled to those groovy 60s.

How do I know this? What was stuck in the aloe outside my front door? Behold!


Ok, it's a little difficult to read at this size, but if you get out your magnifying glass, you can see that the date of this NBC invoice is 11/30/65 with an "Ok to Pay" of Jan. 4, 1966 (the birth year of regular commentor "older brother") Can you believe it? And it's like, in perfect condition and stuff. That must mean I traveled in time. How else would a windblown invoice from the sixties end up at my doorstep? How else!?!

I'm willing to entertain other ideas.

The name of the invoicee is "Goodson Todman" of 375 Park Ave., NY, NY. A bit (and I do mean a "bit," as in "wee") of research into this reveals that Goodson Todman is a rather influential production company.

From wiki . . .
Born in Sacramento, California, Goodson and long-time partner Bill Todman produced some of the longest-running game shows in television history. The long list of Goodson-Todman productions includes Beat the Clock, Family Feud, Match Game, Password, The Price is Right, To Tell the Truth, I've Got A Secret and What's My Line?. The shows endured through the decades, many over multiple runs, because of Goodson's sharp eye for production and presentation. While Todman primarily handled the company's business affairs in the early days, Goodson oversaw the creative end of the company. Goodson's knowledge of what made a successful game show work in terms of both format and presentation was pivotal to the longevity of the shows he produced.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hold in my hand a piece of history. An NBC screening room invoice for the Goodson-Todman company for the sum of $5.00. Let's dig a little deeper, shall we? What were Goodson and Todman working on in the middle Sixties that would require the use of NBC's screening rooms?

Again, from the wikioracle . . .

Branded was a Western series which aired on NBC from 1965 through 1966 and starred Chuck Connors as Jason McCord, a United States Army Cavalry captain who had been drummed out of the service following an unjust accusation of cowardice. Created by Larry Cohen, the show was produced by Goodson-Todman Productions, who are primarily known not for Westerns or dramatic shows, but for almost exclusively producing game shows such as The Price is Right.

Aha! This is almost too easy. And it came to me, delivered by the elements. Nothing like having tertiary accounts payable documents from defunct companies and dead men to clutter up my already-too-full file cabinet. I think I'll put this in my saveable and memorable file.

"But Heidi, it's old!"