Wednesday, September 30, 2009
While it's amazing how big a role confidence plays in the modern man's attempt to be manly, it's even more amazing how the simplest of circumstances can squeeze that confidence to down to a mushy pulp.
Say, just for example, you've just finished an awesome weekend of manly musical gigs in Omaha, and are preparing for a manly 12 hour overnight drive back to Cincinnati, where your manly football team has just won a manly victory, and you walk into a gas station (= manly) to make a manly purchase. Your confidence is at an all time high. And just for the heck of it, since it's our example, let's say your name is Lucas.
Strolling out of the store, you casually shove up against the door in a manly, cool manner. You have no real time for doors. Your normal walking motion is enough to reduce the door to a swinging pile of gelatinous rubble. But the door does not move. Why has the door suddenly become a more stalwart, powerful object than you? Ah, but you are pushing on the hinge side, where approximately 381 times the normal force is needed.
You find yourself in a quandary. Do you look like a pathetic weakling by throwing all of your apparently not-so-manly might into trying to slowly open that door on the hinge side, or do you make yourself look like the most blithering fool by stopping the door-opening process and restarting on the other side?
Whatever you decide, you can be sure that any opportunity you had to look like Mr. Coolguy McSmoothy-Pants has been shot to hell, and that modestly hot cashier will never go out with you now. Every person in the station and beyond (since it's a glass door) can see your fruitless struggle to open a door that you're pretty sure a pregnant woman half your size just walked through without a thought. The battle has already been lost.
For my part, I choose to look the weakling instead of the fool and continue my hinge-side pushing until blood vessels burst in my eyes. For your part, manly men of the world, attack these confidence mushers in the middle, where the hinges will not affect.
Or just kick that $#!+ open.
Think about it.
There's not many things to do in Amish country except for churn butter, harvest crops, and grow amazing (though tired and unoriginal) beards. Making furniture could hardly be considered entertainment, and plowing the fields is back-breaking work. Sports are a good way to break up the monotony of the Amish lifestyle, but without the modern conveniences of electricity, general knowledge of conventional American sports is essentially nil.
Despite this lack of media coverage and stardom that mainstream sports and pop culture drive so effectively, our Amish brethren have found their need for sport satiated through the age-old tradition of horse racing. Since the beginning of the age when that first original cell mutated into all of the different species of Earth-inhabiting creatures seen today, bipeds have been riding quadrupeds non-stop, even so far as to exploit the quadrupeds' natural ability to run around tracks in circles for miles in order to finish first.
In our progressive modern society, we have realized the negative self-esteem factors on our equine friends and invented a new way to go around tracks in circles, which we lovingly call NASCAR. This "NASCAR phenomenon", however is hardly as pure as the original sport of horse racing. Exhaust fumes permeate the air and noise pollution is rampant. It also has the side effect of luring the cave-dwellers of modern society out of their underground dwellings, driving them to yell uncontrollably, consume large amounts of alcohol, and engage in general debauchery. Yee Haw!
The Amish however, have been able to preserve the purity of the original sport of horse racing through their ability to remain silent and stoic during even the most emotional of moments. Because this takes so much concentration and determination, Amish horse races usually last about 45 seconds compared to 3 or more hours for the typical NASCAR race. This dramatically reduces the amount of noise pollution compared to racing cars with combustion engines, and while the Amish version still involves the stench of horse feces, it's a much classier smell - it's organic and made without the devil's handiwork.
All in all, these 2 sports, while seemingly without much in common, really are the same thing. While borne of 2 different cultures and mindsets, the end goal is the same: Who can make the most left turns the fastest. And that, my friends is why horse racing is the Amish version of Nascar.
Friday, September 25, 2009
What then is my musically objective point? New Orleans-based electronica alt-rock band, Mute Math, is one of the most entertaining live bands that you could ever hope to see in your life. I'm going to stray from objectivity for just a second because forget what I just said... Mute Math is THE most entertaining live band you could ever hope to see in your life. It's getting common for bands to have lots of ambient background sounds going on to compliment the typical rock sound of guitars, piano, bass, and drums. A lot of bands are relying more heavily on pre-recorded tracks of keys and guitars to fill out their live sound and make it sound closer to a studio album. Mute Math has a sound that thrives off of lots of accent sounds with a full entourage of keys, synths, upright bass, percussion, home-made instruments, and background vocal effects. What makes this 4 piece band different is they fill their entire stage with all of these things and play most everything live themselves.
If you get a chance this Fall to go see the Mute Math: Armistice Tour, I highly recommend it. If you need convincing, their music videos should do the job:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAtXKS9ZxvM - Typical - and yes they learned how to play their whole song backwards.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry6GAwDCI2I - Spotlight - and yes they learned how to play their whole song in slow motion while being thrown around in a van.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
If a stranger were to come up to you at a football game and give you a big hug, sit down on your lap, spill popcorn on your head, put their arm around your small child, or just come up close and stare at you, there would be very good odds that stranger would end up getting the living crap beat out of them. Now take all of these same actions, put the stranger in a big fluffy animal costume with a big smile on their face, and suddenly everything is perfectly acceptable! Just because the mascot mask looks like an innocent smiling bear doesn't mean there's an innocent smiling bear on the inside. There could be a major creeper underneath there. What is the interview process like for a mascot? Maybe they should go through a full background check, do a polygraph, and have a good psych evaluation.
Nothing is as it seems.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I consider myself the wizard of the wise-crack. The oligarch of the one-liner. The potentate of the pot-shot, the king of the quip, swami of the suckerpunch, the zinger czar.
But the major problem one encounters when one has such a talent as I is the smallish window of opportunity to display said talent. An artfully wielded witticism which I might have spent hours or even days crafting, and even longer finding the proper situation in which to use it, may only be appreciated by the select few who are graced enough to hear it at the time. How can I get those who were not present to enjoy the funny thing I said? They can't possibly know what they've missed.
What I said above is actually no longer a problem. I was dramatically setting up that "until now". You see how good I am?
I have found, on-line, these shirts with funny one liners. These things are hiiiiiillARious! And useful: now, not only do I not have to spend the time crafting them (I can get rid of this), but the joke can be seen by everyone who sees me all day! They can laugh not only the first time, but the second and the third and the twelfth and the hundredth time. If the joke is funny enough, it doesn't need a context and it'll never get old. Take a tip from me and take the work out of funny.
Friday, September 18, 2009
But as I'm sitting there peacefully talking with the CEO(Lucas) trying to scratch out the finer details of the arrangement, I feel the searing pain of claws digging deep(okay, really it was just a few light scratches) into my forearm. Well, well it looks like we have a third party in the negotiations I didn't know about, that would be Vice President of Operations (aka Steve). Needless to say the downturn in the negotiations left me with few options in getting what I felt I rightly deserved (Little Debbie brownies) ... well that, and one large pain-filled tear.
What was I to do? Let me list out my options for you.
1. I could write a complaint to HR, citing employee abuse. But guess who sits on the review board for those complaints? That's right, Lucas and Steve.
2. I would attempt to write a letter to my congressman, but guess who runs the mail room? You would be right again, Steve. And don't try to tell me he doesn't scan those letters for fishy(ha, get it) content!
3. Or ... I could slink back home to fulfill my quota of ACNS posts, so I can attempt to avoid getting verbally and emotionally scolded again by my manager ... Steve.
So for now it doesn't seem as if those sweet walnut-topped plastic-wrapped 12-squares-in-a-box Little Debbie brownies will be coming my way. But next time I can muster up enough gumption to take on Lucas and Steve, I'll be back. See you in a couple years!
This post just serves as a warning for those who dare challenge the powers at be. They will lure you in with some nice talk about being friends, Little Debbie brownies, and other nice sounding what-nots, then when you least expect it .....
... be afraid.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Genetically speaking, I am what you would consider a "specimen". The unrivalled & unparalleled DNA sequences housed in my superior bone structure and army of an immune system leave little to be desired. That said, there are a few inconsequential features of my body that leave some room (not much though!) for improvement. Most of these are invisible to the untrained eye, but one stands out above the rest. I don't have very broad shoulders.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I want to know who as one person can consume that amount of information so quickly? That is some serious speed-reading/watching. Who is reading that amount of books in one month? Maybe they are just going crazy on some certain genre. No wonder I can't get that latest Godzilla movie/book, they snatched them all up for a Godzilla brain-melting marathon!
But hey, in this economy I do have to give them props for using the "free" resources like the library at their disposal. Think about the budget one would have to buy 50 books each month. Crazy!
Now I feel challenged. Watch out library, there might just be a one-man run this week on every DVD of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. All 6 seasons and the 2 movies! I'm just saying.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
At the risk of sounding completely insane I will bare my soul to the deepest depths and let you all in on a little secret: I want the Swine Flu.
I want the Swine Flu because it's HUGE! Everybody is talking about it, and I don't want to be left behind when it finally goes away. Imagine telling your future grandchildren about the time you had Swine Flu during "The Pandemic of 2009/2010", which will of course sound so far into the unimaginably distant past. When they say "that seems so far in the unimaginably distant past", you can provide them with a little perspective by telling them that it was the end of the age of Capitalistic Ideals in America. I digress.
Imagine the feeling of surviving something like Swine Flu. In it's own way, it's being a warrior against sicknesses named after filthy animals, a feat that not many can say they have completed. Swine Flu is instant 15 minutes of fame. As soon as you get out of that doctor's office, you call the news, and BAM! You're the latest documented case of Swine Flu in your area. They probably won't even say your name on TV or the radio, but you know. That's all that counts. Plus, my immune system could use some good exercise. It's been far too uneventful of a year, and I feel like something big is on the horizon.
If anyone knows that they actually have Swine Flu, come on over and cough on me a little bit (or a lot, whatever). I've got an ABC News reporter on speed dial, ready to tweet the news whenever I give him the go-ahead.
So I'm sitting on the bus reading my book in peace, when I notice a flash of something next to me. I look out of the corner of my eye and it seems as if the guy across the aisle from me is waving his hand, maybe trying to get my attention. So I look up and now it seems as if his hand is twitching. Is there something wrong with him? Is he just crazy? No, its none of those ... he is just trying to answer my question above by waving his hand all around like a crazy man to change the song on his iPod instead of simply pressing the next button.
Here's another fun example.
So this guy is standing next to you while you are waiting in line to buy the newest piece of tech-gadgetry. He looks right at you, says hello, and then asks how you are. Seeing these events as commonly understood ways of striking up conversation with others you respond politely.H e then begins asking you some question, or making some statement that completely doesn't make sense in the context of your "conversation". Only then do you realize that no he doesn't want to strike up conversation with you, nor is he crazy and talking to himself, but instead he is talking to someone through a bluetooth piece on the side of his head that you just now noticed.
Now I don't want to come off as judgmental here because I have done my fair share of stupid things when technology is involved. One that comes to mind is when I was sitting in the computer lab at school with my headphones blaring when I decided to ask my friend next to me a question. I thought I was talking in a reasonable tone of voice, until I realized the whole lab was staring at me. So I took off my headphones to have my friend tell me I just yelled the question quite loudly for the whole place to hear.
As usual, these are just some thoughts in my mind. It just seems that the more and more we use technology, the less and less we use our minds. Might I say though, thank goodness for the spell check because its lays a good cover to hide some of my spelling stupidity.
Monday, September 14, 2009
For just one day in my life, I would like to have a mustache. Not just any old mustache, but a Burt Reynolds meets Sam Elliot meets Alex Trebek (when he had a mustache) clashing of the titans of superior upper-lip hair follicles. The only problem is in today's American culture, the mustache gets a bad rap. It's commonly associated with perverts, white trash, and Metallica fans (is that redundant?). I think that could change, but only if proper mustache growing, trimming, and grooming procedures were properly instituted and executed. Admittedly, if I were to grow one without some sort of mustache performance enhancement (check your spam folder for great offers!), I might scare my own mother. But hey, it never hurt anyone to dream...
For those of you (ladies included!!!) that can grow a mustache, I suggest we (you) take it back for the good of society! I'll be cheering you on - every hair of the way.
- Pay off student loans or buy food? Do them both with a higher paying job!
- Tired of dealing with the stress of everyday life? Go on sweet exotic vacations (New Zealand, Hawaii, or Cleveland to name a few) with higher paying job!
- Feel like our country's going to the crapper? Buy the Democratic party and put an end to it with a higher paying job!
- Solve world hunger? Higher paying job!
- World peace? Buy off China, Iran, North Korea, and Steve with a higher paying job!
Now sure, you can argue with me that money won't fix the human soul, and all we really need is to bring Christ's love into the world. Maybe I should focus on finding a job I'll genuinely enjoy, but you have to admit that some of my points are compelling.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Firstly, let's discuss entitlement. If you want to freeload then you need to quickly learn how to hide any sense of entitlement. You are paying less than a dime for rent and there are no words you can use to argue that you deserve anything in this situation. Therefore, you need to learn some tactics to evade these potential problems of tension. It may be smart to find ways to buy/steal your own food, or at least not go near the treasured bag of chicken patties. If you do need to mooch some food I recommend going for things that won't be noticed such as the frozen vegetables or an occasional slice of bread or a couple of eggs. Be sneaky and considerate and you'll do just fine.
Secondly, if you clean up your messes it's as good as if you weren't even there at all. People can only get angry at you for freeloading if you're making their life worse. Now if you go above and beyond and clean up their mess too you've just created value that they didn't have before. Do they have a cleaning service? Probably not, so now the pages have turned, and even though they are giving you shelter they will also be thanking you.
Thirdly, spontaneous acts of charity are a must. If you bring home an extra large order of curly fries on your way back from Arby's then how can they get mad at you for not paying rent?! Not only are you keeping things clean, but you're providing them with free curly fries that they weren't expecting! Who doesn't want free curly fries??
Finally, the most important tool to successful freeloading is to be awesome! Here are your options as far as perception: 1. You are the lazy friend who lives on the couch, or 2. You are the most fun person in the world to be around, and your very presence is creating crazy awesome experiences every day. You are living on the edge by refusing to conform and get a job, and so you need to bring some of that edginess into the home so that it feels like the very air around you is singing Highway to the Danger Zone from Top Gun. Encourage frequent trips to the bars, go on pointless road trips, throw a mustache theme party, etc.
Now go out there and change the world!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
1. I was roommates with Lucas long before Steve or Bill
2. I wore a tux to the wedding of my first girlfriend, but I was not the groom.
3. When I was 8 years old I found dinosaur bones while hiking. Some people claim they were cow bones. Some people are liars.
4. My first memory of Dr Pepper was at the age of 4 at a ski resort.
5. I do not intend to have a last memory of Dr Pepper because I believe Heaven has free refills
6. There will be a Mrs. Buck in 44 days.
7. All great secret agents have the initials JB (James Bond, Jason Bourne, etc). I would call myself Jimbo Buckerson if I was a secret agent.
8. I played soccer on a team for one hour before quitting. I didn't like soccer.
9. When I was 11 my mom made me wear plaid shorts to school picture day and everyone made fun of me. I faked sick to go home and play Sega Genesis.
10. One time Lucas and I switched pants at a party. It was funny because we weren't wearing our own pants. I like the word pants.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
In any case, we're all moved into the new house. It's set in a quaint, post-war era neighborhood, where a stroll in the park across the street reminds one of the days of past innocence where your neighbors actually knew your name and AM radio was the evening entertainment. A flashback to the days when people actually cared about each other.
Last night, after a hard day's labor in finally unpacking the rest of our belongings and debating their rightful places in the house, Bill & I decided that we are in love...with the new house (not THAT!!!). The extra space affords each of us the opportunity to get away from each other and "do our own thing". We also decided to get rid of the devil-incarnate cable box and go with broadcast TV. To be honest, I don't miss it one bit. We'll still be able to watch football on the weekends, and since the TV is in the basement, we'll be able to watch from our sweet dive bar in the basement, complete with wood paneling and 70's "velva-print" posters. Here's a pic:
Monday, September 7, 2009
However, I know not everyone likes to see the summer go. So for those who cringe at the word snow and can't stand the thought of sub-80 degree weather, I give you three great videos to remind yourself of how great summer is. They will help you countdown the days until it summer returns, because as I understand it nothing says summer quite like talking crabs and the Honda Element.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
As some of you know I am the father of a beautiful little baby girl named Olivia. She is quite cute, and I do very much enjoy my various daddy-duties such as playing, changing diapers, reading to her, etc. A new aspect of daddy-duty that has come up as of late, is my charge to babysit Olivia while my wife goes out for a little bit.
See I have found that while my wife is home and Olivia is being good I consider myself rather adept at being a dad. For example the other night I found myself handling the situation pretty well as Olivia slept by me on the couch while I watched some ESPN. I know, I know parenting skills at their best. However it's the thought of my wife being gone and Olivia in complete temper-tantrum mode that puts fear in my bones.
I would like to think I'm capable. And of course, as in parenthood, there is always room to grow and become a better parent/Catholic witness.
So I ask, are you the Catholic you want to be all the time? Or just when it's easy to be? If not, work on it with me ... we can help each other out. Isn't that our duty?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
World's Ugliest Fish
Awesome Goat Pics
Who doesn't enjoy a good hilarious monkey photo montage?
(WARNING - Some of these are a bit inappropriate, as monkeys seem to enjoy engaging in general debauchery)
Hilarious Monkey Pics