Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Emasculation Station?



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.

Horse Racing = Amish Nascar?

2 Amish dudes talking about the big race this weekend


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.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Foods I Hate, Part Buck

I noticed Lucas was not such a popular guy after bearing his very soul to share some of his least favorite foods earlier this week. Why are you readers out there offended that he might find tomatoes, mushrooms, mayo, and seafood gross? Chances are you find certain foods absolutely appalling that make other people's mouths water. All in all I thought Lucas' list of foods were at least common with thousands of other people's dislikes and not super out of the ordinary. You want to know what is out of the ordinary and should make you so angry you could punch yourself in the neck? ME.

I am hands down the pickiest eater in the ENTIRE WORLD. Let this be a challenge. I will pay someone $100 who proves to me they are a grown adult that is pickier than me (although you can't have some special condition). BRING IT! Here's the thing... for the most part, I don't even have logical reasons behind my madness. At least Lucas gave you an argument. I just have been this way since the age of 2, and my stubbornness never lost a battle to mom ad dad at the dinner table. It's not that they were bad parents and didn't try to get me to eat my broccoli; it's simply that my stubbornness does not compromise. Now at the age of 26, I am the awkward picky eater guy that gets invited over for dinner and still moves things around on his plate to pretend like he at least tried everything. Should I start to list things off? Will you be able to handle this?? Here's just a handful of my insanity. I do NOT eat:

- 95% of desserts (including chocolate. that's right, ladies...chocolate)
- All fruits with the exception of orange juice. I freakn' love orange juice.
- 99% of vegetables. I like potatoes and corn on the cob. To all you salad eaters, I think lettuce is just weird.
- peanut butter and jelly. The very staple of childhood lunches and half of Lucas' modern diet.
- lunch meats! I don't like slimy/cold meat. Meat belongs on the grill
- Condiments. BBQ, ketchup, and mashed potatoes are acceptable.

Keep in mind that these are just categories. Once we drill down into specifics the list gets pretty crazy long. You might be inclined to feel sorry for my limited "enjoyment" of life with such horrible eating standards. However, I make it through my days just fine so please feel sorry for the future Mrs. Buck who will have to put up with me. You also may be concerned for my health, and I appreciate that. Thank you. However, don't be concerned because to compensate for my eating habits I have been born into a family that lives close to forever. My great grandmother lived to be 109. My current grandmother is alive and kicking at the age of 100. My own mother is almost 70 and will probably outlive the both of them. With these home grown super genes I plan to balance out and live to a nice average age like the rest of you. Just to be safe I take a multi-vitamin.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Live Music Paradise

I love music. I could create a whole blog to write nothing but album reviews, but I understand that music like all art is a highly subjective subject matter. Despite this, I believe that there are objective truths in art that we can all agree upon. For example, I will be the first to admit that I am not a Dave Matthews fan. However, I can also admit that their drummer, Carter Beauford, is easily the greatest drummer of modern rock, if not ever. Along these same lines I would like to share my experience from last night in a small rock club in Baltimore. I've had the privilege to see a lot of live acts from small indie-rock performances in hole-in-the-wall bars to massive rock stadium tours. However, there is one live band that stands out from all the rest. I'm not going to say they are the best musicians I've seen, the best song writers, the best light show, or the band with the best beards (Dave Grohl, you can rock a beard like no other!). At the same time, it's very fair to say they are good musicians and good song writers, and incredibly creative. When you add this to the fact that they put 1000% into their live show you can't help but walk away in absolute awe.

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.
It's entertaining when you see a group of musicians that are so versatile and can do so many things at once. It's TRULY entertaining when those same musicians are doing this while running around a small stage like maniacs, and still sounding phenomenal. When you go to see Mute Math live you can expect to see percussion jam sessions that may start with the drum set but end with them using chairs and any other object they can find to create rhythmic sound. The stage is usually cluttered which means it's going to make a lot more sense for them to do handstands and flips over keyboards and amps rather than walking around them. A synth guitar will more than likely stage dive to crowd surf so that everyone else can have their shot at contributing to the noise. The drummer might just decide to use his base drum as a surf board and take it for a ride over the crowd. And above all, you can sure as heck expect that the Keytar is going to come back in style like it's 1987.

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

Foods I hate, Part I

To some, I would be considered a picky eater. Red meat and starches are dietary staples to be consumed in mass quantities. This isn't meant to diss vegetables though - I like vegetables. In fact, broccoli might be my favorite vegetable of all time. I like plenty of foods, as long as they're not weird or gross. Is that too much to ask?

I don't mean to make this post about foods I like. This is about foods I DON'T like. In fact, I aim to make this the first post in a series about foods that really bake my clams (I hate clams). Enjoy! Because I won't!

Tomatoes
The Spawn of Satan. My cousin once described them as "spewy", which I thought described everything tomatoes were about. What's with that gross jelly-like substance in the middle of them? I've tried very hard to like tomatoes, yet I still can't stomach them.There is nothing worse than biting into a sandwich and discovering a tomato. All you can do is sit there with an open mouth full of sandwich, trying to not let the tomato touch any part of your mouth.

Strawberry Jam
Whoever decided that leaving the seeds inside jam or jelly would be a good idea? Probably the same people who decided that 12 grain bread & crunchy peanut butter were good ideas. It's taken me some time to get over my fear of the texture of beans, but God help me if I ever have to bite down on a sandwich with strawberry jelly again. My whole body turns to jell-o at the thought.

Seafood
I will never understand how seafood restaurants stay in business. Every menu item tastes exactly the same. I don't care if it's crab legs, salmon, halibut, shrimp, or mussels, they all taste like fish, which is unforgivable. In my opinion, if you have to fry something to make it even remotely palatable, you need to find something different to eat.*

*Potatoes excepted

Mushrooms
Lots of them are poisonous, and they grow on the dark side of poop. 'Nuff said

Mayonnaise
While I acually like mayo, everything about it is really just wrong.

Organ Meats
Ok, these are just gross. I know people who love chicken livers and can't wait to fry up that heart that came inside the chicken when they bought it. IT'S AN ORGAN! I know I said I love red meat, but wow. Just wow. I would only consider the thought of eating organ meats if my name was Bear Grylls and I was a total bad-ass. Oh, I would have to be literally starving first too. I'm really not looking to be bad ass here, just alive.

There's plenty more where this came from. Stay tuned for what else I hate.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

401k

I just recieved an email from my 401k provider letting me know about some of the changes that will be affecting my account. I was grateful, because I had been wondering when they were going to alter the "composite benchmark" and get some new "underlying fund investments". Come on already! That doesn't even take into account the new "equity allocation changes" they threw in for good measure.

Seriously?!

I consider myself to be just as smart as the next guy, and I pride myself on knowing something about how our banking system works, but as soon as my bank or investment provider lets me know anything, I get the feeling that I'm getting screwed out of my money due to the Greenspan-esque sentence construction meant to "keep me informed" of what's going on with my investments.

In any case, I guess I'll just keep feeding my money into this monster in the hopes that one day I can live in my beach-side condo in Florida...or maybe move to Dubai.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mascots: Creepers in Disguise?

While visiting the future Mrs. Buck in Pennsylvania over the past weekend I was able to catch a local college football game at Kutztown University. When I was not watching the Kutztown Bears be brutally slaughtered, I was observing an interesting breach to American social etiquette: Mascots. The Kutztown Golden Bear was no different than any other mascot with the exception that he looked like he belonged in a kids cereal commercial and not a college football game. What stood out to me was that mascots throughout the world are granted free reign to defy all of the unspoken rules of strangers.

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.

These need to be in every bathroom.

Maybe Obama can take a page from the Hoover presidency and promise "An XLERATOR in every bathroom".

No, seriously. I automatically assume that businesses are cheap if they don't have one of these bad boys adorning their bathroom walls. There's nothing worse than taking a full minute to dry your hands!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

That's Some Funny "Shrit"



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.
UNTIL NOW.
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

Professionalism is overrated


Usually, when I'm at work, I do my best to be work-appropriate when I answer the phone. In keeping with my usually reserved and subdued personality, I do my best to act and speak professionally, while providing the best experience possible for those who come in contact with me in a business capacity (friends are a different story - I'll push your buttons until you physically stop me!). However, as business relationships evolve, they become less professional and more personal, depending on the rapport built up between all parties involved.

Given that statement and the beauty of caller-ID, sometimes the phone gets answered with a more casual "Yo!" or "Whatchu want?" or "What UUUUUUUP YO?!!!", rather than the usual "Hello, This is Lucas, how can I help you?". You know you're calling me, I know you're calling me, let's cut the crap and get down to talking about what we're each doing this weekend or how hungover you are.

The only problem is, sometimes this doesn't always work. With the advance in phone system technology, many times you can only recognize which company the call is coming from rather than the individual person. On a more than a few occasions, I have been the beneficiary of phone calls from coworkers of those with whom I've developed the rapport described in detail above (Paragraph #2, line #6, word #7). On these occasions, after I answer the phone with the casually-inspired "Yuuuuuuuuup", followed by silence on the other end. That silence is soon broken by a feeble "Ummmm, yeah. I'm looking for Lucas H?", in which case I then have to redeem myself in an unredeemable situation. I've already become "that guy". Nobody wants to be "that guy".

Instead of changing myself, I propose an end to traditional ways of answering the phone. Imagine how much more fun work would be if everybody tried to catch everybody else off guard when they answered the phone. I suspect that only rickety old sales professionals and company-lifers would object, but they'll be gone soon enough.

Don't Mess with Steve

There I am trying to navigate the stormy waters of a contract negotiation for my vast time and energy I put in here at ACNS. You would think this type of thing would go smoothly, you know, since I currently don't get paid anything for my witty and wise words. I'm not asking for much, maybe just a weekly pay"box" of Little Debbie Brownies.

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

Acronyms gone mad

Aren't you sure you don't have that in the store? I see it in the ad here ...






And of course it must be HD ready!

Shoulder Pads


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.

To most, this is hardly a deal-breaker. To me, "Mr. Detail" as I like to call myself, I find it unnerving and disconcerting at best. However, due to the innovative nature of the human race, we have developed the end-all solution to my dilemma - shoulder pads.

Let me hit you with a quote from the "Fashion-Era" webpage (a quick look at their site will give instant credibility to their material) to emphasize the importance of shoulder pads:

"Designers tried to drop the shoulder pad in the same way they tried to drop the mini for the maxi in the sixties, but as in the case of the mini the public stuck to what they wanted...and they wanted shoulder pads. By its nature a shoulder pad creates a smooth line over the natural hollows of the collar bone area. Women suddenly noticed that shoulder pads smoothed out body postural imperfections and they liked the effect."

I have already begun converting all of my t-shirts to accomodate velcro shoulder pad inserts. Just a few more quiet evenings at home with my sewing machine and a bottle of chilled Rosé di Regaleali (a very fine rose wine which I reserve for special occasions and sewing projects), and I should be finished. I'm going to have to get some lotion for my hands though - the rough part of the velcro is tearing up my banker-like hands.

There you have it, even the best of us genetically have our flaws (minute as mine may be), but with a little innovation, some hard work, and a bottle of wine, we can all learn to improve our feelings of self worth (and now with broad shoulders, I now look even MORE intimidating!).

Omelet Day

Today was a special day in the life of Buck. Today was Omelet Day. At approximately 9 am this morning, as I sifted through company email and prepared for the long grueling day ahead, a glimmer of hope shined down upon me. One of the software vendors that I work with decided to bring my sales team breakfast this morning. They didn't just bring us breakfast; they brought a breakfast industry expert: the Omelet Guy. For the past hour Omelet Guy has been tirelessly working three skillets at once, creating delicious omelets, and filling our stomachs with bliss and joy. As I sit here and reflect on my blessings from Omelet Day, I can't help but hope for the best office day ever for the working class throughout the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Power User

So I was roaming around the local library the other day when I saw a sign saying you could check-out up to 50 items at one time. 50 items! Think about that. That's what I call a power user.

Power User!

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.

Yes...

That is THE Bill from A Roommate Named Bill who just posted. Be nice to him. He's fragile.


Dollar Menu


In my effort to be more responsible with my time and money, I’ve come to the conclusion that one thing is taking up more time and wasting more money than any other. Food. I buy it, eat it, buy it again, eat it again, buy it again…the cycle never seems to end. This was never a problem when I was at my folks’ house, or in the college cafeteria, or mooching off friends and people walking to work.

But I live by myself now, or, more accurately, I live with Lucas and his cat now. Lucas and I split food costs (a delicate system of bartering vaguely rigid IOU’s covering a variety of expenditures), but he won’t pay for everything, particularly tuna and frozen lima beans. At least he’ll let me contribute to his blog, which his devil-colored cat wouldn’t let me do. Steve would also not split food costs.

But I’ve come to see this “food” thing as one if not the greatest inconvenience in my life. There’s so much time I waste eating, or thinking about eating. I have to put so much thought into how to stretch my dollars so I can buy food. It's a money drain. What really fries my chicken is the “food industry”, which has a monopoly on the “food market”. Every time I buy more food I’m just eaten by the idea that I’m putting more dough into the pockets of “The Man”. I’m also ticked at how food clichés are working into my everyday vocabulary. So I made the resolution to quit food. But like foreign oil, it’s apparently something we need.

How, then, does one balance nutrition, economy, taste and craving? I’ll tell you how: Potpies. I ate two tonight. I feel Great!

h/t to http://foodpoisonblog.com/ for the pic

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Swine Flu


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.

On the surface, it may look like I am a masochistic maniac, or just an idiot. While I can't claim that I don't have just a little bit of stupid in me (I have won plenty of Stupid Contests in my life), I don't think I'm off base. Bear with me here...

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.


Funny thought

So I amused myself with this thought tonight.

What if God had a website, and that website had a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section?

Talk about lengthy!

Is technology making us (look) dumb?

[Updated]: Now with stupider looking image!

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

Mustaches


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.

Job Options

Lately I've been considering a new career path in order to spice things up a little bit. I'm not really sure what I want to do, but I have narrowed my search criteria down with two revealing categories that will factor into a decision. Firstly, it's important to find something I am genuinely passionate about for the sake of itself so that I can jump out of bed every morning with a smile on my face, knowing the joy that I will be spending the bulk of my day at my beloved job. Secondly, goes against the first point, but I've been doing some thinking and it seems to add up: money solves all problems, and therefore, higher paying job is all that matters. Now let's look at the facts:

- 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

Why is this not in theaters?!!



Aaaaaaannd, finding this little gold nugget is what I've done with my Saturday so far.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to be a successful freeloader


I moved into my new apartment at the end of July and have been busy getting the place ready for the arrival of Mrs. Buck. Within one day of moving in my sweet pad I had effortlessly acquired a freeloader roommate. 43 days later my freeloader has settled in quite nicely and should be keeping me company until the day of Mrs. Buck's much anticipated arrival. Typically our society looks down on the freeloader as an irresponsible loser who manipulates others for their own good because they are too lazy to do anything themselves. That may be true, but I think that can be a little harsh, and there should be exceptions. I believe that there is such a thing as a high quality freeloader that you would be blessed to have in your life. As such, I would like to give some advice on how to be a good freeloader for all of you that are discerning this as a future vocation.

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

Greetings from Buck


It's an honor to be posting on a blog as prestigious and well renowned as A Cat Named Steve. If all goes well I hope to quit my job here in Northern Virginia shortly and dedicate a full-time 6 hour work week to writing for ACNS. Rather than erupting into a spectacular autobiographical monologue, I think we shall get straight down to business and get to know one another. That being said, here are ten facts about myself that I would like to share. Consider these the first blocks in the foundation upon you and I will build.

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.

Ok, now this is getting ridiculous...

I'm a compulsive person. Once I open a can of Pringles, I just can't stop poppin'! I ate half a bag of Twizzlers the other day because they were there. I love drinking warm milk so much that I once drank a gallon of it in 15 minutes - ok, that's not true, but it's gross and funny to think about.

Anyway, I have continued the ridiculousness by asking yet another one of my readers to become a contributor to ACNS. I've known Buck for quite a while - since Fall of 2002 when we were pimply-faced college freshmen with a penchant for the ridiculous. Since then, we've developed a friendship that spans the space/time continuum and the mental capacities of mere human mortals such as yourselves.

Listen to Buck. He knows what he's talking about. Welcome to the Big Time buddy!

Buck

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Marbled Skinny Jeans

There really isn't anything like a good pair of marbled skinny jeans. The Emos took away skinny jeans as a whole, but in a stunning display of goodwill they allowed me to retain the rights to the marbled ones, which were the only ones I wanted anyway. Suckers.

I dug them out from a bag of old clothes that Bill was going to give to St. Vincent DePaul. I think he took them a couple years ago and wore them around the house when I wasn't home because he was jealous of them. Either way, I've got them back now, and I'll be waddling in style tonight. Since I don't have any pics of me in them, here's one example of the many different style combinations these pants can really drive home.



I can't wait to hear all the compliments I'll get on them. I went out and bought Steve a matching pair today too, so not only are we best friends, we match too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Settling In

Well, Steve, Bill & I have taken the plunge. We've up and moved into an actual house from our 1 bedroom apartment where we shared an XL Twin bed. Bill & I would sleep head to toe with Steve wedging his way in between us with his butt right in Bill's face. Bill didn't like it at first, but I think he got used to it, and he's having a hard time adjusting in the new house with his own room & bed. He'll survive. I think.

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:


Steve loves the new house too. There's plenty of sinks for him to lay in and now he doesn't have to wedge in between anybody to put his butt in Bill's face. We went outside yesterday and I don't think he liked it so much. Birds just fly away when you try to lay down next to them butt-to-beak.

The only negative aspect of the house is the park across the street. The park itself isn't a negative, in fact it's a neutral entity - neither good nor bad. I mean the teenage hoodlums that have adopted the spot directly across the street from our house as their own little weed-smoking haven. The pre-owned (slightly used!) hypodermic needles they leave in the play-area next to it give it that sense of unpredictability regarding whether or not you'll contract an STD on any given day. It's an adventure, but at least it keeps me on my toes - primarily because I stepped on one with my heel the other day and it hurts to walk on it now.

I guess I've found a new way to pass the time - I'm calling my city council-people (sarcastic PC-term!!) and calling the cops on these kids every chance I get, because I'm determined to make my neighbors like me. I think it's a good start to hopefully a long stay at a new home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh Summer

So with another Labor Day here and gone, it seems as if summer has passed by us yet again. The sun, the heat, and of course the A/C, what would we do without it? As much as the summer will be missed, I'll have to say that I'm looking forward to the fall and winter. I always enjoy being able to bring out a coat and bundle up a bit for the weather. I look forward to a really great snow day, and I hoping the Cincinnati sky doesn't disappoint this winter. And who can argue with the look of the trees in Autumn? The changing colors is always a sight to see.

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

This weekend was going so well...

Until SOMEONE started playing accordion at 9:30am this morning while I'm trying to drink my morning coffee. I won't mention any names.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Applying life to being Catholic (part II of a series)

For all of you confused by the title, this post will in some small way resemble the post way down below title "Starting New". Thus do to its related nature, and Lucas' strict blog-post-naming guidelines this post has become part II in a sure to be long running series.


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.

Exhibit A. As you can see extremely adept.

This got me to thinking, comparing my feelings of adeptness as a parent with my feelings of being a good Catholic witness. See when I'm surrounded by my good friends and family whom are all mostly Catholic, it's easy to be Catholic and to discuss my faith. My issue is when my faith is truly being challenged (or with Olivia, her throwing a huge temper tantrum while my wife is out), will I be prepared to handle the situation?

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

I just figured out what I'm doing the rest of the day...

Today's been an extremely busy day at work. I'm posting this on my lunch break, so don't worry - I'm not using company time best served being productive elsewhere...Either way, I just stumbled upon 3 of the greatest photo collections known to man. Enjoy!

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