November 1, 2011

There is a tradition that is celebrated by men everywhere (?) and especially APU this time of year. It is a time in which men put down the razor in an act of defiance and let their facial hair grow. No Shave November is an APU classic, though I’ve seen it observed outside of our alma mater.

I’ve been a beard-wearer for the better part of 5 years. I have grown to hate the look of my face without a beard. The beard is a very important part of who I am. It has seen a few slight variations throughout it’s tenure on my face. I used to let it grow and only trim it every few weeks. I used to never trim the edges.  Then I grew it out. Now I mostly keep it at one length, trimming it every few days, and shaving around the edges to keep it clean. I have grown somewhat of an attachment to my beard. While I love my beard, I still find this incredibly fascinating, tragic, and ABSOLUTELY FREAKING HILARIOUS.

I first read about this story in Newsweek, then on the front page of There is speculation of a secretive amish cult that has broken off from an amish community in Ohio. This cult has been terrorizing the men of the amish community by breaking into their homes, pinning them down, and cutting off their beards. I understand that the beard is a strong symbol in the amish world and that losing it would be a tragedy. The only comparison I can think of is a woman losing her long hair, a symbol of womanhood. However, I still think “Amish Beard-Cutting Attacks Uncover Suspected Cult” is one of the funniest headlines I’ve read in a long time.

Even though I’ve had a beard for quite some time and am very proud of it, I don’t think I’ll ever come close to something as wonderful as this.

Pepper-Crusted Prime Jelly

November 8, 2008

Prepared by yours truly, culinary delight Mr. Shaw at Le Dinér de Denny’s.

“Utility” Belt

August 5, 2008

Who needs a beer hat?

The Green Scare

July 30, 2008

From 1917 to 1920 and then again from the late 1940s to the late 1950s there was a period of panic across the nation.  In the second period, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, the United States Government took swift action in weeding Communists out across the nation.  This witch hunt led to many people being falsely imprisoned because they had “Communist sympathies”.  This embarrassingly flawed idea came to be known as “McCarthyism”, named after it’s primary supporter.  Many people were put on trial, jailed, or lost their jobs simply because there was a hint of suspicion of Communist support. The Red Scare was not the proudest time in our nation.

Today,  California Attorney General Jerry Brown said he will sue to block a proposed water-bottling operation in Northern California unless its effects on global warming are evaluated.  I am all for the environment.  In fact, I get text messages from an environmentalist friend of mine giving me the “Green Tip of the Day”.  I  think that it is very important to take care of our planet. And  I don’t support companies who dump toxic sludge in major rivers just to make a group of 5 teens mad, summoning one man to stop them.

“It takes massive quantities of oil to produce plastic water bottles and to ship them in diesel trucks across the United States,” Brown said in a statement. “Nestle will face swift legal challenge if it does not fully evaluate the environmental impact of diverting millions of gallons of spring water from the McCloud River into billions of plastic water bottles.”  Some say that Brown is going overboard.  I say he’s not going far enough!  If he wants to stop Nestle from shipping out bottles of water in trucks, why not stop all trucks across the United States?  This would cut down on our environmental impact greatly!  And not only that, but the unemployed truckers would finally be able to spend time with their dear families!

Brown argues that the oil used to produce the bottles is far too much.  I have a simple solution.  I say we switch to paper cups all across the nation.  Or, better yet, you know that origami cup you can make out of a piece of paper?  The government should issue one sheet of paper to each American for their lifetime “Eco-cup©”.  But wait, this means over 300 million pieces of paper for the whole Nation!  The environment can’t possibly afford that!  I say we double up.  Every person born in America is already given a piece of paper by the United States Government.  From now on, I propose that we use our birth certificates as origami cups.  This way, not only do you always have your environmentally friendly Eco-cup© on you at all times, you also have important information on who you are.  Imagine how that might come in handy applying for a loan, or getting a new apartment!  Look no further than Eco-Cup©!

And what of the precious spring water?  To drink it would be absurd!  Big Brother Environment would be furious!  Besides, Gatorade is much better for you.  It’s got electrolytes!  We need to rethink how we use our resources.  And by that I mean stop using them.  I propose that we no longer have any interaction with animals.  These precious beasts were fine before we humans decided to eat them!  From now on, everyone will become vegetarian. After all, that’s the American choice!  You’d come around eventually. I’m just making the decision for you, saving time and precious resources.  In addition to this, we convert everything to digital.  Now there doesn’t have to be money, energy and resources wasted on CDs, books and DVDs or other such malarkey.

Furthermore, I propose that we elect Attorney General Jerry Brown as Secretary of the Planet.  No one cares more for our precious planet than this man.  Giving him this respected title will tell this to the world.  But when he walks into a room, he demands respect.  How do we make his respected position visually clear?  We make him a one of a kind suit, made of course of bio-degradable, eco-friendly, low-carbon emission, “green” material.  Imagine, going to meetings and embarrassing others because they are not dressed nearly as nice as you!  There’s no better way to get your way then by embarrassing the opposition!

50 years after the McCarthy Red Scare, a new panic has arrived.  But this time, it’s Green!

Press Bb to start game…

July 19, 2008

Anybody remember seeing this?

Just for follow-up fun… I think the horn blowing out flames really takes the cake on this one…

Oh, and Jameson,… I strongly urge… no, I mandate you to purchase the t-shirt on the front page of

That’s all.

Engulfed by classic film

May 15, 2008

The other night I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite movies, American Graffiti, in theaters. (For a brief description see the earlier post ‘See These Movies.’)  It was amazing!  Most of my favorite movies are older movies and many of them I regret not having the opportunity to experience them in theaters when they first came out.  Thanks to the American Film Institute I was able to remedy that for one of the films on my small list of films I most wished to see in theater.

            American Graffiti had been on that list because of the completeness of the nostalgic atmosphere created by the film.  It is easy to become lost in the era when watching the movie, and I always felt it would be even more complete if seen in a dark theater with a large screen and engulfing sound where everything and the only thing you experience for those two hours is that film.

            I was right!  Those familiar with the movie know the impact and greatness of the almost none stop soundtrack.  Also, the sounds of all the cars were amazing and exciting.  One of my favorite elements of the film is filming of the street and cruising at night (the movie take place almost entirely at night).  The shining cars, street lights, neon lights, headlights and reflections all clash and blend beautifully in the dark of night when the streets were most full of life.  And all this is even more beautiful and spectacular on the big screen, in the dark room.

            Something I was curious about before seeing the movie that night was how being so familiar with the film would affect the experience of seeing it in a theater.  Fortunately, knowing the lines before they were spoken only added to the anticipation, excitement and enjoyment of the film.  It was also great to see the film with the crowd that showed up.  They were all movie fans and particularly of American Graffiti.  American Graffiti is the kind of movie that gets better the more you see it and it was clear most of the audience was well acquainted with it and were enjoying it deeply. 

Unofficial Apprentice – Part II

March 2, 2008

After a few minutes of unbelievably awkward silence, a deep voice broke through. “Can you sit up?” It was a man’s voice. I began to get up, half anxious to see who this mysterious person was giving me a massage, and half frightened at the possibilities. This was not the doctor at all. The stout hispanic man in front of me was the front desk receptionist. “Okay, can I have you sit in this chair?” He said to me. I was in complete shock. Why on earth was he in here? Is this allowed? This is not what I signed up for.

So I did what he said. I sat in the chair, still shirtless. He showed me a neck stretching exercise. “It will loosen your neck muscles up” he said. My mind raced as the situation got more awkward. “He should not be in here” I thought to myself. “What is he doing?” He asked me to return to the table and continued to massage my back. “Surely,” I told myself, “I have this wrong.” While he wasn’t as good as the young masseuse, the man did give a halfway decent back massage. They must have sent him in to continue to work out my back. I began to convince myself that things were normal and I was not just being massaged by the stocky receptionist.

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