Thursday, August 25, 2011

This place about to blow

I know hurricanes are nothing to sneeze at (achoo), but does anyone else think the networks and the Weather Channel are milking this storm for all it's worth? Frankly, some of the coverage is a bit morbid. It's like the forecasters and reporters want this to be a really bad storm, so they have several days worth of news (and devastation) to prattle on about. Of course, if we don't have power, we can't watch the news, but that's another story.

We here at J-TWO-O Central are taking the usual precautions: stocking up on water and batteries/flashlights and candles and basic foodstuffs and making sure our various devices are fully charged by Sunday morning.

So what are you (i.e., those of you who live along the I-95 corridor) doing to prepare for the big blow? And where do you think this sucker is going to make landfall? Leave me a comment.

P.S. What's next, fire? (We already had earth(quake), now wind.)

UPDATE 1: Went to the supermarket early this morning -- and could not believe how empty some of the shelves were. I was lucky to get a gallon of 1% milk! And forget about tuna fish and peanut butter. And the lines! Fortunately, the liquor store was calmer and well stocked, and I was able to find a six-pack of the spouse's current fave beer, Palm, as well as some Chimay Grand Reserve. The spouse is heading out to get propane for the grill later -- and a flat of seltzer.

UPDATED 8/28: Lost power around 1:45 a.m. this morning, even though it was barely raining and the wind wasn't blowing that hard at the time. Most of our town and the surrounding small, tree-filled towns are without power. No estimate as to when power will be restored. Fortunately, we have plenty of propane and water and creativity. The spouse was going to make bread, but now we're going to make pizzas on the gas grill for dinner. When the kid said she was bored, I told her we could always read Bible verses aloud and play board games. Haven't seen her since. Pray for power!

UPDATED 8/31: Day 4 without power -- or running water! And let me just say, reading by candlelight has lost it's romance (even though I've been reading historical romance novels -- just seemed appropriate). And school will not open until after Labor Day -- a week late (actually 8 days late)! And my small business has taken a major hit. But, it could be worse! At least it's not raining in our living room this time!

UPDATED 9/3: Got power back last night. Am now playing catch-up with work. Will probably post something later this weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Screw Calm and Get Angry

Hate when people tell you "Just relax!"? Have no patience to meditate? Politics and the economy make you want to scream (or worse)? Forget Stay Calm and Carry On. You need Screw Calm and Get Angry.

Described as "the motivational mantra for the realists of the world," Screw Calm and Get Angry is filled with pithy epithets, such as this little political gem:

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right." -- H. L. Mencken

Am looking forward to reading the rest. That is, as soon as I calm down and go buy the book.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dog as art*?

Excuse me sir, How much is that (French bull)doggie in the window?

The artist did a fantastic job. So lifelike! The French bulldog actually appears to be breathing! (Click on the photo to get a larger view. Then click the back arrow to return to the post.)

I call zees masterpiece "Dog Days of Summer." Eez very realistic, non?

(A woman passing by wondered whether the dog's name was "Art.")

*Alternate title: Let sleeping dogs lie... in art gallery windows.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis tribute (favorite Elvis song clips)

It was 34 years ago today that Elvis Aaron Presley suddenly died. And to mark the 34th anniversary of his death, I wanted to share three of my favorite Elvis Presley video song clips.

First up, "Bossa Nova Baby," from Fun in Acapulco:

Dig those crazy moves!

Next, the classic "Viva Las Vegas," from Viva Las Vegas:


And then there is this classic scene and eponymous song from Clambake, which I love not so much because of the song (which was typical Elvis movie drivel) but because of the awesome bikini dancers:

Did people really throw parties like this back in the 1960s?

Got a favorite Elvis song? Let me know via the comments.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gone hog wild

I love pigs (even the male chauvinist kind). So you can imagine my delight when the spouse and I came across a family of adorable piglets in a nearby hamlet, on our way back from a recent bike trip. (The spouse's reaction to the petite porkers? "Mmm... bacon!")

This first picture I call "Pork Butts," though the spouse likes "Everybody in the Pool!"

This next one I've titled "Hamming It Up," though "Snorf!" would also work.

Next up, "Nom nom nom nom." (Wish I had taken a video of the piglets grunting and pushing each other out of the way to obtain prime position. So cute!)

And finally we have "Bacon at rest." (All that eating and shoving and grunting wears a piglet out. Though I can only imagine how tired the piglets' mother, a thousand-pound sow from the looks of her, felt nursing eight greedy little piggies!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

World's scariest roller-coaster ride? The Stock Market

In July, Travel + Leisure magazine ranked the World's Scariest Roller Coasters. However, they left out what most Americans (at least in August) would likely agree was by far the world's scariest roller-coaster ride, the stock market.

Seriously, the Intimidator 305 (voted Best Coaster of 2010 by Amusement Today) has got nothing on the Standard & Poor's rating agency when it comes to intimidation.

Oh, and in case you're not an investor in the market and want to know what the past week has felt like to those of us who are, check out this short video clip a passenger riding the El Toro roller coaster took:

(I think Six Flags Great Adventure should consider changing the name from El Toro -- the Bull -- to El Oso, the Bear.)

Any guesses as to what the market will do tomorrow?

UPDATED: Well, we ended the week on the upside -- which probably means we're goin' down on Monday. Brace yourselves, people. And speaking of Standard & Poor's, I enjoyed this recent post over on Rumproast, which quotes an S&P senior director saying who is responsible for the downgrade.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What kind of guy wears this t-shirt?

So the other day in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of American History, I run into (not literally) a guy wearing the t-shirt at left, which (if you cannot read it) says: "I am the man from Nantucket."

And I am pretty sure the t-shirt was not referring to the version of the limerick that appeared in the Princeton Tiger in 1902.

Of course being well-versed in limericks, I did a bit of a double-take when I saw the t-shirt -- especially as the man wearing it looked NOTHING like the model above but was rather paunchy, with thinning hair, in his mid-50s, and was with his wife and kids. (At least they looked like they were together.)

Which leads me to the title of today's post: What kind of guy wears a t-shirt that says "I am the man from Nantucket"? Also, what woman would allow her husband to go to a family museum wearing a t-shirt that says "I am the man from Nantucket"?

[Note: Keep those comments clean, people. Especially you, JB.]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

He is... the most interesting cat in the world

They invented yarn... just to amuse him.

The Trevi Fountain is his water bowl.

He doesn't require catnip. Other cats gets high licking him.

He holds the world's record in the high jump.

When he sheds, people rush to collect his fur and make it into clothing.

He is... the most interesting cat in the world.

"I don't often get to eat human food, but when I do... I prefer tuna fish.

"Stay hungry my friends."

Friday, August 5, 2011

A sick idea (this post has humor in the bag)

Recently, our daughter has been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. (Ah the joys of being a teenager -- and the mother of a teenager!) However, instead of saying "I feel anxious" or "I'm panicking," our daughter uses the phrase "I might be sick" -- as in "I might throw up" -- to get out of doing things she feels uncomfortable doing. And it is amazingly affective, around other people. (We just tell her, okay, so if you need to throw up, throw up. You'll probably feel better. But she has yet to do so.)

So while at sleepaway camp this summer, our daughter went to see a doctor. And the doctor, who was incredibly nice, called us. During their conversation, our daughter told the doctor about her "might being sick." And the doctor, God bless her, calmly replied that if she felt like she needed to throw up, she should just find the nearest bathroom and go throw up -- or carry around a "sick" (aka barf) bag and discreetly excuse herself and go throw up in it. Not a big deal.

Upon hearing the story, which he loved, the spouse went online and Googled "sick bag" and "barf bag" -- and was (pleasantly?) surprised to find thousands of websites offering sick bags and barf bags, as well as a huge market for unused airline barf bags on eBay and a guy who collects barf bags from all the airlines. There are also barf bags for bachelor and bachelorette parties, for kids who get carsick, for pregnant women who get morning sickness, and for people who get sick at the thought of politics as usual. (Who knew barf bags were so popular?)

Among our favorite barf bags...

Lavendar Lulu Vomit Bags (So discreet! After all, why should barfing be ugly?)

The Margarita Party Barf Bags (For that special girls night out! Also comes in "Martini" for you guys!)

TravelJohn Disposable Vomit/Urine Bags
(I may seriously need to get me some.)

Toxic Waste Barf Bags

I also came across the Barf Boutique, the go-to website for "funky designer & novelty gift bags made of genuine barf bags and, of course, real barf bags made for barfing." AWESOME.

Whether or not we decide to buy some for our daughter, we have the perfect gag gift for this year's holiday party!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

H8 H8ERS (as seen in Washington, D.C.)

Technically, I saw this fabulous license plate -- H8 H8ERS ("HATE HATERS," for those of you who haven't had your morning coffee yet) -- in Northern Virginia. But I was on my way back from Washington, D.C., where I had passed by the Capitol as the Senate was voting on increasing the debt ceiling. And had to take a picture.

Wonder if the owner of the SUV was a Democrat or a Republican.... Any theories?

(Am also wondering if H8 H8ERS is available in my state.)