Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Zig Zag In The A To Z Challenge

OK, so I admit it.  This year's A to Z Challenge was...well, a challenge for me.  I just couldn't give myself time to write a complete challenge and I couldn't get it done on the right days.  I did my best but I zig zagged around the Challenge.

I will not be doing the Challenge next year, I just can't commit to it.  I've learned many things this year in the A to Z Challenge, one of those is, there is more to life than writing a blog.  That doesn't mean I am giving up writing, I just will write when the mood strikes.  If that offends you, I'm sorry.  See you next time!

Yoda In The A To Z Challenge

Many of my life lessons have been learned from Star fact Yoda has been a mentor to me in a round about sort of way.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Marks The Spot In The A To Z Challenge

I knew this day was coming, I kicked Q's ass, beat U and V, but the one letter I was dreading in the A to Z Challenge was the letter X.  Sure, xylophone but who plays the xylophone anymore?  Xfinity or more commonaly know as Comcast, I have them as my cable and internet, no issues with them.  X-Men, love the comic books and the movies...except for The Last Stand, that was a heaping pile of monkey crap.  I could have been cute and done some thing like change the word extra to xtra or talked about my X girlfriends, but that's not me.  So instead I will talk to you about wood.  Yes, wood.

"But, Kevin," you start to protest, "wood obviously starts with the letter W and you already did the W  yesterday."

"Well yes my silly little minions, I did in fact do W yesterday, but today I want to talk about wood."

"But, but..."

"Shhhh, just sit back, relax and you'll see, besides have I eve steered you wrong before?"

It's truly amazing the things you can find on the internet, did you know that there are at least 21 words that begin with the letter X that relates to wood.  See what I did there?  Told you to relax...

If you were to take xylogy in college you could find out that xylan is a gelatinous compound found in wood, what things would be considered xylogenous seeing they grow on wood or you could even look at the xylem of the plant, which is the woody portion.  Maybe that would be your major and xylotherapy could be your minor.  You could treat diseases with certain types of wood.

Once you graduated college you could become a xylopolist and open up a wood store, of course you would have to hire someone who excels in xylophory to carry all of your wood in and out of the store.  Expanding your wood store you might want to enlist someone who knows xylography to do wood engraving or someone knowledgeable in xyloglyphy so you can sell cute little things carved out of wood or xoanon statues covered with ivory and gold.  Don't forget to employ a student of xylopyrography to design your wood with a hot poker or burning kit. Of course you could do the age old art of xylotypographic print and use wooden blocks to print your business cards.

Every good wood store should have a xylotomous tool in order to cut or bore the wood and a xylometer to measure the specific gravity of your wood.  Make sure you keep your shop clear of xylophagous creatures so that they do not eat your wood, these creatures, like yourself are very xylophilous and love wood.  If you are out looking for new wood you would be using the xylomancy skill, examining wood found in your path.

Now if you read all this and understood the words, you probably have a xyloid in your pants right now.

By the way, if you think I am making these words up, think you go.

**Yes, another older post that I feel needed to make another appearance.

Whatever In The A To Z Challenge

OK, so I slacked a lot in this challenge and I missed V and W.....I have one thing to say...

Vocabulary In The A To Z Challenge

The countdown until the end of the A to Z Challenge is upon me and the light at the end of the long and winding tunnel is growing larger.  Will I do this again next year?  I'll cross that bridge when I get to it but for now we are now on the letter V.

One of my pet peeves or things I despise are people with bad vocabulary.  I'm not talking putting sentences in the right order or even speaking eloquently because God knows I don't do either.  I am talking about two things:


Let's start with the Texting/IM/Social Media words.  Now before I write about this I need to put a disclaimer in here:

I have fallen prey and plead guilty to using some of these words, phrases and/or letters....judge not, lest thee be judged thyself.


I did have to laugh out loud or LOL when I typed that last line, you see I use Firefox as my browser and it is set to auto spell check and out of the 22 "words" almost half are underlined in red.  In other words, they are not recognized in the dictionary or the English language.  You see them everywhere on text messages, instant messages, social media sites, online MMO games and now even musicians are calling themselves by them.

I understand some of them and encourage them because on an email or text message you can't always tell the emotion of the person sending them.  I will accept LOL, LMAO, and in some rare cases WTF.  I will not accept ROFL, because in all my life I have never rolled on the floor laughing and I grew up around some funny ass kids.  As for the rest of them, there is no reason you can't spell out what you are trying to say other than pure laziness.  Let's go over a few of these shall we?

WUT - first, you are only one letter shy of the full four, second, there is no U in WHAT!  Pure laziness.

IDK - alright, somewhat accepted especially in a text, but in an email?  Hell no!  Take the extra three seconds to type out I DON'T KNOW.

BFF - just stop OK?  I have a best friend too but I can also spell out BEST FRIEND FOREVER.

K - this one has absolutely no excuse, especially if you type KK.  Look down at your keyboard, the letter O is just above and slightly diagonal to the letter K, you can type OK.....

TXT - really?  All you did was leave the E out.  DMASS!

AWSUM - you might as well have just typed rad, it only has three letters and means the same.

BTW - by the way, it takes 1.5 seconds to type out the full three words.

OMG -  why even bother?

Those are just a few of the ones I despise.  Now there was a time when I played a MMORPG....gotcha there didn't I?  It means Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.  I played Star Wars Galaxies...go figure huh?  Soon I will be playing Star Wars:  The Old Republic...once I decide it's worth the $15 a month to play. sucks you in...
These gamers had a whole new language I had to learn and I kept having to ask What? whenever someone threw out a AFK (Away From Keyboard), BBL (Be Back Later),  RL (Real Life), PVP (Player vs. Player) or Noob ( New Player or Rookie).  Don't even get me started on the terminology they use when player either....camping doesn't mean pitching a tent in the woods in a video game and farming doesn't mean planting and harvesting corn.

Then there are the people who mess up words that sound the librarian friends will applaud this one as I know it is their pet peeve as well.

There is a difference between there, they're and their as well as your and you're.  I'll let the following grphics do the explaining for me....and for fuck's sake DON'T use UR.....

See? if there is a chart, then there is proof.
Live it, love it, learn it!

For those who are more to the point.
And if you need a cartoon to help you.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unfriend In The A To Z Challenge

The letter U in the A to Z Challenge.  Unbelievable, it's gone this far, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do this next year...we'll see.  So I started doing something lately that has made me uncomfortable doing, I've started unfriending people on Facebook.

Most of the time it's not because I despise them in person, it's because of what they post or how often they post or something like that.  I just unfriended someone today in fact and I'm sure I've been unfriended before too.  No worries, I like Facebook but I like something else for communicating called real life.  You should try it sometime, it's nice.

Unfriending someone today made me think of why and who I have been unfriending.  I have 654 friends on Facebook (on my personal account) and I can confidentially say that I actually know and have had contact with these people in the past or currently, but some of them have become, how would you say, ob-fucking-noxious.  Here's what I came up with for the unfriending frenzy as of late.

Posting pictures NO ONE cares about.

I get it, people take pictures more than ever, especially with their cell phones.  I'm guilty of it too but I don't think I am guilty posting pictures no one cares about.  You took your kid to the movies, now all of a sudden you have to take pictures of him/her in front of the Spiderman 2 movie poster or in front of Optimus Prime.  Who...the fuck...cares?  People go to the movies all the time, no one cares that you went to movies.  I take a shit three times a day, should I start posting my bowel movements?

My life sucks and everything is going wrong status updates.

How can I put this delicately....suck it up you attention grabbing whore!  Life isn't fair, no sir, not even close, but you don't have to updated you status on how bad your life sucks.  I know you're trying to get someone to swallow the hook and engage you with the "What's wrong?", "Awww, sorry hun, can I help?" and the ever famous "You're strong, you'll get through this."  Look, you can deal with the hangnail, sprained ankle, constipation, staying home at night or whatever you think is a life crisis on your own, I'm pretty sure of it.  Now if I saw a status saying that the knives are looking sharp, I MIGHT engage you.

The people who don't post anything 358 days a year until they go on vacation.

For 358 days a year we don't hear a peep out of you, maybe the occasional funny picture post or game request but nothing on a regular basis...until you and your dysfunctional family go on vacation.  Congratulations, you're going to Hampton Beach, Walla Walla, or Nazi-World, I mean Disney World.  We're glad you are able to take a vacation with the family, but shut - the - fuck - up about it.  You don't have to "check in" at every restaurant you go to, every mini golf course you play at or where you are on your road trip...just don't it's annoying.  Sure, post a few pictures from your trip and call it day but for shit's sake, why do you have to post every lobster you eat?  Again, I don't post a picture of every turd I drop....wait a minute...I might be onto something there, people post their meals, maybe I will start posting pictures of my post meals...hmmmm.

The I'm better than you are people.

This one is simple, we don't fucking care.  You're not better than me, him or her.  You're not better than anyone, so don't drown my newsfeed with the great deal you go by shopping online with Groupon, stop telling everyone how great of a mom you are because you made cupcakes with Mickey Fucking Mouse ears on them.  WHO GIVES A FLYING STEAMING PILE OF WOMBAT SHIT?  You are no better than anyone, in fact you're probably compensating for how bad you suck as a parent.

Ah, there, that's better, it's like going to a confession, just without the whole creepy, priest in the private box thing.

Threepio In The A To Z Challenge

 Wordless Wednesday post...I'll just leave this here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S.A.C.S. In The A To Z Challnege

Let me tell you about the Stuff A Carcass Store.  The Stuff A Carcass Store is more commonly referred to as the Build-A-Bear Workshop.  As stated in the last post, this place creeps me the fuck out.  Not only do you allow your kids to be amateur taxidermists, but the things you need to do to make a stuffed animal are re-goddamn-diculous.

My first experience with S.A.C.S. (Stuff A Carcass Store and I just noticed the acronym spelled out sacks, heh heh heh) was back in 2004 when the Trophy and I thought we should make Minion #1 a bear for a keepsake.  At this point we were living in a different area and the closest S.A.C.S. was in the Natick Mall (again with the Mall Streets).  We went there one Sunday afternoon and if you have been there before you know the first thing you come to are the bins of carcasses.  This was a pretty memorable day for me for a few reasons, but the first was that I actually had a voice in a decision with the Trophy, I was able to pick out the carcass...oh, joy!  While perusing the bins, I came across a monkey carcass, I love monkeys, hell what guy doesn't love monkeys?  I could go on about monkeys, but I won't because were are talking about S.A.C.S.

So I pick out the monkey carcass and show it to my 1 month old Minion, who is obviously oblivious to anything going on around him so I look like one of those over bearing fathers trying to get their baby to communicate with them.  Now there are steps you have to take after choosing the right carcass at S.A.C.S., first you need to pick out a sound.  I wanted to choose the "record your own voice" gadget and make the monkey say "Spank me!" every time you squeezed it, but my voice in decision making was taken away and the dictatorship rose to power again.  Since they didn't have any Star Wars sounds (at that point) and no monkey sounds (how the hell can you sell a monkey carcass without a monkey sound?) we opted to not put any sound in it at all, thus saving us $5.00.

The next step on this adventure is freaking fantastic (note the sarcasm).  You pick out the carcass' first vital organ, the heart.  You get to pick out a little tiny heart, about the size of the Grinch's at the beginning of the "growing" part and shove the heart in through the back of the carcass.  If that is not bad enough, you actually have to do things to the heart before shoving it in.

Now usually, the S.A.C.S. Associate or the S.A.C.S. ASS., will have the child do a medieval ritual,  but because Minion #1 was 1 month old and can't even poop without straining himself, I was elected to be the sacrificial offering.  Now, at this point the S.A.C.S. ASS. was toying with me because we have spent HUNDREDS of dollars in these stores and my kids have never had to do this fiasco like I did.  I had to hold the monkey carcass in my left hand and the vital organ in my right hand.  I had to kiss the heart for "love", rub the heart for "life" and then stick the heart into the carcass.  Oh, that's not so bad you might be saying, but after shoving the vital organ into the carcass, the S.A.C.S. ASS., made me stand on one leg, raise the monkey over my head and proclaim "I love my monkey!"  Needless to say, it was at this point the Minion #1 started noticing things because he laughed his ass off like everyone else in the store.

Managing to get through this barbaric display of embarrassment, you then have to sodomize the monkey carcass with a metal pipe.  Being blasted out of the pipe is (I'm sure) organic, hypoallergenic, stuffing.  You get to control how much stuffing you blast into your carcass.  Do you want your monkey hard or soft?  Sounds a bit personal if you ask me.

After filling your monkey, the S.A.C.S. ASS. stitches it up like it just had a c-section.  You then take your monkey over to the "bathtub".  Now correct me if I'm wrong but when you have a new born baby you are not supposed to give it a bath until the little dried up nubby on the belly falls off and that usually takes about 7-10 days.  So right off the bat you are teaching a bad lesson to the kids making their stuffed animals.  The best part about the "bath" is that it is a high powered air jet and not water.  Now I KNOW that you are not supposed to blast a new born with a high pressure tube of air.

Now you have an air cleaned, naked monkey.  Of course monkeys need clothes, I mean seriously, why the hell not?  As we are looking at these outfits, I am seeing the bill of sale going up and pretty soon this monkey is going to cost us more than the co-pay for our real kid.  Both the Trophy and I like camping and hiking, we met at a Boy Scout camp after all, so we thought it would be cool to dress the monkey in some sort of camping gear (the Star Wars outfits didn't come out until a few years later and yes we have them).  We picked out a "Boy Scout" outfit with hiking boots, shorts (Ohhh Look....It's A  Scrotum), Scout shirt and a hat.  But that wasn't enough, our monkey got a backpack that cost more than my actual backpack, a sleeping bag rated to -20 degrees, and a cook set to put in the backpack.  This monkey was ready to hit the Appalachian Trail!

After admiring our handy work, you now have to got to a computer database and create a birth certificate for the monkey.  Basically it takes all the fun out of making a birth certificate with the exception of naming the monkey.  After pondering long and hard we decided to name the monkey....Scout (creative right?)  Again the dictator reigned supreme and my choices were shot down (Luke, Chainsaw, Pistol, you know the usual).

We slowly approach the cash register knowing that we have created a really expensive monkey and that pissed me off because I could have bought a real live monkey for $50 on Barbados, true story.  I closed my eyes and let my wife pay for the monkey.  The S.A.C.S. ASS. sticks the monkey into a cardboard box, just like if you adopted a kitten from the MSPCA and you bring it home.

We have had this monkey since 2004 and guess what?  It has only been played with MAYBE a 1/2 dozen times, tops.  $150 stuffed animal that sits on a shelf?  Frickin awesome.  Now the Trophy despises that place too but her reason is that she is pissed she didn't think of the money making idea herself.  Yet like a moth drawn to a flame, we keep going back there....go figure.

Revisited: The Conversation In The A To Z Challenge

I knew this day would come at some point.  Eight years ago the Trophy and I agreed that if Minion #1 came out a boy I would take care of the "conversations" and if it was a girl, she would take care of them.  We revisited the same agreement five years ago when Minion #2 arrived and again two years ago when #3 popped out.  The Trophy is sitting on her high horse because she doesn't have to have the "conversations" with the Minions, I do.  I got screwed, all I asked for was a boy to carry on my name and the Maker has a sick sense of humor it seems.
Minions #1 and #2 and myself went out for a couple of hours to hang Cub Scout fliers throughout the town in hopes to get new Scouts into our Pack.  We got back to the domicile around 8:30 last night and the Minions needed to shower before bed and I still had a ton of stuff to do for Scouts so I went into my office, which is also known as my bedroom, I used to have an office and then #3 came along.  As I was sitting at the computer designing fliers and working on the Pack calendar, the Trophy came up to me, leaned in very close and looked deep into my eyes...
"You need to go in the bathroom and tell YOUR kids how to clean their armpits."
I looked at her and blinked, that was not exactly what I was expecting, "Uh, OK."
So I saved all of my files and head into the bathroom, first I am hit with the stench of a freshly dropped deuce from #1 and he didn't spray in there.  Both of them were in the shower when I walked in, normally we don't allow the older ones to bath together anymore, but it was late and they needed to get to bed. "What the crap?  You didn't spray dude!" "Sorry Dad, but you don't either." "Do as I say, not as a I do, anyway your Mom sent me in here to teach you how to clean your armpits." They are now staring up at me soaking wet standing in the shower with some soap dripping down their arms, each holding their own floofy.  As I look at them I think to myself, now would be a good time to teach them the other parts of your body that, as a guy, get really smelly.  I might as well start them off right and nip the issue in the bud before they become teenagers and are REALLY smelly. "OK, listen, both of you, as a guy there are a few different places on your body that can get really smelly during the day, do you guys have any idea what those parts are?" "Your armpits!", Minion #2 exclaims. "Very good Captain Obvious, any others?" "Your feet?", #1 asks. "Yeah, that's another, but in all honesty...."  As I am saying this I flash back to the teachings of George Carlin.  He told me via a CD, that the four areas you need to really wash are your armpits, asshole, crotch and teeth.  He also said you can use the same brush for all four, but I don't think I will relay that little tidbit to the Minions.
"You need to make sure you really was your armpits, butthole, crotch and feet."  I skipped teeth because they are trained to brush their teeth already and usually do it twice a day like normal and #1 mentioned feet, so I can make him feel like he contributed or something, that's what Dads are suppose to do right? Of course they giggled like little school girls when I said butthole, but I just couldn't bring myself to say anus and if I called it asshole, well there would be hell to pay.  So we started with the armpits.  I explained to them that they need to really get into their armpits with the floofy and soap and get it really, really soapy and clean.  I also explained why it is extremely important to start washing from the top down. "Why do you need to do that?" "Well, your armpits are less gross than your crotch and your crotch is, hopefully, less gross than your butthole.  If you started with your butt, your floofy could have skid marks on it and well, you don't want to wash the rest of your body with skid marks on your floofy, it would defeat the purpose." "Yeah, you don't want poop smeared all over your face.", #2 chimes in. "Yes, exactly, no poop on your face or anywhere else on your body for that matter." I then, continued the lesson telling them that after the armpits you can wash your body down to your penis.  Yes I called it a penis, I don't like calling it silly names unless Minion #3 comes running over after using the potty and I tell him to put some underwear on because his winky is flapping around while running.  When they get older I'm sure they will learn the other words for their dicks. "OK, now you're at your crotch.  This is the second most important place the really clean, actually when you get older it will be the first most important place." "Why?" Realizing I just opened a new can of worms, "Uh, don't worry about it.  I'll tell you wash your crotch."  Ten years ago, I never once would have thought that I would ever utter those words, "Wash your crotch." I explained to them how to wash their crotch area and thankfully they knew what to do about, um, getting around the exterior parts of the crotch, you know to get into those hard to reach places.  They passed the crotch washing exam with flying colors. "OK, you can wash your legs and feet now." "But you said that we shouldn't wash anything else." "I never said that, I said don't wash your butt before washing anything else.  Washing your legs after washing your crotch is acceptable....just...wash your legs and feet." At this point I'm getting a little exasperated, knowing full well the Trophy is laying on our bed laughing her ass off because I am trying to teach them the life lessons of preteen hygiene.  My Dad never taught me, I figured it out on my own one day after I came home from school and was wondering why no one was sitting near me in five seat radius on the school bus.
Probably looking like Obi-Wan Kenobi when Alderaan blew up in Episode IV, I told them to carry on their washing.  "Now wash your butt and butthole."  I knew I needed to clarify it because, knowing #2, he would physically dig in and try to do some deep cleaning. "Take your floofy and get in your crack a few times and then, I can't believe I'm going to say this to you guys but gently, um, er, rub? the floofy against where you poop BUT!  DO NOT enter!" "What?" said in unison. "Um, just wash really good in your butt crack, OK? "Oh, OK." I walked out of the bathroom and the Trophy was in the kitchen looking at me, smiling.
"What the hell took you so long to explain washing armpits?"
"I explained the rest of washing to them, you know armpits, asshole, crotch and teeth?"
"Oh, awesome, now I will have to listen to them all day long tomorrow, telling Gav Man and Syd Vicious about washing those areas...thanks dumbass."

And then I walked away with a smile on my face, justice has been served.

***This is a repost from one of my favorite posts and most popular...hope you enjoyed!***

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quirks In The A To Z Challenge

Thursday is Q day in the A to Z Challenge and I thought this was going to be an incredibly hard letter to come up with a topic, well I was wrong.  I've been known to make mistakes...from time to time.  I came up with this letter looking in the mirror this morning.  I am quirky.  In other words I have several quirks that set me apart from "normal" people...but then again whoever said I was normal?

One quirk is that I am not quite O.C.D., I'm more like anal retentive.  I don't have to wash my hands twenty times or double check to see it the door is locked, but I like to have everything in it's place.  My work areas at home are neat and organized.  Yes I said work areaS, I have two, one for my personal/graphic/blog part of my life and then there is my Scout work area in the garage.  My wife must hate looking at my work area because it is minimal and organized, where she has a pile of papers on the dishwasher and she claims she can find anything there....that would drive me nuts.  I frequent Staples to look for a better organization system all the time.  When playing a board game I am constantly rearranging my pieces and making sure they are straight.  I play dominoes with a few friends of mine and when we play I need to make sure the chicken foot is lined up.  When I'm out shopping with the family and I see something on the floor of the store I pick it up and put it back or if I see a display out of order, I fix it.  I don't know why I do it, I just like seeing things neat I guess.

This sums it up better.
Another quirk is I buy food items I know I will never eat or drink but it sounds good at the store.  V8 for example, I buy a bottle of it a couple times a year.  I can't stand tomato soup let alone V8, but for some reason my brain flips inside out twice a year and sends a signal out saying "Hey, tomato's like cold tomato soup that you drink, you'll love that!"  So after arguing with my wife who knows full well that I will take one sip of it and shove it to the back of the fridge for it stay until thrown out and sounding like one of the three heathens telling her "I promise I'll drink it this time."  I get the V8.  Sure as shit, one sip, I come back to my senses and shove it into the bowels of the fridge.  One other food item that I have a brain fart on is jalapeno peppers.  Only jalapeno peppers.  I love them, but they don't love me.  I will order them on my grinder from Subway (because the have the ingredients right there to see) only to pay for it all night long.  I keep a bottle of Tums on my head board because I am a dumbass during the day.

See?  Arrow pointing the way...
 I've mention this next one in a past post called Ohhhh Look...It's A Scrotum.  I refuse to walk on the opposite side of the mall.  Every mall is split into two lanes separated by kiosks in the middle (like jersey barriers).  I walk on the right side of the mall just like you drive on the right side of the road.  If I need to get to store on the other side I wait until there is a break in the kiosks and make blow a U-ie.  I also don't drive across the parking spots in a parking lot nor do I pull forward into the spot that is open in front of me.  I don't like the asshats who do it, so I refuse to do it.

I am sure I have other quirks that I am not mentioning, if you ever get a chance to talk to my wife she will tell you all of my quirks.  How she has dealt with me for 15 years is beyond me.