Monday, April 21, 2008

But why a spoon, cousin?

I like eating things. I hope you do, too, because really, there are fewer pure pleasures than delicious food. I noticed today, while I was eating a rather tasty pizza [that I assembled myself], that there are a couple of pitfalls that one can run into when eating. One of the more obvious and moderately embarrassing is burning your tongue. This one is redeeming quality of burning your tongue, though, is the reaction that immediately and inevitably follows. It's always the same, too, no matter who does it: a quick ducking of the eater's head, pulling into the body along with the squaring of the shoulders and raising of the arms into a bracing position; a polite removal of the offending food and replacement onto its plate; a public declaration of "Ih ott", as if there were any doubt.

That's not what happened to me, though. That never happens to me. The pitfall I experienced was one that was less destructive to my taste buds but has a higher potential for humiliation. I was taking a bite of my tasty pizza when, due to all of the awesome toppings, the sauce and cheese touched my nose, causing some of it to remain on my face. I hate that. It happens sometimes with drinks like hot cocoa that has whipped cream on it (I also never burn myself on that) or like a cake that you eat with your hands. Or if you stick your face into a bowl of ice cream, if, for instance you don't have any spoons. I myself have a comical of excess spoons; I never want for spoons.

Not only was there the disgrace of pizza sauce on my face, that was pizza sauce that would never make it into my mouth. It would be wasted, tragically, on some paper towel, unable to fulfill its designed purpose, its destiny. I'm not sure if that's worse that getting spilled on the floor -- not it's not worse, because it's a bit easier to clean up and I have the added bonus of smelling pizza for the rest of the evening. But the point is, that bit of food is deliciousity that I don't get to experience because of an awkward bite. How unfortunate is that? Eight. It is eight unfortunate.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vampires aren't so bad

You know how people talk about classic literature like they're great, but when you had to read them in English class in high school, they were terrible? Like Great Expectations? Or Catcher in the Rye? How did some of these things get to be classics? If I met Holden Caulfield in person, I guarantee I would want to hit him. But then again, he wouldn't be the first fictional character for whom I have a heaping dose of contempt. That honor goes to a certain bi-polar train who went from painful lack of self-confidence to an excess of smugness after completing the task he was designed to perform. I think you know who you are, train.

I have discovered one of those books, however, that escapes this unfortunately common bit of literary boredom. I have, of course, found many others, but this one in particular made me want to speak out. You might remember this from a previous entry, but it has had a rather healthy impact on me: Dracula. It is excellent. I was warned that Frankenstein (note: not the young variety) was a pretty boring book, so I had my doubts. I'm not quite finished, but I am pretty sure that they kill the Count. Which is kind of weird, when you think about it, because he can do pretty much anything awesome at night but is pretty useless during the day. So how hard would it be to make sure that nobody can mess with you during the day? It does kind of sound like it's shaping up to be a little bit of the vampire version of Wile E. Coyote, though.

Anyway, he's still a pretty awesome villain. Way better than Frankenstein's Monster. This book has one of the coolest images I have ever read in the commandeered ship's captain (I don't want to give away too many details) and he drugs the help of one of the women that he feasts on with laudanum. Anyone who uses laudanum is automatically awesome. Case closed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Graphs Aplenty: Death Wish

Charles Bronson is a Man among men. Of that, there really is no question. So it was really only a matter of time before my old roommate demonstrated, in graph form, just how that works out when his famed Death Wish movies are compared to one another.

This one took a bit more analysis than the previous Graphs Aplenty, and it shows in the confusing but scientific multiple axes. This, of course, is only a qualitative comparison because it is difficult to get hard numbers without including the various hypotheses on what sort of drunkenness was reached. You see, this was only testing the one variable, not severity of inebriation. That is clearly for further study. Please make whatever comments you notice.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

[Insert overused catchphrase]

In a rather inexplicable and unfortunate turn of events, I find myself carpooling a lot less now, which "frees" me to listen to the radio morning programs when I can't decide on a cd with which to rock off my face. I sometimes go for the news, because you just need to know what is going on out there. NPR, however, isn't always the most dynamic or even relevant, because honestly, there are only so many times you can hear about how brutal the Chinese are being to Tibet and how uptight they are about the Olympics. Not to minimize the brutality, but I already don't like authoritarian governments. I'm on your side already on this one, NPR.

I normally default back to Lex and Terry, who I guess are one of those interchangeable morning DJs who are kind of funny and sometimes have a caller driven show. Typically, on this particular program, it is either about relationship advice or asking for some sort of merch. I can understand the merch, because who doesn't like free stuff? I know I do. In fact, callers into L&T even say, "GIVERS!" when they get on air, and are answered with "Us." So, I'm guessing this has some sort of precedent in the history of this show.

The thing that I don't really understand is why do these people call into Lex and Terry to ask if he or she should break up with his or her significant other who is clearly cheating on him or her? (Isn't that pronoun construction awkward?) I understand that there is nominally some variety of screening process in order to become a radio personality, but I have to wonder what sort of qualifications the callers think that our friends Lex and Terry might have that they can solve their problems?

On the other hand, it is really funny when these people call in with some story that really makes no sense and the resolution is to beat the crap out of the guy's sister's boyfriend. That is precisely the sort of entertainment I want on my way to work in the mornings.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Now Introducing: Graphs Aplenty

You know, for being an engineer, there has been a dearth of data analysis on this here blog. You know what? That ends here, right now. My old roommate, the one who likes both Vonnegut and Death Wish, started generating some graphs that needed a home (other than in the finest of scientific journals, that is), and luckily, I happened to have a blog that nobody reads. So, naturally, there will be more graphs in our future.

This, of course, is a Venn Diagram. I want to stress that this is not representative of my findings, and that this conclusion should be under the same sorts of review and verification that any other scientific result would be. There are plenty of other things that make me happily vomit.