Monday, June 27, 2011

Technical How-To: Changing Oil

This weeks post is brought to you by the letters "L" and the number 0. Representing, respectively, the nature of my work (Lousy, lame, loathsome, loquaciousOk, that's not really an appropriate adjective, but I was running out of Ls and felt like 4 words was better than three) and the amount of time I have available to write this (0 hrs). So then, I will today leave you with a slightly edited version of something I lifted off the net years ago. It's posted all over the place, but my version is better! :)

Oil Change instructions for Women:

1) Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since the last oil change.
2) Drink a cup of coffee.
3) 15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money spent: Oil Change -$20.00, Coffee -$1.00, Total - $21.00.

Oil Change instructions for Men:

1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a check for $50.00.
2) Stop by 7 - 11 and buy a case of beer, write a check for $20.00, drive home.
3) Open a beer and drink it.
4) Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5) Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6) In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7) Place drain pan under engine.
8) Look for 9/16 box-end wrench.
9) Give up and use crescent wrench.
10) Unscrew drain plug.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good Dads Have Sticky Fingers, Dirty Mouths, and Happy Bellys

Father's Day is a time for most to celebrate their fathers.  Or, if you happen to be a father, a time to sit back and soak up the free socks, ties, and strange gadgets that you might only use in the event of a nucular holocaust (for example; clean underpants).

Of course, it's also a time when the man of the house gets to choose the restaurant - entailing careful selection of the closest all-you-can-eat buffet serving alcohol during lunch hours (AKA, "The Jimmy Buffet").  After consuming four times the gross national product of the entire Caribbean, Fathers everywhere can sink back into their couch, mutter "Pull mah finger", and watch meaningless analysis of meaningless Baseball games on Sports Center.  (Seriously, just watch the umpires - even they don't care yet.)

I recently had the opportunity to celebrate Father's Day with the "In-Laws".  Even though that sounds like it would be great fodder for developing homicidal tendencies a few good laughs,  it was actually a pleasant experience.  And that's not all!  I discovered the best thing on this planet: Wrigley's Key-freakin-Lime Chewing Gum.  It is a little blast of pie heaven that cleans your teeth while you chew!  I'm pretty sure their motto is "We're like scrubbing bubbles for your mouth." Sure, the flavour only lasts through two and a half chews before turning into something that tastes like bland industrial cleaner... But those chews are totally worth it.  Now pull my finger!

title was blatantly stolen adapted from Melinda's Post

Monday, June 13, 2011

Evolution and the Technological Revolution

In the mid 1800’s, Charles Darwin invented natural selection. This was a process that allowed natural stuff to kill off those less adaptable to their environment. By less adaptable, of course, we mean dumb.

Later in the next century, and to compensate for the impending doom of the human species, Al Gore invented technology.  Technology’s purpose was initially to make it easier to order a pizza, but quickly became the most popular means available that allowed humans (that were slowly evolving into monkeys) to survive in today’s society.

Consider a recent evolution of technology: the self check-out line. Understand that there was nothing wrong with the original checkout process, in which a pretty blond-headed girl named Cynthia swiped my items past a scanner, and then told me how much money to give her. A nice young man then places these items in a bag, gives me a dirty look because I don't want him to carry them out, and then allows me to go on my way.

There are some, however, that find even such simple tasks difficult. The most common problem comes during the time one must decide if they would like to write a check, use credit, or count out twenty thousand pennies. Invariably, it's the later and all hell brakes loose when the cashier discovers a few Canadian pennies were snuck into the lot.

To aid those of us more adept at shopping (and in keeping with technological trends), self checkout  was created to put all of us on the same level. In case you didn’t know, self checkout is a process where you scan an item, place it in a bag yourself, then take it back out of the bag and try to scan it again. This is the general process of technology.

After a few tries, one becomes slightly perturbed and enters into an emotional state that might be described as "a nervous breakdown". The seemingly unscanned package of frozen bacon is inexplicably found leaving your hand and traveling across the supermarket at a rate that disproves both Einstein’s theory of relativity, and Murphy’s theory that pigs can’t fly. Said package of Bacon will naturally strike the forehead of the person holding up the line at register 5 (they just had to pick the one item in the store without a price tag). This is called natural selection.

Eventually, I ignore the electronic voice telling me to remove the unscanned item from the bag and then move on towards scanning the next item. This simple action trips an alarm that signals perhaps the most extraordinary motion ever seen from the attendant at the end of the self-checkout lines. To be concise, It moves. Slowly. It walks over to where I am, informs me that I am being less adaptable, and punches a few buttons. These events are repeated for each item I try to check out myself.

Meanwhile, the people behind me (unaware they are about to have the same problem) are now as mad as the people behind the old lady at register 15, who, consequently, is on penny number twelve thousand four hundred and seventy-six. Who also just lost count due to the alarm I set off and who will now die along with me at the hands of a soccer mom that is running late to pick up her kids, a herd of elephants, and all the refugees from a distant third world country in her SUV.  Some of whom turn out to be cannibals.We all know how that ends...  See?  Technology creates equalization for us all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Woman tattoos 152 FaceBook Friends onto her arm, asks politely that no one "unfriend" her

crazy facebook tattoo for face book
And somewhere out there is a person wishing they hadn't posted that drunken, half-naked picture as their profile pic.  Could we chalk this up as a good way for using Facebook to boost your self esteem?  Or maybe the self esteem of others?  Hey, whatever works for you.  Get the full story on YouTube.  And kids, don't try this at home.
image via YouTube screen cap, fair use protected

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hand-baked and prepared with love

It seems you can no longer leave a pet store without passing by a delightful array of gourmet treats.  I would like to meet the person that decided this was necessary.  Survey your average dog as an example.  You will find that they eat:

Why someone decided your pooch needed "delectable" gourmet treats is beyond me.  With that in mind, allow me to share two reasons gourmet dog treats are not a good idea.

1. They can be very confusing. It looks like a chocolate chip cookie. It smells like a chocolate chip cookie... But it does not taste like a chocolate chip cookie. I speak from personal experience. Eating a gourmet dog cookie tastes exactly like it sounds. (And if you thought it "sounds like" eating dog food infused with the sent of home-baked goodies, you are right.)

2. Any time I want to eat a real chocolate chip cookie, cdog now goes into a state of near frenzied panic. This state continues until shifting to a look of perturbed incredulity as he watches every last bit of that tasty morsel - what should have been his tasty morsel - disappear into my belly. The next 30 minutes become a consistent effort of me reinforcing the idea that cdog is not to retrieve the missing cookie by sending his nose on a search-and-rescue mission into my mouth.

(hungry cdog is shared by a creative commons license [CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0]; checklist images via

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feeding you the wrong food

Note, if you've been seeing articles in your RSS reader that look like they belong to someone you have followed, but it turns out these articles are from a different site: Be aware there is a google and/or feedburner issue that is affecting many feeds. This will hopefully be resolved in the near future.

Critters: I'll be here all week

criters slow poke turtle
(Click for full resolution [CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0])

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dear Blogger, We Need To Talk...

Sometimes I think there are little gnomes running around in my template. Let me start by saying I like blogger. But I'm not too fond of magically appearing buttons, I must say. Is it odd that I am most annoyed by the fact that it clashes with my color scheme?

(Update):  Ok, this is part of Google's new "+1" feature.  It was added automatically because it is now part of the "share" widget".  We are looking into whether we can change the colors or remove just that without taking away all the rest of the "shares"... Alternatively, maybe I should get counseling about my color OCD... :)

(Update 2)  How to remove google plus one (+1) button

Note, I accept no responsibility if you try this and somehow manage to boggle up your template!

I haven't had luck changing or masking the color scheme, but if you're looking to send it to the curb, here's a few options:

click "expand widgets" and look for:

 <b:if cond='data:top.showDummy'>
    <div class='goog-inline-block dummy-container'><data:post.

and delete that, it seems to go away.

You can also add a class in the tag like "sb-plusone" as follows:
<div class='goog-inline-block dummy-container sb-plusone'>  

and then put 


in the CSS section of your template (between the "style" and "/style" tags), the plus-one button will also be hidden. This later method is probably the better one, as you can easily add the button back if you want to.  The down side is it may get undone if google updates the widget, but not sure about that. 
Unless a crazy idea strikes me on how to display a different image, we will leave them hidden for now.