Friday, June 24, 2011

Roller Derby DaNae part 2...

She still isn't convinced, so I paid rather large sum of money to an unnamed man to do an artist's rendition of how awesome and happy she would be skating!

I might have to get a refund or a redo...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roller Derby DaNae....

I love my wife.  I think she is amazing.

It is Wednesday and I could make a list of all the amazing things she does that makes her so amazing, but I won't.  Today I'm going to write the list of reasons I think my wife should start a roller-derby league here in the Manhattan, KS area (I'm assuming from a brief web search that there isn't one).

  1. Planning:  My wife loves to plan and organize things.  I don't get it, it drives me nuts sometimes.  I'm not into planning, I'd rather just go do something.  I think putting together a roller-derby league would give her the planning fix she so often needs due to my non-committal tendencies when it comes to plans.
  2. Toughing up:  the first year of our marriage, DaNae cried about once every four days.  The second year was down to about once every three weeks and year three was less than once a month.  Almost all of those cries have been because of her husband, me. And during year four I can only remember two times that I made her cry.  So marriage has already toughened her up some, but I think she could still be less of a wuss in some matters (like when coming into contact with spiders) and roller-derbying would do that for her.
  3. Exercise:  DaNae hates her body despite the fact that I love it.  She always proclaims 'how bad she's been'  or how 'she needs to get back on the ball' and sometimes she replaces the ball with a wagon.  I don't get it.  But what I do get is that whatever she tries eventually gets put aside and some gleaming new thing catches her eye like some new contraption that'll dissolve that fat away like it was butter, or some new exercise routine that some person tries to instruct you on via DVD.  I think her problem is boredom.  I'd get bored (and frustrated) if I tried to follow along with some ripped person dancing around on the television.  I think getting into the ring with a bunch of ladies and going round and round, while trying not to get bumped off or clothes lined would fill that exercise need and prevent that deadly onslaught of boredom which so often knocks her off whatever track or ball or wagon she might be on.
  4. Aggression: She says she isn't aggressive enough to play a sport like this.  I think its a lie. I don't know anyone who isn't aggressive in some way.  We all are, and I think if she had the chance to throw an elbow into someone else's face than she would be happier on a whole than she is now.  Maybe it would give her the confidence to chase after what she really wants.
  5. Sex appeal:  I'll be honest, I think she would look hot throwing elbows and bumping other ladies off the track while moving around on eight wheels.  
  6. Role model:  I think it would be a great influence on our daughter for her to see her mom active and out of the house while possibly knocking some other ladies teeth out and showing good sportsmanship.  
These are the six reasons that popped into my head over the last you have a good reason that might encourage my wife to trade in her shoes for new ones that have wheels attached?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Odin vs. Jesus...

I saw this and had these thoughts....

  1. I'm pretty sure that looks more like Thor than Odin.
  2. I'm glad I'm not an Ice Giant.
  3. I'm can't remember Jesus specifically promising the end of all wicked people.
  4. Even if he did, I'm ecstatic that he is patient and wants none to perish...2 Peter 3:9

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MacGyver vs. The Ants

After finding a source of my ant problems, I went home to relax and watched a little MacGyver.  And guess what he was up against...wait for it...Ants!  Yeah, its been a common theme in these parts lately.  An invasion on my home and work life, at least I don't have ant problems at home (if I was superstitious this is where I would do the proverbial knocking on wood).

  So I thought I recount the ways MacGyver's methods were worse than mine (spoiler alert: it's episode 6 of season 1 if you wanna watch it quickly before reading the rest of this post, if you have netflix, its streaming on there).

  • None of my friends died by being eaten by them...yet:  MacGyver actually allowed a couple people to die before he was able to save the day.  Their deaths were meaningless!  I was able to find the source of the problem and massacre more of them, and only one of them were able to bite my coworker, but he was making me cranky so I didn't care much.
  • I didn't have to build a mote...yet: MacGyver had the brilliant idea to have a mote of water to prevent the ants from gaining access to the complex he was trying to save.  The water was too shallow and the ants formed boats out leaves, and caused the last of the deaths in the episode.  If I built a mote around my desk would just breed other insect pests which would probably be more vicious in the biting department.  
  • Nothing had to be lit on fire...yet:  MacGyver lit something on fire like he tends to do in almost every episode.  This time there was a large piles of branches and stuff around the fortress and ol' Mac used a flame thrower to set it a flame.  This still didn't stop the ants, maybe because they were called fire ants. Who would fight fire with fire?  If I lit my desk on fire, I think I would wind up in a federal prison for arson and destroying government property.  Then I would probably be bunking with some other large man with the name of Mac or Buddy or something like that.  
  • I didn't have to release the flood gates...yet:  Mac was finally able wash them all away by flooding the area and killing the crops, but the man he was working with was very grateful.  I merely emptied my handset of the vile creatures and taped up the hole.  Hopefully they don't come back in larger numbers tomorrow or else I might have to find out where the flood gates are located nearby.  
All in all, watching MacGyver is not helpful in everyday life.  Sure, I think I know how to make fertilizer bombs now, but that can only be useful like once or twice in a man's lifetime.  Anyways, I think the best method of attack on the ravaging creatures is to bait and divert.  Now that my phone is off limits to the ants, I'm hoping the flow all towards my coworkers desk and phone. Hopefully they don't try to devour him though....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ants aren't marching on...

I was sitting at my desk yesterday, thinking how great it was that the ants have been in fewer numbers lately.  Then I spied out of the corner of my eye about three of them hanging around the handset of my office phone.  I had seen them crawling around it in the past and they've left little treats in the receiver cradle.  I picked up the handset and shook it.  A single ant came out of the hole where the wire connects to the handset, plus I heard some stuff rattling around.

Dead ants and pupae, the black mass on
the paper includes more smashed ants
I pulled the cable out and shook it again and soon ants were pouring out of the hole (it reminded me of the movie, Joe's Apartment, where cockroaches come pouring out of every hole in the apartment).  I kept shaking it so that they would fall of onto my desk so I could smash them, rather than have them try to and bite me.  After smashing about fifty ants, I went to get the guy in the office next door to me since he said he smelled formic acid whenever he used his phone and mentioned finding treats in his handset cradle as well.   After seeing my plight he went to his office and did the same.  Only he took his handset outside.

A small sampling of the ants freed
from our phones outside
I realized that his maneuver was more intelligent and decided to do the same.  Pretty soon we had over three hundred ants crawling around on the stairs outside our office, just from our two phone handsets. It was pure pandemonium.

After about an hour of shaking our handsets we got to the point where no more ants were coming out.  I asked my office mate if he wanted to check his phone.  He shook it and I could hear things rattling in there, but he simply responded, "No ants." And then he went home for the day.

I grabbed his phone and shook it after he left.  Large bits of debris fell out.  I shook it again and about fifteen ants came pouring out.  I quit shaking it and put it back down, thinking that my curiosity had been satisfied and I didn't want to clean up any more ants.

After that I hooked up the vacuum cleaner to my handset and sucked out five more and a couple pupae.  Then I cleaned my desk with some harsh chemicals to clear out any seeking pheromones they might've left around.  Then I shook it again and got nothing.  Feeling satisfied I plugged it back in and taped over the hole.

Five minutes later I had an ant crawling across my desk.  It was a crazy day at work, with a very unproductive afternoon, unless you count killing a hundred ants as productive.  I hope tomorrow is less eventful, and with fewer ants...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Death in the family...

This morning has brought to my mind a serious question.  If you have conjoined twins and one dies, what happens to the other? 

After three wonderful years together, one of the most beautiful singers, readers and musicians I have ever known passed away.  I called her Righty.  This is of course a nickname for she was a conjoined twin and her sibling, Lefty, is still going strong. 

I met them about three years ago, about a year after DaNae and I got married.  And I've listened to their beautiful voices almost every single day since then.  At work, in the tub, while mowing and even late at night while DaNae was sleeping. They have been there when life was hard and they helped in encouraging me to continue on.  They have been there when life has been great and rejoiced with me.  They helped block out the whining caused by my coworker and officemate.  They sang songs that touched my soul.  They read to me books that I was too lazy to read. 

Righty passed away this morning around 9am central time.  It was sudden and without warning.  Usually there are always signs like static or intermittent blackouts, but not today, not with Righty.  And sadly, the world will go on.  Only Lefty and myself will morn her loss for no one else really knew her like we did.  She was the stereo to Lefty's mono.

Now I'm left with the conundrum of what to do with Righty and Lefty.  Lefty still works good, but without Righty, the world noise can no longer be drowned out.  I thought about just cutting Righty off, but then the whole thing would just look weird.  I guess I could just tape Righty to the main body and wait for a new set of headphones so that Righty doesn't get tangled with Lefty and make matters worse for us all. 

Hopefully my next pair of headphones last me as long and be as kind to me. 

P.S.  There will be no memorial services, but I can set up a memorial fund if people feel like sending cash or checks. You could even use paypal if you want. Just let me know and I can get you the information for where to send the money.  Thanks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


...or about me, to be more correct!

I'm sure we all have those little idiosynchroncities that set us apart from other people.  I'm not sure if mine are that much different than anyone else, so I thought I'd list a few and let me know how normal or abnormal I am.

  • I don't eat things with bones.  Maybe I should clarify that.  I don't eat things with the bone still in them.  Like a chicken leg, nasty! If the meat is off the bone, fantastic!  I don't know why, many people have asked me and I have no reasonable answer.  But I'm sure they all have something they do for no particular reason.
  • Spiders, I hate them!  Yes, I study and raise insects for a living, but spiders aren't insects.  Insects have six legs, spiders have eight.  It just seems unnatural.  And they creep me out like nothing else!
  • I read the last sentence in a book before I read the rest of it.  I normally hate spoilers, but I've never read a book that gave away any of the plot in the last sentence.
  • Just the opposite of that, when reading a newspaper or magazine, I read the the first sentence and then start with the last paragraph. If I want more information after that I go up to the next paragraph and so on and so forth until I've gained all the information I wanted, or I grow bored and move on to the next article.  I think if they put the pertinent stuff at the beginning it would save me from having to do this.
  • I no longer watch movie trailers for movies I want to see. I do this mostly because movie trailers give away all those 'wow' moments that makes watching a movie interesting.  Sometimes if I'm on the fence about whether or not to watch a movie, I'll watch the trailer, but once I decide I'm interested then I stop it or look away and plug my ears.  My wife smiles at me when I do this in the theater like I'm the big dork on the planet.
  • Pick up things with my toes.  I thought everyone could do this, but then I got married and my wife informed that it wasn't a normal thing.
  • Love dairy queen ice cream, but hate their spoons.  I think I have the same problem with sonic, even though I don't like their ice cream as much.  But the spoons have this ridge along the edge of them that tends to slice at my mouth as I take the ice cream off.  I think Wendy's has the best plasticware out there for such things. 
  • I also enjoy the tranquility that comes from having desks, counter tops, etc, that are clean. And when I say clean, I mean don't have anything on them.  I have a portion of my desk that has absolutely nothing on it, except for my mouse.  A couple weeks ago, my coworker placed a bag of sugar there.  I moved it, he moved it back and placed a can of inactive yeast next to it.  I moved them both and then they were both put there with another bag of sugar.  This is probably part of the reason the ants kept marching in.  I moved them all to another building yesterday and today I come in to find a stack of newspapers in their place.  ARGH!
That last one felt like I was complaining more than anything so I think I'm done.  Is there anything you noticed about me that is less than normal, or are any of the things common to you too?

***Update*** Seriously, one hour after cleaning the newspapers off my desk and also cleaning another part of my desk, my officemate placed more stuff on my desk while I sat there!  Maybe he thinks my desk is feeling lonely and needs to fulfill its purpose in holding things.  I don't feel so bad about sprinkling a few granules of sugar on his desk now.  Not sure if I should've confessed that.  But I haven't had an ant on my desk all day. I'm not usually like that....

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I had a dream...

but not one of those earth shattering ones filled with racial harmony and nuclear disarmament.  No my dream was bordering on a nightmare.  In my dream, my back washed away!  Not only did it wash away, but so did my bank account and all that was left was a really poor looking terraced yard with concrete blocks.  The crawl space under the house was flooded and several friends and bosses came over to survey the damage and offer their advice of getting out while the getting was good.  At that point in the dream I was sure there was no getting out.

Then I woke up. And boy was I glad that it was only my sunroom's roof that had sprung a leak, rather than my yard eroding away.  And I was also glad that I had procrastinated to the point that I still hadn't mudded and taped the ceiling in the sunroom yet.

I should back up a few hours to explain the leak though.  DaNae woke me up at some awful hour (honestly it was so early that her alarm clock had decided to quit telling the time and only flashed 2:32 repeatedly).  It was raining and thundering hard.  She told me that she had six or seven buckets set up in the sunroom to catch the large streams of water flowing down.

After hearing this, I lightly cursed and turned over and tried to fall back to sleep, since she clearly had everything under control.  Then after about five minutes of enjoying the sound of rolling thunder, I realized that I should go take a look out side to see where the water was coming in while it was still raining.  I walked out in my penguin boxers with a pair of flip flops and a fleece jacket after tracking down a flashlight.  I waded through several inches of water that had piled up around the back yard, and then I saw it.  Vast amounts of water were pouring from the top of the down spout, where it connected with the gutter, and nothing was coming out of the bottom.  It was plugged.

I went back to bed knowing that I couldn't fix it then and the rain stopped shortly after.  Then today I fixed it and pulled some of the sheet rock down to see the damage.  Only a little bit of the insulation was drenched and if it doesn't dry an a day or so I can pull it and replace it with some of the stuff I have left in the garage.

As I showered I was amazed at how much of house problems revolve around water, yet how very necessary water is for survival and it reminded me of when I was young and thought about how I imagined when I was a child that clouds were invading ships filled with suicide drop troops, attacking us for all the water people we destroyed as we swam, drank and bathed.  Maybe I should do a short story on that.

Anyways, my dream has stuck with me all day and left me slightly stressed, but has still left me filling better about the actual problems.  And it reminded my of childhood imagination, I guess the water isn't so bad...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The bodies continue to pile up.... work.  I speaking of ant bodies of course and I'm trying to decide what the best deterrent for them would be.  So I've decided to list the ideas I've come up with and let you my readers pick the best option or options.

  • Spikes:  In ancient times conquers would place the head of someone on the end of a spike to deter other people from doing whatever they had done.  I'm sure I can find some tooth picks or pinning needles to place the ant heads on, but then I'll probably have to stick the other end into a marshmallow to hold it up, which will just lure more in.  
  • Carbon Dioxide: When we want to incapacitate the flies in the lab, we gas them down with carbon dioxide and it knocks them out.  If you submerge them in the gas for too long then they die.  It should work the same on the ants, the only downside to this method would be that my office would no longer be functional to my coworkers or I, unless we wanted extended naps.
  • Toys:  Whether demonic dolls, or bored army men, everyone knows that as soon as the lights go out, the toys come to life.  And I'll just have to provide incentives for them to attack the ants and not innocent strangers trying to find sanctuary from the rain.
  • Anteater: The zoo here has one or two, maybe I can borrow them for a couple days until the problem is resolved.  But the major downside to this would be cleaning up the poo left behind.  The janitor at work hasn't been by in a few months and I'm not sure I could handle the stink in the trash can.
  • Anti-Ant signs:  This is the politest method.  I'll just put up some signs telling the ants they aren't allowed.  The problem?  I'll have to teach the ants how to read.
  • Fire: I remember growing up and my dad taking a blowtorch to the ant hills in the yard.  It seemed effective and fun.  Of course I don't want to get arrested for arson.
  • Negotiator:  Maybe I could hire Samuel L. Jackson to convince the ants to not attack.  I'm not sure I can afford a negotiator like that on my meager income.
  • Rock'n'Roll:  I've heard that all that noise the kids are listening to these days will rot your brains!  Maybe I could just blast it and see what happens to the ants.   There are two perilous side effects to this one though.  The first being that one of my coworkers will probably turn his jazz up louder, and the second would be that the ants' brains might fry and they would turn into zombie ants.  No one would be happy with zombie ants or loud jazz.
  • Convert them:  Maybe with a little Jesus in their lives, then maybe they would turn from their stealing ways.  Of course they might try to abuse the grace given them and just steal even more and then how will I do my yeast experiments?  
  • Continue to drop various office implements on them:  I have been find different things on my desk to drop on them after growing bored with just squishing them with my finger.  I've used post-it pads, nalgene bottle, keyboard, pens.  The only problem with this method is that the carcasses are starting to pile up on the floor, and since I don't know when the custodian will be back to vacuum the carpet, it might get kinda gross in there rather quickly.  
There you go, those are the options I've come up with, can you think of something better or would you stick with one of my ideas?