February, 2010


28
Feb 10

Two Interlocking Phonebooks

A while back I saw an episode of Mythbusters in which the guys from the show attempted to bust the myth that two interlocking phonebooks cannot be pulled apart. Although the myth was eventually busted, they couldn’t accomplish the feat with human strength or even with the strength of two cars. They were not successful until they attempted to pull the phonebooks apart with the help of two tanks from the U.S. military.

So today I decided to try the trick for myself and see how it goes.

phonebooks

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Interlocking the two phonebooks took a little while. It was kind of fun though. I was a little worried that the trick wouldn’t work because one phonebook was from 2008 while the other was from 2009. They weren’t exactly the same size.

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But it worked! I really can’t pull those phonebooks apart. It’s a pretty cool trick. You all should try it.


27
Feb 10

The Incredible Bottle Top!

If you’re ever feeling down or sad, I suggest you go to Shopko and look at the “As Seen on TV” section. It’s full of all sorts of wonderful things, like Sham-Wows, Snuggies, and Snuggies for dogs. I also found this amazing product.

bottletop

Have you ever found yourself hosting  a party, you bring out the drinks and one of your finicky guests exclaims, “I’m not drinking that! It’s in a can!” Well now, thanks to the amazing Bottle Top, you can instantly turn those cans into “bottles.”

It’s basically a bottle top that snaps onto your can. Apparently it can prevent spilling and supposedly it keeps drinks carbonated longer.

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The thing actually snaps onto a can pretty tight.

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This product is “ingenious.” How do I know that? It says so on the included instructions. But my favourite part about this product is that it takes an ordinary can of soda and makes it look cool. Doesn’t it look cool? Doesn’t it?!

The makers of this product were so thoughtful that they even included a coupon for a fake diamond ring.

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It’s valued at $136, but it can be mine for just 20 bucks! Thank you Bottle Top people. You sure are swell!


26
Feb 10

My Beloved Recliner

Dear friends,

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite chairs in the whole world. This is my recliner. He resides in my living room.

recliner

He’s very soft and comfortable. I’ve spent many relaxing hours sitting on him over the last 16 months. My favorite feature of this chair is that it reclines.

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Not only does it recline, but it reclines really far back. You can pretty much lay in this chair. It’s great for watching football or movies.

Only a few people have had the honor of sitting in this chair. But perhaps if any of you are ever visiting my apartment, I will let you sit in it… for a small fee. Okay, I *might* let you sit in it for free if I’m feeling generous. We’ll just see how it goes.


25
Feb 10

True Grits

So my girlfriend lives in South Carolina, and as that is part of the south, they apparently eat a lot of grits down there. My girlfriend has been wanting me to try grits for a while, and today while shopping at Walmart, I noticed that they sell grits there!

So I texted Leah about it and she dared me to try them. Not wanting to appear wussy to girlfriend, and needing something to blog about anyway, I put a container of grits in my shopping cart.

grits

A little while ago I decided it was time to try this bizarre food. I didn’t know much about grits. I know they’re made from corn, and I guess they’re sorta corn’s answer to oatmeal.

grits1

They look tasty huh? Well I wasn’t really sure how to prepare them, so I figured I’d just make them like I’d make oatmeal.

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Grits are weird. They taste sorta like… corny oatmeal. I put honey and milk on mine like I would with my oatmeal. I don’t really know if I was supposed to do that. To be honest though, I kinda felt like I was eating a bowl of gruel.

Will I ever buy grits again? Probably… if my girlfriend is visiting. Heh.


24
Feb 10

Midweek Thoughts – Part 8

midweekthoughts

Yes! It’s Wednesday! I’m so excited because that means it’s time for another exciting installment of Midweek Thoughts.

In my younger days I thought it would be fun to live in a shack in the forest. I still think that would be sorta fun. Living in a cave would probably be fun too. Unless there were bats in there… or bears. Bears are the number one threat to America! *eyes bears suspiciously*

Due to new federal restrictions, banks are now required to have their customers “opt-in” for the option to overdraft while using their debit cards. Unless consumers opt-in, attempted purchases exceeding the available balance while using the card will automatically be declined. Because of that, banks are scrambling like mad to get people to opt-in because they don’t want to lose their “revenue stream.” (Which totals  many billions every year.)

So ummm, why would people opt-in to have their bank charge them $35 for the privilege of spending money they don’t have? You’re probably better off without that $38 coffee drink from Starbucks.

The United States government is an equal opportunity employer. In fact, Department of Justice is seeking 10 lawyers for employment, and being disabled or mentally retarded does not preclude you from applying. Personally, I think having retarded lawyers working for the government is a bad idea, but what do I know? And I thought it wasn’t politically correct to refer to mentally handicapped people as “retarded.” Shame on you, politically incorrect Department of Justice!


23
Feb 10

Lego Blocks & Computers

lego_building

One thing I sort of miss from my childhood is playing with Lego blocks. I had a super cool collection of forts and even a pirate ship with a treasure chest and a compass that really worked. I loved my Lego blocks.

I don’t know what happened to all of them. I think a few might still be in the basement of my parents’ house, but I imagine the majority of them got swept or vacuumed up.

A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to buy to buy Lego blocks again. So I did on a few different occasions, but it was an ultimately frustrating endeavor because I didn’t have enough of the pieces I wanted, and too many of the ones I didn’t need.

Perhaps someday if I have a son we will amass a huge Lego collection together. Maybe we’ll spend many fun hours building massive Lego structures. Come to think of it, I’d want to do that with a daughter too.

Sometimes when I tell people that I like to build computers, they’ll ask questions like, “wow, isn’t that hard?” Truthfully, it really isn’t that difficult. Building a computer is a lot like playing with Lego blocks. The only difference is that the pieces cost hundreds of dollars. Heh. There’s probably a correlation between my enjoyment of Lego blocks as a child and my enjoyment of building computers today.


22
Feb 10

Pondering the Past and the Future

There are a lot of things we take for granted in this modern world. The toilet is one of the greatest inventions of all time, yet how often do we stop and think about it? The refrigerator, the spoon, locks and keys – these are all amazing things too.

But there’s something so prevalent that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. I’m talking about plastic.

If you look around your home, you’ll see hundreds of different uses for plastic. Your television, your phone, your computer, your alarm clock, your food packaging, and many of your dishes are made of or contain plastic.

Yet, human-made plastic is a relatively young substance. It was invented in 1855 by a man named Alexander Parkes. The substance was intended to be a synthetic replacement for ivory and was given the name Parkesine.

So if we stop and ponder it, the American way of life in the 1850s was very different from our way of life in 2010. Sometimes I  think about all of the things I do throughout the course of the day. I try to imagine which things could’ve also been done back then. There really aren’t very many things.

In fact, probably the most enduring activity throughout the ages is the act of reading a book. But even that is now changing thanks to e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle. Will Americans still be reading paper books in fifty years? Perhaps they will be. But perhaps they will be a novelty item that only old fogies pick up when they feel nostalgic and yearn for the good ol’ days.

By the way, the Kindle contains a lot of plastic.

Kindle


21
Feb 10

The Mysteries Of The Universe

Sometimes when I wash my socks, there seems to be a couple missing after the process is completed. I can’t help but wonder where those socks go.

For some reason, leftover spaghetti always tastes better than the fresh stuff. I don’t know why, and I’ll never understand it. Maybe I should just start making my spaghetti in advance.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why some people seem to be unable to comprehend the concept of a car blinker. You’re turning. Put on your blinker. You’re changing lanes. Put on your blinker. It’s really not difficult.

Why do people ever start smoking in the first place? Cigarettes are disgusting. Smoking is disgusting. It’s a horrible waste of money and sort of akin to taking a pile of cash and lighting it on fire. I realize it’s addicting and therefore hard to quit, but why ever even start?

These are just a few of the things I spend my life pondering. They are the mysteries of the universe.


20
Feb 10

Ah, What a Tasty Treat

It started a few hours ago. I had a feeling, a longing, a desire, a hankering… for an ice cream sandwich. But alas, I did not have any ice cream sandwiches on hand. After thinking about it for a few hours, I decided to make the long, grueling two minute drive over to Piggly Wiggly to obtain some ice cream sandwiches.

Now I had intended to emerge from Piggly Wiggly clutching a box of ordinary ice cream sandwiches. But what I actually left with was so much better.

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I found Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches! And to top it off, they were on sale. This is one of my very favourite ice cream treats.

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Although to be honest, the actual product doesn’t look quite as good as the pictures on the box. But they’re still really good!

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That ice cream sandwich is resting now… in my belly.


19
Feb 10

A Look Back At My Road Trip

So today I finally returned home from my 2000 mile road trip. I drove through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

There wasn’t much noteworthy about Illinois. The roads were a little torn up and there were some crazy Illinois drivers. Other than that it was mostly a snow-covered land of flatness not very different from Wisconsin. Toll roads are annoying.

Indiana was also very flat. Most of the state had snow. The people seemed friendly and I enjoyed my stay in Scottsburg. It’s a little town less than half the size of the city I live in, but because it’s an interstate town they have lots of hotels and restaurants. I’m a little jealous. I love that type of town because there’s not a lot of traffic and they’re easy to get in and out of.

Kentucky weirded me out a little. I think I stopped three or four times in the state and never once came across a nice restroom. They were so disgusting that it made me glad I’m a guy. Heh. I hated driving around Louisville because all the lanes and exits and such were extremely confusing and nerve-wracking. Plus, some crazy Kentuckians flipped me off because they wanted to go about 90mph in a 70 zone and I was temporarily in their way for about 15 seconds while I passed a semi.

The part of Tennessee I was in was very mountainous and hard to drive around. The interstate I needed to cross over to North Carolina was closed because they had a landslide last October and apparently still have not cleared it. I ended up taking some small back-road highway all the way to North Carolina. I passed through a town called French Broad. No, I’m not kidding. Anyway, that little detour added about two hours to my trip that day.

North Carolina seemed pretty. There were mountains and such. By the way, if you’re ever in North Carolina, DON’T SPEED. I saw about a half dozen cars pulled over, including three right in a row.

I like South Carolina. It was surprisingly easy to drive in Rock Hill and there are lots of places to eat and go shopping and stuff. My hotel was easy to get to. Leah and I also went to Kings Mountain State Park which was quite fun. :)

I wasn’t in Virginia terribly long. There were pretty mountains which were fun to see. That’s about all I noticed. Heh.

West Virginia was just awful. It was wet, slushy and snowy. They have the worst drivers I have ever seen in my entire life. I’m kind of hoping I never have to go through West Virginia again because I really didn’t like it.

So those are my thoughts on the states I drove through. I think the road trip would’ve been more fun during the summer when the weather is nicer and the scenery is prettier. But it was by far the biggest adventure I’ve ever been on. When I look at the map it’s almost hard to believe I did all that driving.

tripmap