Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Use of taxes

You may not know this, but sales tax in the city of Chicago just went up to 10.25%.  The highest in the country.  Not only does that suck, but if sales tax is going to be 10.25%, you'd hope to have fewer potholes and less crime obviously, but I would really like to address two pet peeves.  
First, the mileage markers on the lake shore running trail need replacing.  Today, I set out to run 6 miles and ended up running 7.5.  The mileage marker I was looking for to turn around never came, so I decided to keep going to the next one, half a mile away, and it didn't come either, at which point I was half way to Evanston and decided I better turn back, seeing as though the furthest I'd run before away was 5 miles.  Overall, it went fine, though I did lose almost 5 pounds of water weight in the process, which probably isn't too good.  So now here I sit guzzling water, unlike to pee ever again.  

My second pet peeve is cyclists riding their bikes on the sidewalk.  Let's be clear: in the city of Chicago, IT IS FUCKING ILLEGAL to ride your bike on a sidewalk.  ILLEGAL.  Besides some pending litigation stemming from a cyclist on the sidewalk riding her bike into my car (and yes, she's suing me) that I shouldn't probably discuss here, a huge girl on a bike almost rammed into the back of me as I was running home on the sidewalk.  She took evasive action at the last second and almost wiped out into a bush.  Then she flipped out about how I was taking up the whole sidewalk and was, quite frankly, a total bitch.  I might point out that her width was at least double mine, so me taking up the whole sidewalk that she fit on is a mathematical impossibility.  Rather than get upset, I asked her if she was aware that it was illegal to ride on sidewalks in the city.  "No it isn't, no it isn't," she retorted, like some sort of retard who says everything twice, and wobbled off down the sidewalk.  

I am so pissed off about this that I am going to talk to my alderman tomorrow.  Since I won't be bringing a brown bag of cash, I'm not sure anything will get done, but I'm going to ask for signage, at least around my place, telling cyclists to keep the fuck off the sidewalk.  Either that, or I'm going vigilante and poking a golf club through their front spokes until word gets out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why Small Talk Sucks

Seeing as though we have a wedding to attend this Saturday, Mrs. Bumdad suggested that I might consider getting my first haircut in almost three months.  I think my hair looked just fine, but anyone who's married knows that doesn't matter.  So off I went to get a haircut.

The girl who was cutting my hair was nice enough, the typical Midwestern farm girl type--pretty, but 30 pounds overweight and working towards making it 60.  We made the required small talk, and she revealed that she had a dog of whom she was very fond, a French Bulldog.  Still not sure exactly what a French Bulldog is, but I'm willing to bet it runs away yelping if another dog sets foot in it's yard.  But anyway, we chatted for a while about the dog before I asked what she did with him all day while she was at work (she lived in an apartment in the city).  At that point she paused and a look of grief came over her face--had her dog just died?  She maintained the silence for a good 10 seconds while I contemplated what the hell was going on.  "Actually he lives most of the time with my ex-boyfriend.  We broke up and now we have joint custody of the dog."  Having explained her sorrow she reverted to her grief stricken look and eventually went back to pecking at my hair with her scissors in silence.  

Neither of us said anything for the next 5 minutes.  Awesome...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Long 18 Years...

I always thought, and I guess I still do, that I'd want a smart alec kid.  The sort who sees the humor in someone stubbing their toe, rather than a kid who'd cry in sympathy.  Well, today my daughter was having a rough patch, fussy, nothing would make her happy.  Finally, I tried lying on the couch and holding her above me, doing the "flying-baby" of which she is quite fond.  She was okay with that, but still not thrilled.  As I was about to lower her, she puked all over me.  And proceeded to giggle--happy as could be--as I surveyed the scope of the barf with a gagging look on my face.  If that's how it's going to be, it may be a long 18 years for Bum Dad.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Fart sounds

My daughter is wonderful.  Yesterday she was unhappy about something, so I stuck my tongue out at her and made a fart sound (I don't recommend this for dealing with unhappy women over the age of 3, however).  She immediately smiled, so I did it again and again, and she became more and more excited and giggly each time.  Finally, she decided she wanted in on the fun, and stuck her tongue out.  She crossed her eyes and fixed them on the tip of her tongue and looked expectantly at it, waiting for the sound.  She starting straining her neck forward, trying to figure out why her tongue wouldn't make a noise.  When she surmised that that wouldn't work, she tried darting her tongue in and out like a little frog.  Still nothing, so she decided it wasn't going to happen for her and reverted her attention to my tongue farts, a big grin on her face.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rich? and Fish and Chips

I was sent a news story today about a girl who was made a ward of the court so that a judge could change her name from "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."  Are you fucking kidding me?  I may have a zany sense of humor, but even I think that just sucks.  Oh yeah, by the way, this happened in New Zealand.  I would have suspected California, but no.  I guess proximity to the Pacific makes you crazy?  Other names that were allowed in New Zealand: "Number 16 Bus Shelter."  Not allowed: "Fish and Chips" and "Sex Fruit."  Personally, I'll take being named Fish and Chips over a bus stop.  Maybe the kid was conceived there? [Must. Not. Make. Mom. Joke.  It hurts.]

We have a wedding to go to next weekend, and I had to go downtown and buy a new suit today.  I'd been nursing my old one along for almost 10 years, it was time (Yes wife, you're right.).  So I headed down to Nordstrom and after various parking debacles--I really hate downtown Chicago in summer; tourists everywhere!--made it in and asked a sales guy for some help.  Sure thing, he said, and led me over towards the suit area.  As were walked he looked over at me and says, "Rich?"  I did a double take and realized I hadn't misheard him, and said, "What?"  Was he trying to ask how much I wanted to spend?  Did I look homeless?  Was he confused because I had on shorts and flip-flops but a nice watch?  Seriously?  "What?"
"Rich," he says, thrusting his hand towards me.  Oooohhhh.
"Bumdad."






Smartest Baby Ever

I started running 3 weeks ago, and I'm addicted.  Nothing too ridiculous yet, 5 miles 4 or 5 times a week.  I never had the combination of time and energy while I was working, but now burning 45 minutes is no big deal, and I get plenty of sleep.  I think when I reach a plateau and am not going faster each time out I may get bored, but for now the obvious improvement every time makes it enjoyable.  Well, yesterday I went running by the lake, and headed south.  I was flying.  I couldn't believe how fast I was going, I thought maybe I had seen the wrong time on my iPod when I started, or something.  I stopped for a drink at my usual water fountain and turned to head back home.  Holy wind, Batman!  Apparently I had had a 20 mile per hour tailwind the whole way down.  Going back home I swear it felt as if I were running but going backwards.  It sucked.  From now on I will always check the wind direction, and run into the wind first. 

What made it all worth it, though, was about a block from home I jogged by a woman trying to parallel park on the street.  I saw her first attempt from a distance, and was alongside her as she tried for the second time.  No luck.  This was a huge, huge space.   A large SUV could easily have parked there, yet she couldn't get Corolla into the spot.  I saw two more attempts before she realized I was watching and laughing, at which point she peeled out, ran a stop sign and disappeared.  Note to self:  I will personally teach my daughter how to park.

The highlight of the day, though, was of course my daughter.  She's had an interest in playing peekaboo for a while now.  I'll lift her shirt over her eyes, she'll squeal, I'll lower her shirt and she'll be oh so happy to see me.  Sounds boring, but trust me it's awesome.  Anyway, last night we were playing, and instead of giggling when I covered her eyes, she strained to lift her whole body up so she could see me over her shirt.  She was pleased with herself, but I was beside myself.  I got my wife to video it and everything, it's on YouTube now.  If you can find me another 2 month old who can figure that out, I'll be very surprised.  In sum, I have the smartest kid ever.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boasting Dad Alert

Happy Birthday Dad!

You'll hear a lot of parents, especially dads, proclaiming that their child is the greatest, smartest, best, cutest, whatever.  Guess what?  They're all wrong, because my daughter is the greatest.  I don't brag about her much because it's tacky, but today is an exception.  It's grandpa's birthday, so let's hear how awesome his granddaughter is.

One of the theaters near our place has a "family matinee day" for the first screenings of all movies on Tuesdays.  By family, they mean potential screaming babies and loud children are allowed.  We decided to go see The Dark Knight, since everyone says it's the greatest movie etc etc.  There were maybe six or eight other babies there besides ours, and they all started screaming at one point or another.  One screamed pretty much the entire movie, and his dad saw fit to stand beside the last row (which happened to be where we were sitting) and hold the screaming baby rather than address the problem.  Not too cool.  But anyway, my daughter didn't cry once.  She made her hungry grunt and wave once, and got fed.  She napped a little, but mostly entertained herself.  She looked puzzled at the crying babies, peering down her nose at them from her car-seat throne, Queen of the Babies.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lack of motivation

I'm not feeling very inspired to write anything entertaining, so I'm going with the funny baby clothes and a funny video.  I don't know if airbags are typically that sensitive, but if they are I may have found a new hobby.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Facebook


I took the plunge and got a Facebook page.  Since I think I am the last person on Earth under 30 to get a Facebook page, I imagine there is much celebrating at Facebook headquarters as their world domination is now complete.  In some ways, I see what I was missing.  It is definitely an easy way to get in touch with people.  On the other hand, it is sort of lame to contact a person you haven't been in touch with for ten years via Facebook.  It's great to get back in touch, but if you had really, really cared to know what that person was up to, I'm guessing you could have made the effort to find out their contact information.  That said, I just sent out a ton of friend requests to people I haven't even thought of, let alone talked to, in 10 or 12 years.  

Mainly, though, I see Facebook as a great opportunity to share a ton of pictures of my beautiful daughter with everyone I've ever known.  Facebook says you can add unlimited photos.  We'll see just how many unlimited is.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh man, still laughing.

 I'm too tired to write anything today.  My daughter wouldn't go to sleep last night, so we had her in bed with us.  It was like trying to sleep next to a bear cub.  A hungry bear cub that smelled honey or salmon or whatever the hell bear cubs eat.  Luckily, my sister-in-law sent me this wonderful little picture, and I think it's funny enough to warrant its own post.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Herding Cats

I was running on the trail that borders Lake Michigan today.  There were all sorts of 3 and 4 year olds running wild, part of some pre-school group I think.  I felt bad for the poor ladies who were chasing after them, trying to keep them semi-orderly, and to lose less than 20% of the kids (that's the acceptable rate, so I hear).  Whoever coined the phrase "herding cats" was spot on--no sooner would one of the tenders retrieve a straying child than another child would start wandering off in another direction.  I can't think of many worse jobs.

I ran on, dodging kids hither and thither, until I came upon a very strange sight.  There were 12 or 15 kids in a group, walking in single-file, and as I got closer I saw that they were wearing matching reflective vests.  As I came up beside them, I saw that they were all holding on to a rope with loops attached for them to grab onto.  I don't think they have juvenile hall for 3-4 year olds, but if they did, this what the chain gang would look like.  I half-expected them to be picking up garbage, but they didn't appear to be.  Bummer.  Guess I won't be able to threaten my daughter with having to go pick up trash near Lake Michigan if she doesn't finish her dinner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rampage

I haven't really gotten into the whole Ultimate Fighting Championship thing, although I can definitely see the appeal.  Boxing isn't as interesting as it used to be, so the various mixed martial arts organizations are filling the void.  

This was all over the news yesterday, but if you haven't heard it about, you should because it's pretty ridiculous.  
"Rampage" Jackson (bio here), pictured here next to his slightly modified Ford F-350, is the former light-heavyweight champion of one of the MMA organizations.  According to his bio, he has three sons, all with the middle name "Rampage," and a daughter whose middle name is just "Page."  He is also a born-again Christian.  Sounds a little like he is trying to be the MMA's answer to George Foreman.  I wonder if he's coming out with a grill named after him.  The Rampage Grill--I'd buy one!

Anyway, Rampage had a little driving incident yesterday in which he drove into another car and fled the scene.  Unfortunately for him, he must have forgotten that he was driving a monster truck with his picture and name on the side.  After leading police on a low-speed chase in which he drove on sidewalks, hit a few more cars, and probably had an "oh shit!" moment when he realized what he was driving, he was apprehended.  I think you'd have a better chance of making a clean getaway in the Goodyear blimp.  

Even if he ends up going to jail for a little while (which is unlikely, given that this happened in California, and he is vaguely famous, although his skin color isn't helping him), I somehow don't imagine that jail would be all that tough for him.  Call me crazy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dress Up

If my daughter ever has trouble deciding on a Halloween costume, I think Harry Caray would work.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Motion Sickness

My parents are going to read this with big smirks on their faces: my daughter has severe motion sickness.  Up until about the age of 12, just about any sort of movement would make me vomit.  I puked on planes, in cars, on boats, in buses.  I even threw up in a planetarium in Denmark--apple cinnamon pancakes, I remember it vividly.  To their credit, my parents never got visibly upset with me, though I'm sure they were livid.  I guess there's not much to do about it, you know the kid feels like total shit too.  I think possibly my earliest memory is being 3 or so, and eating at least a pound of strawberries at the airport as we were embarking on a trip to the US from Botswana.  As soon as the plane took off, I vomited all over myself and my parents.  We had another 30 hours of travel ahead of us.  I don't remember that part.  I bet they do.

Motion sickness is no joke either.  Maybe the worst I've ever had it was in Mozambique when I was attempting to get scuba certified.  I was wearing a wetsuit that fit too tightly around my neck, and we were in a small inflatable boat that was belching diesel fumes straight at me, charging through pretty big swells.  I really didn't want to barf in front of everyone on the boat, so I managed to keep things under control until I was in the water, floating, waiting to go down.  At that point, having my snorkel in my mouth put me over the edge, and I threw up my breakfast.  I decided to say fuck it to scuba diving, and swam back to the boat.  Not a good move.  Once one the boat I thought I was going to die.  We were over a mile offshore but I decided the best course of action would be to swim for it.  I told the captain this, and tanks and all I prepared to jump back into the Indian Ocean and make my way to shore.  Luckily, he stopped me and hailed a passing boat, put me on that, and I made it back to shore alive.  I lay face down in the sand for a while, ecstatic to be on solid ground.  

So a few weeks ago we received a baby swing as a gift.  For those of you who don't know, its basically a car-seat looking contraption that is suspended by a pole, connected to a stand.  It is battery-powered and rocks from side-to-side.  Babies supposedly become completely sedate when placed in swings, hence their nickname, "neglecto-matics," because you can leave most babies there for long periods without a peep.  

The first time we put our daughter in it she didn't seem very happy, so we took her out quickly, and that was that.  The second time, she was quiet and got a glazed-over look on her face.  She whimpered a bit, so my wife picked her up--barf!  Hmm, maybe she just didn't feel well to begin with.  We tried it again a few days later, no whimpering this time to warn us, just barfing.  A lot of it.  And for those of you who don't know, baby barf is pretty bad.  It looks like cottage cheese and smells like the sourest milk you've ever smelled.  These episodes, coupled with a few incidences of barfing in the car (most babies fall asleep instantly in car-seats) has lead us to the unfortunate realization that she has very bad motion sickness.  I have to say, if she ends up flying before she's a teenager (a bragging point in the South--"I rode a plane!!") she will be so drugged up she won't have any recollection of the trip.  

So Mom and Dad, guess its my turn to deal with a barfer.  In retrospect I'm glad I had the same problem so I can relate to her and not get upset.  Also, before we try any inter-continental flights such as to visit the grandparents, I'm going to need a supply of elephant tranquilizer.  Anyone in southern Africa have any black market leads on that?  I'll trade you some manhole covers for it.  

Disclaimer

To clarify
Mrs. BumDad has, ah, kindly requested that I provide a disclaimer:
 
My mother-in-law is many things,* but a meth-manufacturing prostitute is not one of them.**
 
As with many of my attempts at humor, the yo' mama jokes aimed at my mother-in-law failed to register with some readers (well, one reader...thanks again, Dad!)
 
So please stop asking me for her beeper number.
 
Thank you.
 
*The inspiration behind this blog (the funny parts, anyway, and none of the four-letter words or references that include the phrase "pimp-slapping"), the baker of delicious brownies, and loving Taddy to my pride and joy
 
**To my knowledge

Friday, July 11, 2008

Amazon in South Africa

A friend of mine in South Africa sent me this link about the theft of Amazon.com packages in South Africa.  This article alone is hilarious, and the rest of site is equally awesome.

Somebody's not happy...

Shout out to my stalker, i.e. the anonymous reader who penned an odd but surprisingly well-spelled and semi-coherent comment accusing me of being, in sum, a bore (This is in addition to the anonymous comment calling me a putz.  Is there a link to this blog on the AARP website?)  Since he's one of the people who's actually left a comment (besides my immediate family...thanks, Dad!), I'm almost flattered, and figure I'll take what I can get. Bloggers and their readers, after all, occupy a similar place in the food chain--far below functioning members of society like, uh, traffic cops and the entire cast of The Hills, but, I'd like to think, at least a notch or two above lawyers and pigeons.
 
Anyway, the gist of the aforementioned comment being that I'm jerk and should watch out, because he knows people who know people...something about never working in this town again if word gets out what an asshole I am, and wow how proud my family must be.  I'd prefer to leave my family out of this.  But if you must know, being that they're not humorless stiffs, they do at least occasionally find this funny.
 
Let's pretend to ignore the fact that the type of person to troll strangers' blogs leaving anonymous comments probably isn't the most high-powered, well connected individual...instead I imagine a middle-aged loner, the type who many years ago huddled in his basement over paste and letters of the alphabet clipped from magazines, drafting threatening letters to radio stations and the President which may have occasionally included a reference to JFK or extraterrestrial life, but inevitably ended with the words "...or else!" Then he finally convinced his mom to get the internet, and the modern-day internet stalker was born.
 
Anyway, dear reader, I beg you to reconsider your threat to expose me as a jerk to the powers that be in the trading industry. I would be mortified if the secret got out that I'm an offensive asshole with the social delicacy of an Amy Winehouse groupie. My colleagues would be shocked. "BumDad?" they'd say in disbelief. "But he's such a sweetheart!" As everyone who has had the pleasure of working with me would attest, it's just not in my nature to stir the pot, to put the cat among the pigeons, if you will.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anonymous Comments

Some cool guy decided to leave the anonymous comment, "You are sort of a putz.  Actually a complete one."  Well done, my friend.  Faulkner couldn't have said it better.

And I'm not sure who uses the word "putz" anymore.  My guess is, though, that this blog has a wide appeal to the 80+ demographic.  So that might be it. 

In future, please take credit for your lame comments.

Jesse Jackson is awesome

If there was any doubt that Jesse Jackson was even crazier than Al Sharpton, I think this may clear it up.

Having publicly backed Obama and even campaigned for him, Rev. Jesse Jackson had this to say about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

What I don't understand is why Obama doesn't tell him to go fuck himself.  What's Jackson going to do, convince black Americans to vote for McCain?  Hahahaha. 


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Bulls

Remember me  complaining about the Bulls' new coach a while back?  Well, here's what The Onion has to say about the hiring.  Hilarious.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Olympics again

Turns out that I'm not the only person who thinks the Olympics are going to be a disaster.
Slate Magazine (which I generally think is a piece of shit, so forgive me for sending you there) has an interesting piece up about it.

Doctors, Doctors, Bottles

Good day medically for the family.  This morning I went for my yearly check-up with my dermatologist.  Seeing as though I grew up in Africa, got sunburned quite a bit as a kid and am on the paler end of the pigmentation spectrum, I'm always a little bit concerned that this is going to be the year that I'm diagnosed with skin cancer.  But good news, looks like that isn't going to happen until I'm older than 30.  Oh yeah fuck, I'm turning 30 next year.  

Then this afternoon my daughter had her 2 month pediatrician visit.  She is still on course to be about 15 feet tall and weigh 500 pounds.  97th percentile weight and 90th percentile height.  Not quite sure how, since neither my wife nor I are huge people--both a few inches taller than average--but the pediatrician says its all good, so I think its great.

I'm not sure why having a big, fat, healthy baby is a point of pride, but it is.  I was in the grocery store the other day and saw a mom with her daughter.  The daughter was walking around--staggering might be more accurate--but was no bigger than my daughter.  I felt a tinge of pity for her parents.  I do hope, though, that people realize that my daughter is a huge 2 month old, and not a dim-witted, not crawling, not walking, not talking 18 month old.  If they don't, I'll be sure to kill them.

Besides the good medical news we received today, my daughter finally willingly and happily drank a whole bottle that I fed her.  Lately she has despised drinking from one, and would rather go hungry until my wife breast feeds her, but today she guzzled her 3 ounces like a champ.  The best part was that she started gripping the bottle with her left hand, and had only her middle finger raised, straight in my direction.  Fuck you guys for giving me a bottle, but I'm so hungry I no longer care to fight you.  My girl.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ow my ribs...

Whoever said that 2 month olds are blobs forgot to mention that their heels are not especially blobbish.  Last night my daughter was sitting on my lap, facing me, and managed to kick me in the ribs.  It hurt a little bit at the time, but I didn't think twice about it.  Today, though, I am in agony.  I got hit in the ribs by a softball traveling at a pretty rapid rate of speed three summers ago, and this definitely hurts worse.  And apparently you use your intercostal muscles for just about everything.  I went jogging today and it hurt like hell.  Even putting my arms over my head hurts. I'll quit my bitching, but good lord, you spend so much time and effort trying to not damage your baby, you never think she'll maim you.  

New Zealand seems like a pretty nice place.  Outdoorsy, picturesque, produces great wine, residents have an affinity for having sex with sheep--I'm not hurling accusations, just reporting the facts.  So the place has lots going for it.  Add to the list broadcasts hardcore porn in the middle of the afternoon.  Wait, what???  Apparently a rugby match on TV was interrupted when the broadcaster inadvertently switched feeds to Desperate Black Wives 2 (I preferred the original) which was on another channel on the same satellite.  Mildly amusing, since the New Zealand rugby team is known as the All Blacks.  I think for different reasons, though.

Here's a quick New Zealand wine recommendation for you.  Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007.  Smells like freshly cut grass and has a refreshing, limey tang to it.  The perfect wine for a summer afternoon/evening (or morning if you like, I won't judge you).  The good news about it is that it should be widely available, maybe even at your supermarket, and it costs about $15 making it an affordable everyday drink.  All that being said about the Kim Crawford, I have never tasted a bad New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so if you can't find the Kim Crawford I strongly recommend you try any other one you come across when you're next shopping for white wine.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tennis, Shots

Wow, if you didn't see the Wimbledon men's final between Federer and Nadal you really missed out.  It will probably be on ESPN Classic for the next 20 years, so you'll have plenty of chances to see what happened.  I played a game myself while watching.  Try to spot a single black person in the crowd.  The Williams sisters don't count.  Its like Where's Waldo?, but harder. 

My daughter's two month pediatrician visit is Tuesday, and we're trying to figure out which vaccinations she should get when.  Its really pretty fucked up, the system now.  The doctors all try to pump the kids full of 3-4 shots per visit, their rationale being, "Well there's no definitive proof that's it bad, and it'd sure suck if your child got Polio.  Wouldn't it?  Huh, huh?"  Well yeah, no shit, I don't want my kid getting Polio, but here's the thing:  there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that vaccinations can cause an increased risk of autism, and the risk seems to be higher the more shots that are given at once.  So while I agree that Polio would suck, autism would suck as well.  

Of course, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends their approved schedule, which is a crap load of shots every visit for the first year or so.  Hmm, could the pharmaceutical companies have something to do with this?  The pediatricians need the drug companies to produce the shots so they have an excuse to see your kid every month and get paid, so why would they rock the boat?  The whole thing is a cluster fuck, and its hard to get straight answers.

The worst thing about it is, we have one of the more liberal doctors in Chicago, and she still isn't thrilled that we're delaying our daughter's shots, and spacing them out more.  A lot of doctors won't see your kid as a patient unless you're on their vaccine schedule.  "You wouldn't want her to get Polio, now would you?"  No, but I wouldn't mind you getting it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Locusts and fireworks

I'm having a very tough time sitting down and writing anything intelligent right now.  I just got two new video games--Civilization 4 for the Mac, and Mario Olympics for the Wii.  Both are fantastic.  The weather is superb, which doesn't encourage typing, the Cubs are in first place and playing the Cardinals this weekend, and oh yeah, I have a baby!  Where is she?

On the topic of the Olympics, as if an invasion of algae blooms wasn't enough, China is now battling a plague of locusts in Inner Mongolia which is heading east, and figures to be in Beijing, oh, right during the games.  Between earthquakes, riots, floods, now this, China just can't seem to catch a break.  If I were Chinese, I might be considering building myself an ark, because this shit doesn't seem to be letting up.

But of course, the Chinese government is drafting in volunteers ("Harvest that algae and swat those locusts, or you die") so everything, they claim, will be great for the games.  That may be the case, but doesn't it seem a little fucked up that the vast majority of Chinese live like medieval serfs--except their lords have machine guns--and they're trying to put on this modern international spectacle?  They're also shutting down thousands of factories around Beijing to try to make the air breathable.  God bless them for making lots of cheap manufactured goods, but what a shit hole.

Last night Americans everywhere used what may be my favorite Chinese export:  fireworks.  I didn't see any though, because at 9pm when it gets dark in Chicago in summer, we had just put my daughter to sleep.  Rather than watch the fireworks we cursed how loud they were, and hoped they wouldn't wake her, and prepared for bed ourselves.  They weren't joking when they said having kids changes everything.  We went from last year being drunk enough on the 4th that the fireworks looked extra cool, to being in bed for most of them this year.  

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quick fix for gas prices--Happy 4th of July!

Everyone is all shitty about the cost of gasoline, especially it being summer and Americans having a god-given right to cheap gas for their road trips and all that.  Luckily, the end of expensive gas is apparently in sight.  The answer?  Prayer

Yes, that's right, a guy is organizing prayer vigils at gas stations, hoping that god will listen and by way of a miracle, lower the price of gas.  Interesting use of time.  My question is, where is this guy getting his money from?  Because you know he's found some angle to defraud people.  Oh, you're a poor, blue-collar American who can't afford to drive to work anymore?  I tell you what, give me, I mean my ministry, a $50 donation and that will help me pray better for lower gas prices.  

Wow.  I don't know if I'm more annoyed that he can get away with that, or that I didn't think to do it first.  Either way, if anyone would like me to pray about anything for them, please send $20 to my Paypal account and I'll see what I can do.

Of course, he's also assuming that God gives a shit about the price of gas, and also that he can do anything about it.  I know, I know, God can do anything.  I'm not so sure, though.  I'm pretty sure he understands supply-side economics well enough to know that there's nothing to be done, short of turning the Atlantic into an ocean of oil.  

The guy organizing the vigils seems to feel like its kind of pointless, himself, explaining that's why he is moving on to activism.  Nothing like donating your hard earned money only for the beneficiary to say, Oh yeah, that was a bad idea.  Don't you love America?  Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Infidelity Industry

I guess since I've had occasion to mention hookers, strippers, crystal meth users, all that good stuff, Google thinks that this is blog has a fairly sketchy readership.  I was looking at what kind of ads Google was putting on my page, and I found a couple of sites that are weird and noteworthy.  I had no idea that there was so much money to be made in the business of either facilitating infidelity or playing into people's fear that they are victims of a cheating spouse.

The first site is www.affairmatch.com.  This seems to be a social networking site for people looking to have extramarital affairs.  You submit your information and build a profile and supposedly a rendezvous with an attractive and like-minded fellow adulterer can be yours.  I can't think of anything stupider than signing up for that site.  If it becomes popular, the first question divorce attorneys will ask will be, Has he used Affair Match?  Yes?  Sweet, he is totally fucked!  You're going to get everything.  He'll probably end up homeless.  Its Darwinian, using sites like that.  If you end up getting caught, how could you say you don't deserve whatever comes to you?  I think I would sooner rob a convenience store.

So let's say you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you, maybe using above-mentioned website.  But you can't access their computer to check.  Maybe they do it from work.  What do you do?  Duh, the same thing any sane person would do:  you install a GPS tracker in their car!  And now with www.track-gps.net you can, for the low price of $59.95 a month.  The tracker looks to be about the size of an old-school pager, and its location is viewable in real time on the web, accurate to a distance of 10 feet.  Technology is awesome, I sort of want one, even though I have no use for it.  You would think this would be a great anti-theft device, too.  And the reality that I'm going to have a teenage daughter before I know it makes me think it could be useful then as well.  Although I will probably prefer to stick my head in the sand and loudly sing "LA LA LA!" when that time comes. 

On a somewhat related note...ok, not really related at all but I was trying for a smooth transition...  Anyway, scientists have discovered that watermelon has Viagra-like properties.  I love watermelon, always have, and now I'm a little confused as to what to make of that.  Cause or effect?  Self-medication?  Eh, who cares?  Its delicious.  And according the article it has a myriad of other health benefits, which must be why I like it.  Really.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What about 'Daddy and Me'...?

Everywhere you look around my neighborhood in Chicago, there are signs and advertisements for "Mommy and Me" classes and events.  The target demographic is stay-at-home moms who are looking for activities that they can do with their kids.

There's Mommy and Me Yoga, regular yoga modified to incorporate occasionally holding your baby.  There's Mommy and Me Pilates, again a modified class where the baby is used for weight and resistance.  And there are pottery classes, outdoor exercise classes, special movie showings, picnics, aerobics.  You name it, there's a Mommy and Me version.  And the genius thing is, even though the cost to the facilitator is the same as a regular yoga or Pilates or pottery class, they can charge more because moms will pay it--and who are you to question what a mom thinks is best for her child?

Now that's all well and good, and being unemployed I definitely appreciate having some peace and quiet around the house when my wife takes our daughter to one of these things.  I do wonder, though, where are all the Daddy and Me classes and events?  

How about Daddy and Me instruction down at the driving range?  If you can concentrate on your swing with a screaming child right there, those loud assholes on the next fairway over shouldn't be an issue again.  There could a Daddy and Me day at the Porsche dealership.  Find out once and for all, can a child's car-seat fit into the back of a 911 Carrera?  (For the record, I think it can).  Daddy and Me Cubs game?  Actually, trying to change a diaper in the Wrigley Field men's room should probably be number one of the list of things never to do with a baby.  Definitely at least not until she's had all her vaccinations.  That place is like a Turkish prison.  Oh, how about Daddy and Me day at the strip club?  The strippers could bring their kids too--sorry to burst your bubble, they all have kids--, it would be social and the kids could meet other kids from different socio-economic backgrounds.  Diversity and shit.  What's that, wife?  You don't want our daughter hanging out either at strip clubs, or with the children of strippers?  See what I have to deal with on a daily basis???  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ads

Monday's ad income was $2.69.  Not bad!  That's almost $1000 a year.  Now if I could just get 100 times that, I wouldn't have to get another job.