Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Snaapy Post

Today’s Music: VeggieTales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything Silly Song (NOTE: This is probably the Only. Time. Ever. I will post one of these songs. It was ridiculously painful)

As the world spun earlier today, and time crept forward across the planet, something happened. Something Magical.
The date changed.
And it became 30 April. The world became engulfed in the unstoppable march of this date, and the world reveled in it.
What’s so important about 30 April?

It’s Ginger Snaap‘s birthday!!!!
Get out your sunglasses, because shininess reigns for a solid 24 hours!

He's celebrating.

Actually, shininess always reigns where Ginger is. Whether trash talking with the soccer moms, or pointing out the errors of his ways to Mountain Man, Ginger is just a bundle of joy.

Ginger unwrapped her present early.

Who can resist her wit? Her kindness towards crazy people? (She’s their leader!) And her weekday twitter dance parties?
Truly the stuff of legend, much like the woman herself!
So join in the celebration!
Let yourself go!
And if people are blinded at your joy today, well, that’s just Ginger Snaap’s shininess reflecting off us all!

Yeah, too bright even for him.

Or maybe they’re blinded by the awesome dance moves.

Doin' the happy birthday dance!

Happy Birthday Ginger Snaap!

Friday Foolishness – Philosophical Edition

Today’s Music: Garbage – Blood For Poppies

Well, my week was both good and bad busy. Bad, because there was an awful lot of work to do at work. That spilled over to home a bit too. Big fun. But good, because since last weeks poll, I’ve seen some great music. Rodrigo y Gabriella were touring Area 52 in front of a great band. Plus, that was my first trip to Radio City Music Hall, which is a beautiful room!
Then there was The Vaccines, who cancelled last year due to medical issues. They’re all better, and it was worth the wait. And right now, I’m recovering from the hangover incurred at The Wombats.

But there was also some great stuff in the ‘sphere that I was able to catch whenever five free minutes presented themselves.
Break It Down Pete posted some hilarious ads, and added some very funny captions. Check it out and add your own in the comments! Rachael Black posted an image of what might be the best cure for insomnia ever.
And in a hilarious bit of true storytelling, Old Dog New Tits had me gasping and laughing at the same time with this post.
Oh, and a last minute add on – Cayman Thorn has put up the next cycle of Shadow Falls. Go check it out! big fun in flash fiction.

Thanks to them and all the rest of you for helping me get through a long week and some severe music induced hangovers.
Now if I could just catch up on my sleep…

tracking favorite qualities in a good beer.
(Tried that. After the research, I was in no condition to write)
But I can’t catch up on it right now. Because we still need to talk about last weeks poll!
We asked…well…what the next poll should be.
And here’s what you had to say: (Italics, as always, are mine.)

Whether it is possible to emphasize the word “in” in the phrase “in July”.
(That poll is coming. IN August.)
one with a twist ending. –Carrie – Cannibalistic Nerd
(Like a twilight zone episode! Maybe have every answer added to the same choice!)
In haiku format. You provide the first 2 lines, we fill in the rest! Laura
(Suggestion has merit.
Like Cherry Blossoms, they fall,
Ideas, rich poetry)

the first real poll I vote on here – shame on me!
A poll about polls. Stacy Lyn)
(Going Meta!)
what you’re wearing poll -goradde in i-didn’t-do-shit-today shorts
(A great idea, but I write all these polls naked. ;))
How the rise & fall of the economy never changes rise & fall for a hooker. Red.
(The economy is not what I think about when I watch hookers rising and falling…)
about poles. Or pole dancing.
(Previous polls have shown that poles prefer the Viennese Waltz.)
What was the other one? Hats. People aren’t wearing enough of them. Cowgirliz
(There’s a condom joke in there that I think I’ll leave in there…)
benzeknees: where Canadian football or American football is better!
(I’m afraid a fight would break out over that question. Them Canadians are a surly bunch!)
a totem pole!
(There is strong magic in your suggestion.)
How we can get Good Housekeeping to notice you-Mel (According to Mags)
(I tried to get their seal of approval, but apparently I’m too irritating to bottoms. Hmph.)
The Bat Poll Rich Crete
(BIFF!!! BAM!!! ZOWIEE!!!)
Do you think Jesus was a good swimmer? Linda Vernon
(I shouldn’t say it, but I can’t help myself. Before or after the holes?)
… the one that follows this poll. (Motley News)
(Michelle, I’m ashamed to admit how much time I spent trying to break the laws of physics so it wouldn’t be.)
… the next poll of continued brilliance. (Frank)
(Brilliance…hmm…A poll about Frank! ;))
for the funniest youtube video….if it is even possible to decide
(Ooh – that means we can claim to be on You Tube for a reason!)
a 10 foot poll – John Phillips
(I’m not gonna touch that one…)
I’m voting for two,two, two mints in one! KJ
(Only if it’s two wintergreen – I like the sparks!)
What will y’all be giving GingerSnaap for her B-Day?
(Your birthday? Now that would be a good time for a pole poll!)

Congrats to whoever anonymously threw in the winning answer!
And for those of you that went with the offered choices, Beating a stripper poll! by just 1 vote, was a monument to mans quest for enlightenment and understanding in an astouNDING RICH UNIVERSAL ENVIRONMENT!!! Or something about pickles. I like pickles!

There you have it. The people have spoken. And the people are weird.
We wouldn’t have it any other way here in the asylum!

So without further ado, the question that has plagued mankind THROUGH THE AGES!!!
well, since last week’s poll anyway… As always, if you write in an answer, leave your name and I’ll link back to you. And vote as often as you like, just do it before 2359 3, May. Because that’s when the poll closes.

And to amuse you until next we meet…
This isn’t philosophy, but hey, there’s a picture of a statue in the park above, so I thought this might work. The relevant bit starts at about 4 minutes and is around 2 minutes long. You’ll know when it ends. For those that have time, the whole video is great.

Take care until next we meet. And wear a hat.
Just in case.

Friday Foolishness – Meta Edition

Today’s Music: Levon Helm performing The Band’s Ophelia

Busy busy week for me. but I persevered, and was able to finish up the foolishness with at least 10 minutes to spare. The moral here is perseverance, my friends. That, and fun should never be put off.
With that in mind, here are some of the posts that left an impression on me this week.
Sips of Jen and Tonic found us a great new dating site. Kayjai got very punchy working late. More than once. Morezennow unlocked one of the mysteries of Jesus, and BrainRants got ready to head off to Afghanistan. Be safe, man.

And all of you, keep on rockin, and doing what you do. I couldn’t ask for better company as my week goes by.

But even though you all want to check them out, first we should check out what happened in last weeks poll. The poll went “Baseball season is starting, so…”
And here’s what you had to say. (As usual, my comments are in italics.)

It’s pretty much same ole same ole for me.
(Wait – you get to watch baseball year round?!?)
Yay! I can blog while my husband watches. It’s why I started. Elyse @ 54.5
(Wait – your husband watches baseball year round?!?)
So… sssshhhh… I’m still withdrawing from March Madness ending. (Motley News)
(I suggest methadone to help with the withdrawal. Or chocolate. Chocolate helps everything…)
It means the Tony Awards are only two months away!
(I heard Damn Yankees was going to take best musical. But GO METS!)
What the hell IS baseball?
(If you’re a Mets fan…it’s frustrating.)
benzeknees: games will interfere with regularly scheduled programming
(Hulu baby!!!)
i can be self-righteous about how much they charge for a $+&+#@ ticket at shea
(But it will be so worth it to enjoy their upcoming late season meltdown!)
So what? Ask me about it after the Stanley Cup has been awarded. Cowgirliz
(Um…you know you’re American, right? ;))
Take me out to the ballgame and then take me to the beach. I hate baseball.
(But they don’t sell peanuts and crackerjacks at the beach.)
Baseball? Who cares about baseball? Passing time until football season! ~flame
(Ok, but then there’s no hotdogs and beer for you…)
minor league ball can’t be far behind. Hello affordable fun. The Jester Queen
(Obviously you won’t be enjoying the late season meltdown of the Mets.)
I’ll finally have a cure for my insomnia. Let the zzzzz’s begin! sandylikeabeach
(You need to get old tapes of Yogi Bera and Phil Rizzuto narrating games. That’ll keep you on your toes!)
Only 4 more months until football season! (Stacy Lyn)
(I think I’ll enjoy summer before thinking about the fall…)
I’ll have 9 innings to give hubby any bad news & get “Uh-huh. OK.” girlnextfloor
(WE HAVE A WINNER!!! Um…do you think you can get my wife interested in baseball?)
Baseball shmaseball… It’s all about kickball this season! CallMeQuirky
(Step away from those Portland Hipsters, Quirky.)
who cares. It’s a ball sport. Played by men. With balls. Say no more. (Kanerva)
(Well yeah, but they aren’t playing with their own balls…Wait, let me rephrase…)
there’s sure to be more just happy..guys..balls.. Lizzie
(Lizzie, meet Kanerva. Kanerva, this is Lizzie)
the NHL Playoffs begin. We do have strange calendars up here John Phillips
(You’re talking about ice hockey in April and it’s the calendar you think is strange???)
s0…this means we’re that much closer to football season! Alex Autin
(By football, do you mean soccer, Alex? And Argentinian soccer players?)
I can fall asleep in the 8th inning, then wake up wondering who won! Frank
(If you’re falling asleep in the eighth inning, you’re watching the wrong team.)
Holy Don Cherry, Batman playoffs are on! (that’s hockey, folks) Baseball?!! KJ
(You know that one National League pitcher has more teeth than an entire hockey team, right?)
I will dream of Pete Rose in a Yellow Lederhosen, says me who remains name-less
(Isn’t that outfit the real reason he was banned from baseball?)

Congratulations to girlnextfloor! Really, well done. And really, teach my wife to get that into baseball!
As for the offered choices, I was ecstatic to see that the winner was BRRAAAAIIIINNNNNSSS!!!! Seriously you people are a joy to me. And a terror. But mostly a joy.

Meta, baby!

Which brings us to this weeks poll.
As mentioned at the top of the post, I was a little busy this week. And this weeks Foolishness didn’t get started til the last possible moment. So no, I had no fully formed thoughts for the poll. Only half baked ones (don’t say it.).
So, to be a little meta, this week is a poll about the polls!!! (If this doesn’t get me on Nightline, nothing will.)
Here’s a chance to chime in, folks. Don’t hold back, and save us all from this embarrassment again!
As always, you can vote as often as you like, as long as it’s by 2359 next Thursday.
And if you add some way to identify you to your “Other” answer, I’ll link back to you on next weeks answer roundup.
And without further adieu…

And to keep you distracted until I think up another poll, enjoy these.
Dick Clark receiving a Lifetime Acheivement Award

And another Levon Helm video, followed by a Conan O’Brien interview.

They will both be missed. And I’ll miss you, until the next time we meet! 😉
Have a great week, y’all!

An Adventure – Learning to Skydive Part 2

Today’s Music: The Black Crowes – Go Faster

When last we left our intrepid adventurer, he had just let go of a tiny beer can with a propeller plane…
…is leaning out of the plane, peeling my fingers off, one by one.
And I think to myself that if my left hand lets go and my right one doesn’t, I am well and truly screwed.
So I let go….

…and I don’t know how much time passes…
…if it’s 5 seconds,5 hours or 5 years.

But I don’t remember anything until I look up and see my canopy open above me.

Every skydiver I’ve spoken to tells me the same thing. None of us remembers the first moments of our first jump.
I think it’s because of the enormity of it, the stepping out into nothing. The brain has no frame of reference, no way to understand what’s going on. So there’s a gap.
Modern parachutes are air-rams. There is a row of cells that hold air. Using the steering lines manipulates how much air is in the cells on the ends and gives the skydiver steering and speed control

The Air Ram Parachute

After I come out of the confusion and see that my chute opened correctly (as shown in the classroom pictures. I have no idea what I’d have done if it wasn’t) I fit my hands into the loops on the control lines. Then the voice of the spotter comes over the one way radio.
The spotter is standing at the landing zone with a pair of binoculars, watching me and guiding me in by telling me when, how long, and in which direction to turn.
It’s a one-way radio because, as the instructor put it, they don’t want to listen to everyone screaming.

Oh yeah, I screamed! I was whooping it up and cheering and howling and laughing my head off like I’d just won the lottery. I was happier than the the first time I got laid, the first time I drove and the fist time I got high rolled into one.

Just like that. Well, maybe a bit more like a little girl...

I knew the spotter could see my reaction through his binoculars, because he was laughing along with me and cheering me one.
Then we moved on to tricks.

To steer an air ram parachute, one of the lines is pulled. That collapses some of the cells on the end, causing the chute to turn towards the collapsed cells. So the spotter tells me turn left. And hold it…and hold it…hold it…
And I start whipping around, centripetal force stretching me out from the canopy, almost parallel to the ground, faster and faster, the view below me blurring as I whooped it up. Talk about going around in circles!
That’s also the moment where you find out exactly how strong your stomach is.
Mine did fine, thanks.


Gravity does its thing, and I drift slowly towards the landing zone, making my turns and just enjoying the view.
My jump was from aobut 2,000 feet, and I was under canopy and floating along by about 1500 feet. Not so high for things to be unrecognizable, but high enough (and peaceful enough) to enjoy the big picture,that feeling of connectedness to everything. It was strange, feeling so serene with so much adrenaline flowing through me, but somehow, that just made it more perfect.
So I float in, making my turns as they’re called out to me.The ground gets closer.
When navigating in for the landing, ideally the diver moves into the wind, so that the wind will slow his speed as he comes in.
And I realize “slow” is a very relative term.
Unlike, say, “rushing”. The ground is rushing towards me.
And it’s surprising enough, as I close that last 100 ft stretch between me and earth, that it doesn’t even occur to me to rattle off some Hitchikers Guide on the the way down.

At about 20 feet, the spotter yells for me to flare.

Flaring is where the skydiver pulls both control cords all the way in towards their waist, arms fully extended.
This causes the parachute to curl all the way down, and for a moment, causes the diver to lose speed.
The problem is, once the air rushes out, the chute collapses. It takes 400 feet for a chute to re-expand.
Just keep that in mind, and don’t do this too early.

No. No, I didn't look anywhere near that good.. Even if I did have cooler colors.

I flare, and dump enough speed to keep from really really hurting myself when I land.
Instead, I only just really hurt myself.
Remember those practice landings jumping off the picnic table?
Those have nothing to do with real life.
Add in the fact that I had plenty of forward momentum, and the landing was just comical.
My feet hit the ground. I rolled forward, dragged by the parachute.
It yanked me over to my knees. Onto the rock.
Seriously, in a field that big, how did the guy guide me into a spot that guaranteed that my knee would smack into a rock at 15 miles per hour?
I have no idea, but it’s a skill.
And I was down.

A moment later, I open my eyes, and see the spotter standing over me, a big grin on his face.
And I let out a shot of joyous, elated pain!
He laughs and asks me what’s wrong.
I tell him and congratulate him on his aforementioned skill. He laughs again, and helps me up. We gather up my parachute and I set off, limping, back to the shed, a million square yards of nylon flapping around me.

Worth. Every. Penny.

There was only one downside. I had paid for them to take a picture of my exit – that moment when I let go of the wing strut.
The Jumpmaster didn’t snap it.
He was too busy peeling my fingers off the plane.

Fortunately,the experience is one I’ll never forget. And now I want to go and do it again.

BASE jump anyone?

Trifecta – Observe

Today’s Music: Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party

Figured I’d jump into this weeks Trifecta Challenge.
This week it’s the third definition of Observe:
3: to celebrate or solemnize (as a ceremony or festival) in a customary or accepted way

Most of this story is not true. But I did see a guy pull off the stunt at the end, to mass laughter of everyone else there. And the victim took it well, making a god-awful eye pun.
No it wasn’t me.
Oh, and I’m not dead. But if I was, this is exactly how I’d like to be remembered.

Pandemonium reigned over the bar.
Jack dodged a flying banana, his toga flying outward as he whirled out of the missile’s path.
Reaching into his fanny pack, he withdrew a rubber toy car and a foam penguin snout with elastic. He looked through the crowd from his crouched position, picked two likely targets and crept forward before leaping into the fray.
“SPOOOOOONNN!!!” he bellowed lustily. His right arm snapped downward, hurtling the rubber car towards Tommy’s head. It bounced off, landing in Michelle’s Fuzzy Navel with a splash. While everyone turned towards Tommy’s cry of surprise, Jake landed behind Scotty, and deftly snapped the penguin beak over his face.
He didn’t see Karen and Bill sneaking up alongside him, but still wasn’t surprised when they jammed lit cigarettes into each of his nostrils (butt side first).
The bartender rang the bell and yelled over the boisterous crowd
“Scotty dead by beaking! One point!” He shouted. “Made Michelle spill some of her drink. Two points! And,” he added, “bad form for spilled booze – minus 10 points for you Michelle. Sorry honey”.
She stuck her tongue out at him before raising her glass in a toast, rubber car still swirling in her drink.
“Jake, dead by cigarettes. I knew those things would get you eventually, buddy.”
Jake inhaled through his nose, blowing the smoke in thin streams out either side of his mouth. He flipped up the back of his toga and mooned the crowd.
“Eloquent as always, Jake” roared the bartender over the crowds cheers.

Jake thought he’d been in pretty good position to win before he’d been eliminated.
But that was before John slipped his glass eye into Donal’s Bushmills, effectively outdoing every other trickster in the joint.

That Monday at the water cooler, someone asked Jake how he spent the weekend.
“Oh, I went to observe El Guapo day at the bar we used to hang out in. 12 years since he’s been there, but believe me, his spirit lives on.”