Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Speaking of calendar-related topics...

Today marks the anniversary of the first real post of this blog. Actually, I think I posted four or five times that day, but the first one is the most meaningful.

As you read if you just clicked that link, it was two years ago (February 29) that my close friend JJ Turner passed away. There will always be a sadness associated with that loss. At the same time, I recognize that for me, what sadness I felt was not for losing what I had, which cannot be taken away, but for losing the potential of a longer lasting friendship that would span the years. Knowing for certain that God's Heaven, where JJ lives now, is a place that I will soon go myself (whether one second or 65 years from now), and that a reunion with my friend is assured, that sadness has all but vanished.

See you soon, buddy.


When we abbreviate the names of the days of the week, we almost always use either two or three letters to do so: Su, Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa; Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat. But only two days will get abbreviated with four letters: Tues, Thur. Doesn't that seem strange? Why not Sund, Mond, Wedn, Frid, and Satu?

11 Talked Back:

At February 28, 2006 at 1:02:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

aside from wednesday, if you wrote 4 letters it is more than 1/2 the word. in which case, why bother abbreviating at all? the point of abbreviation is to make things much shorter than than they actually are, don't you think?


At February 28, 2006 at 1:09:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

But we abbreviate Tuesday by writing Tues. and that is more than half the word. Still, no one questions it. It would seem to me that if you're talking consistency, you would have to either abbreviate all the days with four letters or abolish the four-letter abbreviation altogether.


At February 28, 2006 at 1:30:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Somewhat but not entirely related, I've always secretly liked to see when people abbreviated Oregon as Oreg. There's a certain vintage associated with that, that harkens to the days before ZIP codes and two-letter state abbreviations.


At February 28, 2006 at 2:01:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

In another somewhat related topic, we do the same thing with the months. We would never abbreviate January with Janu., yet we will use Sept. when abbreviating September. We don't do that with any other month. What makes September so spectacular that it deserves a four-letter abbreviation?


At February 28, 2006 at 2:32:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

If someone wrote Marc. or Apri., that'd be ridiculously funny.


At February 28, 2006 at 2:35:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

I think I'll do that next month and just see what kind of reaction I get!


At February 28, 2006 at 5:41:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Also: Abbreviate the year as '006.


At February 28, 2006 at 7:34:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

seems like we like to end on consonants (moN, tueS). and the first consonant if there are 2 in a row (like wednesday or thursday or march)(although not with september) the prefix before day (mon, tues, thurs, fri). or uary (jan, febr). and why bother abbreviating june or july. who came up with this system anyway?!?!?!

ps. connecticut used to be Conn. and massachusetts Mass. i wonder what vermont was? or new hampshire?


At February 28, 2006 at 7:44:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

Well, the consonant thing does make sense, except for I have seen June abbreviated as Jun., and August as Aug., Saturday as Sat. October as Oct. and December as Dec. Of course, as you mentioned it doesn't work for Sept. All of those have vowels after them.

Honestly, no system we use makes any sense at all to me regarding abbreviations!


At February 28, 2006 at 8:27:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

And obviously people have written Sep.

I think Vermont and New Hampshire used to be abbreviated as Vermo. and NewHam., respectively. Some of the founding fathers (aka foun. faths.) experimented with writing Massachu. and Connectic. but realized how dumb that was.

Especially when you consider that they sometimes wrote their s's like f's.


At March 1, 2006 at 9:48:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Or, why not just leave off the repetitive word: "day"? That would make the most sense to me.

What a conversation. These are things I think about too. :-)


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Monday, February 27, 2006

From the colorblind folks at Welch's

It comes from green grapes.

Its color is yellowish orange.

So why is it called White Grape Juice?

1 Talked Back:

At February 27, 2006 at 9:38:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

That is great! I have never understood why it is called White Grape Juice. I am so glad to know that someone else has the same question. (Although, it is my favorite type of juice.) Even in the store, when you buy a bunch of "green" grapes, the tag above them says "white." It makes absolutely no sense at all!


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Is the word "Christianese" - used to describe the vernacular spoken by the Christian subculture, usually to point out how cliché it is - itself Christianese?

I was just wondering...PLAPPPPP

What ever happened to pie fights as a comedic device?

When I was a kid, it seemed like everyone on TV was hitting each other in the face with banana cream pies. Never mind how there were always several dozen pies lying around people's houses just waiting to be either eaten or thrown.

I'd love to see some sitcom where every third episode, the conflict gets resolved with a massive pie fight.

3 Talked Back:

At February 27, 2006 at 1:22:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i think we could all use a good pie fight from time to time. i think it's the cleanup that no one really likes. but in the movies/tvland, it cleans itself up miraculously!


At February 28, 2006 at 1:37:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I got the word PLAP from this comic strip, one of my all-time favorites.


At March 1, 2006 at 3:46:00 AM CST, Blogger kristen said...

what would be funnier is if those pictures above were of YOU getting a pie in the face :) plappppp indeed


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This one's for Katie

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I expected to read about a lost cat

Right outside the door to our office building, I saw a flyer advertising a PA system for sale. It seems that someone has a lot of this equipment that they need to move in a hurry. The seller has probably put their ad in the classifieds, maybe advertised on some local music websites, something like that. That's my assumption. And hey, their flyer has a website address.

But don't you think that it's a bit extreme for them to be stapling their advertisements to trees?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Odometer: 222,222.2 on 2/22

Sorry for the crappy image quality...like I said, I couldn't find my digital camera this morning, so I had to resort to using my phone's camera.

I was nervous because I had to drive about eight or nine miles at lunch break to reach the magic number, so I decided to drive the I-5/I-405 loop around downtown. I was still on the freeway with only 4/10 of a mile to go, but fortunately the exit was right there, and I could drive into a hotel parking lot to get the shot.

I have a shot of the torn newspaper piece restored to its place within the front page of today's Street Final edition, so as to prove its validity. Of course, just posting these shots today helps to do that, too. :) I sent the photo to go@blogger.com, but Blogger hasn't posted it on the Image and Code Dump site at the time of this writing.

3 Talked Back:

At February 22, 2006 at 4:41:00 PM CST, Blogger Lynne said...

Wow, pretty cool...


At February 22, 2006 at 5:29:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

You are so strange... And yet very entertaining.


At February 22, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

congratulations. this really is a big day. i'm so proud of you.


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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vintage Þorn

No, it's not what you think, ha ha.

Long ago, the symbol Þ used to be used when there was a "th" sound, such as in the word "the". It's called a thorn (Þ, Alt-0254; þ, Alt+0222), or, at one time, a þorn.

Nifty, huh?

Here's a better explanation.

5 Talked Back:

At February 21, 2006 at 3:35:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

Since I've become a fan of yours, I came across this post and had to comment.

Last year I was in a Medieval Literature class at the university I was attending and we studied the Middle English language. We spent about half of the semester translating our required text from Middle English to Modern English. It was an amazing class. Anyway, we had to learn about the "thorn" because it was the "th" of Old and Middle English. So, all that to say, thanks for sharing. I've bookmarked the website you linked for further research!


At February 21, 2006 at 4:23:00 PM CST, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Hi, I don't know you, but I'm a friend of Nicole's (see above) and I was curious how you got the "thorn" character to show up in your blog. Every time I've tried to insert Middle English characters, the system hasn't let me. Thanks!


At February 21, 2006 at 4:34:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

I'm so glad you asked that, Jana. I meant to ask, but by the time I finished typing my comment, I had completely forgotten.


At February 21, 2006 at 8:42:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

In edit HTML mode, type Þ for the lowercase, and þ for the uppercase.

Here's a chart of a buncha characters.


At February 25, 2006 at 1:36:00 AM CST, Blogger Dave said...

And to think I've been using that all this time and never knew... :þ


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2 bad it doesn't fall on a 2-sday

As of right now, the odometer on my 1991 Subaru reads 222,099.6 miles. Today's date is February 21.

Therefore, if I take a nice, long drive tonight, my odometer could read 222222.2 on 2/22. Of course, I'll take a picture. (I'll be sure to pull over first.)


I have good news and bad news. The good news is, the odometer now reads around 222215 miles, so all I have to do is drive around a bit at lunchtime and I'll hit the magic number. I could wait until 2:22pm to take the picture, but I won't be able to prove that that's the actual time, because the only clock I have with me is on my cell phone.

Which leads me to the bad news. I now have to take the photo with my inferior cell phone camera, because at some point between last night and this morning, I lost my digital camera. It is gone. I know that I had it with me last night when I drove the extra miles, but this morning, I just could not find it. Did I leave it on the seat of the car, waiting to be stolen? It's possible, but not likely. But right now, it's the only logical answer.

Last night, to catch up on miles, I drove as far as Brooks, Oregon, about 40 miles south of home. I stopped at the truck stop there, leaving my camera in the glove box of the car. I'm sure that it was still there when I left for home, and I am now pretty sure that I grabbed it when I exited the car at home. *LIGHT BULB BLINKING ON* In fact, I now remember that when I was walking to the door, Henry the cat was in the yard, puking. He then ran over to munch on some grass. I walked over to the hammock, camera and water bottle in hand, and sat down on it. Henry jumped up and lay down on my stomach for a couple of minutes. (He didn't puke.) I must have left the camera bag sitting in the hammock, or maybe dropped it in the yard nearby. Okay, so maybe it's not lost.

2 Talked Back:

At February 22, 2006 at 1:05:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

which one is henry?


At February 22, 2006 at 3:05:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

The gray one, who has his face buried in the cup (in one of my banner images).


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Top Five Ugliest Cars That I Can Think of at the Moment

5. Buick Reatta, c. 1989
"Disproportionately large wheels—standard!"

4. Subaru XT, c. 1985
"Like a doorstop on wheels!"

3. Dodge Magnum, all years
"Watch your head in the back seat." "Ouch!"

2. Scion Xb, all years
"As exciting as driving a cardboard box!"

1. Pontiac Aztek, all years
"Why have one grille when you can have two?"

2 Talked Back:

At February 21, 2006 at 4:49:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

Stan, I must agree with you on the Buick, Subaru, Scion, and Pontiac. But I do find the Dodge Magnum to look really great. Maybe it's just me. :)


At February 22, 2006 at 1:05:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i haven't actually seen 4 or 5 in real life, but i DEFINITELY AGREE and have said the same things about 1,2,and 3 for SURE. great minds, as they say...


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Monday, February 20, 2006

At least it wasn't a tire store

On the way to work this morning, I saw several small fluorescent-colored signs posted along the side of the street, from a car dealer, advertising, and I'm not making this up:

Blowout Sale!
It's like they're telling me, "We just opened a new dealership, but everything must go!!!"

1 Talked Back:

At February 20, 2006 at 9:14:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

LOL -- funny headline -- a real Stanism!


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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Anyone want a Christmas tree?

4 Talked Back:

At February 19, 2006 at 2:19:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

did you stitch that together?


At February 19, 2006 at 2:32:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

if you did, that's a great photo. even if you didn't. why were you out looking for christmas trees so early in the year? hoping to get a good deal?


At February 19, 2006 at 5:32:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Yeah, I did stitch the photos together. Gotta love Photoshop.

I wasn't out looking for the trees, there happened to be a tree farm along one of the roads that I traveled yesterday. :)

About eight or nine years ago Dave and I went out to shoot some pictures outside of town, and we came across this same tree farm. It was a bit snowier on that day. So because I recognized it, I stopped and took an updated snapshot.

(The real subject is the not-so-snowy hills in the background...otherwise known as mountains to Jim and the other midwesterners.)


At February 19, 2006 at 8:59:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I couln't see the mountains for the hills. :)


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The creative minds at Coca-Cola have officially run out of ideas

8 Talked Back:

At February 19, 2006 at 2:18:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Caffeine-Free Tab Energy.

How was the trip?


At February 19, 2006 at 2:33:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i was reading some entertainment magazine the other day that said some celeb was spotted drinking this beverage.

ps. tab tastes AWFUL. it should have been taken off the market YEARS ago. like, when it was introduced.


At February 19, 2006 at 5:34:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

The funny thing is that it's sweetened with sucralose, not saccharine...the saccharine is what made Tab Tab!


At February 19, 2006 at 8:33:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

well it's hardly tab if they didn't put saccharin in it. what's it taste like, did you by one to find out?


At February 20, 2006 at 12:56:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Oh, HECK no I didn't try it :)


At February 20, 2006 at 1:46:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

where's your sense of adventure?


At March 11, 2006 at 11:00:00 PM CST, Anonymous newwave said...

I had seme of this. It was terrible. I advise you to never, ever, ever try it.


At March 11, 2006 at 11:01:00 PM CST, Anonymous newwave said...

I had SOME of this...


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Friday, February 17, 2006

Stay awake

I just ran across a very inspiring essay (once, it was a graduation speech) about keeping creativity alive. Everyone should read this, especially if you are an artist, or aspiring artist, of any kind.

(The link is in this post's title.)

An excerpt:

...This is the real and secret reason for wandering around with a camera and an open mind. Making art changes us. So does looking at it. Richard Serra, the sculptor, said (vehemently, as he says everything), “Art has no function!” He meant that you can’t sit on real art or cook on real art or live in it (he was talking about architecture). But I think it does have one function, which is to change those who make it and those who see it. Of course, it is not the only thing that does that. New arguments change us, new concepts, new people, new places...even propaganda. But artists make the change from inside. They use it to grow themselves. It is exalting—and exaltation is pretty hard to find in the every day.

So there’s a succinct definition of a good day of art for you: the person who comes home from making it is not the same person who left that morning. It may not always be a huge change, but it’s there and it adds up.

And if you do it enough, you start to trust the process without understanding it. You start to count on it, to invoke it, to work with it, and as you experience it you are less and less willing to accept from yourself work that looks like something you’ve seen elsewhere.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's Spring Drive time (no, this not a car commercial)

It's time for my annual Spring Drive, a personal tradition I started in 1991, and which actually takes place in the winter most of the time. The Spring Drive is a time when the sun has started making its first appearances of the year, and I take advantage of it by spending a Saturday or Sunday just driving way out into the countryside with no destination in mind. It's a good feeling to have the sun warm me through the windows of the car, not too hot for comfort. I like to get out there, explore some rural lanes I've never been on before, stop at a country store for a snack, drive a little slower than usual, and occasionally wave at the locals.

Two years ago I waited until May to take the drive, and when I did, for the first time, I wasn't alone on the drive. She was my date for the day, and we had a nice drive to Silver Falls. Almost one year ago today, that same person and I drove to Cape Meares, and had a great time. I once thought that there was a chance I might be with her for a long time to come, so I opened up that little private part of my world for her to share. That was not meant to be.

So this year, I am alone again. I'm not saddened by this fact, although I do know that it would make for a nicer drive if she were with me. I'm happy that the weather will probably be sunny on Saturday, and I look forward to being out on the road again, watching nature as it anticipates the springtime.

I think I'm heading southeast this year. Maybe I'll go to the desert...I've never been there in February.

4 Talked Back:

At February 16, 2006 at 1:39:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

sounds beautiful. i think it's supposed to rain here over the weekend so i'm jealous of your summer weather. wait. we're having summer weather right now, too bad i have to work and try to find a new job!!


At February 16, 2006 at 4:59:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

I need, or I should Laura and I need to make that "Spring Drive", down to Portland, or down to Cannon Beach. Since I have "a new car" to drive.
It would be alot cheaper to drive then the Nova.


At February 17, 2006 at 2:25:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Take me riding in the car, car;
Take me riding in the car, car;
Take you riding in the car, car;
I'll take you riding in my car.

Click clack, open up the door, girls;
Click clack, open up the door, boys;
Front door, back door, clickety clack,
Take you riding in my car.

Climb, climb, rattle on the front seat;
Spree I spraddle on the backseat;
Turn my key, step on my starter,
Take you riding in my car.

Engine it goes boom, boom;
Engine it goes boom, boom;
Front seat, backseat, boys and girls,
Take you riding in my car.

Trees and the houses walk along;
Trees and the houses walk along;
Truck and a car and a garbage can,
Take you riding in my car.

Ships and the little boars chug along;
Ships and the little boats chug along;
Boom buhbuh boom boom boom buh boom,
Take you riding in my car.

I'm a gonna send you home again;
I'm a gonna send you home again;
Boom, boom, buhbuh boom, rolling home,
Take you riding in my car.

I'm a gonna let You blow the horn;
I'm a gonna let you blow the horn;
A oorah, a oorah, a oogah, oogah,
I'll take you riding in my car.

Woody Guthrie


At February 17, 2006 at 4:07:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

That makes me happy inside!


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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

St Valentine Baptizing St Lucilla
Jacopo Bassano
c. 1575
Oil on canvas
Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa

Valentine Flyguy
Wise-cracking 70's dude
United Kingdom

1 Talked Back:

At February 14, 2006 at 8:57:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Flyguy is pretty funny, though I'm not sure what he has to do with V-Day?


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Monday, February 13, 2006

A little time-waster

Here's one that will take an image from the web or your own computer, and turn it into ASCII art—that is, instead of pixels, it uses letters, numbers and symbols to define the image.



My current profile image...

becomes this:

(Click on the ASCII image; for this thumbnail, Blogger converted it from a crisp GIF file to a blurry JPG.)

A better contrast photo will theoretically produce better results.

Nice time waster!

3 Talked Back:

At February 13, 2006 at 10:45:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

you look absolutely stunning in ascii!!!


At February 14, 2006 at 10:05:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Hey, you're not so bad yourself...


At February 14, 2006 at 3:17:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

wow, from the side view in ascii i really *am* a hottie!


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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mt. Hood? Boring? It's true

So I took a little drive around this afternoon, just to enjoy the sunshine. I got a few pictures here and there, including some that I stitched together into a panorama:

As I drove down the highway, I tried to snap a shot of Mt. Hood through the windshield, but the mountain was in a playful mood, and decided to hide from me:


You'll never find me

Try again

Here I am!

I drove east until I got to the town of Boring. Yes, that's it's name. And yes, it's pretty boring. In fact, I can prove it:

After Boring, I headed south, and at one point I saw a really good view of Hood. I took a straightforward shot of it, then tried to make a panorama:

5 Talked Back:

At February 13, 2006 at 1:12:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

really funny, and I sent a link to the Oregon State Police


At February 13, 2006 at 1:27:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Good thing I didn't post the videos.


At February 13, 2006 at 6:23:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

the "boring" signs are classic -- any idea why they named the plabce Boring???

The Boring High School
The Boring Motel
The Boring News
Miss Boring 2006
ok, I'll stop


At February 13, 2006 at 10:07:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

This is what I found with a quick search.

Imagine having a last name of Boring...I'll bet he didn't have too many friends as a kid.


At February 13, 2006 at 1:34:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

have you been on the Boring bike path?

surprised it was a name, assumed it had soemthing to do with mining ("the bore")

Ima Boring
Ura Boring
Truly Boring
Bjorn Boring
ok I'll stop


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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Another list sent to its demise

Well, I just fired off another List to McSweeney's, but again, I can't yet reveal what it's a list of. But don't worry, as soon as it's rejected I'll put it right up here.

1 Talked Back:

At February 13, 2006 at 10:44:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

have you ever gotten anything on mcsweeneys???


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Friday, February 10, 2006

Hope it isn't spoiled

I was going through some of my old posts, checking for comment spam (grr), and I happened upon this post from July 14 about almond butter. Then I realized that I still have this same jar of almond butter in my fridge, and I haven't eaten much of it since I posted this last July.

5 Talked Back:

At February 10, 2006 at 4:45:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

what the hey, try putting some in your hair (see previous post), what could it hurt, and the birds would like you


At February 10, 2006 at 5:22:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i think it's funny that your comments are flipped due to time differences in the space time continuum that is the internet.

did you smell the almond butter? it might not be bad. is it refrigerated? does peanut butter go bad?


At February 10, 2006 at 6:10:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Just what I need, to get on the good side of those car-soiling, avian monsters...


At February 10, 2006 at 8:09:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Woodpecker Delight


At February 11, 2006 at 11:12:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Yeah, that stuff will look great on the hood and windshield of my car. Splat!


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Good morning!

4 Talked Back:

At February 10, 2006 at 2:57:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

windy is it?


At February 10, 2006 at 3:01:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

that looks like a classic case of bed head. i love it! it's like you read my blog in your sleep, the part about the crazy hair...


At February 10, 2006 at 3:48:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Kristen's right. It's bed head. So awesomely crazy I had to take a picture.

Oh, and yes, it's also very windy these days.


At February 11, 2006 at 9:26:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Your Bill Murray (circa 1976-80) impersonation needs work.

But not much.


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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Punk'd by mail (or: Stan's blog #2,372,781)

I just about have the template ready for a new blog that will showcase many of the prank letters I have written over the last ten years. It's not ready for a launch yet, as many of the letters need to be transcribed from photocopies, and I haven't figured out how to make every day 27 hours long.
I'd like to build up a little archive, so that people aren't bored with just one or two posts. It will be slow.

I cryptically alluded to this occasional hobby of mine (prank letter writing, not blog creation) in a very early post on this blog. Just as in the county letterhead project of a few months back, I have written many of these letters as different "characters", each with different personalities, styles of writing, and reasons for writing in the first place.

One character is full of inventions or ideas. One is a concerned consumer who just cannot believe that a company would "do such a thing"—that thing being something I made up. There's a guy who has special needs for hotel and restaurant accommodations. One person has (ridiculous) business plans, and just needs the approval of city government, leasing offices, etc. to get the ball rolling. There's a forgetful person who just keeps leaving very odd personal belongings behind at tourist locations. And then there's the character of myself, who is an amplified version of my wacky, nerdy real-life self.

Schizophrenic much? Maybe.

I wrote these letters mostly for my own entertainment. It gave me a thrill to check my mailbox and see an envelope from a corporation—even if I knew that there might just be a bland form letter inside. I had ideas of collecting a large enough volume of letters that I could submit them for book publication, but because I didn't get a high percentage of responses, I never felt that it came together. It was still a fun hobby, though, and I may pick it back up again someday.

I'll let you all know when I'm ready to kick off the new site.

8 Talked Back:

At February 9, 2006 at 2:09:00 PM CST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try getting a scanner that comes with optical characture recognition. I think all new Epson scanners have it and you can pick one up on eBay for like $25.


At February 9, 2006 at 6:00:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

anonymous is back!


At February 9, 2006 at 7:10:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Well, I'm now 99% sure of who anonymous is. She probably wasn't able to log into Blogger at work; am I right, anonymous? :)


At February 9, 2006 at 7:25:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

I remember those letters!


At February 10, 2006 at 12:15:00 AM CST, Blogger kristen said...

almost (but not really) as good as this is sitting on a park bench (or wherever), watching people either talking on their cell phones or talking to their friend, and making up the conversation they are having.

girl: i just can't believe what madonna has done to her hair.

guy: i know, it's so retro.

girl: i mean, i wonder if i should do *my* hair that way

there are way funnier things that i have come up with, all ad lib. one day i will come to portland and we will try this and it will be fun. :)


At February 10, 2006 at 2:25:00 AM CST, Blogger Amanda said...

Aw man, I came here to post about optical character recognition. >:( It's really great though, I've had to use it a few times. You might even be able to find some kind of freeware for it, or XP might have something built in.

Sounds like an interesting venture though. :)


At February 10, 2006 at 8:23:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

As long as OCR doesn't come with automatic spell check, I might look into it. Because intentional misspellings add to the fun of the letters. :)


At February 11, 2006 at 12:04:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Okay then, in case anyone's still reading the comments from this post, here's the site as I have it set up so far. It's pretty much just a pre-existing template with slight mods made to the blockquote style. I would love to do a 100%unique design, with categories, more intelligent archives, etc., but right now I just don't have the time or knowledge to do them.

Maybe someday I could sign up with a non-Blogger host (imagine that!), register a domain, and have a Legitimate Web Site with these letters. Yeah, that'd be nice. Especially if I knew about MySQL and PHP. And cah-pyooters.


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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Two days later, I report on the Super Bowl ads (I just saw)

Okay, I'm sure this will surprise no one, but I didn't watch too much of the Super Bowl on Sunday. I usually only watch it for the commercials; this year, I was flipping back and forth between the game and Clear and Present Danger on channel 12. I caught a few of the ads, and I thought the Burger King one with the dancing Whopper girls was kind of funny (in a ridiculous, over-the-top stupid kind of way). None of the others really grabbed my attention, though. I left home for church at about 4:40, so I missed the entire second half of the game.

So I look on Google tonight and I see that they have a link to every one of the Super Bowl ads. Hurrah! Even though the image quality is worse than TV, the ads are still quite watchable. I thought it was awesome that MacGyver made a comeback, even for a Mastercard ad. Growing up, I loved that show.

But my favorite commercial of all? Stunt City. Now that was hilarious! Talk about over-the-top ridiculous, but in a non-stupid way. And here's a direct link to the .M4V file.

1 Talked Back:

At February 8, 2006 at 12:15:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Bud Light: On the Roof <==LOL


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Cravings for the Dew...NIXED!

Hey, I forgot to mention, we finally have some sunshine for a while!

I was walking around downtown at lunch today, just taking some pictures and enjoying the sun. But something about the weather gave me a strong craving to drink down a big bottle of Mountain Dew. I mean, I really wanted Mountain Dew! Lots and lots of it, enormous gulps of it filling up my belly.

Then I remembered that I haven't had any soda to drink since March 7 of last year, and I reckoned that if I can survive fully eleven months without it, then there must not be any benefits for me to drink any. Besides, after such a long time, I'd probably find it too sickly sweet, and it'd probably turn my stomach.

So I went right back inside and guzzled a bunch of water. Aaaaahhhhhhhh....

2 Talked Back:

At February 7, 2006 at 11:22:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

puppy in previous post had big bottle of Mountain Dew


At February 8, 2006 at 4:15:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i want to see the photos you took. congrats on resisting the dew.


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Image: source unknown

1 Talked Back:

At February 8, 2006 at 4:14:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

this dog is scaring me.


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New blog theme: "Murder, She Wrote"?

So you are reworking your blog, and want to create a banner image where the blog's name looks like the title of your favorite movie. Or you're in charge of designing an announcement for your upcoming 80's Theme Party, and you want to use a font that just says 1980s.

Fear not, my friends: There's a free font site for you. Obviously, they don't have fonts for every movie, TV show, band or video game. But there's a whole lot of them. It looks like all you have to do is choose the font you want, click the image, and save the .ZIP file, which contains the font(s).

These are a ton of fun!

2 Talked Back:

At February 7, 2006 at 9:19:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

I LOVE free fonts!! Thanks for the link. A couple other great ones are 1001freefonts.com and highfonts.com.

love meagan


At February 7, 2006 at 10:05:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Hooray!! I downloaded a few. Thanks for the tip.


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Behind the hole

A couple of weeks ago, Jim posted part of someone else's blog about Texan drivers, which included an excerpt about his hole theory—that in traffic, you own the "hole" between you and the car in front of you, and it needs to be just the right size: because if it's too small, you'll rear-end the car if it stops suddenly, but if it's too big, everyone uses the opportunity to cut you off.

This was the source of my commute torture this morning. The car in front of me was going the same speed as the rest of traffic, theoretically, but had too big of a hole; so many, many people cut in front of him, which caused him to slow down, making the lane slower for all of us behind him. I couldn't get around the guy for about two miles, and when he finally changed lanes (into the one that I always move over to), I wasn't about to keep following him. I waited, passed him, and moved in front of him. Not surprisingly, there was plenty of room.

3 Talked Back:

At February 7, 2006 at 4:53:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

both here in Illinois, and where I usually visit in Missouri, there are four-lane highways that become two-lanes just before their respective traffic lights. there are lots of warnings that this is about to happen, signs, blinkers, broken glass on the pavement. drivers in the right lanes, however, just pretend that their lane is not going to just disappear right before the light. okay, they are ignorant, we all know that. what makes me crazy are the drivers in front of me in the through lane who slow down and leave holes large enough for two or three or four of these right-lanes drivers to pull into. this, of course, means that the drivers who are doing the wrong thing end up better off that those of us doing the right thing.


At February 7, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I call those ignorant people Last Second Larrys.

In a merging situation, ideally (to me) people should be merging as early as possible, with the drivers in the destination lane letting them in one-car-per-car, like a zipper. I will usually let one car in, even when they're getting close to Last Second Larry status. I rarely let in two cars.

If I have space, and if the signal is on early enough, I'll slow down to let a semi-truck in, but if they are LSL, forget it.


At February 7, 2006 at 7:42:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

part of the problem is a new phenomenon called "I'm a half mile from the stop light but I am going to start slowing down now so it turns green by the time that I get there" -- my guess is that this is the result of drivers who thought it would be cool to have a stick-shift but who are too lazy to actually, you know, shift


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Monday, February 06, 2006

Hello, this is Stan, from the Dinglemunch blog

So here's one little thing that bugs me at work.

Across the cubicle wall from me is an employee who works in the Payroll department, and one of her jobs is to the Payroll help desk line. I hear her half of every conversation. The thing that bugs me is that when she answers the phone, she says, "Hello, this is Laura* from Payroll." Now why, if someone is calling a Payroll help desk, does Laura need to identify herself as being from Payroll? Don't you think that the caller already assumes this?

I can understand it when she's calling someone else—they answer the phone, she says, "This is Laura from Payroll," and they now know who is calling. But those who call her are calling the Payroll department with a payroll-related question. There's no need to be redundant, Laura.

*Not her real name

4 Talked Back:

At February 7, 2006 at 12:06:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Post her number and we will all call her:

Hello, this is Laura from Payroll.

Payroll Department please.

This is Payroll.

Is Laura there?

It would be fun!!!!


At February 7, 2006 at 1:27:00 AM CST, Blogger kristen said...

is she the only one in the payroll dept? does she have multiple phone numbers for all her different jobs? maybe the caller has a wrong number and really wanted the art desk?


At February 7, 2006 at 5:22:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

She's not the only one in the department, and I don't think she's the only one to answer phones. She has picked up the slack for Chimpbo, who's still on maternity leave. Payroll is the only thing that [Laura] does.

Oh, and we're a major power utility...we may have an art desk but I doubt it...I suspect they farm all of that art stuff out to corporate-branding and marketing firms. :)


At February 8, 2006 at 4:13:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

oh, i assumed arts desk because you said your industry was arts. what do i know? a whole lotta nothin it would seem :)


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Speaking of food...

You have to love food-service cash-and-carry stores. They have the best stuff for sale there.

The plastic bucket to the left also contains mayonnaise, from a different brand.

What I want to know is what makes this Heavy Duty grade of mayonnaise better than regular mayo. Can you use it to lubricate locomotive engine parts?

When I was growing up, one of my friends had a mother who was a total pack rat. She collected darned near everything, so much so that it was difficult to walk from room to room in their house. For a while, his mom operated a deli, but it didn't last too long. There were leftover foodservice items she hung onto, long after the business failed. EWWWWWW. One of the remnants was, inexplicably, a very large jar of maraschino cherries, exactly like this one. Since maraschino cherries last about five minutes shy of forever, we kids were able to munch on them, a couple at a time, for months and months.

(For the record, no, I didn't purchase these products.)

5 Talked Back:

At February 6, 2006 at 1:50:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

none of your wimpy heavy-duty mayo for me, I only use Extra Heavy Duty Mayonnaise


At February 6, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Heavy duty mayo can withstand direct hits from most ordnance. It can replace drivers-side airbags in a pinch (just don't ask what kind, or how the hey you're supposed to get one in between you and the wheel in time for an accident).

It is the only thing that is tougher than Chuck Norris.

Heavy duty mayo can break labor contract deadlocks.

Heavy duty mayo can temporarily stand in for a house foundation (but only temporarily-it's already doing a heckuva job for mayo!)

Heavy duty mayo once saved a young girl from falling down a well. It would've kept that guy in Hitchcock's Vertigo from falling down from the Statue of Liberty.

And, above all, heavy duty mayo is your friend.

Hey, I don't make this stuff up. I just report it.

Actually, wait a tic...I do make this up. Nevermind.


At February 6, 2006 at 5:29:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Jim - None of your wimpy extra heavy duty mayonnaise for me; I only use Hellman's QX-1 High Viscosity Mayonnaise.


At February 6, 2006 at 8:07:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I was half way through the first paragraph when I glanced at the photo!!!!

"Chews-Per-Bite Ratio" <==isn't this a real concept -- is it part of your diet???


At February 7, 2006 at 1:35:00 AM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Ugh. I have a touch-and-go relationship with mayo as it is.

The first time I read that article, my stomach turned just a bit.

I just reread it.

It just turned a little bit, again.


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Friday, February 03, 2006

Warning: Don't read this around mealtime (unless you have an iron constitution)

Here's a great way to kill an appetite, in case you happen to be *ahem* trying to lose those stubborn last few pounds:


As you can guess, this is a site with descriptions of mostly non-US common foods and delicacies. They have been categorized: Vegetable, Fish, Bird, Mammal, Reptile, Amphibian, Bugs, Drinks, Mineral, and Other.

Amphibian? Bugs? Oh yeah, you're in for a stomach-turning treat.

Non-delicious examples:

Patatje Oorlog (Holland): Patatje Oorlog = "Chips War". Fried potato chips with mayonaise, tomato ketchup, raw onions, and Indonesian peanut-sauce. When you eat this, war breaks out in your stomach.

Ugali (Kenya): White, opaque, almost tasteless substance served in a slice or lump. Similar to solidified wallpaper paste. Best enjoyed if almost starving. Probably similar to poi.

Snake Wine (China): A bottle of Chinese wine. With a snake in it. Quite a small snake, obviously, about 6 inches to a foot long. Not a boa or an anaconda or anything like that.

Hu-Hu (New Zealand): Hu-Hu grubs! Those who have tried these fat white globular bugs are split into two camps - those who think it tastes a little like peanut butter, and those who think they are disgusting!

Dookers (Scotland): It tastes like rotten leather, smells awful, truly really really bad, like the worst [crap] you've ever done x100,000, plus the way the store them on the island is to cover them in salt and wrap them in newspaper so you can read the date of the thing while its being prepared. And the claws, apparently, are the best bit.

So, who's hungry?


I forgot mny glasses todday. It's a goodf thing tht I don't nEED TO ASEE THE KEYBPARD IN IORDER TO TYPE./

He wondered why he was suddenly sick all the time

Brian Spencer, a resident of Sneinton, England, received a letter from his local hospital saying “You're pregnant.”

He was told to report to the maternity unit to prepare for the birth of his baby, and advised to drink plenty of water to help with his scan reports. Spencer said it was “the mother of all blunders.”

A spokesman for Nottingham City Hospital said: “This occurred when we were training a new member of staff.”
-From the Mumbai Mirror

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Another amazing Honda commercial

Like the incredible "Cog" spot, Weiden+Kennedy has crafted another ad for Honda (UK) that Just. Gives. Me. Chills.

It involves a choir re-creating the sounds one hears while driving the new Civic.

Here's the new Civic ad.

(It's in Flash, so I can't give you a direct link, only one to the main page. Click on WATCH CIVIC in the upper-left corner.) There's video of the rehearsal process as well.

If anyone knows where I can download this in Quicktime format, I'd appreciate a link. Honda's link appears to be broken.

2 Talked Back:

At February 2, 2006 at 7:08:00 PM CST, Blogger h-i-p said...

and to think my parental units just bought one! joy!


At February 3, 2006 at 1:27:00 AM CST, Blogger Amanda said...

Yeah, that ad is really cool. When it came on TV here, Tom and I both sat in silence and watched it (they played the entire ad) and we both went "was that real?" :)

Honda has another great ad, not sure if it's by the same company or not. It's a long, animated 70's-ish thing, with a guy singing a song about how sometimes things are bad but then they're good (something like that anyway). It's an ad for their new quiet diesel engine, but the song is really entertaining and the animation is cool. :)


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I couldn't describe it succinctly enough for The List

Okay, I don't know if I've blogged about this before, but I just want to say something about people displaying well-intentioned, but unnecessary, courtesy. I am speaking specifically of people who stop their cars where there is no stop sign in order to let me walk across the street in front of them.

Look, I can understand the reason why you are stopping. You feel "sympathetic" for me, because you think that I am in a huge hurry to get somewhere and you are keeping that from happening by causing me to wait. Well, let me tell you something: By slowing down to stop, you are actually making me wait longer. Look in your mirror—there's nobody behind you! All I need you to do is to drive past me at normal speed, and my path will be clear to cross!

But no. You are taking the extra time to slow down to a dead stop, forcing me to hesitantly gauge whether you are letting me cross or are slowing for another reason. I don't trust you yet, not until I meet your eye. It's just like when I'm in my car, at a stop sign, and waiting for cross traffic to pass or turn before I accelerate: sure, I see his right-turn signal, but I still won't move until I see that he is committed to the turn—then I will know it's safe to go.

A similar situation is when I am driving on a two-lane street, signaling to turn left, but stopped until the opposing traffic passes. Inevitably, the last car in that line is the one to unnecessarily stop for me. Hey, driver! You are not being my hero. You are not coming to my rescue. Just pass by, and my way will be clear.

2 Talked Back:

At February 2, 2006 at 10:13:00 AM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Oh I so know what you mean. I usually find myself glaring at such misplace courtesy and then getting annoyed at myself for being annoyed at them.


At February 2, 2006 at 1:06:00 PM CST, Blogger Mourningdove's Serendipity said...

Right! I feel the same way about people who are going through the same door as me...I will be 10 or 15 feet behind them, and they feel they have to stop and open the door for me... this makes me have to "run" to the door because I feel like I am holding them up. They don't realize it is more of an inconvenience for me! Their intent is to be polite, but it's a pain.


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