Friday, October 31, 2008

Hey, Coach, loved you in Space Cowboys

San Antonio Spurs coach
Gregg Popovich

Donald Sutherland

And now, a special Halloween message from Grumpy McGrumperson

Look, I know that it's safer to have your kids trick-or-treating in the office than it is in a dark neighborhood where people don't know their neighbors like in years past. I get that.

But let me remind you of something: This is still an office, and people still need to get work done. If I am on the phone, and you and your extremely loud kids are yelling "TRICK OR TREAT!!!" to all my cubicle neighbors, I cannot hear what people on the phone are saying. Not only that, but the customer can't hear what I'm saying either, because it sounds like I'm sitting in the middle of a crowded elementary school cafeteria right after someone's let a cougar loose.

So maybe next year you can just leave the kids at home, and quietly go from cube to cube yourself, on behalf of your kids. Oh, wait, you say that the whole point is for the kids to get the experience? Well, that's not what you think the rest of the year when you do all of their fund raising for them. You can't have it both ways.

By the way, are you on the clock while you are trick-or-treating? Yeah, I thought so.

2 Talked Back:

At October 31, 2008 at 7:17:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Okay Mr. Grumpy-Pants...I take it you aren't going to hand out treats this year??? By the way...cute pint-size firefighter!


At October 31, 2008 at 7:43:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Actually, we are handing out candy tonight, at home. We've had two visitors, and it's 7:40. Of course, we're out in the middle of nowhere... :)

Oh, and that was a photo I grabbed from the Internet.


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sorry, Jim, if you ever come to Carthage, I'm not going to take you to McDonald's

The McDonald's on Central in Carthage is perhaps the worst McDonald's in the entire organization. They are slow, and they never listen to what I order. Not only that, but even if the order is somehow taken correctly, there's no guarantee that it will be filled correctly.

Take today, for example. I had to take a long lunch break to take care of some car stuff, so I stopped by McDonald's on the way back to work (it's about the only place on Central that both Nicole and I will go). I went inside (NEVER, NEVER trust the drive through at this McDonald's) and first ordered what Nicole told me she wanted. Then it was my turn:
Me: I need a Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal—

McCashier: —Medium or large?

Me: Medium, with a chocolate shake. And on the sandwich, I want no pickle and no onion.

McCashier: You said no pickle?

Me: Yes, and also no onion.

I paid for the meal and waited. And waited. And waited a little bit longer. She had already handed me Nicole's drink cup (miraculous in itself, because none of the McDonald's ever remember to give me the cup, even the one in Webb City, which is an otherwise great McDonald's), and I had filled it and was still waiting. I finally got the bag of food and I made my exit. When I got back to work, I stopped by Nicole's desk to give her her lunch, then I took mine back to my desk. All I had was the burger, as I had already eaten the fries in the car, in the interest of saving time.

I looked at the Quarter Pounder box. The grill order slip said NO PICKLE. Not NO ONION, even though I said it to the cashier twice. I opened the box and removed the top bun of the already cold, dry sandwich. Sure enough, there were onions all over it. And pickles.

From now on, if I want my burger done right, I'm going to tell the cashier, "Make sure it has plenty of pickles and onions on it." That way, I'm sure to get my burger the way I want it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And no, it's not just because the O looks like a toilet seat, although it does, and that's kind of funny

I have finally identified my new favorite older font. It's called Revue:

1 Talked Back:

At October 30, 2008 at 2:45:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Oh man! You mean there is a new category of favorite things? I'll have to find one, too...I suppose. I'll try using the O as my deciding factor... he-he-he....


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Voting blind

I must have gotten spoiled in Oregon, because in every voting cycle, the state mails out a comprehensive voting guide, sometimes in multiple volumes. And even though there is a lot of subjectivity and campaigning within those pages, there are still a great deal of objective facts, particularly about ballot measures. It always allowed me to go into the voting booth (and later, to sit in front of the TV to mark the mail-in ballot) knowing exactly who I want to vote for, and which ballot measures to vote for or against. In a word, I was informed.

Here in Missouri, I truly feel like I am going into next week's election blindly. I mean, sure, I have heard about the presidential candidates, but everyone else is a mystery. I've heard names and not much else. I've really tried to avoid watching political ads, because they're all biased toward one candidate - the one who paid for the ad. I don't watch cable news, and I don't listen to talk radio. Yes, the Missouri Secretary of State's office has a website that lays it all out - the candidates, the ballot measures, everything that will be on the ballot, but I only just found it this morning - and they have totally discounted those, especially a large number of the elderly, who have no Internet access. If these sources are what the State of Missouri is relying upon to make sure that voters are informed, then they simply suck at it.

Realistically, I should have had a paper guide in my hands two weeks ago. It would have given me time to thoughtfully consider the measures and candidates without having to scramble at the last minute. Now, because of school schedules, Nicole and I will have to go in at 7:00 on Tuesday to vote, and we'll have to hurry because she has to drop me off at work and get to her class on time. I understand that that is not the state's fault. However, that's the situation that countless families who also have busy evening schedules are faced with. We'll be under pressure to vote quickly, and that pressure will only be mitigated if we can go in there knowing in advance exactly which circles to fill in on our ballots.

1 Talked Back:

At October 28, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM CDT, Blogger Emily said...

i know what you mean. Luckily here in good ol' Indiana, early voting has been available since October 6, so I had time to research the candidates, and then was able to vote during work one day. We are a polling place, so all I had to do was walk to the gym. But, I understand your frustration very well because it's hard to make informed decisions when everyone is selling you their version of the facts!

Good luck!


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Friday, October 24, 2008

And I was looking forward to listening to KC & The Sunshine Band this morning

Note to self -

When putting your iPod Nano back into its carrying case, never simply wrap the headphone cord around the iPod. Otherwise, the headphone part will be pressed against against the selector wheel, thus keeping the @#$%$#$# screen on and draining the @#@^%$%# battery.

2 Talked Back:

At October 24, 2008 at 9:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

That actually happened to me very recently. We were at a little coffeehouse we love, Coffee Romance, over at 82nd and Powell.

I was all hipster too. Had my diary out, ready to write something, was wearing my tattered and ever-so-slightly stained thrift store suit jacket, a black shirt, blue jeans and big shoes, and was all ready to listen to my iPod and write in my leather-covered blank book there.

Such a waste. Quelle fromage!


At October 24, 2008 at 10:05:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Yeah, experienced dead iPod several times.

Matt & I got ourselves iPods in 2007 for our anniversary (I suppose a way to feel "young and with it" like the kids).

We've had to charge them more that we use them, apparently the battery disapates-- even when off in the locked position. Oh, and the kids take our headphones when theirs breaks. Geesh...can't win.


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No, Grissom, that's pepperoni

For the last couple of weeks, Nicole has made the astute observation that every Thursday we always choose pizza for dinner, and are always eating it during "CSI:", which ends up grossing her out and ruining her appetite for pizza. Every week we have an array of choices, but something always compels us to stop by Papa Murphy's, to order Papa John's online or to get a pizza to go from...Pappa's in Oronogo. It's strange on several levels. (Like, what's with all the Papas?)

So, starting next week, we are going to make a conscious effort to avoid ordering pizza from anywhere. Although there's a possibility that we'll forget Nicole's observation and accidentally order it again.

1 Talked Back:

At October 24, 2008 at 10:08:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Had Little Caesars $6. pepperoni yesterday, too (Thursday). Didn't watch CSI, but started the original Alien movie :)


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Thursday, October 23, 2008


I was just checking the stats on who visits the blog, and I noticed I got a referral from a Google search from "esrever ni gnipyt draobyek". Who would ever believe that someone in the world (specifically Fort Wayne, Indiana) is out there searching for those reversed words?

2 Talked Back:

At October 28, 2008 at 7:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Emily said...

ft. wayne is a strange place. :)


At October 28, 2008 at 7:26:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

One of my best friends from high school lives in Ft. Wayne now. Yes, he actually moved there.


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Anyone want to make this?

I think that if I had the wherewithal to make a Google Maps mashup, I'd try to make a map that pinpoints locations where well-known products are made in the U.S. You know, like Tootsie Rolls, or Tazo Tea, or Chevy Tahoes. This idea comes from watching a few too many episodes of "Unwrapped" on the Food Network, a show that apparently tries to use the words "extruder" and "conveyor" at least 75 times per show (to say nothing of the onslaught of Marc Summers' corny puns), and also "How It's Made". Also, when we were in Salem a couple of weeks ago, our hotel was right down the street from Kettle Foods.

Since it seems like the only things that are still made in America are food products and cars (and Google Maps), it would be cool to have a map of where those products are actually made. It'd be a pride-in-America sort of thing, I suppose.

Somebody work on that, okay?

2 Talked Back:

At October 23, 2008 at 7:40:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

favorite part of Unwrapped: companies where food workers wear gloves and companies where they don't!


At October 24, 2008 at 9:28:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Interesting that you mention Kettle Foods. They have an interesting history.

The fellow who started it was a committed Sikh when he founded the place. At the time he went by the name N.S. Khalsa (Khalsa being a name that all devout Sikhs assume as an outward token of faith, just as they wear a turban - these days he's a bit less devout (though probably still a good guy) and has gone back to his given name of Cameron Healy), and the place was called N.S. Khalsa Company. They started out roasting nuts to sell as snacks.

They're now amongst the US's largest snack food concerns. Mr Healy no longer owns the company, but the company's still based in Salem, which I think is cool


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She must have some unruly chimps in her house

That's right, the lady in line was buying at least six bunches of bananas, and at least four spray nozzles. And a jar of bread 'n' butter pickles thrown in for good measure. Who knows what kind of shenanigans are going on in her house.

Incidentally, it took forever for her to get through the line, because after everything was scanned and bagged, BananaNozzleLady took the time to write out a check. After handing it to the cashier, who I think may be the slowest in the world, the cashier stood there with said check and. Stared. At. It. For. A. Solid. Minute. I'm not kidding. Then she finally woke up and ran the check through the little scanning machine, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until some sort of receipt printed out. SlowCashier gave BananaNozzleLady the receipt, apparently so she could sign it (?), then when she signed it, she gave it back, and SlowCashier handed the check back to her! What kind of odd payment process is this???

4 Talked Back:

At October 23, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

amazing you have not been arrested as a stalker! :)


At October 23, 2008 at 7:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Classic..... :)


At October 23, 2008 at 9:33:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I'm sure there's a perfectly legitimate reason for someone paying for a mount of 'nanners, nozzles, and briny cukes.

Can't think of one, but I'm sure there has to be.

Please let there be one ...


At October 24, 2008 at 10:06:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Jim - I was able to observe this because I was two people behind her in line, waiting to purchase hot chocolate and marshmallows for the youth group...I was standing farther back than the picture indicates...the photo is cropped from a larger image, as I didn't want to include any identifiable faces... :)


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

They ought to "beef" up security, just in case

I just heard on the radio that The Village People will be performing at nearby Buffalo Run Casino. Let's pause here while we break this down:

Buffalo Run Casino is an Native American-owned casino on Reservation land.

The Village People feature a singer dressed like a stereotypical Native American.

Do you think there may be any kind of a problem at the upcoming concert?

1 Talked Back:

At October 23, 2008 at 1:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger stan said...

The guy in the cowboy hat kind of looks like Leonardo DiCaprio.


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Score another one for stop-motion animation

There are three commercials in one video here. Personally, I think the third one's the best...

No CGI, just stop-motion animation. Awesome.

1 Talked Back:

At October 20, 2008 at 7:31:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Wow indeed.

Actually, I don't see how that first one could have been just stopmo, because unless my eyes decieve me, it looks like they wound up with an actual house out of it. The logistics of that one would be murder!.

But generally speaking, it's amazing that the more remarkable cutting-edge animation technology gets the more interesting a statement the 'old traditional' methods make.

Ray Harryhousen would be thrilled.


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

And we still don't know whether they'll break .500 this season

Before Nicole and I went to Portland, I made plans to buy a Portland Trail Blazers T-shirt. Even though they haven't performed all that well over the last few seasons, they are still my hometown team, and I want to be able to represent that. I ended up buying three shirts, one of which is nothing more than a black shirt with a oversized silver Blazers "pinwheel" logo:

Well, here's the thing. When you're in southwest Missouri, which only recently is at least four hours away from the nearest NBA venue (grumble), you have to assume that a majority of locals don't really know who the Blazers are, much less recognize their mysterious logo. (Come to think of it, some folks don't know what the NBA is.) It really just looks like a map symbol for a hurricane.

According to Wikipedia, the pinwheel logo, which was designed by the cousin of former Blazer executive Harry Glickman, is supposed to simply represent to two teams of five players lined up against each other, presumably at the half-court circle (which, on the floor of the Rose Garden, is also this logo). It's sort of obscure, but then again, a lot of things were obscure in the early 70's.

Almost thirty years later, they're still using that weird little pinwheel, which by the way does not suggest "aggressive" or "menacing" in any way whatsoever, and that means that I'll have to keep answering questions from my co-workers about the funny-looking hurricane symbol on my shirt. Go Blazers!

4 Talked Back:

At October 17, 2008 at 4:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Andrew Weaver said...

1. Glad to see your you're an NBA fan.
2. I am well aware of who the Blazers are. I remember Clyde the Glide, Terry Porter, and many other Trail Blazers. Back in the day when they were decent.
3. It is nice to have the Thunder nearby (even if it's a lame name, logo, and color).
4. OKC is ONLY 3 hours away. =) I know because my wife used to reside there. Been to a Hornets game too, back when they were playing there.
5. You should go when they hook up w/ the Blazers. Ford Center is nice and downtown OKC isn't too bad either.
6. "What's the deal with that logo?" ~ Seinfeld.


At October 17, 2008 at 10:18:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

2. I did some landscaping work for a couple of days at Clyde Drexler's house. There were a lot of people there working on various projects (it was a total remodel of a house he hadn't yet moved into), and Clyde was there just chatting it up with anyone who was on a break. When a lot of guys in his position would insulate themselves from the general public, Clyde was classy enough to actually spend a little time getting to know the workers.

4. No, no, Andrew, you don't understand. It may be a three-hour drive to OKC for most people, but for us, it's a four-hour drive. :)

5. We've actually looked into getting tickets for one or both of the games next year. Most of the seats (at least, the ones not behind the baskets) seem to be unavailable, but there are a few left. I'm hoping that I might get some tickets for my birthday next month...


At October 17, 2008 at 7:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Well, what do you know....I learned something new today...Thanks, Stan....-Lori


At October 23, 2008 at 9:41:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I think it's a classic, myself. I've seen that logo all my life, and I love abstracty logos like that.

For a long time, if you might recall, the logo actually was more upright, which added the vague impression of the lower-case letters "t" and an upside-down "b" melded together.

I like the explanation of two teams of five dancing on the floor. Excellent metaphor for b-ball.

In a way that reminds me of the old Monreal Expos logo, which was a script M with interior subdivisions splitting off a red "e" on the left and a blue "b" on the right with a white part down the middle. The impression was supposed to be of the letters "M""e""b", for "Montreal Expos Baseball", but which my eyes always wackyparsed as "elbo".

There's a good rendering of the old Expos logo here.

Isn't it cool?


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!rorrim a em teg ydobemoS

.won mtesys ym toober ot deen I kniht I !siht gniod yllaer s'ti - ekoj a ton si sihT !neercs eht no esrever ni pu wohs lliw epyt I gnihtyreve ,hguone ylwols epyt I fi ,oS .noitisop tsomtfel eht ot kcab rosruc eht gnicrof si ekortsyek yreve ,won thgir ni gnipyt m'I dleif eht edulcni hcihw ,"smrof" yna nihtiW .rerolpxE tenretnI ym ro draobyek ym rehtie htiw gnorw gnihtemos s'erheT

Update: It appears to be working normally again. That was pretty weird, though!

1 Talked Back:

At October 17, 2008 at 7:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Cute, got it on the second look :)


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Officially the most awesome show ever!

As I type this, Nicole and I are watching The Discovery Channel's new show "Time Warp," where a couple of guys use super high-speed cameras to capture ordinary and extraordinary events, then play them back at unbelievable slow speeds. The effect is completely mesmerizing, and has already created an insatiable desire to see more things captured in super slo-mo. I've lost count of the number of times I've said, "Whoa!" out of sheer awe.

Go watch it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

See us on Saturday in Portland

In case you haven't seen my Facebook status this week, Nicole and I will be at the Lucky Lab on Hawthorne tomorrow night from about 7:30 on. We don't have that side room reserved like we did last year (we don't want to spend the extra $75) but there should be room there nevertheless.

Hope to see you there!

1 Talked Back:

At October 10, 2008 at 7:27:00 PM CDT, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

Did you two make it to Crater Lake????????


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