Monday, July 30, 2007

I don't even know what to say.

Not three minutes had elapsed, and my wife turns to me and says, "I'd like to get some pinking shears."

I might have to go use my chainsaw.

-The Krunchy Krab


Don't get excited Bob I'm not talking about baseball.

My wife just said to me, "I'm going to make bunting for our daughter's birthday."

As a man, I'm proud to say that I have no idea what that means.

Peace out.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"We don't dip our toes"

Tonight at dinner, my wife and I had finished eating, and so had left the table to try to finish restoring order to our house before our nephew came home from sports camp. I walked into the dining room in time to witness my daughter with her toe in her mouth, a feat I have not been able to accomplish since Reagan was in office.

I didn't think much of it at first, since she often puts her feet on her head to highlight my lack of flexibility. Upon glancing back though, I watched her take her toe out of her mouth, dip it in a leftover puddle of sauce from dinner on her plate, and promptly put her toe back in her mouth.
Ah, now I understand. Having eaten all the other vehicles for carrying sauce to her mouth, she was resorting to using the utensils God gave her.

A few seconds after this realization, my wife uttered the quote in the title, and I walked to the computer to write this blog.

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, July 20, 2007

Accident free for 1 day

I did not witness any accidents today. I suppose that's a good thing. I did drive past several on my way home from work.

It's friday, and I've already shut my brain down for the weekend. I'll reboot it in the morning.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I got to say it was a good day

Actually, it was a strange day. On my way to work today, I was detained twice, by two different police departments. No, I didn't do anything wrong. I was sitting, minding my own business, heading southbound in the left of three lanes on highway 99. On my right was a strip mall, with a parking lot entrance about 15 feet in front of me. Traffic was packed, and we were all stopped for a red light up ahead. The car directly in front of me (and the one directly to its right) had stopped short of the cars in front of them to make a gap to let a car in the oncoming turn lane make their turn into the shopping center parking lot while we were all stopped.

This turned out to be the bad idea that it always is, because there is no way to tell the cars in the right turn only lane that there is a car about to cross their lane. I could see the red car approaching somewhere near the speed limit (45 mph) and I saw the green car disappear in front of the cars in front of me. The next time I saw the cars, they were both spinning. Now, the damage to the car that was turning was amazing. Both rear wheels folded under the car, much like the Delorean's wheels on Back to the Future when it starts flying.

Anyway, I pulled into the parking lot and went over to make sure everyone was ok. Two other witnesses were there, one of whom was on the phone, calling the police. After helping the driver of the green car out, the driver of the red car began ranting at the witness on the phone, saying he should just go, everyone was alright and they could handle it without him. At the time, we couldn't figure out why she didn't ask myself or the other witness to leave... but that became apparent later on.

The Edmonds police came, and while we were waiting to give statements, we overheard the first officer ask for registration/license/insurance. It was immediately apparent why the woman didn't want the witness there who called the police, as she apparently had no insurance.

What compels people to drive without insurance? Sorry, I just think that's dumb.

So, I gave my statement, and drove away. Continuing down highway 99, I again pulled into the left lane, and crossed out of Edmonds into Shoreline. 2.5 miles later, I was again stopped at a light next to a shopping center. Again, the car in front of me had left room for someone to turn while we were stopped. To my utter amazement, I again witnessed a car zooming down the right turn only lane, and again saw cars spinning after a collision. Again, I pulled over, and got there as another witness was calling police.

What are the odds? I read something years ago that claimed there was a 1 in 4 trillion chance of anything happening. By anything, it meant things like a cow randomly falling on your lilac bush every time you eat corn muffins. I suspect the chances of this are somewhat higher.

My statement given, I continued on to work. La-de-dah. Shoo-be-doop. The day was strange as well - La-de-dah = my co-worker got a call from his wife that she had passed out and needed him to come home. Shoo-be-doop = our admin assistant got a call from her father that he had fallen and couldn't get up, so she had to go. Weird. The day ended, and I began to head home.

So, I'm heading north on I-5, this time in the second lane from the right. I guess I figured that my being in the left lane was bad luck for the other drivers. Traffic was once again heavy, and I began to slow down. In the lane next to me, a large truck decided that it should test how quickly it could stop. Unfortunately, the cars behind him couldn't see through or around him, to know that the cars ahead of him were stopped and he was testing his brakes. Amazingly, the car directly behind him managed to stop about 6 inches short of his rear bumper. The car behind that was not so lucky. As traffic pulled away, all I could see what a red hood folded in half and steam rising.

I guess I'm just bad luck in general. I think I'll ride the bus tomorrow.

-The Krunchy Krab

I have to apologize...

I've been brooding since Saturday, thinking that my two blog readers had blacklisted my blog. Turns out my blog statistics had stopped working again. So, I'm sorry it's been so long since I blogged. I'll fix that right away.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bad cop, no donut

Some recent police blotter entries:

Friday, June 22• A man in the 800 block of 29th Street awoke to discover his 1993 Ford Taurus was hit overnight while it was parked on the street in front of his house. The vehicle sustained more than $750 in damage. Officers are looking for a red vehicle with damage either to the left rear or right front quarter panel. There may be some white paint transfer on the car.

I looked this car up on Kelly's blue book - in Good condition with all the defaults selected, this car is only worth $1550. I had to laugh... I guess you had to be there, except it was just me reading the blotter, so it wasn't funny even if you were there.

June 25, 2007 9:05 a.m. Mount Vernon Police officers arrived to the 2300 block of East Division Street on the report of a burglary. Entry was gained by removing a windowscreen and entering through the open window. The missing items were reported as two afghans and a pillow. No dollar amount was assigned and there are no suspects.

I suspect the burglar was last seen driving away in a 1993 Ford Taurus...?

• A 56-year-old Skagit County man was arrested on charges of making a false report after he made a series of 911 calls reporting he had been shot and stabbed. When officers and paramedics located the man on 12th Street near Commercial Avenue he appeared intoxicated but in good health. It turned out he had problems with his roommates and was unhappy with the response he received from law enforcement. He reportedly decided if he said he was shot he would get a better response.

I don't think I need to say anything about that one.

Hmm. Tired. Going to bed.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A good Saturday

It's been a good day so far. I started out by sleeping in until about 7:30, an unknown luxury for me. Then I spent the morning with my daughter while my wife got some well deserved rest. Once my wife was up, I went to work. I started by weedeating the weeds along our back fenceline (you'd have to have seen the before picture to believe how bad it was) so I could get to the small trees growing right up against the fence. Now, these plants aren't intended to be trees - they just grow that way because we're too lazy to cut them more than every few months. To give you an idea of how bad the weeds are, we had dandelions that were 10 feet tall (no exaggeration) and had stems (STEMS!) that were more than 3/4 inch in diameter. I'm really not kidding.

About midway through

Anyway, so that was a big project. Once the small (5 feet tall) weeds were out of the way, I could get at the 10 foot tall weeds in back. These required my chainsaw. Yay! I like using my chainsaw. Less than 5 minutes later, the trees were all bowing to the supremacy of my rotating blade. It was very much a Tim Taylor moment.

We have one of those giant green yard waste bins on wheels - I think it's 96 gallons. I put all the fallen trees in the bin standing up, and it looked like a giant flower arrangement. Once I cut them all in thirds, our yard waste bin was stuffed full.

There, much better

The trees out of the way, I set out to clean up our Christmas tree. I know, I know. I had already chainsawed it into pieces :) but had left all the branches attached and lying in the yard. Those are all cut into pieces now too, sadly though they were too small for the chainsaw, I had to use hand tools for that. The branches and logs were picked up, and I raked the pine needle carpet into a pile. Finally, I got the lawn mower out, and sucked up as many of the pine needles as I could, and then attacked the fenceline. I love the mower.

So now, I have about half of my fenceline reclaimed, I got to use my chainsaw, and I got some exercise in the process. It was a good day already. But now, we have friends coming over, which will be fun. It's shaping up to be a good evening!

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome to a new dawn.

I walked downstairs today to the vending machines at work to see if anything sounded worthy of supplementing my lunch. I know, I know, vending machine food is bad for you and overpriced. But I usually don't have any change anyway, so it's a rare occasion that I get anything.
Anyway, while I was scanning the typical offerings, my eyes came to rest on a new product - Sun Chips Cinnamon. "That sounds interesting" I said to myself. My immediate thought was, "Those probably taste so bad that it would make for a great blog." I'll give you one guess as to the truthfulness of that statement.

My experiment was destined to be an unpleasant one from the very start. You see, the people who load our vending machines have devised a clever plan to make more money - they load the bagged items into the chutes such that they always get stuck on the way out. Now, it is possible to make the machine dispense what you have purchased, but you either have to risk making the Darwin awards for toppling a vending machine over on yourself, or you have to buy at least two of anything you want. I happened to have a little extra change, so I opted for the latter choice, planning to hawk the extra bag to my co-workers... "Come and get your Sun Chips! Half as much for half the price!" or something along those lines.

My purchases dispensed, I made my way back up to my desk and opened the first bag. I have to admit, they smelled good... but then cinnamon is a popular air freshener, so that's no big surprise. In went the first chip. As my mouth exploded with flavor, my brain began processing - "Hmm... tastes kind of like a churro. A flat, dry churro. Not too bad, really. Oh wait, all the cinnamon flavor is gone now... hey, this tastes like a corn tortilla covered in cinnamon... Blech!"

For all of you who have wondered what goes on in my brain, it is usually dialog like this.

And so I proceeded, consuming chip after chip, to see how quickly I could swallow the chips once the cinnamon and sugar flavor was gone. The result: Not quickly enough. When the aftertaste of regular Sun Chips hits your mouth, there is just enough of the cinnamon and sugar flavor left in your mouth to make it gross. I was now presented with a moral dilemma: Which of my coworkers do I dislike enough to sell this to? One name immediately sprung to mind, but he is out for the week. So in the end, there I was, stuck with an extra bag of flavors that go against everything God intended.

So, I brought the extra bag home. I figured, maybe my tastebuds aren't sensitive enough or refined enough to properly appreciate what must be the complex layering of flavors. I had the perfect sample set at home: My wife and my daughter. You see, if I eat a single Nacho Cheese Dorito, then go out and mow the lawn, chop some wood, and start a campfire, upon entering the house again my wife will descend upon me and begin sniffing around my face. After about 15 seconds of sniffing, she will declare something like, "You had a Dorito." Now, I figure anyone that sensitive will be able to shed some light on the intricacies of flavor in the new Sun Chips cinnamon chips. Then there is my daughter, who will be 2 in less than a month. Her taste buds are so new, that I suspect if there is a commercial for Doritos on TV, and she runs down the hall from her playroom to the living room yelling "Ahh!" (like she always does) with her tongue hanging out, she will taste them. (The Doritos).

My experimental subjects chosen, I proceeded with testing.

I pull into the driveway, and walk into the house. My daughter is asleep, and my wife smiles and says hi.
Me: "Try these."
Wife: *Crunch crunch* "Huh, not bad."
Ok, not quite as much feedback as I was expecting, but I still have half my experiment to go.

(My daughter gets up and starts yelling and jumping)
Daughter: "Chips! Chips! Peeese!"
Me: "Do you want a chip honey?"
Daughter: "Ok" *Crunch crunch* "More peese!"
Me: "Do you like the chips?"
Daughter: "Ok"

So the results of my test are somewhat inconclusive. I can only make one recommendation regarding this new product: Give them to your spouse and children to free up the better snacks in the house for yourself.

-The Krunchy Krab

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.

Quote is from George F. Will

I suspect that the residents of the town of Keizer in Oregon are actually secretly trying to get free advertising for Pfizer... you will understand when you visit this link.

Apparently, piercings are the proposed answer...

Now all they need is to stage a commercial with old people dancing amongst the pillars, and their sales will be sure to ... ahem... rise.

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Digging through the archives

I must face the truth, I am a recovering pack rat. I used to be the sort of person you would see on Clean Sweep, and I'm sorry to say I dragged my wife into the insanity, but we've mostly dug ourselves out from under that after 5 years of marriage. We've still got a ways to go, but lately I've been spending a few hours each evening digging through my remaining "miscellaneous" boxes in the shed - stuff I've been carting around since high school. It is a random conglomeration of stuff - computer parts, old papers, wires, toys, tools, etc. Each night I part with some forgotten treasure, which I've told myself dozens of times over the years that I should keep.

Of course, this post is about something I've decided to still keep - my button collection. I took pictures of a few - the box I found contains 154, which is by far the bulk of my collection. I used to have all of them hanging on my wall, pinned to a large piece of posterboard. Now, as you see some of these buttons, they may not seem all that strange to you until you consider that I collected most of them before the 8th grade, and the box has remained relatively untouched since then.

Without further ado, here they are:

Ok, I'm not going to argue about my political views when I was 14, because I don't think I had any. I only got these because I was a button collector.

This was taken on my high school graduation cruise... my wife asked if it was my graduation from the 8th grade, because we look so young. Nope, high school graduation.

The vacant look in my eyes is probably due to the fact that I was on night 6 of staying up 7 days straight... I went home and slept about 14 hours.

When my sister was in high school, we had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for several weeks - Yukari Kawamoto. Then, the next year, my sister went to Japan as an exchange student, where she lived with the Takahashis.

Turns out they're EXTREMELY wealthy, and the daughter, Emi, has maintained contact with most of our family over the years since - visiting several times, on the first such visit, she brought her whole family and her brother, Naokazu, gave me this button, and a Tokyo Giants signed baseball (no, I don't remember who signed it).

Not sure where I got this button, but I have found several occasions to wear it over the years.

Once again, I think I was 8 when I got this button, so I'm not trying to make a political statement. We had a guest pastor from Namibia give a sermon at our church, and I received this from him. What I remember most about him was telling how cows were worshipped as deities in Namibia, and so he always did a double take when in the states and he heard someone say, "Holy cow!" - he would respond "Where?"

I have no idea.

I was 11 when I bought this. I wondered for years why the woman who sold it to me looked at me so strangely.

I'm seeing a trend in political buttons - I also have some buttons from politicians who ran successful campaigns, and they show no signs of rust. Despite my small sample size, I am forced to draw the conclusion that if one wishes to win an office, it goes a long way to spend the extra money to get high quality campaign buttons.

This button is pretty old - I'm not sure how much it's worth, but I believe it's 40+ years old. It's one of the more well made buttons in my collection.

Now, before you begin thinking I'm weird... oh wait, too late for that. My sister has worked for a podiatrist for about 16 years, and so in high school I did a job shadow following one of the doctors in her office. Thus, the "Toeby" button.

This is from my Dad's Air Force days. He gave me this when I was 12, and then gave me his duffel when I was married... to keep our tent in.

Again, I have no idea. I had no idea when I got it, have not developed an idea over the years, and even now cannot think of what this could possibly mean. At least, not any ideas that I can write about.

This button was released as part of the original Pac Man advertising campaign. It's pretty cool.

Ok, there you go... another montage of pictures, and a brief look at the variety of my childhood collectibles.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, July 09, 2007

A look back...

I used to have a website, called Moedaddy's world of satire, back in college. I was recently digging through my archives and found all my old webpages. Thought this might take some people back... (click on the image to see it full size, you can zoom in even further to the full size version to make it more readable)

Now, as hard as it may seem, the International Dutch Oven Society, of whom I am making fun with this webpage, still exists - 8 years later. You can find it here - they no longer have the same pictures up, and I think the board has changed, but it appears to still be going strong. If you want a chuckle, take a look.

I'll probably be putting my website archives up again soon, I'll provide a link to them when I'm finished. Have a good evening, everyone.

-The Krunchy Krab

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm sorry sir, but your office visit today does not include a free rectal exam

I feel compelled to point out that as of my 100th post last night, I had made exactly 50 posts in 2006, and exactly 50 posts so far in 2007. Kind of weird, especially when you consider that puts me on pace to make exactly double the number of posts in 2007 as in 2006. This means that my blogging is loosely following Moore's law, which states that the number of transistors our technologies are capable of cramming into a certain area will double every two years.

In our mail yesterday I received the most disturbing piece of mail I have ever received. It was an invitation to my 10 year high school reunion. Surely it hasn't been a decade since I graduated. I can't be that close to 30, can I? Ugh. I show all the signs - receding hairline (those troops have been retreating since high school), young children, I pay money for plungers and toothpaste, and if I don't mow my lawn, it doesn't get mowed (note the use of the word young in front of children).

Oh well, it will be good to see some of the people I haven't seen in years. I imagine it will be a little like the reunion episode on Everybody Loves Raymond, except I won't watch everybody's purse.

Well, I need to go clean up the tortilla chips my daughter just sprayed across the carpet.

-The Krunchy Krab

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My Real 100th Post

I thought I would provide a montage of some of my favorite pictures and memories from over the years. This should be enjoyable. A note, the caption/discussion of each photo can be viewed below the photo. Hopefully that will avert any confusion. I'd hate to have you looking at a picture of my wife while I'm talking about my cat, and wondering what kind of person I am. Anyway, without further ado here is a brief history of my life.

I was born in 1978, right about the same time as Microsoft. It was a good year for the world.

When I was in my pre-teen years, I joined the KCPQ Kids Club. This is a scan of my membership card. I'm not showing the back because I don't want you to be able to forge my signature, and also the secret code decoder is on the back.

This was our cat when I was growing up. Her name is "Boo" It started out as "The Little Baby Boo-Boo" and was shortened over time. She died a few years ago.

As you can see, this is a picture of my friend and I in April 1993 - towards the end of the 8th grade. I'm wearing my typical B.U.M. T-shirt (I had no other brand of T-shirt)

Fast forward a couple of years to college. This is a picture of another friend and I at a fourth friend's wedding. These friends are getting complicated.

This is a picture of me, freshman year at college. I was entering the Electrical Engineering program, thus the weird symbols above my head. They were actually drawn there for the class pictures.

This was mostly what I did in college. In case you're wondering what that is, it is marshmallows - we had "kneaded" them for several hours to make them into stretchy sheets, that felt kind of like a sticky latex glove. They tasted much better though.

This is a sized down version of my Junior design team picture. I was too lazy to crop it and make it appear larger. Our group name was "WTF" which any network gamer will immediately find amusing. It did in fact cause quite a gasp and chuckle in class when we announced it. However, we did have to tell our professor what the letters stood for, so we said it meant "We Three Friends" Ha!

Shortly after I arrived at college, I met this nice lady and at the end of our junior year, I professed my undying love for her. We remained good friends after she politely told me no way, and I managed to win her affection later that summer.

And there was much rejoicing on my part, since now my undying love was being returned. About this time, all our friends started getting married.

And everyone jumped for joy.

Enter the digital age. Being a computer jock, I soon acquired my first digital camera and began snapping pictures of everything that moved. Also, stationary objects. If it existed, I have a picture of it. But I soon ran out of things to photograph. No problem, let's go to Europe!

This is an Austrian poopsmith. I kid you not. Ok, maybe a little. This guy does walk around behind the tourist buggies in Salzburg and scoop the poop. But I don't know if there's even a German word for poopsmith.

While in Europe, one must try out the automobile-shock-absorber-turned-kid's-toy. I had no more luck dismounting this toy that I do dismounting American versions. Yes, I had to be rescued shortly after this photo was taken.

We were all very tired when we returned. Some more than others. I should never have put down the camera.

The trip to Europe was a result of my research in grad school, which I was midway through by this point. Day in and day out, I slaved away over electronics in a laboratory, emerging only to attend classes and ride the bus to pick up my wife.

I was lucky, in that my wife worked nearby at Children's Hospital. We were able to commute together, which made life good.

But there was something missing... and then we realized what it was. A baby! So we had one. Here she is. Isn't she cute?

I think she warrants a second picture. Awwww.

And thus ends my brief history of life. I took the above picture at Carkeek park two years ago. I hope you've enjoyed this look into what makes me tick. Thank you for reading my 100th post!

-The Krunchy Krab

Friday, July 06, 2007

Not enough hours in the day...

I imagine with the title of this post you think I'm going to write about how busy I am, there's not enough time to get everything done that I want to... well, I'm sorry to disappoint. If you had asked me a year ago, I may have said that, but I would have been wrong.

You see, I realized something. God created the days, and He set their length. God created us as well, all of His creation was designed to operate together. Who am I to ever question how long the days are? No, I realized that if the day is too short for what I am trying to fit into it, there are only two possible reasons for why:

1) I waste large amounts of time. I know I am guilty of this.

2) My priorities are wrong.

I think everyone is guilty of the first crime... but this isn't really the big problem. No, number 2 is definitely my stumbling block, and I have no doubt this is behind most people thinking there aren't enough hours in the day.

By priorities, I am not speaking of being efficient with my time by working on the most important task first, etc. That plays more into the first reason. No, I am speaking of the larger Priorities of my life. Yes, I meant to capitalize that.

How we use the time allotted to us will reflect our priorities in life.

Just something to think about in our spare time.

-The Krunchy Krab

Yay! 100 posts!

This is technically my 100th post, according to Blogger, but that is only because I have two draft posts sitting, waiting to be published. So, while I will briefly celebrate this pseudo-milestone, I will be much more magnanimous in my celebration post when I actually reach 100 published posts. Stay tuned, sports fans.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Looks like it's going to be a great day. I think we're going to head up to Anacortes for the day... wish I didn't have to work tomorrow :(

-The Krunchy Krab

They just don't make them like they used to...

Remote controls that is. I just got this cool remote that my brother purchased for me (he's a low voltage electrician... translation: He gets to install really cool A/V equipment in rich people's houses. Ok, I know he does more than that, but that's all I'd want to do)

It's proving fairly complicated to program, especially since none of my devices (except for my Xbox) are explicitly built in. That's kind of nice though because it forces me to customize it a lot more by learning from my existing remotes and picking and choosing which buttons I want to bother to program.

The coolest thing? Well, one of them? Macros - My main menu has "Activities" that you select. If you hit "Watch DVD" it will turn the TV on, turn the DVD player on, hit channel 3, switch to DVD, and eject the tray so you can insert a disk. It even controls our fan, and I set a macro to automatically turn it to the lowest setting (which I think helped my wife be more accepting to the idea of a new remote)

Anyway, It'll probably take me a few more days to finish programming the thing exactly how I want it. :)

-The Krunchy Krab

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A look back to college

Back in college when I had time to work on an actual website (translation: I had no real job), my web design went through several phases. Some of you (my three loyal dedicated readers) will remember them I'm sure. First was the coffee background, with my statistics about my air hockey matches with Mr. Science, then came my random site, very much like a blog but more clunky (clunkier?) and then I switched to my professor quotes.

I still have backups of these sites somewhere, which I hope to find soon and post some snippets of, for nostalgia. But I was remembering back to the inspiration for my random website... I stole my color scheme from a website called - stole is a term I use more loosely than Mr. Monzy would, I'm sure. I liked the shade of blue he used, so I used the same shade of blue. How did I find Monzy? Well, I had a friend from high school that went to the same school, Carnegie Mellon, and he sent me a link to his page.

I'm sure that by linking to him here he will track the traffic coming in to his site (which he has converted to a blog as well) and he will once again come to visit my site, just as he did back in 1999. (At least, my stats tracker back then told me he visited)

His site is amusing as usual. He even took the time to repost all his old hard coded html blogs into properly timestamped blogs when he converted his site. I highly recommend reading his post in October 1998 - he probably won't believe I remember that, but I have repeatedly referred to some of his Halloween costume ideas in years since.

Anyway, I'm going to go try to dig up some of my old websites... hopefully I'll find something interesting I can put up here.

-The Krunchy Krab

Monday, July 02, 2007

Another interesting search

Apparently, my random posts are generating more search based traffic than I realized. I received incoming hits from Google searches of:

1) "Throw a suitcase overboard"
2) "antique beaver muff"

So apparently I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. Of course, if I can't keep the visitors adaquately entertained so they keep visiting, it will not create a trend of increasing visitation. So, I have to make my blogs both random and interesting.

This will take some serious research and fierce determination. I believe I am up to the challenge.

-The Krunchy Krab