Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

Happy Leap Day. According to Wikipedia, since we use the Gregorian calendar, our year of 365.2425 days is only off from the solar year by 0.00031, which amounts to only one day's error after 4,000 years.

For some reason, I feel like I'm getting over on God today, getting back that extra quarter of day that we "round off" every year. Probably not...Do you know anyone who is a leapling (individual born on February 29)?

Official Blog Observer Joe Snerdley and I have been talking about the deep, dark secret I plan to simultaneously reveal to Jamie and the world. For now, I plan on posting the secret next Wednesday, March 5. I'm surprised - nobody had questioned me about this. Odd.

Jamie and I are going to catch this movie tonight. Looking forward to it!

A friend on mine noted how dirty my computer monitor is, so he sent me this.

Have a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Joe Nathan Snerdley

Ladies and gentlemen, faithful Ford Retort readers, it brings me immense pleasure to make this announcement:

Because of the exponential growth and popularity of the Ford Retort, I will be adding a full-time staffer, effective March 1, for my online presence. The position I have created is Official Blog Observer, and it will be filled by Mr. Joe Nathan Snerdley.

I have known Mr. Snerdley for quite some time, and I am confident that his talents, abilities, and God-given gifts will greatly add to my commentary. Job responsibilities of the Official Blog Observer include observing the Ford Retort, critiquing my commentary, maintaining consistency in form, and proofreading. And as time goes on, I am sure the job description will transmogrify.

Faithful Ford Retort readers, if you see Mr. Snerdley around, let him know you are happy that he is now Official Blog Observer for the Ford Retort.

ps. Mr. Joe Nathan Snerdley is not related to Mr. Bo Snerdley, official program observer of the Rush Limbaugh show.

John Murphy, DMD


A tip of the fedora to my friend John Murphy. He found out earlier this week that he was accepted in to the UMC School of Dentistry! Let me unequivocally declare that John is very deserving of this. I look forward to one day having clean teeth thanks to John. Let me clarify my previous thought: I currently have clean teeth. I look forward to the day when John is the dentist that gives me a clean bill of oral health.

John, his lovely wife Aime, and Jamie and I will be out on the town this very evening to celebrate! Who knows, we may see you around.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years at MC, I took general chemistry, in preparation for my impending organic chemistry class/battle. My lab partner (let's call him Chris Cobalt) from general planned to be in organic...and I liked him...so we decided that we would be partners in organic. I walked into my first organic lab - no Chris. I assumed he would show up at some point before we got started, so I did not make a big effort to find another partner among the people I knew. But lab got started...with no Chris...and it was time to pick a partner before we got down to dealing with carbon in its many forms.

Now I can survey a room and make observations/conclusions about people rather quickly. So I surveyed. And I saw John. It was his first year at MC (and I did not know him), but he appeared to me to be a worthy partner. So I proposed to him that he accept me as his partner. He did accept, but I will not lie...the look on John's face certainly suggested that he was skeptical of me. To make a very long story short, we made it through lab, and MC biology together (some days, I feel like the only reason I made it through MC is because of John)!

Since I'm talking about dental school, I feel obligated mention Jamie's friend (and I would like to think my friend) Amanda Bridges. She will also be at UMC in the fall for dental school. Just like John, she is very deserving of the opportunity.

If you want to congratulate Amanda and John, you will have the opportunity because Jamie and I are privileged to have both of them in our wedding (word on the street is that it is happening soon). So feel free to do so (but preferably not during the ceremony).


Thursday Morning Potpourri

  • Andrew and I ran last night. What felt to be sub-zero temperatures about killed us. To keep us motivated, I sang this song to Andrew as we trotted on the track.
  • I was impressed with Jamie. She read my last post and told me about seeing this on the Today Show. I've got a feeling that the Ford Retort is Mississippi's leading vehicle for stimulating intellectual and cultural exchange.
  • In searching for the link to the above site, I ran across this article on the Today Show website. Now isn't that special!
  • Somebody is perpetrating a mean trick on me. Every night I'm at Jamie's apartment, we spend an hour or so cleaning and throwing stuff away. I don't understand where all the junk is coming from. Someone is moving in their junk, and when I find out who you are, retribution will be swift.
  • The weekend is almost here!
  • Next week, on the Ford Retort, I will be simultaneously revealing a deep, dark secret to Jamie and the world. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How About That

Here is an interesting article about the attempt of a Harvard scientist to catalog every species - from the blue-footed booby to the Douglas fir - known to science. A physical book would be extraordinarily massive, so it is being done courtesy of the world wide web...at this site.

Oh how smart we think we are. I was reminded of this verse of scripture.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fox News Anchors


Of the Fox News personalities, I prefer Brit Hume. That guy makes me laugh. The only way I know to describe him is, well, - abrupt - and I guess I find that funny. Somebody once told me that the reason they watch Brit is to try to catch the day when his eyelids completely collapse over his eyes. Fair enough.

Most people probably prefer Shep Smith as a news anchor for Fox. I like Shep alright, but he just doesn't have the gravitas that Brit has. Check out the above clip of Shep - you'll see what I mean.

Just don't watch Charlie Gibson (Amanda, I pray daily for your salvation from the Gibson illusion).

Wake Up!


Calling all Republicans (or anybody with a brain)! Read this article.

Does the content of the aforementioned news story give you much confidence in your nominee? How inane!

Apparently now, using Senator Obama's middle name (his real middle name, mind you) is off limits. That's right...it's now inappropriate to refer to the Senator from Illinois as Barack Hussein Obama.

And to add insult injury, McCain said he "repudiates" such comments. What? That's the guy's middle name! Anybody else tired of political correctness? No! This is beyond political correctness. Plain and simple: this is Senator Obama sitting high atop Mt. Olympus and dictating what can and cannot be said about him. Dangerous stuff, friends...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hugh


The other day, Hugh Hefner solicited me...seriously...to subscribe to Playboy magazine (I will not be providing a link to the aforementioned literature). As usual, I came home and checked the mail. As I sat in my vehicle and perused content of the envelopes, I discovered the mailer/letter Hugh sent me to inform me that he was giving me a deal on a subscription to his esteemed magazine. And the appearance of the young ladies on the mailer certainly suggested that they were very interested in my business. I don't much recall the financial details of his offer, but I figured the impending change in my marital status would dictate that I decline Hugh's solicitation. Oh Hugh...you silly smut peddler.

I have to believe that regardless of what they may say, many a man has great respect for Hugh. After all, he is indirectly responsible for the first sexual encounter of a multitude of American dudes (it just dawned on me how pathetic that is). He deserves a place in the history books for that, if nothing else.

I deliberated Hugh's offer, and because of that, I really need to get this off my chest. Even if Hugh personally offered me a rack of money, I'm afraid I'd go bust if I took his offer. As appealing as a perky bank account is, I'd hate for anyone to have the idea implanted in their head that I sanction Hugh's attempts to milk his business for all it's worth. I simply need to keep you abreast of this thought: I would not sleep well at night if I knew I caused cleavage between a well-meaning person and their morals.

Hugh, I am truly honored that you would consider me worthy of a special introductory offer to Playboy; however, I regretfully must inform you that I am unable to accept your kind proposition at this time. If my circumstances change, I look forward to letting you know.

Mama Tried


So I played the above song in church yesterday (as a sermon intro). Junior Pastor Neil Tullos filled in at the pulpit. Word on the street is that he's trying to work up to this song.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Running


Earlier this week, my friend Andrew and I decided to start (well, actually for me, reconvene) our running routine. The next morning after our first nightly run, I became acutely aware of how out of shape I am. It wasn't too many years ago that my heart could defeat a significant period of inactivity with relative ease. No more! Now, a significant period of inactivity bascially means starting from scratch.

You may know that I ran cross country when I was at Jackson Prep. It was a rewarding experience. Many of the benefits included a serious increase in my speed as well as the fact I stopped drinking soft drinks. Nonetheless, I was no stand-out runner. And if I was, MPSA athletics is only so competitive.

So if you find me moving a little slower, just know I'm sore...from running.

Dubya

Looks like Dubya and me have something in common: no rhythm.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Told You So!

After today's New York Times hit piece on the good Senator from Arizona, let me be the first to say, "I told you so." Fellow conservatives, this is what happens when you let the drive-by media pick your candidate for you. I'm still missing ol' Fred...

But who heard Barack Obama's speech last night? I told you that the people who listen to him don't even know what he's saying (see a post or two ago...the title had something to do with Pam Anderson). In his speech, Obama said, "It's time to change the fact that Mike Huckabee's wife appears in public wearing clothes. We need to see her naked." And the crowd dutifully shouts, "We want change! We want change!" Look hard on YouTube, and you may find a video of that particular speech.

And speaking of Janet Huckabee, here is an interesting article about her (and the Huckster, too).

So Jamie Is Having a Little Party...


In celebration of our marriage, some folks are giving Jamie a bachelorette party tomorrow evening (the two thoughts in the previous sentence strike me as contradictory). I know that some of the people who will be attending this "informal get-together" read this blog, so let me leave you with a few thoughts:

I know people who know people, and I will be monitoring everything that happens. For those of you attending, I know where most of you live. You may not think it's possible, but I will find out everything that happens.

And if anything happens at the party that offends me, and I find out that you had something to do with it...let's just say Lady Justice will reign supreme. It may not happen the next day; it may not happen the next month. But it will happen.

So y'all have a good time now, ya' hear...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pamela Anderson's Assets

I'll tell you what, that Barack Obama guy just makes me feel good about myself. To bad that doesn't count for anything in a little world I like to call reality.

If I hear the guy talk about "change" anymore, I'm going to throw up on someone's shoes. So if I look nauseated and am around your feet, get away quickly.

I was listening to one of Obama's speeches, and I noted how people responded every time he said the word "change." He didn't really say what he wanted to change or how he wanted to change it, the good Senator simply stated we need change.

Yep, every time the word change rolls of his tongue, his junkies go nuts! I'm just waiting for the speech where Barack says, "Friends, as an elected official, I'm tired of being accountable to you, an ignorant citizen. We need change." I can envision it now: he spouts off that line, and the crowd goes wild and begins to chant, "We want change! We want change!" Or he says, "I'm tired of the status quo! People should not change their underwear but once a month." And again, the masses are engrossed with fervor and shout, "Yes, Barack, we want change!" Or he says, "I want Oprah to appear at all my campaign rallies naked. In this matter, we need change!" Well, people may wake up when they hear that...

I don't know about you, but I've got a feeling that Barack is about as real as Pamela Anderson's assets.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More (On Dating) From Perry

As promised, some more dating-related posts from Perry. Ah yes, soak up the wisdom...

Four Things a Single Girl Should Know
Five Things a Single Dude Needs to Know

The Weekend

As I was driving home from Jamie's apartment Sunday evening, the natural beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway (particularly, the smell of noxious cow flatulence and sight of fresh deer carcass on the side of the road) placed me in a reflective and pensive mood. What did I learn this weekend?

On Saturday night, Jamie and I took my five-year-old cousin Caleb to Nagoya in Madison. Of course, we sat at the Hibachi, thinking that the tomfoolery and playful antics of the chef would be blissful entertainment for Caleb. I am pleased to report our experience was a resounding failure.

Firstly, Jamie got miffed at me when I told Caleb not to eat the dirty dish water soup (I'm rather sure that's not its real name, but that's what I call it). Jamie gets mad at me for discouraging him to try new things. Hey, if it's not good enough for me, it's certainly not good enough for Caleb. But Caleb expressed his approval with the soup (and I actually like it too).

From the moment we entered the restaurant, I could tell that Caleb was a bit anxious about his new experience (he definitely would have preferred to eat at his new favorite place, GattiTown). We ordered him the kid's shrimp and rice plate. But then out comes the chef. He starts banging his utensils. Caleb didn't like that. He covered his ears. And then our friendly chef ignites the fire to light the grill. Meltdown! As I was clapping for the chef, I noticed Jamie was attempting to placate a terrified Caleb. Jamie knows how to effectively stop a hissy fit, and she did so quickly.

I've never quite picked up the technique Jamie uses to squash a child's temper tantrum. But she really knows how to do it...and do it quickly. I've listened for a particular set of words she may say in a certain order. Or a specific facial expression. Nope...can't pick up on it. She may just have an uncanny ability to do this...kind of like Cesar Milan or Chris Angel. Whatever it is, I've got to learn it!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Perry Noble (and Me) on Dating


Girls chase guys; ladies wait to be pursued by men.
-Perry Noble

One of my favorite bloggers is Perry Noble, the pastor of New Spring Community Church in Anderson, SC. Perry is an innovative leader; he isn't interested in doing church the way it has always been done. Oh no...if you are a passive church-goer, you and Perry will not get along. Perry's desire is simply this: to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. And he leads a community of believers that is very effective in doing so!

For people who are dating, young men and women, and older folks, and well, just everybody, take a look at this recent post of Perry's.

Our society has no idea what dating is supposed to be. We've totally screwed it up (no pun intended). In our society, dating is now a shallow social agreement between two people...I need somebody to do something with when my friends are busy, and hookup with when I need to impress people, so how about you and I get together, even though I have no intention of having any long term connection to you... Now ain't that fulfilling! Remember, ladies: why buy the cow when you are getting the milk for free.

Nothing is sadder to me than when I see a beautiful young lady, who is full of potential, throw herself away on a loser. And I've seen plenty of it in my short twenty-three years on this earth. The reasons are many: no dad in her life, a warped view of love/men/family, an intense but misplaced and unhealthy need for love and acceptance. So many times, the consequences of related mistakes cannot be reversed and are far reaching. Of Christ's words, this warning, in my humble opinion, is particularly pressing in regards to searching for a spouse i.e. dating.

Be wise in your dating life! Examine your motives, guard your heart, and be willing to make changes!

And no, smart ass, my dating life is not superior to yours because my fiance' is the only young lady I've ever dated (reality check: this is a rarity and I'm not sure it means much when you get down to it (and if you're wondering, our parents did not arrange our marriage when we both turned 15)).

I'll probably link to some good things Perry has to say about dating!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tax Rebate

Here's the skinny on the tax rebates. Thanks, Dubya and Congress, for giving our money back to us. No really, you shouldn't have...

Rebate 1
Rebate 2
Rebate 3

Ever wonder what the largest denomination of paper money is?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Envelope



Uhhhh. Does the Office of the Registrar at MC know something I don't know?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That Wasn't Nice


So I was eating lunch with my friend Jason today. He made a suggestion to me: "Mike, you really should consider supporting John McCain." I told him to make his case, and he said, "Well, everyone you pick to win sucks and drops out of the race."

Jerk.

When the Top Shows Return

Yes!

Let me be honest...my excitement about this makes me feel sooooo superficial.

Valentine's Day Charade

Do you think you've had an odd Valentine's Day experience? Let me tell you about mine, from last year.

Jamie and I and our friend Brittany were grabbing a quick lunch at a local fast food restaurant. We were chatting, minding our own business, and keeping to ourselves at a table next to the children's play area (this seems to be the way all of my stories start out).

But through the hustle and bustle of the lunch crowd, I hear several male voices shout in unison, "Happy Valentine's Day, Michael!" I look up, and Jason, Andrew, and Daniel are running through the local fast food establishment to me with a rather large Valentine's Day basket (if you want to know some of the more amorous contents of the basket, you need to talk to me in private). The guys made absolutely no effort to be discrete. They even had a homemade card for me, which Jamie and Brittany read to me after we left (letting them read it to me before I had read it was a mistake!).

Now how does one handle an occasion such as this? Most of the other customers were glaring at us with bewildered looks on their faces. People in the drive through line were getting out of their cars to come observe the spectacle. And my friends were insisting that I go through the contents of the basket right then and there. So I handled it like you're supposed to handle a bank robber...I complied with their demands as quickly and quietly as possible so they would leave, and for the most part, they moved on quickly (I think they had to get back to class).

Now don't get me wrong...I really appreciate concrete acts of love and admiration shown towards me. If you desire to give me chocolate or gift cards to various retail stores or hard cash, go ahead! I'll take them and be very grateful! But DO NOT, under any circumstance, do it with loud fanfare in front of other people...especially if you are a male.

Tax Cuts for the Middle Class



Here comes the orator with his
flood of words and his drop of reason.
— Benjamin Franklin


I was listening to a Barack Obama speech today. The man is all fluff. Let's take his position on the economy. From his website, "The Bush tax cuts give those who earn over one million dollars a tax cut nearly 160 times greater than that received by middle income Americans." The esteemed Senator's solution? Provide tax cuts to middle income Americans. Well doesn't that make everybody feel good about themselves. Let's help out the average family while stickin' it to those evil rich bastards.

Oh, then reality slams the Senator's demagoguery. Here's an interesting set of facts. The top 1% of income earners pay almost 40% of all taxes. Even better, the top 50% of income earners pay almost 97% of all taxes. Why do "rich" people get the biggest tax cuts? IT'S BECAUSE THEY PAY THE TAXES! I agree with Senator Obama and his liberal friends: the tax burden in our country is unequal. And it's because "rich" people carry the tax burden, subsidizing government handouts. When is the last time you heard that talked about on PMSNBC or the Clinton News Network?

I ran across the above video of Mr. Iverson (you may remember the incident). If we boiled down the content of the speeches from the good Senator from Illinois, we would find that he has to say about as much as ol' Allen did in his infamous press conference.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Assiduous Weekend

My brother Jonathan texted me not long ago to tell me that he thought my posts were becoming too infrequent, and that the posts I did have lacked substance. Well, excuse me...

I do admit, I didn't post much last week. But I was busy (not to mention the fact that anything I post is busting at the seams with substance). So be nice.

This weekend was an assiduous weekend. Friday night, Jamie and I ate at this restaurant with some friends (that's what she said, Thad). Saturday morning, Jamie served as the floral designer for a wedding in Clinton. We arose at 6 am to start arranging flowers at the church, so that the wedding party could start taking pictures at noon. Saturday night, my soon-to-be-bride and I went to a concert in Tupelo. For some reason, we sang and danced a jig (yes, a small jig) to this song most of the way to Tupelo. Every once in a while, Jamie and I learn a song together so we can sing and dance to it as we drive around...although the previously mentioned song is about as polar opposite a genre as you can find to the music at the concert (I may write about the concert later). I'm still trying to get Jamie to learn this song with me, but she won't...as of yet.

I have a handy tool from Google that tells me how many folks visit my online presence i.e. blog. Best I can tell, my quantity of visitors hasn't really suffered much. But I can't take you, the faithful Ford Retort reader, for granted. My friend Landon just told me he had forgotten about my blog. Come on, Landon...I expect more from you.

So I will be a faithful poster.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lame Excuse for Roses Day

I'm personally, spiritually, and morally opposed to Valentine's Day, but Jamie is not, so I have to cast aside my reservations and celebrate "Lame Excuse for Roses Day" anyway.

Because this week is a bit busy for us, Jamie and I celebrated the demented holiday prematurely on Sunday night at this restaurant (for someone who cares very little for seafood, I highly recommend their Bang Bang Shrimp). It was a great evening. Let me tell you about it.

All was well at Bonefish. I seriously could not have planned a more romantic evening. Even though I'm personally, spiritually, and morally opposed to Valentine's Day, I do know how to make a woman happy. I mean, I know a lot about a lot of things, but I'm here to tell you...I know women like I know every square inch of my glorious, naked body! (no, there will not be a link to that picture, much to the chagrin of female (and maybe male, you never know) Ford Retort readers)).

Romance was in the air (with Jamie and the waiter, that is...she thought he was really cute). I was singing the praises of the love of my life (at the time, it was the Bang Bang Shrimp). And of course, we were serenaded by romantic, live music...well it was actually the boisterous discussion of three drunk guys at the bar...

Now personally, intoxicated individuals never have bothered me (as long at they aren't vomiting on my feet). They just don't for some reason. They don't offend me. They don't really make me mad. I just laugh at them. They usually are fun conversation pieces. For me, I choose not to become inebriated because I have a hard enough time not telling people what I really think of them when I'm sober. If I get drunk, all bets are off. (On a side note, I'm reminded of a poster that a friend of mine had in his dorm room. You can find it here. If you look at the pitcher of beer closely, you'll see 200 slang terms for drunkenness. My personal favorites: sloshed, shickered, and wankered (and another one I can't write)).

Let's get back to the main plot. The three drunk guys at the bar at Bonefish. Two of them (let's call them Bob and Bill) were together. Their attire suggested they had been golfing. And they were just carrying on by themselves...until they noticed that the guy sitting at the other end of the bar looked like Refrigerator Perry. Bob went over to the man (let's call him Fridge) and said, "Hey man, you look like Refrigerator Perry," and a friendship was instantaneously born between Bob, Bill, and Fridge. Whoa! I mean, these dudes got excited at their new find and let everybody know about it. And of course the conversation turned to football and the Super Bowl and what not (let me again remind you, I'm sitting with Jamie...not at the bar...and can clearly understand every word the three amigos are saying).

To make a long story short, Bob, Bill, and Fridge made a quiet ruckus. They talked, laughed, and had a good time. It bothered Jamie and me a touch, but their behavior really seemed to irk our fellow culinary comrades. Hey...all in good fun. But we ate (our creme brulee was particularly sensual!), paid, and went on our way. After Jamie and I left the restaurant, I heard, "Hey sir," as we were walking in the parking lot to my vehicle. It was Bill (he had gone outside to take a smoke). "Sir, I just want to apologize for our behavior inside. I hope we didn't ruin your meal." I assured Bill he perpetrated no such transgression as we continued to walk to my vehicle. Yet Bill continued to talk.

As I looked into his blood-shot eyes, I sensed Bill needed to get something off his chest. He needed a friend to hear him out. Plus, it was obvious he was going to keep talking anyway (with a very thick tongue, might I add). Bill said, "I'm sorry for disturbing y'all. I skipped church this morning and that's why I got drunk." I quickly retorted, "Friend, don't feel bad. We're all sinners. Many Sundays, I have to get drunk so I can go to church and endure it." Bill continued on, "Just pray for my friend in there. His name is Johnny Right...Johnny Wrong...He just needs to get straight. He owes me $2,000...he lost a bet to me." I counseled Bill and told him it might be wise to forgive the debt as the borrower is slave to the lender. Bill agreed it would be wise to forgive the debt, and we left it at that.

So much for romance. It's a good thing Jamie and I love to laugh together.


Party Like a Barack Star

Oh my!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Veep From Mississippi

There's been no lack of speculation that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is on the short list to be selected for the Vice President slot for John McCain. A good dose of slow talking, topped with a thick, southern draw (Dubya doesn't have anything on Haley) would be good for Washington.

On another note, it looks like I'll be holding my nose and voting for Senator McCain. Uhhh.

On another note from the previous note, I am starting to feel I could have done more to help Fred win the nomination...like this.

GodTube

I'm thinking about writing and recording a sermonette entitled "The Seven Biblical Hush Hush Secrets to Living as Long as Methuselah"...then I would post it on GodTube. Your thoughts?

It's Been Awhile

My, oh my! It's been awhile since I've been around. Let's see if I can step it up a notch this week...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Condiment Hustlers Grind My Gears


Anytime I have a meal at Chick-fil-A, I request copious amounts of the Honey Roasted BBQ sauce they have (an alleged recipe for the sauce can be found here). And the tug of war begins.

The employee of whom I've made the request begins to become uncomfortable. He or she begins to shift their weight from leg to leg...eyes darting to and fro...perspiration forming on the brow. Yet with great fear and trepidation, the employee manages to buck the status quo and give me a whopping three packets of sauce. And because it's been such an unpleasant experience to observe the emotional anguish the employee has undergone, I just can't find it in me to tell him or her that I need at least three more packets of sauce.

So go through my dining experience unfulfilled. And bitter. And ready to fight someone.

Yes, I must admit, I almost got into a fight with a manger at Wendy's because she wouldn't give me an extra caesar dressing for my caesar side salad. I ordered an extra caesar dressing at the time I placed my order, so they had opportunity to charge me for it. And when I received my order sans the extra caesar dressing, I gave a raucous explanation as to why I wasn't leaving the drive through until I got my extra caesar dressing (in case you're wondering, I did get it without paying)

I am tired of begging fast food employees for condiments. It's simply inane to beg for a 2 ounce packet of sauce. Shame on the fast food industry for forcing their employees to be condiment hustlers. You know, why should I have to go up to an employee and pretend to be happy and polite and brown nose somebody for the remote chance of earning their favor in return for extra condiments? I mean really, does that not make me a condiment whore? I give you a warm, friendly smile...you give me extra condiments. An illicit exchange of goods and services if you want my honest opinion (and you do, of course, because that's what the Ford Retort is about)!

As of today, I'm taking a stand...I will no longer acquiesce to the fast food industry and be a condiment whore. Defeat condiment whoredom! Defeat condiment whoredom! Ladies and gentlemen, friends and enemies, lend me your ears. I declare condiment whoredom to be the largest and most pressing civil rights issue of my generation.

Good, Clean (Maybe) Humor

I'm sorry...I couldn't resist.

Police in Ohio were mystified by the apparent theft of a complete toilet bowl from a police station in Cleveland. When a local news reporter asked the police sergeant if they had any leads, he replied, "Unfortunately, at the present time we have nothing to go on."

As sophisticated as I think I am, I'm a sucker for immature humor. I'm still trying to convince Jason, Andrew, and Daniel that this guy is funny. Seriously, he is.

Music Industry

I ran across this article in Entertainment Weekly that discusses the changes the music industry is facing/currently experiencing. Artists such as Radiohead are defying conventional wisdom by allowing everyday people to download their music projects for an undefined price. You choose how much money you want to pay (even if it's nothing).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Unhandicapped Individuals Parking in Handicapped Parking Spots Grinds My Gears

As a younger (a considerably more immature) child, I was annoyed by the realization that for 95% of any given day, handicapped designated parking spots are not filled by individuals who are genuinely handicapped. Simply put, a handicapped parking spot is an inefficient allocation of parking space. Why? Most of the time, in any random parking lot (yes, specifically choosing the parking lots of hospitals and rehabilitation centers would upset my statistical model), a parking spot designated for the handicapped is not legitimately used for the large majority of a day.

But the more I thought about this issue (this comes with growing older and presumably more mature), I appreciated the rationale of why we as a society choose to ignore economic (inefficient allocations and what not) realities on this matter. We, as a society, choose to make the lives of physically handicapped people easier in this simple way...giving them a spot at the front door.

If you are not handicapped, do not park in a parking spot designated for the handicapped.

Why do unhandicapped people park in handicapped spots? Simply put, they're self absorbed. They think the world revolves around them. They think society owes them something. When I observe somebody in parking lot who has committed this felonious misjudgment, I make it a point to stop and point at them and loudly yell, "Hey everybody, that guy is self absorbed and thinks the world revolves around him. He thinks his time is more valuable than everybody else's and chooses to slap the handicapped for his own personal convenience. Shun him like a lepper."

People are weird about different things, I know. Personally, I will not circle a parking lot 25 times to find a "closer" parking spot. It's too much trouble and the good Lord blessed me with a healthy body (that I don't exercise enough), so I just walk. But it really grinds my gears when a person with no/minimal health problems opts to usurp a parking spot designated for somebody who is physically handicapped.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Umbrellas Grind My Gears


To the untrained eye, an umbrella may strike you as an innocuous self help tool. Need to stay dry? Go grab your umbrella. Eh eh eh. Oh you naive earthlings.

I know we've all had this experience. You are ready to leave your vehicle to go in to your destination. It's raining cats and dogs. You pull out your umbrella and put it up before you exit your vehicle. You are sheltered from the rain as you go inside. You do your business at your destination and then put up your umbrella to shelter yourself from the rain as you go back to your vehicle. But here is where things get ugly.

How do you get your umbrella back in your vehicle while remaining dry yourself? This conundrum really grinds my gears because it's virtually impossible. I mean, the umbrella enables you to finish 90% of the fight to stay dry, but when it comes time to bring your umbrella back in your vehicle, well, you just get wet doing so. What do I do? I just throw my umbrella away outside my vehicle when I sit down in the driver's seat (I have about ten miniature umbrellas I keep in my backseat).

I'm calling out the umbrella industry. Umbrella industry, it's time to change...it's time to transmogrify...it's time to chalk up some American fortitude and alter your product so that it can finish the job.

Umbrellas, stop grinding my gears!


A Week of Gear Grinding


Oh, wouldn't the world seem dull and flat
with nothing to grumble at?
~W.S. Gilbert


Do you have an all-consuming desire to know what grinds my gears? I sense your fervor, and I suspect you do! This week, your itch will be scratched.

Each day, I'll be exegeting on a topic that makes me mad...topics that are like sand in my crack...topics that grind my gears. Buckle your seat belt - it may be a wild ride.

Congrats to the Giants


Congratulations are in order to the New York Giants. You did well, men.

Don't you know that Archie is a proud father? I've always heard it said that parents want for their kids what they never had.

A Look Back


I was cleaning out my wallet this weekend, and I found my room key from the Peabody. You may recall that Jamie and I and some friends attended a New Year's Eve party in Memphis (if you don't recall, check out the post "Ringin in the New Year" at the archives).

As I trashed the key card, my mind raced through the important and inconsequential events of my life since the beginning of 2008 (isn't it weird what triggers you to do that?). I'm a month closer to being married. I'm a college graduate. I pay a lot of bills these days (and there will only be more to come). Man oh man - a month down.

Let me be honest with you. You want to know what really scares me right now? I'll tell you: I'm gonna blink, and before I know it, I'll be writing the last post of the year 2008, reflecting on hopefully more good than bad. I'm really serious. Yes, I have other concerns and matters that weigh me down. But nothing haunts me more than laying down each night and staring at the ceiling and thinking to myself, "What did I do worthwhile today? How did I redeem the time for good?"

Now, I'm 23 years old. Let's say I live to the age of 80. That means I've only lived 25% of my life. Even though I feel like I've been around a while...far from it...far from it. At this point, you expect me to say something profound about how to best live your life. If you're foolish enough to think I have those steps for you, go read some Joel Osteen. He smiles a lot more than I do. Frankly, it's just easier to take the road often traveled and copy and paste something else profound. I celebrate and take great comfort in the poem below (yes, I read poetry...not really). Contemplate and ruminate!

Twas a life filled with aimless desperation
Without hope walked the shell of a man;
Then a hand with a nailprint stretched downward,
Just one touch then a new life began.

And the old rugged cross made the difference
In a life bound for heartache and defeat;
I will praise Him forever and ever
For the cross made the difference for me.

Barren walls echoed harshness and anger
Little faces ran in terror to hide;
Now those walls ring with love, warmth and laughter,
Since the giver of life moved inside.

Now there's a room filled with sad, ashen faces
Without hope death has wrapped them in gloom;
But at the side of a saint there's rejoicing,
For life can't be sealed in a tomb.

And the old rugged cross made the difference
In a life bound for heartache and defeat;
I will praise Him forever and ever
For the cross made the difference for me.

What's that you, say? Ah yes, carpe diem to you too! Remember, don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive anyway.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Dave Ramsey


I've always been a fan of Dave Ramsey's common sense (and biblical) approach to money. Listen to this call he takes from a lady who won $100,000 on a game show and is just busting at the seams to blow it because she doesn't have her priorities straight.