There’s No Diet Pepsi

There are some things that are omens, they portend bad things.  In late 1991 Nirvana hit the charts with Smells Like Teen Spirit.  It seemed like a pretty cool song from a band of stinky homeless guys.  But it was just the bugle call signaling the end of hair metal.  In the 1990 the FCC implemented the educational/informational mandate and unfortunately killed Scooby Doo, Thundarr the Barbarian and Spiderman & His Amazing friends along with the rest of Saturday morning cartoons.  In week 6 of the 1980 NFL season the 1-4 Bengals came into Three Rivers Stadium to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers.  The Bengals lone win and the Steelers lone loss was the result the first meeting between the teams in week 3.  The Bengals won again and it seemed like an unfortunate upset but it was really the beginning of the end for the 70’s Steelers Dynasty.

I show up at the gas station Wednesday morning as I normally do on my way to work.  I head over to the fountain pop and grab the big 44 oz. styrofoam cup.  If I have the option, I always pick styrofoam and 44 oz.  52 oz is too much and 32 is too little.  One place has a 42 oz and I’ll go with that when I stop there.  But it’s always styrofoam.  It keeps the pop colder than plastic.  Plus, and I’m just going by some extremely lazy research, styrofoam is not biodegradable or recyclable while plastic is recyclable.  So I figure walking around with a big styrofoam cup makes the PC enviro crowd irritated.  Good enough for me.

Aside from that small and extremely petty victory, I just like cold fountain pop in a big cup.  Irritating the left is really just a unintentional bonus.  Not that I’m dismissing lefty irritation but if we’re all being honest with ourselves, irritating the left isn’t especially difficult.  They’re offended by almost everything.  And if somehow you come to a non-offended conclusion, they will explain why you should be and twitter shame you into being offended.  Regardless, I really like Diet Pepsi in the big cup.  It’s the official soft drink of the NFL.  Plus fountain pop tastes different the can pop.  Not that I’m against can pop.  If I’m ranking them, can pop is a solid second to fountain pop.  Plastic bottle pop is last.  I’m not drinking that if I can avoid it.  It’s like Bud Light.  I’m not avoiding it at all costs, but I’m grabbing can of something else first.

But on this particular Wednesday morning, as I fill up my big Styrofoam cup, the liquid coming out of the Diet Pepsi dispenser is alarmingly clear.  Like it could be Sprite.  Nobody wants Sprite in the morning.  But I don’t have a lot of options.  There’s only one Diet Pepsi dispenser.  So here’s the situation…I can leave the gas station and drive to another gas station which really isn’t that close and is in the opposite direction of my office.  I can get a crappy plastic bottled Diet Pepsi.  Or I can bite the bullet and fill up with…Diet Coke.  I know.  It’s a lose-lose situation.  Probably a lot like the Democrat’s presidential primary choice.  Luckily for me I’ve faced this situation before and I went with the driving to another gas station option.  But that was on a Saturday morning and I still have to get to work.  So I filled up Diet Coke.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I got to work and yeah, I drink the whole thing.  But as soon as I finished it, I went down and got a can of Diet Pepsi to wash the taste out of my mouth.  And then I get my arse kicked for about 6 hours in meetings.  Clear liquid outta the Diet Pepsi dispenser…bad omen…

Hello Christmas My Old Friend

I like Santa.  He’s a jolly old fat man with a snowy white beard.  He’s about giving, hope and faith.  He represents the best in all of us and asks nothing in return.  He shows up regardless of the weather, regardless of how you voted in November and regardless of whether you believe in him or not.

Christmas is the season, to paraphrase Frank Cross, when we’re all a little nicer.

Theoretically anyway.

Mom was in Omaha and Lincoln for most of last week. And her side of the family came to the house over the weekend to celebrate an early Christmas.  Plus Rogue One came out Friday.  Yeah, so Friday morning was pretty much shot when it came to cleaning up the house and making food along with all the other related holiday preparedness chores necessary to accomplish when family is about to arrive.

So that means it fell upon me to get the place ready.  I unilaterally modified that task to mostly ready.  Why?  Because I’m a simple dude.  And a lot of stuff that some people think are necessary, I don’t.  But listen, we kicked Christmas’ ass decorating this place.  It looks freaking awesome.  Our family room looks like HG-freaking-TV was here.  Chip and Joanna, when they’re not fighting off the leftwing twitter lynch mob, would be proud.  The house smells like a yuletide log filled with mistletoe and sugarplums, delivered to the house by a one-horse open sleigh driven by eleven lords-a-leaping, exploded leaving an exquisite ensemble of poinsettias, silver bells and a sea of swirly twirly gum drops.   It’s like Santa himself detailed the Seal Team 6 of elves to come get the place ready for the holidays.  So I figured as long as the house is clean, the beer is cold and there is enough food to prevent starvation, we’d be set.

Yes, there were a few things left to clean up after we got home from watching Rogue One.  But it was Rogue One.  What the hell were we supposed to do?  Wait until next weekend to see it?  Here’s a pic of me getting ready to watch.

theaterrogueone

First one in the theater baby!

Regardless, I was on top of making sure the house was ready.  Thursday night, whilst cleaning up the basement, I thought I’d get all the laundry done too.  Seemed reasonable.  However, there are three teenage girls in the house.  Things which are of deathly importance to them do not always rise to that same level with me.

So, I’m doing the laundry and various clean up related tasks.  I’m about done and getting ready to call the evening’s prep work a win and just go to bed when Rye comes into the bedroom.

“Dad, when you were doing laundry did you go into my room and take anything?”

“Are you asking did I pick up any of the clothes that were strewn about your floor?  No, I didn’t.  I asked if you had any laundry you wanted done and you specifically said no.  I chose to believe you.”

“Ok, well it was Kinsey then.”

“Wait, what was Kinsey?”

“Well, my Lulu Lemon tights got washed in the washer and they are only supposed to be hand washed.”

Quick point of context – Lulu Lemon is the brand that sells tights/leggings that are about $700.  I’m kidding but Rye did save up a bunch of money this summer specifically to buy leggings that were about $100.  Yes, $100 American dollars.  They are so precious but also evidently constructed so poorly that they can’t cannot survive a routine cycle in a washing machine and instead can only endure 19th century clothes washing technology.

“Sorry about that kiddo but I just put whatever whatever was in the darks pile into the washing machine.  I didn’t look to see what was in the pile because I figure if you guys made the rare decision to put your own dirty laundry in the laundry room I was just going to go ahead assume you were serious about that stuff getting washed.  I just unloaded the washer and hung up 3 or 4 pairs of black tights or leggings or whatever.  Nothing like that got put in the dryer.”

“Okay, well, Kinsey must have put them in the laundry on purpose.  I hate her.”

Then she went into Kinsey’s room, blamed her, and then went back into her room and started crying.

So much for there being a feeling of Christmas in the air.  But that is how the mind of 17 year-old upset about her ridiculously expensive black leggings being washed glitches when upset.  She doesn’t think that she may have inadvertently put them in the wrong pile, or absent mindedly picked them up with something else off her floor, instead she tried to pin the blame on me.  When it was obvious that wouldn’t work, she seamlessly transitioned to blaming her sister, for no other reason than malice, for trying to purposely ruin them.

I mean what was Kinsey’s motive?  What did she have to gain by going into Rye’s room, searching for the Lulu Lemon leggings and then sneakily placing them in the pile of dirty laundry in the laundry room.  Where’s the payoff?

After getting blamed, Kinsey comes into my room looking like the media on election night.  She confusedly asks me if I knew what Rye was talking about.  We went through a quick recap and Kinz says, “Why would I do that? That literally makes no sense.”  Aside from acknowledging her use of “literally” in a relatively appropriate way, I just told her to ignore Rye and go to bed.

Which, if I’m being honest, is my go to strategy when dealing with the three teenage girls in my house…

He’s Nothing Without His Choppers

Remember that story I told you about my two front teeth getting knocked out by a line drive off my daughter’s bat about 16 months ago?  Not really?  Okay, quick refresher – took a line drive directly to my face, just below my nose and just above my front teeth.  I assume what I felt was similar to what Hollywood felt when they called Pennsylvania for Trump.

No bone fractures, no cracked teeth, just quite a bit of blood.  And swelling.  Pretty gross.  Also my face is evidently made out of high grade steel.  Not that I’m bragging or daring you to test that conclusion but its pretty amazing that my teeth were fully intact along with the rest of my face.  Anyway, went to the ER and then to the dentist.  After their unexpected exit from my mouth the fugitive teeth were transported to the ER in my pocket and then to the dentist in a cup of milk.  For teeth, milk is apparently like a defibrillator.  After about an hour of being as toothless as Hillary’s appeal in the upper Midwest, the dentist replanted the teeth using sheer brute force.  Afterwards it was clearly explained to me that they had no idea if the replanting would work.  Replanting normally only works in teenagers.  Dudes in their mid-40’s eventually come back in to get permanent replacement teeth because we do not have the bloodflow necessary in our gums for a complete healing process to succeed.

Yeah, so here’s the update.  I had a dentist appointment last week and it was time for x-rays.  By the way, does it cause anyone even the slightest bit of concern that your protection against multiple invisible radioactive x-rays is a flimsy apron infused with lead or a lead equivalent?  Or that the lead apron covers you from mid-thigh to your neck…but they are aiming the radiation at your mouth which is unprotected and, if I remember human anatomy correctly, is really damn close to your brain.

Anyway, I had a new hygienist working on my teeth.  She didn’t know the whole backstory.  I suggested she read my dental history before working on my teeth.  I think she took the comment as skepticism of her ability to her job.  Which, in retrospect, is silly.  If you’re going to pick a fight with someone, it sure as hell isn’t going to be a person armed with sharp pokey things and the legal protection to cause significant dental related pain.  But she still looked at me the same way I looked when the Steelers were eliminated from playoff contention in 1980.  Then she went back to the chart and after about 30 seconds, she turns toward me and says, “So, those are your real teeth back in there, huh?”

Is Samantha Bee a hypocritical condescending douchelord?

After she’s done cleaning my teeth, she grabs the x-rays and calls for the dentist to take a look.  They’re laughing as they come back to my chair.  Dentist says, “I was just going over our, um, history.”  Turns out getting your teeth knocked out by a softball moving faster than the Milennium Falcon making the Kessel Run then salvaging them quickly enough that they can be shoved back into your sockets isn’t something most hygenists are taught to deal with in school.

Dentist holds up the x-ray of my front teeth and describes that inexplicably the gum tissue surrounding my teeth is not only healthy but it appears as if nothing ever happened.  Additionally, the ligaments appear to have reattached.  But mostly importantly it looks as if the roots of the teeth and the bone are fusing.  This is a condition called ankylosis .

So sort of a double edged sword here according to my dentist.  Chances are, as long as things remain healthy, these teeth aren’t coming out again.  They are pretty damn secure.  Which, again, she can’t believe because dudes in the mid-40’s don’t have their teeth replanted, they have them replaced.  But the downside is that if they ever need to come out for some reason, it’s kind of a big deal.  The dentist’s conclusion?

“You’re are an amazing healer.  Your gums are as healthy as can be, the teeth look completely normal and they are really, really secure in there.”

My response?

wolverine“I might be off base here but what I’m hearing you say is that I’m Wolverine.  I have extraordinary healing powers but instead of retractable adamantium claws, I have beaver teeth.”

Dentist didn’t totally agree, but also didn’t completely reject it.  So I’m counting that as win.

Anybody else think this?

Kellyanne Conway has a tough job.  And ever since she took over as Trump’s campaign manager, she’s done it exceedingly well.  No matter what is going on inside or outside of the campaign offices, she comes across as intelligent, tough and focused.  She’s the only person who has succeeded in getting Trump to behave like an electable individual.  I find that interesting.  But do you ever think that she leaves the office in the evening, after having put out fire after fire, and thinks she put the thing back on track…only to show up in the morning and walk into this:

 

And does anyone else think that once Hillary is elected and invites all her Wall Street banker pals, Hollywood douchebags, and beltway media cronies over to the White House its gonna look like this:

Published in: on October 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Surprises

I don’t like surprises.  It’s against my nature.

So I walk into the gas station down the street from our new house to get my 44 oz. Diet Pepsi which I get nearly every morning on the way to work.  If you’re a pop nazi and feel a burning need to start lecturing me about all the horribly destructive stuff pop does to my teeth and esophagus, well, suck it.  I’m drinking it.  If Hillary is elected she’ll outlaw it anyway.  My beloved 44 ouncer costs $1.06.  I go in with exact change every morning.  What?  I have too much change in my truck and I’m trying to get rid of it.  Seriously.  I bet my gas mileage improves with every 44 ouncer I buy.  Not to mention the fact that I like to pay with cash (or coins when applicable).  Why?  Because it’s nobody’s business what, when or how often I buy stuff.  Corporate America and the government ain’t tracking my consumer purchases!

Anyway, the pop costs $1.06.  Until today.  I reach over to hand the guy behind the counter my $1.06 and he  says “$1.58.”

Upon recognition of my look of both dismay and resigned realization of the inevitability of a cost increase, he – not surprisingly – says, “Price went up today.”

No sh*t.

I give him a $1.60, which isn’t exact change, and I leave.  I mean, they got me.  I’m going to this gas station to get pop.  I’m not changing my morning routine.  I like routines.  They eliminate decisions.  And right now, at work, I’m making decisions all freaking day.  So in the morning I don’t want to have to add unneeded and unnecessary decisions to an already decisiony  day.  So the question is, “who decided that 52 cent increase was justified for my 44 oz pop?”

I’m blaming Obamacare.  It has raised the cost of everything.  And Hillary.  Any day now there will be an email released detailing her role in the price increase.  Probably Kurt Cobain and all those assholes in Seattle who killed hair metal had something to do with it too.  The idiot who brought Emerald Ash Borer to the Midwest and killed all the ash trees is guilty too.  And while I’m at it…George Atkinson for prematurely ending Lynn Swann’s career due to concussions.  The mid-90’s for the general suckitude of the music.  Francisco Cabrera.  Smartphones.  The creators of MTV’s The Real World for coming up the genre of reality TV.  Millennials.  Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney.  And whoever is responsible for the death of Saturday morning cartoons.

Done.

Election ’14

My thoughts on Tuesday’s election results both here locally in Iowa and nationally:

How do you know if you are doing a good job at parenting? You’re succeeding if your 5th grader wakes you up the day after the election, an election night that you didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m., and asks “Dad, did Joni Ernst win?” And she does a couple fist pumps when she learns that Joni did win.

So good job outta Mom and me.

Just a couple things…

We’ve all had a little over a week to deal with the election. And, I think I can sum my feelings thusly…nice going America. We let everybody with a polling firm know that we think the country is headed in the wrong direction and what did we do? What did we do!? We put EXACTLY THE SAME FREAKING PEOPLE IN CHARGE and now we’re expecting different results. I was pretty sure putting a bunch of crazy liberals in charge of Congress in ’06 and then following that up with putting a bunch of crazy conservatives in charge of the House in ’10 with the most unabashedly interventionist president since Woodrow Wilson in the White House was pretty much like kicking ourselves in the balls. We decide that isn’t working so we go and shiv ourselves this year. We actually did the equivalent of hiring Norv Turner to get us to the Super Bowl.

But listen I can appreciate a good plan executed well. For example, the Steelers trap game in the 70’s. Or any number of Poison songs between the years of 1987 and 1993. And, of course, the Obama Campaign Machine’s turnout effort.

And by “turn out effort” I mean the thousands of 18-24 androids who turned out their comrades in a victorious crusade to successfully raise their own taxes to pay for old people’s health care and pretty much put the entire state of West Virginia out of work. Nice going geniuses. But this is what we get when you let a demographic who believes a presidential campaign is just another reality show impact an election.

I mean we just let a group of people who can’t tell the difference between Joe Montana and Joe Elliot decide the direction of America. And by “America” I mean the country that most of them can’t find on a freaking globe or who just showed up at the polls to legalize pot. These are the people who can’t tell you what Magnum orders at the King Kamehameha Club’s bar – Old Dussledorf in a longneck bottle by the way. They don’t know who lost his edge and turned in his wings sending Maverick and Goose to Miramar! And they damn well don’t know who took out a non-repeating phantasm, or a class-5 free roaming vapor before dealing with Vinz Clortho the Keymaster in his effort to find Zuul the Gatekeeper.

I tell you what, being the grumpy old man is a role in which I will excel. I’m going to practice until 2016.

Socialism, Capitalism and Halloween

We live in Iowa. And as your most likely know, we just had our caucuses. Which meant that our house just got pounded day after day with an artillery barrage of political robo-calls that rivaled Col. Alexander‘s barrage of Union troops on Cemetery Ridge just before General Lee’s doomed attack on the Union center at Gettysburg.

But that’s what you get for being active participants in democracy.

Anyway, a few days after our caucus, which was thankfully free of disruption by any Occupy freeloaders, I’m fixing a chair in the kitchen while Riley is doing her homework. She starts out by saying that her teacher was talking about Ron Paul and Rick Perry and few other candidates and why they may have finished where they finished. Which made Rye curious about each candidate along with my plan to participate in the uprising next November to relieve President Obama of his responsibilities through my voting privileges. I spend a little time talking about each of the GOP presidential candidates and what I liked and disliked about each of them. Then she asks why I don’t like President Obama.

“Well it’s not personal. He might be a really cool guy. I don’t really like or dislike him, I just disagree with his decisions as president. And since we’re Americans, we get a chance every four years to voice our opinion on the president by voting.”

“Okay. But why aren’t you voting for President Obama? Is it because he’s a Democrat?”

“No. It’s because he’s a socialist. Or at least he’s doing things that seem a heckuva lot like socialism.”

“What’s socialism?”

This is an interesting question from your 6th grader. I mean this is key moment. A moment that if not handled properly could lead to yet to come Thanksgiving dinner arguments punctuated by raised voices, flying cranberry sauce and extended phalanges. I need to be careful here. An answer that shows any semblance of sympathy or toleration of socialism could like to a future of lazy, self-important behaviors marked by a underserved sense of entitlement for Rye. This situation is fraught with peril.

“All right, there are two competing theories – capitalism and socialism.”

“Okay.”

“Well, capitalism is really about you getting to keep the things that your worked for while socialism is about the government taking some of the things you worked for and giving to other people whether you like it or not.”

“So it’s like you make me give some of my Halloween candy to Kinsey.”

“Yes! Okay, let’s say you go out on Halloween and stay out for hours going to a ton of houses and filling bags and bags and bags of candy. You worked hard, did it on your own and now you have all this candy.”

“Cool.”

“That’s capitalism.”

“What’s socialism then?”

“Let’s say that when you get home you see Kinsey sitting at the table with just one bag of candy compared to your 10 bags of candy. And then I, representing the government in this scenario, tell you that you’re going to have to give at least 4 bags to Kinsey because it’s not fair for you to have all that candy. You can’t ever hope to every eat it all and Kinsey only has one bag.”

“But it’s mine. I got it. It’s Kinsey’s fault she only has one bag.”

“Tough. The government says its unfair. Everything should be equal regardless of how hard you work or how little Kinsey works. So give up the candy. And if you don’t….you’re going to jail.”

“That’s totally unfair.”

“That’s totally socialism. And that’s what President Obama is doing to America.”

Halloween candy, as it turns out, is one of the best political teaching tools parents have at their disposal when describing modern American politics, government and democracy. It possible it has other applications…