Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A letter to my One True Love

Dear AutoZone,

Please forgive this audacious thought: If you had testicles and I had a uterus, I would happily have your babies. Heck, I'm so in love with you right now, there isn't much that I wouldn't do for you. You see, I have what Automotive Psychologists call Aftokinotophobia, the uncontrollable fear of sudden car problems. I find the thought that my car might suffer catastrophic engine failure only marginally less troubling than the thought that I might die a gruesome and torturous death at a very young age.

Needless to say, when I noticed last Friday that my "Check Engine" light had turned, I did not take the news well; in the four days since, I have become a raging alcoholic, ripped out every hair on my body, and committed no less than four separate felonies (only one of which involved a domesticated animal). Obviously, things were not looking up for me. . .that is, until I found you.

What can I say? You picked me up from the vile gutter in which I lay, quieted my cataclysmic moanings, and got me back on my feet again, all without charging me a dime! What man could expect such kindness--such mercy--in a world as cruel as this one? Certainly I, the Grand Poobah of Motor Vehicle Ineptitude, rank among the least worthy of your time and patience, and yet, thanks to your unfailing efforts, I need not now endure the scorn and humiliation (not to mention the bilking) that surely awaited me at the hands of my most hated enemy, the devious Mechanic, to whom I feared that I was bound to turn.

Now that I have seen your beacon of light, shining in this cold, dark world, I cannot go back to where I was before; I am irrevocably changed. I feel as if a vital piece of my soul has been restored, like I've learned what it is to be truly human--the kind of wholistic person that the great Automotive Manufacturer in the Sky intended me to be--and I owe it all to you.

If there is anything that I can do to show you my appreciation and unfaltering devotion--anything at all--please allow me to, in some small way, repay the generosity that you have shown me.

Forever Yours,


P.S. When I looked into your eyes and said, "Please tell me how to fix this," what I really meant was, "I love you with all of my heart."

P.P.S. When you looked into my eyes and replied, "Just make sure you tighten your gas cap the next time you fill up your tank," I knew what you really meant was, "And I you, with all of my heart."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Introducing someotherguy 2.0

Now with two times the self-indulgence!

I'm play around with some of the settings. The old blog name and template were never very satisfying to me, so I've changed them. I'm not certain that these changes will be permanent either--although, for the moment, I'm mildy amused by the new title--so let me know what you think.

Testing the limits

Thousands of years ago, a genetic mutation spread among a group of Northern Europeans which caused them to produce the enzyme lactase as adults, thus conferring the ability to comfortably digest dairy products past the time of weaning. Since then, countless millions of adults have enjoyed the benefits of drinking milk and eating cheese (not to mention the satisfaction of savoring a delicious Dairy Queen Blizzard!), but I think I may have just inadvertently stumbled upon the limits of this particular evolutionary advantage. My lunch today consisted of five pieces of pizza and a container of yogurt. Now I know that there really can be too much of a good thing. As the Swedes say, "Oofdah!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Free at last!

Free from the tyranny of computer waiting lines. . .
Free from the ghastly comments of the unwashed, library-going (and My Space-obsessed) masses. . .
Free from the dreaded automated logoffs. . .
Free from horror of waking up at 2 am and realizing that I can't check my favorite blogs for updates. . .
Free from the debilitating lack of access to pirated software, music and videos. . .

Ladies and gentlemen, after months of agonized waiting, I am officially back online! I'm so happy I could spit (except I won't, since I might damage my brand new monitor and that would be truly tragic)! I would like to take this moment and officially welcome myself back to the 21st Century. Oh, it feels good!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Confessional checklist of an irreparably geeky person

1. Loves the X Files. . .check

2.1 Has read The Lord of the Rings more than half a dozen times. . .check

2.2 Has seriously contemplated the controversies surrounding whether or not Tolkien's Elves had pointy ears and if the Balrog's wings were real or metaphorical. . .check (For the record, my position is "no" on the pointy ears and definitely metaphorical for the wings.)

2.3 Owns multiple copies of both the Lord of the Rings and the Sillmarillion. . .check

3. Dressed in costume for the midnight showing of Star Wars: Episode 1. . .check

4. Thinks Carl Sagan was a Prophet. . .check

5. Loves comic books. . .check

6. Thinks Cortana from Halo is totally hot. . .check

7. Can expound at length on the topic of why Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series started brilliantly, but eventually spiraled into an insufferably convoluted morass of unreadable garbage. . .check

8. Considers Ender's Game to be the finest piece of literature ever written by a Mormon. . .check

9. Has a blog. . .check

10. Has, in the past, owned and read multiple books set in the Star Trek universe. . .check

My, that was painful, but carthartic. I've needed to get all of that off of my chest for quite some time. As they say, admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward recovery, and, as I think is evident, I have a lot of problems to recover from. At least I've never watched Buff the Vampire Slayer or played D & D; maybe there is hope for me yet.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The ridiculous and the weird

For your science-reading pleasure, see two recent posts from Carl Zimmer:

One is on the evolution of a unique--Zimmer aptly refers to them as "beautifully ridiculous"--group of whales, and the other is a stranger-than-fiction story about an odd type of cancer found in dogs which, according to some scientists, could potentially be considered a form of parisitic life.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Maxims: old, new, and modified

Some people—conservative, free-market advocates especially, from my experience—like to repeat the old adage, "Those who cannot do, teach." Having known quite a few multitalented teachers, I've never given that phrase much credence. Regardless of this fact, I'd like to propose a new aphorism in a similar vein: "Those who cannot win an argument, play the martyr.” As inspiration for this coining, I would like to credit the following hilarious comment from Intelligent Design proponent William Dembski:
The pressures directed against frontline ID proponents are real. From your armchair, it is easy enough to say that we need simply to get to work. But families and livelihoods really are under threat by these Darwinian fascists, and when our days are spent trying to shore up the latter, the former does not get done.
(note: this is Dembski's comment as it originally appeared. After posting it, he made some unannounced modifications—including changing “Darwinian fascists” to the marginally less ridiculous “Darwinian enforcers”—presumably after realizing how crankish he sounded. His revised statement can be viewed by clicking the above link; it’s not much better. )

Unbelievable. Evidently the big, bad, evil, “Darwinist” scientists are really the ones to blame for the complete lack of scientific productivity shown thus far by the Intelligent Design movement! It couldn’t be that ID is a scientifically useless concept. No sir, the truth is that ID is being suppressed by the Man! That must be the most parsimonious explanation.

If William Dembski didn’t exist, some ethically-challenged evilutionists would have to make him up, if only to make their creationist/ID opponents look even more absurd.

(Via Stranger Fruit)