Posted by steve

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Is Bread an OK Meal?

Just eat bread for a meal

(Not Jesus)

It’s doubtful this post is going to apply to many of your lives, because I don’t know anyone else that would choose to just eat bread for lunch. But I do it sometimes. I’ve always been that guy at restaurants who scarfs down the pre-dinner basket of bread and asks for more, sometimes twice. Do you ever find it odd Panera gives you a side of baguette with your sandwich? Not me. I find it awesome. I just really like bread. So now that our office building sits adjacent to an Italian bakery, it has become a frequent form of sustenance. I’ll buy a loaf of Ciabatta, eat half of it for lunch, and then finish it the next day.

My wife thinks it’s unhealthy, and that I’m “shaving years off my life”, so I checked into it. As far as I can tell, I’m good. In fact, even if I ate nothing but bread, I could go six weeks without getting sick. Then I’d get scurvy from lack of vitamin C and my body would slowly dissolve into mush. But a quick glass of O.J. and I’m back on my feet. So I plan to keep enjoying my loaves. Besides, it has to be better for you than eating nothing but meat. Like Jesus said, “Man can not live on bread alone,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a meal of it every now and then.

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What Are Dartboards Made Of

I had always heard
dartboards are made of horse hair.
False. It’s rope fibers.

Stuff I Haiku-gle:
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How To Clean French Press

how to clean french press tambarooOur Keurig is on the fritz, so I bought a French Press the other day. It makes great coffee, but I’m afraid to pour the grounds down the drain because our house is old and the pipes are prone to clogging. Trying to dump the grounds in the trash is nearly impossible though. They all stick to the bottom of the pot, and if I bang it any harder against the trash can it’s going to shatter. I needed to find a better solution, but these are the only good suggestions I could find:

  • Rinse the grounds out by pouring them through a sieve, or a disposable coffee filter.
  • Use a spatula to scoop them into the trash.
  • Swirl some water in there and dump the grounds outside.
  • Purchase a device called the tambaroo.
I was hoping for some trick that didn’t involve any other equipment. Dumping outside comes closest, alas, it involves going outside. The tambaroo seems pretty cool, but I probably won’t buy it simply because I’m miserly. Maybe I’ll just stick to using the French Press on special occasions. Besides, during this search I discovered that drinking French Press is bad for your cholesterol, and I don’t want to be stuck eating Cheerios® for the rest of my adulthood.
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Why Do Girls’ Shirts Button Backwards

Men vs Women Shirt buttonsIt is easier to button a shirt while holding the button in your dominant hand. And since most people are right handed, it makes sense that men’s shirts are designed with the buttons on the right. But why aren’t women’s? I drew a few hypotheses before I did the search. Here were my guesses:

  • To warn fashion-oblivious men – as they button up – that something isn’t quite right with their shirt selection.
  • To make it easier for men and women to undress each other.
  • To oppress women by making their shirts harder to button.

The real reason is unknown, but there are several common theories here and here. The one that is most widely held across the Internet is that wealthy women used to be dressed by their servants, so the buttons were arranged to make it easier for them. Seems legit to me, but I still think it’s oppressive. You deserve the right to easy shirt-buttoning, too, ladies. That way, you can spend less time getting dressed, and more time cooking food. Win-win.

CategoryCulture Tagged , , , ,
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Do Eagles Rip Their Beaks Off?

My mom loves email chains. Like, loves ’em. I assume she must have a network of friends that all pass these things in circles, because I get several a day, and some are repeats. This is usually how it works:

Read email, Google validity, confirm skepticism, break news to mom.

I don’t blame her, she hasn’t had tons of exposure to the Internet. So she doesn’t understand how or why someone would make up a story about a dog that saved 967 people from the twin towers.

This email in particular though, was pretty awesome. It’s an inspirational story about how every Bald Eagle goes through a butterfly-like metamorphosis to extend its life by 30 years. The transformation begins with a jolly session of self-mutilation, followed by a death-defying period of starvation. The highlight of it all being when the eagles slam their faces into the rocks until they rip their own beaks off.

By the end of the email, I’m creeped out, and I suppose maybe a little inspired. But mainly I’m stunned that people are passing this around without questioning its absurdity. I mean, I definitely enjoyed the read, but I prefer to assume that one of my mom’s immediate friends wrote it, rather than think thousands of people are sending this out, with new-found expertise in Eagle physiology. According to Snopes it’s been fooling people for 5 years.

So mom, sorry to break it to you, but this one is fake. The good news is, you met the 10-friend forwarding requirement that keeps you from having bad luck. I googled that too. That part is true. So good job.

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How To Prepare For Solar Flare

Solar FlareI don’t really think of Solar Flares as natural disasters, but it seems they are a pretty big threat. Someone in the office yesterday made an announcement about today’s impending solar bombardment, so I looked to see if there was anything I needed to do in preparation. It seems there may be, but probably not for today.

The sun is quickly approaching the stormiest part of its 11 year cycle, which will peak in 2013. Strong solar flares can cause electro-magnetic pulses to surge through the power grid. In 1859, there was one so strong that it shocked telegraph operators and set their machines on fire. Now in your mind, replace the word telegraph with 50″ plasma. Yeah, like the one in your living room. It’s probably on fire right now.

Honestly, it doesn’t sound like today’s storm is going to be that big of a deal, but the next one could be. In preparation, make sure you have a map for when your GPS breaks, some Tylenol for those solar flare migranes, a hazmat suit for the nuclear meltdowns, and a boat-load of gravy. Also, just to be safe, try putting your small electronics in the microwave for protection. Just don’t forget they’re in there when it’s time to warm up your coffee.

UPDATE: We didn’t die today.

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Is Seth Meyers Gay?

Oh, he dates a girl?
I guess that means he’s straight then.
I’m still suspicious.

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Moonshine Blindness

moonshine bottleI bottled my first batch of home-brewed beer this weekend. The brewing process is actually pretty gross when you think about it. It’s essentially sugar water that has been infected with a fungus. You leave it in a bucket at room temperature to fester for a week and then bottle it up. The fungus eats the sugar and “relieves itself” into the brew, producing the alcohol and carbonation. Then you drink it.

As I was putting the caps on the bottles I started wondering if anything in there could make me sick, after all, the only other home-made booze I could think of will blind you.

To figure out if I was at risk of blindness, I learned how moonshine is made, and found there are three dangerous substances that can potentially make their way into the finished product: Radiator fluid and lead are the first two, and are accidentally introduced by people trying to save money by using old car radiators in their stills. The third thing is toxic additives. These are intentionally added by unscrupulous distillers to fake the alcohol content of the drink. According to How Stuff Works, “these could include manure, embalming fluid, bleach, rubbing alcohol and even paint thinner.”

None of these dangers pertain to beer. What I was really worried about though was bacteria. Just to be sure about the safety of my brew, I asked a friend who has been brewing for years. He said he’s only ended up with one bad batch, and advised me to pour it out if I found myself sipping on a putrid black sludge.

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Has Anybody Won The Lottery From A Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie LotteryFortune Cookies are probably my second favorite Chinese food, right after Egg Rolls. They are a fun way to finish a meal, and hey, free dessert. I had some Chinese this week, and after pondering my happy-happy fortune, I found myself staring at the numbers on the back, wondering if they could be winners.

I found that at least one set of fortune cookie numbers has won in the past. But something I hadn’t thought of is that the numbers on the fortunes aren’t unique. If you were to actually win the jackpot, you’d have to share it with all the other cookie players out there. Powerball officials were forced to launch an investigation back in 2005 after a whopping 110 people all won big bucks playing the same numbers. The reason? You guessed it. LOST. Just kidding. Fortune cookies. But seriously, the same thing happened with the LOST numbers.

On a fun personal note, when I was a kid I used to eat the fortunes after I’d read them. I told people that eating them made them come true, but really it was just an excuse to eat paper. Yep. I was one of those.

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Why Do I Always Wake Up At 3

Slimer Wakes Me Up at NightWhenever I fall asleep before I’m ready for bed I’ll get up and brush my teeth whenever I wake up. Strangely, this always seems to happen around 3AM.

Why 3AM? I was surprised how many people were asking this exact same question. There are lots of fun explanations, with the most common being that 3AM is the most active time for ghosts. This seemed a fairly logical explanation, but I dug a bit deeper just in case.

Depression was a suggestion, but I don’t think I have that.

Circadian Rhythms” seemed like a legit answer once I learned they aren’t dependent on what time you go to sleep. It also seemed to coincide with the most interesting bit of info I found…

According to some historians, sleeping through the night is a relatively recent practice in human history. Before the invention of the light bulb, people generally went to bed much earlier, and slept through the night in two four-hour chunks, with a short period (1–2 hours) of wakefulness in the middle of the night. It’s called Segmented Sleep.

So, waking up in the middle of the night might be part of our DNA. Most likely though, I just have a high sensitivity to ghosts. Mmm, I suddenly have a craving for Ecto Cooler.

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If you Google this,
avoid the first search result.
Eww Eww Eww Eww Eww

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Invest In Forever Stamps

50 cent Forever StampsI saw in the news that postage stamps are going up to 50¢ a piece, and I immediately heard, “ChaChing!” Buy a bunch at 45¢ Forever stamps the day before the increase and then sell them for 50¢ the next day. That’s an 11% ROI in one day. Pretty incredible.

When I researched it though, I was less enthused. First of all, by law, stamp prices are not allowed to increase faster than inflation (though they are this time somehow), which means they can only work as a short term investment… and then, only if you can sell them. There will likely be hundreds of thousands of stamps for sale online the day after the price hike. I’m certainly not the only one that heard the retro cash-register-bell.

I realized a few other problems with my plan too:

  1. Nobody needs 15,000 stamps, if they even need 1.
  2. Anyone who does need a bunch will also have purchased them ahead of time.
  3. eBay isn’t an option because it has a 9% fee, which practically destroys the profit margin.
  4. Competition will drive the selling price below 50¢/stamp.

I’m still kind of toying with the idea, but selling them without eBay would be hard, and when I die one day and they’re reading my Will, I’d hate for my kids to have to argue over who gets Dad’s bucket of postage.

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Tree Made More Acorns This Year

We bought our house three years ago and it sits directly under an enormous Oak tree. Up until late this fall, I’d hardly even noticed that it drops acorns. This year was exceptional. It sounded like their was hail beating down on our roof practically non-stop for a month. There was a two inch thick layer of acorns in our front yard, and squirrels seemed to flock from miles to spend the afternoon in our tree.

I researched it online and found that Oaks have what is called a mast year every so often (many plants have mast years, also called bumper crops). It’s a year of extreme acorn production followed by several mild years. Some biologists believe mast years are weather related. Others think it’s an evolutionary survival trait. Low production keeps the squirrel population down. Then one year the trees produce so many nuts the squirrels can’t collect them all. This increases the chance that some of those nuts will become new trees. It also increases the chances that we’ll need a new roof this year.

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Fusilli: One of 600 types of pasta that taste the same

I did some grocery shopping last weekend, and Fusilli was on the list. I spent 15 minutes reading the boxes in the pasta aisle before I realized they didn’t have it, so I referred to an image search for a descent substitute. It’s a spiral pasta so rotini would work fine, in fact, any pasta would work fine. It’s pasta. Why do we need so many kinds?

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How Many Shapes of Pasta

600! 600 shapes. Now, I understand – and enjoy – variety of texture in my food, but every pasta technically tastes the same. The fact that we can say, “I’m feeling like Penne instead of Ziti tonight,” makes me feel like we’re a bunch of youngins, unable to eat our grilled cheese sandwiches because Mom hasn’t cut them into tiny little triangles. Cutting it doesn’t change the taste lil’ guy.

Are there any other foods where they reshape the exact same ingredients and sell them under different names? Let me know in the comments. I’d google that myself, but I’m not sure how.

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Average Cost of Baby

Where’d our money go?
Perhaps baby is to blame?
Yep. 10k per year.

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