The Whisky Mystery

I arrived home on a snowy, blustery Northern Indiana evening to discover a parcel on my front porch. I love a mystery, and absolutely adore a puzzle. Knowing what was probably inside the large box, I whisked it inside, threw some crap off my dining room table, cut open the cardboard, and dug out what appeared to be a huge, fairly weighty tome. The thing was 14” by 14” and about 4.5” thick. Woof! And emblazoned upon the ‘cover’ was the seal of ‘The Aultmore Distilling Co.’ I took that to be a really good sign.

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Like a Guggenheim Bible…dedicated to BOOZE!

Upon closer inspection, of course, it was obvious that this object was not a real book. I opened the apparently magnetic flap on the cover and saw the mysterious (downright spooky) interior artwork and cover page. And behind that…the real good stuff.

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See, usually I prefer to pee myself AFTER I drink, thank you very much.

There was a neat little mini-book, really not much more than a pamphlet. The cover was sharp, and the paper thick, with that sort of rough, pulpy feel. Good stock. ‘The Mystery of the Buckie Road’ was the title, printed in gold leaf.

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That door either leads to whisky or grandpa’s old killin’ cellar.

Along with that was a fun-looking little cylinder with numbers etched into revolving tumblers. It was sturdy, made out of some sort of brass alloy. I’d read enough Dan Brown to recognize it as a cryptex.

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Or the oldest bike lock ever discovered.

I also found what at first glance seemed like a simple laser pointer. And it was, in part. There were two little buttons. The first activated a standard red laser. Okay. The second one…a single click produced a clear LED mini-flashlight beam. But when I pressed that one a second time, it switched to a dimmer blue glow. Curioser and curioser. I had a hunch why, but that would have to wait, because by now I figured I knew for sure what the real goodies were going to look like. And I wasn’t wrong.

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My cats were substantially less excited about the ghastly blue setting.

Behind the faux-wooden door flap, I discovered a bottle of 12-Year-Old single-malt scotch the color of honey and wheat: The Aultmore. NOW we were getting somewhere. And behind the booklet, a wee snifter-shaped glass (technically, a Glencairn Glass). How convenient!

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Hello, gorgeous…

Full disclosure time. Those that know me well enough are aware that I love a good Scotch Whisky. I get bottles of the stuff for Christmas, and it’s always fun to try a new label. Usually, I prefer the single-malts, but they can be a crapshoot, quite frankly. I know I’m pissing off some scotch purists, but there it is. With bottles as expensive as they tend to be, most folks don’t have the luxury of trying everything on the shelf. That being the case, we all have our favorites. And I have no problem admitting that I’ve always fancied a glass of Dewar’s White Label over some of the fancy, higher-end single-malts.

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Pictured: a ‘glass’ of Dewar’s.

“WAIT!” you cry. “DEWAR’S IS A BLEND!” It certainly is, and a wonderful one. There are other bottles in the same price range, and I’ve tried many…The Famous Grouse and Grant’s standing out alongside dark-horse favorites like Old Smuggler (seriously, not too shabby. You almost forget it can be had from a plastic bottle.) But Dewar’s is on my go-to list every time.

Sorry. Getting distracted thinking about all this booze. I’ll get back to that in the next blog entry. I’ll simply say that I was expecting a sample from the Dewar’s folks…but nothing quite as elaborate as this.

So, this mystery tome. It seemed obvious what my next steps were. The booklet held the key to the cryptex…and the cryptex itself held some additional mystery. It was really fairly exciting, a lot more adventurous than I’d anticipated for a simple whisky tasting.

I read the booklet in its entirety. Didn’t take long. It’s a tale about a mysterious old fisherman/smuggler/bootlegger leading the unnamed protagonist to discover the secrets of the distillery and whatnot. Nicely written, but not really groundbreaking.

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A story I’ll read to my grandchildren one day.

I returned to the front page, and shone my laser-pointer at the page, nearly tearing a hole in space-time. Crap. Forgot. Wrong button. Crimson light blazed through the dining room, boring cleanly through a cat (one down, one to go!) and nearly blinding me as it shone off the white paper. I clicked the other button until the faint blue light bled forth onto the page. And there I saw it.

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‘Saw what? Just looks like a regular ol’ page to me…’

Like some Scooby-Doo cartoon, or even better, some deleted scene from a Harry Potter film, faint, glowing numbers materialized. It was awesome. I figured I’d find something like that, but it was so cool to have my suspicions confirmed.

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‘So what am I looking for, some sort–OH! Oh, that’s pretty bad-ass!’

I swept carefully through the booklet, making sure not to miss any clues. I finished with the necessary digits (all numbers, no letters or symbols.) Nervously, I picked up the heavier-than-expected cryptex, spinning the tumblers into place until I felt (rather than heard) a ‘click’. Carefully I pulled the end cap, extracting a central cylinder which…was actually a USB stick!!

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Crap. Should’ve said ‘SPOILER ALERT!’

Haha! Of course! The whole thing was basically an electronic press kit. I found a video that ran a nice two-and-a-half minutes, descriptions of the varieties of whisky available, the different ages and such, and some information on the distillery and its history. It was all so wonderful.

So, quickly, I’ll tell you this. Dewar’s, knowing of my love for their blended scotch, reached out to me on Twitter. They informed me that they were about to launch a few varieties of single-malt scotch. The neat part? These featured single-malts are essentially the whiskies that get blended to make Dewar’s White Label. And now, for the first time, the greater public would be able to enjoy them one at a time. I was asked if I’d be interested in trying some. “Abso-freakin’-LUTELY” was my paraphrased response.

But the fun manner in which this was all presented, the mystery, the charm, the enigma…that’s good stuff. It’s great marketing, quite frankly, and excellent showmanship. Not sure who handles their promotions and advertising, but they’re a top-notch firm, make no mistake. And reaching out to select Twitter followers? Brilliant use of social media. Much more effective than some stupid YouTube video or “repost this for a chance to win” Facebook contest.

Ah, and as for the scotch itself?

 

To be continued…

 

 

 

Your Brain on Science!!!

Boy, do I love me some science.  If you read this blog with any regularity you already know this, especially my fascination with quantum physics.  I maintain that not only will quantum physics change EVERYTHING that we know about our universes (that’s right: plural, bitches) it will lead to a new way of worshipping, as we gain an understanding of  how close we are to the creator at all times and how very tangible and “close” that presence is.  It gets me giddy and excited.  But there are plenty of regular-old scientific principles and miracles that get me fired up.  Stuff like space travel and medicine.  There’s so much that we don’t know, and seeing humanity figure that stuff out gives me a big ol’ knowledge boner.  I am literally in awe of the world out there, and equally impressed with the complex machinery that is the human body.  For example:

I’m driving down a busy street in Ft. Wayne the other day.  Lima Road, to be exact. (For those outside of our great city, that’s pronounced like the bean, not the Peruvian city.)  As I drove, I casually reached over to my dashboard and selected for myself a delicious piece of Trident gum.  I do so enjoy good gum!  So, as I drove with one hand, I unwrapped the little piece of chewy, minty goodness (they are incredibly small when you think about it) with the other.  It was right at this moment that  a woman in her (seemingly) early-eighties with Idaho plates drifted right on over into my lane without signalling, forcing me to apply the brakes to avoid disaster.  During the course of my Star Trek-like “full stop” maneuver, I was able to get the wrapper off of my gum and toss it into the trash bag on the floor of my passenger seat area.  Eventually the nice elderly fellow traveller got her speed up and I eventually made it to my destination unmolested and with a completely intact vehicle.

I’m going to END YOU, Watson!!!

After this incident, I sat there in traffic and thought about what had happened.  The whole thing.  It was fucking mind-blowing.  A goddam miracle.  Fuck!  (Sorry about the language.  I was just sort of overwhelmed, asshole.)

“Whoa, whoa, WHOA!!” you yell at your computer monitor.  “You got all psyched because you almost hit an old lady?”

No, although that did give me a momentary sense of elation.  Moreover, I was intrigued by everything that had happened in that fifteen-second span.  Let’s break it down:

1) I’m driving a fucking motor vehicle.  Forget about the technical marvel of American ingenuity itself, my Ford Escape.  Never mind that this thing works on a principle of burning a fuel made from the carcasses of animals and some plant material that existed several million years ago and was subsequently mined from the ground and refined so that I may cause a chemical reaction by applying heat as the result of a combustion predicated by a tiny spark when I turn a metallic key, resulting in continuous pressure moving pistons in a manner that turns a crankshaft which propels my vehicle forward in a speed ratio that is determined by how much pressure I apply to a footpedal.
God DAMN that’s a lot of stuff to wrap your mind around already.  But forget all that.  No, it was the fact that I was using literally all of my senses simultaneously. Eyes detecting a bunch of variables:  the cars in motion around mine, the distance to the intersection a block away, the fact that the light is green now but calculating that by the time I reach said intersection it may have turned yellow or red, meaning that I must anticipate the braking required to come to a complete stop.  My sense of touch on the wheel and sense of inertia.  My ears listening to the radio but also picking up engines, sirens, horns, etc. all around me. My mouth is watering at the thought of a delicious piece of chewy candy, and my nose can already smell the mint. And now we get to the motor skills…

See, kids, gum gets SOFT when you put in in your mouth, unlike…um…

2) Oh, did you say MOTOR SKILLS?!?!  YES, MOTHERFUCKER, I DID!!  And I ain’t talkin’ ’bout my skills behind the wheel, even though I know for a fact I am the greatest driver in Indiana. (Citation needed.) No, I’m just saying that it takes an INCREDIBLE amount of fine motor skills to open a piece of gum with ONE HAND while not even looking at it!!  Seriously:  how the hell does the human body do this shit?  How does the brain remember the exact, minute little adjustments to the electric signals it sends to your muscle fibers which tell them to contract or expand in a precise manner at the right fucking time?!?  While, Might I add, also running a million different computations related to keeping my dumb ass on the road or even remembering to apply the right amount of pressure to the gas pedal to maintain the current speed?  HOLY SHIT!!!  Seriously, we as a species are generations of scientists and their smart kids away from developing a robot that can successfully navigate a flight of fucking STAIRS, let alone a robot that can navigate a flight of stairs while carrying a load of laundry and avoiding that goddam cat trying to make you trip.  And here was I, just humming alone down the road at 40 MPH unwrapping a piece of gum, disposing of the wrapper, and totally not killing anyone, including myself, in the process.  And something else I can do that no stinkin’ droid can do?  Predict the future.

Although they sure know how to fuck it up.

3) “WHOA, YOU DONE FUCKED UP NOW, SON!” you’re yelling between sips of bottled water.  “Oh, have I?” is my smug retort.  Forget my simple “is the light going to change?” example.  I have a better one.  My lovely wife Heidi and I were enjoying some Stanley Cup Playoff Hockey in our home in New Bern, North Carolina back in 2002.  The Carolina Hurricanes were playing the evil Detroit Red Wings.  In one particularly awesome contest, the play was pretty balanced, but you could observe by watching that the Wings were slowly getting the momentum all to themselves.  Wave after wave of attackers crashed the net.  The Canes made counter-attack after counter-attack.  It was a nail-bitingly awesome contest.  Suddenly, there was a neat play by Detroit at the Carolina blue line and my wife, who had been in keyed-up silence for a while blurted “Shit, they’re gonna score.”  Two strides, a pass, and a shot later and the red light flashed.  Wings were up.  Fuck.  Why, at that particular time, had it occurred to her that a goal was about to transpire?  The last forty minutes of play had been literally back-and-forth, end-to-end warfare, a pitched battle for loose pucks and heroic saves by both goalies.  So why THEN?  How did she know (and she did, obviously) what was about to happen?  Because she saw the future.

Pictured: NOT my wife.

Okay, not LITERALLY.  But her brain took in all the available information.  It saw the positions of all the players from both teams.  It figured out who was out of position.  It was aware of how much time was left in the period and whether anyone was off-side. It perceived the Detroit players movements and predicted them.  Her incredible mind extrapolated all the data and came up with one inescapable conclusion: the red Wings were going to score.  The odds against it in that one microsecond were too great.  It was the only way things could transpire. Oh, and her mind came to this conclusion in about a tenth of a second.  Instinct?  Peh.  There is such a thing, sure.  But only because the brain makes it happen.  You know how they say that really good baseball hitters can literally see the laces of the ball as it comes at them?  Their brains are so finely-tuned that they literally notice the things we don’t and are able to act on them in a way that seems super-human, but that capacity is in everyone.  Maybe not equally so, but it’s there in some measure.  We just don’t use those skills all the time, those skills that require sifting through a massive amount of data and stimuli to do that one thing that is required in that moment: hitting the ball, scoring the goal, avoiding the cat, unhooking the bra…or unwrapping the gum whilst driving.

To say nothing of reading an overly-wordy blog about science and your incredible brain.  Yes, yours.

Incredibly Distracting…

Hey, gang!  It seems I’m blogging in fits and starts of late.  Sort of catch-as-catch-can, if you will. (That’s for you long-time readers!)  Sorry about the inconsistency.  Trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging, even though I am currently distracted by Rush playing tonight in Indianapolis.  In fact, I just heard “Mystic Rhythms” in my head as I typed that.  Damn it.

 

Anyway, today’s blog will be a quick one, and basically only exists to introduce you to something.  Like the spectre of Dave Bowman said in 2010, “Something wonderful.”  See, there’s this guy.  We’ll just call him “Vex.”  He’s an old-school geek like me, even though that word (geek) has been somewhat over-used of late.  The fact remains:  Vex and are are about a year apart age-wise and have similar tastes.  For example, he and I enjoy repeated viewings of “Buckaroo Banzai” and “Real Genius” for starters.  Recently, Vex read a book that I’d checked out last year called “Ready Player One.”  Here’s the site for said book:

http://www.readyplayerone.com/

 

Anyway, everyone told me the novel seemed to be  written with me in mind.  It’s chock-full of old-school computer game, comic, RPG (that’s Role Playing Games, not Rocket Propelled Grenade) and sci-fi references.  I found it  entertaining but, well…not the absolute greatest thing ever.  It was okay, and miles ahead of crap like the “Big Bang Theory.”  Vex, however, found it to be the epiphany he’d been waiting for, and went on to create his own game based loosely on the parameters set forth in “Ready…”  And he’s done a bang-up job.  Hell, the only thing missing is an OASIS rig, and I’ll bet Sexy Vexy is working on that as I write this.  I’m having a lot of fun with this little trivia endeavor.  So much so that I’m thinking of re-reading the book. And so much so that I’m about to do the worst thing (for me) possible:  give you the website and leaderboard so that you, too, can get in on the fun.  Why is this bad for me?  BECAUSE I WANT TO WIN, GODDAMMIT!!  The more people who play, the less my odds of winning.

Now, when you check out the scores, you’ll be intimidated.  Don’t be.  I was totally stuck on the first question until my lovely wife gave me a different perspective.  Now we’re only a little bit behind, and you can catch up FAST in this game.  yes, you may team up.  Yes, you can share with other players…but that is terribly risky.  Will others burn you to get ahead?  Absolutely.  That’s part of the fun.

Ain’t gonna stay this way for long.

 

So without further ado…strap on your haptic rig and follow this link.  And good luck. Any spare resources your mind had available are now considered forfeit.

 

http://poptopiamadness.com/

Ooo, That Smell…

Mmmmm!  Cookies!

There aren’t really any cookies, mind you.  It was a trick.  A ruse.  I wanted you to start imagining fresh-baked cookies.  Sugar cookies, chocolate chip…those peanut butter ones that mom used to kind of press down on with a fork to make the crisscross hashmarks…doesn’t matter.  Because odds are you did think of cookies and there’s a chance that you thought of specific cookies.  That’s because the sense of smell is one powerful motherfucker and we totally take it for granted.  Also, smart people claim that it’s the sense most keenly tied to memory.  That girl you fell for that one crazy spring break?  You know her smell.  And it’s not just perfume and hair conditioning cream and fabric softener…it’s the sum of all of that and more.  It works the other way, too…that bitch from accounting that thought Obsession was the greatest fragrance EVAH?!?!  ERMAHGERD!!  You know, the one who you could literally smell as she got out of her car in the goddam parking lot?!  Yeah.  Now, no matter who’s wearing that particular perfume, you somehow know upon meeting them that you hate them a little bit.

Unless they look like this. I mean, c’mon…it’s just horrible, eye-burning, nostril-scorching perfume, right?

It works for things, too.  Things like tequila. You have a bottle of it, puke your guts out, and then the next time you’re out someone offers you a shot and you respond with (all together now!) “Dude, no.  I can’t even SMELL that stuff without puking.”    See, it’s science!  Your body has conditioned itself to avoid certain harmful substances, and tequila is certainly a harmful substance.  You’ll smell it before you taste it or even see it, because your sniffer works pretty damn good despite being less important now than it was six million years ago.  Good job, nostrils!

So here, then, are some of my FAVORITE smells.  Good ones.  Happy ones.  Scents that take me immediately to a happy place.  Like the beach, for example…

Surf Wax

Specifically, Sticky Bumps original surf wax.  Sure, Sex Wax is the one everyone talks about because the 80’s.  But this is the stuff, along with the occasional Mrs. Palmer’s, that made it onto my deck all the time, especially on the longboard.  The way it bumped up (hence the name) without having to go over it again and again was, well…magic.  But the SMELL!!  Imagine a tropical drink that featured coconut, vanilla, and blueberries.  Imagine your truck being filled with that awesomeness on the way to the beach, and then on you after laying on it and rubbing against it all day.  Wow, I just turned myself on a little bit.  Awesome.  I had some friends send me a few bars of this stuff a year or so ago even though I am currently land-locked with NO chance of surf.  But when I want to take a break and hit the beach, I take a good long pull off o’ one of these babies and I’m instantly there, even if only for a moment. 

Seriously, these stickers and that ‘Oakley Thermonuclear Protection’ shit…everywhere. The 80’s kinda sucked.

On the other end of the spectrum…

Ice Rink

This is one of those “greater than the sum of its parts” deals.  Yes, the actual ice itself is amazing.  Remember Doug Dorsey smelling the ice in The Cutting Edge?  That shit is legit, yo.  But it’s more than that for me.  The mouldy foam flooring, the hockey pucks…a new roll of hockey tape…the slightly sickening burning smell of someone heating up their stick blade along with the singed smell of the glue as it pops free…beer…all of it.  Any hockey player knows how comforting it is to get to a new rink in a new town and instantly know you’re at peace as soon as you walk in.  It’s a little like heaven.

These, however, smell HORRIBLE.

Patchouli (Yes, Patchouli) and Leather

I know.  Trust me, I know.  Hippies have ruined this for sooooo many people.  That’s because hippies don’t know that you’re only supposed to put a tiny pinpoint of this stuff on each wrist then rub them together.  That’s it.  That’s plenty. Those dirty bastards ladle it on by the gallon.  When so applied, it smells much like I imagine the Devil’s asshole must.  Horrible.  However, when I was a lad, it was the general scent of the counter-culture.  You’d smell it at punk shows, at Lollapalooza, the cool alternative bookstore (COUGH! The Abyss COUGH!) and so on.  The cool thing is, we all wore the standard Ramones-issue black leather motorcycle jacket.  Now, leather smells really good, especially new black leather.  Add just a hint of that hippie-juice and marinate for a few shows and smell your jackets wrist-holes.  Holy Mary, but that shit’s good.  It also happens to be the perfect example of how two different cultures can compliment each other in the right proportions.  But seriously, fuck you, hippies.

I seriously had to scour Google images to find a stock photo of a hippie and a punk together. Now to crop out the confused sick boy…

Murray’s Pomade

Let’s just address the elephant in the room right now.  This smells like black folks.  It does.  I’ve always loved this baby-powder-meets-honey-and-vanilla scent, but until I got older and started actually using it, I was just always envious of black folks and how good most of them smelled.  (Like any of us need to be any MORE envious of the fact that our Nubian brothers and sisters will ALWAYS be cooler than white folks, Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins excluded.)  But man, I don’t care if I’m using this stuff on short hair to mess it up (like white folks do) or part or pomp it up (like white folks used to do) I love the smell.  No lie, I’ll sometimes open the orange tin (a lifetime supply!) and get a big whiff of it to carry me through the day.  There are other great-smelling hair care products…Dax Wave-n-Groom smells a bit like Murray’s, and if you add a topcoat of Tres Flores Brilliantine, you get a sublime mish-mash of powdery, waxy, wonderful-smelling awesomeness.  Good God, I want to eat my own hair now.  It’s that fucking good.  I’m waiting on a response from Jan Hella over at The Rebel Rouser to hear what his favorite pomade scent is.  If Murray’s doesn’t finish in the top-three, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

Ladies and gentlemen, something most of us will never see: the bottom of a tin of Murray’s. It’s…it’s beautiful…

Like/dislike

Hey, gang.  I promise to write another lengthy piece for you soon, because who doesn’t like a lengthy piece, amirite?  But whilst sitting with my three-year-old in the plastic, filthy, smelly, greasy HELL that is the McDonald’s playland, it occurred to me that, dog-gone-it, there are some things that I just don;t like.  But like they taught you in physics class, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Herein lies the lesson for today.

 

STUFF I LIKE!!

Calling the evening meal “supper” instead of “dinner.”

People who say “cock-a-roach” and “robut” and “sangwich” for the words cockroach, robot, and sandwich, respectively.  Usually these tend to be old people, and I quite enjoy old people.

Star Trek, and by only the slightest fraction of a degree less, Star Wars.  Add to this Firefly and the first Matrix.

Spider-Man and the X-Men.  Call me crazy, but Marvel knew what they were doing when they started making troubled teen superheroes.

Converse All-Stars.

Wearing a hockey jersey…and shorts.

Rational arguing with smart people who don’t share my views.  Good God, there’s nothing better than a good debate, as long as it doesn’t devolve into Facebook name-calling and TEA PARTY!!  FUCK OBAMA!  DERP-titude.

Winter becoming spring and summer becoming autumn.

The smell of surf wax and surf shops in general.  Also, the smell of hockey tape and the general smelliness of hockey.

To crush my enemies. To see them driven before me. And to hear the lamentations of their women.  And jambalaya.  Oh, boy, do I love some good jambalaya.

ANYTHING by Chris VanGompel.  Hockey Zombie, The Mario Brothers, TNT the Comic, etc.  Dude’s brilliant, and I am glad to call him my friend.

Does it make a lick of sense? No. Do I love it more than life itself? Yes.

 

STUFF I DISLIKE!!

Dudes (usually dads) that wear denim jeans shorts.  Please stop.  It is 100% worse if you also have a polo shirt tucked into it.  You make us dads look really horrible.

Ranch dressing. Seriously, Midwestern people…you’ve got to put down the ranch.  Try some Italian or balsamic vinaigrette.  Please.

College football.  I don’t hate it, mind you, I just don’t give a shit.  Also?  Golf.  I’ve played it.  Meh.

People that wear running or athletic shoes in their daily routine.  You can’t do that and be part of my society.  Wear some Chucks, some Vans, some Sambas, or some flip-flops unless you’re going to work, then have some nice wingtips or something.  Dude.

The Christian Taliban.  You know these types.  They’re beyond conservative and too crazy for the Tea Party.  They want Sharia Christian Law to govern our daily lives.  Too bad, because I drink, smoke, and masturbate, and will continue to do so.  Hell, I might perform an abortion just on principle.  Fuck, this group makes me angry.

Superman.  Really, I get it.  He’s fighting for truth, justice, and the American way (yeah, FUCK YOU, NORTH KOREA!!  EAT MOAR DOGS!!  HHAHAHAHALOLOLOL!!) But, c’mon.  Dude’s been around too long and, oh yeah: he’s invincible.  I hate that about him.

When I go to write with my ball-point pen and it’s not clicked into the “ready” position and I scrape bare pen-plastic against the paper…GAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I fucking HATE THAT!!

Stuff that “tastes” like peanut butter.  Peanut butter “flavouring.”  Bullshit.  It tastes like a goddam dollop of almond butter with all the sugar in it.  All. The. Sugar.  Or it’s like you took a hairdryer to the peanut butter and made it into some sort of peanut lint.  Gawd-awful, is what it is.

Don't care whatchamacallit, as long as you don't call it "peanut butter" or "edible." Thanks.

 

STUFF I HONORABLY MENTION!!

Okay, I didn’t mention hipsters.  Of course I don’t like them.  Nobody does.  I figured it was a given.  Also, I failed to bring up ice cream for the exact opposite reason.  I mean, really…ice cream.  Ever been to a birthday party where they just had cake and no ice cream?  Remember how disappointed you were?  Exactly.

Also, it looks like I have more “likes” than “dislikes.”  I am a pretty positive person after all!  Yay, me!

 

What is Wrong With You People?

Whew!  Been a busy week.  I haven’t had a whole lot of time for writing, and honestly wasn’t really inspired to put anything down until I looked at some of my web stats.  One of the features that WordPress provides for bloggers is a measure of how many different search terms led people to your page.  Sometimes the results are, well…surprising.  Sometimes they’re plain ol’ obvious.  Take a look at my search engine referrals for the past 30 days…

1. big bang theory isn’t funny
2. fake tan fail
3. tan fail
4. fake tan
5. fake tan orange
6. why the big bang theory isn’t funny
7. carrot top before and after
8. amish
9. yar yar bins
10. viking rape
11. misfits shirt
12. cynthia gibb
13. skater hair
14. big bang theory not funny anymore
15. 50s flying saucer
16. misfits merch
17. turner watson
18. male second life hair
19. chaps
20. range fake tan

Okay, then.  Sure, people are still reading my rant about TBBT.  That’s actually very flattering, and a little hopeful.  It’s nice to know there are some people who “get it.”  Also, notice how many “fake tan” searches landed on my page.  Holy crap!  People is KRAY-ZEE for that orangey goodness.  After all, look how popular “Jersey Shore” is.  But then there are other searches.  Check out #9: the search(es) for “Yar Yar Bins.” Yes, more than one person searched for “Yar Yar Bins.”  The problem, of  course, is that THERE’S NO SUCH FUCKING THING! So now I’m confused.  Are people looking for Jar Jar Binks?  Or Tasha Yar?  Or storage bins?  What?

Ironically, no searches for "Ronaldinho looks like a slightly-racist stereotype CG douchebag"

It’s also comforting to know that people are going to Google, bing, etc. to look for someone named “Turner Watson.”  I’m right up there with ol’ Yar Yar!  Of course, I’m way behind “viking rape,”  “Cynthia Gibb,” and “Skater hair.”  In fact, I barely beat out “male second life hair” and “chaps.”  Good company, nonetheless!

But then it gets weird.  The following are some of the search terms that didn’t make the top twenty, but deserve a bit of scrutiny, in order that we might discover something about the nature of the interwebs and also a little about ourselves.  Dig into these gems:

“spice hair for boys” – Spice Hair is the new Candy Floss

“nazi five races nordic phallic” – this is either a new Papa John’s offering or a spa pedicure treatment that’s sure to be  hit! (Paging Mel Gibson, right?  Right!)

“cussing sapphire ring” – motherfucker oughtta be fucking OPAL, bitch!

“silly sailors drinking” – Sailors? Drinking?  ARE YOU MAD?!?!

“short hair cuts for oddly shaped heads” – The ‘fro.  That’s the only possible answer.

“my drunk sister in law passed out naked” – so that’s who that was.

“candy fromscotlandcalled skittles” – or, as we call them in the USA, “skittles.”

“things about t-rex” – there are some really neat things about t-rex.  Unfortunately, I haven’t really covered them in my blog, so don’t ask me how the hell they ended up at my page.  Thanks, though!  Dinosaurs rule!

Not sure what sort of workout program that is, but it beats P-90X all to hell.