Thursday, August 31, 2006

Marshalling Fire

Tuesday's fire drill was a success. Only one body lay smoldering on the bottom of the steps afterwards, and I think he was a lawyer, so that gives me bonus points as Fire Marshal.

Right before the fire drill, our core system went down and Aaron and Jerry tried to stay behind and fix it. Their selfless actions were only met by my patented "Fireman's Carry." This technique involves lifting the person up, placing them so the bulk of their weight lies over your shoulder, then spinning them around until they cry Uncle.

One person tried to re-enter our office to get her purse. I yelled over the sirens to get out, first because there was a fire drill, and second because I had already gone through it and found nothing of worth. Don't these people know procedures?!

When a person is unable to go down the stairs during a fire alarm, he or she is instructed to stand inside the stairwell and wait for rescue. One poor old guy got confused, and went all the way down the stairs (taking his sweet time, by the way) and then cowered in the corner of the bottom stairwell. I finally convinced the guy to take the last two steps out the building by once again demonstrating my Firemen's Carry technique.

But before I could yell at the old guy at the bottom of the stairwell, I had to check the office, bathrooms and stairwell for bombs. I found what some people would consider a bomb in the men's bathroom, but it flushed down easily enough. The women's bathroom looked just like the men's, except it lacked the humongous globule of fungus taking up the middle stall.

All in all, I think we are prepared for a real fire alarm. I guess we'll find out next week, when we have to diagnose all of our issues without Jerry the Microsoft Guy, and someone goes berserk and throws a Molotov Cocktail into the conference room (again).

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Proper Way to Revolt Against Etiquette

Etiquette is the greatest marketing scam of all time. For instance, there is no reason to have that extra fork to eat your salad; in fact, there is no reason to eat salad at all, unless it has croutons in it. Then you can ignore all that green stuff and just enjoy your carbs. The "salad fork" is a right-wing conspiracy to get you to buy more silverware. It's all about economics.

So what else in our daily lives is driven by the capitalist dogma of etiquette?

Well, to understand etiquette you first you have to buy the book, Emily Post's Etiquette. The link to her book goes to the 16th edition, which right there should tell you all you need to know about etiquette. In this book, Post says that "manner is personality - the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life." So basically what that's saying is, if you eat your salad with the same fork that you eat all of your other food with, then you are a dirty, pestilent pig of a person who deserves nothing less than death. See how important it is to learn etiquette?

Actually, I've been known to use a plastic spoon to eat steak while at work. Take that, Post!

Other etiquette describes the way we should show respect for each other, like not scratching your butt before shaking hands with someone, and not listening to techno music while break-dancing on cardboard out on the corner if it is past 4 PM. These are important characteristics of a well-mannered human being.

You should also know that etiquette is entirely dependent on culture, since different people do things differently. You are considered rude if you do something differently within your own borders, but the rules change once a passport comes into play. So if you are a white male and you get a mail-order bride from Romania, you'll have to get used to her home country's etiquette of calling you an insipid, stupid donkey... wait that's just like American women. Hmm....

Women's fashion is also bound by etiquette. No open-toed shoes in the Winter? No white after Labor Day? Says who?! The only reasonable explanation for this is that the third quarter for closed-toe shoe retailers is greater than the third quarter sales of nail polish. And I can't explain the no white after labor day. Most men don't understand women on a normal day, much less in the Winter.

I'm not trying to be cynical. I just love white open-toed shoes.

In conclusion, as long as etiquette allows me to eat pizza with my bare hands then I'll stall the revolution. But revolt we will! Unless our coffee doesn't show up soon, and we get drowsy and go to sleep.

Caffeinated Humor: Point of Contact for Coffee Service (High Priority)

This is an actual email I received from somebody at work. I usually try to keep work out of my blogs but this was just too hilarious to not post. This was marked as high priority, which makes it all the more fun.

From: (Name Withheld)
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:10 PM
To: (Company)
Subject: Point of Contact for Coffee Service
Priority: Urgent

Dear all of my fellow coworkers, friends, family, interns and those of you still left on this email list, including but not limited to Ladies and Gents,

All though “accounts payables” (i.e.. (Name Withheld) as well as several other people in Fiscal of whom you may or may not have known were working in this area) is now “responsible” for paying the River Road Coffee invoices, I am still the point of contact for “the” coffee service, which encompasses all areas deriving from your enjoyment of obtaining free coffee, such as refilling the “carafes,” stocking “enough” creams, and getting all the pink packages of “sugar” for all of you who are “watching” your waistlines. If you have any questions, inquiries, wry and/or sarcastic comments, or complaints, please forward them directly to me. I will “handle” them as soon as possible.

Also, I am aware that the coffee supplies are very low right now. This is due to an inordinate amount of caffeination on the part of our “friends” on the first floor. I am trying to contact our coffee rep so that he can come and refill them, but he has yet to respond to my twelve-part email essay on the vicissitudes of coffee beans. He usually comes the first week of the month. He makes every effort to leave enough supplies to last until his next visit. I “assist” him in this “effort” when needed. Please keep in mind that at certain times of the year, of which Spring is my preferred season, we have more activities going on and the coffee supplies may run out quicker. You may want to invest in some Instant Coffee at home. I use Café Francais, which will hereby be known as Café Freedom. I will do “my best” to determine when our “busy times” are and have him leave more “supplies” during those times. This goes for the guy who stocks the toilet paper in the bathroom as well. If you see that we are out of something please email or call me and let me know. I will get him out here as soon as possible to “refill us.”

Your patience and cooperation with this is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

Redneck Battle Bots

If you've ever been to a cock fight then you know how awesome they are. A cock fight is where some rednecks get together and put spikes, knives and fake teeth on some roosters and let them kill each other. I've never been to one, but I'm sure it's very humane.

But as a tech nerd, my natural instinct is to be drawn more to Battle Bots, where a couple of uber-nerds create a remote-controlled fighting machine then try to destroy each other's creations. Some Battle Bots have saws, hammers, flames and tetanus, while others have flipping devices, crushers and depressed personalities.

But since I couldn't figure out which sport I loved more, I decided to combine them and create a new sport:

Redneck Battle Bots.

Here's how it works: You find a rooster, tape it to a remote-control Tonka Truck, add some spikes, flares or seasoning to it, then let it loose! Then you just see how many other roosters you can force it to destroy in ten minutes. But I must warn you, the Tanory Tantrum Battle Cock is fierce!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Drilling for Fire

Getting school children to go outside during a fire drill is easy, because they know they're getting out of class for that time. And who doesn't want to skip class?

But getting your coworkers out of the building for a fire drill is another thing entirely. For one thing, time not spent in the office just means there will be work to bring home. So in order to have a calm and orderly fire drill, sometimes extreme measures have to be taken. Take, for instance, my email to my coworkers, as I am the person responsible for making sure everyone evacuates in case of fire. (Pretty scary, isn't it?!)

I just want to remind everyone that there is a fire drill tomorrow at 9 AM. This drill is just to get everyone acquainted with the procedure of how to evacuate during an actual fire alarm, like say, someone sets the Lawyers or Insurance agencies in our building on fire. This is a real possibility - everyone knows that pyros hate lawyers.

This being said, you will evacuate calmly and joyously down the stairs, and we will meet in the rear of the parking lot. Do not go to the trash bins. Do not go to the front. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Any stragglers will be forcefully moved. On a related note, please finish your bathroom business before 9 AM.

Also, do not use the elevators. Anyone who has trouble with the stairs will need to stand inside the stairwell. If you have any issues with going down the stairs, please let me know now so I can make a special note on my list.

Thank you for your cooperation. If we don’t have a good time on this we’ll have to do it again, and we won’t get a heads-up. Then it will basically be like a real fire. So no shoving lawyers and insurance agents down the stairs, no blocking the door of DHH, and no ransacking the third floor while the rest of the build evacuates. Your consideration and cooperation are greatly appreciated.

PLEASE TAKE THIS FIRE DRILL SERIOUSLY!


Just another heads up to all two of you at work who read my blog: if you are in the bathrooms at 9, I'm pulling you out of the stall by your feet if need be. That's how we roll at the Tanory Tantrum!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Random Thought of the Weekend

So I had a thought over the weekend: what if Taylor Hicks dumped the Soul Patrol, because some emos got together, dressed up as vampires and the grim reaper, then went around killing everyone while singing Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud?"

But then I thought, I'll go listen to some Snow Patrol.

And then I thought: Soul Patrol. Snow Patrol.

And then this formed:

Taylor Hicks promotes Snow Patrol.


It could be worse... I could have tried to expand this into a longer blog post!

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Naked Truth

Hip Hop gets a bad rap (no pun intended) for encouraging violence and treating women like crap, and for subsequently passing these traits off to our children as being "cool." Or "slammin'." Or whatever is synonymous with "hip" with today's whippersnappers.

But it has become evident that another, less talked-about issue is heavily influencing our children's lives, and that we must make it a priority.

That issue is Nude Protesting.

Our children are learning that, when parents don't allow for an extended curfew, the best way to bring attention to their plight is to take their clothes off in protest. This is especially effective if the parents' friends are present.

And why shouldn't they learn this? Any time an acre of land is slated to be paved, or a chemical plant is being built by a neighborhood, or animals are being slaughtered for food, somebody is either chaining themselves to a tree, going door to door with a petition, or taking off their clothes and forming a naked human chain of people whom you wish had worked out just a little bit more before taking it all off.

The latest example of children getting nekkid is in Vermont. But this may, however, be due to Vermont's proximity to Connecticut, and not due to any protests. We all know what Connecticut's good for, and if you don't, check out the website for the band "Jesus H. Christ and the Four Hornsmen." You might find Connecticut's apparent use under the MP3 section.

So I guess that we as a society must ask ourselves a very serious question: Do we want our children singing bad music to a stripped down beat, shooting each other and screwing strangers for smack, or do we want them running around naked? It's a tough call.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Continental Congress

I'm tired of hearing about the "Indian Subcontinent." It's time we upgraded India to be its own continent.

For one thing, they have friggin 1.2 billion people. I think once you cross the 1 billion person mark, you should get your own continent. When China reaches 2 billion, we'll treat them like a monopoly and force them to create Baby Bells.

So what are continents? If we can't agree of what a friggin continent is, then we're in trouble. Well, "continent" is opposite of "incontinent." Maybe it would be better to start off with the definition of a subcontinent, then work our way up.

A subcontinent is defined as just being a large section of a real continent. But Europe is really just a subcontinent of Eurasia. The reason for Europe's continental status is due to culture and politics, and not geography. We've already violated our definition of Continent - I call shenanigans.

If Europe is a continent due to culture and politics, then India surely qualifies as its own continent. Not only is India the home to several extremely populous religions and a distinct culture which has been able to absorb every major attempt by external forces to change it, it also has more in the way of geography. For one thing, it sits on top of the Indian Plate. Secondly, it's better than Antarctica.

If you agree with me on India's status as a continent, then please sign my petition, or write your senator.

Pulse vs. Senator Stevens: Which is Stupider?

Have you seen the previews for the new movie, Pulse? Apparently, the plot is that wireless technologies make a connection to a world beyond our own, and now creatures from another dimension are coming through our email to kill us.

Yawn.

First off, most big companies are using Barracuda spam filters now, so nothing except only the choicest e-mails are making the circuit. Your Yahoo! account will probably still get a bunch of daemons, but that's life. Consider it "Survival of the Smartest."

Secondly, these creatures would never be able to come through the Internet. The people who made this movie just don't understand: the Internet is not a dump truck. You can't just put stuff on it and dump it off somewhere else, for creatures to thrive in. The Internet is a series of tubes.

And even if these demons could fit through the tubes, there's enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material in the tubes already, so if someone did send you an infected email, it might take 5 days to get to you. Unless these are some really potent demons, they're not going to last 5 days without water.

And of course, there's always 128-bit WEP encryption, or you could just not broadcast your SSID out to the world. Or get eaten by undead demons coming through your wireless network, see what I care.

Thus the premise of "Pulse" is ridiculous, unless of course Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is able to squash any Net Neutrality amendments to any upcoming Senate bills.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Making of Modern Art

My vacation to New York not only inspired me to create the Tanory Tantrum Food Club (of which the latest installment is to DiGuilio Brother's in honor of Jerry the Microsoft Guy), but it also inspired my inner-artist.

While in New York we visited the Museum of Modern Art. Four of the pieces in this museum were just canvases painted a single color. There was a red canvas, a blue one, a black and a white. I am proud to announce that I have improved upon this idea, and have upgraded the medium from Canvas to Wood.

I know this is daring - some would even say reckless - but that's how we roll at the Tanory Tantrum. We are always looking to go above and beyond. Take, for instance, our Shock Tank battle to settle a dispute that normal people would have settled simply by beating the crap out of each other. We are true pioneers in our field. Thanks again, Reba, for the Shock Tanks!

So when my wife and I were painting our shelves and I was instructed to "paint like the dickens," I thought, why not add a modern touch to my woodcraft? Why shouldn't I shun Realism, Romanticism and Rococo when I have Modern Art at my disposal?

Thus began my journey from the top left side of a shelf to the bottom right, using soft strokes of a paint brush as my mode of transportation. Two coats, let dry, turn and repeat. As easy as burning eggs.

Of course, painting outside at night is not a very smart thing to do. For one thing, bugs are stupid and will get stuck in the paint. That is what occurred with our paint job. I picked every single bug out and am going to repaint the shelves later today, because my wife will not use these shelves if there is even the chance of one single bug gut left on the surface. Personally, I think it brings gravitas to my work.

I did, however, leave the gigantic lizard stuck on one shelf, as I think it'll look really cool when it's painted. It'll be like 3D! Maybe I'll make the Museum of Modern Art!

Monday, August 21, 2006

An Ode to Jerry the Microsoft Guy

We had our luncheon for Jerry the Microsoft Guy. We were 18 strong! That's how loved Jerry is!

And let me tell you, it was heartbreaking. For one thing, DiGiulio Brother's, although very tasty, does not "do" separate checks. Also we were saying goodbye to Jerry. And of course there was the gloom of looking forward to our project without Jerry. Then we started thinking of all the knowledge that Jerry has and how that is all going down the drain. Plus the fact that we're losing a good friend. Basically, all of these things made for a very somber lunch.

On the bright side, the Fried Eggplant Poboy, which I procured for $6.95, was friggin' delicious!

Wayne came through as usual with his Bathroom Report, although it is now spelled with an "e."
The Bathroom Reporte

Next up the bathroom reporte. We are elite; We are professional; We are the Tanory Tantrum Food Club. As a member of the food club, I have been given the task of reporting on the conditions of the bathrooms of our food club extravaganzas. Today, we ventured to eat at a restuarant called DiGiulio Brothers Italian Restaurant. The food was great, but now to why I am blogging, the bathrooms.

Today's journey was a little different. We were out saying goodbye to a dear, intelligent, and music loving friend. Here's to you Mr. I'm-Getting-Another-Job-Closer-To-Home-So-I-Don't-Have-To-Travel-So-Far-And-I-Work-For-A-Huge-Software-Company-So-I-Know-The-Big-Cheese-And-We-Play-Ping-Pong-Together Guy.

I really have to say I like when a place has a single person bathroom, one for the men and the ladies seperately though, and not a bunch of stalls and holes in the wall. The bathroom could have smelled a little better, but it was very comfortable. The door locked so no one could disturb your movement. There were a few pictures on the wall to look at, but some magazines would have been nice. All in all, it was clean and the handsoap was very moisturizing. So how many wipes you say? I give it 8 wipes outta 10. Oh yeah, the paper was soft and not the thin notebook paper some places provide.

In conclusion, I would like to wish Jerry a very happy rest of his life, as he is now dead to us. But on a serious note, enjoy Florida, the beaches, the sunshine, and your new project! And keep us in mind if you need someone to House Sit one weekend next summer!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I'm Shelfish

My wife has wanted new shelves for some time, and I have been unable to give these to her because, like you probably already know, I'm completely useless.

But luckily, I have in-laws that accept my uselessness, and understand that their chances of having granchildren correspond directly with my wife's happiness. So my father-in-law dropped by to help (and by help, I mean, do everything) make some shelves.

We started off by measuring the area to transform into a fully shelved pantry. Then we got some wood from Home Depot. My father-in-law, Jim Bob, was in charge of measuring and cutting the wood, and I was in charge of sanding and buffing it. I don't mean to brag, but I'm great at buffing the wood.

Next we took a short break so I could act out becoming a Wood Ninja. After I got my fix, I was placed in charge of indiscriminately drilling holes in several pieces of wood and into the wall, and took on the moniker "the Drill Sargeant." I learned, however, that barking orders at my wife only gets me into the dog house. No barking at the wife!

My wife and mother-in-law were cooking, and fixed up some edamame for an appetizer. The main course was pulled pork and french fries, and my wife agreed to act out the Noodle Scene from Lady and the Tramp with one of the french fries. Technically, that counts as a french kiss.

So thanks again, Pops, for all the help and hard work! I'm sure one of our wives will have another project for us next weekend!

The Andy Pizzo Project

Friday night my wife and I went to the CD Release party at the Shaw Center for the Andy Pizzo Project, a "Fusion Jazz Funk" band that sounds like, but did not serve, pizza.

The CD, which has now been released into the wild, is called Bouncin'. Check out their album at their website, www.andypizzo.com.

We knew about this band because Doug Gay, the drummer, is also a teacher at my wife's school. Andy Pizzo (leader and tromboner) as well as one or two other guys in the mix are also teachers. MeMe, one of my coworkers, has a nephew that sat in on Sax, and I think he's a teacher as well.

So let me ask a significant, life-altering question real quick: Why is every band named (band leader's name) + "Band" or "Project?" You have the Dave Matthews Band, Andy Pizzo Project, Alan Parsons Project, Steve Miller Band, The Band (supposedly the lead singer's real name was just "The")....

With all the teachers in this band, it could have been called "Teacher's Pet Project," or "The C Minus Allstars." Or even, "See Me After Class!" That might work better if it was an all-woman band. Hmm....

Regardless, check our their site, and keep your eyes and ears open for The Andy Pizzo Project.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Battle of the Blogs!

Other blogs may have wry and sarcastic writing, entertaining authors, advertising revenues and actual readers, but The Tanory Tantrum has something that they don't have:

Alistair Cockburn.

That's right! Cockburn's work on "Writing Effective Use Cases" is the pivotal point in our company's procedural history. We used to just do, and I quote a senior member of our test team, "whatever." But now we'll actually have "Use Cases."

For those of you who don't know what a Use Case is, a Use Case is simply anything from a sentence to an entire document specifying how something is supposed to work. Once you know how something is supposed to work, you can design it. A basic Use Case would be:

1. User opens program.
2. Program prompts user for login.
3. User enters login information.
4. Program verifies login information.
5. Program crashes and deletes random files from the network.

Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?

I will now incorporate Use Cases into The Tanory Tantrum, and that is where this blog will be better than all the rest. See, according to the Internet, many bloggers are self-centered, obnoxious idiots who write only about their limited experiences. I, on the other hand, am a self-centered, obnoxious idiot who writes only about my limited experiences, using Use Cases.

Here is my blog's Use Case, in case any of you fashionistas want to follow my lead:

1. Write something.
2. Post on blog.
3. Take a coffee break.

I'm pretty sure we can accomplish these goals and have our Tanory Tantrum Test Team (or the "T-4rce," as they're known around here) make sure that these items are accomplished. And that's how you test!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Ballad of Bob

I love to sing, but unfortunately for those around me, I am not very good at it. Oh, I'll hit the occasional note here and there, but never at the right moment and never on the right key. But dang do I love it! Laaaa!

So to help me enjoy singing, I've gotten a couple of my closest friends together and started a band. I meant to start an Air Band but it somehow became an actual band. Now I have to display talent, persistence and endurance, and I'm pretty sure I became a Software Developer so I could avoid all of that. On the bright side, I can now sing backup and harmonize, but if I find that I'm having an off day then I'll just move my lips and dance to the beat. I'm a much better dancer than I am a singer - just ask the twelve year old kid that I whupped on Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade last week. Booyah!

The Tanory Band


Our band will sing a lot of melodious, easy-listening tunes... you know, "good timey music." Our band is called "The Fecal Foursome," and our slogan will be, "We Sound Like Shit!" We pulled that from a hat. I wanted our band to be named "An Autonomous Collective Against Outdated Imperialistic Dogma Which Perpetuates the Economic and Social Differences In Our Sociey," or maybe "The Crybabies," but alas, that's what happens when you don't rule with an iron fist.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Reinventing the Bum

At one time or another, most of us have encountered a homeless person. Occasionally said homeless person will pause in his or her endless tirade against an invisible audience and turn an opaque eye towards us, singling us out as heathens and demons, then asking us for money.

And as scary as these situations can be, I've found the perfect solution for re-humanizing these bums:

Bluetooth handless phones.

I thought of this solution a couple of days ago, when I came to work and thought one of my coworkers had turned into a zombie. The coworker in question was walking around, talking to himself, flailing his arms at the sky while pacing back and forth. And just before I pounced on him to end his undead suffering, he turned his head and I caught a glimpse of his Bluetooth handless phone.

At first I was intrigued. Could this device, which was planted upon his ear, be some sort of remote controlled device attached to his brain via wires implanted directly into his cerebral cortex? Possibly, but not likely. Most of us have pretty thick heads, so it would have had to be a much larger device for something like that.

Instead, Ockham's Razor came into play. My coworker wasn't crazy; he was just utilizing the latest technological fad that keeps us connected to every other person in the entire world at the same time, every instant of every day, making us closer and closer to the Hive Mind that we all know we will eventually become.

Homeless people could benefit in much the same way. People would no longer consider these people raving lunatics; we'd see the phones, and say, ah yes, another one of those A-holes with a handless phone.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Microsoft Consultant, Version 2.0, Service Pack 1

At the end of this month we will be saying goodbye to our dear friend and consultant, Jerry the Microsoft Guy. It has been argued by many, including myself, that Jerry the Microsoft Guy is the most valuable person on our project and that, without his services, the project is doomed to failure. We may be able to upgrade Jerry the Microsoft Guy to get the Microsoft Consultant, Version 2.0, Service Pack 1, but as of right now it's still in Beta.

In honor of Jerry the Microsoft Guy, we will be taking him out to eat. Details are below:

DiGiulio Brother's Italian Cafe
2903 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(Click for map)

Date: Monday, August 21st
Time: 11:30 AM

Be there or be obsolete with the next build!

Jerry the Microsoft Guy will also be answering questions on Windows Vista, SQL Server 2005 and the next version of Microsoft Bob. And Wayne, of course, will be supplying the Bathroom Report.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Hero!

After searching long and a-far, I've finally found my hero: the mayor of Blackey, Kentucky.

Why is the mayor my hero? Is it because of his mad organizational skillz or his vice-like grip over the 31st district's subdivision council?

Close, but no cigarillo.

It's his refusal to mow his own lawn.

Mayor Mike Dixon posted a sign on his fence that read "There are more important things in life than tall grass." And while this is technically true, what it should read is, "Nothing is less important than tall grass. Now get off my lawn!"

But tall lawns, as I've previously discussed, can be used for the benefit of all. They can be made into "organic fences" - so you can finally get that dog you've always wanted - or can feed up to several hundred farm animals.

Mayor Dixon also refuses to hire illegal aliens after his nephew Jim Bob had a bad experience with some aliens, their shiny spacecraft and a very long probe.

So Mayor Dixon, I salute you and your refusal to mow your own lawn. I just can't believe that you're a mayor. It seems like you should lead by example or something, but otherwise, good for you! Also, just a word to the wise, you'd better lay off the Moonshine.

Cooking vs. Pizza: A Tanory Tantrum Death Match

Last night my wife called me from her car, where she was stuck in traffic, and uttered words that strikes fear in the heart of every red-blooded American male living in my domicile: "Would you mind cooking dinner tonight?"

I don't know how things are done in your house, but in my house the only thing I'm allowed to "cook" is PB & J sandwiches and grilled cheese. I can also make a mean bowl of cereal. I'm actually pretty good at breakfast - eggs, grits, biscuits, etc - which just goes to show you how easy it is to make breakfast. Okay, and steaks, but every man can make steaks, so those don't count.

Here is what I was instructed to make:

1. Fish
2. Mashed potatoes
3. Asparagus

Sounds simple enough. However, here are the results, in corresponding order:

1. Too much seasoning on the fish kept our stomachs from being able to process it. Actually, I ate all of the fish, but was unable to feel my legs for the rest of the night;

2. Mashed potatoes came out great, if you like gummy taters; and

3. Asparagus is my house is now known as ass-paragus. I was supposed to use the Balsamic Vinegar but couldn't find it, so resorted to using Raspberry Walnut Vinegarette, which, by the way, does not go well with ass-paragus. I also used garlic powder instead of actual garlic, only to find out that garlic powder does not have the same affect on vampires as garlic cloves. I feel like I should have been told this over the phone.

I'm fine with computers... computers I can understand. Give me a byte over a spatula any day, and I'll be okay. Maybe I just need to automate my kitchen. Hmm....

So I guess what I'm saying is, Honey, I appreciate you more than ever. Also, I will be ordering pizza if you are going to be late tonight.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Useless No More!

I hate to admit it, but I'm totally useless. I'm unable to do simple, basic tasks around the house, such as installing shelves, painting walls and cutting wood so it is even.

But my uselessness is about to run out! Soon I will be enrolling in Lowe's University, where I will be taking free classes at Lowe's Hardware Store to show me how to do basic stuff that every man should know, such as how big my gut and man-boobs must be before I can take off my shirt when mowing the lawn.

Most men learn these types of trades from their fathers, as their fathers learned them from their fathers, etc, going back several billion years to the beginning of mankind, when the First Father realized that he could get his son to do all the crap around the house for free of charge and write it off to building character. But the love of hiring other people to do manual labor has been in my gene pool for several generations, and I now have no choice but to try and break that mould.

I'm not trying to blame my father, even though that is the accepted practice in our "personal irresponsible" society. This problem got out of control because, as a kid, I had an incredible knack for arguing, debating and negotiating, and my allowance for taking out the trash and walking the dog was putting my parents in a tough situation, especially after my siblings and I unionized. On the one hand, my parents wanted me to learn how to fend for myself when I became an adult, and on the other hand, they acknowledged my superior oratory skillz and encouraged me to spend my time studying to become a lawyer instead of doing my chores.

But there's hope! Because there are free classes at Lowe's to show us stupidheads how to do stuff, there must be more of my kind out there. Hmm... maybe that's not very hopeful. Maybe that's frightening! I don't know, I haven't met these people yet, but maybe I can mug them in the parking lot and they'll be too stupid to know how to defend themselves. Unless of course they've already taken that class at Lowe's. I'll just have to be very observant at my first class.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Mel Gibson Walks Straight Line in Path to Healing

With Israel bombing Lebanon, escalating violence in New Orleans and a nuclear standoff with Iran, the conversation in my family naturally turned to Mel Gibson's drunk driving offense. My mom, in typical Mom fashion, noticed that nobody in the media is making a big deal about Gibson driving drunk. For shame!

Everyone knows that you can only do two of the three things that Gibson did at one time when you are a big Hollywood star: you can either drive drunk, drive and launch a paranoid tirade against Jews, or launch a paranoid tirade against Jews and drink. There is no trifecta in this equation, unlike Gibson's "Passion of the Christ."

Personally, I think the Mellon should go to jail, purely for purposes of comedy. I can just imagine Gibson, in full prison garb, holding the bars of his jail cell and yelling, "Freeeeedooooom!" Or Gibson not wanting to drop the soap in the shower, tightly gripping a bar of Irish Spring and yelling, "Hold! Hold! Hoooold!" Okay, maybe it's only funny to me.

And while some of Gibson's friends have stood up for him, other actors, such as Rob Schneider of Deuce Bigalow fame, have stated that they will never work with Gibson because of his anti-Semitic comments. Psh, like Gibson would ever work with Schneider anyway. I think Deuce should be more ashamed of himself than Gibson for that lousy display of attention-whoring.

Speaking of whores, I actually think Gibson will make out okay. Drugs, alcoholism and maniacal, threatening speeches are all part of the Hollywood lifestyle. Paris Hilton was just a rich, ugly heiress before her sex tape made her a rich, ugly heiress crackwhore. Charlie Sheen spent more money on prostitues in five years than I'll make in my entire lifetime, and he still managed to find an actress who would still marry him. Nobody said actresses got jobs based on their brains.

And now, even though Gibson will probably get off and not be Bubba's bitch in a dark, stinky prison cell, he has managed to isolate himself from the people who may secretly rule the world's politics and money. Way to go, bonehead! You blew it! Put in a good word for me when you begin your path to healing.

Oh well... there's always the Made-for-TV movie.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blowing Hot Air

The National Hot Air Ballooneum (NHAB), a national competition for professional Hot Air Balloonists, is back in town this week. If you're looking for something to do this weekend that is fun yet different, then bring your family and maybe a stranger to the fields around the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. I did the "Fat Challenge 2" at Pennington, but that's a whole different blog post. Did I mention that admission is free?

My wife and I have been several times over the past two or three years. It's a lot of fun!

And not only is it fun to visit this event, but it's our duty as patriotic Baton Rougians to weigh down balloonists from other states. As you can see from this "History of National Hot Air Balloon Championship" list, someone from Baton Rouge has only won three times, and we haven't regained the title since our three-year stint that ended in '91. It's time to rise up! (Pun intended.)

I'm not asking you to sabotage a hot air balloon. I'm just asking you to pray for some Premature Brennschluss or maybe for a tentacled minion to appear from the sky and devour some of the favorites to win this year's competition.

Hope to see you there!

Food Club Outing #2: The Italian Deli of Anthony

Aaron has been talking up Anthony's Italian Deli for a year, so we finally gave in and visited it for our second Food Club Outing. We bumrushed Anthony's at noon, and it was everything I hoped it could be and more. (Just don't tell Aaron - we don't want it to go to his head.)

Anthony's is located off of Florida in an obscure location, behind a place called Lagniappe's. Aaron told us that it was a small establishment and only held about 4 tables, but I thought he was exaggerating. It reminded me of Central Grocery in New Orleans, only without people flashing for beads directly outside. Ah, the old days!

I can't give away the answers to Aaron's post, so I'll just say...

Someone got the "Pepperoni Pizza Po-Boy," which was like a french bread pizza but on a whole bun. This person, who shall remain nameless, gives it... well, there were no slices, but he or she will say 8 slices out of 10. Someone else, who is very beautiful and makes good cakes, got the Muffoletta, which is Anthony's specialty. A certain consultant loved his Spaghetti and Meatballs so much that he brought some home on his shirt for later.

Aaron and Lora brought the baby, and baby Julia ran the show. They split a Godfather.

Another person's turkey po-boy came out last, and that was the only glitch in the system. Another blogger got the Godfather (the sandwich you can't refuse), and that leads up to this month's Bathroom Report.

Next up the bathroom report. We are elite; We are professional; We are the Tanory Tantrum Food Club. As a member of the food club, I have been given the task of reporting on the conditions of the bathrooms of our food club extravaganzas. Today, we ventured to eat at a restuarant called Anthony's Italian Deli. The food was great, but now to why I am blogging, the bathrooms.

Because of how eateries differ in their facilities, I have to change the bathroom report for this session. The bathroom, there was none. So, where did I go, well in my pants of course. No really I'm kidding. I went on the sidewalk. Now, how do I write a report about the bathroom when there was no bathroom? Well, however I'm doing it, it seems to be working so far. With no bathroom to report on I will have to give big A's no wipes outta 10. Thats the new rating system, the 10 wipes system. But, I will give them an A+ for the authentic italian, or maybe it was mexican, that was spoken there.


Thanks, Wayne! I like the new wipes system so much that I'm going to apply your 10 Wipes System to all future help desk requests.

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

After our latest Tanory Tantrum Food Club outing, I must say that the group is gaining momentum. Although the restaurant only holds about 16 people total, we amassed a force of 8, which included a three month old baby. The logistics behind ordering were simple, but became complex due to the confining nature of the queue. In fact, I think the owner was shocked to see so many people in at once. Alas, we ordered, received our food and actually found a place among the 100sq ft eating area. I was not disappointed, as the Godfather impressed me once again.

Others were more adventurous, opting for a pizza poboy, muffalleta, spaghetti and meatballs, and the turkey poboy. Another person ventured with the safe bet of the Godfather as well. Now, with all of the orders provided, let’s play a game! I will provide you with a list of people that went and you have to decide what they ordered. All matches have a one to one ratio.

Bobby, Wayne, Craig, Naveen, and Betty

Lora, Julia, and I all split a Godfather, hence why we aren’t listed above.

Now, let’s see who gets it right. Current members of the Tanory Tantrum food club are not allowed to participate.