Monday, January 30, 2012

From the Mouth of Babies

Some of my family's most beloved sayings, phrases and names come from babies.

For example, we all call my grandmother "GaGa" (or Gaga if you prefer) because that's what my oldest cousin, Jeremy, called her when he was a baby. I always called her Gaga, until I felt I was too old for that (like 15-ish), and started calling her Grandma. She pulled me aside and said, "You know, Bobby, I really like it when you call me Gaga. That's what everyone knows me as."

So be it! I never again called her anything but Gaga. She was the original Lady Gaga, by the way.

My family calls donuts "do-buts" because that's what my cousin Jackie called them one time. She was really young - probably 3 or 4, around my daughter's age. I was pretty young then too so I didn't realize how big of a deal this was. As in, I didn't realize that everyone in my entire extended family would still be calling them do-buts to this day. (We sure do!)

So what's the point of all of this? Well, my son can't say "blueberries," so instead he calls them "bootahs." So now we all call them bootahs.

"Want some blueberries, Peter?" Mommy will ask.

"No!" Peter will scream, as he flings other food off his high char.

"Want some bootahs, Peter?" Mommy will ask again, sweetly.


There you have it. Gaga, do-buts, bootahs. You're all now one step closer to being Tanorys. All it takes is getting the lingo down as well as growing out your unibrows.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Levels of Nerdom

I have risen to new heights in nerdom this month. And you know what? I'm not ashamed of it.

Well, not yet anyway.

My first uber-nerdy thing was to get a strap for my glasses. My glasses keep almost falling off my face any time I look down, and my kids love to pull at them. So I asked Santa for a strap for my glasses, and he delivered.

I wore my strap at work for a month without anyone noticing it, because I had gone my usual three months without a haircut and was starting to look like I was a hobo. But once I got my hair cut, it became obvious that something was holding my glasses to my face, and I got a lot of comments on it.

Most of the comments were, "Uh... is that a strap on your glasses?" and "Uh... are you coming back from playing racquetball or something?" My answer to both was, "Yes."

The strap is not as obvious from the side...

But is much more obvious from the back. Although, let's be honest, if you're walking behind me then you're probably checking out my ass.

The other nerdy thing I've started doing is watching Battlestar Galactica. Well, actually, that's not really the nerdy part. I mean, sure, that's somewhat nerdy, but what I'm really watching is Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica. I haven't even started watching Battlestar Galactica yet and don't even know if I'll like it, but I'm investing 15 hours into watching the prequel on NetFlix. Caprica was even cancelled, but I don't care - I'm just that nerdy right now.

Finally, my last act of Nerdom was finishing Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Stephenson is one of my favorite authors, and I'm not really calling him or the book nerdy. But, there's a lot of math, physics and theology in Stephenson's work, and for the past few weeks I've been looking over some old geometry equations, reading about geodesics, etc. All inspired by Anathem. It was one of the most amazing books that I've read in a long time, and it's helped me catch up on all the geometrical calculations for triangles.

Betty was involved with both my glasses strap and my book, so I have to give her credit for my uber-nerdiness this month. And that's one of the things that I love about her: she gets me. Not only does she get me, but she encourages it and loves me for it.

Now if I could just get her into one of those Princess Leia slave outfits, then my nerdiness will be complete!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rocking Out With Elmo

My son, Peter, is in an Elmo stage right now. He's also in a Mickey Mouse stage, although he calls Mickey "Hot Dog" because they do the Hot Dog dance at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He also likes Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, but I'll venture that it's because she's magic and not because she's a hot little muppet.

And although I like watching Mickey Mouse and Elmo, I'd rather do other things, like listen to music and play on the computer.

So I came up with a grand plan: I've combined my love for computers and music with Peter's love for Mickey and Muppets, and whenever Peter gets upset now, we watch Elmo videos on YouTube. But not just any videos - music videos!

We started off with Elmo's Song. Peter likes that one a lot. And who can blame him? It's so catchy!

Then, to be educational, we start on our ABC's. I particularly like The Alphabet With Elmo and India Arie. I've never really listened to India Arie before, but she rocks the crap out of her ABCs. I also like ABC Hip Hop with Miles. I don't know if Miles is a singer or just a regular dude, but I've been humming his rendition of the ABCs all day, and I love it.

If Peter hasn't completely calmed down then we start counting. I happen to like that Feist song "1, 2, 3, 4," and now Peter likes it - but he likes the Sesame Street version.

Then, if Peter's either sitting quietly or still upset (doesn't matter what the excuse is), we'll watch other Sesame Street clips with some of Daddy's favorite actors, like Adam Sandler and Joel McHale.

I don't like the Black Eyed Peas, but I like, and he has a great song on Sesame Street's YouTube channel called What I Am.

And don't worry, it's not like all we do is watch TV and music videos with Peter. We also do manly things, like play ball (in and outside of the house), chase skirts (literally - we throw the laundry around and then chase it), and hurl insults at the Teletubbies. Gotta teach our children right!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Aquarium of the Americas

It was a little hot and muggy on Saturday, so we decided to cool off by going underwater - at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans.

There's only one rule at the aquarium, and we broke it as soon as we got there: don't get eaten by sharks!

OK, you got me. Betty and the kids weren't really eaten by sharks, which is good because we probably would not have gotten a refund on our tickets. We had a great time. Annie was so happy to see her cousin David that they mostly ignored all the displays and just ran around playing tag. For my part, I like to read every line of text on every display (much to Betty's chagrin), so I learned a lot.

For example, did you know that some creatures alive today were also alive at the same time as and/or before the dinosaurs? It's true! Sharks are older than dinosaurs. In fact, "modern sharks" evolved during the Jurassic period. Just don't call any sharks "old-timers" because they really hate that, and will probably try to eat you.

Frogs also lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. Some frogs even ate baby dinosaurs. They also tasted great in dino-frog leg soup.

The Aquarium of the Americas has more than just fish, sharks, frogs, stingrays and obese humans wearing inappropriate clothing which shows off their muffin tops. They also have birds. And not just birds in cages that you can look at... but a new place where birds fly all around you, and you can buy little sticks of food for them so that they'll land right next to you and eat and/or poop on you. My son, Peter, really enjoyed seeing the birds!

And yes, I got pooped on. But don't worry, I played it cool. I just found a place with a lot of people and pushed my way through, making sure to rub my poop-stained shirt all over someone else's back.

My favorite animal at the Aquarium is the Sea Dragon. It's basically an overgrown Sea Horse, but it looks like a dragon.

It reminds me of the dragon from that old Atari game Adventure.

Last fun fact for the day: there's a species of jellyfish (Turritopsis nutricula) that is nicknamed the "immortal jellyfish" - because it never dies. Well, most of them die due to being eaten or by disease, but that's not the point. Once they grow to be really old, they start to grow young again until they form back into a polyp. They're like the Benjamin Buttons of the sea. Then after they're young, they can grow old again. They're effectively immortal (except, again, for being eaten). Maybe science can use this jellyfish to make me immortal or at least change me back into a kid again, because there are some awesome toys out there that I'd like to play with.

Thanks to the great people at the Audubon Institute and Aquarium of the Americas for a great day in New Orleans!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Golden Globes Trifecta

Every year my family votes on the Golden Globes. I usually do pretty well. The trick is to just pick any foreign actor, foreign film, or foreign-sounding name, because the Golden Globes are voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press. As a bonus, you should also always pick Tony Shalhoub when he's eligible. (The HFP loves Tony Shalhoub!)

I also look for actresses with Golden Globes, if you know what I mean. (I mean boobies.)

Unfortunately, this year I forgot about my own advice and instead voted as if I were voting for the Oscars. And, to be funny, I voted for Ryan Gosling not once but twice, only because I recently wrote about how the Huffington Post loves him so much and thought it would be funny. (Hint: The Hollywood Foreign Press doesn't like him as much as the Huffington Post.)

The prize for the winner of this year's contest got his or her own blog post. It was a close race right down to the finish. Going into the last category of the night, Betty and her mom were tied for first. As soon as the winner was announced, Betty looked at the scorecard, saw that her mom had voted for the winner, and slumped with defeat. We marked her mom as the winner and sent off some emails declaring her the victor.

But then, the accounting firm of Tanory and Tanory took another look.

It turns out that I had used "J" for John Bobby, but Betty thought it was for Jane, her mom's name - despite the fact that I had written out an elaborate legend at the bottom of Page 2 explaining the naming scheme! So the point did not go to her mom, but instead went to John Bobby - who was now tied for first! Yes, the same John Bobby who won our fantasy football league just won the Golden Globes contest. I think he's cheating but I can't prove it yet.

A three-way tie for first? That's a Golden Globes trifecta!

Of course, it took us two more tries at declaring the winner to figure that out. We were so set on the race between Betty and her mom that we didn't see that John Bobby had also won at first.

So the winners get a blog post, and I'm taking the easy way out and consolidating all of their blogs into a single blog post. Deal with it! And if you don't mind, I'll write this as if we're awarding Golden Globes at a ceremony. I'm even writing this while sitting on a red carpet. (I spilled red wine on the carpet. Don't judge me.)

And the winner for Best Wife goes to...

Betty! And I'm not just saying that because I'm contractually obligated to do so due to a binding legal agreement sent out along with the Golden Globes scorecard on Sunday. I'm also not saying that because she's my only wife. She really is the greatest wife. Here, I'll prove it: She's beautiful, smart, funny, fun, and great at Rummikub (she always beats me at it). I'm always amazed at how much cool stuff our kids learn from her. She's a great friend and a wonderful person. And she was pretty good at picking Golden Globe winners this year - she was the only Tanory to place in the top three in the Tanory Golden Globes contest.

The winner for Best Brother-in-law goes to...

My condolences to my other brosephs-in-law, Danny and Bobby 1 (I'm Bobby 2 in my wife's family), but I'm going to go with John Bobby on this one. The reason? John Bobby has to deal with my sister all day, every day. He can't even laugh at this blog for fear of retribution from You-Know-Who. Look, nothing against my sister, but I couldn't even lock eyes with her over breakfast when I was a kid without her going ape shit. JB's Golden Globes win, on top of his aforementioned Fantasy Football win, plus having to live with my sister give him an edge in this race - for now.

Word of warning, John Bobby: if you don't control your wife, and if she calls, texts and/or emails me complaining of this blog post, or if I get a forward, a Facebook rant, anything - I'm revoking your award as best brother-in-law.

Reba, you know I'm just kidding. You're a great sister. But seriously, God bless John Bobby.

The winner for Best Mother-in-law goes to...

Is this even up for debate? I'll put your mother-in-law up against my mother-in-law any day of the week. Technically my mom is John Bobby's mother-in-law, but she won the Best Grandmother Award (which was a technical award given out in a ceremony last week) so is ineligible to win this award. It's in the bylaws.

Grammy's feeling so good after her Golden Globes win that she's going to be trying her luck at the horse track on Thursday. I hope her being part of the Golden Globes trifecta will earn her a trifecta at the track!

So that's it, I've paid my dues. Now I just have to think of something for the winner of the Oscars, and it had better be good because I fully intend of taking back the crown for that contest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

More Proof that the World Revolves Around Me

Several years ago I wrote a blog stating that the world revolved around me. I used Galileo's Principle of Relativity (later expanded in Einstein's Theory of Relativity) to state how we measure motion relative to one another. I said that, from a General Relativity viewpoint, it's correct to say that the universe revolves around me - because from my vantage point it does! (I don't notice myself hurling through space, spinning as the Earth spins, etc.)

Well, now I have more fuel to add to my conjectural fire, and that fuel is called geodesics.

Basically, a geodesic is the generalization of a "straight line" when dealing with "curved spaces." It's part of General Relativity.

Let's review an example to see how geodesics work. Have you ever heard the saying that the shortest path between any two places on Earth is NOT a straight line, but is in fact a curve? It's true!

Let's say that you want to drive from Santa Monica, California, to Jacksonville, Florida. So of course you're on I-10. While driving along this route, you stop by the greater Baton Rouge area and pick me up so that I can discuss geodesics with you in between Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell I and II CDs, which I've conveniently brought along, and which I annoyingly (says you) play on repeat.

Why Meatloaf, you ask? Because the world revolves around me and that's what I want to listen to right now. Now stop turning down the best piano parts, I'm trying to listen, dammit!

OK, so we're driving along I-10. Let's pretend that you didn't have to swerve to miss any potholes in Louisiana, or swerve to avoid (or hit) the jackass drivers in Texas. ("Drive friendly, the Texas way!") Let's also pretend that I-10 was perfectly straight.

So, once we complete our trip down a single highway connecting the West Coast to the East Coast, I ask you: "Did we drive in a straight line the whole way here?"

To which you answer, rather condescendingly I might add, "Of course we did! And you could have helped drive instead of bogarting all our Mickey D's!"

"But it's not a straight line at all, is it?" I ask, eating the rest of the fries which you've bought me because I forgot my wallet in Baton Rouge. "Because we drove along the Earth, and the Earth is a sphere, which means we drove along the outer edge of it. So we actually drove on a circular route, but we didn't complete the circle obviously. So we drove on a segment of a circle. It wasn't a straight line at all! You've failed geometry!"

"But! But!" No buts! You said we drove on a straight line, and I've proven that we haven't. And the idea that we could get to two places on a curve but think that we're on a straight line is the general concept of a geodesic.

And once we know that we can think in those terms, then it doesn't take much to add that the Earth is not only round, but is also spinning and wobbling. But to our eyes, we drove on a straight line.

Which is why geodesics explains why the Earth revolves around me. Or around you, for that matter!

It's all on how you view it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Curse of Playing LSU in a Bowl Game

Woe to all those Alabama fans: there's a curse for any team that plays LSU in a bowl game, win or lose.

Let's take a look at the facts, shall we?

Peach Bowl - Dec. 29, 2005. LSU destroys Miami, 40-3. In response to their team's poor showing, Miami fires four assistant coaches, causing Miami to suck for years to come. The following year, defensive tackle Bryan Pata was unfortunately shot and killed, several Miami players were suspended for a brawl, and Miami ended up playing Nevada in the MPC Computer Bowl (oh the humanity!). Recently, a Miami booster named Nevin Shapiro was busted for a Ponzi scheme where he used investor funds as donations to former players, resulting in 4 major NCAA violations.

Sugar Bowl - Jan. 3, 2007. LSU destroys Notre Dame, 41-14. Notre Dame reacts by firing several assistant coaches. (Sensing a theme here?) The next season, Notre Dames goes 3-9. Head coach Charlie Weiss is eventually fired. Notre Dame's football program has still not recovered to its former glory days. Recently, Daniel Ruettiger, the basis of the inspirational sports movie "Rudy," paid the Security and Exchange Commission $382,866 to settle a lawsuit claiming that he has scammed customers of an energy drink he was peddling.

BCS Title Game - Jan. 7, 2008. LSU beats Ohio State, 38-24 in the BCS Championship Game. Recently, Jim Tressel resigned as head coach amidst an NCAA investigation into him covering up the fact that some players were receiving impermissible benefits. Ohio State has been hit with a one-year bowl ban and the loss of nine football scholarships, and had to forfeit their entire 2010 season as well as their 2011 Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas due to the violations. Also, Jim Tressel always looked ridiculous in his silly red vests.

Chik-Fil-A Bowl - Dec. 31, 2008. LSU destroys Georgie Tech, 38-3. I don't think Georgie Tech fired any of their coaches or had any terrible mishaps since then, but I did minimal research on them because, after all, it's Georgia Tech.

Capital One Bowl - Jan. 1, 2010. LSU loses to Penn State, 17-19. I had to work that day, but still wore my purple and gold golf pants to the office, because that's how I roll. Despite the fact that Penn State beat LSU, recently Joe Paterno has been fired for not doing more to stop assistant coach / pedophile Jerry Sandusky from "Sanduskying" children in the university's showers. Penn State president Graham Spanier was fired, and I just read that a secret memo outlining how the university plans on ripping off donors has been publicized, which is outraging donors. To top it all off, Joe Paterno's son states that JoePa has lung cancer. Penn State's reputation is basically tarnished forever.

Jan. 7, 2011 - Cotton Bowl. LSU destroys Texas A&M, 41-24. As a result, Texas A&M joins the SEC so that it can have its ass handed to them every year by the LSU Fighting Tigers.

So, to all of you Alabama fans out there... you should not be hoping that you'll beat LSU. (I don't think you will, but I think it will be a great game. It's always hard to beat the same team twice, especially with a coach as talented as Saban.) What you should be hoping for is that, win or lose, you somehow avoid the Curse of Playing LSU in a Bowl Game.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Judgement of Solomon

We all know the story of King Solomon, in particular the Judgement of Solomon where he says that he will split a baby in half because two women both claim that they're the mother of the baby. After Solomon says this, the real mom says to give the baby to the other woman, and then King Solomon knows that she's the real mom.

But what we don't know about King Solomon is if he would be able to survive in today's judicial system.

For starters, if Solomon worked in an American court and gave an actual judgement that a baby should be split in two, that would be the end of the verdict - until the judgement is immediately appealed. The case and verdict would be printed in a national press, the story would go viral, and instead of Solomon being deemed "wise" he would be be the recipient of vitriol, death threats and a YouTube montage.

He probably wouldn't be disbarred for ruling to dismember an innocent child, though. Remember the (dis)Honorable Roy Pearson, aka the Pants Suit Judge, who sued a dry cleaners for $54 million (originally $67 million) because he was guaranteed satisfaction and didn't feel satisfied? Yeah, they didn't even boot him off the bench - they just didn't reappoint him to his position.

Protestors would congregate outside the courthouse, holding signs accusing Solomon of murder. Concerned citizens would set up websites to take donations to cover the cost of going to court for one or more moms, while other websites would be set up to petition the government to remove Solomon from office.

Some peaceful protestors would be pepper-sprayed for not leaving the outskirts of the court even though they are sitting in public property, as is the norm nowadays.

#SolomonTheWise would become a new trend on Twitter, and would be used when someone says or does something incredibly dumb or misunderstood. A new website, Epic Solomons, would be set up in the same manner as Epic Fail. To come to a ridiculous conclusion concerning the death or dismemberment of an infant becomes known as Solomoning.

A white boy rap group gets 15 minutes of fame with a song called "It's All About the Solomoney," which goes viral on Facebook until everyone realizes that the kids who made the song were serious, at which point it becomes sad instead of funny.

Solomon would have to hire a PR firm to handle his public announcements. He's put on Paid Administrative Leave while his case is under review. A state agency takes the child into its wing until the case is finally closed.

In the end, a DNA test is done to determine the actual mother, although the father is unknown. Solomon later goes onto a daytime talk show where it is revealed that he is the father, which we all knew was likely because he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The dude was good with the ladies.


The power went out at my house while I was writing this. An ominous sign that maybe some higher power doesn't like my sense of humor! So let me say that if I've offended anyone then I'm sorry - this is meant to be a reflection on our culture and not King Solomon. There, now can I please get my power back? Blogging on my phone is too hard with autocorrect!

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year's Resolution: 640x480

My New Year's Resolution is 640x480.

If you don't get the joke, then... congratulations! You are officially not a computer nerd like me.

So why did I choose 640x480 instead of a traditional resolution like, "Lose weight," "go to the gym" or "1024x768"?

640x480 is one of the oldest video resolutions and is on every computer monitor. When we software developers sit down to develop software, it has to run on 640x480 at a minimum (unless we're writing software for phones). That's why you sometimes see a lot of white space on the left and right side of the screen when you navigate to some websites - because they were written for 640x480 resolution. Annoying, right?

640x480 is the baseline. It's the minimum requirement. It's standard. It's the least common denominator.

It's what I aim to be this year.

Now I'm not saying that I want to fly under the radar, or fail to achieve greatness, or not do my fair share of work. It's just that every year I come up with a grand scheme of losing weight, eating better, exercising more, finally writing a book, finally writing that screenplay I've been thinking about (it's really awesome, by the way), finally revamping my website, etc.

And do I ever do any of those? Not really. Not for more than a week or two, anyway, or for a few hours.

And I feel absolutely fine about that.

So this year I'm not going to stress out about becoming something different. I'm not going to go crazy trying to shed that extra weight that I actually don't mind having. My website doesn't need updating - nobody goes to it anyway. I need to think up a great ending for my book (as well as a beginning and an end) so I should probably do that first before I start trying to find a publisher.

Screw all those overachievers. I'll try to achieve 1024x768 next year. But this year, I'm just going to be myself this year. I'm going to be 640x480.