Sunday, September 26, 2010

joke of the day #9

Q. What leafy vegetable do firefighters hate more than any other?

A. Swiss chard. (You know, like "charred.")

the real me

I know that some of you out there think I'm too critical of things in general; but do you wanna know a secret? I actually appreciate many of the good things in life. There are times when I'm just doing something routine, like walking down the street, and I feel ... happy. I'm grateful for living in such a pleasant place, and I have the right to stay here or go anywhere else I want in the country, whenever I want to, and I have enough money to buy the little things that satisfy me. Like new pants, or gas for my motorcycle. And I've been healthy enough to exercise regularly, and that makes me feel even better.

Today was a good day. I slept in, then went to the farmers' market (which is awesome here in Mad City), made some monster cookies, went to the gym, watched some college football while I rode the exercise bike, saw a great Errol Morris documentary (Gates of Heaven) for free at the Univ. of Wisconsin, then made dinner with stuff I bought at the market. Then I watched an episode of "Lost" on my DVD, played a little Scrabble against the computer, and wrote a couple reviews on Yelp. I think that'd be a good day for anyone.

While I was making dinner, I realized that I really appreciate spatulas. It would've been tough to make dinner without one! Such a handy utensil. I'd like to say thanks to whoever invented the spatula, way back when ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


There are a lot of things in life that annoy me - that's probably evident by now - but maybe none more so than Gatorade. I hate it.

"But it's so innocent," you're saying. "It's just Gatorade." And that's true. I don't even dislike the flavor(s), and I guess it's thirst-quenching, and I've never heard of someone having an allergic reaction to it. So what's to hate? Well, to my mind, Gatorade is the epitome of everything that's wrong with our consumer culture. It's a product that no one really needs, endlessly marketed, ceaselessly modified, vastly overpriced. Do people really buy it because it has more "carbs" than other sports drinks? It's a shame that so many people don't realize that carbs = sugar, and that's all they're talking about. Put a couple of packets of sugar in a bottle of Powerade, and suddenly it has more carbs than Gatorade.

Nutritionally, Gatorade is a complete bust. There's no fruit juice, no vitamins. Those electrolytes they brag about? Put a little salt and a few drops of lemon juice in a glass of water, and you'll have just as much sodium and potassium. In fact, you can make the nutritional equivalent of Gatorade at home for a few cents. Pennies, for chrissake! So why are people paying 2 bucks for a bottle of Gatorade? It's all marketing, all hype.

I exercise every day, and I sweat more than about 95% of the people out there. I never drink Gatorade, and I'm fine. I don't really drink much water, either - it's boring. I drink iced tea, and I'm fine. Same carbs, same lytes, 1/10 of the cost. And I'm not even talking about G2.

Don't. Drink. Gatorade. Don't. Be. Dumb. Trust me, I'm a doctor ...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

the spark plug guy

People who know me, know that two of my favorite things in life are recycling and ingenuity (not necessarily in that order). So imagine how tickled I was when I went to a local art show a while back and found a guy who incorporates both into his work. His name is Dick Cooley, he hails from Wisconsin, and he makes all sorts of cool little sculptures and objects with discarded spark plugs, silverware, wire, metal scraps, etc. Rather than go into detail, I'll just link to his website:

And yes, I did get some stuff from him. Not just for myself, either. B-Phat, your Xmas present this year is coming from the Spark Plug Guy. And the same goes for you, Dean and Caroline ...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

tales from the trenches

Good evening. Tonight witnesses the birth of a new feature here at Mad City, "Tales from the Trenches." The other day, I realized that many of my posts here - hell, nearly all of them - don't really capture a lot of the turmoil and challenges in my day-to-day life. On the one hand, life ain't easy for a lot of us; on the other hand, they don't call this place Mad City for nothing. I haven't consciously tried to sanitize my posts for you; my goal with this blog is just to entertain. But entertainment isn't always puppy dogs and ice cream; many people out there revel in the grittier side of existence, the sturm und drang of our daily affairs. "Trenches" is for those people.

So, I was at the farmers' market today, right? Because that's what I do on Saturday mornings, a lot of the time. Deal with it. Anyhow, I'm a single guy, and when I go to the market I shop for one. So today I was looking for carrots, among other things. And yeah, there was some serious carrot action going on there. So there I am, about to close the deal on a pound bag of carrots, when I thought to myself, "What the fuck? Why not lock in on a 2-pounder?" Because they did in fact have 2-pound bags as well.

So you're saying to yourself, "Well what's the issue here?" Well first of all, I'd just gotten to the market, and I still had a bunch of shit to pick up. So that meant hauling an extra pound of carrots all the way around the farmers' market. Which is not a small market: the one here in Mad City pretty much bitch-slaps just about any other F-market in the country. And also, I'm a single guy! And I ain't Bugs Bunny. I'm not chewing on a damn carrot every time you turn around. So bringing an extra pound of them all the way back to the crib is no small deal. I don't want these things to go bad on me. If there's one thing I cannot stand, it's a skanky carrot.

But at some point in your life, you've just gotta say "What the F," right? And that's what I did. I rolled the dice and picked up a deuce.

There's a 2-pound bag of organic carrots sitting in my fridge right now. I'm not boasting or anything; I just want people to understand that it was a tough decision, and that these things are not always easy. But now, I've got a way to discuss them. And that concludes this installment of "Tales from the Trenches."