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Showing posts from April, 2012

Consumer report: colored bubbles

We recently went to the park as a family and before long, our daughter wanted to blow bubbles. As a mini-surprise that my wife had secretly stashed away, she broke out the Crayola Colored Bubbles. In a scenario of “which spouse made the correct decision?” I am almost always on the losing end. But the second I saw these bubbles I was like, “This looks like a terrible idea.” On this rare specific occasion, my instincts actually proved correct, so I figured I’d record it for historical purposes.

Because it was, in fact, a terrible idea.
Granted, it wasn’t so much a terrible idea on my wife’s part—she had the best of intentions, and only purchased something that was available for sale. It is more, I would say, a terrible idea on Crayola’s part. I don’t want to go overboard here, but Crayola Colored Bubbles is definitely the worst item on the market available for consumer purchase.
This is how it went. I saw the bottle and said, “This looks like a terrible idea.” My wife was like, “Whatevs…

Journey towards becoming angry, old man accelerates

Note: This column will appear in the 4/26 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/27 issue of the Peoria Times.

Well, it happened. I yelled at kids to get off my lawn.
Okay so, not my “lawn” exactly, as we do not have lawns in Arizona. What I literally said was, “Get off my property!” To a girl. Who is like, 6.
A little background, in my own defense. I have detailed before the children who gallivant throughout our neighborhood unsupervised and unaccounted for by what society traditionally describes as “parents.” Among those are several young girls who are not as openly mischievous as their male counterparts—with whom, by the way, they have recently joined forces to the benefit of zero people—but who must be watched closely. I used to believe any trouble or inconvenience the girls may have caused was born of their own naïveté, but recent events have proven this assumption incorrect.
They hang on people’s trees. They throw rocks. They toss garbage in the street. If your gate is unlocked, t…

Classic card of the week

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Reggie Miller, 1990 Skybox

The thing that was awesome about Skybox basketball cards, besides nothing, was how they transported you to an alternate realty. If you stare at this card long enough, it’s like Reggie Miller is about to execute a reverse layup in space, within another galaxy, which is really what a basketball card is supposed to be all about. For the sake of ingenuity, let’s call this galaxy “The Silky Way,” named in honor of the silky way with which basketball player Reggie Miller glides to the space hoop while wearing a knee brace. Is that big yellow thing the sun? Maybe. What about the purple ring with the blue border? An abstract space defender? Possibly, and if so, good luck blocking that stylish layup, space defender! Ha, ha … idiot. Also, is that a comet basketball about to be deposited for two galactipoints? You betcha.

So if the front of the card is fantasy, can the back of the card be realty, you ask? Sure. Keep in mind, however, that the realty we speak of is 1990…

True balance from an imbalanced budget

Note: This column appears in the 4/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/20 issue of the Peoria Times.

Not long after I entered the real world, I had a revelation: Why do we work five days a week with only two off days? If we claim, as a society, to value most the transcendent things in life, why is considerably more time dedicated to capitalism?
I thought I was really smart for thinking about this, as if no one before had ever considered it. Also, my motivation at the time was by no means “spending more time with family” or “taking aimless walks on the beach and contemplating the vastness of the ocean.” I really wanted another night to go out, and/or another day to recover.
It was around this time I began dating my wife, and assimilating myself to Italian culture. Strengthening my resolve for the 4/3 week were the stories I began hearing about Italy, where businesses are literally closed in the afternoon so people can nap. Even regular business hours mostly involved people sitting…

My prerogative? Breaking down "My Prerogative"

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Before we begin, I’d like to mention that I had to browse many different sites in order to find the lyrics that seemed to be most accurately recorded. The site I eventually chose begins thusly:

Check out Bobby Brown My Prerogative lyrics - another terrific addition to the already magnificent Bobby Brown lyrics collection. My Prerogative lyrics are part of the Dance! Ya Know It! album that features an amazing beat and vocals.

Obviously, we came to the right place. “My Prerogative” is originally part of Don’t Be Cruel, by the way, and Dance! Ya Know It! was the remix album. How do I know that, besides owning both albums and listening to them each like a million times? I don’t know. The point is, that album does have one singular amazing beat and also vocals. Let’s go …

Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me
Now why don’t they just let me live
I don’t need permission
Make my own decisions oh
That’s my prerogative

Is there anything more relatable to the average listener than the petulant c…

Safety first, after the fact: a father’s journey

Note: This column appears in the 4/12 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/13 issue of the Peoria Times.
There has been some discussion in our household concerning how often our daughter gets injured on my watch.
To be specific, my wife believes our daughter has gotten injured way too frequently on my watch, and that I am somehow responsible. I, on the other hand, while conceding I would certainly like to see her get injured less often when I am watching her—or, ideally, not at all—believe these occasions to be the random result of an active childhood.
Ignoring previous instances of injury, let us say for the purposes of this column that it began two weeks ago. We were at our friend’s house and I was pushing our daughter on the swing outside. Mind you, because she is a thrill seeker, she was laying on the swing on her belly, like in a flying motion. I want to specify that my wife bore witness to this and did not pose verbal opposition. Unless she voices her disapproval, I can only assum…

Classic card of the week

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Jack Clark, 1987 Topps

Normally I like to make fun of my old cards. After all, that is what I get not paid to do. But today I am here to tell you: this is a pretty darn cool card.

It’s got action, dashing good looks, eye black, suspense, dirt, an unbelievable head of hair … all the things I look for in a great baseball card. There’s also this: check out the peeps in foul territory. Media? Maybe. One guy’s got a tripod. Other dudes are just sort of hanging out, watching the game. How is that a thing that used to happen? I don’t think the guy in the white shirt has the reflexes to get out of the way of a hard-hit foul ball, but he doesn’t seem to care. Man … the 80s. Sit wherever you want! Here’s some cocaine. Enjoy the game. Try not to die.

As for Clark himself, I enjoyed this tidbit from that source of all that is good and right, Wikipedia:

But Clark hated the Giants' Candlestick Park, a notoriously bad park for power hitters because of the wind coming off of the San Francisco Bay.…

A dollar and a dream

Note: This column appears in the 4/5 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/6 issue of the Peoria Times.
The City of Peoria recently renegotiated its lease with Arizona Broadway Theatre. ABT had requested a new lease because they are $150,000 in the hole, and could not afford to pay its $4,900 monthly rental payment. The City of Peoria was like, “Oh, that stinks about you being kinda broke. We’d be happy to create a new lease. How about … one dollar? Will that work for you?” And ABT was like, “Yeah, that should work.” (These are not direct quotes.)
Upon hearing about the lease, the City of Glendale was like, “Pfft. We’ve been charging the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox—two of baseball’s biggest markets—one dollar annually to play at Camelback Ranch-Glendale since 2009. And we spent over $200 million to build that complex for them.”
Granted, in lieu of a traditional lease, the Dodgers and White Sox are responsible for the maintenance and operational costs of the complex year-roun…