Snow Joke

Beware the wrath of the Snowpocalypse is upon us once more. Repent and be saved by warmer climates. News media are a little late on the Snowpocalypse bandwagon, they completely missed snowmageddon, and snowmageddon 2 electric boogaloo, Perhaps they will catch on before Son of Snowpacalypse? All the hype, and the names thrown about were a joke people… a long sad little joke. Made to make fun of the media and their hyper reality… By adopting the terms and actually using them to sell your bread and milk you’re taking all the fun out of it! Put away the live team coverage for pete’s sake and let’s hear a bit about the news of the day. Yes its cold, yes it snowed. Move on, and find a nice fun story to report on… you know like reporters should.

The only thing the weather really changes is which citizen’s get on my nerves on a daily basis. Don’t shovel your snow into the street… It causes problems. Get your rear end onto the sidewalk when walking around. Just because the street has snow it doesn’t mean I get to drive on the sidewalk does it? And last but not least if you didn’t clear a foot of snow out of your spot put the trashcan away.

Try and live by a little Bill and Ted. Be excellent to one another!

Paul Out!

Hidden Treasures, growing pains

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These tiles might be ugly but they look comfy

The wife and I were giving the house its yearly spring cleaning top to bottom once over which included scrubbing floors, getting into the corners in the back of closets and the like. We just moved into this house, as our first home, in July of 2006. So there are still plenty of things that need work, and on a limited budget its one small step at a time.

Jen found a hint of blue peeking out from under the hideous beige tile in our foyer. You can see the tile in the picture to the left. It wasn’t bad, didn’t show dirt very well. But it was reminiscent of hospital tile, it was formless shapeless and boring to say the least. This hint of blue was a missive of royal blue peeking out from corners, and around the entire area. We quickly pull up on f the tiles only to find a lovely Blue and gold tile which the previous owners had for some reason covered up.

So of course we got straight to pulling the old tile out, which took about 1.5 hours to get it all out. But we were left with a mess of sticky floor. Linoleum glue sucks… In fact after trying everything in our cleaning aresenal we came up with the only contraption capable of removing the residue. First off a good dosiing with Acetone to turn the glue into goo, then a quick scrub with a Scotch Brite pad to collect the now gummy goo before it turned back into glue after the acetone evaporated. Then spray everything down with Goo Gone to remove the tacky, sticky bits left over. THEN scrubbing the floor with soap and water.

So 5 hours later out 6′ x 6’new foyer was done. Only problem is I had a hangover from the fumes for the next day and a half. The door was wide open with a fan blowing right out, it was just overpowering.
Just a small note, if you know a quicker way to get that god awful glue off the floor, keep it to yourself for a couple of weeks, until the pain has subsided. If someone tells me vineger or something else simple rips it right up i swear i’ll cry…

foyer.pngAnd all of this prompted the removal of the carpet on the stairs in the entry way as well, because that was dirty as can be, and incapable of being cleaned. Everytime you get it looking nice it only lasts for about a day. Wooden stairs will be so much easier to clean. Don’t mind the stairs I need to sand down and refinish them, so they will be B E A utiful in time.

Isn’t owning a house fun?

Run Down

So Most of you know that I have been trying to get everything in order for a retry of the Host change for the CaffiNation podcast. Basically here is what happened up until this point. Bought hosting from godaddy on the suggestion of many people. Transfered 2 blogs and started one new website, www.PaulRjMuller. All of which are considered development stage sites. All are in constant transition. This blog has the longest tail of any of my current web sites online. So I occasionally add an audio file to a blog post to test posting an episode of the CaffiNation Podcast. Both the CaffiNation Podcast and Puzzle Piece Productions, are considered production environments, so i hesitate to make any changes there. Continue reading “Run Down”

All Aboard,

There is something very wrong about the way public transit works out for me. It costs me an arm and a leg more to be green than it does to kill some dinosaurs a second time.

If data plans were not so damn expensive i could actually post this from the train I’m riding. Which would be cool. Here is the problem i face with riding the train to work. A paradox if you will. Both my wife and myself work at the very same university, in fact we work about a mile apart in the same large department but very different groups. So we have two people who need to get from point A, ie our cute little house, to point B our J.O.B. I love riding the train and the absence of the traffic, the ease of getting some work done on the commute among the many people watching opportunities. I’m a much better man when i can get my groove on and write on the way home.

By the numbers. Paying for parking at said university would be 96 bucks a month for 1 car, which is good because that is all we have. As it is we are “going rouge” and parking on the mean streets of North Philadelphia. No guaranteed spots and a slight history of vandalism to the vehicle being parked, we have so far had nothing really serious but two middlin incidents in the 9 years we have been on the reservation both as students and then as worker bees. Going rouge is technically free.

Car payment is an embarrassing amount due to a complete lack of foresight on my part. ad to that insurance and we are in the whole for around 500 bucks plus 120 for gas each month. So lets just figure this to be $720 dollars for the privilege of going to work each month. Now take the car expense as a given so put aside 500 bucks. If both my wife and I took the train we would need an additional 170 dollars each for trans-passes. so a cool 340 for riding the rails, against a savings of probably 75 dollars in gas. Because living were we do ditching the Grey Ghost just isn’t a feasible option with a youngin. If I lived in a more walkable section of the city i could deal with that.

Perhaps there should be some type of voucher against your taxes for using public transportation, close the gap a little. I’d pay for the privilege to relax a bit but damn if it wouldn’t send me bankrupt. This just seems messed up

Stop the Planet I want off…

Recent events had indicated to me that I might need to reexamine my “filter” when conversing with normal people, acting in a public manner and commenting on current events. In short I think things are funny, which may have been funny 10 years ago, but now are “cause for concern” A juxtaposition of innocent and not so innocent in photo form could easily be misconstrued and get you child taken away from you.

I guess a little clarification would be in order. I found a very funny picture of a child with a gun online, obviously a joke. I even for a fun guffaw but a bottle nipple on a beer and drank it. BTW if you thought a straw affected alcohol consumption a nipple is where it is at! I was quickly reminded that taking pictures of this in any configuration with my son, or even the bottle would be and could be cause for danger to our continued possession of the child. So i kept the camera away and disassembled my joke. I thought it was funny, several guy friends thought it was funny. But i was quickly reminded that society at large would not think so.

Continue reading “Stop the Planet I want off…”

Early Morning Rage Building…

I promised i wouldn’t say anything else about this damn phone on my Podcast, www.caffination.com, but that doesn’t stop me from bitching about it here.

Alright I might be alone on this one but I am starting to get more than fed up with iPhone news. I read a lot of gadget and news sites to get info for my podcast, www.caffination.com, and unfortunately new and truly interesting news is getting pushed aside because some ass found another picture of that stupid phone.� This phone will cause more cancer than it will cure, it might be a spiffy new gadget, but its not the second coming. Hats off the the Marketing drones over there but they have moved me beyond geeky lust. I no longer want to play with it. I swear I’m almost to the point of throwing the “Jesus Phone” into a lake to see if the silly little SOB CAN walk on water.

Anything else i say beyond this point you could probably extrapolate from that last paragraph. Lets hope June 29 runs its little rear end here pronto, so at least i can start hearing some reviews. I think the part of this entire process which bugs me is the complete lack of content in� any of these articles. Thank god I’m not reading the traditional media’s take on it. Traditional media has this wonderful folly of placing the same two paragraphs at the bottom of each story about a given subject. They sum up what happens.So for instance when the whole Anna Nicole smith crap was going on they summed up the story at the bottom of every page about it, same thing with the Philadelphia Eagles and TO, same thing with any viral inane story that appears on their precious news wire.

You know I better stop before I pop a vessel or something. As you were ladies and gentlemen .

Pancakes… that is all


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Originally uploaded by pzul-box.
This is an image from the front of a box of Bisquick. Why is this important? Well this is just more proof that the world we live in has gone completely batshit loco.

Why you ask? Well on the pictured box there are labels on all of the wonderful dishes one can concoct with the batter. They had to label pancakes… I’ll wait a minute to let that one sift into your consciousness. At some point someone in the publications department sat there and thought to himself. “People might not know what this is. I don’t want them to think we support making flapjacks with this mix, no its pancakes or nothing. ”

What type of rock would you have to be under if you don’t know that those are pancakes? Do you need to be purchasing a Pancake creating mixture if you don’t know what the hell they are? Admittedly the picture next to the offending one is Chicken fiesta, that needed a label, not the pancakes. I’m surprised we didn’t see a second smaller label for raspberry, and an asterisk for not included.

Then it had to get approved through layers of management and fail safes. This goes way beyond the instructions on toothpicks, ala Wonko the Sane in Douglas Adams universe. No this breaks the sound barrier of crazy.

The only thing that will top this, and I guarantee you I will not only go off the deep end should i see it but I’m taking people with me, if i see ingredients of fruit.
Ingredients: Apples… yup thats about it. People will suffer i promise you…

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Only In Philadelphia

Smoky RoomWhen New York City announced its smoking ban in all restaurants and bars, smokers griped, people cheered and businesses lived on. It was viewed by many as the correct move to become more health conscious as a city entity. I personally longed for such a change in Philadelphia, but was convinced that it would never happen in a city like this. Such what did my wondering eyes peer? but a ban on smoking set before the new year. I rejoiced, my friends rejoiced this was a good sign in a city not know for having them. Can I go to a bar and not come out smelling like i slept in an ash tray?
For the record I have nothing against people wanting to smoke. Its your right and as an ex-smoker it would irritate me if smoking was banned entirely. That sort of overarching and overreaching type of governmental dictate is ridiculous. My position in regards to smoking, or anything else in public places has always been this. You should be free to do whatever you want in whatever manner no matter how odd or personally damaging in so far as it does not infringe upon another right not not share your experience. So in this case you can smoke as long as i don’t have to breath the smoke in. You can run around buck naked as long as i don’t have to see it. A little obtuse and I’m sure people can find holes in this but i think its a good general rule. Hence I should be able to drink in public regardless of how sloppy I become but at the point in which i inflict myself upon others it needs to stop.
Smoking outdoors is fine because the smoke is not enclosed, i am not being forced to breath it. But i should not have to make the decision to not go to any bars because one or two people might smoke. You can put one person smoking into a bar with 299 other people not smoking and that one person inflicts their decision upon 299 others. Whereas one person not smoking in a room full of 299 others does nothing. A small aside here in that i would hate to imagine an enclosed place with close to 300 people actively puffing away on their cigarette’s talk about foggy. The thick miasma that surrounds you after you return from one of these smoky haunts needs to be scrubbed off, hair washed before you contaminate your bedclothes with it.
Philly bar owners groused that it will drive away customers, have you heard of a little, small, insignificant town called New York? Apparently that berg is suffering no ill affects of their ban. Business according to some reports has even thrived as people put off by the reeking stench have returned to spend anew. But the Mayor held firm. Now after two some odd months with sparse enforcement there is a three week lift of the ban and the promise of a “exemption request” So small bars can request to be exempt from the ban. What happened, who greased what wheel?
Ridiculous, unbelievable, wait a minute I live in Philadelphia. This type of slippery slope, back room provincial bullshit, if you will excuse the term, is the reason that we will always remain a city on the brink of being great and never achieve that greatness. We are a nice place to live and I would never move. I honestly can’t stand New York just for the holier than thou image they project across the land, the sense of outright entitlement the exude, but damn people. For once couldn’t we get something right? Now i face the prospect of going out tonight for a celebratory jaunt with a group of friends and needing to take a shower before I hold my son upon returning home.

Obligatory Election Day Post

As a card carrying member of the “blogosphere” i feel that it is my sworn duty to attempt to drive traffic to my site during the election day rush. So I fully intend on plugging political tags into this post. Anthropological training here is kicking in so i guess i should identify my bias. I am a US citizen, independently registered as a non affiliate. I do not support either party, i think the republicans on whole are to conservative and heavy handed when it comes to religious overtones, and i think the democrats are too pro union and heavy handed when it comes to playing the race card. I abhor the typical negative campaign ads, not only because they are slimy dirty tricks with no oversight concerning fact checking but rather because they are all of that and too far reaching. They should be targeted. I don’t need to see election promises from new Jersey, which we all know my feelings about that state, but rather i would like to see positive campaign promises from the people I can vote for. Also Both parties save their nastiest and dirtiest ads for being sponsored by the party as a whole, not to be linked to a candidate.

Just a small aside. I live in a largely democratic area, republicans are few and far between, my wife being one of them. Both of us have moved twice in the past two years, both of us have checked the update my voter registration box, She even changed her name. Yet my voter information was in the correct ward her information is still under her maiden name and in the ward from two years ago. Disenfranchise the republican minority? She also seems to get called for jury duty a bit more as well.

The thing that steams my carrots the most about this whole system is the lack of simple logical laws to prevent certain problems from arising. First off, term limits, no one has ever been able to prove to me that someone can do a good enough job and not become complacent in his or her dealings with 30 + years in office. Secondly, pass a law forbidding candidates from mentioning the current administration or other candidates in their ads or campaigns. It should all be about what you stand for and what you don’t support. Why should i vote for your sorry ass as opposed to the other guy. I don’t like voting based on the lesser of two evils. Thirdly each candidate gets can only spend a set amount of money on the campaign, the bigger the area covered the larger the budget given. Third party candidates should be able to apply for government subsidies to run their campaigns, and reach their target budget. Probably mostly pipe dreams but with a little work we can make democracy mean people’s rule once more.

By the by, most of us either don’t understand the electoral process or know that it is inherently flawed. How is popular vote good enough to pick every other elected official but El Presidente? This is a flaw. This needs to be addressed.

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With Great Power

BouncerOk so its a misleading title i will be the first to apologize. But this post is entirely about the lack of useable power options on even the simplest baby items verse the over abundance of adapters to power portable gadgets.

In a nutshell thats about it… But follow as we crack this bitch open. The genesis of this post was looking at my son’s swing, his bouncer and all of the other sedentary gadgets which require batteries. This swing is a monster its got a bidirectional basket for the child, music choices, variable speeds, spinning fish and colored lights. I;’m pretty sure the next iteration of this item will come with ground effects, bucket seats, and 15″ dubs. But i digress, this behemoth is powered by 4 D batteries. Which are expensive. I am proud of the fact that we have a stockpile of rechargeable double A batteries for the bevy of gadgets and gizmo’s around the house. I have yet to find the rechargeable D size batteries. But i also haven’t looked very hard. even the bouncer pictured reqires 4 D batteries to vibrate and it has attachements with colored lights, spinning fish and all kinds of stuff. Crazy

The thing that gets me is that this swing, by nature is a pain in the ass to move from one place to another, virtually impossible to take any place via automobile and yet it lacks a very tiny port that my CD player has, a little external power port. what would be the crime of connecting this monster to the house power? Am i missing some sort of plot to sell more batteries? The same goes with all of the other doo dads and gadgets that this kid has access to. in fact I’m starting to feel the same way about this stuff that i do about fishing lures, the fancy ones aren’t for the fish or in this case the kids but rather the parents / consumer / angler. They spiffy ones catch mom and dads’;s eyes. At this point in their life the child could care less if this swing did little more than swing… I had better move along at this point he just found his tongue again and the cat is staring him down. I’m off to avert a meeting of the minds. Fuzzy tongues be damned.

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