Scarcity and Surplus

A couple of times a week, I stop at Starbucks on my way to work and spend $2.84 on a "Tall No-fat, No-Water Chai Tea Latte." I don't drink coffee, but I hate to be the only person in America not being ripped off by the man.

Over the past month or so, I have on several occasions requested a blueberry muffin, only to be told that they are out.

"Would you like to try a blueberry scone or a pumpkin muffin?"

I always politely decline and leave with only my chai.

Yesterday, when I was told that they had no blueberry muffins, I asked if there were only certain days of the week that they had blueberry muffins or if there had been a shortage of blueberries this past year and the Starbucks were only allowed a certain ration per week.

"Oh, no..." came the answer. "We get blueberry muffins every morning. But, we open at 5 a.m. We sell out of them very quickly."

Now, mind you, I am at Starbucks no later than 8:15 every morning.

Here's my suggestion to Starbucks... and I may be waaaaay out in left field here, but just go with me... Maybe they should order more blueberry muffins! I know, I know. It's crazy. But, I'm thinking that if they are running out of blueberry muffins by 8:15 in the morning, ordering another dozen or so probably wouldn't be a crazy move.

But that's just me.


On another note...

How many different types of Cheez-its does the world really need?

I mean, seriously.

I was at the store the other day and it took me longer to find a box of regular, old, plain Cheez-its than it took to make those strawberry preserves on Sunday (see below).

There are:
SpongeBob SquarePants Cheez-its
Big Cheez-its
Cheddar Jack Cheez-its
Cheesy Sour Cream & Onion Cheez-its
Hot & Spicy Cheez-its
Original Cheez-its
Parmesan & Garlic Cheez-its
Reduced Fat Cheez-its
White Cheddar Cheez-its
Party Mix Cheez-its
Fiesta Cheddar Nacho Cheez-its
Fiesta Cheesy Taco Cheez-its

And I can't get a freakin' blueberry muffin for breakfast...



The laundry piles up, higher and higher,
I sigh and look at the washer and dryer.

I throw it all in: pants, sweaters, and socks,
Some colors, some whites, my skirts and my frocks.

One cupful of detergent; then one dryer sheet,
The clothes come out clean and warm from the heat.

I take each piece out and fold it with care,
Put them in the basket, all ready to wear.

I tell myself, "I'll put them away soon,"
Then my cats find the perfect place to spend the afternoon...

Why do I even bother?

Meet my kitties, Jasmine and Ariel. Oh, and by the way... I don't actually own any frocks, but it rhymed with socks, so freakin' lay off, okay?


If you can't stand the heat...

Welcome to Violet's Freshly Squeezed Lemonade and Homemade Strawberry Preserves Stand!

What? Don't believe that Violet can cook more than Easy Mac? Behold, my friends...

My Sunday football pre-game party consisted of making and canning strawberry preserves. I've done this one other time before and love being able to share the finished product with my friends and family. Apparently, there is some disbelief that I would (a) be interested in an activity like this and (b) would actually be successful in the endeavor. Ahhh... if only you knew me so well.

First, I gathered the ingredients. Simple recipe. 4 tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped; 6 cups of ripe strawberries, cut in halves; 1/4 cup lemon juice; 4 cups of sugar.

I like this recipe because you don't have to use fruit pectin, which can be a pain in the arse. The apples substitute for it.

The thing about making preserves is the fact that it isn't as hard as it looks. The problem is that it is time consuming. As you can see, cutting up the fruit can be somewhat tedious.

Then, everything except the sugar goes into the pot on the stove. Once the fruit reaches a full boil, you toss in the sugar and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. The hardest step is sterilizing, filling, and processing the jars of preserves.

But, the end result is always great.

It is even better when I get to hand them to people and say "Oh, by the way, I whipped up some strawberry preserves over the weekend and thought you might like some."

*Photos and rum smoothies by Dave Morris.


On shrimp and nail clippings...

Going to a happy hour tonight at the home of a co-worker and everybody was asked to bring an appetizer and a bottle of wine or six-pack of specialty beer to share. I decided to make the dip for crackers that has a layer of cream cheese, a layer of cocktail sauce, and a layer of baby shrimps. **

So, I bought the frozen baby shrimps at the grocery store and brought them home to prepare the dish.

Notice the ingredient list at the bottom.

It reads - INGREDIENTS: Shrimp, water, salt. Contains shrimp.

So, for all of you idiots out there who are allergic to seafood, be warned. This product "contains shrimp."

Although, I have to say that I think the kind of falls into the category of Darwin's theory of evolution and survival of the fittest. If you aren't bright enough to figure out that this product contains shrimp, maybe you should be removed from the gene pool.


On another note... In response to Dave's
recent post about inventions, he mentioned nail clippers that catch the nail instead of turning them into dangerous projectiles that shoot across the bathroom.

However, this has already been invented. I am actually the proud owner of one of these nifty contraptions.

Step One: Simple nail clipper. Notice the enclosed black casing. Clipped nails fall into the casing.

Step Two: Empty the casing. The nail clippers pull out of the casing just far enough to allow you to dump the scraps into the proper receptacle.

I highly recommend everyone getting one if you do not already have one.


Hope everyone has a great start to the weekend! Sleep in if at all possible. I promise, I will be!

**I am aware that the correct plural form of "shrimp" is "shrimp." I just like saying "baby shrimps." It sounds funny to me.


Avast, ye mateys!


Avast, ye salty sea dogs!


Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Have yer saucy wench find yer eye patch and be havin' a few cups of grog with some mateys after the work day be done.

Top Ten Pickup lines for use on International Talk Like a Pirate Day

10 . Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
9. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
8. Come on up and see me urchins.
7. Yes, that is a hornpipe in my pocket and I am happy to see you.
6. I'd love to drop anchor in your lagoon.
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off of me rudder?
3. Ya know, darlin’, I’m 97 percent chum free.
2. Well blow me down?
1. Prepare to be boarded.

Top Ten Pickup Lines for the Lady Pirates

10. What are YOU doing here?
9. Is that a belayin' pin in yer britches, or are ye ... (this one is never completed)
8. Come show me how ye bury yer treasure, lad!
7. So, tell me, why do they call ye, "Cap'n Feathersword?"
6. That's quite a cutlass ye got thar, what ye need is a good scabbard!
5. Aye, I guarantee ye, I've had a twenty percent decrease in me "lice ratio!"
4. I've crushed seventeen men's skulls between me thighs!
3. C'mon, lad, shiver me timbers!
1. You. Pants Off. Now!

(Interested in learning the intricacies of speaking "Pirate"? Click here. I tried to post this video here on the blog, but it wouldn't show up for some reason. Check it out, though. It is hilarious!)


Yes, this is the best I've got...

Why do I feel like I am constantly apologizing for not having anything worthy to blog? I am aware that the content found on this blog recently has been substandard. (What? There's a standard? Sh!t...) Anyway, here goes nothin'...**

Yesterday, while waiting for my Chai Latte at the local coffee shop, I began to look at some of the artwork on the walls. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man in his mid-twenties sitting on the couch with a pacifier in his mouth. I automatically made sure not to make eye contact and started concentrating very hard on the photo on the wall. But, then the freak spoke. Nonchalantly, he took the pacifier from his mouth and asked: "Do you have the time?" I glanced at my watch, told him the time and walked away. I made
Dave walk by the guy to verify that I wasn't imagining things... I wasn't. I still am not quite sure what to make of this whole experience, but somehow, I feel a little bit violated.

Overheard conversation between two first grade students:
Boy: Did you see what they did on the playground?
Girl: No! What?
Boy: You know that big slide that goes down the hill?
Girl: (Nods.)
Boy: They took it out!
Girl: (Shocked look.) What?... Well, did they
replace it with anything?
Boy: Nope. (Shakes head sadly.) They just covered it with mulch.

People always think that flying cars would be such a great solution to the traffic problems that cause us such frustration in our lives. But, unless you live in the middle of nowhere and are able to have your own runway, we're all going to have to wait in line just to take off anyway, because, seriously, you know that they won't be able to build more than like one or two runways in each city. There's just no room. So, even though you won't have to wait at stop lights, you're still going to have to sit there and be pissy with all the jerks in front of you who aren't paying attention to when it is their turn to go.

RED BULL: Nectar of the Gods or Spooge of Satan?

Every year, our group of friends goes on a
float trip. We are pretty dedicated and will probably carry this tradition well into the future. You know how camping trips end up... There are beer bottles and cigarette butts littering the entire campsite. Won't it be funny when in forty years or so we're all still going on the annual float trip, but in the mornings when we wake up, in addition to all the other stuff, we'll get out of our tents and have to search the plastic cups sitting on the picnic table for the one that is holding our dentures? Sure do hope nobody puts a cigarette out in one of those cups. Gross. (Some of us will reach this juncture sooner than others...)

**Disclaimer: In no way am I saying that anything written in this post meets the standard. It is just more of the same...



We should all move to Hawaii.

Not that we didn't already think that. But now, research from Harvard says that the average life expectancy is higher for people who live in Hawaii than the other states in the U.S. Must be all the fun in the sun that keeps people young at heart. That, and all the fish that they probably eat.

Washington, DC, although not a state was included in the study and had the lowest life expectancy rate. Unsurprising, given the guilt and remorse that must age politicians and other legal types beyond their years.

I live in Missouri, which falls at the #38 spot. Not the greatest. But, what do you expect... I mean, what is MO known for, beyond Anheuser Busch and KC BBQ?

Here's the rest of the list. Where do you fall?

1. Hawaii - 80.0
2. Minnesota - 78.7
3. Connecticut - 78.7
4. Utah - 78.7
5. Massachusettes - 78.4
6. Rhode Island - 78.39
7. North Dakota - 78.38
8. Iowa - 78.3
9. New Hampshire - 78.3
10. Washington - 78.2
11. Colorado - 78.2
12. Vermont - 78.2
13. California - 78.2
14. Idaho - 77.9
15. Wisconsin - 77.9
16. Oregon - 77.8
17. Nebraska - 77.8
18. New York - 77.7
19. South Dakota - 77.7
20. Maine - 77.6
21. New Jersey - 77.5
22. Arizona - 77.5
23. Florida - 77.5
24. Kansas - 77.3
25. Montana - 77.2
26. Alaska - 77.1
27. New Mexico - 77.0
28. Delaware - 76.8
29. Virginia - 76.8
30. Wyoming - 76.7
31. Pennsylvania - 76.7
32. Texas - 76.7
33. Illinois - 76.4
34. Maryland - 76.3
35. Michigan - 76.3
36. Ohio - 76.2
37. Indiana - 76.1
38. Missouri - 75.9
39. North Carolina - 75.8
40. Nevada - 75.8
41. Georgia - 75.3
42. Oklahoma - 75.2
43. Arkansas - 75.2
44. Kentucky - 75.2
45. West Virginia - 75.1
46. Tennessee - 75.1
47. South Carolina - 74.8
48. Alabama - 74.4
49. Louisiana - 74.2
50. Mississippi - 73.6
51. D.C. - 72.5

(When editing this list, I kept the ages rounded to the tenth, however the actual study carried the ages into the thousandths. The states are listed by their actual rank of life expectancy. You can locate more information about the study here.)


Corporate Sponsors for Condoms

Nike Condoms: Just do it.

Chevy Condoms: Like a Rock.

Secret Condoms: Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.

Toyota Condoms: Oh what a feeling.

Pringles Condoms: Once you pop, you can't stop.

Mentos Condoms: The freshmaker.

Flinstones Vitamins Condom Pack: Ten million strong and growing.

Dial Condoms: Aren't you glad you use it? Don't you wish everybody did?

New York Lotto Condoms: 'Cause hey -- you never know.

California Lotto Condoms: Who's next?

EverReady Condoms: Keeps going and going ...

Lays Condoms: Betcha can't have just one.

Campbells Soup Condoms: Mm, mm good.

Timex: Takes a licking and keep on ticking.

McDonald's: I'm lovin' it.

Volkswagon: Drivers wanted.

Porsche: There is no substitute

Quaker Oats: Do the right thing.

Life Cereal: He Like's It! He Like's It!

Johnson & Johnson: No more tears...

Wheaties Condoms: Condom of Champions
I really have always liked the music made by "Five for Fighting." Their newest song on the radio is called "The Riddle (You and I)" and I really liked it the first time that I heard it. Today, on the way to work, I really listened to all of the words... I'm not big on posting song lyrics here, but this one really made a connection with me, for some reason...

There was a man back in '95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died,
I asked him Wait, what's the sense in life

Come over me, Come over me

He said, "Son why you got to sing that tune
Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon
Let an angel swing and make you swoon
Then you will see... You will see."

Then he said, "Here's a riddle for yah
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I..."

Picked up my kid from school today
Did you learn anything cause in the world today
You can't live in a castle far away
Now talk to me, come talk to me

He said, "Dad I'm big but we're smaller than small
In the scheme of things, well we're nothing at all
Still every mother's child sings a lonely song
So play with me, come play with me

"And Hey DadHere's a riddle for yah
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I...

I said, "Son for all I've told yah
When you get right down to the
Reason for the world...Who am I?"

There are secrets that we still have left to find
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time
There are answers we're not wise enough to see
He said... You looking for a clue
I Love You free...

The batter swings and the summer flies
As I look into my angel's eyes
A song plays on while the moon is high over me
Something comes over me

I guess we're big and I guess we're small
If you think about it man you know we got it all
Cause we're all we got on this bouncing ball
And I love you freeI love you freely

Here's a riddle for yah
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I...


Just Click Your Heels Three Times...

Some women are clothing women and always have to have the newest style.

Others pay homage to the goddess of footwear.

Then, there is the random female out there who doesn't really fit into either category and doesn't understand the others. I don't even really like shopping. (*Gasp!* A woman who doesn't like shopping?!?!) In order for me to really enjoy shopping for clothes, I have to have money to spend and feel good about the way I look. Those two things don't really coincide all that often.

What throws me, though, is the women who have a different pair of shoes to wear everyday of the month. (I own probably about ten pairs of shoes and really only wear about four of those pairs on a regular basis.) And it isn't the fact that they have all these shoes that I don't get; it is the fact that most of them are hideous!

For example, take the recent popularity of Crocs...

Are these not the most dumb looking things that anybody has ever seen?

And do you remember UGG Boots?

They put the UGG into UGLY!

And I don't even know what to think about these...

I guess perhaps if I had the money and a job where I wasn't on my feet all day, I might be a little bit more into what I was wearing on my feet. But, for now, I'll stick with what I've got. At least I wouldn't be caught dead wearing...

...socks with sandals!


On Becoming A Woman...

As told by Bill:

"I was driving home from work and my cell phone rang. It was the home phone, so I knew it was one of the kids. When I answered, K. said to me the words that every father dreads hearing.

She had "started" and would need for me to pick up "provisions."

Staying calm, I told her not to worry, that I would stop and be home shortly.

I immediately hung up the phone and called my wife, Chris, who was still at work. She gave me explicit instructions on what to buy at the store. 'No biggie,' I thought.

I walked into the grocery store and found the aisle with the sign above proclaiming 'Feminine Needs.' I stared up and down the never-ending shelves filled with a million different types of products. I couldn't remember what Chris had told me to buy. There were pads with wings, pads without wings, nighttime, daytime, mid-morning, lite flow, heavy flow, travel packaged, and some that were even made for thongs. K. would not be wearing the type made for thongs.

I walked down to the end of the aisle and peeked around the corner, looking for any woman who might be able to help a guy find the right kind of feminine hygiene products for his daughter. I don't wear a wedding ring, so I figured that some woman would have pity on me and guide me in the right direction.

Apparently no women shop at Kroeger's at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon. Men only, as far as the eye could see.

I went back to the aisle and glared at the infinite number of choices. Blindly, I grabbed a package and began to make my way to the door.

I got home and walked in the door. K. was waiting for me, looking kind of like a deer in the headlights. I took her into the laundry room.

'Do you know how to use these?' I asked her.

She looked at me blankly and shook her head 'no.'

'Well, I don't either,' I told her, 'so we'll figure it out together.'

I opened the package and found that there were many more small packages inside of it. I took one of the small packages and tore it open. I pulled out the pad. It had these huge flaps hanging off the side. There was a strip on the back with the words 'Peel Here.' I peeled it back to reveal an adhesive strip that immediately attached itself to my hand. As I struggled to unstick myself, I heard K.'s voice.

'Dad?' the timid voice said. 'I think I can figure it out.'

A wave of relief washed over me. I shook the attached pad into the trash can and tried not to sprint out of the room.

Thank God that my younger child is a boy."


Labor Day Weekend

Here's to a well-deserved three day weekend for everybody.

Dave and I will be attending the Labor Day Gala at Bill and Chris's house with the rest of the crew.

There will be BBQ...

and Beer...

I will also be making Apple Crisp by request for Bill and Mike C.

Bill has requested that I set aside a portion for him, since he is always so busy manning the grill (and drinking beer) that he never gets any dessert. I will oblige.

But, more important than the food and drinks, we will be there will all of our great friends! Hope it's fun weekend for everyone!!!