Try Not To Be An Ass

Several years ago, some scientists called Pluto with some bad news.

“You’ve been great and all, but we’ve decided that you’re not a planet any more”, they said. Pluto was rightfully shocked. There had been rumors that one of the planets was getting demoted. The consensus was that Uranus, the most inappropriate of all the planets, was getting pink-slipped.


Stop by Mianus some time. (image via Phung)

“I’m out here on the edge of the solar system. I define the outer limit. I’m so inoffensive and Uranus just begs to be mispronounced. Why me?”, Pluto asked.

“Look, it’s nothing you’ve done”, he was told, “we’d be happy to recommend you to any other grouping of celestial bodies. It’s just that, well, frankly…everyone knows where Uranus is simply because it sounds dirty. We’re sorry.”

Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine

It’s true. Uranus is unique among the (remaining) planets. No one snickers when you mention Mars or Neptune, but people giggle when you bring up that one planet that starts with a U. Everyone knows where Uranus is, but not many can pinpoint mine. Read the rest of this entry »

Share A Diet Coke With A Polar Bear?

Yesterday, I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant. That’s not so unusual. I am, after all, my parents’ only Asian son. But it was an unusual restaurant visit in that I didn’t get to eat.

I got to the restaurant shortly after opening and was shown to a seat. The owner came by, took my order and left. A few minutes later, the waitress came to my table and told me they couldn’t make any food because their gas was turned off.


Is not looking for a soda. (image public domain)

So, yesterday, I went to my second favorite Chinese restaurant. This one is a carry-out joint with a few tables and a system for remembering to pay their gas bill. I got a Diet Coke with my lunch and grabbed a seat.

Coke has been doing a promotion where they suggest who I should share my beverage with. I’ve had suggestions to drink my Diet Coke with all sorts of people. This time, my bottle suggested that I share my drink with a Polar Bear.

Is that really a good idea? Read the rest of this entry »

Dear NASA, I Want To Be An Astronaut

Dear NASA,

I noticed that you announced on Facebook that I could apply to be an astronaut. Thank you for letting me know.

 You might reconsider putting that sort of thing on Facebook when you see the quality of the other applicants. Of course, that message did reach your obvious target audience. I suppose that you have to deal with some lower quality Facebook astronaut wannabes to get to a prime candidate like me.

It’s probably best that you get away from that stereotypical young test pilot with a crew cut sort that you’ve been hiring since the sixties. You just don’t know what you’re going to get from them.

No, wait. Actually, I think you do know what you’re going to get from them and it’s boring. I’m certain there are things that are attractive about knowing you’re going to get a measured and reasonable response from a person under pressure. But when the chips are down and the navigation computer is too, is a little bit of freaking out in a space capsule such a bad thing? Read the rest of this entry »

The End Of The World Didn’t Happen, Again.

So, I got all ragey about people predicting the end of the world for their gain and vented that rage. Click on over to Long Awkward Pause to see how I’m going to solve this problem.

If you’re reading this, the world didn’t end on Wednesday, as predicted. As worlds go, I guess ours is sort of unreliable that way. All the signs supposedly point to its imminent destruction and then, boom…the world doesn’t go boom.

1945, first atomic bomb dropped Yeah, sorry, wrong again. Maybe next time, Reverend Doom.

How unreliable is our unpredictable world? People have been incorrectly predicting the end since 68 A.D.. It has failed to end as predicted thirty-two times in this century.

The bulk of those making predictions are best categorized as religious zealots. Actually, they’re best categorized as religious nuts, but that term gives nuts a bad name.

And yet time after time, when these people make their predictions they get press. And a certain part of the population does whatever one does to prepare for the end of the world. You might think there’s no harm in these predictions, but I think…

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No, Really. Monday Morning, For Sure.

So, you may recall that little over a week ago I did an interview with CBS News about the intrusion of pumpkin into food. It was originally planned to air on the CBS This Morning show this past Wednesday. And then it didn’t.

Unfortunately for the pumpkin hating movement, The Pope slipped into town unannounced and my appearance was unavoidably delayed. I don’t have a problem with the delay. The Pope has several more followers and a great deal more wisdom than I ever will. And he’s got me on wardrobe though. I have a cooler car than The Pope does; my car wasn’t enough to keep me from being preëmpted.

Now the Pope is headed home and the morning show is desperate for something to fill the time. So they were all “we want to run your interview on Monday at 8:20” and I was like “oh, The Pope left you hanging and now you remember my number”. So then they said “dude, get over yourself”, so I did.

So, I’m glad that you had the chance to watch The Pope last week. I will be making the scene on The CBS Morning Show at about 8:20 on Monday morning (9/27/15). I will not be wearing any robes.

Be there, Aloha.

Five Other Hunts By Dr. Walter Palmer

I made a fresh batch of words for you over at one of the other places that I write, Long Awkward Pause.

Click on over for more reasons to rage at Walter Palmer, DDS.

Well, we all know by now that Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer is disliked for more than just his root canals. The revelation that he hunted and killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe has made him the newest target for internet outrage.

(public domain) This morning, I signed on and saw the news that Dr. Palmer paid $127,500 to settle a 2005 sexual harassment claim brought by one of his employees.

After I thought about what an uncool guy he is for mistreating the woman he harassed, I thought about $127,500. That’s a lot of money for us non-dentists. For Walter Palmer, that’s a hunting trip.

So because he had to pay off that misdeed, he probably didn’t get to go hunt anything “cool” that year. Poor guy. That thought set me to wondering what else Dr. Walter Palmer has hunted down and killed. I pretended to look into it and…

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You Don’t Become A Baseball Player By Putting On A Uniform

I wrote this about my dad a few years ago. The wisdom of his lesson has served me well throughout my life. Ironically, he taught this lesson using a game that he never played.
Call your dad today, if you can. He remembers you at your best. Sometimes he remembers you better than you actually were, and that is kind of cool too.


I love baseball. Always have. Always will.

Baseball Field Baseball Field (Photo credit: howsmyliving)

That doesn’t mean that I was especially good at it. I never threw particularly well. I could field adequately, but I wasn’t all that fast. The one thing I could do was hit. I didn’t hit the long ball, but I could get myself on base. When I was old enough to try out for Little League, I made the team.

I always made the team. That’s where I’d hit the wall.

I made the team, I had a uniform, I went to practice and I showed up for the games. I usually didn’t make it into the games. I’d go on the field for pregame drills. Sometimes I’d get the catcher’s mitt and warm up whatever pitcher the coach was going to put in the game next. A few times, he sent me out to coach third…

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