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 »

So We’ve Got That Goin’ For Us

It’s been a little tough to get my writing done the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I had to go on vacation with my wife and a lot of my other friends. And of course, I picked up a cold as a souvenir. Then I had to have surgery.

To clarify, I did not have surgery to cure the cold. Everyone knows you starve and/or feed a cold. I had to have surgery to repair a hernia.

I had my goons stand around during the surgery to make sure there was no funny business. (image, public domain)

Yeah, somehow I ended up with a hernia. Two, in fact. See?! Writing is hard work.

I Got A Hernia From Writing, But Anyhow…

I’m a nice guy. There are people who would take issue with that. This isn’t their website, so you’ll have to take my word for it. I am nice.

I also believe that medical folks, especially nurses, are special people worthy of exceptional respect. And it is important to be kind to people who are going to sedate you and poke you with sharp stuff. So when I went to the hospital yesterday for surgery, I was very nice to everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I like dogs.

That’s not really controversial. But in today’s world, if you’re going to say something about an individual who is a member of a group, you must establish that you’re not speaking of the group, lest you offend. Dogs are wonderful. They are our friends, protectors, co-workers and companions. They ask for nothing in return but friendship and some of whatever you’re eating. No, really, whatever you’re eating is fine, just ask them.

Come on, how do you not love this dog? Is a parrot going to do this? No. (public domain)

So yeah, I like dogs. And I like how revel in having their heads out of the window when they ride in a car. I’ve considered trying that, if only to understand the attraction. Unfortunately, I’m certain that I’d get distracted and hit my head on a stop sign. Nothing good would come from that.

Now That The Disclaimer Is Done

The other day, I was running around town, enjoying the fall weather with the top down on my car. Someone ahead stopped to make a turn and I found myself in a small pack of traffic. In the back seat of the car ahead of me was a dog.

As we accelerated, the dog’s head popped through the open window. His ears flopped in the wind. He barked at cars in the oncoming lane. He didn’t miss any; each car got its own bark. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ironic Demise Of The Fortune Cookie

It seems to me that starting this discussion by establishing my credentials is important.

I eat a lot of Chinese food. I eat less of it than I would if I worked in a Chinese restaurant, but probably eat more of it than you  do. I consume enough of it that I consider Chinese food part of my personal food pyramid and have declared myself my parents’ only Asian son. Once, a friend and I were discussing where to go for lunch. I suggested Chinese. The response was “nah, I had some the other day”. “The other day?”, I responded, “if you were Chinese you’d eat it every day”. That person is no longer in my life. I don’t need that kind of negativity.

And as a fan of what passes for Chinese food here in the US, it pains me to inform you that the fortune cookie is done. It has jumped the shark.

Perfection. Yeah.

When I was a kid, I looked forward to my fortune cookie after my sweet and sour pork. I’d crack it open to learn a little of what was to come for me. And the cookie would clue me in. It was never very specific, but reading something vaguely positive like “your hard work is paying off” gave me a little extra hope that my fortune and future were looking good.

It doesn’t seem likely. (image by the author)

Two years ago, my fortune read “You shall soon achieve perfection”. And after two years, I can assure you that fortune cookies do not have a grasp on what “soon” means. I thought that perfection was a little ambitious, but it was still one cookie’s vision of my future. That cookie was still in the business of dealing with my fortunes.

But it seems that recently, fortune cookies are not about proclaiming my future. I now tend to get “fortunes” that are more like discussions of the sort of person that I am. Read the rest of this entry »

Thomas, The Resentful Tank Engine

Recently, my wife and I were walking between stores in a shopping center and saw one of those little children’s ride machines you often see outside of stores. Instead of being shaped like a horse, a motorcycle or an airplane, this one appeared to be modeled after the main character of the children’s television series Thomas and Friends –  Thomas, The Tank Engine.

If you’re familiar with Thomas, you’ll note that this train doesn’t look as cheery as the original. In fact, I’d say that this train has some significant attitude problems. There’s no way I’d put my son on this train, and not just because he’s twenty-three years old. 

I stopped to take a picture. Mrs. Omawarisan said “you’re writing about that, aren’t you?”

No, what are YOU lookin' at buddy? I suggest you step off before I derail you (photo by me)

Unibrow. (photo by me)

Yup. I had to write to get the words “Thomas, The Resentful Tank Engine” out of my head. And you’re about to read why I don’t often do fiction…


People say I’m not myself before I get some caffeine. I knew it was a mistake to stop for coffee; I was already running late. But if there was ever a day that I needed to be myself, this was it. I took the chance, grabbed a cup and made it to the train just in time.

Looking back, I wish I’d missed that train. The doors slammed shut just after I stepped aboard and the train darted forward without warning. I wasn’t the only passenger jolted off-balance by the sudden start, but I was the only one who was wearing half of a pumpkin spice latte when he stood back up. Read the rest of this entry »

Just When I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In

After my last post, I decided that I was going to leave the pumpkin thing alone for this year. The CBS story ran, my friends and family got a kick out of it. But the topic? Yes I was done with it. I’d milked it for all it is worth until next pumpkin season.

I even had something written to put here this morning. But because of what I’m telling you about, I’m rescheduling my post entitled Thomas, The Resentful Tank Engine until Monday.

Yeah, I Made The Daily Show. Bam.

(image via takk CCby SA3.0)

So today, I was going about my morning routine. In the midst of it, I took a moment and peeked at Facebook. In that random way that Facebook does, the first thing on my news feed was a message to my now twenty-three year old son from his middle school band director.

“I just saw your Dad on The Daily Show!”

My first thought was that she’d just seen the CBS This Morning interview. But then I considered the source. This is an educated, bright woman who I admire. Certainly she knows the difference between CBS This Morning and The Daily Show. And not surprisingly, she does.

There I was, cut in to a really funny swipe at the pumpkin thing on The Daily Show! I’ll pause and wait while you click here to go over to the Comedy Central site and see the story.

So, yeah, that happened and I never saw it coming…but I love it!

Six Degrees

The way I found out about this Daily Show thing, second-hand, through my son’s middle school band director got me to thinking. The people who read my blog knew the original CBS story was running and I tried to let my friends and family know as well. But none of us knew The Daily Show was coming. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pumpkin Revolution Was Televised

For several years, I have railed against the endless surge of that seasonal decoration, pumpkin, into our food supply. And though some of you have made your support clear, I imagine that you’d understand how I felt I was sort of pissing into the wind.

Let’s pause here and wonder about why “pissing into the wind” is an expression. Sure, it expresses the misery of an effort expended with frustrating results. But I think we can do better than that as a reference. In fact, I think less of someone who would lower himself to saying that phrase. We’ll end the pause here, before either of us consider that last sentence.

My Friend John, Bearer Of Bad News

Thanks, John. I could have lived forever without knowing about this. (photo of my left hand, taken with my right)

Thanks, John. I could have lived forever without knowing about this. (photo of my left hand, taken with my right)

So here I am, tossing my little anti-pumpkin bits up on my small-time humor blog year after year. And year after year pumpkin is appearing in more foods where it doesn’t belong. A great friend told me that pumpkin spaghetti sauce is on the market. I was horrified. My first reaction was “how dare you, sir”. And then I thought “don’t kill this messenger, he’s your friend”. Read the rest of this entry »


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