Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The First Raccoon Roadkill Obituary

Randy "The Rambunctious" Raccoon - Gone, But Not Forgotten

On June 27th, just past Turkey Run Park on the southbound GW Parkway, it was another beautiful summer night in the metro DC area. For Randy "The Rambunctious" Raccoon, the day started its typical way, but nobody knew it would be his last. A widowed husband and devoted father, Randy will never stray far from the hearts of area raccoons.

Randy only had one more year before his retirement pension (meaning old enough kids) would kick-in, so that it would be them to do the looking for food. Randy spent much of his career finding the next meal for the family, especially when his wife Ronda passed away after a misplaced step in front of Honda Civic in Rosslyn.

It was another hot and humid DC day as Randy began on his merry way. He stopped by his usual homes rummaging through garbage cans and sewers trying to find that night's meal for the family. He ran into a calico cat named Blake and simply stared him down before moving on. Randy always stood tough when confronting a cat, but it never became physical as both sides always agreed to disagree and go their separate ways.

In the following picture, two of Randy's children, too young to understand what occurred, look down the road hoping their father will cross the street and into their arms one day.

After a long day at the office comprised of those garbage cans and sewers, Randy only had to cross the GW Parkway to see his offspring and deliver food for the next day or so. Unfortunately, despite bright white headlights and the loud engine noise, someone (perhaps the author of this blog) was unable to avoid crossing paths with Randy.

Sadly, Randy died after colliding with the front left tire of a Chevy Malibu, only to get pushed around by the car's undercarriage, and then finished off by the back right tire.

Below is a sample from the family's photo album. It's a footprint from one of the raccoons as a baby.

Randy "The Rambunctious" Raccoon is survived by his 20 children whose ages range from 1-6 (thanks to his late mate's nine-week pregnancy cycle). His offspring includes 5 sons (Johnny, James, Jebadiah, Jeremy, and Jacque) and 15 daughters (Jackie, Jacklyn, Jamie, Jodie, Jenny, Janna, Jane, Janet, Jessica, Jean, Joanna, Joyce, Judy, Julia, and Juliet).

The following is a family portrait painted within the last year. The family has elected to have private funeral arrangements and welcome your thoughts, prayers, cards, and leftover dinner scraps.


For the rest of my blog full of rants, raves, and attempts at humor, its current address is:

Monday, June 27, 2005

Add a dash of salt with a pinch of pepper to one truck key

This entry's title is a new recipe two friends discovered while horsing around in Nebraska.

Arthur Richardson thought it would be funny to place his friend's key in his mouth and pretend to swallow. Well, wouldn't you know it, but the 1977 Chevy pickup's key was accidentally swallowed.
Richardson tried to regurgitate the key without any luck, and then drank Milk of Magnesia to flush it out which failed as well.

After getting an x-ray that showed the key in Arthur's stomach, his doctor said it posed no threat. The two friends took the x-ray (a perfect silhouette of the key) to Jon Sumer's of Al's Lock and Key who fashioned a key from the image and it actually worked in the truck.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Ernie Shore - The Greatest Relief Pitching Ever

I recognize I'm a day late with this post's anniversary, but on June 23, 1917, baseball saw the greatest relief pitching performance ever. It's one of my favorite baseball stories.

Babe Ruth was pitching for the Red Sox versus the Washington Senators and walked the first batter, Eddie Foster. Ruth disagreed with umpire Brick Owens' strike zone and was promptly ejected from the game. Well, to be honest, he wasn't ejected so much for his arguing, but for punching the umpire in the face, earning him just a 10-day suspension and no fine (ahhh, those were the days).

Ernie Shore relieved Ruth of his pitching duties, and what a job he did.

During the next at-bat, Foster was thrown out at second trying to steal. All Shore did the rest of the way was retire the next 26 batters to finish a near perfect game.

Someone Had A Huge Brain Freeze

In the world of PR, you want to make enough noise to be heard. Though there is the saying that any publicity is good publicity, this may not be one of those times. (I recognize talking about it actually promotes it further, but as you'll see, the food doesn't exactly perform as promised).

Snapple decided to promote its line of popsicles by creating a world record-sized frozen treat, weighing in at 17.5 tons and 25 feet tall.

Well, the popsicle made its way to Union Square in the city (the city meaning NYC and never DC!). It was about 80 degrees on Wednesday which melted the treat rather quickly. So fast that the once solid kiwi-strawberry concoction was now liquid that flooded the street and had people running for cover.

I'm not sure how great this publicity is for Snapple since you'd like your frozen food to actually survive the summer temperatures. I wonder if New Yorkers thought it was some remake of 1988's classic remake of "The Blob".

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Sure it's nice, but where's the 2-story doghouse?

A house in the richland known as the Hamptons on Long Island set a record for highest sale price -- Just your typical $90 million! While there is no grand mansion on the 40 acres, there are several "smaller" homes in addition to the 3-bed, 3-bath main house. There's a caretaker's home, 2 guest homes, a pond, the expected 75-foot pool, and tons of private beachfront property.

I couldn't find a picture of the house so imagine it in a condition as good as this one is bad, on a beach that's as nice to look at as this one is rocky and unkept:

I can only recall visiting the Hamptons once about 15 years ago so to me, it just seemed like another beach area with nice homes, etc. However, anytime you get 40 acres of land with some beachfront property, it really doesn't matter where in the U.S. it's located since beachland = good real estate investment.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Never catching up with my magazines...

In the last year, I started many a magazine subscription. I only pay for one, Sports Illustrated, which has always been a great read. The other magazines are based on free subscriptions I signed-up for on the good 'ol Internet. Well things have been pretty busy over the last month so I haven't had the time to at least glance at the magazines as they come in.

So for the last week or two, I've been on this magazine reading binge, and I've still got more to go. I'm about 2 weeks behind on SI, and thanks to some devout reading time last weekend, I'm "only" a month behind on the other free magazines.

While I enjoy the other magazines, they were free subscriptions so there isn't any pressure to read all of them for fear of losing out on any money. For some reason, I am stubbornly determined to get back on schedule. Outside of the SI subscription I purchased and 1-year deal with ESPN the Magazine received as a gift, I get the following for free: Maxim (somehow until 2008!), FHM, 2 copies of Stuff, The Sporting News (which has never been a good read), Popular Science, Forbes, and Electronic Gaming Monthly (yet I don't play games on my computer which isn't fast enough and doesn't have the memory to handle the games).

I make it a point to read the male in his mid-20s magazines, but pass on the others except for a quick glance (which is redundant since a "glance" is fast, but my glances are even quicker than your typical glance). There are plenty of other free magazine subscriptions out there, but I've decided to curb my subscribing ways since they're not interesting in the first place and so I don't force myself into permanent hermit status just trying to keep up with the latest issue of Reader's Digest.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Where's the slip n' slide when you need it?

I have come to recognize that my last post was a little morbid and not for the younger readers of my blog, so what's the best cure for any sad feelings? Why it's slip n' slide of course!

The other reason slip n' slide is on my mind is because of the oppressive heat wave that the DC area has experienced over the last few days. There's nothing like wearing dress slacks and a button-down shirt in 94-degree heat in a car that's on its last legs without AC. And you thought I was way off base thinking the sun has too much power.

What I was a young lad in the tri-state area, there was no pool in my backyard for a few reasons. One, they're expensive to maintain. Two, we didn't have the space. Three, there are maybe 4 months when you could actually use it, meaning the rest of the year your backyard is useless. And four, small kids possibly around a pool isn't the greatest of ideas.

The next best thing to having your own pool is your own slip n' slide, which my parents graciously bestowed upon their wonderful offspring. What's not to love about this invention? All you need is some grass, a water hose, and the need to cool off. I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but the northeast summers are not only hot, but terribly humid as well, so it almost begs the title of slip n' slide kingdom.

My version was the basic contraption of a yellow strip/mat with a tube along the side that had pinholes to create a waterfall of well, what else, but water while you slid all the way down into a pool (more like a puddle) of fine spring tap water. My set came with a mini raft that I never enjoyed using b/c it didn't allow you any direct contact with the water on the slide. How am I supposed to cool off when I can't even lie on the slide's water?

Anyway, the slip n' slide was great. Once you unrolled it along the front lawn, you had to roll the corners around these metal spikes that you put in the ground to keep the thing in place. Of course, care must be taken to not place the slide over any rocks since they tend to decrease the slipping n' sliding part of the product's designed intentions. For you parents out there, if you use a slip n' slide on your lawn, be forewarned that the grass will be saturated for quite some time.

Of course, homemade slip n' slides work pretty well too and let you make them as long as you want. Some gigantic tarps on a nice incline, using an overlapping arrangement would be a sweet ride, just like the following picture.

There are lots of new slip n' slide designs out there for the next generation of poolless (did I just write "poolless"?) children, but they're all just modifications on the basic model. Sure you can be Spiderman or score touchdowns, but those really aren't needed as long as the waterfall works, the spring tap water is cold, and there are no rocks or obstructions underneath you as you slide down the front lawn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Disneyworld...the happiest place on earth...until you die

Sure it's a morbid title, but a 4-year-old died on a ride at Disneyworld. The ride is really intense since it's one huge centrifuge. I'm not sure any kid should go on this adult ride, but he apparently met the height requirements. Perhaps there should really be an age requirement as well.

Best of all, I'm probably going to Disneyworld in 3 weeks. At least the line on this ride will be shorter.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The media's love affair with missing white women

There's a nice column by Eugene Robinson in today's Washington Post about the media's desire to only focus attention on missing, white, middle-class women. Sure there are tons of missing people in the country, but only one segment of the population makes the rounds on the 24-hour cable news channels. Maybe, just maybe, it's because news directors, producers, and editors only "care" about the well-being of those like themselves...heaven forbid they open their eyes and realize this country actually includes the other demographics that advertisers always ignore.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Where do 1-legged waiters work?

I'm too tired to find some sort of interesting news article or write about TV news so here's a joke I heard the other day:

Q: Where do 1-legged waiters work?


Chortle, chortle, chortle.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Would you use a toilet with one-way glass?

After writing about the exploding porta-potty, I was reminded of this great art project that deals with our innermost fears...using a public toilet with lots of strangers walking around you while you take care of business.

Plenty of people only go to the bathroom at home and will only use a public john when nature is making a truely emergency call. However, in this artwork, you go to the bathroom in a glass-enclosed porta-potty located in the middle of a very public area, but the obvious catch is nobody can see inside while you can clearly view everyone else. It's creepy when you think about it. I would actually give it a chance, but I'm not sure I could really let things go, if you will, with strangers around me, even if I know they can't see inside.

The artist is 38-year-old Monica Bonvicini (not seen above) who debuted the work, "Don't Miss A Sec", in December 2003 when she placed it at a construction site in Switzerland.

So it begs the question, would you use it?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Holy Crap! He's Gonna Need A Lot Of Toilet Paper

Won't people ever learn? DO NOT USE YOUR LIGHTER IN A PORTA-POTTY. It turns out a Pennsylvania man decided to use his lighter while taking care of business, thereby igniting a large amount of methane gas (some of which was probably his). The explosion destroyed the porta-potty and gave him severe burns.

Now this really is a case of explosive diarrhea.

So what's an American to do when they do something stupid (see: fast food, McDonald's coffee, cigarettes)? Sue someone else for their mistake! 53 year-old John Jenkins is suing the contractor for causing a methane gas pipe to leak underneath the toilet. It's a shame because all he had to do was give a courtesy flush without lighting up.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

How To Eat Hard Shell Crabs, Maryland or Otherwise

The following post is not for the faint of heart, which is the same as those people who fail to understand and appreciate the delicacy of eating more than just the crab's meat.

There are two rules of thought on what you can/should and can't/shouldn't eat once you open a crab. I eat just about everything which many think is gross, but don't knock it until you try it. I am going to detail how to enjoy what some tasteless people call the "fat", "bowels", "intestines" and "organs" of the crab. To them, I simply call those parts the "mustard", "juices", "noodles", and "crab cuisine capers".

There are universally agreed upon steps for crab eating. After taking off the claws (which have meat) and legs, remove the tab on the bottom, which let's you know if it's a male (looks like the Washington Monument) or female (looks like the Capital). Simply lift the tip of the tab and pull it away from the crab. At the edge where the tab comes off, split open the shell along that edge with your hands.

Now you'll see lots of organs, lung gills (also called Devils Fingers), and a mustard yellow substance. My father says you may eat all of it "because you've got acid in your stomach that can digest anything." Of course, he also has no medical training, so think what you will. My mom, who has a few medical degrees, says you really shouldn't eat all those parts since they have no nutritional value and the fact that it's disgusting. This ends up dividing the family with my dad and I eating everything and my mom and sister only going for the meat and some mustard. In the picture below, the lungs are the yellow parts and the white circular objects are the organs, errrr....I mean, noodles and capers.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the mustard and all the innards of the crab. They don't have any real special taste, but if you're digging deep into a crab for some meat, why not eat what else is available to you? I'm sure there's some foreign country where crab insides are a delicacy, I just haven't found out where that is the case. Once the internal organs are removed, they shall subsequently be placed in your mouth :)

If you only eat the meat, you will surely be hungrier after the meal than when you first took your seat, so eat as much as you can from the crustacean. There is a lot of work involved when you go for crabs, so to ensure you get as much food from the experience as possible, don't be scared to at least try all of the delicacies that come with the meat, you might just be surprised or disgusted.