And now, all the random thoughts. Mostly quick observations, although occasionally a longer rambling will sneak its way in here.


MBA 101

If hot cross buns are "one a penny, two a penny", who in their right mind would buy one bun? Just explain it to me, and I'll be happy.


lane games

This is something that I know that everyone's done at one time or the other. Picture this scenario. You're about 100 feet away from a traffic light that's red. You're on a four-lane road, with one car in front of you in each of the lanes in your direction.

Do you do an almost instaneous appraisal of the cars to see which one should get "off the line" quicker and position yourself behind that car? I do this all the time. It's probably the only time in my life that I start weighing the acceleration capacities of the Pontiac Grand Prix versus the Toyota Camry, for example.

Of course, the game can be made even more interesting if there are multiple cars in the lanes or more lanes than two. "Hm...; there's a Grand Prix and an old Oldsmobile in this lane; there's a Honda Accord and what looks to be a Z71 in the other lane. Easy lane change. So long, granny!"

Of course, putting big rigs in the equation almost always tilts the balance heavily towards non-truck lanes. But if the truck is sufficiently close to the front of the line, that opens up a new game entirely: the "can I get past everyone up to and including the truck, switch lanes, and get an open lane" game.


Keeping me awake at night

How do you throw away a garbage can?


Battle of the commercial animal stars

Just something that randomly popped into my head a long time a fight between the Energizer Bunny and the Taco Bell Chihuahua, who would win? Between the rabbit's stamina and the dog's craving for grade-D meat, it'd be a pretty tight matchup, if you ask me...



I'm pretty sure that there's a temporal anomaly in the vicinity of my grandparents' microwave. Setting a Hot Pocket for 2:30 results in a cook time of around 5 minutes, it seems.

I thought about flooding the region with an inverse tachion pulse, but then I remembered that my life isn't like Star Trek.


all I need, indeed

AOL's current promotion is 1000 free hours. Sounds great, until you realize that it's only over 45 days. A little basic math tells you that this works out to 22.2 hours per day. Isn't this just a little overkill?


don't might work

I'm convinced that if restroom hand dryers ran for five more seconds, this world would be a much better place.


they just keep coming...

For my Internet access, I'm on the AT&T 7/7 plan. As part of this, I get little ads sent to my screen every now and then. With that said...

If I see one more advertisement for the University of St. Francis, I believe that I shall scream.


lousy false advertising

You remember all those milk commercials where the shrimpy little guy is talking to the "cool girl" who doesn't know that he exists, and while he drinks milk and talks about all of its benefits, morphs into some model-type guy?

Well, I've been drinking milk all my life, and I haven't seen that happen. The American Dairy Association will hear from my lawyers about this...


convenience of plastic

I think that credit card companies should start sending all of my credit card applications already torn into strips. That way, they can still feel like they're doing their jobs, and it'll save me a step.


all the not-as-funny people were watching

Did you ever watch that old program America's Funniest People? While watching it, did you ever wonder if our nation was really that lacking for humor?


pick your poison

I wonder how back in the old days people found out which mushrooms were good and which were poisonous. I bet "mushroom tester" was not a good job title back in those times.


interesting revelation

My couch is blue. I had totally forgotten about that.

In other news, I folded some laundry today...


the five best words in the world

Sometimes, the five best words that you can say to someone are "Take me off your list." Ah...


"interstate or 82" revisited

If you've been here before, you've no doubt read the great "interstate or 82 debate". If not, read it now! Hurry! Then come back up here.

This bears adding to the debate, because it lends credence to my theory that 82 is, indeed, faster than the all-interstate route. Recently, due to the result of some long-ongoing road construction, the highway was rerouted around Brent and most of Centreville, avoiding all of the red lights and stops contained therein save one. This reduces the time spent in the Brent/Centreville area from 10-15 minutes to somewhere around 5-7. This makes the entire trip on 82 even quicker! MUWAH-HAH-HAH!

Sorry. Must have been something in my throat there...


hairy topics

It's nice to have some conversation already scripted for you. For instance, when you are deciding how short to cut your hair, you can count on your barber (or hairdresser, whatever you choose to call it) saying, "I can cut it off all day, but I can't put it back on." Or some such equivalent statement.

And if someone asks you if you recently got a haircut, you're pretty much required to reply, "no, I got them all cut." The person who asks the question is obviously looking for that reply. Not doing so would let them down immensely.


video game scores

You know, video games have come a long way, but I still think that the some of the best video game sounds of all time and the best music of all time come from our old friend, the Atari 2600. Here are my all-time favorites:

Best sound: the "squish" sound in Dig Dug when you drop rocks on the monsters. Satisfyin'. Take that, Fygar!

Best music: yep, mom, it's the music that you still remember after all these years...the lovely musical score of Pitfall II. (Da, da, da-da da da!) There were even three different types of music...

Ah...the memories come flooding back...


futile attempts at Christmas cheer

I will never be a match for Martha Stewart.

I already knew that, but I lent even more credence to that theory recently. I went to a store to buy some garland to put up on my porch, and some "garland ties" designed to fasten said garland to said porch. I also bought a couple of "Christmas sprays". This was the store's terminology, not mine. I would have called them "pine branch-looking thingies." I was going to fashion these into a centerpiece for my dining room table.

About an hour later, I still hadn't gotten the garland formed into a fashion that I liked. It was bitterly cold outside, and I was suffering from numb fingers trying to fasten the garland ties to the garland and the porch. The garland ties, made out of plastic, kept breaking when I tried to lock them into place. Each time one snapped, a little piece of my sanity snapped with it. I noted that the ties were "Santa's Best" brand ties. I submit that if that's the best Santa can do at making garland ties, he needs to outsource garland-tie making and stick to toys.

Finally, finally, I got the garland in a somewhat festive look. It's still up, so I guess that the garland ties are doing their jobs. Well, at least the ones that didn't break. But it was a lot harder than I thought it'd be.

Moral of the story: when you look at a box (or whatever it comes in) of Christmas decorations, resign yourself to the fact that you will either:

  1. Never get the decorations to look as nice as they look on the box, or
  2. Spend an amount of time roughly equivalent to a week per each of these you use to make it look so.

I had better luck with the so-called "Christmas sprays". Luckily, these are for the most part idiot-proof. All you do is take them and place them opposite each other so that the piece of wire coming out of it (which, for some reason, is approximately as long as the spray itself is) is hidden underneath it. And lo and behold, there you have it!

Now don't get me wrong. I still love decorating for Christmas. I just know that I'm never going to get anyone to pay me to do it. :)


the power of the Pentium

You know, when you think about it, a lot of people have spent $1000 or more for a deck of cards.


just plain unfair

Today is Bear Bryant's birthday. You'd think that the University would give us the day off, but no...


I could be an ad exec...

I've always thought that a good idea for a car commercial would be to have a car pull alongside a big-rig and have the truck driver signal the driver of the car and make the "blow your horn" motion with his arm. Then the driver of the car would comply, eliciting a big kid-like grin on the trucker's face as the car pulls away.

Now if you see that kind of commercial on the air anytime soon, be sure and tell them where to direct the royalties for the idea...

but it's your own kind, Porky!

Has anyone else besides me noticed how many barbecue places use pigs standing at a barbecue pit in their logos? Do the people who come up with these think that it's cute in a cannibalistic sort of way?


pangs of guilt

I own eight Coca-Cola glasses. I use them to drink Diet Dr Pepper.

I feel like such a hypocrite.


the great "interstate or 82" debate

Okay, this is the closest thing to a useless thought that I've ever put on this page. But it's something that I've dealt with for four years now, and will for at least two more (plus the title is a nifty piece of alliteration), so here goes.

The question at hand is this: when traveling from Tuscaloosa to Montgomery, and vice versa, which route is quicker, going interstate all the way through Birmingham, or using US-82, which goes straight to Montgomery? Obviously, 82 provides a more direct route, but at the cost of only being able to go 55 miles an hour (legally) over most of the trip. So let's take a look, piece by piece, of the 82 trip and see how long it takes compared to the interstate route. We'll look at it from the perspective of Tuscaloosa to Montgomery.

The first part of the trip is Tuscaloosa to Centreville, 30 miles away. This part of the trip is the only part in which one can legally go 65 mph. So this trip takes a little less than thirty minutes (about 28, to be exact). It takes about 10 minutes to get through Centreville if you have no luck and hit every red light. After you get out of Centreville, you are 55 miles away from Prattville, according to a road sign. You can only go 55 at this point, so obviously it takes you an hour to get to Prattville. It also takes about 10 minutes to get through Prattville (I get off of 82 at this point, and get on Alabama state road 6) if you have to stop at all of the traffic lights on that path. Eventually, you end up getting off of 6 onto I-65 at exit 179. Total running time: 28 + 10 + 60 + 10 minutes = 1 hour, 48 minutes.

Now, in one hour and 48 minutes, going 70 miles an hour, one can drive exactly 126 miles. So let's figure out how far you can get down the interstate going this way...

The quickest interstate route is to go I-59 to Birmingham, then I-459 to bypass downtown, then I-65 to Montgomery. You start at exit 73 going toward Birmingham. The I-459 exit is at exit 106. 106 - 73 = 33 miles so far.

After you get on I-459 (the start of it), you have to go to exit 15 to get to I-65. 15 more miles. 48 so far.

When you get on I-65, you've used exit 250 to do so. To exit 179, where we got off of 82, is 71 miles. 71 + 48 = 129. But if it takes you the same amount of time to go 126 miles on this route as it did to cover the entire way on 82, that means you're still three miles up the road from where you could have been, even if you would have stopped at every red light on the 82 route!

So why do more people go the interstate route? I think that it's because of the illusion of speed that the interstate gives you. Plus most people will talk of getting stuck behind trucks and the like and only going 40 or so. But in all of my drives of 82, I've never had that experience. Plus the scenery is so much nicer when you go 82, in my opinion. It's a nice drive.

Well, there you go...a detailed analysis of something completely useless. But at least I feel better for having said my piece. :)